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G M
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« Reply #700 on: December 05, 2011, 06:40:28 PM »

Good thing "the lightbringer" from Crook County has stabilized the middle east because he's sooooooo smart!

 rolleyes
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #701 on: December 06, 2011, 07:57:09 AM »

GM:  Would you please post that on the Nuclear War thread?  TIA.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #702 on: December 14, 2011, 07:36:40 PM »



http://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/EconomicResearch/2011/12/14/the-republicans-big-mistake
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DougMacG
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« Reply #703 on: December 15, 2011, 12:04:53 PM »

I have been one of Wesbury's biggest defenders (until now) and there is some validity in what he says, but this video overall is perhaps a last straw for me.  

One point of validity: Republicans should not base their campaign now on the assumption that all economic news will be all doom and gloom 10 1/2 months from now.  The economic news at election time could be slow growth.  If Wesbury's forecasts are about right the growth rate will be 3.5%, just over breakeven growth, in the period coming into the election.

Totally missed in his one-sided, wrong sided simplification are these points IMO:

a. Power in Washington on domestic policies changed hands and changed direction in Jan 2007, not Jan 2009 and Senator Obama's fingerprints are all over that disastrous shift two years before his presidency.  Unemployment was 4.7% before the new power in Washington announced to investors and employers that conditions favorable to growth would be ending soon and that if you hold capital assets, you should sell them off soon before the new policies coming are fully in place.

b. Growth I believe would be 7% or more (not 2 - 3 1/2%) IF we combined this much idle capacity and investment capital sitting on the sidelines with aggressive, pro-growth policies.
 
c. Unemployment if measured against the number of jobs we used to have in the economy would be >11%, not 8.6%.  

d.  Even using his timeframe and his numbers, the idea that we will have went from 7.9% unemployment at the start all the way back to 7.9% on election day 2012, after 4 long years under Obama, is hardly a persuasive, Democratic talking point.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 12:10:43 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #704 on: December 15, 2011, 12:24:30 PM »

Good points, well-reasoned.

I continue to post Wesbury because we always need to be challenge and question our assumptions.  We need to remember that when the DOW was at 6500, GM and I were predicting 6,000 and now we sit nearly 100% above that.  I would be a less poor man than I am now if I had not gotten this wrong.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #705 on: December 28, 2011, 08:55:52 AM »

By FRED BARNES
When Steven Law was deputy secretary of labor in the George W. Bush administration, he routinely scrutinized the disclosure forms of labor unions. Unions had recently been required to report new details about how they spent their members' dues money. Mr. Law discovered that organized labor was contributing millions to a variety of liberal groups—environmentalists, gay-rights advocates and left-wing blogs, among others.

For Mr. Law, it was a revelation and a lesson. He concluded that the labor movement had enlarged and strengthened the coalition that helped produce Democratic landslides in 2006 and 2008.

Now, as president and CEO of the independent pro-Republican group American Crossroads (AC), Mr. Law is preparing to fund seven or eight conservative organizations and create a broad front of support for Republican candidates in 2012. As a trial run, AC gave $3.7 million to the National Federation of Independent Business, $4 million to Americans for Tax Reform, and $1.5 million to the Republican State Leadership Committee in last year's midterm election campaign. Republicans won a massive victory, and Mr. Law decided it was money well spent.

"Funding the right," as AC calls it, isn't the only political tactic Republicans are swiping from Democrats for use next year. Another is focusing on early voting in the weeks before Election Day, a tactic that helped Democrats capture both houses of Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008. AC tested an early-voting operation in a special House election in Nevada in September. Republican Mark Amodei won a majority of early voters and was elected handily.

The organization has also embraced two other tactics that have been applied more effectively by Democrats in recent elections than by Republicans. One is "stretching the battlefield," as a Republican consultant describes it, to make the Republican presidential candidate competitive in normally Democratic states—Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, for example. The other would expand the issue environment by raising subjects, such as the Solyndra solar-subsidy scandal, that voters may have heard of but failed to understand.

American Crossroads is an "independent expenditure" group or "super PAC" which operates as a tax-exempt organization under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code. It is committed to boosting Republican candidates, mostly with TV ads, but it is legally barred from coordinating directly with their campaigns. It has an all-star team of unpaid advisers including former George W. Bush aides Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

Its goal in 2012—and the goal of Republicans in general—is parity with Democrats in campaign spending. That would be no small feat, as Democrats have gained a significant edge in recent elections, and overall Democrats and pro-Democratic groups remain in the lead. Yet parity appears achievable.

Mr. Obama raised $751 million in the 2007-2008 cycle. For 2011-2012, the president and the Democratic National Committee have a goal of $1 billion. More likely his campaign will have to settle for roughly $700 million to $750 million. This is due in part to a decline in wealthy donors.

Meanwhile, a pro-Obama group, Priorities USA, is off to a slow start in reaching its goal of $100 million. Run by Bill Burton, formerly a White House spokesman for Mr. Obama, it was designed as a Democratic version of American Crossroads. But it lacks the fund-raising prowess supplied by AC's big guns like Messrs. Rove and Barbour.

In contrast, AC, which spent $71 million in the 2010 campaign, is well on its way to collecting $300 million in cash and pledges. And because it has overhead of roughly 1%, nearly all the money will be spent on campaigns.

One of its biggest tasks in 2012 will be to protect the eventual Republican presidential candidate from being demonized by the Obama campaign. The fear is that the GOP nominee, having exhausted his own funds during the primary season, would be helpless against a wave of attack ads by the Obama campaign in the months before the GOP convention in August. Absent a full-blown counterattack, the candidate could fall behind by an insurmountable margin.

Enlarge Image

CloseDavid Gothard
 .American Crossroads is prepared to fill the gap and spend millions of dollars on a TV blitz defending the Republican candidate and criticizing Mr. Obama to ensure that "the candidate remains viable," as a Republican operative told me. Then, in the final weeks of the campaign, AC aims to help nullify the usual Democratic advantage. That's when Democrats spend the most. Creating a balance in late spending is included in AC's playbook.

AC won't be alone in all this. The group is part of the Weaver Terrace Group, named for the location of Mr. Rove's residence (although he's since moved) where two dozen groups gathered last year to share their plans for the midterm election. Now they convene monthly in Mr. Law's office in downtown Washington.

AC will concentrate on the presidential race and a few tight House and Senate contests. The American Action Network, which was active in the 2010 campaign, is targeting House races. The new Young Guns political action committee plans to support Republican House candidates. Americans for Prosperity, funded by the Koch brothers, stirs grass-roots activism.

A participant in the Weaver Terrace sessions describes them as "a meeting of equals." AC is not in charge, but its leaders have the highest profile. First as a Washington operative, then as head of the Republican Governors Association, Mr. Barbour was renowned for his fund-raising ability.

Federal election law prohibits the Republican National Committee (or, for that matter, the GOP nominee's campaign) from having any involvement with independent expenditure groups such as American Crossroads or the American Action Network. The RNC, rather, has the traditional role of providing the indispensable "ground game." It funds state Republican parties, conducts voter-registration drives, works closely with the presidential nominee's campaign, and organizes the 72-hour plan to get voters to polls on Election Day.

American Crossroads and its allies are the critical new players in the Republican campaign. Their coalition didn't exist during the 2008 presidential race. In 2012, they'll have a huge impact and not only on individual races. Labor unions, by bonding with liberal groups, have moved the country to the left. Pro-Republican groups like AC hope to move America to the right.

Mr. Barnes is executive editor of the Weekly Standard and a commentator on Fox News Channel.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #706 on: December 28, 2011, 09:58:03 AM »

The Cornhusker kickback has kicked back.

Pres. Obama lost Nebraska by 15 points in 2008 and isn't nearly as popular now.  Every prominent Republican in NE is vying for the Senate seat or considering the opportunity.  Against these headwinds, Ben Nelson age 70, perhaps the most moderate of the remaining Dem Senators has decided that more time with family sounds better than defending his votes in Washington for Obamacare and the rest of the agenda back in the heartland.

Wash Post says Dems are left scrambling.  The Dem reaction in Nebraska to this is irrelevant; they have lost this seat.  The party in Washington would need to change if they wanted to be competitive in states like this.  I wonder how often Reid and Schumer ask each other, how will their government-centric agenda play in Nebraska?

This was considered one of the 6 tossups that will determine the majority in the Senate.
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http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30815.html
Payoffs for states get Harry Reid to 60 votes

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2009/12/23/81171/gop-may-sue-over-health-care-bills.html
top prosecutors in a half-dozen other states plan to challenge the constitutionality of a health care compromise that exempts Nebraska from paying billions in Medicaid expansion costs, forcing other states to shoulder a bigger burden for the low-income insurance program.




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DougMacG
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« Reply #707 on: December 29, 2011, 10:57:58 AM »

It makes sense to me. 
--------------------------
Political Predictions for 2012

By KARL ROVE     DECEMBER 29, 2011

As New Year's approaches, here are a baker's dozen predictions for 2012.

• Republicans will keep the U.S. House, albeit with their 25-seat majority slightly reduced. In the 10 presidential re-elections since 1936, the party in control of the White House has added House seats in seven contests and lost them in three. The average gain has been 12 seats. The largest pickup was 24 seats in 1944—but President Barack Obama is no FDR, despite what he said in his recent "60 Minutes" interview.

• Republicans will take the U.S. Senate. Of the 23 Democratic seats up in 2012, there are at least five vulnerable incumbents (Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania): The GOP takes two or three of these. With the announcement on Tuesday that Nebraska's Ben Nelson will retire, there are now seven open Democratic seats (Connecticut, Hawaii, North Dakota, New Mexico, Virginia, Wisconsin): The GOP takes three or four. Even if Republicans lose one of the 10 seats they have up, they will have a net pickup of four to six seats, for a majority of 51 to 53.

• Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid or both will leave the Democratic leadership by the end of 2012. Speaker John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell will continue directing the GOP in their respective chambers.

• This will be the fourth presidential election in a row in which turnout increases. This has happened just once since 1828, from 1928 through 1940.

• In 2008, voters told the Pew Poll that they got more election information from the Internet than from daily newspapers. Next year, that advantage will grow as the Internet closes in on television as America's principal source of campaign news.

• After failing to win the GOP presidential nomination, Ron Paul will not run as a third-party candidate because that would put his son, Rand Paul, in an untenable position: Does the Republican senator from Kentucky support his father and effectively re-elect Mr. Obama, or back his party and defeat him?
More: Election 2012

• Mr. Obama's signature health-care overhaul, already deeply unpopular, will become even more so by Election Day. Women voters are particularly opposed to ObamaCare, feeling it threatens their family's health.

• Mr. Obama may propose tax reform, attempting to use it to appeal both to his liberal base (a question of fairness) and independents (a reform to spur economic growth). This will fail, but not before boosting Mr. Obama's poll numbers.

• The Obama campaign won't corral high-profile Republican endorsements—as it did in 2008 with former Secretary of State Colin Powell—with the unimportant possible exception of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel. It will also make a special effort to diminish the GOP's advantage among military families, veterans and evangelicals, with the last a special target if Republicans nominate Mitt Romney.

• Despite an extraordinary amount of presidential time and involvement, Team Obama will fall as much as $200 million short of its $1 billion combined fund-raising target for the campaign and Democratic National Committee. Even so, Mr. Obama and Democrats will outspend the GOP nominee and Republicans. This won't necessarily translate into victory: John Kerry and Democrats outspent President George W. Bush and Republicans in 2004 by $124 million. Groups like American Crossroads (which I helped found) will narrow the Democratic money advantage.

• Scandals surrounding the now-bankrupt Solyndra, Fannie and Freddie, MF Global and administration insider deals still to emerge will metastasize, demolishing the president's image as a political outsider. By the election, the impression will harden that Mr. Obama is a modern Chicago-style patronage politician, using taxpayer dollars to reward political allies (like unions) and contributors (like Obama fund-raiser and Solyndra investor George Kaiser).

• To intimidate critics and provoke higher black turnout, Democrats will play the race card more than in any election since 1948. Witness Attorney General Eric Holder's recent charge that criticism of him and the president was "both due to the nature of our relationship and . . . the fact that we're both African-Americans."

• The economic recovery will continue to be anemic, leaving both unemployment and concerns about whether the president is up to the job high on Election Day. Because of this, Mr. Obama will lose as his margins drop among five groups essential to his 2008 victory—independents, women, Latinos, young people and Jews. While he will win a majority from at least three of these groups, he won't win them by as much as he did last time.

Predicting the future is always dangerous but conservatives believe in accountability, so let's see how well I do a year from now.
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bigdog
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« Reply #708 on: January 04, 2012, 10:51:39 AM »

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/202285-report-obama-will-recess-appoint-consumer-bureau-nominee


President Obama plans to circumvent Senate GOP opposition and recess-appoint his nominee to head a new consumer bureau, two senior administration officials told The Hill.

White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer confirmed the recess appointment of Richard Cordray on Wednesday on Twitter after the move was first reported by The Associated Press.

"We Can't Wait: Today in Ohio, President Obama will announce the recess appointment of Consumer Watchdog Richard Cordray," Pfeiffer tweeted.

Obama will recess-appoint Cordray to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Senate Republicans en masse voted to block the nomination in December and have sought to prevent congressional recesses by holding pro forma sessions every few days during longer breaks.

The White House believes the pro forma sessions are a "gimmick" and that the president has the power to make a recess appointment despite them, according to the AP report.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate were quick to blast the White House move.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Obama "arrogantly circumvented the American people" and said the decision "fundamentally endangers" Congress's ability to check the "excesses of the executive branch."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the effort an "extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab ... [that] would have a devastating effect on the checks and balances that are enshrined in our constitution."

He also hinted that a legal challenge could be in the works, adding he expects "the courts will find the appointment to be illegitimate."

A House GOP aide told The Hill that lawmakers might not have standing to file a lawsuit over the appointment, but a business affected by the agency would. So if a financial institution "gets clobbered by the agency," it could sue to challenge the nomination, the aide said.

The CFPB was created as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and is charged with enforcing a variety of financial consumer protection laws. However, it cannot fully realize its power until a director is in place.
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bigdog
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« Reply #709 on: January 08, 2012, 08:29:59 PM »

Reports of Obama's CIA past now being made public!!!   grin grin evil rolleyes

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01/obama-mars/
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bigdog
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« Reply #710 on: January 09, 2012, 02:15:10 PM »

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/203147-daley-to-step-down-as-white-house-chief-of-staff

White House Chief of Staff William Daley will step down from his post at the end of the month, according to a senior administration official.

Daley will be replaced by Jack Lew, head of the Office of Management and Budget.

Daley submitted a letter of resignation to Obama last week.

“I have been honored to be a small part of your administration,” Daley wrote to the president in a letter obtained by the Chicago Tribune. “It’s time for me to go back to the city I love.”

Daley’s departure comes two months after the White House announced that Pete Rouse, the president’s senior adviser, would be taking over the daily operational duties.

Daley has had a turbulent tenure at the White House, where he has reportedly clashed with other officials.

Some say there was a level of unhappiness with Daley in recent months and the grumbling had intensified since then.

One former Obama aide who has dealt with Daley called him "unapproachable" and "standoffish."

"He's a little too structured," the aide said, adding that the chief of staff had some difficulty adjusting to a string of moving targets that is commonplace around the West Wing.

