The “bye-ku” for each of these former 2008 presidential candidates was shamelessly lifted from various editions of James Taranto’s Best of the Web Today, which appears in the online version of the Wall Street Journal. Hopefully, I won’t get sued.
Joe Biden/Chris Dodd (combined):
Yes, they've really spent
68 years in Congress
It just seems longer
When he gave a speech
Attendees numbered less than
This line's syllables
Such a pretty man
Gee, his hair looks terrific
Looks aren't everything
Is he still alive?
We thought he was killed by a
Utah firing squad
Things went downhill on the road
It seems we won't see
A Hunter-Thompson ticket
Bedtime for Gonzo
Surely he is an
But he does not fly
What we need is change
I guess experience is
Kind of a leper
Is it really true
The nativists are restless?
Not enough to vote
They called him "tortoise"
But now the man with no hair
Has got out of ours
"I'm too sexy for
This poll," said Tommy? Oh, right
Said Fred, not Tommy
Thursday, January 31, 2008
The “bye-ku” for each of these former 2008 presidential candidates was shamelessly lifted from various editions of James Taranto’s Best of the Web Today, which appears in the online version of the Wall Street Journal. Hopefully, I won’t get sued.
Posted by James at 3:45 PM
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
John McCain placed first on the GOP side of yesterday’s Florida primaries - taking all 57 of the Sunshine State’s delegates to the Republican National Convention - thereby establishing himself as the frontrunner. Mitt Romney finished second. Rudy Giuliani, who had staked his political future on doing well in the Florida, placed a disappointing third. My guy Mike Huckabee came in fourth, but to a certain extent he had abandoned the “winner-take-all” contest.
Word is that Giuliani will bow out of the race prior to the GOP debate this evening at the Reagan Presidential Library. It also appears that Jon Edwards is poised to exit the contest on the Democratic side
According to Real Clear Politics, the current delegate count is:
CNN has the delegate count like so:
The tallies differ because of the vagaries associated with “unpledged” delegates.
Posted by James at 9:50 AM
Monday, January 28, 2008
It occurs to me that a good part of winning a party’s nomination for president depends on process as much as the actual candidates themselves (and yes, I realize that the observation is not unique to me).
Of course, all eyes are focused on Florida for tomorrow’s presidential primaries.A candidate needs 1191 delegates to win the Republican nomination. Given the fact that the state jumped the gun in terms of scheduling its contests, it will lose one-half of the number of delegates originally allotted to it to the Republican National Convention, meaning that it will have 57 rather than 114. Even so, that is a sizable number of delegates. Florida is one of those “winner-take-all" states, so only one of the GOP candidates will come away with any delegates at all. Add to that the fact that the primaries in Florida are “closed,” meaning that, unlike the other high-profile contests held thus far, only Republicans will be voting in the Republican primary, not cross-over Democrats or independents. So, the results should be interesting.
Of course, these facts go a long way toward explaining differing campaign strategies. On one hand, Rudy Giuliani all but skipped the primaries and caucuses held thus far, pinning his hopes on finishing first in the Sunshine State and using that victory as a launching pad into delegate-rich Super (Duper) Tuesday. If he wins, thereby tallying all 57 delegates available, the former New York mayor is right back in the thick of the Republican race. If not, his campaign is it serious jeopardy. Mike Huckabee, on the other hand, has redeployed his limited staff and advertising dollars to other states where he has a better chance to win delegates, regardless of whether he finishes first in those states.
Locally, I cast my advance ballot for Huckabee on the way to work this morning. The Clarke County Board of Elections had 558 people submit absentee ballots, either in person or via the mail.
By the way, if my information is correct, Republican caucuses are currently going on in Hawaii, beginning on 25 January and running through 07 February. Five time zones to the east, GOP Caucuses in Maine extend from 01 through 03 February.
