Five-hundred delegates from 122 countries converged on New Zealand this week in a bid to rid the world of cluster bombs. In the end, though only 82 states signed the Wellington Declaration — the draft of a treaty to ban cluster bombs, sweep lands free of them, and assist survivors — the conference was a qualified success.
New Zealand Disarmament Minister Phil Goff informed the Associated Press that more progress toward banning cluster munitions was made in the five days of talks than during five years of U.N. negotiations. Even Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner for her work leading to the ban of land mines, told ABC in Australia, “We’re extremely pleased by the outcome of the conference.”
Earlier, though, she accused representatives of Australia Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and Japan of “fronting for the U.S.” She feared they might neuter the proposed agreement to make it palatable for the US, which, along with Russia, China, and Israel, shunned the conference. Continue reading →
For the moment, consider me as two-term Sen. Denny. (I’ll wait a moment until the laughter subsides.) It shouldn’t surprise you, then, that I am, in essence, more a professional fundraiser than a politician. I need money to remain in office â€” and I need money to acquire influence while in office in case I should seek higher office.
Giving money to other politicians binds them to you. It represents not-so-subtle I.O.U.’s to be collected if, for example, I decide to run for president.
So I establish a “leadership political action committee.” Call it DocPAC. My fellow members of Congress have them, y’know, and so do a lot of other politically savvy folks. We raise money through these leadership PACs independent of our regular campaign committees. And here’s what makes them politically useful: I can give up to $5,000 per election to any federal candidate. And believe me, those party hacks, er, loyalists, immediately become my pals. Continue reading →
The decision became official as SMU’s board of trustees approved an agreement with the Bush Foundation, which will manage construction and raise money for the project, expected to cost more than $200 million.
This has to be the most ironic moment in the history of either presidents or libraries. I mean, you’ll have a copy of the Bible and My Pet Goat. What else? And $200 million?! Sweet fancy Jesus, are they going to build the place out of solid platinum? Continue reading →
Maybe you once cared for a drug addict? What led them there, what keeps them there? Not your problem. And you believe in all that “tough love” shit; you know that they must make the decision to come clean and live responsibly.
But you also believe that you can make that journey easier for them by showing them how an addiction-free life can be, and by offering them the advantages that make it worth going cold to achieve.
At some point, though, maybe you get an inkling that the process isn’t working. Maybe it’s after they’ve come out of rehab once too often, only to go on a binge again, that you start thinking that the effort isn’t worth the stress.