There’s been a lot of talk about the high cost of the 2012 election, with both major candidates spending more than a billion of dollars once affiliated groups are included. Some people find that too much. Others point out that Americans spend that much every year on potato chips, and surely deciding who will lead the United States government is at least that important.
And of course the bigger amounts are government spending. When politicians vote to give money to students, the elderly, farmers, automobile companies, defense contractors, and other voting blocs, political considerations are certainly part of the decision-making process. When Republicans vote for $60 billion in “Hurricane Sandy recovery aid,” including money for Alaskan fisheries and activist groups, aren’t they buying votes?
But for the moment, let’s take a look at how much the candidates did spend, and how much they got for it. I’ve added Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson to the usual Obama-Romney comparison to get some perspective.
So the first thing we notice is that Obama and Romney spent respectively $10 and $7 per vote, while Johnson spent less than $2. But party and outside groups roughly doubled spending for the major candidates. More money was spent on behalf of Romney, but presumably money spent by groups other than the official campaign is less efficient, so that their total expenditures were effectively similar. And we can only wonder how much of “the libertarian vote” a Libertarian Party candidate might pick up if he had enough money to be heard.
View full post on Cato @ Liberty
Romney’s campaign was a disaster, but there are quite a few within the GOP establishment who did very well for themselves despite the result of the election.
Political consulting is an especially nasty business.
During the 2012 election the old guard of the Grand Old Party was as concerned as ever with the Democrats, but they were at least equally concerned with the TEA Party reigniting. If the TEA Party made real headway, the grip the Bushies and fellow travelers had on the Republican Party would end. (And a lot of skeletons dug up.) So as the below article outlines, the establishment fought a war on 2 fronts.
During this war opportunity abounded for Republican consultants. Money was doled and in large amounts. It’s enough to make one wonder if the GOP was even really playing to win.
They weren’t playing to lose. That is for sure. But whether they really, in the pits of their stomachs wanted to win, even if that meant embracing a truly conservative/libertarian GOP, I think is very open for debate.
And hey, the getting was good anyway in 2012 for establishment politicos.
Cronyism spans all of politics. Where there is power and money it propagates like a virus.
(From Red State)
Strip away the candidate and coalition and it is on the fifth floor of 66 Canal Center Plaza where the seeds of Mitt Romney’s ruin and the RNC’s get out the vote (GOTV) effort collapsed — bled to death by charlatan consultants making millions off the party, its donors, and the grassroots.
66 Canal Center Plaza is also why Jeff Larson, the Chief of Staff of the Republican National Committee, should not be put in charge of the autopsy of the GOP’s defeat. Multiple sources confirm to me that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has already put Larson in charge of the so called autopsy.
This is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. The fifth floor of 66 Canal Center Plaza reveals a tangled web of incestuous relationships among Republican consultants who have made millions all while the GOP went down the tubes. Here the top party consultants waged war with conservative activists and here they waged war with the Democrats. On both fronts, they raked in millions along the way with a more fractured, minority party in their wake. And they show no signs of recognizing just how much a part of the problem they are.
According to a Lexis business search, the fifth floor of 66 Canal Center Plaza houses the following groups:
- Crossroads Media
- Black Rock Group
- WWP Strategies
- Restore Our Future
- Targeted Victory
- DDC Advocacy/Blue Front Strategies
- Target Point Consulting
- Digital Franking
- Americans for Job Security
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With the election past, it is a good time to remind ourselves that crony capitalism doesn’t belong to one party or the other.
President Obama is a Keynesian in economics. But so is Mitt Romney. The latter’s named chief economic advisors during the campaign were prominent Keynesians Glenn Hubbard of Columbia and Greg Mankiw of Harvard, both former chairs of George W Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors. Yes, Obama goes further than Romney in thinking that printing money, borrowing, and spending is an effective economic tonic, when it is actually the source of the current trouble. But there was only a difference of degree.
This matters more than it might at first appear. Keynesianism is not only the source of our wounded economy. It also feeds crony capitalism by providing virtually free money to government and by justifying government excesses. In effect, Keynesianism is to crony capitalism as Marxism is to Communism. The former is the dominant economic theory that stands behind the system. If we want to get rid of crony capitalism, we have to get rid of Keynesianism.
