Alpine Summit

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Is This What Liberal Leadership Looks Like?

A library in Berkeley, CA can't get it's checkout machines working because the CITY of Berkeley won't let it.  Why? Because they're stupid hippies, that's why.

The checkout machines were formerly maintained by the manufacturer, a company called Checkpoint, but Checkpoint last year announced it was turning over its maintenance jobs to 3M.

Buying new machines or finding a new repair company would "have a big impact on our budget," Corbeil said. "At this point, we basically have no choice."

The Peace and Justice Commission does not see it that way. Commissioners said the library should try harder to find a company that complies with the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act.

A "peace and justice" commission by the city requires that all companies that do business in Berkeley must sign a "we hate nukes" petition first.  3M, the ones whom the manufacturer of the machines outsourced to, refuses to sign it and so the people of Berkeley must go without.

There are a couple of things we can take away from this story.  First is the obvious fact that the city of Berkeley has spent thousands on these machines which are little more useful than paperweights.  Second, the fact that the commission refuses to give a waiver for this and recommends they "try harder" to find a better solution is yet another example of liberals more interested in making problems for other people and forcing them to come up with the solution.  Hardly inspired leadership.

In other news, Obama fired a highly successful program director for the foreign AIDS relief program.  In the words of the story:

During Obama's transition, Dr. Mark Dybul was initially asked to stay on as the coordinator of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for several months until a replacement could be found and confirmed. Because Dybul was the main architect of the program and one of its guiding visionaries, few were surprised by the offer. With Ambassador Randall Tobias, Dybul organized the most staggeringly successful foreign assistance effort since the Marshall Plan -- eventually helping support lifesaving AIDS therapy for more than 2 million people.

Of course, once Obama was inaugurated, he promptly asked for Dybul's resignation.  Why? Not because he mismanaged the program or failed at his job in some significant way, but (presumably) because he was a Bush appointee.

...someone at State or the White House determined that sacrificing Dybul would appease a few vocal, liberal interest groups. One high-ranking Obama official admitted that the decision was "political." Yet the AIDS coordinator is not a typical political job, distributed as spoils, like some deputy assistant position at the Commerce Department. It involves directing a massive emergency operation to provide lifesaving drugs, through complex logistics, to some of the most distant places on Earth. And now that operation may be months without effective leadership -- undermining morale, complicating interagency cooperation, delaying new prevention initiatives and postponing budget decisions.

Politics as usual? Nope. Change we can believe in!  I'm not one to cite opinion articles as actual news stories and there might be a larger story behind this whole thing, but I'm not holding my breath for CNN or MSNBC to cover it anytime soon unless there's a way to blame conservatives and/or Republicans.  As rush says: "Obama is too big to fail."  This just seems too petty and "politics as usual" to jive with all the rhetoric we've been getting from Obama... there HAS to be a reason for this, right? Right.

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