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Politico Overstates His Dropping Out, Insists Rand Paul-Supporting SuperPAC Chief Edward Crane

But he needs a more libertarian Rand Paul to feel good about asking his friends to give money for him.

Politico reports this morning that Edward Crane, co-founder and for decades boss at the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute, has stopped fundraising for his PurplePAC, which announced back in July that it was going to dedicate itself to helping make Rand Paul president.

But Crane was not trying to make some public announcement that he was closing shop on his PAC now. "That guy has it all wrong," Crane says. "We haven't shut down the campaign or PAC."

But the core fact Politico reported is true, it's just not new news: "We haven't been raising money for months, and don't intend to until the campaign takes on a more libertarian tone."

From PurplePAC's official filings at the end of June, they had raised around $1.2 million and spent less than $8,000, all of it on legal fees and logo design. Crane says today he thinks they have around $1.4 million on hand but, unimpressed by Rand's performance, have spent almost nothing yet, just $10,000 dedicated to an online contest to generate libertarian ideas for the campaign.

Crane says he can't see fit to ask his friends to give money for Paul "until he recognizes or his campaign staff recognizes that there are maybe 10 candidates out there and only one has this combination of peace and free enterprise....yet a plurality of Republican voters agree with that point of view."

While Crane admits the last debate performance was an improvement, he still feels there is not enough emphasis on "the NSA and bullshit in the Middle East" and too much on things like Planned Parenthood.

But he hasn't given up and he isn't abandoning the field, and believes that if the campaign focuses on emphasizing Paul's appeal among independents in Iowa, who could if they wished register GOP on the day of the caucus to vote for him, Paul's support could explode there.

"He has to be the peace and free enterprise candidate," Crane insists. "Signing off so early on opposition to the Iran deal was a mistake. Rand needs to bring into focus that a belief in limited government and the free market is completely compatible with skepticism about being the world's policeman." While admitting others might be able to patch together that view from synthesizing various things he's said, "Rand needs to tie it together himself and explain that's what makes his candidacy unique."

Until he does to Crane's satisfaction, though, he doesn't intend to raise more or spend what he has, but he has felt that way all summer, not just now. He could use the SuperPAC cash, he jokes, "if my daughter is running for student Senate, I could spend it on that" though he says he also may end up returning it to his contributors if they want, or support candidates he thinks are better libertarians, such as Rep. Justin Amash.

He hopes, though, that he can in good conscience eventually run a series of 30-second TV ads, perhaps with a movie star,"making this peace and free enterprise pitch" if he believes the official campaign is backing up that message sufficiently to make it have an impact.

Crane had complained to me last month that the official campaign:

“is being run by conservatives; they instinctively don’t agree with his libertarianism so they downplay it.” Crane sees Paul’s current failure to climb in polls as “completely consistent with an unwillingness to discuss issues from a libertarian perspective.”

"I'd love to grab Paul by the lapels” and tell him this, Crane says, but given the nature of campaign finance laws and the rules about unaffiliated SuperPACS, “I could go to jail for doing that, which is just absurd."

His interests and those of the official campaign should not, of course, be expected to always align. PurplePAC arose in 2013 to support Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis in Virginia over the Rand-Paul-supported Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli.

Crane made it clear to me in various conversations for earlier stories that he felt the official campaign did not recognize the value of running Paul as a loud and proud libertarian. (Whether that value is merely to please hardcore libertarian folks such as me and Crane, as opposed to actually helping Rand win elections, is a question I explored at length last month.)

The official comment from Rand Paul's presidential campaign this morning was: "The PACs that were set up to help Rand Paul and have done work to do so remain active and ongoing." Paul had never shown any public sign of appreciating PurplePAC's stated support, though campaigns and superpacs are legally required to stay at arms length.

But as Crane admits, PurplePAC actually hasn't really seen fit to spend in Paul's support yet. (For those interested in the larger weird issues surrounding the arms-length nature of those relationships, see this interesting National Journal article on how campaigns and SuperPACs kinda sorta can work in concert.)

Matt Kibbe, formerly of FreedomWorks, is with another independent Paul-supporting SuperPAC, Concerned American Voters, mostly focusing on on-the-ground grassroots and get out the vote efforts in early state Iowa.

Kibbe tells me this morning that with the $3 million they've already raised, they feel ready for Iowa and hope to fundraise more to expand such operations into Nevada.

Kibbe disagrees that Paul has been insufficiently libertarian, and says that he finds his donor base sounding "energized by Rand's performance in the debates, they are excited to hear more libertarian themes, in everything from criminal justice to marijuana to foreign policy. I don't get the sense things are slowing down. There is still a path to victory, and at any rate [potential Paul donors] are more interested in ideas than politics and they want that voice on the stage."

Despite press reports nearly every day trying to say the Paul campaign is fizzling or ready to quit, Rand Paul himself insists he's "just getting started."

Kibbe says today that he ignores such reports and sees them the result of backstage political machinations. "Rand won't flame out the way Walker did. It's a different dynamic. The idea of having Rand offer those alternative ideas that people really need to hear offers a different value proposition for investors."

Indeed, it has never been clear to me why people even assume that "being sure of victory" is a necessary condition for continuing a presidential campaign, as long as resources are there to continue it. Paul has much to gain in terms of movement and empire building as a politician, as well as a unique set of ideas to push that can and likely will attract cash even from voters who don't believe he will win.

Even Crane agrees Rand isn't going away, and still holds out hope for him. Quitting early is "not who he is. I think he's going to hang in and do better than people realize," especially with Iowa independents.

