The same old story

For those of you unaware, today marks the end of the federal fiscal year. Supposedly at midnight tonight Fedzilla begains working from the FY2012 budget.

Except there is no such thing yet. Like this fiscal year, where Democrats in charge during 2010 failed to pass an actual budget and counted on continuing resolutions to keep the government going, those inside the Beltway will have to subsist on a continuing resolution or two or three until the budget is finally hammered out – don’t count on that anytime soon because fiscally conscious Republicans only control the House while the Senate and White House are controlled by spendthrift Democrats who never met an entitlement they didn’t like.

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The Perry problem

September 29, 2011 · Posted in Pajamas Media · Comments Off on The Perry problem 

My latest for Pajamas Media.

Last week was a tough week for Texas Governor Rick Perry, who had surged to the front of the GOP presidential line when he announced his bid on August 13. His Orlando debate performance was panned by critics, making it the third straight debate where Perry underwhelmed on a national stage. In that Orlando debate’s aftermath, Perry’s “all-in” strategy at the Presidency 5 straw poll failed. Observers were stunned when Herman Cain, heretofore considered a second-tier candidate, instead walked off with the Florida prize, beating Perry by a better than 2 to 1 margin.

But there was another damning piece on Perry last week which has mostly escaped notice. While it’s beyond question that Rick Perry’s immigration stance wouldn’t win him any friends at the Center for Immigration Studies, a group which favors stricter limits on who and how many are allowed into the country, the numbers they ran state a case that most of the thousands of jobs created in Texas in spite of  the national recession are going to the immigrant population (legal and illegal) rather than native-born Americans.

(continued at Pajamas Media…)

Odds and ends number 34

Believe it or not, I have been besieged with another plethora of items which deserve perhaps an paragraph or three of comment on my part. So let me get crackin’ on them.

Since I’ve had the opportunity to speak with him in person, I would suggest that those of you who are political activists consider attending David Craig’s campaign school. It will make a stop here on the Lower Eastern Shore at the Comfort Inn in Cambridge this Saturday (October 1st) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s absolutely free and includes lunch too. You can sign up for the event here.

You know, I’d be curious to know if any liberals show up because it’s a freebie. But if it’s conducted like the “Bloggers and Burgers” confab you should leave the Craig campaign school neither hungry nor uninformed.

Speaking of liberals and freebies, there’s 116 people in Salisbury who really must suffer from terminal ignorance. I got this in my e-mail the other day, simply because September 30 is coming:

Here’s something you don’t have in common with 116 other supporters of this movement who tell us they live in Salisbury, MD.

That many of your neighbors have decided to own a piece of this campaign by making a donation of whatever they could afford. For some, that meant just $5. For others, it meant $100 or more. But each had their own personal reason for giving.

Our records show that you aren’t one of the 116 people where you’re from who have stepped up for 2012. Now’s your chance to change that.

Since the e-mail came from Jim Messina of the Obama 2012 campaign, don’t hold your breath waiting for my gift. I might give a little to Herman Cain, though.

It makes me curious, though – how many of my readers have donated to a Presidential campaign? I haven’t done so yet this cycle, but I did donate to Rep. Duncan Hunter’s ill-fated bid last time. He was my first.

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WCRC meeting – September 2011

September 27, 2011 · Posted in All politics is local, Business and industry, Delmarva items, Maryland Politics, Politics · Comments Off on WCRC meeting – September 2011 

Have you ever felt like something was deja vu all over again? Well, that was the sense I got in hearing State Senator Rich Colburn speak at last night’s Wicomico County Republican Club meeting.

Once we got through the usual business of the Lord’s Prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, introduction of guests, reading of the minutes, and treasurer’s report, we got to hear Senator Colburn deliver the bad news: everything old is new again with both the Special Session and what’s likely on tap for 2012.

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A budgetary ‘makeover’

It’s understandable that people are excited about the ABC-TV show ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Editioncoming to our hometown on the heels of another home built in Sussex County, Delaware. But this excitement comes at a time when Wicomico County is strapped for cash, much as it’s likely the family selected for the new house has their own financial issues to deal with.

According to a resolution passed by Wicomico County Council last week, the county could be holding the bag on over $30,000 worth of fixed and estimated expenses – a far cry from the numbers claimed elsewhere in the local blogosphere, but quite in line with what other communities have experienced. The proof is after the jump.

