Category Archives: Happenings

Where are Republicans

WASHINGTON Leaders from across the globe, executives of multinational corporations, and a wide array of private citizens descended upon New York this week to support clean energy and climate change action at Tuesday’s UN Climate Summit and adjoining Climate Week events.

But amid the hubbub in Manhattan, one group has kept notably quiet.cheap jerseys

For much of President Obama’s tenure, Republicans have criticized his administration’s green goals as job killing, ineffective, and bureaucratically messy. At Tuesday’s UN Climate Summit, Obama urged world leaders to take bold action on an issue he said will “define the contours of this century more than any other.” Republican response was muted. Few lawmakers spoke out or issued statements themselves, although a handful did when asked for comment by the Monitor. Ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee Lisa Murkowski (R) of Alaska declined such a request.

Republicans aren’t likely to embrace Obama’s climate agenda anytime soon, focusing instead on bolstering an oil and gas boom that has driven down the trade deficit and kept the economy afloat.

But the relative silence surrounding Climate Week may also suggest the GOP is less eager to oppose a green perspective at every turn. If the US economy continues to emerge from recession, and more Americans continue to experience extreme weather exacerbated by climate change, might we see Republicans warm to more aggressive climate and clean energy policies?

“I think the politics are still that members don’t feel they can come out and say anything,” says Kimberly Dean, senior advisor at the Bipartisan Policy Center Advocacy Network. “The Republican party is still dealing with some of the further right aspects of the party within election cycles.”

In fact, moderate Republicans like Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and New Hampshire Senate hopeful Scott Brown appear to be moving to the right on climate and energy policy. Governor Christie, observers say, is facing pressure to show conservative bona fides ahead of a potential 2016 presidential bid.

And so Republicans are championing the potential of the US energy boom. At a Monitor hosted breakfast in Washington earlier this month, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) of Louisiana inverted the science denial charge some Democrats aim at Republicans on climate change by saying Obama administration officials are “science deniers when it comes to harnessing America’s energy resources.”

Stirrings of bipartisanshipIt hasn’t always been so acrimonious. Four years ago there seemed to be modest momentum for bipartisan compromise on climate legislation. In 2010, Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina signaled a willingness to craft climate legislation with Democrats that could attract moderate support from both sides of the aisle.

So what happened? The BP oil spill and immigration reform deflated hopes of a climate bill. And since then, a gridlocked Senate has quashed even modest legislation like this year’s non controversial Shaheen Portman energy efficiency bill.

The Great Recession is also to blame for halting momentum and putting climate solidly on the back burner for Republicans.

“The recession was one of the key factors,” says Meghan McGuinness, associate director for energy and environment for the Bipartisan Policy Center. “We’re still recovering from the recession, and we lost a lot of momentum.” With so many Americans falling in dire economic straits, creating or at least preserving jobs became priority No. 1 over the course of Obama presidency.

Republicans who reject Obama’s climate agenda criticize the president for policies they say will eliminate jobs and stall a fragile economic recovery. Americans view Obama’s energy strategies as “red tape that will destroy their jobs and increase their energy bills,” according to Senator Barrasso.

Republicans increasingly accept the science of climate change, but strongly challenge its ranking on the Obama administration’s priority list.

“[T]he president views climate change as the most urgent issue facing mankind,” Rep. Ed Whitfield (R) of Kentucky said in a statement Wednesday. “While everyone agrees that climate is changing, we do not agree it is the most urgent issue.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R) of South Carolina echoed Congressman Whitfield in a statement to the Monitor Tuesday.

“We all agree that finding clean, renewable sources of energy is important,” said Senator Scott, a member of the Energy Committee. “The part of that equation that is seemingly overlooked by this administration, however, is overall cost and affordability for the American family.””The most expensive thing we can do is nothing,” EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said, arguing that businesses need a stable climate and a clean environment to thrive. “The economy isn’t a reason to fear action it’s a reason to take action.”

When asked about climate change at the Monitor breakfast, Mr. Jindal a 2016 presidential hopeful said that “it’s not controversial to say that human activity is contributing in some way. The question is how serious that is.”

