A neo-con/libertarian riff that will kill the GOP.

Mike Kole has a great post on the war between neo-con/Rawlsian liberal + social conservative/modern Republicans and libertarian/classical libertarians/faux-cons.  Read it here. This is the battle for the “soul” of the GOP.

I maintain that if the GOP continues to deny rights in the name of religion, they will become a permanent minority with my generation. We are entering a time where the media and American popular thought consider being religious (especially Christianity) as insane a belief as 9-11 truthers, and people who believe the free masons control the world. (For the record, I am a believer in Christ and proud of it. I believe 9-11 was as we saw. I also believe that the free mason’s are really just a boy scouts for old men.)

I wrestled for a long while with the question of honoring my religious beliefs by writing it into public policy, but I never could quite accept that I was denying rights to others. You are either denying a person’s first amendment rights, or denying their pursuit to hapiness. Most Americans agree. Most Americans want to be left alone, and want as much of their money as possible.

Unfortunately for the GOP, they couldn’t stop hammering away at the Gay Rights issue. Most under 30 have many gay friends, and are accepting of this different lifestyle. To millenials, the GOP looks bigoted, and hypocritical when it preaches freedom. They also look completely hypocritical when they preach free markets, capitalism, less spending, and less government. See this great break down of Bush’s recent bailout speech by Matt Welch. So there should be no suprise that 80% of my generation voted Democrat, and many others were fans of Ron Paul or Libertarians. 

So if the GOP wants to ever see the majority again, they need to move to a more libertarian stance. Social Conservatives will dwindle as my generation moves up in years. But the GOP has no guts, and are afraid to take a stance on principles. They won’t fight for more freedom and less government, because one isn’t popular with the base (the Christian Right/donor base/talking heads), and the other part isn’t popular with the media. So they don’t want to lose power, and will continue to make mistakes, move left, and be made to look like fools. Principled libertarians like myself will figure it out, get frustrated, and leave in disgust. That is why I believe the Libertarian Party will be competitive with the GOP eventually. The GOP will soon be considered the whigs.

How did Hoosier Libertarians do in 2008?

From our Chairman, Todd Singer:

Friends,

The Libertarian Party of Indiana would like to thank all of those who ran as candidates. Their hard work has brought greater vote totals and legitimacy, and has grown the party significantly. We would also like to thank those who have helped our candidates. Running for office with no staff, little money, and few volunteers is a difficult task. When Libertarians stand up to help other Libertarians in their bid for office, it can be a richly rewarding experience for all. Thank you to those who gave their time and money to our candidates.

Above all, thank you to all those who voted for any of the LPIN candidates. We hope you will continue to support liberty in this way.

The LPIN had an impressive year in 2008. All corners of the state had significant gains despite the heaviest straight-ticket voting in recent memory. We competed and grew in an environment where the Big Two spent $5.3 billion to spread their messages. These numbers speak to the LPIN’s significant growth, and the public’s continuing desire for a third, liberty-minded option. Here is a snapshot of some of the LPIN’s accomplishments in 2008 as of October 7, 2008 (numbers are still coming in, and may be higher when certified.):

  • All of the Libertarian Party of Indiana’s Federal candidates won a total of 70,673 votes. This year, the LPIN had 6 candidates. In 2000, the LPIN fielded 11 Federal candidates, with a total of 59,188 votes (excluding that year’s Senate race.)

 

  • This year, the LPIN had 14 State-level candidates. They received a total of 84,047 votes. In 2000, the LPIN fielded 37 candidates, with a vote total of 80,574. This is a tremendous number, and speaks to the need to field a record number of state-level candidates in 2010.

 

 

  • In 2000, Harry Browne won 15,530. In 2008, Bob Barr won 25,358 votes. Indiana is the ONLY state that gave over 1 percent of their vote to the Barr/Root ticket.

 

 

  • In 2000, Andy Horning earned 38,458 votes. In 2008, Andy won 47,257 votes.

Now some numbers and facts from our individual campaigns:

In 2002, Rex Bell was only the second person to win a precinct in the history of the Libertarian Party of Indiana. Wayne County has added some new names to that honor this year:

  • Rex Bell, District 54 candidate, won 8 precincts, (6 in Wayne County, 2 in Henry County) polling as high as 64%. In the District 54 race, Wayne County percentages increased from 23% in 2006, to 37% this year. In the same race, Henry County percentages increased from 9% in 2006, to 32% this year. Overall, he took 33.5 percent of the vote in his race.

 

  • Cheryl Heacox, Wayne County Commissioner District 2 candidate, won a precinct, and finished second in 5 others.

 

 

  • Jon Bell, District 56 candidate, won a precinct in a heavily gerrymandered Democratic district, and finished with over 20% of the vote.

 

 

  • Gayle Bond, Wayne County Commissioner District 3 candidate, made a strong showing, finishing with over 40% in 5 precincts.

 

 

  • Wayne County Council candidates Jim Mikesell and Marvin Heacox made a good showing, finishing in double digits in several precincts.

 

 

  • In Madison County, Robert Jozwiak ran an energetic for the House District 37, a heavily Gerrymandered Democratic district. A Libertarian has never run in the district, and Jozwiak earned 1,197 votes, or 4.42 percent of the vote.

 

 

  • Another first time candidate was Ryan Liedtky in Northern Indiana. Marshall is an unaffiliated county with three Libertarians that meet once a month. Liedtky is the first Libertarian to run in the Republican-run county. He knocked on over 500 doors in his bid for election to the Marshall County Council. He earned 1,762 votes, or 3.59 percent of the vote against 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats.

 

 

  • In Hendricks County, both Michele Colson and I received over 19 percent of the vote in our bid for Hendricks County Commissioner.

 

 

  • In Southern Indiana, Eric Schansberg was in a highly contested race. Schansberg’s opponent’s both had a collective war chest of $3 million. Despite this, Schansberg increased his vote totals by 2,000 votes. Schansberg’s campaign raised an impressive $30,000.

 

 

  • In Marion County, Ed Angleton ran a two way race with a beloved Democrat, and finished with 15.8 percent of the vote. Ed knocked on countless doors, talking with residents of the district one to two hours a night. Ed wore out a pair of shoes, and one of his knees. Ed raised $4,500 from friends and neighbors, and put out a mailer that impressed local Democrats, Republicans, and members of the media.

 

 

  • In State Senate District 30, Steve Keltner managed to make a 16-year incumbent work to earn votes for the first time. Steve ran an aggressive campaign for two years, that rivaled his opponents in the last days of the campaign. Steve raised over $10,000, and used $6,000 for TV ads the last few days of the campaign. Steve won 7.2 percent of the vote.

 

 

  • Even the LPIN paper candidates saw a dramatic increase, with most averaging 5 percent in their races.

As you know, we have hired an Executive Director, Chris Spangle, within the last month. He has already begun to coordinate our 2010 elections. Our ballot access race is the Secretary of State race. If we achieve two-percent, we are considered a minor political party, which is our current status. We will remain on the ballot. BUT I believe our ideas deserve major party status, which is 10 percent. This is our aim in the coming 2 years.

There are some ways you can help:

1. Please join the 1994 Society. It is a monthly donation program to the Libertarian Party of Indiana. The money will be used for preparation for the Secretary of State race and other Libertarian Candidates. These preparations include organizing county organizations, organizing College Libertarian groups, and recruiting candidates. These activities cost our new Executive Director a lot of gas money! Please support our 2010 campaigns by signing up today. There is no set bottom. We suggest $10, $20, or $30 a month. That is a dollar or less a day to support liberty in Indiana! One can sign up on www.lpin.org, or call Chris Spangle at (317) 920-1994.

2. Join your county organization. Check www.lpin.org website for your county affiliate, contact them, and get involved! If there isn’t someone in your county, please consider organizing one. Contact Chris Spangle at cspangle@lpin.org if you need more information.

3. Consider running for office. A successful, active campaign should start today. Contact Chris Spangle or myself if this is something you’d like to explore. It is not a coincidence that the areas that run consistent, active campaigns have the strongest county organizations. Statehouse candidates will also be instrumental in achieving a higher vote total in the Secretary of State race.