The most radical Keynesian (far more radical than even Keynes himself) is Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, first appointed by Bush, then reappointed by Obama. Not surprisingly, Glenn Hubbard said that Bernanke had done a good job during and after the Crash and deserved reappointment in early 2014. Mitt Romney had said he wouldn’t reappoint Bernanke, but with Hubbard as his chief advisor who knows? Of course Bernanke presumably didn’t endear himself to Romney by launching a massive new round of money printing close to the end of the campaign, when a “coup de whiskey” for the stock market would be very useful to Obama.
It is also interesting in retrospect to consider further Romney’s remark about 47% of the populace being beholden to government. A real populist, determined to put the people back in charge and the crony capitalists in their place, would have said that politicians are trying to make 47% of the populace beholden to government. It is the politicians who are trying to turn “helping programs” into vote buying schemes, not the people.
Romney remarks about the GM bail-out also went astray, at least from a tactical point of view. Both Bush and Obama bailed out GM because they knew that the auto workers were concentrated in swing states such as Ohio. This does seem to have carried Ohio for Obama, because his blue collar male vote was much higher there than elsewhere.
What was different about Obama’s bail out compared to Bush’s was that the latter violated bankruptcy law, gave the company to the unions, and completely stiffed both non-union workers, who were cast aside with no jobs and no accumulated benefits, and the mom and pop holders of the bonds, many of whom had invested much of their retirement savings in GM bonds thinking that they were safe. This is one of the most scandalous examples of brutal crony capitalism in American history, but Romney left this part of the story largely untold.
Nor was anything much said about the crony capitalist background of the Stimulus Bill or Obamacare. Indeed it is interesting that the Obama campaign deliberately avoided any mention of stimulus or Obamacare and so at the end did Romney.
The story of the GM bail-out isn’t necessarily over. Much of GM sales has been driven by sub-prime car loans supported by the Fed’s ultra low rates and other government backing. If GM slides toward bankruptcy again, which is quite possible, President Obama will presumably want to bail it out again. In that case, what will the House Republicans do?
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THE REAL TAKEAWAY FROM LAST NIGHT’S ELECTION
by Jon Rappoport
November 7, 2012
People voted for two symbols.
They voted for what they thought the candidates stood for.
They voted for what they hoped the candidates stood for.
The candidate, Obama, was perceived as representing what the government can do for the people.
The candidate, Romney, was perceived as representing what people can do for themselves.
Of course, these two candidates are agents of change in exactly the same way. They are laying brick and establishing a highway for more control over the citizenry.
But I want to focus on the public perception of Obama and Romney as symbols.
Obama’s victory signifies the acceptance by about half country that the federal government is a gift-giver. That is its mission.
A smaller part of the nation still believes in freedom of the individual, while the larger part believes in what the government can give them.
The numbers of people who have faith in a gift-giving government will continue to grow. They will no longer enjoy the gifts; they will simply and plainly expect them, just as they expect trees to have leaves.
And expecting them, they will demand them.
Yet some people praise this turn of events. They see it as fairness and equality and justice and humanitarianism and even payback.
But it is an enlarging disaster, not only psychologically and, yes, spiritually, but also in the sense of “beware Greeks bearing gifts,” because Trojan horses are being moved to center stage, presaging an acceleration of attacks on the population.
The gift-giving is a cover for a greater clamp-down on freedoms. The gift-giving is a sop to keep people entranced. The gift-giving is a symptom of Central Planning, in which all citizens are viewed, from the top of the pyramid, as units, ciphers, things to be moved about and regulated and controlled.
This is the future we have entered.
“Here is what we give you. Now you are ours. You belong to us. We will watch you carefully. We will track you and take care of you and decide what is good for you. You have your gifts. Now you owe us.”
From the top of the pyramid, the question will be: how much do we have to give them to keep them satisfied? Or: how little can we get away with?
Obama’s victory signifies all this.
Romney’s showing reveals that a significant number of people still believe in freedom, even though they completely fooled and willed themselves into thinking he stood for that principle, when he didn’t.
Large numbers of Americans are in thrall to glossy faith in the New Age. They see Obama as the symbol of generosity and giving…finally incarnated in American politics, for the very first time.
It’s not politics, they believe. It’s kindness. It’s goodness.
Actually, it’s blindness. Their own.
But they won’t permit exposure of their delusion. It’s too painful. They have so little faith in their own individual power, and so much replacement-faith in the power of The Great Pink Bubble, that they’ll do whatever it takes to live inside it.
To live inside it, they’ll accept the “protection” that goes along with the gifts; the protection against harm, against the real world, against the specter of terrorism.
