Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sestak and the Obama Administration...The Proper Move

ABC News reports:
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder today, all seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee "urge the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Congressman Joe Sestak's claim that a White House official offered him a job to induce him to exit the Pennsylvania Senate primary race against Senator Arlen Specter."
Though it may appear to be an act of political opportunism, the actions of the GOP committeemen are quite proper and should be encouraged. Sadly, we are dealing with a possible high-profile political crime carried out by the White House. If the Mr Sestak's claim--that he was offered a position in the administration to bow out of the PA Democratic primary--is true, there's been a major breach of the law that must be prosecuted.

Treating federal jobs like thank you cards is bad enough, but using them to intervene in electoral politics is even worse. Not only does it allow for political manipulation and the ability of the executive branch to pick the legislative players, it is illegal. If we are to be a nation of laws, we cannot have the White House leading the pack in the violation of those laws.

All that said, we should be careful to let the eveidence speak for itself.

No one should be too quick to call the president a liar, side with Sestak, and cry foul. The jury is still, out and I will not pass judgment until more evidence is available. Until the facts are in we should give the chief executive the presumption of innocence.

Moreover, even though I despise the president's policies, I hope he is innocent. The ramifications of the White House manipulating elections by offering jobs on this level would be a huge step back in a time that we don't need more trouble. If the allegations are true, however, I hope those responsible will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. None should be spared.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Victory for Rand Paul and the Tea Party

The power of the Tea Party Movement manifested itself mightily in yesterday's GOP primary in Kentucky. In what seemed an impossibility just a few short months ago, Rand Paul--a Bowling Green doctor and Tea Party favorite--defeated the establishment-backed Trey Grayson with a margin slightly higher than 2:1.

Lacking the powerful donors and the backing of the establishment machine, Paul's support came primarily from Tea Party patriots, conservative/libertarian groups, and other grassroots activists across the Bluegrass State. Defying the likes of Mitch McConnell and a whole host of neoconservatives, Rand Paul's primary victory proved that the grassroots can still provide electoral victory, and it will be that same grassroots support that will provide general election victory for Paul and other liberty lovers come November.

Looking to the results in Kentucky, we can draw a few conclusions.

1. The establishment should not overlook the possible success of  those they currently do not see as threats. Those minor threats could morph into major contenders who boast major victories.

2. These positive results can and should be replicated in races across the nations. If it can happen for Paul in Kentucky, it can happen for other candidates around the country. (I believe it will happen for Ron Ramsey in Tennessee, personally.)

3. The Tea Party can and will make a difference at the end of the day. The media and others can mock all they want, but they cannot argue with these (and similar) results.

Despite these truths the Tea Party movement should remain vigilant and guard against co-optation. If they are not careful to maintain philosophical consistency and purity, they may be the establishment who is punished years from now.

No Mercy for Incumbents by the Southern Avenger

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Laura Bush's Support of Elena Kagan

Former First Lady Laura Bush voiced her support for President Obama's new Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, on Sunday noting:
"I think it's great. I'm really glad that there will be three [women] if she's confirmed. I like to have women on the Supreme Court."

Bush added: "I think it does make a difference. And you know, I just like women to be represented in all parts of American political and civic life."
Mrs. Bush's statements are ridiculous on two major fronts. One one hand, to support someone based on gender rather than principle is plain foolish. On the other hand, it is a massive double standard that would not be toloerated if the tables where turned.

There is nothing wrong with Mrs. Bush supporting Kagan for the right reasons. Being the wife of a Republican president does not prohibit her from liking Obama's nominee, but being thrilled merely because of the nominee's gender is just plain stupid. Decisions like this should be supported based on factors like judicial philosophy, not mere physical characteristics.

I could care less if the Court was made up of 2 women, 3 women, or 9 women. In fact, I'd rather have 9 constitutionalist women over any assortment of men or women who do not respect the rule of law. Sadly, Laura Bush's preference finds shallower support.

