Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Confusion, the Tea Party, and the NRA

Where to begin?

Yesterday, I learned that the National Rifle Association gave an A-rating to, and endorsed, my congressman, Tom Perriello, D, VA-5. Mr. Perriello is a stooge of the radical left, but managed to fill in the appropriate parts of his NRA questionnaire correctly. He also managed to stay away from any gun control legislation in his short congressional career. So the NRA endorsed him over his more conservative opponents. According to the person answering the phones at the NRA yesterday, the NRA maintains an "incumbent-friendly policy, as long as the incumbent supports second-Amendment issues." However, the NRA will not endorse a higher-rated challenger if the incumbent is "somebody who has worked with us." To wit: Sharron Angle is A-rated, Harry Ried is B-rated (but is one of those "somebody" people), but the NRA withholds their endorsement.

Unfortunately for the NRA, they are a single-issue organization. They are concerned solely with the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But the second amendment is only a part of the Constitution, not holy writ unto itself. If the Constitution goes away, the second amendment goes with it. The Constitution cannot be a buffet where we only pick out the things we like to eat. There are sixty or so incumbent Democrat candidates for Congress that the NRA has endorsed. If all of these candidates are re-elected, Nancy Pelosi will remain as Speaker. Endorsing a candidate who in every other way opposes the Constitution is not conducive to preserving the second amendment. The NRA should realize this, and revise their endorsement policy accordingly. As it stands, they are only adding to the confusion.

Confusion is not helpful to the cause of liberty. Independent candidate Jeff Clark, who was at first backed by the Tea Party, has not dropped out of the race as yet. He promised to do so if his poll numbers werre low. It is hard to be much lower in the polls than single digits, and yet Mr. Clark remains in the race only to be used by Congressman Perriello and the Democrat machine. I have been receiving slick 8x10 2-side color glossies detailing why Jeff Clark may be "too conservative" for Virginia's 5th, mailed from both the Virginia Democrat Party and the DCCC. Clark never had such great promotion of his conservative platform! It is clear that Clark is their siphon, and he is being used to lure dissatisfied conservatives away from the douchey RINO Robert Hurt. This is happening elsewhere, as U.S. sNooze and Whirled Report reports:

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.—Kenny Golden has some years on his opponents in the Second District race, and he isn't shy about reminding people. "Glenn's a nice young man, and Scott's a nice young man," Golden said of Rep. Glenn Nye, the Democratic incumbent, and Republican Scott Rigell, at a League of Women Voters debate this month. "But I've got the experience." A tall, folksy, retired Navy captain with a deep voice, Golden spent years in local politics as the Virginia Beach GOP chairman. But today he is running as an independent, with Tea Party-friendly promises to investigate the elimination of the Federal Reserve, repeal the income tax, slice the Department of Education in half, and push for Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a libertarian, to be speaker of the House.

Golden is one of dozens of independent or third-party candidates across the country—many influenced by the Tea Party movement. Elsewhere in Virginia, Jeffrey Clark is taking on Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello. In Michigan, Glenn Wilson is campaigning for the House seat occupied by retiring Democrat Bart Stupak. In Colorado's Fourth District, an American Constitution Party candidate and an independent are targeting Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey's seat. And Constitution Party nominee David Ryon is running for Congress in the hotly contested Ohio 15th District.

Democrats embrace third-party participation in these races, seen as prime pickup opportunities for the Republicans, with hopes of siphoning votes from the GOP. "Third-party candidates in Ohio 15th have a history of drawing significant support," says Brad Bauman, spokesman for Ohio Democratic incumbent Mary Jo Kilroy. "We have every reasonable expectation to believe that this will happen this time."

I do not know how these other candidates are polling, but if their numbers (like Mr. Clark's) can be counted on two hands or less, they should do the voters a favor and drop out of the race. They will only harm the cause of liberty should they remain. Drop out now, and get going on the primary for 2012.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Aaron Lewis

Paul Krugman: The Sky is Falling!

Mr. Krugman's latest article, British Fashion Victims, misses the mark by a wide margin. He should really just stop writing and put his pacifier back in his mouth.

Mr. Krugman says that there may be a time for austerity in Britain, but the time is not now. Not when there are so many social programs that need to be given a chance to work. Unemployment is high, you know.
The operative word here should, however, be “eventually.” Fiscal austerity will depress the economy further unless it can be offset by a fall in interest rates. Right now, interest rates in Britain, as in America, are already very low, with little room to fall further. The sensible thing, then, is to devise a plan for putting the nation’s fiscal house in order, while waiting until a solid economic recovery is under way before wielding the ax.

