Debate

A day after the State of the Union address has the internet lit up. Everyone has an opinion, and many of them want to state it. Topics range from the substance of the address to how it was presented and ultimately how it is received in the nation given a varying degree of relevance.

It’s entirely possible to go through this point by point and make some kind of alternative statement about the state of the union as I see it. But that seems to miss the main point. Our nation is fractured and unfocused. Why? Before we debate this topic, it seems reasonable to go back to the main purpose of debate in the first place, a fundamental skill necessary for an open, free, and democratic society.

The purpose of debate is to learn.

Continue reading

Advertisements

First Democratic Debate

By the time you read this the first Democratic debate has probably already happened. I hope you enjoyed it!

There is a tradition here at Barataria of predicting the news before it happens, which is to say at least outlining what is likely to happen within reasonable boundaries. It’s more like a weather forecast than a news forecast. So let’s take a stab and see what we can reasonably expect from the debate itself and the news going forward.

Mostly sunny with a high in the 70s. No, it’s more complicated than that …

Continue reading

Dodd-Frank, a Non-Issue

The first presidential debate went over a lot of topics – taxes, Medicare, budgets – that were very much worth spending a lot of time on.  But one of the things that came up far more than I ever thought possible was the Dodd-Frank Act, aka the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.  Mitt Romney called it “the biggest kiss to New York banks I’ve ever seen.”  He went on at some length about it, too, claiming “We need to get rid of that provision because it’s killing regional and small banks.”

Some of you know far more about this than I do, but this absolutely shocked me.  Dodd-Frank is really a non-issue, a half-step where a bold march forward is called for.  About half the world thinks it went too far and half thinks it didn’t go far enough, meaning it’s a rough compromise.  And, in practice, it doesn’t seem to have really changed very much.

How did this come up as an issue?  Dunno.  But I’m asking all of you to correct me if I have this wrong.

Continue reading