Recently in Politics Category

1990's Kenyan Video Surfaces of Obama Complaining About White People, Refusing to Tour With Them | RedState

An interesting 20-minute documentary by President Obama's half-sister, Auma Obama, about his visit to Kenya, with his then-fiancée, in the early 1990s.

Oklahoma Resists Push for Enrollment in Affordable Care Act Coverage - NYTimes.com

Makes me proud to be an Oklahoman:

"Consumers who are eligible for insurance subsidies, in the form of tax credits, worry that they are getting something others cannot. Many Oklahomans have a strong streak of independence and are reluctant to rely on federal assistance. When told of their subsidies, Mr. [Steven] Goldman [insurance counselor at the Oklahoma Primary Care Association] said, consumers ask: 'Am I getting more than I deserve? Have I earned this? Is it fair?'...

"But for conservatives like Jonathan Small, the president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, it is a matter of prudence. The state cannot afford the Medicaid program it has, much less a larger program, he said. The federal government pays 100 percent of the cost of newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries from 2014 to 2016, with the federal share declining gradually to 90 percent in 2020 and beyond. Critics of the health care law worry that in the future, the federal government might reduce its promised contribution.

"Then there are the rising costs, which have bedeviled many states. Premiums had been lower here than in many states. But, according to the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the cost of a benchmark insurance plan increased by an average of 35.7 percent this year in Oklahoma, more than in any other state using the federal exchange."

The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808), by Daniel Defoe

An excerpt of Daniel Defoe's satirical poem, "True-born Englishman," in which he exposes the typical motivation behind exposés of political functionaries. At least the public learns what might otherwise be hidden, even if the telling is driven by envy.

"Fools out of favour grudge at knaves in place,
And men are always honest in disgrace:
The court preferments make men knaves in course,
But they, who would be in them, would be worse.
'Tis not at foreigners that we repine,
Would foreigners their perquisites resign:
The grand contention's plainly to be seen,
To get some men put out, and some put in."

Conversations: Vishal Mangalwadi | Christianity Today

"I see the idea of human rights and human dignity as being a peculiarly biblical concept. In Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin, a Catholic Italy, a Lutheran Germany, an Orthodox Russia succumbed to totalitarianism because of liberal humanist ideas that man can create a utopia. Joseph Campbell [the late renowned scholar of comparative mythology] and Carl Jung were both shocked after they came to India. They realized that the natural law is not natural. The fact is there are consequences to teaching that human beings are nothing but animals. This 'truth' destroys the entire basis of civilized political life."

U.S. Senate: President Veto Counts

A useful proxy for how forcefully congressional leaders press their priorities in the face of presidential opposition.

Composition of Congress by Party 1855-2017

A handy reference to party headcounts since the advent of the Republican Party for the 1854 election.

What No One Seems to Know About Ted Cruz's Past | PJ Media

Cruz's service as director of the Federal Trade Commission's Office of Policy Planning. Cruz developed policies that opened markets and reduced barriers to new entrants, and he almost always won the unanimous support of the bipartisan FTC board. According to the writers, who worked for Cruz at FTC, "a Cruz administration would seek meaningful change, and where possible, broad bipartisan support. Cruz is not one to nibble around the edges or bow to entrenched interests, but he does listen to experts and seek support from all quarters. If President Cruz becomes a reality, future historians might point to his time at the FTC as a harbinger of a presidency that is both conservative and consequential."

Jeb Bush's 2016 Campaign -- What Explains Jeb Bush's Sudden Free Fall? | National Review Online

It's not enough to be right on the issues. Conservative voters have already seen what happens when they elect leaders who say the right things but refuse to take personal and political risks to effect change:

"'Americans are afraid their nation is in decline; they are going to lose the country they love,' [Republican consultant Alex] Castellanos says. 'They want a leader as big as their fears. Right now, a lot of Republicans see that big leader as Trump, and no else is at the big boys' table with him.'

"Castellanos contends that until a candidate proves he is 'big enough' to do the job, nothing else matters -- not being a conservative, not being a loyal Republican, not even major policy differences. 'What good is policy or ideology if you aren't big enough to get anything done anyway?'"

RELATED: Erick Erickson writes: "If Republicans in Washington will not stop this and defund Planned Parenthood, Republican voters should take any and all action to destroy the party at the ballot box. If this party will not fight this evil, it will fight no evil and should itself die."

Democratic Blues - Jeff Greenfield - POLITICO Magazine

It's rare that something makes the Republican Party look competent by comparison:

"'I would be the first to concede that we had failed to build a sturdy infrastructure for Democrats from the bottom up,' David Axelrod says. 'The Republican Party and supporting oligarchs like the Koch Brothers have invested exponentially more time and resources into building electoral strength from the grass roots up, concentrating on down ballot state offices, legislative races--even school board and City Council races. This has helped turn more than a few legislatures from blue to red, and also had created a larger pool of potential candidates for higher offices in the future.'"