Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Giuliani Runs to the Far Right (Updated)

Apparently the AP misquoted Guiliani as saying Osama instead of Assad (Pres, of Syria) blogger Phillip Klein picked up on the error while watching Countdown. I took a listen and he's right.**

Looks like he's trying to shed any semblance of "liberalism" or even centrism.

From Breitbart

On Iran, Giuliani criticized Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., also a candidate for president, for saying they would engage in diplomatic relations with Iran. Obama has said he would be willing to meet with Iran's leader in the first year of his presidency without conditions; Clinton has said envoys below the presidential level should begin diplomatic work.

"This is the world we live in. It's not this happy, romantic-like world where we'll negotiate with this one, or we'll negotiate with that one and there will be no preconditions, and we'll invite (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad to the White House, we'll invite Osama (bin Laden) to the White House," Giuliani said.

"Hillary and Obama are kind of debating whether to invite them to the inauguration or the inaugural ball," he added.

I understand the Nixonian strategy of "run to the right then run to the center" but I'm thinking that Giuliani's ploy of "Run to the fringe" is going to bite him in the keister with independents. Clinton is one one of the more hawkish Dems and Obama's strategy isn't "pull out once I'm elected". His comment was unfair and unfounded. In my mind the more he talks the scarier he gets. I think that in his bid to woo the remaining members of the GOP he will ultimately scare away moderates and independents thereby throwing the election to the Dem nominee.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Spammers for Ron Paul

This is an ugly development. Some Ron Paul supporters apparently thought that upgrading from comment spam to actual spam was a good idea.

From the University of Alabama at Birmingham

UAB Spam Team Spots First Presidential Campaign Spam
Anti-spam researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) noted a disturbing new trend following Sunday's Republican Candidates Presidential debate. One of the candidates has a new spam campaign dedicated to proclaiming him victorious in the debate and extolling his virtues as the future president.

There is no reason to believe the current spam campaign is actually endorsed by Ron Paul or his official campaign engine, according to Gary Warner, UAB Director of Research in Computer Forensics.

The new messages have headlines such as:

Ron Paul Wins GOP Debate!
Ron Paul Eliminates the IRS!
Ron Paul Stops Iraq War!
Vote Ron Paul 2008!
Iraq Scam Exposed, Ron Paul
Government Wasteful Spending Eliminated By Ron Paul

Warner says, "We've seen many previous emails reported as spam from other campaigns or parties, but when we've investigated them, they all were sent from the legitimate parties." The important distinction between the new emails and previous emails, Warner says, is the fraudulent nature of the message. Legitimate messages tell who they are from, and provide a means of "unsubscribing" from future messages from the same source.
I've previously mentioned that if Ron Paul supporters want their candidate to be taken seriously they are going to have to start policing their own. Illegal and annoying tactics like this are counterproductive. If the community of Ron Paul supporters doesn't start taking steps to decry those that perform such actions your silence might be viewed as tacit approval and ultimately end up hurting Ron Paul.

Last Call

Update: "The Letter" is scheduled to be sent on Nov. 5th

Over at
Central Sanity Pete Abel has drafted (and redrafted) sort of an open Letter to Republican Leaders that is well worth reading regardless of your political affiliation or lack thereof. He sent it out to the groups mentioned and has received a response from the Republican Leadership Council requesting a conference call.

If you believe that the GOP needs to make the changes he has suggested then please either email him to sign it and/or post it on your blog. So without further adieu here it is:

We, the undersigned, are Republicans.

Through separate but cooperative organizations we are a growing force within the Party.

Republican candidates will need to increasingly reckon with us in the months and years ahead, as we organize and mobilize for no purpose less dramatic than the rescue of our Party and the refocusing of its platform on the bedrock principles of individual liberty and limited government; lower taxes and free markets; a strong national defense and collaborative foreign policy.

We intend this letter as an encouragement to GOP leaders who: (a) embrace those bedrock principles but recognize that the narrow-minded strategies of certain social conservatives have made our Party a shadow of its former self, and thus (b) reject these social conservatives’ alienating approach and prefer what former U.S. Senator John Danforth has labeled a politics of “reconciliation,” a politics wherein we seek to emphasize what unites rather than what divides us. If you fit in this category, we encourage you to speak up and boldly state your beliefs, without equivocation. And if certain social conservatives attack you for doing so, we – the real Republican base – will be there to lend our support.

We believe the wise use of taxpayer dollars requires our government to avoid deficits and the enormous and unnecessary burden those deficits will place on future generations.

We believe in personal responsibility, self-reliance, capitalism, and the power of markets – markets that are allowed to operate with the least possible degree of regulation that is necessary to safeguard fair play and equal opportunity.

We believe in prudent actions that advance our national security, grounded in a foreign policy that, quoting former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, is “premised on the understanding that the rest of the world matters to us,” and that thus we should guard “against becoming ensnared in nation-building enterprises and push for policies that engage us with the world community and show, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, ‘a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.’”

We believe in the U.S. Constitution, its checks and balances, and importantly, the protections it affords our states and citizens. We further believe those protections should be consistently applied, both in times of war and of peace. The war on terror should not be a war on habeas corpus.

We believe in maximizing personal liberty and minimizing government interference in our private lives, including the lives of pregnant women, terminally ill patients, gays, lesbians, and all other categories of responsible, law-abiding adults. Again quoting Governor Whitman: “The defining feature of the conservative viewpoint is a faith in the ability, and a respect for the right, of individuals to make their own decisions – economic, social, and spiritual – about their lives. The true conservative understands that government’s track record in respecting individual rights is poor when it dictates individual choices. Accordingly, the conservative desires to limit government’s reach as much as possible. Traditional conservatives adhere to the maxim, often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, that government governs best that governs least.”

We further believe that the truest pro-life position is one which allows and encourages the ethical pursuit of all scientific research that holds promise for mitigating diseases that afflict our families and friends.

We believe the education of our young people is critical to our future as a nation and that realistic, fiscally conservative policies should be developed to further advance educational standards, opportunities, and access, from the lowest grades to the highest, from kindergarten through college.

We believe in reasonable policies that will advance the health of our citizens, with an emphasis on children, seniors, and others who are truly in need and cannot otherwise afford health care.

We also believe in reasonable policies that will advance the health of our environment, with careful attention paid to protecting our economic vitality and objective analyses of the pro’s and con’s of alternative energy sources.

