Archive for the ‘Independent’ Category

New Jersey, Virginia Gubernatorial Predictions: Christie, McDonnell Win

November 2, 2009

It’s that time again – election time!  As always, I’ve been tracking the polls, and I’ve done my final predictions.  This year, there are only 2 gubernatorial races: New Jersey and Virginia.  In case you didn’t follow my predictions last year, you may find the color scheme on the maps to be a little bit weird – the colors are switched from what the normal media colors, so sorry about that, but that’s the way the website I use does it.  The maps are courtesy of Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas, and my most current prediction can always be found here.  On to the predictions…

* = Party Pickup (Incumbent Loses Reelection); ^ = Party Pickup (Open Seat)

So here are my predictions, broken down by percentage:

New Jersey

  1. Chris Christie (R) - 46.35%
  2. Jon Corzine (D) – 45.47%
  3. Chris Dagget (I) – 8.18%

Virginia

  1. Bob McDonnell (R) – 57%
  2. Creigh Deeds (D) – 42%
  3. Other candidates – <1%

And here’s my confidence map:

Essentially – I could go either way on New Jersey.  The numbers I posted are the results of an algorithm I’ve developed, and tweaked from last year.  My heart is telling me that Corzine will probably pull out a win, but my mind and the numbers point toward Christie, I’m gonna stick with Christie.  There’s no doubt that McDonnell will win in Virginia.

I don’t see New Jersey called until late into the night tomorrow.  It should be an interesting night.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican

D.C. Voting Rights Act is Clearly Unconstitutional

March 4, 2009

Last Thursday, the Senate passed the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009, which gives the District of Columbia a voting member in the House of Representatives and eliminates the position of D.C. Delegate, who represents the District now.  Currently, that delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, can only vote when her vote does not affect the outcome; however, she is allowed to introduce bills, and this bill was introduced by Norton.  The bill would also give an additional seat to Utah, so that the partisan makeup of the House stayed the same.

S. 160 (formal title: “A bill to provide the District of Columbia a voting seat and the State of Utah an additional seat in the House of Representatives”) was introduced by Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT).  The bill passed the Senate in by a vote of 61-37, falling mostly along party lines; however, five Republicans voted for it (Susan Collins [R-ME], Orrin Hatch [R-UT], Dick Lugar [R-IN], Olympia Snowe [R-ME], and Arlen Specter [R-PA]), and two Democrats voted against it (Max Baucus [D-MT] and Robert Byrd [D-WV]).

The bill that passed the Senate had been amended by Senator John Ensign (R-NV).  His amendment (S.AMDT. 575) restored several gun rights to the District by repealing the ban on semiautomatic weapons, the registration requirement, the ban on handgun ammunition, and several other laws.  That amendment passed 62-36.

Personally, I am ashamed of the Senate for passing this bill (although I’m glad that gun rights have been restored to the District).  Apparently 61 of our Senators need to go back to eighth grade civics class!

This act is clearly unconstitutional!  Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution says, “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States.”  Washington, D.C. is not a state-it’s just that simple.

Furthermore, Norton never should have been allowed to introduce this bill.  She is unconstitutionally in the House of Representatives.  Section 2 of Article I also says, “No Person shall be a Representative who shall not … be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.”  Norton is not an inhabitant of a STATE, and thus should not be able to introduce legislation in the House!

I am all for the representation of D.C. in Congress; however, this bill is not the way to do that.  If D.C. really was Constitutionally allowed to have a representative, they wouldn’t need a law to get their representation – all they’d need to do is file a court case.  Furthermore, if they deserve representation, why don’t they deserved 2 Senators as well?

If the House passes this bill and President Obama signs it, this bill would probably be the most blatantly unconstitutional law ever written.  At least when President Bush violated the Constitution, he did so in ways that were debatable as to whether or not he actually violated the Constitution, but this bill takes Article I, Section 1 and says, “That’s not an important part of the Constitution.”  Find me any time that President Bush DIRECTLY violated the Constitution – he  didn’t.  The violations of the 4th Amendment were debatable.  I personally think that he violated the 4th Amendment, but there are ways that you could argue that he did not; however, with this bill, nobody with an ounce of sanity can argue that this is Constitutional!

Does anybody else find it ironic that the same Senators who complained about President Bush’s debatably unconstitutional laws just voted in favor of a law that directly and clearly goes against the very wording of the Constitution?  Come on!

Proponents of the bill claim that the “District Clause” (Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution) allows for the Congress to give D.C. a Representative.  The text of that clause reads, “[The Congress shall have Power] To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District … as may … become the Seat of the Government of the United States.”

“Exclusive Legislation” only gives Congress the right to govern the District, not magically ignore Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution when it comes to the District.

This bill is blatantly unconstitutional, and those who voted for it and criticized the Bush administration ought to be ashamed of themselves.  Fortunately the Supreme Court still respects the Constitution, and I am willing to bet that they will declare this unconstitutional in a heartbeat – in fact, I really don’t see any of the 9 Justices siding with the Senate.  If they do, they are shaming the Constitution and the office of Justice of the Supreme Court!

Even my liberal roommate agrees – this bill is CLEARLY unconstitutional!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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The UAW Put the Auto Industry in the Position that It’s in Now

November 24, 2008

Today, I saw a TV interview that has confirmed what I’ve been saying for years (see the long paragraph in the middle).  The UAW has driven the auto industry down into a disastrous spiral.  Watch theses videos.  The first is an ad put out by the Employee Freedom Action Committee (EFAC), and the second is an interview with EFAC representative Rick Berman (done by Neil Cavuto):

Alright, so those videos discuss the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a bill that would get rid of the secret ballot for unions (when workers vote to either unionize or not unionize) and would force workers to pay union dues even if they don’t want to.

There are Democrats in Congress who are supporting this, but the interesting thing is, they recently voted to keep Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) in their caucus, by … you guessed it … a secret ballot.

Now, in that second video, you saw the insanely huge contract that the UAW has forced the Big 3 auto companies into.  Yes, I said forced.  As I’ve explained before, the UAW has bullied the Big 3 into signing those insane contracts.  Because if the auto companies don’t sign, the union will go on strike, and the company will suffer and lose money.  Unfortunately, the companies give in, because their executives don’t want their companies to fail.  If I were the auto executives, I’d say, “Go on strike,” and when the company didn’t have enough money to stay open, I’d fire those union workers.  Then see if the UAW is so stubborn.  I guarantee they wouldn’t be.

There was a time and place for unions, but, for the most part, that time and place is all gone now.

Stand up AGAINST the EFCA and stand WITH the EFAC.  Fight the union bosses.  Fight for workers RIGHTS (the RIGHT to a secret ballot, which Americans hold so dear).

End this union bullying of the Big 3.

For more information about the EFAC, check out their website, Employee Freedom.org.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Joe Biden: Israel’s Best Friend in the Senate?

October 3, 2008

Joe Biden made an interesting comment during last night’s Vice Presidential debate: “Gwen, no one in the United States Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden.  I would have never, ever joined this ticket were I not absolutely sure Barack Obama shared my passion.”

