Tag Archives: Ron Paul

Ron Paul crosses line with Chris Kyle death tweet

On Monday February 4th, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul tweeted the following:

Understandably, a shitstorm ensued as people inferred that Ron Paul was saying Chris Kyle had it coming because of his past history as a Navy SEAL sniper. In fact, the writers at ronpaul.com said just that in a tactless post titled “Ron Paul: Chris Kyle Had It Coming“.

TheWeek jumped on the story:

And just like that, the three-time Republican presidential candidate’s tenuous coalition of pro-gun libertarians, anti–Federal Reserve goldbugs, and foreign policy non-interventionists crumbled. Paul is an opponent of gun control — saying after December’s Newtown, Conn., grade school massacre that “more guns equals less crime” and that “private gun ownership prevents many shootings” — but also of U.S. military adventurism. Kyle, also an outspoken gun-rights advocate, earned a reputation in Iraq as one of the deadliest snipers in U.S. military history.

Hours later, after a lot of backlash on social media and the conserva-sphere, Ron Paul meekly put out a follow-up tweet pointing to a short facebook post:

As much as it pains me to say it, Ron Paul simply doesn’t look good here.

Hopefully Paul will come out and say it was an intern posting tasteless drivel his accounts, but don’t count on it.

UPDATE: Lt. William J. Lawler II, M.Ed posted the following praise of Ron Paul’s tweet at LibertyCrier which hit my inbox along with a lot of negativity from military veterans:

When I first heard about the shooting I felt bad.

As soon as I learned who Chris Kyle was and how proud he was of how many people he had murdered, I felt less bad.

What goes around comes around.

In this case it was on an individual level. Soon it will be on a national level.

Unfortunately, those of us who fought against the tyranny of the American Empire are going to have to pay the price for all of the scumbags and idiots that supported American Imperialism.

Oh well, life’s not fair.

There’s definitely a schism growing in the Ron Paul revolution over this tweet. It’s unfair to veterans, many who have fought in wars and killed people, to suddenly claim that for them to die would be no great tragedy.

I reiterate that the Iraq war was misguided and a terrible spilling of blood on both sides, but that’s no excuse to start flinging insults and derision at the soldiers. The blame lies squarely on the politicians who fabricated evidence and ordered aggression.

As libertarians, we ought to be taking the moral high road and insist that all deaths are tragic, even those of our soldiers.

Let’s not forget that many allies in the Ron Paul revolution have fought in previous wars under a draft. Those troops are going to view any slights against the rank and file soldier as a severe affront to their patriotic duty to protect those who can’t or won’t fight from those who would.

UPDATE II: Someone from Liberty Crier dropped by and rudely commented. I have responded.

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The GOP isn’t fracturing, it’s transforming into libertarians

The Week has a three-point list of divisions the Republican Party is currently squabbling over:

1. Libertarians vs. social conservatives

These two GOP strains have never gotten along with each other. One group says government should stay out of people’s personal lives while the other tries to impose its own morality on others.

2. Right wing populists vs. the pro-business crowd

Despite campaign rhetoric, pro-business Republicans are usually just fine with government subsidies, liberal immigration policies, and bailouts — as long as they help keep the profits flowing. But the populist strain in the party sees big business as no better than big government.

3. Deficit reduction hawks vs. small government activists

Though it would seem these two groups have a lot in common, real deficit hawks recognize we must raise taxes along with cutting spending to get the country out from under the debt burden. But the small government fanatics are against all tax increases for any reason.

Republicans have been able to paper over their differences for decades, mainly by uniting the party against the common enemy of “big government.” But when the GOP controlled all branches of government during the Bush years, they actually did nothing to shrink government. It just got larger, helping to exacerbate the tensions between the various factions.

Of course, the real story isn’t GOP factions fighting over these issues, but that libertarians have filled their ranks and converted minds since the the Ron Paul revolution began in earnest back in 2007. Libertarians are flanking GOP statists from all sides and enthusiastically showing the errors and results of the Republican establishment’s deviations from their core principles.

After all, it hasn’t been mainstream Republicans spearheading a Federal Reserve audit, corporate entitlement cuts (opposing bailouts) and ending foreign entanglements, but it’s something that even John Boehner can no longer ignore. The fights that once belonged to libertarians, until the Tea Party movement began forcing those issues into the mainstream, are not something party leaders are willing to come to terms with, but they will.

Now, the Tea Party brand has obviously crested and is being re-enveloped by the indefatigable libertarian brand. In its wake is a generation of liberty activists who have grown up and come of age having failed to see the Republican revolution of the 90s keep its promises. These libertarians now threaten to either: topple the Republican establishment from within towards limited government principles; Further implode it into a powerless vacuum of dissent and antipathy.

This isn’t fracturing, it’s a war of transformation back to small-government principles, and libertarians are riding a tsunami of discontent all the way to victory.

