In a special podcast, Jason and Brett interview Rob McNealy, discussing his campaign, positions on issues, and his candidacy. McNealy is currently a Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Congress in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District.
This special edition podcast is the third in a series devoted to showcasing liberty candidates nationwide. McNealy talks about his liberty-focused campaign against an incumbent Republican in Colorado (Tom Tancredo’s former seat) and a pro-war Democrat.
Democrats may have come to an agreement on an excise tax for high-end insurance plans to help fund ObamaCare:
The White House reached a tentative agreement with union leaders early Thursday to tax high-cost insurance plans, officials said, removing one of the major stumbling blocks in the way of a final compromise on comprehensive health care legislation sought by President Barack Obama.
Complete details of the tentative deal were not immediately available, although the White House was expected to present it to senior lawmakers later in the day. Union leaders also were returning to the White House.
In a win specifically for union members, negotiators were working out a plan to delay the tax from being imposed on collectively bargained health plans for several years.
So, to make sure you understand this…a tax high-end insurance plans, aimed at the evil “rich” (even though this tax will hit the middle class), will apply to private health insurance plans, that is unless they are part of a labor deal (collective bargaining agreement).
Our president just got a sweetheart deal for his number one political constituency, exempting them from major tax hike. Once again, President Obama bows to labor interests.
Democratic desperation and other compelling evidence strongly suggest that Democrats may well lose the late Senator Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat in Tuesday’s special election. Because of this, we are moving our rating of the race from Narrow Advantage for the Incumbent Party to Toss-Up.
Whatever the shortcomings of the Coakley campaign (and they certainly exist), this race has become about change, President Obama and Democratic control of all of the levers of power in Washington, D.C. Brown has “won” the “free media” over the past few days, and if he continues to do so, he will win the election.
Late Democratic efforts to demonize Republican Scott Brown, to make the race into a partisan battle and to use the Kennedy name to drive Democratic voters to the polls could still work. But the advertising clutter in the race works against them, and voters often tune out late messages, which can seem desperate.
With the election just a few days away, Scott Brown seems poised to make an impact, and just as Rick Klein of ABC News noted a few days ago, regardless of whether he wins or not the Republican Party has set the tone going into the mid-terms in November by putting Democrats on the defensive in the blueist of blue states.
When your campaign is faltering the last thing you need is someone associated with you that is caught on tape trying to rough up people trying to ask you a question.
On Tuesday evening while trying to have some questions answered by Martha Coakley, Democratic nominee for United States Senate in Massachusetts, John McCormack of the Weekly Standard was shoved to the ground by Michael Meehan, a Democratic campaign consultant, with Coakley watching.
It may not be that Meehan actually pushed him to the ground, but he definitely tries to physically prevent him from walking down the street. Perception is reality.
Activists in the state of Washington filed a ballot initiative to legalize all adult marijuana possession, manufacturing and sales under Washington state law. ABC News reports:
Its sponsors include two Seattle lawyers and the director of Seattle’s annual Hempfest. They call themselves Sensible Washington, and say that in a time of dire budget woes, the state’s government should stop spending money on police, court and jail costs for people who use or produce marijuana.
Hempfest is one of the largest gathering of marijuana activists in the United States. In 2008 the gathering eclipsed 310,000 attendees, a new record for the event.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Nevada finds Reid earning just 36% of the vote against his two top Republican challengers. That’s a seven-point drop from 43% a month ago.
Reid, who is seeking a fifth term, received 61% of the final vote in 2004.
But the poll shows that neither of the Republicans - Sue Lowden, ex-chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, and businessman Danny Tarkanian – gained any ground in the new survey, highlighting the fact that the race continues to be a referendum on Reid rather than an outpouring of support for either of the top GOP hopefuls.
In a match-up with Reid, the GOP’s Lowden now earns 48% of the vote while Tarkanian picks up 50% of the Nevada vote against Reid. . In December, both had 49% support.
In both races, the number of those who prefer some other candidate and are undecided remain in single digits.
In September, Lowden led Reid by 10 percentage points, 50% to 40%, while Tarkanian bested him 50% to 43%.
Members of Congress, candidates, and citizens have the opportunity to sign the pledge supporting repeal of ObamaCare. The reason for doing this before passage is an effort to define the movement. Even if Democrats buy enough votes to pass this (see Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson and a host of others), it’s not over.
Switzerland apparently now fines drivers based on their wealth in addition to their offense. A Swiss man was was fined $290,000 for a speeding ticket. Because of his wealth, the basic fine was multiplied by 130 to arrive at the higher figure.
Under Swiss law he was fined for the offence, then had the sum multiplied by 130 to account for his fortune.
The penalty is the highest speeding fine handed out in Switzerland. He was ordered to pay half of it in cash immediately with two years for the rest.
Is a crime committed by a rich man more serious than one committed by someone of more modest means? Should the penalty reflect the relative severity on the individual or should the fine for the same act be the same for all people?
As an analogy, a young man should get a longer prison term than an older man since the sentence would be such a larger percentage of the older man’s life expectancy. The slippery slope of such a principle could one day lead to differential pricing at supermarkets and other entities that perform a service labeled a “right” or “need” by a government. When the prices are all different, dependent on your wealth, what is the point of wealth?
Yesterday I finished the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? by Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert. There have been a variety of books written about marijuana prohibition, but this book is particularly timely and has an interesting twist on the issue. They address the past arguments against marijuana prohibition, such as the fact that it prevents law enforcement from responding to more serious crimes, prohibition has made it easier for children to obtain marijuana, regulating the drug would make it safer, etc. Their main point is that, while these arguments should be enough, they have not struck a chord in the American public.
The book offers a new approach: compare marijuana with alcohol
This is a potentially ground-breaking approach to the fight for marijuana legalization. Fox, Armentano, and Tvert are not new to the public policy scene; Fox works for the Marijuana Policy Project, Armentano NORML, and Tvert SAFER, all organizations working towards reforming our current marijuana laws. They have been engaged in countless debates about marijuana and the pros and cons of legalization. What they have seen in the past few years is that pitting marijuana and alcohol against one another is an extremely effective way of getting their point across.
Yesterday, I noted that Rothenberg Political Report had moved Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s seat to a likely GOP takeover. In the same post from Rothenberg, though not mentioned by me, was a note about the Senate race in Massachusetts:
In Massachusetts, it appears that Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) holds a statistically significant lead over state Sen. Scott Brown (R) with just days to go before the January 19 election. The one poll showing Brown up by one point appears to be an outlier. We’re moving the race from Safe to Clear Advantage for the Incumbent Party because of the small chance that Brown could pull up a huge upset in a low turnout election. But we continue to believe that Coakley will win, though her margin could be so narrow as to cause more jitters on the Democratic side.
Shortly after the Rasmussen poll from Massachusetts yesterday, Rothenberg slightly changed their tune, knocking the seat from “Clear Advantage for the Incumbent Party” to “Narrow Advantage for Incumbent Party”:
The Senate race in Massachusetts is ending in a flurry of money and activity. With just days before the Tuesday election, public and private polls show Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) with anywhere from a solid lead to a statistically insignificant one over state Sen. Scott Brown (R). Brown’s movement in the race as stirred the Democratic nest and now Coakley, the state Democratic Party, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are leveling attack ads against Brown.