Archives for the Month of January 2008 on Through the Magnifying Glass

Colorado Springs Independent Endorses Ron Paul

Link

Paul, who has generated grassroots support in Western states, pledges to quickly extract us from Iraq. He has been a vocal critic of the Patriot Act as well as America's misguided War on Drugs.

Perhaps most significantly, he's a legitimate fiscal conservative. Funny, but fiscal restraint used to be a Republican hallmark. After years of runaway spending and unchecked government growth, supporting Paul is a clarion call for the GOP to rediscover its roots.

CNN Post-Interview with Ron Paul - 1/30/08

Link

Newsweek praises Ron Paul

Newsweek blogger Andrew Romano gives kudos to Ron Paul

My favorite moment of the night? When Paul tsk-tsked Romney and McCain for sniping over Iraq strategy--an area where their positions are largely indistinguishable. "I find it rather silly, because they're arguing technicalities of a policy they both agree with," he said. "They agreed with going in; they agreed for staying, agreed for staying how many years? And these are technicalities. We should be debating foreign policy." The other candidates--not to mention reporters--often dismiss the Good Doctor, but as the field narrows, I have to say: it's fun to watch him give them a hard time. He was certainly talking sense tonight.

Link

California Republican Debate - 1/30/08

As such, we are down to four Republican contenders for the nomination though CNN's Anderson and the panel make it sound like there are actually two candidates for the job, both McCain and Romney.

Much of the debate question and answer was on these two. The sharpest and ridiculous moment in the debate came when Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was asked about the McCain campaign's charge that he once said he favored a strict timetable for removing troops from Iraq.

Romney has consistently denied ever having backed a timetable and said McCain was taking a small portion of a quote out of context.

"It's simply wrong," Romney said. "By the way, raising it a few days before the Florida primary, when there was very little time for me to correct the record, falls in the kind of dirty tricks that Ronald Reagan would have found reprehensible."

Kudos to Ron Paul for calling them out on arguing about timetable "technicalities."

"...They agreed with going in; they agreed for staying, agreed for staying how many years? And these are technicalities. We should be debating foreign policy, whether we should have interventionism or non-interventionism, whether we should be defending this country or whether we should be the policemen of the world, whether we should be running our empire or not, and how are going to have guns and butter?

...

And we have these silly arguments going on about who said what when. I think it's time to debate foreign policy and why we don't follow the Constitution and only go to war with a declaration of war."

This is true. This is more than dealing with Iraq. We would want to know the ultimate foreign policy agenda with each candidate. How would they treat Iran? Or a future aggressor, or another mess like Iraq?

McCain loves to keep on stating that he is putting his career and political fortunes on the line. Don't we know that already? If a politican is staking his whole entire career, does that give us a guaranteed reason to trust that person? Of course, he expands upon that by including his military career and his time as a POW.

Anderson Cooper really kept a tight leash on Paul as compared with the other candidates.

Paul, who has not won any of the early primary contests but still has raised millions of dollars from supporters, was not able to detail his credentials. “I would like to take one minute, since I didn’t get a chance to answer this discussion on conservative versus liberal,” he said.

Moderator Anderson Cooper promised him he would have an opportunity later. But it never came.

He also did not give Ron Paul a chance to expand about cutting government spending, only Huckabee mentioned about the same thing.

Of course, it's was amusing when Ron Paul was speaking, the camera would turn to McCain and Romney, and both of them would be smirking, almost like there were two girls giggling. It seems to me they think Paul is just a clown and his words have no meaning.

Paul should have mentioned about government spending and being endorsed by the Taxpayers Union.

McCain touted his military credentials, Romney showcased his business credentials. Perhaps we should merge their DNA together and get both.

Anyways, I think Huckabee and Paul did well enough despite their limited airtime. Clearly, McCain needs to do better in debate. I think some of his answers were clearly rehearsed, and he was acting like a robot during the whole argument about timetables with Romney. Honestly, I don't think he really cared. He knows he got Giuliani's endorsement and Arnold's. Pretty much, he thinks it's all a slam dunk and he will represent the GOP against Hillary or Obama.

What's going to hurt is that McCain may not get a huge turnout by fellow Republicans in the general election.

