Thursday, May 31, 2007

Keeping America Scared

(via Lew Rockwell)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Norman Singleton wonders what our nation is coming to

Norman Singleton has a few words to say on the state of the nation:
On a recent edition of Meet the Press, Newt Gingrich offered his suggestions on how to ensure "the forces of freedom win." Among Newt's suggestions are "the development of a military tribunal system to lock people up the way Abraham Lincoln would've done it," and the establishment of "a nationwide ID card with biometrics so you can actually track everybody in the country."

There is something seriously wrong with a country where Newt Gingrich can advocate creating a police state and still be treated as a respected elder statesman and a serious contender for the presidency by both the mainstream media and the conservative movement, while Ron Paul is dismissed as a "fringe candidate" who should be silenced.

Ron Paul on CNN Sunday May 27

Thursday, May 24, 2007

CNN viewers support the Ron Paul Book Club: "Educating Rudy"

Finally, an accurate TV news summary of Paul/Giuliani dust-up at the SC debate. The host describes the event thus: "Paul had said that US policies in the ME contributed to the attacks of 9/11. Giuliani dismissed him and that theory and received a round of applause from the audience."

The host then solicits viewer feedback on the question, "Is Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul out of line in giving fellow candidate Rudy Giuliani a reading assignment?"

The responses are unanimous: Absolutely not.

"Patriotism is the effort to resist oppressive state power" - Ron Paul to House

Transcript and video of speech by Ron Paul to House of Representatives on May 22, 2007.
Unquestioned loyalty to the state is especially demanded in times of war. Lack of support for a war policy is said to be unpatriotic. Arguments against a particular policy that endorses a war once it’s started, are always said to be endangering the troops in the field. This, they blatantly claim, is unpatriotic and all dissent must stop. Yet it is dissent from government policies that defines the true patriot and champion of liberty.
As Goering said, “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”

Monday, May 21, 2007 Ron Paul has a Point

The Cato Institute's Radley Balko defends the Congressman from Texas in an op-ed on
The reaction to the showdown between Rep. Ron Paul and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been fascinating. Paul suggested that the recent history of U.S. foreign policy endeavors overseas may have had something to do with terrorists' willingness to come to America, live here for several months, then give their lives to kill as many Americans as possible.

Perhaps, Paul suggested, the 15-year presence of the U.S. military forces in Muslim countries may have motivated them. For that, Giuliani excoriated him, calling it an "extraordinary statement," adding, "I don't think I've heard that before."

Let's be blunt. Giuliani was either lying, or he hasn't cracked a book in six years.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Transcript: Ron Paul Speech at Fundraiser in Austin May 19th

("Three Shoes Posse" gives a sense of the mood at the event.)

Thank you. [applause] Thank you very much. [applause] Thank you. Thank you very much. This is a bit overwhelming, believe me. [applause]. You know, a few months ago, matter of fact, somebody this evening told me that last summer, he suggested I do this, and I was very, very reluctant, and I hinted in no way that I was planning to do it, nor did I really want to do it. And a few months after that, then others came to me, and they kept talking about it. The truth is I had been very, very reluctant, and I... it wasn't that I was reluctant about our message, because I think our message is powerful. [applause] But I really wasn't sure whether I was the right person to do it, and eventually I said, "Yes, I will, we'll see, and we'll find out if there's anybody out there."

I think of the people who believe in true freedom the way I think of the Remnant. And, evidently, you know, they say the Remnant was out there, and nobody could count the, and they didn't know where they were, and you can't find them, but the Remnant will find you, it will find us. So it looks to me like the Remnant is large and growing. [applause]

You know, isn't it strange, let's for a minute assume, and it shouldn't be too great of an assumption, that I defend the Constitution more so than the rest of the pack. [applause] But isn't it interesting, also, that the establishment figures the one who most defends the Constitution has to be eliminated from the debate. What's going on in this country? [crowd boos]

You know, I'm not going to ask, but I do know that there are a few people in here who are not traditional Republicans. Some call themselves Independent, some call themselves Libertarian, some call themselves, even Democrats, there may be some Democrats in here. [applause] Now, the art of politics is to bring people together, it's not to be divisive. When you're running for an office, if you're overly pure in the sense of, you have to agree A B C D... You see, you have to bring coalitions together, there's no doubt about it.

And there are several groups of people that make up an electorate that I think are important this time. I think at the top of the list of the people who are looking for leadership in this country today are dealing with the complications from a very, very flawed foreign policy. [applause] And, if we look at what happened in the election last year, I think the message was loud and strong, that they're sick and tired of the consequences of the foreign policy that we have, and they're looking for something new and different.

And, quite frankly, although the Democrats have politically benefited from that disenchantment with the Republican leadership on foreign policy, quite frankly, I don't see anybody on the Democratic side that really has answered the call to come around and have a different foreign policy because it looks to me like it's more of the same thing. [applause]

I think that issue brings a lot of people together. All the various political factors will come together. And right now, it looks like probably about 70% of the country is now looking for a different policy especially in the Middle East, and re-adjust that. On economic policy, if you ask almost 100% of Americans whether they believe in the free enterprise system, most Americans believe in the free enterprise system. Too often, though, what happens is, "yes, I believe in free enterprise for everybody else, but I like special privileges for myself." So, to really believe in free enterprise, you have to believe in market competition for everybody, and nobody gets subsidies. [applause]

A lot of times they think subsidies and welfare goes to poor people. Now there's some welfare that goes to poor people, but sometimes I think they're crumbs. The real big welfare in the system that we have goes to the military-industrial complex and the big banks, that's where it goes. [applause] But the market economy should bring the people together, especially when it's realized that the system that we have today is ripping off the middle class and the poor. They're the ones who suffer from the inflation and the regulations and all the government interference. So that, to me, is an issue that brings people together.

One person once told me, not too long ago, I think it was said on television, they said, "Well, you ought to run as a Democrat." And I said, "Well, why should I run as a Democrat, I'm the most conservative member of the Congress." [applause] So, they get twisted up. They don't know how to label those of us who believe in liberty. Because liberty is really pervasive. It's beneficial to everybody, it's not beneficial to special groups. So, if you can vote for, you know, less money... Now there are some very well-known liberal individuals in this country who are coming out and supporting our campaign. Which is very interesting, you may say, well liberals don't like, they like big spending and all. But why would they be coming out and endorsing our campaign now? Quite frankly, because of foreign policy, and attacking special interests for the rich, and the benefits of... this is a tremendously powerful message.

And there's another element that should bring people together. And this is the concept of personal, individual liberty. [applause] Personal liberty is not a special interest. It's the only special interest that really counts. See, I don't like to think of rights as being group rights. Not to offend anybody, but I don't see things like "women's rights" and "minority rights" and all this, I just don't think that's plausible. Rights are given to individuals. I personally happen to believe they come from our creator. [applause]

Which means, then, that your life is your own, and you have your own responsibility. I mean, you have your life is your own, and you have your own responsibility. I mean, you have responsibility of what's going to happen for eternity's sake, so you ought to have responsibility for what you're going to do here on Earth as well.

So personal liberty means tolerance as well, because what your neighbor might do, might be different than what you do. And you might not like what they do. But if your neighbor or your friends do things that you don't approve of, but they don't affect you, they don't hurt you, if they don't use force on you, they should be permitted to do this. [applause] Your job is to take responsibility, and our job is to take responsibility for ourselves to improve our well-being and to improve and work with excellence, and that's what freedom is all about.

But which group of people should this bring together? I say, "I don't want to recognize your personal life." And you say, "What does that mean," I don't want to tell you what you can eat, smoke, and drink, and whatever you want to do? [applause] Now the question is, is this going to offend the conservative Christian Right? It should not, and it's something that I've worked on for many many years in the Congressional district, is to believe in individual liberty, not put on sanctions and not pretend I can regulate your personal, moral life... and have that appeal to the Christian Right. I happen to believe all life is sacred, so therefore I don't believe that small little fetuses can be dropped away without concern about it. [applause] But this idea of personal liberty which might allow individuals to do things that others might not approve of is also exactly the liberty that we need to practice our religion and keep the government off our backs. [applause]

Back to concern about the idea of running for the presidency. Today, the conventional wisdom is that we have to have a President to "run things" [crowd boos]. What I'd like to be is a president that doesn't even have a goal of running your life, running the economy, or running the world. [load applause] I want to use all my strength and my conviction and my effort to restrain anybody who uses force illegally, that people not be allowed to try to run other people's lives. And that will take a lot of doing, because a lot of people have become dependent on the government.

