Friday, December 4, 2009

Why CO Senate race is absent?

Well I haven't done much writing recently but I will say I do not plan on writing about the Colorado senate race next year because I am myself involved in it. I'm doing some volunteering for Romanoff and therefore I will recuse myself from speaking about it on this blog. It would be unfair to Romanoff and the campaign to make any comment on the race. Not that I have any secrets but I'm just saying this because I think bloggers should have some ethics.

This blog was primarily the project of an outside observer. I have done some volunteering and internships in the past but during 2008 I decided to take some time off. In the future, I will this blog will probably be more focused on speculation outside Colorado and national/international politics. Basically, anything that can be linked to Romanoff is strictly off limits. If Romanoff were to loose the primary or I stop working for Romanoff then be more open to discussing the race. However, whatever happens in Romanoff's office stays in that office.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hey Dana Perino you're a tool. There was no terrorist attack in the US while Bush was president? Really? Were you in a cave or are you more correctly a political hack? As for Sean Hannity so if Obama is a terrorist for reaching out to Al Qaeda (which he did not but for the sake of argument I'll go along with) does that make Nixon a communist for reaching out and visiting Soviet Union or China? How about Reagan? You're booth tools and not very sharp ones at that. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

*Sorry for the terrible writing but I'm honestly so mad and sick of Bush newspeak.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Next time a European criticizes America

I love Europe. I love Europeans. However, what the heck is going on in Switzerland? I guess the Bradley effect applies to the Swiss more than Americans right now.

The problem in Europe is for all their talk of tolerance and liberalization there are major ethnic problems. A few Germans were rude to me because I am of Russian heritage. Gypsies are roundly persecuted throughout Europe. Nationalist, extreme-right wing parties are on the rise. These are problems the United States doesn't have to the same degree as Europe. Sure we have complicated ethnic histories. Japanese interment, slavery, genocide of Native Americans, anti-immigration against everyone from Germans to Irish to Asians to Slavs and now Latinos are all things that America has had problems with in the past (and present). Yet in America we don't ban Nazis or other groups just because they hate we seek justice for people who are violent or actively discriminate (Europe feels their people are so out of control they have make political expression in some cases illegal).

Still American, after 9/11 mind you, still allows head scarves, minarets, and American Muslims are far better assimilated than their European counterparts. The fact is the more tolerant a society is the better race relations you have and the better assimilated people are. Freedom, acceptance, free markets, and fairness are not western values they are universal. Everyone does better when they can practice their religion and celebrate together. We eat better food, learn knew things, experience different art and culture. In short, diversity is exciting.

Tell me were else can you have Chinese food, watch French movies, drink Corona, read Russian novels, and listen to jazz? America is not perfect but in some ways we are far ahead of our friends across the Atlantic.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Medicare Part E

Took Democrats long enough right? I mean I think Keith Olbermann is a smart guy who puts on an entertaining show (though I find many places of disagreement) but there are three big questions on my mind:

1) Is Keith Olbermann the next Rush Limbaugh? Can he claim to be the voice of the Democratic Party?
2) Why are the Democrats (and Republicans for that matter) so reluctant to support a public option that is so ridiculously popular?
3) What took everyone so long to call the public option Medicare Part E?

These are all process questions obviously but I tend to be a practically minded political person (say that three times fast).

If I were a member of congress I would vote for a public option if and only if all of John Mackey's reforms were included with health care reform.

Health care is quite an interesting subject for me because it seems to throw all of political perceptions out of wack. When I look at politics I first look first does it fit my libertarian-independent (small l) philosophy. Second, does it make economic sense? Third, can this idea become law politically and practically. Lastly, is it the morally right thing to do.

The libertarian hates health care reform.
The economist and the moral view sees the need for reform.
The political strategist is confused on what the hell everyone is doing. It seems everyone is acting irrationally.

In summary this is really exciting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Arianna Huffington should calm down

She recently blogged that Biden should resign the vice presidency in protest of escalating the war in Afghanistan.

Are you kidding me? That would be so damaging to Obama's political credibility that he'll be a lame duck before his first year in office is finished.

I thought it was all about the team of rivals? Apparently, Adrianna should take back all the things she said about the singled-minded Bush administration. God forbid we an administration has internal disagreements.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A good look at the healthcare debate

My criticism is that it doesn't a talk about some of the good ideas Mackey has. Still I think it summarizes everything well.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

TV prosecutors

I can't stand those former prosecutors how go on tv and screech all day long.

I want criminals to get the book thrown at them but for every Elizabeth Smart there's the Duke Lacrosse team. You know not all people accused of a crime are guilty. That's why you're innocent until proven guilty.

Or maybe your just anti-American who wants to put make everyone guilty in the court of public opinion. I admit it I'm strawmaning here.

Oh yeah she was rude to Elizabeth Smart. Some victims' rights advocate. Smart does the right thing by helping people without bringing attention to herself. Only if every person was as mature and put together as Smart.

Definitely some people screwed up out there in California but can we do it without the screeching and the holier-than-thou attitude?

Don't get your information from television. If you have to go to C-Span, PBS, or BBC.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mayor of Milwaukee injured in attack

Former Congressmen and current Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was injured defending a women at a fair.

