Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Work, work, work

Sorry for the delay in getting out the next set of posts folks, been really dang busy at work and tired as heck by the time I get home. From here on out I'll try to focus on more current quotes and such.

I'm going to start with the MSMs attempt to mischaracterize Rick Santorum in his somewhat recent speech where he called Obama a snob. They love to cut the speech in right at that part, but leave out the entire minute and change of the speech before that. Here is the part they keep cutting out.

Oh look, he's saying that people can and do contribute without a college degree. That not everyone is meant for intellectual pursuits and that some people are more gifted in some areas than others. What a horrible thing to point out that people are not equal in all of their skills across the board.

Meanwhile Romney accused Santorum of trying to hijack the Michigan primary (paragraph 4) by calling on Democrat voters to vote for him. Kind of funny coming from the guy who was making such a big deal after the number of independent and Democrats voting for him in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Newt Gingrich on War & Peace

GINGRICH [to Dodd]: The Baker-Hamilton Commission suggested that we engage Iran & Syria, who are our enemies in the region. The fact is the Iranians want us defeated. The Iranians are providing weapons, training and money to defeat us. This would be like saying, “Why don’t we turn to Nazi Germany to help us manage fascist Italy?”

DODD: The idea we don’t talk to the Syrians & Iranians in a moment like this, I think, is terribly naive and dangerous for the country, in my view.
GINGRICH: I’m perfectly happy to talk to Syrians and the Iranians. We’ve had a number of secretaries of state who’ve gone to Damascus, several of whom have been snubbed. Our secretary of state was snubbed the other day by the Iranians. I just want us to understand who we’re talking about. Reagan had no doubt that the Soviet Union was an evil empire. He had a clear vision of the Cold War. He said, “We win, they lose.” And he did what you’re calling for. They unraveled the Soviet empire, largely without firing a shot.
Meet the Press: 2007 "Meet the Candidates" series - May 20, 2007

No one in the initial war planning expected the US would try to run Iraq after defeating Saddam. There was a general belief that portions of the Iraqi army could be converted in to a policing force.

It was vital from day one that the US be seen as a liberator and not as an occupier. For some reason the lesson learned in Afghanistan--of liberating and not occupying--did not get across. Like most bureaucracies, this one looked after itself. It created a green zone of protection and comfort to shield the bureaucrats. By creating a green zone, it acknowledged that the entire rest of the country was a red zone, a danger zone. Worst of all, the decision to have an explicitly American administrator of Iraq guaranteed that America's role would change from liberator to occupier.
By Dec. 2003, things were so bad that I went public and declared that we had "gone off a cliff" in the June decisions, and that until they were reversed things were just going to get worse
Real Change, by Newt Gingrich, p. 110-111 - Dec 18, 2007

Beyond the Petraeus Report, we need a report on the larger war with the Irreconcilable Wing of Islam. This enemy is irreconcilable with the modern civilized world because its values would block any woman from being in this room, having a job, voting, being education. It is irreconcilable because it cannot tolerate other religions or other lifestyles. It represents what some have called an Islamofascist approach to imposing its views on others and as such it is a moral threat to our way of life, to freedom, and to the rule of law.

The Irreconcilable Wing of Islam has emerged as an extremist movement against not only non-Muslims but also against moderate Muslims who wish both to preserve their faith and to be a part of the modern world.
Real Change, by Newt Gingrich, p. 292 - Dec 18, 2007

Q: As Pres. Obama was deciding what to do in Libya, you recommended, "exercise a no-fly zone this evening, communicate to the Libyan military that Gadhafi was gone, and that sooner they switched sides the more likely they were to survive." After Obama launched military action a few days later you said, "I would not have intervened. I think there were other ways to affect Gadhafi." Which is it?

GINGRICH: Let me suggest this is a good example of a "gotcha" question. Two weeks earlier, I said we should go in covertly, use Egyptian and other allies not use American forces.
Q: But Mr. Speaker, you said these two things.
GINGRICH: That's right. I said [the first] after the president announced gloriously that Gadhafi has to go. And I said if the president is serious about Gadhafi going, this is what we should do. The [second] came after the same president said, well, I really meant maybe we should have a humanitarian intervention. I was commenting about a president who changes his opinion every other day.
Iowa Straw Poll, 2011 GOP debate in Ames, Iowa - Aug 11, 2011

GINGRICH: We ought to have a massive all-sources energy program , designed to literally replace the Iranian oil. Now that's how we won World War II. We all get sucked into these tactical discussions. We need a strategy of defeating and replacing the current Iranian regime with minimum use of force. But if we were serious, we could break the Iranian regime, I think, within a year, starting candidly with cutting off the gasoline supply to Iran, and then, frankly, sabotaging the only refinery they have.

Q: But sanctions on the Iranian Central Bank now, is that a good idea or a bad idea?
GINGRICH: I think it's a good idea if you're serious about stopping them. I think replacing the regime before they get a nuclear weapon without a war beats replacing the regime with war, which beats allowing them to have a nuclear weapon. Those are your three choices.
2011 CNN National Security GP primary debate - Nov 22, 2011


Can't say I really disagree with what he has said, other than dealing with Gadhafi. Yes he was a brutal dictator, but he complied with inspectors and stopped his nuclear program. He also wasn't responsible for attacks against us after the Lockerby incident. Unlike Iran and Saudi Arabia that both support various terrorist groups, though at least the Saudi support is from various members of the "royal" family and not the government itself. If we're going to attack anyone we should hit the ones we know are responsible, just like we did with Afghanistan.

I'm all for doing whatever we can to stop Iran without using force, the idea of stopping the importing of gasoline to them appeals to me, especially if we offset it by massively increasing our own output with more drilling and building additional pipelines and refineries. At the same time, Newt doesn't lock himself into looking like a fool when the world finally wakes up and realizes that Iran really was working toward a nuke, right about the time they detonate one in a test zone to show everyone (or drop it on Israel).


Ron Paul on War & Peace

Q: I was intrigued by your comments about Abe Lincoln. “According to Paul, Abe Lincoln should never have gone to war; there were better ways of getting rid of slavery.”

