February 21, 2012
By Wayne Razzi
“If Ron Paul isn’t on the ticket, we might be left with the same old politicians. How sad that would be.” –KTRN
Assume for a moment that you’ve been installed in the role of the maintenance manager of the Great American False-Choice Spectacle. Your prime directive would almost certainly be to keep hidden the fact that outcomes matter little. Thus, as we are repeatedly informed via popular media, you may strongly consider hiding the truth in plain sight, as there are few better places. And so, that seems to be the case now more than ever as the strategy is executed through the chain of command and control that expertly utilizes mass media.
The elitist, crusading cowards in the media execute their marching orders with gusto. They seem to manage the coverage of the race and the races within the race more skillfully with each successive production. This time around, it appeared that any one of more than a half-dozen Republican candidates wore the Leader’s Jersey with an inside track to the nomination during the early trials. Skeptics might note that the shelf life for each front-runner was limited and that most were eventually undone by gaffes and/or surprise revelations much in the same way that suspects become tripped up in those curiously popular procedural crime dramas. The thing is though, we need not worry about the skeptics, as they are but few, so let’s get back to the race because it’s the race that matters.
A Dead Heat
Odds greatly favor establishment candidate Mitt Romney to be installed as False Choice #2, much to the surprise of many, apparently. Almost as if by design, ole Mitt contrasts strongly when compared to the know-nothing, never-done-anything Community Organizer who was anointed as “This Is the Guy!” in 2008. Despite the alarming track-record of our lamentable incumbent, his appalling ignorance, arrogance and incompetence aside, the race to become the next Grand Puppet appears to be a dead-heat on paper, and that should almost guarantee a barn-burner come this November. Yes, it would appear that the big race will be decided by a nearly perfectly divided electorate yet again. Soon, perhaps, it may become fascinating to the passionate across the land that half of their fellow citizens very strongly agree with their viewpoints while the other half remains in strong opposition. Or maybe not.
February 17th, 2012
By: AP News
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul decried the “war on drugs” Thursday night, telling supporters in Washington state that people should be able to make their own decisions on such matters.
Voters in Washington are likely to decide this year whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana
“If we are allowed to deal with our eternity and all that we believe in spiritually, and if we’re allowed to read any book that we want under freedom of speech, why is it we can’t put into our body whatever we want?” Paul told more than 1,000 people at a rally in Vancouver, a suburb of Portland, Ore.
Paul did not mention his rivals for the Republican nomination but criticized President Barack Obama for killing American citizens with suspected terrorist ties and for expanding federal regulations. Paul
The Texas congressman said he wasn’t sure if he’d win the GOP nomination and tries not to predict the future but added that he’s encouraged by the enthusiasm of his supporters.
“People who are strong believers in issues and ideas and principals, they do lead the way,” he said.
Paul is the second Republican to hold a major public event in Washington. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was in Olympia and Tacoma on Monday. Washington’s caucuses are scheduled for March 3.
Some in the Vancouver audience came from neighboring Oregon, which has a primary set for May 15.
Paul was spending Thursday campaigning in Idaho and Washington and has rallies planned Friday in Richland and Spokane. He is expected to hit most of Washington’s media markets before the state’s nonbinding caucuses.
For The Full Report Go To Drudge Report
February 8th, 2012
By: Brianna Keilar
After an avalanche of criticism, the White House is working on a way to thread the needle on a new health care policy which will require all employers-including religious institutions-to cover contraception in their health insurance plans.
Policy makers are angling for a loophole that would ensure women receive coverage without forcing Catholic charities, hospitals and institutions to pay for it, two senior administration sources told CNN Wednesday.
The administration is especially interested in the Hawaii model, in which female employees of religious institutions can purchase contraceptive coverage directly from the insurer at the same price offered to employees of all other employers.
Sources said policy makers are also looking at laws in 28 states that have similar coverage requirements.
One source prominent in the progressive Catholic community said the Hawaii plan is a “reasonably good vehicle to try” for a solution that can allay the concerns of Obama’s Catholic allies.
Another favored plan, the source said, would be legislation that would allow women employed by religiously-affiliated employers to get contraceptive insurance from the exchanges created under Obama’s sweeping health care reform, rather than from their employer’s insurer.
But the source added the administration has not yet reached out to leaders in the progressive Catholic community to work on a compromise.
Senior administration sources said while the Hawaii plan has appeal, it would not work nationally because the federal government cannot compel insurers to provide a side-contraception plan.
