Site for Free Markets and Free People

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Irony of Schwarzenegger's McCain Endorsement

Gov. Arnold supports McCain. Let's see - McCain criticizes Romney for wanting an Iraq withdrawal (untrue of course since the Romney campaign issued a press release supporting the surge the day it was announced), for Romney's wealth and success in the private sector and for his "government-mandated" health care plan (despite the fact that it has some free market elements).

Then he appears gleefully with Schwarzenegger, who openly supports an Iraq withdrawal, wants a socialist health care system in CA and made more money in the private sector than anyone. A little irony?

I was also reminded how McCain achieved his wealth. While he was 45 and married to his first wife, he met 25-year old Cindy, the heir to a very wealthy beer distribution business. Is that what McCain believes is the more appropriate way to achieve wealth?

A Must-Read on McCain

Mark Levin expresses what every conservative thinks about John McCain. It is a must-read for both anti- and pro-McCain voices. Levin's points simply cannot be refuted.

NBC Gets it Wrong; Romney Planning Major Ad Buy

NBC's "sources" claimed that the Romney campaign was not planning on buying much ad time before Super Tuesday, essentially framing Romney as thinking about saving his money or something. Captain's Quarters points out this is entirely false.

Romney seemed so pissed off at McCain last night that it would surprise me for Romney to spend another $50 MM just to give the country a better image of the real McCain.

Powerline Wants to Coronate McCain

Powerline is typically one of the better blogs around. But Paul says that he hopes most viewers did not watch the GOP debate last night because it made McCain look so deceitful, dishonest and unpresidential. Unfortunately, this is the problem with U.S. politics. We want 30 second soundbites without the electorate really understanding the candidate positions.

Frankly, if Republicans had been paying attention all along, McCain probably wouldn't be in the lead. Not unlike some politicians, the more the public sees McCain debate, the less they like him.

McCain Still Looking for Republican Support

I thought that this post from Rich Lowry says it all:

Has this ever happened before? This is kind of amazing. I'm looking at CNN exit polls at the numbers for self-identified Republicans. McCain lost self-identified Republicans by a point in New Hampshire (oddly, he won registered Republicans); he lost self-identified Republicans by 14 points in Michigan; and he tied among self-identified Republicans in South Carolina and Florida. In other words, McCain is close to the presumptive nominee GOP nominee without having won self-identified Republican voters anywhere. What an extraordinary—and utterly unlikely—path to the nomination. Presumably, with his front-runner status enhanced, McCain will now begin to win self-identified Republicans, but he has pulled the political equivalent of an inside-straight to get here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gov. Ahnold Supporting McCain - Who Cares?

Does the California governor's endorsement even matter? Given Arnold's record, I would say no. Do any Republicans even support Arnold anymore? I highly doubt it...

Bravo to the LA Times Debate Moderator

The first tough question EVER to McCain. The moderator reminded McCain of his own words that he opposed Bush's tax cuts because "they favored the wealthy" and only now does he say it's because we didn't restrain spending.

Go LA Times (you won't hear that too often)!

Midway through the debate, there are two big problems. Ron Paul (and probably even Huckabee) should not be there and CNN is more interested in blasting the Bush Administration than moderating the debate.

UN: Climate Change Might Cost $20 Trillion

The UN says that addressing climate change might cost up to $20 trillion.

While John McCain says that the worst case scenario is that "we are left with a cleaner planet," it is pretty clear that the worst case scenario is that we spend mountains of money on junk science. And the UN is proving his point.

20% of FL GOP Voters Not Republicans

So the trend appears to have continued in Florida, where only 80% of voters were actually Republicans. The GOP doesn't get to nominate its candidate - McCain has to be happy with that.
Read more here.

No Rudy in Debate Tonight

Tonight's debate might finally give Mitt Romney the opportunity to contrast himself with John McCain. Yes, Huckabee and Paul will be nuisances also, but everyone knows it's Mitt vs. John and Romney needs to point out all of McCain's liberal positions - he should have plenty of opportunities to do so.

Illegal Immigrants May Get Rebate Checks

It appears that the economic stimulus bill allows for illegal immigrants to receive rebate checks from the federal government (that is, the taxpayers).

No, that won't upset Americans. I hope someone brings it up in the debate tonight. The immigration issue was somehow left out of the FL debate (to the benefit of McCain).

Michelle Malkin notes that only 25 House Republican members voted against this. You know it's an election year...She notes that John Ensign is addressing the issue in the Senate.

With UN Ambassadors Like Khalilzad, Who Needs Them?

Our esteemed UN Ambassador apparently is more interested in carrying out his own foreign policy than that of the Bush Administration. Captain's Quarters has the story on Khalilzad (why can't we stick with people like John Bolton?).

1996 or 1976?

John McCain's momentum reminds me a little bit of 1996 when republicans nominated Bob Dole. The thing the two have in common is that both were and are unelectable as President of the United States. Yes - McCain has "paid his dues" so to speak, like Dole. And yes, the republican establishment may think "it's his turn." But these are often the worst candidates. Deep down we all knew that Bob Dole would not be elected. Don't we know the same is true of John McCain as well? (Actually Dole had a number of good policies, whereas McCain doesn't, unless you're a democrat, but the point is, neither are winners).

