Kentucky

Post primary polling data positive news for Democrats

As statistically indicated, the Democratic Party WILL lose seats in the upcoming midterms.  No one questions this - not now and not in any midterm election.  Cases where the majority gained seats in a midterm are aberrant.  But the picture improved for the Democratic Party given the results of the primaries, primarily because the Right elected a handful of candidates that, like them or not, have thrown a number of races that were a slam dunk for Republicans back into the "leaning Democratic" category. 

There are several other variations on this theme, but the bottom line is that in yesterday's Senate Rankings at fivethrityeight.com, the meta-polling picture improved for the Democratic Party, who now is more likely than not to hold onto 55 seats.  The Republican Party's chances to take the Senate remains at about 6%.  And a lot depends on which party Charlie Crist caucuses with should he win the FL seat (which looks increasingly likely). 

Here's the goods from the dean of polling data:  http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/06/senate-forecast-after-primaries-picture.html

What the right needs to do to regain acceptance and credibility by the mainstream

The right has lost its way and a lot of people are starting to recognize this.  Books are being written (The Death of Conservatism, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, etc.)  Here are my thougths on what is wrong and what needs to be done about it.

Discredit those who are not helpful

Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, etc. have said a lot of downright crazy and dumb things (people with AIDS should be quarantined, etc.)  and are far too tied to Christianity.  They should be called out for that and pushed to the side so that true leaders on the right can rise to the top and give the right a real chance at regaining credibility and the minds of those who are undecided or in the center.  Those who espose hate, and anger should also be discredited and pushed to the side (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc.).  It is long past time for Conservative talk radio to become more academic, constructive, and hopeful sounding, and cater to the best in us (love, hope, unity, civics, etc.), rather than the worst (fear, anger, race, etc.).

Stop catering to the Christian right

Christianity has nothing to do with conservative ideas and theory on money, foreign policy, etc.  There is also supposed to be a strong seperation of church and state.  Our country was formed partially for freedom of religion, and if our government is run by someone who wants to impose their religion through laws and perspective, then we lose that.  In addition, America is not a Christian nation; though nearly 80% are Christian, there is still another 20% that are not.

Stop simply opposing every idea President Obama has and propose alternative solutions

The right has really been a thorn in our Presidents side instead of working with him to solve the problems in America.  The way to gain credibility and get some conservative ideas into law is to honestly work with the left to create good policy, and also proactively propose laws to solve some of our problems before the left takes up the problem.

Stop supporting causes that have nothing to do with Conservative ideology

The right should disassociate itself with such issues as abortion, and other things that are outside of the ideas of conservatism.  Abortion is an issue thats argument against it is primarily based in religion.  The same applies to marriage equality for gays; the argument against it can only be made from a religious standpoint.  Because of this, and because no party should be tied to any religion, just as our government should not be tied to any religion, the right as a whole and Republicans as a party should disassociate theirselves with abortion and start supporting equal rights for gays.  These two issues alone keep some of those in the center and on the left from ever supporting a Republican candidate.  It might cause a lot of those on the Christian right to be upset, but then they can choose the party that best conforms to what their idea of government should do on all other issues, or form a new 3rd party that is tightly tied to Christianity.

Stop being inconsistent

Right now many on the right are opposing government run health care on the idea that even though it may save a lot of lives, it isn't proper for the government or taxpayers to help others.  Yet, many of those same people are in support of the war in Iraq to give people in another country freedom and save their lives.  Why should we spend taxpayer dollars to police the world yet not spend taxpayer dollars to save those within our own borders?  Either we shouldn't spend money to help others, or we should and if we should then we should definitely want to help those within our own borders before those who are not within our borders.

