Campaigns/Elections

It's the Thing That's Gonna Make Ron Paul and His Magic Campaign Fat! It's The Big Hit! It's the Blimp!

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Ron Paul joked in yesterday's Washington Post that the Federal Election Commission might have some problems down the line with his uncoordinated shows of support from fans across the country.

Now Kenneth P. Vogel over at Politico analyzes the campaign finance legalities involved in one of the most fanciful projects dreamed up by Paulistas: The Ron Paul Blimp. An excerpt, and I invite any campaign finance lawyers in the Hit and Run family to weigh in on whether these crazy kids will get away with it:

[The blimp] tests the reach of campaign finance rules by employing an innovative funding structure that could expose a new way to pour largely unregulated money into politics. If the model is successful, hypothetically it could allow a media consultant to produce slick attack ads and — without ever disclosing how much was raised or spent — solicit millions from "sponsors" to air the ads in key states…..

………

As for the money floating the blimp, [Jerry] Collette and [former FEC chair Brad] Smith [the effort's legal advisor] have developed a detailed business plan carefully structured to avoid Byzantine campaign finance laws.

They shunned traditional mechanisms such as creating an independent non-profit group under section 527 of the IRS code — like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the other groups that spent millions on ads in 2004 — or a political action committee — like EMILY's List. Instead, they went an almost unheard of route, establishing a for-profit company: Liberty Political Advertising…..

…..Instead of soliciting donations like a PAC or a campaign or a non-profit political group, Liberty says it's "selling political advertisements that you can sponsor."

By Friday evening, Liberty had pulled in nearly $150,000…..

Things could get a little tricky, though, since payments of more than $250 to fund the blimp likely will be considered "independent expenditures" that require detailed FEC disclosure reports from Liberty's customers.

….Collette said his company intends to make it painless to comply.

It will automatically produce independent expenditure forms for customers to print, sign and mail, which Collette predicted they'd do because "word has gotten out that this is going to bury the FEC in paperwork for the cost of stamp."

Brad Smith told reason about why FEC regs are a danger to free speech back in our July 2001 issue.

NEXT: A Christmas Gift for the Bureaucrat You Love

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  1. Thank you for the Beefheart reference–it made my morning!

  2. It will automatically produce independent expenditure forms for customers to print, sign and mail, which Collette predicted they’d do because “word has gotten out that this is going to bury the FEC in paperwork for the cost of stamp.”

    Okay, now there is a position that I can appreciate.

  3. Oh, those crazy kids. Let the nazi money flow!

  4. I half-ignored the blimp talk, because I thought the blimp was a waste of money relative to buying radio or TV time independently, and I thought it gave Wonkette too many opportunities to make fun of Ron Paul.

    But adding the “Fuck you FEC! Come and get us, motherfuckers!” element to the blimp makes this damn near a revolutionary act.

    It would have been TRULY revolutionary to simply ignore the FEC altogether. But inventing a form of organization designed to make them irrelevant, and bury their bureaucracy in paper while doing it, is a nice second best.

  5. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    – First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

  6. If the FEC does get involved, that should generate more press stories and interest in Paul’s campaign. It’s a good move regardless of whether is FEC compliant.

  7. Ron Paul, you magnificent bastard!

  8. “….Instead of soliciting donations like a PAC or a campaign or a non-profit political group, Liberty says it’s “selling political advertisements that you can sponsor.”

    Brilliant.

  9. Not to rain on anybody’s parade, but there’s one little fly in the ointment. The more people know about Ron paul, the more likely he is to LOSE support. It’s sort of like spening money to get information out about botulism.

  10. In seeking victory, the Sun Tzu advocates unconventional tactics – attack the soft targets, avoid the solid.

    I didn’t donate to the blimp effort. I am still on the fence as to whether I’ll participate in teh tea party.

    I do like the “middle finger” effect of the blimp, tho.

  11. Awesome. Brilliant. Doomed to failure. [/wearying cynicism]

    On an entirely different note:

    Edward – I asked you this before, and you either didn’t see or ignored me, but this still bothers me:

    You assert that there are Nazis who support Ron Paul. Why do you believe that that fact, if true, matters at all? After all, I’m pretty sure there were at least a few execrable asshats who voted the same way I did the last election; simple statistics makes it a near mathematical certainty. Does that make me, or the politician I supported, automatically an asshat?

  12. I half-ignored the blimp talk, because I thought the blimp was a waste of money relative to buying radio or TV time independently, and I thought it gave Wonkette too many opportunities to make fun of Ron Paul.

