Friday, December 9, 2011

The Final Five: December 9, 2011

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
December 9, 2011

Thought of the Day:
Despite what our president says, welfare programs do not create jobs. Welfare programs only create slaves depending on the government for their next meal.


News of Note:

- Traffic fatality rates hit all-time low

- Congress and White House disagree on payroll tax implementation

- EPA says oil production hurts water supply

- North Dakota's problem: too many jobs, not enough people

- South Fulton, GA fire department lets house burn over $75 unpaid fee

- "Occupy a Desk" job fair at Zuccotti Park

- Eric Bolling to debate Kermit the Frog?


Tonight's Crazy Story:
Thug Pummeled After Attempting to Mug Chicago Man Who Turns Out to be an MMA Fighter
A 24-year-old man pulled a gun on a driver in a parked car, but the driver was an MMA figher. The would-be robber appears to have received the worst of the brawl.


The Final Five: Number 5
A Wiser Outlook
Jeffrey Folks argues that Obama would have been wise to develop a long-term outlook for energy similar to Exxon-Mobil's 30 year plan. "As it is, Obama deserves a failing grade for his willful ignorance and mismanagement of the nation's energy supply. Energy exploration is one of the few areas in which American firms still hold a decisive advantage over businesses elsewhere in the world. Obama is doing all he can to squander that advantage and turn our lead over to rival economies. If the President allowed himself to be guided by the wisdom of Exxon's Outlook, he would have the opportunity to lead the country toward energy independence, full employment, and a balanced federal budget. As it is, he is suppressing the one industry that holds the greatest promise for renewed national prosperity."


There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"According to CNBC, a number of Americans are moving overseas looking for job opportunities. Now people over there will know what it feels like to lose their American jobs to foreigners."
-Jay Leno, 12/8/11


The Final Five: Number 4
Liberal Indifference to Income Inequality
Peter Wehner argues that liberals are ignoring the truth on the causes income inequality. "...the current structure of our entitlement programs (especially Medicare), much more than the tax cuts of the Reagan and Bush years, have accelerated income inequality. But you would never know that based on the critique of the left, which has come to believe – for reasons that are not entirely clear – that tax increases are an important step towards the moral purification of a society. If income inequality is really what troubled modern-day liberals, they would be leading the effort to reform entitlements along the lines outlined by Ryan. Instead, they are fierce critics of his plan."


Debt Watch:
The government used Thursday to spend an additional $4,763,264,533.07 over its revenues, bringing the national debt to:
$15,051,160,989,938.23


The Final Five: Number 3
Nothing Inevitable About a One-State Solution
Part One / Part Two / Part Three

Jonathan Tobin argues against the idea that a one-state solution is the only option that avoids an apartheid state. "It has become a common theme heard on the left that unless Israel radically changes its posture toward the peace process it will be faced with two huge threats to its existence. One is the notion that in a few years, if not sooner, there will be only one option available to resolve the conflict: the so-called “one-state solution” in which Israel is forced to treat Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza as Israeli citizens and thus lose its Jewish majority–meaning the end of the Jewish state and Zionism. The other is that if it refuses to accept that grim fate, then it will be branded as the new South Africa, and a Jewish apartheid state would lose the support of both American Jewry and the United States. This means that sooner or later Israel must unilaterally evacuate the West Bank and even parts of Jerusalem as it did in Gaza in 2005 or face the consequences."


Tweets of the Day:
Kathleen McKinley (@KatMcKinley): Try again. Obama railing against money in politics is like Bill Clinton railing against promiscuity.


The Final Five: Number 2
On Foreign Policy Issues, Obama is AWOL
Max Boot makes the point that Obama is solid on popular foreign policy items (Al Qaeda), but soft on the controversial ones (Iran, Israel, etc.). "That’s not a bad one-liner but, like the best one-liners, it avoids the real issues. Nobody is questioning Obama’s toughness on al-Qaeda. But that’s not exactly a controversial stance. Even the most dovish Democrats are in favor of targeting al-Qaeda. There is as close to a consensus about this issue as it is possible to achieve in American politics. It does not require much leadership to target al-Qaeda’s leadership–the foreign policy equivalent of targeting “drug kingpins” or other major criminals on the homefront. But when it comes to dealing with Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and other pressing issues, there is no consensus. On these issues–the tough ones that require presidential leadership–Obama has been mostly AWOL."


Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value."
-Thomas Paine


The Final Five: Number 1
Dispatches from the Corporate State: A Study in Contrasts
Coyote Blog analyzes the difference between the government's handling of the Toyota accelerator issues and the Chevy Volt battery issues. "It is interesting to study the contrast between the handling of the Toyota accelerator problems, which turned out to be pretty much all driver error, and the Chevy Volt fire issues. In the case of the former, we had public hearings and government threats. The government, without evidence at that point, demanded Toyota recall the vehicles and stop production. Eventually, when the NHTSA determined that the panic and recall was in error and the issue was operator error and not with the car, the Obama Administration suppressed the results. Now, Volts appear to have a fire problem with their batteries. This time, the government is keeping things real quiet and, instead of exaggerating the safety issue, they are suppresing it."


