Archive for November, 2010
I mentioned in a comment yesterday that I’m working on an article discussing the relationship between income taxes and unemployment. Before I finish that and post it, I wanted to follow up on my previous fiscal analysis article.
I got some interesting feedback on that article. One conservative responded privately with what amounted to a “well, duh!” He said that my article boiled down to the following (paraphrased) statement:
Hold everything else constant, and increasing government spending, which is included in the GDP calculation, increases GDP.
On one level, he’s correct. It’s pretty obvious that, holding everything else constant, increasing government spending will increase GDP in the same year. This is why I looked for an offset impact. If spending this year increases GDP in future years, holding everything else constant, then you have a more interesting story. That’s what I was looking for.
It is becoming a habit. A third time, and it’ll be a tradition.
Two years ago, there was a prolonged recount and legal battle over the Minnesota Senate race. This year, it is the Governor’s seat. The Senate recount was one of the most thorough and transparent in U.S. history, it was a squeaker with the margin of the eventual win being around 200 votes out of a total of more than two and a half million cast. Senator Al Franken was not sworn in until July of 2009.
Update: November 30, 10:40AM PST
There’s plenty of talk about the information recently released by Wikileaks. But there’s more information there than is generally being reported.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the vulnerability of our infrastructure to cyberattacks. Do you think Wikileaks is the only organization to have obtained classified information without authorization? (more…)
Those of you who know me know I love me my Twitter. I am an avid twitterer (tweeter? twit?) and reader of the live feed. Among my subscriptions are @SarahPalinUSA and @daveweigel, @glenngreenwald and @larrysabato. I even follow @fivethirtyeight.
So it was with interest that I read about this case from Australia, which shows the perils of liveblogging with Twitter. As you know, liveblogging is one of the most dynamic forms of blogging and it’s exciting and fun. We did it on Election Night and had a blast. Using Twitter to establish a liveblog is one of the best ways to liveblog, and I never thought about how it might go wrong.
The present Australian case has all the great tropes: a villianous Old Media mogul, a burned-out reporter giving her One Last Scoop with a Bile Topping, and just for you, Mister Universe, global warming deniers. In short, man vs man, man vs nature, and man vs himself. Faulkner would’ve been proud.
Jonathan Holmes does such a great job of summarizing the facts of the case, I’m not going to do that here. Go to his Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) blog, have a read, then come back here and make a comment. Or two or three.
We even have some attorneys here who might be able to opine on the legal ramifications of the case. Knowing that Commonwealth libel law is quite different from US libel law, could something like this happen here?
That’s the suggestion of John C. Danforth, a respected Republican former Senator from Missouri and Ambassador to the U.N. during the Bush administration.
Senator Danforth was responding this weekend to the news reported at Red State that Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana has been targeted for a Tea Party challenge when he runs for re-election in 2012.
Richard Lugar is a five-term Senator with a long history of standing on principle, going all the way back to they days when, despite being a staunch lifelong admirer of Ronald Reagan, he opposed Reagan by supporting sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid government, a policy that Reagan vetoed.
Now, in one of the most treacherous partisan atmospheres ever experienced in the US congress, Lugar is doggedly standing against his party on a number of key issues including the START treaty (which Republicans oppose simply because its ratification will give President Obama a foreign policy victory), the DREAM act allowing the children of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, and the earmark reform bill which he considers empty political posturing.
This independent thinking has not gone unnoticed by the Tea Party, ever on the hunt for RINOs who, they believe, must be relentlessly sought out and destroyed without mercy no matter who they are or how respected their record might be. “Senator Lugar has been an upstanding citizen representing us in D. C.,” said Diane Hubbard, a spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Tea Party. “But over the years, he has become more moderate in his voting.” Removing him “will be a difficult challenge,” Ms. Hubbard conceded. “But we do believe it’s doable, and we think the climate is right for it and we believe it is a must.”
Senator Lugar recognizes the danger, and the new extremism of a Republican party that can put even a statesman like himself suddenly at risk. “I’m very conscious of it,” Mr. Lugar said of a primary threat. “I’ve been in public life a long time.”
Others are not so sanguine. From the NY Times: “Even after the midterm rout that will remove many long-serving members from Congress, the idea that Mr. Lugar would be vulnerable to a primary challenge is a chilling notion to many Republicans, a symbol of symbolism gone too far.”
Or, as John C. Danforth puts it, “If Dick Lugar, having served five terms in the U.S. Senate and being the most respected person in the Senate and the leading authority on foreign policy, is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.”
- Former Senator John Danforth Says GOP May Be “Beyond Redemption” (alan.com)
- Sen. Lugar and the Tea Party (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Tea Party Has Sen. Dick Lugar In Their Sights (crooksandliars.com)
- Danforth fears GOP may reach point ‘beyond redemption’ (washingtonmonthly.com)
Bountiful is a small rural community in the Kootenay region of southern British Columbia, near the town of Creston. It lies in a sleepy, peaceful, incredibly lush agricultural area, nestled in a ring of sheltering mountain peaks. Nothing much happens in Bountiful, ever. So what has caused this little Canadian backwater to be at the center of a court case presently underway in downtown Vancouver, with 33 black-robed lawyers in attendance representing the provincial and federal governments, and dozens of advocates arguing various social issues?