Patrick Sullivan was the kind of lawman Coloradoans loved: a straight-shooting Republican sheriff who once crashed a Jeep through a fence to rescue two deputies from a gunman and pleaded with legislators to keep assault weapons off the street lest any more citizens get shot.
On Tuesday afternoon, though, investigators from the same sheriff’s department he oversaw for nearly two decades found themselves monitoring a home near Denver that Mr. Sullivan was seen entering.
Soon after, the police arrested Mr. Sullivan, now 68 and long retired from the Arapahoe County sheriff’s office, on charges that he had been trying to exchange methamphetamines for sex with a man. He was booked that night at a local county jail that proudly bears his name. … Sheriff [Grayson] Robinson said the police began an investigation into Mr. Sullivan’s activities on Nov. 17 after several people informed the authorities that he might be involved with methamphetamines.
The investigation led the police to a home on Tuesday where they say Mr. Sullivan had arranged to provide drugs to a man, a longtime associate, in exchange for sex. Mr. Sullivan was taken into custody without incident, Sheriff Robinson said. … Mr. Sullivan, whose dramatic rescue of his deputies in 1989 was captured on television, was named national Sheriff of the Year in 2001 and became a widely respected law enforcement figure.
This is an almost Shakespearean downfall. Booked into the detention center named after him, respected Republican, tough on crime sheriff, etc… The scandal has shades of Ted Haggard for sure. It’s a different type of scandalous for two reasons: First, sheriff of the year gets caught doing illegal hard drugs. Second, a macho, tough, retired sheriff violates macho law enforcement culture by prostituting himself to other men to obtain drugs.
I know there’s some people who will take delight in another Republican gay sex scandal. However, let’s remember - it would be a hell of a lot less scandalous if it were women he was sleeping with, so what does that say about acceptance of the GLBTQ community - particularly because there’s no indication that he actively preached homosexuality was bad or anything of the sort. In fact, evidence may point in another direction.
On Dec. 6, 2001, nearly ten years ago, then Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Colo. recognized Sheriff Patrick Sullivan on the U.S. House floor. His statement [emphasis mine]:
I consider it a great tribute to Mr. Patrick J. Sullivan, Jr. He has dedicated the majority of his life to preserving the rights and freedoms of American citizens. He will be honored on December 10, 2001 as a recipient of the Annual Civil Rights Award presented by the Civil Rights Committee of the Mountain States office of the Anti-Defamation League.
[He] has accomplished many goals in his effort to protect American citizens. His most widely recognized initiative is in his ongoing fight against hate crimes. He has testified before this body of Congress and has played an active and successful role in creating the U.S. Department of Justice Hate Crime Training Program.
Mr. Speaker, as a former police officer myself, it is my honor to recognize Sheriff Patrick Sullivan, Jr. for his dedication to the safety of America’s citizens. Sheriff Sullivan deserves not only the recognition inherent in receiving the Annual Civil Rights Award, but also the praise and admiration of this body. Congratulations Sheriff Sullivan, thank you for your service.
This is an interesting read because the information from many surveys of Fox News viewers is collated into one article. It’s honestly stunning yet entirely understandable that viewers of The Daily Show in the latest study were actually more informed than Fox News viewers - and correctly informed.
Straight from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s study [Emphasis mine]:
NPR does the best job of informing respondents about the debt crisis: Listening to NPR is associated with a 26-point increase in the likelihood of correctly naming Germany as the bailer, and a 12-point decrease in thinking that the US is behind the Euro-bailout. Sunday morning talk shows, talk radio and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart have similar positive impacts. On the other hand, people who report watching Fox News are five-points more likely than those who watch no news at all, to incorrectly say it’s the US that is bailing out European countries.
Puts a new spin on the old cliche “No news is good news,” doesn’t it?
The red and blue is not be taken as representative of political party. However, it IS an interesting breakdown of where the interests of the US Congress fall. Alan Grayson has also pointed to lobbying influence as well. At a 2010 conference, Grayson said, “We’re now in a situation where a lobbyist can walk into my office…and say, ‘I’ve got five million dollars to spend, and I can spend it for you or against you. Which do you prefer?’”
