Friday, January 21, 2011

AJC: "Newt Gingrich tells Georgia Republicans he’ll be a candidate in ‘12"

The first line of the Atlanta Journal Constitution story reads:
In the last 24 hours, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich has touched base with several prominent Republicans in his former home state, telling them that he intends to make a run for president in 2012 using Georgia as his base -- and that he already has his eye on office space in Buckhead for a campaign headquarters.
AJC writer Jim Galloway:
The visits and conversations -- some face-to-face, others on the phone -- appear to be an attempt by Gingrich to revive his old campaign network and lock down as much support as possible in a state won by Republican Mike Huckabee in the 2008 presidential primary.

A spokeswoman for Johnny Isakson said Gingrich called the U.S. senator earlier this month -- adding that Gingrich was not definite about his plans in that conversation. In an interview on Friday, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said he had not talked to Gingrich yet, but that the former U.S. House speaker had asked for an appointment in the near future. 'He said, ‘I need a significant amount of your time,’ ' Chambliss said.


Perhaps more important, fundraising for Gingrich’s American Solutions organization is conducted out of Atlanta.

However, Rick Tyler, a spokesman for Gingrich, contacted Friday, said the former House speaker’s schedule for deciding on a 2012 presidential run had not changed. 'His plans are to decide on whether to create an exploratory committee in late February, and make a decision about his candidacy in March,' Tyler said.

But Tyler said that Atlanta shouldn’t be ruled out as a headquarters -- should Gingrich join the presidential contest.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 19 newsletter: "1,968 Reasons to Repeal"

Newt's group Center for Health Transformation released a chart this week that shows "1,968 new and expanded powers given to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius" [and my former governor -- how lucky am I?].

In his newsletter, Gingrich lists five of the most egregious powers given to the HHS:
  • "The Secretary will decide what clinical drugs seniors can access."
  • "The Secretary will instruct physicians and nurses exactly how to give a drug to their patients in long-term care facilities"
  • "The Secretary will determine how dentists and dental hygienists should examine your teeth."
  • "The Secretary can overrule states on what insurance rates can be whether they like it or not."
  • "The Secretary can use comparative effectiveness research to determine access to care for seniors, like they do for patients in the British National Health Service." 
After writing that "the rush to socialism under the Obama administration puts all our freedoms at risk," Gingrich gives some explanation:
Of course, I am hardly the first to warn about the inherently totalitarian nature of big government.

Thomas Jefferson warned in a letter to Charles Hammond that 'When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.'

Freidrich Hayek warned in the Road to Serfdom that 'The more the state ‘plans,’ the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.' Hayek also wrote in The Constitution of Liberty, 'Once wide coercive powers are given to governmental agencies for particular purposes, such powers cannot be effectively controlled by democratic assemblies.'

Even George Orwell, who was a left wing intellectual, understood the danger of giving too much power to unelected bureaucrats. Orwell’s novel, 1984, described dictatorship in London, not Moscow. He agreed with Hayek’s concerns in a review of the Road to Serfdom: 'It cannot be said too often…collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamed of.'
Gingrich again:
Flushed with the promise of these 1,968 new grants of authority to her office, Secretary Sebelius recently made a series of threats to use one of these new powers to punish health insurance companies who have dared to tell the truth about how the health reform law has led to rate hikes for their customers.

The idea of an unelected bureaucrat using her power to punish those who exercise their right to free speech should be considered abhorrent in a society that values liberty.

Also, as Karl Rove astutely pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, Secretary Sebelius has also used her new powers to reward her friends. The Secretary has granted a number of companies exemptions from key requirements in Obamacare. More than a third of these companies’ employees are unionized compared to a mere 7% of the national workforce....

No unelected bureaucrat should have this amount of power, whether he or she is in a Democratic or Republican administration.

The genius of the founding fathers is that they understood the fallen nature of man and designed a system of government to prevent any one person from being so powerful that he or she could violate the rights of any citizen.
Gingrich quotes Milton Friedman -- meaning Friedman, Hayek, and Jefferson in the same newsletter -- who said, "Where in the world do you find these angels that are going to reorganize society for us?”

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hand on Shoulder

Newt in one of his radio addresses:
How would the Gipper handle today’s challenges?…Last week I visited the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. Walking through that beautiful library, I was reminded of a meeting that I and a few House conservatives had with him during his second term. We complained for nearly an hour about the goals that hadn’t been accomplished. We told the President what we thought he should do.

Then, as we were leaving, President Reagan placed his hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eye. He said, "It took us 50 years to get into this mess. I’m doing the first eight. Maybe when I’m gone, you guys have to continue the heavy lifting."

That moment put the situation in perspective. President Reagan was reminding us that the biggest dreams of the conservative movement would take much longer than his presidency to realize. Today, much of that work still remains to be done, and together, our generation will be the one to accomplish it.

This week I’ll be focusing on how I think President Reagan would have handled today’s challenges. Whether it’s defeating Islamic-fascists, defending God in the public square or competing in a global economy, we will be the ones to take the Gipper’s vision into the 21st century.

Our generation’s rendezvous with destiny is now. Ronald Reagan’s legacy will live on through us. I’m Newt Gingrich, and together we can win the future.
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