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Archive for December, 2009
December 31st, 2009 at 1:14 pm
Hope for the New Year

Americans are not apathetic people.  Although liberty took several hits this year with wars and rumors of wars on health care, energy, and taxation, freedom’s defenders among the citizenry did not stand by quietly.  They threw tea parties.  They massed at Washington and hundreds of cities around the country.  They spoke boldly at town hall meetings, and found unlikely support.  They raised money, organized, and propelled candidates and ideas past the nay-saying conventional wisdom types.  They won, they lost, and are learning.  2009 was a dress rehearsal.  2010 is the main event.

Americans, by nature, are not defined by politics.  But when events warrant, Americans are willing and able to refocus the political class’s attention on first principles, reminding their hired hands that the government is by, for, and of the people, and that when the governing authority becomes violent towards the people’s self-evident, God-given rights, the people have the right to wipe the slate clean and start afresh.

There is much to be hopeful for next year.  Before next New Year’s Eve a new Congress will be elected.  Let us resolve this December 31st to refound America on our constitutional principles so that a year hence our resolutions can move from the public square to the president’s desk.  And let him dare refuse us.

December 31st, 2009 at 11:24 am
The Top Ten Stories You Might Have Missed

The folks at Foreign Policy have compiled a list of the top ten underreported stories from 2009 that could have a major impact on 2010. They are:

1. The Opening of the Northwest Passage

2. Growing Hostilities between Iraq’s Arab and Kurdish Populations

3. An Intensifying Border Dispute between India and China

4. Uncle Sam Fueling another Housing Bubble

5. Pentagon Edges State Department as Primary Nation Builder

6. Brazil Helping China Expand Its Naval Capabilities

7. Security Breaches in U.S. Passport Procedures

8. Chechen-Related Assassinations

9. American Military Involvement in Uganda’s Civil War

10. CIA Proposes Its Own ROTC-Style Program

December 30th, 2009 at 6:20 pm
Tom Harkin, the Heath Care Homebuilder

If there is anyone still clinging to the notion that Democrats have relented in their pursuit of a single-payer healthcare system, yesterday’s op-ed by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) should help to pry those fingers free.  Among the shinier pieces in his gleaming collection of fool’s gold is this nugget:

I think of the current health reform bill as something of a “starter home.” It is not the mansion that some might want. But it has a solid foundation, giving every American access to quality, affordable coverage. It has an excellent, protective roof, which will shelter Americans from the worst abuses of health insurance companies. And this starter home has plenty of room for additions and improvements.

Earlier in the article Harkin gives some examples, like promising to eventually ban the current practice of refusing to cover people for pre-existing conditions.  Forget the fact that insurance companies are businesses that make profits by insuring low risk patients.  The more companies pay out in medical expenses means there is less money there to pay employees and shareholders.  For Harkin though, solving the problem of profitability means prohibiting sellers from choosing their buyers.

But the health care “reform” bill does more.  It also requires every American to purchase health insurance.  It is aptly named the “individual mandate”.  If the goal of reform was to end up with a government-run, single-payer health care system, but such a plan didn’t have the votes to achieve it directly, one way to get there would be to require both buyers and sellers to contract with each other.  Next, remove the incentive (then the ability) to make a profit.  Finally, declare that since the private health insurance companies “failed”, it’s time for the federal government to step in and take over.

It’s curious that Senator Harkin would liken the Democrats’ “reform” bill to a housing project being readied for additions and improvements.  After all, when most Americans hear “government housing project” they think of areas overrun with crime, corruption, and poor quality.  If Democrats pass their bill into law Senator Harkin may live long enough to complain about the shoddy locks, paper-thin walls, and lack of central heating in his dream home for other people.  That is, assuming his golden years aren’t cut short by a government cost-control panel.

December 30th, 2009 at 5:28 pm
Judicial Watch’s “Not Top Ten”

‘Tis the season for end-of-the-year lists and the folks at Judicial Watch have compiled a list of the “Ten Most Corrupt Politicians” for 2009. A brief summary of their qualifications accompanies the alphabetized list.

1. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT): Failed to disclose the true value of a home in Ireland, and a sweetheart mortgage rate provided by Countrywide, a company he helps to regulate

2. Senator John Ensign (R-NV): Allegedly broke anti-lobbying laws to quiet a former staffer whose wife Ensign had an affair with

3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): Repeatedly blocked attempts to audit and regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even claiming in 2003 that there was no impending housing crisis due to questionable lending practices

4. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner: Failed to pay $34,000 in federal taxes, and employed illegal immigrants for domestic help

5. Attorney General Eric Holder: Refused to investigate ACORN for fabricating 400,000 voter registrations, or a group calling itself The New Black Panthers for voter intimidation outside polling places

6. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) / Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): After Jackson got caught offering $1.5 million to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich for Barack Obama’s old senate seat, Burris was eventually named, but only after changing his story about contacts with Blago three times while under oath

7. President Barack Obama: Since promising to have the most transparent administration in history, Obama has claimed that the Privacy Act does not apply to the White House, refused to honor Freedom of Information Act requests, and failed to release visitor logs as required by federal law

8. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): Apparently, Pelosi likes to use the United States Air Force as her personal airline, but unlike commercial passengers suffers none of the consequences for last minute changes and cancellations – all at the expense of taxpayers and military personnel

9. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the rest of the PMA Seven: Call it cash-for-earmarks because Murtha continued his legacy of funding defense-related pet projects to friendly contractors who then contribute money to his reelection campaigns

10. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): In an effort to avoid punishment for “forgetting” to pay taxes on off-shore rental property, Rangel has contributed money to 119 members of Congress, including members of the House Ethics Committee investigating his incomplete financial disclosures

H/T: Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government

December 29th, 2009 at 8:55 pm
Full Coma Obama
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Remember a year ago, when the biggest rationale for Republican supporters of Barack Obama was his “first-class temperament?” Well, as the Obama Administration prepares to enter its second year in the wake of a near-miss terrorist attack, there’s signs that “No Drama Obama” can’t even muster a pulse for his job’s highest responsibility: protecting the American people.

From a story in today’s Politico:

“In general, I think that the president’s inclinations as a leader work fairly well for this issue — no-drama Obama,” [Cato Institute defense and homeland security fellow Benjamin] Friedman said. “In some ways Al Qaeda is trying to be relevant and trying to be politically relevant, and in some sense they achieved that. He’s denying them that relevance by acting like it’s not the No. 1 thing on his agenda. We credit them with more power and credibility than they have.”

Obama heading to the golf course, Friedman said, “signals that it’s not a crisis, and he’s the president and he has a lot of things to do and this is just one of them.”

Friedman and his fellow-travelers on the left and the libertarian right are engaging in a quixotic bit of terrorism-as-child-rearing fantasy.  Are we really to believe that the highest maxim of combatting terrorism is “see no evil?” If the targeted Northwest Airlines flight had gone down as planned, would this low-key approach from the President be equally effective in discouraging Al Qaeda? And how has this administration’s orgy of euphemisms (you may remember such hits as “man-caused disasters”) done so far in deterring potential terrorists?

It’s naive to believe there’s no such thing as evil in the world. The only thing more naive may be believing that you can make it go away by ignoring it.

December 29th, 2009 at 5:36 pm
TSA to Unionize?

The fracas surrounding Senator Jim DeMint’s (R-SC) hold on Erroll Southers’ nomination to be the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) next chief shows the endurance of two liberal pastimes.  First, the refusal of any of DeMint’s critics to directly address his concerns that Southers will clear the path for TSA workers to unionize.  The second is the enshrinement of unelected bureaucrats as the sine qua non of a workable federal government.

Right now, the TSA’s supposed top priority is to protect Americans traveling through the nation’s airports and on its airways.  If TSA’s workers are allowed to unionize its primary focus, like all other public employee unions, will become job protection and expanding compensation.  To Senator DeMint that means less flexibility in personnel decisions and higher taxes.  Apparently, Southers hasn’t been candid about whether he supports unionization.  Disregarding the senator’s qualms, pilots unions and trade associations are calling for DeMint to relent.  For those familiar with him, that isn’t likely.

Perhaps what’s more amazing (or disgusting, depending on your current level of holiday cheer) is the implied premise of Southers’ supporters that TSA is “rudderless” without a permanent, Senate-approved leader.  Granted, Congress is on an extended vacation and the president is golfing in Hawaii, but no one can seriously argue that TSA, the Department of Homeland Security, the FAA, or the myriad of other federal departments, agencies, or bureaus touching on domestic safety are insufficiently empowered to decide who gets on an American airplane.  If anything, the admission that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s name was on a terror watch list and had been reported to the American government by his own father indicate that “what we’ve got here is…failure to communicate” among various federal entities.

