Category Archives: Conservatives
Who is Grover Norquist? He is a GOP hack conservative anti-union lobbyist and President of the tax lobbying group, Americans for Tax Reform. Norquist, along with Bill Kristol, Ralph E. Reed, Jr., Clint Bolick and David McIntosh is one of the so-called “Gang of Five” identified in Nina Easton‘s 2000 book by that name, which gives a history of leaders of the modern conservative movement.
They are all anti-union at their core of mud.
Every dollar that is spent [by labor unions] on disclosure and reporting is a dollar that can’t be spent on other labor union activities.
Well, at least Grover was honest about his motivation for strangling labor unions, and a new in depth report from the Center For American Progress, shows that’s not the case with most of the partisan Republican hacks who have been directed by their corporate masters to drown unions in paperwork.
The CAP report details what all union officials already know. Over the past five or six years, the Bush Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards has systematically and dramatically increased the financial reporting burden faced by labor unions. Now, no real unionist is opposed to transparency and sensible reporting – but the reporting requirements imposed by the Bush administration have little to do with transparency, and everything to do with forcing unions to waste time and money jumping through hoops.
Here are some passages from the report:
Lax regulatory enforcement, however, has not been a government-wide policy. In at least one instance, rigorous and in fact pernicious regulatory enforcement was the course chosen by the Bush administration. That instance involved the regulatory authorities of the U.S. Department of Labor under the Landrum Griffin Act aimed at improving the governance of the nation’s organized labor organizations.
Rather than relax these regulatory responsibilities, the Bush administration shoveled significantly more federal tax dollars into the department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards so that key political operatives in OLMS could expand and exercise regulatory authority to:
-Impose costly and confusing new reporting requirements
-Attempt to increase the number of criminal prosecutions
-Disclose the results to the public in seriously misleading ways
-Mis-characterize the published data through a variety of false analyses
The underlying purpose, of course, is to undermine the reputation of the labor union movement through a classic political misinformation campaign-all under the supervision of a lifelong partisan political operative whose career has been dedicated to the destruction of his political opponents.
Make no mistake. Any conservative who says they are pro-union is lying to your face. I haven’t met a genuine conservative labor supporter yet. Unions and union bebefits eat at the almighty profit margin, and we all know Bush won’t have any of that. This report frames the perpetual greed and complete lack of respect that conservatives have for the American worker. They outsource our jobs, force wages downward, and bust unions all in the name of profit.
Just ask anyone who works at Wal-Mart.
The ideology and actions of the so-called “Gang of Five” is pathetic, short-sighted and patently anti-American. Little do they realize that the artificial pressure they endorse that is strangling unions will ultimately backfire as more and more American workers are realizing that they’re employers are not working in their best interest, only their own.
The cycle will come full circle…it is already beginning.
President Bush offered rare public comments yesterday on his past problems with alcohol, President Bush said that he had never been a “knee-walking drunk,” but that “I doubt I’d be standing here if I hadn’t quit drinking whiskey, and beer, and wine and all that.”
Bush has previously said he often drank too much as a young man, and that he quit drinking in 1986 after overindulging on his 40th birthday.
There was also the cocaine rumor that was never verified…
Shortly before the 2000 presidential election, news surfacedhe was arrested in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol near his parents’ home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Bush went on the say, “Alcohol can compete with your affections. It sure did in my case – affections with your family, or affections for exercise.”
“It was the competition that I decided just wasn’t worth it.”
He also maintained he has not had a drink of alcohol in 21 years since he quit, and said he’s a “better man for it.”
Although sometimes I do wonder about that last part. Let’s face it, there have been many occasions over the past few years where Bush has looked drunk, medicated, stoned, or all three!
Take last year’s G8 summit.
If you take Bush’s quotes and separate them from other world leaders, he sounds just like a whiskey drunk.
“Gotta go home. Gotta do sumthin’ tonight. Get ona plane. Go home. It’s a long flight. How long is your flight? That’s a long flight. Your country is big. His country is big too.”
I’ve heard this kind of language before…out of some mindless drunk who can’t shut up. Bush just kept running his mouth off, totally disconnected from the non-verbal clues of the people around him.
It was more of the same at the G8 press conference. Bush couldn’t stop talking about the pig roast. It didn’t matter what anyone asked him, he just kept saying whatever his soaked brain was looping on, in this case, the pig.
There was also a time he went to Canada and couldn’t get off the subject of the mouth one of the Canadian Prime Minister’s staff members! “You’ve got a purty mouth.” Not once but several times. “You’ve sure got a purty mouth.” And, “Your mouth is prettier than my Scott’s mouth.”
Who does this outside of dive bars?
At meeting with leaders he routinely sits slouched back in his chair, like a guy at a barbecue on his second or third 6 pack, chomping on his food with his mouth open, and making minimal effort to keep up his end of the conversation.
Then there was the presidential debate with John Kerry. Remember that fiasco. The lectern was literally holding the guy up.
Most world leaders seem to act very restrained and controlled around Bush, maintaining a public facade of geniality while holding back from actually being engaged with him. What seems to be courtesy from many diplomats may actually be them trying to get through the fog around Bush as they work to penetrate some kind of lucidness.
Bush’s social modus operandi with everyone, seems to be overuse of meaningless language, forced jocularity and fake intimacy to foster a relationship that does not exist.
Like a drunk, no one really wants to be around him.
No drinks in 21 years Mr. President? I wonder about that indeed.
Although, it would surely explain some of his policy decisions and verbal gaffs, now wouldn’t it?
We thought, here at ShadowDemocracy.org, that we would publish Ann Coulter’s long and infamous timeline of voter fraud crime, and how this two year trail of deceit has ultimately led to no conviction…only revealing more corruption at the highest levels. If you had any doubt that the political machine is at work in Florida, there won’t be after you read this…
2/15/06: Ann Coulter Commits Vote Fraud Felony…
Signs another person’s address to voter registration form and votes in the wrong precinct…
3/30/06: Ann Coulter Given 30 Days to Explain Vote Fraud Felony Allegation…
Palm Beach, FL election supervisor May refer charges to state attorney…
UPDATED: Property records show an ‘Ann H. Coulter’ owning a $1.8 Million House on Seabreeze Ave. in Palm Beach, Fl.
4/11/06: Ann Coulter’s Felonious Florida Voter Registration Application
GOP pundit Ann Coulter latest in a growing list of Republicans accused of fraud…and she may be guilty…
State, and county records show inconsistencies on voter registration form…
6/2/06: Ann Coulter ‘Lawyers Up’ to Face Felony Voter Fraud Charges
A Palm Beach paper reports GOP extremist pundit retains ‘Bush’ law firm to fight voter fraud allegations…
6/9/06: New Attorney Seeks Special Treatment for Coulter…
Letter from Coulter’s lawyer asks that all mail be sent to him instead of address where Coulter admits not living despite previously stating the opposite was true…
11/1/06: Ann Coulter Refuses to Testify regarding Voter Fraud in Florida…Case to be Turned Over to Prosecutor…
Coulter, a well documented rightwing extremist and hate-monger, refused to cooperate with authorities…
Palm Beach election supervisor having trouble bringing charges…
5/11/07: FBI Agent Who Interceded in Ann Coulter Voter Fraud Case Alleged to be Her Former Boyfriend…
A Palm Beach Paper says FBI agent attempted to clear Coulter…Conservative Coulter critic Borchers says her ’98-’99 boyfriend has been ‘Her personal FBI resource for her own purposes’…
8/2/07: Palm Beach Post: Florida Election Commission Investigating Ann Coulter’s Florida Voter Fraud
After her FBI boyfriend got her off the hook, will Jeb Bush’s FEC appointees do it again?