Still, despite scientific evidence to the contrary, some Republicans continue to refute that global temperatures are rising or that humans are behind the trend.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) of Oklahoma is among the most vocal:

“They’re going to try to make everyone believe that the United States of America is going to take some kind of step against global warming, against climate change, or whatever they rename it next time, and it’s not going to happen,” Senator Inhofe told Bloomberg BNA last week, ahead of the UN climate summit.

Meeting in the middleRepublicans may not warm to Democrats’ climate agenda for several more election cycles, if at all, Ms. McGuinness and Ms. Dean say in a telephone interview Wednesday.

That does not mean there won’t be incremental action on energy and climate in the meantime. Indeed, some Congressional Republicans view energy as an issue they can make quick progress on should they win the Senate in November. Much of that is in boosting natural gas exports and building the Keystone XL pipeline two issues that garner support from energy state Democrats.

Could bipartisan cooperation on Keystone XL and natural gas could lead to collaboration on climate? In an extensive report on America’s energy potential, Jindal emphasizes renewables and climate change in two of six organizing principles suggesting the two parties may not be as far apart as they seem. No. 2 on the list of principles is “Encourage Technological Innovation of Renewables and Emerging Energy Resources,” and No. 6 is “Take Simple, Tangible Steps to Address the Possible Risks of Climate Change, in Concert with Other Major Economies.”

When you Swoosh upon a track star

The first Swoosh is on the “Welcome to Track Town” billboard just outside of, well, Track Town. The second Swoosh is also on the billboard, in the corner of a logo shaped like the state of Oregon. A logo inside a logo, if you will.

Once inside Historic Hayward Field, there’s a Swoosh on the new, cool, five story scoreboard structure. This Swoosh changes colors. It’s just to the right of the words Historic Hayward Field.cheap nfl jerseys High tech iconography with a sense of place, if you will.

That Swoosh, as you might imagine, isn’t a lonely Swoosh. From the west grandstands, six other Swoosh logos were visible Friday. Saturday, they were joined by an eighth, gigantic Swoosh, added as a backdrop for the start of the 100 meters.

That makes eight prominent Swoosh logos at Hayward Field, the lead Swoosh, beacons of strength for the hundreds of tiny swooshes adorning jerseys and shorts and singlets, and King Swoosh only knows how many bright yellow shoes stand out on television almost as if they were designed to.

Torri Edwards was sporting the Swoosh when she won her 100 meter dash semifinal heat, and the scoreboard, instead of her name, briefly displayed Adidas in the No. 1 position.

Amateurism is expensive; it needs money. Money requires sponsorship. Most everything’s for sale. Saturday, the scoreboard reminder to hydrate was sponsored by Tylenol. Olympic Track and Field Trials, your sponsorship is almost as prominent as your name.

You got your Nike athlete, and your Adidas athlete, your athletes running, jumping and throwing for Reebok or Asics. There are plenty of college affiliations, and just as many are identified as “unattached.” That means: make them an offer.

Nike and Adidas have rented fraternity houses where their athletes can hang out. Alice Schmidt, who won her 800 meter semifinal heat, used to wear the Swoosh when she was at North Carolina. Now she wears whatever you’d call the Adidas stripes. Strips, one supposes.

The big difference? “Sizing,” she said.

Are there scheduled guard shifts at the frat house? To make sure no Swoosh lurks in the night? Are logos warring, like the Jets and the Sharks, or the local news teams in “Anchor Man”?

Rising up from beyond Hayward Field’s east grandstands is a rock climbing wall, topped by yet another logo. This one belongs to the United States Army. That’s hurdler Nathaniel Garcia’s team. More accurately, 1st Lt. Nathaniel Garcia.

Garcia had pretty much given up on competing and was coaching when a recruiter on Texas Christian’s campus saw him with his track gear and started talking to him. He “got into that whole recruiting business,” Garcia said. As recruiters are wont to do.

“I signed up hoping I could get in” to the Army’s elite athlete program, Garcia said.

It took some time, but last year Garcia got the call and got back on the track, pushed himself, and, after a self described “real rocky start,” qualified for the trials in the 400 meter hurdles.

You’d expect the Army to be able to work a guy into shape. He’s stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado, where he said he’s got the best of whatever he needs at his disposal, to train, to work and run on behalf of . his sponsor.

