The debate among Republican presidential candidates at the Reagan Library on Wednesday, Sept. 7th, provided a good deal of political theater. Every word spoken by the candidates, every facial expression, even their body language, enlivened the event. Brian Williams of NBC News and his cohort, John F. Harris, from Politico asked questions calculated to put each candidate on the spot. They especially wanted to pit Mitt Romney against Texas Governor Rick Perry.
The result was quite a spirited combat that revealed the differences between the two candidates.
Mitt Romney came across to this writer as a moderate Republican offering a good economic plan but not much else. He did not talk of repealing Obamacare, only issuing waivers. Hardly good enough for Tea Partiers. Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Ron Paul pledged to repeal Obamacare. Perry, however, got hung up on the Social Security issue. Romney pledged to save Social Security and make it better, which is what moderate Republicans always do with liberal programs. Perry called Social Security “a Ponzi scheme,” which sent Williams and Harris into convulsions of disbelief. A Ponzi scheme? It sounded off the wall but was nevertheless true.
Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio has been harshly critical of the Obama administration as of late, and is now advocating a challenge to President Obama in a primary. According to Kucinich, such an endeavor would likely turn Obama into a better president.
Kucinich said on CNN:
Can I see someone coming forward to challenge President Obama from the ranks of the Democratic Party? I suppose it’s possible. There again, it’s going to be about the economy, and that’s what it should be about. We have to get America back to work. And frankly, we have to stop wasting money on these wars that’s causing us to be able to lose the resources we need to focus money at home. So should President Obama have a challenge? I say he should. I think it would make him a better president if he received a Democratic challenge in the Democratic primary. Will I be that candidate? No.
Bob Turner, former television executive and the Republican candidate vying to secure Anthony Weiner’s former congressional seat, has swiped first place in a new poll by Siena College Research Institute. With one day to go before the Sept. 13 special election, Turner holds a six-point lead over Democratic Assemblyman David Weprin, a sharp turn from Siena College’s August 10 poll when Weprin led with 48 percent of likely voters over Turner’s 42 percent.
"Turner holds a small five-point lead in the Queens portion of the district, where he was trailing by 10 points in the previous Siena College Poll, and he has increased his lead in Brooklyn from six points previously to a now healthy 12-point bulge," said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. Turner’s six-point lead has shocked many pundits and analysts, as the 9th Congressional District has historically been a "blue" district, with a Democrat holding the reign since 1923.
The disparity in the candidates’ poll numbers stems from wavering loyalty to the Democratic Party and Turner’s edge on independent voters. "While Turner has an overwhelming 90-6 percent lead among Republicans, Weprin has only a 63-32 percent lead among Democrats, and Turner has a 38-point lead among likely independent voters," asserted Greenberg.
In a somewhat shocking announcement, former GOP presidential contender Tim Pawlenty announced that he will be endorsing Mitt Romney for president. The former Minnesota Governor sent an email to Romneys supporters early today indicating that Romney alone possesses the necessary qualities to bring America out of this economic crisis.
Pawlenty also announced his endorsement online at the National Review. In a post entitled, “My Endorsement: Mitt Romney for President,” Pawlenty wrote:
Mitt Romney is running for president, and I am proud to endorse him.
Alone among the contenders, he possesses the unique qualifications to confront and master our severe economic predicament. His abiding faith in our country’s exceptional historical position as a beacon of freedom will make him the most important leader in a world that depends upon a strong America to stay at peace.
In yet another display of government inefficiency, government officials in Bethesda, Maryland, located just outside of Washington, D.C., have decided to spend $4 million to house 12 homeless people for a single year. That averages out to approximately $330,000 per person, a figure that grows even more absurd when one observes that the average price of a single family home in the United States is just over $170,000.
The story was first reported by the Washington Examiner:
Owned and operated by Montgomery County's Housing Opportunities Commission, the "permanent supportive housing" facility will be at 4913 Hampden Lane — between Woodmont Avenue and Arlington Road in downtown Bethesda — and will house six studio and six one-bedroom apartments.