Another issue that I deal with &emdash; and now this is the real-world politics, because we might in a group like this agree, you know, "We don't need the welfare, we don't need this, leave us alone, and it would all be better," and quite frankly I think it would be &emdash; but we live in the real world, where we have taught generations after generations to be totally dependent on the government. So realistically, you can't just shut off every government health program and whatever for the elderly.

But, there's a very practical answer for this. Overseas, now, to run the American Empire, if you add up the DOD budget, if you add up the State Department budget, if you add up what it would cost to bring the military, to take care of the veterans, and on and on, do you know that it is nearing trillion dollars a year to operate overseas, while ignoring our borders? [crowd boos]

So why not we do this? If it's at one trillion dollars, lets say that we could have a true national defense for, say, 700 billion dollars, I mean, save 700, spend 300 on defense, save 700, put a lot of that to the deficit, bring it home, deal with our borders, and make sure that the people that are very dependent, take care of them until we can wean them off. [applause]

I believe that almost every single problem that we're facing today has come about because we haven't been a stickler for the rule of law. We haven't followed the Constitution, and that's where we ought to begin. And the fact that the problems have been created by the lack of respect for the Constitution, the answers can be found there. They can be found there on foreign policy, on economic policy, property rights, personal liberties, all these things, monetary policy. Can you imagine how great a nation we'd have, if we didn't have the Federal Reserve system printing all this money? [applause]

And, it goes without saying that when we have the proper sized government, and governments function in the proper manner, we certainly wouldn't need the IRS or the 16th Amendment. [applause] Government has a role to play, but it should be minimal. The sole purpose of political activity, as far as I'm concerned, should be protection of individual liberty. [applause]

I think what's happened in this country is we've lost respect for the rule of law, that we've lost respect and confidence in how liberty works. We're always frightened that if the government doesn't provide this safety net, there's gonna be more poverty, no housing, and all the things that happened over the last several decades. But this is not necessary. It is so unnecessary. Freedom works! We've lost that confidence where we know and understand that it will work. But there is one admonition that John Adams gave, and he said, "For freedom really to work, you have to have a moral society."

So, we can come down very hard on our government, and I do -- all 3 branches of the government -- but quite frankly, even our candidacy here, if we're successful, it still requires an endorsement from the people. And that's where I have been reluctant. I did not know where the numbers would be. I did not know whether the money would be there. I did not understand the Internet, but I have been educated in the last few weeks. [applause]

And we do know that truth wins out in the end, but I didn't know that there we so many so ready to receive the truth about what's going on. But it truly gives me hope, and that's what we need.

We have lived, and been blessed to live, in a country that has been really great. We are fortunate that we had the founders that we did, that understood what personal liberty was all about. They even understood what habeas corpus meant. [applause] And unfortunately, we moved into this era where they're endorsing torture and getting rid of habeas corpus, warrantless searches, national ID cards, and I think the American people are catching on. You know, the national ID card was voted on overwhelmingly, but now, do you know &emdash; I bet you do &emdash; that a lot of states are now condemning it and won't participate, they're waking up, people are waking up. [applause]

You know, I don't know how this'll end. That is the truth. I could come up here and say, "I absolutely know how it's gonna turn out." I don't know, you don't know, but I do know that the message is good. The message of liberty is good. We live in a great country. We need to fall back on the traditions of our Constitution, and the traditions of America. We will do well. But I am quite confident now that the numbers are a lot larger than I ever believed. [applause] I think we're moving in the right direction. [applause]

Although very, very reluctant at the beginning, and you know, in some ways, I think that not being overly eager to be President is not necessarily bad, because I think, too often, they're overly eager and they shouldn't be there. But all I can tell you is it's moving faster and more furiously than I ever dreamed. I do promise that I will continue to deliver the message. I will continue to be as consistent as possible, and I will continue to stay in there as long as our numbers keep growing. Thank you very much.

(via Daily Paul)

Transcript: Ron Paul on CNN's Late Edition (2007-05-20)

[I transcribed the text below. Here's CNN's transcript.]

JOHN KING (Host): 10 Republican Presidential candidates squared off in South Carolina this week. Although he's languishing in the polls, Texas Congressman Ron Paul managed to grab a big share of the attention. He joins us now live from Houston. Congressman Paul, thanks for joining us. Let's show our viewers the moment in that debate that became such a flash point. You were speaking and the former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani jumped in. Let's listen.
CONGRESSMAN RON PAUL (video clip from May 15 debate): They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years.

RUDY GIULIANI (video clip from May 15 debate): That's an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attacks of September 11, that we invited the attacks because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I've ever heard that before, and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11.
KING: Now Congressman Paul, the Mayor asked you to withdraw that statement, and you did not. I want to walk through that. You firmly believe, sir, that because of U.S. military involvement in the Middle East, including the first Persian Gulf war, that we "invited" -- would that be the word you would use -- we invited the 9/11 attacks?

PAUL: Well, it's not so much like it's a subjective belief, it's just an evaluation of the facts. If you study the people who understand the Middle East, like Michael Scheuer and others and look at the 9/11 Commission Report, that's the evidence they provide that that was one of the excuses. One of the strongest statements of the position that I hold comes from no other than Paul Wolfowitz, who said right after we invaded Iraq, that this was a major, major event because we could take our troops out of Saudi Arabia, recognizing that that was the motivation for recruiting for Al-Qaeda and the motivation for their hatred toward us. So there's a lot of evidence. I don't think we should deal with the subjective. I think we should deal with the objective position of whether or not those who really understand the Middle East support what I have said.

KING: Well, let me ask you more broadly about your views on foreign policy then. Obviously, you believe the United States should have a limited role in the world, especially in terms of projecting military force. So, if Kim Jong Il rolled South, into South Korea today, should the United States intervene?

PAUL: Well, it depends what the Congress says. We certainly shouldn't do what we did under the Truman administration, go in under a U.N. resolution. You go to the Congress and find out if it's a threat to our national security. I personally would think right now that it isn't a threat to our national security. I want to make a point, though, that if we weren't over there, I think Korea would be unified, just like Vietnam is unified. They have railroads now opened up between the two, they want to share information --

KING: Let me jump in. I don't want to solve the problems of the Korean peninsula today. I do want to get your views on foreign policy. Let me give you another example. If China took back Taiwan, today, would you say, go to the Congress, or does the President not have the authority as Commander-in-Chief?

PAUL: Absolutely he does not have the authority. Where does he get it? You can't go to war without Congressional approval. And that's not a threat to our national security. That's something, internal affairs. Why should we send hundreds of thousands of Americans to die in a civil war? I mean, are we over in Russia right now over Chechnya? I mean, it wouldn't make any sense. Did we go to war over Hong Kong. You know, we should follow the Constitution and the advice of the Founders. Don't go looking for dragons to slay. I mean, why should we go and provoke and look for trouble? We should talk with people, negotiate, be diplomatic, and trade with people. We do much better trading with Vietnam than we did fighting with them, and we lost 60,000 men there. It makes so much common sense, and it's so appealing to the majority of Americans. Let me tell you, I really believe that.

KING: You have seen some criticism. Some say you're the person who doesn't belong in a Republican debate. You were a past Libertarian candidate for President, of course. You have views that are out of what many would think of as the main stream at least of of today's Republican party. I want to read you some of the criticism that came out after this last debate, and ask you to respond to the politics of it. These are some comments made of your performance. Here's Roger Simon, writing in the Politic: "In terms of the presidency, nobody cares what Ron Paul says, perhaps not even Ron Paul." Gloria Borger writing in U.S. News and World Report: "Representative Ron Paul of Texas, who gives new meaning to the question asked by Ross Perot's former running mate, Admiral James Stockdale: 'Who am I? Why am I here?'" And in the Daily News of New York, an editorial: "Ron Paul, whose performance Tuesday proved him the Sanjaya of the political arena." What do you make of the critics who say, "Why is this guy in a Republican debate? If he wants to run, run as a Libertarian?"

