First there was the Tom Delay-requested analysis by the Treasury Department of John Kerry's economic plan. But now they don't even try to hide the partisanship that they force on our non-partisan state apparatus. Now, it seems, Republicans are directly using the Treasury Department as a propoganda tool for their slander of John Kerry.
"America has a choice: It can continue to grow the economy and create new jobs as the President's polices are doing; or it can raise taxes on American families and small businesses, hurting economic recovery and future job creation."
First off, "job creation"???? HA! You mean this? Second, "raise taxes on American families"??? Yeah right! Most Americans got nothing out of the Bush tax cuts and instead got their local and state taxes raised because those governments were strapped for cash due to a lack of federal support.
But that all is beside the point. The point is that the Republican Party seems to see the federal government as just another organ on its right wing engine. The Treasury Department is being used for partisan purposes, something our Founding Fathers would be horrified of.
The ongoing conflict in Cyprus has become a farce. The divided island is set to become a member of the EU on May 1 regardless of whether it remains divided or if it unites in the last minute deal that the UN has sponsored and nearly every major power has supported.
The proposal, called the Annan plan after the UN Secretary General who has toiled endlessly on it, would unite the divided Cyprus under a weak federal government that would ensure proportional representation as head of the unified state in a system of power sharing that was seen as the best possible outcome to the ongoing tension that has gripped the island since the 1960's.
So what is the problem? Turkish Cypriots are expected to vote in favor of the plan with over 60% of the referendum. Greek Cypriots, who by the way have an incredibly higher per capita GDP than their northern neighbors, are expected to reject the plan by a margin of 70%. Tied up in all of this is the posturing and staring-contest attitude of the two Cypriot leaders. Both are tremendous impediments to any success on the island, but especially the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash. This is a man who only has power through the continuation of the conflict. Interestingly in the case of the referendum about unification, Denktash's position is in sharp contrast to that of the Turkish Cypriot population. He is causing more problems than he is solving.
On the Greek side, the system was set up in their favor. They were given little to no incentive to reach a solution because EU officials made it clear that Cyprus would enter the EU regardless of a solution to the conflict. As a result, the Greek south has no reason to take on the burden of a poor Turkish north since it will enter the EU regardless of whether it plays nice or not. With such a skewed platform for negotiation it has been the Turkish Cypriots that have had to make the most concessions in order to reach a unification possibility.
Now that the deal is imminent and the international community backs the plan, the two leaders get cold feet and actively seek to maintain the status quo. It is sad for the Cypriots of both north and south that their leadership can beyond their own noses. A solution is at hand. Will they miss their chance?
The Washington Post has an exhaustive list of potential VP choices and a little bio about each. It looks like a great list, though the only choice I would really be excited about would be Bill Richardson. He has everything. Congressional experience, international diplomatic experience, a successful stint as governor of a swing state, and he would be the first hispanic person nominated for a a presidential ticket.