Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Would you vote for a Mormon?

For the Republican nomination for president there are now two Mormons running, Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney. So the question I have for anyone who might read this is simple: "Would you vote for a Mormon?"

As anyone who has seen or heard "the Book of Mormon" musical or read "Under the Banner of Heaven" can attest, some of the beliefs of the faith are fairly strange.

Personally, I think most politicians are so full of it and insincere when it comes to their religious beliefs that religion doesn't enter into my voting decisions. What do you think?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ethanol Subsidies: Coburn vs. Norquist

 This article from the Daily Beast made my day.

Only someone with Grover Norquist's level of slime and scuzziness, would oppose ending ethanol subsidies. If there has ever been a more no brainer issue, this is it. I'm glad to see someone like Coburn clear the way for a truly fiscally sound decision by the Senate. It has yet to be seen what the fate of the suspension of subsidies will be in the House, but this is a great step.

Signing some silly tax pledge does not equal fiscal responsibility. Franky I find it distasteful that any elected official would sign such a pledge with any private interest group. It's nice to see that Coburn, who did sign it, came to his senses along with some of his fellow Republicans.

And just to pile on Norquist a little more, here's this post on Frum Forum which shows just what a classy individual he is.

And a picture of the previously referred to scuzz face:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"The president can bomb anybody he likes."

 In one of my favorite scenes in Oliver Stone's film "Nixon", Nixon is told of four articles of impeachment that Congress is considering against him. The last one mentioned is the bombing of Cambodia, to which Nixon replies,"The president can bomb anybody he likes."

What was true then is true today. The way that White House spokesman Josh Earnest brushed aside the two Libya resolutions by Congress as "unnecessary and unhelpful" illustrates this. Ramble on about "Obamacare" and how disappointingly secretive this administration has been, but this cavalier attitude about the War Powers Resolution puts Obama in a class with the previously mentioned former president. While I do think there were many redeeming qualities to Nixon as a president, his view of the office as an almost imperial position was not one of them.

Of course every president since the Resolution was passed carried this sense of executive power, but Obama is the first one to so blatantly ignore it when it comes to military action. And it doesn't look like Congress is doing much about it. Long live Tricky Dick.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A very curious ABC/ Washington Post poll

 The most recent poll by the two news organizations in the title of this post has a wide range of questions featuring most of the GOP candidates for president. For some reason though, the question on how each Republican candidate would fare in a face off with President Obama only features six candidates. Ron Paul is among those left off which is odd considering John Huntsman is one of the six. Huntsman scored some of the lowest scores in the previous questions when it came to voter consideration and preference. Definitely way lower than Ron Paul.

 I've suspected for a bit now that the Huntsman push is coming from a small group of wealthier voices in the GOP, along with a bit of egging on from the media. His name being one of the six in the key 2012 election face off question confirms that for me. Huntsman has the handsome presence to be president and has come across as totally likable. He definitely looks like a president and I have no reason yet to not consider him. I like what I hear so far. What I don't like is the idea of an unseen hand pushing him ahead of candidates with larger bases. Already I'm seeing the worst elements of the 2008 primary coming through.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gary Johnson excluded from NH debate. Bring on our media approved choices.

 So CNN and the sponsoring organizations have decided to exclude Gary Johnson from their upcoming New Hampshire debate because he doesn't meet the needed percentages they laid out. Nevermind that the most recent, and I would think relevant, polling by Gallup shows him at the 2 percent threshold, the same level as Rick Santorum.

 It's funny that the one issue that is usually brought up to highlight Johnson's long shot chances is his support for marijuana legalization. Nevermind the fact that Ron Paul, one of the better polling candidates at the moment, supports that as well, and that it doesn't seem to be affecting his poll numbers. And that was even after Ron Paul's infamous heroin legalization moment. 

The reason Johnson's chances are so remote is name recognition. The point of debates is to make the viewers familiar with the candidates and their views. Before the FOX debate, how many people other than staunch Tea Partiers knew much about Herman Cain?

 I'll admit that Johnson's FOX debate performance was pretty bad, but I was looking forward to seeing some possible improvement in his presentation. Here's hoping CNN changes the standards and lets a two term governor in.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

So that's what Dave Elswick is...

Caught Elswick's show for a brief bit as I drove home from work. He described himself as a Rand Paul/neo-libertarian. He said this meant he supported border security and opposed abortion. How these two things made him jump right over Ron to Rand is beyond me. I'm pretty sure Elswick and Ron Paul are on the same page on these issues, and that those are two issues that have room for debate in the libertarian world.

Let's be honest, the first main difference between Paul and most on the right is that he doesn't love war. The second is that he isn't a vicious SOB. He probably wouldn't yell out "YOU LIE!", or question in public the loyalty of Muslim citizens, or accuse Obama of "hating" America. Today's party is built on lapping up vicious soundbites that tap into whatever built up frustrations they have with ...well...fill in the blank really.

When you've got a party with jokers like Palin who are so enraptured with militarism that they hop on Obama just because he said in a speech that our nation's armed forces are, "one of the finest fighting forces the world has ever known", anti-war elements on the right just don't stand a chance.

Anyway, enough Elswick talk. Just thought it was a nice conclusion to the last two posts. Moving on next time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

For the GOP, liberty starts and ends with guns, low taxes, and the Bible.

If there's anything that I distrust these days it's the increasing number of conservatives and Republicans that are describing themselves as "libertarian" in their thinking. See my previous post on Dave Elswick for an example. While I definitely think Ron Paul and Gary Johnson can lay valid claim to the word, I've never been so sure about Paul's son Rand.

Senate campaign interviews with him made it sound like he was watering down some of the more controversial (and some would say principled) views of his father. His recent stand against some items in the Patriot Act renewal made reconsider him briefly, but an interview with him referenced in this post from the Volokh Conspiracy makes me return to my original opinion of him.

In the interview comment Paul seems to support jailing people who attend radical speeches, by people who speak of violently overthrowing the government. Not people who say these things, just people who attend speeches by those who say these things. I'd be willing to hear some more context from the whole interview if anyone can provide it, but I have a hard time thinking it would shed any new light on Paul's comments.

The GOP only cares about liberty when it applies to the holster, the wallet, and the Good Book.

Here's a video of his comment from Think Progress: