Iraq

The Nation Rah-Rahs Ron Paul

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Perhaps of some relevance to the passionate comment thread here on whether Ron Paul's rise says something about whether Democrat or Republican, right or left, is where libertarians ought to turn for viable political allies, John Nichols of The Nation says this about Paul today:

When is the Washington press corps going to start treating Ron Paul as seriously as it does Fred Thompson?

The likely answer is "not soon." And that's the most frustrating thing about the way in which the GOP race is being covered by major media. After all, Ron Paul has more to say—and says it better—than any of the other Republicans. With a fair shake from the media, he'd be rising even faster in New Hampshire and elsewhere.

Of course, one of the reasons Paul's on the rise now is the fact that he is not the kind of contender who tailors his message or his campaign to meet media expectations.

The Nation's Nichols was interviewed by me for this December 2006 essay on whether or not the Dems could be relied on to end the war in Iraq.

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  1. the most frustrating thing about the way in which the GOP race is being covered by major media

    It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the majority of journalists identify themselves as Democrats, would it? Not even a little?

  2. It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the majority of journalists identify themselves as Democrats, would it? Not even a little?

    I don’t buy that. The “liberal media” is the one that’s constantly slobbering over “maverick” John McCain (or at least before his campaign got torpedoes), kicked the Jesus out of Clinton over the Lewinsky scandal and cheerleaded Bush right into a war with Iraq.
    I think reporters just don’t see Paul as having much of a shot.

  3. Plus, the media doesn’t like to do its homework. Forgot that part.

  4. I think reporters just don’t see Paul as having much of a shot.

    Agreed. Ron is, in their playbook, the kooky Nader/Kucinich-style weirdo. He can’t win, but he can fuck up a close election for somebody. Any journalist who takes him too seriously risks getting ripped on at the next journalist shindig.

  5. Right. Once journalists start to give Ron Paul and even break, Americans will learn that he wants to abolish most federal departments and thinks the Founding Fathers envisioned a “robust Christian nation.” Then Americans, especially Americans on the left, will flock to him. I wonder what John Nichols has been smoking.

  6. The “liberal media” is the one that’s constantly slobbering over “maverick” John McCain…kicked the Jesus out of Clinton over the Lewinsky scandal and cheerleaded Bush right into a war with Iraq.

    I didn’t say they weren’t craven hypocrites.

  7. Perhaps of some relevance to the passionate comment thread here on whether Ron Paul’s rise says something about whether Democrat or Republican, right or left, is where libertarians ought to turn for viable political allies

    It was actually most about Dondero convincing all of us how libertarian Guiliani is and all and how bad Ron Paul is, yada yada yada…

  8. It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the majority of journalists identify themselves as Democrats, would it? Not even a little?

    Not really.

    The “viewpoint” of any “news” product (paper or electronic) is set by the editorial staff which gets its marching directions (to some degree or other) from the owners.

    The absolute primary purpose of generating any news product is to generate revenue, which is accomplished by capturing an audience. The easiest way to get a big audience is to cater to the mass market.

    The interest of the mass market can only be sustained by providing a steady stream of titilating “facts” about some collection of well known people. For politics, this degenerates to coverage about personalities and calling the horse race.

  9. ed, I think your cries of liberal bias would be more plausible if the media were falling all over themselves in praising Kucinich.

  10. It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the majority of journalists identify themselves as Democrats, would it? Not even a little?

    Why would it? If I were a Democrat and in control of the media, I would play up Paul and his zanier ideas, like that the Civil War was a mistake. And try to tie him as tightly to the GOP as I could.

  11. oh God, edward, go take a shit on your own face. Just … go away.

  12. oh God, edward, go take a shit on your own face.

    Again?

  13. What Jamie wrote,”oh God, edward, go take a shit on your own face. Just … go away.

    What Edward heard,”You’re a God, Edward, …blah …blah …blah”

  14. Auto shiesse asphyxiation?

  15. That little Greasemonkey script works nicely for being able to ignore irritating commentors.

    Anyway, I think Ron Paul doesn’t get much coverage because he is too idealistic. Politicians can talk all they want about “principle”, but when it comes down to brass tacks, “principle” scares the shit out of them. The media just assumes that anyone who actually believes in the principles that he endorses must be crazy, stupid, or both.

  16. ,i>oh God, edward, go take a shit on your own face.

    Again?

    The identity of tubgirl is finally revealed!

  17. Right. Once journalists start to give Ron Paul and even break, Americans will learn that he wants to abolish most federal departments and thinks the Founding Fathers envisioned a “robust Christian nation.” Then Americans, especially Americans on the left, will flock to him. I wonder what John Nichols has been smoking.
    How DARE you point out what he said! Ron Paul is the savior, and he will deliever us from evil!

  18. carrick sez:

    The interest of the mass market can only be sustained by providing a steady stream of titilating “facts” about some collection of well known people. For politics, this degenerates to coverage about personalities and calling the horse race.

    That’s basically it. If you’re not well known before you start campaigning, you’ll be lucky if you get any MSM coverage. Luckier still if any of the coverage you do get isn’t simply about how you’re not well known or a fringe candidate or a joke. Romney might be an exception to this rule.

  19. Well then, do you think Paul would get better coverage if there were more libertarian than Democrat journalists? I do.

  20. Well then, do you think Paul would get better coverage if there were more libertarian than Democrat journalists? I do.

    A journalist’s political credentials aren’t important. Mr. Boss Man assigns the stories that he thinks are important to the readers/viewers, and Paul ain’t getting much love from the public. In other words, a Paul story just isn’t going to sell ads. Sounds cynical, but hey, what would I know? I’m just a journalist.
    This also explains why Paul is so popular on the i-Tubes. No love in mainstream media = lots o’love online.

  21. The only reason The Nation likes Ron Paul is because he’s useful; he’s a Republican opposed to “Bush’s War”.

    The problem would lie in when The Nation called on President Paul to “do something” about Darfur, or Myanmar, and was promptly spurned. Then he’d be a heartless righty again.

  22. Gimme Back My Dog,

    The civil war was a mistake. And it wasn’t about slavery — four slave states fought on the Union side, after all. Just heading off the “crimethink is a racist” meme before it comes out to play again.

  23. Ed –

    I think that it’s impossible to have more libertarian journalists than Democrat journalists, in ways that are structural and go beyond the fact that libertarians are a despised minority generally.