Two years after an initial ‘slam-dunk’ allegation of fraud, the Florida Election Commission rules that the two year statute of limitations on has run out…case closed. Check out more links here, here, here…
So what is the lesson kids?
Another Republican felon gets a pass, this time in friendly country, otherwise known as the Sunshine state. It just goes to show that in modern American politics, you can get away with just about anything, as long as you know who d&*k to suck, on…and off the camera. The evidence was obvious, the charges legitimate, and the crime real, but the likes of Ann Coulter, in all of here hate mongering extremist glory, has sunk to an all time low when no one thought it was possible. Even conservative bloggers have thrown her overboard.
What a disgrace.
In the course of just a few weeks, Mike Huckabee has capitalized on his Iowa surge and roared to the front of the Republican pack in South Carolina, largely on the strength of social conservatives frustrated with the current crop of candidates.
“We’ve been on the stove simmering for about 11 months,” Huckabee said at a rally in Greenville on Saturday. “Somehow in the last two weeks, the lid blew off and the pot started boiling.”
A month ago, Huckabee was fifth in South Carolina polls. Now, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll conducted in the state, Huckabee comes in at 20 percent, putting him in first place with a narrow lead over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who comes in at 17 percent.
They are followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 15 percent, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson at 14 percent and Arizona Sen. John McCain at 10 percent.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, himself a die-hard supporter of McCain, predicted the political wave last week, telling reporters in Washington, “what you see nationally with Huckabee is happening in South Carolina.”
Oran Smith of the conservative Palmetto Family Council said Huckabee’s momentum, media attention and strong debate performances may have given once-hesitant voters newfound confidence in Huckabee, who for months was considered a long-shot.
“So many now are focusing on people they think are more in line with their values, but can win. So you’ve got Romney and Thompson vying for that ‘conservative who can win’ label, and all of a sudden here comes Huckabee,” Smith said.
That enthusiasm was on display over the weekend in South Carolina, when supporters and media jammed into a Lizard’s Thicket restaurant on Saturday morning in Columbia to see the former governor of Arkansas.
The cluster of camera crews may have been in town to cover Oprah Winfrey’s upcoming rally for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, but Huckabee was happy to put on a show for them a day early.
Hoisting himself up on a step ladder above the noisy elbow-to-elbow crowd, he gave a rousing speech laced with his trademark wit and intriguing brand of Republican populism (“I’m a conservative, but I’m not mad at anybody,” he likes to say).
Huckabee implored the audience to vote in the primary on January 19.
“We need to be able to nail something down after coming out of Iowa and New Hampshire,” he said. “We want to put down some deep roots here.”
Huckabee will run his first television ad in South Carolina on Monday, a family-friendly 30-second spot called “A Better America.”
Rep. Bob Inglis, who represents the Greenville-Spartanburg area, jumped off the fence to endorse Huckabee last month. Inglis said his candidate “has the authenticity and transparency” to attract new voters.
“I see he and Obama as very similar in what they’re trying to do,” Inglis said, referring to the Illinois senator’s willingness to break with party orthodoxy on certain issues.
“I think that Huckabee has got to find a way say things that need to be said, that we’re not going to scare them into voting for us, we’re not going to demonize Democrats, we’re not going to hate immigrants,” Inglis said. “We’re going to be rooted in principle and focused on the future, and that’s what I think he’s found.”
As Huckabee begins to cut into his opponents’ support among evangelical Christians, who account for about half of GOP primary voters in South Carolina according to a recent AP poll, the arrows are beginning to come out.
The Romney and Thompson campaigns, both vying for support among social conservatives, have issued a salvo of press releases in recent weeks attacking Huckabee’s record on taxes and immigration.
On the Sunday morning after Thanksgiving, while Huckabee was giving a sermon at a Baptist church near Greenville on a Sunday morning, the Thompson camp blasted out three straight e-mail attacks on Huckabee in the course of about 20 minutes.
He has also faced some anonymous dirty tricks: On Sunday, mysterious fliers accusing Huckabee of “lying” about his role in the Wayne Dumond parole controversy were left on car windshields outside of his Greenville campaign stop.
The flier says it is sponsored by a group called “Lynchburg Christian Students for the Truth,” but a CNN investigation has been unable to confirm the existence of any group that goes by that name.
Huckabee also lacks the deep pockets of nearly all his GOP rivals, particularly Romney. His grassroots support in South Carolina, while loyal and enthusiastic, lacks the organization and funding of Romney’s ground game here.
However, with the holiday season in full swing, Huckabee could also be peaking at the right time.
“Christmas is coming up, there’s going to be some bowl games, and politics will be on the backburner except for in the mail,” said South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson. “As soon as Santa Claus comes down the chimney and leaves, here come the candidates.”
If Huckabee heads into late December unscathed, with the kind of support he has right now, he could become the man to beat come early January.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has vaulted over all major GOP challengers to take a commanding lead in the race to win the Iowa caucuses, while Barack Obama continues to edge ahead of Hillary Clinton among Democrats likely to participate. This is according to a new NEWSWEEK poll.
The most dramatic result to come from the telephone based interview based on 1,408 registered Iowa voters on Dec. 5 and 6, is Huckabee’s emergence from no-wheres-ville in the GOP race into the front runner’s spot in just two months. Huckabee is an ordained Southern Baptist minister and now leads Romney by a two-to-one margin (told you the Mormon thing would kill him in the end), 39 percent to 17 percent, among likely GOP caucus-goers. In the last NEWSWEEK survey, conducted Sept. 26-27, Huckabee polled a only 6 percent to Romney’s 25 percent, which then led the field.
Huckabee has also opened up a wide margin over the next three leading candidates, who all show signs of fading like cheap paint in the Arizona sun. Rudy Giuliani, who dropped from 15 percent in the last survey to 9 percent in the current one; Fred Thompson, who fell from 16 percent to 10 percent; and John McCain, who slipped from 7 percent to 6 percent, are all looking up at Huckabee now.
The poll, which has an overall margin of error of 3 percent, also indicated that on the Republican as well as the Democratic side Iowa is increasingly becoming a two-person race. Among likely GOP caucus-goers, 57 percent name Huckabee as their first or second choice and 39 percent give Romney as their first or second choice. On this measure, Thompson is a distant third, with just 20 percent.
“You rarely see anything like Huckabee’s surge,” says Larry Hugick, who directed the polling for Princeton Survey Research Associates. Hugick added that the reason has as much to do with a leeriness of the other candidates among Republican voters as Huckabee’s folksy success on the stump. “He’s filling a vacuum,” Hugick said. “Nobody on the Republican side was getting strong support.”