Much has also been made of Occupy Wall Street promoters like Michael Moore being in the 1%, so why don’t they just give away all of their money and make everyone equal, etc… I’m tired of this strawman counter. That’s like telling a group of physicians concerned about the situation in Appalachia regarding medical care to stop advocating for change, and to instead donate all their time, money, and supplies to fixing it, or else they are an illegitimate organization and have no right to bitch.
So let’s pretend for a moment that the rich redistribute to the jobless of their own free will. Then what? Do jobs magically appear out of thin air? The need never re-occurs?
Moore explains his viewpoint well on being a member of the 1% and fighting for the 99% in a post entitled "Life Among The 1%" [emphasis mine]:
"How can you claim to be for the poor when you are the opposite of poor?!" It’s like asking: "You’ve never had sex with another man - how can you be for gay marriage?!" I guess the same way that an all-male Congress voted to give women the vote, or scores of white people marched with Martin Luther Ling, Jr. (I can hear these righties yelling back through history: "Hey! You’re not black! You’re not being lynched! Why are you with the blacks?!"). It is precisely this disconnect that prevents Republicans from understanding why anyone would give of their time or money to help out those less fortunate. It is simply something their brain cannot process. "Kanye West makes millions! What’s he doing at Occupy Wall Street?!" Exactly - he’s down there demanding that his taxes be raised. That, to a right-winger, is the definition of insanity. To everyone else, we are grateful that people like him stand up, even if and especially because it is against his own personal financial interest. It is specifically what that Bible those conservatives wave around demands of those who are well off.
Anyhow, money is not electing Michael Moore. However, money is electing those who set the policies leading to such wealth disparity in this country. We must pay attention to those who’ve sold us out and continued the same policies since before many in my generation were even born. Campaign finance reform is crucial, and perhaps we should begin rethinking this whole neoliberal, late capitalism thing.
If your biggest bone to pick with Occupy Wall Street is that Michael Moore is advocating for it, we’re well on our way to winning.
For reals. He’s suing on the basis that when the government seizes or takes over property (aside from property used in illegal activity, i.e. RICO seizures) the government must provide ‘just compensation’ - typically, fair market value. ThinkProgress points out that when we bailed out AIG, the fair market value was nearly nil.
Now, let’s say AIG’s assets were involved in illegal activity. Just kidding! Quite a bit of what companies like AIG did was legal - or borderline legal. Deregulation doesn’t make tanking the market illegal - it makes it a near certainty.
^^Here’s hoping that becomes one of those meaningless wisdom quotes^^
Of course, I’m not spamming catchy slogans or anything. I’ve hopped on Tumblr to say something, anything as I’ve been absent for the past few weeks. So after I scrolled down my feed and had a look at what has been happening, I noticed another argument that taxation is theft. This may be my fault. I have anarchist and capitalist sympathies and may have followed the ultra-liberal blogs of tumblr. Usually, this argument flows over me, I greet it as a old friend and with a nod and a wink, send it back. On this occasion sadly, I nearly drown.
Tax is Theft.
The argument that tax is theft stems from the involuntary nature of tax. It either asserts that a government that respects the liberty, freedom and rights of the people must not threaten them into submitting to the state’s authority or that government and it’s actions can never be justified. The anarchist pose the latter and as such, the question of legitimate taxation is moot for them. This article is mostly directed at the governmental-minimalists, such as liberation doctrine. However, I do urge the anarchists to continue reading, as natural property remains an issue they must address and is something I will cover.
Let us examine the argument:
A: “Theft is depriving of someone the usage of something they own.” I looked around for definitions from dictionaries and such but most of them tied theft to the unlawful taking of property, so clearly they were in many ways bias. Equally, it was simply impossible to articulate theft without reference to property. I concluded that theft could be widely thought of as the denial of usage of something one owns as property is fundamentally about usage rights. If you steal my car, I still own it but am denied the right of usage entailed by ownership. Lastly, theft is differs from borrowing because it lacks consent. I therefore initially added “without consent” to my definition. However, I removed it as the right to usage presumes voluntary allowance and I therefore felt it redundant.
B: “Government taxation is universal and non-negotiable at the individual level.” Clearly, I presume quite a specific form of enlightened government. The Ancien Régime of the French Valois and Bourbon dynasties taxed heavily the Third Estate with little to no taxation for the first or second. Incontestably, universal is not necessary. However, many minimalist governments positions stress individual liberty and corollary equal treatment before the law. As such, when this argument is used, it presumes universality, even if that isn’t always the case. Equally, you don’t get to barter the amount or refuse to pay at the individual level. It can be argued that tax can be changed via political mechanism but other than that, we all pay the full amount. I therefore felt it important to acknowledge this as it plays an important role further on.
C: “Tax is theft.” This is an outcome.
So to recap:
A: “Theft is depriving of someone the usage of something they own.”
B: “Government taxation is universal and non-negotiable at the individual level.”
C: “”Tax is theft.”
The argument thus goes like this: If A^B :: C
Tacit Consent, Locke and Toilet Roll!
There you have it then, the argument against taxation. This is put very simply and loaded with assumptions, assumptions we may have to examine in turn to see if we still follow the argument to the conclusion. For example and mentioned earlier, one must identify what property is. If property is something wholly imparted by the government, property becomes a privilege. If you follow British philosopher John Locke however, property is natural and you have it before government. Property is thus a right. As many American libertarians cite constitutional rights and the founding father whom wrote it cited Locke, it is reasonable to presume that the concept of natural property rights is what American libertarians work from. Thus, it may be useful to know what Locke taught of the matter.
Locke, a social contract theorist thought like the others that if one could conceive of human nature without government, one could rationalize as to why people would rationally choose to be governed. In fact, I’m of the avid belief that anarchists are social contract theorists whom couldn’t find a good enough reason to play matchmaker between people and governance. For Locke, good government ensured freedom by bringing in an impartial judge to punish those whom would attempt to deny one’s rights, to both liberty and property. So it was imperative that rational people come together and found said impartial judiciary. Now, unlike Hobbes whom figured that was the end of things, Locke felt it wasn’t right to condemn the unborn generations to the will of their forefathers, no matter how rational they were been. He thus required consent to be given to the collective on a continuous basis. This is important, as if you consent to government, you consent to the levy needed to run it.
Let us take a momentary detour from Locke and head down to the local shop. You’ve got business to do but no toilet paper in the house. So you have come down here to exchange your property, a 2 Euro coin for the shopkeepers’ bogroll. You walk down isle, pick up a pack of TP and approach the counter. You drop the coin into the shopkeepers’ hand while swapping pleasantries and then head back home.
Why is this important to our discussion of government taxation rights? It illustrates the concept of tacit consent. By your actions, you agreed to a non-verbal, non-written contract exchanging coin for roll. Equally, whereas voting in a democratic process would be preferred as loud consent, the usage of public infrastructure offers tacit consent to the social contract. As discussed above, a government needs funding to run and consenting to the social contract is consent to carry that burden. Thus, the original argument is undermined as the government is not taking your property anymore, rather it is collecting payment for services rendered. The money levied is no longer your money and belongs to the government.
Revolts and Aliens.
Now, Locke laid the foundations for capitalist governments to develop, it could and has been argued so it seems strange that his writings oppose what is generally felt to be a “Free Market” position. However, as you can see, Locke proposed a consent-based view to taxation, where refusal was wrong not because tax must be paid as a rule but rather because you consented to pay. It is a “Free Market” position. What may be attacked is the idea of silent agreement, though I would move softly as the concept underpins many day-to-day activities and is the prime reason tourists and other foreigners must respect the law while present in the country.
Thus, if you truly belief tax is completely unfair you would seem to have three options at your disposal. First, you can join the anarchists and outright rebel! You would have to completely remove yourself from society to be successful in this case or you will give constant tacit consent. This is really only important if you wished to maintain ideas of property of course. Second, you can democratically lobby for lower taxes. This seems like the expected response most non-libertarians suggest. However, if you could conceive of convincing argumentation for the lowering of tax to nil, you may not need a democratic push to achieve it so what at first seems like the fair and logical way is really just pandering to the crowd. This suggests mutability of rights and arbitrary will which should be abhorred by a republic. Lastly, you could attempt to change the fundamental rules of your government to make tax illegal. I include this because it has been suggested in the past but if you’ve been paying any attention, you can see how frivolous a position it becomes.
Personally, I don’t have an answer. I also don’t consider this to be the last word on the subject. I do expect rebuttals and hate-mail. I no longer hold a vehement belief in no taxation. I am now in the muddled territory of indecision. I will likely hold this position until I have reasoned out many other areas of my political philosophy. However, I still appeal to the same premise for all my politics to subscribe to: Justice. For this reason, I’ll still likely be a torn in socialist behinds.
