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Political News, Opinion and Commentary

What. WatchBlog is a multiple-editor weblog broken up into three major political affiliations, each with its own blog: the Democrats, the Republicans and the Third Party (covering everything outside the two major parties).
Why. Let's face it, politics is confusing. Sometimes it's difficult to know who to believe, who to listen to and who to support. We're here to help. Posting on a regular basis are editors representing each major party. Stay informed.

Thank you President Romney for 2014 being best year for job gains since 1999

Posted by Adam Ducker on December 16, 2014 at 7:48 AM

Wait, he didn't win? This job growth is still happening despite having a Democrat in the White House? Oh.

» Continue reading "Thank you President Romney for 2014 being best year for job gains since 1999"...

Pride in its Two Senses

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on December 11, 2014 at 12:37 PM

One of the most galling things about the lead-up to the Iraq war was being told that I didn't care enough about my country, even that I wanted to see harm come to it. I continued to see people insulting liberals about wanting to lose the Iraq war, and today, they claim we want to see ISIS behead people, and another attack on our soil. What a waste, to so discourage people, to make pride in our country once again the provinced of the gullible and the extreme.

» Continue reading "Pride in its Two Senses"...

Senate Releases Torture Report

Posted by Warren Porter on December 9, 2014 at 12:02 PM

The US Senate has recently released and declassified a report investigating the CIA's detention and interrogation programs. I have not had an opportunity to actually look at the report so I will not comment on its details.

» Continue reading "Senate Releases Torture Report"...

GOP vindicates administration on Benghazi allegations

Posted by Warren Porter on November 22, 2014 at 5:36 PM

A report has been released from the GOP-controlled House of Representatives regarding the events of 9/11/2012 in Benghazi, Libya. Every conservative conspiracy theory regarding the incident was thoroughly debunked:

» Continue reading "GOP vindicates administration on Benghazi allegations"...

Obama Strikes Back on Immigration

Posted by Warren Porter on November 20, 2014 at 8:00 PM

The Constitution assigns the executive branch of our government the task of enforcing the laws of our nation. The Constitution also assigns the President with the duty to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Taken together, these two obligations certainly empower a President to not enforce laws he believes may be unconstitutional. However, that does not seem to be the case with Obama's decision to change how his administration will enforce immigration law.

» Continue reading "Obama Strikes Back on Immigration"...

Obfuscation and the Stupidity of Americans

Posted by Warren Porter on November 15, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Jonathan Gruber recently got into a lot of trouble recently for a candid comment. Essentially, Gruber revealed an important aspect of American politics that we often like to sweep under the rug. However, nobody should be surprised here. The presentation of faux outrage by the Right is simple posturing.

» Continue reading "Obfuscation and the Stupidity of Americans"...

Narratives Succeed Easier Than Realities

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on November 6, 2014 at 12:07 PM

"In a world..." the guy who did those trailers often started, setting the scene for one movie or another. "One man will-" this, one man will that, that trailer tells us. Very often, the hero is trying to save the world, save society, save whatever. In reality, we're very often confronted with the challenge of keeping our world going, rather than saving it from some sort of catastrophe.

» Continue reading "Narratives Succeed Easier Than Realities"...

A Personal Pride in Citizenship

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on November 4, 2014 at 7:14 PM

I believe that however many polls somebody takes before an election, the poll that matters is the one we visit on election day. I believe that cynicism about the system, however justified, has failed to position voters better to exercise their power against the powers that be. You can talk about what you feel, you can complain about your choices, but if you make no choice, you can no more succeed in making the right choice than you can fail in making the wrong choice.

» Continue reading "A Personal Pride in Citizenship"...

The Raw Edge of The Break

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on October 17, 2014 at 5:55 PM

At this point, I think you just can't help yourself. You saw hope and change, and you said, oh, I want none of that. No return to a more new-deal, more Keynesian sort of system. No, let's go and prove that all those defeats came because we didn't push our views hard enough down people's throats. Let me be blunt here: people wanted change. Now they won't be satisfied with what might have left them feeling fulfilled earlier. And you set this in motion, just so you could disappoint people in one man. I'm sorry to tell you, or perhaps glad, that all he had to be was the guy smart enough to be in the drivers seat of the change, rather than under its tires.

