Saturday, February 18, 2006

Pegggy Noonan piece

This link was sent by a friend. Regardless of you're ideology I think both sides have a feeling that the "trolley is coming off the tracks". It might be of interest to some of your readers.

So, Peggy Noonan, spokesperson for the Power Elite (the Neo/theo/con elite, of course), is scared shitless that her folks have fucked up irretrievably. (My dear Republican friends: I personally believe that the only source of help in these dire times comes from--no shit--the few moderate Republicans out there, who can begin the revolution from Within. Fuggedabout the spineless Democrats, who, apart from Al Gore, don't have the cojones to say what's wrong, much less suggest progressive alternatives. No, the progressive alternative will come, as it did one hundred years ago, from the--I'm not kidding-- Republican Party. Yup, the charge up San Juan Hill will be led by a Teddy Roosevelt, not a Teddy Kennedy. -Or any Clinton.)

But times will have to get a bit tougher for all Americans, before the people can be led by a new Teddy Roosevelt. (By the way, John McCain ain't the guy. It'll be someone below the event horizon in today's political scene. But they are out there, those almost-extinct moderate Republicans. It may, in fact, be someone like Ron Paul, Republican Congressman from Texas, a true conservative and libertarian. Keep your eyes peeled, and a watch out, you Neo/theo/cons, on your back trail.)

Peggy Noonan is right. She hasn't yet figured out the solution, but she smells the problem. And the stench emanates from the corrupt, incompetent White House, the Republican Congress, the Republican Senate, the Republican Supreme Court, the non-liberal-leftist media, and on down through all the multinational corporate board rooms. But even there, in the board rooms, there is a grave unease--a malaise, as Jimmy Carter said some 30 years ago. But the depth of the hole we're in now is unprecedented. And the solution will not come from those who dug the hole.
Need I mention that we, at Los Alamos National Laboratory, are now beginning to see the privatized part of corporate America's vision of the Inferno? If it isn't quite warm enough for you yet, let me invoke the image of the frog-in-a-pot, where the water is raised ever-so-gently toward the boiling point. We are not immune from the future that Peggy Noonan so bleakly paints.
Take a look at the new LANS management team. They are very "special" people. So much so that under the LANS structure they are going to get a "executive benefits plan". The rest of us are going to be asked to bend over.
Brad, I agree with you that our best hope actually comes from
the moderate Republicans (aka, "South Park" or "Rockefeller"
Republicans). McCain strikes me as a fake "man-of-the-people"
type of guy. Sen. Frist may be moderate, but he's bending over
backwards to satisfy the far right of the party. Sen. Hagel
is beginning to look interesting (war hero, yet a war critic),
but the party will never let him be their candidate. In fact,
there is going to be a GOP "blood-bath" as the party's far-right
wacko's attempt to pick-off all moderate candidate during the
GOP primaries. And if a religious nut-case like Sen. Brownback
becomes our next President, it's time to head for Canada (and,
no, I'm not anti-religious, but some of the things I've heard
about Sen. Brownback really creep me out).

As of now, my money bet is on Rudy Giullani. He's a nasty
enough hombre to tear out a "new one" when the religious-right of
the party attack him, and as mayor of NYC during 911, he'll be
able to ride the patriot theme to the hilt (ie, "America's Mayor").

If Rudy gets it, I'm not sure how I'll feel. He's definitely
a liberal on social issues, but comes across a bit too strong
for my taste. However, he has one positive attribute that's
painfully missing from the present occupant. Rudy is extremely
competent. If nothing else, I want the next occupant of the
Whitehouse to AT LEAST have that trait, whether Democrat or
Republican. I can't imagine a guy like Rudy putting up with
the screw-ups we saw during Katrina. He would have fired both
Brown and Chertoff on the spot, and then launched a fast-track
effort to begin fixing an obviously broken FEMA and DHS.

Be forewarned, however, that whoever wins in 2008, the likely
forecast is for a downward trend in DOE National Lab funding.
We were extremely lucky this year to at least hold on to level
funding at LANL. The outlying years at LANL are going to be
very tough, as deficit reductions become more than just talk.

We've been here before. For the old-timers, just think back
to the "peace dividend" years of the mid-90's, and the '95 RIF.
As Yogi used to say, it may soon be "deja-vu all over again".
whatsdamatterwithyou notes in his/her Sunday comment that the new "Management Team" will be getting "Executive" benefit packages.

Why? These guys are not that special. They are getting the best jobs that they will ever get. They got these jobs by appointment, not via open competition.

In the good old days, through the time of John Browne, the LANL upper managers were regarded as part of the scientific and technical team. They received higher salaries than the rest of us us, but not that much higher. They had the same benefit packages. Most had come up through the ranks and knew what was involved in performing scientific and engineering work.

Then came Admiral Butthead with his unreasonably high salary and golden parachute. Now, these new people are further separated from us with their executive benefit package.

You can call this a Management Team, but they are very definitely not on the same team as the employees. Employee loyalty at LANL is a thing of the past.
Whatever special "Executive Package" deal and associated perks that
our new LANS Management Team receives will likely be well hidden
from the troops. The old UC days of looking up salaries in public
lists will soon be long gone. Throw a bit more manure into the dark
corners, boss. The mushrooms are going to need to grow extra large
next year.

BTW, I've come up with a definitive "sign-post" to indicate when LANS
top management has completely broken with LANL staff. Keep watching
out at the Los Alamos Airport. If LANS decides they need to lease
a corporate jet to ferry around the top brass, then get the hell out
of town. That jet will be a sure sign that the Lab as we've know it
has completely vanished. Let's see whose going to be the first one
to spot a shiny new LANS corporate jet out on the tarmac.
" ... will soon be long gone"

is an oxymoronic juxtaposition of temporal boundaries, but I catch your drift.
Badbard... please refer to Nanos as Admiral "Cowboy". I am butthead and there is only ONE butthead....

I will continue later....
VICE Admiral Nanos was surely a Butthead, but, by God, he is no cowboy. A COWBOY works at a dangerous task, and lives by skill and experience. He rides a horse, and herds cattle through snow, sleet, rain, thunder, and lightning, saves calves from breach birth, and faces down predators of both the two- and four-legged varieties. If Nanos ever wore a cowboy hat, it was a fraud equal in dastardliness to that of the despicable "cowboy" President, who fears horses so much that his "ranch" in Texas has not one of those noble beasts on the whole 1600 acres.

"Vice Admiral" indeed. Even the Navy should have had higher standards. To call Nanos a "cowboy" is an insult to good men.
That is one angry dude, er, cowboy.
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