“I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR, and Lincoln — just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history.” So spake Barack Obama, in an interview with 60 Minutes earlier this month.

The news program left the above braggadocio out of its broadcast, a fact some attribute to media bias. According to my sources, however, the real story is that by that time Obama’s head had swelled to a point where it blocked out the camera.

Critics were quick to jump on this self-exaltation, pointing out that Obama not only ranked himself ahead of father of our nation George Washington, but, writes P.J. Gladnick at NewsBusters:

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your Obama. That's because in his not so humble opinion, he ranks even higher than John F. Kennedy. Don’t feel so bad, President Kennedy. Obama also feels that his administration is better than that of Presidents Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan to name a few.

Former Republican presidential hopeful Gary Johnson, the popular two-term Governor of New Mexico, officially announced this week that he would be dropping out of the GOP race to seek the Libertarian Party nomination. “I am excited. I am liberated. And I am committed to shaking the system as it has never been shaken before,” he said in his announcement.

The news led to a mixed reaction among analysts. Some Republicans publicly expressed fears that the liberty-minded Johnson could peel away crucial voters from the GOP in the general election, possibly helping Obama’s reelection campaign. But Johnson does not see it that way. In an effort to address those concerns, he declared:

For those who say my decision to run as the Libertarian Party candidate will only draw votes from the Republicans and re-elect President Obama let me predict that, as my full platform based on freedom becomes known, my candidacy will draw votes from both the Republicans and Democrats and many, many independents,” he said in an effort to address those concerns.

A while ago, I wrote an article in which I spoke of “Paulophobia.”  Paulophobia, I claimed, is a cognitive disorder. Like a parasite, it eats away at its victim’s intellect. Perhaps because of this, it also corrupts his moral character. To encounter a Paulophobe whose disorder has reached an advanced stage is to come face-to-face with Irrationality incarnate. At the mere mention of Ron Paul’s name, this sort of Paulophobe practically begins to foam at the mouth. Everything in which he previously claimed to believe — his ideals, his principles, his values — he abruptly throws to the wind as he frantically searches for every and any aspersion, no matter how incredible, that he can cast against Congressman Paul.

The Paulophobe doesn’t just want to discredit Paul as a presidential candidate. He wants to discredit him as a human being. 

Unfortunately, once Paulophobia has reached this stage, it is terminal, for it is now impervious to reason. There is no other conclusion to draw given the following facts.

Those suffering most acutely from Paulophobia are Republicans, self-styled “conservatives” (read: neoconservatives).

The faltering presidential campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann was dealt another blow Wednesday night when Kent Sorenson, her Iowa campaign chairman, turned up at a Ron Paul rally in Des Moines to announce he had left Bachmann and is supporting Paul. Just hours earlier Sorenson had been at a campaign event with Bachmann, Politico.com reported. The Iowa state senator appeared on stage just moments before Paul spoke, and announced his endorsement before a cheering crowd of about 500 at a rally billed as a veterans event.

The defection was more bad news for Bachmann, an Iowa native and member of Congress from Minnesota, who expected a home-field advantage in the neighboring state. But since surging to the top in polls last summer, she has sunk to single digits in recent surveys. She issued a statement Wednesday night, claiming Sorenson was bought off by the Paul campaign.

"Kent Sorenson personally told me he was offered a large sum of money to go to work for the Paul campaign," the Minnesota congresswoman said in a statement emphatically denied by the Paul camp. What made matters worse for Bachmann is that it was also disputed by her own Iowa political director, Wes Enos. Just after midnight Thursday morning, the Des Moines Register reported, the Paul campaign released a statement from Enos defending Sorenson and disputing Bachmann's charge.

A SuperPAC backing Representative Ron Paul's presidential campaign has just released a powerful new advertisement highlighting Paul's managerial strengths in his medical practice and subtly putting down last week's media frenzy surrounding his political newsletters.

Revolution PAC's video features James Williams, an African-American of Matagorda County, Texas, who brought his wife into the hospital in the early 1970s when her pregnancy suffered complications. Unable to find immediate medical assistance, possibly because of racism against inter-racial couples (his wife is white), Williams was at a loss as to what to do — until (as he puts it) Dr. Ron Paul came "to my rescue. He just stepped in and went to work with my wife." After delivering a still-born child, Paul told Williams he would take care of the bill — and he did. "I never got a bill from the hospital or anything," Williams recalls in the ad.

