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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.

Final Deal with Iran Announced

Posted by Warren Porter on July 14, 2015 at 9:30 AM

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released the full text of the final agreement reached by the 6 negotiation partners with Iran. I have not had time to look at the agreement itself nor have I read much commentary regarding its details, so I am withholding judgement for now.

» Continue reading "Final Deal with Iran Announced"...

A Vote For Bernie Sanders Is A Vote For the GOP Nominee

Posted by TreyL on July 7, 2015 at 3:36 PM

Any armchair political observer can tell you that a long, drawn-out primary challenge only hurts the eventual nominee's chances in the general election. Even though a primary challenge has doomed many, many candidates in the past, Bernie Sanders supporters never got the message.

» Continue reading "A Vote For Bernie Sanders Is A Vote For the GOP Nominee"...

Two Big Decisions from the Supreme Court

Posted by Warren Porter on June 26, 2015 at 12:21 PM

The last legal challenge to the PPACA has been cleared. People will receive subsidies regardless of whether their exchange was established by the Federal Government or by a State.

Secondly, people will no longer be discriminated according to their gender when applying for a civil marriage.

» Continue reading "Two Big Decisions from the Supreme Court"...

No "Off with her head" for the Queen of Nuts

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on June 3, 2015 at 9:36 PM

Honestly, I can't say I have much love for Pam Geller. In fact, when I heard this news... to be honest with you, I laughed at the thought of it! The poetic justice of a provocateur getting much more than they bargained for struck me as funny. But would I want it to actually happen? Not for a second.

» Continue reading "No "Off with her head" for the Queen of Nuts"...

Paranoia Bites The Hand that Feeds It

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on May 9, 2015 at 11:23 AM

When I see things like these conspiracy theories get taken seriously, I worry for this country. The Framers founded the Republic on the notion that people could rationally manage their own affairs, that we wouldn't need "gently" born aristocrats to manage the great unwashed masses. We've come along way, but there's always going to be somebody who wants to mess things up.

» Continue reading "Paranoia Bites The Hand that Feeds It"...

A Problem of Identification

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on May 4, 2015 at 2:12 PM

At a recent Staff Development event, we had a speaker from the Federal Reserve over to talk about the Demographics of the city we serve. What he had to say was pretty astounding, even to someone like me. This report contains much of the surprising information about Houston and it's Metropolitan area, and it should suprise you, too.

» Continue reading "A Problem of Identification"...

Iran Deal Parameters Reached

Posted by Warren Porter on April 5, 2015 at 2:28 PM

Last Thursday, the US State Department released a set of parameters that will define the upcoming deal with Iran that will be finalized at the end of June.

» Continue reading "Iran Deal Parameters Reached"...

"Corruption of Blood," and other Constitutional Sins

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on March 11, 2015 at 11:38 AM

I get lectured by conservative commenters all the time about how little regard I have for the Constitution. They assume that they love it more than I do, more than other Democrats, Liberals, and Progressives do. But beneath all that boasting, I've found they have a tendency to disregard the Constitution entirely when it suits them. We can start this discussion with this week's rather poor bit of conservative judgment, the open letter from the 47 Senate Republicans to Iran.

» Continue reading ""Corruption of Blood," and other Constitutional Sins"...

Selma: 50 Years Later

Posted by Warren Porter on March 9, 2015 at 9:32 PM

It's been a while since I was genuinely impressed by a politician's speech. President Obama's speech in Selma, Alabama is the most steadfast defense of American Exceptionalism that I have ever heard. I think it even surpasses Ronald Reagan's Farewell address, which has been a longtime favorite of mine. Clearly, it is intended was direct response to Mayor Rudy Giuliani's accusation that Obama does not love this great country.

» Continue reading "Selma: 50 Years Later"...

Pick Your Words And Pick Your Battles

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on February 17, 2015 at 11:52 AM

Why not call it Islamic Extremism, or talk about Radical Islam? Why does Obama choose his words so carefully on it? Republicans and Conservatives complain about it, thinking he's not confronting these people with robust enough terms. Yes, like they'll run scared if we use the right jargon. No, it's not about them. It's about the tens of millions of Muslims in the region.