In summary, we embrace what management guru Jim Collins – in his bestselling book Built to Last – called the “Genius of the AND.” We believe the GOP and its members can and should be simultaneously pro-choice and pro-life; pro-environment and pro-economy; pro-family and pro-liberty; pro-budget and pro-opportunity; pro-security and pro-Constitution. These beliefs need not be contradictory nor exclusive.

If you are or know an incumbent or prospective Republican candidate who shares these beliefs and who wants the larger GOP to stand united behind them, we encourage you to let us know, so that we can add you or your candidate to our roster of those we will support with our votes, voices, volunteers, and dollars.

For info on how to sign it please visit Central Sanity.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Coming Carbonated Crisis

From the Denver Post:

Shortages may put head on beer prices

SUNNYSIDE, WASH. — Fans of Snipes Mountain Brewery's cloudy Hefeweizen relish the subtle wheat flavor of the bright, summery brew, and like beer drinkers everywhere, they know when their favorite brew tastes a little too hoppy or bitter.

Connoisseurs could be in for a surprise this year, and they may not be alone.

Small brewers from Australia to Oregon face the daunting prospect of tweaking their recipes or experimenting less with new brews thanks to a worldwide shortage of one key beer ingredient and rising prices for others.

Oh, and one other thing: Beer prices are likely to climb. Craft brewers don't have the means to hedge against rising prices, like their industrial rivals.

"I'm guessing, at a minimum, at least a 10 percent jump in beer prices for the average consumer before the end of the year," said Terry Butler, brewmaster at central Washington's Snipes Mountain.

Fuel, aluminum and glass prices have been going up quickly over a period of several years. Barley and wheat prices have skyrocketed as more farmers plant corn to meet increasing demand for ethanol, while others plant feed crops to replace acres lost to corn.

CNN's Headline News reported today that micro brewed beers could hit ten dollars a six pack. Even as I speak Texas' beloved Shiner beers are steadily marching steadily towards eight dollars a six pack. This price increase is part of the larger trend that includes higher dairy and beef prices that was caused by the subsidization of corn to create more ethanol to help us achieve energy independence.

So what's a fella to do? Either eat the price increases and consider it your contribution to energy independence , lobby your lawmakers to promote waste based ethanol research, or do some homework on brewing your own beer.

Given the current bulk grain prices at the store this could spur on a new trend of home brewing.

Friday, October 26, 2007

McCain Takes Giuliani to Task on Torture

From the NY Times

Rudolph W. Giuliani’s statement on Wednesday that he was uncertain whether waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique, was torture drew a sharp rebuke yesterday from Senator John McCain, who said that his failure to call it torture reflected his inexperience.

“All I can say is that it was used in the Spanish Inquisition, it was used in Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia, and there are reports that it is being used against Buddhist monks today,” Mr. McCain, who spent more than five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, said in a telephone interview.

Of presidential candidates like Mr. Giuliani, who say that they are unsure whether waterboarding is torture, Mr. McCain said: “They should know what it is. It is not a complicated procedure. It is torture.”

Mr. Giuliani said on Wednesday night at a forum in Davenport, Iowa, that he favored “aggressive questioning” of terrorism suspects and using “means that are a little tougher” with terrorists but that the United States should not torture people. On the question of whether waterboarding is torture, however, Mr. Giuliani said he was unsure.

“It depends on how it’s done,” he said, adding that he was unsure whether descriptions of the practice by the “liberal media” were accurate. “It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it.”

The article also points out that McCain's view of torture is similar to my own:

"...Mr. McCain, who believes that torture is ineffective because its victims will say anything to make it stop..."

Just five days ago Giuliani said "'My belief in God, my reliance on his guidance, is at the core of who I am, I can assure you of that...'' and now he's advocating situational uses of torture? At what point did this brand of hypocrisy/moral relativism become acceptable in a potential president? If we can't trust a person to follow the dictates of his "deeply held" faith how can we expect him to uphold the laws of man? To me where a person stands on this issue acts as a moral barometer (particularly if they also happen espouse mainstream religious views). Its a question about whether morales and values are more important than expediency.

Earlier this week there was some discussion of "Is America inherently good"? Pushing the textbook definition of the word inherent aside my answer is no. We are however incredibly well meaning. However if we continue to elect leaders that are willing to sacrifice values for expediency it won't be too long before we won't even be able to claim that.

Huckabee Rising In Polls

He's finally passed Romney at least.

From Rasmussen Polls:

Rudy Giuliani remains precariously atop the pack with support from 20% of Likely Republican Primary Voters nationwide. Fred Thompson is close behind at 19% while John McCain enjoys a second straight day in third place with 14% of the vote. Huckabee continues to gain ground and is just two points behind McCain at 12%. This is the first time all year that Huckabee has surpassed Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts Governor slipped another point and he is now at just 11% nationally. No other Republican attracts more than 3% support while 18% are undecided.
However with the increased numbers comes increased scrutiny. Can Huckabee hold up given some of his previous ethical scrapes?

The state Ethics Commission has investigated 14 complaints against Huckabee and validated five. Two pertain to unreported gifts - a $500 canoe and a $200 stadium blanket - and three to cash the governor or his wife received but did not initially report:
  • $43,150 from his 1994 lieutenant governor's campaign for use of his personal airplane,
  • $14,000 Janet Huckabee received from his 1992 U.S. Senate campaign, and
  • $23,500 from a tax-exempt organization he incorporated with others in 1994, but whose funding source isn't known. The Action America organization, Huckabee said, was set up to coordinate parts of his private-sector speaking schedule during his three years as lieutenant governor.

Huckabee appealed the stadium blanket sanction and a judge threw out the $250 fine.

Additionally his recent comments about "the holocaust of liberalized abortion" and the fact that he's a Baptist minister may get him high marks with the GOP base but may in turn hurt him in regards to independent voters. However should he gather enough support from the religious right I can easily see a VP slot for him should the front runner not be able to garner their support. Now all he needs is some serious dough to stay in the running.

