Category: TCR Main Site Post

TCR’s Endorsement Policy

Possibly the most common question I hear from friends and neighbors this year is, “Who do you like for President?”.  I rarely answer this question in a direct fashion because I am not interested in persuading someone to vote a certain way based on my own thinking.  I would prefer to see anyone who sincerely cares about their vote to gain an understanding of the candidates and their positions, and to vote based on how what they learn aligns with their personal convictions.

This may seem like an odd perspective in this day and age, especially with the current mega-rush by so many people to endorse a candidate.  For some, their endorsement has become almost a status symbol; if your endorsement makes …


Why the Des Moines Register Shouldn’t Bother Endorsing A Republican This Year

While not big news that Iowa Republicans don’t wait with bated breath for the Des Moines Register to anoint a Republican candidate the cream of the presidential crop, in recent years their recommendations have barely risen above laughable fodder. Since we could all use some comic relief from this seemingly endless campaign season, let’s take a look back at the Register’s recent forays into Presidential advocacy. What follows are two main reasons, among many others, why they should stick to merely reporting on the political pulse of Iowa—instead of trying to alter it.

Reason #1 – A Sketchy, Schizophrenic History

While nearly all the data on editorial board endorsements show that they have a miniscule impact, if any at all, well over 70% of newspapers …


Ethanol And Immigration

Four months ago as the Republican field began to form and potential candidates began poking around Iowa, a major issue they were forced to address was ethanol. Thankfully the conversation has since developed from a fringe stereotypical issue like ethanol to more serious and pressing issues like illegal immigration.

If in a vacuum and in absence of other big problems ethanol subsidies may be a valid issue to talk about.  A variety of factors, however, make it a silly topic to debate. First, the economy is in tatters and we have seen the result of politically driven subsidies on the other side with the Solyndra debacle. Second, we are now over 15 trillion dollars in debt and, beyond being irresponsible, pumping borrowed money to …


CNN Debate Recap: A Complete Score Of The Top Four

In all The Conservative Reader’s previous debate reviews we have extended the courtesy of including an analysis and grade for all the candidates on stage. With now a mere 42 days until the Iowa Caucuses, the time for such courtesy has passed and the day has come to separate the candidates from the contenders.

The following is a recap of the performances of the candidates that are realistically contending to win Iowa. We made this distinction by including only those polling over 10% in the Hawkeye state—in other words Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Herman Cain. They are listed below in order of how well each did from best to worst.

1st)—Newt Gingrich (Art)

Newt again demonstrated his ability to speak with …


The Universality of Greed

A fine line exists between the seemingly simple notions of greed and self-interest. It might be concluded that greed is a subset of the broader concept of self-interest. Alternatively, some may say that there is no difference between the two. Irrespective of the choice of definition, it is universally observable that human beings are driven by WIIFM (“What’s in it for me?”). With a very few noteworthy exceptions, we all seek, as the Austrian School economist Ludwig Von Mises summarized, the “elimination of personal discomfort.”

At a recent trip to the local high school track, I had occasion to observe an interesting set of father and son scenes. Both dads were teaching their sons to hit a baseball. The differences in the results could not …


Student Loans, Debt Crisis and Bondage

In the medieval era there was a rather odd ceremony; when a member of the lower social castes found themselves in dire straights, they turned to the landowning nobility. In exchange for land to work, the noble demanded a portion of the produce, availability for certain laborious tasks, and service in the event of war. The agreement was sealed when the peasant laid his head into the hands of the noble lord.

This ceremony was called a Bondage, as it sealed the bond of the peasant to the noble, as his serf (in contrast with an Homage, where one noble became a vassal of another noble). In our advanced and progressive times, we are – of course – much more evolved and civilized. Far from …


Observations on the October 18th Las Vegas/CNN Presidential Debate

The purpose of this post is to provide a high level summary and personal opinion about the Republican Presidential debate held last night, October 18th, in Las Vegas.  The moderator was CNN’s Anderson Cooper.  The debate included: Speaker Gingrich; Governors: Perry and Romney; Senator Santorum, Representatives Bachmann and Paul: and businessman Herman Cain.

I prefer to not label people as “winners” or “losers” so I will define my analysis in terms of how candidates met my personal expectations.

Exceeded Expectations: 

Speaker Gingrich – As usual, Newt had the wittiest and most concise observations. More importantly, he chose to stay out of the mudslinging featured by the lower tier candidates.

Best Moment – After virtually every other candidate attacked Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax proposal, …


Bloomberg Debate Re-Cap: What We Thought We Knew…All Holds True

This piece was written by Justin Arnold-Editor of The Conservative Reader:Iowa and John Bloom-former Chairman of the Polk County Republican Party and Conservative Reader contributor.

Since the field of Republican candidates seemingly spent the entire month of September participating in high-profile debates, one would think these exercises would eventually become monotonous and lose their luster. Proving how high the stakes are, and how intense the opposition to our current president is, the exact opposite has been the case.

Instead what has transpired is that Republican excitement has counter-acted the law of diminishing returns. This has been proven by both the dramatic surges and plunges of the candidates following the debates and in the number of people watching them (over 12 million watched the last Fox …


A Sweeping Declaration of Intent: Gingrich unveils new “21st Century Contract with America”

If ever there is going to be a moment for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to create momentum and change the flat trajectory of his presidential run—now is the time. One day after the release of a Fox News poll, which surprisingly showed him gaining substantial ground in the race, Gingrich took to the stage at the Principal building in Des Moines to unveil his newly minted “21st Century Contract with America”.

Updated from the 1994 version, this new contract will serve as the backbone of his campaign and its acceptance or rejection will determine his fate one way or the other.

In the world of presidential politics such fate is largely decided by three things—the style, the substance, and …


Florida GOP Debate Recap and Breakdown: Nine Candidates…Three Categories

This piece was written by Art Smith- Publisher of The Conservative Reader, Justin Arnold-Editor of The Conservative Reader: Iowa, and Brian Nygaard-Senior Contributor at The Conservative Reader.

The lead up to every Presidential Primary debate is accompanied by media hype and pundit proclamations that this or that candidate has to “do well” or they are doomed going forward.  Often times the hype out measures the eventual importance of the proceedings and the proclamations prove to be mere misguided conventional wisdom.

Since last cycles debut of the “interactive” debate (CNN’s YouTube offering) saw ridiculous questions from a melting snowman (on global warming) and a citizen holding an assault rifle (on the 2nd Amendment), one sure would have been justified in being skeptical.  That said, for …


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