Thank you for you support of the Libertarian Party of Indiana.

Sincerely,

Todd Singer
State Chair

Is the Ron Paul movement that big of a deal?

I’ve heard many say they were voting for Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party because of Ron Paul’s endorsement. Some were even writing in Ron Paul, who was not a qualified candidate. Some Libertarians have expressed concern that the Constitution Party may be a threat to the LP. I think the numbers show that Paul’s endorsement has little effect on voters. It also shows the foolishness of the media attention that Ralph Nader always gets. It ALSO shows the importance of ballot access for Libertarians.

Many people were upset that Barr would not visit the kiddie table by showing up at Paul’s third-party press conference. While we are still not in the same league as the big two vote-wise, we are still something different than other third parties. We damage our party’s legitimacy by making ourselves “one of the third parties” instead of THE third option.

Let me say that Ron Paul was someone I voted for in the primary, and instrumental in my understanding of libertarianism. It is now time to take his advice and focus more on his message and principles, the same one our founders espoused, and not the man himself.

Candidate
Votes

Obama, Barack Joe Biden (Democratic)
1080584

25553

1180102

12

4

20

239

10

6

228

0

0

2

District
Statewide Barr, Bob Wayne A. Root (Libertarian) McCain, John Sarah Palin (Republican) Faith, Michael L. (W/I(Americas Independent)) Castle, Darrell L. (W/I(Constitution)) McKinney, Cynthia A. (W/I(Green)) Baldwin, Chuck (W/I(Independent)) Bone, Lawson Mitchell (W/I(Independent)) Mottus, Kevin (W/I(Independent)) Nader, Ralph Matt Gonzalez (W/I(Independent)) Plemons, John Leroy (W/I(Independent)) Kujawski, “Lou” (W/I(Republican)) Moore, Brian Stewart A. Alexander (W/I(Socialist))

Finally! Democracy has been practiced in Amercia!

I couldn’t agree more on this. Also, the notion that your side is the “Real America” is dumb, and you should stop saying it. Also the phrase “A President for all Americans” is equally stupid, and it shows your bias. The President of any party is the President. The media and Democrats now believe that since they are in power, everyone will finally be bipartisan. It will never happen.

I don’t like Obama, and I don’t really plan to unite with him to change this country, because his change is wrong. We need to quit acting like Senators, constantly pleading for bipartisanship. It isn’t going to happen.

Let’s argue our ideas with passion, but not hatred. Play tough, but all should be fair. And quit asking me to work WITH you. It isn’t going to happen.

Obama-McCain Fact Check

Copy and Pasted from an essential website: factcheck.org.

Summary

McCain and Obama contradicted each other repeatedly during their first debate, and each volunteered some factual misstatements as well. Here’s how we sort them out:

Obama said McCain adviser Henry Kissinger backs talks with Iran “without preconditions,” but McCain disputed that. In fact, Kissinger did recently call for “high level” talks with Iran starting at the secretary of state level and said, “I do not believe that we can make conditions.” After the debate the McCain campaign issued a statement quoting Kissinger as saying he didn’t favor presidential talks with Iran.

Obama denied voting for a bill that called for increased taxes on “people” making as little as $42,000 a year, as McCain accused him of doing. McCain was right, though only for single taxpayers. A married couple would have had to make $83,000 to be affected by the vote, and anyway no such increase is in Obama’s tax plan.

McCain and Obama contradicted each other on what Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said about troop withdrawals. Mullen said a time line for withdrawal could be “very dangerous” but was not talking specifically about “Obama’s plan,” as McCain maintained.

McCain tripped up on one of his signature issues – special appropriation “earmarks.” He said they had “tripled in the last five years,” when in fact they have decreased sharply.

Obama claimed Iraq “has” a $79 billion surplus. It once was projected to be as high as that. It’s now down to less than $60 billion.

McCain repeated his overstated claim that the U.S. pays $700 billion a year for oil to hostile nations. Imports are running at about $536 billion this year, and a third of it comes from Canada, Mexico and the U.K.

Obama said 95 percent of “the American people” would see a tax cut under his proposal. The actual figure is 81 percent of households.

Obama mischaracterized an aspect of McCain’s health care plan, saying “employers” would be taxed on the value of health benefits provided to workers. Employers wouldn’t, but the workers would. McCain also would grant workers up to a $5,000 tax credit per family to cover health insurance.
McCain misrepresented Obama’s plan by claiming he’d be “handing the health care system over to the federal government.” Obama would expand some government programs but would allow people to keep their current plans or chose from private ones, as well.

 

McCain claimed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower had drafted a letter of resignation from the Army to be sent in case the 1944 D-Day landing at Normandy turned out to be a failure. Ike prepared a letter taking responsibility, but he didn’t mention resigning.

For full details, as well as other dubious claims and statements, please read our full Analysis section.

Analysis

The first of three scheduled debates between Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama took place Sept. 26 on the campus of theUniversity of Mississippi at Oxford. It was sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. It was carried live on national television networks and was moderated by Jim Lehrer, executive editor and anchor of the PBS “NewsHour” program.

We noted these factual misstatements:
Did Kissinger Back Obama?

McCain attacked Obama for his declaration that he would meet with leaders of Iran and other hostile nations “without preconditions.” To do so with Iran, McCain said, “isn’t just naive; it’s dangerous.” Obama countered by saying former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger – a McCain adviser – agreed with him:
Obama: Senator McCain mentioned Henry Kissinger, who’s one of his advisers, who, along with five recent secretaries of state, just said that we should meet with Iran – guess what – without precondition. This is one of your own advisers.

McCain rejected Obama’s claim:
McCain: By the way, my friend, Dr. Kissinger, who’s been my friend for 35 years, would be interested to hear this conversation and Senator Obama’s depiction of his — of his positions on the issue. I’ve known him for 35 years.
Obama: We will take a look.
McCain: And I guarantee you he would not — he would not say that presidential top level.
Obama: Nobody’s talking about that.

So who’s right? Kissinger did in fact say a few days earlier at a forum of former secretaries of state that he favors very high-level talks with Iran – without conditions:
Kissinger Sept. 20: Well, I am in favor of negotiating with Iran. And one utility of negotiation is to put before Iran our vision of a Middle East, of a stable Middle East, and our notion on nuclear proliferation at a high enough level so that they have to study it. And, therefore, I actually have preferred doing it at the secretary of state level so that we — we know we’re dealing with authentic…
CNN’s Frank Sesno: Put at a very high level right out of the box?

Kissinger: Initially, yes.But I do not believe that we can make conditions for the opening of negotiations.
Later, McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, was asked about this by CBS News anchor Katie Couric, and Palin said, “I’ve never heard Henry Kissinger say, ‘Yeah, I’ll meet with these leaders without preconditions being met.’” Afterward Couricsaid, “We confirmed Henry Kissinger’s position following our interview.”

After the McCain-Obama debate, however, Kissinger issued a statement saying he doesn’t favor a presidential meeting:
Kissinger: Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain.

$42,000 per year?
McCain said – and Obama denied – that Obama had voted to increase taxes on “people who make as low as $42,000 a year.” McCain was correct – with qualification.
McCain: But, again, Senator Obama has shifted on a number of occasions. He has voted in the United States Senate to increase taxes on people who make as low as $42,000 a year.
Obama: That’s not true, John. That’s not true.
McCain: And that’s just a fact. Again, you can look it up.
Obama: Look, it’s just not true.

Yes, as we’ve said before, Obama did in fact vote for a budget resolution that called for higher federal income tax rates on a single, non-homeowner who earned as little as $42,000 per year. A couple filing jointly, however, would have had to earn at least $83,000 per year to be affected.A family of four with income up to $90,000 would not have been affected.

The resolution actually would not have altered taxes without additional legislation. It  called generally for allowing most of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts to expire. McCain is referring to the provision that would have allowed the 25 percent tax bracket to return to 28 percent. The tax plan Obama now proposes, however, would not raise the rate on that tax bracket.
Timetable Tiff
Obama contradicted McCain about what Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen’s said regarding “Obama’s plan” for troop withdrawals.
McCain: Admiral Mullen suggests that Senator Obama’s plan is dangerous for America.
Obama: That’s not the case.
McCain: That’s what …
Obama: What he said was a precipitous…
McCain: That’s what Admiral Mullen said.
Obama: … withdrawal would be dangerous. He did not say that. That’s not true.