Ron Paul Girl Vs Hillary Clinton

Critiquing the Clinton health care plan in her own way

Ron Paul Girl - Worker Bee? - video powered by Metacafe

Thursday, October 25, 2007

U.S. Ups the Ante Against Iran

From the NY Times:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 — The Bush administration will announce a long-debated policy of new sanctions against Iran on Thursday, accusing the elite Quds division of the Revolutionary Guard Corps of supporting terrorism, administration officials said Wednesday night.
The decision will be announced jointly on Thursday by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the administration officials said. “This is going to be a broad and wide-ranging effort,” a senior administration official said. “We will be freezing assets, and there will be ripple effects of where we can go from there.”
The immediate legal consequence of designating the Quds unit as a terrorist organization would be to make it unlawful for anyone subject to United States jurisdiction to knowingly provide material support or resources to it, according to the State Department. Any United States financial institution that becomes aware that it possesses, or has control over, funds of a foreign terrorist organization would have to turn them over to the Treasury Department.
I still think this a good idea executed badly.

h/t to Memeorandum

Ron Paul Eying a Third Party Run?

From the Political Insider:

Paul Leaves Third Party Door Open An Inch

During an MSNBC interview Wednesday, Rep. Ron Paul was asked if he would run for president as a third-party candidate. Paul replied, "No, I don't plan to run in a third party. That's not my goal. But if we have a candidate that loves the war and loves the neocon position of promoting--" Interviewer Norah O'Donnell cut Paul off at that point, and did not return to the topic during the rest of the interview.

Gee, that sounds a lot like Giuliani. Considering that the religious right
has been talking to the leadership of a certain third party, it is entirely possible he may have been approached. Given the fact that Ron Paul third party run would ruin any chances of the GOP taking the presidency and conceivably bring the war in Iraq to an end sooner I could see why Dr. Paul might consider this option.

I'm left wondering if the GOP would offer him the VP position to head that off and to draw Ron Paul's supporters into the GOP fold come election day.

H/T To Donklephant
and Third Party Watch (for the Video)

Another Opportunity to Off Osama Squandered

This from Col. David Hunt at Fox Fan Central

America Could Have Killed Usama bin Laden — But Didn't

We know, with a 70 percent level of certainty — which is huge in the world of intelligence — that in August of 2007, bin Laden was in a convoy headed south from Tora Bora. We had his butt, on camera, on satellite. We were listening to his conversations. We had the world’s best hunters/killers — Seal Team 6 — nearby. We had the world class Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) coordinating with the CIA and other agencies. We had unmanned drones overhead with missiles on their wings; we had the best Air Force on the planet, begging to drop one on the terrorist. We had him in our sights; we had done it. Nice job again guys — now, pull the damn trigger.

Unbelievably, and in my opinion, criminally, we did not kill Usama bin Laden.

You cannot make this crap up; truth is always stranger and more telling than fiction. Our government, the current administration and yes, our military leaders included, failed to kill bin Laden for no other reason than incompetence.

Just another in a laundry list of missed opportunities to take out the leadership of Al Qaeda. The fact that Bin Laden is public enemy number one you'd think we'd have jumped at the chance.

Its almost enough to make you wonder if they actually want him caught or killed. However given the choice between heading down that conspiracy theory laden road or choosing rank incompetence. I'll choose incompetence. Fortunately Occam's razor backs me up on that.

H/T to Megite

Ron Paul and Red State Wrap Up

DWSUWF shows that the number of Hits to Ron Paul's website totally trashes Red States. He even offers us this nice graph:

Proof that Dr. Paul's brand of conservatism is drawing more interest than Red State's brand of authoritarian social conservatism? Maybe.

Over at Eunomia Daniel Larison sums it up this way:

"It is a great irony this year that it is the purists who are actually swelling Republican ranks, while the pragmatists and big-tent folks are doing their best to empty that tent.
Rather than translating the energy and excitement that Paul generates into an advantage for the GOP and the movement, the response is to recoil in horror and send Paul’s people packing. ... it seems to me that the impulse to ban newly arrived Paul supporters is much more representative of the state of the movement and the GOP these days."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Giuliani Sells Out to Values Voters?

I missed this but fortunately Sideways Mencken didn't.

From The Hill:

Perkins: Giuliani supports marriage amendment

Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, told The Hill Saturday that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) would support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Perkins said Giuliani told him in a private meeting that if the Defense of Marriage Act appeared to be failing or if multiple states began to legalize same-sex marriages, then he would support the constitutional amendment.

Giuliani did not mention the amendment or the issue of gay marriage during his address to the Values Voters Summit, but that position could win him favor with some social conservatives who view the former mayor warily.

Perkins said that was not enough to assuage his concerns about Giuliani, but “it was nice to hear.”

If what Perkins said is true this may be the first step in Giuliani selling out to reap the religious rights votes and that says a lot about Giuliani. He'd do well to remember how much flack Mitt Romney has taken over his changing stances on value based issues.

Blue Dogs Diss the DCCC

by not paying their actual dues.

From The Politico:

A large group of “Blue Dog” Democrats has refused to give money to the party’s campaign committee so far this cycle, underscoring simmering tension inside the Caucus and concerns about the caustic language of at least one anti-war Democrat.

According to a review of Federal Election Commission records, 15 Blue Dogs have given no money to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as of Sept. 30, despite heavy pressure from party leaders.

Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.), one of the 15, said he had donated on Oct. 1, but his staff would not say how much the congressman gave to the DCCC.

An additional 16 Blue Dogs have not given any cash but were exempt from party-mandated contributions because they are top GOP targets for defeat in 2008, party officials said.
Members of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of 47 moderate-to-conservative House Democrats, point out that they often represent tough, hard-to-hold swing districts that could easily go Republican, meaning they must build sizable campaign war chests in order to ensure their reelections, even if they look safe right now.

But there is also lingering concern among the Blue Dogs — and resentment, in some cases — over comments made by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) to leaders of the anti-war movement.

In a late-August conference call, Woolsey encouraged the anti-war groups to field primary challengers to any Democrat who does not vote to end the war. While she later moved to repudiate the remarks, saying they were misunderstood, Woolsey’s statement angered many Blue Dogs and led some to withhold their DCCC dues.

“What [Woolsey] said was reprehensible,” said one Blue Dog who has so far declined to hand over any money to the campaign committee.

A Democratic strategist with strong ties to the Blue Dogs said the Woolsey incident is being seized upon by some conservative Democrats, even those who don’t yet have an opponent, as an excuse not to give to the party committee.

