Category Archives: National Politics

Sequester Nonsense

March 16, 2013

As we fall into the sequester rabbit hole, don’t be surprised when perception of the size of things becomes distorted. Everything and nothing is relative in this latest iteration of the deficit crisis that simply will not die. Price tags for programs ripped from their budgetary moorings and held up for ridicule or support flicker and flutter like Tinker Bell, struggling to survive while her television audience dwindles, drained of passion by this endlessly repeated Promethean struggle.
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Gun Control Initiatives 2013

January 19, 2013

Every time I’ve written about gun regulations in the past, I’ve received a profanity- and threat-laced anonymous e-mail from the same person telling me I better watch my back. Not terribly persuasive, but the caustic missives do underline the need for mental health outreach to the tortured souls in our midst. Ever since Cain and Abel, mankind has wrestled with anger management issues. I don’t believe the NRA’s arms race solution is the answer.
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Lame Duck Fiscal Cliff

November 17, 2012

It’s a curb, not a cliff. Panic will not ensue; except, perhaps, among the commentariat, but their hair’s on fire most of the the time anyway, while the rest of us, appropriately, go on about our lives. Even so, lame duck sessions rock. Let’s compare mandates: Republicans claim “success” in safe cngressional districts crafted in states they control. The President, having won the electoral and popular vote, points out that his determination to eliminate tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires could not have been more clear; adding that this policy receives broad support even among those who voted for Gov. Romney.
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Caveat Emptor – We ARE Better Off than Four Years Ago

October 20, 2012

In October, 2007, the stock market peaked above 14,000. By October of 2008, it was below 8,000. The market hit bottom at 6,547 on March 9, 2009. It closed at 13,557 on this Thursday. Construction starts were up 15% last month. Corporate profits have been setting records. Ordinarily, such excess revenue would be reinvested – more people would be hired and more equipment would be added or upgraded – but companies are just sitting on their cash, afraid to invest even in themselves. When exactly is the “trickle down” going to happen?
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Rope-A-Dope v. Etch-A-Sketch

October 6, 2012

Barack Obama brought his genial demeanor and prose to a knife fight. Mitt Romney brought his inner bully and an Etch-a-Sketch. Romney kept writing checks his platform won’t cover and basic math indicates he can’t cash. Obama seemed both bemused and befuddled. The President came to debate a Romney who has downplayed his inner moderate to prevail in the kill-or-be-killed Republican primaries. Through the Republican convention, Romney has held fast to the convictions of his party’s right wing, even choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate.
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Byrne on Negative Ads

September 29, 2012

Don’t boo. VOTE! Negative ads are meant to “disgust,” not persuade. They engender a sort of “pox on both their houses” attitude that doesn’t harm the ad sponsors. Negative ads are paid for by supporters of one candidate, not to get you to vote for them,- but to keep you from voting for their opponent.
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Paul Ryan’s Marathon Claim

September 8, 2012

Yes, truth matters. All conscientious voters seek glimpses into the soul of candidates, but the opportunities are few and far between. Negative ads work tirelessly to suggest them, but are almost uniformly unhelpful. Transparency laws requiring identification of donors and their otherwise hidden agendas would be nice, but our hyper-partisan Congress won’t pass legislation anytime soon – the money’s too good and too effective until WE stop it.
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Aurora Theater Slaughter by Holmes

July 28, 2012

6,000 rounds of ammunition. 2 Glock handguns. 1 pump-action shotgun. An AR-15 (M-16) with a 100-round drum capable of firing 50-60 rounds per minute. All acquired within the past two months. Is there no division at Homeland Security in a position to connect these dots?
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FAFSA and the Student Loan Debt Crisis

April 7, 2012

Student athletes are the subject of intense competition as they consider their college options. Scholars should be similarly recruited, but the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process is a one-size-fits-all filter effectively eliminating that possibility. The FAFSA form does not take into account indebtedness, car payments, house payments, local cost-of-living differences, individual family circumstances, or the tuition, room and board expense of different public or private colleges and universities.
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