» Continue reading "The Raw Edge of The Break"...

Indigenous People's Day or Columbus Day?

Posted by obamaluv on October 16, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Seattle, Washington is the latest in a group of cities to celebrate "Indigenous People's Day" as a counter-celebration of federal holiday, "Columbus Day," acknowledging Columbus's arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492. However, in protest of the genocide of Indians upon Columbus's arrival, some cities and states are taking it upon themselves to change the holiday.

» Continue reading "Indigenous People's Day or Columbus Day? "...

A Philosophy of Courage

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on October 3, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Some things you build, you put together and you fasten them with hammers and nails, screws and screwdrivers. Other things you grow, and to grow those things, you have to have the courage to let them have a life of their own. Courage I think too many people lack nowadays.

» Continue reading "A Philosophy of Courage"...

Obama's Semper Latte Salute

Posted by obamaluv on October 1, 2014 at 7:11 PM

The White House shared this video on Instagram, and backlash ensued. Obama never served in the military, and that shows here. However, if it's not necessary to salute since he's not a former or retire military member, he should've just skipped it. Oh my, this just does not look good. Regardless, he's the Commander in Chief of the United States and I expected better.

» Continue reading "Obama's Semper Latte Salute"...

Senator Pearce Leaves a Bad Taste in the Mouth

Posted by obamaluv on September 29, 2014 at 3:20 PM

He may have resigned, but that doesn't change the authenticity of his comments or the general beliefs of conservatives. Senator Russell Pearce, GOP of Arizona, resigned after making misogynistic remarks about women on Medicaid. The specific comments are "You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations...Then we'll test the recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job," Pearce said on his weekly radio program.

» Continue reading "Senator Pearce Leaves a Bad Taste in the Mouth"...

The Tabloid Age

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on September 13, 2014 at 1:50 PM

I have a certain respect for the power of storytelling. I've been working on a fairly big project for some time now, and as politics has recently ground down into a steady routine of some people spewing hatred about Obama, while other express disappointment that he doesn't magically redeem the country, I've taken to focusing on that, more than other things. Like politics. But as I look at things, I can't help but think we've lowered ourselves, and the only ones who are benefiting are the people racing to the bottom.

» Continue reading "The Tabloid Age"...

Michigan Governor's Race Proves Politics Is All About Perception

Posted by TreyL on September 10, 2014 at 1:49 AM

During Super Bowl XLVIII this past February, Governor Rick Snyder (R-MI) ran an ad proclaiming himself "Michigan's Comeback Kid," claiming Michigan's economy was prosperous and wonderful, and the ad even featured Snyder going scuba diving in his own swimming pool. The Republican Governors Association ran ads featuring Sleeping Bear Dunes at sunset (Quite a beautiful, Pure Michigan sight, I might add) and Mackinac Island claiming Michigan's economy was vibrant and while not saying directly that Snyder deserved a second term, proclaimed "The Schauer's Over," a swipe at Mr. Snyder's Democratic challenger, former Congressman Mark Schauer. However even with little name recognition, Mark Schauer's message was getting through to Michiganders, and the race has been close, tied, or even shown Schauer leading since they started polling the election back in December of 2012. Instantly, Snyder's campaign turned negative, abandoning all of Snyder's so-called "accomplishments," and started slinging mud at Schauer. It just goes to show you, all politics is perception.

» Continue reading "Michigan Governor's Race Proves Politics Is All About Perception"...