Shane Geoghegan, prefers Hobbes anyway.
Interesting perspective here… I identify more as a neo-Marxist, and it’s rare I see anyone try to defend the anarcho-capitalist point of view while still acknowledging there may be a necessity for taxation. Thoughts?
Family and friends were stunned by the loss of a West Virginia man who died while shopping on Black Friday as fellow bargain hunters reportedly walked around — and even over — the man’s body.
Family members told WSAZ-TV that 61-year-old Walter Vance of Logan County, W. Va., had become ill and collapsed while shopping for Christmas decorations inside Target in South Charleston. He later died after being taken to the hospital, family said.
Witnesses told the NBC News affiliate in Charleston, W. Wa., that shoppers walked around and even over Vance’s body.
"Where is the good Samaritan side of people?’ Vance’s co-worker and friend Sue Compton told WSAZ. "How could you not notice someone was in trouble? I just don’t understand if people didn’t help what their reason was, other than greed because of a sale."
The bystander effect taken to the extreme or a serious lack of compassion? I’m afraid to know the answer because either choice is disturbing. I could understand not initially noticing someone collapsing in a massive crowd - but having to step over his unconscious body to reach a bargain? That’s a new level of dispassionate. Or is it? Is this what we’ve become? Mindless consuming automatons?
Besides striving to stay awake on their drives home, what else did retail employees do to cope with the Black Friday experience?
Boise, Idaho Best Buy employee Daniel Wood stayed awake for 24 hours straight (just like a doctor, minus the wages!) so he could celebrate his holiday and then run off to work. He stayed alert at work by drinking four energy drinks during his 12-hour shift.
Wood’s coworker Riley Zahm, who hadn’t slept “in three days,” drank two cups of black coffee and sang Soft Cell and Clash songs. That’s what we did during our entire freshman year in college, so maybe his ordeal wasn’t so bad.
Massachusetts workers enjoyed the protection of the state’s blue laws, which prohibited their employers from making them come in to work at 11 PM on Thanksgiving Day. Those workers got to eat pie for a whole extra hour or hour-and-a-half before starting their shifts at 12:30 AM or 1 AM. No, it’s not much of a respite, but it’s the principle of the thing.
So, can we get over the Black Friday thing? How come there’s no family values groups decrying the war on Thanksgiving, where people are forced to give up time with their families to worship at the altar of consumerism?
Oh, wait… Answered my own question there… Altar of capitalism + no Jesus = totally cool, right? WWJT (Who Would Jesus Trample?)
This highlights the exploitation of retail workers as well. Tell the boss no and sacrifice your job - especially when temp labor is plentiful and cheap. Ignore your family to sleep for work, and be the one that ruined Thanksgiving this year. So you drink several Red Bulls and hope you don’t fall asleep on the drive home. There is power in a union, folks.
Question: If she did it multiple times, why did no security or police stop her before she left? You’d think someone would notice the first time, y’know, someone not close by, or security monitoring the area…
I just don’t know what to make of this country when this, some “competitive shopping” by a Black Friday denizen, makes headlines and not the peaceful protesters brutalized all over the country by police. Or how about people of color all over the US who’ve been putting up with this shit for years? Hmm… how about that?
The call came on Monday night, and it made mention of a man who had fallen off his bicycle and injured himself in a parking lot. So Officer Turner pulled up to the scene, and found Roger Anthony — a local fixture who people call “Rabbit” because he had big ears — rolling down the street on his bicycle. Turner followed Anthony in his patrol vehicle, sirens blaring, and ordered him to pull over. Anthony didn’t respond.
Williams said Turner then saw Anthony take something out his pocket and put it into his mouth. At that time, Turner got out of the car and yelled for Anthony to stop. When Anthony didn’t stop, the officer used a stun gun on him, causing him to fall off of his bike.
I’ve seen folks defending the use of pepper spray, batons, and stun guns on protesters. How about a deaf, disabled, bicycling senior citizen who couldn’t hear the officer? What kind of threat did he pose?
Of course, police say the grandpa in question was trying to steal a video game. Witnesses say that when people began rushing a box of video games, the man stuck a game in the front of his waistband and tried to get his three-year-old grandson out of the way, who was also trampled in the melee. His grandson is reportedly okay, but he was booked for shoplifting and resisting arrest. He also had roughly $600 worth of merchandise in his cart he was planning to purchase.
