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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.

Terror Strikes Paris

Posted by Warren Porter on November 13, 2015 at 6:51 PM

Dozens are dead in Paris as a result of a series of coordinated terrorist attacks. Unsubstantiated rumors indicate that the perpetrators utilized Kalashnikov rifles and suicide bombs. Many suspect this is the work of Islamism.

» Continue reading "Terror Strikes Paris"...

Republican Tax Plans in the Spotlight

Posted by Warren Porter on November 10, 2015 at 10:11 AM

Tonight, the Republican candidates for President will gather once again for a debate. This time, moderated by Fox Business Channel. While Fox is traditionally favorable to conservative viewpoints, the earlier debate by the primary Fox News Channel proved that Fox is perfectly able to run a tough debate.

» Continue reading "Republican Tax Plans in the Spotlight"...

Liars & Truth Tellers

Posted by Warren Porter on November 6, 2015 at 6:04 PM

Over the last few months, movement conservatives have adopted a few memes that they hoped would guide them in the 2016 Presidential race. Namely, that Hillary R. Clinton is a liar and that outsider Republicans are truth-tellers. This week's Friday News Dump contains astounding revelations regarding both.

» Continue reading "Liars & Truth Tellers"...

Paul Ryan's Speakership Will Be Yet Another Farce

Posted by TreyL on October 29, 2015 at 5:13 PM

Between the years of 1931 and 1995, there was only one Republican to hold the position of Speaker of the House. Can you guess who he was without cheating? It was Joseph William Martin Jr. who served until Democrats took over the House in 1954. He's also the last GOP speaker whose tenure wasn't riddled with complete insanity and scandal after scandal. I can assure you that Paul Ryan's tenure will not end that streak.

» Continue reading "Paul Ryan's Speakership Will Be Yet Another Farce"...

Unclear on the Concept

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on October 25, 2015 at 12:49 PM

Mr. Carson, if you are ever elected President, This won't be your job.

» Continue reading "Unclear on the Concept"...

Clinton's two Miracles: Benghazi & the Debt Ceiling

Posted by Warren Porter on October 15, 2015 at 10:08 AM

After so much fervor over the past 3 years regarding her actions on 9/11/12, Hillary Clinton finally returns to the House Select Committee on Benghazi to offer her testimony.

Despite her competent leadership on the day the Benghazi annex was attacked, Republican accusations of mismanagement have kept this "scandal" from withering away. Clinton has alleged a partisan motive from the beginning and recently, she has been vindicated. Clearly, the Republican vendetta against Clinton is collapsing upon itself. Such is the nature of a structure built on such a lousy foundation. Now, with the allegations posed by Bradley Podliska, the whole paper castle is tumbling down.

» Continue reading "Clinton's two Miracles: Benghazi & the Debt Ceiling"...

Boehner Calls it quits

Posted by Warren Porter on September 26, 2015 at 2:39 PM

After privately meeting with Pope Francis last Thursday, Speaker Boehner has announced that he will resign his seat at the end of October.

» Continue reading "Boehner Calls it quits"...

Walker & Perry call it quits

Posted by Warren Porter on September 21, 2015 at 7:29 PM

In the past month, Rick Perry and Scott Walker have dropped out of the Presidential race. Personally, I am breathing a sigh of relief. These two men were the ones that kept me up at night. Not because they were the strongest general election candidates, but these were the guys with both the mainstream credibility to eek through a general election as well as the backbones they would need to stand up to moderates and liberals in Congress.

» Continue reading "Walker & Perry call it quits"...

A Birthright Wasted On Some...

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on August 19, 2015 at 9:06 PM

In the Dred Scott Case, the judge infamously held that the slave who was its subject had no rights which had to be respected. Though born an American, he could be treated like trash because of who he was born to, and what his skin color was. It tells us something about the power of the Birthright citizenship in the 14th Amendment, that the extreme hypocrisy of Separate But Equal had to be invented in order to justify the dehumanizing laws of Jim Crow. They had to pretend, on a legal level, that segregation didn't betray that birthright!

» Continue reading "A Birthright Wasted On Some..."...

Final Deal with Iran Announced

Posted by Warren Porter on July 14, 2015 at 9:30 AM

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released the full text of the final agreement reached by the 6 negotiation partners with Iran. I have not had time to look at the agreement itself nor have I read much commentary regarding its details, so I am withholding judgement for now.

