Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said today that the U.S. economic downturn is much worse than political leaders admit and predicted the recovery will take three to five years.
The financial meltdown points to “a much more profound problem than people think” as American industries and education have lost ground to China and India, Gingrich said.
The former Georgia lawmaker told a reporters’ breakfast that the one upside to the crisis is that it might prod reform.
“This is frightening enough that you could have a genuine national conversation about fundamental change,” he said.
Source. If I’ve learned one thing following the GOP, it’s that we should answer any mention of “China,” “India,” “reform” or “national conversation” with one hand on our wallets and the other hand on the Constitution. It boggles the mind to imagine the sort of “fundamental change” Gingrich might be calling for. His comments were just vague enough to be frightening.
The article goes on to describe Gingrich’s evolving view of Sarah Palin, hence the category.
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Newt Gingrich did not, as the title of this article suggests, attack Obama for caring too much about civil liberties. Here’s what Gingrich said:
“I think people have a good reason to be worried about the overall tenor of the way they’re trying to move back to ‘civil liberties matter more than protecting America.'”
What he means is that coddling America’s enemies by giving them the same rights that Americans are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights impedes our government’s efforts to protect its people. I understood that. The issue has been debated so often that he took the liberty of using some verbal shorthand. Perhaps if he had spelled it out for the presumptuous, that “protecting the civil liberties of our enemies matters more to the Obama administration than protecting Americans,” he might not have been characterized as a fascist.
Of course, that would have made no difference to the multitudes of Americans who paradoxically believe that America’s enemies deserve to be protected by our constitution, no matter that our government’s ability to protect its citizens would be (and perhaps now is) greatly diminished by doing so. We certainly live in strange times when people care more about protecting their enemies than protecting themselves.
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As a follow-up to this post, writer Jason Corely responds to the Joint Operations Environment report. Recall that “In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.”
Corely’s article fills in some of the details and discusses alternatives:
If a hardline response on government employees were adopted by Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón by jailing and firing personnel caught up in corruption scandals, some fear that the state of affairs are so bad that it would be impossible to feasibly make a difference without disrupting government functions. Perhaps, a suspension of civil liberties and military order would be a better and safer alternative? Speculation is that that things may get that bad in Mexico.
Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich also joined in on the potential disaster and seriousness of the situation in Mexico. He told several business leaders in Newport Beach, CA: “We have to rethink our entire strategy for working with Mexico. The war that’s under way in Mexico is an enormous national security threat to the US. If we allow the drug dealers to win we will have a nightmare on our southern border and no amount of fence and no amount of national security would compensate for the collapse of Mexico.”
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Let’s be frank, here. The elephant in the room, at least this room, is the historically unpopular sitting GOP president. (“Sitting” for a few more hours, at least. And the present correspondent is more than ready to hear about a Democrat president for a while, in whatever light, favorable or otherwise.)
I’ve always thought the GOP’s famous message discipline ultimately worked against them. An exchange of ideas is always better than an echo chamber, no? Read Newt Gingrich’s comments on Bushonomics with that in mind:
Gingrich said what Bush has done over the last six months to respond to the economic crisis has been “exactly the wrong thing.”
In a telephone interview, Gingrich said it makes little sense to give out billions of dollars in bailout money to prop up obsolete business bureaucracies like General Motors and big banks.
He likened the bailout to a doctor giving a patient painkillers rather than healing him.
The government should instead help small businesses and start-up companies that can do far more to stimulate the economy, he said.
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Years ago Fred and I coined a term, Bitchivism, that means complaining about a problem (or someone else’s solution) without offering a solution of your own. Newt Gingrich has been chastising the GOP lately for exhibiting some signs of bitchivism:
From now until the inaugural, Republicans should be offering to help the president-elect prepare to take office. Furthermore, once President Obama takes office, Republicans should be eager to work with him when he is right, and, when he is wrong, offer a better solution, instead of just opposing him.
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Posted in Bobby Jindal, Candidacy, Candidates, Context, Eric Cantor, Featured Posts, Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Steve Poizner on December 14, 2008|
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Many post-mortems in the past month have espoused upon the GOP’s failures in embracing technology and message dissemination. I took a look at the 2012 candidates’ website to see if they have learned anything from these lessons. I rated these websites on a scale of 1 to 5 in three areas: Issues pages, Web 2.0 Goodies and Website Design.
A voter can only make an informed decision about a candidate if that candidate clearly states his or her position on those issues. A candidacy website is a great place for a candidate to lay out his or her positions. In this review I set the bar deliberately low. I simply looked for an issues page that was east to find, comprehensive and well-written. I’ll review the actual content of those candidate positions in a later article. This time around, even though, I set the bar low, many of the candidates still couldn’t clear it! Some didn’t even have an issues page. Others had pages that discussed the issues vaguely and in general terms. Admittedly, a well-written issues page is an exercise in spin. Even so, if a candidate is incapable of doing that, how is he or she supposed to influence a voter’s decision? Only three candidates had issues pages on their websites that compared to Obama’s issues page. (Please keep in mind that I’m not praising Obama’s message. I’m simply acknowledging that one reason he won the 2008 election is because he was much more effective than McCain in articulating that message.) Mitch Daniels, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich all have issues pages that can compete with Obama’s for clarity, thoroughness and user-friendliness.
The candidate who is best able to articulate and disseminate his message to like-minded voters has a huge advantage over a candidate who falls short in this area. Web 2.0 technology is the cutting edge of social networking. Why are so many GOP candidates in denial about Web 2.0? Probably because their base is older and not plugged in to it. Well, that’s a big problem! A candidate can’t concede an entire generation to the other candidate. That’s like a marathoner giving his opponent a two-mile head start. Too many Republican candidates in our survey fell short in this are. A few rose to the top: Mitch Daniels, Ron Paul and Steve Poizner. A trail pack of Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Eric Cantor and Bobby Jindal showed well in this category.
This category is the least important of the three but still worth a mention. Why do so many politicians insist on a gaudy Red, White & Blue theme that screams patriotism? It seems like they all read the same book, one that told them that, unless they wrapped themselves in the American flag, people would question their patriotism. That’s silly. A website design says something about a candidate’s personality. Is she a maverick? Is he a conformist? Too many websites in our survey conformed to the I’m a Patriot School of Web Design. There were a couple of standouts, however. Instead of the usual cookie-cutter, run-of-the-mill, I’m Proud To Be An American design displayed by way too many of our candidates, Mitch Daniels went with an ultra modern blue and green theme that was a refreshing change of pace. Ron Paul has the edgiest, most youth-oriented site. It seems to whisper Revolution. He’s probably the real maverick in the GOP.
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In response to the huge federal outlays buying us ever-worsening economic reports:
US Representative Louie Gohmert has a better idea. The third-term Texas Republican proposes to strip Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson of his authority to spend the $350 billion remaining in the $700 billion bailout fund Congress created in October. Instead of being doled out to well-connected banks and Wall Street investment firms, the money would be used to finance a two-month federal tax holiday for every American taxpayer.
“Imagine,” says former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who backs the Gohmert proposal, “how many people could pay down some of their debt, how many will be able to rebuild some of their retirement funds, how many . . . might start a new business or expand their existing business.”
Read the rest here. In spite of his colorful history, Gingrich is a far-from-impossible 2012 contender. As for the present correspondent? Tax holidays are gimmicky. Why not draw up a tax cut, if our nation’s tax burden is so unweildy?
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