Archive for November, 2008

Battle for the GOP

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

With the results of the election in, there has been much soul searching in the Republican party.  Not surprisingly, much of the attention has been paid to George Bush’s horrendous record on fiscal policy, where he has overseen the largest increase in domestic spending since at least LBJ (if not FDR), and has brought on the nationalization of the banking sector.

But not enough attention has been paid to Bush’s disastrous foreign policy.  Fortunately, Doug Bandow is all over it.

Here are two of Doug’s must reads:

The American People Render Their Electoral Judgment: Time to Finish Off the Neoconservatives

Learning from John McCain’s Mistakes: Supporting Aggression in the Caucasus

Maybe now that they are out of power the GOP establishment will take heed. Just don’t hold your breath.

Socialism

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Yeah that’s about right…

But even this clever cartoon is a little generous to socialism.

After all, under socialism, if someone refuses to pay they are compelled to pay, literally at the point of a gun.  And I don’t just mean in Communist countries. If you refuse to pay taxes here in the U.S. ultimately the money will be taken at the point of a gun and you will be thrown in jail.

AntiWar.com

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

I don’t often suggest where people donate their hard earned money, but since I gave a modest amount to Antiwar.com’s quarterly fundraising drive, I’d like to give two reasons why now is a particularly good time for you to consider doing the same: 

The time is right to re-establish the non-interventionist Right

With McCain’s loss and the thorough rejection of Bush by the American people, the conservative movement is at a crossroads. The libertarian/Old Right, anti-war prospective of Antiwar.com is great vehicle for making the case that a consistent application of conservative, constitutionalist principles means a modest, non-interventionist foreign policy.

The immediate future of the anti-war left is uncertain.

With the new Democrat regime in Washington, AntiWar.com is more critical than ever. The site does a great job mixing its Old Right/libertarian with viewpoints with other antiwar prospectives, including those in the anti-Bush left.  However, with messianic fervor that surrounds Obama, I expect to see anti-war criticism from the left subdued or suppressed as outlets like The Nation and Center for American Progress fall in line. This leaves Anti-War.com as a vital reminder that peace is not a partisan issue.

Saul Anuzis’ Returns

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

According to the Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary (subscription only) Saul Anuzis, the Michigan GOP Chair who famously wanted Ron Paul barred from all GOP debates, is campaigning for the RNC chairmanship:

On the Republican side, the jockeying to replace current GOP Chairman Mike Duncan has begun. Mr. Duncan has been a competent administrator and fundraiser but the widely perceived need for new blood in the wake of the party’s second consecutive drubbing at the polls makes him unlikely to be re-elected.

Several candidates are lining up to replace him. Michigan GOP State Chairman Saul Anuzis is actively campaigning on a platform of reinvigorating the party’s grass roots and returning to basic conservative principles. South Carolina Party Chairman Kalton Dawson is touting his fundraising abilities as he rounds up votes among fellow RNC members.

But several insiders believe the next RNC chairman must have some star power and an ability to get on national talk shows at a time when the new Obama administration will dominate media coverage. Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, now chairman of the GOPAC conservative training academy, is allowing friends to make calls on his behalf. Mr. Steele is already a fixture on cable TV news shows and well known in Washington D.C. conservative circles.

But some Republicans are touting someone with an even bigger media profile — former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

According to another article, Anuzis “wants the party to invest in the latest technology to reach young voters and to expand the GOP message to more voters” and says “the party needs to do a better job of using the latest technology to raise money.”

So a year and a half after Anuzis demanded Ron Paul kicked out, he says the GOP needs to do a better job reaching young voters and using the “latest technology” (i.e. the internet) to raise money. Irony anyone?

Down the Ballot

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Compared to the Presidential race, where I’m reluctant to vote at all, voting down the ballot is a breeze.

Here are the “choices” I’m faced with. And here are my picks:

Senate: Warner will run away with this, so a vote for Libertarian candidate Redpath is easy even though I know nothing about him except for the L next to his name. ( I do want to see the Republicans be able to hold a filibuster in the Senate, so if Gilmore had a chance I might consider him.)

House: I’m not a fan of the Republican Mark Ellmore who knocked Ron Paul-endorsed candidate Amit Singh out of the primary with some dirty tricks. Incumbent Democrat Jim Moran will win easily but is lousy too, so I’ll probably just write-in Singh.

County Board: From what I’ve been told, a while ago my antagonistic neighbor tried unsuccessfully to solicit support for a zoning ordinance making it difficult to host gatherings at my house (and others). I have no doubt his goal was to shut down my well-attended annual St. Patrick’s Day party. His house has a sign on its lawn for the Green candidate, so I’ll vote for his only opponent, even though its the incumbent Democrat.

School Board: Ugh, two uncontested Democrat incumbents. One year I’ll run for school board on a “no kids, slash the budget” platform.

Ballot Questions: For my voting today, I’m most enthusiastic about voting against the local ballot questions here in Arlington, Virginia. I’ll be happily voting against borrowing over $170 million for the four bond questions on the Metro, “Community Infrastructure,” utilities and schools. I’ll also reject the creation of a Housing Authority. If I was in Massachusetts, I would take particular pleasure in voting to eliminate the state income tax.

Coke, Pepsi and a Stiff Drink

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Waiter: What would like to drink?

Patron 1: I’ll have scotch on the rocks, and also please bring me some ice water.

Patron 2: Can I see the wine list?

Waiter: Sorry. We only serve Coke and Pepsi.

Welcome to American democracy.

Like most Presidential elections, this year we’re offered two candidates that are more the same than different. And like Coke and Pepsi, the packaging differs a little, so does the tone of their advertisements, and one candidate even seems a little hipper, but the substance is the same and virtually indistinguishable.

That’s why I’m so unenthusiastic about voting this year, particularly for the Presidential race. McCain with his finger on the button scares me. So does the idea of Obama with mandate for change.

I’ll probably ending ended up pulling the lever for Bob Barr, even though not voting on principle is also very appealing. Sure Barr’s campaign hasn’t been able to capitalize on the enthusiasm of the Paul campaign, and some of the campaign’s decisions have been quite questionable. (I’m thinking specifically of the decision to stiff Ron Paul while Campaign Manager Russ Verney was writing in praise of George Bush’s post-9/11 “leadership” - you know, the “leadership” that got us into Iraq, failed to make any reform in social security, authorized torture, spied on Americans, etc.)

Still, for most Americans who don’t even realize that Bob Barr is on the ballot, a vote for him is just a generic libertarian protest vote, which is exactly what I want it to stand for. (Plus Barr smokes cigars, which makes him far more appealing than Obama who lies about quitting cigarettes or McCain who quit his two pack a day habit in the 70’s, then spent the 90’s trying to tax and regulate the cigarette companies out of business.)

And at the end of the night, I’ll settle in for a stiff drink or three (paired with a cigar) and see who the country picks in the latest Pepsi challenge.

Unlike the election I’ll have meaningful choices: Bourbon, Scotch (Single Malt or Blended), Rye, Kentucky Whiskey, Rum, Vodka, Gin, various liqueurs, port, and even tequila should the mood strike. And you won’t find me mixing anything with Coke or Pepsi.