January 29, 2008

Surpassing Reagan

Paul Mirgenoff at Powerline has written a sentence that may have suprassed Ronald Reagan's famous nine most frightening words in the English language:

"but I think McCain is clearly in command now."

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:09 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 26, 2008

This Sounds Familiar

Does this ring any bells for you?

We're in the middle of a contentious election. A Democratic candidate is not happy with the way things are being done, and seeks to change the rules in their favor. In Florida.

All I can really say, is that if you didn't see this coming you weren't paying attention.

When the state Democratic Parties of Michigan and Florida decided to schedule their primaries before February 5 in direct contravention of national party rules, the national party took action. They told the states if they proceeded with that schedule, their delegates would not count at the national convention.

At the time, I was surprised. This seemed an uncharacteristic level of holding anyone accountable for their actions on the part of the left.

All of the candidates were on board with the decision too. They all agreed not to campaign or participate in those state's primaries. There was some apparent disagreement over the meaning of "participate."

For instance, all of the candidates, except one took "not participate" to mean they should take their name off the ballot in Michigan. Mrs. Clinton, however, took the approach that nothing in the agreement specifically said she had to taker her name off the ballot. So she didn't and won a narrow symbolic victory over "other."

As the Florida primary approaches one candidate enjoys an almost two to one advantage in the polls. That candidate is Hillary Clinton.

There is also one candidate who has decided that the punishment handed out by the national party is too harsh and that the right thing to do would be to count the delegates from Michigan and Florida after all and issued this statgement:

“I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee.

“I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan. I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision. But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.

“I hope my fellow potential nominees will join me in this.
“I will of course be following the no-campaigning pledge that I signed, and expect others will as well.”
Care to guess which candidate it was?

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:08 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 25, 2008

Green VS Green

I love the planet. I love the environment. I love nature and the outdoors. I can't stand the self-righteous prigs that call themselves "Environmentalists." It stems from an automatic disgust for anyone who approaches life with a holier than thou attitude.

So I take great amusement when they turn on each other as in this story I found via Overlawyered.

On one side a couple of Prius driving environmentalists who planted a few Redwood trees to provide a little shade, a little privacy and help save the planet.

On the other side, an electric car driving environmentalist who has festooned his house with a large array of solar panels.

In the middle - Calilfornia law.

It seems there is a law in California regulating how much shade one's trees can cast on a neighbor's solar panels.

The tree owners refused to make any accommodation, and the solar guy was equally stubborn. He went to the prosecutor who filed criminal charges against the tree people. They lost the criminal trial and were ordered to cut down the two most offending trees, but are appealing. They don't want to be precedent for the rest of the state.

Plus there are probably laws against cutting down your own trees in California.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:07 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 20, 2008

Questions and Answers

It's campaign season! Ok so it's been campaign season for the last 18 months, but things are starting to heat up. That means's it's also survey season. In keeping with Hold the Mayo tradition, I'll be sharing with you, my loyal reader(s), my answers to the Republican Party Census Document.

All of the questions have the same multiple choice answer options: Yes, No, Undecided.

HOMELAND SECURITY ISSUES
1. Should Republicans do everything they can to prevent Liberal Democrats from repealing the USA Patriot Act and other important laws that help out intelligence agencies protect Americans?

Yes. Thus far despite paranoid fantasies of the civil libertarian fringe the hasn't been used to wantonly trample the rights of Americans, so try not to let the Democrats muck it up. Unless of course the Democrats introduce legislation that simply changes the name of the USA Patriot Act into something that doesn't sound so contrived.
2. Should Republicans stop the Democrats from cutting funding for our intelligence agencies or bringing back Clinton-era restrictions on interagency communications?
Yes. In the age of global terrorism it is probably a good idea if the right hand knows what the left does. That and I think the Republicans should do everything humanly possible to prevent the return of anything Clinton-era.
3.Do you support the use of air strikes against any country that offers safe harbor or aid to individuals or organizations committed to further attacks on America?
No. I don't think we should bomb those countries per se. I think we should attack terrorists in whatever the most efficiently lethal manner is whenever and wherever we find them. Identify a terrorist camp in Pakistan, bomb it. Locate a terrorist leader in Damascus, send in someone to kill him. Find a terrorist base in Iran, obliterate it. Terrorists are transnational, treat them that way. Don't work to pressure nations to deny terrorists safe harbor, deny them oxygen.
4. Should we do everything we can to stop Democrats from repealing critical border and port security legislation?
Yes. I think everything should be done to prevent Republicans from helping them do it too.

