Friday, November 28, 2008

Rent Seekers Descend on D.C.

Fire of Liberty

I have to say that the folks over at Reason.TV pretty much demonstrate how much of a joke that it has become with the constant cavalcade of CEO going to D.C. to beg for a bailout and the politicians that continue to support such behavior. I can only imagine the tax bill we'll get stuck with once these politicians finish doling out more and more of the taxpayers money. Here's a look:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Runnin ' things ... it ain't all gravy!"

Fire of Liberty

The above quote is from the movie Miller's Crossing in which a gangster muscles out another gangster and discovers that once he's on top things aren't that easy. Well the same can apply to the incoming Democratic majority in Congress. Now while it's too early to truly see the Dems true intentions until Obama is sworn in, this piece over at Politico by Martin Kady II reveals that there is more than likely going to be some infighting in the House and the Senate amongst the various factions of the Democratic party. Hopefully this will dampen the liberal agenda. So with fingers crossed, I await the future and hope for grid-lock.

Governor Mitch Daniels in 2012?

Fire of Liberty

I know that we've just ended a two year Presidential election and folks are tired about politics, but it's never too early to set our sites on some future candidates. One individual who seems to have rode out the Republican massacre and won by double digits in an Obama state this past November is Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana. Unlike the many Republicans that lost this year, Governor Daniels was able to survive(even in a state that Obama carried) because he stuck to his conservative principles by pushing forward free market solutions to the problems before his state, initiating sound budgets, thus demonstrating that debate between small government and big government solutions are long from being over(Note to Obama). For most voters, Governor Daniels is not a household name, but he has a good record on fiscal thrift and smaller government and is talking the right talk about how these nutty "bailouts" are playing havoc on our financial system and robbing the taxpayer's of the hard earned money during these slow times. I don't know everything about Governor Daniels and his stances, but he is right on the money with regards to economics. Expect a brighter political future for Gov. Daniels. Until then, I'll direct you to this excellent piece on this conservative star over at by Reihan Salam.

*There's a good stable of conservative governors for 2012 which includes: Daniels, Jindal, Stanford, Pawlenty, Romney.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Stay Lashed to your Moorings

Fire of Liberty

I believe that Robert Stacy McCain(no relation to the Senator) hits it out of the park in his most recent piece in the American Spectator in which he noted that even though a Republican might have lost the 2008 election, the conservative movement is far from being washed. Here's a sample of McCain's argument on why the Republican party lost and not the conservative movement:

Perhaps the most important statistic for conservatives to keep in mind today -- as pundits pore over and pour out exit-poll data to tell us What It Means -- is this: 53 percent of Republican primary voters did not vote for John McCain.

While the Democratic struggle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton captured all the headlines during the primary season, few pundits noticed the massive Republican resistance to McCain's nomination.

For example, on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5, McCain got 33 percent of the primary vote in Missouri, 32 percent in Tennessee and Georgia; in caucuses that day, he got 22 percent in the Minnesota and 19 percent in Colorado. McCain's share of the total Republican primary vote through Super Tuesday was only 39 percent.

Nor did the resistance end after McCain's most formidable rival, Mitt Romney, called it quits Feb. 7. As late as May 20 -- by which time McCain had been the de facto nominee for more than two months -- 28 percent of voters in the Kentucky GOP primary cast their ballots for other candidates or voted "uncommitted."

Conservatives who sought to prevent McCain's nomination cannot be blamed for his defeat. And it is his defeat, not yours.

Ideologues tend to see election results in ideological terms. Right now, "progressives" are congratulating themselves on the triumph of progressivism. But Obama will be the next president because millions of non-ideological "swing" voters -- those I call the Ordinary Americans -- saw him as the superior candidate. A vote for him was not, in the eyes of those key voters, an endorsement of any ideology.

Yes, "Bush fatigue" was part of what happened Tuesday. Yes, Republican "brand damage" is a real phenomenon. But if you've ever talked to a true independent voter, you know their mantra: "I don't vote for the party. I vote for the man."

Good candidates win elections, and bad candidates lose. John McCain was a bad candidate and he lost. Those who try to put an ideological spin on this election will miss that basic point.

The whole point is that the party's standard bearer strayed too far from the conservative movement with his forays into campaign finance reform, comprehensive immigration reform, his populist denunciations of "greed". Even more, the shear ineptitude of the campaign to articulate a pro growth, free market program that actually offered the voters a choice. You can have all the policy papers and web pages listing you economic policies that you want, but if you don't create and articulate a narrative about what your policies are then you fall prey to your opponent and allow him room to paint you and your policies the way they want to. So conservatives don't let your heart be troubled and remember that whenever Republicans drift away from their conservative moorings(At least since the founding of the modern conservative movement in 1955) and float into the squishy shoals of the moderate Eisenhower/Rockefeller/Ford wing of the party they are destined to lose to a Democrat who clefts to the center and has a clear message. Let this be a lesson for Republicans and their selection of candidates in 2010 and 2012.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Cheer up Conservatives

Fire of Liberty

Cheer up conservatives, we need to get our bearings and plot a new course. We should pick up some works by William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater, Russell Kirk, Milton Friedman, and some Calvin Coolidge) other luminaries and trudge forward. Someone who achieved success in hewing to conservative principles and expressing his ideology on point and from the heart was Ronald Reagan. Now while their is only one Reagan and the conditions require a little re-jigging on certain issues to the 21st century, we can still achieve victories with a true conservative candidate. Thankfully, Jeffrey Lord has written a wonderful piece over at The American Spectator which points out how Reagan trudged through "the wilderness" with his ideas and philosophy in tact and how conservatives in the United States can retake the mantle. I can bet that some politicians will be heading to the great conservative/libertarian think tanks/organizations like Heritage, AEI, Manhattan Institute, Cato, Claremont, Americans for Tax Reform, The Federalist Society and others to regain their bearings and be ready for 2010 and 2012.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Motivation from Henry V

Fire of Liberty
For all conservatives and Republicans who are pulling for McCain/Palin

Black Panther Party

Fire of Liberty
This could be a problem.

