Daily Archives: Dec. 2, 2009

On gun-privacy rights

gunpointingright“I do find it more than a little interesting how concerned people like Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS-04) and other NRA supporters suddenly became with protecting Americans from the prying eyes of federal investigators when the issue was guns, when they couldn’t mow your rights down fast enough when the issue was your telephones. After all, we know that telephones don’t kill people. People kill people.” — David Waldman on the Daily Kos blog, about Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ crusade against the Tiahrt amendment on gun-trace data

GOP not happy with its leaders, either

elephantupsidedownThough Republicans are overwhelmingly united in disliking President Obama, they aren’t particularly happy with their own party leaders, either. The Washington Post reported that fewer than half of the Republicans and GOP-leaning independents surveyed “see the party’s leadership as taking the GOP in the ‘right direction,’ down sharply from this time four years ago. About four in 10 are dissatisfied with the policy proposals being offered by congressional Republicans, and similar numbers see the current crop of GOP legislators as out of touch with their problems and personal values. Nearly a third say the Republicans in Congress are not standing up for the party’s core values.”

Open thread 12/2


Capitalism still king

capitalismThe recession and the excesses that preceded it haven’t shaken Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ faith in capitalism, which he called a “phenomenal system” for its innovation, ideas and new products. On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Gates said he sees a “reasonable role for government” but that “what always bails you out, always gets you back and going, is that we do have the great universities, the great corporate research labs,” Gates said.

Congress powerless on joblessness?

jobhuntAs President Obama and Congress consider ways to counter unemployment — without using the maligned word “stimulus” — New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman suggests a “small-scale version of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration,” more aid to states, and tax credits to encourage businesses to hire. About the last idea, Krugman said on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” on ABC: “Germans have had as deep a recession as we have had, but with hardly any increase in unemployment. And that suggests that, yes, providing some financial incentives to keep workers on, to add more workers for those companies that are expanding, would work.”

Is Obama changing lobbying culture?

lobbyistFox News commentator Fred Barnes wrote that President Obama has failed to change the lobbying culture of Washington, D.C., for three reasons: He misread the 2008 election as a mandate for a liberal revolution, he misread his ability to gain public support for liberal policies, and he misread the ability of the GOP to regain strength. As a result, Barnes argues, “the president effectively put up a welcome sign to lobbyists.”
However, the Washington Post reported that “hundreds, if not thousands, of lobbyists are likely to be ejected from federal advisory panels as part of a little-noticed initiative by the Obama administration to curb K Street’s influence in Washington.” The policy change would prohibit any of the more than 13,000 lobbyists in Washington from serving on committees that advise agencies on such issues as trade rules, environmental regulations and consumer protections.