Scalia questions CTIA’s ‘secret’ identity
In addition to knowing the laws of the land, Antonin Scalia apparently is familiar with the cardinal rule of comedy: know your audience.
In a footnote in an opinion on a rather obscure case on Monday, the droll Supreme Court justice dropped a dry little aside that cracked up only a tiny subsection of Washington — telecom lawyers. Scalia affixed a footnote to a mention of “CTIA — The Wireless Association,” the name of the trade association that represents wireless companies.
“This is not a typographical error” he clarified in the footnote. “CTIA is presumably an (unpronounceable) acronym, but even the organization’s website does not say what it stands for. That secret, known only to wireless-service-provider insiders, we will not disclose here.”
Scalia apparently was being cheeky about the branding of CTIA, which once was shorthand for the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, but now, following in the footsteps of institutions from the AARP to KFC, only goes by its shortened moniker (alas, the CTIA didn’t return our calls about Alito’s take on what’s known in linguistic circles as an “orphan initialism”).
Perhaps Scalia can weigh in next on the transition of the artist formerly known as “Snoop Dogg” to “Snoop Lion.”
At the Park Service, a DIY approach to trash hauling
In a big win for those who advocate personal responsibility above heavy-handed government, the U.S. Park Service is expanding the rugged-individual approach to a service typically left to Uncle Sam: trash hauling.
How about that for liberty from tyranny?
In a little-noticed move, the Park Service on Earth Day began removing trash cans from sites along the George Washington Memorial Parkway — including popular landmarks like the Iwo Jima Memorial, Great Falls and Roosevelt Island — essentially forcing visitors to take their water bottles, bags of doggie waste, and gum wrappers with them.
The expansion is part of the Park Service’s “Trash Free Parks” initiative, which seeks to reduce the amount of garbage the government has to haul away (right now, it’s 380 tons of trash out of the G.W. Parkway alone). We should note that actually doesn’t mean that there won’t be any trash in the parks — just that there won’t be any trash cans.Continue reading this post »
Sapiro moving up to be acting U.S Trade Rep
Miriam Sapiro is expected to be named this week as acting United States Trade Representative, taking over for acting trade rep Demetrios Marantis when he leaves on Wednesday to take a top job at Square, the mobile payments company.
Sapiro has been deputy United States Trade Representative since January 2010, handling trade policies in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.
Sapiro will be in the new job pending Senate confirmation of deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs Mike Froman, who was nominated May 2 to be U.S. Trade Rep.
Rumsfeld’s Rules: ‘Leadership lessons’ on war and life
We weren’t going to read former secretary of defense Don Rumsfeld’s book, “Rumsfeld’s Rules,” a collection of aphorisms and anodyne nostrums he’s collected and espoused over the years.
But book jacket praise by Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger convinced us to take a look. And anyone who quotes Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Seneca, Machiavelli and Jon Stewart is on to something.
Rumsfeld offers us nearly 400 “rules,” on business, war and politics, including: “Lawyers are like beavers. They get in the middle of the stream and dam it up.” Or this: “When you’re up to your ears in alligators, it is difficult to remember that the reason you’re there is to drain the swamp.”
It’s a brisk and fun read.
On the other hand, his detached analysis of the fiasco known as the Iraq War can be a little unnerving.Continue reading this post »
By 12:00 PM ET, 05/20/2013 |
Tags: Don Rumsfeld, Rumsfeld's Rules, Dick Cheney, Henry Kissinger, Rahm Emanuel, Seneca, Jon Stewart, Machiavelli, Iraq, Tonkin Gulf, WMD, Panama, James Brudenell, Al Kamen, Emily Heil, In the Loop
Obama fills jobs under streamlined process
The White House announced Thursday that President Obama “appointed” Natalie Wyeth Earnest to be assistant secretary for public affairs at the Treasury Department and Gregory L. Parham as assistant secretary for administration at the Department of Agriculture.
There’s more news to these appointments than you might think. Normally, these jobs would require Senate confirmation. But under bipartisan (yes, you read that right) legislation passed last year, neither of them had to go through that torture. The law removed the need for Senate approval of about 169 of these and similar jobs.Continue reading this post »