I suppose it also reminds me of 1976. Reagan ran a spirited campaign that year, but everyone in the GOP hated him. The GOP establishment hated the fact that a non-Washington guy came in, never "paid his dues" and all of a sudden, he wanted to run for President. They fought him tooth and nail, and ultimately Gerald Ford won the nomination, only to get crushed by the worst President of all time, Jimmy C. A similar thing happened in 1980, but at that point there was no stopping the Gipper - the country had gone through enough JC's left wing, high tax, high inflation, high unemployment, and ultra-high pessimism. Romney is not perfect, but he's probably the best we have and he's an optimist. Is it four years too early though? Maybe we have to go through four years of hell to get to the promised land.

I'm holding out hope for Romney and all is not lost yet. Actually if tonight's debate were a two man debate, I'd have no doubts who comes out on top. I'm a little worried, however, that the two independents will once again gang up on the conservative. And at the same time, CNN can smell blood, and I sense they'll go after Mitt. It's up to Mitt to hold them off.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Guaranteed Results of a McCain Nomination

Well, at least there would not be much uncertainty if McCain were the GOP nominee against a Democrat. We can guarantee ourselves, regardless of the outcome, a few major changes:

1) Plenty of more illegals coming into the country to get their "rightful" citizenship
2) An expiration of all of Bush's tax cuts
3) Gitmo shuts down
4) The CIA becomes gutted and its operatives require lawyers with them 24/7 to prevent undue pressure on the terrorists who want to blow us up
5) We spend trillions of dollars to try to cool the Earth by a degree over the next hundred years
6) The Supreme Court will not become a conservative majority
7) The State Department becomes the most important U.S. agency (and the UN becomes more important than the Defense Dept)
8) The media is the happiest bunch of people since Bill Clinton found out Hillary was moving to Washington.
9) The conservative movement falls away from the Republican party for the forseeable future

Rudy Endorsing McCain? Major Blow to Conservatives

Reports are that Rudy Giuliani will support John McCain. This would be a major blow to conservatives, as McCain will pick up a lot of the liberal Republican voters.

Romney still is in ok position, but conservatives need to vote in force on Super Tuesday or face a guaranteed liberal President for the next 4 years.

McCain Wins - AP Still Idiotic; Says McCain Claims Conservative Mantle

McCain wins Florida. I guess the late endorsements from pro-Amnesty Senator Martinez and liberal Gov. Crist, along with McCain's outrageous lies about Romney, put him over the top.

The funniest thing is this AP announcement: "McCain Claims Conservative Mantle." Huh - AP reporter Liz Sidoti must have missed the fact that McCain got completely trounced by conservatives. AP never did care much about facts though.

FL Election Returns: Drudge vs. Fox

In another interesting matchup, I'm watching votes coming in through FoxNews and Drudge Report. Fox seems to have McCain up slightly and Drudge has Romney up slightly. I don't know how they're getting their information, but it seems (and this is just a guess based on how the numbers are changing) that Drudge has more up-to-date information. It will be interesting to see if this difference changes over the course of the evening.

The information seems to be the same at this point, with McCain maintaining a small 2 point lead.

Exit Polls Show Romney Ahead

Fox News exit poll data shows Romney with a slight edge over McCain (35-31) and a huge advantage among conservatives (40-27). Even among evangelicals, Romney is ahead (35-28, with 28 to Huck). Some Independents voted by declaring themselves Republicans and McCain is up 15-20 points among those individuals.

Romney's best case scenario is for Huckabee to drop out after tonight and for Giuliani to stay in the race. One thing is clear - this is a two-man race right now.

*FoxNews shows McCain up 34-33 with 29% reporting. Drudge shows McCain up 33.5%-33.2%.

Early FL Exit Polls - It's Close...

Some early exit polls are in and they show that most voters' top issue is the economy, which would seem to favor Mitt Romney. Still, it appears that the race is extremely close.

One interesting note is that the Intrade markets have leaned towards McCain, which is now in the low-60s, vs a mid-30s for Romney. Definitely not a perfect data point, but it would seem that McCain is favored slightly. And Amnesty John is doing very well with the Hispanic vote (and he's probably up by 99 points among all the illegals who are voting).

Regardless of the outcome, I don't think this race becomes a runaway for McCain. I think it will remain a tough 2-way battle through Super Tuesday and beyond.

McCain's Sleaziest Anti-Romney Call Yet

McCain's campaign appears to have a new anti-Romney robocall in Florida that is the sleasiest smear of Romney so far. You can hear the call here. If this is real, it is unbelievable.

"I'm calling with an urgent Mitt Romney voter alert." "We care deeply about traditional values and protecting families and need someone who will not [inaudible] in the White House, ending abortion, preserving the sanctity of marriage, [inaudible] the trash on the airwaves and attempts to ban God from every corner of society. These issues are core to our being."

"Mitt Romney seems to think he can fool us." "He supported abortion on-demand, even wrote a law mandating tax payer funding for abortions." "He says he changed his mind but he still hasn't changed the law." "He told gay organizers in Massachusetts he would be a stronger advocate for [inaudible] rights than even Ted Kennedy, now it's something different."

"Unfortunately, on issue after issue, Mitt Romney has treated special issues voters as fools, thinking they won't catch on." "Sorry Mitt, we know you're aren't trust-worthy on the most important issues and you aren't a conservative."

"Paid for by John McCain 2008"

Remember John McCain in Davos?

John McCain wants everyone to know he has a reputation for "straight talk." The first thing that come to my mind is his straight talk vote against Bush's tax cuts, not once but twice. Although John is slinging the mud these days on flip flopping, isn't McCain the man who now has now voted against the tax cuts (twice) before voting for them (as he now says)?

