On Friday, Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) was stopped by a couple of college kids with video cameras and asked if he supported President Barack Obama’s agenda. Rather than answer than answer the question, Etheridge asked the students who they were and physically attacked one of the kids.
Here is the first angle, from the kid who was roughed up by Etheridge:
The second angle, which provides a better view:
Many political analysts and observers are wondering if the retirement of Rep. David Obey (D-WI) is an indictator of how bad November is looking for Democrats. As Rick Klein notes, Obey should be safe in theory:
For Obey, every one of those elections has been a cakewalk with the exception of two: 1) In 1969, when, in his first race for Congress, he narrowly won a special election to replace Rep. Melvin Laird, who had just been appointed Defense Secretary by Richard Nixon; and, 2) in 1994, when the Republican revolution gave him a bit of a scare. Although, even in 1994, Obey won by an 8-point margin.
Last year, Obey won re-election by a 22-point margin.
But this year, Obey was facing a tough re-election fight against a 38-year-old Republican District Attorney from Ashland County, Wisconsin named Sean Duffy.
By itself, Obey’s retirement is not that big of a deal. The guy has been in for 40 years. He’s likely reached the pinnacle of his career as chairman of the Appropriations Committee. The fact that he has decided to announce his retirement in May of an election year is the surprise. The Weekly Standard speculates that Obey saw the writing on the wall and didn’t like his prospects of winding up in the minority in the House.
Take that and add the dismal voter turnout in the Democratic primaries in Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio, all states that Barack Obama won in 2008:
Amazon.com is suing to protect the privacy and First Amendment rights of customers from the State of North Carolina, which wants the names of any residents that purchased items from the retailer since 2003:
The suit, filed Monday in federal court in Seattle, names Revenue Secretary Ken Lay as the defendant. Amazon is seeking a court order that would halt the Revenue Department’s efforts as a violation of the First Amendment.
Because Amazon has no offices or warehouses in North Carolina, the company isn’t required to collect the customary sales tax on shipments. North Carolina requests voluntary compliance from taxpayers, asking them to include a “consumer use tax” on their individual income tax returns for anything purchased or received through the mail.
Last year, North Carolina passed a law that required out-of-sate retailers to collect sales tax in the state if they have marketing affiliates within the state. Amazon responded by ending its affiliate program in North Carolina and currently doesn’t collect sales tax in the state.
“If Amazon is forced to comply with this demand, the disclosure will invade the privacy and violate the First Amendment rights of Amazon and its customers on a massive scale,” the suit states. “The (Revenue Department) does not need personally identifiable information about Amazon’s customers in order to audit Amazon’s compliance with state tax laws. All it needs to know is what items Amazon sold to North Carolina customers and what they paid, and Amazon has already provided that information.”
[Spokeswoman Beth] Stevenson couldn’t say why state officials need customer names and addresses for an audit of Amazon’s compliance with tax laws.
B.J. Lawson, a friend of UL and candidate for the GOP nomination in North Carolina’s Fourth Congressional District, spoke at the Tea Party rally in Raleigh on Tax Day last week.
Here is the video of his speech:
In case you weren’t already worrying that our nation’s politicians were living on another planet, here’s another reason to believe they are:
“My job is to be nice to other people, and their job is to be nice to me. Just because they’re not doing theirs doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do mine,” [North Carolina Governor] Easley said in audio of the interview posted on The News & Record’s Web site on Christmas Day.
Since you’re reading a libertarian blog, dear reader, you probably already know that it is certainly not the job of the media to be nice to elected officials. The job is to ask questions and hold feet to the fire.
I’ll leave being nice to politicians to Keith Olbermann.
The people have spoken, and in this case a picture is worth a thousand words:
Since Dr. Paul’s email went out, we have raised $230,000, with $180,000 in the past 24 hours. We’ve been informed that is the largest single-day fundraising total for a North Carolina congressional candidate ever. (Perhaps nationally? How quickly did Dr. Paul raise his Congressional money?)
A lot of folks have begun calling B.J. Lawson the next Ron Paul. The comparison is very flattering… for me.
For those who are not yet familiar, B.J. Lawson is a wonderful young candidate running for Congress in North Carolina’s Fourth Congressional District. B.J. is a medical doctor, family man, Constitutionalist and a fierce defender of individual freedom. We need B.J. Lawson in Congress to stand beside me in the fight for liberty, and against the corporate socialism that has overtaken our economy!
Nothing like a midnight press release from the SEC to let us know that all is well:
SEC Halts Short Selling of Financial Stocks to Protect Investors and Markets
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Commission Also Takes Steps to Increase Market Transparency and Liquidity
Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2008 — The Securities and Exchange Commission, acting in concert with the U.K. Financial Services Authority, today took temporary emergency action to prohibit short selling in financial companies to protect the integrity and quality of the securities market and strengthen investor confidence. The U.K. FSA took similar action yesterday.
- Emergency Order, Release No. 34-58592.pdf
- Emergency Order, Release No. 34-58591.pdf
- Emergency Order, Release No. 34-58588.pdf
- Form SH
- Form SH Instructions
The Commission’s action will apply to the securities of 799 financial companies. The action is immediately effective.
SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said, “The Commission is committed to using every weapon in its arsenal to combat market manipulation that threatens investors and capital markets. The emergency order temporarily banning short selling of financial stocks will restore equilibrium to markets. This action, which would not be necessary in a well-functioning market, is temporary in nature and part of the comprehensive set of steps being taken by the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, and the Congress.”
I visited China in the summer of 2007 while everything was bubbly and beautiful in their equities markets. Our group met with a representative of the Shenzhen stock exchange, who told us how the Chinese government had taken steps to ensure that China’s markets would always be stable and prosperous. The government knows who is buying and selling every position, so they can identify “market manipulators.” Most importantly, the government has outlawed short selling.
How has this transparency and forbidding short selling helped the Chinese market over the past year?
Happy Constitution Day!
Here’s a quick reminder about the Lawson Liberty Fund- today is the day to donate- and I encourage you to give generously. Dr. Lawson may not be running to be your Congressman, but he will represent your interests and be a voice for liberty in Congress. With your support, we could have two “Dr. No”s in the House.
B J released some exciting results from the poll he took, which encouraged me to give even more than I’d planned.
By: BJ Lawson
As you know, I’m a big believer in transparency in government. That translates into transparency in campaigns, as well — especially since our campaign is supported by so many people. Many have asked for insight into how we’re doing, and tonight we received results from our first poll.
We called a sample of 1,105 households across the district, stratified by precinct. Before we hit the results, let’s review our district’s demographics:
As you can see, while Democrats far outnumber Republicans, Unaffiliated voters and any swing Democrats can provide a margin of victory.
Here is the sample that we polled:
So our sample had significantly more Democrats than the overall district, with slightly fewer Republicans, and significantly fewer Unaffiliateds.
Here are our results:
Considering that our ten-term incumbent typically wins this district with 65% of the vote, he’s off from his typical pace. Furthermore, the presence of 13% undecided is not exactly bullish for a ten-term incumbent who advertises liberally with taxpayer-financed mailings.
At this point, it appears we have reason to redouble our efforts towards this election. Not only are we maintaining our base, but we picked up five percent from Unaffiliated and Democratic voters — only 26% of our sample was Republican, and we’re polling at 31%. While our incumbent is polling at 56%, the sample was 57% Democratic — and the overall district is only 46% Democratic.
We know it’s time for change. I wouldn’t want to run against change this year. Nor would I want to run against a federal government that follows the Constitution.
Today is Constitution Day — please donate to fund our mail and media campaign, and help us win this election.