Trump Forces GOP to Decide What Kind of Party to Be

Posted by Keeley on July 29, 2015 at 9:26 PM

The crowded GOP field is like the Tour de France peloton, with the candidates pumping promises and throwing surprise attacks on each other as they pedal furiously down the campaign trail. And now that clown from Manhattan - if you believe the GOP establishment - has the nerve to wear the yellow jersey. Donald Trump is out in front in the latest poll, by CNN and ORC with 18% support, even among GOP voters. While Donald on steroids is unsettling to say the least, it's more likely that his cheating centers on his hair color, if we need to accuse him of something. And the GOP establishment is frantic over Donald and do indeed accuse him. Not to say Trump does not say outrageous things. But his support is growing and he really is an indication of a groundswell of anger among Republican voters.

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Planned Parenthood, Genetics, and Organ-Trading

Posted by Keeley on July 27, 2015 at 8:04 PM

From sexual slavery in first world countries where women from abroad are brought in to be exotic dancers and prostitutes in a dangerous underworld of sex, drugs, and money; to the trading of organs stripped from the fetus - unborn child would be a better description but let's stick to medical terminology - a woman and her child are commodities with precious little rights. While Planned Parenthood would seem a long way from a strip club that beats and imprison's it's female slave labor, they share a contempt for human dignity, all the while, in Planned Parenthood's case, professing to edify and uphold human rights. And they share a common source - broadly speaking - our liberation from repressive sexual mores. So, in today's long-liberated world pornography abounds, protected by a perversion - in every sense of the word - of freedom of expression. And the sex industry is global and omnivorous. And pregnancy and birth and life, are shaded meanings where us men are told to wait uncomfortably at the margins while women debate over their bodies and lives.

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Scott Walker and National Security

Posted by Keeley on July 22, 2015 at 7:53 PM

Scott Walker is not into Nation-Building with capital letters, but he is into protecting America's National Security Interests. And that will be limited to "areas where Americans trade or travel." Ok ... so that would be just about every corner of the planet? In other words, defending national security interests can logically lead you into just about every conflict anywhere. And when oil is involved - given that America still needs oil imports despite shale drilling - there is an economic component that is hard to ignore.

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Special Agent Reinhold Needs to Call It Terrorism

Posted by Keeley on July 17, 2015 at 7:07 PM

Soft-spoken with a sense of humor and if not quite local, he did go to high school in the Chattanooga area. He's 24 and owns his own house, valued at $206,000 which is not bad for a young adult just two years out of UTC with a degree in engineering. And he's almost certainly now an IS-inspired killer, with 4 Marines dead at a Navy recruiting center as a result of his hate-filled shooing spree. Bill Killian, the Eastern Tennessee DA stated clearly "We are treating this as an act of domestic terrorism." The facts line up squarely behind the DA's position with recent IS calls through social media asking for lone crazies to attack military facilities in America and elsewhere to coincide with Ramadam.

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Hillary and the New Gilded Age

Posted by Keeley on July 13, 2015 at 8:15 PM

A slow growth U.S. economy is the bane of the middle class. Or is it the bane of the wealthy as well? While consumer demand is repeatedly signaled out as the engine of American economic growth, containing costs in a globalized economy with China's underpaid work force producing low-cost goods has meant stagnant nominal wages and falling real wages. Falling to such an extent that some studies show that for those not in the top 10% of income earners, wages are where they were in 1987. And for those not in the top 1%, wages are stuck at 1998 levels. As well, wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of the top 1%, or even the top 0.1%. Thanks in part to the collapse of housing which has not rebounded the way stocks have. We are, it seems, in a new Gilded Age.

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Donald Promises a Wall and the Latino Vote

Posted by Keeley on July 9, 2015 at 7:27 PM

Byron York in an interview with Donald Trump kept pressing him on the possibility of him running as an independent. Trump resisted York's seductive advances until finally yielding near the end of the interview. He admitted that he has often been asked the question, but reaffirmed the view that a third party candidate would only ensure 4 years of another Clinton in the White House. And while some analysts insist that the conventional wisdom over the 92 election is wrong, Trump is probably right on this. So how long will the self-described conservative Republican remain battling it out with the rest of the GOP field?

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Trump Goes Too Far but Should Take a Bow

Posted by Keeley on July 6, 2015 at 8:18 PM

The Trump bomb on illegal immigration could also be characterized, unfortunately, as a flare: illuminating voter anger over the border and over what GOP voters perceive as a lack of law enforcement. On the border and inside the borders in terms of the deportation/amnesty divide. Trump's comments were blunt and even racist, but they can also be seen as a far more direct statement of what many GOP candidates have already proclaimed: the border must be enforced and the lack of enforcement has consequences within America. Ted Cruz did not denounce Trump, unlike many other GOP candidates like Bush and Rubio. And as well, what is essentially a problem between Mexico and the USA becomes a pan-Hispanic issue with all Latinos rallying to denounce the Trump and his bombast.

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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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