February 15, 2008

Et Tu, Romney?

By now you have probably observed that I am a big Mitt Romney fan.  There are few things Romney could do to damage my faith in him, but he managed to find one of them; Romney endorsed John McCain.

Now, to be fair, I understand the politics of it all.  I understand that Mitt wants to preserve his political future and as a party leader he is expected to fall in line with the party politics now that the nomination is all but wrapped up.  I understand that Romney is committed to party unity and whether we like it or not, McCain is our guy.

Having said that, I still don't like it.  I'm not a fan of John McCain.  I cheered Mitt on when he fired off his attacks on McCain's leftward tendencies.  I was with him completely when he argued that we need a Conservative in the White House and that McCain is no Conservative.  I can't help but feel a little betrayed.

Look, I'm gonna vote for John McCain if he is our nominee; I won't deny that.  But I also don't want to shove the last year and a half under the rug.  I don't want to ignore the fact that our party and the Conservative movement has a major problem in John McCain.  I had hoped that the man who is in the best position to really become the next big Conservative leader, Mitt Romney would have taken a bit more of a stand on this.

Wishful thinking I suppose.

I'm writing angry, never a good idea.  I'll stop now.

February 11, 2008

Picking Through the Leftovers: McCain or Huckabee

With Romney out of the race and a few days to ponder the remaining options, I've come to a decision on whether to cheer for Huckabee or McCain.  Neither of them were my first choice, but after spending some time evaluating what I like and don't like about both candidates, I've settled on a number of things I like about each, but alot more that I don't like about McCain than Huckabee.

I've noticed a trend during the candidacy of John McCain; that he seems to think that if he says something enough, that it is true.

I first noticed it in the back-and-forth between McCain and Romney when McCain took attempted to twist a Romney quote to allege that Romney supported a timeline to withdraw from Iraq.  When it was clearly showed that Romney never said nor meant such a thing, and McCain was confronted about the attack not being "straight talk" McCain simply held to his position that the attack was true and repeated multiple times that he was just giving "straight talk."

In recent months I've become confused about the definition of "straight talk" because I'm learning that it has less and less to do with the truth.

We've heard over and over from McCain that he doesn't support amnesty for illegal immigrants, when Kennedy-McCain clearly does. 

We've heard that he is pro-life, when he supports the expansion and federal funding of embryonic stem cell research and opposes the human life amendment. 

We've heard that he supports traditional marriage when he staunchly opposed the federal marriage amendment.

We've heard that he will nominate strong judges, but not judges like Justice Alito who wear their Conservatism "on their sleeve."  (brief aside, in my opinion, Justice Alito is the best appointment to the Court since Justice Scalia.)

He tells us he is a fiscal Conservative but he opposed President Bush's tax cuts.  And while he says that he would not raise taxes publicly, there are reports that he has said the opposite privately.  Take that for what it is worth and a totally unconfirmed rumor.

Certainly, there are areas for debate and excuses that could be made for some of these, but when I find myself questioning the sincerity of a man over and over, it really makes it difficult to support his candidacy for the presidency.

Add to that the fact that he almost seems to relish crossing over the isle to not just work with Democrats, but advance their causes rather than those of the Republican Party, leaving us with gems like McCain-Finegold, and I've got some real concerns.

On the other hand, Huckabee is no knight in shining armor either.  His history of tax increases in Arkansas, his very recent conversion to strong immigration proponent and his "big government" approach on a number of issues leave me with many of the same questions.  But what I don't question is his position on social issues.  I don't question that he will nominate textualist judges.  I don't question that he will be a strong advocate for life and traditional marriage. 

I'm not totally sold on the Fair Tax idea, but I'd take almost anything as opposed to the IRS.  Though I'm also not convinced that we could get it passed.

I'm not sold on Huckabee's foreign policy credentials either, but this is an area that I see as being heavily influenced by advisors and military insiders as opposed to many of these social issues we face being a matter of personal conviction.  I believe Huckabee will stay the course in Iraq and while he doesn't have the same exposure to foreign policy that McCain does, I can't anticipate any tangible difference in the way they would handle foreign affairs.

At the end of the day, as a Conservative, I find myself with an easy choice between McCain and Huckabee; Welcome to the Huckabee wagon.  I question his history, but I don't question that he will at least attempt to do the things he says he will.  I can't say the same for McCain.

Let us not forget the "is he electable" factor, however.  I know many have gone the way of McCain based solely on the idea that he is the only one who stands a chance against Hilary or Obama.  I'm an optimist though, and I truly believe that both McCain and Huckabee could beat either of the Democrats through their respective playing to the middle (as McCain is currently doing) or playing to Conservatives (as Huckabee is doing and Bush did in 2004).  Though Huckabee also has a tough road ahead to even secure the nomination, I also believe it is still a possibility.

Though as a Floridian I'm really just on the sideline as our primary has come and gone, I still encourage those of you out there who live in, or have friends and family in states with primaries yet to pass, hop on the Huckabee wagon with me.

February 08, 2008

Thank You Mitt Romney

Though I'm disheartened by the end of Romney's campaign, he's left me several things to be thankful for.

I'm thankful that Romney reminded me what it feels like to really be excited about a candidate.  Its been quite sometime since I've seen a candidate that was the "total package" that Romney was.  In a time when we are so critical of all of our candidates and it is easier than ever to find and broadcast their faults (and certainly Romney had faults of his own) it is easy to become disenchanted with candidates and the process.  But Romney brought me out of that at least for the span of his campaign.  I'm thankful for the reminder that it is possible.

I'm thankful that Romney forced me and so many other Evangelicals to evaluate whether our faith was going to be a defining factor in our vote, over policy issues.  The decision on this wasn't unified by any means, but I believe it was important for us to be faced with that decision.

I'm thankful that he was willing to step down.  Calculations of the chance he had at winning were most definitely the driving factor here, but I'm thankful for a candidate that is not too prideful to step down before the last glimmer of possibility is gone in the name of allowing our party to go into the election stronger and unified.

I hope that this is not the last Presidential race we see Romney in.  Who knows what the future holds, but if there is a future Romney campaign, count me in.

February 02, 2008

Another Victory for Traditional Marriage

I have to be honest, when I heard that due to a reporting error tens of thousands of petitions in support of the Florida Marriage Amendment left the measure over 21,000 petitions short of the required 611,000 with less than two weeks before the deadline, I wasn't positive the amendment would be on our ballot.  I am so glad I was wrong. 

All the required signatures are in and he State Division of Elections has certified the Amendment for inclusion on the November 2008 ballot.  Now the real work begins.

January 31, 2008

Mr. Excitement McCain?

I normally really enjoy columns by Ben Shaprio; the young upstart Conservative columnist who offers a fresh perspective on politics.  But I have to say his most recent column makes me ask whether he has been paying attention to the primaries at all:

McCain won because Romney's Boring

Huh?  I'll admit, it takes a certain kind of sick person to get into politics like some of us do.  To the average person watching a concession speech by a primary candidate lands just above watching paint dry.  However, ever on the "normie" scale, I can't fathom how one would say that McCain is more energizing than a 72 year old tree stump, let alone Mitt Romney.

As I concluded in my post on the Florida primary:

"I will also say that watching the post results speeches that Romney looked more presidential and was more inspiring and energizing in defeat than McCain in victory."

As one observer noted, the only possible way to enjoy watching John McCain anymore is to play a drinking game where you take a swig every time he uses the phrase "No, that is straight talk.  No, that is straight talk.  No, that is straight talk."  Other might say the fun in watching him is waiting to see if he is going to actually try and choke a journalist

If I have to hear the term "straight talk" ten times a day for the next for years I can't promise that I won't resort to violence.

I would almost rather listen to Al Gore speak than John McCain.  At least Al Gore is hilarious.

I've sold several folks on Romney just by directing them to clips of his speeches at CPAC and the like.  It has been my experience that those folks who have actually sat down and taken the time to look at Romney's record, to hear him speak, and really look past the media hype almost without fail come out excited about his candidacy.

Let's be clear about what McCain is not: young, stylish, energizing, fair-tempered, Conservative, right on immigration, right on stem cell research, right on protecting traditional marriage, or a "straight talker."

January 30, 2008

Amendment 1 Aftermath

The Property Tax Amendment decisively made it through the voting yesterday.  We've had a bit of a debate here at PEER about what the effect will be.  Many worried that this would squelch any chance of getting any further tax relief any time soon.  I was thrilled to hear quotes from both Crist and Marco Rubio before the end of the night saying that this is just the beginning and we've got to continue to push to drive down tax rates.  Rubio is apparently already suggesting plans for the next step.

Folks, don't worry, this issue is not going away.  The only thing we need be concerned with are the democrats who are already saying that we've gotten enough tax relief.

Let's move onto the next stage of this battle.

Florida Primary Aftermath

Last night, for the first time, I was glad that only half of Florida's delegates will count.  With McCain's win he picks up not just 57 delegates, but he also now has the momentum required to win the Republican primary. 

I will try not to dwell too much on Romney's loss, but there was much screaming at the Mr. G house last night.

So where does this leave us?  There are a few things we learned on the Republican side last night:

1.  McCain can win without appealing to Conservatives.  The conventional political wisdom for a while has been that Republicans don't have to run Conservative candidates because Conservatives if pitted with the choice of voting for a non-conservative Republican vs. a democrat will normally pick the Republican.  This political strategy hasn't been put into practice often because Conservatives energize the party and make the race that much easier.  But for whatever reason, whether it is because some Conservatives are believe McCain is the most electable or because Romney and Huckabee are splitting votes, or that Conservatives just aren't energize, McCain is showing that he can get along just fine without really targeting Conservatives.

This is a pretty significant shift in Republican politics.  If McCain is able to win because of his broad appeal, it will set the standard for Republican candidates to come.  I've heard many argue that McCain is a good candidate because he will set the stage for a Conservative candidate, but I don't see that happening.  Once the party begins to go down the road towards solidifying in the middle it is going to be a tough task to get back to the right.

2.  The only chance for a Conservative to beat McCain is for Huckabee to drop out.  With Giuliani's impending endorsement of McCain, Huckabee and Romney can no longer afford to split votes.  As last night's results showed, Romney has a much broader base than Huckabee and is in a better position to win.  Huckabee has been sold as the strong pro-life and pro-family candidate.  Folks have joined him because of belief in those causes.  But it is now time for Huckabee to put those causes before his campaign.  The longer Huckabee stays in the race, the less chance a Conservative has of winning the primary.  It is time for Huckabee to take one for the team and do what is best for the causes we believe in; drop out and endorse Romney.  An exit by Huckabee after Super Tuesday may be too late.

I will also say that watching the post results speeches that Romney looked more presidential and was more inspiring and energizing in defeat than McCain in victory.



January 28, 2008

Crist Endorses McCain, America Yawns

So Charlie Crist and Mel Martinez have jumped on board with McCain.  Neither of these come as any real shock, though I'm a little disappointed.  Unlike many of my fellow bloggers and the media however, I do not expect this will have any huge effect on the Florida primary.  While both of these men are skilled politicians, I don't see them as wielding a huge amount of public influence.  With Crist, in fact, I would argue just the opposite, public opinion and polls likely have more effect on him than the other way around. 

Let me ask you this, knowing what you know about Charlie Crist, if Giuliani had remained the front funner, do you think he would still be endorsing McCain?  I digress...

As for Mel Martinez, his approval ratings will tell you how much support will come with his endorsement... not much... and this is coming from someone who approves of Martinez.

Both of these guys have performed well in their respective roles and I respect both of them for it, but let's be honest the person is few and far between who is going to be tipped in one direction or the other by a politician's endorsement unless that politician has a devoted following.  Folks like Daniel Webster may garner that kind of following, but I don't see that with either Crist or Martinez.  A Jeb endorsement would have carried some weight, though he's probably angling for a VP spot.

Yes, yes, I know, Crist has ridiculously high approval ratings, but let's be honest, the reason for this is that he has managed to to completely tick anyone off yet.  Thats what makes him a great politician, but its that same mushy middle position that will prevent his endorsement from carrying much weight.

The media and bloggers are making this into a much bigger issue than it really is.  Perhaps if the endorsement had come a month ago and Crist went stomping around Florida stumping for McCain he could have swayed some folks for McCain with some passionate speeches, but a mere endorsement won't cut it.

If John McCain pulls off the victory it will be because of John McCain, not because of Charlie Crist.

But all of this is a moot point because all of you Republicans out there are going to vote for Mitt Romney... right?   Right?

January 25, 2008

The State of Sunshine Breaks My Heart

I really want to head over to Tampa to give Jim Johnson of The State of Sunshine a hug.  He seems a little discouraged over the candidates and the state of the party as a whole.  Just a little bit.

"The Republican Party is doomed, my friends."

He is also frustrated that the candidates all seem the same.

I'll have to disagree.  First, one of the candidates has been endorsed by the New York Times.  That's a pretty significant difference which closed any possibility there was of him getting my vote.

Second, we certainly have differences among the candidates on social issues, that being Romney and Huckabee versus McCain and Giuliani.  An example of application is federal funding of embryonic stem cell research which President Bush took a strong stand on and will require further strength from our next President.  For social Conservatives like me, that is a huge issue that will have very different result based on the candidate that wins.  Tell a social Conservative that the differences on this issue are "shades of gray" and you'll get to see them do a back flip, pull all their hair out, and breathe fire.  I know, I've done it twice this week.

I understand that Jim is certainly not alone in his feelings.  But honestly, I have a hard time remembering an election where we had more qualified candidates on the Republican side.  Really, if you think about it, we have a line up of heroes.  Whether it be 9/11, Vietnam, faith, Conservatism, they've all got good qualities.  Even Ron Paul is a hero those few Republicans who have difficulty understanding the world around them.  Good for him.

Cheer up Jim, we'll make it through this together.  And come Tuesday, if you still don't know who to vote for, vote for Romney, for Mr. G.

That goes for the rest of you too.

And as for Hillary?  I'm an optimist, and honestly, I think she is very, very beatable.

Mr. G's Thoughts on the Republican Debate in Florida

I managed to catch the midnight rerun of the Republican debate in Florida on MSNBC last night.  Allow me to give you might thoughts on the performances and even a little on the status of the campaigns.  Start with the best performance of the night and move down.

1.  Mitt Romney

Even right out of the gate I thought Romney gave a dominating performance.  The commentators last night, and many in the papers today are attributing this to the fact that the candidates didn't go after each other like the democrats have been doing.  We can speculate, but it doesn't really matter.  The fact is that Romney, as has become his style, looked presidential, sounded presidential and had all the right answers.

But hey, I'm biased.

Regardless of who you believe "won" the debate, there must at least be a consensus that Romney had the line of the night when asked by Tim Russert whether he is ready to face a campaign against both Hillary and Bill Clinton stating that he "can't imagine Bill Clinton in the White House again with nothing to do..."

Romney, in my mind really established himself as the guy to beat once again, in not just Florida, but the national race as well.

Romney really got put on the spot by Russert when he was asked is he would share with Florida how much of his own money he has spent on his campaign here.  Romney explained that he wouldn't for strategy reasons as he didn't want to reveal that to his opponents just yet but would when the law requires.  I think that was a fair answer.  But then he really hit it out of the park by explaining that:
1.  He has raised more money than any of his opponents,
2.  He couldn't ask his others to donate to his campaign if he was not willing to make a substantial contribution himself, and
3.  The fact that he is his own biggest contributor means that when elected he won't owe anyone anything.

Well said.

2.  Mike Huckabee

Huckabee really gave a fantastic performance.  He was certainly the most likable of all the candidates.  He also managed to stay relevant in the debate which is important for a guy that is going to have a hard time remaining relevant in the upcoming primaries.  A few things he said concerned me though.  Huckabee really pushed the idea of the Fair Tax, which I'm not opposed to, but he made it seem like that was the end all solution to all our financial woes.  I'm sure that is not what he believes, but lets look at an example.

Huckabee was asked about problems with social security.  His solution?  The Fair Tax.  Why? because that would allow a more stable source of funding for the program.  That is not what I want to hear from a Conservative candidate.  The answer is, social security is broken and we need to find ways to begin moving away from it and replacing it with a financially stable system.  Romney was hit with a similar question right after Huckabee and responded with three viable solutions.  He also explained that these options would have to be explored with the democrats to reach an agreement on the best solution.  Romney sounded realistic.  I don't want to say Huckabee is dreaming because I think the Fair Tax is certainly a possibility, though it may be a good distance off.  Romney has solutions for us now.

Another thing that concerned me was when Huckabee was asked about whether he agreed with Chuck Norris, who endorsed him, that John McCain is too old to be president.  Huckabee responded that he was with Norris when the comment was made and that he didn't say anything because he was standing next to Chuck Norris who "can put this foot on that side of my face and there is nothing I can do about it."  He went on to explain that later he made clear that he doesn't think that McCain lacks the capacity to be president.

It was a cute answer, but the fact of the matter is that Huckabee stayed silent after the comment was made not because he was afraid of getting kicked in the face.  I realize that it was one of those in the moment experiences and he may have said something if he could go back.  However, it bothers me a little that the guy that is most vocal about other candidates changing with the polls stays silent when the comment is made, but then reveals this strong conviction about it mostly likely after a strategy meeting on how to handle it.  I'm probably making something out of nothing, but something just didn't sit right with me.

I like Huckabee, but he didn't do anything to resolve my fears about his domestic policy positions.

3.  Ron Paul
Confession: I love making Ron Paul out to be the crazy of the group, but I have to admit he is a sharp guy.  Not all of his ideas are that bad.  I thought his performance last was the best I've seen so far from him.  But his question to McCain about whether he would abolish the President's Working Group on Financial Markets confused me.  Most Americans don't know or care about the PWG and Paul wastes his one chance to really distinguish himself on trying to pin McCain to a position that no one cares about.  Paul is playing to a fringe audience in this primary, and that is why he will remain a fringe candidate. 

4.  John McCain
McCain looked comfortable, as well he should given his current poll numbers. I was a little confused by his presentation however, as he kept claiming that he is a Conservative but every chance he got he touted when he broke away from Republicans and Conservatives.  Let me assure you, McCain is no Conservative.  That said, he didn't do anything to really hurt himself last night, sat back a little, and tried to demonstrate that he's not as old as he may appear to be.  Exactly what the old guy in the lead needs to be doing.

If nothing else, the fact that the New York Times just endorsed McCain proves that McCain is no Conservative. 

5.  Rudy Giuliani
As the guy who is betting everything on Florida, Giuliani needed to have his best performance.  Instead, he looked like a man on the run.  His campaign is watching this focus on Florida strategy fail miserably as he has absolutely no momentum.  My guess is that this will be the last time we see this strategy employed.  Giuliani made the comment during the debate that he had lulled the competition into a false sense of security, which was cute. But the fact is that he doesn't decide the result of the election.  We do.  And  it is the voters have been lulled into the impression that his campaign in about to collapse.

After the race, Giuliani's campaign manager was asked about the dropping poll numbers and he responded that people are most concerned about the "issues" that the "horse race."  It is not that simple.  Voters are concerned with both.  The truth is that front-runners are attractive because people don't want to feel like they are throwing their vote away.  I was at dinner with an Evangelical family last night who asked who I though they should vote for.  They like Huckabee, but wanted to vote for someone who was electable as well to help the cause of the best candidate with the best chance.  For the Huckabee supporters out there, I didn't tell them that a vote for Huckabee was a wasted vote.  I did sell them on Romney, however...

Giuliani looked like Giuliani last night.  Great guy, great leader, but nothing to pull himself out in front of the other candidates.

January 24, 2008

Another NYT Hit on Romney

It is like clockwork, whenever there is something embarrassing going on among Democrats the media instantly starts to pump out stories trying to put Republicans in the same light.  We've spent the last couple of days waiting to see if Hillary and Bill are going to get into a fist fight with Obama and wondering why John Edwards is still hanging around.  Then today, we get this piece from the New York Times telling us that the real action is among Republicans.  Specifically, that everyone is ganging up on Romney.

The article focuses on a quote from McCain referring to mud-slinging.  But I'm trying to figure out who McCain hasn't said something nasty about at this point.  It used to be cute because I thought he was really standing up to for himself.  Now I'm realizing that he's really just a cranky old man.  Remember that old neighbor who used to sit on his porch solely so he could yell at you if you stepped on the grass or "dawdled" too long on the sidewalk?  Yeah, that's old-man McCain.

The article also references some quotes from McCain and Huckabee staff. 

NEWSFLASH:   Huckabee and McCain staff are not fans of other candidates.

So what we are left with is one candidate who is crabby to everyone making crabby comments to Romney, and then paid staff of that candidate and one other making snarky statements as well.

How is this news?  It isn't.  It is a diversion from the bickering among Democrats and just another pathetic attempt to try and break down the unstoppable Romney machine.

All you need to know is this; Mr. G likes Romney.

Now let's get back to seeing which Democrat throws the first punch.  My bet is Hillary, she's more of a man than the other two put together.

FL Conservative Pro-Family Endorse Huckabee - Mr. G is Unmoved

I received via email today this press release concerning a number of Florida's Conservative and Pro-Family Leaders who have hopped on the Huckabee Wagon.  I'm told it is because Churck Norris threatened to round-house kick the roofs off their houses.

There are a good number of people on this list who I have great respect for.  These are some sharp folks and seeing their endorsement really made me question my Romney support for a moment.  But after some thought, I found myself right back where I started impressed by the family value convictions of Mike Huckabee, but afraid of his positions on domestic issues, particularly immigration, the economy, taxes and spending.  Again, I'd happily vote for Huckabee if he ends up being the nominee (which I don't think he will), but as far as being the total package, Mitt Romney is our man.

I do have to say that I've been impressed both impressed and depressed by the conversations I've had with the Evangelicals in my life who are Huckabee supporters.

I'm impressed that so many are excited about him, especially given the lack of campaigning he's been able to do in our state. 

I'm depressed that so many have jumped to a quick decision based solely on his stances on family values issues and have not done the research on the other candidates.

If you're touting yourself as a "big Huckabee supporter" when I ask you what you think about his immigration positions or his economic positions the answer should not be "I don't know."  Take the time to learn about the candidates, folks.

I'll give you the same challenge that I've given to these folks:  I challenge you to find a candidate in this race who has reacted more consistently on major family values issues such as marriage and life than Mitt Romney. 

The truth is that Romney has had more of an opportunity to stand for major family values issues than the others.  Perhaps they would do so if the opportunity comes up.  But Romney has proven himself willing and capable to stand up to a liberal legislature for what is right, even if it means he has no chance of being able to run for a second term.  In Massachusetts of all places Romney has vetoed legislation related to the morning after pill, embryonic stem cell research, massive minimum wage hikes, state benefits for illegal immigrants, and fought in both his capacity as governor and as a private citizen for traditional marriage.  Add to that his consistent policies on the economy and his creative solutions to the near unresolvable health care crisis and you have a candidate that I'm really looking forward to voting for.

That is, unless you can convince me otherwise.  You have 5 days.

November 14, 2007

Why the Sales Tax Idea Won't Go Away

When the Florida House of Representatives Sales Tax idea failed to make it out of the Legislature alive most of us promptly put the concept of axing property taxes out of mind.  I mentioned at toward the end of the discussion on the issue that this was not something that was going to disappear and we would be talking about again as a viable option. 

With news like this, it may be sooner than even I expected:

Report:  Orlando foreclosure filings up 184%

The Orlando Business Journal explains that even with this tremendous increase Orlando is still only 28th out of the top 100 areas as far as foreclosures.  Ft. Lauderdale came in at 4th, and Miami at 8th.

The legislature will only be able to tinker with band-aid solutions to the mortal economic wound which Florida's property tax scheme presents.  As the unstable real estate market continues to crush Florida families we must pursue options to provide relief, while allowing for the collection of a taxes at a fair rate.  I continue to propose that a statewide sales tax rather than our current property tax provides such a solution and if news like this continues to hit the papers, expect that I won't be the only one calling the legislature back to the table to discuss the idea.

November 08, 2007

Sarkozy Loves America, and Mr. G Loves Him Right Back

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and all those who voted him into office are radically changing the way I view the French.  Yesterday, Sarkozy spoke before Congress and summed up the American Spirit better than I've heard it from most of our own political leaders.  It does make me sad, however, to realize that this foreign dignitary understands what makes our nation great better than the liberals and democrats who actually live here.  This is a must read speech.  But here is my favorite part:

"America did not tell the millions of men and women who came from every country in the world and who--with their hands, their intelligence and their heart--built the greatest nation in the world: "Come, and everything will be given to you." She said: "Come, and the only limits to what you'll be able to achieve will be your own courage and your own talent." America embodies this extraordinary ability to grant each and every person a second chance.

Here, both the humblest and most illustrious citizens alike know that nothing is owed to them and that everything has to be earned. That's what constitutes the moral value of America. America did not teach men the idea of freedom; she taught them how to practice it."

At several points throughout the speech President Sarkozy was met with applause.  It struck me as odd that we had democrats applauding for Sarkozy preaching principles which they adamantly oppose.

Throughout the speech Sarkozy explained his love for America.  I gotta say, I'm impressed with his positions and his boldness, and I'm lovin him right back.

Finally, for 8 years we have heard about how President Bush has totally destroyed American goodwill abroad.  But doesn't it say something the France, of all places, has its president buddying up with Bush and spouting off how much he loves America to Congress?
 

 

October 04, 2007

This is why democrats scare me...

On a casual stroll through the Florida blogosphere I found this gem over at the Florida Progressive Coalition:

Earth to Florida:  You Need an Income Tax

Unreal.  Absolutely unreal.

Oh, and if you're making over $100k per year, the author suggests a 9% tax on you.  From there it goes up to 15% if you make $300k per year.  Just tack that extra amount on top of your federal taxes.  And don't fuss at me about it, mister, because having Florida adopt an income tax is "not debatable."

In fairness, the author is suggesting that this replace the property tax system, so you've at least got that going for you.  However, I'd take our defunct property tax set up over an income tax any day.  Oh, the proposed income tax would also "fund high quality socialized early education for all two, three and four year olds, class size reductions and parent training courses for all high school students and all other imminent parents."

I'm speechless...

At least we can be thankful that this guy is not Governor, as he states that, "If I were Governor, I’d go all out to enact an income tax and this week I’d be proposing a budget that increases state spending by a billion dollars, not slashing it one billion."

Where do these people come from?

At first I just wrote this off as one of the many far left moonbats out there peddling half-brained tax hikes and massive government spending increases.  But then I remembered that we're not just hearing proposals like this from the liberal fringes.  In fact, we have a democrat presidential candidates, including the front runner, pushing and promising programs which will result in massive increases in government spending.  How do we pay for it?  Massive tax hikes!

Despite the fact that it has been this way for as long as I can remember, I'm still confounded by the way democrats on all levels consistently demonstrate a complete lack of restraint in taking and spending my money.

September 16, 2007

It's Ok to lie about abortion

If you're pro-choice anyway.

The Supreme Court of New Jersey has ruled that it’s OK to lie to women about the state of their pregnancy while they are deciding to have an abortion.

New Jersey’s supreme court has just decided that, as far as state law is concerned, an abortionist can give false information to a woman trying to decide whether to have an abortion.

Is there a “baby in there”? That’s what Rose Acuna wanted to know from her obstetrician-gynecologist. She was six to eight weeks along at the time. “Don’t be stupid. It’s only blood,” the physician, Sheldon Turkish, allegedly replied. (Turkish argues that he probably said, “It’s just tissue.”) So, three days later, Acuna went ahead with the abortion.

Turns out it wasn’t “just tissue.”

There's a few personal stories and additional information at Patterico's Pontifications.
 

August 23, 2007

Amen.

"Right now, no major party out there represents my values as a Christian."

Don't assume anything based on the subject of the article itself, I just liked the quote.

August 02, 2007

Pay the Piper Baby

In August of last year, I ran a post here on NC's speaker of the house, Jim Black.  It seemed to me at the time that all negative publicity was directed only at those on the right.  In the article that accompanied that post, Black said he wasn't aware of any shenanigans going on.  Right.

His time has come.  The N&O in Raleigh, NC has been covering this story all week because ole Jim is on his way to the big house.  He's also got quite a fine to pay before December or he'll get more time. 

My only question is, "Who's next?"  Black is going to sing and heads will roll.  My guess is local lobbyist Don Beason.  Stay tuned.

July 29, 2007

Assimilate and vote Republican!

From Rasmussen,

Eighty percent (80%) believe that newcomers to this land should focus on assimilating American culture rather than maintaining the culture of their home country. That’s up from 67% in 2004. Twelve percent (12%) say maintaining the home country culture should be the focus, down from 19% in 2004.

A majority (55%) continue to say that given a choice between more government services and higher taxes versus fewer services and lower taxes, they'd pick the latter trade-off. Republicans (73%) are more likely to prefer leaner government, but a plurality of Democrats (46%) also say that's their preference.

July 10, 2007

Who do you Trust?

What is the basis of your trust? Arnold Kling discusses trust, trust in science and trust in politics in this short piece at TCS. Here's a couple excerpts,

the highest form of trust is trust in the processes followed by other parties, including the incentives governing those processes. Information that is developed using scientific methods, with careful consideration of alternative hypotheses and limitations of the data, comes from a reliable process. Transactions are most trustworthy when they take place in a context where similar transactions have proven trustworthy and cheating is easily detected and punished.

On science,

For information, it is easiest to trust scientific research when the methods seem capable of producing reliable results and the conclusions have little political significance. Many people distrust politically loaded scientific research because they do not like the conclusions, regardless of the quality of that research.

On politics,

If you can trust the processes of government, then that is a good thing. Good trust in government is based on processes that provide for accountability, checks and balances, equal protection, and punishment of official corruption.

Trusting the virtues of government leaders is a bad thing.

And,

Trusting the "will of the people" is also a bad thing. Democratic majorities can support inferior policies, infringement on people's rights, and even genocide. Popular voting is useful as a check on elites, but not as a tool for over-riding the principle of individual liberty.


June 25, 2007

Florida Marriage Amendment

The 2008 election cycle promises to be nothing short of electric in Florida.  With the presidential election as well as, as of last week, a vote on a Florida constitutional amendment to give even more tax relief the political machine will be firing on all cylinders.  Add to that yet another vote which promises to be one of, if not the most hotly contested issue; the Florida Marriage Amendment. 

The amendment needs only 21,000 more signatures before February 1, 2008 and it will be on the November 2008 ballot.  Easy.

Anticipating the battle to come, the opposition is already gearing up and Equality Florida is calling on bloggers to enter the fray.  As is typical of the enemies of traditional marriage, even this initial call to arms ignores the truth in an effort to paint a picture of a nation moving towards the warm embrace of same sex marriage.  This is, of course, does not accurately reflect reality.

For regulars here at PEER Review, much of this will be a review.  We've covered this topic in detail, but Florida's liberals obviously need a refresher course.

Continue reading "Florida Marriage Amendment" »

June 13, 2007

Florida democrats Voicing Opposition to Property Tax Reform, Lower Foreclosure Rates and Voter Involvement

Democrats in the Florida legislature now seem poised to fight the property tax reform measures proposed by Republicans.  In all likelihood this is nothing more than political posturing since democrats know that Republicans have put all their eggs in one basket on this issue.  Prediction: the reform measures pass.

In the meantime, let's take a moment to examine the position the democrats have put themselves in with their opposition.

First, a report released yesterday shows that for the month of May, Florida has one of the top ten highest foreclosure rates in the country.  Miami is in the list of top ten cities.  Reducing property taxes can only help those facing foreclosure as it will reduce housing payments.  Democrats are opposed.

Second, one of the larger concerns democrats have is with the second half of the tax cut plan which requires an amendment to the Florida Constitution.  It would cut about 16 billion in property taxes.  democrats say it is too much and that the people of Florida don't want it.  Remember that this amendment will require a vote in November 2008.  So if you are opposed, vote against it.  Perhaps the democrats are be right.  Maybe the people are opposed, but the Republicans are advancing a way to find out.  I suspect that the democrats are dead wrong on this one and the amendment will have a good chance of passing.  There is only one way to find out; let the people vote.

