(Pulling out the Rug) Pro-Ron Paul super PAC rethinks spending funds on GOP Campaign

March 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Americas

This is the PAC Bilderberger – and Pay Pal mafia head Peter Thiel donates to…

Campaign staffers for Ron Paul tape signs together before the North Dakota caucus. | AP Photo

 

A Super PAC backing Paul is considering support for other candidates. | AP Photo

By DAVE LEVINTHAL
Politico (BCCI)

The main super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is reassessing its heavy financial support of the Texas congressman following his disappointing Super Tuesday performance, an official confirmed to POLITICO.

“Yes, we are reassessing our efforts, but we have always felt that we are a part of a larger movement rather than just a single election,” Endorse Liberty super PAC leader Abe Niederhauser said. “We will continue to support Dr. Paul, but ultimately, we support an idea. We will support candidates who uphold the principles of liberty. We may also get involved in some of the Senate and House races.”

If Endorse Liberty scales back funding, the move could be yet another blow to Paul, who has yet to win a single presidential primary or caucus contest.Paul logged underwhelming performances in the Super Tuesday caucus states of North Dakota and Alaska, which he considered his best shots at victory.

And despite enjoying passionate support throughout the country, especially among libertarian-leaning Republicans, Paul has been unable to convert it into critical mass at the ballot booth or caucus hall.

Endorse Liberty, for its part, has aggressively attempted to broaden Paul’s appeal, making more than $2.94 million worth of independent expenditures in January — most going toward online advertisements — to benefit him. The super PAC also took in nearly $2.4 million in contributions in January.

Billionaire PayPal founder Peter Thiel has provided the bulk of the super PAC’s funding, contributing about $2.6 million overall and $1.7 million in January alone, according to the latest federal disclosure documents.

But Endorse Liberty, unlike some presidential candidate-specific super PACs such as the pro-Mitt Romney Restore Our Future outfit, has been running thin on available cash: Through January, it reported less than $61,000 on hand.

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Related:

 

Ron Paul aides ponder ‘frustrating’ race

The campaign identified 24,000 supporters in Nevada but a comparatively paltry 6,175 actually turned out to caucus for Paul. He finished third behind Newt Gingrich, who ran an embarrassingly inept campaign.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Jesse Benton, Paul’s national campaign chairman. “It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.”

In theory, Paul’s turnout operation is more professionalized than Gingrich’s or Santorum’s. Experienced field staffers have been hired and headquarters set up in every caucus state. In Nevada, all 24,000 targeted supporters got “multiple touches” from the campaign — including mailers, emails and personal phone calls from volunteers.

The biggest problem for Paul is that most of his supporters are young people. In the Michigan primary, for instance, exit polling showed that Paul pulled 37 percent of 18- to 29-year-old voters but this demographic made up only 10 percent of the electorate.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich suffers primary defeat in Ohio

March 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Americas

So much for making deals with Obama… They took him out. The last man against wars, and bailouts, and for liberty is GONE.

Washington Post

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), the two-time presidential candidate and icon of the antiwar left, suffered a bruising primary defeat Tuesday as a new Republican-drawn congressional map threatened to end the career of one of the most colorful figures in Congress.

With most attention focused on the state’s GOP presidential primary battle, and no Democratic primary for president, Kucinich was left in a low-turnout race in a newly drawn district against his once-close ally, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio).

With about 90 percent of the vote in, Kaptur led 60 to 36 percent.

From his stint as Cleveland’s “Boy Mayor” in the late 1970s, including two debt defaults and the forced sale of the city’s electric plant, to his unsuccessful effort to impeach Vice President Richard B. Cheney in 2007, Kucinich has repeatedly thrust himself into the national spotlight. Often coming up on the short end of his fights, Kucinich, 65, never stopped swing­ing but usually did so in a friendly spirit.

His defeat, according to lawmakers, was the latest development in a process that is making Congress a more sanitized, less colorful place. Some of the institution’s most original characters are either retiring or losing reelection battles, in part because their positions or personalities are so easy to caricature. Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), for example, have announced their retirements.

“The one thing that’s being tamped down here is, we’re losing characters. When I got here, you had Jim Traficant, you had Barney, and then Dennis came,” said Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-Ohio), a nine-term veteran, referring to Frank and former congressman James Traficant, who ended up in prison on corruption charges.

“The place needs character, and characters.”

What’s next for Kucinich is unclear. He has spoken of possibly moving to Washington state to run in a Democratic-leaning district. He would need to establish residency there by mid-April, but it’s not certain he could do that while remaining in Congress representing an Ohio district.

