Republican Debate

Posted by Tina

All in all the Republican field represented conservatism well tonight with only a few exceptions, some of which were roundly booed. One such instance occurred when Trump tried to defend eminent domain for his hotel parking lot as “in the public interest.” Another followed an attack on Ted Cruz. By the end of the debate I was once again satisfied that a vote for any of our candidates would greatly improve the nation in terms of our safety, our military, the economy, jobs, healthcare, taxes, and the size of government. Realizing the bar has been set very low by the current administration and Congress this may not mean much, but the alternative (Hillary or Bernie) will spell disaster for America.

Bush and Christie both spoke boldly of downsizing the federal government by giving power back to the states. Rubio stumbled once again by seeming too polished and repetitive on economic issues but was stronger on foreign policy. Cruz demonstrated his steady support of the Constitution and took the opportunity to say he was the only candidate with a record of standing up to Congress. Kasich was strong on economic issues, citing his past record but Drudge reports him as saying, “I ought to be running in the Democrat Primary.” Why? Because they desperately need a candidate or because he’d get more attention? Carson was given too few questions but comported himself well. It seems his candidacy is ill-timed. I think of the Eisenhower years when I hear him speak…after the storm when calm, reflection and serious care is important.

Moderators at ABC can be commended for asking good questions on a variety of issues that are important to the people. ABC deserves credit for following the lead of FOX Business and FOX News as opposed to the MSNBC disaster, even if that one did open the opportunity to for Cruz and Trump to slice through the veil of media bias and politically correct thinking.

Your thoughts?

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America Is a Conservative Nation

conservativePosted by Tina

Gallup recently admitted, albeit reluctantly, that America is a conservative nation. The odd thing is that California wasn’t considered one of the most liberal states in the nation:

The Gallup Poll survey conducted at the end of 2015 reports that 47 of the 50 states have more conservatives than liberals, and only three states – Vermont, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts – have more respondents calling themselves liberal than conservative. In two of those three states, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the liberal advantage is tiny.

How do we explain this finding in a nation that has continually adopted progressive policies through the decades and in a state, California, that is overwhelmingly run by liberal Democrats?

According to Gallup, 30.2% of Californians consider themselves conservative, 35.5% moderate, and an underwhelming 28.6% liberal. At the same time 32.6% of Californians identify as Republican and 48.1% as Democrat. (Nationwide 35.7% of respondents identified as conservative, 36.0% as moderate and 23.2% as liberal.)

Moderates make the difference. Most likely the tearing away point is a combination of social issues, economic policy, and the racist tag liberals have given conservatives. Conservatives lose in the message wars in these three areas. The question for conservatives is, who are the moderates and how do we talk to them? I’ve been told more than once by a person on PS who identifies as liberal that I destroy my own message when I say outrageous things that he often proclaims are “lies”. I’d expect nothing less from a liberal whose party of preference is the godfather of lies. But what about moderates?

According to Gallup:

Gallup first asked Americans to describe their views on social issues in 1999, and has repeated the question at least annually since 2001. The broad trend has been toward a shrinking conservative advantage, although that was temporarily interrupted during the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. Since then, the conservative advantage continued to diminish until it was wiped out this year.

The newfound parity on social ideology is a result of changes in the way both Democrats and Republicans describe their social views. The May 6-10 Gallup poll finds a new high of 53% of Democrats, including Democratic-leaning independents, describing their views on social issues as liberal.

The three major social issues are abortion, gay marriage, and marijuana/drugs. All three have been promoted or glamorized and stand in defiance of traditional conservative values. All three have been exploited by radical progressives in the courts and in entertainment. All three have been used as platforms on which to demonize and ridicule conservative or religious positions. What this means for the future and what this means in terms of messaging is worthy of consideration.

Young people are turning on the abortion issue. Redstate quotes the Boston Globe:

Millennials have also grown up amid the grim images of abortion and its aftermath. For many, the willful destruction of life in the womb seems less an act of “reproductive freedom” than an act of violence against an innocent victim. All of them know someone who has had a legal abortion; they need only look in a mirror to see someone else who could have been lawfully aborted.

It has been a long time since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in every state, and, in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton, effectively proclaimed a right to destroy an unborn baby at any stage of pregnancy. But making abortion lawful didn’t make it right. Even after all these years, Americans tend to regard most abortions as ignoble. According to Gallup, only 38 percent of US adults generally see abortion as morally acceptable. Other surveys concur. The Pew Research Center found in 2013 that 49 percent of Americans believe that having an abortion is morally wrong, far outnumbering those who regard abortion as morally acceptable (15 percent) or not a moral issue (23 percent).

