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Conservatives seek no-wiretap promise: Romney declines

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How odd it is, to be cheering political liberals one day, and conservatives like those below the next. Who can explain this phenomenon?

At any rate, I found the following a heartening development:

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WASHINGTON — A new political group recently asked Mitt Romney to promise not to wiretap Americans without a judge’s approval or to imprison US citizens without a trial as “enemy combatants.” When Romney declined to sign their pledge, the group denounced him as “unfit to serve as president.”
…these critics, who call their organization American Freedom Agenda, are hardly leftists. They represent what they insist is a growing group of disaffected conservatives who are demanding that the Republican Party return to its traditional mistrust of concentrated government power.[…]
Other points in the pledge include renouncing the use of presidential signing statements to claim a right to disobey laws; ending threats to prosecute journalists who write about classified matters; and promising to use regular courts rather than military commissions to try terrorism suspects. The full pledge is posted on the group’s website,…

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Written by Monte

June 14, 2007 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Politics

Pat Buchanan: McCain would be a War President

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McCain win would mean war with Iran

McCainMSNBC’s Joe Scarborough asked old-line conservative Pat Buchanan about McCain’s remarks, saying, “He talked about promising that more wars were coming. … Is he so desperate to get off the economic issue?

Pat Buchanan replied that McCain never used the word “promise” but simply said there would be more wars, and that from McCain’s point of view, “that is straight talk. … You get John McCain in the White House, and I do believe we will be at war with Iran.”

“That’s one of the things that makes me very nervous about him,” Buchanan went on.

“There’s no doubt John McCain is going to be a war president. … His whole career is wrapped up in the military, national security. He’s in Putin’s face, he’s threatening the Iranians, we’re going to be in Iraq a hundred years.”

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Me too, Pat.

Look, has this war been a good thing?

Do we want more? More dead soldiers? More traumatized children? More PTSD? More amputations? More brain injuries? More divorces? More suicides? More billions for bombs? More arming the world? More Abu Ghraibs? More international hatred? More world dominance?

McCain, if so, is apparently our choice. And unfortunately, most of the remaining candidates seem more preoccupied with talking tough than with calculating—à la Colin Powell—the human cost of Round 2.

For too long, Americans have said, “Presidents know things that we can’t know; if they think we must go to war, we should support them.” But presidents have taken us to combat dozens of times in the last fifty years. How many conflicts can you name that Americans would have supported, had they known the whole story? Precious few.

Perhaps we should refuse to elect people who assume war is inevitable. Why see suffering as a done deal?

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Written by Monte

January 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm

TheTrueConservative: Higher tax rates and economic growth

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Intriguing! After the post just prior to this, Do lower taxes on the top 1% boost economy?, a comment appeared from Steve Roth at TheTrueConservative. He offers an outlook unusual on the web. Go check it out. Here’s a sample of his work, comparing taxes to changes in gross domestic product of nations:

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If taxes have a profound effect on growth, you’d expect to see a trend from the upper left (low taxes, high growth) to the lower right. And there is the faintest glimmer of one—check out the trend line.
Over twenty years the difference between low (23%) and high (46%) taxers was [only] a profound several percentage points of GDP growth.
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Follow the link to the other chart in his post, which compares tax increase with GDP growth. Here’s his conclusion:

. . . there’s not a shred of evidence that taxes in the range of 30–50% of GDP are the catastrophe that American anti-taxers assert.In fact, since all of these stable, prosperous, successful countries tax in the range of 25–50% GDP, the strongest evidence we see here is that taxes (or actually, expenditures) in that range are necessary to that prosperity. [emphasis mine]

C’mon, “economic conservatives” – let’s face the facts: modern conservatism’s anti-tax passion is the emperor’s new clothes. Has it made <i>you</i> more prosperous? Of course not.

Let’s question the shibboleths that keep us apart, and get on with building a better society.

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Written by Monte

January 17, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Posted in patriotism, Politics

McCain: 100 years in Iraq “fine with me”

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Here’s what’s wrong with “experienced” candidates on national security:

photo credit samueljscott.files.wordpress.comTruthdig: When asked in a New Hampshire town hall meeting about the possibility of being in Iraq for 50 more years, John McCain says it could be 100 years and that would be “fine with me” so long as American troops aren’t getting killed. Comparing Iraq to South Korea and Japan, McCain suggests it would behoove America to maintain a long-term military presence there.

McCain, Romney, Giulani—maybe even Clinton— just don’t get it that Al Qaeda and its ilk attack Americans because American strike-forces are positioned on Arab lands. Arabs and Iranians and American scholars have labored to make this plain. But the President has put his fingers in his ears and cried “They hate us for our freedom.” That’s what experience gets you.

Americans will not be secure until US presidents stop threatening Arab and Iranian homelands. Americans themselves have moved beyond this cold-war view; American government lags behind.

It isn’t right to force ourselves on other nations, and we are less secure when we do. Let’s elect a president who knows it.

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Written by Monte

January 5, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Newsweek: Bottom line on Candidates

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Newsweek published thoughts on the “win – ability” of each candidate for the Presidency, followed by one-line summaries. Here are the one-liners on the leaders from both parties – click thru on the link for details. (Hint: I found the link to this article in an Obama email)

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Rudy Giuliani
Bottom Line
Unless the United States is attacked again by terrorists close to the election, a risky choice for Republicans.

Mitt Romney
Bottom Line
If anti-Mormon Republicans stay home, it’s hard to see how he makes it in November.

Mike Huckabee
Bottom Line
A big risk, but he’s got potential appeal to Reagan Democrats, which might be the only way for the GOP to hold the White House.

John McCain
Bottom Line
If there’s major news from abroad in 2008, he’s the GOP’s best shot. If not, he’s not.

John Edwards
Bottom Line
Looks safer, but at least as big a risk in general election as Clinton or Obama.

Hillary Clinton
Bottom Line
She can win, but she’ll need to run a near-flawless fall campaign.

Barack Obama
Bottom Line
A roll of the dice, but the only one with a decent chance for a landslide.
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You buying it?

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Written by Monte

December 31, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Posted in Politics