Admiral Mullen did say in a Fox News interview that having a time line for withdrawal would be dangerous.
Mullen (July 20): I think the consequences could be very dangerous in that regard. I’m convinced at this point in time that coming – making reductions based on conditions on the ground are very important.

However, interviewer Chris Wallace had just told Mullen to take Obama out of the equation.
Wallace (July 20): But I’m asking you in the absence – forget about Obama. Forget about the politics. If I were to say to you, “Let’s set a time line of getting all of our combat troops out within two years,” what do you think would be the consequences of setting that kind of a time line?

So strictly speaking Mullen was not talking specifically about “Obama’s plan.” He did say a rigid timetable could have dangerous consequences.

Earmarks Down, Not Up
McCain was way off the mark when he said that earmarks in federal appropriations bills had tripled in the last five years.
McCain: But the point is that – you see, I hear this all the time. “It’s only $18
billion.” Do you know that it’s tripled in the last five years?

In fact, earmarks have actually gone down. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, there was $22.5 billion worth of earmark spending in 2003. By 2008, that figure had come down to $17.2 billion. That’s a decrease of 24 percent.

Taxpayers for Common Sense, another watchdog group, said in 2008 that “Congress has cut earmarks by 23 percent from the record 2005 levels,” according to its analysis.
$3 million to study the DNA of bears?

 

And while we’re on the subject of earmarks, McCain repeated a misleading line we’ve heard before.
McCain: You know, we spent $3 million to study the DNA of bears in Montana. I don’t know if that was a criminal issue or a paternal issue, but the fact is that it was $3 million of our taxpayers’ money. And it has got to be brought under control.

McCain’s been playing this for laughs since 2003. The study  in question was done by the U.S. Geological Survey, and it relied in part on federal appropriations. Readers (and politicians) may disagree on whether a noninvasive study of grizzly bear population and habitat is a waste of money. McCain clearly thinks it is – but on the other hand, he never moved to get rid of the earmark. In fact, he voted for the bill that made appropriations for the study. He did propose some changes to the bill, but none that nixed the bear funding.
Iraqi Surplus Exaggerated
Obama was out of date in saying the Iraqi government has “79 billion dollars,” when he argued that the U.S. should stop spending money on the war in Iraq.
Obama: We are currently spending $10 billion a month in Iraq when they have a $79 billion surplus.

As we’ve said before, there was a time when the country could have had as much as $79 billion, but that time has passed. What the Iraqis actually “have” is $29.4 billion in the bank. The Government Accountability Office projected in August that Iraq’s 2008 budget surplus could range anywhere from $38.2 billion to $50.3 billion, depending on oil revenue, price and volume. Then, in early August, the Iraqi legislature passed a $21 billion supplemental spending bill, which was omitted from the GAO’s surplus tally since it was still under consideration. The supplemental will be completely funded by this year’s surplus. So the range of what the Iraqi’s could have at year’s end is actually $47 billion to $59 billion. The $79 billion figure is outdated and incorrect.
$700 billion for oil?
McCain repeated an exaggerated claim that the U.S. is sending $700 billion per year to hostile countries.
McCain: Look, we are sending $700 billion a year overseas to countries that don’t like us very much. Some of that money ends up in the hands of terrorist organizations.

That’s not accurate. McCain also made this claim in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. He’s referring to the amount of money the U.S. spends in importing oil. But the number is inflated. In fact, we actually pay more like $536 billion for the oil we need. And one-third of those payments go to Canada, Mexico and the U.K.

(Note: A few of our readers messaged us, after we first noted McCain’s mistake, with the thought that he was referring to foreign aid and not to oil. If so he’s even farther off than we supposed: The entire budget for the State Department and International Programs works out to just $51.3 million.)
Tax Cut Recipients
Obama overstated how many people would save on taxes under his plan:
Obama: My definition – here’s what I can tell the American people: 95 percent of you will get a tax cut. And if you make less than $250,000, less than a quarter-million dollars a year, then you will not see one dime’s worth of tax increase.

That should be 95 percent of families, not 95 percent of “American people.” An analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center found that Obama’s plan would decrease taxes for 95.5 percent of families with children. Overall, 81.3 percent of households would get a tax cut under his proposal.
Health Care Hyperbole
Obama and McCain traded incorrect statements on each other’s health care plan.
Obama: So you may end up getting a $5,000 tax credit. Here’s the only problem: Your employer now has to pay taxes on the health care that you’re getting from your employer.

As we said before, McCain’s plan doesn’t call for taxing employers on health care benefits; it would instead tax employees. As the law stands now, employees don’t pay taxes on the dollar value of their health insurance benefits. Under McCain’s plan, they would.

McCain also misrepresented Obama’s plan when he said that his opponent favored “handing the health care system over to the federal government.”
McCain: Well, I want to make sure we’re not handing the health care system over to the federal government which is basically what would ultimately happen with Senator Obama’s health care plan. I want the families to make decisions between themselves and their doctors. Not the federal government.

McCain made a similar claim in his acceptance speech, when he said that
Obama’s plans would “force families into a government run health care
system.” We called it false then and we stand by that. Obama’s plan mandates coverage for children, but not for adults, and it does not require anyone to be covered by a nationalized system. Obama’s plan expands the insurance coverage offered by the government, but allows people to keep their own plans or choose from private plans as well.
Ike Was No Quitter
McCain mangled his military history:
McCain: President Eisenhower, on the night before the Normandy invasion, went into his room, and he wrote out two letters.

One of them was a letter congratulating the great members of the military and allies that had conducted and succeeded in the greatest invasion in history, still to this day, and forever.
And he wrote out another letter, and that was a letter of resignation from the United States Army for the failure of the landings at Normandy.
The story is widely circulated in military circles but not entirely true. Eisenhower (then a general, not yet a president) did in fact write a letter taking responsibility should the D-Day invasion fail. But Eisenhower’s letter does not mention resigning. Here’s the full text:
Eisenhower (June 5, 1944): Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best informationavailable. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.

No mention of quitting the Army, or his command.
A Longer Timetable

 

Obama stretched out his schedule for withdrawing troops from Iraq. During the debate, Obama said we could “reduce” the number of combat troops in 16 months:
Obama: Now, what I’ve said is we should end this war responsibly. We should do it in phases. But in 16 months we should be able to reduce our combat troops, put – provide some relief to military families and our troops and bolster our efforts in Afghanistan so that we can capture and kill bin Laden and crush al Qaeda.

But in Oct. 2007, Obama supported removing all combat troops from Iraq
within 16 months:
Obama (Oct. 2007): I will remove one or two brigades a month, and get all of our combat troops out of Iraq within 16 months. The only troops I will keep inIraq will perform the limited missions of protecting our diplomats and carrying out targeted strikes on al Qaeda. And I will launch the diplomatic and humanitarian initiatives that are so badly needed. Let there be no doubt: I will end this war.

The quote appears in “Barack Obama and Joe Biden on Defense Issues“ – a
position paper that was still available on the campaign’s Web site as Obama spoke.

Still Soft on Iran?
McCain repeated the false insinuation that Obama opposed naming Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.
McCain: There is the Republican Guard in Iran, which Senator Kyl had an amendment in order to declare them a sponsor of terror. Senator Obama said that would be provocative. …
Obama: Well, let me just correct something very quickly. I believe the Republican Guard of Iran is a terrorist organization. I’ve consistently said so. What Senator McCain refers to is a measure in the Senate that would try to broaden the mandate inside of Iraq. To deal with Iran.
Obama has in fact said that the IRGC should be named a terrorist group. He was a cosponsor of the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act, which, among other things, named the IRGC a terrorist organization. What he voted against was the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which also called for the terrorist group distinction. But Obama said that he opposed the amendment on the grounds that it was “saber-rattling.”
Obama press release (Sept. 26, 2007): Senator Obama clearly recognizes the serious threat posed by Iran. However, he does not agree with the president that the best way to counter that threat is to keep large numbers of troops in Iraq, and he does not think that now is the time for saber-rattling towards Iran. In fact, he thinks that our large troop presence in Iraq has served to strengthen Iran – not weaken it. He believes that diplomacy and economic pressure, such as the divestment bill that he has proposed, is the right way to pressure the Iranian regime. Accordingly, he would have opposed the Kyl-Lieberman amendment had he been able to vote today.