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Weekend of local rock volume 41

September 25, 2011 · Posted in Delmarva items, Local Music · Comments Off on Weekend of local rock volume 41 

At one time this was supposed to be two posts, but as it turned out – thanks to my faulty memory and other things which happened (or didn’t happen) over Delmarva Bike Week – this can fit comfortably into one post.

However, my camera misfortune actually opened the door for me to introduce you to a kind friend of mine who deserves a lot of credit. I’ll share that with you in a bit, but first I’d like to mention that this WLR post came from the recent (Save the) BreastFest that occurred a couple Thursdays back out at the Oasis Bar and Grill.

I was expecting an inside event, but instead the BreastFest was set up outside, amid some other Delmarva Bike Week vendors like these:

But you can tell which one was the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition tent – it was pretty in pink.

By the way, the woman seated on the hay bale with the gray shirt next to the crutches – this event is her baby. Michele Hogsett gets a lot of help but has organized this event over the last three years.

She lined up quite a few interesting items for the raffle. Believe it or not, I’ve won something two years in a row – seems like this is the only place Lady Luck smiles on me.

It’s a shame the weather wasn’t better and warmer; still I believe there were quite a few of these consumed.

This shot? Well, I added it to show that some guys have WAY too much time on their hands.

Okay, okay, now for the bands. As I said, I had camera issues and shortly after I took that last shot of the short bus, well, my batteries died and I didn’t have a spare set on me. I also had the occurrence of a longer-than-normal day of work, which meant I couldn’t get to the show until just before the third band took the stage. (My haste was probably why I forgot the batteries!)

Fortunately, there was an award-winning photographer there who I’ve come to know over the last few months through her work. She was there for the whole event and got some great band shots, so the photography credits henceforth go to Francie Davis/3roses photography.

The first band up was Fast Nixon.

By the accounts I heard these guys had a very tight sound. I had hoped to catch them live since they’re frequently played on the ‘Local Produce’ radio show but it was not to be.

Dust ‘n Bones took the stage next and I assume, based on my previous encounters with them, rocked the place with some strong cover tunes. They led into the point where I arrived, just in time for The Electric Co.

They took a folk-rock turn in their set, mixing in a few originals and showing their wide influence base of rock, folk, and even bluegrass. It may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but those who stuck around definitely enjoyed the show. Nate Clendenen of TEC was a second-time participant in the event, leading off last year with a solo gig.

The growing chill in the air reminded me of the upcoming Halloween season, and told me it was time for a dose of Witches Brew. (Clever segue, huh?)

The way Witches Brew rocked the stage, I’m sure they were quite toasty by the end. As usual, they pummeled out some hard rock covers from the catalog of groups like Judas Priest and Nirvana. They’re one of two bands which has played all three of these events, the other being the host group Semiblind.

Another band I’d looked forward to seeing was Deep Sea Research, which played next.

They may have been one of the most unique cover bands I’ve ever encountered (although they played one original tune too.) In a 45-minute set, they played only 3 or 4 full songs – the first 25 or 30 minutes was one continuous jam of various song snippets from the classic rock era. Just when you thought they may settle into a groove, they up and changed the thing around – I frankly enjoyed it.

Their last song was a Pink Floyd cover with a special guest.

Since Semiblind was next on the bill anyway, they asked guitarist Jim Hogsett to jam with them on their last song. And it made the transition between bands easier, too.

Even though Michele Hogsett was hobbling around on crutches helping to direct the BreastFest proceedings, Semiblind did their set with her gamely standing throughout. You can get a little more of the backstory behind the (Save the) Breastfest here and here. It’s definitely been a star-crossed event, having survived three venue changes including a last-minute cancellation.

With two new players on stage, they stuck to their bread-and-butter of classic rock covers – but Jim promised that exciting stuff is in the works with the new members. Stay tuned.

A band with a definite affinity for Van Halen is Fuzzbox Piranha. The music of those classic rockers was a staple of FP’s set, with a definite lean toward the days of David Lee Roth. But anyone who starts ‘Panama’ with the opening riff to ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ will get your attention.

Last but not least was Vivid Season.

A lot of what they played was those songs you’d find on a modern rock radio station, but they took a country detour for a couple tunes just for fun. Heck, those still out there were freezing by then so whatever worked to get up and dance, right? Some of the ladies were getting into it, that’s for sure.

