Doug Hagmann’s columns generate an interesting array of comments that span the spectrum, from belief to disbelief. Not surprisingly, some believers appear to have their doubts. All I can suggest is that people need to trust their instincts and never trust a politician.
Regarding politicians, most are rogue hood rats, but under our current situation, the term ‘hood rat’ falls well short of the title they deserve. They may not have gone to D. C. as hood rats, but there is an element of truth in that people become like those with whom they hang around. When a politician hangs around hood rats, one of three things happens; one, he/she realizes his/her ‘colleagues’ are hood rats and he/she looks for an exit … stage right; two, he/she attempts to live up to why he/she ran for office; three, he/she joins the hood rat club, abandoning decency, morals, ethics and principles.
While accusing the Supreme Court’s conservative justices of “disdain for democracy,” Pamela S. Karlan proves herself talented at dispensing disdain. The Stanford law professor is, however, less talented at her chosen task of presenting a coherent understanding of judicial review. Still, her “Democracy and Disdain” in the November issue of the Harvard Law Review usefully illustrates progressivism’s consistent disdain for the Founders’ project of limiting government.
The primary focus of her displeasure is, remarkably, Chief Justice John Roberts’s opinion mostly upholding Obamacare. But she begins by being appalled at Justice Antonin Scalia’s suggestion that the lopsided majorities by which Congress in 2006 extended Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act were “a reason not for deference, but for suspicion.” Well.
We read about famous people like French film star Gerard Depardieu, who moved to Belgium to avoid a 75 percent income tax on millionaires proposed by France's Socialist government (a measure rejected last week by a French council, though French leadership has vowed to resubmit a similar proposal). Then there is Eduardo Saverin, who took the extreme step of giving up his U.S. citizenship and could see a savings of $39 million on his Facebook investment, according to the research firm Wealth-X. He says business reasons, rather than high taxes, were his primary motivation.
I had read about financially motivated expatriates but never knew one who had taken the ultimate step until I visited with my longtime friend "Sam" (I'm withholding his real name to protect his current employment). Sam works for a large investment firm. He has lived here for the last 25 years.
The Oval Office isn't the place to learn on the job. That was the line from both Hillary Clinton and John McCain in 2008. In fairness, that's always the argument the more experienced candidate uses against the less experienced candidate (just ask Mitt Romney).
But Barack Obama seemed a special case, easily among the least experienced major-party nominees in U.S. history. A Pew poll in August 2008 found that the biggest concern voters had with Obama fell under the category of "personal abilities and experience." In a "change" year, Americans swallowed those concerns and voted for the change candidate.
In mid-September 2008, Lehman Bros. collapsed and the bottom fell out of the financial system. Barack Obama handled it coolly. John McCain did not. Obama won the presidency. (Given the country's condition, he would have won anyway. But this sealed it.)
Four years later, mid-September 2012, the U.S. mission in Benghazi went up in flames, as did Obama's entire Middle East policy of apology and accommodation. Obama once again played it cool, effectively ignoring the attack and the regionwide American humiliation. "Bumps in the road," he said.
It’s a question we’re hearing a lot lately – almost always by conservative Republicans.
It’s no secret that a lot of the polls weight Democrats more heavily than Republicans. In and of itself, that’s not necessarily a problem — unless the over-weighting is based on faulty assumptions about voter turnout.
So when pollsters use 2008 voter turnout as their model in 2012, alarms should go off. Do the pollsters really think that Barack Obama will draw the same big numbers from young voters as he did four years ago? Or from Hispanic voters? Or even from black voters?
Pat Caddell, who ran the polling operation for Jimmy Carter, says not only is the polling science bad this time around, he thinks the polls really are rigged – often by the same news organizations that have been running interference for Barack Obama and are clearly rooting for him to win.
If "journalism malpractice" were a crime, Nancy Grace would not be able to keep track of all the trials.
ABC news reporter Jonathan Karl recently said: "Mitt Romney ... made $13.7 million last year and paid nearly $2 million in taxes. His effective tax rate — 14.1 percent. That's a lower rate than an auto mechanic who made $75,000 in pay."
New York Times columnist David Brooks is the Eddie Haskell of the Fourth Estate. Like the two-faced sycophant in "Leave It to Beaver," Brooks indulges in excessive politeness while currying favor with political authority. He prides himself on an oily semblance of maturity and rational discourse.
But the phony "conservative" back-stabber, who has spent the last four years slavering over Barack Obama like a One Direction groupie and trashing the tea party like an MSNBC junkie, isn't fooling anyone.
Now that the National Football League has apparently learned that it can be costly to hire cheap officials, perhaps the rest of us should learn the same lesson when it comes to government officials, whose bad calls can do a lot more damage.
What do we do when we want a better car, a better home or a better bottle of wine? We pay more for it. We definitely need a lot better crop of public officials. Yet we insist on paying flea market prices for people who will be spending trillions of tax dollars, not to mention making foreign policy that can either safeguard or jeopardize the lives of millions of Americans.
Baseball player Yogi Berra once said, "You can see a lot just by looking" -- simple wisdom that President Barack Obama is not likely to heed. In order to see, you have to want to look at the truth that's actually out there.
With reality so different from how our president wishes to portray it, he has little interest in seeing things as they really are.
The president delivered a "Kumbaya" appeal this past week to the current session of the United Nations General Assembly. The pitch, about peaceful resolution of disputes, tolerance and free speech, was clearly aimed at Muslim nations.