Now, that caught me off guard.  I’m not saying that Senator Biden lied, but after he said that, I thought, “What about Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT)?”  (They’re the two Jews in the Senate.  You know, I just noticed that both Jewish Senators are Independents – weird.)

Again, I’m not calling Biden a liar – I just thought this somewhat odd, so I looked up Sanders and Lieberman’s records.  I knew Lieberman was pretty pro-Israel and found some of the laws that he sponsored (which Biden also cosponsored), but I didn’t find much about Sanders.

So, I was just wondering – if there’s any Israeli’s or people of Jewish decent who would happen to have an opinion on this.  It’s just something I was kinda wondering.

Done Wondering,

Ranting Republican
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Live Analysis of the Senate Vote on the New Bailout Bill: Bill Passes

October 1, 2008

Alright, so I’ve been watching C-SPAN throughout the day as much as I could, and saw everything from the US-India nuclear agreement and the Amtrak bill to the discussion on the Financial Industry Bailout bill.  They’ll be voting on that next, and I’ll be live blogging as they vote, whether it looks like it’ll pass or fail.  The rumor is that it’s expected to pass the 60-vote threshold, since they added some tax cut packages; however, these packages were rejected earlier in the week by the house, so it may clear the Senate, but fail the House by more than H.R. 3997 did.

This is now discussion on H.R. 1424, the Paul Wellstone (former Senator from MN) Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007:

Bernie Sanders (I-VT), speaking for an amendment on the bailout bill, although he’s stated that he is against the bailout bill overall.

Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), now speaking that the current bill is a good bill, and it’s “necessary that we pass it now.”  He is saying that Senator Sanders amendment would be bad for taxpayers.

Vote on the Amendment:

The Noes have it.

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), now speaking.  Saying that it’s the waning hours of the Senate, and that the Senators depend on their staff a lot, talking about them working unbelievable hours: “they make this place operate.”  Talking about the Legislative Clerk, David Tinsley.  Thanking him for his service.

Mitch McConnell (R-KY), now wishing Tinsley well in his retirement.

McConnell now speaking again, there’s 2 minutes to each side.  Talking about the bipartisan work in coming together to build a bill to resolve this financial crisis.  Saying that Senators Gregg and Dodd (who were appointed as designees for delegating time for discussion, etc) did a good job on the bill.  Saying that this will help resolve the “problems facing mainstream Americans.”  Saying that “we came together” in the middle of an election year.  He’s congratulating Senators for coming together and urges the passage of the bill.

Senator Reid: Is now reading letters from people who have written in to him, regarding the financial bill.  Saying that this bill isn’t for Wall Street, but for families across America.  Well, Mr. Reid, it may not be for them, but it’s going to benefit them for a time, and ultimately hurt American families.  Talking about keeping taxpayers first.  But this isn’t going to keep taxpayers safe.  He’s saying it’s an investment, but this will only set precedent for further government losses.  He’s talking about giving help to people who will have their homes foreclosed on, but it’s their fault they bought houses the couldn’t afford.  We have to draw the line, and helping people avoid foreclosure will only set precedent and make the situation worse.  Talking about getting alternative energy (BUT HE DIDN’T MENTION NUCLEAR!).  Talking about how much land in Nevada is owned by the government – 87% of the land is owned by the federal government, and 40% is no-flyover – I never realized it’s so much!  Some Senator’s cell phone went off.  Now talking about “each Senator … facing a critical test of leadership” tonight.  “Help is on the way.”

They’re voting now on an amendment to H.R. 1424 (a mental health bill which also had a tax break section added into it, as I said above), which will add the Emergency Economic Stabalization section to the bill – I thought McConnell had leader time to speak still???

Calling the roll:

Akaka: Aye

Alexander: Aye

Barasso: Aye

Baucus: Aye

Bayh: Aye

Bennett: Aye

Bingamen: Aye

Boxer: Aye

Brown: Aye

Brownback: No

Burr: Aye

Cantwell: No

Cardin: Aye

Casey: Aye

Clinton: Aye

Cockren: No

Coleman: Aye

Collins: Aye

Conrad: Aye

Corker: Aye

Cornyn: Aye

Craig: Aye

Crapo: No

Dodd: Aye

Dole: No

Domenici: Aye

Dorgan: No

Durbin: Aye

Ensign: Aye

Enzi: No

Feingold: No – WHAT!

Feinstein: Aye

Grassley: Aye

Gregg: Aye

Hagel: Aye – DANG IT!

Harkin: Aye

Hatch: Aye

Hutchison: Aye

Inhofe: No

Inouy: Aye

Isakson: Aye

Kerry: Aye

Flobecarh: Aye

Cole: Aye

Kyle: Aye

Landreau: No

Lautenberg: Aye

Levin: Aye

Lieberman: Aye

Lincoln: Aye

Luger: Aye

Martinez: Aye

McCain: Aye

McCaskill: Aye

McConnell: Aye

Menendez: Aye

McCulski: Aye

Murkowski: Aye

Murray: Aye

Nelson (FL): No

Obama: Aye

Pryor: Aye

Reed: Aye

Reid: Aye

Roberts: No

Salazar: Aye

Sanders: No

Schumer: Aye

Sessions: No

Shelby: No

Smith: Aye

Snowe: Aye

Specter: Aye

Stabenow: No

Stevens: Aye

Sununu: Aye

Tester: No

Thune: Aye

Vitter: No

Voinovich: Aye

Warner: Aye

Webb: Aye

Whitehouse: Aye

Wicker: No

Widen: No

Biden: Aye

Bunning: No

Borasso: No

Byrd: Aye

Coburn: Aye

Demint: No

Johnson: No

Allard: No

Chambliss: Aye

Lahey: Aye

Graham: Aye

Bond: Aye

Nelseon (NE): Aye

Carper: Aye

The vote passes 74-25.  The Amendment having 60 votes, the amendment is agreed to.  (I later found out that Senator Ted Kennedy was not present tonight, as he is having medical difficulties.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the Senator).

Reid is now speaking, saying he’s happy with tonight’s vote.  “When we work together, we can accomplish good things. … Thank you” to everyone.

Now the vote on HR 1424, a Mental Health Bill which now includes the above amendment.  This bill is expeced to pass.

Akaka: Aye

Alexander: Aye

Allard: Aye

Barasso: No

Bayh

And I’ve lost sound on C-SPAN??  It’s too hard to keep up with her on this one – I’ll summarize it once they’re done voting.

And we’ve now lost all sound from C-SPAN, so I’m clueless as to what’s going on.  The vote tally listed on the screen is for the amendment to the bill, so I’m not sure if the bill is passing as of now or not, but as I said above, this bill is expected to pass.  It’s funny, the media is now reporting that the Senate passed the bailout bill, although all they actually did was add it on to another bill, which they’re just voting on now.

Lieberman: Aye

It passed 74-25.  The bill, as amended, has passed, having obtained 60 votes.

I’m guessing that the votes were the same as on the amendment.

And they’re moving on to other business.  I’m done!