Courtesy of Instapundit, but reported originally by National Review in Davos in 2005 shows another side of John McCain that I'm sure he's not eager to bring up:

1. First McCain criticizes the Bush administration for going into Iraq when there were no WMD's, he says.
2. Then McCain criticizes the Bush administration's use of Gitmo. On foreign soil, McCain say, "try em or release em...even Eichmann got a trial." Sure, anti-Americanism plays well to a European crowd and maybe he just wanted to be Mr. Popular for a moment. But this was a cheap shot.

Even Eichmann got a trial? C'mon John. Do us all a favor, and jump into the right party. Shouldn't you be up on stage with Hillary and Obama?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Rush Calls McCain "Clintonesque," "Contemptible"

On his program today, Rush Limbaugh called John McCain "Clintonesque" and his actions "contemptible" for his outright lie about Mitt Romney's Iraq position, which McCain said was tantamount to surrender.

This, to me, is... As you people know, I've got my political problems with Senator McCain, but this is beneath even him. This is just contemptible. Romney said nothing of the sort. Everybody's looked into it and concluded the same thing.

McCain wants us to believe that Romney was for surrender! This is... (sigh) This is Clintonesque! There's no other way to put this.

...This was just blatant, this was just an out-and-out lie, and many people thought that the McCain camp thought they would get away with it because of their love and slavish devotion of the Drive-By Media.

Iran: UN Resoution Would have "Serious Consequences"

What's wrong with this story? Iran warns the UN not to pass any new sanctions, or else it would face "serious consequences." My guess is that the spineless UN will given in - and the spineless Democratic Congress will urge diplomacy and restraint. Then when Iran acquires its first nuclear weapon, they can blame it on Bush.

McCain: Justice Roberts OK, but not Alito

I'm not sure what McCain means by saying he is uncertain he would nominate a Supreme Court justice like Samuel Alito because "he wears his conservatism on his sleeve." From NR Online.

This should scare all conservatives.

McCain denies this (sort of), but John Fund sticks by his sources.

Do the McCain FL Endorsements Matter?

Protein Wisdom tries to answer the question of whether the Crist and Martinez endorsements in FL are really that important. I'm guessing that it's at least somewhat helpful to have the endorsement of a sitting governor, even if he is not as well liked as Jeb Bush was.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Rasmussen: Romney "Most Electable" Republican

According to a Rasmussen poll today, Mitt Romney leads John McCain 33% to 27% in Florida. Additionally, he leads among conservatives by 20 points - 42%-22%.

The most interesting tidbit, however, is that Romney is now seen as the "most electable" candidate. The MSM and moderates had been arguing for a long time that McCain is the most electable - that argument doesn't appear to be holding up anymore.

Romney, McCain Tied for Lead Nationally

In the latest Rasmussen poll, Mitt Romney and John McCain are tied for the lead nationally with 27% each, with Huckabee 11 points behind. Someone should tell Mike Huckabee, who as of this morning, still thought he was in second place.

Judging from certain conservative blogs such as Polipundit, it appears that Romney is the rallying choice of the right.

NBC Calls FL a "Must-Win" for Romney

On Meet the Press, this guy Chuck Todd, NBC's chief political strategist, says that FL is a "must win" for Romney or else McCain is unstoppable. Give me a break. Is there a state that in his eyes isn't a "must win?"

McCain the Flip-Flopper on Tax Cuts

John McCain claims he voted against Bush's tax cuts because it didn't reign in spending. Tim Russert correctly reminds McCain of this quote from April 11, 2004:

SEN. McCAIN: I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportional amount that went to the wealthiest Americans. I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts in order to help address the deficit.

I hate the term "flip-flopper" because every politician changes his mind on at least one issue over his lifetime (or in the case of Hillary, over the course of a day). But if McCain throws stones, he should be careful about breaking his own glass house.

When asked by Russert whether McCain would sign the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty Bill today, he responded, "Yeah, but..."

Liz Cheney Endorses Romney

According to Bill Kristol on FoxNews Sunday, Liz Cheney, co-campaign manager for the former Thompson campaign and daughter of conservative icon and VP Dick Cheney, is endorsing Mitt Romney for President. While Liz obviously doesn't carry as much weight as her father, this is still significant - and a continuation of the trend of conservatives going to Romney and "moderates" going to McCain.

Here's the confirmation link.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gov. Crist Endorses McCain

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist just endorsed John McCain - not exactly a surprise, as Gov. Crist is not a conservative and has shown his penchant for big government with his Florida insurance bailout plan. He's also a big believer in amnesty for all illegal aliens.

It will surely help McCain, but hopefully he loses the conservative vote by such a wide margin that it's irrelevant. It's sure to make the MSM happy.

Mark Levin says that although Jeb Bush seems to have been quietly supporting Romney, he should now make his endorsement public. If Romney wins, that's one sure way to show who's the real GOP boss down in Florida.

John McCain's Clear Position on Tax Cuts

Here it is - seems like "straight talk" to me.

10 Years Ago: Clinton Says Saddam Has WMD

This week is the 10 year anniversary of Bill Clinton's famous State of the Union speech in which he got a standing ovation after declaring:

“Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade and much of his nation’s wealth not on providing for the Iraqi people but on developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them….I know I speak for everyone in this chamber, Republicans and Democrats, when I say to Saddam Hussein, “You cannot defy the will of the world,” and when I say to him, “You have used weapons of mass destruction before. We are determined to deny you the capacity to use them again.”

The Anchoress has more.

But then again, you can find most Democrats saying the same thing up until 2003 or even 2004...

