Time for Rand Paul to Go for Broke?


Is it time for Rand Paul to “go for broke”?  I’ve been urging caution.  I know the GOP base, they’re a bunch of apes, and Paul has to appeal to them.  The apes are well trained by a GOP establishment to react positively to certain buzz words and catch phrases like “take back America”, and “fight radical Islam”.   They also know to fling their feces at anyone who sounds like they “hate uh’mer’ca”.  But when you’re surrounded by apes, remember – they’re still apes.  They are irrational primates who respect vulgar displays of power.

That’s why they love Trump.  At the CNN debate, I saw Trump mostly doing more of the same.  He refused to apologize to Jeb Bush’s wife for claiming that she being Mexican had softened Bush on immigration.  He hurled insults, completely unprovoked, at Rand Paul.  But Trump remained bold.  He had the courage to look right at Bush and criticize the mess his brother left this country in, right in front of an audience of Republican basers.  Nobody else showed such courage, including Paul.  When Paul had an opportunity to criticize Bush for being a rich kid who smoked marijuana, and later become Gov. of Florida, Paul hesitated.  Apes don’t respect that.

When Paul did finally show some courage and explain point blank that the policy of removing secular dictators like Saddam Hussein, and possibly Assad, leaves instability and bites us in the back; Paul finally got some of the apes to clap their paws.  They’re so like us, aren’t they?

As the actual primary draws near, I’m wondering if Paul should stop worrying so much about not offending the apes, and instead just tell it like it is.  Trump had no qualms about calling out Bush, criticizing the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and slapping hands with Ben Carson for doing the same.  These normally provoke the Republican basers to hurl feces, yet, they don’t.  They respect Trump as the alpha.  Paul was right to say what he did about secular dictators, but maybe it’s time to take the next step.

As Lindsey Graham spoke of ISIS, Iran, and Assad, and I struggled to keep my lunch down, I kept thinking, “Will nobody call him out?”  Graham keeps talking about the growth of ISIS, and saying how we should have taken out Assad, and be prepared to use force against Iran.  NEWS FLASH!  Iran is doing more to stop ISIS than we are right now.  Assad was too until Obama took Graham’s advice and armed the “rebels”.  Yeah, long story short, ISIS has those arms now.  If Paul got a gentle but positive response from the apes for criticizing the reckless toppling of secular dictators in the Middle East, how much more of a response will he get for calling out disastrous policies that played into the hands of ISIS?  I’m not an anthropologist, but I am an academic, and I’m sure anthropological departments across the country would like to see the results.

On a more serious note, Paul isn’t doing great in the polls.  Trump is at the top, Carson is gaining on him, and Fiorina is picking up the pace.  All three of them look like leadership material to the GOP base.  I’m thinking it’s time for Paul to take some risks like a good leader must, and show the GOP base that he can lead.  I know he can lead, a handful of libertarian leaning Republicans know that.  Some libertarian leaning liberals also know that.  But this is the GOP primary, the planet of the apes.  While I respect Paul’s consistent reverence for the 10th amendment, the rule of law means little to primates.  They respect strength, and Paul needs to show it now.

Another interesting take on this:

Julie Borowski’s hilarious parody of the GOP debates

PS If I thought any GOP basers actually read my blog, I wouldn’t be calling them “apes”, but I can’t imagine this offending my 50 or so readers who are likely Paul supporters, or people who came due to my social commentary and don’t care much about this subject.

PPS  The above is more of a rant.  Sometimes it’s healthy to blow off steam.  It’s not an issue of being a bad sport.  It’s that I’m seriously frustrated that after all the mistakes we’ve made in the last few decades, I fear that some demagogue (Trump) is going to distract the GOP base from our best hope (Paul) of not making those mistakes again.  Honestly, if Trump actually does win, he’ll have my support.  He’s nuts, but he is a patriot, and I don’t think he’ll hurl us into another pointless war.


Is Lindsey Graham the slimiest Neocon of all?


