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    Wednesday, December 31, 2008

    2008: My Year in Review


    What a year it has been.

    First, in January I moved to Tallahassee, Florida. What on God’s green earth would possess a Miami Hurricane fan to move to the land of the Florida State Seminoles? Well, I guess it was for liberty and to be a part of shaping the future of our sunshine state.

    I joined The James Madison Institute, Florida’s premier free-market think tank. So far, the first year as Director of Development for JMI has been great! I have enjoyed my time there, including getting to know my great colleagues, and learning all about public policy issues that affect our state. And, I have continued to learn about the challenges of trying to preserve liberty when government continues to just want to grow! More government = less individual freedom. At JMI we realize we have to continue to provide solutions in the free-market to allow Floridians to continue to enjoy an environment that promotes individual freedom and personal responsibility.

    As if my job didn’t keep me busy enough, me and two friends decided to write a book, Who is the Real Barack Obama? For the rising generation; by the rising generaton. The book was written for an audience of young voters and warning everyone that Barack Obama isn’t going to bring any real “change.” But it was more than just about Obama, it also is about what our generation can do to preserve liberty and continue this great experiement in self-government.

    Despite our book, Obama did do a nice job taking the “brand” of “change” and committing himself to that brand. His sales job to America and his ability to fundraise using new online technologies and social mobilization has to make us all impressed. The GOP nominating an aging John McCain didn’t really help them much. But I was still surprised to see America elect an avowed socialist with little experience, with close ties to a radical preacher, a domestic terrorist, and other dubious associations. However, I’m not surprised by the associations that are continuing to haunt Obama (Blagojevich anyone?) and the fact that he isn’t bringing any real “change” to Washington – just more of the same – Washington D.C. insiders, mostly connected to the Clinton administration.

    For a conservative like myself, this is actually welcome news. Obama isn’t taking the country as far to the Left as he has been throughout his entire lifetime (as we demonstrated clearly in the book). But, I still worry that he will creep us slowly to the Left without us realizing it. Obama is a smart politician, after all. He knows we live in a center-right country and America didn’t elect him because he is a socialist. They elected him because he promised not to be another George W. Bush.

    After an embarassing election year, I worry most about the future of respectable journalism in this country.

    Unfortunately, the Bush legacy and the Obama legacy may be one in the same – on foreign and economic issues, that is. As our economy waned, the so-called believer in free-markets, George W. Bush told America that the government needed to “bailout” Wall Street. This wouldn’t be the cure-all for the economy, but would help it, he said. Obama agreed. So did John McCain. Do we have any real leaders any more?

    Some are now referring to this period as the “Bush-Obama bailout,” which seems to continue each week as the government decides to continue forking out billions (now trillions) of dollars to all sorts of industry, at taxpayer expense. We continue to mount the debt that may cause our nation’s own internal destruction. I continue to recommend this piece by JMI scholar and FSU economics professor Randall Holcombe: Government's Actions Encouraged Wall Street's Risky Business (pdf).

    Thankfully, Bush’s commitment to Iraq has proved a success. Unfortunately for John McCain, as our troops succeeded, the war became less of an issue. And McCain himself told us that the economy wasn’t his strong suit (gaffe!). Obama continued to lie to the American people about who he is and what he really believes, and the American electorate bought the smart liar over the honest idiot. Either way, this election season proved that we need better leadership in this country and a better way to educate the electorate, who didn’t seem to know much about the candidates and the issues, and much less so about the role of government as articulated in the U.S. Constitution.

    Ok, so back to my year in review: I traveled around Florida meeting lots of JMI members and seeing good friends and family. This is such a great, big, beautiful state. I was everywhere, from Pensacola, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Tampa, Naples, Orlando, Gainesville, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and of course Palm Beach.

    I gave lectures about the Obama book at Arizona State, Florida State, the University of Georgia, and LSU. I even got to enjoy a good Georgia-Vanderbilt game in perhaps the best college town in America: Athens, GA. On average, 60 people attended each lecture, with about 80% or more of them being against Obama. The rest engaged me in some good civil dialogue on the issues. It was an enjoyable experience, as me and my co-authors appeared on various local and national radio programs and blogged incessantly on our book website trying to get the ideas out there.

    I also traveled back to D.C. once this year, in April, for a conference and to visit some friends. I even ventured to Midland, Michigan for a conference at the Mackinac Center (the equivalent of The James Madison Institute in Michigan). While I lectured on the book and attended the State Policy Network’s conference in Scottsdale, AZ, I also spent some time with my good friend Teddy Sifert and his family, enjoying the heat of Arizona (even in September), shooting some guns in the mountainous forests of Arizona, and enjoying the great outdoors of the American frontier.

    In Tallahassee, I made lots of great new friends, which I am grateful for… whether on the tennis court or in the church pews. I am part of a great young adult Catholic group in Tallahassee called the Frassati Society – we have some great adventures in the outdoors, including our recent hike in Florida's Torreya State Park, about an hour from Tallahassee.

    Thanks to being back in the year-round warm weather of Florida, my tennis game has benefited from being able to play a couple times a week on a regular basis and finding good players all around town. I even ventured over to Pensacola for my local USTA tennis team’s regional playoff. 95 degree weather in July. Hot, humid, sticky, and sweaty. You gotta love it.

    Perhaps the biggest thing for me in 2008 was that I bought a house! On September 15, I moved into a very nice, brand new 3-bed/3.5 bath townhome in the Southwood community of Tallahassee. It was a moment of accomplishment for me and it now gives me a sense of permanence after moving around from place to place. I even scored a good roommate and hope to score perhaps one more in 2009.

    Finally, 2008 has ended with a bang as my Miami Dolphins shocked the nation, going from 1-15 last year to an 11-5 record this year, winning the AFC East division and making the playoffs. That was all I wanted for Christmas, and they delivered. On Sunday, I will be going to their first home playoff game at Dolphins Stadium in Miami. A great big thank you goes out to Brett Favre for returning to the NFL, specifically to the Jets, and allowing the Jets to dump Chad Pennington, who ended up being the savior for the Miami Dolphins.

    God help the Dolphins, my tennis game, the new President-elect, and the nation in 2009. Most importantly, may the New Year bring YOU and yours many blessings.

    I hope we get to enjoy some good memories in 2009.

    -- Francisco

    Monday, December 22, 2008

    Have A Blessed Feast of Christ's Nativity


    This has been a busy year, a busy holiday season. It's been so busy, I haven't been able to find the time (or the energy) to go out, buy Christmas cards, and send them out to everyone. I keep thinking, I know I'm going to forget someone. As I was frantically thinking of this "chore" many of us try to do each Christmas season, it got me thinking of a few things:

    1. The loss of permanence: It seems that each year, it gets harder and harder to actually mail Christmas cards to family and friends. Many of us are constantly moving (myself included!) With all the people I have been blessed to have in my life, I couldn't tell you where every single one of them is right now. Of course, many of us "take flight" to the skies (or the roads) often and so we are busy traveling around. But still many others of us do more than that kind of travel, we seem to constantly be moving - from job to job, city to city. Does anyone stay "rooted" anywhere anymore? Where are we going? What are we looking for?

    2. Social networking helps? I guess it does. I have found the best ways to keep track of everyone in this "brave new world" is best done through email and social networking platforms like Facebook and MySpace. Shoot, I've even resorted to a blog (again!) to send out my impersonal Christmas card. Social networking via the world wide web seems to help us keep in touch, but it breeds an impersonal nature. Forgive me for contributing further to this decline. Are we more connected, but yet less connected? I look forward to having a good conversation with each one of you in the coming year. I can tell you every simple conversation I have these I appreciate. Every deep conversation are some of the most joyous moments of my life.