Good Reasons to Uphold the Cuban Embargo

Posted by AllardK on December 19, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Rather than reviewing Obama's attempt to normalize relations with Cuba in terms of the last 116 years of Cuban American history, those angered by the White House's unilateral announcement have framed the issue in terms of Obama's questionable ability as a negotiator. The comparisons with Jimmy Carter are inevitable, and for those who are waiting and watching for the final fall of the Cuban regime, weakened by a less-solvent Venezuela in the face of falling oil prices, this agreement is not just infuriating on a political and human rights basis, it's simply weak negotiating. So who's right? And not just Obama defiantly trying to burnish his legacy in his lame duck years. There are some, not many, like Juan Carlos Hidalgo at the Cato Institute, who state the last 50 plus years of embargo have been a failure.

» Continue reading "Good Reasons to Uphold the Cuban Embargo"...

I Have An Idea!

Posted by Weary_Willie on December 14, 2014 at 7:40 AM

Instead of building every electrical appliance with a cord, how about making a recip extention?

» Continue reading "I Have An Idea!"...

What Exactly Is a Minimum Wage Job?

Posted by AllardK on December 10, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Is a wage a contract or a social obligation? As the debate over raising the minimum wage continues, this fundamental question seems to underlie the differences between those who advocate a state-based mandated raise in the minimum wage and those who state that market forces need to play out, and that local state conditions should determine minimum wages, rather than a national standard. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has received tons of flack from liberal and hard-left organizations, some of whom say the minimum wage should be raised to over $20.00 an hour, a proposition that goes beyond most social democratic forms of socialism and borders on marxist labor theory. As these groups parade examples of adults who could barely meet living expenses, Walker's more nuanced response was lost in all the shouting.

» Continue reading "What Exactly Is a Minimum Wage Job?"...

It's Time Washington Got Serious About Driverless Cars

Posted by DFaris on December 2, 2014 at 9:57 AM

Like it or not, driverless vehicles are on their way. While it's easy to imagine what kind of implications they will have on our everyday lives - more time during your commute to read the morning paper or enjoy your coffee, for example - it's a little more difficult to imagine how they will affect the economy on both a national and global scale, not to mention our personal finances.

» Continue reading "It's Time Washington Got Serious About Driverless Cars"...

Wise Words from Mike Rowe

Posted by MichaelMears on November 28, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Mike Rowe encountered a liberal spamming his Facebook page, who repeatedly asked how ANY Christians could possible vote Republican. Rowe's response in brilliant.

» Continue reading "Wise Words from Mike Rowe"...

Teasing Out Obama's Foreign Policy

Posted by AllardK on November 26, 2014 at 1:32 AM

At the Belfer Center, in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, a recent guest speaker was Jake Sullivan, current senior advisor on the Iran Nuclear Negotiations. In case you thought Obama's foreign policy was rudderless, Jake Sullivan helped put it all in perspective for students and fellows. Obama's policy response has been to "rebuild, rebalance, and reshape." In other words, there are deep and encompassing objectives he has in mind when he stumbles from one crisis to another. You just might not be able to see them if you are not lucky enough to be a Harvard scholar or student. Let's see if it is possible to tease out their layers of meaning.

» Continue reading "Teasing Out Obama's Foreign Policy"...

Obama's speech on YouTube

Posted by Weary_Willie on November 20, 2014 at 11:49 PM

This is a link to Obama's immigration speech.

He begins speaking at the 58 minute mark.

» Continue reading "Obama's speech on YouTube"...

The GOP and College Tuition

Posted by AllardK on November 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM

The cost of higher education is a problem, and solutions seem to be diametrically opposed. But one thing both conservatives, no make that free-marketers instead, and interventionists - rather than liberals - agree on is that the supply of higher education is price-inelastic. That means that as federal loan programs and other subsidies increase, the result is sharply higher tuition costs, rather than more institutions, over the last couple of decades. One answer is not to accept Federal loans, as some US Colleges have done. Their tuition costs have tended to be about half of those of colleges who do accept Federal funding. Another uncomfortable issue underlying exploding tuition costs is that the demand for a college degree has soared because governments and employers have deemed a BA, or the equivalent, a necessary minimum for any graduate hoping to successfully enter the workforce. Unfortunately, a degree has lost some, if not a lot, of its value in terms of the workplace and there are those who say focused apprenticeship programs rather than a college degree would be more appropriate in a noticeable number of cases. That would mean spreading the demand for higher education around a number of areas rather than just standard bricks and mortar institutions.

