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Archive for the ‘Gingrich’ Category

I was nauseated when Newt Gingrich did the infamous global warming ad with Nancy Pelosi.

I was disgusted when he criticized Paul Ryan’s entitlement reforms.

But I’m not sure what my reaction is to Newt’s latest brain fart. For lack of anything clever, let’s just say I’m bemused by his proposed galactic boondoggle.

Here are some of the absurd details for a Politico report.

Newt Gingrich wants to colonize the moon. …“By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American,” Gingrich said… It’s just the kind of Gingrich big-think for which he has been ridiculed by others in the GOP field, including Mitt Romney. But Wednesday’s speech — which Gingrich himself called “grandiose” — could actually resonate politically in Florida, where space exploration is good politics… Gingrich even envisions a moon state. “When we have 13,000 Americans living on the moon, they can petition to become a state,” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd. …But Gingrich’s space fantasies don’t stop at the moon. He wants to see trips to Mars by 2020. “By the end of 2020, we will have the first continuous propulsion system in space capable of getting to Mars in a remarkably short time because I am sick of being told we have to be timid and I am sick of being told we have to be limited in technologies that are 50 years old,” he said.

But I’m not just bemused. To use Newt’s rhetoric, I am sick of politicians coming up with new ways to spend my money and I am sick of being told by the clowns in Washington that my wallet is a pinata to fund their grandiose dreams.

If Newt likes space travel and wants a base on the moon and trips to Mars, then he should take some of the money he “earned” as Freddie Mac’s “historian” and invest it in a space company.

About 10 days ago, I was in the British Virgin Islands, speaking at a conference that was keynoted by Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin empire. Branson is doing what Newt wants, but in an ethical fashion. He’s using private money to set up a profit-making space-travel business.

Too bad politics and ethics are mutually exclusive concepts.

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Even though I did a pretty good job guessing at the outcome of the 2010 elections, I’m a policy wonk, not a political hack, so take these predictions with a bucket of salt.

Especially since I’m predicting Ron Paul will win even though the intrade.com betting shows a Romney victory, and I cited those betting markets in 2010 when predicting that Scott Brown would win the special election for Ted Kennedy’s seat by a 51-48 margin (actual results: 51.8-47.1).

So here’s my prediction, along with a few thoughts on each candidate.

Paul (23 percent)

Ron Paul’s gotten a lot of flak for having some unsavory supporters, and that will probably hurt him, but he benefits from being an anti-politician. And he appeals to all the Republicans who want less government. Simply stated, what you see is what you get – even when it’s something crazy such as being against the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Santorum (22 percent)

I’m mystified by Santorum’s rise in the polls, which I think is happening solely because he’s not Mitt Romney and voters have somewhat soured on the other supposedly conservative candidates. But I want to stress the “supposedly” in the previous sentence. The former Pennsylvania Senator is not a fiscal conservative, having supported all the wasteful spending of the Bush years. If he does well, Mitt Romney will be very happy since Santorum will split the anti-Mitt vote for a longer period of time.

Romney (22 percent)

The former Massachusetts Governor tries to be all things to all people, which means he routinely does the wrong thing on policy (i.e., his refusal to reject the value-added tax, his less-than-stellar record on healthcare, his weakness on Social Security reform, his anemic list of proposed budget savings, and his reprehensible support for ethanol subsidies). But he has a base of support among people who are Republicans because their parents were Republicans.  For what it’s worth, I’ve already predicted that he wins the nomination and loses to Obama in November.

Perry (14 percent)

The Texas economy gives Perry a strong talking point, but he did not do well in the debates. Moreover, some Americans are probably reluctant to trust another folksy Texas GOP Governor after what happened during the Bush years. He still has a chance of winning the nomination if he can survive ’til South Carolina and consolidate the anti-Mitt vote.

Gingrich (12 percent)

The former Speaker of the House enjoyed a meteoric rise because of his debate performances, but the other candidates then ganged up and reminded voters of Newt’s various sins – such as criticizing the Ryan budget, climbing into bed (or at least onto a couch) with Nancy Pelosi to advance global warming hysteria, and supporting ethanol handouts. Heck, I remember having a bitter argument with Newt back in 2003 about Bush’s terrible prescription drug entitlement.

Bachmann (5 percent)

Congresswoman Bachmann had her moment of glory last summer when she won the Ames straw poll. She’ll be out of the race after today’s results.

Huntsman (2 percent)

He is putting all his eggs in the New Hampshire basket, so his last-place performance won’t surprise anyone. As a general observation, I’m surprised he’s not pushing his rather attractive tax reform plan.

P.S. I’m also surprised that Gary Johnson didn’t attract more support. And I’m baffled that the GOP establishment kept him out of the debates. That decision drove the former New Mexico Governor to bolt for the Libertarian Party. I suspect he will do surprisingly well, assuming Romney is the GOP nominee.

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