Thursday, March 31, 2011

Right Speak Poll

I would be interested in hearing the opinions of the Right Speak community on the following question:

What is worse, raising taxes or increasing the deficit?

For me, I am much more concerned about the deficit than I am about raising taxes and I think that places me in the pre-Reagan conservative mode of thinking. Some of you might recall or have read how George H.W. Bush referred to Reagan's economic proposals as "voodoo economics." Bush thought like the old guard -- that if you increase spending, then you must increase revenue. When Reagan chose Bush as his running mate, Bush adapted to the new party line. But it didn't last. That is why Bush famously reneged on his "no new taxes" promise that he made during his campaign. That is also why the deficit began to decrease during his presidency. That is also one of the reasons why Bush 41 has never been extremely popular in conservative circles. He just never fit in with the 'tax cuts equals conservatism' mode of thinking.

So are you a Reagan tax cutter (he did raise taxes 11 times in an effort to pay for half of the 1981 tax cut) or a Bush 41 deficit hawk?

(Note: I suppose some people are going to argue that both are bad. If you do, I expect to hear an argument as to why the deficit increased under Reagan's tax cuts.)

PPP Polling: Mitt Romney does best against Obama in Florida

Unsurprisingly, the picture has little changed since December, when PPP last took a look at the early 2012 presidential race in the crucial swing state of Florida.President Obama beat John McCain there by three points in 2008, and he now has similar leads over two possible GOP nominees, and tops the others by almost identical marginsas three months ago.
Mitt Romney is the only likely entrant into the Republican fracas to equal or exceedMcCain’s performance. He trails 46-44, exactly the same as December’s result. Thestate’s former Governor Jeb Bush also does well, lagging 48-45, but he has so far deniedany interest in seeking his father’s and brother’s old office. Rudy Giuliani, who stakedhis entire candidacy on the state’s primary three years ago, performs next best, down 48-42. Giuliani has flirted with another bid, but neither he nor Bush were tested inDecember. Mike Huckabee, who now makes his home in the Sunshine State, is behind
Obama 50-43, just a hair worse than December’s 49-44 deficit. Neighboring Georgia’sNewt Gingrich pulls the same 42% as in the previous poll, but Obama has inched up from47% to 50% against him. And, as ever, Sarah Palin brings up the rear, trailing 52-39; sheearned 38% in December.
Favorable/Unfavorable/Not sure:

Mike Huckabee 40/39/21 (+1)
Mitt Romney 39/39/22 ( - )
Jeb Bush 44/44/12 ( - )
Rudy Giuliani 37/46/17 (-9)
Newt Gingrich 32/48/20 (-16)
Sarah Palin 32/60/8 (-28)

Head-to-Head: (Obama/Candidate/Undecided)

Mitt Romney 46/44/11 (-2)
Jeb Bush 48/45/7 (-3)
Rudy Giuliani 48/42/10 (-6)
Mike Huckabee 50/43/8 (-7)
Newt Gingrich 50/42/7 (-8)
Sarah Palin 52/39/9 (-13)
PPP surveyed 500 Florida voters from March 24th to 27th. The survey’s margin of error is +/-4.4%. Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may introduceadditional error that is more difficult to quantify.
To view the crosstabs click the PPP icon below:

Palin on the Issues: National Security / Foreign Policy

This is the third installment of a series of posts highlighting Sarah Palin's policy positions. The following is a list of op-eds and Facebook writings by Palin, relating to national security. Following each link, is a brief excerpt from each article.

Over the past two years, Palin has shared her views on Iran, Iraq, border security, Afghanistan, Libya, missile defense, the New START Treaty, and more. In addition to her writings, she frequently discusses national security issues in her speeches and in television interviews. Much to the dismay of some of her loudest critics, it's fairly clear that she has, in fact, "boned up on the issues."

The first two installments of this series (Energy Independence and Entitlement Reform) can be found under the tag, "Palin on the Issues." I will provide updates to these to include Palin's new writings as they become available.


It’s time to get tough with Iran (Dec. 21, 2010)
...President Obama once said a nuclear-armed Iran would be "unacceptable." Yet, Iran's nuclear progress still continues unchecked. Russia continues to support Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactors. It also continues to sell arms to Iran — despite the Obama administration's much-touted "reset" policy with Russia. The administration trumpets the United Nations sanctions passed earlier this year, but those sanctions are not the "crippling" ones we were promised. Much more can be done, such as banning insurance for shipments to Iran, banning all military sales to Iran, ending all trade credits, banning all financial dealings with Iranian banks, limiting Iran's access to international capital markets and banking services, closing air space and waters to Iran's national air and shipping lines, and, especially, ending Iran's ability to import refined petroleum. These would be truly "crippling" sanctions. They would work if implemented....
Senate Republicans: Vote No on New START (Dec 17th, 2010)
...New START recognizes a link between offensive and defensive weapons – a position the Russians have sought for years. Russia claims the treaty constrains U.S. missile defenses and that they will withdraw from the treaty if we pursue missile defenses. This linkage virtually guarantees that either we limit our missile defenses or the Russians will withdraw from the treaty. The Obama administration claims that this is not the case; but if that is true, why agree to linking offensive and defensive weapons in the treaty?...
Facebook Posts (15):

FDU/PM Poll: 2012 Presidential Preference

In a head-to-head match-up against President Obama, New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie outperforms several marquee Republicans, according to a new national poll of registered voters by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind™.