Say what you will but Huckabee comes off genuine and articulate. I’ve blogged about this recently here…
Sure he might be construed as another Christian fundamentalist nut, but he’s a likeable Christian fundamentalist nut…and that may be enough in Iowa.
What people don’t seem to wrap their mind around is that America is thirsty for honesty from a President in any form, even if that President has some weird baggage. While evangelicals are carrying Huckabee in Iowa, it is the other 50% of plain old Republicans that are putting him over the top! Why? Because Romney looks too slick (and he’s a Mormon), Giuliani looks too much like Bush (wrong answer there), McCain is just plain crazy, and Thompson talks like he is just plain stupid.
The best analogy I can come up for Huckabee is that he’s Reagan, only holding a really big cross, like those guys who shout bible verses at you downtown on a Wednesday afternoon. Iowa voters appear to be willing to take the chance he won’t impale us on it.
Who would have thunk it?
Reprinted from RawStory.com
Support for President Bush and his Iraq war policy is nearly as anemic among US military families as it is in the general population, according to a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll.
The survey finds that almost 60 percent of the military community — which was defined as active and former service personnel as well as their families — disapprove of the president’s handling of the war. The same percentage of the group disapprove of Bush’s overall performance as president. Meanwhile, only 37 percent of the family members approve of Bush. Among civilians polled, the war garnered support from 32 percent of respondents.
Families that include veterans of wars presided over by the president were found to be just as critical of the war in Iraq as other Americans, with a full 60 percent saying the war was not worth the cost.
“Patience with the war, which has now lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II, is wearing thin — particularly among families who have sent a service member to the conflict,” reports the Los Angeles Times‘ Faye Fiore. “One-quarter say American troops should stay ‘as long as it takes to win.’ Nearly seven in 10 favor a withdrawal within the coming year or ‘right away.'”
The new numbers stand in stark contrast to a poll of military families conducted by the University of Pennsylvania three years ago, in which twice as many individuals approved of the president’s performance.
The poll also finds more support for Democrats than Republicans when it comes to “treatment” of active-duty military personnel, indicating that a “plurality of military-family members, 39 percent, say they believe Democrats are likely to do a better job handling those issues, compared with 35 percent for Republicans,” according to Bloomberg news.
A military sociologist told the Los Angeles Times that flagging support for a president from servicemembers’ families in a time of war wasn’t typical. “You generally expect to see support for the president as commander in chief and for the war, but this is a different kind of war than those we’ve fought in the past, particularly for families,” he said.
One Army mother responding to the poll, whose son was wounded in Iraq, told the Times that she feared casualties in the conflict were for naught.
“I don’t see gains for the people of Iraq…and, oh, my God, so many wonderful young people, and these are the ones who felt they were really doing something, that’s why they signed up,” she said. “I pray to God that they did not die in vain, but I don’t think our president is even sensitive at all to what it’s like to have a child serving over there.”
Complete polling results are available here.
“Nobody in uniform is doing victory dances in the end zone,” Petraeus told reporters. Gates said on Wednesday that the violence in Iraq had dropped to levels not seen since the bombing of a Shiite shrine in the central town of Samarra that unleashed brutal Shiite and Sunni conflict nearly two years ago. He said the reduction in violence meant the “goal of a secure, stable and democratic Iraq is within reach”.
But is it?
Petraeus, who in September announced to Congress the first possible elements of an American troop drawdown in Iraq, was more cautious on Thursday when he said, “We work hard to build up on the progress made” but “we have to be careful not to feel too successful.” He went on to add, “Certain days we certainly feel very good but there are still attacks. We have seen continued improvements,” he said, adding that there was “much hard work still to be done and issues to be addressed”.
iCausualities.org, a website dedicated to tracking Iraq casualties, puts the death toll of American troops for November 2007 at 37, down one from 38 in October. However there have been months with lower death totals. January of 2003, August of 2003, September of 2003, February of 2004, March of 2005, and March of 2006, all saw lower troop casualties. Furthermore, the data clearly shows consistent peaks and valleys in troop casualties and violence throughout the last four years. Furthermore, there has been no period of more than six months that shows a consistent downward trend, before violence increased again. As of now, we appear to be in one of the ‘valleys.’ This is to say, the data supports no conclusions regarding violence trends. Maybe this is why Petraeus isn’t counting his chickens just yet.
The chart above displays civilian casualty numbers from this year.Although casualties from shootings and bombings is down in the ‘Green Zone’, they appear to be flat or trending up outside of Bagdad. What conclusions can we draw?
Here is some ICCC data…
No one can say if al Qaeda has been quashed. For all we know, there may be another surtge in violence around the corner or worse. What we can conclude from the data I believe is that petraeus is painting a rosie picture for the American people and the administration. The troop surge has resulted in a reduction in casualties overall in Iraq, but this reduction is far from the knockout blow Bush is looking for. I do think that all Americans sincerely hope that the declining casualty trends continue, as I do, but I would not jump to any conclusions right now. Al Qaeda, as demonstrated in Afghanistan, is alive and well. In that country, violence and casualties are on the rise, poppy production is at an all time high, and the civilian landscape is in chaos.
Could it be that Al Qaeda has shifted fronts and is helping the Taliban, knowing we can’t effectively fight this “war on terror” on both fronts?
It makes for interesting conversation.
This a follow-up to a recent post on illegal chemical testing on U.S. citizens…
Twelve states sued the Bush administration Wednesday to force greater disclosure of data on toxic chemicals that companies store, use and release into the environment.
The state officials oppose new federal Environmental Protection Agency rules that allow thousands of companies to limit the information they disclose to the public about toxic chemicals, according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the lead attorney general in the lawsuit.
The change lets 100 polluters off the hook in New York alone, he said.
The EPA, however, said the change improves the Toxics Release Inventory law and eases requirements only on companies that can certify they have no releases of toxins to the environment.
The EPA this year rolled back a regulation on the law signed by President Reagan after the deadly Bhopal toxic chemical catastrophe in India in 1984, according to the states involved in the lawsuit. That law required companies to provide a long, detailed report whenever they store or emit 500 pounds of specific toxins.
The new rule adopted this year requires that long accounting only for companies storing or releasing 5,000 pounds of toxins or more. Companies storing or releasing 500 to 4,999 pounds of toxins would have to file an abbreviated form, said Katherine Kennedy, New York’s special deputy attorney general for environmental protection.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in New York City seeks to invalidate the EPA’s revised regulations.
“The EPA’s new regulations rob New Yorkers — and people across the country — of their right to know about toxic dangers in their own backyards,” Cuomo said. “Along with 11 other states throughout the nation, we will restore the public’s right to information about chemical hazards, despite the Bush administration’s best attempts to hide it.”
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said the EPA’s action marginalizes a 20-year program that required companies to report the amount of lead, mercury and other toxins they released.
“Polluters can release 10 times more toxins like lead and mercury without telling anyone,” he said.
