Archives for April 2012
It looks like it just got real for Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN). As you know, the 30+ year Senator is locked in a tough primary battle against Richard Mourdock, who is running to his right and has received the backing of several prominent conservative groups. Recent polls have showed Lugar holding a small lead ahead of the May 8th primary. However, a new internal poll from Mourdock shows the Lugar down by a point, though inside the margin of error:
With the primary less than three weeks away, Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock is in a statistical dead heat against Sen. Richard Lugar, according to the results of a poll conducted for his campaign that were released on Wednesday. Mourdock leads Lugar 42 percent to 41 percent in a survey that was taken on Monday and Tuesday.
Mourdock’s slight advantage is well within the margin of error, but it represents a departure from most of the public polling taken on the race, which has mostly shown Lugar with a lead.
Forty-seven percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Lugar while 39 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of him. Forty-six percent said they held an favorable opinion of Mourdock while 22 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has signed into law a bill that would allow residents to use force against police that they believe to be unlawfully entering their home:
The governor’s office says that Daniels signed the bill aimed at giving people the right to defend their homes against illegal entry by police Tuesday evening.
The bill that was a response to a public uproar over a state Supreme Court ruling last year that residents couldn’t resist officers even during an illegal entry.
Supporters say the proposal strengthens the legal rights of people against government agents improperly entering their homes. But police groups worry about the measure giving people justification for attacking officers.
This bill precariously straddles the line between rightfully protecting one’s home and giving incentive for unnecessary violence. The distinction must be made between the unlawful entry of a police officer and that of any other person. The intent of the former, be it correct or not, is to enforce law with as little violence as possible. The intent of any other intruder is to steal property or bring harm to an occupant, and thus always merits force against the intruder.
The bill clarifies when a person is legally justified in using force and when they are not, but codifying this sort of legal defense may encourage residents to make that distinction by means of physical force instead of jurisprudence.
So right off the bat, let me just disclose the following: I am a proud Ron Paul supporter. I’ve been aware of Dr. Paul since the turn of the century. I’ve been reading “Texas Straight Talk,” his weekly correspondence, for going on a decade, and have been known, from time to time, to actually call the number that has his weekly, pre-recorded message in order to actually hear the man, in his own words, speak those wonderful words of truth and freedom.
I was involved with the grassroots effort of his 2008 run and donated to that campaign and his congressional campaign as well. Now, four years later, I am currently serving as my county’s coordinator for the Georgia for Ron Paul grassroots group and have made multiple donations to the RP2012 campaign.
Simply put—I’m a fan.
For many out there, the Ron Paul Revolution is all but dead. A minor historical footnote. How wrong these people are. For you see, this thing is still growing. It really is. Despite a virtual, media blackout and more dirty tricks by the GOP establishment than you can shake a stick at, this beautiful, organic phenomenon is still growing.
Let’s start with delegates. FOX News and many other outlets are grossly under-reporting Dr. Paul’s delegate count at around 50; however, CNN, as it has been during this entire cycle, has a more accurate count of 71. But they’re all wrong. We won’t know for sure until all of the district and state conventions wrap up, but Dr. Paul could very well be looking at a count in the several hundreds. It is most likely that the Paul campaign will have a strong majority of delegates in the following states: Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, and several others. Hell, if it goes to a contested convention with multiple ballots, there will be Ron Paul delegates waiting in the wings in the Georgia Delegation. And there are several contests left where Paul could pick up more delegates.
A few months ago, conservatives sought to gain politically by going after the contraceptive mandate implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services. This immediately became an issue of religious liberty for conservatives because it would have required religious institutions to cover contraceptives even if it was against their teachings.
Thanks to some rather nutty comments by Rick Santorum, who openly questioned the use of contraceptives, Democrats were able to spin the issue into a so-called “war on women.” The situation was exacerbated thanks to comments by Rush Limbaugh aimed at Sandra Fluke, who had argued that taxpayers should fund contraceptives. Even though Fluke’s reasoning was flawed, taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize her contraceptives, Limbaugh’s comments were completely unnecessary and wrong.
The strategy was successful in the short-term, as wedge issues usually are. However, it eventually backfired on them when Hilary Rosen, a Democratic operative, said that Ann Romney, wife of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, had never worked a day in her life.
Romney took to Twitter to defend herself, setting off a firestorm that caused Rosen to later apologize. The argument from conservatives is that Democrats are waging a “war on stay-at-moms,” largely silencing Democrats on the issue and swinging momentum back to Republicans — at least temporarily.
Yesterday, I noted that President Barack Obama’s latest proposal to target so-called “oil speculators” with regulations and increased fines is yet just another way for him to cast blame instead of working towards policies that would increase supply, which is what most analysts say is causing uncertainity and thereby higher gas prices. It’s another gimmick, for sure, but the rhetoric may be effective since most voters don’t understand the basic economics of how the market works.
But the Washington Post is criticizing Obama’s “crackdown,” noting that his latest gimmick will do absolutely nothing to lower gas prices, leaving Americans with more empty promises and more failed leadership:
The White House insisted Tuesday that high volume and volatility in oil markets suggest that regulators need more tools to monitor and control them. But a senior administration official deflected questions about whether regulators have detected any hint of manipulation and would not give an example of the sort of rigging the president suspected regulators might find with more resources. The official instead repeatedly pointed to Enron — a scandal involving electricity, not oil, markets. So the argument boils down to: “Maybe the CFTC will find something, we don’t really know what.”