Stop being hawks

The right has become a group of hawks and this is contrary to conservative ideas on foreign policy.  Conservative ideas on foreign policy are as spelled out by the Cato Institute:

Cato's foreign policy vision is guided by the idea of our national defense and security strategy being appropriate for a constitutional republic, not an empire. Cato's foreign policy scholars question the presumption that an interventionist foreign policy enhances the security of Americans in the post-Cold War world, and maintain instead that interventionism has consequences, including the formation of countervailing alliances, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and even terrorism. The use of U.S. military force should be limited to those occasions when the territorial integrity, national sovereignty, or liberty of the United States is at risk.

Conservatives need to re-embrace those ideas.  They are the ideas that our nations founders had in mind, and they are the ideas that are the most ethical and that might also allow some on the left to consider the rest of our ideas.

Have a well thought out income tax policy

There either should not be an income tax as Libertarians would like, or there should be an income tax that works to support Conservative values.  A tax that is progressive helps strengthen families at the lower incomes and therefore helps literacy rates, etc. which helps to preserve conservative values of strong families, an educated populace, etc.  Right now the government has taken on far too much responsibility and therefore spends too much and our national debt is growing because of it.  It is time to start cutting back on spending, but at the same time increasing revenue and the only realistic way to increase revenue is through a progressive income tax because those in the middle and lower class cannot support any higher tax burden.

Start supporting alternative energy and embrace that global warming is real and might be caused by us

The science is in, global warming is real and it is probably caused by our actions (and can we afford to gamble that it is not?).  Most of the oil that is easily available is in countries with citizens that do not like us.  Because of these two things, it is long past time to start looking into energy sources that do not emit CO2, and that do not require us to work with countries that are not friendly to us.

Stop catering to Israel

We give far too much money and support to Israel and it hurts our credibilty around the world and doesn't help to reduce the hatred towards us in the Muslim world.  It is time to treat Israel as we would any other country that is a friend and ally of ours.  We should work with them, and be friends with them, but we should point out when they are doing something that works against peace in the middle east and use our monetary aid as a tool to help control their actions rather than blindly supporting them at all times.

Start rethinking drug policy

The war on drugs does not work, and will never work so long as it is punitive rather than based in medicine.  It only makes organized crime stronger, and leads to a larger role of government and often leads to violations of our constitutional rights.  The punitive war on drugs was originally based on racism, and is now based in morality that is derived from religion.  For these reasons, it is time for the federal government to take a non punitive role and start considering policy that would put organized crime out of business, make drug use safer and less damaging to society, and help those who are ready to reform their lives through cessation of drug abuse.

 

 

Emissions Standards: The Global Siege on America >>

Let me begin by pronouncing the agreements that I share with Democrats. Or rather: let me be clear. The Earth is a gift from God, and is, aside from perhaps the feminine form, the most stunning thing in existence. No man alive is so base as to devalue what we have. This vehicle, like the Hand that created it, yields beyond sustenance and gives inspiration.

Now with that caveat out of the way, I submit that the Liberals, the Greens, and the Radical Left’s feel-good ideas of castrating the industrial machine are reckless and downright dangerous for America. The Left (and by extension the Democratic Party), in what has become an international battle royale for energy, prefers to surrender our arms and engines.  They are gruelingly unable to comprehend nuclear and fossil energy as a game-changing tactical weapon like steel and gunpowder. Nor are they able to accept that environmental stewardship treaties ratified by international bodies actually hold deliberate, ulterior motives to tightly bind America in other ways. And a shrugging regard at such powers is one of the most imminent dangers of the new century.

And to temper this sentiment, I believe that America can and should reduce its negative impact on the environment; namely by shifting from coal to nuclear power as a staple like France did and John McCain suggested. It seems that Liberals only like the bad ideas from Europe, but none of the good ones. As a case in point, we would have already reached the Kyoto emissions goals through the nuclear option that Republicans have proposed for years.

 

If President Bush had not pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol that President Clinton signed in 1997, we would have shouldered the burden of what other nations turn and ignore. Sadly, many of the global shirkers were Kyoto's chief architects within the European Union! Aside from ignoring the pollution of China and India which clearly no longer deserve special exemption, it held America to an unreasonable standard.

