Republicans Archives

Reshuffling the Deck

Herman Cain scored a big win yesterday coming out on top in the Florida Presidency 5 Straw Poll. Interestingly enough, every winner of the straw poll has gone on to win the GOP nomination. It’s a huge victory especially considering that he was not one of the front runners in national polls.

How did he manage to win? Some credit his debate performance last Thursday especially his answer on healthcare. Others credit his speeches during the convention. Consider this remark from Byron York in his wrap up of the straw poll:

One other factor should not be underestimated. Yes, the delegates liked what Cain had to say.  But how he said it was just as important.  With his deep, booming voice and a style that any motivational speaker would envy, Cain can give a rousing speech, and he gave several of them during four days in Orlando.  No other candidate, frontrunner or back of the pack, could match him.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that his power as an orator sealed the deal for hundreds of delegates.  They believed Cain was speaking to them from the heart, and they were carried away by it. As with the Democratic primary contests of 2007 and 2008, never underestimate the power of a stirring speech.

Mr. York gets this half right. Yes, Mr. Cain has a terrific speaking style. But more importantly, he knows what he believes and communicates his ideas clearly and concisely to his audience. That sets him apart from the rest of the field (as well as our current President). His last speech before the straw poll was a terrific statement on why he should be elected. Many delegates at the Florida convention came in supporting Perry but switched their votes based on what they saw and heard from Cain.

The media has tried to make the race for the GOP nomination a head-to-head race between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. But Herman Cain makes a great case that he deserves to be considered as well. The race is not over by any means.

Friday Link Wrap-up

Planned Parenthood keeps breaking all its previous records in abortions performed.

Chavez is running out of people/things to blame for socialism’s failure. "[I]n a remarkable volte-face, for the first time this week Hugo Chávez admitted that the government was, after all, largely to blame for the electricity shortages and rationing that are hampering the economy, having previously tried to blame it on a drought, which dried up Venezuela’s hydroelectric reservoirs. That argument didn’t work so well this year, with torrential rains flooding much of the country."

Down’s Syndrome death panels are getting setup.

The debt crisis in Europe threatens to tear apart the EU. That’s not some conservative think tank talking, it’s the EU itself.

"If you love me, pass this bill!" Apparently, Mr. Obama has lost a lot of love in his own party, as Dems pick apart his jobs bill.

We spend more and more on public schools — in absolute dollars and per student — and yet SAT scores continue to fall. There are proven ways to deal with this, but Democrats are against all of them (predictably).

If poverty leads to crime, why is the crime rate falling during this recession (and the decade before it)? Is it because, perhaps, we’re actually keeping criminals behind bars?

Talk about over-regulation, here’s a CEO who was fined for hiring too many people and required to stop hiring altogether. When government calls the shots, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing (or even that there is a right hand).

Palin Derangement Syndrome: Joe McGinniss wrote an expose on Sarah Palin that was essentially (according to the publisher) filled with unproved “tawdry gossip” and rumors that lacked “factual evidence.”

The new 2011 version of the New International Version of the Bible strives for gender-inclusivity. Mary Kassian gives her 10 reasons why this is bad for women.

And finally, never mind abortion, Michelle Obama thinks you should have parental consent before getting French Fries. (Click for a larger version.)

Pennsylvania Flirts With Irrelevancy

The Republican legislators in the Pennsylvania state government are pushing a bill that would relatively proportion their presidential electoral votes based on the results of the individual congressional district presidential votes. The (Republican) governor says he would sign such a bill. This is a bad idea.

The suggestion came up in Colorado and California in years past, and failed in both cases. The Electoral College is actually a very good way of apportioning votes, ensuring that a President has both a sufficient number of votes and also a diverse support base; broad support favored over the most support in close races. I posted a number of reasons why the Electoral College is a good idea here, with a link to the history of the EC.

As a side note, Markos Moulitsas, the "Daily Kos" himself, split his support over the Colorado and California efforts. One of them he called a "bad horror movie" and an attempt to "game the system". The other he called "brilliant" and suggested that "every state should allocate EVs in this manner". Why the difference in tone? As you can probably guess, it’s all about politics over principle. When Colorado wanted to do it, it would benefit Democrats, so he was all-in. When California wanted to do it, he had nothing but disparaging comments for anyone who even considered it. This clearly points out a pundit who a) has no appreciation for, not just history, but the status quo, and b) makes every decision based, not on what’s best for everyone, but what’s best for his political kindred.