The president steamrolls former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin by a 20-point margin, 54%-34%. The president also wins easily - 48%-34% - over the only major Republican to have formed an exploratory committee for the 2012 election, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. And the president handily beats the former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, by 15 points, 52%-37%. Yet the New Jersey governor in his first term, and his first time in the national spotlight, closes the gap to just 6 points, running behind the president by 46%-40%.

The race for the GOP Primary:

The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 800 registered voters nationwide wasconducted by telephone using both landlines and cell phones from March 21, 2011,through March 28, 2011, and has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points.
The crosstabs can be viewed here.

Rand Paul mocks Newt Gingrick on Libya

Senator Rand Paul had some choice remarks towards Newt Gingrich last night at the Radio and Television Correspondents Association gathered for their annual dinner:

Gingrich is also hearing from comedians as well.

Here is video of the entire dinner:

Quote of the Day

Right Wingnut says that I don't praise conservatives enough, so I decided to post an amazing freedom-loving and Constitution-inspired quote from one of my favorite conservatives. Take it away Chris Christie.
"If it is disqualifying for the bench to be an Arab-American in New Jersey who represents innocent people and gets them released, then this isn’t the state I believe it is," Christie said. "I’ve known this man for 10 years. He’s a good, decent American and New Jerseyan, he’s an outstanding lawyer, and he deserves the opportunity to be on the bench. I am proud to have nominated him."
That was after he received criticism for putting a Muslim on the New Jersey courts. Thanks, Governor, for defending the Constitution and for another example of leadership. 

Mitt Romney: A Great leader with a strong faith in God and strong family values

They're at it again. While Googling for articles today, I came across this fresh group of stories pertaining to Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith:

Mitt Romney Must Tackle his religion

The Continuing Story of Romney's Mormon Problem

Religion biggest hurdle to Romney nomination

This is the way I look at it. I want THE BEST possible candidate to lead this nation. I want someone who believes in the principals of our Forefathers. Someone who has the ABILITY, EXPERIENCE, and KNOWLEDGE to bring our nation back to greatness. This persons particular faith is an after thought for me. I put more weight in a persons family values and how he or she conducts their lives.

As a Roman Catholic and Pro-Lifer myself, I believe most Evangelicals and Fundamentalist Christians, feel the same way as I do. Sure there are fringe elements of every group. Those that will spread lies and put all sorts of mis-information out there about Romney. Only doing so because he is a Mormon. They'll Dress up the hatred for his Religion by attacking him on an old Pro-choice stance and how they feel Romneycare supplies cheap abortions. Not telling you the whole truth, just what they want you to believe. Anything to keep the Mormon out of the White House. But again, They are in the minority.

Here are Evangelicals For Mitt explain why they support Mitt Romney

from their site:
We want a candidate who shares our political and moral values and priorities, can win in 2012, and can govern effectively thereafter by articulating and implementing an intelligent, values-based governing strategy. This is just what Mitt Romney did as governor, this is just what Mitt Romney did in business, and this is what he would do as president.
Choosing the correct path in life.
Governor Romney Shares Our Political & Moral Values
Political and moral values are informed by -- but not the same as -- one's religion. That's why we are not casting our lot with the person whose theology we like most. History shows that to be a poor approach.
For example, in 1980 voters had two choices: a divorced movie actor who did not regularly attend church and was not on good terms with all of his children, and a once-married Southern Baptist whose evangelicalism was at the core of his public identity. Voting on the basis of whose religious doctrine was better would have meant electing the second guy -- Jimmy Carter -- over the first, Ronald Reagan. Excluding those who don't hold to orthodox Christianity would also have meant excluding such great Americans as Thomas Jefferson -- who denied the divinity of Christ -- from positions of authority. But Is anybody going to argue someone else should've written the Declaration of Independence?
Protecting the innocent and unborn
We need a president who embraces a comprehensive and positive values agenda: standing for the sanctity of life, protecting traditional marriage, defending religious liberty and basic human rights at home and abroad, combating poverty and disease within the world's poorest communities, fighting for better quality of life for our citizens, and winning the War on Terror.
We need a president who has the right economic values. We too often place the economy and culture in completely separate spheres, content to worry about "social issues" when (and only when) our paychecks are secure. This is exactly the wrong approach. Governor Romney understands that the health of the economy and the health of the family are inextricably intertwined. There can be no long-term prosperity without healthy families, and it is a profound moral problem when we pay for the sins of the present by bankrupting our children
Governor Romney Can Unite the Conservative Movement and Forge a Winning Coalition
If the debacle of 2008 taught us anything, it's that you cannot abandon the base and win an election. We must unite fiscal and social conservatives within the same tent. We cannot argue over which of the self-described "wings" of the party are most crucial. At its best, the Republican coalition combines a fierce commitment to national security, sound economic conservatism that is responsive to changing economic conditions, and an abiding commitment to life and the family. When this coalition breaks down, when any one of the three "legs" of the stool break, we lose. And lose big. In 2008 we nominated a national security conservative who knew very little about the economy (and was dangerously prone to ineffectual bouts of populist outrage), seemed to enjoy skewering fellow Republicans, and held many religious voters in near-contempt. In the next primary season, we must choose better.
But there's more than that. Above all else, the president has to lead -- he has to be a good executive. Fortunately, Governor Romney has been a leader longer than he has been a politician. Prior to his political career, Governor Romney helped to launch the very successful Bain Capital -- which helped launch such successful franchises as Staples and the Sports Authority -- and then led a turnaround at Bain Consulting. He also saved the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City which, prior to his leadership, were mired in debt and corruption but subsequently became one of the most successfully-run Games in memory.
And he's governed in a difficult political environment, too. Massachusetts is the most left-wing state in the union. If you think Bay State Democrats aren't any different from their Arkansas or Alabama or Tennessee counterparts, try defending traditional marriage or vetoing stem-cell funding up in Boston, as Governor Romney did, and see what they do. But Governor Romney did -- in addition to helping turn the economy around, opposing driver's licenses and in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants, and defending Catholic Charities' right to restrict adoptions to man-woman couples. No other candidate has a record of such successful, across-the-board conservative leadership—especially on such hostile terrain.
Summing It All Up
Mitt Romney has been a standout conservative governor of a very liberal state. He believes in the traditional family, and he has fought for it -- just ask Massachusetts' pro-family leaders.( He's admitted he was wrong on abortion, and is now solidly pro-life -- as his record in Massachusetts testifies. He also opposes embryonic stem cell research's speculative and open-ended carelessness with human life. He's shown courage under fire in several challenging situations, and has lived out his values (both publicly and privately) during a time when other Republicans, sadly, have not.
In addition, we challenge our readers -- friendly or hostile -- to name one national political leader on either side of the aisle with a better record of business and economic leadership than Mitt Romney. We do not know what the economy will be like in 2012, but if it's anything like it is today, who would you want at the helm? The former community organizer we have today? Or the founder of Bain Capital, the man who rescued the Salt Lake City Olympics, and the Governor who brought a state back from the brink of bankruptcy?
In other words, he's not just a man evangelicals can support -- he's the best choice for people of faith. It's not even close.
Here are a couple of videos that give insight into Romney and his faith.