» Continue reading "Final Deal with Iran Announced"...

A Vote For Bernie Sanders Is A Vote For the GOP Nominee

Posted by TreyL on July 7, 2015 at 3:36 PM

Any armchair political observer can tell you that a long, drawn-out primary challenge only hurts the eventual nominee's chances in the general election. Even though a primary challenge has doomed many, many candidates in the past, Bernie Sanders supporters never got the message.

» Continue reading "A Vote For Bernie Sanders Is A Vote For the GOP Nominee"...

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"...

Will There Be an Alternative to Obamacare?

Posted by AllardK on November 20, 2015 at 9:28 PM

As UnitedHealth pulls out of the ACA, aka Obamacare, the question of it's costs and benefits rage across the comments sections of countless media articles.

The first problem is agreeing on the benefits. Are there less uninsured people? Yes, most definitely. Are the other economic benefits of affordable coverage for people who already had some form of insurance coverage prior to Obamacare crystal clear? Hardly.

» Continue reading "Will There Be an Alternative to Obamacare?"...

It's Not Up to the Governors...

Posted by MichaelMears on November 17, 2015 at 7:28 PM

In the last 24 hours, more than have of state Governors have rejected the settlement of incoming Syrian refugees in their states. It's a very emotional and sensitive topic, but the bottom line is the final decision is made under the president's purview.

» Continue reading "It's Not Up to the Governors... "...

Getting Postal With Hillary and Bernie

Posted by AllardK on November 13, 2015 at 6:12 PM

While some go postal - unavoidable pun - over Bernie Sanders plan to bring some banking services to the US Post Office, the real issue as far as Democrats and banks go, lies with Hillary. Which two senators, back in 2005, filibustered GOP legislation that would have held Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to tougher standards with respect to loan quality and capital requirements, among other things?

» Continue reading "Getting Postal With Hillary and Bernie"...

Thank you, Veterans!

Posted by liz on November 11, 2015 at 1:42 PM

Today we give thanks to all of the men and women who so bravely served this country, we love and call home. We especially want to thank all of the contributors and members here on WatchBlog who have served for the grand ol' USA.

Sometimes it's easy to be critical in the current events and happenings (as we can see here in debate), but when you look or experience anything outside of the USA, you feel overwhelming gratitude to call this home. We are surrounded by American heroes of the past and of the present. How humble and grateful these men and women make us feel to live in this magnificent homeland.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The Gang of Three Targets Rubio

Posted by AllardK on November 9, 2015 at 1:09 PM

The Gang of Three is after Rubio. No, not Cruz, Carson, & Trump. Rather Sullivan, Hamburger, & Roig-Franzia - all writers at the Washington Post, each with their speciality. That would be national politics; money & politics; and style, culture, and politics, respectively. A perfect triangulation aiming straight for Rubio's aspirations to be the GOP nominee for president.

» Continue reading "The Gang of Three Targets Rubio"...

Boehner's Big Regret As Speaker

Posted by AllardK on November 2, 2015 at 7:54 PM

As Boehner gets set to wrap up his career on the hill having handed the gavel to Ryan, his big regret is the famous, the show-stopping-had-it-been-a-show, the marvelous, the amazing debt deal. The one from 2011 that almost was except for the other guy. And the other guy - Boehner or Obama - really means the Democrats or the Republicans in Congress who just wouldn't give Boehner or Obama what was needed to seal the deal.

» Continue reading "Boehner's Big Regret As Speaker"...

You See? They Really Do Know

Posted by AllardK on October 29, 2015 at 12:19 PM

It got a little nasty fighting for scarce air time between themselves and then the audience turned on them. Yes indeed, Quintanilla, Quick & Harwood did not have the best of nights. And, bless him, it was Ted Cruz - who had a good night along with Rubio, surprisingly - who called them out and took on their divisive questioning and demanded a more substantive tone to their questions.

» Continue reading "You See? They Really Do Know"...

What Was Trump Thinking?