Europe's Performance:       

The European Union has had mixed results since signing the Kyoto Accord. Spain failed abysmally at achieving its goals and Italy approached underdeveloped Russia to buy carbon credits. To contextualize Russia’s position, the fall of the Soviet Union led to "Perestroika" and an industrial collapse, and Kyoto’s lax standards on Russia were assessed on this collapse. Similarly, Germany claims to have decreased their overall emissions. Yet, the integration of East Germany and the other ex-Soviet states (whose outmoded production stood to be revamped anyway) has tilted this statistic grossly. The reunification of West Germany to East Germany made it much easier to restructure the rusting coal-fired production of the Cold War. This overhaul was slated to happen anyway, making such a benchmark much easier to reach. Now having lived in Spain, I saw the staggering unemployment that fluctuated between 12-18%, and that is one thing that haunts me with upcoming legislations in the pipeline. Spanish Economist Gabriel Calzada detailed the consequences of these legislations in his “Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources,” which demonstrates the damaging falsehoods of the “green job,” whatever that is. According to this perplexed academe, the subsidy of every 1 green job costs 2.2 regular jobs through inefficiencies, displacement, and re-allocation, and he expects the same results in the United States with President Obama’s Cap-and-Trade deal.

The liberal admonitionary chatchprase that “the debate is over” has battered many eardrums, not just yours. In the video below is an interview with Ex Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain. It’s not in English, but I can tell you that he treats the question of climate change as we do in America. His affiliates call climate change a religion, fettered with dogma, and state we have a “blue planet, not a green one.” Like many in the US, he claims not to be a “denier,” as that label presupposes something to deny. He concludes by stating that the debate is not over, because it has yet to even commence, and that there has been a marked decay in parliamentary spirit and democratic debate in Spain in years past, and that people should return to it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MD_bDfFaeI

China’s Performance:    

    The People’s Republic of China had recently surpassed the United States in CO2 emission in mid-2008, debunking the notion that America is the #1 offender.  But according to the environmental lunatics on the Left, we, The United States of America, must lead by example through blind faith and hope without assurance, that a military despotism like China will get warm fuzzies and turn green long after we have sacrificed trillions in GDP, millions of jobs, and the strategic high grounds that come with robust productive capacity. Yep. After watching America sadomasochistically self-immolate for a decade, China will want to join the rip-roarin’ fun!

India’s Performance:

Recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited India, and India’s Environmental Minister laid out a stalwart launch pad from which to negotiate future accords with the West. In short, he was not willing to sell his nation down the postmodern drain. I wish I could say the same for our leaders. Take a look for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyfJKgIQPXQ

Hillary’s refuted olive branch in New Delhi will be a microcosm of times to come, as we become the poor little match girl, passing from door to door and selling our eco-wares at no avail to a world hurtling in the opposite direction towards Ayn Rand.

The Ghosts of Energy Present and Future:

In America, we are a nation of people, not “masses” as the planeteers tend to esteem us. Hence, Carl Sagan’s hint at microbes having rights superseding those of humans will not fly far amidst a people unable to subtract anthropocentrism from stargazing, and who care little to imagine the giant unknowable workings of space and time after humans. Politically, it would be madness for a politico to expand his constituencies to mother earth, time, and space (gerrymandering would have to be done in either 3D or parsecs). The only manner in which to mobilize the public, or massage them into becoming pliant, would be to create a false sense of crisis, fear, and to literally demonize opposition as paid off or "flat-earthers." So it comes as no surprise that both Cap-and-Trade and ObamaCare are to be rushed. Despite that, the pending Waxman-Markey Bill puts forth many of the directives of “Old Europe” that will scare away manufacturing to the hills of Asia and Latin America. And Washington DC is counting on your docility to pass it.

