Monthly Archives: June 2007

Using Tax Dollars To Lobby For More Taxes

The problems created by having our tax dollars for local projects flowing through the Washington DC political process are well documented. Some states are net tax “donors” to the rest of the country, and some are net tax recipients. But even worse, the DC filter results in a lot of deadweight loss, as the bureaucrats must use our tax dollars to decide where our tax dollars go.

One additional problem hasn’t been quite as highly publicized. In order to get preference in receiving those tax dollars, our own local and state bureaucrats are using our tax dollars to lobby the feds.

State and local governments, including public universities and other government entities, spent $133 million in tax dollars to lobby the federal government last year. That’s a 148 percent jump from just eight years ago.

Much of this is designed to entice congressmen to put ever more expensive earmarks into federal legislation. Yes, our hard-earned tax dollars get spent to create even more spending of our hard-earned tax dollars.

Hey, they’ve got us coming and going!

Kerpen also points out that these state and local governmental bodies are specifically exempt from the Senate’s $50 limit on gifts and the ban on gifts in the House. Yep, they can also use our tax dollars to buy lavish gifts to butter up our politicians.

And the problem of using tax dollars to lobby for more tax dollars isn’t limited to the federal government. A report on tax-funded lobbying in Texas found spending to be as high as $50 million per year in just that one state.

I’ve said before that in most situations, the people in government aren’t horrible people. After all, how can I blame a university or local government for spending a little money in order to get a windfall from the feds? If I were a local official, that’s how I’d do it. I’d much rather take tax dollars from the feds than raise taxes on my own constituents.

But that highlights the problem. The system itself is broken. It doesn’t matter who we elect; the system itself will create bad results.

Free Leonard Peltier Paris Now!

I don’t care for Paris Hilton. In fact, whether or not she goes to jail means nothing to me. I’m not even going to use it as an excuse to argue about the validity of DUI laws or the travesties of our justice system. I wish this whole sordid detail would be relegated to the E! channel and the metro section of the paper, not CNN and the front page.

However, I am an opportunist, and I will gladly and shamelessly self-promote anything which might make me a buck. So head on over to my wife’s cafepress store and buy stuff!

The shirts (front & back, multiple shirt styles):

And in true Paris Hilton fashion, a dog shirt and trucker hat…

Yes, this post has no real place at The Liberty Papers. That’s where the whole “shameless self-promotion” thing comes from…

A Question Of Justice

Quite honestly, I’d never thought I’d mention the name Paris Hilton in a post at The Liberty Papers, but this post by Lew Rockwell just makes no sense to me at all:

How many Americans are actually proud of our record as the world’s incarceration champions? The envy and hate on display in the anti-Paris Hilton hysteria is quite something. I wonder: how many would love to see her sentenced to years in a government prison, or tortured in the arena, for a victimless crime? Maybe FOX can do a reality show. The host can be the Rev’d Al Sharpton, “once again our country’s moral arbiter,” in the words of Chris Matthews tonight.

Umm, okay. This isn’t about class envy. It’s about a woman who was convicted of a crime and had her license to drive suspended. During that suspension she was photographed and filmed on repeated occasions driving an automobile notwithstanding the fact that shouldn’t be doing so.

She broke the law. The judge sentenced her to jail. She cried like a baby until the Sheriff released her.

Explain to me precisely how this is something a libertarian should care about ?

No confidence in Congress

A no confidence vote is looming for Attorney General Alberto “no right to habeas corpus” Gonzalez, and rightfully so…Gonzalez, much like the rest of the Bush Administration need to go. However, United States Senator Tom Coburn wants to add some language to the resolution on Gonzalez.

In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Coburn wrote:

I am requesting that I be consulted before the Senate enters into any unanimous consent agreements regarding a vote on any resolution or other legislation expressing a lack of confidence in any federal official.

If such a resolution comes before the Senate, I plan to offer an amendment expressing no confidence in Congress’ ability to cut wasteful spending or balance the budget.

As you know, the national debt of the United States of America now exceeds $8.5 trillion and just last week, Congress approved a $2.9 trillion budget resolution that includes $23 billion more in spending than was requested by the President.
[…]
Experts point out that the most important step an addict can take is to first admit you have a problem. It is obvious to everyone that Congress has a big problem. It’s time that we finally admit it and take responsibility. Unfortunately, the Senate has twice this year rejected amendments that expressed the sense of the Senate that Congress has a moral obligation to offset the cost of new Government programs and initiatives. Our nation can not afford for the Senate to live in such a state of denial.

