Should Government run like a business?

Do you agree that the primary purpose of a business is to sell a product or a service at a profit?
Do you think a government’s purpose, primary, or otherwise, should be to try to make a profit?

If you answered, ‘yes’ to question 1 and ‘no’ to question 2, then we can use those assumption to create the following proof.

Business = Profit
Government ≠ Profit
∴ Business ≠ Government

Does that simplify it enough?

Maybe they will they learn in ’16

For the second cycle in a row, the Presidential election feels decided before the leaves have even started to fall. I think there are obvious comparisons for Governor Romney to Governor Dukakis and Senator Kerry. (Maybe both parties should stay away from Massachusetts for a few decades.) However, if anything is to be learned from the current election, the next best comparison is usually the previous election. As losing provides far more lessons than winning, the lessons to be learned are for the Republicans. I have no hope they will learn them yet. They seems a stubborn bunch. They will get another moral victory at the midterms in ’14 to prove them “right” but unless they do something different, 2016 will play out like the previous two presidential elections.

The Republican nomination goes to a candidate that once appeared acceptable to independents and thus had a path to victory in a general election. However, over the course of the primaries, he is badly damaged from having to take so many extreme positions in order to shore up his right. Even after getting the nomination, he is viewed with skepticism on the right. So in a final bid for their support and in the only real and tangible way he can prove his fealty, he nominates a VP candidate the base can love. The problem is that the VP candidate loses them far more votes than it gains them. It’s not a game changer, it’s a game ender.

While it seemed obvious to me with the last two selections, you wouldn’t know it from the way they crowed over the picks in the right wing fever swamps. Senator McCain’s choice of Governor Sarah Palin was heralded. She was an instant hit on the right but to those not locked into the Republican brand, it became obvious she was completely out of her depth. I called her selection a disaster and loser within a day. McCain had failed the test. It took a little longer for others to get there but eventually it was clear she was more of a liability than an asset. With his selection of Representative Paul Ryan, Gov. Romney learned one lesson from the previous selection, don’t pick a blank slate, pick a serious person. But the main problem persisted, he still felt he needed to shore up his support on the right, he felt he needed a true believer. And he got one in Rep. Ryan, a serious ideologue, a true believer with a record. Once again the pick was heralded, another good looking, vibrant candidate to rally the base but this time, a smart one with a plan. While being a empty vessel was Gov. Palin’s vulnerability, Rep. Ryan is brimming over with ideas like turning Medicare into a voucher program. That’s why one of my first thoughts upon his selection was maybe his selection wins WI but it loses FL, and if Romney loses FL, he will lose this election. So while the right lapped up the selection, I waited patiently for things to play out. What they thought was a game changer was again a game loser. It’s taken a month or so but the numbers in Florida and specifically the polls on Medicare are heading in the wrong direction for Romney.

I am not actually suggesting the VP selections are the cause of losing these elections. They made close elections into significant losses and are the best evidence that the typical right wing, post-mortem on the election, “McCain/Romney wasn’t conservative enough,” misses the point. It’s not the candidates, it’s the extreme beliefs of the right that are the problem. Sen. McCain and Gov. Romney polled well enough prior to their party primaries. They seemed viable candidates in a general election and then the primaries began. Forced to tow a strict party line that essentially disavows science and is hostile to the growing latino population, their favorability among critical independents fell. That is, when forced to agree with and affirm what the far right base believes, they became less popular with everyone else. Then they both chose to saddle themselves with true believer VP candidates that best represented the far right beliefs. Positions that weakened the candidate by taking them during the primary.  And the losses got deeper. I repeat. The more conservative they tried to be to win the nomination, the worse their chances got in the general election Then selecting a deeply conservative VP candidate made their November defeat worse that it would have been.

2012 did add two wrinkles but these only serve to prove my point further. Belief is one thing. When it is translated into policy, that’s when the rubber meets the road. In January – March 2011, the 2010 victories in statehouse across the country bore fruit as the GOP-dominated legislatures went into session. But then these sessions brought terms like “transvaginal untrasounds” and personhood amendments to the fore. Coming in the middle of the primary season, the stink of extreme right wing agendas from capitals around the country stuck to the candidates and none more than the leading candidate, Gov. Romney. His numbers took a dive. The other wrinkle was in Tampa. For days, the focus wasn’t just on Gov. Romney it was also on the Republican brand. The GOP had days to talk directly to Americans. The convention culminated with Governor Mitt Romney all wrapped up in Republicanism. The result, a bounce to be certain, but a first to my eyes, a negative bounce. After nearly a week of the Romney and the Republicans show, Romney was worse off.