PAUL: Well, I would ask you why you pick out 3 when I could find you probably 1000 that contradict exactly what you say. I would say that I'm more Republican than they are. The Republican tradition is always to win on the peace position. Democrats have always got us into war. We got out of Korea with Eisenhower. We got out of Vietnam, eventually, with Nixon. We ran on a peace program in the year 2000. No world policeman, no nation building, a humble foreign policy. Peace is a positive message, not a negative message. You don't win by, politically you don't win... There's a strong tradition of non-intervention in the Republican party. That is the American position, that is the Constitutional position, that is the very strong advice of the Founders. So when they attack me, and say, "Silence Ron Paul", they're saying, "silence the Constitution, silence the advice of the founders of the country, silence our platform, close down the big tent, make it very narrow, and as long as you agree with a foreign policy that is failing, then it's OK to be a Republican." I don't buy in to that, and neither do the American people.

KING: Let me jump into what comes next. You're about 1% in the polls, and many say, whether they agree or disagree with your views, there are many who say at some point you need to have fewer candidates on the stage for these debates to be meaningful. The chairman of the Michigan Republican Party says he's going to try to get you, and perhaps others, but you specifically, pushed out of future debates. He said of you, "I think he would have felt much more comfortable on the stage with the Democrats in what he said last night. And I think that he is a distraction in the Republican primary and he does not represent the base of the party and he does not represent the party." That's Saul Anuzis, the chairman of the Republican Party in the state of Michigan, who says, among other things, he thinks you don't deserve a spot on the stage. Will you continue to be in the Republican debates? And at some point, forget your name for a second, forget your candidacy, at some point, should they be winnowed down to fewer candidates?

PAUL: Well, why do you pick that statement, which has been discredited and removed? The chairman of the Michigan party now has withdrawn that, he has given up on that. Why don't you let the people decide? Why do you want to eliminate democracy? Why stomp out the grassroots candidate and only reward those with 100 million dollars that get money from the special interests? That's not very democratic. I support the Republican platform better than any other candidate, I am convinced of. Check out the platform, they're for less government, they're for personal liberty. We ran on our program in 2000 for a humble foreign policy. How can anybody say I'm not Republican? I am the most conservative member of the Congress. I vote for the least amount of spending and the least amount of taxes. And they say I'm not Republican enough? I mean, why don't you challenge that side, rather than challenging me, and feed into the frenzy, that say, "Get rid of the reporter, get rid of the person who's delivering the information", rather than dealing with the information. Non-intervention is a real political victory. We cannot win as Republicans next year if we just continue to dig our heels in, send more men and women over there to die, on a policy that has failed. That is the issue Republicans are scared to face up to the truth. And my job is to make them face up to it, and show them that the majority of Americans are with me, not with the current foreign policy that we are following.

KING: Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, Republican candidate for President. Low in the polls, but certainly shaking and stirring things up in the Republican race. Congressman, thanks for joining us today.

(via the blog)

Ron Paul : Gandalf :: the other 9 Republican candidates : the Nazgûl

There are many powers in the world, for good or for evil. Some are greater than I am. Against some I have not yet been measured. But my time is coming. — Gandalf the Grey
Writes G. Gregory: “So the analogy [is] that Ron Paul is Gandalf... Hmm, nine of them attacking him at the second debate. Like the night on Weathertop when Gandalf fought off the nine and then escaped north!”
Those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old. They obtained glory and great wealth, yet it turned to their undoing. They had, as it seemed, unending life, yet life became unendurable to them. They could walk, if they would, unseen by all eyes in this world beneath the sun, and they could see things in worlds invisible to mortal men; but too often they beheld only the phantoms and delusions of Sauron. And one by one, sooner or later, according to their native strength and to the good or evil of their wills in the beginning, they fell under the thralldom of the ring that they bore and of the domination of the One which was Sauron's. And they became forever invisible save to him that wore the Ruling Ring, and they entered into the realm of shadows. The Nazgûl were they, the Ringwraiths, the Enemy's most terrible servants; darkness went with them, and they cried with the voices of death.
(via Casey Khan at the blog)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ron Paul 1, Establishment 0

“Ron Paul has already scored a major - and irreversible - victory for peace and liberty over the political establishment. ... Like flowers that manage to grow in the cracks of concrete, truth has a life of its own that eventually wills out over even the most determined efforts to suppress it.”

It's time to give Dr. No the power to veto!

Steve just wrote this on my wall.

The Waterboard Brigade

This morning I saw someone use the term "waterboard brigade" to refer to those who support the use of tortureEnhanced Interrogation Techniques. This august group includes Fox "News" and 8 of the 10 GOP candidates for President.

(Big ups to "Big Gav" in Australia for coining the phrase.)

Stop Dreaming

A compilation of various Ron Paul video clips and quotes.

Edmonton Journal: Ron Paul on Republican non-interventionism

“We have to give up the neo-conservative position that it's our duty to promote goodness and American greatness with force,” Paul said in an interview. “By next year, believe me, the Republican party is going to have a different position on the war. Or we will lose.”

(via Edmonton Journal, Saturday, May 19, 2007: GOP hopefuls try to redefine their party) They Hate Our Foreign Policy

Scott Horton at skillfully reminds us that “foreign occupation – American foreign policy – is a "major contributing factor" in creating terrorism today, just as it was in the years before September 11th.”:
There had never been a suicide bombing in Iraq before 2003. Never. Now there have been well over a thousand. Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the leader of the "Islamic State in Iraq," a Sunni Arab insurgent group, has bragged that Iraq has become "Terrorism University," thanks to the U.S. invasion.

Why did Giuliani act so outraged at Ron Paul's observation about "blowback"?

Julian Sanchez explains in a superb videoblog at The Economist. I have transcribed a portion of it here:

“Ron Paul also caught a lot of flack for saying some unorthodox things about the perils of intervention. The response, predictably enough: outrage. Now, as others have observed, it seems extremely unlikely that Rudy Giuliani has really never heard of blowback theory. It's fairly obvious that Ron Paul was not just talking about Iraq there. And indeed, if he hadn't heard of it, he would have announced himself so ignorant that he was obviously disqualified from serious contention as our commander-in-chief.

So why would he say such a thing? Well, because observations like this about "blowback" — which is not a term that was made up at the American Prospect, it's the CIA's term — are very inconvenient for someone who wants to defend a hawkish policy going forward, but are also more or less indisputable. You can talk about how significant our past interventions have been, relative to others, in stoking hatred against the United States. You can debate whether some of these interventions were so justified that they were worth the cost. But there isn't really any informed or serious argument against the notion that this is a serious phenomenon and a serious factor in instigating anti-American sentiment.

So what do you do? Well, you have to act outraged, because you can't actually refute the point. The only thing to do is to act as though it's just obscene and beyond the pale and beyond serious discussion. And one way to do this is of course to reframe the claim that is being made, that is, to suggest that making Paul's statement is the same as saying that the United States has "invited the attack" or even "deserves the attack". Which, it should be obvious, is a totally distinct claim.

This is, as I suggested in my last videoblog, one more reason I'm glad that Ron Paul is up there. [The reason given there is that Paul's “critique of the war in Iraq, from essentially a conservative perspective, is one that a lot of voters aren't otherwise going to have a chance to hear.”] There are a lot of situations where the leading candidates — the ones with a shot at getting elected — have a vested interest in preserving a certain level of ambiguity in not letting themselves be pinned down to one or the other answer to a fairly binary question. And it's good that when they're saying stuff like this:
GIULIANI: "I would tell the people who had to do the interrogation to use every method they could think of, shouldn't be torture, but every method they could think of." Waterboarding? "Well, I'd say every method they could think of".

HUNTER: I would say to SecDef, in terms of getting information that would save American lives, even if it involves very high-pressure techniques, one sentence: Get the information.

ROMNEY: Enhanced interrogation techniques have to be used. Not torture, but enhanced interrogation techniques. Yes.
... there's someone who's prepared to call "bullshit":
PAUL: "I think it's very interesting talking about torture here, as it's become "enhanced interrogation technique". Sounds like Newspeak."
But pay no attention to him. As the conservative media will be happy to inform you, Ron Paul is well known to be double-plus ungood.”

RealClearPolitics: Ron Paul is a not a Republican

“Oddly enough, he appears as a moderate in the National Journal's ratings of House members, but that is actually an illusion created by NJ's two-dimensional measure. Paul is operating on a third dimension. His politics do not fit into our two-dimensional scheme of liberal/conservative. He is a libertarian.”