I don't suggest that state-wide votes are the solution to every issue.  However, it does seem silly that democrats are parading about with their rhetoric about the will of the people when the Republicans have proposed a measure to allow voters to voice their will.

Fred Under Attack

One dynamic to the Fred Thompson campaign I hadn't thought about until today is the fact that his opposition is already well organized.  As Thompson prepares to declare the other candidates have already developed expansive support networks.  This means that as the Thompson campaign gets rolling, he's an easy target.  The Politico has the story today.  Thompson is being questioned on everything from surveys in 1994 and 1996 in which he indicated support for abortion for any reason through the first trimester and opposition to "criminalizing" abortion.  His extensive lobbying career and work as counsel on Capitol Hill has many questioning whether the portrayal of Thompson as a D.C. outsider is accurate.  Even I was a little surprised to learn that Thompson was a paid lobbyist for deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a man who many consider nothing more than a dictator.

Thompson's campaign will, of course, have a response to all of this.  But it will be interesting to see if any of it is able to cool the blazing popularity Thompson is currently enjoying.

I really just have one question.  Would Thompson today support federal action to end abortion?

June 12, 2007

Lindsay Lohan Viewed More Favorably Than democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid

What do Harry Reid, the ranking democrat leader in the US Senate and Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Nicole Richie have in common?

1.  All of them are on TV far too often.

2.  All of them are viewed favorably by less than 20% of the American public.

In a poll released by Rasmussen this past week we learned that Harry Reid is viewed favorably by only 19% of the American public.  That is half as much as Vice President Dick Cheney's 38% received in the same poll.  Few politicos have as low a favorable opinion rating as Reid.  Well, there is one other with the exact same rating as Reid; Scooter Libby.

Reid does have more company, just not in the political sphere.  A separate Rasmussen poll on favorable opinion ratings showed that Britney Spears came in at 13%,  Paris Hilton at 12%, Nicole Richie at 14% and Courtney love just 3 points shy of Senator Reid at 16%.  At least Reid is not alone in the "under 20% club."

What about rehab princess Lindsay Lohan?  Well, she actually beat Reid with a 20% favorable opinion rating.  This gives Reid something to shoot for, being liked by more people than Lindsey Lohan.

So why, seeing as most people don't care for Reid, should we pay attention to these numbers?  Because it is yet further evidence that the "Mandate" democrats have been claiming they have from the American people to push their agenda is bologna.  These numbers are, of course, easily manipulated.  We could use the "unfavorable opinion percentages" from the polls (Reid's is at 45%) to draw some different conclusions.  However,  what we can see is a trend in how  the average American views democrat leaders.

The current approval ratings for the "most open and honest congress ever" is hovering around 32% (thoughtthe LA Times just put it at a whopping 27%).  This is, on average, lower than President Bush's 33 % approval rating which we are reminded on a daily basis by the main stream media is really low.  The current Congress has approval ratings as low as the previous Republican Congress did just before the democrat victory in 2006.

For all the talk of their "mandate" and all of the talk of disapproval of Republicans by democrats it is nothing but entertaining to watch  as more and more Americans realize that democrats do not have the solutions to the problems our country faces today.  Maybe they should give Lindsay Lohan a shot at Reid's job?  More people like her anyways.

June 11, 2007

Beyond the Hype: The Campaign of Fred Thompson

It has been rather impressive to watch Fred Thomspon surge.  A candidate who hasn't announced, and until a few weeks ago didn't even hint that he would run has somehow managed to gain a loyal following of almost 15 percentage points in the polls; better poll numbers than the candidate who has been one of the most successful as far as fundraising and network building (Romney).  I've found myself in an ever decreasing group of Conservatives who just doesn't see the tremendous appeal that so many others obviously do.  Don't get me wrong, I like Fred, I just don't think he's the best candidate we've got. 

Moreover, I predict that as the campaigns roll on many are going to realize that, perhaps, Fred isn't the incredible communicator they thought he was or that his record isn't as impressive as they thought or that he's not as compelling on the issues as they hoped he would be.  I'm not alone in that opinion; George Will seems to agree in a new article on the same subject.   What Mr. Will hits right on the head is the  observation that Thompson is the Republican Rorschach test and that Republicans are seeing in him what they want to see.  George Will and I just don't see the substance. 

I do understand the appeal.  Thompson comes across as a guy who will be willing to take liberals and democrats on, which is something that Republicans have desperately longed for over the last 8 years.  But I'm not convinced that Thompson will be that either.  Thompson may be played off as the outsider who won't get tangled up in the political game, but remember, Thompson was called in to "guide" Justice Roberts through the nomination process.  Why?  Because Thompson understand the political game and plays it well.  He understand appearances.  He understands the process.

The fact is that Thompson has gotten a ton of hype, but there has not been much discussion on substance and there has not been the opportunity for him to present it.  And when the hype fades and folks are forced to examine the Thompson candidacy for what it really is many are going to have to face the harsh reality that Thompson isn't the super-candidate they dreamed he would be.

Editorial Note and shameless campaign plug:  Mr. G is an unashamed evangelical fan of the Romney campaign who believes that Romney has faced and stood strong in tougher battles for the cause of Conservatism than Thompson could even dream of, so take the above with a grain of salt.

The Tax Cut Man Cometh

Florida House and Senate leadership unveiled today the property tax cut plan which they've been able to agree upon.  The plan includes $15.6 million in statutory tax cuts that will apply this year and an additional 16 million in tax cuts which will be the subject of a January referendum.  The broad strokes of the plan are detailed by a release from House Speaker Rubio and are as follows (found here):

$15.6 billion in Immediate Tax Relief and Reform (Statutory Changes)

  • Beginning this year, every category of property taxpayer will benefit from the cut and the cap that the statute imposes.
  • All cities and counties will be required to cut taxes in the upcoming 2007-2008 fiscal year to the 2006-2007 revenue levels. These local governments will then be required to make an additional cut of 3%, 5%, 7% or 9%. The level of cuts will be determined by a formula that analyzes their taxing performance over the past 5 years, measured against a statewide average.
  • Special taxing districts and fiscally limited cities and counties will be required to cut taxes to the 2006-2007 revenue levels and make an additional cut of 3%.
  • A cap on future property tax revenues (based on the rate of personal income growth and new construction) will be imposed to ensure that government cannot grow faster than personal income.
  • Local governments may override the cut and the cap. The method for the override will vary based on the magnitude of the local government's action (escalating from a supermajority vote of the local governing body, to a unanimous vote of the local governing body, to a referendum).

$16 billion in Further Tax Relief and Reform (Constitutional Amendment)

  • The estimated average savings for a homestead property (combining statutory and constitutional changes) will be $1,300 in 2008-2009. This average savings represents a 44% reduction.
  • "Save our Homes" is replaced with a new "super exemption". An estimated 73% of homesteaded properties will receive a greater benefit under this new exemption.
  • The      new "super exemption" will be as follows:
    • Level 1: Homestead Property will receive an exemption of 75% of the first $200,000 in value of the home. The minimum exemption is $50,000 per homestead.
    • Level 2: In addition to Level 1, homestead property will       obtain another 15% exemption for the next $300,000 in value.
  • We will grandfather the tax savings and assessment cap for the minority of property owners who have greater benefits under the current "Save our Homes" plan.
  • We will preserve all existing constitutional exemptions based on special circumstances, including those now provided to disabled veterans, low income seniors and agricultural lands.
  • Because the tax base for all taxing authorities will decline under the constitutional amendment, the fiscal analyses reflects a reduction in school funding. We intend to hold schools harmless from these cuts.

Other Constitutional Changes

There has been agreement to address remaining issues such as additional relief to low income elderly taxpayers, offering incentives for affordable housing and providing tax reform for "working waterfronts" and small businesses. Small businesses will receive a $25,000 tangible personal property tax (TPP) exemption resulting in a total exemption for $1 million of the 1.3 million businesses who must pay this tax. Furthermore, those who receive a total exemption on their TPP will never have to file the burdensome paperwork associated with the tax again.

More details are found in the presentation materials for the plan which can be accessed here.  Also, the Sun-Sentinel has a good quick review of the cuts and where they will apply here.

What everyone really wants to know is how much of a cut they can expect.  That will differ from county to county, but on average we'll see a cut of about $174 this year, and $1,306 next year, if the referendum passes.  Over five years the savings are expected to be about $6,159, on average.  The plan is pretty impressive in the way it attempts to limit the impact on smaller counties and counties which have done well in keeping taxes lower.  But it is complicated and I still maintain that a simple sales tax is the way to go.  But I digress.

This plan is a start, but let's look ahead.  Expect counties and cities to be out in force trying to defeat the additional $16 million via referendum.  All the rhetoric about the shame of cutting "vital" county services will only increase over the next few months.  Also expect voices from the opposite end; people who don't think the tax cuts are enough.  This plan is certainly enough for the legislature and Governor Crist to declare "victory" over property taxes, but my prediction is that this is a temporary fix.  New problems will emerge, as will old ones, and we'll be back to the drawing board within the next 5 years.

June 04, 2007

Counties the Cause of Tax Crisis

I always hesitate to argue with another Conservative because Conservatives draw their strength from their shared ideas.  But it is always entertaining to see Conservatives argue.  In that spirit, I take aim at a post by my friend Jim Johnson over at the State of Sunshine in which he comes to the defense of Florida counties in the battle over property tax reform.   

Continue reading "Counties the Cause of Tax Crisis" »

May 23, 2007

Florida Turkey and Federal Pork

The Florida newspapers today are buzzing today about a Florida Tax Watch report on the 507 pet projects included in the budget passed by the Florida Legislature this year.  These pet projects account for$267.3 million in spending and have been labeled "turkeys" by the group.  Many have been quick to point out the significance of the Legislature's demand that counties reduce their budgets, while the Legislature goes on a spending spree.  democrats in particular have gleefully noted the hypocrisy.  Honestly, I don't disagree.  I hope Governor Crist makes full use of his line-item veto power to trim the turkey.  In fact, cut it out altogether.

However, while I agree with my democrat friends on the spending in Tallahassee, I cannot help but wonder why there has not been a similar reaction on the spending in Washington, D.C.  Let us not forget the $21 billion worth of pork that democrats slipped into their initial Iraq spending bill and rammed through Congress.  I hope that my democrat friends here in Florida who are outraged at the spending by Republicans in the Florida Legislature will begin to apply the same standard to their own leadership in the Federal Legislature.  We should demand fiscal responsibility and spending restraint and we should demand it at every level of government, local, state and federal.  We should cut both the Florida turkey and the federal pork.

May 22, 2007

Why We Haven't Seen the Last of the Sales Tax

Much to my frustration the reports coming out of the pre-special session negotiations between the Florida House and Senate indicate that the sales tax idea is off the table.  Depending on who you ask, there are 3 or 4 current proposals, all centered on issuing a reduction on property taxes but differing on how and who to give those cuts to.  Any of the ideas is going to lead to cries of inequity from some group, and none of them will effectively and permanently end the property tax problem.  It may quell some of the discontent for now, but any of the current proposals will be a band-aid on a mortal wound.

And that is why we have not heard the end of the sales tax idea.

My guess is that within the next five years max, we are going to have another serious discussion about axing property taxes and moving to a sales tax because people will still be dissatisfied with the property tax system.  In fact, the push will be even stronger because we'll be able to see that the cut backs won't work on a permanent basis and more will realize that we need a fundamental change in our state tax structure.

So if you are like me, and are disappointed to see the discussions on the sales tax idea end in Tallahassee, fear not, because we'll be having them again soon.

May 21, 2007

Polls, Polls, Polls and Romney

New polling data on the presidential campaigns is coming out on an almost daily basis already.  Of particular interest is that Romney is gaining traction.  In fact, the recent poll averages now have Romney in the lead in New Hampshire and two-tenths of a point behind McCain for the top spot in Iowa.

As for Florida?  Giuliani retains a commanding lead; an average of 15.5 points.

I'm also keeping a close eye on the Fred Thompson and Gingrich numbers who, combined, continue to hold onto about 17 points.  While Romney remains behind Giuliani and McCain in national averages by 17 and 10 points respectively, those leads will likely drastically dwindle if and when Fred and Newt announce that they are not running.  Those holding out for these two are likely mostly Conservatives.  And when given the choice between the top three candidates many, if not most, will side with Romney.

May 18, 2007

Special Interest Group Paid Signature Gatherers

Attached to the opposition to the Hometown Democracy idea, the Florida Chamber of Commerce has launched a public awareness campaign about paid petition signature gathers from outside the state.  While the the ability to amend the Florida Constitution provides for an unmatched opportunity for the people to direct government, it also provides an opportunity of out-of-state interests to push policy in Florida as a testing ground and for others to profit from the signature gathering process.  It is in these situations where the amendments become more about special interest groups, out of state interest groups none-the-less. 

The point of all this?  Don't sign a petition unless you have taken to time to research what the amendment would actually do.  Sadly, the statement that with two million dollars, you can buy an amendment to the Florida Constitution is true.  That needs to change.

The Chamber has put together a brief PSA with a great summary of what is going on and how to respond.

Yet Another Dumb Ballot Initiative

As always, there is yet another bad idea floating around the state in the form of a petition for a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution.  This one would require local governments to hold election for the approval of comprehensive land use plans.  It is called "Hometown Democracy" and it is, to get to the point, dumb.

I support giving the little guy a voice.  On major issues like the marriage amendment or the sales tax proposal I like the idea of having an election to determine what policy stance the state will take.  But I also recognize that we have a Republican Democracy which places the responsibility of policy decisions in the hands of our elected government.  The reason for this?  Most of us don't want to go to the polls every time the Government wants to change something.

I can understand the desire to preserve as much of the natural state of Florida as we can.  I can understand some being upset about the ever increasing development of our state.  I can understand folks wanting to restrict development in some areas.  These positions should certainly be open for discussion and we have local government avenues to address these concerns.  However, an election over every major change is only going to complicate the process beyond repair.

Can you imagine the burden of having campaigns and elections over land use proposals?  It is a logistical nightmare that can only, and will cripple Florida's growth and business.

The idea is still in the petition stages, so if you are approached by an individual looking for your signature, feel free to use my description of the idea; dumb.

May 08, 2007

Giuliani Misses, Thompson Misses, Romney Scores

If you checked the Drudge Report today you likely saw a group of three articles concerning some recent discoveries on the past positions on abortion of Rudy Giluliani and Fred Thompson.

Giuliani Financially Supported Planned Parenthood

Some are already hailing this discovery as the beginning of the end for the Giuliani campaign.  I don't think it is going to do that much damage.  The fact of the matter is that if you are a adamant pro-life supporter, Rudy is not your candidate to begin with.  The folks that are siding with Rudy have already made the decision that Giuliani's ability to get elected or position on other issues outweigh his undefined stance on abortion.  Sure, this will cost him a few votes, but I doubt this will be the nail in the coffin of his campaign.

What it will do is strengthen the candidacies of Romney and the other strong pro-life candidates as their supporters will see this as making the primary that much more important.

Fred Thompson Supported First Trimester Abortion

A survey completed during Thompson's 1994 Senate campaign indicated that he supported abortions for any reason during the first trimester.  Unlike the discovery about Giluliani, this one could hurt.  I'm sure there will be an explanation about his change of heart coming soon, however, the big critique of the Conservative front-runner, Romney, is that he flip-flopped on abortion.  Should Thompson declare, he won't be able to draw much of a distinction between himself and Romney on this issue; they both changed positions.

All in all, the news today on these two candidates is bound to have a good effect on support for my man Mitt Romney.

May 07, 2007

Romney Scores, Thompson Misses

Two quick items on the Republican candidate for president front:

Romney beats everyone in New Hampshire primary poll

These poll results are certainly the exception to the rule compared to every other poll out there which has Romney at about 10%.  However, this SurveyUSA poll showing Romney at 32% is New Hampshire may be the first of many polls indicating a jump in Romney's numbers.  Romney has gotten a ton of press from his performance in the first Republican debate and this can only result in good things happening to his poll numbers.

On a side note, I will be curious to see what will happen if Thompson and Gingrich don't jump into the race.  Between the two of them they are carrying about 20% in the polls.  My guess is that much of their base, Conservatives, will shift to Romney which could automatically place Romney over McCain and neck and neck with Guiliani.  That is, of course, assuming Thompson and Gingrich don't jump in.

Thompson Speech a Yawner

Thompson gave a speech in California that I caught on C-SPAN yesterday.  The thought I had was that for all the hype he's generating, Thompson sure can be boring.  I was delighted to see that Robert Novak agrees with me.  In the speech Thompson sure did not appear to be a guy running for president, strengthening my hunch that he is not going to get into the race at all.  Again, this could only mean good things for Romney.

May 04, 2007

What Florida's New Primary Date Means for Newt and Fred

Yesterday the Florida Legislature has passed a bill to move the Florida primary to the last Tuesday in January; this much you probably already know.

What you have not heard, or heard much about, is the huge implications this bill has for two men; Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson.

We know an average of 10% to 15% of of Republicans polled, whatever that means, are holding out waiting for Fred Thompson to jump into the race and about 8%to 9% are waiting for Gingrich.  Should either of them declare, many more supporting other campaigns would likely jump on board.  After last night's Republican debate many are claiming the winner was Fred Thompson as it only proved he needs to get into the race.  It seems like they could enter the race and quickly gather the support needed for a successful campaign.  However, campaigns, especially national campaigns take time to develop, and time just became a bigger issue than before.  I've been one of the few arguing that time is running out for these two, and that if they are going to get into the race, they need to get in now.  My case just got stronger because as soon as Governor Crist signs the bill their time table is getting much shorter. 

Campaigning in Florida is expensive.  While running a nickel and dime campaign operation in Iowa and New Hampshire for the primaries might work, it won't in Florida.  Moving the primary is going to require campaigns to spend much more money up front and have state campaigns in place much sooner than normal, obviously.  But raising money and developing campaign networks take time.  Florida's primary, once the bill is signed, will be nine months away.  Nine months is a lot of time, except for a guy who has, to date, no campaign staff, no campaign structure, raised no money and wants to run a successful primary in one of the most populous states in the Union. 

Many seem to think that Gingrich or Thompson entering the race is inevitable, but unless we have a declaration from them by the end of the month, I would be surprised to see them jump in.  Volunteers, staff and money are already being quickly dedicated to other candidates and Gingrich and Thompson, should they decide to run now have less time to pick up the scraps than they had before.

On a side note, on other individual who may be dramatically impacted by this bill is Governor Crist.  The bill would allow him to run as a VP candidate without leaving office, which makes him a much more plausible option for the front-runners.  Maybe we'll see Charlie in D.C. sooner than we thought?

May 02, 2007

Mr. G on the Candidates

Apologies of the lack of posts as of late.  The contributors have all been incredibly busy as I am sure many of you have been in preparing for the summer months.  But, at least for me, the woods are clearing and I can return to these special moments with you which I cherish oh so much.

As my coming home gift to you I present my recent thoughts on the big candidates for President:

dEMOCRATICS

Clinton:  The question is quickly becoming whether anyone on the democrat side, and the Republican side for that matter, can beat Hill-Dog.  Some are even suggesting that the smart move for Conservatives is to start examining how to benefit from a Hilary win.  I say it is madness.  It is impressive to watch scandal and attack roll off her like water off a duck's back.  If there was a hermit in Alaska who even hinted that one of the Republican candidates was guilty of some wrong doing, it would be headline news.  Yet, Clinton, despite allegations by a former donor, who apparently has video tape of federal felonies in action, remains unmoved.  What, you didn't hear about this on on your MSM news station of choice?  What a shocker.  Clinton continues to hold a steady and commanding lead in just about every poll and that is not likely to change anytime soon.

I am of the opinion that Republicans can beat Clinton, but that right now, no one on the democrat side can.  The real question in my mind is how long Clinton, Inc. is going to wait before taking the legs out from under Obama.

Obama:  Despite all the initial buzz, I've heard much criticism that Obama has leveled out too much; that he's not as compelling as he was just a few months ago.  Obama really frightened me at the outset.  Here you had a very charismatic and compelling candidate with so short of a political career that there isn't much to fodder for criticism.  I met a number of Republicans that were drawn to him just because he seemed different.  Fortunately, as Obama has moved, just a little, from all the rhetoric folks, even democrats are realizing that there is no substance.  I hope this is a trend that continues.  One recent poll had Obama at 2 points higher than Clinton giving Obama supporters hope.  But like I said before, it is only a matter of time. 

When I think of the two candidates one image comes to mind, one from the Discovery channel where they show the zebra trying to cross the river with the crocodile in it.  Well, in this match-up Obama is the one wearing the stripes and the crocodile is the one that looks like Hillary Clinton.

Edwards:  Of all the democrat candidates Edwards has surprised me the most.  Despite the fact that he really doesn't have much of a chance, he has consistently stayed in public view and continues to generate a startling amount of support.  Though Edwards won't be the party choice himself, he may very well be the defining voice once he abandons his own campaign and decides to throw his weight behind another candidate.

The other six:  Let's be honest, who really cares?

REPUBLICANS

Giuliani:  It breaks my heart that so many good Republicans, and even Conservatives have resigned themselves to the fact that Giuliani is our last best hope.  A recent article on his solid stance in opposition to Conservatives on social issues sums up pretty well how I feel about the man; he doesn't support us so I'm going to have a really hard time supporting him.  If he is the man the party picks, I'll pick him over Hilary any day of the week, but until that day, I'm holding fast to the opinion that we MUST pick someone stronger on social issues not just because they are important, but because they will be a key to victory.

McCain:  Despite the fact that McCain's campaign has pretty much lamed out, he's come out strong in a few recent polls, though the overall trend shows quick decline.  McCain will carry this on as long as he can, but I don't see him beating Giuliani.

Romney:  In my humble opinion, this is the last great hope for Republicans and Conservatives.  I know, I know, the polling is not what we want it to be, but trust me, the more people who have a chance to hear him speak, the more who are exposed to him, the more support he will have.  There are few candidates I've seen that can strike at the heart of Conservatives and re-ignite the passion of our beliefs like Mitt Romney.  Now, I'm still open to the idea of another candidate winning my heart but right now it looks like Mitt is our man.  On top of that he has demonstrated that he can raise lots of money quickly and doesn't show any sign of slowing.

Gingrich and Thompson: They're polling well, even better than my man Mitt, but they're not in the race, and with each day that passes it seems like their entrance is less and less likely.  Primaries could be starting in about 8 months and there is a lot of support and funding that has already gone to the guys who got in early.  My prediction is that neither of them get into the race, which is fine by me because their entrance would simply do more harm than good for the cause of Conservatism.  We need to begin rallying to one candidate soon  if we are going to beat Giuliani, not splitting the Conservative vote even more.

Brownback and Huckabee:  While I am thrilled that these two are coming to Orlando to speak, the question I want to ask them is when they are going to end their campaigns and hop on board with Romney.  I like these two, but neither of them have the political savvy to beat Giuliani or Clinton.  It is time to move on boys.

The others: Don't care, don't care, don't care.

April 26, 2007

Crist's Property Tax Proposal and Stalemate in Tallahassee

With the potential stalemate between the House and Senate tax plans, Governor Crist ran to the mushy middle with his own.  Shocking, I know.  Crist's proposal looks like the Senate plan.  It features a roll back of rates, a special election for doubling the homestead exemption, an exemption for first time home buyers, and a formula restricting future increases.  My complaint, as I said about the democrat plan as well as the Senate plan; it doesn't fix the property tax problem, it just prolongs it.

But the reality is that we are more likely to end up with a plan that looks like Crist's proposal than anything else.  The plan is close enough to the Senate plan that they will likely come out to meet Crist's structure.  The interesting thing to watch will be how the House handles this. 

House negotiator Dean Cannon's, R-Winter Park, stance of "This issue is not about splitting the difference," has made it clear that the House is not interested in meeting in the middle.  The House recognizes that this effort is not just about immediate tax relief, it is about fixing a broken system.  However, with both the Senate and the Governor putting their foot down on the sales tax, it will be almost impossible for the plan to get through.  The problem the three face is that someone has got to give.  There will be a riot if no tax plan is passed by the end of a special session which now almost seems to be inevitable.  Whoever finally breaks is going to be seen as the weaker party.  None of the three want that.  So who is going to take the fall?  Personally, I hope the House stands strong and does not give any ground on the sales tax.

Instead, my hope is that the House and Senate realize that there is a way to resolve this with everyone as a winner; structure a special election to give the people the option of choosing which tax structure to take.  Sure, it seems unlikely based on current polling that the sales tax plan would pass, but it would let the House leadership get out of this without mud on their face from having to back down due to pressure from the Senate and Governor.

Either someone will have to break, or the choice will have to go to the people.  I say let the people decide and in the process, everybody wins.

April 19, 2007

Gonzalez v. Carhart: What Did We Win Anyway?

Most Conservatives will tell you that partial birth abortion is a bad thing.  The name gives us a glimpse of what the procedure is actually like.  However, it doesn't even begin to grasp the terrifying nature of the details of the procedure. 

Justice Kennedy's majority opinion in yesterday's decision quotes a section of testimony given to the Senate Judiciary Committee about what the procedure is like.

"Here is another description from a nurse who witnessed the same method performed on a 26½-week fetus and who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee: “‘Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby’s legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby’s body and the arms—everything but the head. The doctor kept the head right inside the uterus. . . .“‘The baby’s little fingers were clasping and un-clasping, and his little feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head, and the baby’s arms jerked out, like a startle reaction, like a flinch, like a baby does when he thinks he is going to fall. “‘The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening, and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby went completely limp. . . . “‘He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the pla-centa. He threw the baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he had just used.’”

Of course, the other method of partial birth abortion skips the whole sucking the baby's brains out through a tube part and has the doctor simply crush the baby's head.

This is what we won against yesterday, and what liberals, on and off the Court have been and continue to defend.

Silence On The Court: Why Justices Roberts and Alito Should Worry Conservatives

Score one for the good guys.  The US Supreme Court upheld a federal law banning partial birth abortion.  The opinion is an compelling read for anyone interesting in the subject, on either side of the issue.  The most intriguing part of the decision, however, is in what is not said.  And it is what is not said that could have major ramifications on the abortion debate in the near future.

Hopefully, I've gotten your attention.

Continue reading "Silence On The Court: Why Justices Roberts and Alito Should Worry Conservatives" »

April 18, 2007

September Dawn - Romney hitpiece from Clinton's Hollywood?

I'm not saying it is, it's hard to tell from a 1 minute clip, but you can make up your own mind. Here's the clip I came across tonight. And the IMDB listing.

I assume this movie will be coming out probably this fall. You have to question the motive behind the whole thing. I mean, I have a hard time imagining a movie about the early days of Mormonism would have anything more than a limited attraction at the box office. But if said film is likely to displease the very audience that would be most interested in such a topic, then what exactly is the marketing strategy here?

It can't be a good thing for a Mormon candidate to have a major motion picture depicting his faith in, how should I say it, a questionable way. A movie that uncovers a conspiratorial cover up about it's foundational members that has been kept under wraps for over century? Not good at all.

You don't think this was coordinated do you? I wonder if any of the actors are Scientologist who are jealous that the Mormons are fielding a candidate for President and all they got was this guy. Where's my tshirt BTW?

Oh, forgot about this guy, he's big. Funny actually, the pictures on the internet don't look anything like the ones on my fridge of him standing next to my wife. He's shorter than you would think.

Update: Well someone thought enough of it to ask Romney himself. And more information than anybody should possibly have about the event. If you read it all let me know what it says...

April 12, 2007

The Senate Property Tax Plan and Mr. G's Ultimate Resolution to the Debate

The Florida Senate rolled out today their proposal for fixing the property tax problem.  Senate President Pruitt calls it a "thoughtful, responsible, and bold plan."  I call it the "Why fix it now when we can deal with it later?" plan.  There has got to be a better way to deal with property taxes than this plan; and I have it.  I warn you, this is a plan that will rock your world and blow your mind.  If you work in Rubio's office or another legislator's office, and I know you're reading this, please take the time to read my recommendation below and pass this idea up the chain. But first...

THE SENATE PROPOSAL

Similar to the House democrat proposal, the Senate plan, rather than fixing the property tax problem simply rolls back rates to 2004/2005 rates It also somehow changes the assessment formula tax collectors use (though I can't find the details just yet), and allow portability of Save Our Homes.

What is most telling to me is this line from the Tallahassee Democrat:

"Senate leaders have said they wanted to target property owners who have borne the largest share of the shifting tax burden since Save Our Homes took effect in 1995: commercial property owners, or those who don't claim homestead exemptions on their Florida homes."

If you're not claiming a homestead exemption it is likely because you are either a non-resident or this is your second home in Florida.  Essentially, this plan would diminish the benefits of the Save Our Home Act by portioning benefits to commercial property and second homes at a greater rate than homestead property.  If democrats are crying about how the sales tax would allegedly hurt the poor, there should be weeping and gnashing of teeth over this plan.

Ultimately, though, the biggest problem is that is plan does nothing to solve the underlying problem; a tax system which bases revenue on a revenue source that fluctuates greatly and is increasing in Florida at a rate greater than most of the rest of the country; that being real property.

Mark my words, if the Senate plan gains traction we will be at this same place again within 10 years, trying to figure out what to do about an unmanageable property tax system.  This plan is a loser.

The sad reality is that this plan is probably closer to the one that we will actually end up with than the sales tax plan.  The sales tax is going to face huge battles in the House, the Senate, and then at general election.  Instead we will likely end up with some bastardized version of the Senate plan, agree to meet up on this issue in 5 to 10 years, and call it a day.

I have a better idea though...

MR. G'S RECOMMENDATION:  PASS BOTH PLANS

Stay with me.  The smart move on Rubio's part here is to negotiate a deal with the Florida Senate; the House will pass the Senate plan if the Senate will pass Rubio's plan and allow special election to allow the people to vote on whether or not to take out portions of property taxes in exchange for a sales tax increase.  It seems Rubio will be able to get his plan though the House, but not the Senate. And the House leadership will fight the Senate plan, but we can actually pass both.  If the sales tax doesn't pass the election, everyone wins.  The Senate plan remains in effect and Rubio and others like me can know that the state is not ready for such a change and move on.  If the sales tax passes election, the Senate can know that the state did indeed what such a change and the Senate plan would be overridden by the House plan which is a Constitutional amendment.

Let the people vote.  We can argue all day about the merits or each plan, about polls, about what the people want.  I say let the people decide.  Pass both plans and let us choose which one we will keep.

April 11, 2007

Another Triumph for Adult Stem Cell Research

Just nine days ago a research team announced it was able to successfully grow a human heart valve using adult stem cells.

Today we find out that another research team has possibly discovered a cure to diabetes using adult stem cells.

Yet another example of the tremendous strides being made in the area of adult stem cell research while embryonic stem cell research time and time again proves to be a hollow promise.  I said it before and I'll say it again:

"If the government is going to fund medical research let's support research that not only avoids the great moral implications that comes with the destruction of human embryos but also has a firm foundation of proven success and potential.  Let's support adult stem cell research and leave embryonic stem cell research in the trash bin of history where it belongs."

To bring things home to Florida, the Florida Legislature has just axed legislative provisions to provide state funding for embryonic stem cell research, but rather focus efforts on the proven potential of adult stem cell research.  Bill sponsor, Anitere Flores of Miami said, "This bill funds scientific results, not promise."  I applaud this action by our representatives.

April 10, 2007

The Coming of the Crist v. Conservatives Civil War?

Recently there have been a number articles in Florida papers and posts on Florida blogs describing numerous differing opinions between some state Republican leaders and Governor Crist.  The most recent include the coverage of Attorney General Bill McCollum's strong position against Crist's effort to lower the bar for the restoration of the rights of felons.  To read the media that has been out there on this subject you would think there is a coming civil war between Crist and Conservatives such as Bill McCollum.  However, if you're one of those Florida liberals dreaming about the day when the Republican Party suddenly turns on Crist for wandering too far from the Florida base, you're wasting your time.  Below are the three reasons why.