McCain Lies About Romney's Iraq Position

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The latest is John McCain arguing that Mitt Romney favored a pullout of troops from Iraq. I understand wanting to change the subject, but I'm not sure that lying is the way to do it.

According to PowerLine, McCain's sidekick Lindsey Graham has decided to perpetrate the same lie.

Hugh Hewitt has more on Romney's real position.

Rich Lowry compares McCain to Clinton for his unfair Romney attack.

A Nightmare for Business: Attorney General John Edwards

Scary thought for the entire business world. According to Bob Novak:

Illinois Democrats close to Sen. Barack Obama are quietly passing the word that John Edwards will be named attorney general in an Obama administration.

Installation at the Justice Department of multimillionaire trial lawyer Edwards would please not only the union leaders supporting him for president but organized labor in general.

Cramer: Fed Should Cut Rates, Support Home Prices

Jim Cramer is right about one thing: the $150 billion stimulus plan is a farce that will do very little to help the economy. His suggestion is just as bad, however. Cramer suggests the Fed cut the Fed Funds rate from 3.50% to 1.75% so that everyone can refinance his adjustable rate mortgage, thus supporting the artificially high home prices that exist from the recent over speculation. That's just as bad an idea.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bill Clinton: McCain and Hillary "Very Close"

So John McCain wins another endorsement - this time from Bill Clinton.

"She and John McCain are very close," Clinton said. "They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history, and they're afraid they'd put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other."

So McCain gets endorsed by the New York Times and Bill Clinton...and conservatives shouldn't worry?

McCain Would Do Himself Well To Reject NYT Endorsement

Larry Kudlow has a great piece of advice for McCain: reject the New York Times' endorsement.

It was the Times that ran the despicable ad (at a reduced rate no less) about Gen. Petraeus allegedly betraying America in the Iraq surge. It was the Times that leaked the foreign wiretapping and surveillance story that helped our enemies.

...If Sen. McCain would stand up and say all this, it would cause a stir. But for him, in the fight of his life down in Florida, it’d be a good stir.

Romney Wins Florida Debate

According to Rasmussen, the key winner in last nights debate was Romney. Romney has been gaining ground on McCain in Florida, despite the media not noticing. According to the polls, Romney had a 54% chance of winning Florida before the debate, with McCain at 38%. By the end of the evening, Romney was at 60%, with McCain at 33%.

Giuliani is currently at 7.6%. Too bad - Giuliani deserves to be higher than McCain, in my opinion. The problem is that he skipped the first 6 states (which mostly favored McCain and Huckabee anyway). That, combined with the MSM's huge favorability towards McCain and Huckabee (because they're viewed as being easily beatable from the Dems' point of view), has meant that Giuliani is now fighting for his life.

According to the polls, McCain is still favored to win the nomination. But let's not forget, Romney still does not have much name recognition, except in those states where he has campaigned thusfar. McCain's not the no-brainer the media is making him out to be.

Michael Moore Forgot About Sweden!

There's a lot to admire about Sweden, both if you favor capitalism, and also if you prefer cradle to grave systems. Sweden has a little something for everyone, including some very solid pharmaceutical and med-tech companies.

What it doesn't have however, is a great healthcare system. The cradle to grave approach of universal healthcare just isn't working for a lot of Swedes these days. According to Niklas Magnusson of Bloomberg,

...waiting times for medical care in Sweden are the longest in Europe, according to the Health Consumer Powerhouse, which analyzes health-care systems in the region. ..Critics of Sweden's welfare model say there are no incentives for hospitals to improve efficiency.

Oscar Hjertqvist, director of the Health Consumer Powerhouse compares the situation as such:

In Sweden, you would get paid just to have a restaurant, but there would be no requirements that people should get any food.

Author Niklas Magnusson was good enough to send me an email on his article, stating, "Sicko didn't really seem to take the horrendous waiting lines into account!." He's right!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

GOP Debate

The GOP debate is on tonight at 9 pm. John Hawkins will be live blogging. He's usually pretty good - even if he does seem to have a huge bias against Mitt Romney.

Unfortunately, I expect a little pandering to Florida's insane bailout plan in the event of a hurricane.

Romney is excellent tonight. Rudy is doing well also. McCain is a bit out of it on the economic issue, but not terrible. Huckabee is obviously the big government guy. Paul shouldn't be there.

Romney had a couple of tough questions at the end, but he shot the lights out tonight. I expect a bump for him after tonight. (Sure enough, the liberal PMSNBC commentators still like McCain...)

Gates: Capitalism Doesn't Work

Larry Kudlow has a good response to Bill Gates, who claimed at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland (the liberal collective get-together) that capitalism is broken and doesn't work well enough.

A guy without a college degree who invented a new technology process in his garage that literally changed the entire world, a guy who took advantage of all the great opportunities that a free and capitalist society has to offer and got filthy rich in the process, is now trashing capitalism and telling us it doesn’t work. What chutzpah.

...So I just have to smile when billionaires like Bill Gates and George Soros turn cold shoulders to the blessings capitalism bestows. Or when their buddy, Warren Buffett, broadcasts the importance of hiking tax rates on successful earners and investors.

Look fellas, the command-and-control, state-run economics experiment was tried. It was called the Soviet Union. If you hadn’t noticed, it was a miserable failure.

Stimulus Plan a Crock

This is why I don't like bipartisanship - useless things get done. A deal has been reached on the so-called "stimulus plan."

What it means is I'm essentially writing a check of approximately $300-600 to someone who pays no taxes. Hey, thanks Congress and President Bush. Let's just cut out the middle man and I'll write the check directly. And it helps the overall economy how??