    Political journalism is pretty closely wedded to wonkery. You get into the field because you like to haggle about the details of scores of interrelated policies. Libertarianism is a philosophy of largely settled issues, most of which forestall new policies and therefore make discussion of those policies a little pointless. It’s just more fun to be a political journalist if there are broad new policy initiatives to pick apart every day, and to do horserace articles on.

    With regard to this specific, I’m not willing to “call out” anybody on Thompson yet, but WTF is up with coverage of McCain? McCain just isn’t far enough ahead of Paul to justify the disparity in their coverage. Frankly, McCain should get less coverage than Huckabee. But McCain is a “serious” candidate and the media fall all over themselves to fawn over him and try to talk the electorate into thinking that a McCain “comeback” is in the offing. The desperation of some [I’m looking at YOU, NBC universe of stations!] to try to resuscitate this guy’s campaign is shameless.

  24. Wouldn’t the appearance of this story in the Freaking Nation, complaining about the DC media and saying nice things about Ron Paul, pretty much destroy the theory that the mainstream media is ignoring Paul because of liberal bias?

    The only media in this country that can be accurately described as liberal is found in such places as the Nation, Daily Kos, and the like. They have given Paul much more attention than the corporate national and beltway media, have given him much more positive attention, and have complained about how the mainstream media are treating him.

  25. Paul and Thompson are both being covered stupidly, and it is at least partly because the media is full of Democrats. That’s the obvious origin of both the Naderite spoiler view of Paul and the “‘true’ conservatives should vote Democrat” spin that’s so often put on it editorially.

    Thompson’s campaign was similarly declared media-dead before it began, and when it’s covered, which it barely is, it’s spun as a signal of the death of Reaganism, not as a sign of its popularity among actual voting Republicans, even though he’s fluctuating upward in many primary polls. That view, too, serves Democrats, by saving them from a potential landslide candidate. (Either Thompson or Paul, presented honestly, could be that.)

    That the results of herd-minded laziness in the media are indistinguishable from pro-Democrat bias (not “liberal,” or they wouldn’t be in the tank for Hillary) should answer Doherty’s question.

    It won’t.

  26. It’s also important to note that journalists and the media establishment in general just adore the machinations of government, whether the people controlling the levers are red or blue. So even a “conservative” journalist — admittedly, there are few — looks at a guy like Paul as being some sort of de facto freak, an outsider, a weirdo, whereas the real meat-and-potatoes political reporting is all concerned about personalities, popularity and minor differences in how the candidates would wield their power.

  27. Perhaps of some relevance to the passionate comment thread here on whether Ron Paul’s rise says something about whether Democrat or Republican, right or left, is where libertarians ought to turn for viable political allies

    Libertarians should follow their own principles when thinking about wedding themselves to either side.

    Permanent, entangling alliances are bad. Advancing your self-interest through voluntary transactions is good.

    Basically, libertarians should maintain their independence and treat their interactions with the Big Two as transactional.

    Let’s face it – the “fusionist” Republican coalition got you nothing. It would be a mistake to try it again, with either side.

  28. http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/the_ron_paul_campaign_and_its.html

    As of November 11–the Ron Paul donation link is still up and active on Stormfront. No IP address has been blocked. Stormfront’s would-be stormtroopers are still encouraged to contribute to Paul’s campaign.

    The white supremacists do more than raise funds. Blogger Adam Holland reports:

    “one of Rep. Paul’s top internet organizers in Tennessee is a neo-Nazi leader named Will Williams (aka ‘White Will’). Williams was the southern coordinator for William Pierce’s National Alliance Party, the largest neo-Nazi party in the U.S.”
    Pierce is author of the racist “Turner Diaries”. When the Lone Star Times exposed the $500 Don Black donation, Williams responded on the national Ron Paul meetup site,

    “Must Dr. Paul capitulate to our Jewish masters’ demands?”
    The mild responses to Williams’ MeetUp post make a sharp contrast to the hatred and invective with which Paul supporters respond to Medved or any other writer questioning Paul’s refusal to disassociate himself from his racist supporters. Any other campaign would presume Williams’ expression of anti-Semitism was a dirty trick by an opposing campaign. Williams would have been hurriedly denounced and booted out of the campaign. Not Ron Paul.

  29. Good point, joe.

    OT: Someone yesterday mentioned that Huckabee’s “money bomb” was to be today. Anyone have an inkling on how that’s going?

  30. The Meetups aren’t part of the campaign.

    Therefore, there is nothing to boot.

  31. Just came across this:

    “This is from Jonathan Bydlak, Fundraising Director, Ron Paul 2008:

    During the first few days of October, we announced our fundraising goal for the fourth quarter: $12 million raised by December 31.

    But there’s more: we must spend it by then, too.

    If we were to raise the entire $12 million in the last week of December, we would meet our fundraising goal for the quarter. But Ron Paul would stand little chance of winning the Republican nomination, because that money would have come in too late.

    Time is of the essence. You see, we need to raise money well before we plan to spend it. That’s because most of the expenditures that we make need to be paid for weeks in advance. For example, we need to buy crucial airtime for the end of December right now.”

  32. Given how wedded the Big Two are to Big Government, I really don’t see libertarians gaining any traction in any form of operations with them. We’ll be used for our principled arguments to advance Team Red or Blue, and promptly stabbed in the back when it’s politically convenient.

    Libertarians shouldn’t play in politics; we should be doing grassroots philosophical education.

  33. crimethink,

    I almost put in a Libertarian Disclaimer that I also feel that the CW was a mistake. But my opinion doesn’t change the fact that for most voters, a major Republican figure talking down the CW would only reinforce their suspicion that the GOP is run by Racist Old White Men.

  34. sage —

    I don’t have a 12AM baseline, but since 10:30AM to right now Huckabee’s raised a whopping $62,000.

  35. I really don’t think the lack of coverage of Ron Paul has anything to do with mainstream media being “too liberal” or “full of Democrats.” (I’m not saying it is or isn’t, I just don’t think it applies here). Like others have said, this is simply a matter of everyone on both sides (even Republicans) do not see Paul as a “serious” candidate. What that means is that he’s “too crazy” and “wants to abolish government” so he’s “unelectable.” I really think this is simply the usual problem that libertarian ideas just aren’t that popular.

  36. joe

    I must confess, you are at your best when you are doing your dispassionate analysis of a candidate in whose success you have no particular interest.

    Well done.

  37. joe

    I must confess, you are at your best when you are doing your dispassionate analysis of a candidate in whose success you have no particular interest.

    Well done.

    Seconded. I fully agreed with joe’s assessment of how libertarians should align themselves.

