Jason Hayes

Libertarian thought, policy, religion, the environment, tech, coffee, and Tabasco – the stuff of life
This is my personal blog - the thoughts and ideas expressed here are posted on my own time and are mine and mine alone.

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Hello, I’m Barack Obama, the former next Democratic nominee

Classic bit of humor at Scrappleface.

It’s the 2000 election all over again!!! Call in the trial lawyers!!!

Why I struggle with Huckabee

Robert Novak pulls no punches in this Nov. 26th review of Republican Presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee.

Novak argues strongly that conservatives and libertarians need to be made aware of Huckabee’s past actions when he was in power. While he may claim to have been a tax cutter during his term in Arkansas, his fiscal history is badly marred by an apparent love for traditionally left wing tax-and-spend policies and big government solutions to problems. As Novak notes in his article,

He was regarded by fellow Republican governors as a compulsive tax-and-spender. He increased the Arkansas tax burden 47 percent, boosting the levies on gasoline and cigarettes

Those same tendencies come through in Huckabee’s widely quoted attack on the pro-free-market Club For Growth, calling it the “Club for Greed.” Perhaps his comments were based in their willingness to question Huckabee’s claims to be a strong fiscal conservative.

By the end of his ten-year tenure, Governor Huckabee was responsible for a 37% higher sales tax in Arkansas, 16% higher motor fuel taxes, and 103% higher cigarette taxes according to Americans for Tax Reform, garnering a lifetime grade of D from the free-market Cato Institute. While he is on record supporting making the Bush tax cuts permanent, he joined Democrats in criticizing the Republican Party for tilting its tax policies “toward the people at the top end of the economic scale,” even though objective evidence demonstrates that the Bush tax cuts have actually shifted the tax burden to higher income taxpayers.

The cigarette tax is especially troubling to me, as a libertarian (No I don’t smoke; can’t stand the smell of it, but don’t need the government to “protect” me from it.), because it in part demonstrates how Huckabee has become one of those “reformed” health nuts. In 2003, he was diagnosed with type II diabetes, lost 110 lbs and then went on a crusade to make everyone else healthy. He isn’t afraid to wield the power of the government (and my tax dollars) to support those who agree with him and target those who don’t.

The fact that he is being openly supported on this issue by extreme left blogs and reporters at the New York Times should make libertarians and conservatives see red flag warnings all over the place.

While almost the whole community would disagree with Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on just about everything, one thing we would totally agree with him on is that there is a huge obesity crisis here in America. …

Huckabee has done what many other states (sic) have not — actively encourage healthy lifestyles through actions instead of lip service. Actions such as these:

Arkansas has become a national laboratory for using policy levers to try to encourage healthier lifestyles. Other states and the federal government should adopt the same steps — like curbing soft drinks in schools, informing all parents of their children’s body mass index as a step to encouraging fitness, giving exercise breaks as well as smoking breaks, paying for preventive health checks like mammograms and prostate examinations, subsidizing efforts to quit smoking and seeking to give food stamps more purchasing power when they are used to buy fruits or vegetables.

So, if George Bush is really interested in protecting our people, then why is he wasting hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money in Iraq when we could be spending it here at home to promote healthy lifestyles?

I ask, where in this policy adventure is the personal responsibility? Why should I pay for your quit smoking program, or your Jenny Craig diet? If you and your kid want to drink Coke instead of water, I may not agree, but I don’t need to call in the Department of Children’s Services to make you learn a “better” way to live your life.

I know the quick and curt answer from Huckabee and his socialists compadres on this issue will be that it will save tax dollars and reduce future spending on health care, which the preventative measure could have caught. That of course begs the question of who should be funding health care expenditures. Huckabee clearly has no issue with that funding coming from the government (read your and my taxes).

When you take all of this and wrap it together with the fact that until recently, Huckabee was an open borders guy, it becomes increasingly difficult to support him. According to this article by another conservative, Baptist pastor (as Huckabee once was) he had actually campaigned for college scholarships for illegals. (Strangely, Huckabee claims that it is his Christian duty to both give deference to illegals and solve the global warming issue.)

Moving back to fiscal matters, Novak sums up Huckabee’s apparent failings quite well in his WaPo editorial,

There is no doubt about Huckabee’s record during a decade in Little Rock. He was regarded by fellow Republican governors as a compulsive tax-and-spender. He increased the Arkansas tax burden 47 percent, boosting the levies on gasoline and cigarettes. When he lost 100 pounds and decided to press his new lifestyle on the American people, he was hardly being a Goldwater-Reagan libertarian.