The federal government is reaching out to state and local governments and private citizens, as never before, to bolster its program of universal surveillance and spying and snitching.
The real purpose of this program is to put the idea in people’s minds that there are severe limits on what it is safe to do and say and think. I’d wager you’ve already experienced that.
“What if I let my child play in the front yard by himself? What will the neighbors think? What will they say? Who will they tell? Will some person working in some government agency take a dim view of that? Will I be paid a visit? Will they claim I’m irresponsible? Will I be fined or punished? Will my friends think I’m weird…”
This is the increasing price for living in the “gifting society.”
In the next few years, you’re going to read a news story about somebody who, in the privacy of his living room, watching his new Smart TV that records his moves and words, blurted out an “anti-social comment,” and somehow that remark found its way on to YouTube.
Interestingly, the outcry against violation of privacy will fade before angry accusations against the “offender.” How could he say that? What kind of person would say that? He’s sick. He should be locked up…
People will forget that this kind of monitoring was supposed to be all about combating terrorism.
Well, it was never about terrorism.
It will be Christmas every day, but the gifts will drop on to the floor in a room where the walls are slowly closing in.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:02 pm
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Americans Don’t Want The Truth
In US Election, He Who Lies Wins
A Commentary by Gregor Peter Schmitz
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney: both have been shunning the truth to avoid losing votes.
Regardless which candidate wins the US presidential election on Tuesday, neither of them has been honest to the American people about the scale of the problems facing the country. But Americans have only themselves to blame. They prefer to be lied to rather than to face the truth.
Greying and weighed down by his first term in office, Barack Obama is barely recognizable as the beacon of hope he was in 2008. Back then he was the youthful symbol of change, and his words were full of promise. A year into his term, he still had that aura. In a television interview on Jan. 25, 2010, shortly after he won the Nobel Peace Prize, he said he didn’t want to be a "small" president, which is how he saw even Democratic idol Bill Clinton, who at one point saw fit to fight for new school uniforms. Obama, by contrast, wanted to fundamentally change the country.
"I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president," he declared on that January day.
He still sounded like the president who had proclaimed in his inaugural address, that "the time has come to set aside childish things. … Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame."
Since then this courageous man has become more disheartened by the day. And his reforming spirit won’t return even if he wins a second term. The man on whom millions pinned their hopes has waged one of the least hopeful election campaigns in history. He has stooped to the "childish things" he had promised to eschew, by running bitterly negative spots about Mitt Romney’s wealth and shortcomings. He recently resorted to calling the Republican candidate a "bullshitter" — a decidedly unpresidential term.
The man who rescued America from George W. Bush has even adopted the tactics of the former president, who in 2004 won re-election by demonizing his challenger John Kerry rather than talking about his own controversial record. And Obama too has started avoiding the hard realities that America must face.
It doesn’t make things any better that the Democrat is up against an unprincipled rival who has deserved much of the criticism levelled at him. One can blame Barack Obama for this sad evolution. But one can also blame the American people. It may sound harsh, but they want to be lied to. A politician who doesn’t lie simply won’t be elected.
Imagine for a moment if Obama had begun his re-election campaign this way: "Listen, our schools are no longer considered to be among the top 10 worldwide, one out of every four of our bridges is wobbly, more of our kids are dying and our old people are dying sooner even though we spend twice as much on our health care system as Germany. We were so ill prepared for a hurricane that millions of New Yorkers had to sit in the dark for days. And our ‘high-speed’ trains move barely faster than local trains in China. We must start over."
In short, he would have said that America is no longer in every respect the best country on the planet, but rather, like every other nation, a ‘work in progress.’
A president dared to do this once — Jimmy Carter. In 1979, the Democrat tried to persuade Americans to change their energy consumption. Americans didn’t want to hear it. They mocked his defeatism and voted him out of office.
Ever since then, hardly any US politician has risked calling on people to make sacrifices. Obama tried it briefly. He said America had lost some of its dynamism. On foreign visits he showed that America should at times be big enough to apologize for its actions.
He was soon labelled as the "Apologetic President" who wasn’t proud of his country. The attacks came from the right but America’s left too rejected his criticism of stubborn teachers’ unions or all-powerful doctors’ lobby groups. Their mantra is always that America has the most committed teachers and doctors in the world — even though statistics contradict that.
So Obama mutated from a political messiah into a typical US politician. His vision shrank with every passing day. It’s true that he passed his healthcare reform, a historic achievement, but he barely touched on the problem of exploding costs. He hasn’t reduced the crippling budget deficit and he no longer even talks about climate change.
