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Political News, Opinion and Commentary

What. WatchBlog is a multiple-editor weblog broken up into three major political affiliations, each with its own blog: the Democrats, the Republicans and the Third Party (covering everything outside the two major parties).
Why. Let's face it, politics is confusing. Sometimes it's difficult to know who to believe, who to listen to and who to support. We're here to help. Posting on a regular basis are editors representing each major party. Stay informed.

Two Big Decisions from the Supreme Court

Posted by Warren Porter on June 26, 2015 at 12:21 PM

The last legal challenge to the PPACA has been cleared. People will receive subsidies regardless of whether their exchange was established by the Federal Government or by a State.

Secondly, people will no longer be discriminated according to their gender when applying for a civil marriage.

» Continue reading "Two Big Decisions from the Supreme Court"...

No "Off with her head" for the Queen of Nuts

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on June 3, 2015 at 9:36 PM

Honestly, I can't say I have much love for Pam Geller. In fact, when I heard this news... to be honest with you, I laughed at the thought of it! The poetic justice of a provocateur getting much more than they bargained for struck me as funny. But would I want it to actually happen? Not for a second.

» Continue reading "No "Off with her head" for the Queen of Nuts"...

Paranoia Bites The Hand that Feeds It

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on May 9, 2015 at 11:23 AM

When I see things like these conspiracy theories get taken seriously, I worry for this country. The Framers founded the Republic on the notion that people could rationally manage their own affairs, that we wouldn't need "gently" born aristocrats to manage the great unwashed masses. We've come along way, but there's always going to be somebody who wants to mess things up.

» Continue reading "Paranoia Bites The Hand that Feeds It"...

A Problem of Identification

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on May 4, 2015 at 2:12 PM

At a recent Staff Development event, we had a speaker from the Federal Reserve over to talk about the Demographics of the city we serve. What he had to say was pretty astounding, even to someone like me. This report contains much of the surprising information about Houston and it's Metropolitan area, and it should suprise you, too.

» Continue reading "A Problem of Identification"...

Iran Deal Parameters Reached

Posted by Warren Porter on April 5, 2015 at 2:28 PM

Last Thursday, the US State Department released a set of parameters that will define the upcoming deal with Iran that will be finalized at the end of June.

» Continue reading "Iran Deal Parameters Reached"...

"Corruption of Blood," and other Constitutional Sins

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on March 11, 2015 at 11:38 AM

I get lectured by conservative commenters all the time about how little regard I have for the Constitution. They assume that they love it more than I do, more than other Democrats, Liberals, and Progressives do. But beneath all that boasting, I've found they have a tendency to disregard the Constitution entirely when it suits them. We can start this discussion with this week's rather poor bit of conservative judgment, the open letter from the 47 Senate Republicans to Iran.

» Continue reading ""Corruption of Blood," and other Constitutional Sins"...

Selma: 50 Years Later

Posted by Warren Porter on March 9, 2015 at 9:32 PM

It's been a while since I was genuinely impressed by a politician's speech. President Obama's speech in Selma, Alabama is the most steadfast defense of American Exceptionalism that I have ever heard. I think it even surpasses Ronald Reagan's Farewell address, which has been a longtime favorite of mine. Clearly, it is intended was direct response to Mayor Rudy Giuliani's accusation that Obama does not love this great country.

» Continue reading "Selma: 50 Years Later"...

Pick Your Words And Pick Your Battles

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on February 17, 2015 at 11:52 AM

Why not call it Islamic Extremism, or talk about Radical Islam? Why does Obama choose his words so carefully on it? Republicans and Conservatives complain about it, thinking he's not confronting these people with robust enough terms. Yes, like they'll run scared if we use the right jargon. No, it's not about them. It's about the tens of millions of Muslims in the region.

» Continue reading "Pick Your Words And Pick Your Battles"...

Starting From A Foundation

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on February 5, 2015 at 3:29 PM

You don't have to know a lot to live in a world like ours. You just have to know a lot to build one like it. That is the paradox that lies at the center of our dilemma as an advanced civilization. There's so much knowledge, so much training needed to grasp it that it's beyond the ability of any one person to take it all in. Unfortunately, some are still trying to live as one could do that, as if we can just wing it in our world, and only work from our own personal experiences and beliefs.