Coulter: McCain "Takes Scenic Route to Truth"

Another good explanation of all those things conservatives dislike about McCain...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Romney Pulling Ahead in FL; Taking Fred's Votes

It appears that Romney is getting a bit of a jump since Fred Thompson's departure. The latest Florida poll shows him ahead of McCain by 28% to 25%.

Woman Faces 30 Years in Prison for Cutting Down Trees

Move over, Jose Padilla, who received 17 years for attempting to blow up an American city with a radiological bomb. Patricia Vincent cut down 3 trees near Lake Tahoe, NV and faces 10 years in prison for each offense.

Global Warming Causes Fewer Hurricanes

According to scientists at the NOAA, it is now expected that there will be fewer hurricanes hitting land in the US in the near future. According to Alex Morales from Bloomberg, this may be due to global warming. Yea right!!

With all due respect, Alex, why should we believe this? After Hurricane Katrina hit, we were led to believe that hurricanes were going to destroy the United States in the near future and that it mostly was caused by the Bush Administration and their failure to sign Kyoto. Isn't that what we remember?

Well since Katrina, we've experienced one of the lowest periods of hurricane activity on record. So now it seems a revision is in order. After all, the same NOAA themselves predicted in 2005 that:

The United States can expect ongoing high levels of landfalling tropical storms and hurricanes while we remain in this active era.

Global warming is a political movement to many and for this reason, I believe it needs to be questioned. This is similar to the articles I remember in the UK in 2006 indicating that UK summers were becoming hotter and drier due to global warming. Then in 2007 when we had more rainfall and flooding, global warming suddenly was causing wet weather.

For those of you that take these reports seriously, you must be going out of your mind by now.

Thompson Wanted VP Position All Along?

I am skeptical, but I suppose it's certainly possible. Carl Cameron of FoxNews is saying that he never really wanted to be President, but VP all along.

Padilla Sentenced to Only 17 Years, Judge Criticizes Detention

Jose Padialla, who was attempting to set off a radiological "dirty bomb," received 17 years in prison, well below the suggested sentencing guidelines of 30 years to life.

District Judge Marcia Cooke said the decision was based on Padilla's "harsh conditions" that he served in a Navy brig in Charleston, SC.

Does this mean prisoners need to be treated like royalty in prison while they await their trial in order to receive the suggested sentencing?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Campaign Promise Congressmen Should Adopt

Ed Hamilton, a candidate for Treasurer of Kerr County, TX, has a great campaign promise:

"Elect me and I won't Serve...I don't plan to do the job." I won't accept a paycheck."

Now that's something I could vote for from most of our Congressmen.

So Long Fred

Fred Thompson bows out. Not surprising and I think Romney will be the beneficiary of Fred's support.

Others think differently - many Dems and the MSM think Huckabee will win Fred supporters.

Ouch; Fed Cuts 75

The Federal Reserve is giving equity traders what they have been waiting for today - a fat 75 basis point cut in the Fed Funds rate.

Clinton Has a Dream the middle of an energetic MLK day service... from Captain's Quarters.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Chavez Threatens Nationalization of Farms, Banks

In a worrisome Stalinist development in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez is threatening to nationalize any banks that don't give low-interest loans to farmers and also any farms that attempt to sell products abroad rather than selling at cheaper prices in the country.

If Chavez isn't replaced soon (and I don't know how that happens without force), Venezuelans will soon know what life is like in Cuba - empty shelves, widespread poverty, no middle class and no private businesses.

Novak Claims Conservatives Supporting McCain

...I just don't think the facts support Bob Novak's claims. Normally a well-reasoned and accurate journalist, Novak says that McCain is getting more support (or acquiescence) from conservatives and is now the front-runner. But from all of the internals of the exit polls from the first few primaries, the opposite appears true. From Polipundit.

Novak does seem correct in the observation that most of the establishment (including himself) seems to support McCain and enjoy riding in the "Straight Talk" bus. But when a group of journalists get comfortable talking to each other to determine what is happening, they often all get the story wrong (think Iraq).

WaPo: Limbaugh No Longer Holds Sway; McCain Overcomes

The Washington Post had a funny article about how John McCain has overcome "power brokers" such as Rush Limbaugh, who once "held sway over the Republican rank and file." WaPo also notes the following:

His win Saturday underscored how different McCain's campaign has been this year compared with eight years ago, when a similar conservative assault effectively ended his campaign here and handed his party's presidential nomination to George W. Bush.

The Post's view is nonsensical - McCain has done even worse today among conservatives than in 2000, which is why he has Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham desperately trying to win independents and moderates.

Second, as Huckabee and McCain both know well, conservative talk show hosts such as Limbaugh are pretty good indicators of conservative thinking across the country. While Limbaugh cares about Conservatism, he couldn't care less about "Republican" victories and that's why he has some 25 million listeners. People listen to him for his principled conservatism and not for partisan Republicanism by itself.

Radio Equalizer has more about the MSM's belief that "talk radio" has been de-fanged.

Rasmussen to Release FL Poll

According to Drudge:

FLASH: RASMUSSEN Florida poll to be released: Romney 25, McCain 20, Giuliani 19... Developing...

I wonder if the old Thompson supporting conservatives are turning towards Romney now...

Link is here. The poll internals show that Romney is winning the conservative vote, while McCain is getting the "moderates." Huckabee is actually the one who appears to have lost the most support, dropping from 17% to 13%.