» Continue reading "Pick Your Words And Pick Your Battles"...

Starting From A Foundation

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on February 5, 2015 at 3:29 PM

You don't have to know a lot to live in a world like ours. You just have to know a lot to build one like it. That is the paradox that lies at the center of our dilemma as an advanced civilization. There's so much knowledge, so much training needed to grasp it that it's beyond the ability of any one person to take it all in. Unfortunately, some are still trying to live as one could do that, as if we can just wing it in our world, and only work from our own personal experiences and beliefs.

» Continue reading "Starting From A Foundation"...

Hate, Fear, and Racism in American Politics

Posted by TreyL on January 11, 2015 at 7:38 PM

As I sat on the Amtrak train yesterday morning, I headed to the website of the local newspaper in the area I grew up in, and clicked on the "Opinion" page. One of the first comments was one that has been repeated numerous times during the six-year and counting right-wing temper tantrum that's been going on since Barack Obama assumed the Presidency.

Liberals say that we should respect the President. Why would I have any respect for the non-military foreigner who stole two elections?

The 2014 election proved one thing, and one thing only. Republicans can only run on three things: hate, fear, and racism.

» Continue reading "Hate, Fear, and Racism in American Politics"...

Mitt Romney 3.0?

Posted by Adam Ducker on January 10, 2015 at 7:08 PM

When I saw Romney was considering a run again I decided it was time to watch the Mitt documentary just because. I can definitely see why the man might run again.

» Continue reading "Mitt Romney 3.0?"...

Charlie Habdo, The Interview, and The Courage of our Convictions

Posted by Stephen Daugherty on January 8, 2015 at 10:51 AM

Freedom isn't simply tiptoing through the tulips, not a care in the world, bursting into intermittent bouts of Peter Pan Flight. It's for tough people, for courageous people, for people who have faith. Too many folks confront the world with an excess of fear, and fear turns us to the darker side of our humanity.

» Continue reading "Charlie Habdo, The Interview, and The Courage of our Convictions"...

That's Real Cute, Governor Otter

Posted by obamaluv on January 7, 2015 at 9:40 PM

One step forward and 5 steps back. While some argue that our country is just becoming "desensitized" or just "tolerating" same-sex marriage, Idaho's Governor Butch Otter is trying to turn back time and reverse the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage just four months ago.

» Continue reading "That's Real Cute, Governor Otter"...

The Spotlight Is on Majority Leader McConnell

Posted by AllardK on July 28, 2015 at 8:23 PM

Since Harry Reid began filling up the amendment tree on a regular basis - a procedural tactic that converts the Senate Majority leader into the near-absolute gate keeper of amendments and thus debate in the upper chamber - the Senate has been transformed from a forum for open debate to a less democratic institution with emphasis on party discipline. The Senators' two traditional freedoms: unlimited debate, and unlimited opportunity to offer amendments, are now carefully controlled by the majority leader. Now, because current majority leader McConnell has recently engaged in similar tactics, until he opened up the process this past weekend. A promise to open up the Senate again and return it to its traditional constitutional role has not been fulfilled as much as hoped for. Will that now change for the better?

» Continue reading "The Spotlight Is on Majority Leader McConnell"...

Bring Back Kasich's Root-Canal Fiscal Policy

Posted by AllardK on July 23, 2015 at 12:29 PM

Does anyone remember when Kasich - House Budget Committee Chairman at that time - threatened to eliminate the Commerce Department back in the 90's? Live on TV? In the heat of the budget battles that the new crop of GOP House members had with Clinton's White House, Kasich suggested the nation could get by fine without the services of the Commerce Department. Right next to him was Pete Domenici, at that point already one of the longest serving senators from New Mexico. And Domenici tried to rein in the - then - feisty young fellow Republican before some serious budget cuts actually did away with a stalwart of beltway bureaucracy.

» Continue reading "Bring Back Kasich's Root-Canal Fiscal Policy"...

You want to ban this flag?