The aide said that while Rahm Emanuel, Obama's first chief of staff, would openly call on staffers in meetings, Daley would come in with a list of staffers who would speak in meetings.

"He has definitely ruffled a few feathers," the aide said.

Daley only had been President Obama's chief of staff for a little more than a year. He replaced Emanuel, who left the White House and eventually was elected Chicago.

Most recently, Daley began having "listening sessions" with former Obama aides and strategists to get their ideas on what the White House could be doing better.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #711 on: January 11, 2012, 11:00:19 AM »

I wonder if the praise heaped on Bill Daley for his 15 minutes of service will buy his silence for the turmoil he witnessed.  Also interesting to note that the Kennedy's would be a more famous example of those 'white Irish Catholic' families of power that Mrs. Obama resents.
-----------
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/203361-obamas-real-reelection-problem

Obama’s real reelection problem  (excerpted, more a the link)
By John Feehery - 01/10/12   The Hill

The Chicago Sun-Times’s Lynn Sweet picked out an interesting morsel in Jodi Kantor’s book about the Obama family:

“When Michelle Obama worked in Mayor Daley’s City Hall in the early 1990s, she was 'distressed' by how a small group of 'white Irish Catholic' families — the Daleys, the Hynes and the Madigans — 'locked up' power in Illinois.

"She particularly resented the way power in Illinois was locked up generation after generation by a small group of families, all white Irish Catholic — the Daleys in Chicago, the Hynes and Madigans statewide.”

Obama White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, one of those hated white Irish Catholics, resigned the same weekend the book’s juiciest tidbits leaked out.

It is probably all just a coincidence, but sometimes coincidences reveal bigger truths.

And the bigger truth is that Bill Daley left the White House because he lost to Valerie Jarrett and to the president’s wife in the battle for the philosophical direction of the Obama White House.

I don’t know if Michelle Obama’s antipathy toward white Irish Catholics finally became too much of a barrier to Daley or not. But I do know that Daley was only ineffective because his boss would not let him be effective.

Bill Daley is a political pragmatist. He cuts deals. Like his father and his brother, he is not a left-wing ideologue; nor is he a Republican in Democratic clothing.

He is a pro-business Democrat, an increasingly rare breed these days in Washington.

Obama is not a pro-business Democrat. His wife is not a pro-business Democrat. They don’t like the business community. They don’t trust the free market. They want to spread wealth around (other people’s wealth, I might add).

It has become increasingly clear over the last several months that Obama has little interest in tacking to the political middle to improve his standing with the broad center of the country.

He has decided that he wants his presidency to mean something different, and he has made the fateful decision that he will govern as a left-wing political populist. That is why he has embraced the Occupy Wall Street movement, why he keeps using class-warfare rhetoric, why he has given up on deal-cutting, why he has decided to run against Congress rather than on his accomplishments.
...
Ignoring and marginalizing Bill Daley might have pleased the wife and Valerie Jarrett, but Daley’s departure is very bad news for Obama’s hopes for reelection.

Those white Irish Catholics whom Michelle Obama so despises are the key to her husband's campaign success. And getting rid of Bill Daley is one more example of President Obama’s real problem this coming election year.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #712 on: January 11, 2012, 11:29:53 AM »

No matter who is the nominee or wins the Presidency, the House and Senate are also both up for grabs this year and the agenda coming out of there is crucial.  The Republican hold on the House is only one off-year election old and the Dem sweep of 2006 (6 Years since 2006) is all back on the table in the Senate for 2012.
--------------
A 2012 Republican Strategy for Congress
A series of votes can clarify the differences between the two parties on energy, taxes, spending and regulation.

By RON JOHNSON  (Republican Senator/Businessman from Wisconsin who defeated Russ Feingold in 2010)   WSJ  JANUARY 11, 2012

Americans are frustrated over Washington's inability to address our nation's economic and fiscal problems. That's why I have been working with a growing group of senators and House members to develop a plan that can build public support for solutions. It's called "America's Choice."

America's Choice seeks to highlight the differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party led by President Obama. It could do so over the coming months by presenting to the country, through a series of votes in the House of Representatives, the battle between those who believe in broadest terms in limited government and freedom and those who promote government control and dependency.

What are the choices these votes could present? Growing government spending and debt or growing the private sector and reducing government. Limiting energy development or using America's energy resources. Punishing success or pro-growth tax reform. A government takeover of health care or repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with patient-centered, free-market reforms.

The alternatives are stark. President Obama's faith in government is so strong that he has increased its size to 24% of gross domestic product from 21%, and increased our nation's debt by over $4 trillion. Republicans, on the other hand, believe long-term self-sustaining jobs are created in the private sector—that government cannot tax, spend and borrow our nation to prosperity.

Will green energy power America's future? The administration has squandered billions of dollars on politically connected, green-energy boondoggle projects, while at the same time maintaining a de facto moratorium on off-shore drilling, and dragging its feet on granting permits for other energy utilization projects such as the Keystone XL Pipeline and restricting and limiting leases for offshore energy production. Republicans could propose a plan to utilize crucial domestic resources, including oil, natural gas and coal, to produce energy and create jobs.

Regulatory overreach in this administration has been breathtaking. Executive agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Labor have been in hyper-drive, adding to the already job-crushing $1.75 trillion annual cost, according to the Small Business Administration, of federal regulatory compliance. Republicans could propose a regulatory moratorium to give businesses a chance to recover, and then enact real reform to achieve common-sense regulatory balance.

President Obama has launched a divisive campaign pitting one group of Americans against another. Yet 10% of Americans already pay 70% of all income taxes. Increasing the tax burden on that group is counterproductive. Sowing class division is an act of political cynicism producing terrible economic consequences. Significant pro-growth tax reform is the better path to build our economy and create jobs.

Government takeover of our health-care system has been a liberal-progressive dream for decades. President Obama and Democrats in Congress passed the partisan Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It neither protects patients, nor does it make health care more affordable. But it will lead to a government takeover of one-sixth of our economy, and it will blow a hole in an already horribly broken budget.

Republicans are united in our commitment to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with patient-centered reforms. Malpractice tort reform, health savings account expansion, insurance purchase across state lines, reduction of government mandates, and equalized tax treatment of insurance premiums are some of the key changes we will propose to the country.

America's Choice would clearly present two different visions of the country's future—one represented by the Republican Party and the other represented by the Democratic Party and its leader, President Obama. Once Congress returns from recess later this month, the Republican majority in the House could focus on one major area of domestic policy at a time. For example, February could be used to debate, craft and pass an energy utilization policy.

When the House debates and passes an agenda item, Republican senators, candidates and conservative groups could concentrate on the same issue, using the same powerful facts and figures to inform and persuade the American public. Coordinating our focused efforts improves our ability to compete with the presidential bully pulpit and counteract media outlets that often work to marginalize us.

In 2011, President Obama stopped running the country and started running his re-election campaign. In his cynical attempt to divert attention away from his record by dividing us, Republicans have been put on defense. The America's Choice agenda would put us on offense.

If done well, we just might put enough pressure on Senate Democrats and the president to actually pass legislation that will begin to solve our problems. If not, Republicans will have provided Americans with a clear choice in November.
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bigdog
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« Reply #713 on: January 12, 2012, 06:50:45 AM »

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/203737-hollywood-or-silicon-obama-must-choose
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bigdog
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« Reply #714 on: January 12, 2012, 07:03:41 AM »

This is an interesting story about the impact of a senatorial hold on DC.  The Senate, unlike the House, gives much power to the individual.  Although the filibuster is the most famous use of this (Thanks Mr. Smith!!!), holds are also noteworthy.

http://www.rollcall.com/news/anonymous_senate_hold_plays_into_extra_cost_for_dc_election-211429-1.html?ET=rollcall:e11855:80133681a:&st=email&pos=epol
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bigdog
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« Reply #715 on: January 17, 2012, 03:39:38 PM »

http://themonkeycage.org/blog/2010/02/12/does_it_matter_if_everyone_hat/


This is apropos of Josh’s post below. The New York Times story he cites says:

The poll suggests that both parties face a toxic environment as they prepare for the elections in November. Public disapproval of Congress is at a historic high, and huge numbers of Americans think Congress is beholden to special interests. Fewer than 1 in 10 Americans say members of Congress deserve re-election.
Here is some relevant analysis from Alan Abramowitz. He makes several important points. First, approval of Congress is strongly correlated with presidential approval, even under divided government:

The data show that when the president is more popular, Congress tends to be more popular and when the president is less popular, Congress tends to be less popular. Moreover, this is true even when Congress and the presidency are controlled by different parties.
Why? He posits that opinions of both are related to underlying structural features, such as the economy:

This may indicate that evaluations of Congress are influenced by evaluations of the president or that both are influenced by feelings about the condition of the country and the overall performance of the federal government.
And of course there is this truism, which somewhat undercuts the notion that incumbents are threatened by low congressional approval:

As the noted congressional scholar Richard Fenno has observed, Americans generally love their own congressperson even though they dislike Congress. They tend to see their own Senators and Representatives as the rare good apples in an otherwise rotten barrel.
To speak to Josh’s question about bipartisan anti-incumbent voting, Abramowitz writes:

Discontent with Congress does not lead to a general tendency to kick out incumbents. Occasionally voters do get upset and give the boot to a large number of incumbents—but they almost always take out their dissatisfaction on the members of only one party—the president’s party.
Finally, and most importantly, and please please shout this from the rooftops:

This brings up the most important point about evaluations of Congress. They have very little influence on how Americans vote in congressional elections. When it comes to choosing candidates for Congress, it is opinions of the president’s performance that matter.
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bigdog
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« Reply #716 on: January 24, 2012, 11:59:42 AM »

Americans for Tax Reform have a bingo game set up for tonight. 

http://www.atr.org/atr-presents-obama-state-union-bingo-a6695
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bigdog
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« Reply #717 on: January 24, 2012, 12:08:12 PM »

Or, if you'd rather drink to forget: http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2012/01/state-of-the-union-drinking-game-have-multiple-colors-of-drinks-on-hand.html
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DougMacG
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« Reply #718 on: January 25, 2012, 09:38:41 AM »

Very funny bigdog.  I 'watched' the speech and the response on the radio and tried to keep my moderate consumption rate consistent through all the ups and downs.  The hangover from this without alcohol is bad enough. 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #719 on: January 25, 2012, 11:04:24 AM »

"Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason." --Benjamin Franklin
The Demo-gogues
 
Obama thinks the only problem with America is that we don't realize how awesome he is.
To sum up the SOTU: "I went ... I know ... My ... My ... I took office ... I'm president ... I will work ... I intend ... I will oppose ... I want to speak ... I took office ... I refused ... told me ... My message ... Send me ... I'll sign ... I set ... I signed ... I will go ... I will not stand ... It's not fair ... I'm announcing ... I promise you ... I also hear ... I want ... Join me ... My administration ... I want to cut ... I call on ... I spoke ... let me put ... I believe ... my administration ... I took office ... I will sign ... I'm directing ... my administration ... I'm requiring ... I will not walk away ... I will not walk away ... I will not cede ... I will ... I'm directing ... I'm proud ... Send me ... I will sign ... I'm sending ... I've approved ... my presidency ... I've ordered ... I guess ... I'm confident ... I will not back down ... I will not back down ... I will not go back ... I will not go back ... I'm asking ... fair play ... So do I ... I told ... I'm prepared ... fair share ... my fair share ... I get tax breaks I don't need ... I recognize ... I bet ... I've talked ... Send me a bill ... I will sign ... I ask the Senate ... I've asked ... I'm a Democrat ... I believe ... my education reform ... I will keep taking ... I can do ... I have no doubt ... I will take ... I'm president ... I intend ... I have proposed ... I have already ... I'm proposing ... brings me ... my proudest ... I sat ... I look at ... I'm reminded." --BO
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bigdog
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« Reply #720 on: February 01, 2012, 05:52:59 AM »

Here is a discussion of some of the more influential congressional aides.  Interesting look at the people how get work done on the Hill.

http://www.rollcall.com/features/30hillaidestoknow.html
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bigdog
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« Reply #721 on: February 01, 2012, 02:07:26 PM »


Dick Morris: How Mitt Romney suckered Gingrich in Florida
By Dick Morris - 01/31/12 06:32 PM ET

For students of American politics, following the way the Romney campaign played Newt Gingrich in Florida is a lesson to learn and to keep. Romney’s people must have realized that Newt does best when he is positive. His bold ideas, clear vision, revolutionary insights and extraordinary perspectives resonate with voters and win him millions of supporters.

Romney, less compelling but more consistent, doesn’t need stellar debate performances or bold vision to win. The case for the former Massachusetts governor is more circumstantial: He can reach out to independents by virtue of his past apostasies on healthcare and abortion. He looks, talks and acts like a president. His record of job creation is exemplary.

 But Newt needs the bold sally, the breathtaking moment of rhetorical clarity, to prevail.

So Romney’s people set out to mire Newt in negatives so he couldn’t and wouldn’t get out the positive message he needed to project to prevail. They tormented him with negative ads in Iowa. While the ads were generally accurate — the allegation about backing China’s forced-abortion policy aside — they presented only one side of the story and were stinging in their impact. Without funds, Gingrich couldn’t answer the negative ads. He fumed but watched, in impotence, as his vote share fell away.

In Spanish bullfights, the picadors torment the bull by sticking darts into his shoulders. Enraged, bleeding, frustrated and in pain, he lowers his head, snorts, paws the ground and charges straight at the matador, oblivious to the sword awaiting him behind the red cape. That’s about what Romney did to Gingrich in the January primaries.

Enter Sheldon Adelson, a Vegas billionaire who loves Newt. His affection runs so deep that he gave Gingrich the funds to destroy himself. With Adelson’s reported contribution of $5 million-plus, Newt had the weapons to fight back with his own negative ads. In a rage, he put them on TV and devoted his time in the debates to throwing accusations. RomneyCare. Abortion. Gay rights. The taxes Romney paid and the ones he advocated. Massachusetts moderate. No, make that Massachusetts liberal. They tripped off his tongue and his super-PAC put them on the air. Sheldon paid the bill. But Newt paid the price.
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bigdog
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« Reply #722 on: February 01, 2012, 02:10:47 PM »

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_88/Earmark-Fight-up-Again-in-Senate-212007-1.html?ET=rollcall:e12047:80133681a:&st=email&pos=eam

Earmark opponents may have scored some successes in recent years, but several Senators said they remain wary of permanently giving up the right to direct spending and would rather focus on other business.

"I think we need to talk about that," National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) said. "I am not sure we need it, but I am open to it."

He continued, "I wish we would focus on what the American people are most concerned about rather than some of these other issues that have their importance but are tangential to the main issues we ought to be focused on."

"I think we ought to [instead] be looking at other ways to ... address people's concerns about jobs and the debt," Cornyn said.

The Senate could vote this week on a proposal by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to make the current moratorium on earmarks permanent. They've offered the measure as an amendment to legislation banning insider trading by lawmakers and their staff.

"Earmarks exist precisely to circumvent ... [Congressional] scrutiny," Toomey said Tuesday on the Senate floor.

He said that while many earmarks are worthy of being funded, "There is an opportunity for corruption. A process like that is badly flawed and should be remedied."

The amendment would also create a point of order to strike earmarks from bills, and it would take two-thirds majority to override that point of order.

