Republicans are now playing nice on the budget

Republicans in Congress tried to cut the deficit by letting the government shut down, being willing to dive over the fiscal cliff, and sequestering expenditures, but those measures didn’t go over very well politically.  So now Congressional Republicans are going along with the Democrats, and they are close to an agreement on a budget deal.   Is that good news or bad news? [Read more…]

Might Democrats pick Elizabeth Warren over Hillary Clinton?

The Democratic wing of the Democratic party is starting to assert itself, wanting to bring back old-fashioned liberalism into the Wall Street-dominated party of drone-strikes, civil liberties violations, and corporate bailouts.  What annoys them about the Obama administration they trace back to Bill Clinton.  And although many people assume that the Democratic nomination for president is Hillary Clinton’s for the taking, more and more Democrats are pinning their hopes on someone else to be the first woman president:  Elizabeth Warren. [Read more…]

The fate of “transformational liberalism”

As Obamacare goes, says Charles Krauthammer, so goes the fate of what he calls “transformational liberalism.”  The problems and unintended consequences of the former, he says, may discredit what has been the driving ideology of the Democrats. [Read more…]

Casino magnate funds crusade against internet gambling

Get ready for a major push to restrict internet gambling–a major lobbying effort, political arm-twisting, and public service ads on how internet gambling hurts children and the poor.

The irony:  All of this anti-gambling sentiment is being stirred up by a billionaire casino owner who wants to stifle the competition.

By the way, he is also a “super-donor” to conservative causes and to Republican politicians. [Read more…]

Conservatives launch war on poverty

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is the founder of the Tea Party Caucus, a true limited-government firebrand.  But the potential presidential candidate is launching a war on poverty.  So is Mitt Romney’s running-mate Paul Ryan, the Congressman from Wisconsin known for his budget-cutting schemes.  He too is a likely presidential contender.

After the jump, stories about both efforts.  What do you make of this?  [Read more…]

Two kinds of libertarianism

A writer who goes by the nom de plume “Hamilton” says that both Republican and Democratic intellectuals and policy makers are essentially libertarians.  (He says that there are few old-school socialists or New Dealers left in the Democratic party.)  But there are two different kinds of libertarians:  the school of John C. Calhoun and the school of Robert Heinlein.

Calhoun was the 19th century statesman from South Carolina who was a major spokesman for state’s rights, limited government, and individual rights.  Heinlein was the 20th century science fiction writer who championed individual liberty empowered by technology.   Calhounian libertarians are socially conservative, religious, and inhabit the Republican party.  Heinleinian libertarians are the socially liberal, tend to be involved in the new information technology, and are usually Democrats.

But Hamilton thinks that Calhoun and Heinlein could form an alliance.  I would  question the authenticity of a libertarianism that defends slavery, as Calhoun did, and that supports the power of one person over another that we see in abortion, as Democratic  libertarians tend to do.  But still. . . .What do you think of Hamilton’s analysis, given after the jump? [Read more…]