“My fellow soldiers, my colleagues, anyone over in Iraq working their butts off,” Garcia said.

That got him to Eugene, but it didn’t get him to Beijing.

Garcia finished seventh in his semifinal heat Saturday, ahead of a guy affiliated with Phenetix International and behind two unattached runners. (Phenetix, according to its Web site, is “a division of Phenetix Urban Athletic Wear Company, LLC.”)

What’s next? That’s the question for everyone who doesn’t move on to the Olympics, right? Garcia’s answer is, as you’d expect, a little more complicated than most.

It depends on the Army’s needs. If he’s needed elsewhere in the world, to do something other than run, that’s what he’ll go do. “That’s what I signed up for,” he said.

As he said this, he slipped out of his blue Mizuno shoes. They were soaked in sweat. Worth noting: The jersey had a Swoosh. .

President of new jersey

So President Obama added to his jersey collection last week, getting a No. 44 Red Sox jersey from selfie aficionado David Ortiz. wholesale nfl jerseys from china But if you think the swag is hanging on the walls of a man cave fit for a president inside the West Wing, think again. From there they could end up at a presidential library.

“It’s a recent trend because civilians didn’t wear jerseys” before the 80s, Lukas told The Score. “Teams and leagues hadn’t figured out people would pay $200 for a polyester shirt before then.”

While Obama held up a 44 before Big Papi’s corporate sponsored selfie, he also has 1s, 10s, 11s, a 27 from the Yankees and plenty of other 44s, among other numbers, in his collection. Many of the numbers signify the year of the title, or in the case of the Yankees, the number of championships the franchise has won. Forty four is Obama’s number in the roster of American presidents.

“The whole number of the president thing came in with the most recent President Bush,” Lukas said, noting that news networks began referring to him as Bush 43 to distinguish him from his father, George H. W. Bush aka Bush 41.

“Most people had no f ing clue what the president’s number was before that,” he said.

Well, some of us did (Reagan was 40).

Nope, while those are dumb decisions, the dumbest is Eric Decker’s transaction with Jeff Cumberland. The new Jets wideout paid the tight end $25,000 and a steak dinner for his No. 87 jersey.

Sure, Decker has the money; he just signed a five year, $37.5 million deal with Gang Green. And for Cumberland, it’s a great deal. He wore 86 for his first three years and just switched to 87 last year. He’ll wear 85 now.

This sort of thing has been going on forever in sports, it’s in the NFL where the payments seem to be the most over the top.

Jeff Feagles, who wore 10 and 17 with the Giants, made out when the team drafted Eli Manning and added Plaxico Burress. Manning sent Feagles and his family on an all expenses paid trip to Florida as payment. Burress agreed to pay for a kitchen remodel, though Feagles said he welshed. “He stiffed me,” Feagles said at the time.

Darrelle Revis reportedly paid Mark Barron $50,000 to essentially rent No. 24 with the Bucs last year. Clinton Portis agreed to pay Ifeanyi Ohalete $40,000 when he was traded to the Redskins in 2004, then went to court to try to get out of paying the agreed upon fee when Ohalete was cut. Portis settled the suit.

Not all transactions are so costly. John Kruk gave up his No. 28 in Philly to Mitch Williams for two cases of beer. Williams, Kruk said, wanted to keep the number because he had bought a bunch of No. 28 jewelry for his wife and didn’t want to have to replace it. http://www.2013newjerseyssupply.com/ It turned out to be a savvy move for Williams; he got divorced two years later.

But with Decker and Cumberland, it just doesn’t seem right. They’re big boys and can do what they want with their money, but in a climate where fans can’t afford to take their families to games, throwing around thousands of dollars for a piece of polyester just doesn’t wash.

Take him up on the dinner, Jeff, and order plenty of wine. Live a little, get the good stuff. But maybe you can use the cash to buy tickets for some kids who otherwise couldn’t afford a game.

Youth Protection Training


Why is YPT (article link) so important? Because a safe environment is best achieved when everyone is trained and fully aware, whether explicitly required or not. Troop 21 and BSA take this seriously and so should you.

