Wednesday, November 24, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

From me @OTB:  The Real Deficit-Reduction Math.

Filed under: OTB,US Politics | Comments Off|
By Steven L. Taylor

From me @OTB:  A Basic Point on the Korea Situation.

Filed under: Asia,OTB | Comments Off|
By Steven L. Taylor

And, in this case, the convergence of royal weddings and a referendum.


The April 29 date falls less than a week before the national referendum on electoral reform on May 5.

Campaigners fear the wedding and bank holiday weekend will scupper any hopes of turning the voting issue into a major debate.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

I was doing some research today on the topic of neoconservatism and came across the following article in the journal International Politics:  “Kristol Balls: Neoconservative Visions of Islam and the Middle East” by Timothy J. Lynch.

I found it rather amusing in a geeky political scientist kind of way.

Filed under: Academia,Iraq,Political Theory/Philosophy | Comments Off|
By Steven L. Taylor

In the aftermath of the 1994 “Republican Revolution” there were a further handful of Democrats in the Congress that decided that being in the minority stinks, so went on to switch parties (Senators Richard Shelby of AL and Ben Nighthorse Campbell of CO come to mind).  Now the same phenomenon is taking place in Alabama at the state level.  I noted a few weeks back that the GOP finally captured control of the state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction.  That victory has now lead to some Democrats to jump to the Republican Party (again:  being in the minority stinks).

Via the Montgomery AdvertiserFormer Democrats bolster GOP power

The four Democrats in the Alabama House of Representatives who switched par ties Monday, give Republicans the necessary majorities in both chambers of the Legislature to vote as a bloc to bring up their agenda or to shut down delays from Democrats.

Alan Boothe of Troy, Mike Millican of Hamilton, Lesley Vance of Phenix City, and Steve Hurst of Munford announced their switch, which was reported by the Montgomery Advertiser on Friday.

The shift brings the number of Republicans in the House to 66, compared to 39 Democrats.

Filed under: 2010,Alabama Politics,elections | Comments Off|
By Steven L. Taylor

Or, more accurately, is Cambio Radical going home?

According to W Radio, leaders of the PL and CR are planning to meet to discuss a merger.

El Tiempo goes a step farther with a piece called “The Red Resurrection” (La resurrección roja)((Red is the traditional color of the PL.)) which notes that the CR+PL caucus would be a significant one in the Congress.  Although, it should be noted, such a caucus would still be a minority.  Based on the initial seat counts after the election, the new PL would have 52 (36+16) out 166 Chamber seats and 25 (17 PL + 8 CR) out of 102 in the Senate.  This assumes that those numbers ended up being the official ones,1 and that all of the members of CR make the move.  There are some relatively new rules about changing party labels after an election that I am not as well versed in as I should be, so I am not sure what the exact legal strictures will be.

At the moment the leader of the CR, Germán Vargas Lleras, is the Minister  of the Interior in the Santos administration.  As such, this is unlikely to be an opposition bloc.

I say, btw, that CR is “going home” above because the origins of the CR is as a faction of the PL that broke away in the 2002-2006 period.

  1. The Concejo Nacional Electoral still has not published the final official seat counts—aaarrrggh!!! []
Filed under: Colombia | Comments Off|
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC:  Venezuela bans unauthorised use of Hugo Chavez’s image

the Venezuelan government wants to take back some control of the president’s image.

It has banned the use of the "name, image or figure" of Hugo Chavez on "infrastructure projects, constructions, educational establishments or public buildings of any kind" unless express permission of the president has been granted.


The reason given for the law is that the president’s image "should be employed under controls which permit his identification as such, in the honourable role of first leader".

This sounds more like a desire to manage the cult of personality around Chávez as much as anything else.

Filed under: Latin America | Comments Off|
By Steven L. Taylor


365.235 (11/22/10)

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By Steven L. Taylor


365.324 (11/21/10)

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By Steven L. Taylor


365.323 (11/20/10)

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