It is hypocritical for the Senate to grand stand for political purposes while ignoring its own shortcomings that threaten the solvency of Social Security and Medicare and the standard of living of future generations.

Beautiful.

Dems & Bush On Stem Cells — Both Wrong

The Democrats in Congress dealt a blow to the President today, as they passed another bill expanding federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Bush, of course, is likely to veto the bill. Looking at their rationale, it’s clear that both sides are wrong:

“If this bill were to become law, American taxpayers would for the first time in our history be compelled to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos,” Bush said in a statement. “Crossing that line would be a grave mistake.”

Thirty-seven of Bush’s fellow Republicans joined 210 Democrats in voting for the bill, which backers say holds hope and potential cures for millions of people suffering from debilitating diseases, such cancer, Parkinson’s and diabetes.

“The American people will have to make their voices known and heard by the president … because overwhelmingly across the country the American people support this legislation,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record), flanked by dozens of patients and their families at a Capitol Hill news conference afterward.

George Bush says that we can’t spend this money because we’re spending it on something that is morally wrong. The Democrats say we can spend this money because in our democracy, the American people support it. Bush fails to recognize that money spent by the government is only legitimized by the rule of law, not the rule of God. The Democrats fail to recognize that money spent by the government is legitimized by the rule of law, not the rule of the majority.

Neither side on this issue understands that our nation has a set of rules that describe clearly what the government is allowed to do. That’s the Constitution. Spending taxpayer funds for medical research isn’t in on that list. In fact, while they’re diametrically opposed on this, it’s only because of what they’re spending the money on: both sides feel it’s their duty– their responsibility, even– to spend our money.

Whether you like Ron Paul or not (for the record, I support him and plan to vote for him), he was the only candidate in the Republican debate to give the right answer to this question. The other candidates debated the morality, while Paul clearly said that it’s simply unconstitutional.

Quote of the Day

A Romney fan criticizing other candidates for “flip-flopping” — that’s rich.

–RedState commenter “BrooksRob” in response to a pro-Romney post about Giuliani and McCain skipping the Ames Straw Poll.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at IJ Review.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

A Beautiful Headline: Guaranty owners want to evict DEA, IRS

Every landlord, at one time or another, will find themselves with a tenant that they want to get rid of. When the tenants are violent people who cannot or will not hold down a productive job, evicting them from your property can be extremely dangerous.

That is why my hat is off to Guaranty Building Associates LLC as they try to evict two of the most dangerous gangs that operate within the Federal Government from their property. Good luck, guys, and go get them.

“‘For over 18 months, we have worked cooperatively with the government as it looked for new space for its agencies,’ said a statement from Gary Schober, president and CEO of the firm.

He said the continued occupancy by the DEA and IRA have set back renovation work that began in early 2006.

‘We didn’t want to take legal action, but the situation left us with no choice,’ Schober said.

I am an anarcho-capitalist living just west of Boston Massachussetts. I am married, have two children, and am trying to start my own computer consulting company.

The Right to Life Also Implies a Right to Die

Dr. Jack Kevorkian has finally completed an eight year prison term. For what exactly? For helping a terminally ill and suffering man exercise his right to a have a dignified and peaceful death. I find it very irritating that the media has given Dr. Kevorkian the nickname “Dr. Death” as if he were some kind of serial killer.

Dr. Kevorkian has done our society a great service by bringing this issue into the national debate. On what basis can society deny a person his or her right to die? If we truly believe that every individual has the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and property, then the individual cannot be denied this right on any of these measures.

The individual has the right to life but this does not mean that government can force an individual to live. The individual has the right not to exercise his or her rights. The individual has the right to keep and bear arms but the government cannot force an individual to own a gun. The individual has the right to his or her liberty (provided he or she does not infringe on the liberty of others) but he or she can willfully surrender his or her liberty to be subjugated to a cult or religion. The individual has a right to his or her property (which would include his or her body by the way) which means he or she can do with it whatever he or she wishes (again, provided he or she does not infringe on the life, liberty, or property of others).

Thomas A. Bowden has an excellent piece on this issue at Capitalism Magazine.

The Declaration of Independence proclaimed, for the first time in the history of nations, that each person exists as an end in himself. This basic truth–which finds political expression in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–means, in practical terms, that you need no one’s permission to live, and that no one may forcibly obstruct your efforts to achieve your own personal happiness.

