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Author Topic: The Way Forward for the American Creed  (Read 72349 times)
ccp
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« Reply #250 on: May 05, 2010, 05:32:29 PM »

I was looking for this guy but could not find him till now.  I heard him speak on cable and he wowed me:   Allen West in Florida.


****Among the many reverberations of President Obama’s election, here is one he probably never anticipated: at least 32 African-Americans are running for Congress this year as Republicans, the biggest surge since Reconstruction, according to party officials.

 
Barbara P. Fernandez for The New York Times
Allen West, running in Florida, says the notion of racism in the Tea Party movement has been made up by the news media.

Princella Smith, in Arkansas, says she disagrees with President Obama but is proud of the country for electing him.
The House has not had a black Republican since 2003, when J. C. Watts of Oklahoma left after eight years.

But now black Republicans are running across the country — from a largely white swath of beach communities in Florida to the suburbs of Phoenix, where an African-American candidate has raised more money than all but two of his nine (white) Republican competitors in the primary.

Party officials and the candidates themselves acknowledge that they still have uphill fights in both the primaries and the general elections, but they say that black Republicans are running with a confidence they have never had before. They credit the marriage of two factors: dissatisfaction with the Obama administration, and the proof, as provided by Mr. Obama, that blacks can get elected.

“I ran in 2008 and raised half a million dollars, and the state party didn’t support me and the national party didn’t support me,” said Allen West, who is running for Congress in Florida and is one of roughly five black candidates the party believes could win. “But we came back and we’re running and things are looking great.”

But interviews with many of the candidates suggest that they felt empowered by Mr. Obama’s election, that it made them realize that what had once seemed impossible — for a black candidate to win election with substantial white support — was not.

“There is no denying that one of the things that came out of the election of Obama was that you have a lot of African-Americans running in both parties now,” said Vernon Parker, who is running for an open seat in Arizona’s Third District. His competition in the Aug. 24 primary includes the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, Ben Quayle.

Princella Smith, who is running for an open seat in Arkansas, said she viewed the president’s victory through both the lens of history and partisan politics. “Aside from the fact that I disagree fundamentally with all his views, I am proud of my nation for proving that we have the ability to do something like that,” Ms. Smith said.

State and national party officials say that this year’s cast of black Republicans is far more experienced than the more fringy players of yore, and include elected officials, former military personnel and candidates who have run before.

Mr. Parker is the mayor of Paradise Valley, Ariz. Ryan Frazier is a councilman in Aurora, Colo., one of four at-large members who represent the whole city. And Tim Scott is the only black Republican elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives since Reconstruction.

“These are not just people pulled out of the hole,” said Timothy F. Johnson, chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a black conservative group. That is “the nice thing about being on this side of history,” he said.

He added that the candidates might be helped by the presence of Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee who is black and ran for the Senate himself in 2006.

“Party affiliation is not a barrier to inspiration,” Mr. Steele said in an e-mail message. “Certainly, the president’s election was and remains an inspiration to many.”

But Democrats and other political experts express skepticism about black Republicans’ chances in November. “In 1994 and 2000, there were 24 black G.O.P. nominees,” said Donna Brazile, a Democratic political strategist who ran Al Gore’s presidential campaign and who is black. “And you didn’t see many of them win their elections.”

Tavis Smiley, a prominent black talk show host who has repeatedly criticized Republicans for not doing more to court black voters, said, “It’s worth remembering that the last time it was declared the ‘Year of the Black Republican,’ it fizzled out.”

In many ways, this subset of Republicans is latching on to the basic themes propelling most of their party’s campaigns this year — the call for smaller government, less spending and stronger national security — rather than building platforms around social conservatism.

“Things have evolved,” said Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, who is heavily involved in recruiting Republican candidates. “I think partly the level of hostility to Obama, Pelosi and Reid makes a lot of people pragmatically more open to a coalition from the standpoint of being a long-term majority party.”

Many of the candidates are trying to align themselves with the Tea Partiers, insisting that the racial dynamics of that movement have been overblown. Videos taken at some Tea Party rallies show some participants holding up signs with racially inflammatory language.

A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that 25 percent of self-identified Tea Party supporters think that the Obama administration favors blacks over whites, compared with 11 percent of the general public.

The black candidates interviewed overwhelmingly called the racist narrative a news media fiction. “I have been to these rallies, and there are hot dogs and banjos,” said Mr. West, the candidate in Florida, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army. “There is no violence or racism there.”

There is also some evidence that black voters rally around specific conservative causes. A case in point was a 2008 ballot initiative in California outlawing same-sex marriage that passed in large part because of support from black voters in Southern California.

Still, black Republicans face a double hurdle: black Democrats who are disinclined to back them in a general election, and incongruity with white Republicans, who sometimes do not welcome the blacks whom party officials claim to covet as new members.

This spring, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell of Virginia was roundly attacked for not mentioning slavery in his Confederate History Month proclamation, which he later said was a “major omission.” Black candidates said these types of gaffes posed problems in drawing African-Americans to their party, but also underscored their need to be there.

“I think what the governor failed to do was to recognize the pain and the emotion that was really sparked by the institution of slavery,” said Mr. Frazier of Colorado. “As a Republican, I think I have a responsibility to continue to work within my party to avoid those types of barriers. The key for the Republican Party is to engage every community on the issues they care about and not act as if they don’t exist.”****

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DougMacG
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« Reply #251 on: May 06, 2010, 12:37:09 AM »

Thank you CCP! More Black Republicans are running for congress than ever before.  Allen West sounds very good to me.  I listened to him here on a Laura Ingraham archive following your post: http://allenwestforcongress.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/033010_west.mp3

Of course there is a shortage of people of color in the Republican Party when 19 out of 20 African-Americans voted for Obama.  West spells it out.  We don't compete based on selling Democrat-Lite.  We stand for a set of principles and ask people to join with us with those principles.

He says that if the tea party is only for white people maybe he just has a very good tan.

Florida 22 is the East coast from Palm Beach down to Fort Lauderdale. Allen West lost in 2008 by 9.5%, very possibly winnable this year.

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ccp
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« Reply #252 on: May 08, 2010, 11:05:45 AM »

It seems most Blacks will never listen to Whites so if there are more Blacks in the "other" party maybe more will reconsider and we can break the Dem stranglehold on minorities.  It doesn't seem this can happen overnight.
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Rarick
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« Reply #253 on: May 11, 2010, 05:43:11 AM »

I remember a black conservative that lasted about a year in the public eye- he ended up "scandalled" into inconsequentiality.   I am amazed at how the consevative side ends up "uncle tommed" or "house N!@@a'd" to death.  (that is a misuse of reality, but there it is).  I remember a show done in recent memory where High Schoolers were questionaired about jobs and some of the reasons that came up were "that isn't a job a black man takes".   It reminded me of the women's job/man's job game and how those perceptions could be self limiting...........

I did see it in the service, Technical jobs were majority'd my whites and "smart" stereotyped minorities with a smattering of others, usually from "small town north" areas.  Supply/ Support was mainly minority with a smattering of "inner big city" majority.  I found the flip flop kind of interesting- but the TV show made it clear how people were taking jobs that were acceptable to a common vision of themselves and peers.............
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ccp
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« Reply #254 on: May 14, 2010, 11:08:07 AM »

By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann 05.12.2010 Behind the scenes, the chances of a GOP takeover of the US Senate increased in the past two weeks with key developments in pivotal states.

Already, Republican candidates are ahead in eight states now represented by Democrats: Delaware, North Dakota, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Colorado, Arkansas and Nevada. And, in California, Senator Barbara Boxer is polling in the low 40s just barely ahead of her Republican challengers.

But nine seats won’t give us control since Biden would break the tie for the Democrats. We need ten.


Enter Washington State where a large field of Republican candidates have failed to dent the lead of three term incumbent Senator Patty Murray. But now it appears that Dino Rossi, the former Republican candidate for Governor, is likely to get into the race. Rossi, in fact, won the election for governor in Washington only to have it stolen from him by 200 votes after multiple recounts. Rossi trails Murray by only 48-46 even though he has yet to announce his candidacy. The vital tenth seat may well be Washington.

Or will it be Wisconsin where Democratic incumbent Russ Feingold is seeking re-election. Feingold is so far left that he wouldn’t find any district this side of Havana safe. And he has now drawn two top tier Republican opponents: Beer mogul Richard Leinenkugel and conservative activist Ron Johnson. Feingold scores below 50% of the vote in trial matchups, a sure indication of vulnerability.

Leinenkugel has good credentials for a race having served as state Commerce Secretary albeit in the current Democratic Administration of Governor Doyle. Johnson brings a compelling speaking style and solid conservative credentials — and a boatload of dough — to the race. Feingold won’t sleep well tonight.

And bear in mind New York where three good candidates — David Malpass, Joe DioGuardia, and Bruce Blakeman — are vying to take on vulnerable appointed incumbent Kristen Gillibrand. Read our book, 2010: Take Back America: A Battle Plan, to see how weak Gillibrand is.

And Connecticut where Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has slipped to 52% of the vote against Republican challenger Rob Simmons (he leads by 52-38). Blumenthal runs stronger against Linda McMahon of wrestling fame (he beats her, according to Rasmussen, by 55-35). If Simmons wins the primary, he has a good chance of knocking off Blumenthal.

So among Washington, Wisconsin, New York, and Connecticut, we are looking increasingly likely to find a tenth Republican victory.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #255 on: May 17, 2010, 11:20:05 AM »

Please post this in the States' Rights Thread or the Constitutional Law thread on the SCH forum too.  Thank you.
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Crafty_Dog
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Zo!
« Reply #256 on: May 18, 2010, 01:43:44 PM »



http://www.pjtv.com/v/3555
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #257 on: May 24, 2010, 07:02:10 AM »

It's POTH, so caveat lector:

Republicans See Big Chance, but Are Worried, Too
By JEFF ZELENY and CARL HULSE
Published: May 23, 2010

 
WASHINGTON — Republicans remain confident of making big gains in the fall elections, but as the midterm campaign begins in earnest, they face a series of challenges that could keep the party from fully capitalizing on an electorate clamoring for change in Washington.

There are growing concerns among Republicans about the party’s get-out-the-vote operation and whether it can translate their advantage over Democrats in grass-roots enthusiasm into turnout on Election Day. They are also still trying to get a fix on how to run against President Obama, who, polls suggest, remains relatively well-liked by voters, even as support for his agenda has waned.
Republicans are working to find a balance between simply running against Democrats and promoting a specific alternative agenda. And they are struggling with how to integrate the passions of the Tea Party movement — with its anti-government ideology, anti-incumbent bent and often-rough political edges — into the Republican Party apparatus.

This week, House Republicans are beginning a program they call “America Speaking Out.” Their message is that lawmakers will be listening to their supporters over the summer, not simply dictating an agenda. In the fall, Republican leaders said, they plan to turn the ideas into specific policy proposals for the next Congress.

A series of events last week prompted a re-examination among Republicans of where the party stands less than six months before the midterm elections. In Pennsylvania, a Republican House candidate, Tim Burns, lost a special election by 8 points in a swing district of the sort the party needs to capture to have a shot of regaining the majority. And in a Republican primary for a Senate seat from Kentucky, Rand Paul, a leading emblem of the Tea Party, won a commanding victory.

“Democrats still need to be really worried,” said Joe Gaylord, a Republican strategist who helped guide the party’s sweeping Congressional victories in 1994. “But there has to be a message that we are for something, and that if you elect Republicans, there will be some change.”

For much of the first 16 months of the Obama administration, Republicans have unified around an opposition to the president’s agenda, trying to stop nearly every proposal. But that allowed Democrats to brand their rivals as obstructionists who were unwilling to compromise, setting off second-guessing among Republicans about whether they needed to do more. As the fall election comes into sharper view, the party faces the burden of introducing plans that appeal to its base without alienating independent voters.

Republicans continue to have much in their favor, and over all appear to be in a stronger position than Democrats. They continue to benefit from a widespread sense among voters that government has gotten too expansive, with Mr. Obama’s health care bill as Exhibit A. The economic recovery remains tepid, with unemployment still high.

Republicans raised more money than Democrats last month, a reflection of the optimism about the potential for gains in November among the party’s contributors. And the party did pick up a House seat in Hawaii on Saturday in a special election in a district that is heavily Democratic — two rival Democrats split their party’s vote — but Democrats expressed confidence they would win the seat back in November.

While Democrats also face challenges motivating their base this year, the Democratic margin of victory in the House race in Pennsylvania suggests that the party may enjoy organizational capabilities that Republicans do not.

Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, has said that anything short of taking back the House would be a failure. And since the setback in Pennsylvania last week, there has been decided concern in Republican circles that perhaps they were too optimistic.

“You’ve got a country that is in a surly mood and is skeptical of incumbents generally,” said Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. “But some people have put the expectations so high, even if Republicans do reasonably well this fall, it could look like we haven’t done as well as we should have.”

The defeat in Pennsylvania not only helped alter the perception of the battle for control of Congress, but also prompted a review of how effective Mr. Sessions’s committee has been executing its on-the-ground campaign efforts.

“There is going to be a holistic assessment of what went wrong in the race and what we can learn from it,” said Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 Republican. “We have to face the fact that these are going to be very tough races.”

Thomas M. Reynolds, the former New York congressman who headed the Republican campaign operation in 2004 and 2006, said the party needed to better balance local issues with appeals that take into account the national climate.

“We still have an angry electorate that both Democrats and Republicans face,” Mr. Reynolds said, “and our candidates need to talk about what matters at home and what they are going to do about it from an unpopular Washington.”