Posted by AllardK on October 22, 2015 at 6:59 PM

What was Trump thinking of? And how dare he attack Jeb's brother over a carefully concealed plot by a small cell of al qaeda terrorists? All true, and it provoked a very reasonable and even righteous response on Jeb's part. Come out swinging for your big brother, as Jeb and his advisors have done. But this is hardly the first time that they have declared war on Trump and recent polls still put Trump in the high 20's while Jeb is below 10 percent in most of the polls.

» Continue reading "What Was Trump Thinking?"...

Pols and Responsibility

Posted by Roy Ellis on October 19, 2015 at 8:45 PM

Politicians are almost always immune from responsibility for things that happened during their reign of office. Much like how Hillary is voicing a position that much of Benghazi happened before she came to be DOS and/or after she left DOS.

» Continue reading "Pols and Responsibility"...

Volunteering (information) at the DHS

Posted by AllardK on October 12, 2015 at 7:07 PM

Yes indeed, Wikipedia is becoming a snake-pit of a swamp. Your biography nowadays is not merely a set of facts gathered from a variety of perspectives and hashed through the blockchain of Wiki rules and its collaborative non-centric building of information. No, in fact you have to worry about someone with your private key - that encoded seemingly random alpha-numeric thingy - sitting in a DHS office, where they deal with monitoring every bit of information that may provide clues on where a breach in national security may occur. And that person editing a GOP House member's biography on Wikipedia. Your biography in fact.

» Continue reading "Volunteering (information) at the DHS"...

Chaffetz and That Big GOP Puzzle

Posted by AllardK on October 7, 2015 at 8:27 PM

When did Jason Chaffetz decide to ride a tank into Kevin McCarthy's nomination party? Clearly, McCarthy is not that popular with some conservative GOP House groups, and his ingenuous stumble on the Benghazi Committee has thrown Hillary a possible lifeline. Was McCarthy's flub on Hannity a key moment in convincing Chaffetz to suit up and aim high? Chaffetz has promised a more confrontational approach with regard to issues like the latest debt ceiling coming in early November. That means lining up McConnell's we-will-not-default promise and place-kicking it off the hill. And that does not sit will with moderate member of both chambers.

» Continue reading "Chaffetz and That Big GOP Puzzle"...

One More Time

Posted by Roy Ellis on October 2, 2015 at 9:32 PM

Another mass killing at an education facility. This time in Oregon in a real rural setting, 65 miles to the nearest hospital, and so on - - -

» Continue reading "One More Time"...

His Words in Philadelphia

Posted by AllardK on September 30, 2015 at 8:00 PM

He came and he conquered. And not merely the adoring masses, but true conservatives like Hugh Hewitt, many of whom have been skeptical of some of the Holy Father's pronouncements. Especially on economics where his distrust of capitalism is deep rooted and evident. But hearing him speak, his words rising with the intellectual vigor one would expect of a lively Jesuit-trained mind - who has lived through much and seen much in his life - seems to transform listeners.

» Continue reading "His Words in Philadelphia"...

Pope Francis and Capitalism

Posted by AllardK on September 23, 2015 at 8:27 PM

Dear Patrick Michaels, you of the CATO Institute and of the faith that the accumulation of wealth and it's twin, the development of economies and societies, is the key to lowering pollution, know this: Pope Francis I is Argentine and, most respectfully of course, a Jesuit. He came of age during the first Peronista government, when it's links with Mussolini's Italy and to a much lesser extent, Hitler's Germany and Franco's Spain, were sharper and obvious to all. Including Peron himself. How deeply the young Bergoglio became involved with Peronism is debated and quietly hushed all at the same time. But corporatism, the organizing of society into sectors and groups under their leader, was all around him as he studied at a technical school to earn his degree as a chemical technician in the 50's.

» Continue reading "Pope Francis and Capitalism"...

Give It Back, Barrack!

Posted by Weary_Willie on September 18, 2015 at 1:53 AM

Geir Lundestad, former secretary of the Nobel Peace Prize committee, in his book written after he left his position states:

"Even many of Obama's supporters believed that the prize was a mistake," Lundestad wrote in excerpts of the book read by The Associated Press. "In that sense the committee didn't achieve what it had hoped for."
» Continue reading "Give It Back, Barrack!"...