Continue reading "The Coming of the Crist v. Conservatives Civil War?" »

April 07, 2007

Cutting Through the Hype on Mandatory HPV Vaccination

It is beginning to look like the legislation requiring all young girls in the state to be vaccinated against HPV, which can cause cervical cancer.  Conservatives are taking heat on the issue because many are opposed to the legislation for concern with the message it sends to young women about sexual activity.  Agree with that position or not, one thing remains true:

You are free at anytime to get vaccinated against HPV.

It is not like Tallahassee is outlawing the HPV vaccine.  It is simply not mandating it.  Worried about HPV?  Fine, go get vaccinated.  The end.

April 06, 2007

Will Florida Felon Voting Restoration Stick?

Last night during a discussion of yesterday's post on the side-stepping of the Florida Constitution by Crist, Sink and Bronson, I made a realization; this system of automatic restoration is not permanent.

As we discussed yesterday, the Governor has used his discretionary ability under the Florida Constitution to grant restorations of rights to set up a system of automatic restoration for felons in certain categories.  However, this new system does not change the structure of the law.  The Florida Constitution and Statutes remain the same... and yesterday's decision is not binding on future governors.

As a result, the next governor, any governor in the future, or Crist himself, at any time can cease this automatic restoration.  In fact, my understanding of the language of the Florida Constitution and Statutes leads me to believe that even Sink or Bronson can stop the automatic restoration at any time should they recant their vote.

I'm not arguing that this should be done, however, it is good for us to be mindful of the fact that this hailed change could evaporate as quickly as it appeared. 

April 05, 2007

Tommy Thompson to Save the Day

Tommy Thompson, former Wisconsin Governor, former Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services announced his campaign for President this week.  I know, you probably missed it, so did I.  In fact, there is a good chance that this post will be the last thing you read about Thompson until he drops out of the campaign.  In the meantime, I'm adding him to the list of candidates we have, though I expect him to have a short stay on that list.

Now my only question is, when is Mr. C going to announce?

Giuliani on Publicly Funded Abortions

It has been interesting to watch so many Conservatives falling all over themselves to hop on the Giuliani train.  Yes, I know he's electable.  I know he's strong on the war and national security.  I know he's a fiscal Conservative (what I call a "half breed").

Giuliani is going to be tough to beat, and that goes for the democrat candidates as well.  But while we march towards what many Conservatives are calling inevitable let's not fool ourselves about what we are getting.

On his stop here in Florida this week he reiterated his support for publicly funded abortions.  If that doesn't make a Conservative stop in their tracks I don't know what will.

"Ultimately, it's a constitutional right, and therefore if it's a constitutional right, ultimately, even if you do it on a state by state basis, you have to make sure people are protected,"

I'll hand it to him, he is consistent if nothing else.  Here's what he said in 1989. 

"There must be public funding for abortions for poor women," and "We cannot deny any woman the right to make her own decisions about abortion."

I can't blame folks for wanting to support Giuliani given the opposition we face on the other side.  But as for me, I can't get excited about a guy who has this position on what I consider to be the most important issue we face today.

Crist, Bronson, Sink Sidestep Constitution to Automatically Restore Rights of Felons

This morning the Florida Clemency Board, comprised of the Governor, Attorney General, CFO and Agriculture Commissioner approved 3 to 1 a new structure for the restoration of voting rights for a majority of Florida's convicted felons.  Attorney General Bill McCollum was the lone dissenter in the vote.  This issue has presented somewhat of a dilemma for myself and many other Conservatives.  The reason being that we aren't thrilled with the idea of those who commit major violations of the law being automatically able to participate in the government process.  However, at the same time, we recognize that these folks have served their time.  However, regardless of your stance on the core issue, there are some significant Constitutional issues that have been raised.  Namely, today's vote uses a loophole to completely bypass the language and intent of the Florida Constitution.

Continue reading "Crist, Bronson, Sink Sidestep Constitution to Automatically Restore Rights of Felons" »

April 02, 2007

*UPDATED* Liberal Blog on the Attack on Property Taxes

I'm Mr. Hussey over at Pushing Rope got a little wound up over my last post on the mindless defense of the property tax system by democrats.  In recent months I've just ignored Mr. Hussey's attacks, but this is an important issue and Mr. Hussey's arguments are typical of what the democrats are saying about the Republican and democrat tax proposals.  Like other democrats arguments on the issue, I found his post amusing as Mr. Hussey out of one side of his mouth blasts the problems of property taxes, but out of the other side pays his required support for the proposed democrat tax scheme which prolongs the property tax structure.  To quote:

"Property taxes need to be dealt with. The state's growth will suffer if it doesn't."

I agree with you Mr. Hussey, the property tax structure is terrible.  So let's get rid of it.

Continue reading "*UPDATED* Liberal Blog on the Attack on Property Taxes" »

More Success for Adult Stem Cell Research

As the State Legislature gears up for debate over two bills, one which authorizes state funding for stem cell research and one which does not researchers in the field of adult stem cell research continue to make huge strides.  This article today in the Guardian describes the success of a British research team which has grown a human heart valve from adult stem cells.

Despite the repeated claims of embryonic stem cell advocates that embryonic stem cell research holds more potential than adult stem cell research the latter continues to have breakthrough success across the globe while the former consistently yields cancer and death in test animals.

If the government is going to fund medical research let's support research that not only avoids the great moral implications that comes with the destruction of human embryos also has a firm foundation of proven success and potential.  Let's support adult stem cell research and leave embryonic stem cell research in the trash bin of history where it belongs.

March 28, 2007

democrats ♥ Property Taxes

I really can't figure out why democrats are so emotionally attached to property taxes.  Republicans suggest eliminating the property tax structure and democrats are screaming and crying like the world is coming to an end.

We've seen multiple proposals by various democrats to replace the Republican sales tax idea.  All of the democrat plans have included saving the property tax structure.  The new Senate democrat proposal is no different.  In fact, the Senate democrats even took it to the next level; they've proposed an increase in property taxes.

Only in the mind of a democrat is the solution to a property tax problem raising property taxes.

The new plan provides for an increase in the save our homes cap which, ultimately, will result in higher property taxes for some.  Granted, the plan offers trimming and rollbacks in some areas for some, and a few for all, but in the end the democrat plan will bring us right back to the same problem we're facing now in a few years.

Democrats are missing a key component of the discussion; the fact that the property tax system is broken.  Why?  Because for whatever reason they are convinced that property taxes are the ultimate form of taxation.  Look, I'm not totally sold on the sales tax idea, either.  But it is better than a property tax scheme.  Think we can do better?  Fine, let's look at other options, but attempting to prolong the failing property tax schedule is not an option.  Maybe it would be in states where property values are not an volatile as Florida, but property in our state is always going to be expensive and will continue to grow in value.  Florida is awesome.  People want to be here.  People want a piece of the action.  We need a tax structure that doesn't slam residents because we live in such a desirable state.

Democrats, it is time to let this one go, it's no good for you.  I know you love property taxes.  I know you've been together for a long time and it is a comfortable relationship.  I know the idea of putting yourself back out on the market for new tax structure is a scary thought, but it is ok, we'll be right here with you.  And who knows, maybe you'll meet a nice sales tax or flat tax that you really get along well with, that can really make you happy.  One that you won't be ashamed to take home to introduce to your mother.  I'll even help you write the Dear John letter.

March 23, 2007

County Budget Cuts are Coming, No Matter How Much You Whine.

Despite the modification to the sales tax plan, Florida Counties are still in opposition because of the effect on their budgets.  Their opposition is understandable, nobody likes having their budget cut.  At the same time, they need to realize that a budget cut is coming, period.

Even if the sales tax idea falls completely flat the legislature is going to pass some sort of cut so that they can declare victory, whether that victory is real or not.  With that in mind, it seems to me that the better approach for the Counties is not stomping their feet about the proposal.  Rather, the counties should be helping to develop an alternative that they can live with.

And has anyone heard of any counties that have announced that under the sales tax they would have to lay off police officers, firefighters or teachers?  Until that happens I'm still not going to cringe at the idea of cutting county budgets.

Bad Move on the Sales Tax Plan

As the State of Sunshine notes, the budget and policy council of the Florida House will be considering the property tax reform plan. 

The process so far has been interesting to watch, and we are already seeing the first in a series of compromises on the proposed tax plan.  The plan now requires counties to hold a referendum to determine how much of the plan to adopt.  Under the new version there will be 1% sales tax increase statewide, with a matching reduction in property taxes.  Then the counties will hold a referendum vote on whether to adopt a further 1% sales tax increase as well as an additional 1/2% increase each with further property tax relief.

I'm not a fan of the new structure.  While it is still better than what the democrats are pushing in the Florida Senate, which is nothing, and what they are pushing in the house, which is a logistical nightmare, the idea that were could have drastically differing tax schemes from county to county unecessarily complicates our tax structure.  Further, the plan seems to leave open the possibility of future increases of property taxes that remain, putting us right back where we started, but with a higher sales tax.  Let's just cut all property taxes and move on.

That said, I understand that the political process requires compromise, and there will likely be further compromise on the plan before we have anything that both houses of the legislature can agree upon.  But this feels like a move in the wrong direction.

March 21, 2007

A Great Film and a Challenge

We rarely make movie recommendations here at PEER Review, so when one of takes the time to do so, you know it has to be good.  This is one of those instances.

You must see Amazing Grace

Unfortunately I just recently saw the film and I know it is cycling out of the theaters right about now, but if it is still playing near you, you must go.  If not, you must rent it, or better yet, buy it when it comes out on DVD.

So what is so fantastic about this film?  I can't tell you about the scenery or costumes or directing or lighting... all that is typically lost on me in films.  What I can tell you is that the story is incredibly compelling.

The story follows the life of William Wilberforce, a British politician who spearheaded the end of slavery in Britain, and ultimately the world.  Wilberforce spent decades advocating in parliament for the abolition of slavery despite constant and overwhelming opposition.  You will enjoy the story if you have never heard of Wilberforce or even if you are like me and already know the tale.

For me, the most powerful part of the film was the portrayal of Wilberforce's ceaseless passion on the issue of abolition.  I was reminded of just how desperate I am, and I believe many others are, to see a politician who isn't concerned with image, isn't concerned with the odds of passage of his measure, but simply tirelessly advocates what is right.  Watching the battle between Wilberforce and the great evil of his day, slavery, I could only wish that we had such a champion in the battle against the greatest evil of our day, abortion.

Wilberforce understood the reality of the cruelty of slavery and it was that understanding that kept him constantly pitched in an uphill battle to see abolition become a reality.  I know many of you share with me the understanding of the cruelty of abortion, but where is our passion?  Where is our champion?  Where are our leaders that are willing to risk everything to stand for what is right? 

I challenge you to see the film and then ask these same questions.  And then ask one more; would I be willing to risk everything and take a stand against the great evil of our day if called upon to do so?

March 14, 2007

General Pace and the Thought Police

I had planned to write a post about General Peter Pace's statement in an interview that he believes homosexuality to be immoral and the reaction to the statement, but Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily has a great article on the subject.

"Had Gen. Pace said he thinks it is time for the military's ban on open homosexual activity to go, that it is immoral to keep it in place, I dare suggest Warner and Pelosi and the rest of the thought police would not have been condemning him for speaking from his own moral convictions. In fact, they would have praised him and used what he had to say as evidence for legislation to do just that."

Make no mistake, the liberal/homosexual agenda on this issue is not to just seek "equality" (read "special rights") for homosexuals, it is to achieve "tolerance" (read "admiration"), it is to silence all opposition.  Their goal is not that homosexuals be free from "oppression" of those of us advancing moral standards.  Their goal is to end any voice against their lifestyle.

Does anyone find it odd that the same liberals who always tout the first amendment as their license to do and say anything they want are the first to condemn any type of expression by those who disagree with them on any issue?

March 13, 2007

Florida Legislature Top Ten

Jim Johnson at the State of Sunshine has the definitive Top Ten Amusing Bills for the 2007 Session.

March 12, 2007

Please, PLEASE Don't, Fred

So Fred Thompson is muttering about how he might run.  You know, the guy from Law and Order... no, the other guy... no, not that Law and Order, the other one... yeah, thats the one.  Did you know he used to be a Senator?  Yeah, he was also in Die Hard 2 and Baby's Day Out.

Though I would have entertained the idea 6 months ago, I'm going to have to go ahead and ask that Mr. Thompson just stop considering the idea, and stop talking about it as well.

Despite the fact that Conservatives, on the whole, are not wildly excited about the Conservative candidate field, the last thing we need is another mediocre candidate.  Don't get me wrong, I like Fred, but all his candidacy would do is further divide an already fractured Conservative base.  And he is not a candidate that Conservatives would automatically switch to in mass.  So, please Fred... please stop... just stop.

I honestly can't think of many people that I would consider it a good thing for them to jump into the race at this point.  Except for my old friend J.C. Watts from Oklahoma.  He can jump in at any time.

I'm even of the opinion that Gingrich jumping in would be a bad thing.  Again, I really like Newt.  Alot.  I think he's brilliant, but I don't see him winning the election or doing anything in the primary other than ensuring that no Conservative has a chance.  Sure, he could rally the support that Fred could not, but I doubt he can win.  Fortunately, I also highly doubt that Gingrich will run.

It is time for Conservatives to move past feeling sorry for ourselves that we don't have a perfect candidate and wishing there was someone else.  It is time to start really giving some thought to each of the candidates out there already and asking yourself who would be the better president balanced by who can actually win.

Let me assure you that neither of those questions should be answered with "Fred Thompson."

Global Warming?

The BBC movie you've heard about that exposes GW as a political agenda and a scientific religion. The whole thing is more than an hour, but it's solid. Go ahead and click it, the fist two minutes sum up the important message.

March 07, 2007

Democrat Response to the State of the State

Mr. C hit the nail right on the head with his brief review of Governor Crist's State of the State:  "Money, money, money.  This guy wants to spend."

With that said, I didn't have anything to add.

But I just had the chance to read the democrat response to the State of the State by Bill Heller of Pinellas County.

I have three thoughts, which you will find below...

Continue reading "Democrat Response to the State of the State" »

March 06, 2007

Education is a civil right?

So, says Governor Charlie Crist, aka "The People's Governor," in the state of the state address today.

I ask, is education a civil right?

Also, wants funding for "reading coaches" and "virtual tutoring" to help raise reading scores. Do underprivileged kids and families have access to "virtual" anything?

He rolled out the "children must be our first priority" rhetoric too.

Rubio for President?

In today's opening session Senate President Ken Pruitt pledged his support for US President to Marco Rubio in 2008. Pruitt presented him with a "Rubio in 2008" sign, to which Rubio responded, "I can't afford the pay cut."

Let's see if this collegiality continues on other issues this session, namely, repeal of property taxes.

First Glance at the democrat Tax Cut

So the democrats are rolling out their own tax plan.  While I'm thrilled to see any democrat support a tax cut, I can't say I like their proposition.

One of the aspects of the sales tax that I like is that it is streamlined.  We've already got the sales tax system in place and it removes the bulky property tax system.  Less government is a good thing here.

But the democrat plan, well, can anyone guess how much government effort will need to be expended to make this plan work?

Granted, I've not seen the proposal, I've only read the Florida Newspaper's articles on the plan.  But let's be honest, most of those papers are under contract with the Florida democrat party to give beaming reviews of anything the party does.

Regardless, the very concepts being advanced by the democrats seem cumbersome.  For example, the idea that government will provide a subsidy for renters.  Not a bad idea in and of itself.  But are you telling me that Florida will now monitor all citizen's in the that are renting?  Likely, the plan would require renters to submit a form verifying that they rent their residence, but how large of a government department will we have to create to review and verify the submissions of every renter in the state?

It seems like a ton of extra government and red tape for minimal relief.

At first glance, to me, the plan looks like an attempt to put a band-aid on a mortal wound.  Rather than providing real relief it gives some folks enough money to feel like somebody in government cares and doesn't solve the growing property tax problem.

I have my concerns with the sales tax as well, but I'll take a fair distribution tax cut like the sales tax over the targeted, short-sighted plan put out by the democrats any day.

March 05, 2007

Big Week for Romney

Last week was a big week for Mitt Romney.  At the American Conservative Union's (ACU) Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in D.C. Romney and just about every other Republican primary candidate (except McCain showed up).  Two big wins for Romney:

1.  Romney won the CPAC Straw Poll.

CPAC is recognized as one of the premier Conservative gatherings in the country.  Ronald Reagan made it a point to attend every year when he was President, and all of the Republican candidates (except McCain) knew that an appearance here was critical to winning Conservative support.  Romney's win of the straw poll at this event says much about whether Conservatives are willing to put their faith in him.

Giuliani came in 2nd. 

Brownback 3rd.

2.  Romney's Speech Made Waves

Romney gave a powerful speech that, as Erick of Redstate put it "It was an excellent speech that should resolve all fears conservatives have about Romney."

For many, Romney is just a name on a page.  People are learning who he is, about his record, about the cause for concern on his past positions on issues.  But as the campaign goes on, and Romney makes more and more appearances and people are able to actually see and hear him, the conclusion is almost unanimous, the guy looks presidential.  More to the point, for Conservatives, when you hear him speak, you want to believe him and you want to vote for him.

 

The speech has generated a ton of discussion online and seems to be swaying some who didn't think Romney was the best candidate.

Take a look for yourself, here is the conclusion of his speech at CPAC (You can watch the whole speech here or read it here).

The Missing Links in the Sales Tax Proposal

As I've said before, what I have seen so far of the sales tax, I like, though I am not completely sold.  Most of the arguments against the sales tax are sheer rhetoric and lack any real analysis of the effect of the plan.  But the plan is certainly not without flaws.  The result is that both the democrat and Republican advocates on either side of this issue are missing a key element in their support or opposition to the sales tax concept:

What the democrats are Missing: The Numbers
While the democrats stepped up their whining this week about how apartment dwellers will not enjoy the fruits of the sales tax proposal, I've not heard a single one acknowledge the fact that apartment complexes pay property taxes and a cut can be passed on to renters resulting in lower rent.  Still think that renters will get hurt despite this fact?  Fine, show us the numbers.  Show us the average a renter pays towards the property taxes of their complex.  Show us how that number is lower than what those people would pay under the sales tax increase.  From the numbers I've seen, it looks like renters (except those spending so much they could not possibly be considered "poor") will ultimately be able to keep more of their money as well.  But the numbers I've seen may be wrong.  If that is the case, show us.

In the meantime, the accusations that the tax will hurt renters doesn't hold water as the numbers Republicans have published show that renters stand to benefit just like everyone else. 

As a renter myself, I appreciate the sentiment that you are trying to look out for me, but the sheer speculation on your side of this issue is not helping anyone.  And if you are able to shoot down a proposal that could have allowed me to keep more of my money it will be you that is hurting renters like me.

What Republicans are Missing:  Guarantee of Lower Rent
I believe in the market just as much as the next guy.  I believe that if property taxes are reduced and apartment complexes are able to offer rent at a lower rate they will do so to remain competitive.  However, I also understand that this will likely take time.  The result is that some landlords might not cut rent at all at first, or might cut at a lower rate than they could.  This means that there could be a period where the democrats are right, renters would get hit hard.  You know how much I hate democrats being right (though it is so infrequent I rarely have to worry about it) so we need a strategy.  We need a way to guarantee that under the sales tax plan the savings on property taxes enjoyed by landlords would be passed down to renters.  This could be done through a system which requires landlords, in order to receive the tax break, must demonstrate that they are reducing their rent at a rate equivalent to the reduction in property taxes.  Apartment complexes will necessarily follow through with this because it will allow lower rent, keeping them competitive, while not affecting their profit margin.

The Republican leadership needs a mechanism like this in their plan to neutralize the argument that renters will suffer under the sales tax.  So far, this is the one hole I've seen in the plan.  Fortunately, it is one which can be easily plugged.

There are many people out there, like me, who still have not made up their mind about the sales tax idea.  Either side has the opportunity to win us over by providing the missing link in their argument, but I have a feeling that if the Republican leadership is able to fix their side of the issue, the democrat opposition will be left without a leg to stand on.

February 26, 2007

Why I'm Not Sad About Cutting County Tax Revenue

While liberals all around the state are crying over the very thought of cutting county budgets, Blog-Stew addresses the very reason I'm not terribly torn up over the idea; silly, unnecessary spending.

When it comes down to a question of whether we can pay firefighters and police officers I'll start worrying.  But when we're looking at cutting tax breaks on $25,000 bird statues in downtown Orlando I have a hard time getting worked up.

Any other Orlando residents remember the frustration over the "tower of light" going up in front of city hall several years back?

February 25, 2007

Sales Tax - First Round of Numbers

Speaker Rubio's office sent us the numbers on the sales tax proposals. They got lost in our email for a few days, so I know the numbers are out there already, but it's nice to feel the love.  We share that love with you.

The top half includes the averages.  For county specific amounts, take a gander at the full release here:

Download Property-Tax-Plan.pdf

Statewide Savings for Property Owners Under House Property Tax Relief Plan

Statewide Savings This Year

$5.77 Billion Total                                                     19% Total Savings

Average Taxpayer Savings
Homestead Property Owner:                                         $433
Non-Homestead Residential Property Owner:                 $767
Commercial Property Owner:                                         $3,353

Statewide Savings Upon Passage of Constitutional Amendment

$13.55 Billion Total Property Tax Reduction
$7.78 Billion in Sales Tax Replacement
$5.77 Billion in Total Tax Savings

Average Taxpayer Savings
Homestead Property Owner:                                         $2,283
Non-Homestead Residential Property Owner:                 $767
Commercial Property Owner:                                         $3,353

February 23, 2007

The Sales Tax is Coming! We're Doomed! DOOMED!

I've rather enjoyed the debate over replacing the state property tax with the sales tax.  On the one hand, it has been refreshing to hear some new ideas on taxes in Florida.  On the other hand it has been amusing to watch the reaction by those opposing the sales tax; from timid objection to doomsday style calls for repentance.  The fact of the matter is, the sales tax idea has a long way to go, and in order for it to go through just about everybody is going to have to agree with the idea.  As has been pointed out in the comments on this site, in order for the sales tax to go through it will require a two-thirds majority vote of support.  That is going to be a tall order to fill and for that to happen, Republicans and democrats, business groups, consumer advocacy groups, state and local government advocates are going to have to be united on the idea to a certain degree.  That is going to be next to impossible unless... well... unless the sales tax turns out to be a really good idea.

So for all of you out there preaching that the end of government as we know it is coming unless we stop this sales tax idea, calm down.  We have much more time to discuss the idea and work out any of the kinks.

Thus far, however, I have been unimpressed by the arguments against it.

The strongest argument against the sales tax has been that it will hurt the poor.  The problem with this argument is that we really don't have the numbers to prove the point either way right now.  I understand the argument that renters will be asked to shoulder the sales tax that were not previously asked to pay property taxes.  Believe me, as a renter myself this was my first question.  However, what many are missing is that apartment renters already pay property taxes, just indirectly.  Those big complexes we live in, guess what they have to pay?  Property taxes.  Guess how they pay for those taxes?  It is part of our monthly rent. 

The Speaker's office is anticipating an average $767 annual difference for tenants.  Regardless, that would require $30,000 in annual spending on taxable goods for it to result in higher taxes for renters.  Does anyone who fits that description qualify as poor?

Furthermore, I had a friend send me a 2005 review of the national differential between property taxes levied on apartment complexes and single family residences from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard.  The paper reviews the data from the 2001 Residential Finance Survey by the Census Bureau and found that apartments are actually taxed at a higher rate than single family residences.  In fact, Florida is in the top three states with the largest disparity in the tax rate between private residences and apartment complexes.

Thus, those advocating that the sales tax will unfairly burden renters must acknowledge that our current system already unfairly burdens renters and the changes won't burden those classified as "poop."

Few would argue that we do not have a tax crisis in our state and we need a solution.  I certainly do not want a system that would unfairly burden the poor.  But unfairly burdening others doesn't seem to be a reasonable solution either.  From what I have seen thus far, the sales tax seems to by a solid solution.  But again, we will certainly have reports and reviews by numerous consulting and polling firms paid tens of thousands of dollars to analyze the numbers before we have to make a decision.

The second argument against the sales tax has been that the resulting 5 billion dollar total cut to county budgets is a bad thing.  While certainly don't want crucial county services cut, I'd be shocked if there were not at 5 billion dollars in non-necessary government programs throughout or state.  Again, I'm sure we'll hear about all of it soon.

From where I stand now, I like the sales tax idea.  But if it turns out to be a bad plan, I'll be the first to switch sides.  I hope you will join me, even those opposed to the tax, in hearing out the arguments of both sides before making a concrete decision. After all, for this solution, or any solution to pass, just about all of us are going to have to agree.  There is no need to feel like the sky is falling with the debate over a sales tax, we have plenty of time to think this one through.

*Updated with correct numbers from the Speaker's office.

February 20, 2007

Fresh Ideas on Property Taxes

Earlier this month I suggested that rather than discussing changes to property taxes that we needed to discuss getting rid of the property tax scheme altogether.  Rep. Daniel Webster agrees.

"The idea of having no property tax is pretty awesome, in my mind."

I have to agree and I must say that I am thrilled... thrilled, to hear that Republicans in Tallahassee are leading the discussion on replacing Florida's property tax system.  The Orlando Sentinel has an article covering the issue today, in specific, the idea of using an increased sales tax to replace the property taxes. 

Today on the Bud Hedinger radio show in Central Florida Rep. Frank Atkinson of Kissimmee discussed the possibility of a tax that would not be levied on goods such as food or medicine and would also replace those taxes paid by renters as well.   He's hosting a series  of townhall meetings across the state to take suggestions from citizens.

Sure, this would require a pretty major sales tax increase on many items, but would it reach the almost $200 most renters and many homeowners are paying in taxes each month?

It is all just discussion right now, but I am excited to hear that it is taking place and it sounds like we may have a solid solution right in front of us.

Survival of Florida Baby Shows Need For Change in Abortion Laws

On October 24, 2006 Amillia Sonja Taylor was born in Miami, Florida.  Born only 21 weeks after conception she was 9.5 inches and 10 ounces.   She is the world's most premature baby to survive outside of the womb.  Today she is going home with her parents.  (articles here and here)

It is a wonderful story and gives reason to celebrate, and also to consider the scope of abortion laws in our country.  It is estimated that 18,000 babies over 21 weeks into the gestational period are aborted (statistics here and here).   The central argument of abortion advocates, and the current status of the law, is that unborn children are not alive, or human, until a certain point at which we can determine that they can survive outside of the womb.

We now have proof that babies at only 21 weeks can survive outside of the womb indefinitely.  They are alive.  They are human.  There is no plausible argument to suggest that the law should not be modified to reflect this fact.  Abortions past 21 weeks gestation should be made illegal.

February 18, 2007

Mr. G on Ric Keller on Iraq Surge

The House passed it's resolution against the surge in Iraq this passed week and 17 House Republicans joined in sliding the knife into the backs of our troops; including our own Ric Keller.  He gave a speech prior to the vote, the text of which can be found here.  His suggestion for the war is essentially that we follow the Iraq Study Group's report and get everyone else to do everything.  If I thought that would work, I would support it, too.

I have to say, this one completely baffles me.  Consider me baffled.  I can understand the frustration with the war.  I can understand that many Republicans oppose the surge, even my friend over at Blog-Stew.  I can understand Keller wanting to send a message to the administration on the issue.  But he could have expressed all of those things outside of the resolution.  His vote almost certainly guarantees that he will have a well supported opponent in the next primary for his seat (Blog-Stew has already brought up Daniel Webster, good choice).

The fact is the surge is happening and the resolution will not change anything.  All Keller's vote has done is given democrats a new talking point, and I hate democrat talking points.

On a side note, the vote has now officially pigeon-holed the democrats on the surge.  Any success that comes from the surge democrats can receive no credit for.  As a result, despite democrat promises not to try to undermine the military effort, expect them to come.  Politically, democrats need the surge to fail and will begin making efforts to ensure that this happens.

I don't doubt Keller's sincerity, but if he had really thought about it, there were much more effective ways to voice his position to the administration without damaging his party, troop morale, and his own political career.  Central Florida needs a Representative that is going to make better decisions than this.  Oh, his vote in favor of the minimum wage increase didn't help my opinion of him either.

Mr. G supports the administration, supports the troops, supports the surge and now, doesn't support Ric Keller.  I'm with Blog-Stew, let's get Webster into the ring.

February 16, 2007

I'm not comfortable with this Romney fellow...

And this is just one reason why.

"Romney confirmed he voted for former U.S. Sen. Paul Tsongas in the state's 1992 Democratic presidential primary, saying he did so both because Tsongas was from Massachusetts and because he favored his ideas over those of Bill Clinton," the Boston Globe's Scot Lehigh and Frank Phillips wrote on Feb. 3, 1994. "He added he had been sure the G.O.P. would renominate George Bush, for whom he voted in the fall election."

Romney's contention that his vote for Tsongas was a vote for the weakest opponent for Bush - a phenomenon that political scientists refer to as "raiding" - surprised Professor William Mayer of Northeastern University in Boston.

"That would have been a strange election to have done that in, in the sense that Paul Tsongas was obviously going to carry his home state" of Massachusetts, said Mayer. Tsongas won the Massachusetts primary with 66 percent of the vote.

I recently wrote a game theory paper trying to project when voters should "Raid" and when they shouldn't. My focus was on Congressional and state level races, primarily b/c my research led me to believe it's not possible to effectively "Raid" in races larger than that. Raiding is first a numbers problem that requires a large enough spread of voters to win a primary and allow "Raiding" to have an effect in an opponents primary. Then it becomes a cooperation problem where voters need to organize and plan strategically before they ever think about defecting. Imagine the difficulty of convincing a truly Independent or conservative voter to consider voting for someone he doesn't believe in, and when you eventually consider that's not possible to do on a large enough scale, then tell me how wise it would be do it anyway, as a single voter. Seriously, I'm not comfortable with this guy.

I have no doubt that Romney was trying to vote strategically, but his strategy was trying to ensure favor and support from his home state liberals for a successful political career; he wanted to look like one of them. I've got to tell you this poor decision making and attempts at revisionist history has me thinking he is one of them.

In any event, he most certainly was not trying to ensure a weaker opponent in the 92 General Election. He's intelligent enough to know Tsongas would win Mass. and then promptly lose everywhere else. "Raiding" in Mass in 92 would have been ludicrous.

Now, my current problem with Romney isn't really that he voted for a Democrat, but that he gives us this cock and bull story about how he was voting for a well known liberal democrat trying to ensure a weaker opponent, when the truth - he was trying to win favor among liberals in a liberal state - is an acceptable explanation for a professional career politician in a very liberal state. He just doesn't want to tell us the truth. Why not? I wonder what else he doesn't want to tell us.

We will find out in due time.

UPDATED: Is Marriage a Fringe Issue?

As we get closer to the 2008 election one issue that is going to take the spotlight in Florida is same-sex marriage.  The Florida Marriage Amendment is almost guaranteed to be on the ballot and the debate over the issue will be heated. 

In anticipation of this fight liberals on the blogosphere and in the mainstream media in our state are already gearing up.  The tactic thus far has been to paint the issue as a fringe issue.  Examples abounded this week with numerous articles on Governor Crist's statement that the state GOP should put its priorities elsewhere.  The tone of the articles and blog posts covering Crist's statements was that the marriage amendment was an issue that only appealed to the right of the Republican party.

Even today the Miami Herald released an editorial comparing those in our party that support the amendment to Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, asserting that same-sex marriage would have no ill effect on our state, and arguing that involvement in this edge issue would hurt Governor Crist's poll ratings and eliminate any hopes he might have of running for Vice President in 2008.

Reading this garbage gives you the impression that only a handful on the far right support the Florida Marriage Amendment.  I only wish that sentiment were true, because if it was it would mean that the majority of Floridians belong to the right wing of the Republican party. 

I'm sure that some of you reading this very post don't consider yourself Conservatives, but would vote for a marriage amendment.  Guess what, you're not alone.

