Category Archives: Elections

Carly Fiorina Kills It

Business, Economy, Elections, Hillary Clinton, Politics

Former Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina, soon to be a presidential candidate, comes across as a genius compared to the low IQ Hillary Clinton (as Ann Coulter diagnosed The Hildebeest).

As libertarian economist Murray Rothbard reminded, there “are two mutually exclusive ways of acquiring wealth”—the economic means is honest and productive, the political means is dishonest and predatory. … but oh so very effective. Democrats, who respect only the predatory political way of making a living—will hammer Fiorina for her business career.

Fiorina is eloquent in this candid interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace.

WALLACE: Amid a crowded 2016 Republican field, the challenge now becomes finding a way to stand out. If she runs, former Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina would have no trouble doing that as the only woman in the GOP field. In recent weeks, she has also become a leading critic of Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton.

Ms. Fiorina, welcome back to “Fox News Sunday.”

CARLY FIORNIA, FORMER HEWLETT PACKARD CHIEF: Great to be with you. Happy Palm Sunday.

WALLACE: Well, thank you.

What are the chances that you’re going to run for president?

FIORINA: Very high.

WALLACE: You’re a former businesswoman. Give me a number.

FIORINA: Higher than 90 percent.

WALLACE: Really?

FIORINA: Yes, sir.

WALLACE: So what would prevent you? Why aren’t you willing to announce right here today, I’m a candidate for president?

FIORINA: Well, because, you know, we need — as other potential candidates are doing, we need to make sure we have the right team in place, that we have the right support, that we have the right financial resources lined up, just as all the other potential candidates are doing.

WALLACE: And when would you announce?

FIORINA: Probably late April, early May.

WALLACE: If you run, and it would be in a field of current and former governors, several current senators, why should Republican voters pick you?

FIORINA: Because I have a deep understanding of how the economy actually works, having started as a secretary and become the chief executive of the largest technology company in the world because I understand how the world works and know many of the world leaders on the stage today because I understand technology, a transformational tool, because I understand bureaucracies — how they work and how you need to change them and our government is a huge bureaucracy, and because I understand executive decision-making, which is making tough calls in tough times with high stakes for which you’re prepared to be held accountable.

WALLACE: OK. Let’s talk specifically about your experience as a business executive. Beyond the typical Republican talking points, not to say that they’re wrong, but what are your ideas that are different about the economy and about dealing with our national debt?

FIORINA: Well, I think we have two fundamental structural problems in our economy. One is that we have tangled people up in a web of dependence from which they can’t escape. We’re leaving lots of talent on the field. Secondly, we’re crushing small businesses now.

Elizabeth Warren is right, crony capitalism is alive and well. Big business and big government go hand in hand. But for the first time in U.S. history now, we are destroying more businesses than we are creating. And so, while we have 10 banks, too big to fail, now have become five big banks too big to fail, 3,000 community banks have gone out of business, and that’s where family-owned and small businesses get their chance. That’s important because small businesses create two thirds of the new jobs and employ half the people.

So, if we want mainstream and the middle class going and growing again, we’ve got to get small and family-owned businesses going and growing again. Washington, D.C. has become a vast unaccountable bureaucracy. It’s been growing for 40 years. We have no idea how our money is spent.

I think there are two things that would help tremendously. One, zero base budgeting, so we know where the money is spent. We’re talking about the whole budget and not just the rate of increase.

And two, pay for performance in our civil service. We have — how many inspector general reports do we need to read that say, you know, you can watch porn all day and get paid exactly the same way as somebody who is trying to do their job?

WALLACE: But, Ms. Fiorina, and you know this is coming, your record at head of Hewlett Packard, and you were the CEO for five and a half years, and you were the first woman to lead a Fortune 100 company, is going to be controversial. Let’s put up some of the things on the screen.

During your five and a half years, you laid off — the company laid off more than 30,000 American workers, many of those jobs went to India and China, and Hewlett-Packard stock fell 49 percent and the board of directors fired you.

Isn’t that a record that you’re going to get hammered with?

FIORINA: Well, I’m very proud of our record. We took Hewlett-Packard from about $44 billion to $88 billion in six years. We took the growth rate from 2 percent to 9 percent. We tripled the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day. We quadrupled cash flow.

We went from a market laggard to a market leader in every product category and every market segment. And we grew jobs.

It is true that I managed through the worst technology recession in 25 years. You will remember the NASDAQ has only now recovered to its dotcom boom highs after 15 years. So, virtually, every technology stock was down over that same period.

And while it’s true that in a technology recession, we had to lay people off, many of those people were in Europe and elsewhere, and the truth is we outsourced more California jobs to Texas than we did to India or China, demonstrating we have to compete for every job.

