Obama vs the rest – no contest

Drudge runs as its lead story, “Any Republican 47% Obama 41%”. I take it that the implication is to be read that Obama is behind and this is an election for the Republicans to lose.

The reality is that Obama is so far out in front I cannot see how it’s possible that he could lose. Inside the story itself, there is this:

President Obama leads most of the current GOP hopefuls aside from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is not running, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who he’s essentially tied with.

Obama was running around saying that the Republicans should “pass this bill” about his new stimulus package when there was no bill to pass and is saying it still when it is his own Democrats who refuse to pass it. I know this, you know this but about 80% of Americans do not know this and have no ready means to find out. Their media certainly won’t tell them.

Then with the two issues that would sink any Republican, would sink anyone if the media took a serious interest in discussing them – Fast and Furious for one and Solyndra for the other – there is a virtual media blackout. You can find out about them, as is obviouly the case, and if you are interested you can follow the stories, I suppose. But it’s not as if these are splashed across the media day after day as major issues with serious implications about the competence and judgement of the administration if not actually worse.

Meanwhile, the story that did do the rounds is about Rick Perry and the n-word rock. A man with an absence of any racist past is depicted in exactly the reverse way. Meanwhile, no-hope candidates such as Ron Paul and Herman Cain are waved by the media as serious contenders. How long would that last in a real election?

In all my observations on the American election, I continuously now come back to that Peggy Noonan column. Think of the kind of apparatus that lies behind this facade of a President in the context of what she wrote.

The other day a Republican political veteran forwarded me a hiring notice from the Obama 2012 campaign. It read like politics as done by Martians. The “Analytics Department” is looking for “predictive Modeling/Data Mining” specialists to join the campaign’s “multi-disciplinary team of statisticians,” which will use “predictive modeling” to anticipate the behavior of the electorate. “We will analyze millions of interactions a day, learning from terabytes of historical data, running thousands of experiments, to inform campaign strategy and critical decisions.”

Down 41-47 a year out from the election against a generic Republican. If that’s not a winning hand, I don’t know what is. Obama may still lose, but it is going to be an uphill battle fought not just against the Democrats but against the American media as well.

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115 Responses to Obama vs the rest – no contest

  1. Rococo Liberal

    Stop wanking on about the media. I makes you sound like a whiny lefty. The media isn’t that important.

  2. M Ryutin

    “Then with the two issues that would sink any Republican…… Fast and Furious for one and Solyndra for the other – there is a virtual media blackout”.

    Solyndra is getting some traction(but also Allied-Media-Complex fightback – ‘Bush started it’) but Fast and Furious remains a good example of why the strong Murdoch presence in Australia and Britain so concentrates their minds. Being able to strictly control the narrative (and the fact that Murdoch’s British troubles were rated more important than Fast & Furious in articles/op-eds/editorials by a ratio of 42/5 in the NYT) shows what they would love to have here.

    With the Andrew Bolt controversy and the all-sides attack he is under from so-called ‘progressive’ media and their astroturf associates (Getup and Newsstand – advised by Media Matters for America), just sit back and wonder what it would be like without News Limited media properties fighting to get the issues analysed properly?

    Yes, apart from input into the ABC and some other online sites – with the ABC publication of the alternate view being a sheer indulgence on the part of people who, without News Limited presence, could withdraw access in a millisecond – response is very narrow.

    What America has, many ‘progressives’ in Australia want. And they mean to get it too. The Fast/Furious versus Perry is a template for what the anti-Murdoch people really want. They want it all.

  3. Rafe

    RL, it is not wanking to tell the truth about the media, where else do people get information apart from the media – the schoolteachers?

    The painted rock appeared to have more traction in the media than any other issue last week.

  4. Mother Hubbard's Dog

    Anyone who thinks Obama isn’t the favourite has forgotten the huge benefits of incumbency.

  5. Well I must admit I have no idea what Fast and Furious is or was, but I do know about Solyndra – it’s that company that got all that media attention talking about how it hadn’t got any media attention.

  6. I thought it had something to do with wanking, Tim…

  7. JamesK

    Obama may still lose, but it going to be an uphill battle fought not just against the Democrats but against the American media as well.

    Steve sounds kinda surprised.

    Why?

    That has always been the way for the GOP candidate.

    What’s new is that demography favours the Democrats but now there is a significant alternative media.

    Blogs, Fox, WSJ, many more radio talk show hosts spend much of their time now feeding on the MSM filter and their hypocrisy and often unabashed evident bias.

    I think Obama will lose 40+ states next November.

    The n1gg3-rock story has already backfired on the WaPo and seems if anything to be helping Perry.

  8. jtfsoon

    Of all the ‘viable’ candidates (that rules out Gary Johnson alas) I’m now keen on Cain. Didn’t realise he had a chance until now

  9. jtfsoon

    If the Republicans want to play the ‘race card’ well against Obama, they would be foolish not to nominate Cain when even if he were white his advantages would be obvious. And what better way to beat racial stereotypes than a black mathematician and businessman?

  10. Tillman

    Yes, but the problem with Cain is that he is a loose cannon. He serves the purpose of demonstrating that the GOP is not fixated on race, but that doesn’t mean he is actually a good candidate for President who will stand up to the intense scrutiny of 14 months of campaigning.

    Also, it is a regrettable fact that there is some percentage of GOP voters who won’t vote for a black man. There are some Dems too who won’t, but I think the percentage is probably slightly higher for the GOP.

    In a race that may be decided by a few thousand votes in Ohio or Florida or Virginia, that could make all the difference.

