Huckabee not that bad, after all?

Heard a “traffic radio” interview with Huckabee.  I have to say I really was much more favorably impressed with what I heard this morning.  Although I doubt it will happen, I could as easily live with a Huckabee Repub candidate as I could McCain.

Chuck Norris likes, him, anyway…. but I think he’d actually be okay as a Veep, and it woudl be nice to have a FairTax supporter somewhere actually near K Street.  (I know I’m going to get plastered on that by some folks, but I still think it’s a better idea than our current mess, especially in terms of generating foreign investment).

It’s official: Obama is an idiot.

Heard a campaign announcement today from the Obama campaign, in which Obama promised to, and get this…

~stimulate the economy by repealing corporate income tax breaks, thus paying for a middle-class tax cut

~repeal tax breaks on corporations moving overseas.  It’s ridiculous, and it’s got to stop

That’s right.  Obama is going to stimulate the economy by making it more expensive for corporations to produce goods and services.

I have a quick heads-up for Sen. Obama:  hey, dumbass, why do you think those corporations are leaving?  It’s because the US is no longer competitive on taxes.  Can you say Sarbanes-Oxley, kids?

Okay, so he’s not John “I piss on the Bill of Rights” McCain, and he’s not Hillary “we shall abolish the individual” Clinton… but I’m supposed to listen to this advertisement with a straight face?  Obama is spending money in order to discredit himself.

Clinton operatives falling on their swords again

by putting together hit-pieces and then disavowing them while the Senator issues campaign apologies?  Ben Smith at the Politico thinks it was completely unplanned… but this is precisely the sort of thing that characterized the Clinton administration’s War Room in the 90s, and led to such a hollowing-out within the administration.

Dowd points out the obvious

Not that Obama can occasionally score one on Clinton.  But that the Bushes seem to be squarely in favor of the “dynastic option.”

No surprise.  One of the odd things about the last sixteen years is just how chummy the Bushes and Clintons all are…

Ron Paul’s got legs?

Well, damn.  Looks like this guy might be for real after all… 3.5MM in 20 hours?  And it’s not like the MSM and the rest of the Republican field hasn’t already pretty much hit him with the 12-inchers… his numbers basically have nowhere else to go but up.

In the words of Darth Vader, “impressive…”

Presidential Debates: Obama/Edwards Tagteam?

This could get fun.

UPDATE: It appears to have legs, too. Weird. Usually anything that might be bad for Clinton gets instantly deep-sixed. Staffers beware: this is a real risk for Senator Clinton. “Take-down-the-leader” is traditional primary politics. Suggestions that this is unfair are going to come across as very whiny.

The conventional wisdom says that if “the men” pick on poor little Hillary, they risk turning off voters. But if they don’t do something, and do it impressively fast, they stand no chance of getting the nomination. And they can’t go after her on qualifications (because Obama and Edwards are themselves notoriously thin in the resume department).

So why not tag-team her on the real issue when it comes to the general election? Put bluntly, character is the issue with Senator Clinton, just like it was with her husband. Hillary’s a vicious, manipulative, conniving, two-faced bitch. And everybody knows it. The only difference is between those who support her because she’s their vicous, manipulative, conniving, two-faced bitch, and those who would crawl naked over broken glass to vote against her for just those reasons. (more…)

Pete Sessions and Earmarks, p2: I Dub Thee “Bacon Boy”

Day 3: No return call. Have called D.C., and I have been directed to a list (.pdf) of said earmarks. Of course, this is for FY2008… assuming that this is complete, it turns out that Pete Sessions is a “bacon boy.” When it comes to keeping the budget reined in, our local TX-32 Congresscritter is really no different than any Democrat, and definitely falls into the “Proud Appropriator” category.