(via James Ostrowski at Lew Rockwell's blog)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Zogby: Ron Paul polling at (3 ± 4.5)% in NH

Zogby's May 15-16 poll of likely Republican voters in New Hampshire has Ron Paul at 3%, with a margin of error of ± 4.5%. (via Lew Rockwell's blog)

This is an interesting number to watch, because the first primary will be in the Free State. And, according to Zogby's Survey Methodology page, “more than 95% of the firm’s polls have come within 1% of actual election-day outcomes.”

Good thing for Paul the election isn't today.

Ron Paul still polling at 1% nationwide

According to the May 15-16 FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll, a whopping 1% of registered Republican voters with land lines support Ron Paul.

LA Times on the GOP's torture enthusiasts

Rosa Brooks has written a brilliant editorial in Sunday's LA Times on the GOP and torture:

“In Tuesday's debate, only John McCain and Ron Paul bucked the collective swooning over enhanced interrogation. Paul mused about the way that torture has become "enhanced interrogation technique. It sounds like newspeak," he noted, referring to George Orwell's term for totalitarian doubletalk in his novel "1984." Paul obviously never got the memo. For most of the Republican primary candidates, "1984" isn't a cautionary tale, it's a how-to manual.

Tancredo brushed off "theoretical" objections to torture as a luxury we can't afford: If "we go under, Western civilization goes under." And what's a little torture when Western civilization itself is at stake?

Tancredo's right about one thing though. If we embrace the use of torture, we won't need to worry that extremist Islamic terrorists might destroy Western civilization.

We'll have killed it off ourselves.”

Pat Buchanan: By All Means, Eliminate the Guy Who's Right

“When Ron Paul said the 9-11 killers were "over here because we are over there," he was not excusing the mass murderers of 3,000 Americans. He was explaining the roots of hatred out of which the suicide-killers came.

Lest we forget, Osama bin Laden was among the mujahideen whom we, in the Reagan decade, were aiding when they were fighting to expel the Red Army from Afghanistan. We sent them Stinger missiles, Spanish mortars, sniper rifles. And they helped drive the Russians out.

What Ron Paul was addressing was the question of what turned the allies we aided into haters of the United States. Was it the fact that they discovered we have freedom of speech or separation of church and state? Do they hate us because of who we are? Or do they hate us because of what we do?”


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Put a fork in Duncan Hunter's statement about China "cheating on trade"

“The biggest jaw-dropper for me was listening to Duncan Hunter explain how China is "cheating" on trade by devaluing the Yuan... Pursuant to Duncan Hunter's world view, we are supposed to be less concerned about the U.S. government devaluing our own currency, which is a tax, than we are to be about China devaluing their currency.”

(via Mark Anderson at Veterans for Paul)

How Ron Paul should answer the "given your views on the war, why are you running as a Republican" question

“If I were Ron Paul, the next time somebody asked me what I am doing in the Republican Party when I disagree with Republicans on the war issue, I would remind them that I also disagree with all of the leading Democrats such as Hillary Clinton.”

(via Mark Anderson at Veterans for Paul)

Family Guy: 9/11 and Election Debate

Art imitates life in last Sunday's Family Guy, in which Lois debates Adam West and learns to talk in sound bites. From Family Guy, Episode 97 (May 13, 2007): "It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One" (via may05@Reddit)

Reminds me of an Onion article from earlier this year: Giuliani To Run For President Of 9/11. (via LewRockwell)

In that vein, check out this hilarious follow-up to the Family Guy clip. It's called Rudy Giuliani's answer to everything: Texas Congressman Ron Paul Hopes to Garner Support for Presidential Bid with Internet, Debates

(via Associated Press)

“With only $525,000 in the bank and Paul's congressional schedule to work around, the campaign is more limited than that of the top three, McCain, Giuliani and Romney.

But Paul says he doesn't see the financial disparity as insurmountable.

"The one advantage I have is, they think money grows on trees and they treat it like that," Paul said. "They act like big government themselves."

While many view Paul's campaign as quixotic, Paul said Republican voters are frustrated with the war and with a GOP that is becoming less strident in its opposition to large government.

The libertarian movement, he said, is "much further along than it was 20 years ago. A lot more people are involved. I think it's a very attractive philosophy to young people ... and that's where the enthusiasm comes from."

And Paul, a self-described skeptic, said that even he has begun to believe he can win.

"I don't think you could do this if you didn't believe it was a possibility," he said. "But I'm also a realist too. I know what needs to happen. But sometimes those people who think they know the future don't really know the future.

"I think we're getting their attention, and that to me is exciting."”

Ron Paul's double-plus ungood comments on foreign policy and 9/11

James at metapost decodes Rudy Giuliani's explosion at Ron Paul during the May 15 debate: “Somebody’s going to get sh*tcanned at the Ministry of Truth for letting [Paul's] kind of double-plus ungood speech get out... According to Giuliani apparently it’s abhorrently un-American to even suggest that the actions and decisions of our leaders may have consequences... Dammit Ron Paul, why do you hate freedom so? Giuliani should have just clipped him right there on stage. Don’t take that sh*t Rudy. Grab a piece of rubble from 9/11 and bludgeon that freedom-hating terrorist lover. Show him how we really win over hearts and minds. You can do it Rudy.”

In Ron Paul Violated the Rules, Thomas Woods explains: “To the propagandized automatons of 2007 America, this is called "blaming America" for 9/11. I guess detectives should bear that in mind the next time they seek the motive behind a murder. "You’re looking for motive? Are you saying the dead man had it coming?"”

"Warren", commenting on a Reason blog, wants to ask Giuliani this: “How deep and dark is the hole you've been living in that you've never heard of the 'blowback' theory before last night?

Finally, in Ron Paul and Blowback, the Mises Institute's Lew Rockwell thanks Ron Paul for having the courage to tell it like it is.

C-SPAN Washington Journal: An extraordinary outpouring of support for Ron Paul from around the nation

(The broad mix of accents and speaking styles here is remarkable. These callers are far from a bunch of white, internet-savvy libertarians.)

Transcript. C-SPAN Washington Journal, May 16, 2007

CALLER FROM VIRGINIA [7:04 am ET]: Yes, uh, first my condolences go out to the King family, and secondly, I would like to say: Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul. The Republicans have been, have had the neo-cons, neo-conservatives, so much... they don't even recognize a true Republican like Ron Paul. A true, strict constitutionalist, and a civil libertarian...

HOST: Was there anything in particular that he said last night that impressed you, or made him stand out above the other candidates?

CALLER: Everything Ron Paul.

HOST: Give me one example.

CALLER: One example: we're in Iraq. You know, it's like he said, we've been bombing them for 10 years. They didn't have no Navy, no Air Force, they didn't have nothing.

CALLER FROM ILLINOIS (7:05 am ET): They really scare me. I can't see any single one of them, except for, again, maybe Ron Paul, and maybe, Mike Huckaby, who might have a chance of getting across to the public and saying, "You know what? I'm not insane."

HOST: On our line for the Republicans. Your reactions to last night's debate.

CALLER FROM WISCONSIN (7:07 am ET): I thought, my favorite was Ron Paul. And my comment this morning was on how Fox News, even though he won the text vote, especially Hannity being the Republican side of Hannity and Colmes, didn't give him the time of day, was just disrespectful for him, and, you'd think for him, I mean they call it, um, "You Choose 2008", and America seemed to show again and again, whenever Ron Paul's in a debate, he seems to win it. And if it's "America Chooses", you'd think that, and he wins the polls, you'd think that they would give him a little bit of leeway, even though they don't agree with his political line.

CALLER FROM INDIANA 7:09 am ET: Ron Paul is the only candidate for me. I like John McCain, but unfortunately, he has to echo some of the far right's opinions on the war, and that's how I see John McCain. Ron Paul is like a light in the darkness for those people. Ron Paul is just head and shoulders above everybody else there. I pray to God that he has a chance. And as for the other fellow who said that Sean Hannity didn't give Ron Paul the respect he deserves, take into consideration, this is Sean Hannity. Several days ago, he's still dwelling on an affair Clinton about an affair he had nothing ...

CALLER FROM ILLINOIS 7:16 am ET: Yes, I agree with the first few callers that Ron Paul had the best idea. I think Ron Paul is the Republican that I've known for years, and I am a Democrat, but I think he definitely had the right idea. He talked about the Constitution, about how we shouldn't be going in to other countries, unless there is an imminent danger, and there was no imminent danger...

CALLER FROM VIRGINIA 7:19 am ET: I didn't know much about him until the last, the first debate. And then I think he won the first debate, so I started looking him up online, and finding out. And I find it quite interesting, the way he's being treated by the press. After the first debate, he won on the MSNBC poll, but they still kind of ignore him.

