Archive for the 'Rick Perry' Category

Rick Perry on the Supreme Court Justices on Guns

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 5 months ago

From the Desmoines Register:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry vowed today that if he is elected president he will only appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who support the Second Amendment rights of gun owners.

Asked his stance on the issue during a town hall meeting with about 60 people at a Pizza Ranch in Manchester, Perry said he has a “real clear” position in favor of gun owners, and he used the occasion to attack President Barack Obama. The man who asked the question was wearing a National Rifle Association baseball cap.

“When I look at some of the issues that this administration is dealing with, it’s clearly in conflict with what most Americans believe in from the standpoint of what our Founding Fathers meant when they wrote the Constitution,” Perry said. “This isn’t about a militia. This is about the private citizens of this country.

“I happen to believe it’s our constitutional right and I will put Americans on the Supreme Court who will understand the strict construction that says Americans have the right to bear arms, and may it always be so,” Perry said.

This is a very basic expression of his view of the second amendment, and it dovetails with his previous sentiments.  However, I prefer basic and solid to pedantic and vacillating.  See Mitt Romney’s views on the second amendment in Mitt Romney on Gun Control.

Rick Perry and the Progressives on Gun Control

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 8 months ago

In what may be the best line … ever … on gun control, Rick Perry weighs in on his position to a crowd in South Carolina:

Republican presidential hopeful Gov. Rick Perry on Monday turned a South Carolina forum question into a quip, on an issue where no Texas politician dare be caught on the “wrong side.”

“Honestly, the next question is so easy that I don’t even want to ask it: Are you for gun control?” asked Rep. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina.

“I am actually for gun control: Use both hands,” Perry shot back.  He put on a wide old-boy grin and gave thumbs-up to his listeners.

In his book Fed Up, Perry describes himself as “the kind of guy who goes jogging in the morning packing a Ruger .380 with laser sights, loaded with hollow point bullets, and shoots a coyote that is threatening his daughter’s dog.”

By way of full disclosure, I have been supportive of Perry (if only vocally), although I think that his positions on illegal immigration and border control are deplorable.  But this one line will stick with his campaign until the end, and it’s similar to a tactic that I recommended he pursue in South Carolina.  I advised that if Romney temporarily surges when he begins campaigning in S.C., all Governor Perry has to do is show up at the shooting range in Pickens County, S.C., where I often shoot, carry along some reporters with him, and then inform his fellow shooters that Governor Romney signed an assault weapons ban in Massachusetts (and would do so again).

Speaking of Romney and his assault weapons ban, Yvonne Abraham with The Boston Globe defends his position.

Now, I’ve been critical of Romney at times. But he looks better every time Perry says something dense, which is often (Evolution is just one theory! Global warming is a hoax by greedy scientists!).

Romney is a Second Amendment guy, but as governor, he wasn’t an absolutist. In 2004, he signed into law a permanent ban on assault weapons in Massachusetts. Everybody seemed pretty happy with it at the time, even National Rifle Association types, who extracted some concessions in return for the ban on AK-47s, Uzis, and other exotics.

Since then, the national electorate has lurched to the right, forcing Romney into inelegant contortions to explain even positions considered firmly Republican a few years ago. Shortly after Romney signed the bill, Congress, most of which is owned by – or terrified of – the gun lobby, allowed the federal assault weapons ban to expire. That’s why Jared Loughner was able to so easily obtain (sic) the semiautomatic weapon he used to kill six people and injure a gun rights-supporting congresswoman in Arizona earlier this year.

Poor analysis, this is.  Ms. Abraham makes several mistakes, one of which is thinking that gun owners are a monolithic group represented by the NRA.  Many of us believe that the NRA made mistakes in the past when they didn’t oppose government intrusions into second amendment rights.  Furthermore, the background may very well have been that the bill was going to pass anyway, so the NRA bargained for inclusion of relaxation of some existing laws.

Either way, Romney isn’t a second amendment man if he signed into law a so-called “assault weapons” ban.  Finally, Loughner didn’t purchase an “assault weapon.”  He had a hand gun.  It had a high capacity magazine, and Ms. Abraham assumes (because she apparently knows nothing about firearms) that Loughner wouldn’t have been able to master rapid magazine changeout similar to the way it’s done at IDPA competitions.  She also assumes that Loughner wouldn’t have been able to fabricate a high capacity magazine in his garage.  After all, it’s only a parallelepiped, made of aluminum, a spring and follower.  This isn’t rocket science.  But don’t tell the progressives that making more laws won’t affect law abiding citizens.  It gets in the way of their world view.

Speaking of that, Zach Brooke writing for The UWM Post is more than willing to step in the way of constitutional rights in a commentary entitled Happiness is No Guns.