What is going to get an economic recovery underway? More spending? More debt? Expanding the welfare state? More taxes? More regulations? The answer is right in front of his face, in his own article, and he still fails to see it.
Britain came to rely too much on profits from wheeling and dealing to drive its economy — and on financial-industry tax payments to pay for government programs.

Over-reliance on the financial industry largely explains why Britain, which came into the crisis with relatively low public debt, has seen its budget deficit soar to 11 percent of G.D.P. — slightly worse than the U.S. deficit. And there’s no question that Britain will eventually need to balance its books with spending cuts and tax increases.

The British government (and the U.S. government as well) should try not only spending cuts, but regulation cuts. As far as tax increases are concerned, where do tax increases end? How much of the labor of individuals can the government claim to own?

All wealth is held by individuals. It can only be confiscated by the government. A corporation is made up of individuals: Its governing body, stockholders, and employees, serving one primary function, which is to make money. A business, if it expects to survive, sees taxes and regulation compliance as costs of conducting business. These costs are passed on to the end consumer, which is the individual. Therefore, all taxes whatsoever are borne by the individual who pays those "hidden" taxes and costs in the final price of the good or service. Why is this so hard for someone such as Mr. Krugman to understand?

Want to solve the unemployment problem and the revenue problem at the same time? Eliminate corporate and capital gains taxes. Duh.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Attention Virginia Residents

The Maximum Leader reminds us that Virginia has proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot this year. Click through and read his thoughtful and worthwhile analysis if you will be voting in the Old Dominion this November. Don't be lazy, educate yourself!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Breaking News, Clark will Drop Out (Maybe),Perriello/Hurt/Clark Debate Mess

Independent candidate for Virginia's 5th Congressional district, Jeff Clark, has written a letter to the Jefferson Area Tea Party (sidebar) announcing his intent to drop out of the race against incumbent Democrat Tom Perriello and Republican nominee Robert Hurt. As reported at the Schilling Show blog:

I wanted to take a moment respond to a recent press release by Carole Thorpe of the Jefferson Area Tea Party. In the release, Mrs. Thorpe correctly characterizes conversations we had early on in my campaign. I did inform Mrs. Thorpe that it was not my intention to be only a spoiler and if that were the case I would drop out. However, that was before my participation was systematically limited by my Republican opponent.

Since our first conversation, many things have developed in our campaign. State Senator Hurt, in a blatant act of political snobbery and elitism, refused to participate in any debates or forums in which I was an invited participant. He held his breath and stomped his feet like a spoiled child until he got his way. Because of his actions, we have been excluded from the all-important televised debates coming up this month. Not only are Senator Hurt’s actions elitist, but also blatantly hypocritical. When challenged by his Republican Party primary opponent, Laurence Verga, to a one on one debate, Mr. Hurt refused releasing the following statement:

“Ignoring all the other candidates as Mr. Verga has done in this request is nothing more than a political stunt and is frankly insulting to the fine contributions each of the other candidates have brought to this campaign,”.

In 2006, the Republican Party encouraged and argued for an Independent candidate to be included in the debates and forums because that Independent had a “Green” designation beside his name and the Republican Party felt it would help their candidate.

Recently, we took our case of being excluded from the debates to the Rutherford Institute, a world renowned bipartisan civil liberties organization. The Rutherford institute listened to our plea and agreed this was an egregious manipulation of the 1st amendment. They see that this is not only happening here in the 5th district but across the country. This tactic is being used by both major political parties to systematically eliminate or limit Independent candidates from the American political process. The Supreme Court of the United States has made it clear:

“(C)andidate debates are of exceptional significance in the electoral process….Deliberation On the positions and qualifications of candidates is integral to our system of government, and the electoral speech may have its most profound and wide spread impact when it is disseminated through televised debates”

If I were to drop from the race now, it would end the case currently being handled by the Rutherford Institute and would without question allow this despicable practice to continue.