    But adding the “Fuck you FEC! Come and get us, motherfuckers!” element to the blimp makes this damn near a revolutionary act.

    It would have been TRULY revolutionary to simply ignore the FEC altogether. But inventing a form of organization designed to make them irrelevant, and bury their bureaucracy in paper while doing it, is a nice second best.

    QFT
    One of the many things I love about the Paul campaign is the way it’s grass roots nature makes getting around BiCRA even easier than the established methods. I can’t give more than $2300?? Well suppose I give that much to the campaign and then I buy a blimp? Not allowed you say? Well try and find me and come and get me MFs! Meanwhile Ron Paul’s hands are clean.

  13. “Not to rain on anybody’s parade, but there’s one little fly in the ointment. The more people know about Ron paul, the more likely he is to LOSE support. It’s sort of like spening money to get information out about botulism.”

    I think that’s true of Hillary Clinton and Giuliani too. …their handlers don’t want people looking too closely or thinking too much about them too.

    The more people know about a few things about Ron Paul, the more likely they are to support him.

    *War Stance
    *Patriot Act/Civil Rights
    *Government Spending
    *Taxes

    It’s about the bullet points.

  14. lmnop,

    All politicians are asshats. Including the asshats I support. If I ever run for office, I will be an asshat (assuming Im not already).

  15. RonPaulBlimp.com Check it! The movement still needs a few more dollars by midnight tonight! For those who know what it means to be an American who love liberty and freedom please consider donating! Thank You your love for America will be felt by future generations.

  16. Elemenope

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to ignore you. Nazi and white supremicist support for Ron Paul is real and enthusiastic. Just visit their sites. It’s by now well known among the tiny percemntage of people who know anything at all about Ron paul that he has received donations from Nazis. It’s not his fault that such scum support him, although you have to wonder why. Some of his ultra-right positions appeal the Christian Indentity, which certainly has Nazi links. But the point is that he has never loudly denounced such support, and he has refused to give the money back as any other campaign would have done immediately.

  17. Cue Hindenberg comparisons.

  18. Joe, there’s no similarity. The Hindenberg was a dirigible, this is a blimp. The Hindenberg was filed with hydrogen, this gets its lift from helium.

    Oh, wait, you mean metaphorical, non-literal comparisons. Sorry.

  19. This will be like the Hindenberg by comparison.

  20. [former FEC chair Brad] Smith [the effort’s legal advisor]

    The former chair of the FEC is the legal advisor to the blimp guys?

    Why can’t I wrap my head around this? Is Bill Bennet one of the advisors to High Times magazine? wtf?

  21. Ron Paul’s record

    Voted YES on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. (Sep 2004)

    Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)

    Save “snowflake babies”: no experiments on frozen embryos. (Sep 2007)
    No tax funding for organizations that promote abortion. (Sep 2007)
    Embryonic stem cell programs not constitionally authorized. (May 2007)
    Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Jan 2007)
    Voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research. (May 2005)

    Voted NO on implementing CAFTA, Central America Free Trade. (Jul 2005)
    Voted NO on implementing US-Australia Free Trade Agreement. (Jul 2004)
    Voted NO on implementing US-Singapore free trade agreement. (Jul 2003)
    Voted NO on implementing free trade agreement with Chile. (Jul 2003)

  22. Ron Paul’s misrepresentation of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution:

    The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion.-Ron Paul “The War on religion”

  23. 11 more reasons to vote for RP. Thanks Edward!

  24. Edward –

    It’s not at all mystifying to me.

    1. Freedom of Association is in the Constitution (Amendment 1).
    2. Constitutional Rights are the bulwark defending unpopular asshats from government power
    3. Constitutional Rights have not been much use as of late
    4. Thus, unpopular groups of asshats have been oppressed
    5. Ron Paul cares about the Freedom of Association, it being a constitutional principle and all
    6. Therefore, unpopular groups of asshats support Ron Paul

    QED.

    If I were a Neo-nazi asshat (and I certainly am not), I would support anyone who was willing to stand up for my First Amendment right to find other backwards hick asshats like myself, form a little club, and post hateful screeds in whatever manner I chose (another of those pesky rights in the First Amendment, I hear).

    Someone else pointed out earlier how commitment to principles seems sometimes indistinguishable from radicalism. I agree, and that’s the problem here. Why on earth would Ron Paul denounce the wish of idiots to get together on their own and not be pestered by the federal government? He himself is no Nazi and, so far as I know, nobody is in danger of confusing him with one.