What a great guy. Its nice to see a politician stand up for your average folks. Congressman and senators can't vote on anything without all their interests taken care of while this guy gets attacked. Good for him.

*Update* Apparently there is a lot of speculation that he may run for governor now that Gov. Jim Doyle is retiring . Not to diminish is act of good but it should help him politically especially considering the positive national coverage he's getting.

Birthers are not original

Apparently a lot of people think the our 21st president, Chester Arthur, was born in Canada.

Funny side note I did a school project on President Arthur in the fourth grade.

The Arthur story is way more plausible than the Obama. In fact, its totally been disproven. People can be really crazy sometimes butt least we now know this story won't die.

By the way, McCain was born in Panama. Though in my opinion the whole natural born thing is much to do about nothing. McCain and Obama are both eligible to become president.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My endorsement for Governor

I am supporting Josh Penry in his effort to become Colorado's next governor.

Governor Ritter is a good man who has been very kind to me, but I feel that it is time to reduce government spending and stop the rise in fees and taxes in this state. I moderately approved referendums C & D. I disapprove some aspects of TABOR (while supporting it in principle). Still, we do not use money to properly fund our schools while hundreds and hundreds of new state employees got on the payroll. Senator Penry has been an advocate for education reform.

Senator Penry is a moderate who is not a zealot and right wing ideologue. He will represent both the western slope and the front range well. Having personally met him and seen him in action I am very impressed by his tone and work.

I am looking forward to a gubernatorial race where two good men can debate their ideas without all the political noise and backstabbing. This will give voters a good chance to weigh the issues and have a policy focused election.

At Senator Penry's website you can donate your money or your time so we can have a respectful election in 2010. Even if you support Governor Ritter I hope you at least support Senator Penry's nomination.

Rational arguments on Health Care

I am fairly undecided about the best way to solve the health care problem in this country and there is all kinds of crazy talk out there such as "death panels" or "medicaid and medicare are not government run." So in the spirit of good argument and fact here are a couple of good commentaries about health care.

On the left, this one argues some of the merits while acknowledging the disadvantages of the Canadian health care system.

On the right, we have John Mackey CEO of Whole Foods giving his well reasoned arguments.

I will say I find Mackey's arguments fairly appealing. The biggest one being "Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines."

Since states basically allow health insurance monopolies you get no real competition and no incentive to reduce costs. Honestly, we live in a mercantilist/state sponsored business health care system rather than a true capitalist or socialist system.

Still I will concede that Canada's system isn't bad.

Friday, August 7, 2009

DC interns

Not sure if I posted on this but this has to be one of my favorite blogs:

Nice way to lighten up the day.

I'm back

Sorry for the lack of updates. I was in Russia. I returned last week but got a little lazy. Anyway here's a few tidbits about Russia.

Russians read like crazy and are very well educated. Book stores are always packed (unlike America) and you can hardly walk anywhere without seeing someone reading.

Russia is a horribly corrupt country full of many contrasts. You can find the fanciest things out there but there is a lot of poverty and general sketchiness. John Edwards' two Americas comments seem like hyperbole compared to Russia.

Russians love to talk about politics. They are hesitant to talk about Russian politics but they will after they loosen up. Russians love to ask questions about America and President Obama. Russians are big fans of Obama (bizarre considering how racist Russia is).

The biggest thing in my mind is that young educated Russians are very frustrated. They are frustrated with corruption and they feel like they can't use their skills to get ahead. Many want to move to America. I have a feeling Russia is going to go through a massive transformation in the next few years as the college class is Russia gets more frustrated. Russia will either adapt and grow or there will be one heck of a revolution going on. Its up to Prime Minister Putin to make this decision as it will have long term historical consequences. A third possibility is a Russian brain drain as Russians leave their country to Europe and America to seek more economic opportunities.

Anyway, I will throw in more tidbits on my experiences in Russia but hopefully I will get back to what I do best and that's discuss politics!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I am pretty pleased with Obama when it comes to Iran. Obviously, I think a few statements against the crack down are warrented but otherwise best to keep distance.

Ron Paul has actually a pretty good idea when it comes to foreign policy. Trade is far better than war.

In fact, I came up with a little slogan "Don't invade, trade!"

Best to trade and foster good relationships that way. Sharing our ideas and cultures is the best way to create more understanding and less conflict. Plus, it strengthens American's image and improves the economy.

Of course everyone thinks I'm crazy but I rather be crazy than wrong.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Some short thoughts

Well I was hoping to do a couple of updates but I am working on two fairly good stories for the paper before I leave. One is a player from my college who got drafted by the Phillies and the other is about a new student ID/Visa check card program.

That plus my finals are holding me back a little.

A couple of thoughts though on recent political events:

Though Letterman's joke was tacky I still blame Palin for dragging her daughter into it. The fact that she constantly drags her children into political debates or photo-ops is in my opinion disturbing.

I have been following the Iranian election quite a bit. has some good stuff on it. I need to learn more about Iranian politics but it looks to me to be blatant voter fraud. The Iranian people are more modern and liberal than the media portrays them.

Wrote a speech for my class on why democracy and voting is wasteful. I don't particularly believe this myself but I love playing devil's advocate. Check out Brian Caplan's book The Myth of the Rational Voter.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lack of Updates

On a side note to any of my readers, I will be traveling out of the country at the end of June and will not return until the beginning of August.