Obama and Those Hysterical Media Types

Posted by Keeley on November 23, 2015 at 9:48 PM

We're at war. How many ways does this have to be restated? How many planned and horrifically executed suicidal attacks on democratic societies, on societies around the world, will be needed for Obama to state this simple truth? When will he realize that politically correct appeasement on the grounds of diversity, cultivated within the exclusive confines of Harvard and other academic institutions is counter productive? That it endangers lives, rather than provides the essential security necessary for any state to function.

» Continue reading "Obama and Those Hysterical Media Types"...

Do You Trust Barack and Hillary With Refugee Policy?

Posted by Keeley on November 19, 2015 at 7:48 PM

While a public debate blazes between President Obama and many governors, as well as GOP presidential candidates, over whether to give persecuted religious minorities from Syria priority as refugees, it's not really the crux of the issue. The point is that any screening - whether for religious affiliation or any other filter - is only as good as the available data. And in Syria, torn by a three-way civil war, any documentation issued by the state is suspect.

» Continue reading "Do You Trust Barack and Hillary With Refugee Policy?"...

Amnesty and Your Avocados

Posted by Keeley on November 16, 2015 at 5:34 PM

Immigration as an issue took front and center stage at the GOP debates - along with other issues in what was a substance-filled evening - in the much-analyzed Rubio-Cruz confrontation. But while amnesty is postulated as inevitable by many within the GOP establishment, it is helpful to consider how geography influences voters' views on this key issue.

» Continue reading "Amnesty and Your Avocados"...

Carson and Fiorina? You've Got to Be Kidding!

Posted by Keeley on November 12, 2015 at 8:54 PM

Imagine a Carson-Fiorina ticket ... Ok, maybe then we should talk about the Fox Business debate in Milwaukee. For some, Carson is quiet. a little confused, and a little confusing when it comes to economic policy. None of these things apply to Carly Fiorina, who is sharp, clear and forceful. Her words on following every dollar in zero-based budgeting elicited heartfelt applause rather than the partisan braying for this or that speaker.

» Continue reading "Carson and Fiorina? You've Got to Be Kidding!"...

Libertarian Wonks and Well-Heeled Wall-Streeters Target Trump

Posted by Keeley on November 5, 2015 at 8:26 PM

Dollar for Dollar. Trump has announced he will meet negative ads paid for establishment groups like the Club For Growth with negative ads of his own. In fact, he already has come out swinging against the Club For Growth, stating on Hannity that they requested a 7 figure donation from him, and then went negative when he said no.

» Continue reading "Libertarian Wonks and Well-Heeled Wall-Streeters Target Trump"...

Trump Butts Heads and Loses

Posted by Keeley on November 4, 2015 at 8:24 PM

At some point, the GOP field will narrow as candidates self-select the exit option and a new equilibrium is established. For at least a day or two, that is. Nothing it seems, is guaranteed in this race, as several veterans and a few newbies have found out. Carly Fiorina, for example, should be closer to the post-debate bump she benefited from in September after the CNN debate. She's not, and she's slipping back into the bottom half of the second tier - also known as the third tier - as far as the numbers show.

» Continue reading "Trump Butts Heads and Loses"...

What Reince Would Have to Do to Get Invited Sunday

Posted by Keeley on October 30, 2015 at 3:56 PM

Is it any wonder that several candidates - Trump, Carson, Jindal, Graham, Huckabee, & Santorum - are planning to have their campaign teams get together this Sunday to discuss organizing the next debate? With no RNC members in sight, according to the story. Reince Priebus has already "suspended" the Republican Party's relationship with NBC, but candidates (Fiorina and Rubio's teams might also attend) are rebelling against their very party, and how it has involved itself with structuring the debates.

» Continue reading "What Reince Would Have to Do to Get Invited Sunday"...

Ryan Wants His Hounds Braying in Harmony

Posted by Keeley on October 26, 2015 at 9:11 PM

For the Freedom Caucus, the romance with Ryan as Speaker was barely a one-night-stand. Hours later in the harsh light of the day, they have apprently indicated that their choice remains Daniel Webster. And they are troubled by some of the conditions demanded by Ryan - who it must be said won overwhelming support from GOP House members in Tuesday's closed-door session.

» Continue reading "Ryan Wants His Hounds Braying in Harmony"...

