Posted by Stephen Daugherty on July 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Words matter, but meanings matter more. When it comes down to it, yes, the President once promised you could keep you doctor and your insurance, and failed to completely fulfill that promise. But the President made a good faith effort to extend healthcare to millions of Americans, and the judicial activism of the right has, in bad faith, created a ruling that could strip that from millions of Americans.» Continue reading "The Hypocrisy and Contradiction of Today's Right"...
Posted by TreyL on July 18, 2014 at 10:42 PM
Earlier this week, failed 2012 Senate candidate from Missouri Todd Akin officially rescinded his apology for his "Legitimate Rape" comment, saying "This was something that was intentionally misunderstood and twisted for political purposes. Also in 2012, Senate candidate from Indiana Richard Mourdock said in a debate that he thinks abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape and incest because, "When pregnancy begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it's something that God intended to happen." We've heard the term Rape Culture quite often and heard things about the song "Blurred Lines," but why haven't we heard about how when our politicians trivialize rape that it only furthers this notion?» Continue reading "Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, and Rape Culture"...
Posted by TreyL on July 16, 2014 at 4:50 PM
Hello fellow Democrats and Liberals!
My name's Trey, I'm 19, and a sophomore at Western Michigan University, and despite coming from a family chock full of Republicans, I'm a Democrat. I'm openly gay and am a direct immigrant descendant.
That leads me into the topic of my first entry here on WatchBlog: The immigrant children crisis in the Southwest.» Continue reading "About me/Refugees or Illegals?"...
Posted by Stephen Daugherty on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 PM
After several years of doing his best to obstruct the Obama Administration, and impress Republican voters, they dumped him for a Tea Partier named David Brat. So, as is appropriate for the New Republican Congress, Conservative dogma and theory has overtaken practice and perspective on history. Well, Eric, you should have seen this coming.» Continue reading "Ah, that's gratitude for ya."...
Posted by Stephen Daugherty on June 5, 2014 at 4:28 PM
If you've ever played a game like StarCraft, you'll be familiar with what they call a dependency tree, a set of things you have to develop, like buildings, units, or whatever before you can build better and more powerful units, buildings, and defenses. Game developers do this to help mirror one part of the reality of warfare in this simulation, the fact that having certain units depends on having certain facilities, certain kinds of expertise, and so on and so forth. A complex civilization, army, or whatever, doesn't just spring out from nowhere.» Continue reading "Dependence and The Long Range Bet of Climate Change"...
Posted by Stephen Daugherty on May 19, 2014 at 6:02 PM
I can't say I didn't see this coming. The answer to the eternal question, "what would happen if we gave a Tea Party, and nobody came?" has been answered. You would think these people would have seen this coming, too, but it's coming as a shock to many of them.» Continue reading "A Revolting Failure"...
Posted by Stephen Daugherty on April 22, 2014 at 10:44 AM
1987's crash, Black Monday, shouldn't have happened. Yes, morally, that's true, but I'm not simply talking about that. I'm talking about in statistical terms, if we're dealing with things from a normal distribution. We should have been able to wait billions of years and never see a day on the stock market like this, the odds being 10 to the 50th power that things would ever turn out that way.» Continue reading "Twenty Sigma: Chaos and Order in American Governance."...
Posted by liz on April 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM
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Posted by Stephen Daugherty on March 26, 2014 at 3:51 PM
Recently, I've started doing thirty-minute walks about every day, during my lunch hour in the city I work. For the sake of variety, I try not to take the same route too much. Having done so for a while, I've seen much of my city, many of the layers of change that it has undergone, and that it continues to undergo. More than ever, it leads me to see the necessity for actively dealing with our nation's change.» Continue reading "Hope is Optional. Change isn't."...
Posted by Stephen Daugherty on February 4, 2014 at 6:36 PM
Glenn Beck's response to a Super Bowl Commercial that showed a diverse selection of Americans, and "America the Beautiful" in multiple languages is correct in almost every way, except the way that matters most. He says that one's reaction to such a commercial can set one apart, that if one doesn't like the diversity presented, that you won't feel like you fit in, that you'll feel like a racist or something. Well, if the shoe fits...» Continue reading "America Contradicts Itself, For it Contains Multitudes"...
Posted by Stephen Daugherty on January 23, 2014 at 7:35 PM
Sometimes we'd like to do without pain, without fear and shame. So often, it makes us vulnerable to those we'd rather not be vulnerable to. However, despite the fact that this is often true, and as a Democrat I've had to deal with such issues in my party, I find that it's useful to have a sense of where your limits are, and what behaviors you should not repeat.» Continue reading "Republicans and Boiling Water on the Stove"...