  11. Well, Cain certainly isn’t going to get the Muslim vote.

    Really, Jason: I can’t say I have seen a rush of economists supporting his 999 idea either – the right wing blogs have been very wary about even talking about it, it seems to me.

  12. JamesK

    Also, it is a regrettable fact that there is some percentage of GOP voters who won’t vote for a black man. There are some Dems too who won’t, but I think the percentage is probably slightly higher for the GOP.

    “I think” that says more about Tillman than the GOP voter.

    Have you got any evidence for that champ?

    Or are you merely tempering offensive Dem talking points?

  13. TerjeP

    I don’t think Ron Paul or Herman Cain will be the republican candidate but why refer to them as no hopers? If either wins they get the party machine behind them which makes for a serious contest. Ron Paul may lose some neo cons who will stay home but he would have a good story to draw over certain types of democrats. Neither deserves to be regarded as a no hoper. Ron Paul has ranked third in some of the candidate polls.

  14. Tillman

    Have you got any evidence for that champ?

    Yes, I do you fucking blockhead.

    In the last, say, 150 years how many blacks have the GOP elected to the Presidency, to governorships, to the US Senate and to the US House?

    Many, many fewer than the Dems have.

    That constitutes very strong prima facie evidence that Democratic voters are more likely to vote for a black candidate than the GOP voters are.

    Now fuck off.

  15. Tillman

    Neither deserves to be regarded as a no hoper. Ron Paul has ranked third in some of the candidate polls.

    You are a loon.

  16. Tillman

    Feel that Paulmentum!

    He’s in a three way tie for third place.

    Otherwise known as running fifth in a two-horse race i.e. functionally equivalent to running last.

    If Ron Paul’s hopes of being elected President were a dog, you’d take it out back and shoot it.

  17. Steve Kates

    Ron Paul might have a clue or two on domestic policy but would be a disaster on the foreign side. As bad as Obama and with little else to recommend him.

    As for Herman Cain, I met him at the Freedomfest last July and came away underwhelmed. I am told he has tightened up since then, but he filled the air with generalities and no specifics. He sounded like he had swallowed a management consultant’s manual, filled the air with aspirational drivel but nothing of substance. His only advantage is the colour of his skin which neutralises one of the factors in the contest against Obama. But as a candidate of substance, 9-9-9 is not the answer.

  18. Jim Rose

    9-9-9 is another example of efficient taxes will lead to higher taxes.

    a motto of authentic tax reform is an old tax is a good tax.

  19. Jim Rose

    for a discussion of authentic tax reform see http://www.econlib.org/library/Buchanan/buchCv9c10.html the closing chapter of the power to tax by brennan and buchanan.

    BTW, buchanan now favours a flat tax, a demo-grant and uniform regulation of all industries

  20. C.L.

    In the last, say, 150 years how many blacks have [been killed by] the GOP elected to the Presidency, to governorships, to the US Senate and to the US House?

    Many, many fewer than the Dems have.

    FTFY.

  21. C.L.

    Well, Cain certainly isn’t going to get the Muslim vote.

    Oh noes!

  22. Jarrah

    “Ron Paul might have a clue or two on domestic policy but would be a disaster on the foreign side.”

    Why is that?

  23. JC

    Why is that?

    Paul called for Odumbo’s impeachment because the US whacked an AQ leader that happened to be American, thats why.

    Paul is a fucking loon.

  24. JamesK

    Yes, I do you fucking blockhead.

    No champ.

    It fucking doesn’t.

    Your ‘evidence’ is not evidence that there is a greater “some percentage of GOP voters who won’t vote for a black man”.

    Now I ask you again you moron:

    Have you got any evidence for that champ ?

  25. JC

    BTW, buchanan now favours a flat tax, a demo-grant and uniform regulation of all industries

    Big deal. Who cares anyway.

  26. JC

    Hope and change Continued.

    Since Obama, Debt Increased By $35,835 Per Household…

  27. Jarrah

    “Paul called for Odumbo’s impeachment because the US whacked an AQ leader that happened to be American, thats why. Paul is a fucking loon.”

    Nobody asked you. But I am not surprised that a Stalinist is all for the state assassinating its citizens without trial.

    Regardless, I don’t think that is what Steve Kates had in mind, so if you don’t mind, I’d like to hear his reasons.

  28. jtfsoon

    colour me communist Jim, but I prefer efficient taxation even if it means the libertarian nirvana is never achieved.

    I am familiar with Buchanan’s arguments but as I don’t believe we will ever achieve small government nirvana I am prepared to take a risk.
    progressive taxation is by most accounts less efficient than flatter taxes so by your logic we should be implacably opposed to flatter taxation too. by the same self defeating logic we shouldn’t close off major loopholes and allow for major distortions in incentives all to appease the paranoiacs of expanded govt.

    the way I see it, bigger than optimal government will be around for a long time. the best way to stem its flow is to repeal spending program after spending program rather than arguing for this self-defeating approach that we make our taxes more painful under the assumption that the more painful the tax the less likely the government will raise it

  29. TerjeP

    I quite like the foreign policy of Ron Paul. Pull US troops out of most countries, stop funding foreign military forces, restore war powers to congress avoid bilateral trade deals and liberalise trade unilaterally. He would appeal to a certain slice of democrats so it can work politically also. It is also popular with much of the military although that is an aside not an argument.

  30. JC

    Fuck off Jazz. I’ll comment whenever I like to whomever you like. Stop behaving like a metrosexual all the time and get over yourself.

    Stalinist….Lol..You really are a clown.