[…]

For these reasons, each individual has the right to decide the hour of his death and to implement that solemn decision as best he can. The choice is his because the life is his. And if a doctor is willing (not forced) to assist in the suicide, based on an objective assessment of his patient’s mental and physical state, the law should not stand in his way.

The fear by those who oppose the inherent right to die is that the government would eventually start killing those who are suffering regardless of the wishes of the individual. But upon closer inspection, recognizing an individual’s right to choose his or her manner of death is protecting the individual’s right to life. The individual does not live for the purpose of pleasing society or the religious sensibilities of others.

Senate Set To Approve Bipartisian Tax Increase

The Senate is set to approve a cigarette tax increase to increase funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Senators are likely to propose raising the federal cigarette tax to fund an expansion in children’s health insurance coverage.

White no final decisions have been made, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, said he expected to have a “bipartisan bill” and hinted broadly of support for raising cigarette tax to help meet costs. “I think you have to conclude…that there is a lot of interest in increasing the cigarette tax at some level. At what level, I don’t know.”

Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) said a bipartisan meeting of senators today showed “surprising agreement” on how to re-authorize and expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The committee might consider the legislation as soon as next week.

It is unclear how much the expansion would cost, though Baucus has proposed spending $50 billion over five years. Senators at today’s meeting indicated a preference for focusing on uninsured children, though they may allow adults already covered by some states to continue getting coverage. The size of the package “will be determined by policy,” Baucus said. “We’re letting the numbers be driven by the policy.”

So we have Republicans and Democrats agreeing to pass tax increases in order to fund social welfare programs. What are the differences between the parties again???

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at IJ Review.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

Live Free Or Die: Giuliani Style

Andrew Sullivan on Rudy Giuliani’s invocation of New Hampshire’s state motto:

I love the motto too. But isn’t it exactly the opposite of what today’s GOP stands for? The entire premise of Giuliani’s positions is that, after 9/11, we should not live free in case we die. Last night, he spoke of two risible plots by total losers with no capability of doing serious damage as grave threats to America’s survival. The Fort Dix goons and the JFK plotters are among the most pathetic, puny enemies this country has ever known. But Giuliani speaks of them as if they were the approach of global catastrophe – and he demands that Americans surrender their most precious liberties in order to remain safe from them. Live free or die? Giuliani’s motto is: Live Under My Protection Or Die.

Or to be more precise, Live Under My Protection Or You Will Die.

But the point is clear.

Giuliani may pay lip service to the ideas of individual liberty, but, when push comes to shove, he doesn’t really believe in them. But, as Sullivan points out, that true of a large segment of the GOP these days:

The logic of today’s GOP in the war on terror, moreover, is the inverse of New Hampshire’s. In every choice of liberty versus security, the GOP now prefers security, without even publicly acknowledging the costs. And yet Mark Steyn sees no irony here. Do they really not see that their rhetoric on liberty is utterly hollow? Or have they just persuaded themselves that because they’re the ones taking our freedoms away, we have nothing to be concerned about?

I think the answer to the last question is yes. If the tables were reversed and a Democrat was in office who had proposed the PATRIOT Act, warrantless wiretaps, and secret military tribunals, the GOP would be speaking of dictatorship. Heck, when Clinton was in office he wasn’t even doing half those things and the far-right had the idea that he and Janet Reno were on the verge of  throwing out the Constitution and turning the country over to U.N. troops who would arrive on black helicopters.

Now that it’s one of their own in power, though, they don’t even seem to notice what’s gone wrong. And that is precisely the problem.

A Look At Our 2008 Options

I tried to take a break from politics. It didn’t work. Obama getting the spotlight, more than anything else, sparked my re-awakening. He reminds me of FDR. That is not a good thing. The more I hear of his ‘vision’–and peoples’ gushing reaction to it, the more I get the urge to scream, rip my hair out, and go become a hermit. Surely we can’t fall for the same trick twice? But apparently we can. Obama is the kind of person who would coax America into a cage–a comfortable one, but a cage nonetheless–all in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘prosperity’, neither of which can possibly be realized under such a stifling regime as he wishes to create, just as FDR once did in an administration that was more damaging to liberty than any that has existed since.