That dalliance — he flew to the state last May to consider it — played into the theme Kaptur used that against him, saying he is more concerned with his quixotic fights against powerful international forces than delivering for the people of his district.

She compared his consideration of leaving Cleveland to the mid-1990s move by the city’s beloved football team, the Browns, and the 2010 departure of NBA superstar LeBron James — two psychic blows still deeply felt in a place that bills itself as the “Sixth City” even though it’s fallen to the country’s 45th largest in the last 50 years .

“Looks like next in line to abandon us is Dennis Kucinich,” Kaptur’s narrator said in a radio ad.

The new 9th Congressional District stretches more than 100 miles from Cleveland (Kucinich’s base) all the way west to Toledo, encompassing 47 percent of her current district. That gave her an edge, as did her years of work on the Appropriations Committee, from which she funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to northern Ohio.

READ THE REST

 

Ohio Primary Results

Results as of 9:05 AM ET  |   0:47

Candidate Votes % Won
Mitt Romney 453,927 38.0%
Rick Santorum 441,908 37.0%
Newt Gingrich 174,606 14.6%
Ron Paul 110,633 9.3%
Other 13,799 1.1%
ColumbusColumbusColumbusColumbusColumbusClevelandClevelandClevelandClevelandClevelandCincinnatiCincinnatiCincinnatiCincinnatiCincinnati
Hash for leading, solid for won

99.8% of precincts reporting  |  SOURCE: AP

Republican Primary Results

Super Tuesday: What you missed

With the Ohio Democrat’s primary loss, we look back at some of his statements, speeches, and sightings.

Super Tuesday: What you missed

Kucinich’s most memorable moments

 

Super Disappointing… GOP votes Neo Con – Liberty takes a Blow

March 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Americas

It shouldn’t be a huge surprise to those of you have been around long enough. Ron Paul won next to nothing on “Super Tuesday” in the way of votes and delegates, OK… But as we have said for sometime now, Dr Paul already won something more important; The youth of America and the injection of his ideas into the sub mainstream.

It was worth it!

California, TX, New York… all still yet to vote, but the trend looks bad for a Ron Paul Nomination. The specter of Iran looming and other ginned up coming wars are just too hard to resist, and it appears Israel has just as much influence on our “elections” as they always have had.

The GOP has doomed itself! Not only will Obama win the White House, but at this rate the Dems will take back Congress, giving the Trifecta to the Sorosians once more. This time they will use it to their full advantage. Its a good idea to get and stay organized as we will have to fight for everything going forward.

SUPER CHOOSEDAY...
ROMNEY: ID, MA, OH, VA, VT, AK...
SANTORUM: OK, ND, TN...
GINGRICH: GA...
TOTAL DELEGATE COUNT...
TOTAL POPULAR VOTE...


FINALLY

Santorum: 'We keep coming back'...

Ohio Catholics choose Romney...

Palin: I voted for Newt!

ON ENTERING RACE: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE...

RON PAUL has MOST 2ND Place Finishes To DATE! (More than any other candidate)

 

Exit Polls: Ron Paul wins youth vote in Virginia – 44 and younger 61% of vote

 

 

Ron Paul and Tim Tebow? Yep…

March 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Americas

Ron Paul cites conversation with Tim Tebow in discussion over homeschooling

FOX

Ron Paul discussed a conversation he had with Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow while discussing homeschooling at a campaign event Monday night.

At a town hall discussion at the Civic Auditorium of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Paul spoke on his pro-homeschooling views, saying arguments that homeschooled children receive inadequate education have been disproven.

He then mentioned his conversation with Tebow, in reference to an argument that homeschooled kids don’t get the chance to participate in sports.

“You know I was talking to a football player the other day and I think he’s rather famous now,” he said. “I think it’s Tim Tebow, something like that, and of course, of course most people know he was homeschooled and he’s doing pretty well for himself.”

The Paul campaign told Fox News Tebow’s manager, who is a Paul supporter, arranged a friendly phone call between the Republican candidate and the NFL star.

On the eve of Idaho’s caucus as part of the ‘Super Tuesday‘ contests, Paul said he enthusiastically believed his campaign ‘had to do well tomorrow’ in Idaho based on the event’s turnout.

“We expect to do very, very well,” he said. “I don’t make bold predictions but there’s no reason in the world we cannot win this state, so I suspect we are going to do exceptionally well and I thank you, thank so much for all your hard efforts.”

