The Conversation

Politics: Policy issues, legislation and political topics of all sorts.

Witness to Obama skeet shooting located at last

Jan 30, 2013 1:31 PM PT

Great news, everyone!  It looks like someone willing to testify that they actually saw Obama shooting skeet has been found.  Our long national skeet shooting nightmare is over.  Contrary to the President's boasts of frequent gunplay, the actual event seems to have gone pretty much the way a conservative political cartoonist would have rendered it.

I'm glad this has been settled, because were probably just days away from Obama ordering a drone strike on a clay pigeon.

Obama's real agenda on immigration

Jan 30, 2013 12:50 PM PT

President Obama’s agenda on immigration is more and more obvious each passing day: he wants to break the Republican Party by training the Hispanic population that Republicans are secretly racist. That’s why Obama goes out of his way to propose an alternative immigration reform structure to the border security first structure considered by the Senate “Gang of Eight.” Obama is attempting to put a poison pill in the immigration reform package, killing it dead while forcing Republicans to play the villainous obstructionists.

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Re: The Long Game

Jan 30, 2013 12:43 PM PT

In response to We should be playing the long game:

Yes, yes, yes.  This is also true with infrastructure beyond elections.  Right-leaning people need to stop complaining about the bias in legacy media, education and Hollywood and seek out jobs in those industries.  This is particularly important and attainable for those just out of college who don't already have a history of political advocacy on their resume.  They should apply for jobs and internships at the major networks, universities and studios.  It won't be easy to suffer in silence, but gradually as you gain the respect of your colleagues you'll be able to make a difference.  We're conservatives (and libertarians) -- we know life is hard.  Saying it's a hard road ahead or we're already too behind are not excuses.  We need to invest in infrastructure and skill training (reporting, producing, designing, etc.) that will get our people in the door.

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Capital flight made easy

Jan 30, 2013 12:40 PM PT

I've always thought the surest sign of an impending systemic collapse would be the rapid departure of the Evil Rich.  Wealth brings options for re-arranging your life that are simply inconceivable for the rest of us.  The middle class can't rearrange its affairs to shelter income and assets from taxation, or relocate away from high-tax sinkholes, the way wealthy people can.  When an average Joe's tax burden grows, he grits his teeth and cuts down on discretionary spending; he can't carefully and precisely restructure his financial activities to reduce tax exposure, and he can't just get up and move to a different state (or country) on short notice.

If you want a lesson in how quick and easy capital flight can be, for those who have lots of capital, look at France and California.  French socialists are quite literally stunned at how fast M'sieu and Madame Moneybags packed up their liquid assets and headed for the border.  California has been hard at work reducing its tax base for years, and it keeps finding new ways to accelerate the process.  When a true systemic crash is imminent - when the cash-strapped government is on the verge of turning feral - smart people with deep pockets will vanish in droves.  That, of course, only makes the fiscal crisis worse, because the Left suddenly finds itself with fewer pockets to pick.  The former members of the "upper middle class" will be astounded at how quickly they become the hated Evil Rich.

A Modest Proposal

Jan 30, 2013 12:36 PM PT

Last year I visited a gun shop in Waukegan and applied for an Illinois state firearm owner identification (or, as it's known around these parts, a FOID card). Not that I'm planning a duck hunt or school massacre; I don't even own a firearm. I find they clash with my wardrobe. I was just exercising a right, and curious about what was involved in doing so.

After wading through a battery of question about my citizenship, date/place of birth, felony convictions, and history of mental illness, I sat down for a glamour Polaroid shot, and the nice folks at the gun shop mailed the application on my behalf to Springfield for the mandatory background check. A scant 8 weeks later, I was delighted to receive a laminated card from the state of Illinois certifying that I am sufficiently naturalized, conviction-free, sane, and photogenic to own/purchase a gun in the state*.

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We should be playing the long game

Jan 30, 2013 10:04 AM PT

The Hill ran a piece this morning entitled: Unions, Hollywood open to bankrolling Obama's advocacy arm

In it, we learn that Obama's traditional deep pocket financial supporters will be working with Organizing for Action, to advocate for Obama's agenda.  Organizing for America is the new operation formally known as the Obama for America campaign. In addition, OfA is a 501c4 corporation which means that there is no donor disclosure. Lack of donor disclosure is sometimes a "bad thing" and when I say sometimes I mean if you are a center-right c4. 

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The GDP Rorschach test

Jan 30, 2013 9:11 AM PT

Today's grim Commerce Department report of GDP contraction (actually, it will probably end up being very tiny growth, once all the revisions are in) is a Rorschach inkblot test for students of the Obama economy.  The optimists say the decline in government spending brought down the numbers.  The pessimists wonder how anyone could think that's good news.  "Sure, the economy looks awful now, but that's only because the unsustainable government spending that's been propping it up for the past year petered out!"

And if we're going to look at GDP without government spending included, we ought to be consistent about it.  As it stands, this is one of those magical statistics - like unemployment - that can be media-massaged into good or bad news, depending on what they choose to include in the mixture of any given report.  

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Rubio can fix immigration law, but not the government that enforces it

Jan 30, 2013 8:49 AM PT
Senator Marco Rubio has been game for discussing immigration reform with high-profile, skeptical conservative interviewers, including Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin.  The question he has the most trouble answering is the one he really can't answer, because it's not his fault: How are we supposed to trust the government that couldn't handle immigration law over the past 40 years to manage an even more complex - and, ostensibly, tougher - set of immigration laws today?  We're talking about provisional amnesty for 12 million illegals today because it's supposedly impossible for the government to enforce the existing legal regime.  We are told there's just no way to find all these people, check their backgrounds, and deport them.  But we will be able to compute their back taxes, and keep them out of titanic fraud-riddled programs like food stamps and ObamaCare?

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