    In any event I don’t think Steve would respond as he possibly doesn’t like you.

  31. jtfsoon

    a Stalinist is all for the state assassinating its citizens without trial.

    Call all the major Republican and Dem candidates Stalinist then.

    This point is red herring. So the abuse in process was that the perp wasn’t stripped of his citizenship before he was assassinated? Fine, that could probably have been easily done and made no difference to the outcome.

    Targeted assassination is the way to go and is vastly superior to war. Wny shed a tear for another dead terrorist when calling in a general military strike kills more innocent civilians?

  32. Tillman

    He would appeal to a certain slice of democrats so it can work politically also

    As I said, you are a loon.

    If you agree with Paul, good on you.

    If you think he can win a Presidential election, you are a loon.

  33. jtfsoon

    as i see it, Obama has 2 things to his credit at least.

    The dead bodies of Bin Laden and Al Gazzali or whatever that fuckhead was called.

    If you object to the assassination of the latter why don’t you object to the assassination of the former if the only difference in process is that they should’ve passed a law stripping him of his citizenship first?

  34. JC

    I quite like the foreign policy of Ron Paul.

    As an Australian, what exactly do you like about Paul’s Foreign Policy, Terje. Is it his virtual complete withdrawl from all existing treaties and obligations.

    In other words if we’re threatened in some way he wouldn’t give a shit.

    You foreign policy because you keep reading American blogs and mindlessly agree with them not understanding the implications it has for us.

    Terje, are you letting Sukrit influence you again.

  35. JC

    But I am not surprised that a Stalinist is all for the state assassinating its citizens without trial.

    Yes, you’re right, Jazza. Odumbo should have sent the FBI to where the prick was holed up in Yemen and read him his Miranda rights.

  36. JamesK

    I quite like the foreign policy of Ron Paul

    In other words TerjeP likes all out Middle East nuclear war and radical Islamic teerrorism to resurge.

    Oh and South Korea to be oblierated by North Korean nukes.

    Oh and China to invade, suppress and reclaim Taiwan in the the communists chatacteristic style.

    Oh and…. oh nevermind.

  37. Jarrah

    “Call all the major Republican and Dem candidates Stalinist then.”

    If they exhibit other Stalinist traits like JC, then no problem.

    “So the abuse in process was that the perp wasn’t stripped of his citizenship before he was assassinated?”

    The first problem is that the US is further down the slippery slope than it was.

    “Wny shed a tear for another dead terrorist”

    The second problem is that people are all too willing to believe their governments when they declare someone evil without having to prove it.

  38. Jarrah

    “Yes, you’re right, Jazza.”

    Good, we can agree on something, then.

  39. JC

    James:

    There is no doubt the US military needs to be rationalized and the spending cut from the current lofty levels of around $800 billion a year. That’s a complete disgrace.

    Paul’s policy is basically isolationist 30’s and would make matter worse for the rest of us. It’s actually okay for the US in a short term way to retreat and turn itself into a fortress.

    I’m not eggsactly sure how that plays out with the rest of the world though.

    In such a setting Israel should immediately and without a moment’s hesitation turn Iran and perhaps Egypt into crystal parking lots in the desert before they had a chance of coming after them first. That would be the only possible course of action.

    Russia should invade the former eastern bloc as they wouldn’t have another golden opportunity again.

  40. jtfsoon

    answer the question Jarrah – would you also object to the targeted assassination of Bin Laden?

    The main difference between the two was that OBL wasn’t a US citizen. So your ‘sliding further down the slippery slope’ boils down to ‘he should’ve been stripped of his citizenship first’

    JC is right, University has ruined you 🙂

  41. JC

    The second problem is that people are all too willing to believe their governments when they declare someone evil without having to prove it.

    Are you this fucked up? The dude was making homemade Yemeni videos and sticking them of the web explaining how AQ was going to kill US citizens.

    There is no protection in a situation like that outside of US territory. The US behaved perfectly legally and only the loon side of the libertarian movement would disagree.

    Only the loon side and the Greens (which is where you come in).

    You’re such a jerk, Jazza. University has ruined you.

  42. JamesK

    Russia should invade the former eastern bloc as they wouldn’t have another golden opportunity again.

    If the US leaves Germany, that is eggsactly what will happen.

    Besides an Iranian sponsored Caliphate in Western Europe won’t make the Americasns feel welcome in Germany.

  43. Jim Rose

    Ron Paul’s view of Iran is not terribly different from the Cato institute.

    Stalin, Khrushchev, and Mao and the dear leaders and the great leader were all deterred despite their varying degrees of suspicion and paranoia.

    Far from being suicidal, the track record of Iranian behavior shows pragmatism and calculating temperament when attempting to advance its interests in the region.

    Rather than assessing Iran based on their leaders’ provocative rhetoric, U.S. officials should deduce future Iranian intentions based on how it has reacted when confronted with overwhelming force in light of the self-interest and desire of a corrupt and venial regime to survive and stay in power.

    As for the attack on UC citizens who are in terrorist groups, the power to wage war includes the right to attack without any warning or attempt to capture.

    Members of terrorist group connected to 9/11 attacks and planning more attacks are all covered by the 9/11 congressional authorization to use military force.

    The American civil war killed a lot American citizens too. The confederate solders killed in battle were not deprived of their rights to due process.

  44. JamesK

    The American civil war killed a lot American citizens too. The confederate solders killed in battle were not deprived of their rights to due process.

    Correct.

    What is astonishing here is that some of the usual wooly thinking of the Left is on the Right.

