Misc Commentary For Dec 28, 2006

— It’s great to see Ethiopians routing the Islamo-Fascists in Somalia. Hopefully, behind the scenes, we’re feeding cash and weaponry to Ethiopia because it’s certainly in our interest to see the sort of Taliban clones that had taken over Somalia defeated.

— This just goes to show you how we’ve gutted the First Amendment in the name of Campaign Finance Reform:

“It’s no secret that NASCAR drivers skew Republican, which is fine with the Federal Election Commission, just so long as they don’t display their preferences where anyone can see them.

In a decision announced Tuesday, the FEC sent an “admonishment letter” to Kirk Shelmerdine Racing. Kirk Shelmerdine, a former pit boss for the late Dale Earnhardt, has been an unsuccessful, underfunded and undersponsored driver. He has never finished higher than 26th.

So back in 2004, in a move perhaps designed to draw some attention to his car, he placed a “Bush-Cheney ’04” decal on his rear quarter panel, which was otherwise unencumbered by advertising. Democratic activist Sydnor Thompson complained to the FEC, and the agency found that Shelmerdine “may have made an unreported independent expenditure or a prohibited corporate expenditure.”

This is the sort of thing you’d expect to see in China or the old Soviet Union, not in the land of the free and home of the brave. The Founding Fathers would roll over in their graves if they knew we had a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington sitting around deciding “how,” “when,” and “if” the American people are allowed to express even the most basic of political sentiments.

— Human Events scored an interview with Mitt Romney. It’s a nice “get” and I think it also underscores how Romney has peaked. There were a lot of tough questions pitched at Romney and he didn’t really have good answers for a lot of them. For example,

Some other things that have been looked upon in recent weeks have been comments you made about Jesse Helms and Ronald Reagan back in 1994—critical comments. Do you regret making those? And could you put those in a context to explain to conservatives what you were trying to say?

When I was running for office for the first time in 1994, I was trying to define who I was, not who I wasn’t. I was trying to define that I was an individual who had his own views and perspectives and I wasn’t a carbon copy of someone else. I’ve said since, and continue to reiterate, that one of my heroes is Ronald Reagan.

I’ve been asked time and again in interviews, who are your heroes? And I mention Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower among others as some of my favorite heroes, and I feel that deeply. But I am a different person than any other person and my interest is, of course, looking forward to defining who I am….

Ronald Reagan is one of Mitt Romney’s “heroes” (cough, cough, now that he’s running for the Presidency), but in 1994, when he was running for the Senate, he was critical of Reagan because he “was trying to define who I was, not who I wasn’t.” What? That doesn’t make any sense. I mean, obviously Mitt isn’t a“carbon copy of someone else” today and he’s claiming Reagan is one of his “heroes.”

Here’s an interesting question: Do you think Romney would have lots of nice things to say about Reagan today if he were planning to run for a Senate seat against John Kerry in 2008 instead of running for the Presidency? Personally? I really tend to doubt it.

John Edwards has now officially declared that he’s running for President and have you noticed that basically, he’s just the white Barrack Obama or conversely, you could say that Barrack Obama is the black John Edwards? They’re both inexperienced candidates who really have nothing to offer except charisma.

— Speaking of John Edwards, here are his top five priorities:

In his message to supporters, Edwards listed five priorities to change America. Among them: “Guaranteeing health care for every single American,” “Strengthening our middle class and ending the shame of poverty,” “Leading the fight against global warming,” and “Getting America and the world to break our addiction to oil.”

He also listed “Providing moral leadership in the world — starting with Iraq, where we should begin drawing down troops, not escalating the war.” (Hawkins’ Note: This last sentence was apparently cut out of the original article for some reason because it appears in the TKS excerpt, but not in the piece on MSNBC.)

1) Socialized medicine. If you think it’s expensive now, just wait until you see how much it costs and how poorly it works once it’s “free.”

2) “Strengthening our middle class” is always good, but that’s not very specific and let’s face it, unless we figure out how to make widely available Star Trek style replicators, we’re never going to end poverty.

3) If global warming is occurring and if it’s caused by man (and both of those are big “if’s,”) no way to “fix” the problem exists. Sure, we can hammer our economy by putting all sorts of incredibly expensive inconvenient regulations in place to reduce greenhouse gasses, but that doesn’t affect China, Russia, India, or even Europe, where the growth rate for greenhouse gasses is actually higher than it is in the United States today.

4) Breaking our addiction to oil sounds good, but the reality is that technologically, we’re not even close to being able to pull that off and even if Edwards were elected and reelected, we still probably wouldn’t be close to having it done by the time Edwards left office. Yes, we can reduce our dependence on oil, but the only way to “break our addiction” currently would be to severely damage the economy by writing legislation that would force people to use less efficient, more expensive products, which incidentally, would also conflict with #2 on Edwards’ list.

5) We already provide “moral leadership in the world.” Quite frankly, if the rest of the world were more like us, it would be a much better planet. What Edwards really means here is that we should cut and run in Iraq and then suck up to Western Europe and the UN. To Democrats, being popular on the international scene is always more important than being right or defending America.

Also, there are a couple of glaring omissions here. The war on terror doesn’t make an appearance on the list for Edwards. Nor does the deficit. Of course, liberals only really care about those issues when they can use them to bash Republicans, but it’s interesting to note that Edwards isn’t even going through the motions.

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