Transcript

CNN's Cafferty: Why won't we vote for REAL change?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The two apparent front-runners are now Hillary Clinton and John McCain. If nothing changes, this is the choice we will have for president of the United States.

Hillary is part of the monopoly on the White House between the Clintons and the Bushes that goes back 28 years. Her husband is a two-term president, she's a former first lady and current member of the Senate. She's a poster girl for the Washington establishment.

McCain has been a part of Washington for 26 years. A two-term congressman, he's been a senator since 1986. He's been running for president for the last eight years. Another Washington insider.

Ask anyone what they think of our government and most people will be happy to tell you. They are angry. I get thousands of letters a week from people angry about health care, immigration, the war, the economy, you name it. The consensus is our government is broken and our country is in trouble.

The problems they complain about exist solely because of the actions of the Democrats and Republicans in Washington. The political establishment, if you will, that is in bed with the lobbyists and the corporations and, quite frankly, couldn't care less about you.

Except now, at election time, when they need you.

Link

Giuliani endorses McCain; Nader considers run

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is dropping out of the Republican presidential race for president and endorsing Arizona Sen. John McCain. That leaves McCain, Romney, Huckabee, and Paul.

Republicans will be debate tonight on CNN at 8PM.

* * * * *

Ralph Nader has launched an official exploratory committee Web site, and said he will formally make a decision in about a month. He said he is certain to get in the race if he can demonstrate the ability to raise $10 million and recruit enough lawyers to deal with ballot access issues. He has yet to formally file paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission, though he does not need to until he officially becomes a candidate, according to the FEC.

Nader said he finds Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both unacceptable candidates, and he said whichever wins the party's presidential nomination will not have an impact on his decision to run.

"They are both enthralled to the corporate powers," Nader said of the two leading Democrats. "They've completely ignored the presidential pattern of illegality and accountability, they've ignored the out of control waste-fruad military expenditures, they hardly ever mention the diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars to corporate subsidies, handouts, and giveaways, and they don't talk about a living wage."

Link

National Taxpayers Union: Only Ron Paul Would Cut Spending

According to a report released Tuesday by the National Taxpayers Union, Texas Congressman Ron Paul is the only remaining presidential candidate who proposes net spending cuts.

According to the report, Congressman Paul’s proposals would cut government spending by over $150 billion, a conservative estimate of the spending reductions Dr. Paul has proposed. The report concludes that the other remaining Republican candidates, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Mike Huckabee, have proposed spending increases of $19.5 billion, $6.9 billion and $54 billion respectively.

“It should come as no surprise that when you crunch the numbers Ron Paul is the only Republican who would actually shrink the size and cost of the federal government,” said Ron Paul campaign economic advisor Don Luskin. “Romney, McCain and Huckabee don’t hold a candle to Ron Paul – the only true fiscal conservative running for President.”

In ten terms in Congress, Ron Paul has never voted for a tax increase or for an unbalanced budget.

The National Taxpayers Union study can be found at www.ntu.org.

Should Ron Paul be included in the Republican debates after Super Tuesday?

The National Review brings up the question of including Republican candidate Ron Paul in the debates after Super Tuesday (Feb 5).

excerpt

...I can imagine the tide of angry e-mails from Ron Paul folks as I write this, but if he hasn’t broken out in the first 20 debates (I’m not exaggerating, tonight is the twentieth Republican debate) then I don’t think it’s going to happen for him in the 21st. Depending on whether you prefer CNN or RCP’s count, Paul has either six or four delegates. To his credit, he finished second in Nevada. But he’s gotten ten percent in Iowa, eight percent in New Hampshire, six percent in Michigan, four percent in South Carolina, and three percent in Florida...

* * * * *

The question does make sense. We all know there comes a time where the candidate field must be narrowed down to two or perhaps three individuals so Republican party members can finally decide on who is to lead their party for the presidency in November.

But when you compare McCain and Romney, there's really not much difference there. Both have been accusing each other of being "more liberal" than the other. I don't know if Huckabee would help, he's more of the faith and religious type but he may choose to drop out if he does not do well in the southern states on Super Tuesday.

