Required Readings: Timeless Questions

If you’re not reading these “required Readings” you’re really missing out on some great readings.

“Is the Republican Party over?”

“Why Are we In Afghanistan?”

“Dude, can’t we buy more accurate missiles?”

“Why is Pakistan ignoring the Taliban?”


Quote of the Day: Republicans to Republicans “we’re boned”

From Congressman Pat McHenry (R) on the stupidity of the Republican party:

The most urgent question is the meaning of economic conservatism. Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, a conservative who keeps a bust of Reagan on his desk, surprised me by declaring that the Reagan era is over. “Marginal tax rates are the lowest they’ve been in generations, and all we can talk about is tax cuts,” he said. “The people’s desires have changed, but we’re still stuck in our old issue set.”

See, I’m not the only one who thinks that the Republican are full of it.

The Hedonism of Conservative Economics: The Tax Cut Fetish

Okay, this bothers me.

There’s two parts that make up the foundation of conservative economic policies. Tax cuts and eliminating deficits. (Conservatives allegedly support decreasing government spending, but every Republican president since Eisenhower has substantially increased federal spending.) Two policies that people often figure go hand and hand with one another. Except the problem is they don’t go hand and hand. In fact, the two are mutually exclusive.

Let me explain

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Halperin: McCain-Romney 08

Apparently his source is two GOP officials . Guess McCain’s going after that pro choice vote after all.

I actually think this is a decent choice for McBush. He sures up his weakness on the economy lets be honest, Mitt Romney is a fake politician stuffed Ken doll. The perfect kind of person for the McCain campaign to tool around. Romney also brings a lot of his own money and the money/support of a tight knit and powerful cadre of politically active Mormons.

Plus, if there’s one thing Romney is good at its switching positions creating soundbites.

But of course, Mitt Romney is a chronic liar who couldn’t keep a stable stance on an issue to save his book of Mormons.

Time and Politico: Obama Sets Up Argument Against Public Financing

From Mark Haleprin, via ABC:

“We have created a parallel public financing system where the American people decide if they want to support a campaign they can get on the Internet and finance it, and they will have as much access and influence over the course and direction of our campaign that has traditionally reserved for the wealthy and the powerful.”

It makes sense for Obama to try to back away from the pledge. One of the main advantages of democrats this election cycle is the enormous financial advantage they have. With Obama’s fund raising during the primary he stands to gain a big advantage.

However, calling it like it is, this is a HUGE flip flop on Obama’s part. One of my rules of thumb for determining when a broken pledge is a big deal is if a politician makes a pledge for political advantage and then breaks it when it becomes convent. It’s pretty shady how Obama will say one thing to sharpen his liberal “street cred” and then do another thing to gain political advantage. It’s very disingenuous.

But the fact of the matter is that this is the sort of thing that happens in Washington. It’s the nature of politics. But the problem, once again, is that the alleged candidate of change is showing that he’s absolutely no different than the politics of old that he decries every day. People need to hold their politician accountable regardless of how messianic they believe he is.


Donor netroots based financing is great. Duh. Given our current campaign financing rules, I hope that small donor fundraising becomes a bigger part of politics. It’s clearly been one of the great accomplishments by the democratic party during this primary. HOWEVER, all politics aside, a publically financed system with a cap on total expenditures is a much more preferable system.

While this election cycle has been historic, we can’t assume it will be the norm. Public interest in elections goes up and down and more importantly the publics willingness to fund campaigns through donations is even more fickle. Presidential campaigns are expensive and candidates will always seek to get as much money as possible. This is the reason why even barack obama accepts money from state lobbyists and friends/family members of lobbyists.

More importantly the problem with public financing as it is currently isn’t just raising enough money for campaigns to operate, its also a way of getting major corporations and questionable big dollar donors OUT of the system. Having a lot of money is great, but it doesn’t guarantee victory. And as passionate as some are about “clean” fundraising most people don’t care enough to make it a primary voting issue. In other words, I don’t want to get stuck with a uber corporate politician because the small dollar candidate lost. (this election and beyond) This is a historic opportunity to make a substantial progressive change to the campaign finance system and we’d be foolish if we blew it for one candidate.

Who Cares About Tax Returns?

Obama has just released his tax returns from 2000 -2006 and is calling on Clinton to do the same. Let me say, as a general rule I think its a good idea that candidates release their tax returns when they run for President. But the idea that releasing your tax returns is a major step in government transparency is embarrassingly laughable. Obama’s tax returns don’t feed me when I’m hungry or give me warmth when I am cold.

No one cares about Clinton’s tax returns besides people trying to score political points against Clinton. This is another case of “Obama says” but “he really means.” In this case, Obama say release your tax returns in order to promote transparency but in reality, Obama means “release your tax returns so my opposition research team can find dirt on you and use it against you.” For those of you following along these are the “cheap political points” that Obama is “opposed to”.

I’m all for government transparency and this is one area that Obama has actually done good work in (Google government) But if he really cared about making this a campaign issue and a major part of his platform then he’d be advocating a plans to make the government more transparent in the way it spends money and better yet, he’d propose ways to streamline the government. He has a couple of “eh” ideas on his website, something I bet most Obama supporters didn’t even know!, but there’s nothing indicating that he wants it to be a significant part of his platform if elected.

If Obama actual ran on substance I’d be much more inclined to vote for him in the primary. But up to this point he simply says he wants to institute a vague notion of change, but at then employs all of the “negative” tactics he allegedly is opposed to.