  25. robc

    Your right to back a hopeless loser is sancrosanct.

  26. Blimps look like giant penises. I’m trying to figure out what this means, but I am failing.

  27. Edward, no one in America – even here at Reason – can compete with me as a militant atheist.

    But of the three founding documents – the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution – two of them do in fact include references to a deity.

    You really seem to want one rhetorical misstatement to count for a lot. Tell me, do you really think Jerry Ford didn’t know about the existence of the Warsaw Pact?

  28. I for one don’t really care if Nazis contribute to Paul’s campaign. Now Commie-Nazis, on the other hand, that would be a problem. The puny children need their UNICEF pennies!

  29. Edward,

    Understand that these things he voted against are either federal funded programs (that expand government) He is all for independent Stem cell research…Free trade agreements!! Ha learn a little about them before you support them!! The “free trade agreements” only hurt the little guy and help big business?wake up dude

  30. Edward,
    Why would I go and “check out” neo-nazi sites? I am not a neo-nazi and I do not condone what they say or do. But, I do support Ron Paul.

    Perhaps it is those so willing to point this out to everyone that are the neo-nazis? Just what exactly were you doing at a neo-nazi site to find out this little nugget and why did you stick around long enough?

    To be perfectly honest with you, I believe the neo-nazi sites are supporting Ron Paul to harm him. His message is so opposite of everything they believe in. I mean, why wouldn’t they support a war that is killing tons of brown people? They do. And they supported Bush “enthusiastically.” Of course I came to this conclusion by searching “Don Black,” not going to a neo-nazi site and giving them an audience.

    $50 says you are a member of one of those sites.

  31. Elemenope

    The Nazis seem to be enjoying free speech right now. They certainly have a major presence on the Internet. Nobody tells them they can’t publish what they want. So what does Ron Paul offer them that they don’t already have?

  32. p.s. Edward –

    You must have missed the interview with R. Paul over at Newsweek, wherein he had great praise for the general practical principle of separation of church and state, and bemoaned the idea that a candidate’s religion would ever be a political issue. Kind of flies in the face of the picture you are painting, if you know what I mean.

    To wit, his position on religion is the same as Obama’s: Religion informs a politician’s values and beliefs, and those values inform his positions; however, the proper content of politics is not the values but the positions (since it is these which are ultimately what affects the body politic), and thus it is on the basis of policy proposals that a candidate should be judged, and not the values behind them or their sources (religious or otherwise).

  33. Edward, freedom brings people together – all types of people. Other campaigns throw mud and drive people apart. Which method is better?

    Jim_Mich

  34. Edward, your right we are all Nazis…

    so go vote for Rudy

    Have a nice day

  35. Scott M

    If you’re unwilling to look at the Nazi sites, you’ll never know why they support Ron Paul. It’s never a good idea to put your head in the sand, although it’s quite typical cultist behavior. Ron Paul’s supporters have many characteristics of cultists. They’re little to giddy about their man. Sieg Heil! You know what I mean?

  36. Fluffy,

    As Ive pointed out to Edward, if you take out the clause with the rhetorical misstatement, the statement is still true. It was just a descriptive clause that has no bearing on the point RP was trying to make. Heck, if you take out the word “both” its not even a rhetorical misstatement.

  37. Kind of flies in the face of the picture you are painting, if you know what I mean.

    I didn’t paint the picture. I just quoted him. Idiot.

  38. Edward –

    You are aware, aren’t you, that the Government uses blunt instruments like the FBI to “monitor” the activities of all sorts of “fringe” groups (including but not limited to neo-nazis, college organizations, eco-extremists, protesters of all stripes, and “persons of interest”)? “Monitoring” usually includes agents provocateur, extrajudicial harassment, illegal arrest, property seizure, surveillance, etc. ad nauseaum.

    Yeah, people can put up websites and post opinions. I think that the First Amendment protections were intended to be a little more expansive than that.

  39. Folks, stop feeding the troll!

  40. Edward,

    It is you that is the idiot. Let’s take a rundown of history, shall we?

    The nazi movement, or more specifically, “Eugenics” was a very popular idea all around the world in the early 1900s. Even America dabbled in it quite a bit. In fact, if you trace the names connected to the eugenics movement back you will find many names that later comprised the neo-con movement. GWB’s grandfather, Prescott Bush worked closely with the Nazi government.

    In other words, the people behind this movement are the direct enemies of Ron Paul. Why would they support him? Why would they really be against the war in Iraq? They aren’t. It’s as simple as that.