I will periodically update the blog until I leave however any updates will be few. Still I may update the blog once or twice while I am away so feel free to keep checking.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

When your own people don't like you

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is such an idiot even Georgians don't like him.

Sure lets attack and kill Russian citizens. The US will defend us from Russia... not. Russia had every right to do exactly what it did. Georgia started the fighting but everyone gets mad at Russia for defending its own citizens.

Plus the break away areas of Georgia really have never been under their control which makes the whole "Georgia's territorial integrity" argument moot.

To his credit though Saakashvili has put up with the protesters which is something Russia would never do. I'm all for Georgia democracy but it looks like their a lot of Georgians that feel the same way I do about their president.

Russian Relations

Daniel Kimmage put out a fairly controversial piece out for Foreign Policy.

The problem with this piece is that its thesis and conclusions really have nothing to do with the body of the text. The article criticizes Russian and for the most part justly. Still the article goes through great lengths to criticize Russians domestic policy and fails to link or impact (to use debate terminology) to Russia and the US in international arena.

Just because the US and Russia have domestic differences doesn't mean that we can't get along at all (as his thesis says).

Finally, he writes this fairly illogical passage:

Back in those hallowed halls, much of the Washington expert community will respond with predictable howls of outrage: "We need Russia!" they will say. Really? What, exactly, has Russia done for the United States on Iran? Afghanistan? Counterterrorism? Energy security?

I'm sorry but if those things were going well you'd have a point. Unfortunately, when it comes to energy, counter-terrorism, Iran, and Afghanistan (also North Korea) things are going horribly wrong because the US and Russia are not co-operating. If we co-operated better maybe we can finally get these issues under control. The fact is Russia and the US don't co-operate enough because a Cold War mind set.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wow Karl

Karl Rove just said "I’m not really certain how intellectually strong she would be, she has not been very strong on the second circuit."

That's big words for a guy without a college degree.

Sonia Sotomayor:

Cardinal Spellman High School, Valedictorian
BA, Princeton, Pyne Prize, Summa Cum Laude, 1976 (age 22)
JD, Yale University, Editor of Law School Journal, 1979 (age 25)

Karl Rove:

Olympus High School, Student Council President, 2 years
Entered University of Utah, 1969, age 19, dropped out 1971
University of Maryland, 1971, withdrew first semester
George Mason University, 1973, dropped out
University of Texas, Austin, 1977, dropped out

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What are we still talking about Newt?

Seriously when did Newt Gingrich gain the national spotlight in the 21st century?

You know the former speaker of the house who was forced by his own party to resign because while publicly vilifying President Clinton for his sexual exploits with an intern he was carrying out his own affair with a staffer.

This kind of hypocrisy is legendary.

Now I really don't care about politicians sex lives (well in terms of politics but I do admit sex is always interesting). But you can't be a total hypocrite that's where I draw the line.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beck v Brooks the victor is Pyrrhic

Will Wilkinson's column is so good that I can only take it down by analyzing it.

Ritter stands up

Gov. Ritter vetoed a bill that would have allowed for locked out workers get unemployment benefits.

Pretty dumb idea if you ask me. Considering that the articled in the Post (linked above) says the state paid $5 million in 1996 to locked out Safeway workers.

A lot of money the state can't pay right now. Not to mention those workers are somewhat willfully unemployeed.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Abortion Abortion Abortion

Five Thirty Eight has several good posts about the Gallup abortion poll that can be seen here and here and here.

I was also somewhat amused by Michael Steele statement on Meet the Press that said, (I am paraphrasing here) "The science shows we know a lot more about life than we did during the Roe v. Wade decision."

Sure your for science now but god forbid science has to been right once since it is wrong on the environment, birth control, or evolution.

I'm being sarcastic.

Anyway this post is a tad liberal. Still I am pro-choice for the simple reason that I am not a doctor or a women therefore its not my decision nor much of my business. Basically laws should not be passed unless there is a clear reason and abortion is too muddy and too emotional to be that clear cut.

I have other arguments and reasons but that best sums me up.

Now can we get onto important things like the economy, torture, spending, taxes, health care, and foreign policy?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Where I get my news

I often get asked where do I get all my information from on political matters. So this is a list of my favorite print sources a brief description of why:

1) BBC - BBC has great everything. Great features, great tv, they even have a magazine. A very slight left wing view but nevertheless accurate and covers a variety of subjects. I use them primarily for international news that gives some cultural understanding but they also give a fresh perspective on American news.

2) Wall Street Journal - Though slightly right leaning in reporting (massively to the right in editorials) nevertheless pretty accurate and mainstream view on the right. Does well with international and financial issues.

3) Vanity Fair - Probably my favorite magazine. Though they cover a lot of pop culture stuff the political and business reporting is quite good. Plus they got the best covers. Quite left wing but still accurate interesting reporting and detailed stories.

4) Weekly Standard - My favorite right wing source of information. Mostly editorials but most are very good. Gives a good perspective of the right without being crazy (like Fox News cough cough). Highly recommend you subscribe regardless of your political persuasion.

5) The Colorado Statesmen - Best source of Colorado political news bar none. You won't get this stuff anywhere else. If you need to learn about state issues read this paper.