EPA spokeswoman Molly O’Neill had no comment on the suit. Companies that can show they release none of the toxins can avoid filing long and time-consuming reports, she said.
The change, O’Neill said, is “making a good program better.”
Not really Molly.
More than 300 companies in states like California and New jersey can conceal data under the new EPA rule, which is what the Bush administration wants. This rule change has no teeth at all. It is just another example of Republican ‘let-industry-police-itself’ policy not serving the public good.
To combat this nonsense, states have chosen to file law suits, which I’m sure the Republicans will blame on trial lawyers as well.
“We feel the only course of action was to file suit and remedy this in the courts,” said Cuomo spokesman Jeffrey Lerner.
Other states suing the EPA are Arizona, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
This is what you get when you pack the EPA with a bunch of convicted ex-industry polluters and old oil executive buddies.
No surprise to me.
Is Ron Paul the One?
Do patriotic White Americans finally have a candidate they can vote for without fear of being sold out again? The Bush family has proven itself the equivalent of political toxic waste. The Bush family supports Open Borders and sees nothing wrong with filling America up with Mexicans. Bush Junior’s occupation of Iraq has cost the Republicans control of Congress. Many Republicans would like to see a complete change of direction. Ron Paul has been consistently against the Iraq War and he also supports securing the Mexican border.
One right wing web site reports that Ron Paul went from relative obscurity to a double digit lead after the first Republican debate in an MSNBC online poll. Jim Capo reports “Now in 2007, Ron Paul comes along last week and gives by most accounts of honest grassroots Americans the best performance in the first televised debate between GOP presidential contenders. Exclusively broadcast by MSNBC, Ron Paul led MSNBC’s post election poll from start to finish with nearly a double digit margin over his nearest challenger Mitt Romney. An even more crushing defeat of the rest of the pack occurred in an ABC News poll which at first had been posted on-line with only nine names on it — Ron Paul’s being the one missing. Irate Paul supporters who complained in the poll’s comment section at first saw many of their posts ominously deleted — some no doubt for language, others for editorial discretion bordering on the c word (censorship). After someone posted in the comment’ thread the cell phone number of a Senior VP at ABC News, the Paul name was added to the poll.”Admittedly the first Republican debate had a small audience. Most people have gotten sick of the “lock step” Republican support for the Iraq War and didn’t watch the debate assuming the candidates would be all the same. Most Americans didn’t know Ron Paul wants us out of Iraq. Still, it’s extremely significant that Ron Paul could jump ahead of the entire field based on a single performance. It also proves that the two biggest issues in 2007 are immigration and getting out of Iraq. Ron Paul is on the right side of both of these issues while the other Republicans (except for Tancredo on immigration) are falling short. If anyone can gain a great deal of momentum through the debate process, it’s Ron Paul.
Just a few weeks ago it looked as though we were going to be stuck with a liberal Republican in the form of Rudi Giuliani or Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Romney is famous for changing positions on key issues like abortion while Giuliani is famous for changing wives. No true conservative Republican wants anything to do with these two east coast liberals.
Romney’s net worth is estimated at being in the hundreds of millions. No doubt he is part of the New England country club elite that includes the Bush family. Someone should carefully check his stand on gun control since these New England elite types tend to sell us out on that issue.
The 2007 election is especially important because Hillary Clinton or the stealth candidate Barack Obama could easily be running. The Republicans need a rock solid candidate who will get us out of the Iraq War and secure the Mexican border if they hope to win. Any “compromise candidate” who wants to continue the Iraq War indefinitely is NOT going to win the hearts of the American people.
There will be more debates ahead and if Ron Paul continues to win the hearts of ordinary conservatives, he will survive the early culling as Romney and Giuliani finally face a serious challenge. Americans want to see a populist candidate, who is right on the key issues, defeat a system-approved candidate like Romney who showed up with his giant bags of money or the ridiculously overrated Giuliani who was mayor of one of the most liberal cities in America.
By: Charles Coughlin
Looks like the Nazi’s have their guy huh?
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, is gathering strong support from Christian conservatives, and has surged past three of his better-known presidential rivals and is now challenging former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for the lead in the Iowa Republican caucuses, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll.
Huckabee support is up 200% since late July, eclipsing former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain(Ariz.). Moreover, his support in Iowa appears stronger and more enthusiastic than that of his rivals.
The poll found that overall, 28 percent of likely GOP caucus-goers support Romney, while 24 percent support Huckabee. Thompson ran third in the poll at 15 percent, with Giuliani at about the same level, with 13 percent. McCain, whose Iowa campaign appeared to derail earlier this year over his stance on immigration, had 6 percent and was tied with Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.), who rose from 2 percent in July.
Huckabee’s gains were concentrated among the party’s conservative core, which translated into a 28-percentage-point bounce in support, mainly from Protestants, and a 19-point rise among conservatives. Huckabee also benefited from the decision of Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.) and others to quit the race. Brownback and Huckabee had been competing for many of the same religious and conservative voters. Moreover, Huckabee’s gain in this poll does not come at the expense of those still running, all of whom are faring about the same as they were in July.
But almost half of Huckabee’s supporters (48 percent) said they would definitely vote for him in January and only a quarter said there was a good chance that they would change their minds before the caucuses. In contrast, just 29 percent of Romney’s backers said they would definitely vote for him, while 42 percent said there was a good chance that they could vote for someone else.
The enthusiasm among Huckabee supporters is interesting, particularly in a year in which Republicans have been considerably dissatisfied with a field of mediocre candidates. Half of those who now back the former Arkansas governor said they are very enthusiastic about him, compared with 28 percent of Romney’s backers.
It is also primarily social issues that galvanize Huckabee’s backers.
More than four in 10 Huckabee voters call abortion or broader moral or values issues the race’s top one or two concerns. That is nearly double the number of Romney supporters to highlight these issues. Overall, three-quarters of likely GOP voters think that abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, and among the 24 percent who want the procedure to be unlawful in every instance, 36 percent support Huckabee and 22 percent Romney.
But, many issues drive likely GOP caucus-goers.
A quarter of those surveyed said immigration is their biggest or second-biggest concern when considering whom to back on Jan. 3. The same percentage, 24 percent, highlighted the war in Iraq, and nearly as many, 21 percent, singled out terrorism and national security.
Ten percent or more cited five other issues: the economy, health care, abortion, taxes, and morals and family values. Overall, eight issues ranked in the double digits, making the discussion in the Republican contest potentially more wide-ranging than that on the Democratic side. Among likely Democratic caucus-goers, only three issues reach 10 percent, and two — Iraq and health care — dominate voters’ concerns.
On immigration, Romney has an edge: 27 percent said the former Massachusetts governor is best on the issue, while Huckabee received 13 percent. No candidate is clearly preferred on the other top issue, Iraq, with Giuliani, McCain and Romney each considered the best by about two in 10. Giuliani doubles up the competition, however, on handling the terrorism fight.
Romney tops the field as the candidate most trusted to handle the economy and the federal budget deficit. He and Huckabee are preferred by about equal percentages on social issues, such as abortion and same-sex civil unions.