This video includes his early years as French Missionary:

Mitt Romney on Faith In America:

I wonder if our forefathers were around today, which would they judge a person by, his particular religion or his character?

"Every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshiping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience." ~George Washington, Letter, United Baptist Chamber of Virginia May 1789 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mitt Romney op-ed: 'On jobs, where is Obama?'

When it comes to Business and the economy, When Mitt Romney speaks, most people listen. In this case, President Obama.

Romney penned the following op-ed in USA TODAY:
Sometimes truth arrives from the most unexpected sources. Christina Romer, President Obama's former chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, said last week that she was dismayed at Washington's lack of focus on jobs.

"I frankly don't understand why policymakers aren't more worried about the suffering of real families," Romer said. "We need to realize that there is still a lot of devastation out there." She called the 8.9% unemployment rate "an absolute crisis."

How bad is it? Last week, in the blue-collar community of Taunton, Mass., the annual jobs fair was canceled because not enough companies came forward to offer jobs..........
Actions and not talk, are needed NOW! Here Romney lays out some steps needed to create an atmosphere that will encourage job growth:
  • A tax policy that rewards savings, investment, entrepreneurial risk-taking and exports.
  • Free, open and fair access to foreign markets, with a focus on constructive trade reform with China.
  • Elimination of the federal bureaucratic and regulatory stranglehold on business.
  • A market-driven energy policy that encourages investment in America and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
  • A commitment to fiscal responsibility through budget restraints and entitlement reform.
To read the rest of the op-ed, go HERE.

Some Nuggets From The Gold Mine of Dick Morris

Dick Morris has finally figured out how to improve his shoddy record of prognosticating.
His involvement in Libya makes him responsible if Gaddafi stays in power and slaughters his own people and/or renews his connections with international terrorism. Obama will be equally responsible should Gaddafi be toppled and an Iraqi-style civil war erupts between his deposed supporters and the new government.  As General Powell said “you break it, you own it.”
That is fantastic! There is absolutely nothing Obama can do that will not bring mayhem to mankind. I suppose that Dick might argue that perhaps Obama shouldn't have intervened in Libya in the first place. The only problem is that Dick scolded the President for not intervening quickly enough. Morris is just covering all of his bases.

March 18, three days before Dick pulled a New Gingrich.
Where is Barack Obama? Is he still in office? As he jets off with his family for a taxpayer-paid vacation in Rio, does he realize the world is falling apart around him?

Does he understand that he could have stopped the bloodshed in Libya by declaring a no fly zone three weeks ago and that if he does it now, he can still stop a brutal dictator from murdering thousands more?
Then there was this brilliant piece form Morris about how the GOP needs to cut foreign aid. Morris, of course, doesn't want to cut all aid (Israel, you are safe). Only the insignificant parts. Foreign aid is about one percent of the federal budget and Morris only wants to cut about 30 percent of foreign aid. He would cut more but he wouldn't want to offend his Fox News viewers by slicing into Israel's share.

Let's do this instead. Let's not cut foreign aid at all and instead worry about the portions of the federal budget that are more than the loose change that has fallen into the cracks of Uncle Sam's couch.

I write about Dick Morris because he is being pushed as some kind of "analyst" on Fox News and within the conservative movement. Yet, he is almost always dead wrong. It's high time that he is exposed for the worthless sham that he is. I know that intelligent people who read this post are already aware of Dick's power play to the Tea Party. But just maybe it might awaken the senses in some previously brainwashed Fox News viewer that Morris' main objective in life is to sell as many books as possible. 

Cross posted at The Cross Culturalist.

Should Government Employees have Unions and Collective Bargaining Rights?

I realize that this is only one incident. This air traffic controller was 'suspended'. I have to wonder, if he was in the private sector rather than having the protection of a strong union, would he have been FIRED INSTEAD?

In a sort of related story, Jim DeMint had this to say about federal employee unions:
In a recent interview with ThinkProgress, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said he'd like to see collective bargaining eliminated for all government employees. Currently, most federal workers can bargain over some workforce issues. Airport screeners at the Transportation Security Administration, one of the most notable exceptions, recently were granted limited bargaining privileges.

The full story is HERE.

