June 2008

I’ve been holding my breath all morning waiting for this opinion…allow me to release. WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!

With four consistently conservative, four consistently liberal, and one swing voter on the Court, I really wasn’t sure which way this case would go. I was thrilled to see that Kennedy decided to side with individual liberty rather than the power of the government.

The D.C. gun ban case (which I’ve blogged about before), titled District of Columbia v. Heller, concerns a Washington D.C. security guard whose application to have a handgun in his home was rejected by the District. He argued that the Second Amendment provides for a citizen’s right to possess firearms for personal protection; his opposition argued that the Second Amendment only provides the right to form a militia (which, if you ask me, is absurd as one wouldn’t actually be able to form a militia without some sort of firearm. “Look out, US Army! I’m comin’ atcha with a…switchblade?”)

The Court ruled that the Second Amendment does allow for personal protection through possession of a handgun and, therefore, the D.C. gun ban does infringe on residents’ Constitutional rights.

In the majority opinion, Justice Scalia wrote, “The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns. But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.”

What I find terribly amusing about the dissenting opinion, written by Justice Breyer, is that this liberal Justice suddenly cares about the “intent of the framers.” Rather than deciding this particular case based on a “living, breathing document,” Breyer decided that, this time around, it might be better to consider the intent of the framers. He said, “Thus I here assume that one objective of those who wrote the Second Amendment was to help assure citizens that they would have arms available for purposes of self-defense.” He does, however, go on to conclude that the gun ban isn’t too restrictive (because I can presumably fit a rifle – which is still legal in D.C. – into my handbag?). I would have had a little more respect for Breyer’s opinion if he had stuck with the standard “that’s not really necessary now”/”the Constitution is a living, breathing document” argument that is so typical.

So the D.C. gun ban is officially unconstitutional. Gun Rights organizations are already working on challenging the gun bans in Chicago and San Fransisco, which are nearly as sweeping as those in D.C.

This is a good day for law-abiding gun owners. Not such a good day for criminals.

For more info, see: D.C. v. Heller opinion, SCOTUS Blog, and CNN News Story.


In a word, no, unless you’re a no-name challenger.

In Robert Houk’s “As I See It” column, which appeared in yesterday’s Johnson City Press, Houk decided to criticize incumbents, both past and present, for “ducking” debates. He actually stated that it “does a disservice to the intelligence of the voters.”

Intelligent voters know how to look up an incumbent’s voting record. An intelligent voter reads the newspaper (probably several to weed out the biased junk). An intelligent voter doesn’t pay a bit of attention to campaign ads or debates in which answers to questions are packaged, buffed, and filled with enough crap to run a manure factory for at least several days. The Presidential debates, for example were nothing but a bunch of slick politicians saying exactly what they thought they needed to say to get votes. There’s not a lot different in local politics.

Look, I like debates. I’m a political junkie – that much you know – so I thoroughly enjoy sifting through the excrement and comparing it to what the candidates have actually done in office. Maybe that’s the plus of having debates – seeing who lies about what.

The fact is that debates offer little more than free advertising for challengers lacking name recognition. Incumbents aren’t being sneaky by not attending debates; they’re being smart. When any Joe with half a brain can track down an incumbent’s voting record, there’s nothing underhanded about not giving your challenger free press.

I often root for the no-name underdog (Ron Paul, anyone?), so the free advertising of debates often benefit my candidate. To say, however, that incumbents are “insulting the intelligence of the voters” by not debating is just silly. I’m smart enough to pick a candidate with or without a worthless debate, and so are you.

Further fanning the flames that Al Gore is a big ol’ Capitalist at heart (as opposed to a soft-hearted liberal who just wants to “save the world…”), the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has recently revealed that Gore’s ridiculous amount of energy usage has actually increased.

“Since taking steps to make his home more environmentally-friendly last June, Gore devours an average of 17,768 kWh per month –1,638 kWh more energy per month than before the renovations – at a cost of $16,533,” according to TCPR.

Gee. Could it be that Gore is just in the “Fight Against Global Warming” for the money, notoriety, and hatred of the “little guy?”

I did the math. $16,533 would power my home for the next ELEVEN YEARS. That’s how much energy Gore is using EACH MONTH. Wow. Way to care about those caribou. So much for those stupid twirly light bulbs I bought, in the hopes I’d save a few pennies a month…

TCPR’s report has not only been featured on the Drudge Report, but also celebrity gossip site Perez Hilton, Rush Limbaugh, Brit Hume, Grover Norquist, and Mike Slater. Maybe this will make at least a few more people aware of the fraud that is Al Gore.

A copy of a memo sent to US Congressman David Davis and his campaign staff reveal the results of a poll of likely Republican voters in Tennessee’s first Congressional district conducted in May of 2008. It looks like Davis has this election in the bag.

Among “Very Conservative/Strong Republicans,” Davis has an approval rating of 78%, and only 7% of those polled see him as “unfavorable.” Among “Religious Republicans,” “Strong Republicans,” and “Republican Seniors,” the results are similar, with Davis’ approval rating at 74%, 71%, and 71% respectively.

In a primary match-up with Phil Roe of Johnson City, Davis does extremely well, with 61% saying they will vote for Davis, and only 20% voting for Roe.

This is actually difficult, if not surprising news for me. I like David Davis as a person. A lot. I think he’s a man of character who does what he thinks is right for the district. We just don’t happen to agree on what is right for the district – or the country. It’s one of those political situations that one gets into when you actually get to know your representatives: you really, really like the person, but aren’t such a big fan of his politics. I voted for Davis last time around because I like him as a person; I won’t be doing the same this time around.

That’s not to say I’ll be voting for Roe, either.

This will clearly be a “Third Party” election year for me.