Instead of protecting the people, the police had to make sure this one man wasn’t stealing a game by face-planting him to the floor.
With these incidents of brutality, it’s fair to ask who the police really are protecting and serving, isn’t it?
In contrast, he feels he has plenty of options in regard to filing an injunction. Over the weekend, the Denver Postreported that Lane’s actions were spurred by TV station pieces about ticketing for honks in support of Occupy Denver - items that followed Westword staffer Kelsey Whipple’s coverage of that subject and a previous offering about citations for people who pull over to drop off donations. But Lane’s efforts are broader than that.
"We’re going after three, and possibly four, issues in this lawsuit," he reveals. "One is honking. One is ticketing people who stop to give money, food or clothing. The third is going after people who put any items down on the sidewalk in this five-foot swath that the police say has to be completely clear. And we’re looking into whether or not we can go after the curfew in the park. It’s absurd that after 11 p.m., if anyone sets one foot in the park, they get arrested and everyone’s got to stay on the sidewalk at that point."
In addition, Lane has a strong point of view on the question of whether or not the Occupy Denver tents banned by the DPD constitute speech. “If you look back through this country’s history, back to the bonus army that marched on Washington in the Depression era, tents have long been part of protest,” he notes. “A tent is a symbol that ‘we’re in this for the duration. We’re not going away.’ So it is a form of speech.”
I wish Occupy Denver and the attorneys of Killmer, Lane, & Newman the best and thank them for their dedication to free speech. I’ll be following this case closely.
Federal authorities arrested four Georgia senior citizens for allegedly plotting to attack U.S. citizens and government officials with the deadly toxin ricin. Let’s meet the players.
Frederick Thomas; Cleveland, Ga.; 73
Thomas was allegedly the leader of the bunch. He lives in a brown two-story family residence that sits on two acres of property. The first meeting allegedly took place at his home, where he claimed he had enough weapons to arm everyone present.
An FBI affidavit said he claimed to have compiled a “bucket list” of government employees, politicians, corporate leaders and members of the media who would need to be “taken out” to “make the country right again.”
Thomas allegedly said that there “is no way for us, as militiamen, to save this country, to save Georgia, without doing something that’s highly, highly illegal. Murder. That’s fucking illegal, but it’s gotta be done. When it comes time to saving the Constitution, that means some people gotta die,” Thomas allegedly said.
"Let’s shoot the bastards that we discover are anti-American or enemies of America, treasonous," Thomas allegedly said. "And to me the easiest and best way to do that is to walk up behind them with a suppressed .22."
Meeting with an undercover FBI agent, Thomas allegedly explained that his “covert group” was planning to carry out the actions of the main characters from the book “Absolved,” written by right-wing blogger and former militia man Mike Vanderboegh. He allegedly said he considered himself expendable because of his age… Thomas said that the senior citizens had begun physical training and fitness to prepare for the physical demands their plans required.
According to a Red State profile which matches his description, Thomas is a Vietnam vet who worked as an aerospace communications systems engineer and held “top secret security clearance for nearly 50 years…”
Dan Roberts; Toccoa; 67
Roberts drives a 1990 Red Ford Ranger pickup and lives in a yellow-sided home on a 1.8 acre plot of land. Roberts allegedly said he knew people in Habersham County who “had a substance that could kill people with a very small amount.” He claimed he’d been talking to a former Army soldier living in Stephens County whom he descibed as a “loose cannon” who manufactured ricin. Roberts said he personally saw the ricin in powder form.
In August, Roberts allegedly met with a cooperating source in a Cornelia, Georgia restaurant and provided a two way radio for team communications. He alleged that the radios had been stolen from the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. FBI agents who examined the radio found that serial numbers and identifiers have been “obliterated” but that they were assigned to channels that indicate military unit nomenclature. They are still trying to determine if the radios were stolen. … As TPM previously reported, Roberts sued a number of local officials and a newspaper in federal court in relation to a 2004 “Southern Heritage” event he organized at a middle school that featured the Confederate flag. According to the Georgia militia, he’s commanding officer of the 440th squad.
Ray H. Adams; Toccoa; 65
A retired Department of Agriculture employee, Adams lives in “a single story shelter constructed of wood plants and a metal roof.” The rear of the shelter, according to an FBI affidavit, “is a travel trailer used for its kitchen facilities and storage.” It’s located on 17.21 acres.