    Head in the sand? I probably know more than you do about the history of these groups, even though you are likely a member.

    I just don’t care to listen to them. Are you upset that people won’t be going to your sites and giving your fellow members an audience?

    Edward=ED=Eric Dondero? Hmm? You certainly sound like him.

  41. I can’t believe neo-cons have the audacity to make the nazi connection to Paul. It was George Bush’s grandfather who was funding and supporting Hitler directly in WWII. Lost a bank for trading w/the enemy. Grandpa Bush, HW, and W are all skull and Bones members (just like the deaths head of the SS) but lets attack a guy who wants the people to have liberty and overlook the neocon and neo-libs that are sending us toward a fascist state. Who are you people?

  42. Thanks for the Beefheart ref!

  43. Edward –

    White supremacist groups in this country are routinely spied on and infiltrated by the FBI, have absurd civil torts invented just for them to get around the free speech protections contained in the Constitution, and are the subjects of a disproportionate number of unConstitutional firearms prosecutions and general ATF harassment.

    For all their dressup games and play acting as Nazis, whenever they get in trouble the first people they call are the ACLU. Is the ACLU a Nazi organization too? Paul is just the Presidential equivalent of the ACLU to them.

    Paul draws support from all groups who have had unpleasant encounters with federal power. That’s the unifying theme, and it’s so simple and obvious it boggles my mind that the media can’t understand it.

  44. Edward,

    Why would Nazis support Ron Paul? Someone who has Nazi sympathies would support what the Nazis stood for…pre-emptive war, an authoritarian form of government, etc.. These things are what the other GOP candidates are for. Ron Paul is the complete opposite.

  45. Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Jan 2007)
    Voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research. (May 2005)

    Voted NO on implementing CAFTA, Central America Free Trade. (Jul 2005)
    Voted NO on implementing US-Australia Free Trade Agreement. (Jul 2004)
    Voted NO on implementing US-Singapore free trade agreement. (Jul 2003)
    Voted NO on implementing free trade agreement with Chile. (Jul 2003)

    Doctor No Paul voted against the Patriot Act; this obviously means he is against patriotism.

  46. Doesn’t matter WHO takes whatever actions… there are SO MANY LOOPHOLES in the fund raising LAWS. THAT’s why the politicians wrote them… to provide a fascia for the public and a covert way to reel in their Corporate, Lobbyist, and PAC monies!

    WAY TO GO BLIMP team!

    Fuck the Evil, Lying, Cowardly Corporate WHORES in the Federal Government!

    *UN – PATRIOT ACT
    *Polarizing America/Americans
    *Corporate Whores of Congress
    *War Stance
    *Civil Rights/Liberties
    *Government Spending
    *Taxes – FUCK the IRS!!!
    *TRUE FREEDOM of SPEECH

  47. why has everyone taken the bait and allowed Edward to hijack these comments?

    Discussion about the blimp is far more interesting.

  48. Piss off, mediageek. Go back to goosestepping and sieg heiling naked in front of your living room window. The 14 yr old neighbor girl really digs that.

  49. It will automatically produce independent expenditure forms for customers to print, sign and mail, which Collette predicted they’d do because “word has gotten out that this is going to bury the FEC in paperwork for the cost of stamp.”

    Cool if it works, but isn’t it more likely that the FEC will just make some shit up to get back at the people who generated that paperwork?

  50. “No tax funding for organizations that promote abortion. (Sep 2007)
    Embryonic stem cell programs not constitionally authorized. (May 2007)
    Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Jan 2007)”

    I agree with these votes. While I believe that it is important for stem cell research to be performed, I don’t think the federal government is the best organization to decide how it should be funded. After all, everything else they fund is pretty much a waste of taxpayer money.

    As far as ‘free-trade’agreements. How many pages must a document be when supposedly the trade is free? I would think 9 words ought to do, “The US government will not hinder international trade.”

    And these agreements interfer with our sovereignty

    “In 1996, MMT, a gasoline additive that some studies had linked to nerve damage, was brought into Canada by an American company. The Canadian federal government banned the importation of the additive. The American company brought a claim under NAFTA Chapter 11 seeking US $201 million, and by Canadian Provinces under the Agreement on Internal Trade (“AIT”). The American company argued that their additive had not been conclusively linked to any health dangers, and that the prohibition was damaging to their company. Following a finding that the ban was a violation of the AIT, the Canadian federal government repealed the ban and settled with the American company for US $13 million.”