“Some of these Blue Dogs are saying, ‘If I have to defend myself in a primary, the DCCC is just going to have to wait,’” said the strategist.
Further proof there are some Dems who would Stollerize (ie. purge those that think differently)
the party. What they either don't realize or care about is that they only have the majority in the house because of the Blue Dogs. In their quest for idealogical purity or party unity they would embrace the tactics of Tom Delay and browbeat/arm twist/and outright threaten those that vote the views of their constituents and ultimately doom the party to a minority in the process.
What's sadder still is that they fail to realize that by using intimidation and coercion they have become their enemy.

Why is it that many who feel oppressed eventually end up adopting the tactics of their oppressor?

Ron Paul Talk Banned at Redstate

From Redstate

Effective immediately, new users may *not* shill for Ron Paul in any way shape, form or fashion. Not in comments, not in diaries, nada. If your account is less than 6 months old, you can talk about something else, you can participate in the other threads and be your zany libertarian self all you want, but you cannot pimp Ron Paul. Those with accounts more than six months old may proceed as normal.

Now, I could offer a long-winded explanation for *why* this new policy is being instituted, but I'm guessing that most of you can probably guess. Unless you lack the self-awareness to understand just how annoying, time-consuming, and bandwidth-wasting responding to the same idiotic arguments from a bunch of liberals pretending to be Republicans can be. Which, judging by your comment history, you really don't understand, so allow me to offer an alternate explanation: we are a bunch of fascists and we're upset that you've discovered where we keep the black helicopters, so we're silencing you in an attempt to keep you from warning the rest of your brethren so we can round you all up and send you to re-education camps all at once.

Hey, we're sure *some* of Ron Paul's supporters really are Republicans. They can post at any one of a zillion Ron Paul online forums. Those who have *earned* our respect by contributing usefully for a substantial period of time will be listened to with appropriate respect. Those who have not will have to *earn* that respect by contributing usefully in the other threads... and not mentioning Ron Paul. Given a month of solid contributing, send one of us an email and we'll consider lifting the restriction on your account.

Given that fact that some Ron Paul supporters just comment spam blogs that mention Ron Paul with pro Ron Paul posts I can see where one might get the urge to put a stop to that. However by banning all talk of Ron Paul by new members also cuts out those who genuinely wish to debate his ideas. Whats more troubling is this is a continuation of a trend of GOP members that are tuning and shutting out anyone who doesn't meet their litmus test of what a Republican is (that normally being a social conservative). Its just that kind of divisive behavior that, in part, cost the GOP the majority.

As for Ron Paul supporters you don't need Redstate. What you may need however is to start policing your own. By that I mean letting the spammers know that they aren't helping the cause and if you see a supporter go ballistic on someone call BS on them.

In the meantime, feel free to go support Ron Paul at Tell them Dyre sent ya.

Others blogging about this:

Buck Naked Politics

Fred Thompson On Immigration

Thompson finally came up with an immigration policy. Below are some of the highlights of his policy along with my reactions.

The Ones I Like:

1: Increased Border Security: Doubling Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents handling interior enforcement, increasing the Border Patrol to at least 25,000 agents, and increasing detention space to incarcerate illegal aliens we arrest rather than letting them go with a promise to show up later for legal proceedings against them.

Border security is inseparable from national security.

2: Maximize Legal Immigration Program Efficiency: Reduce the backlogs and streamline the process for immigrants and employers who seek to follow the law. Also, simplify and expedite the application processes for temporary visas. Caps for any category of temporary work visa would be increased as appropriate, if it could be demonstrated that there are no Americans capable and willing to do the jobs.

3: Modernize Immigration Law/Policy: Change the nature of our legal immigration system to welcome immigrants who can be economic contributors to our country and are willing to learn the English language and reduce the scope of chain migration by giving family preference in the allocation of lawful permanent resident status only to spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens, and no one else (no siblings, no parents, no adult children, etc.).

The system is long overdue for streamlining.

4: Preference for American Military Service: Place those foreign persons who are lawfully present in the country and who serve honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States on a faster, surer track to U.S. citizenship.

Anybody willing to die for this country is OK by me.

The ones I don't like:

1: English as Official Language: Make English the official language of the U.S. to promote assimilation and legal immigrants’ success, and require English proficiency in order for any foreign person to be granted lawful permanent resident status.

Haven't needed it before. Don't need it now. Children of immigrants are normally pretty well assimilated if they are born in this country or arrive here as a toddler.

2: No Amnesty: Amnesty undermines U.S. law and policy, rewards bad behavior, and is unfair to the millions of immigrants who follow the law and are awaiting legal entry into the United States.

Deporting twelve million people is almost impossible and extremely costly. Instead allow them to to apply for legal immigrant status (with a criminal background check) and pay a fine. Deport the remainder.

Existing laws that I'm iffy on:

End Sanctuary Cities by cutting off discretionary federal grant funds as appropriate to any community that, by law, ordinance, executive order, or other formal policy directs its public officials not to comply with the provisions of 8 USC 1373 and 8 USC 1644, which prohibit any state or local government from restricting in any way communications with the Department of Homeland Security “regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of an alien in the United States.”

B. Deny discretionary Federal education grants as appropriate to public universities that violate federal law by offering in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens without also offering identical benefits to United States citizens, regardless of whether or not they live in the state, as required by 8 USC 1623.

C. Deny discretionary Federal grants as appropriate to states and local governments that violate federal law by offering public benefits to illegal aliens, as prohibited by 8 USC 1621(a).

Denying federal grants also hurts legal citizens of the U.S. . However strongly enforcing this this after allowing those here to apply for citizenship (and pay a fine) would only hurt those cities and universities that chose to take a hard line stance on this issue.

What's important here is that Thompson started running for president prior to having a concrete stance on one the major issues facing America. Given the amount of time he had from the point that rumors of his announcement started and the point at which he actually declared he had ample time to come up with policy on this and other issues. However pleasing his immigration stance may be to GOP supporters it'll be hard not to notice that everyone else hit the ground running with policies in hand.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Of Note

If you've been reading a while you'll notice that I often do pointer posts to Michael J Totten's blog about Iraq. I do so because I believe that somewhere bewteen what the administration tells us and what the MSM reports lies the truth and that having access to a bird's eye view of Iraq via independent journalists helps to fill in that gap.