» Continue reading "The GOP and College Tuition"...

All you have to do is wait...

Posted by Weary_Willie on November 11, 2014 at 2:15 PM

I've said it and now they've said it. It's obvious to people who aren't smitten by the Democratic party and it's politics.

» Continue reading "All you have to do is wait..."...

It's Election Day! Vote! Vote! Vote!

Posted by liz on November 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM

As we all know, just because it's not a presidential election, doesn't mean it's not important. We could see some changes today! Will the Senate gridlock go on? Can Republicans maintain House majority? Will they take control of the Senate? Most of all, who will have bragging rights leading up to the 2016 election? Tell all your family and friends. Today is the day to vote!
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More See The Money Influence As A Bad Deal

Posted by Roy Ellis on November 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM

A long opine in today's WaPo re 'subduing pessimism' alluding to the idea that 'Washington is broken' and how to regain partisanship in congress.

» Continue reading "More See The Money Influence As A Bad Deal"...

What Does Haloween And Elections Have In Common - Scary

Posted by Roy Ellis on October 31, 2014 at 9:33 PM

The silly season is upon us again.

» Continue reading "What Does Haloween And Elections Have In Common - Scary"...

Another GOOD Reason Why We Need A New 3rd Party

Posted by Roy Ellis on October 31, 2014 at 8:12 PM

We have a right to know the source and quality of the food we eat.

» Continue reading "Another GOOD Reason Why We Need A New 3rd Party"...

Will Non-Citizens Decide the Race in North Carolina?

Posted by AllardK on October 28, 2014 at 9:12 PM

All that money sloshing around and being poured into media campaigns to make sure the voting for crucial US Senate seats goes their way. Which way would that be? The Democrats way of course; they've been outspending Republicans by a considerable margin in key battleground states like North Carolina. Until recently that is. GOP spending has finally caught up with Democratic outlays and we now have a final week of almost even spending in 10 key states for a total of 30 million. North Carolina does indeed top the list where Sean Haugh's libertarian campaign may garner close to 7% of the vote and keeps things between Hagan and Tillis really interesting. As in less than a percentage point in the latest average of polling results by RealClearPolitics. Tillis seemed to be closing the gap in a hurry in the last few weeks, but that now remains to be seen. Whether the negative campaigns can get out the constituencies each party needs to win - older conservative males for the GOP and single women and African Americans for the Dems - is very much an open question in these last few days. Senator Rand Paul and Governor Christie have parachuted into town to support Tillis and the race really is wide open.

» Continue reading "Will Non-Citizens Decide the Race in North Carolina?"...

Swinging Hard in North Carolina

Posted by AllardK on October 24, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Kay Hagan, junior US senator for North Carolina came in to the Senate with President Obama in 2008, and is determined it seems not to leave the Senate until after Obama leaves the White House. Whether she has managed to distance herself enough from the president and his low approval ratings remains to be seen, but she is leading Republican Thom Tillis, Speaker of the State House, by a slim but consistent margin. Polling shows Hagan has a clear lead among women voters, a strong lead among young voters, and an overwhelming lead among African American voters. And both candidates have just about the same approval rating within their own party. RealClearPolitics, however, has a difference of about a percentage point between the two candidates in their average of several polls including the PPP poll that shows Hagan ahead by 3, with Tillis quickly closing what had been a 4 point gap, starting about a month ago. If North Carolina breaks late, as it seems to have a tradition of doing, then it may be an even closer race than many polls are showing and will mean a late night in November until the final result is known.

» Continue reading "Swinging Hard in North Carolina"...