WALLACE: But you know what’s going to happen. If you were the nominee, exactly what happened to Mitt Romney. There were 30,000 American jobs that were lost and they can get two or three or 200 people to go on and say, well, Carly Fiorina got a $20 million severance package, I lost my job. I mean, they’ll make you look like an unfeeling multimillionaire.

FIORINA: Well, first, I think you’re reading the Democratic talking points because it was not all American jobs. But of course, laying people off is the last resort. It’s a terrible thing to have to do.

But when you are managing through the worst technology recession in 25 years, sometimes there are tough calls that need to be made for the overall health of the enterprise. And in the end, we took a company that was really struggling and turned it into an exceedingly successful company where overall jobs grew.

WALLACE: You seem to take special delight in going after Hillary Clinton. And here is one of your greatest hits.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FIORINA: Unlike Mrs. Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment. I have met — I have met Vladimir Putin, and I know that his ambition will not be deterred by a gimmicky red reset button.

Mrs. Clinton, please name an accomplishment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: That’s pretty good stuff. What is your basic case against Hillary Clinton?

FIORINA: Hillary Clinton lacks a track record of accomplishment. She is not candid, which suggests her character is flawed. And I think now in e-mail gate, we not only have a situation where she is clearly not being candid. I mean, her saying all those e-mails she erased were just her and Bill chatting is a little bit like Richard Nixon saying those erased moments on the tape were he and Pat talking. That’s ridiculous. There’s more than that.

But I also think there’s a confidence issue now. Anyone in 2015 to say you can’t have two e-mail accounts on a single device obviously doesn’t understand technology. When she talks about we had Secret Service agents guarding our server, for heaven’s sakes we’re not concerned about the server being stolen. We’re concerned about the server being hacked.

WALLACE: All right. Let me pick up on that, because Clinton’s lawyers, the latest development is late Friday, they told the House Benghazi committee, there’s no point going after the server because we have wiped clean all of the e-mails and so all of those 30,000 private e-mails, so-called private e-mails are gone. One, what do you make of it? Two, what do Republican investigators do now?

FIORINA: Well, I think it was part of the plan all along that the Clintons had. Look, I think it was very deliberate that they had a private server. I think it was very deliberate that she used a personal e-mail account. I think this clearly was a deliberate effort to shield her communications.

I don’t quite know what the investigators can do at this point, but I know this, we need a nominee who will bring this up in the general election. The reason Benghazi was not enough of an issue in the 2012 election is because, unfortunately, our nominee pulled his punches when he had an opportunity to remind the American people of the Benghazi tragedy and scandal.

WALLACE: So, what are you saying, you won’t pull your punches on Hillary?

FIORINA: Oh, I will not pull my punches — not now and not in a general election.

WALLACE: Some people have suggested, even as I ask it, it sounds sexist, you’re really running to be the running mate, that you would the person to lead the attack against Hillary Clinton. It would be easier for you as a woman attacking another woman and that you would in a sense neutralize the vulnerabilities the Republican Party has with women?

FIORINA: You know, I come from a world outside of politics where track record and accomplishments count, words don’t. If I run for president, it’s because I can win the job and it’s because I can do the job.

WALLACE: Would you even consider being the running mate?

FIORINA: Well, when you start asking all the other candidates that question, then maybe we’ll have that conversation.

WALLACE: Fair enough. Carly Fiorina, thank you for coming in. Always good to talk with you. And we will be following your big decision.

FIORINA: Thank you so much, Chris, for having me.

WALLACE: Please come back here, and let us know.

FIORINA: All right.


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Ted Cruz Too Clever For America

Elections, Intelligence, Media, Republicans

Just the other day, I mentioned the dearth of intelligence in American public life, in the context of Lee Kuan Yew’s passing. Singapore’s recently deceased leader had IT in abundance. So does Sen. Ted Cruz—who announced today, at a convocation speech “at Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian school” that he’ll stand for president, in 2016—although he tries to dumb down for his audience. He has to. As the choice of Barack Obama and George W. Bush before him shows, stupid makes thumping majorities in the US feel comfortable.

A CNN segment used the words “unapologetic” and “unabashed” over and over again about Cruz, implicit in which is that the senator has something for which to apologize.

And why doesn’t the CNN vagina brigade mention that Cruz’s mom “graduated from Rice University with a degree in math and became a pioneering computer programmer in the 1950s and 1960s” ? Now that’s impressive. Cruz comes from an accomplished, high IQ clan.

