The Conversation

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

Porn Stars In The News

Jan 31, 2013 12:27 PM PT

As been reported on several news outlets, including Fox News, legendary 'Porno Horno' Ron Jeremy has been admitted to a Los Angeles  area hospital with a heart aneurysm. Jeremy is reported to be in critical condition, and no new details have been release since yesterday. The moral of this post is this, nothing. To my fellow  "Conversationalists," Jerome Hudson and Larry O'Connor, who are probably die hard fans of "The Hedgehog," I extend my condolences. Don't worry, Ron will probably be ok

While Jeremy is considered by many to be  liberally mined, one of my sources that has worked in the adult entertainment business, and has spoken politics with him, tells  me that he leans Libertarian. Another Porn Star, Jenna Haze personally told me that she disliked Obama, and was a registered Libertarian. Who knew?!

The Case for Christie

Jan 31, 2013 12:03 PM PT

Remember back in 2011 when there were people literally begging Chris Christie to run for President on an almost daily basis? All of that heat evaporated over the last two months, starting with Christie's praise of Barack Obama after hurricane Sandy. But George Will makes the case that Christie is still a GOP front-runner or should be by 2016:

His budget for 2013 calls for spending less than did the state’s 2008 budget. He has vetoed a tax on millionaires three times. He has scrapped, exuberantly, with public employee unions. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, 41,000 families are still homeless. Nevertheless, 61 percent of his constituents think the state is on the right track, more than twice the 27 percent who thought so when he entered office three years ago. His 74 percent job approval rating includes 56 percent among Democrats and 78 percent among independents. This in a state where only 29 percent view the Republican Party favorably. And New Jersey is one of just three states (with New York and Maryland) in which Barack Obama improved upon his 2008 margin of victory (18 points, up from 16).

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Obama Shuts Down Jobs Council

Jan 31, 2013 9:18 AM PT

Congratulations, America!  In a clear sign that unemployment is no longer a priority or concern for President Obama, The white house has announced that the Obama jobs council has been shut down as of Thursday, January 31.  

President Barack Obama will let his jobs council expire this week without renewing its charter, winding down one source of input from the business community even as unemployment remains stubbornly high.

When Obama in January 2011 formed his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, unemployment was hovering above 9 percent. Two years later, more than 12 million people in the U.S. are out of work. The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.8 percent, but both parties agree that's still too high.

A provision in Obama's executive order establishing the council says it sunsets on Thursday. A White House official said the president does not plan to extend it.

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IL Democratic Speaker to AFL-CIO: Drop Dead

Jan 31, 2013 8:56 AM PT

Last week S&P downgraded Illinois to the worst debt rating in the nation. The reason was simple: Illinois still has not done anything about its unsustainable pension system for state workers. Maybe the downgrade caused some soul searching on the union side of the bargaining table because AFL-CIO president Michael Carrigan wrote a letter to state leaders proposing a "pension summit" be held next month.

Michael Madigan who is the House Speaker in IL as well as the state's Democratic party chairman didn't take the suggestion very well. He wrote a blistering two-page response to Carrigan which the State Journal Register succinctly summarized as "Drop dead":

The residents of Illinois have been asked to shoulder a higher tax burden in recent years.

For several years, Illinois has had to address very serious issues, including rising pension, Medicaid and state healthcare costs, all of which have contributed to the state’s massive budget pressures. The state has reduced spending in many areas, but costs for pensions continue to increase and unions representing state employees insist that salaries be increased. Many state lawmakers understand the difficult situation before us, having voted to cut their own legislative pay the last four years.

To date, we have received no cooperation from the labor unions representing state employees on addressing these challenges. In fact, these unions often have been strongly opposed to any attempt to solve the problem. For example, AFSCME recently said it will not ratify a contract that decreases the take-home pay of its employees. [Emphasis added]

It is worth noting a recent editorial points out that of the 12 most populous states, Illinois has the fourth highest average state worker pay, including overtime, and information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Kaiser Family Foundation shows that Illinois state workers pay significantly less for their insurance premiums than those in the private sector.

It is time for labor to come to the table with an honest proposal that recognizes the state’s serious fiscal condition and puts government employees on par with those in the private sector relative to a benefits package.

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Heckuva job on that Jobs Council, Mr. Obama!

Jan 31, 2013 8:18 AM PT

Farewell, sweet Jobs Council, we hardly knew ye.  And neither did the President who formed you, because he rarely bothered to pretend he was interested in anything you had to say.  

It seems like only yesterday the White House was promising that its Council on Jobs and Competitiveness would remain super important for years to come, what with all the wonderful "listening and action events" they were going to hold.  Actually, it wasn't yesterday, it was January 18. 

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Sen. Sessions: Why Won't Administration Prosecute Criminals Using Guns?

Jan 31, 2013 7:22 AM PT

With all the grandstanding and spin surrounding the gun-control debate, it's nice to see someone asking a fairly obvious question: Why aren't we prosecuting criminals using guns? Really, a simple and critical question. According to Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), prosecutions have dropped dramatically during the Obama administration.

The Washington Examiner reports:

In 2004, under Bush, there were 10,937 prosecution of weapons matters which has dropped down to about 6,000 cases in 2012.  

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Rubio's Immigration Dilemma

Jan 31, 2013 7:06 AM PT

Senator Marco Rubio continues making  the conservative media rounds this week, appearing on Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin shows in a concerted effort to do damage control with conservatives who remain skeptics of his “Gang of 8″ immigration proposal.  The 'bipartisan' immigration proposal that came out of the Senate  includes several of Rubio’s practical ideas and solutions, but concern remains about whether the plan will contain meaningful enforcement triggers and border security provisions that would effectively bring this issue to a conclusion.

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The magic of ObamaCare

Jan 31, 2013 6:59 AM PT

What more can you say about a trillion-dollar boondoggle so awful that it makes union bosses think about kicking their lower-tier employees out of union health plans... into a welfare program that many of the intended dirt-poor beneficiaries don't even qualify for, due to a "glitch" that our brilliant central planners incorrectly assumed the IRS would pay for them... leaving the hapless poor vulnerable to a "tax penalty" they won't have to pay because the government simply chooses not to apply it against them... even though its core purpose was to keep people from becoming "free riders" by failing to purchase insurance, and it was only held Constitutional in a laughable court decision because it would apply to everyone?  

It's increasingly clear that either ObamaCare dies, or America does.  Obama's health-care disaster is so fundamentally incompatible with American values that our legal system must be deformed beyond recognition in order to sustain it.

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