Posted by James at 8:41 AM
Friday, January 25, 2008
I was going to write a post about the so-called “parking lot” bill that has been in the news of late, examining the history of the issue and comparing/contrasting the various legislative proposals currently in play under the Gold Dome. Then common sense kicked in. Even though I intended to leave aside the property rights versus gun rights debate, my eyes glazed over and my brain began to hurt upon trying to get a reasonably accurate and concise overview together for those who may not be conversant in the issues involved.
Suffice it to say that a narrowly-focused SB 43 died in committee last year, a limited measure prompted by the Weyerhaeuser incident in Oklahoma, that would have prohibited employers from searching employees’ cars parked on company property. On the other side of the capital, a more expansive HB 89, the “Business Security and Employee Privacy Act” passed in the House last February. This is where arguments concerning the property rights of business owners versus the Second Amendment rights of individuals came into the picture, as the bill, generally speaking, would have prohibited employer bans on employees having guns in their cars while on company property.
The House legislation carried over to this year. The amended bill that recently passed in the Senate strengthened (or gutted) the House version (depending on whose opinion one cites). The Senate version allows licensed carry permit holders, though not employees generally, to possess a firearm in any private motor vehicle and while on any publicly accessible parking lot; prohibits gun dealer entrapment schemes (a.k.a. the Bloomberg amendment – interestingly, this is already a federal offense but not a state one), allows carry permit holders to do so in state parks and historic sites, and imposes a strict time limit for the bureaucracy to complete the carry permit application process.
For what it is worth, many of the provisions of the Senate version mirror those of yet another proposal, HB 915, the “Second Amendment Protection Act of 2008.” Both House bills have Rep. Tim Beardon as their primary sponsors, whose original HB 7, the precursor of HB 89, dates back to 2006.
As someone who has been an avid (and occasionally competitive) shooter and held a Georgia carry permit for almost my entire adult life, I think that all of these proposals, complimentary or competing as the case may be, have merit. What is most interesting to me is the sniping between and among business organizations and various gun rights groups (pun intended). C’mon guys, let’s not get mired down in our differences – instead let’s work for the common good by making the state’s carry laws more friendly toward law-abiding citizens.
Posted by James at 11:10 AM
Regardless of what one may think of Governor Perdue on any given issue, he and the state’s First Lady have long been advocates for child welfare. In that vein, he is restructuring the various state agencies responsible for “at-risk” children and advancing legislation to make those changes permanent. This issue is important to me because my wife and I have been involved with DFCS for years as foster/adoptive parents and I am a current member of the Children’s Trust Fund Commission. The following is the press release announcing the restructuring in its entirety:
Today Governor Sonny Perdue took action to restructure four agencies responsible for serving Georgia’s at-risk children and families to better serve the state’s child advocacy community. The Children’s Trust Fund Commission (CTF) will combine with the Children and Youth Coordinating Council (CYCC) and become the Governor’s Office for Children and Families. The Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) will assume the responsibilities of the Office of Child Fatality Review (OCFR).
“By combining the skills and resources of these agencies, we will be in a better position to ensure that our child welfare system is strong and that we are funding those programs that our policy research shows are proven to work,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “With this reorganization, we will have a more unified approach to serving all at-risk children, from infancy through adolescence.”
The two new agencies will work together to ensure consistency and effectiveness in child welfare planning, policy and funding. The combined agencies will also report directly to the Governor’s Office and work closely with policy staff and child welfare agency leadership.
"This strategy is designed to maximize the impact of resources invested in communities to support the healthy development of children and youth,” said Pam Brown, Program Director of Prevent Child Abuse Georgia. “It promotes shared responsibility between the state and community for comprehensive and cohesive program planning, implementation and accountability which is so important for the success and sustainability of efforts."
Governor Perdue also announced the Children and Family Services Strengthening Act of 2008, legislation that the Governor intends to introduce in the upcoming session to make this agency reform permanent. The combined funding agency, to be called the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, will share office space with the expanded Office of the Child Advocate, which will continue its responsibility to oversee and improve the state’s child protection system.
