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Jul 19, 2007
Jul 18, 2007
That place was much better when Clinton and Whitewater were the topics of the day. Now it is a cesspool of neocons. They do give until it hurts though. Jim Robinson is going to milk another 75k out of them.
As evidence of his independence, Broun emphasized a Ron Paul-like committed to "work to restore government according to the Constitution as our Founders intended." While the Georgia appears to be a more cautious constitutionalist than the maverick Texas congressman who is making a longshot bid for the party's presidential nomination in 2008, Broun borrowed one of the most popular of Paul's principles, promising that if elected he would assess any new legislation by first asking: "Is it constitutional and a proper function of government?"
Don't believe for a second that Ron Paul can't win. He is going to win and he's already started influencing America's politics.
Jul 15, 2007
The comments were overwhelming and he has had a change of heart. Hard to do in a public forum but he pulls it off well and I have a lot of respect for that.
Jul 14, 2007
They are going to bring us change they say. But what they've brought so far should give them insomnia.
They don't look haggard. They are coiffed, pleated and all smiles for the rolling cameras as they tell us they are tirelessly working to keep us safe. For the past 16 years they have been supporting naked aggression in Iraq (and eastern Europe, and South America) and they now beg for our votes because it's just recently become obvious to them that Iraq is a disaster. We need a change in Washington. People are tired of this Administration's Iraq war disaster. Our troops need a change of scenery so let's send them to Darfur and Iran!
Iran will be different. Iran is really dangerous. Someday, if we were to leave them alone and stop harassing them, they might develop a nucular bomb. And then what would we do? Well of course, we'd have to send them some diplomats carrying a foreign aid package under their arms. Once they've established peaceful relations we'll build an embassy so that the CIA and NSA agents we send there can have a nice cozy place from which to listen in on their phone conversations.
Darfur will be different. The people in Darfur really will greet us with flowers. And this war won't be about Oil. There's no oil in Darfur so the Democrats and progressives decrying genocide are not going to be accused of chasing oil interests. Their motives are as pure as the driven snow. They are only interested in saving the people of Darfur from their genocidal government. If a few hundred thousand civilians have to die in the process, it surely will be worth it.
As Chris Dodd said during the Democratic debates, we aren't just electing a President, we're electing the most powerful (@3:20) leader in the whole wide world. So we certainly don't want those evil people who invaded Iraq to be in charge. We need a change.
Oh, sure, they voted for Iraq, all of them except Kucinich, but he's a crank. He's not a serious candidate and as soon as they can escort him off the stage, they can explain why they voted for the Patriot act and the wars and an expansion of the Patriot act. See, the Republicans are evil. They lied to justify the Iraq war. It should be patently obvious to anyone that Democrats were tricked into voting to give Bush authorization to invade Iraq and voting for the Patriot act. Nobody had a copy of the Patriot act and by the time anyone found out what it really said, it was too late. You can't trust those Republicans.
By the time the Patriot act renewal came up, Bush had made all of the jihadists mad so they just voted for its expansion because by now you should know that muslims are out to kill your mom. The government knows this because they've been listening in on your mom's telephone conversations and some of her neighbors don't like that she's going to vote and doesn't wear a burka.
Your mom wouldn't be safe out there if it weren't for the Department of Homeland security. Any moment now, we could go from yellow to red. What would you do if they hadn't voted to spend 40 billion dollars on an excel chart, a web page and a bloated federal bureaucracy? How would you know that you were in danger? It's a small price to pay for peace of mind. There is another benefit to their strategy. Curbing your freedoms will put islamofascist minds at ease. Jealousy of our freedoms is a major contributing factor for the terrorists so they are doing us a great service by invading our privacy and suspending habeas corpus.
And while they're on the subject of money, they need you to give until it hurts. See, we've been borrowing to pay for the war in Iraq and they want to make sure that all of our children have health care.
The foregoing contains a bit of sarcasm. The truth is, they are saying these things with a straight face and they obviously sleep at night. Meanwhile, out there in the real world, you and I work our 60 hours a week and watch as our "dollar" continues to plummet in value.
The democrats who want to displace the current regime, were the same democrats approving "no-fly zones" and the bombing of Iraq from 1991 - 2001, giving foreign aid to the Taliban, voting for the Iraq war, helping NATO drop bombs on Bosnia, invading Somalia and voting for the pre-cursor to the Patriot Act, a bill to target domestic terrorism. Did that bill prevent any terrorism on our shores? Of course not. So because it didn't, we need to reward that failure with more of the same. If only the domestic terrorism law had been more draconian, they really could have made more progress in stripping from us our rights in 2001. Because, after all, the more draconian the measure that has failed, the more draconian the next law needs to be in order to prevent those failures.
That they can say with a straight face they plan on changing things should they get a Democrat in the White House, should actually scare you. It's quite obvious that this is a blatant lie.