On the floor Tuesday, McCaskill said she wants to "stop the process in its entirety" rather than going after individual earmarks.

"I am proud of the fact that we have a moratorium," she said. "But there are a lot of Members of this body that want to go back to the old ways."

Still, earmark supporters said that the issue is purely political.

"It's just stupid, it's childish, it's demagoguery," Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said. "There is not a lot of courage in our conference [on the issue.] They all know better. They all know by banning earmarks ... they are just giving the authority to the president. But they are afraid of it because people don't understand the issue out there."

Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said they would stand up to support their right to earmark if the amendment was brought to the Senate floor.

But it's unclear whether the amendment will get a vote.

"I hope we get a vote, but I am not optimistic," McCaskill said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday would not say whether he would permit a vote on the proposal and gave a firm defense of earmarking.

"We'll see in a day or two how many are really interested in improving this bill, having amendments that are germane or relevant, and we'll take a look at it in a day or two," Reid said.

He added that he opposes an earmark ban. "We have an obligation as Members of Congress to fulfill our Constitutional duty. One of those duties is to make sure that we do Congressionally directed spending. I object and do not believe that all these decisions should be made at the White House," Reid said.

"I've done earmarks all my career, and I'm happy I've done earmarks my entire career," Reid continued. "They've helped my state and they helped different projects around the country. And I repeat, I will not stand by and be driven down this path that is one that I think is taking us away from what the Founding Fathers wanted: three separate but equal branches of government."

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who backs a ban, said he doubts that it will pass even if it does come up for a vote.

"I am a co-sponsor of it," Burr said. "It's probably not going to pass. I think there is a lot of opposition to cutting off the gravy train on both sides of the aisle."

Earmarks make up less than 1 percent of overall federal spending.

Still, opponents of earmarks scored a victory after House Republicans won the majority in 2010 and voted soon after to adhere to a two-year moratorium, which expires at the end of this year.

The House's move forced Senate Democratic and Republican leaders' hands. Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had been reluctant to curtail earmarks on Constitutional grounds. But Republicans agreed to a moratorium in November 2010, followed by Democrats in February 2011.

Some supporters of the moratorium, such as Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), even noted at the time that it was only supposed to be a temporary hiatus from the practice.

Earmarks also were tainted by relatively recent scandals. Last September, lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti, who headed the now-defunct lobby shop PMA Group, pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally funneling more than $386,000 in corporate campaign contributions to lawmakers, including appropriators, during a nearly six-year period.

Despite earmark opponents' successes in forcing leaders to accept a moratorium, the issue has had less success on the Senate floor.

In November 2010, the Senate voted 56-39 against an earmark ban McCaskill and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) sought to attach to a food safety bill.
HumbertoSanchez@cqrollcall.com | @hsanchez128


   
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #723 on: February 01, 2012, 02:57:28 PM »

Good discussion.  As I just posted in the Entitlements thread, IMHO this is the sort of issue that ultimately enables Washington to avoid the real issue-- entitlements.
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Cranewings
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« Reply #724 on: February 03, 2012, 01:11:18 PM »

"Voting rights and voting fraud have become increasingly contentious subjects.

Since Republicans won control of many statehouses in the November 2010 elections, more than a dozen states have passed laws requiring voters to show photo identification at polls, cutting back early voting periods or imposing new restrictions on voter registration drives.

Republican legislators say the new rules offer a practical way to weed out fraudulent votes and preserve the integrity of the ballot box. Democrats say the changes have little to do with fraud prevention and more to do with placing obstacles in the way of possible Democratic voters, including young people and minorities.

In December 2011, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. laid out a plan for the Justice Department to take an aggressive stance in reviewing those new laws.

Mr. Holder’s remarks came against the backdrop of a huge turnout of young and minority voters in the 2008 election that helped propel President Obama to victory. In the 2010 election, voting by such groups dropped off and enthusiasm among Republican-leaning voters surged.

Soon after Mr. Holder delivered his remarks, the Justice Department blocked a South Carolina law that would require voters to present photo identification, saying the law would disproportionately suppress turnout among eligible minority voters. In a letter to the South Carolina government, Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney for civil rights, said that allowing the new requirement to go into effect would have “significant racial disparities.”

South Carolina faces the choice of dropping the proposed change or asking a federal court in the District of Columbia to approve the law.

The Justice Department is reviewing a similar law in Texas requiring voters to present photo identification cards. As with the South Carolina law, it has sought information about the racial breakdown of the group of eligible voters who do not currently have such identification to see whether the rule would disproportionately deter minorities from voting.

In addition, the Justice Department was engaged in litigation with Florida over a new state law restricting the availability of early voting — including barring it on the Sunday before Election Day, when black churches had traditionally followed services with get-out-the-vote efforts. It also imposed new rules on groups that conduct voter registration drives, including fining them each time a volunteer does not turn in a voter registration form within 48 hours. That section has prompted the League of Women Voters to stop registering new voters in Florida.

Some of the new laws have been introduced by Republicans for years, but passed only this year after the party made so many gains at the state level. Others have been promoted vigorously by conservative groups. But there is little doubt that they will alter the voting landscape.

In October 2011, a study released by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law analyzed 19 laws that passed and 2 executive orders that were issued in 14 states this year, and concluded that they “could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.”

The biggest impact, the Brennan Center said, will be from laws requiring people to show government-issued photo identification to vote. The Brennan Center estimated that 11 percent of potential voters do not have state-issued photo identification. By that measure, it finds that the new laws would affect 3.2 million voters in the states where the change is scheduled to take effect before the 2012 elections.

The Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter identification law in 2008, saying that while it found no evidence of the fraud the law was intended to combat, it also found no evidence that the new requirements were a burden on voters.

Five states also passed laws in 2011 restricting early voting.

Ohio passed a law eliminating early voting on Sundays, and Florida eliminated it on the Sunday before Election Day — days when some African-American churches organized “souls to the polls” drives for members of their congregations. Maine voted to stop allowing people to register to vote on Election Day — a practice that had been credited with enrolling some 60,000 new voters in 2008.

When voters in predominantly black neighborhoods in Florida saw their votes challenged in the contested Bush-Gore election of 2000, Democrats made charges of disenfranchisement. In 2008 Acorn, a group organizing minority and low-income communities, became a particular target, with Republicans asserting that Acorn was trying to steal the election with large voter-registration drives, some of which were found to be seriously flawed.

Democrats, who point to scant evidence of voter-impersonation fraud, say the unified Republican push for photo identification cards carries echoes of the Jim Crow laws — with their poll taxes and literacy tests — that inhibited black voters in the South from Reconstruction through the 1960s. Election experts say minorities, poor people and students — who tend to skew Democratic — are among those least likely to have valid driver’s licenses, the most prevalent form of identification. Older people, another group less likely to have licenses, are swing voters.

Republicans argue that the requirements are commonplace.

Changes to voter law tend to flow and ebb with election cycles as both Democrats and Republicans scramble to gain the upper hand when they hold power. The 2010 midterm election was a boon to Republicans, who now control 59 chambers of state legislatures and 29 governorships. In some states, like Florida and Texas, Republicans hold overwhelming majorities. This has allowed the bills to move forward.

Republicans have tried for years to get photo identification requirements and other changes through legislatures. Similar bills were introduced over the past decade, but were largely derailed in the aftermath of a political battle over the Bush administration’s firing of several United States attorneys whom Republicans had criticized for failing to aggressively investigate voter fraud.

Most of the measures would require people to show a form of official, valid identification to vote. While driver’s licenses are the most common form, voters can also request free photo IDs from the Department of Motor Vehicles or use a passport or military identification, among other things.

But Democrats say thousands of people in each state do not have these. The extra step, they add, will discourage some voters who will have to pay to retrieve documents, like birth certificates, for proof to obtain a free card. If voters do not have the proper identification on Election Day, they can cast provisional ballots in most states but must return several days later to a local board of elections office with an ID.

Democrats point to state figures showing that there are few proven cases of voter impersonation and question why budget-conscious Republicans would want to spend taxpayer dollars on a problem that is isolated.

But Republicans counter that detecting and proving voter fraud is tricky under current law precisely because few states require photo identification. Plus, they add, there is no evidence that the requirement reduces minority participation. In Georgia, where photo IDs became a requirement in 2007, minorities voted in record numbers in 2008 and 2010."
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G M
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« Reply #725 on: February 03, 2012, 01:57:21 PM »

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/16662854/2012/02/02/nbc2-investigates-voter-fraud

Two elections supervisors are taking action after an NBC2 investigation uncovers flawed record keeping and human error allowing people who are not citizens of the United States to vote.

No one knows how widespread this problem is, because county election supervisors have no way to track non-citizens who live here.

So NBC2 did something election officials never thought to do, and found them on our own.

"I vote every year," Hinako Dennett told NBC2.

The Cape Coral resident is not a US citizen, yet she's registered to vote.

NBC2 found Dennett after reviewing her jury excusal form. She told the Clerk of Court she couldn't serve as a juror because she wasn't a U.S. citizen.

We found her name, and nearly a hundred others like her, in the database of Florida registered voters.

Naples resident Yvonne Wigglesworth is also a not a citizen, but is registered to vote. She claims she doesn't know how she got registered.

"I have no idea. I mean, how am I supposed to know."

Records show Wigglesworth voted six times in elections dating back eleven years.

"I know you cannot vote before you become a citizen, so I never tried to do anything like that," Samuel Lincoln said.

He isn't a U.S. citizen either, but the Jamaican national says he doesn't know how he ended up registered to vote.

"It's their mistake, not mine," said Lincoln.

We obtained a copy of his 2007 voter registration application. It's clearly shows he marked U.S. citizen.

"This is under oath, that document, they are attesting that it is true and by falsifying, it's a third degree felony," said Tim Durham, Collier County's chief elections supervisor.

County supervisors of elections tell me they have no way to verify citizenship. Under the 1992 Motor Voter Law, they're not required to ask for proof.

"We have no policing authority. We don't have any way of bouncing that information off any other database that would give us that information," said Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington.

NBC2: Does that need to change??
Harrington: "I think it needs to be looked at."

Until that happens, the only way supervisors of elections can investigate voter fraud is if they get a tip.

So that's what our list became. After showing them the nearly 100 names we compiled, both county election offices sent letters to each voter, asking them verify citizenship.

"It could be very serious. It could change the whole complexion of an election," said Harrington.
It's important we don't know we know if these folks are here illegal or not, just they are potentially not U.S. citizens who registered to vote.
 
Voters who received letters have 30 days to show proof of citizenship, or they'll be taken off the registration rolls.

Based on our investigation, both election offices say they'll now request a copy of every jury excusal form where residents say they can't serve because they're not a citizen.
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ccp
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« Reply #726 on: February 03, 2012, 02:32:22 PM »

I think it obvious this is rampant.

Why don't they take another step and ask which party they vote for?

Maybe Romney will get tough with this.  He suposedly has the most strict immigration stance of the field.

Yet I don't hold my breath.  It is really remarkable how this country will sit back and allow ourselves to be walked all over.
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ccp
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« Reply #727 on: February 04, 2012, 12:21:34 PM »

Prediction:

Coumo will be the Democratic Presidential pick in 2016 (if not Hillary).

From the Economist.  Even radio host Bob Grant is "pleasantly surprised" how Cuomo is doing:

***Next, walk on water
A New York governor is actually governing
Jan 28th 2012 | NEW YORK | from the print edition
Among the illustrious
FOR four years New York was adrift. When Eliot Spitzer, a crusading lawyer, became governor in 2007, his uncompromising ways caused political gridlock in Albany, the state capital. Just over a year later, he was caught frolicking with a prostitute and resigned. His successor, David Paterson, was affable enough, but too weak to push the state legislature to balance the books. When Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat like his predecessors, handily won the 2010 governor’s race on a promise to “rebuild the government, restore competence, restore trust, [and] get the people of this state believing once again”, New Yorkers gave a cynical snort.

But Mr Cuomo has had an extraordinary year. In the first six months of his term he could point to three historic achievements. First, he balanced the budget: not only bringing spending under control—filling a $10 billion hole and nudging the public-sector unions to make concessions worth $450m—but putting mechanisms in place to control spending in future. He even got the cantankerous legislature to agree. In June Mr Cuomo brought in a cap on property taxes, in a state which the Tax Foundation ranks as the sixth-most-taxed in the country. Robert Ward of the Rockefeller Institute called it “the biggest change in New York’s fiscal policy since the creation of Medicaid”, almost 50 years ago.

Then, also in June, Mr Cuomo signed a bill legalising same-sex marriage, having worked hard to drive the bill through the Republican-controlled state Senate. In December he got bipartisan backing to change the income-tax code, which he says will generate $1.9 billion in additional revenue for the state. It sets in place the lowest tax rate for the middle class in 58 years, while—according to Mr Cuomo’s opponents and the Manhattan Institute—leaving the tax burden on the richest at its highest level since 1986.

Still, most New Yorkers are not upset with him. Indeed, they rate him very highly. He learnt much about Albany politics at the knee of his father, Mario, a former governor. He is clever and determined. His most noticeable flaw is his arrogance, which he has tried to keep in check, but which slipped out in November when he remarked: “I am the government.”

In that case, his cockiness was accurate. There is not much transparency in how he is getting the results, notes Gerald Benjamin of the State University of New York at New Paltz. Disappointingly, it is still three men (Mr Cuomo, the assembly Speaker and the Senate president) in a room making all the decisions.

And there are some big ones ahead. Mr Cuomo is promising to veto any redistricting plan from the legislature which does not come from an independent commission. He wants to expand gambling in the state, infuriating the Indian nations who run its casinos at the moment. Rather bizarrely, he wants to build America’s biggest convention centre in Queens. And he plans to make a start on pension reform.

The thorniest issue he faces is fracking, a controversial drilling technique in which high-pressure water and chemicals are pumped into a bore-hole to ease the extraction of natural gas. New York has a moratorium on the practice, but new rules from the state environment department may allow it. Gas exploration could bring in badly needed jobs and money, but opponents worry that fracking may contaminate the drinking water. If Mr Cuomo can sort that tangle out, says Doug Muzzio, a political scientist at Baruch College, “the next thing he’s going to do is walk on water.”***

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DougMacG
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« Reply #728 on: February 04, 2012, 12:52:24 PM »

"Coumo will be the Democratic Presidential pick in 2016 (if not Hillary)."

You may be right.  If not Hickenlooper. )  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hickenlooper

I was thinking the Democrat bench was rather thin, but they will have a nominee.  If any one of them had any cojones, they would run now.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #729 on: February 09, 2012, 05:51:51 PM »

Glenn Beck reports the Dems are offended by this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxw4uZAezaI&feature=player_embedded

but apparently forget this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJichBWnUbU&feature=player_embedded
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bigdog
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« Reply #730 on: February 10, 2012, 01:16:46 PM »

Will's take on Obama v. Romney re: Middle East, in particular Iraq and Taliban.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/s_780643.html

Through 11 presidential elections, beginning with the Democrats' nomination of George McGovern in 1972, Republicans have enjoyed a presumption of superiority regarding national security. This year, however, events and their rhetoric are dissipating their advantage.

Hours after the last U.S. troops left Iraq, political factionalism and sectarian violence intensified. Many Republicans say Barack Obama's withdrawal jeopardized what was achieved there. But if it cannot survive a sunrise without fraying, how much of an achievement was it?