A: Absolutely. Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war. No, he shouldn’t have gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic. I mean, it was that iron fist..
Q: We’d still have slavery.
A: Oh, come on. Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. And the way I’m advising that it should have been done is do like the British empire did. You buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where the hatred lingered for 100 years? Every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. I mean, that doesn’t sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach.
Meet the Press: 2007 "Meet the Candidates" series - Dec 23, 2007

Ronald Reagan in 1983 sent Marines into Lebanon, and he said he would never turn tail and run. A few months later, the Marines were killed, 241 were killed, and the Marines were taken out. And Reagan addressed this subject in his memoirs. And he says, “I said I would never turn tail and run.” He says, “But I never realized the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics,” and he changed his policy there. We need the courage of a Ronald Reagan.
2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina - May 15, 2007

In 2002, as war with Iraq loomed, I proposed that Congress officially declare war against Iraq, making it clear that I intended to oppose my own measure. The point was to underscore our constitutional responsibility to declare war before commencing major military operations, rather than leaving the decision to the President or passing resolutions that delegate to the president the decision making power over war.
The Revolution: A Manifesto, by Ron Paul, p. 52-53 - Apr 1 2008

Following the creation of the Fed, the government would discover elastic money would prove useful in funding war. It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking. When governments had to fund their own wars without a paper money machine to rely upon, they economized on resources. They found diplomatic solutions to prevent war, and after they started a war they ended it as soon as possible.

Now with central banks, governments could just print what they needed, and therefore they were more willing to pull the trigger and pick fights. The diplomats were powerless to stop governments itching to try out their newfound funding machines.
End the Fed, by Ron Paul, p 63 - Sep 29, 2010

Today, the Israeli political lobby is a powerful political force. Two to three hundred nuclear weapons, under Israel's control, make Israel more powerful than all the Arab and Muslim countries put together. But that's not where the real power lies. The UN can labor tirelessly in "controlling" one nuclear weapon (in Iran) that doesn't exist while the international community does not put pressure on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In contrast, the world community rarely even admits that Israel's nukes exist--and at the same time Iran has never been ruled in noncompliance with the NPT. The fact that Muslim nations become annoyed with this policy is written off by most in the West by charging anti-Semitism.
Liberty Defined, by Ron Paul, p. 317 - Apr 19, 2011


Dr. Paul needs to study history a bit better, he's been listening to rhetoric for too long. The US Civil War was not started over freeing the slaves. Slavery wasn't even a primary reason for the war until the Emancipation Proclamation made it a reason, mostly to garner support from the North's black population. The Civil War was started by South Carolina, a member of the Confederate States, attacking Fort Sumter. The split was initially caused by an argument over slavery in the new territories to the west, and the fact the southern states hated Lincoln, but the fact is every state in the US has the constitutional right to secede whenever they so choose. The Constitution is a pact willingly entered into for mutual protection with the requirement that the state follows the federal laws. If South Carolina hadn't attacked Sumter the entire Civil War would have been an illegal action.

Also, the Confederacy recieved a good deal of support from Britain, even though they had abolished slavery in 1833. So obviously their anti-slavery attitudes hadn't been completely dissolved.

I respect Ronald Reagan a great deal, but he was not perfect. Pulling our troops out of Lebanon immediately following the death of those Marines was stupid. It informed the terrorists of the world what they had to do to get the United States to leave. They just had to kill enough people. The problem with fighting fanatics is that they aren't reasonable people, that's why they're called fanatics. They don't care how many people they lose. The only way to solve the problem is to wipe it out.

I do agree that Congress should have to officially declare war before we go and invade another country however. The whole idea of calling things police actions or conflicts to avoid this bothers the heck out of me. They fund it, but they refuse to actually have the balls to stand up and declare war. The last time Congress actually officially declared war was World War II.

Dr. Paul is right about this being the century of war, partially, nearly every century has been a century of war. Heck, there is even a period between the British and French called The Hundred Years' War, so saying they found ways to end them quickly is false. The fact is countries still had large wars even before central banks, but those wars were largely over resources and empire building instead of ideology or a call to protect those who cannot protect themselves. On top of that the loss of life was just as great as WWI and II. The Crimean War (1853-56) saw losses nearly as great as than WWII. The Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) also saw deaths upwards of 200,000. We've lost more people to murders in our cities on a yearly basis than both Gulf Wars combined. So I guess it depends if you'd rather spend money or lives, personally I'll spend the money.

Regarding Israel's nukes... I'm not worried about Israel having nukes, and neither is anyone in the Western world. Do you know why? Because they all know that Israel will not use them unless they are attacked first. Even Pakistan isn't willing to use their nukes unless India starts something with them. Iran is not like either of those countries. They are led and controlled by a group of religious fanatics that believe, and continually speak to the fact, that the US is the Great Satan, that Israel must be wiped off the map, and that any oppression of Islam condones any actions taken against the oppressor. Guess what counts as oppression... not allowing multiple wives, charging people with murder when they commit "honor killings," and any other "religious obligations" that are illegal by a country's laws.

You do not deal with a bully by ignoring him, contrary to the stupid belief currently cycling through our society. You beat the crud out of him until he gives up. If you have a friend that is too weak to stand up for himself do you help defend him, or do you watch as that bully beats him to a pulp? If you stand by and watch then I call you a coward. You defend him, and then you teach him how to defend himself, but you do not abandon him and hope he comes out okay because you're not the one being attacked.


Mitt Romney on War & Peace

Q: Sen. Obama said, “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets, and President Musharraf will not act, we will.” You said you didn’t agree with Obama’s plan and you called it “ill-timed and ill-considered.”
ROMNEY: Yes, I think Barack Obama is confused as to who are our friends and who are our enemies. In his first year, he wants to meet with Castro & Chavez & Assad & Ahmadinejad. Those are our enemies. Those are the world’s worst tyrants. And then he says he wants to unilaterally go in and potentially bomb a nation which is our friend. We’re trying to strengthen Musharraf.
Q: But if the CIA said, “We had Osama bin Laden in our sights, Musharraf says no,” what do you do?

ROMNEY: It’s wrong for a person running for the president to get on TV and say, “We’re going to go into your country unilaterally.” Of course, America always maintains our option to do whatever we think is in the best interests of America. But we keep our options quiet.
2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate - Aug 5, 2007

The jihadists' history with America justifies their confidence that we will abandon the fight. In 1983, jihadists attacked US marines in Lebanon--and we withdrew. The again in 1993, jihadists attacked US marines in Somalia--and we withdrew. Next, jihadists placed bombs in the World Trade Center, but they were arrested and tried as if they were street criminals, not a real and present threat. In 2000, jihadists audaciously attacked the USS Cole, killing 17 American sailors, but once more, we did nothing.
With all this history as a backdrop for their lectures to the young, jihadists have become quite confident in the knowledge that, time and again, we have underestimated their threat, their capacity to kill, and their steadfast resolve. This is a lesson they pass on to the young radicals in the making. Only in recent years has American resolve in Iraq and Afghanistan provided a counterexample of Western fortitude in the face of jihadist attacks.
No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 71 - Mar 2, 2010

Q: Osama bin Laden is dead. We've been in Afghanistan for ten years. Isn't it time to bring our combat troops home from Afghanistan?