6) The Economist - definitely my favorite pure news magazine. A little left leaning but accurate and editorials are quite good. Covers everything really well especially European news (great source for Irish, British, Russian and general EU news).

7) Washington Post - again covers everything really well. Got some great writers not my first source of info but they got reporters that know what they are doing. Definitely one of my second sources of info.

8) Grand Junction Sentinel - actually its a pretty damn good paper for Colorado political news though comes in a distant second to the Statesman. Still covers state and local politics better than an other large Colorado paper. Denver Post has the occasional good stuff but I read it more for sports.

9) - I love Maddow and Olbermann but they are pretty far to the left (Maddow does great show though Olbermann I watch more for entertainment and a grew up watching him on Sports Center). As for the online addition not as far to the left as the tv this tends to follow a more neutral stance that you'll see on The Nightly News. Pretty good variety of stuff and great to skim through just to see whats going on.

10) Reason Magazine - great online videos. Looking for libertarian stuff outside Cato (Cato has pretty advanced stuff) then look here.

There are some more technical things I read mostly I spend every week or so reading journals at the local bookstore (most likely Tattered Cover). I also have a few economics and political things I read but that's really advanced stuff (not to talk anyone down I just doubt you are the C-Span type).

For those of you who love very technical stuff then let me recommend:
Council for Foreign Relations
Any college journal
There's a couple I am forgetting and its killing me right now

I also recommend C-Span, anything PBS and NPR for watching and listening.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I actually like this idea

Pennsylvania State Rep. Kevin Murphy uses a uses a drive thru window at his office.

Ban cellphones in cars?

* Accidentially posted this on my sports blog - - a couple of days ago. My bad.

I have to say I completely agree with Mike Rosen on banning cellphone use in cars.

Its a dumb idea and we got bigger things to worry about. This is my massive libertarian streak.

I also enjoyed the point that guys get distracted "olging the pretty girl in the car alongside."

Though I have yet to be in a car accident I have had some close calls. I'd say about 75% of those close calls were due to my ablilty to appreciate a good looking women.

Does that mean we should ban good looking women from being in view of male drivers. I'm looking at you pretty jogger.

The answer is no.

Free trade solves all the world's problems?

Maybe not but I think it would reduce a lot of wars out there.

Reason being that when you trade everyone benefits because of comparative advantage.

An excellent book on the subject of free trade is After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy by Christopher Coyne.

That is a reason I voted for Obama not necessarily because he's all free trade but because I think he will improve trade relations with Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, and Iran. That is the key to peace between all those countries is trading goods and opening up markets making war even more costly than bombs and human lives. Free trade makes war bad for business.

Obama is already looking to open up trade with Cuba and have better relations with Venezuela as seen here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Joe the Liar

So Karl Rove called Vice President Joe Biden a "blowhard" and a "liar."

Takes one to know one Mr. Rove.

Do I agree with Joe Biden on everything? Hell no but having met him and in reading his autobiography I will say he's a likable guy. He is blowhard but he acknowledges that.

Rove not so much.

Actually Rove kind of reminds me of Cartman in this South Park episode. Honestly, I think Rove is remembering/imagining things the rest of non-political hacks didn't see.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Huckabee taking over

Fivethirtyeight has an interesting post on a Rasmussen Reports poll that compares the approval numbers of capitalism versus socialism. Socialists seem to be getting more support though I agree with Fivethirtyeight's position that this poll should be taken with caution.

More interesting is whether or not Republicans will move towards a more economic populism. I always found it curious that a lot of peoples votes are more based on cultural conservatism rather than economic populism but that could change.

Most interesting of all, would this push the Republicans to Huckabee and away from the Romney types? I doubt in the long run. I think Romney's got a great shot in 2012 but if the economy is still not recovering than Huckabee would be an interesting alternative.

Maybe Huckabee should have been the VP choice after all?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


GM is making a deluxe segway

and the Daily Kos went insane.

Is it really that hard to have an electric car coupled with some better mass transit in cities? I don't think so.

Keep the gas cars (for now) in rural areas (long trips) the rest of us should just go electric.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Smoking Ad

I think the ads message went to far. I don't tend to throw my arms up at every emotional controversy but I don't agree with the tactic of hyperbole and using children as emotional weapons. I am not a big fan of using this kid either but I am more worried about the ads message.

I try to make this blog somewhat professional. However, I couldn't help but notice a comparison with the South Park episode Butt Out.

Lastly, my point is I am not a fan of the anti-smoking crusade. Like all crusades it is all about zealotry and little facts. Smoking is definitely bad for you but do we really have to shun and ban smoking everywhere? No, it takes away rights of smokers and business. I hear a lot about the rights of non-smokers, of which I am one, but nothing about smokers rights. Most smokers are courteous enough to ask before smoking in front of you. So it seems to me much to do about nothing. Really it is the anti-smoking campaign that's blowing the most smoke (couldn't help the pun).

*For the record though I call myself a nonsmoker I do enjoy the very occasional cigar but no more than once a week and more often like every three to four weeks.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I wasn't a big fan of Owens but I'll make an exception

In a Denver Post article , Former Governor Bill Owens said, "I think the $1 in damages accurately reflects the jury's appreciation for Ward Churchill's warm and endearing personality."

Got to give him some props for saying something pretty funny.

