Friday, December 30

My Day

As you can see, I'm ready to welcome the new year in style, I'm a party machine.

Wednesday, December 28

Transformational Change Gets Some Coverage, Sort Of

Left-wing columnist Eugene Robinson had an article in today's paper that is a good example of many points I have made here on this blog in several posts this year. Robinson calls for transformational change, yet he obviously doesn't fully understand the real meaning of transformational change and the real changes that are needed in this country.
After World War II, the GI Bill dramatically boosted the percentage of Americans with college degrees. That one piece of farsighted legislation prepared a generation to run the industrial economy that was forged by the war — and helped absorb the excess labor that resulted from mechanization of the agricultural sector. We now need transformation on a similarly grand scale.
On the highlighted sentence, we agree. But, Robinson continues:
And it's important to recognize that while long-term debt isn't the most urgent problem facing the nation, it has to be addressed. Transformation, after all, isn't cheap.
Well, transformation can be cheap, especially if you're cutting. Robinson's leftist leanings tell him that what we really need is more spending, but focus the spending. This is where he starts to show his lunacy.
But our leaders, beginning with Obama, can't settle for playing small ball. As he campaigns for re-election, the president's task is to explain why this is a time to think big — and why we have no choice.
Don't hold your breath waiting for this President to think any bigger than the $1 billion his campaign plans to raise and spend to sell his version of history to the American public.

Robinson had much potential with this column. But he let his devotion to left wing ideology override the points he could have made. Robinson loves him some Obama, and that's fine. But when these hacks pretend to be more than they really are, their writings are little more than the characters printed on paper in China, North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela.

Tuesday, December 27

Editorial: Badly Written Bad Rules

An editorial in today's Wall Street Journal is also worth looking at. This editorial highlights some of sheer stupidity that passes for government "work" and "effort" these days.
Then there's the Affordable Care Act. Christopher Conover and Jerry Ellig of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, in a trio of forthcoming papers, systematically examine every rule issued to date to create the new health-care entitlement.
They conclude that "the federal government used a fast-track process of regulatory analysis that failed to comply with its own standards, and produced poorly substantiated claims about the ACA's benefits and costs"—including an upward bias for benefits, a downward bias for costs, and numerous material omissions. Little wonder for a law that contains the phrase "the Secretary shall" 1,563 times. 
Mr. Obama has made clear that the rules will keep coming, but at least his team could try to write good bad rules. Probably too much to ask.
If you think you're getting your money's worth from any chamber of your government, please let me know. 

As Iowa Goes, So Goes Iowa

In today's Wall Strett Journal, Michael Barone offers a very interesting piece.  Below, a few of the highlights worth keeping in mind as we head into the last week of campaigning in Iowa:
But the Iowa Republican caucuses have a poor record in choosing their party's nominees. In the five presidential nominating cycles with active Iowa Republican caucus competition, the Hawkeye State has voted for the eventual Republican nominee only twice—in 1996 for Bob Dole, in 2000 for George W. Bush—and only once was the Iowa winner elected president. 
- - - - 

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has been complaining for months that too few Republican presidential candidates in this cycle have been spending time in the state, doing retail campaigning in all or some substantial percentage of Iowa's 99 counties. True enough, Rick Santorum has done events in all 99 and Michele Bachmann is on a bus tour that will take her to all 99 too. But both Rick Perry and Herman Cain jumped to leads in Iowa polls without much personal campaigning there. 
If I were running the Iowa Republican Party, I would be seeking to vastly increase the turnout at the Jan. 3 caucuses. After all, those who turn out can be recruited to help in future Iowa Republican campaigns. I would be especially interested in attracting new young voters; the median age of 2008 caucusgoers was nudging up toward 60. 
Yet despite polls showing that Republicans are enthusiastic about the coming campaign and determined to defeat Barack Obama, Iowa Republican insiders are predicting that turnout will not exceed and may not even reach the 119,000 of 2008, when Republicans were dispirited about their party's chances. Puzzling.

One thing I take away, I don't think most people would want their candidate to win in Iowa. Probably better to do well in South Carolina and New Hampshire, both of which have a better record of actually choosing the Republican nominee.

Tuesday, December 20

We Need More Lights

I saw this tweet a few days ago, and I thought it was worthy posting here. Think about this over the holidays.

“Why does a guy down the street from us put 135,000 Christmas lights up? This sign explains it.”

Friday, December 16

Crazy Ron Paul ENDORSED Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney in 2008

Ron Paul, the guy who endorsed Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney in 2008, is now possibly the Republican nominee in 2012?

See the Wall Street Journal, 9/10/2008: Ron Paul Endorses the Third-Party Field
“Presidential elections turn out to be a charade more than anything else,” Paul said, and so he urged his supporters to vote for candidates who would expand the debate beyond the major party’s platforms.