With America in the second decade of its longest war, the probable Republican nominee is promising to extend it indefinitely. Mitt Romney opposes negotiations with the Taliban while they "are killing our soldiers." Which means: No negotiations until the war ends, when there will be nothing about which to negotiate. "We don't," he says, "negotiate from a position of weakness as we are pulling our troops out." That would mean stopping the drawdown of U.S. forces -- except Romney would not negotiate even from a position of strength: "We should not negotiate with the Taliban. We should defeat the Taliban." How could that be achieved in a second decade of war? What would establish "defeat"? Details to come, perhaps.

The U.S. defense budget is about 43 percent of the world's total military spending -- more than the combined defense spending of the next 17 nations, many of which are U.S. allies. Are Republicans going to warn voters that America will be imperiled if the defense budget is cut 8 percent from projections over the next decade?

Do Republicans think it is premature to withdraw up to 7,000 troops from Europe two decades after the Soviet Union's death? About 73,000 will remain, most of them in prosperous, pacific Germany. Why?

Since 2001, the U.S. has waged war in three nations, and some Republicans appear ready to add Iran and Syria. GOP critics say Obama's proposed defense cuts will limit America's ability to engage in troop-intensive nation-building. Most Americans probably say: Good.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the Army should contract from 570,000 soldiers to 490,000 in a decade. Romney says the military should have 100,000 more troops. Romney may be right, but he should connect that judgment to specific assessments of threats and ambitions.

Romney says that if he is elected Iran will not get a nuclear weapon and if Obama is re-elected it will. He also says Obama "has made it very clear that he's not willing to do those things necessary to get Iran to be dissuaded from" its nuclear ambitions. Romney may, however, be premature in assuming the futility of new sanctions the Obama administration is orchestrating, and Panetta says Iran acquiring nuclear weapons is "a redline for us" and if "we get intelligence that they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon, then we will take whatever steps necessary to stop it." What, then, is the difference between Romney and Obama regarding Iran?

Osama bin Laden and many other "high-value targets" are dead, the drone war is being waged more vigorously than ever and Guantanamo is still open, so Republicans can hardly say Obama has implemented dangerous discontinuities regarding counterterrorism. Obama says that even with his proposed cuts, the defense budget would increase at about the rate of inflation through the next decade. Republicans who think America is being endangered by "appeasement" and military parsimony have worked that pedal on their organ quite enough.



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G M
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« Reply #731 on: February 10, 2012, 02:07:05 PM »



Hours after the last U.S. troops left Iraq, political factionalism and sectarian violence intensified. Many Republicans say Barack Obama's withdrawal jeopardized what was achieved there. But if it cannot survive a sunrise without fraying, how much of an achievement was it?

**We'll never know. If the British had defeated the US in the war of 1812 and placed it back under the crown, how would we know what the alternative history would be?

With America in the second decade of its longest war, the probable Republican nominee is promising to extend it indefinitely. Mitt Romney opposes negotiations with the Taliban while they "are killing our soldiers." Which means: No negotiations until the war ends, when there will be nothing about which to negotiate. "We don't," he says, "negotiate from a position of weakness as we are pulling our troops out." That would mean stopping the drawdown of U.S. forces -- except Romney would not negotiate even from a position of strength: "We should not negotiate with the Taliban. We should defeat the Taliban." How could that be achieved in a second decade of war? What would establish "defeat"? Details to come, perhaps.

**Well, good thing leaving Afghanistan has no potential downsides. We have a pinky-promise that the global jihad will forget all about us, right?

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #732 on: February 10, 2012, 02:19:48 PM »

Looks like George Will may have been reading some of my musings and warnings here on the subject of Rep incoherence on foreign affairs.

I think the correct analysis to be that Baraq's signalling of hightailing for the exits, consequences be damned has taken a worthy outcome and thrown it away, but GW's point is the domestic politics of it and there he has merit.

In the Afpakia thread I posted on Romney's tin ear and GW is quite correct hear on the feebleness of how Romney's knee jerk appeal to traditional Rep attitudes will play out politically. 

The Ron Paul vote is a substantial part of the Rep Party too.  Throw in independents and Dems, and the Romney has locked on to a losing strategy for domestic politics.

GM is quite correct that leaving presents profound problems to fester and become MUCH worse, but as has been noted here many, many times ((led by YA) the American people are not being offered a coherent way of getting the roots of what is going on.  Would you want to be the candidate who runs on a platform that what we need to do now is go to war w Pakistan/dismember Pakistan?
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G M
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« Reply #733 on: February 10, 2012, 02:22:18 PM »

A headline from the future with President Obama: "The Sunni-Shia Nuclear Arms Race Escalates".

I wonder how much gas will be then....

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/10/10369793-report-saudi-arabia-to-buy-nukes-if-iran-tests-a-bomb

Report: Saudi Arabia to buy nukes if Iran tests A-bomb






Mustafa Ozer / AFP - Getty Images, file


Saudi special forces take part in a military parade in the holy city of Mecca on November 10, 2010.


By msnbc.com staff, NBC News and news services

Saudia Arabia would move quickly to acquire nuclear weapons if Iran successfully tests an atomic bomb, according to a report.

Citing an unidentified Saudi Arabian source, the Times newspaper in the U.K. (which operates behind a paywall) said that the kingdom would seek to buy ready-made warheads and also begin its own program to enrich weapons-grade uranium.
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The paper suggested that Pakistan was the country most likely to supply Saudi Arabia with weapons, saying Western officials were convinced there was an understanding between the countries to do so if the security situation in the Persian Gulf gets worse. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have denied such an arrangement exists.
 
Iran, which follows the Shiite branch of Islam, and Sunni Saudi Arabia are major regional rivals.

The Times described its source for the story as a "senior Saudi," but gave no other details.

Israel uses MEK terror group to kill Iran's nuclear scientists, US officials say


Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior aide to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, describes what Iranian leaders believe is a close relationship between Israel's secret service, the Mossad, and the People's Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

"There is no intention currently to pursue a unilateral military nuclear program, but the dynamics will change immediately if the Iranians develop their own nuclear capability," the source told the newspaper. "Politically, it would be completely unacceptable to have Iran with a nuclear capability and not the kingdom."
 
It also cited an unnamed Western official as saying that Saudi Arabia would ask Pakistan to honor the alleged agreement "the next day" after any Iranian nuclear bomb test.
 

The U.S. and other nations suspect that Iran is using its civilian nuclear work as a cover for a weapons program, but Iran insists that its nuclear ambitions are strictly peaceful. The U.S. has used sanctions and diplomacy to pressure Iran on the issue, but has long refused to rule out military action saying that all options are on the table. Israel is also believed to be contemplating a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.


Defense Secretary Leon Panetta now believes there's a strong possibility that Israel will attack Iran in an attempt to thwart Tehran's nuclear ambitions, according to U.S. officials. NBC's Richard Engel reports.


In a statement issued Friday by the Pakistan Embassy in Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Mohammed Naeem Khan was quoted as saying that "each Pakistani considers (the) security of Saudi Arabia as his personal matter." Naeem also said that the Saudi leadership considered Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to be one country.
 
 
 
In January this year, Saudi Arabia's former ambassador to the U.S., Prince Turki al-Faisal, said in an interview with The Associated Press that unless a zone free of weapons of mass destruction was created in the Mideast there would "inevitably" be a nuclear arms race, and "that's not going to be in the favor of anybody."
 
He stressed that the Gulf states were committed not to acquire WMD.
 
"But we're not the only players in town. You have Turkey. You have Iraq which has a track record of wanting to go nuclear. You have Egypt. They had a very vibrant nuclear energy program from the 1960s. You have Syria. You have other players in the area that could open Pandora's box," the Saudi prince told The AP.
 


Iran envoy: We could hit US forces anywhere in world if attacked

Asked whether Saudi Arabia would maintain its commitment against acquiring WMD, Turki said: "What I suggest for Saudi Arabia and for the other Gulf states ... is that we must study carefully all the options, including the option of acquiring weapons of mass destruction. We can't simply leave it for somebody else to decide for us."

Turki is also a former Saudi intelligence chief and remains an influential member of the Saudi royal family.
 
Turki said the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council should guarantee a nuclear security umbrella for Mideast countries that join a nuclear-free zone — and impose "military sanctions" against countries seen to be developing nuclear weapons.
 

"I think that's a better way of going at this issue of nuclear enrichment of uranium, or preventing Iran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction," he said in the AP interview.
 


 

In October, the U.S. claimed that agents linked to Iran's Qud's Force, an elite wing of the Revolutionary Guard, were involved in a plot to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S., Adel Al-Jubeir. Iran said the claims were "baseless."
 



'Meddling'
Turki said in November that there was "ample and heinous" evidence that Iran was behind the alleged plot. He added that the evidence "indicates the depths of depravity and unreason to which the (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad regime has sunk."
 

Turki called the plot "the tip of the iceberg," saying Iran was "meddling" in the affairs of many other countries, including Lebanon, Turkey, Pakistan and especially Iraq.
 
 

The Saudi government has also accused a terror cell linked to Iran of plotting to blow up its embassy in Bahrain, as well as the causeway linking the island kingdom to Saudi Arabia.
 

In a secret diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks, Saudi King Abdullah allegedly urged Washington to strike at Iran and "cut off the head of the snake."
 



Turki dismissed the cable in November, telling reporters that Saudi Arabia supported sanctions and diplomatic pressure against Iran but not a military strike.
 
 

He said military action would only stiffen Iran's resolve, rally support for the regime and at best delay, but not halt, the nuclear program. "Such an act I think would be foolish, and to undertake it I think would be tragic," he said.
 


 
 
The Associated Press, NBC News and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.
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G M
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« Reply #734 on: February 10, 2012, 02:26:39 PM »

Would you want to be the candidate who runs on a platform that what we need to do now is go to war w Pakistan/dismember Pakistan?

Of course not. As we've seen in the past, we will kick the problem down the road until the next crisis blows up in our collective face. It's not like WMD could be used by jihadists on our shores, as it's never happened before.....
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #735 on: February 10, 2012, 02:38:15 PM »

Timely piece on Saud nukes GM.  Would you please post it in the Nuclear War thread?
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bigdog
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« Reply #736 on: February 17, 2012, 09:07:19 PM »

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-02-15/presidents-day-washington-lincoln-obama/53107742/1
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #737 on: February 17, 2012, 11:36:49 PM »

"Promise less and shut up"?  Now there's a change we can believe in! cheesy
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bigdog
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« Reply #738 on: February 17, 2012, 11:55:29 PM »

"Promise less and shut up"?  Now there's a change we can believe in! cheesy

On this, we agree completely. 
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« Reply #739 on: February 20, 2012, 11:39:03 AM »



Brief • February 20, 2012
The Foundation
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness." --George Washington
Political Futures
 
Rick Santorum
"There are reports the Obama campaign, long focused on Mitt Romney, is beginning to prepare for a face-off with [Rick] Santorum, just in case the former Pennsylvania senator captures the Republican nomination. The conventional wisdom among both Democrats and Republicans is that Obama would seek to tear Santorum limb-from-limb with attacks on his positions on abortion, contraception, and, now, prenatal testing. ... In his first surge, in the last days of Iowa caucus campaigning, Santorum shot into the lead on the strength of a platform that featured appealing positions on jobs, on taxes, on national defense, as well as the social positions for which he is well known. Alone among Republicans, Santorum spoke at length about the decline of U.S. manufacturing and the problems of American workers who don't have college degrees. ... Those positions, along with his dogged determination on the stump, caused many Republicans to give him a serious look. Now, leading in the polls both nationally and in Michigan, which holds a key primary February 28, Santorum knows that his opponents, both in the Republican race and Democrats, will seek to provoke him into controversial statements on social issues. And yet in the last few days, he has been unable to steer the political conversation back to the topics that work best with voters. If he can't re-take control of that conversation, he could find himself in serious trouble." --columnist Byron York

 
Washington's Birthday
In some circles, today is observed as "Presidents' Day," jointly recognizing Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but it is still officially recognized as the anniversary of "Washington's Birthday" -- and that is how we mark the date in our shop. Washington's actual birthday is Feb. 22.

For the Record
"The [birth control mandate] 'accommodation' ... is a farce. If you're paying for health insurance -- or if you self-insure, as many institutions do -- shifting responsibilities to the insurance companies doesn't shift the costs, just the paperwork. A Catholic hospital would still pay for the services; there just wouldn't be a line item for it in the monthly insurance bill. That's not accommodation; that's laundering. ... Of course, if religious institutions don't want to violate their consciences, they can simply stop offering health insurance altogether (providing yet another example of how Obama misled voters when he promised that the Affordable Care Act wouldn't cause anyone to lose their current coverage). That would at least allow religious organizations to uphold their principles. The result, however, would be to force taxpayers to subsidize practices many find morally abhorrent. In other words, Obama's solution is to make paying taxes a moral dilemma for many pro-lifers. ... When we empower bureaucrats and politicians to make such huge personal decisions for us, it becomes impossible to avoid trampling on liberty. The Roman Catholic Church was simply the first in the leviathan's path." --columnist Jonah Goldberg

Re: The Left
"To be blunt, the president has it exactly backwards. It is not religious institutions that wish to be held to a different set of rules, but those who would kick the First Amendment to the curb -- the one that establishes the exact same religious standard for everyone -- in order to accommodate the abortion-on-demand constituency. Thus, when Democrats and the president speak about finding an 'accommodation' to address religious peoples' concerns, they are being both arrogant and disingenuous: no member of the government has the option of deciding whether or not accommodate clauses contained in the Constitution. They are bound by it --all of it. Despite all their high-minded pronouncements to the contrary, Democratic agenda has long been defined by different people playing by different sets of rules. ... Even more ironically, for Democrats, anything less than an equal outcome is de facto evidence that someone is playing by a different set of rules, and must be brought to heel by any means necessary -- even if it means bending the rules in the process." --columnist Arnold Alert
 
Culture
"Never mind that a vast government apparatus exists to provide poor women access to contraceptives, from Medicaid and community health centers to Title X. There are roughly 4,500 Title X-funded clinics around the country. They are required to provide free birth control to the poor and subsidized birth control to people with incomes between 100 percent and 250 percent of poverty. They serve about 5 million people a year. By any reasonable standard, we are one of the most lavishly contracepted societies in the history of the planet. ... A Centers for Disease Control report this year found that among teen mothers who had unintended pregnancies, only 13 percent said they had trouble getting access to birth control. ... Of all the causes of the explosion in illegitimate births, limited access to contraception can't be high on the list. At the same time that we have seen a profusion of contraceptives that are dazzling in their variety, impressive in their efficacy, and democratic in their widespread accessibility, out-of-wedlock births have gone from 10 percent in 1970 to 42 percent today (largely among poor women with access to government-provided contraceptives)." --National Review editor Rich Lowry
Government
"President Obama said in his State of the Union speech, 'We've already agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts and savings.' ... Cato Institute economist Dan Mitchell cut through the fog to get at the truth of the $2 trillion 'cut.' 'We have a budget of, what, almost $4 trillion? So if we're doing $2 trillion of cuts,' Mitchell said, 'we're cutting government in half. That sounds wonderful.' ... Calling that a 'cut' is nonsense. Mitchell gave an analogy: 'What if I came to you and said, "I've been on a diet for the last month, and I've gained 10 pounds. Isn't that great?" You would say: "Wait, what are you talking about? That's insane." And I said: "I was going to gain 15 pounds. I've only gained 10 pounds, therefore my diet is successful."' Democrats use this deceit when they want more social spending. ... Mitchell points out that the politicians don't even have to make actual cuts to save the future. If they just slowed the growth of government to about 2 percent per year, the U.S. economy could grow out of this mess. But the politicians won't do even that. ... Bottom line: Don't trust the politicians' numbers." --columnist John Stossel

Essential Liberty
"Americans pride themselves on being a self-reliant people. ... But with each passing year, that portrait flies more and more in the face of reality. The numbers plainly show that we are becoming a people dependent not on ourselves, but on government. We are evolving into a nation of takers, not givers. The numbers in question come in the form of a new Heritage Foundation report titled 'The 2012 Index of Dependence on Government.' You don't have to read far before you realize that the days of Horatio Alger stories are behind us. Start with the most basic facts: Today, more than 67.3 million Americans rely on assistance from Washington for everything from food, shelter and clothing to college tuition and health care. These benefits cost federal taxpayers roughly $2.5 trillion annually. Oh, about those taxpayers: Even as the number of Americans receiving federal aid rises, the number of federal taxpayers continues to drop: Nearly half of all Americans -- 49.5 percent -- don't pay any federal income taxes." --Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner

The Gipper
"The federal government has taken too much tax money from the people, too much authority from the states, and too much liberty with the Constitution." --Ronald Reagan
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bigdog
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« Reply #740 on: February 20, 2012, 12:55:33 PM »

Feeling the pressure of a million men... evil evil grin

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/million-mustache-march-planned-april-encourage-growth-facial-134239007.html
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ccp
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« Reply #741 on: February 20, 2012, 01:01:45 PM »

" is beginning to prepare for a face-off with [Rick] Santorum, just in case the former Pennsylvania senator captures the Republican nomination. The conventional wisdom among both Democrats and Republicans is that Obama would seek to tear Santorum limb-from-limb with attacks on his positions on abortion, contraception, and, now, prenatal testing."

