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KirtFalcon

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  1. Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 11:26 a.m. EST Newsmax.com Poll: Thumbs Down on Prez Hillary Clinton By a margin of three to one, Americans say they would "definitely" vote against Hillary Clinton for president, a CNN/Gallup poll released Tuesday has found. While just 16 percent say they had made up their minds to back Clinton when she seeks the presidency in 2008, 51 percent say there's no way they want to see the former first lady back in the White House. Men are the most vehement when it comes to the prospect of another Clinton presidency, with 60 percent telling Gallup they would vote against Hillary for sure. Reporting on the Gallup survey in today's edition, the New York Post notes that women are slightly less repulsed by the notion of Mrs. Clinton running the country, with just 43 percent saying they definitely don't want to see her in the Oval Office. Even Mrs. Clinton's liberal base isn't solidly behind her, with a full one-third of self described liberals telling Gallup/CNN they have no intention of supporting her in 2008.
  2. January 26, 2006 LATimes.com Jonah Goldberg: Even liberals are fed up with what they see as the senator's 'triangulation, calculation and equivocation' designed to offend no one. LIBERALS ARE sizing up Hillary Clinton for the umpteenth time, and they don't like what they see. To be honest, I never understood what they saw in her in the first place. The amazing thing about Clinton is that she's so unappealing. She isn't a particularly gifted speaker. She's smart, but in a conventional and lawyerly way. She doesn't connect well with audiences. Her idea of improvisation seems to be leaping from the prepared text to prepared note cards. However, she has defied the rules of nature and gotten better looking over the years, which, along with her soap-opera marriage, probably explains some of her success with supermarket checkout-aisle publications. Indeed, her greatest success has been at exploiting expectations others have for her. For some fans, she was the struggling career woman who could bring home the bacon. For some detractors, she was "Lady MacBeth," cold and calculating in an obviously political marriage. She was also the apotheosis of the 1960s, for friends and foes alike. For the Children's Defense Fund crowd, she was the baby boomer idealist who worked her way through the system. For the American Spectator gang, she was the former Black Panther sympathizer and acolyte of Chicago radical Saul Alinsky who finally achieved power. After the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hillary — who was no stranger to her husband's weaknesses — suddenly became the victim in a culture with a fetish for victims. At every turn, Hillary Clinton's Zelig-like public persona has been a fabrication — either by her fans, her enemies or herself. One telling episode came when she published her massively successful autobiography, "Living History." The book tour was nothing short of a coronation, confirming her gravitas and commitment to "the issues." She portrayed herself as resigned to the fact that she'd have to answer Barbara Walters' questions about her personal life, but she always made it seem like she'd rather wrestle with the hard issues of public policy. But when the Washington Post actually tried to ask her about something other than how she cried over her husband's sexcapades with an intern, the senator from New York "declined to be interviewed about the political content of her book." Hillary Clinton's latest reinvention paints her as a moderate, even an Iraq war hawk. Few people buy it. Reporters regularly assume her motives are opportunistic rather than sincere, focusing on how every pronouncement will position her for the 2008 presidential race. National Public Radio's Mara Liasson, for example, recently observed, "She certainly sees it in her interest to get to the right of the president on many issues, especially in the area of national security." Whatever the reason, some liberals have had enough. "I will not support Hillary Clinton for president," wrote Molly Ivins, the voice of conventional thinking on the left. "Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone." The segment of Democrats who sanctified Cindy Sheehan can hardly countenance a presidential candidate who unapologetically voted for the war and positioned herself to the right of President Bush on foreign policy. The New Republic offers perhaps an even more devastating critique of Clinton for Democratic pragmatists: She can't win. Marisa Katz dismantled the myth that Clinton can appeal to "red state" voters because she won in upstate New York. Turns out former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry each did better in upstate New York than she did. And Gore, a Southerner, couldn't even win his home state of Tennessee. Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll showed that 51% of Americans won't even consider voting for Clinton. All of this could change. But there's a great irony here. Hillary Clinton's success over the last decade and a half has been in pretending to be her own woman while really playing one part or another for the benefit of the media, her husband or various feminist constituencies desperate for a role model to confirm all of their comfortable stereotypes. That's why there's something oddly satisfying in the possibility that Clinton being herself is politically disastrous. And, if she's really just playing one more role according to some classically Clintonian political triangulation, there's something equally satisfying to the prospect that even her fans aren't falling for it anymore.