As for a timeframe, policymakers will announce their decision when the Department of Health and Human Services officially releases the rule, sources said.
The new policy stirred an outcry last week among conservatives and religious groups–particularly Catholics, whose teaching opposes abortion and the use of contraceptives.
While churches are exempt from the rule, hospitals and schools with religious affiliations must comply. The new policy goes into effect on August 1, but religious groups will have a year-long extension to enforce the rule.
While the regulations have caused a firestorm of criticism, a new study released by the Public Religion Research Institute shows the majority of Catholics support the administration’s plan. Nearly 6 out of 10 Catholics think employers should be required to provide this kind of insurance coverage. Among Catholic voters, support for the measure is slightly lower at 52%.
The administration first signaled it was softening its stance on the rule on Tuesday, when White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the administration was seeking alternative solutions for the issue.
“The president’s interest at a policy level is in making sure that this coverage is extended to all women because it’s important,” Carney said. “(On) the other side is finding the right balance…concerns about religious beliefs and convictions. So we will, in this transition period …seek to find ways to implement that policy that allay some of those concerns.”
On Wednesday House Speaker John Boehner called the policy an “ambiguous attack on religious freedom” and announced the chamber would pursue legislative action to prevent the rule from going into effect.
“If the president does not reverse the department’s attack on religious freedom, then the Congress, acting on behalf of the American people, and the constitution, that we’re sworn to uphold and defend, must,” Boehner said on the House floor, adding the Energy and Commerce committee would spearhead the effort.
The Republican presidential candidates have also been vocal about the policy on the campaign trail. Frontrunner Mitt Romney has said he would eliminate the rule on his first day in office.
But on Thursday the White House hit back repeating an argument used by Romney’s GOP opponents and pointing to a Massachusetts law in effect while Romney was governor that required hospitals-including Catholic ones-to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.
“This is I think ironic that Mitt Romney is expressing – criticizing the president for pursuing a policy that is virtually identical to the one that was in place when he was governor of Massachusetts,” Carney said.
Romney, however, vetoed the original bill, and his veto was overridden by the state legislature. Responding to Carney’s remarks on Thursday, the candidate said Carney needs to “check his history.”
“I worked very hard to get the legislature to remove all of the mandated coverages, including contraception,” Romney said during a media availability. “So quite clearly he needs to understand that was a provision that got there before I did and it was one that I fought to remove.”
February 8, 2012
By Steven Downing
“If you watched Your Interview With The President on You Tube, than you know it was a total joke. They cherry picked questions and it was obvious Obama knew exactly what he was going to be asked. It was painful to watch.”
In more than twenty years with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), where I retired as deputy chief of police, I saw a lot of puzzling behavior at close range. This week I saw some odd behavior from Google, YouTube and President Obama.
It started when I submitted, via YouTube, a question for the “Your Interview with the President” session, an online chat hosted on Google+. My question asked why the President has not done more to end our disastrous drug war at a time when polls show that a majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana. The decades I spent enforcing our drug laws with the LAPD convinced me that the war on drugs is worse than unwinnable. It is a boon to organized crime and a worthless drain on limited law enforcement resources, not to mention the fact that it saddles millions of Americans with criminal records that can follow them for the rest of their lives.
In retirement, I have spent that last few years working with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group that represents police, prosecutors, judges, DEA agents, and others who are working to replace drug prohibition with a system of sensible regulation and control. LEAP and many other groups sprang into action when the call went out for people to submit questions for the president via YouTube. Eighteen of the 20 top vote-getting questions were on drug policy; mine was the highest-ranked video question on the entire site and the second-highest vote-getter overall, trailing only a text question about online copyright infringement.
Along with many other people, I looked forward to hearing what the president would say. But, as it turned out, Google didn’t present the president with my question. And your host, Steve Grove, didn’t say one word during the entire interview about any of the other popular marijuana and drug policy questions.
Instead, you decided to spend several minutes allowing participants to ask the president of the United States to weigh in on truly important issues like… late-night snacking, dancing, celebrating wedding anniversaries and playing tennis.
February 6, 2012
By James Huang
“Why is anyone voting for this man?” –KTRN
February 6, 2012
“And these are the people who have to choose as president? God help us all.” –KTRN
The blunders of U.S. politicians have inspired jokes and parodies for decades. With the Presidential election campaign heating up, there’s a whole new supply of ammunition. But as Marina Portnaya reports, some believe the comments are displays of ignorance and disregard for world affairs … and no laughing matter.