Anyway in discussing this with a professor of mine I told him, "Well if I refer to innocent victims of random, cold-blooded murder "technocrats," "little Eichmanns," or (my political science professor) Robert Hazan's favorite "market terrorist" in a future essay you'll know I am trying covering up plagiarism.

It's good to know that now plagiarism in now legally ok!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Where in the world is Mitt Romney?

Is it just me or I haven't really heard much from Romney lately?

McCain should have gotten over himself and picked him to be his running mate. The Republicans could have hammered him on experience (both military and economic) and lot look like giant hypocrites.

I have in earlier blog recommended Romney be economic czar for the Obama administration.

Romney should be the voice of the Republican party because he can argue economic issues and not seem out of touch. Romney is a bit more practical than your average Republican - at least while as governor of Massachusetts then ran as hard to the right as he could during the presidential primaries.

People are worried about jobs not terrorism and foreign policy stuff. The Republicans should sound more realistic on economic issues because they can't use scare tactics when it comes to terrorism any more. Romney would be the man for this.

Churchill wins? Seriously? *updated

I cannot believe Churchill won his civil case against CU. *Update* Though he only gets one dollar I still don't like the legal ramifications. The worst being a judge gets to decide if this unqualified buffoon gets to have his job back.

He was fired for plagiarism which he is incredibly guilty off. Yes, the paper he wrote brought some unwanted attention to himself. Don't exercise your free speech rights if you can't handle the criticism. That's like catching someone jaywalking and then found out he's innocent but he's really a thief. Are you just going to let him go? No, I know that's a bit of a hyperbole/straw man but seriously what is wrong with these people?

You can't plagiarise and be an academic. There are enough crappy professors that are biased but at least follow the rules. Now all hell has broken loose.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Obama and Russia

Just thought I would point out a couple of Washington Post pieces on Obama and Russia. I supported Obama primarly for his more diplomatic stance towards the rest of the world and Russia in particular. I'd write more but my hand is not happy with all the blog posting (I have 3 other blogs) and the homework so enjoy these:

U.S., Russia Work to Reduce Nuclear Warheads

Dmitry Medvedev's Op-ed

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Third party or minority party 101 (an intro)

One issue I have some particular experience in is the difference between a party that is in power and a party that is out of power. I worked with Democrats while they have (and still do) control both state houses and the governor's office. I also used to work briefly with the Libertarian Party. This is a theme that I would like this blog to particularly focus on.

The big difference between a party that is in power and a minority or third party is that while out of power political parties become more insular and dogmatic. Political parties need to focus on building big tents. Obama won the election the way he did because of his ability to build a big tent (plus a very unpopular President from the other party).

Though the Democratic Party is bound to implode sooner or later (I vote sooner with the whole Dodd Obama fight with bonuses) the Republicans should not wait for that to happen.

Republicans need to focus more on being a center-right party while the Democrats are the center-left. Yes the Rush Limbaugh's and the extreme right-wing have their place but that is a member of a coalition not the entire party.

Unfortunately, the ones with the biggest megaphones in the Republican Party are the extreme right-wing. This forces the Republicans to maintain there base of support unnecessarily. To be honest extreme views should not be counted on to win national or state elections.

My evidence supporting these claims is the stimulus vote. The only three Republican votes that went for the stimulus came from left-leaning states (Maine and Pennsylvania).

The reason why I support healthy minority and third parties is:
A) When your side looses power all things don't go to hell
B) It forces both sides to the center

I personally feel that there are a lot of young reasonable Republicans that are getting ignored because they not in the extreme right-wing. I have always been open to voting Republican but I have yet to have the opportunity.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Just for the record I do not believe Churchill has the academic or research abilities to be a professor.

Do I think CU made plagiarism an excuse to fire him. I doubt it. Most likely he drew a lot of attention to himself. He has every right to say what he wants though he is incredibly wrong. Free speech does not mean you censor those who disagree with you.

Still the guy should not be a professor. CU had the right to fire him. Why they hired him in the first place should be the question everyone is asking.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thoughts on Ireland

Since most are just getting over their St. Patrick's Day hang over I thought I would bring a little perspective on Irish politics.

I tend to have strong nationalist sympathies. I spend my day listening to Irish rebel songs and watching Michael Collins.

With the recent violence in Northern Ireland however I think these Real and Continuity IRA thugs are dangerous. I am particularly worried that Unionist terrorists will now be back in business and blame things on the IRA (which they have done during The Troubles).

This renewed violence is very counterproductive. Ireland needs to focus on the future in not the past. Catholic population grows much faster than the protestant one. The Republic of Ireland has become an economic force (though no one has a solid economy at the moment). Belfast needs to stop with the moaning and nostalgia of the past.

Ireland will be united in my life time. The English have done enough killing. The Irish have killed enough of each other during the civil war and The Troubles it is time to move on.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mike May running for Governor? Plus Republican musings

Reuters is reporting that Mitt Romney has endorse House Minority Leader Michael May for governor in 2010.

In addition, Muhammad Ali Hasan has also been a strong supporter of Mike May.

Republicans really do have a shot at many Colorado races in 2010. I think Gov. Ritter has been a bit of a dispointment. It pains me to say it because I've met with him numerous times and he is a really good person but his administration has been a disappointment.