Training can be done quickly online; go to myscouting.org and log-in or create an account. Upon completion, give a copy of your YPT certificate to the Troop 21 Training Coordinator: Marla Gordon.

When the boss is Uncle Sam

The anecdote sounds like prime material for a David Letterman Top 10 list of governmental inefficiency: To get a pencil at a regional office of the Army Corps of Engineers, an employee recalls having to send a request down to the storage room to check on its availability before he could put in an order for it.

True story. But it’s not the whole story.

Yes,Cheap Jerseys from china http://www.cheapnflnewjerseysusa.top/ federal employees do sometimes throw up their hands in disgust over the bureaucratic hoops they have to jump through. “People increasingly want to go into government because of the psychological compensation they feel they’re doing something important,” says Marc Holzer, chair of the graduate department of public administration at the Newark campus of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Job security is a big plus, too. But a lot of people have been nervous lately about whether that security will last.

The Bush administration is pushing federal agencies to put many more tasks up for competitive bids from the private sector. Up to 850,000 jobs, almost half the federal workforce, are commercial in nature and so should be subject to competition, says Trent Duffy, spokesman for the White House Office of Management and Budget (see story, below).

However many jobs ultimately do shift to the private sector in the coming years, the debate over the administration’s plan, which has spurred strong opposition from labor unions, highlights the less than flattering image of government as “red tape central.”

“The stereotype won’t die,” says Mr. Holzer. “There’s always some story poking fun at bureaucracy.”

How much of this reputation is deserved depends on your perspective. To get behind the generalities and the extremes on both sides of the debate, the Monitor talked with a range of people who have insiders’ views of both the federal government and private companies.

Their stories help explain why 6O percent of federal employees surveyed recently said they would recommend their organization as a good place to work. (See chart.) But they also confirm that there’s always room for improvement.

Stung by the private sector

After 13 years with the Army Corps of Engineers, Stephen Dunbar wanted a change. It bothered him that his master’s degree, engineering license, and initiative didn’t yield extra recognition or pay. (Or even make it easy to requisition pencils.)

“One of the drawbacks to the government,” he says, “is that there’s no really good mechanism for rewarding those who consistently put in extra effort, over someone who just shows up to work every day.”

Mr. Dunbar started managing software development teams for a small private company in Boston in January 2000. After being part of a government entity that employs 34,000 people nationwide, he enjoyed the way managers at his new office could communicate with its 70 person staff more directly and gather input as they made decisions.

“In government,” he says, “usually a directive comes down months after it’s decided what the policy is going to be.”

But the camaraderie at his company began to crumble, Dunbar says, when the IT market went sour and layoffs began.

Business would pick up in spurts and new people later came on board. The face of the company changed. “In the end, it was all 20 somethings, kids fresh out of school willing to work the 50 or 60 hours I was working, or more, for less money,” he says. As a father of four, those hours working after the kids went to bed and on Saturdays wore on him. “It was just ridiculous and it was expected.”

The final straw came last year after Dunbar, under the gun to meet a deadline, made his team work 80 hour weeks for a month to develop a major product.

“The day after we delivered it, they let about seven of those guys go. I didn’t see it coming,” he says. “That just kills your ability to motivate anybody to put that kind of time in.”

After surviving three rounds of layoffs, Dunbar didn’t have to think too long about his answer when the Army Corps of Engineers office in Concord, Mass., asked if he wanted to come back.

Since making the switch in March, he’s had more time with his family, and less pressure at work. “I had one guy tell me in the private sector that he didn’t want to know the new people, because he wasn’t sure how long they would be there.”

It’s also a lot easier to get a pencil now he just takes a walk to the supply cabinet. In the years he was away, Dunbar says, “they appear to have made big strides in streamlining things.”

But pay is still not linked closely to performance. “No matter what you do, you’re looking at a 3 1/2, 4 percent raise every year.” Many people are happy with that automatic bump in salary, but if you want recognition for extra effort, he says, “the only other way to get more than that is to get a promotion, and those are few and far between.”

That may put a damper on ambition, but in most cases, it doesn’t mean people become dead weight. “A small handful, maybe 10 percent or 20 percent of government employees, milk the system completely,” he says. “But the other 80 percent are very committed.”