  38. Isaac,

    Then I guess I’m going to spend 2008 writing some great posts.

    Rudy McRomneyson vs. Jonack Clinton. Hey, who knows, maybe we’ll see some Dodd-mentum!@

    Yippee.

  39. Yes, the afternoon cup o’joe is much better than that chickory crap this morning.

  40. it has to do with the fact that the media is controlled by the CFR.

    same reason why nobody will pick up the story on sybil edmonds.

  41. The “viewpoint” of any “news” product (paper or electronic) is set by the editorial staff which gets its marching directions (to some degree or other) from the owners.

    To some degree, sure. But the orientation, conscious or otherwise, of the people who do the investigation (such as it is) and actual writing (such as it is) colors how stories are selected and framed to a great degree.

    Wouldn’t the appearance of this story in the Freaking Nation, complaining about the DC media and saying nice things about Ron Paul, pretty much destroy the theory that the mainstream media is ignoring Paul because of liberal bias?

    Only if you think the Nation is part of the mainstream media. I don’t.

    The only media in this country that can be accurately described as liberal is found in such places as the Nation, Daily Kos, and the like.

    Only if you define liberal as “hardcore left”. I don’t. Most journalists self-identify as Democrats and what I call squishy liberals.

  42. I looks like the Paulites are trying to chase after the Huckabeebs and steal their thunder.
    hier

    Don’t forget, you can chip in too!

  43. To some degree, sure. But the orientation, conscious or otherwise, of the people who do the investigation (such as it is) and actual writing (such as it is) colors how stories are selected and framed to a great degree.

    refering to mr. kelly above — the editorial staff determines which stories are selected. So any journalistic biases of the reporting staff won’t show up, if the story is never assigned.

  44. I agree with Fluffy – the media likes the the little behind-the-scenes machinations too much (because it’s a more interesting way to frame a story than some Lockean philosophy, anyway); also, the media loves Big Government and has no interest in covering anyone who has a desire to rollback Government in any serious way.

    A lot of it, tragically, is because it appeals to the baser emotion of “hero worship”. McCain is covered seriously because he wants to do “heroic” things with the government; Paul is ridiculed because he doesn’t believe heroes come from statism. Reflect on history, note who is declared the greater Statesmen, and you’ll understand the drive to collectivize and hero-worship.

  45. The civil war was a mistake. And it wasn’t about slavery — four slave states fought on the Union side, after all.

    Indeed? And what did cause it? The legal election of a president by constitutional means? Come now. The sections had their differences, but only one really mattered.

    The ACW *was* caused by slavery. Just read the “Declaration of Causes” for any of the seceding states. You can find four of them here, I’m sure other can be found with some digging:

    http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html

    Just heading off the “crimethink is a racist” meme before it comes out to play again.

    I don’t think you’re racist, just mistaken.

  46. I looks like the Paulites are trying to chase after the Huckabeebs and steal their thunder.
    hier

    Nanny Huckabee is GWB’s “compassionate conservatism” on steroids! He is one scary MoFo.

    In the LA Times today, Jonah Goldberg says, “Ron Paul isn’t that scary

  47. Only if you think the Nation is part of the mainstream media.

    Wrong. If they are a liberal media organ, then the argument is just as valid. And the Nation is demonstrably a liberal media outlet.

    I don’t. Most journalists self-identify as Democrats and what I call squishy liberals. So do most firefighters. This does not make them “liberal firefighting companies.” It makes them Democrats who work for firefighting companies.

    People who deny the possibility of doing one’s job fairly and professionally are telling us a lot more about themselves and their own habits than those of professional journalists.

  48. Paul didn’t get much coverage, until recently, because he wasn’t raising money and was just an asterix in the polls. Early on, he got about as much coverage as, say, Duncan Hunter or Tom Tancredo-all three of them are Republican House members (as opposed to Senators or Governors, which garner more respect due to thier proven ability to win statewide) with little initial support.

    Recently, of course, things have changed-and, volia, he’s getting more coverage. Keep in mind, though, he’s still somewhere between fourth and sixth place (depending on the state), so he’s still not going to come anywhere near winning.

  49. Er, The Nation is not liberal. It is left-wing. There is a difference.

  50. “Reflect on history, note who is declared the greater Statesmen, and you’ll understand the drive to collectivize and hero-worship.”

    Who are the most famous and popular, statists like FDR and Lincoln or those who believed in less government like Grover Cleveland and Coolidge?

  51. doing one’s job fairly and professionally

    Journalists have biases like most every other human. They are not exempt, although they would like to be viewed as a holy priesthood of objectivity. Nothing gets them more rankled than a suggestion that they may have opinions that just might creep into their work from time to time. I’m not talking about those obvious partisans who play that role in their columns or on TV, but rank and file scribes who do it almost anonymously. The very fact that they tend to vote Democrat indicates that they have personal, political opinions. Of course it influences how they cover a political story.

  52. The reason that Ron Paul doesn’t get a fair shake from the mainstream media has nothing to do with the fact that many journalists happen to be Democrats. It is almost the opposite.

    Ron Paul is treated like Kucinich because both question U.S. foriegn policy/militarism and empire. The reason that the media supports people like Guliani,Clinton,Romney,Thompson,even Obama is that they all support imperialism and large kleptocratic anti-democratic corporations. People in the media may vote Democratic but they are not democratic.

  53. Huckabee definitely pushes that drive toward being “one” as a country, where we all stand together, yadayadayada. That’s the kind of crap that people connect with.

    Paul needs to rephrase some of his points if he’s going to win over those who are driven by their feelings. There’s only so many times that he can use the word “freedom” and “constitution” before it gets a little corny. He’s already won quite a block of voters, and now it’s time to go after the rest.

  54. ed,

    Of course they do. And professional journalists do their best to set those aside and report the news fairly and accurately.

    What I’m saying is, there is a difference between a real journalist and those cable TV talking heads.

    People who argue that a speck is the same as a log, generally want to hit you with a log.

  55. I think it is helpful to think of journalists in the establishment corporate media (ABC,NBC,CBS, Cable, NY Times, Washington Post) not in a left or right way, but rather as courtiers to the king.

  56. The dirty secret in journalism is that the craft primarily exists to feed off government at various levels, City Hall, Court House, State House, Big House, White House, even the cop shops and fire stations. Think of the percentage of your daily news intake that originates with government.

    Journos are always trying to suck their way into a government job. I’m angling to jump from my weekly newspaper gig to a PI job with the local school district at almost twice the salary and half the workload.