Posted by Adam Ducker on January 10, 2014 at 1:42 PM
The workforce continued to recede as it's done for most of the last decade. While jobs only grew by 74,000 unemployment still declined to 6.7%.» Continue reading "December Jobs A Disapointment, Unemployment Shrinks"...
Posted by Stephen Daugherty on January 9, 2014 at 6:14 PM
What's the point of giving the right wing more power? All they seem to be interested in is cancelling out one man, one party's legacy. Success isn't in their vocabulary when it comes to government. If we want government that works for us, we have to stop rewarding those who choose to deliberately cause failures in order to advance their cause.» Continue reading "The Right-Wing Atmosphere of Failure"...
Posted by Stephen Daugherty on December 20, 2013 at 7:45 AM
It never occurred to me that when I was being wished happy holidays, that I as a Christian was being slighted. Christmas is one such holiday, really. Now we're getting stories where folks are getting angry about what color skin our birthday boy or jolly old elf have. I frankly don't know what they're actually protecting or saving by getting angry. The very fact that they're going out of their way to pick a fight just makes me roll my eyes.» Continue reading "The War on Christmas... Spirit!"...
Posted by AllardK on July 24, 2014 at 5:53 PM
Nuclear power plant operators in Germany have set aside 34 billion euros in anticipation of the cost of scrapping Germany's nuclear power program. It is estimated that it will be insufficient. As the world awaits some sort of response to Russia's role in the MH-17 tragedy, it is worthwhile to reflect on the importance of energy independence. Chancellor Merkel and the EU's response has, so far, been less than robust to put it mildly. Russian gas is of course to blame. It shouldn't be the case in a rational world, but the only rational response to Russian aggression is to place a high enough cost on Putin's actions to at least make him think twice. Any real sanctions must involve energy and that would mean higher energy bills for the average German and European voter.
Posted by Weary_Willie on July 20, 2014 at 1:00 AM
Elizabeth Warren's 11 Commandments of Progressivism
Posted by AllardK on July 17, 2014 at 2:56 PM
Real Clear Politics has released polls on the Republican and Democratic New Hampshire Primaries and if you're a Democrat, it seems to be over already. Hillary is so far ahead, the rest of the Democratic field seem like rounding numbers. That should clear things up for GOP candidates who - as of now and with more than six months to go - face a very competitive race. While they may not be sure who among them will be the winner, they have a pretty good idea of who they will be facing. Why is Hillary so far ahead? In an interview with freelance reporter Samuel Rosales-Avila, he provoked her with a tough question about whether she was too old or not healthy enough to run for president. "It's my turn. I've done my time, and I deserve it." she snapped at him and then stormed out of the interview, which is now off-the-record apparently. Now it might not be fair to start with Bob Dole comparisons at this point because we still have no idea who will be running against Hillary. But it is interesting to ask, why is Hillary Clinton running for president?
Posted by Roy Ellis on July 14, 2014 at 4:31 PM
Allan Sloan has a good article in the WaPo today on how corporations are evading much of their tax liabilities. He laments that corporations, while receiving 'full benefits' are avoiding taxes and sticking Joe Citizen with the bill.» Continue reading "Subsidizing Corporations"...
Posted by Roy Ellis on July 13, 2014 at 3:26 PM
Today's WaPo editorial relates that Montgomery County, Md is considering a bill that would change their CFR. This stems from a growing concern that labor unions and developers have exercised undue influence in local elections.» Continue reading "Local Bill For Cleaner Elections"...
Posted by Weary_Willie on July 13, 2014 at 1:51 AM
I've asked many on the left to describe what their version of America would be if they were to be granted all of the policy changes they wished.
What would a liberal U.S. look like? What would living in a liberal U.S. be like?
That's basically what I've been asking the left for some time. I haven't got an answer I could recognize as a description of a liberal America. So be it. Perhaps, if I were to go out on a limb, risk my name and credibility, open my views up to the masses, and describe my version of Conservatism, I could reasonably ask the same from the left. I could then expect an answer to my, many times asked, question.
So, here it is!» Continue reading "My Version Of Conservatism"...