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Germany wants 300 tons of its US gold

Back in November, German politicians were grumbling that they wanted to see their gold deposits being held at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Now, they’ve upped the ante and are beginning to cash out, demanding shipment of 300 of their 1,536 tons of gold held in the U.S.:

In what sounds like the setup for a stylish Hollywood heist movie, Germany is transferring nearly 700 tons of gold bars worth $36 billion from Paris and New York to its vaults in Frankfurt.

The move is part of an effort by Germany’s central bank to bring much of its gold home after keeping big reserves outside the country for safekeeping during the Cold War.

Shipping such a large amount of valuable cargo between countries could be a serious security headache. A gold robbery — the subject of such movies as Die Hard 3 and The Italian Job — would be embarrassing and expensive for Germany.

The high-stakes, high-security plan is to move the precious metal — 374 tons kept in vaults in Paris and 300 tons stored at the New York Federal Reserve Bank — to the Bundesbank in Germany’s financial center over the next eight years.

The speed at which the German central bank’s transition from an audit to actaully moving gold has been rather swift. As they are now in negotiations Lufthansa Cargo to move the 300 tons of gold across the Atlantic, they’ve allowed themselves until 2020 to complete the process of being able to store half their gold reserves in the Heimatland (homeland).

By 2020, the Bundesbank intends to store half of Germany’s gold reserves in its own vaults in Germany. The other half will remain in storage at its partner central banks in New York and London. With this new storage plan, the Bundesbank is focusing on the two primary functions of the gold reserves: to build trust and confidence domestically, and the ability to exchange gold for foreign currencies at gold trading centres abroad within a short space of time.

Interestingly enough, stashed away in the extended Bundesbank press release was an interesting nugget (translated from German):

Function of Gold – Why do Central Banks hold Gold?
– Diversification
– Universal Acceptance
– Resilience to Shocks (State or currency risks)
– Confidence

This money-like exchange of gold for foreign currencies will likely embolden critics of Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. Bernanke, who was queried by Ron Paul in a 2011 Congressional Committee famously folded on the issue, stated that gold wasn’t actually money, rather “it’s tradition. Long term tradition.”

In Germany, that tradition is alive and well, and demanding the Federal Reserve hand it over.

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Tea Party 2.0: Fiscal cliff fiasco fuels fresh opposition

There’s growing rumors that the Tea Party isn’t quite dead, or at least the fiscal conservative anger is coming back with a vengeance. From the Daily Beast:

Until last night, the conventional wisdom in Washington was that the Tea Party was on the wane. Congressional leaders of the nascent movement, like Allen West and Joe Walsh had lost reelection, or, like Jim DeMint, had decided to leave politics altogether. House Speaker John Boehner had stripped some of the more outspoken members of the Tea Party caucus of their congressional leadership posts, a sign that the GOP establishment was no longer going to be led by its ultra-conservative tail. The big money groups backing the Tea Party were falling apart in a spate of post-election season squabbling.

President Obama thanked Speaker Boehner after the House passed the Senate’s fiscal cliff legislation.

But after 85 House Republicans joined Boehner in raising taxes without spending reductions during the end game of Monday night’s fiscal-cliff negotiations, Tea Party leaders and conservative activists from around the country are dusting off their tri-corner hats and “Don’t Tread On Me” signs, and now say that their members are as energized as they have ever been since the first Tax Day protests in 2009. And the Republican Party, they add, had better beware.

“We now have 85 members of the House who have shunned their noses at us,” said Dustin Stockton, a Texas- and Nevada-based operative and the chief strategist of The Tea Party.net. “Our job now is to recruit and inspire and motivate people to run against those Republicans who did it.”

Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist — during a Meet the Press panel with financial commentator Jim Cramer in early December — was among the first to sternly warn the Republican establishment that fiscal cliff and tax hike negotiations would breed dissent among conservatives:

“Tea party two is going to dwarf tea party one if Obama pushes us off the cliff,” Norquist said. “Let’s not pretend who’s pushing us over the cliff.”

Thanks to his anti-tax pledge, Norquist has been a prime target since fiscal cliff discussions picked up steam in November. Democrats have gone so far as to create an online petition against Norquist.

Whither Ron Paul? He’s taking a new tack in his rhetoric, hinting at the end of fiscal reform and the begin of a much more turbulent stage of America history:

“We have passed the point of no return where we can actually get our house back in order,” Paul begins, adding that “they pretend they are fighting up there, but they really aren’t. They are arguing over power, spin, who looks good, who looks bad; all trying to preserve the system where they can spend what they want, take care of their friends and print money when they need it.” With social safety nets available to rich and poor, there is no impetus for change and “the country loses,” but Paul concludes, the markets are starting to say “there is a limit to this.”

When the shoe drops on the next credit rating cut (and it will), I believe it will be the spark that ignites the whole powderkeg.

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Ron Paul’s new year’s resolutions for Congress

As I prepare to retire from Congress, I’d like to suggest a few New Year’s resolutions for my colleagues to consider. For the sake of liberty, peace, and prosperity I certainly hope more members of Congress consider the strict libertarian constitutional approach to government in 2013.