ROMNEY: It's time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can, consistent with the word that comes to our generals that we can hand the country over to the Afghan military to defend themselves from the Taliban. I think we've learned some important lessons in our experience in Afghanistan. I want those troops to come home based upon not politics, not based upon economics, but instead based upon the conditions on the ground determined by the generals. But I also think we've learned that our troops shouldn't go off and try and fight a war of independence for another nation. Only the Afghanis can win Afghanistan's independence from the Taliban.
2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester, NH - June 13, 2011
Q: How do you prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon? Is it worth going to war to prevent that?
ROMNEY: Well, it's worth putting in place crippling sanctions. It's worth working with the insurgents in the company to encourage regime change in the country. And if all else fails, if after all of the work we've done, there's nothing else we can do beside take military action, then of course you take military action. It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. This term "unacceptable" has been applied by several presidents over history, and our current president has made it very clear that he's not willing to do those things necessary to dissuade Iran from their nuclear folly. I will take a different course. I will make sure that the sanctions, diplomatic pressure, economic pressure, and support of insurgents within the country help them become dissuaded to get away from their nuclear ambition. And finally, have a military presence there.
2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy - Nov 12, 2011
ROMNEY: Israel does not want us to make it more difficult for them to sit down with the Palestinians. Ultimately, the Palestinians and the Israelis are going to have to agree on how they're going to settle the differences between them. My view is this: We stand with the Israeli people. We link arms with them. If we disagree with them, like this president has time and time again, we don't do it in public like he's done it, we do it in private. And we let the Israeli leadership describe what they believe the right course is going forward.
Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa - Dec 10, 2011
Q: What is the earliest you think our 90,000 troops in Afghanistan should be brought home?

ROMNEY: Well, we want to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can. The commanders are saying they think 2014 is a better date. If I'm president, I will inform myself based upon the experience of the people on the ground that are leading our effort there. I want to make sure that we hand off the responsibility to an Afghan security force that is capable of maintaining the sovereignty of their nation from the Taliban. I don't want to do something that would put in jeopardy the hard earned success which we've had there. And I would bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can, of course, based upon my own experience there, informing myself of what's happening there and listening to the commanders on the ground.
WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate - Jan 7, 2012

Well, other than the fact he basically gave Iran his entire playbook if he gets elected (and then saying a few years later we should keep our options quiet), I can't really disagree with the things he has said. Can I be amused that they were talking about Osama being in Pakistan back in the 2007 election cycle though?

Of course, ask anyone that knows me back from my Navy days and they'll confirm I had been saying he was within spitting distance of Islamabad since 2005, so maybe that's why it amuses me...


Newt Gingrich on War & Peace
Ron Paul on War & Peace

Rick Santorum on War & Peace

Q: Our ambassador to Iraq has said the principal problem is not foreign terrorists, it’s sectarian violence, Sunni vs. Shiite. This is Shiite vs. Sunni, Iraqi vs. Iraqi. What do you do about that, stay the course?
SANTORUM: That makes it more complex. The radical Sunni terrorist groups, as well as Shia nation-states like Iran, want to defeat the United States.

Q: But stay on Iraq, Senator.

SANTORUM: I’m coming back to it. But you can’t ignore the fact that Iraq is simply a front. And Iran, the principal stoker of this Shia/Sunni sectarian violence, would love nothing more to see than the Iraqi democracy fail. Iran is the one that’s causing most of the problems in Iraq, and, obviously, with Israel today. Iran is the country that we need to focus on in this war against Islamic fascism.

Q: So Iran now has more influence in Iraq than they did before Saddam Hussein?

SANTORUM: I would say that they have more influence in a free country than they would within a totalitarian regime.
Meet the Press: PA 2006 Senate Debate, Tim Russert Moderator - Sep 3, 2006

Q: But knowing what you know now about the weapons of mass destruction, the primary rationale for the war, would you believe that the Iraq war was a choice or a necessity?
SANTORUM: I believe that it was a war of necessity because they were a threat. It is important that we are in the Middle East right now and confronting this broad war against Islamic fascism. The bottom line is that we are now almost 5 years from Sept. 11th. We have not had any kind of terrorist attack in this country, because we’ve taken it to them. We’ve disrupted their networks, not just in Afghanistan. Iraq was a state sponsor of terror, and we went after them.
Meet the Press: PA 2006 Senate Debate, Tim Russert Moderator - Sep 3, 2006

Q: [to Ron Paul]: Your policy towards Iran is: No sanctions?

PAUL: No, that makes it much worse. This whole idea of sanctions, all these pretend free traders, they're the ones who put on these trade sanctions.
SANTORUM: Well, as the author of the Iran Freedom Support Act, which he is criticizing, it actually imposed sanctions on Iran because of their nuclear program--Iran is not Iceland, Ron. Iran is a country that has been at war with us since 1979. Iran is a country that has killed more American men and women in uniform than the Iraqis and the Afghanis have. The Iranians are the existential threat to the state of Israel, via funding of Hamas and Hezbollah and the support of Syria.
Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames, Iowa - Aug 11, 2011

PAUL: [to Santorum]: We're under great threat, because we occupy so many countries. We're in 130 countries. We're there occupying their land. And if we think that we can do that and not have retaliation, we're kidding ourselves.

SANTORUM: On your Web site on 9/11, you had a blog post that basically blamed the United States for 9/11. On your Web site, yesterday, you said that it was our actions that brought about the actions of 9/11. Now, that is irresponsible. Someone who is running for the president of the United States in the Republican Party should not be parroting what Osama bin Laden said on 9/11. We are not being attacked and we were not attacked because of our actions. We were attacked because we have a civilization that is antithetical to the civilization of the jihadists. And they want to kill us because of who we are and what we stand for. And we stand for American exceptionalism, we stand for freedom and opportunity for everybody around the world, and I am not ashamed to do that.
2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa, FL - Sep 12, 2011

HUNTSMAN: [to Santorum] We're at a critical juncture in our country. Our core, our economy, is broken. We're 25% of the world's GDP. The world is a better place when the US is strong. So guiding a foreign policy standpoint needs to be fixing our core. But after 10 years of fighting the war on terror, people are ready to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.

SANTORUM: Just because our economy is sick does not mean our country is sick, and it doesn't mean our values are sick. And we're going to stand up for those values every opportunity to make sure that our country is safe. The bottom line is, we should be fighting wars to win, not fighting wars for politics. And this president is fighting a war in Afghanistan with one hand tied behind our generals, not giving the troops they need, not giving the authority, the rules of engagement to allow us to be successful. And unless we change those rules of engagement and make sure that our folks can win, then we are going to play politics with our military.
2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando, FL - Sep 22, 2011


Starting at the top...
Acknowledges that Iran was behind many of the insurgent activities in Iraq. Check.

