FEATURED Congress

Why Rick Santorum Might Have Trouble Finding Support

Rick SantorumI wrote a few days ago about why Rick Santorum should reconsider running for President (assuming that is what he’s currently planning on doing). I’m going to examine the other side of that coin and explain why Republicans and conservatives should think twice before supporting Rick Santorum.  Again, this goes back to his reason to drop out of the 2012 primary: the health of his young and very fragile daughter.

As I’ve said before and I’ll say again, I love Rick Santorum’s platform.  He’s proven himself to be a fine candidate and a good, honest, and principled man.  He’s everything a conservative Republican should want out of their Presidential candidate… except perhaps connections to billionaire donors who can finance his campaign through their connections.  I completely believe the United States would thrive under a President Santorum.

Sounds like an endorsement, right?

Not quite.

Krista and I have talked about it and we’re going to get heavily involved in one of the presidential campaigns next year.  We don’t know whose, but we know we’re not going to sit on the sidelines like we did in the 2012 Republican Primary.   Investing your time and money in a Presidential campaign is a huge thing, especially for middle class Americans like us who have to balance our professional lives with our political lives and our checkbooks between the right causes and the bills.

I didn’t wake up one morning in March of 2007 and decide, “Yeah, I’m going to support Mike Huckabee for President.”  It was a calculated decision I made with my co-writer at the time (Ayatollah Semp).  Does he have/will he have staying power?  Is he a hard working candidate?  Is he a good candidate? Can he win the general election?  Does his platform match my values and ideas close enough?  Will we have fun?    Investing yourself for a year or more in a Presidential campaign is a huge commitment and as big of a deal as it is for the candidate, the sacrifices made by their most committed volunteers and supporters are often enormous.

So when Krista and I think of how Rick Santorum got out of the 2012 primary because his daughter was ill, it causes us to hesitate to support him for 2016.  Why should we invest our precious time and resources traveling to Iowa and South Carolina for straw polls, collecting signatures for ballot presence in other states, canvassing neighborhoods, making phone calls, and fundraising when there’s a very real likelyhood Rick Santorum isn’t going to finish the campaign?

Rick Santorum might get a good book deal out of it, but when it’s all said and done, we wouldn’t even get a free copy of the book to show for all our work and effort.

Without a doubt, Rick Santorum’s platform is the most in line with our values as working class Catholic Americans.  Even though I don’t like that he attacked Ted Cruz before the general election, I thought it took a tremendous amount of courage to stand up like he did to defend Christianity in the middle east, knowing it was going to upset the Israeli lobby.  We have nothing but respect and admiration for Rick Santorum.  But unless he comes out and explains why 2016 will be different than 2012 (like a sudden miraculous change in his daughter’s condition), we’re extremely hesitant to go all in on a Rick Santorum presidential campaign.

To be honest, we would rather he not run so as not to divide the social conservative vote.

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FEATURED Voting

Cruz wins Values Voters Poll, Huckabee in 3rd

Ted CruzThe Values Voters Summit wrapped up their straw poll with a repeat victory for Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  Unlike Cruz’s last victory in 2013 where his greatest competition was Rand Paul, this time he was up against the likes of Mike Huckabee; who has owned this crowd for years.  Between Cruz and Huckabee was neurosurgeon Ben Carson; who is looking like he is going to be the Herman Cain of 2016.

Now, I don’t know if this is because of Huckabee’s weakening status in this community, as the numbers certainly suggest, or because the priorities of the Christian right have changed in the last 6 years.  The straw poll also asked what issue was the most important to them.  In years past, this was always either abortion or unnatural marriage.  Winning hands down this year was another issue: protecting religious liberty.

It may not be that Ted Cruz best represents the backgrounds and personalities of this group of voters, but they do believe he is the best candidate to restore the religious liberties in this country we enjoy.  Mike Huckabee is probably the favorite candidate of those who considered marriage or abortion to be their highest priority.

Former Arkansas Governor Huckabee addresses the third session of Republican National Convention in TampaThat’s not entirely surprising.  Huckabee has built himself as a culture warrior trying to build a Christian culture.  Right now, we’re not worried about building a Christian culture, we’re worried about just finding a way to survive.  By building his reputation as a tea party “moderate,” he hasn’t alienated the Christian right like Rand Paul but he has convinced everyone of his passion for liberty issues; which fits in wonderfully with the fears facing the Christian Right.

Rick Santorum has begun going after Cruz, showing how disturbing the rise of Ted Cruz is to Santorum’s 2016 hopes.  If Santorum is worried, Mike Huckabee should be too because they both play to the same strengths.  For what it’s worth, I think Rick Santorum is right that we need to protect all Christian communities from oppression, but Ted Cruz’s statement about not supporting anyone who doesn’t support Israel is going to play really well with the powerful AIPAC; which is a non-partisan political action committee that has played a tremendous role in pushing Israel’s interests in the United States government and public.

