Romney could have kept killer behind bars

SHIRLEY, Mass.A killer accused in the slaying of a newlywed couple in Washington state shortly after he was released from prison in Massachusetts should have been held behind bars for almost a year longer, but the Romney administration failed to file paperwork in time to take away his “good time” credits.

A Department of Correction superintendent, under then-Gov. Mitt Romney, did not act on a disciplinary recommendation to strip 300 days of credit from Daniel Tavares after he was accused of threats to prison staff in 2003, state officials announced Friday in releasing results of a probe into the Tavares case.

Because of the paperwork error, Tavares was allowed to keep nearly a year’s worth of “good days” to complete his sentence June 14. Five months later, newlyweds Brian and Beverly Mauck were killed in Graham, Wash., allegedly by Tavares.

“He would have still been incarcerated. We are very dismayed. He was violent,” Correction Commissioner Harold Clarke said at a news conference Friday. “This is an individual who should not have been released any earlier than required.”

Listening to Howard Dean

This afternoon’s Rush Limbaugh Show, hosted by Mark Belling, featured a semi-restrained rant by the host against Mike Huckabee. I listened to one segment of the show, as time allowed. According to Belling, other than the two issues of gay marriage and abortion, reading the words of Mike Huckabee is virtually indistinguishable from reading the words of John Edwards.

Belling needed only to include Mike’s pro-Second Amendment stance, and he would have scored the Howard Dean Trifecta:

I am tired of coming to the South and fighting elections on guns, God and gays.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m picking on Belling. Rudy Guiliani said much the same thing with his statement on social issues a few months back:

“Our party has to get beyond issues like that.”

Jeffery Lord in the American Spectator tried a similar tack in a blistering piece today, assailing Huckabee for “attacking Reaganomics.”

So while it does not surprise that there are class warrior Democrats attacking the idea of economic opportunity as “greed” and promising all manner of ways to pit one group against another, it is startling indeed to hear the following from a Republican presidential front runner — former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Lord makes no specific references to Huckabee’s policy positions, but instead relies on statements by The Club for Growth as the arbiter of true conservatism. Any serious observer of the Republican Primary season understands that the The Club for Growth has been anything but an honest broker with regards to Huckabee specifically, and generally, any Republican who fails to meet the small-tent definition of conservatism they espouse.

The idea troubles that the nominee of the conservative party could be someone who fails to understand that his apparent scorn for “Wall Street” could resonate negatively with the almost 50 percent of the American population who are now shareholders — because of Ronald Reagan. Does Huckabee really believe that all these millions of people are therefore “greedy”? That economic growth as exemplified by Reaganomics is nothing more than a show-stopping parade of excess by out of control Middle Americans? If in fact in his heart- of-hearts he has some sort of contempt for the Reagan agenda — and the Reagan economic accomplishments that restored America to its place as the shining city on a hill — Governor Huckabee will soon find himself doing his best to balance on a stool that is missing a leg.

Do Mr. Lord, Mr. Belling, and others actually believe that the Club for Growth represents the 50 percent of Americans who own a small piece of Wall Street in their 401(k)’s?

Please.

The Club for Growth represents The Club for Growth. Their crusade for ideological purity is largely responsible for the loss of the Senate in 2006. If the Club for Growth is such a serious and respected group policy wonks, as Lord suggests, then why haven’t they successfully answered the leftist mantra of “Tax Cuts for the Rich?” Answer that and you take the whole “Greed” issue off the table.

There is only one reason that the left trots out that line: It works.

If the smartest guys in the room at The Club for Growth can’t answer that, then maybe they’re not so smart after all. And, maybe their personal crusade against Mike Huckabee has cost them in credibility in ways that they cannot yet fathom. And maybe, just maybe the middle class, gun-toting, Bible believing, wife-loving, foot soldiers of the Reagan coalition just don’t believe the Club for Growth anymore, and couldn’t care less about what the American Spectator says, and are just as likely to tell NRO and WSJ to go jump in the lake as not.

Try this experiment: Go back just a couple of years and find any Mitt Romney speech concerning the social issues, right to life, defense of marriage, and the right to keep and bear arms. Any of them, it doesn’t matter. Now, close you eyes as you listen and you just might think you’re listening to ….. John Kerry.

Get it?

Paulian poge or imposter?

Or patriot, maybe? There’s no way for me to know for sure.

I ran across a website diary authored by “captainj0e” while browsing over at Free Republic. Captainj0e is a Ron Paul guy who claims to be serving his second tour of duty in Iraq.

Frankly, I haven’t spent enough time around the Paulians to be able to recognize their rhetoric, but this guy uses rhetoric that is straight out of DailyPos:

I KNOW that most soldiers agree with ME … that we shouldn’t be in Iraq. Many soldiers are itching to go hunt down Bin Laden, but that’s not what the terrorists in the White House want. [emphasis mine]

And, here is an often-repeated claim:

Ron Paul has more campaign donations from Active Duty Military and Veterans than any other candidate.

Has anyone ever verified this claim? Or, is it like the Hillary Clinton claim of “35 years of experience” that is repeated so often that no one bothers to challenge it anymore, especially since any documentation that might support her claim is safely locked away.

Captainj0e writes a campaign letter supporting Ron Paul, and promises to mail it to 100 voters in every state before the primaries. He closes with this disclaimer,

“Of course I hand-write the addresses on the envelope, and each letter is personalized and has my real name (which I choose not to post here).”

It’s probably wise of captainnj0e to preserve his anonymity, considering that whole UCMJ thing. And, if he’s for real, he has certainly earned the right to express his opinion. But, I dunno, my BS meter is pegged out on this one.

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Fred campaign broke, dropping out?

Politico has an interesting piece on Fred Thompson’s campaign.  Staggering, broke, and about to drop out of the race?

When I got a generic fundraising e-mail “from” Fred Thompson campaign manager Bill Lacy last night offering “a quick update” on the effort to get “on the air statewide in Iowa,” I didn’t take it literally.

I should have.

Fred has gone dark in Iowa.

With not enough cash to buy ads, he’s doing all the free media he can on his bus tour.   But it’s a remarkable indicator of just how topsy-turvy the GOP race has been that the man once viewed as the party’s savior cannot even afford to buy TV time in the final days before Iowa.

TIME NEVER DIES

Sercan Ondem

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