In just a few days, Congress will solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. They should reread Article 1 Section 8 and the Bill of Rights before taking such a serious oath. Most legislation violates key provisions of the Constitution in very basic ways, and if members can’t bring themselves to say no in the face of pressure from special interests, they have broken trust with their constituents and violated their oaths. Congress does not exist to serve special interests, it exists to protect the rule of law.

I also urge my colleagues to end unconstitutional wars overseas. Stop the drone strikes; stop the covert activities and meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. Strive to observe “good faith and justice towards all Nations” as George Washington admonished. We are only making more enemies, wasting lives, and bankrupting ourselves with the neoconservative, interventionist mindset that endorses pre-emptive war that now dominates both parties.

All foreign aid should end because it is blatantly unconstitutional. While it may be a relatively small part of our federal budget, for many countries it is a large part of theirs–and it creates perverse incentives for both our friends and enemies. There is no way members of Congress can know or understand the political, economic, legal, and social realities in the many nations to which they send taxpayer dollars.

Congress needs to stop accumulating more debt. US debt, monetized by the Federal Reserve, is the true threat to our national security. Revisiting the parameters of Article 1 Section 8 would be a good start.

Congress should resolve to respect personal liberty and free markets. Learn more about the free market and how it regulates commerce and produces greater prosperity better than any legislation or regulation. Understand that economic freedom IS freedom. Resolve not to get in the way of voluntary contracts between consenting adults. Stop bailing out failed yet politically connected companies and industries. Stop forcing people to engage in commerce when they don’t want to, and stop prohibiting them from buying and selling when they do want to. Stop trying to legislate your ideas of fairness. Protect property rights. Protect the individual. That is enough.

There are many more resolutions I would like to see my colleagues in Congress adopt, but respect for the Constitution and the oath of office should be at the core of everything members of Congress do in 2013.

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Ron Paul has left the House

His farewell speech is likely to be heralded as the most antipathy-filled since Eisenhower. Here’s the epic forty-eight minute video heard ’round ‘murica (but you won’t see this on TV):

The transcript can be found here.

TL;DW – Trust yourself, not the government.

Oh, and “the internet will provide the alternative to the government/media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda.” Yep.

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Ron Paul praises price gouging

Sure, I called it. But isn’t that special when Ron Paul backs me up on simple free market economics:

Had gas stations been allowed to raise their prices to reflect the increased demand for gasoline, only those most in need of gasoline would have purchased gas, while everyone would have economized on their existing supply. But because prices remained lower than they should have been, no one sought to conserve gas. Low prices signaled that gas was in abundant supply, while reality was exactly the opposite, and only those fortunate enough to be at the front of gas lines were able to purchase gas before it sold out. Not surprisingly, a thriving black market developed, with gas offered for up to $20 per gallon.

With price controls in effect, supply shortages were exacerbated. If prices had been allowed to increase to market levels, the profit opportunity would have brought in new supplies from outside the region. As supplies increased, prices gradually would have decreased as supply and demand returned to equilibrium. But with price controls in effect, what company would want to deal with the hassle of shipping gas to a disaster-stricken area with downed power lines and flooded highways when the same profit could be made elsewhere? So instead of gas shipments flooding into the disaster zones, what little gas supply is left is rapidly sold and consumed.

Governments fail to understand that prices are not just random numbers. Prices perform an important role in providing information, coordinating supply and demand, and enabling economic calculation. When government interferes with the price mechanism, economic calamity ensues. Price controls on gasoline led to the infamous gas lines of the 1970s, yet politicians today repeat those same failed mistakes. Instituting price caps at a below-market price will always lead to shortages. No act of any legislature can reverse the laws of supply and demand.

History shows us that the quickest path to economic recovery is to abolish all price controls. If governments really want to aid recovery, they would abolish their “price-gouging” legislation and allow the free market to function.

It’s a shame that RINO governor Chris Christie won’t listen to free market advocates, but he’ll be listening when citizens hit the voting booth next year and remember his handling of gas shortages by further exacerbating the situation with rationing. Even worse, they might remember him giving the green light to football fans to attend a Giants football game during said rationing and state of emergency. Or, they might remember that Christie was quick to send an army of 45 bureaucrats out to check gas station receipts.

Already polls are showing Governor Christie rather vulnerable against Democrat contenders (who most certainly would have also rationed gas, but go ahead and ask them yourselves). Hurricane Sandy and his mishandling of the aftermath have yet to be factored into these polls.

Gas rationing may have ended in New Jersey today, but the extended gas crisis’ actual costs to the New Jersey economy will no doubt haunt Christie well into next year’s re-election bid.

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GOP civil war: Herman Cain calls for new third party

Not content with getting his ass handed to him by the Ron Paul supporters over his comments on the Federal Reserve (“there were plenty of internal audits”), and being forced to walk away from the 2012 Republican primary campaign trail in disgrace over multiple alleged sex scandals, Herman Cain is now calling for a civil war within the GOP which will culminate in a new third party full of social conservatives:

“I never thought that I would say this, and this is the first time publicly that I’ve said it: We need a third party to save this country. Not Ron Paul and the Ron Paulites. No. We need a legitimate third party to challenge the current system that we have, because I don’t believe that the Republican Party … has the ability to rebrand itself,” Cain said.