In the House, Republicans must capture 40 additional seats to win control from Democrats. In the Senate, strategists on both sides believe the prospects of Republicans winning 10 seats to take control remain slim.

============

Page 2 of 2)



“The one thing that hasn’t changed is, the Republican Party brand is still pretty weak,” said Phil Musser, a Republican strategist. “We need an overhaul, and there is a big opportunity to rebrand around a few unifying themes besides just opposition to Obama.”

As many primary elections give way to the fall campaign, Republicans face a host of broader, thematic questions.
Should the party, for example, seek to nationalize the election? Should it direct candidates to demonize Mr. Obama or Speaker Nancy Pelosi the way Democrats demonized former President George W. Bush in 2006, or the way some Tea Party leaders are demonizing Mr. Obama? Will the legislative achievements of Democrats in recent months — the health care measure and presumably a financial regulation bill — permit Democrats to argue that Washington can get something done, or will the substance of the legislation provide a target for those who argue against the expansion of government?

Some Republicans say they cannot win races by focusing on Democratic leaders, an approach that failed for Republicans in the Pennsylvania race as it did for them nationally in 2008. “It didn’t work then and it isn’t working now,” said Representative Mike Simpson, Republican of Idaho.

Rob Jesmer, the executive director of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, said he thought that given Mr. Obama’s popularity, it was critical for Senate candidates to run against the Democratic agenda, rather than just Mr. Obama himself.

At the same time, there is also increasing pressure on Republicans to come up with some sort of governing agenda to offer Americans an idea of what they would do should they win control of Congress, echoing what Republicans did in 1994 through the “Contract With America.”

But some party officials are wary of such an approach, saying it would allow Democrats to turn attention away from attacks on their own stewardship of Congress. A compromise was reached through the “America Speaking Out” tour, which is set to begin Tuesday.

“It’s a remarkable situation, given where things were a year ago, where Republicans clearly have an opportunity to do really well,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster who concentrates on Congressional races. “The door is open in terms of potential. But we have to answer the question, Why us?”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #258 on: May 24, 2010, 07:19:00 AM »

second post of the day, from the POTH op-ed page

The Principles of Rand Paul
By ROSS DOUTHAT
Published: May 23, 2010
 
No ideology survives the collision with real-world politics perfectly intact. General principles have to bend to accommodate the complexities of history, and justice is sometimes better served by compromise than by zealous intellectual consistency.

This was all that Rand Paul needed to admit, after his victory in Kentucky’s Republican Senate primary, when NPR and Rachel Maddow asked about his views of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. “As a principled critic of federal power,” he could have said, “I oppose efforts to impose Washington’s will on states and private institutions. As a student of the history of segregation and slavery, however, I would have made an exception for the Civil Rights Act.”
But Paul just couldn’t help himself. He had to play Hamlet, to hem and haw about the distinction between public and private discrimination, to insist on his sympathy for the civil rights movement while conspicuously avoiding saying that he would have voted for the bill that outlawed segregation.

By the weekend (and under duress), he finally said it. But the tap-dancing route he took to get there was offensive, tone deaf and politically crazy.

It was also sadly typical of the political persuasion that Rand Paul represents.

This persuasion shouldn’t be confused with the Tea Party movement, whose inchoate antideficit enthusiasms Paul rode to victory last Tuesday. Nor is it just libertarianism in general, a label that gets slapped on everyone from Idaho milita members to Silicon Valley utopians to pro-choice Republicans in Greenwich.

Paul is a libertarian, certainly, but more importantly he’s a particular kind of a libertarian. He’s culturally conservative (opposing both abortion and illegal immigration), radically noninterventionist (he’s against the Iraq war and the United Nations), and so stringently constitutionalist that he views nearly everything today’s federal government does as a violation of the founding fathers’ vision.

This worldview goes by many names, including “paleoconservatism,” “the old right” and “paleolibertarianism.” But its adherents — Paul and his father, Ron, included — view themselves as America’s only true conservatives, arguing that the modern conservative movement has sold out to both big government and the military-industrial complex.

Instead of celebrating the usual Republican pantheon, paleoconservatives identify with the “beautiful losers” of American history, to borrow a phrase from the paleocon journalist Sam Francis — the anti-imperialists who opposed the Spanish-American War, the libertarians who stood athwart the New Deal yelling “stop,” the Midwestern Republicans who objected to the growth of the national security state after World War II. And they offer an ideological synthesis that’s well outside either political party’s mainstream — antiwar and antiabortion, against the Patriot Act but in favor of a border fence, and skeptical of the drug war and the welfare state alike.

In an age of lockstep partisanship, there’s a lot to admire about this unusual constellation of ideas, and its sweeping critique of American politics as usual. There’s a reason that both Rand and Ron Paul have inspired so much visceral enthusiasm, especially among younger voters, while attracting an eclectic cross-section of supporters — hipsters and N.R.A. members, civil libertarians and Christian conservatives, and stranger bedfellows still.

The problem is that paleoconservatives are self-marginalizing, and self-destructive.

Like many groups that find themselves in intellectually uncharted territory, they have trouble distinguishing between ideas that deserve a wider hearing and ideas that are crankish or worse. (Hence Ron Paul’s obsession with the gold standard and his son’s weakness for conspiracy theories.)

Like many outside-the-box thinkers, they’re good at applying their principles more consistently than your average partisan, but lousy at knowing when to stop. (Hence the tendency to see civil rights legislation as just another unjustified expansion of federal power.)

And like many self-conscious iconoclasts, they tend to drift in ever-more extreme directions, reveling in political incorrectness even as they leave common sense and common decency behind.

It isn’t surprising that two of the most interesting “paleo” writers of the last few decades, Francis and Joseph Sobran, ended their careers way out on the racist or anti-Semitic fringe. It isn’t a coincidence that the most successful “paleo” presidential candidate, Pat Buchanan, opposes not only America’s interventions in Iraq, but the West’s involvement in World War II as well. It isn’t surprising that Ron Paul kept company in the 1990s with acolytes who attached his name to bigoted pamphleteering.

And it shouldn’t come as a shock that his son found himself publicly undone, in what should have been his moment of triumph, because he was too proud to acknowledge the limits of ideology, and to admit that a principle can be pushed too far.
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G M
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« Reply #259 on: May 24, 2010, 07:33:12 AM »

"The problem is that paleoconservatives are self-marginalizing, and self-destructive."

Exactly!!!
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Crafty_Dog
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WSJ
« Reply #260 on: May 24, 2010, 08:24:38 AM »

By JONATHAN WEISMAN
Republican candidate Rand Paul's controversial remarks on the 1964 Civil Rights Act unsettled GOP leaders this week, but they reflect deeply held iconoclastic beliefs held by some in his party, and many in the tea-party movement, that the U.S. government shook its constitutional moorings more than 70 years ago.

Mr. Paul and his supporters rushed to emphasize that his remarks did not reflect racism but a sincerely held, libertarian belief that the federal government, starting in the Roosevelt era, gained powers that set the stage for decades of improper intrusions on private businesses.

Mr. Paul, the newly elected GOP Senate nominee in Kentucky, again made headlines Friday when he told ABC's "Good Morning America" that President Barack Obama's criticism of energy giant BP and of its oil-spill response was "really un-American."

That followed a tussle over the landmark civil-rights law, which Mr. Paul embraced after suggesting Wednesday that the act may have gone too far in mandating the desegregation of private businesses. Late Friday, NBC said that Mr. Paul had cancelled a scheduled appearance on the Sunday morning show "Meet the Press,'' a rare development in the history of the widely watched political program. The network said it was asking Mr. Paul to reconsider.

In tea-party circles, Mr. Paul's views are not unusual. They fit into a "Constitutionalist" view under which the federal government has no right to dictate the behavior of private enterprises. On the stump, especially among tea-party supporters, Mr. Paul says "big government" didn't start with President Obama, Lyndon Johnson's Great Society of the 1960s or the advance of central governance sparked by World War II and the economic boom that followed.

He traces it to 1937, when the Supreme Court, under heated pressure from President Franklin Roosevelt, upheld a state minimum-wage law on a 5-4 vote, ushering in the legal justification for government intervention in private markets.

Until the case, West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, the Supreme Court had sharply limited government action that impinged on the private sector, infuriating Mr. Roosevelt so much that he threatened to expand the court and stack it with his own appointees.


Following his comments on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Rand Paul said Friday morning President Obama's criticism of BP has sounded "really un-American." WSJ's Jerry Seib joins the News Hub to discuss the latest controversy and the political damage of Paul's recent comments.
."It didn't start last year. I think it started back in 1936 or 1937, and I point really to a couple of key constitutional cases… that all had to do with the commerce clause," Mr. Paul said in an interview before Tuesday's election, in which he defeated a Republican establishment candidate, hand-picked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, Ky.).

Mr. Paul has said that, if elected, one of his first demands will be that Congress print the constitutional justification on any law is passes.

Last week, Mr. Paul encouraged a tea-party gathering in Louisville to look at the origins of "unconstitutional government." He told the crowd there of Wickard v. Filburn, a favorite reference on the stump, in which the Supreme Court rejected the claims of farmer Roscoe Filburn that wheat he grew for his own use was beyond the reach of federal regulation. The 1942 ruling upheld federal laws limiting wheat production, saying Mr. Filburn's crop affected interstate commerce. Even if he fed his wheat to his own livestock, the court reasoned, he was implicitly affecting wheat prices. If he had bought the wheat on the market, he would subtly have raised the national price of the crop.

"That's when we quit owning our own property. That's when we became renters on our own land," Mr. Paul told the crowd.

In an interview, Mr. Paul expressed support for purely in-state gun industries, in which firearms are produced in one state with no imported parts and no exports. Guns produced under those circumstances can't be subjected to a federal background check, waiting period or other rules, he reasons.

"I'm not for having a civil war or anything like that, but I am for challenging federal authority over the states, through the courts, to see if we can get some better rulings," he said.

To supporters, such ideological purity has made the Bowling Green ophthalmologist a hero.

"He's going back to the Constitution," said Heather Toombs, a Louisville supporter who came to watch him at a meet-and-greet at a suburban home last week. "He's taking back the government."

But to Democrats, some Republicans and even some libertarians, Mr. Paul's arguments seem detached from the social fabric that has bound the U.S. together since 1937. The federal government puts limits on pollutants from corporations, monitors the safety of toys and other products and ensures a safe food supply—much of which Mr. Paul's philosophy could put in question.

David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute, said that in many ways Americans are freer now than they were in any pre-1937 libertarian Halcyon day. Women and black citizens can vote, work and own property. "Micro-regulations" that existed before the Supreme Court shift, which controlled trucking, civil aviation and other private pursuits, are gone.

"Sometimes he talks the way libertarians talk in political seminars," Mr. Boaz said of Mr. Paul. "There are not really many people who want to reverse Wickard, but there are many professors who could make a good case for it."

"Rand Paul apparently has a deeply held conviction that corporations should be allowed to do what they see fit without oversight or accountability," Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, Mr. Paul's Democratic opponent in the Senate contest, said Friday.

Mr. Paul's views differ from those of the Republican Party on some fundamental matters. Mr. Paul opposes the anti-terrorism PATRIOT Act, which he says infringes on civil liberties. He opposed the war in Iraq and says any war cannot be waged unless and until Congress formally declares it. And he has expressed misgivings about the nation's drug laws.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R, Ariz.) told the newspaper Politico that Mr. Paul's civil rights comments were comparable to "a debate like you had at 2 a.m. in the morning when you're going to college. But it doesn't have a lot to do with anything."

—Jean Spencer and Douglas A. Blackmon contributed to this article.
Write to Jonathan Weisman at jonathan.weisman@wsj.com
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DougMacG
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« Reply #261 on: May 26, 2010, 10:07:28 AM »

From other threads: Next year's budget is to spend $4 trillion and take in just 2.5 while private employment is at the lowest percentage of the economy in history and public employment at its highest.

We can't all agree on all issues.  Could we all at least agree that the government is not the economy, that we do not stimulate the economy by growing the government and we certainly do not alleviate the debt crisis by exploding the debt.

If everyone knows you can't raise taxes in a weak economy, then get the tax increases scheduled for the end of this year off the table NOW.  The opposition party should make that point every morning on the steps of congress until the ruling party agrees or until the voters have their say.

The double tax on business is out of line competitively - the corporate rate should be lowered to the average of the OECD.  Then the rest of the tax cutting wish list needs to be put on hold while we Cut Spending First. 

At four trillion of federal spending and growing, the answer to which program to cut is yes - all of them will be fully scrutinized, cut and frozen until the private economy can catch up with the  funding.  JMHO.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #262 on: May 27, 2010, 11:11:40 AM »

Alexander's Essay – May 27, 2010

In Memoriam: American Patriots
"With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves." --Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms, July 6, 1775

Patriots RememberedMonday is Memorial Day, that exceptional day of each year all Patriots reserve to formally honor the service and sacrifice of generations of uniformed Patriots now departed -- Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who honored their sacred oaths "to support and defend" our Constitution and the liberty it enshrines.

In this era, however, our "progressive" academic institutions choose not to teach genuine history or civics. Consequently, many Americans have no sense of reverence or obligation for the liberty they enjoy. Indeed, many will "celebrate" Memorial Day as any other holiday, with barbecues, beer, and commercial sales at local malls. Simply put, they have sold out Memorial Day.

However, those of us who do understand the cost of liberty will advance this custom in honor of fallen Patriots, with both formal rites and simple prayers. For it is through the legacy of these Patriots that we are able to see most clearly our nation's noble history of eternal vigilance in support of liberty.

In 1776, an extraordinary group of men signed a document affirming our God-given right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Their commitment to the principles outlined therein are summed up in its final sentence: "And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

Founding Patriot John Adams wrote: "I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States."

