Tag Archives: 2016

Ted Cruz wins Fox Business #GOPDebate, Fiorina and Rubio outperform

Texas Senator Ted Cruz
Texas Senator Ted Cruz

I think Cruz did the best, Rubio did well enough to take second place, and Fiorina was much improved, especially on foreign policy, where she gave a clear explanation of the doctrine of peace through strength. She did third best, but had the strongest moment of the debate when she schooled everyone on foreign policy. She really knows foreign policy cold.

Red State does a good job of providing unbiased opinion, here is their assessment:

The Winners

1. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) – While Cruz hit his talking points and made some great statements, like Jeb, he did not stand out. This isn’t as big a problem for him as it is the others, because he has a natural base of conservative voters that will turn out for him no matter what. Bush doesn’t have that, and that’s why he’s free-falling at his point. Cruz coming out swinging against the agriculture lobby could very well be his testing the water for corn subsidy talk in Iowa.

2. Carly Fiorina – Carly showed why she should not be counted out yet. She speaks like a caring grandmother, and she has to be the calmest neoconservative I’ve ever seen on a stage speaking about the Middle East. She spoke calmly and coolly on every issue that came her way, and some issues that didn’t. She cannot yet be counted out.

3. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)  – Rubio did not hurt himself tonight by any stretch of the imagination. He let Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) ruffle his feathers a little bit, but I think he overall hit his notes correctly. He is clearly courting the warhawks of the Republican Party right now. He hit on his family background only once, focusing instead on global affairs and fighting back against Paul.

They thought Carson and Trump did OK, and Kasich, Paul and Bush “lost”. I think that Carson and Paul did OK, but Trump and Bush underperformed, and Kasich did the worst of all. Trump just has no ability in foreign policy, Bush is too liberal on immigration. Kasich is a big government liberal across the board.

Over at the more establishment Weekly Standard, Jonathan Last – who is a bit wild – said this:

Ted Cruz: If you were forced to pick a winner, it would probably be Cruz. He picked the right fights—with Kasich and Paul. He gave a dynamite explanation of how illegal immigration impacts wage growth and was generally impressive. With each passing debate he looks more like a finalist.

Marco Rubio: This performance wasn’t as strong as his last. Rubio started out talking vocational training and the nexus of family stability, virtue, and economic growth—basically the Santorum 2012 playbook.

Carly Fiorina: She probably had the single strongest moment of the night in her blistering, detailed, canny riff on how she would approach Putin. If she’s going to get a third-look from voters, tonight might prompt it.

Ted Cruz attacks Hillary Clinton’s failed policies:

Ted Cruz says no to bank bailouts, yes to FDIC reimbursing depositors:

Jeb Bush vs Ted Cruz on illegal immigration and LEGAL immigration:

Marco Rubio on the importance of strong families:

Marco Rubio vs Rand Paul on tax credits for families and defense spending:

Carly Fiorina on Putin and foreign policy:

Carly Fiorina on American entrepreneurship:

Ben Carson on the minimum wage:

Finally, there is the latest episode of the Weekly Standard podcast, which is my favorite political podcast, the one you should subscribe to if you subscribe to any. Bill Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, thought that it was a good night for Ted Cruz. I agree.

I also love the Ben Shapiro podcast from the Daily Wire, and I am updating the post now to point to a new episode – episode 24. Shapiro agrees with me: Christie AND Jindal won the undercard debate, and Cruz did the best in the main event.

I spend the night reading and re-tweeting on Twitter – sorry to everyone for the huge number of tweets. What was striking to me was the juvenile nature of the Democrat tweets. Many of them came from professional comedians or Hollywood celebrities… but others came from liberal politicians, and even people from liberal think tanks. Yet not ONE tweet from the left was anything of substance. It was all just dismissive mocking. Literally. Not one serious tweet. It’s not surprising that they are so supportive of a clueless clown who added $10 trillion dollars to the national debt, and point that achievement as a great success. Oh well, that’s why we have elections. I would be happy with any of Jindal, Cruz or Rubio right now. I would even take Fiorina in a pinch.

One final thing. Fox Business put on the fairest and most engaging debate yet. They set the standard for everyone else, and made CNBC look like incompetent college students. Every debate should run this smoothly – the moderators just disappeared, and they let the candidates talk to America, and talk to each other. I learned a lot about the candidate’s views, and nothing at all about the moderator’s views.