HOST: Let's move on to Tucson Arizona.

CALLER FROM ARKANSAS: 7:26 am ET: Yeah, I thought Ron Paul won hands down. And I feel sorry for the Republicans who have to sit there and actually take in Rudy Giuliani and McCain's insanity. Ron Paul was the only one that actually made sense. And it's sad that Sean Hannity shouted over him, shouted him down, that's why he won all the text polls. Ron Paul won it. And that's right, the media don't give him a lot of play, but the media's owned by these corporations that are conservative, and they want a conservative ...

HOST: On the line from the Republicans.

CALLER FORM GEORGIA 7:29 am ET: Hi, um, the guy that says that, uh, anybody who's for Ron Paul is not a real Republican doesn't know his history. The history that Ron Paul mentioned was correct. His reasoning and his logic was correct. I firmly believe that if the Republicans don't choose Ron Paul as their candidate, they're not going to win the next election. And I think a lot of the press is motivated by the fact that they want a candidate that has a lot of money in their campaign war-chest to spend on advertising through the media itself, so they're not going to pick a candidate to push that doesn't have a lot of money in their campaign.

HOST: Greensboro, North Carolina.

CALLER FROM NORTH CAROLINA 7:30 am ET: I would also like to rebut the statement made with regard to Ron Paul not being a true conservative or a true Republican. I believe that the Republican party was once known as a party of small government, and not expanding the federal powers of the government, and Ron Paul stands for those things. Though he wasn't given a sufficient amount of time to express his ideas and concepts for the American public, I believe that he won resoundingly with regard to last night's debate.

CALLER FROM OHIO 7:34 am ET: The debate, I don't understand Republicans, they need to just go ahead and elect Ron Paul. I mean, what you want is a candidate that crosses all boundaries. You know, you want Democrats to vote for your candidate. That's how they win. Right now it looks like Republicans are only about 30% of the American population... [I'm not sure what the caller means by this]

HOST: Why do you say it was a hatchet job?

CALLER FROM TEXAS 7:36 am ET: It was obvious, all the candidates had their chance to attack Ron Paul. And after the show, all they did was attack Ron Paul without backing up their assertions with facts and evidence, as opposed to how Ron Paul backed up his assertions. And, uh, it's quite obvious. And, uh, so, yeah, Ron Paul, everybody's scared of him, corporate media doesn't want somebody who's telling the truth, standing up for the Constitution, because that goes antithetical to what ...

CALLER FROM INDIANA 7:36 am ET: I watched that debate last night, and I liked what Ron Paul had spoke. I think he came out and spoke what was on his mind...

CALLER FROM PENNSYLVANIA 7:35 am ET: I strongly agree with the gentleman from Texas. Ron Paul is the only one that showed any compassion for the subjects that were spoken last night. He's the only one that spoke the truth. I am very impressed that he spoke the truth about 9/11. I've been following 9/11 since the day it happened.

CALLER FROM IOWA 7:43 am ET: But that old Ron Paul's a loudmouth. That's interesting, I like that...

CALLER FROM LOUISIANA 7:43 am ET: I've gotta say, uh, Ron Paul, he's the one I'd vote for. The rest of them are just a bunch of puppets. He speaks the truth, speaks about the Constitution. People are afraid of the Constitution, especially the media, the Democrats and the Republicans, they're afraid of it. They're trying to keep this man down, they don't want to give him the time of day he deserves...

(via StudentsForPaul)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Transcript: Ron Paul on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

Transcript, May 15 2007 5:10 PM EDT

WOLF BLITZER (Host): Congressman Ron Paul, Republican of Texas. He's a candidate for President of the United States. Congressman, you had quite a little testy exchange there with Rudy Giuliani last night. Let me run this little clip to remind our viewers what happened.

REP. RON PAUL (video clip from May 15 debate): They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years.

GIULIANI (video clip from May 15 debate): That's an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of September 11, that we invited the attack, because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I've ever heard that before, and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11. [loud applause]

BLITZER: He really had some supporters in that auditorium. Are you ready to back away from the implication of what you were saying last night, because certainly when you were given the chance last night, you didn't.

PAUL: No, there's no reason to. I think he's going to have to back away from his statement pretty soon, because I found two very clear quotes in the 9/11 Commission Report that says that very thing: that our foreign policy has a very great deal to do with their willingness and desire to commit suicide terrorism. So, I would suggest that he read the 9/11 Commission Report.

BLITZER: Well, the impression that I got from what you were saying is that the US monitoring of the no-fly zones in Iraq for 10 years before the war, that was responsible for Al-Qaeda coming to the United States and blowing up the World Trade Center?

PAUL: No, I said that was part of it. And part of it was the fact that we had troops in Saudi Arabia, which is considered holy land. And this is backed up by the 9/11 Commission Report, so I think he needs to read that, because that's policy. The CIA does not deny this. This is what they found when they went into deep investigation. So here he is, mayor of the city, and brags about all this security, and he hasn't even read the report. So I think he needs to read that report.

BLITZER: But you were saying specifically that the U.S. had been bombing Iraq for 10 years, you didn't mention the Saudi Arabia element last night.

PAUL: Well, you know, Wolf, what can you do in 30 seconds? Sometimes you don't get to do a full explanation. But that's what the case has been: yes, we did bomb. I mean, how many times did Clinton bomb, and how many times did Bush bomb? And it was not infrequent. I'll bet you we didn't go one year where we didn't bomb. And beside we had sanctions, they also cited sanctions, where literally hundreds of thousands of people died from the sanctions, from loss of medicine and food due to our sanctions. I mean, if somebody did that to us, would we be angry? That's my question.

BLITZER: I guess the bottom line question, though, is that a lot of viewers came away saying here's Ron Paul, he's a Republican who wants to be President, he's blaming the United States in effect for 9/11. I wonder if you want to revise that impression in any way.

PAUL: No, they need to understand history, they need to understand that he's hiding behind patriotism. Because what they're saying is that I'm un-American because I'm challenging policy. I'm an American, because I have a right and an obligation to challenge policy. If policy is detrimental and has blowback, then we should change it. But to say that we have to accept this policy without any question, I think is the wrong thing to do. And this is what they expect, and if you don't do it, they say, "Oh, you're blaming America, you're unpatriotic." And I think that's foolish. I think somebody that does not allow dissent and discussion and arguments about why this policy is good or bad... The American people, see, he wants to put words in my mouth and say that "the American people caused this, I blame the American people". No, I blame bad policy. And bad policy can have consequences. Unintended. The CIA recognized it, the 9/11 Commission recognized it. So, to me, this sounds very logical. I think he needs to back down. I think he needs to read the report, and come back and apologize to me.

BLITZER: If he is the Republican nominee, and he is the front-runner right now, could you support him for President?

PAUL: That would be pretty difficult. It depends on if he changes foreign policy, I might consider it. But, no, he's not very Republican, and he faced a lot of challenges in the debate too. You know, on abortion, and gun rights, and a lot of other issues that fiscal conservatives challenge him on. So, he has a ways to go. And I take it as a compliment that he did what he did. Because, you know, if you're at the bottom of the rung of the ladder, you know, you don't get attacked like that. So evidently he considers me a threat. And the polling last night, on FOX, of all places, I out-beat him. You know, I won the polling over Giuliani. So why do people not talk about that?

BLITZER: We're almost out of time, Congressman, but if you were President, what would you do about the Al-Qaeda threat? Forget about Iraq right now. The Al-Qaeda threat, Osama bin Laden, he's still on the loose, what would you do about that threat to the United States?

PAUL: Well, I'd go after him. I voted for the authority, I wish they had done it. We voted for the money, and yet we ignored it. So this is my complaint, that we didn't do what we were supposed to do, and we went and started a war that we shouldn't have. And here we have Osama bin Laden, in Pakistan, they have a nuclear weapon, they have a military dictatorship, they overthrew an elected government, and what do we do when they get nuclear weapons, not following the NPT treaty? We reward them. We give them money. So I'm saying, don't reward people who get nuclear weapons, and then they'll want to get them. That's why Saddam Hussein pretended he had one, because he thought if he had one maybe we'd leave him alone. So it's natural for people like Iran, the leadership in Iran, to want to get a nuclear weapon, because we respect people that have power, and we disrespect people that we think we can run over them and run roughshod over their countries, invade them preemptively, and change their regime. I think it's a bad foreign policy: it's not Republican, it's not conservative, and it's not Constitutional.

