Marriage Should Mean One Plus One and No One Else

Posted by Keeley on June 29, 2015 at 6:02 PM

If you believe Trevor Burrus of the Cato Institute, then heterosexual marriage has been an artificial construction imposed by Christianity. The then recently-converted Constantine unleashed the apparatus of his decaying empire - reborn under Christ - to persecute what had been a natural part of human society. And in his April article at Cato's site, he also gave a passing nod to drug prohibition, which will surely fall in the glorious march of Libertarianism, the kind that is taking natural liberty to it's "logical extreme" through a process that is "wonderfully radical." So if your child's kindergarten teacher in a few years, if not right now, has to take time off from caring from your offspring to enter rehab, that is also part of this march towards true liberty.

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Comfortable With a Flag

Posted by Keeley on June 19, 2015 at 2:25 PM

Liberal means something very different in Europe and South America, for example, than it does in the US. Abroad, it follows more closely along the classic 18th century lines of individual liberty and is more like libertarianism - to an extent - than in America. One can argue that the evolution of liberalism in North America as an interventionist, statist, and progressive ideology or perspective has to do with conservatism in America in past ages. And that brings one to the institution of slavery and the shootings in Charleston and even the reasons that Dylann Roof apparently gave for the killings before he opened fire.

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As You Get to Know Rand Paul, Will You Like Him?

Posted by Keeley on June 16, 2015 at 9:06 PM

Rand Paul's stance on immigration seems to be to:
1. Secure the Border first
2. Then, provide some sort of amnesty to the 11 + million illegals in America

While there is as much anger at government as there ever has been in the country, does that make an angry voter libertarian? If, as a GOP voter, one professes mistrust and hostility towards so-called RINO's, do you believe in true Libertarianism? Immigration, and specifically amnesty or immigration reform of one kind or another, is a flashpoint. It will help answer the question of who is actually a libertarian espousing maximum freedom and limited government, and who is a very frustrated conservative who feels that amnesty undercuts the rule and law and even the constitution itself.

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Who Does Ben Carson Have to Impress?

Posted by Keeley on June 12, 2015 at 6:27 PM

Since Daniel Allott's hit piece on Ben Carson back in May, the debate has been not over what Dr. Carson is capable of - most things he sets his mind and soul on might be overstating it, but not by much - but rather over what Dr. Carson should study up on and how long it will take him. According to Allott he needs to spend time working his way up through the Washington establishment and learn how to "build consensus" which smells like knowing who is located where on K street. The "humility" he deems lacking in Carson means Ben needs to bone up on his hypocrisy a little. And his need to learn to "read the political landscape" means he should submit to the views of wonks - like Allott - and their reading of the pollster's tea leaves. Finally, it seems Ben needs to be a little more careful about his faith, and not actually defend his beliefs in an absolute manner, but rather with a little deft relativism.

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When to Worry About Hillary

Posted by Keeley on June 9, 2015 at 6:42 PM

Would you give up a Senate seat to become Vice President? Not if you're Rand Paul. At least not at this stage of the GOP race. In fact, according to the recent CNN/ORC poll, Rand is the best positioned Republican against Hillary Clinton. Why should he consider supporting someone else and vacate his senate seat to do so? Voters are almost dead even between the two with Hillary leading Paul by a point. At least those who bothered to answer the CNN/ORC poll, and at least in late May of 2015. And Marco Rubio is next, trailing Hillary by 3%. Jeb Bush's 8 point gap in this particular poll is being noticed by many naturally. But Senator Ted Cruz does poorly as well. He comes in 9 points behind Hillary while Scott Walker does as well as Rubio, with just a 3 point difference.

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Legislate Pillow Talk Now!

Posted by Keeley on June 5, 2015 at 8:20 PM

Well before she was George Will's wife, Mari Will, or Mari Maseng back then, worked in politics as communications director or deputy or assistant to GOP politicians: Bob Dole and President Reagan primarily. As well as a handful of presidential candidates in later years like Perry and Bachman, and she has offered her services to Romney. It's what she did and what she does. So does the fact that she is the wife of a columnist as influential (perhaps a little less so lately) as George Will mean that he can't write about a candidate she's working for? Like Scott Walker, her current employer? Or is George Will's recent mention of the fact his wife works for Walker enough?

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Can a Hawk Be a Moderate?

Posted by Keeley on June 2, 2015 at 7:27 PM

Will Lindsey Graham spoil South Carolina for Jeb Bush? One of the consequences of having such a large field of GOP contenders, is that spoilers become commonplace. And it also means that unexpected changes in the race are a given. What exactly those changes will turn out to be is hard to tell. We can almost certainly say that Rand Paul will have to do a good job of defending his foreign policy positions against hawks like Graham. And it is just as likely that Rand Paul will end the campaign - whenever his campaign does in fact end - being far more hawkish than he has been on the Senate floor. But will Graham's record of military service and his debating skills be enough to propel him significantly higher in the polls? Will it need a catalyst - some tragic foreign policy disaster like IS taking control of Iraq - to produce such a shift in the polls?