“I’m looking forward to being able to work in partnership with the new Governor's Office for Children and Families,” said State Child Advocate Tom Rawlings. “While OCA will remain an independent agency, sharing office space will allow us to share ideas and to work together toward our mutual goal of improving the lives of Georgia’s children.”
Upon legislative approval, the Governor’s Office for Children and Families will rely on a consolidated board composed of CYCC and CTF board members to make grants to communities. Additionally, the alignment of staff resources will allow funding of a continuum of services, from child abuse prevention to juvenile delinquency treatment. The Governor’s Office for Children and Families will also serve as the new home for the First Lady’s Children’s Cabinet.
“By combining the expertise of our staff and citizen boards, we will now be able to target the entire family cycle, from the at-risk infant to the troubled teen,” said Jen Bennecke, Executive Director of the newly created Governor’s Office for Children and Families.
The Children’s Trust Fund has funded over $25,000,000 in child abuse prevention projects in local communities. The CYCC disburses millions of dollars annually to local abstinence education, delinquency prevention and juvenile justice projects.
The Office of Child Fatality Review uses local data on child deaths to develop policies and practices designed to prevent such deaths. The youngest of the four agencies, OCA, is the state’s independent ombudsman for child welfare practice and policy.
Now, if only something could be done about the DFCS bureaucracy.
Posted by James at 9:38 AM
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Mike Huckabee was in Atlanta for a couple of days earlier this week. Yes, I realize that I am behind the curve on this but, as you are all well aware, there is more to life than blogging.
On Monday, the Governor attended the MLK Jr. memorial service at Ebenezer Baptist Church – as far as I know he was the only GOP candidate to do so – after which he was endorsed by a contingent of conservative black pastors.
Tuesday’s schedule included a fundraiser at the downtown branch of the Capital City Club and the “Together for Life” event held on the steps of the state capital, the latter being sponsored by Georgia Right to Life.
While in Atlanta, Huckabee also called in to the Neal Boortz Show. You can listen to audio clips of the conversation between the Governor and the Talkmaster concerning the FairTax and immigration.
Speaking of the FairTax, congressman John Linder, sponsor of HR 25, recently penned” Huckabee presents the best choice for Reagan supporters” for the Gwinnett Daily Post. The bill has 68 cosponsors.
See the guys over at the AJC’s Political Insider for a piece on Huckabee’s so-called “southern strategy, designed more to win delegates across the south on Super (Duper) Tuesday rather than the popular vote in Florida.
See here and here fora couple of other AJC staff stories concerning Huckabee and the Peach State, written by Aaron Gould Sheinin and Jim Galloway, respectively.
Of course, the purpose of any state’s primaries and caucuses is to win delegates to the Republican National Convention. According to Real Clear Politics, through the GOP contests in Iowa, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, and South Carolina, the delegate standings are
Mitt Romney 59
Mike Huckabee 40
John McCain 36
Fred Thompson 05
Ron Paul 04
Rudy Giuliani 01
Duncan Hunter 01
Of course, Thompson and Hunter have since bowed out of the race.
Since I originally posted the above, I came across a few other items of note. In no particular order, they are:
Michael Brendan Dougherty’s “The Audacity of Huck: The Religious Right roils the establishment by backing one of its own” in The American Conservative (with apologies to Barack Obama, no doubt)
“Hunter Endorses Huckabee” from CNN’s Political Tracker
Perry Bacon Jr.’s “In Atlanta Huckabee Courts the South” on The Trail, a Washington Post blog
Posted by James at 2:57 PM
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The Georgia State Conference of the NAACP is calling for an official apology for slavery by the State of Georgia (see page 6). Fair enough, I fully understand the role of symbolism in politics. But I also realize that is all this is. Even if such an apology should be forthcoming, will it really accomplish anything meaningful? The short answer is no, it will not. I think that the NAACP’s efforts could be employed far better elsewhere.