About six in 10 likely caucus-goers said they have been called by one of the campaigns. Twenty-nine percent have attended a campaign event, up six percentage points from July, but far less than the percentage of Democrats who have attended an event (52 percent). A third of GOP voters have visited one of the candidates’ Web sites and 29 percent have received e-mail. About one in five has spoken with or shaken hands with one or more of the GOP candidates. Fifteen percent have contributed money.
Romney has an advantage on the question of who has the “best experience to be president,” after a 10-point increase from July, when he was about even with Giuliani and McCain. Romney had held a marginally significant edge on “best understands problems of people like you,” but while he has stayed at 21 percent on this question, Huckabee has soared from 10 percent to 25 percent.
In July, Romney had the lead on “most honest and trustworthy” at 21 percent. He has risen to 25 percent, but Huckabee jumped from 10 percent to 26 percent.
On top of all this, there’s another intangible at work here I believe.
Huckabee seems really intelligent and genuine to me.
I had a chance to watch Huckabee during a recent television interview and I was quite impressed. His answers were well thought out and lucid, he conveyed his ideas and positions with honesty and candor, and he seemed prepared to lead. Unlike Romney, Giuliani, and the others, Huckabee was clear on his positions, never wavering, and never back pedaling.
Moreover, he wasn’t afraid to hide his Chritianity and clearly explained how he would not project his beliefs on others or use it as a political leveraging tool.
I like that.
If Republicans are smart, they’ll keep one eye on this guy. He has Romney’s charm, Giuliani’s grit, McCain’s humor, and Paul’s libertarian ideals, without out all the extra nuttiness and baggage. I will be interesting to see just how far he can go.
Sophomore Skylar Stains decided to have ‘Peace Shirt Thursdays’ for her and her friend, Lauren Lorraine. They started wearing peace shirts and recruited other friends to wear them. Now, the “Peace Shirt Coalition” as they call themselves, has close to 30 students from all grades.
“We’ve worn handmade peace shirts every Thursday since the first week of school, without fail,” says Skylar Stains.
However, what started out as a light-hearted gesture soon started to be taken out of context. Students started approaching the group members and yelling obscene things at them.
The heckling began early in the school year, according to group members. They say they were putting small posters promoting peace on friends’ lockers with their permission. They thought it was OK, because the cheerleaders and football players had signs on theirs. Eventually, though, group members say they were told by the school’s administration they could no longer hang up the posters.
“People just turned on us like that,” she said. “At least 10 boys stood up and yelled things at me at once, and we couldn’t even walk through the halls without a harsh comment being made.”
“People tore them down and drew swastikas and ‘white power’ stuff on them,” Lauren said, referring to the posters.
Skylar had similar things written on her posters.
“Someone taped an ‘I Love Bush’ sign over my ‘Wage Peace’ sign,” she said. “So I tore it down, threw it away, and the whole commons starting booing.
Someone also hung a sign that said, “I Love America, Because America Loves War.”
Lori Masterson, assistant principal at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High, said all students have the opportunity to form clubs and organizations on campus, but those wishing to do so must identify a sponsor and bring their written proposal to the principal outlining what the proposed group’s purpose and goals are.
“As of this writing, to my knowledge, no one has submitted a written proposal with an identified sponsor for a peace club,” Masterson said in an e-mailed statement.
But peace group members say they have submitted a written proposal and had a written sponsor.
As you might have expected, they were turned down.
Skylar and Lauren said that despite the backlash, the T-shirts and posters originally had nothing to do with politics, but the outburst from opposing groups have turned it into a political issue.
“People just kept putting words into our mouths, like we said this or that about current politics,” Lauren said. “But we didn’t say anything.”
Soon, a second group started to wear Confederate flag shirts to oppose the peace group, Skylar said. She saw shirts with sayings such as “This is America, get used to it,” and “If peace is the answer; it must be a stupid question.”
“Now there are even ‘support our troops’ kids who don’t like us because I guess they think you can’t say peace and support the troops at the same time,” Lauren said.
Skylar later passed out yellow ribbons for her group to wear to show they support the troops as well as peace.
However, Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High sophomores Lydia Pace and Joseph Marianetti say the Confederate shirts they wear express support for the troops in Iraq, and nothing more. Joseph said the shirts have nothing to do with racism.
For the troops in Iraq? What?
“Someone took something that stood for peace and twisted it” in regards to the swastikas (drawn by a third group) and the Confederate flag, he said.
On John Lennon’s birthday, the group held an honorary Peace Shirt day and was confronted even more than usual, eventually causing some group members, including Cheyenne, to break down in tears.
The peace group members say their shirts continue to draw negative comments from some students, but point out that other school groups don’t receive similar treatment.
“Since peace is causing other problems, the peace kids are being punished,” Skylar said.
Do you think there’s a bunch of fat, white, old time, stuff shirt, war-hawk, racist, conservatives in Cocoa Beach, teaching their kids to be hate mongers?
I believe so.
The People and Families of Cocoa Beach
In Cocoa Beach, about 54% of adults are married. Lots of people in Cocoa Beach live independently, in one-person housing.
Among adults, males are better represented than women in the city. People 65 and older make up an important part of the community in Cocoa Beach.
Wealth and Education
In 2000, Cocoa Beach had a median family income of $51,795. Cocoa Beach isn’t a place with a large population of people in poverty. The city, compared to most cities like it, can boast of a large population of high-income unmarried people.
In the 2004 Presidential fund-raising sweepstakes, George W. Bush came out ahead among Cocoa Beach residents, with $8,770. Residents gave more to the Republican party than any of the others.
Cocoa Beach Housing
In Cocoa Beach, 71% of the houses and apartments are occupied by the owners, not rented out. The city sports a large amount of seasonal housing, typically for vacation or part-time use.
In Cocoa Beach, 91% of commuters drive to work.
Stand tall against the rednecks Skylar. If you need any help on the blogs, we’re here for you. Anyone who wears a Swastika or a Confederate Flag shirt is a pinhead who endorses violence and racial hatred. They are as ignorant and foolish as our current president, who I believe also endorses these very things.
Don’t be naive Skylar. What you are doing is political, just be sure to defend your position. The legion of ‘The Stupid’ that is the Republican party and its sorted conservative knuckleheads will not give up easily because most of these people are patently stubborn and intellectually rigid by default.
In light of some fairly harse accusations regarding Eric Dondero, former Congressional aide to Ron Paul, that have been posted on our comment threads, I felt it necessary to reprint a post that he authored. The following provides some background on Ron Paul and Eric’s own position.
My name is Eric Dondero Rittberg. For 12 years I worked on and off, mostly on, for Ron Paul. I started on his staff in 1987 during his Libertarian Party Presidential campaign. I served throughout 87 and 88 as his Personal Travel Aide. Ron and I campaigned in over 40 states, including Alaska.
In 1992, I organized Ron’s Presidential Exploratory Committee. We operated the effort for about 4 months. We aborted the effort when Pat Buchanan declared for the GOP primaries. In 1995, Ron agreed to serve as my “boss” as National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus.
In 1996, Ron decided to test the waters for a Congressional Campaign. I moved to Texas and served as his Campaign Coordinator. Ron won first in the Primary and then in the General with 51%.