» Continue reading "Starting From A Foundation"...

Hate, Fear, and Racism in American Politics

Posted by TreyL on January 11, 2015 at 7:38 PM

As I sat on the Amtrak train yesterday morning, I headed to the website of the local newspaper in the area I grew up in, and clicked on the "Opinion" page. One of the first comments was one that has been repeated numerous times during the six-year and counting right-wing temper tantrum that's been going on since Barack Obama assumed the Presidency.

Liberals say that we should respect the President. Why would I have any respect for the non-military foreigner who stole two elections?

The 2014 election proved one thing, and one thing only. Republicans can only run on three things: hate, fear, and racism.

» Continue reading "Hate, Fear, and Racism in American Politics"...

Mitt Romney 3.0?

Posted by Adam Ducker on January 10, 2015 at 7:08 PM

When I saw Romney was considering a run again I decided it was time to watch the Mitt documentary just because. I can definitely see why the man might run again.

» Continue reading "Mitt Romney 3.0?"...

Charlie Habdo, The Interview, and The Courage of our Convictions

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on January 8, 2015 at 10:51 AM

Freedom isn't simply tiptoing through the tulips, not a care in the world, bursting into intermittent bouts of Peter Pan Flight. It's for tough people, for courageous people, for people who have faith. Too many folks confront the world with an excess of fear, and fear turns us to the darker side of our humanity.

» Continue reading "Charlie Habdo, The Interview, and The Courage of our Convictions"...

That's Real Cute, Governor Otter

Posted by obamaluv on January 7, 2015 at 9:40 PM

One step forward and 5 steps back. While some argue that our country is just becoming "desensitized" or just "tolerating" same-sex marriage, Idaho's Governor Butch Otter is trying to turn back time and reverse the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage just four months ago.

» Continue reading "That's Real Cute, Governor Otter"...

Happy New Year: 2015!

Posted by liz on January 1, 2015 at 12:42 PM

Wishing everyone in the WatchBlog community a healthy and happy new year. We're so appreciative to the contributors and participation in this political community. We're looking forward to a great year and a new and improved WatchBlog in 2015!

Cheers!

Thank you President Romney for 2014 being best year for job gains since 1999

Posted by Adam Ducker on December 16, 2014 at 7:48 AM

Wait, he didn't win? This job growth is still happening despite having a Democrat in the White House? Oh.

» Continue reading "Thank you President Romney for 2014 being best year for job gains since 1999"...

Therian Wimbush's Excessive Litigation

Posted by AllardK on June 25, 2015 at 7:18 PM

A few years ago, the House Judiciary Committee, investigating the effect of excessive litigation on the United States' global competitiveness, was told of five types of litigation abuse by plaintiffs counsel: improperly recruiting plaintiffs, importing foreign claims, piggybacking off government investigations, pursuing aggregate litigation, and seeking third party litigation financing. They forgot to add a sixth: plain old crazy litigation by self-represented plaintiffs. In Georgia, the bizarre case of Recardo and Therian Wimbush, and their nine children - one of whom they essentially locked up for months in a sealed room with a bucket for toilet - has added a new chapter. Therian Wimbush is suing all the principal actors in the case against her and her husband for false and malicious defamation. And the amount? Why for $500 million. US dollars to be precise. Although in almost any currency, save Zimbabwean dollars, that's a lot of money. In fact, at current rates, that's 1.38 million US dollars, if 500 million is measured in Zimbabwean dollars.

» Continue reading "Therian Wimbush's Excessive Litigation"...

Bureaucrats and the Pursuit of Your Happiness

Posted by AllardK on June 22, 2015 at 7:32 PM

Existing Home sales are up nicely and new home sales are expected to follow and prices are firming as well in the face of limited inventory growth. 30 year mortgage rates are around 4% and will rise slightly at some point in the future as the Fed finally begins to lightly tap on the gas pedal. All we need is Ike in the White House right? Wrong. As the economy slowly builds a stable base and things improve, the mood in America is far from sunny. As conservatives debate the flag flying in South Carolina with many saying it's time to take it down, and while liberals and other progressives rage at it's presence; as incomes stay low to stagnant for the majority of workers; as the Middle East slides into a medieval cauldron of terror and violence; as gender continues to be a reason for conflict and show trials on college campuses and as we all worry about how education - especially public education - can keep up with a tech world that innovates and destroys and innovates again faster than the blink of an eye; after all that who can afford to be happy? And health issues like Obamacare? Better to stop right now.