But to the hardline right wing, the problem is still that Gov. Romney isn’t making the full throated case for conservatism. When the video emerged of Gov. Romney writing off 47% of the population as takers, the response from the hardliners was that he should be making this case, louder, every day in the public square. While that might be cathartic, how out of touch with reality do you have to be to suggest a political strategy that writes off nearly half the population? A part of the population that actually includes a good bit of your constituency liker seniors and veterans. If the aim is to win the election, that seems a pretty poor strategy.

Rep. Ryan suggested that this is a choice election and if so, maybe Gov. Romney isn’t the best one to represent that choice. Yet whenever, America gets a real glimpse of what the choice is, they choose the Democrat. The far right just refuses to see it or acknowledge it because their candidate wasn’t “conservative enough.”

The only way out of this cycle is for the far right to finally get their guy on the top of the ticket in 2016. As the Republican Party usually nominates the 2nd place finisher from the previous primary cycle, maybe 2016 will be their year as that would make Senator Santorium the standard bearer. Sen. Santorium would be the perfect candidate to represent true conservatives. He could take their message across the country from school gyms to meeting halls. From New Hampshire and Iowa to the GOP convention hall. His message could save the Republican Party… by leading them to their worst Presidential election loss since  Barry Goldwater in ’64. Maybe then they’ll realize it’s not the candidates, it’s that the GOP has gotten too extreme and is out of step with the majority of Americans.



Rope-a-Dope & Fighting Back in September

by db

While I don’t fully buy the hyperbolic punditry Drew Westen put out there the week before last that suggested the President can, simply through speechifying, reignite the economy and magically force a taciturn and Tea-Party congress his way, it is getting to the stage where it is about the messaging because the results can’t be had with this Congress.

I have come to agree with those who suggest the Truman ’48 model provides guidance like Ornstein. Obama can turn the corner and I believe he will just like he did during 2008 — way too late for my preference but usually, given immediate hindsight, at just the right time for the American public.

I have come to learn that I’m a go-for-the-juggler-early type of campaign guy. If a GOPer pisses me off, I instinctively go for the can of whup-ass and the pictures of the candidate with the stripper, receiving briefcases full of cash from cigarette lobbyists, or pushing grandma out the way in the grocery express lane. Obama, on the other hand, is a big fan of the rope-a-dope. The trick to that tactic, in the dystopian, never-ending, “Max Headroom” news cycle, it that it takes time for the American people to catch up with the idiocy of their elected representatives in order to be effective. As much as I despised how things went down with the the debt deal, it did have the effect of tanking the GOP’s numbers. Across the board they came out much worse than they went in, despite winning the battle and appeasing the Tea Party maniacs running the asylum.

At some point, though, the long view becomes the short game by necessity of the sheer march of time. September feels about right. Here’s hoping the WH and Obama feels the urgency to punch these people in the face for their irresponsible and, on the face of it, insane actions and statements. The people, and the polls, would reward him for doing it.

The Lessons of the Mid-Terms

by db

I had the luck of being abroad this week so I had some time to collect my thoughts, avoiding the typical knee-jerk punditry I usually do, thanks to timezone differences with those calling me from the U.S. east coast and absurdly high roaming rates. (I haven’t paid $0.99/min for a call since I was 13 and convinced myself trying out 1-900 numbers would be a fun thing to do.)

As the election neared, friends, mainly of the conservative ilk, asked me what I thought was going to happen. Luckily, I hadn’t budged from my predictions posted here. Fair enough, the official unemployment rate in October was 9.6% and not 10% and the Dem’s lost the House so I didn’t quite nail the spread, but, overall, for a 6-month out prediction I think I fared pretty well. Certainly better than those who predicted a 100 seat win.

So, what the hell happened?
1. Unemployment matters. And the technical unemployment number has about as much to do with the real misery, pain, and fear going out there as does the formal designation of the close of a recession, which, by the way, economists told us was months ago. Feel better yet?