That most of the Republicans in the field would campaign on increasing wars on terror and restrictions in liberty is somehow less scary to me. At least they're telling the truth. At least they telegraph their intentions. This isn't to say they are any better, just a teeny bit more straightforward.
Lastly, there's the Main Stream Media who want you to think that the only real choices you have are between the "top tier" liars from each group. They sleep at night and they keep straight faces when they tell you that Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich or Mike Gravel don't take themselves seriously and should they, would be deluding themselves.
Who is deluding whom? They are going to bring us change they say. But what they've brought so far should give them insomnia.
The Washington Secretaryt of State has announced the final decisions on the date of the primary and what the political parties have determined will be the outcome.
The Washington State Democratic Party Central Committee decided not to use the results of Washington's 2008 Presidential Primary to allocate their delegates to their national convention. The Washington State Democratic Party Central Committee met on April 28, 2007 in Bellingham.
The Washington State Republican Party State Committee decided to allocate 51% of their delegates to their national convention based off the results of the state's Presidential Primary. The Washington State Republican Party State Committee met on June 2, 2007 in Yakima.
Is the fix already in?
In Florida, Howard Dean is shrinking the number of delegates from Florida by half. This article claims that it is because they moved the primary to March. But is that really the reason? Washington state moved theirs to February 19 so the rationale does not seem to be consistent. What other reason could you have for removing delegates other than disregarding the public's vote?
On the other hand, this blog has a very interesting take on the strategy:
It’s simple. Their Party leaders did the smart thing and kept their nomination process to Democrats. 100% of their delegates will be determined by Democrat Caucuses. So when the Primary comes around they will be free to control the Republican side. THERE IS NO REASON FOR DEMOCRATS TO VOTE ON THE DEMOCRAT SIDE IN THE PRIMARY (since it won’t effect the outcome). BUT THEY CAN CONTROL 51% OF THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION VOTES from our state.
So the democrats want to control their own delegates and the republican delegates since Washington allows Democrats and Republicans to vote in the primaries.
Jul 13, 2007
Jul 12, 2007
One of the better explanations I have read is that pollsters are selecting responses which only include loyal republicans and democrats who are likely to vote. Because they are ruling out other possibilities, they are not able to measure what is really happening amongst the general population.
For the most part, poll respondents are discovered by dialing numbers in a phone directory (listed numbers). The pollsters continue calling until they get enough respondents who match the criteria they've selected (x republicans who answer they are likely to vote - x democrats who answer they are likely to vote).
Out of curiosity, I decided to do some googling in order to get a better idea of the mechanics of polling. I'm certainly not going to become an expert on polling using google but there are things that I'd like to know.
Besides using standard directory listings, pollsters also use a method called Random Digit Dialing. This attempts to reach people who have unlisted numbers and won't be found in the directory listings. Some people have theorized that people with unlisted phone numbers might offer significantly different results but according to a Zogby study on RDD, advances in technology (CallerID) and changing demographics (unlisted numbers aren't just for the affluent anymore), people with unlisted phone numbers are less likely to participate then they were 20 years ago.
“When I started in 1984, response rates averaged 65%,” Zogby says. “You were twice as likely to get someone to answer the telephone. Today they don’t answer the phone and they are much more likely to refuse to participate in a survey.”
Zogby has concluded that RDD doesn't offer a significantly better sample and so doesn't use RDD. However, the Zogby study conclusions talk more about costs and "interviewer fatigue" as a rationale then it does the actual polling results. Not being an expert, I merely note this because it is interesting. Zogby admits that academic studies haven't found RDD any more or less reliable then the old phone book method.
In the academic world, no consensus has been reached among public opinion researchers on the superiority of RDD over listed samples. However, the results from a number of studies are consistent with Zogby’s assessment that listed samples are more efficient, less costly to administer, and produce results similar to those of RDD.
Zogby's study does say that in measuring differences between the two polling techniques, there are moderate differences in responses 35% of the time and significant differences 2-3% of the time. Given the margin of error, one *might* conclude that RDD may produce more accurate results. But at what cost? Zogby thinks it's too expensive for the results given.
A poll cannot predict anything by definition. It only attempts to get the current opinions of the people contacted. It can't read the minds of those contacted and it cannot contact the same people intentionally ( to track trends ) lest it invalidate the randomness of the samples used.
Rather, the alleged randomness. For some reason, the media and politicians seem quite obsessed with the opinions of very small numbers of Americans extrapolated to conclude that therefore the general population would react similarly by percentage. I'm not convinced. As much as the media is liable to promote a point of view using polls as "evidence", I am suspicious that such reliance is because polls are so easily manipulated.
Most everyone who follows the gun debate remembers Arthur Kellermann and Donald Reay's infamous epidemiological farce which concluded (on the first pass) that people who keep guns in the home are 43 times more likely to have a family member killed by a gun than those who do not keep a gun in the home. This number kept getting revised downward as time went on and as more and more reputable reviewers poked holes in the data until the study was altogether discredited. The basis of the study, for which they claimed properly ruled out bias, was homes of people where a gun homicide had occurred. Apparently it didn't occur to either Kellerman or Reay that study "participants" were more likely to be endangered due to their criminal behavior then they were by idle, inanimate objects. Because the sample used was weighted so heavily with people involved in crime (prior felonies) the sample was biased in the extreme.
