Tag Archives: Republican

Why should an independent voter vote Republican in the mid-terms?

After Trump tax cuts, real GDP growth far exceeds Obama years
After Trump tax cuts, real GDP growth far exceeds Obama years

I have a friend in Canada who asks me about American politics. For some reason, the first things out of my mouth are always the latest scandals about Democrats. I am just getting started when she says “no, no, no… don’t tell me why I shouldn’t vote Democrat. Tell me why I should vote Republican.” Well, there are three good reasons to vote Republican. Job creation, law and order, national security.

Let’s look at the first one. The latest economic numbers came in last week, and they were very good for the country, and for the Republicans.

The Washington Post reported on the numbers:

Hiring surged and wages grew more than they have in almost a decade, the government said Friday in a report seized on by Republicans just before the midterm elections as evidence their policies are delivering for American workers.

In a key economic snapshot before Tuesday’s vote, the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report showed that the typical worker’s earnings rose by 3.1 percent in the past year — the biggest such leap since 2009.

Federal economists reported 250,000 new jobs in October, the 97th straight month of gains, and the unemployment rate remained at a nearly half-century low of 3.7 percent, underlining the strong fundamentals of the economy, despite stock market jitters.

[…]The strong jobs creation last month defied expectations, even by Trump’s top economist, Kevin Hassett, who said he had been bracing for a dip in hiring after Hurricane Michael pummeled the Florida panhandle and Georgia.

“We were expecting a number way below this, so it was a big surprise,” Hassett said. “We’ve got extraordinary job growth even in the face of literal head winds from a hurricane.”

[…]Every major sector added employees, including manufacturing, where there has been evidence that the tariffs are starting to bite. Hispanic unemployment hit a new low of 4.4 percent.

“This is the best labor environment in over a decade,” said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM U.S., an international consulting firm.

African American unemployment, at 6.2 percent, is close to an all-time low, although it still remains nearly double the white unemployment rate.

Investors Business Daily, a national newspaper focused on the stock market, recalls what things were like during 8 years of socialism under Barack Obama:

During the Obama years, labor force growth slowed to well below 1% a year, while productivity grew at just 1%. Wage growth was exceedingly slow. These alone explain why the economy never managed 3% growth in any year during Obama’s time in office.

“Under President Obama, the growth in the labor force … slowed dramatically to less than half the rate of the previous four presidencies,” as Real Clear Markets described the Obama record in early 2017, as his second term ended. “The labor-force participation rate has dropped to its lowest level in decades, 62.8% compared to a peak of 67.1% in the late 1990s.”

Why did this happen? High taxes, excessive regulation, ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, wasteful “stimulus,” and a host of other misbegotten policies that sped up departures from the labor force and curbed business investment.

The declining labor participation rate, in particular, hurt. Labor force growth during the Obama era was a meager 0.4% a year. At the same time, productivity grew less than 1% a year. Meanwhile, as the New York Times recently admitted, an “invisible” recession in business investment hit the economy in 2014 and lasted until 2016.

But what changed? What did Trump do differently?

[…][A]t the same time the wage data came out, another equally telling report emerged: Productivity. It showed that productivity grew 2.2% in the third quarter, after jumping 3% in the second quarter. That was the fastest burst of productivity growth in four years.

By comparison, since World War II, productivity has grown by an average of about 2% a year. It was why the American economy performed so well during that time. But since the end of the Internet boom in 2000, productivity has slowed to about 1% or so.

[…]Productivity typically begins rising when businesses invest in new equipment and training for their workers, in pursuit of new products, new markets, new innovations. Productivity, as the cliche goes, is the secret sauce of all successful economies.

And productivity is the real reason why workers are getting wage hikes. Trained workers are worth more in our new, fast-growth economy.

But beyond even that, as economists will tell you, the rate of growth of productivity, the rate of growth of business investment and the rate of growth of your labor force essentially define the speed limit of your economy. All three are rising right now.

Trump’s plan was to cut the corporate tax rate, cut individual tax rates, cut small business tax rates, and de-regulate the economy.  That worked. Workers learned more, earned more, and kept more of what they earned. Trump bet everything on America’s risk-taking entrepreneurs, and he won. Bigly.

What would Democrats do if they win the House on Tuesday (which is likely)? They want to make workers more expensive to hire, by raising the minimum wage. Their plan is to take money away from job creators, in order to bribe young, low-information voters to vote Democrat.

Investors Business Daily explains:

In California, New York, and other states where the $15 minimum wage has been adopted, we’ve seen dozens of businesses — many of them small businesses — close because a wage hike is simply unaffordable. Others have raised their prices or laid off employees to cope with the higher wage floor. Take Reaching Beyond Care, a child-care provider in Oakland, which was converted to a part-time after-school program. Or consider Long Island’s Tropical Smoothie Cafe, which “now schedules one less person per hour and expects employees to work faster.”

We’re talking jobs, jobs, and more lost jobs. In California, a $15 minimum wage is expected to cost the state as many as 400,000 jobs. It’s a similar story in cities like Seattle, and Flagstaff, Ariz. Are unemployed workers truly better off when hourly wages increase?