You can listen to the whole radio interview here.

It’s pretty clear from his actions that Cain has no interest in building anything other than a gold palace to himself in his lifetime, so I say let him start off down the third party road to failure so many have traveled.

Cain’s Pro War and Racist Pizza Party can ignore the Federal Reserve’s deplorable fiscal policy of printing fiat money by the truckload, offer to leverage the government to force people to conform to socially conservative policies that are widely rejected, and we can all laugh when this inexperienced upstart third party fails miserably behind the Constitution Party due to the ridiculous ballot access laws.

The media sneering will of course be bipartisan in nature, but maybe we’ll come to like him again in Internet memes if he’ll flash that creepy smile at us some more.

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One million libertarians, two million libertarians

Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson did the unbelievable this Tuesday: he created the new high-water mark for Libertarians by earning over 1.1 million votes in the general election.

But — to paraphrase Kanye West, “Yo Johnson, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish, but Ron Paul had one of the biggest libertarian campaigns of all time.”

That’s right. Ron Paul, who ran as a Republican Party primary candidate for president, was this year’s actual winner of the highest libertarian campaign vote get, with over two million votes.

Now, big “L” purists would argue that Ron Paul’s campaign doesn’t count — but I’m busy counting libertarian votes, not Libertarian votes. And of course I’m coming from the position of wanting to elect libertarians; not merely paint a new, but otherwise meaningless, high-water mark.

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Germany wants to see its US gold reserves

Der Spiegel has an article about how German politicians are getting anxious about their gold reserves held by the Federal Reserve:

This demand, which even the bank’s inspectors saw as nothing more than routine, alarmed the Berlin political establishment. Indeed, the partially blacked-out report read like the prologue to an espionage thriller in which the stunned central bankers could end up standing in front of empty vaults in the US.

For decades, German central bankers have contented themselves with written affirmations from their American colleagues that the gold still remains where it is said to be stored. According to the report, the bar list from New York stems from “1979/1980.” The report also noted that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York refuses to allow the gold’s owners to view their own reserves. see more…

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Totalitarianism in the US: an “accident” waiting to happen

Clear-eyed “Numerian” over at The Money Party reminds us we’re on a dangerous historical path:

Show trials and party purges

The Republican Party has not yet been able to use the judiciary as a means of enforcing party dictates (other than through the traditional means of stacking the courts with Republican judges). Even though we haven’t had 1930s style show trials in the US, there has been an ominous development this week that has set the Republicans on the path of purges that weed out undesirables in the party. The usual process of the quadrennial political conventions is for the first ballot to be an open ballot, so that all the candidates who have run in the primaries and who won delegates to the convention will allow their name to be placed in nomination and votes counted from their supporters. Even in the case where a candidate such as Mitt Romney has locked up the nomination, this ritual is observed, if only to preserve party unity in the election (the losing nominees after the first ballot “free up” their delegates and urge them then to vote for the winner of the primaries).

This ritual was not observed this week at the Republican National Convention. Ron Paul received a substantial number of votes in the primaries and had a large number of delegates at the convention. The Romney team pushed some of these delegates off the floor and out of the convention quite unceremoniously, using trumped up reasons (with the seating of the state of Maine’s delegates, for example). Then, when it came time for the first ballot, even though the states went ahead and announced the votes for Ron Paul, the chair would ignore those and announce only the votes for Mitt Romney. Worse was to come. The party introduced rules that will make it much harder in future primaries for someone like Ron Paul to get much if any votes. These were put up for voice vote, and even though the nays obviously shouted louder than the yeas, the chair – in this case House Speaker John Boehner, called the vote for the yeas. In fact, people could see the teleprompter Boehner was using, where it clearly instructed him to say the yeas had won the vote no matter what he heard.

This is a classic party purge, and a number of Ron Paul delegates walked out of the convention in disgust (many of them are using the internet to announce they have left the party altogether). For the first time, and despite the fact Romney is in a very tight race for the presidency, party purity is more important than party unity. Once purges begin they are very difficult to end, and since Romney is something of an empty vessel on matters of principle (his policy program is nothing but the trite Republican bromides of tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation, and endless defense spending), it is up to the Tea Party faction to fight it out with the Evangelical Christian faction and the Oligarchic funders of the party to see which side will remain standing.

I put “accident” in quotes for Mr. Numerian because totalitarian fascist pricks tend to look a lot like the mafia. Family above all, turf and homeland. These concepts are evident even among democrats who recently claimed “the government is all we belong to“. Presumably, you eventually can’t leave.

“Nice country/business you got there, it would soy-ten-lee be a shame if anything happened to it. Especially because of those barbaric ________________ [insert current xenophobia-based bogeyman].”