With Bennet being a surprise nomination for senator and his difficult decision on the Employee Free Choice Act Republicans are really going to target Colorado.

I also have a feeling that Republicans have a good bench in Hasan and Josh Penry. Both are very talented. Penry will be governor or senator someday and Hasan is considering running against Cary Kennedy for State Treasurer. Hasan has a good shot Kennedy is not much of a campaigner and he's got the ability to grab moderates and Democrats. He's the kind of person who thinks outside the box and is not hyper-partisan.

As for the Republicans nationally however, they need a lot of work. Minority Whip Eric Cantor looked really good on Meet the Press. Unfortunately, its hard to take the Republicans too seriously right now when it comes to fiscal issues. They say one thing and do another.

When it comes to foreign and social policy Republicans are just wrong almost on all levels. American needs more diplomacy and less interference in our day-to-day lives.

With social policy Republicans don't understand that just because something is not illegal does not mean the government endorses it. I don't personally endorse prostitution or drug legalization but prohibition is just bad government policy.

Same with homosexuality. In fact there is nothing wrong with gay marriage or being gay. I understand the objects some people have but allowing gays to marry or just be gay does not mean you endorse your lifestyle. You are in fact only endorsing freedom and personal choice.

Not to mention Republicans are in-fighting and don't have a clear message or platform right now.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cramer v. Stewart

Jon Stewart did a very good job on nailing Jim Cramer to the wall last night. I haven't gotten a chance to see the whole interview yet but Cramer looked like a guy who brought a knife to a gun fight.

To his credit though Cramer took it like a man. I've never been a huge fan of Cramer I always thought he was way too over the top. But at the same time he strikes me a more honest than a lot of other guys.

I will be curious to see if his show changes at all. I would really like to see some hard hitting financial news on CNBC that includes some investigative journalism.

After going back and seeing the full interview and looking back at some Daily Show episodes I'll give a more full analysis.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Small v Big Minds

Fivethirtyeight had a pretty good piece on the Republican use of the term Democrat Party rather than Democratic Party.

Being a former government worker I usually don't subscribe myself to the whole public service, honor, serving your country stuff. Politics is a dog-eat-dog world and the faster you realize that the better you are.

Still there should be some proper rules when it comes to discourse and calling your opponent by the correct terminalogy should be one of them.

Its like calling everyone who disagrees with you a Nazi. All it does is demean yourself and reduce impact of really Nazis.

As a I am Russian Orthodox it is personally insulting when someone uses the term Nazi or Communist. Nazis and Leninists are evil. More Russians died at the hands of the Nazis than anyone group of people in any war in human history. Communists (which are actually Leninist) slaughtered priests and destroyed a church that's still trying to find itself.

Anyway, sorry about the rant. The point is Republicans use of the term "Democrat Party" makes the Democratic Party look more patrician and separates themselves from the general population. Basically the Republicans use the term to separate the Democrats from their base.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Latest economics column

The economic clouds are gathering. The storm is approaching to level a devastating disaster not only on America but the world. Soup kitchens will have lines going around the block. Now a once roaring decade has closed with financial turmoil and the aftermath is perhaps a decade or more of misery.

If you are confused whether this is 2008 or 1932 you are not alone. In 1932 the United States had to choose between two equally bad candidates Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 2008, did America again have a choice between two equally bad candidates? The history still hasn’t been written. Yet, the truth is we have yet to hit the depression everyone has been panicking about. The current economic climate is not just "a mental recession" as one foolish adviser to Sen. John McCain said. The recession is very real. However, it is time for the media's and the fatalist’s view of the economy to come to an end. The fact is we know what caused the depression and though the current solutions are not perfect, the economy will bottom out and turn around much sooner than we expect.

There are a whole host of reasons why the Great Depression occurred, yet what many of us fail to realize is during that horrible period people were learning what happened and how to avoid another depression. The economists now know why the Depression was so long and so devastating: government intervention in the economy.

Let's look at a massive government expansion program - the New Deal. Five years into Franklin Roosevelt's presidency the unemployment rate was still at a scary 19 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is admittedly better than 24.9 percent in 1933, the first year of Roosevelt's presidency, but that means there are thousands and thousands of willing workers who still could not find jobs.

Unfortunately, Roosevelt made a massive blunder during the New Deal named the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA). This allowed business owners with government support to act as cartels, brush away antitrust laws, set price floors and raise wages. In some cases, economists put the wages 25 percent higher than they otherwise would have been. Most people would think there is nothing wrong with raising wages, however, this act of legislation was only beneficial to those lucky enough to have a job in 1933.

The main economic problem with the NIRA is business worked with the government in setting prices and wages too high. When employing high wage workers, businesses have to cut back on the number of jobs available and that is exactly what happened. Two economists, Harold Cole and Lee Ohanian, demonstrated through economics that Roosevelt prolonged the Depression not shortened it.

The fact is unemployment did not reach adequate levels until 1942, after the United States joined the Allies in World War II. Roosevelt thought excessive competition among businesses was causing Americans to work less. When the NIRA allowed for businesses to fix the wages of workers it reduced competition between employers to provide jobs. The politicians and populists fail to understand that when the labor market is restricted employers stop hiring employees. Competition is the workers friend not the enemy.