  3. I agree with Colmes, we should send our military down there and "handle" the situation forcefully. I don't care whether they are actually Mexican military personnel or drug dealers . . . it doesn't matter! It's ridiculous that our border patrol agents are out gunned by these thugs. They are illegally in our country by choice and should be delt with as if it was an invasion or act or war on our soil. I say ask them once to drop their weapons and hit the ground face down otherwise smoke 'em and then find our who they are! It sounds to me like we need to really beef up our border protection with some heavy duty firepower . . . maybe some 50 cals mounted on armored vehicles and some M60s and other fully automatic light weapons instead of pop guns and pea shooters! :w00t:
  4. You are missing the point of the post there Deuce. Don't you see how hypocritical aLGore is accusing President Bush of breaking the law when what was going on in the Clinton administration was far worse if you are talking about "civil-liberties abuse" and "unconstitutional infringement of our rights?" aLGore and the libs are just playing politics with our effort to fight terrorism. Liberal nutcases like aLGore and Kerry, with the help of the liberal mainstream media, are trying to distort and mischaracterize this secret surveilence program as a "domestic spying" on citizens issue when nothing could be further from the truth! There hasn't been one single reported complaint where anyone was spyed on under this program that wasn't in communication with a known or suspected terrorist or terrorist organization. I'm not trying to have it both ways Duece, aLGore is! :w00t:
  5. You can win all you want . . . on paper! . . . . as long as you finish behind the Astros for real! :w00t::houastros::thumbsup:
  6. Deuce never lets the facts get in the way of his liberal bias! :w00t:
  7. Has he EVER gone an entire season without going on the DL? :w00t:
  8. You have never seen negative voter turn out like you would see if she got the Dimocrat nomination. I think the Dims will come to their senses and nominate someone less polarizing than Hillary if they really want to have a chance in the general election. There is a huge power struggle for control of the party going on behind the scenes! :w00t:
  9. You are right . . . Toyota vehicles overall better quality than GM and Ford. I worked for GM in management for a year after I retired from the AF and Toyota was considered the "gold standard" of the competition. Toyta was at or near the top of most of the J.D. Powers ratings. ;)
  10. The UAW has driven labor costs of domestic automakers through the roof. The average labor cost per vehicle of GM and Ford compared to Toyota is why we can't compete! :w00t:
  11. I'd like to see Bagwell and the Astros come to an agreement on a new one year contract with a base salary of around $5 - $7 million and some healthy incintives that could equal the $17 million original contract if he stays healthy and produces. I would hate to see him end his career with the Astros on a sour note! :w00t::coolball::w00t:
  12. Hillary is torn between pleasing her liberal base and trying to appear to be "pro-war" and tough on terrorism. I saw an article this weekend that indicated although she talks tough on these issues attempting to appeal to the moderates, her voting record betrays her phony rhetoric because she votes with the libs akmost 100% of the time! :w00t: You can't trust what she says, you have to watch what she does! :whistle:
  13. I never said TAXES were unconstitutional . . . although that could be debated. I do believe spending taxpayer money on programs like the NEA is unconstitutional. Here is a great article that's fairly lenthy (liberals may not have the attention span to finish it) but eloquently details such out of control government spending: Our Unconstitutional Congress Stephen Moore Stephen Moore says it is high time for our lawmakers to "turn back the clock" and restore the original meaning of the U.S. Constitution. His remarks remind us that, as one American leader once put it, "the framers 'Of the Constitution were great clock makers in the science of statecraft, and they did, with admirable ingenuity, put together an intricate machine, which promised to run indefinitely, and tell the time of the centuries. His remarks were delivered at the March 1997 seminar "Between Power and Liberty, on the Hillsdale campus. In 1800, when the nation's capital was moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D:C., all of the paperwork and records of the United States government were packed into twelve boxes and then transported the one hundred and fifty miles to Washington in a horse and buggy. That was truly an era of lean and efficient government. In the early years of the Republic, government bore no resemblance to the colossal empire ' it has evolved into today. In 1800, the federal government employed three thousand people and had a budget of less than $1 million ($100 million in today's dollars). That's a far cry from today's federal budget of $1.6 trillion and total government workforce of eighteen million. Since its frugal beginnings, the U. S. federal government has come to subsidize everything from Belgian endive research to maple syrup production to the advertising of commercial brand names in Europe and Japan, In a recent moment of high drama before the Supreme Court, during oral arguments involving the application of the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution, a bewildered Justice Antonin Scalia pressed the solicitor general to name a single activity or program that our modem-day Congress might undertake that would fall outside the bounds of the Constitution. The stunned Clinton appointee could not think of one. During the debate in Congress over the controversial 1994 Crime Bill, not a single Republican or Democrat challenged the $10 billion in social spending on the grounds that it was meant to pay for programs that were not the proper responsibility of the federal government. No one asked, for example where is the authority under the Constitution for Congress to spend money on midnight basketball, modern dance classes, self-esteem training, and the construction of swimming pools? Certainly, there was plenty of concern about "wasteful spending," but none about unconstitutional spending. Most federal spending today falls in this latter category because it lies outside Congress's spending powers under the Constitution and it represents a radical departure from the past. For the first one hundred years of our nation's history, proponents of limited government in Congress and the White House routinely argued-with great success-a philosophical and