Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nukes for Nuts: Ron Paul Stands With Iran

Shorter Ron Paul: Give the world's bullies what they want and they'll go away...
Ron Paul told voters in Iowa on Thursday that western sanctions against Iran are "acts of war" that are likely to lead to an actual war in the Middle East...

...[Paul] said Iran would be justified in responding to the sanctions by blocking the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz. He compared the western sanctions to a hypothetical move by China to block the Gulf of Mexico, which Americans would consider an act of war...

"I think we're looking for trouble because we put these horrendous sanctions on Iran," Paul told a midday audience at the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa. He said the Iranians are "planning to be bombed" and understandably would like to have a nuclear weapon...

...the Texas congressman said that "we always seem to have to have a country to bash," linking the current saber-rattling against Iran to previous hawkish rhetoric that led to conflicts in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere.

"If you want to quiet things down," he said, referring to Iran, "don't put sanctions on them" because it's "just going to cause more trouble."
Ron Paul must think we're all crazy.

Update: a list of Ron Paul's goofs and gaffes at Hack Wilson.

Obama's Paths to Victory

Via HotAir

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ron Paul's Dangerous Smear

Blaming America first...
In the debate, Paul went on to warn against a push “to declare war on 1.2 billion Muslims,” as if a country that has resorted to force of arms to save Muslims from starvation (Somalia), from ethnic cleansing (Bosnia, Kosovo), and from brutal dictators (Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya) is bristling with an undifferentiated hostility toward all Muslims. This isn’t an expression of an anti-interventionism so much as a smear. It goes beyond opposition to American foreign policy to a poisonous view of America itself.
I struggle to understand how Ron Paul's incendiary insinuation is supposed to be helpful, but as Paul surges in the polls in Iowa, it's time to begin taking his delirious rants seriously.

Long after he finally leaves the White House, Obama will be remembered for his international "Blame America" tours. Ron Paul seems eager to build on that tradition.

Note: That strategy doesn't work.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Power To The People: Will and Delingpole

Two videos, one from American Power the other from Powerline. First the shorter one, the the longer one:

Via American Power

Via Powerline

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Obama Destroys Romney's Health Care Argument

Mitt Romney has defended his expensive, ineffective, coercive health care program by stating that while he had hoped each state government would do to its citizens what he did to Massachusetts, other states were ultimately free to reject his approach.

When Obama copied Romney's plan and the Democrats forced the controversial ObamneyCare health insurance scheme on all 57 states, Romney hastened to declare that his godawful plan was intended for one state and one state only:
As I have stated time and again, a one-size-fits-all national plan that raises taxes is simply not the answer. Under our federalist system, the states are “laboratories of democracy.” They should be free to experiment. By the way, what works in one state may not be the answer for another.
[emphasis added]

Now Obama has undermined Romney's flimsy argument:
In a major surprise on the politically charged new health care law, the Obama administration said Friday that it would not define a single uniform set of “essential health benefits” that must be provided by insurers for tens of millions of Americans. Instead, it will allow each state to specify the benefits within broad categories. 
The move would allow significant variations in benefits from state to state, much like the current differences in state Medicaid programs and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Obama's shrewd move is in perfect sync with Romney's purported values, allowing each state to experiment with crony health care statism in its own way.

Obama's community occupiers are not impressed:
The first thing you note is that this move is one more step towards Mitt Romney, who argues that RomneyCare might be fine for Massachusetts, but each state should be free to decide for itself how best to provide health coverage — or not.  The White House political geniuses ... apparently think moving towards Mitt’s incoherent position will leave one less reason to vote against Mr. Obama; others might conclude it’s one less reason to vote for him.
Obama's loyal minions are missing the point.  This is an easily reversible move that has one very important immediate consequence: It neuters Mitt Romney:
By giving states the discretion to specify essential benefits, the Obama administration sought to deflect one of the most powerful arguments made by Republican critics of President Obama’s health care overhaul — that it was imposing a rigid, bureaucrat-controlled health system on Americans and threatening the quality of care. Opponents say that the federal government is forcing a one-size-fits-all standard for health insurance and usurping state authority to regulate the industry.
 [emphasis added]

The Obama administration temporarily lends some of its newly-acquired health care power to the states while stealthfully destroying Mitt Romney's weak but crucially important argument on health care reform...