Sure, there are rational arguments calling for McCain and Romney to go nose-to-nose but it seems we are stuck with picking the candidate who is less evil, not good versus bad.

Ron Paul injects more civility and intelligence in the debates than the combination of the two top-tier candidates. Ron Paul is more truthful than them, had a more consistent record than them, and even much more conservative than them.

Plus if Ron Paul is excluded, except viewership to drop substantially.

National Review

Giuliani pays tribute to Ron Paul

Tuesday night as he was preparing to bow out, as first reported on the Ticket Monday noon, Giuliani gave a gracious concession speech in which he listed all of his Republican competitors and called them good men.

He added Ron Paul on the end, smiling, and said after all the debates he'd go back to his hotel room and watch television and how every time, according to the texted tallies, Ron Paul won all the debates, much, he did not say, thanks to the determined voting of his many busy-fingered followers. "Ron Paul won every debate!" Giuliani said.

Link

Romney / McCain campaigns to prevent Ron Paul win in Maine

Could it be possible? Ron Paul has a very good chance to win in Maine this weekend, but the McCain / Romney campaigns are rallying the troops asking them to take a few hours to show up at the weekend caucuses.

According to state Republican Party Executive Director Julie O'Brien, Ron Paul supporters have been the most active in Maine.

Sunday's Republican caucus schedule is scant and organizers plan to announce all-but-final results on Saturday as the bulk of votes are reported.

Maine Republicans said they are close to their goal of having party members from 80 percent of the state's towns participate in this weekend's presidential preference caucuses. Julie O'Brien said GOP activists in more than 370 towns report local caucuses are scheduled, and more towns are setting up gatherings as the weekend draws closer.

In the end, rules do not matter for the Democratic Party

The Democratic primary that was held on Tuesday in Florida was largely "symbolic."

The Democratic National Committee punished Florida for moving up its primary before February 5th by stripping the state of all 210 delegates it expected to send to the party's nominating convention this summer. Michigan also lost its 156 delegates for similar reasons.

However, observers expect both states to be represented at the convention. Of course, if a candidate is able to collect enough delegates in the remaining primaries to secure the party's nomination, the delegates' vote at the convention will be a formality.

Since Hillary won the "contest" in Florida, she promises the voters there that she will do her best to get their 210 delegates re-instated at convention. Same goes for Michigan where she "won" that poll as well (even though her name was the only one official on the ballot).

Political pandering. If Obama or Edwards won Michigan or Florida, then Clinton would be complaining about the need to respect party rules.

Then it does not help when the head of the Florida Democratic state party has ensured the support of Pelosi and other Democratic leaders that their delegates will be seated at convention with full voting rights.

So in the end, the rules will be bent, and Michigan and Florida will get their delegates counted.

Ho-hum.

Ron Paul: Louisiana GOP caucus (1/22) craziness

The results are still unconfirmed but it looks like Ron Paul has scored at least 46 of 95 alternates selected.

The delegates and alternates chosen yesterday will pick 24 of the National Convention delegates are and are slated to pick 20 more delegates later. The only way that can change is if some candidate gets a majority of the primary vote on Feb. 9th- an unlikely prospect at this point.

Of course, you won't see any of this stuff mentioned in the corporate media.

* * * * *

Update

It would seem that the Huck, Romney, Benito, McCain, and Thompson campaigns have pooled together to form the Pro-Life/Pro-Family ticket in order to defeat Ron Paul. Also, as a new low in advertising, the slate used a handout featuring Ron and Nancy Reagan which says "win one for the gipper."

Remember, this also happened in Wyoming. The various neocon candidates pooled their support in order to defeat Ron Paul in one of the counties.

The coalition delegate slate will be split 4 ways at the state convention, and Paul may have more than any one candidate.

Paul supposedly has most of the alternate delegate slots, most of which were uncontested. So if somebody doesn't show up or is ruled ineligible, a Paul delegate can step up.

Link

Ron Paul: Money Bomb Result - $1.85 million

On MLK, Ron Paul supporters donated approximately $1.85 million to the campaign.

Also, Ron Paul has received three endorsements:

Former New Mexico Governor Gary "Veto" Johnson announced that he is supporting Dr. Paul for president. Governor Johnson is an icon to small-government conservatives and libertarians for his long-standing commitment to the principles of the Founders. You can read our press release here.