legal case against the creation and expansion of federal social welfare programs. A Rulebook for Government The U. S. Constitution is fundamentally a rule-book for government. Its guiding principle is the idea that the state is a source of corruptive power and ultimate tyranny. Washington's responsibilities were confined to a few enumerated powers, involving mainly national security and public safety. In the realm of domestic affairs, the Founders sought to guarantee that federal interference in the daily lives of citizens would be strictly limited. They also wanted to make sure that the minimal government role in the domestic economy would be financed and delivered at the state and local levels. The enumerated powers of the federal government to spend money are defined in the Constitution under Article 1, Section 8. These powers include the right to "establish Post Offices and post roads; raise and support Armies; provide and maintain a Navy; declare War... " and to conduct a few other activities related mostly to national defense. No matter how long one searches, it is impossible to find in the Constitution any language that authorizes at least 90 percent of the civilian programs that Congress crams into the federal budget today. The federal government has no authority to pay money to farmers, run the health care industry, impose wage and price controls, give welfare to the poor and unemployed, provide job training, subsidize electricity and telephone service, lend money to businesses and foreign governments, or build parking garages, tennis courts, and swimming pools. The Founders did not create a Department of Commerce, a Department of Education, or a Department of Housing and Urban Development. This was no oversight: They did not believe that government was authorized to establish such agencies. Recognizing the propensity of governments to expand, and, as Thomas Jefferson put it, for "liberty to yield," the Founders added the Bill of Rights to the Constitution as an extra layer of protection. The government was never supposed to grow so large that it could trample on the liberties of American citizens. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states clearly and unambiguously: "The powers not delegated to the United states by the Constitution ... are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." in other words, if the Constitution doesn't specifically permit the federal government to do something, then it doesn't have the right to do it. The original budget of the U. S. government abided by this rule. The very first appropriations bill passed by Congress consisted of one hundred and eleven words-not pages, mind you, words. The main expenditures were for the military, including $137,000 for "defraying the expenses" of the Department of War, $190,000 for retiring the debt from the Revolutionary War, and $95,000 for "paying the pensions to invalids." As for domestic activities, $216,000 was appropriated. This is roughly what federal agencies spend in fifteen seconds today. As constitutional scholar Roger Pilon has documented, even expenditures for the most charitable of purposes were routinely spurned as illegitimate. In 1794, James Madison wrote disapprovingly of a $15,000 appropriation for French refugees: "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." This view that Congress should follow the original intent of the Constitution was restated even more forcefully on the floor of the House of Representatives two years later by William Giles of Virginia. Giles condemned a relief measure for fire victims and insisted that it was not the purpose nor the right of Congress to "attend to what generosity and humanity require, but to what the Constitution and their duty require." In 1827, the famous Davy Crockett was elected to the House of Representatives. During his first term of office, a $10,000 relief bill for the widow of a naval officer was proposed. Colonel Crockett rose in stem opposition and gave the following eloquent and successful rebuttal: We must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not attempt to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money. In a famous incident in 1854, President Franklin Pierce courageously vetoed an extremely popular bill intended to help the mentally ill saying: "I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity." To approve such spending, he argued, "would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded." Grover Cleveland, the king of the veto, rejected hundreds of congressional spending bills during his two terms as president in the late 1800s, because, as he often wrote: "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution." Were Jefferson, Madison, Crockett, Pierce, and Cleveland merely hardhearted and uncaring penny pinchers, as their critics have often charged? Were they unsympathetic toward fire victims, the mentally ill, widows, or impoverished refugees? Of course not. They were honor bound to uphold the Constitution. They perceived - we now know correctly - that once the government genie was out of the bottle, it would be impossible to get it back in. With a few notable exceptions during the nineteenth century, Congress, the president, and the courts remained faithful to the letter and spirit of the Constitution with regard to government spending. As economic historian Robert Higgs noted in Crisis and Leviathan, until the twentieth century, "government did little of much consequence or expense" other than running the military. The total expenditures for the federal budget confirm this assessment. Even as late as 1925, the federal government was still spending just 4 percent of national output. Abandoning Constitutional Protections Several major turning points in American history mark the reversal of this ethic. The first was the passage in 1913 of the Sixteenth Amendment, which permitted a federal income tax. This was the first major tax that was not levied on a proportional or uniform basis. Hence, it allowed Congress a political free ride: It could provide government benefits to many by imposing a disproportionately heavy tax burden on the wealthy. Prior to enactment of the income tax, Congress's power to spend was held in check by its limited power to tax. - Most federal revenues came from tariffs and land sales. Neither source yielded huge sums. The income tax, however, soon became a cash cow for a Congress needing only the feeblest of excuses to spend money. The second major event that weakened constitutional protections against big government was the ascendancy of Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal agenda to the White House during the Great Depression. One after another, constitutional safe-guards against excessive government were ignored or misinterpreted. Most notable and tragic was the perversion of the "general welfare" clause. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution says: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises to pay the debts, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare of the United States." Since the 1930s, the courts have interpreted this phrase to mean that Congress may spend money for any purpose, whether there is an enumerated power of government or not, as long as legislators deem it to be in the general welfare of certain identifiable groups of citizens like minorities, the needy, or the disabled. This carte blanche is exactly the opposite of what the Founders intended. The general welfare clause was supposed to limit government's taxing and spending powers to purposes that are in the national interest. Jefferson had every reason to be concerned that the general welfare clause might be perverted. To clarify its meaning, he wrote in 1798: "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated." In fact, when some early lawmakers suggested that the general welfare clause gave Congress a generalized spending authority, they were always forcefully rebuked. In 1828, for example, South Carolina Senator William Drayton reminded his peers, "If Congress can determine what constitutes the general welfare and can appropriate money for its advancement, where is the limitation to carrying into execution whatever can be effected by money?" Exactly. Nonetheless, by the late nineteenth century, Congress had adopted the occasional practice of enacting spending bills for public charity in the name of "promoting the general welfare." These laws often made a mockery of this clause. In 1884, Senator John Morgan of Alabama stormed to the Senate floor to describe the impact of a relief bill approved by Congress to provide $400,000 of funds for victims of a flood on the Tombigbee River. Morgan lamented: The overflow had passed away before the bill passed Congress, and new crops were already growing upon the land. The funds were distributed in the next October and November elections upon the highest points of the sand mountains throughout a large region where the people wanted what was called "overflow bacon." I cannot get the picture out of my mind. There was the General Welfare of the people invoked and with success, to justify this political fraud; the money was voted and the bacon was bought, and the politicians went around with their greasy hands distributing it to men who cast greasy ballots. And in that way the General Welfare was promoted! But the real avalanche of such special interest spending did not start until some fifty years later in the midst of the Depression. In their urgency to spend public relief funds to combat hard times, politicians showed their contempt for constitutional restraints designed to prevent raids on the public purse. "I have no patience whatever with any individual who tries to hide behind the Constitution, when it comes to providing food-stuffs for our citizens," argued New York Representative Hamilton Fish in support of a 1931 hunger relief bill. James O'Conner, a congressman from Louisiana, opined, "I am going to give the Constitution the flexibility ... as will enable me to vote for any measure I deem of value to the flesh and blood of my day." Pork-barrel spending began in earnest. In the same year, for instance, Congress introduced an act to provide flood relief to farmers in six affected states. By the time the bill made its way through Congress, farmers in fifteen states became its beneficiaries. One Oklahoma congressman succinctly summarized the new beggar-thy-neighbor spending ethic that had overtaken Capitol Hill: "I do not believe in this pie business, but 9 we are making a great big pie here ... then I want to cut it into enough pieces so that Oklahoma will have its piece." In 1932, Charles Warren, a former assistant attorney general, wrote a popular book titled Congress a Santa Claus. "If a law to donate aid to any farmer or cattleman who has had poor crops or lost his cattle comes within the meaning of the phrase 'to provide for the General Welfare of the United States,'" he argued, "why should not similar gifts be made to grocers, shopkeepers, miners, and other businessmen who have made losses through financial depression, or to wage earners out of employment? Why is not their prosperity equally within the purview of the General Welfare?" Of course, we now know Congress's answer: All of these things are in the "general welfare." This is why we now have unemployment compensation, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Commerce, food stamps, and so on. Of course, all this special interest spending could have been-no, should have been-summarily struck down as unconstitutional. However, the courts have served as a willing co-conspirator in congressional spending schemes. In a landmark 1936 decision, the Supreme Court inflicted a mortal blow to the Constitution by ruling that the Agricultural Adjustment Act was constitutional. The Court's interpretation of the spending authority of Congress was frightful and fateful. Its ruling read: "The power of Congress to authorize appropriations of public money for public purposes is not limited by the grants of legislative power found in the Constitution." James M. Beck, a great American legal scholar and former solicitor general, likened this astounding assault on the Constitution to the Titanic's tragic collision with the iceberg. "After the collision," wrote Beck, "which was hardly felt by the steamer at the time, the great liner seemed to be intact and unhurt, and continued to move. But a death wound had been inflicted under the surface of the water, which poured into the hold of the steamer so swiftly that in a few hours the great ship was sunk." The New Deal Court essentially told Congress: It doesn't matter what the Constitution says or what limits on government it establishes, you are empowered to spend money on whatever you please. And so Congress does, even though its profligacy has placed the nation in great economic peril. Other than the Great Depression, by far the most important events that have fostered the growth of government in this century have been the two world wars. Periods of national crisis tend to be times in which normal constitutional restraints are suspended and the nation willingly bands together under government for a national purpose of fighting a common enemy. Yet the recurring lesson of history is that once government has seized new powers, it seldom gives them back after the crisis ends. Surely enough, this phenomenon is one of Parkinson's