Archives for May 2012
There is always ego involved in politics, there is no denying that. Some elected officials may say that they are public servants or what have you, but that’s a talking point more than anything else, so a certain amount of arrogance and narcissism is expected when dealing with elected officials. But what you don’t expect is a president to go through White House biographies of their predecessors to invoke themselves:
Many of President Obama’s fervent devotees are young enough not to have much memory of the political world before the arrival of The One. Coincidentally, Obama himself feels the same way—and the White House’s official website reflects that.
The Heritage Foundation’s Rory Cooper tweeted that Obama had casually dropped his own name into Ronald Reagan’s official biography on www.whitehouse.gov, claiming credit for taking up the mantle of Reagan’s tax reform advocacy with his “Buffett Rule” gimmick. My first thought was, he must be joking. But he wasn’t—it turns out Obama has added bullet points bragging about his own accomplishments to the biographical sketches of every single U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge (except, for some reason, Gerald Ford). Here are a few examples:
Conservatives and Tea Party groups have been working recently in several states to influence Republican Senate primaries. You know that Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) was recently defeated by Richard Mourdock. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) could face a similar fate at the hands of Dan Liljenquist, though that’s less likely. And with more money being sent to help Ted Cruz in Texas, they could see another huge victory there.
However, conservatives are divided in Nebraska. Jon Bruning, who was once seen as the frontrunner in the GOP Senate primary in the Cornhusker State, has been beaten and battered, but thanks to endorsements by prominent figures and grassroots groups, the conservative vote has been split, leading Matt Lewis to conclude that they may have missed an opportunity:
Things were so much simpler just one week ago, when Sen. Dick Lugar was the obvious villain and Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock was the conservative alternative. One short week later, with no squishy incumbent to oust, all three Nebraska Republicans are vying to occupy the conservative mantle.
And thanks to the seemingly schizophrenic endorsements of prominent national conservatives, the waters are thoroughly muddied.
Thomas Jefferson once said, ” I don’t care what my neighbor does as long as he doesn’t pick my pocket or break my leg.” I wish Rush and Rand Paul believed the same thing.
Recently President Obama changed his mind on gay marriage. That’s not a big surprise since one out of six of his bundlers, those who raise huge amounts of cash for his campaign, are gay. Neither is it a big surprise that Rush Limbaugh and the Religious Right are still against gay marriage. What is surprising is that Rand Paul agrees not with those who want more liberty for folks but with those who want some people to have less. I had hoped that Rand Paul would carry the Torch of Liberty into the 2016 presidential race, but I don’t think so after his remarks he made last Friday.
Rand Paul has been an ardent supporter of Liberty in the Senate since being elected. Often times he has been the lone dissenting voice arguing against war in Syria and Iran and the expansion of the federal government at home. That is why it shocked me to hear what he said about Obama and the president’s stance on gay marriage. Rand Paul said that “Obama’s remarks could not get any gayer.”
As I have previously mentioned, I am a Ron Paul supporter and have served as a grassroots coordinator and served in the delegate process. These write-ups are not so much “news” as they are “views of the revolution” from an activist’s point of view. I had originally done a recap of this past weekend’s state conventions. That can still be found below after I discuss the big developments from yesterday.
So yesterday afternoon I started seeing twitter postings that caught my eye, I then proceeded to open up my email inbox and read the following message from Dr. Paul.
Almost instantly, I saw a few retweets from Drudge Report on my feed. “Paul’s Out,” screamed the headline…it was yet another example of why I’m so glad I started boycotting that hack’s site almost a month ago over his complete silence of anything relating to CISPA (can’t make Republicans look bad). But I digress…
What proceeded over the next couple of hours was nothing short of information overload: Media outlets basically running with the MSM fallacy of Paul leaving the race or suspending his campaign mixed with Paul-friendly sites trying to squelch that misinformation with their own media surge. It finally got to the point where the campaign had to send out another communication. There were also fellow activists either talking like it was the end of the world or theorizing about how it was this Machiavellian stroke of sheer genius. And naturally, there have been surly comments of Paul “selling out” or trying to set up his son’s political future.
Democrats in Wisconsin are upset that the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association aren’t sending money up to their state to defeat Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), who has been targeted after proposing perfectly reasonable changes to the state’s collective bargaining laws, in the upcoming recall election. Greg Sargent notes:
Top Wisconsin Democrats are furious with the national party — and the Democratic National Committee in particular — for refusing their request for a major investment in the battle to recall Scott Walker, I’m told.
The failure to put up the money Wisconsin Dems need to execute their recall plan comes at a time when the national Republican Party is sinking big money into defending Walker, raising fears that the DNC’s reluctance could help tip the race his way.
“We are frustrated by the lack of support from the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association,” a top Wisconsin Democratic Party official tells me. “Scott Walker has the full support and backing of the Republican Party and all its tentacles. We are not getting similar support.”
“Considering that Scott Walker has already spent $30 million and we’re even in the polls, this is a winnable race,” the Wisconsin Dem continues. “We can get outspent two to one or five to one. We can’t get spent 20 to one.”
