Tag Archives: Newt Gingrich

Newt and Scientists: A Long, Complicated Love Affair

Newt and scientists: A long, complicated love affair.

The article gives you the science community’s take on Gingrich. And since that community is almost entirely Democratic in make-up and routinely hostile and almost bigoted in their hatred of Republicans, it is not surprising that this take has a certain schizophrenic air about it. They want to like him because of his passionate interest and support of science, but how can they? He’s a Republican (whispered softly like one was saying a curse word.)

Because of technical problems with the Soyuz spacecraft it appears the Russians are going to postpone the next two manned launches to ISS.

Because of technical problems with the Soyuz spacecraft it appears the Russians are going to postpone the next two manned launches to ISS.

So, in one breath Americans whine about how we are dependent on the Russians to get into space, while in the next breath they lambast the only Presidential candidate (Gingrich) willing to aggressively do something about it without spending billions of dollars. You would think they’d at least be interested in what he had to say.

The full Gingrich speech on space

As noted by one commenter, the full Gingrich speech on space is available here on C-SPAN.

I have now listened to the whole speech, and can say without hesitation that everything I wrote in my previous post was correct. Gingrich is knowledgeable about space, science, and history. He is basing his proposals on past successful models where the U.S. government did nothing but buy the product developed by private individuals or companies. These proposals actually continue as well as accelerate the Obama administration’s efforts. And he is not proposing a giant pork program.

His proposal to have a moon base by 2020 is unquestionably campaign talk that won’t happen. Nonetheless, this proposal is aimed at energizing the American aerospace industry by focusing the government’s goals, which will then need to be purchased by the government from private companies. He also made it very clear he wants to shrink the NASA bureaucracy, reducing its budget while devoting ten percent of that savings (equal to billions of dollars) for prizes. The example of a $10 billion tax-free prize for the first to get to Mars was only for illustration. As he said,

The model I want us to build is largely is the model of the ’20s and ’30s, when the government was actively encouraging development but the government wasn’t doing anything. The government was paying rewards, it was subsidizing the mail. … We had enormous breakthroughs in aviation in the ’20s and ’30s at very little cost to the government because lots of smart people [outside the government] did it.

I beg everyone to listen to this speech, in its entirety. It illustrates a thoughtful man who understands history. Gingrich might not be a perfect man, and he certainly is not the perfect candidate for President, but don’t tell me what you think of him if you refuse to listen to him. For two decades too many people have eagerly expressed opinions about him without really listening to what he has actually said or done. And what he says here is reasonable, intelligent, and certainly worthy of consideration.

Gingrich’s speech on space

In the days ahead there is going to be a lot of talk about Newt Gingrich’s proposals for space exploration. I think it important that people actually see and listen to the entire speech before discussing it. Here is the longest clip I can find on youtube, covering the first seven and a half minutes. I think it is complete, but unfortunately, I can’t be sure. It doesn’t appear to include his remarks about awarding space prizes, and when it ends Gingrich does not appear to be finished. When I find a longer clip I will post it.

Several points immediately come to mind:
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Gingrich pledges a moon base by his second term

Bumped with Update 2: I will be on the radio in Houston tomorrow morning with Scott Braddock for twenty minutes to discuss Gingrich’s proposals. See the “Recent and Upcoming Appearances” list in the right column for details.
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In a speech today Newt Gingrich pledged a moon base would be operating by his second term.

I’m not sure I trust the reporting here. However, this story fits with many other things that Gingrich has said over the years. And though I like his desire to think big, I dislike the feeling I get that he wants to once again make this a big government-run effort.

There will certainly be more details about Gingrich’s proposals in the coming days.

Update. More details here.

It seems to me that Gingrich’s promise of a moonbase by 2020 is campaign fodder, designed to inspire voters not only to dream big but to vote for Gingrich. However, his proposal that the U.S. offer big prizes for private achievement in space is right on the money, literally identical to ideas I proposed more than eight years ago.

What really happened in the Gingrich ethics case?

What really happened in the Gingrich ethics case?

Given all the attention to the ethics matter, it’s worth asking what actually happened back in 1995, 1996, and 1997. The Gingrich case was extraordinarily complex, intensely partisan, and driven in no small way by a personal vendetta on the part of one of Gingrich’s former political opponents. It received saturation coverage in the press; a database search of major media outlets revealed more than 10,000 references to Gingrich’s ethics problems during the six months leading to his reprimand. It ended with a special counsel hired by the House Ethics Committee holding Gingrich to an astonishingly strict standard of behavior, after which Gingrich in essence pled guilty to two minor offenses. Afterwards, the case was referred to the Internal Revenue Service, which conducted an exhaustive investigation into the matter. And then, after it was all over and Gingrich was out of office, the IRS concluded that Gingrich did nothing wrong. After all the struggle, Gingrich was exonerated.

I vaguely remembered the details of the Gingrich ethics case, and the article above confirms what my memory was telling me: Not only was Gingrich innocent of all charges, the charges themselves were political in nature and downright absurd.

Gingrich plans ‘visionary’ speech on space this week in Florida

Gingrich has announced that he plans to give a “visionary” speech on space this week in Florida.

To me, this does not bode well. The last thing the American aerospace industry needs right now is another politician dictating a “new” path. The best thing Gingrich could do is to endorse the effort to have private companies do the work, and to then outline how he will get the government out of their way.

Why the establishment fears Newt Gingrich

Why the establishment fears Newt Gingrich.

When Newt became speaker, he was focused, disciplined and tough. He insisted on moving the Contract With America intact. He abolished committees and denied “old bulls” chairmanships. He insisted on using the majority to win conservative victories such as balancing budgets, achieving welfare reform and producing 11 million new jobs with tax cuts that spurred economic growth. He made some people unhappy when he pursued legislation that could win instead of pet bills that would have divided Republicans rather than uniting them. And he negotiated with a Democratic president to get the conservative legislation being passed signed into law. Some Republicans were left unhappy in the wake of all of that activity — some of them are still complaining today.