So why isn't it considered bias when respondents are limited to those who are likely democrat or republican registered voters? There are certainly states which allow crossover primary voting though not all states do. So, in those states where it is allowed, why not include responses from members of "third" parties?
Again, I'm not an expert in polling, but I am familiar with testing methodologies. I've been testing software for over 20 years. I have seen some very interesting and brilliant uses for random sampling that proved extremely useful. However, people are not like software or hardware. When applying random sampling techniques in simulations, the data being sampled is finite and well-defined in its characteristics. Humans are far more complex and infinitely less predictable than the opinion makers would have you believe.
The polling results we are seeing also doesn't account for claims made by RP supporters and noted by observers. These fall into several distinct categories:
- Young voters who were not old enough to have voted in the prior election cycle.
- Young voters who could have registered in the last cycle but did not find a candidate attractive enough to bother.
- Older voters who had given up on the electoral process.
- Independent voters who aren't always loyal to a specific "third party"
- Independent voters who have shown loyalty to a particular third party but will not be loyal to that party this election cycle.
- Democrats who plan on switching parties or will not be voting for a Democratic candidate for President.
Another factor that may be significant is the formulation of the questions. The questions do not attempt to discover any rationale for respondents choices but only the "seriousness" of the respondent (are you not sure, somewhat sure, pretty sure, extremely sure, super extremely sure....)
Are those sampled choosing an answer based on name recognition alone or based upon a specific issue which they agree with the candidate's view? Can the respondent even list the positions of the candidate they have chosen? Since polling questions as to motive are saved for another random sample, we don't have the answers to such questions by the original respondents. It is pure conjecture to attempt any linking of motives to the original responses. (ie; People are angry with Bush because the war isn't going well therefore) I am reminded of daily news reports which attempt to tell us why the market went up or down in spite of the fact that there are often news reports which contradict those reasons. Yesterday, Yahoo claimed that the market went up on retail sales reports. On the same page, there were two other news headlines, one which said that Walmart reported a 9% increase in sales last quarter, the other claimed that there was a general retail sales slump for the past quarter. While not equivalent, the claim by Yahoo that markets went up on reports of stronger retails sales is as reliable as claiming Ron Paul is getting 0-3% "real world" support.
It is also extremely early in the cycle to put any stock in polls that have been conducted thus far. As mentioned before, polls cannot be used to offer predictions. The only reliable political polls are those which include openly counted paper ballots.
One other important factor is the intentional omission of certain candidates. In spite of the fact that Ron Paul has surpassed the one-time front-runner McCain in cash on hand, neither Newsweek nor La Times/Bloomberg include Paul in its poll.
Anyone using poll results as a means to prove or disprove a candidate's chances next fall is revealing an agenda. The polling data that you aren't seeing would prove interesting I think. Candidates often hire polling firms to help them measure the results of certain policy statements. Clinton was notorious for commissioning polls to see which way the wind is blowing.
If polls were so good at predicting voter opinions, what happened with the recent fiasco over immigration? Both parties had to run for cover and the amnesty bill was abandoned. Wouldn't it be interesting to see privately commissioned polling data immediately after "The Decider" got decisive and demanded an amnesty bill?
I don't intend to completely dismiss polling data. However, the growth of third party membership and the decline of those participating in both telephone surveys and voting in elections suggests that the pickings are getting slimmer and slimmer for pollsters. To put any faith in them 16 months prior to the general election is unrealistic. To use them as a means of predicting the outcome of the general election? Completely absurd.
"The Scooter Libby decision was, I thought, a fair and balanced decision," Bush said.When did he go to work for Fox News? Or does Fox give him a kickback for product placement during press releases?
On Wednesday, July 11, 2007 the House passed HR.2900 without allowing the Ron Paul (R-TX) amendments to protect dietary supplements. Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), John Dingell (D-MI), Henry Waxman (D-CA), and others falsely proclaimed that they were doing America a favor by passing this sweeping FDA-supported legislation that grants the rouge agency more power and money, and even transforms it into a quasi drug company.
Both the House and Senate (S.1082) have made the fatally flawed assumption that the reason for so many deaths and injuries from drugs was due to the FDA's lack of resources. In reality, it is the INTENTION of FDA management that is the problem, combined with the simple fact that multiple drugs are extremely toxic and don't work as advertised. Giving the FDA more power and money will only cause the agency to speed more drugs onto the market faster with even less safety testing -- while abusing its power and actively stamping out competition to drugs. (sic)
Jul 11, 2007
As a long time libertarian, registered Libertarian and an occasional dues paying member of the LP, I'd like to dedicate this article to you. I'd especially like to reach those members who are feeling left out, or have been looking at recent events with a jealous eye.