Understanding the importance and potential impact of the televised debates, I privately negotiated with intermediaries of the Hurt campaign to be included in one televised debate. I stated that if I were to be included in one televised debate – and if I did not poll at 25% or higher in any independent poll immediately following the debate – that I would drop out and put my support behind Hurt. I went so far as agreeing to set up a debate in mid to late September in an attempt to give his campaign plenty of time for one on one debates in October. Mrs Thorpe can confirm this because it was through the Jefferson Area Tea Party that we were trying to arrange the debate. I made this offer because I felt that if I were to be included in one televised debate that it would at least have given me the opportunity to compete and to speak to those undecided in the 5th district. I want to make this clear – setting a purposely high poll number, there is 99.9 % chance I would have been out of the race by October 1st and my name could have been removed from the ballot. It was because of Hurt’s refusal of my offer that I am still in the race and felt compelled to seek the help of the Rutherford Institute.

I respect the stance the Jefferson Area Tea Party has taken and how they, before anyone else, issued a statement saying all candidates should be included in the debates, while other Tea Party organizations in the area simple ignored or justified Hurt’s blatant manipulation or disregard for the 1st amendment. It is my sincere hope that Mrs. Thorpe understands based on the circumstances and events that have developed since or first conversation that I feel I cannot drop out of the race at this time. However, I will publicly extend the following offer to State Senator Hurt; if you allow me to participate in one televised debate and if I do not poll at 25% or higher immediately following that debate in an independent poll, I will drop out of the race and support you in your bid for Congress.

Jeffrey A. Clark
Independent Candidate
Virginia’s 5th District

I have mixed feelings about Clark's idea. He could take some of the heat away from Hurt in the debate. And God knows, Hurt needs the help. In the debate on October 13, Perriello and Hurt were debating the merits of the new ObamaCare law. Perriello dropped his sheild, leaving Hurt an incredible opening to cleave Perriello's skull. I paraphrase:

PERRIELLO: Have you read the bill [sic]?

HURT: I read the rep...


PERRIELLO: You've read the Republican Talking Points, was that what you were about to say?

HURT: The bill I have read is the Republican bill that would repeal the Health Care bill [sic].

PERRIELLO: So you have not read the bill [sic]. Senator Hurt, you need to read these bills before you oppose them.

HURT: Uh...[says something like: it costs too much, mentions Speaker Pelosi and President Obama] .

Hurt's performance in the debate was weak at best. I hope he improves in the upcoming debates, but missing a golden opportunity like the one above demonstrates not only a lack of skill, but a lack of conservative values. That is what worries me. Clark does not have enough momentum to win at this point. Clark's threshold of 25% is too low, which will make him a siphon on Hurt's votes. But he may be able to pull Hurt to starboard as his own ship sinks.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Clark Can't Win in VA-5, Will give a "Perot" to Perriello

We are stuck between the establishment RINO Robert Hurt (rock), and the Pelosi lap-dog Tom Perialla (hard place). Unfortunately, independent conservative candidate Jeff Clark cannot get enough support to be a serious contender, and may not be included in the scheduled televised debates. He should drop out, as he has promised the Jefferson Area Tea Party:
Last week, Mr. Clark informed me that he has yet to amass the financial and volunteer support he deems as necessary to win the election. I reminded him of his previous statement [to drop out of the race], and asked if he could foresee any substantial change in his circumstances within the short time remaining before the election. He stated that without the exposure and potential support he could gain from participating in the upcoming televised debates, he believes he has no chance of winning.

The Tea Party movement is supportive of the return of citizen legislators as envisioned by our Founding Fathers. It has been particularly gratifying for our organization to honor Mr. Clark's patriotism by extending him the same fair treatment and equal access to our events we give to major political party candidates.

But the JATP must also be even-handed in calling all candidates to account for what they say and do. As such, we are compelled to hold Mr. Clark accountable for the statement he made in June -- just as we held Congressman Perriello accountable for his voting record and issues surrounding the location of his local office, and State Senator Hurt for his refusal to participate in three-way candidate debates.

In the interest of accountability, we respectfully request that Mr. Clark issue a written statement confirming the facts as stated herein, and address his intentions should he fail in his bid for inclusion in the televised debates.

Carole Thorpe
Jefferson Area Tea Party (JATP),
Charlottesville, VA

Hurt, in my opinion, is an establishment douchebag. He is a lawyer and a career politician. As a Virginia Delegate, he voted for then-Governor Mark Warner's Massive tax increase at a time when Virginia had a billion-dollar surplus. Hurt mentions the Constitution only in passing reference to his support of the second Amendment and protecting "sportsmen's rights." While he is viewed as a "tax cutter" by some, he has voted to increase the role of government. Interestingly, Hurt supported the interests of the Virginia AFL-CIO 100% in 2002, his first year as a delegate. His public statements are weak. He will not debate unless Clark is absent. It is clear he sees his campaign on a glide-path to victory, given the anti-Democrat mood of many likely voters.