2. Congress missed a window. The House or Senate, mainly the latter, should have taken action on any number of items that could have made a difference between a 60 seat shellacking, to use the President’s descriptor, and a 50 or 45 seat bruising. DADT, Immigration Reform, keeping the middle-class portion of the Bush tax cuts; any or several of them, even better, would have reminded Dem or Dem-leaning voters why they voted for a Democratic Congress and White House in the first place. Instead, 29 million of Obama’s 2008 supporters simply stayed home. It’s not rocket science why. Yes, HCR was a significant improvement, but in today’s 24 hour news cycle, it’s what you did for me lately, not what you did for me last year that will take affect in 2014 provided certain conditions are met and implementation is handled correctly. The GOP is exceedingly skillful at manipulating the Congressional calendar for this (think back to the 2002 pre-election vote on the Iraq war authorization for one example) while the Democratic party seems only to use the calendar as an excuse for inaction.

3. Seats that are a reach will always be vulnerable. Fact is there were a solid 15 seats in Democratic hands that, given decent opposition and headwinds against them, wouldn’t be. Between 2006 and 2008, the party was effective at candidate recruitment in many districts that were not only GOP-leaning, but were double-digit McCain districts. It’s either naivete or political malpractice to think you’re going to keep those by dint of incumbency. So, those seats returned to their natural position on the spectrum. Almost all of them.

4. Tea Party is a mixed bag for the GOP. In the Senate races, not to mention several gubernatorial, the Tea Party-endorsed or supported candidate turned out to be an absolute disaster. Here’s the deal, GOP: You lost the Senate because of Tea Party candidates.

Here’s why:
– Christine O’Donnell: You had the seat. Done. Signed, sealed, delivered. You primaried a gimme and ended up with a wholly unqualified candidate in a cycle that seemed to make that, in and of itself, a premiere qualification for office. Luckily, the Democrats didn’t put up a sacrificial lamb and, voila, one seat saved.
– Sharon Angle: Underestimate Reid at your own peril. Here, again, you had the seat. You could have nominated any one of several electable candidates, but, instead, went with a parochial candidate in a year when having power (and, yes, pork — get over it), mattered. Reid managed to climb out of incredible unfavorables to beat you because of it. Congrats. Another seat saved.
– Carlie Fiorina: No, not really a Tea Partier per se, but she certainly liked to play one on TV. This was the worst kind of “Tea Party” candidate, in my opinion. Not one who’s nuttiness and blatant anti-intellectualism made her a match for many Tea Party supporters, but one who came to it out of sheer opportunism. (Tea Party folks: Seriously, a former CEO who nearly crashed an American technology icon with tens of thousands of jobs outsourced in the process is your ideal candidate? Better check yourself before you wreck yourself.) Again, in the light of day, wasn’t a match for Boxer. Seat saved.
– Linda McMahon: This was a double strike for the GOP’s extreme elements. In the primary, you had a candidate who served in the Vietnam war. The party’s base goes for a multi-millionnaire founder of a wrestling league instead. The Democratic party switches out Dodd for Blumenthal, who, it turns out, wasn’t always absolutely clear about how he served during the Vietnam era. Hmmm: Maybe you should have rethought that nomination. Millions of dollars spent. Seat saved.

And that’s 4. Swing Lieberman your way and there you go. You have a majority.

In the House, though, I would submit it’s a different picture. For all the problems I have with the Tea Party, the participation of its supporters in the GOP nominating process has resulted in some, emphasis on some, legitimately fresh blood in the Congress. Some of their candidates come from truly different backgrounds than those who preceded them, Democrat or Republican, and will shake things up. The only question I have for all of them is this: Campaigning on overthrowing the system is one thing; what you do to actualize that when you get in office without burning the place down is another. It will be a tougher decision for many of these newly elected Representatives, and the GOP House leadership, to figure out than they think.

5. Can’t undo in 2 years what it took 50 to create: This nation faces many mammoth challenges. The American people displayed a stunning willingness to fall for a 6 minute workout-style ploy, supported by major financial interests in many cases (thank you SCOTUS and Citizens United) that have anything but the average American’s best interests in mind. No, you can’t eat what you want and lose weight. Losing weight takes time, lots of it. America needs to get on a diet. Pick your challenge: From the deficit, to foreign wars, to entitlements, to infrastructure, to education. Everyone of us is going to have to sacrifice to return this country to greatness. To those who felt voting the opposite direction universally from the way they voted the last election was somehow going to speed this process, please think of any great change in your life. Whether it was finding your way to a faith or overcoming addiction, none of those transformations happened overnight or without sacrifice.

6. The message matters, but so does fighting for it. The President needs to understand it’s one thing to legislate the right way, it’s another to explain to the American people, every waking minute if need be, why that legislation matters to them and matters now. That’s fighting for it. That’s calling out the opposition for obstructing it. That’s throwing down the gauntlet.

