Ross Mackenzie

A random walk among issues currently in the news...

Do you miss George Bush yet?

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American-born Muslim Anwar al-Awlaki, likely al-Qaida's top English-speaking recruiter, may be the world's most dangerous man. He has inspired -- let's see: the alleged Fort Hood shooter, the Christmas underwear bomber, the Times Square bomber, and some of the 9/11ists. Hiding in Yemen, this terrorist counselor reportedly is a target for capture or assassination. Short of that, federal authorities are seeking to confiscate any financial assets he may have in the United States.

Not so fast, says his father. He and his son deserve legal representation -- and the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights have offered to provide it, pro bono. Leftists and their support groups never seem to cease getting high on helping those who want to harm -- even destroy -- the United States.

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Kudos for Michelle Rhee, head of Washington, D.C.'s public schools. Earlier this year she told teachers in her system they would be held accountable for student test scores. Now she has fired 241 teachers (6 percent of D.C.'s 4,300 teachers) and put about 700 more on notice: If they don't improve next year, they'll get the axe, too. The teacher's union, of course, is outraged; it says the firings are unfair. But too many unionized teachers believe they should have lifetime tenure -- no matter how poorly their charges perform, no matter how little they know.

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Could the report possibly be true that The Washington Post rejected a bid for its Newsweek franchise because of the bidder's insufficient leftism -- and so sold the liberal magazine to the 91-year-old husband of Democratic California Congresswoman Jane Harman? It's always best that failing magazines die in the arms of ideological family.

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Despite the $135 billion the states received in stimulus money, the House has approved another $26 billion. Yet that may not be enough for states facing a combined $127 billion in deficits over the next two fiscal years. State governments are being crushed by federal spending mandates for Medicaid and schools, with more mandates to come from ObamaCare. Not only that -- public-sector unions are hammering state (and local) budgets with wage, pension, and benefit demands.


Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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