Thursday, August 25, 2011

Obama on the Seals and Seal Team 6

I saw this the other day and found it interesting.  Just some more examples of "candidate" Obama differing dramatically from President Obama.  It will be interesting if he starts to switch back into candidate mode now.

It's interesting because to the extent that his administration has been successful, it has been largely by not following through on his own campaign promises.  Guantanamo was not closed.  We got valuable information out of Guantanamo.  Obamacare is a reality.  Because he did not work across the aisle to achieve consensus, and because he did not bring "change" to the political system.  Change would have been a common sense, plain English bill that legislators on both sides had carefully considered, and had come to a consensus on.  Instead, you have leading Democratic lawmakers saying that they will find out what's in the bill once it is passed.  You have the President posing for "bi-partisan" photo ops with Republican lawmakers, telling them his plans, and refusing to consider their suggested changes.

We are still in the recession, and the two wars in the Middle East.  We have also gotten involved in Libya.  Guantanamo is still operational.  Politics in America is still a game of partisan chicken now that one house is controlled by the GOP.  Has Obama fulfilled any of his campaign promises?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Why the Libertarian Party Should Nominate Ron Paul

Alright.  So, as a card carrying member of the Libertarian Party, here's my plan and advice for 2012.

Keep in mind I live in a closed primary state.  I cannot caucus as a Republican unless I officially change my party affiliation before the caucus, which I might actually do.

The Libertarian party should nominate Ron Paul.  Why nominate a traitor, you ask?

Well, there's a few reasons.  First, the matter of principles.  Although Ron Paul may have left the Libertarian Party, he still holds firm in many Libertarian beliefs.  Best example?  Ron Paul has been an outspoken opponent of the U.S.'s Middle Eastern wars since 2001.

There is nothing in either law or the LP bylaws which states that  candidate must actually be a party member in order to be nominated on the Libertarian ticket.

Second of all, practicality.

Best case scenario for Libertarians (and small "l" libertarians as well) is Ron Paul actually wins the Republican nomination.  A candidate can appear on the ballot with multiple nominations.  If this happens, one of two things happens, depending on each individual state's election laws.  Either the candidate appears twice on the ballot, with each party's name, or the candidate appears once with both parties.

Scenario a) the candidate still gets the votes from both names.  We could actually have a Liberty minded president in 2013.  More importantly, the LP could leverage these states to show how popular Libertarian ideas actually are.  Although Ron Paul, Libertarian, would appear below Ron Paul, Republican, on the ballot, both votes count the same (for who wins the office).  On the other hand, the total per party is calculated separately.  In this case, the Libertarians could appeal to Republican voters to choose the Libertarian Ron Paul if they hold Libertarian values.  Without the risk of them "wasting votes" or "stealing votes" from Obama's opponent, they could still vote for the same candidate but express their true, Liberty-minded, political opinion at the same time.  Since Ron Paul's own campaign, and the Republican Party, would likely be paying most of his campaign expenses, Republicans could focus on these states and voter education to encourage voters to vote for Ron Paul, Libertarian.

In Scenario b), the candidate only appears once.  Sharing a nominee with a major party would mean a lot of "Libertarian" votes.  Which could potentially help with ballot access issues, as well as raise general awareness.  Just seeing the name of our party next to one of the two real contenders in a presidential election will arouse a lot of curiosity.

Now, the other possibility is that Ron Paul loses the Republican nomination and wins the Libertarian nomination.  Should Paul have a strong showing in the Republican primaries, but not win, he might choose to actively campaign as an independent, or, more to the point, Third Party, candidate.  With the huge amount of fundraising he is sure to do leading up to the primaries, this could provide the LP with significant sources of campaign funding.  Moreover, as shown by the whole Ron Paul rEVOLUTION thing, he has many, many, very devoted followers.  Although most will surely vote for the "lesser of two evils," some are actually Democrats or Independents, and some are hardcore liberty-minded Republicans, all of who might very well choose to support Ron Paul over the Republican nominee.  It is doubtful this would be enough votes to win the election.  But it might very well be enough to get the Libertarian Party some attention, and, more importantly, to have the "largest third party in America," be viewed as a viable political force and option.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Is our government addicted to spending?