    The guy was clearly an enemy combatant on the US and the President is rhe Commander-in-Chief.

    Obama made the right call.

    Think of Clinton’s inaction when he had an opportunity to take out bin Laden.

    Didn’t that cost the world dear?

  45. Jim Rose

    jtfsoon,

    brennan and buchanan supported pregressive taxes because they leads to a smaller tax take and a smaller public sector.

    the nordic welfare states have efficient taxes so that they can fund a larger public sector.

    tax reform became popular as a way to maintain the size of the welfare state.

    I would add, however, that there are certain tax “reforms” under discussion that threaten to contract rather than to augment net tax revenues and therefore tend in the wrong direction.
    —E. S. Phelps, “Rational Taxation,”

  46. JC

    Far from being suicidal, the track record of Iranian behavior shows pragmatism and calculating temperament when attempting to advance its interests in the region.

    Really? They moved a few of their speed boats of the US Atlantic coastline the frighten the American with their capabilities. That’s really fucking sensible.

    And I think all Western countries walked out on a recent UN meeting when Uncle A began to suggest the US government was responsible for 911.

    Yep, their behavior shows a great deal of insight, intelligence and pragmatism. NOT!

  47. HandyMan

    Meanwhile, no-hope candidates such as Ron Paul and Herman Cain are waved by the media as serious contenders.

    Hate to be the one to break the bad news Steve, but it’s not just “the media”! There are those among us, yes here at the Cat, who reckon Herman is now “fashionable”, a good choice for the GOP.

    But cheer up, there’s always Mitt. Always. This guy has been running for POTUS for so long he could get the title of “Honorary President” one day, for services to campaigning. Trouble is, that long history of campaigning has left him with a long list of positions, for and against, on just about any issue you can think of. Take a look at Jon Stewart taking him apart to give you some idea what the Obama team will do to him in their “will the real Mitt please stand up” attack ads. He is a walking, talking political Karma Sutra. Then there are those in his own base who reckon he’s a “socialist Mormon”. Hell, Obama doesn’t need the media. He’s got the Republican field. Lucky bastard.

  48. JC

    Metro:

    This was a good thread. Please don’t spam it.

    Now get back on the pedal pusher and slowing breathing please with very shallow exhales.

    ——-

    This is the problem, metro. You spam attack a defenseless thread which acts as flypaper for all the other nutballs like yourself like Phil, Candy and LaDouche to attack it.

    You don’t add anything we already know, so go away.

  49. JC

    Take a look at Jon Stewart

    The thinking side of the American left. LOl

    You moron, Metro. Seriously go away.

  50. Gab

    like Phil, Candy and LaDouche

    Don’t forget Cowpat.

  51. Jim Rose

    JC,
    Iran behaved itself more in the first few years after 9/11 and invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq because they were scared of Bush. Bush was scared of no one.

    Iran started misbehaving again when Bush lost support domestically and the democrats took congress.

    Nobody is scared of Obama even though he does deserve credit for vigorous use of drones. the laws of war are followed too with a distinction made between combatants and others. only one of the four cars in the convoy in Yemen last week was attacked.

  52. HandyMan

    You don’t add anything we already know

    If you know Obama is going to beat anyone in the current GOP field like a borrowed mule, why do you reckon he’s a goner? They can’t put “Generic Republican” on the ballot paper – they have to find a living, breathing human with functioning brain cells and at least some political skills. That’d be their problem – they don’t have one.

  53. Jim Rose

    on jon stewart and co, the left quickly changes messiahs.

    The right can barely stand its own leaders when they are winning.

  54. HandyMan

    Nobody is scared of Obama

    What’s left of Sammy bin Laden’s clique might disagree with you on that. Then there are the political hard heads in the Republican Party as they survey their potential candidates to run again him. They so scared the toilet at GOP HQ is now referred to as “the brick factory”.

  55. TerjeP

    JC – you are correct in pointing out that I was evaluating Ron Paul’s foreign policy from a US perspective not an Australian perspective. However the general thrust of the discussion about presidential candidates usually presumes a US perspective. I doubt Steve is focused on which US presidential candidate would be best for Australia when he dismisses Paul and Cain as no hopers. That said I don’t think Australia would be materially penalised by a Ron Paul presidency. I think there would be some net positives not least of which would be a stronger US economy.

  56. JC

    Metro;

    Spamming by a mere carbon slave is not frowned upon. Please go away.

  57. Jim Rose

    see Bill Maher on the Superiority of Western Values at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhvhNZC51gY

    brilliant

  58. Jim Rose

    you are correct in pointing out that I was evaluating Ron Paul’s foreign policy from a US perspective not an Australian perspective.

    australan national security policy since 1901 has had one theme – find a great and powerful friend.

    Australia joined allies in wars against militarism and territorial conquest and to show empire and alliance solidarity so as to protect regional security interests and long-term Australian security.

  59. TerjeP

    James – the middle east would not explode if the US stopped donating large sums of money to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan etc. In fact the middle east would have to grow up. Israel would be liberated from US imposed restraint and would be quite capable of defending itself.

  60. JC

    Terje;

    It doesn’t need to be either or in terms of having a US prez that is both good for the US economy and is more responsible than Paul in foreign policy.

    In fact both domestic and foreign policy are intertwined. There’s no way the US would do well if there’s a nuke exchange in the mid east or Russia under Putin wants its old empire back and also threatening to turn off the gas pipeline if the Euros don’t observe Putin’s birthday.

    Our prosperity has actually been very much dependent on peaceful sea lanes and a sort of global adherence to the Washington Consensus.