Posted by AllardK on July 11, 2014 at 7:26 PM
July 6 was Cost of Government Day or CGD according to Americans For Tax Reform's Cost of Government Center. It measures deficit spending as a percentage of GDP rather than as a percentage of Gross National Income. It also adds in the cost of regulatory compliance which results in an added two months of GDP being devoured by government. The problem is, when it comes to regulatory compliance, it is more than just government that is doing the devouring. Regulations have to be interpreted by the courts and that means more than just judges and court staff, it means lawyers, usually lots of them. Any corporation of any size nowadays has to hire expensive legal help to ensure they are compliant with any new or existing regulation pertaining to their business. The lawyers might even help them convince a judge or a bureaucrat to modify the rules that regulate their line of work and enable the corporations to end up saving some money in the long run. That is a risky and uncertain outcome in many situations and depends on how the courts find on any challenge to any regulation on the books. What is less risky is the fact that the legal help will be well compensated.
Posted by AllardK on July 2, 2014 at 5:19 PM
The Supreme Court has left two rather thorny cases for this week; the Hobby Lobby case and home health care workers in Illinois who are fighting against being forced to pay union fees. While the Supreme Court's decision on the former case will receive more attention as it defines perhaps a new balance between freedom of worship and women's rights, both cases are more related than might appear at first blush. Both have to do with the distinction between negative and positive rights. Our right not to be subjected to the action of someone or some other group, leaving us free to work our destiny out - a negative right - is the foundation of much of natural right theory. Our right to be subjected to an action by another person or group - a positive right - is the foundation of most entitlements. If you're progressive, or better yet out and out Marxist, this distinction annoys you. In any social contract we all have to relinquish our absolute freedoms to ensure we can function as a society, right?
Posted by Weary_Willie on June 27, 2014 at 2:23 PM
Well, it remains to be seen!
» Continue reading "Voter Fraud! We Don See No Steenkin' Voter Fraud!"...
Posted by AllardK on June 26, 2014 at 5:05 PM
Maude Barlow is going to sic the UN on the USA if delinquent Detroit Water and Sewage Customers keep getting their water cut off. Never mind that, according to Curtrise Garner a Water Department spokeswoman, there are programs in place for those truly in need and that many customers come in the very next day after being cut off, and pay their bills. No, this all part of a fiendish "neoliberal" plan to hollow out Detroit. Say what? Neoliberal? The phrase is a transliteration of a Spanish (and European) expression that is equivalent to neocon. Maude Barlow has been hanging with too many Latin American leftist it seems. Understandable for the Chairperson of the very-left-of-center Council of Canadians who have offices in Ottawa, which would be in Ontario. Which would be in Canada. What was Maude doing in Detroit? She was there as part of a program to protect the Great Lakes as a bioregion worthy of preservation, presumably invited by local groups. While there, she heard of the horrible plight of delinquent customers who couldn't quite find the time to pay their water bills. Detroit, Michigan, and the USA must be held accountable for this "travesty" according to Maude. A coalition of activist groups have filed a plea with the United Nations. If America does not respond to a UN intervention, it could affect the UN Universal Periodic Review of America. Just what Detroit needs to work its way out of bankruptcy and decades of decline; a review by UN bureaucrats.
Posted by AllardK on June 23, 2014 at 6:40 PM
The surge in young illegals crossing the border has Border Guards changing diapers, keeping boys and girls from getting too "frisky" with each other and doing sundry duties worthy of a camp counsellor instead of doing their jobs helping to secure the border. Rep. Candice S. Miller, (R-Michigan), chairwoman of a key border security subcommittee has asked President Obama to send in the National Guard to take over the day care center duties and let the Border Guards get back to work, stopping guns, drugs, and illegals from crossing into the country. At some point, Obama is going to have to admit he has made a bad mistake. Behavior changes according to rewards offered and punishments administered, and by handing out benefits like the DREAMERS program and easing, or promising to ease, on deportations of minors, a predictable result has ensued, if even more dramatic than many had feared.
Posted by AllardK on June 17, 2014 at 6:26 PM
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy now appears the shoo-in for House Majority Leader. Pete Sessions has dropped out and Jeb Hensarling made his last no-thank-you on Thursday. The GOP leadership is circling the wagons. Mike Simpson R-Idaho told the Washington Examiner that "several months before a general election, I don't think we need a shakeup of our leadership team." It's hard to know how to react to such a statement; does the first House Majority leader defeated in a primary really not qualify as a shakeup in Rep Simpson's view? Or is it merely a case of keeping the appearance of calm while they the leadership try to understand what happened in Virginia? Simpson does know that his fellow Republican Representative from Idaho, Raul Labrador, who has Tea Party support, has now entered the race for House Majority Leader? The conservative wing of the GOP couldn't convince Hensarling and they have now turned to Labrador, a former immigration lawyer but one who puts border security first and then adjustments to legal immigration as a later step in the process.