Dr. Paul had been attacked in the media recently because newsletters sent out under his name in the 1980s and 1990s had included a handful of racist remarks. Dr. Paul said he hadn't written the comments or seen them before they were published, but took responsibility for their being published and claimed he had mismanaged the newsletter business.

The stuff of establishment Republicans’ worst nightmares is now coming to pass: they can no longer depict Ron Paul as a “fringe” candidate. Even they have been compelled by events to acknowledge that the Texas Congressman could very well finish in first place in the Iowa caucuses.  

But it isn’t just that Ron Paul may take Iowa. Throughout these primaries, in spite of receiving less media coverage than any of the other candidates, Paul has succeeded in maintaining, for the most part, a third place showing. Every “frontrunner” except for the establishment’s favorite — Mitt Romney — has come and gone. Paul rates more favorably nationally among Republican voters than Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum.

 

When Newt Gingrich said he would not vote for rival candidate Ron Paul if Paul wins the Republican presidential nomination, Gingrich may have forfeited whatever support he might receive from a sizable number of conservative and libertarian voters if the former Speaker of the House is himself the nominee.

Gingrich answered with and unqualified "No," when asked if he would vote for Paul if the 12-term Texas congressman were to emerge as the party's standard-bearer. "I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American," Gingrich said Tuesday on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. By its very nature the comment appears to impugn not only Paul, but his legions of supporters as well. The people who support Ron Paul share his views on most or all of the issues the candidate has been espousing in this and in previous campaigns. If those views are "outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American," then the unavoidable implication of Gingrich's statement is that "virtually" everyone who holds such views is not a "decent American." Should Gingrich emerge from the primary battles as the nominee, even those Paul supporters who hold the former speaker in "minimum high regard" might be loath to support the nominee who has, in effect, called them indecent.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman has called for states to mandate a total ban on cellphone usage while driving. She has also encouraged electronics manufacturers — via recommendations to the CTIA —The Wireless Association and the Consumer Electronics Association — to develop features that "disable the functions of portable electronic devices within reach of the driver when a vehicle is in motion." That means she wants to be able to turn off your cellphone while you're driving.

With very little evidence, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that there were some 3,092 roadway fatalities last year that involved distracted drivers. Americans ought to totally reject Hersman's agenda. It's the camel's nose into the tent. Down the road, we might expect mandates against talking to passengers or putting on lipstick while driving. They may even mandate the shutdown of drive-in restaurants as a contributory factor to driver distraction through eating while driving. You say, "Come on, Williams, you're paranoid. There are already laws against distracted driving, and it would never come to that!" Let's look at some other camels' noses into tents.

Rep. David Reichert (R-Wash.) along with two other House members has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) for acting more like a profit-making insurance company rather than a tax-exempt advocate for senior citizens. The AARP’s close control and micro-marketing management of companies it allows to use its brand amounts to profit-making activity that should be taxable, assert the lawmakers and others. But for years the AARP has largely successfully defended its non-profit status all the while growing into the seventh largest insurance company in the country.

Reichert, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Fox News: “They’re really trying to manage these companies to increase their revenues.” And they have succeeded greatly. During the recession, when many of its members were struggling financially, AARP’s revenues just from its affiliation with United HealthCare alone jumped from $284 million in 2007 to $427 million in 2009 and $670 million in 2010. But because of their tax-exempt status, little of this is subject to income tax.

It's the kind of "scandal" that makes one wonder if the establishment press could ever get a smear story straight. The script is that Rep. Ron Paul is a closet racist, is embroiled in a scandal he falsely denies, while new revelations about his racism are leaking out by the hour.

Establishment reporters ever so desperately want to create this image. And just because the facts aren't there, that doesn't keep the mainstream media from trying. Such was the case when a disgruntled former Paul staffer blogged his disagreements with the presidential candidate, which became the following lead in the New York Daily News: "A former Ron Paul staffer says the Republican presidential candidate is 'unsettled by being around gays personally,'" the Daily News story reported December 27, "and is 'out of touch' with black and Hispanic voters."

The story's lead paragraph seemed to fit the establishment media talking points that Ron Paul is a racist, if not anti-Semitic, person. It appears to be a follow-up to the legitimate, but minor, news about Paul's inattentive management of newsletters that were published under his name in the 1980s and early 1990s that contained a handful of racist remarks.

But the lead disappointed. There was no fire under the smoke, just lots of mirrors.

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