The Conversation

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

Happy Reagan Day

Feb 6, 2013 6:41 AM PT

40 state governors have proclaimed Feb. 6 "Ronald Reagan Day," in honor of his birthday.  (The supporters are a bipartisan group, but all of the governors who refused to join in the proclamation are Democrats.)  

Grover Norquist has a grim comparison between Obama malaise and Reagan prosperity that begins and ends with Reagan-style optimism, suggesting today is a good time to "look forward and realize how bright our future could be."  But then he wraps it up with this, and I don't think he meant it sarcastically:

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The sequester and our opposition government

Feb 6, 2013 5:44 AM PT

We live in a leaderless country governed, in effect, by two opposition parties: the anti-war movement in the Senate and the Tea Party movement in the House.

With a normal government--with a president actually interested in performing his duties rather than destroying his opponents, for instance--we would have avoided the sequester.

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Why Is Obama's IRS Crushing Tax Exempt Charities?

Feb 5, 2013 1:53 PM PT

While more and more Americans find themselves mired in the current economic morass, the Obama IRS is auditing tax-exempt charities at an alarming rate. Research conducted by the Government Accountability Institute found that "under Obama, IRS audits for tax-exempt organizations have jumped 79 percent over what they were were under George W. Bush." 

From Fox: 

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Grim reapers of the Congressional Budget Office

Feb 5, 2013 1:38 PM PT

Boy, those guys over at the Congressional Budget Office are a cheery lot, aren't they?  1.4 percent GDP growth for the coming year, unemployment above 7.5 percent, ObamaCare's cost up to $1.3 trillion, 7 million people losing their insurance... they don't seem impressed by Obama's "poised for recovery" high-wire act, do they?

And if that wasn't depressing enough, remember the CBO is generally optimistic, by design.  They tend to assume programs will do roughly what they were supposed to do, and underestimate the depressing effect of taxes and regulations upon the economy.  The behavior of the private sector is very difficult to forecast, but in the world of "static analysis," it functions as the obedient executor of government's plans.

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If You Like Your Plan, 7 Million of You Can't Keep It

Feb 5, 2013 12:55 PM PT

One of the most consistent promises the President made when selling health reform was that those who liked the insurance plan they had could keep it. For instance, on March 23, 2010 he said "If you like your current insurance, you will keep your current insurance. No government takeover. Nobody's changing what you've got if you're happy with it."

A new CBO budget report released today says that's probably not true for 7 million Americans. That's the number who are expected to lose employer-based coverage as businesses decide its not worth shelling out for the government approved plans when other options are available.

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Just To Be Clear

Feb 5, 2013 11:42 AM PT

In response to There Should Be Limits To Speech in the Classroom: Nolte-- of course his comments are indefensible, hence my calling them disgraceful. I think one of the issues here is that I've been largely anesthetized to this type of vitriol having been called similarly hurtful names myself. The capacity and place in which the comments where made, as I acknowledged, are considerably important, Debra. 

The double standard that exists in our discourse is troublesome. Yes, Liz, this scumbag is not the case to make a free speech argument. That wasn't my intent. And I should know better, because Leftists don't care about intent. My point was not to defend this clown. My thinking was in reaction to the absurd amount of media coverage this story has received. I walked away from the comments them self as being the larger issue. And having no use for the Faustian bargain with which many on the Right are forced to contend with when dealing with issues of race and sexuality, I downplayed the racial, and sexual preference aspects of the story, and stepped on every rhetorical land mine in the process.

Gay Slurs, Referring to First Lady as 'Gorilla' Indefensible

Feb 5, 2013 10:50 AM PT

In response to Not So Free Speech:

If some loser of a teacher teacher wants to be a racist jerk (though I'm not sure that's him making the "gorilla" crack) who hurls gay slurs in the privacy of his own home or at some bar with his pals, that's up to him. But the audio gives the impression he's speaking to a captive audience of students, especially his remark about telling the "superintendent."

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