Every poll I've seen on the concept of a marriage amendment in our state has shown a majority of the state supports the idea.  I can give you Strategic Vision polls but liberals in our state just blow those off.  I can also give you Equality Florida's (our own homegrown homosexual lobby) own poll from just over a year ago showing that 55% of Floridians  support the idea of a marriage amendment, with an anticipated additional margin of 5 to 8% who would support the amendment over what the poll indicated.

The truth is that marriage is not a fringe issue.  It is an issue that voters all across the spectrum are passionate about and poll after poll confirms that the majority of Floridians support traditional marriage and want to protect it with an amendment to our state constitution.

The strategy over the next year and a half by liberals and the media will be to be to make supporters of traditional marriage feel as though they are on the fringe, that they are extremists with outdated views.  Don't let the rhetoric get to you because your support of traditional marriage is the majority view, both nationally and in our own state.

UPDATE: Over at Pushing Rope Mr. Hussey takes his shot at me.  A few thoughts...

"The amendment would do what is already on the Florida law books. Make marriage between same sex couples illegal."

Wrong.  The amendment will protect marriage in our state from activist judges.  We've seen all to often that judges across the country are far to willing to throw state statutes in the trash to advance a political agenda.  Marriage is under attack and the homosexual lobby has learned that the easiest place for them to push their agenda is in the Courts.  We've seen this in our own state as they have fought vigorously to repeal the state's homosexual adoption ban.  It is only a matter of time until they take aim at marriage in Florida, as they have already done in other states.  The Florida Marriage Amendment puts marriage completely outside of the reach of the judiciary, thereby preserving traditional marriage in Florida.

"Just because the polls are tipped to a certain side doesn't make it legal or morally right."

Correct, and I've not argued that the polls make anything right.  But on this issue, it just so happens that most people are right.

"Eventually, gay marriage will be legal in America."

Wrong.  As long as we are willing to stand for our convictions we will prevail and preserve marriage in our state, and nationwide.

"The harder the Christian Right pushes the issue the more the American public will get used to the idea of same sex marriages."

Wrong.  As I noted above, Mr. Hussey, like the media, presents the issue as though the Christian Right is in the fringe on this issue.  The Christian Right need not push the issue because most people agree with us on this issue.  It is the left that is pushing their agenda upon the majority.

In conclusion, I always find these situations entertaining.  The left constantly berates the right for pushing its morality on the majority.  But Mr. Hussey, like the rest of the left, has no qualms pushing arguing that the majority is wrong when the majority disagrees with them. 

Over the next year as the left berates you for your values, attempts to marginalize you, and compares your views to racism as Mr. Hussey does I encourage you to stand by your convictions and what is right.

 

February 14, 2007

Crist to Prevent Funding of Florida Marriage Amendment?

Most of the big Florida papers had an article today about Governor Crist's statements yesterday about the idea of the state Republican Party continuing to give funding to the effort to pass the Florida Marriage Amendment.  Most of the articles made it seem as if Crist was ready to single-handedly pull the plug on the amendment. Of course, the statements Crist made and the portrayal of the statements don't match up.  I'd give you the analysis, but someone beat me to it.

Now, pay attention, because I rarely, if ever say this... Florida Politics got this one right.  Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day  (I smirk as I type this because Florida Politics is one of the sharpest democrat bloggers in Florida).

In his daily review of the news today he explains that Crist has not said he would not allow the state GOP to fund the marriage amendment this year and, based on his past statements and actions, it seems unlikely that he would prevent such funding.  And he's right.

It is yet another example of a prediction on Crist that I made during the campaigns, that while Crist would not be an advocate for the causes of Conservatives, he would not stand in our way.  We saw this on embryonic stem cell research recently, and we will see it again here.  Crist might not be excited about the marriage amendment, but he is certainly not going to try and impede the efforts of Conservatives in

Florida.  Especially on this issue because Crist realizes this amendment will bring out Conservatives to vote and get them active in the election and campaigns.

Regardless, my prediction on the amendment is that it will pass with or without GOP money.  The amendment is just 28,000 signatures short of the 611,000 needed to get on the ballot.  We have about a year to get those remaining signatures.  The amendment has made it this far with less than a fourth of the funding that most successful ballot measures require ($400k as compared to $2+ million).  The polling data I've seen has shown support around 61 and 65% for the amendment in

Florida, with suggestion that these percentages might actually be low.  This is going to be very difficult for the anti-marriage lobby to stop.

Of course, it is far from a done deal.  One major problem might be that Conservatives may have shot themselves in the foot by pushing the amendment requiring all future amendments to pass by 60% rather than a simply majority.

But for the time being, Conservatives have little to worry about.  Crist is not going to prevent funding for the effort, and even if he directs that funding should be decreased the Conservative leadership in this state will see the effort through with your help.

February 12, 2007

Karen Thurman Tries to Mislead Floridians, Again.

When Karen Thurman says anything my gag reflex usually starts to act up.  Her podcast and press release today on the Florida democrat website had its usual effect.

On the stalled resolutions on the war in Congress:

"It is the troops and their families that truly have to pay the price for failed policies, but George W. Bush and a stubborn Republican minority in Congress don't even want to talk about it."

Nothing could be father from the truth.  The strongest Republican opposition arose only after the democrat leadership rescinded its promise to allow a comparable Republican resolution supporting the war to be debated.  Further, during debate on the democrat bill this week, no Republican amendments will be permitted.  Sure, democrats are willing to discuss the war, just on their terms with major limits on debate by the opposition.  Heaven forbid anything interrupt their grandstanding.

That said, I understand the motivation.  Disapproval of the war was a big selling point for democrats in 2006 and they want to demonstrate resolve on the issue now that they are in power.  Disgusting as it is the resolution in and of itself is not surprising.  What is surprising is the complete lock-down of debate on the subject by the party which promised the most open and ethical Congress ever followed by accusations that Republicans are the ones limiting debate... wait... we're talking about democrats, so even that is not surprising at all.

"Worse yet, our Republican Senator, Mel Martinez, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, was apparently too busy to even show up to the procedural vote.  "This war is the most important issue facing our country, and Mel Martinez can't even show up? The Republican Party of Florida slammed Jim Davis again and again for missing votes on inconsequential things such as naming post offices. What do they have to say now about their Senator missing these crucial votes?"

Please, Republicans slammed Davis for having the second worst voting record in Congress.  I'm not excusing Martinez for missing any votes, but I understand that it happens.  When Mel misses 300 more votes to match Davis' 301 missed votes you will have a valid talking point comparison between the two.  Last year Martinez missed 3.4% of all votes.  Davis missed 24.8%.

In fact, every single democrat from Florida in the House of Representatives missed more votes than Senator Martinez and had a higher percentage of missed votes in the 109th Congress.  Only seven Florida Congressmen had better voting attendance percentages than Martinez; all of them were Republicans.  The only democrat in Congress with a better voting attendance record than Martinez last year was Senator Nelson with 1.6% of votes missed (12 less than Martinez).

Thurman closes by urging democrats to call Senator Martinez and "tell him to stop missing votes and most importantly ignoring the people of Florida."  While I won't discourage you from making that call, if missing votes is your concern, you should call every Florida democrat in the House first.

As for "ignoring the people of Florida," democrats only cry about the people being "ignored" when the polls go their way.  On issues such as the federal and state marriage amendments which polls show the national majority and state majority both favor they certainly don't call it "ignoring the people" when they oppose the amendments.  When Senator Graham and Senator Nelson voted against the federal marriage amendment in 2004 despite the fact that the Senate offices on Capitol Hill received one of the largest, if not the largest, totals of constituent contacts within a single week (with the vast majority in favor of the amendment) democrats certainly didn't categorize it as "ignoring the people."  When democrats go against the polls we get a lecture about Congressmen being elected to "exercise their judgment."  When Republicans go against the polls they call it "ignoring the people."

Thurman's message today was typical of democrat attacks; filled with half-truths and ultimately lacking any real substance.  No wonder most Florida voters aren't willing to trust the democrat leadership in positions of power.

2008 Presidential Primary Polls

One of the most interesting political blogs out there is Political Arithmetik by Charles Franklin, a professor of polling data at the University Wisconsin.  At Political Arithmetik he gatherings data from numerous polls and puts them into easy to read graphs and breaks down the data.  How reliable is is?  I don't know, you'll have to ask Mr. C, but for the common folk like me it is at least interesting enough to spend a few minutes pondering.

He's keeping running tabs on the presidential primary polls.  Here's how the top contenders play out:

Topreps_2

Topdems_1

Again, don't hold me to the accuracy, but I think this probably gives a fair assessment of where everyone stands in the recent polls and also shows how erratic the results from those polls can be.

There are also summaries of the candidate vs. candidate polls.

February 07, 2007

Time for Fresh Ideas on State Taxes

If you took the articles in the major state papers today about the debate over cutting property taxes at face value you would think that Governor Crist was attempting to eliminate all funding for police, firefighters and schools.  Everyone was real excited about the idea of cutting property taxes, but now that we're examining the logistics, well, it seems it might be more difficult than originally anticipated.  True to style, at the first sign of some difficult decisions many of the major Florida papers and democrats are ready to let the accusations fly that the Governor is going to ruin the state.

Unfortunately, the reality is simply that cutting property taxes directly affects county budgets.  While this discussion provides a perfect opportunity to examine county budgets and consider trimming the fat where fat exists I anticipate that the Governors office will find that many counties simply don't have much to trim.  As many county officials are already arguing, a cut in property taxes will likely result in a tax increase to make up the difference.

So where do we go from here?  While I'm not opposed to the idea of continuing to examine a property tax cut and I loom forward to hearing the ideas that come from the Governor's office on the issue I hope that the debate will evolve into a discussion of alternatives to the property tax system.

The fact is that we have a crisis with our property taxes in our state and if the Counties and Cities are not able to reduce their budgets to manage a property tax cut, then we need to consider replacing the property tax system altogether.  I am a supporter of flat tax and sales tax concepts, so personally, I would like to see discussion drift to the possibility of an expansion of locality sales taxes.

We cannot afford to allow the debate to end at whether or not the Counties can afford a property tax cut.  We have an opportunity to simply the Florida tax system and ease the tax burden on a class of tax payers that have been targeted for dramatic increases.   Whether or not a property tax cut is feasible or effective, it is time for fresh ideas on the system of taxation in Florida.

February 06, 2007

Hey democrats, Stop Whining!

I'm always a little torn when I see  liberals and democrats squandering political opportunities.  Part of me wants to point out the chance they are missing because this part still somehow believes that there is some good that comes from a political system with two strong parties.  The other part of me just wants  to keep my mouth shut and enjoy the show as the left continues to alienate itself more and more from the mainstream public.

In the end, however, I know anything I say will likely have no effect as it will either be ignored by democrats and I doubt many democrat party executives are regular readers of PEER Review.  Regardless, I submit the following for your consideration:

Hey democrats, stop whining, Governor Crist gives you a tremendous opportunity to build political capital.

Continue reading "Hey democrats, Stop Whining!" »

February 05, 2007

GW Deniers

Apparently, critics of Global Warming are now being referred to as "deniers" in an effort to discredit them by equating them with Holocaust deniers. It's too bad, and ironic. The efforts of GW activist will likely create, in effect, a disaster of global scale perpetrated on the poor people of this planet who will be denied cheap energy to develop industry, business, economic development, and sustainable economies to grow their countries, establish financial independence, and feed their children the necessities of life, like McDonald's french fries. Better, I guess, to keep them dependent on UN rice bags for survival.

Who are these deniers anyway? What are they saying? Are they right-wing extremist trying to suppress overwhelming evidence of GW?

As an impetuous chemistry undergrad I once bought into the GW  "science" hook, line and sinker. I was dazzled by the findings of scientist who, I thought, were doing amazing work. The truth is I was amazed by the results and lacked the skills to dig deeper. Now that I'm older, and more learned, I'm less dazzled by results and more impressed by strong statistical findings of theory based research that employs sound methods.

But you don't need a chemistry degree to wonder about science or a Ph.D. to raise a question about methods; most people have good intuition about questionable claims of fact. If you've every read a political poll and thought it unlikely that 100 people can represent the views of 7 million on any given policy topic, then you, my friend, are exactly like me. Sometimes a small sample poll can, in fact, do such a thing; depending on the methods employed and the validity of the analysis 100 people can tell you a great deal about 7 million or 70 million. Who among us is qualified to assess such a thing?

I certainly don't think I am overtly qualified to make a case for an alternative causal theory to emissions-based-GW. But, I detest the elitist attitude that I am under-qualified to ask questions and have suspicions. How many political candidates would have given up if they accepted what the political polls told them early in a race?

For those interested in thoughtful dissent grounded in science, here is a series of stories in the Canadian National Post on GW and it's critics. You will find thoughtful criticism throughout and brief CV (resume) highlights concluding each piece.

Statistics needed -- The Deniers Part I
Warming is real -- and has benefits -- The Deniers Part II
The hurricane expert who stood up to UN junk science -- The Deniers Part III
Polar scientists on thin ice -- The Deniers Part IV

The original denier: into the cold -- The Deniers Part V
The sun moves climate change -- The Deniers Part VI
Will the sun cool us? -- The Deniers Part VII
The limits of predictability -- The Deniers Part VIII
Look to Mars for the truth on global warming -- The Deniers Part IX
Limited role for C02 -- the Deniers Part X

The Real Deal?

February 01, 2007

Teddy Roosevelt on being American

Quote from Teddy Roosevelt. Discuss among yourselves -

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts "native" before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else. The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English- Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian- Americans, or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality than with the other citizens of the American Republic. The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country. The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American.

January 29, 2007

Jeb Bush Rallies Conservatives

That goes without saying. Jeb Bush's second inauguration address contained a line that went something like this,

"There would be no greater tribute to our maturity as a society than if we can make these buildings around us empty of workers - silent monuments to the time when government played a larger role than it deserved or could adequately fill."

That line encouraged me to make a decision that included moving to Florida. The rest is history.

Yesterday, Jeb was making inspirational speech again, and it doesn't sound like retirement speech...

It's important for us to realize we lost, and there are significant reasons that happened, but it isn't because conservatives were rejected. But it's because we rejected the conservative philosophy in this country."

He added, "If the promise of pork and more programs is the way Republicans think they'll regain the majority, then they've got a problem."

If he could be elected Jeb Bush would become, hands down, the defining GOP president. But, we aren't at a place yet when Jeb could enter the race, or even consider running, for President. Besides him saying, repeatedly, that he is not running, solid conservatives like myself wish he were.

Running or not his words will be remembered in the early election season as the field of potential GOP candidates ply their worth in early primary states, one of which is possibly going to be Florida.

Are they solid conservatives? Do they understand what they are saying, or is it just a long string of sound bites? Do they talk the talk? Have they walked the walk? Do they have the "special sauce" needed to find success and popular support in a difficult media environment?

What's a scenario in which Jeb gets the nomination? A complete collapse of the current field and a sufficient surge of support for Hillary that pushes conservatives to find a candidate who can confront the Hillary myth (Rick Lazio need not apply)... or, IHMO a potential McCain-Clinton race which is to say it's not a race - you lose no matter what you do.

Basically, Jeb Bush doesn't need to enter the race when he can be begged into it.

Likely? No. Possible? Yes.

So stay tuned, and watch for more "pork busting" speeches from Jeb in the next year. I I'll be watching for the subtle signs.

January 24, 2007

Crist Sticks to His Word and Supports Funding For Embryonic Stem Cell Research

During the gubernatorial primaries this past year Conservatives were torn between two candidates; Tom Gallagher, a man with a moderate background who pushed the Conservative agenda in the primary, and Charlie Crist, a self proclaimed Conservative with moderate views on most social issues.  Ultimately, the conventional wisdom that Crist was the better candidate because he was more "electable" won out in Conservative circles.  All the while, many Conservatives understood their values would later pay a price because of that choice. 

It is time to pay the piper.

Governor Crist recently announced his support of a new stem cell research bill that would provide state funding for embryonic stem cell research (story here and here).

Continue reading "Crist Sticks to His Word and Supports Funding For Embryonic Stem Cell Research" »

January 23, 2007

Cruelty Cloaked In Compassion

I noticed today how many blogs, even blogs in our little Florida circle were involved in the "Blogs for Choice" campaign (I noticed it first over at Pushing Rope).  Mr. Hussey joined many others in blogging about "choice" and/or telling their stories touching on the "compassion" of "choice."  I find it interesting that the pro-death/anti-life movement has been so effective in cloaking what is quintessential cruelty, the invasion of death into the sacred peace of the womb, in "compassion."  The arguments they use, health of the mother, preventing deaths from back alley abortion, preventing the "tragedy" of disabled children, rape, and incest all carry with them the guise of compassion.  But underneath it all lays the harsh truth of death.

George Will takes on one facet of the campaign against life in yet another must read examining the advancement of aborting disabled children in:  Golly, What Did Jon Do?

"What did Jon Will and the more than 350,000 American citizens like him do to tick off the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists? It seems to want to help eliminate from America almost all of a category of citizens, a category that includes Jon."

Continue reading "Cruelty Cloaked In Compassion" »

January 22, 2007

Hey Conservatives, Hold Your Horses

Brownback, Obama, Clinton... it has been a busy week and the presidential candidates list continues to grow.  All the candidates are quickly moving to secure all the support they can from other local and national leaders.  In the wake of all of the excitement that the week has brought I received an email from a Conservative leader here in our own state with what is probably the best advice on the 2008 election that I've seen so far; wait.

Continue reading "Hey Conservatives, Hold Your Horses" »

January 18, 2007

Rep. Feeney Leads Charge Against Social Security for Illegal Aliens

Our own Rep. Tom Feeney from Florida's 24th District is leading the charge against the US-Mexico Social Security Totalization Agreement.  The Agreement, which does not require any support from Congress as a treaty, would provide full social security benefits to immigrants currently in the country illegally should they later receive legal status.  The new burdens this places on the already dying social security system will only serve to usher the program to bankruptcy faster than it is already.

Today Human Events released an article by Rep. Feeney addressing the agreement.  It gives you all the details you need to know and the way it can be stopped.

January 15, 2007

Romney Winning GOP Bloggers Poll

Last week Bob posted the GOP Bloggers 2008 Presidential candidate survey here at PEER Review along with his own encouragement to vote for Romney or Brownback.  With over 12,000 votes tallied, GOP Bloggers is reporting that Romney is winning in both the "first choice for nominee" and "acceptable nominee" categories.  McCain and Giuliani are close behind.

The poll, of course, doesn't tell us much, except for the fact that Romney is getting his message and image out and people are liking what they see.

January 12, 2007

democrat Exceptions to the Minimum Wage Bill

I'm starting to wonder if the democrats are going to break every campaign promise they made within the "first hundred hours."  There is a great article in the Washington Times today about the democrat hypocrisy on the minimum wage bill.

The story is this:  democrats campaign on the promise of open and honest government.  democrats pass a minimum wage bill.  Republicans are now finding out that the minimum wage requirement will not apply to a major company in Speaker Pelosi's on district.  How convenient.

The bill will also not apply to American Samoa.  Now, I'm not really wound up about this exception.  What bothers me though is that Republicans, even those who voted in favor of the bill appear to have not been aware of the exceptions.  This is the result of the democrats new closed door drafting and no debate policy on legislation; we have legislators voting on legislation when they don't understand the full extent of that legislation.  Doesn't that make you feel secure about what's going on in D.C.?

It is a disgrace.  It is a disgrace that democrats push this national minimum wage increase and then companies in the democrat Speaker's own district are exempted.  It is a disgrace that democrat leadership is forcing votes on legislation that has not been fully discussed.  It is a disgrace that representatives, both democrat and Republican, are voting on legislation when they don't understand the full application of the bills.  It is a disgrace that Republican leadership is not fighting the new foolish method of governing in the house.  And it is a disgrace that the main stream media isn't picking up on any of this.

UPDATED: Update on the 2008 Republican Candidates

News on the 2008 campaigns.  Here's what you need to know (Romney section updated with comments from Bob):

Brownback
Senator Brownback announced his opposition to the troop surge yesterday.  He is advocating that Iraq needs a "political" solution.  Brownback has argued that Iraq should be split up into 3 states between the Kurds, Shi'as and Sunnis under the umbrella of a national government.  He's also given his support for much of the Iraq Study Group Report.  These positions are going to give many Conservatives major cause for pause in supporting Brownback.  This issue could actually prevent the Brownback candidacy from ever actually taking off.  Also, I keep noticing that Brownback always looks sleepy.  When I picture him as president I always think about him taking a nap in the oval office.

Romney
Governor Romney has Iraq troubles of his own.  He released a statement on Iraq policy, and many Conservatives don't think it has enough substance.  His bigger problem though is this YouTube video with clips from his 1994 debate against Ted Kennedy and his statements about abortion, gay marriage, and other issues.  But the Romney camp is reacting very well with an immediate statement a taped appearance addressing the issues.  Discussions about Romney's health care plan in Massachusetts are also picking up steam.  So are discussions about his underwear.

From Bob:

Mitt Romney was very impressive in person. Not yet Presidential, but very impressive. He comes across as very smart, very Republican, and very likable. He was funny and personable and he did a great job espousing conservative principles and values and incorporating them into his thoughts about terrorism, immigration, education, technology and healthcare. He is doing a great job positioning himself as more conservative than McCain and Guiliani, yet he seems (to me) to maintain the cross-over appeal needed for the general election. He also has done a great job assembling a top-notch team, especially in Florida, a key state for 2008. I think his biggest threat is not the two aforementioned candidates, but others from the far right (Gingrich, Brownback.) Romney's chances will depend on how long those candidates stay in the field. But my bottom line impression is that he would be a great GOP candidate and President.

McCain
Despite numerous television appearances and an op-ed in the Washington Post on increasing troop levels I've found it interesting that McCain is not getting more time on the blogs.  Many if not most put him as the front runner, but he is getting no love from Conservatives and it seems everyone is paying attention to the other candidates.  Personally, as I've watched him there has been one thought that keeps coming to mind; McCain is really old.  I mean really, when you look at the guy do you think "presidential material" or do you think "wow... old" and "comb-over"?

Rudy
Mayor Giluliani got a bit of a press buzz when the press got their hands on a copy of his campaign strategy.  But it is not all bad news, Rudy has a supporter over at RedState, a Conservative to boot who makes a good argument.  Other than that, the general consensus seems to be that he is going to have a really hard time winning the primary with his social views and social life past.

January 11, 2007

VETO ALERT: House Passes Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

President Bush will have the chance to veto his first bill from the democrat House very soon.  This afternoon the House of Representatives passed HR 3 which directs that the federal government should "conduct and support research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells" (regardless of the date  in which the cells were derived from a human embryo).    It is discouraging that anyone would support such an abomination that destroys human life at the very earliest of stages.  It is even more troubling that 37 Republicans voted in favor of the bill.  The list is here.  The legislation is here.

Today the president promised to veto the bill when it hits his desk.  This will be the second time he has done so.  A similar bill passed in the House last year and was vetoed by the President.

While the bill could surmount a presidential veto it would require a two-thirds vote in the House, more than 290 votes.  As the bill passed with only 253 votes it is unlikely that such a veto will be overridden. 

Republicans and Minimum Wage

I try not to let myself be surprised by democrats anymore.  But I find myself being shocked by Republicans more and more as of late.  For example, we all heard about the democrat minimum wage increase being passed.  No surprise there.  However, I was floored to learn that 82 House Republicans voted for the measure as well, including a good number from our own state.  See the full list here.

It is going to be a really long two years if we have that many Republicans in the House that are willing to go along with the half-brained economic agenda the democrats are pushing.

January 10, 2007

democrats Refuse Republican Imput, Then Cry About Not Having Influence On Republican Policy

Let's review:

democrats campaign on the idea that they will run the most open, ethical government ever and promise that they wil work with Republicans to achieve a new age of bipartisanship. 

THEN

democrats proceed to immediately break those promises.  The first thing they do is lock down the legislative process, draft and pass legislation without any Republican input.

Fine, fine.  I expected as much.  It is not a surprise that they went back on their pledge, or even how fast they took to abandoning it.

But today... I almost blew a gasket.

I watched as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi came out of a meeting with the President this afternoon and proceeded to complain and whine about how they haven't been brought in to consult.  They cried that they were just given notice and don't have any imput.

To begin, where they the only people in the country thatn didn't know this was coming?  Is the troop surge idea really a shock to these two?  And who are they to whine about being locked out of a decision that they have no authority to make?  They close down legislative debate and then fuss about not being able to influence President Bush's decisions.

You know, I try to give the democrat leadership the benefit of the doubt and tell myself that they really are trying to do what they thing is right and that from some other perspective their words and actions might look correct, I really do.  But on days like today I have to wonder if they go back to their closed door meetings and laugh about the fact that people actually buy the balogna they are selling.

January 09, 2007

Pelosi: For The Troop Surge, Then Opposed

Democrats everywhere are screaming about the proposed increase in troops in Iraq.  Pelosi is even barking that House democrats might try to prevent funding of the proposed surge.  I swear, if democrats had a longer memory span they would never listen to these jokers.  In typical democrat style, Pelosi was for the troop increase before she was against it.  From NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert, May 30, 2004 (emphasis mine):

MR. RUSSERT:  What would you do in Iraq today right now?

REP. PELOSI:  What I would do and what I think our country must do in Iraq is take an assessment of where we are.  And there has to be a leveling with the American people and with the Congress of the United States as to what is really actually happening there.  It's very hard to say what you would do. We need more troops on the ground.  General...

MR. RUSSERT:  American troops if necessary?

REP. PELOSI:  ...Shinseki said this from the start, when you make an appraisal about whether you're going to war, you have to know what you need.

MR. RUSSERT:  So you would put more American troops on the ground?

REP. PELOSI:  What I'm saying to you, that we need more troops on the ground. I think it would be better if we could get them to be not American, that we could appeal to our European allies, NATO. I agree with Senator Kerry in that respect to come...

MR. RUSSERT:  But if they say no, would you put more American troops on the ground?

REP. PELOSI:  Clear and present danger facing the United States is terrorism. We have to solidify, we have to stabilize the situation in Iraq.  As secretary of state has said, "You break it, you own it."  We have a responsibility now in Iraq there.  And we have to get more troops on the ground.  But when General Shinseki said we need 300,000 troops, Secretary Wolfowitz said "wildly off the mark," because they knew a commitment of 300,000 troops would not be acceptable to the American people.  So they went in with false assumptions about rose petals, not rocket-propelled grenades, and we're in this fix that we're in now.

MR. RUSSERT:  Well, let's assume all that is wrong.  In order to stabilize the situation, NATO has said they have no troops for Iraq, the French, the Germans and Russians saying no.

REP. PELOSI:  We have to send...

MR. RUSSERT:  Would you send more American troops in order to stabilize the situation?

REP. PELOSI:  Yes.

Romney Establishes a Dominating Fundraising Lead

2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney held a fundraiser today.  It was called the "National Call Day."  I'd expect a few more of these, from Romney and the other candidates because Romney raised over 6.5 MILLION dollars.  Unbelievable.  Estimates have McCain at 2 million and Giuliani at 1 million.  The "frontrunners" now have much work to do to show that they can keep up.

Continue reading "Romney Establishes a Dominating Fundraising Lead" »

January 05, 2007

Republicans Can Win by Losing

What is a Republican minority that will be unable to advance any real reforms against a democrat majority supposed to do for the next 2 years?  Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform says there is only one thing they can do; lose.  But don't fret, because losing is a winning strategy.  From NRO:

For the next two years conservatives will not be able to pass any useful legislation through the House of Representatives. Memorize that sentence. Place it on your PC screensaver. Use it as your message on your answering machine. A discreet but easily accessed tattoo would be helpful.

All temptations to actually pass something lead to a conversation where the hard left of the Democrat party — the old bulls who are the Democrat leadership and committee chairmen — has a veto over anything. You can label the bottle. They will fill it.

Republicans in Congress need to use the first 100 days and the next two years to lose. Propose House rules that keep the present GOP requirement for a 3/5 vote to raise taxes. And lose. Propose House rules that term limit committee chairmen — the old GOP rule only applied to Republicans. And lose. Propose a tax cut. And lose. Heck, get denied an actual vote. Have a procedural vote. And lose. Propose an end to earmarks. And lose. Write welfare reform part three. And lose.

In November 2006 not enough voters saw a Republican congressional leadership they wanted to vote for and too few saw Democrat party leadership that scared them. The next two years is about changing both of those perceptions.

January 04, 2007

Feeney Pays Treasury for Trip and Liberal Sharks Come Out to Feed

Even a the possibility of impropriety by a Republican and the liberal sharks come out to feed; St. Pete Times:  Feeney's Scotland jaunt broke rules; Miami Herald:  Lobbyist's largesse costs congressman.

The short story is that Rep. Tom Feeney has agree to pay $5,643 to the US Treasury for a trip he took to Scotland which Feeney believed was paid for by the National Center for Public Policy Research but may have been paid for by Jack Abramoff.  If you read the review at FLA Politics, you'd think Rep. Tom Feeney had gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  But if you take the time to read the statement by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for the House you'll notice that there is much more to the story.

Continue reading "Feeney Pays Treasury for Trip and Liberal Sharks Come Out to Feed" »

A Thought on democrat Take Over

Today in  media outlets from the blogosphere to AM radio to television conservatives are mourning the loss of the Congress to the democrats as the new leadership is sworn in.

I submit the following for your consideration.

The day we should mourn is the day that our Republican leadership stepped away from Conservative principles of government, not the day in which we realize the consequences of such action.

January 03, 2007

A Disenfranchised Republican's Reaction to President Bush's Op-Ed Piece

Whenever I express my frustrations with the Bush administration here I almost always get yelled at as a result.  Normally in email form, often in person.

So let me start my tirade with this:  I like President Bush.  I admire many of his accomplishments while in office.  I admire his character.  If I could go back in time knowing what I know now, given all the options available at the time, I still would have voted for him.  However, his time in office has been far less productive than I hoped or expected.  I've been continually aggravated as his has passed opportunity after opportunity to advance the cause of Conservatism, both fiscal and social.

Which is why his article in the Wall Street Journal today just mad me mad.  Here we have a man calling on democrats to adhere to those theories of government which he has been unwilling to stand for himself over the last six years.

Continue reading "A Disenfranchised Republican's Reaction to President Bush's Op-Ed Piece" »

January 02, 2007

Massachusetts Legislature Reconsiders Position on Marriage Amendment, Twice

Today, on the last day of the Massachusetts Legislative Session, Legislators apparently decided that the blatant disregard for the Massachusetts Constitution's provisions on amendments was too much, even for them.  Earlier today the Legislature took a vote on whether to allow the state's marriage amendment to proceed.  By a vote of 61 to 132 they decided that it would (the amendment needed only 50 votes to move to the next phase.

But that didn't fly with liberal members of the legislature.  They called for reconsideration and by a vote of 117 to 75, they got it.  They reconsidered the amendment,and it then passed with 62, one more vote than before.

This reconsideration process could continue to repeat itself.  But the session ends today, so by tomorrow we will know if the amendment will proceed.

If it does, it must be considered and approved yet again in the next session before it can go on the 2008 ballot.

Does anyone else find it odd that liberals, who constantly scream about free speech and demand that others "open their minds" to accept and praise the views of others are advocating so hard to prevent this issue from going on the ballot to allow voters to explore the merits of each side and make a decision for themselves?

Incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman "Accepts Responsibility" for Ethics Violations

Three years after the initial allegations came forward, Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) has finally "accepted responsibility" for his actions which constituted a violation of House ethics rules.  The most interesting part of the whole story, though, is the fact that this has gotten next to no attention in the MSM.  It is not really surprising, but as always I must point out that if and when a Republican essentially admitted to ethics violations this would be front page news.  If it was the incoming chair of the most powerful committee in the house, we would hear about it for weeks on end and there would be a call for the Representative to resign, to apologize and a demand that the entire administration resign.  But this is a democrat, so it has gone unnoticed.

