Politics

2015 Predictions Mostly True — With Some Surprises

Some had hoped Zuckerberg’s generosity would be the story of the year. They were disappointed.

 

As 2015 comes to a close and we begin the start of a new election year — and, fingers crossed, a new trajectory for the country away from hyper-focus on social issues and more of a balanced approached toward leadership — it’s interesting to look back and see if what the pundits predicted about the last year came true, and what they may have missed.

The Washington Examiner, back in January, laid out a list of five stories they thought would top the news cycle for the year, leading with the horse race for the GOP nomination. They also wondered if anyone would challenge Hillary Clinton, and if the economy would be the primary policy issue for office seekers.

While their musings on what Obama’s next move would be fell flat — turns out he really isn’t all that much a man of action — they certainly got the GOP presidential race right because who in their right mind could have predicted the ascendency of Donald Trump (and, hopefully, his slow fade to black as more and more people get wise to his brand of beat-you-over-the-head-with-your-basest-desires brand of advertising)?

Does This Mean Hillary’s Presidency Would Last Eight Seconds?

Via The Hill, here’s presumptive 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee, former U.S. Senator, and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton riffing on people who oppose the government’s many intrusions into private life, and on The Future of American Society™ (emphasis added):

“When people diss the government — we’re really dissing ourselves and dissing our democracy,” Clinton said. “This is my last rodeo, and I believe that we can leave not just the country in good shape for the future, but we can get a deep bench of young people to decide that they want to go into politics.”

Liberty vs. Safety: The vaccine debate heats up in a fledgling campaign year

Rand Paul vaccine

The last few years have seen an acceleration of medical vaccines as a hot button political issue. As formerly dormant diseases have resurfaced along with communities that shun science and common sense, the backlash has been fierce. A USA Today columnist is even calling for criminal prosecution and jail time for those who don’t vaccinate their children. But in the land of the free is that really appropriate, no matter the public health risk? And do we really want our politicians weighing in?

Why Is The State Department Partnering With Convicted Bomber Brett Kimberlin

If you follow the blogosphere, you’ll know that bloggers who criticize left-wing activist and convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin have been harassed. While doing some research on Mr. Kimberlin, I discovered he runs a group called Justice Through Music, which has received money from Soros and other rich progressives. Looking on JTMP’s front page, I discovered this interesting little bit of information.

MAY 24, 2012 - JTMP has been a participant in the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Programfor 3 years now, where citizens from around the world involved in the arts get to come to America and visit to learn about the role of arts in the US. This year we had visitors that came from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia to see how Justice Through Music Project uses art to raise awareness on issues, and to bring about social change. This year’s contingent had musicians, playwrights, and people involved in art production. We gave them a presentation and showed them many of our musical art videos that deal with politics and issues, while we spoke about how we operate and produce our art videos. We then showed them how we use this art on our website and YouTube channel to raise awareness on an issue to help bring about positive social change.

Who Has The Party Delegates?

What all the GOP candidates are after, are so-called ‘delegates.’Elected officials that will broker the convention of either party this fall. Officials are parcelled by the amount of votes, the candidates receive in the primary.

During Michigan’s primary recently, for instance, there were 30 official delegates, state-wide. Two were ‘at-large’ candidates, which meant they could be assigned individually to any winning candidate. The other 28 were ‘proportional’ ones, alotted through 14 congressional districts. During the push for the nominations in Michigan last night, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum spent millions of dollars to influence the voting population; with TV ads, pamphlets, media, interviews, rallies, stickers, and much more. Michigan’s grand sum of politcal expenditure was near six million bucks.

Delegates are what really counts at the GOP convention. What looks to be happening, is that no clear winner will come out victorious. There’s a righteous number: 1444 delegates will win any nominee the victory-nod of the Republican National Committee. Nationwide, 2169 delegates are extended for contestation, until the RNC celebration in Tampa, Florida. From the RN Committee, an additional 117 delegates are added into the mix, ostensibly to keep debate lively and clear-up dead locks. So what appears, on first looks, to be a rather hot-headed and fast paced Republican rocket-launch to the RNC, is more like a jammed or misfired pistol in a duel.