This morning, Ron Paul also received the glowing endorsement of Donald L. Luskin, a prominent financial commentator on CNBC and Chief Investment Officer for Trend Macrolytics LLC. You can read Don's editorial in National Review about why Ron Paul is right for America here.

Finally, Dr. Paul hosted a press conference this morning with well-known pro-life activist Norma McCorvey, better known as 'Jane Roe' from the infamous Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade.

American Owners of Liverpool FC should be ashamed of themselves

I question the American owners of Liverpool F.C., Tom Hicks and George Gillett, if they are truly sincere and just in their efforts to maintain this famous football club for years to come.

Note the statement both Americans made after their joint offer for Liverpool was accepted:

"Liverpool is a fantastic club with a remarkable history and a passionate fan base. We fully acknowledge and appreciate the unique heritage and rich history of Liverpool and intend to respect this heritage in the future. The Hicks family and the Gillett family are extremely excited about continuing the Club's legacy and tradition."

Of course, when they bought the club, they used borrowed money for their 218.9 million pounds takeover in March 2007. According to Forbes Magazine, Tom Hicks' fortune was estimated to have worth $1.3 billion dollars. George Gillett, Jr. has almost $6.0 billion dollars. Does it make financial sense to buy the whole entire club on debt alone? It would make sense to Liverpool fans if the buyers would pitch some of their own money to show how they want to own the club.

Then they got stingy with how much money they would make available for the January transfer window for new players. Of course, this involved arguing with manager, Rafa Benitez about it. Rafa wanted to get new players, the owners wanted Rafa to make do with what he has. They wanted Benitez to concentrate on coaching and training his existing pool of players. The fate of the manager was uncertain during this time despite statements made by the owners that their relationship was in no danger.

Then it turned out this month that Hicks approached former Germany coach Jurgen Klinsman with a view to him taking Rafa Benitez's role at the club. The Liverpool fans were clearly not happy with this.

Now, the American owners are trying to re-finance their existing loan. They want to secure a 350 million pound loan that would pay off the existing debt they used to buy the club, some players that were signed last summer, and funds to start work on a new stadium in Stanley Park.

Again, they are not putting forth any funds from their own personal fortunes. They have also scaled back their grandiose plans on building a new stadium. Plus, they wanted to shift some of the debt onto the club's budget. This would cleary impact on cash flow.

Sources have reported that the Americans may have hit a snag in their re-financing attempts. Now, you got Dubai International Capital (DIC) deciding whether to make an offer to buy out Hicks and co-owner George Gillett. Remember that DIC lost their bid to the Americans last March. Reports say that the DIC may offer 400 million pounds for the team.

Liverpool fans are questioning if the American owners are truthful in keeping their long-term commitment to the club or will they sell to DIC, and take the profit.

You see, if the Americans accept DIC's offer, they would make approximately 50 million pounds in profit. That would be a pretty good return for owning a club for less than a year and for not putting a single dollar of their own money into the club.

One thing for sure, if Hicks and Gillett sell the club, they are definitely not welcome in Liverpool for the foreseeable future.

Over the Wire: Actor Heath Ledger found dead

Actor Heath Ledger was found dead this afternoon is an apartment building in SoHo, NYC. A masseuse arrived at his apartment, and found the actor unconscious in his bedroom. Authorities were called when he did not respond to both the masseuse and housekeeper.

Ledger had recently separated from his wife, actress Michelle Williams. The couple have one daughter, Matilda, reports CBS station WCBS-TV in New York.

He is appearing in the next installment of the "Batman" movie opposite Christian Bale as the infamous "Joker" and was in the midst of filming "The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus."

Ledger was 28.

Link

Giants Win at Green Bay: Advance to Super Bowl

The underdog Giants win again! 23-20 against Green Bay on Tynes' winning field-goal in overtime.

Now, it's against the Patriots in the Super Bowl at Glendale, AZ on February 3.

If you are in Vegas, the bookmakers have given the Pats 13 pt favorites over the Giants.

Ron Paul places 2nd in Nevada, 5th in S.C.