Posted by Roy Ellis on June 16, 2014 at 8:30 AM
What can be said of Eric Cantor's recent loss in the Va. GOP primaries? Highly unusual, abnormal. Reason given is that Cantor had been giving lip service to his local base while stroking his national constituency, big business.
Posted by SPBrooker on July 22, 2014 at 1:11 PM
Attorney General Eric Holder, last Sunday on ABC's "This Week", claimed that race is playing a role in the negativity directed towards both he and President Obama. I for one am sick and tired of this public use of race as a primary reason for opposition to the president. Are there race issues in this country, yes, without a doubt. Is this is a majority racist country, absolutely not. Using race to explain opposition is an easy way to avoid admitting that flawed policies are to blame. All the while it seems that it is the left that is making race an issue as they repeatedly bring it up. When is this going to stop?
Posted by SPBrooker on July 15, 2014 at 6:10 PM
On Wednesday, July 9th, President Obama met with Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry to discuss the situation on the border with Mexico. Over the past several weeks illegal immigration over the border has deservingly received increased media attention. Unaccompanied children from various Central American countries have been pouring across the border creating a humanitarian crisis and pushing the limits of what the Border Patrol is capable of. As this crisis has worsened the president has acted aloof even as members of his own party have tried to stress the importance of the situation. While the president described the meeting with Perry as being "constructive," Perry claims that the president isn't serious about securing the border. In all honesty, Perry is absolutely right.
Posted by SPBrooker on July 9, 2014 at 7:23 PM
Sunday July 6th saw the New York Post publish a piece by Ed Klein that purports that President Obama has decided to throw his backing behind Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 if she decides to run. Warren has repeatedly denied interest in the presidency in 2016 while the article isn't backed in concrete fact, rather what Klein claims to have heard from unnamed insider Democratic sources. Klein's veracity and that of his sources has been called into question in the past and until the story of Warren is proven further, I'm perfectly content to view it as a rumor. Regardless, the story has been picked up by numerous media outlets which are now speculating about such a situation. The article might have just been an attempt to cause friction among Democrats but it is interesting to further examine why it could be true.
Posted by Christine & John on July 7, 2014 at 4:28 AM
The progressive establishment has formed a phalanx around Obama for the past six years. Despite his general unpopularity & controversial policies, they protected him. But Obama is past; Hillary future. To secure her ambitions, Hillary will need to throw Obama under the bus or at least step away from the wreck. Will the progressive establishment follow and if they do when does it start?» Continue reading "Clinton moves away from Obama"...
Posted by Christine & John on July 5, 2014 at 7:57 PM
Hobby Lobby does NOT ban contraceptives. Despite the hysteria you hear from progressives, the firm continues to cover birth control methods that are most commonly used, including: most birth control pills, condoms, sponges & sterilization. I bet you didn't know that. Ask your self why. It is a deliberate campaign of lies and distortions to support the false "war on women" theme.» Continue reading "Hobby Lobby Disinformation"...
Posted by SPBrooker on July 3, 2014 at 2:35 PM
A poll conducted by Quinnipiac has revealed that 33 percent of Americans believe President Obama to be the worst president since World War II. In so much, he is held in lower regard than the 11 other presidents who served since 1945. Additionally the poll revealed that a majority of Americans wish they would have chosen Romney in 2012. Bear in mind that this poll was recently conducted and over the past several months the president has been facing a near constant barrage of criticism for issues across the board which no doubt have helped to further reduce his popularity. Regardless, President Obama is a deeply unpopular president but what should we take away from this poll?
Posted by Christine & John on July 1, 2014 at 6:38 PM
Planned Parenthood says that contraceptives cost $15-50 a month. So for the price of one coffee latte per week, a woman could pay for her contraceptives. Since all women affected by the Hobby Lobby decision are employed, we can expect that all could afford this. Beyond that, we could assume that generous folks at Planned Parenthood would help any really poor woman.» Continue reading "Hobby Lobby Case"...
Posted by SPBrooker on June 30, 2014 at 6:06 PM
Iraq is currently in a crisis. In recent weeks it has lost vast swathes of territory to the Sunni radical group ISIS. For every victory the Iraqi military has, it incurs several defeats. The Iraqi government is unwilling to admit or rectify its exclusionary policies which have greatly assisted in bringing on the situation that it now faces. Meanwhile the Kurds are proving to the world that they no longer need Baghdad. Externally, third parties such as Syria, Iran, and the United States are not helping Iraq's internal situation. Blame can and should be placed on multiple parties but at this moment I would like to look at how the Iraqi PM Nouri al Maliki is complicating the situation. In some ways he is just as much of a threat to his country as ISIS.