Constitutional right to protest

Posted by Christine & John on December 18, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Americans have the Constitutional right to protest peacefully It is a right, but it is a neural one, i.e. not all protests are actually right or useful and some are bad. I support the rights of people to protest "police violence." I exercise my right to say that they are mostly wrong. I would do nothing to encourage them.

» Continue reading "Constitutional right to protest"...

Obama did good on Cuba

Posted by Christine & John on December 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Cuba is an economic basket-case run by decrepit old men, using a decrepit a old ideology. Back in the Kennedy Administration, before most people alive today were born, Cuba was a forward operating base for the Soviet Union. It was the tip of a Soviet spear and was dangerous for that reason. Cuba itself was no threat and when the Soviet empire collapsed so did most of the threat of Cuba. The bankrupt country and bankrupt ideology was kept on life support by Venezuelan oil. Today, Venezuela is also a basket-case and oil prices are dropping. Cuba has no place else to go. We should be magnanimous in victory.

» Continue reading "Obama did good on Cuba"...

Lighten up 2

Posted by Christine & John on December 16, 2014 at 7:20 AM

I wrote a similar post a few months ago, but I see this as a persistent problem that perhaps deserves regular consideration. Our Western Civilization is threatened less by the big but uncommon disasters than by daily little criticisms and second guessing, amplified by threats from the media, lawyers and even the authorities. Let me explain with a few examples

» Continue reading "Lighten up 2"...

To Drone or not to Drone

Posted by Keeley on December 15, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Is a model airplane an aircraft? The FAA is saying yes lately, appealing a ruling by a National Transportation Safety Board administrative law judge. The ruling in question dealt with the case of a man in Charlottesville, Va. who used a 56-inch wingspan radio controlled plane, in essence a drone, to film a commercial. He was charged with operating the aircraft too close to pedestrians. Ridiculous you say? Perhaps not, in view of the fact that there have been 25 near misses between drones and commercial planes, around airports in the U.S. since June 1st. Another near collision with an airliner recently occurred near London England. So the FAA is planning to put restrictions in place that will severely limit the operation of drones, essentially cutting off any opportunities for their commercial use. Restricting them to less than 400 feet of altitude and perhaps requiring visual contact between the drone and the operator would make it impossible to use them for any other than, well, model-aircraft style outings at your local private airport, or go-cart track, on a Saturday morning.

» Continue reading "To Drone or not to Drone"...

Different Democrats

Posted by Christine & John on December 9, 2014 at 10:37 PM

An interesting article about how the Democrats have changed since the New Deal. It makes a lot of sense. I grew up in a Democratic family, in a Democratic city with Democratic traditions. We revered the memory of FDR. The Kennedys were like gods. We didn't know any Republicans, although we suspected my father's boss was one. Most of my relatives in this generation are Republicans. What happened?

» Continue reading "Different Democrats"...

Economy is finally getting back where it belongs

Posted by Christine & John on December 8, 2014 at 2:48 AM

We had some unambiguously good economic news last week. It took longer than most experts predicted. Many thought that the summer of recover would be 2010. Even the more pessimistic thought we would have been in robust recovery by 2012. Republicans blamed Obama for wasting too much on the stimulus. Democrats blamed Republicans for not allowing even more spending. Since we still have President Obama and the stimulus ran out, both were wrong. What happened?

» Continue reading "Economy is finally getting back where it belongs"...

The reason we need rule of law, not mob hysteria

Posted by Christine & John on December 5, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Rolling Stone magazine is backing away from its story of a gang rape at a UVA fraternity. The truth may be coming out. But what a mob-rule. UVA suspended all fraternities. The fraternities were vandalized. Innocent men were stigmatized. That is why we need rule of law, not rule of accusation, innuendo and Internet. This looks like it is similar to the Duke lacrosse case, where a crazy woman accused athletes of rape and cost lots of people trouble. In both cases the PC universities reacted inappropriately.

» Continue reading "The reason we need rule of law, not mob hysteria"...