The Gingrich gamble

Another perspective: The Gingrich Gamble.

Yet for the all sloganeering and invective, the truth is that voting for Gingrich or Romney is not so much an ideological as a personal choice, and one that says as much about the psychological make-up of the individual conservative voter as it does about the choices before him. The risk-takers, romantics, and ideologically pure have concluded that Gingrich unleashed is worth the gamble, and that it is better to win big or lose big than to plan on just squeaking by. They welcome the unending contact sport that we could expect from a President Gingrich, who would not just beat Obama, but repudiate Obamism itself. These are the guys who like passing on third down on their own ten-yard line with a seven-point lead; to them, going on fourth-quarter defense is not only not smart, it is a sure way to lose. In contrast, the more calculating know that romance and rhetoric can often disguise reality, and that it is always wiser to down the ball and run the clock out when you’re ahead.

And I must admit, I prefer the gamble. I’ve had enough of “safe” Republican candidates designed to please the moderates who only end up losing because they can’t express what they believe in with any clarity or force.

Explaining Newt

Explaining Newt.

[W]e have a president who wants us to stay there, who is banal, irritating, humorless, reactionary, self-righteous, and narcissistic all at once. He hasn’t said one interesting thing or proposed one creative idea since being in office.

Unfortunately, the Republican candidates aren’t much better. Romney, Perry, Santorum, Bachmann, Huntsman, even Paul, are no more than critics of a system gone moribund. They do not inspire us. Their ideas, even when worth investigating (flat tax, etc.), are no more than rehashes of proposals we have heard for decades.

Only Newt dances. Only Newt, on occasion, is original. Only Newt — and here is the important part — has the capacity to wake us up. What attracts me about the man is the very thing that Romney criticized, the part that wants to explore the moon and stars, maybe even mine them.

Sure Gingrich has an idea a minute, many of which are bad, but at least he has ideas. At least he is thinking. And — guess what — he says what he thinks. Politicians aren’t supposed to do that.

Read the whole thing.

President Obama is trailing against both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in 12 swing states that Obama won in 2008, according to a poll released today.

More evidence that the 2010 landslide was a trend, not an event: President Obama is trailing against both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in 12 swing states that Obama won in 2008, according to a poll released today.

A thoughtful analysis as to why tea party supporters are breaking to Gingrich

A thoughtful analysis as to why tea party supporters are breaking to Gingrich.

Much of what Bill Quick writes parallels what I have said previously: Gingrich might have said or done some disagreeable things, but he was able to win Congress and force the spendthrifts from both parties to produce a balanced budget. And when it comes time for him to face Obama in the debates, Gingrich alone among these Republican candidates appears capable of handing the situation strongly, with skill. To me, that combination appears to be a winning combination, both for the election and the nation afterward.

Why Washington is shocked, shocked by Newt Gingrich’s rise over Mitt Romney

Why Washington is shocked, shocked by Newt Gingrich’s rise over Mitt Romney.

Look, Gingrich is by far not a perfect candidate. He has clearly taken positions in the last few years that made my socks roll up and down in horror. And when he was Speaker there were times I thought he was too willing to agree to bad deals.

Yet, he did mastermind the first Republican takeover of Congress in forty years. Yet, when he was Speaker the federal budget was brought under control, producing surpluses for four years in a row.

Finally, unlike every other Republican candidate for President since Reagan, Gingrich can debate. He not only knows how to articulate conservative ideals, he has shown himself capable of effectively pointing out liberal foolishness. In the Presidential debates to come, the country needs that as it will give strength to the conservative candidates running for the House and Senate. And that is where we really need victories. If we get a Congress that is willing to seriously cut the federal budget, it won’t matter that much who is President.

A new Rasmussen national poll: Gingrich 45% Obama 43%

A new Rasmussen national poll: Gingrich 45% Obama 43%.

Last week, Gingrich trailed the president by six. Two weeks ago, he was down by twelve. Earlier in the year, both Rick Perry and Herman Cain followed a similar path to take a slight lead over the president. However, in both cases, their time as frontrunners quickly came to an end. Neither man led the president more than a single time in a Rasmussen Reports poll. It remains to be seen whether Gingrich follows that path or is able to retain his status as the leading alternative to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Note that every candidate has polled ahead of Obama at one time or another, suggesting to me that the public wants Obama out, and is fishing for the candidate to do it.

Gingrich’s presidential campaign has gotten him no endorsements from Republican lawmakers

Gingrich’s presidential campaign has gotten him no endorsements from Republican lawmakers.

Considering how incompetent these Republicans have been in getting the federal budget under control, and considering that the last time the budget was balanced was during Gingrich’s reign as speaker in the 1990s, I would consider their lack of support as the best endorsement Gingrich could get. We need real change in DC. The status quo has left us on the verge of economic collapse and bankruptcy.

Finally some substance in the Presidential campaign

Up until tonight I had not watched any of the Republican Presidential debates. To me, the game show formats of each debate were such that I had no expectation of seeing any substance. Quick one-liners and gotcha attacks — the only thing that generally comes from these formats — can’t tell me anything about the deeper philosophical underpinnings of each candidate. And without that knowledge I can have no idea whether or not the candidates will follow through with what they say they’ll do.

Tonight however I did watch the Herman Cain-Newt Gingrich debate, which CSPAN has made available to watch in its entirety. The format was basically Cain and Gingrich for an hour and a half, answering a variety of questions about the three big entitlement programs, Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. Each man could essentially take as much time as he desired to say what he wanted.
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