As unlikely as it might have seemed to professional politicians and talking-head media stars just a few weeks ago, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is now regarded as a real threat to win the Iowa caucuses on January 3, just one week before the New Hampshire primary. And the reaction of party leaders to that would not be pretty, said columnist Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner. “The Republican presidential primary has become a bit feisty, but it will get downright ugly if Ron Paul wins the Iowa caucuses,” Carney wrote in Monday's column. “The principled, antiwar, Constitution-obeying, Fed-hating, libertarian Republican congressman from Texas stands firmly outside the bounds of permissible dissent as drawn by either the Republican establishment or the mainstream media.” Carney, who does not hide his admiration for the popular underdog, noted in the interest of “disclosure” that Paul wrote the forward to Carney's 2009 book, Obamanomics. He went on to say that in a crowded Republican field, led nationally by “a collapsing Newt Gingrich and an uninspiring Mitt Romney, Paul could carry the Iowa caucuses, where supporter enthusiasm has so much value.” Given the national media coverage of the Paul campaign up to this point, Carney suggested a Paul victory might generate headlines like, “Romney Beats Out Gingrich for Second Place in Iowa.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron has sent atheists and leftists into a rage by asserting that Britain is a Christian country. In a speech commemorating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, which Cameron called, with Shakespeare, the zenith of the English language, he declared that the Bible is important for three reasons, the third being that Britain “is a Christian country.”
Earlier this week, two human rights advocacy groups issued a joint preliminary report denouncing the governments of Europe for allegedly aiding the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in conducting the now infamous rendition program. Persons accused by the U.S. government of being "enemy combatants" were subject to "extraordinary rendition": capture and shipment off to one of the so-called “black site” secret prisons for questioning, where the detainees were often reportedly subjected to inhuman tactics to elicit responses from them.
Recently there has been much discussion of the eradication of the panoply of fundamental principles of liberty by the Congress and attempts to convert the President into a totalitarian dictator with historic powers to apprehend and indefinitely detain American citizens. This author has questioned whether the permission for the absolute abuse of power soon to be codified as part of the National Defense Authorization Act is not a greater act of tyranny than any perpetrated by George III that precipitated the waging of America’s war for independence. The “long train of abuses” of which Britain’s crown was accused are enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. This historic indictment of King George III was penned principally by Thomas Jefferson and was laid out in a manner both methodical and lyrical. It stood on the rooftops and decried for the all the world to hear the despotic measures levied against the American colonies by the government of Great Britain. As our own modern government passes one after the other laws eroding the bedrock of freedom upon which our Republic was built after the successful waging of the war against English oppression, the specific examples of the abuse of power cited in the Declaration of Independence may prove prophetic and may help to enlighten 21st-century Americans and embolden them in their efforts to restore liberty and the constitutional boundaries of government.
Ron Paul has elaborated on his views in his books, in speeches, and in interviews. During the debates, however, when he has a national audience, he doesn’t always present his views as persuasively as he could. In my last article, I suggested ways in which he could respond to challenges regarding his views on foreign policy and national security. In this article, it is to criticisms concerning his position on drugs and the recently resurrected charge that Paul is a "racist."
Last week, the Republican presidential contenders slugged it out in Iowa. As usual, Ron Paul’s remarks concerning American foreign policy have drawn heat. Paul is by far the most honest of the candidates. At the same time, he is also the most unpolished. In fact, chances are better than not that the former accounts for the latter. Substantively speaking, Paul’s ideas are more cogent, and certainly more consistent with liberty, than any of those bandied about his rivals. But stylistically, he is at a disadvantage. Like or not, we are living in an imagistic age in which, as far as the electability of a candidate is concerned, style means at least as much, and often much more, than substance. Paul, that is, needs to package his eminently sensible ideas so as to make them more palatable to both the base of his party as well as the rest of the country. Fortunately, this is hardly as formidable a task as some may think. In fact, it isn’t particularly formidable at all. When it comes to Israel, for example, imagine something like these words springing from the lips of Congressman Paul:
Last Friday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction issued by a lower federal court which blocks the enforcement against an abortion statute recently enacted by the state of Nebraska. In July of last year, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska handed down a preliminary injunction against the law known as the Women’s Health Protection Act.
A new graphic emerged on WhiteHouse.gov this week featuring a "countdown clock" followed by an alluring question, "What does $40 mean to you?" Reinforcing its persistent drive to extend the payroll tax cut, the Obama White House has showcased a countdown ticker on its website heralding the days, hours, minutes, and seconds left until the payroll tax benefit expires, prefacing it with, "If the House doesn’t act, middle class taxes increase in…" In an effort to fuel public outcry, the Obama White House also integrated an online submission form that allows "working" people to express how an increase in the payroll tax will affect their financial standing. "Tell us what $40 per paycheck would mean for you and your family," the website reads. "What would you have to give up? We’ll highlight your stories publicly so that they’re part of the debate here in Washington." Moreover, the website avers:
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy just released a study showing that by the time all federal and state loans, grants, subsidies, and tax credits are figured in, each Chevy Volt costs taxpayers upwards of $250,000. James Hohman, the center’s assistant director of fiscal policy, counted a total of 18 government “deals” but didn’t include the fact that one-quarter of Volt’s manufacturer, General Motors, is owned by the federal government. He counted not only incentives offered directly to GM or to the ultimate buyer, but also those offered to suppliers of parts and technology for the Volt. The Department of Energy, for example, awarded a $106 million grant to GM’s Brownstone plant that assembles the Volt’s batteries. The State of Michigan awarded $106 million to GM to retain jobs in its Hamtramck assembly plant. And Compact Power, the company that makes the Volt’s batteries, received $100 million in “refundable battery credits.” Some of the subsidies and credits are extended over varying periods of time and some are dependent upon certain production “milestones” being achieved. He counted them all along with subsidies to companies vying to provide batteries for the Volt such as the support provided to A123 Systems. A123 lost the battery contract to Compact Power, but Hohman included their subsidies in his study as well.
As the debate over the Iranian regime’s pursuit of nuclear technology heats up, commentators are pointing out that just a few years ago, then-President George W. Bush was supplying know-how through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to Middle Eastern governments that have a cozy relationship with Iran. In 2008 and 2009, for example, the Bush administration negotiated and signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” to help the sheikdoms of the United Arab Emirates develop nuclear energy capabilities. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice finalized the atomic cooperation deal in January of 2009. The controversial agreement allowed the sale of U.S. nuclear technology and hardware, which can be useful in atomic weapons programs, to the UAE. And the governments of the Emirates as well as the national government have a history of allowing sensitive technologies and materials to flow into the hands of the Iranian regime and other unsavory rulers, according to analysts, who cite lax export-control laws. Several Emirates-based entities have also been implicated in supplying military equipment to Iran. The Bush administration insisted the security risk of nuclear cooperation with the Emirates was low. Despite concerns in Congress, however, President Obama has largely maintained the same stance.