Politics

Jonathan Gruber is Going to Need a Job Pretty Soon

By on 11.24.14 | 3:37PM

The Gruber tapes, which detailed chief healthcare law adviser Jonathan Gruber's intimate thoughts and feelings on the intellectual inferiority of the American public, may not have had the rousing media impact that they should have had, but they are impacting something: Jonathan Gruber's employment status.

Apparently, after the White House and Congress were done with him, Gruber was hired on in a few states to help them organize individual healthcare platforms. Last week, Vermont, which had hired Gruber at his going rate of $400K, let him go after only paying him $160K. The Democrat governor there insisted that his comments were unacceptable, and that they did not reflect how Vermont's government did things, even if the Federal government was happy to embrace Gruber's unique marketing strategies. Yesterday, Gruber found himself out another gig in North Carolina.

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Barack Obama: A GOP President Had Better Not Follow My Lead

By on 11.24.14 | 12:28PM

One of the dangers of using the Executive Action to accomplish your campaign goals six years after the fact and despite having an agreeable Congress right about the time you could have fulfilled your campaign promises, is that, if the EA survives the endless litigation and bellyaching it's headed for, future Presidents who don't share your inclusive attitude on undocumented workers, and for that matter, on basically anything else, may also use the EA to accomplish their goals.

Fortunately, President Obama has considered that eventuality and has issued an expert opinion on the subject. No, President Rick Santorum will not be allowed to use Executive Action to enact his agenda when Congress fails to heed his advice about scantily-clad ladies of the Internet and the overwhelming corporate tax burden. Why? Because Barack Obama says so.

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Chuck Hagel Out as SecDef

By on 11.24.14 | 11:03AM

President Obama today again followed in the footsteps of President Bush and forced his Secretary of Defense to resign in the wake of a devastating mid-term election. Chuck Hagel, who was brought in to be a "tougher", more "authoritarian" hand (thanks John McCain!) for the administration as it attempted to negotiate peace in the Middle East, will end his tenure shortly.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down amid criticism of the president’s national security team on a series of global issues, including the threat posed by the militant group known as ISIS.

Senior defense officials confirmed to NBC News Monday that Hagel was forced to resign.

The officials say the White House has lost confidence in Hagel to carry out his role at the Pentagon. According to one senior official, “He wasn’t up to the job.”

Another senior administration official said that Hagel has been discussing a departure from the White House "for several weeks."

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Free Market Accountability Project

A Solution for Cities on the Brink of Bankruptcy

By and 11.24.14

Unfunded government pensions are driving municipalities across the country into bankruptcy — from Detroit, Michigan (the largest municipal bankruptcy ever) to Vallejo, California. 

Despite the need for states and municipalities to have contributed large annual payments to their pension funds over many years, as a group they failed to do so. When coupled with overly optimistic return assumptions (also designed to reduce annual contribution requirements), it is no surprise that most pension plans are not actuarially solvent. 

With the can now kicked, municipalities face unaffordable annual retirement contributions, taking away funds for current services and forcing municipalities like Detroit into bankruptcy. Taxpayers are trapped and public employees are cheated as an ever greater portion of taxes must be funneled into pension programs, or wages and benefits are frozen or cut, and even then, the chances of ever re-stabilizing are slim. Reforms are necessary.

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Immigration and the Future

By on 11.21.14 | 10:57AM

The world is ending.

Okay, it's not even close to ending, but if you can't be hyperbolic on days like this, and suggest that a single man can bring about the apocalypse with a seventeen minute speech that people probably confused with a cold open to the Latin Grammys, what good is being a conservative blogger? Nothing. Nothing, I tell you.  

In case you missed all of the other rundown posts everywhere else on the Internet, here's ten things you need to know about what Barack Obama proposed last night in his banner immigration reform speech which was, to quote the SNL sketch, neither about immigration, nor reform. Discuss. 