Who’s Naive on Georgia?
McCain called Obama’s initial statement on the conflict in Georgia “naive.” It’s worth noting Obama’s words echoed those of the White House.
McCain: Well, I was interested in Senator Obama’s reaction to the Russian aggression against Georgia. His first statement was, “Both sides ought to show restraint.”
Again, a little bit of naivete there. He doesn’t understand that Russia committed serious aggression against Georgia.
It’s true, as McCain said, that during the conflict between Georgia and Russia, Obama said, “Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to
avoid an escalation to full scale war” in his first statement on the conflict. But so did the White House. Press secretary Dana Perino said on Aug. 8, “We urge restraint on all sides – that violence would be curtailed and that direct dialogue could ensue in order to help resolve their differences.” We pointed this out when New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani mischaracterized Obama’s response to the crisis during the GOP convention.
Boeing Boasts
McCain was went too far when he said, “I saved the taxpayers $6.8 billion by fighting a contract that was negotiated between Boeing and DOD that was completely wrong. And we fixed it and we killed it.”

McCain certainly did lead a fight to kill the contract, and the effort ended in prison sentences for defense contractors. But the contract isn’t exactly “fixed” yet. In fact, questions have been raised about the role McCain has played in helping a Boeing rival secure the new contract.

After the original Boeing contract to supply refueling airliners was nixed in 2003, the bidding process was reopened. And in early 2007, Boeing rival EADS/Airbus won the bid the second time around. But Boeing filed a protest about the way the bids were processed, and the Government Accountability Office released a report that found in Boeing’s favor. In the summary of GAO’s investigation, the organization said there were “significant errors” with the bid process and that the directions given to Boeing were “misleading.”

Further, the New York Times reported that “McCain’s top advisers, including a cochairman of his presidential campaign, were lobbyists for EADS. And Mr. McCain had written to the Defense Department, urging it to ignore a trade dispute between the United States and Europe over whether Airbus received improper subsidies.” A liberal campaign finance group ran an ad hitting McCain on the connections back in July and our colleagues at PolitiFact found their attacks to be true, saying: “Center for Responsive Politics prepared a report for PolitiFact that backs [the charge] up. U.S. employees of EADS/Airbus have contributed $15,700 in this election cycle to McCain’s campaign.”
Nuclear Charges
McCain said Obama was against storing nuclear waste. That’s not exactly his position.
McCain: And Senator Obama says he’s for nuclear, but he’s against reprocessing and he’s against storing.
Obama: I — I just have to correct the record here. I have never said that I object to nuclear waste. What I’ve said is that we have to store it safely.
Obama’s official position is that he does support safe storage of nuclear waste:
Obama fact sheet: Obama will also lead federal efforts to look for a safe, long-term disposal solution based on objective, scientific analysis. In the meantime, Obama will develop requirements to ensure that the waste stored at current reactor sites is contained using the most advanced dry-cask storage technology available. Barack Obama believes that Yucca Mountain is not an option. Our government has spent billions of dollars on Yucca Mountain, and yet there are still significant questions about whether nuclear waste can be safely stored there.

But the McCain campaign has attacked Obama before on this issue, going as
far as to claim Obama did not support nuclear energy at all, which was false. Obama has said he supports nuclear as long as it is “clean and safe.”
Against Alternative Energy
Obama said that McCain had voted 23 times against alternative energy:
Obama: Over 26 years, Senator McCain voted 23 times against alternative energy, like solar, and wind, and biodiesel.

Here’s the Obama campaign’s list of the 23 votes. We find they’re overstating the case. In many instances, McCain voted not against alternative energy but against mandatory use of alternative energy, or he voted in favor of allowing exemptions from these mandates. Only 11 of the 23 votes cited by the Obama campaign involve reducing or eliminating incentives for renewable energy.

Meanwhile, McCain was indignant at the suggestion that he’d voted against alternative energy at all.
McCain: I have voted for alternate fuel all of my time. … No one can beopposed to alternate energy.

But McCain’s record says differently. As we say above, he has voted against funding for alternative energy on 11 occasions. He may be in favor of alternative energy in theory, but he has declined opportunities to support it.

In McCain’s energy plan, he supports nuclear power and “clean” coal, which are alternative energies. But they don’t qualify as renewable energy, such as hydro,
solar and wind power. McCain’s plan makes a vague promise to “rationalize
the current patchwork of temporary tax credits that provide commercial
feasibility.” The experts we talked to weren’t sure what exactly that meant.
Committee Oversight
Both candidates were right in talking about Obama’s NATO subcommittee.
McCain: Senator Obama is the chairperson of a committee that oversights NATO, that’s in Afghanistan. To this day he’s never had a hearing. …
Obama: Look, the — I’m very proud of my vice presidential selection, Joe Biden, who’s the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And as he  explains and as John well knows, the issues of Afghanistan, the issues of Iraq, critical issues like that don’t go through my subcommittee because they’re done as a committee as a whole.
As we’ve already reported Obama’s subcommittee on Afghanistan does have jurisdiction over NATO, which is supplying about half of the troops in Afghanistan. His subcommittee does not have jurisdiction over Afghanistan proper.
Getting the Dates Wrong
We also caught McCain getting his congressional history a little wrong.
McCain: Back in 1983, when I was a brand-new United States congressman,
the one — the person I admired the most and still admire the most, Ronald
Reagan, wanted to send Marines into Lebanon. And I saw that, and I saw the
situation, and I stood up, and I voted against that because I was afraid
that they couldn’t make peace in a place where 300 or 400 or several
hundred Marines would make a difference. Tragically, I was right: Nearly
300 Marines lost their lives in the bombing of the barracks.

This isn’t quite right. Marines were initially deployed to Lebanon in August 1982. McCain, however, was not elected to the U.S. House until November 1982, more than three months after Marines had already landed.

McCain is referring to a 1983 vote to invoke the War Powers Act. That bill, which Ronald Reagan signed into law on October 12, 1983, authorized an 18-month deployment for the Marines. On October 13, a suicide bomber destroyed the Marine barracks in Beirut. McCain did in fact break with most Republicans to vote against the bill.

–by Brooks Jackson, Lori Robertson, Justin Bank, Jess Henig, Emi Kolawoleand Joe Miller.

Sources

”Statement Regarding the Bid Protest Decision Resolving the Aerial Refueling Tanker Protest by The Boeing Company” Government Accountability Office. 18 June 2008.

Isikoff, Michael, “McCain’s Boeing Battle Boomerangs,” Newsweek. 30 June 2008.

Laurent, Lionel, “Boeing Boomerangs on McCain,” Forbers Magazine. 4 March 2008.

Wayne, Leslie, “Audit Says Tanker Deal Is Flawed,” New York Times. 19 June 2008.

Tax Policy Center. “Individual Income Tax Brackets, 1945 – 2008.” 4 November 2007. Tax Policy Center, 7 July 2008.

”U.S. Imports by Country of Origin.” U.S. Energy Information Administration, accessed 5 Sept. 2008.

”Spot Prices, Crude Oil in Dollars per Barrel.” U.S. Energy Information Administration, accessed 5 Sept. 2008.

”S. 970: Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007.” 8 April 2008.
Thomas.gov. 2 June 2008.

”Sec. 1538 of H.R. 1585.” National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. Thomas.gov. 2 June 2008

U.S. Senate. “Roll Call Vote on Senate Amendment 3017.” 26 Sept. 2007. U.S. Senate: Legislation and Records. 2 June 2008.

Grimmett, Richard F. “Congressional Use of Funding Cutoffs Since 1970 Involving U.S. Military Forces and Overseas Deployments.” Congressional Research Service. 10 January 2001.