Posted by Weary_Willie on July 21, 2015 at 11:41 PM

They lost, sure, ban it.

Then you must accept the consequences.

» Continue reading "You want to ban this flag? "...

Thanks to the Iran Deal, the Middle East Is Now M.a.D.

Posted by AllardK on July 15, 2015 at 7:22 PM

Israel's nuclear ambiguity is no longer a sustainable policy, thanks to the Iran deal. The so-called "bomb in the basement" needs to be brought above ground, both metaphorically and literally, and Iran has to know the consequences of any action it may take at some point in the future against the state of Israel. That's where Israel, it's leaders, and it's people now find themselves thanks to the Obama administration and it's partners in the recently announced deal to ease sanctions and provide some sort of control over Iran's nuclear program. The Middle East is now entering a period of Mutually Assured Destruction, and the cold-war nuclear strategists can dust off their resumes and text books and find a whole new career advising Israel how to ensure it's presumably newly visible nuclear arsenal will provide ex-ante rather than ex-post deterrence. As, for example, Professor Beres and Admiral Edney (both retired) have done in an article in US News.

» Continue reading "Thanks to the Iran Deal, the Middle East Is Now M.a.D."...

We the Sheeple of the U.S. of A.

Posted by MichaelMears on July 10, 2015 at 9:59 PM

... need to start forming our own opinions and making decisions based on our own beliefs and values. This Donald Trump nonsense has gone way too far and a majority of people don't have a clue how it started. To be totally honest, I read what he said shortly after it happened and I kind of laughed to myself because I understood the point he was making and the cause, but was it politically incorrect? Yes.

» Continue reading "We the Sheeple of the U.S. of A."...

Justice Thomas and His Dissent

Posted by AllardK on July 8, 2015 at 9:24 PM

Justice Thomas' dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges has drawn a storm of criticism from predictable quarters and a few admiring opinions as well. His was the only dissent to deal with inter-racial marriage citing Loving v. Virginia from 1967. The key question for Justice Thomas revolves around the founding fathers' conception of liberty as well as Thomas' own strong views on dignity. For him, the right to due process involves an infringement of liberty as meant in the Declaration of Independence and it's famous words, not the right to government benefits. In his words,

» Continue reading "Justice Thomas and His Dissent"...

EC 101

Posted by Roy Ellis on July 1, 2015 at 8:33 PM

Cuba and US back to biz as usual. Stand by for a new influx of 'huddling masses' needing a job. Puerto Rico on it's back so we should expect more huddling masses from there, and so on - - -

» Continue reading "EC 101"...

Judge Presnell and Marcus Dwayne Robertson

Posted by AllardK on June 30, 2015 at 9:33 PM

How high a bar does prosecutorial evidence have to clear in order for someone like Marcus Dwayne Robertson to be convicted? It's a reasonable question to ask, seeing that U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell has thrown out the case against Robertson, who is accused of aiding and training or inspiring potential American jihadists to emigrate to training camps abroad. Robertson was the leader of crazed muslim bank-robbing gang Ali-Baba and the Forty Thieves that robbed and killed in New York in the early 90's. At the time he was also close to Omar Rahman, the "Blind Shiek" responsible for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. As in he was the shiek's bodyguard. And it gets worse. Robertson is an ex-marine trained in:

» Continue reading "Judge Presnell and Marcus Dwayne Robertson"...

Therian Wimbush's Excessive Litigation

Posted by AllardK on June 25, 2015 at 7:18 PM

A few years ago, the House Judiciary Committee, investigating the effect of excessive litigation on the United States' global competitiveness, was told of five types of litigation abuse by plaintiffs counsel: improperly recruiting plaintiffs, importing foreign claims, piggybacking off government investigations, pursuing aggregate litigation, and seeking third party litigation financing. They forgot to add a sixth: plain old crazy litigation by self-represented plaintiffs. In Georgia, the bizarre case of Recardo and Therian Wimbush, and their nine children - one of whom they essentially locked up for months in a sealed room with a bucket for toilet - has added a new chapter. Therian Wimbush is suing all the principal actors in the case against her and her husband for false and malicious defamation. And the amount? Why for $500 million. US dollars to be precise. Although in almost any currency, save Zimbabwean dollars, that's a lot of money. In fact, at current rates, that's 1.38 million US dollars, if 500 million is measured in Zimbabwean dollars.