    Libertarians favor less government, therefore less opportunities for us media whores to land jobs where we get the same holidays as the Post Office.

  57. The same studies that demonstrate that journalists are more likely than the overall population to vote for Democrats also demonstrate that they are more likely to support Free Trade agreements and the privatization of Social Security.

    There is definitely a bias in big media, but it has more to do with class than politics.

  58. “The same studies that demonstrate that journalists are more likely than the overall population to vote for Democrats also demonstrate that they are more likely to support Free Trade agreements and the privatization of Social Security.”

    THANK YOU for bringing this study up because it is almost never mentioned by people who think we have a left-wing media. I would say that people in the media share the biases of those educated at Ivy league schools and in the upper income brackets.

  59. There is definitely a bias in big media, but it has more to do with class than politics.

    That’s probably a better classification.

  60. …to a PI job with the local school district at almost twice the salary and half the workload.

    And an utterly dishy pension that kicks in about age fifty-five as well, I’ll bet.

  61. “Journos are always trying to suck their way into a government job”

    I think it is usually the opposite because people almost always make more in the private sector than they would in gov’t. Usually its politicians who get elected to serve the people and then sell them out to get a cushy job at a large corporation.

  62. “I think it is usually the opposite because people almost always make more in the private sector than they would in gov’t. Usually its politicians who get elected to serve the people and then sell them out to get a cushy job at a large corporation.”

    James,

    Managing editors in my Texas newspaper group make between 32K and 42K. I’m in the upper middle range of that with 15 years experience. The salary for the assistant director of public information post at one local school district, requiring less than ten years experience in the media biz, starts at $82K.

  63. Fred Thompson is the only candidate that gets it. He makes decisions based on principles. Principles don’t change. You have to stand for something and not change who you are based on the polls. That is what Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani have done and all of the Democrats do it. Give me a leader that will stand by his principles anyday versus someone that stands for everything.

    I know many, many Republicans that will stay home if Rudy Giuliani is the candidate. He does not represent our values as Conservatives, and never will. Mitt Romney is a RINO (though a very nice man) that simply has everything else and nothing to do. “I guess I’ll just try to buy the presidency”. Conservatives will simply stay home and the Democrats will pick up additional seats in the House and probably get the 60 seats in the Senate they need to completely destroy our Country. Nice picture huh?

    However, I think Fred can bring America back together, if that’s even possible. America needs a rebirth of patriotism and honor. Republicans also need a rebirth. President Reagan was our last rebirth and he can never be duplicated. Fred Thompson will bring his own down-to-earth common sense to this Country and strength back to our party. A little of the good old days of faith and family would do well for this Country. If a Conservative runs as a Conservative, he will win!

    Think of it this way: Eight years of another sleazy Clinton White House? Now if that is not a sufficient enough reason to pull together as a party, as a Country, and fight this socialist liberal takeover of our government, what is? It is not impossible to take back the House and the Senate. We are winning in Iraq-they know it. The best they can do now is stop our progress and choose defeat, just like they did during Vietnam. We lost because Congress chose defeat. History repeats itself when not learned from.

    Folks, we are in for the fight of our lives, just as our young men and women are fighting for our freedoms in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must fight for our Country right here and now! I truly believe Fred Thompson is the one man who can pull this party and nation back together! Rudy Giuliani will just tear us apart as a party.

  64. It probably depends on the field, most of the people in the upper crust of the mainstream media could not make comprable money in the gov’t. Likewise most politicians can make a lot more in lobbying or working in private law.

  65. Just plunked down another $50 for Dr. Paul.

    Got to see my name on the ticker again, YAY!

  66. “However, I think Fred can bring America back together, if that’s even possible. America needs a rebirth of patriotism and honor.”

    Um…No…we need a rebirth of critical thinking in this country not Reaganite b.s. about how great we are. Reagan/Bush have given us ‘Patriotism for Dummies’.

  67. “THANK YOU for bringing this study up because it is almost never mentioned by people who think we have a left-wing media.”

    Are people such as Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, the late Peter Jennings, Katy Couric not liberals? These are the ones who have the main anchor positions on the MSM.

  68. They Said It: Thompson Social Security Plan Applauded as ‘Courageous,’ ‘Honest,’ and ‘Substantive’

    Courage & Honesty

    Republican presidential contender Fred Thompson’s plan to save Social Security and protect seniors, which he introduced Friday afternoon in a Washington, D.C., hotel, differs starkly from standard election year pablum on the subject in one key way: He’s actually treating voters like adults. (ABC, 11/9)

    Thompson…is seeking to show he is willing to take on tough issues if elected in November 2008, telling a news conference in Washington he was the only candidate to offer an extensive Social Security plan. (Reuters, 11/10)

    “You certainly have to admire his courage for putting this out,” said Alan Viard with the American Enterprise Institute. (Tennessean, 11/10)

    Supporters contend that Thompson’s willingness to take on the so-called third rail of politics will impress voters. (Bloomberg, 11/10)

    Conservative economic experts applauded Thompson for offering specifics on an issue considered to be politically dangerous. (Tennessean, 11/10)

    “He’s not afraid to be brutally honest with the American people about the challenges that lie ahead,” said Representative Zach Wamp, a Tennessee Republican who is working to recruit supporters for Thompson. “People can tell the difference between a strong leader telling the truth and a weak leader talking politics.” (Bloomberg, 11/10)

    Substance

    [Thompson is] the first candidate of either party to offer a detailed proposal to fix the nation’s retirement system. (WP, 11/10)

    The Republican candidate laid out a detailed, four-page proposal (WSJ, 11/10)

    Mr. Thompson’s plan…was more specific than what the Bush White House put on the table when it sought to overhaul the system. It also varied substantially from the traditional conservative approach of focusing primarily on personal investment accounts. (NYT, 11/10)

    Economist Jason Furman said Thompson deserves credit for offering a detailed plan to address the projected Social Security shortfall…(Bloomberg, 11/10)

    In discussing policy, Thompson was in his element. (Politico, 11/9)

    He’d prefer to talk about substance. (Politico, 11/9)

    Thompson’s plan draws on ideas favored by conservatives: a reduction in benefits, rather than an increase in payroll taxes; and a shift toward private accounts, rather than government-provided payments. (WP, 11/10)

    Rivals

    [Thompson] ventured Friday into an area few rivals have tread: advocacy of a fundamental overhaul of Social Security. (WSJ, 11/10)