Daggett, Stephen. Costs of Major U.S. Wars. 24 Jul. 2008. Congressional Research Service.

Adair, Bill. Obama “suggested bombing Pakistan”. Politifact.com.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden on Defense Issues. Obama for America.

Barack Obama’s Plan to Make America A Global Energy Leader. Obama for America.

Obama’s Socialism Problem

Here is the series from Investor’s Business Daily that every Democrat and Republican should read:

Barack Obama has styled himself a centrist, but does his record support that claim?

In this series, we examine Senator Obama’s past, his voting record and the people who’ve served as his advisers and mentors over the years. We’ll show how the facts of Obama’s actions and associations reveal a far more left-leaning tilt to his background — and to his politics.

 


Part Thirteen

Michelle’s Boot Camps For Radicals

Election ‘08: Democrats’ reintroduction of militant Michelle Obama in Denver was supposed to show her softer side. But it only highlighted a radical part of her resume: Public Allies.


Part Twelve

Alice In Obamaland

Election ‘08: One of the “lies” Barack Obama says are being told about him is quite true. It involves a staunch admirer of the Soviet Union and its communist society who helped launch Obama’s political career.


Part Eleven

Finding Friends On Far, Far Left

Election ‘08: The saying that a man is known by the company he keeps is true of political relationships. In Barack Obama’s case, some of the groups that support him are an indictment of his political orientation.


Part Ten

Like Father, Like Son

Election ‘08: Barack Obama’s economic blueprint sounds like one his communist father tried to foist on Kenya 40 years ago, with massive taxes and succor shrouded as “investments.”


Part Nine

Obama’s Radical Roots And Rules

Election ‘08: Most Americans revile socialism, yet Barack Obama’s poll numbers remain competitive. One explanation: He’s a longtime disciple of a man whose mission was to teach radicals to disguise their ideology.


Part Eight

Obama’s Little Red Schoolhouse

Schools: While Obama’s children enjoy the best education money can buy, he wants to deny inner-city children the education change we can believe in — school choice. He prefers cradle-to-diploma collectivist education.


Part Seven

Reparations By Another Name

Election ‘08: Barack Obama says Washington shouldn’t just offer apologies for slavery, but also “deeds.” Don’t worry, he says, he’s not talking about direct reparations. Relieved? Don’t be.


Part Six

Obama Finds An ACORN

Election ‘08: The man who includes being a community organizer on his short resume has a long association with a far-left group that would organize our communities into socialist gulags.


Part Five

Young Obama’s Red Mentor

Election ‘08: The mainstream media have finally gotten around to revealing Barack Obama’s early mentor. But they’ve downplayed the mystery man’s communist background.


Part Four

Obamanomics Flunks The Test

Election ‘08: Barack Obama the lawyer-organizer could use a crash course in economics. His economic plan’s assumptions, based on long-discredited Marxist theories, are wildly wrongheaded.


Part Three

Obama Wants You

Election ‘08: Barack Obama calls it “Universal Voluntary Public Service.” We call it a plan for national involuntary servitude. Kennedy asked us what we could do for our country. Obama has ways to make us volunteer.


Part Two

Obama’s Global Tax

Election ‘08: A plan by Barack Obama to redistribute American wealth on a global level is moving forward in the Senate. It follows Marxist theology — from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.


Part One

Barack Obama’s Stealth Socialism

Election ‘08: Before friendly audiences, Barack Obama speaks passionately about something called “economic justice.” He uses the term obliquely, though, speaking in code — socialist code.

Is That McCain’s Giant Seventh House?

While watching McCain’s speech last night, I couldn’t believe they put McCain in front of a mansion with a GREEN lawn… Gawker best describes my thoughts:

“While watching the McCain speech last night, we suddenly noticed the big video screen background (which only looked cool when it was neat rippling water behind Rudy Giuliani) suddenly shifted to what looked like a greenscreen. Oh wow what a stupid and terrible f-up, we thought. Because everyone remembers what happened last time! It turns out the f-up was so, so much bigger and more hilarious: it was not a greeenscreen. It was a lawn in front of a mansion-looking building. Which was a middle school, called Walter Reed. Let’s actually try to itemize the f-ups here:

  • It looked like a greenscreen.

 

  • Then it looked like maybe one of John McCain’s many, many giant houses.

 

 

  • No, it turns out it was a middle school called Walter Reed, but it wassupposed to be a photo of Walter Reed Hospital.

 

 

  • Walter Reed Hospital, of course, being the scene of yet another horrible f-up by the Republicans. Why did they want to remind anyone of Walter Reed in the first place??

 

 

  • Also the middle school is in Hollywood.

Beautiful work, everyone.”

Excerpts: Remarks by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Vice Presidential Nominee to Address the 2008 Republican National Convention

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – This evening Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee, will address the 2008 Republican National Convention. Excerpts from the governor’s remarks:

On her experience as a public servant:

“I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town. I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better. When I ran for city council, I didn’t need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too. Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”

On why she is going to Washington, D.C.:

“I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion – I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”

On energy policies that the McCain-Palin administration will implement:

“Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems – as if we all didn’t know that already. But the fact that drilling won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all. Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to lay more pipelines…build more nuclear plants…create jobs with clean coal…and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources. We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers.”

On John McCain:

“Here’s how I look at the choice Americans face in this election. In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.”

Obama Nation

I am currently listening to the book Obama Nation. (It isn’t worth the time it takes to read it, I can listen faster.) The author (Jerome Corsi of swift boat fame) is a certifiable loon, and the Obama team does an ok job of discussing the source. Obama Nation gives you some perspective on his history, but if a biographer/historian can’t get basic facts right, how can you trust the bigger facts? It’s worth a read before November (then send it straight to Half-Price Books), but not without this document from the Obama camp: http://obama.3cdn.net/a74586f9067028c40a_5km6vrqwa.pdf

In today’s media, you can’t find fair an balanced sources. Find one from the left and one from the left, and assume the center is true.

If you’re not an Obama fan, and want some information, I suggest the book The Case Against Barack Obama. It’s written by National Reviewer David Freddoso, so at least it’s not written by a total loon. It’s written in a tone you can at least tolerate without feeling like you’re dipping a toe in the pool of political slime. It’s also well footnoted.

I’d also pick up a copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. It will help shade in some of the beliefs held by members of the left in America.

An Open Letter to God, from Michael Moore

(H/T from my pal Marc… Thoughts? CYA post? Clarification? Comment Below.)

An Open Letter to God, from Michael Moore

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Dear God,

The other night, the Rev. James Dobson’s ministry asked all believers to pray for a storm on Thursday night so that the Obama acceptance speech outdoors in Denver would have to be cancelled.

I see that You have answered Rev. Dobson’s prayers — except the storm You have sent to earth is not over Denver, but on its way to New Orleans! In fact, You have scheduled it to hit Louisiana at exactly the moment that George W. Bush is to deliver his speech at the Republican National Convention.

Now, heavenly Father, we all know You have a great sense of humor and impeccable timing. To send a hurricane on the third anniversary of the Katrina disaster AND right at the beginning of the Republican Convention was, at first blush, a stroke of divine irony. I don’t blame You, I know You’re angry that the Republicans tried to blame YOU for Katrina by calling it an “Act of God” — when the truth was that the hurricane itself caused few casualties in New Orleans. Over a thousand people died because of the mistakes and neglect caused by humans, not You.

Some of us tried to help after Katrina hit, while Bush ate cake with McCain and twiddled his thumbs. I closed my office in New York and sent my entire staff down to New Orleans to help. I asked people on my website to contribute to the relief effort I organized — and I ended up sending over two million dollars in donations, food, water, and supplies (collected from thousands of fans) to New Orleans while Bush’s FEMA ice trucks were still driving around Maine three weeks later.

But this past Thursday night, the Washington Post reported that the Republicans had begun making plans to possibly postpone the convention. The AP had reported that there were no shelters set up in New Orleans for this storm, and that the levee repairs have not been adequate. In other words, as the great Ronald Reagan would say, “There you go again!”

So the last thing John McCain and the Republicans needed was to have a split-screen on TVs across America: one side with Bush and McCain partying in St. Paul, and on the other side of the screen, live footage of their Republican administration screwing up once again while New Orleans drowns.