As a presidential candidate, Huckabee has sought to counteract his reputation as a taxer by pressing for replacement of the income tax with a sales tax. More recently he signed the no-tax-increase pledge of Americans for Tax Reform. But Huckabee simply does not fit within normal boundaries of economic conservatism, such as when he criticized President Bush’s veto of a Democratic expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Calling global warming a “moral issue” mandating “a biblical duty” to prevent climate change, he has endorsed a cap-and-trade system that is anathema to the free market.

Huckabee clearly departs from the mainstream of the conservative movement in his confusion of “growth” with “greed.” Such ad hominem attacks are part of his intuitive response to criticism from the Club for Growth and the libertarian Cato Institute about his record as governor. On “Fox News Sunday” on Nov. 18, he called the “tactics” of the Club for Growth “some of the most despicable in politics today. It’s why I love to call them the Club for Greed, because they won’t tell you who gave their money.” In fact, all contributors to the organization’s political action committee (which produces campaign ads) are publicly revealed, as are most donors financing issue ads.

Perhaps the best way to wrap up this post is by noting that social conservatives may like some of Huckabee’s stands on issues like abortion. Sadly, many on the left and in the MSM appreciate Huckabee’s fondness for forcing his personal views on health into the lives and wallets of Americans. However, it is increasingly clear that conservatives (of any stripe) and libertarians that are looking for the next Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan will not find it in the Huckabee camp. What you will find is an affable, socially-conservative, health-conscious guy who wrongly believes that his Bible teaches its OK to break immigration law and that we must kill our economy to stop a natural solar cycle. You will also find a guy who happily acquiesces to the left’s (and the neo-con’s) demands for increased taxes and increased spending and who has no qualms about using his government power to make you believe the same things he does.

Whatever Mike Huckabee might be, it’s clear that he is no Ronald Reagan.

Hillary’s flag issue

I saw on the Rush Limbaugh site, youtube, and freerepublic.com that Hillary and her entourage had a mishap with a group of flags in Waterloo, Iowa on Veteran’s Day.

Some people were trying to make the falling flags into something bigger than it was and say it was a metaphor for what will happen to the country if Hillary gets in. Some were saying that they couldn’t understand why the flags just started falling and acting like it was a mystery. I watched the clip and, as much as I might like to joke about it being foreshadowing of Hillary’s impact on the country, it is pretty clear that the flags were falling because the one staffer in the black suit was fiddling around in the back and hit the first flag. The lady in the black suit is flipping the curtains around and then reaches out and hits one flag; it falls and starts the domino effect.

So, no, Hillary didn’t make the flags fall; it wasn’t magic and it wasn’t the spirits of our ancestors trying to warn us of things to come.

The bigger problem with this situation — for Hillary — is that in a presidential election, everything is about appearances and Hillary and her retinue looked like incompetent morons as they fumbled around, trying to get the flags back up. Hillary only made it worse by standing off to the side pronouncing that she wants her team to “get the flags back up there guys” and that she doesn’t think the bases are “weighted enough.”

Consider that Hillary and four of her top advisers all worked at this for half a minute and the best they can do is fumble around bumping into each other, saying stuff like “OH NO!”

These are the people that want to lead the country and the free world and they can’t get four flags to stand up straight.

Hillary states that she will be “President again”

Just ask her; Candy Crowly did on CNNs “The Situation Room”.

Via the Yankee Sailor and Instapundit, we read about this little (Freudian?) slip from Hillary yesterday during . (video clip on ianschwartz.com).

The federal government should be making immigration policy and that’s what I’m going to try to do as president again

The more you see of her and the more you hear from her, the more clear it is that she honestly believes that it is her right to live in the White House and boss the rest of us around.

Her “president again” comment also sounds vaguely familiar to her past comments about reporters looking through her personal documents during the Whitewater scandal,

“I’m not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president”

It is a hippie museum and a tax-funded flashback!

Thank heavens that there are a few people left in the Senate with some sense in their heads.

Hippies used to say if you remember Woodstock, you weren’t really there. Republicans say presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton can forget about getting $1 million in taxpayer funds for a Woodstock museum.