I’m not sure just how much the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition raised from the event, although it figures that the first fall-like day with threatening weather happened to occur for this event. Sunny and 80 degrees would have likely doubled or tripled the turnout. But I’m sure Michele is undaunted and probably working out ways to make edition number four next year bigger and better.

I also want to point out that Francie Davis was most helpful and thank her for permission to use her work. She has a full album of the event, which includes many more band shots that I didn’t include here. Francie is probably best known, though, for her award-winning nature photos, with prints available for sale. Check her site out!

The Cain comeback

I’d like to think my endorsement had a little bit to do with this, but…I doubt it.

Still, it’s interesting that Herman Cain was considered the “winner” of the Florida debate the other night then came back today and crushed the rest of the field at the “Presidency 5” straw poll in Orlando.

It’s intriguing because the conventional wisdom (at least expressed by one of my cohorts at Pajamas Media) figured Mitt Romney would regain momentum after Rick Perry’s dreadful debate performance. Well, guess again – he came in third with 14 percent. Cain nearly had more votes than his next three pursuers (Perry, Romney, and Santorum) combined. One caveat: Cain was one of only three contenders to speak before the gathering along with Newt Gingrich (who finished seventh with 9 percent) and Rick Santorum (who was fourth with 11 percent.)

But this result brings up another interesting question – where are all the Ron Paul people? If there’s one thing Paul usually excels at, it’s winning a straw poll – here’s a recent example. I’m sure their defense will be that this was an “establishment” event, but so was the California straw poll I cited.

Herman seemed astonished by the win, thanking the Florida voters and noting, “(t)his is a sign of our growing momentum and my candidacy that cannot be ignored. I will continue to share my message of ‘common sense solutions’ across this country and look forward to spending more time in Florida, a critical state for both the nomination and the general election.”

These developments could be the impetus to get Cain moving in the polls again. Back in late June he was second among all the announced candidates at the time with support in the low double-digits and trailing Mitt Romney by about 15 points. However, with the entry of several new candidates into the race and a serious misstep, Cain lost ground and now sits sixth in the RealClearPolitics polling average with 5.6 percent.

But a bump back to 10 percent would place him back into third and within striking distance of the top two as the fall season approaches. Newt Gingrich has seen his support plateau at around 8 or 9 percent as has Ron Paul, while onetime contender Michele Bachmann has plummeted in the polls (including the Florida balloting, where she barely received 1 percent) since making a splash with her entry into the race.

In any event, the race may soon get a little tighter and that bodes well for alternative candidates to reconsider entering at this late date. There’s always the Sarah Palin prospect, but rumblings are out there that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is abandoning his threat to commit suicide to convince people he will not run and might indeed jump in.

More choices are good, although it would be more likely I’d consider Palin than Christie. But right now is Herman Cain’s moment, and his opportunity to jump-start his Presidential bid. Let’s hope he takes advantage.

Pumpin’ and dumpin’: the return

September 24, 2011 · Posted in Business and industry · Comments Off on Pumpin’ and dumpin’: the return 

Even after all these years, capitalism still fascinates me.

This is the long-awaited sequel to a post I did nearly five years ago that was among my most well-received at the time. But instead of junk faxes at my former place of employment – for all I know he may still be getting them – a number of hucksters have moved on to slick e-mail marketing campaigns, sent out with the imprimatur of reputable websites like Townhall, Human Events, or the Washington Times. Of the ten penny stocks I’ll feature today, seven were featured in a Human Events e-mail blast, six in missives from the Times, and five from Townhall. These were all sent out to me back in March; I gave the stocks six months to see how they’d perform on a longer term.

Back on the day I received the last e-mail I saved on behalf of each company, this is how they were doing:

Would an investment strategy of placing a $10,000 order based on $1,000 for each investment have paid off? Well, here is how they closed yesterday, with the number in parentheses the new stock value. You be the judge.

  • ALZM – $0.39 ($219.10)
  • BARZ – $0.25 ($166.67)
  • MDAV – $0.02 ($20.00)
  • FASV – $0.20 ($178.57)
  • LBYE – $0.08 ($160.00)
  • VNDB – $0.09 ($391.30)
  • CBP – $1.00 ($568.18)
  • MRGP – $0.09 ($923.08)
  • COYR – $0.51 ($212.50)
  • URZ – $1.49 ((326.04)

Wow – and I thought the federal government ran up a deficit. That $10,000 stake melted down to $3165.44 – a stunning 68% loss in value! (There’s more after the jump.)