If it takes a new law to make that possible, so be it.  But fast-tracking a stealth unionization administrator can wait until he and his supporters come up with a better reason than a civil servant’s indispensability.

December 29th, 2009 at 2:51 pm
Spare the Waterboard, Use the Bomb

Many anti-war Leftists like to taunt military planners with the Vietnam-era missive that it is sometimes “necessary to destroy the town to save it.” Coupling his distaste for enhanced interrogation techniques with the necessity to neutralize terrorists when possible, President Barack Obama seems to be applying that logic to the lives of individual terrorist leaders. In Pakistan, Afghanistan, and now Yemen, Obama is giving the lie to the notion that his approach to terrorists is more humane than his predecessor’s. As Marc Thiessen explains in today’s Washington Post:

President Obama has shut down the CIA interrogation program that helped stop a series of planned attacks — and in the year since he took office, not one high-value terrorist has been interrogated by the CIA.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has escalated the targeted killing of high-value terrorists. There may be times when killing a terrorist leader is the best option (for example, his location might be too remote to reach with anything but an unmanned drone). But President Obama has decided capturing senior terrorist leaders alive and interrogating them — with enhanced techniques if necessary — is not worth the trouble.”

In fact, Obama has been ordering drone assassinations of terrorist leaders since his first week in office. Unlike the Bush Administration’s model of capture, detain, and interrogate, Obama and his team are opting for the ultimate end-run around Attorney General Eric Holder’s epiphany to treat Guantanamo Bay detainees like American citizens: kill them before they’re contacted. If enemy combatants are really more like common criminals worthy of civilian trials, are common criminals now able to be killed by law enforcement prior to being contacted? Why hassle about the vagaries of Miranda rights when a cop can just shoot the bad guy on the street?

As Thiessen rightly notes, there may be situations where such attacks are warranted.  But killing people so you don’t have to feel queasy about dealing with their continued existence is not an elegant solution to a vexing moral problem. Then again, this isn’t the first time President Obama has applied such reasoning.

Besides these troubling inconsistencies, there is usually collateral damage in the form of neighbors and passers-by that get killed in the fallout. These are the fruits of an enlightened presidency? How provocative it is to think that terrorist leaders had it better under George W. Bush than Barack Obama. At least under the former they weren’t guaranteed a death sentence.

December 29th, 2009 at 12:35 pm
Morning Links
Posted by Sam Batkins Print
December 28th, 2009 at 11:27 pm
Lockheed Crosses the Delaware
Posted by Troy Senik Print

In this, the hair of the dog week of the holiday season, there’s cause for good cheer on the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border. That’s where Lockheed Martin pledged $400,000 to keep alive the state park commemorating George Washington’s daring 1776 Christmas crossing of the Delaware River — a bold act that led to the colonies’ victories in the battles of Trenton and Princeton, and breathed life into what looked like a losing American cause.

I have to admit an emotional attachment to this issue. A year ago, in the waning days of the Bush Administration, I used the Christmas version of the President’s radio address to tout the amazing story of Washington’s Crossing to the American people. With the holiday weekend allowing a rare respite from the White House’s around-the-clock schedule, I spent a Saturday making the drive from my home in Alexandria, Virginia, to the banks of the Delaware River that the father of our country had crossed 232 years earlier.   It was a sight at once inspiring and tragic.

On those shores, where the dreams of an independent republic could well have foundered, is an aging and dilapidated visitor center that looks like it hasn’t been updated or improved for 30 years. Emanuel Leutze’s famous painting of the crossing (which at the time was hanging in the lobby of the West Wing) was replicated on a grand scale — but in an empty auditorium with buckets to catch the leaks from the roof and seating that looked like it had been pried from a condemned elementary school.

The center was reportedly facing closure because of cuts in the Pennsylvania state budget. That’s a shame. If conservatives and liberals can agree to spend money on anything, it ought to be on commemorating the great moments and great men in American history. And frankly (my only call for greater federal power in 2009 is coming in three … two …), as a place of national significance, there’s no reason that the federal government shouldn’t be picking up this ball if Pennsylvania is intent on dropping it.  In the meantime, thanks be to Lockheed. And if you’d like to lend your support, you can do so here.

