Friday, November 28, 2014

Oh Deer!

    In a recent news article that I read in the Raleigh News and Observer, I found a perfect example of how government fouls things up. This example involves deer farmers. There are a groups of deer farmers and potential deer and elk farmers who are crying foul to the legislature.
     Currently in North Carolina, the deer farming industry is very limited and in fact almost non-existent. The current regulatory body that oversees these enterprises is the State Wildlife Commission. The commission may be a friend to the spotted owl, but not to the deer farmers of North Carolina. The industry is pushing for less restrictions. They are also pushing for a reclassification of their industry from being classified as "wildlife" to "livestock". The reclassification would remove the wildlife commission from the equation and put the deer and elk farming enterprise under commissions on agriculture and such. 
     The wildlife commission and environmental groups claim that less restrictions will result in inhumane treatment and disease. This would cause irreparable damage to the deer community, according to the commission. Of course the excuses the wildlife commission come upmwith are not new. Any time a capitalist tries to make money or use their God given freedoms, they discover that there is rare goat weed or salamander sporing or squirming about that needs protection. 
     I am not a hunter. I would look at those wide black eyes and think of Bambi everytime I picked up a bow or a gun. I am a softy when it comes to animals. I do have family and friends who hunt. They are sportsman and they do it in a sporting fashion. So I am looking at this with unbiased eyes. Government needs to stop trying to get involved and run so many things. 
     From what I can gather, these farms are good for the economy. These farms attract tourists who are interested in hunting. They will spend large sums of money for the chance to hunt. They will stay in local hotels, eat local food, and pay local and state sales tax. 
     It's in the interest of these farms to have healthy stock rather than diseased stock. The argument that raising deer will result in a super disease that will kill the white tail deer population is absurd. Disease is not exclusive to farms. Disease and bacteria are in nature. The possibility of disease is there with or without the farms. In fact you could argue that we would rather have deer fenced up rather than running about and smashing automobiles. That was a joke but the arguments that the wildlife lobby make no sense. 
     If they have excess stock they can be donated to the poor and the homeless for food. Now where is the bad side to this. The government gets out of the way and allows responsible people to exercise their freedoms. The economy of North Carolina will benefit. There could be more food resources for the poor and the homeless. What is wrong with that. Oh right, it will make the tree huggers angry. Well, actually that is a reason to allow it in of itself. 
     We have real issues in this state. We need to continue to improve education. We need to rebuild or old and delapidated infrastructure. We need to harvest and utilize our natural resources. I think we can leave the deer farmers alone. There are bigger fish or in this case deer to fry. In the final analysis, I hope the legislature will continue to follow the conservative pattern they are on. Ease the restrictions on the farms. Reclassify the industry to be under the commissions on agriculture, and allow North Carolina to take a step in the right direction. More freedom and less restrictions is a winning combo for North Carolina. Even when it comes to the deer farmers. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

True Reform, And Why Republicans and Democrats Don't Want It.

     Every election cycle  the same talking points are hurled at one another. The Democrats say that the GOP is for tax cuts for the wealthy, while the republicans say that Democrats are for higher taxes and higher spending. The truth is actually a combination of the two. They all want the same thing. Power for them and less freedom for us. 
     The Democrats have become a true socialist party. They want single payer health care. They want higher taxes and more revenue for programs that buy them votes. They want the chubby fingers of government stuck in every pie that they can. They have a few hold overs from a by gone era, but they are almost gone. The Left has driven the party to a radical place from which it will ever stay. 
     The Republicans are the same way. The GOP pushes tax cuts yet never a reduction in spending. They say they are a for a free market but they are for grants, subsidies, and credits to big corporations. They say that they want to reduce spending only if it is in someone else's district. We have had the Reagan Revolutionof the 80's and the Gingrich revolution in the mid 90's and what do we have to show for it? The government is as big as ever and there is no end in site. 
     I am not trying to belittle my own party for the sake of negativity. I am not trying to belittle anyone. As a twenty six year old husband father I have a burning desire to change our country. The old way of doing things must end. We must embark on a new course. It is very simple. It's plan that is simple, effective, and doable. 

