Archives for November 2011
The United States Senate voted yesterday to keep language in a defense authorization bill that would allow the federal government to indefinately detain American citizens without formal charges based on merely on the suspicion that they may be terrorists. Apparently, the writ of Habeau Corpus doesn’t mean what it used to:
The Senate soundly defeated a move to strip out controversial language requiring mandatory detention of some terror suspects, voting it down 61 to 37 and escalating a fight with the Obama administration over the future course of the war on terror.
The proposed amendment to the massive National Defense Authorization Act would require the FBI and other civilian law enforcement agencies to transfer al-Qaida suspects arrested overseas on charges of planning or carrying out a terror attack into military custody. It wouldn’t apply to American citizens, but the change has drawn strong opposition from civil rights groups and the White House, which has promised to veto the defense bill if that language was included.
The provision has also split the Democratic Party, triggering an unusual fight between the White House and Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, who co-wrote the measure and took to the floor earlier on Tuesday to defend the amendment. Levin has also found himself in the cross hairs of powerful Democrats like Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein of California. Both lawmakers urged their colleagues to strip the detainee language out of the bill and accused Levin of overstepping his jurisdiction.
But Levin’s biggest Democratic opponent was Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who sponsored an amendment designed to remove the detainee language.
Admittedly, I don’t listen to much talk radio anymore. Even the talk show hosts that I generally agree with drive me up a wall. But I happened to catch part of Neal Boortz’s interview with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who has seen his support rise in his second bid as a Republican, during my lunch hour yesterday. This is significant because Boortz, a self-proclaimed libertarian who supports a very hawkish foreign policy, has been critical of Paul whenever possible.
Maybe I’ve been too hard on Boortz because, to my surprise, he hosted a very well-rounded, fair interview with Paul, discussing everything from foreign policy to the Fed to the media and Barack Obama to the European financial crisis. Perhaps even one of the best that I’ve heard with any candidate. Check it out below:
With the prospect of Herman Cain exiting the race for the Republican Party’s nomination for president, many analysts and pundits are weighing where his support would go. You’d have to assume that Mitt Romney probably wants Cain to say in due to the dynamics of the race. At least one poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, indicates that Newt Gingrich would be the beneficiary of Cain’s exit:
Gingrich has a much better favorability rating with Cain supporters than does Mitt Romney. Seventy-three percent of Cain supporters view Gingrich favorably, while only 33 percent have a favorable view of Romney.
Gingrich is also the consensus second choice among Cain voters, with 37 percent saying Gingrich would be their back-up to Cain, compared to 14 percent for Michele Bachmann, 13 percent for Romney, and 12 percent for Rick Perry.
While it may be counterintuitive on the surface, Grace Wyler believes both Romney and Gingrich need Cain to stay in the race:
Without question, the Occupiers in Colorado are just nuts, and humorously at that. So when they showed up at an event where Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) was speaking, they thought that they would be able to dominate the discussion. That is until their own tactics were used against them.
Yep, this is what democracy looks like, as Jonah Goldberg says:
Given the recent news about Herman Cain, Ladd Ehlinger, the conservative video guru responsible for some of the best ads in the last cycle (and also a couple of controversial ones), took the opportunity to vent about his campaign:
I was pro-Cain at the beginning, when Stacy McCain brought him to my attention and two good friends of mine started working for him. Dale Peterson endorsed him, and everyone I knew jumped on the “Cain Train.”
In fact I wanted to be on that train. Loved his speeches, thought he was witty, enjoyed meeting him at CPAC. I had all sorts of viral video ideas for him, back when he was a tabula rasa and no one knew who he was.
Then I tried to correspond with his team. One of them led me on for roughly five months. Eventually I discovered that someone else already had an exclusive contract to do all of his videos. I had been flat-out-lied to. Probably in order to keep me from working with any other candidate. When I called out this “Cain team member” about it, she was highly annoyed that I had the temerity to point out that she was lying to me.