December 28th, 2009 at 5:55 pm
The Colors of Cowardice

Forget Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano’s bungled response to the would-be Detroit airline bomber.  According to Slate’s Christopher Hitchens the bigger fiasco was the bureaucratic stasis substituted for swift action in the aborted bombing’s aftermath.

It was reported over the weekend that in the aftermath of the Detroit fiasco, no official decision was made about whether to raise the designated “threat level” from orange. Orange! Could this possibly be because it would be panicky and ridiculous to change it to red and really, really absurd to lower it to yellow? But isn’t it just as preposterous (and revealing), immediately after a known Muslim extremist has waltzed through every flimsy barrier, to leave it just where it was the day before?”

If this is true, the color-coded “threat level” system should be scrapped.  It is doubtful anyone feels safe under any color.  Per Hitchens, most Americans know that precious little can be done to prevent a murderer from succeeding if he intends to die in the process.  While not an argument to do nothing, this realization should prompt DHS big wigs to do better PR than announce a new color scheme or disrobement policy.  Americans deserve more from their government than prophylactic policies that seek to prevent the last terrorist’s security breach.  As Hitchens details though, anything else would be unprecedented.

December 28th, 2009 at 3:24 pm
A Schiff in the Making?

Upon officially entering the Republican primary to face Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) in next year’s U.S. Senate race, Peter Schiff vowed to “filibuster until I die” if that’s what it takes to convince members of Congress how horrible are their economic policies. However, if Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) gets his way, theoretically Schiff could find himself in a silenced minority of 49 out of 100.

As trial balloons go, Harkin’s idea to eliminate the filibuster is getting more discussion than most. First there was an interview and weekend op-ed via Ezra Klein in The Washington Post. Today, Jay Cost at RealClearPolitics provides a detailed critique (including a graph!) defending the moderating device. While Klein bemoans the “paralysis” caused when the majority party refuses to negotiate, Cost correctly points out the Framers didn’t intend to make governing easy, only possible.

Beyond original intent, though, Klein would do well to remember that not everybody saw light at the dawn of the Age of Obama. In fact, people like Schiff are so angry at the leftward lurch of the federal government that they are willing to stand up in a town hall meeting or the well of the United States Senate and tell their peers why it’s wrong.

Truth be told, the funny thing about filibusters is that they are so rarely forced. In reality, it’s not the use of filibusters that upsets Klein and Harkin, it’s the threat of using them. Announce you’ll filibuster and the governing elites seethe, condemn, and then capitulate. Had then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) called the Democrats’ bluff to filibuster George W. Bush’s judicial nominees there is little doubt a true round-the-clock filibuster would have run its course within a week; all the while Democratic surrogates would be getting killed on television trying to explain why imminently qualified attorneys shouldn’t be allowed the courtesy of an up-or-down vote.

At bottom, what Klein and Harkin hate isn’t filibusters – it’s any indication that a Democratic majority in Congress doesn’t necessarily reflect America’s majority opinion. With the Tea Party movement gaining steam with the likes of Peter Schiff and Rand Paul, one hopes the filibuster can survive until they arrive in the U.S. Senate. If they bring a majority, maybe Klein and Harkin will rethink their support of the filibuster.

December 28th, 2009 at 1:31 pm
Obama Labeling It A “Victory” Doesn’t Make It One
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

If the Senate’s hyperpartisan Christmas Eve healthcare vote and the Copenhagen climate summit “agreement” constitute “victories” for Barack Obama, one would fear to see anything he’d acknowledge a “failure.” 

At every opportunity, the White House, liberal pundits and media apologists herald both as victories for a foundering presidency.  But just as Obama’s performance has failed to remotely match his lofty campaign rhetoric, neither one comes anywhere close to his professed goals. 

After all, remember the government-run, single-payer system that Obama said was his goal prior to his presidency?  No sign of it in the Senate healthcare bill.  In fact, the bill doesn’t even contain the “robust public option” that Obama sought after he realized single-payer was a bridge too far.  And remember how he demanded them before the August Congressional recess?  Some “victory.” 

And the same goes for the silly Copenhagen climate summit.  Obama arrogantly trumpeted a historic ”agreement,” but the only agreement was an agreement-to-agree-to-something-to-be-agreed-upon-at-some-future-climate-summit.  There were none of the economically-crippling carbon limits demanded by environmental extremists, and none of the billions (trillions?) of largess demanded by developing nations. 

