Tim Thomas sure stirred up a hornet’s nest, didn’t he? The Boston Bruin’s goalie made a personal decision to not meet President Obama. He said his piece on Facebook about why he decided to forego the meeting. Fair enough. Of course, Governor Deval Patrick seems to feel that Thomas was lacking “courtesy and grace”:
Governor Deval Patrick struck a disappointed tone today as he commented on Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas’s decision not to attend a White House event earlier this week honoring the Stanley Cup champions.
“He’s a phenomenal hockey player and he’s entitled to his views, but it just feels to me like we’re losing in this country basic courtesy and grace,” Patrick said.
“I didn’t think much of President Bush’s policies – two wars on a credit card, prescription drug benefit that we couldn’t afford, deficit out of control – but I always referred to him as ‘Mr. President.’ I stood when he came in the room,” Patrick said in his monthly appearance on the “Ask the Governor” segment on WTKK-FM.
“There are rules to live by so I don’t want to make more of this than is deserving. I guess I’d prefer to pay more attention and offer more commentary when there are acts of grace as opposed to the reverse,” he said, moving onto the next topic.
Interesting. Please note the part in bold. Obviously, Thomas simply must have said something horrible. Luckily, we can go to the tape, so to speak…or at least Thomas’ Facebook page. There, Thomas says this:
As is often the case with victorious professional sports teams, the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins were honored this week in the White House. Absent, though, was star goaltender Tim Thomas, a big part of the Bruins’ run for the Cup. Thomas explained why he did not attend on his Facebook page:
“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.
This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.
Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.
This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT”
Now, sports figures and other celebrities making political statements is not exactly out of the ordinary. What is unusual is that the statement carries a very distinct right-leaning, even libertarian flavor. In fact, it sounds like it could come from a Ron Paul supporter.
In March of last year, I wrote a post on “Libertarian purity”. It was one of the most read posts of 2011, and probably the most read post I’ve personally ever written. As we look onto the 2012 primary season and eventual general election, I figured it might be a good time to revisit that post and how it could apply to this election.
First, we have a unique year this year. An actual libertarian - by most people’s definition anyways - has a legitimate shot and making some headway. Ron Paul’s slow but steady rise in the polls has been something that fills me with a level of joy that is hard to describe. “But Tom,” you might say, “didn’t you come out in support of Gary Johnson?” I would answer yes. I like Johnson more than Paul, but frankly a President Ron Paul wouldn’t exactly be anything close to bad in my book.
Further, Gary Johnson is challenging for the Libertarian Party nomination, so there’s still a good chance that I’ll get to vote for him in the general election.
It’s entirely possible that we’ll have two libertarians on the ticket, but it’s also possible that we won’t have but one. So what do we do about that?
In that post from last year, I said that it was vital that we start winning elections, rather than just debating politics from the outside. So let’s take a look at some of the options and how it relates to that post.
Since 1993, CNN has regularly asked a pair of questions that touch on libertarian views of the economy and society:
Some people think the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Others think that government should do more to solve our country’s problems. Which comes closer to your own view?
Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?
A libertarian, someone who believes that the government is best when it governs least, would typically choose the first view in the first question and the second view in the second.
[I]n CNN’s latest version of the poll, conducted earlier this month, the libertarian response to both questions reached all-time highs. Some 63 percent of respondents said government was doing too much — up from 61 percent in 2010 and 52 percent in 2008 — while 50 percent said government should not favor any particular set of values, up from 44 percent in 2010 and 41 percent in 2008. (It was the first time that answer won a plurality in CNN’s poll.)
One of the most common refrains from the political left and the media is that, regarding the economy, conservatives advocate for unchecked freedom for big business to do whatever it wants to do, and for no government interference with business at all. These assertions stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of conservatism.
For the conservative, the issue comes down to the proper role of government. To have no government at all is anarchy, and certainly no conservative would argue that. So the question is not whether or not there should be government involvement (there should), but what level of government involvement is appropriate.
When we look at the biggest financial scandals of the last decade (Enron, WorldCom, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc.), they all have one thing in common. At some point, whether through active complicity or negligence, government played a huge role in allowing the scandals to occur. And with every scandal, it becomes an excuse, or rather an imperative, to increase the level of government involvement to keep it from occurring again.
Some of the major scandals have occurred because the regulatory oversight assigned to one government agency or another was either inadequately enforced, or government employees were co-opted into the fraudulent scheme. Others occur because our statutory and regulatory law has become so complex that it is inevitable that a crafty thief will be able to find technical loopholes that fulfill the letter of the law while being contradictory to the clear intent of the law. Either way, we continue to add layer after layer of government bureaucracy, regulation and complexity, and yet the scandals keep getting more and more expensive. That is because the more complex the law, the easier it is to find a technical Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card.
The Tea Party movement’s endurance will be a testament to its ability to understand that cutting government means having a long-term focus and its willingness to move beyond Republican talking points. Cato’s John Samples, author of The Struggle to Limit Government offers an assessment of what Tea Partiers should do if they really want to sustain an effort to cut government. Five pieces of advice:
1. Republicans aren’t always your friends.
2. Some tea partiers like big government.
3. Democrats aren’t always your enemies.
4. Smaller government demands restraint abroad.
5. Leave social issues to the states.
Dr. Paul, once again, outlines the real culprits of the current economic crisis, and points to the real solutions- less government, lower taxes, decreased spending, the end of devaluing the dollar.
H/T: Matt Chancey
Naturally a recurrent theme of this lecture was monetary policy, specifically having to do with the dollar’s spiral toward hyper-inflation in the midst of the current economic collapse. Schiff stressed that sooner than later the rest of the world, more importantly those still buying our debt would wise up to our inability to repay those fiscal obligations. He told a short story about a wily old man in a certain neighborhood who had hoodwinked the neighborhood kids into vying for the job of painting his fence. He related the metaphor by surmising, “We’ve got the world painting our fences, as if they don’t have their own fences to paint.” Essentially, he said the way it is now, we get all the stuff and they only get the jobs. He then fittingly asked, “What good are jobs without stuff?” In short, we are barreling straight toward a currency crisis.
In 1971, The Who released Who’s Next featuring one of the greatest songs of all time. It couldn’t be more fitting this week as we usher in our new boss here in the United States thirty-seven years later.
Pete Townshend tells us the story of a rebellious uprising against the ruling class. The opening verse states that there is “fighting in the streets” and that “the men who spurred us on sit in judgment of all wrong.” I can’t help but think of the parallels we have been seeing from the media-tainment industry for months driving home the displeasure that the American people have with the Bush administration and serving as pundits (or should I say puppets) by dishing out the propaganda of who is right and who is wrong.
During a press conference yesterday at the White House, President Barack Obama reiterated once again that he was not aware of the Internal Revenue Service targeting Tea Party groups until saw the news reports last Friday. The claim comes despite White House lawyers being made aware of the scandal just last month.
Even if you believe that the White House didn’t know about these discriminatory tactics, David Axelrod, a former advisor to President Obama, has another theory for what enabled a scandal of this magnitude — government is just too big and too bureaucratic:
In an interview earlier this week with Joe Scarborough, Axelrod called the scandal an “interesting case study” and then proceeded to blame the size of government for the problem. “If you look at the Inspector General’s report, apparently, some folks down in the bureaucracy — you know, we have a large government took it upon themselves to shorthand these applications for tax-exempt status in a way that was idiotic and also dangerous,” he said.