» Continue reading "Bureaucrats and the Pursuit of Your Happiness"...

Jeb Bush and the Democratic Establishment

Posted by AllardK on June 17, 2015 at 7:09 PM

Some people are still arguing about the 92 election and Ross Perot's supposed role as a spoiler. If you believe the spoiler crowd, the diminutive Texan cost Jeb Bush's father the election. Others insist that given the economy and the tailing off of the Iraq War boost, as well as 12 years of GOP administrations, Clinton had a low hurdle to climb over and would have won with or without Perot in the election. Does Jeb Bush feel that he now has to compete with a whole host of Ross Perots? If only all those pesky GOP rivals would drop out, or at least most of them, we could have a serious GOP nomination process. The kind that rewards the establishment candidate with his - or theoretically her - turn at the White House.

» Continue reading "Jeb Bush and the Democratic Establishment"...

Mrs. Undecided's Followers

Posted by AllardK on June 15, 2015 at 6:36 PM

The leader in the GOP race according to a recent national poll by Monmouth University is a candidate named Mrs. Undecided. With almost double the numbers at 20 points of second place Ben Carson who has 11, Mrs. Undecided is the clear leader at this point in the GOP race, having surged over 6 points in 2 months. With a wide field of candidates, it's not surprising that undecideds - as the followers of Mrs. Undecided are called - are high. Looking at the top issues of concern to GOP voters:

» Continue reading "Mrs. Undecided's Followers"...

Elvis, Ike and Toll Booths

Posted by AllardK on June 11, 2015 at 5:27 PM

In 1956, Elvis had his 1954 pink-and-white Cadillac and Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 into law in late June. Like Elvis, the Highway Act and it's needy twin, The Highway Trust Fund, grew and grew and grew. The one in popularity and sales and concerts and films and fame, the other in terms of the tax bite it took from drivers. And nearly 60 years later, the Highway Trust Fund once again needs to cover shortfalls. But both Congress and the general public - which means drivers really - have had enough. And that has GOP legislators, along with Democrats in Congress, casting far and wide to fill the funding gap while letting drivers fill their tanks without any further increases in fuel-related excise taxes. And that means earnings held overseas by U.S. corporations hoping for a reduction in what is a historically and internationally high corporate tax rate are in the sights of Congress. They hope to force repatriation of those earnings and use the collected taxes to top off the Highway Trust Fund and cover shortfalls.

» Continue reading "Elvis, Ike and Toll Booths"...

Ralph Thinks Hillary Is a Hawk?

Posted by AllardK on June 8, 2015 at 7:49 PM

Elizabeth Warren is not running for president. She meant what she said, apparently. So her supporters might back Vermont independent Sanders, because they really have nowhere else to go. And Sanders is - realistically speaking - an amusing distraction from the central dynamics of the campaign: a diverse field of GOP contenders against warhorse Hillary Clinton. The descriptive term seems apt given Ralph Nader's opinion that Hillary would be as tough as Lindsey Graham on defense issues if only gender politics wouldn't keep getting in the way.

» Continue reading "Ralph Thinks Hillary Is a Hawk?"...

Why Is This A Controversy?

Posted by Weary_Willie on June 4, 2015 at 9:18 PM

Trade in Services Agreement


It's not an abdication of power when you consider the 3 types of trade agreements (treaties) the president can negotiate.


» Continue reading "Why Is This A Controversy?"...

Rawlings-Blake Better Build Bridges

Posted by AllardK on May 29, 2015 at 7:40 PM

Have police in Baltimore responded to Mayor Rawlings-Blake loose hand with rioters in the wake of Freddie Gray riots in late April with a go-slow work policy? That is, are they now working to rule, so to speak, after 6 of them have been charged in the 25-year-old's death while in custody? Or have criminals taken advantage of the perceived judicial leash on police in Baltimore to go on a crime rampage?

» Continue reading "Rawlings-Blake Better Build Bridges"...