Michael Yon is an independent journalist currently in Iraq who became so tired of the disparity between what he saw with his own eyes versus what the MSM was reporting that he has opted to give his articles to newspapers for free. Instead of being paid for his articles he has opted instead to depend on reader donations to fund his writing.

So please take some time to drop by and read his work and see if you believe what he's doing is worthwhile.

Also Michael J Totten will be leaving for Fallujah soon so don't forget to keep an eye out for his posts from there.

Animal Cruelty as Art

From Internet Ronin

"Costa Rican artist Guillermo Habacuc Vargas paid two children to find a dog in a barrio of Managua, Nicaragua for an exhibition he had scheduled there. In the name of art, Vargas then tied up the dog in a corner of the salon, denied it food and water, and waited for it to die."

"Habacuc has been selected to represent his nation at the prestigious Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008."

I used to own an art gallery in Atlanta and if someone had submitted crap like this to me I'd have pressed animal cruelty charges against them and gotten them blackballed from any reputable art venue. (After choking down the urge to force feed him his slides and physically eject him from the premises into the middle of Piedmont Avenue.)

h/t to Sideways Mencken

Huckabee Receives "Major" Endorsement

from Chuck Norris posted at WorldNet Daily

A short time ago, I wrote in jest about what I would do if I am elected president. Of course, that was written all in good fun.

Like most of you, over the summer and into the fall, I've been watching, listening, studying and praying about who could lead this country as our next president.

I won't leave you in suspense. Though Giuliani might be savvy enough to lead people, Fred Thompson wise enough to wade through the tides of politics, McCain tough enough to fight terrorism and Romney business-minded enough to grow our economy, I believe the only one who has all of the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

I give Chuck points for this part...

"It's time to quit choosing our leaders based solely upon charisma or one strong suite, and move back to being a culture which esteems and elects its leaders because of character and qualifications. It's substance, not pizzazz, we should want in a leader."

Sorry, Mrs. Clinton but with Huckabee receiving this endorsement its all over with but the crying.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Minor Milestone

My previous post was my 500th. Normally I'm not one to call attention to such things. I didn't post about my blogiversary or my 10,000th visitor. But 500 posts is a lot of work. Thanks to everyone that reads my ramblings. I doubt I'd have kept it up if I knew no one was reading. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ron Paul Number One in Donations from Military Voters

with Barack Obama coming in at number two.

From the Houston Chronicle

Paul leads in donations from military voters, with Obama next

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, the congressman from the Houston area who opposes the Iraq war, has gotten more contributions than any other White House contender from donors identified as affiliated with the military.

According to a Houston Chronicle analysis of campaign records from January through September, Paul received $63,440 in donations from current military employees and several retired military personnel.

Democrat Barack Obama, another war critic, was second in military giving. The Illinois senator got $53,968 during the nine months.
The military contributions — nearly 1,000 of them are listed in Federal Election Commission records for this year — represent a small fraction of the overall contributions to the candidates.
Nevertheless, analysts said the ability of Paul and Obama to rake in as much money from military employees as they did suggests there is a certain degree of dissatisfaction with the Iraq campaign among veterans and those in uniform.
Jennifer Duffy, an analyst with the non-partisan Cook Political Report, speculated that Paul might be an attractive candidate for military personnel who oppose the war, "but don't want to cross the line and vote for a Democrat."

Interesting. I see this as a sign that some in the military find alternate ways of voicing their dissatisfaction for the current way the war is being run than directly speaking out. The real question is what's going to happen should they come home from their tours and start stumping for Paul and Obama? Thats certainly not a picture that either Clinton or Giulliani want to see.

h/t to Memeorandum

Conservatives Coming to a Climate Consensus?

No. But they are realizing that achieving energy independence and fighting climate change both have common solutions. Over at Townhall conservative columnist Cal Thompson comes around to a point I made over a year ago about the debate on climate change (although he first does some Gore bashing and accuses those that believe in global warming of being a cult first)

"Republicans and Democrats repeatedly tell us we rely too much on foreign oil, especially that which comes from a current trouble spot, the Middle East, and that which comes from a potential trouble spot, Venezuela. Might it be possible for the CGW crowd and the Church of Free Enterprise (CFE) to come together for the common purpose of reducing our reliance on foreign oil? CGW fundamentalists would get what they want — a reduced carbon footprint and supposedly lower global temperatures (go ahead and let them believe it) — while CFE parishioners would rejoice that Saudi Arabia’s hold on us (not to mention its use of our money to underwrite terrorism) could be broken.

If we would launch an energy independence program with the intensity of a Marshall Plan for Europe, or a man-on-the-moon project, to liberate ourselves from the petroleum despots by developing synthetic fuels and finding new energy sources closer to home — especially nuclear power — we could strike a blow against the Islamofascists more damaging than bombs and bullets."

I'm glad he's finally gotten past his partisan myopia on this topic and started to see the forest rather than the trees. However Mr. Thompson's call for "an energy independence program with the intensity of a ... man-on-the-moon project" went out years ago and was in part answered by Republicans for Environmental Protection (and other groups) when The Apollo Alliance was formed. Unfortunately he missed it because at the time as he (and many others) were too busy painting anyone concerned about global warming as a liberal flake. The result being that we are years behind where we could and should be in regards to energy independence and the Dems picked up the hybrid energy independence/global warming ball and ran with it which contributed to their ability to oust the GOP majority.

My point is that too many pundits, commentators, columnists, and bloggers are discounting the message due to the political affiliations of its messenger to the detriment of the greater good (and their political party). If the drivers of public opinion spent half as much time considering the possible merits of their opponents ideas as they do attacking the messenger we'd be in much better shape as a nation and much farther down the path to energy independence than we are. And maybe if Mr. Thompson can realize different problems sometimes have the exact same solutions and that a concerted bipartisan effort is needed for the greater good others can too.

H/T to Terra Rosa

This used to be a hell of a good country! I don't know what's happened to it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Senator Hutchinson to Step Down

From CNN:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison will not seek re-election after her current Senate term and may leave before her term ends in 2012 to run for Texas governor, a spokesman for the senator says.

Hutchison, now in her third full term in the Senate, told Texas Monthly magazine that stepping down in two years "has to be considered." Her comments were confirmed by spokesman Matt Mackowiak.

"Is it better for Texas for me to leave early and give someone else a chance to start building seniority before the class of 2013? I think it probably is," Hutchison said. Excerpts of the interview were posted Monday on the magazine's "State of Mine" feature written by editor Evan Smith.

