Friday, April 6, 2012

News of the Day

1. There has been a lot of news recently about the epidemic of bullying in schools and among the younger generations. In response, especially to the bullying that targets sexual orientation, several state and local governments have passed laws that are targeted at preventing and mediating bullying. While this should be a step in the right direction, there are of course those who would disagree. Specifically, Christian groups are complaining that the laws violate their rights of religious freedom. That's right, a Christian group is saying that their religious freedom relies on being able to bully other people. What about other people's freedom to feel secure and safe in their communities, or to be able to express themselves openly without being ridiculed? This argument by these Christian organizations is astounding in its hypocrisy, since they say they are being unfairly targeted by laws that are meant to keep them from targeting others unfairly.

2. Paul Krugman makes a case for increased inflation which, if you read the comments, doesn't sit well with many people. Krugman asserts that the Federal Reserve is being intimidated by the Right into not pursuing policies that would be more beneficial to the economy. While the argument can be made in either direction, there are concerns with artificially raising inflation. For one thing, is there a way for the Fed to stop it once it gets going? For another, how would it affect people who are on fixed incomes, or those who don't make a lot of money to begin with. In a macroeconomic sense, inflation may be a smart solution. On the microeconomic side, it could be a disaster.

3. Republicans have a good feeling about the Health Care Reform bill being overturned by the Supreme Court. This has prompted them to be uncharacteristically supportive of the court in the last week or so. While this newfound respect for the judiciary is almost certainly short-lived, it does show just how willing politicians on both sides are to defend and promote an institution that serves their needs. In the past, Republicans have complained about rogue judges, activist court rulings, etc. and have expressed deep concern over the validity of the courts. That is not the tone now, though I expect it will be the next time the court hands down a decision the Republicans don't like.

4. Now that Romney has some distance between himself and the other nominees for the GOP spot on the ticket, he's starting to look around for a VP. Recently, he has been campaigning closely with Paul Ryan, who showed up at several Wisconsin rallies with Mitt. Other names that have been dropped include Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, and Allen West, but Ryan seems to be the most likely candidate. It would make sense, too, since Ryan is especially popular with the conservative crowd these days. His budget proposals are seen as the second coming of Reagan by many on the Right and, even better, the Left despises him and his policies. He'd be a good match to Romney and would help tie up the party, but it still remains to be seen if Ryan will make onto the eventual ticket.

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