February 3, 2012
By Thomas Durante
“If Ron Paul does not get the nomination or runs as a third party candidate, then we should all vote for Roseanne Barr as a protest. She can’t be any worse than Mitt Romeny.” –KTRN
It’s no joke – Roseanne Barr has submitted her plan to go from the nut farm to the White House as the Green Party’s presidential nominee.
The TV star said in a statement that she’s a long-time supporter of the party and looks forward to working with those who share her values.
As for her platform, Miss Barr said she will push for the legalisation of marijuana.
She said the two major parties aren’t doing enough to properly serve the American people.
‘The Democrats and Republicans have proven that they are servants – bought and paid for by the 1 per cent – who are not doing what’s in the best interest of the American people,’ Barr said.
The Occupy movement popularized the ‘We are the 99 per cent’ slogan in their fight against economic disparity and perceived corporate greed.
Miss Barr’s hit TV sitcom Roseanne aired from 1988 to 1997 and earned her an Emmy and a Golden Globe.
January 31, 2012
By Christopher Booker
When I happened to wake up in the middle of the night last Wednesday and caught the BBC World Service’s live relay of President Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress, two passages had me rubbing my eyes in disbelief.
The first came when, to applause, the President spoke about the banking crash which coincided with his barnstorming 2008 election campaign. “The house of cards collapsed,” he recalled. “We learned that mortgages had been sold to people who couldn’t afford or understand them.” He excoriated the banks which had “made huge bets and bonuses with other people’s money”, while “regulators looked the other way and didn’t have the authority to stop the bad behaviour”. This, said Obama, “was wrong. It was irresponsible. And it plunged our economy into a crisis that put millions out of work.”
I recalled a piece I wrote in this column on January 29, 2009, just after Obama took office. It was headlined: “This is the sub-prime house that Barack Obama built”. As a rising young Chicago politician in 1995, no one campaigned more actively than Mr Obama for an amendment to the US Community Reinvestment Act, legally requiring banks to lend huge sums to millions of poor, mainly black Americans, guaranteed by the two giant mortgage associations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
January 27, 2012
By Brent Budowsky
“Don’t count out Ron Paul just yet. You never know what could happen. He’s in it for the long haul.” –KTRN
In a dramatic head-to-head contest that will win huge attention throughout the political world, I now believe that Ron Paul will defeat Mitt Romney in the Virginia primary. The implications could be enormous. This result would dramatize the fact that a majority of Republican primary voters favor a candidate more conservative than Mitt Romney. This prospect could also inspire the mother of all money bombs for the Ron Paul campaign.
If I were the campaign manager for the Gingrich and Santorum campaigns, I would be suggesting that all conservatives vote for Ron Paul in Virginia. Ditto the conservative movement leaders from all conservative points of view and throughout the conservative media.
So far, the pundit debate has largely missed the point that Mitt Romney has hovered between 26 percent and 38 percent in various state votes and polls. It is ridiculous for anyone to suggest “this race is over” or “this race will soon be over” (as many pundits wrongly have) because, obviously, the nominee will need 50 percent-plus-one of all delegates. I emphasize delegates.
What is certainly unique about Virginia, so far, is the prospect of a straight Ron Paul versus Mitt Romney contest, with no other candidates. If this does not change, the Virginia vote will be a pure play of Romney versus Paul, and also a contest purely of Romney versus the conservative movement, which I would expect to unify behind Paul for the Virginia vote.
This pure play will dramatically increase media coverage for Ron, because the Virginia race will take on a life of its own as a unique head-to-head battle. This will provide fundraising opportunities for Paul going into, and coming out of, the Virginia vote. This will boost whatever role Ron Paul chooses to play, whether it becomes convention player, kingmaker or third-party candidate.
January 26, 2012
Los Angeles Times
By Kathleen Hennessey
“It seems Obama isn’t such a nice guy after all.” –KTRN
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says President Obama was “somewhat thin-skinned” and “tense” in a testy greeting caught on camera on a Phoenix-area tarmac.
Brewer and Obama were seen exchanging brief words by reporters as the president arrived for an event Wednesday to promote his economic plan. Brewer handed the president a letter, the two appeared to talk over each other and the governor pointed her finger at the president.
Brewer, known for her tough stance on illegal immigration, told a Phoenix radio talk show that she was surprised that the welcome went so sour. She says she welcomed the president to the city warmly and said she hoped to sit down with him some time.