Momentarily, Mitt Romney is in the lead, with 167 total delegates. Rick Santorum is second with roughly half, at 87. Newt Gingrich won only one state and has 32, while Ron Paul has 19 carefully collected delegations. The count may reshuffle at any moment, since constitutionalism and populism together, ring alarm-bells in states such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Putting “politics” aside is capitulation

With the August 2 deadline fast approaching, many people are getting more than a little anxious for some kind of deal on the debt ceiling.  One of those is syndicated columnist Donna Brazile.  In her column, she calls on Congress to “drop politics”.  Unfortunately, like most any other person who calls for folks to drop politics, her motivations are political.

You see, any time anyone calls on the opposition group to drop politics, it’s really a call for that other side to shut up and do what the person wants.  It’s no different than calls for bipartisanship.  It doesn’t matter on political affiliation either, because both major parties do it pretty regularly.

However, if Brazile was serious about helping the nation, I would argue, then she would also beg for deep, deep spending cuts that exceed John Bohner and Harry Reid’s plans.  She would be calling for a serious rollback on intrusive government and job hampering regulations that would, ultimately, lead to increased revenue for the federal government.  She would call for a lot of things, but she isn’t.

Like so many others out there, Brazile is just wanting Republicans to shut up and do what she thinks they should be doing.  Is she necessarily wrong?  Well, that’s a topic for debate all on its own.  I honestly don’t want to get into that one right now.  But right or wrong doesn’t really matter, not for the purposes of this post as it applies to the debt ceiling.

Reid - Make A Choice - Politics or the Constitution?

No matter how you philosophically interpret it, one thing almost all of us can agree on is that the highest law governing this nation is the Constitution. Then why are Harry Reid and other Democrats pushing for a decision that is as unconstitutional as almost anything the Bush administration had done over the last 8 years? It’s simply politics.

While most wanted Gov. Blagojevich to refrain from making an appointment for US Senate to replace Senator Obama, everyone agreed that he does have the right under the US Constitution and Illionis law to do so, as he has yet to be impeached. And, so he did. His choice? Roland Burris, who will become the only African American in the US Senate. But too bad for Burris — Reid and fellow Democrats do not want him seated.

Shades of Red

I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.  I think conservatism is really a misnomer, just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals… The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom, and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. -President Ronald Reagan

The past two general election cycles have been bleak for the Republican Party. Looking  back on its celebrated rise from near irrelevancy in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, it becomes clear that 1994 was a peak rather than a new beginning.  When Newt Gingrich, Jim Babka and PNAC took control of the GOP from what was left of the Goldwater/Reagan conservatives, it marked the beginning of the end.

Libertarianism and The Center

Libertarians constantly face the preeminent struggle to form and implement strategies to gain political relevance. The party has never achieved a result better than 1% on a Presidential Election. Adding to our frustration is the failure of the Libertarian Party to capitalize on the opportunity Ron Paul’s groundbreaking Republican Primary campaign, which gained new ground for the libertarian philosophy in terms of visibility. Bob Barr’s campaign failed to crack 500,000 votes in an election cycle in which Ron Paul earned more than 1 million votes in Republican primaries and caucuses.

Candor or Cynicism: How to be a Politician

JFK and Nikita Khrushchev

Who won, who lost?

In 1961, at the height of the cold war, the new American president John F. Kennedy met in private with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Kennedy was young and inexperienced in politics, having been elected president as a freshman senator. Khrushchev was an old hand who had risen to power under Stalin. Kennedy had an idealistic streak. Khrushchev was pragmatic and calculating - though himself a reformer. Kennedy was head of the government of a country whose people valued free enterprise - a country where large sections of the economy and personal life of the citizens were out the boundaries of government control. Khrushchev was the head of a virtual slave state, where every part of a citizen’s life was subject to the dictates of the political class. To Khrushchev, Kennedy was a potential threat, the head of the most powerful nation on earth, a man he hoped to neutralize and frighten. To Kennedy, Khrushchev was a man with whom he believed he could reason. It was Kennedy who pushed for the meeting.


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