• Views of the political parties have soured. For the first time at this point in at least six elections, voters are inclined to see both the Republican and Democratic parties unfavorably.
• Views of the candidates are worse than in 2008. At this point four years ago, 63% viewed Obama favorably; now 53% do. Then, 59% viewed Republican John McCain favorably; now 48% view Romney favorably.
• The enthusiasm gap that boosted Obama in 2008 has turned around this year. Now 53% of Republicans and those who lean Republican say they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting this year, compared with 46% of Democrats and Democratic leaners.
• Obama gets more blame for negative attacks than he did in 2008. Then, 30% accused him of attacking his Republican opponent unfairly; now 44% do. In contrast, 40% say Romney is attacking Obama unfairly, compared with 48% who said that of McCain four years ago.
In 2008, 25% said both candidates would make good presidents. Now, just 12% do.
USA Today finally acknowledging the stench of duopoly? Fucking awesome.
Not bothering to mention non-duopoly options? Fucking typical.
Mitt Romney is busy this week: finally winning the Republican Party’s presidential primary; trying (and failing) to quell the Ron Paul schism developing within the GOP; Keeping Paul Ryan from saying anything in light of recent embarrassing party remarks about rape and abortion.
Seizing a unique opportunity to blindside the campaign, the DNC went on full attack and has doubled-down on the “You didn’t build that” gaffe made by President Obama. By sharpening the end and pointing it directly at Romney and his career of brutal capitalism, they’ve aptly made a weapon of the gaffe by turning the spotlight back on his record at Bain Capital (well over a decade ago).
Making a further issue of Romney’s finance tycoon past could ultimately backfire on democrat strategists as the current weak economy — destroyed in part by Obama — weighs on voters’ minds. After all, Romney could fire back that he’s done learned from his mistakes and Obama has merely been trying to learn on the job.
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.
“It is noteworthy that so many Republican men are focused on women’s reproduction and issues of the hearth, while veteran Republican women leaders are riveted on the economy and jobs. Could it be that the liberal goal of reversing sex roles finally is manifesting, most vividly within the party least likely to have advanced the cause of evolution? If only men could get pregnant, then we’d really have a rollicking debate. If only…”
“Meanwhile, Romney had better speak often and with conviction about his own disagreement with some of his party’s platform, or the anti-woman narrative will become so entrenched that the 2012 GOP may go down in history as having sacrificed the nation’s economy to protect the rights of human embryos.”
I had this poop that was so bad one time that it felt like childbirth. If only…
But seriously though, this is one of those ruinous wedge issues that runs through every party because of its religious intonations and of course paternalism. The only thing missing is for the media to conveniently trot out some young women who have had abortions and are incidentally the daughters of powerful Republican men.
I agree wholeheartedly with the “scientifically proven” fact that “77% of Americans believe birth control shouldn’t be part of the national political debate.” But reality doesn’t just wish itself away.
In conclusion: keep making babies fill up the earth so we overflow into the stars.
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.
“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 incomparisontoprevious venue blowouts to see Doctor No, but the republicans have been putting in overtime to discourage libertarians from being anywhere near the crowning ceremony.
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 notself-imposed when you’re being told to endorse X or not be allowed to attend Y, dipshits.
The latest mass shooting in NYC illustrates an interesting wrinkle in the state’s rush to claim monopoly rights to gun ownership. Namely that they then become the perpetrators of mass shootings, in the midst of chaotic enforcement attempts:
Reuters’ Lily Kuo is reporting eight bystanders were wounded in total, not nine. But if The Times’ figures about the bullets are accurate, the total number of injured wouldn’t affect the story that police bullets accounted for all injuries, because all of Johnson’s bullets would be accounted for. The problem is, the available information keeps changing. Earlier in the day, The Associated Press and others were reporting that Johnson only fired three shots at Ercolino, not five, which would have two of his rounds unaccounted for. The AP’s report now says five. Based on the latest information from The Times, however, and a little math, it looks like stray police bullets are to blame for most, if not all of the injured bystanders.
The details still seem to be coming slowly on this latest American gun-involved tragedy, but keep in mind that while the statist control freaks whine on and on in the aftermath, it was their own enforcers who ended up slinging bullets into innocent bystanders in pursuit of the bad guy.
Highly trained, professional, yadda yadda. And they nearly re-enacted the Boston Massacre.
It’s only a matter of waiting until these innocent bystanders receive the statist’s most ignominious label in the ongoing war on bad people: collateral damage.
