Our Common Good

In (Ron) Paul’s version of history, the United States lost its way at the advent of the Progressive Era about a century ago. “The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be ‘progressive’ ideas,” said the 77-year-old Texas Republican. “Pure democracy became acceptable.”

Before then, everything was working just fine, in Paul’s view. But the reality was anything but wonderful for the vast majority of Americans. A century ago, women were denied the vote by law and many non-white males were denied the vote in practice. Uppity blacks were frequently lynched.

The surviving Native Americans were confined to oppressive reservations at the end of a long process of genocide. Conditions weren’t much better for the white working class. Many factory workers toiled 12-hour days and six-day weeks in very dangerous conditions, and union organizers were targeted for reprisals and sometimes death.

For small businessmen, life was treacherous, too, with the big monopolistic trusts overcharging for key services and with periodic panics on Wall Street rippling out across the country in bank failures, bankruptcies and foreclosures.

Meanwhile, obscenely rich Robber Barons, like John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan, personally controlled much of the nation’s economy and manipulated the political process through bribery. They were the ones who owned the real “liberty.”

other-stuff:

paxamericana:

Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul has been named one of the most corrupt members of Congress in a new report from the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics.

The report says Paul “double-billed” his travel expenses a number of times over the last decade, meaning he may have been reimbursed for the same flights both under his official allowance as congressman, and by either non-profit groups under his control or his campaign committee.

The revelation would be ironic in part because Paul made fiscal responsibility a central tenet of his 2012 presidential campaign. The congressman celebrated a major victory in July when his bill to audit the Federal Reserve for greater transparency passed the House.

Paul’s possible double-billing has been in the public eye since Roll Call first reported it in February, but CREW says there is no evidence Paul has repaid the money since.

A request for comment from Paul’s office was not immediately returned.

One of the most troubling cases of the congressman’s possible double-billing revolves around reimbursements he received for flights from both his official allowance and the libertarian group the Liberty Committee. At that time, the Liberty Committee’s finances were overseen by a relative of the Paul family.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” Liberty Committee President David James told Whispers of the double-billing.

James says he first noticed a red flag in 2004, after the committee asked Paul for copies of his travel tickets, and the congressman did not provide them. Paul stopped billing the committee shortly after they asked for the tickets, according to James. By 2005, James says he was aware of possible double-billing. But it wasn’t until the Roll Call story that he saw how far the problem extended.

The committee conducted its own audit of Paul’s finances shortly after the story, and found that 60 percent of the travel Paul had billed to the committee had been doubled-billed.

Sometimes I just get tired. This guy is old enough, he can just retire.

ragingbeard:

Only ONE candidate has the moral high ground on this issue.
Only ONE party has moral superiority here. 

ragingbeard:

Only ONE candidate has the moral high ground on this issue.

Only ONE party has moral superiority here. 

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul will enter the GOP convention next week with more delegates after a deal was reached avoiding a potentially embarrassing standoff with Mitt Romney.

existentialistmumbojumbo:

Rand and Ron Paul have penned an Internet Freedom manifesto that is pretty terrible. It pans the idea of net neutrality, arguing that the phone companies who receive gigantic government handouts in the form of cheap (or free) rights of ways and hold natural monopolies over our connectivity should be able to use that government largesse to run a protection racket in which any website that doesn’t pay for “premium carriage” will be slowed down when you or I try to visit them. They also denounce the public domain as a collectivist plot, and argue that government monopolies over knowledge should be extended, and that tax-dollars should be used to enforce them. TechDirt’s Mike Masnick has some choice words for the Pauls:

These religious Paul supporters are part of a subculture that fuses some of the most extreme elements of the American right: birthers, Birchers, neo-Confederates, contraception-eschewing home-schoolers, neo-Calvinists and gun rights supporters who think (like Paul does) that the National Rifle Association is too liberal. They include disaffected former supporters of Republicans like the Baptist preacher-turned-politician Mike Huckabee and Mormons who won’t vote for Mitt Romney.

They’re attracted to Paul because they think that in the place of the federal government, which they believe should not be “legislating morality,” their ultra-conservative brand of Christianity should play a central role in shaping the laws and morals of their states and communities.

[…]

Chuck Baldwin, who worked for the old Moral Majority and Christian Coalition back in the heyday of the 1980s, says the religious right is now “a hollow creature” that has “lost its moorings.” Baldwin ran for president in 2008 on the far-right Constitution Party ticket because Paul didn’t get the GOP nomination, and Paul endorsed him. Baldwin briefly ran for the Montana GOP nomination for lieutenant governor but withdrew in February, citing insufficient funding. The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies him as one of 30 “new activists leading up the radical right,” part of an anti-government “patriot” movement.