Young Americans — voters under 30 — were once the most gung-ho in support of unfettered legal abortion. In 1991, fully 36 percent believed abortion should be legal under any circumstances. But by 2010, 18-to-29-year-olds had become more pro-life than their parents — only 24 percent still wanted to keep abortion legal in all cases. More than any other age cohort, in fact, young adults are now the most likely to think abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.

This is a positive trend both for conservatives and for America. Morality may be a much maligned subject in America but it is also the glue that makes freedom and prosperity sustainable. As the previous story would indicate, the economy is a much more important political issue facing Americans today. Terrorism and immigration/border issues run in close tandem with economic concerns. This is as it should be. Social issues, in my opinion, are a matter of conscience more than politics.

If it is true that America is a conservative nation, and I have no reason to believe it is not, then ideas that conservatives share should be attractive to those in the middle ground. The battle will be waged once again as we consider candidates for President this year. Will conservatives prevail?

Posted in Liberty, Life, politics, Religion | 4 Comments

Big Question: When Will the Next Crash Come?

economy1Posted by Tina

Some economists and investors think the next big crash is both inevitable and imminent. Others think we have a year or so before it happens. A few think we will weather the crash because we are the strongest weak nation. Though I am an optimist, I have little faith in people who like to pretend big problems aren’t real and everything’s always okay. If tough times are coming Id rather be prepared.

The troubling difference between this period and previous pre-crash periods is that trouble is growing across various sectors:

…is the current oil price collapse really like anything the world economy has ever experienced?

For many market watchers, a confluence of factors – led by oil, but encompassing China, the emerging world, and financial markets – are all brewing to create a perfect storm in a global economy that has barely come to terms with the Great Recession.

“We are in a very unusual situation where market sentiment is of a different nature to anything we’ve seen before,” says Thygesen.

Unlike previous pre-recessionary eras, the current sell-off has seen commodity prices, equities and credit conditions all move in dangerous lockstep.

Average Americans and the big institutions that invest for our retirement funds are taking safer positions and holding on to cash. Even lower gasoline prices have not significantly loosened the wallets of the American people. We seem to be in a giant waiting pattern, fearing the worst and hoping for the best. Hold on to your hats folks; 2016 is looking to be a shaky year at a time when our choice for president has never been more important.

Posted in Finance, Foreign policy and affairs, politics, Tax Policy | Leave a comment

House Passes Bill to Choke Off Administration’s “Operation Choke Point” Scheme

Posted by Tina

Several years ago I posted about a practice undertaken by our government that targeted gun sellers, pawn shops, and other legitimate businesses. Dubbed “Operation Choke Hold” the Justice Department designed regulation gave the government the power to pressure banks to close the bank accounts and deny credit to certain businesses. These actions were justified by the quasi-legal term, “reputational risk,” a term commonly used in banking circles to describe businesses that are suspected of being illegitimate or considered at high risk for fraud.

Today I was happy to read that the House of Representatives voted 250 to 169 to put an end to this tyrannical regulation:

Critics say the secretive program, run by the Department of Justice, has been used to target politically unpopular industries such as gun sellers.

“We’re elated,” Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., one of the bill’s co-sponsors, told The Daily Signal after the vote. “We’ve been working on this for two and a half years—we’ve been lied to, put off and dissed by the different regulatory agencies, and we’ve prevailed.”

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the Financial Services Committee summed up my feelings nicely: “We are losing the rule of law to the discretion of regulators. For legally constituted businesses to have to fear that in the dark of night they’re going to be shut down by the awesome power of the Obama administration is an outrage.”

Good for the House Republicans!

I’m no historian but I can’t imagine that any other administration in our nations history has ever waged war against Americans as this administration has; cannot wait to say, “Good riddance!”

Posted in Constitution & The Law, Finance, Liberty, politics | 2 Comments

Open Border Policy Now Official

illegal-aliensPosted by Tina

America has surrendered at the border. Our U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been told to release those who enter the country illegally and refrain from orders to appear at deportation hearings in court. If that’s not nutty enough for you it’s also been ordered that none of the invading horde are to be tracked. What has prompted such insanity? The story is that the courts have been overwhelmed by the numbers of mostly young men surging across our border.Apparently, “embarrassment” is a driving factor. It’s not surprising that after this administrations border policy embarrassment would follow. As you’d expect birder patrol agents are stunned:

“We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether,” suggested agent Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.

Testifying on the two-year border surge of immigrant youths, Judd said the policy shift was prompted by Obama administration “embarrassment” that just over half of illegals ordered to appear in court actually do.

“The willful failure to show up for court appearances by persons that were arrested and released by the Border Patrol has become an extreme embarrassment for the Department of Homeland Security. It has been so embarrassing that DHS and the U.S. attorney’s office has come up with a new policy,” he testified before the immigration subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.

The biggest change: Undocumented immigrants are no longer given a “notice to appear” order, because they simply ignore them. Judd said that border agents jokingly refer to the NTAs as “notices to disappear.”

