October 2011


Clarence Thomas has been on the Supreme Court for 20 years. People are starting to realize that he has been the leader of the movement to return the Republic to the Founder’s vision. Here’s John Yoo, writing in the WSJ:

Justice Thomas’s two decades on the bench show the simple power of ideas over the pettiness of our politics. Media and academic elites have spent the last 20 years trying to marginalize him by drawing a portrait of a man stung by his confirmation, angry at his rejection by the civil rights community, and a blind follower of fellow conservatives. But Justice Thomas has broken through this partisan fog to convince the court to adopt many of his positions, and to become a beacon to the grass-roots movement to restrain government spending and reduce the size of the welfare state.

larence Thomas set the table for the tea party by making originalism fashionable again. Many appointees to the court enjoy its role as arbiter of society’s most divisive questions—race, abortion, religion, gay rights and national security—and show little desire to control their own power. Antonin Scalia, at best, thinks interpreting the Constitution based on its original meaning is “the lesser evil,” as he wrote in a 1989 law journal article, because it prevents judges from pursuing their own personal policies. Justice Thomas, however, thinks that the meaning of the Constitution held at its ratification binds the United States as a political community, and that decades of precedent must be scraped off the original Constitution like barnacles on a ship’s hull.

Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow at the the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has a long and distinguished career as an academic economist and is one of the most widely read conservative columnists. He is a  proponent of free markets and opponent of government intervention in the market. He has a unique talent for explaining complex issues clearly and succinctly. In a recent column, he explained why rules against banks having multiple branches proved so disastrous during the last depression:

At one time, many state banking laws forbad a bank from having multiple branches. The goal was limited and local — namely, to prevent big, nationally known banks from setting up branches that many locally owned banks could not successfully compete against.

But, limited and local as such state banking laws were, their impact was both national and catastrophic, when thousands of American banks failed during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The vast majority of the banks that failed were in states that had laws against branch banking.

Why? Because, when there is a single bank in a single place, the fate of both its depositors and its borrowers depends on what happens there. If it is a wheat-growing region, a drop in the price of wheat means people deposit less money in the bank at the same time when more borrowers are unable to repay their loans.

He notes that no Canadian banks failed during that period because they were not so restricted.

Economist Walter Williams is another popular conservative economist. He brings unique insights to economic and social issues. Here he is explaining why the government has no business requiring you to wear seat-belts. And here he is explaining the role of profits in a free market in terms almost anyone can understand:

The pursuit of profits forces producers to be attentive to the will of their customers, simply because the customer of, say, a supermarket can fire it on the spot by taking his business elsewhere. If a state motor vehicle department or post office provides unsatisfactory services, it’s not so easy for dissatisfied customers to take action against it. If a private business had as many dissatisfied customers as our government schools have, it would have long ago been out of business.

Free market capitalism is unforgiving. Producers please customers, in a cost-minimizing fashion, and make a profit, or they face losses or go bankrupt. It’s this market discipline that some businesses seek to avoid. That’s why they descend upon Washington calling for crony capitalism — government bailouts, subsidies and special privileges. They wish to reduce the power of consumers and stockholders, who hold little sympathy for blunders and will give them the ax on a moment’s notice.

When he asks “Who owns you?”, he asks a very important question. His answer is that you own yourself.

U.S. Congressman Tim Scott won his primary against Strom Thurmond’s son in a largely white district in South Carolina. He has become a hero to the Tea Party movement for his steadfast resistance to the growth of Big Government. Unlike many Republicans swept into office by Tea Party momentum in the 2010 mid-terms, Tim Scott stayed true to his principles.

Ken Blackwell’s resume is solidly conservative:

Ken Blackwell is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and is a Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council, as well as the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow for Public Policy at the Buckeye Institute in Columbus, Ohio. He is a visiting fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the American Civil Rights Union. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Club for Growth, National Taxpayers Union and Pastors Retreat Network. Mr. Blackwell is also the Chairman for the Coalition for a Conservative Majority, and a member of the National Rifle Association’s Public Affairs Committee. He is a columnist for the New York Sun, a contributing editor and columnist for the conservative news and opinion site Townhall.com, and a public affairs commentator for the Salem Radio Network.

In this column  Blackwell talks about America’s economic options in terms that any Tea Party Patriot would approve:

To be clear, there are two distinct paths:

We can go the route which President Obama favors, which includes an ever-increasing debt ceiling which will continue to crush economic activity.

Or, we can force government to “eat their peas” and use the force of law to handcuff legislators to policies which spur economic growth and job creation.

And the time to choose a path is today, before August 2, when the Federal government will officially run out of money to pay outstanding obligations.