ECONOMIC ISSUES


1. Should we make our fight against the Democrats' massive tax hikes a central point of the 2008 campaign?
Yes. Why is this even a question? Aren't you sure? You're supposed to be the low tax party. This should be automatic.
2. Should Republicans oppose Senator Clinton's one size fits all, government-run healthcare plan?
No. Opposition is not enough. Defeat her again today and she'll back with more of the same tomorrow. Republicans need to do more than pay lip service to the concept of Free Market Solutions. They need to put together a comprehensive package of de-regulation and a program to disentangle the government form the healthcare industry. They need to push this aggressively to not only defeat Hillary Care but to destroy the federal foundation on which she wants to build it.
3. Should we continue working for serious tort reform to protect individuals and businesses from predatory lawsuits?
Yes. There are all sort of problems with a loser pays system, but the current system in which there is little or no cost to the predator isn't working either. I say go after the route of the problem - the lawyers. Enact legislation that allows the defendant in such a suit to file a complaint against the plaintiff's attorney. If the original suit is deemed frivolous or predatory, the attorney is disbarred. Permanently. As a safeguard against abuse the complaining attorney also puts his license on the line by files such a complaint. This will cut down on nuisance suits and the number of lawyers. A win-win solution.
4. Should we make sure President Bush's judicial nominees receive fair hearings and up or down votes in the Senate even when Democrats threaten a filibuster?
No. Well yes to the fair hearing bit, but the filibuster is part of the Senate process. If you don't like it used against judges eliminate it altogether. You won't do that though because you have used it to good effect since you squandered your congressional majorities. What you need to do is eliminate this pretend filibuster crap. If they want threaten a filibuster, fine. Call their bluff and make them do it. It's so easy to filibuster because there is no cost associated with "threatening to filibuster." Make them do the work, and filibusters will be a lot less common.
5. Should Republicans in Congress protect our private property rights from eminent domain?
Yes. A thousand times yes.

SOCIAL ISSUES


1. Do you think Congress should pass the Federal Marriage Amendment protecting marriage as a union between a man and a woman?
Yes. I mean why not? Congress passing the thing is only the first step in the process. I think we need a good Amend the Constitution debate in the states to remind them of the role they should play in governing the nation. Maybe it will make a few people realize how far the Federal Government has gone in usurping state authority.
2. Do you want Republicans to defend the recently-passed partial birth abortion ban by attacks by the Democrat majority?
Yes. Regardless of my opinion of the law, it is a core principal of the Republican Party. If it is what you believe in, I would like to see you stand up and defend it.
3. Do you support President Bush's initiatives to allow private religious and charitable groups to do more to help those in need?
I can't imagine a more disingenuous question coming from the Democrats. Allow me to rephrase that: Do you support President Bush's initiatives to give your money to private religious and charity groups that may not wish to donate too? No.

DEFENSE ISSUES

1. Do you think U.S. troops should have to serve under United Nations Commanders.
No. The only involvement U.S. troops should have with the U.N. is chasing them out of the U.S. if they don't leave willingly when we ask them to go.
2. Do you agree that our top military priority should be fighting terrorists?
Yes. But I would caution against having to myopic a view of the world. There are other threats that cannot be ignored, such as Russia and China.
3. Should Republicans fight Democrat efforts to impose Clinton-era cuts in the Pentagon's budget?
No. Just fighting Clinton-era cuts isn't enough. Republicans should be pushing for Reagan-era increases.
4. Do you support economic sanctions against North Korea and Iran to stop their nuclear weapons programs?
Yes. But they will be useless. Nations will violate them at will when it suits their interests. The only way stop the North Korean and Iranian nuclear weapons programs may be to just physically eliminate them.
5. Do you agree that sewing the seeds of democracy and freedom in the Middle East is a worthy goal?
Yes. The spread of freedom is an inherently good thing. If we do not stand for freedom. We stand for nothing.

REPUBLICAN PARTY

1. Do you support the election of Republican candidates across country and the rebuilding of our majorities over the next 10 years?
No. I cannot support a candidate based on the mere fact that they are a Republican. I never would have voted to re-elect Trent Lott for instance. Ron Paul is up for re-election to Congress and I couldn't support him either. If John McCain or Mike Huckabee are the GOP nominee for President they will only get my vote if it cast against Mrs. Clinton.
2.
a. Did you vote in the year 2002? Yes.
b. Did you vote in the year 2004? Yes.
c. Did you vote in the year 2006? Yes.