Not only did the New Deal not end the Depression but Americans worked less. Cole and Ohanian wrote, "Total hours worked per adult, including government employees, were 18% below their 1929 level between 1930-32, but were 23% lower on average during the New Deal (1933-39). Private hours worked were even lower after FDR took office, averaging 27% below their 1929 level, compared to 18% lower between 1930-32."

This does not mean that Herbert Hoover could have ended the Depression either. He raised taxes and tariffs because he thought the national debt was more important than unemployment. By raising tariffs this reduced trade and isolated Europe from the United States. When trade decreases there are less jobs because there are no goods and services being exchanged, therefore less workers are needed.

For those of you who thought there was little choice between Obama and McCain, you should look to 1932 when the only choices were: making the Depression longer with Hoover's high taxes and tariffs or Roosevelt's restrictions on prices and wages. We all should be thankful that employment hasn't hit 25 percent and that we did not have to choose between two evils of equal magnitude. A depression is still far away thanks to our grandparents’ efforts. But it is time for a more realistic and pragmatic approach to fixing the economic crisis and it is called letting the free market work.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kathleen Sebelius HHS

Obama would be better served by not nominating Kathleen Sebelius to become Secretary of Health and Human services.

Reason? Democrats in Kansas are precious. Senator Sebelius is better than Secretary Sebelius. Democrats are likely to pick up at least two more senate seats in the upcoming election especially with Sebelius.

Too bad Daschle turned out to be a failure for Obama because he really was the best person to push health care reform.

By the way, whatever happened to Sanjay Gupta? Oh yeah he supposedly accepted the Surgeon General job and nobody has noticed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Metropolitan's New Website

*I have done a lot of posts so make sure to check out the older ones.

Anyway, I am a writer for the Metropolitan (more commonly known as the Met).

It is a weekly publication that covers happenings on at Metropolitan State College of Denver where I am the beat writer for hockey and baseball. I am also the assistant sports editor. However, most importantly to you I also write regular economics column - I am an economics major not a journalism major.

You can check out the website which is updated weekly at Click on sports for sports articles and insight for my column. You can also scroll down to the bottom of any of my articles and click my name to see all of them.

* I might also be a regular guest on Metro's politcal radio program which you can access

To give you a taste I will copy and paste this week's economics column:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Robert Dran

You can count me out of the populist rhetoric when it comes to executive pay. Surely taxpayers have a right to be angry at the use of their hard-earned money going to corporate bailouts. However, all the talk that executives are overpaid only covers up the government's inadequate management of the bailout. As much as us poor folk like to show malice to those richer than ourselves, there is actually no good economic reason for it.

Ironically, Obama's executive order to cap the salaries of corporate executives is the best way to end the bailout. This may sound odd at first, but there are solid incentives behind this argument. In order to end the government bailouts, there needs to be a disincentive for the companies to accept the bailout. Well, limiting salaries is a massive disincentive to receive government bailout money. The investors are better off kicking the bad executive out and bringing a good one on board to fix the company. The public's anger should be directed at Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Former President George W. Bush for encouraging bad management – not corporate boardrooms.

First, it’s probably best to explain why corporate executives get paid so much. The reason is there aren't a lot of executive quality people. For all the MBAs out there, there are still too few people with the skills and experience to run a multi-billion dollar corporation; therefore the supply of available corporate executives is pretty small. On the flip side, there are a lot of companies out there looking for good CEOs, so if you need some good management, you have to pay for it. In a free market, corporations punish other corporations for paying their executives too much or too little. Too much and the company is less efficient than its competitors. If they pay too little, then the executive has an incentive to leave for another company. As the saying goes, good help is hard to find.

Does this mean executive pay is always perfectly in line with supply, demand, efficiency and needs? The answer is no. The fact is when you are a corporate executive of a large company you are in charge of billions of dollars. So getting a few million to manage several billion really sounds like a pretty good deal. But if management fails to manage well, then it's the company's fault. It is not the government's responsibility to patrol every company to make sure they are not overpaying. In fact, the reason we have this financial crisis is that the government has gotten too involved with how the market works. Government promotes poor management of companies. One great example is the failure of the Securities and Exchange Commission to stop Bernie Madoff – the guy who made off with investors' money. Investors have the false belief that they don't have to monitor the company because the SEC is doing it for them while the SEC is actually in cahoots with Bernie rather than the investors they were "meant to protect."

So, you might ask, why do bad executives get paid so much money? Good question. Bad executives get paid a lot of money to leave companies – golden parachutes. If you are in a high-demand market, then you have the right to demand a certain amount of financial security. If things go wrong then the company simply pays you to go away. Executives have a lot of power, but they are responsible to their shareholders. However, if you have a bad executive and you fire him, instead of paying him to leave, the executive will fight and you get a lot of chaos and disorder, which is bad for the company. So instead, you pay the executive to go away and the shareholders can install a new executive. This works because the shareholders get a new man in charge with no boardroom fighting and the executive gets paid for his time and avoids a corporate war.

Who thought poor executive management could be solved through bribes? Just because there are bad overpaid executives out there, that does not mean there are monopolies – the government – needs to make things more efficient. The concept of large companies taking away jobs is simply incorrect. The fact is more than half of all jobs come from small business. Most sources of information put it at 80 percent of total jobs.