Tomorrow in History
December 10, 1868 - The first traffic lights are installed outside of the Palace of Westminster in London.


Would you like to receive The Final Five in your inbox each night. Simply send an e-mail to finalfive@defenseoffreedomblog.com with "Subscribe" in the subject line.

Ranking the Republicans: 6) Mitt Romney

This is the second article in a seven-part series ranking the Republican candidates for President. Click here to read about our seventh-ranked candidate, Ron Paul.

On the surface, Mitt Romney appears to be the best candidate. In fact, if Mitt Romney governs as he campaigns, he has everything he needs to be one of the greatest presidents in modern times. However, the problem with Romney is not his views now but the way those views conflict with his views in the past.

On the economy and jobs, Romney does have the potential to be a great president. Our economy desperately needs someone to come in, take the lead, and develop a plan to turn it around. This is precisely what Romney specialized in during his time at Bain Capital. Bain would purchase or heavily invest in companies, develop a plan to turn these companies around, and if successful, sell the companies for a profit a few years later. Then, after leaving the company, Romney was asked to do the same thing for Bain & Company, the parent company of Bain Capital. Once again, he accomplished this task with great success. Romney's experience turning companies around in the private sector would be a great asset for a president who will be charged with fixing the American economy.

However, Romney has a problem on other issues: he seems to stand with the "popular" crowd at the time. In 2008, when the Bush-version of "compassionate conservatism" was the prevailing philosophy among the Republican party, Romney ran as a moderate Republican. However, now as the tea party has risen in popularity and a majority of Republicans seem to be looking for a solid conservative, Romney has campaigned to the right.

This is not to say that changing positions is always bad: everyone changes their positions sometimes. In fact, a change of position can actually mean that the new position is rooted in facts rather than baseless opinion or what the person has always believed without questioning. However, there are two reasons why I doubt this applies to Romney. First, Romney has changed his position on so many issues that it is hard to believe he has simply had a change of mind. Second, as mentioned earlier, Romney's changes have paralleled the path of the political climate in the Republican party.

From health care to abortion, and from minimum wage to bailouts, Romney has changed positions on just about every major issue. In fact, a website was created to give a "random" set of two quotes from Romney showing the discrepancy between his 2008 and 2012 campaigns. (http://mittromneyflipflops.com/.) Furthermore, Romney's official governor portrait contains a copy of his health care bill, a bill that contains several of the same elements of Obama's unpopular federal health care bill. While I understand the difference between the state solution and a universal federal solution, the fact that Romney supported an individual mandate and government subsidies for Massachusetts makes me question how committed he will be to repealing the similar federal bill should he be elected next year.

To sum up the Romney campaign in one sentence: "I'm not everything I've portrayed myself to be." In 2008, Romney ran as a moderate candidate, even sometimes appearing to be more left than the moderate nominee John McCain. Now, with the growing popularity of the tea party and true conservatism, he is trying to make himself out to be the conservative candidate. Romney has been excellent at clearly laying out his views, but the differences between the 2002 Romney running for governor, the 2008 Romney running for president, and the 2012 Romney running for president makes me question whether those clear views will be the same on January 21, 2013.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Final Five: December 8, 2011

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
December 8, 2011

Thought of the Day:
In an attempt to make sure the Bachmann issues on the Jimmy Fallon late-night show never occur again, band leader Questlove has been ordered to clear his songs with NBC executives. Am I seriously supposed to believe that these ultra-liberal executives would never have approved the Bachmann song?


News of Note:

- The annual debate revisited again this year

- 1.2 billion? It's only pocket change for a former congressman

- Blago may lose state pension, but will keep federal one

- Twice as many laws means twice as good

- ObamaCare law raises taxes on the rich

- Change without hope: American's net worth plummets

- The nasty side of the Durbin amendment


Tonight's Crazy Story:
Zebras Roam Virginia Neighborhood After Getting Loose From Zoo
Two zebras escaped through an open gate and roamed a Virginia neighborhood.


The Final Five: Number 5
Obama vs. Capitalism
David Harsanyi argues that Obama has made a "left-turn" and is now presenting the case against the free market. "In Teddy Roosevelt’s era, President Barack Obama explained to the nation this week, “some people thought massive inequality and exploitation was just the price of progress. … But Roosevelt also knew that the free market has never been a free license to take whatever you want from whoever you can.” And he’s right. Even today there are people who believe they should have free license to take whatever they want from whomever they can. They’re called Democrats."