Romney Battle Obtuseness Regarding Health Care Reform

Obtuseness as a Noun is defined as the quality or state of lacking intelligence or quickness of mind. In other words -  bone headedness, denseness, dim-wittedness, doltishness, dopiness, dullness dumbness, fatuity, foolishness, mindlessness, oafishness, senselessness, slowness, stupidness,  witlessness.

Ever since ObamaCare was passed a year ago, the nation’s political pundits have been having an on-going debate regarding the role Mitt Romney and the health care reform plan he enacted in 2006, while he was Governor of Massachusetts. Critics of Romney cite the plan’s use of an individual mandate requiring residents to purchase and maintain health insurance coverage, as one of the main reason’s Romney will face trouble in a possible 2012 presidential run.

In battling critics on this issue, one can’t help but feel like The Shawshank Redemption's Andy Dufresne. Wrongly convicted, speaking to the warden, who inhibits his chance of proving himself innocent, sparks Andy to ask, "How can you be so obtuse."

This debate has become tiresome and will no doubt cause the issue to lose whatever political punch it may have had. The anti-Romneyites problem is, the criticism rings hollow, since Romney is not advocating a Massachusetts style solution for the nation. In fact, quite the opposite.

Needless to say Romney critics spin his continued steadfast Federalism defense of his plan, in any number of negative ways, depending on the prevailing political narrative. First he was a RINO for looking at a Government solution, which ceded popularity to the “It’s breaking the Massachusetts budget” line pedaled for many months. Now detractors are trying to hang the inclusion and use of a “Socialist” mandate around Romney’s neck. They also say he is running away from his plan, despite Romney’s recent statement about his pride in enacting the law. After being tarred and feathered for some time as a “Big Government, Big Spending and Liberty Stealing Socialist RINO” – one can’t be to sure what is left to attack Romney on in regards to health care. Perhaps it will come down to the brand of pen he used when signing the bill into law.

Damn that Scheaffer!

So much has been written about this issue; one just feels like throwing their hands in the air, saying - "Enough already!" Besides, there is no need to re-hash the points again in this post. Much information about this debate can be found here, here and here.

Despite these discussions and postings, there still remain folks out there who can’t seem to get their collective heads around Romney’s role iin health care reform and his big picture view.

So for those folks who suffer from “RomneyCare Obtuseness” – a condition prevalent among those citizens reliant solely on Talk Radio talking points to form their opinions – please read – in its entirety – the Newsweek interview with Governor Romney from April 2010. In it, you’ll find much information regarding his intent and how he views health care reform.

Hopefully this prescription helps alleviate some of the suffering.

Sarah Palin and Donald Trump Top 2012er Blog coverage

Which Republican presidential candidates are getting the most attention, favorable or otherwise, from the media these days?

Actually, it depends a great deal on just which type of media you’re reading.

In traditional media outlets like The New York Times, these five candidates are receiving the most coverage: Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour and Tim Pawlenty.

The list looks quite different, however, if instead you’re reading about the nascent campaign in the blogosphere.

Ms. Palin has a much more dominant presence there, receiving about 30 percent of the overall coverage on blogs — more than three times as much as any other candidate. Mr. Gingrich also receives a fair amount of blogosphere attention, ranking fourth overall, but his share on blogs is smaller than in the traditional media.

The Full Story is HERE.

Flashback: Massachusetts Governor Signs Film/TV Tax Incentive Bill Into Law

I came across this article, and wanted to share the good news. If Mitt Romney ever decides to proceed with Mitt's Massachusetts, the producer stands to receive a generous tax credit - provided it's filmed in Massachusetts.
On Wednesday, November 23rd, Governor Mitt Romney signed the tax incentive bill that the Boston AFTRA/SAG office, along with numerous other industry members, have been working to enact in Massachusetts. The new law puts the Bay State in the spotlight as a competitive venue for motion picture and commercial production, and not surprisingly is already garnering interest from motion picture studios that would not otherwise have come to the Commonwealth. Upon hearing the news, Mary Ann Hughes, Vice President, Film Production Planning, Walt Disney Company commented "This law makes Massachusetts very competitive in attracting film and TV production. We look forward to doing business in Massachusetts."

The new law will take effect in 90 days but will be retroactive to January 1, 2006. Its principal elements include a 20% tax credit on all Massachusetts source payroll, a 25% tax credit on qualified production expense in Massachusetts, and a sales tax credit for producers who spend a minimum aggregate of $250,000 per year in the commonwealth. The law is in place through the year 2013.

Read More

Stephen Colbert on The Libyan Turd Sandwich and Newt Gingrich

Stephen Colbert praised Newt Gingrich last night for being consistently against President Obama on Libya, even though that meant changing his own opinion.

Colbert first pointed to Gingrich's remarks on March 7 when he said the U.S. should immediately institute a no-fly over Libya and remove Muammar Qaddafi from power. "Do it, get it over with," Gingrich said at the time.
The Full Story is HERE.

Quinnipiac University Poll: Obama Gets Lowest Approval, Reelect Score Ever

American voters disapprove 48 - 42 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing and say 50 - 41 percent he does not deserve to be re-elected in 2012, both all-time lows, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 46 - 46 percent job approval rating and a 45 - 47 percent split on the President's re-election in a March 3 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. In a hypothetical 2012 matchup, President Obama gets 36 percent of the vote to 37 percent for an unnamed Republican challenger.

To read the full story and other trends, go HERE.