What is really shocking about the former First Lady's statement is the double standard it presents. Imagine if a man said he was thrilled with a male nominee because of gender; the fallout would be huge. Of course, people are free to their opinions, but we should hold each to a uniform standard.

If Mrs. Bush likes Kagan, she should do so based on judicial merit. Sadly, that is not the case. Hopefully, the Senate will show support or opposition for reasons that transcend gender.

(Watch the video here.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Progressives Don't Understand Economics...Big Surprise

Wes over at The Humble Libertarian has posted the link to an interesting study. The results found self-described Progressives to be quite ignorant about basic economics.

Some of the results:
  • 67% of self-described Progressives believe that restrictions on housing development (i.e., regulations that reduce the supply of housing) do not make housing less affordable.
  • 51% believe that mandatory licensing of professionals (i.e., reducing the supply of professionals) doesn’t increase the cost of professional services.
  • Perhaps most amazing, 79% of self-described Progressive believe that rent control (i.e., price controls) does not lead to housing shortages.
The conclusion:
'Those identifying as “libertarian” and “very conservative” were the most knowledgeable about basic economics. Those identifying as “Progressive” and “Liberal” were the worst.'
Check out Wes' full commentary here. (Btw, I had to use his picture...brilliant!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Opponents Should Be Careful About New SC Nominee Kagan's Lack of Judicial Experience

With famed liberal Justice John Paul Stevens stepping down from the Supreme Court, the Obama administration has been looking far and wide to find what it deems a suitable replacement. For now, the search seems to be over.

The Associated Press reports:
WASHINGTON – Solicitor General Elena Kagan will be nominated Monday to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, pushing the former law school dean toward the pinnacle of her profession and positioning the United States to have three women justices for the first time in its history.

Obama will announce his choice at 10 a.m. in the East Room of the White House alongside Vice President Joe Biden. Kagan will also speak. The room will be filled with Kagan's Justice Department colleagues and other guests invited to soak in one of a presidency's biggest moments.
Unknown to most, Kagan is already being closely investigated before her Senate hearing even begins. One major item that is already receiving much attention is Kagan's lack of judicial experience, having never served as judge. Opponents of the nominee would be wise to not make this a major point of contention.

There is no constitutional requirement that a Supreme Court justice have previous experience as a judge prior to joining the Court, and a number of justices throughout our history have lacked said judicial experice. Even in the modern age we have seen similar circumstances.

William Rehnquist, who served as our last chief justice, lacked experience as judge before joining the Court, but he was obviously able to excel at the position. Agree with him or not, he performed the technical aspects of the job quite well and was well respected.

Knowing these things, those who find contention with Kagan as a choice should look to her views of the Constitution, judicial authority, and the like when making their decision, rather than hamper on her lack of judicial experience. If they fail to do so, they show their own ignorance of history and unwillingness to do the heavy lifting in vetting the candidate.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

America Owns a Hotel Chain?!?!--Thanks to the Federal Reserve

Here is a must-watch presentation on the House floor in which Alan Grayson (D-Florida) lays out why we own the Red Roof Inn thanks to the Federal Reserve. Clearly, we need an Audit (and ending) of the FED!!!!

Hat Tip: The Daily Paul

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lessons from the Dobson Endorsement Scandal

 My latest post at the Humble Libertarian.
Earlier this week THL reported that Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson has officially taken his support away from Trey Grayson and endorsed Rand Paul in the Kentucky Senate race. The implications of this act are vast and reveal a great deal about Dobson, Paul, and the GOP establishment.

After listening to Dr. Dobson's change-of-heart explanation it is evident that he was lied to by Republican Party leadership. In a shameless act of political desperation, leadership within the GOP flat out lied to secure the Dobson endorsement for Grayson. In short, Dobson was falsely told that Rand Paul is, among other things, not pro-life. This led to an understandable opposition to Rand's campaign by the famed social-conservative. But this past week things changed.

Thankfully, after hearing Rand speak on the pro-life issue, an OB/GYN friend of Dobson alerted him to the truth. After looking further into the issue, Dobson uncovered the GOP deception and found Rand to be "my kind of man." He then dropped his support for Grayson, exposed the GOP establishment's lies, and endorsed Rand.