But as Ron Paul kept reminding us: freedom is popular. And thankfully we’re seeing an overwhelming, and undeniable, surge of organized libertarian movers and shakers because of it.

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Ron Paul on Leno: jokes of 2016, no endorsement (video)

Ron Paul officially put to bed speculation he would be returning to the presidential stage this year as a candidate — or that he’d endorse any of the remaining candidates — on Tuesday’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

“The system is very biased,” Paul responded when asked by Leno whether he’d give it a shot as a third party or independent candidate.

“We talk a lot about democracy, and send our troops overseas, and want to spread democracy. But democracy isn’t all that healthy in this country. Because if you’re in a third party… you don’t get into the debates. The truth is I had tried to do for the last five years, what I have done, in a third party, I probably wouldn’t have gotten… made it to your show.”

Leno acknowledged Ron Paul’s refusal to be given a speaking role at the RNC last week, asking “If you had endorsed Romney, would you have gotten a speaking role?”

“I imagine I would have,” Paul replied, careful not to mention Romney by name.

Leno pressed for information on how negotiations went down with RNC event managers, Paul explained “the tent was too small and we had too many people.” Asked again if a Mitt Romney endorsement was a prerequisite, he confirmed it was, but “it’s not in writing.”

Leno cracked wise back, “kinda like NBC. Yeah okay, I get it.”

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Libertarian Chair helps explain Paul’s presidential predicament

Libertarian Party Chair Geoffrey Neale, in an letter to members helping allay rumors that Ron Paul was planning to magically take over the LP ticket:

Many supporters of Ron Paul have asked what it would take to get Ron Paul included on the Libertarian Party Presidential ticket. The scenario envisioned by inquirers is either Ron Paul taking the Presidential slot, with Gary Johnson dropping to the VP slot; or Ron Paul replacing Jim Gray in the VP slot.

Either scenario requires certain things to happen, and many have serious implications for the LP Ticket:

First, we have no indication that Ron Paul is interested in or would be willing to pursue such a path. Without such an indication, this really remains an intellectual exercise.

The second consideration is found in our Bylaws regarding the role of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) in relation to our Presidential ticket. Article 14 Section 4 states: “The National Committee shall respect the vote of the delegates at Nominating Conventions and provide full support for the Party’s nominee for President and nominee for Vice-President as long as their campaigns are conducted in accordance with the Platform of the Party.” In short, the LNC does not have the authority under our Bylaws to change the ticket unless “for cause”. No matter how strong an argument is made about the benefits of such a change to our vote totals, our delegates have set strict and strong limits upon our authority.

[...] I certainly can sympathize with the supporters of Ron Paul, and their hopes for being able to vote for Ron in November, but I think the feasibility of the LP being able to do so is difficult, and could be very costly to our Presidential Ticket results, due to the loss of ballot access in so many states. Even a large gain of Ron Paul supporters could be offset by the absence of our ticket on a large number of state ballots.

What I can say with certainty is that there will be a Presidential ticket on the ballot that supporters of Ron Paul can choose to vote for, and I urge each and every Ron Paul supporter to support the Libertarian Party ticket in November. [emphasis added]

With Ron Paul officially giving his farewell to the political race on Leno (both middle fingers metaphorically extended towards the bi-assed party system), not all is lost. Gary Johnson’s campaign may yet pick up some high-profile, willing endorsers now left without a candidate if they get out the lead and realize they don’t need Ron Paul to tell them it’s okay.

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Will Ron Paul make an independent run in 2012?

The Daily Paul has the most wishful thinking opinion pieces up post-RNC:

So we all know Ron is making a special announcement on Jay Leno on September 4th. I know many of us are hoping it’s that Ron is running Indy or third party. Some are hoping he will endorse Johnson.

I just got off the phone with someone very close to Ron and want to tell everyone that a third party run is possible. At this point that is not what the announcement is going to be. It’s also not a Johnson or Romney endorsement, so says my well placed source. Again, take it worth a grain of salt, but I trust that this person is close enough to Ron to know.

Up until know I have believed that there was ZERO chance Ron would run third party. However, after my phone call I believe there is a glimmer of hope. It’s too late for Ron to get on the ballot as an Indy, however Johnson has said in the past that he would step aside for Ron.

Now for the bad news..Ron does not think the grassroots would fully back him because of all of the Rand and Benton bashing that has taken place, but RON would LOVE to make a last major push for Liberty in the presidential debates.

WE HAVE TO TELL RON BEFORE SEPTEMBER 4th THAT WE WILL SUPPORT HIM AND FUND HIM AND BACK HIM. If he knows that, there is still a chance he could change his mind, and if Gary really will step aside for Ron, Ron may take one final shot as a Libertarian. There is no chance Johnson will be anywhere near 15% and therefore no chance Gary is going to be in any debates. However, if Ron is the LP nominee and Gary as VEEP (as much as I dislike Gary, I could accept that) Gary would be debating Biden.

Sadly, Paul supporters (the ones that truly go full paultard) should properly educate themselves about the 50+ different ballot access hurdles before spouting off nonsense like this.