Independent voters tend to be more practical and numbers-driven than members of either party. Their demand? Show us the money. Well, we had lots of time to observe how the policies of Democrats worked under Obama, and where the Democrats in Democrat-run cities want to take us. And we also know what works, because Trump has done it for all to see. If you want to have job security, more productivity, higher wages, and keep more of what you earn, then vote Republican. Vote for what works. Not for what feels good.

Abortion debate: a secular case against legalized abortion

Unborn baby scheming about being only two months old
Unborn baby scheming about being only two months old

Note: this post has a twin! Its companion post on a secular case against gay marriage is here.

Now, you may think that the view that the unborn deserve protection during pregnancy is something that you either take on faith or not. But I want to explain how you can make a case for the right to life of the unborn, just by using reason and evidence.

To defend the pro-life position, I think you need to sustain 3 arguments:

  1. The unborn is a living being with human DNA, and is therefore human.
  2. There is no morally-relevant difference between an unborn baby, and one already born.
  3. None of the justifications given for terminating an unborn baby are morally adequate.

Now, the pro-abortion debater may object to point 1, perhaps by claiming that the unborn baby is either not living, or not human, or not distinct from the mother.

Defending point 1: Well, it is pretty obvious that the unborn child is not inanimate matter. It is definitely living and growing through all 9 months of pregnancy. (Click here for a video that shows what a baby looks like through all 9 months of pregnancy). Since it has human DNA, that makes it a human. And its DNA is different from either its mother or father, so it clearly not just a tissue growth of the father or the mother. More on this point at Christian Cadre, here. An unborn child cannot be the woman’s own body, because then the woman would have four arms, four legs, two heads, four eyes and two different DNA signatures. When you have two different human DNA signatures, you have two different humans.

Secondly, the pro-abortion debater may try to identify a characteristic of the unborn that is not yet present or developed while it is still in the womb, and then argue that because the unborn does not have that characteristic, it does not deserve the protection of the law.

Defending point 2: You need to show that the unborn are not different from the already-born in any meaningful way. The main differences between them are: size, level of development, environment and degree of dependence. Once these characteristics are identified, you can explain that none of these differences provide moral justification for terminating a life. For example, babies inside and outside the womb have the same value, because location does not change a human’s intrinsic value.

Additionally, the pro-abortion debater may try to identify a characteristic of the already-born that is not yet present or developed in the unborn, and then argue that because the unborn does not have that characteristic, that it does not deserve protection, (e.g. – sentience). Most of the these objections that you may encounter are refuted in this essay by Francis Beckwith. Usually these objections fall apart because they assume the thing they are trying to prove, namely, that the unborn deserves less protection than the already born.

Finally, the pro-abortion debater may conceded your points 1 and 2, and admit that the unborn is fully human. But they may then try to provide a moral justification for terminating the life of the unborn, regardless.

Defending point 3: I fully grant that it is sometimes justifiable to terminate an innocent human life, if there is a moral justification. Is there such a justification for abortion? One of the best known attempts to justify abortion is Judith Jarvis Thomson’s “violinist” argument. This argument is summarized by Paul Manata, one of the experts over at Triablogue:

Briefly, this argument goes like this: Say a world-famous violinist developed a fatal kidney ailment and the Society of Music Lovers found that only you had the right blood-type to help. So, they therefore have you kidnapped and then attach you to the violinist’s circulatory system so that your kidneys can be used to extract the poison from his. To unplug yourself from the violinist would be to kill him; therefore, pro-lifers would say a person has to stay attached against her will to the violinist for 9 months. Thompson says that it would be morally virtuous to stay plugged-in. But she asks, “Do you have to?” She appeals to our intuitions and answers, “No.”

Manata then goes on to defeat Thomson’s proposal here, with a short, memorable illustration, which I highly recommend that you check out. More info on how to respond to similar arguments is here.

Here is the best book for beginners on the pro-life view.

For those looking for advanced resources, Francis Beckwith, a professor at Baylor University, published the book Defending Life, with Cambridge University Press, 2007.

187 House Democrats vote against banning abortions where unborn child feels pain

I'm Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve this study
I’m Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve this legislation

There is some good news for pro-lifers.

Life News reports:

The House of Representatives today approved a pro-life bill that bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth.

The vote for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act broke down on mostly partisan lines with Republicans supporting the ban on late-term abortions and Democrats opposing it. The House approved the bill on a 237-189 vote.

Should the Senate approve the bill, President Donald Trump would sign the pro-life bill  into law.

And I have to highlight one of the Republican lawmakers who made his stand for the unborn. This is to correct the view that Republicans don’t understand the pro-life issue, and don’t really support it. At least in the House, they are pro-life, for real.

Excerpt:

During the debate on the bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, Congressman Sean Duffy gave what may be one of the most passionate defenses of the pro-life position ever seen on the floor of Congress. Duffy took on the claim often made by Democrats who support abortion saying they stand for the defenseless and voiceless.