    Although all of the presidential candidates have spoken, when asked, about the need to fix the Social Security system, none has offered such a detailed plan nor talked so eagerly and often about the issue. (WSJ, 11/10)

    Among Republicans, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney have talked in general terms … but none has offered a specific plan. (WP, 11/10)

    Mr. Thompson is the only one of the Republicans running for the White House who has made Social Security a central theme of his campaign. (NYT, 11/10)

    He is the only presidential candidate so far to make Social Security an anchor of his campaign. (WSJ, 11/10)

    But with less than two months before the 2008 voting begins, candidates have generally been reluctant to confront the Social Security issue. (WP, 11/10)

    ——————————————————————————–

    Saving and Protecting Social Security
    A Plan to Ensure Retirement Security for All Americans
    http://www.fred08.com/virtual/socialsecurity.aspx

  69. Nice cut-and-paste job there Regina.
    You do realize what website you’re on, right?

  70. I think Grandpa Thompson better drink his prune juice…

  71. There is definitely a bias in big media, but it has more to do with class than politics.

    I’ll half-agree. I think its both, but in a 50/50 country, I don’t think you can deny that journalists are disproporionately sqhishy-liberal Democrats. Or that it affects how they do their jobs.

  72. “I don’t think you can deny that journalists are disproporionately sqhishy-liberal Democrats. Or that it affects how they do their jobs.”

    I am a left-democrat(small d) and calling these people liberal I think just doesn’t describe them. Real liberals wouldn’t cheer on the War in Iraq or the hoped-for War in Iran. They would not push this ridiculous trope about a social security crisis or be such a fan of free trade etc…

  73. Between Regina on this thread and Joel above, I just might support RP… wow.

    freakers!

  74. RC,

    Another word for “squishy liberals” is “not really liberals.”

    I’ve never met a liberal who thinks that the political preferences evident in the mainstream media reflect his own beliefs.

  75. Libertarians shouldn’t play in politics; we should be doing grassroots philosophical education.

    Libertarians shouldn’t vote for people who are trying to destroy everything we stand for, but we should vote in every election, even if that means handing in a blank ballot for every race. A ton of blank ballots, larger than the difference between the winning and losing candidate, sends a strong message: Those people not voting could have changed the race, and their views should be taken into account.

  76. As my newspapers are located in Tom DeLay’s old district, I used to go to bat for him editorially, mainly to cheese off the local Dems and generate letters to the editor.

    Several of them were actually aghast that a newspaper editor could (gulp!) defend a Republican, so that showed me that at least the rank and file Democrats think that the media is on their side (that’s actually how one phrased it).

    Now that I favor Ron Paul (but hey, as a matter of principle I don’t even register to vote), the local GOPs think I’m a turncoat (one of our local city councilmen is running for Paul’s house seat as a mainline Republican).

  77. I like the blank ballot idea…even though I am not a libertarian, but I would instead have a box on each ballot for each race marked “no confidence”.

  78. “Several of them were actually aghast that a newspaper editor could (gulp!) defend a Republican, so that showed me that at least the rank and file Democrats think that the media is on their side (that’s actually how one phrased it).”

    If you defended DeLay just to piss of Democrats you sound like a real Republican…but maybe people were just shocked you could defend a criminal like DeLay…

  79. The fact tha Democrats are in the media isn’t why Paul doesn’t get coverage. Look at the way Republicans treat him. I think if the media was full of Republicans, he’d get even less coverage. All of the Paul smears come from the right, not the left.

  80. “If you defended DeLay just to piss of Democrats you sound like a real Republican…but maybe people were just shocked you could defend a criminal like DeLay…”

    Actually, James, I liked the idea that a guy who specialized in killing cockroaches could rise to such a high position in goverment. Enough with the frikkin’ lawyers!

    And James, this is Texas. What y’all might see as criminality we just consider government as usual. That’s how the shit gets done. Starts with Bubba gettin’ a seat on the County Commission so my road can get paved, and works its way up from there.

  81. “And James, this is Texas. What y’all might see as criminality we just consider government as usual.”

    I agree.

  82. A closet libertarian I know told how he was turning in a blank ballot because no one on the ballot reflected his views, and a poll worker noticed this and was baffled that anyone would go to this trouble — but not baffled that anyone would go to the trouble of voting in a race of clones with nearly identical positions, which was our mayor’s race that election.

  83. James,

    As a younger man I tried to fight it. Then I realized that they all stink, red or blue, from City Hall up to Washington. Now i just sit back and laugh at it all.

  84. Statement by Fred Thompson on Adult Cell Research Breakthrough

    McLean, VA – Senator Fred Thompson issued the following statement regarding today’s scientific breakthrough in adult cell research:

    “There is exciting news for patients today. In yet another breakthrough for adult cell research, scientists have made normal human skin cells take on the relevant properties of embryonic stem cells. That is in addition to 73 breakthroughs for adult and cord blood research to date. There are still no embryonic stem cell breakthroughs.

    “For all who are concerned for patients and their families, the effective, ethical, and compassionate answer is to put our money where the breakthroughs are happening — in adult research.

    “Using adult cells negates the need for cloning embryos to harvest their stem cells.

    “We all want to find cures to help people with chronic illnesses. Adult cells have provided breakthroughs for many illnesses including ovarian and breast cancer, Juvenile Diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, and Sickle Cell Anemia. Today’s announcement is just one more indication that our current policy in relying only on adult cells is working.”

  85. Um, for those of you shilling for Fred Thompson, there’s an article over in CQ pointing out how many supposed Fred supporters have been getting fed up with him.

    Ol’ gravel-voiced Fred ain’t catching fire. He looks like he’d fall asleep while taking the oath.

  86. Tom, you’re a man after my own heart.

    Starts with Bubba gettin’ a seat on the County Commission so my road can get paved, and works its way up from there.

    That’s about how it happens across the country. Just there’s still some folks think their locale and their guy/gal/s are purer than the rest.

  87. Fredheads?

    Here?

    go figure…

  88. The Civil War was not about slavery. That the South had slaves, and wanted to keep them, was merely incidental. The cause was the North’s designs to impoverish the South. It was urban manufacturing states versus rural agricultural states.

    Lincoln (and the Republicans) were statist mercantilists. They instituted one of the highest tariffs in history. Since the US imported manufactured goods and exported agricultural products, this massive tariff benefited the North who didn’t have to compete anymore, and hurt the South who had its market slashed in half. The South decided to stop collecting the tariff, but the North sent down troops to force it. It was no accident that the spark that started the war was an attack on a customs house.