Update: There’s surveillance video of the chaotic scene.
Litigious update: Begin the countdown clock on one of these dumbstruck bystanders hitting the city with a lawsuit. Between nine people set up with some hospital bills related to NYPD GSW, someone’s bound to not be taking it like a champ for Mayor Blammo and his anti-anti-anti-everything crusade that’s driving New Yorkers bonkers:
The NYPD said the two officers fired a total of 16 rounds. Johnson’s handgun was able to hold eight rounds and at least one round was still in the clip, police said. It’s possible he had a second magazine, CBS 2′s Dick Brennan reported.
Police said it is unlikely that Johnson fired during the shootout. One witness told investigators that Johnson fired, but ballistics tests don’t back that up, authorities said.
[...] The wounded victims included five women and four men, ages 20 to 56, authorities said.
So the police shot first, and then kept shooting. Warm up a jury.
No, no more events through the end of December ’13. No nothing. See, some things you might want to know about me:
1.) I don’t like people. Some people say I am just shy but no really, I don’t like people.
2.) Repressing my misanthropy might have helped me raise money but it ruined my comedy.
3.) Everything is video now. I’m radio. Tired of having to femme up my look for acceptable biz standards. Grooming, thinking about how I look on camera, takes too much goddamn time away from what I would rather be doing…
4) I am a grumpy menopausal objectivist dyke. I don’t want to hear another fucking explanation by some 20 something doped up paleo meat eating Gary Johnson t-shirt wearing IHS intern about why markets work. I know how fucking markets work, kid. They had books before Ron Paul changed your life.
5.) When I left jobs and businesses that actually made money to work for the Libertarian Party of CA in ’06, I didn’t realize I was signing up for 40 plus years of PR shilling for Tyler Cowan, Hans Herman Hoppe, “Pinochet,” “newsletters,” Randy Barnett, Gary North, every friggin’ member the Paul family, that guy who dyed himself blue with the silver, global warming denial, that asshole Mercola who wants you to think that soy beans will make yr tits grow, the Volokh Conspiracy, Charles Fucking Murray, and Paul Ryan. It will be 6 yrs next month. Enough already.
(It could just be a little Ruby Ridge rage.) #governmentatrocitytour
Do as she says, we’re pretty confident she’s armed with more sharp wit along with the 12-guage, and obviously more experience than any ten YAL whippersnappers combined.
In my travels across this great land of ours, I’ve had the fun and sometimes not-so-fun occasion to stumble across this chasm of human oddity. In these travels, I’ve met more scientifically gifted minds in libertarian circles (computers, finance, world’s smallest political quiz takers, and for Carl Milstead the world’s most retro) than in government officials.
Anecdote: I once pub crawled with The Lakewood city fire chief whose one of many priorities was securing funds for a faster boat during the epic downturn of recent yore. He was a proper chap though and just wants to do his job as best as he understands the system presented to him.
Inappropriate Anecdote: Somewhere along the line at one of the seedier bars with stovetop shoved in a closet gigs, I had the worst urge to manifest porcelain and expel the terrible gut-wrenching fiasco of fully digested nachos and previous night’s round of beers. All without recourse to a proper bathroom. I truly felt bad for the stranger who walked in while the devastation of a slight buzz and lack of giving a fuck gave way to absurd relief.
Where was I, not on human oddity, but the libertarian nerd. see more…
In a most recent web video/ad entitled “Job Boom” Gary Johnson once again personally delivers another spoken dialogue imploring Americans to vote for him before the two-party system completely mucks everything up. I’m happy to finally see a Libertarian Party presidential candidate doing a substantial job of taking control of their own narrative and talking directly to people about the real economic and liberty issues. But at the end of the day I’ll admit he needs to go a lot further to win that superficial gay female vote.
Politico: “The pages of Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie and (following yesterday’s Drudge bump) David Petraeus have been locked after Colbert, citing a Fox News report about the jump in revisions to Sarah Palin’s page in 2008, encouraged viewers to ‘go on Wikipedia, and make as many edits as possible to your favorite VP contender.’”
This comes on the heels of a report earlier this week by Micah Sifry: “None of Wikipedia entries for the current candidates being bandied about by Romney-watchers — Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Kelly Ayotte or Pawlenty — are currently showing anything like the spike in edits that Cyveillance spotted on Palin and Biden’s pages back in 2008. But most of those came in the 24 hours prior to the official announcement.”