Acknowledges the fact we had not had any terrorist attacks up to that point because we were in Iraq, giving them a front outside of the US. Check. Yes, we've had a few homegrown terrorists since then, but the important part is HOMEGROWN. Even if our troops had been here it wouldn't have stopped those from showing up.

Acknowledges that Iran has been at war with us since 1979. Check.

Points out that the Iranian government funds Hamas and Hezbollah. Check.

Holy cow, a politician willing to speak the truth, has anyone checked to see if Hell has frozen over yet? He goes on to smack Ron Paul around for trying to run for President while parroting Osama bin Laden by blaming the US for 9/11, which nobody else seems to want to do.

Then he points out that Obama has been handcuffing our guys, which makes it very difficult to win a fight. The whole concept of "Do not fire until fired upon" is bull anyway. It practically guarentees at least one man or vehicle lost before we can engage in combat. Yes, that policy is still officially in place, even though it tends to get ignored by soldiers with half a brain when they see an enemy coming their way.

Oh yea, and on the issue of Iraq's WMDs (link to news article with whole slew of links on the subject), they had them. It's not my fault the media ignores it. Heck, even the WikiLeaks guys acknowledged it by releasing documents.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

President Obama's 2013 Budget

President Obama shows his absolute brilliance with his 2013 Budget Proposal. Included in that proposal are yet more cuts to the Defense Department. Meanwhile Robert Kagan over at the Wall Street Journal explains pretty clearly my view on why America needs to stay at the forefront of global policy through military strength and not diplomacy through promises. I've had that conversation with various Ron Paul supporters on a regular basis, but I can't seem to get my point across as clearly as he does.

The military can definitely use some looking at as far as processes are concerned, but straight reduction in budget forcing cuts without a look at those processes first, and how to streamline them, is just stupid. It will take us a decade or more to build up to the level of strength required if there is a large war, which history has shown occurs pretty regularly when there isn't someone holding a hammer over the rest of the world to make sure they behave. As the President he can order a review of those processes and look for ways to improve them, then you take the money saved from that to reduce the budget and nothing is really lost.

Instead we're cutting back on research and development, reducing the available system upgrades, and massively downsizing our available ground forces. We're just going to end up having to do it all over again when the next 9-11 occurs, or the next World War. Instead of focusing on cutting our own Defense funding, we should be focusing on sources of funding for the various terrorist organizations and cutting those.

(Added Feb 13, 2012)

So, some more information on President Obama's 2013 budget. First, it includes $1.4 Trillion in new taxes. Next, it forcibly increases the cost of travel by about $5 a bag each way (for going through security), and on top of that the administration wants to add a $100 departure fee to the airlines, business jets, and other aircraft to cover FAA air traffic control costs. The additional bag fees are a stupid idea, travel is already getting ridiculously expensive as it is, on top of that you have the $100 cost (they don't say if it's per flight or per passenger, or if it will vary by size of the plane) which is just absurd. At least with the security the airports can opt out of using the TSA and go with a private security company (at least until the TSA starts denying requests again), but this is not the case with the Air Traffic Controllers. ATC workers have a national union, you must be a union member to work as one, and airports have no choice but to hire union ATCs.

So a public sector union is in complete control of an industry, and the government's solution to offset costs is to force airlines to help pay for it, rather than removing the requirement that ATCs be government employed union workers. It makes no sense from a monetary viewpoint to not allow privately hired traffic controllers, they still would need the same license and certification requirements, and it would completely remove the burden from the government budget. This is why I hate public sector unions, they are only accountable to the government (rather than the people who actually pay their paychecks with tax money), and anyone that doesn't want to go along with them is threatened with being shut down, jail time, or worse because governments have nearly unlimited resources compared to even the richest citizens.

The majority of services the government provides can be privatized and turned into an actual profitable enterprise, or allowed to sink; either way the bill to private citizens for services they don't want and don't use goes down.


(Added Feb 14, 2012)

So, more fuel to the fire. I love how the article blames the Pentagon for being honest about what it'll take in force reductions to meet the President's 2013 Budget. A drawdown of about 2% across the board for 2013 may not seem like much until you realize the entire plan calls for over 123,000 troops in the next 5 yrs out of jobs in a crappy economy (see my article, , for why the unemployment numbers are bull).

They try to compare it to the troop reductions post Cold War, but there is one huge problem with that comparison. The economy was booming at the time, so getting out and getting a civilian job, while still a difficult transition, was not a horrible prospect while it is now. At least the writers of the article were honest enough to point out that most of the reductions tend to come from lower ranking folks rather than the host of flag general officers we seem to keep getting. I doubt most of them would notice their secretary's weren't there anymore if it weren't for the lack of coffee in the morning. But that's okay, they'll just get the new lowest ranking guy to do it (they must be getting up to O-5's and 6's by now).

The Pentagon says they'll focus on those already at retirement or offering early retirement to folks, but the brass obviously still doesn't have a clue how that will affect the lower ranks. Especially since they won't bother to look at something like troop morale and effectiveness when determing who they're going to force out, they'll use the standard metric of seniority. They'll go with the guy who can retire that has the least time in and get rid of him.

Then you have this little nugget. What the AP fails to mention with those Bush-era tax cuts is that they also include cuts for middle and low income households, not just the rich that Obama rails against. He shouts at Republicans in public for supporting "tax breaks for the rich" while also saying they need to vote to keep in place current tax cuts so income taxes don't increase on middle-class Americans, and purposely leaves out the fact that IT'S THE SAME BILL. The same tax cuts that the Republican House voted to keep in place for a year that were then rejected by Senator Harry Reid and the Democrat controlled Senate. What is sad is that people actually believed the MSM rhetoric blaming the Republicans for the issue going right up to the deadline. The bill had already been passed in the House with the 1-year extension, it was the Democrats that refused to pass it and forced only a 2-month extension necessitating the need for another vote on the issue here in the next few weeks.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Drones and Satellites, Coming to a Neighborhood Near You!

Yea, that title sounds a little conspiracy theory-ish, I know. I'm not generally one to listen to that junk either, but this latest bit of news has me wanting to fire a lot of Congresscritters (again).

Drones have been authorized for use in American skies by a recent bill passed by Congress. Up to an additional 30,000 drones are expected to be authorized for use thanks to the recently passed FAA Reauthorization Act (which is expected to be signed by the President).

The drones originated as surveillance devices, which is a purpose I can completely support, however the idea of 30,000 of these things flying around our skies watching our every move has me a bit worried. Anyone ever watch that movie Enemy of the State with Will Smith? The one where they are tracking him through the streets via satellite and such. While the clarity they were getting wasn't quite possible (at the time, it may be now) with the speed at which they were adjusting the angle, it is very possible and sometimes even better (image-wise) with the various surveillance drones.