BLITZER: Congressman Paul, thanks very much for joining us here in the Situation Room.

PAUL: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: I think you're going to have a long wait if you really expect Rudy Giuliani to apologize to you for that last night.

PAUL: Well, ask him please.

BLITZER: All right, next time I interview him, I'll ask him.

PAUL: [chuckles]

BLITZER: Thanks, Congressman.

PAUL: Okay.

Jesse Walker @ Reason: The Mayor in the Plastic Bubble

“Ron Paul's showdown with Rudy Giuliani [is] worth watching, not just for Paul's performance but because Giuliani makes a really astonishing comment. After Paul lays out the very familiar argument that the 9/11 attacks were a retaliation for America's interventions in the Middle East, Rudy replies: "That's really an extraordinary statement...that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I've ever heard that before, and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations."”

Jesse goes on to suggest three possible explanations.

Transcript: Ron Paul on FOX News "Your World" before the May 15 debate

NEIL CAVUTO (Host): Well, he is one of the ten presidential candidates to face off on tonight's debate here at FOX. But I gotta tell you I have never seen so many viewer emails to get a candidate on our air as I have with this particular gentleman. Our mailbox is consistently flooded with these requests. With us now is Republican Ron Paul of Texas. Congressman, you must have some very loyal fans.

RON PAUL: Well, that's good. That's what you need in a campaign.

CAVUTO: OK, well you got your chance, you're in a debate forum right now. But you're nowhere in the polls. Polls don't mean anything, I know... How are you going to stand out tonight?

PAUL: Well, I guess, just telling the truth like I did last time, and we did very well. I think straightforward answers will serve me well. I think we face a lot of problems and I've talked about them for a good many years. I've talked about why we shouldn't have gone to the war, and why we should end the war. I've talked about the financial conditions. I don't think this country can do well borrowing nearly $3 billion dollars a day from places like Japan and China to serve as our "account deficit". And we're leaving a $60 trillion obligation to the next generation. So this country's in serious financial trouble, and besides, although the market today was excited about good news on inflation, I saw some bad news in that. I mean, 5% inflation rate, and that's probably less than 2% or so of what's really happening [not sure what Paul means by this 2% comment]. The American people are sick and tired of inflation. When they go buy their gasoline or pay their medical bills, so we have some serious financial problems --

CAVUTO: We have a, you can't, Congressman, we've got a pretty good economy going here, right? We've got productivity soaring. We've got retail sales that are strong. We've got corporate earnings that for, what, the 19th quarter, are up double digit? We've got a market chasing highs, I mean, this isn't happening in a vacuum, right?

PAUL: Yeah, that's nice, but when you have to borrow, you know... My personal finances wouldn't be very good if I borrowed a million dollars every month, but, someday, the bills will become due. And the bills'll come due in this country, and then we'll have to pay for it. We can't afford this war, and we can't afford the entitlement system --

CAVUTO: Look, Congressman, did you say this 10 years ago, when the numbers were similarly strong, and we were still borrowing a good deal then.

PAUL: That's right, that means the dollar bubble is much bigger than ever,

CAVUTO: So what do you say is --

PAUL: And of course we've had a few bubbles collapse --

CAVUTO: what's gonna happen?

PAUL: We've had the NASDAQ bubble collapse already. We have the housing bubble in the middle of a collapse, so the dollar bubble will collapse as well. We have to live within our means. You can't print money out of the blue, and think you can print your money into prosperity. And most people are coming around to believing that --

CAVUTO: So what would you tell --

PAUL: It doesn't make any sense --

CAVUTO: If you became President, Congressman, what's some of the tough medicine you would give us?

PAUL: Well, I think we should live within our means. I think we should balance the budget. I think we could do that by bringing our troops home and saving hundreds of billions of dollars on a foreign policy of interventionism. We should go back to the Old Right position, not the neo-conservative position. We shouldn't be adding new entitlement programs. We should live within our means.

CAVUTO: Would you --

PAUL: And we shouldn't print money to pay the bills.

CAVUTO: Would you rescind, sir, the President's tax cuts, let them expire in 2010?

PAUL: I am sorry, rescind which?

CAVUTO: The tax cuts, let them expire in 2010?

PAUL: No! Heavens no, we need greater tax cuts. We don't need to rescind tax cuts, we need to reduce taxes a lot more. And we can only do that if we change our attitude about the entitlement system and foreign policy. We cannot run an empire and police the world and not raise taxes. And if you don't raise taxes, you just print the money, and that's another tax on the poor and the middle class, because that's who gets injured by a depreciating currency. So it's back to the old story: we should have a government that lives within the bounds of the Constitution. It is not authorized to do most of what we do in Washington, and certainly we can't afford it, and as long as they trust the dollar we can get away with it. But there is a day, and we're in the middle of a dollar that is sliding on international markets, and it's going to continue to slide --

CAVUTO: So what about --

PAUL: And it may crash one of these days.

CAVUTO: All right, all right. What about Social Security, you talk about entitlement programs, Medicare: do we need them?

PAUL: Medicare... Well, the only way you can survive by taking care of the people we've taught to be dependent is to change the foreign policy. Because, yes, we should have a transition period, and young people should certainly be given a chance to get out of Social Security. You should give people over 65 the option of a Medical Savings Account. They're not even allowed to have a Medical Savings Account. If they're unhappy with Medicare, they're forced to be in it. It's a monopoly, a government monopoly. So, no, we should have choices, we should have market choices always. And as long as it's forced into the government's system, you're gonna have inefficiencies, and that's what we're suffering from today.

CAVUTO: All right. Well, Congressman, if you say even some of this stuff tonight, you're going to create fireworks. Very good seeing you sir, thank you very much.

Rod Dreher on Rethinking Ron Paul's Answer

“As obnoxious as Ron Paul's remarks came across last night, he said something important and necessary to think about. If we're ever going to avoid getting into quagmires like Iraq again, we've got to be able to talk about the kind of thing that Ron Paul had the bad taste to bring up last night. It feels good (felt good to me, anyway) to watch Giuliani's eyes blaze and smoke come out his nostrils in rebuking Paul, but really, indignation is not the same thing as refutation. And insofar as indignation is allowed to kill the discussion of US foreign policy and its relationship to anti-American Muslim extremism, it does not serve the national interest. Ron Paul's argument deserves to be answered, not shouted down as beyond the pale of discussion. "How dare you!" is not an argument, but an argument-ender.”

Reuters: Ron Paul gets turn in spotlight at U.S. debate

“It was showtime at the Republican presidential debate on Tuesday, and the big surprise was the man in the spotlight -- Ron Paul, the longest of longshots.”

The Nation: Rudy Giuliani vs. Ron Paul, and Reality

“Rudy Giuliani made clear in Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate that he is not ready to let the facts get in the way of his approach to foreign policy. [...] Michael Scheuer, the former Central Intelligence Agency specialist on bin Laden and al-Qaeda, has objected to simplistic suggestions by President Bush and others that terrorists are motivated by an ill-defined irrational hatred of the United States. "The politicians really are at great fault for not squaring with the American people," Scheuer said in a CNN interview. "We're being attacked for what we do in the Islamic world, not for who we are or what we believe in or how we live. [...]"” (Author: John Nichols)

The Free Republic: Why Ron Paul was Factually Correct

“Tonight, Ron Paul stated that al-Qaida attacked us because we are involved in the Middle East. Below I have posted Bin Laden's declaration of War against the United States, made in 1996. He cites (1) US Involvement in the Middle East, (2) Palestine, and (3) Sanctions on Iraq as reasons why he has declared war.

Giuliani either accidentally or purposefully misinterpreted Paul's REASON why they attacked us as a JUSTIFICATION. Paul does not believe that they were right in attacking us; just the opposite.

To believe what Giuliani stated, that they attacked us because of "our freedom and women's rights", you must also believe in the tooth fairy. ”

FOX News: Sean Hannity anounces Ron Paul's lead in the post-debate poll

Average annual amount of the congressional pension in which Ron Paul declines to participate: $50,000

Entry fee paid by Ron Paul to enter the SC Republican presidential primary: $25,000

Sean Hannity's expression as he announces that Ron Paul leads in the FOX News "who won the debate" poll: priceless

NYT: Transcript of the SC GOP Debate

A transcript of the Republican presidential primary debate at the University of South Carolina on May 15, 2007, as recorded by the Federal News Service.