I want to remind you that the Presidency is a single office. A plethora of local, state and national offices could potentially be gained if only you will view the current situation as an opportunity rather than a reason to wail at lost momentum.
Let's face it, 300 odd LP office holders is something for which the LP can be proud, but it is a pittance. Yes, the powers that be have, at every turn, attempted to thwart our progress. Tweedledee and Tweedledumber write ballot laws to prevent "Libertarian" from being listed next to "Democrat" and "Republican". They erect quota s to prevent access and they take public money (our taxes!) for their own campaigns while denying it to our candidates (not that they'd necessarily take it).
I have spent many hours dreaming of a time when libertarian ideas could be juxtaposed against the American version of Bolhshaviks and Menshaviks upon a national stage. If only [Harry Browne, Michael Badnarik, Ron Paul, Andre Marou] could have participated in the Presidential debates, we'd win in a landslide! Something like that anyway.
Well, now that has happened. We were right. When a libertarian is allowed a voice against arch-rival statists, the public responds favorably.
The Libertarian Party been hindered by the GOP and DNC resulting in less than stellar results. However, there are no valid excuses for the paltry showing libertarians have thus far achieved.
Ron Paul is an example we should study. While he did take up the Libertarian mantle for the 1988 Presidential bid, he chose a practical route. This route allowed him to build an unmatched libertarian resume by anyone this past 40 years, Republican, Democrat or Libertarian.
The Libertarian Party has not fared as well by avoiding the practical. This isn't to say that the LP and its advocates have not helped to advance the cause of liberty. Far from it. What they haven't done however, is amass resumes, the listed accomplishments of which instill pride and trust.
The LP may have a record it could use to market itself but it has poorly represented that record and has barely even attempted to present it. People are now flocking to Ron Paul because he has a solid, uncompromising, public record. People may disagree with his stands, but they couldn't argue that he hasn't held up the libertarian ideal.
The LP has an opportunity tap into the Ron Paul movement by joining it. In the 20 years that I have been a libertarian, there has never been so opportune a moment, so hot a fire, so young the people joining in order to grasp freedom.
Think of it! And think of the prize. It will be a frustrating prize indeed if won and there are no libertarians in Congress or the Senate. What does anyone expect one man to do? Do you really think that 535 statists will just roll over for a libertarian President? Sure, he will have an army of unelected citizens jamming the phone lines, but that is not nearly enough.
Why couldn't the LP join this movement and support it wholeheartedly? Why can't the LP, which touts itself as a free market advocate, listen to what the market is saying? If it doesn't, then it will spend the next 40 years marking time or perhaps simply withering away.
This could be our year if egos are put aside. Rather than a step backward, it could be a giant leap forward. The LP could learn something from this experience and it could gain some very loyal allies.
The libertarian message is being delivered on a national scale. Those libertarians seeking lesser offices have a great opportunity. Half the Congressional House is up for grabs next year. Look at Congressional approval ratings. Not only are GOP candidates losing their base, but the Democrats have also by their actions squandered what good will they had after the elections. Incumbents misunderestimated Bush's incompetence and put their eggs in his basket back in 2001 (Patriot Act) and again in 2003 (Iraq War) and 2005 (Patriot Act II). They believed electoral support for the war was infinite and didn't even consider that it might evaporate. This year the Democrats plundered themselves even further by failing to defund the war. This last failure is having a very noticeable impact on their constituency.
Democrats who cast their lots with Bush, and there are few who didn't, are as vulnerable as they've been since 1994. Republicans have their loyal following, but it won't be enough to save them in 2008 barring another catastrophe at home.
Anti-war, anti-government candidates will have the most to gain if they can take advantage of this exploding grass roots movement. Come the elections, if the voters recognize candidates as a real alternative, no matter the label next to their name, the results could be quite surprising.
The LP has a real opportunity to begin building resumes. While in public office they could finally deliver what they've promised for over 30 years. Assuming, that is, LP members are not interested more in the party abbreviation next to the candidate than actually working to achieve a government that respects its boundaries.
Jul 10, 2007
My wife then responded: "When you don't have anything to say, it better look good."
Exactly...I'm still laughing.
Jul 9, 2007
In the meantime, the line next to me had cleared and the young woman working that isle peeked around her register and smiled.
"I can help you over here."I recounted the event to my wife and a friend of ours, who happened to be visiting, and it was received well. Some portion of the laughter was directed at my obsessive habit of talking about Ron Paul. Our friend is a self-described liberal (but acting libertarian - a single mom who is the epitome of responsible ) and was, coincidentally, excited to tell me that she had finally visited YouTube to find the source of my recent obsession. She couldn't have been more positive. And what's more, she was excited about the prospect of volunteering for the campaign.
"Thanks. You know, they should issue you folks some Ron Paul t-shirts."
Laughter...Then she asked a bit sheepishly, and to my great amusement, "Are you Ron Paul?"