The Ron Paul campaign is celebrating the silver medal in the Nevada caucuses. With all precincts reporting, Ron Paul garnered 14 percent of the vote and earning 4 delegates. While most of you will point out that Mitt Romney won the caucuses with 51 percent, the importance is that Paul actually took second place.

This means he barely beat out McCain and even Huckabee, Thompson, and Giuliani. I really doubt we should concede the point that only Romney and Paul campaigned in Nevada and that's why Paul got higher numbers. McCain, Huckabee, Thompson, and Giuliani relied on name-recognition but that did not work.

* * * * *

In South Carolina, Ron Paul did not do well. He placed fifth with four percent (about 15,773 votes). But he did beat Giuliani again (he got 2 percent, 9,112 votes). Of course, the evangelicals would side with Huckabee, but it seems McCain still got a nice percentage from them. Plus more moderates picked McCain. Based on electability, most folks believe McCain can beat the Democrats in November.

* * * * *

We are still in there to keep the message of Ron Paul alive. Remember the money bomb on January 21 (MLK)!!!

Fox News - Ron Paul has 4 percent, Rudy has 2

foxnews_incorrect_percent.jpg

As far as I can see on CNN and MSNBC, Ron Paul has 4 percent of the primary vote, and Rudy has 2 percent. Why does Fox News is showing that in reverse?

Update
Fox News finally fixed it.

MONEY BOMB ALERT: RON PAUL - JANUARY 21

As we honor Dr. Martin Luther King on January 21, please join us together to support Dr. Ron Paul, a new hero who fights for the same American principles of liberty and justice for all.

DONATE TO RON PAUL

Ron Paul Highlights at the South Carolina Republican debate - 1/10/08

Note that the focus group poll on Fox News did say that Ron Paul won the debate hands down.

Fox News edits Ron Paul's answer to electability question

Carl Cameron of Fox News asked Ron Paul in last Thursday's Fox News debate in South Carolina about whether he is electable.

How did Ron Paul respond?

Well, you wouldn’t be able to find his answer if you watched the rebroadcast of the debate, because Fox News cut Dr. Paul’s response!

But don’t worry… Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, you can see Ron Paul respond here.


What Religion's Blind Stranglehold on America is Doing to Our Democracy

We've got to find a way to take the conservative symbolic message of faith talk out of American politics.

AlterNet - What Religion's Blind Stranglehold on America Is Doing to Our Democracy

First paragraph...

It's a presidential campaign like no other. The candidates have been falling all over each other in their rush to declare the depth and sincerity of their religious faith. The pundits have been just as eager to raise questions that seem obvious and important: Should we let religious beliefs influence the making of law and public policy? If so, in what way and to what extent? Those questions, however, assume that candidates bring the subject of faith into the political arena largely to justify -- or turn up the heat under -- their policy positions. In fact, faith talk often has little to do with candidates' stands on the issues. There's something else going on here.

If we are supposed to be economically sensitive, should we take a second look at that expensive embassy rising in Iraq?

us_embassy_iraq.jpg

If we are so concerned about the economy and the state and well-being of our federal budget, we should re-visit the budget of that super-embassy building rising in Baghdad.

Back in 1995, there was an emergency supplemental appropriation bill which included $592 million for embassy construction. Due to cost overruns, construction problems, and alleged illegal practices committed by contractors, the completion date has been delayed into 2008. It was originally scheduled to be completed last fall.

Do we have some sort of size inferiority complex? This super-embassy or superbunker or maybe superfortress will be the largest and most expensive, containing 21 reinforced buildings on a 104-acre site along the Tigris River. Even with the $600 million price tag to build it, it will also cost $1.2 BILLION just to maintain it each year. The structure would be bigger than anything Saddam Hussein had built. It is larger than Vatican City and big enough to accomodate four Millennium Domes.

There will be about 1,000 regular employees, plus up to 3,000 additional staff members, which may consist of security personnel or perhaps a couple of mercs. I guess it would be enough to stage a quick coup if the Iraqi government does not fit within the U.S.' plans.

It is essentially a city within a city. It has six apartment buildings for employees, water and waste treatment facilities, a power station, two "major diplomatic office buildings," recreation gym, cinema, and the largest swimming pool in Iraq. The best part is restaurant row filled with delicacies from our favorite food chains.