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Free Market Accountability Project

Net Neutrality Compromises the Internet’s Future

By and 11.21.14

Perhaps President Obama envisions that the Internet is operated by Ernestine, the condescending telephone operator played by Lily Tomlin on Laugh-In. Otherwise, it is difficult to justify why he would want to hobble the 21st century broadband industry with regulations designed in the early 20th century. 

Even FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler earlier this year wrote, the FCC is “not going to take over the Internet,” or “dictate the architecture of the Internet.” And yet, the FCC is now under pressure to follow President Obama’s statement on November 10 to regulate the Internet under obsolete 1930s laws.

These 20th century telephone regulations were intended to regulate traditional telephone services, not today’s advanced Internet services. And, they did a poor job of that.

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Larry Craig Just Got Hired by the Idaho GOP

By on 11.20.14 | 4:29PM

I don't know what the Idaho GOP's stance is on reforming the party, but I can tell you that their stance on Larry Craig is, shall we say, wide.

The former Idaho Senator lost his job after tapping his toes in a Minneapolis airport bathroom, apparently a signal that he was interested in an anonymous restroom relationship with another gentleman. After insisting for weeks that he was innocently occupying his time on th can by playing footsie with other patrons, Larry Craig resigned his job in 2007, with the caveat that he would return if the Minnesota courts found him innocent. They didn't. A couple of months ago, he resurfaced following an FEC investigation that found Craig had used $242,000 donated for his re-election campaign to pay for his legal costs.

It makes complete sense, then, that the Idaho GOP has not only welcomed him back, but officially tasked him with fundraising.

Remember Larry Craig, the former Idaho senator who was arrested in 2007 for soliciting sex in a men's airport bathroom?

Well, he’s back.

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Duke & Duchess of Cambridge Demand DC Press Spiff Up

By on 11.20.14 | 4:16PM

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton - are due to visit the United States the first week of December. They'll be traveling from London to New York, where they'll attend the 600th Anniversary dinner for their alma mater, the University of St. Andrews, take in an NBA basketball game and visit One World Trade Center and then the Duke will make his way to DC, where he'll attend a World Bank conference on poaching and illegal trafficking of animal parts. Kate will spend her time apart from her husband enjoying the Big Apple, probably shopping for the next royal progeny, due to make his or her appearance in March.

And since the Palace is quite aware that our DC press corps is a motley lot, they've already taken it upon themselves to inform reporters of the rules of etiquitte when dealing with royalty, most notably, tuck your shirt in and put a tie on.

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White House Annoyed Networks Won’t Carry Immigration Announcement

By on 11.20.14 | 3:51PM

Not a single major network will air Barack Obama's major announcement on immigration tonight since it's November sweeps and Barack Obama is not nearly as interesting to watch as whatever passes for primetime programming in a sweeps month. And the White House has taken to whining to DC reporters that it's simply not fair.

“In 2006, Bush gave a 17 minute speech that was televised by all three networks that was about deploying 6000 national guard troops to the border. Obama is making a 10 minute speech that will have a vastly greater impact on the issue. And none of the networks are doing it. We can’t believe they were aggrieved that we announced this on Facebook,” a senior administration official told POLITICO.

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Jim Webb is Running for President

By on 11.20.14 | 1:42PM

In a fourteen-minute video statement released this morning, Jim Webb, former Senator and Reagan Democrat, has announced that he will seek the nomination for President in 2016. Theoretically, he's the first Democrat to officially announce, but nowhere in his fourteen-minute long speech does Jim Webb ever actually indicate which party he's running for. So your guess is as good as mine.

He does mention that the Democratic party has changed significantly, though, from the party of apple pie, baseball and children who never got muddy to the party of people who will go out of their way to pretend they have no actual ideology. 

The Democratic Party used to be the place where people like these could come not for a handout but for an honest handshake, good full-time jobs, quality education, health care they can afford, and the vital, overriding belief that we’re all in this together and the system is not rigged.

We can get there again. The American Dream does survive.

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