The Conversation

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

The Obama Kiss of Death claims another business

Feb 16, 2013 10:04 PM PT

Remember Ray's Hell Burgers, the burger joint Obama visited a couple of times early in his first term?  Dead.  Kaput.  The latest victims of the Obama Kiss of Death, in which seemingly every business he personally visits - especially those he touts as New Economy success stories - goes bankrupt.

Sometimes this is understandable, as in the case of those green energy losers he keeps picking.  But other times it really does seem like a curse.  And if he was a Republican, it would already be cemented in popular culture thanks to comedy skits where businesses fold up as soon as Obama walks in the door to order a sandwich.  But instead, we'll probably get another four years of "irreverent" comedians telling us there's no way to make fun of Obama.

Food Stamp Nation is always recruiting

Feb 16, 2013 9:43 PM PT

In response to Warning: This Will Get Your Blood Boiling:

Lisa, sometimes when I write about the stunning growth of Food Stamp Nation and its constellation of giveaways, such as the "Obamaphone" (an inaccurate name, but apparently somewhat popular with clients of the Lifeline program) I'll get a correspondent who tries to argue that the only reason these programs are growing in size is that the economy is down.  Oddly, sometimes the people who say this are also Obama supporters who, in other circumstances, would angrily deny that the economy is down, but I guess they actually view food stamp growth as more fallout from the Bush terror, and still don't think Obama has anything to do with our current malaise.

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Thousands Expected To March Against The Keystone Pipeline in DC Sunday.

Feb 15, 2013 8:06 PM PT

 And this puts the President in a tight spot, because he has other powerful allies who are strongly in favor of the pipeline.

Byron York of The Washington Examiner explains:

A brief moment on Wednesday showed why President Obama can't win when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline. In front of the White House, protesters led by actress Daryl Hannah and the head of the Sierra Club demanded that Obama kill the project. Just a few blocks away, the head of the AFL-CIO's powerful Building and Construction Trades Department joined with the American Petroleum Institute to demand that Obama approve it.

Obama's friends in the environmental movement and Hollywood on one side. Obama's friends in Big Labor allied with his enemies in Big Oil on the other. What's a Democratic president to do?

Both sides were unhappy that Obama, who took the time to talk about wind power, solar power, fuel efficiency, global warming and all sorts of other related topics in his State of the Union speech, did not mention Keystone at all. Not a single word.

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The Deficit Deal the President Proposed was 3:1 Cuts to Revenues

Feb 15, 2013 12:42 PM PT

I've published this once but I think it's worth re-emphasizing. This is a bit wonky but it's really important so please stick with me. In April 2011 President Obama proposed his own deficit reduction plan. In that plan he defined, in writing, what would constituted a "balanced approach" of cuts and new revenues. He said it would be "three dollars of spending cuts and interest savings for every one dollar from tax reform." In chart form, this is what the President wanted:

Balanced approach

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Reaching the '60 Minutes' Crowd and the 'Real Housewives' Crowd

Feb 15, 2013 9:45 AM PT

In response to Campaign 2012: Three Million Political Ads for a Cost of $2 Billion :

I know the big networks still win when it comes to news, but I wonder how niche/reality TV (as well as networks like USA and AMC with more and more original programming) do compared to network dramas and comedies.  I suspect Republican consultants look at demographic information for all channels and gravitate toward the base audience they need to solidify versus reaching out to a new audience.  When money becomes tight, I'm sure reaching out to a younger and more diverse demographic is probably the first thing cut.

Rubio-"Mas Agua Por Favor'

Feb 15, 2013 8:37 AM PT

In response to Glug, glug, glug:

Rubio is a professional politician. Yes, he was nervous and thirsty. However, he has given longer speeches in the past where he did not reach for a little bottle of 'agua.' But then again, this is Marco Rubio, and considering my relationship with him, and knowing how funny he thinks he is, an argument can be made here.

Rubio's Sip Of Water A Prank?

Feb 15, 2013 8:09 AM PT

An interesting observation was made last night on Fox News’ ‘The Five’ when host Dan Perino noted that SOTU responses such as the one Senator Marco Rubio gave on Tuesday night are never really remembered unless something noteworthy occurs during the response--either a gaffe or in this instance a ‘sip of water’ would certainly qualify.


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Campaign 2012: Three Million Political Ads for a Cost of $2 Billion

Feb 15, 2013 4:33 AM PT

A new report reveals that there were 3 million political ads related to the congressional and presidential campaigns for a total cost of almost $2 billion dollars in 2012. 

The study also found that although both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney aired most of their ads during local news programming, the Obama campaign also bought significantly more air time on talk and reality shows and niche cable networks than the Romney campaign.

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