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Super Tuesday voters put imprint on GOP race – Will this be IT?

March 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Americas

This might be your last chance - Make the most of it!


 

ATLANTA (AP) — Mitt Romney is angling to solidify his front-runner status and Rick Santorum to keep it a two-man race as voters in 10 states put Super Tuesday’s imprint on the Republican presidential race. Newt Gingrich just hopes to keep his struggling campaign alive with a strong showing in Georgia.

Voters who turned out early Tuesday at one polling place in suburban Cincinnati made clear that all the candidates still have some convincing to do: Polling officials in Anderson Township said many people were asking for issues-only ballots and skipping the presidential voting altogether.

“I don’t like the way the Republicans have gone after each other, and the Democrats aren’t any better,” said one of them, accountant Chuck Horning.

With 419 delegates at stake around the country, Tuesday’s voting represents a sizable slice of the 1,144 needed to nail down the GOP nomination.

Romney, who turned back Santorum in a close contest in Michigan last week, hoped to continue his winning trend. He has won four consecutive contests, including Saturday’s Washington caucuses.

The GOP front-runner, trying to keep his focus on President Barack Obama, was using a speech Tuesday before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to argue he’d be more effective at containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. In prepared remarks, Romney said the Obama administration’s “naive outreach to Iran gave the ayatollahs exactly what they wanted.”

The president, for his part, showed he had no intention of ceding the spotlight to his GOP challengers. Obama scheduled his first full news conference of the year for Tuesday afternoon, and planned to announce a new program to address the housing crisis, part of his ongoing effort to show he’s working aggressively to help the economy recover.

Priorities USA Action, a super PAC backing the president, trained its criticism solely on Romney, issuing a “Super Tuesday memo” arguing that the front-runner’s “agenda for the wealthy” was hurting him with those who are not.

Supporters of the candidates were out in force to make the case for their favored candidates.

Romney backer Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said it was time for the party to close ranks behind the former Massachusetts governor.

“The party is starting to understand the need to coalesce behind somebody, that what does unite us is beating Barack Obama,” Chaffetz said on CNN. “Mitt Romney has by far the best chance of beating Barack Obama in November, and we’ve got to get united in that sooner rather than later.”

Karen Santorum, in a taped interviewed on CBS, sketched her husband as a solid father and strong supporter of women, trying to counter impressions he wasn’t supportive of broad opportunities for women. She said she couldn’t even think about what it would be like to be first lady, saying, “I still don’t even go there.”

After falling behind Santorum in Ohio last month, Romney has closed the gap in recent days, with polls showing the race a dead heat on the eve of the primary. It’s a familiar trend for Romney, whose superior fundraising and turnout operation have helped him turn deficits in Florida and Michigan into triumphs.

The former venture capital executive kept his campaign’s focus on the economy in a final sprint across Ohio, where he and Santorum are competing most fiercely.

“Other people in this race have debated about the economy, they’ve read about the economy, they’ve talked about it in subcommittee hearings,” Romney said of his opponents. “But I’ve actually been in it. I’ve worked in business and I understand what it takes to get a business successful and to thrive.”

Romney, the New Englander in the race, is expected to do well in the Vermont and Massachusetts primaries. He is also poised to win the Virginia primary.

Besides Ohio, Santorum is competing most aggressively in primaries in Oklahoma and Tennessee, where the GOP’s conservative hue matches the strict social conservative’s evangelical appeal. He was leading narrowly in Tennessee, where polls showed Gingrich and Romney closing.

Despite signs that Gingrich planned to remain in the race, Santorum urged voters in Ohio to see it as increasingly a two-candidate fight.

“I’m excited that we’re here with the opportunity of winning states on Super Tuesday … and, hopefully, eventually, having the opportunity to go one on one at the end of this thing and see where this race really falls out,” Santorum told supporters in Miamisville, Ohio. “And when we do, we’ll win.”

Gingrich has won only one state — the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary — and was projected to win only Georgia out of the 10 states voting Tuesday. He began advertising in Tennessee on Monday, putting down just $35,000 for television time, a small purchase.

Yet, Gingrich planned to campaign Tuesday in Alabama, which holds its primary March 13, even before the voting was finished in Georgia. Ads for Gingrich were expected to begin airing in Alabama and Mississippi, which holds its primary on the same day, and he will visit both Southern states later in the week. He was then heading to Kansas, which holds its caucuses Saturday.