Muslim Terror Suspects Arrested in Barcelona

Bomb related material has been found in connection with the arrest of 14 suspected terrorists in Barcelona. I'm a little confused here. When the Spanish voted to abandon the United States' effort in Iraq, the deal was this: flee from Iraq, in exchange for Al Qaeda not terrorizing Spaniards, no? As we all know, the Spaniards, knowing a great deal when they see one, took this pact, with the hope that they could finally live in peace.

Well, this deal is looking more and more similar to Chamberlain's deal with one German leader many moons ago. Hmm, I guess we can't trust Al Qaeda to keep their word.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

McCain Campaign Admits it Won't Make Tax Cuts Permanent

...well, sort of. Phil Gramm, who is part of the McCain campaign, said today in SC that if "they" listened to John McCain on spending instead of Bush's tax cuts, then today we might be able to make the tax cuts permanent instead of just a short term stimulus.

Now, apart from the fact that his lack of support for Bush's tax cuts by definition would prohibit him from making them permanent today, what Gramm was basically saying (or what I infer) is that McCain has no intention of making these tax cuts permanent.

Review of McCain's Role in Gang of 14

Andrew McCarthy and Mark Levin remind us that Sen. McCain was instrumental in the "Gang of 14," which effectively killed the chance for several conservative judges from being confirmed.

Besides preserving their privilege (which allows a single senator, for absolutely no reason, to prevent a president from fulfilling his constitutional obligation to appoint officers of the United States, without whom the government cannot function), McCain and his confederates were most determined to avoid accountability. That was the essence of the Gang of 14 deal. The senators pretended, in a bluster of high-minded twaddle, to resolve the controversy without disturbing the chamber’s procedures. It was nonsense.

So a President McCain believes that he would be required to consult with the Democratic Senate to confirm the next Justice and therefore the direction of the Supreme Court?

MSM Credit Mormons; Play Down Romney Win

This is becoming laughable. The AP reports that Romney won NV because of the Mormon vote, which supposed represented approximately 1/4 of the turnout. Of course, he still would have won without a single Mormon vote.

I have already heard a few commentators say that this was, in effect, Romney's "second home state," so he should have won easily. I think by the end of the campaign, Romney will have a lot of "second home states" that he should have won.

Americans For Tax Reform Give Giuliani Highest Marks

According to Americans for Tax Reform, Rudy Giuliani is the best candidate on taxes for his position on cutting corporate, cap gains and dividend taxes as well as his abolition of the AMT. McCain's record is the worst. See a summary matrix of all candidates' positions here.

Romney Wins Nevada Caucuses

Mitt Romney is the projected winner of Nevada today. Early returns suggest a blowout, with Romney taking 46% of the vote. Romney now has wins in Wyoming, Michigan and Nevada and second place finishes in New Hampshire and Iowa. He is the front runner in terms of delegates.

This could give him a nice bump in nearby California as well...

Romney is now at 55% of the vote with 20% reporting...this margin of victory has to be very encouraging to his campaign.

GOP Candidate Ranking

How I'd rank em:

1) Fred Thompson - probably the most conservative all around, but unfortunately his energy level and lack of spark seems to make him quite a long shot. He needs a strong showing today in SC to have a chance. The MSM doesn't like him and has declared him dead, which means he would be pretty good. Love his irreverance to the media as well.

2) Romney - I don't have as much confidence that he would be 100% conservative across the board and he seems not to mind government oversight/regulation in some instances, so long as it conforms with generally free market principles. He knows business and how the economy works and he's also a social conservative. Very electable Presidential material. The MSM is trying to declare him dead, but with the leading delegate total, it's hard to do.

3) Giuliani - He could even potentially be a number 2. Definitely a socially liberal, but I think he would still appoint conservative judges. Likes to stick his finger in the eyes of liberals, which is good. Also has a great tax cut plan, reducing corporate, cap gains and dividends.

4) McCain - Conservative on spending and the Iraq War, but I don't trust him. Likes bipartisanship for the sake of it rather than conservative principles. Goodbye tax cuts, goodbye principles. Let's be warm and fuzzy and meet the Democrats half way. Very bad.

5) Huckabee - Social conservative and fiscally liberal. Likes big government. How can you believe he would cut taxes when he has a history of raising them? A slightly-improved Jimmy Carter with an (R) in front of his name.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Gates: European Soldiers Don't Do Counterinsurgency Well

Robert Gates criticized UK and other NATO allies this week when he said that a lot of the soldiers in Afghanistan don't know how to fight a counterinsurgency campaign.

Maybe they should just serve the U.S. forces tea and crimpets while the American soldiers do the difficult work.

Iraq Success

Powerline shows Iraq's success. And according to Democrats, Iraq is still failing...

According to Charlie Rangel, one of the Dem's highest ranking house members,
"The only thing that is progress is to get the hell out of there."

Romney Polling Well in Nevada

Tomorrow there are two GOP primaries - SC and NV. South Carolina has 24 delegates, Nevada 34 delegates. Romney appears to be heading towards victory according to polls in Nevada, where he has concentrated his energy.

So why does the media only mention it in passing while focusing on SC? You got it - McCain and Huckabee seem to be in the lead there. I wonder if they will call it a "loss" for Romney or a "devastating loss" for Thompson if they come in 3rd/4th there.

Of course, if Romney won in NV and Thompson somehow pulled the upset in SC, the MSM might just have to stop covering the GOP primaries altogether.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

AP Bias Against Romney

Glen Johnson, a reporter for AP, decided it was his place to get into an argument with Mitt Romney over one of Romney's advisors as the candidate was delivering prepared remarks to a crowd. Captains Quarters has more. Slightly different than the way NBC reporters follow Obama's campaign...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Study: Media Distrusted More than Ever

A recent study by Sacred Heart University illustrates what we already know about the media - the American public does not trust it. Nearly 88% of all Americans say that the press tries to influence public opinion with their "news" stories and less than 20% actually trust the press's reporting.

