Tag Archives: RINO

The Fiscal Cliff Aversion, Avoidance and New Arrears Act of 2013

Late at night on New Year Day of 2013, the House voted after much last minute handwringing to accept the Senate compromise bill to avoid the Fiscal Cliff.

Reality is that the cliff has not been averted, just the rough edges of it.

Along the way many bargaining chips were wasted to get very little.

On December 31st the national credit card hit its limit. Treasury Secretary Geithner says that he can move some things around to pay the bills through sometime in February. Our new Fiscal Cliff Avoidance Bill of January 1st 2013 now adds almost $400 billion per year in new national debt per the CBO’s analysis.

LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

The Republicans now own Obama in the next round of negotiations over increasing the debt limit. That crisis hits within six weeks. As the Washington Post put it: “The bill avoids austerity but doesn’t tame dangers of national default, high unemployment or swelling debt.”

There is little to rejoice about in the Senate bill, now approved by the House, because it is fiscally irresponsible. It will cause much of the good that it has supposedly created to collapse in upon itself … not within years but within months.

The GOP itself has major issues and #1 among them is that its has allowed itself to be held hostage by the Tea Party mentality of talk a tough game without having any specifics. It has also allowed ideologues like Grover Norquist and the disciples of Arthur Laffer to warp the ability of the GOP to think in terms negotiating for the greater good of the country rather than the GOP just following unproven maxims that always seem to increase the debt rather than resolve it.

Back in the good ol’days of RINOs ruling the GOP, our national debt was relatively low and social policy moved forward in some sense of balance because people went to the negotiating table with the intent of getting a balanced deal of trading off benefits and finding bill payers, and cutting debt where possible — and we often did cut a lot of debt.

Back during the good ol’days of the 1950s/60s/70s/80s Dems and Reps were able to work together on many things that kept debt low or paid down the debt while accommodating social concerns.

However, what the GOP has going for it now is that it owns the House vote at the precise moment that President Obama will need agreement on a host of issues for which he does not have many bargaining chips to put on the table.

We will see the stock market’s view of this deal play out over the next week. Whether you love or hate Wall Street, the stock market is considered a fairly reliable indicator of which way the economy is going.

$400 billion of new debt per year has just got to scare investors worried that the nation’s #1 purchaser of services, goods and materials may not be able to pay its bills either on time or in some cases be able to pay them at all — forcing renegotiation.

We also have the FY2013 federal budget to complete. Our new federal year started in October and we still have no approved federal budgets. Those too must now be negotiated with many in the new Congress of a mind to to pare back spending to offset this Fiscal Cliff deal.

In our aversion to negotiating in good faith (both parties) we have avoided the Fiscal Cliff from arriving on January 1st, 2013. But in doing so we have merely bought breathing space of just 1-3 months before we must return to the negotiating table for what are perhaps even larger stakes.

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Dear President Eisenhower — Some of us miss you … or never really knew you but in hindsight wish you were among us today

I was born the year that Eisenhower was elected to his second term. I have no personal memories of him.

Yet we live in a time where there are those that want to take our country back … back to what I’m not exactly sure. Neither are they so sure, although they sound loud and furious about taking us back to America before the 1960s. That would be Eisenhower’s era.

Eisenhower today would undoubtedly be pilloried as a soft, mushy RINO today … probably declared to be both a socialist and a leftist. He may even be blamed for ruining Richard Nixon’s mind — it was Nixon, Eisenhower’s vice president, that proposed universal national health coverage for all.

Almost everyone has read or heard Eisenhower’s warning about the emerging military-industrial complex but here are some Eisenhower thoughts that you may not have heard:

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.”

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. … Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

“Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionaries and rebels—men and women who dared to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion. ”

“Un-American activity cannot be prevented or routed out by employing un-American methods; to preserve freedom we must use the tools that freedom provides.”

The quote in the photo is a shortened version of what he really said in a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. … Is there no other way the world may live?”

Why I miss Eisenhower, and why we should all miss Eisenhower, is his plain-spoken common sense. His lack of hate and anger and desire to demonize his fellow Americans is much needed today.

Thank you Mr. President for warning us. I guess that there was just no profit in heeding your warnings.