There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"There are 17 more shopping days until Christmas. So, guys, that means 16 more days till we start shopping, right?"
-Conan O'Brien, 12/7/11


The Final Five: Number 4
Newt and the Governing Class
Steve McCann presents the case that, despite his years in Congress, Newt does not represent the governing class. "There is no one more reviled in Washington than Newt. If anyone believes he is part of the establishment, he or she is mistaken. In fact, it would not be a terribly great stretch to say some in the Republican wing of the governing class would prefer to see Obama re-elected than Newt in the Oval Office. However, the vast majority of this class are now in a panic as the preordained choice, Mitt Romney, is truly threatened by the rabble in flyover country constantly looking for anyone but Romney. These people have settled, so it seems, on Gingrich. The increasing volume of commentary of the Beltway insiders and attendant vitriol toward Newt has become a near-hysterical tidal wave rehashing and embellishing Newt's supposed failings and personal 'baggage.'"


Debt Watch:
The government took good care of your money today and spent $25,227,069,565.50 less than it brought in, bringing the total debt to:
$15,046,397,725,405.16


The Final Five: Number 3
Obamacare Still Bad for the Rest of Us
Jeffrey Anderson responds to an LA Times Op-Ed and argues that ObamaCare is bad for most Americans, despite the fact that some may see ways it benefits them. "Anyone can presumably sympathize with Ward’s plight. Many Americans would presumably happily contribute to private charities to help someone like her who’s in need. It’s even understandable that Ward is thankful — who in her shoes wouldn’t be? — that a 2,700-page monstrosity that would hurt most Americans has helped her. But it hardly follows to say that, because Obamacare has benefited her personally, it would be good for a nation of 300,000,000 people to be stuck living under it as well. Not only would failing to repeal Obamacare come at a great cost to Americans’ liberty and treasure, Gallup reports that 4,500,000 Americans have already lost their employer-provided insurance since Obama signed Obamacare into law. In truth, Ward’s op-ed merely points to one thing: It’s time for Republicans to produce Obamacare’s replacement."


Tweets of the Day:
Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr): Best part of the holidays is being able2 buy ur friend's kids the loudest & most obnoxious gifts so they can torture their parents all year


The Final Five: Number 2
Obama, Osama and Appeasement
Jonathan Tobin makes the case that despite the successful killing of Osama, Romney was right to claim that Obama's foreign policy has centered around appeasement. "Taken collectively, these actions have shaken the U.S.-Israel alliance, prompting many supporters of Israel to question their willingness to vote for Obama next fall. But, like his Democratic apologists who respond to criticism of his policy toward Israel by discussing abortion, Obama’s only answer is to change the topic. It remains to be seen whether he will continue to get away with this kind of intentional obfuscation of the question."


Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories."
-Thomas Jefferson


The Final Five: Number 1
The Ultimate Devastating Price of Government Dependency
Lloyd Marcus explains the price of government dependency. "Nothing in life is free. While my cousins received free cradle-to-grave government handouts, they paid a devastating price for their dependency. They lost themselves -- their self-esteem, pride, and dignity. They lost the joy of success after failure. They lost the pursuit of their dreams. They lost the experience of developing their God-given gifts and talents. For perceived security, my cousins willingly remained slaves on the Democrats' government plantation. ... Today, it is no longer embarrassing to depend on welfare for survival. Many feel justified, demanding that government rob the rich to redistribute to them in the name of fairness and compassion. These suckers are clueless to the truth that the confiscated funds go to public-sector unions, which recycle the funds back to the Democratic Party via union dues."


Tomorrow in History
December 9, 1793 - The first edition of the American Minerva, New York City's first daily newspaper, is published by Noah Webster.


Would you like to receive The Final Five in your inbox each night. Simply send an e-mail to finalfive@defenseoffreedomblog.com with "Subscribe" in the subject line.

Ranking the Republicans: 7) Ron Paul

This article is the first in a series of seven articles analyzing the major Republican candidates for President. Be sure to check back over the next nine days as we continue ranking the candidates.

Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate I feel would be worse than Barack Obama. Ron Paul gives us many good reasons why we should consider his ideas, but a Ron Paul presidency would become a disaster for America.

On the budget and economy, Ron Paul might have the best plan. His plan includes abolishing five departments (Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Interior, and Education) and the TSA. He also calls for a 10% reduction in the federal workforce and will reduce congressional pay and benefits. He plans to lower the corporate tax rate to 15% and make the Bush tax cuts permanent. He also wants to require an audit of the Federal Reserve and strengthen the dollar by authorizing competing currencies. Finally, Paul promises a balanced budget by his third year in office.

The only area where I disagree with Paul's economic plan is on entitlements. Paul's plan allows younger workers to opt out of the Social Security and Medicare programs. The problem with Ponzi schemes (I mean, pay-as-you-go systems) is that the plan collapses when the money dries up. The effects of allowing participants to opt out will be felt on taxes immediately, but it will not be felt on the benefits paid out for years. Making these programs optional will only dry up the money supply more quickly and force the federal budget to make up the difference. Eventually, this reliance will spoil the balanced budget and force the government to increase publicly held debt.

On social issues, Ron Paul is also a great candidate. He has a 78% rating with the National Right to Life organization, but two of the three times he voted against the organization's views were due to his support of state's rights. While I may disagree with Paul's viewpoint on the basis that government exists to protect "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," I will respect his decision without allowing it to affect my opinion of his pro-life stance. Ron Paul has defended the right of Americans to own guns, and he also stands in favor of right-to-work and homeschooling.