» Continue reading "Therian Wimbush's Excessive Litigation"...

Bureaucrats and the Pursuit of Your Happiness

Posted by AllardK on June 22, 2015 at 7:32 PM

Existing Home sales are up nicely and new home sales are expected to follow and prices are firming as well in the face of limited inventory growth. 30 year mortgage rates are around 4% and will rise slightly at some point in the future as the Fed finally begins to lightly tap on the gas pedal. All we need is Ike in the White House right? Wrong. As the economy slowly builds a stable base and things improve, the mood in America is far from sunny. As conservatives debate the flag flying in South Carolina with many saying it's time to take it down, and while liberals and other progressives rage at it's presence; as incomes stay low to stagnant for the majority of workers; as the Middle East slides into a medieval cauldron of terror and violence; as gender continues to be a reason for conflict and show trials on college campuses and as we all worry about how education - especially public education - can keep up with a tech world that innovates and destroys and innovates again faster than the blink of an eye; after all that who can afford to be happy? And health issues like Obamacare? Better to stop right now.

» Continue reading "Bureaucrats and the Pursuit of Your Happiness"...

Jeb Bush and the Democratic Establishment

Posted by AllardK on June 17, 2015 at 7:09 PM

Some people are still arguing about the 92 election and Ross Perot's supposed role as a spoiler. If you believe the spoiler crowd, the diminutive Texan cost Jeb Bush's father the election. Others insist that given the economy and the tailing off of the Iraq War boost, as well as 12 years of GOP administrations, Clinton had a low hurdle to climb over and would have won with or without Perot in the election. Does Jeb Bush feel that he now has to compete with a whole host of Ross Perots? If only all those pesky GOP rivals would drop out, or at least most of them, we could have a serious GOP nomination process. The kind that rewards the establishment candidate with his - or theoretically her - turn at the White House.

» Continue reading "Jeb Bush and the Democratic Establishment"...

Mrs. Undecided's Followers

Posted by AllardK on June 15, 2015 at 6:36 PM

The leader in the GOP race according to a recent national poll by Monmouth University is a candidate named Mrs. Undecided. With almost double the numbers at 20 points of second place Ben Carson who has 11, Mrs. Undecided is the clear leader at this point in the GOP race, having surged over 6 points in 2 months. With a wide field of candidates, it's not surprising that undecideds - as the followers of Mrs. Undecided are called - are high. Looking at the top issues of concern to GOP voters:

» Continue reading "Mrs. Undecided's Followers"...

Elvis, Ike and Toll Booths

Posted by AllardK on June 11, 2015 at 5:27 PM

In 1956, Elvis had his 1954 pink-and-white Cadillac and Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 into law in late June. Like Elvis, the Highway Act and it's needy twin, The Highway Trust Fund, grew and grew and grew. The one in popularity and sales and concerts and films and fame, the other in terms of the tax bite it took from drivers. And nearly 60 years later, the Highway Trust Fund once again needs to cover shortfalls. But both Congress and the general public - which means drivers really - have had enough. And that has GOP legislators, along with Democrats in Congress, casting far and wide to fill the funding gap while letting drivers fill their tanks without any further increases in fuel-related excise taxes. And that means earnings held overseas by U.S. corporations hoping for a reduction in what is a historically and internationally high corporate tax rate are in the sights of Congress. They hope to force repatriation of those earnings and use the collected taxes to top off the Highway Trust Fund and cover shortfalls.

» Continue reading "Elvis, Ike and Toll Booths"...

Ralph Thinks Hillary Is a Hawk?