In 1997, Ron hired me as his Senior Aide and District Representative. My job title was to represent the Congressman at all functions throughout the District, to speak in his absence, and to handle all District Scheduling. I was also in charge of Local Governmental relations. I served in that capacity til February of 2004. I can honestly say that the Congressman was more than just my boss, he was also my friend. We had a good understanding, after years of working together, and were very good Travel mates.
Him and I would literally spend hours in the car traveling from one event to another, during campaigning and for District events. We would debate everything under the sun, in a friendly and fun sort of way. Our differences were always over abortion – I am Pro-Choice, he is firmly Pro-Life, and over foreign policy – I am Pro-Defense, he has always been more Non-interventionist. But we always maintained our friendship.
Then September 11, 2001 hit. My boss, Ron Paul, all of a sudden changed dramatically. Whereas before he was a reasonable non-interventionist, he was now rabidly so.
I must say that Ron always knew how to play the game before 2001. He always campaigned as a die-in-the-wool rock-ribbed Conservative Republican. Coming from the Libertarian Party there was always suspicions about him on this. So, he went the extra mile within the District to allay such concerns. He also campaigned as a “Bush Republican.” I recall two specific events when Ron publicly backed Bush for President, quite enthusiastically; Once during a big GOP dinner in Wharton, and another time during a Bush for President fundraising in Corpus Christi. He also had Bush’s photo on the wall at our District Office in Freeport.
I should also note that I personally spoke with Karl Rove twice in 1996. After Ron won the GOP Nomination, mainline Republicans were unsure as to how to treat him. We reached out to the Bush people. After my conversations with Rove, he put out the word to key Houston-area, Austin and Victoria Republicans to back Ron Paul. All of a sudden like a tidal wave all the GOPers came on board our Campaign.
Though privately, Ron leaned non-intervenionist, publicly he was always Pro-Troops, Pro-Veterans, Pro-Defense and quite Patriotic, particularly in his Campaign style. He made extra sure to attend as many Veteran’s events as possible. And when he couldn’t go, he would always send me, as the only Vet on staff to represent him. He always made it quite clear that I was to emphasize “my views on foreign policy” more so than his non-interventionist views at such events. And I did.
But after Sept. 11, things changed. He became morose. He became bitter, and quite pessimistic. I had to literally beg him to support the vote authorizing the President to send Troops to Afghanistan. I actually threatened to resign if he did not vote that way. And another key District Staffer, practically threatened to resign, as well. At the last minute Ron voted in favor of the Authorization. I suspected he only did it, cause he knew if he hadn’t he would cause the Republicans in the District to oppose him, and he wouldn’t win reelection. But 9/11 served as a wake up call for me. I started questioning how it is that I could work for such a man.
Before it was always just a fun-loving disagreement; debating in the car from event to event to pass the time. Now, I saw he was quite serious, and cared even less for how others, even constituents took his views on foreign policy.Ron and I grew apart. I served as his Travel Aide less and less in 2002/03.
Finally one day in the Summer of 2003, he called on me to accompany him to an event in Victoria. He was acting quite strange in the car. He kept prodding me on foreign policy. I knew he was trying to get me to debate the War in Iraq with him. But I kept my cool the whole trip. Finally, when we reached Victoria, I made a slight comeback, that I didn’t think his particular view on the War was correct. He jumped out of the car and lunged at me. Poking his finger into my chest, he looked me in the eye and said, “I will have nobody working for me on my staff who supports the War in Iraq, even you.” I’d only seen this look on Ron maybe once or twice in all my 12 years working for him. He was clearly quite angry with me. I knew he was trying to provoke me so that he could have justification to fire me. But I kept my cool.
For 6 months after than we didn’t speak. Finally, Chief of Staff Tom Lizardo suggested that Ron and I not talking to each other was not helpful to the “atmosphere” in the District offices. I offered to my friend Tom to resign. We discussed a date, two months out, and a compensation package and I agreed. I’ve been asked by others if my former boss is an Anti-Semite. My answer is an emphatic NO. I am half Jewish. I am familiar with Anti-Semites. Ron is not one of them.
But I would say he’s very insensitive to issues concerning Israel and for other concerns of Jewish Americans. Houston Jews were always suspicious of Ron Paul. But Ron could always point to me as his “Jewish Staffer.” He would even send me to Synagogues in the District and to Jewish events. But I do remember one time, when a group of Houston Jewish Young Republicans wanted to lobby the Congressman on some issues. I begged Ron to meet with them. He was very hesitant. He finally agreed. But the meeting turned out to be a disaster. The Jewish YRs came all the way from Houston, and all Ron did was berate them in our District Office about how the Israel Lobby was too powerful in Washington, and other issues. He also got defensive when the Jewish YRs expressed concern over Palestinian violence against Israel. I ran down the hallway after the meeting chasing the group, and apologized profusely to them. After 9/11 Ron also became much more upfront in his anti-Israel views. He’d even criticize Israel in public speeches which would make me cringe.
Ron Paul and I agree on about 95% of all domestic issues. We disagree on a myriad of foreign policy and defense issues. Still, he was my boss. He was paying me, so I was obligated to toe the line. This is not why I think less of him today.
Rather, what concerns me most was the fact that for many years he played both sides of the aisle. In the very Conservative South Texas CD, he was always Mr. Red, White, and Blue. If he couldn’t make a Veterans event, he made damn sure that his one Vet on staff could go, even if it was just 8 VFW guys meeting for a couple hours 3 hours drive away. Ron was very careful to portray himself in the District as Pro-Troops, and even Pro-Defense.
But after 9/11 and most especially after the War in Iraq, he played up his non-interventionist side to a national audience. This while still keeping the facade of Pro-Troops/Pro-Defense in the District. As late as last year I got a constituent mailing from RP with 4 pages of nothing but Patriotic/Pro-Troops/Pro-Veterans information from the Congressional office. I suspect the reason why RP has gone south on foreign policy for the national audience is simple: To gain more dollars from a National fundraising base, and to gain more National media attention from Liberal media sources.
People seem to think Ron Paul has a Jewish problem…and maybe he does.
At an event on September 11, 2007 at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies, Paul argued for withdrawing from the Middle East, telling his audience that “Israel is quite capable of taking care of itself” — though interestingly adding that US policy has “hurt Israel tremendously.” Paul also downplayed the threat Iran poses to Israel, saying that even if Iran does develop nuclear arms, that it would not be a serious danger to Israel.
His subtlety is what bothers me.
Given that Israel is armed as Paul suggests, really doesn’t seem to present a problem…or does it?
Paul’s position towards Israel is not innately anti-Jewish, nor is it necessarily outwardly anti-Israel. In fact, Paul’s position is not particularly uncommon, especially within conservative circles. Pat Buchanan led the charge in March of 2003, writing in The American Conservative that neoconservatives participating in and advising the Bush administration were steering the United States into wars that were not in America’s interests, but rather Israel’s.