However, Ron Paul and I begin to greatly disagree on foreign policy and the military. Paul's libertarian views cause him to take an isolationist stand on foreign policy. While this view may be along the lines of what our founding fathers intended, this is an area where the Constitution fails to keep up with technology. In a world where a country can threaten our nation from the other side of the world, isolationism will not solve our foreign relations problems. Allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon is a recipe for the destruction of America and Israel. In a world where an e-mail can travel around the world in seconds and a missile can arrive from Russia in an hour, isolationist policies will only lead to destruction.

On foreign aid, I agree with Paul that much of our foreign aid should be cut, but we must continue to support our strongest allies. Most importantly, we must support Israel. The enemies of Israel view her destruction as the first step, and destroying America is the next step. We must do everything in our power to ensure that Israel maintains safe and secure borders and can live free from attacks of other nations.

If elected, President Paul would do a wonderful job at stimulating the economy and creating jobs. In fact, I think that his economic policies could lead America to one of its greatest times of prosperity. However, that prosperity would be short lived given President Paul's foreign policy. Failing to take the steps necessary to keep our nation safe will ultimately result in the destruction of America. While we must not allow America to be destroyed economically, we can also not allow our nation to be destroyed by other nations.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Final Five: December 7, 2011

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
December 7, 2011

Thought of the Day:
Our President stated yesterday, "This country succeeds...when everyone does their fair share..." Therefore, I recommend that he make everyone pay their "fair share" in taxes by implementing the flat tax or fair tax because according to his statement, having almost half of the nation paying no income tax is definitely not the way to success.


News of Note:

- White House to veto regulation-curbing bill

- Should the UN get involved in US elections? The NAACP says yes

- Facebook flaw exposes Zuckerberg pictures

- Fast and Furious, version 2.0

- Leahy and Smith promise to pass PROTECT IP

- Lawmakers warn more Ft. Hood style attacks possible

- Another botched UN plan


Tonight's Crazy Story:
Caught On Video: Democratic Congresswoman Does Crossword Puzzle On House Floor
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey found a great time to do her crossword puzzle: during debate on the House floor, while the cameras are focused George Miller, who was speaking directly in front of her. At least she was busy solving the problem of errant clues in the Washington Post. Seriously.


The Final Five: Number 5
Our Anemic Economic Recovery
Peter Wehner makes the case that this is the worst economic recovery in American history. "We’re now two-and-a-half years into the recovery, which must now rank as among the most anemic in our history. Ronald Reagan inherited an economy that was sicker than Obama did — and at this juncture in his presidency the economy was roaring back. During the Obama era, on the other hand, we remain essentially flat on our backs. We’ve even reached the point where a jobs report that shows more than two-and-a-half times more people are dropping out of the labor force than are being hired is considered good news."


There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"To save money, the U.S. Postal Service announced the end of next-day service. That's a good way to get people to come back, isn't it? Make your service even slower than it already is."
-Jay Leno, 12/5/11


The Final Five: Number 4
Obamacare ‘Bomb’ Set to Blow Up Private Health Care System?
An op-ed in Forbes recently gloated about the 'bomb' in ObamaCare that would destroy private health care and set us on the path to socialism. Jeffrey Anderson responds by saying that is not what America needs. "Rather than trying to take over whole swaths of American society via regulatory fiat, maybe the federal government should instead impose a few modest rules on itself — say, for example, that at least 80 percent of the money that it spends each year must be money that it actually has, rather than money that it has to borrow (on top of the $15 trillion that it has already borrowed). According to Obama’s own Treasury secretary , in fiscal-year 2011 the federal government missed even that embarrassingly modest goal by a wide mark — as only 64 percent ($2.302 trillion out of $3.601 trillion) of the money that it spent that year was money that it actually had. ... In light of these figures, perhaps the federal government shouldn’t be telling an entire industry — under force of law — how to run its business."


Debt Watch:
The government returned to spending more than it took in yesterday, increasing the debt by $3,490,891,001.53, bringing the total debt to:
$15,071,624,794,970.66


The Final Five: Number 3
Debt and Taxes: Settled Science
Randall Hoven makes the case that taxe hikes only reduce deficits if everything else stays equal, which it never does. "Democrats, being smarter than Republicans, use math and logic to make the case: if you raise tax rates, you get more revenue; if you get more revenue, you decrease the deficit; decrease deficits and you get debt under control. ... However, the hidden assumption behind all those syllogisms is everything else equal . Unfortunately, everything else does not stay equal. Believe it or not, humans tend to change their economic behavior when you change their economic circumstances. (Hard to believe, I know.)"


Tweets of the Day:
Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank): Newt saying he'd consider Mitt as a running mate is a non-story. It's a traditional way of making opponent sound like a loser.