The project received $1 million in federal stimulus money, as well as $944,829 from the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs and $2.1 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from the state.
The idea that the United States is unique among the world’s nations has been recognized by many historians and ordinary citizens who sense our exceptionalism without fully knowing its genesis. That is why we have been such a strong magnet for immigrants. All they know about us is that we are the land of opportunity, a free country. Freedom is the main theme of our being. Indeed, freedom has made us the richest and most advanced nation in history.
Few writers have bothered to analyze the source of our exceptionalism. But most Americans sense that its origin is embodied in our founding documents that gave us the best form of government for a free people. As a result, Americans became exceptional human beings capable of using their brains and talents to unleash their creative impulses. No government, no society, no culture in history had given human beings this sovereignty over themselves.
The Declaration of Independence states: “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
A federal court of appeals threw out Virginia’s legal challenge to Obamacare and with it, the principles of federalism and state sovereignty.
Thursday, the three-judge panel of the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously held that the state of Virginia lacks jurisdiction to challenge the twin federal health care measures passed in 2010 and known collectively as Obamacare.
In their decision, the federal judges held that “Virginia ... lacks standing to bring this action. Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the district court and remand with instructions to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”
Of all the unconstitutional elements included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it is the individual mandate that Virginia (and the 28 other states that have filed similar complaints) finds most irksome and offensive to its sovereignty.
Though a number of Republicans across the country have been calling for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to throw his hat into the presidential ring, he has continually rejected the call and has sworn to finish out his gubernatorial term. Christie’s assertions have done little to decrease the public call for a presidential consideration, but perhaps a recent announcement by the Republican Governors Association will finally put an end to those calls. Christie has been elected vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, providing a more concrete indication that Christie will not be running for President in 2012.
The RGA made the announcement yesterday morning, while also announcing that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will serve on the RGA’s executive committee.
RGA chairman Bob McDonnell said of the recent moves, “No governors better exemplify the type of leadership our country needs right now than Governors Chris Christie and Scott Walker.”
A 35-year-old Navy veteran, Luis Lebron, is suing the state of Florida over its policy that all welfare applicants be drug tested prior to receiving benefits. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), America’s legislative lobbying and litigation artisans whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States," will be representing Lebron.
The Orlando resident is currently pursuing an accounting degree at the University of Central Florida, while taking care of his four-year-old son and mentally disabled mother. One of many victims of the Great Recession, Lebron was laid off in 2008, and has been unable to find another job since. After exhausting his veteran’s benefits, he applied earlier this summer for welfare benefits.
"It made me feel really bad; I just felt like everything was caving in on me," Lebron lamented. "I felt like, I served my country for four years; doesn't that mean anything anymore? I've worked for pretty good companies. I'm going to school; I'm supposed to graduate. I shouldn't be in this position."
Liberty lovers across the country will be gathering in Reno, Nevada, from September 15-17 for the 2011 Liberty Political Action Conference. With a variety of educational seminars being offered and the presence of prominent speakers like Texas Congressman and GOP presidential contender Ron Paul, the event should prove to have a major impact on the growing movement for liberty that is characterizing the upcoming presidential race.
According to LPAC’s website:
The Liberty Political Action Conference will play host to freedom activists from across the country. LPAC will feature conservative, libertarian, constitutional, and free market organizations, activists, and businesses. We’ll also bring together tons of exciting personalities and leaders in the liberty movement to discuss sound money, foreign policy, civil liberties, and the Constitutional hot button issues facing the liberty movement today.
Featured speakers include Ron Paul, Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah — both of whom are Tea Party favorites — executive director of the National Association for Gun Rights Dudley Brown, Barry Goldwater Jr., John Birch Society CEO Art Thompson, and senior faculty of the Ludwig von Mises Institute Walter Block, as well as many others.