Rachel Mad Cow delivered her usual snide, smarmy soliloquy about Cruz, but did alight almost enviously on the fact that Cruz’s delivery was flawless, without notes or a teleprompter.

In 2013, Cruz’ old Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz (a liberal) told CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” that the Texas Republican was one of the sharpest students he has ever had “in terms of analytic skills. I’ve had 10,000 students over my 50 years at Harvard,” said Dershowitz. “He has to qualify among the brightest of the students.”

The more obtuse libertarians will wonder, as they invariably do, how does one both respect Ted Cruz’ intellect while disagreeing with very many of his positions, not least his militarism.

Over these pages we manage to walk and chew gum at once.


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Israelis Should Ignore American ‘Ethnic Agitators’

Elections, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Will the America’s political caste succeed in infecting Israelis with the pigment burden? I hope not, but they’re trying mightily:

Bibi Netanyahu urged his supporters, on Tuesday morning, to head to the polls, by warning them that Arab Israelis were being bussed to the polls by “left-leaning organizations.” Does that sound like a familiar strategy? Something the Democrats do? Indeed, says Ann Coulter. And “Instead of [Republicans] cowering in the face of left-wing ethnic agitation, how about pointing out that they’re busing Somalis to the polls in Minnesota; that they’re dumping illegal-alien ballots at the polling booths in Arizona.”

Netanyahu’s realistic appeal was viewed as “racist” by the US media. Via Newsbusters:

… the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg repeatedly criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s electoral strategy which he labeled “the Israeli version of the Southern Strategy. … basically [trying] to scare his base into coming out and giving their votes to him by saying essentially the Arabs are coming.

When advocating for Israel’s 1.7 million Arabs citizens, Christiane Amapour had to be reminded by her fairer colleague, Jack Tapper, that “these Palestinian voters … are citizens with full voting rights.”

How about that? Not only do Israeli Arabs have equal voting rights – Israel is one of the few places in the Middle East where Arab women may vote. Israeli Arabs have freedom of speech, assembly and press, as is evident from the many Islamic, anti-Israel, even anti-Semitic journals that thrive in Israel. Arabs hold seats in the Knesset. Israeli Arabs have held government posts and serve on the bench. Arabic, like Hebrew, is an official language in Israel.

That’s the real story here. For the rest, Israelis should ignore the terminally self-righteous preaching about racism coming out of the US.


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Huckabee, ‘Forrest Gump’ Of The GOP

Conservatism, Constitution, Elections, Neoconservatism, Republicans

A “confidence trickster worthy of a P.T. Barnum circus” was how this column captured Mike Huckabee’s appeal. It must be conceded that Charles C. W. Cooke of National Review captures even better the forced and contrived, “cornpone” appeal of the man who will be vying to stand as the Republican’s nominee for the presidency. While I reject the writer’s crass, almost bereft of principle pragmatism; and although unable to tell whether Cooke prefers Mark Levin’s worldview to that of Calvin Coolidge—perhaps our only libertarian president—I liked his depiction of The Huckster:

Among the panoply of rightward-leaning politicians who are currently flirting with running for the presidency is one Mike Huckabee, a former pastor, governor, television host, and author who has of late been preparing for office by converting himself into Larry the Cable Guy. Huckabee is touring the breadth and width of the country in support of his new book — the alliteratively titled God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy — the purpose of which seems to be to establish its author as the unparalleled down-home candidate within the 2016 primary. Unlike so many in Washington, Huckabee claims, he is firmly on the side of “Bubbaville” rather than “Bubbleville”; of the “catfish and cornbread crowd” rather than “the crepes and caviar set”; and of those who “come home tired at the end of the day” rather than those who “burn tires in the street.” Are you tired of the incumbent set? he seems to ask. Then you know what to do.

By taking this approach, Huckabee is essentially attempting to become to the Right what the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson have become to the Left: namely, a proxy figure who can be used as shorthand by the lazy and the lost to signify their allegiance to a set of cherished cultural values. “We like the simple life,” Huckabee announces in his book. “Status is a Ford 150 truck; luxury is crawfish étouffée and slaw on your pulled-pork sandwich; and privilege is front-row seats at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.” And unlike those “misfortunate” souls in “Manhattan, the Washington Beltway, or in Beverly Hills,” we know the joy that one can get from wading “in chest-deep water to hunt mallards.” Insofar as it goes, there is nothing wrong with this. Indeed, I like many of these things too. But the self-conscious spinning of local tradition into a national political aesthetic is invariably irritating, and, typically, electorally counterproductive. There are many wonderful things about the world Huckabee is attempting to represent. But surely, just surely, it is possible for a southerner to run for high office without dressing up as Forrest Gump? …

… Whatever cultural renaissance Mike Huckabee might believe is necessary in the United States, it will be up to civil society and not to the political classes to bring it about. Unless conservatives wish to join the Left in its Wilsonian quest to glue politics to absolutely everything, our would-be emissaries really need to make up their minds …

MORE.