The Final Five: Number 2
We Need Employment Benefits, Not Another Permanent Welfare Program
Daniel Horowitz argues that we need employment benefits rather than an extension of unemployment benefits. "In order to preclude the creation of a fourth entitlement, Republicans should categorically oppose extension, irrespective of supposed spending offsets. They need to stand firm and reject the compassionate conservatism of the past. Instead, they should counter with authentic employment benefits. Employment benefits would include across the board personal and corporate income tax reductions, repeal of thousands of odious regulations in the federal register, welfare reform, a comprehensive energy production program, and a cessation of job-killing, market-distorting subsidies. Such a program would create new jobs, elevate personal income, and lower the cost of living for consumers."


Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"Conscience is the most sacred of all property."
-James Madison


The Final Five: Number 1
GOP Should Launch Offensive in Payroll Tax Fight
Daniel Horowitz presents the truth about Social Security and argues that Republicans need to go on the offensive and fight for entitlement reform. "Now that Democrats have checkmated themselves on Social Security, it’s time for them to grow up and discuss entitlement reform so we can rectify their 70-year monstrous lie. They have no legitimate rationale to oppose private retirement accounts anymore. Which accusation will they hurl at us? Will they accuse us of bankrupting Social Security? They have already been quite auspicious in attaining that goal. As for Republicans, they have two viable options; call out Democrats on their Social Security duplicity – and impel entitlement reform, or outflank them by proposing a permanent tax cut."


Tomorrow in History
December 8, 1941 - As the US prepares to declare war on Japan, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gives his famous "a date which will live in infamy" speech to a joint session of Congress.


Would you like to receive The Final Five in your inbox each night. Simply send an e-mail to finalfive@defenseoffreedomblog.com with "Subscribe" in the subject line.

Regulations Need 'REINS'

I planned to begin a series of articles analyzing each of the Republicans running for President today. However, with the withdrawal of Herman Cain, there is one less person in the race, meaning that the series will not start until tomorrow. For today, I am writing a short article highlighting a piece of legislation Congress is considering this week.

A recently proposed EPA regulation has already cost 30 jobs and could cost many more--including the job of a friend of mine. A myriad of executive regulations have forced the local storm water runoff management utility to prepare for rates that will likely triple within 8 years, yet the region continued to flood following the recent rains. Anti-idling regulations mean that school bus drivers could be forced to shut their buses off if they wait for a tardy student or while loading at the schools, even if the temperature is ten below zero. These are just three examples of the many ways that regulations have affected my life.

This week, Congress will debate a bill that could affect the way federal regulations are proposed and approved. The bill, introduced in the House by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY), currently has 187 co-sponsors, and the Senate version, introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), has gained the support of 32 senators. The bill will force any regulation with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more to come to Congress for a vote. (While $100 million may sound large, that is less than 40 cents per American.)

From the official website of the REINS Act:
The REINS Act would require Congress to take an up-or-down, stand-alone vote, and for the President to sign-off on all new major rules before they can be enforced on the American people, job-creating small businesses, or State and local governments.

Major rules are those that have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more. Last year, 100 major rules were finalized by the Executive Branch.

A recent study commissioned by the Small Business Administration found that annual regulatory compliance costs in the United States hit $1.75 trillion in 2008. A staggering figure that exceeds the total collected from income taxes that year ($1.449 trillion).

Not all regulations are bad; many provide important public safeguards. However, when a proposed regulation could have an impact in the hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars on our economy, it should be subject to the review by the elected representatives of the people.

While some regulations are specifically authorized by Congress, some executive agencies have gone further and taken over congressional power by legislating through regulation in a way Congress never intended. Legislative authority is given to Congress alone, not to a group of people appointed by the President. The REINS Act is an important step in making unelected bureaucrats responsible for the regulations they create, and it restores lawmaking power where the Constitution says it belongs: Congress.

Mid-Week Media: The Debt Generation, Climate Change, Unions, Occupy, and Power

It's Wednesday, so that means it's time to take a look at some of the best media put out during the past seven days.

The Tennessee College Republican Committee put out this great video aimed at the youth.


Here's a great interview discussing the failing science of climate change.


For those who voted to repeal Ohio's SB5, here's the truth about the result:


A veteran has a message for the Obama Administration:


The hypocrisy of NCAA sports in a cartoon strip:


Maybe it's time for #OccupyCollegeSports.

Has the search for a Republican candidate really come to this?


Finally, SNL has "Obama" count down the people and institutions more powerful than him.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Final Five: December 6, 2011

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
December 6, 2011

Thought of the Day:
Hilda Solis is correct in saying that unemployment benefits put people to work: your kids will definitely be working in order to pay for them.


News of Note:

- Taxpayer-supported million dollar housing

- Russian protests: is this what democracy looks like?

- Post office to do a worse job in order to save money

- Coburn says Congress will increase deficit (because we know they won't cut spending)

- Typical liberal logic

- Occupy Wall Street protester now occupies a Wall Street job


Tonight's Crazy Story:
California Church Uses Baby Monitor to Nab Robbery Suspects
After suffering two break-ins, a California church used a well-placed baby monitor to detect when the burglars entered, and called the police to come and catch them.