Do they get any slimier than Lindsey Graham?  The same fear-monger who wanted to hide the truth about CIA torture, supported sacrificing our constitutional right to a fair trial due to fear of terrorism, supported invading Syria to fight against Assad on the basis that militant Islam is growing (never mind that Assad was fighting AGAINST those very Islamic militants)…well this same fear mongering, half truthing, opportunist now claims that Rand Paul is the one “creating anxiety for no good reason.”

Rand Paul did admittedly make a careless comment that he has heard of “many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.”  Still, looking at the big picture on Rand Paul’s position, he has stated repeatedly that he strongly encourages vaccinations, but opposes Federal mandates, as Dana Bash showed in this article.  This is actually the same position Lindsey Graham takes, yet Graham suggests that Paul would try to stop vaccinations by stating as part of this rebuttal of Paul that “I would reject any effort to stop vaccinations until someone can show me a scientific reason to do so.”  OK, and Rand Paul has made no attempt to stop vaccinations, only to stop efforts at a government mandate.  So what is the problem Mr. Graham?!

As Graham considers a Presidential bid himself, largely in opposition to Paul, this is clearly his first of what are likely to be many cheap attacks and straw man arguments.  I sincerely hope that Graham runs, because he is so detestable that his attacks against Paul would only serve to draw more favorable attention to Paul.  When I think of the other major neocons of our time, both politician and pundit, none do I find so detestable as Graham.  McCain is by far no saint, and a major flip flopper on domestic policy, but there is a consistency to his foreign policy idealism that I can respect (even while I reject it).  As McCain sees the US as a beacon of freedom and progress for the world, he supports almost limitless military invasions, but he also opposes torture.  After all, if we are to be the world’s moral police, we should at least practice such morals ourselves.  Bill Kristol has expressed such idealism as well in his essays for the Foreign Affairs, and I think he really believes what he says.  I think McCain and Kristol are both well intended, but are both idealistic fools who would throw us into devastating quagmires, as they have before.  Still, I could sit in the same room with them and probably have a civil debate.  There’s also Krauthammer, the most sober minded of the neocons.  His neocon hawkishness often carries undertones of pragmatism to the point where Krauthammer is a self-identified “democratic-realist”.  While I think Krauthammer is still far too quick to support military force, I know he thinks it through, and I’ll always listen to his point of view and consider it.  For Graham, however, I haven’t a shred of respect.

PS  I do want to express my gratitude to CNN’s Dana Bash for providing a fair analysis of this recent debate between Graham and Paul.  CNN isn’t perfect, as the recent interview with Paul on vaccines shows, but in the greater scheme of things, CNN has shown itself far more objective than the other major news networks, particularly FOX and MSNBC.  Also referenced above, here is the link the Bash’s article http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/03/politics/measles-vaccines-lindsey-graham-rand-paul/index.html

A link to an excellent Rare article on why the neocons are making a big stink out of this

Rand Paul’s dangerous flirtation with “Judicial Activism”


I would write a blogpost refuting a statement by the very man I’m endorsing for President.  Rand Paul hasn’t lost any of my respect due to this, I simply think he is in error.  He’s allowed the left to mislead him with their often flimsy definition of judicial activism, which pretty much amounts to “using the judicial process to overturn bad laws”.  If “bad laws” are unconstitutional, then it is the Supreme Court’s job to overturn them.  Judicial activism is when these judges start abusing that power to push their own agenda, no matter how well intended that agenda may be.  Legislators, that is, Congress is there to pass good policies.  The Judicial branch, headed by the Supreme Court, is only there to ensure that these laws adhere to the Constitution.  So, I’d like to address each of Paul’s examples of where he thinks he’s supporting judicial activism.  Some of these really do fit the definition of activism, but others are simply proper use of judicial review, that is, to overturn unconstitutional laws or statutes.  (Note that I will quote the parts of the Constitution used in full at the bottom.)