Posted by AllardK on June 8, 2015 at 7:49 PM

Elizabeth Warren is not running for president. She meant what she said, apparently. So her supporters might back Vermont independent Sanders, because they really have nowhere else to go. And Sanders is - realistically speaking - an amusing distraction from the central dynamics of the campaign: a diverse field of GOP contenders against warhorse Hillary Clinton. The descriptive term seems apt given Ralph Nader's opinion that Hillary would be as tough as Lindsey Graham on defense issues if only gender politics wouldn't keep getting in the way.

» Continue reading "Ralph Thinks Hillary Is a Hawk?"...

Why Is This A Controversy?

Posted by Weary_Willie on June 4, 2015 at 9:18 PM

Trade in Services Agreement


It's not an abdication of power when you consider the 3 types of trade agreements (treaties) the president can negotiate.


» Continue reading "Why Is This A Controversy?"...

Trump Forces GOP to Decide What Kind of Party to Be

Posted by Keeley on July 29, 2015 at 9:26 PM

The crowded GOP field is like the Tour de France peloton, with the candidates pumping promises and throwing surprise attacks on each other as they pedal furiously down the campaign trail. And now that clown from Manhattan - if you believe the GOP establishment - has the nerve to wear the yellow jersey. Donald Trump is out in front in the latest poll, by CNN and ORC with 18% support, even among GOP voters. While Donald on steroids is unsettling to say the least, it's more likely that his cheating centers on his hair color, if we need to accuse him of something. And the GOP establishment is frantic over Donald and do indeed accuse him. Not to say Trump does not say outrageous things. But his support is growing and he really is an indication of a groundswell of anger among Republican voters.

» Continue reading "Trump Forces GOP to Decide What Kind of Party to Be"...

Planned Parenthood, Genetics, and Organ-Trading

Posted by Keeley on July 27, 2015 at 8:04 PM

From sexual slavery in first world countries where women from abroad are brought in to be exotic dancers and prostitutes in a dangerous underworld of sex, drugs, and money; to the trading of organs stripped from the fetus - unborn child would be a better description but let's stick to medical terminology - a woman and her child are commodities with precious little rights. While Planned Parenthood would seem a long way from a strip club that beats and imprison's it's female slave labor, they share a contempt for human dignity, all the while, in Planned Parenthood's case, professing to edify and uphold human rights. And they share a common source - broadly speaking - our liberation from repressive sexual mores. So, in today's long-liberated world pornography abounds, protected by a perversion - in every sense of the word - of freedom of expression. And the sex industry is global and omnivorous. And pregnancy and birth and life, are shaded meanings where us men are told to wait uncomfortably at the margins while women debate over their bodies and lives.

» Continue reading "Planned Parenthood, Genetics, and Organ-Trading"...

Scott Walker and National Security

Posted by Keeley on July 22, 2015 at 7:53 PM

Scott Walker is not into Nation-Building with capital letters, but he is into protecting America's National Security Interests. And that will be limited to "areas where Americans trade or travel." Ok ... so that would be just about every corner of the planet? In other words, defending national security interests can logically lead you into just about every conflict anywhere. And when oil is involved - given that America still needs oil imports despite shale drilling - there is an economic component that is hard to ignore.

» Continue reading "Scott Walker and National Security"...

Special Agent Reinhold Needs to Call It Terrorism

Posted by Keeley on July 17, 2015 at 7:07 PM

Soft-spoken with a sense of humor and if not quite local, he did go to high school in the Chattanooga area. He's 24 and owns his own house, valued at $206,000 which is not bad for a young adult just two years out of UTC with a degree in engineering. And he's almost certainly now an IS-inspired killer, with 4 Marines dead at a Navy recruiting center as a result of his hate-filled shooing spree. Bill Killian, the Eastern Tennessee DA stated clearly "We are treating this as an act of domestic terrorism." The facts line up squarely behind the DA's position with recent IS calls through social media asking for lone crazies to attack military facilities in America and elsewhere to coincide with Ramadam.

» Continue reading "Special Agent Reinhold Needs to Call It Terrorism"...