Whether Rand Paul is being sufficiently (or too) libertarian is something those interested can argue over forever; I don't see an unambiguous answer yet, and when the field is cleared more the distinctions between Rand and the more typical Republican candidate--or Donald Trump--will likely be far more important, and let's hope he makes the most of them when that happens.

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  • Hugh Akston||

    Look Rand, I'll tell you what my mom told me: Don't try to impress people by telling them what you think they want to hear. Just be yourself, and people will like you. And if they don't, well, they probably weren't worth knowing in the first place.

    ::opens can of soup to eat in the dark::

  • Agammamon||

    R. . . Rorshach?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    "Signing off so early on opposition to the Iran deal was a mistake.

    Damn right. Rand can't out-crazy the crazy warmongers in the GOP on Iran. Admit the treaty with Iran was good and give the Europeans the credit if you need to.

  • DesigNate||

    I eagerly await your definition of what was "good" about the deal.

    It's not a fucking treaty since it's not going to the senate for ratification.

    (I also eagerly await, read not at all, your spittle flecked accusations of being a war mongering GOP shill.)

  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    It was ratified by the US Senate in 1945. It's called "the UN Charter," and it binds all signatory nations to abide by Chapter 7 resolutions of the UN Security Council, which is what the "deal" is.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Is this even constitutional? Seems like letting the UN usurp US sovereignty. The UN is a disgrace.

  • DenverJ||

    "Are you serious? Are you serious?" -Nancy Pelosi.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Conservatives don't believe the UN, the Security Council, or Europe exists.

    Israel is their Mecca and the rest of the world are Communists.

  • robc||

    Of course they exist. If Europe didnt exist, how could they make fun of France?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Good point.

    "Cheese eating surrender monkeys", aka Frenchmen.

  • Suicidy||

    The French are smelly too.

  • Agammamon||

    And how else are we going to make 'if it weren't for 'Merica, you'd all be speaking *German*' jokes?

  • DesigNate||

    All those things exist retard.

    Some of those things just don't have any legitimacy and shouldn't have any power over the US.

  • american socialist||

    "Enough emphasis on "the NSA and bullshit in the Middle East" and too much on things like Planned Parenthood."

    Hey ed, there's a candidate out there that thinks we shouldn't be spying on people through the the NSA, doesn't want to get involved in a war with ISIS, and thinks abortion should be legal. Alas, he's not a right-wing Republican so, I guess, never mind. Do your donors ever ask exactly what they are writing you checks for? Just wondering.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Bernie is anti-trade (among other serious flaws).

    He has no chance.

  • ||

    Also anti-immigration.

    And all the socialist crap.

  • american socialist||

    I know... He sucks on immigration. I'm glad some immigrant rights group hacked his berniesanders.com website and put this up

    "Despite the central role immigrants play in our economy and in our daily lives, undocumented workers are reviled by some for political gain and shunted into the shadows. It is time for this disgraceful situation to end. This country faces enormous problems and they will not be solved unless we are united. It is time to end the politics of division in this country.

    We cannot and we should not be talking about sweeping up millions of men, women, and children – many of whom have been here for years – and throwing them out of the country. That’s wrong and that type of discussion has got to end."

    I'm going to vote for Ben Carson now.

  • ||

    I didn't say anti-immigrant, I said anti-immigration. He opposes any new immigration. His position is essentially the same as Jeb Bush.

  • Cytotoxic||

    His position is much worse than Bush's.

  • Suicidy||

    Yeah progtards like you need someone to clean their toilets and watch their kids for $5 per hour. You know, de facto slaves.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That's not slavery if it's voluntary.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Instead of putting up your own website, hack someone else's! How dignified.

    Might as well, socialists don't care much for private property and stuff.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    I bet Bernie would turn Nelson's eye on an NSA which snooped anyone right of him.

  • __Warren__||

    Who is this Rand Paul? Is he the guy that threw all of his dad's supporters under the bus so as to suck up to neo-cons and so-cons?

  • Cytotoxic||

    No. He's the guy that distanced himself from his nutbar dad's more nutbarish supporters, because they are liabilities.

  • Reek||

    How has that been working out for him?

  • Cytotoxic||

    That part has worked out great. The part with an inept, meandering, and insipid campaign has not. Make no mistake: ditching nutbar dad's nutbar personality cult is a pre-req for an even remotely successful Rand campaign.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Thanks area Ronulan for so perfectly illustrating why Rand Paul should treat his nutbar dad's nutbar supporters like the contents of a broken fridge.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Ron Paul is a nutter because he goes on about NAFTA and the Amero. Or at least he is nutter on that stuff. Ron had a good overall tone but when you got down to the details there was just a little too much crazy for my taste.

  • Cytotoxic||

    He also seriously opined that the Ukrainian revolution was brought about by 'The Banks'. His disgusting Institute is also A-okay with Russian aggression.

  • LynchPin1477||

    He's in to the conspiracy theories. It was the same with the Fed. I'm not exactly a big fan of the Fed but he blew it out of proportion. Like I said, he had a good overall tone and advanced a general libertarian attitude among the electorate, both of which are valuable and we should be grateful for. But on policy he was never a viable candidate, and probably should not have been.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Then there was the newsletters. Yes, that's an albatross for him and rightly so. His name is there.