I really don’t think this bill should’ve passed.  Obviously I think it’s better than the first bill, but I’m still not happy with it.  We’ll see what happen in the House later this week.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Live Analysis of the September 26 Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy

September 26, 2008

**My apologies for any typos – I tried to catch all of them, but live blogging a debate is hard, and my keyboard acts up from time to time (especially the space bar), so if you see a typo, just leave a comment and I’ll fix it.**

We’re about a minute out, I’ll be live blogging the whole event.  Jim Lehrer (PBS) is the moderator.  I’ll be watching CNN (it would be FOX, but they weren’t ready on time).

The Ku Klux Klan is in the audience, we’ve heard, but not in robes and not protesting.

First question, “Where do you stand on the financial recovery plan?”

Obama: Thank you to everybody – the usual beginning.  “Worst financial crisis since the great depression. … We have to move swiftly and we have to move wisely.”  Talking about oversight, since it’s a lot of money.  Taxpayers need to be able to get the money back.  Shouldn’t be padding CEO bank accounts.  Talking about trickle down economics not working.  That’s not going to help him win over any Republicans.

McCain: Senator Kennedy is in the hospital.  Thank you to the sponsors, etc.  Talking about seeing Democrats and Republicans sitting down and working together, and the magnitude of the crisis.  Emphasizing that we have to work together, something that Obama didn’t mention – that was good from McCain.  Talking about having options for loans for businesses, not the government taking over those loans.  GOOD – not a pure bailout!  CNN has an audience  reaction, and McCain is getting a pretty good response from the Independents (must be some keypad rating system or something).  Talking about a lot of work to do if this will work.  Eliminate dependence on foreign oil – good.

Lehrer: Do you favor this plan?

Obama: I “haven’t seen the language yet.”  “How did we get in this situation in the first place?”  Talking about him warning 2 years ago that mortgage abuse would lead us down a trail we can’t afford to go down.  “Yes, we have to solve this problem short term, … but … look at how we shredded so many regulations … and that has … to do with an economic philosophy that says regulation is bad.”

Lehrer: “Will you vote for the plan?”

McCain: “Sure.”  Talking about warning about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  Talking about getting flack for calling for resignation of Securities and Exchange Commission.  And the Independents’ rating has skyrocketed.  Republicans increased too.  It was good – him calling for the resignation, and people like that.

Obama: Talking about people struggling before this crisis.  It’s interesting – the Dems are rating Obama higher than the Indies, but the Indies rated McCain higher than the Reps.  Talking about holding ourselves accountable, all the time, talking about nurses and teachers, and politicians not paying attention to them.  Good – he’s appealing to the average Americans here, and that’s who he needs to win over.

McCain: “We have a long way to go.”  Need consolidation of regulatory agencies who failed and let us slip into this crisis.  Talking about the greatness of the American worker, and the Republicans like it, but it’s not that appealing to Independents, but it will appeal to a lot of average Joe Americans, as long as they believe he’s sincere (and the audience must not have).

Lehrer: How do we get out of the crisis?

McCain: Spending control.  And the Reps and Inds, liked it – and this is one of McCain biggest points, and now he’s talking about Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), a huge anti-earmark politician.  Talking about the DNA testing of bears.  I LOVE McCain saying he’ll veto earmarked bills.  It’s one of his best stances.  He’s talking about Obama asking for earmark spending.  Talking about not being able to rein in spending with a plan like Obama’s.

Obama: The earmark process has been abused.  Lobbyists and special interests introduce these things, often times.  Contrasting the cost of earmarks against tax cuts (by allegedly McCain) for CEOs and big companies.  “Grow the economy for the bottom up.”  Tax cut for 95% of working families.  HOLD IT!  Only 90% of working families even PAY taxes!!!!  Come on Obama, don’t lie.

McCain: Obama suspended those earmarks after he started running for Congress.  YOU TELL ‘EM MCCAIN!  He’s saying that earmarks have tripled in 5 years, even though “it’s only $18 billion” (as pro-earmarkers say).  He was called the Sheriff.  That’s pretty sweet.  As I was saying before, we need to take Coburn’s example and STOP EARMARKS!

Obama: Interrupted McCain (must be kinda less formal).  Talking about priorities, and shipping, and I missed the rest.  Saying he’ll keep us from spending unwisely.  Earmarks alone won’t get us back on track.  The Democrats are loving this, but the Independents, aren’t really liking it.

McCain: Talking about the business tax, that we pay the 2nd highest in the world, 35%.  “I want to cut that business tax.  I want to cut it.”  “It’s a lot more than $18 billion in pork barrel spending.”  And he’s right, it’s SO much more than that, and it’s hidden in so many bills.  The Independents are liking this.  “I want every family to have a $5,000 refundable tax credit” for healthcare.  Double the dependent amount refund for children.

Obama: “Here’s what I can tell America 95% of you will get a tax cut.”  LIAR.  10% don’t even PAY taxes.  And another 5% make over $200,000, and he won’t give them a tax cut.  LIAR!  Saying McCain wants to add an additional tax cut over the loopholes.  Talking about McCain’s health care tax credit.  Saying McCain wants to tax health benefits.  That’s not true.

McCain: Talking about an energy bill with breaks for oil companies, and McCain voted against it, but Obama voted for it.”  Obama tried to interrupt – that just looks tacky when he keeps doing it.  Saying that Obama has shifted on a number of occasions.

Obama: Talking about Obama lying about the oil companies.  “I was opposed to those tax breaks … tried to strip them out.”

Lehrer: “As President … what are you going to have to give up … as a result of having to pay for the financial rescue plan?”

Obama: “Right now, it’s hard to anticipate what the budget is going to look like next year.”  He’s right about that.  “Energy independence.”  Talking about solar, wind, biodiesel here at home.  And the Independents REALLY loved that – highest rating I’ve seen all night.  Fix our healthcare system.  Compete in education – science and technology.  “Make sure our children are keeping pace in math and in science.”  Make college affordable for all.  That’s not even useful.  Not EVERYBODY needs college.  America needs plumbers and other basic labor workers too.

McCain: “No matter what, we have got to cut spending.”  Obama has most liberal rating.  “It’s hard to reach across the aisle from that far to the left.”  Do away with cost-plus contracts.  Talking about defense contracts and needing fixed-cost contracts.  And he’s absolutely right.  One of the big areas we need to save money is in defense contracts.  Talking about fixing a contract with Boeing, and people ending up in prison because of it, but hte Independents didn’t like that too much.

Lehrer: Neither of you are really going to have big changes?

Obama: “I want to make sure that we are investing in energy in order to [break off from] foreign oil.”  Right now, even the Democrats aren’t giving him a good audience reaction.  The Republicans are giving him a higher rating!  Saying that him being wildly liberal is just him opposing George Bush.  And that spiked the Dems’ rating.  Saying that he’s worked with Coburn so that taxpayers can see who’s promoting spending projects.

Lehrer: “How [will] this effect you in the approach you will take to the Presidency.”

McCain: Spending freeze on all but Veterans, defense, and I forget what else.

Obama: You’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel.  But heck, that’d have to be a big scalpel.  But he does have a point here.

McCain: We’re sending money overseas, and some of that goes eventually to terrorists (through oil).  We need nuclear, solar, wind, offshore drilling, etc…  Get 70,000 (?) jobs by building nuclear plants throughout the country.  And Obama is against this.  And that’s one thing that really angers me about Obama – WE NEED NUCLEAR!