"Oh no, I'm not Ron Paul."
"Ahh...well it's just, I've been seeing these signs for him all over town. It seems like everywhere I go there are signs about him."
"He's a Republican Congressman from here in Texas, he's running for President."
"When you go home tonight, hit him up on google. He's probably very different than what you might expect from a Republican."
"I will! Paper or Plastic?"
Since then, I saw the Tulsa and Houston television coverage and was reminded of something that has been nibbling at the edges of my consciousness for quite some time. Let me digress for a moment.
For the past 20 or so years, I have been arguing on the internet, posting my opinions and living my life. When I'm not making a living or playing with my kids, I am "fighting communism" as my wife jokes when she sees me posting to some website or my blog. For many of those years, the responses I received both on the internet and in off-line conversations, combined with a blind spot when it comes to my own abilities, formed a pretty bleak view of the world. If somebody didn't agree that liberty, free markets and the constitution were good ideas, then they fell into the group of "stupid people" who just didn't get it. It certainly wasn't my fault no matter how rude or combative my style. Ahem...
My cynicism had grown to fester so much that when Ron Paul announced, I barely noticed. I checked the campaign site around the time they had posted their second video. Prior to the first debate, it dawned on me that the Ron Paul candidacy would bring to libertarians what we had dreamed about for many years - the Holy Grail - exposure of libertarian ideas in a national forum, side-by-side with the alternatives.
And then, all hell broke loose as you know.
Back to this nagging thought that is only now coming into view. Laura from RedStateEclectic and Nick Bradley at Lew Rockwell live blogged the Iowa rally and mentioned something Ron said at the beginning of his speech.
"I'm glad I could join you".
They interpreted this as an inside joke referring to Ed Failor's ill-advised actions which inspired the rally. (Do the repeated gaffes of the PTB and MSM appear to be divinely inspired or what?)
He's recorded saying it in the parking lot also when he arrives and speaks to some of the rally participants. He was very gracious, giving all of the credit to the energetic young people who have been flocking to his message.
He also credits the volunteers (YOU) in his interview with KHOU. My thoughts became clear when Sid Burgess of Haskel, Oklahoma was interviewed by KOTA in Tulsa.
"I hope he wins," said Burgess. "I have a lot of faith in his campaign, but more important than the candidate is his message to me."
Eureka! Ron Paul is not making this candidacy about him. If you notice, every other candidate, to a man (or woman), is sending a similar message:
Look at me.
Listen to how important I sound. Look at my impeccably coiffed hair. Look at my Husband! (He used to be the President you know.) I exude the expertise and power to rule you in such a way that you will thank me later. Look at my wife, she's hot! Believe me, you want some of this candidate.
Ron Paul has lived his life and carried himself in such a way that this candidacy isn't really about him, even though his integrity is what makes him such an attractive candidate. He is delivering a message that needs nothing other than you to carry it. It doesn't need the national media, it doesn't need a pretty package, it only requires that you carry it in your hearts and minds and spread it to every corner of the US. You are Ron Paul. I am Ron Paul (...and I am a champion of the Constitution).
The Video is here.
It's an excellent piece and is a really good example of what the meetup teams can accomplish. National media? Not necessary. Politics is Local baby.
Jul 8, 2007
I was very impressed with the fact that this event was organized and put on by the Ron Paul meetup group in Las Vegas. Check out the gift they give him at the end....(Fiat Currency - 1913 - 2008).
Contrary to George's opinion, which was obviously disdainful - his blank stare when Ron Paul suggested freedom is popular was priceless - his attempt to belittle Ron Paul's chances will instead boost them just like poking a stick in a hornets nest will get you stung.
The Main Stream Media (so-called) is now damned if they do, damned if they don't. Every one of these stupid and biased outbursts continues to torpedo their credibility.
The internet is now the main stream and Ron Paul is going to win because and in spite of the establishment media. It's inevitable. Enjoy the interview.
Jul 7, 2007
The man is going to be our next President.
In particular, Thompson, who still is gathering the courage to officially express his desire to run for President, has been making rhetorical statements which sound amazingly similar Ron Paul. Unfortunately for Fred, he doesn't have a record to match his new found conservatism.
When Fred wrote an article for the National Review entitled For the Defense - Federalism and Me, Max Raskin posted on Lew Rockwell's blog that his sentiments were sounding awfully familiar in light of Ron Paul's record. The excerpt that Max posted was this:
"Adhering to the principles of federalism is not easy. As one who was on the short end of a couple of 99-1 votes, I can personally attest to it. Federalism sometimes restrains you from doing things you want to do."I literally laughed out loud at this one. To think that Thompson has ever voted out of lockstep with the party is funny enough, but that he would actually vote principle against them in deference to the 10th amendment was almost too much to bear.
It also presented me with my own personal challenge. It seemed funny, but what if Thompson was telling the truth and he really believed in limited government and separation of powers?