    Using Ron Paul to kickstart the Libertarian Movement/Moment was justifiable and probably right but there is NO justification for libertarians associating with this guy anymore and hasn't been for years. He is a liability and his personality cult is a problem for libertarianism.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You proved that you're a dipshit already. Why don't you go join the rest of the Ronulans over there and you can talk about your Aspergers.

  • John Titor||

    This is why I love Reason, I get to see a cultist with delusions of grandeur accuse other people of being nutbars.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I'm amazed you've gone so long without some armchair psyschologizing about me. What's with being named 'John' and pretending to have insights into others' psyches?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Criticizes opponent's comeback, offers lame comeback.

    Just go to bed already.

  • Yahu Wahu||

    There's more than one way to lose.

    His dad was true to libertarian principles for the most part and went nowhere.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Looks like it. I thought he'd be Ron Paul Lite. He's not fit to tie his father's shoes (so far).

  • Cytotoxic||

    The personality cult has arrived.

  • Peter Verkooijen||

    Libertarianism = classical liberalism = the principles of the US Constitution; individual liberty, free enterprise, limited government, equal opportunity under rule of law, etc.

    That did not start with Ron Paul or Ayn Rand and does not necessarily include hardline pacifism and letting the Russians and Iranians take the initiative in international relations.

    Rand Paul has to tap into that older, broader classical liberal tradition somehow, if it still exists in America...

  • Cytotoxic||

    "He has to be the peace and free enterprise candidate," Crane insists. "Signing off so early on opposition to the Iran deal was a mistake. "

    Peace =/= handing bags of cash to Iran's terrorist government. You can either be a peace candidate OR a supporter of the Iran deal. They are mutually exclusive.

    Crane is a bit silly. Rand would be better off focusing for now more on non-ME foreign policy. He should pound the table about American taxpayers and soldiers babysitting Canada and Europe, which enlarges their welfare states. Not saying he should ignore the ME, but this is more to his favor.

  • Zaytsev||

    Crane's a hysterical Cosmo that needs to fade away.

  • MichaelL||

    When the Libertarians finally admit that they do not have the ability to win third party, they might get on board with the only guy with any, real, intention of introducing the country to libertarian principles! Rand is not perfect. He is still heads above all of the rest in the present field, Including the person who exemplifies locker room bully behavior, Mr Trump! He has a jump on medical issues, that none of the others can have. He gave back $1.8 mil to the treasury. The man calls for term limits. He seems to be able to practice what he was preaching, before he was elected Senator of Kentucky. (over the establishment candidate). But, yes! Let's ignore this, and his other accomplishments, and throw him to the damned wolves!

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Rand is probably as libertarian as one can reasonably hope a mainstream GOP candidate can get. As for his declining fortunes, I think it has little to do with Donald Trump and more to do with Ted Cruz poaching Ron Paul supporters from the Rand camp.

    Rand allowed this to happen when he backed McConnell for reelection last year.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I pretty much agree with everything you said except the last sentence. Rand had to back McConnel he had to return the favor. The Bevin nutbar was not going to win against him. Rand would have burned all of his credibility if he had not returned the favor. Getting on The Turtle's good side was one of Rand's best moves.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    I understand why he did and it was smart because McConell is in charge of Senate reelections and Rand now has his direct support. This means he won't be primaried by anyone from the establishment GOP.

    But the Tea Partiers and Paulites hate, hate, hate McConell so I understand why they viewed that as a major betrayal and how Cruz was able to exploit that since he's the Senate clown that does nothing but piss off the people his constituents loathe.

  • waffles||

    This seems so petty.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I see where you're coming from but I still don't agree. Rand Paul's support for The Turtle was eons ago and political memories are short. Further, Rand's numbers were much better a few months ago. If they were that pissed over his support for McConnel, those people wouldn't have supported Rand in the first place.

    I think the rise of the Trumpenproletariat, immigration hysteria, and Rand's inept campaigning were the real problems. I really hope it's mostly the latter because that can be fixed.

  • ||

    Why is Bevin a nutbar? Turtlehead is now in the crosshairs of the same group that ousted (thanks bejeebus) the orange one.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Bevin, if I'm not mistaken, publically rejected embryology and evolution because God (why is 'publically' getting red lined by the spell-checker?).

  • robc||

    Because its publicly.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Oops. I don't usually make mistakes, so that'll be mine for this month.

  • robc||

    I figured you were spelling in Canuckistani.

  • Contrarian P||

    Speaking of mistakes, you find a cite for your bullshit Saddam capture made attacks stop claim? I brought the evidence and it still doesn't support you, despite your attempts to dodge it.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I never said they stopped, I said they declined for a few weeks.

    BAGHDAD — Attacks against coalition forces in Iraq have dropped 22% in the four weeks since Saddam Hussein's capture, military records show.
    U.S. military officers say the decline in attacks, after months of growing intensity, is the first proof that Saddam's capture and recent U.S. offensives have dampened, but not eliminated, resistance to the occupation.

    The average number of daily attacks fell to 18 in the four weeks since Dec. 14, when the coalition announced that Saddam had been captured the day before. In the four weeks before Saddam was found, attacks averaged 23 a day.

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com.....down_x.htm

    You sure do love getting pwnd on the internet.

  • Contrarian P||

    There is no evidence other than the word of "U.S. military officers" that Saddam's capture had a damn thing to do with a 22% drop in attacks. The article specifically cites a new offensive as starting the decline. But unfortunately, the total number killed in the following month (January) was higher than in December and skyrocketed thereafter. There's no evidence whatsoever that Saddam being captured had any effect at all other than to increase the death rate, which occurred immediately.

