Archives for December 2011
We’ve all heard Mitt Romney say time and time again, as a way to ease concerns from conservatives over his Massachusetts health care plan — the blueprint for ObamaCare, that he will work to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement.
But Romney still isn’t doing himself any favors after again defending his plan from criticism, claiming that the individual mandate is a “conservative principle,” during an appearance yesterday on Fox News:
Given that the individual mandate is the chief concern of conservatives, libertarians, and tea partyers alike, that statement is sure to cast even more doubt on Romney’s sincerity on this issue. It’s also likely to turn off voters in a general election that see this in one of Obama’s campaign ad, where he’ll no doubt be touting his plan as an idea hatched by a popular conservative think tank.
With less than a week to go before the Iowa caucus, the latest polls out of the Hawkeye State from CNN and Public Policy Polling show Ron Paul and Mitt Romney fighting for the top and Newt Gingrich falling.
The more shocking of the two polls is from CNN, who hasn’t conducted a survey in Iowa since earlier this month. As you can see below, both Paul and Romney have added modest support since the last poll (in parentesis to the side) while Gingrich has fallen substantially. But the wrinkle in that Santorum’s support has jumped by double-digits (remember what I wrote about him on Monday…don’t underestimate him).
- Mitt Romney: 25% (+5)
- Ron Paul: 22% (+5)
- Rick Santorum: 16% (+11)
- Newt Gingrich: 14% (-19)
- Rick Perry: 11% (+2)
- Michele Bachmann: 9% (+2)
- Jon Huntsman: 1% (—)
- None/No opinion: 2%
Public Policy Polling (PPP) also released polling on Tuesday, which I somehow overlooked, showing Paul still on top with Romney trailing him. PPP’s last poll from Iowa came out just before Christmas. You can also see that the uptick in Santorum’s support isn’t present as it is in the CNN poll.
Reuters reported yesterday that President Barack Obama will ask Congress for yet another increase in the nation’s borrowing limit — this time a crisp $1.2 trillion, which raise the debt ceiling to $16.394 trillion:
The White House plans to ask Congress by the end of the week for an increase in the government’s debt ceiling to allow the United States to pay its bills on time, according to a senior Treasury Department official on Tuesday.
The approval is expected to go through without a challenge, given that Congress is in recess until later in January and the request is in line with an agreement to keep the U.S. government funded into 2013.
The debt is projected to fall within $100 billion of the current cap by December 30, when the United States has $82 billion in interest on its debt and payments such as Social Security coming due. President Barack Obama is expected to ask for authority to increase the borrowing limit by $1.2 trillion, part of the spending authority that was negotiated between Congress and the White House this summer.
Under the agreement struck in August during the showdown over the government’s debt limit, the cap is automatically raised unless Congress votes to block the debt-ceiling extension. Lawmakers have 15 days within receiving the request to vote, which is largely symbolic because the president can veto it and Congress would be unlikely to muster the two-thirds majority to override it. Moreover, the U.S. House of Representatives also is in recess until January 17.
Looks like the early reports on Ron Paul’s appearence last week on CNN were false. Paul supposedly stormed out of an interview after taking a question on the newsletters controversy. It turns out that what CNN aired was the end of an interview, but not the first several minutes leading up to the question from Gloria Borger about the newsletters:
Paul still could have answered the questions better, but this certainly puts everything into context. Unfortunately, that won’t change the headlines that came after the interview was aired when reporters and bloggers wrote their stories on the interview.
No state is perfect, but Montana seems intent on trying anyways. Their most recent attempt is a move to recall Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester for their support of the tyrannical National Defense Authorization Act which, for those who’ve been living under a rock, essentially turns the entire United States into a war zone for the purposes of pursuing “terrorists” and permits the indefinite detention of American citizens on U.S. soil.
(HELENA) - Moving quickly on Christmas Day after the US Senate voted 86 - 14 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA) which allows for the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial, Montanans have announced the launch of recall campaigns against Senators Max Baucus and Jonathan Tester, who voted for the bill.
Montana is one of nine states with provisions that say that the right of recall extends to recalling members of its federal congressional delegation, pursuant to Montana Code 2-16-603, on the grounds of physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of certain felony offenses.
The Salem News goes on to state that the issue of a state’s ability to recall federal officials has never reached the federal courts. In reality, I suspect that the federal courts would strike down such a law as unconstitutional primarily because it would actually give states the ability to actually do something when the federal government oversteps its power, somthing that the courts seem intent on keeping as the status quo.
Gary Johnson, a former two-term Governor of New Mexico, announced this morning that he is leaving the field for the Republican nomination and switching parties to seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination next May in Las Vegas.
Despite his stellar fiscal record and support for limited government, Johnson struggled to be included in the Republican debates; only appear in two out of nearly two dozen. Many debates set criteria for inclusion based on polling, which was unfortunate for Johnson since he was often not included in many of these surveys. Johnson had been flirting with this idea for some time, making it a horribly kept secret.