And the cost has been incalculable.

Generations of Patriots have since pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor in defense of the Essential Liberty codified by our Founders in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.

Our nation has, time and again, spent its treasure and spilt its sons' blood, not only for liberty at home, but also abroad.

However, Benjamin Franklin noted in 1777 that it should be so: "
  • ur cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own."

Since the opening salvos of the American Revolution, nearly 1.2 million American Patriots have died in defense of liberty. Additionally, 1.4 million have been wounded in combat, and tens of millions more have served honorably, surviving without physical wounds. These numbers, of course, offer no reckoning of the inestimable value of their service or the sacrifices borne by their families, but we do know that the value of the liberty they have extended to their posterity -- to us -- is priceless.

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died," said Gen. George S. Patton. "Rather we should thank God that such men lived."

While I greatly appreciate Gen. Patton's sentiment, I must respectfully disagree with his premise. I both mourn their absence and thank God they lived.

Etched into the base of the Iwo Jima Memorial in our nation's capital are the words of Adm. Chester Nimitz, his timeless tribute to the Marines who fought so valiantly there during World War II: "Uncommon valor was a common virtue." Such valor has attended every conflict involving American Patriots.

Not to be confused with men of such virtue, last week, Barack Hussein Obama addressed the graduating class at the United States Military Academy. His minions brokered Obama's appearance before the latest Corps (pronounced "core", not "corpse") of Cadets in the Long Gray Line, in an effort to burnish his thin veneer as "Commander in Chief" of our Armed Forces.

Obama used the occasion to dress up his strategy of appeasement.

In other years, men of somewhat greater stature have addressed the USMA, perhaps the most memorable being General Douglas MacArthur, who delivered his address on "Duty, Honor and Country," without the assistance of teleprompters, or even notes.

His words immortalize the spirit of all American Patriots who have served our nation in uniform:

Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man at arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world's noblest figures; not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless.

His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy's breast.

But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements.

In twenty campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people.

From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of courage. As I listened to those songs of the glee club, in memory's eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs on many a weary march, from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle deep through mire of shell-pocked roads; to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.

I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood, and sweat, and tears, as they saw the way and the light.

And twenty years after, on the other side of the globe, against the filth of dirty foxholes, the stench of ghostly trenches, the slime of dripping dugouts, those boiling suns of the relentless heat, those torrential rains of devastating storms, the loneliness and utter desolation of jungle trails, the bitterness of long separation of those they loved and cherished, the deadly pestilence of tropic disease, the horror of stricken areas of war.

Honor. Duty. Country.

Thomas Jefferson offered this advice to all generations of Patriots: "Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them."

Indeed.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to all those generations who have passed the torch of liberty to succeeding generations.

In Memoriam, we recall these words from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

"Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours."

And these...

"[L]et us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died." --Ronald Reagan at Pointe du Hoc, 1984
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #263 on: July 04, 2010, 01:22:59 PM »

The Americans Who Risked Everything
 

My father, Rush H. Limbaugh, Jr., delivered this oft-requested address locally a number of times, but it had never before appeared in print until it appeared in The Limbaugh Letter. My dad was renowned for his oratory skills and for his original mind; this speech is, I think, a superb demonstration of both. I will always be grateful to him for instilling in me a passion for the ideas and lives of America's Founders, as well as a deep appreciation for the inspirational power of words which you will see evidenced here:
 
"Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor"
 

It was a glorious morning. The sun was shining and the wind was from the southeast. Up especially early, a tall bony, redheaded young Virginian found time to buy a new thermometer, for which he paid three pounds, fifteen shillings. He also bought gloves for Martha, his wife, who was ill at home.

Thomas Jefferson arrived early at the statehouse. The temperature was 72.5 degrees and the horseflies weren't nearly so bad at that hour. It was a lovely room, very large, with gleaming white walls. The chairs were comfortable. Facing the single door were two brass fireplaces, but they would not be used today.

The moment the door was shut, and it was always kept locked, the room became an oven. The tall windows were shut, so that loud quarreling voices could not be heard by passersby. Small openings atop the windows allowed a slight stir of air, and also a large number of horseflies. Jefferson records that "the horseflies were dexterous in finding necks, and the silk of stockings was nothing to them." All discussing was punctuated by the slap of hands on necks.

On the wall at the back, facing the president's desk, was a panoply -- consisting of a drum, swords, and banners seized from Fort Ticonderoga the previous year. Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had captured the place, shouting that they were taking it "in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"

Now Congress got to work, promptly taking up an emergency measure about which there was discussion but no dissension. "Resolved: That an application be made to the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania for a supply of flints for the troops at New York."

Then Congress transformed itself into a committee of the whole. The Declaration of Independence was read aloud once more, and debate resumed. Though Jefferson was the best writer of all of them, he had been somewhat verbose. Congress hacked the excess away. They did a good job, as a side-by-side comparison of the rough draft and the final text shows. They cut the phrase "by a self-assumed power." "Climb" was replaced by "must read," then "must" was eliminated, then the whole sentence, and soon the whole paragraph was cut. Jefferson groaned as they continued what he later called "their depredations." "Inherent and inalienable rights" came out "certain unalienable rights," and to this day no one knows who suggested the elegant change.

A total of 86 alterations were made. Almost 500 words were eliminated, leaving 1,337. At last, after three days of wrangling, the document was put to a vote.

Here in this hall Patrick Henry had once thundered: "I am no longer a Virginian, sir, but an American." But today the loud, sometimes bitter argument stilled, and without fanfare the vote was taken from north to south by colonies, as was the custom. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

There were no trumpets blown. No one stood on his chair and cheered. The afternoon was waning and Congress had no thought of delaying the full calendar of routine business on its hands. For several hours they worked on many other problems before adjourning for the day.
 
 
Much To Lose

What kind of men were the 56 signers who adopted the Declaration of Independence and who, by their signing, committed an act of treason against the crown? To each of you, the names Franklin, Adams, Hancock and Jefferson are almost as familiar as household words. Most of us, however, know nothing of the other signers. Who were they? What happened to them?

I imagine that many of you are somewhat surprised at the names not there: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry. All were elsewhere.

Ben Franklin was the only really old man. Eighteen were under 40; three were in their 20s. Of the 56 almost half - 24 - were judges and lawyers. Eleven were merchants, nine were landowners and farmers, and the remaining 12 were doctors, ministers, and politicians.

With only a few exceptions, such as Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, these were men of substantial property. All but two had families. The vast majority were men of education and standing in their communities. They had economic security as few men had in the 18th Century.

Each had more to lose from revolution than he had to gain by it. John Hancock, one of the richest men in America, already had a price of 500 pounds on his head. He signed in enormous letters so that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward. Ben Franklin wryly noted: "Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately."

Fat Benjamin Harrison of Virginia told tiny Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: "With me it will all be over in a minute, but you, you will be dancing on air an hour after I am gone."

These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember, a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.
 
They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.

It was principle, not property, that had brought these men to Philadelphia. Two of them became presidents of the United States. Seven of them became state governors. One died in office as vice president of the United States. Several would go on to be U.S. Senators. One, the richest man in America, in 1828 founded the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. One, a delegate from Philadelphia, was the only real poet, musician and philosopher of the signers. (It was he, Francis Hopkinson not Betsy Ross who designed the United States flag.)

Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, had introduced the resolution to adopt the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776. He was prophetic in his concluding remarks: "Why then sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise not to devastate and to conquer but to reestablish the reign of peace and law.

"The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom that may exhibit a contrast in the felicity of the citizen to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repost.

"If we are not this day wanting in our duty, the names of the American Legislatures of 1776 will be placed by posterity at the side of all of those whose memory has been and ever will be dear to virtuous men and good citizens."

Though the resolution was formally adopted July 4, it was not until July 8 that two of the states authorized their delegates to sign, and it was not until August 2 that the signers met at Philadelphia to actually put their names to the Declaration.

William Ellery, delegate from Rhode Island, was curious to see the signers' faces as they committed this supreme act of personal courage. He saw some men sign quickly, "but in no face was he able to discern real fear." Stephan Hopkins, Ellery's colleague from Rhode Island, was a man past 60. As he signed with a shaking pen, he declared: "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."
 
 
 
"Most Glorious Service"

Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. Some were taken. Some, like Jefferson, had narrow escapes. All who had property or families near British strongholds suffered.

· Francis Lewis, New York delegate saw his home plundered -- and his estates in what is now Harlem -- completely destroyed by British Soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners through the efforts of Congress, she died from the effects of her abuse.

· William Floyd, another New York delegate, was able to escape with his wife and children across Long Island Sound to Connecticut, where they lived as refugees without income for seven years. When they came home they found a devastated ruin.

· Philips Livingstone had all his great holdings in New York confiscated and his family driven out of their home. Livingstone died in 1778 still working in Congress for the cause.

· Louis Morris, the fourth New York delegate, saw all his timber, crops, and livestock taken. For seven years he was barred from his home and family.

· John Hart of Trenton, New Jersey, risked his life to return home to see his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him, and he escaped in the woods. While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried, and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died a broken man in 1779, without ever finding his family.

· Dr. John Witherspoon, signer, was president of the College of New Jersey, later called Princeton. The British occupied the town of Princeton, and billeted troops in the college. They trampled and burned the finest college library in the country.
 
· Judge Richard Stockton, another New Jersey delegate signer, had rushed back to his estate in an effort to evacuate his wife and children. The family found refuge with friends, but a Tory sympathizer betrayed them. Judge Stockton was pulled from bed in the night and brutally beaten by the arresting soldiers. Thrown into a common jail, he was deliberately starved. Congress finally arranged for Stockton's parole, but his health was ruined. The judge was released as an invalid, when he could no longer harm the British cause. He returned home to find his estate looted and did not live to see the triumph of the Revolution. His family was forced to live off charity.

· Robert Morris, merchant prince of Philadelphia, delegate and signer, met Washington's appeals and pleas for money year after year. He made and raised arms and provisions which made it possible for Washington to cross the Delaware at Trenton. In the process he lost 150 ships at sea, bleeding his own fortune and credit almost dry.

· George Clymer, Pennsylvania signer, escaped with his family from their home, but their property was completely destroyed by the British in the Germantown and Brandywine campaigns.

· Dr. Benjamin Rush, also from Pennsylvania, was forced to flee to Maryland. As a heroic surgeon with the army, Rush had several narrow escapes.

· John Martin, a Tory in his views previous to the debate, lived in a strongly loyalist area of Pennsylvania. When he came out for independence, most of his neighbors and even some of his relatives ostracized him. He was a sensitive and troubled man, and many believed this action killed him. When he died in 1777, his last words to his tormentors were: "Tell them that they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it [the signing] to have been the most glorious service that I have ever rendered to my country."

· William Ellery, Rhode Island delegate, saw his property and home burned to the ground.
 
 
· Thomas Lynch, Jr., South Carolina delegate, had his health broken from privation and exposures while serving as a company commander in the military. His doctors ordered him to seek a cure in the West Indies and on the voyage, he and his young bride were drowned at sea.

· Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., the other three South Carolina signers, were taken by the British in the siege of Charleston. They were carried as prisoners of war to St. Augustine, Florida, where they were singled out for indignities. They were exchanged at the end of the war, the British in the meantime having completely devastated their large landholdings and estates.

· Thomas Nelson, signer of Virginia, was at the front in command of the Virginia military forces. With British General Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, fire from 70 heavy American guns began to destroy Yorktown piece by piece. Lord Cornwallis and his staff moved their headquarters into Nelson's palatial home. While American cannonballs were making a shambles of the town, the house of Governor Nelson remained untouched. Nelson turned in rage to the American gunners and asked, "Why do you spare my home?" They replied, "Sir, out of respect to you." Nelson cried, "Give me the cannon!" and fired on his magnificent home himself, smashing it to bits. But Nelson's sacrifice was not quite over. He had raised $2 million for the Revolutionary cause by pledging his own estates. When the loans came due, a newer peacetime Congress refused to honor them, and Nelson's property was forfeited. He was never reimbursed. He died, impoverished, a few years later at the age of 50.
 
 
 
Lives, Fortunes, Honor

Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.

And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark.

He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to that infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York Harbor known as the hell ship Jersey, where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons' lives if he would recant and come out for the King and Parliament. The utter despair in this man's heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: "No."

The 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
 
 
My friends, I know you have a copy of the Declaration of Independence somewhere around the house - in an old history book (newer ones may well omit it), an encyclopedia, or one of those artificially aged "parchments" we all got in school years ago. I suggest that each of you take the time this month to read through the text of the Declaration, one of the most noble and beautiful political documents in human history.

There is no more profound sentence than this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness..."

These are far more than mere poetic words. The underlying ideas that infuse every sentence of this treatise have sustained this nation for more than two centuries. They were forged in the crucible of great sacrifice. They are living words that spring from and satisfy the deepest cries for liberty in the human spirit.

"Sacred honor" isn't a phrase we use much these days, but every American life is touched by the bounty of this, the Founders' legacy. It is freedom, tested by blood, and watered with tears.

- Rush Limbaugh III
 
 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #264 on: July 05, 2010, 01:14:25 AM »

http://www.usflag.org/more2.html
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« Reply #265 on: July 13, 2010, 10:17:36 AM »

This opinion addresses I think a point CCP just made in 'Politics'.

http://weeklystandard.com/articles/think-big

Think Big
Republicans should embrace Paul Ryan's Road Map.
BY Fred Barnes
July 19, 2010

For Republicans, the Road Map authored by congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is the most important proposal in domestic policy since Ronald Reagan embraced supply side economics in the 1980 presidential campaign. It’s not only the freshest, boldest, and most comprehensive Republican thinking, it’s also the most relevant. If Republicans adopt the Road Map as their basic ideological blueprint, it offers them the prospect of a landslide in the midterm election this year, followed by victory in the presidential election in 2012.