Obama: “There is not fact that it [economic crisis] will affect our budgets” even if we get the $700 billion back.  “If we’re lucky and do it right, that could potentially happen.”  “We can expect less tax revenue.”  And he’s really not getting a good audience response here.  Talking about not being able to leave out healthcare, and the Independents’ and Republicans’ approval just dropped.

McCain: Families should make decisions between themselves and doctors, not federal government.  “I have fought to cut spending.”  “Obama needs to cancel new spending programs.”  Talking about taking care of veterans.  Healthy economy, lowering, not raising taxes, with spending restraint.  And the independents liked that.  Talking about owing China money, and saying he’s fought against excessive spending.  And the ratings are skyrocketing – and again, I LOVE his stance on spending!

Obama: It’s been your President who presided over this spending.  But Bush and McCain aren’t the same.  Stop pretending they are.  That still got a good reply from the Independents.

McCain: I have opposed the President on spending, torture, Guantanamo, climate change.  Talking about being an Independent and Maverick, and having Sarah Palin as the same.  His ratings stunk right there.  He lost Dems, Reps, and Inds.

Lehrer: On to Iraq.

McCain: “Our initial military success … Baghdad, and everybody celebrated.”  Then the war was mishandled.  Came up with a new strategy.  It’s succeeding.  The Inds and Dems rating has fallen a lot, but hte Reps are rating him high.  Talking about the consequences of defeat being Iranian influence higher, more sectarian violence, and U.S. having to come back (referring to defeat before the surge).  And the Inds just started to rate him a lot better.  I think he did as good as he could back there.

Obama: I would’ve voted against it.  “We hadn’t finished the job in Afghanistan … caught bin Laden … and put Al Qaeda to rest.”  Talking about soon to be a trillion dollars spent, plus 4,000 lives lost.  Saying that Al Qaeda is stronger than ever.  “We took our eye off the ball.”  Talking about Iraq having a surplus while we’re losing money.  He’s bringing up a LOT of good points that I thought would appeal to people, but he’s not rating THAT great, although the Dems really like him.  Now it’s peaked a bit more.

McCain: President will have to decide how and when we leave and what we leave behind.  He’s absolutely right.  Obama saying surge worked, but he’d still oppose it.  And he lost a lot of Indy rating points just back there.  But he’s right.  Obama is simply sticking by what he said even though what he said was WRONG!

Obama: Talking about McCain being right about reduced violence.  Saying troops and Petraeus doing a good job.  But that made up for mismanagement before that.  War started in 2003, not 2007.  Saying McCain said it’d be quick and easy, but he was wrong.  Saying we’d be greeted as liberators, but we weren’t.  And he lost a lot of support from Inds, but he’s still doing better than McCain has on Iraq.

McCain: Saying Obama doesn’t have military experience, he’s got some better support form Inds and Reps now.  Saying that this strategy and general are winning, but Obama refuses to acknowledge this.  (Obama: “That’s not true.”)  Talking about elections and peace coming to Iraq, and the strategy will be employed in Afghanistan in a McCain administration, and the Inds went up a bit there.  Talking about Obama voting against troop funding.

Obama: McCain opposed funding for troops in a timetable bill.  Had a difference on timetables, not funding.  And Obama’s right.  It always looks bad on paper when you vote against funding, but if you don’t agree with the overall bill, don’t vote for it.  I have to side with Obama here, and the Inds liked that a lot, and even the Republicans aren’t that negatively rating him.  Reduce combat troops in Iraq.  “Capture and kill bin Laden.”  We don’t have enough troops to deal with Afghanistan.

McCain: Saying that military leaders saying that Obama’s plan would be bad for the troops.  Talking about Petraeus praising the progress we’ve made.  Saying that under Obama’s plan, we’d have been out before the surge could have even succeeded.  Saying that Obama’s plan will “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”

Lehrer: How many and when (if more troops in Afghanistan)?

Obama: As soon as possible.  Saying that this year has been the year for highest troop fatalities.  Can’t separate Afghanistan from Iraq.  And the Independents are rating him lower than the Repubs now – that’s surprising.  Saying that Al Qaeda is the greatest threat against us, and that we have to deal with them in Afghanistan and Pakistan, not Iraq.  Press the Afghan government to make sure that they’re working for their people.  And he’s absolutely right – we need to press the Afghani government.  Talking about needing to reduce the poppy trade over there.  And that’s another area we need to work on.

McCain: Talking about not being ready to threaten Pakistan, because that’d be dangerous.  We need to get support of the people of Pakistan.  And the Independents are rating him pretty high here.  Saying that Obama doesn’t understand that we need a new strategy.  Saying that Pakistani terrorists are married to Al Qaeda and Taliban.  Ratings are very high from Reps and Inds.  Although it’s dropped now.  Saying we need more troops in Afghanistan, but saying that we have put more in already.  Talking about Obama publicly saying he’d attack Pakistan.

Obama: Saying that if we have Al Qaeda in sights, and Pakistan won’t help us take them out, then we need to take them out.  Again, I have to side with Obama here.  Talking about McCain singing “Bomb Iran.”  And that was so stupid of McCain, and really makes him look like a hypocrite a bit here.  Although he lost a lot of ratings there surprisingly.  Talking about not going after Al Qaeda, and they’re more powerful than ever.

McCain: Talking about him being a new Congressman – Reagan wanting to send Marines into Lebanon, and McCain voting against it, because he didn’t think that 300 Marines could make a difference, and saying that he was right – many Marines were killed in the bombing.  Talking about voting for going into Bosnia, when it wasn’t popular.  Saying that we need more than a peace-keeping force in Somalia.  And he’s right.  We need to do what’s RIGHT, not what’s popular!  Saying that our mission NEEDS to succeed.  And he’s absolutely right.  We don’t want defeat, and we cannot afford defeat!  “We won’t come home in defeat and dishonor and probably have to go back if we fail.”

Obama: “No U.S. soldier ever dies in vain. … We honor the service they’ve provided. … Are we making good judgments” for keeping America safe, because sending troops is such a huge issue.  “We are having enormous problems in Afghanistan.”  Saying it’s not true that McCain has consistently cared about Afghanistan.  Saying McCain said we could “muddle through” Afghanistan.

McCain: “I’ve visited Afghanistan … and I know what our needs are.  We will prevail … and we need a new strategy.”  If we adopt Obama’s plan, we’ll fail in Iraq, and that will have a great effect on Afghanistan.  Obama fails to see that the 2 are connected.

Lehrer: “What is your reading from the threat from Iran?”

McCain: If Iran acquires nukes, it’s a threat to Israel and other countries.  Others will feel the need to get nukes.  “We can’t afford a second holocaust.”  Proposing a league of Democracies who would impose sanctions on Iranians, since the Russians won’t do it.  “The Iranians have a lousy government, so their economy is lousy, even though they have significant oil revenues.”  A nuclear Iran is a threat to the world.  They’re putting IEDs in Iraq.  They’re a sponsor of terror.  And he’s getting some pretty good ratings right now, from both Indeps and Repubs.