And from that came more political thinking, something I didn’t want to happen…

For years, I’ve taken to shorthanding my political beliefs as ‘socially liberal, economically conservative’. Something most of us have done when describing our philosophy to our more benighted friends. I’ve never been fond of it, seeing nothing ‘liberal’ about allowing government to control our economic freedom. I never liked the image that ‘socially liberal’ conveyed either, as all too many ‘progressive’ ideas on social policy are in fact quite authoritarian. And, as Hayek always held, to control the economic is to control the social, and vice versa.

Now as I look at the Democrats’ platform, I find there’s basically nothing there I can stand behind. Precious little in the Republican Party Line either, but at least there’s something. And more importantly, a someone or two I could get behind.

For the past 20 to 30 years, we’ve tended to vote overwhelmingly for Republicans. But that changed substantially in the 2004 election, as one would expect given the continual outrages that Bush and the Republican majority inflicted upon us. Only 53% of us voted for Republican congressmen in 2004, with 44% voting for Democrats. 2006 was possibly worse, but I’m too lazy to conjure up figures.

What’s bothering me about this is that we are attempting to choose the lesser of two evils, when either one is sufficient to destroy the United States as we know and love it. Oh, I don’t mean a land of ruins and squalor, but I do mean a land of stagnation and statism. A land that no longer resembles the country that our forefathers sought to establish.

Trying to choose between the two is kind of like picking which nuke you’d like to be hit by, the 21 kiloton Fat Man, or the 13 kiloton Little Boy? It’s not exactly a question that makes a whole lot of sense.

So how about a third option? Lets not get nuked at all. Or at the very least take steps to delay it. Too bad that as a country we’ve developed the mentality that longshots and third parties are nothing more than throwing your vote away, which is why the vast majority of libertarians divy up their vote between left and right. I was just 8 years old when Perot made his run at the presidency in 1992. I still know very little about him or his policies. What I do know is that at one point he led the polls. And on that fateful day in November, he managed to scavenge up a full 19% of the vote. Unheard of for a third party candidate in the modern era.

Unfortunately, we ‘learned our lesson’ after that, blaming Perot for Clinton’s ascendancy and Bush’s loss. In 1996, all third party candidates together earned barely half of what Perot did in 1992, and he was once again blamed as the reason Clinton won. And in 2000, they barely registered, although, once again a third party candidate–Nader–was blamed for Bush’s victory. The problem is, we learned the wrong lesson.

It’s true that we’ve always been more or less a two party system. But it hasn’t been the same two parties over the 200 and some years this country has been in existence. Parties changed, they split, they dissolved, and new parties came in to take their place. For crying out loud, the Democrats proudly call themselves ‘The Party Of Jefferson’ (and manage to say it with a straight face!). Does the Republican party of today even begin to resemble the vision of Goldwater in 1960? Heck no.

The lesson we should have learned from Perot is that it is possible to change the status quo. Rome was not built in a day, and in such a contentious and ignorant population–how else do you explain the way Democrats get away with calling themselves liberal–you can’t expect the revolution to happen in a single election cycle. Much as it pains me to say, this election will probably not be the revolution we want and need, but if we play our cards right, it can be an investment , one that will pay dividends in the future. I’m sure we’ll lose, but if we lose big enough, we still manage to demonstrate the dissatisfaction with the two mainstream parties. And when the hue and cry raises up that our ‘thrown away’ votes allow the ‘wrong guy’ to win, that’s when we really go on the offensive. Both guys were the wrong guy, we’ll say. And look how well we did last time. Lets put the pressure on and actually win next time.

The lesser of two evils approach worked, more or less–less rather than more in hindsight–when one evil was substantially less lethal than the other. But in today’s environment, we can’t vote for the leading Republican just because he’s not a Democrat. And we can’t vote for a Democrat just because we’re pissed at the Republicans (like we did in the past two elections).

The libertarian and constitution parties simply are not viable. But we’ve been given a gift in Ron Paul. I’ve been a longtime fan of his. And I certainly never would have guessed he’d get as much attention as he’s gotten. I do disagree with his stance on the Iraq War and middle east interventionism in general. But I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. That, more than anything has been the reason that for once a true liberal has gotten anything resembling real press for the first time in my life. Its allowed him to talk about his domestic policies at several venues. It’s absolutely refreshing to be able to hear a libertarian philosophy presented on TV.