Amazing Tsunami video: The ravaging of Kesennuma Port

I thought we’d seen the worst a few weeks ago, but no. The clip at the last link looked like a flood turning into rapids transforming into a roaring river. This looks more like what it actually was — an honest-to-goodness ocean spilling into a city and swallowing it whole. By the end of the clip, if not for that lone building on the right edge of the frame, you wouldn’t know civilization had been there.
You have to view the entire video to feel the power that caused such devastation in northern Japan:

The full story is HERE.

Gary Johnson to launch presidential bid April 21

Gary Johnson will formally announce his candidacy for president on April 21 in New Hampshire, an aide told POLITICO.
The former New Mexico governor will skip creating an exploratory committee — the traditional path of many of his potential GOP rivals — to immediately start campaigning and fundraising in the first-in-nation primary state.
The full story is HERE.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Plea To End Hero Worship

First, this. Jennifer Rubin's interview with Jonathan Gruber. What is interesting is the policy debates among Romney and his advisers.
Gruber tells me, “What I can tell you is that there was an active debate on the individual mandate.” He explains, “On one hand, Romney felt people were free-riding” on the health care system — that is, remaining uninsured but burdening the government health care system when they became sick or injured. On the other hand, Gruber says, was the “freedom” argument about the mandate. He says, “What I’d like to think carried the day was that I pointed out that without the mandate you would spend the same money and cover fewer people.”

Gruber says in the one face-to-face meeting he had with Romney, it was clear Romney had made the “final call.” Gruber tells me: “He was the champion of the plan. He really was the consummate management consultant.” 
Of course, now Romney is backing away. I wish he wouldn't. There were good reasons then to support an individual mandate, as cited by Gruber. Regardless, this brings me to something that I think we should all discuss at Right Speak.

I just recently had a conversation with John G and we both agreed that the political discourse within conservative circles has almost entirely neglected policy discussions. Instead, we are driven by personality cults. We have raised leaders above the ideas that ought to fuel the conservative movement. Romney's health care policies perfectly describe this dearth of serious debate.

On the one hand, Rombots insist that it is very significant that Romneycare's individual mandate was a state program and Obamacare's individual mandate was a federal program. They don't explain why this matters from a policy standpoint, only from a constitutional standpoint. What is left unsaid is that Romney really does believe that the individual mandate is good policy. That is why he put it in place in MA. But because of their desire to cover Romney from being implicated in Obamacare, the Rombots argue day and night about the "differences" (there are a few) between the two health care programs.

On the other hand, Romney's opponents could care less about having an actual debate about Romneycare and the individual mandate. For them, the policy details don't matter either. They are attached to a different candidate and so they want to hammer Romney over his health care plan. Some of Romney's opponents have even straight-faced lied about his plan in order to blast Romney himself. In today's political environment, ideas have become less important than the candidates themselves.

Folks, there has got to be a better way than this. I have defended Romneycare over and over again and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I kind of, sort of prefer Romney. In fact, I am not sure if I am going to support him again (calling Jeb or Mitch?). I try to frequently criticize him. There is much that I disagree with Romney on.

It does us no good to divide into 'candidate camps.' Romney will not save us. Neither will Palin. Responsible, limited government based on conservative principles will. Let's not forget that.

Sarah Palin's Alaska subsidized by tax dollars

I'm all in favor of free enterprise and people making money, but I have real problems with the taxpayers backing for-profit enterprises. I'm not a fan of subsidies for stadia, nor of government funding for PBS and NPR.

Imagine my surprise to find this account from Jim Geraghty and the Tax Foundation. Sarah Palin's Alaska was backed to the tune of $1,200,000 by Alaska tax money. That is one third of the total production costs. It is rumored that Sarah cleared $2,000,000 from the venture. That doesn't sound like a small government activist to me.

Here's the link.

Gallup Poll: Positive Intensity Score of 2012ers

Mike Huckabee continues to generate the strongest favorable reactions from Republicans who recognize him, with a Positive Intensity Score of 26. Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann follow, with Positive Intensity Scores of 20. Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain are at 19, and Sarah Palin is at 18.

  • Huckabee continues in first +1 gain
  • Romney moves to second (tied with Bachmann) +4 Gain
  • Cain now included moves starts tied for third with Gingrich
  • Pawlenty little gain after announcement of exploratory committee +1 gain

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking March 14-27, 2011, with random samples of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling. Questions asking about the 14 potential candidates measured in this research were rotated among randomly selected samples of Republicans each night; over the 14-day period, each candidate was rated by a minimum of 1,500 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.
Full results can be viewed HERE.

PPP Polling: Mitt Romney leads GOP field in Michigan

Mitt Romney leads the Republican field for President in Michigan...but the numbers suggest a fair amount of slippage from his support in the state in 2008. 26% of GOP primary voters say Romney's their first pick followed by 20% for Mike Huckabee, 15% for Newt Gingrich, 12% for Sarah Palin, 7% for Ron Paul, 5% for Mitch Daniels, and 3% for Tim Pawlenty and Scott Walker.
Favorable/Unfavorable/Not sure:

Mitt Romney 66/20/14 (+46)
Mike Huckabee 63/20/17 (+43)
Sarah Palin 64/28/9 (+36)
Newt Gingrich 54/24/21 (+30)
Scott Walker 41/13/45 (+28)

If the Republican candidates for President next year were Mitch Daniels, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Scott Walker who would you vote for?