    And so they seceded. Slavery was involved only as an incidental, as the South was agricultural. The North had not proposed emancipation. In fact, Lincoln only freed the (southern) slaves as a tactic. The idea that Lincoln marched troops to the south for the express purpose of freeing slaves is preposterous, and gross ignorance of history. If it really was about slavery, then Lincoln would have freed the slaves BEFORE the war, instead of towards the end.

    But regardless of the causes, there was STILL no excuse for the North to attack the South, and wage the bloodiest and costliest war in our history.

  89. Piping up on a few topics:

    It’s an insult to Reagan to compare Thompson to Reagan. Reagan was no Thomas Aquinas, but he was a political intellectual compared to Thompson [and certainly compared to Bush].

    Personally, I defended Delay – who I personally detested – because the “crimes” he was accused of were crap. He was indicated essentially for obeying campaign finance laws [that shouldn’t exist] and for explaining to potential donors how they too could obey with campaign finance laws, but still accomplish what they wanted to accomplish. That criminal!

  90. For too long politics and political coverage in the US has focused on party affiliation, opposition bashing, and political gamesmanship than on principles, ideas, and the fundamental rights of individuals.

    RP draws supports from the left and the right and runs a campaign focused on the message and not the messenger. He doesn’t fit any of the nice little boxes the media and the parties have carved out together.

  91. Brandybuck, there is special place reserved for idiot apologists like yourself, and its very very warm.

  92. The South decided to stop collecting the tariff, but the North sent down troops to force it. It was no accident that the spark that started the war was an attack on a customs house.

    Uh, didn’t all that go down during the Jackson administration, 25 years before Ft Sumter? The Nullification Crisis, IIRC. Also, I’m not sure that California, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, etc — all of whom fought on the side of the Union — could really be classified as industrial states. But I agree, the motives of the federal govt were far from pure.

    Anyway, I think we can all agree that there’s a definitive pro-Civil War bias in the MSM.

  93. The south seceeded because their sectional party lost an election. Period.

  94. Lincoln Derangement Syndrome?

    Given the trend in the GOP, it looks like we might have a similar situation in about a year or so…

  95. A journalist’s political credentials aren’t important. Mr. Boss Man assigns the stories that he thinks are important to the readers/viewers, and Paul ain’t getting much love from the public.

    The Boss Man can assign the task, but has only partial control over how it’s done. And editors can file off blatantly biased statements, but have limited ability to edit-in angles not covered, leads not pursued, facts that aren’t dug for, unless their lack is really obvious.

    Plus, the media doesn’t like to do its homework. Forgot that part.

    Exactly — and their bosses and editors can’t do all their homework for them. In other words, journalists do have some discretion as to how hard they work on a story. They also work with limited time and space, so they have to make choices about how completist they can be. These are the areas where the bias can creep in.

    Sounds cynical, but hey, what would I know? I’m just a journalist.

    Ah — and that would explain why you don’t see any liberal bias, Jamie. 🙂 You can’t smell a stink you’re used to.

    I don’t buy that. The “liberal media” is the one that’s constantly slobbering over “maverick” John McCain (or at least before his campaign got torpedoes), kicked the Jesus out of Clinton over the Lewinsky scandal and cheerleaded Bush right into a war with Iraq.

    Yes, just like “conservative” politicians and clergymen are constantly fucking prostitutes and hitting on undercover police officers. That doesn’t mean they don’t actually have a conservative bias in their outlook and actions. It would appear some things are too juicy to pass up, even if they go against a person’s principles. That doesn’t mean they don’t generally lean in one direction most of the time.

    People who deny the possibility of doing one’s job fairly and professionally are telling us a lot more about themselves and their own habits than those of professional journalists.

    The issue isn’t whether it’s possible for people to do their job fairly and professionally — it’s whether they actually do. People are often observed falling short of what is presumably possible for them to do, and it’s okay to call them on it when it happens.

  96. Son of a bitch — let me fix that last part. (I did use “Preview” but the server or browser seems to freeze up on me if I take too long to compose, so I reacted by re-posting as hastily as I could.)

    I don’t buy that. The “liberal media” is the one that’s constantly slobbering over “maverick” John McCain (or at least before his campaign got torpedoes), kicked the Jesus out of Clinton over the Lewinsky scandal and cheerleaded Bush right into a war with Iraq.

    Yes, just like “conservative” politicians and clergymen are constantly fucking prostitutes and hitting on undercover police officers. That doesn’t mean they don’t actually have a conservative bias in their outlook and actions. It would appear some things are too juicy to pass up, even if they go against a person’s principles. That doesn’t mean they don’t generally lean in one direction most of the time.

    People who deny the possibility of doing one’s job fairly and professionally are telling us a lot more about themselves and their own habits than those of professional journalists.

    The issue isn’t whether it’s possible for people to do their job fairly and professionally — it’s whether they actually do. People are often observed falling short of what is presumably possible for them to do, and it’s okay to call them on it when it happens.

  97. Journalists have biases like most every other human. They are not exempt, although they would like to be viewed as a holy priesthood of objectivity.

    Idiots! They should know that physicists already own The Saint slot, because they are the only truly objective human beings, forever immune to bias and group think.

  98. The fact that Democrats are in the media isn’t why Paul doesn’t get coverage. Look at the way Republicans treat him. I think if the media was full of Republicans, he’d get even less coverage. All of the Paul smears come from the right, not the left.

    I know it has a different dynamic than the mainstream media, but in left leaning sites I read regularly(Kevin Drum’s, Matthew Yglesias’s, Ezra Klein’s) have all posted uniformly negative things on Paul. I believe that the more emphatic sites like feministing and pandagon have been even more screechy (mainly because abortion is the single most hot button issue on those sites). The right wing sites have had some stuff against him due to disagreements on the Iraq war, but its only the overtly Republican sites (as opposed to just conservative sites) that have been aggressively anti-Paul

  99. Yes Jammer, you’re right. Lincoln freed the slaves and THEN the South seceded. Before the war started, not at the end. How could I have been so silly?

  100. Arguing that the North was not primarily motivated by the slave issue does not demonstrate that the South was not primarily motivated by the slave iddue.

    In political disagreements, it rarely works out that the two sides are motivated by mirror images of each other’s political ideals.

    The North was primarily motivated by the desire to preserve the Union, and slavery was only a concern because the South made it one. The South was primarily motivated by the desire to preserve slavery, and only moved to dissolve the union to accomplish that end.