Stephen Colbert of course deserves full credit for throwing the monkey wrench in Wikipedia when he told viewers: “We could be looking at Vice President Season Six of Buffy-the-Vampire Slayer. So, Nation, let your voice be heard in this history decision. Go on Wikipedia, and make as many edits as possible to your favorite VP contender.”
Sifry responds: “Oh well, I guess we all just pushed the needle deeper into the haystack.”
Fraught with source-less public opinion numbers, Gary Johnson’s latest ad is positive affirmation that he’s 100% on your side of the composite voter survey. With that kind of message, it can’t hurt that the video style leans towards Apple, but with awkwardly obvious b-roll clips (is that Dick Cheney sipping wine and gazing into the sea?).
Johnson will need to turn all that issue agreeing into impressive crowd mojo and increased fundraising if he’s going to claim the media spotlight as the non-duopoly contender.
Brian Wang at Next Big Future provides a ten-point list on the U.S. energy situation that should help put to bed the belief that we’re running full speed off the energy cliff (he also makes a strong case for more nuclear research).
Here’s some ridiculously high numbers of untapped oil in the U.S.:
10. Assigning estimated barrels of oil to various basins and shale oil plays plus including an estimate of yet to be discovered shale oil, I came to an estimate of oil in place. Oil in place in the continental US is from about 3 trillion to 5 trillion barrels of oil not including the 4.5 trillion barrels of oil shale.
1.53 trillion barrels Piceance Basin of Colorado (USGS, June 2011 oil shale)
1.44 trillion barrels Green River formation (USGS, June 2011 oil shale)
1.32 trillion barrels for the Uinta Basin of Utah and Colorado. (USGS, June 2011 oil shale)
260-500 billion barrels Monterey Formation (tight oil)
271-503 billion barrels Bakken Formation (tight oil)
Aggressive use of new fracking technology and combined with fire flooding and water flooding could enable 20-30% recovery rates. Large amounts of the Oil shale is likely recoverable with fire flooding. So 6.5 trillion to 9.5 trillion barrels of oil, with 20-30% recovery rates is 1.3 to 2.8 trillion barrels of oil. Oil Shale like in the Green River Formation cannot be recovered with horizontal drilling. It will require fire flooding or some other likely insitu method.”
Our current global burn rate is estimated to be 85-90K barrels per day. Doing some back of the napkin math — 1.3 trillion barrels of oil from the U.S. alone would last the entire world well over 39,000 years at current consumption levels.
Even accounting for a world population that consistently expands, it’s a solid cornucopian case for oil.
Once again we can partially agree with Romney, though it’s painfully obvious he’s just been listening to Ron Paul’s fiscal conservatism and wants to hitch a ride on that political undercurrent. From CNN:
“I am sure the Fed is watching and will try to encourage the economy. But I don’t think a massive new QE3 will help the economy,” Romney said, referring to a program called quantitative easing.
While July’s just-released jobs figures showed the public sector taking a major beating, Romney repeated his belief that a government stimulus program is not the right course, saying the first one did not work and “expecting a different result is, as famously said, the definition of insanity.”
The replicators on Star Trek can’t be far now, except it’s not food the budding tinkerers are thinking about making, it’s guns:
HaveBlue’s custom creation is a .22-caliber pistol, formed from a 3D-printed AR-15 (M16) lower receiver, and a normal, commercial upper. In other words, the main body of the gun is plastic, while the chamber — where the bullets are actually struck — is solid metal.
The lower receiver was created using a fairly old school Stratasys 3D printer, using a normal plastic resin. HaveBlue estimates that it cost around $30 of resin to create the lower receiver, but “Makerbots and the other low cost printers exploding onto the market would bring the cost down to perhaps $10.” Commercial, off-the-shelf assault rifle lower receivers are a lot more expensive. If you want to print your own AR-15 lower receiver, HaveBlue has uploaded the schematic to Thingiverse.
HaveBlue tried to use the same lower receiver to make a full-blown .223 AR-15/M16 rifle, but it didn’t work. Funnily enough, he thinks the off-the-shelf parts are causing issues, rather than the 3D-printed part.
While this pistol obviously wasn’t created from scratch using a 3D printer, the interesting thing is that the lower receiver — in a legal sense at least — is what actually constitutes a firearm. Without a lower receiver, the gun would not work; thus, the receiver is the actual legally-controlled part.
Yes, it’s technically an illegal gun until he registers it. But as inventors like this keep pushing the boundaries of possibility in DIY weaponry, attempts to regulate and control firearms have definitely run into a new wrinkle.
