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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Monday morning quarterbacking

    You’re fired

    After the news broke that several high-performing U.S. attorneys had been fired for “”performance-related”” reasons, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was buffeted last week with accusations that the firings were political in nature. Reports that senior political adviser Karl Rove was in on the decision didn’t help Gonzales’ case. Democrats (and even some Republicans) have started to call for the attorney general’s resignation. That Democrats want to bloody the administration is understandable enough, but the fact remains that members of the executive branch serve at the pleasure of the president. If Bush wants to fire employees (even for political reasons), that’s his prerogative, and Democrats would do well to leave the issue alone so that future Democratic presidents have the freedom to manage their own employees.

    Heart of darkness

    Political violence in Zimbabwe escalated even further over the last week, with President Robert Mugabe (a cold-hearted dictator if ever there was one) threatening physical retribution against members of the opposition party. In fact, Zimbabwe’s most prominent opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was hospitalized Wednesday after Mugabe’s personal soldiers allegedly broke Tsvangirai’s ribs and fractured his skull. Yesterday, CNN reported that four of Tsvangirai’s aides were arrested and beaten while in police custody. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Mugabe’s regime “”ruthless and repressive,”” but it’s time for the U.S. to take a more courageous stand against a dictator who has repeatedly flouted fundamental human rights.

    A rigged yardstick

    It might not be big news for current college students, but U.S. News & World Report just issued its latest college rankings guide, which is something of a gold standard for prospective college students. The UA came in at a dreary No. 98, and Arizona State University is quickly digging itself out of the third tier. That might give UA administrators some heartburn, but the bigger story is the ranking system itself. For years, the U.S. News rankings have been seen as all-important to the college decision process, even though the rankings are based on arbitrary (and subjective) factors like alumni donation rates and peer assessments. That’s hardly a reliable method of holistically judging any university, so schools would do well to put more resources toward improving the quality of their instruction (ASU President Michael Crow is promised a $150,000 bonus if he improves ASU’s rankings) than slaving away at improving their rankings.

    An anniversary worth forgetting

    It might not have been well publicized, but today is the four-year anniversary of the start of war in Iraq. Peace activists will undoubtedly fill the streets, but the Bush administration seems content to keep pouring troops into the quagmire in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a plan to remove troops by 2008, but the Senate failed to pass a similar proposal that would bring the troops home. Not that it matters – the White House has vowed to veto any measure that would bring an end to a war that is growing increasingly precarious. For President Bush and his myopic advisers, ’twas ever thus, but here’s to hoping that, on the four-year anniversary of an ill-conceived war, it will not always be so.

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