Monday, January 28, 2013

Matt Lewis: Rand Paul should not run in 2016

The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis sounds like a fan of Sen. Paul, but throws up familiar caution flags w/r/t a Paul campaign:
Conservatives who witnessed how Mitt Romney was demonized (in a pretty similar manner as I predicted) must now realize that it is the goal of liberals to cast Republicans as crazy, evil, racists.

Fair or not, Paul would be easily cast in that negative light.

Some of it is his fault. His comments to Rachel Maddow about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will be used against him. This, of course, would only confirm the negative narrative his liberal opponents (and their friends in the media) wish to perpetuate. (Note: I get that Rand Paul hates racism — and that his position is a nuanced one. But that won’t matter in our sound bite media culture.)

Some of it’s not his fault. It’s not fair to blame him for the sins of his father, but that won’t stop the media or Paul’s political opponents. It might not be fair for Rep. Ron Paul’s racist newsletters to impact his son’s presidential ambitions — but you know they will.
ICYMI, here are Sen. Paul's comments about the Civil Rights Act. His intent was to advocate for the right to free private association, but instead left himself vulnerable to the charge that he is indifferent to racial discrimination:
Maddow: Do you think that a private business has a right to say that 'We don't serve black people?'

Paul: I'm not in favor of any discrimination of any form. I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race. But I think what's important in this debate is not getting into any specific "gotcha" on this, but asking the question 'What about freedom of speech?' Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent. Should we limit racists from speaking. I don't want to be associated with those people, but I also don't want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that's one of the things that freedom requires is that we allow people to be boorish and uncivilized, but that doesn't mean we approve of it...

Maddow:... How about desegregating lunch counters?

Paul: Well what it gets into then is if you decide that restaurants are publicly owned and not privately owned, then do you say that you should have the right to bring your gun into a restaurant even though the owner of the restaurant says 'well no, we don't want to have guns in here' the bar says 'we don't want to have guns in here because people might drink and start fighting and shoot each-other.' Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant? These are important philosophical debates but not a very practical discussion...

Maddow: Well, it was pretty practical to the people who had the life nearly beaten out of them trying to desegregate Walgreen's lunch counters despite these esoteric debates about what it means about ownership. This is not a hypothetical Dr. Paul.

Taxes matter: Wall Street heads to Florida

From the NY Post:
Federal tax rates are the same in Florida and New York.

But there’s no state income tax in the Sunshine State. Compare that to New York, where the state and local governments took $14.71 of every $100 earned in 2010, according to state records.

The only state with a higher rate is Alaska...

The demand is so high that officials in Palm Beach County have set up an entire office to answer questions from city hedge-funders looking to relocate.

“We’re not doing a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign. We don’t need to,” said Kelly Smallridge, who heads the Palm Beach County Business Development Board, which set up the special unit to handle inquiries and marketing.

“They’re coming to us.”
Friday, January 25, 2013

Somebody better be tasting Mamet's food

Because Hollywood's gonna try to erase him if he keeps this up.  In the midst of a brilliantly written defense of the second amendment, one paragraph just jumped off the page.  Copied and pasted for your reading pleasure:

Healthy government, as that based upon our Constitution, is strife. It awakens anxiety, passion, fervor, and, indeed, hatred and chicanery, both in pursuit of private gain and of public good. Those who promise to relieve us of the burden through their personal or ideological excellence, those who claim to hold the Magic Beans, are simply confidence men. Their emergence is inevitable, and our individual opposition to and rejection of them, as they emerge, must be blunt and sure; if they are arrogant, willful, duplicitous, or simply wrong, they must be replaced, else they will consolidate power, and use the treasury to buy votes, and deprive us of our liberties. It was to guard us against this inevitable decay of government that the Constitution was written. Its purpose was and is not to enthrone a Government superior to an imperfect and confused electorate, but to protect us from such a government.

A real War on Women

I'm pretty sure that all but the most naive and passionate feminists understood the War on Women for what it was: a cynical ploy to gin up female votes for Obama.  After all, if a true "War on Women" was being waged by the GOP, wouldn't President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Reid be waging that war with abandon, seeing as it is (presumably) savaging its intended targets, who also happen to be half the country? Wouldn't the President move Heaven and Earth to end the onslaught?