Yet, much to his supporters’ dismay, Paul’s willingness to speak out against U.S. policy regarding Israel has effectively made him the sweetheart among those whom Presidential candidates would typically not desire support: white supremacists and anti-semites.
The Internet is filled with data that indicates Ron Paul has become the most popular candidate among right-wing extremists, including white separatists, neo-Nazis, and conspiracy theorists who believe that “the Zionists” were behind 9/11. Among these people are Frank Weltner, creator of the anti-semitic website JewWatch.com, who in a YouTube video, accuses the “Zionist-controlled media” of attacking Paul’s candidacy.
Of course, Congressman Paul cannot be held accountable for the views of his extremist supporters. Yet, he isn’t exactly doing anything to distance himself from them. For instance, when his extremist supporters began providing a substantial amount of campaign funds, his campaign has a habit of not returning the funds.
According to the Lone Star Times, White Nationalists like Don Black have become high profile donors to the Paul campaign. Black, the founder of Stormfront, and one of the most notorious neo-Nazis in America, has personally contributed $500 to Paul’s campaign.
To date, there is no conclusive evidence showing the Paul campaign has returned the money.
Paul’s campaign has no control over who sends them money. However, wouldn’t it make sense that if you do not wish to be identified with neo-Nazism, that you would send the money back?
Paul’s spokesman Jesse Benton told the Lone Star Times back in May:
At this time, I cannot say that we will be rejecting Mr. Black’s contribution, but I will bring the matter to the attention of our campaign director again, and expect some sort of decision to be made in coming days.
I believe any other candidate would unequivocally reject that money as soon as its donor’s identity was known. Why not return the money immediately?
On October 26, nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved posted an open letter on TownHall.com that read:
Dear Congressman Paul:
Your Presidential campaign has drawn the enthusiastic support of an imposing collection of Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Holocaust Deniers, 9/11 “Truthers” and other paranoid and discredited conspiracists.
Do you welcome- or repudiate – the support of such factions?
More specifically, your columns have been featured for several years in the American Free Press-a publication of the nation’s leading Holocaust Denier and anti-Semitic agitator, Willis Carto. His book club even recommends works that glorify the Nazi SS, and glowingly describe the “comforts and amenities” provided for inmates of Auschwitz.
Have your columns appeared in the American Free Press with your knowledge and approval?
As a Presidential candidate, will you now disassociate yourself, clearly and publicly, from the poisonous propaganda promoted in such publications?
As a guest on my syndicated radio show, you answered my questions directly and fearlessly.
Will you now answer these pressing questions, and eliminate all associations between your campaign and some of the most loathsome fringe groups in American society?
Along with my listeners (and many of your own supporters), I eagerly await your response.
Respectfully, Michael Medved
Medved received no response to the letter from the Paul campaign.
There is even evidence that suggests Ron Paul is anti-semitic on Shadow Democracy’s comment threads. A person by the name of Eric Dondero, who identifies himself as a former Ron Paul staffer wrote:
Ron Paul, my former boss, is not an explicit Anti-Semite, but he is most certainly anti-Israel and one could make a strong case – outright anti-Jewish.
During my 6-year stint with him, I served as his only Jewish staffer. He regularly touted me as proof against allegations that he wasn’t an Anti-Semite, even one time ordering me to wear Jewish clothing and attend a press conference of his Democrat opponent who was exposing his links to Anti-Semitic groups. I felt used.
(For the record, Ron did not know I was Jewish until I had already been hired.)
Ron and I finally departed ways, partly because I was ashamed to work for such an explicitly anti-Israel advocate.
If you still doubt his anti-Jewish/anti-Israel views, ask yourself this question:
Why is it that when Ron Paul talks about the evils of taxpayer dollars going overseas for foreign aid, he only singles out Israel as a recipient? Why does he never mention the billions we send each year to Egypt for foreign aide? Turkey, the Palestinians, other Nations? Never a peep out of Paul about those dollars. It’s just always the “Jews.”
Eric Dondero, Fmr. Senior Aide
US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
In fairness, the comments about Blacks being “fleet-footed” were written for Ron, though published under his name in his Ron Paul Newsletter, by his Top behind the scenes aide Lew Rockwell.
But the other comments about Israel being the most powerful lobby, were definitely Ron Paul’s words. In fact, I’ve heard him say similar comments on numerous occasions, some far more explicit, to private quasi-Anti-Semitic groups… the Jewish comments are very accurate.
Check out Eric Dondero’s website here: http://mainstreamlibertarian.com/_wsn/page5.html
So what are we left with? Is Ron Paul anti-Jew? The facts posted in the article seem to suggest that. How extreme are his views and can the nation take a chance on electing him to find out? His fundraising is on the up-swing and his poll numbers are climbing. Some polls have him as high as 16% in New Hampshire.
I contend that Ron Paul is merely being coy regarding his racism towards Jewish people and indeed, people of color. Couple this with his many other extremist views, as well as massive support among racists of various stripes, and you are left to ask yourself – is this a guy who we should be considering on any level for the Presidency?
Based on this information, I say absolutely not.
Investigators at Frost Bank discovered that the stolen cards were being used to make $5 contributions to the Ron Paul presidential campaign, in an apparent attempt to test the cards, as previously posted on this blog. Frost Bank refunded money from nearly 100 customers and canceled all 500 of the credit cards that had been stolen from the bank. The Paul campaign has told news sources it has refunded all stolen funds back to the bank from the stolen cards, which amount to about $3,000, considerably more than the figure of $60.00 originally being tossed around and flippantly dismissed by Paul supporters.
Kerri Price, assistant director of communications for the Paul campaign, noted that the donations from the stolen cards represent “a very small percentage of money that was brought in.” She also stated that, “We don’t know anything about the criminals that did this.”
In fact…no one does.
The tactic of ‘test charging’ used by these criminals as confirmed by investigators, is a fairly common tactic among identity thieves, also previously noted on this blog.
Another Ron Paul spokesman, Jesse Benton, emphasized, “Ron Paul does not have anything to do with this.”
This is clearly the case, now that all facts have been presented and confirmed.
As I indicated in my last post and several times in the comment thread – no one ever accused Ron Paul or his campaign of being thieves. That is simply foolish. No serious presidential campaign would ever engage in such activity. But the question put forth in my last post on this issue still remains…who are these people and are any of them possibly inside or close to the Paul campaign? No one is explicitly or implicitly saying they are, but the question does need asking. Were they just fanatical, misguided supporters? Grass roots campaigns are virtually impossible to police, and as of today, no one knows how these thieves got these numbers, where they got them from, or why they were used to donate funds to Ron Paul. The Paul campaign claims they know nothing about these criminals, and I tend to believe them, but others aren’t so easily convinced.
One of the Frost Bank customers, Christine Horton, who had her I.D. stolen is quoted as saying, “He’s getting money, stolen money…Whether he’s affiliated with it or not, I have no clue. But it’s too fishy.”
Horton’s suspicion may be relevant.
Why steal credit card information and donate it to Ron Paul’s campaign? Is the status quo, pro big-government establishment, or perhaps another campaign, as suggested in the comment thread by Paul supporters, willing to commit fraud and be jailed for a felony simply to discredit Ron Paul – using stolen credit cards to do it? Is the anti-Ron Paul element that dedicated to pushing Ron Paul down by any means possible? Maybe so, but the whole ordeal seems odd to me.
