Monday, January 2, 2012

Ron Paul gets a Higher ACLU Rating than President Obama

This is an eye opener. In many respects Obama's decisions on civil liberties are Bush-like. In fact, it would be a sell-out for those on the left to support a President who has a record like Barack Obama since coming into office:

The American Civil Liberties Union has issued "Liberty Watch 2012," its report card for presidential candidates on issues like surveillance, torture, gay rights and immigration. No one gets an A, including President Obama.

[...]The ACLU gave Obama a zero rating in the category of "ending a surveillance state," citing his support for renewing the search and surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act.

The ACLU has praised Obama for banning torture and closing secret CIA prisons, but says he has refused to hold government wrongdoers accountable. The organization has gone to court on behalf of alleged victims of illegal wiretapping and CIA abductions during the Bush administration, lawsuits that Obama's Justice Department says threaten state secrets.

[...]The highest overall rating went to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a Republican-turned-Libertarian, who opposes the Patriot Act and - unlike Obama - supports the right of gays and lesbians to marry. Among the leading Republican candidates, libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul also got a higher score than Obama despite low ratings in several categories.
Full article 

Occupy Iowa caucus protesters storm Democrats' war room

Occupy everywhere. Both parties are not immune:

A newly-opened Democrat "war room" in Iowa found itself under siege on Sunday night, when a group of Occupy Iowa caucus protesters infiltrated the premises and demanded to meet senior Democrat officials.

Abour 15 protesters entered the base at the Renaissance Savery hotel, complaining they were being prevented from meeting with Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Some gained access to what the DNC is calling their war room – a centralised space set aside for providing press briefings during the Iowa caucuses – before being escorted out by police.
Full article

4 firebombing attacks in Queens, NY, including 1 at a mosque, are suspected hate crimes

Bigotry must be fought against or else we'll end like Iraq:

Cops are investigating a rash of Molotov cocktail attacks in Queens late Sunday, including one on an Islamic mosque and another that set off a major house fire.

Police are handling the four bottle-bombings as possible hate crimes, officials said.

The homemade explosives were hurled at a bodega, the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center in Jamaica and two homes between 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., cops said.

All of the targets were in Jamaica, within two miles of each other, police said.
Full article

The Handful of White People Who Choose Your Presidential Candidates

It's an insane system. Mitt Romney will probably win Iowa and then New Hampshire. At that point the race will be over. No one whose won both of those States has failed to win the nomination. The remedy is one national primary. Better yet, one national primary involving all political parties and then a general election. This is already done in some States. The Presidential campaign should only last for 6 months, not the current 2 years:

Supporters watch as Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a campaign stop at the Fainting Goat in Waverly, Iowa, Friday, Dec. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

On a two-day trip to New Hampshire last week I attended three campaign events with a total of roughly 600 people. I tried to find an African-American in the audience at all three events, but I couldn’t. To be fair, I did spot two Latinos and five or six Asian-Americans. The U.S., according to the 2010 census is 72.4 percent white. The first two states vote in the presidential primaries, Iowa and New Hampshire, are 91.3 percent white and 93.9 percent white, respectively.

The Iowa caucuses, which will be dramatically covered by the news media on Tuesday, are especially pernicious. In a caucus instead of a primary the Iowans who get to participate are even smaller in number and less diverse than the state’s already unrepresentative electorate.

Worse still, the Iowa caucuses aren’t subject to the same spending disclosure deadlines as primaries. An obscure 1979 ruling from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) held that Iowa’s caucus is not an election. The reasons are as muddled as they are unpersuasive. According to the FEC primaries are elections, and caucuses are elections if they have the authority to select a candidate. Since, as a technical matter Iowans caucus for delegates to the state convention who will stand for a candidate, it’s not considered an election. Now, thanks to the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v FEC, there are organizations called Super PACs that can raise unlimited contributions to take advantage of this loophole. Politico explains, “the decades-old caucus exemption allows candidates with robust super PACs in their corners to enjoy the benefits of unprecedented spending through the early contests without enduring the potentially damaging stories that can accompany the revelation of who’s behind it.” (The information will eventually be released, but not until later.)
Read the full article from The Nation

Police say SC man carried loaded machine gun and handgun into NYC subway system

This is very frightening for those of us who travel the NY subways every day. Guns are everywhere. It almost seems they are easy to buy as bubble gum. Certainly the NRA loves that fact:

A South Carolina man who entered the New York City subway system with two loaded weapons has been arrested.

The NYPD says a police officer stopped the suspect after seeing him go into in Manhattan subway station Sunday night without paying. The officer then noticed a handgun in the man’s waistband.

Police recovered a loaded Smith & Wesson .45-caliber handgun and a loaded Intratec Luger Tec-9 machine gun. Police say the machine gun was found inside a bag the man was carrying.

Newt Gingrich On Mitt Romney’s Attack Ads: ‘I Feel Romney-Boated’

The pot calling the kettle black. He thinks by whining about 'negative' ads he will somehow win Iowa. The fact is if he had the money he would be doing the same thing:

GOP presidential candidate and attack ad pinata Newt Gingrich continued to complain about the millions of dollars in negative ads, many from pro-Mitt Romney SuperPACs, that have taken a heavy toll on his polling numbers. In Iowa yesterday, a reporter asked former House Speaker Gingrich if he felt he was being swift-boated (a reference to the notorious 2004 smear campaign against Sen. John Kerry), and Gingrich replied, “I feel Romney-boated.”

Gingrich said the number of dollars spent on negative ads against him “in a state this size (Iowa)” was “pretty amazing.”
Full article

Rupert Murdoch Deletes Controversial Tweet: ‘Maybe Brits Have Too Many Holidays For Broke Country!’

Classy guy:

After joining unwashed masses of the Twitterati just this past weekend, media mogul Rupert Murdoch discovered the downsides of telling the whole world what’s on your mind on a moment’s whim. Murdoch slammed Brits for taking too many holidays despite the poor economy: “Maybe Brits have too many holidays for broke country!”

After initial outrage, Murdoch deleted his message, but as long as there’s screencap technology, tweets are forever.

FBI tracking animal activists as terrorists