He hasn’t initiated a serious debate about social inequality and he has said even less about the ludicrous creed that America’s taxes shouldn’t rise. And he failed to market his stimulus package of almost $900 billion as a fundamental economic overhaul.
It almost made sense that he fell silent about his plans for a second term. He had probably resigned himself to the mistrust with which the Americans greeted every government initiative. It’s sadly ironic how quickly the Republicans were calling for state help after hurricane Sandy.
Obama will probably win a second term with these tactics. But he’s discarded the historic opportunity to prepare the nation for a new era. That would have required getting Americans used to the truth instead of lulling them into complacency with the phrase "greatest nation on Earth."
Needless to say, politicians everywhere fear telling the truth. Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl preferred to talk about "blossoming landscapes" in eastern Germany and safe pensions for all, statements that flew in the face of reality. All across Europe, leaders who spoke truthfully about the euro crisis have been voted out of office.
But America, this great country, always wanted to be more, to be a nation founded on a wonderful idea. America’s founding fathers pledged that governing would be dictated by common sense. Today, citizens mercilessly punish every politician who tries to push through pragmatic yet unpopular policies. Even worse, it’s enough if a candidate even mentions anything unpopular. Such as the truth, for example.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:36 am
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The U.S. Election is a Referendum on Civilization
By Daren Jonescu
That the election of November 6, 2012, has the potential to be a definitive moment in American history is now almost a truism. This conception may sound overblown to the ignorant and disengaged, but in fact it is a great understatement. As America is the only nation left in which freedom is still on the ballot, this definitive U.S. election means even more, in truth, than most voters may realize. It is a referendum on the survival of modern civilization.
A recent blog post at the Weekly Standard displays the results of a BBC election poll taken in various countries around the world. The results demonstrate that if the rest of the world were allowed to vote, Barack Obama would win in a Saddam-like landslide.
Throughout what is left of the civilized world, Obama’s superiority to Mitt Romney, and in general Democrats’ superiority to Republicans, is the default assumption, regarded as beyond question. One who objects to that opinion has a lot of explaining to do. And one who dares to admit thinking the United States of America a very agreeable proposition is regarded as either an infidel or a dope.
These two presuppositions — that the Democrats are the good guys, and that America is essentially a bad thing — should always be understood as a pair. Together, they reveal exactly what the modern Democratic Party and the American media have spent decades trying to hide from their fellow citizens — namely, that to prefer the Democrats is to dislike America.
That international landslide of support for Obama is a clue to what this U.S. election represents to that minority of us among foreigners who understand what anti-Americanism really means. Other nations have their advantages — Korea’s low tax rates have helped her to grow from third-world to top-tier economy in little more than a generation; Canada’s banking system weathered the 2008 recession better than America’s — but there is only one nation in which individual freedom is regarded not as a "system" or a "policy," but as a pre-political principle, a true foundation. If you share this principle, then America is, at present, your only practical hope for the future of mankind.
But what is "America" to such a foreigner? The classic comprehensive answer to that question is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. The worthiest recent attempt at an answer is probably Mark Steyn’s After America. Tocqueville surveyed the American scene during the flawed, faltering glory of the nation’s rise. Steyn’s analysis, by contrast, is a (barely) premature autopsy.
What these two books, and other contributions to the tradition Tocqueville began, have in common is their shared theme: freedom.
Great nations cannot be understood independently of the defining spiritual impulse that creates and propels them. Any worthwhile analysis of ancient Greek civilization, for example, must contribute to our understanding of the central theme of Greece: the flowering of the human soul. The long history of the Greek world, seen from the outside, embodies the process whereby humanity came into its own. At last, representation became art — man’s attempt to understand his relationship to the divine, to other men, and to himself; and knowledge evolved from an acceptance of ancient rules and customs into a submission of nature’s and man’s rules to the rigors of rational inquiry.
Comparable themes will be found in the examination of any of history’s great nations. An outsider, either historically or geopolitically, can sometimes perceive the arc of a nation’s grand theme — and the risks that endanger the development of the theme — more easily than men presently traveling that arc. Thus, the foreigner’s perspective on the nation’s problems is sometimes more "global" — not in Obama’s sense of reducing a great nation to just another tick on the U.N. roster, but rather in the sense of seeing what the world stands to lose should this nation fall.