Now I don't suggest that this should have gotten that much attention or that it should have been met with more scorn from Republicans.  Conyers was accused to requiring his government staff to work on his campaign, babysit his children and run personal errands.  It is an abuse of government resources, and certainly unethical but it doesn't merit massive action.  It probably wasn't pursued more because I'm sure this occurs frequently on both sides of the isle.

But some attention would have been nice.  As democrats get ready to "clear the swamp" in the House with what they claim will be the most ethical Congress ever, it seems to me to be a newsworthy story that one of their leading members who will control the house agenda just "accepted responsibility" for ethics violations.

You can read the House ethics report here.

Did Romney Create Same-Sex Marriage?

A WorldNetDaily article today has drawn attention to a group of Massachusetts activists that have claimed that Massachusetts Governor and 2008 presidential candidate (as of tomorrow), Mitt Romney, actually created same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

The argument is essentially that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health which held that restricting marriage to heterosexual couples was unconstitutional under the Massachusetts Constitution is, in fact, unconstitutional.  Supporters of this view have taken the Court's recent decision in Doyle v. Secretary of the Commonwealth holding that it does not have the power to force the state legislature to take a constitutionally required vote on the state's marriage amendment confirms this view that the Court cannot impose same-sex marriage on the state.  As a result, they claim, Romney effectuated an unconstitutional order of the court and Romney in fact created same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

I begin by saying that technically, I agree.  But the reality of our current system of jurisprudence prevents the application of such a textualist view and binds those with executive authority to carry out the will of the court.   

Continue reading "Did Romney Create Same-Sex Marriage?" »

December 29, 2006

Does Brownback Have What It Takes to Win the White House?

In the past week the has been a buzz over Senator Sam Brownback's decision to begin his presidential bid by spending a night in a prison in Louisiana to draw attention to the need for prison reform. Over at Red State there is a front page article on the subject where the author concludes that he must support Brownback because of his strong ideals. He ends with the statement that "politics divorced from ideals is just a really expensive game." (Note: I can't give you the link becuase I'm typing this from my phone in the Atlanta airport.)

With Brownback's entrance into the race for president I've seen a rise in this type of talk; that Brownback should be the Conservative candidate of choice becuase of his ideals. I think it is mostly a bunch of bunk.

I hate to break it to you if you feel the same as the Red State writer, but politics is a game. Yes, an expensive game. Those who suceed are the ones who learn how to play the game well. I know many really bright folks who would make great elected officials but will never be elected because they can't or won't play the game; they are not electable.

Don't get me wrong, I almost always vote for the idealist, and there is a good chance I'll vote for Brownback. After all, I was the lone ranger here pushing for Gallagher in the gubernatorial race becuase of his Conservative platform. But all of this idealist talk is a distraction from the fact that Brownback needs a major spike of charisma before he has a shot at the White House.

Brownback supporters are going to rave over his Conservative ideology. That is all well and good, but don't forget the all important electability factor. If ideology is the sole determining factor Alan Keyes would have been the Republican nominee six times by now.

Facts is facts, and Brownback just isn't the most exciting political figure. He can be right all day long, but if he can't inspire people to join his cause, he loses.

We've talked about Romney's flaws and the concerns with him. This is Brownback's biggest short-coming. Fix this and you have a stellar candidate.

Don't get me wrong, I really like Brownback. In fact, on my old blog I used to dream about having him in the White House. It would be fantastic. The problem is getting him there. I'm just not sure it can happen, especially with the characters running on the other side. But we have a long way to go, maybe we can spice him up over the next year.

We know Brownback is Conservative. We know he takes a stand on issues many others never recognize. Now we need to see if he has what it takes to win a national election over some of the toughest democrat competition we've seen in a long time at a point where many Americans are disenfranchised with Republican leadership. Right now, I'm not sure he does.

December 28, 2006

Massachusetts Legislature Continues to Violate Massachusetts Constitution

Here's the background story:

The people of Massachusetts start an initiative for an amendment to their state constitution.  They secure the required number of signatures to submit the amendment, but the amendment never makes it to the ballot.  Why? Because in Massachusetts before the amendment is placed on the ballot it must be approved by the legislature.  But the amendment doesn't make it to the ballot because the legislature voted against the amendment, it fails to proceed because the legislature simply refuses to acknowledge that the amendment even exists.  This is the current status of the Marriage Amendment in Massachusetts where the state legislature, in direct violation of their duties under the state constitution, are refusing to call a vote on whether the amendment should proceed to the ballot.

Frustrated with the legislatures failure to perform their job, a lawsuit was filed by several individuals, including Governor Mitt Romney, requesting that a court order be issued requiring the legislature to take a vote on the matter before the end of session on January 2, as required by the Constitution.

Yesterday the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts released their opinion in Doyle v. Secretary of the Commonwealth addressing this matter.

The opinion, which I agree with, ultimately concludes that the Court has no power to order the legislature to abide by the requirements of the state constitution.  If only we saw such textualist opinions out of Massachusetts courts more often.

However, the Court does note that under the requirements of the state constitution that the legislators should vote, and if they do not, they should be held accountable by the electorate.

"The members of the General Court [the legislature] are the people's elected representatives, and each one of them has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the Commonwealth. Those members who now seek to avoid their lawful obligations, by a vote to recess without a roll call vote by yeas and nays on the merits of the initiative amendment (or by other procedural vote of similar consequence), ultimately will have to answer to the people who elected them."

Does anyone else find it odd that those supporting same-sex marriage, a movement which claims it only seeks to provide equal rights to all, resort to tactics such as this which clearly violate the law and rights of individuals under the Massachusetts Constitution to seek a constitutional amendment through an initiative process?

Romney's Response to Questions on His Past Positions

Last week I observed that Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney needed a strong response to the many questions about his past positions on abortion and same-sex marriage or he would already begin to lose Conservative support.  Not that I had anything to do with it, but the Romney camp appears to have crafted just such a response, which is essentially, "Look at my record."

In a Human Events Online interview released today, Romney is questioned on these two issues.  He of course explained his change of heart on abortion, but ultimately said his record speaks for itself.

On abortion:

"As governor, I’ve had several pieces of legislation reach my desk, which would have expanded abortion rights in Massachusetts. Each of those I vetoed. Every action I’ve taken as the governor that relates to the sanctity of human life, I have stood on the side of life.

  So talk is cheap, but action is real. And people can now look at my record."

On same-sex marriage:

"...I am adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage.

I’ve been to Washington to testify in favor of traditional marriage. I’ve written a letter to every U.S. senator on the topic. I’ve fought same-sex marriage in Massachusetts in every way I could within the bounds of the law."

It is an effective response and I predict it will be enough to sway many Conservatives who are typically impressed by action rather than talk.  We've learned the hard way that too many supposed Conservatives will give lip service to the issues and then do nothing to advance the cause of Conservatism once in office...  I won't name names.

The interview also addresses Romney's view of Ronald Reagan, his position on the flat tax and Fair Tax, and his thoughts on the possibility of expanding the Massachusetts health care system nation-wide.  What the interview reveals, more than anything, is Romney's sensitivity to the political pulse of the country, and his desire to fully analyze the nations problems before prescribing ill-conceived solutions.  It is this combination of political aptitude and  business-like evaluation of the issues that allowed him to achieve such success as a Conservative Republican in one of the most liberal states in the country.  Those same qualities will provide the basis for his appeal to moderates while standing firm on Conservative principles.

But there remain questions.  The most complete collection of allegations against Romney's Conservatism have been collected by Mass Resistance in The Mitt Romney Deception.  It is enough to keep Conservatives, including myself wary of Romney's past, but when you look at his record, it is tough not to like him as a candidate.

 

December 27, 2006

Hot Topic: Florida's Ban on Adoption By Homosexuals

The recent announcement of Mary Cheney's (daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney) pregnancy has once again ignited the debate over parenting by same sex couples.  Florida, with our statutory ban on adoption by homosexuals is on the front lines of that debate.  Illustrating that point liberals over at FLA Politics are calling for Governor-elect Charlie Crist to repeal the ban as a demonstration that Crist is committed to his recent pledge to support and expand adoption in our state. 

This is an issue that has been driving liberals bonkers for some time now.  They are further ignited by the fact that while Florida bans adoption by homosexuals, it allows homosexuals to serve as foster parents.  They claim this is a discrepancy that must be resolved, and one that should be resolved in favor of the rights of homosexuals.  The argument fails for the following reasons:

1.  There is no discrepancy.  As the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals explained in a very well reasoned and well written opinion in Lofton v. Secretary of the Dept. of Children and Family Services (via Findlaw), it is reasonable to expect different standards for foster parents and adopting parents because, guess what, foster care and adoption are two different things.  One is meant to be temporary and one is meant to be permanent.  Of course, the proponents of adoption by homosexuals argue that while foster care is meant to be temporary, in some cases it is not.  As in the case of Lofton, the foster parent had custody of foster children for many years.  So what is the solution here?  Ensuring that the foster care system functions as it should and that temporary placements of children are just that, temporary.  Advocates of adoption by homosexuals argue that opening adoption to homosexuals will help achieve that goal.  Certainly, allowing more people to adopt would mean more adoptions.  But this ignores the fact that...

2.  The purpose of adoption is to advance the best interest of children, not the rights of adults.  Florida law requires that adoptions meet the "best interest of the child" standard.  This is why not just anyone can adopt, and as the Court explained in Lofton, why homosexuals cannot adopt.  Like it or not, the foundation our state's adoption program is that there are some family structures which provide for a superior upbringing than others.  Until there is undeniable proof that homosexuals are able to provide the same stable environment with consistency that is offered by the traditional family, the state cannot allow children to be adopted by homosexuals.  Now you can cite all kinds of studies and examples saying just that, but the fact is that there are just as many studies and arguments on the other side, and until it is conclusive that the state's presumption is wrong, the standard must stay.  To allow anything else is tantamount to subjecting Florida's children to a social experiment to determine if  anti-traditional homes cause harm.

3.  As a result, the solution to any alleged discrepancy between the foster care system and the adoption system in Florida is to ban homosexuals from serving as foster parents as well.  The best interest of the child standard must be the centerpiece to this system and because we cannot deviate from that standard the only reasonable way to bring the foster care system and adoption system into uniformity on the issue of homosexual parents is prevent homosexuals from becoming foster parents.

This isn't about your rights.  This isn't about what the government will or won't allow you to do.  This is strictly about what is in the best interest of the child. 

Opponents react that Florida law allows unmarried individuals to adopt, and because of this exception to the target of the traditional family that other exceptions must be allowed.  This is silly, of course.  The Legislature has deemed it necessary to make an exception, one that, granted, is not optimal for the child.  This is where we see the balance of practicality and idealism in the system.  With so many children up for adoption and not enough traditional families adopting other alternatives must be pursued.  However, a line must be drawn.  As the Court in Lofton observed, adoption by a single heterosexual still provides the opportunity for the child to end up in a traditional family setting.  Adoption by homosexuals almost necessarily bars that opportunity.  So the exception is made, and the line is drawn, with a focus on what best serves the interest of the child.

I can do nothing but completely support Governor-elect Crist's new campaign to bring a renewed effort to providing good homes for Florida's many children in need of adoption and his dedication to uphold the current standards in our adoption system.  I hope that you too will stand by our state's commitment to seek out the best interest of every unadopted child and will also consider participating in that system and dedicating yourself to provide not only a good home, but a positive, traditional and moral upbringing for a child in need.  As an individual who's life and family have been touched and forever changed for good by adoption I can attest that there are few more honorable causes in our world today and even fewer with such long-lasting results.

December 22, 2006

Democrats Raise Money For Convicted Felon

Time for a pop-quiz.  It will be self-graded, so you are on the honor system (which works with Conservatives).

1.  If a Republican government official is convicted of a felony, democrats respond by:

A.  Looking the other way.
B.  Gathering their top leadership together to host a fundraiser for his next election campaign.
C.  Stomping, screaming, shouting and demanding that this corrupt official step-down or be removed from office.

Answer:  C

2.  If a democrat government official is convicted of a felony, democrats respond by:

A.  Looking the other way.
B.  Gathering their top leadership together to host a fundraiser for his next election campaign.
C.  Stomping, screaming, shouting and demanding that this corrupt official step-down or be removed from office.

(Hint: Read the post title)

Answer: B

The invitations have been sent out for a fundraiser to help Siplin in his 2008 reelection to the Florida Senate with minority leader Steve Geller as one of the hosts.

Now, I understand that Siplin's conviction is pending appeal, and the Senate is waiting on that ruling before deciding whether to allow him to stay and so he is allowed to stay in the Senate.  But you have to wonder if a Republican would be given the same grace.  If there is any doubt, let me assure you, the answer is no.

With as much as they talk about the "culture of corruption" on the Republican side, it always amazes me that democrats are completely unwilling to hold any of their own accountable for their actions.

December 21, 2006

Romney v. Brownback

All the action in speculating who will be the 2008 Republican candidate for president seems to be swirling around Governor Mitt Romney.  I hope you, the reader, won't interpret the attention I've given him as some sort of endorsement, though I believe he is probably the best hope for Conservatives, and as I've said before, I like him as a candidate.  I like to go where the action is, and the action right now in the 2008 guessing game is on Romney's doorstep.

While the Boston Globe and others in the drive-by media have taken some weak and ineffective shots at Romney, there is a ton of substantive criticism already lining up against Romney in Conservative circles.  Over at Redstate and eyeon08.com there has been much discussion of Romney's past positions on Conservative issues; abortion in particular.  Today eyeon08.com presents that Romney was opposed to the Contract With AmericaHuman Events has an article today on Romney's criticisms of Jesse Helms in 1994.  The conclusion by many is simply that Romney is a liar and will do whatever it takes to get elected.  On top of that, the Human Events guide to the 2008 candidates explains that Romney has appointed liberals to the judiciary in his state.  That scares me.

If Romney wants to be the Conservative candidate of choice, he is going to have to do alot of explaining.  That could simply involve an "I was really wrong, but look at my recent record," but whatever it is, he needs an official statement about these issues, and fast.  These issues wouldn't be so pressing if Brownback hadn't already announced his exploratory committee, but since he has Conservatives are already choosing sides.  And we Conservatives are incredibly loyal.

Romney's past positions are going to haunt him throughout the primary, and candidates like Brownback are going to take full advantage of it.  But Romney has a perfect opportunity to address the quandary with his anticipated January announcement of his exploratory committee.  He has the chance to come out of the gates by confronting those concerns, admitting he was on the wrong side of the issues in the past, and committing himself to the core principles of Conservatives.

On the other side, Brownback needs to demonstrate that he has the energy and the passion to inspire the Republican base.  I really like Brownback, and I'm with him on most issues, but I'm just not sure he has the personality to win even the primary.  Further, put him up against Hillary and/or Obama and you've got a major problem.  His support of campaign finance reform and McCain's immigration bill will also be points of contention.

My guess at this point is that Conservatives are going to have to pick between Brownback and Romney as far as serious, legitimate candidates.  And many Conservatives are likely to make that choice in the next several months and stick to it.

As a side note, to those readers wondering about potential candidates like Tancredo and Huckabee, they have much to prove before they even have a prayer, and I just don't see them as legitimate possibilities.  Gingrich is waiting in the wings, and should he decide to run, he has the potential to give everyone a run for their money.

UPDATE:  Romney has picked up Conservative hot shot George Marx who will be a tremendous asset in selling Romney to Conservatives.

December 20, 2006

Christmas Thoughts on Conservatism

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in the coming days, it is an excellent time to examine our hearts, what we believe in, what we desire to be and the ways we can carry that out in our daily lives.  In that spirit Terence Jeffrey, editor of Human Events has compiled 10 Principles of Conservatism for us to ponder.  It is one of the most succinct, yet complete explanation of the core beliefs of a Conservative that I have ever seen.  You can click the link above for th full article or see the list by clicking the continue link below.  Enjoy!

Continue reading "Christmas Thoughts on Conservatism" »

December 19, 2006

More on Mitt

A little under one month ago in my first evaluation of possible Republican candidates for President in 2008 I shared my  thoughts on why Massachussetts Governor Mitt Romney might be the best possible option.  It has been intriguing to watch the reaction of both Republicans and the media as the Mitt pre-campaign gains momentum. 

There have been many questions about Romney's apparent change of positions on various issues over the course of his political career.  As you know, for Republicans, being labeled a "flip-flopper" is the kiss of death.  The major newspapers in Boston even seem to have stepped up their normal share of anti-Romney stories, even writing a hit piece on the lawn care company which tended to Romney's home and had illegal immigrants on its staff.  Romney hired the company, the company hired illegals, therefore Romney opposes halting illegal immigration regardless of whether he knew of the illegals or not; this is the conclusion the media has tried to lead you to.  It makes perfect sense in the liberal mind where reason and logic have long been stamped out.  Sidenote: Romney recently met this criticism with a new state program to step up enforcement of immigration laws.

Some Republicans have even jumped on board.  Over on the front page of RedState there is a post calling Romney a clown, despite the fact that the author, Mark Kilmer, claims he's not a "Mitt-Basher."

It is all politics as usual and none of it is really surprising, except for the amount of attention, whether good or bad, that is being drawn to Romney.  McCain and Giuliani definitely started the process with the most name recognition, but Romney has quickly become the leading Conservative candidate, and if you've been listening to talk radio at all lately, you've probably heard him referenced as the candidate to beat.

As we begin to move into the first leg of the campaign of 2008 in January, I think you are going to find more and more conversation about Romney.  And as that conversation takes places, Conservatives are going to be excited about Romney's record on Conservative issues, and moderates impressed with his leadership ability.  Can he win?  It is too early to tell, but barring any campaign disaster it seems that Romney will be the most difficult obstacle for McCain or Giuliani. 

December 15, 2006

Florida Senator Tries to Make Nice With Syria

By this point most of you have probably read or heard about our very own Senator Nelson's trip to Syria to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad.  This is the first of many mixed signals that Syria and Iran will be receiving from our government as a result of the Iraq Study Group Report's insane recommendation that we make nice with the two nations and encourage their influence in Iraq.  The State Departments has essentially refused to engage with Syria until there is a demonstrated effort to cease  attempts to throw the Middle East into chaos through the support and harboring of terrorists.

But Senator Nelson just wants to make nice. 

Continue reading "Florida Senator Tries to Make Nice With Syria" »

November 30, 2006

Lunch with Senator Martinez

Seantor Mel Martinez was back home in Orlando today and I had the opportunity to hear him speak at a luncheon this afternoon.  Everyone I spoke to, regardless of political persuasion, was impressed.  I really think he will serve us well as the RNC General Chair.

It was also a special time as Senator Martinez was honored by Liz Foshee, an attorney in Orlando, for the critical role Senator Martinez played in helping bring her mother, Cuc Foshee, home after she was arrested and imprisoned for 13 months without charges after speaking out against the Vietnamese government.

The Senator reiterated his positions on the war, immigration, judicial nominees and also mentioned his nomination to become the General Chair of the Republican Party.  He said being offer the Chairmanship of the RNC is like being offered the offensive coordinator position with his beloved Florida State Seminoles.  He added "There is nowhere to go but up."  On that note, he shared with us a promise he made upon accepting the nomination, that although he is excited about the chairmanship, Florida will always be first on his list of priorities.

I don't agree with the Senator on all of his political views, immigration in particular, but there is no doubt in my mind that he loves our state and our nation and will work relentlessly to improve both.  I think everyone in attendance today could agree on at least that much.  With his presentation abilities he will be an effective general chair for the Republican Party and with his Conservative values and his heart for the people of this state and this nation he will continue to serve us well in the Senate.

November 25, 2006

States with Marriage Protections Amendments

Marriageamendment1_4

States that have passed a constitutional amendment protecting marriage:

Alabama
Alaska
Arkansas
Georgia
Hawaii
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Texas
Utah
Idaho
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Virginia
Wisconsin
Colorado

States that have rejected a constitutional amendment protecting marriage:

Arizona

States with Statutes Protecting Marriage

Stateswithstatutes1_1


States with Statutes Protecting Marriage

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland*
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
New Hampshire
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

*In January 2006, a state judge found the Maryland statute unconstitutional but it remains in effect pending appeal.

November 21, 2006

First Thoughts on the 2008 Presidential Election - Updated

This past week on FOX News I caught the end of a brief interview with Representative "Bring Back the Draft" Rangel.  The last question he was asked concerned whether he thought Senator Hillary Clinton is definitely going to run for President in 2008.  He responded how everyone, including Senator Clinton has responded to the question; with some half hearted line about being focused on the present rather than the next presidential election.  This is, of course, disingenuous at best and a bold faced lie at worst.  I don't care which side of the isle you hear it from, if a politician on the national level tells you that he's not thinking about 2008 yet, I'd be willing to bet they are lying.  I refuse to believe that our political leadership is that short-sighted.

With that said, I'm not going to lie to you.  I've been doing some serious thinking about the 2008 presidential election.  I know it is premature, and I know the field of potential candidates could change drastically within the next year.  But I can't help thinking about it, and I'll bet neither can you.  And I can practically guarantee that even though he says he is not, Representative Rangel is as well.

Read on to find out more...

Continue reading "First Thoughts on the 2008 Presidential Election - Updated" »

November 17, 2006

FACT: Religious Conservatives Help the Needy More Than Secular Liberals

We've all heard the accusations that Conservatives don't care about the poor.  They want to cut welfare and leave people out on the streets right?  It is the heart of liberals that reaches out to the impoverished and seek to aid them in their plight, right? 

A new study to be published in the book Who Really Cares; The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism says that is not the case.

In fact, author, Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks, demonstrates that religious conservatives donate far more money than secular liberals to all sorts of charitable activities, irrespective of income.

It seems that when it comes down to it, despite the constant allegations that Conservatives don't want to help the needy, it is the Conservatives who put their money where their mouth is in seeking to assist those less fortunate.  This won't come as a surprise to Conservative who understand the principles of personal responsibility that should be advanced by our system of government, but also advocate personal generosity.  But, I can imagine that this will shock some liberals who have convinced themselves that Conservatives are simply about amassing wealth for themselves.

Actually, I take that back.  I'm sure most, if not all liberals out there will find some way to completely write off the evidence as some sort of attack piece on their ideology and completely ignore it, then go about their lives calling us greedy, while refusing to give themselves.  Liberals and reason are like oil and water.

November 14, 2006

Advice to Conservatives on Mel Martinez RNC Chairmanship: Chill Out

In the wake of the news that Mel Martinez will likely become the general chair of the Republican National Committee the Conservative blogosphere has exploded.  Conservatives are angry that Michael Steele or just about anyone else was not chosen.  I have to admit, that even I was frustrated at first by the choice.  But let's all calm down, take a breath and look at the facts before we make any decisions about abandoning the party, as many Conservative bloggers are threatening to do. 

Read the rest...

Continue reading "Advice to Conservatives on Mel Martinez RNC Chairmanship: Chill Out" »

November 13, 2006

The End of Conservatism?

In the aftermath of the loss of both Houses of Congress, Republicans are busy trying to understand what went wrong.  Most of the conclusions I have read have centered on the idea of Conservatism; that these losses were due to either too much or too little Conservatism.  Many fiscal Republicans have alleged that the losses were due to the failure of a platform based on Conservative principles and have called for the party to move towards the center.  Most of the Republican analysis on the losses, however, has concluded that it was the failure of Republican politicos to live and govern by those principles that caused the loss.  It seems to me that the most plausible explanation is the latter for reasons I've stated numerous times before; Americans are by far a traditional people who support traditional notions of family and government and country and when Republicans advocate for those values they win.  Republicans failed, not Conservatism.  With that in mind I've looked past the fiscal Republican and liberal and drive-by-media claims of the failure of Conservatism.

However, there is a new line of criticism against Conservatism which has many Republicans questioning whether Conservative ideology is what loses elections.  An example is seen in the scathing attack on Conservatism as an ideology that was published today by Joseph Farah of Worldnetdaily.com.  In his article "Conservatism's Death Throes?" Farah argues that Conservatism as an ideology is doomed.  I've heard more and more discussion of this idea in recent days, but allow me to assure you, as long as the heart of the American people continue to defend traditional values Conservatism will continue to hold massive influence over American politics.

Read on...

Continue reading "The End of Conservatism?" »

November 10, 2006

What Liberals and the Media Aren't Telling You About the Arizona Marriage Protection Vote

If you've followed the media's coverage of the state ballot initiatives nation-wide you would think that Conservatives lost on every measure.  We've discussed the spin on the South Dakota abortion ban vote below.  We've also discussed the huge victory for marriage protection amendments but rather than acknowledge this success the media and liberals have focused on the rejection of the ban in Arizona; the first loss by such an amendment.

But you've not been told the full story.

First, there has not been much discussion of the margin.  The current margin stands at 51.4% against and 48.6% in favor; a difference of 32,226 votes.  Thats alot of votes right?

Second, we also have not heard about the fact that the driving force behind the amendment, the Center for Arizona Policy, has not acknowledged the loss.  Why?  Because as the Arizona Secretary of State estimated, there are about 350,000 ballots that have not yet been counted.

The margin will be close, but this could go either way.  It is expected that it will take about 2 weeks to finish counting the ballots.  If about 60% of those ballots are in favor of the amendment, Arizona will be State number 28 to pass a marriage amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.  But liberals and the drive-by-media are too busy hailing this as a milestone defeat against the pro-marriage movement to be bothered by the facts.

November 08, 2006

Republicans Come Running Back to Conservatives

After last night's losses the Republican leadership is doing exactly what they always do in the face of loss; running back to Conservatives.  The big headline on the main GOP site today reads "Recommitting Our Party to Conservative Reform."  Chairman Ken Mehlman making the rounds on the morning news promoted his list of three post-election priorities for the party; "first and foremost" was rededicating the party to Conservative principles.  The other two were finding bipartisan common ground with democrats and clearing the taint of corruption. 

The renewed dedication to Conservatives is not a shocking move, but it is one which will be criticized by pundits of every stripe.  Conservatives have reason to be upset and to question the depth of this revitalized dedication.  "Oh, so now you come crawling back after 6 years of feeding us scraps from the table?"  There has been a renewed discussion recently about how the Republican party simply "uses" Conservatives; Evangelicals in particular.  I expect that conversation will expand even more and the common opinion will be that Republicans again just want to use Conservatives to regain control.  But before my fellow Conservatives begin to scorn this idea I'd like to ask the following question:

So what?

Read on...

Continue reading "Republicans Come Running Back to Conservatives" »

Mr. G's Election Reaction

Congratulations to the democrats on their success in gaining support of the House.  It looks like it will be a few days until we know which way the Senate goes because it will require a Virginia recount.  There ave not been any real surprises other than the fact that Britney Spears and Kevin Federline filed for divorce. Speaking of Marriage:

Get more goodness after the jump...

Continue reading "Mr. G's Election Reaction" »

November 02, 2006

democrat Gains Not so Impressive?

You know those big, impressive, potential democrat gains everyone is talking about?  Chairman Ann argues that in the light of history, those predicted gains really aren't very impressive at all.  In fact, she argues that the current numbers are further proof that the democrat party is on its way out.  Definitely a must read.

November 01, 2006

What's wrong with MSM example #1,259,372 or Why all Republicans and fiscal conservatives should get out and vote

This morning I was treated to a "piece" that seems to call outright for higher taxes.
"...every election, it's the same thing: a whole bunch of candidates and voters insisting that taxes have to be reduced. Enough already. Taxes are money collected from all to spend on all. We couldn't get by without them. And those who would make reducing or eliminating them the centerpiece of their political stance are shortsighted."
Shocking? Not to those who read the Tallahassee Democrat. Here's more,
"The biggest misnomer by tax complainers is that someone is trying to take "my money." There is no "my money." It's a colloquialism, a figure of speech.

You didn't create the state government that pays you. You didn't create the factory that employs you. You didn't create the trees for lumber, the chemicals for plastics or the computers for accounting. You didn't create the need for people to buy food, live in houses, get electric services, drive trucks or write for a newspaper. Every job and every dollar anyone earns is a product of all of us living together in society. Without society, we'd all still be naked and grubbing for bugs.

To keep society operating, everyone has to pay a share. And as our society gets bigger and more services are created, we often have to pay more than we did in the past."

He couldn't be more wrong in more ways if he had a "Make it WRONG" button built into Word.

I'm pretty sure there are some references in the Declaration to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness that address this very issue. Maybe Gerald should read it.

For the rest of us, remember there are people out there who believe the things you own belong to them. They believe you have no stake, no claim to the fruits of your labor. They believe you are greedy, shortsighted and mean spirited for wanting to keep the wealth you earn, for wanting to enjoy the home you built, for wanting to plan for the security of you children. They want you to make up for their mistakes. They're called democrats. They're called socialist. They're called journalist. They're called liberal.

My response? Kiss my butt. I'm voting Republican. They may be spending too much money and they may be horribly innefficient, but at least the GOP isn't proposing to take more of it.

Not yet anyway.



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October 30, 2006

democrats Change Their Tune on Negron/Foley Notices

On Friday the First District Court of Appeal reversed the decision by a Circuit Court Judge to prohibit signs in polling placing informing voters of the Negron/Foley change.  The notices proposed by the Division of Elections may go up.  The well reasoned opinion by my friend Judge Wolf provided the comprehensive review of the Florida Election Code which the Circuit Court lacked.  But the decision isn't what I have found interesting, it has been the response by democrats.

On the Florida democratic Party website you will find this release:

"The Florida Democratic Party accepts the court's ruling, which distinguishes between the wrongful partisanship of the Secretary of State and the nonpartisan recommendation of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections.

"We thank the court for ruling on the case expediently.  We will not appeal."

The impression that democrats are now trying to leave you with is that they weren't opposed to the idea of the notices, just the first notice proposed by the Secretary of State which would only have Negron and Foley's names listed, and not the other candidates in the race.  But that simply isn't true.

The original pleading filed by the Florida democratic Party and Karen Thurman as the chair was filed two days after the Division of Elections clarified that the notices should include all of the candidates names.  Further, in the actual pleading itself they specifically cite the revised notice, including the names of all of the candidates, and claim that it is a violation of the Florida Election Code.  The first attack they made was not against the initial proposition by the Secretary of State, it was against the very notice that the First District ruled was valid.  They weren't opposed to only the proposed notice with only the Republican names, they were opposed to any notice which would allow voters to make an informed decision.

Joe Negron's opponent, Tim Mahoney now says:

"I want to have an uncontested election." and "I'm fine with the court's decision."

Really?  This is the same guy who called the Circuit Court decision a "victory for Florida voters."  Wouldn't a reversal of that "victory" be a loss for voters?

Don't be fooled by the rhetoric, the democrat party was completely opposed to those efforts aimed at informing voters of the Negron/Foley change because the status quo presented them with an advantage.  Despite the change in tune, this was never about preventing bias as Thurman claims, or protecting voters as Mahoney claimed, this was strictly about preventing people from voting for a Republican candidate.

October 28, 2006

Florida Supreme Court Justices Once Again Trample On Florida Constitution

In an opinion released yesterday Justices Lewis, Pariente and Quince once again demonstrated that they are willing to side-step that pesky Florida Constitution whenever it stands in the way of an opinion they want to release.  As I said last week, these three Justice have earned your vote against their retention on the Supreme Court.

Like the other two branches of government, the judiciary has checks on its power.  Under the Florida Constitution one of the major checks on the Florida Supreme Court's powers is that it can only review certain cases.  This prevents the Court from simply deciding whatever issue it feels like addressing on a particular day.  In fact, our state constitution is very specific in listing the types of cases the Supreme Court can review.  One type of case the Court can review is when one District Court of Appeals (the level of courts below the Florida Supreme Court) releases an opinion in conflict with another District Court or a Florida Supreme Court decision.  The case may then be appealled to the Florida Supreme Court to resolve the discrepancy.

Which leads us to the Court's decision in American Wall System, Inc. v. Madison International Group, Inc. released yesterday.  This case was appealled from the Fifth District Court of Appeal and the Florida Supreme Court wanted to reverse the lower court's decision.  There was only one problem, the case did not conflict with another District Court or Supreme Court decision and as a result, the Florida Supreme Court did not have the jurisdiction necessary to review the case.  But the Florida Constitution never stopped these judges before, so why should it now?  In order to review the case, the majority (Anstead, Lewis, Pariente and Quince) sat on the appeal for more than a half of a year until they finally released another opinion which did conflict with the case.  Suddenly, they had a conflict, created by them, which provided technical grounds for an appeal.

