We hear a lot, these days, about how President Obama is not like Lyndon Johnson and thanks be to heaven for that small mercy. The point seems to be that the president doesn't know how to arm twist, sweet talk, bribe, and emasculate both friend and enemy (of which he truly had neither) in order to further his agenda. Since many among the chattering class believe, still, in that agenda, his is generally regarded as an excellent presidency. Never mind that more than half a century after Johnson declared war on poverty ... poverty is still winning.
Caribbean-based company ICSSI had seen its lucrative contract to X-ray the cargo entering the Dominican Republic languish for years when, in 2011, it began searching for an investor with political pull. Perhaps someone with the right connections would be able to pressure the Dominicans into enforcing the contract, which was valued at somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion over 20 years. And that special someone, it seemed, was Salomon E.
A newly released study by Transparency International finds the United States less corrupt now than it was in 2011. According to the survey's rankings, the U.S. is the 19th least corrupt country in the world this year; in 2011, the U.S. ranked 24th.
From my amateur vantage point there are three kinds of politi-cians. The first are the “process” types. They may have gone into politics for idealistic reasons or for the opportunities, but in the end, especially if they are long-serving, the process becomes the whole game, and they find themselves gobbled up by it. The result has been bigger and bigger government.
New York governor David Paterson, beset by charges of witness tampering in the case of a close aide accused of assaulting an ex-girlfriend, has spoken of legalizing ultimate fighting as a revenue raiser to help close the state’s $8 billion plus budget gap. But New Yorkers looking for brawling entertainment need look no further than the Democratic caucus of the state senate where Paterson had been a member for 20 years.