Absolutely.  CNN and MSNBC are immediately all over this.  I don't recall whether it soloDAD or Kyra Phillips this AM with a sarcastic tone and detectable smug look asked someone about Santorum with, " I hear he is questioning Obama's theology"?

Never do any of these people ever question a peeping thing about Obama or use sarcastic tones and facial expressions.

Could anyone imagine her asking, "I heard Obama said they cling to their religion and guns" with any tone of disrespect?

I have to say though Santorum did not *sound* great defending himself this AM.
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G M
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« Reply #742 on: February 20, 2012, 02:13:21 PM »

Pay no attention to the economic collapse, the republicans are going to steal your ladyparts!!!!  rolleyes
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #743 on: February 22, 2012, 10:56:33 AM »

Chronicle • February 22, 2012
The Foundation
"We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections." --John Adams
Editorial Exegesis
 
Leftmedia-run debates are problematic
"The semiotic search for the racism beneath Newt's food-stamp line. The dismissal of 'the Constitution' in haughty air quotes. The wasting of primetime minutes pondering which wife would make the best first lady. The obsessive deposing of Romney on the legality of condoms. The condescending identity politics of carting out a token Latino to ask an immigration question. The dings. The bells. The buzzers. The Google Chat notification tones. ... These are just some of the lowlights of the umpteen Republican debates thus far. And ... they were all brought to us by the mainstream media. That's the same media that daily carry water for the Obama administration, approach the tea parties as anthropological curiosities, and persistently skew the public discourse leftward in ways large and small, conscious and unconscious. ... While dismantling the presuppositions of the political media is surely a skill a conservative president would do well to acquire, it does not rank with the ability to clearly and persuasively articulate a conservative policy vision for solving America's most pressing problems, or with the ability to display fiscal sobriety, strategic acumen, and strong instincts toward liberty when presented with new challenges, foreign and domestic. These abilities -- and not the ability to cleverly parry liberal inanities -- are what the primary debates are meant to test. ... [W]e favor the plan recently floated by Hugh Hewitt. Come the 2016 election season, the RNC should set the number, dates, and locations of debates. They should be fewer in number than the 20-odd we will see before this year is out, so that they are not so unduly agenda-setting. And the party should partner with local party officials, conservative think tanks, alternative media, tea-party groups, and grassroots organizations to determine formatting and questions. ... The alternative is to hope MSNBC and CNN come into the flock between now and 2016. Don't hold your breath." --National Review
Are you tired of the Leftmedia administering the GOP debates?
Upright
"The politicians are spending us into oblivion. But I can't blame only them. The American people are complacent. We like the goodies. We think we're getting something for nothing. We are like alcoholics who know we have a problem but just can't resist one last fix. One more infrastructure bill or jobs plan will jumpstart the economy. Then we'll kick our spending addiction once and for all. But we don't stop spending. Almost all budget categories grow, even when adjusted for inflation. ... So what do we do? We must cut. But I fear Americans aren't up for that. People on the street told me that the budget is out of control. But when I then asked them, 'What would you cut?' most just stared ahead. ... We're on the way to becoming Greece -- while our 'leaders' stand and watch." --columnist John Stossel
"High tax rates in the upper income brackets allow politicians to win votes with class warfare rhetoric, painting their opponents as defenders of the rich. Meanwhile, the same politicians can win donations from the rich by creating tax loopholes that can keep the rich from actually paying those higher tax rates -- or perhaps any taxes at all. What is worse than class warfare is phony class warfare. Slippery talk about 'fairness' is at the heart of this fraud by politicians seeking to squander more of the nation's resources." --economist Thomas Sowell
"n Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron has introduced a bill seeking to partially privatize the National Health Service (NHS). Why? Because the British government is 'hoping to avoid a Greek-style financial meltdown.' ... UK healthcare costs are currently $194 billion per year and consume 18 percent of the UK's budget. The projected 'cuts' in spending for 2013 that have people up in arms? As of now, a $6 billion increase in spending to $200 billion. Much of the animus likely stems from the fact that Britain has grown used to massive amounts of healthcare spending that can no longer be sustained: between 2000 and 2010, the NHS budget doubled in real terms. Furthermore, British debt as a percentage of GDP was almost 80 percent in 2010. Which brings us across the pond, so to speak, where America's debt level reached 102 percent of GDP last year, long before the full effects -- and true costs -- of our own stab at government-run healthcare have yet to be realized." --columnist Arnold Ahlert
Insight
"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." --British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
"To be controlled in our economic pursuits means to be controlled in everything." --Nobel laureate economist Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992)
The Demo-gogues
Stunning hypocrisy: "Now, whenever Congress refuses to act, Joe and I, we're going to act. In the months to come, wherever we have an opportunity, we're going to take steps on our own to keep this economy moving. ... I do hope Congress joins me. Instead of spending the coming months in a lot of phony political debates focusing on the next election, I hope that we spend some time focusing on middle-class Americans and those who are struggling to get into the middle class." --Barack Obama
Reducing the American Dream: "If you're willing to put in the work, the idea is that you should be able to raise a family and own a home, not go bankrupt because you got sick, 'cause you've got some health insurance that helps you deal with those difficult times; that you can send your kids to college; that you can put some money away for retirement. That's all most people want. Folks don't have unrealistic ambitions. They do believe that if they work hard, they should be able to achieve that small measure of an American dream." --Barack Obama
Scary: "Let me let you in on a secret. I am the senior-most person serving on the Financial Services Committee. Barney Frank is about to retire and guess who's shaking in their boots? The too-big-to-fail banks and financial institutions and all of Wall Street, because Maxine Waters is going to be the next chair of the Financial Services Committee!" --Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #744 on: February 24, 2012, 11:33:08 AM »

The Foundation
"Excessive taxation ... will carry reason and reflection to every man's door, and particularly in the hour of election." --Thomas Jefferson

 
Obama and Romney lay out tax plans
The tax proposals of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney serve as alternative visions for the nation. Obama's stifles growth through higher rates on the productive and pays lip service to "fairness" and "fiscal responsibility." Romney's enables growth and builds upon the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. While Romney should have gone further, his plan is far preferable to Obama's.

The devil, as they say, is in the details. The Leftmedia trumpet Obama's plan to cut the corporate rate from 35 percent to 28 percent -- still above the world's average rate of 25. Yet his plan would merely move the U.S. from the second highest corporate rate in the world to the fourth highest -- with fewer deductions and new penalties to boot. For example, Obama would require for the first time that U.S. companies pay a minimum tax rate on any foreign earnings. His plan also distorts the playing field by favoring some industries over others he doesn't like. Overall, the administration says that American businesses would pay $250 billion more in taxes. It's important to note, however, that corporations don't pay corporate taxes; consumers and employees do through higher prices and lower wages.
By comparison, The Wall Street Journal reports, "All the Republican presidential candidates have called for lower corporate tax rates. Mitt Romney proposes reducing the top rate to 25%. Rick Santorum proposes a 17.5% general corporate tax rate and zero rate on manufacturers. Ron Paul proposes 15% and Newt Gingrich 12.5%."
The real economy crusher, however, could be Obama's proposal to raise the tax on dividends from 15 percent to a staggering 44.8 percent. This money is first taxed as profit at the corporate rate before it can be paid in dividends, making the effective tax rate on this money more than 64 percent. Also, by tripling the dividend rate, many corporations will simply stop paying dividends as they did in the 1990s when the rate was roughly twice that on capital gains. Republicans cut both rates to 15 percent in 2003, and by 2006 dividend income had more than tripled. Obama's plan wouldn't just hurt the "rich," as the White House would lead us to believe. More than 100 million people are shareholders in the market, and three-quarters of dividend payments go to retirees or near-retirees. These tax increases would make everyone poorer.
Romney's tax plan is quite different. It has five points: reduce marginal individual income tax rates across-the-board by 20 percent; reduce the corporate rate to 25 percent; maintain the 15 percent rate on capital gains, interest and dividends for those earning more than $200,000 per year, while eliminating it for everyone else; abolish the death tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax; make the changes permanent, thus bringing much-needed stability to the tax code.
There is good and bad to his proposal. The bad is that Romney is still somewhat bound to the classism of the Democrats. For example, why play by their rules with capital gains or five individual rates? It's good that lower rates apply to everyone, though. The current top individual rate of 35 percent, which is set to skyrocket in 2013 to 41 percent (including the Democrats' surtax on the wealthy), would fall to 28 percent, the 33 percent rate to 26.4 percent, the 28 percent rate to 22.4 percent, the 25 percent rate to 20 percent, the 15 percent rate to 12 percent, and the 10 percent rate to 8 percent. Marginal rate cuts are by far the most economically effective tax cuts, but we would like to see fewer and even lower rates. The corporate rate should go lower, too. Flat or Fair tax, anyone?
Permanently eliminating the estate, or "death," tax -- often at least the third time that money is taxed -- is a great idea, as is casting the Alternative Minimum Tax on the ash heap of history. Also, making these changes permanent could do as much good for the economy as the rates themselves. As an aside, the proposal is good for Romney's candidacy because it gives him something to campaign for instead of merely citing his biography or attacking his opponents.
For the electorate, the competing tax visions provide a clear choice. As Ronald Reagan once put it, "You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down." Obama, with his wealth redistribution and class envy, advocates the way down. Romney's proposal, while far from perfect, provides a way up to greater prosperity for all.
What do you think of these tax proposals?
New & Notable Legislation
By comfortable margins, both chambers of Congress passed an extension of the payroll tax cut. The package extends the 2 percentage-point cut on Social Security taxes (reduced from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent) through the end of 2012 and continues to wave off previously agreed-upon cuts in doctors' Medicare compensation payments. It also tinkers with the federal unemployment insurance program to provide job-training opportunities and supplement some workers hit by drastic cuts in hours. The extension, which is not offset, will be a drain on the Social Security "trust fund" even though previous payroll tax cuts have provided no net gain for the economy. Republicans dropped their initial opposition to the extension because they didn't want to be accused of supporting a tax hike on workers. Barack Obama signed the bill with little fanfare, though he did take time to invite a few citizen-props to the White House -- those who went public with how the extra $40 in their paycheck has changed their lives.
 
Across the Pond: Britain to Partially Privatize Health Care
Little noticed by U.S. media beholden to Barack Obama and his takeover of our health care system is the recent decision by the British to begin partially privatizing their own government system. Prime Minister David Cameron introduced a bill to do just that because the British government is "hoping to avoid a Greek-style financial meltdown." The British media, unlike their American counterparts, aren't sitting on the sidelines. In fact, The Times of London quoted a Downing Street source saying that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley "should be taken out and shot" for supporting the effort. Whatever happened to advocating gun control over there?
The British system is legendary for its lengthy wait times and rationing of treatments, and it's still going broke. Leftists are up in arms (literally, if they take the aforementioned Downing Street advice) over supposed "cuts," too. Yet health care accounts for 18 percent of the UK's budget at $194 billion, and it will be about the same percentage at $200 billion in 2013. That's the same kind of "cut" Obama touts in his budget.
News From the Swamp: Reid Tempts Obama With Recess Appointments
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) encouraged Barack Obama to make some 90 recess appointments for nominees to various posts that have yet to be approved. Reid claims that the nominees could be approved at any point if Senate Republicans would "cooperate," meaning just shut up and do things his way. Several Republicans have refused flatly to support any nomination until the president rescinds his four non-recess appointments from December and puts them up for full advice and consent. Reid's response is simply more of the same cynical support for Obama's unconstitutional actions. Is it any wonder that he and his fellow do-nothing Senate Democrats haven't passed a budget in more than 1,000 days?
On the Campaign Trail: Santorum and Obama
Speaking on the campaign trail in Columbus, Ohio, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum argued that Barack Obama's actions aren't motivated by a concern for citizens' quality of life, but by his distorted worldview. "It's not about your job," Santorum said. "It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology. But no less a theology." The media and the White House immediately accused Santorum of saying that Obama was not Christian, which is ridiculous because Santorum has stated the opposite publicly more than once.
That's not to say there aren't legitimate questions about the president's religion. His past statements about people "clinging" to religion, his sitting for 20 years in the pews of Jeremiah Wright, who shouted obscenities from the pulpit, and Obama's current attacks on the Catholic Church prove that he has, at best, no real respect for religion. But Santorum can't utter that truth on the campaign trail because it would surely do him more harm than good.
The bottom line is that Obama is a textbook narcissist, and he worships himself. Sure, he touts his so-called Christian faith, but only when it suits him to argue for wealth redistribution, ObamaCare or various other leftist "social justice" adventures. The president's real theological underpinnings come from the Church of Obama -- his own word is gospel and he is above reproach for his views and actions -- and it has many devoted followers in the media who have rushed to his defense, as Santorum has discovered.
 