As Justice Cantero explains in his dissent (signed onto by Justices Bell and Wells), the majority simply manipulated the system, and as usual, ignored the language of the Florida Constitution, so that they could release the opinion they wanted to release.

Folks, this a quintessential activist judge maneuver.  A tactic that demonstrates that these judges have no respect for the role of the Courts, no respect for the sanctity of the judicial system, no respect for the limitations on their roles under the Florida Constitution and no respect for the people whose rights that Constitution was designed to protect.

Justices Anstead, Lewis, Pariente and Quince sent a clear message this week; they intend to hand down whatever opinion they want to and they are not going to let any pesky constitutional framework stand in the way of that goal.

Tell Justices Lewis, Pariente and Quince that our Constitution is too important to be trampled by activist judges who have an agenda.  Floridians deserve better. Vote No on the retention of Justices Lewis, Pariente and Quince.

October 24, 2006

Mr. G's Ballot Recommendations - Part 3 - Amendments 1, 6 and 7

Amendment 1:

The State of Sunshine has the analysis you need on Amendment 1 which revises the State planning and budget process.

I'll add to their commentary that this amendment does nothing that cannot be accomplished by the legislature without a constitutional amendment.  Further, it creates yet another government agency to perform the job of what an already existing agency (Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability - OPPAGA) should be doing.  I'm glad to see that there is an effort to get the state's finances in order and to do some long term budget planning, but more government and restricting the Legislature's ability to adapt the system in the future seems both unwise and unnecessary.

Mr. G agrees with The State of Sunshine, vote NO on Amendment 1.

And lest you think I'm lazy for simply signing onto The State of Sunshine's analysis of the amendments, I'll finish out the remaining amendments.

Amendment 4:
Amendment 4 would require 15% of Florida's Tobacco Settlement money each year to go to programs and advertising aimed at educating kids on the hazards of tobacco use.  This will be approximately $57 million dollars per year, adjusted annually for inflation.  The amendment stems from a broken promise made by legislators to provide funding for these programs, which now receive about $1 million per year.  I can understand the frustration of the anti-smoking groups and why they resorted to the amendment.  However, I also understand that government is most effective when it serves a limited role.  This amendment not only requires government to step into a role that they need not fill,  but also means that $57 million will be diverted from elsewhere in the budget.  That money should be spent on necessary government services or put towards lowering taxes.  Further, while it is certainly understandable why the anti-smoking groups would resort to a constitutional amendment to force the legislature into action, I can't support the way this measure would permanently bind the legislature to this expenditure.

The Tampa Tribune, St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald encourage you to vote no as well.  The Palm Beach Post argues that the which would be funded are effective and would save lives.

Mr. G says vote NO on Amendment 4 and instead tell your kids they are grounded if they start smoking cigarettes.

Amendments 6 and 7:
These two amendments reduce property taxes for disabled veterans and the low-income elderly.  Amendment 6 increases the homestead exemption $50,000 for a total of $75,000 for those over 65 with a household income under $20,000.  Amendment 7 provides a property tax discount to veterans, over the age of 65, who were permanently disabled in combat and honorably discharged.  The amount of the discount would be the same percentage as the percentage of total disability of the veteran.  Amendment 6 is projected to cost local governments $36 million per year, but also requires the approval of the local government to implement.  Amendment 7 is projected to cost local governments $20 million per year and is self implementing.   

I was a little torn over these two.  I love tax cuts, but we can do better than this.  We have a major crisis with property taxes in our state right now.  Cutting taxes for select groups will mean a raise in property taxes on others.  We need a viable solution to the crisis that provides relief to the entire state.  We can begin by weeding out programs like the one proposed in Amendment 4.

The Taxation and Budget Reform Commission will review Florida's tax system within the next year, and will hopefully provide some real solutions.  Everyone needs property tax relief right now, so let's fix the bigger problem rather than trying to put a band-aid on a major wound.

The Tampa Tribune, St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald encourage you to vote no on Amendment 6.

The Tampa Tribune, St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald encourage you to vote no on Amendment 7.

Mr. G agrees, vote NO on Amendments 6 and 7.

For those of you keeping score at home, Mr. G recommends that you vote NO on every amendment.

October 23, 2006

Post Senate Debate Analysis

My first thought at the end of the debate was that there were no real surprises.  But then I remembered all of the media exposure Katherine Harris has gotten over the last several months.  If you've been reading the papers and the blogs the impression that we've been left with is that Harris is unhinged; that she could snap at any moment.  Those of us who have had the opportunity to meet her or see her speak know that she is articulate, collected and well presented.  And that is exactly what we saw tonight.  She was confident and composed despite tha fact that it would take a miracle for her to actually win the race.  The debate was boring, but I was impressed with the way Harris carried herself.

Mrs. G also made me promise that I would share with you my first comment at the end of Senator Nelson's closing statement:

"We really need to send that guy back into space."

Mr. G says, vote for Katherine Harris.

Mr. G's Ballot Recommendations - Part 2 - Amendments 3 and 8

In this next installment of my recommendations for your vote I was going to begin addressing the six proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution, but The State of Sunshine beat me to it.  They have done an excellent job and their analysis is a must read.  So far I agree with them:

No on Amendment 3 - Requiring Broader Support for Constitutional Amendments or Revisions.

No on Amendment 8 - Revising Eminent Domain Takings Requirements

Additionally, I recommend to you Vote Smart Florida which provides an unbiased review of each of the proposed amendments.

October 20, 2006

Mr. G's Ballot Recommendations - Part 1

This will be the first of a series of posts with my recommendations for your vote in the upcoming state election.  Those of you who have already done your research, or have already received your absentee ballot know that there is much more on the ballot than the high profile races we see on TV.  All to often I hear from folks that they were surprised by something on the ballot and didn't know how to vote.  I want to help you avoid that experience. 

For the first installment I'd like to address an issue which will be on everyone's ballot throughout the state, but few people will think about before they get into the voting booth:  Supreme Court Justice Retention.

How does judicial retention work?
Under the Florida Constitution (Article V, Section 10), every 6 years Supreme Court Judges and District Court of Appeal judges are put on the ballot with the following question:

"Shall Justice (or Judge) (name of justice or judge) of the (name of the court) be retained in office?"

If a majority says yes, they stay.  If a a majority says no, they vacate their seat on the Court.

Who will be on the ballot?
This year, three Justices will be up for a retention voe.  Justice Barbara Pariente, Justice R. Fred Lewis, and Justice Peggy Quince.

Mr. G's Recommendations:

Allow me to preface my recommendation with the fact that I have a great deal of respect and admiration for each of these three individuals.  I've had the chance to meet each of them and they are as impressive in person as their individual resumes describe.  However, being an impressive person does not guarantee that someone will be a good judge.

With that said, I recommend that you vote not to retain any of the three.  The fact of the matter is that these three are judicial activists with no clear method of decision-making.  I won't bore you with the details as I have before (here and here). 

Now, am I saying every opinion they write or sign on to is bad?  Not at all.  Many, if not most of their decisions I agree with.  However, when the big cases hit the steps of the Florida Supreme Court I always cringe because the Court, and these three in particular, have such a high likelihood of screwing things up.  Two examples:

Gore v. Harris - Remember that little case over the recount in the 2000 election?  The decision in that case was 4 in favor, three against.  The United States Supreme Court reviewed the decision commented numerous times on the Florida Supreme Court's inability to read and apply the Florida Election Code and ultimately overturned the decision.  The Florida Supreme Court's decision was a disgrace, not because of the result of their decision, but because of the terrible manner in which the majority reached their conclusion.  Out of that majority of 4, three were Justices Pariente, Lewis, and Quince.

Bush v. Holmes - This was the recent high profile case over school vouchers.  Again, the decision is terrible, not because of the result, but because of the awful jurisprudence used in coming to a conclusion.  In essence, they fabricated new constitutional language to support their decision.  This 5-2 decision was written by Justice Pariente, and signed onto by both Justices Lewis and Quince.  I explain it in more detail here.

Just shortly after Holmes was released I pointed out a clear example of Justices Pariente and Quince demonstrating that they have no coherent way of making judicial decisions.

I once asked a judge who follows the decisions of the Florida Supreme Court very closely if he was able to discern any consistent system of decision-making from these three and Justice Anstead.  He laughed and told me that my guess was as good as his.

For far too long these Justices have stomped all over the Florida Constitution and Florida Statutes.  Again, this is not something they do in every decision.  But in those big cases, you can predict with shocking accuracy that they will side with the left and concoct some crazy legal theory to support their decision.  Florida deserves better.  We deserve Justices who will respect the law and our Constitution and recognize the proper role of the judiciary like Justice Bell and Cantero (and sometimes Wells).

 

We deserve better.  Vote no on the retention of Justices Pariente, Lewis, and Quince.

 

October 19, 2006

Foley/Negron Ballot Decision

Today a Leon County judge ordered that a notice could not be put up in the 16th Congressional District informing voters that a vote for Mark Foley on the ballot would be construed as a vote for Joe Negron.

After reading the submissions to the Judge Janet Ferris and her ultimate ruling in the case I have collected some thoughts on the decision, and the intriguing timing of the democrat conviction about the "sanctity of the voting booth."  If you find the review of the opinion boring, skip on down to the "democrats" section

The Decision
Honestly, after my initial review of the decision I thought it was pretty well reasoned.  The strongest argument against the posting of the notice, as Judge Ferris points out is the fact that the legislature has not specifically authorized such a posting.  On the contrary, it directs that if there is a change in candidates after a specific time, the ballots are not to be changed.  Sounds reasonable, and it even a textualist argument.  But even under textualism, the answer is not always clear. 

The question is whether or the legislature has authorized the Supervisors of Elections to post such notices.  Judge Ferris says not because it is not explicitly expressed, but I think that it just might be.

Under the Florida Statutes, the Supervisors of Elections are given the responsibility of educating the public on how to vote.  Specifically, they are directed on providing instructions on the voting system.  Certainly, a change in the person a vote will be going to in a voting system without a change in the name on the ballot falls under the jurisdiction of a facet of the voting system.  But an argument can be made, and a reasonable one at that, that the candidate change does not effect the manner of voting.

The key is found in Section 101.031 of the Florida Statues, under the "Voter's Bill of Rights."  Here it says voter are entitled to "Written instructions to use when voting, and upon request, oral instructions on voting from election officials."  So oral instructions may be supplied when requested.  And written instructions do not need to be requested.  There is our answer. 

A voter can ask an poll worker, "Hey, I though Mark Foley was out of the race.  Why is his name still on the ballot?" and the poll worker can explain that the vote goes to Joe Negron.  That same instruction, under the Voter's Bill of Rights should be available, without instruction, in writing.

There are good arguments either way, but in making her decision, Judge Ferris seems to have relied upon one section of statute to the exclusion of all others.

And to be fair, some of the arguments submitted on the side of the notice were terrible as well.  But ultimately, the best argument supports the posting of the notice. 

Regardless, the decision is being appealed, so we can expect a 1st DCA decision, and possibly a Florida Supreme Court decision as well.  I'll be very interested in Justice Bell and Justice Cantero's view on the matter.

Democrats
What is even more interesting than the decision has been the democrat reaction.  The main claim in the media they have made is that posting the notice is showing favoritism to Republicans, and they have been vocal and adamant about it.  This is interesting for two reasons.

First, the notice lists the name of the democrat candidate as well.  Here is what the proposed notice looks like:

Notice_3










I didn't think the notice favored Republicans when I thought it would only have Foley and Negron's names on it.  But with this notice, how on earth does it favor anyone?  The Republican is listed first, so it is biased?  It is a silly argument from silly people.

Second, the timing is oh so intriguing.  The fact is, this is not a unique circumstance.  Pasco county is considering a similar notice because a candidate dropped out.  A South Florida Circuit Court Judge ordered that a similar notice be put up in a polling place informing voters not to vote for a candidate who was disqualified and listing the names of the other candidates.

Today, Negron's opponent Tim Mahoney called the ruling a "victory for Florida voters."  If the notice would be a loss for voters where was the statewide, loud democrat outcry we on these other two notice issues?  No, for the democrat leadership this isn't about winning for Florida's voters, this is about them winning.  And if confusion at the polls will give them an edge, they will defend it to the death.

You can find the text of the decision and other submissions to the Court here.

You can find the Florida Election Code here.

October 11, 2006

David Zucker Campaign Ad

This morning Drudge is reporting that Hollywoof producer David Zucker has made a campain ad about the democrats and North Korea.  Whether Zucker actually created the ad, I don't know.  Regardless, it is a great ad.

"...making nice to our enemies will not make them nice to us."

How true it is.

October 10, 2006

No Surpise on North Korea

North Korea is the big news item this week.  A mad man who imprisons and slaughters his own people now possibly has nuclear weapons.  It is not a very comforting thought, but not really a surprise.  Anyone who has been paying attention to North Korea over the last few years could have seen this coming.  Kim Jong Il is a brutal dictator obsessed with his own power who is constantly attempting to make himself relevant in global politics.

What has been a surprise has been the reaction by democrats and liberals, despite the fact that I told myself that I would never be surprised by democrats or liberals again.  Apparently, they believe it is Bush's fault that North Korea has made these weapons, not Kim Jong Il who directed that the weapons be made.  Democrat leaders have been coming out of the wood-work to condemn the Bush Administration's foreign policy on North Korea.  I've yet to see them pose any reasonable alternative to the diplomatic channels the administration has attempted to use over the last 6 years, (typical of democrats, no substance) but they allege Bush's failed policies allowed North Korea to gain WMD's.  Some, like our own Kenneth Quinnell here in Florida advocate Bush was the impetus for the creation of the weapons as well.  In fact, he advocates that it is 100% Bush's fault that North Korea has WMD's.

Really?  It is all Bush's fault?  It seems to me that Kim Jong Il might need to share some of the blame.  Maybe just a little?

It is amazing, after years of screaming that America cannot "police the world" that is exactly what they now ask for.  Diplomatic relations with North Korea have time after time proven impossible.  But of course, they would have opposed military intervention as well.  What we are left with is the observation that democrats offer no solutions to real world problems and that no matter what happens anywhere in the world, it is President Bush's fault.

Now, I'll be the first to agree that North Korea definitely could have and should have been handled better.  And that could have and should have been accomplished through military intervention into North Korea years ago.  This is, after all, a country that today has thousands of it's own citizens in forced labor camps.  Remember when you learned about the concentration camps of the holocaust in school and asked, "How could we have let that happen?"  Guess what, we're letting it happen again.  The liberation of the persecuted of North Korea from torture and dictatorship is long overdue.

Many liberals are claiming that Bush's policies backed North Korea into a corner and forced them into a nuclear program.  But the fact is that Bush said exactly what needed to be said.  What is going on in North Korea is evil, and the leadership of the country poses a threat to all nations.  And if you believe that absent North Korea's inclusion on Bush's Axis of Evil list that they would not have continued to pursue nuclear weapons you are deceiving yourself.

I understand that the timing of all of this is inconvenient with our armed forces dedicated in Iraq, but that is the way of the world.  North Korea must be dealt with and I would be shocked if anything other than military force, or at least the threat of military force, will get Kim Jong Il to back down.

As Assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill said, North Korea "can have a future, or it can have these weapons.  It cannot have both."  I couldn't agree more.

For more information on the atrocities committed within North Korea I recommend anything by or about the journeys of Norbert Vollersten, including his book Inside North Korea.  When I had a chance to spend some time with Vollersten in DC over two years ago he predicted that North Korea would refuse to negotiate with the global community, including refusal to rejoin the 6-party talks hoped that it would not take the development of nuclear weapons by North Korea for the world to do something about the  atrocities being committed there. 

I also highly recommend Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World's Last Dictators by 2025 by Mark Palmer, former ambassador to Hungary during communist occupation.  The book details a comprehensive plan for the non-violent overthrow of the world's dictators.  Had this plan been implemented years ago when it was first proposed I believe we could have prevented this scenario with North Korea.  Sections of Palmer's recommendations have been implemented in current foreign policy.

October 06, 2006

Illegal Immigration - Still a Problem, and Growing

Most of us have experienced both the nightmare and the reality that is a late night in a jammed emergency room.  But with the growing number of illegal immigrants emergency rooms are becoming more than just a single night’s bad experience.  In a report last year by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) it was estimated that illegal immigrants in the state of Florida are resulting in more than $165 MILLION a year in unpaid hospital care.  As a result of unpaid emergency care bills, many hospitals are creating free clinics in order to lower the cost of providing this GOVERNMENT MANDATED SERVICE. Yes, in case you are unfamiliar, most hospitals are required to provide emergency care regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.  The result is the $25 aspirin that your insurance is charged.  Guess who those costs are passed down to?  That's right, you and me.

It comes down to us through insurance rates and through taxes.  About $910 MILLION in taxes used each year by the state to offset the annual $4.3 BILLION cost of providing education, health care, and incarceration for illegal immigrants in our state.  FAIR estimated that the cost to the average Floridian household per year for providing these services is $315.  That does not include the share passed down by illegal immigration on a national level.

But the problem is growing and will continue to get worse.  What will the solution be for the ever aging population of illegal immigrants as they reach an age of not being able to care for themselves?  With no Social Security/Medicare number they will they have no “safety net?”  Will they simply die in the street without aid?  Of course not.  The government will have to rush in to the rescue once again.  FAIR estimates that the current $4.3 BILLION dollar cost of illegal immigrants will balloon to over $8 BILLION within the next ten years.  Guess gets to pay that tab?

But FAIR’s numbers don’t take into account the cost of other government services.  As illegal’s are hired and employed we have no tax contribution.  That means the roads they use, the government services of fire, police and others all have greater burden but no contribution by these users. Guess who pays?

But we also have to consider the loss by Americans in wages.  We’ve all heard the argument that illegal aliens do the jobs that no one else will do.  So what happens if they are not there to do them?  Will we be left with no one to perform those jobs?  Will no one perform the labor and services currently performed by illegal aliens?  No.  The result will be that employers will simply have to pay more for these jobs to attract workers!  The jobs will still get done and good old US citizens will GET A RAISE!  That means more tax revenue and less whining about unlivable wages. Why aren’t the Democrats and the Unions screaming about this? Cheap scab labor from south of the border is keeping US workers from better wages!

The bottom line…good old Joe middle class gets to pay extra for all the government give away’s and illegal alien employers get a free subsidy from all of us!

Everyone benefits when we do it right. Will the costs for goods and services go up with higher wages? Absolutely, but not near as high as when we instead hire the government workers and health care providers to give BILLIONS of dollars away.  If we do it legally we might even get enough of a tax cut to cover the increase in costs for goods and services. (Forgive my moments of fantasy…government becoming so efficient as to cut taxes …what am I thinking?)

The rallies have died down, the issue isn't the hot topic it was a few months ago, but we must be diligent in demanding that our representatives and leaders:

1.  Close the border.
2.  Create a legal guest worker program.
3.  Require everyone to pay their fair share.

The madness must end and reason must be returned. Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of delaying and playing politics rather than quickly moving to solve this problem.  Meanwhile, you and I get to pick up the several billion dollar bill.

October 05, 2006

Democrats Oppose Informed Vote

Once again, the party of "choice" is attempting to prevent voters from being able to make an informed decision.  The Florida Division of Elections has announced that it will place signs in voting booths informing voters that a vote for "Mark Foley" on the ballot will be counted as a vote for "Joe Negron."

Democrats are convinced that this is "favoritism" towards Negron and Republicans and constitutes campaigning in the voting booth.

...Seriously?

Folks, we have a problem.  The ballot says one name but the vote goes to another.  The Division of Elections has a responsibility to ensure that voters understand who they are voting for.  There will be no encouraging voters to vote one way or the other.  Rather, this clarification will help voters make an informed decision.

Now, I understand their frustration.  This helps eliminate the only real advantage they have in the race, voter confusion  Yet, isn't it ironic that the same group which was up in arms about "confusing ballots" in 2000 now seem to think that a confusing ballot is mandated by law.

The democrats in Florida have been running under a "putting Floridians first" banner.  But positions like this make it clear that the Florida democrat party is focused on putting democrats first.  They don't want the clarification because they know that if the people are able to make an informed vote, they will lose.

The democrats have said they will fight this effort and I'm sure the law suits will be filed by the end of the week.

October 04, 2006

Ongoing Victory for Traditional Marriage

A quick update on the status of the effort to preserve traditional marriage.

The great overall success in defending marriage has been largely ignored by the MSM, but take heart, this is a winning effort.

At this time there are twenty states which have adopted constitutional amendments defining and defending marriage:

Alabama
Alaska
Arkansas
Georgia
Hawaii
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma

There are six states with amendments on the ballot for the 2006 election:

Idaho
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Virginia
Wisconsin

This means that as of November, there is a good chance that over half of the states will have passed state constitutional amendments.

There are 41 States with statutory law defining or defending marriage.

There are only 6 states with no statutory or constitutional provisions protecting marriage.

See the breakdown here.

As for our own state, the Florida Supreme Court has already approved the language of a constitutional amendment and it is expected to be on the 2008 ballot.  Polling shows a majority of the state will support the amendment.  For information on how to support the amendment in our own state visit Florida 4 Marriage.

I haven't double checked his numbers, but Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council announced stated at the Value Voters Summit in D.C. a few weeks ago that in the states where constitutional amendments have been presented, on average, they are supported by 71% of voters.  The trend so far has been that when people are given the opportunity to vote, they have overwhelmingly stood with traditional marriage.

The harshest opposition to these amendments has been in the courts.  Isn't it odd that those who claim to be the defenders of freedom of choice are the ones fighting the hardest to keep these amendments from being voted on? 

Regardless, even in the courts, we are having great success.  Since this past July, the Alliance Defense Fund has been involved in 8 dealing with state marriage laws.  They have had success in all eight.

Ultimately, the highest goal is the passage of the Federal Marriage Amendment which becomes more and more likely with each passing vote demonstrating that America stands by the principles of traditional marriage.

The Scandal Double Standard

Many commentators on the Foley scandal have observed the sharp difference between the impact of personal scandals on Republicans as opposed to democrats.  It has been noted that it seems Republicans often meet the end of their political careers over scandals, while democrats often live to govern another day.  Even the Washington Post noted this difference in the article The Redder They Are, the Harder They Fall.  The story of Representatives Studds from Massachusetts and Crane from Illinois has been the most pertinent example.  As the Post explains:

"The clearest illustration may be in the divergent outcomes of the cases against Crane (R) and Studds (D) in 1983. Both men were censured by the House for having sex with underage congressional pages -- Crane with a 17-year-old girl in 1980, Studds with a 17-year-old boy in 1973. Crane, of Illinois, apologized for his actions, while Studds, who declared he was gay, refused. Crane lost his reelection bid the next year; Studds, of Massachusetts, kept winning his seat until he retired in 1996."

Here Foley is caught in a similar scandal, though there has been no evidence of any actual sexual acts, and his political career is at an end.

The double standard has been criticized by many Republicans and Conservatives over the last few days, but honestly, I'm not disturbed by it one bit.

Fact is, as Republicans, we center our message on Family Values.  As Conservatives where derive our positions from strong moral convictions.  So when there is a violation of those values and convictions by one of our own leaders we should be the first in line to correct.  I'm not saying there is no room for forgiveness or that we shouldn't allow a leader who has stumbled the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and make amends.  However, we should expect our leaders to be held to a higher standard than the party of moral-relativity holds theirs.

Certainly, democrats and liberals take advantage.  When a Conservative or Republican stumbles they are labeled and hypocrite and democrats demand that they, the leadership above them, the staffers below them, and everyone they have ever encountered should apologize and pay for the mistake.  Of course, we should point out the double standard they apply, but we should not seek to lower our own standards or excuse bad behavior by our leadership simply because they do it, too.  We expect such behavior from their side.  And we should expect our leaders to strive for excellence and a political life that is above reproach. 

When we apply a stricter standard of conduct to our own leadership than the liberals apply to theirs, it tells me we are doing something right.

UPDATE:  As always, fantastic analysis and sarcasm from our beloved Ann.

"The Democrats say the Republicans should have done all the things Democrats won't let us do to al Qaida — solely because Foley was rumored to be gay. Maybe we could get Democrats to support the NSA wiretapping program if we tell them the terrorists are gay."

October 03, 2006

Conservatives in the Foley Aftermath

I the wake of the Foley scandal we've seen just about every possible reaction.  Everyone is trying to determine whether this will be the straw that breaks the camel's back for Republicans in the next election and liberals and democrats are trying their hardest to turn the issue into an indictment for the whole Republican Party.

But the harshest criticism, in my opinion, is coming not from liberals, but from Conservatives.  Yesterday, Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily.com released an article titled GOP Unworthy of Governing.   In the article Farah concludes that the handling of Foley by Republican leadership has demonstrated that they are unfit to lead the country.  But even before the Foley story broke, others Conservatives were considering the idea that Republicans losing might not be such a bad idea after all.  Jonah Goldberg wrote an article several weeks back hinting at the idea that maybe, just maybe, Republicans need to lose so that they can get their act together.  Farah and Goldberg are not alone.  Honestly, I've found myself seriously considering their position.

 

But, let me be clear.  At this point I don't agree with Farah and the liberals screaming that the Republican leadership positively knew what was going on with Foley and were just holding out until after the election.  I haven't seen anything that damning just yet, but I'll be just as upset as everyone else if it comes out that they did actually know.  I think there was definitely break down of communication and probably some staff knew more than they disclosed, but I don't know that this rises to the level of indicting the actual party leadership.

I also predict that this issue is not going to have much effect on a nation-wide scale.  It is going to hurt the chances of Republicans keeping Foley's seat, but keeping the seat is not out of the question depending on how the leadership handles itself over the next few months.

The biggest fall-out, I think is, and will continue to be, with Conservatives.  Conservatives who feel the opportunities our party has had over the last few years has been squandered.  Conservatives who have found themselves consistently questioning and at odds with party leadership.  Conservatives who are tired of seeing our party, and us along with them, dragged through the mud over a string of scandals.  Goldberg thinks change might not be so bad.  Farah thinks they've shown their inability to lead.  I was ready to sign on myself.

But yesterday I caught a portion of the Values Voters Summit on C-SPAN.  The segment I watched was a briefing on the national political scene led by Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and my man Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund.  At one point Dr. Dobson talked about the short comings of our party leadership.  About how even though "Value Voters" won the day in 2000 and 2004, the party has failed to adopt a Conservative agenda.  Despite all of the effort put in by Conservatives in the 2004 election, the party hadn't supported our mission.  He explained that because of these failures he didn't think he was going to make supporting Republicans a priority in upcoming elections.

But he then described a 2 week period he recently spent in Washington D.C. meeting with party and government leaders that changed his mind.  After meeting with these leaders he realized that even though our own party is in desperate need of some changes, the alternative to our party is so terrible that we have to fight for Republicans.

And he's right.

I know many of us Conservatives are unhappy with the state of our party, and we should work to improve it and put true Conservatives into positions of influence.  But in the meantime, we must realize that even thought our party has its flaws the alternative that the democrats present is far worse than our party on its worst day.

Don't lose heart.  There are some tough days ahead and it is tempting to just sit back and let the election take its course, but there is a real need, now more than ever, for Conservatives to stand by those who support us, and the party that presents the opportunity for the only opportunity for the defense and spread of Conservative ideals.  It may not be deserved, but the Republican party needs the renewed vigor of a Conservative base and I'll be the first to say that I stand with my party, the GOP.

September 09, 2006

For additional reading on conservatives, liberals and race

Read this by John Derbyshire. Thoughts on this article from La Shawn Barber are also worth a read.

September 05, 2006

Liberals - The Enemy within

Those are the sentiments of JD Pendry when it comes to Democrats and the war on terror. I recommend you read them before you vote... or anytime really.

Print it off and give it to your kids. Explain to them why appeasement to terrorism and Islamofacism means suicide. Say a prayer for people like like JD, not for a change of heart, but for giving thanks that people like him are out there willing to do the dirty work to keep us safe.

See JD's bio here.

August 31, 2006

FL Conservatives at a Crossroads

Townhall.com has a thought provoking article today on the Florida Republican gubernatorial primary.  In the article, Matt Towery opines that next Tuesday will yield a very, very low voter turn-out; and as a result all those polls we've been watching will be almost meaningless.  The result?  The election could go to either of the Republican candidates, and Gallagher has a real chance of pulling a win if the "religious right" gets motivated. 

But I will agree with the Orlando Sentinel that Evangelical Conservatives are having a hard time getting fired up over this election.  But it does give us an opportunity, as Towery points out.  Should Gallagher win, the sole reason will be because of his platform and commitment to Conservative values.  And while he may not have a particularly Conservative record, I suggest that the commitments to our values which he has made during his campaign will keep him an ally to Conservatives during office.

Voting for Crist is the easy thing to do.  I know there is an appeal in voting for the front-runner, and the guy every poll and every pundit suggests will win.  He's a savvy, smooth politician, and he could definitely beat either of the two democrat candidates, right?  But we're Conservatives because we don't believe that the easy choice is always the best choice.  We understand that values are paramount.  Next week we have an opportunity to support a candidate that has committed himself to those values we hold so dear.  Make no mistake, Gallagher could win this primary.  Especially if Towery is right.  But it will require Conservatives to take a stand for the principles they believe in, and to side with the candidate that has sided with us.  Tell your friends, get out to the polls, and vote Tom Gallagher on Sept. 5.

August 25, 2006

Mr. C's Primary Picks (State and Local)

Mr. C's picks:

US Senator
Will McBride

US House
Dist. 8:  Ric Keller

Dist. 9:  Gus Bilirakis

Dist 13:  Mark Flanagan

Governor
Charlie Crist

Chief Financial Officer
Randy Johnson

Florida Senate
Dist. 8:  Randall Terry

Dist. 10:  Sandra Murman

Dist. 38: Frank Bolanos

Florida House
Dist. 34:  David Mealor

Dist. 41: Steve Precourt

Dist. 48: Peter Nehr

Dist. 49:  John Quinones

Dist. 54: Rod Jones

Dist. 107: Robert Fernandez

Leon County 

County Judge Group 3: Lisa Raleigh

County Commission At Large: John Griffin

County Commission District 4: Will Messer

County Commission District 5: Frank Mayernick

Superintendent of Schools: Jackie Pons

Tallahassee

City Commission Seat 3: Anthony "Dr. V" Viegbesie

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August 21, 2006

Vote Early Leon County

Early voting begins today and will run through Sept 2 @ 5pm. No reason is needed to vote early.

Location: Leon County Courthouse, 301 South Monroe Street on the first floor. The special entrance to Early Voting is on the Monroe Street side of the courthouse away from the main entrance.  

Dates and Times of Operation
PRIMARY ELECTION 2006
Monday, August 21 through Friday, August 25 - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 27 - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday, August 28 through Friday, September 1 - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Last Day of Early Voting is Saturday, September 2 - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.       

Absentee ballots will be available from this location on Labor Day, Monday, September 4 - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Election Day, Tuesday, September 5 - 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Visit the Leon County Supervisor of Elections for additional information.

August 18, 2006

Leon County Bandwagon

Leon County voters are no doubt familiar with the Bandwagon, but for those of you who are not,

Since 1986, WFSU and The Florida Channel have hosted this fun and informational program with help from the Leon County League of Women Voters. The format is what makes this program so special. Bandwagon provides each candidate 2 minutes and 30 seconds to talk about the issues they feel are important. To insure that no one gets more time than anyone else, a music group interrupts anyone going longer than the scheduled time.

Bandwagon 2006 airs live on Monday Aug 21 channel 4fsu,  and will re-air nightly until election day. The broadcast can be seen online beginning Aug 22.

If you don't have time for everybody then focus on these races still in contention - County Judges and County District 3, 4, and 5. The rest of the races will go to the front runner, or expected winner, however you want to look at it.