I do not want Robert Hurt to be my representative to Congeress. I cannot support a losing candidate in Clark. And I will not support a record of tyranny in Perriello. It's another round of hold-your-nose, vote-for-the-lesser-of-two-weevils, I'll-need-a-shower-later elections. Here's hoping Clark drops out in time, and does not spoil the election in Perriello's favor. And maybe a better candidate in a republican primary.

Hurt may surprise me, but I doubt it. Two more years...

Drop out now, Mr.Clark. Don't be a Perot.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Where Are the Men of Ability?

Would any CEO make such a statement as this today? The following is part of a letter, written in 1996, from Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers to a shareholder who crticized the lack of "women and members of racial minorities" on the Cypress Board of Directors:

Choosing a Board of Directors based on race and gender is a lousy way to run a company. Cypress will never do it. Furthermore, we will never be pressured into it, because bowing to well-meaning, special-interest groups is an immoral way to run a company, given all the people it would hurt. We simply cannot allow arbitrary rules to be forced on us by organizations that lack business expertise. I would rather be labeled as a person who is unkind to religious groups than as a coward who harms his employees and investors by mindlessly following high-sounding, but false, standards of right and wrong.

Cypress is run under a set of carefully considered moral principles, which rightly include making a profit as a primary objective. Second, there is a fundamental difference between your organization's right to vote its conscience and the use of coercion by the federal government to force arbitrary "corporate responsibilities" on America's businesses and shareholders.

Cypress stands for personal and economic freedom, for free minds and free markets, a position irrevocably in opposition to the immoral attempt by coercive utopians to mandate even more government control over America's economy. With regard to our shareholders who exercise their right to vote according to a social agenda, we suggest that they reconsider whether or not their strategy will do net good -- after all of the real costs are considered.

h/t iamjohngalt.com

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Richard Cohen's Delusions of Paranoia

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen should increase his lithium. Recently, he called conservative admiration of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution "clearly the work of witches, wiccans and wackos."

Tim Graham at NewsBusters points out that Cohen Cohen now blames the Tea Party movement for the shooting of "peace protesters" at Kent State University in 1970:

The governor of Ohio, James Rhodes, demonized the war protesters. They were "worse than the Brownshirts and the communist element....We will use whatever force necessary to drive them out of Kent."

That was the language of that time. And now it is the language of our time. It is the language of Glenn Beck, who fetishizes about liberals and calls Barack Obama a racist. It is the language of rage that fuels too much of the Tea Party and is the sum total of gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino's campaign message in New York. It is all this talk about "taking back America" (from whom?) and this inchoate fury at immigrants and, of course, this raw anger at Muslims, stoked by politicians such as Newt Gingrich and Rick Lazio, the latter having lost the GOP primary to Paladino for, among other things, not being sufficiently angry. "I'm going to take them out," Paladino vowed at a Tea Party rally in Ithaca, N.Y.

Back in the Vietnam War era, the left also used ugly language and resorted to violence. But the right, as is its wont, stripped the antiwar movement of its citizenship. It turned dissent into treason, which, in a way, was the worst treason of all. It made dissidents into the storied "other" who had nothing in common with the rest of us. They were not opponents; they were the enemy: Fire!

Here's part of what Graham writes in response:

Cohen makes no attempt to acknowledge that part of the "anti-war" movement that waved flags of the Viet Cong and openly wished for America to lose the war, and openly wished America would be the victim of a communist revolution. How is that not "the worst treason of all"?

Now try to place a violent leftist movement like the Weather Underground into this equation. Didn't their willingness to kill cops (and in acts of terror like bombing a bathroom) innocent Americans put them in a low place? But Cohen can only single out "the right" -- millions of nonviolent people who are horrified by the thought of violent revolution, as opposed to democratic change.

This was a column that someone at the Post editorial page should have walked over to Cohen and said, "This is too reckless." But apparently, no one did.

Cohen has such a firm grip on reality that it occasionally squirts out through his fingers like jelly.

A few asides:

We want to take the country back from socialist morons such as yourself, Mr. Cohen.

The Tea Party movement, and conservatives in general, are sickened by the Party establishment, both Republican and Democrat. We are tired of the establishment Republicans choosing our candidates. They have been sabotaging conservatives who challenge, and often defeat, establishment candidates in primaries. Democrats are just as guilty -just ask Carl McCall.