So, yes, You have scared the Jesus, Mary and Joseph out of them, and more than a few million of your followers tip their hats to You.

But now it appears that You haven’t been having just a little fun with Bush & Co. It appears that Hurricane Gustav is truly heading to New Orleans and the Gulf coast. We hear You, O Lord, loud and clear, just as we did when Rev. Falwell said You made 9/11 happen because of all those gays and abortions. We beseech You, O Merciful One, not to punish us again as Pat Robertson said You did by giving us Katrina because of America’s “wholesale slaughter of unborn children.” His sentiments were echoed by other Republicans in 2005.

So this is my plea to you: Don’t do this to Louisiana again. The Republicans got your message. They are scrambling and doing the best they can to get planes, trains and buses to New Orleans so that everyone can get out. They haven’t sent the entire Louisiana National Guard to Iraq this time — they are already patrolling the city streets. And, in a nod to I don’t know what, Bush’s head of FEMA has named a man to help manage the federal government’s response. His name is W. Michael Moore. I kid you not, heavenly Father. They have sent a man with both my name AND W’s to help save the Gulf Coast.

So please God, let the storm die out at sea. It’s done enough damage already. If you do this one favor for me, I promise not to invoke your name again. I’ll leave that to the followers of Rev. Dobson and to those gathering this week in St. Paul.

Your faithful servant and former seminarian,

Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. To all of God’s fellow children who are reading this, the city New Orleans has not yet recovered from Katrina. Please click here for a list of things you can do to help our brothers and sisters on the Gulf Coast. And, if you do live along the Gulf Coast, please take all necessary safety precautions immediately.

The Disease of Un-Americanism in the Opposition Party

For the last eight years, the opposition party, the Democrats, have rooted for the failure of America. They have rooted for the War in in Iraq to fail. Now that the shift in administration policy has resulted in less deaths in Iraq, the Democrats are silent on the subject. Economic numbers have been twisted to seem worse than the reality. Some liberal pundits flat out lie about the state of our economy. There is no doubt that the average American is struggling, and cash is less available. But I sensed a serious deflation in the liberal community when the Labor and Commerce department released some decent news. “Damn, things aren’t as bad as we’d like!”

Now Michael Moore gleafully states, “I was just thinking, this Gustav is proof that there is a God in heaven,” Moore said, laughing. “To have it planned at the same time – that it would actually be on its way to New Orleans for day one of the Republican Convention, up in the Twin Cities – at the top of the Mississippi River.”

Over 1,800 people died in Katrina, and lives all along the Gulf coast were destroyed. Moore’s words speak for themselves.

Unfortunately, as the GOP finds their way into the minority in the next few years, the will also root for the destruction of America. The line between a Republican and a Democrat is razor thin.

Check your rhetoric. If you find yourself cheering on the destruction of lives or economies or nations, then maybe you should keep your thoughts to yourself.

BTW, here is former DNC Chairman Don Fowler having a laugh at the expense of New Orleans.

McCain will Ax Earmarks, Not Spending

John McCain’s largest plank in his reform platform is the elimination of earmarks. As any politician does, he says one thing and then does another. I read an article recently that combs through the numbers of McCain’s proposals. The column is from the New Republic and can be read here.

But here is the part you need to know:

“McCain is promising to cut taxes by $300 billion per year on top of the Bush tax cuts, which he would make permanent. In addition to this, he promises to balance the budget in his first term. When asked how he could possibly pull this off, McCain has asserted that he could eliminate all earmark spending, saving $100 billion per year.

I don’t find this explanation persuasive. The first point I’d make is that $100 billion is, in fact, less than $300 billion. The second point I’d make is that McCain won’t even cut $100 billion, or anywhere close. By conventional measures, earmarks only account for $18 billion per year. McCain gets his number by employing an unusually broad definition of what constitutes an earmark. McCain’s definition includes things like aid to Israel and housing for members of the military that are not “pork” as the term is understood. When asked if he would eliminate those programs, he replied, “Of course not.”

So we’re left with a pot of money closer to $18 billion. And McCain surely won’t eliminate even that. He has frequently found himself campaigning at places funded by federal earmarks and beloved by the local citizenry, and he keeps inadvertently showing how impossible it is to fulfill his promises. Last month, McCain visited a hospital in Pennsylvania and met an ovarian cancer patient who’s being treated with a clinical trial program funded by an earmark. Asked if he would eliminate that program, he replied, “It’s the process I object to. … When you earmark in the middle of the night, you have no budgetary constraints.”

Democratic Convention Recap!

1 PM Update:

Ran into Dr. Woody Meyers. He is a delegate. His only future Political plans were to come into the convention and vote as a delegate.

Spoke to Congressman Joe Donelly. He had no public comment on Tony Zirkle… 🙂 Hear that interview Monday.

We are in the Marriott. The room here is much smaller then the large hall the GOP had for their convention. Lunchtime is nearing an end, and folks are streaming into the hall. The crowd is a lot smaller then I figured it would be. It is also much youger then the GOP. Average age of attendee is 45. The GOP convention: 60. There are many more young people here then at the GOP convention.

I am sitting next to Amos. He wants to know who in the world would marry Abdul?! lol

About 1,000 delegates are here for the convention. I believe that is on par with the GOP, altough it does not look it.

1:30 PM

I thought Democrats had all this enthusiasm and energy. This is like sitting at a boring lecture. Maybe it will hit when Jill speaks around 3.

Andre Carson spoke. We won’t have that due to a mult-box issue. I promise that this time, it was not my fault, lol.

The organization here is weak. Twice in 15 minutes, people were called to speak, and they never showed up. People, pay attention!

The Democrats have officially nominated Richard Wood for Superintendent for Public Instruction. His slogan is “Experience, Dedication, and Results.” He is proud to be a party that looks to the future with vision and courage. At the end, the entire 8th district did not stand for Wood. There was a standing applause in the middle of the room (Districts 9, 2, 3, and 1.) The other districts (7, 4, 6 and 8 ) did not stand. Laziness or is there a meaning to this?

Wood had a power point slide show. Linda Pence has a video detailing how smart she is, and her accomplishments. It started with her fighting Shell Oil on behalf of a small town gas station owner. I think it’s clear they think they can win that race, and will pump a lot of money into it. Maybe they think the GOP will neglect Zoeller because he is not the “chosen” candidate.

More disorganization. Instead of bringing Pence right up after the video, and carrying on momentum, they went to a Louis Armstrong song, and then the chairman cam up and talked about how great life is. Then he finally announced Pam Carter, after a long speech on how long he’s know Pam Carter. Pam Carter was the first African-American and Female to be elected Attorney General.

Pam Carter forgot to nominate Carter, but the Chairman of the convention (Sherrif Dominguez from Lake County) quickly stepped up and officially nominated her.

Pence walked out to the theme of Law and Order. Andre Carson walked out to Stronger by Kanye.

2 PM Update

No mentions of Mitch, Bush or Cheney yet. You’d think in an hour, there would be more GOP hate-mongering.

About 1/4 of the room did not stand and cheer for Pence. Three-Quarters did not stand and cheer for Bauer. Where is the energy, people?

Bauer is the first person to hit Mitch Daniels. “Four years ago, a dark cloud came over Indiana. THEY SOLD OUR TOLL ROAD! I like Australians. I love Kangaroo Dundee. I just don’t want them to have our money.”

Bauer says Mitch raised property taxes a Billion Dollars. Bauer was apparently there to nominate Oxley. That was not expressed. Oxley had 3/4 of the room stand and cheer for him. He came out to Mellencamp’s Small Town.

Oxley thanked Bauer, and called him a “close confident.” I wonder how he spells “potato?” He also says Hoosier incorrectly. He says, “Whooysher.”

Oxley hit Mitch. He might be the heavy in the campaign. He went on with a list of Mitch Daniels uaccomplishments. One that stood out was that many Whooyshers die because Mitch Daniels doesn’t care about them, and does not give them health insurance. He made fun of the island in a sea of despair commercial by saying Mitch is on “Fantasy Island.” While speaking, someone in the crowd yelled out, “Privative Mitch!” That got a healthy laugh.