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Economic Populism and the GOP

Posted by Keeley on May 28, 2015 at 8:39 PM

Populism is popular in the GOP nowadays it seems. Or at least, some of the candidates like Huckabee and Santorum are showing support for economic populism in areas like trade and in attacks on corporate welfare, while holding to their social conservatism. And social conservatism is apparently slipping more than a little in the polls, so it seems the emphasis on economic populism of one form or another will now step forward towards center stage. And social conservatism may be signaled from a more oblique position: gay marriage as a state issue and therefore as a constitutional issue rather than a moral one, for example.

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Jeb Bush and the Choir

Posted by Keeley on May 26, 2015 at 1:40 PM

One can argue that church architecture throughout history has been the metaphorical representation of a given society's faith, and even that society's organization. Soaring Gothic Cathedrals as splendid monuments to faith. Humble wooden churches on the great plains as bare puritan houses of worship with little intermediation between the faithful and their God. In Coral Gables, Jeb Bush attends the Church of the Little Flower, a red-tiled-roofed structure with a vaguely neo-romanesque shape. It is here that he takes the wafer of communion at mass as he has done for twenty years now since converting to the faith of the rest of his immediate family. The episcopalian church (or Anglican in the rest of the world) of his youth has drifted with the times and is fractured into distant communities. So Jeb chose the path of the sacraments and absolute authority of Rome. And he began winning elections.

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Give Josh Earnest Another Job

Posted by Keeley on May 20, 2015 at 4:30 PM

As Ramadi falls to Islamic State militants - or ISIS or ISIL or whatever the next name they think up is - one hears cautious detachment and outright concern from the Pentagon. The worry is that Iranian-backed Shiite militants might pre-empt other groups in re-taking Ramadi and have Iraq finally fall under control of it's long time rival Iran. Or that fighting between anti- Islamic State groups will be as bad as the fighting against Islamic State itself. So, according to the Pentagon, the latest fall of Ramadi is merely a case of a small percentage of the city not already under IS control finally falling to the Sunni fighters. The Sunni fighters under IS, not the Sunni groups opposing them, which the Iraqi forces - in the majority Shiite - are desperate to recruit to gain support in Sunni regions of the country in their ongoing battle against IS. So the worry is what happens next and how to help Iraq hold together alliances that can push back and even defeat IS.

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GOP Debates - March Madness??

Posted by Keeley on May 15, 2015 at 7:30 PM

The GOP is starting to worry about how to have a series of televised debates with an estimated 16 contenders having announced or expected to in the next few weeks or so. How can you squeeze all these people in during, say, a 90 minute televised debate? Some are frankly hoping that more than a few drop out before the debates even begin. But perhaps there is another solution that Republicans haven't considered: March Madness. Think about it. If the NCAA can handle 68 teams in a little over a month and keep a substantial portion of America fixated on the celebrated annual tourney, maybe they can hand a workable solution to the GOP.

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The Glorious Core of Academic Freedom

Posted by Keeley on May 12, 2015 at 7:26 PM

While it's hard to argue against the overall success of charter schools at the elementary and high school levels, one wonders about tenure at the post-secondary level. Is academic tenure at a junior college, or university, a vital defense against those who would erode academic freedom? Or is it a nice cozy union benefit for very well paid workers? Furchtgott-Roth and Meyer's book Disinherited: How Washington is Betraying America's Young certainly takes aim at teacher unions at the first two levels of schooling and how they protect mediocre, incompetent, or outright abusive teachers who may do considerable damage to their students. But the issue of academic tenure at the post-secondary level is also a matter well worth shining a light on.

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Federal Officials Assault Times Square!

Posted by Keeley on May 7, 2015 at 7:08 PM

When you have a federal transportation bill called MAP-21, you can imagine more than a little ambition on the part of it's creators. The 2012 bill seems to be saying they're going to upgrade everything until it's as 21st century as feasibly possible. And you will comply with whatever that means. The full name is the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act - which has a nice Maoist or Stalinist tone to it. It just needs a 5-Year-Plan attached as a final amendment to make it perfect for a central planner. It's a funding and authorization bill that takes care of federal surface transportation. And that includes not just highways between cities but apparently any juncture inside a city that is now deemed a vital link to the federal highway system. And that means that Broadway and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan now fall under the purview of that Act. Yes, Times Square is now officially under the purview of a federal highway act.

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Why Hillary's Not Predestined for President

Posted by bigtex on May 5, 2015 at 7:33 PM

While it seems I'm opposing the thought of many others, it's not that I don't think Hillary Clinton can win, I just don't think she'll come up with more than 50% and win. And I wonder how others are believing she's a guarantee. There's a reason why Hillary's name is at the top of the board and it's because of the left of center journalists, media, fuel the bias in crowds which is obviously deceiving.

So while others explain why Hillary is a shoo-in and will win presidency, I'll tell you why I think she won't.

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No One Wants to Own Spending Cuts

Posted by Keeley on May 1, 2015 at 6:28 PM

No one really seems to want to cut spending. A bipartisan deal to lift sequestration, spending caps in other words, is soon coming to the halls of Congress. The 2011 Budget Control Act which is an attempt at reasonably significant cuts to government spending spread out over a decade, will soon be eroded and/or evaded as Republicans and Democrats in the House work out an agreement on spending bills. No one wants to own spending cuts it seems. And in part, voters share some of the blame. Because it's way easier for the GOP to own tax cuts as an issue, and they do, than to own spending cuts. The inevitable result of this is further deficits and further increases to the national debt, which is merely the accumulation of past deficits plus interest.

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