     1. Flat tax- the old way of taxation is ineffective and a breeding ground of class warfare. We need a flat tax. The tax could be anywhere from 15% to 25%. The tax rate could only be raised with a 2/3 majority vote of congress. There could be an exemption for simple majority vote in times of national emergency like a world war. 
          We could exempt those making under $20,000 a year. There would be no deductions or tax credits. The corporate tax rate would be in a similar fashion. The corporate rare would be capped at 20%. These tax rates would allow us to to allow more Americans to keep more of their hard earned dollars in their pockets. 
     2. Education localization- the Department of Education would be abolished. There would be no Federal monies. Each State can levy their own taxes and fees to pay for education. The curriculums and standards would be set by state and local school boards. There would be no more federal bullying of the states. 
     3. Entitlement reform- Social Security would be made into a system where the people would be responsible for their own retirement. We would honor the obligation made to today's seniors. We would raise the retirement age, while converting individuals 35 and younger to a system where they would contribute their own money into a retirement account much like a 401k. The government would get out of retirement planning. 
          The same would be true for Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare would be replaced by private citizens saving for long term care with HSA's or Health Savings Accounts. Medicaid would be provided to the poor and the needy but there would be limits. 
                a) work requirements- if you are able to work than you will work. Obviously there would be exemptions for the disabled and impaired. 
                b) citizenship- no benefits will be given to illegal aliens. 
                c) child limitation- there would be a limit of 2 children that would be covered under Medicaid. All other births would have to be paid out of pocket. 
     4. Balanced Budget-the Federal must have a balanced budget. This budget will only be allowed to spend up to 15% of GDP. Increase in spending/debt to GDP ration could only be increased by a 2/3 vote in both Houses of Congress. The spending to GDP ratio would be capped at 20%. Any proposed increase over this 20% threshold would require a constitutional amendment. 
          There would be a exception to spending limits in times of war. Even with this exception, spending would have to be approved by a 2/3 vote of both houses of congress. 
     5. Secure the border/Empower Israel/Kill the Terrorists/No Nation Building-our foreign policy would be simple. 

         a) Secure the border. We will encourage legal immigration. We will have a streamlined system so that people who want to come here legally can come here quickly. Those who violate our laws will be caught and deported without hesitation. 
         b) Empower our friends and allies, especially Israel. Israel is our most consistent and stable allie in the Middle East. Instead of limiting them we should be giving them cover. Allow Israel to destroy Hamas and Hezbollah. Empower Israel to be safe and strong. Once the Palestinians and their allies see that as long as they are aligned with terrorism there will be no peace. 
         c) Kill the terrorists. Terrorists groups and networks that would harm the United States would be dealt with deadly force. Special Operations forces would be tasked with finding and killing any terrorist. We will not invade or occupy. We will rather seek and destroy. 
         d) No nation building. We must learn the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq. Though both were valiant efforts, we must see that a democratic system of governance must be self generated and organic. We will not invade to build a nation. The only time we will go to a full scale war is to utterly annihilate the enemy and achieve absolute victory. 

This is a simple plan and there is a lot that encompasses these ideas and much more that are not discussed but it's a start. The time for playing it safe is over. It's time for bold leadership and decisive action. We must change direction. The difference between the establishment GOP and Democrats is that the democrats take us over the cliff at 100mph and the establishment GOP takes us over the same cliff at 30 mph. Either way, we fail. In order to make our future brighter than our past, we have to make the necessary sacrifices. We must embrace these changes. We must stop buying into the left and their  premises and start embracing our challenges and the real solutions that will meet those challenges. As a new session grows near, let us not hope for results. Let's demand it. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Randy Saunders Goes Wishy Washy