Clinton and Charles Schumer, Democratic senators from New York, want to earmark the federal money for a museum that would commemorate the 1969 music festival in their state.

“Woodstock Museum is a shining example of what’s wrong with Washington on pork-barrel, out-of-control spending,” said John McCain, Arizona senator and Republican presidential hopeful. An example, he said, of “the earmark pork-barrel spending which has made the American people disenchanted and angry.”

Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., were trying Thursday to strip the Woodstock earmark from a massive health and education spending bill on the Senate floor. Democrats moved to kill their effort, but Republicans won a key 52-42 vote — seeping with presidential politics — signaling the Clinton-Schumer earmark would soon be gone.

It is instructive to see that the woman who would be President, Ms. Clinton, was all for chucking $1 million of your and my tax dollars at this thing. It was even more instructive to read who was behind the project and how much money he gave to the Clinton campaign and to other Democratic election funds.

Billionaire Alan Gerry is the force behind the (museum) project. He and his family have contributed almost $30,000 to Clinton and a committee headed by Schumer dedicated to electing Democrats to the Senate.

Gerry is a longtime major political donor. The contributions — $20,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $9,200 to Clinton’s presidential campaign — came just days after the earmark was inserted into the legislation.

With all the Democrat’s talk during the last election about stopping wasteful spending and cleaning up earmarks, here we have yet another example of their hypocrisy in action. (As an aside, why is it criminal when Jack Abramoff is allowed to influence legislation with donations to election campaigns, but when Hillary and her billionaire pals do it, she deserves to be President?)

When the Dems are out talking to the taxpayers and trying to wrangle votes out of us, they’re all for cleaning up earmarks and the influence of big money in Washington. However, if the earmark helps them stay in power, or brings the pork back to their state, they’re all over it.

The most amusing line in the article was the attempt to make light of Republicans who disagreed with the expenditure,

It’s the type of parochial project that’s easy to make fun of. Conservatives call it a hippie museum and a taxpayer-funded LSD flashback.

Newsflash people! It is a hippie museum and a taxpayer-funded flashback!

We don’t need to be pushing millions of tax dollars into this sort of thing. Where are the record producers and music labels? They can afford their gold chains, their Ferraris, and mansions in Bel Air, but they can’t kick in for this music-themed museum? Why aren’t they helping out if it is such an essential part of our history?

More to the point, why isn’t the billionaire behind the project funding it? Why does this Gerry guy need my money and your money to fund his flashback when he has billions in his own bank account?

Mondale to endorse Hillary

Only in the Democratic Party could the endorsement of someone who set new records in losing a presidential election actually bring this sort of excited headline.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale, the 1984 Democratic presidential nominee, is planning to endorse Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), The Hill has learned.

Mondale’s endorsement could prove especially valuable in Iowa, which borders his home state of Minnesota. Mondale won Iowa overwhelmingly in the ’84 primary.

The endorsement is fitting given Mondale’s decision more than two decades ago to select Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, the first time a woman was tapped to serve on a major party’s presidential ticket. If Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, she would also make history.

It doesn’t matter that the man will be forever remembered as the one who lost 49 of 50 states to Reagan and trailed by 512 electoral votes in the election (that actually mattered), the media is all giddy that Mondale had Ferraro as a running mate and that he carried Iowa in the primaries.

Does anyone else find that even mildly amusing?

Clinton will make you pay

In more ways than one.

If Hillary is elected President, the tax raising is sure to begin almost immediately after she forces U.S. taxpayers to begin funding the destruction of human embryos for “science.” Speaking at the Carnegie Institute of Washington, Ms. Clinton noted that she would reverse the Bush administration’s ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday she would sign an executive order rescinding President Bush’s restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. …

She said Mr. Bush’s limits on federal funds for embryonic stem cell research amounts to a “ban on hope.”

On the campaign trail, Clinton has repeatedly slammed what she calls Mr. Bush’s “war on science” and accused the administration of allowing conservative political ideology to interfere with research and scientific evidence. She cites administration officials who have questioned the scientific evidence of global warming and who have suggested a link existed between abortion and breast cancer.

One would think Ms. Clinton — ostensibly the most intelligent woman on the planet — would see the irony in her claim that others are politicizing science in light of her repeated charges on the campaign trail that the Bush administration is waging a “war on science” and that their refusal to use tax dollars in the destruction of human life amounts to a “ban on hope.”