    If you don’t think some foreign company is going to do this to us sometime, you should think about not voting ever again.

  51. The same goes for you too, Scott M.

    How’s the ebaying coming along for your Hermann Goering memorabilia?

  52. Piss off, mediageek. Go back to goosestepping and sieg heiling naked in front of your living room window. The 14 yr old neighbor girl really digs that.

    Trollin’, trollin’, trollin’, keep that sucker trollin’!

  53. BTW, Edward, your interview with Urkobold was great.

  54. That’s it. I’m updating XTroll to filter out posts that contain the word “Edward”.

  55. Richard | December 7, 2007, 10:51am | #

    That’s it. I’m updating XTroll to filter out posts that contain the word “Edward”.

    Thanks for the update, Dick. We can all sleep better tonight knowing that.

  56. Lemme help out here:

    If the model is successful, hypothetically it could allow a media consultant citizen exercising his right First Amendment rights to produce slick attack ads interesting and informative ads and – without ever disclosing how much was raised or spent – solicit millions from “sponsors”other citizens exercising their rights to free speech and free association to air the ads in key states…..

    Discussion about the blimp is far more interesting.

    I think you’re looking for the Huckabee thread.

  57. Ah. And now we see the true nature of the troll (trollius vehementiance) in his native state.

    As you can plainly see from his responses here, there is no reason to actually attempt to engage in legitimate discussion with him as, truly, he has nothing to offer to the larger discussion at hand.

  58. Scott B. –

    I baited the troll. Intentionally. As I’ve said before, the inane 1980’s logic of the IRC/Newsgroup chat that dictates the only way to deal with trolls is to ignore them is being misapplied in most other contexts, including this one.

    Look, you have a guy spouting on a political discussion site about how Nazis love Ron Paul and thus either a.)Ron Paul must be a Nazi or b.)Everyone who supports Ron Paul must have Nazi sympathies.

    If it goes unanwsered, it is just one more comment for the noise grinder, which has an annoying way of getting bits of noise stuck in uninformed people’s heads and then failing to dislodge them. If, however, a group of intelligent/amusing/informed people articulate a contrary position (i.e. literally beat the verbal shit out of him), he looks to the casual observer to be an idiot, and his position is discredited. I call it feeding the trolls with poisoned meat.

    p.s. The blimp is cute and all, but frankly not strictly interesting. IMO.

  59. What is your obsession with Nazis Edward? So a few Nazis are giving money to Paul. I don’t see how that is relevant. I hope you give Paul a donation too, even though you sound like you are a _________.

  60. Rhys, nah, he strikes me as a Hillery voter. Strident and screechy.

  61. I have been watching the Drew Carey segments on Reason and I find that I agree with most of the views expressed in them. I also am a Ron Paul supporter very much, but only recently.

    I’ve been reading the reason website a little more and it seems like they would support Ron Paul as President, but it seems not.

    So my question, if not Ron Paul then who?

  62. Edward is an Edwards man.

    You can look it up.

  63. By Hillery, I meant Hillary.

  64. What highnumber said.

    He first appeared on H&R on a thread about the Edwards $400 haircut. I tried to find it, but lost interest when I realized that trying to find the origin of a troll is a monumental waste of time.

  65. I’ve had about all I take take from the nazi apologists and sympathizers on this website. This is my last post here. You people disgust me.

  66. I think he’s just a Mainstream Libertarian trying to turn people off from Ron Paul.

    His name is Edward.

  67. *take = can

    PS, joe – no one cares what you think, you bloviating windbag.

  68. I’ve had about all I take take from the nazi apologists and sympathizers on this website. This is my last post here.

    Ha Ha! Yeah, right, loser.

  69. Stop arguing with Edwards. Pigeon-holing people is a dishonest argument.

    Anyways, merely the presence of Brad Smith on this project makes this idea totally awesome. Screw the useless FEC and its byzantine rules that hamper grassroots and amateur political participation while providing merely a speed-bump for the corporate professionals.

    Way to go. Raise a middle finger to the FEC. Yeah!!!

  70. That’s it. I’m outta here.

    Bunch of nazi boy-lovers. Good-bye!

  71. So, some neo-Nazis support Ron Paul. Plenty of psychotics love Bush – he’s a figure of stability to them.

    My point is that people support candidates for many reasons that are irrelevant; logically, therefore, it makes little sense to generalize outward either about a candidate or about his supporters based on the identities of a single group of them.