Being that I am pretty proficient in Perl, I decided to write a script which would peruse Thompson's voting record and give me some hard facts. The first job was of course to prove or disprove what I believed to be a misstatement by Thompson (being the one NAY in a lopsided 99-1 Senate vote) but secondly it would give me the ability to analyze the record to see if there was anything remotely supporting his new found belief in federalism.
So I proceeded to code up a basic screen scraper. I pointed it at six URLs which contained links to the vote tallies for Senate votes which took place during Thompson's tenure. These URLs are the following:
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/vote_menu_105_1.htmThese URLSs contain links to summaries for every vote recorded from 1997 to 2001 - the years that Thompson held office.
The script has to find the links to the vote summaries, traverse the links, massage the text such that it could be put into a data structure (hash) that could then be output into an excel document. ( I used Spreadsheet::WriteExcel to create the .xls document). As I parsed, I separated the votes into 4 categories based on the type of bills. This was dictated by the way that the Senate website publishes the summaries. The way that they publish the summaries varies by bill type (Nominations, Amendments, Original Bill's, Impeachments).
In my spare time, I was able to code something up that would do the trick. I did say I was pretty proficient. But I'm no perl monk. For some of the parsing I just used some regular expressions to clean up text and remove unwanted or un-needed text, but I also used HTML::Parser to strip the html so that I was left with just text.
Once I had the data into a data structure, I then parsed it into native Excel format in 4 separate sheets in a work book. I can make both the spreadsheet and the perl program available if anyone cares. It's a very inefficient process and the right thing to do would be to export the data to a relational database so it could be searched. The parsing takes about an hour though I do have the raw data stored now.
But on to the results!
Here's the break down by type:
Wrong side of a 99-1 vote? Well, There was a single instance of a 99-1 vote where Thompson voted No and the rest of the Senate voted yes. Unfortunately for Thompson, it was a meaningless amendment that had absolutely nothing to do with federalism. In fact the amendment was simply a resolution which had no legal effect even if signed by the President.
The date was March 23, 2000. The Amendment, 2888 which would have been attached to S. 251 was entitled: "To express the sense of Congress regarding the Rally for Rural America and the rural crisis." The vote was 99-1 with Thompson voting no.
The only other time that Thompson came close to 99-1 was a 98-1 vote on May 9, 2001. He voted against an amendment to provide liability insurance for teachers. The amendment was attached to S 1 (HR. 1). Whereupon Thompson voted for the bill with the amendment intact on June 14. So much for principle.
Thompson may not be lying about being on the wrong end of a "couple" of 99-1 votes. He may have just forgotten that it was only one. But he can't possibly be telling the truth about his reason for doing this being over the issue of federalism given the utter pork and rights violating nonsense he has voted to pass.
- He voted against a repeal of "know your customer" laws which allow the banking industry to report "suspicious" transactions of ordinary Americans.
- He voted for increases in Department of Education funding.
- Voted against setting conditions on sending funds to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization
Jul 6, 2007
Keep in mind that this is a live performance. The Woman who performs here, Eva Cassidy, passed away before finding recognition. She died at the age of 33 in 1996 of bone cancer.
Right-wing Republican and Presidential non-contender Ron Paul, the John Bircher with a long history of racism and anti-Semitism......It just goes downhill from there. CHB has also closed the article to comments.
(EDITORS NOTE: Because of the documented practice of Ron Paul's campaign of spamming web sites to try and artificially inflate their already-discredited claims of widespread support and our own experience with the underhanded and unethical tactics of his supporters, we have suspended comments on this story. This web site does not serve as a shill for any political campaign and we will not allow it to be used by Paul's small but loud legion of unethical supporters to spread misinformation or perpetuate their candidate's record of deception and hate. As we do with all elected officials of candidates for public office, we will continue to report misdeeds of the Paul's campaign and expose it for the sham that it is.)
Wired is reporting that War costs should meet or exceed 1.4 Trillion dollars by the end of 2017. Gee....we'll be in Iraq for 10 more years?
Additional war costs for the next 10 years could total about $472 billion if troop levels fall to 30,000 by 2010, or $919 billion if troop levels fall to 70,000 by about 2013. If these estimates are added to already appropriated amounts, total funding about $980 billion to $1.4 trillion by 2017.
ABC News' George Stephanopoulos Reports: Though often regarded as a longshot candidate for president, Republican Ron Paul tells ABC News that he has an impressive $2.4 million in cash on hand after raising an equal amount during the second quarter, putting him ahead of one-time Republican frontrunner John McCain, who reported this week he has only $2 million in the bank.
In an exclusive interview taped Friday and airing Sunday on "This Week," Paul said his campaign is on a better trajectory than McCain's.
"I think some of the candidates are on the down-slope, and we're on the up-slope," said Paul.
Good deal. Now go donate some more.
When the campaign releases its second-quarter fundraising figures, likely on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday, Paul’s increasing popularity will become more evident, Benton said.