Mitt Romney 26%
Mike Huckabee 20%
Newt Gingrich 15%
Sarah Palin 12%
Ron Paul 7%
Mitch Daniels 5%
Tim Pawlenty 3%
Scott Walker 3%
Someone else/Undecided 10%
Survey of 360 Republican primary voters March 18-20, 2011
To view the crosstabs click the PPP icon below:

PPP Polling: All GOP hopefulls beat Obama in Mississippi

Mississippi would probably not top most people’s list of states where President Obama has improved since 2008. But except against Mike Huckabee, thepresident trails his potential 2012 opponents in the state by a smaller margin than he lost to John McCain (13 points)—even Governor Haley Barbour performs worse than McCain.

With a 54-40 lead over Obama, Huckabee essentially matches McCain’s victory margin.
But Barbour leads only 51-41, Newt Gingrich 48-42, Mitt Romney 46-40, and Sarah Palin 48-44. Obama more or less locks up all the 42% who approve of his job performance, but only Huckabee and, to a lesser extent, Barbour capture all the 54% who disapprove. A lot of that is because most of these candidates are unpopular even in this deeply red state.
Favorable/Unfavorable/Not sure:

Mike Huckabee 51/29/21 (+22)
Haley Barbour 52/39/9 (+13)
Newt Gingrich 42/38/21 (+4)
Mitt Romney 34/41/25 (-7)
Sarah Palin 42/50/8 (-8)

Head-to-Head: (Obama/Candidate/Undecided)

Mike Huckabee 40/54/6 (+14)
Haley Barbour 41/51/7 (+10)
Newt Gingrich 42/48/10 (+6)
Mitt Romney 40/46/13 (+6)
Sarah Palin 44/48/8 (+4)
PPP surveyed 817 Mississippi voters from March 24th to 27th. The survey’s margin of error is +/-3.4%. Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.
To view the crosstabs click the PPP icon below:

President Obama on Non-Criminal Illegal Aliens: We want you to succeed

We Don’t Want to Deport Them; 'We Want Them To Succeed’
President Barack Obama on Monday told a student who has received a deportation notice that he does not want to deport her -- he wants people like her to succeed.
The exchange happened during a town hall event sponsored by the Spanish-language television network Univision at a Washington, D.C., school.

The full story is HERE.

In a SORT OF related story, Donald Trump took his request for President Obama to release his official birth certificate one step further, He released his own.

To view a larger copy and to read the full story, click on the photo below:

Pew Research: Who Republicans would vote for in 2012 based on Religion

Pew finds Huckabee and Romney leading the field among Republicans nationwide, each with around one-fifth of Republicans naming them as their top choice. But there is a religious split among GOP voters, with 29 percent of white evangelicals favoring Huckabee and only 15 percent picking Romney.

Huckabee did about as well among Catholics (27 vs. 16 percent). Huckabee's support among white mainline Protestants was lower (15 percent); Romney was the top-choice of 22 percent of mainliners.
The full story is here.
Crosstabs and other analysis here.
Candidates Tea Party support here.

National Journal: GOP Insiders Say Mitt Romney’s Still Number One

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to be seen as the favorite for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination according to a special National Journal Political Insiders Poll released on Tuesday. The second favorite for the GOP nod is former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. But Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor who was John McCain’s running mate in 2008 and was once viewed as a potential party standard bearer, was ranked ninth by the GOP Insiders—tied with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Texas Gov. Rick Perry—when they were asked who was most likely going to be their 2012 presidential nominee.

To read the entire story and further analysis, click the NJ icon below:

Palin Weighs in on Obama's Libya Speech

Shortly after President Obama's lackluster speech on Libya, Sarah Palin spoke with Greta Van Susteren to share her thoughts. Former UN Ambassador, John Bolton came on immediately after Palin. I couldn't help notice the stark similarities between between the two critiques of Obama's speech and his overall lack of leadership on the matter.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Palin on the Issues: Energy Independence

There's been a lot of discussion about energy policy on Right Speak over the past two days. Since this will be a defining issue in the upcoming campaign, it's certainly a worthy topic. Earlier today, my good friend Doug produced a brilliantly written piece highlighting Mitt Romney's views on energy, referencing Romney's book, No Apology. While I didn't find much to disagree with in Doug's post, I thought it would be fair to briefly highlight Sarah Palin's experience with energy, and provide a reference for our readers to research her positions.

Prior to being elected Governor of a state which receives more than 80% of it's revenues from oil producers, Palin served as Chairwoman of the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, a regulatory body with jurisdiction over oil exploration in the state of Alaska. This hands-on experience alone puts her head and shoulders above any of the other potential candidates on energy issues.

Over the past two years, Palin has been a persistent advocate for energy independence - frequently prescribing detailed solutions to our dependence on foreign oil. The following is a very long list of op-eds and Facebook posts, relating to energy, written by Palin over the past two years. Following each link, is a brief excerpt from each article. In addition to her writings, she routinely discusses energy policy in her speeches and television interviews. I apologize for the length of the post. It just so happens that Palin discusses energy more than any other topic. This post does not discuss the entirety of her record on energy. I would need to write a book to cover it all. In fact, people have.

Op-eds (3):

The 'Cap And Tax' Dead End (6-14-2009)
...There is no denying that as the world becomes more industrialized, we need to reform our energy policy and become less dependent on foreign energy sources. But the answer doesn't lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive! Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America's economy.

Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs....
Stall, Baby, Stall (3-31-2010)
...Today the president said he’ll “consider potential areas for development in the mid and south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, while studying and protecting sensitive areas in the Arctic.” As the former governor of one of America’s largest energy-producing states, a state oil and gas commissioner, and chair of the nation’s Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, I’ve seen plenty of such studies. What we need is action — action that results in the job growth and revenue that a robust drilling policy could provide. And let’s not forget that while Interior Department bureaucrats continue to hold up actual offshore drilling from taking place, Russia is moving full steam ahead on Arctic drilling, and China, Russia, and Venezuela are buying leases off the coast of Cuba.