I can see the use for them in law enforcement, so long as the proper warrants are attained and such. But I have to wonder why they would need so many. Also, given the use of satellites and drones in Europe I don't have very high hopes that they will be used very effectively, or even correctly, over here. There have already been a lot of abuses under the Patriot Act, and the fairly recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (which still included the ability for the military to detain terrorist suspects) will only allow for more. And let us not forget, in 2009 Janet Napolitano and DHS put returning US Veterans on the list of possible terrorists.

"The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of
military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities
could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists
capable of carrying out violent attacks."

"Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."

Yes, if you believe in state authority over federal authority or are opposed to abortion, you were put on the list of possible homegrown terrorists.

In my opinion everybody that voted Yea on the following lists should have to explain their actions. If they either agree with the use of drones on a mass scale for surveillance in the US they need to be fired (Yes, that includes you, Rep. Paul Ryan and Rep. Allen West). The ease with which the government can claim someone is a terrorist suspect to put them under surveillance, if not outright arrest, is ridiculous these days. No judge is going to deny a warrant if the government even whispers the word, "terrorist."

If any of the following people is your Senator or House Rep, send them an email and ask them Whiskey Tango Hotel.

Obama Pulls HHS Mandate

Okay, so he got half smart and realized the mandate was a bad idea, after nearly every Catholic constituent he had screamed about it.

Only a couple huge problems with his solution.

He is forcing insurance companies to pay for the contraceptives, abortions, etc because the Catholic institutions won't (and shouldn't). Let's think about this for a minute... how is this any different from the HHS mandate?

Answer, it's not. It requires a PRIVATE ORGANIZATION to pay for insurance for an individual. Sure it doesn't interfere with the Insurance companies religious beliefs (in most cases, I'm sure if you looked hard enough you could find a Catholic insurance company that actually follows its beliefs) however, where in the Constitution does it say the federal government has the ability to force a private company or individual pay for services to another individual? It's not much different than the individual mandate part of Obamacare that is up for judicial review by the Supreme Court in May/June.

You can say, "Hey, they're a health insurance company, they provide this stuff anyway." You'd be right, but they don't provide it for free. Insurance is not for preventative care. Car insurance does not cover your oil change, new tires, wiper blades, etc. It is to cover conditions that occur after you purchase the insurance that are not preventative. Birth Control and other contraceptives are preventative care, they should not be included in health insurance costs. Abortions could technically be covered since pregnancy is a condition, a medical change to the woman's body. HOWEVER it still does not cover the fact that the insurance company is going to have to pay for it, out of their own pocket. In the end who is going to pay for that? You and me, and anyone else that has that particular insurance carrier.

Preventative medical care is what the individual takes part in to ensure they do not have to pay the insurance premiums because they got sick, or pregnant. Using a condom, taking birth control, not having sex, eating healthy, exercising, not smoking, etc. These are all preventative and not something that should have to be paid for by an insurance company.

In the end it all comes back to PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Free Choice. As an individual looking for a job you have a choice to work for a particular employer or not. If contraceptives and abortions are something you consider a must for your health care plan, do not go work for a Catholic-run organization. Or better yet, if it's the best paying job (or only job) around, find an insurance company that will cover you for those things separately. You can also speak to your employer about opting out of the company health care plan so you don't receive the paycheck withdrawal. Yes, paying for your own insurance outside of a company plan will cost more, but either way, you are responsible for you. Until Obamacare your employer was not actually required to provide health care (those places generally paid their employees a higher salary to offset the lack of a health care option), which is another reason I can't stand the AHCA.

Addition: After thinking on this some, I realized the White House's "solution" is actually a pretty lame copout that doesn't actually change anything. Who do you think is paying the premium for the healthcare policy? The employer. So they'll still end up paying for the cost of the birth control and abortions through premium payments, even if it's not part of the actual bill, because the insurance companies overall costs will go up for everyone to make up the loss from the religious companies. Assuming of course that any insurance company is willing to cover an obvious religiously aligned employer.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Romney gets Rick-rolled!

Oh look, when Romney and his Super PAC don't spend millions upon millions of dollars attacking the other candidates and people just have facts to look at and listen, he can't win. So much for the 8 point lead he supposedly had in Colorado before the contest last night.

All I can say is, go Rick "Mr. Rogers" Santorum, keep running with it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our Government's Continual Disregard for the Constitution

Thank you New York Times for printing a quote damning a moronic member of the Supreme Court (check paragraph 9). It's too bad nobody will actually do anything about it. It's absolutely pathetic that the Times can print a story with the title "'We the People' Loses Appeal With People Around the World" and still try to call themselves news (and people actually believe it). Why should we care if other countries around the world think our Constitution is good or bad? Even as bad as our economy is doing, we're still doing better than almost all of them!

Besides, the reason we're doing so bad is that our own government isn't even following it! Executive Orders reaching beyond the power of the Executive Department, the ACTA passed by the UN and signed by President Obama as an "Executive Agreement" to try and call it non-binding, and then people actually trying to say the Senate should be forced to ratify it if people think it's overreaching by the President. Yes, that makes sense! Let's ratify every treaty the President signs illegally or just pass every Executive Order he makes as law instead of automatically overturning them because THEY ARE NOT WITHIN HIS POWER TO DECIDE AS PRESIDENT. I give to you:

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present. Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2
Notice the requirement to get 2/3 of the Senate to approve treaties? Democrat controlled Senate and he couldn't even get that for his ACTA stunt. Oh, by the way, he signed that document before SOPA was brought up in Congress.

Oh, and here is the oath President Obama swore when he became President, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Article 2, Section 1, Clause 9. His consistent ignoring of the Constitution is reason enough for him to be impeached, he has broken his oath to this Country.

Or how about HHS passing a mandate that removes the ability for citizens to practice their religion without government interference? And then having the military (who have ALL sworn an oath to support the Constitution and protect the country for enemies foreign and domestic) try to silence a statement by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese for the Military Services, who was in turn sending out a message from the US bishops in response to that mandate. I love how Kathleen Sebelius (a supposed Catholic) is the one who issued the mandate, and was oh so nice to give them until Aug 1, 2013 to "adapt" to the changes. Someone needs to be excommunicated if you ask me.

Next thing you know our government will be acting like the UK, and forcing implants on our kids without our knowledge. This is a country the Liberals love so much, with their so advanced thinking...