Here are my favorite Ron Paul moments (aside from his answer to Giuliani about "blowback", which Lew Rockwell has called "one of the great moments in the history of modern American politics"):

CHRIS WALLACE: A recent poll found that 77 percent of Republicans disapprove of the idea of setting a timetable for withdrawal. Are you running for the nomination of the wrong party? (Scattered laughter.)

RON PAUL: But you have to realize that the base of the Republican Party shrunk last year because of the war issue. So that percentage represents less people.


RON PAUL: I think it's interesting talking about torture here in that it's become "enhanced interrogation technique". It sounds like Newspeak.

Transcript: Ron Paul stands up to Rudolph Giuliani on "blowback" and 9/11

(Lew Rockwell called this "one of the great moments in the history of modern American politics.")

Ron Paul: So there's a lot of merit to the advice of the founders and following the constitution. And my argument is, that we shouldn't go to war so carelessly. When you do that, the wars don't end.

Wendell Goler (FOX News panelist): Congressman, you don't think that changed with the 9/11 attacks, sir?

Paul: What changed?

Goler: The non-interventionist policies?

Paul: No. Non-intervention was a major contributing factor. Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We've been in the Middle East. I think Reagan was right: we don't understand the irrationality of Middle-Eastern politics. So right now, we're building an embassy in Iraq that's bigger than the Vatican, we're building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting. We need to look at what we do from the perspective of what would happen if somebody else did it to us.

Wendell: Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attacks, sir?

[muted applause]

Paul: I'm suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it. And they are delighted that we're over there because Osama bin Laden has said, "I am glad you're over on our sand because we can target you so much easier." They've already now since that time have killed 3400 of our men, and I don't think it was necessary.

Rudolph Giuliani: Wendell, may I make a comment on that? That's really an extraordinary statement. That's an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of September 11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I've ever heard that before, and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11.

[15 seconds of loud applause]

Giuliani: And I would ask the Congressman to withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn't really mean that.

Wendell: Congressman?

Paul: I believe very sincerely that the CIA is correct when they teach and talk about blowback. When we went into Iran in 1953 and installed the Shah, yes, there was blowback. The reaction to that was the taking of our hostages. And that persists. And if we ignore that, we ignore that at our own risk. If we think that we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred, then we have a problem. They don't come here to attack us because we're rich and we're free. They come and they attack us because we're over there. I mean, what would we think if other foreign countries were doing that to us?

Transcript: Ron Paul on Hannity & Colmes after the May 15 debate

[Fox News, Special Edition of Hannity and Colmes, 2007-05-15]

SEAN HANNITY: Ron, I want to go back to this exchange you had with Mayor Giuliani here for just a second. Are you suggesting the United States of America caused the attack on 9/11?

RON PAUL: No, I think that's a cop-out --

HANNITY: Our policies?

PAUL: When people imply that, what you're saying is that if you don't endorse my foreign policy, you're un-American, you're un-patriotic --

HANNITY: I'm not saying that, I've never said anything like that. I don't say that. You are suggesting --

PAUL: Not you, no, but I think that was the point in the debate. That if I didn't endorse this foreign policy, you turn it around, or he turned it around --

HANNITY: I'm not saying that, but what specifically then are you saying? Are you suggesting that our policies are causing the hatred of people that would cause them to want to kill us?

PAUL: I think it contributes significantly to it. And this is exactly what our CIA tells us. And anybody who's done any research on this has found out --

HANNITY: What have we done to cause the attack? What did America do to cause the attack on 9/11?

PAUL: Ok. The Americans didn't do anything to cause it, but policies over many years caused and elicited hatred toward us so somebody was willing to commit suicide. For instance, the occupation with our military troops on their holy land in Saudi Arabia. Bombing a Muslim country for 10 years, putting on sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of people, so that caused the anger.

HANNITY: Are you saying then that the world has no moral obligation, like in the first Gulf War, when an innocent country's being pilaged, and people are being raped and murdered and slaughtered, or in the case of Saddam, he's gassing his own people, are you suggesting we have no moral obligation there? Do you stand by and let that immorality happen?

PAUL: We have, on numerous occasions.

HANNITY: You support that?

PAUL: We have, on numerous occasions. If we feel strongly about it, why don't we declare war --

HANNITY: If a woman's being raped do you stand by and do nothing there either?

ALAN COLMES: We're almost out of time, but the fact is the Reagan administration stood by while the Kurds were being gassed, it happened in 1988, we didn't do anything --

HANNITY: We didn't do anything about it, for how many years?

PAUL: And what did we do with Pol Pot, what did we do with Moscow, what did we do at the time? We stood by while they did it to their people.

HANNITY: We got it, Ron, you would stand by and do that, I would not.

PAUL: No, you --

HANNITY: I think that's immoral.

COLMES: Hey, hey, hey --

PAUL: Well, would you have the courtesy to ask the Congress to declare war? Would you follow the Constitution?

COLMES: [laughs, claps]

HANNITY: We did declare war. The authorization, use of force directive --

PAUL: That is not a declaration of war.

COLMES: We gotta run, guys.

HANNITY: There's no place in the constitution that says specifically what language has to be used --

COLMES: The Kurds were gassed, and we stood by for years, until --

PAUL: We gave them the gas.

COLMES: Until we could get an excuse.

PAUL: We gave them the gas.

HANNITY: Listen, we are not responsible for what happened on 9/11. We're not responsible.

PAUL: A non-interventionist foreign policy is very attractive to the American people.

COLMES: [talking over Hannity and Paul] They're gonna keep debating this. More on the other side of the debate. Keep texting us your vote to 36988. More to come, on this special edition of Hannity and Colmes.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fort Wayne News-Sentinel: Rep. Ron Paul casts himself as alternative candidate in GOP race

“It's a fine line between quixotic and committed, and just where Ron Paul falls is an open question as the Texas congressman pursues the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.”

Who Would the Founders Endorse?

Gary Galles investigates the question.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Chicago Tribune: What's wrong with a clutter of candidates?

The Washington Post recently decried the "clutter of candidates" in the debates. In an editorial in today's Chicago Tribune, Steve Chapman responds:

“Only mavericks will challenge the entrenched verities that generally give us policy options running the gamut from A to B. When was the last time you heard a politician propose to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, as Ron Paul did in the GOP debate?”

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ron Paul, the Last of the Nobility

“Ron Paul, to me, represents the last, dying breath of true conservatism in the Republican party.... But if he’s going to be a dying breath, I want him to be a gasping one. I want him to be a loud one. I want him to be a shout. I want him to look every other Republican candidate and voter in the eye and have them see, face-to-face, what they’re, as a party, choosing to eschew. I want him to remind them of who they once were. I want him to stand up straight, head held high, and be honest with them, as he always has been. I want him to tell them what they’re giving up. I want him to shame them.”

[part of a letter from Brad Porter to Andrew Sullivan]

Friday, May 11, 2007

Lou Minatti Sees Stupid People

Lou Minatti appropriately juxtaposes an image of the kool-aid man with a discussion of Ron Paul's fans.

He's right about at least one thing: the mainstream media are not "conspiring" against Paul. They mostly show us what we're willing to pay to hear, see, or read. And since the vast majority of media consumers have no idea who Ron Paul even is (he still polls at < 1%, post-debate), they couldn't care less about him. Heck, most people wouldn't pay to read about Ron Paul even if they did know who he was.

Even so, as Radley Balko wrote in Ron Paul, The Real Republican (, 2007-02-20): "Paul's presence in the race is important because he'll put issues on the table that would otherwise be completely ignored."

It was indeed hilarious to watch the other candidates scramble to revise and clarify their remarks in support of a national ID card after Paul came out against it. And I don't think anyone ever expected the final two words of a Republican debate to be "habeas corpus".

After a performance like that, I can forgive Paul for having a bunch of over-zealous supporters. Where's that kool-aid jar again? I'm thirsty.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Transcript: Tucker Carlson interviews Ron Paul on MSNBC before the May 3 debate

Transcript. Fox News, May 3, 2007

TUCKER CARLSON (Host): A nationally televised debate is perhaps the best, maybe the only opportunity for the less famous among the presidential candidates to make their marks with the public. It's a place for those to force their issues with the leading contenders. Probably the most interesting contender in this entire race is a congressman from Texas named Ron Paul. Unlike virtually everyone else in the Republican party, he is an actual libertarian. He's also run for president before; I'm willing to admit, I actually voted for him as a Libertarian in 1988. I'll get my conflict out of the way at the very beginning. We welcome now from Simi Valley California, Ron Paul of Texas. Congressman, thanks for coming on.

