Huckabee in Nebraska

Great speech today in Omaha by Mike Huckabee.

h/t Robt D

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Attacking Sarah Palin: A familiar ring

The anonymous attacks on Gov. Sarah Palin have a familiar ring to me.

I was thinking about this after hearing Carl Cameron’s report on Fox, and after reading several other kneecap-recaps as reported in the blogosphere. I have no way of verifying my suspicions, so I haven’t commented on it. But, since the stealth attackers probably won’t be identified any time soon, I might as well go ahead and put forth my thoughts. If proven wrong, I’ll admit it — unlike those faceless cowards who started this.

I started noticing the similarities after reading and re-reading M.O.R.’s post-election rant. Following one of his links led me to the adjective “odious” which was used to describe religious conservatives. I couldn’t help but wonder about that, as I am one of those very same “odious” voters (who, incidentally supply about 40% of the Republican turnout). I wasn’t too terribly surprised by the animosity: it is really nothing new. Tolerating religious conservatives as a necessary part of the voting coalition is something that other conservatives have learned to become accustomed to, if not become altogether comfortable with, since Mr. Reagan cobbled together a winning strategy in 1980.

Neither are we altogether comfortable with them. But, there are enough interests in common to remain a viable political coalition.

A great example came in the last round of primaries, when moneyed interests within the Republican party decided to inject themselves into primary politics, not that there’s anything wrong with supporting one’s self interest. There isn’t. But, their tactics were, to use M.O.R.’s description, odious. Their preemtive and innuendo-laced attack destroyed the candidacy of the only religious conservative in the fold. It seems that this group would much prefer to continue to occupy a position of influence within a significantly smaller Republican coalition rather than have a religious conservative at the helm.

Interestingly enough, these people were completely silent in the general election; their money and advertising budgets unused. They did not get their candidate in the primaries, so they sat out the general election, only to emerge in the aftermath to attempt the same innuendo-based attacks on the next promising religious conservative. The preemptive attack on Sarah Palin is of the same tenor, tenacity, and calumny.

Sources in the McCain campaign? Bah, this smells like The Club for Growth.

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Belmont Debate

Here are a couple of items from tonight’s debate that sent a tingle up my leg ….

This snippet from Obama on government spending (from CNN transcript, emphasis mine),

“So we’re going to have to make some investments, but we’ve also got to make spending cuts. And what I’ve proposed, you’ll hear Sen. McCain say, well, he’s proposing a whole bunch of new spending, but actually I’m cutting more than I’m spending so that it will be a net spending cut.”

A net spending cut? That’s the first time I’ve heard this. It is nowhere to be found at his website. Perhaps he has detailed these spending cuts somewhere else. Or perhaps it is similar to the so-called “peace dividend” of the Clinton Administration when only the Defense budget was cut.

In fact, Major Garrett reporting on Fox News stated that the Obama Campaign described the spending cuts as a combination of savings that will be realized by withdrawing from Iraq, and by sunsetting the rate reductions in the Tax Reform Act of 2001. In other words, there are no targeted spending cuts in any government spending programs at all.

And later, responding to another question on fiscal policy, Obama said,

“It means looking at the spending side, but also at the revenue side. I mean, Sen. McCain has been talking tough about earmarks, and that’s good, but earmarks account for about $18 billion of our budget.

Now, when Sen. McCain is proposing tax cuts that would give the average Fortune 500 CEO an additional $700,000 in tax cuts, that’s not sharing a burden.”

If I’m doing my math correctly, 500 CEO’s getting a $700k tax cut comes to some $350 million. A tidy sum, to be sure, but it pales next to the $18 Billion in earmark pork barrel spending that Obama minimizes. The fact that Obama himself has requested more in earmark pork barrel spending than would be raised by his targeting of the CEO’s of the Fortune 500 speaks for itself. This was a poorly played piece of class warfare, but it does speak to the need of the Right to put the TCFTR meme to bed once and for all.

Huck, are you listening?

Goin’ vertical

It’s “Vertical Day” at Mike Huckabee’s website. The former campaign website has been transformed to become the new home for Huck-PAC, and promises to endorse the candidates who will support the ideas and efforts the Huckabee campaign. And, it’s off to a great start.

“Vertical politics” relate to issues which are neither Left nor Right, but seek to lift everyone “Up”.