Maybe the issue here is simply people not paying attention as usual. How many of the tens of thousands of donors actually check the URL carefully for accuracy before providing their credit card information to the Ron Paul campaign? Were these people duped into visiting a ‘phishing’ site by criminals and that is how their numbers were stolen? Do they have a person inside Frost bank? What assurance do any donors have that the Ron Paul campaign or any other presidential campaign for that matter, does not store credit card information in a database on someone’s laptop that could be stolen at anytime?
While the paul campaign has one of the most comprehensive privacy policies of any campaign and does scan its donation site with Hackersafe to ensure there are no intrusions, these aforementioned scenarios are all valid and open to discussion.
People must realize that presidential campaigns, and if you have ever worked on one you would know, are pretty loose knit operations. For instance, presidential campaigns are not subject to the same rigid credit card security regulations that online retailers like Wal-Mart.com or Borders.com are subject to. Those businesses must carry a substantial credit card security yoke to remain industry compliant. A political campaign site? Not so much. In fairness to the Paul campaign, this is not the first and certainly will not be the last incident of this kind in the world of political campaign contributions.
I only hope that the Ron Paul crowd knows what they are doing. That originally reported $60.00 that Ron Paul supporters were casually dismissing just days ago, morphed into $3000.00 pretty quickly, and could have evolved into something much larger still, given the right set of circumstances.
I remain steadfast in my advice. Be careful when donating to Ron Paul or any political campaign when using a credit card. PayPal, pre-paid debit cards, and money orders are valid and safer alternatives.
“I told them this doesn’t make any sense, because this isn’t a credit card, it’s a check card, and I’ve got plenty of money in there, so what’s the problem?” Ruffino said.
A customer service representative for her bank informed her of a suspicious charge.
The bank representative explained that someone by the name of Ron Paul has been trying to take $5 out of the aforementioned account.
Identity theft usually works this way: Thieves gather up stolen credit card numbers online and run the test charges to see which numbers will work. If the charge goes through, they know they have an active card. Later, the hit the card for more money. It appears that is what happened here.
Representatives for the Ron Paul campaign said they have discovered more than a dozen mysterious $5 contributions in the past three days and said they’re working with banks to return the money.
A representative for the Texas Attorney General’s Office on Friday said these crimes are rarely prosecuted, because by the time thieves are tracked down, they’re often in other counties, and the Web sites are shut down.
We know that there have been campaign contribution improprieties in other campaigns, but those incidents usually involved one large donor. This situation suggests that the Ron Paul campaign cannot be trusted with credit card security or donations from small donors, and appears to be the first time this issue has come up in any political campaign among any of the current presidential candidates.
In the mean time, you may want to think twice before giving your credit card information to the Ron Paul campaign.
If Giuliani’s Opinion About Cheney is an Indicator of His Judgement, then we Better Send Him Back to New York…
Here is what Republican front-runner Rudi Giuliani had to say about the qualifications and character of current Vice President Dick Cheney.
I would want a vice president who was a partner. Someone who was in on everything that was going on, so that that person could take over if, God forbid, something happened. You know, I was working for President Reagan, in fact I had breakfast with him, with a lot of other people, the day he was shot. So, I have been very, very close to a possible presidential assassination and seen how that all worked out that day…
So, immediately it makes you realize that (the) choice of vice president is a choice that you have to do in the best interest of the country-and you owe that to your fellow citizens. In good conscience you have to pick someone that you believe can handle the job as well as you can.
How do you pick a vice president? … I think Vice President Cheney and President Bush’s pick of Vice President Cheney is a good example of picking someone who is qualified to be president of the United States. That is number one — it’s paramount.
Am I missing something? Does Giuliani want Cheney as V.P. again, or does he just want to have gay sex with him?
A presidential administration is made up of many people, all of whom must be accounted for as mandated by law for oversight and budgetary purposes. Cheney has refused for six years to say how many collaborators he employs. In fact, he is on the record on saying that he considers himself to be above the law! If that’s not arrogance and a complete disregard for the law, I’m not sure what is.
Cheney is an ideal partner for George W. Bush. Both men are liars, both endorse controversial practices like torture of prisoners, pre-emptive war, war profiteering, privatization of the military, etc. Cheney was the Secretary of Defense during the first Gulf War, and is also an entrenched Washington insider. Cheney’s record as V.P is morally questionable and illegal at worst.
Cheney is frequently designated as ‘the worst vice-president in the history’ of the United States.In a recent column, Sally Quinn, wife of Ben Bradlee who was the Washington Post’s editor during the Watergate era, stated, “The big question today among Republicans is how to get rid of Dick Cheney. He is perceived as toxic.”
In May, Dennis Kucinich, filed a resolution to open an impeachment procedure against the vice-president in the House of Representatives. In three articles, he accuses Cheney of having “manipulated intelligence to invent the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction,” with having “misled citizens about an unproven relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda” and with “openly threatening Iran with aggression without any real threat to the United States.”
In June, the Washington Post published a long series exposing the vice-president and the role he plays in the ‘shadows.’ Allegations include he has worked to authorize wiretapping of citizens since September 11th, torture at Guantanamo, how he succeeded in intervening in the choice of Supreme Court judges, etc. There are also wide spread allegations that he manipulated CIA intelligence prior to the Iraq War, and some say he pressured spies to provide information that could be used to sell the war.
No official or agent has yet denounced him, no proof has been provided to damn him, and he’s never been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
Then there’s the Scooter Libby thing. His tactics here are consistent with everything else he has done. Cheney’s Chief-of-Staff found himself convicted of false testimony and obstruction of justice and sentenced to thirty months in prison. Of course we know he was later pardoned by George W. Bush. “In the eyes of outside observers,” notes the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, “Cheney is the political equivalent of a black hole, which exerts a powerful but invisible force and emits neither light nor heat that could explain the decision process.” “He is the enemy within,” deems Newsweek. “He has privatized the function of the vice-president,” deplores the New York Times. “The irony,” emphasizes former Reagan Administration official Bruce Fein, “is that the president finds himself with less power than he would have had, had he and Cheney not had such extravagant and monarchical pretensions.”
This is who Giuliani wants as a back-up, or perhaps someone like him?
I have posted previously on this blog and commented that Giuliani is of the same dangerous and nisguided ideology that plagues George Bush and Dick Cheney. His prior comments and rhetoric clearly illustrate that he supports the war in Iraq and is quoted by many sources to that effect here, here. He also supports many of this administrations other initiatives.
That’s bad enough. However his endorsement of a criminal like Cheney is foolish and shortsighted. In only seven short years, mainly as a result of Bush and Cheney’s poison policies, the U.S. is weaker and has lost the respect of many nations around the world. Our civil rights are on the back burner, the constitution is lining the cat box and the middle class is suffering.
If Rudi thinks that’s competent leadership, then I hope he winds up on a fishing trawler to a remote area of Alaska before the 2008 election.