The Friday Five: Questions to get your conversations going this weekend
- The Alabama Education Association (AEA) in crisis – This week, former AEA head Paul Hubbert penned a bombshell letter to members of the AEA board highlighting a crisis at the organization caused by “both internal and external threats.” The AEA under Executive Secretary Henry Mabry has unsuccessfully waged war against Republicans and a number of education reforms in Alabama. Would the AEA have had better success with different, more collegial, tactics? Does Hubbert’s letter signal the end of an era for a powerful AEA or can AEA’s leadership change direction in time?
- The death of an honorable corporate titan – S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A’s founder, died at age 93. Cathy turned a simple chicken sandwich into a multi-billion dollar empire. Cathy has been quoted as saying, “We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed. I have always encouraged my restaurant operators and team members to give back to the local community. We should be about more than just selling chicken, we should be a part of our customers’ lives and the communities in which we serve.” Is there something to Cathy’s vision that businesses should be more than dollar-chasing machines?
- Obama details the fight against the Islamic State – On Wednesday, President Obama addressed the nation and clarified his vision for defeating the IS. “Our objective is clear,” said Obama. “We will degrade and ultimately destroy [IS] through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.” He mentioned more than 150 airstrikes already executed against IS and increasing “our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground.” Does Obama need congressional approval under the War Powers Resolution? Given America’s history in the region, are we potentially arming our next enemy by supporting the native opposition to IS?
- The bigger and biggest iPhones – Apple announced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus this week with the catch phrase “Bigger than bigger.” That’s right. The main selling point is that they are bigger phones…like those currently on the market from Samsung and other competitors. Apple expects to sell out of the new phones as soon as they hit the market. Is Apple really the innovative company it was under Steve Jobs, or are you already waiting in line for your new iPhone?
- Senate Democrats push constitutional measure to limit speech related to campaigns – Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and many of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate failed 54-42 in their attempt to pass S.J. Res 19 which creates a constitutional amendment to allow government officials more control over political expenditures and contributions. The purely political measure was designed to give Democrats the talking point that Republicans want to protect the ability of major donors to influence elections. Republicans countered by claiming that Democrats are attempting to stifle political opposition in direct conflict with the intent of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Who has the better argument? Which party takes a bigger political hit from the failed legislation?
And that’s your Friday Five. Feel free to discuss the topics in the comments section below. Be safe, have fun and invite the neighbors over for dinner and conversation.