    Indeed, even your own article fails to support you:

    "During the same periods, U.S. combat injuries dropped only slightly, from 233 in the four weeks before Saddam's capture to 224 in the four weeks after. And the attacks remain deadly: 22 troops killed from Nov. 16 through Dec. 13 and 31 in the comparable period Dec. 14- Jan. 10. But the figures for deaths do not include the 17 U.S. soldiers who died Nov. 15 when two helicopters crashed in the city of Mosul."

    So U.S. troop deaths actually increased by 71% due to combat wounds in the period following Saddam's capture. So the attacks may have been fewer in number (assuming the quoted military spokeman wasn't full of shit), but they obviously were more effective. More troops died. So your article does not say what you think it does.

  • Contrarian P||

    I copied and pasted incorrectly. It should have said that the troop deaths obviously increased per attack as despite a 22% decline in the number of attacks an approximately equal number of them died. But the point remains the same.

  • Contrarian P||

    In case you were wondering what numbers I was working with, 233 soldiers killed in 23 attacks is 10.12 per attack. 224 killed in 18 attacks is 12.44 per attack. Fatality rate increased by 25%.

  • Contrarian P||

    Sorry to keep going on, but your story is amazingly misleading. In the month of November, the coalition sustained 110 combat fatalities, which was the deadliest month of 2003 by a large margin. Deaths increased from 47 in October to 110 in November then fell to 48 during the month of December. So you went from the by far highest point in the entire year (the average for the rest of the year was 52 deaths per month) to a statistically normal month. Talk about cherry picking statistics.

  • Contrarian P||

    Finally, a drop from 23 to 18 for a four week period is not statistically significant, sorry. Incredibly small sample size. You would need to know how many occurred for a much longer period of time. But I'm sure an intellectual giant like yourself understands statistics.

    Saddam was executed at the end of December 2006. If your theory were true, you should have seen a drop in attacks. You didn't. In fact 2007 ended up being the deadliest year of the occupation. Your theory is bullshit.

    I'll pull a page out of your book: pwnd. Jackass.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Holy shit the goalposts are a blur here. Just STFU already you were wrong and you don't know anything about statistics. The number of attacks dropped for a little while after Sadaam was captured, strongly suggesting his capture had something to do with it, which makes a fuck ton more sense than his capture somehow making attacks deadlier.

    "Saddam was executed at the end of December 2006. If your theory were true, you should have seen a drop in attacks. "

    Retard of the Day award goes to Contrarian P. You really earned it. Pwnd

  • Cytotoxic||

    In any event, given his connections and squirreled away wealth, you don't have to be a genius to see that Iraq was safer with Saddam captured than with him running around. Of course, you won't see that because you have your head up your ass.

  • Contrarian P||

    "In any event, given his connections and squirreled away wealth, you don't have to be a genius to see that Iraq was safer with Saddam captured than with him running around. Of course, you won't see that because you have your head up your ass."

    It was safer before he was captured than after by any reasonable interpretation of the evidence. Much more destruction, many more lives lost. The vast majority of coalition casualties occurred after he was captured. Again, correlation is not causation. Actually Saddam's capture didn't do a damn thing, which was my point in the first place.

    There is literally nothing to suggest he had any ability to do anything. He had $750k in cash with him when captured and pretty much all of his wealth was seized when the U.S. took over so all that squirreled away wealth doesn't exist. But then again don't let the facts get in the way of your bullshit.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Yep

  • Contrarian P||

    Yeah, those are the numbers that he's been conveniently and completely ignoring the whole time (well plus the numbers of civilians killed which we already know he doesn't give a damn about).

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Yeah, those are the numbers that he's been conveniently and completely ignoring the whole time

    Cytotoxic is a child. You might as well argue with your eight year old when it comes to foreign/military policy, as your 8 year old has just as much insight.

  • Contrarian P||

    Yeah, I'm starting to realize that. I guess it's the eternal optimist in me. I talked with Bo for a while too assuming it was in good faith until I realized that he was just a damn sophist. Hell, I even argued with White Indian.

    Cyto appears to be a narcissist who assumes the fact that hardly anyone disagrees with him anymore means that he's right, rather than realizing that it's because it's not worth the effort to argue with a wall. I think he didn't realize that multiple people were openly mocking him the other day, or if he does he thinks it's because they're jealous of his godlike brilliance.

    He's a chickenhawk who I'm pretty sure doesn't even know anybody who's ever been to Iraq or Afghanistan, let alone been in the military himself. I have to admit some of his statements annoyed me, as I know many soldiers personally that were actually fighting in the wars that he masturbates about and have been on active duty myself, though thankfully I never had to deploy to Iraq. Many of the guys (and girls) I know have permanent physical and psychological wounds and have horror stories about the atrocities they witnessed, some of which were from our side. So yeah, I got sucked in.

  • Cytotoxic||

    "The vast majority of coalition casualties occurred after he was captured."

    DERP. That probably had something to do with the length of time they were there.

    "He had $750k in cash with him when captured"

    That's quite a bit of money actually. That buys a lot of gun & explosives.

  • Contrarian P||

    Fine, pick the next year only. Still many more casualties.

    As for 750k being a large amount of money, that won't even fund my retirement, let a lone present any credible threat to coalition forces.

  • Contrarian P||

    The number of attacks had already been dropping prior to his capture. That the trend very temporarily continued does not mean Saddam's capture had anything to do with it. Correlation is not causation.