“I’ve listened to the floor debate day after day .. about how they fight for the forgotten, they fight for the defenseless, they fight for the voiceless. And they pound their chest and stomp their feet. You don’t have anyone in our society that’s more defenseless than these little babies,” he said. “And we are not taking — I believe in conception. I know my colleagues can’t agree with me on that. Can’t we come together and say we are going to stand with little babies that feel pain, that survive outside the womb? Ones that don’t have lobbyists and money? Don’t we stand with those little babies?”

“If you stand with the defenseless, with the voiceless, you have to stand with little babies. Don’t talk to me about cruelty in our bill — when you look at little babies being dismembered, feeling excruciating pain, if we can’t stand to defend these children, what do we stand for in this institution?” he added.

Sean Duffy is a Congressman from the great state of Wisconsin. I don’t think that any pro-lifer would be more passionate. I was not able to find a video of this speech. If anyone does, please let me know so I can update the post.

Although the medical consensus is that the unborn feel pain after 20 weeks, some experts think it is even earlier:

Another bombshell dropped during the hearing came from Dr. Maureen Condic, who is Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She testified that the unborn child is capable of reacting to pain as early as 8-10 weeks. This is when most abortions in America take place.

A while back, I blogged about a case where a woman killed her 20-week old unborn child. Yes, this really is happening. Something to think about.

Is a 22-week unborn child “viable”?

The Stream has an article up about a child that was delivered at 22 weeks and is doing very well.

Excerpt:

At 22 weeks and four days along, Danielle Pickering gave birth to her baby boy Micah.

Now 5 years old, Micah has become a face of the late-term abortion debate.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, the point when “pain receptors (nociceptors) are present throughout the unborn child’s entire body,” according to the legislation.

Video:

Deliver the child, and put her up for adoption! It’s the right thing to do. Plenty of married couples out there looking to adopt.

Let’s be practical about this

Even if this bill doesn’t pass in the Senate, it will be useful to see who doesn’t vote for it. Any Republican who doesn’t should be primaried by a pro-life Republican candidate. And primarying fake pro-lifers actually works: remember what happened to Renee Ellmers after she blocked pro-life leglislation? I blogged about it here. Ellmers was replaced in the primary with someone much more conservative, who was also endorsed by the National Right to Life. He had a 100% pro-life rating from 2014 from Project Vote Smart. And he won the general election against the Democrat. His current Heritage Foundation conservative score is 89% conservative. And he voted for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that is the subject of this post.

This is what we have to do – force the votes, primary the fake conservatives, win the elections.

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.

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio won the debate against pro-Democrat CNBC “moderators”

CNBC GOP primary debate candidates
CNBC GOP primary debate candidates

The CNBC debate was a debacle. Leftist Democrat moderators tried desperately to make conservative ideas look as unpalatable as possible. Insults were phrased as questions, and substantive answers were constantly interrupted. But several of the debaters shined, in teeth of blatant media bias. The only questions that were not biased were those from Jim Kramer and Rick Santelli.

The best clip goes to Ted Cruz:

Transcript:

CRUZ: The questions that have been asked so far in this debate, illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage match. And if you look at the questions, Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do the math? John Kasich, can you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues people care about —

CNBC: Does this count? Do we get credit for this one?

CRUZ: And Carl, I’m not finished yet. The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every fawning question from the media was, which of you is more handsome and wise?

CNBC: Let me say, you have 30 seconds left to answer should you choose to do so.

CRUZ: Let me be clear. The men and women on this stage have more ideas, more experience, more common sense, than every participant in the Democratic debate. That debate reflected a debate between the Bolsheviks and the Menchavicks. Nobody watching at home believes that any of the moderators have any intention of voting in a Republican primary. The questions being asked shouldn’t be trying to get people to tear into each other, it should be what are your substantive solutions —

CNBC: I asked you about the debt limit and got no answer.

As expected, the ever-agile Marco Rubio outperformed.

Marco Rubio answering a puerile question from one of the CNBC Democrat stooges:

Marco Rubio taking on media for being in the pocketsof the Democrat Party:

Carly Fiorina on big government and socialism:

Ben Carson on his flat tax plan:

Ted Cruz on the need to audit the Federal Reserve:

Marco Rubio on balancing skilled immigration with training up the next generation of American workers, including vocational education in trades:

Ben Carson answers a question on gay rights and political correctness:

So many good Republican candidates, it’s hard to choose. I’m still liking Cruz and Rubio from this first-tier debate.

The Undercard / Second-Tier debate

I also watched the undercard debate, and Bobby Jindal won that one by a mile.

Here is his best clip, answering another biased question:

Jindal talks about his “everyone should pay something” tax plan:

Jindal was asked “Should for-profit schools be held accountable when they take taxpayer money and leave students deep in debt?” and he talked about his school choice policies in Louisiana, consumer-centered policies that promote choice and competition among education providers:

We always get a great post-debate podcast from the experts at The Weekly Standard. They agree with me that Cruz and Rubio won the debate. And they also think that CNBC lost the debate! Indeed. It’s indubitable.

Also, see this late-breaking post at from the Weekly Standard’s Jonathan Last. Last says that we are down to six candidates: “Trump, Carson, Rubio, Cruz, and maybe—just maybe—Fiorina and Christie”.