The Final Five: Number 5
A Tale Of Two Economies In The Headlines
The Right Sphere shows bias in the news reporting of the latest unemployment report. "The reality is, the headlines that described the jobless rate in 2004, fit perfectly with the jobs report that came out on Friday. Only 120,000 jobs were created in the month of November. Granted, the October jobs report was revised upwards by 70,000 but that is still not anywhere close to the numbers needed for nearly a half point drop in the jobless rate. The real reason for the percentage drop was due to the number of people who gave up looking for work. Remember, the unemployment rate reflects the percentage of Americans who are actively seeking a job. When over 300,000 people give up looking for employment, that is reflected in the job numbers, hence the drop. But the mainstream media has largely ignored this fact. Thus the headlines we see above."


There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"Today is International Ninja Day, when people are encouraged to carry toy weapons and wear black masks. And as I found out the hard way, my bank wasn’t celebrating it."
-Jimmy Fallon, 12/5/11


The Final Five: Number 4
They Are Not the 99%
Robert Tracinski explains why the '99%' claim is wrong. "One of the great principles of the rise of political freedom and capitalism (the two are inseparable) is the maxim that the law is "no respecter of persons." This means that all cases are to be decided on the basis of the facts and the law, without regard for any party's social status. Just as the law is no respecter of persons, neither is a capitalist economy. And precisely because it is no respecter of persons, it is the best hope for the working class to rise."


Debt Watch:
On Monday, the government cut the debt by a total of $5,246,797,620.44, dropping the debt to a mere:
$15,068,133,903,969.13


The Final Five: Number 3
Vampire Government: How the Left is Sucking the Life out of the Private Economy
Steve McCann explains how our government is killing the economy. "The left will, besides denying any responsibility for this devastation to the American economy, claim that their policies have helped the poor and downtrodden. However, in 1965, the poverty rate in America was 15.4% (today it is 15.1%). Not only has the income of Americans stagnated, but the disparity has widened -- not because of the so-called greed of the rich, but because there is now minimal upward income mobility compared to the past, as high-paying jobs are no longer being created. The U.S. is not competitive in the world market, as the manufacturing sector has been forced to wither on the vine. And America has joined the list of countries facing insolvency due to out-of-control spending and borrowing. The solution offered by Obama and his fellow travelers on the left: not only more of the same, but an acceleration of the process, as they cannot get past their own narcissism and ignorance enough to ever admit failure. They would rather see the United States collapse and its people in poverty and despair as long as they are safely ensconced within the ruling class along with their crony capitalist and union allies."


Tweets of the Day:
Rep. Ben Quayle (@benquayle): My daughter Evie is participating in #occupydc by occupying my office. http://ow.ly/i/mT2B


The Final Five: Number 2
One Executive Order That Could Stop ObamaCare
A much-debated topic recently centers around how much of ObamaCare can be stopped by executive order. The CATO Institute's Michael Cannon argues that there is one way a Republican president could force a change to the law, and this method is well within the executive's boundaries. "The next president could issue an executive order directing the IRS either not to offer premium assistance in federal Exchanges or to rescind this rule and draft a new one that does not. The U.S. Constitution demands that the president “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Such an executive order therefore lies clearly within the president’s constitutional powers: it would ensure the faithful execution of the laws by preventing the executive from usurping Congress’ legislative powers. While such an executive order would not repeal ObamaCare, as Jonathan Adler and I explain in this Wall Street Journal oped , it would “block much of ObamaCare’s spending and practically force Congress to reopen the law.”"


Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"In reality there is perhaps no one of our natural Passions so hard to subdue as Pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will now and then peek out and show itself."
-Benjamin Franklin


The Final Five: Number 1
The Welfare State's Reckoning
Robert Samuelson argues that the crisis in Europe has less to do with the Euro and more to do with the welfare state. "The paradox is that the welfare state, designed to improve security and dampen social conflict, now looms as an engine for insecurity, conflict and disappointment. Facing the hard questions of finding a sustainable balance between individual protections and better economic growth, the Europeans have spent years dawdling. Theparallel with our situation is all too obvious."


Tomorrow in History
December 7, 1787 - Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.


Would you like to receive The Final Five in your inbox each night. Simply send an e-mail to finalfive@defenseoffreedomblog.com with "Subscribe" in the subject line.

The Ideal Republican Presidential Candidate

There has been discussion about Republican voters searching for a "perfect" candidate as a means of explaining why several candidates have surged and then declined. In the interest of satisfying these voters, I introduce the new perfect Republican candidate: Ronnewmitt Bachhuntsanrry.