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FEATURED Congress

Should Rick Santorum Run for President?

Rick SantorumBack in the 2012 primaries, I was torn between Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.  I thought both would have been superior candidates compared to Mitt Romney and I believed before the South Carolina primary that if either of them dropped out quickly, the other would have a clear shot to beat Romney for the nomination.  But alas, it wasn’t to be.  Both candidates left me irritated, but for different reasons.

Towards the end of the campaign, it became apparent that Newt Gingrich wasn’t even trying to campaign.  He was just hoping for publicity to boost his credibility for whatever book he would right next.  Meanwhile, Rick Santorum shocked my wife and I when he announced he was dropping out as a candidate not because he was beaten, but because his fragile daughter became ill and he needed to be a dad.

What Rick Santorum did was certainly honorable and noble and everything you would hope a good, sincere, Catholic man would do.  But when it happened, I couldn’t help but wonder, “If your daughter is this fragile, why were you running to be President?”

What happens when Rick Santorum’s daughter becomes sick during a hostage situation involving a dozen Americans in Iraq, or when troops are conducting a clandestine raid for a VHVT in Pakistan?  What happens when the Russians are invading a country friendly to the United States?  Is he a dad first, or is he the President first?

Now the 2016 process is about to get underway and the candidates are going to start throwing their names into the hat.  It’s painfully obvious to me that Rick Santorum still wants to be President of the United States; but I have to wonder whether or not he can even complete his second campaign, let alone serve four to eight years as Commander-in-Chief and still be a dad to his fragile daughter.

I’ve reached out to Rick Santorum and his people about this, but with no response.  I can’t say I blame them, as this is an intensely personal topic.  However, I think the Republican Party deserves to know what would be different about Rick Santorum in 2016 that could convince us that his family’s health won’t be an issue again less than four years after dropping out for that reason in 2012.

Krista and I seriously want to be convinced.

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Cleopatra

Selling My Art

I’ve begun selling my artwork on the KTracy.com store.  Right now, only two pieces are on sale.  I hope to add a couple more over the next two nights.  I love all of my art (I wouldn’t create it otherwise) but we’ve reached a point where we really can’t fit too much more on our walls in the KTracy Manor.  Thus, I’m parting with some of my favorite pieces.

“Cleopatra” (aka Bertha)

Cleopatra

I drew Cleopatra back in 2005, drawing inspiration from silent-film legend Theda Bara’s 1917 portrayal of Cleopatra.  She has legitimate crazy eyes that literally appear to follow you around the room.  When placed prominently in the room (like above my television), she will draw people into her intense stare.

After a while, my friends in Virginia started calling her Bertha and the name stuck.

You can buy this 42″ x 30″ drawing by clicking here.  All credit card purchases are handled securely by PayPal.  All I see is your name, contact info, and shipping address.

The Bikini Girl

The Bikini Girl

I did several low-cost commissions in late 2005 and early 2006 for art students.  I got to meet some interesting people and had subjects for my artwork, they got portraits of themselves for their own purposes.  This particular portrait was never paid for, and I was somewhat happy because it was actually the only one I ever drew with white pencils on black material.  This piece has been a staple in my hallway from the time I lived in Virginia.  With that said, it creeps Krista out and thus it has made its way to the sale list.

You can buy this 17″ x 22″ drawing by clicking here.  All credit card purchases are handled securely by PayPal.  All I see is your name, contact info, and shipping address.

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Vice President Joe Biden called Asia "the Orient" at an unofficial campaign event in Des Moines.

Biden Calls Asia “The Orient” – So What?

Vice President Joe Biden called Asia "the Orient" at an unofficial campaign event in Des Moines.
Vice President Joe Biden called Asia “the Orient” at an unofficial campaign event in Des Moines.

Conservatives are enormous critics of the “Political Correctness” demanded by the left.  Sure, it’s one thing to be sensitive towards the history of various ethnicities, but liberals often take it to such an extreme that it stifles free speech and the communication of ideas out of fear that what one might say could be politically incorrect and viewed as hateful or insensitive when in fact no ill will was intended at all.   I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea whether Jesse Jackson considers himself black or African-American or both.  If I say the wrong one in a conversation with him, you can bet he’s going to call me a racist.  It’s absolutely insane when you look at all the problems facing the black community and realize conservatives are too afraid to say “black” or “African-American” for fear of being called racists and completely marginalized.