CONGRESSMAN RON PAUL: Thank you, nice to be with you.

CARLSON: Well, I slobbered all over you in the intro, so I bet it is! [laughter] You were, uh, congressman --

PAUL: Good job!

CARLSON: Thank you. I think you were, you are the only Republican running for president right now who actually voted against the war in Iraq at the very outset. Are you going to bring that up, on the stage tonight?

PAUL: Well, if I have the chance I certainly will, because 70% of the American people now think that the foreign policy is going in the wrong direction and want a change. So you can't win an election next year if you don't go with what the public wants, and they want a change in foreign policy. But I was opposed to what was going on in Iraq a long time before it started, because there was an Iraqi Liberation Act passed in 1998, indicating that that would be our policy. So I was speaking out against the war for 5 years before it started, and it's turned out that this war has not gone well.

CARLSON: Sometimes candidates who get in the race because of their ideas, who really believe what they say, and I'm putting you -- and I mean that as a complement -- in that category, you can feel the anger that comes off them when they address members of their own party who they feel like have sold out the true beliefs of their party. Do you feel anger toward your fellow Republicans for squandering the opportunity they had in 1994?

PAUL: No, I don't have anger, but I'm very interested in the philosophy, because I think ideas change the world. But I don't think that the ideas of this administration are wholly to blame for our foreign policy. We have a foreign policy that needs to be addressed, not micro-managing troops. We need to macro-manage our foreign policy, and that's what we haven't done well. I just don't believe in the interventionist foreign policy. I believe in the foreign policy of the Founding Fathers who talked about non-intervention. Republicans over the decades have benefited by taking this position. We have been, generally, the peace party. And, you know, look at, Korea War, we won the election with Eisenhower, and after Vietnam we won. And even in the year 2000, we ran against nation-building and policing the world and a humble foreign policy. That's the Republican position, that's the conservative position, and that's the message I would like to get out.

CARLSON: Then where did all the utopianism come in? I mean, who introduced into the Republican party the idea it was our moral obligation to bring democracy to the rest of the world, that our soldiers ought to die so other people could have a different form of government. Where did that come from?

PAUL: Well, unfortunately, it came from a very liberal Democrat named Woodrow Wilson. "Make the world safe for democracy." So that idea's been around for a long time, but it's the neo-conservatives that have revived that idea here in the last seven years or so, since they took over foreign policy. But they pushed the traditional conservatives out of the way. The neo-conservatives are not conservatives, they come from the left wing of the Democratic party, they in in entitlements. And what have we done as Republicans? We have fully endorsed the entitlements, and that's why this country's in financial bad shape. I mean, we're overspending on our foreign policy and our military commitments. At the same time, we're massively increasing the scope of government in Washington, increasing domestic spending, even with these entitlements, doubling the size of the Department of Education, over-regulating... So I think in many ways the Republican party has lost its way, and we deserve, in this country, to hear from the conservative Republicans, and give them a chance to get their message out.

CARLSON: But what is their outlet? For the small percentage of Americans who are genuinely conservative or classical liberal or libertarian or whatever you call it but who believe in freedom and limited government, and there are some left. They're not being represented at all by the Republican party. Who do they vote for? Who did you vote for last time? Who will you vote for if you don't become the nominee? Who holds their flag?

PAUL: Well, it depends on who our nominee is going to be. And hopefully there are enough people now who are interested in these views, that believe in liberty, believe in the Constitution, believe in limited government and a balanced budget. There's nothing radical about it. To me, the radical idea is over-spending, over-borrowing, and then resorting to printing money when you run out of it! And you wonder why you have financial problems. Or borrowing it from the Chinese to finance our military operation. I mean, most Americans are waking up to this. So, no, I'm offering this, obviously I think I can provide an opportunity to represent these people and represent the country. To me, it's the most practical thing to do. To me, it's also a traditional Republican conservative position. And, unfortunately, like you indicate, the Republican party no longer has been acting conservatively. But the conservative views of this country, the traditions, the Constitution, there's nothing about that that we should be embarrassed about. A conservative does not have to be embarrassed about being opposed to needless war, war that is undeclared. Here we're going to war, ever since World War II we never declared war, we've never won a war! There's nothing conservative about that.

CARLSON: I agree.

PAUL: This is a tremendous opportunity for conservatives to be heard.

CARLSON: Yeah, when your operating philosophy is, "Please don't bother me, and I'll try my best not to bother you," there's nothing embarrassing about that, and I wish people would articulate it better. Ron Paul, you articulate it well. I appreciate your coming on. Thank you.

PAUL: Thanks a lot.

Wall Street Journal: A Far-Right Texan Inspires Antiwar Left (2003-05-10)

“A far-right Republican congressman from Texas is looking like a voice of reason to the antiwar left. Ron Paul is a political iconoclast who takes his libertarian ideology seriously. He's a cheerful advocate of all sorts of unpopular causes like abolishing the federal minimum wage and returning to the gold standard.”

Washington Times: Would they have signed the Declaration? (2007-05-08)

“The presidential candidates were urged by letter to sign the American Freedom Pledge. A signatory would promise to restore checks and balances and the conservative philosophy of the Founding Fathers. The only presidential candidate, at present, who has signed is Ron Paul, Texas Republican.”

[Watch Ron Paul signing the pledge and making a brief speech.]

FFF's Jacob Hornberger on Ron Paul and the MSNBC Debate (2007-05-09)

“During the recent MSNBC Republican presidential debate, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul made three profound points on U.S. foreign policy that the American people would be wise to heed.”

USA Today notes Ron Paul's opposition to the war (2007-05-04)

Finally a mainstream media outlet gets it right:

“Support for Bush's Iraq policy was widespread but not universal. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who is campaigning against long odds and with little money, opposed the war in Iraq from the start and called it "a war we didn't need to be in."”

US News & World Report: Ron Paul's Online Rise (2007-05-09 1500 ET)

Technorati spokesman Aaron Krane confirmed that, to the best of the company's knowledge, the online support for Paul is genuine.”

John Stossel supports Ron Paul? (2007-05-08 1200 ET)

Heritage Foundation, The Myth of Government Health Care (May 8, 2007)

[Listen/watch online]


Jeff Frazee: Of the slate of candidates in 2008, who mostly aligns with your views?

John Stossel: Well, Ron Paul's a libertarian [laughter] [applause] and he has no chance in uh, but, I don't cover politics...


[via StudentsForPaul]

Transcript: NPR's Talk of the Nation on Ron Paul (2007-05-09)

NPR, Talk of the Nation Political Junkie: The Republican Presidential Debate, Wednesday, May 9, 2007


NEIL CONAN (Host): This is John. John's with us from Boone, North Carolina.

CALLER: Hello, how are you today?

CONAN: Good, thanks.

CALLER: Great, I just wanted to say that I thought Ron Paul from Texas did a wonderful job in covering the issues during the debate, and I though that he pretty much did better than any of the other Republican candidates. And me being a liberal Democrat, it really surprised me to hear some of the things he had to say.

CONAN: So he had cross-over appeal as far as you were concerned?

CALLER: Oh yes. Very much so, more than any other candidate on either side. [brief cross-talk] Go ahead?

CONAN: I was just going to ask Ken Rudin if he thought that Ron Paul had distinguished himself.

KEN RUDIN (NPR's political editor): He did, because he was the only candidate on the stage who really was clearly against the war in Iraq. He was one of six House Republicans to vote against the war in 2002. He criticized president Bush on the use of habeas corpus, things like that. Ron Paul was clearly... Look, the majority of the Republican party, polls show that they are still behind President Bush and his conduct in the war, but I suspect that there's a sizable minority who says this war is just crazy and that could certainly hurt the Republican party in 2008 as it did in 2006. Ron Paul tried to tap into that feeling. He was the Libertarian party nominee for President in 1988. He has always had this libertarian -- small-"l" libertarian -- viewpoint, representing Texas in Congress. The Chuck Hagel constituency, I don't know where it is or how much of it there is, but Ron Paul certainly reached out for it in the debate.

CONAN: Thanks John.

CALLER: Thank you very much.

CONAN: Last week the Florida legislature voted to move it's primary ahead...