According to Michael Tanner of CATO, the Treasury Department will collect roughly $203 billion in taxes during August, but have liabilities totaling more than $307 billion. You certainly could not run your family budget with this type of recklessness. And as America runs at lightning speed toward a Greek-like financial catastrophe, as our debt is on the verge of consuming our nation’s entire output.

Throughout American history, we have never failed to increase the debt ceiling. And as irresponsible politicians grow government for their own political gain, they have left us with a financial cancer which is metastasizing rapidly.

Therefore, conservatives must act boldly and proactively. Not only must we sit at the bargaining table and demand cuts, but there must be cuts in all levels of government which amount to an immediate reduction in the deficit. Anything less is unacceptable.

I could add Larry Elder, Star Parker, Deroy Murdock, Allen West to the list. I could also go back through American history and add Martin Luther King, Booker T Washington and Frederick Douglass.

Perhaps it is because the GOP establishment has become Democrat-lite that it fails to recognize its proud history as the anti-slavery party. It would do well to remember what Frederick Douglass said and remind the black community of what he said:

I am a Republican, a black, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress.

I suspect Douglass and his intellectual companions would find more in common with the Tea Party than the GOP establishment.

For some strange reason, the left cannot point to such a star roster.  Perhaps this article by Norman Kelley, entitled “The Curious Case of the Missing Black Liberal Thinkers”, provides some perspective. After looking at a list of the 50 most influential liberal thinkers/intellectuals, Kelley writes:

What struck me was the paucity of blacks on the list. As a matter of fact, if one reads the responses from others, the only blacks that did appear were Bob Herbert, Oprah Winfrey, and Cornel West.

Now, I really don’t consider Herbert or Winfrey “influential liberal thinkers.” I don’t find Herbert to be an engaging writer or thinker. Certainly not Winfrey; however, I do consider her to be a force for good.

West shoulder qualify as one, but I’ve always considered him a very slick con artist who gives the appearance of being intellectual; he performs as one, without offering anything of substance (see below).

If you have to come up with a black intellectual, West fits the caricature of what a “progressive” or “liberal” thinker is suppose to be.

Seems to me that Conservatives are color-blind and Liberals are quota-racists. Conservatives say all men are equal and Blacks can succeed on their merits. Liberals say Blacks need special help to succeed, and Asians need handicapping. I suspect none of the Black conservatives I’ve mentioned would agree with the Liberal position.

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Of course, most of his policies are sheer lunacy. His economic policies are based on Marxist misconceptions he absorbed in his radical youth. His foreign policies are based on similar mistakes. He starts from the premise that America is an imperialistic, colonial power and the root cause of most of the conflict in the world.

After nine years of fighting, America won the war in Iraq. It replaced a terrorist sponsoring dictator with the most Democratic government in the Muslim Middle East. It established a strong presence on the border of Iran. It could have had bases to monitor Iran and act as a deterrent against Iranian aggression and subversion. It could have installed missile defense systems to defend the region from Iranian missile attacks. It could have bases from which to launch surprise  strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities. The obvious historical precedent was America’s forward position against Communist aggression in the aftermath of World War II. But Obama, in an act of feckless appeasement of Code Pink, has decided to throw away the gains won with the blood of true patriots.

President Obama does have an Iraq  strategy. Spokesman P. J. Crowley explained it:

Mr. Crowley said the U.S. and Iraqi forces can conduct joint exercises and Iraqi troops can get more training in third countries, as well as the United States. He said Washington will negotiate those details later.

“Our diplomats will do that, along with the robust security assistance office planned for the embassy,” he said.

“Diplomats will take the lead in the future, and they merit the same support we gave our military forces in Iraq.”

Great. We are going to replace American fighting men and women with a bunch of Ivy League graduates well versed in the nuances of Diplomacy. That’s going to work about as well as President Obama’s economic policies.

The American Spectator reports that:

During last Thursday’s GOP presidential debate, Herman Cain told the audience that he’d be dead if Obamacare had been in effect when he was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer in the spring of 2006. Cain has often made this statement on the campaign trail, so the moderator asked him to elaborate. Cain answered by pointing out that “from March 2006 all the way to the end of 2006, for that number of months, I was able to get the necessary CT scans, go to the necessary doctors, get a second opinion, get chemotherapy… go to get surgery, recuperate from surgery, get more chemotherapy in a span of nine months.” He went on to suggest that, under Obamacare and its bureaucratic red tape, his diagnosis and treatment would have unfolded far more slowly and that probably would have been fatal.