In America’s case, once again, the theme is freedom — the purposeful application of the notion of the inviolability of the individual to the establishment of a civil society.
The foreigner’s perspective on this is peculiar — privileged precisely as it is deficient. Citizens are positioned to see more clearly the "small war," the growth pains inherent in the development — and the death pangs inherent in the downfall — of their society. An outsider, if he is thoughtful, open, and respectful of his subject, can sometimes catch sight of a crystal that perhaps is seen more easily from beyond. (This is not to say that serious citizens cannot make the intellectual leap to that bird’s-eye view, too. The enormous popularity of Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny is a testament to that.)
But in the case of America, the outsider (or new arrival) has another practical advantage — namely, an insight into the subtleties of decayed or extinguished liberty which may be overlooked by those still at an earlier stage of decline. Tocqueville, a Frenchman, saw firsthand how a revolution in the name of liberty and equality can produce an outcome far murkier than the promise implied in its noblest declarations. Thus, even in the obscurest minutiae of his travelogue of the American spirit, one senses the deep, satisfied inhalations of a man finding the fresh air he had spent his young life seeking without avail at home.
Regarding today’s America, the foreigner has lived and can warn of the practical manifestations of Tocqueville’s chillingly accurate speculation about how a constitutional republic might give way to tyranny — to what Tocqueville famously calls "soft despotism."
It is no accident, for example, that Steyn, a Canadian, has been perhaps the strongest, most relentless voice over these past few years on the dangers of ObamaCare. I, too, have returned to health care again and again. To have lived in a socialized medical system is to have witnessed the heart of the stealthy darkness Tocqueville foresaw. Socialized medicine is the demise of individual liberty in the guise of "equal access," a gluttonous economic shark masked as "affordability," and a final denial of the dignity of all human life, euphemized as "universal care."
Government health care is a perfect microcosm of what real oppression will look like on a daily basis, an important and constantly needed reminder for people still hoping to preserve the idea of freedom in their own country. Those whose air has at least been perfumed with the (dissipating) vapors of genuine liberty all their lives can easily regard oppression as more foreign and strange than it really is. The natural tendency among citizens of "the land of the free" to identify tyranny primarily with the nightmare world of Kristallnacht or the Ukrainian forced famine has facilitated the efforts of freedom’s enemies to push America onto its current collision course with the more quotidian brutalities of "soft" oppression.
Inhumanity always seems more distant from us than it really is, which is why a still-humane nation can be caught so flat-footed by its arrival, as America was by the rise of a mellifluous-toned, well-dressed son of communist revolutionaries and their fellow-travelers in the global caliphate movement.
The lesson Americans most need to digest, and that many have had to learn the hard way, is one made plain and practical in the debate over government-run health care. As we who have lived it can attest, modern socialist oppression does not bring the secret police to your door. The old folks will not be rounded up. Rather, the tax collectors and regulators are at your door — all the time, intractably, until their omnipresence in your payslips and personal decisions feels so normal that you no longer question the loss of property rights and self-determination, and would even suspect or hate the man who would propose to remove that smothering security blanket.
As for the old folks, they become the subject of a neat and tidy cost-benefit analysis, cared for just as long as budgetary considerations permit, while their families are provided with a clean, guilt-free break from one of family life’s chief raisons d’être and responsibilities, in the form of "palliative care" — i.e., the death panel’s debt collector. (I explain this here.)
As Tocqueville predicted to grim perfection, modern man will not easily submit to a yoke under the threat of harm, but he will do so all too easily under the promise of a life without anxiety or inconvenience.
Liberty is too great a good to be relinquished knowingly. Americans will always be prepared to defend against direct threats to their freedom. But through its great gifts of material prosperity, peaceful coexistence, and the near-universalization of the luxury of leisure — in the Aristotelian sense of the practical opportunity to pursue happiness — liberty tends to promote a character of optimism and good faith that leaves a free people prey to those who, frustrated with the limits of self-development, seek to realize their wills through coercion.
Old-style violent uprisings would never work in a free nation. Modern enemies of freedom have had to devise more cunning means to their ends. (Witness Bill Ayers.) And so they have: producing a morally and intellectually corrupting lexicon that bears a superficial resemblance to the language of freedom (progress, individuality, positive "rights"); instituting vast property-annihilating programs in the name of creating "opportunity" and "justice"; and tarting up the class warfare methods of the Bolsheviks with the soothing vocabulary of "the middle class," thus slowly enticing liberty down the white-picket-fenced path to death by regulatory bureaucracy.
