Archives for February 2012

Mitt Romney may not have won Maine after all

A few days ago, I nearly wrote a post, based on what I was reading from some elections observers, encouraging Ron Paul supporters to calm down over the results in Maine. Paul supporters were arguing that the election had been stolen due to uncounted ballots. Josh Putnam, who blogs at Frontloading HQ and offers insight I generally respect, discounted the “conspiracy” being floated.

But over at the American Spectator, Jim Antle notes that the Maine Republican Party is under scrutiny due to the number of uncounted ballots, which may or may not be enough to question whether Mitt Romney won the caucus:

The Bangor Daily News is reporting that the Maine Republican Party is facing increasing pressure to reconsider its claim that Mitt Romney won the state’s caucuses until all the votes are counted. (Hat tip: Taegan Goddard.) Some caucuses were postponed due to snow and told that they won’t count in the final tally; towns that had their caucuses before February 11 were also inexplicably not counted.

Mike Lee on Obama’s abuse of executive power

In a new video from the Heritage Foundation, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) explains why President Barack Obama’s recent recess appointments of Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three new members to the National Labor Relations Board are both unconstitutional and an abuse of Executive Power*:

*Many of us here at United Liberty are wondering where the Heritage Foundation was when George W. Bush was abusing Executive Power, but we digress.

Is the Navy being politicized?

The United States Armed Forces are somewhat used to politics.  Funding comes from some members of Congress who are eager to look strong on national defense, while it’s blocked by others who want to look like they care more about other matters.  Honestly, supporting funding can come from a variety of interests, as can blocking it.  The military knows this and has come to accept this as just the nature of the beast.

However, the United States Navy is now ignoring years of tradition on naming ships and now are just naming them after folks Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus thinks are swell, but have otherwise done nothing typically deserving of the honor.  Two examples are the new LCS, the USS Gabrielle Giffords and naming a ship last year after labor leader Cesar Chavez.

I use that term “honor” for a very good reason.  It’s been said that the highest honor the U.S. Navy can bestow on someone is to name a ship after them.  This was told to me when, at the ripe old age of 18, I was at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes in North Chicago, Illinois  Naming a ship after someone was a way to recognize their efforts for the Navy and this nation.

Now, Giffords is apparently not a bad person in any way.  What happened to her is tragic, to say the least.  Her recovery is inspiring to a great many people.  But to name a ship after her?

I’m not the only veteran who has an issue with this either.  The Daily Caller ran a piece yesterday with plenty of others expressing their displeasure at the move.

There are generally two kinds of people who get ships named after them: Medal of Honor recipients and presidents.  There are exceptions, to be sure, but they’re all either combat heroes or people who have done a lot for the United State Navy.  Giffords isn’t either, and neither is Chavez.

Why conservatives don’t trust Mitt Romney

You know from looking at the polls in the Republican primary that conservatives seem to be backing anyone but Mitt Romney, despite the fact that he was the “conservative alternative” to John McCain just four years ago. Some of the reasons for the animosity towards Romney are hypocritical, but others are reasonable.

Among the reasons we often hear from Romney’s critics is that he’s fake; someone that will say anything to get elected. A textbook example of that comes in comments Romney recently made about President Barack Obama’s budget proposal. Here’s what Romney said via Marginal Revolution:

“This week, President Obama will release a budget that won’t take any meaningful steps toward solving our entitlement crisis,” Romney said in a statement e-mailed to reporters. “The president has failed to offer a single serious idea to save Social Security and is the only president in modern history to cut Medicare benefits for seniors.”

Let me address the main issue in these comments first. Romney rightly says that Obama will not address entitlement reform in a meaningful way, but at the same time criticizes cuts to Medicare; which aren’t substantial to begin with. This ignores that fact that cuts to Medicare in entitlement reform is an inevitability. This has to happen in order to bring the federal budget back to a sustainable path.

Can we stop pretending that Rick Santorum is a fiscal conservative?

Back in 2008, Jonah Goldberg explained that Mike Huckabee’s brand of conservatism was inconsistent with traditional conservatism, in that the former Arkansas Governor believes that government exists, not to protect individual liberty, but to make people live moral lives in accordance with his personal beliefs:

When it comes to economic issues, [Mike Huckabee] is hard to distinguish from all  sort of different brands of liberals. He is hostile to free trade. He is very friendly to raising taxes. He believes in regulation wherever  necessary. He thinks abortion must remain a federal national issue, can’t send it back to the states. And that’s what I mean by “right-wing  progressive.” He wants to use government towards conservative ends. He says it’s a biblical duty to fight global warming. The problem with  someone like Huckabee is that he much like, in my mind, a liberal sees no dogmatic constitutional limits on the “do-goodery” of the federal  government. Whatever he thinks is the right thing for the federal government to do, if he thinks there’s a good thing that can be done by the federal government, he wants the federal government to do it whether  it’s constitutional or in accordance with principles of limited  government. And maybe what he wants to isn’t what a cultural liberal would want to do but he still wants to use the government the same way.  It’s big government conservatism. And that, I think, is the real threat  these days to conservatism.