    Moreover, that’s the sort of dodgy guilt-by-association that you only need when you don’t feel secure attacking the candidate himself. Understand that I’m not calling for epistemic virtue here; in democratic elections, that is a pointless and quixotic thing to ask for. What I’m saying is, if you want to discredit Ron Paul, you can do better than “some neo-Nazis endorse him on websites.” Go after his thing about dismantling the Department of Education. And try it somewhere that people don’t already overwhelmingly support him – but act quickly, because for bizarre, inscrutable reasons, Americans just love blimps.

  72. Here is a picture of Edward’s favorite sex toy…

  73. That’s it. I’m outta here.

    …and Edward was never heard from again.

  74. But only if by “never heard from again” you substitute “not heard from for about ten minutes.”

  75. Nazi goosestepper!

  76. mediageek,

    14 minutes.

  77. PS, joe – no one cares what you think, you bloviating windbag.

    Sure, whereas everyone’s hanging on your every word, Edweird.

  78. Quiet, joe!
    I think Edward’s about to type something.

  79. mediageek,

    14 minutes.

    QFT.
    The first time I ever read a comments thread in Reason, (in June IIRC) Edward was making his “last post ever, you dumb fucks.”
    The more things change….

  80. Hey there, Blimpy Boy
    Flying though the sky
    So fancy free

  81. Even if he doesn’t post, you know he’s reading this thread. Probably aloud. And responding.

    I wonder how much Windex he needs to get all that spit cleaned off of his monitor.

  82. I skipped all of the comments by and addressed to Edward. Got to the bottom of the thread real quick that way. The RP blimp is sooo ridiculous it’s cool. Finessing the McCain/Feingold Incumbent Protection act is a noble cause. Doing it with flamboyance is admirable.

    Edward, Merry Xmas.

  83. Cue Hindenberg comparisons.

    The closest I could come to cracking that nut was “oh… the autonomy!” Couldn’t think of any good Zep jokes, either. “Whole Lotta Liberty” just didn’t cut it. “Trampled Under Foot” would work if it was a Giuliani blimp, though. Actually, it’d work for almost all the candidates.

    Folks, there’s a greasemonkey filter for Firefox where you can shut out teh trolls. I haven’t read anything by Edwierdoooo, Donderoooo, or Lonewackooooo in weeks.

  84. Yay! I get to post the real reason behind the Ron Paul blimp!

    Go here and you will understand.

    BTW, Brad Smith was very critical of the latest round of Campaign finance reform while he was FEC chair. This is not surprising at all.

  85. Please define ASSHAT

  86. introg | December 7, 2007, 12:57pm | #

    Please define ASSHAT

    Asshat
    noun
    1: a Ron Paul supporter
    2: a frequent contributor to Urkobold

  87. 3: Edward

  88. Well, as someone who applies only to the second definition, I do have to admit sheepishly, that I am definitely (at times) an asshat. And an assscarf, assgloves. And when I’m really naughty, an assascot.

    ‘cept:
    2: a frequent contributor to Urkobold
    syn: twaddlenock.

  89. Now we have air superiority (along with idea superiority). Unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between” Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, detaining protesters, banning books like America Deceived (book)
    from Amazon, stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason.
    Support Dr. Ron Paul and save this great nation.

  90. Edward–

    The right to associate includes the right NOT to associate.

    The libertarian position on segregation and JIM CROW is that it is a mandate to keep the races separate, and this mandate is evil.

    The libertarian position on forced integration (school busing, quotas, certainly local private business open to the public) is that it is a mandate on free thought and property rights, and this mandate too is evil.

    In other words, not only should the neo nazis be able to say evil things, under the first amendment, but they should be able to operate segregated businesses and live in segregated housing and go to their private segregated schools. If they want to be evil little asshats with their own property, that is also their right.

    The one thing they cannot do is any act of violence or threat or fraud on any person of color or religion different from theirs. That is the only real role of government-punishing and hopefully preventing violence on persons and property.

    It is a libertarian tenant that people should be allowed to be as stupid and selfish as they want to be, so long as they do not harm others individual rights.

    Of course, any one who wants to live this way will be subject to ridicule, and will never achieve much in the way of success. Popular culture, not to mention religion, human empathy, etc. will guarantee that those who choose to live this way will be shunned and will not profit greatly.

  91. I think Edward has a big sloppy crush on us all. He acts the exact same way my second-grade self did around a certain classmate who caught my eye: “EEEEEW! I hate David he is so gross yuck eeeew he touched me now I have cooties yuck yuck yuck.”