There is a reason that our Constitution is the longest lasting such document currently in existence. It works, when it's allowed to! The average rate of replacement for most of the 180 or so countries in the world is 19 years. Yes, 19 years! Why do we care what their opinion on our Constitution is? Our has lasted for over 200 years. Further down in that NYT article you'll notice a mildly amusing statement (while also saddening because people will read it and believe it) that our Constitution does not carry a presumption of innocence. The 5th Amendment clearly states that no person shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." If you're presumed guilty you would immediately be deprived of liberty and property. That's why cops have to get a warrant to search your house, freeze your assets, and hold you for more than 24 hours. They have to present enough evidence to prove to a judge that you might possibly be guilty before they can even bring it to trial.

Here's some of those oh-so-great constitutions that Justice Ginsburg proposed Egypt should model their new constitution off of:

South Africa
European Convention

South Africa, that STILL has problems even after Mandela managed to get the country to overthrow a massively repressive government. It's doing so much better now (/sarcasm).

Yes, that's right, Canada was on the list of countries they should use as a model. The country where anything said that points to a specific victim group is classified as hate speech and leads to jail time. So much for Freedom of Speech.

The European Convention... The EU is doing so bad overall that it makes California look good. Germany and France are the only countries holding the entire thing up right now. They have honor killings occurring in their countries on a regular basis, a worse problem with welfare than we do, and a quickly shrinking population.

What's even more amusing about the above constitutions is that we actually do have the majority of the rights listed in them, and the length of ours is far shorter than theirs. This equality of results that our government, and other governments, is currently pushing is total bull. It is impossible to have equality of results. Someone has to win, someone has to lose. If we had actual equality of results, nobody would ever win an election. Anyone who wanted the position would then have to share it with everyone else, and nobody would be in charge, because then you'd have inequality. Doesn't that just sound like a perfectly utopian idea to you?

The EU experiment did not work. Our elected representatives (and the various agencies using unconstitutional power) need to stop turning us into Europe. It does not work, it  will not work!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Iran and Their Impending Nuclear Holocaust

Hey, great news. Iran has admitted to violating a 2010 UN Resolution by using ballistic missile technology to launch one of their satellites. Now, the harmlessness of launching satellites is no big deal, but that same technology can be used to oh, I don't know, drop a nuke on somebody's head maybe?

That brings up this next bit of information. Gotta love quotes from their own Supreme Leader talking about the coming defeat of the Zionists and the Great Satan (that's Israel and the US respectively btw). Combined with the fact they are enriching uranium far beyond the 8-10% enrichment required for use in a nuclear facility the statements should be making Europe wet their pants right about now. Sadly all it'll probably do is make them deny it even more.

Of course, there is nothing to do short of war to solve the problem anyway, since China and Russia are not complying with the sanctions put on Iran by the rest of the world (who somehow managed to realize they just might actually be trying to make nukes). Refusing to allow inspecting teams into their nuclear facilities, AGAIN, is kind of a hint. Making use of ballistic missiles with range easily allowing them to reach Israel and even Eastern Europe during that exercise last month should have been a smack upside the head too.

But don't worry Obamanites and Paulites, Iran won't hurt anyone once they get nukes, nope. Nothing to worry about, you can sleep soundly, I promise!

More UN Stupidity That'll Cost Us Money

According to a news story put out by the Infowars.com the UN wants to put a tax on all financial transactions in order to fund their version of global welfare under their Commission on Social Development. Just great, one more way to screw up the bad global economy, let's just tax all the transactions that occur internationally. Because that couldn't possibly have any kind of negative effect on world trade or anything...

Even if Congress refuses to ratify the new requirement (which I really hope they have the brains and balls to do) it will still adversely affect any trade done outside this country, which will mean less money for countries and businesses to spend on importing/exporting.

According to the report, the new global tax is designed to be a progressive scale, with higher earners paying more to help provide “all needy people with a basic income, healthcare, education and housing.” Yea, because that's not wealth redistribution or anything. Kind of like the world carbon credits bull they've been pushing to siphon off funds from more developed countries to less developed one through absolutely no effort on the part of the countries too backwards (or eternally war-torn by their own choice) to bother trying to advance themselves.

Someone in Congress people have the guts to put forth a bill withdrawing the US from that POS organization and kick their butts out of New York already.

President Obama Has Brass...

Continuing on President Obama's effect on the economy in my Labor Dept post I figured I would point something out that a lot of people haven't even considered (I surprised a number of people in my office with this one this morning). All of those fun little Executive Orders that the President is passing... well, every single one of them that requires any additional funding is not just illegal, but UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Here, I'll prove it.

Oh look, his orders required money be drawn from the US Treasury, but only the House can determine how revenue (the government word for all that money they take from us) is spent. That would technically make his actions an impeachable offense. Of course, we all know it won't happen, because even though the House can call for Impeachment (Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5) only the Senate can try Impeachment (Article 1, Section 3, Clause 6). Since the Dems control it, and they'd never even think of trying their messiah it'd end up being a show trial, kind of like the Clinton fiasco. That's the same reason the House hasn't called for the impeachment of Eric Holder by the way, they actually want the guy to pay for his crimes (I'm under no illusions that Obama will get touched by this, regardless of what happens to Holder).

For a Constitutional Lawyer and Law Professor (of which all he did was teach a couple of classes, not complete courses) he sure does ignore it a lot. Nicest case (for him) he forgot these little tidbits and is just incompetent, something I don't believe for a quarter second.

The Labor Dept and a Little Business Reality

You know, I've been pretty vocal (as anyone who knows me in person can attest) about how the government hides statistics in their regular public reports, but I have to say, lately the Labor Dept has been earning back a bit of my respect. For whatever reason they have started honestly reporting their numbers. Well, that or the news media has finally gotten off their rumps and started to actually tell people about it.

Either way, looking at their latest release which includes up through Jan 2012 you'll see that they have finally admitted what I have been trying to explain to people. Participation in the workforce has been steadily declining since President Obama got into office in Jan 2009.

Now, I can hear his supporters saying already, "But that is because of what President Bush left him with!" They'd even be partially correct. HOWEVER, President Bush actually forced the Congress to vote on and pass a budget on a yearly basis (the 2009 budget being his last) after which the Senate has not passed a single budget since President Obama took office, something required by law. Of course, they don't need to with their "Continuing Resolutions" and their knowledge that the Republicans lead by Boehner and McConnell will cave before letting the government shut down. Anyone in business knows you don't plan things on a 2-3 month basis. Christmas last year had been planned since at LEAST January last year by most retail businesses. Of course nobody is hiring. Moving on...

