Politics (page 976)

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    Rahm Emanuel to send his children to private school

    Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that he will send his son and two daughters to the University of Chicago Lab School, a prestigious private school in Chicago’s swanky Hyde Park neighborhood.  President Barack Obama’s daughters also attended the Lab School but now they attend Sidwell Friends, an elite private…
    Terry Stoops, July 21, 2011
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    Tillis’ response to staff salary questions

    You've heard criticism of N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis' recent decision to award pay raises to staff members, a decision publicized in the News & Observer at the same time that the newspaper documented complaints about cuts associated with the new state budget. As one who has pointed out that — regardless of its merits — Tillis' decision didn't look good politically, I now highlight Tillis' response to a Republican activist who had questioned the pay raises. When I took office, I decided to hire “nontraditional” staff for key positions, none of whom had prior government employment experience.  All had political experience but working here day after day is a different beast so I was not entirely sure that all would work out (or want to stay).  Therefore, I offered probationary salaries that were on average 25% lower than the typical compensation for the same roles in the Senate, Lt. Governor’s, and the Governor’s staff.  After 90 days, and in a few cases it was closer to 120, I authorized increases that brought the staff up to compensation levels that are still at or below the comp for the same positions in the Senate, Lt. Gov, and Gov’s. I met with the news reporter with the N&O and I explained this to her but it was clear that she did not want the facts to get in the way of a good story.  In additional to explaining what I’ve written above I also told the reporter that we staffed for the “peak” and what proved to be the most productive session in modern times.  I told her she could not annualize staffing levels because we would be ramping down staff after session ended and that our 2011 staff budget would be below the 2009 staff budget for the democrat-led session. Several of the staff I have hired were only on the payroll during session because it did not make sense to have a full complement of staff given the relatively short session and the very long interim period. Two of my staff whose annual salaries were posted actually worked gratis (no compensation including no reimbursement for travel) for over the month of January but the reporter still reported an annualized salary. Three policy staff who have been on my staff for the peak period will only be on my staff through the summer when they transition to other open positions outside of the Speaker’s office or they leave the legislative organization entirely. Two or three other administrative staff will also likely transition into other opportunities or will leave the legislative organization entirely.
    Mitch Kokai, July 21, 2011
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    Reagan and leadership

    Fans of the 40th president who are also interested in developing their leadership skills might appreciate Margot Morrell’s new book, Reagan’s Journey: Lessons From a Remarkable Career. You’ll find more comprehensive biographies of Ronald Reagan elsewhere, but Morrell adequately captures the high…
    Mitch Kokai, July 20, 2011
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    O’Rourke opines on the end of the shuttle era

    You’ll have to follow this link to read P.J. O’Rourke‘s fabulous description of the awe-inspiring scene created by the final launch of an American space shuttle. But I will quote from his Weekly Standard piece on the topic to highlight O’Rourke’s reaction to the shuttle’s demise:…
    Mitch Kokai, July 20, 2011
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    Stossel examines the Cain candidacy

    John Stossel‘s latest column focuses on Herman Cain‘s presidential bid: As a businessman, Cain saw firsthand the harm that government interventions like the minimum-wage inflict. People lose their jobs without even realizing why. “If the government were to mandate an…
    Mitch Kokai, July 20, 2011
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    The ripple effects from the debt-limit debate

    Kevin D. Williamson‘s latest National Review Online column looks beyond the politics of the debt-limit debate to examine who would suffer if the federal government’s credit rating takes a hit. In addition to banks and insurance companies, Williamson identifies some other losers: State and…
    Mitch Kokai, July 20, 2011
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    New Carolina Journal Online features

    Don Carrington’s latest Carolina Journal Online report explains how federal stimulus money ended up funding new diesel engines for 14 North Carolina charter fishing boats — including one named “Bite Me.” John Hood’s Daily Journal examines happiness satisfaction, and income inequality.
    Mitch Kokai, July 20, 2011
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    York examines the Republicans’ next step in the debt-limit debate

    Byron York‘s latest Washington Examiner article spells out Republican congressional leaders’ likely response to the latest news in the federal debt-limit debate. Republican leaders believe they can win the battle on taxes because, however the debt fight turns out, voters will evaluate them based…
    Mitch Kokai, July 19, 2011