Real Washington isn’t Hollywood, but it seemed right to draw inspiration from it for the purposes of explaining exactly what this President needs to do. He needs an “American President” moment. This moment:

I believe this President can and will rise to the challenge. I ask him to do it soon. I ask him to make clear to the new House that he welcomes their input, as he has, but that there are certain things, such as repealing HCR, that will be DOA and will be vetoed. Pushing these priorities will, therefore, be a waste of the House’s time and, more importantly, that of the American people.

10%+, House in Doubt

by db

Minority Leader Boehner claimed today the GOP could net more than 100 seats this fall. Whoa, there, John. Might want to ease off on the instant tan for a few days, big fella. The always brilliant Nate Silver has suggested, however, that the Dems are in a rough spot and could lose upwards of 70, flipping the House. I think that’s a bit far-fetched, but I can’t take issue with the online oracle’s predictive capabilities and spreadsheet macro mastery. I do, however, have my own back-of the envelope math for this fall:

– First, assume the Dem’s lose 20 seats because (A) it’s the mid-terms in the first term of a particularly successful Democratic president (from a legislative perspective) and, perhaps more importantly, (B) there are at least 15 seats we shouldn’t by all reasonable measures be holding, and, as a donor, I frankly don’t want the DCCC spending limited resources to defend.

– Second, let’s assume there is significant progress on issues of import to the Democratic base, bolstering confidence and closing the all-important enthusiasm gap. With the passage of HCR, the party dodged a Titanic-like implosion of confidence. (Someone called that one a while ago. Hmmmm.) With Wall Street reform on a greased track, immigration reform on deck, and a helpful SCOTUS nomination fight reminding the base why elections do matter. Tough to say exactly the value in lose/gain seats out of these presumed legislative victories, but let’s say a win on all three ensures against complete wipe-out in November owing to Democratic base dissatisfaction.

– Third, these elements matter, but are trifling in significance compared to one metric: Unemployment. Yes, the economy, as judged by the market, GDP, productivity, and even the debt are all important figures and, sure, matter tremendously to slices of the electorate, but none have a greater impact on the baseline happiness quotient of the average American more than unemployment. Pure and simple: This number remains high and incumbents will lose. House, Senate, Governor, Mayor, I don’t care who you are — if you got an “I” next to your name on the ballot and unemployment is 10%+, you might want to brush up your LinkedIN profile and start eying resume paper. Want more specificity? Okay, here’s my handy-dandy Dem House loss benchmark chart based on unemployment (as of October):
10%+ – (Including the 20 mentioned in the first rule above) Dem Losses = 40+ ~ Lose House
Below 10% Dem Losses = 35 ~ Keep House (barely)
9% Dem Losses = 32
8.5 = 30
8 = <30
… And so on.

Main point is this, the elections are not tomorrow, but they ain’t happening in a separate dimension or a full year from now. If the mood of the electorate doesn’t demonstrably improve on the economy, the House Dem’s are in a world of hurt. If, however, we enjoy two consistent quarters of growth between now and election day, Dem’s will hold the House, albeit with a smaller margin.

And why that may be better for the caucus will be the subject of another column.

Brown Going Down

by db

Yes, I’m a bona fide political dork: I’m at home on a Saturday night, enjoying the Correspondents Dinner on c-span. That’s right. If you must, judge me. If you’re reading this site, though, I can’t imagine you can judge me too harshly.

Having some British lineage, I track UK elections with some fascination. Given our interminable 2008 presidential election cycle, I have enviously watched the weeks involved in this round of parliamentary elections. The very moment TV debates between the three leading contenders for PM were announced, however, I knew this was going to be an even more intriguing run to the polls for the Brits. A first for the country, what would happen when their election was made all that much more “presidential” with the interruption of TV presence? Well, a lot, but, in the end I feel, very little.

Three months ago, Cameron, the Tories fresh-faced leader was the PM-in-waiting. Gordon Brown, Labour’s hapless standard-bearer since Tony Blair bequeathed the office to him with multiple wars raging on and an economy on the precipice of disaster, simply couldn’t get out of his way. More to the point, every single British voter I knew and asked, simply said they were tired of him and the whole Labour operation. It didn’t help that Brown’s Labour party was mired in internal strife, largely around members threatening to depose Brown and soon finding themselves on the wrong side of Downing Street, and multiple MP’s, both inside and outside Labour, were enmeshed in a seedy expenses scandal. (One would think “moat cleaning” a personal expense, but that’s just me.)