    Paul is not good for any of those things.

  61. JC

    Israel would be liberated from US imposed restraint and would be quite capable of defending itself.

    Yea, spoken like an outsider though. Israelis feel threatened all the time and living there would change most people’s opinion.

    Israeli security rests on the basis that if it were attacked by nukes America would destroy the attacker possibly leaving no casualties behind.

    Jews have a right to feel paranoid with relatviely recent experience from WW2 and most of their neighbors pretty much publicly stating they want to destroy the place and run all Jews into the sea.

    And who fills the US vacuum once it leaves. Russia or China perhaps? That would make the Israelis feel even more comfortable, right? Lol.

  62. jtfsoon

    brennan and buchanan supported pregressive taxes because they leads to a smaller tax take and a smaller public sector.

    the nordic welfare states have efficient taxes so that they can fund a larger public sector.

    Yes I am aware of that. Hence my comment about your logically implied support of progressive taxes. How has that worked out btw? We have progressive taxes and a large welfare state anyway. Worst of both worlds. Given that we have a GST as well (which is an efficient tax) why would completing the picture of reducing reliance on income tax further make us worse off than the current situation where we have both progressivity and a GST?

  63. Tillman

    the middle east would not explode if the US stopped donating large sums of money to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan etc. In fact the middle east would have to grow up.

    As I said, you are a loon.

    If it were not for the US Navy the Persian Gulf would be shut down by some crazy-ass mullah with a couple of diesel subs.

  64. JamesK

    James – the middle east would not explode if the US stopped donating large sums of money to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan etc. In fact the middle east would have to grow up. Israel would be liberated from US imposed restraint and would be quite capable of defending itself.

    That’s a cracker!

    I won’t respond.

    Such utter drivel should stand on its own.

    On another issue, the US doesn’t ‘donate’ “large sums of money to Saudi Arabia”.

    The US buys oil there and has a military base to defend Saudi Arabia from Iran and Syria.

    Something wikileaks conclusively showed Saudi Arabia is quite desperate to see continue.

  65. jtfsoon

    brennan and buchanan supported pregressive taxes because they leads to a smaller tax take and a smaller public sector.

    This point is itself debatable. There was a time when states were much smaller and there was no progressivity whatsoever. Then different tax bands were introduced, tax rates were raised anyway and spending boomed. O

  66. Tillman

    As Graeme points out, this entire discussion about polls and elections is beside the point:

    The banker-shadow-government is still in the more powerful position. The only election they ever lost was Reagan’s first and they shot him.

  67. JC

    If it were not for the US Navy the Persian Gulf would be shut down by some crazy-ass mullah with a couple of diesel subs.

    And speed boats with a RPG looking contraption at the back.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3147217.ece

    The oil would flow out easily and China and Japan wouldn’t be worried in the least.

  68. Jim Rose

    on the comings and goings on middle-east autocrats, see this brilliant June 9, 2011 new york times op-ed ‘How Tyrants Endure’ By BRUCE BUENO De MESQUITA and ALASTAIR SMITH

    they say that three types of rulers are especially susceptible to desertion by their backers: new, decrepit and bankrupt leaders.

    As money becomes scarce, leaders can’t pay their cronies, leaving no one to stop the people if they rebel.

    This is precisely what happened during the Russian and French revolutions and the collapse of communist rule in Eastern Europe. Threats to Bashar al-Assad’s rule in Syria can be seen in much the same light.

    Muammar el-Qaddafi has given little hint of compromise from the start in Libya.

    As NATO bombs fall on Tripoli, however, Qaddafi discovered that he needs to convince remaining loyalists that he can re-establish control over Libya’s oil riches or they, too, will turn on him.

    Sadly, the rebels are also likely to suppress freedom to ensure their control over oil wealth.

  69. Ivan Denisovich

    And I think all Western countries walked out on a recent UN meeting when Uncle A began to suggest the US government was responsible for 911.

    An especially repugnant speech if the suspicions prove to be well-founded, akin to Hitler blaming Polish aggression for start of war:

    http://my.telegraph.co.uk/actuality/realdeal/15813574/on-islamic-iran-hezbollah-global-jihadi-crimes-against-humanity-%E2%80%93-including-its-involvment-in-the-911-massacre/

  70. JC

    The banker-shadow-government is still in the more powerful position. The only election they ever lost was Reagan’s first and they shot him.

    But of course. That goes without saying.

  71. JC

    Ha.. Bird and Uncle A has something in common. They both believe in the Shadow government.

  72. Jim Rose

    jtfsoon,

    which potentially raises more revenue? an efficient or inefficient tax system?

    which raises more political resistance to higher taxes? An efficient or inefficient tax system?

  73. TerjeP

    JC – the suez canal is strategically important for trade and Israel and Egypt are the major recipients of US foreign military aid (one third of total I believe). So your point has some merit. On the other hand piracy in Somalia has seen a chunk of trade traffic avoid the route and international trade has not ended. You would have to tally up the cost of the long route alternative and position that against the actual risk of losing access as a consequence of US withdrawal. I have not done a CBA but my guess is that the risk is low and the cost of the alternate route is not insignificant but also not exceedingly material.

    I have not lived in Israel. However I think they have demonstrated plenty of capacity to blow the crap out of their neighbours if threatened. They would need to adjust their strategy in the event of a US withdrawal from the region but they would cope.

    The power vacuum concern regarding China and Russia is also not without merit. However a Ron Paul presidency will not end US capacity for foreign adventure. It will just give it a useful jolt. To dismiss a Ron Paul presidency on the basis of foreign policy is in my view silly. If congress declares war he has always said that the president should ensure that the US fights hard to win. And he would not be president forever.