Still, Gingrich tried to cast a likely win in Georgia as a sign of momentum, comparing it to Romney’s narrow win in his native Michigan over Santorum last week.

At a breakfast meeting of a suburban Atlanta chamber of commerce, Gingrich criticized his rivals as mere managers, rather than leaders of the change he recommends.

“The truth is I have opponents who are, in a normal period, adequate,” he told more than 100 in Gwinnett, Ga. “But they don’t have anything on the scale of change I just described to you.”

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was focusing on Tuesday’s caucuses in Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota.

Despite the big chunk of votes being cast Tuesday, because delegates are apportioned based on vote percentage and the candidates are focusing on different regions, the race is expected to continue further into March.

Super Ron Paul Victory on Super Tuesday

March 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Commentary

On this the eve of Super Tuesday, 2012, I’m going to make a prediction. I predict that Ron Paul will not officially win any state on March 6th, 2012. I’ll predict that, despite all the enthusiastic supporters and loud, cheering rallies, those who wish to see honest, citizen statesmen in office rather than the corrupt, bought and paid for career politicians will somehow forget to go to the polls and vote. I predict that, despite all the sign waving, billboards, grass roots donations, political organizing, and other complicated, time consuming activism that they spend hours engaging in, Ron Paul supporters will somehow be unable to find the fifteen minutes needed on election day to get to their polling place and cast their vote. Somehow, this extremely popular man expressing ideas most Americans are very familiar with – after all we brag so much about how great this nation is because of our freedom – is not as popular on election day as wealthy globalists who endorse freedom killing policies. Read more

Did Obama Let You Down? There’s Still Hope!

March 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Commentary

 

Lew Rockwell

Three years ago, I wrote an article in which I made some very specific predictions about the incoming Obama administration. I wrote the piece in the form of a letter to my pro-Obama friends and said that by the end of his term, Obama’s administration would not look very different from that of George W. Bush. I told them that if I was wrong about my predictions, I would re-think all of my beliefs about our political system and about politics generally, and if I turned out to be right, I asked them to do the same.

I don’t know if any of my friends took me up on my challenge – I’m guessing they didn’t, since I never heard from any of them about it. But I do know that many of them are disappointed in what Obama has done so far, and that many are feeling hopeless about the upcoming election, resigned to their belief that there is “no better alternative.” Incredibly, some of them plan to vote for Obama again.

It is for this reason that I would like to revisit those predictions I made three years ago. I still have nearly a year to go, but I think it is clear to anyone paying attention that Obama is not the pro-peace, pro-civil liberties candidate many of his supporters believed him to be. Nor is he going to “fix” the economy anytime soon. What may not be so clear though is that there is a better alternative. It also may not be clear that there is a way to support that alternative without sacrificing the option to vote for Obama in the general election.

So let’s look at those predictions. If we’re already on the same page about Obama’s presidency, then just skip this part and go to the last section of this article to read about the better alternative.

I confined my predictions to the areas where I believed my pro-Obama friends and I shared common ground: A desire to end our country’s wars of aggression around the world; A desire to see our basic civil liberties protected; and a desire to have a healthy economy. Here is what I wrote, and here’s what has happened:

Foreign Policy:

At the end of Obama’s first four-year term:

  1. The US will still have an active military presence in Iraq.

Obama ended the war in Iraq, right? Not exactly. While the administration may have officially declared the war to be over (an interesting feat in itself as it was never declared to have begun in the first place), the US does indeed maintain an active military presence there. Several hundred military personnel will remain under the Office of Security Cooperation, the US has built an embassy the size of the Vatican, with 17,000 employees, and there are an estimated 3,500-5,000 private contractors who will be working with Iraqi security forces.

  1. The US will have attacked at least one more country that poses no direct threat to us.  (I’m not even going to count his early air strikes on Pakistan.)

Libya. Yemen. Somalia.

  1. Military spending will have increased.

At the end of Bush’s term – a year that featured the “surge”, which made military expenditures unusually high, the US defense budget was $667 billion. At the end of 2011, the (estimated) defense budget was $708 billion. Even adjusted for inflation, this is an easy one.

Even more significant though, is that under Obama, war funding has also increased. While this figure did peak at $189.94 billion in Bush’s last year, dropping to $159.21 billion for 2009, total war expenditures under Bush were $625.41 billion, while in his first three years Obama has already spent $497.6 billion. He would have to bring war expenditures down below $127.81 billion for 2012 (from $169.7 billion in 2011) in order to come in a penny under the George Bush years.