2:40 PM Update. Convention on time, to the suprise of the IDNC staff.)
JLT video is running. BATHROOM BREAK! Birch Bayh received the biggest applause pop, until Evan came on-screen. No sighting of Evan Bayh, Brad Ellsworth, Bart Peterson, Andy Jacobs, Frank Anderson or Baron Hill yet. They may be here, but will not speak and I have not seen them.

JLT is right in front of me, waiting to walk up the center aisle. She is taking a lof of deep breaths, and looks nervous. I don’t blame her. The crowds are more energetic with the sight of JLT, but the level is not the same as it was for Mitch. It is not as intense as the Obama crowd at Plainfield, or the crowd at Ben Davis for Hillary.

JLT is clearly standing on a box. (Mitch, while JLT’s same height, did not.)

None of the speakers, with the exception of Bauer, is particulary energetic. The crowds politely clap. The speeches are clearly memorized and rehearsed.

There are almost no mentions of Obama, Bush or McCain. This is clearly a convention focused on Change in the Governor’s Mansion. JLT only mentioned Mitch once in her speech, with a few slight digs. Her speech was focused on her strengths. The words “fighter” and “change” were mentioned a million times.

Biggest applause was that JLT will reinstate collective barganing for unions. Click this link: http://www.howeypolitics.com/2008/06/21/democratic-convention-uaw-wont-endorse-jlt/

She says she will get our economy moving again. ? She will give tax breaks to companys WITH health insurance benefits. No more free rides under JLT when it comes to business. Indiana will also become a national leader in the Green economy. She will also “stop the Daniels obsession with privatization.” She also told the crowd how much she loves them. The entire crowd went, “Awww.” I felt like I was at Sex in the City!”

This speeach, which can be heard on A.I.M. on Monday or podcast, is one of the most uninspired speeches I have ever heard. I am so bored. She could not be more droll or monotone. She has no central message. It is just the standard platform that Democrats ALWAYS bring foreward. There is talk of change and progress, but then she offers up the same ideas that O’Bannon and Kernan brought forward! How do the 1,000 delegates here not see that? She even walked off stage to Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down!”

As soon as she was done speaking, people headed for the door. Many didn’t stay for the balloon drop.

More Democratic Lunacy…

From the Failed Policies of the Past File:

Mike O’Connor may step down later this summer as Marion County Democratic Chairman. His replacement? Ed Treacy!

Obama laid out his economic plan for the Wall Street Journal:

“Sen. Obama cited new economic forces to explain what appears like a return to an older-style big-government Democratic platform skeptical of market forces. “Globalization and technology and automation all weaken the position of workers,” he said, and a strong government hand is needed to assure that wealth is distributed more equitably.”

This sounds familiar… Hmmm… Where have I heard this before?

“Many of you are well enough off that…the tax cuts may have helped you. We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good” – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

And maybe a few other political thinkers… I’ll let you look those up.

From the CHANGE!ing my mind file:

Obama to Break Promise, Opt Out of Public Financing for General Election. Only Obama could be a normal politician and go back on a promise, all while making it seem like a great moral victory.

From the “Is this from the Onion?” File:

Obama’s ‘Key’ Foreign Policy Adviser: “Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security”:

“Richard Danzig, who served as Navy Secretary under President Clinton and is tipped to become National Security Adviser in an Obama White House, told a major foreign policy conference in Washington that the future of US strategy in the war on terrorism should follow a lesson from the pages of Winnie the Pooh, which can be shortened to: if it is causing you too much pain, try something else.

Mr Danzig told the Centre for New American Security: “Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security.”

He spelt out how American troops, spies and anti-terrorist officials could learn key lessons by understanding the desire of terrorists to emulate superheroes like Luke Skywalker, and the lust for violence of violent football fans.”

There is a lot in that statement that we can understand about an Obama administration.

Obama’s Adviser List Shows Little CHANGE!

The main theme of the Obama campaign is CHANGE!. America can cast off the “failed policies of the past” and finally prosper thanks to the savior of the American economy, military, and eventually, the entire planet.

Let’s ponder the phrase “failed policies of the past.” Democrats have had a heavy hand at those failed policies. They’ve been in control of one or both branches of Congress consistently the last 20 years. They had 8 years in the White House with Clinton.

But I bet by CHANGE!, Obama means he is going to bring in an entirely new crew to Washington. He will cast off the failed policy makers of both parties. Anyone who has been in Washington the last 20 years will be out of luck in the new Obama regime, Republican OR Democrat.

Well, let’s take a look at his list of advisers to his campaign. This is from the Washington Post October, 2007. If they weren’t in the Clinton Administration, then they worked for a Washington-based think-tank! A more detailed list from the Council on Foreign Relations can be found here. Not much different there. But you’ll notice his main economic adviser is the same as John Kerry’s in 2004…

Here is the list:

Former Amb. Jeffrey Bader, President Clinton’s National Security Council Asia specialist and now head of Brookings’s China center, national security adviser

Mark Brzezinski, President Clinton’s National Security Council Southeast Europe specialist and now a partner at law firm McGuireWoods, national security adviser

Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s national security adviser and now a Center for Strategic and International Studies counselor and trustee and frequent guest on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, foreign policy adviser

Richard A. Clarke, President Clinton and President George W. Bush’s counterterrorism czar and now head of Good Harbor Consulting and an ABC News contributor, sometimes Obama adviser

Gregory B. Craig, State Department director of policy planning under President Clinton and now a partner at law firm Williams & Connolly, foreign policy adviser

Roger W. Cressey, former National Security Council counterterrorism staffer and now Good Harbor Consulting president and NBC News consultant, has advised Obama but says not exclusive

Ivo H. Daalder, National Security Council director for European affairs during President Clinton’s administration and now a Brookings senior fellow, foreign policy adviser

Richard Danzig, President Clinton’s Navy secretary and now a Center for Strategic and International Analysis fellow, national security adviser

Philip H. Gordon, President Clinton’s National Security Council staffer for Europe and now a Brookings senior fellow, national security adviser

Maj. Gen. J. (Jonathan) Scott Gration, a 32-year Air Force veteran and now CEO of Africa anti-poverty effort Millennium Villages, national security adviser and surrogate

Lawrence J. Korb, assistant secretary of defense from 1981-1985 and now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, informal foreign policy adviser

W. Anthony Lake, President Clinton’s national security adviser and now a professor at Georgetown’s school of foreign service, foreign policy adviser

James M. Ludes, former defense and foreign policy adviser to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and now executive director of the American Security Project, national security adviser

Robert Malley, President Clinton’s Middle East envoy and now International Crisis Group’s Middle East and North Africa program director, national security adviser

Gen. Merrill A. (“Tony”) McPeak, former Air Force chief of staff and now a business consultant, national security adviser

Denis McDonough, Center for American Progress senior fellow and former policy adviser to then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, foreign policy coordinator

Samantha Power, Harvard-based human rights scholar and Pulitzer Prize winning writer, foreign policy adviser

Susan E. Rice, President Clinton’s Africa specialist at the State Department and National Security Council and now a Brookings senior fellow, foreign policy adviser

Bruce O. Riedel, former CIA officer and National Security Council staffer for Near East and Asian affairs and now a Brookings senior fellow, national security adviser

Dennis B. Ross, President Clinton’s Middle East negotiator and now a Washington Institute for Near East Policy fellow, Middle East adviser

Sarah Sewall, deputy assistant secretary of defense for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance during President Clinton’s administration and now director of Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, national security adviser

Daniel B. Shapiro, National Security Council director for legislative affairs during President Clinton’s administration and now a lobbyist with Timmons & Company, Middle East adviser

Mona Sutphen, former aide to President Clinton’s National Security adviser Samuel R. Berger and to United Nations ambassador Bill Richardson and now managing director of business consultancy Stonebridge, national security adviser

CHANGE! or failed policies of the past?

Bob Barr vs. Ron Paul on Policy

Here is a comparison of the policy positions of Ron Paul and Bob Barr, courtesy of Third Party Watch.

