Posts made in March, 2015

A letter from President Julia Stasch, MacArthur Foundation

A letter from President Julia Stasch, MacArthur Foundation

Several weeks ago, I received a broadcast email from the MacArthur Foundation where they announced their new president, Julia Stasch, a longtime executive and the interim president with the foundation.  For several years, I’ve been sharing my commentaries with the previous president, Robert Gallucci, for the following reason.  Annually, the MacArthur Foundation names some 20-40 recipients known as the MacArthur Fellows who “show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work“.  The program has no application. This anonymous nominating process collects names from experts in various fields where the names are turned over to the board and its president who select the recipients.  Each recipient gets $625,000 over five years...

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Another letter from The White House: ISIS

Another letter from The White House: ISIS

The White House Washington March 25, 2015 Dear Ted: Thank you for writing. I have been meeting regularly with my national security team to implement the strategy I outlined last year to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL in Iraq and Syria. ISIL poses a threat to the Middle East, to the international community, and to our Nation, and we will continue to meet ISIL’s atrocities with the undeterred and united resolve of the international community. Part of the reason I ran for this Office was to end our foreign wars and welcome our troops home. As Commander in Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war on the ground in Iraq. There is no American military solution to the larger crisis there; the only lasting solution must...

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Congress: No skin in the game.

Congress: No skin in the game.

March 24, 2015 Congress: No skin in the game. By Ted Burnett Representative Byrne (R-AL), I think the time has come to ask members of Congress to start “feeling the country’s pain” even if the financial sacrifice is just symbolic. Its time for these millionaire public servants, your colleagues in the House and in the Senate to take a pay cut especially those who have access to family fortunes. For Congress not to suffer while the rest of the nation does and already has — is quite the joke. I guess I’m asking too much of our dukes and duchesses, princes and princesses to pay their fair share during a time of crisis and it is. In many ways, it’s the actions of Congress and our presidents that have caused the current problems....

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Iran: Take a walk in their shoes

Iran: Take a walk in their shoes

March 8, 2015 Iran: Take a walk in their shoes By Ted Burnett U.S. Representative Byrne (R-AL), Today, we (the world) are living with the failed, know-it-all policies from the West, the Bush Administration that just had to invade Iraq, at all cost, following 9/11. The unforeseen consequences of this war, beginning in 2003, have escalated beyond what anyone could have ever imagined taking place in the Middle East. Our failure to see the other side, to hear out the minority opinion before 9/11 has constantly led to our false belief that we have everything figured out, that we’re right when in reality we probably aren’t. I would argue that the United States hasn’t made one good decision on domestic or foreign policy since the dot.com bust. That...

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A Message from Representative Nancy Pelosi

A Message from Representative Nancy Pelosi

Congress of the United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515-0508 March 2, 2015 Dear Ted, Thank you for taking the time to express your opinions about an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). I appreciate hearing from you on this issue. As our nation confronts the ISIS threat, President Obama has engaged Congress in determining the United States strategy to degrade and destroy these brutal terrorists. A key part of Congress’ responsibility is to debate and pass a new and narrowly-tailored AUMF. The President’s draft AUMF submitted on February 11, 2015 is serious and thoughtful, one which ends the outdated 2002 AUMF that authorized the Iraq war that I opposed; restricts the use of ground...

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