BTW — thank you also for running for president back in 1952. Most folks don’t know it but you didn’t want to be president. You had to be cajoled into it. The reason you gave for finally running is that the argument over communism was tearing our country apart. The McCarthyites were roaming the land in search of scapegoats. Thank you for stepping forward and bringing some sanity with you.

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RINO & Conservative — I cheerfully accept both adjectives. Maybe ‘liberal’ fits too.

Yesterday a foam-at-the-mouth gentleman informed me that because of liberals like me that we were selling out our country.

Over the last year I have been called many things. We independents that are truly independent, and not just wolves or lambs hiding out masquerading among God’s other creatures, are considered dangerous — we are dangerous because we don’t align with party positions. We are not predictable.

Anyway, I came to my own defense in the discussion and pointed out that I am a conservative. I am a conservative that does not live on the edge of reality and foam-at-the-mouth upon demand. I can see a flag passing by and feel great pride without the kneejerk post-passage reaction to yell out: “And as soon as we deal with the liberals it will be a great country again.”

Alas it came to pass that defending my conservative credentials only got me called “RINO”.

RINO — Republican in name only — may be a slur to some but it no longer has sting. It is a lot like calling someone a liberal; a term recently renamed by those on the right wing as socialist Marxists. Please, someone buy these folks a dictionary … or point them to dictionary.com.

I am not Republican but you can call me RINO if you wish. RINO to me means a Republican independent enough to think for themselves and willing to vote that way. Absurd though it is to think that any still exist.

To make a long story somewhat shorter, I then explained that the word conservative also no longer has any real specific meaning within the U.S.

There are six major species of conservatives that now roam the wild within the U.S., maybe seven if Tea Partyer can be considered a subcategory of conservative. We could designate them fortis iratus american and let the New York Times study them.

Anyway, I consider myself a conservative. When I take a test such as the Nolan political type assessment I am a conservative. My clothes are conservative. My life is conservative. My beer is dark and usually porter. I drink both tea and coffee.

I am not however a social conservative. I lean strongly towards the libertarian side of conservatism — which is to say that when I say I support your right to enjoy your constitutional rights I actually mean it. We libertarian conservatives do not mouth the words like social conservatives do.

Now, on with the holy wars! Who shall we unnecessarily assault today? I love a good crusade. (Apologies to all of my Muslim friends. I was speaking figuratively).

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2010 Rise of the Independents — Does It Matter Any Longer Who Wins 2010?

A number of Republicans have broken ranks recently and endorsed candidates outside of the party’s primary winners.

California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger is the latest by endorsing Florida’s Charlie Crist in his senate bid.

My belief is that whatever victory comes out of the 2010 election, 2010 will be for Republicans their last national hurrah for some time to come. I expect there to be 5-7 independent senators serving our nation by 2012-2014, and most will be former Republicans.

Call them RINO if you wish but voters will ultimately decide.

The Republican Party has worked very hard to alienate much of America. In the most recent polling by nonpartisan groups Republicans in Congress are trusted less than both Democrats and President Obama.

So if they have alienated America why is it that they stand a good chance to win the House, and possibly even the Senate? Punishment!

Democrats have delivered on a lot of promises. So has President Obama; out of 506 campaign promises made he has only reneged on 22.

Reality however is that Democrats have themselves behaved poorly and really seem to be adrift. It is somewhat obvious that President Obama encourages Congress to pursue certain policies, but Obama neglects his role as party leader until moments of desperation set in — like the final push for Health Care Reform or pushing back against Republicans and Tea Partyers. The word ‘leader‘ seems to apply to no one in particular within the Democratic party.

Reality is also that the Democrats have come off as somewhat spineless against their opposition. Who wants to vote for that? I’m serious about this aspect. The Democrats have been absolutely spineless since the summer of 2009 — except for Barney Frank and his well-aimed ‘what planet are you from’ quip.

Spine has recently been shown by some Republicans who are beginning to push back. It will not be enough to stem their party’s drift to the right, a right without plan or ability to achieve some very half-baked schemes, but it represents a decision point.

Just as Adams argued strongly against breaking with Great Britain, once you realize that your own family really does not love you then it is time to hit the road in a new direction.