What has led to the attitude that America is a push-over nation just asking to be overwhelmed? What has led to the attitude that Americans are such suckers for exploitation? Why has the Obama administration sent the message that America will not only welcome invaders with open arms but we will feed, house, educate, and provide medical and higher education as well? What insanity turns a blind eye to disease, criminals, and terrorists? What moron refuses to consider the health and well-being of American citizens?

This administration has a bad attitude toward America. He does not see America as a shinging example of freedom and opportunity but as a too white, privileged, selfish nation that deserves to be brought to her knees. If you can’t tell, I am seething this morning at the utter #@&$*#%*& (couldn’t think of a word that was bad enough!) of the Obama administration.

When the President began his first term in office he spoke at a prestigious Catholic University. He insisted that religous artifacts and symbols be covered so as not to offend. In the last few days he spoke at a Mosque and of all the mosques he could have visited he chose one whose members have been associated with terrorism. Religious symbols were not covered. All of these actions show contempt for American values, contempt for the diversity he so often proudly proclaims, and contempt for the people, that we are so stupid as not to have noticed that his rhetoric rarely matches his action.

We Americans have been restrained in our evaluations of this man because of his color. That is an appalling circumstance in a nation that has over decades bent over backwards to be inclusive and fair to all people and religions. Equality means we are all equal in terms not only of opportunity but in terms of criticism.

Opening our borders to hordes of people without concern for the American people and behaving as a militant organizer rather than the leader of our nation has been a total disaster. And this agenda driven little man has eight long months more to smugly spit in our faces. President Obama has been on a course to destroy this nation and it’s about time he received the HARSH criticism he so richly deserves.

Posted in Border Security, Constitution & The Law, Finance, Foreign policy and affairs, Healthcare, Illegal immigration, Life, Police, politics, Religion, Terrorism | 20 Comments

Ted Cruz Takes Iowa

by Jack

Was anyone crushed that Ted Cruz won in Iowa? Not me either. It was between Marco and Ted, and Ted was my first choice. Hope you saw his victory speech, it was really inspiring. Whatever else you may think of Ted, you can’t deny the man is a master at communicating and motivating, he is brilliant!

ted-cruzIt kind of restores my faith that Iowan’s were able to separate the showman (Trump) from the substance and stability (Cruz).

When the time came to cast a vote, they did the intelligent and thoughtful thing and of course Cruz received a substantial margin of the total vote.

On the other hand Hillary and Bernie split the leftwing vote right down the middle.

What cracks me up about democrat voters is this, when they were asked what they liked about Hillary, the answered was:  Her experience, her accomplishments in office, and her warm temperament and/or demeanor.   (Choke)  I grant you she holds up well under cross examination, but that doesn’t make her good, just sly.  She’s had a lot of experience getting into trouble on the job and then talking her way out it.  Next, what accomplishments? Seriously.  What has she ever accomplished? Please name it.  As for her personal conduct or demeanor, well, its shocking.  She treats people in the Secret Service like dirt. She’s been rude and degrading to many of her helpers over the years.  Outwardly she smiles for the public and pretends she’s a kindly person and if that does it for you, then she’s your girl.    But, they don’t call her helicopter “Broomstick One” for nothing.  I think democrats are in denial again.  The woman is mean.  She’s as phony as a 3 dollar bill and she’s a proven phony and liar.  Who wants that back in the White House?  And the left’s alternative is to vote for a full on socialist?  Wow, that’s some choice. The democratic party has sunk to new lows, you can vote for an untrustworthy liar or commie socialist, that’s great, eh?

Obviously, I think Ted Cruz would make a good president.  He is energetic, inspiring, incredibly well educated and extremely well spoken.  He’s said nothing that I can find offensive to my ethics or politics.  Although, I’m sure if dems look hard enough there is that off the cuff remark made somewhere during his life, maybe in the 2nd grade, that they will use against him in the general election.hillary-clinton-benghazi-600x337

Inside the GOP, Cruz’ colleagues in the Senate are a problem.  They don’t care much for him, he’s not played ball.  And given that, they probably won’t do a thing to help him get elected. But, considering their low performance, these old gas-bags aren’t much of an asset anyway.  The public knows what they are and their ratings reflect it.   So, who cares what they think? Ted Cruz is a man apart, a guy who stands alone if he needs too. He reflects the principle written but not practiced by the GOP. The voters know that and they love him for it. He’s a fresh break from the old gang that does nothing but cost us money. Those old curmudgeons in the Senate ought to take a lesson from Ted, because their future could depend on it and it should. They have blocked so many meaningful reform bills presented by the House you would think the Senate is controlled by democrats! The GOP has 54 seats in the Senate, the democrats hold 44. What have they done with it? What the @#$% is wrong with these old career politicians? The Senate and House can’t even pass a proper budget, control the border, reign in the IRS, fix the VA, jump start the economy, undue Un-Constitutional executive orders, so I wonder why keep them around? What are they good for besides drawing a fat paycheck?