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Another Vacation for Michelle and the Kids
While the rest of us spent the long Washington's Birthday weekend working or plotting survival in a moribund economy, most of the First Family enjoyed the sun and slopes of Aspen. Along with a couple of family friends and the usual host of Secret Service agents, Michelle Obama and their two girls spent the weekend at the home of Aspen Skiing owners Jim and Paula Crown. The Crowns are old Chicago friends of the Obamas and -- naturally -- huge Democrat donors. With instructors in tow, the Obamas hit the slopes.
There's no question that public perception of the First Family as members of the out-of-touch "1 percent" increases with each lavish vacation; this is the sixteenth such trip Michelle has taken in the last three years. While most families are happy to take a week's summer vacation and, if they're lucky, maybe a couple of weekend getaways a year, the Obama family averages a ritzy outing about once every 10 weeks. Nice lack of work if you can get it.
How many vacations are too many?
Economy
Hope 'n' Change: High Gas Prices 'Aren't Obama's Fault'
Remember back in 2005 when the media reported soaring gas prices as unequivocally "Bush's fault"? No such blame for the president this time. Barack Obama denies responsibility, too, saying through his mouthpiece Jay Carney, "If you're suggesting that there is responsibility for a rise in the price of oil, it's certainly not because of anything [Obama] hasn't done to expand oil production." In fact, the president slammed Republicans Thursday for "licking their chops" over high gas prices and greeting this "bad news so enthusiastically."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who as Speaker of the House was one of the first to blame President Bush for high gas prices, blames everyone but this president. "Wall Street profiteering, not oil shortages, is the cause of the price spike," Pelosi said. "Unfortunately, Republicans have chosen to protect the interests of Wall Street speculators and oil companies instead of the interests of working Americans by obstructing the agencies with the responsibility of enforcing consumer protection laws."
The energy industry sees things a bit differently. "These have been the most difficult three years from a policy standpoint that I've ever seen in my career," said Bruce Vincent, president of Houston-based oil and natural gas producer Swift Energy. He says the Obama administration has "done nothing but restrict access and delay permitting" and "has threatened this industry at every turn." Meanwhile, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz complains that Republicans and their oil buddies don't have a solution, because "all they would do is more and more drilling." Um, yeah. Increasing supply usually does lower the cost, but we wouldn't expect a Democrat to understand that.
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bigdog
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« Reply #745 on: March 01, 2012, 09:04:43 AM »

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_102/No-Room-for-GOP-Moderates-212765-1.html?ET=rollcall:e12343:80133681a:&st=email&pos=eam

With Sen. Olympia Snowe’s startling Tuesday announcement that she would retire, the GOP now must grapple with a key question: Did the centrist Republican lose interest in her Conference or did her Conference lose interest in centrist Republicans?

In the shadow of 2010’s conservative wave election, Snowe had become a “lone wolf” who was “adrift” in her own party, Republicans sources said. Snowe herself conceded Wednesday that she had been so focused on her re-election — and staving off a primary challenge since even before 2010 — that she had lost sight of why she was running in the first place.

Those close to Republican leadership insist that the Conference has not become inhospitable to moderates, but Snowe’s statements paint the picture of an establishment Republican frustrated with the direction of her party and unsure it will change anytime soon.

“It’s about the country and solving problems, and that was my final conclusion. ... If we cannot solve problems in this difficult time in our nation’s history, at what point would we? And whether or not that would change, that dynamic. And that’s the problem,” Snowe said Wednesday when asked whether a GOP takeover of the chamber in November would lead to more legislative productivity.

.... Continued on link
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ccp
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« Reply #746 on: March 01, 2012, 04:47:35 PM »

Recently at a gathering the daughter of on of the doctors present called herself a "fiscal conservative" and a "social liberal".   Some years ago a member of my family donned the same self description of his political persuasion.

I think I know whence they come and how this (a bit narcisstic concept comes) yet upon reflection I find both somewhat mutually exclusive.  So does this author:

     
 
 
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Hot Topics:Morning Briefing• Horserace• Primary Targets• Tech at NightRecent PostsLog InSign Up“I’m a fiscal conservative, but a social liberal.” The Epitaph for America’s Future?

Posted by Ausonius (Diary)

Saturday, February 27th at 9:47PM EST

47 CommentsRecommenders: tcgeol (Diary), BlueStateSaint, penguin2 (Diary), redneck_hippie (Diary), Achance (Diary), nessa (Diary), Vegas_Rick (Diary), aesthete (Diary), TheSophist (Diary)
Many have read a version of the following statement from “moderates,” defined here as people who want to seem high-minded and objective by staying “above the fray.”

“I’m a fiscal conservative, but a social liberal.”

The goal in this essay is to demonstrate the illogicality of such an oxymoron. For ultimately fiscal conservatism will be impossible, if you support social liberalism.

How does one define “social liberalism” anyway? Since I do not want to be accused of setting up strawmen to knock down, in good faith I offer the following examples of social liberalism: antagonism toward racial profiling, protecting children, and (contradictorily) killing unborn children.

Liberal political scientist Benjamin Barber, an emeritus professor at Rutgers, offers an explanation for one aspect of political correctness:

“On the belief that while classes of people and categories of action may be statistically correlated with certain kinds of behavior, those correlations do not warrant encroaching on the liberty and rights of individuals. No one is to be prejudged in their behavior or motives simply because they belong to a certain class or category.”

See:


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/benjamin-r-barber/forgiving-political-corre_b_369419.html

On the surface, no Conservative will argue with this. But consider the “failed attack” by the infamous Shoe Bomber (Richard Reid). One of the most expensive aspects of Barber’s purist attitude has been occurring for years in our airports: because of political correctness, profiling for possible suspects has not been allowed. The result is that 9-year old little girls from Cincinnati, as well as 90-year old grandmothers from Pittsburgh, are stopped, scanned, sniffed, debriefed, de-shoed, and delayed because social liberalism says not to use stereotypes…ever, even though Richard Reid and his ilk do not fit the profile of a 9-year old girl from Ohio.

Americans have been led to think, therefore, that such high-mindedness is the price one pays for safety. And what exactly is that price? It is not just an annoying, exasperated feeling while standing in line. Roughly 50 million people per month pass through American airports per month. If we place the very modest price of $10.00 on the head of every passenger for their lost time (obviously the time of many travelers is worth much more!), it means that half a billion dollars are lost every month to the American economy, $6 Billion per year, $60 billion since Mr. Shoe Bomber’s antics.

And we say and believe that his attack failed! This estimate obviously does not take into account the tax dollars spent for all the increased surveillance and the equipment: and I will openly admit, the waddling and possibly illiterate T.S.A. guards I have seen do not make me feel safer. They make me feel less wealthy, knowing that as government employees they have better benefits and pensions than I ever will!

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby offered this opinion in an essay from August 23, 2006:

“No sensible person imagines that ethnic or religious profiling alone can stop every terrorist plot. But it is illogical and potentially suicidal not to take account of the fact that so far every suicide-terrorist plotting to take down an American plane has been a radical Muslim man. It is not racism or bigotry to argue that the prevention of Islamist terrorism necessitates a special focus on Muslim travelers, just as it is not racism or bigotry when police trying to prevent a Mafia killing pay closer attention to Italians.”

Profiling will not eliminate airport security, but one wonders, if political correctness were tossed aside, could not the loss in time and efficiency be greatly reduced?

Social liberalism has led to an attitude of allowing government intervention to protect us from ourselves, from cars, from saturated fat, from incorrect sneezing, from almost any situation which can generate a bureaucracy. OHSA in the Department of Labor is now approaching $2 Billion for its budget. And of course, we must protect the children: much spending is done in the name of helping children.

But where are the limits? One small personal example: when my wife was a principal of a grade school, the board wanted to install new playground equipment. She was given a 27-page booklet from the FedGov on playground safety. It seems that the FedGov’s bureaucrats had mandated that a playground slide had to have “9 inches of mulch at the bottom,” otherwise…lawsuits were possible for not following Federal guidelines. Now who decided that “9 inches of mulch” had to be used, and how? Bureaucrats! You can imagine them in lab coats and holding clipboards, while they put crash-dummies on the slide to discover the proper depth of mulch to protect the delicate derrieres of American 9-year old children.

“Your tax dollars at work!” “Where are the limits?” Obviously none exist.

Probably most Americans do not realize that their government is involved in such minutiae: child safety taken to manic extremes is one of the unintended consequences of social liberalism.

Although not all welfare goes to children, they are the main reason often given by politicians for supporting the welfare state. And of course over the last c. 80 years, governments have taken over from the churches, private charities, families, and private individuals the care for the poor or the temporarily indigent: which tradition would be more efficient in dealing with poverty, more caring, and more likely to prevent it from increasing?

The Heritage Foundation offers the following horrifying information for the “social liberal-fiscal conservative” to contemplate:

“Since the beginning of the War on Poverty, government has spent $15.9 trillion (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars) on means-tested welfare. In comparison, the cost of all other wars in U.S. history was $6.4 trillion (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars).”

“According to President Obama’s budget projections, federal and state welfare spending will total $10.3 trillion over the next 10 years (FY 2009 to FY 2018). This spending will equal $250,000 for each person currently living in poverty in the U.S., or $1 million for a poor family of four.”

(My emphasis above)

See: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Welfare/sr0067.cfm

In theory of course, that wipes out poverty! But we know it will not! Social liberalism does not stop poverty: if welfare-state bureaucracies actually lessened poverty, they would put themselves out of work. It is to the bureaucrats’ advantage to fertilize poverty!

However, human fertilization is something of which social liberals are usually skeptical. And here we touch upon abortion: I am aware that purely moral arguments are enough to argue against killing unborn children. The point here, however, is our “social liberal-fiscal conservative” will claim that abortion should be allowed, that it actually saves money for society, and that anyway, should not a true conservative keep government away from telling people what they can do with their bodies?

In a study called Abortion and Crime: Unwanted Children and Out-of-Wedlock Births by Lott and Whitley, the authors examine the costs to society of Roe vs. Wade over time. One finds the following conclusion on p.18:

“The higher estimated increases in murder imply that legalizing abortion raised the number of murders in 1998 by 1,230 and raised total annual victimization costs from all crime by at least $4.5 billion.”

See: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1018&context=lepp_papers

Note that $4.5 Billion is for one year only. Probably a good number of RedState readers are already acquainted with demographic researcher Dennis Howard’s estimate that since Roe vs. Wade the U.S. economy has lost $37 Trillion dollars due to the loss of population. While you can debate how productive the aborted babies would have been, how many might have become criminals, welfare mothers, etc., one must ultimately assume that most people, even from the lower classes, are honest and want to succeed. So even if Howard is wildly off by 90%, that would still mean nearly a loss of $4 Trillion, which would come in handy right now to save the U.S. partially from bankruptcy! The cost to enforce anti-abortion laws would hardly affect such a sum.

Legal abortion, of course, was only part of the wider so-called Sexual Revolution 40 years ago, spawning the additional expenses of higher divorce rates (“no-fault divorce” also being part of a “socially liberal” agenda), higher illegitimacy rates, rises in STD’s and AIDS, etc. (I recall leftist columnist Ellen Goodman in the early 1980’s insisting that a crash program to cure AIDS was absolutely essential, not just for curing the afflicted, but to preserve the Sexual Revolution, i.e. to let people have casual sex with no consequences.)

I could continue into vaguer territory: what are the economic consequences of a society where mediocrity is extolled in a quest for fairness, where schools cancel awards ceremonies for fear of offending somebody, or, worse, where everyone is given an award, thus making the achievements of true winners meaningless? In the cartoon-movie The Incredibles, which shows a society where superheroes have been shut down by lawyers for the destruction and extra-constitutionality involved when the “supers” battle villains, one of the characters opines: “If everyone is super, then no one is.”

What is the cost of that kind of social liberalism/political correctness? How many future Bach’s, Curie’s, Edison’s, Einstein’s, Galileo’s, Michelangelo’s, Mother Teresa’s, Schoenberg’s, or Wright’s (Orville, Wilbur, as well as Frank Lloyd) are being stifled and stunted in our increasingly hostile-to-excellence society, or worse, are now part of hospital waste?

“I’m a fiscal conservative, but a social liberal.”

Let that not be the epitaph for America’s future.

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47 Comments Leave a comment
For Aesthete and Others: The Pro-Abortion Social Liberal Cannot Be A Fiscal Conservative
Ausonius (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 7:47AM EST (link)
There was a discussion on Monday under a different topic about whether abortions save society money: this diary contains my expanded thoughts on the subject.

Again, let me emphasize that the topic here is very narrow: one would never want to defend a pro-life position with only an economic argument.

My point here is to show that for someone who claims to be “fiscally conservative” but “socially liberal” his support for abortion will be a contradiction: abortions are a drain on an economy and prevent fiscal conservatism.

Still, I want to emphasize again for clarity: even if abortions saved us billions per year, one would still want to prevent them!

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.

Cato@rock.com
 
I'll get back to you on that
aesthete (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 11:31AM EST (link)
Suffice it to say, I think that you’re right in your support of life, but that your analysis concerning the economics of the situation are rosy, at best. I’ll get back to you when I have the time, and thanks for following through on your promise to put up a diary on the subject.

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
 
 And I'm back
aesthete (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 5:49PM EST (link)
First, let me say that I mostly agree with your assertion that social liberalism, as a general philosophy, is incompatible with fiscal conservatism. I would say, however, that most people who label themselves as socially liberal/fiscally conservative do so out of ignorance, and actually mean to say that they are socially libertarian.

Social libertarianism ≠ social liberalism, and the broadness of the term, “social liberal”, as well as its presumed pushback against social conservatives, leads many to use the term “social liberal” for their own beliefs, even though those beliefs are more libertarian than anything else. I would broadly state that most people who call themselves fiscally conservative and socially liberal are not supportive of true social liberalism, which for the purposes of discussion, can be defined as an attempt to use government to promote behaviors beneficial to establishing a “classless” society. (Likewise, libertarianism could be defined as being opposed to government involvement in social engineering, and seeking equal access to government services for all citizens without discrimination.)

Small government proponents typically believe that government should undertake the fewest actions possible, and that most domestic policies are 1) ineffective and 2) that they shouldn’t be undertaken by government, given its status as the arbiter of coercive force. Given that, it could be claimed that social conservatism is incompatible with small government, considering that social conservatism calls for an expansion of government with the dubious aim of restoring a “moral” society. Regulation and outright bans of pornography and online gambling in the federal government, the War on Drugs (which, as far as I can tell, can’t be even peripherally related to any of the federal government’s express powers, and as such violates the 10th), and several other examples abound of social conservatives attempting to regulate, ban, and imprison their way to their preferred endgame. This cannot in any way be tied to fiscal conservatism, and in many ways, violates its principles, and those of federalism. Certainly, not all of social conservatism’s efforts violate the principles of small government: I applaud their attempts to move discussion of religion into the public sphere, and along with libertarians, they are oftentimes the strongest supporters of non-public education solutions.

With the exception of the drug war, I would say the agenda of social conservatives in the 80s was mostly one of repealing harmful government legislation. Later iterations of social conservatism, however, abandoned their zeal for repeal (hey, that rhymes!) and instead, have taken after their European Christian Democratic brethren in actively proposing legislation that increases government.

Perhaps a telling quote of social or “traditional” conservatives can be found in Russell Kirk’s screed attacking libertarians which, while haphazard and scattered, offers the following gem: “Conservatives have no intention of compromising with socialists; but even such an alliance, ridiculous though it would be, is more nearly conceivable than the coalition of conservatives and libertarians. The socialists at least declare the existence of some sort of moral order; the libertarians are quite bottomless.” Regardless of the statement’s veracity (which is quite low, but I digress), there is no reasonable way in which subscribing to some moral order or other makes the conservative movement more akin to socialism than libertarianism (in which case, I suppose the fascists are also closer to conservatism than strawman-libertarianism). Sad to say, that’s where some social conservatives would like to take our party, and it is this that most fiscal conservatives rebel against when they call themselves “socially liberal”.