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The endorsement

Well, here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: who do I support for President? (Hint: it ain’t Barack Obama.)

If you’ve been playing along with my “Dossier” series and kept track of the points, this is what you’d find:

  1. Herman Cain – 74 points
  2. Roy Moore – 73 points
  3. Michele Bachmann – 71 points
  4. Ron Paul – 68 points
  5. Rick Perry – 59 points
  6. Rick Santorum – 57 points
  7. Thad McCotter – 51 points
  8. Gary Johnson – 50 points
  9. Newt Gingrich – 48 points
  10. Mitt Romney – 40 points
  11. Buddy Roemer – 39 points
  12. Jon Huntsman – 25 points
  13. Fred Karger – (-11) points

It seems pretty cut and dried, right? Well, not quite.

One thing I noticed as I was having a bit of fun with the numbers (figuring out that my “perfect” candidate in this go-round would have only 94 points of 100) is that Herman Cain came out on top through consistent scoring, not necessarily high marks across the board. So I did a second run using factored placements in each category – the top finisher got 1, second was 2, and so forth. Anyone who was tied for a spot got the lowest number of points.

It changed the standings at the top quite a bit:

  1. Roy Moore (2nd in points)
  2. Ron Paul (4th)
  3. Herman Cain (1st)
  4. Michele Bachmann (3rd)
  5. Rick Perry (5th)
  6. Rick Santorum (6th)
  7. Gary Johnson (8th)
  8. Thad McCotter (7th)
  9. Newt Gingrich (9th)
  10. Jon Huntsman (12th)
  11. Mitt Romney (10th)
  12. Buddy Roemer (11th)
  13. Fred Karger (13th)

In essence, my top four were turned around. The only reason Ron Paul didn’t finish first in points, though, was his isolationist stance. He actually scored well enough on the most important categories to make up for it and that’s why he moved up the scale. Roy Moore was helped along by having good marks across the board, but none of the key factors except for taxation and the role of government leaped out. And Bachmann and Cain were dragged down by a lack of specifics in some areas.

So the next step was placing them head-to-head against each other.

Once you do that it’s clear Michele Bachmann doesn’t do as well, while the other three are essentially a draw when compared that way. So I guess I have to revert to my original findings and also think about electability. I just can’t see Ron Paul being the nominee, nor can I trust him in the key aspect of foreign affairs. To me there’s a difference between entangling alliances and our very security. Declared or not, I believe we are in a state of war and we weren’t the ones who caused it.

And while I really like Judge Moore, the fact that he hasn’t advanced beyond the exploratory stage five months after forming the committee tells me he probably doesn’t have the support base to make a serious run.

Thus, after weeks of thought and study, I stand as a member of the Wicomico County Republican Central Committee – and while I don’t speak for the committee as a whole – I heartily endorse Herman Cain to be the next President of the United States.

If you would prefer to explore other candidates, my strong recommendations for the position are Michele Bachmann, Roy Moore, and Ron Paul. Each is a good candidate, but as noted above I have one or more reservations about their qualifications and eventual prospect for success – however, you may see it differently.

And by the way, I am going to do a dual Dossier on the two major declared Democratic candidates. That should be a riot.

Tired of the argument?

You know, once in awhile I have to take my fellows to task.

Perhaps it’s because I have such convincing arguments or maybe I have scared all the liberals away, but I don’t get a high number of comments on my website. (Well, I get a lot of comments but 99% are of the spam variety, which Akismet takes care of.)

So once in awhile I feel I have to give feedback to others. Included in this was a comment I sent in to the newly rechristened Lower Eastern Shore News regarding Jonathan Taylor’s criticism of the two dissenting voters in a recent County Council vote to allow overtime for building inspectors and other county employees in order to approve work on the rolling 4 1/2 day ‘Extreme Makeover‘ project.

My comment addressed three premises in playing devil’s advocate:

  1. The idea that the county’s FY2012 budget is approved, and a general query as to where he would suggest cutting to make up this expense.
  2. What sort of lasting impact this national exposure would have, as in if someone could name other cities which have had ‘Extreme Makeover’ homes without Googling it. (I don’t watch the show, so I wouldn’t know.)
  3. The hypocricy of Taylor complaining about a $10,000 annual expense to the city to provide health insurance for part-time employees but feeling just fine about spending this $7,000 of county money.

