Sunday, January 08, 2012

Presidential Candidate: Newt Gingrich

Synopsis:  Former Speaker of the House who previously had called for the impeachment of Clinton during the Monica Scandal whilst cheating on his dying wife is running for president. 

Current Job:  Retired Politician

Spouse:  Callista, President of the Gingrich Production Company.  Note:  3rd wife.  Newt keeps finds his new wife while cheating on his current wife.  If I were Callista, I'd have a P.I., and divorce lawyer on retainer.

Kids:  2 (with his first wife, Jackie)

Stance on:
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:  Repeal and replace (see below)
  • Roe V Wade: Rather than overturning RvW, he'd like to rework the legal system.  That being said, he says he's okay with abortion in the case of rape, incest and health of mother.
  • Funding Planned Parenthood: Against
  • Embryonic Stem Cell Research:  Against
  • Afghanistan: Hasn't commented much on it, but feels that we are pulling out too quickly.
  • Iran:   put pressure on Iraq to end contact with Iran
  • Budget: Downsize the government, stop spending beyond our means, it must be balanced
  • Taxes:  opposes high taxes, encourage research and development with tax incentives, will ask the public before implementing any major tax reform, get rid of the marriage tax and cut middle class taxes, encourage investment by getting rid of capital gains tax, can use the tax code to reinforce families
  • Mexico/US border: Secure the border, but doesn't sound like he'd build a fence along the entire thing.
  • Education: wants to have charter schools, will push for patriotic education, wouldn't charge interest on math and science degree loans, would allow prayer in schools. (see education segment below from his website)
  • Energy:  believes the Kyoto treaty is bad for the nation and the environment, give incentives for renewable resources and conservation, open ANWR to drilling, supports eliminating the gas tax (but if you see below, he wants to add gas royalties)
  • LGBT issues:  Against giving domestic partner rights (but thinks they should have the ability to leave estates to partners and the right to see them in the hospital), constitutional amendment to protect the traditional family, gays should not be allowed to adopt children, believes homosexuality is a sin, but gays should be allowed to be teachers.
  • Worked as a consultant for Freddie Mac (during the years of growth in the housing bubble), to the tune of $1.6 million.
  • Had 84 ethics sanctions levied against him by congress while he was still in congress.  Had to pay $300,000 in restitution.
  • Wants to mine the moon.  Which I suppose means we'd have a space program again...
  • Is calling to bring back various programs that were popular during his Speaker of the House days...which were the days when Clinton was in is he saying that the government under Clinton wasn't that bad? 
  • Has said in the past that he would like to give rewards to girls who graduate high school as virgins.
  • Is considered the worst candidate for women's rights based on past voting records (beating both Bachmann and Santorum).  He has voted almost 100% pro-life during his congress days.  Perry, who just recently started saying that abortion should not be allowed in any case, is actually the best bet for women's rights based on history which is a very scary idea.

Chances of Winning:  If we are to believe the Iowa Caucus, not too good.  BUT he still seems to be the darling of the media, so he might have a better chance than predicted, however he should have too many skeletons in his closet to win over the party.

Who would vote for him:  Looks like he's trying to go for the retiree vote.  And based on his commercials, he's trying to take votes away from those who would be voting for Romney.  But I'm not sure exactly who would normally vote for him...maybe republicans who liked the Clinton days, or republicans who find Santorum scary?

Clips from the fake news (since that's all I need):
-Colbert Report:  Gingrich:  Bond Villian
-The Daily Show:  Even the republicans are scared of him
-Fox News:  Bret Baier catches up with the former house speaker

Campaign Talking Points (from his website): 

Repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")
  • Replace it with an alternative that saves money by empowering doctors and patients to make decisions instead of bureaucrats.
  • Allow people to shop for insurance across state lines
  • Give a 'generous tax credit' to offset the cost of insurance OR the ability to deduct (up to a certain amount) the value of their health insurance.
  • Create a "High Risk Pool" that requires states to cover the uninsured who will not be covered by insurance carriers
  • reinforce laws that prohibit insurers from dropping people who become sick
  • Allow workers to have access to Health Savings Accounts
  • Limit healthcare fraud by moving to a paperless system
  • Stop junk malpractice lawsuits which drive up the cost of healthcare
  • Inform patients on cost and quality of care
  • End tax-payer paid abortions
  • Defund Planned Parenthood
  • Ban funding to organizations that promote abortions overseas
  • Protect healthcare workers' right to conscience by not forcing them to recommend, or participate in, something they are morally against (abortions specifically listed, but I assume birth control would also be included in this)
Return to Robust Job creation
  • Dramatically reduce taxes on businesses and allowing more deductions
  • Require those on extended unemployment to take training classes to be more hireable
  • Allow an optional flat 15% Federal income tax. It would preserve deductions for charitable donations, home ownership, and create a new personal deduction of $12,000 per American  
  • Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  • Repeal Community Reinvestment Act
  • Repeal Frank Dodd Law
  • Break up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (but he didn't recommend this while he was a consultant for them?  odd, that)
  • Replace the EPA with "Environmental Solutions Agency" that works with businesses and governments
Unleash America's Full Energy Production Potential
  • oil, natural gas, coal, biofuel, wind, nuclear, oil shale and more
  • reduce America's dependency on foreign oil
  • cut bureaucratic red tape for responsible drilling (both off shore and on land)
  • Development of processes to use oil shale as a source of oil.  We supposedly have 3x the amount of oil of Saudi Arabia all stuck in oil shale.
  • Give coastal states federal revenue to allow off-shore drilling
  • reduce frivolous environmental lawsuits by requiring the loser to pay all legal fees for the winning side
  • Finance cleaner energy research with new oil and gas royalties (I'm hearing that our gas prices will go up...what about you?)
  • Replace the EPA with the ESA (outlined above) which will work with businesses and governments to achieve better environmental outcomes while considering the impact of federal environmental policies on job creation and and the cost of energy. (I'm taking this to mean that if companies say "no, we don't want to help the environment" this agency will acquiesce to their wishes)
Save Medicare and Social Security
  • Give seniors the choice to go with either Medicare or a personalized system in the private sector
  • Reform Medicaid to allow states more freedom to "personalize" their systems to provide better care and provide health insurance for low-income families.
  • Reward quality care by providing larger reimbursements to providers who provide better care
  • Incentivize patients to seek out facilities that provide quality care
  • Allow Medicare and Medicaid to provide benefits that encourage, incentivize, and reward healthy behavior.
  • Protect the frail, elderly and infirm from the state's arbitrary decision to terminate life (ummm....Terry Schiavo maybe....?  It's just mostly that I don't understand how it's the state's decision unless it's something like a homeless person, a person that has no next of kin, or someone in jail with the death penalty...)
Balance the Federal Budget
  • No points listed.
Control the Mexican/American Border by Jan 1, 2014
  • Establish English as the official language of America
  • Reform legal Visa system (an entrepreneur who wants to create jobs in America shouldn't have to spend $1000's in legal fees first; College graduates in America shouldn't have to go to their home countries in order to get a work visa - will try to implement a system where they get a work visa upon graduation instead; a farmer should have the ability to hire cheap legal labor)
  • Visas should have biometric technology
  • Make it easier to deport criminals and gang members
  • Defend 2nd Amendment rights to stop Mexican gangs at the border (um...that seems like a bad idea - seems like we're more likely to have people going about shooting Mexicans because "they could have been in a gang")
  • Make it easier for law-abiding visitors to come to the US (A Brazilian who wants to visit Disneyworld and spend $1000's while he's at it, shouldn't have to wait 4 months to get a visa) 
  • Create a temporary or day labor work visa system with biometric technology run by one of the credit card companies (which have low fraud rates).
  • Create a path for "earned" legality - those that have been living her illegally can 'earn' legality by becoming involved with their community, passing a background check, proving they can support themselves without the help of Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, buy private health insurance, be proficient (or within a specified amount of time) in English.  Once the person in question is legal, he will have to pay a $5000 fine for being in the US illegally.
  • Minors brought to the US illegally by their parents can earn their legal status by joining the military when they are of age.  Unlike the DREAM act, there won't be a way for the child to petition to get their parents legal status.