Now according to the CIA World Factbook, America produces 14 trillion dollars in GDP as a total of our economy while China produces over 4 trillion. We dump 5.9 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere while China chugs out a full 6 billion. Now comparing the GDP in ratio to national emissions, a revelation emerges: We produce .00042 tons of CO2 per dollar of production. China produces .0015 tons of CO2 per dollar of production. So if cleanliness is the utmost goal, then the United States should already serve as an example to China, given that with a smaller population we produce more goods for the world at cleaner levels. 

Two points highlight China’s energy strategy for the 21st century: a petroleum highway and an emissions-free nuclear grid to make up for it. They already foresaw that T. Boone Pickens would abandon windfarms (which he did) and all the takeout joints in Hong Kong cannot accumulate the biodiesel grease to power fleets of buses. To put it another way: they’re not screwing around.  

According to Westinghouse Electric International, China has made it a national priority to build 100 nuclear power plants by 2020 (more resemblant of the Space Race than ObamaCare). And this national mobilization utilizes United States technology! Lord knows that the EU is already jacked into the atomic grid as well. We are not.

What’s the matter?  Did I frazzle your hippiemojo-windpower vibe and shatter your image of the avuncular T. Boone, who you learned was so hip during the hopeandchange era? Too bad, undergrad. It gets worse.

Aside from holding our debt, China is leveraging its surpluses to purchase assets around the globe, opening up trade channels to fan out their empire. Africa has become the next battlefield for resources, and China is pulling no punches in applying the same colonial takeover methodology as the powers of Europe did a century past. Nearly one third of all of China’s petroleum imports come from the African continent, and they have begun courting nations like Angola, The Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and yes…Sudan. With an economy growing at 9% for the past two decades, they are jealously vying for control of new sources of timber, coal, copper, and oil, and doing so in side by side competition with the United States. Traditionally, China has taken a hands-off approach towards meddling in the affairs of another nations (since they themselves have no desire for scrutiny), but has recently scrapped this diplomatic dogma by cozying up to local oil-friendly African nations and their government officials. A crux of their tactic has been to lay “investments” into roads, fiber optics, technology training, bridges, and other infrastructures that would otherwise bollix African nations to quickly build for themselves. This colonial paradox for a once insular power demonstrates that the searing growth of their nation has alarmingly trumped old wisdoms, and is goading them to do what it takes to win…Confucius be damned and anyone else who stands in their way.

In this quest to outbid America in global energy sources, arms have become a desired currency for petty dictators and warlords, and China is in no short supply. While Western powers have done the same for some time in supporting unsavory regimes for regional interest, the rabbit hole goes much deeper in China’s case. Dangerous regions like Sudan receive their arms shipments from China (and military trainers), while 60% of Sudanese oil output heads in the other direction. This transcontinental circulation of arms-for-oil has been used to curry favor with African members of the United Nations, allowing for more votes to disregard China’s human rights violations and it even compells African nations to rebuff the ineffectual African Union in overseeing Sino-African commerce in its own continent.

Brazil, the fastest-growing economy in Latin America and by far its largest nation, has announced that China has surpassed the United States as a trade partner in an historic demand sweep for iron ore. In February of this year, Brasil’s state-run oil company accepted a $10 billion-dollar loan deal from the People’s Republic of China, and agreed to supply China’s national oil company, SINOPEC, with petroleum output. Through decades of cultural drift from North America, and socialist Brazilian President Lula da Silva at the helm, who blames American capitalism for the global meltdown, totalitarian wheels have been set in motion in our own, western hemisphere.

An Old Bear, still tired of American power, has bellowed out a roar to be heard across Eurasia. It is common knowledge that Russia has been buying up utility companies in Eastern Europe, and providing shelter in the United Nations for Iran, a country with its own untapped resources. The recent invasion of Georgia and South Ossetia impinged into their Caucasus pipeline—one of the few pipelines that flows into Europe independently of Russia. It is no small wonder that Vladimir Putin threatened to sever the pipeline into Europe to keep the west at bay. 

