The Deal So Far

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & DeficitLeave a Comment

According to the Associated Press, the Biden-McConnell talks have yielded a deal: The contours of a deal to avert the ‘fiscal cliff’ emerged Monday, with Democrats and Republicans agreeing to raise tax rates on couples making over $450,000 a year, increase the estate tax rate and extend unemployment benefits for one year, officials familiar with the negotiations said. But with a midnight deadline … Read More

How We Got Here Re: Fiscal Cliff

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & DeficitLeave a Comment

Ezra Klein says: Today’s Republican Party thinks the key problem America faces is out-of-control entitlement spending. But cutting entitlement spending is unpopular and the GOP’s coalition relies heavily on seniors. And so they don’t want to propose entitlement cuts. If possible, they’d even like to attack President Obama for proposing entitlement cuts. But they also want to see entitlements cut … Read More

2013 Dead Pool

Ken AshfordIn Passing1 Comment

Link to 2012 Dead Pool Link to 2011 Dead Pool As I explained last year around this time, there are two "dead pool" lists.  One is just a random list of people who I think will pass in the upcoming year. The other is a competitive list where you pick ten (and only ten) people-to-die, and you score your points by … Read More

Bills Blocked By Republicans in 2012

Ken AshfordCongress, RepublicansLeave a Comment

1. A minimum wage increase. House Democrats proposed legislation in June that would have raised the national minimum wage to $10 an hour, but Republicans blocked it. The minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, even though it would need to be raised to $9.92 to match the borrowing power it had in 1968. If it was indexed to inflation, it would … Read More

You Don’t Need A Gun (Unless You Have Gun Fantasies)

Ken AshfordGun ControlLeave a Comment

I'm not here to convince you that we need gun control, because over the next few months there are going to be huge choruses of people calling for that. Instead I'm here to convince you — meaning you personally — that you don't need a gun. You won't even really want a gun if you spend some time on the facts. Though … Read More

The Fiscal Cliff Is Like Y2K

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & DeficitLeave a Comment

I just want to congratulate Ryan Grim for writing the story that should be on the front page of every newspaper in the country but isn't: On Jan. 1, 2000, the world awoke to find that little had changed since the night before. After years of hype around what was then called Y2K — the fear that computer systems across the … Read More

The Dick Armey Coup At Teabag Central

Ken AshfordTea PartyLeave a Comment

WTF? The day after Labor Day, just as campaign season was entering its final frenzy, FreedomWorks, the Washington-based tea party organization, went into free fall. Richard K. Armey, the group’s chairman and a former House majority leader, walked into the group’s Capitol Hill offices with his wife, Susan, and an aide holstering a handgun at his waist. The aim was … Read More

My Stop In Newtown

Ken AshfordCrime, Gun ControlLeave a Comment

On the way home for Christmas (in New Hampshire), my long drive took me past Newtown, Connecticut, site of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre.  I didn't attempt to go to the school, knowing that it would still be roped off as a crime scene.  It was Friday, exactly one week from the shootings.  But I stopped on Main Street, … Read More

Didn’t Want Those Grapes Anyway

Ken AshfordElection 2012Leave a Comment

This article in the Boston Globe is a good wrap-up summary of the very basic ways in which the Romney campaign went so wrong… and the Obama campaign worked so well. Key paragraph informs us that Romney wasn't that into being President anyway. More than being reticent, Romney was at first far from sold on a second presidential run. Haunted … Read More

Homeland, Season Two: A Review

Ken AshfordPopular Culture2 Comments

Yeah.  Spoliers, probably. The writers of Showtime's Homeland had a hit on their hands with Season One.  It was a unique show with clever plot twists and great acting.  And the question was: how do you follow up a hit season like that? Well, having watched Season Two of Homeland, I have the answer: you don't. Season Two had a real … Read More

Not The Answer

Ken AshfordGun ControlLeave a Comment

A sixth-grader in Kearns, Utah brought an unloaded handgun to his elementary school on Monday, reportedly at the urging of his parents. According to the local Fox affiliate, the 11 year-old told his fellow students he was encouraged by his parents to bring the gun to school “for protection” following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on … Read More

Corporate America Disassociating Itself From Guns (A Little Bit)

Ken AshfordGun ControlLeave a Comment

In response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, major businesses are rethinking their relationships to firearms. As the bodies of the 26 dead are lowered into the ground this week, three companies have announced they’ll break from the sale or association with the lethal weapon that took their lives. Here are the companies that are reassessing guns in the … Read More