Enter Vice President Joe Biden, who I have a ton of respect for.  I would support impeaching Obama, if for nothing else, to give this man a shot at being President.  I’m no Democrat, but Biden has a pretty distinguished career in public service and he’s always good for a laugh as the man is political gaffe machine.  While unofficially campaigning for his 2016 Presidential Bid in Des Moines, Iowa; the Vice President said this…

“You know, on the way back from Mumbai to go meet with President Xi in China, I stopped in Singapore to meet with a guy named Lee Kuan Yew, who most foreign policy experts around the world say is the wisest man in the Orient.”

It’s obvious that Vice President Biden meant no disrespect.  He calls Lee Kuan Yew the “wisest man” in the Orient.   The problem is that he said “The Orient.”  I had no idea the term “Orient” was politically incorrect until today and I’m guessing Vice President Biden had no idea either.

Some leftists view the term “Orient” or “Oriental” as antiquated, pejorative, and disparaging.  Somehow, they associate it with a racist line of thought that suggests Asian people are inherently different and therefore inferior socially, politically, and individually from the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Europeans and Americans.  How they reached that conclusion is completely beyond me, but some neo-Leninist college professor in the 1970s pulled it out of his butt.

quote-political-correctness-is-tyranny-with-manners-charlton-heston-237225

It’s not the word that should be offensive, but a person’s intent with the word.  What difference does it make if I call someone an “idiot Oriental” or an “idiot Asian?”  Likewise, what difference does it make if Vice President Biden called Lee Kuan Yew the “wisest man in the Orient” or “the wisest man in Asia?”  Either way, it means the exact same thing and Biden is clearly intending to honor the man.

If a 90-year-old man still uses the term “negro” or “colored” to describe a black person, should we call him a racist?  What if he’s talking about “the negro soldier who saved my life” or “the fine colored man who gave me a job when I moved to the city?”  And why is it racist anyway?  Isn’t color good?  If you had to choose between a black and white television and a color television, wouldn’t you take the colored one?  Doesn’t every designer say that color is good?  To me, calling someone “colored” is recognizing the diversity and variety they bring.  Yet, despite my positive intentions behind the word, I know that people have been trained by the political correctness police to call anyone who uses it “racist.”

I would hope that Republicans would be honest enough to defend Vice President Biden on his “Orient” remark, or at least give him a free pass; but I know better.  They’ll use this to take cheap shots at him for months or years to come, but then whine how the left treats them the same way.

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Rick Santorum Attacks Rand Paul Indicating 2016 Plans

Rick Santorum lashed out at Rand Paul on Friday, September 5th, 2014.  Take a look for yourself!

rick-rand

I agree 100% with Rick Santorum.

I disagree with posting it, however.  Especially if Rick Santorum is trying to expand the influence of his Leadership PAC (Patriot Voices) and planning on running for President in 2016.  I understand the importance of the issues Rand Paul is flip flopping onRand Paul has been flip flopping for a while on a large variety of issues.  I also appreciate the value of bringing down front runners that are this freaking stupid for no other reason that the good of the Republic.

Yet, you really don’t want to send the message that Republicans are infighting two months before the mid-term elections and when we have a real chance at winning back the Senate.  And say what you will, Rand Paul is helping rally grassroots voters in some key states that might determine the majority in the next United States Senate.  If I know to ease my criticism going into a mid-term, Rick Santorum should know to bite his lip and wait until mid-November to begin his attacks on Rand Paul.

If Rick Santorum really doesn’t think this could have waited, he needs to have social media and blogger surrogates go after Rand Paul.  To be totally honest, while I don’t think it’s prudent to attack Rand Paul at this particular time, if Rick Santorum asked me to do it but keep his name out of it, I would have done it knowing that I was earning points for good information in 2016.

Yes, I’m THAT kind of blogger.

Now, it’s entirely possible that Rick Santorum isn’t running for President, but he’s being tapped by a bigger name (such as Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, or Mike Huckabee) to help marginalize Rand Paul in exchange for a spot on their ticket or in their cabinet.  In which case, there’s not much of a negative for Rick Santorum except the fact that he’s damaging his credibility by attacking a high-profile (if retarded) Republican.

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featured-africa

Ebola Reaches London

ebolaA traveler arriving at London’s Gatwick International Airport collapsed after exiting the plane and died.  She was reportedly “sweating buckets and vomiting.”  What makes this a probable case of Ebola is that she flew in from Sierra Leone; which has been hit the hardest by the current Ebola outbreak.