This may cause one to scratch their head, but the most recent poll out of Wisconsin shows that Walker has a nine point lead over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett with just a few weeks to go until the election:
No, I’m not suggesting a name change for the blog. What I’m talking about is the concept called “ordered liberty,” which is frequently used by conservatives as an attempt to appeal to libertarians. “Why, yes,” they say, “We believe in liberty, but we think it should be ordered.” It came up during a debate at Cato last year between Cato interns and Heritage Foundation interns (unless my memory is horrifically mistaken) and I’ve seen it be deployed in arguments across social networks. It was recently used on one blog, regarding the Amendment One vote in North Carolina, noting that incestrous relationships and polygamy were “detrimental to ordered liberty.”
But what exactly is ordered liberty? I’ve never really figured out just what, if anything, people using the term are really trying to say.
The two people that the term appears to have come from are giants in the field of conservatism: Edmund Burke and Russell Kirk. These two are probably the intellectual giants of modern American conservatism*, along with William F. Buckley. It was they who came up with this phrase, which, for what I can deduce, is essentially that liberty is not allowed to run completely amok, and that there must be some limits.
Now in the political beliefs of what we call “Christian civilization” or “Western civilization”—of which American civilization is a part—there are three cardinal ideas: the idea of justice, the idea of order, and the idea of freedom. These three great concepts are the cement of American society.
Back in February the uproar over the contraceptive mandate, which would have required religious organizations to pay for birth control even if they thought it morally unacceptable, ended as a political loser for Republicans. They were pegged, no thanks to Rick Santorum and other social conservatives, as engaging in a “war on women.”
The ploy ended up being a boost for Democrats as they were able to get the focus off the economy and onto a wedge social issue. President Barack Obama was hoping for a repeat of this last week when he announced his support for gay marriage, only this time, Republicans largely did not bite.
Now, Obama is changing his game, going right after Mitt Romney on his jobs record and slamming his time in the private sector at Bain Capital with this ad:
While Republicans have constantly tried to dismiss his campaign, Ron Paul has certainly showed that there is a strong battle for the heart and soul of the party; pitting limited government conservatives and libertarians up against the establishment. But Paul hinted yesterday that, while his campaign has had success in exposing these fissures, he has decided to scale back his operation:
An announcement from Rep. Ron Paul indicates that the Republican presidential candidate will no longer actively campaign for the GOP nomination, but will continue to work to secure delegates at upcoming Republican state conventions. “Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted,” said Paul, in a statement released Monday afternoon. “Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have.”
But the longtime congressman from Texas, who’s making his third bid for the White House, says he’ll continue to try and secure delegates to the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida in late August.
“Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future,” adds Paul, in his statement.
Paul hasn’t suspended his campaign, as some media outlets are reporting. The delegate strategy that his supporters are carrying out at caucuses and state conventions is very much alive. However, it seems that Paul is more interested in gaining enough delegates to make changes to the platform, rather than to ruin Romney’s chance at the nomination.
As many of you may already know, insvestment banking firm J.P Morgan recently lost nearly $2.3 billion dollars on some very, very, bad bets.
Sources in the MSM accordingly, show a trader only dignified by the sobriquet ‘London Whale’ was able to hedge together larger shares of Morgan company money and place them on malevolent trade returns. They did not pay off.
Some circles call it business as usual. Other circles call this collusion, or extended risk. Yet others would call this, hedging- or: placing large assets on wide-open targets, at just the right time and place. I don’t need to mention the implications of this; we’re back to 2007, when the Recession we are currently in, evolved- by these means.
Now, clearly- you could claim- the company knew what it’s employees were aiming at with their stoked assets. They didn’t. This story is just emerging, but it seems clear that this is a perfect example of those who don’t know what they are doing, laksadaising large amounts of money; and wielding power so great, there could be serious repercussions.
Gladly, at least so far, there have been few.
Nevertheless, what this shows is not only nefariousness on the part of some, but also the evident close ties in finance between Europe and the United States. We may think this country is just pulling from a recession, when in reality we’re right back to 2007, or earlier.
Entire Markets and nations are tanking in Europe: acidic debt scouring away at the health of entire economies. The European Union ready to dissect into multiple breakaway-province nationalities. National furor is high, while economic support has hit all-time lows.
At first sight, the entire investments-gone-wrong scenario would yearn for more oversight- but beware of what you ask for! Oversight by whom? I don’t think market regulation is a particularly good example of solving fiscal ‘problems’ by any stretch of the economic imagination.
I’ll fully admit to being a devout cynic when it comes to politics. On the issue of gay marriage, this is very easy to be. Opponents prey on the inherent discomfort many have with homosexuality to drive people to oppose marriage equality, offering almost nothing in the way of reasoning or logic. But proponents (or at least those who claim to be) are playing games too.
Look no further than President Obama’s announcement last week that suddenly, after years of standing against same-sex marriage rights, he had “evolved” to the point where he now personally supported the right of gays to marry. But in saying so, Obama included a caveat that renders the entire position practically inert - that he still supported the ability of states to decide the matter. While it is encouraging to see Obama supporting both marriage rights and the 10th Amendment, his statement does nothing.
Instead, Obama and his team are playing a pretty despicable game on gay rights supporters. Support gay marriage in rhetoric, thus gaining the support of millions who long for the ability to marry their loved ones; but in reality, fail to demonstrate the slightest interest or desire to change it. Compare this to Obama’s position on health care. On that issue, a subject that he and I deeply disagree on, Obama spent nearly a year fighting for what eventually became known as ObamaCare. He devoted huge amounts of political capital and time. But on gay marriage, the best he can offer is a nice statement.