Citizens United exposes Occupy Wall Street

The folks from Citizens United are putting out a new documentary, Occupy Unmasked, which exposes the radicalism behind the Occupy Wall Street movement and its goals are. You can watch the trailer below, though most of what is seen is familiar to those of us that followed OWS during the fall or were involuntarily exposed to a protest:

Could a corporate income tax cut be on the horizon?

As you know, President Barack Obama has made Warren Buffett’s tax bill a frequent talking point, often mentioning that his secretary pays a tax higher rate. Of course, Obama and his apologists don’t mention that they are taxed different — Buffett being taxed via capital gains.

The debate is interesting in that an official in the Obama Administration has said that the president will propose a reduction in the United States’ corporate income tax. That’s certainly welcome news given that our corporate tax rate is among the highest in the industrialized world, but it’s also at odds with Obama’s frequent class warfare rhetoric because it would put more money into Warren Buffett’s pockets:

Reuters reported late Friday, citing two anonymous sources, that President Obama will call for reducing the U.S. corporate income tax rate to “the high 20 percent range” from 35%.

Pressure increases on Dick Lugar

It’s no secret that national grassroots and Tea Party groups, including our friends at FreedomWorks, are gunning for Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN), who is one of the poster children (metaphorically speaking) of everything wrong with the Republican Party from a fiscal standpoint.

His primary opponent, Richard Mourdock, is seizing on that point, recently launching an ad hitting Lugar on wasteful earmarks, including supporting the now-infamous Bridge to Nowhere and a teapot museum:

Lugar’s absence from Indiana is also becoming a point for many conservatives and Democrats in the state. Apparently, Lugar lists a home he sold some 35 years ago as his primary residence. So when he visits his “constituents” in Indiana, he winds up staying in a hotel at taxpayer expense (emphasis mine):

The Indiana Democratic Party has combed through records going all the way back to Lugar’s first year in the Senate, 1977.

National Review urges Gingrich to drop out

It’s no secret that the editors of the National Review, a highly influential conservative publication, aren’t fans of Newt Gingrich. Back in December, they came out against the former Speaker’s bid for the Republican nomination, despite his lead in GOP primary polls at the time. They weren’t finished. Just last month they slammed Gingrich for his for his anti-capitalist attacks on Mitt Romney’s wealth.

And yesterday, the National Review called on Gingrich to get out of the race and endorse Santorum, using Gingrich’s own logic from last month against him:

At the moment Rick Santorum appears to be overtaking Newt Gingrich as the principal challenger to Mitt Romney. Santorum has won more contests than Gingrich (who has won only one), has more delegates, and leads him in the polls. In at least one poll, he also leads Romney. It isn’t yet a Romney–Santorum contest, but it could be headed that way.

We hope so. Gingrich’s verbal and intellectual talents should make him a resource for any future Republican president. But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee. It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader. When he led Santorum in the polls, he urged the Pennsylvanian to leave the race. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit.

Judge Napolitano: Stop e-mailing Fox

In messages to fans on his Facebook page, Judge Andrew Napolitano, host of the recently canceled show, Freedom Watch, is urging fans and supporters to stop e-mailing Fox. The first plea came on Saturday:

It will be far more productive for my work at Fox and the work of my friends and colleagues here—many of whom share our values—if the email traffic to Fox toned down considerably. I will continue to voice the message of freedom in many more Fox venues, and you will hear that message, and we will do our best to alert you in advance of those venues and the times that I will be on them; and we will post those alerts right here on this site. PLEASE BE SURE TO WATCH THE FINAL FreedomWatch SHOW ON MONDAY FEBRUARY 13TH, ON FOX BUSINESS AT 8:00 PM, EASTERN TIME. You have been very strong in your views and generous in your comments about the show, but now is the time to relax and lay low and prepare for the future. God bless each of you.

Apparently, the volume of e-mails didn’t die down as Judge Napolitano put out another message to fans yesterday morning, again urging them much more directly to stop e-mailing Fox about his show’s cancellation:

Dear Friends—

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