I think we’ll see the buzz only continue to build as his newfound celebrity enables him to more properly and clearly state his position on domestic issues. And it’ll be interesting for sure if he’s allowed to attack head on the principles of the so-called modern liberals in a public forum. He did a great job of it on The Daily Show and with Bill Maher, much better than I would’ve thought.

Dr. Paul’s newfound celebrity is also coming at a great time, politically speaking. There have never been fewer Republicans, and the Democrats aren’t doing so hot either, so it goes without saying that there are more unaffiliated people of voting age than ever before. There is only one candidate out there who isn’t really a Republican or a Democrat (regardless of his nominal party affiliation). That right there, is a huge niche just begging to be exploited.

All he has to do is convince all those dissatisfied people that McCain, Giuliani, Hillary, and Obama are just the same ugly message of increasing intervention and domination of our lives, just clothed slightly differently. It really doesn’t matter if he wins the nomination as a Republican or not, so long as he managed to take those same supporters with him when he goes.

Like I said, I doubt he’ll win, and I do disagree with him on certain issues. But I doubt we as a nation are suddenly going to become satisfied with the Democrats and Republicans after the election either. So long as we don’t take his loss as a defeat, but rather gained ground, we have potential to influence the 2010 election to an even greater degree. And perhaps in 2012 the country might be ready for a truly liberal president.

Ron Paul is a chance at a future in which liberty still exists. He’s an investment in a future free of statists. The only viable investment there currently is.

Every Man for Himself?

Nick, who responded to Doug’s recent post made some great points and some which I disagreed with. I was going to respond to the original post’s thread, but as my response became longer and longer, I thought it should be a stand alone post.

Here’s what Nick had to say:

Ron Paul is dead wrong on the islamofascism matter, but I simply don’t care.

Right now I see us at a crossroads…do we go further down the Euro-style nanny state road? Or do we turn back and recognize liberty for what it is?

Ron Paul manages to piss me off everytime he starts saying there’s no threat in the middle east. A lot.

Islam was founded by a violent intolerant man, and anytime an islamic government (instead of a secular government of islamic people) is allowed to flourish, these same traits will rise again. Until the middle east takes a page from Ataturk, it will always be a hotbed of intolerant violence. Always. It can be argued that we’ve given them *excuses* to act the way they want to, but that’s something entirely different.

Anyone with any understanding of history knows that ‘Palestine’ was created purely as an anti-Israel propaganda tool.

But Ron Paul is still the only candidate I’d vote for. What I want to know is why they didn’t ask the DOCTOR about healthcare reform (Giuliani gave a great answer by the way). Why didn’t they ask him about anything else?

I figure a lot of us find his Iraq War answers distasteful, but he can win a LOT of friends with his talk of domestic problems. And the domestic thing is the ONLY thing i’m looking at right now.

I agree with Nick: if Ron Paul is going to be in the race, I wish he would focus on domestic issues. I’m not saying that he should go against his principled anti-war beliefs (which is more than what I can say about the unprincipled and opportunistic anti-war candidates on the left) but he really isn’t saying anything all that much different than anyone else who opposes the war.

I think his assessment of Islam is spot on as well. There’s a danger with all religions becoming extreme and militant; right now Islam is the religion which has the most extreme elements and a significant threat to our liberty.

I wish I could focus on Ron Paul’s domestic agenda and ignore his naiveté about external threats to our way of life. I think it’s this issue which is keeping him from having more wide spread support because I think many rank and file Republicans are libertarian at heart on the domestic side. If there was such a candidate who would advocate Paul’s domestic policies and a more effective foreign policy than the current administration, I would support that candidate in a heartbeat.

I’m beginning to contemplate more of a “survivalist” attitude as it relates to Islamic terrorism. Maybe its time to adopt an “every man for himself” policy? We know the government cannot or will not defend us from every threat, whether foreign or domestic. Hell, far too often the threat comes from the government itself! Truthfully, the first and last responsibility of self defense belongs to the individual. This is why the right to bear arms is so critically important and why every effort to limit the individual’s access to firearms should be resisted at every turn.

What are the chances of my family, friends, or me being a victim of terrorism anyway? Perhaps I should adopt the “it doesn’t affect me” attitude of one of my readers (Josh) who couldn’t care less about what would happen to the Iraqis if coalition forces suddenly left Iraq in its current state. Some believe that al Qaeda and other Islamic terror groups will bring their fight back to American soil if such a withdrawal from Iraq were to take place. I happen to think there is some validity to that theory. But so what? If the next attack happens in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, or anywhere but my back yard…it’s not my problem right?