Contributions from April to June will be “significantly higher” than the $640,000 that Paul had raised in the first quarter, Benton added.
I'm waiting with bated breath..
Jul 5, 2007
I reported that he had over 1.3 million views on YouTube and 18,742 subscribers to his channel. That was on July 1. The subscriber count is now at 19,225 and the video views have surpassed 1.8 million (1,878,429).
In 5 days, the 25 videos posted in his channel have been viewed over 500,000 times. That's over 100,000 views per day. By tomorrow night, the number of views will have reached beyond 2 million.
His subscriber rate is just over 100 per day. This may tail off. And it may be a sign of things to come. Either way, his growth has been staggering. Again I say to anyone who visits this place: This is not the result of a small group of people trying to trick the world into thinking Ron Paul has real support.
In just the time it took me to write this article, one new subscriber has been added (19,226)and over 140 video views occurred (1,878,566).
[Editor: 2,049,474 views now - 180 thousand views since I posted this. Astounding.]
The Australian ABC affillate reports here what many have already known for years.
Speaking ahead of the release, Dr Nelson confirmed the Government viewed Australia's involvement in Iraq as partially driven by the need to secure oil supplies, although he said the main reason was to ensure that the humanitarian crisis did not worsen.Duh.
"The defence update we're releasing today sets out many priorities for Australia's defence and security - and resource security is one of them," he said.
"Obviously the Middle East itself, not only Iraq, but the entire region is an important supplier of energy, oil in particular, to the rest of the world."
Jul 4, 2007
"I'm not going to extend him an invitation to come here because he has managed to insult and in many ways abuse Republican activists with his strident lingo. When he attacked Bush, that we created 9/11 - that's an absolute lunatic talking," Beltram said.
"I can't put up walls to keep him out, but I don't have to invite him here to a county function."
Paul says that won't stop him.
"It's the control by the political establishment to want to exclude the viewpoints, which many people consider telling the truth, and that's sort of a reflection of people like (Beltram). They don't want to hear it, so the best thing to do is exclude it," he said.
"But there's a limit as to how much they can do to silence us."
Jul 3, 2007
Jul 2, 2007
Elections over the years have moved toward a relatively small number of donors - mostly big lobbying, corporate and powerful individuals. The first part of a "top tier" candidate's strategy is to line up the big donors, then line up the establishment endorsements - to further line up donors. But more importantly, they have interacted very little with the constituents and depend upon the MSM to drive their message. In essence the establishment media has acted as the defacto advertising arm because this coverage will net them millions in advertising to their national and local affiliate stations.
Where this becomes important is that their support in the real population is not nearly as strong as the media coverage would lead anyone to believe.
People vote for them not because they are that excited but because they think that they are voting with the majority. They pick their candidates and then essentially make up their reasons for the choice later. The "apathetic" 100 million or so who have stopped voting, simply do not care anymore because they see it for the farce that it is.
But Ron Paul is different. Not just because of his positions. But because he hasn't approached his campaign(s) in the same way.
He didn't start out by hitting the big donors, he started out by developing a message that would appeal to a broad coalition of individuals. It has, and has brought the support of individual donors.
The point I'm making here is that the "top tier" candidates do not have nearly the support that is imagined. It's shallow and based on name recognition only. It doesn't matter anymore what the MSM reports or doesn't report. It is already too late for them. Ron Paul is going to win. They can either jump on the bandwagon or forever alienate us (I don't count since I haven't had a television in my home for the past 10 years).
Y'all could just turn off the TV (if you haven't already), have lots more time to work the streets for Ron and help build the new MSM.
We *are* America, and we *are* the new MSM. Don't believe me? How can thousands upon thousands of internet surfers be wrong? Everyone has to be noticing the amazing increase in traffic to their sites since they started covering Ron Paul.
I've had my blog since 2004. If I ever got 20 page views in a day I was lucky. Now, I am beginning to get a steady, 300 page views a day merely because I started focusing on Ron Paul. Hell, I wrote about Ron for many years prior but he wasn't running for President then and nobody other than a group of loyal libertarians had ever heard of him.
That's all changed. We are the new media. The current MSM has already been rendered moot. Guess where all of these advertising dollars are going? Yahoo, DoubleClick, Google. The market is speaking. Listen to it.
Jim Guest (the Missouri State Congressman who gave an introductory speech for Ron Paul at the event) was asked (beforehand) to look into why the local media wasn’t covering the event, his contacts (at the stations?) reported back that the FCC had contacted the stations and told them in no uncertain terms not to give coverage to Ron Paul’s event. This isn’t some wild conspiracy that was on the rumor mill at the event. I was standing right next to Congressman Jim Guest while he was explaining this to someone who had asked him why the major media wasn’t here covering Ron Paul.This information was sourced to this post in GotMead.com's forum.
Somebody should probably contact Jim Guest and find out if he said anything like this during the rally and if there is any corroborating documentation of a concerted FCC effort to shut down Paul coverage. Not that it makes any difference, but it would be good to have a smoking gun.