    Right-libertarians have no difficulty with this concept when the subject is Barry Goldwater’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act. They are the first to point out that, just because he was on the other side from people dedicated to the elimination of segregation, that doesn’t mean he was a segregationist. Yet for some segment of them, this understanding goes right out the window when the subject is the Civil War.

  101. Stevo Darkly,

    I agree with you – but your argument is not the only one being made.

  102. Ah, Brandybuck, you are either a good troll or really deluded. Can you tell me about all the tariffs Lincoln passed *before* he took office? ‘Cause that’s when the first states seceded. Ever read their reasons why?

    Joe has it pretty much right on this one.

  103. Remember when the Confederates adopted a policy of executing any customs agents found fighting with the United States Army?

    No, me neither.

  104. Stevo Darkly,

    I agree with you – but your argument is not the only one being made.

    Me, too. But that doesn’t mean I agree with joe!

  105. “The South was primarily motivated by the desire to preserve slavery, and only moved to dissolve the union to accomplish that end.”

    The South was also opposed to the high tariffs they were having to pay which didn’t benefit them, but only the Northern states. In fact, Lincoln had no intentions of ending slavery. He only opposed extending it into the new territories. He only abolished slavery in the rebel states after the war was in progress and that was for the purpose of making slavery an issue to keep the British from intervening on behalf of the South. He told the Southern states that they were entitled to keep their slaves if they rejoined the Union. Lincoln was only concerned about preserving the Union.

  106. joe,

    You’re right about the South’s motivation in the war. But the “we” in the question “should we have fought the Civil War?” is usually presumed to refer to the Union. So the South’s motivations for secession are irrelevant to the question; what is relevant is the North’s reasons for going to war.

    Now, if someone said that the South was right to secede upon Lincoln’s election, then it could be argued that that person favored slavery.

  107. For example, if someone asks “Should we have invaded Iraq,” is Saddam’s motivation for starting his WMD program and refusing to give evidence that it had ended relevant?

  108. Remember when the Confederates adopted a policy of executing any customs agents found fighting with the United States Army?

    No, me neither.

    I don’t remember the Confederates doing anything.

  109. Rattlesnake Jake,

    Did you intend to repeat what I wrote back to me as if it was a retort? Because I wrote – as a matter of fact, it was the central point I made – that Lincoln and the North were primarly concerned with preserving the Union.

    As for the tarriffs – they didn’t secede when they were adopted, only when a passionate anti-slavery politician was elected. And yes, the unacceptable anti-slavery position he held, which motivated the Confederate states to secede, was opposition to its expansion into the west, rather than abolition where it already existed.

  110. joe,

    When the South seceded that pretty much guaranteed slavery wouldn’t expand into the West (since the North was then in full control of what happened in the territories), so I don’t think they seceded over that issue. They clearly feared that slavery was going to be abolished throughout the nation.

  111. “They clearly feared that slavery was going to be abolished throughout the nation.”

    Even though Lincoln said he had no intention of abolishing slavery?

  112. crimethink,

    The federal government was every bit as “in control of what happened” at Ft. Sumpter as in the western territories, and I don’t recall the Confederates being terribly deferential to that jurisdictional claim.

    The Confederates expected to add territory in the west to their country, just like the United States did.

    But I agree with the second part – the Confederates were concerned about the eventual, total abolition of slavery, and seceded when Lincoln was elected because they saw his position against the expansion of slavery as a step in that direction.

  113. When the South seceded that pretty much guaranteed slavery wouldn’t expand into the West…

    No, it’s almost certain that the CSA would have tried to expand slavery to the west, and even the north west of the Mississippi, in exactly the same way they planned to expand it into Mexico. By conquest.

    Lincoln may have erred in not letting the CSA go, but noone should have any illussions that given the southern states absolutely intransigent position on slavery and its expansion that a war on this issue would not have eventually happened.

    The civil war was a mistake. And it wasn’t about slavery — four slave states fought on the Union side,…

    Ummm,…not exactly. Federal troops moved into Missouri and overthrew the Legislature that was preparing to vote articles of secession. The state was hugely divided and over half of those citizens of the state who fought fought for the south.

    While KY and MD officially did not secede whole regiments were raised in those states to fight for the south. And it was done with the approval and encouragement and funding of local governments and some state officials.

    Delaware alone is the one slave state that did not openly express southern sympathies. This is likely because by 1860 there were no longer that many slaves held in the state. Nevertheless several hundred of its young men volunteered to fight for the southern cause. However, they did so with no official sanction from any public officials.

    Look, I’m as willing as anyone to say that grand historical events have complex explanations. But, for the most part, one is pretty safe in saying “NO SLAVERY, NO WAR.”

  114. The South was also opposed to the high tariffs they were having to pay which didn’t benefit them, but only the Northern states.

    Again, this is arrant nonsense. There were many states in the south that benefited from expenditures on federal programs. And these were not just limited to the military. There were huge federal expenditure on internal improvements in the south.

    And also, while it appears as though the tariff was disproportianately collected in the south, the reason for that is, that for the most part, ports of entry, were in the south. Once the goods were shipped up the Mississippi, or otherwise inland, the distribution of who was saddled with the tariff changed.

  115. “There were huge federal expenditure on internal improvements in the south.”

    Not to the extent as the railroad and canal building in the North or the protectionism of the manufacturing plants in the North.

  116. Rattlesnake Jake

    I think you need to study the histories of Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

    It might surprise you.

    Remember,”NO SLAVERY, NO WAR.”

    You will always get full marks for that answer.

  117. I agree with you – but your argument is not the only one being made.

    Agree with me —! joe, I got no comeback for that, you sneaky confounded liberal!

  118. Also, Rattlesnake Jake, remember, as I noted above, tariffs are collected at the port of entry. While much of the goods that did so entered through southern ports, the fact is that after transshipment they did not end up in southern destinations.

    The southern cry about tariffs rings false however one listens to it.

    Oh, and not to mention that the 3/5 rule plus the Senate gave the South a huge advantage over the north. It was virtually impossible for the north to pass anti-southern legislation or to prevent the passage of pro-southern legislation (witness the fugitive slave act).

  119. American Civil War? I am unware of a war inwhich any political group attempted to overthrow the regime for control of the centralized government. I have heard of a war between the States, to prevent southern independence.

    American Revolution was fought on a taxes of 3%.