    3. Staying busy with white noise: With the internet, crackberries (yes, I just caved in and got one), social networking sites, cell phones, i-Pods and all the things that are supposed to free up our time, keep us more connected, and keep us entertained, we seem to be more busy, more distracted, and less satisfied - as individuals. Are we doing less with more? Are we getting more done? Are we really entertained? If so, are we forgetting to stop, pause, think, and reflect? During some day trips I took this year, I went hiking with friends. It was good to just get away, to take in nature, and to just soak up the time spent away from the things that are meant to entertain us. And, getting outdoors with good friends in places away from distraction breeds good conversation, and elevates the soul.

    What does this all mean at Christmas? So what does this all mean at Christmas? Let us pause for a moment and reflect on a signature Christmas song that can help us all with the loss of permanance, the impersonal nature of our brave new world, and the busyness and noisyness of life. The song I am thinking of is: "Silent Night." You may be busy at the moment, but please take a deep breath, pause and reflect (slowly if possible) on these lyrics:


    Silent night, holy night
    All is calm, all is bright
    Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
    Holy Infant so tender and mild
    Sleep in heavenly peace
    Sleep in heavenly peace

    Silent night, holy night!
    Shepherds quake at the sight
    Glories stream from heaven afar
    Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
    Christ, the Saviour is born
    Christ, the Saviour is born

    Silent night, holy night
    Son of God, love's pure light
    Radiant beams from
    Thy holy face
    With the dawn of redeeming grace
    Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
    Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth


    Take a look at those lyrics again. There is nothing more glorious than the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is what we celebrate this Christmas - that God entered humanity to save humanity. To the Austrian priest who first wrote these lines in 1816, it took a "silent night" to appreciate the awe of this moment.

    In large cities, tall skyscrapers, noise, and the busyness of life seem to get in the way of God - and of appreciating the stillness of our souls. That is why when you are out in the rural countryside, where the sky opens up, the traffic disappears, and the stars ("heavenly hosts") brighten the sky, that is why they call it "God's country." It is no surprise then that this song alludes to "shepherds" who "quake at the sight" (the sight of God entering humanity). Shepherds don't typically roam the cities. They are out in "God's country."

    Christmas seems to be the busiest of seasons in our life, but there are also moments this season that allow us to pause, reflect, and open up our souls to all that God has to offer. It is only in a "silent night" that we can begin to see "Radiant beams from Thy Holy Face" and have the opportunity to "Sleep in Heavenly Peace." (How often have we slept that well lately?)

    May you and yours enjoy this Blessed Feast of Christ's Nativity. May you have a "silent night," a "holy night," and "sleep in heavenly peace."

    St. Thomas Aquinas: No. 1 Football Team in America


    My alma mater, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, has earned the mythical national championship. All the polls are unanimous: the Raiders have secured the #1 national ranking after whooping Lakeland for back-t0-back Florida 5A State Championships.




    Thursday, December 18, 2008

    Politically Correct Seasonal Greeting


    A politically correct seasonal greeting that I got as the result of a forward from a friend. I thought it was prertty funny (and sadly, not so funny to some).


    For My Conservative Friends: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


    For My Liberal Friends: Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

    I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

    By accepting these greetings, you are accepting the aforementioned terms as stated. This greeting is not subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself/himself/others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

    Wednesday, December 03, 2008

    Get these RINO's out of the Party

    The following so-called "Republicans" (RINO'S) supported Barack Hussein Obama Jr. for President. Please join me in excommunicating them from the Republican Party by reposting this list and/or sending it to all your Republican contacts!

    Jeffrey Hart, National Review Senior Editor
    Christopher Buckley, son of the founder of National Review.
    Former Los Angeles Mayor, Richard Riordan.
    Former Maryland Congressman, Wayne Gilchrest.
    Former Bush Secretary of State, Colin Powell.
    Former Bush Press Secretary, Scott McClellan.
    Former Reagan White House Chief of Staff, Ken Duberstein.
    Former Reagan Solicitor General, Charles Fried
    Former Reagan White House Counsel, Douglas Kmiec.
    Former Governor Massachusetts, William Weld.
    Former Rhode Island Senator, Lincoln Chafee.
    Former Governor Minnesota, Arne Carlson.
    Former Governor and Senator Connecticut, Lowell Weicker.
    Former Governor Virginia, Linwood Holton.
    Former Governor Michigan, William Milliken.
    Former South Dakota Senator, Larry Pressler.
    Former Iowa Congressman, Jim Leach.V

    * For the record, there are many other RINO's that actually did not support Obama and supported McCain that I would also like to excommunicate from the party. But, we'll save that for another day.

    DISCLAIMER: Just because someone doesn't vote for a Republican doesn't mean you should "excommunicate" them from the party. But to actually vote FOR Barack Obama... well, that just defies logic, as Obama stands against just about every conservative principle.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Stupid Electorate?

    A recent Zogby poll shows that only 32% of voters knew that Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. Since 2006, Democrats have controlled both houses - and 68% of voters in 2008 had no idea.

    This is just one more reason why we need a more educated electorate. This information is pretty easy to find out. Turn on your nightly news maybe one hour a week, and you would have learned this pretty quick. Now, if voters do not know something about our contemporary political situation, what do they know about the U.S. Constitution and how our government works? The answers may be frightening.

    Think you might want to start down that road of learning the first principles of American government? Here's a good place to start.

    Who Bails Out the Bail-Outor?

    In a great column in the Wall Street Journal, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford asked the question: "Who bails out the bail-outor?" The federal government is on a spending spree to "save" the economy - at the expense of the American taxpayer.

    I think I've heard this story before. Every time this kind of attempt is made, it doesn't work. Sanford even points out the problems that we are simply delaying: "Washington is short on cash these days and will borrow every dime of the $150 billion to $300 billion for the "stimulus" bill now being worked on. Federal appetites may know no bounds. But the federal government's ability to borrow is not limitless. Already, our nation's unfunded liabilities total $52 trillion -- about $450,000 per household. There's something very strange about issuing debt to solve a problem caused by too much debt."

    Then he asks, "Isn't government intervention supposed to be the last resort and come only when it can make a difference?"

    "In 2008 bailouts became the first resort. Over the past year the federal government has committed itself to $2.3 trillion (including the tax rebate "stimulus" checks of last February) to "improve" the economy. I don't see how another $150 billion now will make a difference in a global slowdown. We've already unloaded truckloads of sugar in a vain attempt to sweeten a lake. Tossing in a Twinkie will not make the difference."

    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    Understanding Taxes With Beer

    The following easy-to-follow story was put together by David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D., Professor of Economics from the University of Georgia.

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.
    If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers, he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so:
    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
    The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant the men began to compare their savings.

    'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man.He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!'

    'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too.It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!'

    'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man.'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!'

    'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all.The system exploits the poor!'

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important.They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

    Sunday, November 09, 2008

    How the Community Organizer Won Florida


    Some of us made fun of Barack Obama for being a community organizer - or rather, for having that on his resume for President. Truth be told, it may be that his community organizing skills were the PERFECT skills to run a successful campaign for the highest national office in the land.

    The Miami Herald just published an inside story to how Obama won Florida. In the last four months of the general election campaign, Obama's campaign registered 200,000 new voters in Florida, opened 50 state field offices, recruited 600,000 volunteers and allocated $40 million to fight John McCain. WOW. Did they say 600,000 volunteers? Just in Florida?

    Obama's Florida strategy was thorough and simple: ask every supporter to help, give every volunteer a job, register every eligible voter, get ''sporadic'' voters to the polls, and bring the campaign to every pocket of the state. Conservatives: this is what we must do beginning now.