If you only watch for one reason, make it for the Judges.

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August 16, 2006

Does anything else in the news matter?

After reading this?

An investigation into the remains of a baby found at a Hialeah, Fla., abortion clinic in July has determined that the child was born alive, but authorities say it may come down to an interpretation of federal law whether charges will be filed.

The case developed at the end of July when the remains were found in a biohazard bag at "A Gynecologists Diagnostic Center" after an anonymous 911 call reported to police that a child had been born alive, then killed.

Infants' remains at an abortion clinic are not a violation of the law -- unless that child was born alive, in which case the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2000 takes effect.

My first thought is, isn't abortion in the third trimester illegal anyway?

My second thought is, this should wake you moderates up. "Pro-Choice" is nothing but legal infanticide. Don't fool yourselves into thinking you're supporting women. Do you think this mother is better off knowing that she not only killed a viable baby, but she gave birth to a live baby, that was then killed on her request?

I don't have to tell you about my opposition to abortion - They should all be illegal, in all instances, in all cases, for all people.

Lastly, thank God there's someone in the clinic who's conscience is on the right path. Let's hope that person is working there in an attempt to save as many children as possible.

Further - I would be remiss if I didn't throw a political spin on this. So, here it is. If I was Tom Gallagher I'd be riding this until Primary day. At every press event, every campaign stop, every email, every phone call... at every opportunity I'd ask one question - Will Charlie Crist investigate and prosecute the clinic and the responsible doctor who 1) performed what appears to be an illegal abortion, and 2) committed a post delivery murder of a live child?

And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. Either Charlie Crist does nothing and Gallagher benefits, or Charlie Crist takes action and Gallagher loses, which he is sure to do anyway. And if Charlie Crist does take action it will be for the benefit of all. As a society we can't keep murdering children and propping up women (and men) who have other "priorities" as some sort of culmination of a "progressive" society.

UPDATE: More Florida baby killers, this time in Orlando.

 


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August 10, 2006

Like I said...

Liberals say one thing, and do another.

Convenient, don't you think?


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August 09, 2006

Welfare Reform works

Ten years ago this month President Bill Clinton signed the welfare reform bill. Ron Haskins reflects on it's success. (via Hispanic Pundit)

And I don't want to hear from liberals about how Clinton was visionary for passing the legislation. Clinton vetoed it twice before he signed it. Like Kerry voted for the troops before he voted against them. Or how  Hillary voted against oil drilling in ANWR before she voted for drilling in the gulf.

All liberals say one thing then do another. Actually, they say one thing but when reality doesn't work out the way they want they say something that fits what actually happened. Like thirty years ago when we were all preparing for th enext ice age and global cooling. Bait and switch.

The point being, if everywhere in the article you read welfare reform and single mothers and substitute the words Social Security reform and retirees and you might get a sense of what we could do with Social Security reform.

On second thought, let me do it for you. After the jump I copied the article and replaced the words I point out above and a few extra. Anything with a strikethrough was in the original and anything in italics is what I added. Enjoy.

Continue reading "Welfare Reform works" »

June 15, 2006

Must read

Why I left the left by Seth Swirsky at Real Clear Politics.

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June 14, 2006

Are you conservative?

Arnold Kling at Tech Central Station has a quiz for you. Leave any answers you'd like to give in the comments section.

1. Do you believe that bringing children into the world is a very serious responsibility for the parents?

2. Do you believe that the flaws and imperfections of human beings are reflected in government?

3. Do you believe that it is better to try to accumulate wealth for retirement or to rely on a pension?

4. Do you believe that your health is your responsibility?

5. Do you believe that education is more important than public schools?

6. Do you believe that the world would be better off if more countries were like America, or not?

Kling says,

Unfortunately, the Republican Party under President Bush has not been doing very well on this quiz.

I tend to agree, but it doesn't mean I'll be voting democrat this fall. See his answers here.

June 09, 2006

dems still have no plan

Remember in the last election, when some democratic thug volunteers slashed tires at a GOP center?  Apparently, that was the only way they thought kerry could get elected - by keeping voters away from the polling stations.  BTW, how'd that work out?

Remember before that, when gore decided to try and win the election by going to court?  That didn't fare very well either.

Why do I bring up old news?  Because it appears that it's business as usual for the dems.  Once again, they're going to court.  It seems they think they stand a better chance of winning if they can keep Delay's court proceedings in the public eye instead of just pushing their candidate.  Maybe, just maybe, they want to stall long enough that when Delay is taken off the ballot, the Republican that will then run won't have any real time to campaign.  Do you think the dems would do that?  Absolutely, because after having been beat down in so many elections, they have no faith in their candidates' abilities to get elected.  NO PLAN.

Here's a plan they have used.  Let's pretend we're in high school and light a bag full of dog feces on fire and sit it on the GOP porch.  No, they didn't really do that.  They did do this.  That's right, stick an envelope full of crap through the mail slot of a GOP candidate.  I don't even know what else to say about that?  Grow up?

Let's refresh - go to court, slash tires, mail crap.  I fully acknowledge that not all dems resort to this type of childish behavior but people, please.  The left doesn't have ANYONE making the news for what they can do or have done that is positive.  Some advice, pick a candidate that can make it on his/her own merit.  Then, use the people that are willing to do anything (mail crap) to do mailings in support of said candidate.  Also, use the money that you're wasting in court to spread the candidate's message in the media. 

Or, keep on with the status quo and let me know how that works out for ya this time.

Mr. H

May 26, 2006

The benefits of the free market

Explained here in two paragraphs.

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.

Milton Friedman 1962

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May 18, 2006

Democrats say the Dumbest Things

Today at FLA Politics:

"...it must be true because the MSM is picking up on it." [emphasis mine]

If that is your standard for determining what you believe to be true, then you are hopelessly lost.


- Mr. G

April 20, 2006

With polls, subsets will tell you everything

And I will tell you the recent Q. poll is misleading on it's face, the state of Florida is not a toss up state. But, with a little digging we can get some relevant information from this otherwise useless poll.

The Q. poll will tell you 951 registered voters (which is about the most unreliable group to poll) can't decide - statistically speaking - who they want for governor. When you take a closer look a the subgroups it's not surprising. A third of those polled were identified as non party, non affiliated, independent or some other party. These voters, by definition, are undecided. Why bother?

Of the 951 polled, 383 are democrat and 385 are republican, and that means the margin of error for the intra party head-to-heads subsets is approximately 5%, not the 3.2% used for the entire polling sample.

However, among the democrat subset sampled fully half were undecided. This means Davis was beating Smith 27 to 17 among 192 registered democrats, who may or may not vote, or have ever voted for that matter, with a margin of error that now stands at 7%. My professional opinion is the selection bias (registered voters) is further error prone because less than half of registered voters actually vote, but since this is outside the margin of error I would still say Davis is beating Smith. By how much I am unsure.

Among GOP, a full third were undecided, so among roughly 255 registered republicans who may or may not vote, or have ever voted, Crist was beating Gallagher by 4 points, with a margin of error for this subset at 6.2%. Assuming that a poll of 255 registered voters in a state with 15 million people can be accurate, this number is not outside the margin of error, and it means nothing. For all intents and purposes, they are tied.

And in light of this information nugget,

...the Gallagher campaign this month sent key supporters a summary of a massive internal survey it conducted of likely Republican voters. The 3,000-person statewide survey found Crist leading Gallagher by 2 percentage points, 33 to 31 percent.

I think if the Gallagher camp had raised money like it promised it would, then this information would look much better. As it is, being $2.5 million behind and spending money (not for communication I might add) much faster than Crist, it's going to be difficult, regardless of the poll numbers. It's amazing to say a candidate who has raised $7 million to date doesn't have enough money, but he doesn't. The dynamic created by the design of their campaign is flawed for two reasons. They underestimated Crist's ability to 1) raise money and 2) maintain a lean campaign structure.

But, like I've always said, the Gallagher campaign has possibly the greatest organizational structure ever created for a political campaign in the state of Florida, and if the people are truly behind him, he can pull it out. Unfortunatley, this poll doesn't shed light on that helpful piece of information and every poll up to this point shows Crist with a commanding lead.

When will somebody poll actual GOP voters who actually vote? I'd love to see that information the Gallagher camp is passing around. Feel free to send it to me if you've got it.

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April 19, 2006

Culture of life fighting back

I thought this article an excellent addendum to recent posts. Women who've had abortions (as opposed to women who help them have abortions) are speaking out in support of recent South Dakota actions banning all abortions except in instances of rape. HEre's what they are saying -

"It's not a popular voice ... but it's one that needs to get out," said Karen Bodle... she said she "suffered from chronic depression, feelings of shame and worthlessness" as well as miscarriages and troubled pregnancies.

"I was in denial over the truth of abortion for over 20 years," said Mrs. Bodle, who feels she was "lied to and deceived" when she was told that the fetus wasn't a baby and that the abortion would allow her to fully live her life. "I believe that information still is denied to women," she said.

Cynthia Collins, who had her first abortion as a 19-year-old and then took a "downward spiral," said the nation has "only heard one side" of the debate.

"We were sold a bill of goods that abortion is a good thing, and when we find out that it's not, we're told to be quiet," said the Louisiana resident, who also told her story to the task force. That mentality is finally starting to change, she said, and "as those voices are heard, then we're going to see the true picture."

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March 08, 2006

Katherine Harris to drop out of the race for Senate?

It would pain my heart, but it would not surprise me. News from Hotline that Harris maybe quitting.

So the question now is - Foley or Bush?

UPDATE: Maybe not. Statement from the Harris camp is apparently coming soon.

UPDATE: Sarasota Herald Tribune - 

U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris said she doesn't plan to drop out of the Senate race, a statement she made as rumors swirled Wednesday that she would end the campaign because of ties to a company involved in bribery scandal.

"I am out there. We are running hard. We think we have great momentum," Harris said in a telephone interview.

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Gay jokes are considered satire, not discrimination, at FLA Politics

Anybody who doesn't see the ironic humor of liberals attacking their own in this comment thred over at FLA Politics is politically tone deaf.

Everybody else, keep coming back. PEER Review is the blog for you.


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March 01, 2006

Iraqi Civil War?

What good is organization without candid communication and effective strategy? Gallagher is not doing the right thing, right now, and I hate to criticize GOP candidates... so I will talk about something else.

Iraqi Civil War?

You are being lied to. By elements in the media determined that Iraq must fail. Just give 'em the Bronx cheer.
That's the assesment of MSM coverage by reporter Ralph Peters of the New York Post. I agree.


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February 27, 2006

TBO to Hillary - Thanks for the help, now go away.

This is too funny.

Fair or not, you are identified with the far left, and you are not the person to convince voters that Democrats have ideas for keeping families safe and the country secure.

You are not the one who can assure Americans they will have a chance to get ahead.

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February 21, 2006

Mike, democrats and the Ideological Void

Mr. C and I have have had a recent focus on the ideological void represented by the democrat party.  No real platforms, only complaints.  Today I discovered yet another example from my misguided friend Mike at Florida News.

In Mike's "Vision for Florida Democrats" he makes the following statement:

"Forget ideology. Embrace partisanship. Yes, I said it. Voting for me is simple. I simply look for the D's and vote accordingly..."

"I want a Democratic majority. Period. We get a Democratic majority and we get to set the agenda. We get to control the committees. That's power, and it's power in the hands of a party that I believe will do what's best for this state and this country..."


The concept boils down to this: democrats, don't think, don't question, just vote democrat.  We'll do the thinking for you later.

Now, I like Mike.  I like Mike because he is one of the few democrats I know that are willing to just come out and say that he is more concerned with having officials with a D next to their name in office than actually working for a platform he actually agrees with. 

I also like Mike because it is really easy to make him mad, which is always entertaining, but I digress.

With this strategy democrats will continue lose.  As 2004 demonstrated, values affect voting.  So while democrats continue to run from taking a stand on the issues, Republicans continue to demonstrate that our party is relevant to the causes of the individual, the family, and the community.

Mr. G

February 15, 2006

The Biggest Waste Of Money

 * also seen at Heartland Values

Sometime in early 2005, I found myself at a Borders bookstore, going through the titles in the political section of their shelves, when I happened across a book called “Don’t Think Of An Elephant.”

The book, released in September 2004, highlights how conservatives thinks and (supposedly) give the Democrats and progressives the tools to re-frame the arguments to make them more appealing to voters. The author, George Lakoff, has become an adviser to different members to the Democrat Party, since the book release.

One might be inclined to ask “What would possess someone to buy a book like that?” Well, as is done by military leaders, it is wise to study the actions and ways of your enemy/opponent.

Democrats and progressives have come to the conclusion that its not about what the issue is, but how you talk about it. They refer to this concept as “framing”, and the book shows how to reframe Republican arguments.

I bring this up because you will see this “reframing” being used extensively as the march to the 2006 mid-term elections proceeds. Lakoff has held meetings with the Democrat leadership in 2005, and will probably do more as the campaign season continues. If you look closely, you will see this technique already being applied. Allow me to illustrate.

The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights League changed to being know to NARAL, and is now referring to itself as Pro-Choice America. If an organization is completely convinced that its mission is right, and that they are strong in their beliefs, why change their name to one that is so wishy-washy? The answer: to soften their image while at the same time diverting people’s attention away from what they are truly advocating: abortion.

Another example, especially prevalent in the last four years, as been to say that “I don’t support the Iraq war, but I support the troops.” How does one make the separation? The troops are in Iraq performing their duties at the behest of their Commander in Chief, President Bush.

What these Democrats and progressives are trying to show is that they are not unpatriotic by saying “we support the troops.” What I call is “smoke and mirrors.”

A third example would be what has come to be known as “global warming.” But, the “global warming” angle is a little hard to sell to people, especially when you have Central Park in New York sitting under at least 2 feet of snow at the moment.

So, the new slogan du jour is “global climate change.” Ultimately, it means the same thing, but sounds less apocalyptic and is presented as a term that is more easily acceptable. I am sure there are more that I could mention (drawing a blank at the moment), but I’m sure you get the general idea.

What the Democrats, liberals and progressives(not mutually exclusive groups)fail to grasp is that the voters of Florida and America want candidates to offer solutions, not some convoluted word salad. Voters want candidates and elected officials to embrace ideas, not just to play with words.

What Mr. Lakoff needs to be emphasizing to the Democrats and his other progressive friends is to come up with a plan for America, and worry less about how you talk about them.

Until then, Republicans will continue with our electoral victories.

In addition, I will find better ways to spend the ten dollars that I wasted on this book. Its a shame so many trees died to print this garbage.

Stacy Cole

February 08, 2006

Liberalism Has Lost Its Way

* Cross posted at Heartland Values

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Modern day liberals have completely changed what the classic definition of what it truly means to be a liberal. Why have they changed it? To better suit what they want it to mean, and completely ignore the foundation of the real liberal political philosophy.

According to dictionary.reference.com, liberalism is partially defined as "a 19th-century Protestant movement that favored free intellectual inquiry, stressed the ethical and humanitarian content of Christianity, and de-emphasized dogmatic theology." Modern day liberalism is defined by not one of those descriptions, but by extended government oversight, overtaxing people who have achieved success, pandering to the special interests of trial lawyers and gays, and embracing the likes of Cindy Sheehan.

Liberalism is further defined as "an economic theory advocating free competition and a self-regulating market and the gold standard." Does the liberalism of 2006 embrace these classical liberal definitions? Let's just say that their silence on those points is deafening.

Conservatism is defined as "the inclination, especially in politics, to maintain the existing or traditional order" and "a political philosophy or attitude emphasizing respect for traditional institutions, distrust of government activism, and opposition to sudden change in the established order."

Since liberals/Democrats are wont to throw around the "neoconservative" name, like it is a profanity to be called such, is defined as "an intellectual and political movement in favor of political, economic, and social conservatism that arose in opposition to the perceived liberalism of the 1960s: “The neo-conservatism of the 1980s is a replay of the New Conservatism of the 1950s, which was itself a replay of the New Era philosophy of the 1920s.” "

Just for perspective, communism is defined as "a system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people." Further, it is defined as "a political theory favoring collectivism in a classless society."

Classless society? That explains the class warfare, the rich vs poor argument that Democrats espouse so well. "...All goods are equally shared by the people" illustrates the advocacy of higher taxes for the people who are successful in earning more, the doctors, CEOS, and attorneys of the world. Democratsts/liberals certainly embrace that line of thinking.

The grand point to be taken from this piece is simple: modern day liberalism is more closely aligned with the classic communism theory. Though there will be some that will say I am exaggerating the point, upon closer examination of what the communism theory of government embraces, and the rhetoric that is offered by the left wing liberals and their mouthpiece organizations (moveon.org, NARAL, NOW, etc), the differences are not so different.

Stacy Cole

January 23, 2006

Monday Debate

Over at Out in Left Field, Kate and I (and various anonymous readers) are discussing the proper use of budget surpluses. Come watch as I relieve her of her policy parasols and shine sunlight on the fallacies of the left.

January 12, 2006

A Rare Occurrence, Mr. G Disagrees with Ann Coulter

Believe it or not, every now and again Mr. G actually disagrees with Ann Coulter on something. Today is one example. Lest you think I just nod my head to everything she says, it seems important to point out any difference of opinion

I do agree with most of Coulter’s column today which argues that the democrat party’s rock solid support of abortion boils down to the idea that one of the party’s core value’s is ‘the right of women to have sex with men they don’t want to have children with.’ True.

However, she then makes this statement: 

The Federalists drafted the greatest political philosophy ever written by man and created the first constitutional republic. The anti-Federalists – or "pre-Democrats, as I call them – were formed to oppose the Constitution, which, to a great extent, remains their position today.”

As I discussed in July, the anti-federalist papers were prophetic about many of the problems which would arise from the federalist constitution. I won’t say the anti-federalists were completely correct; some of them had some wacky positions like the idea that the nation shouldn’t have a standing army. Yet, the insight offered by much of the anti-federalist papers into the effect law the Constitution was simply brilliant. To suggest that such was the work of democrats is, well, laughable at best. 

- Mr. G

January 03, 2006

Why gay politics shouldn't be political at all...

NC State English Professor RV Young isn't making the political claim I am in this title (or at least not directly), but his debunking of the myth of homosexual genetic predisposition - through the use of language no less - implies that if there is, "no there, there" (i.e. tautologically speaking the term “homosexual” is nonsensical), then we should not assign rights or political protection to a "class" of people who do not technically exist, much less allow any grouping of misguided claimants to prescribe /proscribe political solutions for the remainder of society.

Additionally, he notes that the bifurcation of the term “sex” into both a class and an act really took hold in the 60’s with use of the term “gender” to describe male and female, thus providing the freedom to counter-culturists to describe the physical act of sex in ways never intended.

Taken to a political conclusion, this line of thinking would remove any discussion of gay politics or political power, marriage amendments or protection, and legal recourse for perceived grievances in society at large. It would be the ultimate victory for the moral majority, their own political Armageddon if you will.

You should read the whole article before posting your thoughts, or criticisms. And be sure to read Guarino's treatment of this same passage, my original source with multiple excerpts. Set aside 15 minutes for both. I would be particularly interested in the comments of any gay bloggers, of which I know at least a few read this blog. Be heard.

December 02, 2005

2 Sense from Maninblack 12/1

Presidential Candidate Gets 'Straight Talk' from Insulted Troops

Kingston still gets it right after 12 years The Hill reports that U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) conducted interviews of troops during his second trip to Iraq and had some 'Straight Talk' from them to deliver to Senator and undeclared presidential candidate John McCain (R-AZ), conductor of the 2000 'Straight Talk Express'. He said that they feel McCain is misrepresenting their efforts to question terrorist-enemy-detainess by introducing his look-at-me-I'm-running-for-president amendment.

While visiting Iraq this week, Kingston, the House GOP conference vice chairman, said he talked to the enlisted men who deal with prisoners of war.

“They feel that the McCain amendment is not an accurate portrayal of anything that is going on and they are really strongly against it and somewhat insulted by it,” Kingston said of his conversations with the troops. [emphasis added]

“[The prisoners] aren’t people who have committed white collar crime. You do want to get information from them.” He recalled the soldiers saying that those members of the military who broke the laws in the Abu Ghraib torture scandal last year should be appropriately punished.

McCain was unable to comment because he was traveling abroad.

McCain was unable to comment because Kingston has a point! Travelling - what he doesn't have a friggin cell phone when he travels?

Did McCain get idea for amendment from friend Alan Hey McCain, why don't you get off the backs of our troops that are doing things right and focus your efforts on those who are truly trying to hurt Americans. Oh, and check out the Sunday paper - good Christmas deals on cell phones out there, really.

One other thing, The Hill gets it wrong by calling it the "Abu Ghraib torture scandal." What was done to those enemy detainees might be considered humiliating, but it was not torture. Detainees placed into a cheerleader pyramid by some irresponsible soldiers is not the same as political prisoners of Saddam's being placed into one of his rape rooms or having one of his sons smash their genitals with a sledge hammer. Now that's creative interrogation!

"If you don't like it, just don't watch!"

This is what atheists and others on the left tell those of us who object to the rampant sex, violence, and drug use that is increasingly portrayed on network television. To them, we are not allowed to complain about what the networks throw out there under the guise of entertainment and free speech. Fine. I'll just not watch. The Reason for the Season

Now, the godless peeps must do the same for us. If they don't like that Christmas is about Christ, then they shouldn't participate, shouldn't celebrate. They need to stop complaining when Christ is mentioned in school Christmas plays and choral readings.

If there was no Christ, then there really is no Christmas. There's just Hanukkah and New Years to comprise the "Winter Holidays." No, the godless can't hijack Hanukkah either like they are trying to hijack Christmas. In America, Hanukkah is celebrated by five million Jewish people, about 2% of the entire population of the U.S., so I doubt retailers would go out of their way to stock up Hanukkah only aisles if Christmas wasn't there to piggy-back on.

Hanukkah would exist without the retailers because it is not a commerce driven holiday, it is religious. Christmas would exist without the retailers, too - it did for a couple thousand years. But the "Winter Holidays" would not be around if Christmas fell off the calendar.

So, sure, we can continue to call it Winter Holidays to be "inclusive" but the godless really need to stop complaining about Christmas references to Jesus. If you don't like it - then leave it alone and give it back to those of us who celebrate it for Christ.

Besides, the godless have their own new holiday - the hilariously named "Festivus" made-up by the Seinfeld show. So, go steal that holiday - give Christmas back to Christ.

Merry Christ-mas

Identity Crisis in the Halls of the U.S. Senate

I coulda been a coach A few weeks ago, Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) wanted to become a General in the U.S. Armed Forces by allowing unlimited involvement of politicians in matters of war. Read our post here. Now, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) feels senators should be sports managers and coaches.

NFL Wide Receiver Terrell Owens was suspended for comments made over the last year which were detrimental to the Eagles quarterback, team, and organization. He is still receiving pay from the Eagles, but the NFL is supporting the Eagles efforts to not allow him to be traded to another team this season.

Offical NFL Loudmouth Bobblehead AP reports that Specter is upset over the treatment of Owens and is raising the specter of an anti-trust hearing before his Senate Judiciary Committee to consider the approach used by the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles in dealing with the Terrell Owens situation.

Sen. Arlen Specter accused the National Football League and the Philadelphia Eagles of treating Terrell Owens unfairly and said he might refer the matter to the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.

Specter said at a news conference Monday in Harrisburg it was "vindictive and inappropriate" for the league and the Eagles to forbid the all-pro wide receiver from playing and prevent other teams from talking to him.

"It's a restraint of trade for them to do that, and the thought crosses my mind, it might be a violation of antitrust laws," Specter said, though some other legal experts disagreed.

Meddling by the government has never solved anything. The surest way to screw up sports is to allow the Senate to get involved.

Arbitrator Richard Bloch said last week the team's actions were supported by the labor agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association.

"The arbitrator's decision is consistent with our collective bargaining agreement, and it simply enforced the terms of the player's contract," Greg Aiello, an NFL spokesman, said Monday.

"To have an antitrust violation, you have to have a contract or conspiracy in restraint of trade," said Robert McCormick, a law professor at Michigan State University.

Matthew J. Mitten, director of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University, said, "We're in the labor arena, not antitrust."

So what, says Specter, it's his committee and he'll do anything he wants. He's from the government and only wants to help.

Senators should be satisfied enough with their job, what with all the power and perks; I wonder why they continually feel the Senate needs to stick its camel nose in tents where it doesn't belong. We don’t need any more generals or sports managers – Hey Specter, stay out of our sports and leave the X's and O's to those who know thier craft!

November 30, 2005

Note to readers

Posting will resume this afternoon. In the meantime check out

John in Carolina
O'blog
Don Surber
David Boyd
Out in Left Field
and The Original Gobbleblog

Also, Home School Buzz
Cigars and Theology
and my favorite article of the day so far, from the Opinion Journal. After reading it try to imagine yourself a GOP voter just after the 06 elections looking towards 08. Sanford is looking pretty good isn't he?

November 29, 2005

Protect Life

I just want to take a moment and point out this succinct and solid post on abortion from Oblog.

Although he doesn't come out and say it directly, he's right -  Being prochoice should be about having the right to choose to have sex, which leads to pregnancy, not about having the right to choose to kill the unborn child after you get pregnant from having sex.

Although, I will admit, it is possible to get pregnant without actually having sex, that has only happened once in recorded history and I think it's unlikely to happen again.

Mr. C

November 18, 2005

FL: Tallahassee voters approve coal plant in Perry, FL - two counties away!

Officially this referendum is nonbinding, so it means nothing, but the "give me more power to tax more people and spend more money" crowd of the Tallahassee City Commission won their vote yesterday.

This is a classic example of Politics 101.

Continue reading "FL: Tallahassee voters approve coal plant in Perry, FL - two counties away!" »

November 17, 2005

Finally getting the picture

over at Alachuapolitix. Oh yeah, the NAACP too.

Truth or Death has his take.

Hey, even La Shawn Barber checked in on this one!

November 14, 2005

A new GOP Contract with America

I do not believe in the 50-50 nation. I believe this country and the two states I principally write about, Florida and North Carolina, are Red. Last week democrats won NJ, VA and shot down all four reforms in CA. Among the PLENTY of reasons the democrats won, I do not believe it is because the democrats have found a new majority. I still believe the democrats are moving aimlessly despite recent announcements of a forthcoming "5 big ideas" (which I will address on a later post).

Next year Florida is electing a US Senator, Governor, Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer, and Commissioner of Agriculture. democrats could win 2 of those races honestly if the US Senate race turns out voters down ticket. A little help at the national level instead of sniping would help nip that in the bud. Which brings me to NC.

The next major election cycle in NC is not until 2008, but I have no reason to believe the GOP can take back the Governor's mansion, despite the near certainty the state will vote GOP for President and the unbelievable accounts of corruption and graft among Democrats in control. The problem in NC isn't national, it's local - regional GOP factions (Charlotte West, Central and Down East) just can't get along and nobody is stepping up to take control. The most influential conservative group in NC is a think tank. When that's the case, there is not a particularly successful political strategy at work.

The GOP has moved off course. The original Contract with America was the most profound political altering document presented to the American voters since the New Deal was offered by FDR. It was the first principle based idea in 50 years to attempt reducing government subsidy and welfare, the first attempt in decades at reinstituting responsibility and political courage, a first try at accountability and efficiency. And now, the GOP is leaving the CWA at the rest stop on the political highway.

The original CWA swept the GOP into Congress and realigned the political landscape for the next decade. It outlined the purpose for government, the future of it's intentions, and a timeline for accomplishment.

This new GOP Contract came about through discussion with a liberal fellow blogger in Florida, Mike from FLNews. He offered to come up with some big ideas like the ones the democrats are suggesting, and offer the direction he would like to see the democrats move in. I decided to do the same for the GOP. We agreed to list five priorities, and keep it short, less than 250 words. The following is Mike's submission, which he will be posting on FLA Politics.

Mike's "Contract with America"

- Energy independence

o Create a hybrid economy so that in 10 years, we cut our dependence on foreign oil in half.

- College education for everyone willing to work for it

o No cost for first year of education at public university or community college if you are willing to work at least 15 hours a week

- Health care for every child in America

o Tax credits to make health insurance more affordable and every parent will be responsible for insuring their child. If still cannot afford, parent can file for additional help.

- Balanced budget by reforming the tax code to reward working Americans

o Make tax code on unearned income of top 1-percent equal to tax rate for middle-class families. Set top rate on capital gains at 25-percent. Also, get rid of Bush's tax cuts to wealthiest 2-percent. Eliminate tax loopholes. Budget summit.

- Encourage home ownership for everyone in America

o Edwards' The American Dream tax credit (up to $5,000) to help cover the down payment on a first home. Home ownership to really create an ownership society.

I relied heavily on the test contract by Rahm Emanuel and also on John Edwards' "Real Solutions for America."

Criteria I used (did not have to meet every one, but all taken into consideration):

- Public opinion?

- Feasible?

- Thinking big-picture?

- Salience?

- Good program?

- Reasonably fresh idea?

I think you will see democrats (Mike) and Republicans (Mr. C) have some simiar goals but vastly different approaches. I won't address any criticisms just yet, hopefully some discussion will ensue in the comments sections. I put out the request for suggestions, and I received them (thanks David Boyd and John in Carolina), and some were included and some didn't meet the items I thought I wanted to see (more about process as opposed to outcomes) so I will include them as an addendum.

I believe the United States Government was designed for some very simple core functions, as outlined in the Constitution. The beauty, and the irony, of selecting the correct policy direction as the correct course of action is that the decision has been spelled out for two hundred years in the Constitution. While government may, from time to time, expand it's functions to meet current needs and challenges the country may face, those functions are not, and should not be, inherently included in the core functions as outlined in the Constitution from that point forward (e.g. welfare, medicare, medicaid, education, social security, etc.). Essentially, unless an act of Congress provides for the Defense or regulates trade then why are we doing it? Once the need for action has passed, why does it persist?

While there are many, many things we could work towards reforming, the following 5 priorities are based on these three principles as applied to the current, and future, challenges the United States will face in the coming 10-20 years.

Principles of the new GOP Contract

  1. Preservation of Freedom
  2. Maintenance of National and Personal Security
  3. Global Promotion of Democracy

My five priorities for action (implement/vote/bring to the floor) within the first 180 days following the next election after the jump....

Continue reading "A new GOP Contract with America" »

November 10, 2005

Defusing the Fuming Over Gas Prices

By Dr. Roy Cordato

One of my favorite quotes came from economist Professor Murray Rothbard:

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance."

Continue reading "Defusing the Fuming Over Gas Prices" »

November 09, 2005

That sounds like Mr. C!

If this doesn't sound like me on paper, I don't know what does. Check out this press release noted in yesterday's blog over at Real Clear Politics. While you're there read up on the spin from yesterday's elections.

November 03, 2005

If you want to get elected Governor of Florida your going to have to talk to PEER Review

Don't think so? Ask Scott Maddox. He didn't talk to PEER Review and look where he is now.

From the Christian Science Monitor, Blogs - The New Iowa.

November 02, 2005

Political Arithmetik

Where numbers and politics meet.

An interesting site from a poli sci professor at University of Wisconsin. Anyone who likes, numbers, graphs, trends will love this site.

November 01, 2005

Liberal Christian?

Found this from Doug Giles by way of La Shawn Barber.

Modern liberalism tosses the scripture out on several different levels. How a true believer in the Christ defined by the scripture can buy into what Jesus, the prophets and apostles said and also what these secular thugs say is beyond me. In addition to liberalism's obvious and odious pro-holocaust-like abortion stance, its anti-biblical view of marriage, its scripture-slamming aggressive secularism, and its feckless view of our nation's defense, liberalism completely clashes with the Christian worldview. Secular liberalism's aggressive desire to eradicate Christians' rights should cause Christians to be concerned.

The Democratic Party's liberalism has degenerated over the last 40-50 years in regard to its view of Christianity and Christian rights. This party, which formerly embraced and protected our nation's great Christian heritage and teachings, no longer does so. Thus, today the Christian is between a rock and a hard place: he can either be a Christian or a liberal, but he cannot be both.