Consider this when reading opinions. I will note that I’m always against this sort of thing, including in the guise of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Inform yourself.

A Big Switch

Republicans run a political rookie against a veteran, a Catholic against an Orthodox Jew (in a heavily Jewish district of New York City). Democrats pour $500,000 and deploy Bill Clinton to the race. Result: GOP wins a seat it hasn’t held since the 1920s. Secret: It was billed as a referendum on Obama.

Friday Link Wrap-up

The Dalai Lama calls himself a Marxist.

An "unexpectedly" we could do with down here. "Canada Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Declines in May to Its Lowest Since 2009" It’s down to 7.4 percent. We’re adding government jobs and they’re adding private sector jobs. Our dollar is getting weaker while theirs gets stronger. “Our economy has one of the best records in the area of job creation in comparison with other industrialized countries and this is why we will continue to keep our taxes low,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper told lawmakers on June 8. Lessons to be learned  here.

Obama finally figures out, "Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected." Which is one big reason why the stimulus didn’t stimulate.

Civility Watch: “Good afternoon brothers and sisters. Welcome to Nazi Germany….Brothers and sisters, this is not going to be an easy fight,” he shrieked. “It took World War II to get rid of the last Adolf Hitler. It is going to take World War III to get rid of Adolf Christie. Are you ready for World War III?” Union leaders are setting the example in New Jersey.

Soaking the rich won’t work the way the Left intends. Historical tax rates vs actual receipts put the lie to the idea that raising rates will necessarily bring in more revenue.

When even actor Aston Kutcher comes to the aid of Sarah Palin, you know the media has gone way too far.

And speaking of which (click for a larger version):

Weekend Links

Some links of interest for your weekend reading:

Four words: He made it worse.

Making a case for tort reform.

The candidate who can win.

Time to end Medicare.

Baseball players are better athletes.

Friday Link Wrap-up

When you politicize health care, you get government-style efficiency. "NHS budget squeeze to blame for longer waiting times, say doctors."  And for those already in hospitals, doctors are having to prescribe water to make sure the elderly stay hydrated.

If the liberals are to be believed, poverty causes crime. And yet, in this tough economic time, the FBI reports a 5.5% drop in violent crime.

In economic news, Democrats are dead set against voting for any 2011 budget. There’s been a lot of hoopla surrounding the "repayment" of the General Motors loan from the auto bailout, except that it’s just a lot of smoke and mirrors. Indeed, GM has a sweetheart tax deal that is saving it $14 billion, not to mention another $14 billion is being lost in general on those bailouts.

The Obama economic "recovery" turned 2 years old in May. Upwards of a trillion dollars spent, for what? The number of people with jobs hasn’t changed, unemployment is far worse than they said it would be if we did nothing, median incomes are down, housing prices are down 10%, and I don’t need to tell you about gas prices. If George W. Bush were President, you just know he’d be personally blamed for this, but Obama gets a pass.

Canada, by the way, has been leading the US out of this mire by reducing debt and spending, even with a socialized medicine albatross around its neck.

Immigrants are turning to that "racist" Tea Party.

When we elected Obama, that was when "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal", right? So why does he not get slammed for not signing the updated Kyoto Protocol? Bush got criticized for it, even though it was Clinton who originally didn’t sign it. Nah, couldn’t be the double-standard, liberal media.

When you make entitlements untouchable, you risk hurting those you purport to be concerned about because economic collapse hurts us all, including and especially the poor. The idea that it couldn’t happen here is severely myopic.

And finally, "smart" diplomacy". (Click for a larger version.)

The Standard & Poors Downgrade

If this doesn’t wake up Democrats, and the Americans that vote for them, to the real, actual unsustainability of more and more spending, what will? If the last remaining superpower can’t keep its financial house in order, then what comes next? Are we "spreading the wealth around" so much now, that too many are unwilling to give up their government dependence?