What does our new candidate bring to the race? Let's take a look:
  • Our candidate has the polish of Mitt Romney. There's no dispute that when he is on stage with the other candidates, Romney has consistently looked the sharpest.
  • Our candidate has the intelligence of Newt Gingrich. While Romney has looked strong in the debates due to his appearance and speaking skills, there is once again no dispute that Gingrich has shown himself to be the most intelligent man on the stage.
  • Our candidate has the passion of Rick Perry. While Perry's "I don't think you have a heart" comment came across as snobbish, it also shows how much Perry believes in his views. Even though some of his views go against what some conservatives believe, Perry has focused himself on passionately defending them rather than running from them.
  • Our candidate has the values of Rick Santorum. Santorum has stood for his values throughout the campaign, and while it is possible that a Herman Cain-like accusation could surface, he stands out as the leader on family values-related issues.
  • Our candidate has the love for freedom of Ron Paul. Paul's strong opposition to government intervention makes him stand out among the candidates. While his views on foreign policy are too isolationist to be practical in today's society, his economic views are definitely along the lines of what America needs.
  • Our candidate has the foreign policy experience of Jon Huntsman. Foreign policy experience is lacking among the majority of the candidates, so serving as an ambassador to the world's largest nation (even under a Democrat administration) is a plus in the foreign policy area.
  • Our candidate has the personality of Michele Bachmann. While she has often been criticized (even among Republicans), there is no argument that she is one of the most likable figures in the race.

While our "perfect" candidate obviously does not exist, this exercise shows that each candidate brings something unique to the race. The candidates have obviously tried to focus on highlighting their differences as a means of gaining the support of voters, but the candidates must also not forget the positives that each one can bring to the table. There is no "perfect" candidate, but most if not all of these candidates could do a fine job as president, and any of them would do a better job than the man currently occupying the Oval Office.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Final Five: December 5, 2011

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
December 5, 2011

News of Note:

- Skilled workers needed!

- Georgia lawmaker says unemployed should volunteer to receive benefits

- We'll see how long this lasts

- Allowing women to drive increases premarital sex

- After the rhetoric on deficit reduction, is this spending spree necessary?

- Unlikely Allies: Occupy Richmond sides with Richmond Tea Party

- Why not extend this vacation for an additional year or so? And take Joe with you, too!


Tonight's Crazy Story:
Trapped Pregnant Cat Is Revealed to Be Stuffed Toy
Authorities in Wales were called to rescue a cat that was stuck in a donations bin. Unfortunately, the cat turned out to be a stuffed cat toy.


The Final Five: Number 5
America Wins War On Terror (9-11-01 To 12-1-11)
Robin Koerner explains how we have won the war on terror but lost our freedom in the process. "For that reason, on December 1, an amendment to the aforementioned National Defense Authorization Act that would seek to preserve the very last freedom of Americans -- to receive due process, including the right to a trial by jury, as required in the Constitution, before being detained by the state -- was defeated, ensuring that no American freedom, and therefore no reason for the terrorists to hate America -- any longer exists. Now, and thankfully for those who wish to defend the American values of peace and freedom, Americans can be detained by the military without trial or limitation."


There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"One of the holiday decorations at the White House is a 400-pound gingerbread house. Isn't that nice? And in front of that is a 400-pound ginger bread “foreclosed” sign."
-Conan O'Brien, 12/1/11


The Final Five: Number 4
Friday’s Fast & Furious Fallout: Fatal Falsehoods From Feds?
Moe Lane explains why the federal government is trying to brush the Fast & Furious scandal under the carpet and how the media is helping the government do just that. "To break this down: ‘willing stooges for the Gun Lobby’ is of course inflammatory, not to say utterly unproven; if a program where up to 1,200 guns were essentially thrown to the Mexican drug cartels is considered an ‘incredible success,’ I am too terrified to even contemplate what an ‘utter failure’ would look like; and, given the recent revelation that Border Patrol Brian Terry’s death may have been due to the FBI’s/DEA’s unwillingness to risk exposing a confidential informant, neither ‘reckless’ nor ‘despicable’ really apply as adjectives modifying ‘accusation.’ All in all, this was… pretty representative of this administration when it comes to being questioned on their actions, really. Which might be one reason why they’ve sealed the records of the Terry murder case. Mind you, if it is, it’s not going to help."


Debt Watch:
On Thursday, the government actually spent less than it took in, reducing the national debt by $22,056,773,469! On Friday, the government was able to reduce the debt by $15,061,085,818.05, bringing the debt at the end of Friday to:
$15,073,380,701,589.57.

The debt increased by $21,707,106,391.67 for the week.


The Final Five: Number 3
Muslim Anti-Semitism Is Not Israel’s Fault
Omri Ceren responds to the US Ambassador to Belgium's comments that anti-Semitism is the fault of the Jews. "As a sheer historical matter, of course, he’s demonstrably wrong. Muslim anti-Semitism stretches back centuries. Just last week we passed the 70th anniversary of the meeting between the Mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler, where the two of them conspired to wipe out European and Middle East Jewry. The Mufti, citing Muslim dogma and history, committed to helping the Nazis fulfill their genocidal ambitions. A few decades later, then-Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was explaining to Congress why the U.S. was withholding war planes from Israel while selling them to Saudi Arabia, and he explained that Muslim states “have felt for a long time – it goes back centuries – a very particular animosity toward the Jews because they credited the assassination of Mohammed to a Jew.”"