For sure, that’s a lot of weight for a policy statement drafted by a 40-year-old House member to bear. But the Road Map is perfectly timed to deal with the crises of the moment: economic stagnation, uncontrolled spending, the deficit and long-term debt, soaring tax rates, health care, the housing problem, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.

Yet Republican leaders are wary of endorsing it, and for understandable reasons. The Road Map is sweeping and politically risky. It would overhaul popular programs like Medicare, relying on individuals to make decisions now made by government. Democrats are already attacking it. When Ryan delivered the weekly Republican radio address in late June, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put out a press release under the heading, “Republicans Make Key Advocate of Privatizing Social Security and Ending Medicare Their Spokesman on Budget.”

Democrats insist focus groups have rejected Ryan’s reform of Medicare. When swing voters learn Medicare would become “a voucher system .  .  . it has a massive impact,” Democratic strategist Robert Creamer wrote in the Huffington Post. “People like the Democratic program of Medicare.”

Republican leaders fear the Road Map might jeopardize, or at least minimize, what is expected to be a decisive Republican victory in the November midterm election. Their advantage in the congressional generic poll is at an all-time high, and President Obama’s approval rating has dropped to the mid-40s. Given these usually reliable indicators, why give Democrats a target to shoot at?

There are three reasons Republicans should ignore their jitters about the Road Map. The first is that the nation’s disenchantment with Obama and Democrats will take Republicans only so far. There’s a residue of bad feelings toward Republicans from the years the party ruled Congress, spent too much, and produced scandals.

Voters have memories. To overcome their qualms, Republicans need to provide more than a litany of Democratic faults. Voters are frightened about the future of the country. They’re looking for a serious solution to the mess we’re in. The Road Map offers exactly that, plus the opportunity to win more seats than Republicans are likely to capture solely by zinging Democrats.

The second reason should be obvious after the ignominious Republican defeat in May in the race for John Murtha’s old House seat in Pennsylvania. Democrat Mark Critz won by running to the right—against Washington, Obama, spending, the deficit —and Democratic candidates across the country are taking the same tack.

Republican candidates need to put some daylight between themselves and their Democratic opponents. The Road Map will do that. Democrats can’t endorse it for fear of alienating their liberal base, which loathes anything that reduces the size of government. The Road Map stamps Republican candidates as the real conservatives, which is what voters happen to be looking for in 2010.

The third reason is the Republican message (or the absence of one). In Pennsylvania, it was “send a message to Nancy Pelosi.” Voters declined. I like the Republican slogan that worked so well in 1946—“Had enough?” But a slogan is not a message. The Road Map is a message. The country is falling apart, we’re going broke, government is on a takeover binge, the economy is wobbling. The Road Map is the solution. That’s a pretty good message.

Those who tremble at the thought of pushing a big idea should remember the campaign of 1980. Reagan, who for years had warned of the evils of government spending and overreach, suddenly became the champion of an across the board, 30 percent cut in tax rates for individuals and business.

That was very risky. The elder George Bush called it “voodoo economics.” Democrats were certain the whopping tax cut would turn the country against Reagan. Quite the opposite occurred. Reagan would have defeated Jimmy Carter without it, but not by the 10 percentage points he actually won by. The tax cut showed Reagan was serious about reviving the economy and not at all a weakling like Carter.

In 1994, the Contract With America wasn’t as risky. It wasn’t a big idea either, but a collection of smaller ones. Democrats, however, believed it would doom Republican chances of a substantial victory. It didn’t. It can’t be proved, but I think the Contract enlarged the Republican landslide.

For now, the Road Map has a relatively small but growing cheering section. A dozen House members have endorsed it. Senator Jim DeMint praised it in his book Saving Freedom. Jeb Bush likes it. On CNN last week, economic historian Niall Ferguson called Ryan “a serious thinker on the Republican right who’s prepared to grapple with these issues of fiscal sustainability and come up with a plan.”

Ferguson sees the Road Map as “radical fiscal reform,” which it is, and said Washington should recognize it as the alternative to “the Keynesian option,” which Washington doesn’t. “I’m depressed how few people in Washington are prepared to talk about” the Road Map option, he said.

Ryan isn’t depressed. “As soon as people become informed and know the details, the more they like it,” he told me. He says the Road Map is “based on a fundamentally different vision” from the “government-centered ideology now prevailing in Washington .  .  . and restores an American character rooted in individual initiative, entrepreneurship, and opportunity.”

The full plan—“A Road Map for America’s Future”—is outlined in a formidable, 87-page document. It would give everyone a refundable tax credit to buy health insurance, allow individual investment accounts to be carved out of Social Security, reduce the six income tax rates to two (10 and 25 percent), and replace the corporate tax (35 percent) with a business consumption tax (8.5 percent). And that’s not the half of it.

As ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, Ryan was able to get the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to run the numbers in his plan. CBO concluded the plan would “make the Social Security and Medicare programs permanently solvent [and] lift the growing debt burden on future generations, and hold federal taxes to no higher than 19 percent of GDP.” Pretty impressive results, I’d say.

The Road Map does one more thing. It would give Republicans an agenda if they gain control of the House or Senate in the midterm election—or a mandate if they win both. “What’s the point of winning an election if you don’t have a mandate?” Ryan asks.

He doesn’t expect a mandate in 2010. “I need to make sure these ideas survive this election,” he says, and set the stage for “the most ideological, sea-changing election in our lifetime” in 2012. Merely survive in 2010? The Road Map can do better than that. How about thrive?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #266 on: July 13, 2010, 10:25:37 AM »

Ryan is a bright guy who seems to have character and intellectual integrity.  Definitely someone to keep an eye on.
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ccp
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« Reply #267 on: July 13, 2010, 10:31:51 AM »

Actually I saw the Barnes article.

The challenge is to convince the hoards of Americans who rely on unemployment, who work for beans paying their bills from week to week, that this is best for them as well as the country overall.

Maybe Ryan can be that point spokesperson.  Like Gingrich was in 1994.  I like Gingrich but I think it better if we can get new faces. We need someone who also evokes empathy - Gingrich does not and never has.

We need someone who can show he gets the "pain" while he is telling us the truth about the sacrifices we must all make to get out of this mess.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #268 on: July 14, 2010, 04:33:34 PM »

"Ryan is a bright guy who seems to have character and intellectual integrity."

I didn't realize he is only 40 and ranking member of the house budget committee.  Assuming no executive experience he might be perfectly qualified for President...  Better, I would like to see him as the next speaker.

The issue Barnes addresses is whether the party should adopt a comprehensive plan that fixes this mess, include necessarily the controversial entitlement changes and a mandate to reform or I suppose just take 3 or 4 bullet points on the weaknesses of the Dems just to win.
------

Paul Ryan:  "I for one tried to get us out of this rut by offering my own plan. I call it “A Roadmap for America’s Future.”  The motivation in putting this plan out there is twofold:

One: show us that we can do it.  Put out a plan with real numbers, certified by the actuaries of Social Security and Medicaid, certified by the CBO that shows us we can get off of this debt path that we’re on, that we can actually turn this thing around.  It’s a plan that does three things: pay of our national debt; fulfill the mission of health and retirement security; and get the engine of American prosperity back up and running. Get us on a pathway to growth; get us on a pathway to higher standards of living; get us on a pathway to creating jobs, instead of the path we are currently on.

The second reason why I did the Roadmap was to try and actually encourage other people to come up with their own plans.  I’m not suggesting that I have all of the answers to fix all of these problems.  This is how I would fix these problems.  What I’m trying to do is to get people who don’t agree with the way we choose to fix these problems to come up with their own plans.  Unfortunately, we’ve had nothing."
-------

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703808904575025080017959478.html
WSJ (JANUARY 26, 2010)

A GOP Road Map for America's Future
There's still time to rejuvenate our market economy and avoid a European-style welfare state.

By PAUL D. RYAN

In tonight's State of the Union address, President Obama will declare a new found commitment to "fiscal responsibility" to cover the huge spending and debt he and congressional Democrats have run up in his first year in office. But next Monday, when he submits his actual budget, I fear it will rely on gimmickry, commissions, luke-warm spending "freezes," and paper-tiger controls to create the illusion of budget discipline. Meanwhile, he and the Democratic congressional leadership will continue pursuing a relentless expansion of government and a new culture of dependency.

America needs an alternative. For that reason, I have reintroduced my plan to tackle our nation's most pressing domestic challenges—updated to reflect the dramatic decline in our economic and fiscal condition. The plan, called A Road Map for America's Future and first introduced in 2008, is a comprehensive proposal to ensure health and retirement security for all Americans, to lift the debt burdens that are mounting every day because of Washington's reckless spending, and to promote jobs and competitiveness in the 21st century global economy.

The difference between the Road Map and the Democrats' approach could not be more clear. From the enactment of a $1 trillion "stimulus" last February to the current pass-at-all costs government takeover of health care, the Democratic leadership has followed a "progressive" strategy that will take us closer to a tipping point past which most Americans receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes—a European-style welfare state where double-digit unemployment becomes a way of life.

Americans don't have to settle for this path of decline. There's still time to choose a different future. That is what the Road Map offers. It is based on a fundamentally different vision from the one now prevailing in Washington. It focuses the government on its proper role. It restrains government spending, and hence limits the size of government itself. It rejuvenates the vibrant market economy that made America the envy of the world. And it restores an American character rooted in individual initiative, entrepreneurship and opportunity.

Here are the principal elements:

• Health Care. The plan ensures universal access to affordable health insurance by restructuring the tax code, allowing all Americans to secure an affordable health plan that best suits their needs, and shifting the control and ownership of health coverage away from the government and employers to individuals.

It provides a refundable tax credit—$2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families—to purchase coverage (from another state if they so choose) and keep it with them if they move or change jobs. It establishes transparency in health-care price and quality data, so this critical information is readily available before someone needs health services.

State-based high risk pools will make affordable care available to those with pre-existing conditions. In addition to the tax credit, Medicaid will provide supplemental payments to low-income recipients so they too can obtain the health coverage of their choice and no longer be consigned to the stigmatized, sclerotic care that Medicaid has come to represent.

• Medicare. The Road Map secures Medicare for current beneficiaries, while making common-sense reforms to save this critical program. It preserves the existing Medicare program for Americans currently 55 or older so they can receive the benefits they planned for throughout their working lives.

For those under 55—as they become Medicare-eligible—it creates a Medicare payment, initially averaging $11,000, to be used to purchase a Medicare certified plan. The payment is adjusted to reflect medical inflation, and pegged to income, with low-income individuals receiving greater support. The plan also provides risk adjustment, so those with greater medical needs receive a higher payment.

The proposal also fully funds Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) for low-income beneficiaries, while continuing to allow all beneficiaries, regardless of income, to set up tax-free MSAs. Enacted together, these reforms will help keep Medicare solvent for generations to come.

• Social Security. The Road Map preserves the existing Social Security program for those 55 or older. For those under 55, the plan offers the option of investing over one-third of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts, similar to the Thrift Savings Plan available to federal employees. This proposal includes a property right, so those who own these accounts can pass on the assets to their heirs. The plan also guarantees that individuals will not lose a dollar they contribute to their accounts, even after inflation.

The plan also makes the program permanently solvent by combining a modest adjustment in the growth of initial Social Security's benefits for higher-income individuals, with a gradual, modest increase in the retirement age.

• Tax Reform. The Road Map offers an alternative to today's needlessly complex and unfair tax code, providing the option of a simplified system that promotes work, saving and investment.

This highly simplified code fits on a postcard. It has just two rates: 10% on income up to $100,000 for joint filers and $50,000 for single filers, and 25% on taxable income above these amounts. It also includes a generous standard deduction and personal exemption (totaling $39,000 for a family of four), and no tax loopholes, deductions, credits or exclusions (except the health-care tax credit).

The proposal eliminates the alternative minimum tax. It promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends. It eliminates the death tax. It replaces the corporate income tax—currently the second highest in the industrialized world—with a business consumption tax of 8.5%. This new rate is roughly half the average in the industrialized world and will put American companies and workers in a stronger position to compete in a global economy.

Even without the Democratic spending spree, our fiscal outlook is deteriorating. They are only hastening the crisis. It is not too late to take control of our fiscal and economic future. But the longer we wait, the bigger the problem becomes and the more difficult our options for solving it.

The Road Map promotes our national prosperity by limiting government's burden of spending, mandates and regulation. It ensures the opportunity for individuals to fulfill their human potential and enjoy the satisfaction of their own achievements—and it secures the distinctly American legacy of leaving the next generation better off.

Mr. Ryan, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin, is the ranking member of the Budget Committee.
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ccp
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« Reply #269 on: July 15, 2010, 02:38:53 PM »

H in 1988, W in 2000, and E in 12?
From Huffington Post:

2010 Bush Revival, Bush 3rd Term, Bush Brand, Bush Gillespie, Bush Jeb, Bush Reemergence, Jeb Bush, Jeb Bush 2012, Jeb Bush Revival, Karl Rove, Rosenberg Bush, Rove Bush, Simon Rosenberg, Politics News

Simon Rosenberg is the most bullish of Democratic strategists. The former Clinton administration official and head of the young non-profit group NDN has been the chief proponent of the belief that Barack Obama's election produced the opportunity for a "30-to-40-year era of Democratic dominance." A specialist in the political habits of different demographic groups (specifically Hispanics), he insists that, absent a drastic makeover, the GOP risks cementing itself "as irrelevant to the 21st century."