Then again, I was publicly likened to the Klan by advocating nonpartisan elections for the Athens-Clarke County Commission, so what do I know. Of course, we are all fully aware that the Republican Party is routinely defamed as a bastion of racism. In reality, though, the long knives are out on the other side of the aisle. Concerning the continuing Clinton/Obama race imbroglio, see:
“The Politics of Pigmentation,” (a Review and Outlook piece in the Wall Street Journal)
“The Identity Trap,” (a David Brooks column in the New York Times)*
“Race and Politics” (an editorial in the New York Times)*
“Democrats Downplay the Race Card” (a Michael Scherer piece in Time magazine)
“Indian-American Sworn in as Louisiana Governor” (a Reuters article by Russell McCulley about Bobby Jindal’s triumph in the Deep South – the racist GOP in Louisiana obviously missed the memo)
Though it is not about race, being just to drive my “progressive” readers just a little more nuts, see “Why Capitalism is Good for the Soul,” an article by Peter Saunders in the Summer 2007 issue of Policy.
*If the direct links to these items do not work, you can navigate to them without registering by starting on the Times main page or using the author’s name as a search term.
Posted by James at 9:59 AM
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
It appears that Mitt Romney has taken first place in the Michigan Republican primary, with John McCain placing second and Mike Huckabee coming in third. Of course, Romney is something of a “favorite son” in Michigan (if you will), and McCain won the state’s primary in 2000, so Huckabee’s showing may not be so bad. Now, the stage shifts more to states that hold “closed” primaries and caucuses, so we shall see what happens.
I will use that point as a seque to this one. I came across this article, “Huckabee calls himself a threat to GOP elites” by Rick Pearson of the Chicago Tribune (by way of Sid over at Cracker Squire). You can read it for yourselves, but the gist is that Huckabee is consciously appealing to the rank and file of the Republican Party rather than the party’s insiders.
What intrigues me is the fact that the same dynamic played out in last year’s 10th congressional district race between Jim Whitehead and Paul Broun (in both the special election and the subsequent runoff). Whitehead was easily the establish choice, possessing commanding advantages in funding, staff, endorsements, and the support of the state’s Republican movers and shakers. The good doctor, on the other hand, possessed nothing of the sort. Broun won as an outsider, an avowed strict constructionist, small government conservative (and, yes, the fact that he was not Jim Whitehead).
This is not to say that Huckabee and Broun advocate the same policies across the board; obviously they do not. Of course, some will argue that the GOP elite is correct to oppose Huckabee on policy grounds - but that another matter. Even so, perhaps the Republican leadership at the national level should take note of the outsider who turned the tables on the establishment.
Posted by James at 9:53 PM
Like Steve Martin’s immortal Navin Johnson in The Jerk, I am inordinately pleased to see my name in print.
Some of you may remember that I referenced the hard copy version of my first peer-reviewed journal article, “Raymond Aron and the Intellectuals: Arguments Supportive of Libertarianism,” just before Thanksgiving. The online version is now up on the Journal of Libertarian Studies web site for those who may be interested.
Granted, it is an arcane topic in a narrowly focused journal, but I’m proud of it nonetheless.
Posted by James at 1:36 PM
Monday, January 14, 2008
At its February voting session, the Athens-Clarke County Commission is slated to adopt an amendment to the Unified Government’s prohibition on the possession of otherwise legal firearms in the county’s parks. The section of the ordinance, which is 1-10-4(a), reading “possession of firearms” (subparagraph 3) will be deleted and reserved, while one prohibiting the “discharge of firearms” (subparagraph 17) will be added.
My thanks to them for opting not to defend the local ordinance in the courts, which would have been a futile gesture to be sure. Those interested can see the background material on the agenda item here.