But then Ehlinger notes that Cain may have given a hint of his personal carelessness during after parties at CPAC back in mid-February (emphasis mine):
Mr. Cain: you do NOT run for President in these times unless you are serious about it. It’s flat-out apparent now that you aren’t, weren’t, and never will be. A serious candidate would have released all the dirt on himself before any of it dripped-dripped-dripped out.
Via Michael Brendan Dougherty comes this video put together by a Ron Paul supporter in vain of the recent DNC ad knocking Mitt Romney for his frequent position changes. Obviously, Romney is a target, but Newt Gingrich, who as I noted yesterday has many of the same consistency issues as his rival, is also raked over the coals.
Paul’s campaign and his supporters ought to put this everywhere they can:
Due to a new claim of a 13-year affair, Herman Cain told several dozen staff members and advisors that he was “reassessing” whether he wanted to continue his quest for the Republican nomination:
In a morning conference call with his advisers, Mr. Cain said that he would make a decision in the coming days about whether to stay in the race after his campaign was rocked by another round of allegations about his sexual conduct.
The call, which was first reported by National Review, came as Mr. Cain was heading to Michigan for a campaign stop on Tuesday evening. He said that he was discussing the future of his campaign with his family and was considering his options.
“This is cause for reassessment,” Mr. Cain said, according to one participant on the call who spoke on condition of anonymity. “During the summer we had to make some reassessments based on our financial situation. We were able to hang in there.”
Mr. Cain denied the accusations from the Atlanta woman, Ginger White. But he acknowledged that the latest report of sexual misconduct might be more difficult to overcome, considering that the first voting is set to take place in five weeks at the Iowa caucuses. He said that he had not lost his enthusiasm to run, but suggested it was a distraction that could be difficult to recover from.
“With this latest one, we have to do an assessment as to whether or not this is going to create too much of a cloud in some peoples’ minds as to whether or not they should support us going forward,” Mr. Cain said, according to the participant on the call.
In what could have been an ad from one of the rival campaigns for the GOP nomination, the Democratic National Committee unloaded on Mitt Romney for two specific position changes; abortion and taking his bad health insurance reform idea national, which was done via ObamaCare:
Here is the longer version of the ad, which offers more insight into why Romney is viewed as a candidate without any core beliefs:
It might be too good to be true. From the Daily Caller:
Long excluded from the Republican presidential debates, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is now seriously considering a third party run for president in 2012.
Johnson, should he decide to run as third party candidate, could act as a spoiler by siphoning away much-needed votes from the GOP nominee. Veteran Republican strategist Roger Stone, a Johnson supporter, told The Daily Caller earlier this month that such an effort would “pose a great danger for the Republicans” if they nominate a candidate like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
This is one of the reasons why I think we desperately need to switch to approval voting. Anytime anyone thinks of making an independent or third party run in order to get around the deliberately unfair system, others chime in “But ooooohhhh noooo! That’ll be a spoiler! The other guy who we really don’t want to win will win! You can’t do that! Besides, you’d just waste your vote!”
Baloney. Voting is about choosing the person who best fits your views. There is no such thing as a “wasted vote,” unless you vote for someone who you really don’t agree with. If I voted for, say, Newt Gingrich (which I won’t), I would wasting my vote. This is the fundamental axiom of democracy. It fails when we all engage in tactical voting.
Then, of coures, there’s the GOP’s utter stupidity:
Desparate to get his campaign back on track — especially in the face of an alleged affair, Herman Cain unveiled a new video, dubbed 9-9-9: The Movie, that criticizes the current federal tax code and stresses the need for simplification:
The video notes that it would do away with the 35% income tax while also pointing out that the 9-9-9 plan eliminates a host of other taxes, including the payroll tax. Yes, it lowers the rate, but it doesn’t get rid of the tax itself. They don’t outright say it, but that the way that is presented could lead the average voters to believe his plan does something it simply doesn’t do.
They also note the hidden taxes that are embedded into the cost of goods and services, but Cain’s campaign fails to explain how the 9% sales tax isn’t a value added tax (VAT), which has been a frequent criticism of the plan.