Caffeinated Thoughts endorses Bobby Jindal because of his accomplishments

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Caffeinated Thoughts is run by Shane Vander Hart, a Christian blogger who is also interested in politics. Shane’s post goes over many of Jindal’s accomplishments.

In this post, I discuss 5 areas:

  1. Defense of natural marriage
  2. Cutting the size and scope of government
  3. Defending the lives of unborn children
  4. Defending the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns and defend themselves from criminals
  5. Simplified, fair tax plan that favors job creation

The endorsement says:

Caffeinated Thoughts is proud to endorse Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for President of the United States.

Governor Jindal has an impressive resume by any standard, but considering he is 44-years-old it is truly remarkable. Graduating from Brown University as a double major with honors at the age of 20, Jindal went on to study as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University where he would later earn his master’s degree. Jindal, at the age of 24, was appointed head of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals. He was later appointed by President George W. Bush as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services. He served two terms representing Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives after which he was elected Governor of Louisiana and is currently serving his second term.

Let’s start with the most important accomplishment:

Jindal speaks of a seven-year long spiritual journey that began while he was in high school, and, at Brown University, culminated in a personal faith and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He freely speaks of the realization that he had that Christ died for sin not in some generic way, but for him and his sin personally. He points to the time of that realization as the “most important moment in my life.” Having such a clear profession of faith in Christ is something that we are pleased to see in a presidential candidate.

Jindal also makes it plain that his faith is not something that he keeps put away except for Sundays. His worldview is built upon his faith, and his governance is guided by his worldview. An example of that is his support of the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act, in which protections would be given to individuals or businesses who oppose same-sex marriage. A number of corporations opposing the bill expressed their disapproval to him, but his reply was firm: “They are free to voice their opinions, but they will not deter me.”

Shocking. His religious convictions actually inform his policies.

Jindal is the only governor in the race to cut spending – and none of the non-governors were able to cut spending, since Obama would have vetoed any cuts in borrowing or spending.

According to the Cato Institute, of the governors that were or still are GOP candidates for the presidential nomination, Jindal is the only one that has actually cut spending in his state. Cato Budget Analyst Nicole Kaeding wrote this: “Louisiana general fund spending has fallen during Bobby Jindal’s tenure as governor. At a time when states were increasing spending, Jindal instituted reforms that cut the state workforce and lowered per capita spending. This feat makes Jindal unique among Republican contenders for the presidency.” We are confident that when Jindal says he intends to reduce federal spending, he will succeed in getting it done. He has a unique credibility in that regard.

Cutting spending is good, but so is being solid on defending the lives of the unborn:

Louisiana, under his leadership, was named by Americans United for Life as the most pro-life state in the nation six years in a row. He has signed numerous pro-life bills as Governor that led to his state’s status. In light of recent videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s involvement in harvesting fetal body parts for profit, Jindal ordered an investigation of Planned Parenthood. He also rescinded Medicaid contracts his state had with the abortion provider that fully defunded Planned Parenthood of all taxpayer funds that provided a model for governors in other states to follow. He has stood and fought in federal court over his decision, and we applaud the fortitude he has shown that is unfortunately rare among many governors and in Washington, DC.

He’s willing to fight for the pro-life cause. Unlike many of the talk-only candiates in the GOP primary. And as far as self-defense goes, he’s solid on that – which is a good thing, since the Democrats seem to be very committed to releasing criminals, and not cracking down on sanctuary cities and illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes, then take refuge in them:

With Jindal at the helm, Louisiana has consistently been graded an A+ by the National Rifle Association. As Governor he signed legislation that strengthened Louisiana’s stand your ground and castle doctrine laws. In 2012 Louisiana also passed its own constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to keep and bear arms. As a member of Congress, Jindal received the NRA’s Harlon B. Carter award for working to address gun confiscations that took place in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in order to prevent them from happening again.

And he is solid on tax rate reduction and simplification, as well as spurring job creation by cutting taxes on job creators:

For instance, his tax plan also has a unique feature: Everyone will pay some taxes. To use his words, everyone “will have skin in the game.” Jindal’s website says this: “The idea that half of American wage earners would pay no taxes at all only reinforces the fact that we are creating two classes in America, the tax paying class and the dependent class. Instead of fewer people paying more taxes, more people should pay fewer taxes.” We heartily agree with this approach.

Jindal’s three-tiered personal income tax plan is both simple and fair. At the same time, his plan eliminates corporate income tax, making corporations globally competitive, encouraging investment in business expansion, and brings jobs and wealth back home from abroad.