Tweets of the Day:
Radley Balko (@radleybalko): Anxious to hear Occupy supporting legal pundits explain how First Amendment protects the right to erect your own house in a city park.


The Final Five: Number 2
The OWS Zero-Sum Game Fallacy
Chris Bell explains the problems with the zero-sum arguments of Occupy Wall Street. "Each Monday, Hollywood announces how much money recently released films made the previous weekend. It's always millions of dollars. If OWS is correct, these numbers would represent lost opportunity for those who didn't make any money off the movie. If the Occupiers were consistent, they would hate Hollywood as well as Wall Street. Hollywood made $10.5 billion last year from ticket sales, but that does not mean that there are more poor people because of it. The creation of a blockbuster movie is good news for all. Contrary to what the OWS crowd thinks, the lack of accumulated wealth creates poverty, not the other way around. ... Zero-sum offers an easy excuse for failure. It provides someone to blame for the human condition instead of encouraging self-reliance. As more people believe it, a stream of helplessness and resentment begins to meander through our culture. In short, it says that our individual financial shortcomings are not our fault -- instead of addressing ourselves, we should blame the rich."


Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws — the first growing out of the last.... A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government."
-Alexander Hamilton


The Final Five: Number 1
How Not to Criticize American Health Care
Matt Palumbo presents the case against socialized medicine. "There is much talk about a health care "crisis" in America, but the only real problem, rising costs, is largely attributable to interference in markets, not markets themselves. Unfortunately, going socialized wouldn't be much of a transition, since the status quo is hardly a free market. The government already covers half of all health care costs, with other third parties, mainly insurance, covering a large chunk of the rest. The average person pays only 12% of his bill out of pocket. Since there is still a profit motive, all the negative aspects of current interference aren't realized, but the costs masked by government and insurance give an excuse to increase costs further, and thus all the benefits of a free-market system aren't realized as well. As Milton Friedman warned us, "nobody spends other people's money as well as they spend their own." The problem with third parties picking up the bill is that we have no motive whatsoever to know what we're paying, since we are in fact spending other people's money indirectly."


Tomorrow in History
December 6, 1865 - Slavery is officially banned in the United States as the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution is approved by enough states to guarantee ratification.


Would you like to receive The Final Five in your inbox each night. Simply send an e-mail to finalfive@defenseoffreedomblog.com with "Subscribe" in the subject line.

Lessons from Herman Cain

In case you spent the weekend away from all news sources, Herman Cain officially ended his presidential campaign last Saturday. There is no need to beat a dead horse about the allegations that caused the end of his campaign, but I do want to raise a few points about what the remaining candidates can learn from Herman Cain's experiences.

First, the majority of Republicans are looking for a good debater with a good personality who is a true conservative. The first item is what took down Perry's campaign and allowed Herman Cain to briefly rise to the top. The second is what set Cain apart from the rest of the pack: his charm, charisma, and wit certainly attracted many voters who were fleeing Perry's campaign. The last item explains why no amount of debate skill and personality will help Mitt Romney pick up these voters. Candidates will make mistakes, but consistently poor debating, a snobbish personality, or moderate positions in the past will not attract most of the remaining undecided voters.

Second, this is not a single-issue campaign. Cain's campaign ran on one idea: fix the economy with his 9-9-9 plan. While we can debate whether or not his plan would have been the best way to fix our economic woes, the economy is not the only issue voters care about. Cain's best answer to foreign policy questions was always that he would assemble a team to advise him. This is certainly not a novel idea: if elected, he would be the 45th president to do so. Americans know that the president is going to assemble a team of advisers to assist him; however, they also want to have an idea of what the president will do when he receives the emergency alert at 3:30 AM and does not have the time to assemble those advisers before making the decision. From what I heard Cain say, the decision would have to wait until his advisers gave him their opinions, no matter how critical the emergency.

Third, Cain's problems with most voters stemmed not from the allegations, but the response (or lack thereof) to those allegations. Cain's campaign knew for 10 days that the first sexual harassment allegations were going to be run, but the campaign's response was to act as if they had been blindsided by this news. However, the campaign should not have even waited until Politico contacted them in order to prepare a response. The truth is that Cain was certainly aware of the allegations and should have known that they would be unearthed somewhere along the way, so why did his staff not have a battle plan prepared well in advance?

Fourth, it must be understood that in this campaign, nothing will be kept secret. We may never find out who fed the original allegations to the press: they may have come from another Republican, or they may have come from the Obama campaign. Either way, any front-runner should be prepared to face any skeletons that he or she might have in the closet. If they are not revealed by the time the nominee is chosen, the Chicago political machine will bring them out just in time for the general election.

Even though Cain's campaign is over, there are still lessons that the other candidates should heed. I hope, for the sake of Cain and his family, that the allegations made against him are not true. However, the other candidates would be wise to take a look at his campaign as a way of fixing their own problems.