Rand Paul. RJ Harris. Adam Kokesh. Peter Schiff. Debra Medina. The list of liberty candidates running for political office is seemingly endless.
Just yesterday B.J. Lawson joined the ranks. He is running for North Carolina’s 4th district U.S. House of Representatives seat. Two years ago he was one of only a handful of liberty candidates running. Though he was defeated, this year a win is much more likely.
Two years ago having an (R) by your name was more of a liability than an asset. Bush was not popular and the Republican Party as a whole was not seen in a positive light. The public was ready for change, but recently have shown they were not looking for a change towards a hard-left agenda.
Liberty candidates are in practice more libertarian than the typical “Conservative” than the typical Republican. They are in effect in a very desirable position. Though the Republican Party is still not looked at favorably among the public, many will vote for Republicans as a vote against Democrats. On top of that liberty candidates have the added benefit of gaining many Independents and Democratic voters because of their libertarian-leaning stances that resonate with them.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama often said that no family earning less than $250k a year would see a tax increase. This is a statement he has made as president well. He has specifically targeted individuals making over that dollar threshold (which is a terrible idea), most recently in his State of the Union address.
Now President Obama says he is “agnostic” to the idea of increasing taxes on families making under $250k, proving once again that he is less interested in substantive spending cuts as a means to go tackle the deficit:
President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.
Obama, in a Feb. 9 Oval Office interview, said that a presidential commission on the budget needs to consider all options for reducing the deficit, including tax increases and cuts in spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
“The whole point of it is to make sure that all ideas are on the table,” the president said in the interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “So what I want to do is to be completely agnostic, in terms of solutions.”
ABC News reports that $2 billion in “stimulus” funds went to pay for windmills as part of “green” energy initiatives. The only problem is the funding, which was supposed to be for jobs in this country (wasn’t that the point of all that spending?), went overseas:
Despite all the talk of green jobs, the overwhelming majority of stimulus money spent on wind power has gone to foreign companies, according to a new report by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University’s School of Communication in Washington, D.C.
Nearly $2 billion in money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been spent on wind power, funding the creation of enough new wind farms to power 2.4 million homes over the past year. But the study found that nearly 80 percent of that money has gone to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines.
I’m a free-trader, so I’m not bothered by jobs going overseas because it generally means better jobs are being created in our country. I do disagree with the government investing in this type of venture, I just find it funny, but sad too, that the Obama Administration, for it’s populist pandering on trade and penalizing American companies sending jobs overseas, is doing the same thing.
According to a new Quinnipac Poll:
Homosexuals should be able to openly serve in the U.S. military, American voters say 57 – 36 percent. Voters also say 66 – 31 percent the current policy of not allowing openly gay men and women to serve is discrimination, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
On other related questions, American voters say:
* 82 – 10 percent that the military should stop pursuing disciplinary action against gays who are outed against their will;
* 65 – 30 percent, including 57 – 38 percent among voters in military families, that ending “don’t ask; don’t tell” will not be divisive or hurt the ability to fight effectively;
It’s not all entirely good news, though:
Should Congress repeal DADT as President Obama and military leaders have advocated, today’s poll suggests new controversies about gays in the military. A 54-38 majority said homosexual soldiers should face “restrictions on exhibiting their sexual orientation on the job.” A similar 50-43 majority said the government should not provide benefits to the partners of gay members of the military. Americans are split on whether gay and straight soldiers “should be required” to share quarters. Forty-six percent of respondents said that the military should not require combined quarters, while 45% said it should.
Nonetheless, the fact that a majority of Americans support allowing gays to serve openly, and that an even larger majority favors repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, is a good sign.
Hopefully Congress will catch up.
A couple of writers at the Daily Beast toss out the idea of Hillary Clinton getting a nod to the Supreme Court should a retirement come along during President Obama’s term:
Last week, ABC News reported: “Lawyers for President Obama have been working behind the scenes to prepare for the possibility of one, and maybe two Supreme Court vacancies this spring. Court watchers believe two of the more liberal members of the court, Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, could decide to step aside for reasons of age and health. That would give the president his second and third chance to shape his legacy on the Supreme Court.”
Given the political physics of the country these days, Hillary has probably concluded that things are unlikely to get much better for Democrats anytime soon. So Obama is either a one-term president, or limps through a second term only to see Republicans recapture the presidency in 2016. Either way, it doesn’t realistically look Clinton would have a shot until 2020 at the earliest.
So, we understand why Hillary might want the supreme gig. But, why would Obama consider her?
One possibility: legacy. As popular as Obama is, and as many votes as he received in 2008, he still stepped over Clinton to get to the throne. And a lot of woman haven’t forgotten or forgiven. In one stroke, he would eliminate any remaining bad feelings and would become a Hillaryland hero.
In this bizarre clip, MSNBC host Chris Matthews illustrates well how inefficient government is. In the capital of the most powerful country in the world, snow can’t be plowed and citizens (including myself) are finding themselves ripping through mounds of snow on their own to get where we need to be.