Hillary and the New Gilded Age

Posted by Keeley on July 13, 2015 at 8:15 PM

A slow growth U.S. economy is the bane of the middle class. Or is it the bane of the wealthy as well? While consumer demand is repeatedly signaled out as the engine of American economic growth, containing costs in a globalized economy with China's underpaid work force producing low-cost goods has meant stagnant nominal wages and falling real wages. Falling to such an extent that some studies show that for those not in the top 10% of income earners, wages are where they were in 1987. And for those not in the top 1%, wages are stuck at 1998 levels. As well, wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of the top 1%, or even the top 0.1%. Thanks in part to the collapse of housing which has not rebounded the way stocks have. We are, it seems, in a new Gilded Age.

» Continue reading "Hillary and the New Gilded Age"...

Donald Promises a Wall and the Latino Vote

Posted by Keeley on July 9, 2015 at 7:27 PM

Byron York in an interview with Donald Trump kept pressing him on the possibility of him running as an independent. Trump resisted York's seductive advances until finally yielding near the end of the interview. He admitted that he has often been asked the question, but reaffirmed the view that a third party candidate would only ensure 4 years of another Clinton in the White House. And while some analysts insist that the conventional wisdom over the 92 election is wrong, Trump is probably right on this. So how long will the self-described conservative Republican remain battling it out with the rest of the GOP field?

» Continue reading "Donald Promises a Wall and the Latino Vote"...

Trump Goes Too Far but Should Take a Bow

Posted by Keeley on July 6, 2015 at 8:18 PM

The Trump bomb on illegal immigration could also be characterized, unfortunately, as a flare: illuminating voter anger over the border and over what GOP voters perceive as a lack of law enforcement. On the border and inside the borders in terms of the deportation/amnesty divide. Trump's comments were blunt and even racist, but they can also be seen as a far more direct statement of what many GOP candidates have already proclaimed: the border must be enforced and the lack of enforcement has consequences within America. Ted Cruz did not denounce Trump, unlike many other GOP candidates like Bush and Rubio. And as well, what is essentially a problem between Mexico and the USA becomes a pan-Hispanic issue with all Latinos rallying to denounce the Trump and his bombast.

» Continue reading "Trump Goes Too Far but Should Take a Bow"...

Marriage Should Mean One Plus One and No One Else

Posted by Keeley on June 29, 2015 at 6:02 PM

If you believe Trevor Burrus of the Cato Institute, then heterosexual marriage has been an artificial construction imposed by Christianity. The then recently-converted Constantine unleashed the apparatus of his decaying empire - reborn under Christ - to persecute what had been a natural part of human society. And in his April article at Cato's site, he also gave a passing nod to drug prohibition, which will surely fall in the glorious march of Libertarianism, the kind that is taking natural liberty to it's "logical extreme" through a process that is "wonderfully radical." So if your child's kindergarten teacher in a few years, if not right now, has to take time off from caring from your offspring to enter rehab, that is also part of this march towards true liberty.

» Continue reading "Marriage Should Mean One Plus One and No One Else"...

Comfortable With a Flag

Posted by Keeley on June 19, 2015 at 2:25 PM

Liberal means something very different in Europe and South America, for example, than it does in the US. Abroad, it follows more closely along the classic 18th century lines of individual liberty and is more like libertarianism - to an extent - than in America. One can argue that the evolution of liberalism in North America as an interventionist, statist, and progressive ideology or perspective has to do with conservatism in America in past ages. And that brings one to the institution of slavery and the shootings in Charleston and even the reasons that Dylann Roof apparently gave for the killings before he opened fire.

» Continue reading "Comfortable With a Flag"...

As You Get to Know Rand Paul, Will You Like Him?

Posted by Keeley on June 16, 2015 at 9:06 PM

Rand Paul's stance on immigration seems to be to:
1. Secure the Border first
2. Then, provide some sort of amnesty to the 11 + million illegals in America

While there is as much anger at government as there ever has been in the country, does that make an angry voter libertarian? If, as a GOP voter, one professes mistrust and hostility towards so-called RINO's, do you believe in true Libertarianism? Immigration, and specifically amnesty or immigration reform of one kind or another, is a flashpoint. It will help answer the question of who is actually a libertarian espousing maximum freedom and limited government, and who is a very frustrated conservative who feels that amnesty undercuts the rule and law and even the constitution itself.

