The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Paranoia Is Your Friend!

Mickey Kaus
Contributor

It's hard to read this analysis without concluding that Putin will take military action in Ukraine.  He reportedly does not think Obama is the sort to fight back in any significant way.  Of course, if Obama were truly cynical and 100% political, he might conclude that a confrontation in Ukraine would be just the thing to distract from the Obamacare rollout -- and maybe even cause a rallying around the flag -- in time for the mid-term elections. Obama isn't so cynical. But does Putin know that?
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Rubio for President!

11:13 PM 02/23/2014

If Rubio's the GOP funder's favorite, amnesty's dead, no? Mike Allen's Playbook flags John King's report on Jeb Bush reaching out to "key funders" to let them know he's maybe still in the GOP mix for 2016. Which reminded me of a crazy conspiratorial theory I had about Marco Rubio and immigration "reform:"

Let’s “deal with” this Gallup poll!

2:11 PM 02/18/2014

Paranoids live better: It saves time and confusion, when you are trying to understand MSM polls on immigration, if you start from the premise that they are designed to produce the amnesty the MSM consensus favors. Why, for instance, would Gallup ask voters whether the main focus of immigration policy should be to "deal with immigrants who are currently in the U.S. illegally" (with the alternative being "halting the flow of illegal immigrants")?

UAW Crushed. What Comes Next?

1:07 AM 02/15/2014

No wonder they wanted card check:  I remember, toward the end of the last Bush administration,  whippersnappers all the confident young Dem policy warriors repeating labor's talking points about the need to allow the secret ballot in union recognition elections to be replaced by "card check," a system in which workers sign cards in the presence of union organizers. Without card check, management would "coerce" workers by pointing out the downside of unionization in mandatory propaganda meetings.

Schumer’s latest scheme

6:01 PM 02/09/2014

If they can wait 3 years ...: If Republicans don't trust President Obama's implementation of an immigration law, suggests Sen. Schumer, why not a compromise that postpones the effective date until after Obama leaves office?

Falling through Obamacare’s floor?

4:39 AM 02/07/2014

A mess at the bottom of Obamacare: We know what happens when people who claim subsidies on the Obamacare exchanges underestimate their income--the IRS will grab the unwarranted part of the subsidy back at tax time. And we know what happens if they overestimate their income--they'll be refunded the subsidy to which their lower income entitled them.

Psst! Ryan’s Lyin’ …

11:27 PM 02/03/2014

The Supposed Right to Lie (to the Right) for Amnesty: Here is Rep. Paul Ryan talking  about the Republican leadership's immigration plan on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos last Sunday:

Boehner’s Bad Date with Amnesty

6:11 PM 02/01/2014

I Walked With a Zombie! It sure looks like Speaker Boehner had a Bad Date with Amnesty on Thursday, according to Jonathan Strong's reporting at Breitbart. ("[T]he dozens of GOP lawmakers who spoke were at least 80-20 against bringing a bill to the floor this year.") But the WSJ is buying the claim of the GOP leadership and its aides that the immigration "principles" were "largely accepted." ... Do not disrupt the planned narrative! .. .

This is the best scam they can come up with?

5:23 AM 01/30/2014

Dud Con II: Immigration reform watchers have been waiting to see how the GOP leadership tries to package legislation to trick anti-amnesty conservatives into voting for what in essence is an amnesty.** Curiosity grew after House Judiciary chair Bob Goodlatte gave the impression that the leaders were preparing some sort of "enforcement first" approach -- or at least preparing to pretend they were proposing an "enforcement first" approach:

Who is the GOP’s Mystery Speaker?

1:53 PM 01/27/2014

Speaking with one voice--or listening to one voice, anyway: Word is that a single speaker will be allowed to address House Republicans on the topic of immigration when the GOP caucus gathers later this week in Maryland--an actual debate might disrupt leadership plans to weasel through a Legalization First amnesty. But who is the all-knowing expert Boehner & Co. have chosen to lead the crucial indoctrination session discussion? The GOP leaders aren't saying**--perhaps because if the Mystery Speaker is identified beforehand he or she might become a figure of controversy. ....

When is the Abortion Issue Not About Abortion?

4:06 AM 01/27/2014

Chronicles of Paranoia: Roe Bait for the Bubbas Are Republicans really going to make a big fuss about abortion for the 2014 midterms? The New York Times, remembering how well this issue worked for the GOP in 2012--as Senators Aiken and Mourdock can attest--is licking its chops promoting the story, which makes me suspicious. But apparently Reince Priebus, the revered statesman suicidal K Street puppet party chairman, indeed attended the big anti-Roe March for Life,  and he fiddled with the start of the GOP retreat to let others attend. Plus he's made time for conservatives to introduce a pro-life declaration at that event. So maybe this isn't just a story being blown out of proportion by wishful liberals. ...