     Commissioner Randy Saunders was elected to the seat that once was held by former commissioner Tim Lea. The former commissioner Lea was a controversial figure. It appears that his successor may be trying to be controversial as well. 
     Bladen County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution affirming their support for the voters of North Carolina who voted for marriage between a man and a woman. The resolution was more of a statement of support for the will of the people, as well as a condemnation of judicial activism. Recently a federal judge ruled the voter approved marriage amendment unconstitutional. 
     The Moore County board of commissioners, by voting on the amendment, were simply passing the same amendment. They were saying, in essence, amen to what the Bladen County board had already said. It is worth noting that this did not tie up the staff's time in a significant way and was a minor vote. This was a non binding resolution. 
     The resolution was passed by a 4-0 vote. The missing vote was Randy Saunders. Mr. Saunders who was away on business did however make his opinion known. In an interview on local television, Mr. Saunders said that he would have voted against the resolution. His reasoning was that it is a federal issue and not worthy of the county's time. 
     I will have to strongly disagree. The marriage amendment passed by overwhelming majorities in this county and many other counties across this state. We the people spoke. We the people are being disenfranchised by a liberal jurist who has no more regard for the constitution than the current occupant of the White House. Commissioner Saunders sounds like a politician who is on maneuvers. This means one of two things. 
     One, he is for gay marriage and is at odds with the majority of voters in this county. The second possibility is that he does support the marriage amendment and is ashamed to say so. The first is troubling for a commissioner of Moore County. This county is diverse. There is not one way of thinking and there is freedom of thought and expression aplenty. There is, however, a clear majority of people who feel that marriage is between a man and a woman. They appreciate their local leaders, even symbolically, standing up for there values and their rights. If Randy Saunders is for gay marriage than fine. It is his problem to bear next election cycle. I would have more respect for Commissioner Saunders if he would just give his real opinion and stop hiding behind phony excuses. 
     If he is for marriage but is scared of offending someone, then that is even worse. It shows a lack of true conviction. It shows that Mr. Saunders values political correctness over truth. Again these are two potential possibilities. It would be more clear if Mr. Saunders had voted for or against it based on his actual feelings, but alas he did not. 
     I am sure that Mr. Saunders is a good man with a great family. I wish him no ill will or malice. I just wish that he would give his true opinion, instead of hiding behind excuses. Agree or disagree, the voters in this county value directness and honesty. So the questions are these. Commissioner Saunders, what is your position on the resolution? Are you for Gay Marriage or traditional marriage? Are you for judicial activism or the integrity of the ballot box? Hopefully you will shoot straight with us. 

Renee Ellmers calls Laura Ingraham "small-minded", "ignorant" for opposi...

Renee Ellmers Turns Away Constituents

Renee Ellmers claims constituent is stereotyping

Renee Ellmers arguing more....."You don't have any damn facts"

Renee Ellmers Arguing with constituents

What happened to Renee Ellmers?

     Renee Ellmers was a TEA party darling, well used to be. In improbable fashion, she beat longtime incumbent Bob Etheridge. That was no small feat. She did not have that much help, if any, from mainstream republican sources. She was not funded heavily from the House Republican Electoral Apparatus. She owed most, if not all, of her success to the TEA party. In other words, it was not the machine or the system who got her elected, it was you. You, the ordinary voter who works hard, pays taxes, and pays even more taxes, were responsible for her great electoral victory. She owed nothing to the GOP machine or even the Speaker of the House John Boehner. She was a nurse from Dunn, who  could go to Washington and fight for her district.
     Then her district was redrawn and the second district became a GOP stronghold. Now Renee Ellmers could not only fight as a true conservative, but she was in a safe seat. The honeymoon was bliss, well at least until she took the oath of office. Ever since then we have seen the true side to Renee Ellmers. The woman who belittles the TEA party behind closed doors and even to their face. The representative who has become a loyal soldier, some would say sycophant, of Speaker Boehner and the establishment. The same establishment who detests us country conservatives. To them we are bumpkins. We carry guns, we love God, and we are fiercely conservative. These voters, you and me,  are an impediment to the moderate agenda. We are a necessary evil to the established ruling class of Washington  DC. Sadly, many of us feel that Renee Ellmers has become part of this ruling class. That she has become what she worked so hard to defeat. She has become an entrenched incumbent. A representative more concerned with appearing at Speaker Boehner's press conferences than fighting for us. She has become the republican version of Bob Etheridge. A disconnected rep who feels entitled to praise and reelection, and who detests differing opinions and conservative thought. Remember that video of Bob Etheridge grabbing a young man by the scruff of the neck ,and bellowing, "Who are you!"? Take a look at the links and see if they are not somewhat similar.
     There is several instances of rudeness and argumentative behavior that has been caught on camera. Listed below is several videos from the Randolph County TEA party that chronicles an angry exchange between the members of the TEA group and the congresswoman. These are links straight from youtube. If you click on them and they do not work, just copy the url into your web browser and take a look.

     This exchange highlights a pattern of rude behavior. She has clashed with the more conservative voters of her district. There is never a candidate or elected official who will vote right all the time. Someone is going to be upset either way. What we as conservatives and voters expect is a reasonable, polite dialogue and a respectful disagreement. What these videos show is a clear intolerance for differing views. It also shows a downright rudeness.
     Then there is this video/audio of a radio exchange with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham.