This Saturday, April 21st, CampusReform.org will host a webinar with Dr. Tom Woods, an economist from the Ludwing vo Mises Institute. The subject of the webinar will be “The Federal Reserve in the Financial Crisis.”
The event will be live-streamed beginning at 12:30 on Saturday from CampusReform.org and is sure to be one of interest, thanks to Rep. Ron Paul pushing the Audit the Fed bill in recent years and making the Federal Reserve a prominent part of his presidential campaigns.
By now you’ve heard that a company spent $200,000 from the federal “stimulus” to move a one shrub in the way of a $1 billion highway project near San Francisco. This sort one recent example is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wasteful spending flowing out of Washington.
If not for a few watchdogs, this would have flown under the radar. Thankfully, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has published its annual Pig Book, which serves as a guide for taxpayers to wasteful spending their representatives and Senators vote for in appropriations bills.
Many will no doubt take issue with what is or isn’t an earmark. Some members of Congress or supporters of a specific project may say that it’s needed in whatever way and shouldn’t be scrutinized. However, CAGW defines an earmark as any project:
- Requested by only one chamber of Congress;
- Not specifically authorized;
- Not competitively awarded;
- Not requested by the President;
- Greatly exceeds the President’s budget request or the previous year’s funding;
- Not the subject of congressional hearings; or
- Serves only a local or special interest.
The report brings a rare bit of good news this year. According to CAWG, the number of earmarks passed by Congress “has dropped by 98.3 percent, from 9,129 in FY 2010 to 152 in FY 2012” and the cost “has decreased by 80 percent, from $16.5 billion in FY 2010 to $3.3 billion in FY 2012, which is the lowest amount since 1992.”
Last week, I read a very interesting op-ed by Thomas Mullen that went by the title of “Gary Johnson is not a libertarian”:
Throughout this election cycle, Gary Johnson’s name has been omnipresent as a libertarian alternative. There’s only one problem. Gary Johnson is not a libertarian.
This just seems to be occurring to some of the faithful after his disastrous interview with the Daily Caller. In it, Johnson proposes to cut the military budget by 43 percent. However, when pressed on one hypothetical military intervention after another, Johnson refuses to rule any out. He’d consider military intervention for humanitarian reasons. He believes that the United States should maintain a military presence in the Middle East. He would continue drone attacks in Pakistan. By the end of the interview, libertarians were likely waiting for Johnson to rip off a mask Scooby Doo villain-style, revealing he was really Dick Cheney in disguise.
This gets back to the point I made in my last blog post about problems with the libertarian movement, specifically foreign policy. We, as a movement, have gotten way too puritanical about what makes libertarians libertarians. Many insist on an absolutionist view of the non-aggression principle, when really, the entire goal of libertarianism is simply maximizing individual liberty.
President Obama and his Democrat cohorts are absolutely terrified of running of their record; namely, a “stimulus” law that increased unemployment and stunted economic growth, a health care reform law more unpopular now than when it was passed and in danger of being thrown out by the Supreme Court, billions in taxpayer dollars flushed down the toilet of “green energy” (with major donors to Democrats getting filthy rich even as their companies, like Solyndra, file for bankruptcy after losing hundreds of millions), a financial reform bill that has caused bank fees to rise and service to be curbed (while protecting the biggest bailout recipients, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, from the oversight and reporting provisions of the law), revelations that the Obama administration facilitated the illegal sale of assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels, and so much more.
So instead of running on their record, they are desperately grasping at straws. That’s why, instead of campaigning on having added $5 trillion in new debt in just three years, or the slowest economic recovery in nearly a century, or the longest period of unemployment above 8% since the Great Depression (eat your heart out, Jimmy Carter!), Obama and the Democrats are igniting race and class warfare and trying to terrify the elderly with scary stories about Republican budgets that will have the old and sick tossed into the streets so fat cat Republicans can drive their SUV’s while lighting cigars with $100 bills and laughing at the poor people.
Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee, unless he’s caught with a dead, Muslim, illegal immigrant boy. He will have the difficult task of facing Barack Obama in November. It is no secret that I have my differences with Governor Romney, however for the sake of wanting Barack Obama gone in November, I would like to offer him some free advice.
First thing you need to do Mitt is shut up about the sports team owners you know. We know you’re rich and successful in business, but the problem is, Obama is sending out his class warfare zombies in droves. They will use your success as their best weapon against you. Their goal is to paint you as out of touch with the American people. Also, along those lines, shut up about your dog and his road trip on the roof of your car.
Second piece of advice, be bold on the economy and fiscal policy. Be specific about your proposals and don’t be afraid to defend them. Don’t sugarcoat the fiscal problems we are facing. Propose bold tax reform including a flatter tax with a lot fewer deductions and credits. Eliminate a department or two. Propose real spending cuts and entitlement reform and more importantly, sell it. Outline a free market approach to healthcare as a replacement to Obamacare. Finally, start going after the Federal Reserve by supporting an audit of it.
Third, take a page from the Obama playbook. Set up a version of their “Fight the Smears” web page that they set up in 2008. Eventually Obama and his surrogates will drag the Mormon religion in this race and there needs to be something to address the nonsense they will be putting out.
Fourth, stay out of the social issues trap. The left will try to bring up abortion, gay marriage, birth control, and Lord knows what else to try and change the narrative. Yes, address the issues when they come up but don’t let the media trip up the message. The message needs to be about the economy and jobs first.