If you look at the numbers you'll see that participation was reasonably stable in 2008, holding around 66% until November when the business world basically said, "Crap!" as President Obama got elected and dropped an immediate 0.2% (doesn't seem like a lot, but that's 622,000 people). Businesses all knew the AHCA was coming (my dad actually sold his business because he couldn't afford the changes required), the Dems had been pushing it since Clinton was president, but they were thankfully denied by Newt and his Contract leading to a Republican majority in Congress. It didn't hurt that Herman Cain schooled Clinton on the topic at a townhall before Clinton cut him off, it's too bad nobody remembered it until Cain decided to run for the Republican nomination. I'll recommend it again, read the AHCA sometime. You'll see all sorts of fun changes that result in lower employment. Like the fact that anyone that works more than 30 hours in a week must be covered by the company's healthcare plan. This includes seasonal workers by the way, if they work over 30 hours in any week during the entire year (can you say, "Retailers at Christmas"?).

Start looking at what your reps in Congress are really doing folks, you might want to consider voting for someone else.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Site Update

So I went and split up the individual candidates into their own little posts instead of big messes that make it difficult to comment on each one separately and keep a reasonably ordered conversation. Links to the other candidates are provided at the bottom of each post.

Mitt Romney on Gun Control

The candidate reiterated his support for an assault weapons ban contained in Congress’ crime bill, and the Brady law which imposes a five-day waiting period on handgun purchases. ‘I don’t think (the waiting period) will have a massive effect on crime but I think it will have a positive effect,’ Romney said.
Joe Battenfeld in the Boston Herald - Aug 1, 1994

During his tenure, Gov. Romney was credited with several improvements to state laws, including protections for shooting clubs, restoration of the Inland Fish and Game Fund, and requirements that all new hunters pass a hunter safety course. He is also credited with relaxing manufacturing testing for some models of pistols.

In 2004, Gov. Romney signed a firearms reform bill that made permanent the ban on assault weapons as well as clarified and insured other rights and responsibilities for gun owners. It was a hard-fought compromise between interest groups on both sides of the issue. The NRA Gun Owners’ Action League, law enforcement, and Massachusetts gun owners endorsed the bill.
Mitt Romney: The Man, His Values, and His Vision, by Kimberley Fields and Lisa Ray Turner, p. 72-73 - Aug 31, 2007

Q: Are you still for the Brady Bill?
A: The Brady Bill has changed over time, and, of course, technology has changed over time. I would have supported the original assault weapon ban. I signed an assault weapon ban as Massachusetts governor because it provided for a relaxation of licensing requirements for gun owners in Massachusetts, which was a big plus. And so both the pro-gun and the anti-gun lobby came together with a bill, and I signed that. And if there is determined to be, from time to time, a weapon of such lethality that it poses a grave risk to our law enforcement personnel, that’s something I would consider signing. There’s nothing of that nature that’s being proposed today in Washington. But I would look at weapons that pose extraordinary lethality.
Meet the Press: 2007 "Meet the Candidates" series - Dec 16, 2007

Romney's efforts to get right with the right landed him in trouble. Running against Ted Kennedy for the Senate in 1994, he declared, "I don't line up with the NRA" on gun control. By 2008, Romney had reversed himself on his [and other issues], which quickly gave rise to charges of hypocrisy and opportunism. A YouTube video began making the rounds that captured him firmly stating his liberalish social views, comically juxtaposing them with his newly adopted arch-conservative stances. From then on, th flip-flopper label was firmly affixed to Mitt's forehead.

Oh, and also the one about this "lifelong" devotion to hunting, which turned out to mean he'd done it twice. "I'm not a big-game hunter," Romney said, then explained that his preferred prey were rodents, rabbits, and such--"small varmints, if you will."

He couldn't fathom why the caricature of him was sticking. When Romney's staff showed him the devastating YouTube video, his first reaction was ,"Boy, look how young I was back then."
Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, by Heilemann & Halpern, p. 293-295 - Jan 11, 2010


Romney... says one thing, does another. Distances himself from the NRA, then becomes a lifetime member. Can't really trust what he says on this one given the laws he signed while Governor.


Newt Gingrich on Gun Control
Ron Paul on Gun Control
Rick Santorum on Gun Control

Mitt Romney on Abortion

Romney disclosed that he became committed to legalized abortion after a relative died during an illegal abortion. The disclosure came after Romney, who said he is personally opposed to abortion, was asked to reconcile his beliefs with his political support for abortion rights. “It is since that time that my family will not force our beliefs on that matter,” He said the abortion made him see “that regardless of one’s beliefs about choice, you would hope it would be safe and legal.”
Joe Battenfeld in Boston Herald - Oct 26, 1994

“On a personal basis, I don’t favor abortion,” he said. “However, as governor of the commonwealth, I will protect a woman’s right to choose under the laws of the country and the commonwealth. That’s the same position I’ve had for many years.”    
Erik Arvidson, Lowell Sun - Mar 20, 2002

Romney vetoed legislation to expand stem cell research because it allowed the cloning of human embryos for use in stem cell experiments--a practice Romney said amounts to creating life in order to destroy it. The Legislature overrode the veto.
His veto of the emergency contraception measure was also overridden. That bill requires hospital emergency room doctors to offer the medication to rape victims, and would make it available without prescription from pharmacies.        
Associated Press on NewsMax.com - Jul 27, 2005

“I was effectively pro-choice when I ran for office. When I became governor of Massachusetts, the first time a bill came to my life that dealt with life, I simply could not side with--with taking a life, and I came on the side of life. Every bill that came to my desk, every issue that related to protecting the sanctity of life, I came down on the side of life. I’m pro-life. I’m not going to apologize for becoming pro-life. I’m proud to be pro-life.”         
2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate - Dec 12, 2007
Romney has had a slowly evolving view on abortion. His statements continually try to point to himself as being pro-life, even while he stated he wouldn’t change state laws to outlaw it. That said, he vetoed every bill that came across his desk regarding further funding for abortions while he was governor of Massachusetts, all of which were overturned by the supermajority Democrat legislature. He has also stated that he would be happy if Roe v. Wade was overturned, yet no statements exist of him actively pushing for that. Because of this I’d put him in the Pro-Choice category, he says he is pro-life but doesn’t believe the government should get involved, which is effectively the same thing to me.