Sagging poll numbers and policy setbacks have done little to dissuade these rosy prognostications. There's only one thing that makes Rosenberg nervous: another Bush.

"Jeb [Bush] is married to a Latina, is fluent in Spanish, speaks on Univision as a commentator, his Spanish is that good," Rosenberg said of the former Florida governor and brother to the 43rd president during a lunch at NDN headquarters last week. "And if you look at the electoral map in 2012, you have to assume that Obama is going to have a very hard time in holding North Carolina and Virginia. The industrial Midwest, where the auto decline has been huge, has weakened Obama's numbers... a great deal. So Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin become a bit more wobbly. So if you're Barack Obama, the firewall is the Latin belt from Florida to southwestern California. And there is only one Republican who can break through that firewall. And it is Jeb."

Such a sentiment, Rosenberg admits, carries a slight hint of hysteria. After all, there is a good chunk of the country that recoils at the idea of another pol with the Bush surname. But that chunk has begun narrowing. And even within Democratic circles, there is an emerging belief that in a Republican Party filled with base-pleasing dramatizers or bland conservatives, Jeb stands out.

"The vast majority of the voting public yearns for a non-Bush," said longtime Democratic strategist Donna Brazille. But, she added, "Jeb has the talent, the experience and the ability to rebuild the GOP's tent."

"I believe Jeb Bush could run," said Stanley Greenberg, a longtime Democratic pollster. "He is more of a genuine conservative than Romney. Bush is a big hangover, but not impossible." The question, Greenberg asks, is "does his immigration position get him into primary trouble?"

Talk of a prospective Jeb Bush presidential run in the 2012 election is, by definition, speculative. But Rosenberg's frankness in acknowledging his fears gets at a larger, more immediate political phenomenon. Roughly one-and-a-half years after George W. Bush left office with abysmal approval ratings and the likelihood of historical ignominy, the Bush brand is vying once more for political relevance. Within Republican circles, the fear that once accompanied any association with the 43rd president has diminished. There remain, of course, substantive critiques of Bush's presidency. And news that the former president would be releasing his book right around the time of the November election ignited some consternation among Republicans on Thursday.

Story continues below

But the criticisms are mainly offered as a method of distinguishing oneself as a fresh, fiscally sound breed of Republican. Behind the scenes, some of the major figures from the Bush years have assumed influential roles.

Karl Rove, the strategist chiefly responsible for George W. Bush's rise to political prominence, has become the de facto Yoda of the Republican Party, dispensing wisdom in private and from his various public perches. Ed Gillespie, the former RNC chair and Bush hand, has assumed a more institutionally important position, launching a public opinion firm (Resurgent Republic) as well as a election-oriented organization (American Crossroads) that is promising to spend big on the 2010 elections. To be sure, many Bush-linked figures have become, essentially, apolitical in the post-administration era (think: former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman). But others have yet to kill the political bug, such as Sara Taylor, an ex-Rove aide who now plays an important role with likely 2012 candidate, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

And then there is Jeb. The former governor, GOP officials say, has become increasingly engaged in charting the future of Republican politics. In addition to working closely with House leadership on various rebranding efforts, he helped craft the delicate strategy that the party took in the Florida Senate Republican primary. Understanding that the National Republican Senatorial Committee was essentially obligated to put its support behind his successor, Charlie Crist, he cautioned chairman John Cornyn (R-Tex) to anticipate Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio's rise. The committee was, subsequently, well-positioned to handle Crist's GOP defection.

"I am running into him more around the country than before I would have expected, more [than] when he was governor," said Grover Norquist, head of the influential Americans for Tax Reform and a connected Republican tactician if there ever was one. "As I travel around, I hear Jeb Bush was here last week or is coming next month. And I didn't hear that when he was governor..."

What kind of impact the Bush reemergence will have on the broader landscape is a hotly debated question within both party circles. During the 2008 cycle, these officials were marginalized -- either burned out from the past eight years or too toxic for prospective candidates to touch (the McCain campaign, famously, had a fiery relationship with the former president and his team). Now back on, what one operative called "political terra firma," they have already positioned themselves as the axis around which the GOP's election strategies will turn. Both Rove and Gillespie have used their Rolodexes to recruit major donors and their reputations to pow-wow with some of the more high-profile candidates.

Of course, there's some self-aggrandizement going on, several officials cautioned anonymously. Rove, in particular, is often described as more interested in advancing his own brand, often by overstating his influence. "Karl seems to be mostly in the Karl Rove business," said one GOP operative. "Selling books, going on TV, writing for the Wall Street Journal, speaking engagements. I don't know much advising he is doing."

But that sentiment is not shared by everyone. Indeed, at a time when the campaign committees (mainly the RNC) have floundered, more top-flight Republicans are looking at the operatives who led the Bush years as the closest they can get to a sure thing.

"I think that those two particularly [Rove and Gillespie] bring a credibility," says Norquist. "If you want to write a really big check, you trust Ed Gillespie and Rove will spend $1 million wisely... Both of them you can look at through the prism of the last six election cycles. They've won some and lost some but they are always shooting in the right direction."

Whether that direction ends up being right for the GOP in 2010 remains to be seen. For Democrats, Rove's involvement has been cheered -- in as much as it's created the ideal boogeyman to get the 2010 blood flowing.

"He is larger than life all across the spectrum," explained Tracy Sefl, a Democratic strategist who has worked on campaigns at all levels of governance. "His contradiction is being well-known for the colossal failures attributed to his watch and also being well-known for his intellectual, strategic abilities."

But the major question is whether or not the old Bush guard is properly suited for the modern GOP. Rove, to this point, has had two high-profile endorsement busts: Sen. Bob Bennett in the Utah Republican primary, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the Texas gubernatorial primary. In each instance, he found himself on the wrong side of the Tea Party movement. Whether those are simply glitches in a broader effort to get Republicans elected or indicative of the grassroots and the Bush clan not operating off the same playbook is a major question going forward. And it's one that Jeb Bush -- as he ponders a potential 2012 bid -- will have to consider as well.

"I think that Bush-ism is still alive," said John Feehery, a longtime GOP consultant. "There is, however, an anti-Bushism in the party associated with the Rand Paul crowd. They don't like neocons and government. And Sarah Palin could be seen as part of that group... What people like about Jeb Bush is that he is smart and conservative and well-liked by the base... If there is going to be a Bush revival, Jeb is going to be the leader of that revival. But he has to contend with that [anti-Bushism]."
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DougMacG
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« Reply #270 on: July 15, 2010, 11:37:06 PM »

CCP: I was trying to figure out the E.  Jeb's real name is John Ellis Bush.  Yes, he would be a serious contender or frontrunner if not for the family name affiliation.  Seems like a showstopper yet we keep seeing those patterns.  Maybe he will run against Michelle O or Chelsea Clinton in 2016.  Seriously he would have been a better pick in any of the last several cycles.

MN Gov. Pawlenty has a piece published by Politico this week.  He seems to be picking up on the Paul Ryan themes and some of Gov. Christie's toughness on spending. 
-----
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/39674.html

Time for Obama to make sacrifices

By GOV. TIM PAWLENTY | 7/14/10

Later this week, the White House budget office is due to produce its midyear report on the nation’s fiscal health.

If history is any guide, the administration will try to paint a rosy picture, but the truth is already obvious: Washington under President Barack Obama is not just broken — it’s broke.

When Obama entered office, he inherited a budget deficit that reflected the toxic combination of recession, bailouts and runaway entitlement programs. But rather than getting the government’s finances under control, Obama and his allies in Congress poured gasoline on the fire with trillion-dollar boondoggles.

To put the recent spending binge in context, consider this: At the end of 2008, just before Obama took office, the federal debt was about 40 percent of our nation’s total economy. Now, according to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, the debt will explode to 62 percent of our economy by the end of this year.

If we consider off-budget liabilities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, underfunded entitlement promises and the budget effects embedded in the Democrats’ new health care bill, the fiscal picture gets even worse.

In a bizarre development, the Democratic-controlled House won’t even pass a budget for the first time in decades. Any family or business knows you can’t live within your means without a budget. Congressional Democrats have now announced they won’t even try.

As the governor of a state that, like most others, has been facing recession-driven budget shortfalls recently, I understand the challenges in front of the president. What I don’t understand is his refusal to do anything about it.

During my two terms in Minnesota, we balanced every biennial budget without raising taxes. We set priorities and cut spending. As the economy continues to struggle, more challenges lie ahead for both federal and state governments.

We should remember President Ronald Reagan’s advice that solutions may not be easy, but they are often simple. Obama and Congress should:

1. Set clear priorities but cut almost everything else. Not everything government does is equally important. When faced with a budget shortfall in Minnesota, we considered the importance of programs. We decided to protect funding for the most important ones: the National Guard, veterans’ support programs, public safety and K-12 schools.

Nearly everything else has been cut. Last year, we cut overall spending in real terms for the first time in the state’s 150-year history.

2. Reform out-of-control entitlements. By far, the biggest long-term driver of the federal debt is entitlement spending, including Social Security and Medicare. These programs are going to have to be changed. And despite Beltway rhetoric, it can be done.

For example, in Minnesota, our bus drivers in the Twin Cities had benefits that were completely unsustainable. The premise of our reform was simple:

The status quo must change. We kept our commitment to current employees but changed the rules for new hires.

Reforming that entitlement program and others wasn’t easy. The reforms for our bus drivers led to one of the longest transit strikes in recent history. But we did it. So must Washington.

3. Sacrifice. Americans have sacrificed enough; it’s time for government to sacrifice for a change. When Washington Democrats talk about balancing the budget, they speak gravely about painful choices and sacrifice — but what they mean is tax increases. In other words, we sacrifice so they can spend.

Before we ask taxpayers to make “painful choices,” we need to ask the politicians and bureaucrats to make a few first. In Minnesota, we rejected tax increases every year I was governor, and even cut taxes overall, to make our state more competitive. Washington can — and should — do the same.

The White House’s midyear review will very likely try to present the case for tax hikes as inevitable. But they are not.

Washington politicians may say you can’t solve the problem by simply cutting spending, protecting crucial priorities and balancing the budget without raising taxes.

But in Minnesota, we’ve proven: Yes, you can.

Tim Pawlenty is the Republican governor of Minnesota.

(Gov. Pawlenty won reelection in 2006 when almost no Republicans were winning - in a state where Dems now have a 65% majority in the state house and a 68% majority in the state senate.)
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #271 on: July 16, 2010, 03:35:48 AM »

My understanding is that GH. Bush always thought Jeb would be the more likely to achieve the presidency and was surprised when it turned out to be GW.  I don't know that much about Jeb, but the little I know does not suggest that he would be the forceful leader committed to rolling back of the Feds to traditional proportions that we need.

The Pawlenty piece is pretty good.   The one time I caught him for a substantial piece of air time he struck me as , , , OK, lacking in fire-in-the-belly as so many Republicans are.  Still, the construction of this piece suggests that he is getting "the storyline" for his campaign in order.

I gather Newt is once again making serious noises.  Truly a tragedy IMHO that Fred Thompson muddied the waters in a way that kept him out last time.  I'd love to see what he could bring at this point in time, or whether he has lost his edge with too much punditry.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #272 on: July 16, 2010, 03:51:36 AM »

Woof,
 I think Pawlenty is the best bet but the party elite still like Mitt and just like McCain he is no conservative. As far as Jeb, I don't think there is a chance in hell that another Bush will get into office. I'll tell you who I would really like to see run, just to stir things up and that is Michele Bachmann. www.michelebachmann.com
                              P.C.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #273 on: July 16, 2010, 04:07:56 AM »

Mitt has two large strikes against him IMHO:

1) Like GW Bush, he was born into a presitigious and powerful political family and as such does not know how to respond to class warfare and race baiting because of feelings of patricianly guilt/noblesse oblige.

2) My understanding is that his health care program in MA bears substantial resemblance to Obamacare and therefore will not be able to fight Obamacare

Michele Bachman definitely bears watching but frankly I do not see her as having the preparation or gravitas for President at this point in time.

Christie of NJ is showing a lot of testicular fortitude of the sort we need for budget issues, but is unknown to me with regard to other matters.

FWIW the Bret Baier Report tonight showed polling that had each Huckabee and Romney beating Baraq by a point and Palin tying him.
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Rarick
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« Reply #274 on: July 16, 2010, 05:21:13 AM »

Mitt also takes a hit from many on the religion factor, bullcrap, but there.

Ron Paul beat Mit Romney in the starw poll a few months back.  He has long experience in the house and some concepts that just might work.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #275 on: July 16, 2010, 12:19:00 PM »

Crafty wrote: "The Pawlenty piece is pretty good.   The one time I caught him for a substantial piece of air time he struck me as , , , OK, lacking in fire-in-the-belly as so many Republicans are.  Still, the construction of this piece suggests that he is getting "the storyline" for his campaign in order."

That is about right and P.C. thanks for the nice words about him.  I know Pawlenty a little.  He does not have knock you off your chair charisma or seem Presidential, but none of them do.  He is positioning himself fairly well and getting good experience with the national shows for when the bigger names falter.  I post not to endorse but just so we start to get familiar with the people who will likely run.  A bit moderate for my taste but about as conservative as we can get and not be painted as a scary extremist.  I would just say don't underestimate him.  I think he would do pretty well in a long general election as a contrast to Obama, but maybe not at setting the base on fire early and maybe not the ability to separate himself from the packin a crowded primary.

Crafty is right on with Romney IMO.  He can draw a distinction between failed healthcare in Massachusetts and Obamacare - that it is what his liberal state wanted to do, but to an energized base it is still what we don't want, government run healthcare.  He presents himself very well but became a little too skilled at explaining his changes in views that kept coinciding with changes in his target market.