I placed none of the seven words which cannot be said on television in the comment, and thought I had legitimate questions. Yet Taylor rejected it, saying he was “tired of having the argument…when you get on this Republican high horse is when you lose reason.”

But I think Culver and Holloway have a legitimate reason for voting their way – citing the fact ‘Extreme Makeover’ is a for-profit enterprise while the county denies taxpayer funds to non-profits – while the other five had their reasons for voting yes, primarily as a boost to the local economy and tourism. (That may be a stretch.) In the end, Taylor got his wish and I said as much. Personally, I would have tried to take the money from somewhere else to make it a zero-sum game so I’m not going to criticize Culver and Holloway for their vote. Nor do I think the other five are off base, since there’s a simple difference of opinion here and we may find the $7,000 is well-spent. Or we may not.

Ultimately Jonathan can run his website as he sees fit, and if rejecting comments because he’s “tired of the argument” is his best defense, well, I suppose I don’t have recourse there. I’d reprint the comment I sent in here on my site but it’s vanished into the ether of the internet like the thousands of spam comments I’ve sent packing have been. (There’s still 4,815 comments here, so that’s plenty of feedback over the years.)

The point is, though, had I been someone who didn’t have his own bully pulpit and decided to use it you would have never known the gist of what I said. I’m not saying I accept every comment I get, because obviously I don’t or there wouldn’t be 375,529 spam comments to my site now vanished.

Instead, my policy has always been that good comments help move the narrative along, so I reject as few as possible. In fact I like the ones which disagree with me because then I have to sharpen my arguments. So if you think Taylor was right, by all means tell me why.

My contention is that if you truly want to add to the discourse, you don’t get tired of the argument. Just ask yourself what else is missing when comments which are otherwise legitimate don’t get through.

Odds and ends number 33

Hey, a Thursday night without some sort of Shorebirds update – whatever shall I do?

You know the drill: ‘odds and ends’ are those items I can’t justify a full post for, but are important enough for a paragraph or three.

Didn’t we already go through this whole government shutdown thing not that long ago? Well, here we go again.

Democrats in the Senate want to spend $6.9 billion on disaster relief, simply adding to the deficit. Meanwhile, the House rejected a plan which would have allocated $3.6 billion to disaster relief, part of which would be offset by cutting federal subsidies for electric cars. (This is the version Andy Harris voted for, although 48 conservative Republicans did not.)

I can understand where Harris is coming from, since some portion of that aid would likely come back to the northern reaches of our Congressional district. But I think the more conservative members who are holding out for more cuts are right, and Harris is wrong in this instance. I’m curious to know – how many of my readers are looking for a federal handout to assist them through cleaning up from Irene and Lee? Anyone? Bueller?

Let’s work our way back to the state level with a story told before – former beauty queen decides to get involved in politics decades after her days as a pageant contestant are over. If you answered “Sarah Palin” you would be correct but she’s not the subject of this brief portion of my post. Instead, this young lady was once Miss Delaware and was a semi-finalist for the Miss America crown in 1976. She now is Associate Director of the National Pro-Life Action Center in Washington, D.C.

Did I mention she is black? Or a Republican running for a vacated County Council seat in Prince George’s County?

Her name is Day Gardner, and she indeed fits all these categories. One thing I didn’t realize is that I have heard her speak at this rally, as she was also a Brian Murphy supporter. I remember she was a quite eloquent speaker, which makes sense if she was a pageant contestant in the old, pre-politically correct days. She’s even run for office before in 2002, finishing fourth of four in a House of Delegates race for District 23A.

Needless to say, when she gets 97 Republican votes in a primary that sees the Democratic winner pick up 3,570 – and he’s the near-namesake of a current member of the House of Delegates (Derrick Leon Davis as opposed to Delegate Dereck E. Davis)  – Day Gardner has an uphill battle. But stranger things have happened, and it’s good to see Republicans competing in PG County. I admire her tenacity and willingness to avoid political platitudes to get elected; she can plant the seed for future GOP success there.