Employer Wage Theft Has Reached 'Epidemic' Levels

Posted by DFaris on May 27, 2015 at 2:45 PM

Does the phrase "wage theft" sound like something that would land an unscrupulous blue- or white-collar employee in either the unemployment line or prison? If so, it's time to set the record straight.

» Continue reading "Employer Wage Theft Has Reached 'Epidemic' Levels"...

Evil Is not Banal

Posted by AllardK on May 22, 2015 at 5:37 PM

There are no "layers of intrigue" in the horrifying details of the murder of the Savapolous family, including their 10 year old son, and their housekeeper. Daron Dylon Wint and four associates have been nabbed and charged. But it is a mistake to insert the term "intrigue" into the story, as if the steady decaying drift into evil that Wint most certainly followed is somehow a thrilling mystery. Wint was accused of assaulting a partner and threatening her in 2009, and in 2010 he was detained with a machete and a BB pistol outside the headquarters of American Iron Works - where Savapolous was CEO - where the former welder had briefly been employed. But then it should not surprise that Fox - or other media far less prone to outrage when describing crime - would allow that salacious and lurid little slip in one of their articles on the murders. With shows like Criminal Minds having long caressed the psychological profiles of sociopaths and Breaking Bad making the desperate choices of crazed criminals seem everyday, why shouldn't Fox feel that the sickening details of these murders are layered levels of "intrigue"?

» Continue reading "Evil Is not Banal"...

Getting Comfortable With Marco Rubio

Posted by AllardK on May 19, 2015 at 8:10 PM

At the Weekly Standard's Broadmoor Summit, Marco Rubio's name supposedly stood out along with Scott Walker's. This may be interesting in as much as attendees at the so-called Summit reflect the views of GOP money men and women. Because as a statistical poll, the sample in Colorado Springs is just a touch small. But the available cash that might flow from those predisposed to give the young Florida senator an earnest listen, is another matter. So the question is: can Rubio start to attract anywhere near the kind of cash that his erstwhile mentor Jeb Bush has been able to? And the reasonable answer is: that depends on what Rubio says and does and on what Jeb says and does.

» Continue reading "Getting Comfortable With Marco Rubio"...

Pollsters: Let the Voters Speak

Posted by AllardK on May 14, 2015 at 7:55 PM

Is the end of polling at hand? Perhaps not, but polling seems to have entered a slow and steady decline in accuracy and in participation rates. Apparently less than 10% of those who receive a call from some organization doing a poll actually answer the call. And moving from landline and cellphones (where people are even less likely to respond) to online surveys brings up serious credibility problems as to how accurate online polling results are. Pollsters nowadays seem to be frantically adjusting their methodology and hoping to present more accurate polling results - look at the May 7 (or next day the 8th to be more accurate) polling failures in the UK. Should we be worried?

» Continue reading "Pollsters: Let the Voters Speak"...

A Shy Sociopath From Birmingham UK

Posted by AllardK on May 11, 2015 at 7:20 PM

A once shy kid in Birmingham England, make that a loner and soon-to-be psychopath, fled the UK in 2013 after jumping bail over charges of cyber mischief to put it politely. Where did he go? Syria. And yes, he's now another ISIS recruit. That he is apparently married to a much older ex-rocker also from the UK who now vows to cut Christians heads off with a blunt knife is just another detail in the increasing litany of unhinged people who are joining the terrorist group. ISIS recruits in places like the UK and Texas in fact don't even fit the term recruits. They are anyone crazy enough to heed ISIS calls for violence. While that makes their actions very hard to predict, it may also mean that they are just that: untrained psycho's who will likely die in the face of any vigorous law enforcement response. But they are out there. How many is something the intelligence community is hopefully working hard to estimate. But the question is, what can be done?

» Continue reading "A Shy Sociopath From Birmingham UK"...

Will Jeb Have a Debate on Immigration?

Posted by AllardK on May 6, 2015 at 7:31 PM

Jeb Bush thinks America needs millions of skilled workers and that his ideas on immigration reform are the right ones. In an interview with National Review's Rich Lowry, he did not seem overly flexible on this issue. As if he has thought the thing through and come to a well-reasoned decision, and he just needs to explain his reasoning for voters to get it. Jeb Bush did not respond with many specifics to Lowry's baiting of him - justified baiting by the way - when stating how much of the Gang of Eight's immigration plan he agrees with. But Jeb Bush's own ideas on immigration reform are quite similar to those of the senators' plan. And that means some shared assumptions that many conservative voters do not hold true.