    Obama's campaign did it by dividing the state into five regions, or ''pods,'' each with its own staff and message geared to regional concerns. It harnessed social networking on the Internet and cell phones to allow grassroots organizers set up their own voter registration drives, home-grown phone banks and text messaging chains.

    Florida represents a convergence of the national campaign's community-organizer approach and Steve Schale's (Obama's state director) view of the state, shaped by two years as political director for House Democrats in which he helped reverse the party's decline by wresting nine legislative seats from Republican control.

    A lesson learned for conservatives here in Florida and across the nation. Acquire skills by getting yourself involved in and organizing in your own community. And then build relationships with those on the ground and invest technologies, skills, and creative freedom to each regional and community campaign organizer on the ground. The community organizer learned his skills long ago in the streets of Chicago. It ultimately helped him win a national campaign for the highest office in the land.

    Wednesday, November 05, 2008

    Florida's new (GOP) house speaker: "I think we have momentum back"

    Ray Sansom (R-Destin), who takes over as the new Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives confirmed what I posted about in my blog earlier about conservatism remaining strong in the state of Florida.

    According to the St. Petersburg Times, in his first formal news conference this afternoon, House Speaker-designate Ray Sansom declared victory for conservatives in Florida despite the Obama win, citing weak Democratic performance in legislative races and passage of the gay marriage ban.

    "It was a great night for Florida House Republicans," Sansom said in Tallahassee. "I think we have momentum back on the Republican side. ... Florida is still very conservative."

    Florida: An Example of How Conservatives Win From Principle


    While defenders of freedom might feel like they've gotten a little kick in the butt last night, we too have reasons to be optimistic. First, I wrote a piece that appeared on our book's website about the election of Barack Obama. Even though I co-authored a book that was very critical of him, I think as Americans, we can all take something "good" out of this result:

    But, a few other brief notes. I apologize that Florida went to Obama. At least we kept it close (don't we always?). But, let me tell you where Florida came through.

    There are 25 U.S. Congressional seats in Florida. Before the night started, Republicans held 16 of them. We still hold 15. In essence, 60% of our U.S. congressional delegation remains in Republican control - most of whom are solid conservatives. While the GOP lost 2 seats, we won back the seat Mark Foley lost in 2006. So, we only had one net loss in a year where the GOP went down again hard nationally.

    Second, even with an Obama victory in our state, Florida passed (with 63% of the vote) a Marriage Protection Amendment for our state constitution. 60% of the vote is required to put something in Florida's state constiution. Our radical state supreme court shouldn't be able to touch that. I have a hunch that the large black turnout for Obama may have actually helped protect marriage as most blacks share the conservative social values.

    Third, our very conservative state legislature remains that way. There are a few close races and some recounts being done, but before election day, Republicans had a 77-43 majority in the Florida house and a 26-14 advantage in the state senate. It looks like it will be almost exactly that same control. Obama's victory in our state did not affect the rest of the dynamics here.

    The lesson for conservatives is right here in Florida: when you govern from principle, you win and your community, state, and nation is better for it. From my observation, most conservatives here in Florida do govern from principle. I can't say the same for our current Republican governor and he may pay the price in 2010. Voters here were obviously caught up in the "change" factor - as it relates to the national political scene - but they seem to like the way the state is governed. And, the passing of the marriage amendments here in Florida and in places like California, show that this nation is still one made up of traditional social values.

    So, there are reasons for conservatives to be optimistic - and as a Floridian, I challenge all conservatives around the nation to look to our state as an example. And despite the total Democrat Party control of the Whitet House and both houses of Congress, America is still the place where all things are possible. (Just ask Nancy Pelosi!)

    Wednesday, September 03, 2008

    Sarah Palin Comes Out Swinging


    In a speech delivered tonight to the Republican National Convention, Governor Sarah Palin accepted her nomination for the Vice Presidency. She makes history by becoming the first woman to get on the GOP ticket. She didn't just put on some make up and mosey on out there. She came out swinging!

    Here's some excerpts below.

    She takes on Obama's "experience" as a community organizer:

    "Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities."


    She takes on the media's abuse of her and her family:

    "I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country."


    She takes on the Leftists' roadblocks to energy security:

    "Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems - as if we all didn’t know that already. But the fact that drilling won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all. Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to lay more pipelines...build more nuclear plants...create jobs with clean coal...and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources. We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers."

    Sunday, August 24, 2008

    Redemption Day for Team USA


    This Olympics began with tragedy for Americans abroad. Two weeks ago, Todd Bachman, the father-in-law of Hugh McCutcheon, the coach of the U.S. men's volleyball team, was stabbed to death by a Chinese man. McCutcheon's mother-in-law, Barabar Bachman, was also stabbed and hospitalized. She remains in critical condition.

    Throughout the games, team members marked their shoes with the initials of Todd and Barbara Bachman as a gesture of sympathy and support. On the very last day of the Olympics, the U.S. men's volleyball team took home the gold, beating the world champion Brazilians in the gold medal match.

    Also on the final day of the Beijing Games, the USA men's basketball "Redeem Team" took home the gold, beating Spain 118-107 in the gold medal game. The team, led by star players Kobe Bryan, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, and Coach Mike Krzyzewski, came to Beijing, to "redeem" the losses suffered by previous U.S. men's basketball teams at the 2004 Athens games and in the world championship games.

    It truly was a day of redemption for Team USA. And, the United States had the most overall medals in the final medal count: 110 total medals. While China had the most number of gold medals (51 to the United States' 36), the host nation did not win the overall medal count, falling short by 10 medals, with 100.

    What a great 2 weeks in Beijing. Michael Phelps clearly stole the show, but Team USA also proved to be the best all-around nation in the summer games, once again. "USA! USA! USA!"

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008

    Michael Phelps: A Ron Paul Revolutionary?


    Ok, the Ron Paul Revolutionaries are getting a little giddy this week that Michael Phelps might be a Ron Paul supporter. Why? Well, Check out this article in the Baltimore Sun.

    Apparently one of Phelps' best friends, Olympic swimmer Erik Vendt (pictured with Phelps above at the U.S. Olympic trials in June), is a $200 donor to the Ron Paul campaign. Phelps’ coach is a conservative and is a McCain supporter. So, it seems with this influence, Phelps must be leaning towards freedom, though the article says he is pretty much “completely non-political.”

    More about swimmer Erik Vendt and his support for Ron Paul:
    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/specialevents/blog/2008/02/odds_and_ends_from_columbia.html

    Monday, August 18, 2008

    Video: School choice? "That's preposterous."

    School choice?

    "That's preposterous. You can't expect parents to make these choices. I mean how on earth would parents know which schools are best?"

    This and more in this cut from a British sitcom which is "required viewing" on school choice.



    Wednesday, August 13, 2008

    Order Your Copy of My New Book About Obama!


    I co-authored a book! It is titled: Who is the REAL Barack Obama? For the rising generation; by the rising generation. Two of my good friends, Steve Bierfeldt and Brendan Steinhauser, and myself, wrote this book, which just released this week. There is also a full website where you can learn all about the book and read daily posts from us, the authors. The website is: http://www.whoistherealbarackobama.com/

    Links from the website will direct you to how you can order the book.

    I encourage you to support us by buying a copy. And, if you like it enough, I encourage you to tell your friends and family and encourage them to buy copies.

    More importantly, if you are still contemplating whether or not to vote for Barack Obama (or know someone who is), I encourage you to read this book, which may help you decide if he is worth your vote. This book is NOT a long editorial, but based on the facts, as they are. The primary target audience is the "youth vote" (18-29 year olds). But, we believe it will also be highly useful to all voters.