I’m not quite to that point yet. I still care too much about my fellow man. But if I ever do decide to embrace this “every man for himself” approach, Ron Paul will have my full support.

Rudy Giuiliani Is Not A Libertarian, Exhibit Two

David Weigel at Reason reports this exchange on the campaign trail:

Just finished my reporting trip with a Rudy Giuliani town hall in New Castle, New Hampshire, a tiny island luxuryville a few miles from Portsmouth. Don Murphy from Republicans for Compassionate Access, the pro-medical marijuana group, got to ask Rudy a quick question in the mass flesh-press that preceded him leaving the event. Rough transcription:

MURPHY: You talked about abortion rights and how you trust people to make their own choices. Do you support the choice of cancer patients to use medical marijuana?
RUDY: No, I don’t think a cancer patient should use marijuana. There are other options.

Coming after a lot of flights of “the government can’t tell you what to do!” rhetoric, it was pretty abrupt.

After stuff like this, anyone who continues to call Rudy Giuliani a libertarian is either making it up or completely uninformed.

GOP Debate Liveblogging and Instant Commentary (6/5/2007)

Tonight, the Republican candidates, minus Fred Thompson, are debating in New Hampshire. Basically tonight, the fireworks will be between Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul over foreign policy and everybody vs McCain on immigration.

6:01 PM CDT: First hour, questions will be asked by reporters. No time limits, on honor system with questions limited to one minute. Then if it follows the Democratic debate format, it will be a QandA from the audience.

6:04 PM: Mike Huckabee, “I’m from Hope, Arkansas and all I ask is that you give us one more chance”.

6:05 PM: Mitt Romney asked if Iraq was a mistake. Said Saddam violated international law and weapons inspections. Said Iraq War was poorly conducted. Slams Harry Reid. Wants to stablize Iraq.

6:06 PM: Mitt Romney given another shot to answer the question. Romney won’t answer the question calling it a hypothetical, but we did the right thing.

6:06 PM: Rudy Giuliani ties Iraq to War on Terror. Attacks Democrats calling them in denial of terrorism. Says Iran is closer to nuclear weapons than thought.

6:07 PM: McCain asked if he read intelligence reports. Says sanctions were breaking down and Oil For Food was a joke. Right thing, but war was mismanaged.

6:08 PM: Sam Brownback, says something about reading intelligence reports. Wants a partition.

6:09 PM: Jim Gilmore says we must create stability.

6:10 PM: John McCain asked if General Petraeas (sp) reports surge is a failure. McCain will not withdraw under any circumstances.

6:12 PM: McCain, “there are no good options if the surge fails”.

6:13 PM: Tommy Thompson, eh who cares.

6:16 PM: Ron Paul says we went to war over UN resolutions.

6:17 PM: Tancredo wants more Iraqization.

6:17 PM: Brownback, talk with Iran but no diplomatic relations. Iran is a terrorist sponsor. He likes labor unions, if they’re in Iran. In America, unions can go to hell.

6:18 PM: Duncan Hunter can talk or bomb Iran, their choice. He’ll nuke ‘em also.

6:20 PM: Rudy Giuliani, all options on the table. Democrats stuck in 1990s. Well considering that Rudy is stuck in September 2001….

6:20 PM: Huckabee, Iran wants to dominate the Middle East.

6:21 PM: Romney wants to step back and look at the big picture. Wants to empower moderate Muslims…Mitt, they don’t exist.

6:23 PM: Tancredo on immigration: America won’t survive because those damn uppity Mexicans insist on keeping their culture.

6:25 PM: Rudy Giuliani, says immigration is too compromising.

6:26 PM: Romney asked about immigration flip-flopping: states his latest position.

6:27 PM: McCain slams Tancredo, “educates” Rudy, wants all Republicans to come around Dubya. Sorry, wrong audience Johnny.

6:29 PM: Rudy flip-flopping on immigration. Mentions September 11.

6:30 PM: Romney wants to enforce the immigration laws.

6:31 PM: Hunter asked about “doing the jobs Americans want do”. Says wrong premise. Administration slowed his fence bill with an amnesty.

6:33 PM: Brownback supports something. Probably needs to consult a pollster before he can say what.

6:34 PM: Tommy Thompson, eh who cares.

6:34 PM: Ron Paul no fence with Canada. Subsidizes illegal immigration with welfare programs.

