Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Regan Library Debate

First of all, CNN runs a debate terribly. The guy who hosted this does not know how to moderate.

First question:
Are we better off then we were 8 years ago?
Not one candidate says yes. What is wrong with these people??? Our economy has done nothing but grow in the past 8 years, and the standard of living has only increased.
Lets have a little truth, rather then some populist pandering to the lower class. That goes for all of them.

This makes no sense...
McCain takes a shot at Romney for being endorsed by the 'very conservative paper, like the Boston Herald', as a way of targeting his conservatism. But then he turns right around and starts bragging about working with democrats.

How did Rush Limbaugh get stuck into here???
Huckabee deftly handled the question, and then started firing his conservative record.
I do remember his 'tax me more fund' a few years back, I thought it was hilarious.

McCain's on global warming eco-nuts side.
Wow... and he's argueing that we're good enough as an economy to recover from burdensome regulations and move on, and even if there is no problem, we'll leave a cleaner atmosphere to our kids. THERE is the conservative McCain we know and love.
I do like we're talking nuclear power though.

Ron Paul on Environment:
Restore property rights. YES!!!
WHAT THE HECK!!! They just chopped Ron Paul off after 32 seconds, for some bloody highway questions.

So if the bridge in Michigan had never fallen down, would these guys be acting like blithering idiots discussing 'infrastructure'??

Here's an interesting question: Is the republican party better off then it was 8 years ago?

Got it. Romney will not leave Iraq until we win. I never thought otherwise.

Ron Paul on forign policy.... I don't understand how he can get on stage and say with a straight face that Iraq had nothing to do with Al-queda, and we had no declaration of war. This lying is absolutly ridiculous.

Huckabee could come across as a whinner, but he really is not getting much screen time. CNN is doing a terrible job with this.

Ok. Ronald Regan is not a god, can we please stop talking about a president who was elected 30 years ago???

I really didn't like anyone on there. Romney will take my tenitive support, only because he is the least terrible of the 4.
Mr. Fantastic, there ya go.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

...And then there were 4

So McCain has apparently taken the Florida Primary, much to my dismay and surprise.

Rudy is essentially out, his strategy of making a last stand in Florida just didn't pan out as his campaign expected. There are reports that he will drop out soon, and endorse, for what it's worth, John McCain.

So, we are now left to the choice of Mitt Romney, John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul.

I need some new news... I'm wearying of this election right now, and I don't think Super Tuesday will really decide anything for either party, other then John Edwards and Huckabee leaving the race.

In other news, police tasered a man on a bike for improper lighting.

Ok, so I've thought of some analogies for the current men in the republican race.
Mitt Romney:
Romney is Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic. The leader of the group, the most successful in the corporate world, and considered cold and uncaring at times. He also has the fantastic ability to stretch/contort to any shape, much as Romney's positions have undergone serious changes.
John McCain:
McCain is Ben Grimm, the Thing. He is the strongest and most aggressive candidate, and the most willing to solve problems by fighting. At times a bit of a maverick, and usually in some sharp disagreement with the Human Torch, he is fiercely loyal to what he believes. He's also made of rock, which is cool. But the heavier they are, the harder they fall, which we may see happen with McCain.
Mike Huckabee:
Huckabee is much like Susan Storm, the Invisible Woman. He is considered the most compassionate of the group, and sometimes attempts to keep the arguments from becoming too angry. When necessary, he can disappear from the scene, only to reappear when the timing is right. The ability to deflect attacks and criticisms is also very useful, and force field projection helps immensely in this arena.
Ron Paul:
Paul is Johnny Storm, The Human Torch. The maverick of the bunch, a fiery presence who knows what he thinks, and is not afraid to speak it. He often soars far above the others, both in his idealism and his ideas. Capable of both sustained fighting with fire, and the ability to fly when things become impossible, he always comes back to fight another day.

Please note, that was meant to be in good fun. If you were offended by your candidates characterization, please leave a better one of your own.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

State of the Primary

The Republican Presidential Contenders

Rudy Guiliani
Mitt Romney
John McCain
Mike Huckabee
Ron Paul
Tom Tancredo
Duncan Hunter
Fred Thompson
Ray McKinney
John Cox
Sam Brownback

So, the race has been significantly winnowed down from last summer.
Right now, there are 5 players in the race, and while I personally believe Ron Paul has little chance of winning, he is a rather significant player in this, so the count stays at 5.

Who's got the momentum? John McCain, or it is perceived as his momentum. Yet, as much as the media may appreciate the maverick, he isn't winning.
As much as Huckabee's populist campaigning is adored by the press, he isn't winning.
Rudy? Hah, he's got nothing yet. But it hasn't hurt him, nor will it hurt him in the end.
Ron Paul has his very dedicated base, but I believe he fell short on his best shot in New Hampshire.
And so that leaves...