I like Newt. Newt doesn't have anyone but himself to blame.   Fred hardly stole the air in the room.  I don't care for Huckabee - I think he is the one that fractured or won the conservative vote, yet like P.C. I don't see him as conservative or electable.  I don't know when the time is right but Newt needs to step in early this election cycle and stop being coy about it if he wants to be President.  That was one thing Obama did right.  He made it clear early that he was running.

Palin is one who may benefit by waiting.  She is getting stronger and doing good work for the cause IMO.

Michele Bachmann has the most conservative district in MN and will win again but she won't ever be President.  Congress needs strong leaders with principles too.  She was a tax attorney.  A good firebrand partisan full of positive energy for the base, but not much reach across appeal. Very intelligent but a little gaffe prone.  This is a good video of her questioning Geithner and Bernancke:
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ccp
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« Reply #276 on: July 16, 2010, 12:38:28 PM »

"Christie of NJ is showing a lot of testicular fortitude of the sort we need for budget issues, but is unknown to me with regard to other matters."

May I suggest we all keep our eye open to this guy.  Everytime I hear him on talk shows he sounds better and better.  This guy learns.  He improves. Some have criticised him for not being "conservative" enough.  They are worng and he is right.  He cannot win if he comes out to as to "right".  We are in a Demcoratic state.  One out of three New Jerseans have been reported to be on some sort of dole.

Taxes are astronomical. Costs of living are high.  Most are working class.  They are struggling.  Unions are powerful.  Private unions and public unions.  They have a stranglehold on the Dem party.  Cristie seems to have been able to get past this more than anyone could have hoped.  Even Bob Grant says his accomplishments on union concessions while hardly great are still impressive.  He held teachers to I think a 2% raise rather thna 4 to 5%.

Corruption in local, county, state government is legendary though I doubt any more than anywhere else in the US, or at least the NE or West coast or other major metropolitan areas.

Watch this guy.  His learning curve, going from someone who could barely talk and give speeches to someone who is quite logical, convincing, charismatic, realistic, and taking on the unions by going to voters directly is so far impressive to me.  FINALLY we have someone who is doing what needs to be done.  And people are agreeing with him.  Yet as he has said, he has not won, and it remains to be seen the final result, he or I underestimate the use of bribery by the Dems to buy votes amongst working class, and dole receiving voters.
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ccp
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« Reply #277 on: July 16, 2010, 12:40:51 PM »

"he or I underestimate"

Sorry, I meant he or I do NOT underestimate" the Dems willingness to bribe voters with taxpayer money.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #278 on: July 16, 2010, 08:23:23 PM »

Woof,
 I think Pawlenty is the best bet but the party elite still like Mitt and just like McCain he is no conservative. As far as Jeb, I don't think there is a chance in hell that another Bush will get into office. I'll tell you who I would really like to see run, just to stir things up and that is Michele Bachmann. www.michelebachmann.com
                              P.C.
Hey Guys,
 I didn't say Bachmann could win or even make a good President, I said I would like to see her run just to stir things up. We need someone that can clearly define conservative values both fiscally and socially as things stand now. I don't think most conservatives today hold on to the old guard religious values as being enough to overcome the political realities of our modern society. Yes, they may still hold strong beliefs about abortion and gay marriage but I don't think that overturning Roe vs Wade is realistic to them any longer and things like legal unions are now more acceptable in a political sense. Bachmann is against abortion and gay marriage but I think she could bring conservatism up to date by showing the difference in political focus that many conservatives have nowadays of what is practical policy and what is personal faith that can't be forced on to others and at the same time show a forcefulness and firm will in regard to restoring our Constitutional Republic as envisioned by the Founders and returning to a free market economy where Capitalism (not unfettered greed or political manipulation), is allowed to seek its own highs and lows, its own failures and successes that gives incentive for the kind of innovation that supports natural stability, not a stagnant artificial one supported by tax payers.
                                          P.C.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 12:48:44 AM by prentice crawford » Logged

ccp
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« Reply #279 on: July 17, 2010, 02:28:51 PM »

Doug,
Yes the E is for Ellis.  I never knew that was his middle name, or even that his first name is John.

On another note IT is starting again.  Could anyone really have thought that either of them would simply go away?

It is no accident we are seeing  more headlines of Hillary lately.  I only post the news item below as an example of increasing Assoc Press releases about Hillary.  As always they follow her and discuss what she is doing without EVER being able to document ANY accomplishment on her part in anything she does.  As Crafty has so deftly pointed out with the simple question, what has Hillary ever accomplished?  The answer is nothing. Yet the MSM would have us believe she is and has accomplished so much for the country and the world.  Did we already here "rumors" that foreign leaders are "confiding" to her that they do not like Bmaster's policies.
 I am sick to think that we will be hearing and seeing more of her from lovers of Clinton and co. who are panicking over the failures of the ONE.  And of course behind the scenes she will encourage this while pretending to be loyal to the greatest super human who ever lived.  Pretending she is not interested in 2012 while waiting (and praying) for the "groundswell" of support with screams of "you go and girl", and "run Hillary run!"  Then she will due her duty for America and patriotically answer the people's calling for her to bring "Clintonism" back to save us (and of course the world).

***Clinton on key Afghan mission as US war fears grow
             Clinton AFP By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer Matthew Lee, Associated Press Writer – Sat Jul 17, 11:39 am ET
WASHINGTON – As concerns grow about the war in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is heading to South Asia on a mission aimed at refining the goals of the nearly 9-year-old conflict.

U.S. lawmakers are increasingly questioning the course of the war. The number of soldiers from the U.S. and other countries in the international coalition in Afghanistan is on the rise. Corruption is a deep problem in Afghanistan, and members of Congress wonder about the utility of massive aid to both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Clinton will attend an international conference in Kabul on Tuesday where the Afghan government is expected to outline plans to improve security, reintegrate militants into society and crack down on corruption. She also plans to stop in Pakistan to push greater cooperation between Islamabad and Kabul.

Clinton, who left Washington on Saturday, will meet up in the week ahead with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in South Korea, where tensions with the communist North have risen after the sinking of a South Korean warship that was blamed on the North.

She will finish her trip in Vietnam for discussions with regional leaders. Among the topics will be the upcoming elections in Myanmar.

At the Kabul conference, she will renew Washington's commitment to support Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government, but press him to follow through on reform pledges he made earlier this year.

Richard Holbrooke, President Barack Obama's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has said the conference "will be a very important international demonstration of support" for Karzai and his administration.

But Holbrooke acknowledges concerns that the war and the reconstruction effort are not going as hoped or planned.

He told Congress this past week that "there are significant elements of movement forward in many areas, but I do not yet see a definitive turning point in either direction."

Last month was the deadliest of the war for international forces: 103 coalition troops were killed, despite the infusion of tens of thousands of new U.S. troops. So far in July, 54 international troops have died, 39 of them American. An American service member was killed by a blast in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, and an American died in a blast in the south on Friday.

International troops working with Afghan forces say they have killed or captured dozens of senior insurgent figures since April as they aggressively step up operations against the Taliban leadership. But those successes haven't slowed the pace of militant attacks, which continue daily, killing dozens of people each month.

The administration has said it will review its Afghan strategy at year's end. The slow progress against the Taliban and the disruptive effects of the firing of the outspoken American commander there last month, have led to a growing unease among many in Congress, including leading members of Obama's own party.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said it's not clear that the administration has a solid strategy for prevailing. The committee's top Republican, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, decried "a lack of clarity" about U.S. war goals.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who leads the Senate Armed Services Committee, has said that while there remains "solid support" for the war among Democrats, "there's also the beginnings of fraying of that support."

In the House, Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., has put a hold on nearly $4 billion in assistance to Afghanistan, demanding that allegations of corruption be addressed and that the Afghan government be held accountable.***

___

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #280 on: July 17, 2010, 02:35:24 PM »

Not really the right thread for that piece.  Perhaps the Afpakia thread would have been better, or the Political thread.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #281 on: July 19, 2010, 11:42:17 AM »

Sorry I didn't catch that Paul Ryan had already ruled out in Feb a run for President in 2012, convincingly:
"There’s no way I am running for president in 2012," the Wisconsin Republican told the New York Times Magazine in a Q&A feature. "My head is not that big, and my kids are too small."

Too bad.  He is one who already proved he could win a debate with the President - on health care.  Did not rule out VP.  In the meantime he would provide an excellent contrast to Obama as U.S. Speaker of the House for Obama's last 2, lame duck years.

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ccp
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« Reply #282 on: July 20, 2010, 03:06:42 PM »

Interesting read from G Will:

Through Puerto Rico, the GOP can reach out to Hispanics

By George Will

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Republican governor -- a very Republican governor -- has an idea for solving one of his party's conundrums. The party should listen to Luis Fortuno, the Reaganite who resides in Puerto Rico's executive mansion.

Conservatives need a strategy for addressing the immigration issue without alienating America's largest and most rapidly growing minority. Conservatives believe the southern border must be secured before there can be "comprehensive" immigration reform that resolves the status of the 11 million illegal immigrants. But this policy risks making Republicans seem hostile to Hispanics.

Fortuno wants Republicans to couple insistence on border enforcement with support for Puerto Rican statehood. This, he says, would resonate deeply among Hispanics nationwide. His premise is that many factors -- particularly, the Telemundo and Univision television channels -- have created a common consciousness among Hispanics in America.

How many know that Puerto Ricans are American citizens? That every president since Truman has affirmed Puerto Rico's right to opt for independence or statehood? That every Republican platform since 1968 has endorsed Puerto Rico's right to choose statehood? That Ronald Reagan, announcing his candidacy in 1979, said, "I favor statehood for Puerto Rico"?

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Fortuno supports H.R. 2499 (also supported by such House conservatives as Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence and former Republican Study Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling), which would provide for a plebiscite on the island's current status. If a majority favor this status, the question could be asked again in eight years. If a majority vote for change, a second plebiscite would offer a choice among the current status, independence, "sovereignty in association with the United States" and statehood.

Puerto Rico, which is only half as far from Florida as Hawaii is from California, is about the size of Connecticut. Its population is larger than the populations of 24 states. There are, however, problems.

Puerto Rico's per capita income ($14,905) is only 50 percent of that of the poorest state (Mississippi, $30,103) and 27 percent of the richest (Connecticut, $54,397). The fact that Puerto Ricans are at home in American society does not entail the conclusion that the commonwealth, a distinct cultural and linguistic entity (most on the island do not speak English), belongs in the federal union. Currently, Puerto Ricans pay federal income taxes only on income from off the island.

Fortuno says the present system has failed to prevent the income disparity with the mainland from widening. But America does not want lukewarm citizens. In three referendums (1967, 1993, 1998), Puerto Ricans favored the status quo -- an unincorporated territory -- over statehood. In 1998, the vote was 50.4 percent to 46.5 percent. In the 1950s, the last time the federal union was enlarged, Hawaiians and Alaskans overwhelmingly supported statehood.

Many Republicans suspect that congressional Democrats support statehood for the same reason they want to pretend that the District of Columbia is a state -- to get two more senators (and in Puerto Rico's case, perhaps six members of the House). Such Republicans mistakenly assume that the island's population of 4 million has the same Democratic disposition as the 4.2 million Puerto Ricans in the Bronx and elsewhere on the mainland.

Fortuno disagrees, noting that while Republicans on the mainland were losing in 2008, he was elected in the island's biggest landslide in 44 years. The party he leads won more than two-thirds of the seats in both houses of the legislature and three-fifths of the mayoralties, including that of San Juan. Fortuno, who calls himself a "values candidate" and goes to Catholic services almost every day, says that Puerto Ricans are culturally conservative -- 78 percent are pro-life, 91 percent oppose same-sex marriage and 30 percent of the 85 percent who are Christian are evangelicals. A majority supports his agenda, which includes tax and spending cuts, trimming 16,000 from public payrolls to begin eliminating the deficit that was 45 percent of the size of the budget.

Fortuno, 49, who has degrees from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia's law school, looks half his age. "Republicans," he says, "cannot continue to oppose every Hispanic issue." If he is correct that Puerto Rican statehood is, or can become, such an issue, Republicans should hear him out.

The United States acquired Puerto Rico 112 years ago in the testosterone spill called the Spanish-American War. Before another century passes, perhaps Puerto Ricans' ambivalence about their somewhat ambiguous status can be rectified to the advantage of Republicans.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #283 on: July 20, 2010, 05:49:46 PM »

Very interesting.  Nice find CCP.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #284 on: July 27, 2010, 12:39:05 PM »

I like Newt and I will vote for him if he is the nominee.  I don't endorse these criticisms.  If any or all are partly true that still doesn't tell a fraction of the amazing story of what Newt accomplished.  This criticism comes from the right but these things always get lapped up by leftists  Supporters of Newt should aware and ready to answer the critics' charges against him - that's all I'm saying by posting (linking).

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/40213.html
On Gingrich: A legacy of surrender
By HOWARD RICH | 7/26/10
(Howard Rich is chairman of Americans for Limited Government.)
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #285 on: July 27, 2010, 04:19:28 PM »

I too like Newt.  Indeed I like him a lot, but it is true that he played the spoiled brat about that Air Force One incident and did fold to Clinton and the Dems.  Newt did side with the RINO Reps in upstate NY.  I am bummed to see him go spineless against the NAACP.