Then the inevitable pendulum swing. Cameron was suddenly viewed as an alien, somewhat uppity commodity. Friends across the pond started dropping the dreaded “posh” adjective; in American parlance a “double Izod collars-up, preppie, snob.” It appeared Brown’s dogged persistence, and the recognition that maybe he does deserve some credit for constructing a plan that managed to avoid America’s populist bailout blow-back and Greece’s inexorable slide into junk bond status, was finally bringing him some electoral momentum. A hung parliament, wherein no party has a majority and, therefore, has to form some sort of unity government with one of several smaller, regional parties or the heretofore not significant third-place player the Liberal-Democrats, was not only possible, but likely. And, with it, Gordon Brown would somehow cling to his office.

Cue the debates.

Nick Clegg, the young, new face (at least to most UK voters) at the helm of the Lib-Dem’s, played 1960’s Kennedy to Brown’s Nixon. You could feel the flop-sweat from the other side of the pond and oozing through YouTube. Brown righted the ship somewhat in the second and third debate. Finally, in the last, he took on Cameron, who basically managed to play the part of Neo in the prior sessions dodging the bullets that zinged around the room. What killed Brown, however, occurred outside the debate halls. Earlier in the week he disastrously left a hot mic on after meeting with a constituent complaining about the impact of immigration on the country. Here was an entirely innocent figure, an elderly, nice grandmotherly type getting picked upon by her PM, calling her “bigoted.” In the hothouse of tabloid-happy Britain with days to go to the election, the papers might as well have run an epitaph for poor Gordon. I have to say I’m a natural fan of the underdog, especially one who has been through as much as Brown. But, as a political realist, I have to admit he’s done.

So, now all analysis indicates the election Thursday will essentially end as it was predicted months ago: Cameron will be the new PM, likely with the help of a complicit, and rising, Lib-Dem party and Labour in the wilderness. One thing will be forever changed in UK politics: TV debates aren’t going away for better or, I fear, worse.

iPad, great for a guy like me

by bk

My wonderful, amazing, and generous wife decided, with our 8th anniversary days away that she had an opportunity at a home run gift and swung for the fences. I fully expected to wait a month or two before going for it and drooling over others’ iPads till then. Well, it’s definitely a home run for a guy like me and for my family. Will it be for you? Only you know. What are you doing now? What are you reading this on?

After several hours with my iPad, the first time I had to use my iPhone for something, I felt how my world had shifted. The iPad had put the iPhone in it’s place, my pocket for when I’m out and about. The iPhone is great mobile device but for me, it’s use was way beyond that. I used mine every day for hours on the couch, in the *ahem* facilities, out in the backyard. I work at home but don’t always want to be tied to my desk. My iphone provided a rich enough experience that given the choice between 21′ iMac, Lenovo laptop, and my iPhone, I routinely chose my iPhone and it’s 2′ screen.

Most nights on the couch next to me, my aforementioned, wonderful, generous, beautiful wife is checking email, playing games, and counting stitches on her iPhone for an hour or two while we watch tv. Work and pc left at the office while she gets to relax around the house. My son regularly chooses the iPhone over the iMac because it’s easier, more intuitive, and in the living room.

As a family we were primed and ready for the iPad and it has not disappointed. I continue to roam the house but instead of reading the news on a postage stamp, it kinda feels that way now, I’ve got a perfect magazine size display that allows me enjoy Peter King’s column on like I folded over the cover on real magazine instead of squeezing and flipping to make the best use of the iPhone screen. When I want to share something with my wife while on the couch, I hand her the iPad and she doesn’t have to squint and squeeze to see what I’m trying to share. It’s there, bright and clear. Been meaning to discuss those window treatments? No need for her to stand over my shoulder while I navigate the choices on the iMac in the office, hand over the iPad like you are handing over a catalog and away she goes.. “Let me know when you settle on something, hun.”

My boy is still calling it a big iPhone but as much as anything that means he knew how to use it already. He’s been using the iPhone for a couple of years already, is comfortable with it and enjoys it. So he was right on it, playing games and having fun.

It really is a new category and I think a lot of people are have trouble getting their heads around that. Is it gonna replace your MacBook? Not, if you’re doing serious stuff like photoshop when you travel. If you want to get under the hood and tinker, this isn’t the device for that either. It’s for the masses. Those that want the car to take their car out on the open road, not sit at home and work on the brakes. It’s a home mobile, consumer device and I’m a home mobile consumer so it works great for me and for my family. I still am very happy for my iPhone when I’m out. It’s a true mobile device, designed and built for my pocket. And when, I’m home that’s where it stays while I use my iPad and it’s vibrant HD screen wherever in my home I want to.