Newt Gingrich on Abortion
Ron Paul on Abortion
Rick Santorum on Abortion

Rick Santorum on Abortion

Q: Are you in favor of Plan B, the morning-after pill?
SANTORUM: It is an abortifacient in certain circumstances. If the egg has been fertilized and the pill is taken, it does cause an abortion. It’s inconsistent with his previous position and violated his principles.
Q: If you believe that life begins at conception, then why do you support exceptions for rape, incest, and life of mother?
SANTORUM: Yeah, I would vote for things like that.
Q: But it’s the taking of a life.
SANTORUM: The Hyde Amendment allows rape, incest, life of the mother. That is the common ground we could get, and I would support that.
Q: But by your standards, it’s the taking of a life.
SANTORUM: It is, there’s no question it’s the taking of a life. But it is an attempt for me to try to see if we can find common ground to actually make progress in limiting the other abortions. So yes, that’s what I would do.
PA 2006 Senate Debate, Tim Russert Moderator,  Sep 3, 2006

Q: In June, you said, "I believe that any doctor who performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so." You would allow no exceptions for cases of rape and incest?
SANTORUM: You know, the US Supreme Court on a recent case said that a man who committed rape could not be killed, could not be subject to the death penalty, yet the child conceived as a result of that rape could be. That to me sounds like a country that doesn't have its morals correct. That child did nothing wrong. That child is an innocent victim. To be victimized twice would be a horrible thing. It is an innocent human life. It is genetically human from the moment of conception. And it is a human life. And we in America should be big enough to try to surround ourselves and help women in those terrible situations who've been traumatized already. To put them through another trauma of an abortion I think is too much to ask. And so I would absolutely stand and say that one violence is enough.
Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa, Aug 11, 2011

Voted YES on Banning Partial Birth Abortions Except for Maternal Life – Bill S. 3; vote number 2003-51 on Mar 12, 2003

Voted YES on Maintaining Ban on Military Base Abortions – Bill S.2549; vote number 2000-134 on Jun 20, 2000.

Voted YES on Banning Partial Birth Abortions – Bill S. 1692; vote number 1999-340 on Oct 21, 1999.

Voted YES on Banning Human Cloning – Motion to invoke cloture on motion to proceed to Bill S. 1601; vote number 1998-10 on Feb 11, 1988.


Santorum has a minor change in his opinion to one slightly more “extreme”, rather than more moderate like most politicians do, so I wouldn’t really call that a flip of any sort and is pretty consistent on his voting record.


Rick Santorum on the Budget & Economy

In his eight years on the Senate Banking Committee, there was one issue where Santorum sought to play a leading role. Santorum, despite his reputation as a conservative stalwart, had a keen interest in providing disadvantaged families greater access to affordable housing.

In 2005, when Banking Committee Republicans were trying to tighten the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Santorum pushed to include language in the legislation that would strengthen their affordable-housing goals. "We're very concerned about making sure that we do things in working with this legislation to improve the access to affordable housing," Santorum said during a July 2005 hearing. He wanted to orient Fannie and Freddie "toward taking a more active role in creating housing opportunities for low and moderate income families."
But 6 years later, GOP presidential candidates say Fannie & Freddie should have been far less oriented toward providing affordable housing--not more so, as Santorum was advocating.
Kevin Wack in "American Banker", "Santorum Runs from Record" - Jan 9, 2012

PAUL: [to Santorum]: I believe Congress should designate how money should be spent. I always voted against spending. You're a big spender; that's all there is to it. You're a big-government conservative. So to say you're a conservative, I think, is a stretch. But you've convinced a lot of people of it, so somebody has to point out your record.

SANTORUM: I've convinced a lot of people of it because my record is actually pretty darn good. I supported and voted for a balanced budget amendment, the line-item veto. In fact, I used to keep track when I was in the Senate of all the amendments that increased spending. I put them on something called a spend-o-meter. If you look at my spending record and you take all the "spending groups," I was rated at the top or near the top every single year, particularly in defense.
WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate - Jan 7, 2012

I opposed the single biggest government intrusion into the private sector, the Wall Street bailout, the TARP program. I opposed it because it violated the principles of our Constitution, the spirit of our Constitution, because the experience I had, that if you open up the door of government involvement in the private sector, some president will, and in fact did, drive a truck through it and explode the size of the federal government and constrict our freedom.

The four people on this panel that actually supported TARP at the time of its passage are the people who say that they are the anti-Washington candidates, that they are the business candidates, and they're the four on this program that supported the Washington bailout, giving Washington--naively, I would say--tools to constrict our freedom.
The four people were Governor Huntsman, Governor Perry, Herman Cain and Governor Romney all supported TARP.
2011 GOP Debate at Dartmouth College, NH - Oct 11, 2011

Q: [to Bachmann]: You voted against the debt ceiling increase deal. Why?

BACHMANN: Consider what happened by raising the debt ceiling: The Congress gave Barack Obama a blank check for $2.4 trillion. Instead, we should have cut government spending.
SANTORUM: Rep. Paul and Rep. Bachmann had an opportunity to lead. But they couldn't lead the Congress to do something responsible in making sure that we didn't have the fiasco that we have in place now. We should have balanced the budget. The balanced budget amendment should have been the focus from the beginning. To suggest that we never need to raise the debt ceiling, that is showmanship, not leadership. Of course we have to raise the debt ceiling at some point. We're borrowing 42 cents of every dollar. You're going to cut 42 cents of every dollar? Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense, and interest on the debt is 60%. That means cut everything else and something of those. That's showmanship, not leadership.
Iowa Straw Poll GOP debate in Ames, Iowa - Aug 11, 2011

Voted YES on Balanced-budget constitutional amendment - Bill S. J. Res 1; vote number 1997-24 - Mar 4, 1997
Voted YES on prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts - Bill S. Con Res 101; vote number 2000-55 - Apr 5, 2000
Voted YES on $40B in reduced federal overall spending - Bill S. 1932; vote number 2005-363 - Dec 21, 2005


Finally someone caught Santorum in a change from his record. He wanted Fannie and Freddie to play a more active role while he was on the Senate Banking Committee. It's not difficult to see why he changed his mind given what happened, but I'm curious if he can explain it with more than a simple, "I was wrong."

I personally agree that everything should be earmarked, but I think that the term itself needs to be explained.

Every time someone wants to take a political jab at an opponent they try to get them for earmarking, when what they should be doing is hitting opponents for Pork-Barrel Spending. These are two different terms, generally used interchangably and yet having two completely different meanings.

Earmarking is the process of allocating funds already assigned to a specific bill for a project or area for use on items listed as the original intent of the bill. Ie. An earmark giving $600 million to a school district in New York in a bill for Education spending.

Pork-Barrel Spending is the process of  allocating funds assigned to a specific bill, or adding additional funds not originally included in the bill, for projects completely unrelated to that bill. Ie. $65 million for internet infrastructure included in a bill for Healthcare spending (read through the entire Affordable Care Act sometime).

Nice with the pointing out the TARP voters and the fact he didn't vote for it.

I'd personally love to see everything in the government cut except for the above listed programs as a start to reduce government spending, so I can't really say I agree with him with that idea being showmanship. It's not immediately feasible (you'd have to do it in chunks to give people and the States time to adjust), but if you have that as your end-goal in mind it's not a bad plan longer term.