Doug, you are quite right we need to now where our weaknesses are.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #286 on: August 08, 2010, 10:38:32 AM »

I watched R-leader Rep. Boehner today on Meet the Press.  Very lousy interview mostly because of the interviewer.  Boehner looked a couple of times like he needed a script and much of the times like he was reading from one.  He was being careful to not make news by saying something controversial, mostly missed the opportunity to set a positive agenda and draw in new people to the cause.  Mike Pence followed and was far more personable.  Paul Ryan is more articulate, disciplined and persuasive.  Boehner is a good guy and I would give him a B as minority leader but someone new, more dynamic and visionary should be the next Speaker.  Boehner did say they would be introducing something of an agenda or campaign platform after Labor Day.  Looking forward to it!

At the RNC, I might give Michael Steele a D for his job performance so far, yet would still probably keep him for his term.  More important over there is the behind the scenes work at the RNC which is probably D work too, but who knows.  I don't understand that a first black President spends his time reaching out to liberal elites, offers the inner city of America only free, borrowed money, and then a black RNC Chair reaching out only to known rich Republican donors.  Where is the real outreach?  Michael Steele IMO should use his position to round up a rainbow coalition of free thinkers and take the message directly into the worst inner-city neighborhoods in this country that it is the economic freedoms, not the government programs, that brings prosperity.  Not with the expectation of suddenly winning the minority vote, but to at least put the word out that there is a conservative viewpoint to consider and plenty of intelligent people of color and different ethnicities are joining in.

Nationwide, the grassroots tea party movement and the broadbased rejection at the opinion poll level of the Pelosi-Obama agenda has been phenomenal.  Leadership for the most part is lagging or missing so far.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #287 on: August 08, 2010, 10:20:39 PM »

To me Boener epitomizes the sort of Rep that has led the Reps into the cul de sac in which they find themselves.

OTOH Ryan seems quite promising.
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ccp
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« Reply #288 on: August 13, 2010, 12:07:51 PM »

What America needs is a man like this.  Who can bring pride and strength to America - not shame and weakness.  What a difference!  For Israel I say this brings me only pride and greatfulness there is a real man at their helm.   grin  For America the opposite -  a great deceiver, a huckster of sorts, a lover of himself.  cry angry

From Greorge Will - another great article:

***Israel's anti-Obama

By George Will

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | JERUSALEM — Two photographs adorn the office of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Together they illuminate a portentous fact: No two leaders of democracies are less alike — in life experiences, temperaments and political philosophies — than Netanyahu, the former commando and fierce nationalist, and Barack Obama, the former professor and post-nationalist.

One photograph is of Theodor Herzl, born 150 years ago. Dismayed by the eruption of anti-Semitism in France during the Dreyfus Affair at the end of the 19th century, Herzl became Zionism's founding father. Long before the Holocaust, he concluded that Jews could find safety only in a national homeland.

The other photograph is of Winston Churchill, who considered himself "one of the authors" of Britain's embrace of Zionism. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 stated: "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." Beginning in 1923, Britain would govern Palestine under a League of Nations mandate.

Netanyahu, his focus firmly on Iran, honors Churchill because he did not flinch from facts about gathering storms. Obama returned to the British Embassy in Washington the bust of Churchill that was in the Oval Office when he got there.

Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo, courting the Arab world, may have had measurable benefits, although the metric proving this remains mysterious. The speech — made during a trip when Obama visited Cairo and Riyadh but not here — certainly subtracted from his standing in Israel. In it, he acknowledged Israel as, in part, a response to Jewish suffering in the Holocaust. Then, with what many Israelis considered a deeply offensive exercise of moral equivalence, he said: "On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people — Muslims and Christians — have suffered in pursuit of a homeland."

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"On the other hand"? "I," says Moshe Yaalon, "was shocked by the Cairo speech," which he thinks proved that "this White House is very different." Yaalon, former head of military intelligence and chief of the general staff, currently strategic affairs minister, tartly asks, "If Palestinians are victims, who are the victimizers?"

The Cairo speech came 10 months after Obama's Berlin speech, in which he declared himself a "citizen of the world." That was an oxymoronic boast, given that citizenship connotes allegiance to a particular polity, its laws and political processes. But the boast resonated in Europe.

The European Union was born from the flight of Europe's elites from what terrifies them — Europeans. The first Thirty Years' War ended in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia, which ratified the system of nation-states. The second Thirty Years' War, which ended in 1945, convinced European elites that the continent's nearly fatal disease was nationalism, the cure for which must be the steady attenuation of nationalities. Hence the high value placed on "pooling" sovereignty, never mind the cost in diminished self-government.

Israel, with its deep sense of nationhood, is beyond unintelligible to such Europeans; it is a stench in their nostrils. Transnational progressivism is, as much as welfare state social democracy, an element of European politics that American progressives will emulate as much as American politics will permit. It is perverse that the European Union, a semi-fictional political entity, serves — with the United States, the reliably anti-Israel United Nations and Russia — as part of the "quartet" that supposedly will broker peace in our time between Israel and the Palestinians.

Arguably the most left-wing administration in American history is trying to knead and soften the most right-wing coalition in Israel's history. The former shows no understanding of the latter, which thinks it understands the former all too well.

The prime minister honors Churchill, who spoke of "the confirmed unteachability of mankind." Nevertheless, a display case in Netanyahu's office could teach the Obama administration something about this leader. It contains a small signet stone that was part of a ring found near the Western Wall. It is about 2,800 years old — 200 years younger than Jerusalem's role as the Jewish people's capital. The ring was the seal of a Jewish official, whose name is inscribed on it: Netanyahu.

No one is less a transnational progressive, less a post-nationalist, than Binyamin Netanyahu, whose first name is that of a son of Jacob, who lived perhaps 4,000 years ago. Netanyahu, whom no one ever called cuddly, once said to a U.S. diplomat 10 words that should warn U.S. policymakers who hope to make Netanyahu malleable: "You live in Chevy Chase. Don't play with our future."


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DougMacG
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« Reply #289 on: August 14, 2010, 12:00:11 AM »

First must comment on CCP's post of Geo. Will writing about Netanyahu.  I love it that one of his heroes/mentors is Churchill, and no he was not bound to become a close personal drinking buddy with Barack Obama, lol.
--------
http://www.esquire.com/print-this/newt-gingrich-0910?page=all

I thought I was clicking on a positive piece on Newt when I clicked on "Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican" and kept the tab open until I had time to read it in its entirety.  Apologies in advance for posting/linking a second hit piece on Gingrich in a short time, but this is what is being written.  I didn't realize that Newt is already the front runner in polls and in money. I'm sure that is why the attacks have begun.  If you can wade through the obviously anti-Newt, anti-conservative, anti-Republican slant of the writing, I think you will find in this long piece covers his strengths and accomplishments and his weaknesses and vulnerabilities very thoroughly.  The bizarre writing style wanders in and out of interviews with none other than the ex-wife Marianne and with Newt.  He writes what people said sometimes in quotes and sometimes not. I wouldn't assume any/all of the covered facts or personal accusations and stories are completely true but I will guess that contents of this will become the centerpiece of the future attacks against him.  I don't expect him to answer any of it, just to move forward with whatever his new blueprint for the country will be.
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ccp
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« Reply #290 on: August 16, 2010, 10:53:17 AM »

"Not just Bush, but the R. congress of that time needs to be answered."

What is interesting is that I read that one of the architects of W was Rove and that he is behind the scenes making a comeback if you will and is gaining inside power in the party.  OR he never lost it.

I don't know what to make of this.  If we say that compassionate conservatism does not work and is no more than conservatives trying to keep up with Dems in spending taxpayer money and competing with them to buy votes than, if it true, that Rove is consolidating his political behind the scenes power in the party, than what does that mean for the future of the party?

By the way, I predict we will have a Black Republican candidate for President in 2016.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #291 on: August 16, 2010, 02:15:34 PM »

"if... Rove is consolidating his political behind the scenes power in the party, than what does that mean for the future of the party?"

IMHO Rove was never the problem.  He is an adviser, not a politician or a leader.  Presidents need political advisers to figure out the political implications of things.  Rove made mistakes, all of them did.  This is a different time and his political advice would be different.  Rove's name is political poison to some I'm sure but I think he is a conservative with a keen insight.  Rove has value, skill, weaknesses and baggage, but I don't think he has any power or ever will other than the power of his ideas. Bush probably used him beyond his area of expertise and that was the Presdent's fault. I don't think any candidate would hand the whole campaign or agenda over to him today. A real leader has to take in all the advice in different directions and then do the right thing.

If I were a candidate, I would love to hear his advice, especially if I could get it in private without being tied publicly to advisers that brought us the failures of the past (and a number of successes).   Same with Dick Morris, though I wouldn't buddy around with him in public, but I would hear him out.  You have to win elections to govern and to prevent people like Pelosi-Obama from governing.  I would also consult and train with all the others I could find who have shown great skill at simplifying, clarifying and articulating the conservative message and define a realistic platform and agenda for this unique time in history.

I don't think Rove (or Cheney) ever controlled Bush or congress; I don't think Rahm or Axelrod control Obama, or Carville or Stephanopoulus controlled Clinton.  HW Bush caved in to his advisers but that again was his fault and his responsibility. We have just had a series of inconsistent or wrong headed leaders unfortunately.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #292 on: August 19, 2010, 06:23:47 PM »

Impressive, short video 2 1/2 minutes, summarizes the political time we live in.


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #293 on: August 22, 2010, 10:03:17 AM »

y JOHN FUND
San Diego, Calif.

You can tell it's a volatile political year when a balding, middle-aged pollster gets a standing ovation from hundreds of state legislators after delivering the news that only 23% of the people in this country believe today's federal government has the consent of the governed.

"Americans don't want to be governed from the left or the right," Scott Rasmussen tells the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conference of 1,500 conservative and moderate legislators. "They want, like the Founding Fathers, to largely govern themselves with Washington in a supporting—but not dominant—role. The tea party movement is today's updated expression of that sentiment."

Mr. Rasmussen tells the crowd gathered around him after his speech that the political and media elites have misread the tea party. He believes this strongly enough that he's teamed up with Doug Schoen—a pollster for both President Bill Clinton and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg—to publish a new book that will seek to explain the movement's significance. "Mad as Hell" will be out early next month.

Thanks to the shifting tectonic plates of American society, polls have come to dominate our politics as never before, and Mr. Rasmussen is today's leading insurgent pollster. A co-founder of the sports network ESPN as a young man, now, at age 54, he's a key player in the contact sport of politics. His firm, Rasmussen Reports, has replaced live questioners with automated dialers so it can inexpensively survey a large sample of Americans every night about their confidence in the economy and their approval of President Obama. Key Senate and governor's races are polled every two weeks.

Some traditional pollsters argue otherwise, but time has shown that automated telephone technology delivers results that are just as accurate as conventional methods (as well as being far less costly). Mr. Rasmussen correctly predicted the 2004 and 2008 presidential races within a percentage point. In 2009, Mickey Kaus of Slate.com noted that Mr. Rasmussen's final poll in the New Jersey governor's race was "pretty damn accurate. Polls using conventional human operators tended to show [Democrat Jon] Corzine ahead. They were wrong."

 
Christopher Serra
 
Scott Rasmussen
.Early this year, Mr. Rasmussen delivered the first early-warning sign that Scott Brown would change the direction of American politics. A Rasmussen poll showing Mr. Brown surging and only nine points down with two weeks left to go before January's special Senate election in Massachusetts attracted the instant attention of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "How had this happened? What the bleep was going on?" is how the New York Times characterized his reaction. A Boston Globe poll taken about the same time showed Democrat Martha Coakley with a safe 15-point lead.

Mr. Rasmussen has a partial answer for Mr. Emanuel's question, and it lies in a significant division among the American public that he has tracked for the past few years—a division between what he calls the Mainstream Public and the Political Class.

To figure out where people are, he asks three questions: Whose judgment do you trust more: that of the American people or America's political leaders? Has the federal government become its own special interest group? Do government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors? Those who identify with the government on two or more questions are defined as the political class.

Before the financial crisis of late 2008, about a tenth of Americans fell into the political class, while some 53% were classified as in the mainstream public. The rest fell somewhere in the middle. Now the percentage of people identifying with the political class has clearly declined into single digits, while those in the mainstream public have grown slightly. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents all agree with the mainstream view on Mr. Rasmussen's three questions. "The major division in this country is no longer between parties but between political elites and the people," Mr. Rasmussen says.

His recent polls show huge gaps between the two groups. While 67% of the political class believes the U.S. is moving in the right direction, a full 84% of mainstream voters believe the nation is moving in the wrong one. The political class overwhelmingly supported the bailouts of the financial and auto industries, the health-care bill, and the Justice Department's decision to sue Arizona over its new immigration law. Those in the mainstream public just as intensely opposed those moves.

The division of Americans into these groups has real significance for the way polls are conducted and how their results are interpreted, according to Mr. Rasmussen. One reason some polls offer misleading results, he says, is that the premise behind questions asked isn't always shared by those queried. "Many pollsters have asked voters whether policy makers should spend more to improve the economy or reduce spending to cut the deficit. But I found that 52% of Americans think more government spending hurts the economy and only 28% think it helps," he says. "The trade-offs pollsters offer voters often don't make sense to them. How you frame the question often obscures the results you get."

Mr. Rasmussen argues that Mr. Obama misread the data from early on in his administration. "People remember from his 2008 campaign that he promised to cut taxes for 95% of all Americans," he says. But Mr. Obama's stimulus package only grudgingly included modest tax cuts as part of an effort to secure Republican votes in Congress. "The week it passed, our poll found 62% of voters wanted more tax cuts and less government spending in the stimulus," he says. "We shouldn't be surprised people now think the stimulus has failed."