    (My ability to relate to attractive members of the opposite sex got a LOT more sophisticated in the following decade.)

  92. And she’s buy-i-ing
    In a thoroughly non-coercive example of mutually-beneficial free exchange of goods
    A stai-air way
    To he-ea-ven.

  93. Political donations are speech–US Supreme Court.

    Speech is not confined to publishing and getting a permit to march in the street in Stokey IL.

    I applaud Ron Paul’s acceptance of the donations from Neo Nazis, not just because he cannot vett all his donations.

    But because neo nazis have the same rights to peacefull political speech as anyone else.

    The MSM politicians who would turn down the neo nazis contributions reek of hypocracy.

    Did Libertarians put down the Phillipine Resurrection because we had to Christianize them? No, it was Conservatives under McCinley.

    Did libertarians enter WWI to defeat the evil HUNS? No, it was liberals under Woodrow Wilson.

    Did Libertarians side with the murderous JOE STALIN in a war against the YELLOW PERIL and the AXIS? No, it was the liberal FDR.

    Did libertarians get the US into illegal wars against other races and beliefs in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, etc. No, it was liberals and conservatives who got the US involved in unconstitutional no win wars.

    Does Ron Paul say that the nuclear option is off the table with IRAN? Does he say that he would not sanction IRAN, but would trade with them? YES.

    If Ron Paul will talk to the Hitler de jour in Iran, why shouldn’t he talk to the so called Nazis in Louisiana or Idaho?

  94. “Speech is not confined to publishing and getting a permit to march in the street in Stokey IL.”

    speech would be confined to finding out where that is…

    [keed keed] [ducks]
    think: barbershop quartet.

  95. edward, we’re collectively sorry here that your mother hated niggers and that your grandfather invented Zyklon B, but do try to refrain from shitting your Oedipus complex all over these here Interwebs.

  96. As someone who has run for office, and personally typed in hundreds of contributions and expenditures on a database (because I had no staff — just me and a car trunk full of yard signs), and spent hours trying to figure out why the numbers were off by $23 … anything that gives the middle finger to campaign finance laws is cool with me. The primary purpose of those laws is to harass the little guy trying to take on a well-financed incumbent, not about honesty or integrity in elections. Fire all the bastards at the FEC.

    Where can I get my “I heart the Ron Paul Blimp” T-shirt?

  97. edward, we’re collectively sorry here that your mother hated niggers and that your grandfather invented Zyklon B

    I seriously doubt that anybody in Edward’s family tree was smart enough to invent anything. His grandfather, a German chemist?

    Nah. A German busboy seems much more likely.

  98. The primary purpose of those laws is to harass the little guy trying to take on a well-financed incumbent, not about honesty or integrity in elections.

    That’s why I refer to the McCain/Feingold Incumbent Protection Act. Truth in advertising.

  99. That’s why I refer to the McCain/Feingold Incumbent Protection Act. Truth in advertising.

    There are days it makes my head explode that people will hold up John McCain as some sort of political hero and maverick for sponsoring that abomination. Naked unabashed self-interest does not usually qualify as heroic.

  100. I blow goats.

    Scratch that, I used to blow goats – but now I blow Eric Dondero, while he blows goats.

  101. Hit and Run, I wish I could quit you!

  102. For those who do not care for p?t? de foie troll, I offer an updated libertarian solution.

    The XTroll program has been updated to allow Hit & Run post filtering by content. This is a brute-force feature of marginal utility except for particular circumstances. For example, with a cleverly-chosen word, the new XTroll filtered out more than half of the comments on this thread and (IMHO) improved the signal to noise ratio enormously.

    XTroll is licensed under the GPL and is available from:

    http://www.heurtley.com/richard/xtroll

    If you use Firefox then a superior Hit & Run filter is the Indisputably Non-Coercive Idiot Filter by Eric the .5b. INCIF is available from:

    http://herzogravenproductions.com/incif

  103. Feed a troll?
    Under no circumstances would I do that.
    Certainly not.
    Know this.

    Even you-know-who.
    Don’t respond to him.
    Worthless and repetitive are his posts.
    Attention is all he seeks.
    Reward him not.
    Don’t.

  104. Ooo, nicely done! Took me another reading to suddenly get it.

  105. Edwards, I’m a Jew whose relatives died in the concentration camps in Europe. My grandparents were fortunate enough to escape. I’m glad the racists and neo-nazis are spending their money on the ron paul campaign. Every dollar they spend is one less dollar available to build a new camp. My ancestors would have taken nazi money to ensure their freedom. Why shouldn’t Ron Paul?