Anywho, we can fully expect Davis to win the primary and, most likely, the November election (none of the Democrats I’ve heard about so far have a snowball’s chance in Hades against Davis in this strong Republican district).

I guess that should read “Donations for Ed McMahon?”

After appearing on “Larry King Live” to talk about the possibility that he will face foreclosure, people across the country began calling in to donate money to Ed McMahon. Ed McMahon!

Glenn Beck discusses the bigger problem at issue here, but I must make one comment of my own…

Don’t you think there are better ways to spend your charity dollars than giving them to a millionaire celebrity whose $6 million McMansion may have to be replaced with a $1 million condo?

You know I’m all for people spending their hard-earned money any way they want to, but, come on. There are lots of folks down at the Salavation Army as we speak who need that money just a little worse than old Ed…

Anywho, read Glenn’s article. This is one of those times I wholeheartedly agree with him.

A CNN/Opinion Research Poll that came out Friday indicates that Republicans are not thrilled about voting in November. While 67% of Democrats are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting, only 36% of Republicans feel the same way.

I only have a couple of thoughts on this.

One, is anyone really surprised (other than the GOP leaders who have been pushing a non-conservative agenda for the last several years)? Calling yourself a Republican has become, over the last decade or so, like wearing a scarlet letter. Who wouldn’t be less-than-thrilled about voting in another election where our choices are “liberal” and “only slightly less-so?”

Second, Bill Schneider’s comment that “After eight years of the Bush presidency, Republicans are demoralized” sells Republicans too short. I’m sure that are lots of people out there who blame the fall of the Republican party on George W. Bush, but there are just as many (if not more) of us who are disappointed in the GOP across the board. One musn’t blame Bush for what an entire party has done.

So what does this mean for November? Heck, I don’t know. I’d like to think that the third party movement has picked up enough steam that we’ll have another “Ross Perot” year – only bigger. Then again, I’m sure there were many who thought that Ross Perot’s success in 1992 would have given the GOP some clue folks were unhappy with the way Republicans were headed. Maybe they got the message and merely thought that we wanted to be more like Democrats.

Does it mean a win for the Democrats? Probably. No matter who wins, however, the real losers are the American people…

The Presidential race has gone from “The Three Stooges” to “Dumb and Dumber” as Hillary bows out of the race. Now who’s dumb and who’s dumber? You might be surprised.

While McCain is most likely going to be one of your standard, run-of-the-mill, Washington Republicans, I actually think that Obama – like most Democrats – is an evil genius who is bent on gaining power through the destruction of the country. So, while I fully understand that each candidate is “educated,” as anyone who can make it nearly to the White House must be, they are each dumb in their own ways. I believe, however, that McCain is somewhat dumber. Henceforth, I will be referring to Barack Obama as “dumb” and John McCain as “dumber.” That is not to say that Obama, by the way, is the “lesser of the two evils,” if any of you are looking for voting advice. I, as I hope you well know, will be voting for neither Dumb nor Dumber.

The big news with Dumb and Dumber yesterday was their plans for the economy. What I’m looking for, of course, is a candidate who says “what the heck is the government doing so involved with the economy anyway? Let’s return to the gold standard, get rid of the Fed, and let Laissez Faire Capitalism rule the day!” Dumb and Dumber have decidedly different approaches.

Dumb (Obama, lest you have forgotten) plans to raise taxes on the “wealthy” through a series of “tax loophole” closings and by repealing the Bush tax cuts. Now, this is, again, where Obama shows himself to be an evil genius. A lot of people don’t like rich people (why? well, that’s probably another post for another day, but it boils down to a combination of laziness and jealousy). So, all Obama has to do is say that he’s only going to increase taxes on the rich and, like a bunch of lemmings, scores of Americans will vote for him simply because they don’t consider themselves “rich.” What Obama fails to mention is that folks like me, who are firmly planted in the middle class, are also faced with tax increases under his plan.

Obama favors a near doubling of the capital gains tax rate from 15% to 28%. That affects me, and countless other “regular, non-wealthy” Americans who have small investments. How did I, a middle class gal from Tennessee end up with investment “income?” My dad died, and I’m not a moron. I got just enough money to make it worthwhile to invest (at the age of 19, by the way) and, because I’m invested in a mutual fund that rebalances every 15 months, I get socked with the capital gains tax. Even though I don’t actually use any of my investment “income,” as it will stay in the mutual fund until my hubby retires and we need the dough, I have to pay those taxes every other year, on our regular, old fashioned tax return. Thereby sticking it to me right up the tailpipe. Thanks Obama. Us rich folks really do need more taxes.

By cloaking his plan in the claim that he’s only “raising taxes on the wealthy,” a lot of people will get duped. But even more people (like me) will get screwed.

Dumber (McCain), on the other hand, favors tax cuts, generally, across the board. He supports making the Bush tax cuts permanent and repealing the AMT. I am all for tax cuts of just about any sort, but what McCain MUST do is also cut government spending.

McCain claims to have a plan to cut spending, but, I’m pretty sure Bush did as well (and we see how that turned out…). McCain “proposes a one-year freeze on discretionary spending to assess which programs should stay and which should go…and has also said he would demand that Congress eliminate earmarks” (cnn.com).

If – and that’s a BIG IF – McCain would actually stick to a decrease in government spending to cover his tax cuts, then more power to him. Forgive me, however, if I am skeptical.

The Republicans in Washington have increasingly become the “don’t tax but still spend” party while still claiming to favor lower taxes and smaller government. If McCain can buck this trend, then I’ll stand behind him. If not, we’re in for another four years of George W.

There are several other points on the economy from both candidates that I’d like to address, as Dumb and Dumber finally have me fired up enough to blog again. Expect juicy tidbits of my opinion on the fellas in the coming days…

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