Nick Nottleman

Recent Posts From Nick Nottleman

Latino vote could decide the next president

With the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on Arizona immigration status laws coming down earlier this week, one has to wonder what the candidates for President will work into their campaigns how those decisions will affect the race for President in November.

Peter Wallsten from the Washington Post writes:

The ruling came as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been struggling to connect with Hispanics after courting conservative primary voters with sharp rhetoric against illegal immigration. A survey published Monday showed him ­favored by just one-fourth of Hispanics.

The quandary for Romney and the GOP is clear from recent polling. The Arizona law is very popular with whites and independent voters, according to data from the Pew Research Center, while many GOP strategists think their party has little chance for success in battlegrounds such as Colorado, Nevada and Virginia if Romney doesn’t win close to 40 percent of Hispanics.

I suppose one might point to one unmistakable solution for Romney and the GOP which would come in the form of a VP nod to Marco Rubio.

On the other hand, you can point to statistical data pointing the current administration’s deportation record as was written in September of last year by Kevin Lincoln at the Business Insider:

War on drugs a problem for pro golfer

Last week, the PGA Tour played the Sony Open in Hawaii.  In the midst of what was an otherwise uneventful week of rich golfers enjoying immaculate surroundings while playing for millions of dollars was Matt Every.  Every played well the first three days which brought him into the media tent and to an on-air interview with The Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman.

Every was arrested in 2010 for possession of marijuana.  The charges were eventually dropped and the case dismissed.  Apparently, this was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with regard to law enforcement.

While the PGA Tour has a drug testing policy in place and Every has not failed that we know of, and while he was undoubtedly found to have not broken any laws by officials of the courts, Every was suspended for 3 months from the PGA Tour for “conduct unbecoming.” Every had not won enough money up to that point in 2010 to secure his “card” (PGA Tour players keep their playing privileges by finishing in the top 125 on an annual money winnings list), so essentially, he was kicked off the PGA Tour.

In 2011, Every played well enough on the Nationwide Tour (a development tour that awards 25 PGA Tour cards every year to the top finishers) to regain playing privileges on the PGA Tour in 2012.  He was in the midst of capitalizing on that opportunity by possibly winning the tournament (a two year exemption and about a million bucks) or at least having a high finish – going a long way towards the money list for 2012 when all of the commotion occurred.

Stephanie Wei from weiunderpar.com takes us through the interview with Tilghman:

Summing up the GOP race to this point

As we approach the South Carolina Primary, one thing has become painfully clear: Mitt Romney is running away with this nomination. Even if he somehow loses South Carolina, it appears he has Florida in the bag, and his debate answer on Monday about Social Security should have closed that door. With this reality upon us, I feel it appropriate to analyze who and what happened to get to this point.

Michele Bachmann

Quick Take: She changed the way people look at white dresses forever.

Post-Mortem: I’ve stated before that Bachmann held a purpose in Congress, that purpose was to call out big spending. Granted, she has not been known for putting bills through that actually make a difference. More to the point, she was consistently getting airtime pointing out needless spending. Her campaign had this consistent message and was especially focused on Obamacare. It was a series of over dramatized answers and a Gardasil gaffe that ultimately sunk her campaign. The combination simply did not appear presidential.

Gary Johnson

Quick Take: Huh, turns out leading with “legalize pot” in the GOP doesn’t work after all.

Post-Mortem: A candidate that I have felt brought the most common sense approach to the issues facing the nation along with a record as Governor of New Mexico that proves his commitment to his stances. Shortly before the Iowa primary, Johnson went LP, a better fit for him in my opinion.

Ultimately, his delivery was ineffective in convincing the GOP base that his ideas were the direction the GOP needed to go. His ideas are already supported within the Libertarian Party which should allow him to concentrate more on the issues and less with convincing social conservatives that liberty is essential.

Super Committee is a Super Failure

The Budget Control Act of 2011 created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (a.k.a. The Supercommittee) on August 2nd, 2011. The panel of 12 members, 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans is tasked with closing the deficit between revenues and spending by $1.2 Trillion over 10 years, the standard CBO measuring stick. This could be achieved in several ways: Cut spending by $120 Billion in year one – leading to more than $120 Billion in deficit reductions. A combination of revenue increases and cuts to equal the total of $1.2 Trillion over 10 years, or by completely covering the deficit with new revenues. Keep in mind however, that reductions could include a reduction in CBO projected expense year over year. Meaning that instead of increasing the spending budget for a given arm of expenditure by say 5%, they only increase it by 3%.