Here is what Governor Huckabee says about it:

If you followed my campaign for President than you may remember the first “Vertical Day” we held on September 24 of last year. On a day when many said we should have focused on our fundraising for that “all important” 3rd quarter financial report, we instead focused on the issues. I blogged about the issues, answered questions about specific issues and used video to speak to voters about issues important to our campaign. We also featured guest blog posts from key supporters of the campaign, supportive bloggers and a guest post from Newt Gingrich. We had a great time and received lots of positive feedback from supporters.

The campaign also featured a post from this blog. Cool, huh?

Today’s event also invites readers to submit there own ideas to some pretty serious challenges facing our nation:

-How would you control spending in Washington?

-How would you make America energy independent?

-What would you do to improve our education system?

-What would you do to improve our health care system?

-What sort of tax reform do you think America needs to boost our economy?

-What steps would you take to promote conservation and good stewardship of the environment?

Weighty issues, indeed. Here is where I would begin on the economy/tax reform/business ethics question…..

President Bush is catching some flak for saying that the core of our economic problem is that “Wall Street got drunk.” I think there is a lot of truth in that very blunt assessment. And, within that assessment lies the key to possibly fixing the problem.

Derivative investments, with their lack of transparency, and lack of a consistent method for fair valuation are a ticking bomb which threatens to wreck our economic system. Here is what I propose to begin getting back on the right track.

Tie executive compensation directly to the derivative investments held within that company’s asset portfolio. Compensation over and above $1,000,000 per year must be paid out in the form of these financial products, as valued on the company’s most recent 10-K. In addition, instead of granting incentive-based stock options in company stock, require that companies first use their existing portfolio of derivatives.

The way I see it is, if these “financial products” are good enough to invest the hard-earned stockholder’s equity in, then they’re good enough to pay the top execs with. Oh yeah, and those multi-million dollar severance packages? You guessed it. Forget paying those out in cash. Pay them out in “financial products” instead.

Obviously, the derivatives problem is not going to go away overnight. But, I’ll wager that if the top execs understand that the gravy train is over, and their own compensation will be directly affected by dabbling in these disasters, then they will begin to address the underlying challenges of transparency and valuation.

Sound too simplistic? Well, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

For more solutions, click on over to Huck-PAC

Later, y’all.
=====

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Mississippi on my mind

I just got this email from Mike Huckabee…

Last night was a reminder of what a tough year this will be for Republicans. The loss of the Congressional seat in Mississippi was tough. We had a great candidate, but the Democrat very effectively ran as a pro life, pro 2nd amendment conservative. I’m convinced that for the GOP to have wins this year we have to focus on specific issues and not party building (for us) or party bashing (against them).

What do you think the GOP needs to do to reverse the slide in support and start winning elections? LINK

You know, Mike. A few months ago, you spent a great deal of time talking about Vertical Politics: policies and issues which were neither right nor left, but were about lifting everyone up. Is was an effective message. We conservatives truly believe that conservative principles are the very essence of Vertical Politics. The abandonment of conservative principles by the Republican Party is the main reason for the election losses.

There’s more.

High gas prices, the war, and the overall general funk that I tie up in a neat little ball called “Bush Fatigue.” The general public blames the Republicans for all of the ills in the world, and the President won’t defend himself or the Party. And even when he tries, he is so inarticulate that we cringe every time he steps up to the microphone.

Mike, we’ve been waiting to go on offense since the budget battle of ’96. But, one by one, we’ve watched our leadership get picked off by a sex or money scandal, and all our time has been spent on defense. And then we get junk coming out of the Congress like Foley, Abramoff, Delay, Ney, and Cunningham, Craig, and now Vito …… and uncontrolled spending, and bigger and more obtrusive government programs … illegal immigration out the wazoo, and the President, as well as our presumptive nominee, on record as supporting a path to citizenship for those who have entered here illegally (just doing jobs Americans won’t do, my foot), even going so far as to tie the hands of the border enforcement agents charged with a near impossible and thankless task. The fact that Compean and Ramos are still in a jail cell irks us to no end.

The fact is, we’re mad, Mike. But not so much at the Democrats. They aren’t doing anything that we don’t expect out of them. They’ve behaved disgustingly, and continue to do so. No, we’re mad at the Republicans for not carrying the fight to the Democrats. We vote for men and women who promise to fight the good fight when they are back home campaigning, but when they get to DC, they seem to be interested only in being liked by the opposition, lining their pockets, or getting their groove on. Our elected representatives have refused to stand up and fight for our principles, and we don’t see any real advantage to returning them to DC.