President Obama also bungled his message on health-care reform because he misread the polls, says Mr. Rasmussen. "He kept citing Congressional Budget Office projections that his plan would save money and cut the deficit. But our polls showed people didn't trust the elites: 60% thought it would raise the deficit and 81% thought it would cost more than CBO projected."

Democrats pushed the bill through anyway, convinced that voters would warm to it. Yet this past week, key White House allies conceded that hasn't happened. "Many don't believe health-care reform will help the economy," concluded a PowerPoint presentation put together by Families USA, a leading liberal group.

As we sit in a holding room after his speech at the conference, Mr. Rasmussen tells me that understanding the tea party is essential to predicting what the country's political scene will look like. "This will be the third straight election in which people vote against the party in power," he says. "The GOP will benefit from that this year, but 75% of Republicans say their representatives in Congress are out of touch with the party base. Should they win big this November, they will have to move quickly to prove they've learned lessons from the Bush years."

Mr. Rasmussen says it is hugely important to know whether a poll has surveyed all adults, registered voters or likely voters. "I've been criticized by some for only polling likely voters, or 'political junkies,'" he says, "but the people who ultimately vote decide everything."

Identifying the likely voters is particularly important this year because turnout is different in midterm elections than in presidential ones. "Remember John McCain won voters over age 40, and this November's older electorate is likely to have more McCain supporters in it than Obama backers," he says. "The statewide elections in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts in the last year all saw fewer minorities and younger people vote than in 2008."

Given his frequent television appearances and the fact that his firm's website gets over a million hits a day in the weeks leading up to an election, I express surprise that people don't know much about Scott Rasmussen. "I'm a lot less important than the numbers I present," he says in an attempt to deflect attention from himself.

But Mr. Rasmussen has an interesting entrepreneurial story. He grew up in Massachusetts and New Jersey, the son of a sports broadcaster. Absorbed with hockey in high school, he joined his father in working for the New England Whalers. They would often bemoan that they couldn't get the team's games on broadcast stations. In 1978, trapped in a traffic jam on the way to the Jersey shore, they came up with the idea of an all-sports network on cable TV.

Using $9,000 charged to a credit card, they created the Entertainment Sports Programming Network, or ESPN. They soon scored a major investor in Getty Oil and launched in 1979. Within a few years, they had millions of viewers. Mr. Rasmussen was 22 years old.

The family sold its ESPN interest in 1984, and Mr. Rasmussen became interested in polling after taking a class at the University of Connecticut. He conducted his first poll in the late 1980s, but his business didn't take off until he embraced automated polling in the mid-1990s. With the exception of Gallup, he probably asks more Americans more questions today than any other organization.


With success has come criticism. Mr. Rasmussen has been attacked for alleged bias towards Republicans. He .rejects such complaints, noting that because he focuses on likely voters his survey sample often includes more Republicans. "The key is whether I've been accurate," he says, noting that he was bitterly attacked by Republicans in 2006 and 2008 for showing several longtime GOP senators in trouble early on. Many of them lost.

As for his own politics, he is coy other than admitting he has a healthy suspicion of the political class he devotes so much time to studying. "If I root for anyone to win, it's for our polls," he laughs. "If a Republican is ahead by two points, I want the Republican by two. If a Democrat is ahead by two, I want the Democrat by two."

This November, he'll be up late analyzing the data and hoping the Party of Rasmussen brings home the win.

Mr. Fund is a columnist for WSJ.com.
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ccp
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« Reply #294 on: August 23, 2010, 11:26:13 AM »

The "Economist" wondering out loud if this guy would be a good candidate for GOP in 12?  I know absolutely nothing about him so I have no opinion.  I can't say I am knocked off my chair based on this article.  As a cynic I would wonder if that is why the Economist is suggesting this guy.

***Mitch Daniels
The right stuff
Indiana's governor is a likeable wonk. Can he save the Republicans from themselves and provide a pragmatic alternative to Barack Obama?
Aug 19th 2010 | Clay County

THE governor does not like to keep people waiting. On a recent morning this small man leapt out of a trooper’s Toyota (Indiana-made) while it was still moving. He burst into a tiny chamber of commerce and began joking with businessmen, teachers and farmers. He is comfortable with most people in most places. He can command a boardroom. He has moseyed through enough fairs to know how to sign a goat—on its left side, so as not to write against the grain of its coat. After some small talk with the chamber, he introduced himself formally: “Mitch Daniels, your employee in public service.”

Most Americans know little or nothing of Mr Daniels. He does not tweet. “I’m not an interesting enough person,” he explains. He is a Republican who had never heard of 9/12, Glenn Beck’s tea-party group, before The Economist mentioned it to him. But he is good at one thing in particular: governing.

Wonks have long revered Mr Daniels. Since February, when he said he would consider a presidential run, others have started to as well. The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, published a glowing profile in June. At Indiana’s Republican convention he was greeted by chants of “Run, Mitch, run!” Mr Daniels is an interesting model. But whether national Republicans will embrace him is less clear.

“I never expected to go into politics,” he explains. Born in Pennsylvania and weaned in the South, he moved to Indiana at the age of ten before a scholarship took him off to Princeton. Over the years he has worked for Richard Lugar, Indiana’s respected and moderate senior senator, served as Ronald Reagan’s budget director, run North American operations for Eli Lilly, a big pharmaceuticals firm, and, from 2001 to 2003, served as George Bush’s budget director. To these jobs he brought a decidedly dorky passion: a reverence for restraint and efficacy. This pervades his life. At 61, he runs or swims almost every day. He subsists, it seems, largely on oatmeal. On a recent shopping trip his credit card was declined for “unusual activity”. He is, in short, just the kind of man to relish fixing a broken state—or country.

In 2003 Mr Daniels announced that he would run for governor. Democrats knew he was intelligent. To their horror, he turned out to be likeable too. Sarah Palin is strident and Mitt Romney disconcertingly perfect. Mr Daniels is at ease, an unusual politician who does not seem like one. He criss-crossed the state in an RV decorated with his slogan, “My Man Mitch”, and soon covered with signatures. He ate pork and watched baseball in the shadow of Gary’s steel mills. He stayed in private homes, first to save money on hotels, then because he liked it and his hosts seemed to as well. (He continues this even now, sleeping in children’s rooms, cramped Latino households and even more crowded Amish ones, often riding between them on his beloved Harley.) In November 2004 he won, by 53% to 45%.

Mr Daniels oozed with ideas. He introduced merit pay for public workers and performance metrics for state agencies. Indiana’s counties skittered illogically between two time zones, so he reset the state’s clocks. A toll road was losing money, so he oversaw a $3.85 billion lease to foreign investors. He was not dogmatic. In his first year he proposed a tax increase. He shrank the state workforce but increased the number of case workers for children. He passed a health plan that included private accounts for the poor.

Not everything went smoothly. The road lease and time change were, at first, enormously unpopular. He privatised the state’s welfare system, an unqualified disaster—eventually he cancelled the contract. But by the end of his first term he had transformed a $200m deficit into a $1.3 billion surplus and the state had earned its first AAA credit rating.

It helped that Indiana was faring better than its rusty neighbours. Manufacturing output grew by 20% between 1998 and 2008. Michigan’s slumped by 12% during the same time. The number of bioscience jobs, still small, grew 17.2% from 2001 to 2008. Mr Daniels tried to help, keeping taxes low and investing in infrastructure before it was hip. When the recession began, Indiana’s unemployment rate was lower than the national average.

By 2008 all this had culminated in a simple reality: Indiana liked its man Mitch. Barack Obama won the state, but Mr Daniels trounced his Democratic opponent, 58% to 40%. Some of this was luck. The opponent was lacklustre; the recession had yet to do its worst. But his victory was still notable. He won the young by 51% to 42%, and even picked up 20% of black and 37% of Hispanic voters.

Such numbers should make strategists swoon. Mr Daniels used to deny any presidential aspirations. Then Newt Gingrich shared a secret: if you say you might run, people will listen to your ideas. Mr Daniels has plenty. He calls the health-care bill “a wasted opportunity”, blaming both Democrats and Republicans. He is deeply worried about debt—he wants to raise the retirement age and stop sending Social Security cheques to the rich. He wonders whether America can afford all its military commitments, particularly those only loosely tied to fighting terrorism.

He has begun to share such opinions in Washington and on Fox News. In recent months Republican kingmakers have quietly descended on Indianapolis for private dinners. Nevertheless, he remains a long shot. Unlike Mr Romney or Mrs Palin, he is still running a state. The recession knocked Indiana backwards. Last year Mr Daniels closed a $957m budget gap by using reserves and making cuts, including some for education. But another hole is expected next year, and the next round of cuts will be more painful. Democrats argue that Mr Daniels has oversold his economic record. The unemployment rate is now 10% and the unemployment trust fund is insolvent.

Added to this, Mr Daniels is largely untested on the national stage. On television, he can seem wooden. His record includes contradictions. Though he has been a fiscal hawk in Indiana, during his time at the budget office a national surplus became a deficit. He has derided the federal stimulus but taken its cash—a sign of pragmatism or hypocrisy, depending on the audience.

More problematic, it is unclear that a clever, measured candidate stands a chance within the Republican Party. Neo-cons are allergic to talk of defence cuts. Social conservatives were rabid after Mr Daniels, anti-abortion himself, told the Weekly Standard that he favoured a temporary truce on social issues. “It just happens to be what I think,” he says, arguing that politicians need to unite on urgent matters of national security and debt. He is also unlikely to fire up tea-partiers. “Didn’t somebody say in a different context, ‘Anger is not a strategy’?” he asked your correspondent over a rare plate of steak and chips.

Mr Daniels still insists he is unlikely to run for president. But he has a familiar post-partisan sheen, not unlike a certain former senator—though he is more conservative, shorter and much balder. He likes to talk about a “programme of unusual boldness” that unites the parties and sets America back on track. “Supposedly we are not capable of making decisions like this,” Mr Daniels said, grinning as he smacked a stubborn bottle of ketchup. “But somebody has got to try.”***
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DougMacG
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« Reply #295 on: August 25, 2010, 12:56:37 PM »

The way forward includes inspirational leading, not in-fighting.  I want to comment on the Gilder interview on interesting thought pieces here in terms of going forward.  Gilder is brilliant yet I think we all learned to take him in with a grain of salt.  As the analysis put it, I think he was a bit guarded and simplifying where he also can be loquacious.

I would include Gilder and Ron Paul, and VDH, Thomas Sowell, Karl Rove and plenty of others on my short list for input on how to lead, how to come together, and where to take this movement during this great opportunity, as it is still very vague in meaning and direction.

I agree with his criticism of Ron Paul' foreign policy views.  I agree with him on tax rates.  I think his insights about shifting the discussion to fostering human creativity is brilliant.

I also think a coalition between existing Republicans, conservatives, libertarians and center right moderates will come together politically only if we commit to cut and contain spending first.  Within that framework I think we can also cut military costs without surrendering or disarming.  I think we can reform entitlements if there is a will without starving the poor or pulling the plug on granny.  I think we can refuse to allow raising tax rates in a recession or any other time since that isn't working.  I think if we took congress we could reform the tax policy scoring mechanism at CBO, where I think Newt tried and failed, the model that always underscore pro-growth policies and disregards the contractionary effects of rate increases and regulation overload. I think we can put corporate tax rates at the median level of OECD instead of at the highest in western civilization.  I think we can do ALL the things proposed in Crafty's piece today regarding ObamaCare, namely de-fund it and send it back to the drawing board.  I doubt if we can do it but I would run with Paul Ryan's proposal that we put discretionary spending not to the stone age but back to the 2008 levels of the Pelosi congress and freeze it there until reforms of all the programs can be instituted.  I think we could truly end earmarks and could win on that issue alone if anyone believe us.  I think we can effectively contrast the last 4 supreme court picks and make a strong case to move all of our governing focus toward respecting constitutional limits on government.

Within that framework, we need to invite Ron Paul and all the people he has inspired to join and influence this movement, not to fight it.  I also think Ron Paul needs to fade back a bit especially on things and trust the work he has already accomplished while his son is front and center asking to be trusted for an extremely important seat.  You can't sweep swing states with any meaning if you can't win Kentucky.

I think Gilder's positive vision forward needs to overlay all of the root-canal work that need to be done first to make the full package a positive one.  But I don't think you can inherit a situation that has spending at $4 trillion, revenues at 2.5 trillion and a deficit that is greater than half of revenues, in a debt crisis environment, and not attack spending head-on.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #296 on: August 26, 2010, 09:44:02 AM »

Wow.  Even Letterman is turning on BO:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YNNNmyVCt0
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DougMacG
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« Reply #297 on: August 26, 2010, 10:31:06 AM »

I hesitate to criticize another Obama vacation - when he could have been nationalizing another industry.

Letterman doesn't rip anything about leftism, only a break from it.  Always nice to hear the term 'one term President'.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #298 on: August 26, 2010, 11:12:12 AM »

hypothetical Democratic congressman's story starring Ron Howard's younger brother Clint Howard.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #299 on: August 28, 2010, 10:55:13 PM »

Two practical thoughts for 2010:

House) If conservative Republicans take the House, a number of new and pending big government  initiatives can be stopped or slowed in their tracks including ObamaCare, see Crafty's post regarding delay, de-fund etc. and cap and tax the energy and manufacturing destruction legislation pending.

Senate) If constitution-respecting conservative Republicans take the Senate, Obama may not be able to put another liberal activist onto the Supreme Court for the ages.  If Dems keep the senate, look for Ginsburg 75 now and possibly Breyer who will be 71 in 2012 to retire in the next 2 years so that Obama can pack the court with more young liberal women hoping to live to a hundred and finish dismantling the founding principles.
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