Currently, some Presidential candidates have put some bold ideas on the table: Ron Paul has promised to cut $1 Trillion from the 2013 budget, and Gary Johnson has promised to submit a balanced budget for 2013. Making this deficit reduction solution seemingly small, a “five minute job” if you will. However, the liberty minded among us have searched deep to try to find some sort of sign that a panel of 12 would do anything other than promise fake cuts and increase taxes. Frankly, the Supercommittee seems more like a way to deny culpability than anything else. It seems designed to fail. It seems designed to keep the status quo rather than effect real change. A term familiar to those who elected Barack Obama.

In a Newsmax.com article, Newt Gingrich agrees:

Ranking of Republican Primary Candidates – Another take

In response to Jason’s post indicating where he ranks the GOP candidates, which was followed by the CNBC economy debate, I decided to have some fun and create two lists from before and after the debate. First, Jason’s List:

  1. Gary Johnson
  2. Ron Paul
  3. Jon Huntsman
  4. Rick Perry
  5. Newt Gingrich
  6. Mitt Romney
  7. Michele Bachmann
  8. Herman Cain
  9. Rick Santorum

Here is my list BEFORE the debate:

  1. Gary Johnson
  2. Ron Paul
  3. Jon Huntsman
  4. Newt Gingrich
  5. Mitt Romney
  6. Rick Perry (Perry and Romney tied)
  7. Herman Cain
  8. Michele Bachmann
  9. Rick Santorum

And here is my updated list after last night’s debate with comments:

1. Gary Johnson: Honestly, this is the first time I remember agreeing with literally everything a candidate for any office says. If I have one disagreement, it would featuring Marijuana legalization as a top issue. Johnson was never taken seriously by the GOP mainstream because he was immediately tabbed as “the pot guy”. In the uptight GOP base, it immediately disqualified him.

A Small, Overdue Victory for Liberty: Blue Laws Shot Down in Georgia

On Tuesday, November 8th, Liberty scored a victory as voters in the surrounding areas of Atlanta, GA were given the right to get government out of the decision as to whether or not they could purchase alcohol on Sunday. In overwhelming fashion, the voters spoke on behalf of freedom.

With a few exceptions, that is (Forest Park, part of Clayton County, Georgia voted the measure down). The Atlanta Journal Constitution captures the story:

Georgia’s age-old, all-out ban on buying beer, wine and liquor at shops on Sunday has met its end.

Early poll results had voters in most of the 51 metro Atlanta jurisdictions giving a resounding yes Tuesday to seven days of package sales in referendums, continuing the slow dissolution of a blue law dating to the late 1800s, one of the last restraints on Sunday consumption.

But at least one city said no — Clayton County’s Forest Park. Mayor Corine Deyton said it was the right choice.

“That’s the Lord’s day, in my opinion,” said Deyton, a Sunday school teacher whose son is a Baptist music minister. “If you can’t do without alcohol one day a week, there’s something bad wrong with you.”

While I understand and respect Mayor Deyton’s opinion pertaining to herself and her family whom she can directly influence, I have to take a strong exception here.

Republicans are killing me

As we role merrily right along into November, I, along with the rest of the libertarian crowd, am watching the Republican Party blissfully make the same tired mistakes yet again. Watching what appears to be unsynchronized cat herding under penalty of broken knee caps can be entertaining, but at this point, I’m really close to pulling out a speech worthy of a spot in Pulp Fiction on Samuel Jackson’s cue cards.

On saying “we have to remove Obama” out of fear and we can only support whoever the eventual GOP Nominee is: I’ve already written about this subject in The Strategy of Hating One. In the current cycle, it’s President Obama, but the previous installment was Bill Clinton and little blue dress. You can point to a general belief that the President is a Marxist or Socialist without too much opposition. You can make the point that the closest description of our country is Fascism. But I have to challenge you to point out the differences between the last Republican President or the alternative of McCain, and this Democrat President. We have stayed in Iraq until they are kicking us out, we have escalated Afghanistan, Libya, kept Gitmo open. Leaving the main differences that the increase in spending has been larger than say a McCain might have done, and Obamacare has been pushed through. And frankly, Obamacare could very well be named McCain-Care given the same congressional make-up.