Baldwin, who has hinted that secession might be desirable or even inevitable, launched a Black Regiment of pastors in 2007. Among the requirements for the 300 pastors who signed up: one must be male, attest to being “the head of his own home, having his wife and children in subjection to his authority. No henpecked men here.” They had to prove they had publicly protested against abortion. He sees his pastors rising up against that “tyranny” as pastors did against the monarchy in revolutionary times.

[…]

If the religious right and the Republicans understood the “proper” role of the federal government (as laid out in the Bible), these Paul supporters maintain, they’d understand that, for example, the Constitution didn’t authorize the Supreme Court to even decide Roe v. Wade. If you understood that decision as an overreach of the federal government, you’d see it as non-binding. Paul’s admirers like that he has tried to codify this argument: his Sanctity of Life Act, which he has introduced in Congress but for which he has failed to attract co-sponsors, would, in addition to declaring that life begins at conception, strip federal courts of jurisdiction to hear cases challenging the constitutionality of laws criminalizing or restricting abortion.

“If Republicans don’t listen to a lot of the things he talks about,” Tea Party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said of Paul in January. “I don’t see how we can become a majority party.”

Gaining control of the state party apparatus “has been our plan since 2007,” said Crystal McIntyre, a home-schooling, pro-Paul activist in Iowa, a strategy she said activists have executed independently of the Paul campaign. Now, she said, despite the protests of longtime party activists, “we are in the majority.”

We as a society need to glorify those who make a profit.

Senator Rand Paul defending oil companies on the Senate floor yesterday. The Senate is debating ending billions of dollars in tax subsidies to oil companies. Paul claims that oil companies deserve tax breaks because love money/hate Obama let’s have a tea partayyy.

Paul’s top campaign contributors? Oil, coal, and hedge funds.

(via climateadaptation)

I also think voters are showing a tendency to turn issues that should be factual or non-factual into opinions. If you show a Tennessee birther Obama’s birth certificate, they’re just going to say ‘well in my opinion he’s not a real American.’ It’s not about the birth certificate; it’s about expressing hatred for Obama in any form they can.
squashed:

Why do unemployed people love Ron Paul
There’s a chart floating around the internet based on a Mother Jones article that notes that Ron Paul has received far more donations from those in the armed services than others. Admittedly, this is interesting.
But before we leap to any irresponsible conclusions, let’s look at the numbers on the y-axis of the military chart. That top number is $140,000. Considering that the Obama campaign has raised over $120,000,000 thus far, that seems like a pretty tiny portion. Why so small?
There are a few reasons. First, this only includes donations over $200. Second, it only catches people who listed their employers as, for example, “US Army.” “Army,” “Military,” “USA,” and “United States Army” don’t come up in that search. So it is culling a subset of self-reported data.
I’m not saying that there is a massive trove of unreported military donations to other candidates. I am saying, however, that we’re looking at a very small sample set and that it’s difficult to draw too much data. In light of that, I have created my own chart listing donations (over $200) from those whose employers were listed as “unemployed.” Please don’t draw any conclusions from this chart either.

squashed:

Why do unemployed people love Ron Paul

There’s a chart floating around the internet based on a Mother Jones article that notes that Ron Paul has received far more donations from those in the armed services than others. Admittedly, this is interesting.

But before we leap to any irresponsible conclusions, let’s look at the numbers on the y-axis of the military chart. That top number is $140,000. Considering that the Obama campaign has raised over $120,000,000 thus far, that seems like a pretty tiny portion. Why so small?

There are a few reasons. First, this only includes donations over $200. Second, it only catches people who listed their employers as, for example, “US Army.” “Army,” “Military,” “USA,” and “United States Army” don’t come up in that search. So it is culling a subset of self-reported data.

I’m not saying that there is a massive trove of unreported military donations to other candidates. I am saying, however, that we’re looking at a very small sample set and that it’s difficult to draw too much data. In light of that, I have created my own chart listing donations (over $200) from those whose employers were listed as “unemployed.” Please don’t draw any conclusions from this chart either.

Mitt Romney wins Maine caucuses with 39 percent; Ron Paul places second with 36, Maine’s Republican Party chairman reports.

We first noticed Revolution PAC last week, when it told the Federal Election Commission that it couldn’t meet the deadline to identify its donors, because of an error by its bank. Now Revolution PAC has filed its report.

As with many other so-called “independent” Super PACs, which can receive unlimited donations outside the normal rules of campaign finance, the pro-Paul group is operated by people with close ties to the candidate. The group’s advisory board members include Penny Langford Freeman, Paul’s political director from 1998 to 2007, and Joe Becker, chief legal counsel for Ron Paul 2008.

The leader of the group, its founder, chairman and treasurer, is Gary Franchi, a promoter of conspiracy theories and sophisticated social-media entrepreneur in the resurgent movement known as the Patriots.

The GOP presidential contest isn’t over, but Paul’s backers have made him the early favorite in Americans Elect’s effort to draft an independent contender.