Instead, since the election, it's (predictably) been tax increases, gun control, climate change.  Thanks for the votes, ladies.  We'll see you (along with some new sense of crisis) in about 3 1/2 years.  By then, you'll be taxed a bit more and making a bit less in real terms, but hey, that's just a political two-fer.  Our "War on Women" and "War on the Poor" narratives will both be coming straight at you.

In the meantime, if anyone's actually interested to see what a real War on Women looks like, here's a look.  It ain't pretty. 

Religious Liberty Clinic at Stanford Law School

Libertarians and conservatives alike can rejoice that Stanford Law School--an influential, top ranked School of Law--has created a clinic where students will be able to participate in cases with a "freedom of religion" component.

The NY Times describes the nature of the cases the clinic will pursue:
“In framing our docket, we decided we would represent the believers,” said James A. Sonne, the clinic’s founding director, explaining that the believers, rather than governments, were the ones in need of student lawyers to defend them. “Our job is religious liberty rather than freedom from religion.”

Mr. Sonne, who grew up the son of a psychoanalyst in a nominally Episcopalian home near Cherry Hill, N.J., converted to Roman Catholicism while a student at Duke University. He went on to Harvard Law School and later a professorship at Ave Maria School of Law, a Catholic institution. He acknowledges the political coloration of much of the religious-freedom debate but says he does not want his clinic to be seen as a program for conservatives.
The National Catholic Register went a bit deeper in explaining the cases they will take:
Based at Stanford’s Mills Legal Clinic, the training program will focus on two types of cases: plaintiffs seeking “accommodation” of religious beliefs and practices and plaintiffs engaging with the public square, possibly to secure access to public facilities or obtain approval for building houses of worship.

“Real-time" cases include a prisoner who converted to Judaism and now needs permission to be circumcised and zoning approval for a mosque. Sonne said that students would work on cases that were less likely to be entangled in partisan politics, avoiding, for example, legal challenges to the HHS mandate or free-exercise cases arising from opposition to same-sex “marriage"...

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has represented plaintiffs from many religious traditions, and Sonne suggested that the public interest group’s “vision fits in well with an academic environment that offers a different perspective: Whether you are representing a mosque or an evangelical church, the question is whether they have the freedom to act in accord with their conscience.”

Sonne added that the decision to select less incendiary cases for the clinic docket did not signal a retreat from a strong commitment to religious liberty: “We think that religious liberty is a natural right. The kind of cases we will handle will manifest that belief, regardless of the issue.”
I was genuinely (and happily) surprised that a part of the higher-education establishment would consent to this type of clinic. Perhaps there is still some hope that our most prestigious graduate programs, who have a great deal of influence in determining who among us will eventually access the most important levers of power, may be embracing a bit more ideological diversity. From the Times story:
Lawrence C. Marshall, the associate dean for clinical legal education at Stanford Law School [states] “My mission has been to make clinical education as central to legal education as it is to medical education. Just as we are concerned about diversity in gender, race and ethnicity, we ought to be committed to ideological diversity.” Mr. Marshall became a hero to liberals for his work to exonerate death penalty inmates when he was a professor at Northwestern Law School a decade ago.

[Bold face is my emphasis]
A welcome development indeed.

Jindal's way forward for the GOP

To summarize:

1) Stop looking backwards.  Be aspirational, not nostalgic.
2) Compete for every single vote.  Not 47%, not 53%, but 100%.
3) Reject identity politics.  A color blind society was and is a valuable goal.  Let Democrats pit Americans against each other.  The GOP should treat all as individuals, not members of a special interest group.
4) Stop being stupid.  No offensive and bizarre comments.
5) Trust the intelligence of voters.  Give details.
6) Quit "Big." GOP should not be the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts.  We need to be a populist party.
7) Focus on real people, get out of the beltway mindset.  Spend time talking about how the middle class can thrive in an opportunity society, where gov't doesn't pick winners & losers.
Friday, January 11, 2013

Reagan Warned Us About Obama

Follow This Example and Be Understanding with Your Wife


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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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