Mitt Romney???
With little fanfare, and a well sustained beating from almost all quarters, Romney has stayed his course and conquered in the early political battles.
Sure, he lost Iowa to Huckabee. But he won Wyoming in the same week Sure, he lost New Hampshire to McCain. But he won Michigan in the same week
Sure, he lost South Carolina to McCain. But he won Nevada in the same week

So how do the delegate numbers break down?
  • Mitt Romney: 72
  • John McCain: 38
  • Mike Huckabee: 29
  • Ron Paul: 6
  • Rudy Giuliani 2

My point is this: The most successful candidate is the most lampooned and caricatured candidate by the liberal media.
I think it indicates something. The left is afraid of him, because Romney is an articulate conservative with a clean background who has the proven capacity to reach across party lines.

I'll be honest with ya'll, now that my beloved Fred has left the race, Romney is now my primary choice, and followed in second by Rudy Giuliani.

Now, to look at the big picture.

Delegates Tallied as of 1/23/07: 156
Final number of Delegates: 1, 191

Yeah, we've got a ways to go before it's time to get really excited. Perhaps after Febuary 5, we'll know more.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New York Giants

Pack was awful today.
And thats all there was to it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

NFC Title game

Sunday, sunday, sunday!!! 5:00 Central time,
The New York Giants come into Green Bay to play the Packers.

Pack's back, we're going to roll them.

On a separate note, I really hope San Diego wins.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Democrats take action, make lunch healthier for congress

Politico: "Nearly everything in the new cafeterias is biodegradable, from plates to utensils to straws, and that situation has produced a few peculiarities. For example, there are no soup spoons, only teaspoons. The company that manufactures the biodegradable flatware doesn’t make soup spoons yet. And some people have complained that the compostable straws can melt in hot liquids.

Politico headed to the cafeteria at the Rayburn House Office Building to test this scenario. A compostable straw placed in hot coffee did indeed become pliable and droop, although it never disintegrated entirely.

Ventura said customers would have to change their behavior to accommodate the environmentally friendly products.

“We have had a few people observe that [straw] phenomenon and we had to tell them, ‘Sip your coffee like a normal human being,’” Ventura said. “We’re trying to save the planet here.”

What a stark turn from capitalism.
Ya know, the business credo 'PLEASE THE CUSTOMER!' and all that jazz.
Nope, this is a government mandated and sustained cafeteria, and by golly, all those cretins who don't know what a 'Cumin-scented leg of lamb with almond couscous' is, or even care to know.

For all this wonderful customer service, it should cost less. Nope, not happening.
"...A fruit and cheese side dish with two small wedges of brie and cheddar, six grapes, two saltines and one strawberry cost $4.95, for example..."
(admittedly, that strikes me as very expensive, but I'm a Texas guy used to paying $6 for a bbq dinner. This may be cheap for them...)

Brilliant. Turns out that 'environmentally friendly' stuff costs more, and doesn't work as well.

Alas, this is not the entirety of the new year's rules.
Sale of tobacco has also been banned. (politico)
(Oddly enough, this probably makes Mike Huckabee pleased, as he supports a national smoking ban.)

"“This is silly ‘feel good’ crap by a bunch of do-gooders,” barked a high-level Democratic staffer (also a smoker). “We should be worried about the housing crisis, the unemployment rate and the national debt instead of making staffers walk four blocks to buy a pack of smokes.”
To some, the new ban carries a whiff of hypocrisy. “If we are really worried about people’s health, why are we still selling triple espressos, double bacon cheeseburgers and ice cream?” asked Hayden Rogers, chief of staff for Rep. Heath Shuler, a Democrat who hails from the tobacco state of North Carolina. “We all make serious decisions every day with real consequences, yet adults on the Hill are not allowed to decide for themselves whether or not to buy tobacco.”

And Boehner? “Apparently Dan Beard didn’t get the memo that the speaker is counting on more tobacco sales to ensure [the State Children’s Health Insurance Program] covers more adults and more illegal immigrants,” said Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith, tossing a little policy into the debate. “Beard’s move is decidedly off-message for a Congress that purports to be ‘for the children.’” "

Congratulations, Nancy Pelosi. the house has continued it's fantastic performance from last year into this year.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Titletowns back in buisness

Seattle Seahawks: 20

Green Bay Packers: 42

Yep. Back in business, headed to the championship.

How 'bout them packers!


May the Favre be with us.

Monday, January 07, 2008

TheDebate, republican politics, and what really matters

I didn't watch this debate on Saturday night, I was at a friends house watching NFL playoffs.
On that, note, The Green and Gold is returning to glory, BRING ON THE SEAHAWKS!
But, I did fulfil my political junkie hankering Sunday night by watching the debate on YouTube. (Wonderful creation, this Internet video thingy!)