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Too Earnest, Too Attractive, Too Macho, Too Moneyed, Too White, Too Christian

Elections, Ethics, Republicans

“Romney’s repeal-and-replace statism was irreconcilable with this writer’s libertarianism. … Romney was wrong on China. Wrong on Iran. Wrong on Russia. Wrong on Foreign policy, in general. Wrong on almost everything. Yet as incongruous as this may seem, Mitt Romney is a fine man—a man with great personal virtues, if profound flaws in political philosophy. Ann Romney, herself a delightful lady, is a lucky woman. Romney is a great provider, is fabulously devoted to family and faith, is consistently generous and charitable to all those around him, and brilliant in all endeavors, academic and entrepreneurial. … Unlike Obama’s university transcripts, Romney’s would have stood up to the scrutiny that never came.” (From “No Country For Old, White Men.”)

And whatever you think of him, Romney is still doing what he believes is best for the country he loves.

According to National Journal, despite bowing out of the 2016 race to rule, Mitt “Romney’s push forward had been his belief, … that other establishment candidates—Bush, Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio—aren’t up to snuff. But his Friday remarks indicate that he thinks his presence in the race would be more damaging to his goal of electing ‘a conservative leader to become our next president.'”

Romney is right about the rest of the Republicans in the 2016 race to rule; they’re a repulsive lot.

More about Romney the man:

… Money was Mitt’s Mark of Cain. So were his wicked work ethic and whiteness.

Romney was booed when he wooed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Enough to provoke the ire of blacks, Latinos, ladies of all hues, the halt and the lame was the mere hint that the too-white-to-like Romney would slow down the gravy train.

Lickspittle Republicans were as eager as the Democratic representatives of these identity groups to lambaste Mr. Romney for being too attractive, too macho, too white, too Christian, and too rich. No one could have failed to notice that Mitt Romney resembles the “Mad Man” played by Jon Hamm, in the eponymous AMC series. Both men are tall, dark and handsome, with the kind of picture-perfect, quintessential American good looks. Both hide their feelings and are spare with their emotions. When they show their softer side–it actually means something. Each is dutiful and dependable.

Such qualities, once considered desirable in a man, now offend the dominatrixes who run the nation’s newsrooms. “He’s a very private man; and that’s a liability.” “How can you get me to vote for him, if I don’t like him?” “He needs to humanize himself.” And, “Can he [even] be humanized?” demanded one CNN ghoul by the name of Gloria Borger on the eve of Halloween. Mitt Romney was inhuman: That, very plainly, was the premise of this harridan’s rhetorical question.

“Ann Romney’s job, and she’s been pushing for this in the campaign, is to kind of humanize him,” noodled the banal Ms. Borger over and over again, for the campaign’s duration.

This was the menstrually inspired miasma that emanated from TV studios countrywide.

Thus did Mitt Romney come to embody elements in Aristotle’s definition of a tragic figure:

* The “tragic hero is of noble birth and displays a nobility of spirit.” (Check)
* The character must be a person of stature. (Check)
* The protagonist is pitted against forces beyond their control. (Check)
* The character must be neither totally good nor totally evil.
* An error of judgment or a weakness in character causes the misfortune. (Check)
* The character must be responsible for tragic events. (Check: Romney’s failures ushered in four more years of epochal evil.)
* His action involves a change in fortune from happiness to misery. (Check)
* Subject is serious. (Check)
* He struggles courageously until his fall. (Check)
* Though defeated, he gains a measure of increased wisdom.

Mr. Romney’s pathos-filled election concession speech crystallized these tragic elements.

We “left everything on the field,” he said. “We have given our all to this campaign.”

Indeed, the prototypical Greek tragic figure “struggles courageously until his fall.” …

MORE.


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Is Voting Democrat A Job ‘Americans’ Won’t Do?

Democrats, Elections, IMMIGRATION

This cartoon is funny (doff of the hat to Myron Pauli for much needed comic relief). But are poor immigrants solely responsible for Democratic electoral victories? It’s hard to tell from this recent Gallup poll breakdown by political affiliation, although it’s entirely possible.

Why RU

An average 43% of Americans identified politically as independents in 2014, establishing a new high in Gallup telephone poll trends back to 1988. In terms of national identification with the two major parties, Democrats continued to hold a modest edge over Republicans, 30% to 26%.


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