First let me come clean: I have no love for Kay Bailey Hutchison. She was a rubber stamp Republican for W (save for on immigration issues in which she was a hard liner), she voted for the war and then repeatedly voted against expanding VA facilities in Texas, and her office sent out some really snarky responses whenever I contacted them about various issues of import to me. In fact I supported Barbara Ann Radnowksy during the last election just on the off chance she'd oust Hutchison.

In my opinion Texas (and America) need fewer Hutchinsons and more leaders that will look at all sides of an issue and vote for their constituents best interests rather than their party's. I'm glad to see her go. But I'm not gloating... nope....not gloating at all.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Clinton to End War if Elected?

FDL blogger looseheadprop is reporting that Hillary Clinton pledged to end the war in Iraq as soon as she was elected at a recent meeting of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Legacy Committee assuming that the message wasn't misinterpreted this would be a major shift in her platform. One that could cost her the votes of hawkish liberals and moderates. Might this change (or perceived flip flop) be the chink in her armor? We'll see if this report proves to be true. In the meantime I've contacted the Clinton campaign for verification.

McCain Campaign Deeply In Debt?

On the heels of yesterdays report that the McCain campaign picking up steam comes news that it's also dangerously in debt.

"John McCain has just $1.67 million in primary money on hand and is carrying $1.73 million in reported debt. Such a grim reality means that he is effectively left with two options -- take public matching funds or get out of the race.

While McCain aides sought to downplay his fiscal straits at the end of last month, the report filed last night paints an ugly picture. He didn't raise $6 million for the quarter, as his staff claimed. He actually brought in $5.73 million overall -- and of that only $4,977,000 was in primary dollars, per the Post By contrast, Ron Paul raised $5.2 for the primary in the third quarter."

Unless the McCain campaign can tap the pocketbooks of those dissatisfied with Giuliani's socially liberal views he'll have to take public matching funds to stay afloat. That doesn't bode well for McCain. I'm sorely tempted to file him under "done for".

Monday, October 15, 2007

Opening the Floodgates

From the AP:
"First boomer applies for Social Security

The baby boomers' stampede for Social Security benefits has begun.

The nation's "first" baby boomer, a retired teacher from New Jersey, applied for Social Security benefits Monday, signaling the start of an expected avalanche of applications from the post World War II generation.

Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue called it "America's silver tsunami."

Kathleen Casey-Kirschling applied for benefits over the Internet at an event hosted by Astrue. Casey-Kirschling was born one second after midnight on Jan. 1, 1946, gaining her recognition as the first baby boomer — a generation of nearly 80 million born from 1946 to 1964, Astrue said.
An estimated 10,000 people a day will become eligible for Social Security benefits over the next two decades, Astrue said. The Social Security trust fund, if left alone, is projected to go broke in 2041."

In light of the impending flood of retirees, it occurs to me that now would be a really good time to renew discussion about fixing our biggest entitlement program rather than talking about creating a new larger one ie. public health care. Any attempt to start govt health care without fixing social security dooms the former to failure. Yet we hear more talk about health care than social security. Why? Because discussing fixing social security means either raising taxes, cutting benefits, or both and that could be political suicide.

McCain Making a Comeback?

Looks like finally got his house back in order at least...

From the Politico:

McCain is bouncing back
"Republican presidential hopeful John McCain is back, two months after he was given up for dead.
McCain was helped by progress in Iraq and a strong showing in a recent New Hampshire debate.

Also, the John McCain of old is back, saying what he means and letting the chips fall where they may. He is much more comfortable campaigning as an insurgent than as an insider.

McCain returned to South Carolina — drawing large crowds — with his unique brand of straight talk coupled with unwavering conviction for causes he believes are in the nation’s best interest.

“What we are seeing is a genuine John McCain on the stump,” said U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a longtime McCain supporter."

If McCain can keep his ducks in a row and stick and stick to being McCain the maverick rather than McCain the carefully coached political pro he may be able to make a decent run given the bases current dissatisfaction with Giuliani's socially liberal positions. Particularly if we continue to see advances in Iraq. Although if the Straight Talk Express publicly blows another tire he's done for.

Ron Paul Wins NV Straw Poll

But MSNBC sees it differently:


***UPDATE***Correction: An earlier version of this post had incorrect straw poll results. Romney was NOT fourth, but second. The post below is now correct.

From NBC/NJ's Erin McPike
SPARKS, Nev. – Ron Paul won the GOP presidential straw poll conducted by organizers at the Conservative Leadership Conference held at the Nugget Casino this weekend “by a large margin,” according to an organizer.

Paul won with 33 percent, Romney came in second with 16 percent and Duncan Hunter was just behind with 15 percent. "Undecided" was fourth with 11 percent, and Thompson and Giuliani were next and ahead of the rest of the pack -- all in single digits. Raw numbers haven't been provided, but there were approximately 430 registrants at the opening of the conference.

Although many of the Republican presidential teams had surrogates representing them at the conference, Mitt Romney and Duncan Hunter were the only candidates to speak at the conference, and the victor himself was not there.

Further proof that many in the MSM aren't taking Ron Paul seriously at all. Conversely the WaPo is paying attention:

Disciples of Ron Paul, Spreading the Word in N.H.

"This month, the 10-term Texas Republican stunned the GOP field by raising a little more than $5 million in the third quarter, 70 percent of it from online donations; Sen. John McCain, once considered the front-runner for the GOP nomination, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who placed a strong second in the Iowa straw poll in August, raised $6 million and $1 million, respectively. For months now, Paul has been the most popular GOP candidate on the Web, with more supporters on MySpace, Facebook and Meetup than Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson or Mitt Romney, who won the Iowa straw poll and leads in the polls here."

Additionally the article brings up one highly salient point,"In a state where Patrick Buchanan upset Bob Dole, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, more than a decade ago, anything is possible, says Andrew Smith, a pollster and director of the University of New Hampshire's Survey Center." Simply put Ron Paul has the absolute best chances of winning a primary in NH and he can pull that off nobody will be able to easily dismiss him any longer.

h/t to the Daily Dish

Friday, October 12, 2007

Webtoon: 24 - Starring Justice Scalia as Jack Bauer

This video is as ridiculous as Scalia's Jack Bauer statements. However unlike Scalia's statement it's amusing rather than disturbing.