The article also notes that Jindal is the only candidate running who has a detailed plan to replace Obamacare, and since Jindal’s background is in health care policy, we can assume that he will achieve the goals he achieved when he reformed health care policies in Louisiana. The article did not mention Jindal’s work in improving school choice and improving education in Louisiana, but it can’t cover everything on his resume. Still, if you like accomplishments, Jindal is your candidate. He is everything that Obama was not in 2008.

I feel sorry for candidates like Scott Walker, Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal. These are the 3 candidates who actually have a record of achieving the things they talk about in campaign speeches. What I mean by that is that all 3 took action, and the action had an effect, and we can see the positive results. There is one other great conservative candidate: Ted Cruz. He would lead in a conservative direction if elected, I have no doubt. But Trump and Carson have neither the record of conservative accomplishments of Jindal, nor the proven record of conservative advocacy of Ted Cruz. And why are American voters so willing to vote for two people who don’t have the achievements and results to point to?

Health premiums up $4,865 since Obama promised to lower them $2,500

Should we pick a candidate based on our emotional response to his confidence?
Should we pick a candidate based on our emotional response to his confidence?

Barack Obama had a lot of confident words and personal charisma during his campaign speeches in 2008. Many young people want to believe that their positive emotional reaction to confident words will somehow make plans “work out”. But can you really compel the universe to give you goodies just by having positive feelings? Does your emotional response to handsome looks and confident words mean that somehow the universe will give you what you desire?

I want to use this article from Investors Business Daily to illustrate the importance of not picking a President based on confident words and personal charisma.

It says:

Employer-based health insurance premiums climbed 4.2% this year for family plans, according to an annual Kaiser Family Foundation report. That’s up from 3% the year before.

Since 2008, average family premiums have climbed a total of $4,865.

The White House cheered the news, saying it was a sign of continued slow growth in premium costs.

[…]”We will start,” Obama said back in 2008, “by reducing premiums by as much as $2,500 per family.”

That $2,500 figure was Obama’s mantra on health care. You can watch the video if you don’t believe it.

And Obama wasn’t talking about government subsidized insurance or expanding Medicaid or anything like that. He specifically focused on employer provided health care.

For “people who already have insurance, and the employers who are providing it,” he said at one campaign event, “we will work to lower your premiums by up to $2,500 per family.”

Let’s watch the video. I want everyone to see how confident a clown can sound when he lies about being able to solve problems that he knows nothing about.

He had no record of achievement in this area. None, Zero, Zip. And the same goes for his claims about keeping your doctor, keeping your health care plan, and so on.

But America voted to elect him. There were a lot of voters who did not want to think too hard about economics in 2008, and again in 2012. They did not want to have to put in any work to study the achievements of the candidate in the area of health care policy, to see if he had actually done anything to reduce health care premiums. They had a problem: health care costs are too high. A charismatic clown stepped forward and made their fears go away with confident talk. They made a decision to believe him. They wanted to believe that serious problems could be solved by the words of a charismatic clown, so that they would then be saved from having to evaluate the records of the candidates, to see which of them had put in place policies that had solved similar problems in their past. That’s too much work for the American voter. Better to just pick the one who seems to be able to solve the problem based on surface qualities, like confident words that produce emotional reactions. The universe will adjust because we have a positive attitude.

This is an attitude that no practical engineer like me could take. It’s a recipe for disaster. Nothing important in life – from designing e-commerce web sites, to developing cures to sickness, to constructing jet fighters – is conducted in such a stupid, emotional way.

Now, I’m pretty angry that two of my candidates, Rick Perry and Scott Walker, are out of the 2016 election. And why? Because an unqualified leftist clown is ruining the process with brash, insulting confident talk. Again, we are dealing with a clown who has no record of actual problem-solving in the areas where the American people need problems solved.

This article from Investors Business Daily explains:

Which of these two sounds like someone on an ego trip, someone content to let the Middle East go up in flames and, like Barack Obama, someone overconfident in his own abilities to persuade others? And which sounds like he would practice the sober, principled foreign policy of Ronald Reagan as president?

Yet it is the latter, Scott Walker, who was just forced to drop out of the race, the reality TV star front-runner having sucked so much air out of the room that it was becoming impossible to survive. He laudably called it his patriotic duty to depart, thus consolidating the opposition to Trump.

Walker is one of the most successful governors in the country, having brought unemployment down from over 8% to about 4.5%, and turning Big Labor’s targeting him for destruction into three successive electoral victories in a blue state.