  4. US citizens will be no safer from terrorist attacks. I say this because I believe the (sadly all-too-accurate) perception of the US as an imperialist warmongering nation will persist.  I realize this one is open to interpretation.  I would just ask you to honestly ask yourselves at the end of these four years whether this is the case.

I say I got this one right too. But as I said, it’s open to interpretation.

It is perhaps in this area that it is easiest to see how perfectly seamless Obama’s administration has been with that of his predecessor. There are differences to be sure, but differences that are of importance only to policy wonks, not to the people who are suffering from and paying for the US’s interventionist foreign policies.

As a dramatic illustration of this cohesion, listen to this video of US General Wesley Clark (ret). Clark tells of a memo from the Secretary of Defense’s office in October of 2001, outlining a plan to attack and remove the governments of seven different countries in five years. The countries listed were Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Lybia, Somalia, Sudan and finally Iran. Listen to General Clark and then try to tell yourself that President Obama is not simply continuing where the Bush administration left off.

Civil Liberties

  1. More than 1% of US adults will still be in prison.  This number will very likely be even higher than it is today, and the black and Hispanic portion of that population will not have decreased by any significant amount.

As of August, 2011, the US prison population was an astonishing 2.4 million, or roughly 1.16% of the adult population, and the number of black and Hispanic prisoners remains wildly disproportionate to population ratios.

  1. We will still suffer from the kind of police abuse that is becoming more and more common: military-style raids on unarmed civilians in their homes; the shooting and tasering of unarmed citizens; and police and judicial corruption leading to the jailing of many more innocent people than can be acceptable under any system…

I think it’s hard to argue that these trends have in any way abated. If anything, law-enforcement has become more militarized, more turned against the people it is supposed to protect. If this is news to you, you might want to spend some time here or here catching up.

  1. “No-Fly” lists will still be in place, and there may even be more restrictions on travel.

What do I even need to say here? Full-body scanners? Officially sanctioned sexual molestation forced upon those who do not wish to submit themselves to the potential health risks and privacy violations of said scanners? Forcing a terminally ill cancer patient to remove her adult diaper in order to board her plane? Spilling a bladder cancer survivor’s urine all over him? Forcing a disabled six-year-old to take off his braces in order to walk through the metal detector? I would ask “how much worse can it get?” but I’m afraid I might find out.

  1. There will be more restrictions on gun ownership and the right to self-defense.

This one hasn’t yet come to pass. Second-Amendment activists insist that it will, but we’ll have to see.

  1. The police tactics and suppression of dissent at the 2012 RNC and DNC conventions will be just as brutal as they were in 2008.

We’ll see. But given the treatment of “Occupy” protesters around the country, and that Congress has just passed a law that would outlaw any protests near certain government officials – whether or not the protesters are even aware that the officials are there – I’m fairly confident this prediction will turn out to be accurate.

  1. Government surveillance of US citizens will continue…

Not only is the Obama administration intent on spying on US citizens, it has asked for legislation requiring all communications devices to allow “back-door” government access to private communications. It has also “…asked Congress that new and expanded power be given the FBI in accessing Internet customers’ records without first obtaining a court order if the agency views the information involves terrorism or intelligence issues.”

Writes Glenn Greenwald:

“What makes this trend all the more pernicious is that at exactly the same time that the Government is demanding greater and greater access to what you do and say, it is hiding its own conduct behind an always-higher and more impenetrable wall of secrecy.  Everything you do and say must be accessible to them; you can have no secrets from them.  But everything they do – including even criminal acts such as torture, assassinations and warrantless surveillance – is completely off-limits to you, deemed “state secrets” that not even courts can review in order to determine their legality.”

When I wrote my predictions for the Obama administration, I bent over backwards to give him every benefit of the doubt in the arena of civil liberties. I wrote:

“I have to admit that this is the one area where Obama’s presidency is already looking different from that of his predecessor.  In his first few days in office, President Obama signed executive orders to 1) close Guantanamo within a year; 2) officially ban the use of torture in the military; 3) close the CIA-run secret prisons around the world; and 4) review detention policies and procedures and review individual detention cases.  He has also suspended the military trials at Guantanamo for 120 days, and has acted to combat government secrecy.  These are all good things and Obama is receiving well-deserved praise for them.”