I would think that when completed, our taxpayer funds have provided the best isolated environment for the people stationed there. There is no need for our folks to mingle with the Iraqi people. Plus our embassy cannot be ignored by citizens living in their capital city. The Prime Minister of Iraq would get up and just see it in his bedroom window every morning.

Plus with 104 acres, insurgents would have no problem lobbing a couple of mortars and rockets since they got a huge target area to deal with. Honestly.

Links

Vanity Fair - The Mega-Bunker of Baghdad

Wikipedia - US Iraqi Embassy

No GOP frontrunner until Super Tuesday is concluded

Huckabee wins Iowa
McCain wins New Hampshire
Romney wins Michigan

Latest polls shows Huckabee leading in South Carolina; Romney and McCain neck-to-neck in Nevada; Giuliani leading in California and New Jersey.

At this point there is really no clear front-runner until the Super Tuesday primaries where over 40% of the delegates will be chosen.

Republican primaries on Tuesday, February 5:
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Georgia
Illinois
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana
New Jersey
New York
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Tennessee
Utah
West Virginia

Ron Paul: Fourth in Michigan GOP Primary, beats Giuliani and Thompson

If Dr. Ron Paul is a no-body, then how come he has beaten Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson in the Michigan GOP Primary last night?

Paul ended up in fourth place behind Romney, McCain, and Huckabee.

Michigan Results

Ron Paul (6.3%) 54,434
Fred Thompson (3.7%) 32,135
Rudy Giuliani (2.8%) 24,706

It's understandable that Thompson and Giuliani did not campaign strongly in Michigan, or New Hampshire, or even Iowa. Thompson has been concentrating in South Carolina while Giuliani has been hanging quite a lot in Florida.

But if anyone can recall recently, Giuliani was considered the GOP frontrunner in the national polls a while ago. Remember? He ran quite strongly against everybody in his party. He was the hero of 9/11. He was predicted to be the candidate to beat Clinton.

Things can quickly change in the last several months.

Yes, it is true that Ron Paul has not won anything yet. But his appearance and platform continues to attract followers and even got one or two of the candidates to sing his tune on a few of his ideas. He got two national TV appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" plus a full hour on "Meet the Press."

So far it looks like Paul gets around 6-10% each time there's a vote. Remember Paul beat Giuliani in Iowa, and got pretty close to him in New Hampshire, but he did beat Thompson there.

The Ron Paul campaign has quietly organized more than 7,800 precinct captains around the country. Meanwhile, Giuliani's top staff are going unpaid this month to save dwindling funds.

Link

Ron Paul on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1/7/08)

His second appearance on the show

Link - Transcript of Interview

New Hampshire early results

Residents of two tiny towns stayed up late to cast their votes in today's primary. The two towns are Hart and Dixville Notch.

Democrats (totals)
Obama 16
Clinton 3
Edwards 3
Richardson 1

Republicans (totals)
McCain 10
Huckabee 5
Ron Paul 4
Romney 3
Rudy Giuliani 1

Link

Ron Paul Town Hall Meeting (1/6/08)

Part 1

Part 2

McCain being a bit of a smartass

In the ABC New Hampshire debate, John McCain jeered at Paul, "We're going to miss you tomorrow night, Ron." He was probably referring to Ron's absence from the Fox News Roundtable debate.

Check the YouTube video.

After Joe Lieberman's endorsement, is McCain getting a bit cocky? The polls suggest he will win the New Hampshire primary, but can he win the nomination?

I actually wanted McCain to win back in 2000 and 2004. But now, it seems he has lost his way.

In this YouTube video, he insists that the U.S. should maintain a presence in Iraq for the next 100 years. Now you and me both hope that he meant it in an emissary capacity, but it is hard to say that when the U.S. is building the largest and most expensive embassy in Iraq.

But has McCain change his foreign policy tune. In this CNN YouTube video, McCain responded to Ron Paul's criticism of the Vietnam War stating, "we never lost a battle in Vietnam, it was American public opinion forced us to lose that conflict."