Adams allegedly showed off plaques from his career regarding his certifications and training and said that he worked in the horticultural field. The USDA confirmed he worked for the Agricultural Research Service as a lab technician. Adams thought his experience gave him a leg up.
"Well I’ve never done it (made ricin) but I have laboratory experience, and once you extract that stuff enough just splashing it on your skin can kill ya," he allegedly said. Adams’ compound had laboratory equipment and the beans needed to make ricin. He appears to have been fully on board with the plan.
"I’d say the first ones that need to die is the ones in the government buildings," Adams allegedly said. "When it comes down to it, I can kill somebody."
Samuel J. Crump, Toccoa, Ga. 68
Crump lived in a mobile that sat on .27 acres. The Centers for Disease Control told the FBI he worked as a contractor for the agency doing “maintenance type services.”
On his Facebook page, Crump is a member of a number of Tea Party affiliated groups… Crump was seen as the arrested group’s expert on ricin.
"Ya got, ya can’t let none of it get on your skin," he allegedly said. "Got to be a closed environment when it’s made. No wind. If it gets up your nose… there’s no cure." He also had some recommendations for how the group could launch their attack.
"You take a pound of that (unintelligible), get upwind, up around Washington, DC, get about 20,000 feet (in an airplane), and turn that shit loose, it’d cover the whole (unintelligible) of Washington," he allegedly said. Alternatively, he suggested releasing the ricin out of a car on the highway.
Posting nearly in full. After Rick Santorum’s suggestion we profile Muslims, I suggest we profile old white men with Don’t Tread on Me stickers and the like. Because if just a few old white men are capable of this, imagine what all the old white men are capable of doing.</sarcasm>
Flow charts make everything easier. I have one quibble though - I think the mega box o’ wine is always a good idea, but that’s just me. Luckily, I don’t have a family where a Camelbak shirt containing booze seems like a reasonable solution.
And yes, those exist. Just an idea for those of you who dread the family time:
Of course the debate had to kick off with introductions. Like we had no clue who these people on stage were or why they were there…
My first thought: I cannot believe anyone but Huntsman has a serious chance. My second thought: There’s no way anyone but Huntsman should be anywhere near the nuclear football. Shit, Huntsman is the only one who can properly pronounce “nuclear” with consistency.
Herman Cain got hardly any questions, and completely, utterly boned the questions that he did answer. So much for the Cain train, folks. Cain claimed our national security has been downgraded. Obama sighed and reminded Cain about this one dude named Bin Laden. He claimed we couldn’t bomb Iran because it has mountains(?), and that if we left Afghanistan, they’d suddenly become BFFs with Iran. Further, he said we must cut off foreign aid to Africa unless we see results. Not too controversial until you place it in context - he was talking about foreign aid for prevention and treatment of HIV. He also managed to fumble Wolf Blitzer’s name, calling him “Blitz.” In short, he knows nothing about national security, places with mountains can’t be bombed because reasons, and fuck people with AIDS in Africa.
Michele Bachmann went off again about the ACLU controlling CIA interrogations under Obama. Rep. Bachmann, the ACLU would like to have a word with you. Then she launched into a strange point about terrorists and technology changing. Basically, when we first thought about terrorism, phones were attached to the wall with wires and now terrorists have cell phones. Whatever that means. She then claimed Pakistan and the Middle East have seen six attempted terrorist attacks on nuclear facilities. Bachmann also called Perry naive and claimed Obama is threatening national security by canceling the Keystone Pipeline. It’s not cancelled - the U.S. State Department ordered a new route be found for it. Plus, the governor of Nebraska called for the delay, not Obama. Yep. She kept babbling about magnets in regards to immigration.
Shorter Bachmann: Magnets. How do they work? Fuckin’ miracles. On Iraq, she claimed “We need to remember, we won the peace in Iraq. And now President Obama is intentionally choosing to give that peace away.” Uh-huh. Her true gem was when she said she knows all about existential threats. I’m sure Bachmann knows all about existential threats. I question her existence as a serious candidate often.
