Category Archives: United States

What Rand Paul ACTUALLY said about Vaccines

What the media are reporting: [stir pot with half-truth] Rand Paul says vaccines are dangerous [watch ratings go up as both sides tune in, cash out with ad revenue]

What anti-vaxxers are hearing: OMG—Rand Paul says we’re right not to vaccinate!!! Huzzah! Rand 2016!!!!!!!   Rand for dictator for life!!

What pro-vaxxers are hearing: OMG—Rand Paul says we shouldn’t vaccinate! What a loon!!! Anyone-not-named-Rand 2016!!!

What Rand actually says in response to the unprofessionally asked question, “Did you really just say…that you think most vaccines should be voluntary?”: Continue reading What Rand Paul ACTUALLY said about Vaccines

Sales Tax, Use Tax, & the Internets

I’m generally a Jim DeMint junkie, but his comments in opposition to the “Marketplace Fairness Act” are off the mark.

The MFA seeks to bring some order to that vast, wild frontier known as ‘online shopping’—specifically, it provides a standardised framework to collect state sales taxes on Internet purchases.  DeMint says the current collection model of whatever-the-corporate-legal-department-thinks-is-a-good-idea-today is working just fine—it’s not.  Both retailers and consumers would benefit from clarification of online sales tax law. Continue reading Sales Tax, Use Tax, & the Internets

Berkowitz on Obama & Progressivism

From Berkowitz, Peter. 2010. “Obama and the State of Progressivism, 2011.” Policy Review 164 (December-January): 3-25.

The discrepancy between candidate Obama’s rhetoric and President Obama’s words and deeds is not explainable only in terms of the inevitable exaggerations and omissions that characterize electoral politics… Candidate Obama did not merely obscure the policy implications of his principles. He obscured his principles as well.

…The simple explanation for the cultivated ambiguity is that Obama feared that if he clarified his intentions he would lose the election…

In the annals of American progressivism, Obama’s predicament is hardly unique… Like Obama’s new progressivism, the old or original progressivism championed a vision of democracy that sometimes conflicted with ordinary people’s opinions and preferences. [But] The old progressives often realized it and said as much. One of the distinguishing marks of the new progressivism at whose head Obama stands is the determination to conceal the gap between what majorities want and what progressive leaders want to enact in their name while insisting proudly on the purity of their democratic credentials.