     This exchange, calling conservatives "small minded" and "ignorant" shows two things. First she is willing to repeat the liberal, moderate lines coming from the inside the beltway crowd. It also shows that when pressed she will resort to name calling and the rudeness that we have seen previously.
     On a personal note, my father wrote Renee Ellmer's a letter. Eight months later and he has yet to hear any response. Not even an impersonal form letter. I tweeted this at Renee Ellmers on Twitter and I received a direct message from her twitter handle. It reads as the following:
 "Please call my office at 1-877-645-8764 w/ your father's name & contact info so we can get in touch with him. -Thank you, Ellmers Staff."

     I appreciate her staff's attempts to save face. Even if it is 8 months after the fact. Notice that there was not even an apology or lame excuse. There is a application that you can download called Countable. It is an app for Android or iphone. I encourage you to download this app by the way. It is an app that allows you to track legislation by your representatives and allows you to vote on it. The app sends an e-mail after you vote and tells your rep your view and that you will be tracking how they vote. It is worth noting that the only member of the delegation that I have heard back from is outgoing Senator Kay Hagan. Senator Burr and Congresswoman Ellmers don't even generate canned responses or acknowledge these notices. It shows apathy and poor constituent service.

     Renee Ellmers, I'm sure, is a nice person. She has a family. She has emotions and feelings like we all do. She can have bad days. It just seems that she has a lot of bad days when it comes to the conservatives of the 2nd District. Maybe she can right the ship and kiss and make up. If not, you never know, she may see a repeat of what she did to Bob Etheridge.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Burr Can't See The Trees For Forest

This post is in no way an official statement from any of the politicians mentioned. This is the humble opinion of a conservative who is daydreaming I suppose. Indulge me, if you will, for just a moment. 
Lt. Governor Dan Forest is a conservative who has many of us on the right excited. He is a fiscal conservative who has agreed with the stand the legislature has taken in regards to reforming North Carolina's tax code. 
He has broken with Governor McCrory on Common Core standards. He was instrumental in getting the common core commission set up to replace the controversial standards. 
He is pro-life. He is pro- traditional marriage. He has all the positions and views that would energize and mobilize the GOP base. So the question is where does he go from here? 
Will he challenge Governor McCrory in a primary? There is a lot of discontent an anger at the governor for his petty fights with the conservative legislature. Many on the right see McCrory as a hindrance to the conservative agenda. 
I believe that this would be a mistake. Challenging incumbent executives in primary races for the White House or Governor's mansion are usually failed attempts. Forest would run a spirited race but would fracture the GOP base and would damage future plans. He should not challenge McCrory. 
Should he wait until the Governor's nomination on the GOP side is open? The earliest that would be is 2020. That is a long time to wait. There is also no guarantee that he would even get the nomination. No, Forest should run in a race in 2016. Which one you may ask. Well, I'll tell you. I have the perfect fit for the conservative Lt. Governor. The US Senate. 
Most, if not all conservatives, are unhappy with Senator Richard Burr. He votes the party line the majority of the time but he has angered conservatives with several of his votes. 
He voted for the bank bailout in 2008.He voted for the Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. He ridiculed Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee when they tried to defund Obamacare last year. The fight led to a government shutdown. He called the effort "stupid". That meant to many of us that he was calling conservatives in his home state stupid. 
Burr is a symbol to many of us in NC of the problem with longtime incumbent politicians. They talk a good game every six years, but in between those six years, they fail to do anything to change the system. They are part of a ruling class that values expediency over idealism. That values reelection over standing up for what's right. 
These attitudes are not just held by conservatives. Senator Burr's approval numbers are in the 20's. Many people are tired of politicians in Washington. There is a definite anti-incumbent attitude that Burr may suffer from in 2016, if he decides to run again. 
I believe that it would be tough, but Dan Forest can beat Richard Burr. He can be the 2016 GOP US Senate candidate from North Carolina. We have not had a true conservative voice from North Carolina since the late Senator Jesse Helms retired. Isn't time we had a true conservative voice in Washington? So to Lt. Governor Dan Forest, I say Run Forest, Run! North Carolina needs conservatives like Dan Forest in the US Senate. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

McCrory's Battle Plan for 2016

Pat McCrory is the third Republican governor in North Carolina's history. He is attempting to be the second of those governors to win reelection in 2016. 
There are a lot factors that will be in play in the 2016 gubernatorial race in North Carolina. The Presidentail "coattail affect has hurt McCrory(2008) and helped him(2012). We will see who the Presidential candidates for both parties are before we start handicapping the coattail affect. We can however look at what McCrory has done so far and what he needs to do to beat back a fierce challenge from Attorney General Roy Cooper, the presumptive Democrat nominee for Governor. 