A week ago a governor with a longer record of accomplishment, in a state Americans are flocking to for its vibrant jobs-rich economy, was also forced to drop out. In doing so, Rick Perry of Texas made a statement affirming his rock-ribbed commitment to free-market principles, traditional values and a strong America on the world stage.

Perry and Walker are both leaders of substance. Eight years of the inexperienced, self-obsessed Obama had many Republicans concerned about 2016 looking to the governors’ mansions for someone with a proven track record of actually solving crises and reversing misguided big-government policies. These two may have been the most accomplished figures in the nation in that regard. How is it that they are early dropouts?

Political journalists are having a ball dissecting the ins and outs of fundraising and styles of campaign managing to explain Walker and Perry’s exit. But there is no ignoring the 800-pound loudmouth in the room.

In Donald Trump, the left’s caricature of conservatism — the bombast, the misogyny, the hype-above-substance — is defeating the real thing.

I do hiring interviews in my company. I always make sure to ask questions to test the claims on the candidate’s resume. It’s not hard to find out whether a person knows how to do what they claim to know how to do. Many of the people who show up for interviews try to finesse their way through engineering questions with confident talk, and emotional appeals. We don’t hire them. Why is it so hard for the American people to understand what is at stake here?

Scott Walker campaign leaders sign up with Marco Rubio

Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Florida Senator Marco Rubio

Story from the Weekly Standard.


Four members of Scott Walker’s Iowa campaign are now aligning with Marco Rubio. With the Wisconsin governor exiting the presidential race Monday, the Walker campaign’s network of activist supporters in the early primary states are free to endorse other candidates.

In Iowa, three county chairs and a university student leader are now supporting Rubio, the Florida senator. Melody Slater of Lee County, Matt Giese of Dubuque County, and Alan Ostergren of Muscatine County, have all shifted their support for Rubio.

“While I am saddened by the news of Governor Walker’s campaign ending, I am proud to join Senator Rubio’s team. His conservative, positive vision is exactly what this country needs,” said Slater in a statement to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

“Senator Rubio has the vision and ideas that are needed to lead us into the new American century,” said Giese. “I’m looking forward to serving on Senator Rubio’s Iowa team.”

“Marco’s optimistic vision for the 21st century is exactly what our country needs. In the coming months, I look forward to helping Marco win the Iowa caucuses,” said Ostergren.

In addition, Brittany Gaura, an Iowa State University student who co-chaired Iowa Students for Walker, is also endorsing Rubio. “As much as I support Governor Walker, I know it is a critical time in this nation’s history. I am supporting Marco for the positive vision and strong leadership he will bring to America’s future,” she said.

Rubio has also picked up support from the chairman of Walker’s New Hampshire campaign as well as an early supporter of Walker’s in South Carolina.

Well, many of you sent me messages on Facebook and Twitter about the sad news that Walker, my #2 candidate, had dropped out of the race. This is a huge loss for America, since Walker’s plan to reform public sector labor unions would have changed the direction of the country, given how labor unions donate so much money to Democrat candidates.

So where do I stand now? My favorite candidate is Bobby Jindal, then Ted Cruz, then Marco Rubio. That’s strictly on conservative principles and conservative achievements. Rubio is the most electable, but I am angry with him for flirting with amnesty. However, he has repudiated his involvement with that movement. I would be happy with any of these three candidates.

These candidates are not conservative enough for me

These candidates are Republicans, but they are too liberal on fiscal issues:

  • Jeb Bush (amnesty)
  • John Kasich (Medicare funding, big government)
  • Mike Huckabee (he is a tax and spend Democrat)
  • RIck Santorum (not conservative enough)
  • Christie (DREAM act, Medicare funding)
  • Carly Fiorina (DREAM act, illegal immigration)

These candidates are Republicans, but they are too liberal on social issues:

  • Rand Paul (crime, abortion & marriage)
  • Jeb Bush (way too liberal on gay marriage and gay activism)
  • Carly Fiorina (civil unions, religious liberty)
  • Chris Christie (marriage)
  • Lindsay Graham (liberal on abortion, marriage, SCOTUS judges)
  • John Kasich (abortion, marriage and religious liberty)
  • Carly Fiorina (soft on crime)

These candidates are Republicans, but they are too liberal on national security and foreign policy issues:

  • Rand Paul (naive isolationist, wrong on every national security and foreign policy issue there is)
  • John Kasich (he is John Kerry)
  • Ben Carson (Iraq war opposition)
  • Chris Christie (has a national security problem re: Muslims and CAIR, Iraq war opposition)

Donald Trump is not a Republican, he is too liberal on every single issue there is, regardless of his clown-talk. His unstable shrieking is just a baby squealing for attention, understanding nothing and with no awareness of facts. He is a nobody, and should not even be running for President.