Non-interventionism

Ron Paul: “Non-interventionism is not isolationism. Non-intervention simply means America does not interfere militarily, financially, or covertly in the internal affairs of other nations. It does not we that we isolate ourselves; on the contrary, our founders advocated open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations.” – source

Bob Barr: “Our National Defense policy must renew a commitment to non-intervention. We are not the world’s police force and our long, yet recently tarnished, tradition of respecting the sovereignty of other nations is necessary, not from only a moral standpoint, but to regain the respect of the world as a principled and peaceful nation.” – source

Iraq

Ron Paul: “The sooner we withdraw the better. The invasion and continued US occupation has strengthened both Iran and Al-Qaeda in the region. Continuing down the road of a failed policy will only cost more money we do not have and more lives that should not be sacrificed. Interventionism has produced one disaster after another. It is time we return to a non-interventionist foreign policy that emphasizes peaceful trade and travel and no entangling alliances. We can begin by withdrawing from Iraq immediately.” – source

Bob Barr: “I believe the occupation of Iraq—where we have a presence in a foreign country that effectively manages that country and provides the fundamental basis on which that country and government exists and operates—is not something that is sound policy and is not consistent with the historical norms of a national defense policy. So I think that we need to—and I would as president—begin immediately and significantly drawing down our military and economic presence in Iraq for two reasons: One, because it is not in our interest to nation-build or to occupy foreign lands and, secondly, if we would ever wish to have the Iraqi government take responsibility for its own affairs, we necessarily have to remove the security blanket that right now makes it very easy for them not to do so. In other words, they are never going to assume responsibility for their own affairs as long as we are there propping them up.” – source

Taxes and spending

Ron Paul: “A pure consumption tax like the Fair Tax would be better than the current system only if we truly did away with the income tax by repealing the 16th amendment. Otherwise, we could end up with both the income tax and a national sales tax. A consumption tax also provides more transparency and less complexity. But the real issue is total spending by government, not tax reform.” – source

Bob Barr: “Cutting spending would allow America to implement real tax reform. Our goal should be to reduce both the tax burden on Americans and the intrusion in their lives resulting from IRS enforcement of the income tax. One of the best approaches would be to adopt some form of a consumption tax, like a national sales tax, replacing the Internal Revenue Service and all federal income taxes as well as payroll taxes.

“It is not enough to eliminate the income tax. We also must repeal the 16th amendment, which authorizes Congress to levy an income tax. Without doing so, there would be an ever-present danger that a future Congress would attempt to bring back the income tax on top of the Fair Tax or any other alternative to the income tax. ” – source

Federal Reserve

Ron Paul: “The greatest threat facing America today is not terrorism, or foreign economic competition, or illegal immigration. The greatest threat facing America today is the disastrous fiscal policies of our own government, marked by shameless deficit spending and Federal Reserve currency devaluation. It is this one-two punch—Congress spending more than it can tax or borrow, and the Fed printing money to make up the difference—that threatens to impoverish us by further destroying the value of our dollars.” – source

Bob Barr: “If I could wave a magic wand and the Federal Reserve Bank would disappear tomorrow, I would do so. It’s a group of unelected governors that are not answerable to or accountable to the people of this country and yet they wield considerable influence over the economy by basically setting rates at which banks and other financial institutions can loan money. And they have built up, you know, huge reserves themselves that they can then dole out as they’re doing – as they did recently with Bear Stearns to prop up as failing, what they see as failing investment houses, for example.” – source

 

Individual rights

Ron Paul: “States, not the federal government, were charged with protecting individuals against criminal force and fraud. For the first time, a government was created solely to protect the rights, liberties, and property of its citizens. Any government coercion beyond that necessary to secure those rights was forbidden, both through the Bill of Rights and the doctrine of strictly enumerated powers.” – source

Bob Barr: “The United States was created for the purpose of securing the liberties of its people. The colonists fled oppressive old world governments. The nation’s founders drafted the Constitution to sharply limit the federal government’s powers. The horrors perpetrated by the many collectivist tyrannies of the 20th Century demonstrate that the danger of government, any government, violating individual liberty is greater today than when America was founded.” – source

Patriot Act

Ron Paul: “The Patriot Act waters down the Fourth amendment by expanding the federal government’s ability to use wiretaps without judicial oversight. The requirement of a search warrant and probable cause strikes a balance between effective law enforcement and civil liberties. Any attempt to dilute the warrant requirement threatens innocent citizens with a loss of their liberty. This is particularly true of provisions that allow for issuance of nationwide search warrants that are not specific to any given location, nor subject to any local judicial oversight.

“The Act makes it far easier for the government to monitor your internet usage by adopting a lower standard than probable cause for intercepting e-mails and internet communications. I wonder how my congressional colleagues would feel if all of their e-mail headings and the names of the web sites they visited were available to law enforcement upon a showing of mere ‘relevance.’” – source

Bob Barr: “The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution stands for the fundamental principle that the government cannot gather evidence against a person unless it has some tangible reason to believe that the person has violated the law (and that could include associating with terrorists). This reflects the principle that we are each, as citizens in a free society, clothed with a ‘sphere of privacy’ that the government cannot ‘pierce’ without a reason. If we were to take the position, reflected in provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act, that the government can invade our privacy and gather evidence that can be used against us based on no suspicion whatsoever that we’ve done anything wrong, but simply because the government wants to gather evidence as part of some generalized, ‘anti-terrorism’ or ‘foreign intelligence’ investigation, then we will have rendered that Fourth Amendment principle essentially meaningless. That is why this debate is so important.

“The notion that the government can gather evidence based on reasonable suspicion that a person has violated the law, also applies to a suspicion that the person is suspected of operating as an ‘agent of a foreign power’ (including a terrorist organization). This is appropriate; but in such a case also, the government should be held to the standard that it must first have some individualized suspicion that a person is an agent of a foreign power, and not that the government is on a fishing expedition.” – source

Real ID

Ron Paul: “We must stop the move toward a national ID card system. All states are preparing to issue new driver’s licenses embedded with “standard identifier” data – a national ID. A national ID with new tracking technologies means we’re heading into an Orwellian world of no privacy. I voted against the Real ID Act in March of 2005.” – source

Bob Barr: “Big Government advocates are personified by the current Bush administration, favoring central control of virtually every facet of activity in our society, from education to transportation and from the plumbing in our bathrooms to the bulbs in our lamps. While the Real ID debate shares some elements with its sister debate concerning voter ID, mixing the two as if two sides of the same coin dilutes the host of fundamental constitutional concerns and responsibilities affected by the Real ID Act program now being forced down the throats of the states.” – source

War on Drugs

Ron Paul: “I would [decriminalize drugs/medical marijuana], at the federal level. I don’t have control over the states. And that’s why the Constitution’s there.” – source

Bob Barr: “Today, I can reflect on my efforts and see no progress in stopping the widespread use of drugs. I’ll even argue that America’s drug problem is larger today than it was when Richard Nixon first coined the phrase, ‘War on Drugs,’ in 1972.

“America’s drug problem is only compounded by the vast amounts of money directed at this ongoing battle. In 2005, more than $12 billion dollars was spent on federal drug enforcement efforts while another $30 billion was spent to incarcerate non-violent drug offenders.

“The result of spending all of those taxpayer’s dollars? We now have a huge incarceration tab for non-violent drug offenders and, at most, a 30% interception rate of hard drugs. We are also now plagued with the meth labs that are popping up like poisonous mushrooms across the country.

“While it is clear the War on Drugs has been a failure, it is not enough to simply acknowledge that reality.” – source

More Ron Paul and Bob Barr goodness here. Many thanks to the dedicated Ron Paul/Bob Barr supporters who helped compile this list.

I’m Not Sure How I Feel About This…

What are your thoughts?

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Update: This is a political commercial, and you always have to weigh the political message of any ad that is produced by a campain. This is what caused my slow reaction to the spot. But I think it’s a brilliant ad. It reminds us that McCain hates war because of the toll on his family and himself over the generations. McCain is a true war hero that understands the costs of war in human terms, and it is not about slogans and politics. It’s a great way to combat the notion that he is a war-lusting brute that wants to keep us in Iraq for 100 years and bomb bomb bomb Iran.