 

In the British NHS system, you will experience all the delays and denials that bureaucrats build into health care and you may well die. This Doctor’s experience is all too typical:

I insisted on an MRI scan, but my consultant said the NHS could only afford to do one without contrast, which is less sensitive than one with contrast.

So, for the first time in my life, I went private. I got the results in September 2008 — they were clear. Finally I could start to live again.

But six months later, a second scan showed exactly what I’d feared: a 4mm tumour was growing on my liver.

A third scan in August, this time on the NHS, showed it had grown to 9mm.

If I’d stayed on the NHS and hadn’t had those scans, I’d have been months from death without knowing. Instead, the tumour had been picked up while it was still small enough to be removed with surgery.

However, the news got worse. The soonest the NHS could offer a date for an operation was six weeks away. An aggressive tumour could double in that time. So again I went private and paid £20,000 to have three small tumours removed from my liver.

I’d worked in the NHS all my life — and yes, I felt guilty. But being a patient made me see things differently. I felt alone, uncared for, and forced to make things happen myself.

I became acutely aware of the many patients out there who were suffering as I was, given no options. I confided in my colleagues at the surgery — they understood completely, and said they wouldn’t wait either.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2047602/Im-alive-I-know-beat-NHS-system.html#ixzz1aVLxBHSE

Obamacare promises the same level of care.

 

According to her brother, she was on the verge of running but decided not to,  quite recently. Who can blame one who has endured so much yet stayed so strong?

I believe her speech at Indianola, Iowa represented her announcement speech. Because of various organizational issues, she could not announce then. But she still gave some of that announcement speech, and it was a very impressive speech. One GOP candidate recognized that speech and understood its content and publicly remarked upon it. That candidate was the smartest one in the GOP field. This was before she decided not to  run, so he was looking at her at a competitor.

On that basis, I suggest Palinistas start rallying behind a most unlikely Palinista candidate, Newt Gingrich.

In my view, Sarah Palin should not endorse anyone just yet. But maybe she could start saying who she won’t endorse, starting with Huntsman and Ron Paul.

I think she and her family made the decision quite recently. Her Indianola speech strongly suggested that she had a platform and a theme for her campaign. Her interaction with the crowd was electrifying. What went wrong?

I think there are two things that impacted her decision. Firstly, much of the vileness that had been directed at her over the last three years resurfaced in the last few weeks as she moved closer to announcing. The McGinniss book and the public attack on Bristol might have been the tipping points. Secondly, I think her legal team pointed out that her enemies could use the FEC and the complexities of American election law to tie her campaign down in legal red tape. Once bitten, twice shy. We may never know, but as Brian Carter at American Thinker pointed out, we are the poorer for her not competing.

This is disappointing and bitter news. The MSM and the Democrats can claim sweet victory in forcing this honorable and decent woman to make this tough decision.

It is difficult to figure out who to support now. Romney is the GOP establishment’s favorite, if you believe the polls. But his albatross is Romneycare, the precursor to the abomination of Obamacare. Plus, you don’t know where he stands on anything.

Perry is not the one. Too many crooked deals in his past, soft on illegal immigration issues, and outclassed in the debates.

Bachmann has made too many unforced errors and comes across as flakey.

Santorum might pick up some Palinista support. He is a solid conservative and a good man.

Ron Paul thinks Iran should be allowed to become a nuclear power. ‘Nuff said.

Gingrich is starting to look better, but is not getting enough traction.

That leaves Herman Cain. He’s smart and likeable. But I don’t think much of his 9-9-9 plan and I wasn’t impressed by his knock on Perry.

Almost any of them would be better than Obama.

Sarah Palin was keeping her powder dry whether she chose to run or not. We can only guess at what finally forced her to bow out. But, we have to respect her decision and watch how she moves forward. Question number one will be whether or not she endorses any of the current contenders.

The date to watch is October 11th. Palin will be in South Korea giving a one hour speech on leading the world out of the current economic crisis. She is the keynote speaker among 250 leaders from 40 countries, including former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Obviously, she won’t announce on foreign soil. There are GOP debates scheduled for October 11th and October 18th. If she announces before the 11th, she guarantees intense media coverage of her South Korea speech and she sucks airtime away from her competition. If she announces afterwards, she will not have the same momentum. She would enter the debate on the 18th as a late-runner.

Hey, I’m just a software guy who runs a lot and blogs a bit. What do I know about political strategy?

But, my bet is she announces days before October 11th, and goes to South Korea to deliver a speech with the whole world focused on her. Her speech will recap the themes of her Iowa speech but translated into a global context. It will hit the news cycle the day after the GOP debate and dominate. My best guess, fellow Palinistas.

And, if she decides not to run, I’ll be all in for Herb Cain.