The funniest thing about this is that the MSM is completely oblivious to the public's distrust.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Romney Wins MI; Why Isn't Huckabee Finished?

Romney is declared the Michigan winner. With a lousy 16% of the vote and only 11% in NH, why hasn't the media declared Huckabee's campaign dead yet?

Polls Point Towards Romney Win

While I'm always skeptical, exit polls show Romney winning by a few percentage points over McCain. With 25% of all all voters being Independent, Romney must be kicking McCain's butt among Republicans (no surprise there).

If this turns out to be the case, you can hear the MSM saying, "Well, Romney should have won Michigan..."

Meanwhile McCain will soon enter the states where only Republicans can vote...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Peter Hoekstra: McCain Built on Democrat Support

It's getting repetitive here, but there's a reason why my favorite conservatives all dislike McCain as nominee (including Rush, Hannity, Sen. Allen, Sen. DeMint, Sen. Santorum,...). He was continuously opposed to conservatives on every issue in the Senate. Tragically, as Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan (and Romney supporter) points out:

“Democratic involvement will play a decisive role in who wins the primary.”...“It will be a tainted victory,” Hoekstra said in a telephone interview about what a McCain victory would mean if it were built on support from Democrats. “It will be a nuance that a lot of the media will just miss.”

No wonder conservatives are having such a tough time - all the primaries through SC are open to Independents and Democrats, who overwhelmingly support the most liberal Republican. Heck, I think John Kerry would do pretty well if he ran in the GOP...

The Undisclosed New Car Tax

As IBD points out today, the new CAFE standards that were just passed in the "Energy Bill" means that the average cost to consumers, who will pick up the tab for the research and development, will be approximately $6,000 per car on average.

What did you think, that Americans should have the freedom to drive the cars they want? John McCain certainly doesn't think so.

The Best Anti-McCain Question to Ask Voters

There are a lot of them, from judges to global warming to McCain-Feingold to immigration. But the best line someone like Romney or Thompson could use against McCain was suggested by George Will:

Who do you want to be president in 2010 when the Bush tax cuts, which McCain opposed, expire?

Enough said.

The Gore-publicans

Chris Horner has a post at Human Events that points out , unfortunately, that two of the leading candidates for the GOP nomination seem to be adherents to Al Gore's global warming view.

It's one thing for people like President Bush pay lip service to global warming while knowing full well that he has no intention to pay it any attention. Huck and McCain seem quite willing to make a serious effort to somehow "combat global warming." Scary stuff when they buy into the liberal hype so easily.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rudy Needs Cash

It's pretty clear that Rudy Giuliani needs a Florida win badly because he's running out of cash. While I'm not a Rudy supporter, he has unveiled the best tax plan so far, with proposed reductions in both capital gains and corporate tax rates.

Romney Leading in Michigan

Mitt Romney appears to be polling well in Michigan, holding a lead in Tuesday's primary against McCain and Huckabee. As Politico points out, however, the more interesting thing is what conservatives already knew:

“McCain owes his solid standing to independents and Democrats, taking 38 percent of their support, while Huckabee had 22 percent and Romney had 18 percent. ... Evangelical Christians represented 46 percent of the likely primary vote in the poll, and Huckabee got 31 percent of their support while Romney got 23 percent.”

So McCain would make a great Independent candidate and Huckabee would do well if only evangelicals voted.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Iraq Progress Continuing

The Dems are quickly running out of talking points on Iraq. And now that political progress just reached a major milestone with a new Debaathification Law, it's getting even worse for the white flag crowd.

I found it comical the other night when I heard a Dem candidate say (paraphrasing), "Sure, the military progress is obvious, but on the political side, they've only achieved 10 of their 18 goals from last year." They're really reaching now...soon they just won't talk about Iraq at all.

Friday, January 11, 2008

DWI For Top Clinton Advisor

Sidney Blumenthal, the "Karl Rove" of Bill Clinton's Administration and top advisor to Hillary, was arrested in NH this week for aggravated DWI.

I wonder if the story would get so little attention if this were Karl Rove...

Daily Kos: Vote Romney

In an ironic twist, the Daily Kos is advocating Michigan Democrats to vote for Mitt Romney. Ironic because the MSM is doing everything possible to knock Romney out of the race before the nomination process is decided by real GOP voters. For once, I hope people listen to the moonbats...

Of course, it would be absolutely insane for Romney to drop out even if he loses Michigan. So far, he has won the majority of conservative support - it's just that McCain and Huckabee win the moderates and liberals.

The Real John McCain

Well, the MSM sure is pushing McCain hard. Mark Levin gives us a good reminder of the real John McCain (why don't Republicans remember?):

McCain-Feingold — the most brazen frontal assault on political speech since Buckley v. Valeo.

McCain-Kennedy — the most far-reaching amnesty program in American history.

McCain-Lieberman — the most onerous and intrusive attack on American industry — through reporting, regulating, and taxing authority of greenhouse gases — in American history.

McCain-Kennedy-Edwards — the biggest boon to the trial bar since the tobacco settlement, under the rubric of a patients’ bill of rights.

McCain-Reimportantion of Drugs — a significant blow to pharmaceutical research and development, not to mention consumer safety (hey Rudy, pay attention, see link).

