Kelly Vlahos:”The Military-Industrial Candidate”

Analysts were right to say that the Republican takeover of Congress bodes well for the war machine: already we see the levers of power slowly shifting in reverse, eager to get back to salad days of post-9/11 wartime spending.

But waiting in the wings, Hillary Clinton just may prove to be what the defense establishment has been waiting for, and more. Superior to all in money, name recognition, and influence, she is poised to compete aggressively for the Democratic nomination for president. She might just win the Oval Office. And by most measures she would be the most formidable hawk this country has seen in a generation.

“It is clear that she is behind the use of force in anything that has gone on in this cabinet. She is a Democratic hawk and that is her track record. That’s the flag she’s planted,” said Gordon Adams, a national security budget expert who was an associate director in President Bill Clinton’s Office of Management and Budget.

Kelly Vlahos examines the record of Hilary Clinton, poised to be the next war President, @ The American Conservative

California Propositions:Voters side with Libertarians

On November 4, Californians voted on 6 statewide propositions. The Libertarian Party took a stand on 5 of the issues

California voters sided with Libertarians on 3 of the propositions:
Voters joined with Libertarians in rejecting Proposition 45, which would have given the State Insurance Commissioner new powers to regulate rates charged by companies for medical insurance. Competition is the only way to limit the cost of medical insurance; excessive regulation drives companies out of the California market, and reduces competition.

Voters also sided with Libertarians in rejecting Proposition 46, which had two parts. The main part of Prop. 46 would have raised the cap on punitive damages in medical malpractice cases from $250,000 to $1,100,000. Punitive damages are in addition to actual pain and suffering damages, which are not limited. Raising punitive damages would result in higher costs for medical malpractice insurance and resulted in higher costs for medical procedures and for medical insurance.

Californians joined with Libertarians in voting to pass Proposition 47, which downgraded many non-violent crimes, including many drug offenses, from felony to misdemeanor. This will help to reduce overcrowding in California prisons and more importantly, stop the destruction of peoples lives that results when they are punished as felons for victimless crimes, or crimes that can be more easily remedied.

The top two system adopted by California voters several years ago has hurt alternative parties in the Golden State. But the results of the California vote in 2014 show that the libertarian message is still welcome here.

(By Gene Berkman, Editor, California Libertarian Report)

Bandow:”Republicans Take Senate, Likely to Push for More War”

Washington is at war in the Middle East. So what is new? Unfortunately, pressure for military intervention will grow with Republican control of the Senate. That body’s most war-happy members, such as John McCain, will enjoy increased influence.

The result of any new conflicts likely will be similar as before. America will be intervening again in a few years to try to clean up the mess it is creating today. And then going to war a few years after that for the same reason.

The U.S. is not bombing the Islamic State out of necessity. Rather, Washington is acting in response to past mistakes. ISIL exists only because the Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003. That action grew out of George H.W. Bush’s first war against Baghdad. Which was tied to American support for Saddam Hussein against Iran the previous decade. Which grew out of the Iranian revolution, whose victors targeted Washington because of its backing for the ousted Shah of Iran.

Thus, Americans are paying the price for decisions to meddle in the Middle East made decades ago. Yet a Greek Chorus of those most responsible for today’s failed policies loudly demands that the U.S. again intervene.

Doug Bandow analyses the new influence of the Republican interventionists @ Cato