Would that suggest that McCain was determined to keep the U.S. in a never-ending war in Vietnam? Over 58,000 soldiers were dead. Being a Vietnam prisoner-of-war and hero may do him justice, but I don't think he understands the nature of guerilla warfare that the North was using. That type of military tactics are designed to wear the enemy down until fighting is no longer cost-effective for him. The U.S. used over 15 million tons of munitions, and we still lost.

I don't know if voters feel that McCain would be the candidate to bring out troops home in an organized and effective way. I think because of Vietnam, he is not willing to admit defeat a second time. He is willing to sacrifice countless lives just to win and save face. This may turn out to be a liability during the campaign.

You can find out more here.

I think McCain has lost his "maverick" status and has become just like the other Republican candidates. Promising change, but really keeping the status quo.

Except for RP.

Fox News excuse to keep out Ron Paul / Duncan Hunter...rubbish

While watching the Fox News Republican forum in New Hampshire which featured candidates Rudolph Giuliani, John McCain, Romney, Huckabee, and Fred Thomson, their excuse in saying that the studio could not fit in Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter is absolutely ridiculous.

I bet you can get a bigger roundtable to fit Paul and Hunter with the other candidates. That studio is quite large enough to accomodate the both of them. Make a better excuse, Faux News.

Fox News' reasoning in selecting candidates that have double-digit numbers in the opinion polls is flawed when you look at Giuliani and Thompson. It must be selective polling they are taking into account.

Kudos to the New Hampshire GOP for withdrawing their sponsorship of the forum.

But Ron Paul did not go away quietly.

The congressman staged his own televised town hall meeting today in Manchester where he fielded questions from undecided voters two days before the key primary election there. He faced a range of questions from the audience of 100 people in the public access television station several miles from where four other presidential contenders were to later participate in the Fox debate.

"They are scared of me and don't want my message to get out, but it will," Paul said at an event in the Granite State. "They are propagandists for this war and I challenge them on the notion that they are conservative."

Link

Link

Academy again stresses importance of evolution

It is worrying when a 2006 Gallup poll showed that almost half of Americans believe that humans did not evolve but were created by God in their present form within the last 10,000 years.

10,000 years is quite a lengthy period. Did God help increase our life expectancy during that time? Did he decide to give us those technological leaps and bounds in the last 200 years? Perhaps we should ask God to help increase our brain usage to more than 5 percent, or maybe give us the ability to create fire with just our hands.

Did God create that baby? Or was it just normal procreation between a man and a woman?

The attack on evolution as well as other areas of real science has pressured the National Academy of Sciences to issue a spirited defense of evolution as the bedrock principle of modern biology, arguing that it, not creationism, must be taught in public school science classes.

The report called creationism, based on the explanation offered in the Bible, and the related idea of "intelligent design" are not science and, as such, should not be taught.

The academy operates under a mandate from Congress to advise the government on science and technology matters.

"Biological evolution is one of the most important ideas of modern science. Evolution is supported by abundant evidence from many different fields of scientific investigation. It underlies the modern biological sciences, including the biomedical sciences, and has applications in many other scientific and engineering disciplines," the report stated.

Of course it does not help when President George W. Bush said in 2005 that American students should be instructed about "intelligent design" alongside evolution as competing theories. "Part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought," Bush said.

There was a time when Nicolaus Copernicus was censored by the Church for suggesting that the Earth revolved about an immobile Sun. The Church called it false and it violated the Holy Scripture since they believed that the Earth was the center of our solar system. Galileo Galilei was convicted of grave suspicion of heresy for following the position of Copernicus and was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life. Yet Copernicus's theory sparked a scientifc revolution. His work affected religion as well as science, religious belief as well as freedom of scientifc inquiry.

You can note the same parallels of controversy and religious attacks with Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution.

I would not be surprised if you find some Americans still believing that the Earth is still at the center of the universe. But we must be concerned by this. If religion were to dictate the education of science, the advancement of technology will be curtailed, limited, or even in some way banned.

Sounds scary, maybe a bit farfetched, but look at history and you will find examples of our ability to advance science being stopped by the religious establishment.