I love that little “not hype” at the end of the headline… pshaaaa! see more…

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Ron Paul supporters storm off convention floor

Reason.tv reports: “Ron Paul-supporting delegates have accused the Republican establishment of changing the rules of the seating process in order to avoid embarassment for Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Their arguments are not without merit.”

“The Ron Paul faction did not go out quietly, cheering loudly whenever Ron Paul delegates were announced and yelling out the running tally of Paul votes every time the convention announcer failed to do so.”

“While Maine–and the broader Ron Paul movement–lost this symbolic battle, some delegates say that Republicans have made a bad mistake alienating the Ron Paul vote by picking this fight.”

“‘The party’s fractured. This was completely unnecessary, and it’s ridiculous,’ said Ron Paul supporter and Oklahoma delegate Steve Dixon.”

Paul supporters had vowed a floor fight, which has been handily snuffed out by procedural shenanigans.

“Work within the party,” they said. “You’ll be part of the process,” they said. Suckers.

UPDATE: The disunity has only just begun:

Members of Maine’s delegation to the Republican National Convention lost their battle to reseat 10 supporters of Ron Paul on Tuesday after a brief but boisterous floor fight, during which the hall echoed with chants of “Seat Maine now!”

Moments later, Paul’s delegates and alternates from Maine — some wearing clothespins on their noses — walked out of the convention hall in protest.

Eric Brakey writes:

After today’s exodus, the Maine Delegation held a rump national convention. I was elected National Convention Chair and we voted unanimously to nominate Ron Paul for President. It was over and done with in 60 seconds.

Our rump convention was held in jest, and yet it had more integrity and legitimacy than anything that took place inside that Tampa convention center.

Oh snap!

UPDATE II: Ron Paul’s supporters had embarrassingly more enthusiasm than Romney’s supporters when Ron Paul walked onto the convention floor championing a wreath of flowers (Hawaiian lei, we presume) around his neck. Tell us NBC:

Ron Paul’s appearance Tuesday on the floor of the Republican National Convention evoked split conventions of the past as the retiring Texas congressman received a hero’s welcome from supporters.

The former two-time GOP presidential candidate walked out to greet a roaring group of supporters from the Nevada delegation, one of several he won during the detailed process of allocating delegates to this convention.

When asked by NBC News what he hoped to accomplish by visiting the floor, Paul said, “Just saying hi to some friends from Nevada.”

Paul supporters started chanted, “Let Him Speak!” When Romney supporters started chanting “Romney, Romney!” Paul backers screamed “Ron Paul! Ron Paul,” drowning out the delegates pledged to the Republican nominee-in-waiting.

HA! Even NBC can’t cover for Romney when the enthusiasm gap has been exposed by Paul supporters in grand fashion. At his own convention, where we can finish laughing at the GOP presidency ambitions of 2012 when he’s handily beaten by entrenched incumbent Obama (or gasp, Gary Johnson) at the polls in November.

Don’t forget this moment.

UPDATE III: Linda Bean, scion of the LL Bean clothing empire is letting fly at Romney over being a control freak. Via Esquire:

“They just don’t want us on the floor,” Bean says. “They’re afraid.”

The latest hassle was a document the Romney wants them to sign. “They want us all to sign that we will agree with everything in the convention.”

Everything?

“Yeah, sign here that you will not oppose anything that Romney brings forth.”

That ain’t gonna fly with a bunch of libertarians, Bean says. “He’s too controlling.”

That’s not all.

“We aren’t even allowed to have our credentials for the next day — they’re passing them out new every day. What does that mean?”

Loyalty oaths are nothing new to the GOP, with George Bush bringing them in vogue during his 2004 re-election campaign. But Romney’s campaign seems to be getting ahead of themselves pushing such pledges at a contentious convention.

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Ron Paul Rocks 10K at USF Sun Dome

The New York Times is uncharacteristically generous in their coverage of the packed half-stadium rally held on Sunday:

TAMPA, Fla. — In a speech that was part motivational, part valedictory and at every opportunity critical of the mainstream Republican Party on the eve of its convention here this week, Representative Ron Paul declared his “liberty movement” alive and well on Sunday before a crowd of nearly 10,000 supporters who were eager to testify to that claim.

Ron Paul spoke for more than an hour and urged followers not to give up. “The worst thing we could do is be silent,” he said.

Mr. Paul said that he had recently read in newspapers that the so-called Ron Paul Revolution was over, and that whatever enthusiasm voters had shown toward his presidential campaign in the Republican primary season was gone.

“They only wish!” Mr. Paul thundered to an audience that seemed to become more energized with his every word, their roars of approval reaching a deafening level inside the Sun Dome at the University of South Florida.

I encourage you to see the entire video. With an introduction by son Rand Paul, we can conclusively prove that everyone can somehow forgive and forget that Rand was a campaign turncoat who prematurely endorsed Mitt Romney just a couple months back… just so long as he makes some funny TSA jokes.