If you haven't seen it, here's the first of 9 video segments.

First, I want to give a texas size round of applause to ABC news for their terrific coverage, presentation, and moderation of the Republican debate. Best debate I've seen in a good while. It felt like the candidates sitting in a coffee shop with me and a friend, and trying to convince me while discussing the matters amongst themselves in a gracious manner. While clash existed, it wasn't abrasive, rather, a highly entertaining look into the candidates reaction under pressure.

Now, for the meat, and my reaction to the candidates/issues.
I'll start going from right to left, which in this case, the seating arrangement had absolutely no bearing on the candidates

So, John McCain, please step to the plate.
When it comes to the War on Terror, John McCain is well 'nigh unparalleled by any candidate in any party. With the lone, stark exception of Guantanamo Bay, McCain has been backing the correct strategy against Islam since the beginning of this millennium, and is the only republican who can lay claim to influencing 'the surge' strategy.
But outside of this admittedly large issue, I don't agree with McCain on much. Blaming the pharmaceuticals for expensive medicine is ridiculous, as was his amnesty bill that withered under a public firestorm, the likes of which I have seen very few times in my life. Opposing the Bush tax cuts don't win me any favor either.
McCain's debate performance appeared a bit awkward to me, and far to quick to assail Romney for 'negative ads'.
Ultimately, if McCain wins the nomination, I will feel secure in the foreign policy, but alas, nothing else. He is most certainly not a conservative horse in this race.

On deck, Fred Thompson.
Watching this debate, Fred received the most 'yays' from myself. A rock on the war, free markets on health care (AS IT SHOULD BE!), and the best answer I've ever heard from a presidential candidate on high energy prices. Windfall tax on companies? hah!
He also got into a riff with Romney about mandates that I thought was an excellent defense of personal freedoms. Immigration was good as well.
After looking at all the candidates side-by-side, Thompson is likely to have my vote. I do realize he voted for campaign finance reform (a bill from McCain, incidentally), but I believe his record is solid otherwise.

Ron Paul, please go find that libertarian baseball bat you used to carry, and start swinging it again!
As sure as the snow falls, Paul seemed to completely forgo the principles of liberty that he has so long been the flag bearer of. Unfortunatley, he took this time to shoot off on a radically anti-war screed. I can't support this. Where I can support Ron Paul is domestic policy, but he seemed more interested in pushing theories about monetary policy then pushing free market solutions, which I find vaguely distressing.
Nevertheless, as shown in his past actions, if this man wins, he will be one of the greatest boons to our domestic policy in many, many moons. I just hope we'd be around to see it come to fruition.

Mitt Romney
came not with a baseball bat, but with an iron tipped oak quarterstaff.
His foreign policy I am confident in, and his comprehension of the Islamic threat seems to be well versed and highly competent.
I loved it when he was commenting on Huckabee's article on foreign policy, and Mike demanded to know if he had read it or not. Mitt said he had, but there was a LOT of tension between the two the entire night. (McCain and Paul had the funniest lines, 'did you read mine?' & 'what about mine?', respectively addressed to Romney)
He speaks a very good game when it comes to immigration. Not sure I trust him, in regards to his past actions, but his plan is there nonetheless.
Health care, which I don't care about that much, but he seemed far to eager to enact government mandates, which Thompson did call him on. His defense of 'big pharma' was well timed and necessary.
On the whole, it seemed like he was the most prepared, and most polished man on stage. While I would not have exuberance regarding a Romney candidacy, I could certainly back it truthfully.

To the Right of Romney (on stage, at least) was Mike Huckabee.
I know my previous post was very harsh on Huckabee, and I still feel they are valid points. The contention between he and Romney seems to have reflected all through out his campaign, and even when I discuss Huckabee with his supporters, many of my criticisms are deflected towards, or assumed caused by the Romney campaign. (Curious, then, that ABC sat them together. Random lots? hah!)
It may be that I had heard Huckabee the day before on Sean Hannity's radio program, but many of his responses seemed canned to me.
I did not much care for his immigration, but otherwise he managed to pass well enough as a republican candidate for president. I don't think he was challenged enough on his taxes, both past actions or future policies, nor on education.

Ironically, the man most known for his easy going charisma seemed just as terse, and at times snappy as Romney, who is cast as the establishment candidate. The governor from Arkansas just seemed to fade into the background at many times, contrary to Romney, who seemed ready to leap on anyone who deviated from the party line, or Thompson, who was the voice of reasoned wisdom at many times.
I think Huckabee fits in the same category as McCain, where I agree on one major issue, in Mikes case, taxes, but not in a powerful way on the other two majors, the War on Terror and Immigration.