Perry’s “Flat” Tax: Good Policy or Hail Mary?

Rick Perry has found himself at the bottom of the second tier after what seemed like a cake walk to the presidency.  But the Rick Perry bankroll has pundits on the ready for the next move upward.  On Monday, Perry tickled the media with a preview of his 20/20 Flat tax.  His overall plan which is named “Cut, Balance and Grow” seems much less catchy, especially if he has his eye on a primetime ABC host slot.

If one were going to summarize the plan, they might suggest that Perry believes in “caps”.  His 20% flat tax is optional, so essentially everyone paying more than 20% currently can move to 20% while everyone paying less can still pay their current rate. It also moves the corporate rate to 20%, kills the death tax, and removes taxes from qualified dividends and capital gains.  The plan also includes capping spending at 18%.  I believe talking about caps on spending as a percentage of GDP are a mistake for the simple fact that if you do this, what are the odds that congress will ever spend less than this amount?  Then again, after what we’ve seen in the last three years, it doesn’t sound half bad.

James Pethokoukis breaks down Perry’s plan over at The American:

—A choice between a new, flat tax rate of 20 percent or their current income tax rate.

—The new flat tax preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.

—Abolishes the death tax once and for all, providing needed certainty to American family farms and small businesses.

—Lowers the corporate tax rate to 20 percent—along with a tax holiday for foreign earnings—and moves toward territorial taxation.

Eat the Rich

Oh yeah baby, the new plan is here. Raise Taxes on those Rich Sunsabitches. Once again confirming the old adage “Democrats Tax and Spend, and Republicans just spend”.

In what would appear to be a last ditch effort to get out of the basement in Presidential rankings, President Obama is proposing an increase of taxes on the “super earners” of America that may in fact close the gap on the deficit enough to restore America’s credit rating.

The one question I have yet to see asked is: Who does a better job with money, the government, or top private earner? The question that has been asked (and answered) is how much would increasing taxes on top earners actually increase revenue? And I would like to expand on that:

Warren Buffett, who has spoken out about “not paying enough taxes” made about 43 Million last year according to one report I read – and he paid about 18%. That’s about $7,740,000. Want to know what that covers in terms of Federal Government Spending? $3.9 Trillion Divided by 365 days, divided by 24 hours, divided by 60 minutes = $7,420,091.So obviously, doubling Mr. Buffett’s taxes will get you…. One whopping minute of spending.

Or put another way…. It’s just shy of 1.5% of what the federal government just lost with Solyndra. Apparently though, $535 Million is a “drop in the bucket”. You need seventy Warren Buffetts just to pay for the Solyndra theft loss… that doesn’t seem like a drop in the bucket to me.

How should libertarians handle the drug question?

Having only three years or so of libertarian experience, I sometimes find myself in the midst of a learning opportunity. This may well be one of those, but if it spurs some discussion, I am willing to be a martyr.

In the 2008 Presidential election, I was amazed at the intelligence of Bob Barr. I was constantly impressed at the depth of each subject he was asked about. How much basic sense each answer made even though some answers contained a level of sophistication that may have been over the heads of some.

Well, all except for one question.

In an interview with Sean Hannity fairly close to Election Day, Mr. Barr was put on his heels and frankly never recovered. Hannity’s style of attack, which one might term as that of an angry pit bull, didn’t help. That question of course was about the legalization of drugs.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have documented my struggle with this concept, and documented the “light bulb moment” I had - finally understanding that it was part of individual liberty, not to mention the amount of futile spending and creation of powerful underworld figures. It makes sense to me. I agree with it.

However, this question seems to take a serious, if not mortal, toll on all candidates running as small “l” libertarians within the Republican Party. In 2008, it halted what I believe might have been a staggering number of Independents and Republicans willing to vote for the Libertarian Party candidate when the best the Republican Party could offer was John McCain.

My theory is not about this question being asked… it’s going to be asked… but about the available answers. It’s about viable candidates explaining this concept in a thirty second sound bite or a timed answer during a debate that took me weeks, many hours of research and discussion with libertarians, to understand.

Nick Nottleman

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