I now feel like a fool for having written those words. Not only is Guantanamo still open, not only does torture and indefinite detention continue, not only is Government secrecy as bad or worse as under Bush but Obama has signed into law one of the most heinous pieces of legislation imaginable, the National Defense Authorization Act, granting the government the right to detain, indefinitely and without trial or charges, any American citizen. He has also claimed for himself the right to assassinate an American citizen, and has in fact carried out at least one such assassination – again without a trial or any charges being made.

I should really just stop here. The NDAA by itself makes the case that the Obama administration is at least as bad as the Bush administration. There’s nothing more I need to say. However since I did include a couple of predictions about the economy, let’s go there:

The Economy:

  1. The US will have massive inflation.  The dollar will lose at least 50% of its value against most goods and services, and certainly against the goods and services most people use every day.  This is a very conservative estimate.  It will probably be much worse.

OK, this clearly hasn’t happened yet. And if it hasn’t happened before the end of Obama’s first term, I will admit I was wrong about this. However I still maintain that it will happen – and fairly soon.

This isn’t just some random prediction. Since the housing and stock market collapses of 2008, the government and the Federal Reserve have been pursuing even more inflationary policies than those that caused the problem in the first place. The graph below helps to illustrate the magnitude of just how much new money has been put into the economy through government stimulus and bailouts. This shows the level of excess reserves – reserves held above the required ratio to deposits. This excess is currently just sitting there – it has not yet been lent out. But when the banks start lending it out (and it looks like they are starting to), it will create massive inflation. (For a more scholarly understanding of how creating more money is inflationary, see this Scrooge McDuck cartoon.)

  1. Unemployment in the US will be worse than it is now.  It will be at least in the double digits.

I should have been more specific with this one. The official unemployment rate in January of 2009 was 7.8%. It is now 8.3%. So I got the first part of this right. I’ll concede the second part, but not because unemployment isn’t in the double digits – it actually is. Official unemployment measurements do not include either short-term or long-term “discouraged workers”, nor do they include those who work part-time because they cannot find full-time work. Once you include these groups, the current rate of unemployment is around 22%, putting it in the double digits. But real unemployment was already in the double digits back when I made this prediction, at around 16.5%. So I say that I got the first part of this right but not the second.

As a relevant aside: In promoting its 2009 stimulus plan, the Obama administration made the claim that without the stimulus, unemployment would rise. It presented a graph to illustrate its projections for just how bad unemployment would get unless government spent hundreds of billions of dollars stimulating the economy. Well, government DID spend hundreds of billions of dollars stimulating the economy and guess what? The unemployment rate rose even higher than the government’s worst-case scenario projections (see graph).

So what? There’s no better alternative to Obama.

When Obama passed the NDAA bill, it gave me chills. Not because of the terrifying implications of the bill itself, but because I really believed he might veto it – not on the grounds he had stated when he threatened to, but in order to placate those of his supporters who are rightly concerned about the erosion of civil liberties. When he did not, I realized – more clearly than I ever had before – that he feels no need to placate anyone.

This fact was driven home to me when I spoke with some of my friends who had supported Obama in ’08 and were disappointed with what they’ve seen so far. One said to me that despite her disappointment, she was probably going to vote for him again because she feared it would be “worse” with whoever the Republican nominee was. I have come to realize that, for those who are immersed in the two-party system and who truly believe there is a difference between Republican and Democrat, there is literally nothing their candidate can do that will cause them to withdraw their support. Like a battered spouse who simply can’t imagine anything better than what they’ve got, they cling to their man because they believe that the other side can always produce something worse.

The truth is that we live in a one-party state. And until more people come to realize this and to reject the Party’s rule over their lives, its grip will just continue to tighten. So it probably seems odd that I’m going to recommend that you vote, and even odder that I ask you to vote for a Republican candidate. But I am.

Ron Paul has a thirty-plus year history of opposing aggressive wars, violations of personal freedom and the government spending and monetary policy that are now bankrupting our country. He also has a thirty-plus year record of keeping his word and voting his conscience, which is more than I can say for any other politician.

Maybe you don’t want to vote for Ron Paul because you object to some of his policy views. I think writer Anna O. Morgenstern addressed this concern quite well when she said:

“…if you’re going to slag off on Ron Paul for his (admittedly flawed) domestic policy views, then you’re sort of missing the point. His main appeal is that he’s the only anti-war candidate, and the war(s) are one of the few things that are directly under a president’s control. So if you vote for someone else, you’re basically saying “I’m willing to sacrifice innocent foreigners to have a better domestic policy”.