6:36 PM: John McCain opposes English as an official language because of the native American reservations. They use their native languages.

6:37 PM: Jim Gilmore, he’s the real conservative. Not Rudy McRomneyson.

6:39 PM: Tommy Thompson…ZZZZzzzz…

6:40 PM: Rudy Giuliani asked about abortion, lightening causes technical causes. Still for it.

6:41 PM: Mitt Romney asked about abortion flip-flopping. Still flip-flopping.

6:43 PM: Huckabee asked about creationism, he’s insulted. Huckabee is the real Christian in this race, according to him at least.

6:45 PM: Brownback, another real Christian.

6:46 PM: McCain, let schools decide.

6:47 PM: Romney educates us about Mormonism.

6:48 PM: Paul supports local choice on religion.

6:49 PM: Giuliani believes in the global warming cult.

6:50 PM: Romney wants Big Oil to invest in R&D. What if they don’t Mitt?

6:52 PM: McCain likes nuclear power.

6:53 PM: Paul opposes subsidies. Takes his shot at the “Blood for Oil” line.

6:54 PM: Jim Gilmore opposes Kyoto.

6:55 PM: Paul supports “Don’t Ask for Tell”. Wants individuals to be treated the same regardless.

6:56 PM: Huckabee says its about behavior, not because they’re homos.

6:57 PM: Giuliani wants to rely on commanders. He wants nation building training.

6:58 PM: Romney ah missed what he said, though I’ll hear the opposite in a couple of weeks.

6:59 PM: McCain, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is working”.

7:00 PM: Tommy Thompson….wants Bush to lecture about honesty and integrity.

7:02 PM: Brownback….nothing of interest.

7:02 PM: Tom Tancredo “never darken the door of this builidng again”.

7:03 PM: Huckabee, Republicans didn’t do their job. Of course, he did though. Nevermind those tax increases he signed as governor.

7:04 PM: Hunter wants to pardon two corrupt Border Patrol agents named Campenos and Ramon.

7:05 PM: Giuliani wants to pardon Scooter Libby. Unfortunately, Mike Milken didn’t meet this new Rudy.

7:08 PM: The Dr. Phil segment break.

7:13 PM: Dr. Phil segment begins.

7:14 PM: Woman whose brother was killed asks what candidates would do to end war. Duncan Hunter says death was worth it. Wants to set up a free Iraq. Brownback wants to partition and run from Iraq. McCain opposes partition. Gives straight talk, war was mismanaged. Wants democracy for Iraq.

7:18 PM: Woman whose husband served in Iraq asks about how we’re going to help Iraqi government. Ron Paul wants to stop patrolling Iraqi streets. Opposes nation building. Giuliani says Iraq will make America safer if we succeed. We must nation build. Giuliani asks CNN if Petraeus gives good report, will it be reported?

7:22 PM: Attorney asks if conservation and conservatism can co-exist. Jim Gilmore says it can. Tancredo says the free market and conservation can work together.

7:25 PM: Guy asks about drug reimportation. Giuliani believes in free market principles (yeah right). Hunter opposes drug reimportation.

7:28 PM: Question about single-payer health care: Thompson opposes it. Romney supported it before he was against it.

7:32 PM: True Christian Huckabee asked about morality. He’s against abortion and doesn’t want old people abused and kids under bridges. Libertine Giuliani supports liberty (no he doesn’t). Ron Paul says we support preemptive war. That’s unChristian oppose nuclear war against Iran. Brownback is opposed to abortion also. Brownback will support the pro-abortion Giuliani though if he gets the nomination.

7:39 PM: Romney asked about his flip-flopping and more specifically why is he airing Spanish ads if he believes in English first. Because he loves immigrants, not just their votes.

7:41 PM: Tancredo won’t advertise in Spanish. That’s probably a good idea.

7:42 PM: McCain likes Hispanics, really.

7:43 PM: Candidates asked where they disagree with Bush. McCain, “Spending, spending, spending, and corrpution.”. Giuliani, “establish accountability and Republicans became Democrats”. Romney, something about a vision. Brownback, “spend on cancer”. Thompson, “Washington changed us.” Change health care, end war in Iraq. Tancredo, “Bush ran as a conservative and governed as a liberal”. Paul, “President ran on a policy of no nation building and changed his mind. Cut war spending and spend more at home.” Paul is obviously at the wrong debate. Gilmore, “I’m against Hillary”. Hunter, “party has to reunite with the American family”. Huckabee, “communicate better than Bush”.

