Ron Paul just scored another victory in his campaign for the presidency. Just last year, the Texas congressman barely even registered in the Values Voters Summit straw poll. This year, however, with 37 percent of the vote, he didn’t just walk away with it; he left second place contestant Herman Cain in the dust. With 23 percent of voters backing the latter, Paul beat Cain by a full 14 percentage points

Long time self-avowed “social conservative” Senator Rick Santorum came in at third place with 16 percent.

This is as ironic a twist of events as it must be exasperating for Santorum: It is Santorum, most definitely not Paul, who is supposed to be “the values voters’” candidate. In fact, to hear the former Pennsylvania Senator tell it — and he spares no occasion to tell it — “values voters” are his main body of support. If the media was as interested in marginalizing Santorum as they are in doing the same to Paul, “values voters” would be known simply as “Santorum people.” Yet Paul defeated Santorum not only among the latter’s “people”; he defeated him by a vast margin.

Even as I write this, already the masters of GOP spin are laboring inexhaustibly to reduce the significance of Paul’s achievement. It isn’t, though, that they are diligently in search of ever more ingenious ways by which they can explain away Paul’s viability. There are no ingenuous explanations in the coming to this effect. Moreover, there aren’t even many disingenuous explanations. Rather, there are essentially two strategies of which Paul’s detractors continually avail themselves to dismiss him:

After losing several dramatic battles this year, Wisconsin Democrats and “Big Labor” announced this week that they are getting ready for the next fight: attempting to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker. The two-month petition drive will start on November 15.

Outraged over Walker’s successful campaign to rein in government-sector unions and balance the state budget, big-government activists have been on the warpath for months. And Democrats, whose political campaigns rely heavily on labor-group contributions, do not plan to give up easily.

"It has become clearer than ever that the people of Wisconsin — the traditions and institutions of our great state — cannot endure any more of Scott Walker's abuses," claimed Wisconsin Democratic Party boss Mike Tate in a statement, noting that there was only a month left to “organize, train and fund an army of volunteers.” He also blasted Gov. Walker’s efforts to curtail public servants’ collective-bargaining privileges.

Announcing the decision on MSNBC's The Ed Show, Tate acknowledged that the campaign would be “tough” — especially because Gov. Walker could raise up to $70 million for the battle. But the Democratic Party and its union allies appear confident.

Recent polls and last night’s debate in New Hampshire indicate that there is in fact a new top tier among Republican primary contenders: former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul. It’s clear that despite the best efforts of the Establishment and the mainstream media, Paul steadfastly remains a top-tier candidate in New Hampshire. A recent Harvard University Institute of Politics and New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College poll shows that Paul remains in third place with 13 percent of the vote.

As New Hampshire is the traditional first primary state, the poll figures are significant, particularly as Rick Perry has plummeted to fifth place alongside Jon Huntsman, both of whom earned four percent. Mitt Romney — who enjoys what amounts to "favorite son" status in New England — continues to lead with support from 38 percent of those who were polled, followed by Herman Cain, with 20 percent approval.

Paul is trailed by Newt Gingrich, who received five percent. Behind Perry and Huntsman is Michele Bachmann, with three percent approval, followed by Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum, both tied with one percent.

Years ago it was easy to be a racist. All you had to be was a white person using some of the racial epithets that are routinely used in song and everyday speech by many of today's blacks. Or you had to chant "two, four, six, eight, we don't want to integrate" when a black student showed up for admission to your high school or college. Of course, there was that dressing up in a hooded white gown. In any case, you didn't have to be sophisticated to be a racist.

Today all that has changed. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., pointed that out back in 1994 when the Republican-led Congress pushed for tax relief. Rangel denounced Republicans' plan as a form of modern-day racism, saying, "It's not 'spic' or 'nigger' anymore. (Instead,) they say, 'Let's cut taxes.'" That means the simple use of the N-word is not enough to make one a racist. If it were, blacks would be the nation's premier racists. Today it's the call for tax cuts that makes you a racist. That's why the "tea" party, short for "taxed enough already," is nothing more than organized racists. What makes tea partyers even more racist is their constant call for the White House and Congress to return to the confines of the Constitution.
 

Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty tried to get Republican presidential candidates in the October 11 New Hampshire debate to agree with the left-wing consensus that Wall Street suddenly and inexplicably went insane and greedy all at once during the 2008 housing and financial crash. Republicans were also asked to echo leftist calls for jailing stockbrokers, but if Tumulty hoped for ideological consensus, she left the Dartmouth College debate table disappointed.

Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann began with an attack on the federal government for creating the sub-prime market crisis through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac subsidies, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations, and "artificially low interest rates" through the Federal Reserve Bank.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich followed, launching into a vitriolic attack on the Federal Reserve Bank, and referring to "Occupy" protesters in various cities across the nation:

If they want to really change things, the first person to fire is Bernanke, who is a disaster as a Chairman of the Federal Reserve.... Bernanke has in secret spent hundreds of billions of dollars bailing out one group and not bailing out another group. I don't see anybody in the news media demanding the kind of transparency at the Fed that you would demand in every other aspect of the Federal government. And I think it is corrupt and it wrong for one man to have that kind of secret power.