  1. Lochner vs. New York – This ruling in 1905, a 5-4 decision, concluded that the right to enter a contract was implicit in the 14th It specifically overturned some early labor laws in the NY, limiting bakers to 10 hours a day and 60 hours a week.  I’ll agree with Rand Paul to the extent that this was judicial activism.  I’ve read the 14th Amendment thoroughly, and fail to see how it guarantees unlimited, unregulated individual contracts.  With that said, I see nothing wrong with such a law, but I do agree that it is an example of judicial activism and the kind that Rand Paul would support.
  2. “The New Deal” – This is a broad category of many laws passed during the Roosevelt era, and difficult to refute for that reason. Some of them probably were unconstitutional, and others not.  My position is that Congress has the authority to create programs such as Social Security, for it is consistent with the General Welfare clause of Article I, Sec. 8.  If Rand Paul is like his father, and believes Social Security to be unconstitutional, then overturning it would not be judicial activism.  It would simply be the proper use of judicial review.
  3. “State bans on birth control” – This is a tough one. I personally am a strong supporter of birth control rights.  As an advocate of judicial restraint, I’m hesitant to overturn state laws on this (though I’d certainly oppose Federal laws).  I could see how this would be consistent with the rather vague 9th Amendment, however, and would not consider it an abuse of judicial power to overturn state bans on birth control based on the 9th.  Birth control is a very personal decision, and unlike with abortion, the dispute over human life doesn’t enter the equation.  I can see how this would be one of those “others [rights] retained by the people”.
  4. “Obamacare” – here I completely agree with Rand Paul’s policy position, but completely disagree with his assertion that it would be “judicial activism” to overturn it. Obamacare is clearly unconstitutional as it requires people to purchase a product, effectively punishing inaction.  As there is no constitutional justification for this, we default to the 10th amendment, and leave it to “the states, respectively, or the people”.  Rand Paul is right to want to overturn Obamacare, but this would be well within the authority of the Supreme Court, and certainly not any type of judicial activism.
  5. Brown v. Board of Education – this is the ruling that ended segregation of public schools on the basis of the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause. Like Paul, I agree that segregation needed to be overturned, and I’m glad that it was.  Unlike Paul, and unlike many Civil Rights leaders, I do not see this as judicial activism.  This is perfectly consistent with the original intent of the 14th Amendment, ratified after the abolition of slavery to ensure equal protection under the law to all citizens, with the intention aimed at the time towards former slaves.  Surely that includes the right to the same educational opportunities as whites.

So in conclusion, while I agree with some and not others of Rand’s positions, I completely disagree with his definition of “judicial activism”.  Judicial abuse of power is a very dangerous trend.  If 9 unelected judges who serve for life can overturn laws at their whims, they have become a panel of oligarchs.  And to my libertarian friends, just like I tell liberals, remember…if they can overturn laws you don’t like, they can also overturn laws you do like.  Do you really want 9 unelected judges who serve for life to have that much power?

From the US Constitution, word for word:

14th Amendment (Section 1) – All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

9th Amendment – The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article I, Section 8 (first clause) – The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

10th Amendment – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Another of my posts on judicial activism:

Rick Santorum and the Democratic Party – Strange Bedfellows




What do establishment Democrats and neocon Republicans have in common?  They are both powerful, incompetent, and think they speak for America!  As Rand Paul has wisely advocated a very consistent defense based foreign policy, the establishments of the left and right are blasting Paul for “blaming America”.  The left/right establishment from Hillary Clinton to Rick Santorum, and to a lesser extent President Obama, have advocated arming “the rebels” in Syria, while at the same time fighting against ISIS.  Never mind that ISIS actually came from those very “rebels” in Syria that the establishment helped.  Never mind that ISIS actually has many of those very weapons that the left/right establishment sent them.  To the left/right establishment, this arm your enemies, and blow ‘em up later approach to foreign policy makes perfect sense.  To anyone whose head is located atop the shoulders, instead of between to big hairy cheeks, this makes no sense at all.