Overshadowing the successful Ron Paul rally, which was free with a $10 minimum parking fee, had been a rather tense competition with P.A.U.L. Festival. Paul Fest and Paul Rally though haven’t seemed to play nice, and Ron Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton is reported to have sent a text message to the famous libertarian investor Peter Schiff among others telling them it was “bad news.”

The behind the scenes battle has someone video recording Schiff unwittingly reading off a text message from Benton to potential speakers (who bailed at the last minute). The Ron Paul Rally had also barred Iraq Veteran turned libertarian media spokesman Adam Kokesh from attending. Benton told Reason “We respect Adam’s service but he’s a very troubled young man. We just hope he can get his life together.”

Libertarians, Ron Paul, interpersonal drama… Grab some popcorn, this shit never gets old.

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Gary Johnson: “I have two words for Ron Paul. Thank you.”

The Tampa P.A.U.L. Festival was incredibly receptive to Gary Johnson, who hoped to woo Ron Paul’s Revolution in a fiery speech given at the ad hoc parallel libertarian events going on in Tampa, Florida this week.

In my strategist-tinted opinion, Johnson has easily been the most polished and electable candidate Libertarians have nominated since at least the days of Harry Brown. The fact that he’s been too busy climbing Mount Everest and other peaks when he wasn’t running successful and morally-intact businesses or fixing New Mexico’s government to even amass a closet of skeletons (you know the political vices where they climb some other peaks and ruin government) — well, it’s a nice added bonus to be the only remaining viable candidate talking about ending the military interventionist policies.

For a glimpse of how popular Johnson is becoming, stealthily and without media help, his book “Seven Principles of Good Government” was released at the end of July and has already run out of stock. The Kindle version is of course still available for a jaw-dropping $9.99, but I guess Johnson has to fund a campaign however he can given that most libertarians probably tapped out their political budgets on Ron Paul.

UPDATE: Check out Gary Johnson’s tribute video/commercial to Ron Paul. It would be nice to see Ron Paul give him a pat on the back somewhere along the line after the convention winds have calmed.

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Far outside the GOP convention, a party for Ron Paul

Roughly a thousand people mustered at the Florida State Fairgrounds, a boggling twenty minutes away from the actual GOP convention:

“The Republican Party has been like Lucy with the football, and all these suckers every year are Charlie Brown,” said Thomas Woods, a libertarian historian and analyst. “A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for the status quo, and anyone who thinks otherwise is absolutely delusional.”

“Dr. Paul will never endorse such a reprehensible human being.”

The rally so far has been much smaller in comparison to previous venue blowouts to see Doctor No, but the republicans have been putting in overtime to discourage libertarians from being anywhere near the crowning ceremony.

10,000 are expected to show up to see Ron Paul speak on Sunday.

Lesson to the GOP: The liberty movement size will ebb and flow, but never go away.

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GOP to Ron Paul: No endorsement, no speech

Ron Paul — because he’s a libertarian republican and not the other way around — is being discriminated against by the GOP bigwigs once again:

Mr. Paul, in an interview, said convention planners had offered him an opportunity to speak under two conditions: that he deliver remarks vetted by the Romney campaign, and that he give a full-fledged endorsement of Mr. Romney. He declined.

“It wouldn’t be my speech,” Mr. Paul said. “That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him for president.”

Mr. Paul’s campaign chairman, Jesse Benton, acknowledged the frustrations that the Paul high command had been forced to manage.

Some true believers want to “dress in black, stand on a hill and say, ‘Smash the state,’ ” said Mr. Benton, who is married to one of Mr. Paul’s granddaughters. But “it’s not our desire to have floor demonstrations. That would cost us a lot more than it would get us.”

Just eight years ago, “it was fringy people in the John Birch Society” who were espousing Mr. Paul’s ideas for taking on the Federal Reserve system, Mr. Benton said. “Now it’s the Republican Party” that has drafted a platform plank calling for auditing the central bank.

The purity of the movement’s principles has long left it in a form of self-imposed isolation. The minimalist role it envisions for government repels a vast majority of Democrats; its noninterventionist foreign policy and live-and-let-live social views repel most Republicans.

It’s not self-imposed when you’re being told to endorse X or not be allowed to attend Y, dipshits.

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Rand Paul to speak, endorse Romney at GOP convention

Hammer of Truth has learned that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has made the cut to speak at the week-long event held in Tampa Florida beginning, according to an announcement by Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. The announcement comes just a few days after news that Congressman Ron Paul — Rand’s father and erstwhile presidential candidate — would be barred from speaking. A side rally dubbed “Paulfest” is officially being organized by Paul supporters outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum as a protest by the Paul campaign at the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome.

Rand Paul is already the libertarian favorite for 2016 should Romney fail to oust Barack Obama. We’ve been informed by sources inside the Paul campaign and D.C. Republicans that Rand Paul will be endorsing Mitt Romney (again) and that there’s virtually no chance that he’ll be picked for the VP slot.