The Coming GOP Amnesty Sellout Push

6:50 AM 01/20/2014

Lobbyists, on the march! The coming weeks will see the formal start of the GOP House leadership's attempt to sneak an immigration amnesty through the Republican caucus and into law. We don't know the exact details of the proposals, but we know enough:

Not way, way, way out of whack!

7:26 PM 01/15/2014

Wonkblog's Sarah Kliff notes that health insurers, when speaking to investors, are much more positive about their prospects under Obamacare than you might think reading the policy complaints of their allies on the Web. But some of what they're saying seems, on closer inspection, to be less than a ringing endorsement. For example:

That ain’t wonkin’!

6:42 PM 01/14/2014

Wonkblog's Primal Urge to Reassure Wins Out: In point 4 of his 11 point "Wonkblog"  (Headline: "The death of Obamacare's death spiral") WaPo's Ezra Klein assures his readers

Obamacare’s Red Herring

5:29 PM 01/13/2014

Obamacare’s young/old mix isn't important–but, hey, did you see those figures on the young/old mix? "[R]umors of an Obamacare death spiral have been greatly exaggerated," the Washington Post's "Wonkblog" told us recently. The Post's Sarah Kliff quoted Kaiser Family Foundation's expert, Larry Levitt--who seems to be pretty much the other end of Wonkblog's phone line these days--saying that the mix of young versus old in the Obamacare "risk pools" isn't really that significant. "When you do the math, it matters, but not nearly as much as the conventional wisdom suggests," Levitt said. Wonkblog then cited a Kaiser Family Foundation study showing that if young people sign up at half the rate of older people, premiums would only "fall 2.5 percent short of covering subscribers." Not a "terrifying" number, says Levitt. Message: 'Don't worry! Obamacare on track!'

Is “New Poverty” Dead?

5:54 AM 01/13/2014

What if they created a bogus "poverty" measure ... and it was too bogus to use with a straight face? In 2011, the Census Bureau unveiled its "Supplemental Poverty Measure," designed to replace the old familiar LBJ-era poverty measure (based on the cost of an "economy" diet, multiplied by 3 and indexed for inflation) with a new index so complicated it was barely comprehensible even to many poverty wonks.** The "SPM" has some useful updates--it takes into account food stamps and the Earned Income Tax Credit, for example, meaning it doesn't count as "poor" many people who are helped by those programs. But its key feature--some (e.g. me) would say the trick liberals were trying to pull on the public--was that it wasn't a measure of absolute deprivation. It measured relative income, even though this aspect was assiduously hidden.

The GOP’s Grandfather Weapon

3:05 AM 01/06/2014

'If You Like Your Obamacare, You Can Keep Your Obamacare': I don't quite understand the new, near-unanimous Dem line on Obamacare--which is that because it has signed up a few million people, many previously uninsured, it is now somehow invulnerable to repeal. From WaPo:

GM Loses Market Share, Again?

4:54 PM 01/03/2014

The press won't make it easy for you to discover--gets in the way of the pre-packaged "Detroit is back!" narrative--but it looks like General Motors lost market share again in 2013. According to Ward's Auto, GM sales grew 7.3%--but the market as a whole grew 7.5%. ... GM sales for December unexpectedly cratered, despite "high inventory levels ... unseen since before the Great Recession." ... If this is a good year for GM, I wonder what a bad year will look like. ....

Attention, Redistributionist Liberals!

8:38 AM 01/02/2014

An iconoclastic and fecund blog post from economist Noah Smith potentially redirects the Democrats' redistributionist impulse in a more promising direction. Smith looks at the types of equality nominally pursued by various tendencies in American politics--a) "'equality of outcome', usually meaning equality of wealth" (liberals), b) equality of "opportunity" (centrists), and c) equality before the law (practically everyone)--and feels there is something missing. That something is "equality of respect." This is essentially the same conclusion I reached in the early '90s, when the redistributionist Democratic party seemed to be in crisis at the end of the Reagan era.** "Redistribute wealth?" Smith asks. "No, redistribute respect."***

Welfare Queen Probed, Krugman Hardest Hit

6:55 AM 12/27/2013

I put off reading Josh Levin's piece about Linda Taylor, the famous Chicago "welfare queen" of the '70s, in part because I feared it would be so engrossing and revealing I'd be consumed with professional jealousy.  I've now read it. It's engrossing and revealing and  I'm jealous. (Also, Slate's new format mysteriously makes reading a long article easier. You should go there immediately.)  But Dave Weigel's idea that Levin's piece somehow "vaporizes" Ronald Reagan's use of the Taylor case in his campaigns is silly.**