    Also stay in touch with the website to learn about any and all press coverage we receive, as well as speaking engagements we pursue. Already, we have a number of requests to speak on college campuses and various venues. Thank you again for your support!

    Monday, August 11, 2008

    While the French talk smack, the U.S. deliver one


    "The U.S. men's 4x100m free relay team won gold Monday in the most exciting, most record-breaking, most amazing, thrilling, unbelievable relay anyone could ever imagine," NBCOlympics.com reports.


    Did you see this? I watched it live last night. I wasn't feeling terribly well this past weekend, and I really needed to get some sleep, but I stayed up to watch the Men's 4x100m free relay to see if the U.S. men just might do it. If you missed it, you have to watch the replay here.


    It wasn't looking good for them to take the gold, but they were fairly secure to get the silver. Just 50m left in the race, the French looked unbeatable. But then... Jason Lezak did the unthinkable. As one report said, "People always step up and do things out of the ordinary at the Olympics." Lezak's 100 m leg was the fastest split in relay history - 46.06 seconds.


    The top five teams in this race all BROKE the world record. The U.S. team SHATTERED it, coming ahead a full 4 seconds of the world record, and just 0.08 seconds ahead of the second place French team. It's amazing what the power of competition produces.


    Days ahead of the race, when asked about the American team, French swimmer Alain Bernard replied: "The Americans? We're going to smash them. That's what we came here for." Well to give him credit, perhaps Bernard didn't think the Americans could finish a full 4 seconds ahead of the previous world record time. But, it was Bernard who was so far ahead on that final leg. Perhaps some of his smack-talking got to his head.


    In the end, it was the American team that won the gold. That's now 2 individual golds for Michael Phelps in his quest to become the greatest Olympian ever. Whatever happens during the rest of the Olympic games, it is clear the U.S. mens swimming team didn't come here to talk smack, but rather to shatter records and take home some gold. In sports, you do your talking on the field of play (or in this case in the water).

    Sunday, August 10, 2008

    Experts: GOP to retain control in Florida

    Did you really doubt it? Free-market ideas are flowing across this state like never before. And the GOP is the more free-market oriented party in the state these days. Organizations like The James Madison Institute and the Americans for Prosperity-Florida chapter are growing and getting stronger.

    Meanwhile, in the actual political world, great leaders such as outgoing Speaker of Florida's House of Representatives Marco Rubio and his "100 Ideas" are helping create effective conservative leadership in the state of Florida.

    According to the liberal Gainesville Sun, experts expect the GOP to retain its nearly 2-to-1 advantage in the Florida House and Senate. Current and future legislators should pick up where former Speakers Allen Bense and Marco Rubio left off - leading the state by limiting the role of government and helping Floridians find solutions in the free-market. Their leadership shows that when conservatives lead from principle, they win. Hopefully conservatives in the rest of the nation will look to Florida as a model to emulate.

    Saturday, August 09, 2008

    President Bush having a ball at the Olympics


    If you watched the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics on NBC (whose coverage sucks by the way - I think there's more commercial time than actual event time), you may have noticed NBC continue to pan over to President Bush as he and Laura sat in the stands. At times, he looked almost bored during the parade of nations, slouching back in his seat, rolling up his program, and acting like... well, one of us.

    But then, when the USA team poured into the stadium, the President and the First Lady lept to their feet and waved their U.S. flags.
    The President got a little more into the action yesterday and today, as he attended women's basketball, caught some cycling, and even hit around a few volleyballs with the U.S. women's beach volleyball team.

    Read more here, with a full slideshow of President Bush sportin' it up in Beijing.

    U.S. women sweep medals in fencing; take first U.S. gold


    The 2008 Olympics in Beijing have begun! And what a fantastic start with probably the most amazing opening ceremonies ever! While China displayed its pride as the host of the 2008 Olympic games, the United States women's fencing team got off to an early start today, winning the gold, silver, and bronze medals.

    Mariel Zagunis stood proudly atop the podium, the first American to win a gold at these Olympics. Former president, George H.W. Bush was in the front row as three red, white and blue flags were rising to the rafters., with the U.S. national anthem being played proudly on Chinese soil.

    Before the fencing medals were awarded, the Americans had been shut out of Olympic medals, trailing the likes of Cuba, North Korea, Taiwan and Uzbekistan in the overall standings. Then the saber trio went to work, moving the U.S. to the top of the table with three medals. Read more here.

    Wednesday, August 06, 2008

    Olympic athletes plan displays of faith in China

    It's pretty well known that in communist countries such as China, religious practices are banned. The almighty State does not want competition. But, no matter how far the State goes to ban religious practices and enforce other totalitarian policies, the one thing the State can't take away is someone's faith - that inner call to holiness.

    Some Olympic athletes plan public displays of faith during the Beijing Olympics. U.S. track star Sanya Richards is one of them. According to the Washington Post, Sanya Richards envisions 91,000 fans at Beijing National Stadium and millions more on television watching her cross the finish line first in the 400 meters later this month. Immediately afterward, Richards said, she plans to kneel, say a quick prayer and then point skyward in spiritual appreciation.

    "It's important because I want people to know that I'm not the best because I'm Sanya Richards," the American 400 champion said at last month's U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore. "I'm the best because of God. I truly believe we can't will ourselves to win. I hope people see the same thing I see." Richards is among the athletes who openly display their faith on the playing field, and feel the two are inextricably linked.

    Read more.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    AP: Bush's Iraq war being won

    The Associated Press has finally admitted it: the Iraq war is being won.

    From the AP yesterday: "The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost. Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace — a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago."

    But now, we've moved into a new phase: "The new phase focuses on training the Iraqi army and police, restraining the flow of illicit weaponry from Iran, supporting closer links between Baghdad and local governments, pushing the integration of former insurgents into legitimate government jobs and assisting in rebuilding the economy."

    Is it me, or hasn't it been a while now since we've been winning. A few weeks ago, Iraqi Prime Minister al Maliki declared the war has been won, and last week embraced a timetable for U.S. withdraw. The AP and much of the media followed Obama around the world like adoring fans last week. When they all got back, they must have come to the realization of how safe it was to travel in and around Iraq.

    Monday, July 28, 2008

    The Obama "We are the World" game: play now


    Last week, National Review's "The Campaign Spot" poked a little fun at Obama by putting together a game related to the Michael Jackson-led "We are the World" song. Play this game below to see if you can pick out the right tracks. Did they come from Obama's Berlin speech or from the "We are the World" song.

    "There comes a time when we heed a certain call."

    Pop quiz, hot shot. Pick out the "We Are The World" lyrics vs. Obama speech lines.

    A: "We can't go on pretending day by day that someone, somewhere will soon make a change."
    B: "This is the moment we must help answer the call."
    C: "But if you just believe there's no way we can fall."
    D. "The world will watch and remember what we do."
    E. "Let us realize that a change can only come when we stand together as one."
    F. "We cannot afford to be divided."
    G. "These now are the walls we must tear down."
    H. "This is the moment when we must come together."
    I. "They'll know that someone cares, and their lives will be stronger and free."

    Ok, now click over to National Review's article and scroll down to the bottom to see if you got the answers right.

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    Electoral Map puts McCain in driver's seat


    CNN has posted a projected electoral map of the United States for the 2008 race. It shows 16 states "safe" for McCain and another 7 states "leaning" McCain, safely giving him 189 electoral votes. Then it shows 10 states "safe" for Obama and 6 states "leaning" towards Obama, giving him 221 electoral votes.

    But then it has another 11 states listed as toss-ups: Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada.