famous laws of the public sector: Taxes (and spending) become heavier in times of war and should diminish, by rights, when the war is over. This is not, however, what happens. Taxes regain their pre-war level. That is because the level of expenditure rises to meet the wartime level of taxation. In the five years prior to World War I, total federal outlays averaged 2 percent of GDP In the five years after the war, they averaged 5 percent of GDP in the years prior to that war the top income tax rate was 7 percent. During the war the tax rate shot up to 70 percent, which was reduced afterward, but only to 24 percent-or more than three times higher than it had originally been. Government regulations of the private economy also proliferate during times of war and often remain in force afterward. Robert Higgs notes that during World War I, the federal government nationalized the railroads and the telephone lines, requisitioned all ships over 2,500 tons, and regulated food and commodity prices. The Lever Act of 1917 gave the government the power to regulate the price and production of food, fuels, beverages and distilled spirits. It is entirely plausible that, without the war, America would never have suffered through the failed experiment of Prohibition. World War II was also the genesis of many modem-day government intrusions-which were and still are of dubious constitutionality. These include wage and price controls, conscription (which lasted until the 1970s), rent control in large cities, and, worst of all, federal income tax withholding. In the post-World War II era, Congress has often relied on a war theme to extend its authority into domestic life. Lyndon Johnson launched the modem welfare state in the 1960s when he declared a "war on poverty." in the early 1970s, Richard Nixon imposed across-the-board wage and price controls-the ultimate in government command and control-as a means of winning the "inflation war." In the late 1970s, Jimmy Carter sought to enact a national energy policy with gas rationing and other draconian measures by pleading that the oil crisis had become the "moral equivalent of war." While government has been the principal beneficiary of national emergency, the principal casualty has been liberty. As Madison warned, "Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant." This should give us pause as Congress now sets out to solve the health care crisis, the education crisis, and the crime crisis. To Congress, a crisis is an excuse to expand its domain. Turning Back the Clock Shortly before his death, Benjamin Franklin was asked how well the Constitution would survive the test of time. He responded optimistically that "everything appears to promise it will last." Then he added his famous warning, "But in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." ironically, the mortal wounds of the Constitution have been inflicted by precisely those who insist that they want to make it "a living document." Yet to argue that we return to the spirit and the true meaning of this living document is to invite scorn, malice, or outright disbelief from modern-day intellectuals. Those few brave souls (mainly outside the Beltway) who urge that government should be guided by the original intent of the Constitution are always accused of trying to "turn back the clock. " But turning back the clock in order to right a grievous wrong is precisely what we ought to do. There is nothing reactionary or backward looking about dedicating ourselves to the ideas and principles that guided our Founders and formed the bedrock of our free society. By all means, let's turn back the clock. Who knows? In the process we might even encourage a few Jeffersons and Madisons to run for Congress. At the time of the original publication, Stephen Moore was the director of fiscal policy studies at the Cato Institute, a free market think tank based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Cato, he worked as a senior economist at the joint Economic Committee advising Rep. Dick Armey on budget, tax, and competitiveness issues and helping write the famous Armey flat tax proposal. Mr. Moore has also served as the Grover M. Hermann Fellow in budgetary affairs at the Heritage Foundation, as a special consultant to the National Economic Commission, and as research director of President Reagan's Commission on Privatization. Currently he is an editor for National Review and a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Human Events, and Reader's Digest. And he has written three books: Privatization: A Strategy for Taming the Deficit Economy; Still an Open Door? U.S. Immigration Policy and the American Economy; and Government: America's #1 Growth Industry.
  14. Exactly right Colmes . . . we are already paying too much tax because of the spending glut! Government has expanded into areas of our lives our forefathers never envisioned much less approved of! It's time to actually cut back or altogether eliminate many of the unnecessary spending programs that are unconstitutional in my opinion! :w00t: You are right, neither party has the stomach to do what needs to be done! :w00t:
  15. Bin Laden sounds a lot like Kerry . . . maybe they can invite him to speak at the Dimocrat Convention in 2008. :whome::w00t: :whome:
  16. The problem with liberal politicians like the Clintons, aLGore, Kerry and others is that they can't run as who they really are and win. Rather than run campaigns on their true beiefs, like Reagan and Bush, they have to try and morph themselves into someone that is acceptable to people other than their liberal base. They wouldn't stand a chance of being elected if they honestly stated their core beliefs and convictions like Reagan and Bush. They play to the crowds and make different statements to different groups depending on the audience. They are nothing but phonies trying to please everyone while unashamedly playing the race card and promoting class envy and class warfare pitting groups of people against each other. How may times did we hear aLGore and Kerry were redefining themselves? Now Hillary is trying have us believe she is a "centerist" by moderating her positions away from her liberal roots. She's as phony as a $3 bill and she doesn't have the charisma and likability Bill had to pull it off. I can't wait to see her try and explain her change of heart on so many issues when she has to debate her liberal oponents in the primaries! :w00t::whistle::w00t:
  17. When ultra liberal Molly Ivans dumps you, you're finished as a dimocrat! :w00t: The kiss of death for Hillary!!! :dancingbanana::w00t::dancingbanana:
  18. Molly Ivins: I Won't Back Hillary Friday, Jan. 20, 2006 5:19 p.m. EST Newsmax.com "I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.” With that pronouncement, liberal syndicated columnist Molly Ivins begins a blistering column that castigates Hillary and the Democratic Party for failing to take a strong stand on a variety of issues important to liberals like her. Et tu, Brute? "Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone,” Ivins writes in her column on CNN.com. "Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges ... "There are times when regular politics will not do, and this is one of those times. There are times a country is so tired of bull that only the truth can provide relief. "If no one in conventional-wisdom politics has the courage to speak up and say what needs to be said, then you go out and find some obscure junior senator from Minnesota with the guts to do it. In 1968, Gene McCarthy was the little boy who said out loud, ‘Look, the emperor isn't wearing any clothes.’” Ivins says the majority of Americans believe the war in Iraq is a mistake and the U.S. should get out, and a majority are also in favor of raising the minimum wage, repealing President Bush’s tax cuts, imposing a windfall profits tax on big oil companies and reducing the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes. "That is the center, you fools,” Ivins tells Hillary and the Democrats. "WHO ARE YOU AFRAID OF?” For "pragmatic folk” like Hillary, Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman, Ivins urges: "Oh come on, people - get a grip on the concept of leadership ... "Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can.” :w00t::w00t::w00t::w00t::w00t::w00t::w00t::w00t::w00t::w00t::w00t:
  19. Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Still Morning in America Friday, January 20, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST Twenty-five years ago today, Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States promising less intrusive government, lower tax rates and victory over communism. On that same day, the American hostages in Iran were freed after 444 days of captivity. If the story of history is one long and arduous march toward freedom, this was a momentous day well worth commemorating. All the more so because over this 25-year period prosperity has been the rule, not the exception, for America--in stark contrast to the stagflationary 1970s. Perhaps the greatest tribute to the success of Reaganomics is that, over the course of the past 276 months, the U.S. economy has been in recession for only 15. That is to say, 94% of the time the U.S. economy has been creating jobs (43 million in all) and wealth ($30 trillion). More wealth has been created in the U.S. in the last quarter-century than in the previous 200 years. The policy lessons of this supply-side prosperity need to be constantly relearned, lest we return to the errors that produced the 1970s. The heart and soul of Reagan's economic agenda were sound money (making the dollar "as good as gold," as Reagan used to put it) and lower tax rates. On monetary policy, Reagan has won a resounding victory. Today, nearly all economists agree with Reagan's then-controversial belief that the sole purpose of monetary policy should be to keep prices stable. Double-digit inflation is a distant memory unlikely to recur anytime soon. On tax policy, Reaganomics has also carried the day, if somewhat less completely. Tax rates in the U.S. are on average half as high now as they were in the 1970s, and almost every nation has followed the Reagan model of lower tax rates. Even Bill Clinton only dared to raise the top marginal income tax rate back to 39.5%, not 50% or 70%. Nonetheless, tax cuts still stand in disrepute among most of the media, academics and Democrats in Congress, albeit for shifting reasons. When Reagan proposed his 30% across-the-board tax-rate cut, his critics howled that this would cause demand to rise and lead to hyper-inflation. In fact, supply rose faster than demand, and inflation fell to 4% from 13% and has fallen even lower since. When the economy went into a deep recession in 1981-82, Reagan's adversaries (and some of his own advisers) declared his tax cuts a failure. Reagan said stay the course, and the moment the final leg of the tax cut took effect, in January of 1983, the economy roared to life with an expansion that lasted more than seven years. When the budget deficit rose in the mid-1980s, the liberals warned that if Reagan would not raise taxes interest rates would skyrocket. He didn't and rates didn't. After the 1987 stock market crash, liberal John Kenneth Galbraith wrote that "this debacle marks the last chapter of Reaganomics . . . and the irresponsible tax cuts." Again, Reagan refused to buckle, and two months later the stock market recovered and the expansion roared on--an expansion that didn't end until George H.W. Bush reversed course and raised taxes in 1990. The Gipper's critics have written an economic history of the 1990s that they portray as a repudiation of Reaganomics. In this telling--known as Rubinomics--the Clinton tax hikes of 1993 ended the budget deficit, which caused interest rates to fall, which produced the boom of the mid- to late-1990s. In fact, the budget deficit hardly fell at all in the immediate aftermath of the tax hike, and while long-term interest rates fell in 1993, they shot back up again in 1994 almost precisely through Election Day (rising by some 230 basis points from October 1993 to November 1994). On that day, voters repudiated the Clinton tax hikes and the specter of HillaryCare and gave Republicans control of Capitol Hill to govern on the Reaganite agenda of lowering taxes and shrinking runaway government. Both the stock and bond markets turned upward precisely on Election Day in 1994, beginning a whirlwind six-year rally. By 1998, growth and fiscal restraint delivered a budget surplus for the first time in nearly 30 years. In 1997 President Clinton signed a further reduction in the capital gains tax, which propelled investment and the stock market to even greater heights. The latest chapter of this story is the 2003 income and investment tax cuts enacted by the current President Bush. As in 1981, opponents insisted those tax cuts would harm the economy by increasing the deficit and driving up interest rates. But in the two and a half years since those tax cuts passed, the economy and tax revenues have both surged. Where Republicans have most strayed from the Reagan vision has been on controlling federal spending. But most still adhere to his tax-cutting lessons, with a few prominent exceptions (notably Senator John McCain). They should all recall the Gipper's words in his inauguration speech 25 years ago: "It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government."