Should the rich pay more? If so, please say how much more, specifically? Should we go back to 91% rates? The problem is, when more that is taxed, it isn’t used to pay for existing debt and spending; it instead spurs on new spending. Our problem is not how much revenue the government is getting; it’s the amount of spending going on.

This is a bi-partisan problem; both parties have contributed to this. The Republicans, however, spurred on by the Tea Party, are making the first real effort in decades to do something about the problem. Nothing was done on this until Republicans won a majority in the House, and even now, Obama and the Democrats are making only token gestures.

Man oh man, I hope the independents are watching, and will remember in 2012. I hope some fiscally responsible Democrats are, too.

OK, lots of questions above. I would love to hear any answers in the comments.

Friday Link Wrap-up

Six out of ten politicians in don’t think you know enough about the issues facing Washington to form a reasonable opinion. More telling to me is that, broken down by party, most Republicans trust you but way more Democrats don’t.

Another example of why it’s hard for government to cut spending (and why conservatives try to hard to hold back increases); Between 400,000 and 500,000 protest against government spending cuts in the UK.

Media Matters becomes a parody of itself, ignoring the media in general and concentrating solely on Fox News. James Taranto wonders:

Does a group that proclaims its purpose to be industrial sabotage qualify [for tax-exempt status]? It’s hard to imagine the answer is yes. Could, say, AT&T set up an organization to sabotage Sprint and do the whole thing free of taxes?

Did you know that opting out of Medicare (not asking for your tax money back, just not taking advantage of it and paying the tab yourself) will cause you to forfeit Social Security? Big, big government, anyone?

The European Union has an idea for clean air; ban all cars.

Irony Alert: President Obama accepted a transparency award from the open government community, in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House.

Barack Obama was against wars against brutal dictators that did not directly threaten the United State or its interests, before he was for them.

A salute to the men and women of Japan — the Fukushima 50 — who are putting their health and, indeed, lives on the line to bring the reactors under control.

Speaking tearfully through an interpreter by phone, the mother of a 32-year-old worker said: “My son and his colleagues have discussed it at length and they have committed themselves to die if necessary to save the nation.

“He told me they have accepted they will all probably die from radiation sickness in the short term or cancer in the long-term.

And finally, "regulating relationships". (Click for a larger image.)

Friday Link Wrap-up

The Left has been energized lately about Charles and David Koch; the brothers who run Koch Industries and give to right-leaning causes. What’s interesting is that the Left simultaneously ignores the money that comes in from George Soros. Personally, I don’t mind rich people giving their money away to causes they agree with, whether liberal, conservative or otherwise.  But the Left has been apoplectic over the Kochs, or, as John Hinderaker says, they have an unhealthy Koch habit. Charles Koch wrote an op-ed in the Wall St. Journal on Tuesday laying out what his issues are; getting rid of "crony capitalism" and massive government spending & debt so that entrepreneurs aren’t stifled at the expense of the politically connected. So…why is the Left against this?

Medicare is losing $48 billion a year from fraud and otherwise improper payments. And Democrats want to give the government more control over our health care purse? Really?

A Christian politician in Pakistan, the country’s minister for minorities’ affairs, was assassinated yesterday for speaking out against the proposed blasphemy law, that would make it a crime to insult the Prophet Muhammad. This is the second high-profile murder related to this law. This may have been perpetrated by Islamic militants, but moderates within the "religion of peace" are getting a bad name from all of this. The problem is, there are a lot of those militants all over the world.

And finally, a civics lesson. (Click for a larger image.)

This is now, that was then

Within hours, maybe minutes, of the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords, Liberal pundits began to point fingers at right wing extremists which, apparently, applied to Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican candidate for Vice President. Of particular concern was the “cross-hairs” image, used by Palin to establish which Democrats to target in upcoming elections. Evidently and, coincidentally after-the-fact, such violent imagery and rhetoric was said to have led to the carnage in Tucson. The cross-hairs image was referenced by Barbara Walters (on The View) when she stated,

“…and certainly cross-hairs are very scary…”

I wonder how scary Ms. Walters thinks a depiction of the President getting assassinated is?