» Continue reading "As You Get to Know Rand Paul, Will You Like Him?"...

Who Does Ben Carson Have to Impress?

Posted by Keeley on June 12, 2015 at 6:27 PM

Since Daniel Allott's hit piece on Ben Carson back in May, the debate has been not over what Dr. Carson is capable of - most things he sets his mind and soul on might be overstating it, but not by much - but rather over what Dr. Carson should study up on and how long it will take him. According to Allott he needs to spend time working his way up through the Washington establishment and learn how to "build consensus" which smells like knowing who is located where on K street. The "humility" he deems lacking in Carson means Ben needs to bone up on his hypocrisy a little. And his need to learn to "read the political landscape" means he should submit to the views of wonks - like Allott - and their reading of the pollster's tea leaves. Finally, it seems Ben needs to be a little more careful about his faith, and not actually defend his beliefs in an absolute manner, but rather with a little deft relativism.

» Continue reading "Who Does Ben Carson Have to Impress?"...

When to Worry About Hillary

Posted by Keeley on June 9, 2015 at 6:42 PM

Would you give up a Senate seat to become Vice President? Not if you're Rand Paul. At least not at this stage of the GOP race. In fact, according to the recent CNN/ORC poll, Rand is the best positioned Republican against Hillary Clinton. Why should he consider supporting someone else and vacate his senate seat to do so? Voters are almost dead even between the two with Hillary leading Paul by a point. At least those who bothered to answer the CNN/ORC poll, and at least in late May of 2015. And Marco Rubio is next, trailing Hillary by 3%. Jeb Bush's 8 point gap in this particular poll is being noticed by many naturally. But Senator Ted Cruz does poorly as well. He comes in 9 points behind Hillary while Scott Walker does as well as Rubio, with just a 3 point difference.

» Continue reading "When to Worry About Hillary"...

Legislate Pillow Talk Now!

Posted by Keeley on June 5, 2015 at 8:20 PM

Well before she was George Will's wife, Mari Will, or Mari Maseng back then, worked in politics as communications director or deputy or assistant to GOP politicians: Bob Dole and President Reagan primarily. As well as a handful of presidential candidates in later years like Perry and Bachman, and she has offered her services to Romney. It's what she did and what she does. So does the fact that she is the wife of a columnist as influential (perhaps a little less so lately) as George Will mean that he can't write about a candidate she's working for? Like Scott Walker, her current employer? Or is George Will's recent mention of the fact his wife works for Walker enough?

» Continue reading "Legislate Pillow Talk Now!"...

Can a Hawk Be a Moderate?

Posted by Keeley on June 2, 2015 at 7:27 PM

Will Lindsey Graham spoil South Carolina for Jeb Bush? One of the consequences of having such a large field of GOP contenders, is that spoilers become commonplace. And it also means that unexpected changes in the race are a given. What exactly those changes will turn out to be is hard to tell. We can almost certainly say that Rand Paul will have to do a good job of defending his foreign policy positions against hawks like Graham. And it is just as likely that Rand Paul will end the campaign - whenever his campaign does in fact end - being far more hawkish than he has been on the Senate floor. But will Graham's record of military service and his debating skills be enough to propel him significantly higher in the polls? Will it need a catalyst - some tragic foreign policy disaster like IS taking control of Iraq - to produce such a shift in the polls?

» Continue reading "Can a Hawk Be a Moderate?"...

Economic Populism and the GOP

Posted by Keeley on May 28, 2015 at 8:39 PM

Populism is popular in the GOP nowadays it seems. Or at least, some of the candidates like Huckabee and Santorum are showing support for economic populism in areas like trade and in attacks on corporate welfare, while holding to their social conservatism. And social conservatism is apparently slipping more than a little in the polls, so it seems the emphasis on economic populism of one form or another will now step forward towards center stage. And social conservatism may be signaled from a more oblique position: gay marriage as a state issue and therefore as a constitutional issue rather than a moral one, for example.

» Continue reading "Economic Populism and the GOP"...