H/T to Obsidian Wings

Of Note

Michael J Totten has released his first ever video. It features his tagging along on a patrol in Iraq. Since this is his first video ever he using the response to it to judge whether or not to keep producing video so please drop by, take a look, and tell him what you think.

Gore Grabs Peace Prize

From the Wa Po:

Former vice president Al Gore and a United Nations panel that monitors climate change were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today for their work educating the world about global warming and advocating for political action to control it.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee characterized Gore as "the single individual who has done most" to convince world governments and leaders that climate change is real, is caused by human activity and poses a grave threat. Gore has focused on the issue through books, promotional events and his Academy Award-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."


As with last year's award to Bangladeshi banker Muhammad Yunus, whose pioneering use of small loans to the very poor contributes to the stability of developing nations, this year's prize focused on an issue not directly involving war and peace, but seen as critical to maintaining social stability.

In highlighting the IPCC's science and Gore's advocacy, peace prize committee chairman Ole Danbolt Mjoes said the hope was to use the power of the prestigious award to focus on an issue of planetary importance.

"I want this prize to have everyone . . . every human being, asking what they should do," Mjoes said.

The panel said global warming "may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the Earth's resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world's most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states." Full article

I'm not dismissing Gore's works but it would seem to me that by expanding the scope of the Nobel Peace Prize to include more intangible contributions to peace lessens the award. Simply put Gore's works aren't of the same caliber as Nelson Mandela or Mother Theresa. Neither are Muhammad Yunus' works for that matter (although I give him high marks for creating a program that can be easily replicated by anyone in a developing nation with 100$ and a good amount of free time). But hey, its their award after all and they are free to cheapen it as they please.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Regula to Retire?

From CNN:

"WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rep. Ralph Regula of Ohio, the second longest-serving Republican in the House, will announce Friday that he will retire rather than seek re-election to a 19th term next year, two GOP congressional sources told CNN Thursday...

The departure of Regula, first elected in 1972, brings the number of GOP House members retiring next year to at least 10, adding additional difficulty to the party's chances of taking back the House in 2008.

In addition to those 10 retirements, another Republican member, Rep. Heather Wilson of New Mexico, is running for the Senate, and Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia is also expected to leave to seek a Senate seat."

Additionally five Republican senators have announced they will retire so far. Given the current mood of the American people I seriously doubt the GOP will be winning all of those seats back. They'll be doing good just to keep the seats they have. What the GOP is truly fearing is that the Dems pick up enough seats to have a veto proof majority (well that and Clinton as president) My question is that should the Dems pick win across the board will we see the same levels of pork, corruption, and scandal we saw under the Republican majority? If I were betting I'd have to lay odds on yes.

On Torture

There has been a lot of discussion about the value of torture as of late. Speaking as someone that has some personal experience on the subject and who has studied it I can honestly say the following:

Torture elicits false confessions and information from the innocent, it produces false information from the guilty/knowledgeable who have been properly trained or should either their loyalty or pain threshold be high. It does however provide actionable intelligence from those that lack loyalty and/or a high endurance for pain/discomfort. If I had the numbers to crunch I'd bet that the percentage of soldiers or terrorists that fall into that last group is really low. What we need to figure out is if the percentage of real information were getting from torture is worth the sacrifice of America's moral authority. I don't believe it is. We're supposed to be the good guys and it's high time we started acting like it.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ron Paul On Foreign Policy

Since I'm a "Walk softly and carry a big stick." kind of guy I have to admit this has a certain appeal to me.

From the Union Leader:

It is not we non-interventionists who are isolationsists. The real isolationists are those who impose sanctions and embargoes on countries and peoples across the globe because they disagree with the internal and foreign policies of their leaders. The real isolationists are those who choose to use force overseas to promote democracy, rather than seek change through diplomacy, engagement, and by setting a positive example.

I do not believe that ideas have an expiration date, or that their value can be gauged by their novelty. The test for new and old is that of wisdom and experience, or as the editors wrote "historical reality," which argues passionately now against the course of anti-Constitutional interventionism.

A Paul administration would see Americans engaged overseas like never before, in business and cultural activities. But a Paul administration would never attempt to export democracy or other values at the barrel of a gun, as we have seen over and over again that this is a counterproductive approach that actually leads the United States to be resented and more isolated in the world.

I think Ron Paul missed an important factor here. Because while we have enough economic and technological prowess due to the current handling of the war on terror we are currently lacking (in the realm of public opinion) the moral authority to make the American model enviable. Additionally we are losing ground as in regards to being an educational powerhouse. Ultimately having students from other countries come here to learn and then export our ideas / values / model will be a winning strategy for combating numerous ills. However given his rather idealistic stance stance on the role of the federal government I doubt he would deal with the latter, ever.

After all from a strictly constitutional point of view education is an issue for the states. It may well be his staunch idealism that defeats him. Neither the GOP or your average American citizen are constitutional purists. Ultimately people are interested in legislation that produces results. To many Mr. Paul's most common answer of "That should be an issue for the states to decide." will seem like a lack of an answer. Additionally should he become president the number of idealistic changes he'll be able to make given the current situation in D.C. will make him about as effective of a leader as Jimmy Carter. Politics is about doing the possible rather than the ideal and that truth will prove to be Mr. Paul's unmaking.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Obama on Faith and Energy

Today Barack Obama addressed a "multiracial evangelical congregation in traditionally conservative Greenville, South Carolina" (which is a really nice place) and stated "I think it's important, particularly for those of us in the Democratic Party, to not cede values and faith to any one party,"

from CNN:

Obama: GOP doesn't own faith issue

"I think that what you're seeing is a breaking down of the sharp divisions that existed maybe during the '90s," said Obama. "At least in politics, the perception was that the Democrats were fearful of talking about faith, and on the other hand you had the Republicans who had a particular brand of faith that oftentimes seemed intolerant or pushed people away."

Obama said he was pleased that leaders in the evangelical community such as T.D. Jakes and Rick Warren were beginning to discuss social justice issues like AIDS and poverty in ways evangelicals were not doing before.

"I think that's a healthy thing, that we're not putting people in boxes, that everybody is out there trying to figure out how do we live right and how do we create a stronger America," Obama said.

He finished his brief remarks by saying, "We're going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."