Editor: the original post which is the origin of the "rumor" is available again.
So now, petitioning the government is an offense against the state.
Editor's note: Title corrected. My Bad.
At one time Robinson railed against Bush and called him a cokehead. He flip flopped on that and supported Bush in 2000 and 2004 and he now supports Fred Thompson who has his own addiction problems; he is a serial womanizer. Unlike Clinton however, Thompson's ex-girlfriends still speak highly of him. To each his own.
The Alchemist over at unknown news shares his thoughts.
I don’t agree with every single thing he stands for, but dammit, he STANDS for something, is against foreign military adventurism, corporate influence in government, phony wars, government intervention in our lives, and is for cutting our bloated military and returning America to a sound economic and diplomatic footing. Sounds pretty good to me.
Jul 1, 2007
They should be commended for allowing us who shun tMSM or were subject to shunning by MSM, to get an idea of how events at the Iowa rally for Ron Paul were unfolding. I expect we'll see more from Ron Paul supporters as this campaign progresses. It is going to change the way that blogging and political activism occurs.
The DesMoines Register reported that yesterday's Ron Paul rally in Des Moines drew "over 600" supporters (which in and of itself is a respectable number even if erroneously reported) supporting Dr. Paul's alternative to the Iowans for Tax Freedom Forum.
The New York Times, rather than do their own research, parroted the Register when in fact the event drew well over 1000, enthusiastic Ron Paul supporters. The day of Ron Paul's candidacy being an internet-only phenomenon is dead. His support is now demonstrably real, and his supporters cross all political and socio-economic boundaries. He also has risen in at least one scientific poll to 3.2% from 2%.
The next phase in the battle against Ron Paul will be the personal attacks. Expect more over the "earmark" issue and more regurgitation of the 1992 newsletter which he has disavowed and didn't write.
Both the Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle have attempted to paint Paul as a hypocrite for passing on constituent's request for federal spending in his district. The fact that he responds to his constituent's requests but then votes no on the final bill is either not noted or given little attention.
Ron Paul supporters can take heart in these attempts. At each and every turn, the mainstream media is proving that it cannot be trusted to fairly cover his campaign. The more the MSM attempts to control the news, the more people will flock to the internet to seek the truth, which can only help Paul's campaign. Everywhere one turns, Paul's supporters are making Paul's views known and organizing real world events.
The Ron Paul machine is gaining momentum. The latest attempts to belittle are, rather than proof of his irrelevancy, quite the opposite. Ron Paul's YouTube subscriber list is set to pass 19,000 any day now (it is currently at 18,742) while views of his videos are past the 1.3 million mark. And that doesn't count the views of Ron Paul related videos produced and uploaded by other YouTube members. I imagine a view count in that regard would be staggering.
In reality, it is the other 10 declared GOP candidates who are proving themselves irrelevant. At a time when the American people are desperate for an alternative to the status quo (70% of Americans want us out of Iraq), the "credible" candidates are to a man claiming we haven't yet done enough in Iraq and should creep further north into Iran.
None of these candidates seem to be even a little bit concerned with the financial crisis looming due to failed foreign and domestic policies which they advocate.
The irrelevancy of their ideas is nowhere more evident than in the grass-roots support they are generating or the number of individual campaign contributions they are receiving. While the "first tier" receive millions from past and future corporate welfare recipients, Ron Paul receives the bulk of his donations from individuals.
On the internet and campaign stops around the states, these candidate's supporters are either nowhere to be found or consist of sneering hacks who have been paid by their respective bureaucratic campaigns to warm seats. They haven't been able to top Paul's internet support and have nowhere near the on-the-ground support. This is understandable since they are merely preaching the same old tired slogans informing us that our opposition to current and recent US Foreign policy is unpatriotic and that it is tantamount to supporting terrorism to so much as raise questions.
The covered candidates ignore the younger generation entirely by refusing to even warn them of the costs they will be incurring if their advice is followed while the MSM tries to do everything it can to belittle their impact.
At every turn, the establishment is helping to elect Ron Paul. So, rather than be upset, we should be very pleased. The current tactics will only serve Dr. Paul's campaign. A turn from these tactics at any point in the campaign will further increase Paul's chances of gaining not only the nomination but the Presidency. In short, they are "damned" if they do and damned if they don't because Dr. Paul's support is quickly approaching the critical mass needed to become an unstoppable political juggernaut if it hasn't already.
The other, much overlooked element which contributes to Ron Paul's success is that his message is overwhelmingly positive. Rather than scare those within earshot into supporting him, Ron Paul promises freedom; something his opponents do not promote, much less fathom.
So, go ahead Mr. network news talking head, go ahead Matt Drudge, go ahead Rudy Guiliani, keep trying to belittle Ron Paul. It's working, though not in the way you may have intended (welcome to your first class, personal lesson in blowback, folks). ronpaul demidog