I’m going to tell you something else, Mike. If John McCain doesn’t get off this global warming kick, he’s going to need a heck of a lot of crossover voters in order to win — because there are a whole bunch of us who will not vote for him if he stabs us in the back. Again.
++++

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Huckabee voter issue guide

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1. With ten-and-a-half years of experience running state government, Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas has more relevant executive experience than any candidate in the race – either Republican or Democrat.

2. Recognized and tapped by his peers for leadership, the National Governor’s Association selected Governor Huckabee as it’s Chairman.

3. TIME Magazine honored him as one of the five best Governors in America.

4. Governor Huckabee is a fiscal conservative who cut taxes almost 100 times in the state of Arkansas, including the state’s first broad-based tax cuts, and turned a $200 million deficit into an $850 million surplus.

ISSUES
1. TAXES/ECONOMY –Governor Huckabee supports The FairTax because it will restore the “Made in America” label, making American goods 12-25% more competitive, boosting economic growth, increasing our exports, and securing American jobs. It also prevents criminals or illegal aliens from avoiding taxes, and makes the taxes we all pay 100% transparent.

2. GOVERNMENT SPENDING – Governor Huckabee is committed to reducing government spending. One way he’ll do this is by reducing the cost of welfare. Governor Huckabee will work with states to reduce welfare roles through programs like the one he implemented in Arkansas, which reduced welfare roles by 50%.

3. HEALTH CARE –Governor Huckabee will implement a consumer-based healthcare system that emphasizes preventative medicine and wellness. Because 70% of our $2 trillion dollar healthcare costs is spent treating chronic, preventable diseases, this approach will make healthcare more affordable for everybody while keeping us healthier.

4. FAMILY VALUES –Governor Huckabee supports a federal constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. He Successfully fought for Arknasas’ marriage amendment and strongly supports a similar, federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

5. IMMIGRATION –Governor Huckabee will secure the border (with physical barriers, electronic surveillance, and more border-patrol personnel and detention facilities). He will also end sanctuary cities and increase penalties on, and enforcement against, employers who hire illegal immigrants. Governor Huckabee will make sure the border patrol has adequate funding to end our “catch and release” system so that everyone caught trying to enter illegally, overstaying their visa, or committing a crime will be held until they’re tried, convicted, and deported. Gov. Huckabee has also signed the Numbers USA “No Amnesty” Pledge.

6. WAR ON TERROR AND IRAQ – Governor Huckabee knows it takes a large, well-equipped military to ensure our national defense and to deter conventional military confrontations. He also knows we need large, well-equipped intelligence and Special Forces operations for our national offense – so we can effectively find and eliminate terrorist threats at home or abroad. Governor Huckabee will be a Commander in Chief who knows that IF WE HAVE TO FIGHT A WAR, our President has to fight it the way our GENERALS tell him it can be won, not the way we want it to be won.

7. ENERGY INDEPENDENCE –Governor Huckabee will implement a program to end the import of foreign oil in the next ten years by increasing domestic oil production in the short term, and then replacing oil-based energy infrastructure with alternative and renewable energies.

8. CLEMENCIES – Arkansas Governors grant clemency, but the parole board grants parole. Wayne DuMond’s parole was granted by the board and NOT Governor Huckabee.

9. TAXES –When Governor Huckabee left office, the tax rates remained exactly the same as when he first came into office. Governor Huckabee returned almost $400 million to Arkansas taxpayers, and he also DOUBLED the standard deduction for individuals and married couples, DOUBLED the childcare tax credit, and eliminated the marriage penalty. He also repealed capital gains taxes for home sales, lowered the capital gains rate by 25%, expanded the homestead exemption, and set up tax-free savings accounts for medical care and college tuition.  Gov. Huckabee has also signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge not to raise taxes.

10. SECOND AMENDMENT
• Lifetime member of the NRA, member for over 15 years
• First Governor to have concealed-carry permit
• Removed restrictions on carry permit holders
• Protected gun manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits
• Opposes reauthorization of the Assault Weapon Ban
• Opposes expansion of the unconstitutional “Brady Bill”
• Opposes waiting period for purchase of firearms
• Opposes background checks on private firearms transactions at gun shows
• Will nominate judges who interpret the constitution as the Founders intended, rather than as a “living document reflecting current political trends or opinions”
• An avid hunter and conservationist, and a member of the Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation and BASS.

Read more at MikeHuckabee.com 

Hey Virginia — Look at this before you vote, part 2

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