That's very clever.

Update (12.18.11): Prediction...

Obama will make full use of this in his campaign.

Update II: Edited for clarity.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Romney vs Newt in a nutshell...

Two moderate, big-government Republicans: a bland businessman from an extremely blue state who used his power as governor to implement an expensive, coercive health insurance program...

...the other a controversial pedagogue from a red state who used his power as Speaker of the House to implement welfare reform.

“Romney’s signature achievement was Romneycare, while Gingrich’s signature achievement was welfare reform.” But, last night, I had a thought that tipped the balance in Romney’s favor. Both Romney and Gingrich have betrayed conservatism. But Romney’s betrayals came in a liberal state surrounded by liberals.
In the White House, Romney would be surrounded by beltway insiders and the liberal press, comfortably insulated from tea party pressure and red state heat.

How's that gonna play out?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Truth in Error

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Team Obama: Give The Gift of Spite This Christmas

In a nasty fundraising effort for Barack Obama, OFA has sunken to an incredible new low, recommending spiteful Christmas gifts for conservatives:
Friend -- 
Everyone's got that special conservative in their life. 
Maybe it's your dad, who forwards you every chain email about the President's birth certificate, or your neighbor, who just put up a Mitt Romney sign. 
Dealing with these folks can be ... frustrating. 
This holiday season, we're giving you a chance to have a little bit of fun at their expenseLet a Republican in your life know they inspired you to make a donation to the Obama campaign -- chip in $3 or more today
When you give to the campaign, simply enter your Republican friend's email address and they'll get a note letting them know that they motivated you to donate -- which will surely make their day. 
Not only that, but when you donate today, you'll be entered to win a chance to have dinner with the President and First Lady. Just picture how good it'll feel to let your honoree know about those dinner plans... 
Give your conservative friends the gift of knowing they've inspired you to donate. After all, actions speak louder than words. 
Please donate $3 or more today: 
Julianna Smoot
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America 
P.S. -- Really want to fire up your GOP friends? Buy them a gift from the 2012 store. I recommend the birther mugs -- they get the message across pretty well.
Even on Christmas, Obama wants supporters to find conservatives and "get in their faces."

This is NOT a joke: via email (screenshot)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ron Paul: 9/11 Prompted "Glee" in Bush Admin... Update: "There was a lot of pleasure..."

Ron Paul apes the paranoid left:

"Just think of what happened after 9/11. Immediately, before there was any assessment, there was glee in the administration because, 'Now we can invade Iraq.'"

This lends credence to those who say that Ron Paul is a neoliberal crank.

Update: (via Freedom's Lighthouse) Conservative radio host Mark Levin blasts Ron Paul for saying there was “glee” in the George W. Bush Administration following the September 11 Attacks on the United States...

Update II:

Ron Paul doubles down (starting at 5:17)...

Kelley: Do you really believe, Congressman, that there was "glee" in the Bush administration after 3,000 American citizens died?

Paul: They might not describe it that way, but there was a lot of pleasure...

Update III: Linked at Proof Positive!

Friday, December 9, 2011

At Some Point You've Been Subsidized Enough

Image via IowaDawg

I have to disagree with our good friend at The Lonely Conservative on this idea from the Wall Street Journal:
It’s so ironic that President Obama goes out on the stump day in and day out bashing the wealthy while providing them with subsidies that add up to hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Stephen Moore and Walter Williams propose The Millionaire Subsidy Elimination Act. Their intention isn’t to bash millionaires, and they aren’t calling for higher taxes – only an end to the transfer of wealth to those who don’t need it. Unfortunately, it’s a bipartisan problem.

The much bigger fiscal drain from the wealthy is on the federal expenditure side of the budget ledger: tens of billions each year in grants, loans, subsidies, guarantees and benefits pocketed each year by wealthy Americans as individuals and firms. Any campaign to downsize big government will only succeed if the needed deep cuts in spending are deemed by voters as equitable. In an era of $1 trillion-plus deficits and a $15 trillion national debt, we would like to think that a national consensus could be reached to eliminate handouts to individuals and companies with net incomes above $1 million.