  • Ensure those that become citizens learn American history and exceptionalizm.
  • Once the "path to legality" and the worker program is implemented, anyone entering the US illegally should face more severe penalties.  Those helping people enter the US illegally will face even more severe penalties.
  • There is a point of "secure the border to prevent terrorist organizations from sneaking weapons and agents into the US" (This must be a recent problem because I was under the impression that most of the terrorists that we think of and are concerned about actually enter the US via plane and not by crossing either the Canadian or Mexico borders...)
  • possibly move up to one half of the war department bureaucrats to Texas, Arizona and New Mexico
  • Round-the-clock drone flights monitoring the border
  • multi-layer, strategic fencing in urban areas
Revitalize our National Security System
  • Restructure and adequate fund our security agencies within a grand strategy
  • Victory over those who seek to kill us or limit American power
  • Two of the points on his "solutions" page essentially point to declaring war on Radical Islam
  • Protect those who abide by our same values (views America as the 'abiding alternative to tyranny')
  • Military must be used judiciously and with clear, obtainable goals that are understood by congress
  • "Incentivize" math and sciences in order to create bigger and better weapons (I want to know how he's going to do that - by making all new graduate mechanical and computer engineers work for Lockheed-Martin, JPL, or Sikorski upon graduation?)
Maximize Speed and Impact of Medical Breakthroughs
  • Remove unnecessary obstacles that block new treatments from reaching patients.
  • Emphasize spending toward urgent national priorities (such as diseases of the brain - e.g. parkinson's, autism, alzheimer's)
  • Modernize the FDA to get drugs that work to patients quicker
Restore the Proper Role of the Judiciary Branch
  • Allow the president and/or congress to remove judges who do not uphold the constitution.
  • Nominate conservative judges who base their decisions on the constitution.
  • Combat judicial activism
Enforce the 10th Amendment
  • Transfer powers currently under Federal purview to the individual States
Enforce the 2nd Amendment
  • Newt is a member of the NRA
  • Allow imports of guns that can legally be made in the US.
  • Let parents pick which school their kid is to go to
  • Institute a Pell Grant-type system for Kindergarten through 12th grade 
  • Require transparency and accountability for achievement
  • Implement a "no limits" charter system - that is, all money allocated for student education goes to the school, schools manage their own staff regardless of tenure rules, schools define their own curriculum, schools are not exempt from reporting requirements, states to allow schools to "franchise" their model without limitation, state has no caps on the number of charter schools, process of approving charter schools is quick and efficient.
  • Pay for Performance for teachers
  • Welcome business talent into the classrooms - allow the retired physicist or the working engineer to come into the class room and teach a few hours a week.  The theory is that those that aren't trained teachers are going to bring more adult expectations to the classroom.
  • All students must take American History classes.
  • All students must be able to read, and reading assignments should reinforce American History.
  • Protect the rights of home-schooled children by allowing them to participate in the same tax-payer funded extra curriculars that public school children participate in
  • Encourage schools to think outside the box - a la Daniel's program in Indiana (students who graduate high school early are given the money saved on them by skipping grades as an automatic college scholarship), College of the Ozarks in Missouri (work study that allows college kids to graduate debt free), and the Virtual Florida school (a 24/7 individualized schooling over the internet)
  • Shrink the Department of Education - it's only role should be to do research and collect data - not mandate what schools should be teaching.
  • Allow teachers to use historical examples involving religion.  
  • Allow teachers to answer questions about religion and/or discussing it objectively in the classrooms.
  • Protect religious expression in public places by allowing crosses, creches, and menorahs
  • Would eliminate the 39 Bureaucratic positions that are not accountable to congress (created by Obama)
  • Respect each sovereign nation's choice of capital and have an embassy in that location (the only one we discriminate against is Isreal - Isreal's capital is Jerusalem but our embassy is in Tel Aviv)
  • End all lawsuits against states that are immigration related (specifically in Arizona and South Carolina).  "The Obama Administration refuses to enforce federal immigration laws, and instead sues states who are merely trying to enforce the laws that the federal government neglects."
  • Approve the Keystone XL pipeline (map).  A pipeline to transport oil to the gulf coast refineries.


Roberta said...

I didn't realize you had another blog AND you're on Twitter. I'm not stalking you, I just think you're funny and you write well.

(I used to have the blog The Poet In You)

katina said...

Roberta - I know! one of my friends (the spiteful chef) had found this blog eons ago, and then like 2 months later found the garden blog and had about the same reaction you did.

Admittedly, this is the blog that gets neglected more or less because I have a tough time deciding what to blog about (thus the republican summation voting guides).

I'm sad that you no longer have The Poet In You - I didn't comment frequently, but I did read it and miss doing so.