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Dossier: Rick Perry

September 22, 2011 · Posted in Campaign 2012 - President, National politics, Politics · Comments Off on Dossier: Rick Perry 

Political resume: Rick Perry has been involved in Texas electoral politics since 1984, when he was elected to their House of Representatives (as a Democrat.) He served three terms there before switching parties and winning his first statewide election in 1990 to become the state’s Agriculture Commissioner. There he served two terms before seeking the Lieutenant Governor’s chair in 1998, which he won as second banana to then-Governor George W. Bush. Once Bush became President, Perry became the new governor on December 21, 2000. He has served there since, winning elections in 2002, 2006, and 2010 to become the nation’s longest-tenured governor. Once Perry announced his Presidential bid on August 13, he shot to the top of the GOP sweepstakes – his current polling average is 29.2 percent, as he ranges from 23% to 36% in various polls they average.

On campaign finance/election reform (three points): While Rick is chastised by others for “crony capitalism” (more on that later) it appears he’s taking advantage of the open system we have now, and that’s fine as long as they’re up front about it. More to the point, he just signed a solid new voter ID law in Texas, so he gets three points.

On property rights (five points): While Rick heads a state which gets a good grade on the subject of eminent domain abuse, the process behind constructing the Trans-Texas Corridor gives me pause. As you’ll see later, this portion of his agenda may explain some other points of view, so I’ll give Rick just three points.

On the Second Amendment (seven points): Rick has been a gun owner-friendly governor, so I see no reason why he would change in Washington. Seven points.

On education (eight points): While Rick doesn’t overtly state this, the fact that he didn’t take “Race to the Top” money because he didn’t want federal control over Texas schools tells me he doesn’t have a lot of use for the Department of Education. I’ll give him seven points here.

On the Long War/veterans affairs (nine points): Unfortunately, Perry (as a governor) doesn’t have a lot of foreign policy experience and I find his shifting positions on Iraq and Afghanistan a bit troubling. But as an Air Force veteran, he’s prone to saying “there is no other state that takes care of its veterans better than the state of Texas.” So he should be a good president for veterans, and I’ll grant him five points based mostly on that.

On immigration (eleven points): Like most of his opponents, Perry is an advocate of securing the borders, but doesn’t want to commit to any sort of immigration policy until that’s done. My biggest issue with Perry is the Texas DREAM Act, which he signed way back in 2001 and still supports, despite other border state governors calling on him to repeal it. I didn’t spend time this summer trying to get a petition signed and supported to have someone who favors a bill elected. I’m deducting five points.

On energy independence (twelve points): I really wish that, as a governor of an oil and gas producing state, Rick would be a little more specific on this subject – he doesn’t even point to this as a job creator on his campaign site. Yes, he’s told the EPA where to go, but I want a little more assurance than I got here. And when he gets mealy-mouthed to Iowa corn farmers, again, I don’t know how sincere he’s being. I’ll give him just five points here.

On entitlements (thirteen points): We’ve all heard that Perry (correctly, I might add) called Social Security a ‘Ponzi scheme.’ But even better, Perry pisses off the establishment by wishing to dismantle the entitlement system. Good for him, because he’s right on the money – so don’t back away! That step back cost him one of the thirteen points. And I didn’t even mention he’d repeal Obamacare.

On trade and job creation (fourteen points): Okay, based on the record Rick has this category licked. He doesn’t fail to point out how Texas led the nation in job creation. He is also on record as wishing to be a “tough trader,” although he’s supported free trade agreements, almost to a fault (see Trans-Texas Corridor above.) Yet the Club for Growth has a point: he’s inherited a good situation with a favorable legislative climate. Will he do as well in Washington? I’ll give him 11 points.

On taxation and the role of government (fifteen points): Perry has a decent record at the state level, but I’m troubled a bit that he’s also retreating from a call in his book to scrap the current system and move to a flat tax or (preferably) the FairTax. The problem is that he’s right but may not have the guts to carry out his ideas to reduce government, and can occasionally wander into an area best left to parents. He gets eleven points.

Intangibles (three points): Rick Perry is solidly pro-life, and favors marriage between one man and woman. Again, though, he favors the Constitutional route rather than advocating states decide the right way. He’s also a supporter of Israel, so that’s a plus. But there’s an intangible that I haven’t run across with any other candidate and that’s how little issue information he shares on his website. If someone wants to know about him besides the platitudes he’s got, they have to dig deep. And as he’s walked back some of his positions it makes me question his sincerity – remember, he wasn’t going to run for President but then decided to. Was that a ploy? In all, this category is a wash.

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