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Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

GOP Trying to Look Tough

So John Boehner tried to put on a show this weekend for the tea party…

  • He tried to say that the President and Senate has to come to the table to discuss… Well something to let the GOP save face.  Now it’s entitlement reform…
  • He says that there is not the votes to pass a clean CR.  *cough* Bullsh*t *cough*

Look let’s play politics, last point first…

1) If there is not the votes for a clean CR, then he should just allow the vote and watch it fail. If Boehner is right, the vote will fail and his position to bargain with Obama would be strengthened.

The fact that this is not happening shows Boehner is just trying to BS the voters.

2) By shifting the talks to entitlement reform (or anything outside of Obamacare), Boehner is just trying to find anything to dig his party out of the hole they dug themselves.

My $.02, is Obama can’t let that happen. We have to get the tea party to stop doing this BS. If they want to change Obamacare (or anything else), here’s an idea: Go win elections at the national level.

Personally, if I was President would let this go for about another week and then do one of these solutions and defuse this bomb once and for all. Personally I like the 3rd option:

3. Premium Treasury Bonds: While the previous two strategies for obviating the debt ceiling were prevalent during the last debt-ceiling showdown, the idea of issuing so-called “premium” Treasury bonds is newer. The idea was first raised earlier this year by Matthew Levine at Dealbreaker. Understanding the idea requires knowing a little bit about how bonds are sold. Bear with:

Bonds have both a “par” value and often times a different price at which a bond is actually sold to the public. Normally this is because interest rates can change pretty quickly: Say I want to issue a bond for $100 at a 4% interest rate, but a few weeks later, when I actually get around to issuing the bond, interest rate rises to 6%. To sell my 4% bond will require selling the bond at a discount to par–somewhat less than $100. The opposite would happen if interest rates falls to 2%. If I’m selling a 4% bond in a 2% environment, I’ll be able to garner more than $100 in that environment.

So how does this apply to the debt ceiling? The debt ceiling law only applies to the face value of bonds issued, rather than the actual value of the money raised. So when past Treasury debt expires, the Treasury Department could simply roll it over into bonds with much lower face values but that bring in higher revenues and pay out higher interest rates, allowing the total debt of the U.S. to continue to rise while still staying within the debt-limit law.

And as Levine points out, this is something that, unlike the platinum coin scheme, governments around the world have resorted to strategies like this before. It was a somewhat similar scheme involving derivatives that allowed the Greek government to hide the true value of its debt from EU officials until its debt crisis a few years ago. In our imagined scenario, however, Treasury wouldn’t be trying to hide the debt from the public. It would simply be looking for a way to skirt a law that doesn’t make a lot sense to begin with.

The brilliance of the premium bond scheme is that unlike the 14th amendment or platinum coin scenario, there isn’t an obvious way that opponents of it could challenge it in court.

The GOP Civil War

September 30, 2013 2 comments

As you likely know, if you follow the news, the GOP and Dems are at each other over Obamacare again.

On the face of it, this whole thing is silly. The GOP might not like it, but the Dems control the White House and the Senate. Trying to hold a gun to their head to change their minds, is very unlikely to work. In the end, this will go on for a bit, until Wall Street gets fed up and then the GOP will be forced to give in.

But really, this is about the tea party vs the rest of the GOP. The rest of the GOP wants to move on. They may not like Obamacare, but this is not the time to fight this battle (nor is it the right time when they get to the debt ceiling). This is a losing battle for the GOP until they control more of the govt.

Look here is my $.02 on Obamacare:

  • I’ve seen first hand how companies don’t hire full time employees because they don’t want to pay the overhead of health insurance.  Instead, they hire contractors so they don’t have to pay for benefits.
  • Because of the above point, I think it makes sense to decouple your job and health insurance.
  • Because of the high cost, some sort of govt. help is needed to get people health insurance.
  • While I’ll agree that Obamacare is likely to have problems (with anything new, you need to shake out the bugs), it’s a step in the direction of decoupling your health insurance to your job.  Therefore I support it.  It can be adjusted later as needed.
  • The GOP plan is: keep everything the same.  This I don’t agree with, so until I see something more serious, I’m stuck with supporting Obamacare.

Can’t Vote for Crazy

I’m finishing up a game review, but here’s a link to enjoy.

Nature, Powell and the GOP

January 16, 2013 2 comments

First this great post: Scientists hate the GOP for a reason by Amanda Marcotte which rips a post in Nature: Science must be seen to bridge the political divide by Daniel Sarewitz

First the opening paragraph from Nature:

To prevent science from continuing its worrying slide towards politicization, here’s a New Year’s resolution for scientists, especially in the United States: gain the confidence of people and politicians across the political spectrum by demonstrating that science is bipartisan.

I’ll leave you to read the whole article, but in short. It says that the Science should support the GOP more and in return Daniel thinks that the GOP will look at Science as bipartisan and will support it more.

What a load of shit!