FYI this post was written entirely with the onscreen keyboard while lying in bed in the dark. When safari had problems with the word press admin site, I downloaded the free app, in about a minute, found it was already optimized for the iPad and was able to get right in and create my post so while I wouldn’t say it’s a work device, one can definitely get a lot done with it. Also in the hour or so I’ve working I’ve watched the power meter run ever so slowly down from 20% to 11% after a long day of use. Slowly and consistently so I’ve never felt that laptop power-noia that the battery indicator will suddenly go from from 43% to 0% while composing a long email.

Why HCR has to pass

by db

Current thoughts on the state of HCR as it wends its way through the legislative labyrinth:

1. The Admin misinterpreted the lessons of the Clinton round of health care reform and entrusted far too much to the legislative process.

2. Common misconception that Clinton couldn’t pass HCR when times were “good,” (’91-’92 recession is what helped get Clinton elected in the first place), but times are much worse now. People are freaked, jobs continue to disappear, and the deficit is becoming a legitimate concern. (Even I’m starting to get worried. No matter how we got here, we’re here. The American people, rightfully, allow a new President 6 months to blame the last guy before the problem is his to own.) This is a toxic environment in which to talk about any spending other than on jobs. And the Administration’s purported plans for an increase in Afghanistan isn’t going to help on that front; money we don’t have for a war many, if not a majority, of Americans don’t support. (Not saying that’s my opinion, necessarily; just that it is the commonly-held view out there.)

3. Obama may have campaigned on HCR, but D’s like Landrieu, Nelson, and certainly Lieberman didn’t. Of course Reid’s going to have to coax them with pork. All of them. That’s the way it works with big votes these days. (Did the GOP do any less to pass Medicare Part D? There was a lot of pork there, if memory serves.)

4. And this is the most important lesson I have drawn: HCR is so nasty an issue, so horrendously screwed up, impacts so many people that they only way to repair it may be to endanger the majority that attempts to do so, and, potentially, the President as well. This is one point upon which I agree with the Admin’s strategy entirely: Obama has said he will risk his reelection to pass it. He may well and that may be the only way to make any progress on this.

I think HCR will pass, if only because there’s a very real threat that to not do so will present more harm to incumbent D’s. If they don’t pass HCR, the Democrats may, rightfully, lose the House and suffer losses in the Senate. The Admin will be hobbled and will be left to passing parochial, trivial regulation and legislation a la Clinton post-HCR in his first term. Obama may well be reelected, but significant HCR will never be attempted again for a generation.

So, passing HCR is going to take a ton of pork and plenty of back-room dealing to boot, but those incumbents may well go down anyway, and I’ll take some pork and convoluted language that we can clean up later to claim a victory over nothing, losing even more seats and potentially electing a GOP demagogue cum populist pretender in 2012. The polls don’t necessarily reflect only fear on the part of voters of the eventual outcome, they reflect a lack of faith in the Congress to do anything right. And the most wrong thing would be to pass nothing. If you think approval ratings are low now, wait until the Democratic base abandons Congress entirely. No, the bill will pass because it has to. It won’t include the Public Option and that may not be such a bad thing, but it will pass and we (the American people), the party, the Congress and the Admin need it to pass.

Resuscitating The Technocrat

by db

It’s been some time, but I’m happy to report the writing team is coming back to The Technocrat.

Republicans take a stand on stimulus

by bk

With the country on the precipice of economic disaster and just when we need most to increase public spending, Republicans have suddenly found their long lost “fiscal conservatism,” I present two editorial cartoons that nicely sum up how that sounds to me.

Adam Zyglis
The Buffalo News
Feb 11, 2009
Mike Keefe
Denver Post
Feb 12, 2009

So deficits for war with Iraq and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, totally fine but running deficits to try and prevent the complete failure of our economy, not allowed.

Nice priorities, GOP.


Thought this quote from Andrew Sullivan was very apres pos,

“A Republican party that added more than $30 trillion to the future debt in a time of boom has no credible answer but raw partisanship for opposing $800 billion in the swiftest downturn in employment since the Great Depression. That’s the bottom line. The party that campaigned for eight years on the principle that “deficits don’t matter” has no good faith standing to oppose a measure that provides the minimum to ensure some kind of bottom in the looming depression. To take their fiscal conservatism seriously at this point and in this crisis is to engage in some kind of instant amnesia.” <link>