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Posts tagged presidential race
2:48 pm - Sat, Jun 9, 2012
1 note

Is Obama the Most Corrupt President Ever?

Hardly. In fact, given the paucity of scandals in his administration, and his personal life, he appears to be one of the least. Like his policies or not, he has a family that would make Normal Rockwell whistle in admiration and not even a whiff of taint about him.

This is odd. In fact, it is impossible. That is, at least if you believe the logic of campaign-finance reform.

After all, the President is the first billion-dollar politician; he will have raised that much over the course of his career by the end of this election cycle. He likes to have $40,000-a-ticket fundraisers with the rich and famous.

According to the logic of campaign finance reform, this is inherently corrupting. The president is “selling access” to “outside groups” who thus have a “disproportionate voice” in the political process and yadda yadda yadda.

Even indirect expenditures on behalf of a candidate ought to be verboten, say self-styled reformers who object to the Citizens United ruling, lest the system and its participants be corrupted. That is why they have gone so far as to endorse book banning:

Stewart was asked by Chief Justice John Roberts what would happen if a corporation were to publish a 500-page book discussing the American political system which concluded with a single sentence endorsing a particular candidate. Kagan’s deputy answered that such an endorsement would constitute “express advocacy” and therefore the corporation could only fund the publication of the book through a political action committee. “And if they didn’t, you could ban it?” asked the chief justice. “If they didn’t, we could prohibit publication of the book,” Stewart replied.

Even the most liberal justices, usually the most willing to curtail political free speech, seemed a little troubled. Justice David Souter asked what would happen if a labor union paid an author to write a book advocating the election of a particular candidate and then submitted the manuscript to Random House, which then agreed to publish it. The deputy solicitor general replied that he was unsure whether there would be a basis for suppressing such a book, but clearly stated that “the labor union’s conduct would be prohibited.”

Then there’s this:

On Aug. 30, a New York Times story included a delicious morsel about Fred Wertheimer, an indefatigable advocate of increased government control of the quantity, timing and content of campaign speech — speech about the composition of the government:

"In an interview, Mr. Wertheimer seemed reluctant to answer questions about the government regulation of books. Pressed, Mr. Wertheimer finally said, 'A campaign document in the form of a book can be banned.'

All this is necessary, say campaign-finance reformers, in order to prevent the corrupting influence of money from coming anywhere remotely near a political candidate. Yet Barack Obama frequently rakes in millions from liberal supporters. 

If he were taking that money from someone such as — oh, let’s pick a totally random example: the Koch Brothers — how would progressives view this? Not kindly, is the guess here.

But if money corrupts, then the source is irrelevant. This means either one of two things. Either Obama is th most corrupt politician ever — or something is wrong with the premise of campaign-finance reform. Which is it?

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9:22 am - Thu, Jun 7, 2012

If you missed Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson on The Daily Show Tuesday night, here he is.

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9:52 am - Fri, May 18, 2012

Green Party: The current nomination battle is between Jill Stein, Kent Mesplay, and 1990s sitcom star Roseanne Barr. They are currently on 19 state ballots with efforts to gain ballot-access in other states.

Libertarian Party: The party’s nominee this election cycle, former New Mexico Republican Governor Gary Johnson, is pro-gay marriage and pro-drug reform.

Reform Party: They’re currently only on the ballot in three states, though they expect that number to increase to around ten by November. The party is set to pick this year’s candidate on August 10, and leading the field is former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer.

Constitution Party: The Constitution Party is currently on the ballot in 17 states, running on a platform that they claim strictly adheres to the intentions of the founding fathers. In case you were wondering, the founding fathers’ intentions include a strong pro-life stance and the promise to withdraw funding to NATO and the UN.

America’s Party: Formed in 2008 to support presidential candidate Alan Keyes, America’s Party—previously known as America’s Independent Party—has a conservative platform that contains the usual conservative talking points: limiting the role of government, ensuring the right to bear arms, maintaining a pro-life stance, and defining marriage as between a man and a woman. They also support repealing the Sixteenth and Seventeenth amendments.


Socialist Party USA. This year’s presidential nominee for the Socialist Party USA is Stewart Alexander, who previously ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 1989 and finished seventh. Undeterred, he was the Socialist Party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2008, winning only 6,528 votes with running mate Brian Moore.

Prohibition Party: The Prohibition Party, while similar to other conservative platforms, is distinguished by its opposition to the manufacture and distribution of alcohol….

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9:17 am - Thu, Mar 1, 2012
5 notes
[Santorum] started off running against sex and ended up running against college. Those are not the moves of a world-class politician.
Republican consultant Whit Ayres, quoted on NPR.

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3:21 pm - Wed, Feb 22, 2012
1 note

Gingrich wrong again: You CAN put a gun rack in the back of a Volt!

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10:11 am - Fri, Feb 17, 2012
1 note

Contrary to how some people have interpreted my words, I have not endorsed any presidential candidate. What I did say was that I hope to see a Republican in the White House. I’ve seen good qualities in all the candidates but by no means have made my choice yet. I respect the fact that Santorum took time off from his campaign to be with his sick daughter, but I never used the word “endorse.”

- Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine

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1:30 pm - Thu, Feb 16, 2012
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From the television studios of Fox News to the pages of The Weekly Standard, the refrain of the conservative opinion machine is virtually the same: Mitt Romney doesn’t talk to us, doesn’t get us….

Mr. Romney’s distant, complicated relationship with many of the conservative media’s leading voices has heightened concerns that his convictions are not as genuine and deep-seated as their own….

Andrea Tantaros, co-host of “The Five” on Fox News, said she was surprised the Romney campaign has not tried to push back against some of the more withering criticisms that commentators make every day on cable television and online.