Dismayed by delays

Ray Lanman finally got on a one way track into the private sector.

He worked for Amtrak for 21 years, and doesn’t discount all he learned there. But he says his eight years as an executive at Herzog, a private engineering and transit company in St. Joseph, Mo., have been “most refreshing” by comparison.

Pele lauds return of the Cosmos

It’s been 36 years since Pele played for the New York Cosmos, 28 years since they’ve played a game at all. But wherever in the world the greatest player of all time goes, people don’t ask him about his glory days with Santos; they ask what happened with the Cosmos, and some wonder when they’ll return.

That’s exactly what’s about to happen this summer, with the 72 year old Pele on hand for today’s jersey sponsorship deal with Emirates at (fittingly) the Cosmopolitan Room at the Four Seasons, and the relaunched team starting in the NASL on Aug. 3 against Fort Lauderdale in Hempstead’s Shuart Stadium.

“Today, if you are all over the world I talked with Giovanni (Savarese, Cosmos coach) just a few minutes ago every place in the world you go, they say “Pele, when are the New York Cosmos coming back?” Sometimes I get a little upset. Cheap Jerseys china I played 25 years in Santos, and nobody asks me,” said Pele. well known. Now we are here to come back to ask for your help, because New York is back. We’re going to start. I’m proud of this. We’re going to work hard to make this possible. I believe.”

Pele, the Cosmos’ honorary president, played for powerhouse Santos from 1956 74, and also led Brazil to three World Cup titles. But he helped make the original Cosmos a phenomenon when he starred here from 1975 77, and their influence still resonates even today, over a generation later.

“It means a lot, because I used to say all over the world, wherever I go, I just play on the (winning) team. God just put me to play on the winner team. To see the Cosmos come back after everything we did (feels great),” said Pele.

“I mentioned that about Santos, everybody laughed and nobody (thinks I’m) serious. I played 25 years in Santos, we won a lot of tournaments, the World Cup I scored a lot of goals. It’s amazing. I arrive in China, I arrive in Africa, they say ”Listen, what happened to New York Cosmos?” That’s very important to know what it means to me to see the New York Cosmos come back. Fantastic.”

Understand, these aren’t the Cosmos of Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia; that team folded back in 1985. This isn’t even an MLS side, with the United States’ top tier league bringing in New York City FC as its local expansion team in 2015, a $100 purchase between Manchester City and the Yankees.

But with the Cosmos opening play in the second tier NASL this summer and still hoping to eventually build a $400 million, 25,000 seat stadium out at Belmont Park racetrack transit issues be damned CEO Seamus O’Brien is steadfastly convinced that this city is indeed big enough for the both of them, as well as the Red Bulls, an MLS flagship team based in Harrison (NJ).

“That’s a few years away. We’ve got a few years to get our ship up and running,” O’Brien said. “First, we’re not scared of competition. I think in any sport and walk of life that’s a good thing.

“And I think the soccer economy of this city is more than big enough to deal with three teams in three separate areas. I come from a background where big clubs live across street from each other. I think New York will be the biggest soccer market the world in my lifetime; three teams in your largest city that’s not a problem.”

They have a roster that includes ex MLS players like Carlos Mendes, Hunter Freeman and Joseph Nane the former pair having played for the Red Bulls and they are reportedly eyeing former Spanish National Team midfielder Marcos Senna, now with Villarreal.

“We don’t like to talk about players on other clubs. Everybody knows what he’s brought to Villarreal and Spain,” Savarese said of the 36 year old midfielder. “When we’re ready to say things, we’ll say.”

For a team in NASL which is averaging just 4,590 fans this year the Cosmos bring a significant amount of credibility and financial wherewithal. Emirates Air also sponsors the jerseys for such soccer powers as Arsenal, AC Milan, PSG and beginning next season Real Madrid. That’s august company. But they still have to produce on the field and at the gate.

“We know we have to earn every bit of respect afforded to us in the highly competitive sporting city of New York. I’m happy to be judged not by our words but by our deeds,” said O’Brien. “We’re at the beginning of that journey that when we do get to the top again and we will we will stay there long past my lifetime.”.