The Good

     The Governor has had the luxury that his predecessors did not have, a GOP run state legislature. The governor has had the luxury of signing bills that have reduced and reformed the tax code. He has pushed for and has received approval for hydraulic fracking in NC. He has signed, albeit he vetoed the first version, a bill that protects the unborn and allows for more informed choices for North Carolina women. 
     The governor did not expand the federal borrowing for unemployment benefits. This move will be a much mentioned target for his liberal opponents, but to conservatives it was the right move. The unemployment rate has since dropped by the way. 
     The governor has been on a job creating mission ever since taking office. If you follow his press releases l, you have undoubtedly seen every announcement of new jobs or expanded jobs. 
     The governor has pushed higher teacher pay. Even though the house and the senate passed different versions, the net result is the governor can announce the largest pay increase for teachers in state history. This will not silence the education lobby and their leftist counterparts from crying foul, however. The governor, by very nature of being a republican, hates kids and hates teachers. At least according to Rob Christenson and the leftist media. 
     The governor signed historic voter fraud legislation. Regardless of the lawsuits, the move was a welcome site to conservatives. 
    Overall, Governor McCrory has signed many pieces of good legislation into law ranging from tax cuts, school vouchers, energy exploration, to pro life legislation. Many on the conservative side would question whether to thank the governor or the conservative minded legislature? Regardless NC is on the right track and McCrory has either helped or hasn't screwed up. There is no doubt he will be the GOP none in 2016 for Governor. 

The Bad

    The Governor is pushing his 25 year transportation plan. He wants to emulate his hero, President Dwight Eisenhower, and rebuild North Carolina's roads an infrastructure. The plan is heavy on ideas and short on funding. 
     With NC having the highest gas tax in the southeast, the governor can't very well push for an increase to the gas tax without upsetting the voters. Even with the gas tax, the revenues are not such to pay for such a plan. He has emphasized toll raids. In theory this could work. However, with the NC congressional delegation sponsoring a bill to not allow I-95 to be tolled, the mood for tolls is lukewarm at best. Many voters are Leary of new charges or taxes on roads they drive when the already high gas taxes are either wasted or used on pet projects.      The governor will have a tough sell on his new transportation plan. A plan, that will be a bulwark of his 2016 reflection campaign. 

The Ugly 

    The governor has stubbornly stuck his HHS cabinet secretary. Even as the style failure of NC FAST, still smolder a around them. The website is still glitchy and slow. Payments and benefits are even slower.. The governor is maintaining that he has confidence in his cabinet, but the people of NC do not. 
     The governor has also decided to sue his GOP counterparts in the legislature. The rub is over the coal ash commission. The commission was created by the legislature to oversee the closing of Duke Energy's coal ash ponds. The closings are due to the coal ash spill into the Dan River earlier this year. The Governor got three appointees, three from the house, and three from the senate. The chairman of the committee is one of the Governor's appointees. He contends that his suit is to preserve "Executive power". Former governors Jim Hunt and James Martin have also joined Governor McCrory in the suit. It may be a good lawsuit to the governor but it is bad politics. 
The lawsuit is the first of many rifts between the Governor and the legislature. It will anger the right and cement the image of the moderate McCrory fighting the conservative legislature. 
It will be construed, by the left, as protecting Duke Energy. The governor has toes to the power company and this will be a favorite target of Roy Cooper and his Moral Monday accolytes. Either way the suit is dumb and it shows a lack of judgment and common sense on the governors's part. 
In summary, Governor McCrory will be hit hard by Roy Cooper and the Moral Monday crowd. He will need to rally his base in order to win in2016. He won't do that by suing the GOP legislature or by pushing tax and spend policies. He needs to let the legislature do their job and just stay out of the way. We'll see. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Circus Comes to Town

     The dust has not even settled from the 2014 Mid Term elections, and the 2016 Presidential Race is already in full swing. The mainstream publishing houses have been and will continue to be inundated with books written by prospective Presidential candidates. The super PAC's have started raising money. The strategists are scheming, and battle lines are being drawn. The upcoming 2016 GOP nomination battle for President should be the most maddening, albeit entertaining, one to date.
     Not since the primary battle of 1976 between President Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan has the GOP been in such turmoil. You have so many factions in the GOP today, that it rivals a family reunion or a small town baptist church. There is no clear direction or leader today in the GOP and the free for all that is to ensue may determine the future of the GOP.