Go get him Amanda:

He (Daniel) argues that the perceived liberal bent of the social scientists has caused Republicans to be wary of that field and to defund it, and warns that if scientists in other fields—he names public health and environmental science—don’t stop supporting Democrats so openly, Republicans will come after them, too. But the cause-and-effect relationship is reversed. Republicans started it when, as early as the environmentalist movements of the ’70s, they began to morph into the party that defended corporate profits over public health and environmental good. Why would scientists support a party that ignores and refuses to fund important scientific initiatives like efforts to fight climate change, stem cell research, and advances in improving sexual health, like development of the cervical cancer vaccine? Sarewitz blames scientists for the politicization of science, when any fool can see that Republicans attacked first and scientists are just defending themselves.

Let’s be clear. Republicans don’t attack scientists because they want to punish them for supporting Democrats. If all scientists agreed tomorrow to stop donating to parties, expressing political opinions in public, or even voting, Republicans would not gratefully start agreeing with scientific consensus around global warming or embrace public health recommendations to reduce unplanned pregnancy and STDs. They wouldn’t even come around on the now 154-year-old theory of evolution. They oppose these ideas because they come in conflict with Republican ideological concerns.

Well put Amanda. Just wow!

On another note, Colin Powell has been killing the GOP:

I think 2016 is the year of the GOP purge. The GOP will do something silly, like default the country or something and have their ass handed to them again. The Dems will hold both houses.

At this point the GOP will retool hopefully more to the center and be strong in 2018. At least I hope so. It’s better for all of us to have the two parties with a closer divide between them.

Stopping at the Cliff

Well after much kicking and screaming, the GOP figured it really had to let higher taxes hit the rich and it’s about time. I’m not big on increasing anyone’s taxes, but taxes today are at a very low level for the rich and we have bills to pay. I like this graph the most:

Rich Tax Rates

What would the GOP say at a 91% top tax rate like in the 60s? (Yea, that’s too high)

One of the best comments during this mess was from Norquist via Twitter:

The Bush tax cuts lapsed at midnight last night. Every R voting for Senate bill is cutting taxes and keeping his/her pledge.

Man talk about a lot of BS.

So if everyone would have voted at 11:59 it’s not OK but at 12:01 it’s OK, even though the effect is the same. Grover is just trying to bend over backwards to keep his hold on the GOP and it should show the mindset of these folks and why nothing can get done in DC.

It’s a start. Spending needs to be cut for sure and taxes might even have to be raised more over time. I have to laugh at another quote from Grover:

When the Dems wake up they will realize they just made most of the Bush tax cuts permanent and lost their leverage for the next 4 years.

Really, it’s not like taxes can’t raise more. I think there is room.

The Godless are not Going Anywhere!

November 14, 2012 2 comments

Some good numbers from yahoo’s news feed about the religious vote and the last election. Highlights:

  • “…79 percent of white evangelicals voted for Romney on Tuesday. That’s the same percentage that Bush received in 2004, and more than Sen. John McCain received in 2008. The evangelical vote was 27 percent of the overall electorate — the highest it’s ever been for an election. Their support wasn’t enough. Not only did President Obama win soundly, but four states voted to allow same-sex marriage.”
  • “…white evangelicals comprised a quarter of the electorate, … the “nones” — those who claim no religious affiliation — are now the fastest growing “religious” group, comprising one-fifth of the population and a third of adults under 30. Seven out of 10 “nones” voted for Obama.”
  • “Second, evangelicals’ influence is waning. Conservative Christian ideas are failing to shape the broader culture. More than 3,500 churches close their doors every year, … The sweeping impact of globalization and the digital age has marginalized the church and its leaders.”

There is a lot of good in those points…

No religion is closing in on the religious 20% to 25%. While all those with no religion don’t ID themselves as ‘Atheist’, having 20% of the population outside of a church’s BS is a huge plus.

The non-religious is growing and churches are closing nationwide. Got to love that.

We are far from stamping out these myths that hurt our culture, but things are moving in the right direction. Religion will have adjust (and the GOP as well), I’m hoping that the Internet is really the game changer. I believe that Thunderf00t is right in his video that I’ve posted before: ‘The Internet: Where Religions Come to Die’

Let’s hope so. It will make for a better world.

My $.02 After the Election

OK, as a former GOP supporter for many years: GOP time to take heed that you pissed me off enough to not only just not vote for the GOP but to get up off my lazy butt and leave the party (my wife as well) and become a democrat. Want to know why you lost? Here you go!

Do I like the idea of less govt? Yes, but at this point, not at the cost of being in other people’s lives!

  • Give Women some respect. You don’t give it and I’m a man. I can only wonder what the women think.
  • Give Gays, etc. some respect. I don’t care what people do in their bedrooms as long as they are not hurting anyone.
  • Give people of other races some respect.
  • Give science some respect. It knows more than you do.
  • Not all Social Programs are bad. Stop with the Big Govt. = Evil
  • Not everything is better at the State level. Some things are, some are not. A lot of things can run better at the Federal level.

I know that religion drives a lot of the anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-science stuff. Plus these voters are great because they will vote with you all the time, but guess what… They make you look crazy to the young, the educated and minorities.

We’ve grown up. Going after the white male vote isn’t going to cut it. You need more and to really succeed, you are going to need to change big time.

I can see you don’t want to. Even now as I watch the news cycles, I’m not hearing about change. Just about trying to capture a small part of the hispanic vote to push the white vote over the top.

You need more! Go the way of Reagan and kick religion to the side. Realize as he did that it’s fool’s gold and not something to mix with Politics.