Ron Paul (far left) at a news conference with third-party candidates at the National Press Club. From left: former Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney from the Green Party, Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, and Ralph Nader. (AP)

A phone call from McCain backer Phil Gramm yesterday was not enough to garner Paul’s endorsement and didn’t stop the Texas congressman from gathering the welterweights of the presidential race for an announcement of their common principles.

Thursday, December 15

Solutions Ad

The Newt Gingrich campaign is out with a new ad today, which I think is very strong. Take 30 seconds to watch We Need Solutions:

I think Newt Gingrich may be the only candidate in this 2012 Republican primary field capable of understanding and leading us toward an American renaissance.

Saturday, December 10

Overestimating Romney

Aside from getting votes, he’s a great candidate.

An interesting column from The Weekly Standard about Romney's so-called electability.  The column, well worth reading in its entirety, closes with this:
More evidence of voters’ coolness toward Romney came in a recent Public Policy study, which took snapshots from 13 states both early and late in 2011. In all 13 states, he became less popular as the year progressed. Even more telling were Romney’s negatives—which increased in tandem with his name recognition. As Romney began campaigning more actively, voters became less favorably disposed toward him. 
None of this is meant as a judgment on Romney’s worthiness as a candidate or accomplishments as a governor. But it is worth understanding that if elections are markets and candidates products, then Mitt Romney’s problems this time around aren’t some great mystery. 
It’s just that no matter where he’s run, whether in primaries or statewide elections, he’s never sold particularly well.

Thursday, December 8

Article: Newt the Supply-Side Sizzler

I thought this column by Larry Kudlow was so good that I decided to reprint it here (yellow highlights are my own). Newt's tone comes across as a little bizarre, but the deeper point in my mind is that Newt is looking at a different American future than most of the rest of us. This is a great thing. I think Newt can pick up where Jack Kemp left off in leading us toward an American renaissance:

Say what you will about former Speaker Newt Gingrich. His philosophy, his policy proposals, his track record, his campaign, and all the rest. But the one thing you have to acknowledge about Gingrich is that he’s a sizzler. He has a way with words. And he’s as good a communicator as anyone in modern politics.

In my CNBC interview with Gingrich this week, he slammed President Obama’s tax-the-rich, class-warfare attack on bank’s and businesspeople. He hammered Obama, calling him a hard-left radical who is opposed to free enterprise, capitalism, and “virtually everything which made America great.”

It was a brutal, frontal, hard-hitting attack on the president. He called Obama “the candidate of food stamps, the finest food-stamp president in American history.” He said, “I want to get equality by bringing people up. [Obama] wants to get equality by bringing people down.” He said, “I want to be the guy who says, ‘I want to help every American have a better future.’ [Obama] wants to make sure that he levels Americans down so we all have an equally mediocre future.

Now, I haven’t heard any of the other GOP candidates offer that kind of response to Obama’s recent class-warfare speech. Maybe I’m missing something. But I haven’t heard it from Mitt Romney or the others in a sizzle fashion, which is the way Gingrich operates.

Frankly, Romney ought to be beating back Obama right now. He should at least be asserting that America’s free-enterprise, capitalist system rewards success, not punishes it, and that free-market economics — including supply-side tax-cut policies, worked in the 1920s under Calvin Coolidge, in the 1960s under Democrat John F. Kennedy, and again in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan.

In fact, Bill Clinton joined with Gingrich in the 1990s to slash the capital-gains tax, cut spending, and enact welfare reform, all of which kept the Reagan boom going. Over 40 million jobs were created in the two decades that followed Reagan’s supply-side tax cut.

Gingrich made a special point during our talk to reestablish his supply-side bona fides. He said to me, “you’re a witness to this. I was part of [Jack] Kemp’s little cabal of supply-siders.” And then came Gingrich’s most sizzling point: “You can make an argument that I helped Mitt Romney get to be rich, because I helped pass the legislation.”

So I asked, “Have you ever made that argument to him?” And Gingrich said, “I am as of right this minute. Just occurred to me.” He went on to say that Romney “should be thanking me because I did the macroeconomic things necessary to make his career possible.”

This is a Gingrich putdown of Romney, is it not? The former Massachusetts governor’s primary attack on Gingrich is that he spent his whole life in professional politics, and therefore doesn’t understand how to grow the economy and create jobs. Romney, of course, had a terrific private-sector career at Bain Capital. And he rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. But Gingrich’s putdown here suggests that without supply-side economic policies, somehow Romney wouldn’t have succeeded. And that neuters Romney’s attack on Gingrich.

Seems to me that Romney needs to respond to the Gingrich putdown. And he needs to make his case in the Gingrich sizzler context.