I just read probably the worst article ever published in the Huffington, puffington Post.  Rand Paul wisely opposed arming “the rebels” in Syria, and now blames the political establishment, left and right, for having done so and inadvertently aided ISIS.  Instead of admitting their mistakes, “both sides” claim that Rand Paul is “blaming America”.  Well, I’m an American.  Ted Cruz is American.  Bernie Sanders – American.  Pat Buchanan – well you get the idea.  I’ve never heard Rand Paul blame any of us for ISIS.  You who read this, has Rand Paul blamed you?  Are you American?  Rand Paul blames particular political leaders who have made foolish policies that helped ISIS.  Is it blaming America anytime any American blames a politician for their mistakes?  Who would have thought that Rick Santorum, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham would find themselves on the same side as the Democratic National Committee?  Some of my hardcore paleocon/libertarian friends will call them RINOs.  I just call them insane.  Hey, here’s a brilliant idea.  Next time there’s a forest fire – don’t put it out right away.  Pour gasoline on it first, then when it gets really bad, we can start putting it out.  That makes about as much sense as arming the rebels in Syria.

Now, let me be serious.  In conclusion, ISIS must be stopped.  If that means bombs, then let’s drop bombs.  If it means arming Kurds, let’s arm the Kurds.  If it means allying with forces we don’t normally like very much, like Iran or Syria…so be it.  But the greatest threat to our safety comes not from those who hate us from abroad, but our incompetent political leaders and their self-destructive policies that are based more on Cold War prejudices and silly globalist ideologies than America’s best interests.  As Dave Mustaine said, “Yesterday’s answers have nothing to do with today’s questions”.  For America to move forward, we must remove the neocons and the interventionist “liberals” from power at the ballot box.  Is it 2016 yet?

P.S. and No, Dave Mustaine never endorsed Santorum.  He merely complemented Santorum for his devotion to his family.

Rand Paul is no Ronald Reagan? – My Rebuttal of redstate.com


Redstate.com’s recent article “Rand Paul is no Ronald Reagan” relies more on partisan undertones than relevant facts as they attempt to debunk the perception that Rand Paul is the new Ronald Reagan.  No sensible advocate of this perception expects Rand Paul to be identical to Reagan.  Reagan was president during the Cold War in an America with manageable levels of debt.  Rand Paul is looking at an America facing no such threat as the Soviet Union, but some of the worst debts we’ve ever seen.  With that said, Rand Paul, like Ronald Reagan, is trying to move the Republican Party into the future against the wishes of the party establishment.  They are alike in the ways that matter.

I will debunk this article, by a contributor with the username “streiff”, by using the same three subtitles:  Stature, Economics, and Foreign Policy.


The redstate.com article starts with the author’s most solid point.  Unfortunately, it’s only mildly relevant.  Reagan has much more stature than Rand Paul.  Yes, indeed he does.  Paul relied at least in part on his family name to become a US Senator for Kentucky.  He does not have the long list of accomplishments as does Reagan, and I admit this means he’s a little green to be President.  Still, Rand Paul has never claimed to have Reagan’s greatness, and this is hardly relevant to the debate over the future of the GOP’s policies.


Redstate.com contributor “streiff” did actually show how Reagan’s economics differed from Paul.  Reagan ran substantial deficits, and Rand Paul has criticized Reagan for this.  But “streiff” Redstate thinks that makes Paul look bad in some way?  With rank-in-file Republicans, saying anything critical of Reagan is a heresy deserving electoral punishment, even if the criticism is true.  Paul has much in common with Reagan, but if it is heresy to learn the Reagan-God’s mistakes, Rand is most certainly guilty!

Rand Paul has argued that Jimmy Carter’s fiscal policies were more conservative than Reagan’s.  The article points this out as if it somehow is a blight on Paul’s record.  But again, heresy though it may be within the Republican establishment, it’s actually true.  If you look at deficits as a percentage of GDP, under Jimmy Carter they never exceeded 2.6%.  Under Reagan, however, they exceed this amount every year except for 1981, and reached as high as 5.9% (more than double Jimmy Carter’s highest rate).  Redstate.com and “streiff” may not enjoy learning that Jimmy Carter really was more fiscally conservative than Ronald Reagan, but there’s no sense in punishing Rand Paul for simply acknowledging this.  I must add, considering redstate’s viewers and likely reaction to the name “Jimmy Carter”, this was a cheap shot.

