Posts tagged ‘Ron Paul’

August 29, 2011

Quote of the Day

by Vince

“I don’t see Islam as our enemy. I see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land, the support of their dictators that they hate,” –Ron Paul on how he sees America’s foreign policy, not Islam, as a threat to America.

June 23, 2011

Legalization of Marijuana Hits Congress

by Vince

Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced a bill today that would amend the government’s Controlled Substances Act to remove all federal penalties for the production, distribution, and possession of marijuana, effectively striking down its classification as a scheduled drug.

The bill aims to allow individual states to set their own marijuana laws without the concern of being overridden on the federal level. The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 [pdf] — the first bill of its kind — resembles the repeal of the 18th Amendment in that it restricts the government’s role in controlling the substance to keeping the drug out states where it is banned.

“The legislation would limit the federal government’s role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or inter-state smuggling, allowing people to legally grow, use or sell marijuana in states where it is legal,”  according to the MPP statement.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), is the first of its kind to be proposed in Congress that would end the 73-year-old federal marijuana prohibition that began with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

Although Frank insists that this “is not a legalization bill,” it will be an excellent test for those in Congress who claim to be for a limited, smaller, federal government — one that gives more power to the states whenever possible as Paul and the “tea party” have rallied for over the last few years.

If the bill somehow makes it through both houses of Congress, it would be interesting to see if President Obama would sign it, seeing as the president’s feelings on the controversial matter have been hazy.

“We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws,” Obama said in Feb. 2008. “But I’m not somebody who believes in legalization of marijuana. What I do believe is that we need to rethink how we’re operating in the drug war. Currently, we’re not doing a good job.”

During a conference call today, Frank suggested what he’d like to see states do with their new autonomy, expressing his view that “prosecuting responsible adults who make the decision that they wish to smoke marijuana interferes with their personal freedom.” He said he was “particularly struck by the hypocrisy of public officials who will themselves talk about smoking marijuana, wink at it, and then make it criminal for other people,” which results in “a very discriminatory pattern of enforcement.” (Ahem, Bloomberg.) Frank conceded the bill “has no chance of passing” anytime soon, but added, “I think we are making progress. I think the public is way ahead of the legislators on this….This is an educational process.”

The bill amends the Controlled Substances Act so that marijuana is no longer a scheduled drug and declares:

This Act [the CSA] shall not apply to marihuana, except that it shall be unlawful only to ship or transport, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, marihuana, from one State, Territory, or District of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, into any other State, Territory, or District of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or from any foreign country into any State, Territory, or District of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, when such marihuana is intended, by any person interested therein, to be received, possessed, sold, or in any manner used, either in the original package or otherwise, in violation of any law of such State, Territory, or District of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

I take from this all that the states will deal with marijuana issues on their own terms (some are with their heavily militarized approaches). The rest of the fine details I have not fully digested yet.

(TDW/latimes /reason

May 27, 2011

Gary Johnson Meets GOP Unreason

by Vince


As governor, Mr Johnson showed that a non-ideological, pragmatic libertarianism can work as a governing philosophy. But neither full-blooded libertarians nor allegedly liberty-loving tea-party enthusiasts really care much about governing. Libertarians, accustomed to dwelling on the margins of American politics, participate in elections without hope of electoral success, if they participate at all. For them, presidential campaigns offer at best an occasion to preach the libertarian gospel to the wary public, and the more table-pounding the better.

Another sigh:

Johnson’s style – relaxed, calm, patient – is ill-suited to the times. His principles and beliefs challenge conservatives and liberals alike while offering nothing to the nationalist rassentiment that pervades the Republican party these days. Ron Paul’s movement is, fundamentally, based on emotion; Johnson makes the mistake of trying to appeal to reason. That won’t work this year.

Gary Johnson by far is not the perfect candidate in my eyes but he looks better to me than Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Hermain Cain, and Ron Paul. The again, those aforementioned have just about the same chance (not much) of winning the nomination.

May 24, 2011

Need a Libertarian Candidate in 2012?

by Vince

There is Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. I support Johnson. Here is a good read that explains why.