Now that concealed carry has been approved for all University of Wisconsin system campuses, each college must decide whether to ban guns, tasers, billy clubs and various types of dangerous knives from campus buildings. It is our belief that UW-Milwaukee should follow UW-Madison’s lead and prohibit weapons from all campus buildings, including all residence halls and Engelmann Field …

We advocate the prohibition of weapons not out of a desire to curb second amendment rights. As an independent press, we have a healthy respect for all freedoms afforded by the Bill of Rights and consider each amendment as sacrosanct as the first, which all newspapers claim as birthright.

But we believe freedoms must be balanced against their potential for significant harm. No right is absolute, but rather is subject to limitations based on the probable consequences of abuse. If the Post abuses its first amendment privileges, we print a retraction. If an individual discharges their weapon into a crowd, several lives are irreparably damaged.

Strange apology, appearing out of nowhere.  ” … not out of a desire to curb second amendment rights … but we believe freedoms must be balanced against their potential for significant harm.”  In other words, Mr. Brooke doesn’t want to intrude into second amendment rights, but that’s exactly what he advocates, and not only that, he justifies it based on some vague variant of utilitarianism.

Forget for a moment whether gun control actually accomplishes its intention.  There is plenty of evidence that it does not.  The more  important point is that like most statists, Mr. Brooke sees the government in the role of granting and legitimizing rights.  If that is so, then it’s a short step to governmental stipulations on the extent of their exercise.

But if our rights are granted by God rather than the state, then it is immoral for the state to sanction their removal or impede their free exercise.  As for Mr. Brooke and Ms. Abraham, they are worrying over things that they have no legitimate right to control.  My right to self defense and protection of my family is incorrigible.

UPDATE: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention to this article.

Romney Set To Attack Perry In South Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 9 months ago

From Marc Thiessen:

Rick Perry may have jumped to the front of the GOP pack in national polls, but here in first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Mitt Romney still holds an 18-point lead. When I asked Romney about Perry during a recent campaign swing through the Granite State, he replied, “I don’t know what all of his positions are, you’ll have to ask him . . . I don’t spend a lot of time looking at [other candidates’] positions.”

That may be, but Romney’s campaign strategists are certainly spending a lot of time poring over Perry’s positions — and developing a plan to stop the surging Texas governor.

Romney has been criticized for refusing to engage Perry, but his campaign advisers see no need to do so now. They point out that the Democratic National Committee is going after Perry, hundreds of reporters hoping to make names for themselves are scouring his life and record, and other candidates that Perry has passed in the polls are determined to take him down. Why should Romney attack Perry directly when the Democrats, the liberal media and Michele Bachmann will do it for him? Romney’s strategists note that Perry will have to survive five debates in six weeks — ample opportunity for Bachmann to “rip his eyes out” (as she did to Tim Pawlenty) or for Perry to blow himself up.

If Perry fails to implode and continues to surge in the polls, Romney eventually will have to go on the attack — an assault his advisers say will commence “at a time of our choosing.” Romney strategists are quick to note that in his book, “Fed Up!,” Perry writes that “By any measure, Social Security is a failure” and calls the program “something we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years now” that was created “at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government.”

Look at what happened to Paul Ryan when he proposed a plan to save Medicare, they say. Romney’s campaign will argue that Perry is against the very idea of Social Security and Medicare, and that he will use Perry’s book to scare seniors in early-primary states with large retiree populations, such as Florida and South Carolina.

Very bad idea.  South Carolina is currently Perry country, but that’s not because Perry is untested, or Romney  hasn’t yet gone on the attack, or the fact that Rick Perry has a Southern accent.  These ideas are far too dumbed down to do S.C. and its people justice.

Governor Pawlenty dropped in the polls when he went on the attack against  Michele Bachmann, Senator Santorum is still tanking even as he attacks Perry, and Huntsman’s attacks against Perry brought him absolutely no benefit (but to be honest, he wasn’t a serious contender anyway).  Romney will drop in the polls when he goes on the attack against a fellow Republican.  Watch it happen and remember that I predicted it.

I know something about S.C.  When Romney swept into S.C. for the 2008 campaign he made some fatal mistakes.  But first, let’s discuss Jim Anthony.   Jim Anthony is a developer who promised the world and delivered problems to the people of S.C.  He purchased huge tracts of land in the upper part of the state with borrowed money, gated it off to the people of S.C., and sold it to very wealthy people – people like Oprah Winfrey who is never there.  This land was and is pristine, with flora and fauna not to be found anywhere else on earth.  The people of S.C. used it for hiking, camping, hunting, shooting, and just about everything imaginable (without destroying or significantly altering the land).  After Jim Anthony they will never see this land again.  Jim Anthony is seen in S.C. as a robber baron.  Just ask anyone in S.C.