And keep in mind that under Obama, or for any of the establishment candidates, “a better domestic policy” includes a massive transfer of wealth from ordinary Americans to big financial corporations, arresting and jailing people indefinitely without charging them, and maintaining the highest prison population in the world.

The best part about what I’m suggesting though is that you don’t have to give up your option to vote for Obama in the presidential election in order to support Ron Paul. You can vote for Ron Paul in the Republican primaries (which are going on right now) help him to win the Republican nomination, and in no way be bound to vote for him in the general election. Should he not win the nomination, or should you just decide in November that you still prefer Obama, you can still vote for Obama. But think about it: A presidential race between Barack Obama and Ron Paul. Would you really choose Obama? If yes, I’d really like to know why.

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. There are ten primaries and caucuses, eight of which are open or “semi-open”, meaning that you don’t have to register Republican in order to vote. (To find out whether your state has open or closed primaries, go here.) If you live in one of the Super Tuesday states, please think about going out and voting for Ron Paul. And please ask everyone you know to do the same.

When I made my predictions three years ago, I wrote:

“For years, I have said that real progress towards peace, freedom and respect for individual rights cannot come from working within the very system that sustains itself through war and the expansion of state power over people’s lives.  If in fact the Obama administration does herald great and significant change in these areas that we agree upon, then I promise to rethink these beliefs… If I am wrong about this, then I promise to re-think everything.  But if I am not, then I hope you will do the same.  Let’s talk again in four years.”

If anything, my beliefs about political systems have only been reinforced by what I’ve seen these past three years: That political systems and politicians serve only their own interests, that they cause the problems they purport to cure, and that there is no significant difference between the Republican and Democratic Parties, both of which serve to expand the state at our expense.

We should of course be wary of placing our hopes for “change” in a politician who will rule over us. Any politician. Even Ron Paul. If we want to live in peace, then we must reject the coercive violence upon which a political system is built. We cannot continue to grant individuals the right to rule over others, the monopoly to both make and enforce laws, the monopoly on “justice” and on defense – and then act surprised when those individuals use their powers to their own benefit and to our detriment.

Ron Paul is the “anti-politician”. He is the anomaly, the exception that proves the rule that politicians cannot be trusted. I don’t support him because I believe he is the answer to all of our problems – we’re going to have to dig a lot deeper for that. I support him because I believe that if elected, he stands a good chance of putting a halt to the bloodshed that is US foreign policy and to putting a big dent into the massive injustice that is our justice system. I believe that he would do everything in his power to restore habeas corpus, and to put the brakes on the government spending, corporate bailouts and inflationary policies that are running the economy into the ground.

If any of these are things that you care about, then go and vote for Ron Paul in the Republican primaries. Register Republican if you have to, just do it! If you don’t, fine. That’s your choice and I guess you’ve got your reasons. But don’t come running to me when your man disappoints you once again.

March 5, 2012

Bretigne Shaffer [send her mail] was a journalist in Asia for many years. She is the author of Memoirs of a Gaijin and Why Mommy Loves the State. She blogs at www.bretigne.com.

How Ron Paul’s “Minions” Plan to Hijack the GOP Convention

March 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Americas

 

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Ethan Miller / Getty Images

THE BEAST

Ron Paul is orchestrating a highly unusual, yet precisely organized, grassroots effort to bring as many loyal delegates as possible to the Republican National Convention. Romney’s campaign has some mass appeal but invites little passion. Paul’s might have even fewer supporters than Romney but their energetic zeal could culminate in having an outsize influence at the RNC without having won a single primary.

Each state selects its delegates to the Republican National Convention differently, and as has often been reported, the process of a candidate “winning a state” is not as simple as a plurality on primary day. An obscure process of country, district, and state conventions exists to appoint these delegates to the national convention. A candidate who can successfully manipulate these lesser known “behind-the-scenes” processes can put himself in an advantageous position should the Convention begin in August with some doubt about the identity of the nominee.

Focusing on one Super Tuesday state, Georgia, this process began with “mass precinct meetings” on February 18th to select delegates to the county conventions. After the March 6 primary, Georgia’s 159 county conventions take place March 10. These will elect delegates to the district conventions scheduled for April 14. While some at-large delegates emerge from the state convention, most are selected at Georgia’s thirteen district conventions. Ideally, the Paul campaign would like for its supporters to compose 51% of the attendees at each district convention so that its supporters can make motions, control the proceedings, and make sure its supporters get nominated as delegates to the national convention.