    I never said his capture made attacks deadlier. The attacks just happened to become deadlier in the completely artificially selected date range that was picked by the DOD precisely to make it look like some sort of victory. The fact that attacks then picked up right afterwards and fatalities skyrocketed was just as coincidental to the capture of Saddam as the laughably tiny drop that you trumpeted in the original post that started this as if it was some huge deal.

    You have yet to even remotely address any of my arguments, instead choosing to engage in question begging. You continue to claim that attacks went down when I showed that statistically they clearly didn't. Seriously, your whole post above contained no argument whatsoever against any of my points. I'll give you one more chance.

  • Contrarian P||

    1. Address the fact that a 22% reduction in a single four week period versus another four week period with a sample size of about fifty is statistically just as likely to be due to bad weather than anything else, particularly when, as I showed above, attacks/fatalities had spiked and were already on their way down when the capture of Saddam happened.

    2. Explain why the attacks only decreased for four weeks only to dramatically increase right afterwards. Why did the trend not continue if Saddam's capture in any way cowed the opposition? Further, why did Saddam's capture affect the insurgency at all?

    3. Refute the much more likely explanation that the insurgency was conducting fewer (though very effective) attacks while they geared up for the offensive that resulted in many more fatalities.

    4. Provide any sort of explanation as to how on earth a month which was completely in line with every other month of that year in terms of the number of attacks other than the one immediately preceding it could possibly be regarded as anyone without an agenda as being illustrative of anything.

    5. Finally, please explain how you thought a reduction in attacks from 23 to 18 resulting in less than ten fewer fatalities was even worth mentioning in the first place, particularly when you should have known the highly dubious nature of the event.

    I won't hold my breath.

  • Contrarian P||

    Oh, and before I forget. If you are arguing about statistics you probably should discuss statistical arguments, rather than just accusing the person who actually provided statistics as not knowing anything about them.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You are the one making claims about statistical significance. You crunch the numbers and show the work. The fact that you think a small sample size must = not significant indicates you don't know what that means.

    I'm skimming your wall of text because you need to learn how to say things quickly and briefly. Try to be more like me.

    FRE's were a major contributor to attacks and the insurgency during the early days of the Iraq insurgency. This was composed of Baathists, and ISIS has them in its ranks. Sadaam would no doubt have directed resources and leadership to these FREs. This includes his $750K. It's cute how you pretend that big bag of money is no big deal.

    I'm speculating here, but it seems that Sadaam's capture put a very short-term dent in FRE moral. The insurgency started to rage when the Islamist scum came out to play and took the front and centre from the FREs.

    Sadaam's capture provided intelligence that led to the capture of several more FREs. The source for this is unfortunately a scan of the Daily Courier but the story is right there in the center.

    link text

  • Contrarian P||

    You sure as hell are speculating. Your whole argument is one big ball of speculation without one single piece of evidence linking the capture of Saddam with anything of significance.

    I've provided actual primary source statistics showing clearly that the capture of Saddam did not reduce military or civilian casualties. You provided a news report summarizing a DOD press conference.

    I provided a six month average (clearly enough time to avoid random variance) as well as the supporting stats that showed fatalities for both military and civilians actually increased after Saddam's capture. You then redefined your words to a couple of weeks to avoid the implications of the numbers. You haven't bothered to address any of the statistical arguments, particularly about variance, because you know you'd lose.

    And the reason I typed a "wall of text" is because it takes time to construct an argument that's more substantial than "I know more than you" and "pwnd". I'm sorry you don't have the intellect or the patience to read or understand what I typed. It's less than 3000 characters, but I understand that for you it's a book.

  • Contrarian P||

    Saddam didn't have any resources. He had 750k, which was likely all he could carry with him as he made his escape, minus whoever he had to bribe to escape capture for as long as he did. That was literally all the money he had in the world. I notice you dropped the silly claim that he had wealth all over the place he could access. He didn't even have the resources to take a shower, let alone in some way threaten U.S. forces. What exactly do you think he was going to live on once he had bought guns with it? The fact that he had it with him pretty much shows he wasn't planning to spend it on guns. That was money he was using to eat.

  • Rhywun||

    So their!

  • robc||

    That Bevin nutbar may be governor in December.

  • ||

    Already said it. Rand is not going anywhere anytime soon.

  • ||

    Rand's one problem is, as I had predicted it would be, is pandering too much to SoCons. The SoCons don't like you Rand, they think you're a liberal. So just forget them already.

  • robc||

    Socons arent the problem...its the war hawks.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No it's the anti-immigration nutbars and other Trump supporters. Rand needs to stop pandering to the anti-immigration fools. They'll never settle for anything short of mass deportations and a police state.

    The 'War Hawks' are weak. Reason noted that none of the major contenders is up for nation-building.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I would say the Socons are the election problem, the war hawks are the policy problem. Socons seem to no longer have material impact on policy at a national level but that doesn't stop the media from using them as boogy men (Roe v Wade will be overturned any day now!). War hawks have too much influence on policy and are bankrupting the nation financially and fucking up the world in general.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The term 'war hawks' is a strawman that really means everything and nothing. Outside of Graham and McCain, who don't count as people, not many people are hawkish on everything. Like me, they are hawkish on some countries and not on others as the evidence and situation is judged to merit. Reason sure hates its partisan labels except when it deems them useful to tar heretics with.

  • commodious spittoon||

    Isn't Warhawk one of those faggy transformer things you and your gaylord friends watch in your PJs?

    *empties can of natty light, belches, throws it in sink*

  • Cytotoxic||

    At least it's not Natty Light! Gross.