Obama: Talking about the thing that strengthened Iran was the War in Iraq.  Their involvement has grown.  They’ve tried harder to get nukes.  “We cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran.”  It would threaten Israel, and “create an environment [that would] set off an arms race in the Middle East.”  We can’t have sanctions without Russia and China.  Well Obama, you’re not going to get Russia OR China to side with you!  You’re dreaming if you think you will.  Saying we need to talk to leaders in Iran and North Korea, and he as President will.

McCain: Senator Obama twice said he’d sit down with Ahmadinejad, Chavez, and Castro.  Ahmadinejad is in New York now talking about extermination of Israel.  Saying that we can’t sit down without preconditions.  And he’s right.  NO President has ever sat down without preconditions (Reagan didn’t, JFK didn’t, and Nixon didn’t).  And now McCain is using examples that I just gave.  “I’ll sit down with anybody, but there’s gotta be preconditions.”  GOOD job McCain!  You’re absolutely right.

Obama: Ahmadinejad isn’t the most powerful person in Iran.  Saying as President, he can sit down with whoever he wants if it keeps America safe.  Saying that we CAN meet without preconditions, but not do with what we’ve been doing where we say you must do X or we won’t meet with you.  “Of course we need preparations.”  “It may not work.  Iran is a rogue regime.”  Obama is getting pretty much the same ratings now as McCain was getting a minute ago (about a third of the way between neutral and as positive as you can go).  “The Bush Administration and McCain’s advisors (Kissinger)” think we should meet without preconditions.  Saying McCain said we can’t meet with Spain, a NATO ally.

McCain: “Kissinger never said that the President could meet with Ahmadinejad.”  “Obama doesn’t understand that without precondition … you legitimize those comments [against Israel]. … It’s dangerous.”  Talking about North Koreans breaking everything they’ve ever said they’d do.

Obama: McCain keeps saying that I’ll meet with somebody without preparing – this isn’t true.  “We do not expect to solve every problem before we initiate talks.”  The Bush administration realized this doesn’t work.  “The notion that we’d meet with Ahmadinejad as he spews his comments is” wrong.

McCain: Kissinger would not say “that Presidential, top level” communications should be made without preconditions.

The two are going back and forth, and ratings are dropping a lot.

Lehrer: How do you see the relationship with Russia?

Obama: “Our entire Russian approach needs to be reevaluated. … Actions in Georgia were unacceptable and unwarranted.”  They need to get out of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  The Democrats really aren’t liking what he’s saying here.  The Inds are rating him higher than Dems are.  We can’t go back to a Cold War status with Russia.  We need to deal with loose nuclear weapons when it comes to Russia.  “Deal with Russia based on [our] national security interests.”

McCain: Obama doesn’t understand that Russia committed aggression against Georgia when he said that both sides need to back down a bit.  He’s compared Putin to the KGB.  We can’t go back to the Cold War.  The Georgian War “had everything to do with energy.”  McCain’s rating a bit better than Obama, but neither are performing well right now with the audience.  “The Russians ought to understand that we’ll support … the inclusion of Georgia, and Ukraine … into inclusion of NATO.”  The Russians violated their cease fire agreement.  Saying that Russian intentions toward Georgia – just waiting to cease the opportunity.  Expecting Russians to behave as a country who will respect boundaries.  And he’s right – Russia can’t be left to keep doing what it’s been doing.  It HAS to respect the sovereignty of other countries.  McCain rating pretty decent now, compared to an average rating before.

Obama: McCain and I agree for the most part on these issues.  Says he disagrees with McCain a bit on Georgia.  I don’t think the Dems liked that – Obama is doing a decent amount worse than McCain was doing.  Talking about Russian peace keepers in Georgia not making sense and that we needed international peace keepers there, and that might have avoided the situation.  And Obama is right there.  Talking about energy.  We need to increase offshore drilling.  “We can’t drill our way out of the problem.”  Talking about needing wind, solar, and nuclear.  And now he’s rating higher than McCain was at the end of McCain’s last statement.  Saying McCain voted against alternative energy 23 times.

McCain: Saying that Obama is really against nuclear, and that offshore drilling would help more than Obama says it would.  McCain is getting pretty low ratings now, especially from Dems.

Obama: I have never said that I object to nuclear waste, but I’d store it safely.

McCain: I’ve always been for alternative energy.

Lehrer: What do you think the likelihood is of another 9/11 attack?

McCain: Much less than the day after 9/11, but we’re not safe yet.  Talking about working across the aisle to establish the investigation commission.  Saying we need interrogators who won’t use torture.  Saying that we are safer now.

Obama: We need to do more in terms of securing transit and ports.  Biggest issue is not missiles coming over skies, but from a suitcase.  Spending billions on missile defense, which we need because of Iran/Korea, but we need more for other areas as well.  Ratings are pretty high for him here.  We need more cooperation with allies.  “The way we are perceived in the world” will affect the cooperation we get.  He’s right here.  We have slipped in terms of how we’re viewed by the world.  McCain has a good stance on terror.  And the ratings right there are the highest they’ve been at any time during the debate, even Reps rated him decently high.

McCain: If we fail in Iraq, Al Qaeda will establish a base in Iraq.  McCain isn’t rating too good right now, especially with Inds and Dems.  We can’t have specific dates for withdrawal.  We’ve had great success, but it’s fragile.

Obama: Saying that this administration has been solely focused on Iraq, and we haven’t captured bin Laden.  Talking about borrowing from China, and they’ve been active around the world, while we’ve been focused on Iraq.  We’re spending so much money, we can’t invest in health care or science/technology.  “We’ve never seen a nation who has a failing economy but maintains military strength, so this is a national security issue.”  The next President has to have better strategy for all the challenges we face.  Pretty good ratings there

McCain: Saying he’s been around involved in challenges.  Saying Obama doesn’t have  experience, but he does.  Talking about Obama failing to admit the success of the surge.  McCain is right here.  Obama is just being stubborn.  Saying that he’ll take care of veterans, that he has right judgment to keep nation safe and secure.  “I don’t need any on the job training.  I’m ready to go right now.”

Obama: Talking about his father being from Kenya, and that there’s not nation like America, where you can become so successful.  “Part of what we need to do … is to send a message to the world that we’ll invest in issues like education … how ordinary people can live out there dreams.”

McCain: Talking about coming home from prison and seeing veterans treated poorly, and working on bipartisan bills to see our veterans treated better.  I know how to deal with our adversaries and how to deal with our friends.

Lehrer: We’re done.  “Thank you and good night.”

McCain/Obama: “Good job.”

And there you have it – the wives are coming out and kissing each other.  A little more than the 90 minutes scheduled, but that’s ok.

OK, so who won?  Both Obama and McCain had some pretty good moments, but I don’t think there was a clear cut winner here.  I think both performed pretty much on the same level.  I’m not saying that the two were identical in debating, but I don’t think one did better than the other.  I absolutely hate saying this, because I love objectivity and clear cut answers, but I really do think it was a tie.