The Paul campaign has rigorously organized its volunteers to attend the mass precinct meetings that took place all over Georgia. It has been instructing supporters on parliamentary procedure and state Republican rules. It is also giving advice on convention etiquette. In an e-mail to supporters, Charles Gregory, Georgia State Coordinator for Ron Paul 2012, wrote:

“It is my personal recommendation that you dress professionally and not overtly identify yourself as a Ron Paul supporter. Your position should simply be: “I’m here to send Obama home, that’s all I care about.” If asked who you support—just say you ‘haven’t made up your mind yet but they’re all better than what we’ve got now,’ etc.”

I myself attended a similar precinct meeting in 2008. Most of the speeches were about uniting the Party around the eventual nominee and there was relatively little conflict, and I easily got my name on the slate of delegates to the county, district, and state conventions.

The most recent meetings held in Georgia have not been like this at all.

A Paul supporter in my hometown of Warner Robins, GA described how the strategy played out at Houston County’s mass precinct meeting last Saturday. (Video of the meeting is available here.)  The story he tells, and one I’ve corroborated with other witnesses, is one of chaos. The GOP county leadership is aware of the strength of the Paul wave, but handcuffed by state party rules designed to bolster the party by allowing large numbers of people to get involved.

These meetings have not always been well attended, so it becomes common practice for names to be added to delegate lists, even if those people are not present at the meeting. The low attendance coupled with the openness to adding random names to delegate lists leaves them vulnerable to insurgencies like Paul’s. Knowing this, the Paul campaign had distributed lists of local supporters’ names to attendees. It instructed supporters to fill in the vacant slots with loyal names.

My friend described the disruption that followed:

Near the end of the caucusing it became known that names were being nominated as delegates who were not present at the meeting. This practice was encouraged by the Ron Paul campaign which has made it clear that they are running a delegate strategy. When the chairperson caught word of this, confusion ensued. He instructed everyone that this was not permissible under the rules and the crowd shouted back. However this is acceptable and the Ron Paul campaign had even directed its delegates to the state rulebook for proof.

Members of the county leadership, especially those with “Newt Gingrich 2012” stickers, did not have a pleasant and supportive attitude during this process. It also became clear to me at this point that the people who knew the rules were Ron Paul supporters. There were dozens of people, mainly young and middle aged, who reacted to this controversy exactly as the Ron Paul delegates were trained to do.

I have seen a few comments about this event afterwards, and one specifically complained that the Ron Paul backers attempted to hijack the event and they caused all the problems. From what I saw the Ron Paul supporters were very close to a majority if they did not have one outright at the meeting. It is my understanding that this event was the other way around, the county GOP leadership attempted to hijack the meeting away from the majority.

Members of the GOP may try and find other ways to block Paul’s supporters, but their options are limited when the Paul campaign uses each state’s Republican Party rules against it. The evidence suggests that events like this one in central Georgia are playing out all across the nation. Only time will tell how effective this is, but it is clear that the Paul campaign is desperate to create a major splash at Tampa this summer any way it can.

 

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com.

Roger Ebert Wants a Paul-Gingrich Debate: “Poor fuzzy-mouthed Gingrich would be cruelly mismatched.”

February 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Media

TWO THUMBS UP!

Ya know... a Lincoln style Debate... Scared Newt?


 

Via the Daily Paul

Following CNN’s decision to cancel the final debate before Super Tuesday for lack of participants (Romney and Santorum declined to attend), Roger Ebert laments that CNN failed to capitalize on what surely would have been a ratings bonanza: A two-man Paul-Gingrich debate.

Here is snip from Ebert’s blog on the Chicago Sun Times: The Debate that Wasn’t Held

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The debates have fallen into a miasma of sameness, with the usual sound bites recycled endlessly. The purpose of the candidates is to get through them safely without putting their feet in their mouths. This late in the season, there’s little chance of anyone springing a surprise except by mistake, as when Mitt described himself as a “severe conservative.” The press and viewers are united in one hope: That someone will make an error.

But imagine Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich sharing the stage. Paul has already thrown down the gauntlet by accusing Mitt of not being a “true conservative.” No matter what that charge means, no one is likely to make it against Paul.

Two men on stage. They can run, but they can’t hide. Ron Paul would flourish in such a format. He is the most plain-spoken and articulate of the candidates, the master of the zinger, the expert in sound bites, the most gifted at saying what he thinks directly and with humor. Against his verbal skills, poor fuzzy-mouthed Gingrich would be cruelly mismatched.

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Well worth the full read at The Chicago Sun Times

 

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