  74. jtfsoon

    which potentially raises more revenue? an efficient or inefficient tax system?

    An efficient tax system. But so what? You say you’re willing to wear a large degree of inefficiency for the inefficiency avoided by not having more govt revenues. But a large part of the inefficiency of large govt revenues itself is because of the deadweight costs of taxation. That is why i presented you with the choice of which scenarios you preferred – all around the world including in Australia we have *both* a high degree of progressivity and large welfare states. Arguably countries which at least have some of this funded by a GST are in a better state than countries where this all funded off the backs of the ‘rich’ by stifling incentives. Would Australia have been better off without the tax reforms of the Hawke-Keating-Howard goverbments which included lower progressivity?

    Furthermore it is not necessarily the case that the political resistance to raising taxes under a progressive tax system will be higher than raising taxes under a GST – because under the former a lot of people think ‘stuff the ‘rich’, they pay most of it’.

    For god’s sakes, Jim. you have obviously swallowed a whole economics library but try stepping outside citations and making a clean argument and applying it to the real world for a change.

  75. jtfsoon

    Jim
    Your (and the public choice school’s) apprpach seems to be ‘to save the village we set fire to it’.

    Advances in cutting the size of government should be made by making the arguments on the spending side. On the taxing side there is no reason to think we are preventing the inevitable by in effect poison pilling our tax system.

  76. Driftforge

    Simple points.

    The Republicans will continue to fail while they are a house divided. They can’t press a case for Democrat ineptitude while they have the Tea Party/Old Guard divide in play.

    Secondly, no Republican candidate other than Ron Paul has a hope of winning against Obama. (aside: Chris Christie may have done). Even if Ron Paul gracefully bows out at the end, his support will not. They will not vote Republican other than Ron Paul.

    Perry was never going to last the distance. Cain is in a bubble which won’t last. Bachmann has already bust. Romney and Paul will be the last two standing.

    All Ron Paul getting in would do is bring the inevitable about quicker. The US will retreat – in 2013 under Ron Paul, or 5-10 years later under any other administration.

    The US is losing and will lose its Reserve currency status, the ‘exorbitant privilege’ that goes with it, and the concomitant responsibility to both fund and dominate the world.

    This issue with impeachment is the same as the Bolt discussion here. A lot of people missing the bigger issue because of the identity of the player involved.
    Due process is due process, and you don’t mess with that because it underpins so much of everything.

    You don’t fail to follow process in these issues. Especially in a case like this where everyone (yes, even Ron Paul) agrees on what the outcome of that process would have been.

  77. Tillman

    You would have to tally up the cost of the long route alternative and position that against the actual risk of losing access as a consequence of US withdrawal. I have not done a CBA but my guess is that the risk is low and the cost of the alternate route is not insignificant but also not exceedingly material

    Plus the cost of Salafists taking over in Saudi Arabia, and a probable war between the Saudis and Iran.

    There would be an immense power vacuum, with only the Chinese in any position to fill it.

    Meanwhile, oil would hit $500/barrel and the US economy would be shafted.

    Put that in your CBA and smoke it.

    Fortunately, there is zero chance of Ron Paul winning a single primary, let alone the nomination or – God forbid – the Presidency.

  78. Tillman

    no Republican candidate other than Ron Paul has a hope of winning against Obama

    Where do these loonies come from?

  79. jtfsoon

    Libertarians should never get their hands on the levers of foreign policy unless they have a conservative streak

  80. HandyMan

    no Republican candidate other than Ron Paul has a hope of winning against Obama.

    That just needs a couple of edits: “no current Republican candidate other than including Ron Paul has a hope of winning against Obama”. In this climate it’s the Republican’s election to lose and they are doing a first class job of it. Thanks in no small measure to Palin and the Tea Party wackos.

  81. jtfsoon

    no Republican candidate other than Ron Paul has a hope of winning against Obama

    you can’t be serious driftforge. Obama is now a highly polarising figure. even Tillers, who worships the ground he trods on, thinks Obama is beatable with the right Republican candidate. Ron Paul would scare away more people than he attracts

  82. daddy dave

    no Republican candidate other than Ron Paul has a hope of winning against Obama

    let me correct that for you.
    “no Republican candidate other than Ron Paul has a hope of winning the young, white, urban, liberal vote.”

    Not the same thing.

  83. JC

    Drift:

    What you’re essentially saying is that an American soldier in WW2 would have committed murder if you knew he was about to shoot an American citizen that joined the Nazis and clearly on the German side.

    This is total bullshit and it really takes a certain quality of mind to suggest this crap.

    Frankly I don’t see a great deal of the division on the GOP side you do. Where is it exactly? The candidates may seem a little weak to people but this hardly suggests the house is divided.

    And I wouldn’t be betting on the US losing reserve status so quickly either. Reserve status goes to the nation which has the biggest gun.

    If you think gold is going to make a come back as a currency, I’m willing to take the bet with you that in 10 years time you still won’t be able to go into a bread shop and make an exchange with a gold coin.

    The Euro?

    Seriously, EU is in better shape than the US? Huge welfare state supported by a collapsing birthrate. Even Germany is on its hind legs.

    The Yuan?

    I’ll let you be the first to stick your net worth in a Chinese bank relying on Chinese Law to allow you to withdraw it at a moments notice and no questions asked.

  84. JC

    Where do these loonies come from?

    Mises.org.