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
 
excellent summary aesthete of what many of us
Doc Holliday (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 7:03PM EST (link)
believe. The last paragraph is amazing, I could have used it in my socon vs libertarian con battles of the past. I said pretty much the same thing but did not have the proof lol.

BTw, I have one minor quibble. As you know, there is nothing moderate about libertarian-conservatives. libertarianism is a radical view, just like the radical views of the Founders.

I am not so sure there are many who call themselves “socially liberal” who are actually libertarian. I hope you are right but I have my doubts. One some big government socons do to weaken libertarian-cons is to lump them in with “social liberals” and “fiscons”. In fact they inflate the numbers of fiscons and deflate the numbers of libertarians in our movement. That is a rhetorical tactic, and one that serves none of us well.

Molon Labe!
 
The founders were radicals?
Scope (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 7:32PM EST (link)
First time I heard that. What made them radicals?
 
That they were far outside the mainstream
aesthete (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 7:45PM EST (link)
In this case, radical is not a pejorative.

Here’s a biased but mostly accurate article briefly discussing the Radical Whigs and their popularity in the Americas.

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
 
 Probably an apt description Scope, if not very flattering
nessa (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 7:51PM EST (link)
Radicals, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Even aside from rebelling against the British gov’t, surely enough to make them radicals in the eyes of the British and the Tory’s here, many were adherents of “Enlightenment” which had a bad reputation, at least among the Kings and the Aristocracy that it sought to replace with individual liberty and reason.

Its not like they knew what would happen when they started the American Experiment, and there were times we could easily have gone the way of the French Revolution.

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
 
55 nessa
Doc Holliday (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 8:44PM EST (link)
I know I was using the term in a positive way. They risked their own necks when they already were leading pretty dang good lives compared to everyone else in the world. They must have had a very great motivation to do that.

You know, it has been argued that the most free person on earth in 1760 was colonial american. The key point is this included the average British Citizen.

Some may say this diminishes the ideas of the Revolution, I say it amplifies them.

Molon Labe!
 
Thanks Doc, I was right there with you.
nessa (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 9:00PM EST (link)
I discovered an interesting fact last week. There is a High School down the street from me named 71st School. I, and most citizens here have always thought it was named after a street. Not Hardly! It is named after the 71st Regiment of Foot, a Tory Regiment raised here to fight with the British.

And we think our political atmosphere is charged? I think the Colonial Americans would find it tame and boring. I mean when was the last time we had a good old fashioned tar and feathering?

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
 
very true Nessa
Doc Holliday (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 9:13PM EST (link)
the worst abuses in the revolution were colonial on colonial. If you really hated a guy, you charged him with being a Rebel or Tory, depending where you lived. I am not saying this about everyone of course, but it happened all the time. And as you say, tar and feathering was not fun. It was not some humorous thing it is often portrayed as, unless you like third degree burns and possible death.

Hmm, you had a Tory regiment? I will make a wild guess and say New York? Or maybe South Carolina? those are just guesses.

Molon Labe!
 
Fayetteville, NC Doc. I wasn't so much surprised
nessa (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 11:15PM EST (link)
that it was here, the revolution wasn’t all that popular, but for the school to be named after it now was much more so. But then the race baiters hadn’t been invented yet and now that they have they use their ire for the Founding Fathers. The Daughters of the Confederacy still quietly place the Stars and Bars on the veterans graves for Memorial Day but I’ve never heard of a school named after a Confederate Regiment.

Many of the Scots who emigrated here were loyalists, to include Flora MacDonald who, in 1745 had smuggled Bonnie Prince Charlie out of England hidden under her skirts. The Colonial Governor had encouraged Scottish immigrants by granting them a 10 year tax exemption and land grants.

The history here is fascinating, from that, to the “hornet’s nest of rebellion,” in Charlotte and Colonel Sevier bringing the “Overmountain Men” across the Appalachians from Tennessee and western Virginia to fight a Tory Regiment at Kings Mountain, one of the pivotal battles of the Revolution. The Whigs (our side, lol) took over 800 prisoners at that battle. Every last one of them escaped (home to his farm) within a couple days, along with a fair portion of the Whigs who captured them.

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
 
very interesting Nessa
Doc Holliday (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 5:10AM EST (link)
Well I did guess A Carolina lol. It is true there were many Tories down there. BTW, I found the school’s website and they do not mention the Tory Regiment. They claim it was named after the Highlander Regiment of which many of them served.

Don’t worry, I believe you over them, but I did find the whitewashing interesting. As you say, there is no huge deal that their were Tory Regiments, we all know that. I even would not be that offended if say so many in the town served because it is history. But if they are covering it up, hmmm 

Molon Labe!
 
I'll check their website, thanks Doc
nessa (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 11:18AM EST (link)
I got the information from another website, I’ll have to do a little more investigation. History is always interesting.

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
 
Doc, whitewashed, mayby not exactly...
nessa (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 12:51PM EST (link)
The schools website says they were named for the famed Highland Scots who fought for Bonnie Prince Charley and the Jacobite cause in the 1740s.

What they didn’t mention, intentionally or due to a technicality, was that they were indeed Loyalists, though not retaining the 71st Highlanders name. From the website of The North Carolina Highland Regiment- 71st Highlanders, a group of Revolutinary War Re-enactors…

Unit began in 1776 when North Carolina’s governor Joeseph Martin, convinced King George III that, he, Martin could raise 10,000 Loyalists who could march to Wilmington, join forces
with English troops, and quell the growing rebellion in the south.

An army of 1600 loyalists, mainly Highland Scots, gathered in
Cross Creek ( now Fayetteville ) and began the 90-mile march to Wilmington, the men designated only as North Carolina Highanders were on their way to becoming part of the
Royal Highland Emigrants (later know, 84th Regiment of Foot)
then forming in Halifax.

Less than 20 miles from Wilmington, Rebels defeated the
Loyalists at Moore’s Creek Bridge. Most of the North Carolina
Highlanders were paroled, but the already-commisioned group
never can to fruition…. until Cornwallis.

When Martin learned in 1780 that Crown Forces under
Cornwallis would again appear in force in the province, Martin
re-ssued the commisions, the group was reformed again as The North Carolina Highland Regiment, an independant royal
light infantry unit consisting of over 600 men. Many of them
were the soldiers from the ill-fated Cross Creek muster four
years earlier. The regiment had blue jackets made locally,
borrowed kilts and hose of the 71st Regiment of Foot who
were now wearing military overalls.

I’m going to have to check out the Highland Regiment, it will be interesting and a couple of those gentlemen, dressed in their kilts and blue coats, hung about with powder horns and Brown Bess would be able to deliver a stunning classroom instruction on the Founding of America and the Constitution in any of the local schools.

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
 
I think we have it Nessa
Doc Holliday (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 2:05PM EST (link)
so technically the school is not named after the Loyalist regiment but the Highland regiment. Men from the area did join a loyalist regiment but it was not called the 71st Regiment of Foot. That is what I have been able to glean, are we agreed or is more snooping required 

Molon Labe!
 
Thats got it Doc! nt
nessa (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 2:14PM EST (link)
“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
 
          check out this book Scope, it won the Pulitzer
Doc Holliday (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 8:32PM EST (link)
http://www.amazon.com/Radicalism-American-Revolution-Gordon-Wood/dp/0679736883#reader_0679736883

Wood is one of our greatest Revolutionary historians. I am not going to go into detail on the argument but we can certainly agree we made a “radical” change from the Monarchical, class societies of that era, and those of our forbears.

Molon Labe!
 
"Radical" vs. "Conservative" Revolutionaries
Ausonius (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 10:51AM EST (link)
In History one often sees revolutionaries couching their position as a return to an original, higher, uncorrupted state.

A great example of this is Martin Luther, who believed that his reforms took Christianity back to a first-century A.D. purity lacking in the Church of his day. He viewed this as a conservative position, but knew of course that it would be seen otherwise. “Radical” goes back to the Latin for “root” (as in “radish” and implies a complete “uprooting” of society and starting from scratch.

One can debate how radical Luther really was.

However, his true conservatism – I am not using the term in our American sense here – is seen when he wants nothing to do with the politicization of his Reformation. He is immediately on the side of the political status quo, and wants nothing to do with peasants demanding an expansion of rights! He sees them as rabble who, if they dare to revolt, deserve only to be beaten down by the nobles.

Another example is the musical revolutionary Arnold Schoenberg, who believed that his (radical) “atonal” music was a logical development from Brahms and Wagner. Schoenberg rejected the term for himself, even though people called him constantly “revolutionary.” Musicologist Willi Reich wrote an analysis of him called: “Schoenberg, The Conservative Revolutionary.”

Schoenberg himself, to show he was following logical musical trends, wrote an essay called “Brahms, The Progressive” which Brahms probably would not have appreciated! 

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.

Cato@rock.com
 
   That's a good quibble you have there
aesthete (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 7:37PM EST (link)
At the upper levels, actual libertarian decision-makers tend to be few and far in between, and social liberals/fiscal conservatives abound (which is probably a function of the libertarian philosophy’s even greater aversion to government than conservatism, as well as the predilection for East Coast conservatives to be more authoritarian). In that sense, social conservatives can largely substantiate the claim that they are better practitioners of fiscal conservatism than the mythologized social liberal/fiscal conservatives. Among us voting hoi polloi, however, I’d say that there’s a fair amount of people, particularly those “South Park conservatives” who grew up in the Clinton and Bush Administrations, who broadly see social conservatives as the guys who tried to impeach Clinton on trumped-up charges and expanded government under Bush, however unfair such a narrative might be, and who have adopted the label to, essentially, run as far away from that behavior as they could. I would also include those who hold largely libertarian views, but who as a result of the Civil Rights movement, don’t hold federalist views, as those who define themselves thus: many times, they see the federal government as being the appropriate authority in social disputes, and have no problems with Eisenhower-esque intervention in that regard. Both of these groups are classical liberals, but have a negative aversion towards being associated with the stereotype of social conservatives, and some have an aversion to associating themselves with libertarians and their conspiracy theories, as well. Of course, some social liberals know well what they advocate, but the overwhelming majority of those classify themselves as “moderate” or progressive, due to the large amounts of federal funding needed to carry out the socially liberal vision.

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
 
  Defining "Socially Liberal" Aesthete
Ausonius (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 8:17PM EST (link)
was one of the problems I had in my opening essay, as mentioned.

Your analysis would seem to work for many of them at least: many thanks!

And you usually cannot go wrong by quoting Russell Kirk! 

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.

Cato@rock.com
 
  Concerning abortion
aesthete (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 6:17PM EST (link)
Concerning abortion, a good argument could possibly be made in favoring restrictions because of the potential economic output of those who were killed prematurely as a result of a lack of regulation. However, fiscal conservatism has not traditionally concerned itself with the general economy of the nation (one reason why it typically opposes Keynesianism). Instead, it tends to focus on government finances.

Since abortions are committed disproportionately by low-income blacks and hispanics, we should view a prohibition of abortion (assuming that the policy is effective) as an increase in the low-income black and hispanic population. The facts are these: 1) low-income citizens in the US typically pay no taxes, and receive money from the government in the form of tax credits. 2) low-income hispanics and blacks are disproportionately more likely to commit crime, especially violent and property crime. 3) Low-income citizens are eligible for a gamut of federal government programs, such as Medicaid and welfare, as well as other state programs. 4) Low-income blacks and hispanics have a greater proclivity towards being involved in the drug trade, and other illegal activities. Given this information, it is unlikely that pro-life policies would lead swelling government coffers. To play devil’s advocate, there are two main effects that I can think of that would mitigate these costs: the fact is that, when one grows older, one’s income tends to go up. Though this, unfortunately, holds much less true statistically for low-income blacks and hispanics (particularly for those raised in single-parent households), it does, indeed, happen, and the tax revenues from this elevated status later in life would likely be positive. Second, the multiplier effect, wherein these additional consumers spend on other things, might indirectly raise tax revenues through additional wages, hirings, and so on of individuals who are net payers in the system. (This will probably not be very large, however, as most money will initially go towards local businesses, whose owners may be on the same (non-payer) boat as themselves.) Considering all of the above, it seems to me that, short-term, at least, government at all levels would on net have to pay for this increase in low-income population. Besides all of this, if one is only considering fiscal conservatism, it is unlikely that the economically efficient number of abortions is zero. Though it is probably not the number Roe v. Wade allows, this would effectively make the utilitarian pro-choice.

Fortunately, there’s a more compelling argument to be made to libertarians (who, by and large, comprise the group of “social liberals/fiscal conservatives” that you reference) concerning life issues: government is meant to protect peoples’ rights and maximize their freedom; as murder is a massive and direct curtailment of said rights and freedoms, the libertarian believes that the government has a legitimate role in preventing murder from occurring, and in using its coercive force to correct for such happenings. Since a fetus is biologically alive, has unique DNA, and is responsive to external stimuli, it cannot objectively be stated to not be a live human (at least, not in any way significantly distinguishable from an infant up to 6 months). As killing an infant would lead to repercussions, so too should the termination of a fetus’s life be subject to repercussions as a curtailment of that pre-born child’s right to living unmolested.

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
 
  Ausonius, I had a similar observation for other reasons....
penguin2 (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 9:30AM EST (link)
in that diary. I was commenting with dpaitsel who became DRayRaven during the thread, and I made the simple observation that fiscal conservative and socially liberal was an oxymoron. My remarks to him had to do with the Great Society programs, etc. See my comment here. He came back and said he was not socially liberal, a social libertarian. Never did come back and define that one for me. The other question I would ask and no one who describes themselves as “fiscal conservative/socially liberal” has answered, is where is the fiscal restraint to be found? Only by gutting the military? And as you pointed out that certainly would not be enough.

I wonder if this disceptive phrase is really coming from the Left and perhaps relates to something Beagle wrote about with his diary, Partisan Tolerance.

Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. – Benjamin Franklin
When Good stands up to Evil, Evil blinks. – Vassar Bushmills

Conservative Education: Suggested Reading List

Activists Taking Action: Unified Patriots
 
Many Thanks for Your Comments! The Distortion of Language
Ausonius (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 9:57AM EST (link)
is the hallmark of Leftists/Communists as Orwell pointed out in “1984″ over 60 years ago.

I will be “tolerant” enough to admit that people exist who really do not see the oxymoronic aspect of their beliefs, that they really think you can be socially liberal and a fiscal conservative simultaneously.

But in other aspects, no, they know what they are doing: trying to play the game both ways, distorting the issues, claiming to be on the other side at least partially in order to show how “moderate” and willing to compromise they are.

Another term for them is RINO! 

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.

Cato@rock.com
 
Libertarians or Libertines
Beaglescout (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 1:43PM EST (link)
IMHO, the problem is in the second word above. Legal abortions, legal prostitution, legal drugs, no more wars, are all “libertarian” positions that are nothing less than libertine ideas of convenience for these mostly young, mostly male, progressive and ronulan agitators.

 “A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.”

–Alexander Hamilton   


Study at Redstate University
Laissez-faire Libertarians Might Sound Good At First
Ausonius (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 5:38PM EST (link)
as you point out, BeagleScout (Is that a reference to Snoopy?),
until one sees the consequences, and suddenly you are in a “do your own thing-Peace-Love-Dope” ’60′s fantasyland of irresponsibility.