There is bonus question for RNC members only with the note "Your gift today makes you a member in good standing of the RNC." So I guess my registration and voting history don't count? The thing is, I hate these kinds of rules. So I'm going to break this one. You're not getting any of my money. There will be no gift from me today. But I am going to answer you "Members Only" question.

Which Republican Presidential Candidate will/did you support in the 2008 Primary?
Fred D. Thompson.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:58 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


Why I Changed Careers

The small handful of people who have been reading this site for a while know that I my youth I earned a college degree in journalism. What they may not know is why I don't work as a journalist today.

As I emerged from college with my freshly printed Journalism Degree, I found my self staring into an abyss of darkness, peril and pain. I had but to leap into the abyss to begin my career in the media.

I chose a healthier path.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 11:32 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 13, 2008

Hillary Clinton Lies

Accepting almost anything said by Mrs. Clinton these days requires a willing suspension of disbelief. The woman is so incapable of telling the truth it Ieaves me wondering if she understands the difference between the truth and her lies.

The most recent example comes via an appearance on Meet the press. Since it's on video, you can see proof of the old joke, "How can you tell a politician is lyng? You can see their lips move."

Yes, you heard her correctly. She is taking credit for the success of the troop surge in Iraq. She is actually claiming that withdrawal plans included in her and her competitors campaign speeches are the motivation for recent political progress in Iraq. If that is the case, she forgot to give a fair measure of credit to the Republican anti-war candidate, Ron Paul. Who not only wants to withdraw troops from Iraq but everywhere else in the world as well.

Of course there are a couple of other guys who not only want to bring troops home, but are actually doing it who she fails to credit as well. But if she tried to give credit to General Patraeus and George Bush, her head would probably explode.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 03:17 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


January 12, 2008

The Mayor of Boston is an Idiot

I found this story via Overlawyered about the Mayor of Boston's opposition to limited service health clinics that CVS Pharmnacy wants to open in the city.

I think the mayor is wrong headed in his position, but what struck me was this one comment that betrays just how stupid the man is.

"Limited service medical clinics run by merchants in for-profit corporations will seriously compromise quality of care and hygiene. Allowing retailers to make money off of sick people is wrong." (emphasis added)

For starters we're talking about a fairly large pharmacy chain. They are already making money off of sick people.

Every time one of the kids gets sick and we have to go to the pediatrician, they get money from the insurance company - plus my co-pay. They are making money off of sick people.

My wife is having surgery on Monday to repair a failed disk fusion in her neck. The list of people who are going to be making money off of that is too long to type.

We have an entire vast healthcare industry that employs hundreds of thouhands of  people that is designed around the idea of making money off of sick people. I actually like it that way. It gives them an incentive to do a decent job.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:55 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment


January 09, 2008

Primarily New Hampshire

It seems that the primary campaign is over. The Democrats have nominated Senator Hillary Clinton and the Republicans have nominated former Arizona Senator John McCain. Let the genera...

What's that? You say there are still nominating contests in 48 other states? Sorry I guess I jumped to the wrong conclusion based on everything I've read and heard.

With all due respect to the people of New Hampshire, So What.

Do you think now we can get past the obsession with two tiny states that will in the end have no impact on which candidate gets the nomination.

It's time to start counting delegates and see who is really winning.

According to CNN's count the Democrats have awarded 327 delegates out of an an expected 4.049. Including super delegates the totals so far"

Mrs. Clinton 182
Barak Obama 77
John Edwards 48
Bill Richardson 19
Dennis Kucinich 1

Remove the Super Delegates from the count and Mrs. Clinton's lead shrinks to one delegate.

For the Republicans, 68 of 2,380 delegates have been awarded.

Mitt Romney 29
Mike Huckabee 20
John McCain 9
Fred Thompson 6
Ron Paul 2
Rudy Giuliani 1
Duncan Hunter 1

The Republicans don't have any Super Delegates. They just use plain ordinary delegates who are not faster than speeding bullets or able to leap over tall buildings.

There are a lot of delegates left to be awarded in both parties. I think it's too soon to write off any of the top three Democrats. Richardson and Kucinich are toast.

On the GOP side, Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul have just as much chance as they ever had - none. It remains to be seen if Giuliani's big state strategies and Thompson's Southern state strategies pay off. I don't McCain can win - he's pissed off too much of the GOP base.

But I've been wrong before.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:40 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 08, 2008

What's In A Name

For years newsletters published under Ron Paul's name contained an entertaining mix of bigotry, delusion, paranoia, and conspiracy theories.

