Cronyism

The Pearl Harbor Switch

This seems about right. I had never thought about the possibility of Afghanistan and Iraq being a way to defuse the Pearl Harbor Switch as it might otherwise have applied to our friends (and Bush friends) the Saudis. And perhaps the Muslim world in general. I remember well all the people calling for us to nuke Mecca. Which would be a Bad Idea if religiocide were not already well in the works. In any event, it’s easy to see how people could perceive us as soft and peaceful to the point of being pushovers, but it takes little perception to realize not to flip the switch.

This Is Bad

I have become a fan of Carly, but Fiorina supported an individual mandate in 2013. Not the same mandate. A more sensible mandate. However, it is wrong either way. No matter what the NSA has and allowed Obama to use on Justice Roberts to get a decision that says otherwise, the mandate is unconstitutional.

I’m not convinced this destroys her chances utterly, and it’s going to be hard to do more than modify ObamaCare no matter who wins, but it certainly looks bad. You cannot, by definition, support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America if you support and pursue unconstitutional policies.

The problem may be a corporate background informing her views. The trouble with Republicans is that it’s OK if a corporation does it, the way a Democrat considers it good if the government does it, but then that extends to it being OK if the government does something of benefit to corporation(s). If you see an individual mandate as somehow benefiting business, especially big business, you are more likely to support it as a Republican. No principles need apply.

Perhaps it’s already time to bring back Rick Perry. He has the problem of invoking Jesus, but not to the extent of being a Christian theocrat as some Republicans might be.

RICO!? WTF…

So you’ve got this manmade global warming thing that not only hasn’t remotely been proven, but arguably the opposite. At minimum, the “evidence” has been subject to fraud or error. It’s more a money game than anything, for “scientists” pursuing it, and a power game for politicians and organizations pursuing it. Powerful motivators, those. Not like truth and accuracy for their own sake, and the sake of a clear conscience.

Now we have someone proposing to use RICO to bludgeon scientists who disagree! Seriously? Are you sure we aren’t living in a Randian dystopia, complete with a State Science Institute run amok?

Candidate Questions

This is a fun set of questions, taylored for each of the Republican candidates. One question. One followup. Since I haven’t examined every single candidate as closely as someone interested in political blogging could have, I learned a couple things. I agree on many points. This seems to be heavy on losing the religious angle some bring to the table. That’s a Good Thing. Religion should never be a factor in how a candidate or party campaigns or governs.

Bush has no serious chance anyway, but supporting gun control? That’s poison. Even Democrats are best of leaving that alone. It’s at least as much a lost cause as, say, gay marriage. More so, in that it has the Constitution more clearly and explicitly behind it, and the Constitution in that case is simply affirming the government will not interfere with a right that precedes and is not based in government.

I tend to agree on Carson. Why? How will he survive? Perhaps he’d be best off as Carly’s VP.

Speaking of Carly, she’s doing pretty well if the crony question is the worst you can come up with. Valid, perhaps, but a relatively modest concern.

Kasich supported Obamacare? Buh-bye.

Pataki’s question made me laugh my ass off. I won’t spoil it.

I didn’t quite finish a post about immigration I started the other day, but when the questions are about amnesty, I am not as strong in opinion as some. I’ve come around to less open borders as a matter of security, but otherwise I have always been rather more anarcho than libertarian on the topic.

Walker has been a disappointment. He, Perry and Fiorina have been my big three. I get the impression he is more muddled than it might have appeared when he did battle as governor. I was unimpressed by the Canadian border fence thing, and have wondered, since it was Just That Crazy a thing to say, whether it was overblown or taken out of context by the media, or was meant as a joke and taken seriously. My inclination to support him crashed hard with that. But he’d still be vastly better than what we have, than any running or potentially running Democrat or Socialist, and better than most of the Republican field in actual practice.

Huckabee is a joke. Was a joke before. Should even be running now.

Jindal is a technocratic policy wonk who would be adequate to good as President, but can’t get theah from heah. So yes, cabinet for him.

Trump apparently needs more of my attention. People I respect seem to actually support him! I have seen him as the clown car sideshow to entertain us before the real race gets underway. Instead he seems to have become the real race.

Didn’t mean for this to become a commentary on some of the candidates. Definitely go read the link if you haven’t already.

Cuba

I just noticed a brief commentary by someone I respect on the libertarian right, and I know there are many others, absolutely vehement against trade with Cuba.

On some level, I can see that. However, I can also see what has and has not worked there and elsewhere to liberalize things. I’m all for a change to engagement, in the case of Cuba.

Trouble is, that potentially messes with the sugar and corn lobbies in the United States.

The price of sugar is artificially propped up here, tied into the whole Cuba thing, and who is more involved in the US sugar industry than ex-pats. In turn, this creates demand for corn syrup as a substitute, and all that it implies, including suspicion of a connection to the “obesity epidemic.” I question the timing.

There are powerful forces who hear sweet music to their ears when they hear folks who might otherwise be onto them cheer on the continued economic embargo of Cuba.

Minivans

The funny thing about minivans (and SUVs) is that the same sorts of people who might tend to bash them are ones who would have the breeders strap their children into bulky protective seats until they are 10.

Minivans are useful even if you have only two kids, but mandatory if you have three or more at all proximate in age.

The safety and environmentally conscious, never been poor a day in their lives, how dare you ruin my planet by keeping the population from plummeting types get to unintentionally mandate and openly deride minivans all in one package.

(The above is the text of an e-mail to Glenn Reynolds in reaction to the linked post.)