Wednesday, January 30, 2008


The "Economic Stimulus Package" being rammed through Congress today might better be called "The Pay Voters to Re-elect Me Bill."

Thank goodness we have Congress to rescue us as the economy teeters precariously on the brink of less aggressive growth. Before it is over, you can count on the Democrats to load up the bill with more spending items which would not pass on their own merit.

The "Stimulus Package" is founded on one of the great ideas which brought down the Soviet Union: the notion that the centralized government has a big panel of buttons and dials before it, that simply need to be manipulated in the proper sequence in order to "jump start" or "stimulate" the economy.

The best thing Congress could do for the economy is get out of its way. Make the tax cuts permanent, cut government spending way back by eliminating all spending items outside of the scope of the Federal Government as specified in the Constitution, cutting corporate taxes, reducing regulation, and letting the free market generate wealth without the encumbrance of an overreaching government.

Will it happen? Not a chance. So you might as well send me my $600 check.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Why not Huckabee?

I have gotten a number of inquiries in response to my endorsement of Mitt Romney. Most of them are of the form: "Why are you not supporting [some other candidate]?"

Liberals tend to ask why I am not supporting John McCain. That fact speaks for itsself.

But by far the most common response was "Why are you not supporting Mike Huckabee?"

I like Mike Huckabee. I think that he has brought a lot of interest to the race, and has had a positive impact on the debates and the candidates, forcing them to raise issues which might never have come up if he was not present. He is smart, eloquent, funny, and says a lot of the right things.

However, his record is not nearly as stellar as his rhetoric. Based on what he actually did as governor of Arkansas, it is hard to describe him as a conservative. Conservatism is based on principles of limited government, the rule of law, and seperation of powers. Huckabee seems to see government as the solution to every problem.

Huckabee's economic policy was best described as populist. As governor of Arkansas, Huckabee repeatedly increased or expanded the sales tax; hiked the corporate income tax; imposed an income-tax surcharge on individuals and domestic and foreign corporations; raised the tax on gasoline and diesel fuel; taxed admission to theme parks and other tourist activities; taxed snuff, cigarettes, mixed drinks, private clubs and retail sales of beer; and so on. Now, in fairness to Huck, part of the tax increases were forced due to a court order to balance the budget and increase school funding. But a large part was used to increase the wealth redistribution programs that liberals love so much.

Huckabee is not only weak on foreign policy, he has said some dangerously ignorant things on the subject, leading me to question the wisdom of putting him in charge of the State Department and the US Military. Huckabee's talk about the War on Terror sounds a lot like Bill Clinton's policy during his eight years: If we are nice to them and talk with them and appease them, they will be nice back to us. It was disasterously misguided then, and it is even moreso now. Read this article as an example.

Huckabee's record on illegal immigration is also wrongheaded. As governor, Huckabee supported government-funded scholarships for illegal immigrants. To be very clear about what this means, Mike Huckabee not only wants people who are breaking the law by being in this country to be able to attend state universities, he wants to force law-abiding taxpayers to subsidize their tuition.

The case of rapist and murderer Wayne DuMond who was released from Arkansas prison with Huckabee's approval, and went on to kill two more women, has gotten some attention, but it is not the only case. Huckabee earned a reputation among Arkansas criminals as an easy mark: if you get a pastor to vouch for you, Governor Huckabee will pardon you.

Huckabee's Christianity is his strongest selling point. I appreciate his boldness and unequivocal answers to questions about evolution and his faith in God. However, it seems to me that Huckabee fails to grasp the distinction between Christian principles applied by individuals and the policy of a nation's government. Huckabee applies principles of grace, forgiveness, and charity by pardoning violent criminals, subsidizing college educations for lawbreakers, and dialoging with terrorists.

In a number of cases, Huckabee talked about "forgiveness" as he pardoned criminals. Aren't Christians supposed to forgive? Seventy times seven and all. But Huckabee is not the one who needs to forgive a murderer or rapist, because he was not the one who was wronged. Forgiveness means that I decide to not hold the fact that you hurt me against you. It does not mean that all consequences are removed. That was a key mistake in the impeachment of President Clinton: liberals in the media kept saying "Shouldn't we forgive President Clinton?" As if forgiveness meant that the consequences specified by the law would no longer apply. The job of a President or Governor is to uphold the law and protect society, not to act like a priest dispensing forgiveness.

Huckabee appealed to the idea of charity to support his policy of subsidizing the college tuition of illegal immigrants. This is not much different from liberals who want us to be beholden to their kindness and generosity for funding wealth redistribution programs. The problem is that generosity and charity ought to be with your own money, not with someone else's.