I will agree, though, taxpayer money going to bonuses for boneheaded executives is insulting. Nevertheless, this is not the corporation's fault: it is the government's. Paulson and Bush are the ones to blame for handing out this money. The bailout was a horrible idea. There is already the FDIC, which federally insures bank accounts in case a bank collapses. For you and me there is no reason to bail these guys out. Luckily, Obama is unintentionally killing the bailout with the limits on salaries.

Interesting Column

I tend to be a Fareed Zakaria fan. I highly recommend his book The Post-American World the book sounds like the end of the American Empire when it is in fact a book about how the Americans can live with the rise of other countries.

Anyway Zakaria has come up with quite a gem about Canada's banking system.

Obama really messed up

I have a hard time believing that Obama's appointments could have gone any worse.

Tom Daschle was a major blow to Obama's agenda. Though I find this to be a good excuse why the American tax system needs to be changed.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was really lucky that we are in such a mess that Republicans and moderate Democrats thought any delay would be a catastrophe.

Governor Bill Richardson always struck me as a guy with several skeletons in his closet. Nevertheless, it would have been nice to use his experience.

Now we got Senator Judd Gregg which just goes to show that Obama was not suspicious enough of his nominees. The Obama crew should have interviewed the hell out of him. It seems to me that at this point to claim he just wasn't on board as an accuse is just pretty damn dumb.

At least Obama's crew kicked him to the curb in their press release.

Fivethirtyeight has a good blog on Gregg.

PA Judges

This is the worst thing I have heard in a long time

I can't believe that they can get only 7 years for this. It is times like these that make me question where or not we should have the death penalty.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Work load

Well I won't be updating the blog that much this week because I am writing three sports articles and a column for my college paper.

Once I am down to baseball and my economics column I will update more. Hockey season ends this week so I am doing two stories on them.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Muhammad Ali Hasan considering run for CO Treasurer

I am a pretty big fan of Ali Hasan. I don't know as much as I should about Cary Kennedy and how the treasury does but I really like the guy and hope he runs.

Even if I do fully support him I think he would bring some creativity and energy that is lacking in CO politics. Colorado needs a new voice and if he can bring it to the campaign all the better. Very entertaining a lovable guy I wish him all the best.

Friday, January 23, 2009

What the...?

I can't believe Paterson picked Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Bring on Governor Cuomo and a new senator in 2010.

There is no way either Paterson or Gillibrand can survive a Democratic primary.

Caroline Kennedy would probably crush Gillibrand in a primary especially in Cuomo goes for the governor ship.

I heard on Hardball that Paterson is setting up Gillibrand for failure so protect himself.

Problem is there is no shortage of well financed, well-known, very progressive Democrats in New York.

If this was like Colorado that wouldn't be a bad strategy (which Ritter didn't do) but New York?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No Senator Kennedy from NY

Well I will admit that I am just a tad disappointed the Caroline Kennedy won't be senator.

Being an Irish-American love the Kennedys. I am biased I admit it.

Though for Paterson should Cuomo because he is more likely to change him for the governor's seat. Honestly, Cuomo probably would rather be a governor than the junior senator from NY.

I personally would rather be a governor than a junior senator though being a senator is a life time occupation.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I was just watching a Frontline/World podcast on microcredit in Uganda.

Very interesting. I am a huge believer in microcredit. Muhammad Yumus is in Colorado on Sunday. I hope to get a chance to see him.

Anyway the microcredit organization featured in this documentary is called Kiva I highly encourage you to check this out and learn more about microcredit.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fed/Colo. Spending

The government should have a stimulus package that involves tax cuts, infastructure spending, and schools.

Nothing else. No pork projects.

States are cutting back on education and infastructure. In Colorado, we already have terrible school and the worst roads around.

It is embarrassing for me as a Coloradoan who drives to the western slope regularly how bad the roads are.

It is even more frustrating that politicians think its better to reduce spending on infastructure and education. Those are probably the two most important things the government can spend money on.

Andrew Romanoff should challenge Ritter in a primary because as much as I like Ritter personally his governorship has been bad. Bennet? Seriously?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Israel's invasion

Will backfire. Call me crazy but considering how the war in Lebanon strengthen Iran and Hezbollah its difficult to conclude that Gaza will go any better.

So much for democratic piece. In fact, young democracies tend to be more warlike than other forms of government.


When people get to express themselves for the first time they want to show their might. Hamas won because Palestine wants to fight Israel.

Not to mention invading a heavily populated area will most likely give Hamas a propoganda victory.

Both sides have the right to exist. Israel should have seen the rocket attacks coming and would be better off not to overreact.

Bennet? Really?

Well I guess Ritter is 1-2 when it comes to appointments. Bernie Buescher was a great idea for Secretary of State. Michael Bennet for U.S. Senate leaves me with more questions than answers.

I keep up with politic fairly well and I really don't know enough about Bennets positions as a Senator. I know him well enough to recommend him for Education Secretary in a previous blog.

The reason Ritter picked Bennet is his lack of a record. Romanoff and Hickenlooper have lenghy and more well-known records. Bennet is also young so he can keep that seat for awhile if he wins in 2010.

Now what should Romanoff do? I would say either go for the state senate or challange Dianna DeGette in a primary. I don't hate DeGette but the lack of competition in CD 1bothers me. I think it gives DeGette an excuse to be less active outside of stem cells.