No one, not even Ron Paul, denies this. Paul's response to the issue is posted on his campaign web site:

“When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.”

This is fairly thin gruel as far as political spin goes. It might be believable if the garbage had appeared in one or two newsletters but this crap appeared over the course of decade or more. I mean there's not paying attention and then there's completely ignoring for over a decade.

Also over the course of that time the newsletter apparently changed names a few times as well as shifted publishing entitites.
Paul's newsletters have carried different titles over the years--Ron Paul's Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report--but they generally seem to have been published on a monthly basis since at least 1978. (Paul, an OB-GYN and former U.S. Air Force surgeon, was first elected to Congress in 1976.) During some periods, the newsletters were published by the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education, a nonprofit Paul founded in 1976; at other times, they were published by Ron Paul & Associates, a now-defunct entity in which Paul owned a minority stake, according to his campaign spokesman. The Freedom Report claimed to have over 100,000 readers in 1984. At one point, Ron Paul & Associates also put out a monthly publication called The Ron Paul Investment Letter.
So over the course of four different publication names and two different publishing organizations, Paul never once looked at what he was publishing? When the newsletter was published, by a for profit entity bearing his name, in which he held a financial interest, he couldn't be bothered to find out exactly what he was earning income from?

I'm more likely to accept that Hillary's tearful moment in New Hampshire was a genuine sign of her humanity. (Evidence of which has been in short supply.)

And even if you accept the spin, you have to ask yourself if a man who would pay so little attention to what was being done in his name is who you want sitting in the oval office.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:57 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 06, 2008

Movie Advice

Took the small ones to see Waterhorse, Legend of the Deep last week. My advice to you - don't do it.

If you want the same effect, watch ET and Free Willie bask to back (simultaneously would be better if you have the technology) while drinking a lot of really good single malt scotch.

The scotch is to replace the accents - and to dull the pain.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:17 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 04, 2008

Hillary Clinton Lost

It seems that the primary campaign is over. The Democrats have nominated Senator Barack Obamma and the Republicans have nominated former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Let the genera...

What's that? You say there are still nominating contests in 49 other states? Sorry I guess I jumped to the wrong conclusion based on everything I've read and heard.

With all due respect to the people of Iowa, So What.

Here's my analysis of the news out of Iowa.

Hillary Clinton Lost. While it feels good to type that, other than that bit of self satisfaction, I don't think it means all that much. In fact I think it might even be good for her.

One of the most consistent critiques of Mrs. Clinton is that she is driven by a lust for power and that she viewed her nomination as inevitable. Nothing or no one could touch her. She could not be stopped.

I think Americans in general do not like that kind of presumption. Particularly when it comes to power. It smacks too much of nobility and royalty. And while we may be fascinated with foreign royalty, we don't want them. As a culture, we also have a soft spot for the underdog. One need only peruse a few sports forums to read the invective being hurled toward the New England Patriots to get a sense of how we react to "presumptive winners."

Mrs. Clinton's  presumption has been shattered. Not only did she lose, she came in last. She no longer has to overcome our disdain for inevitability. She only has to overcome her history, her husband, her lack of experience, her unfamiliarity with honesty, and her personality.

On the Republican side, I think the results are ideologically foreboding and practically meaningless. I don't think Huckabee has a chance at the nomination. I think he should enjoy the moment because it will likely never be this good again. I think this has to be troubling for Romney who made such a large investment in winning Iowa. Guliani never campaigned in the state. He didn't care about winning or losing Iowa. So the end result doesn’t even factor in a major candidate with a very legitimate chance at the nomination.

As for the foreboding, that brings us to the campaign I am supporting. Fred Thompson.

What I find most appealing about the Thompson campaign is the very thing for which it has been most often criticized. The lack of a "fire in the belly."

The sense I have is that the campaign is no much about Fred wanting to be President as it is about offering a President who stands for a set of clearly defined  principals. Thompson is not saying "Vote for me," but vote for my ideas.

His campaign is a referendum on Reagan conservatism. And it didn't do all that well. He got the third place he felt he needed to keep going, but I wish the gap between second and third had been a bit narrower.

If the Iowa results are anywhere as predictive as so many seem to be treating them, it looks like our choice in 2008 will be four more year of GW Bush style squishy conservatism at best versus outright socialism.

I hope the Iowa results are as meaningless as I believe. But then again (just to feel it one more time)  Hillary Clinton Lost.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:08 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


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