I’d love to go on more and more, but my hands are just killing me right now (hey – it was a lot of typing), so I think I’ve said most all of what I wanted to say.

By the way – a big thanks to my roommate who helped with correcting quotes and what was said.  It’s hard to keep up with typing and trying to listen, so a huge thanks to him for helping me out with this!

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Holy Crap! This Election Could Get Weird: An Electoral College Tie? Acting President Pelosi?

September 25, 2008

So, I’ve been looking through polls lately, and the way it stands now, if Obama holds all the states he currently has, and McCain picks up all the tossup states, we’d have an Electoral College tie (assuming that all the electors keep their promise to vote for their party).

Let’s look at the map (courtesy of my favorite election website, the U.S. Election Atlas) of the current polls (note, that first link may be different than the image below.  That link goes to the updated version of the polls.  The image below is an image that I created inputting the different numbers):

Electoral Votes:
Obama: 269
McCain: 212
Tossup: 57

Now, these are the averages of the last 3 polls.  I have a couple disagreements with the polls:

  • Pennsylvania is not slight Obama.  I think it should be Lean Dem.
  • Michigan is not Lean Dem.  It should be slight Dem.  There was a recent poll that had Obama way more ahead than he really is, and I think it’s skewing the results.
  • Florida isn’t Slight Rep.  I think it’s Lean Rep.
  • West Virginia isn’t Slight Rep.  It should also be Lean Rep in my opinion.
  • I don’t think Minnesota is Slight Dem.  I think it should probably be Lean Dem.
  • Montana should be Strong Rep not Lean Rep, but there were a couple polls throwing that off.
  • Nevada should probably be Slight McCain in all honesty, but I’ll talk about that later.

Other than that, I agree with this map.  So, let’s take a look at the tossup states:

  • Nevada: Although it’s close, most recent polls have shown McCain with a slight lead here.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that switches over to slight McCain in the next 3 days (whenever a poll comes out).  It’s really only a tossup because of an ARG (American Research Group) poll, and they’re a pretty crappy polling firm.  My call: McCain +5.  That puts him at 217.
  • North Carolina: Freakishly close lately, and it’s a state that we wouldn’t expect to be close.  However, I think this’ll trend back toward McCain as we get closer to Election day.  My call: McCain +15.  That puts him at 232.
  • Virginia: Similar to Nevada, most polls have shown McCain with a lead here.  I think we simply have some outliers, and as more polls come out, we’ll see that swing back to Slight McCain.  My call: McCain +13.  That puts McCain at 245.
  • New Hampshire: Most polls have had Obama winning, but recently it’s been trending toward McCain, and then McCain took the lead (granted one of those was an ARG poll, so we can ignore one of the three that had McCain winning).  This may be more of a gut feeling than actual math, but I think New Hampshire will go for McCain.  My call: McCain +4.  That gives him 249.
  • Ohio: Now, here’s the exciting one.  This has been by far the closest state in this election.  Polls have had Obama and McCain ahead of each other, as well as simply tied.  Trying to call this right now is really probably a shot in the dark, but because McCain has an ever so slight lead here, I’m going to make my call: McCain +20.  That would give McCain 269.  And the two are now tied.

I think we need to talk a little more about one last state: Michigan, my home state.  Although it’s not this way on the map, I said that I think Michigan is the only Slight Obama state.  I think it’s the only current Obama state that could be in play.  With a rough economy, a lot could happen, and the economy has been effecting Michigan the worst.  If Michigan were to go for McCain, McCain could then afford to lose either North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, or Nevada and New Hampshire.  If he won Michigan, but lost Virginia and New Hampshire (also a very good possibility), we would once AGAIN have a tie.

So, what’s my honest prediction?  I’m glad you asked.  I’ll show you (since this’ll get outdated, I’m sure, here’s a link to my prediction page, which will have my latest prediction on it):

Percentages:

Electoral Votes:
Obama: 269
McCain: 269

 

Confidence:

Electoral Votes:
Obama: 252
McCain: 227
Tossup: 59

 

So, what would happen if my prediction comes true?

  1. Assuming that we don’t have any faithless electors (electors who don’t vote the way they’re supposed to), and I don’t think we will–any faithless elector is pretty much asking to be assassinated: The vote would go to the House of Representatives.  But they do things kinda funky when they vote.  They don’t vote individually, they vote by state delegation, so it’s winner take all, but the Representatives decide, not the voters.  Here’s a map of the current House:

    The Republicans hold 21 of those, the Democrats hold 27, and 2 are tied.  You need 26 to win (50 states, so 1 more than half).  Obama wins, right?  Well, hold on a minute.  There’s a couple of things we have to keep in mind:

    1. Alaska could easily be won by the Democrat this year.  That’d be one more for Obama.
    2. Arizona, a tied state, could easily go to the Republican side.  Even if it doesn’t, a Democrat may be swayed to vote for the “home state boy.”  I’m pretty confident that we can add Arizona to McCain’s pile.  McCain has 22.
    3. Indiana could easily go over to the Republicans.  For now, I’ll keep Indiana in Obama’s pile.
    4. So, we have Obama with 27, McCain with 22, and 1 tie.  I think Kansas would go for McCain, making it 27, 23.  Obama wins, right?  Again, slow down.
    5. 4 of Obama’s delegations are in the south.  I don’t see the Tennessee, North Carolina, or Mississippi delegations voting for an African American.  That makes it Obama 24, McCain 26.  McCain wins.  However, there are enough Democrats in Mississippi that there’s an EVER SO SLIGHT possibility that it’d go for Obama.  That leaves us at 25-25.
  2. If we get to 25-25, they’d keep voting.  If they never break the tie…
  3. While the House was voting on President, the Senate would have elected the Vice-President, and we’d have acting President Biden/Palin.  As it stands now, it’d probably be a tie.  You have 49 Democrats and 49 Republicans, plus Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT).  Sanders votes with the Democrats (he caucuses with them, so he would vote with them on this).  Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats votes for McCain.  I don’t doubt this, he’s endorsed him.  That gives us 50-50. 
  4. We then have acting President Nany Pelosi, since Speaker of the House is next in line.  Scary, I know.
  5. One litle note I forgot to put in here – the House has until March 4th to come up with a President.  If they don’t by then, then the acting President (whether that be the VP choice that the Senate made or the Speaker of the House) becomes the President.

Not only is this scenario extremely complicated, it’s historically unprecedented, but it actually has a decent chance of happening.  I shudder to think that Pelosi could be President, but this would be one heck of a story for the history books.

I’ll hopefully becoming out with Predictions once a week, as more polls and details come in, and as we get closer to the election.  I’ll also be covering the debate tomorrow night, live, so come back here for lots more election fun.

Done Hypothetically Situating,

Ranting Republican
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Ron Paul Endorses Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party Candidate) for President

September 22, 2008

OK, back on September 10th, I had meant to post Ron Paul’s  “endorsement” speech, but some crazy things happened in my life and I didn’t get to it.  Well, none of that really matters now.  The basics of his speech there (which I have just below) were that he’s endorsing all of the 3rd party candidates – basically don’t vote for McCain or Obama.