Finally, the Mayor of Gotham, Rudy Giuliani steps to the plate.
(perhaps at the house that Ruth built?) (baseball phrase from new york...) (moving on...)
On foreign policy, Rudy was the anchor of the panel, smart, experienced, and ready to roll against Islam and it's terrorist adherents, rivaling even McCain when it came to hawkish policy.
Other then that, I don't remember hardly anything except incessant chatter about Regan's dark side, his amnesty for the 8 million illegal immigrants. Hardly something I'd like out of my candidate, and not very encouraging on the immigration front.
Again, Rudy fits with McCain and Huckabee, hitting one of three of the big issues, but going down swinging on Economy/Taxes and immigration.

So, over all? I really enjoyed the debate, and as much as I dislike some policies of some candidates, I would really only be uncomfortable voting for McCain, and seeing how Huckabee progresses with his populist agenda, perhaps the former Governor of the Natural State.

If you've read this far, then you have my sincere gratitude.
If you just read the summary, then thank you.
If you just read at this last line, thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Hornets Nest of Mike Huckabee

I've been watching the rising star of Huckabee in this republican primary, and it worries me. While I think it is highly unlikely that he will win the nomination, or even more then 2 of the early primaries, Mike is becoming a force to be reckoned with.
This is unfortunate. While the evangelical right has rallied behind the man, I don't think there is a good outcome to this.
A. Huckabee will be soundly beaten in the primaries, and the evangelical right will be shown as both weak and beatable. Weather or not we have actually rallied behind Mike or not, his status as the southren baptist pastor will create an image that is unshakable.
B. Huckabee will win the primary, and go absolutely nowhere in the general election.
Clinton vs. Huckabee? Clinton by a good margin, and we have our first woman president.
Obama vs. Huckabee? Obama in a landslide.
While Huckabee is more conservative then either of the two, he is not radically enough different from democrats to win.

So, here are my issues with Huckabee, and why I regretfully am regarding him as a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Huckabee's illegal immigration 'report card', as well as the other candidates.
- Americans for Better Immigration
Huckabee's individual report, with an overview and explanation of where he has stood.
- Individual report card
His stance is remarkably similar to W's, and just as harmful. Wishy-washy talk with only a modicum of improvement.
Huckabee's past actions are also weak, inadequate, or simply pandering to both the Republic of Mexico and her citizens residing in the US.
A governor that will appropriate $3,000,000 of state funds to build a consulate in his non-border state, has some issues. I also am disturbed by In-state funding for illegal immigrants at state schools, which are not applicable to American Citizens from a different part of the country.

2. Taxes
Huckabee did cut taxes 94 times, equaling $380 million. I applaud that, and think that standing by itself, its a wonderful statistic. In general, indicative of a conservative leader.
But contrast it with the other side of the coin, where he raised taxes 21 times, equaling $505 million. This is not at all indicative of conservative leadership.
While the budget surplus did increase, the state constitution requires that the budget be balanced, unless a majority electoral vote is taken. With the expanding economy, and his gubernatorial career starting and ending on economic high notes, it would be difficult to fathom running a deficit from one who claims fiscal conservation.

3. Evolution in the class room.
While Huckabee believes evolution is a complete fraud, as it is, but he will not alter the school curriculum in use. Rather then pushing for a more balanced system, he will continue to give his tacit consent to the teaching of lies to children.
-December 17, 2007. Huckabee is on Larry King Live.
KING: You've said that you do not believe in evolution. That being a given, how would you deal with the teaching of it in the classroo
: The same way I did as a parent, the same way I did as a governor. I don't get into that. I'm not a science teacher. I don't write the curriculum for the science books.
My kids, Larry, went to the public schools of Arkansas. I was the first governor in 50 years whose kids had all of their first through 12th grade education in the Arkansas public schools.
So, you know, when people say oh, what is he going to do to the textbooks -- well, if I was going to do it, I would have done it when I was governor. Presidents have nothing to do with the curriculum of education.

4. Huckabee's music
HUCKABEE: But I want to make a point about education. The real education issue that I've been pushing has been to increase music and art instruction. I did it as a governor. That's where my passion was, because I think our education system is failing kids because we're not touching the right side of the brain -- the creative side.
So the real reform in education needs to be teaching more music, painting and sculpting.
I think we need to teach more good, quality, history, accurate science, and less superfluous culture education.
Music is wonderful, but what does the right side of the brain do to prepare the majority of students into productive workers?

5. Pardons
Huckabee issued more then twice as many pardons in his tenure as the past three candidates combined. His term lasted a full decade, the others combined for almost two, for 17 years. I find that concerning.
Heh. Probably the most interesting pardon involves a man who was on trial for rape, castrated, convicted, pardoned, and then killed a woman after his pardon.
I find this a uniquely Arkansas story.
- Associated Press