Back in 2006 I wrote a blog post, for, about a docudrama depiction of the assassination of President George W. Bush. Note that the TV movie was produced in the U.K. Per The London Standard,

Held up by a secret service bodyguard in his dying moments after being shot in the stomach, this is President Bush being assassinated.

Surrounded by a crowd of panicking onlookers, the American leader is pictured just seconds after being gunned down by a sniper following an anti-war demonstration.

Of course, this 2006 docudrama is just a drop in the bucket of violent left-wing rhetoric – rhetoric which typically goes unreported by the mainstream media.

Regardless of the political affiliation of our elected officials, let us remember to treat them all with the respect and dignity they deserve, especially when they are maligned by those who truly would hope to do them harm.

How Willing Are We To Really Cut Spending

As I noted earlier, if we stay on the same course, budget-wise, in just 5 years the interest on our national debt will approach what we spend to defend the country.  This must be dealt with.

Yesterday, a White House commission put together by President Obama released a draft proposal to do just that.

The leaders of a White House commission laid out a sweeping proposal to cut the federal budget deficit by hundreds of billions a year by targeting sacrosanct areas of U.S. tax and spending policy, such as Social Security benefits, middle-class tax breaks and defense spending.

The preliminary plan in its current form would end or cap a wide range of breaks relied on by the middle class—including the deduction for home-mortgage interest. It would tax capital gains and dividends at the higher rates now levied on wage income. To compensate, one version of the plan would dramatically lower and simplify individual rates, to 9%, 15% and 24%.

For businesses, the controversial plan would significantly lower the corporate tax rate—from a current top rate of 35% to as low as 26%—but also eliminate a number of deductions. It would make permanent the research and development tax credit.

There’s much more; cutting $100 billion from defense, raising gas taxes, raising the Social Security retirement age, cutting federal work force by 10%, and others.  It’s quite a sweeping proposal, and it’ll call on the government and the people alike to share the burden.

But what will it wind up doing?

Overall, the plan would hold down the growth of the federal debt by roughly $3.8 trillion by 2020, or about half of the $7.7 trillion by which the debt would have otherwise grown by that year, according to commission staff. The current national debt is about $13.7 trillion.

The budget deficit, or the amount by which federal expenditures exceed revenues each year, was about $1.3 trillion for fiscal year 2010, which ended on Sept. 30.

Even with all this, it’ll only cut the growth by half, with debt still rising by trillions every year.

This is where we find ourselves; overextended and really unable to do anything about it despite some Herculean efforts.  Our government has made so many promises that it can’t renege on, that the most we can hope for is "only" growing slower. Well, ya’ gotta’ start somewhere, and this is just a draft proposal.  But this is a good start.

Or is it?  How do other politicians see it?  (Warning: Easily anticipated reactions follow.)

Read the rest of this entry

How can politics be more Christian?

As Christians, should we abandon the political parties that have moved to the left and right and establish a radical center? Calvin College professor Steve Monsma argues that we should, in a post at the fine new blog at Q Ideas. He has tired of the polarization of politics and finds much of it unchristian. He writes:

This leads me to plead for a radical Christian center.  Centrism may appear to be wishy-washy and undecided or so apathetic that one refuses to take sides.  But a radical Christian center is far from being either.  It is radical in that it goes to the root of today’s political issues, asking basic questions of purpose, value, and worth.  It puts the common good ahead of partisan advantage and narrow special interests.  If you don’t think that is radical, you haven’t been paying much attention to this fall’s partisan election campaigns

I’m not surprised that Dr. Monsma is exasperated. Generally, Christian academics don’t like partisan politics, for two good reasons. First, in the heat of political fights, there tends to be a suspension of godly character. Second, political campaigning is, for the most part, the repetition of simple messages.

While I personally sympathize with the need for more moderate positions on many issues and cringe at the tired rhetoric of political extremes, I don’t believe a move to the center is the answer. And to call centrist political positions “Christian” is as misguided as it is for progressives or conservatives to assume that there enlightenment is generated by the Light of world.

There is much for Christians and all people of good will to dislike about political campaigns and the methodology and practices of the major political parties, but it isn’t rigid political positions that make partisan politicking distasteful or less Christian.