The reality is that Obama needes something – anything – to create the mirage of accomplishment for a White House that has failed so miserably that his approval is lower than any President in history at this stage.   His minions and media chorus may label these things “victories,” but that doesn’t make it so.

December 27th, 2009 at 10:53 pm
Morning Links
Posted by Sam Batkins Print
December 24th, 2009 at 2:56 pm
In Hoc Anno Domini

Today marks the sixtieth consecutive year The Wall Street Journal has published Vermont Royster’s Christmas Eve column on its opinion page.  The piece is a masterwork of liberty rightly ordered.  Enjoy.

December 24th, 2009 at 12:09 pm
Merry Christmas America! The Senate Passes Health Care Reform

Early this morning, the United States Senate passed its version of health care “reform” legislation.  Though Congress won’t be back in session until January 18th, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be discussing ways to reconcile the bills so they can get it to President Obama for his signature.  In a departure from the go-go pace of the last two weeks, there are signs that the legislation may not become law until February of next year.

Since an overwhelming majority of voters oppose either version of the plan, Democrats are leaving themselves open to serious opposition over the holidays; especially since media outlets and activist groups will have time to comb through the bills and highlight the waste and corruption tucked away in each.  For CFIF and its supporters, the fight continues!

December 24th, 2009 at 11:37 am
Negotiating to Lose on Climate Change

One of the fundamental rules of negotiating is being able and willing to walk away without a deal. Apparently, during the make-or-break round of the Copenhagen climate conference only China remembered the rule. Of course, the “deal” it secured with Western countries was far less than Obama, Brown, Merkel, etc. wanted – but that was the point.

To be sure, Western leaders desperately wanted a deal, and kept larding on concessions. Take out previously agreed to emissions targets? Okay. Remove specific reduction deadlines? Fine. How about eliminating independent verification of compliance? Yes. Like a “moderate” Democratic Senator holding out for the sweetest deal possible, China played the world for stooges, and won.

China not only didn’t need a deal – it didn’t want one. But if the “international community” was going to insist on “something” to show for the two-week confab, China was happy to give next to nothing and make it look like the West failed to be serious. For eco-philes the dismal end to “Hopenhagen” shouldn’t be that surprising considering China’s position, though for some it is:

Why did China, in the words of a UK-based analyst who also spent hours in heads of state meetings, “not only reject targets for itself, but also refuse to allow any other country to take on binding targets?” The analyst, who has attended climate conferences for more than 15 years, concludes that China wants to weaken the climate regulation regime now “in order to avoid the risk that it might be called on to be more ambitious in a few years’ time”.

When considered in the context of China’s overall approach to foreign policy, the country’s obstructionism is not novel. Whether it’s protecting Iran from sanctions, propping up North Korea, or bankrolling Sudan, China is not a nation promising the kind of multi-lateral hope and change global government types are waiting for. For America haters everywhere, China’s rise to power does not portend a kinder, gentler world.

December 23rd, 2009 at 7:07 pm
Pass Health Care “Reform,” Kill Medicaid?

While options for defeating health care “reform” are dwindling for congressional Republicans, there may be another, better collection of politicians to derail the federal government’s looming takeover: state governments.  It bears remembering that for all the talk of health care being a human right, the vehicle through which it will be delivered is a voluntary agreement exchanging state sovereignty for federal dollars.  Say no to the federal dollars by opting out of Medicaid, and states are free to provide health care at a price their taxpayers can afford.

That’s the gist of the argument made by two analysts at The Heritage Foundation and discussed today in an article posted on Human Events.  Granted, it may seem like a health care bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the president is immediately binding on the states.  But only if states refuse to opt out of Medicaid.  Like all state-federal “partnerships”, state governments take federal tax dollars because it’s popular to spend money, and besides, a state might as well get back some of what it pays to Washington, right?

Maybe not.  Instead, governors and state legislators would do well to seriously consider saying “no thanks” to Uncle Sam and looking for ways to deliver the same or similar benefits using state-only dollars.  According to the same Heritage Foundation study:

If all states withdraw from Medicaid, their collective savings would be $725 billion over the 2013-2019 period, but they would exceed $1 trillion over 10 years. This assumes that states will continue to spend at least 90 percent of what they spend now on Medicaid long-term care services with state-only dollars. On a state-by-state basis, every state except North Dakota would come out ahead financially by leaving Medicaid but continuing long-term care spending with state-only dollars. Of course, if North Dakota reduced its long-term care spending, it too would come out ahead.

With Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) challenging their governors to take their Medicaid carve outs or pay the full price of “reform”, now is the time for states to start thinking how to regain their status as “50 laboratories” and let all that federal tax money go to some other cause.  Deficit reduction, anyone?

December 23rd, 2009 at 5:56 pm
Liberals Taking Aim at “The One”

Of all the criticism streaming in from the liberal blogosphere, it would be hard to find one as exasperated with President Obama than Emory professor Drew Westen’s recent piece for the Huffington Post. In the midst of a prolonged screed against the man he voted for last November, Westen manages to cogently distill the Left’s frustration with The One:

Like most Americans I talk to, when I see the president on television, I now change the channel the same way I did with Bush. With Bush, I couldn’t stand his speeches because I knew he meant what he said. I knew he was going to follow through with one ignorant, dangerous, or misguided policy after another. With Obama, I can’t stand them because I realize he doesn’t mean what he says — or if he does, he just doesn’t have the fire in his belly to follow through. He can’t seem to muster the passion to fight for any of what he believes in, whatever that is. He’d make a great queen — his ceremonial addresses are magnificent — but he prefers to fly Air Force One at 60,000 feet and “stay above the fray.”

I’ll leave others to analyze the current president’s penchant to be prim when true negotiating grit is needed. And besides the backhanded compliment to Obama’s immediate predecessor, there isn’t much a conservative could add. It’s almost as if liberals are finally realizing what the Right has been saying since he became a serious contender for the White House: the man has no signature achievement other than promoting himself. If comprehensive health care “reform” legislation reaches his desk it won’t be because of his ideas or political capital – a point made well by Westen:

It’s the job of the president to be in the fray. It’s his job to lead us out of it, not to run from it. It’s his job to make the tough decisions and draw lines in the sand. But Obama really doesn’t seem to want to get involved in the contentious decisions. They’re so, you know, contentious. He wants us all to get along. Better to leave the fights to the Democrats in Congress since they’re so good at them. He’s like an amateur boxer who got a coupon for a half day of training with Angelo Dundee after being inspired by the tapes of Mohammed Ali. He got “float like a butterfly” in the morning but never made it to “sting like a bee.”

Then again, perhaps Obama is playing rope-a-dope with his liberal base. As long as he can claim to be the first president to deliver “universal” health care, his legacy will be secure. After all, it’s all about his, right?

December 22nd, 2009 at 1:07 pm
Freedom’s on the March in the Bluegrass State
Posted by Troy Senik Print

I’ve been arguing in this space that one of the keys to a Republican resurgence will be tapping into the slightly libertarian, anti-government energy of the Tea Party movement. This strategy has the twin virtues of aligning with where the public is at right now and getting the GOP back to first principles after nearly a decade of intellectual drift.

For that reason, it’s encouraging to see that the new Public Policy Polling results in Kentucky show Dr. Rand Paul (Ron Paul’s son) with a commanding lead against the establishment candidate in the Republican primary.

While it’s as yet unclear to me whether Dr. Paul shares his father’s isolationist views on foreign policy (based on his campaign website, Rand seems ever-so-slightly more mainstream), his candidacy should be embraced on the right even if he does. Like Peter Schiff (who is running for the Republican nomination in Connecticut), Paul is a true believer in limited government, personal freedom, and Austrian economics. Having a few new U.S. Senators cut from that cloth would be more than worth the tradeoff on defense issues.

December 22nd, 2009 at 11:53 am
Democrats Flee Sinking Ship
Posted by Sam Batkins Print

The party of the donkey might have a 257-178 advantage in the House of Representatives but Alabama Representative Parker Griffith has just announced that he’s switching over to the GOP.

Griffith has spent most of his time in Congress opposing Speaker Pelosi’s legislative priorities, including the government takeover of health care and the $787 billion failed stimulus.   In fact, he was one of just eleven House Democrats to oppose the stimulus.

Griffith evidently saw the writing on the wall and recognized that having a “D” after his name would be a political liability in 2010.  His district, AL-5 (northern Alabama), gave President Obama 38% of the vote in 2008.

There is no official announcement yet from Representative Griffith.  Check back for further details.