Philly's finest show up and remove the problem.

Tax Truth 101

Fire of Liberty
While the Obama campaign might have a problem about getting their facts straight with regards to his economic policies, there's a lot of folks who know what awaits if he's elected. One individual who has looked beyond the flowery rhetoric about Obama's tax plans is Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. Now while I could write all day about the bill of goods that Obama is hawking with his "tax cuts" for 95% of the American tax payers(Even when 40% or some 30 million people aren't currently free of a tax burden due to President Bush's tax cut in 03), I figured you'd prefer Grover's ideas. Here's a look:

The critique of the second half of the plan is that Obama’s tax increases will negatively affect a lot more than the top 2 percent of income earners. For starters, they will take a big bite out of America’s household retirement savings.

When Reagan was elected president in 1980 only 20 percent of adults owned stock directly. Today more than 50 percent of households own stock through their 401(k)s, mutual funds, and IRAs. The tax implications of this demographic shift are significant. In 2003, the capital-gains tax rate was reduced from 20 percent to 15 percent and the tax rate on dividends was lowered from 35 percent to 15 percent. In the two years that followed, the Dow Jones rose from 8,000 to 10,400, directly increasing the value of all those 401(k)s. But Obama, along with the Democratic Congress, is poised to allow the 2003 tax cuts on dividends and capital gains to expire, thus risking a reduction in the value of all those 401(k)s. (The recent stock market collapse has Americans all that more focused on the size of their retirement accounts.)

Meanwhile, Joe the Plumber has focused attention on Obama’s plans to raise taxes on individuals earning more than $250,000 a year. This is no mere tax on the rich since many small businesses pay taxes at the individual rate. Obama’s camp says they will target only 2 percent of small businesses in a given year. Economists point out, however, that of the $700 billion in small-business earnings this year, $420 billion — or 60 percent — was generated by businesses earning more than $250,000. That’s a whole lot more than 2 percent.

Obama’s taxes also have a way of adding up. He has called for raising the top marginal tax rate on individuals and small businesses from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. Added to that will be a tax of 12.4 percent on Social Security, which is now capped at $102,000. This will create a top tax rate of 54.9 percent. (Self-employment profits also will face a 2.9 percent Medicare tax.) Adding in the average state income-tax rate, Obama’s top tax rate on small businesses and individuals climbs to about 60 percent. Compare that with Russia’s top tax rate of 13 percent, Hong Kong’s of 15 percent, France’s of 49.8 percent, and Sweden’s of 56.5 percent.
Thank G-d we have folks like Grover Norquist looking out for us. Let's hope the American voter have read Grover's piece or similar pieces on Obama's true tax policies.

*Also, check out Grover's wonderful book Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government's Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives

Monday, November 03, 2008

Obama's Slippery Tax Policy

Fire of Liberty

Now this is an effective add and should be airing the next 48 hrs on TV in the toss-up and swing states.

King Coal

Fire of Liberty

Is it me or is Senator Obama always letting his mask down(ala Shelby Steele) too much with the San Francisco crowd. Whether it's with the media or some private fund-raiser, Sen. Obama tends to find ways to piss off the voters of he needs to vote for him. Aside from his comments about folks in rural Pennsylvania clinging to their G-d and guns because they're "bitter", he's now going after their livelihood by talking about killing coal-fired power plants due to his excessive cap & trade policy he would implement. One can imagine him upping up the new source review standards. I believe he could lose a lot of votes and some must have states with statements like these :

I guess if he can't lead us down the Road to Serfdom via his massive tax increases and spending programs, he'll just go after an industry that keeps our lights burning 24/7 and fires other industries that keep America number 1 economically. I'm not ready for an European style welfare state and I suspect the folks of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and elsewhere will come to the same conclusion. Here's hoping I'm right. The One might get ill, but then again I'm not worried about being kicked off his plane.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Col. John Ripley, RIP

Fire of Liberty

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As the son and nephew of Vietnam War Veterans, I have a special place in my heart for the men who fought and the brave souls who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the jungles of Vietnam. Well today marks the passing of Marine Col. John Ripley(Noted as being retired but always a "Devil Dog") at the age of 69. Now while all veterans deserve our highest respect, I recommend a double salute to Col Ridley for his clear devotion to country in which he and 600 of his fellow ARVN soldiers were commanded to hold off some 20,000 NVA soldiers and their contingent of 200 tanks on the Easter of 1972. Even with such odds, Col. Ripley, was able to destroy a bridge between these forces and his small forces by destroying a small bridge separating the forces. I know he wouldn't tell you out of shear modesty, but this devotion to his men, allies, and country earned him the much esteemed Navy Cross and Silver Star. So thank you Col. Ripley for you service.