May 14, 2011

Ron Paul on Taking Out OBL

by Vince

If he was POTUS, he wouldn’t have had taken OBL out in the night:

“I think things could have been done somewhat differently,” Paul said this week. “I would suggest the way they got Khalid [Sheikh] Mohammed. We went and cooperated with Pakistan. They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us, and he’s been in prison. Why can’t we work with the government?”

Brian Doherty breaks it down:

This very controversial position is in line with his general sense that the U.S. should not and need not act like a power that can do whatever it wants wherever it wants, and that other people and nations in the Middle East generally deserve to be treated with the same sympathy and empathy as any other. He’s held firm to these stances, and seems like he’ll continue to, though it remains to be seen how many GOP primary voters will go along with him.

Doug Mataconis wraps it up:

In general, I tend to agree with Paul in principle. A foreign policy based on the idea that American can and should throw its weight around in the world for whatever reason it wants strikes me as a recipe for eternal war abroad, and deprivations of civil liberties and massive government spending at home. Paul, however, seems to apply this principle in an overly strict, some would say old fashioned manner that doesn’t take into account the realities of the world. The Pakistan of 2003 when KSM was captured is not the same as the Pakistan of 2011, and, arguably, Osama bin Laden is a far different target than Mohammed. Moreover, I think the Administration’s skepticism about trusting the Pakistani “government” with any of the operational or intelligence details of this mission before it took place was fairly well-placed given the considerable evidence that they aren’t necessarily trustworthy.

I agree with Doug. But in principle, I don’t believe it’s in America’s best interest to rampage through certain areas of the world. If we do, we have to accept creating some madness in the process.

March 25, 2011

Rand Paul in 2012

by Vince
It’s possible
, that is as long as his pops doesn’t run again:

At an appearance earlier this week in South Carolina, the first-term senator and member of the Senate’s Tea Party Caucus said the only decision he’s made on 2012 is that he won’t run if his father opts for a bid.

The elder Paul is seriously considering what would be his third presidential bid, but hasn’t made an official decision.

Rand Paul has trips to both Iowa and New Hampshire on his schedule in the coming weeks.

Rand is a Tea Party politician that I can actually digest. He seems to be acceptable in my eyes except when he says that he wouldn’t of supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because corporations should be allowed to discriminate when hiring workers.

November 5, 2010

Making Sense of the Midterms: Part 1

by Vince

Here I go.

As the NY Times show, the GOP gained 60 House seats and 6 Senate seats. This was the biggest “shellacking”, taken from Obama’s wording, in 70 years. I don’t intend to spin this any which way but I want to look a bit at what could come from all this.

To start, Dave True blogged on this election here and here. As he mentions, this week is truly a hard one if you are a Democrat / Liberal / Progressive and a victorious one if you are a Republican / Conservative. It is unclear what the GOP controlled House can do with a Democratic Senate and President. Some may think back to 1994. However, this is far from 1994 in many ways. The pressure, to a moderate degree, I believe, will be on the GOP to 1) produce something of worth for their base 2) mount a surge for a president (they need a viable candidate first) 3) and figure out what to do with the differing ideologies between Republicans and the staunchly Conservative Tea Party.

For the first, they have put forth the Pledge to America. It is an ode to basic America; we don’t need no damn 1,000 page documents, give us it in them there plain language without the expert hoopla. The Pledge, however, could clash with Democratic Washington in terms of vetoes and votes. Even if the were to produce something of worth, I question whether their proposals would cut $100 billion in one year (this would be the most since 1963 when they first started tracking this) or even the debt in general over a course of time. I will go off in a bit on my views regarding the tax cuts for the rich. Be ready for that.