» Continue reading "Will Jeb Have a Debate on Immigration?"...

Ben Carson Better Speak Up in Detroit

Posted by AllardK on April 30, 2015 at 6:25 PM

Less than a week before his planned speech in Detroit, Ben Carson gave an interview to GQ magazine and the topic was Baltimore. Carson spent 36 years in the city of Baltimore working as a surgeon and becoming an inspiration to African-Americans there for his life story and his work speaking in inner-city schools and conveying a message of the possibilities that exist and one of hope. But if Ben Carson had to speak this weekend say, before heading to Detroit, at a Baltimore inner-city school, what would he say? The GQ interview was perhaps one way to reach those kids, even if the specific media outlet seems a little odd. Who knows? Maybe GQ is a must-read in Baltimore. Maybe he knew his words would reach far beyond the usual GQ readers.

» Continue reading "Ben Carson Better Speak Up in Detroit"...

Marriage Should Mean One Plus One and No One Else

Posted by Keeley on June 29, 2015 at 6:02 PM

If you believe Trevor Burrus of the Cato Institute, then heterosexual marriage has been an artificial construction imposed by Christianity. The then recently-converted Constantine unleashed the apparatus of his decaying empire - reborn under Christ - to persecute what had been a natural part of human society. And in his April article at Cato's site, he also gave a passing nod to drug prohibition, which will surely fall in the glorious march of Libertarianism, the kind that is taking natural liberty to it's "logical extreme" through a process that is "wonderfully radical." So if your child's kindergarten teacher in a few years, if not right now, has to take time off from caring from your offspring to enter rehab, that is also part of this march towards true liberty.

» Continue reading "Marriage Should Mean One Plus One and No One Else"...

Comfortable With a Flag

Posted by Keeley on June 19, 2015 at 2:25 PM

Liberal means something very different in Europe and South America, for example, than it does in the US. Abroad, it follows more closely along the classic 18th century lines of individual liberty and is more like libertarianism - to an extent - than in America. One can argue that the evolution of liberalism in North America as an interventionist, statist, and progressive ideology or perspective has to do with conservatism in America in past ages. And that brings one to the institution of slavery and the shootings in Charleston and even the reasons that Dylann Roof apparently gave for the killings before he opened fire.

» Continue reading "Comfortable With a Flag"...

As You Get to Know Rand Paul, Will You Like Him?

Posted by Keeley on June 16, 2015 at 9:06 PM

Rand Paul's stance on immigration seems to be to:
1. Secure the Border first
2. Then, provide some sort of amnesty to the 11 + million illegals in America

While there is as much anger at government as there ever has been in the country, does that make an angry voter libertarian? If, as a GOP voter, one professes mistrust and hostility towards so-called RINO's, do you believe in true Libertarianism? Immigration, and specifically amnesty or immigration reform of one kind or another, is a flashpoint. It will help answer the question of who is actually a libertarian espousing maximum freedom and limited government, and who is a very frustrated conservative who feels that amnesty undercuts the rule and law and even the constitution itself.

» Continue reading "As You Get to Know Rand Paul, Will You Like Him?"...

Who Does Ben Carson Have to Impress?

Posted by Keeley on June 12, 2015 at 6:27 PM

Since Daniel Allott's hit piece on Ben Carson back in May, the debate has been not over what Dr. Carson is capable of - most things he sets his mind and soul on might be overstating it, but not by much - but rather over what Dr. Carson should study up on and how long it will take him. According to Allott he needs to spend time working his way up through the Washington establishment and learn how to "build consensus" which smells like knowing who is located where on K street. The "humility" he deems lacking in Carson means Ben needs to bone up on his hypocrisy a little. And his need to learn to "read the political landscape" means he should submit to the views of wonks - like Allott - and their reading of the pollster's tea leaves. Finally, it seems Ben needs to be a little more careful about his faith, and not actually defend his beliefs in an absolute manner, but rather with a little deft relativism.

» Continue reading "Who Does Ben Carson Have to Impress?"...