  • John Titor||

    This just in, the guy who thinks 'peacenazis' is clever thinks 'war hawks' is a strawman. Brilliant insight as always.

  • Cytotoxic||

    It is clever. It describes people like you that use strawmen, like 'war hawk'.

    You just couldn't resist me could you? Dying for a fix of Objectivist UberMensch. I don't blame you.

  • DesigNate||

    That is epic levels of retard. They're both ridiculous labels.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Damn you, Koch brothers! I'll get you...even if I have to travel to the ends of the earth!...You pigdogs!

  • juris imprudent||

    AmSoc, sphincter-stretcher and cytotoxic. I think I'll just wait for the next post.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I'm not going anywhere.

  • Arthur45||

    Anyone who swallows Iran needs to be put in an asylum. Rand Paul is not a viable candidate - he's too stupid and shoots his mouth off way too much.

  • Cytotoxic||

    "he's too stupid"

    Very articulate.

  • robc||

    Duke med school grads are known for their lack of intelligence.

  • Contrarian P||

    As opposed to Trump and Sanders, who apparently are paragons of intellect and took vows of silence.

  • Zunalter||

    Though I agree with your overall point, that comment is a false dichotomy(trichotomy?), other candidates exist.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Signing off so early on opposition to the Iran deal was a mistake."

    So the big problem Ed Crane has with Rand is that Rand doesn't like a nuclear non proliferation deal where we rely on the Iranians inspecting themselves while they chant Death to America.

    So, Ed just doesn't like sane candidates. Fine.

    Maybe he should vote John Kerry. Kerry seems to like the deal.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I am glad he lost the struggle for control over Cato.

  • Cytotoxic||

    NEOCON WARMUNGA IMPERIALIST!!!1one /peacenazi

  • DenverJ||

    You know who else didn't run as "a loud and proud libertarian"?

  • robc||

    Lincoln?

  • commodious spittoon||

    Everyone who went on to hold office?

    Heyoooooooo

  • Toast88||

    Kinda hard to talk about those subjects in the debates when they're never brought up.

    Things never talked about:

    National spying (Rand strength)

    Economy (somewhat strength)

    Personal freedom (biggest strength)

    Things always talked about:

    Immigration (who the fuck gives a shit?)

    All things Trump

    So Trump said this thing about you.

    1 question on Middle East

    What's your secret service code name.

    There's almost no chance for Paul to separate himself. His line about there always being a Bush or Clinton to take you to war was his strongest. They never talk about the real issues, though, during these debates and in the media.

    Don't get me wrong. It's Rand's job to force the issue. The biggest mistake he's made was try to appeal to the more conservative instead of just sticking to Libertarianism and letting the chips fall where they may.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I agree with you 100%, Toaster.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You forgot Planned Parenthood.

    To sum up - dirty immigrants, ISIS, and abortion are the most pressing issues this country faces!

  • Cytotoxic||

    This. Kind of makes the case for Rand sticking around and waiting for the spotlight to shine on issues that favor him.

  • Yahu Wahu||

    Probably never going to happen, and he needs money to keep the campaign going.

    He should drop out and focus on keeping his Senate seat.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No he should stick around for a primary and see how that goes. He can drop out then if it goes badly.

  • Yahu Wahu||

    The primaries are 4-5 months away and he's close to being out of money now.

  • prolefeed||

    Kinda hard to talk about those subjects in the debates when they're never brought up.

    Hardly.

    "So, Rand, should we deport most immigrants or all of them?"

    "I'm glad you asked that. Let's not deport any of them. Better yet, let's (launch into topics he wants to bring up)"

  • Yahu Wahu||

    Good recipe for not being asked any more questions after that.

  • Crusty Juggler||

  • Rhywun||

    Would.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Never stick it in crazy. Modify as necessary.

  • Rhywun||

    That's fun-loving, not "crazy".

  • Pan Zagloba||

    That's not a Canadian. That's a Torontonian. Completely different species.

  • commodious spittoon||

    Recommended stories


    World's Saddest Nets Fan Shits Into Urinal While Vomiting (NSFW)

    World's Saddest Nets Fan Shits Into Urinal While Vomiting (NSFW)

    World's Saddest Nets Fan Shits Into Urinal While Vomiting (NSFW)

    What a time to be alive.

  • Rhywun||

    Would not.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    What the fuck is wrong with Canadian plumbing? There should be several drains in the floor of a stadium restroom. SEVERAL. No fucking way an elevator shaft should flood.

  • John Titor||

    The pipes are frozen ten months of the year, we can't plan for this shit.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    You can't shit for 10 months of the year?

  • AlmightyJB||

    You're lovin' on the take and you're always on the make
    Squeezin' all the blood outta men
    They're all standin' in a queue just to spend a night with you
    It's business as usual again

  • AlmightyJB||

    Rand Mother Fuckin' Paul!

  • Quincy.||

    Rand Paul once got into a staring contest with Buzz Aldrin. Buzz blinked first, was later found stumbling on a nearby street.

  • Quincy.||

    Rand Paul can kill you with a stare, but he believes in due process and abides by the constitution.

  • Quincy.||

    Rand Paul explained the tacktleneck to Sterling Archer.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I know how Rand can promote himself in one word: cameo.

  • LynchPin1477||

    He had that chance on Parks and Rec but they weren't going to be fair!!!!

  • Quincy.||

    With Mallory hitting on him while complaining about the commie Democrat congress!