Johnson winning the Libertarian Party’s nomination isn’t a sure thing. He’ll have to go through the process like the rest of the candidates. He’ll also face scrutiny because he was Republican.
In case you haven’t seen the statement from the campaign, here is what was e-mailed out to supporters less than an hour ago.
By now, you have probably heard the news.
This morning, I stepped before the microphones at a news conference in the New Mexico capitol and announced that I am seeking the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States. The Libertarian Party nominee will be on the ballot in all 50 states – as was the case in 2008.
It was both a difficult decision – and an easy one. It was difficult because I have a lot of Republican history, and a lot of Republican supporters. But in the final analysis, as many, many commentators have said since watching how I governed in New Mexico, I am a Libertarian - that is, someone who is fiscally very conservative but holds freedom-based positions on many social issues.
Opposition to ObamaCare has been among the themes in the race for the Republican nomination. The conservative and Tea Party base of the GOP electorate is firmly against the individual mandate and other aspects of the law. And, unsurprisingly, every candidate is pledging to repeal it.
Mitt Romney has received some criticism, however, since his Massachusetts plan served as the blueprint for ObamaCare. Conservative voters have been weary of his candidacy because of this, and justifably so.
But Romney can no longer claim a monopoly on this as comments by Newt Gingrich made back in 2006 showing that he was fond on RomneyCare have recently been brought to light:
Newt Gingrich voiced enthusiasm for Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care law when it was passed five years ago, the same plan he has been denouncing over the past few months as he campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination.
“The health bill that Governor Romney signed into law this month has tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system,” said an April 2006 newsletter published by Gingrich’s former consulting company, the Center for Health Transformation.
The two-page “Newt Notes” analysis, found online by The Wall Street Journal even though it no longer appears on the center’s website, continued, “We agree entirely with Governor Romney and Massachusetts legislators that our goal should be 100 percent insurance coverage for all Americans.”
The earlier bullish comments about the Romney health care plan are another potential embarrassment for Gingrich, who is leading Romney in most national polls for the GOP nomination.
Much has been made in recent days about the newsletters that were written in Ron Paul’s name some 20 years ago. A few of us here have weighed in on the controversy, and you’ve no doubt seen it on other blogs; some believing Paul’s explantion of the events, others using it as yet another opportunity to criticize him.
As I recently noted, I plan on voting for Ron Paul in the March 6th primary in my home state of Georgia. However, I also made mention of some issues I have with him, though I only mentioned his love of earmarks. Another point that was in the back of my mind when I wrote that post was the newsletters.
Personally, I don’t believe Paul wrote the newsletters. Did he know about their content? I think that is debatable. Do I believe that Paul is a racist or anti-gay? Absolutely not. As he has so frequently said, though he is borrowing from Ayn Rand, to be a racist is to view people as groups, not individuals; and that is anathema to the libertarian viewpoint. Paul also voted to get rid of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prevented gays from serving openly in the military.
Nevertheless, this controversy has again caused somewhat of a headache for libertarians since the man who is largely carrying our mantle is being cast as a racist — or, at the very least, someone who associates with them. Steve Horwitz explains the dilemma:
Admittedly, I’ve never been a big fan of World Net Daily (WND), an ultra-conservative website run by Joseph Farah. The site has become one of the main hubs for Birthers, the conspiracy theorists that believe President Barack Obama isn’t a natural born citizen — either because they doubt the legitimacy of his birth certificate or because his father was not a U.S. Citizen. But recently, Loren Collins unearthed pretty solid proof that Jerome Corsi has been plagiarizing various sources in content he has posted at WND:
Several months back I illustrated how Brad O’Leary, in his WND-published book The Audacity of Deceit, heavily copied an article by another WorldNetDaily writer. Another blog noted last month where a column by WND head Joseph Farah bore a suspicious resemblance to a Wikipedia article.
But neither of those hold a candle to a December 19 WND article by Jerome Corsi, author of The Obama Nation and Where’s the Birth Certificate? The article is “Obama’s legacy of broken promises – in Kenya”. Not only is roughly half of Corsi’s article lifted from a 2008 British news story, but Corsi goes further, and repeatedly claims that the copied information and quotations were instead obtained by unnamed “WND researchers” in Kenya.
Revolution PAC, a pro-Ron Paul super political action committee, launched a new web ad last week that notes the military support Paul had received and points out that the values that our soldiers take an oath to uphold are the same that Paul has taken as stand for in Washington:
Many conservative pundits have knocked Ron Paul for his non-interventionist foreign policy views, to the point of questioning his and his supporters patriotism. Unfortunately, they never point out that of the remaining candidates, Ron Paul is the only one that served in the military. Moreover, these same pundits fail to realize (or perhaps don’t want to admit) that the nation cannot continue this doctrine of perpetual war that was set in place by George W. Bush and continued by Barack Obama. We simply cannot afford it, both in terms of dollars and lives lost.