Under a new European Union (EU) edict on toy safety, unsupervised children below the age of eight will no longer be permitted to blow up balloons due to choking hazards, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph. Balloons and other toys — including magnetic fishing games, toy lipsticks, and recorders — have been added to the expanding catalog of Euro Zone regulations that are further empowering the region’s nanny state government.

The directive’s official guidance reads: "For latex balloons there must be a warning that children under eight years must be supervised and broken balloons should be discarded." Further, the EU’s legislation uplifts restrictions on the loudness of noisy toys, like rattles or musical instruments; likewise, all teddy bears marketed for children under three-years-old must be fully washable, as to prevent spreading of diseases and infections. Critics note that such regulatory authority means the popular "Lots O’ Hugging Bear" will be facing a ban if it does not undergo strict and costly new guidelines.

Despite their decades of entertainment, party toys such as small whistles and magnetic fishing games will be regulated, and possibly banned, because of small parts or dangerous chemicals that are allegedly hazardous to children’s health. Indeed, the popular "paper tongue" whistle blowers, commonly used at birthday parties, are now "unsafe" for all children under the age of 14, due to the possibility of a child swallowing and choking on pieces of the whistle.

Which of the "top-tier" presidential candidates is the most honest and intelligent, and has the most solid philosophy of government, in the view of the average American? Hold on to your hats: It’s Barack Obama, according to the latest survey by trusted evangelical pollster George Barna. Ignoring all other candidates, the survey in early September queried the attitudes of 1,010 randomly selected adults on the perception of the honesty, intelligence, philosophy of government, and leadership ability of President Obama and the two “leading Republican candidates”: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

Somewhat surprisingly, Obama scored higher than both Romney and Perry on all factors except leadership, with Romney besting the President on perceived leadership ability and Perry tying Obama in that category. Additionally, while the margins were small, Romney outscored Perry in all categories.

Overall, Obama received the highest score for perceived honesty, with 24 percent of respondents rating him “excellent” in this category and another 24 percent calling him “good.” By comparison, only nine percent of respondents gave Romney an “excellent” on honesty, with another 27 percent saying he was “good.” Bringing up the rear was Perry, with only six percent giving him an “excellent” and 25 percent a “good.”

No political maxim is more universally accepted as truth than that the right to vote is sacrosanct. In a free society where the people are the ultimate sovereigns and where the electoral will of the people is manifest through the casting of ballots for representatives who will make laws on behalf of them, there can be nothing more vital than the protections placed around the franchise and the assurance voters have that this essential expression of their will is never tainted.
If the above is accepted as true, then the perpetuation of the American Republic is in peril.
 
To understand the scope of the threat to U.S. elections, one must keep the following fact in mind: Almost all voters in Georgia, Maryland, Utah, and Nevada, and the majority of voters in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Texas, will cast their ballots using electronic voting devices on Election Day in 2012.
 
Now follows the chilling report published in Salon: "Voting machines used by as many as a quarter of American voters heading to the polls in 2012 can be hacked with just $10.50 in parts and an 8th grade science education."
 
This is the fragile state of affairs according to the computer science and security experts employed at the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

The Left’s frustration with President Obama has been much discussed of late. But its disappointment is nothing new, and it isn’t much of a surprise, either.  In March 2009, just three months after Obama took office, liberal economist Paul Krugman claimed to be in “despair” over administration policy. At this early stage, though, such a feeling was shared by few progressives. Instead, in the “Age of Obama,” left-wing ascendency was expected. And in the new President, they had found their champion.

Today, however, much has changed. Many leftists now doubt Obama’s fealty to their cause. The "capitulation" toward Republicans and the continuation of key Bush policies have even been characterized as treachery. From their perspective, Obama’s ideological impurity and divergence from dogma is offensive. Calls for a primary challenge are arguably an outgrowth of this.

Now, it is true that a serious challenge from the Left is unlikely and, therefore, it may be tempting to dismiss the discussion as ephemeral, even irrelevant. That would be a mistake.

It was mid-February 2002, and after a full year as America’s most powerful and controversial Vice President and five months of operating out of any number of undisclosed locations, Dick Cheney was pleased to be back home among kindred spirits. No, he was not with hunting or fishing buddies in Wyoming or even in Texas, rubbing shoulders with the honchos of Halliburton. He was in Washington, D.C., delivering an address to the Council on Foreign Relations, with chairman and founder David Rockefeller himself in attendance.

It was the kind of company in which Cheney could feel spiritually and intellectually at home, among men of great power, influence, and intellect, men who know exactly how the world should be run and are confident God would agree with them if He only knew the facts of the matter. Cheney was no doubt aware the event was being televised nationally on C-Span, but he chose, nonetheless, to boast of an aspect of his career that he had carefully kept out of the spotlight, both in his national campaign as Republican nominee for Vice President and in his six winning campaigns to represent the people of his state in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“And it’s good to be back at the Council on Foreign Relations,” Cheney said, after thanking the group for a warm welcome. “I’ve been a member for a long time, and was actually a director for some period of time.”

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