    I am going to bank on McCain winning Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. Though, I think Obama will keep Virginia VERY close. If McCain pulls off those 3 states (which Bush won), McCain gets up to 249 electoral votes. 270 is need to be President. If he can pull off Michigan, he's gold. That gets him to 266. Then, he just needs one more state - even New Hampshire will do. But he can pick from one of the rest as well.

    The rest are really toss-ups. But Bush won Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri, and Nevada. He did not win Michigan or New Hampshire, but if McCain puts Romney on his ticket, Michigan may tip his way. Both McCain and Hillary beat out Obama in New Hampshire. Remember, Hillary's tears? It got her New Hampshire.

    Those 11 states could go many different ways, but the electoral map shows that Obama has a harder road to climb than McCain. The "maverick" is in the driver's seat.

    British paper mocks Obama visit: "He ventured forth to bring light to the world."


    Even Europeans are seeing through the Obama facade. And, they don't have to put up with it every day. Some of them are sane and see the fake political posturing for what it is. Imagine if a politician from another country came here and wanted to give a campaign speech for their country in front of the Statue of Liberty or the Lincoln Memorial. What would we think?

    The Times of London mocked Obama's visit to Europe and the Middle East with their own editorial. Their headline: "He ventured forth to bring light to the world: The anointed one's pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action - and a blessing to all his followers."

    Video: Al Gore's Global Warming Hypocrisy Exposed

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    McCain responds to Obama's worldwide campaign tour


    Mark Halperin posted some comments that the McCain campaign released at the conlusion of Obama's "citizen of the world" speech in Berlin today:

    “While Barack Obama took a premature victory lap today in the heart of Berlin, proclaiming himself a ‘citizen of the world,’ John McCain continued to make his case to the American citizens who will decide this election. Barack Obama offered eloquent praise for this country, but the contrast is clear. John McCain has dedicated his life to serving, improving and protecting America. Barack Obama spent an afternoon talking about it.”

    Nice. Finally the McCain campaign takes a swing. Maybe Senator McCain finally woke up and realized the "mainstream" media has a favorite in this race... and it isn't him. I've never been much of a McCain fan, he's just not conservative enough for me. But, given the options in this election, and the future of our Republic, one has to support just about anyone that comes up against Obama. Whatever we can do to stop Obama. And that option is McCain.

    Despite some of his policies, McCain has indeed dedicated his life to the service of America. Obama so far has only talked about it. And today, he talked about his desire to serve the world, in spite of America. If McCain can keep taking some swings like his campaign did today, they'll have many realists enthusiatically on board with them to take down Obama.

    Only One President at a Time


    I know this sounds repetitive by now, but who does Obama think he is? For the past week, he has gone around the world, playing President. Yes, he's officially on a Congressional fact-finding mission. But, let's be real. He's really on a campaign hype trip.

    He began his trip by removing the American flag from his jumbo plane to place his Obama campaign logo on there in replacement. Yes, take down Old Glory for your professionally designed campaign logo. This is similar to when his campaign crafted an Obama-style seal of the President of the United States. This is getting way to creepy for me. 1984? Brave New World? Anyone?

    He's not even President yet (and God help us that he never gets to be), but he sure likes playing President. His next book should be called The Audacity of Arrogance.

    Today, perhaps he crossed the line the furthest. First, he dared to go to Berlin and give a speech. Berlin, which holds so much history of American involvement and a place where Presidents Kennedy and Reagan gave historic speeches is a place you must "earn" before you attempt such a speech. Obama has such a small record of achievement and almost no political experience, other than campaigning, that he does not yet deserve to give a speech at such a historic place.

    Perhaps the Europeans do not even like him as much as those crazy kids in Oregon. Once again, to entice thousands of young people to show up, Obama's speech followed several popular musical acts.

    But Obama's speech, as most of them go, included wild declarations. He told the people of Germany: "I come to you as a proud citizen of the United States... and as a citizen of the world." Really? Citizen of the World? The Brave New World? I think maybe Obama has his election wrong. Maybe he should be running to be world President or perhaps chairman of the United Nations. You think he will pull America back from its involvement in the rest of the world? Think again. Like other progressive liberals of history, he wants to further engage America in the world, just in other ways.

    He then went on to make further declarations such as:

    "Now is the time to build new bridges across the globe as strong as the one that bound us across the Atlantic. Now is the time to join together, through constant cooperation, strong institutions, shared sacrifice, and a global commitment to progress, to meet the challenges of the 21st century"

    Did anyone else notice that? "a global commitment to progress." Like abortion on demand? Same-sex unions? Government health insurance for all?

    "People of Berlin ... people of the world... this is our moment."

    No buddy, this is YOUR moment. Your moment in Berlin, in Germany, in Europe. But, not in America. If anyone votes for you, they're idiots. You're so presumptuous as a candidate, you don't deserve a single vote you get. I am not a citizen of the world. Read your Constitution. If you were born here (as you and I were) or if you were naturalized here (such as my father and your father were), then you are a citizen of the great United States of America. As far as I can tell, there are no alien life forms that we need to represent ourselves to as citizens of the world. And there isn't a world government, unless that's what your aiming for.

    We have only one President at a time. And hopefully you'll never know the feeling... as much as you act the part in your playtime.

    Friday, July 18, 2008

    Who does Obama think he is?


    Charles Krauthammer had an EXCELLENT column today in The Washington Post, "Who Does He Think He Is?". I urge you to read it now.

    A few tidbits:

    "Barack Obama wants to speak at the Brandenburg Gate. He figures it would be a nice backdrop. The supporting cast -- a cheering audience and a few fainting frauleins -- would be a picturesque way to bolster his foreign policy credentials. What Obama does not seem to understand is that the Brandenburg Gate is something you earn."

    "Americans are beginning to notice Obama's elevated opinion of himself. There's nothing new about narcissism in politics. Every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president. Nonetheless, has there ever been a presidential nominee with a wider gap between his estimation of himself and the sum total of his lifetime achievements?"

    "It is a subject upon which he can dilate effortlessly. In his victory speech upon winning the nomination, Obama declared it a great turning point in history -- "generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment" -- when, among other wonders, "the rise of the oceans began to slow." As economist Irwin Stelzer noted in his London Daily Telegraph column, "Moses made the waters recede, but he had help." Obama apparently works alone. After all, in the words of his own slogan, "we are the ones we've been waiting for," which, translating the royal "we," means: "I am the one we've been waiting for."

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    Obama's campaign website removes criticism of Bush's "surge"


    The latest from the AP wire:


    Barack Obama's aides have removed criticism of President Bush's increase of troops to Iraq from the campaign Web site, part of an effort to update the Democrat's written war plan to reflect changing conditions.

    Debate over the impact of President Bush's troop "surge" has been at the center of exchanges this week between Obama and Republican presidential rival John McCain. Obama opposed the war and the surge from the start, while McCain supported both the invasion and the troop increase.

    A year and a half after Bush announced he was sending reinforcements to Iraq, it is widely credited with reducing violence there. With most Americans ready to end the war, McCain is using the surge debate to argue he has better judgment and the troops should stay to win the fight. Obama argues the troop increase has not achieved its other goal of fostering a political reconciliation among Iraqi factions.

    This is simply unbelievable. Obama began his campaign calling this war a mistake, calling the surge a mistake, and saying the only "change" of policy would be to bring the troops home, now. Obama played his cards right. He used this rhetoric towards the far left and captured the Democrat Party nomination. Now, his campaign tries to move towards the center and flat out removes any criticism of the surge from its campaign website.

    Obama is reading the polls. He doesn't represent a new kind of politics, as he has self-proclaimed. His candidacy now represents the biggest joke in principled politics. He'll do and say anything to get elected.