    The Federal Government was receiving most of its income through tariffs. The south was exporting 3/4 of its agriculture. It was protectionist mercantilism, infant industry policies. 3 congressmen and 2 senators from the south voted for the 1824 tariff. Northern states voted overwhelming in favor. Henry Clay led the way to raise it again by 50% in 1828, “The Tariff of Abominations.” South Carolina,in a petition stated it was “A system of robbery and plunder. So that corrupt politicians could buy partisans and power.” VA,NC, AL joined SC in opposing the tariff. MA, Oh, RH,IN NY issued resolutions in favor of the tariff. Essentially the south was paying more on the tax and it was hurting the economies of their trading partners which in turned hurt their income a second way.Meanwhile the manufacturing economy of the north was profiting.1832 SC issued an Ordinance of Notification. Perfectly legal prior to 1865 I might add. (OH Nullified the Bank of the United States) SC Nullification Ordinance:Authorized seizure of property from tariff collectors to importers, duties repaid w/ interest. Tax collectors were thrown in jail. No jail could be used to inprison anyone for failing to pay the tax. State allocated 200,000.00 for firearms incase they were needed to combat the tax collectors.The tariff was eventually lowered from themid 1830s at its lowest until 1857.

    Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis highlighted the Tariff Issue in both their inaugural addresses. By 1860 the voting population of the North was 3 times the size of the voting population of the South. The Republican Party made political gains in 1857-1858 by pushing for protectionist legislation. The Morrill Tariff in the 1859-60 house of representatives.1 southern representative voted for it, out of 105 from TN. Lincoln,a lifelong Mercantilist and Henry Clay Fan,campaigned on Protectionism for the Republican Nomination.(“Battle Ground” State of PA,heart of steel industry, campaigned on protectionism.)Giant billboards and campaign posters for Lincoln/Hamlin read “Protection for Home Industry.”

    Lincoln prior to inaguaration in 1861 stated in Pittsburg Penn that nothing was more important to Congressional Representatives than the Morrill Tariff which hadn’t become law yet. Lincoln stated:” Anything that can be grown or Manufactured here in the United States should have zero competition from abroad.” Lincoln statements over and over in the inaugural address make it clear he has no qualms with slavery. That to interfere with slavery would be unconstitutional. He supported a constitutional amendment to prohibit the federal government from interfere with slavery by using Seward to get it through the committee of 13 in the senate. He also got through that would have nullified the Northern States Nullification on the slave fugitive law. This was all within the couple weeks of his administration. He was accommodating 100%, even to the constitutional level. However on the Tariff Lincoln said, “In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.”(He’s talking about the Morrill Tariff which had just passed which doubled the tariff in 1860.)

    Why The Southern Confederacy would pay Tariffs to a foreign government is beyond me. Two weeks after Fort Sumter,a blockade was placed on southern ports. He did so, without declaring war. So much for the Federalist Papers #28, “The state governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the liberty by the national authority.”

    I personally would like to defer to honest Abe on this one. “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is the most valuable, a most sacred right- a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is the right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government, may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may revolutionize, and make their own, of so much territory as they inhabit.” Abraham Lincoln 1848.(aww I like to imagine this is before the insanity set in from the decades of Syphilis effecting his mind.)

    What about John Quincey Adams on the 50th Anniversary of the Constitution?

    “The indissoluble link of union between the people of the several states of this confederated nation is, after all, not in the right but in the heart. If the day should ever come, may heaven avert it, when the affections of the people of these States shall be alienated from each other; when the fraternal spirit shall give way to cold indifference, or collision of interests shall fester into hatred, the bands of political associations will not long hold together parties no longer attracted by the magnetism of conciliated interests and kindly sympathies; and far better will it be for the people of the disunited states to part in friendship from each other, than to be held by constraint.”

    Ulysses S Grant, Union General: “If I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commission and offer my sword to the other side.” He was a slaveholder until after the 13th amendment was ratified…. after the war.

    Lincoln was a racist, you can read your speeches for himself. The “Whiteman’s Priviso” of the Whig and later Republican Party made it clear why they were against expanding slavery. The man unilaterally suspended habeas corpus. Ordered the military to shut down specific northern newspapers. Arrested thousands of political opponents and declared criticisms of his policies treason. Hired a secret police force, created an incentivized program for informants if convictions were obtained. Had no regard for civilians or pows.Confiscated firearms in the border states. Censored telegraph communications.

    All to preserve the union geographically, while violently destroying the union in every philosophical way possible. Like rape, or domestic violence, might clearly equals right. Enter the American Empire.

    Gotta Love it! Tariffs, Tyrant, Emancipator! Why choose???

    This is America Baybee!!! You can have it all haha.

    P.S. I am not white, southern or a racist.

  120. Nice comment thread, as usual.

    I’m pausing halfway through however to publicly share my pride in mnuez for knowing that the long-ass comment by Regina Srout was a fake from elsewhere. I’m sure the rest of ‘all figured it out too (and hopefully gave her/him/it hell for it in comments I’m about to come to) but I just wanna show off how awesome my bullshit detector is. At the very first sentence I audibly said, “huh?” and I stopped reading entirely during the second sentence of the second paragraph when I exclaimed, “it’s a fake comment!” and promptly did a search for it http://www.google.com/search?q=%22I+know+many,+many+Republicans+that+will+stay+home+if+Rudy+Giuliani+is+the+candidate.%22&num=100&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=we4&filter=0 .

    So even when I was in no way LOOKING OUT for anything suspicious I still new it for a fact just a few seconds in.

    Boy, I sooo rule. 🙂

    mnuez

  121. To be a real RonPauler you must refer to him as Dr Paul. Yes, a ob/gun is The Man To Save America
    Then you must ignore every neonazi and 9/11 truther contribrution to “dr paul”. Finally you MUST lose any connection to reality. Now you are a RonPaulian idiot!!!!

  122. The absolute primary purpose of generating any news product is to generate revenue, which is accomplished by capturing an audience. The easiest way to get a big audience is to cater to the mass market.

    I think you’re overlooking the utility of the media as a propaganda tool for government intervention.

    Suppose, for example, you’re a billionaire who depends on the Federal Reserve to pump up the real estate market, and you also own a big media outlet. You could let your media outlet run with a popular story about how the Fed is robbing the public blind, in which case the popular sentiment would cause pressure on the Fed to change policies and thus your real estate enterprises would go bust. Or, you could use the big media outlet as a propagandizing cheerleader for the Fed, in which case the Fed continues to prop up your investments until you’re ready to get out of the real estate market and leave the public holding the bag.

    Perhaps this more cynical alternative explains why an idiot like Jim “Mad Money” Cramer is on TV, and why he poses as a populist but always acts in the interests of Wall Street investors.

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