I can tell you from experience that Washington D.C. is a living testament to how inefficient government is. Do not let the glamorous photos of the president in front of the White House fool you - Washington is a depressing town, filled with depressingly unkept federal buildings that look like they haven’t been cleaned in decades and a bureaucracy that is comically inefficient. Getting books from the Library of Congress made dealing with public school administrators look like a trip to the grocery store.
Unfortunately, the logical conclusion doesn’t follow for Chris Matthews. He says instead that he “believes in government” and says the D.C. government should catch the sort of heat that Bush got for his timid response to Hurricane Katrina. Oh well.
With all the uproar from Democrats and liberals over the filibuster and claims that Republicans are somehow subverting the will of the majority, David Harsanyi explains why the Founding Fathers created a republic and avoided democracy:
“[D]emocracy” isn’t only messy, it’s also immoral and unworkable. The Founding Fathers saw that coming as well. So we don’t live under a system of simple majority rule for a reason, as most readers already know.
The minority political party, luckily, has the ability to obstruct, nag and filibuster the majority’s agenda. Otherwise, those in absolute power would run wild — or, in other words, you would all be living that Super Bowl Audi commercial by now.
And if democracy is the mob — the “worship of jackals by jackasses,” as H.L. Mencken once cantankerously put it — who comprises it in our scenario? Depends how you look at it, I suppose.
Turns out, if we believe polls, that Americans changed their minds quickly and in large numbers. And history shows us that generally, unhampered one-party rule doesn’t work out for anyone.
Then again, today’s argument that the ruling party doesn’t have enough power is a reflection of a near-spiritual belief in the wonders of government, not democracy.
Harsanyi could not be more dead on.
A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about the term “Tea Party” and how it was meaningless because it represented such a wide range of views. In my opinion the term had come to represent such a broad range of views that, in essence, it no longer represented anything.
I received quite a bit of negative feedback from that post. What some readers fail to realize is that there are members of the Tea Party who are neo-conservative, paleo-conservative, paleo-conservative, libertarian, and “independents.” Hardly is there a consensus of what policy is desirable!
A great example of the difference of opinion in the tea party is a simple example I ran across. If you took everyone in the “Tea Party” and showed them a billboard with George W. Bush on it and the words “miss me yet?” what kind of response would you expect?
I can guarantee you that there would be many who would think it is the greatest thing ever. On the other hand you would have others who would think, “wrong message, Bush was not conservative and we need to move away from Bush.” Finally you would have many who just shake their head.
One thing we must keep in mind is that in our winner-take-all system, the natural movement is towards a two party system. It is inevitable and hard (though certainly not impossible) to change this movement. When there is only two major political parties there will naturally be fighting within the party about what the party platform should be.
I think it is nearly impossible to deny that the Republican party has shifted (however slightly) away from the neo-con agenda and closer to the libertarian agenda. This is consistent with the winner-take-all model as the Republican Party must appeal to the growing small government/libertarian sect so that their party can win the majority.
You’ve probably heard about the “Miss Me Yet?” billboard in Minnesota, featuring a picture of George W. Bush. According to Fox News, a “group of small business owners and individuals,” obviously not fans of Barack Obama, paid for it.
That’s all well and good, and while I’m no fan of Barack Obama, I don’t long for the presidency of George W. Bush.
From a fiscal perspective, the Bush Administration was a disaster. Before you repeat the Dick Cheney talking point that most of the spending was for defense and two wars. Let me go ahead and tell you, that’s not true. Bush was the biggest spender since Lyndon B. Johnson, dramatically increasing non-defense discretionary spending. Remember, he is a “compassionate conservative,” which is apparently a nice term for “statist.”
Bush signed a new entitlement into law, his administration enacted the most regulations since Nixon (“we’re all Keynesians now”) and he backed the Wall Street bailout while telling us that he “abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.” This is only the tip of the iceberg on his fiscal policies.
CBS White House reporter Mark Knoller really hits the nail on the head in this evaluation of President Obama’s recent call for bipartisanship on health care reform:
Unannounced, President Obama took to the lectern in the White House briefing room today to give a personal readout of his meeting earlier with congressional leaders of both parties.
“Despite the political posturing that often paralyzes this town, there are many issues upon which we can and should agree, he said.
It was more a plaintive plea than a political observation. His top legislative priorities are going nowhere and he’s searching for a way to get them out of lockup.
In this 13th month of his presidency, he’s anxious to pass a jobs bill and be seen addressing an unemployment rate that only last week declined from double digits. And his efforts to enact bills on energy, financial regulatory reform and especially health care are stuck in Congress despite the solid majority his party holds in both chambers.
He’s appealing for a spirit of bipartisanship – urging Democrats and Republicans alike “to put aside matters of party for the good of the country.”
What these presidential appeals for bipartisanship always mean is: do it my way.
Mr. Obama said he “won’t hesitate to embrace a good idea from my friends in the minority party.” But he wants his way. He wants his energy policy enacted along with his jobs bill, his financial regulatory reform and his health care plan.
And if the opposition continues to block his objectives, he said he “won’t hesitate to condemn what I consider to be obstinacy that’s rooted not in substantive disagreement but in political expedience.”