I saw this article by former Libertarian VP nominee Wayne Allyn Root and it raised an interesting prospect.  Is our nation's spending problem the national version of an addiction?

Let's look at it.  Like the alcoholic who takes the first sip, we started collecting taxes to build roads, schools, etc.  Then, when our nation hit hard times (like the Great Depression), we needed more.  The government "needed" to help the unemployed.  We started giving out welfare.  Which required more taxes.  We started government-funded infrastructure projects to both employee people and improve our economic infrastructure.  We needed more taxes.  Maybe it started off as an addiction.

But to me, our government's spending problem is more like methadone treatment for a heroine addict.  We are in an economic crisis.  Instead of cutting off our spending, we redirect it.  The government is about to hit its debt ceiling.  The private market has stopped creating new American jobs.  We borrowed too much money, and now our economy is on the verge of collapse, largely because we borrowed too much.  Well, what do our elected officials do?  Do they stop spending?  No, they continue spending.  They redirect their spending to more "healthy" and "productive" outlets, like... extending unemployment benefits.  Continuing to hire more "czars" and "advisers" to build our President's national monument to the Chicago Democratic machine.  Giving cash to first time home buyers.  Giving cash to people to buy "greener" cars.  Giving cash to companies that create "greener" jobs.  Where has it gotten us?

Just like a junky who is in the hospital for heroin use, and leaves just as stoned (although perhaps less at risk for diseases, ODs, and antisocial behavior) on methadone, our economy is still screwed.  We are in the hospital for debt, overspending, and economic restrictions which make us uncompetitive in the labor and industrial market places.  We are leaving with more debt, but this time it is debt in the service of "sustainability" "redistribution of wealth," and "social justice."

The solution is not to spend on different things.  The solution is to stop using.  For our government, that means stop spending.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

American Animal Farm?

I read this post the other day, and it really got me thinking.  I like to think that I am less biased and right-wing than a lot of other bloggers out there, even the ones I sometimes agree with.  This particular post reinforces those thoughts.  Although I think this is a little bit too far on the anti-Communist scale for the 21st century, the overall message is one I agree with.

Let's be honest.  The President and Democrats acted as if the debt crisis was a must-be-avoided situation.  As if, on August 2nd, if the debt ceiling was not raised, our entire country would collapse.  Obviously, social security and medicare recipients, as well as veterans, might not get their checks if the debt ceiling wasn't raised.

Instead of refuting these scare tactics, the Republicans we elected to office agreed.  Their point was not that any of these "inevitable" tragedies were not really inevitable.  Their argument was that they were, in fact, inevitable, and that the Republican-majority House would block any efforts to avoid them that did not include significant spending cuts.

Now let's look at the reality.  There is, in fact, an alternative to the "inevitable" tragedies quoted by the Obama administration.  4 out of every 10 dollars we spend are borrowed.  Which means that the government could continue to operate with 60% of its funding.  Do we really think that social security, medicare, and active duty and veteran pay and benefits add up to more than 60% of government spending?

What if, instead, extended unemployment benefits were cut off, retired Congressional pension payments were suspended, or Congressmen got paid 10% less or temporarily worked without pay?  What if federal bureaucrats were laid off or asked to work temporarily without pay?  Unfathomable?  FAA inspectors and air traffic controllers are already doing it!  If the people responsible for the safety of every person to fly in American airspace can work without pay, surely the people we elected to make tough choices, who have caused the enormous deficit which causes this problem, could do the same?  After all, can anyone argue that FAA inspectors and controllers caused the debt crisis?  How about Congressmen?  Can anyone argue that retirees, who faithfully paid into social security out of every paycheck for the last 40+ years of their adult life caused our bankruptcy?  How about the legislators who have resisted social security reform, even though we have known for decades that the system would eventually run out of money?

Democrats threatened inevitable tragedies to the most vulnerable and/or deserving people in our country.  Republicans agreed and used this as leverage.  In the end, we have just extended our credit limit without cutting back our spending.  In reality, neither side grew a pair large enough to make the tough choices necessary to fix the long term problems of our debt and deficit economy.

Were the veterans, the retired, and the disabled really saved?  Or were the elected representatives, making their livings and receiving health and retirement packages most of us could only dream of at our expense, saved?  Maybe it's time for a bigger change and more hope than Obama, or the Republicans, ever asked or hoped for.