    School choice: change we can believe in


    Some say something is wrong with our education system. Usually the answer they give to solve our problems is: more money. But most studies about money in education actually show that more money isn't the solution. CATO Institute fellow Andrew Coulson has written many articles and books about this subject, including one that appeared in The Washington Post on April 6, 2008. As he points out, most public schools spend more per child than do private schools. Some of the best public schools and districts in the country actually spend less per child than do the worst.

    The solution then isn't money. It's freedom. Give parents the freedom to choose the school of choice for their child and learning increases. We are all individuals and education, especially in the information age, should be tailored to our individual choices. We are not pawns that should be used for the service of the state.

    School choice actually does exist today, but only for the wealthy. They can send their children to the school of their choice. Low-income and middle class families most often do not have that choice. School vouchers would allow the money to follow the child to any public, private, or charter school of their choice. It's not rocket science. It's common sense. Learn more at: http://www.schoolchoice.org/

    School choice. Now that is change I can believe in.

    *The James Madison Institute and the Foundation for Excellence in Education brought some true education reformers to Orlando last month to discuss bringing real change to education. Read the Orlando Sentinel article that discusses how we are trying bring about change so that our students can compete with the rest of the world, in the ever emerging global economy.

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Youth Will Benefit with McCain: The Change Candidate on Social Security


    If a candidate is running for "change," this year, it isn't Barack Obama. It's John McCain. This blog will take up this theme of "real change" issue by issue over time, through November. For today, the subject is Social Security.

    Obama has no plan for reforming Social Security, which is really nothing more than a bogus pyramid scheme by the federal government. Since it's inception, the government has taxed younger workers to pay the benefits for current retirees. There is no arguing about it. You have to pay these taxes, and when I look at my paycheck, 6.2% of the income I earned this week (and every week) is going towards social security. Now, I don't want to get into how much I make, but let's just say that 6.2% is a lot of money for me to pay for someone else's retirement.

    If I took that same 6.2% and I had the option of putting it into a standard, conservative 401(k) plan, I could get a lot more bang for my buck when I retire, more than the government promises to pay me, if social security is still around then (I'm not counting on it, and have set up my own retirement account). However, the government doesn't even give me the option to take that money and invest it myself. Many companies will even give their employees a retirement fund or match what they put in, allowing them to earn way more interest than the government. In fact, the government is running a trillion dollar deficit in its entire budget. Much of that is due to social security, which soaks up so much funding.

    Regardless of how much someone makes in their income, whether it is $50K, $100K, or $1 million a year, the government still sets aside a social security account for them, paid for by current workers, making far less money. This doesn't make sense and this kind of system cannot last forever.

    One well-to-do retiree in Palm Beach, FL put it to me this way: he has a nice house, lives on a golf course, and is set for life. He still gets his social security check from the government. He looks out on the golf course during it's off-peak hours and sees legal Mexican immigrants working on his golf course, probably for a meager salary. Those younger workers, who are just making ends meet, are forced by the government, to subsidize the retirement of people who are sitting around hitting the golf balls all day. Something about this system just doesn't make sense.

    John McCain finally called it a "disgrace" this week. He said, "It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed." Reforming social security: now, that is change I can believe in.

    For more facts on social security and how we can reform it by giving younger workers more options with their own money, please visit: http://www.socialsecurity.org/

    Wednesday, July 09, 2008

    We Own It. Let's Use it. Drill in ANWR.


    In 1867, the United States government signed a treaty to purchase Alaska. We handed over precious gold to Russia for the territory. Russia was in a difficult financial position and feared losing the Alaskan territory without compensation in some future conflict, especially to their rivals the British, who could easily capture the hard-to-defend region. At the time, some said it was foolish to purchase such a remote, icy region. Ohers called the Russians foolish because of the amount of natural resources, such as oil, that this area contained.

    At the time Senator Charles Sumner, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that if the United States purchased Alaska, “A practical race of intrepid navigators will swarm the coast ready for any enterprise of business or patriotism. Commerce will find new arms…”

    But today, the liberal establishment in the United States Congress, following the lead of environmental extremists, have shut off Alaska from the commerce that would help end our dependence on foreign oil. They have promoted and pursued a policy of shutting off and locking up Alaska from the people who purchased it. They have locked up our energy and forced us to pay higher fuel prices at the pump and keep a dependence on foreign oil rather than using the land and resources we already own.

    When it comes to ANWR, we own it and we should use it. Let your Congressman know. Otherwise, we'll come off as the foolish ones when we hand our economic prosperity and our national security over to China, Saudia Arabia, and other nations who don't like us.

    Monday, July 07, 2008

    Christian conservative leaders unified behind McCain

    The religious right threatened to bolt out of the voting booth if John McCain was the Republican nominee for President. But apparently, like myself, Barack Obama is a scarier alternative. What's the old saying? The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    Chrsitian conservative leaders gathered in Denver last week and unified behind John McCain. They also approved a "Declaration of American Values" with 10 common goals, such as protecting the sanctity of life and affirming natural, traditional marriage. These are two fundamental tentets of Christianity that Barack Obama has not stood up for, and in many cases, has actually stood against. McCain, on the other hand, has not cozied up to the religious right like some politicians, but his voting record on social issues is definitely more in line with Christian values than Obama.

    Saturday, June 28, 2008

    Bill Clinton: Obama can "kiss my ass"

    As reported on http://www.obama-wire.com/ and in the UK Telegraph, Bill Clinton reportedly told close friends that Obama will have to "kiss my ass" in return for his support. This comes as Senator Obama plans to make a call to President Clinton to ask for his support.

    The former President was notably absent during an Obama campaign moment with Hillary Clinton in Unity, NH (unity - get it?) Apparently all is not united in the Democrat Party household.

    Monday, June 23, 2008

    Obama's link to Elian Gonzalez

    Barack Obama, a far Left nominee of the Democrat party, is just running out of boots for all the crap he's stepping in. Here's another one.

    Remember Elian Gonzalez? The then 6-year old Cuban refugee risked his life coming to the United States, losing his mother in the process. A political battle ensued when Attorney General Janet Reno and the Clinton Administration became involved, forcing the child to go back to Castro's Cuba, where he has now reportedly joined the Young Communists League.

    Obama's current foreign policy adviser Greg Craig was the lawyer who represented Elian's father in the custody dispute that returned the child to the communist island. Eric Holder, a member of Obama's vice-presidential selection team, was deputy U.S. attorney general in the Clinton administration when government agents seized Elian from his relatives' home in Miami's Little Havana. Read more here: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/06/elian-gonzalez.html

    I guess when you're on the far Left, you run out of people you can associate yourself and your campaign with.

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    Crist joins McCain, supports drilling!

    Well, I can't say it isn't a 180, but Florida Governor Charlie Crist followed McCain's lead and now supports off-shore drilling to help increase the supply of domestic oil resources.

    Crist, who has been on the short list to become join McCain's ticket as the nomination for Vice President, endorsed John McCain's plan today to let state's decide for themselves. This is a complete reversal from his previous stances against drilling 50 miles or more off of Florida's coast. But, at least he's moving in the right direction. Read more here:
    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/06/17/ap5125840.html

    "I mean, let's face it, the price of gas has gone through the roof, and Florida families are suffering," Crist said. "And my heart bleeds for them." (don't liberals usually say that? This is great!)

    And then he used a tourism argument to support drilling: "We're a tourist state," Crist said. "We have to protect the beauty of Florida, but we also need to have people have the opportunity to drive here and be able to afford to do that too."

    .... it's about time. Elect McCain and let the drilling begin. But keep Crist off the ticket, and make him sign the bill when the Florida legislature gives the green light to let our state decide to take our energy future into our own hands - and out of the hands of terrorist regimes and environmental extremists.