Foreign Policy

As with the economy, we face a very different world than Reagan faced.  The entire Cold War was one where the power struggle was bi-polar – that is, it was 2-sided.  Nearly every nation, state, or even tribe was forced to side with either the US, or the Soviet Union.  When you’re facing a threat like that, you win at any cost…as did Reagan.  It meant running record debts to expand our military, and it meant meddling in affairs you might otherwise avoid, such as the invasions of Granada, Lebanon and Reagan’s many proxy wars.  Streiff, like many rank-in-file Republicans, seems to think that Reagan’s Cold War strategy was meant to be a permanent US foreign policy platform.  However, even the “Godfather of Neoconservatism” himself, Irving Kristol, became far less hawkish after the Berlin Wall came down.  There’s no reason to believe that Reagan would support the kind of meddling advocated by today’s GOP, as a growing number of conservatives are realizing.

Many neocons and other hawks in this post-Iraq era are trying to reposition themselves as cautious “realists”, and this author is no exception.  The author describes Paul’s foreign policy as “indicative of a man who either hasn’t considered the reality of the world or is fearful of offending his political base”.  Is this the reality of the world that most of us live in, or the reality of the bubble a few remaining neocons live in?  The Cold War is over!  We face no threat today as significant as the Soviet Union.  The two biggest foreign threats we now face are the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and various Islamist terrorist groups.  The CCP’s military might is growing, but is still far inferior to the US military.  They pose a much greater threat to our manufacturing base due to “free trade” than our military presence.  This could pose a longer term threat to our military might, as it is crippling our tax base and thus ability to fund our military.  We will certainly not solve this problem by going even deeper into debt to fund more unnecessary wars!  We need to build our economy at home, if we are to balance out the CCP.  As for Islamist terrorists, they are scary, they are desperate, and they can hurt some of us.  However, they are nowhere near powerful enough to do anything more than hijack planes, blow up trains, mail anthrax, or go on shooting sprees.  This should be taken seriously, but it will not be solved by outgunning them.  We outgun them 50 times over, and that doesn’t stop them.  They are desperate, angry, and have nothing to lose.  They’ve also been outgunned for at least a century (since the fall of the Ottoman Empire), so that’s nothing new to them.  Fortunately for US, they are better at killing other Muslims in that part of the world than at killing Americans or Europeans.  As Rand said, “Like Dwight Eisenhower, I believe the U.S. can actually be stronger by doing less.”  The author found this statement bizarre for some reason, but it is perfectly applicable to dealing with the Islamist terrorist threat.  Al Qaeda hates Hezbollah, Hezbollah hates Hamas, Hamas hates Al Qaeda; but our invasion of Iraq and meddling in Syria largely helped create ISIS – and they’re all afraid of ISIS.  These Islamist groups are far more effective at killing each other than killing US, so why stop them?  We really could do more by doing less.


This article contains no factual errors, but also fails to prove very much of relevance.  It proves that Rand Paul is not exactly like Ronald Reagan, but Paul has never made such a claim.  He actually has made it clear that neither he nor any other Republican can be the “next Ronald Reagan”.  As Mark Twain once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes”.  In many ways, Paul “rhymes” with Reagan, but as many of the old grassroots Reagan supporters have become part of the new GOP establishment, they resent that realization that they are the establishment now.  This redstate.com article is clearly an expression of their frustration at this unfortunate epiphany.  Given that Reagan himself was an innovative, bold, and adaptable leader, I seriously doubt he would object to yet another necessary renovation of the Republican Party.  Ike was a great leader in his time, but the party couldn’t stay in the 1950s any more than it now can stay in the 1980s.  It’s 2014, and we’re ready for Rand.


Links for further consideration:

Original article in case you didn’t catch it up top:


This chart shows national debt as a percentage of GDP.  As you can see, it is much worse today than during Reagan’s time:


I know that some of you will question my claim that “Hamas hates Al Qaeda”, so I want to show some evidence here:


This “The American Conservative” article from a few years ago predicted how the neocons would rebrand themselves as “centrists”:


Despite everything, I don’t regret Obama


I’m beyond sick of Obama.  He’s been a terrible disappointment to those of us who initially supported him due to his stances on civil liberties and ending the pointless war in Iraq.  Obama is actually considering getting back into Iraq now, and as for civil liberties, he’s turned out to be worse than Bush.  Despite all this, when I tell someone that I did indeed vote Obama, and they ask “Do you regret it now?”, I can honestly say “no regrets”.  (I discuss this in greater detail here)