7:49 PM: Candidates asked what it is to be American. Tancredo “cut ties with past country”. Tancredo wants to stop all immigration. Huckabee wants to admit immigrants like at a sports stadiums. Giuliani likes legal immigration and says being an American is how much you believe in freedom. If that’s the case, than Giuliani is definitely not an American. McCain, “America is still the land of opportunity”.

7:54 PM: Candidates asked about reaching out to moderates. Gilmore, anti-tax. Hunter thinks everyone else is a moderate. Rudy McRomney is influenced by Teddy Kennedy. Romney cites Reagan as a moderate. Wants to run on a three tier platform “strong military, strong economy, strong family” and optomism. Rudy, “want to accomplish what you want, nominate me”. Democrats are soft on defense. McCain says we are under threat.

7:59 PM: Debate is over….thank God.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at IJ Review.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

Rudy Won’t Sign “No Tax” Pledge

Since its been awhile since we checked on Rudy Giuliani, I figured I would update everyone on what he’s been up to. Americans for Tax Reform has a Taxpayer Protection Pledge that they ask all candidates for national and state office to sign. It asks simply:

ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and

TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.

Rudy Giuliani, a supposed tax cutter, has declined to sign it.

The Giuliani campaign said signing the pledge was unnecessary.

“Rudy’s got a record of cutting taxes and putting more money into the hands of people. His record is his pledge,” said Giuliani senior campaign adviser Tony Carbonetti.

Giuliani cut taxes 23 times worth $9 billion as mayor and has cast himself as the most pro-growth, fiscally conservative candidate in the current GOP campaign.

But the former mayor’s refusal to sign the pledge has surprised and disappointed economic conservatives, who agree that Rudy has a strong tax-cutting record.

So for you fools out there who believe Rudy Giuliani is a fiscal conservative, why won’t he sign the taxpayer protection pledge?

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at IJ Review.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

William Jefferson Must Go

The time has come for Nancy Pelosi to live up to her promise of the most ethical Congress in history. A high ranking Democrat has been indicted for bribery and influence peddling and, while everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence, it’s pretty clear that the guy is guilty.

I mean, how else do you explain the $ 90,000 in cash in his freezer.

Today’s Washington Post editorial puts it nicely:

TO READ the indictment of Rep. William J. Jefferson is to wonder how, if the allegations are true, the Louisiana Democrat, so busy soliciting and dispensing bribes, had any time left over for his day job. The 16-count indictment handed up yesterday by a federal grand jury in Alexandria is staggering in the scope and audacity of the bribery schemes it portrays Mr. Jefferson as having peddled, from sugar plant and waste recycling projects in Nigeria to telecommunications deals in Ghana to oil concessions in Equatorial Guinea to satellite transmission contracts in Botswana to offshore oil rights in Sao Tome and Principe. All this might explain why it took nearly two years for prosecutors to secure the indictment after a search of Mr. Jefferson’s home found $90,000 wrapped in tin foil in his freezer.

The indictment describes how Mr. Jefferson, who has a law degree from Harvard and a masters in taxation from Georgetown, allegedly arranged for a lengthy menu of payoffs to shell companies he set up with family members: “monthly fees and retainers, consulting fees, percentage shares of revenue and profit, flat fees per item sold, and stock ownership in the companies seeking his official assistance.” The lawmaker is accused of accepting some $500,000 in bribes. “I make a deal for my children,” Mr. Jefferson allegedly told an associate as he was trying to bump up his ownership stake in one company from 7 percent to as much as 20 percent. “It wouldn’t be for me.”

(…)

At best, Mr. Jefferson, whose New Orleans district could benefit from a congressman’s undivided attention, should do what he ought to have done some time ago, which is to step down. Mr. Jefferson is entitled to the presumption of innocence as he prepares to defend himself in court; he is not entitled to the presumption of a congressional seat.

The Republicans have taken up the cause of Jefferson’s explusion:

Republican Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio was pushing for a vote later Tuesday on a resolution to bar Jefferson from serving on any House committee and to direct the ethics committee to decide by July 11 whether the allegations in the indictment merit his expulsion, according to a partial draft of the document obtained by The Associated Press.

It’s time for the Democrats to join them.

Speaker Pelosi, the clock is ticking.

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