  • Cytotoxic||

    Someone contact Rand's campaign manager. Now.

  • Quincy.||

    Mandingo 2: The Embohnering!

  • Quincy.||

    If Rand Paul was cast as Mark Watney, there would have been more lasers in the movie. Also, the potato harvest would have doubled.

  • Yahu Wahu||

    But the core fact Politico reported is true, it's just not new news: "We haven't been raising money for months, and don't intend to until the campaign takes on a more libertarian tone."

    Which of Rand Paul's current positions has not been telegraphed for at least two years? There was never any way he was going to support the Iran deal or gay marriage or any of the cosmos' beloved issues. He's not his rigidly noninterventionist dad and never has been. (Which in my opinion is a good thing because Ron was a terrible politician even as someone who usually agreed with him)

    Either Ed Crane is a fool who didn't research Rand's positions before starting this PAC, or he started it in an attempt to stay relevant by holding on to Rand's coattails.

  • Contrarian P||

    The problem isn't his positions, it's the fact that he's been almost silent on the positions that make him the libertarian candidate. He let the topics get set early by Trump, as all the candidates did, and spent the entire first debate attacking Trump for not being a real Republican. He did a little better in the second debate, but didn't get a lot of time. He hasn't seized the spotlight by bringing the issues where he can stand apart to the forefront.

    He hasn't been aggressively pushing smaller government, despite the fact that that's an issue that resonates with voters, especially republican voters. He hasn't asked any of the other candidates what they'd cut. He's the only guy who has talked about actually making any cuts and should be talking that up.

    He brought out a tax plan that's a nonstarter and isn't inspiring in any event. It's the same tax plan Bob Dole ran on, honestly. He can't change the tax code as president anyway, so why is he even talking about it? He should be talking about health care instead, as he's a physician and subject expert. It's also an issue that resonates with republican voters.

    Anyway, whatever you thought about his father, his ideas and passion generated excitement and commitment. Rand looks bland and uninspired. He's not going to get the opportunity to make a nuanced case for his positions in the debates because there just isn't time. He'd better figure out a way to excite potential supporters again, or he's through.

  • Yahu Wahu||

    What made Ron so exciting to his supporters also made him toxic waste to the rest of the GOP. You know, the people voting for the GOP nominee, who you have to win over to your side to get the nomination.

    The Ron Paul campaign's goal was really just to get certain issues out there, and he succeeded to some extent (though even this is overstated by some of his more ardent supporters). If Rand is going for the nomination he absolutely cannot follow that same path.

    I think Mr. Crane and others are underestimating how much Trump's candidacy has kneecapped the serious anti-status-quo candidates like Paul, Cruz, and Walker. Such candidates depend on support from people who are just generally pissed, rather than philosophically unsatisfied, in order to get traction, but Trump is sucking up all the generally pissed people with his brash but vague rhetoric.

  • Contrarian P||

    I agree with you. Paul needed to take his father's earnestness and passion, not his more out there positions. Instead, he has been completely bland, so not only has he failed to keep any of his dad's supporters, he hasn't attracted anybody from the mainstream either.

  • Robert||

    Leave it to Ed Crane to make the Iran deal a major point of judgment of a candidate's appeal.

  • SIV||

    Cato sure nows how to pick 'em. Still nothing can top Robert A Levy's cosmotarian magazine.

    I don’t share the NRA’s view that we shouldn’t consider a ban on high-capacity magazines. I think a ban on magazines of 20 rounds and above seems to me to be reasonable.

  • Cytotoxic||

    OT: Silent revolution in guns underway as suppressors legalized in 41 states. Article features a glock with a *built-in* suppressor. Now they just need to make it even quieter and get rid of recoil and I can find shooting a lot more enjoyable.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/fr.....41-states/

  • SIV||

    Backyard skwerls don' stand a chance.

  • Robert||

    Don't antagonize the squirrels!

  • commodious spittoon||

    Doesn't suppressor just mean slightly less loud than terribly loud?

  • SIV||

    With subsonic rounds it can be so quiet all you hear is the action of the firing mechanism.

  • commodious spittoon||

    But what about that terrifying THWP? You gotta have the terrifying THWP.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I don't know, man. I have a loudener.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

  • commodious spittoon||

    I have additional questions.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Yes, shooting it makes your dick bigger.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Get rid of recoil? How sickly weak are you? Really?

    If you take enough muzzle velocity off of the round, you may as well be firing a BB gun.

  • Cytotoxic||

    It hurts my shoulder! I'm so delicate!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....proves-it/

    This chart shows how out of touch the GOP is.

    Wrong on pot, trade, immigrants, technology, religion, gay rights, and abortion.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    So, as a libertarian, what issues do you think the Democrats are out of touch on?

  • Sevo||

    "So, as a libertarian,"
    Yeah, turd and commie kid.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Not sure if this has been posted yet, but: The NSA celebrated Love Note Day

  • SIV||

    My employer is ending same-sex domestic partner health benefits. I wonder if any laggards will cling to them and get sued?

  • Quincy.||

    Cat video in honor of The Martian.

  • Sevo||

    BTW, that photo on the 5-story rotating index always causes a double-take; looks like he's sniffing his armpit to see if he forgot deodorant.

  • John Titor||

    Honest question, as a cynic: Did/does anyone here actually expect Paul to have any chance of winning? I mean, I get that it's tradition to rally around the closest thing to a libertarian in the race and pray for salvation, but does anyone expect him to actually win a plurality of the electoral college in 2016? When everything so far has shown a focus on either insane anti-trade bullshit, insane socialist bullshit, or insane anti-immigration bullshit? Dwayne Mountain Dew Camacho has a better chance.