The Final Word:

With exploding demand, China, Russia, and other hostile powers will continue to buy, to seek, and to prod for more economic hegemony, and weave it into their mutual fatigue with America’s superpower status. And what do they all have in common? They purchase assets with government-run oil companies, treating utilities like defense commodities and branching out with the backing of infinite subsidy under the guise of corporate buyout. And to add insult to injury, they are all exempt from Waxman-Markey and Kyoto mandates. Here in the States, we own literally oceans of natural gas beneath our bedrock, and deluvian reserves offshore. We even have three times the reserves of Saudi Arabia in the Rocky Mountains. All of this is capable of being transported with modern technology that has come a long way since the Exxon-Valdez spill ages ago; yet drilling remains illegal in spite of marvelous precautionary advances and a clean record since. This vainglorious distaste for black crude serves as an object of haughty disdain for the Liberal elite, and from others it is merely a reckless childishness regarding the stern realities of this world. Tanks are not powered on corn oil, F-22 fighter jets do not run on solar power, and aircraft carriers do not use windmills. We fuel these battle weapons with fossil fuels and nuclear reactors—the twin strategic pillars of the Republican energy platform and still the beverage of choice for the grown-up world.  

Nothin’ like the real thing. 

As I exit stage right with reminiscence, I recall President Bill Clinton rejecting a Republican push in 1995 to drill in ANWR, a frozen desert, claiming that the project would not yield oil until 2005. This stance would then contort into blatant denial when in 2008, the Democratic Party would then accuse Republicans of short-sightedness for wanting to drill in Palin Country. Fittingly enough, either party has yet to accuse China, a 4,000 year-old kingdom, of being short-sighted.

America is under siege. I suggest we start guarding our aqueducts. >>

 

 

Follow-up - Someone Accepted the President's Invitation

I'm not sure he's the first, but I'm glad to see someone called the President's bluff about going over the healthcare reform bill "line-by-line".

Rep. Tom Price of Georgia has formally accepted the invitation.

http://rsc.tomprice.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=140269

Maybe the President will save some time and review this 268 page bill proposed by the Republican Study Committee:

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h3400ih.txt.pdf

Summary of the plan:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25581.html

Following the Lead of Our Congress...

 

... I'll be taking an August recess from this blog.  And, of course, I'll be ducking public forums and townhalls like all our Democrat representatives. 

I know, I know - you're clearly disappointed.  Let me explain: though I enjoy doing the blog, I must focus on things somewhat more urgent.  In preparation for graduate school, I am registered to take the GMAT exam in mid-September.  Many people spend months preparing for the test; I, in my typical fashion, have allowed myself only about 5 weeks.  So I'll be devoting them to pouring through test prep books and software, rather than the much more fun blogging.  Lord willing, after I rock a 700+ on the GMAT, I'll be right back here posting my political thoughts.  Until then, I'll recommend some daily reading for you:

www.realclearpolitics.com

www.nationalreview.com

www.weeklystandard.com

www.politico.com

Thanks for checking out my blog - and check back in September! 

WT

Who Will Be the First To Call This Obama Bluff?

In a campaign style event yesterday President Obama made this promise about the healthcare bill:

"If they want to come over to the White House and go over line-by-line what is going on, I will be happy to do that."

http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-07-29-voa53.cfm

This one is easy.  I hope some spunky Republican back-bencher steps up to call that.  "Mr. President, I'd like to come over during the recess and go over this 1,000+ page bill with you, line-by-line." 

Must-See Video: Rep. Paul Ryan on Healthcare

Check out the next generation of Republican leadership, Rep. Paul Ryan (R - WI), on MSNBC. (Hat tip: Mary Katherine Ham at the Weekly Standard)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdr49iGZOUw&feature=player_embedded

I've been extremely impressed with Ryan for a while now.  Young, articulate, whip smart, good ideas, conservative - 2012 may be too soon, but if he's not a major player in the future I'll be very surprised and disappointed.  He's one of what I call "My Guys" - rising stars I think may be of presidential caliber.  I'd like to see more of these folks assuming leadership rolls in the party, on bigger stages, and in some cases, moving up to more prominent offices.  Here's my short list (in no particular order), I'd love to hear some of yours:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN)

Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA)

Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ)

Rep. Eric Cantor (VA)

Fmr. Rep. Rob Portman (OH)

Gen. David Petraeus*

These guys have a few things in common (aside from being men, which is not an exclusion of women - I honestly can't think of any prominent women that fit this criteria): conservative, smart, serious, well spoken, extremely competent, accomplished. 