Once 2012 rolls around the Republicans will complete their schism. A small but statistically powerful number of independents will be in the ranks of the Senate.  Republicans will have a choice: find where they parked their big tent or become a party of demographically dwindling supporters.

2010 really is the rise of the Independent.


Bill Golden is Bill4DogCatcher.com — an independent, conservative observer of American politics, economics, trends and whatever is fish of the day. Please join in the conversation online at http://www.facebook.com/Bill4DogCatcher

 

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Why Conservatives are losing at the ballot box — despite being the largest political group in America.

One of my blogger pals, that is to my left somewhat, was having fun with some folks that wanted a more conservative tone. So she advertised that conservatives should go visit Bill4DogCatcher.

It is always nice to get free advertising. Thanks!

Some did come. Some found homes here. One apparently visited and then went back to the blog that was too liberal for them (Moonhowlings.net) and sniffed that Bill4DogCatcher was a RINO and that I sounded like a collectivist.

I am no RINO as I am not Republican. I am a devout “former” Republican. I vote the issue and I vote for individuals. To me political parties bring only partyline approaches to the marketplace of ideas. Since I believe in free markets then political parties make me nauseous.

A collectivist? Really? Me? An anti-individual? Putting group before self or individuals? Me?

Collectivism is any moral, political, or social outlook, that emphasizes the interdependence of every human in some collective  group and the priority of group goals over individual goals. Collectivists focus on community and society, and seek to give priority to group rights over individual rights.

There are indeed issues where I believe government has a role — when the ‘free market’ isn’t competitive.

When we send $475 billion dollars overseas each year, often to politically or socially hostile places, in exchange for oil then something is wrong. When Brazil can figure out how to become energy independent through synthetic fuels and we can’t — then something is wrong.

I support the Pickens Plan for how we should get off our energy dependence on oil. The Pickens Plan is focused on the future and puts America first.

Most energy companies aren’t backing the Pickens Plan because it takes work, investment and it takes them developing energy sources that they can’t get cheaply overseas. They would develop alternative sources if ‘we the people’ paid them to do it — but that would be corporate welfare. Within the U.S., they are willing to drill-baby-drill for oil if ‘we the people’ give away our rights to land and get none of the profits — but that too is corporate welfare.

If we are going to be involved in corporate welfare then I want something better today rather than later.

Conservatives are losing at the polls because they have substituted broadbrush political name calling for actual competition in the marketplace of ideas.

Ummm, I just ran out of issues where I might be a collectivist.

A Bill4DogCatcher note to my conservative and right-wing friends:  it is a very sad commentary that 40% of Americans consider themselves conservative but conservatives cannot win the majority of elections. We only need to convince 11% to vote with us. How hard can that be?

Reality is that conservatives are also rejecting conservatives at the polls.

How can it be that you and me reject you and me?

Stop. Think. How can it be that  conservatives, who are statistically the largest political group in America cannot win elections?

Forty (40%) percent of Americans consider themselves ‘conservative’. Only 21% self-identify as liberal. Moderates make up 35%. Four percent are confused. Yet you/we/us can’t win at the polls?!

Conservatives are stumbling at the ballot box because they are not competing on ideas and applying their philosophy to realworld problems.

Conservatives — stop being knotheads. Reject the anger and hyper-name calling of the right wing. We’ve been hijacked. We can’t win because people claiming to be conservatives are so busy badmouthing all the folks in the middle that just want a workable solution — and we can’t win because many folks (like myself) that wear conservative bumperstickers refuse to vote for knotheads. We are all Americans: left, right or center.

Conservatives – you want free markets in the marketplace of ideas? You got it. Free markets require that you sell and I buy. There is a reason “conservatives” keep getting booted out on their ass lately — refusal to compete for votes. Get on with it or goodbye.

SOURCES:
Gallup Poll, “Conservatives” Are Single-Largest Ideological Group, http://www.gallup.com/poll/120857/conservatives-single-largest-ideological-group.aspx


Bill Golden is Bill4DogCatcher.com, a politically independent observer of economics, politics and human resource issues. Bill”s day job is as CEO of IntelligenceCareers.com — supporting U.S. military and intelligence operations 24/7 across the USA and around the world in 21 countries.

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