Years ago, as a rookie running for the Senate against Ted Kennedy, Romney disavowed Ronald Reagan on a number of occasions. Later on, in 1996, Romney ran ads attacking Steve Forbes’ presidential run and flat tax. Since then, Romney has come into the Reagan camp, and that’s fine by me. He also bills himself as a tax reformer. But outside of a corporate tax cut, Romney has offered no across-the-board tax-reform plan for individuals and small-business owners.

He needs to do this if he’s to fight back against Gingrich. He needs to reassert his supply-side credentials and clarify his policy path to prosperity.

Please make no mistake. I am not endorsing here at all. I have a very high regard for Mitt Romney. What I’m looking for is strong competition for tax-reform ideas. Gingrich has a 15 percent optional flat tax. Rick Perry has a 20 percent plan. Herman Cain had 9-9-9. Jon Huntsman has a strong Bowles-Simpson-type tax reform. But where is Romney?

Romney has a good budget-reform program and has endorsed Paul Ryan’s health-care reforms. He has a sound regulatory-rollback strategy. He has moved towards sound money by saying he will not reappoint Ben Bernanke. But at the top of Reagan’s economic-growth plan was an across -the-board tax cut. And it worked.

Republican primary voters are highly supportive of supply-side tax-reform ideas. If Romney is to stop his slide in the polls, and reposition himself as the GOP campaign’s leader, he must respond to Newt Gingrich with a pro-growth tax-reform plan that sizzles.

– Larry Kudlow, NRO’s economics editor, is host of CNBC’s The Kudlow Report and author of the daily web log, Kudlow’s Money Politic$.

Wednesday, December 7

Newt Gingrich Addresses The Republican Jewish Coalition

This was a particularly good speech Newt Gingrich gave Wednesday before the Republican Jewish Coalition. Toward the middle of the speech (about 18:00) is what I consider to be one of the better lines from the former Speaker, with regard to appointing Ambassador John Bolton to e Secretary of State, along with new guidelines for the future State Department to follow.

The final few minutes of the speech where Newt talks about his work with Jack Kemp and the issue of getting people out of poverty was absolutely tremendous.

Romney Is Not The One

So in the battle for the nomination in the GOP Presidential field, it has come down to Newt vs. Mitt. We have been told recently of all the bad things that Newt has supposedly done, and we have been told that Newt is a RINO or worse, a democrat in disguise.

Matt Lewis writes a piece today that highlights a couple of things for me that I think are telling about Romney, who I don't view as very conservative. It turns out that John Sonunu is doing much of Romney's bidding lately, as Romney pretends to be above the fray.

Apparently Newt was not invited by Sonunu to a re-election meeting for President George H. W. Bush in 1990. The reason Newt was not invited; because he was a thorn in the President's side and worked against the infamous "read my lips, no new taxes" budget deal. That's a plus for Newt in my column.

As Lewis also notes, Sonunu also gets credit for hoisting Justice Souter upon us. This is another stike against Romney.

So Long Colonel Potter

As a fan of M*A*S*H, this was a sad day. View the short video below:

"America Is Magic"

Take 4 minutes to watch this:

 Right on Newt! Lead us toward the American renaissance. "You ain't seen nothin' yet."

Monday, December 5

Newt Gingrich Interview With Sean Hannity

Take a listen to Newt Gingrich on Sean Hannity's radio show from Monday, December 5, 2011.

Comparing Ads

Speaker Gingrich is out with a great new 1 minute ad:

After watching the new Gingrich ad, take a look at President Reagan's 1984 ad "It's Morning In America Again":

Sunday, December 4

Worth Noting

Mitt Romney 1994 ad for Senate on Kennedy's negative ad campaign. His slogan was "The Change We Need."

Friday, December 2

Balance The Budget, If Not Now, When?

This post originally appeared at US Daily Review.

The House Republicans Thursday released a pretty interesting graphic depicting a few reasons why Congress should support a Balanced Budget Amendment.

As can be seen in the image below, even if the Balanced Budget Amendment does not become law, there are still enormous problems within the federal government that need to be fundamentally transformed.  One of the most appalling figures to me is that 40 cents of every 1 dollar this country spends in borrowed money.  How does a county dig out from that kind of debt? How would an individual do it?

You don't have to be a partisan, one way or the other, to see that we have major problems at the federal level. This starts at the local level though. The people of every community must start taking back their country. This isn't done the way the parasites of Occupy Wall Street have done it. It is done by getting down to your city hall, your county government offices and even the school boards. Start forcing all governments to justify their spending.  Run for office yourself if you have to. The federal government is doing too many things that can be handled at the local level, and when the federal government gets involved, costs go up while efficiency and effectiveness go down.

Seriously. 40 cents for every one dollar. When does it stop? Will we eventually be borrowing $1.25 for every $1.00?