Thursday, December 22, 2011
Free Will HQ is now moved into its new space, and its wi-fi now fully operational, which means it's time to get blogging. I've had posts stacked up like late flights out of O'Hare:
1. The Newt Surge hasn't exactly faded, but he's measurably lost a step in the last week. That's not surprising as he's been getting it pretty hard from both Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Newt also set off alarm bells about his repeated comments about sending US Marshals to haul activist judges to testify before Congress. That's what people mean about Newt's tendency to shoot himself in the foot. He starts off saying something unimpeachable like, say, "welfare as we know it must be reformed," or "the judiciary is out of control and Congress should be more aggressive in asserting itself against judges that act as a second veto against legislation." But, then someone - no doubt with a twinkle in their voice - asks Newt what he would do to accomplish this, and Newt starts babbling about re-opening orphanages, or arresting judges, or hiring kids to work as janitors. He's obviously making it up as he's going along, but his off-the-cuff solutions often harm the cause (although, we did get a balanced budget and welfare reform, regardless).
2. I loved Mitt Romney's comment about how Newt's complaining that it's getting a little hot in the kitchen. Wait 'til you have to enter Obama's Hell's Kitchen in the fall, says Mr. Mitt. Romney's definitely been feisty these last few weeks.
3. Looks like Ron Paul's racist newsletter past has finally caught up with him. Everyone was critical of Herman Cain for failing to have a rapid response ready for the Sharon Bialek's in his past. But, Paul has looked just as surprised to find out people are finding offensive passages in newsletters written within the last 20 years.
4. Still, Paul's economic message is so compelling to many voters that the newsletters haven't caused much trouble (yet). It's a measure of how much Paul's issues - The Fed, the overweening government, etc. - resonate with voters that they will overlook his truly backwards approach to foreign policy and, apparently, race relations. Rick Perry has been actively chasing after Paul's voters, and if Paul implodes that might benefit the governor.
5. Speaking of the judiciary and the overweening federal government, Newt's attack on the judiciary, while bracing, was really targeting the wrong bad actor. 99% of the time, judges are enforcing laws drafted by Congress and signed by the president. The problem often isn't out-of-control judges. It's out-of-control laws that grant too much legal power to activist litigants like the Sierra Club or ACORN to act as private attorneys general to enforce liberal legislation.
6. Also speaking of the judiciary and the overweening federal government, former SF baseball god Barry Bonds was sentenced to probation and a month's home detention in his fabulous Beverly Hills mansion. The full weight of the US Dept. of Justice came down on Bonds, and he emerged...pretty well. Given what we now know about the Bernie Madoffs of the world, it's starting to look like the federal government's expensive grandstanding on the Very Important Issue of steroids in baseball was a colossal misuse of resources. A DJ on the local classic rock station put it best: $70 million to prosecute Bonds and other steroid users, $15 million for the 9/11 Commission.
7. And, Free Will Nobelist Vaclav Havel died. Normally, the left loves literary dissidents, but they didn't have much use for Havel, who was unabashedly pro-American, pro-Reagan, and anti-socialist. In a just world, he would have won the Nobel for Literature, as well as the Peace Prize for presiding over not one, but two, bloodless revolutions - the Velvet Revolution and then the subsequent break-up of Czechoslovakia. That's the thing about the free-markets for free people Right: we might not have as many icons as the left, but the ones we do have - our Churchills, Thatchers, Reagans, and Havels - can beat out a dozen Che's, Chavezes, Castros, Mandelas, Menchus, Arafats, Sartres, Malcolms, Hillarys, Jesses, Maos, and Obamas