    McCain: Let's Drill

    Can I say it? Can I say it? It's about time!

    Senator John McCain called yesterday for an end to the federal ban on offshore oil drilling, offering an aggressive response to high gasoline prices and immediately drawing the ire of environmental groups that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has courted for months, the Washington Post reports.

    Yesterday, McCain released a statement saying: "Tomorrow, I'll call for lifting the federal moratorium for states that choose to permit exploration. I think that this, and perhaps providing additional incentives for states to permit exploration off their coasts, would be very helpful in the short term in resolving our energy crisis. We've seen the impact of it in the form of food prices, the form of gasoline, and the form of threats of inflation, and indeed indications of inflation. We must embark on a national mission to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil and reduce greenhouse gases through the development of alternative energy sources. And, as I said, exploration is a step toward the longer term goal. And, I will repeat my advocacy of a gas tax holiday, which is impacting low-income Americans on a fixed income who are driving automobiles that consume gasoline at a greater rate, and they're driving further, and I think that they deserve a break."

    This is common sense. I encourage you all to go to the http://www.americansolutions.com/ website and sign the petition to tell Congress: "Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less." Senator McCain got the message and I believe it is a winning message. It's common sense.

    Almost two years ago, The James Madison Institute (where I work) has been advocating to open up drilling in Florida's Gulf coast in this Backgrounder article (PDF). A decade ago, Congressional Republicans advocated drilling in Alaska. President Clinton vetoed that. If either of these options would have been explored then, we wouldn't be having the energy crisis we're facing today. Environmental extremists have determined our energy future and they want to continue doing so. It's time we said, "Enough is enough."

    I applaud John McCain for this excellent decision to wage a campaign that will directly contrast the Leftist policies of Barack Obama and the Democrat Party.

    Friday, June 13, 2008

    Jonah Goldberg: Conservatives, fear not

    There was an excellent op-ed by Jonah Goldberg that was published in papers across the country, including in the Orlando Sentinel. He tells conservatives, "fear not." I would recommend this piece: orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/right/olr-syn-gold0609,0,3299991.story

    An excerpt:

    "... People need to remember that there's a difference between "conservatives" and "Republicans." One reason the Republican "brand" has been so badly tarnished is that Republicans lost credibility as conservatives. They spent money like a pimp with a week to live. They got comfortable with power and the perks that come with it, and they tolerated cronyism and incompetence. And while the GOP is the more conservative of the two parties -- and hence the natural home for the American right -- it needs to be remembered that Republican failures are not synonymous with conservative ones."

    "Also, the strength of the conservative establishment shouldn't be discounted. In 1964, Goldwater was almost alone, relying on a couple of magazines to champion his cause. Today, there is an enormous conservative intellectual infrastructure, largely independent of the Republican Party. From proliferating state-level think tanks to massive organizations based in Washington, D.C., such as the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute, the causes of limited government, defending life and promoting free markets are hardly without champions. And thanks to talk radio, Fox News and a general acceptance of conservatism as a legitimate viewpoint, it has never been easier for conservatives to get their arguments to the public .... "

    ".... Moreover, if conservatives are right about their ideas -- and I think they are -- then socialized medicine won't work, high taxes will be counterproductive, and Obama's promise to mesmerize foreign leaders with his listening skills will not survive contact with our enemies. Al-Qaeda will not defang itself into a Muslim version of the Shriners simply because our president's middle name is Hussein."

    "T.S. Eliot was right. There are no truly won causes because there are no truly lost causes. Conservatism's got a lot of life left in it, in part because conservatism is simply a part of American life. And because conservatism has always done better on offense than on defense, the coming liberal maelstrom might be carrying with it the seeds of a conservative revival as well."

    Well said, Mr. Goldberg. Well said.

    Ron Paul's "Campaign for Liberty"

    Ron Paul is transitioning his campaign for the Presidency to his “Campaign for Liberty.” You can read about it at their new website here: http://www.campaignforliberty.com

    I think this is a good call. Ron Paul's campaign for the Presidency has obviously reached an end point, and hopefully most Ron Paul supporters will not stay home, and will not vote for a wasteful third party candidate like Bob Barr. Hopefully they will recognize how much more disastrous Barack Obama will be compared to John McCain. If they don't, they will prove that libertarianism is just as much an ideology as socialism. Conservatives, on the other hand, act prudently, given the realistic choices available.

    Once McCain is elected, then we can continue a grassroots effort to pull him and other elected officials towards liberty, rather than towards big government. But it is obvious that Barack Obama wants a big government program for just about everything, including more American involvement overseas through programs such as the "Global Poverty Act." This is more government than any Republican (including John McCain) can stomach.

    The Ron Paul campaign may not have won very many delegates, but it captured the hearts and minds of many Americans in a true campaign for liberty. In his new book, The Revolution: A Manifesto, Ron Paul reminds us:

    “In the final analysis, the last line of defense in support of freedom and the Constitution consists of the people themselves. If the people want to be free, if they want to lift themselves out from underneath a state apparatus that threatens their liberties, squanders their resources on needless wars, destroys the value of their dollar, and spews forth endless propaganda about how indispensable it is and how lost we would all be without it, there is no force that can stop them.”

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    JMI: Climate Policies would impose high costs on state

    Margo Thorning, an adjunct scholar of The James Madison Institute and senior vice president and chief economist for the American Council for Capital Formation wrote an article that was recently published in the Panama City News Herald.

    The article, "Climate Policies would impose high costs on state," brings up a great point: "As our nation's federal and state governments rush to enact far-reaching legislation on climate change, there has been far too little discussion of the economic costs such policies would impose."

    She continues: "Make no mistake: The financial burdens on individuals would be heavy - especially in Florida, where the summer heat and humidity keep energy usage high. In addition, Florida has lots of senior citizens, some in frail health and temperature-sensitive and on a fixed income."

    Read on: http://www.newsherald.com/common/printer/view.php?db=newsherald&id=4245

    Charlie Crist "a proponent of nuclear energy"

    Well, we're not sure what Governor Crist's task force on climate change is going to produce for Florida's taxpayers, but at least we now have Lt. Governor Kottkamp on record saying: “The governor, like me, is a proponent of nuclear energy. We believe it may have an important role to play in Florida’s energy future,” Kottkamp said. “We must consider, as we continue to grow as a state, how we address our growing energy needs while protecting that natural beauty that draws so many people to the Sunshine State.”

    Read more in the Naples Daily News: http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2008/jun/10/kottkamp-goes-nuclear-french-energy-company-naples/

    * Last week, at the monthly Capital City Republican Club meeting here in Tallahassee, Lt. Governor Kottkamp spoke. I asked him a question about when Florida was going to start drilling off the Florida coast (China and India are going to) and start building some nuclear power plants. He only answered the nuclear power plant part of my question by saying that the Governor was planning a trip to France to learn about how France supplies 80% of their country's energy needs with nuclear power. It is encouraging to see this story, but it's only a start of what needs to happen...

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    Stop Obama from taking Florida

    I have been of the feeling that I don't think there's any way Barack Obama can win in Florida. But, this morning I came across a story in the Tampa Tribune that is making me a bit more nervous about the Obama machine: http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/article615083.ece

    The story says: "Starting next week, some 400 specially trained Barack Obama campaign "fellows" will fan out across Florida, including the Tampa Bay area, for an intensive six weeks of registering voters, mobilizing volunteers, as well as working to bring Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters into the fold."

    Yikes. This is a sign to all conservatives and true patriots of this country that we must get out there and spread the word about Obama. There are plenty of places to get this information. One good place to start is: www.obama-wire.com which has "the good, the bad, and the ugly," on Obama. Take that information and spread it like wildfire across this state (ok, in a period of drought, that probably wasn't the best analogy). But seriously: it is up to us to STOP Obama from taking Florida. Don't allow his henchmen to spread socialist ideas across this free-market state.