Some of my “smarter” former students who stayed in contact with me became libertarians in their 20′s, so your comment is not without some foundation.

And speaking of former McGovern and Carter voters, Mrs. Ausonius, before she fell under my power, had also voted for them. After experiencing a gentle yet forceful Vulcan mind-meld, she has never lost her distaste for Dems! 

Aesthete is correct: “If you only knew the power of the Reagan right!” (Booming bass voice with fist clenched).

Many thanks to all for the comments and recommendations!

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.

Cato@rock.com
 
   My Position
TeddyMalone (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 2:42PM EST (link)
My position is that the federal government has no authority to fund the social programs that it funds — including social security, medicare, medicaid, etc. I realize that battle was lost in the 1930′s, but that is my position and I believe that my position is what the Founders intended.

I also believe that many of the programs that masquerade as economic programs are really social programs that were not intended to be regulated under the commerce clause. For example, federal pollution standards are viewed as being supported by the commerce clause. I disagree. I think they are public health issues and thus should be handled under the health, welfare, moral, and police power of the states.

I think the federal government should only fund national defense, fix weights and measures, establish a patent office, regulate trade with foreign nations, create a uniform currency etc. All the programs enumerated in the Constitution under Article I, Section 8 “Powers of Congress” . And that is it. Nothing more.
 
  I consider myself Socially Libertarian and My Definition is Very different but I think Constitutionally Correct
TeddyMalone (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 2:32PM EST (link)
As a “social libertarian”, (and adamant fiscal conservative) I don’t think you have really defined my beliefs.

The issue is not that I support abortion (or other “socially liberal” views), it is that I do not believe that many of the issues raised by social conservatives should be addressed at the federal level.

I believe that the constitution very strictly enumerates the power of the federal government. Congress is not supposed to exceed that authority. Many (though I recognize not all) of the social conservative principles call on the federal government to act — and I think social regulation is beyond the authority of what the Founders intended the Federal government to regulate.

For example, I don’t think the federal government should ban abortion. That is not because I am pro-abortion. My understanding of what the Founders intended was that police powers (such as the authority to prevent and prosecute murder) was intended to be handled by the states.

I think we crossed the line during Roosevelt’s New Deal and have continuously expanded federal authority since. I do not support continuing that approach since I believe it is unconstitutional.

So, it isn’t that I support liberal social policies. I just don’t think the federal government should be involved in most of those issues. Those were intended (in my view) to be handled at the state level.
 
P.S. Just Because I consider myself Libertarian Doesnt Mean I support RonPaul
TeddyMalone (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 2:34PM EST (link)
At first I admit I kinda liked Ron Paul, but after a few months I realized he was a fraud and a wacko.
 
On social issues, you are a federalist
redneck_hippie (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 2:39PM EST (link)
not necessarily the same thing as a social liberal.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Activists Taking Action: Unified Patriots
 
I don't consider myself liberal in any way
TeddyMalone (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 2:46PM EST (link)
Maybe it is a matter of a bad choice of language though.

I thought social libertarian fit because I define libertarian as implying limited involvement by the federal government.

Maybe it would be clearer to argue I was a federalist.

In a way, maybe instead of fiscal conservative/social libertarian, just stating I am a fiscally conservative federalist may be more accurate.

Thanks for the comment and the idea.
 
You're welcome. As you learn more
redneck_hippie (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:05PM EST (link)
about conservatism, and what it means to be a conservative, things will clear up as far as naming your principles. The problem for a lot of people is that they know only what media and politicians and pundits say about conservatism. Don’t fall into the trap of believing those who claim they are the only True Conservatives, and who want the federal government to decide on social issues. Not true, and not even close to true. True Conservative is a label that followers of people like Mike Huckabee choose for themsevles, their most distinguishing characteristic being they demand constitutional amendments to outlaw social practices with which they disagree.

Many of our members here started out as democrats and even liberal democrats. I myself voted for Dukakis and Carter. Now I am a traditionalist conservative.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Activists Taking Action: Unified Patriots
 
Dude, I voted for
mbecker908 (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:14PM EST (link)
George McGovern.


 
LOL. McGovern was who I was
redneck_hippie (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:22PM EST (link)
trying to remember his name. I was only about 21 years old and that was a looooooooong time ago.

Now my idea of a flaming liberal is Huckabee. How life experience changes one’s outlook.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Activists Taking Action: Unified Patriots
 
 LOL becker, did you have to chisel the "X" onto the ballot?
nessa (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:36PM EST (link)
I tried to resist but it was hopeless.

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
 
 Yes but then you saw the light....
SteveLA (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:39PM EST (link)
mbecker

Or was it one of those deals where you went into a voting booth and the ballot went “Out Demon…out”….  and you started voting on the right side? LOL

______________________________________

Competency over ideological purity and litmus tests
 
Yep, it was pretty terrible
aesthete (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:45PM EST (link)
but ultimately, the power of Reagan compelled him 

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
 
My first Presidential vote was for Ford
SteveLA (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 4:00PM EST (link)
Of course I grew up in the Dixecrat South and was just about disowned for voting for a ***gasp*** Republican. By ’76 the Democrats had just about imploded after the turn way Left after Chicago ’68 and McGovern ’72.

The Republican party was way different in ’76 than today, with the effects of Lee Atwater’s Southern Strategy having not been felt.

______________________________________

Competency over ideological purity and litmus tests
 
   So, you're the one...
rbdwiggins (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:50PM EST (link)
that canceled-out my vote for Nixon…

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.” – Ronald Reagan
 
 Sheepishly he admits ... me too. nt
Achance (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:58PM EST (link)
In Vino Veritas
 
Well, in my case, I voted for McGovern
redneck_hippie (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 4:12PM EST (link)
when I was carrying my first child (I was 23, not 21 as I said before). The day she was born, I woke up with labor pains, and the radio was playing, “The Day The Music Died.”

But it didn’t.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Activists Taking Action: Unified Patriots
 
    call yourself what you want Teddy, heck maybe
Doc Holliday (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 5:28AM EST (link)
you will coin a new term! I have found that “libertarian-conservative” seems to go over well. Many called Milton Friedman a part of the “libertarian-right”. Uncle Milt is one of my ideological kinsmen. His views were very close to mine. Of course Reagan was a real hero and Goldwater was Mr. Conservative (libertarian).

For me it is simple. If you read the Constitution and you believe in it and the Founders, you will end up a conservative. If you then listen to the pulpit, or are affected by your local culture, you might alter your stance on government or societal intervention.

I think all conservatives of all stripes should be welcome, we simply don’t want or need those that pretend to be conservative but are really statists. I think that group is on the wane, maybe they have finally seen what to much power in one place can do.

In our nation it is the people that were given the power. Ever since they have been giving it back.

Molon Labe!
 
    One problem
Menlo (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:08PM EST (link)
Your point makes sense regarding government spending on entitlement programs.

But what exactly do you do under a Constitution that empowers the federal government to ensure states offer equal protection?

Few people today would want to entirely follow the intent of the founders, largely because of their defense of practices that people today consider wrong.

I’d guess close to 80 or 90 percent of the population sees all levels of government the same in most cases. They don’t care which it is; they just want it to “do more” or “do less” at any and every level.

“The ultimate touchstone of constitutionality is the Constitution itself and not what we have said about it.” -Felix Frankfurter
 
  Very good post
constitutionalconservative (Diary) Tuesday, March 2nd at 12:36AM EST (link)
Don’t agree entirely with everything here, but you are right on target in saying that fiscal conservatism implies certain choices which effectively preclude social liberalism
 
 Simple test: homocons
TheSophist (Diary) Tuesday, March 2nd at 1:30AM EST (link)
What a great essay in many ways. Well written, researched, and great points.

However, I rather think that the straw man you knocked down with such elegance is not the real representative of the “fiscal conservative, social liberal” mindset.

The simple test, to me, is what happened at CPAC this year. Those who shouted down Ryan Sorba are more properly folks I think have the mindset of “fiscally conservative, socially liberal”. (http://www.opposingviews.com/i/ryan-sorba-booed-for-condemning-cpac-s-gay-group-invite)

One could, I suppose, make the argument that fiscal conservatism requires that we oppose gay marriage: such unions do not result in children, and therefore, the economic health of the nation is threatened by the lack of future workforce.

Whether that argument is or is not compelling to you, I think, determines whether you are “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” or not in the _usual_ sense of the term in modern politics.

-TS

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – Ronald Reagan
 
But one could also argue
aesthete (Diary) Tuesday, March 2nd at 2:14AM EST (link)
That, because of the proclivity for homosexuals to have higher incomes, and because of the net deficit of couples who want to adopt to children in need of adoptions, gay marriage plus adoptive rights would, on the whole, increase the economic health of the nation by allowing for wealth to not disappear/go to the government upon death (in addition to the human capital imparted by these couples to their artificial progenitors). I suppose one would have to say, in order for your argument to hold, that the capital formed by additional gay unions < income lost because of less marriages. Since I don’t believe that marriage rates would be affected by a potential extension of government marriage to homosexual couples, I see that scenario as somewhat unlikely. (And, if we are only looking at the economics of the situation, I imagine that an analysis of different social arrangements, such as polygamy, would have to be looked at, to ensure that the maximally efficient solution would be chosen.) I, personally, prefer the creation of civil unions for all couples without regard as to their sexual identity or lack thereof, and the returning of marriage to social institutions (churches, synagogues, and the like) which would be better guardians of such a sacred contract.

Different viewpoints, different arguments, but whatever the case, it once again shows the error in making long-term economic projections based on social programs, and lays bare the intellectual folly of programs justified solely because of their social engineering value. The moral argument is often the best one, and although “Because God says so” might not be a particularly compelling argument for the intellectual or the debonair socialite, I have found that it is often a better reason for support of a given action or philosophy than convoluted arguments about utility, economic efficiency, and other secular concerns. Good night, brother!

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
 
  Staistical Correlations on "Socially Liberal - Fiscally Conservative" Politicians
Ausonius (Diary) Tuesday, March 2nd at 8:18AM EST (link)
Many thanks for all the comments above!

Thinking that a “pro-life Dem” might show some fiscal conservatism,
I went to the politicians’ ratings of the National Taxpayers Union and compared them to ratings from the National Right-To-Life Foundation.

One might assume that a “pro-life Dem,” e,g, Bart Stupak of Michigan, might be rated decently by the NTU.

But no, he earns a very low “F” from them.

See:
http://www.ntu.org/on-capitol-hill/ntu-rates-congress/

Stupak is only a 50% pro-lifer, by the way. Another 50% pro-life Michigander, Dale Kildee, gets an incredibly low “F” of 3% for fiscal conservatism.

Ike Skelton of Missouri, a 75% pro-life Dem from Missouri, has an “F” of 12%from the NTU.

See:

http://capwiz.com/nrlc/scorecard.xc?chamber=H&state=US&session=111&x=12&y=8

I have not had time to correlate every member of Congress: but you can check yours through the above websites.

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.

Cato@rock.com
 
 And For The Senate...?
Ausonius (Diary) Tuesday, March 2nd at 9:49AM EST (link)
Here is the website from the National Right-To-Life statistics for the Senate:

http://capwiz.com/nrlc/scorecard.xc?chamber=S&state=US&session=111&x=13&y=12

Skimming through quickly, between these scores and those of the National Taxpayers Union you see libberal are liberals.

Lieberman, for example, has miserable single digit ratings from both.

The Mainiac Sisters are at 50% for pro-life, and 33% for fiscal conservatism.

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.

Cato@rock.com
 
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COMMENTS Nice try, but not accurate by justvisiting
Yeah...here's the thing, hero... by APA Guy (Diary)
Duplicate post? by RDCook (Diary)
Controlling the message by RDCook (Diary)
Boy, do I need to watchc my punctuation. (^:^) nt by Flagstaff (Diary)
You know? by aesthete (Diary)
correction by Scope (Diary)
Newt Gingrich told Cavuto today that he is against ending tax credit/subsidies energy by Scope (Diary)
Coulter's positions have entirely unravelled in her attempts to support Romney by JSobieski (Diary)
exactly right. Although some social conservatives took issue with some of his statements by JSobieski (Diary)
Calling a man who leaves a young woman to drown by aesthete (Diary)
UUNNN-KAY, now I remember. by funwithknives
"Party Unity" led us to McCain and Romney in the first place by redcal
Patrish, you really don't want to go down this path by lineholder (Diary)
You need to do some research by irishgirl
He also expanded it by lapert
It's been said of the MSM by aesthete (Diary)
Tbone...ROFL! [nt] by lineholder (Diary)
excellent, toby by Jeff Emanuel (Diary)
Again T-bone by Patrish
Uh, if breathing wasn't controlled by the brain stem by Tbone (Diary)
Coulter's a jerk, not a lawyer. by Viet71 (Diary)
Compliment of Human Events by lineholder (Diary)
Who, Vladimir? He's a Red State regular. by acat (Diary)
Calling Steve Maley, aka Vladimir by lineholder (Diary)
So, Pat, have you ever heard of the "Electoral College? by Tbone (Diary)
thanks by independentconservative
HIPPA comes to mind, lapert. by acat (Diary)
OK, you got me stumped, by funwithknives
We have little other choice than to fight with what we have by lineholder (Diary)
The Supreme Court has more power than the president or congress. by Viet71 (Diary)
Logically Consistent In Fact...For a Leftist by Ausonius (Diary)
"Here's a good spot for ColdWarrior in 3...2...1... " by ColdWarrior (Diary)
We covered that by lapert
Heh. The one you should really be calling is Vladimir. by acat (Diary)
rsklaroff, I really do think if Jindal got in soon he could build it in time, and I think it would be a smart move on the part of the party to support him if he did by center77 (Diary)
Aw C'mon, 'cat by funwithknives
I don't think so by lapert
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Thank your favorite diety for Citizens United by Viet71 (Diary)
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 Moe Lane: MoeLane: #rsrh The major thing to take away from the Michigan result
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ccp
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« Reply #747 on: March 01, 2012, 05:45:42 PM »

Sorry for all the extra verbiage above.   I should have filtered the post.

I guess when I say "narcissist" I don't mean in  a derrogatory way.  What may be a better descript would be "idealistic" that is seen in youth.

There seems to me a bit of naivity to it but age hasn't given me much in the way of answers OTOH.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #748 on: March 01, 2012, 06:28:33 PM »

Please feel free to go back and edit it  smiley
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ccp
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« Reply #749 on: March 03, 2012, 09:09:36 AM »

The idea that a 30 yo woman is "testifying" before congress because she want her BCP paid for by her school helath insurance is astounding enough.   Then to have a sitting United States President call her up to defend her from some names is unbearable.   It is unbearable the left has sunk us this low that that is an "issue" that is shoved into the forefront with as always the complicit MSM.

If this is something that hurts Republicans than all I can say is this country is beyond help.

WE are dead broke, health costs by far are the biggest threat to our nation and we can't even agree on not paying for BCP?

As an aside I don't know why insurance plans are paying for viagra drugs either.  People can/should pay out of pocket. 
My health costs are enough.  I don't need to pay more for these either.

Remember when it was determined by one health group the mammograms between 40 and 50 do more harm than good.

Then we get barraged with woman's "rights" group, all leftist liberals  (almost all Deomcrat party types).

I didn't see the same outrage when med orgs are saying we should stop doing routine PSA tests.
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