On number 2, there are a plethora of candidates out there in GOP land openly moving or tip toeing towards the GOP nomination: Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich (?), Sarah Palin (?), Herman Cain (??), and a handful of other Senators / Reps. Can any of them truly touch Obama politically? Maybe I am so far removed from the bullshit spin, but I see Obama as a very well thought out president through and through, a non-Christianist pick (there is a difference between a Christianist and a Christian, just as there is a difference between a Muslim and a Islamist), fair, and extremely smart. His grass roots will need to support him on this. With the recent mid term hit for Democrats, I don’t take it as a total blow directed towards Obama himself but to a large degree what is expected when it comes to voting during the midterms for a first term president, especially when the economy is quite grim.

Finally, Draino wondered the other day if the Tea Party will be thrown under the bus by the Republicans. If that happened, I wouldn’t be able to stop laughing. Just imagine that: a grass roots group being used for their political zeal to put a group of politicians in office only to be punked. Going back to 1994, Newt Gingrich had a plan, and by plan, he meant shut down Washington and lead towards a deeper sense of polarization. That backfired, had Bill Clinton looking like the good guy (he was nearly invicible, if you think about it), and as Paul Krugman believes, “may even deter the GOP from being too confrontational this time around.”

October 13, 2010

Death, Taxes, and Money!

by Vince

55+ congressional co-signers wrote a letter to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform advocating defense cuts. Read their full letter here. Here are some excerpts:

We also think that significant savings can be found if we subject to similar scrutiny strategic choices that have led to the retention and continued development of Cold War-era weapons systems and initiatives such as missile defense.While the Soviet Union and its allies nearly matched the West’s level of military expenditure during the Cold War, no other nation today remotely approaches the 44% share of worldwide military spending assumed by the United States. China, for instance, spends barely one-fifth as much on military power as the United States. Instead of protecting us against a clear and determined foe and enemy, Defense Department planning and strategic objectives now focus on stemming the emergence of new threats by maintaining a vast range of global commitments on all continents and oceans. We believe that such commitments need to be scaled back.

A really neat chart can be found here to buy. It explains it all!

October 1, 2010

“Tea and Crackers”

by Vince

Matt Taibbi visited Kentucky to see Sarah Palin speak:

Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it’s going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit. All of them. At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry’s medals and Barack Obama’s Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them.

Taibbi continues on, describing the Tea Party as “not really caring about issues” or fundamental changes in political policy but truly a group characterized by seeing with a “psychological divide” between purist fundamentalism and “the far left”.

Taibbi centers his piece mainly on railing against Rand Paul (“he is a fake”), his father Ron, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party. I could care less about the politics of Rand Paul. I actually find some of the libertarian views that he and his father take up as intriguing. But Taibbi includes a note about the group Americans for Prosperity, which Barack Obama has called out:

Joining them in the fight was another group, Americans for Prosperity, which was funded in part by the billionaire David Koch, whose Koch Industries is the second-largest privately held company in America. In addition to dealing in plastics, chemicals and petroleum, Koch has direct interests in commodities trading and financial services. He also has a major stake in pushing for deregulation, as his companies have been fined multiple times by the government, including a 1999 case in which Koch Industries was held to have stolen oil from federal lands, lying about oil purchases some 24,000 times.

Which then calls for the question: how are a ton of middle class Americans lobbying hand and foot for a few billionaires and their views? I still don’t know the full answer to that. Oil (domestic, that is) is still a friendly ally to many TP followers. Conspiracy theories and overestimated fears are legion amongst their views but they, along with many other Americans who may not even subscribe to being a follower of the TP, can at times be oblivious to their hubris:

What they are, in truth, are narcissists. They’re completely blind to how offensive the very nature of their rhetoric is to the rest of the country. I’m an ordinary middle-aged guy who pays taxes and lives in the suburbs with his wife and dog — and I’m a radical communist? I don’t love my country? I’m a redcoat? Fuck you! These are the kinds of thoughts that go through your head as you listen to Tea Partiers expound at awesome length upon their cultural victimhood, surrounded as they are by America-haters like you and me or, in the case of foreign-born president Barack Obama, people who are literally not Americans in the way they are.

August 25, 2010

Ron Paul on Polemic Issues

by Vince

Ron Paul is interviewed by CNN and asked a plethora of good questions. I like his answers, too.

Grr to CNN for not letting me embed their video!