Yet Mitt Romney’s sense of things brought him into S.C. and into a relationship with big money, and … you guessed it … Jim Anthony.  While McCain shook hands with just about every veteran in S.C., Romney was seen across every TV screen in the state with Jim Anthony.  Today Jim Anthony faces foreclosure on much of his property, and is now suing his bank and partners.

But whether Romney has the bad sense of things to hook up with Jim Anthony again, he did so in the beginning because he is a big money man.  South Carolinians aren’t impressed with this.  In fact, the strategy of invoking a government program is a bad, bad sign of his continued intransigence regarding his understanding of the South in general.  If Romney is down in the polls enough that he has to go into S.C. with big government proposals, he is doomed.

In fact, Romney cannot win in S.C.  It is impossible.  And if Romney temporarily surges when he begins campaigning in S.C.,  all Governor Perry has to do is show up at the shooting range in Pickens County, S.C., where I often shoot, carry along some reporters with him, and then inform his fellow shooters that Governor Romney signed an assault weapons ban in Massachusetts (and would do so again).

Romney will be seen as a big government republican who opposes guns, and he won’t have the libertarian vote.  He cannot win in S.C.  Remember that I told you so.

Rick Perry’s Enemies Turn To Insults

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 9 months ago

Occasionally I feel that it’s necessary to leave behind my focus on military matters, policy and national security, and turn inward towards politics.  The vista is usually an obscene spectacle, and it’s no different with the increasingly heated national political debates.  When serious national discussions are needed in light of the dire economic and national security situations we face, some politicians and pundits revert to insults like a pig returns to its slop and filthiness.  Witness.


This morning Bruce Bartlett, the former pioneer of supply-side economics turned latter-day Keynesian, said on CNN’s American Morning, “Rick Perry’s an idiot, and I don’t think anyone would disagree with that. To the extent that he has people thinking that the Fed doing its normal job is somehow or other a treasonous act is grossly irresponsible.”

Jon Huntsman on Perry’s view of climate change and science:

From the moment Rick Perry declared he would run for president, Jon Huntsman has doled out nothing but love for his fellow candidate, calling him “a good friend and a good man.”

But that changed today when Huntsman took to Twitter, subtly calling out Perry’s views on global warming. Huntsman tweeted: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

The tweet comes on the heels of a comment made by Huntsman’s chief strategist, John Weaver, to the Washington Post about views Perry made clear in his book, Fed Up!.

“We’re not going to win a national election if we become the anti-science party,” Weaver said. “The American people are looking for someone who lives in reality and is a truth teller because that’s the only way that the significant problems this country faces can be solved. It appears that the only science that Mitt Romney believes in is the science of polling, and that science clearly was not a mandatory course for Governor Perry.”

Ron Paul on Perry:

Presidential candidate Ron Paul, who has long called for abolishing the Federal Reserve, said he now looks “like a moderate” compared with GOP rival and fellow Texan, Gov. Rick Perry, who said it would be “almost treacherous, or treasonous,” if the central bank increased the money supply before the 2012 election.

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas speaks with area business leaders, Thursday, at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) Referring to Mr. Perry, the Texas congressman told supporters at a campaign event in Concord, N.H., Wednesday that “He realizes that talking about the Fed is good, too. But I tell you what: He makes me look like a moderate.”

Mr. Paul added,  “I have never once said [Fed Chairman Ben] Bernanke has committed treason.”

Analysis & Commentary

Ron Paul’s comments are much less insulting that the prior two, of course, and more opportunistic, but we’ll get to that momentarily.  Huntsman is of course referring to Perry’s statements on evolution, in which he said something like “it’s a theory … that has some gaps in it.”  Huntsman paints himself as the loyal follower of modern science and Perry as ignorant.  Leaving aside the fact that the voting public isn’t likely to penalize Perry for his views, his statement is dripping with sarcasm, and is an out-of-place sentiment given that he has no formal scientific training.  It’s further rendered hypocritical given his own admonition to leave his own religious views out of his politics: “These presidential nomination contests aren’t about religion; they’re about leadership.”

But let me briefly address the presupposition that underlies his insult, i.e., that scientific folk reject creationism and accept both evolution and anthropogenic global warming (AGW).  I might object to the characterization, and challenge the critics to see who can solve a second order differential equation faster, or a radiation transport problem the fastest (or best and most elegantly).  Or, I might respond to the snooty critic by quizzing him to see how much he knows about Professor Alvin Plantinga’s unique formulation of the ontological argument.  You see, I don’t believe in [macroscopic] evolution, and I don’t consider myself ignorant compared to Huntsman.  At least I’ve had some formal scientific (and also some theological) training.  Or perhaps it would be better to reference friends who are far smarter than am I, such as Professor Nolan Hertel.