In 2008, Ms. Tantaros could expect a phone call from an irritated Romney adviser if she made critical comments about him. But now, the silence is noticeable, she said….

Offering a possible explanation for the silence, she said, “He and his staff believe we’ll eventually fall in line.”

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12:54 pm

So, How’s that Compromise Working Out?

Not too good! —

President Obama’s net approval rating among Catholic voters is down to minus-19 percent in the latest Rasmussen polling.  Among Catholics, Obama’s approval rating is now 40 percent, while his disapproval rating is 59 percent.

Exit polling from the 2008 election showed that Catholics supported Obama by a margin of 9 percentage points (54 to 45 percent).  So Catholics’ support for Obama has swung 28 points against him (from +9 points to minus-19 points) since the day he was elected.  (In 2008, 27 percent of all voters were Catholic.)

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10:20 am - Thu, Jan 26, 2012
14 notes

An anxious world awaits with bated breath the release of his tax returns….

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9:17 am
5 notes

UVa’s oft-quoted prof says in Fla., “we have what is literally a Category 5 hurricane for the Republican nomination.” LITERALLY? Yikes!

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10:17 am - Wed, Jan 25, 2012
1 note

Look Who’s a Skinflint

Liberals are incredibly generous — with other people’s money. With their own? Not so much.

Mitt Romney, by contrast, is far more generous than some of his Democratic adversaries.

Amid all the hyperventilating about Romney’s tax rate, it’s worth noting that Romney gives 13-20 percent of his income away in charitable contributions.

That makes for a rather sharp distinction against the 1 percent to 6 percent the Obamas give, and the underwhelming $369 annual average (!!) the Bidens gave.

The winner in the Skinflint Olympics, however, is Al Gore — who gave all of $353 in 1997, a year when he made $197,729. Newt Gingrich, incidentally, gave 2.6 percent to charity last year.

Nothing so clearly demonstrates the truth of a trenchant observation by GMU economist Bryan Caplan: “The wealthy but uncharitable socialist ceases to be a mystery once you understand relative prices. Voluntary charity is costly to the giver, but voting for charity … is virtually free.”

It also offers further evidence in support of Arthur Brooks’ thesis in Who Really Cares? As one summary put it:

Brooks shows that those who say they strongly oppose redistribution by government to remedy income inequality give over 10 times more to charity than those who strongly support government intervention, with a difference of $1,627 annually versus $140 to all causes. The average donation to educational causes among redistributionists was eight dollars per year, compared with $140 from their ideological opposites, and $96 annually to health care causes from free marketeers versus $11 from egalitarians.

A 2002 poll found that those who thought government “was spending too much money on welfare” were significantly more likely than those who wanted increased spending on welfare to give directions to someone on the street, return extra change to a cashier, or give food and/or money to a homeless person.

Brooks finds that households with a conservative at the helm gave an average of 30 percent more money to charity in 2000 than liberal households (a difference of $1,600 to $1,227). The difference isn’t explained by income differential—in fact, liberal households make about 6 percent more per year. Poor, rich, and middle class conservatives all gave more than their liberal counterparts. And while religion is a major factor, the figures don’t just show tithing to churches. Religious donors give significantly more to non-religious causes than do their secular counterparts.

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10:10 am - Mon, Jan 16, 2012
2 notes

So Who’s the Dummy?

Dana Milbank of the WaPo observes that Mitt Romney reminds him of another amazingly lifelike robo-candidate:

To see Romney, in his Gap jeans, laughing awkwardly at his own jokes and making patently disingenuous claims, brings back all those bad memories of 2000: “Love Story.” Inventing the Internet. Earth tones. Three-button suits. The alpha male in cowboy boots. The iced-tea defense. The Buddhist temple. The sighing during the debate.

It’s familiar, as well, to Michael Feldman, a longtime Gore aide who watched his boss get undone by the inauthentic label. “When an impression like that hardens, you’re communicating into a stiff wind,” he told me. “These caricatures can form impressions that are really hard to turn around.”

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10:01 am - Wed, Jan 4, 2012
25 notes

When You’ve Lost Rubin and Kristol…

… You’ve lost the battle. Here’s Jennifer Rubin a news cycle ago, quoting Bill Kristol on the Virginia GOP’s loyalty oath:

A final word about the so-called loyalty oath. Bill Kristol writes: “The Virginia Republican Party is apparently planning to require voters in the March 6 Virginia GOP presidential primary to sign a form that says, “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president.” This is stupid, counterproductive, and offensive for several reasons so obvious that I won’t even bother to mention them. Bob Marshall, a conservative GOP leader in the house of delegates, has come out against the pledge. Shouldn’t our the Republican governor, Bob McDonnell, stop this idiocy? Shouldn’t Mitt Romney and Ron Paul — the two candidates who are on the Virginia ballot, neither of whom could possibly approve of such a blind loyalty pledge — ask the party to withdraw it?”

Lo and behold! — “GOP Chairman Asks Party to Reconsider Loyalty Oath.”

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9:35 am

Draft Bob?

The anyone-but-Romney movement has now started a petition to draft Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell into the presidential race.

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12:07 pm - Fri, Dec 23, 2011
9 notes

Obama Admin. to Iowa: Please, Please Pick Someone Unelectable!

WASHINGTON (AP) -

Vice President Joe Biden is criticizing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for favoring economic policies that Biden says would help some people succeed while leaving the majority of Americans behind.

Biden made the claims in an op-ed published in Friday’s editions of The Des Moines Register. 

Joe Biden, Tribune of the Common Man (“photo” via The Onion).

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