Good going Ted Cruz, I hope you take New Hampshire and South Carolina next!

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

Cruz and Hillary Take Iowa

Posted by Tina

The polls were wrong, the races were tight, Cruz surprised, and Hillary won by a coin toss. Big surprise of the night? Trump took second gracefully. I’m thrilled at the Cruz win and happy with Sanders’ strong showing. It’s on to New Hampshire. I have an appointment to get to this morning so I’ll let you guys fill in the blanks.

Posted in politics | 7 Comments

What Does Iowa Really Mean?

by Jack

VotingIf you have been listening at all to the pundits coving this year’s election, you might think the dye is cast in Iowa.  Far from it!  Iowa voters are a special group and not necessarily representative of the nation’s average voter.   For example, they have the corn lobby for ethanol and a lot of people depend on that revenue, but its a poor deal for the rest of America because it’s simply not cost efficient and requires heavy government subsidies to make it work.

Of course a candidate who does well in Iowa is going to claim its a mandate victory by the people, hoping to discourage as many of the competition as possible.  But, it’s such a small victory in reality.  Typically the winner might get 17-20% of the possible vote out of about 2,000,000 registered voters.  The voters registered Democrat v Republican total about 1.2 million with Republicans having a narrow edge.    Gaining 28-30% of the Republican vote is not a mandate by a long shot.

The Iowa race is significant in that it may push many undecided voters in the upcoming primaries over to what they see as the “winner’s side”. This is likely to give momentum to the front runner (probably Trump) in the next primary… which is New Hampshire. Then its followed by  Nevada and then South Carolina.

So, I’m withholding my bet until we are at least 5 states into the primary. Then, if Trump still holds the lead, he’s got the momentum that could take him all the way to the general election.

But, wait!  The GOP is not going to let Trump steam roll over the party. Trump is vehemently opposed by the GOP and they are preparing a blitz of negative ads.  If the past is any indication, well, those mudslinging ads could knock Trump out of the race.   The GOP doesn’t want Trump…period. Cruz is not loved either. Bush has about $7M in his war chest and so does Rubio, and they GOP could easily support either of them.   Now, you know a good portion of their campaign money is going to be spent attacking Trump and not pushing their issues.  If they don’t, and Trump builds the momentum with early wins, they probably can’t catch him.

This is how important Iowa is, it’s a 6 on the 1 to 10 scale. Will be fun to see how it plays out tonight. Look for several candidates to pull out and give their votes to someone other than Trump.

6 Comments

Watch Ted Cruz Converse with an Iowa Corn Ethanol Farmer

Posted by Tina

Ted Cruz had a conversation with an Iowa farmer today who was concerned that Ted Cruz favored oil companies over corn ethanol fuels farmers. The farmer was visibly upset and confrontational. Watch Cruz calm the man down and explain his free market, limited government, pro-American worker, response. In addition to clarifying Cruz’s position on fuels the exchange offers an excellent opportunity to experience the integrity Cruz would bring to the Office of President. Breitbart has the video.

Posted in Energy and Conservation, Liberty, politics | 1 Comment

Iran Flies Military Drone Over US Carrier

Posted by Jack

“TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran flew a surveillance drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier and published video of the encounter Friday, the latest in a series of edgy naval incidents between the two countries in the Persian Gulf after the recent nuclear deal.

While the U.S. Navy stressed it knew the drone was unarmed and the flyover didn’t interrupt U.S. operations in the war against the Islamic State group, the incident underlined the continued tension over control of waterways crucial to global oil supplies. It follows a rocket test last month by the Islamic Republic near coalition warships and commercial traffic, as well as Iran’s brief capture of American sailors who strayed into its territorial waters.

Iranian state television and the semi-official Fars news agency, which has close ties to the Revolutionary Guard, published identical images Friday both said came from the drone.
The Iranian reports suggested the footage was from Friday. However, Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, said an unarmed Iranian drone flew near the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and “directly over” the USS Harry S. Truman on Jan. 12 as the vessels were in international waters in the Persian Gulf.”

The US should have shot the drone down. I see very little difference in flying over a US warship and flying over US territory. Maybe this drone was not armed, but taking surveillance pictures is a provocation and it came at a time when President Obama was extolling the virtues of the wonderful new cooperation we have with Iran after giving away the farm in the nuclear agreement…which Iran violated 5 minutes after it was signed.

Iran’s drone technology seems to have greatly improved after an off course US drone landed in Iran and was captured. If we shot this one down, I wonder if we would find US technology inside it?

8 Comments