Category: Featured Local

South Carolina Republicans Embarrass GOP

sanford 2Last Week Steven Colbert said the results of Tuesday’s special election to fill a South Carolina House seat ‘scared him to his core’—I couldn’t agree more.

Of course he was referring to disgraced Republican Governor Mark Sanford completing his political comeback by beating Colbert’s sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch (54% to 45%) on Tuesday night.  Sanford’s victory came despite him being less than four years removed from weaving a web of lies that included cheating on his wife and leaving the country during his term as governor to be with his mistress.

What were they thinking?

The only justification for voting en mass for such a man was that palmetto Republicans didn’t at all like Ms. Colbert Bush.  I’m not saying I blame them since even …


Think College is Critical? Bureau of Labor Statistics Projections Suggest Otherwise

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has on its site information on the 30 occupations where the most jobs are expected to be added between 2010 and 2020. (See Table 6. The 30 occupations with the largest projected employment growth, 2010-20, or click here to see the table.)

The BLS projects that these 30 occupations will add approximately 9.3 million new positions by 2020. These positions would be completely new additions to the existing workforce and not dependent on attrition of the current workers.

They are listed in order of the number of new posts expected, with the top spot being registered nurse, which is no surprise, with an expected growth of almost 712,000 new positions. At the bottom of the list is medical assistant, with …


The US is in Pre-Recession

The Commerce Department has released GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2012, and these numbers indicate a contraction of an annualized .1 percent, which wasn’t exactly a crash, but it was a contraction nonetheless.

If you read my work, you already know that I don’t think there was a real economic recovery, and that we are in a significant economic depression. If you pretend that people settling for part-time work when they used to have full-time work is indicative of job growth; and think the Fed ’s buying $40 billion per month in bonds with thin-air fun bucks is good; and ignore the college graduates who can’t find jobs because they hadn’t entered the “workforce” yet and were thus not officially unemployed – then …


Waechter’s Final Pre-Election Weigh In: No Matter How You Vote, the Economy Will Not Improve

I cast my ballot early. I didn’t vote third-party and therefore my vote isn’t being wasted. It also isn’t going to matter.

Since 1990, the United States has run aggregate trade deficits above $8 trillion. This is funny, because in 1990 the M2 metric of currency supply was only $3 trillion. There should be nothing but dust coming out of the ATM machines. We have purchased entire merchant-fleets full of foreign goods, and paid for it by quite literally printing money.

Foreign countries, being more blatant about their currency devaluation policies, have been willing to go along with this arrangement. The result is this dynamic: The US prints dollars to buy goods from China, and the Chinese central bank prints yuan to buy the dollars. …


In the Age of the Selfish Voter

In a Representative Democracy, voting for a particular political candidate or philosophy is the most impactful way a citizenry can change their country.  While the “who” a person votes for is what actively shapes a Republic, digging into the motivation behind that vote is far more telling, and ultimately reveals far more about ourselves and where we are heading.

As government involvement in Americans day-to-day lives has expanded, the possible motivating factors at play driving each citizens vote has also expanded—and the effects of this have been devastating.  Boiled down to the most basic level, there are two motivations that influence a political vote—you can vote in what you believe is in the best interest of the country, or you can vote in your own …


Student Loans, Debt Crisis and Bondage

In the medieval era there was a rather odd ceremony; when a member of the lower social castes found themselves in dire straights, they turned to the landowning nobility. In exchange for land to work, the noble demanded a portion of the produce, availability for certain laborious tasks, and service in the event of war. The agreement was sealed when the peasant laid his head into the hands of the noble lord.

This ceremony was called a Bondage, as it sealed the bond of the peasant to the noble, as his serf (in contrast with an Homage, where one noble became a vassal of another noble). In our advanced and progressive times, we are – of course – much more evolved and civilized. Far from …


The Stupidity of Banking Fees

About ten years ago, my savings account basically stopped paying interest. The rate of about two percent fell to something like one-tenth of one percent in 2002. Over the last ten years, people just seemed to forget the way things used to work – banks are supposed to pay you for placing your money into a bank account.

Well, as you may have known, Bank of America has raised an uproar by announcing their intent to charge a $5.00 per month fee for their customers who use debit cards to make purchases. Other banks are expected to follow suit. This uproar has taken the tone of anti-corporate class warfare: the “Bigs” vs. the Common Man; Banks vs. The People – whatever. The furor is missing …


The Politics of Obamacare, Medicaid, Illegal Immigration, and Education Reform: The Conservative Reader Interview with Sen. Jack Whitver (Part 2 of 2)

In part one of this interview, the last legislative session was the main focus. Now we will turn our attention to the major issues that will be hotly debated in 2012.

One of the first things to jump out at anyone who starts digging into the issues being wrestled with by our general assembly is how much they mirror the issues being debated at the Federal level. This being the case, there is no better place to start than how Obamacare and trimming entitlements manifest themselves here In Iowa.

Obamacare and the Politics of Medicaid

While scarcely publicized, last session included preliminary debates into setting up Iowa’s insurance exchange, which Obamacare mandates be done by next year’s legislative adjournment. The tricky situation for state legislators …


Why Iowa’s 2011 Legislative Session Matters to Conservatives: The Conservative Reader Interview with Senator Jack Whitver (Part 1 of 2)

Three weeks removed from ending the third longest legislative session in Iowa history, I had the pleasure of sitting down for an interview with District 35’s representative in the Iowa Senate—Republican Jack Whitver. The main focus of our conversation was the results of the 172 day session and the political clouds already forming on the horizon for next year’s Senatorial get together.

In the interest of adding perspective, here is a brief overview of Senator Whitver’s political and business careers: He joined the Iowa Senate this year by virtue of winning a special election to fill the seat of Larry Noble, first beating five other Republicans in a truncated primary and then defeating Democrat John Calhoun (63%-36%). The district covers most of the northern half …


The Stench of Impropriety: Your Tax Dollars, Your Body Image, and The Government (Part 2 of 2)

The following is the second installment of a two part piece. The first is entitled “The Stench of Impropriety: Tom Harkin, Al Franken, Herbalife International, and The F.R.E.E.D Act”, and can be viewed below.

In part one of this piece, I introduced you to the relationship between Tom Harkin and his largest campaign contributor, Herbalife International. A partnership that demonstrates the perils of an incestuous system of politics and money, and ultimately played a part in Harkin’s introduction of the F.R.E.E.D. Act in the U.S. Senate. As bad as that looks, what the bill actually proposes to do is just as bad.

The act itself is only impressive in that it manages to hit the Liberal trifecta—it is completely devoid of any traditionally rational …


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