For ways to have your own Maker Bot to construct future guns for you, just follow the handy instructions. I’m guessing we’ll eventually get around to the replicators that take voice commands for food only after we’re able to shoot them if they don’t comply (or tries to poison us).
In what is probably the most under-reported campaign website gaffe of the 2012 presidential election, we’ve learned that between Mitt Romney’s digital staff of well over 80, none of them were able or willing to correct a glaring mistake in tagging posts. The most recent “error” takes place as recently as a couple weeks ago.
Here’s a snapshot of the tag results page for Bain Capitol, with 10 results:
And here’s a snapshot of the tag results page for Bain Capital, with 0 results (and an error to boot):
Now of course there’s an argument to be made that the auto-complete feature in many CMS platforms may have played a role in the company name faux pas, but with such a large web team overseeing all that’s published, I’m willing to bet ($10,000 fucking dollars, yo) that this is an intentional misspelling to further confuse Romney’s time at Bain.
UPDATE 8/29: The Romney campaign has added correct Bain Capital tags to two posts with the correct spelling in addition to the “o” variant. So that’s two semi-corrections and eight still tagged wrong. Ahh, corporate bureaucracy in action.
During an interview with a news station in London, rapper and actor Ice T was able to coolly and calmly explain the fundamental reasons not to knee-jerk towards gun control every time some idiot gets it in their mind to kill a bunch of people for attention (which they get, in spades). The kicker: Ice T was being filmed while news of the shooting was just breaking across the pond.
I’m a bit conflicted on Ice T, because on one hand he’s had a rich history of criminal activity with guns (a lot of which he escaped earthly judgement for), on the other he seems to have a great deal of expertise to share on the subject of guns and terrorism psychology because of it.
“I’ll give up my gun when everybody else does.” Agreed.
21:49 EDT: House adjourned for the day. Evidently the stalling tactics will continue until morale improves.
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:
The Speaker announced that votes on suspensions, if ordered, will be postponed until a time to be announced.
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.”
Considered under suspension of the rules.
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 459.
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.
DEBATE – The House resumed debate on H.R. 459, as amended.
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).
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at Kim Dotcom’s latest musical public appeal in the ongoing extradition and copyright case against MegaUpload, but props for giving the C-G-Am-F chords a very polished run through in this video aimed at Occupiers, Anonymous and Barack Obama himself.
Fun sidenote: If you’re the president and you’ve somehow managed to alienate New Zealand officials enough that they won’t visit, you’re doing a terrible job.
CNN’s David Frum is watching every press conference in the ongoing character assassination campaign:
And it was that “win the hour” mentality that got the Romney campaign into much more serious trouble when the Obama campaign launched a big push on Romney’s business record the next day.
Thursday morning, the Obama campaign released a tough ad attacking the record of downsizing and outsourcing at Romney’s old firm, Bain Capital.
The Romney campaign reacted with outrage. That same day, it announced a multimillion-dollar purchase of airtime for an ad that bluntly accused President Obama of lying.
In support of the ad, Romney’s team argued that he had left Bain Capital in February 1999; the incidents alluded to by the Obama campaign all occurred after that date and had nothing to do with Romney.
Wham. The first attack on Romney had been a jab, dropping Romney’s guard against the haymaker: On Friday, the Obama team counter-charged that it was Romney who was lying in his ads or who had committed a felony, lying on 140 official forms that he signed as CEO and sole shareholder of Bain between 1999 and 2002.
[...] Romney’s core problem is this: He heads a party that must win two-thirds of the white working-class vote in presidential elections to compensate for its weakness in almost every demographic category. The white working class is the most pessimistic and alienated group in the electorate, and it especially fears and dislikes the kind of financial methods that gained Romney his fortune.
Romney has a strong potential defense: Bain was in the business of making companies more efficient and profitable. Downsizing and outsourcing were necessary — and often indispensable — means to that end… However, it’s not an argument that appeals much to the voters Romney most intensely needs to win. Hence his unleashing of the war room — but in the end, there’s only so much a war room can do. And this time, by trying to do too much, the Romney war room may have blasted its own side with lethal friendly fire.
It’s hard to find voters that identify with either candidate at this point in what has been an overwhelmingly negative game of “hate-monger your opponent”.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is conducting aggressive maneuvers against Iran with not a peep from either candidate (even Bush would have been politically smart enough to rub something like this in Kerry’s face by now).
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