Take 3 MARIA and tell me what you think. I tend to agree. I never understood how a "Christian" could vote democrat. Kind of like I never understood how anybody in the military could vote for Bill/Hillary/Al/John(kerry)/John(edwards) or any of the rest. They hate God. They hate the military. They hate rich people. They hate the rule of law. They seem to hate everything that makes this country great.

Come to think of it, how can anyone vote for those guys?

October 26, 2005

Honestly, I don't know why any minority in this country is democrat

If you haven't seen this dispicable example of liberalism gone wild then take a look. This is how democrats (liberals) treat minorities who get off the reservation. It is exactly what I was talking about last week... er, this week when I got back.

Which one of my liberal readers will step up and denounce this sort of thing? hmm?

Mr. C

October 04, 2005

Discontent with Harriet Miers, Transportation bill, Disaster payout plan, Education bill, Social security reform? Look to your Senators and Congressmen

Conservatives are dismayed. President Bush is the embodiment of their hopes for the fulfillment of conservative dreams built over the past 40 years. The balance of the scales has tipped with the Harriet Miers nomination and conservatives activists are having none of it.

Conservatives want the fight. They want the dagger in the heart of liberalism. But should conservatives be angry with Bush? His strategy and electoral success, unprecedented in political history, are undoubtedly proof of the intellect and insight the Bush/Rove team hold on the process. Maybe Bush is doing what he does because if he didn't he wouldn't be where he is. He isn't Emperor after all, he is President, and he must work with Congress.

Social Security reform
Transportation bill
Hurricane disaster relief
Energy policy reform
SC nomination process
Education bill
War on Terror

Tell me three of these seven issues any group of conservative Republicans can agree we are doing a good job on. Tell me two. All of these require congressional approval, research, support, politicizing, PR and so on. Maybe we should be looking elsewhere for the strategy behind this nomination. Maybe we should be looking to our other elected officials in the House and Senate.

If the President isn't enacting legislation, nominating conservative judges, taking a harder line with terrorist and terrorist nations, offering real choice in education or threatening to hold the spending line and cut budgets that are more conservative in nature, then maybe it's because he has to deal with elected GOP who act more like democrats than conservative Republicans. Remember, Bush and Rove have orchestrated the greatest string of electoral victories the GOP has ever had. I suspect they have a good reason for doing what they do now.

Conservative voters should take this as a sign - your work is not done. Get to work electing truly conservative Republicans and you will get a conservative President unafraid to challenge the minority party, GOP included. Even if you don't get the President you hoped you would, more conservative Congressmen would help put the pressure back on the White House.

And for all of you conservatives from Michelle Malkin and Red State (both sites I love) currently complaining, look at recent online polls. Who are you selecting to be our next President? Giuliani, Rice? Are you kidding? Even Allen is, well, how can you know? How can you as a conservative vote for any of those and complain now? How can you argue you need a moderate such those two to win the presidency and simultaneously complain about a President not coming through with his conservative credentials. It seems to me the President is receiving mixed signals and I think we should send him a clearly defined signal.

How do we figure out what that signal is? When is your next primary?

FL: $96 million for Citrus Canker - What will FL DOACS do with all the money?

This is good news. Let's hope they put the money to good use. And by good use I don't mean renting more bulldozer's. Quotes in this Herald story are not promising they will.

With $54 million there is plenty of money to destroy trees and private property AND fund multiple research projects to eradicate citrus canker once and for all. The real good news, the 53.7 million can not be used to reimburse property owners. This means the state could use the money to cut down more trees, but they would cut down more trees than they can pay out reimbursments for, so it wouldn't be prudent.

Earmarked for Citrus Canker -
$53.7 million in 2005
$42.6 million in 2006

$96 million plus. That should be more than enough in one year to fund an aggresive and promising strategy for destroying Citrus Canker and preparing the state for future problems.

September 21, 2005

Economics of Gas prices

This is an excellent post by NC blogger G-man on the economics behind gasoline price fluctuations. It's not nearly as long or as academic as one might expect, and he offers salient suggestions on how to bring down the price of gas without command and control measures. Some excerpts,

Let's try to understand a bit more about this commodity called gasoline.... it does not belong to you, YET. You don't have a right to gasoline at the price YOU think is "fair". The price of gasoline, like any other product, is set in the marketplace by the interaction of two forces: the availability of a product and the desire to acquire the product by those who want or need it. Supply and demand. Let's look at each factor, shall we?

and,

Most politicians, in essence, are making the mistake of equating the current supply fluctuations in gasoline with an artificially manipulated supply -- such as is the case with diamonds. Understandibly, they're making an incorrect conclusion.

and,

BOTTOM LINE: There may be SOME "price gouging" going on in limited instances, but the reality is the marketplace works to match demand with the available supply through price. If a particular retailer is truly "gouging" his customers, chances are they'll soon find out the guy down the street is selling gas for much less, and go there.

and,

WHAT TO DO ABOUT THOSE HIGH PRICES: Not much, except conserve where you can and shop around for the best price available. In the long run, though, tell your politicians to put pressure on the EPA to limit the number of different summer blends they require. Also, push your legislators to make it less difficult to increase refining capacity. No new refineries have been built in the US in the past 25 years, due to government environmental restrictions and such.

Take 5 MARIA.

August 31, 2005

US: This is why liberals are still losing political elections and public support

There are too many of these types of people on the left, and not enough moderates saying "get lost." (HT Michelle Malkin)

August 29, 2005

Something Flat this way comes

Europe first, US second. It should be the other way around, but as along as it comes, I don't care.

The flat tax - where all exemptions and allowances are abolished and everyone pays the same rate - is marching across Europe, just as other ideas have conquered the Continent once every generation or so.

This time, the revolution is being driven not by the loathing of communism or of some ancien regime, but by that mysterious magic of markets: competition.

Paranoid Style

From Victor Davis Hanson, The Paranoid Style, is linked to only to prove my point, again. It begins,

It is becoming nearly impossible to sort the extreme rhetoric of the antiwar Left from that of the fringe paleo-Right. Both see the Iraqi war through the same lenses: the American effort is bound to fail and is a deep reflection of American pathology.

An anguished Cindy Sheehan calls Bush "the world's biggest terrorist." And she goes on to blame Israel for the death of her son ("Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel").

Her antiwar venom could easily come right out of the mouth of a more calculating David Duke. Perhaps that's why he lauded her anti-Semitism: "Courageously she has gone to Texas near the ranch of President Bush and braved the elements and a hostile Jewish supremacist media."

Now, you tell me the loony moonbats of the left and the racists of the right aren't more alike then they are different.

We need these people in society, in political discourse. But, not because they have something of value to add to the discussion of policy, rather their rhetoric is the demarcation line that tells you, "you have gone too far."

I have never argued or called for these people to be silenced, but I would hope that moderate democrats and right wing conservatives will see the edges of their constituencies and cut the rope providing a lifeline, a tinge of normalcy, to these ridiculous examples of political discourse today. If not, the dems could see their party split, and the GOP could see losses to recent gains.

August 25, 2005

More on Socialist...

This time in Human Events Online from Nathan Tabor, an up and coming NC politico.

Today's Liberals are really Socialists. If the Democrats ever wish to reach the common man, they are going to have to be honest with their agenda.

FL: News Flash...

Descendant of Gazillionaire Ben Hill Griffin is rich too... oh, and she's trying to unseat a Democrat Senator. That's really the only reason to report that Congresswoman Katherine Harris sold her BHG Inc. stock because, if your honest with yourself, it's not news and it's not newsworthy.

The, "Republicans are rich and democrats fight for the poor," argument is a dead horse wouldn't you say? Isn't this sort of thing old and tired? A little nonproductive too, from the poor mans perspective?

Why would I vote for a group of people who's mission in life is to keep me poor? There are three ways to get rich with democrats,

1) Marry one who is already rich
2) Lawsuit against Vioxx
3) Lottery

What are three (of the many) democrats planks?

1) Divorce is ok
2) Tort reform is bad
3) Lottery is for "education" and the children

See any correlation? I guess being a democrat is a lot like going to Vegas, you might get lucky and hit it big, but the odds are against you. You would have a better chance if you bet on yourself and work hard. Even if you don't get rich you will be much happier with the outcome.

[HT to Florida Politics and Sayfie Review for the original link]

August 24, 2005

More on socialism

More on the soft socialism threatening our lives from the Adam Smith Insitute. (via CFG)

The threat these days, [President of the Czech Republic Vaclav] Klaus said, came from the spread of illiberal ideas OUTSIDE of socialism. He instanced ambitious social engineering, radical human rightsism, the enforcement of the perceived good, environmentalism, what he called 'NGO-ism,' and Europeanism (meaning moves to an integrated European over-government). All, he said, were substitute idelogies for socialism, and all provided niches for interference by intellectuals in the spontaneous activities of human societies.

How to argue against socialism

One of the greatest things about blogs is they are alive and always changing, always moving. But,  another great thing about blogs is the unchanging features, the memory in total. Archives are the gift of past arguments never forgotten and easily restored.

Read the following from March 31, 2004. This is timeless.

We must not concede to Socialism a nobility of ideal it does not possess. It will hardly matter to the Socialist that Socialism “doesn’t work,” for his concern is not with what works and what does not; rather it is his concern to conjure ideals, sweet, intoxicating ideals, and project them onto a blank screen as it were, isolated from concrete history and daily life; and from these a grand sweeping, unreal critique, now implicit, now explicit, of reality. In this glow of unreality the critique appears unanswerable. Therefore he will point to those who go hungry, or those whose sickness could be but is not alleviated, or to any number of vivid privations — all with pressing implication that his system, Socialism, can end the privations.

And,

He aims rather at stimulating our naked and unguided sentiment; for him what is important is that our emotions are troubled, that we feel the bite of shame in perceiving our own comfort and plenty; and, since he is still, as yet, a merely hypothetical character, I feel no qualms about imputing to him motives of a baser sort. I say, then, that he aims at misleading our sentiment, perverting its purpose, and thereby deceiving us in a very profound way.

More,

The method of the Socialist Rhetorician, in fine, is to subtly force a decisive comparison between ideal and praxis, namely, between the ideal of Socialism and the practice of Capitalism. His moral purpose is dubious because his rhetoric hinges on a deceit.

And,

The rules of honorable argumentation demand that when a challenger wishes to critique a system, he must take its best case and refute it. He must point to flaws inherent to the system, not ancillary or incidental to it.

Ending,

Without plunging into a systematic critique of Socialism, which is outside the scope of this letter, what I would recommend to my correspondent is that he forget attacking Socialism because it doesn’t work (the politics of it), and begin attacking it on its own principles (the philosophy guiding it).

Two points: First, I have greatly shortened the original by pulling the portions I deem important. You can always read the whole thing - Cella's Review. Second, the original and whole post, although heady, is one of the best thoughts on Socialism I have read in a long time. It seems difficult to read, but without arguing against the specific merits of Socialism one can see that socialism, and all it's "liberal" derivatives, are bankrupt philosophical arguments. Please take the time to read it all.

August 22, 2005

4:20 Post - Selling Social Security today

A short post at Catallarchy wondering how one would sell Social Security to 18-50 year olds if it was being suggested as a new retirement program today. Give it a look. And read the comments too, lots of good stuff.

Mr. C

One Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice [and One Tax] for all

Will a flat tax ever happen? I hope so. What bothers me is Steve Forbes has been pushing this thing for so long I have to wonder if it will ever happen. Today, in the WSJ.com Opinion Journal he argues a flat tax would unleash an economic boom.

The economic boom the flat tax would unleash would be stupendous, ushering in a long-term, noninflationary expansion of historic proportions. The current expansion would pale in comparison.

I think he's right. And I'm not the only one,

Hong Kong has successfully had a variation of the flat tax for 60 years. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia enacted flat taxes in the 1990s that have been hugely successful. Russia put in a flat tax four years ago, and revenues have more than doubled in real terms. Ukraine, Slovakia, Romania, Georgia and Serbia have also successfully enacted flat taxes. How ironic that onetime Communist nations have been reaping the benefits of a flat tax before that bastion of free enterprise, the U.S.

But, maybe you are a supporter of the recently popular consumption tax, or national sales tax? We'll, he has something to say to you,

What about a national retail sales tax? The most prominent plan encompassing this idea proposes a sales tax of 30% to replace the income tax and payroll tax. This 30% tax poses many challenges, among them repealing the 16th Amendment, which allows Washington to impose the income tax--a lengthy, onerous process. Otherwise, we would likely end up with both an income tax and a sales tax.

As much as I like the libertarian idea of a consumption tax, the idea of having an income tax AND a national sales tax is horrifying.

August 18, 2005

Christian beliefs are good for government and policy

Have you ever heard these protests from liberals -

"Didn't Jesus teach Christians to turn the other cheek? How can you support the war in Iaq if you are a Christian? Shouldn't all Christians oppose the war on the basis of their beliefs?"

Now another question, this time from a Christian perspective -

Why is it ok to base foreign policy, such as war, on my Christian beliefs but absolutely unacceptable to base my domestic policy (abortion, education, crime, etc.) on those same Christian beliefs?

That's the basis of this post from the Memento Moron. And a mighty fine post at that.

August 16, 2005

Can New York Magazine hire an Editor?

From Real Clear Politics, Jennifer Senior's piece from New Yorker Magazine, Bill Clinton's Plan for World Domination, can be summarized thusly,

Bill Clinton has been traveling the world to build support for his global poverty and AIDS fighting initiatives. He will tell Hillary how to run for office, again. Later, wants to become first American Secretary General of the United Nations.

OR, you can go read the tortuously long 10 pages of absurd name dropping, exuberant exotic local descriptions and pithy references to sexual imagery in the landscape. No surprises.

But this is certainly the money quote,

Unfortunately, playing consultant to his wife will, in some cases, make it harder for Clinton to play consultant to others. As Bob Kerrey, the former Nebraska senator and current head of the New School, points out, “Presidential candidates would have to phone and ask, ‘Say, have any good ideas about how I can beat your wife?’ ” He pauses for a minute, reconsidering his syntax. “Wait. Please say defeat your wife. I meant defeat.” [emphasis added]

Too funny. Just like the idea of Bill Clinton as UN Secretary General. Or the lack of editorial oversight at the New Yorker. Did we really need ten pages to learn Bill wants to take over the world?

11:34 Update: Sister Toldja (new skin and all) is writing about, and linking to, the Clinton Revisionism going on in mass media

August 05, 2005

True words, past, present and future

A friend of mine reminded me of an upcoming event hosted by the John Locke Foundation on the 16th. If you can attend, I suggest you do.

My friend directed my attention to the essay, The Weight of the World, the Responsibility of a Generation, penned by the speaker days after 9-11.

I think it is such an important a piece I am going to post it complete here. Truer words have rarely been spoken. I hope you will read it all. Enjoy.

Mr. C

August 03, 2005

In case you missed it last night...

There were some special elections in Ohio, you know, where the Republicans stole votes from Kerry. Anyway, the GOP won again. Here is a post and commentary from the middle of the night at RedState and Michelle Malkin. I will find more posts on this and link to them later.

Update: All talking about the Ohio special election - Pirate's Cove, the liberal TPM, Right Wing News, interesting thought from Chris Kelsey, more interesting thoughts from The Betamax Guillotine...

Ok, that's more than enough links to get the idea. Most right wing blogs said, "We won. What's next?"

Most Left wing blogs said, "We won too." or "We should've won, lets find out where all the ballots are."

I just don't get Democrats.

Mr. C

July 27, 2005

Lessons for Democrats & Bug-me-not!

These are three "wake up!" articles for Democrats. Pass them on and enjoy.

On the SCOTUS nomination from Mark Steyn of the Chicago Sun Times, Dems Had Their Chance to Pick Justice

On N. Korea from Nicholas Kristof in the NY Times Op Ed, Where the Right is Right

On Recycling and the Environment from Tim Worstall at Tech Central Station, Harry Potter and the Half-Wit Prigs

And if you have problems registering to read any of these articles, now might be a good time to load Firefox and learn about Bug-me-not!

July 18, 2005

Democrat changes party to GOP

I couldn't resist not mentioning this post from Alachuapolitix. I love it when that happens, but the GOP should realize that the "moderate middle" that so many hard core righties want to attack when they don't vote our way, are really one time Democrats and the reason for GOP domination.

July 12, 2005

Snake Killer

Dscf00311For those of you requesting more info about me, here's a good example of the sort of thing that could happen with me on the weekend. A couple of weeks ago my dogs found this snake in an oak tree and I tried to get to it before they tore it up, but as you can see they got the tail off before I could get the snake to safety. At least I didn't intentionaly kill him like PETA would. And the dogs are fine.

Dennis has me seriously off schedule, and with Emily on the way I am not excited about repeating the rain and wind. The problems only get worse the more it rains.

I do want to direct your attention to a post from this weekend, "I probably shouldn't do this," because I have been receiving positive feedback and I don't think it is getting enough airtime. Give it a look and leave a comment. Both SOS and Florida Politics have promised responses.

I have been promising a post on Charles Bronson and the Agriculture Commissioners race. I think it is starting to take on mythic proportions and may be a bit of a let down when you read what I have to say. We'll see. I know the Bronson camp is ready to announce their intentions to seek reelection and I was sort of waiting for that, but with Dennis just passed and Emily on the way I am guessing Commissioner Bronson is a busy guy right now. It would be hard to get any spotlight or media attention without looking like he was taking advantage of the disaster situation. And if anyone over there at the Bronson for Commish campaign is thinking of announcing his reelection in front of a wrecked out beach house, please don't. My bit of advice would be to just announce it, do it subtly and get on with it and it will be emblematic of the way the Commissioner operates. Then the campaign team can get on with campaigning and the Commissioner can get on with his job.

Please be sure to read the Katherine Harris piece below from one of our newest guest contributors. I tend to agree with his logic and I think it is an excellent bit of writing.

And in case anybody missed the Help Wanted ad previously, feel free to drop me a line if you are interested in posting. I would really love to have someone willing to post regularly on Religion and/or Entertainment. Maybe you know a young conservative, excellent writer, more interested in publishing than getting paid? Send them a link to PEER Review or send them my email.

And for at least one interesting link check this out. It takes the Google news aggregator and turns the info into a map of relative story importance. It's a little jumbled at first, but you get used to it.

Oh, and for my family interested in a few photos around the house after the Dennis passed then check out the photo gallery. The link is found on the right sidebar above my photo.

Have great night.
Mr. C

June 30, 2005

The Case for Jeb in 2008 - Part II

This piece is based on the realities of election strategy, not recent trends or polls. In Part I, I discuss possible GOP Primary candidates and one General Election opponent in particular. In Part II my thoughts on Jeb. Thanks for reading. Leave comments if you have thoughts.


The Case for Jeb in 2008 - Part II

Assuming Senator Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for President in 2008, then the best Republican strategy for winning in 2008 is simple: have a strategy for winning. If the GOP has to play 27 rounds of poker with eight or more wannabees, then the GOP will lose electoral ground every day to the presumptive Democratic nominee Senator Hillary Clinton. When the primaries are over and it’s time to craft a general election strategy the eventual winner will be in a situation with little money and little time to build a compelling case for American voters, much like Kerry-Edwards in 2004. 

With primaries in both the Republican and the Democratic parties the MSM will not be dividing coverage equally. The eventual primary winner will be behind in the polls, lacking name ID and lacking money. The solution to this problem is to define a candidate early, support him vigorously, and go on the offensive swiftly. 

What does the GOP need to win? Jeb Bush. In my opinion, he is the only logical choice if Hillary is the Democratic nominee and GOP is serious about keeping the White House in 2008. 

The GOP needs a candidate who can raise $300-400 million. Is there anyone who doesn’t believe every single donor who gave $300+ million to George in 2004 wouldn’t also give that much to Jeb? Or more? If a GOP candidate has to run against Hillary and Bill, what better combination than George and Jeb? In the run up to the 2000 primaries many in the base of the Republican Party (i.e., donors) wanted Jeb, not George. He is the Barry Goldwater of our generation. No other Republican candidate can match Jeb’s credentials, grassroots, network, or fundraising. 

After four years of the war on terrorism and seemingly uncontrollable government growth, the GOP needs a candidate who is credible when he says he will reduce the size of government. In his second inaugural address Jeb said, “May these [government] buildings one day stand empty, a memorial to a time when government was oversized and not needed.” In the six years Jeb has been governor of Florida he has reduced the size of government and cut taxes nearly every year. In addition, state revenues have increased and jobs opportunities have grown—all this while experiencing a national recession and multiple natural disasters. Today, Florida maintains one of the highest state credit ratings in the fifty states.

The GOP needs a candidate with strong ties overseas and is credible on foreign policy, especially trade with Latin America and South America. In addition to established Bush family ties (Saudis, Kuwaitis, and now Iraqis) Jeb works daily with many of the United States largest trade partners. He manages a state that represents a third of all American exports. Jeb has negotiated on behalf of the Free Trade of The Americas (FTTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreements (CAFTA). Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, and Guatemala are but a few of the Central and South American countries that the United States must work with in the future on trade, immigration, and security.

The GOP needs a candidate with strong Hispanic ties. Jeb is married to Columba, a woman of Mexican descent. His high profile son, George P., is the Ricky Martin of Hispanic politics. Jeb manages a state that deals with immigration issues from virtually every Hispanic country in the Western Hemisphere. Additionally, he is quite experienced with policy debate regarding the balance between temporary workers, migrant workers, and border security.

The GOP needs a candidate strong on faith, but not fanatical or extremist. Jeb is Catholic, a candidate devoted to his faith but not a right wing ideologue that many swing voters fear. 

The GOP needs a candidate who can reach out to centrist and moderate voters. Jeb’s stands on issues like Terry Schiavo and parental notification for underage abortions affirm his protection of life and a defense of parents. His very public problems with his daughter’s drug addiction make him more human to most middle-America parents. 

The GOP needs a candidate strong on education. Jeb’s priority as Governor of Florida has always been improving education. He has instituted multiple versions of vouchers and funding mechanisms for alternatives to failing schools. As a result, more schools are improving and children attending failing schools have the opportunity to receive a better education. While, there have been some controversies over vouchers, his policy for education demonstrates a leader willing to take a chance and explore all options. 

In light of the failures and criticisms of the voucher programs, the average math and reading test scores in Florida have increased and passage rates have increased. All the more remarkable considering those gains were achieved in spite of a growing school-aged population that outpaces that of the a dozen states combined, and a sizable school-age population that doesn’t speak English as a first language.

The GOP needs a candidate who is strong on domestic programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. In the retirement state that is Florida, Jeb has earned his stripes many times over regarding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. He took the lead on promoting a more sustainable health insurance program and is working to reform Medicare in Florida in his lame duck year. And an added benefit, nobody knows better how to win the vote among the most active and growing voting population in America, senior citizens.

The GOP needs a candidate whose political and electoral mettle is tested and battle ready. Jeb worked his way through the Florida political system navigating considerable insider networks to build his own coalition of insiders. He has governed through an overzealous right wing legislature and managed the implementation of term limits. No governor in America withstands the slings and arrows of the daily media onslaught that Jeb endures. No governor in America was targeted for attack, or has ever been targeted, such as Jeb was by the DNC in 2002. And no governor in America has defended himself and successfully pushed his priorities such as Jeb.

Among “political” and media pundits the only substantial reason against Jeb is that he is the President’s brother; it would be unprecedented in American history and the word “dynasty” would corrupt the process. That’s the worst? From a strategic standpoint I want to know my leader. When the campaigning to be President of the United States begins I want all boots on the ground.

If I am a member of the executive GOP–and I’m not–I don’t want to spend the next four years parachuting in feelers for this or that potential candidate. I don’t want to spend money and time researching the credentials behind the lines of a weak candidate in what is surely an atypical election year. Let’s face it; if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee then the GOP has only one chance to end the mystique of the Clintons and solidify their dominance of American politics for a generation. That chance is now.

Governor Jeb Bush is the only Republican with the requisite name ID, governing experience, conservative credentials, political ties and fundraising ability to even compete with the Clintons. He is term limited out of office in 2006 giving him two years without obligation to elected office.

He may not like it, but the solution for the GOP is to draft Jeb Bush now and start the campaign, behind the scenes, and for real. The race for the GOP primary should be over by the summer of 2006 and Jeb Bush should be the GOP candidate for president in 2008.

Mr. C

June 20, 2005

A little bit of everything

More suggestions  from the Miami Herald for how the GOP can supplant Speaker Bense for Rep. Harris in the '06 Senate race. Yeah, because the Miami Herald is oh so concerned about the GOP saving face in case Harris is the nominee. See my thoughts.

Book Review of The Bottomless Well - the follies of environmentalism, energy and conservation at TCS.

The HOT Tax? - if only they would.

Paul Chesser describes how to turn government into a cash cow.

Found this through Townhall, Presbyterian Church... encouraging Christian parents to remove their children from the public schools.

Over at Dynamist blog, info about the all powerful sugar lobby losing it's grip.

More hurricanes for Florida?

Have a great day. If I see anything else interesting, or if you find something you want me to post on, send it over and I will post on it.

Probably.

Mr. C

June 17, 2005

Will they face off?

Probably not.

Everyone is talking or blogging about this story today, and also this story, suggesting both Bense and Lee could run against Harris in the GOP primary. Since my interest is in the strategy behind such a decision, not the story, let's discuss for a moment.

Continue reading "Will they face off?" »

June 16, 2005

U.S. Constitution v. Cheap Labor

I believe legal immigration is vital to the continued growth, strength and international dominance of this country. Without it we wouldn't be where we are today. I also believe a passive approach to fighting communist and tyrants is to accept any immigrant from a country rueld by despots. As long as people are risking their lives and their families lives to get to this country I know we are doing the right thing.

However, I also believe immigration must occur legally. With that in mind I would like to reference Joe Sabia, Cornell educated and now with the University of Georgia (I'm an ACC man so it doesn't mean much to me), and his recent article.

I will point out that he goes a littel farther than I, he is more of a Buchananite, but we are on the same page.

Mr. C

Update and New Feature

No posts yesterday. Issues with security on Mr. C's machine. More this afternoon.

I am very excited to announce a new feature on PEER Review -

Original and published editorials, essays and commentary from the James Madison Institute will be published here each month. I am beginning today with two pieces on School Choice and the current case before the Florida Supreme Court. The first is from Clark Neily, adjunct scholar to JMI and attorney for the Institute for Justice, the organization fighting to save school vouchers in Florida (and the US). He is representing the Opportunity Scholarships in the current case. It was published in the past two weeks but you may have missed it, so I have it in it's original form.

Look for a second piece this afternoon from Robert McClure, President and CEO of the James Madison Institute.

Be sure to leave comments. I will post this afternoon with a roundup of recent posts from our liberal friends in the blogosphere.

Thanks for reading!

Mr. C

June 14, 2005

McCain May Be Bush's Ticket

I don't think so - but I do love it when liberal journalist try to paint their dream scenario into a mainstream idea. Link: McCain May Be Bush's Ticket. First noted EARLY this morning at the liberal Florida Politics. The latest piece from "BS" Dionne begins,

McCain-Bush in 2008?

That would be John and Jeb, the most logical Republican ticket if the party remains in the polling doldrums. If President Bush and his political maestro, Karl Rove, decide that the only way to create a political legacy is to nod toward the Arizona senator with whom they have battled and feuded, they will go for the guy who can win.

Let's talk about strategy for a minute...

Continue reading "McCain May Be Bush's Ticket" »

June 13, 2005

Katherine Harris Blog

Don't get excited. I am sure many of my liberal counterparts (i.e. every blog in Florida) have seen Katherine's Blog, but I only came across it today. I am not holding out hope she will add me to her blog roll. It reads as if it's updated by who ever is interning in the press office this year. If she wants to be on the cutting edge of campaigning she could have a cadre of bloggers waging a front in the war that is sure to come before Nov '06.

If by chance you are reading this and you work in the Press Office of Representative Katherine Harris, contact me.

Mr. C

June 10, 2005

Dean's a disgrace:
The chairman who knows no shame

I have nothing more to add. Link: The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News - 10-Jun-05 - Dean's a disgrace:
The chairman who knows no shame
.

Mr. C

June 09, 2005

Fighting in the clubhouse

Days like this are fun. Here are some more links to Democrats falling over themselves to win the next election cycle.
Dean is Clearly Still Not Ready for Primetime and No To Hillary (written by Novak, a "conservative," but about Democrats infighting) from RCP.
Dean disappoints Democrats at both ends of spectrum at the Baltimore Sun.
Poor, Uneducated and Easy to Command by Marshall Wittman at TPM Cafe where he wants to criticize Dean but instead makes the subtle suggestion the religious right will vote for Democrats if they tell them what they want to hear.

Update: Because I love to hear about journalists fighting too!

Just go away

This is like watching crocidiles eat alligators.

"This is a classic case where lack of credibility makes it impossible to determine the true facts," wrote Eric Lipman, an attorney for the Elections Commission.

Classic Democrats. I am certain I dislike Maloy. And watching other Democrats attack their wounded teammates is entertaining too. Link: Tallahassee Democrat | 06/08/2005 | No cause found to charge Maloy.

June 07, 2005

Playing to our Strength

Quick comment on this nugget of strategery by guest columnist Derek Newton over at Florida Politics.

In order to win statewide in Florida a Democrat has to win the smaller, mostly rural counties in the central and northern part of the state. Okay, maybe not win but at least not lose too badly. You know, minimize the damage.

The problem is that it’s just not true.

Like it or not, Floridians don’t live in the smaller, rural, more conservative nooks and crannies. They are overwhelmingly in the cities and large suburban counties.

In fact, just Florida’s largest three counties deliver more than a quarter of all Florida’s votes. The top five counties together are almost 40% of the state total. And more than 80% of all of Florida’s votes were cast in the top 20 counties.

Put another way, Floridians in the smallest 47 counties (the more conservative and rural ones) cast just one of every five ballots.

I know some people are already saying, “But Democrats can’t ignore those 47 counties. We’ll get killed.”

Yes we can. And no we won’t.

It would be quicker for all the Democrats currently in office to just go ahead and resign naming a Republican to replace them.

Continue reading "Playing to our Strength" »

June 06, 2005

Freaks

Some basic economics that could help Florida -

  1. more tax cuts will make you richer,
  2. increasing trade will help our economy,
  3. private interests would do more to save the everglades than government programs,
  4. government programs cost citizens often causing more harm than good.

Check out the article at TCS: Tech Central Station - The Original Freakonomics.

7 'extraordinary' idiots

Over at TownHall  Ann Coulter: 7 'extraordinary' idiots. By way of Alarming News...

The Democrat updates everybody that County Commissioner (future Mayor?) Tony Grippa is ok for now...

Our friends over at Florida Politics are concerned giddy about problems with a new Walmart in Tallahassee.  In that part of Tallahassee there are a lot of low to middle income residents that could benefit from lower prices instead of protected ravines.

BTW, Walmart (also Target and Costco) is A-OK by Christian Brothers Investment Firm.

Commentary on poor Paris at the Superficial.

More later.
Mr. C

June 03, 2005

Absurd

From MW Online - ab·surd
Pronunciation: &b-'s&rd, -'z&rd
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle French absurde, from Latin absurdus, from ab- + surdus deaf, stupid
1 : ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous
2 : having no rational or orderly relationship to human life : MEANINGLESS; also : lacking order or value

EJ Dionne's piece in today's Houston Chronicle Using 'gulag' as a metaphor was outrageous, but .... is absurd. Why am I not surprised the word has French roots?

What's the expectation that comes with using the word "but"? Everything before it is a lie.

Continue reading "Absurd" »

June 01, 2005

When they stop winning

A question posed by Florida Politics today - "When will these people go away?" Answer - When they stop winning.

May 31, 2005

Deep Throat?

Who cares? Maybe if you are over 40 this is interesting. Otherwise, let's talk about why the maverick moderates sold out the voters, why they shouldn't be in office much longer, and why Frist should be doing more.

My favorite article today.

Update: Apparently I am not the only one unimpressed.

Mr. G Says...

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