I wouldn't mind having Mike Huckabee as a pastor. I think I would enjoy sitting down and having lunch with him and discussing various topics. I'd happily go to hear him speak on current issues or on spiritual topics. But I don't think that he would make a good President.

Monday, January 21, 2008

"None of the above" isn't an option

This is the moment you have been waiting for. The historic announcement, anxiously awaited with hushed anticipation, of my endorsement for President.

I've got to start out by saying that there is no candidate who is 100% to my liking.

But some are significantly better than others. There are several candidates who I seriously considered supporting, most notably Huckabee and Thompson.

Huckabee is an interesting candidate. His Christian principles appeal to me a lot, and the guy is very likeable, funny, and eloquent. But his policies on taxes, spending, crime, immigration, and foreign policy convince me that he is not the right person to lead our nation. He staked a lot on winning South Carolina, but couldn't pull it off. In addition, he has failed to attract voters from outside the evangelical Christian community, so I don't think that he could win the election.

Thompson, on the other hand, is a true blue conservative. His positions are spot-on, across the board. From taxes to immigration to foreign policy, I can't think of anyone better grounded in conservative principles of limited government and separation of powers. Unfortunately, I don't expect him to still be in the race by March 5 when Texans have our primary. He has yet to win a primary, or come close for that matter. I believe that people gave up on him too soon, and for all the wrong reasons, due largely to media influence. We criticized Bill Clinton for being too slick. Fred's downfall was not being slick enough.

There are also a number of candidates who I believe would be particularly harmful to elect President. At the top of that list, of course, would be the two Democrat candidates, Mrs. Bill Clinton and B. Hussein Obama. The good news is that I don't consider either of them to be electable. Neither one has any experience actually running anything. Both are real rookies with just a few years in the Senate, making them some of the least qualified candidates in recent history. Hillary points out that she spent 8 years in the White House. Yeah, well so did Clinton's pastry chef. Obama can't even claim proximity to executive leadership. Hillary is dearly beloved by those Democrat party loyalists who thought that Bill Clinton was god on earth. This may be a large enough block of voters to secure the nomination, but it won't carry her to victory in November. Among the general voting public, Hillary has a 51% negative rating. No one whose negatives were higher than 45 in January of election year has ever been elected President. So I really hope that the Democrats pick Hillary as their man.

Moving over to the "Republican" side, there are several candidates who I would strongly oppose in the primaries. If one of these candidates got the nomination I would hold my nose and vote for him, because any one of them would be better than Hillary. Rudy is a pro-abortion, pro-gun control New York liberal Republican. He did a good job as mayor of New York City, but I could not support him in the primaries. Fortunately, his candidacy seems to be self destructing.

John McCain, on the other hand, seems to be on the up-swing. I voted for McCain for Senate back when I lived in Arizona, but since then he has decided to chase after liberal votes. This has made him every Democrat's favorite Republican, but it makes us see him much as Democrats see Joe Lieberman. He always seems to be teaming up with liberal Democrats to undermine conservative principles in one way or another: infringing on free speech, blocking originalist judicial nominations, opposing tax cuts, granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, drinking the hysterical global warming alarmism Kool-Aid, opposing drilling for oil in ANWR, and the list goes on... McCain seems to be gaining traction, propelled by a fawning media and their myth that he is the only Republican who can beat Hillary.

The race for the GOP nomination seems to be coming down to a long, drawn-out battle of attrition, in which the outcome may not be clear until very late, possibly even until the convention. I find this to be delicious. The last thing I want is a coronation where the outcome is determined by New Hampshire and a few other early primary states. I expect that soon it will be clear that this is a fight for delegates between Mitt Romney and John McCain.

Which brings me down to my endorsement. As a matter of principle, I will support the most conservative viable candidate. There is no question in my mind that Mitt Romney is that man. His track record, both in the private sector and as governor of Massachusetts, indicates that he is capable both of winning the election and serving as an outstanding President. I am not bothered by the allegation that years ago he took a "pro-choice" position on abortion, because he clearly corrected that mistake a decade ago. His business experience and his economic policy indicate that he is more than up to the task of countering the Democrat's strategy of running on the economy. His track record proves that he will not appoint liberal activist judges, but will instead appoint judges who will stick to their duty of interpreting what the Constitution actually says. I even hold out some hope that he will bring some fiscal restraint to Washington. As the only candidate to use the term "War on Islamofascism" I believe that he understands the importance of defeating Islamic extremists who seek to murder and destroy in their quest to spread lawlessness and tyranny.

I hesitated to support Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon, and we have vast differences in what we believe about God and who Jesus Christ is. But I have come to recognize that we can disagree on that without it making him any less capable of being a great President.