It would be a shame for Christians to eschew partisanship, which is the sinew of our political process and has helped produce nearly 250 years of stability and peaceful transition of power. Instead we should call and work for three things in political argument– at all times, but especially in the most virulent campaign months:

Authentic passion

Flamboyant language, exaggerated charges, and the demonization and stereotyping of the opposition are particularly distasteful when they rely on borrowed passion. We roll our eyes at the repeated talking points that are foisted upon by an endless stream of political spokespersons or candidates who fail to do their own thinking. Our response is totally different when we hear the deep groans of an aggrieved soul, whether it is a partisan of the left or right. Authentic passion is the lubricant of healthy and vibrant political discourse.

Robust honesty

Nothing makes political argumentation more unChristian than dishonesty. We have to continue to insist on honesty from the left, the right, the center, or the uncommitted. We need to end not only bold lies, but the disguised lies the pervert understanding. Christians in the political process will not only tell the truth, but will refuse to tell a sideways truth that gives a false impression, or will lead the listener to a false conclusion.  We suffer from an avalanche of statements that—although not lies—routinely hide the truth. We are disgusted when politicians use statistics or characterizations that are true on the surface but impede genuine clarity. Robust honesty in the political process will restore confidence.

Uncommon civility

Just as damaging and unChristian is campaigning that tears apart people, disrespects opponents, and inflames the base obsessions of constituencies. Ad hominen attacks damage politics and keep good people from choosing to subject themselves to the character assassination of the political game. Candidates and campaign leaders often decry negative campaigning, then turn to the tactics if they fall behind. Poll numbers improve when candidate tear at the fabric of the opponent’s character, but they leave us all disgusted with partisan politics. As Christians, we should insist on uncommon civility from those who seek to represent us in government.

Rusty Nails (SCO v. 13)

Self Defense for a Bear Attack If it was me, I’d leave the summer squash for the crockpot, and utilize something that has the word “magnum” associated with it.


Geek News of the Week Images of Aurora on Saturn’s South Pole.


The S.L.E.D. Test as an argument against abortion Whenever I discuss the topic of abortion with a person who is pro-abortion, it’s amazing to see the lack of clarity and reason in their position. Truth be told, when unpacked to its core features, their position is without rational basis. Scott Klusendorf, formerly from Stand to Reason, discusses the S.L.E.D. Test, what it is, and how to rationally apply it to demonstrate that the unborn are valuable as human beings.




Obama think $1.00 will cover the purchase of 4 apples And, yes, the media didn’t handle it like they did when Dubya was around.


The 1% Solution? Bono’s One Foundation only manages to direct a little over 1% of what it receives to the needy? Ouch! Maybe the Obama administration should consider a takeover?


Power to the People! The last best hope…

Friday Link Wrap-up

Photonic computers, that use light rather than electrical signals to do the work, may actually be on the horizon.  This will be huge.  While it’s still a few years down the road, the number of years is in the single digits at this point.

Let’s be more like Europe! “The UK’s tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.”  Even a little socialism can be a dangerous thing.  Exhibit A.

Obama supporters are “exhausted of defending” him.  If this turns into an exhaustion of voting for Democrats, House and Senate seats polling close now may yet be a big win for Republicans.  Obama only has himself to blame; supporters are not exhausted of defending “the mess” he inherited, they’re tired of defending his “accomplishments”.  If you’ve lost Jon Stewart, you’ve lost a lot of folks who think he’s a news anchor.  (Which is, unfortunately, quite a lot of people.)

No, ACORN isn’t really dead, it’s just changed its name.  And it’s still breaking the law, so says federal investigators who are urging that the funding moratorium be made permanent.

Obama says the stimulus kept the recession from falling into a depression.  But economists are now saying that, technically, we came out of the recession in June, 2009.  That’s before the stimulus really kicked in.  We spent $800 billion on measures to save the economy from something it had recovered from on its own.  Under that guise, we got record- and precedent-setting debt.

Which is why the Tea Party influence in the Republican party is so needed now, even if the GOP goes kicking and screaming.  (Click for a larger image.)

Chuck Asay cartoon

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