So what lessons can we take away from this? (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

McCain's Unconstitutional Desire for the NY Car Bomber

Unless you have been sleeping under a rock, you're probably aware of the failed terrorist attempt to explode a car bomb in New York's Times Square over the weekend. This act is disgusting in nature, completely unjustifiable, and should be dealt with properly. But, sadly, some in our government are already showing their disregard for the Constitution when discussing the situation.

On Tuesday, Sen. John McCain plainly vocalized his views regarding the Justice Department's actions. According to Sen. McCain, "It would have been a serious mistake to have read the suspect in the attempted Times Square car bombing his Miranda rights." The Arizona senator went on to explain that only after receiving "all the information we have" and finding out what the attack is "all about" should we even consider reading the suspect his rights.

So, in essence, the senator would like to gut the rights reading process of all its significance. His approach amounts to the following: Find out if one's rights will get in the way. If they don't, go ahead and let them have them. If they do, let the Constitution be damned.

Of course, the argument over the rights of terrorists is no new one; we have faced it a number of times, including the controversy around last year's Christmas Eve bomber case. But where those cases centered around the issue of whether or not a non-citizen had constitutional rights, this particular case does not.

The Times Square terror suspect is an American citizen, and there is no denying his constitutional rights of due process warrant protection. Making this claim is in no way an act of sympathy toward the would-be murderer or a call to impede justice. Rather, it is a call for justice as required by the Constitution--a justice that doesn't dissolve liberty or the rule of law.

If the suspect is truly guilty, he will face a number of charges that carry with them the death penalty. McCain even admits that he thinks justice will be served through traditional channels. Therefore, his concern is obviously unmerited, if it is justice he seeks. Still, wanting to squeeze information from the suspect without constitutional restrictions, McCain is dissatisfied with granting a US citizen his rights.

In a country gone mad, rights have become the enemy and disregard for the rule of law has become the desired norm. When the desire is for even US citizens to be denied basic rights, we are truly in danger.

I am confident that justice will be served, and I am confident that the Constitution will aid in carrying it out. Otherwise, we will merely see injustice on the part of the state. The Constitution protects liberty for us all. When its protection is eroded, even for undeserving terrorists, we all suffer in the long run.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Reflection on my Latest Gun Show Attendance

This Saturday, as heavy rain flooded Nashville, I was in the city attending a gun show. My father and I are now handgun carry permit holders in the state of Tennessee, and even though we have a number of guns, we were in the market for something pocket-sized yet powerful. (We found what we were looking for at a great price, in case you are wondering--pictured above.)

In the venue were thousands of guns, knifes, and ammo rounds. Moreover, almost everyone in the room had a gun or two on their person as they walked around. Gun right opponents refer to such as a "war zone," blabbering about the possibility of "blood in the streets" and "senseless loss of life due to the bearing of arms." Needless to say, that wasn't the case at all.

Throughout my hours at the show, I felt nothing less than completely safe--which is not always the case when I am walking around in Nashville. Someone would be crazy to pull a gun on someone with all those lawful citizens packing.

I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism of the exhibitors, the comradery among the patrons, and of course the libertarian themes on display. It was fun, fruitful, and well worth the trip.

To the surprise of opponents of such events, individuals as well as families were in attendance--both shopping and selling. Likewise, there was diversity across the board regarding attendees. People from all walks of life where there, and all were welcome. In short, it was just law abiding citizens engaging in law abiding activity; no shots were fired, and no lives were lost.

Of course, the politics of the room were one-sided. Obviously, there were more Ron Paul fans than Obama fans in attendance--if any Obama fans was there at all. (He and all others hostile to the Second Amendment were not very poplar, as can be understood.) But my point is that these people were not just some "right-wing wackos." Rather, they were a cross-section of America with a deep concern for the Second Amendment.

Of course, this account should come as no surprise to most of you. But for you surprised that one could walk away unharmed from an event where attendees where armed to the teeth, now you know.