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Category: Public Affairs CommentaryReturn to Latest News
Thu., Mar. 7, 2013
D'Amato Fights Upper East Side Garbage Facility
By Kevin McCauley
 

Former New York Senator Al D’Amato is representing real estate interests and residents of Manhattan’s swanky Upper East Side that want to kill New York City’s plan to reopen a marine waste transfer station on 91 St and the East River.

Mayor Bloomberg unveiled his solid waste management plan in 2002, a program that called for an equitable distribution of NYC’s garbage. The program calls for transporting NYC garbage via barge or rail thus reducing the number of fume-belching trucks from city streets.
Category: Public Affairs Commentary
Wed., Mar. 6, 2013
Swallowed Spin on Iraq is Hard to Spit Up
By Kevin McCauley
 
As the U.S. “celebrates” the tenth anniversary of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, MPO Research Group (Washington) released a report today that finds two-thirds of the 57 percent of Americans who supported the attack during the war’s early stages still believe it was the right thing to do. 

Despite widespread knowledge that the justification of the war -- Iraq had weapons of mass destruction -- turned out to be bogus, only a third of early war backers have since changed their minds. That distressing number illustrates the harmful nature of spin. It’s hard to un-spin spin, especially when it was presented by an authority figure like the president of the U.S.
Category: Public Affairs Commentary
Mon., Mar. 4, 2013
New York Times Makes Untimely Cut
By Kevin McCauley
 
The New York Times killed its “Dot Earth” environmental blog on Friday after it posted more than 5,300 postings. 

Management referred readers to check out the paper’s Caucus blog for green policy news and the Bits blog for technology news. It also provided Twitter accounts for staffers who contributed to Dot Earth. 

The spiking of Dot Earth follows the NYT decision in January to close its environmental bureau. 

What was the Times thinking?
Category: Public Affairs Commentary
Fri., Mar. 1, 2013
TV News At Its Nadir
By Arthur Solomon
 

For people interested in in-depth news coverage, television news has always been overrated.  I’m not referring to the occasional exceptions like Edward Morrow’s take down of Sen. Joe McCarthy or Walter Cronkite’s reporting on Viet Nam but to the daily news reports, which are normally nothing more than extended sound bites or synopses of happenings.

But the superficiality of TV news reached a new low with the extensive coverage of two stories – one of a serious nature; the other a hoax:
Category: Public Affairs Commentary
Tue., Feb. 26, 2013
Why Have We Become So Numb?
By Kevin McCauley
 
Why have we become so numb? Is it due to senseless war in Iraq and endless war in Afghanistan? 

As the Friday budget sequester deadline looms, only a quarter of Americans are keeping their eye on the “action” in Washington, according to a survey released Feb. 25 by Pew Research Center and the Washington Post

Despite that lack of interest, 60 percent of Americans believe the automatic spending cuts will have a major impact on the nation’s economy. What gives?
Category: Public Affairs Commentary
Mon., Feb. 25, 2013
Cheers for Life of Leisure in Post-Employment USA
By Kevin McCauley
 
Help Wanted signMy favorite conservative columnist, Ross Douthat, in his Feb. 23 New York Times piece, put a somewhat positive spin on post-employment America, or the life of leisure “enjoyed” by people struggling to get by on food stamps and a series of minimum wage jobs. 

It makes one wonder if Ross knows anybody who has been pounding the pavement day after day in search of work. It’s a soul-crushing experience. 

His piece was reminiscent of a Wall Street Journal editorial a few years back, which toasted the “lucky duckies” who paid no federal income tax because their wages were so low.
 
Category: Public Affairs Commentary
Thu., Feb. 21, 2013
Propaganda 'Blowback' to Star on Oscar Night
By Kevin McCauley
 
The State Dept.’s public diplomacy corps will be glued to the TV on Oscar Night, rooting for the success of “The Bushkazi Boys” a 29-minute film that is nominated in the short film live action category. 

The Wall Street Journal today reported that Bushkazi Boys was funded almost entirely by the State Dept.’s $150M propaganda budget to “support Afghan media and burnish the U.S. image in Afghanistan.” It was shot in Kabul with the help of a dozen aspiring Afghan filmmakers who were paired with professional mentors.
 
Category: Public Affairs Commentary
Tue., Feb. 19, 2013
Post Office's Missed Opportunity
By Kevin McCauley
 
The Post Office is threatening to eliminate Saturday delivery as part of its restructuring plan to put a dent in its $25m daily red ink flow. The move has been universally panned by rural politicians who view their post offices as hang-outs for the locals. 

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is overlooking a golden opportunity to generate some big bucks for the USPS. Greeting cards! This blogger made a trip to the Grand Central Post Office earlier today to pick up stamps and was amazed to find a rack of birthday cards up for sale.
Category: Public Affairs Commentary
Fri., Feb. 15, 2013
DLA Piper Tunes in Al Jazeera
By Kevin McCauley
 
DLA Piper has signed on to represent Al Jazeera America Holdings, which last month announced a $100M deal to acquire Al Gore and Joel Hyatt’s Current TV.
Category: Public Affairs Commentary
Mon., Feb. 4, 2013
'Dead-Eye' Obama Rapped as Amateur
By Kevin McCauley
 
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promises to introduce most of the gun control proposals put forward by President “Dead-Eye” Obama in the aftermath of the Newtown slaughter.
Category: Public Affairs Commentary
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