And McCain’s stated opposition to the Bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts was largely based on socialist, class-warfare rhetoric — tax cuts for the rich, not for the middle class. The public record is full of these statements. Today, he recalls only his insistence on accompanying spending cuts.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, McCain was consistently hostile to American enterprise, from media and pharmaceutical companies to technology and energy companies.

McCain also led the Gang of 14, which prevented the Republican leadership in the Senate from mounting a rule change that would have ended the systematic use (actual and threatened) of the filibuster to prevent majority approval of judicial nominees.

And then there’s the McCain defense record.....

It goes on and on. The sad thing is that a President McCain would set the conservative movement back significantly, as his plans would be largely anti-conservative, but portrayed in the media as why conservatism doesn't work.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The McCain-Lieberman Ticket

Reading the WSJ this morning made me realize the truth about the McCain-Lieberman relationship. Carpetbagger has a summary of the article. They are one in the same and seem to be proud of that fact. They both are strong on foreign policy, but liberal in nearly every other way.

I think a McCain-Lieberman ticket is a real possibility, which is why conservatives should be very afraid.

IA and NH Were Not Representative

I think Rush Limbaugh does a good job of describing the situation of why McCain and Huckabee, along with their allies in the MSM, want Romney out so quickly:

Now, we're Republicans, and theoretically we're out there trying to nominate a conservative to run as president here, as close to one as we can get, and yet the guy who wins New Hampshire is going all over the board, and the guy who wins Iowa getting votes from independents, who by definition are not conservatives! This is why, folks -- this is precisely why -- McCain and Huckabee are feverishly trying to get Romney out now, as soon as they can, and this is why they are being vicious in their attacks on Romney.

It would be nice if Republicans were able to dictate their own nominee.

Court Won't Allow Film Critical of Clinton

An appeals court has decided that a film critical of Hillary Clinton is the same as a 90-minute advertisement. Hmm...perhaps this court never heard of Michael Moore...

Giuliani Unveils Monster Tax Cut Plan

While I thought Mitt Romney would be the real fiscal conservative in the race, I have to admit that I love Giuliani's new tax plan, which calls for a reduction in capital gains and dividend taxes as well as a slashing of the corporate tax from 35% (one of the highest in the world) to 25%. A very bold plan trying to capture my heart...

If we can get tax policy as a key part of the upcoming debates, it would help voters decide how much of their own money they want to keep.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

McCain Wins NH - MSM Ecstatic

According to the media, the McCain win is great for McCain and Huckabee and devastating to Romney. I don't buy it. Regardless of what the MSM says, Romney's near 30% second-place finish means he's still in pretty good shape - a win in Wyoming (conservative state) and second place finishes in both IA and NH, two moderate/independent/Democrat states (and of course, "Independents" in NH can vote, which clearly helped McCain).

I think there is near-zero chance McCain or Huckabee get nominated. McCain is a bit more conservative than Huck, but he will be wrong on taxes, wrong on judges, and wrong on conservative principles generally. (True, he would probably be ok on foreign policy, but even there, I think his desire for the media's love could turn him moderate).

Don't believe the hype that Romney is finished - I still think he will gain the majority of votes as he enters the conservative states.

*Update: One interesting factoid is this:
"McCain won more handily among moderates and the roughly 10 percent who were self-described liberals." So this is supposed to be representative of GOP support?

Merrill Lynch: U.S. Already in Recession

According to Merrill Lynch, the U.S. has been in recession for at least a month now. Unfortunately, the Fed seems completely asleep at the wheel as the financial sector is in the worst credit crunch since 1991 (worse than the Long-Term Capital mess in '98).

I don't know if it will affect the U.S. election or not, but I don't think raising taxes will do much to help the economy.

The Media Love for Huck McCain

James Lewis at the American Thinker sums up the media love for Huckabee and McCain pretty well in his post this morning. He says what most conservatives already know - that the MSM wants a liberal GOP candidate to fracture conservatism. He's right.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Romney to Win Wyoming Caucuses

Mitt Romney will likely win the Wyoming caucuses held today as he is currently holding a big lead with 50% of the vote. Duncan Hunter is also doing reasonably well since his wife is from Wyoming.

The interesting thing is how little attention Wyoming has received. It is true that New Hampshire and Iowa have traditionally been the earliest and thus receive the most attention. It is also true, however, that Wyoming is much more representative of conservative thought than the more liberal NH and IA. Unfortunately, the MSM is pulling for Huckabee and McCain, so we likely won't hear a word about the Wyoming results.

But if politicos really won't to know what conservatives think, they should look at Wyoming. And it looks like Romney is going to be the runaway winner.

Update: Romney wins.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Surge Continues to Work!

According to the Belmont Club, the number of US deaths in Iraq totalled 21 in December, the lowest number since US involvement in March '03. The three month total is also at a low of 93.

This is great news and I hope we continue to see improvement even if the media is largely ignoring it.

I also recently noticed the top democrats like Clinton, Edwards, and Obama all making promises to bring the troops home now that the surge has worked (even though democrats were against the surge from the beginning). Even some republicans have begun to discuss the notion of bringing some troops home because the surge is working. This seems a little crazy to me.

Why? Well if something is working - why not continue it? Or even improve it? If 30,000 extra US troops have made such a substantial change in Iraq, maybe the result could be improved with another 10,000 or 20,000. Who knows?

I trust Petraeus 100% in whatever his assessment is of the situation. I just hope that US politicians can resist the temptation to put pressure on him because 2008 is an election year. After all, we all remember what happened to that incredible analysis put forth by the Iraq Study Group.