Jon Huntsman came out strong. He was emphatic that the military buildup overseas and defense budget we are currently running is unnecessary and repeated that any nation building must first begin at home. Huntsman also said strengthening the PATRIOT Act is not the best national security policy because it involves forfeiture of liberties at home - a point introduced by Ron Paul. He called for negotiation with both allies and enemies. Huntsman also ripped Romney a new one after Romney accused Huntsman of wanting America to fail because he suggested drawing down troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to Huntsman, indefinite war is expensive and makes us no friends. Who knew? Essentially, his opinions were well-reasoned, thought-out policy positions versus talking points, and he’ll never succeed in the polls with the current GOP. He has the best quote of the night:
"I have to say that our biggest problem is right here at home. And you can see it on every street corner. It’s called joblessness. It’s called lack of opportunity. It’s called debt, that has become a national security problem in this country. And it’s also called a trust deficit, a Congress that nobody believes in anymore, an executive branch that has no leadership, institutions of power that we no longer believe in. How can we have any effect on foreign policy abroad when we are so weak at home? We have no choice. We’ve got to get on our feet here domestically."
Newt Gingrich bloviated whenever the camera was on him. His speech was slurred and he lost his train of thought a few times, but compared to Perry, etc. he was put together. Personally, I thought Newt looked exhausted or ill. He finally found his pet moderator, Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer kissed his ass several times, with questions like, “Mr. Speaker, I remember you and Reagan did x…” and turned to Newt for historical “fact” - until Blitzer led him into the minefield of immigration. Suddenly, friends off. Gingrich posited a fairly reasonable solution (compared to others) in regards to immigration, though after reactions from other candidates, he became slightly incoherent. His idea was that immigrants found to be undocumented, who have close ties to the U.S., would not necessarily be deported. Slightly less radical than Cain’s electric fence. The other candidates pushed him off the moment of compassion, and as soon as CNN started their post-debate coverage, he was all about take-backs with his immigration stance. He also made an odd point about defeating Nazis with our natural resources like oil and our confidence. Gingrich called Ron Paul “my friend” and I think Paul nearly came over the podium.
Ron Paul continued his powerful performance in the debates. He unequivocally opposed the extension of the PATRIOT Act and said we need to get out of the conflicts we’re involved in due to expense and the fact that we’re not directly threatened by any countries with which we’re currently engaged. Paul stated the PATRIOT Act undermines liberty and when several candidates endorsed profiling Muslims (really) Paul just about lost it. He emphasized white people, specifically, American white people, have committed acts of terrorism as well. Remember Timothy McVeigh? Ron Paul does. He also refused to pander to the pro-Israel folks, saying Israel can stand on its own and if it attacks other countries, it should pay the price like any other nation. Paul also said we should end the war on drugs immediately, particularly for medical marijuana patients. Too bad his compassion doesn’t extend farther. Say what you will about Paul, at least he’s consistent. Then he went all Grampa Simpson and said we should export the free market to Africa. We did. It’s called exploitation.
Rick Perry got little airtime. He had the same night Cain did. Perry kept harping about sanctioning Iran’s bank, which the Obama administration stopped just short of doing recently. He criticized the Obama administration for being ineffective, yet praised “our security forces” in regards to stopping recent terroristic threats. Apparently, he’s forgotten Obama is still the commander-and-chief. He finally said that intelligence under the Obama administration has been a failure, apparently forgetting about Osama bin Laden. Perry wants to make TSA more effective by privatizing it, because TSA’s main problem is unions. He endorsed racial profiling like nearly every other candidate. He also said Obama’s debt committee failure was because of the trigger (a republican measure - remember Boehner said they got 98% of what they wanted). His explanation:
"So the idea that you can’t sit down and work with people on both sides of the aisle, but just to, you know, throw us into — into that briar patch at this particular point in time and say, what would you do — we would never have gotten into that situation if I were the president of the United States. I’d have been there working day in and day out so that we had a budget that not only — I’ve laid out a clear plan to — flat tax of 20 percent; cut the spending; and put a 20 percent corporate tax rate in. And, as a matter of fact, they ought to make the legislature, the Congress, part-time, and that would make as big an impact in this city as anything I can think of."
So yeah, if you can parse that, more power to you.
