We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The average Californian, like the average Greek, forgot that civilization is fragile. Its continuance requires respect for the law, tough-minded education, collective thrift, private investment, individual self-reliance, and common codes of behavior and civility -- and exempts no one from those rules. Such knowledge and patterns of civilized behavior, slowly accrued over centuries, can be lost in a single generation.
Can We Spare Newt Gingrich? He Fights. (Video Added)
The Obamacare issues of Medicaid coercion and the individual mandate are twins. They confront the court with the same challenge, that of enunciating judicially enforceable limiting principles. If there is no outer limit on Congress’s power to regulate behavior in the name of regulating interstate commerce, then the Framers’ design of a limited federal government is nullified. And if there is no outer limit on the capacity of this government to coerce the states, then federalism, which is integral to the Framers’ design, becomes evanescent.
Newt is not my favorite candidate, but then I'm not wild about any of them. In fact, I'm pretty disappointed in this crop (but then I was disappointed in the last crop, too). I don't like Romney's past comments (some of them to the left of Ted Kennedy) or RomneyCare, I don't like many of Paul's foreign policy ideas (though I do like him for domestic/economic policy). I like Santorum for some of his social conservatism but he relies too much on govt. And I don't like some of Newt's past statements (praising TR, Wilson, & FDR), his attacking Romney for making money, etc. and he may only be marginally better than Clinton in the morals area.
But Newt fights! I like several of his policy ideas some of which are huge and I think we need a radical turnaround that I fear we would not get with Romney or Santorum. Paul would do major things but Newt FIGHTS! He's probably not as conservative as I'd like. I liked a lot of the things he did with the Contract with America which, of course, he FOUGHT for. We went through eight years of Bush who would not defend himself against the most unprincipled attacks. I'm tired of pubbies not fighting.
I see him a lot like Clinton - even more now with the charges by his ex-wife. Clinton was not as leftist as he or his fans would have liked (like Newt is probably not as conservative as many would like), but Clinton fought and I think that was part of his appeal and I think that is much of Newt's appeal.
Like Santorum said, Newt tends to say outlandish things sometimes and that is a risk. He seems to lack discipline (in several areas of his life) and that's a risk, too.
I'm almost thankful that our state primary is late and the nominee will probably already be chosen by then because I'm not sure who I'd vote for. I could easily vote for Newt, though. He is FAR from ideal and FARTHER from perfect. On many measures, he may only be barely acceptable or not acceptable, but I think I can support him on most things and I want a guy who is not afraid to fight for a change. (I also here he hates Barney Frank - any person who hates Barney Frank can't be all bad!)
As I've written before, I dislike all the Republican candidates, but to be truthful I wasn't all that wild about Reagan either when he was running for President. The issue always is: which candidate, man or woman, can grow into the office, since no one is fully prepared to assume the role. Obama has not grown in office; quite the opposite, even as he has diminished the office. Newt just might have that capacity. One thing for certain, Newt knows far more than Romney about how the Federal government works and, when it comes to a face-to-face debate, is an intellectual Ferrari compared to Romney's ponderous Town Car or Obama's sputtering Yugo.
As for Romney's dumb response to questions he should have known were coming, his answer should have been obvious both to him and to his campaign staff. Something like this perhaps: "I find it interesting the press never found it compelling to demand that President Obama release a copy of his true birth certificate when he was running for office in 2008, but are now obsessed with seeing my tax returns. When will I release my tax returns you ask? Although there is no legal requirement to do so, in the interest of transparency I will release them immediately on the day President Obama releases his college transcripts, which are currently under seal. That's when."
Harking back to our perennial concern about higher education, The Wall Street Journal has an essay in the Review section [p. C3] entitled "Merit Badges for the Job Market" which seems to encompass some of our concerns about higher education, and tangentially reflects our discussion on the value of community colleges in presenting training in a separate skill sets for those people who want to be able to actually work in certain areas of vocational knowledge. The concept is based on the Boy Scouts earning of badges in certain disciplines, and schools would offer clusters of specialized training in which students could earn badges of achievements, thus allowing over-worked employment departments to know that those folks applying for employment had certifiable milestones of achievement in certain areas.
It's an intriguing idea, and, practically speaking, a lot more reassuring and attractive to an employer than a bunch of protesters standing around making "twinklies" with their fingers, and defecating on police cars, which would certainly not reassure me as employment manager about the soundness and knowledgeability of any applicant for employment.
@Jonah Goldberg: "All of these explanations are plausible. And all of them highlight that his top, chief, first, and number one priorities aren’t what he says they are."
So what, Jonah? You're preaching to the choir. See how many Democratic voters care one iota about this issue. It.doesn't.matter. Congressional Republicans miscalculated and bet the farm that people would care if the pipeline was cancelled. They.don't.care. That's why Obama knew he could just say NO. His decision is not going to sway the election in the direction of the Republicans.
Bird Dog: Graph below from The Effect of Throwing Money at Education
California is in the middle of U.S. states in terms of spending; lower, if you factor in the higher cost of living.
More important, the graph ignores demographic changes. California is absorbing large numbers of immigrants and therefore has increased costs. Not to mention the cost of technological changes, such as the need for computers in classrooms.