Author Archive for

Willie Nelson and Walking Toward Gingrich

“After carefully considering the whole situation, I stand with my back to the wall. And walking is better, than running away…and crawling ain’t no good at all”

Willie Nelson—Lyrics to “Walking” (1974)

While not known for his astute political analysis, with these lyrics Willie Nelson has managed to perfectly describe the conundrum myself and millions of other voters face in selecting a candidate to support for president amongst the Republican field.

For months now GOPers have been carefully considering the whole situation, and have yet to settle on anyone. With the voting only two weeks away a majority of those undecided now officially are standing with their backs against the wall.

In this regard I am no different—laid here are the reasons I am currently …


Why the Des Moines Register Shouldn’t Bother Endorsing A Republican This Year

While not big news that Iowa Republicans don’t wait with bated breath for the Des Moines Register to anoint a Republican candidate the cream of the presidential crop, in recent years their recommendations have barely risen above laughable fodder. Since we could all use some comic relief from this seemingly endless campaign season, let’s take a look back at the Register’s recent forays into Presidential advocacy. What follows are two main reasons, among many others, why they should stick to merely reporting on the political pulse of Iowa—instead of trying to alter it.

Reason #1 – A Sketchy, Schizophrenic History

While nearly all the data on editorial board endorsements show that they have a miniscule impact, if any at all, well over 70% of newspapers …


Ethanol And Immigration

Four months ago as the Republican field began to form and potential candidates began poking around Iowa, a major issue they were forced to address was ethanol. Thankfully the conversation has since developed from a fringe stereotypical issue like ethanol to more serious and pressing issues like illegal immigration.

If in a vacuum and in absence of other big problems ethanol subsidies may be a valid issue to talk about.  A variety of factors, however, make it a silly topic to debate. First, the economy is in tatters and we have seen the result of politically driven subsidies on the other side with the Solyndra debacle. Second, we are now over 15 trillion dollars in debt and, beyond being irresponsible, pumping borrowed money to prop …


A Sweeping Declaration of Intent: Gingrich unveils new “21st Century Contract with America”

If ever there is going to be a moment for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to create momentum and change the flat trajectory of his presidential run—now is the time. One day after the release of a Fox News poll, which surprisingly showed him gaining substantial ground in the race, Gingrich took to the stage at the Principal building in Des Moines to unveil his newly minted “21st Century Contract with America”.

Updated from the 1994 version, this new contract will serve as the backbone of his campaign and its acceptance or rejection will determine his fate one way or the other.

In the world of presidential politics such fate is largely decided by three things—the style, the substance, and …


The Politics of Obamacare, Medicaid, Illegal Immigration, and Education Reform: The Conservative Reader Interview with Sen. Jack Whitver (Part 2 of 2)

In part one of this interview, the last legislative session was the main focus. Now we will turn our attention to the major issues that will be hotly debated in 2012.

One of the first things to jump out at anyone who starts digging into the issues being wrestled with by our general assembly is how much they mirror the issues being debated at the Federal level. This being the case, there is no better place to start than how Obamacare and trimming entitlements manifest themselves here In Iowa.

Obamacare and the Politics of Medicaid

While scarcely publicized, last session included preliminary debates into setting up Iowa’s insurance exchange, which Obamacare mandates be done by next year’s legislative adjournment. The tricky situation for state legislators …


Why Iowa’s 2011 Legislative Session Matters to Conservatives: The Conservative Reader Interview with Senator Jack Whitver (Part 1 of 2)

Three weeks removed from ending the third longest legislative session in Iowa history, I had the pleasure of sitting down for an interview with District 35’s representative in the Iowa Senate—Republican Jack Whitver. The main focus of our conversation was the results of the 172 day session and the political clouds already forming on the horizon for next year’s Senatorial get together.

In the interest of adding perspective, here is a brief overview of Senator Whitver’s political and business careers: He joined the Iowa Senate this year by virtue of winning a special election to fill the seat of Larry Noble, first beating five other Republicans in a truncated primary and then defeating Democrat John Calhoun (63%-36%). The district covers most of the northern half …


The Stench of Impropriety: Your Tax Dollars, Your Body Image, and The Government (Part 2 of 2)

The following is the second installment of a two part piece. The first is entitled “The Stench of Impropriety: Tom Harkin, Al Franken, Herbalife International, and The F.R.E.E.D Act”, and can be viewed below.

In part one of this piece, I introduced you to the relationship between Tom Harkin and his largest campaign contributor, Herbalife International. A partnership that demonstrates the perils of an incestuous system of politics and money, and ultimately played a part in Harkin’s introduction of the F.R.E.E.D. Act in the U.S. Senate. As bad as that looks, what the bill actually proposes to do is just as bad.

The act itself is only impressive in that it manages to hit the Liberal trifecta—it is completely devoid of any traditionally rational …


The Stench Of Impropriety: Tom Harkin, Al Franken, Herbalife International, And The F.R.E.E.D Act (Part 1 of 2)

Harkin and Herbalife

Every reasonable American with a pulse knows that much of what goes on in the undercurrents of Washington D.C is disturbing. It is not often, however, that one proposed piece of legislation encapsulates nearly everything that is wrong in our Federal Government, unfortunately that is exactly the case with Senate file 481.

The name of this bill is the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders, or the F.R.E.E.D Act. It is sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), co-sponsored by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and was introduced in the Senate on March 3, 2011. If you have ever wondered what Tom Harkin and Al Franken have been up to lately you are about to find out not just …


Still The Gold Standard: Barry Goldwater’s “The Conscience of a Conservative” 50 Years Later

“The Conservative also recognizes that the political power on which order is based is a self-aggrandizing force; that its appetite grows with eating. He knows that the utmost vigilance and care are required to keep political power within its bounds.” – Barry Goldwater

Evidenced by the fact that I recently finished re-reading Barry Goldwater’s The Conscience of a Conservative on a kindle—much has changed since it was first published in 1960. However, by the staggering parallels that its content has to the political realities of 2011, one could say that not much has changed at all.

Anyone who chooses to invest the few hours necessary to read this book will become apprised of the historical context in which the political and ideological battles of our …


New Hampshire Debate Recap: Bachmann Belongs, Santorum Shines, and Newt Successfully Re-Boots

Seven Republican Presidential contenders took the stage in New Hampshire Monday night in attempts to sway the primary electorate in their favor. Though the performances of all were respectable, their level of success in making their cases was varied. The following is a recap of what went down, who went up, who maintained, and what surely raised some eyebrows.

The Format and The Field

In general CNN did a nice job making the debate informative and substantive. What did not work was attempting to do away with the traditional bell or buzzer to limit each candidates response time and giving them only 30 seconds to answer the questions. Thirty seconds is simply not enough time for anyone to explain their position on complex issues, especially …


    Log in