  20. January 20, 2006 By John McIntyre Senator Clinton’s Martin Luther King Day speech was perhaps the first gaffe in the 2008 presidential race. While it would be silly to characterize this mistake as a huge issue that is going to derail her candidacy, it does provide an opportunity to take a look Hillary’s candidacy and her chances for the Democratic nomination and the Presidency. For those unaware of Hillary’s “plantation” remark, this is what she said at Al Sharpton’s event to a predominantly black audience in Harlem: "When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation and you know what I'm talking about"….. There are several offensive angles to her accusation, and the words don’t do justice to the malevolent tone with which she attacked her political enemies. Of course, Hillary’s comment marginalizes the evil and suffering of slavery by comparing it to the Democrats’ minority status in the House of Representatives, but it is also the type of crude racial politics that is unbecoming and increasingly less effective for Democrats. Where the comment hurts Hillary the most politically, however, is that it immediately reminds people of the liberal, attacking image she had at the beginning of her husband’s Presidency. The humiliation of the Lewinsky scandal tempered this impression in her 2000 Senate race, but it is not the image Hillary wants on display as she sets out to run a national campaign. Since winning her Senate seat, Clinton has done exactly the sort of things she should be doing to lay the groundwork for a 2008 run. Getting a seat on the Armed Services Committee was the right move, as has been her hawkish position (at least for a Democrat) on Iraq. The Clintons fully realize Democrats have a profound weakness on national security issues - something that will only be complicated by the fact she will be the first woman running on a major ticket for the job of Commander in Chief. Clinton has also attended to local New York state issues and worked hard to take her duties as a Senator seriously. Though overtures to moderate her position on abortion and photo ops with Newt Gingrich are easily recognized by political observers as blatant moves to the center, the public only gets glimpses of these stories, and I think in general she has had success in moving to the center over the last four years. Which is why Monday’s gaffe could be particularly damaging. It showed the nasty, very partisan side of Senator Clinton, and it raises the question of whether Hillary will ever be able to outrun the first impression she formed with the American public in the early ’90’s. The issue isn’t that huge numbers of the public are paying close attention to this particular story, but rather what sort of judgments the political elite in the Democratic Party may draw from the Hillary “plantation” dust-up. For all of Bill Clinton's personal faults, he was undoubtedly one of the best natural politicians the country has ever seen. Hillary, to put it kindly, is not. She is unable to get a partisan crowd revved up without stooping to nasty attacks that invariably get her in trouble and reinforce the sort of liberal stereotype that could be fatal in a general election. Given Clinton’s shrewd positioning in Bush’s first term and the President’s woes in 2005, I had begun to think she was a lock for the nomination and looked like a winner in the general election against anybody but McCain or Giuliani (A narrow winner, mind you, but a winner nonetheless). But this week has made be rethink some of those assumptions. In many ways what we have seen with Hillary this week is a pre-season example of what we will see over and over in the 2008 campaign - just on a much larger and more intense scale. Larry Sabato is correct when he says: Democrats ignore Clinton’s image as “’cold,’ ‘devious,’ and ‘harsh’…… at their considerable peril.” If there is anything we can be sure of about 2008 it will be that after eight years of George W. Bush, if the Democrats are going to agree on anything, it is they want to win. You wonder how many in the Democratic hierarchy are starting to reconsider whether Hillary has to be the automatic nominee. Mark Warner, while perhaps more conservative than most Democrats prefer, may be looking better and better to party regulars. The reality is Hillary has no chance of winning any southern state, so she is basically running a redux of the Kerry campaign with the race coming down to the state of Ohio, or the trifecta of Nevada, Iowa and New Mexico. Either way, it’s hard to make a case she is a stronger candidate to win those states than Mark Warner. Democrats are painfully aware that the only victories they have had since the Vietnam/Watergate days are southern Governors. Mark Warner isn’t Hillary’s only problem, either. Whether it is Gore, Feingold or Dean, a candidate will emerge on the left to satisfy the rage among the hardcore base against Iraq and everything that is George Bush. Whoever this candidate ends up being - and right now I’d say Gore is the favorite – they are going to commit to polices and say things that Senator Clinton won’t be able to say if she wants to emerge from the primaries with any hope of winning the general election. These two threats, one on the left and one the right, are going to make Hillary’s general election strategy for 2006 and 2007 considerably more complicated. Also, people should not forget that when Bill Clinton won in 1992, the end of the Cold War and Ross Perot’s 19% were two not-so-insignificant factors. After 9/11 and without a credible third party candidate disproportionately siphoning away Republican votes, this week’s events have made me reevaluate Hillary’s odds for both the nomination and her abilty to win a general election. The more we see of Monday’s Hillary Clinton, the more I return to the analysis that her chances of winning in a general election are low (without a significant third party candidate) simply because she probably starts with 40% of the voting public saying ‘NO.’ What is interesting about this week’s “plantation” episode is it may foreshadow the difficulty Hillary will have in getting beyond her original image with the American people as an unapologetic liberal. And it is this baggage, along with all the other Clinton skeletons, that may subtly work to move pieces of the Democratic nominating apparatus to begin to open up to the possibility that maybe they have a better alternative. In other words, below the surface, Monday may have been a bigger day than people think.