As an Alaskan, I’m especially disheartened by the new ban on drilling in parts of the 49th state and the cancellation of lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. These areas contain rich oil and gas reserves whose development is key to our country’s energy security. As I told Secretary Salazar last April, “Arctic exploration and development is a slow, demanding process. Delays or major restrictions in accessing these resources for environmentally responsible development are not in the national interest or the interests of the State of Alaska.”...
Drill (10-16-2009)
...My home state of Alaska shows how it’s possible to be both pro-environment and pro-resource-development. Alaskans would never support anything that endangered our pristine air, clean water, and abundant wildlife (which, among other things, provides many of us with our livelihood). The state’s government has made safeguarding resources a priority; when I was governor, for instance, we created a petroleum-systems-integrity office to monitor our oil and gas infrastructure for any potential environmental risks.

Alaska also shows how oil drilling is thoroughly compatible with energy conservation and renewable-energy development. Over 20 percent of Alaska’s electricity currently comes from renewable sources, and as governor I put forward a long-term plan to increase that figure to 50 percent by 2025. Alaska’s comprehensive plan identifies renewable options across the state that can help rural villages transition away from expensive diesel-generated electricity — allowing each community to choose the solution that best fits its needs. That’s important in any energy plan: Tempting as they may be to central planners, top-down, one-size-fits-all solutions are recipes for failure...
Facebook Posts (18):

Gallup Poll: 2012 GOP Presidential Preference based on issues

As was the case in mid-February, the two biggest issues for Republican voters nationwide are government power and spending, and the economy -- in that order. The rank-order of these issue segments appears to be generally stable, with only minor shifts since last month's update.

Romney maintains a first- or second-place position among all segments except social issues voters. Palin appears to have a relative weakness among the largest segment of Republicans -- those who are focused on the government.

Republican front-runner Huckabee maintains his relative position of strength across all four issue groups. He dominates among social issues voters and leads or ties other potential candidates in the two biggest Republican issue groups -- those focused on government spending and power, and those focused on the economy.

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted March 18-22, 2011, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 1,082 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

For results based on the total sample of Republicans, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.
For the crosstabs and full analysis click the Gallup icon below:

Mitt Romney has President Obama's and other's attention towards 2012

More evidence is piling up that Mitt Romney is the man that President Obama and the Democrats fear will be the Republican nominee.

We've seen a concerted effort by President Obama and his cronies to push the notion that Mitt Romney was responsible for Obama's national health care bill.

The latest is from the Governor of my state Deval Patrick who replaced Mitt Romney as Governor.

There is no love lost between these two Governors.

Romney had included Patrick in his book No Apology when he blamed Patrick for driving up the cost of his health care law, asserting that Patrick gave the poor free insurance when they should have been charged nominal premiums.

Patrick has done his part, reversing his predecessor’s policies — canceling spending cuts, undoing an immigration order, and reinstating an affirmative action policy that Romney had rescinded.

The Boston Globe reported today that Patrick, who has been tapped to be a major spokesman for President Obama’s reelection campaign, is working closely with the president’s political team to deliver backhanded compliments to Romney for his work on universal health care in Massachusetts, a law reviled by Republican voters.

David Axelrod Who helped run Patrick's first campaign for Governor, had this to say, he expects Patrick will be a big player in the president’s campaign.

Patrick in the mean time, has opened a federal political action committee to help him travel the country, working to reelect Obama. The so-called Together PAC will allow him to raise federal money so he can address Democrats across the country and campaign on behalf of Obama as he seeks re-election.

To read the full article, go HERE.

A few of the comments from on this piece, summed up my feelings:
  • yabba2010~Romney offers solutions, while Patrick wallpapers over problems. Patrick has had over 4+ years to fix MassHealth, and has neglected to do so. Now we see budget overruns, that the Feds can't bail him out for. Lots of lost jobs this year. I'll take Romney ideas, over Deval's excuses anyday.
  • FanB4Orr~ Doesn't Patrick take a paycheck from the citizens of Massachusetts to attempt to run this state? Is he forgoing his paycheck while he vacations around the world and country? Wasn't he just reelected? Does he realize how much people in this state are struggling?
  • Tirwilliger~Patrick has got to be the biggest goofball in politics today. Only in a state like Massachusetts could he be re-elected, and now we are all paying the price.

Harris Interactive Poll: Huckabee, Romney and Palin top GOP, Giuliani tops Obama

Looking at the list below, assuming each person listed is the Republican nominee running against President Obama in the 2012 presidential election, who would you vote for? (Obama/Candidate)

Rudy Giuliani 49/51 (+2)
Mitt Romney 51/49 (-2)
Mike Huckabee 52/48 (-4)
Donald Trump 55/45 (-10)
Mitch Daniels 56/44 (-12)
NewtGingrich 56/44 (-12)
Tim Pawlenty 56/44 (-12)
Rick Santorum 57/43 (-14)
Sarah Palin 58/42 (-16)
Haley Barbour 59/41 (-18)
Michele Bachmann 59/41 (-18)

If you were voting in the Republican primary election and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? -Republicans [total all adults]

Mike Huckabee 15% [8]
Mitt Romney 13% [10]
Sarah Palin 12% [7]
Newt Gingrich 9% [5]
Donald Trump 8% [10]
Rudy Giuliani 7% [8]
Michele Bachmann 3% [2]
Tim Pawlenty 3% [2]
Mitch Daniels 2% [2]
Rick Santorum 2% [1]
Haley Barbour 0% [0]
Not at all sure 26% [45]
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 7 to 14, 2011 among 2,379 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
To view the crosstabs click the Harris Icon below

Mike Huckabee and Van Jones Share Stage at Student Summit

Mike Huckabee has his finger on the pulse of America. How does he do it? By being willing to engage in all environments, willing to speak about core issues that are important to him, and reaching out to citizens who may disagree with him on these issues. Huckabee did just that on Sunday speaking as a guest panelist at the State of the Student Summit in Florida. He shared the stage with Van Jones-someone whose policy ideas Mike Huckabee has spoken out against on his Huckabee show. But the exchange was cordial-with both panelists debating without attacking one another.