Last month Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) put out a report, “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous,” that identified tens of billions of dollars of handouts to the wealthy. His report included farm payments under government programs to rock stars like Bruce Springsteen and former professional athletes like Scottie Pippen.

Rather than stand up against all this, Republicans recently allowed the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee home mortgages of up to $750,000. Not many in the bottom 99% can afford such homes.
[emphasis mine]

Sorry, I’m not keen on this idea.

The weird and perverse consequences of implicit marginal tax rates (income plus subsidies minus taxes) are already bad enough. Let’s not make them worse.

End government subsides? Yes.

Target some arbitrary income bracket for poetic justice? No.

This comes dangerously close to Obama's At some point you’ve made enough money" mentality.

Walter Williams is usually right on target. I’m surprised he has adopted the language of the Occutards to promote this idea.

We need to get away from the idea that government-funded “grants, loans, subsidies, guarantees and benefits” are appropriate in any form, even when they’re selectively redistributed like Marxist candy to the middle class. From that point of view, The Millionaire Subsidy Elimination Act falls woefully short.

Recommended reading:

Look who pays for the bailout: Meet the Henrys

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2012 Republican Caucuses and Primaries

An outline of the Republican caucuses and primaries in 2012, with other helpful information below, via UVA Center for Politics:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An Advantage for Newt Gingrich via Google Ngram Viewer

Perhaps this illustrates the obvious, but I think this graph is an interesting way to look at one of Newt Gingrich's advantages (Newt in blue):

Google Ngram Viewer doesn't go beyond 2008, but that might be just as well. Scanning the massive database at Google books for use of the Republican presidential candidates' names in this time frame, we get an indication of the relative size of the candidates' footprints at the starting line, before any of them began running for president officially.

For comparison, I included John McCain below (note... Gingrich changed to red):

For greater perspective, I made a graph with Gingrich, Romney, McCain, Clinton and Reagan (Reagan in red in this one; time frame goes back to 1970):

It's fascinating to note that Bill Clinton never really eclipsed Ronald Reagan, even while Clinton was still in office and Reagan had been out of office for a decade.

It's also interesting to note Reagan's curve prior to 1980 vs Clinton's prior to 1992 and Newt's prior to 2008.

Update: I almost forgot to include a graph with Barry O (Newt in Green):

Of course we shouldn't try to read to much into all this (Google's Ngram Viewer is not without certain limitations), but the graphs provoke thought nonetheless.

Update II:
Intro to Google Ngram Viewer...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A State of Constant Fear

Remember this?
“…find a right winger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear…”
Herman Cain did not just fall, he was pushed.

There's a lesson to be learned.  Herman Cain went after the left with gusto.  Remember this?
In New Hampshire on Thursday, Cain accused the [OWS] protesters of "trying to destroy the greatest nation in the world..."
Going back a bit further, remember this?
Herman Cain, who has already formed a presidential exploratory committee for the next election cycle, alleged "stupid people are ruining America" on Friday at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference. 
"It's sad," he said in a speech at the annual event before going on to take aim at the left side of the political spectrum. "The objective of the liberals is to destroy this country..."
If you keep talking like that, you're going to pay a price.

Remember this?
"What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left."
Herman Cain never stopped attacking the left. He paid the price for that. Too few on the right were willing to defend him. They knew they would have paid a price too.
What happened to Herman Cain is what the Democrats intend to do to whoever the Republican nominee turns out to be. They know they can’t win a debate on the economy or on President Obama’s record, so they will do everything they can to distract the voters’ attention from those matters, which should be decisive, and instead turn the focus to the GOP candidate and his or her alleged foibles.
More on that here and here.

I never expected Herman Cain to win the nomination. His biggest surge in the polls was much more than I ever anticipated.

But I like Herman, and before the Cain Train crashed, I had hoped Cain might finish strong enough to emerge as someone's running mate.  With Cain's charismatic and persuasive attacks on left-wing statism, the Jounolistas of the MSM could not afford to allow anything of the sort.

Your favorite candidate might be next.  Are you ready?