Is Carly Fiorina conservative? How can you tell if a candidate is conservative?

Carly Fiorina outperforms at first GOP primary debate
Carly Fiorina outperforms at first GOP primary debate

A lot of my friends are getting very excited about Carly Fiorina, and some of them are wondering why she is not on my list. Well, it’s because this is the primary season, and I am looking for someone who 1) is as conservative as me, and 2) has got achievements at advancing a conservative agenda. The key point being that just because a person is outraged at Planned Parenthood cutting into live-born babies, that isn’t the same as being pro-life through all 9 months of pregnancy, except for the case where the life of the mother is threatened.

To take one example, her view of religious liberty is not as conservative as mine, but it isn’t horrible either. Here she is on the Hugh Hewitt show explaining her view:

HH: And let me close our conversation by throwing a hard one at you. There’s a Kentucky county clerk today. She’s refusing to issue licenses to same-sex marriage couples. She’s in comtempt of court in essence. What would your advice be to her?

CF: First, I think that we must protect religious liberties with great passion and be willing to expend a lot of political capital to do so now because it’s clear religious liberty is under assault in many, many ways. Having said that, when you are a government employee, I think you take on a different role. When you are a government employee as opposed to say, an employee of another kind of organization, then in essence, you are agreeing to act as an arm of the government. And, while I disagree with this court’s decision, their actions are clear. And so I think in this particular case, this woman now needs to make a decision that’s [about] conscience:  Is she prepared to continue to work for the government, be paid for by the government in which case she needs to execute the government’s will, or does she feel so strongly about this that she wants to severe her employment with the government and go seek employment elsewhere where her religious liberties would be paramount over her duties as as government employee.

HH: You don’t counsel that she continue civil disobedience?

CF: Given the role that she’s playing. Given the fact that the government is paying her salary, I think that is not appropriate. Now that’s my personal opinion. Others may disagree with that, but I think it’s a very different situation for her than someone in a hospital who’s asked to perform an abortion or someone at a florist who’s asked to serve a gay wedding. I think when you’re a government employee, you are put into a different position honestly.

That’s a view that I can vote for if she is the Republican candidate, but not a view that I prefer when we are still in the GOP primary election. There are better candidates who have stuck their necks out further to champion causes I care about, like religious liberty and natural marriage.

I took a look at Carly’s record using this “On the Issues” web site and was surprised to see that Carly advocates positions more to the right than expected, but still to the left of my favored candidates. She is definitely a Republican, and her stated views are “good enough” for me to enthusiastically support her against any Democrat.

She’s definitely more conservative on same-sex marriage, taxes, abortion, gun control, health care, energy policy than I thought, but not quite as conservative as Jindal, Walker, and Cruz on some of those issues. The only real red flag I saw was supporting the DREAM Act. But she is definitely a Republican, and much more so than people like Romney, Kasich, McCain,, Lindsay Graham.

I really wish that more Republican voters would look at sites like On The Issues, and other sites that grade conservatives like Club for Growth, National Taxpayer Union, the National Rifle Association, and the National Right to Life Committee (PDF), in order to see who the best candidates are from their actions – not from their words during debates, campaign ads, campaign stump speeches, etc. Even a libertarian site like the Cato Institute, which embraces immorality on social issues, has good ratings of governors on fiscal issues (PDF). A person is defined by how they engage in enterprises, not by what they say when asked. Where do you put your money and time? What have you fought for? What have you achieved? You can’t judge a candidate by words and how the words are stated in campaign ads, campaign speeches, or debates – although debating and speaking are important for winning in the general election.

So, where do I stand? I am looking for conservatives who have won long, drawn out fights to get conservative reforms passed. That’s why Carly Fiorina is not on my list of candidates – because I have not seen her leading and achieving in the areas I care about. Her stated views are conservative enough, but now is the time for me to push for the candidates I really want. I have nothing bad to say about her, though, and will support her if she is the GOP candidate. But for now, I’m pushing for Jindal, Walker, and Cruz. I am also OK with Rubio, mostly because, like Santorum, he is so good on foreign policy.