Mitt Romney was slicker than usual. He didn’t have the tousled hair of a few debates ago. He looked like a presidential Ken doll. Romney suggested TSA needs to be more efficient with pat downs and that some folks could go through faster than others. Oh, and maybe we don’t need to do pat-downs but whatever, sure, next talking point. This caught my attention (emphasis mine):
We need tools when war is waged domestically to ensure that as president of the United States you can fulfill your first responsibility which is to protect the life, liberty and property of American citizens and defend them from foes domestic and foreign. That means yes we’ll use the constitution and criminal law for those people who commit crimes but those who commit war and attack the United States and pursue treason of various kinds we will use instead a very different form of law which is the law afforded to those who are fighting America.
What law? That’s called the Geneva Convention first off - and Romney’s endorsed torture. This is some serious pandering. What about Americans suspected of terrorism? Is that the same as treason? Scary shit, folks. Romney also mispronounced “modernity” multiple times and I feel that says a lot about the GOP. He pointed out America’s approval rating in Pakistan is 12% and we should work with them. I don’t see why Romney is too worried - that’s three points above Congress in a recent CBS/New York Times poll.
Rick Santorum is batshit. Period. I’ll just give a sample of what he said…
On profiling: "Well, the folks who are most likely to be committing these crimes. If you look at — I mean, obviously, it was — obviously, Muslims would be — would be someone you’d look at, absolutely. Those are the folks who are — the radical Muslims are the people that are committing these crimes, as we’ve — by and large, as well as younger males. I mean, these are things that — not exclusively — but these are things that you profile to — to find your best — the most likely candidate."
On holy war: “We are not fighting a war on terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic. We’re fighting a war against radical Islam.”
On redefining geography: ”Africa was a country on the brink. On the brink of complete meltdown and chaos, which would have been fertile ground for the radical Islamists to be able to — to get — to get a foothold.”
On alliances: ”Well, I’ve spent a lot of time and concern — and Rick mentioned this earlier — about what’s going on in Central and South America. I’m very concerned about the militant socialists and there — and the radical Islamists joining together, bonding together. I’m concerned about the spread of socialism and that this administration, with — time after time, whether it was the delay in moving forward on Colombia’s free trade agreement, whether it was turning our back to the Hondurans and standing up for democracy and the — and the rule of law. And we took the side with Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro for a corrupt President. We’ve sent all the wrong signals to Central and South America.”
Winners: Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Magnets, the ACLU, Barack Obama Losers: Brown people who wish to fly without being profiled, liberty, Americans living in poverty, Herman Cain
In the CNN debate over national security, Michele Bachmann made an eyebrow-raising declaration. From The National Journal:
Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann serves on the House Intelligence Committee, so her comments on Pakistan’s nuclear program represent either a news-making leak of previously unknown classified information or another in her recent series of seemingly-random, and highly inaccurate, public comments. During the CNN debate, Bachmann said that 15 Pakistani nuclear sites were vulnerable to jihadist attacks, and that six of the sites had previously come under some form of Islamist attack. U.S. intelligence and military officials believe that Pakistan has 15 nuclear sites, but no U.S. official has publicly said that all of the sites were vulnerable to militant attack or confirmed that any of them had previously come under any form of jihadist attack.
Hmmm… knowing Michele Bachmann, either could be likely and it’s quite terrifying that she has access to classified information.
University of California officials said Tuesday they will pay the medical expenses of students who were pepper sprayed during an Occupy Davis protest last week.
Authorities have also decided to drop charges against 10 people who were arrested during the Friday protest on the campus of UC Davis. The university system has also created an advisory panel to look into the incident, University of California President Mark Yudof said.
Bill Bratton, who has led police departments in Los Angeles, Boston and New York, will head the panel, Yudof said. “My intent,” Yudof said, “is to provide the chancellor and the entire University of California community with an independent, unvarnished report about what happened at Davis.”
Perhaps too little, too late? It’s a good move, but a better one would have been not dousing students in pepper-spray.
“BLITZER: So just to be precise, is it ethnic profiling, religious profiling? Who would be profiled?
SANTORUM: Well, the folks who are most likely to be committing these crimes. If you look at — I mean, obviously, it was — obviously, Muslims would be — would be someone you’d look at, absolutely. Those are the folks who are — the radical Muslims are the people that are committing these crimes, as we’ve — by and large, as well as younger males. I mean, these are things that — not exclusively — but these are things that you profile to — to find your best — the most likely candidate.”—
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, endorsing racial profiling in tonight’s debate. He was also very concerned about radical socialists and militant Islamists joining forces.