So today I proudly announce that I support Mitt Romney for President of the United States.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Still too many

The Guttmacher Institute, the propoganda branch of Planned Parenthood, America's biggest abortion provider, reports today that the number of abortions performed in 2005 was 1.2 million, the lowest level since 1974, and down 25% from the peak of 1.6 million in 1990.

To put this number in perspective, 1.2 million people is roughly the population of Dallas, Texas, the ninth largest city in America.

It breaks down to 3,287 abortions a day. In other words, abortion kills more people here in America each and every day of the year than the 19 terrorists killed in the worst terror attack in history, when they crashed airliners into the two towers of the World Trade Center, and into the Pentagon.

Every 26 seconds another baby is killed, sucked into a garbage disposal, and thrown away.

In the 36 years since the Supreme Court invented a "right to privacy" making abortion legal, 54 million babies have been aborted in America.

While 1.2 million is somewhat better than 1.6 million, it is still 1.2 million too many.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Georgia on my mind

Last week the boys were out of school so we went to Atlanta to see family.

Going to Georgia means driving through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. At some points in there I thought I was in a different country. You can’t throw a rock without hitting a Waffle House, and most of the billboards are for casinos or other gambling establishments. I stopped at a gas station in Alabama, and as I was going in, a redneck with 3 teeth and a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon was coming out. He eyed me and my wife suspiciously and said “Ya’ll ain’t from ‘round here, is you? [multiple sic]” I’m not sure what gave us away.

Atlanta is a contradiction of a city. Huge, jammed with traffic far worse even than Dallas, loaded with history and culture. They have the best aquarium I have ever been to. They are rightfully proud of Martin Luther King Jr. We visited his home and Ebenezer Baptist Church.

They are proud to have hosted the 1996 Olympics. They are also inexplicably proud of Jimmy Carter. I stood outside of the Carter Library and tried to get people to sign a petition to require that any sentence containing Jimmy Carter’s name also include the word “hapless.” It didn’t go over well. I guess that if you only have one president from your state, you take what you can get. Kind of like Arkansas, only they kicked the guy out.

But for all their pride in MLK, if you drive 15 miles east from downtown Atlanta you come to Stone Mountain, where the 90-foot-high figures of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E Lee, and Jefferson Davis are carved into the side of the mountain.

The carving was started by members of “The United Daughters of the Confederacy” in conjunction with the Klan (who regularly hold rallies there), and completed by the “Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial Advisory Committee” with the stated purpose of “honoring our heroes and preserving our legacy”. I never did figure out what is honorable or heroic about guys who divided a nation and fought a war which claimed 620,000 American lives in their attempt to perpetuate and expand slavery, but one certainly gets the feeling that they can't wait for the South to rise again and win the rematch in the Northern War of Aggression.

They would do better to honor their liberators: Grant, Sherman, and Lincoln.

In fact, there are plenty of people from Georgia worthy of honor: George Washington Carver, Eli Whitney, Clarence Thomas, and of course Newt Gingrich. I would certainly applaud a decision to dynamite the existing statue and replace it with the figure of Martin Luther King Jr.

Either that, or they could add the hapless Jimmy Carter and rename it “Georgia’s Hall of Shame.”

Monday, January 07, 2008

Got some change in my pocket

"We talked about change when we were up; we talked about change where we were down. This change thing must be catching on." -- B. Hussein Obama

"I am the candidate that can bring change." -- Mrs. Bill Clinton

"With Bill Richardson, you get change and you get experience. You have to have experience to change things." -- Bill Richardson

"My friends, I am most proud of the change that I brought about..." -- John McCain

"There's a tide of change sweeping New Hampshire and America" -- Mitt Romney

I can change my clothes.

I got change for a twenty.

Hey buddy, got some spare change for a cup of coffee?

My change can beat up your change!

We got some changin' goin' on over here.

What the heck does "change" mean?

It is a worthless platitude. Any politician who uses it automatically drops a couple of notches in my book. It is a way of playing on people's fears that things are going the wrong direction without having to name anything specific that you would do differently.

What are you going to do? Change!

What does that mean? Anything different than what we are doing now.

Didn't Hitler change Germany? What makes you think that change is automatically a good thing? More importantly, what makes you think that any kind of change is equal to any other kind? Are we supposed to be impressed by your arguing about who is "the candidate of change?"

In 1992, Bill Clinton used the mantra of "change" extensively, but after 8 years as VP, Clinton clone wannabe Al Gore also campaigned on a "change" platform. I fully expect to see the incumbent proclaiming herself to be the candidate of change in 2012.

Don't hide behind this empty word!

Come on, give me some substance. Tell me specifically what you are going to do. What is your vision for America and what policies are you going to implement to get us there?