Bringing Ebola patients to the United States in very controlled environments is understandable.  Whether or not it’s a good idea is debatable, but at least it’s a controlled effort.  However, allowing travelers to continue flying to and from these countries and the region in general is anything but controlled.  It can take 20+ days for symptoms to present themselves and there is no telling where the victims of this Ebola virus will be when their symptoms hit or how many people will be exposed to their projectile vomit, excessive sweating, bleeding, or other bodily fluids, especially when their symptoms start on an airplane or in a crowded airport.

Whether Ebola is 90% fatal or 5% fatal, we’re talking about millions of lives being lost and entire economies being devastated as people refuse to go to crowded areas whether for work or recreation.  This isn’t something our leaders should be screwing around with.

I am curious to see what, if anything, the United Kingdom does in response to a passenger bringing Ebola to their country.  I am curious to see what Europe does now that Ebola has been brought to their continent.

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featured-king-abdullah

Saudi Arabia King Abdullah Not Condemning Israel!?

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is by far the best looking 90-year-old I've ever seen.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is by far the best looking 90-year-old I’ve ever seen. He just celebrated his 90th birthday on August 1st. He was born in 1924.

The 90-year-old monarch of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, told the world that what’s happening in Gaza is a “collective massacre” but stopped short of condemning Israel.  In past conflicts, King Abdullah has been very quick to not only condemn Israel, but demand international sanctions and other actions be taken to make it more difficult for Israel to wage war in the Palestinian territories.

What’s changed, you ask.  The region.  The entire Middle East has changed.  With the prominent rise of Islamic extremists in Syria, Iraq, and (the recently oppressed) Morsi government in Egypt that was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, regional politics are changing very quickly.  HAMAS is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and has gained a tremendous amount of influence and power over the past decade since the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004.

Before Islamists were allowed to hijack the “Arab Spring,” Saudi Arabia and King Abdullah would have been quick to encourage their brothers in Palestine as nothing more than a propaganda tool.  But now that the movement is gaining traction after all these decades, King Abdullah is probably terrified of what could happen in Saudi Arabia if extremists outside his country get closer to his borders.  Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and has within its borders the Holy City of Mecca.  ISIS has already said it wants to destroy several holy sites in the city (similar to how they destroyed Jonah’s tomb).  Among the things ISIS would most definitely want to destroy first though is the monarchy itself.

King Abdullah, like any wise dictator, is first concerned about the security of his regime and giving his position to his successor when the time comes.  If HAMAS were to eventually succeed in destroying Israel, it will probably happen with the support of ISIS in 10+ years (assuming their Caliphate could organize itself into a functioning government rather than a bunch of glorified warlords).  If that happens, it will solidify ISIS’s credibility in the eyes of Sunni Muslims around the world.  Therefore, it’s imperative for non-extremists rulers in the Muslim world, like King Abdullah, to not only begin to criticize extremist groups like HAMAS now, but also de-emphasize the necessity to destroy Israel and tone down their rhetoric in that regard.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was recently installed as President of Egypt.  This photo was taken in July 2013, when he was still the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces (which is why he's the only one allowed to wear sunglasses).  The military has controlled Egypt for decades and still does.
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was recently installed as President of Egypt. This photo was taken in July 2013, when he was still the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces (which is why he’s the only one allowed to wear sunglasses). The military has controlled Egypt for decades and still does.

It’s a play right out of Egypt’s handbook.  Egypt was actually the country who launched a blockade against Israel and (perhaps inadvertently) started the Six-Day War in 1967 by doing so.  After that happened, Muslim extremists (The Muslim Brotherhood) started gaining their first bit of real traction in the country.  In what was partially an effort to destroy the legitimacy of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt began making overtures of peace to Israel and it eventually resulted in a peace treaty between the countries and the return of the Sinai Peninsula from Israel to Egypt.  The Muslim Brotherhood remained relevant not because of their anti-Semetic rhetoric but because they were the only real alternative to President Hosni Mubarack, who was himself a dictator.  Some will say that it didn’t end well for Hosni Mubarack (toppled in 2011) and Muhammed Anwar El-Sedat (assassinated in 1981). However, Mubarack and Anwar Sedat were not the leaders of Egypt, they were the front men the military installed to protect their control of Egypt.  When the Muslim Brotherhood tried to undo the military’s influence in Egypt after the country’s democratic experiment, the Egyptian Military toppled Morsi and installed a new government.  The military regime in Egypt is still alive and well.  That’s what King Abdullah is trying to accomplish in Saudi Arabia.

I wouldn’t dare suggest that King Abdullah will make the same kind of grandiose offers of peace to Israel as Egypt did (lest he face a civil war aimed at toppling their “Zionist King”), but he is using Israel in propaganda and rhetoric a lot less since this whole Arab Spring Fling went south.

 

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Entertaining, Informative, and Usually Sarcastic