Here’s Paul’s speech to the National Press Club:

The coverage of the presidential election is designed to be a grand distraction. This is not new, but this year, it’s more so than ever.

Pretending that a true difference exists between the two major candidates is a charade of great proportion. Many who help to perpetuate this myth are frequently unaware of what they are doing and believe that significant differences actually do exist. Indeed, on small points there is the appearance of a difference. The real issues, however, are buried in a barrage of miscellaneous nonsense and endless pontifications by robotic pundits hired to perpetuate the myth of a campaign of substance.

The truth is that our two-party system offers no real choice. The real goal of the campaign is to distract people from considering the real issues.

Influential forces, the media, the government, the privileged corporations and moneyed interests see to it that both party’s candidates are acceptable, regardless of the outcome, since they will still be in charge. It’s been that way for a long time. George Wallace was not the first to recognize that there’s “not a dime’s worth of difference” between the two parties. There is, though, a difference between the two major candidates and the candidates on third-party tickets and those running as independents.

The two parties and their candidates have no real disagreements on foreign policy, monetary policy, privacy issues, or the welfare state. They both are willing to abuse the Rule of Law and ignore constitutional restraint on Executive Powers. Neither major party champions free markets and private-property ownership.

Those candidates who represent actual change or disagreement with the status quo are held in check by the two major parties in power, making it very difficult to compete in the pretend democratic process. This is done by making it difficult for third-party candidates to get on the ballots, enter into the debates, raise money, avoid being marginalized, or get fair or actual coverage. A rare celebrity or a wealthy individual can, to a degree, overcome these difficulties.

The system we have today allows a President to be elected by as little as 32% of the American people, with half of those merely voting for the “lesser of two evils”. Therefore, as little as 16% actually vote for a president. No wonder when things go wrong, anger explodes. A recent poll shows that 60% of the American people are not happy with the two major candidates this year.

This system is driven by the conviction that only a major party candidate can win. Voters become convinced that any other vote is a “wasted” vote. It’s time for that conclusion to be challenged and to recognize that the only way not to waste one’s vote is to reject the two establishment candidates and join the majority, once called silent, and allow the voices of the people to be heard.

We cannot expect withdrawal of troops from Iraq or the Middle East with either of the two major candidates. Expect continued involvement in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Georgia. Neither hints of a non-interventionist foreign policy. Do not expect to hear the rejection of the policy of supporting the American world empire. There will be no emphasis in protecting privacy and civil liberties and the constant surveillance of the American people. Do not expect any serious attempt to curtail the rapidly expanding national debt. And certainly, there will be no hint of addressing the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationship with big banks and international corporations and the politicians.

There is only one way that these issues can get the attention they deserve: the silent majority must become the vocal majority.

This message can be sent to our leaders by not participating in the Great Distraction—the quadrennial campaign and election of an American President without a choice. Just think of how much of an edge a Vice President has in this process, and he or she is picked by a single person—the party’s nominee. This was never intended by the Constitution.

Since a principled non-voter sends a message, we must count them and recognize the message they are sending as well. The non-voters need to hold their own “election” by starting a “League of Non-voters” and explain their principled reasons for opting out of this charade of the presidential elective process. They just might get a bigger membership than anyone would guess.

Write-in votes should not be discouraged, but the electoral officials must be held accountable and make sure the votes are counted. But one must not be naïve and believe that under today’s circumstances one has a chance of accomplishing much by a write-in campaign.

The strongest message can be sent by rejecting the two-party system, which in reality is a one-party system with no possible chance for the changes to occur which are necessary to solve our economic and foreign policy problems. This can be accomplished by voting for one of the non-establishment principled candidates—Baldwin, Barr, McKinney, Nader, and possibly others. (listed alphabetically)

Yes, these individuals do have strong philosophic disagreements on various issues, but they all stand for challenging the status quo—those special interest who control our federal government. And because of this, on the big issues of war, civil liberties, deficits, and the Federal Reserve they have much in common. People will waste their vote in voting for the lesser of two evils. That can’t be stopped overnight, but for us to have an impact we must maximize the total votes of those rejecting the two major candidates.

For me, though, my advice—for what it’s worth—is to vote! Reject the two candidates who demand perpetuation of the status quo and pick one of the alternatives that you have the greatest affinity to, based on the other issues.

A huge vote for those running on principle will be a lot more valuable by sending a message that we’ve had enough and want real change than wasting one’s vote on a supposed lesser of two evils.

Well, Bob Barr (Lib) didn’t like that too much, and he bugged Dr. Paul to endorse somebody, and today, Ron Paul did.  He endorsed Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.  Here’s what Dr. Paul released today:

The press conference at the National Press Club had a precise purpose.  It was to expose, to as many people as possible, the gross deception of our presidential election process.  It is controlled by the powerful elite to make sure that neither candidate of the two major parties will challenge the status quo.  There is no real choice between the two major parties and their nominees, only the rhetoric varies.  The amazingly long campaign is designed to make sure the real issues are ignored.  The quotes I used at the press conference from insider Carroll Quigley and the League of Women voters strongly support this contention.

Calling together candidates from the liberal, conservative, libertarian and progressive constituencies, who are all opposed to this rigged process, was designed to alert the American people to the uselessness of continuing to support a process that a claims that one’s only choice is to choose the lesser of two evils and reject a principle vote that might challenge the status quo as a wasted vote.

In both political education and organization, coalitions are worthwhile and necessary to have an impact.  “Talking to the choir” alone achieves little.  I have always approached political and economic education with a “missionary” zeal by inviting any group in on issues we agree upon.

This opens the door to legitimate discourse with the hope of winning new converts to the cause of liberty.  This strategy led to the press conference with the four candidates agreeing to the four principles we believe are crucial in challenging the political system that has evolved over many years in this country.

This unique press conference, despite the surprising, late complication from the Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate, hopefully will prove to be historically significant.

This does not mean that I expect to get Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney to become libertarians, nor do they expect me to change my mind on the issues on which we disagree. In the meantime, why can’t we be friends, respectful of each other, and fight the corrupt process from which we suffer, and at the same time champion the four issues that we all agree upon which the two major candidates won’t address?

Many practical benefits can come from this unique alliance.  Our cause is liberty —freedom is popular and is the banner that brings people together. Since authoritarianism divides, we always have the edge in an intellectual fight.  Once it’s realized that the humanitarian goals of peace and prosperity are best achieved with our views, I’m convinced we win by working with others.  Those who don’t want to collaborate are insecure with their own beliefs.

In the past two years at the many rallies where I talked and shook hands with literally thousands of people, I frequently asked them what brought them to our campaign.  There were many answers: the Constitution, my consistency, views on the Federal Reserve, the war, and civil liberties.  The crowds were overwhelmingly made up of young people.

Oftentimes I welcomed the diverse groups that came, mentioning that the crowd was made up of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Liberals and Progressives with each group applauding.  Even jokingly, I recognized the “anarchists” and that, too, was met with some applause.  In conversations, many admitted to having been Democrats and members of the Green Party and supporters of Ralph Nader, yet they came to agree with us on all the issues once the entire philosophy was understood.  That’s progress.