Posted by Christine & John on June 25, 2014 at 2:14 PM
I read another in the endless studies about how women do more work. I also read studies that show the SINGLE women spend more time on errands and housework than single men. This one cannot be men's fault. There is a gender difference here in how much individuals think needs to be done and how. This is a problem even for many women in leadership roles. They try to control too many of the variables and the unknowns and end up doing (and making other do) a lot of work that doesn't need to be done. Men are more laid back (women call it lazy.) When I put on socks that almost match, it infuriates Chrissy when I tell her that I have another pair exactly like them in the dresser. She seems vaguely unhappy that I only buy clothes that don't need ironing , hence never iron. Maybe men need to pitch in more, but women need to lighten up. We all need to lighten up.
Posted by SPBrooker on June 24, 2014 at 6:54 PM
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been regarded as a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination to the presidency in 2016 ever since her primary defeat to then Senator Obama in 2008. Currently while the GOP field is awash with potential candidates, the Democratic field is fairly limited and so for the moment Clinton has a distinct advantage. Due to this almost monopoly in the Democratic Party, she is facing the brunt of questioning and criticism from both sides of the aisle. To top it all with the recent release of her memoir, she has embarked on a whirlwind media tour to promote it. Unfortunately for Clinton, this questioning is not showing her in a particularly good light.
Posted by SPBrooker on June 18, 2014 at 10:23 AM
Despite the further deterioration of the situation in Iraq, no clear, coherent American policy has emerged from either side of the aisle. The President in his typical fashion has waffled while finding the time to play golf. Democrats are split between those who would never question the POTUS and those that have had it with the foreign policy indifference of this administration and who want action taken. Meanwhile the right is screaming for something to be done yet many are unwilling to do what must be done. ISIS must not be allowed to drag all of Iraq into a civil war. To allow such a thing to happen disregards the sacrifices of thousands over the past decade and creates a situation from which nobody can benefit.
Posted by SPBrooker on June 9, 2014 at 5:40 PM
Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky at the Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas this past Saturday proclaimed that it is time for a "libertarian moment." And to that end that if the GOP nominates another "Chamber of Commerce Republican" it is doomed to fail in the 2016 presidential election. I must ask, how does Rand Paul intend to change who the party nominates when it is the people who decide and what exactly is a "Chamber of Commerce Republican"? Furthermore while libertarianism does have many appealing characteristics, it also has many that would make those who understand that the system can't be easily changed shake their heads.
Posted by SPBrooker on June 6, 2014 at 12:45 AM
Today marks the 70th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of northern France at the beaches of Normandy. It is one of the most well-known, and celebrated victories had by the western Allies. For military historians and buffs, it remains the largest seaborne invasion ever conducted and it provided the Allies with the jumping off point to fight into Germany. It has been immortalized in movies and shows such as Saving Private Ryan, The Longest Day, and Band of Brothers while hundreds of books have been written devoted to it. On the 70th anniversary, it's important that we look back on it and understand its true significance.
Posted by SPBrooker on June 4, 2014 at 3:21 PM
The U.S. relationship with Poland and the Polish people dates back to the Revolutionary War when Polish military engineer Tadeusz Kosciuszko arrived to help the revolutionaries. Since then, Poles have been deeply involved in shaping U.S. history even at times when their home country didn't exist as a sovereign state. Following the end of the Cold War, Poland has grown to be the strongest Eastern European state and is the one we hold the closest alliance with. Under the Obama administration though this relationship has diminished in strength and only now with events unfolding in Eastern Europe does the president feel compelled to brighten relations. Now, President Obama is in Poland trying to restore what he had a hand in undermining.
Posted by SPBrooker on June 2, 2014 at 7:57 PM
Recently President Obama delivered the commencement address at the West Point graduation with a central focus on foreign policy. In every measurable way the speech was sub par; uninspiring, insipid, unfocused, and generally lacking. Now while some of the attacks on it from conservatives have been a bit too extreme, there is little denying that the speech reflects the presidents own foreign policy actions; disparate, and ad hoc. Nor do I firmly believe that the president's speech signaled a retreating America, rather I see it as a sign of more confusion in our foreign policy. What's more is that in the hour president Obama had to deliver his speech he failed to articulate a future path for American foreign policy and instead of clarifying his views, left spectators confused.