  21. No nation ever taxed itself into prosperity! :whistle:
  22. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :w00t: "People who tap on stuff" :w00t:
  23. It's Not Rocket Science Washington Times By Richard W. Rahn January 18, 2006 Suppose you were appointed global economic czar, and your task was to bring the world's per capita income up to the level of Ireland's (almost that of the U.S.). Would you: (A) Insist the world's rich nations transfer substantial wealth though massive foreign aid to the poor nations? (B) Insist all nations adopt policies that would make them as economically free as the top 10 freest economies today? If you answered "B," go to the head of the class. This shows you have a good understanding of both history and economic reality about what works and what doesn't. If you answered "A," welcome to the Kofi Annan, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder school of willful economic ignorance. Graduates of this school are well represented among international institutions, such as the World Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; the political left; and the media elites in such places as the New York Times editorial pages, the BBC and National Public Radio. Fortunately, in their effort to roll back economic ignorance, the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal produce an annual "Index of Economic Freedom." Their 2006 Index, the 12th edition, has just been released, and again it shows in stark and unambiguous terms that income, economic growth and opportunity are highly correlated with economic freedom. The economically freest societies are the most prosperous, and the most economically repressive societies are the poorest. The principal authors of the Heritage/WSJ Index -- Marc Miles, Kim Holmes and Mary Anastasia O'Grady -- use commonly accepted definitions of economic freedom, including trade and capital flow restrictions, levels of taxation, size of government relative to the economy, price stability, levels of economic regulation, protection of private property, etc. Ireland 30 years ago was among the poorest countries in Europe. It then made a major shift toward freeing up its economy -- e.g., its maximum corporate tax rate is only 121/2 percent (it ranks No. 3 out of 157 countries in the index). As a result, it now has the second-highest per capita income in Europe and is far ahead of the old leaders like Germany (No. 19) and France (No. 44). (Note, when I refer to per capita income, I do so using the Purchasing Power Parity measure which accounts for local price differences.) In Eastern Europe, Estonia is economically the freest (No. 7), and Romania the least free (No. 92), though the latter is now making progress. Both countries started out at roughly the same level 16 years ago, but now Estonia has almost twice the per capita income of Romania. Much of the credit for Estonia being the most successful transition country goes to its brilliant and able free-market former prime minister, Mart Laar. China, Taiwan and Hong Kong make an interesting case study. They are all inhabited by Chinese in the same part of the world. In 1947, they were all equally poor, but Hong Kong (No. 1) started its economic reforms in the 1950s, and a decade later Taiwan (No. 37) began major reforms, but China (No. 111) proper did not begin its reforms until the late 1970s. The result is that Hong Kong has a per capita income almost threefold that of China (accomplished without natural resources or foreign aid), and Taiwan has more than 21/2 times the per capita income of China. In central Africa, we have the contrast between Botswana (No. 30) and Zimbabwe (No. 154). Botswana, a relatively free market democracy, has roughly tenfold the per capita income (without U.S. aid) of the repressive Zimbabwe, despite having started at about the same level of development. Latin America gives the interesting contrast of free Chile (No. 14) and repressed Cuba (No. 150). Chile's per capita income is now about 21/2 times Cuba's, though Cuba was far richer than Chile before Fidel Castro came to power and Cuba received massive aid from the old Soviet Union and now Venezuela. Mexico (No. 60) has a per capita income about one-quarter the U.S. (No. 9). It is a reasonable bet that had Mexico been as economically free as Canada (No. 12) its per capita income would be high enough that Mexicans would prefer to stay in Mexico rather than move to the U.S. On the other hand, the biggest recipients of development aid over the last quarter-century, for the most part, have gone nowhere economically. Egypt (No. 129), the biggest recipient of development aid in the last quarter-century, is a prime example, with a per capita income about 5 percent of Ireland's. The lesson is clear for all who will remove their ideological blinders that the road to prosperity is economic freedom, not development aid. International institutions and major donor countries should stop handouts and pressure laggard countries to make free market reforms. But then, of course, international aid bureaucrats would be jobless. What a pity. Richard W. Rahn is director general of the Center for Global Economic Growth, a project of the FreedomWorks Foundation.
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