When to Worry About Hillary

Posted by Keeley on June 9, 2015 at 6:42 PM

Would you give up a Senate seat to become Vice President? Not if you're Rand Paul. At least not at this stage of the GOP race. In fact, according to the recent CNN/ORC poll, Rand is the best positioned Republican against Hillary Clinton. Why should he consider supporting someone else and vacate his senate seat to do so? Voters are almost dead even between the two with Hillary leading Paul by a point. At least those who bothered to answer the CNN/ORC poll, and at least in late May of 2015. And Marco Rubio is next, trailing Hillary by 3%. Jeb Bush's 8 point gap in this particular poll is being noticed by many naturally. But Senator Ted Cruz does poorly as well. He comes in 9 points behind Hillary while Scott Walker does as well as Rubio, with just a 3 point difference.

» Continue reading "When to Worry About Hillary"...

Legislate Pillow Talk Now!

Posted by Keeley on June 5, 2015 at 8:20 PM

Well before she was George Will's wife, Mari Will, or Mari Maseng back then, worked in politics as communications director or deputy or assistant to GOP politicians: Bob Dole and President Reagan primarily. As well as a handful of presidential candidates in later years like Perry and Bachman, and she has offered her services to Romney. It's what she did and what she does. So does the fact that she is the wife of a columnist as influential (perhaps a little less so lately) as George Will mean that he can't write about a candidate she's working for? Like Scott Walker, her current employer? Or is George Will's recent mention of the fact his wife works for Walker enough?

» Continue reading "Legislate Pillow Talk Now!"...

Can a Hawk Be a Moderate?

Posted by Keeley on June 2, 2015 at 7:27 PM

Will Lindsey Graham spoil South Carolina for Jeb Bush? One of the consequences of having such a large field of GOP contenders, is that spoilers become commonplace. And it also means that unexpected changes in the race are a given. What exactly those changes will turn out to be is hard to tell. We can almost certainly say that Rand Paul will have to do a good job of defending his foreign policy positions against hawks like Graham. And it is just as likely that Rand Paul will end the campaign - whenever his campaign does in fact end - being far more hawkish than he has been on the Senate floor. But will Graham's record of military service and his debating skills be enough to propel him significantly higher in the polls? Will it need a catalyst - some tragic foreign policy disaster like IS taking control of Iraq - to produce such a shift in the polls?

» Continue reading "Can a Hawk Be a Moderate?"...

Economic Populism and the GOP

Posted by Keeley on May 28, 2015 at 8:39 PM

Populism is popular in the GOP nowadays it seems. Or at least, some of the candidates like Huckabee and Santorum are showing support for economic populism in areas like trade and in attacks on corporate welfare, while holding to their social conservatism. And social conservatism is apparently slipping more than a little in the polls, so it seems the emphasis on economic populism of one form or another will now step forward towards center stage. And social conservatism may be signaled from a more oblique position: gay marriage as a state issue and therefore as a constitutional issue rather than a moral one, for example.

» Continue reading "Economic Populism and the GOP"...

Jeb Bush and the Choir

Posted by Keeley on May 26, 2015 at 1:40 PM

One can argue that church architecture throughout history has been the metaphorical representation of a given society's faith, and even that society's organization. Soaring Gothic Cathedrals as splendid monuments to faith. Humble wooden churches on the great plains as bare puritan houses of worship with little intermediation between the faithful and their God. In Coral Gables, Jeb Bush attends the Church of the Little Flower, a red-tiled-roofed structure with a vaguely neo-romanesque shape. It is here that he takes the wafer of communion at mass as he has done for twenty years now since converting to the faith of the rest of his immediate family. The episcopalian church (or Anglican in the rest of the world) of his youth has drifted with the times and is fractured into distant communities. So Jeb chose the path of the sacraments and absolute authority of Rome. And he began winning elections.

» Continue reading "Jeb Bush and the Choir"...