Link

Iowa Caucus: Ron Paul (10%, 5th)

results

34.3% Huckabee
25.3% Romney
13.4% Thompson
13.1% McCain
10.0% Paul
3.5% Giuliani
0.4% Hunter

Paul actually won one county in Iowa (Jefferson) beating out Huckabee 36-31%. Also, Washington Post shows Paul winning 1st place in one county, 2nd place in four counties, and 3rd place in 12 counties.

I thought Thompson did not do much campaigning in Iowa. Of course, Huckabee got the evangelical vote.

For New Hampshire, it may prove favorable for Paul to get a third or fourth place showing.

Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll - Jan 3

Democratic

Obama (31%), Edwards (27%), Clinton (24%)

Republican

Huckabee (31%), Romney (25%), Thompson (11%), McCain (10%), Paul (10%)

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Should we let the media choose which candidates we should vote for?

RonPaul2008.jpgHonestly, should we let the media decide which candidates we should be voting for in the 2008 Election? Recently, ABC and the Fox News Channel are narrowing the field of presidential candidates invited to debates this weekend just before the New Hampshire primary.

They have decided that after the Iowa caucus, they would know which candidates should be continued to be invited based on national polls and their placing in today's (Jan 3rd) vote.

For Fox News, they decided to invite five of the seven remaining Republican candidates to a forum with Chris Wallace scheduled for Sunday in the Granite State -- only two days before the nation's first presidential primary. Although Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney and even the barely breathing Fred Thompson were all invited, two current candidates, both current Members of Congress, were not -- Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul.

The news channel offered the obvious excuse that "space is limited" in the "souped-up bus" that is serving as a mobile studio. Their criteria was those candidates that have received double-digit support in recent polls. Of course, it seems Fox News was using the Dec 14-20 poll by the AP/Yahoo which gave Fred Thompson 11 percent of GOP voters, and Paul was at 3 percent. In the LA Times/Bloomberg polls, Fred Thompson was behind Ron Paul (4 to 6 percent). I guess Fox News was being selective in getting Fred Thompson into their debate because "they like him."

Whether they choose to abide by their "balanced" news motto, it is clear to most people that they do not like Ron Paul's positions on the war, on terrorism, on big government spending, and not interfering with other countries' affairs.

Jesse Benton, Paul's spokesman, said "There very well might be some bias. Ron brings up some topics that aren't very popular with Fox News, as in fiscal responsibility and withdrawing from the war in Iraq ... that does leave us scratching our heads a little bit about whether it was deliberate. Based on metrics, I don't see how you can possibly exclude Dr. Paul."

For ABC News, their criteria for this Saturday's night debate was that a Republican and Democratic candidate must meet at least one of three benchmarks: place first through fourth in Iowa, poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major New Hampshire surveys, or poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major national surveys.

While it's understandable that after so many debates, the media can be justified in determining which candidates are now viable for the presidency. But how can the media ignore Ron Paul's fundraising success? In the past, the media used fundraising as a factor in determining a candidate's viability to seek out the presidential nomination. Now with Paul collecting more than $19.5 million in the last three months of 2007, with a year-end total of more than $25 million, the media has decided that fundraising is no longer a major factor, or perhaps they decided that in Ron Paul's case, it does not apply.

How can you ignore a person who raised over $19.5 million dollars in the fourth quarter? Clearly, Paul has outpaced his Republican rivals, and it seems he has placed second in overall Q4 fundraising behind Hillary Clinton, who raised at least $20 million.

But ABC/Fox News believe that after the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, that lone presidential contender will be found. I don't think it got decided that early in recent years. Why all of a sudden, Iowa (about 250,000 voters will turn out) and New Hampshire (somewhere less than 700,000 registered voters will turn out) will decide the 2008 outcome? Why are they telling us that if Ron Paul does not win Iowa and New Hampshire, it's all but over?

It sounds like the media wants us to believe that Iowa and New Hampshire are the barometer for a presidential candidate for the whole country. It is not always true.

I rather see the media wait until Super Tuesday on February 5. I heard Ron Paul could win Montana and their 25 state delegates.

It ain't over yet!

CNN - TV cuts candidates from debates, angering Paul backers

Alternet.org - Should Big Media Choose Our Candidates?

VOA News - US Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul Draws Small, Loyal Following