Posted by James at 12:59 PM
Friday, January 11, 2008
The campaign headquarters for the Clarke County Republican Party, located at
Drop by to sign up as a volunteer, to pick up campaign materials for your GOP candidate of choice, or just to say “Hi.”Sphere: Related Content
Posted by James at 1:22 PM
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I had intended to watch the show but did not even make it through Mythbusters. From what I can gather, this image is from late last year.
For those who do not know, the proposed Huckabee/Colbert ticket is a running gag spanning the Governor’s various appearances on the show.Sphere: Related Content
Posted by James at 9:03 AM
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Just a brief comment on the New Hampshire Republican primary. As expected, the fight for first place was between John McCain and Mitt Romney, with the former emerging victorious by a five point margin. Mike Huckabee, who spent not nearly as much time or money in the state as did either McCain or Romney, placed a respectable third. According to FOX News, Huckabee leads in terms of pledged delegates (as does Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side). The elephants head on to
Of note is Huckabee’s support for ending birthright citizenship and the accompanying problem of “anchor babies.” The practice may have made sense earlier in the country's history, but in the era of the welfare state and the war on terror, it most certainly does not.
I think that the illegal immigration issue can be a good one for the GOP. Although many try to demagogue the issue by portraying Republicans as opposing immigration generally, the charge falls flat. Taking the liberty of speaking for most of my fellow party members, we are not opposed to legal immigration (hardly), but are strongly opposed to illegal immigration and even more so to the rewarding thereof. Huckabee is not entirely off of the reservation here; in fairness, Ron Paul has wanted to do away with birthright citizenship for years.
Yes, I know that Huckabee’s support of merit-based scholarships for the children of illegal immigrants in
And yes, I saw the Governor on Letterman. The appearance struck me as being more serious in tone that the one on Leno. I thought that Letterman actually conducted a reasonably substantive interview.Sphere: Related Content
Posted by James at 9:49 AM
Monday, January 7, 2008
I haven’t done an IO post for a while, so here are a couple of nuggets for your consideration.
Congratulations to Mitt Romney for winning the Republican caucuses/county conventions in Wyoming and picking up 8 of 12 available delegates . Fred Thompson scored 3 delegates and Duncan Hunter got the remaining one. While it is true that Wyoming is a small state in terms of delegates, every one that you rack up is one that your opponents do not.
Also, Ben Evans of the Associated Press reports that Georgia was the fifth fastest growing state in terms of population from July 2006 to July 2007. The speculation is that the Peach State will add a 14th representative to its congressional delegation after the 2010 census, as political power continues to shift toward the South and West and away from the Northeast and Great Lakes areas (possibly, but not necessarily, benefiting the GOP).
Posted by James at 11:48 AM
Thursday, January 3, 2008
I'm listening to Mike Huckabee talk about his victory on FOX News even as I write this. The Governor won the Iowa Republican caucuses by a surprisingly large margin and, in doing so, he overcame the substantial organizational and financial advantages held by Mitt Romney.
While I am happy that Huckabee did so well, I think that the importance of the Iowa caucuses is overrated; the state’s record in picking the eventual Democratic and Republican nominees, much less the eventual general election winner, is not so good. But, a win is a win and I am sure that Huckabee will take any win that he can get (as will Barack Obama, for that matter).
Even so, I think that the Republican vote is more representative. This is because the GOP caucuses operate more like a traditional American election, specifically in that they employ secret ballots and every vote counts, regardless of a candidate’s percentage of the total vote. On the Democratic side, the ballots are not secret and the voting procedures employ two rounds, with the candidates having to meet a percentage threshold in order for their voters to count.
I fully expect to get inundated with even more of those anti-Huckabee email messages now, particularly from Ron Paul supporters (but that is okay). And yes, I saw Huckabee’s appearance on Leno.
Posted by James at 11:19 PM
This just in from the fine folks over at Georgia Carry: Superior Court Judge Steve Jones temporarily enjoined the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County from enforcing its ban on the otherwise legal possession of firearms in local parks. His consent order notes that the ban is preempted by O.C.G.A., citing the recent Coweta County case. You can read the Superior Court consent order for yourselves here.