It’s ten pages, and I’m not going to cite Defense earmarks, many of which would need FOIA requests to drill down on as to whether they’re really local, and some of which might be okay, and might be just pork, and I’m not qualified to say (**cough** Osprey **cough**), but here’s the local stuff:

  1. (U.S. Marshal’s office) “DFW Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team”: $100K
  2. Kickstart character development program. (After-school martial arts): $500K
  3. North Central Texas Regional Interoperability Project (oddly, not listed under DHS): $2.5MM
  4. Phoenix House Youth Drug Rehab Center: $1MM
  5. Dallas Trinity Lakes Project: $500K
  6. Dallas Floodway Extension (Army Corps of Engineers): $19MM
  7. Photovoltaic Energy Conversion Project: $700K
  8. Upper Trinity River Feasability Study: $1.9MM
  9. Center on Vision Loss: $500K
  10. Baylor Solid-Organ Transplant Research: $2MM
  11. Best Buddies (disability assistance): $250K
  12. InfantSEE (child eyecare for Dallas Area): $450K
  13. SMU Anti-infectives/Virological Research: $3.1MM
  14. UT-SW Obesity, Diabetes, Metabolism Research: $3MM
  15. UT-SW Medical Nanotech: $4MM
  16. Foreign Aid: Radio Station in Madagascar: $2.51MM
  17. Dallas Area Light Rail Expansion: $86MM
  18. Dallas Woodall Rogers Deck Plaza: $1MM
  19. NAFTRACS (national transport corridor): $5MM

Folks, that’s a lot of bacon: $137,010,000, for this year alone. Now, some of these things may simply be best performed with federal money here — the UT/Southwest medical tech research, for instance. But why on earth should we be taking 86 million in tax money from some poor kid in Mississippi, Montana, or West Virginia, in order to fund our light rail projects?

Blatant, Shameless Pork: 2, 4,5,7,8,9,17,18.

Let’s look the other way on the Corps of Engineers project for right now: it’s been known that flood control is desperately needed in parts of the city. Similarly, while I don’t think the FedGov has squat to do with #12, my anti-federalist leanings are likely to get shouted down in a hue and cry of “think of all the poor blind babies!”

But (#17) making the rest of the country pay through the nose (86MM!) so that the City of Dallas can have better commuter-rail is pork.

And #18 is not only pork, but fatback. Blatant, shameless, larded pork. These are not distressed neighborhoods being served here. This is a million in federal money being used directly and explicitly to improve the property values of downtown developers and REITs, some of the richest folks in DFW. This is truly shameless.

If you’re looking for a guy who “brings home the bacon” at other peoples’ expense, Sessions is your guy. If you’re looking for a fiscal conservative… look elsewhere.

Pete Sessions and Earmarks

Anderson Cooper published a list of results when trying to peg Congresscritters on their earmarks.

It seems that Rep. Sessions’ message mailbox is still full. Sessions talked a good line going against Frost (who was redistricted to death) about keeping a clean budget. So I’m going to start calling every day after work to see how regularly these folks actually clean up their boxes. I’m not an optimist: my experience dealing with Sessions’ office in the past has suggested that he’s very much an old-school Republican. (Aka, his staff’s job is to distract the rubes while he swaps favors and enjoys making deals with the country clubbers). Sessions’ associate from Denton, is even worse — Technogypsy caught them not even bothering to open constituents’ emails for over a year, if I remember correctly — and that in an election cycle.

So I’m inaugurating the official Pete Sessions Full Mailbox Count. This is Day 1.

DAY 2: Called too early, got a staffer who promised to get back w/ me once he heard from the DC folks. Will call again later to see if they’ve cleared their mailbox.

DAY 2 (late): We get results!! Message box cleared.

His number, btw, is (972) 392-0505, if you’re also in TX-32. Call after hours, hit “16” to be connected to the voicebox.

The Republicans just got their asses kicked in ’06 for telling voters “where ya gonna go?” (“Out for pizza, chump.” Ya really think you’re going to survive the MyDD crowd if your base doesn’t turn out? Yeah, and can I have your office coasters when they replace you?) So let’s see if they’re smart enough to learn from their mistakes… and if you’re tired of your congresscritters acting like they really don’t have to care, call your congresscritter after hours… let’s see who’s smart enough to at least pretend they care what the rubes have to say. Having picked up 56% against Pryor last time around in a blatantly gerrymandered district (come on: in what universe are Richardson, University Park, Irving, and Cockrell Hill the same district?), I’m guessing he’s feeling pretty secure.

Now, back to earmarks: Sessions apparentl wrangled 1.3MM in other peoples’ money for the Dallas Fire Department, for an Urban Search and Rescue Task Force. Of course, there has never been a credible terrorist threat to DFW, since the Feds came in and busted the Hamas goons hanging out with the Holy Land Foundation in Richardson. (I worked on Main in Dallas, and had a reliable source feeding me data.) 1.3MM is chump-change, and basically plausible, but if he’s going to give press releases on his site, why not simply act like he’s proud of bringing Dallas that bacon?