    Or that reprobate Sukrit influencing young and impressionable minds.

  85. Tillman

    Tillers, who worships the ground he trods on

    Actually, Barry doesn’t walk on the ground. He walks about 5mm above it.

  86. JC

    One good thing out of that prick Conroy’s ban list is that he may block Mises.org, thereby helping to prevent the destruction of young libertarian minds.

  87. jtfsoon

    Mises.org has some good historical archival materials from the actual Mises. It’s Lew Rockwell.com that has the more pernicious influence

  88. daddy dave

    I don’t agree with Steve’s analysis in the post, that the polls show Obama in an unbeatable position. The difference in polling between ‘generic Republican’ and specific candidates has been a cause for snickering and guffawing among Democrat supporters for several months, but it shouldn’t provide them with much comfort. It’s hard to intepret such head-to-heads when there’s no primary challenger yet and most of them have had vastly less exposure than Obama.

    Sentiment has not reversed since the mid-term avalanche. Public opinion has grown increasingly pessimistic and the economy has been sliding.

    Nile Gardiner at the Telegraph sees dark clouds on the horizon for Obama.

    The polls aren’t favourable, the economy is against him, and he has some major emerging scandals such as Solyandra and the Mexican gun running fiasco.

    Yet in the midst of all this, he’s embarking on a suicidal 50 state strategy.

  89. JC

    The polls are clearly and without doubt suggesting dissatisfaction with Odumbo. That’s beyond question.

    The polls are also suggesting that GOP needs a half way decent candidate and if they find him or her the GOP will win the presidency.

    I think the coming election is going to be one where big issues will be debated and will be a sink or swim time for the country.

    The idea that people will be taken in by some hope and change bullshit is well and truly over.

    Foremost in people’s minds is who will do something about the deficit, get it down and put a serious dent in the spending.

    The only person I see who is capable of doing this and articulating the argument is Romney.

    It’s obvious Odumbo cannot run on his record and his only chance is to go super negative hoping that the shit he throws at the opponent will stick and make him (odumbo) less unpopular than the GOP candidate.

    I really think Romney is the only one of the candidates able to push through this.

    Drift and others…

    Please explain how the fuck you’re going to push a policy of closing down the Fed during the campaign and also how you would prevent the other side from painting you as a total lunatic?…… and something the punters there won’t believe.

    Really. I want to hear it. If you think Paul is so good I presume you’ve thought about this little tiny domestic policy issue he would be pushing totally at odds with most of his party.

  90. JC

    It’s Lew Rockwell.com that has the more pernicious influence

    Oh Yea… apologies to all.. It’s Lew Rockwell’s site. I stopped reading those sites ages ago.

    It’s Lew Rockwell’s Site and Sukrit influencing young and impressionable minds.

  91. JC

    Yet in the midst of all this, he’s embarking on a suicidal 50 state strategy.

    Dad, don’t believe the shit they put out in public. He can’t say anything other than he’s going for 50 states otherwise it makes him look weak and people in each state will begin wondering why bother voting for the fucker if he doesn’t care.

    The battleground will be Philly, NJ, Florida, Virginia, Ohio and even perhaps NY after the recent election there. It’s an outside chance.

    Romney would win these states I think.

    And one other thing. It’s better having Romney in there than this fucker.

  92. HandyMan

    Daddy, the article you linked to re the “suicidal 50 states” campaign says that “The strategy is similar to Obama’s successful 2008 campaign, but it is still unorthodox.”

    So, not so suicidal in ’08. Given that he is likely to lose some states he won last time, why not target as many as possible again? Just to make the strategy even more sensible is the fact that Romney, the flip-flopping socialist Mormon with a liberal track record looks like being the Republican candidate. What is that going to do for Republican enthusiasm levels in some of the red states? You think the Tea Party crowd are going to be lining up to vote for Mitt? That means that a lot more states will be in play and Obama is going to need some of those to get to the 270 electoral college votes he needs. Seems sensible enough to me.

  93. JamesK

    The battleground will be Philly, NJ, Florida, Virginia, Ohio and even perhaps NY after the recent election there. It’s an outside chance

    The way things are going, he could even loose Hawaii as well as New York.

    Tho’ I can’t see even Obummer losing Massachusetts.

    So it might actually be a 1 state strategy.

    Well I can dream, can’t I?

    Hell, maybe the Democrat power brokers might have a word in his ear to do a LBJ come January if things continue in the same direction.

  94. daddy dave

    Handyman:

    the article you linked to re the “suicidal 50 states” campaign says that “The strategy is similar to Obama’s successful 2008 campaign, but it is still unorthodox.”

    So, not so suicidal in ’08.

    Yeah, I know.
    But what they seem to be missing is that the 50-state strategy isn’t why they won in 2008. They won because they were looking at a landslide anyway, there was widespread dissatisfaction with Bush, and because of the unique (and ephemeral) appeal of Obama himself.

    A 50 state strategy makes no sense at all in a tight contest.

  95. Tillman

    Can we talk about British politics for a while?

    How is David Cameron’s vote holding up in Surrey?

  96. Tillman

    I hear they are very down on Angela Merkel in Schleswig-Holstein.

  97. HandyMan

    A 50 state strategy makes no sense at all in a tight contest.

    A 50 state strategy makes even more sense in the current close contest. Who knows which way lots of states will break when you’ve got a communist Kenyan Muslim up against a socialist flip-flopping Mormon. Any else would be crazy. It is likely there will be lots of outlier results this time and you’d want to give yourself every chance of being on the right side of them.