*the general's conservative credentials are, of course, unknown at the moment.  I'd need to be convinced he's not the second coming of Powell.

Perhaps I'll get around to posting more on this later, but more than anything, I believe the Republican party needs to rebrand itself as the party of competence.  At every level, "smart" Democrats have made a mess of things by being blatently incompetent.  Republican ideas, when tried, work.  By elevating candidates with proven track records of success, we can present a strong counterargument.  Obama was inexperienced, but that didn't seem to hurt him.  In 2012, the case against him will no longer be experience, it will be his failed record.  To exploit that, we'll need a candidate with some credentials - like an Ivy league graduate, two-term governor who kept his state's budget in balance during the economic downturn (Daniels).  This, for me, is the strongest case against Palin.  Not that I buy her being dumb, but that the public perception of her is the opposite of competence and it's unlikely to turn on a dime.  What do you think?

Give Me More DeMints and Coburns

"We got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns," Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) told the Columbus Dispatch. "It's the southerners."

I say give me a dozen more Jim DeMints or Tom Coburns and I'll give you healthcare reform that works.  I'll give you economic policies that free up the wealth creating energy of the American people and rocket us into recovery.  If only we had a few more of those guys...

National Review Lays Smackdown on "Birthers"

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTRjMTFhMzQxYmEzNjA2YWIwOTU4YWVjNzRmODE2NTI=

Anyone still questioning the President's birth status, please follow the link.  I appreciate the desire to click our heels together and make it all go away, but that's a fantasy we can't afford right now.  Aside from the all too obvious Springsteen reference, I agree completely with the editorial linked above.  Far more valuable uses of our time, energy, and credibility exist.  For starters, how about putting pressure on the FEC to investigate President Obama's campaign finances? 

Healthcare Myths and the Republican Opportunity

Check out this article on Healthcare debate myths:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/23/health_care_mythology_97552.html

It's a pretty long read, but very important.  I'm more and more convinced that this is the type of messaging we need going into the 2010 and 2112 cycles - sort of a push back against all these liberal premises that have become conventional wisdom.  Kind of an "Everything they've told us is wrong".  McCain missed a lot of these opportunities in the debates; we need a candidate in 2012 who will be capable of making concise arguments against these types of liberal yarns.  All the more so because President Obama is a very conventional thinker.  Taking the weak premises out from under his leftist policies will leave him looking foolish (or more foolish). 

Despite all their claims to the contrary, Dems have a crucial weekness we can exploit with facts and science.  For an excellent treatise on this, see the late Michael Crichton's "Aliens Cause Global Warming" speech from 2003.

http://www.michaelcrichton.net/speech-alienscauseglobalwarming.html

Dems have completely married themselves to the "science" of man-made global warming.  As the "concensus" further unravels in the coming years, Republicans have an opportunity to once again be seen as the true champions of science and reason.  Ditto with the breakthroughs in adult stem cell (iPS) research versus embryonic stem cells.  This will have the added benefit of broadening our appeal to younger voters, with whom the Republican party has struggled of late.  While I've always been sympathetic to conservatism, my public school education grounded me in the liberal myths and presuppositions that carry one naturally to liberal policy prescriptions.  It wasn't until I began looking more closely that these foundations eroded and I found myself back on conservatism's shores.  This happened issue-by-issue.  I think we can do much to help a generation of youth until now firmly in Democrat land find their way to the Republican party.  They are The Next Right.

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