The Libertarian Conservative

     Senator Rand Paul is a rarity. He has blended together his father's Von Mises' economic policies, as well his isolationist foreign policy, with traditional views on abortion and same sex marriage. He is a firebrand that fights the interventionist ideas of his friend Ted Cruz, while at the same time siding with Cruz in his fight to repeal Obamacare. He may be the only candidate who get's drug legalization enthusiasts, pacifists, family value conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and civil liberty hawks all in the same room. His campaign will merge coalitions that have never remotely been connected. His appeal will be broad, but he is no lock. His isolationist foreign policy is out of step with traditional conservative policy. His views on foreign policy sound more in tune with doves than the hawks of Reagan and Bush. His views on marriage and abortion are sound, but his flirtation with drug legalization is a turn off to the Religious Right. He will be a force to reckon with. If he is not on the ticket, either as President or Vice President, I will be very surprised.

This Years Herman Cain

     I'm sure when Dr. Benjamin Carson gave his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast critical of the President's policies, he never imagined what that would lead to. He is a rockstar to the right. A minority who has traditional conservative values and ideals. His medical background gives him expertise to wax eloquent against Obamacare. Unfortunately, he like Herman Cain of 2012, will face a onslaught from the mainstream media. He is a African American who dares break out of the mold that the liberal left has created for African Americans in politics. He will be derided as a "Uncle Tom" by race baiters Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Rev. William Barber. His past will be gone over with a fine tooth come by the muckraking journalists, to see if they can find his version of Anita Hill. He is a fine candidate, but can her survive the coming onslaught? We will see.

The Re-treads

     I will not go into detailed analysis of these names, since they have been trotted out before. Mike Huckabee is considering a run. The wise cracking Southern Baptist will win instant point on the religous rights, but some policies from his Arkansas days as governor may haunt him.
     Mitt Romney, yes I said it, will probably run again. He will hope that he can run the, "See I Told You So", campaign. It will not work but he is still a potential candidate.

The Governors

     There is a long list of hopefuls from the RGA. Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, and even Nikki Haley are potential candidates. All of these candidates will tout their executive experience and leadership as why they should be chosen as the party's standard bearer.
     Rick Perry will have to prove to supporters and donors alike that he has pulled himself together. His disastrous run in 2012, cemented when he uttered "Oops", will haunt him until he shows that he is with it this time around. He has a long record of conservative policies that will give him cred, but his views on immigration are more  complicated. In 2012 he waffled between saying his in-state tuition policies for illegal aliens was "compassionate" and claiming he was a border hawk. His episode this summer with President Obama and the tarmac got him headlines, but will it be enough to cover his "have a heart" comment on giving in state tuition to illegals?
     Bobby Jindal has a long conservative record to bolster his run, but his State of the Union Response Speech was so deadpanned that many feel he is a better governor/policy wonk than Presidential candidate.
     Chris Christie will bring with him his Jersey bravado and bluster. He will also bear the scars from the bridge closing scandal, his stagnant polices in New Jersey, and the "hug" and "walk on the Beach" with President Obama, after Hurricane Sandy. His talk and rhetoric will get applause, but will his liberal views on abortion and same sex marriage, along with the aforementioned items, destroy his White House Hopes?

Marco Polo

     Senator Marco Rubio was a rockstar. His latino background and incredible family story along with his strong conservative views made him the shining star on the right. However, the star has lost it's glow over the last couple of years. His participation with Senator Chuck Schumer on comprehensive immigration reform cost him dearly. He is hoping his harsh criticism of Obama foreign policy, his youth and ethnicity, and his traditional values will catapult him to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We'll see.

     There are so many others that could throw there hat in, if I tried to list them all I would be here for weeks. The point is that the field is wide open. The traditional battle between Washington and GOP insiders against the TEA Party and conservatives is nothing new. The question is will we as a party learn from 2008 and 2012. We'll see. Either way it will be maddening, sickening, but above all entertaining. This southern boy's opinion is that when conservatism, explained and articulated, is the forefront of the GOP, we see great things. All we have to do is look at Ronald Reagan. When we have political elitism and compromise as a theme, we get candidates like McCain and Romney. I think we all agree that the former is better than the latter.

Joe Garrison