Nolan has informed me in the past that many of his own colleagues are creationists, and that the robust debate is usually between young earth and old earth adherents.  Nolan and I, holding radiometric dating in rather high regard for obvious reasons, adhere to the old earth view.  But the point is not to begin a debate over the merits of views of the origin of man, or to assess the age of the earth (and therefore I will delete comments that press the discussion in that direction).  The point is also not to line up authoritative adherents for my views (which is the genetic falacy).  Anyone with any view can do that.  The point is that thoughtful people have pondered this issue for a very long time and come to different conclusions.  It’s just a myth that all scientific people reject creationism and accept AGW.  In fact, I will observe that it’s usually the laymen – those who are untrained in science and engineering – who hold it in such high esteem, ascribing to science abilities far beyond it’s boundaries (e.g., the ability to explain versus the ability simply to describe and formulate models).  At any rate and whatever the case, I’m not advocating that the Republican party (or any other party) become the party of creationism.  I wouldn’t be able to effect that change, and I wouldn’t do it if I could.  The point is that there is no place in national politics for insults based on one’s religious views, even as they impact his or her views on science (and I think Huntsman made that very point, but it’s apparently asking too much for him to be consistent).

As to Huntsman’s acceptance of AGW because the scientists said so, one has to wonder two things.  First, where has he been the last year or so while the climate change scandal has occurred?  It’s remarkable that he so willingly accepts AGW based on such shoddy scientific work (see endnote).  Second, doesn’t Huntsman see the contradiction in his views?  He charges Perry with scientific ignorance in his demurral on evolution, and yet accepts AGW because the scientists said so (not because of his own research or understanding).

Concerning Bruce Bartlett (who? … oh yea, that guy no one knows who shot off his mouth over national television), I don’t think he’ll get the agreement he seeks from everyone in America that Rick Perry is an idiot.  In fact, I’m willing to wager that more people place Bartlett in that category given his sweeping bromide concerning what all of the good American people really believe.

Turning to Ron Paul’s response to Perry’s criticism of Bernanke, Perry didn’t say that he was a traitor.  He said “almost treasonous.”  In fact, I had a dear friend who suffered a massive heart attack and died after degrading health, induced from pressure of not having work to support his family.  I take the health of our economy very seriously, and to me it bears on more than just differences in “monetary policy” by individuals who can and should remain “civil in their discourse” (Senator Santorum has harped on that for several days now).  And what about Ron Paul?  What does he believe?

Though the Federal Reserve policy harms the average American, it benefits those in a position to take advantage of the cycles in monetary policy. The main beneficiaries are those who receive access to artificially inflated money and/or credit before the inflationary effects of the policy impact the entire economy. Federal Reserve policies also benefit big spending politicians who use the inflated currency created by the Fed to hide the true costs of the welfare-warfare state. It is time for Congress to put the interests of the American people ahead of special interests and their own appetite for big government.

Abolishing the Federal Reserve will allow Congress to reassert its constitutional authority over monetary policy. The United States Constitution grants to Congress the authority to coin money and regulate the value of the currency. The Constitution does not give Congress the authority to delegate control over monetary policy to a central bank. Furthermore, the Constitution certainly does not empower the federal government to erode the American standard of living via an inflationary monetary policy.

And Paul recently referred to the Fed’s ruinous monetary policy.  So according to Ron Paul, the existence and practice of the Federal Reserve has been an unconstitutional ruination of the wealth of the American people.  So how does this differ so much from”almost treasonous?”

The fact of the matter is that Perry is being attacked because he is seen as a threat.  When politicians who have previously had kind words for Perry (Huntsman) turn on him, they prove how small they are.  It’s the same for Ron Paul, who has no chance of being President but who believes that he does.  Thus far, I haven’t detected attacks from the Perry camp against the GOP.  He continues to focus on Obama and the ruinous monetary policies that are “almost treasonous.”  And no one I know seems to care much about his views on the origin of mankind.

Who looks like the winner in all of this?

Endnote: For the uninitiated, here is the best short synopsis I can deliver on the AGW scandal (and I do mean short).  AGW proponents point to temperatures recorded over past years and decades to show that there is global warming.  The data wouldn’t otherwise be statistically significant (there’s just not enough of it) were it not for the correlation of tree ring data with temperature.  That is, in order to fill out the data base with temperatures, they have had to assume that there is a correlation of tree rings with temperatures.  This correlation was generally good up until a few years ago, where tree ring data significantly diverged from recorded temperatures.  They haven’t just ignored this divergence, they have hidden it.  Why?  Not because it shows some massive decrease in global temperature (although tree ring data does show a decrease), but because it challenges their own assumptions using tree ring data as a replacement for temperature measurements where we have no such historical measurements.  I have performed thousands of calculations myself in my line of work, and reviewed the same performed by colleagues.  No one in the engineering community would be allowed to posit such a problematic model.  It would be prima facie rejected.  The modelling assumptions, just like the American economy, sit in ruin and ashes.

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