If Obama keeps talking like this (and walks the walk) he may be able to shore up some of the the gap between himself and Mrs. Clinton. Obama has Clinton beat when it comes to seeming genuine. Any large scale attempt by Hillary to bring faith into the picture risks seeming calculated and may ultimately backfire against her.

Additionally the details of Obama's energy plan were distributed today to the news wires in preparation for an upcoming speech.

From the AP:

Obama proposes deep greenhouse gas cuts

"Our energy problem has become an energy crisis because no matter how well-intentioned the promise, no matter how bold the proposal, they all fall victim to the same Washington politics that has only become more divided and dishonest; more timid and calculating; more beholden to the powerful interests that have the biggest stake in the status quo," Obama said.
There are some in this race who actually make the argument that the more time you spend immersed in the broken politics of Washington, the more likely you are to change it," he said. "I find this a little amusing."

Without naming Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton or other rivals, Obama said those with long Washington experience have failed to act on issues such as higher fuel economy standards for cars and trucks.

"When they had the chance to stand up and require automakers to raise their fuel standards, they refused. When they had multiple chances to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by investing in renewable fuels that we can literally grow right here in America, they said no," he said.

He proposed a modified "cap and trade" approach to reducing emissions that would require businesses to buy allowances to pollute, creating an incentive to reduce energy usage.

Under a traditional cap and trade system, power plants or businesses that exceed pollution caps must buy or trade for additional capacity, generally from plants that have taken steps to reduce their emissions. Unlike some of his rivals, Obama said he would auction all allowances rather than grandfathering some to big emitters such as oil and coal companies.

Obama proposed using $150 billion from the sale of allowances to stimulate climate-friendly energy and economic development. Included would be developing the next generation of biofuels and fuel delivery infrastructure, accelerating commercial production of plug-in hybrid vehicles, promoting larger-scale renewable energy projects and low-emission coal plants, and making the electricity grid digital.

He also called for making government, businesses and homes 50 percent more energy efficient by 2030, with all federal government buildings carbon neutral by 2025. Incandescent light bulbs would be phased out by 2014, a measure Obama estimates would save consumers $6 billion a year on their electric bills.

Not bad but Obama and Dems in general need to start painting reducing greenhouse emissions in the terms of fighting terrorism first and fighting global warming second in order to appeal to more swing voters and energize the public. Terrorism is a far less nebulous threat than climate instability after all.

Now all Obama has left to do is gather enough swing voters, independents, and moderates to gain 19 points in the polls. That is no mean feat but maybe if his message is different enough from Clinton's and he borrows a few pages from the Ron Paul / Howard Dean play book he can
at least split the difference. I'm still counting on him taking a VP slot late in the primaries.

h/t to Gristmill and Memeorandum

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Is the GOP Crashing?

Because its traditional supporters are certainly bailing out fast. Take the business sector for example:

From the WSJ

GOP Is Losing Grip on Core Buisness Vote

WASHINGTON -- The Republican Party, known since the late 19th century as the party of business, is losing its lock on that title.

New evidence suggests a potentially historic shift in the Republican Party's identity -- what strategists call its "brand." The votes of many disgruntled fiscal conservatives and other lapsed Republicans are now up for grabs, which could alter U.S. politics in the 2008 elections and beyond.

Some business leaders are drifting away from the party because of the war in Iraq, the growing federal debt and a conservative social agenda they don't share. In manufacturing sectors such as the auto industry, some Republicans want direct government help with soaring health-care costs, which Republicans in Washington have been reluctant to provide. And some business people want more government action on global warming, arguing that a bolder plan is not only inevitable, but could spur new industries....

But polling data confirm business support for Republicans is eroding. In the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in September, 37% of professionals and managers identify themselves as Republican or leaning Republican, down from 44% three years ago...
And then there are members of the religious right:

From Salon
Religious Right May Blackball Giuliani

A powerful group of conservative Christian leaders decided Saturday at a private meeting in Salt Lake City to consider supporting a third-party candidate for president if a pro-choice nominee like Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination.

The meeting of about 50 leaders, including Focus on the Family's James Dobson, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, who called in by phone, took place at the Grand America Hotel during a gathering of the Council for National Policy, a powerful shadow group of mostly religious conservatives. James Clymer, the chairman of the U.S. Constitution Party, was also present at the meeting, according to a person familiar with the proceedings.

"The conclusion was that if there is a pro-abortion nominee they will consider working with a third party," said the person, who spoke to Salon on the condition of anonymity. The private meeting was not a part of the official CNP schedule, which is itself a closely held secret. "Dobson came in just for this meeting," the person said.

I'm can't blame either group. Speaking as a fiscal conservative I wouldn't support the GOP either. Once they had all three branches of government they behaved as badly with America's money as the claim Dems do.

I expected the religious right to stay home rather than endorse a third party though. After all they were expecting an end to abortion and a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and all they got was the faith based initiatives program. By threatening to jump ship they are sending the strongest possible message to the GOP. However if you read both articles you find that a strong attempt to retain the religious right will cause them to lose more people in the business sector unless they prove that they have mended their free spending ways. For now though its good news for Dems (and probably The Constitution Party) and yet another sign that its going to be a tough couple of election cycles for the GOP. That is unless the Dems behave just as badly once they have control of the Oval Office, the Senate, and the House.

Hey, it could happen.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Ron Paul’s Fund-Raising Takes Off

From the WSJ

"Rep. Ron Paul is bucking trends in the political money race.

While both Democrats and Republicans in the presidential race are finding it more difficult to pass the hat as their big donors hit federal giving limits, the trajectory for the Texas Republican keeps climbing.

The antiwar libertarian raised more than $3 million in the third quarter, up from $2.4 million in the second quarter and $641,000 in the first three months of the year.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Paul out-raised old Washington hands including Democrats Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, who took in $1.5 million, and Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, who raised just under $2 million.

For the year, Paul has collected around $6 million. He remains stuck in national polls at around 5% or less — about the same level of support as another Republican dark horse, Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor."

Last quarter he out fund raised John McCain this quarter he beat Biden (with tiny bit of help from me). Now only three questions remain Who will he out raise next quarter? Will he translate web/fund raising successes into actual votes during the primaries? and Will he run as an independent or third party candidate when the GOP fails to give him the nod? I certainly don't know, but it'll be interesting to find out.