    Friday, June 06, 2008

    Terry Jeffrey: Our Own Oil Cartel

    Terry Jeffrey's article yesterday in CNS News talks about why oil prices are so high. And, points to the United States government as the culprits. We are our own cartel.

    Here's an excerpt:

    Contemplate this the next time you spend $60 or more filling up your tinny little car with gasoline made from imported oil: The U.S. government knows where it can get its hands on more untapped petroleum than exists in the proven reserves of Iran or Iraq, which have 136 billion barrels and 115 billion barrels, respectively.

    This unexploited stock of crude is greater than what the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports is in the proven reserves of Russia (60 billion barrels), Libya (41.5 billion barrels) and Nigeria (36.2 billion barrels) combined.

    It is more than Hugo Chavez's Venezuela has (80 billion barrels). It is more than is now known to sit beneath the waters and sands of Kuwait (101.5 billion barrels) or the United Arab Emirates (97.6 billion barrels).

    So, where is all this oil? And why aren't they pumping it? What cartel is holding it off the market, to drive up prices at American gas stations and American supermarkets? What insidious power is stifling the free market for this vital commodity and thus threatening the vitality of our economy?

    It is us, of course. We are the culprits. We are responsible for artificially increasing oil prices. It is our oil that sits untapped beneath our deserts, our forests, our swamps and our oceans. It is our politicians -- the ones we freely elected, and re-elected, and re-elected -- who are not allowing our oil to be drilled by us and sold to us.

    Read on: http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCommentary.asp?Page=/Commentary/archive/200806/COM20080604c.html

    Thursday, June 05, 2008

    George Will: The gasoline prices we deserve

    If you haven't seen or read it yet, there is a great column by George Will in today's Washington Post. You can read it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/04/AR2008060403052.html

    An excerpt:

    One million barrels (of oil) is what might today be flowing from ANWR if in 1995 President Bill Clinton had not vetoed legislation to permit drilling there. One million barrels produce 27 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel. Seventy-two of today's senators -- including (Chuck) Schumer, of course, and 38 other Democrats, including Barack Obama, and 33 Republicans, including John McCain -- have voted to keep ANWR's estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil off the market.

    So Schumer, according to Schumer, is complicit in taking $10 away from every American who buys 20 gallons of gasoline. "Democracy," said H.L. Mencken, "is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." The common people of New York want Schumer to be their senator, so they should pipe down about gasoline prices, which are a predictable consequence of their political choice ...

    ... America says to foreign producers: We prefer not to pump our oil, so please pump more of yours, thereby lowering its value, for our benefit. Let it not be said that America has no energy policy

    Read on.

    Wednesday, June 04, 2008

    Obama-Wire.com just launched!

    I am excited to announce to all my avid readers, that www.Obama-Wire.com just launched. I would announce who has put it together, but let me just tell you it is a friend of conservatives everywhere. No, he's not famous, but maybe some day he will be.

    The site is a Drudge Report-style website with lots of news links - most of which expose the truth about Obama. The creators of this website were urged to do this because they can't believe the media hasn't exposed this guy yet. Well, Obama made it pass round one with a pass. But www.Obama-Wire.com will do what they can to make sure he doesn't get a free pass into the most powerful political position in the world.

    Please do what you can to promote it, especially in key swing states and swing counties. This is the information age. The battle will be won by those with the most intelligent information.

    Monday, June 02, 2008

    The battle for conservatism is being waged

    The battle for the future of conservatism is being waged. The question is are we paying attention? In my last blog post, I cited Senator Tom Coburn's recent WSJ Editorial in which he criticized "compassionate conservatism."

    Now, Michael Gerson of the Council of Foreign Relations is taking Coburn to task in a recent Washington Post editorial.

    Gerson first puts the substance of the argument on the table for all conservatives: "Compassionate conservatism began with some questions: Is it possible to apply conservative and free-market ideas -- school vouchers, the promotion of community and faith-based institutions, the encouragement of wealth-building and social mobility -- to the task of helping marginalized Americans? In the wake of liberal failures, do conservatives offer any hope to addicts and the homeless, to disadvantaged children in need of mentors and adequate education, to people living among the broken glass of durable poverty?"

    Then he begins his defense: "But compassionate conservatism has come under criticism for a variety of reasons. For some, it is fundamentally at odds with fiscal conservatism -- no social priority is deemed more urgent than balancing the budget. For others, it is a violation of their vision of limited government -- the state's only valid purpose is to uphold markets and protect individual liberty. But by drawing these limits so narrowly, such critics would relegate conservatism to the realm of rejected ideologies: untainted, uncomplicated and ignored. And by leaving great social needs unmet, they would grant liberalism an open field and invite genuine statism."

    I think the term compassionate conservatism is not only flawed, it is offensive. Is conservatism itself not compassionate? If liberals are for helping the poor, then why do we still have poverty? Liberal policies don't work. When conservative policies have been tried, it has not only worked, but proved popular. Remember welfare reform? We were all told then that welfare-to-work programs were not compassionate. The results have proved the opposite. Meanwhile, we have gone through decades of socialist policies that have not worked and only created more poverty.

    In my opinion, Tom Coburn is right that we need to dump compassionate conservatism overboard. Conservatism was working plenty well before we added the so-called compassionate policies to our agenda. If people want big government policies, they'll seek the professionals: the Democrats. Let's get back to our brand of limiting government, and providing free-market solutions.

    Tuesday, May 27, 2008

    Senator Coburn: Republicans Are in Denial

    An excellent article in today's Wall Street Journal by Senator Tom Coburn, who writes that "Republicans Are in Denial."

    What's he getting at? Here's a clip:

    "Unfortunately, too many in our party are not yet ready to return to the path of limited government. Instead, we are being told our message must be deficient because, after all, we should be winning in certain areas just by being Republicans. Yet being a Republican isn't good enough anymore. Voters are tired of buying a GOP package and finding a big-government liberal agenda inside. What we need is not new advertising, but truth in advertising."

    "Becoming Republicans again will require us to come to grips with what has ailed our party – namely, the triumph of big-government Republicanism and failed experiments like the K Street Project and "compassionate conservatism." If the goal of the K Street Project was to earmark and fund raise our way to a filibuster-proof "governing" majority, the goal of "compassionate conservatism" was to spend our way to a governing majority."

    He slams "compassionate conservatism" and says "Spending other people's money is not compassionate."

    Read on here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121184690228421415.html?mod=rss_opinion_main

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    Obama's Wild Facts

    Michelle Malkin has compiled a number of "Barack Gaffes" in her latest column on National Review Online.

    Some of the gaffes:

    * Last May, he claimed that tornadoes in Kansas killed a whopping 10,000 people: “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died — an entire town destroyed.” The actual death toll: 12.

    * Explaining last week why he was trailing Hillary Clinton in Kentucky, Obama again botched basic geography: “Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas. So it’s not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle.” On what map is Arkansas closer to Kentucky than Illinois?

    * And in perhaps the most seriously troubling set of gaffes of them all, Obama told a Portland crowd over the weekend that Iran doesn’t “pose a serious threat to us” — cluelessly arguing that “tiny countries” with small defense budgets can’t do us harm — and then promptly flip-flopped the next day, claiming, “I’ve made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave.”

    As Malkin asserts: "Barack Obama — promoted by the Left and the media as an all-knowing, articulate, transcendent Messiah — is a walking, talking gaffe machine. How many more passes does he get? How many more can we afford?"

    See more Barack Gaffes in her full column here.