  • commodious spittoon||

    If he cleaves to libertarian principle? No chance whatsoever. And anyone who thinks the libertarian credo will come a country mile within striking distance of presidency is fooling himself. Politics is driven by personality, not staid philosophic or economic arguments, and libertarianism only works in youtube videos and dinky clubs. The rest of the time there's idiots kvetching about immigrants and socialized medicine.

  • Peter Verkooijen||

    Rand Paul could win on personality if Republicans were smart enough to rally around him - they aren't apparently...

    He is one of the younger candidates on either side, a semi-outsider with a very respectable profession - not a lawyer...

    He is a regular guy, intelligent, but talks like a normal person. He has a hot wife. He should play up the personal angle more.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I think it's a long, long time till the elections. In 08 Obama wasn't even a blip on the RADAR at this point. In 12, every candidate had a rise and fall in the polls before they decided on Romney. I think anyone counting out candidates at this early stage is completely off his rocker.

  • John Titor||

    Obama had numerous advantage that Rand Paul completely lacks. One, the obvious historic 'first black President' thing resulting in both a massive black voter turnout and plenty of 'white guilt' (for lack of a better term) support. Two, a vagueness that allowed a massive amount of people to project their political beliefs onto. Three, a media blitz that effectively bred the cult of personality that festers today. Four, running against McCain as a fresh young politician with grand ideas compared to the old man career politician (admittedly you might be able to pull this off with Clinton, but not for Sanders, who is a true believer).

    Romney's selection was as a pathetic middle-of-the-roader, Paul will never get a nomination based on that.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Trump has been a major thorn in the ass of Paul. Paul was going to be the alternative candidate and this ignorant dipshit swoops in upstages the game-plan by several orders of magnitude. So Paul needs to wait for asshole to implode, which he will. Patience, Grasshopper.

  • John Titor||

    I think you severely underestimate the masses' love of a demagogue. A person is smart, people are dumb, panicky dangerous animals.

  • Yahu Wahu||

    Agreed about Trump, but he's not going anywhere for a long time. He hasn't really had to spend any money yet with all the free media coverage.

    "The electorate can remain irrational longer than the Paul campaign can remain solvent."

  • Calidissident||

    That's not true. Obama was in the 20-30% range at this point in 2007 (year before the general election). Paul is barely registering at all in the polls. And whereas Obama was comign from the perspective of a rising unknown, Paul has been faltering. He was polling double digits several months ago.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....html#polls

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Obama was in the 20-30% range at this point in 2007

    Out of how many D candidates? How many Rs are there now?

  • Yahu Wahu||

    The large number of candidates makes it harder to come back, not easier.

  • Cytotoxic||

    How? If candidates start dropping you can start picking up their support.

  • Yahu Wahu||

    It's harder because you have more competitors to climb over.

    The candidates who are likely to drop out before him have even less support than he does. Not to mention that it's not clear how someone who currently supports Lindsey Graham or George Pataki is courtable by Rand Paul.

  • Sevo||

    John Titor|9.30.15 @ 12:21AM|#
    "Honest question, as a cynic: Did/does anyone here actually expect Paul to have any chance of winning?"

    Not within miles of happening.
    What we can hope for is publicly-visible comparison to whackos such as Trump and maybe get thoughtful people to question why the choice ends up being between an obvious felon (Go, Shrill!) and whatever so-con the Rs trot out.

  • bacon-magic||

    If he punched Trump in the face I think he could get enough street cred to pull it off. Or if he lobbed asteroids at Mars... ;)

  • SIV||

    Bitch is D*E*A*D...DEAD

    *SLD* I don't think the state should have a monopoly on retributory violence.

  • widget||

    The very existence of an organization named PurplePAC leave me wondering. It's not even a good name for a garage band.

  • Yahu Wahu||

    Damn. Gauntlet thrown down.

    Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday said fellow Republican presidential candidate Ted. Cruz is “done for” in the Senate.

    “Ted has chosen to make this really personal and chosen to call people dishonest in leadership and call them names, which really goes against the decorum and also against the rules of the Senate, and as a consequence, he can’t get anything done legislatively,” Paul told Fox News Radio. “He is pretty much done for and stifled and it’s really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem.”

    “I approach things a little different, I am still just as hardcore in saying what we are doing, I just chose not to call people liars on the Senate floor and it’s just a matter of different perspectives on how best to get to the end result,” Paul said in the interview.

    I completely agree with him on this; Ted Cruz is an attention whore who is killing the party electorally and doesn't seem to give a shit as long as he gets face time. Though Paul is probably also pissed that Cruz is faring better than him in the nomination race, too.

  • Cytotoxic||

    "Ted Cruz is an attention whore who is killing the party electorally "

    Yes and no. Cruz is not killing the GOP electorally.

    My Tulpa-meter is dinging.

  • Yahu Wahu||

    "I've got a great idea -- let's combine getting blamed for a government shutdown AND resurrecting the war on women rhetoric!"

    He should wait a couple of years though if he wants to help his buddy Terry McAuliffe again.

  • Peter Verkooijen||

    Crane is an idiot. There is obviously a push from different sides - GOP establishment, media, Trump campaign, foreign policy hawks, etc. - to narrow the GOP field, make it Bush III or Rubio versus Trump. Blood is in the water, sharks are circling and here comes Crane whining Rand Paul is not libertarian enough.

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