Hands up, don't shoot

Posted by Christine & John on December 4, 2014 at 4:14 PM

This has become a sign of protest. Let's hope it catches on. If Michael Brown had put his hands up and said don't shoot, he would be alive today and nobody outside Missouri would ever have heard of Ferguson.

The Departure of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

Posted by SPBrooker on December 3, 2014 at 10:23 PM

On Monday 25 November, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced he will be stepping down from his post. There were those who believed Hagel might resign at some point over the course of the remainder of Obama's term but for the most part the suddenness of the announcement was a shock. Immediately there was speculation over why; was this Hagel's choice or was he forced out. The Obama administration has been under intense criticism for its handling of foreign policy and so the White House may have seen the need for a new defense secretary. On the other hand, it is reported that Hagel was increasingly at odds with Obama and his closest advisers. Whatever the case, I fear the next secretary will be even less independent of the White House.

» Continue reading "The Departure of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel"...

Causes of black poverty and inequality

Posted by Christine & John on December 1, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Kevin L linked to an interesting article about problems in the black community. I have written about inequality more generally being the result more of habits and behaviors than larger factors. An interesting part of Kevin's article is "The Census Bureau pegs the poverty rate among blacks at 28.1 percent. A statistic that one never hears about is that the poverty rate among intact married black families has been in the single digits for more than two decades, currently at 8.4 percent. Weak family structures not only spell poverty and dependency but also contribute to the social pathology seen in many black communities -- for example, violence and predatory sex."

» Continue reading "Causes of black poverty and inequality"...

What would Martin Luther King say about Furguson?

Posted by Christine & John on November 27, 2014 at 11:25 AM

MLK would have deplored the violence and he would have deplored the killing of a young black man. But we have something even more precise. MLK spoke in 1961 in St Louis, only a short distance from Ferguson. He said, "Do you know that Negroes are 10 percent of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58 percent of its crimes? We've got to face that. And we've got to do something about our moral standards. We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too. We can't keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves."

» Continue reading "What would Martin Luther King say about Furguson?"...

Profile in courage - justice done in Ferguson

Posted by Christine & John on November 25, 2014 at 9:21 AM

It takes courage to stand up against the mob. Members of the Grand Jury must have known that their decision would be greeted with outrage, real and feigned, and that violence would result in their home town. Yet they made the choice based on the evidence. We congratulate them on ensuring justice was done.

» Continue reading "Profile in courage - justice done in Ferguson"...

Saving and risking black lives

Posted by Christine & John on November 24, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Rudy Giuliani provoked the wrath of the grievance industry by pointing out some facts. One is that the number of innocent young blacks killed by white police officers is vanishingly small compared to number of young blacks killed by young blacks. He also pointed out that police have challenges in inner cities communities because of the violence and then made the point that enrages the pinheads. He says that his policies saved lots of black lives. He is right, however, so the response is not to argue but rather to rage against him.

» Continue reading "Saving and risking black lives"...

Old accusations: Jackson, Cosby et al

Posted by Christine & John on November 24, 2014 at 6:09 AM

I surprised Chrissy once with my vigorous defense of Micheal Jackson. She thought he was a homosexual perv because of accusations made by boys, or more correctly by their parents. I thought he was sure enough weird, but maybe not a perv. Now we get accusations against Bill Cosby. Everybody jumps on the bandwagon when a famous guy is accused. We should be careful.

» Continue reading "Old accusations: Jackson, Cosby et al"...

Obama out to destroy America?

Posted by Christine & John on November 21, 2014 at 11:17 PM

President Obama was reelected in 2012 by about the same plurality than Bush won in 2004. He lost support from 2008, i.e. when people got to know him. In the midterm elections he said, "make no mistake. My policies are on the ballot." That election resulted in the biggest whuppin/thumpin/shellackin in a generation. Yet Obama thinks he somehow won and has a mandate to change America. He is now exceeding his authority, according to his own earlier - and often repeated - statements. So what is up with this guy?

» Continue reading "Obama out to destroy America?"...