I’m not going to apologize for voting for Obama, when McCain was the alternative.  At least Obama didn’t get us into Syria.  If it were up to McCain, we’d have attacked Syria, probably Iran, and we’d still be in Iraq!  Thanks to Obama, the Republicans are being forced to look at themselves in the mirror.  More and more Republicans every day are realizing that they can’t be the party of limited government at home, and simultaneously be the party of unlimited government abroad.  It doesn’t make a lick of sense!  If, to quote Reagan out of context as many Republicans do, if “government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem” – how then can our government be the solution to the rest of the world’s problems.

I’m glad Obama won, and I’m glad he won again.  Romney was a compromise from the neocons.  He wasn’t half as hawkish as McCain, but he too was deluded into thinking we can continue to fund this bloated military industrial complex and somehow balance our budget at the same time.  It won’t work!  The last 3 times we balanced out budget, under Eisenhower, Nixon, and Clinton respectively, we reduced military spending.  That should teach us something.

I sincerely hope that the Republicans finally get it.  I sincerely hope that in 2016 they will give us a Presidential candidate worth voting for.  Romney wasn’t terrible, but we can do a lot better.  As those who follow me know, I’m going for Rand Paul at this point.  The Republicans need a candidate who respects our Constitution in its entirety, doesn’t engage in Muslim-bashing, and knows full well that coupling tax cuts with more costly wars will just add more to our national debt…and more debt is just a promise of more taxes later on.  If the Republicans are serious about limiting the size of government and reducing the tax burden, than they need to be serious about limiting the size and scope of our military, as well as the rest of government.  Rand Paul is probably their best bet.  But if they don’t pick Rand, they need to pick someone similar.  If so, and if we get a President who will restore the balance of the 3 branches of government, and get our budget under control, then 8 years of Obama will have been all worth it.

“Anybody but Obama” is not a winning ticket.  Instead, the Republicans need “We have somebody much better than Obama”, and “We’re not the party of Bush anymore”.  They won’t all get it, but I hope enough of them will.  For those of us who don’t care if a black man with an Islamic name is in the White House, give us something to vote FOR.  Hate won’t bring us to the polls for you.

Bring it on, Dick!



Dick Cheney, one of the most hated politicians in America today, is rallying against Rand Paul – and I couldn’t be happier to hear his point of view.  Cheney warns that Paul is an “isolationist” who wants to bring our troops home and let the enemy stew in their own juices, etc.  This is inaccurate, but still helpful.  Rand is more cautious than his non-interventionist father, Ron Paul, and supports maintaining support for our allies.  But Rand is likewise more cautious than Ron Paul’s polar opposite – Dick Cheney.  See neocons?  This is realism!  Fearing those brown people because they “hate our freedom” is not realism.  It’s a type of idealism.  Realists look at the actual balance of power, and who could potentially pose a threat to us.  “They hate us” is no reason to go to war, if “they” have much to lose and little to gain by attacking us.

With that said, you don’t win elections by giving an academic lecture on realism in foreign policy.  The American people are often emotionally volatile, and currently, are war weary.  Therefore, Dick Cheney’s straw man of Rand Paul as an “isolationist” will likely work to his advantage for these two reasons: 1. Americans hate Cheney, and 2. Isolationism actually doesn’t sound too bad to many Americans right now.  My only concern is that if Rand Paul does become President, I hope people won’t feel betrayed when they learn that Rand is willing to use force sometimes, and is actually very concerned about the power balance with Russia, China…you know, countries that we actually should be worried about?

Well, for now, I hope that bull dog Cheney keeps on barking.



Cheney’s straw man:


Rand Paul’s healthy balance of principles and pragmatism are expressed here:



Final notes – if you would like to learn more about realism in international relations, I recommend the works of Stephen Walt, Robert Jervis, and Fareed Zakaria. For the more hawkish approach to realism, you could read “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics” by Mearsheimer.  I’m sure you’ll agree that none of them have much in common with the wreckless neocon foreign policy of Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, etc.