  98. Jim Rose

    most say they have A 50 state strategy. watch where the post their ads. swing states.

  99. Jim Rose

    American citizens did fight for the nazis.

    in 1942, 8 men including 2 U.S. citizens clad in German uniforms landed from German submarines in new york and florida. the uniforms were quickly discarded.

    The purpose of the invasions was sabotage, to strike fear into the American civilian population; and to diminish the resolve of the United States.

    arrested and tried before a military commission, one was sentenced to life imprisonment, another to 30 years, and six received the death penalty, which was carried out within a few days

    Designed to handle crimes committed in times of war or rebellion, military commissions stretch back to George Washington convening a board of inquiry in 1780 to try a British major accused of conspiring with Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War.

    other defendants have included a former Ohio Congressman accused of sympathizing with the Confederacy, eight accused conspirators in President Lincoln’s assassination, and the eight Germans that arrived by submarine.

  100. Tillman

    The reason al-Awlaki did not receive due process is because there was no means of giving him due process i.e. he was living in a tent in the deserts of Yemen planning terrorist attacks.

    Arresting him and bringing him to trial was not an option.

    Accordingly, he received all the process that was due to him i.e. getting blatted by a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator.

    The US Constitution is not a suicide pact.

  101. jtfsoon

    The US Constitution is not a suicide pact.

    Here! Here!

    Glad to see you’re not one of those patchouli oil Democrats, Tillman.

  102. JC

    Where’s Jazza?

    The reason al-Awlaki did not receive due process is because there was no means of giving him due process …..

    Accordingly, he received all the process that was due to him i.e. getting blatted by a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator.

    Jaz, you can perhaps give him due process now. After all, he isn’t exactly going anywhere.

  103. jtfsoon

    Where’s Jazza?

    Trying to infiltrate the UNSW Greens into the LDP 🙂

  104. JC

    Trying to infiltrate the UNSW Greens into the LDP

    No doubt. Jaz was coming on good there for a while at least. Then wham.. he gets to uni and he goes off with the pixies and now he’s worse than he ever was.

    The only fear I have is that Shiny influenced him, as they’re both there in the same uni.

  105. C.L.

    Accordingly, he received all the process that was due to him i.e. getting blatted by a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator.

    Kind of makes the lefties who objected to KSM getting a Langley bath look a smidgen – no wait, massively – hypocritical.

  106. daddy dave

    Can we talk about British politics for a while?

    Too depressing.

  107. Tillman

    Kind of makes the lefties who objected to KSM getting a Langley bath look a smidgen – no wait, massively – hypocritical

    No you are lying.

    KSM was in custody.

    Hence there was no practical reason he could not be afforded the process due an enemy combatant (i.e. not be tortured).

    Al-Awlaki was not in custody and there was no reasonable prospect of taking him into custody. Hence it was, as a practical matter, impossible to give him due process.

  108. jtfsoon

    I suppose in theory, the US could have kidnapped Awlaki and then brought him to trial and then have him killed like the Israelis did to Eichmann but that is really splitting so much hairs and reveals the silliness of the Ron Paulians on this matter.

  109. Tillman

    Yes, and similarly the SWAT team could wait for the hostage taker to execute all of his hostages and kill as many cops as he has bullets before they come in and subdue him with the minimum of force.

    But due process doesn’t require that.

    You are allowed to shoot to kill a hostage taker if there is no practical alternative means of stopping him.

    You are allowed to shoot to kill a terrorist hiding out in a foreign desert if there is no practical alternative means of stopping him.

    Due process does not require a group of SEALs to risk their lives to bring the fellow in, especially since he would almost certainly kill himself rather than be captured anyway.

    The Paultards live in a fucking fantasy land, divorced from reality.

    They are loons.

  110. JamesK

    Good piece on Obama in the WSJ from Bret Stephens:

    When a good history of anti-Americanism is someday written, it will note that it’s mainly a story of disenchantment—of the obdurate and sometimes vulgar reality of the country falling short of the lover’s ideal. Listening to Mr. Obama, especially now as the country turns against him, one senses in him a similar disenchantment: America is lovable exactly in proportion to the love it gives him in return.

    Hence his increasingly ill-concealed expressions of contempt. Hence the increasingly widespread counter-contempt.

  111. Driftforge

    What you’re essentially saying is that an American soldier in WW2 would have committed murder if you knew he was about to shoot an American citizen that joined the Nazis and clearly on the German side.

    What you’re saying is that it is ok for the the President to unilaterally decide to kill someone who opposes him without judicial – even military judicial – oversight. Also consider that in WWII the US was in a declared state of war. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised that were a soldier to do what you have suggested that they would be put through a court martial process to clear what had happened. Finally consider the difference that exist between the president and a soldier – only one action sets precedent.

    So no, I do not accept that the simple suggestion that the President, above all, should follow due process is either unreasonable or able to be set aside even in the obvious case.

    And I wouldn’t be betting on the US losing reserve status so quickly either. Reserve status goes to the nation which has the biggest gun.

    If you think gold is going to make a come back as a currency, I’m willing to take the bet with you that in 10 years time you still won’t be able to go into a bread shop and make an exchange with a gold coin.

    Reserve status goes to the financial center. It passed to the US well before the US was the ‘biggest gun’.

    And yes, anyone who thinks gold will be able to be used to purchase bread in 10 years time is an idiot. That is what fiat is for, and excellent at. No, if gold moves it will be to function as an international reserve currency. There is no guarantee that gold will take that role, but within 10 years there will be an international reserve currency that functions nowhere as a national currency.

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