Biden out unless Hillary falls

Posted by Christine & John on October 21, 2015 at 7:53 PM

Biden decided not to run. The die was cast when Bernie Sanders acknowledged his capitulation to Hillary by ostentatiously taking her email scandal off his playlist. Hillary is too entrenched and Biden knows that he could not hope to beat her unless he beat her up in ways that would hurt them both.

» Continue reading "Biden out unless Hillary falls"...

Of Committees and Conditions and Paul Ryan

Posted by Keeley on October 20, 2015 at 9:42 PM

In 1973, the Republican Study Committee was founded, 2 years after Nixon famously said "I am now a Keynesian in economics." It was a more cautious and focused version of Milton Friedman's classic "We are all Keynesians now", made almost 10 years earlier in 1965. And all that Keynesian love - as well as Nixon's decision in 1971 to remove the dollar from the gold standard - caused discomfort among conservative GOP members. Hence their decision to model a conservative study group, one almost diametrically opposed to the Democratic Study Group which pushed for liberal values and was founded back in 1959.

» Continue reading "Of Committees and Conditions and Paul Ryan"...

Hillary and Jeb (& Bernie and Byron Too) and Crystalline Wafers

Posted by Keeley on October 14, 2015 at 4:18 PM

If it was up to the GOP establishment, we'd go straight to both conventions and have a coronation of Queen Hillary and aging Dauphin Jeb Le Bush. And then the fun could start. People have spent time and more than a little money, lots of money on both sides in fact, preparing for this inevitable showdown that has proven most evitable for some time now. The undoubtedly battle-scarred and beltway-schooled aides, analysts, and pundits are unwilling, in large part, to let go of what they see as the true battle of choices for 2016.

» Continue reading "Hillary and Jeb (& Bernie and Byron Too) and Crystalline Wafers"...

Love of One's Own Congressman

Posted by Keeley on October 9, 2015 at 7:43 PM

McCarthy has gone and where is rock bottom? Wait a minute. Is this rock bottom? Or is it the appearance of a real change in the GOP House membership's behavior on the hill, and how they represent their base? That's not to say that bumping along the bottom or in Wall Street lingo - building a base - is not going on right now in Congress among Republicans. Was there another way to do this? If rookie or newer House Republicans had just behaved and listened to Boehner and even McConnell, would everything be fine right now? With voters?

» Continue reading "Love of One's Own Congressman"...

Carson Digs Deep and Aims High

Posted by Keeley on October 6, 2015 at 9:43 PM

In an interview with Fox, Ben Carson described one similarity that the and Donald Trump share - aside from the fact that they both have never held office - and that is the fact that they "won't be corralled by the political establishment." Imagining Ben and Donald together at a rodeo is fun ... and they have undoubtedly already seen their share of agricultural events, especially Carson. But the metaphor is interesting for other reasons.. In the first place, Carson did not mention Fiorina, who by implication is open to dealing with the political establishment. One wonders who will corral who when it comes to Fiorina and the establishment. But she is clearly comfortable with them, and is arguably already part of the establishment. So Fiorina is both a political outsider, and by running for the Senate, she has also signaled a clear intent to be part of that political establishment.

» Continue reading "Carson Digs Deep and Aims High"...

Reciprocity & Responsibilty Trump Equality & Generosity.

Posted by Christine & John on September 28, 2015 at 6:52 PM

I dislike how the ideas or equality and rights are currently evolving. They are analogous to a drug where the dosage determines whether they are a lifesaving life-saving medicines or deadly poisons. The kinds of rights I dislike tend to be entwined with egalitarian ideas, which is why I paired them in this essay. A good society values rights and equality, but depends on reciprocity for its real strength.

» Continue reading "Reciprocity & Responsibilty Trump Equality & Generosity. "...

When Polls in China Will Really Matter

Posted by Keeley on September 24, 2015 at 7:24 PM

What a shocker! Nearly 90% of Americans are concerned with the amount of treasury bills and other forms of U.S. government debt held by the Chinese. Loss of jobs to China, Chinese cyberattacks, and human rights violations in China follow in that order. Other issues like the trade deficit with China and China's environmental footprint are also important, if less so. Clearly the Pew Research Center's poll numbers show that Americans are well-informed on the risks that burden America's relationship with China.

» Continue reading "When Polls in China Will Really Matter"...