Principled people are not shy in participating with others and will defend their beliefs on their merits. Liberals and progressives are willing to align themselves with us on the key issues of peace, civil liberties, debt and the Federal Reserve.  That’s exciting and very encouraging, and it means we are making progress.  The big challenge, however, is taking on the establishment, and the process that is so well entrenched.  But we can’t beat the entrenched elite without the alliance of all those who have been disenfranchised.

Ironically the most difficult group to recruit has been the evangelicals who supported McCain and his pro-war positions.  They have been convinced that they are obligated to initiate preventive war in the Middle East for theological reasons.  Fortunately, this is a minority of the Christian community, but our doors remain open to all despite this type of challenge.  The point is, new devotees to the freedom philosophy are more likely to come from the left than from those conservatives who have been convinced that God has instructed us to militarize the Middle East.

Although we were on the receiving end of ridicule in the reporting of the press conference, I personally was quite satisfied with the results. True revolutions are not won in a week, a month, or even a year.  They take time.  But we are making progress, and the momentum remains and is picking up.  The Campaign for Liberty is alive and well, and its growth and influence will continue.  Obviously the press conference could have been even more successful without the last-minute change of heart by the Libertarian Party candidate by not participating.  He stated that his support for the four points remains firm.  His real reason for not coming, nor letting me know until forty minutes before the press conference started, is unknown to me.  To say the least, I was shocked and disappointed.

Yet in the long run, this last-minute change in plans will prove to be of little importance.  I’m convinced that problems like this always seem bigger at the moment, yet things usually work out in the end.  Recovering from the mistakes and shortcomings of all that we do in this effort is not difficult if the message is right and our efforts are determined.  And I’m convinced they are.  That’s what will determine our long-term success, not the shortcomings of any one person.

The Libertarian Party Candidate admonished me for “remaining neutral” in the presidential race and not stating whom I will vote for in November.   It’s true; I have done exactly that due to my respect and friendship and support from both the Constitution and Libertarian Party members.  I remain a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and I’m a ten-term Republican Congressman.  It is not against the law to participate in more then one political party.  Chuck Baldwin has been a friend and was an active supporter in the presidential campaign.

I continue to wish the Libertarian and Constitution Parties well.  The more votes they get, the better.  I have attended Libertarian Party conventions frequently over the years.

In some states, one can be on the ballots of two parties, as they can in New York.  This is good and attacks the monopoly control of politics by Republicans and Democrats.  We need more states to permit this option.  This will be a good project for the Campaign for Liberty, along with the alliance we are building to change the process.

I’ve thought about the unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate, and he has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election.  I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.

Honestly, this is a detramental blow to Barr.  And it’s a huge sigh of relief for McCain.  Barr was on the ballot in 45/51 states (counting Washington, D.C. as a “state”), but Baldwin is only on 37.  He’s a write-in in Indiana, where Barr was on the ballot.  That greatly helps McCain.  In Montana, the Constitution Party rejected Baldwin and selected Ron Paul.  Who knows how this will effect that whole situation.  In North Carolina, Baldwin can’t even be a write-in, where Barr was on the ballot.  Again, this will help McCain in a state that could be close-ish.  In Pennsylvania, Baldwin will be a write-in; Barr is on the ballot.

Overall, this move helps McCain.  Baldwin will probably beat out Barr now, which will be pretty humiliating for Barr, considering that the Libertarian normally beats the Constitution candidate by 200%-300%.

I find it funny that Barr pushed Paul and Paul said, “Fine, it’s not you.”

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Ron Paul to Endorse a Presidential Candidate Tomorrow

September 9, 2008

Well, earlier today, Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty put out the following press release:

Ron Paul to Hold Major
Press Conference Wednesday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           CONTACT: Jesse Benton
September 8, 2008

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – Congressman Ron Paul will hold a press conference in the Ball Room at the National Press Club on Wednesday, September 10th at 10:00 am. Dr. Paul will announce his intentions for the fall presidential election and will be accompanied by several special guests.

This event comes on the heels of Dr. Paul’s historic three-day Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis, Minnesota that drew over 12,000 supporters.

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It has been rumored that any or several of the following Presidential candidates may be there: Bob Barr (Lib), Ralph Nader (I), Chuck Baldwin (Con), and Cynthia McKinney (Green) will be there.

Ron Paul’s spokesman apparently told reporters that Paul will give something of an endorsement [with] a real effect on this fall’s election.”

Unfortunately, I’m in class until 10:50, but I may bring my laptop with me to class (it’s a poli-sci class, so my professor wouldn’t mind).

As the press release said, thid DOES come after the Rally for the Republic, Paul’s non-RNC, in Minneapolis, MN.

I have talked with a few Paul supporters who are saying that tomorrow’s announcement may be a third party candidacy announcement, and some Paul supporters remain optimistic, but I don’t expect anything more than an endorsement of Bob Barr and  maybe Baldwin.  McKinney and Nader’s names were thrown in there for possible endorsements, but I HIGHLY doubt Paul would ever endorse either of them.

I’ll keep you updated.  If I don’t have anything up by 10:15 A.M. EDT tomorrow, expect something by 11:15.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican
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Jack Kevorkian Lives: the Obscure Congressional Candidate Has Started Campaigning

August 5, 2008

OK, so the title was a little cheesy.  Anyway, this is my next segement in my series on the Race for Michigan’s 9th Congressional District.  Dr. Jack “Death” Kevorkian had a town hall-type meeting with about 35 people in Birmingham last week.

He started off by saying, “Okay, so what do you want to know?”  He was asked questions about loss of freedoms.  He was asked about the bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgage companies.

Kevorkian replied to that with a fitting libertarian (although he’s running as an independent) response, “What bailout?  You’re kind of sheep-like.  You’ve all been conditioned to think and act like sheep.”

Another person “asked about a scientist who believes that four countries control the equipment that controls weather and climate” (Free Press).  What kind of people were at that meeting!

Kevorkian later went on to say, “I don’t want to be a congressman.  I only want to serve two years. I’m here to educate and inform the public. … You are enslaved, but you don’t know it.  You don’t want to admit it because you’re walking around free, eating good dinners.  As long as you’re comfortable, you’re controllable.”

Again, a very libertarian (although VERY extreme) stance overall.  I’m not sure why he didn’t run as a Libertarian, whether the party wouldn’t let him, or he just didn’t want any political party connection.

I’ll see if I can get a quote from the campaign on that.

Asked if he is fit to serve, Kevorkian had the following conversation with a FOX 2 reporter:

Reporter: In 2006, one of your petitions to be paroled was that you’re gravely ill.

Kevorkian: At the time I was.

Reporter: Are you fit to serve?

Kevorkian: Well, how do I look?

And here’s the full FOX 2 story:

So, there you have it.  Kevorkian is essentially running a libertarian/limited government involvement, independent campaign.

What effect will Kevorkian have on the general election?  That depends on what he emphasizes and how much money he spends.  He’s sure to get some Democrats who supported euthanasia.  He’s sure to get the libertarian vote, but will that come from Republicans who are sick of Joe Knollenberg, or former Republicans who would’ve voted for Gary Peters?  We’ll have to wait and see.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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