Regardless of party politics playing an apparent role, Rand is one of two speakers newly selected — Rick Santorum was announced at the same time — that shows the 2012 GOP Convention is not a completely closed tent affair to the vociferous votes of libertarian or christian evangelicals.

After showing their primary clout in sinking Romney’s favorability ratings enough for several losses, it was wise not to exclude them.

Update: Added clarification on details of Ron Paul’s rally.

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House deliberates H.R. 459 under hour before postponing

21:49 EDT: House adjourned for the day. Evidently the stalling tactics will continue until morale improves.

20:40 EDT:

You can catch a C-SPAN video of the bill being introduced and supported — including a very fiery speech by this Lakewood resident’s very own Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and of course Ron Paul (R-TX) himself — starting around the 41 minute mark.

17:14 EDT: Looks like it’s going to be a late night in D.C. as we watch (and read) the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2011, A.K.A. the Audit the Fed bill, slowly makes its way through the sausage grinder democratic process:

Time Bill Activity
3:07:54 P.M.
The Speaker announced that votes on suspensions, if ordered, will be postponed until a time to be announced.
3:10:00 P.M. H.R. 459
Mr. Issa moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. H.R. 459 — “To require a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal reserve banks by the Comptroller General of the United States before the end of 2012, and for other purposes.”
3:10:12 P.M. H.R. 459
Considered under suspension of the rules.
3:10:16 P.M. H.R. 459
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 459.
3:40:00 P.M.
MOMENT OF SILENCE – The House observed a moment of silence in memory of Officer Jacob J. Chestnut and Detective John M. Gibson of the United States Capitol Police.
3:41:00 P.M. H.R. 459
DEBATE – The House resumed debate on H.R. 459, as amended.
4:01:29 P.M. H.R. 459
At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.

Less than an hour and then poof, to the back of the bus behind a bill on allowing child labor on farms and another expanding oil drilling. We’ll be updating this post once the bill comes back on the floor. It is expected to pass the House with “292 votes if everyone shows up”, and make its way to the Senate.

15:07 EDT: H.R. 459 Introduced by Darrell Issa (R-CA).

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Gary Johnson’s headache for the GOP

He’s peeling voters away left and right, but especially right:

There hasn’t been a single poll out of Colorado this year that’s shown Mitt Romney ahead of Barack Obama. Tuesday’s Public Policy Polling poll is no exception: Obama leads Romney in a head-to-head matchup by 49 percent to 42 percent.

But add libertarian Gary Johnson to the mix and the numbers are slightly different: Obama leads 47-39, with 7 percent going to Johnson, according to the PPP poll.

At that level of support, if Johnson qualifies for the ballot, he could end up having a significant impact in a three-way matchup — not only in Colorado but across the Mountain West, where he figures to run strongest.

And it’s clear from a recent NPR interview that Johnson is intent on picking up the Ron Paul revolution torch:

“You know, I think that the message that I’m delivering is really identical to that of Ron Paul and Ron Paul, being a messenger, this would be coming out of his mouth, I’m the same thing. I’m a messenger here of the whole freedom/liberty agenda and the fact that I don’t think Ron Paul’s going to be the nominee – that would be by his own admission.”

“So this message comes to an end, unless I switch parties, become a Libertarian and, yeah, I get to continue this message. And I think it’s really important.”

If Johnson were to put on his political hat and seriously offer Ron Paul the Treasury Secretary position beforehand, it would be just due course for the Paul campaign organism to veer into the Johnson camp. At this point though, it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to meet the 15% threshold requirement for admission into the dreaded Commission on Presidential Debates (the corporate outfit that’s been keeping it two-party only since Perot’s 1992 bid nearly derailed the duopoly).

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Joe Scarborough on why he voted for Ron Paul

If the Libertarian Party doesn’t capitalize on this, oh my gosh I’ll be disappoint:

It was the first “protest” vote I’ve ever cast, and it felt … well, it felt good. Suddenly I understood a bit better why the Ross Perot or the Pat Buchanan or the Ralph Nader voters did what they did.

They thought the system was so broken that they couldn’t sit out but also couldn’t stomach voting for a conventional candidate at a time of unconventional problems.

Do I think a Ron Paul presidency is ever possible? No, I don’t. But I do want some of the Pauline virtues of candor and non-poll-tested conviction to play a larger role in our politics.

So now I’ve cast my protest vote. It felt good.

What I really want, though, is a party and a politics that’s commensurate with the problems and possibilities of the country. We’ll get there one day — and then we can focus on progress, not protest.

With Ron Paul semi-officially out of contention, the only credible third party or independent candidate left is going to be Gary Johnson. The only question is if everyone on the fence will once again wait until it’s too late to breathe life into his “brand awareness” campaign either financially or in-kind volunteering.

The tsunamis of voter discontent with the two-party system have been slamming higher and higher into public life on a regular basis every four years since Perot proved it could almost be done (you still need ridiculous amounts of money to be a threat to the party establishment). Around the world this is playing out with regularity as the masses discard their old political parties.

Maybe this is the year the tsunami of discontent topples a U.S. presidential election.

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