What might have been just as interesting is what happened off stage with the students. Twitter was fast paced with questions directed to the moderator in hopes of that question being asked on stage. Tweets about what the panelists stated were fast and furious. Huckabee received admiration from students for sticking to his beliefs, defending his role at Fox News, and maintaining a calm demeanor during the discussion. Check out some of the student tweets:

brothaben Benjamin Evans III
@GovMikeHuckabee actually changed my views on him at the #studentsummit ... not all republicans are right and not all democrats are wrong!

JGood863 Jaronn Goodman
"You need to be an employer not an employee when it comes to the government" -Gov. Huckabee #StudentSummit

Bridge_JoQuita Bridge_JoQuita
Yes Huckabee! @studentsummit #studentsummit

5Alarms A. Galloway
As I said before I don't necessarily agree with Huckabee but I respect him #studentsummit

ChocolatBabiii kiana shackelford
Huckbee cool with me #studentsummit

Romney's High Octane Energy Policy

In his 2010 book “No Apology,” former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney maps out the issue of America’s energy policy, in a chapter titled “Running Low.” In his writings, Romney recaps the current situation regarding our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and the dangers it poses to our national security, economic stability and our overall liberty as free people. Romney asserts the following as the premier risks involved in being reliant on non-US energy supplies:

  • “From a foreign policy perspective, our addiction to foreign oil necessitates a massive military presence in the Middle East, and it has contributed to involving us, like it or not, in ancient and seemingly intractable conflicts.”

  • Romney goes on to cite other perils of relying on Mid East oil, such as profits from oil being used to fund terrorism, development of destructive weaponry, selling advanced technology to unsuitable parties, such as Iran and ultimately leading to war, as in the 1992 Iraq War.

  • Non-Mid East dependence is also a risk in Romney’s view, pinpointing the efforts of Venezuela, as led by Hugo Chavez, to “supplant democracy throughout Latin America” via the wealth his oil exploitation provides. In Romney’s view, Chavez’ “verbal buffoonery” is eclipsed by his megalomania and menacing of freedom.

  • Domestically, Romney states the US “spends $200 billion per year importing oil from other nations.” Citing the high cost of producing energy at home, it’s good business policy for American companies to import, as you want to by the product as cheaply as possible. To remedy this situation, Romney would reverse the cost equation by spending money on producing domestic energy supplies.

  • Romney advocates the development of all our energy sources, nuclear, oil, natural gas and coal. “One of the great disappointments of the so-called stimulus package of 2009 was that we spent nearly a trillion dollars and have no new energy production facilities to show for it.”

In seeking a substitute for foreign oil, Romney cites many folks concerned with both environmental issues and energy independence, agree we should be looking to develop the renewable sources of energy – “wind, solar and agriculture based fuels” – but notes when it comes to nuclear power, coal and domestic drilling of oil, they part ways.

Romney calls nuclear power a win-win, as it generates zero green-house gas emissions, is cost efficient –once the severe regulatory controls are eased and remarkably safe. Even after the serious situation in Japan, Romney has maintained a position of being very pro-nuclear power. Romney believes the reliance on foreign oil poses greater risks to the economy, our security and freedom, than the risks posed by nuclear power.

Regarding both coal and natural gas – one with potential negative environmental effects the other with out – Romney calls for utilizing both. Technological storage solutions are currently being used in coal fuel usage, allowing the partial use and underground storage of coal’s carbon dioxide emissions. Romney cites further development of these procedures as top priorities. Natural gas is a fuel Romney says “everyone can love” due to it’s abundance, cheap cost and clean usage. According to Romney, “America should be building gas pipe-lines as quickly as possible.”

Romney is both enthused and concerned about the prospects of opening up domestic drilling for oil. He acknowledges the great potential of these reserves in Alaska, offshore our coasts and in mountain state wilderness areas. Romney also realistically sees opposition to utilizing these areas comes from not from the residents of these areas, who support the drilling, but from environmental groups who “oppose it on general grounds, not matter how sensitively the oil extraction can be carried out.”

Romney is concerned however, the rush to drill, to and use these reserves would lead us back to an oil dependency at ever greater cost, due to a lack of prudence and frugality. This largely stems from the uncertain amount of oil available in these newly discovered areas. He calls for carefully metering out these supplies, in order to provide a price check and an alternative to foreign providers, until the depth of out potential is fully realized. Romney sees these new sources of oil as a “supersize strategic oil reserve” in which to mitigate the power of non-US energy providers.

 “Given the decade or longer lead times that are often required to produce oil, it would take years to significantly expand production, but in the near term, the presence and potential of these reserves – and America’s willingness to exploit them – would have a stabilizing effect on world oil prices. The right step is to get started by authorizing exploration and infrastructure construction.”

As his near certain 2012 Presidential campaign continues to take shape and energy prices continuing to increase at the pump, Energy policy will be one of the many issues Republican Primary and General Election voters will be focusing on. Its apparent Mitt Romney has already spent some considerable doing just that.