  106. The Nazis seem to be enjoying free speech right now. They certainly have a major presence on the Internet. Nobody tells them they can’t publish what they want. So what does Ron Paul offer them that they don’t already have?

    Free speech.

  107. Joe, fixed this for ya:

    And she’s buy-i-ing
    In a thoroughly non-coercive example of mutually-beneficial free exchange of goods
    a properly labeled in accordance with federal regulations, with all materials and proper warning labels affixed (some materials in this stairway are known in the state of California to cause cancer)
    A stai-air way
    To he-ea-ven.culturally inclusive spiritual destination

  108. Does anyone get the impression that Edward is gay for libertarianism? It’s sort of like someone who hates “teh gay” and spends his entire day browsing gay porn sites, and posting on any gay blog he can find about how much he hates gays. I think we have a genuine closet case here.

    Today’s Evidence-o-meter:

    0____________________|____________________10
    ————————————————-^

    It’s OK Edward. We can help you come out.

  109. Enjoying being flamed is one definition of “flaming.”

  110. Paul, I really like the Evidence-o-meter. Is special training required, or can anybody use it?

  111. It really surprises me how many anti-Paul morons there are. Not only that they don’t seem to have the slightest comprehension what is happening to politics thanks in part to this campaign.

    “Power to the Peaceful!”

  112. Jennifer is a text-book case of psychopathic self-reference. Amazing

  113. My ancestors would have taken nazi money to ensure their freedom. Why shouldn’t Ron Paul?

    I suspect your ancestors were pretty bright and in your case, there’s been a regression to the norm. How the fuck do you know what they would hace done, idiot?

    Even the most moronic candidate (in the American here and now, fuckwit) knows that it’s important to immediately distance one’s self from such support. Ron Paul probably knows he doesn’t have a chance of winning anyway, so why not keep the money?

  114. There’s a cure for what ails Edward and the other folks that persist in making mountains out of molehills with clear political smear motivation.

    Tell us Edward, exactly how many of the 37,000 people that contributed on 5 NOV are NAZIs. Gee, that would be a lot of research!

    So what gives an anti Ron Paul loudmouth any standing to suggest that the campaign or it’s supporters care what he thinks?

    NOTHING

    Enjoy your suppository Eddie. It’s about the best sensation you’ll get from your regurgitation of tired rhetoric.

  115. Max,

    I’ll tell you what’s happening to politics thanks to Ron Paul’s campaign. Outside the bony confines of your skull absolutely NOTHING is happening. NADA. ZILCH. ZIP. You and a few other overheated zealots are creaming your pants over Ron Paul, but the vast majority of Americans could tell you where Zambia is sooner than they could tell you who the fuck Ron Paul is much less what he stands for. I doubt his inevitable defeat will even make you cynical. Cynicism requires some brains.

  116. Don’t these guys understand that the fair and honorable way to short-circuit campaign finance laws is to instruct all the managers in your company to contribute the maximum amount to a candidate, and then give them Xmas bonuses that reimburse them for the expense?

    Alternatively, you buy a media company and turn its news network into a cheerleading squad for your favored political faction.

    Or, you spend $$$ hiring private detectives to hunt down every incriminating potential scandal about the opposition candidate.

    But a blimp . . . that’s too innocuous. It must be destroyed. It will be destroyed, and in the name of Free Speech.

  117. As I see it, clear prohibitions in the Constitution (language such as “Congress shall make no law…,” and “the right … shall not be infringed,” etc.) were the framers’ way of taking various subjects OFF THE TABLE of governmental concern. Anyone who wanted to put such things on the table had to SET THE TABLE AGAIN (redraft or amend the Constitution) to make that happen. Otherwise, tough.

    This business of sneaking things onto the Federal table via rhetorical tricks in legislation, Executive Orders, and court rulings, when they have always been declared specifically OFF, is just contemptuous of the American public, not to mention the “rule of law” idea. How stupid do they think we are? Or at least, how long do they think we’ll put up with that kind of con?

    What are we going to do about this, fellow citizens? I have to tell you that burying the FEC in its own paperwork (aka, official FEC-al matter) sounds very attractive to me. So does promoting and voting for Mr. Paul or other sincerely libertarian-minded candidates, whatever their formal party affiliations may be.

    As someone once said, “enough is too much, already.”

  118. The Ron Paul blimp is set to launch. And in related news, his campaign is going to crash and burn like the fucking Hindenberg.

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