Thompson quotes Coburn telling the truth

People talk a lot about moral issues, but the greatest moral issue facing our generation is the fact that we are bankrupting the next generation.

Yep.  So, is this half a step closer to “Fred” running?  Well, in today’s environment, we know he’s running.

And so far, he’s saying things that need to be said.

2008: Clash of the Moderates?

Instapundit, Althouse, and not a few conservatives are leaning Giuliani.

Which means ’08 will get interesting fast, b/c in terms of the traditional (retarded) left-vs-right definitions, Giuliani is a moderate, with known ability as an executive, and known courage (he took on the mob, and won, when nobody else dared to try).  He’s not real pro-gun, and he’s not real pro-life, but he’s willing to not push the issues.  As opposed to McCain, who is definitely anti-1st Amendment…

We’ve had a near-royalist politics lately, Bush, Clinton, Bush, (Clinton?).  Obama is charismatic, but politically a very traditional liberal:  he’s going to win the folks who judge based on emotional appeal, but if it comes down to hard points, he’s going to have a hard time reaching into the moderates while simultaneously. 

Clinton is whatever’s good for Clinton:  near-communist when that’s what her party wants, a ruthless triangulator otherwise.

So you have a lady who will use or abandon any position as needed, and another guy who’s going to disenchant social conservatives.  That sounds like a “battle of the moderates” once the dust from the primaries settle.

Murtha goes down in flames

And Hoyer’s in.  This after NPR has spent the better part of a week talking about how powerful Pelosi is.

Well, Pelosi put it on the line, and got her face slapped.  The Blue Dogs ain’t in the mood.  So, Ms. Hardball better really think twice about the consequences of punishing Jane Harman.

No tears for the Republican Party

Wish I could find the quote reference for Karl Rove’s saying “they’ll come home once they realize what their choice is.”  Well, plenty of folks realized their choice was between a Republican national party that is perfectly comfortable saying in public “where ya gonna go,” and a stable of surprisingly moderate Democrats… and decided that by and large, they could live with Speaker Pelosi embarrassing herself in public for a couple of years.

Watch the turnout: I’m betting a LOT of libertarian and fiscal-conservative Republicans pulled Democrat levers this time around, or simply didn’t show.  As I posted earlier this year:

In other words, Bush, Lott, Frist, et. al., have said to the conservatives and small-l libertarians, “we own you. Where you gonna go?” …. the response is likely to be “out to dinner, chump.”

John Kerry in the Pay of his Dark Master

Observe Kerry, in the throes of the Dark Side, as his master Karl Rove speaks through his body in order to boost Republican voter turnout…

(I mean, that’s really your choices, right?  Moron, or Black Magic?  Infantilized by money and senatorial coddling to a state comparable to having played checkers with Yog-Sothoth… or pocketing a fistful of cash and laughing all the way to the bank?)

Barack Obama in 2008?

They say he’s “well-spoken.”  They say he can beat the Clintons at their own game.

He’s a principled liberal who is openly skeptical of the free market’s ability to deliver on its promises, and outside of Sen. Clinton, he is clearly the Republicans’ greatest national opponent.

Because he’s, well, well-spoken.

Which isn’t, contrary to some flakes, a racist assessment on African-American speakers.  It’s that he’s a nationally-known Democrat that an unaffiliated moderate can listen to without cringing, and whom a libertarian or conservative can listen to while thinking “I disagree with this guy, but I respect him.”

Compare that to the rest of the Democratic field for 2008.  Why shouldn’t he run?

You’d think the Democrats would learn…

I’m right with Gateway Pundit on terrorism issues… not so much politically, since I’m a libertarian and he’s an anti-liberal.

 But if he’s quoted Rangel correctly, Democratic chances this fall are toast.

 Congress Daily reported today that the Democratic Party’s ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Rangel (D) of New York, all but guaranteed tax increases in the Democratic agenda if they take back the house in November. When approached about whether tax increases across the income spectrum would be considered, Rep. Rangel responded, “No question about it.”

EDIT:  Zathras has correctly taken me to task for overstating the “toast” bit.  No, they could still very well win… but it is also absolutely conceivable that enough hay could be made out of this to dramatically shore up the Republican base, since taxes are the one thing that both sides of the abusive “l”ibertarian/conservative marriage agree on in the Republican Party.

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