The Commission will consider repealing the ordinance at its February voting session. Frankly, I am somewhat surprised, and gratified, that the Unified Government saw the handwriting on the wall and choose not to fight the issue out in court to the bitter end.
Posted by James at 9:09 PM
The Iowa caucuses are this evening. So, what happens next you ask? The answer continues the calendric theme from yesterday. After consulting many sources that often conflicted, I settled on these dates for the various states’ presidential preference primaries and caucuses. They were compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures from “state election officials, state parties, selected press coverage, and The Green Papers."
Note that the process varies by state and that the two parties do not necessarily hold their events on the same dates:
Iowa (Democratic caucuses, Republican caucuses)
Wyoming (Republican county conventions)
New Hampshire (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Michigan (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Nevada (Democratic caucuses, Republican caucuses)
South Carolina (Republican primary)
25 January – 07 February
Hawaii (Republican caucuses)
Florida (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
South Carolina (Democratic primary)
01 February – 03 February
Maine (Republican caucuses)
Alabama (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Alaska (Democratic caucuses, Republican caucuses)
Arizona (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Arkansas (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
California (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Colorado (Democratic caucuses, Republican caucuses)
Connecticut (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Delaware (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Georgia (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Idaho (Democratic caucuses)
Illinois (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Kansas (Democratic caucuses)
Minnesota (Democratic caucuses, Republican caucuses)
Missouri (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Montana (Republican caucuses)
New Jersey (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
New Mexico (Democratic primary)
New York (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
North Dakota (Democratic caucuses, Republican caucuses)
Oklahoma (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Tennessee (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Utah (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
West Virginia (Republican state convention)
Kansas (Republican caucuses)
Louisiana (Democratic primary, Republican caucuses)
Nebraska (Democratic caucuses)
Washington (Democratic caucuses, Republican caucuses)
Maine (Democratic caucuses)
District of Columbia (Democratic caucuses, Republican primary)
Maryland (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Virginia (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Hawaii (Democratic caucuses)
Wisconsin (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Massachusetts (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Rhode Island (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Ohio (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Texas (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Vermont (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Wyoming (Democratic caucuses)
Mississippi (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Pennsylvania (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Indiana (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
North Carolina (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Nebraska (Republican primary [advisory only])
West Virginia (Democratic primary)
Kentucky (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Oregon (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Idaho (Democratic primary [non-binding], Republican primary)
Montana (Democratic primary)
New Mexico (Republican primary)
South Dakota (Democratic primary, Republican primary)
Nebraska (Republican state convention)
Posted by James at 9:23 AM
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
If you are like me, you may be wondering how the Iowa caucuses work, along with their various purposes, history, etc. For that information and a primer on the procedures employed for both the Republican (straw poll) and the Democratic (preference group) approaches, scroll down to the Caucus Q & A section from the online Cedar Rapids Gazette.
If that whets your appetite for more, see the respective web pages of the State of Iowa, the Republican Party of Iowa, and the Iowa Democratic Party. Enjoy!
Posted by James at 2:49 PM
It is finally 2008, so let's jump in to the political fray with both feet. The following information as to dates and deadlines was taken from the web sites of the Georgia Republican Party and the Georgia Secretary of State:
Registration deadline to vote in presidential preference primary
28 January-01 February
Advance voting for presidential preference primary
Presidential preference primary
Republican precinct mass meetings (counties over 80,000)
Republican precinct mass meetings (counties 80,000 and under)
Republican county conventions
Republican district conventions
Republican state convention (Columbus)
Registration deadline to vote in general primary
Advance voting for general primary
28 July-01 August
Advance voting for general primary runoff
General primary runoff
Republican national convention (Minneapolis-Saint Paul)
Registration deadline to vote in general election
Advance voting for general election
Advance voting for general election runoff
General election runoff
Posted by James at 1:18 PM