Give Josh Earnest Another Job

Posted by Keeley on May 20, 2015 at 4:30 PM

As Ramadi falls to Islamic State militants - or ISIS or ISIL or whatever the next name they think up is - one hears cautious detachment and outright concern from the Pentagon. The worry is that Iranian-backed Shiite militants might pre-empt other groups in re-taking Ramadi and have Iraq finally fall under control of it's long time rival Iran. Or that fighting between anti- Islamic State groups will be as bad as the fighting against Islamic State itself. So, according to the Pentagon, the latest fall of Ramadi is merely a case of a small percentage of the city not already under IS control finally falling to the Sunni fighters. The Sunni fighters under IS, not the Sunni groups opposing them, which the Iraqi forces - in the majority Shiite - are desperate to recruit to gain support in Sunni regions of the country in their ongoing battle against IS. So the worry is what happens next and how to help Iraq hold together alliances that can push back and even defeat IS.

» Continue reading "Give Josh Earnest Another Job"...

GOP Debates - March Madness??

Posted by Keeley on May 15, 2015 at 7:30 PM

The GOP is starting to worry about how to have a series of televised debates with an estimated 16 contenders having announced or expected to in the next few weeks or so. How can you squeeze all these people in during, say, a 90 minute televised debate? Some are frankly hoping that more than a few drop out before the debates even begin. But perhaps there is another solution that Republicans haven't considered: March Madness. Think about it. If the NCAA can handle 68 teams in a little over a month and keep a substantial portion of America fixated on the celebrated annual tourney, maybe they can hand a workable solution to the GOP.

» Continue reading "GOP Debates - March Madness??"...

The Glorious Core of Academic Freedom

Posted by Keeley on May 12, 2015 at 7:26 PM

While it's hard to argue against the overall success of charter schools at the elementary and high school levels, one wonders about tenure at the post-secondary level. Is academic tenure at a junior college, or university, a vital defense against those who would erode academic freedom? Or is it a nice cozy union benefit for very well paid workers? Furchtgott-Roth and Meyer's book Disinherited: How Washington is Betraying America's Young certainly takes aim at teacher unions at the first two levels of schooling and how they protect mediocre, incompetent, or outright abusive teachers who may do considerable damage to their students. But the issue of academic tenure at the post-secondary level is also a matter well worth shining a light on.

» Continue reading "The Glorious Core of Academic Freedom"...

Federal Officials Assault Times Square!

Posted by Keeley on May 7, 2015 at 7:08 PM

When you have a federal transportation bill called MAP-21, you can imagine more than a little ambition on the part of it's creators. The 2012 bill seems to be saying they're going to upgrade everything until it's as 21st century as feasibly possible. And you will comply with whatever that means. The full name is the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act - which has a nice Maoist or Stalinist tone to it. It just needs a 5-Year-Plan attached as a final amendment to make it perfect for a central planner. It's a funding and authorization bill that takes care of federal surface transportation. And that includes not just highways between cities but apparently any juncture inside a city that is now deemed a vital link to the federal highway system. And that means that Broadway and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan now fall under the purview of that Act. Yes, Times Square is now officially under the purview of a federal highway act.

» Continue reading "Federal Officials Assault Times Square!"...

Why Hillary's Not Predestined for President

Posted by bigtex on May 5, 2015 at 7:33 PM

While it seems I'm opposing the thought of many others, it's not that I don't think Hillary Clinton can win, I just don't think she'll come up with more than 50% and win. And I wonder how others are believing she's a guarantee. There's a reason why Hillary's name is at the top of the board and it's because of the left of center journalists, media, fuel the bias in crowds which is obviously deceiving.

So while others explain why Hillary is a shoo-in and will win presidency, I'll tell you why I think she won't.

» Continue reading "Why Hillary's Not Predestined for President"...

No One Wants to Own Spending Cuts

Posted by Keeley on May 1, 2015 at 6:28 PM

No one really seems to want to cut spending. A bipartisan deal to lift sequestration, spending caps in other words, is soon coming to the halls of Congress. The 2011 Budget Control Act which is an attempt at reasonably significant cuts to government spending spread out over a decade, will soon be eroded and/or evaded as Republicans and Democrats in the House work out an agreement on spending bills. No one wants to own spending cuts it seems. And in part, voters share some of the blame. Because it's way easier for the GOP to own tax cuts as an issue, and they do, than to own spending cuts. The inevitable result of this is further deficits and further increases to the national debt, which is merely the accumulation of past deficits plus interest.

» Continue reading "No One Wants to Own Spending Cuts"...