This last point is the vital warning from America’s foreign friends, from Tocqueville to the present. Yes, defeating Barack Obama is necessary; he and his backers are the most highly-placed "enemy within" that America has ever faced. On the other hand, the climate that made Obama possible was more than a momentary case of white guilt, media complicity, Bush-fatigue, or Muslim Brotherhood subterfuge. A very substantial percentage of Americans have been tranquilized by the soporific spell of "left vs. right" party politics, which induces a belief in the legitimacy of all views that do not directly deny your right to vote, as though freedom were reducible to the maintenance of periodic elections. (Every nation has periodic elections.)
Why did supposed conservatives, such as David Brooks and Peggy Noonan, support Barack Obama in 2008? Brooks’ famous rumination on Obama’s well-creased pant leg speaks volumes. For Brooks, seeming "presidential" was enough. Being presidential, in the American sense of that term — preserving the Constitution, espousing the principle of limited government, and believing that the defense of America as a land of liberty is his defining role — is no longer even part of the equation for Brooks, for his readers, or, apparently, for tens of millions of Americans on "both sides of the aisle."
Treating leftist authoritarianism as one side of the nation’s healthy political debate is by definition a violation of the American founding. Socialism cannot be put into practice to any degree without violating the Declaration’s primary rights and the Constitution’s delineations of the role of government. By allowing leftist policy to metastasize through all branches of the federal government for generations, a large portion of the population — including, sadly, many who see themselves as conservatives — have unwittingly forsaken most of what America, as a philosophical idea, stands for.
The leftist regulatory apparatus is already woven so thoroughly into American life — redefining and delimiting America beyond the reach of the Founding Fathers, let alone of any elected official — that the sturdiest, most clear-eyed Americans of this moment have come to see the election of a new president as merely one small victory in what must be a long, almost unwinnable war. Their perception is accurate.
The idea which we now call "individualism" was not born in America. Nor was the goal of political liberty. Nevertheless, these two principles have died in every other country on Earth. There is no other nation in which these grand ideas have remained an essential part of either the political system or the moral code. It may be difficult for an American to see what this means to those of us abroad who share these ideas.
It means this: America is the last practical refuge of our hopes. In every other nation, to advocate for individual liberty, to plead for property rights, or to speak out against socialism’s inherent violation of the foundations of civilization is increasingly to brand oneself an unenlightened crank at best, and perhaps a sociopath. If American society completes its slow shift into that same perspective, then we are all doomed. If the American majority finally comes to absorb the view, already accepted as policy by the Department of Homeland Security, that "reverence of individual liberty" and "suspicion of centralized federal authority" are indicators of an antisocial threat, then there will literally be nowhere left on Earth where one is allowed to love freedom without ostracism, or worse. There will be nowhere left on Earth where Jefferson, Madison, or Washington may speak or be spoken of without ridicule.
Thoughtful non-Americans know from experience and reasoning that livable conditions in their own nations will be sustained, if at all, only as long as America refrains from following the West’s oppressive path to regulatory oblivion and resists late modernity’s craving for the false comforts of "soft despotism." Those comforts are false on two levels: first, they are gained by means of a gun aimed at you and everyone else; second, they will be short-lived. The last gasp of freedom means the loss of all the goods that only freedom can provide — prosperity, peace, leisure.
A man is hanging from a cliff, with only his fingers still gripping solid rock. The prevailing impetus is all downward, but the man continues to dangle in one place as long as that grip holds out. If he lets go, however, his fall will be short and decisive.
Modern civilization is that man. America is his final, desperate grip. On November 6, 2012, that man will either be left alone to continue his brave, heartbreaking struggle for another day, or a boot will come down on his fingers.
I described America’s prospect as an "almost unwinnable war." Dire as this may sound, there is actually something liberating in that little word, "almost." The Tea Party is a testament to that feeling of liberation. Near-defeat brings priorities into focus. It sweeps away the smoke of the inessential, so that the path to the primary goal becomes clear.
The first, nearly completed, step is to prevent that "almost" from becoming an "absolutely."
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:14 am
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
On social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook, thousands of threats of violence were posted by supporters of Barack Obama on the evening prior to the election. If you doubt this, just go on Twitter and do a search for keywords such as “Romney riot”, “assassinate Romney” and “if Romney wins”. We have seen very serious threats of violence against Mitt Romney and his supporters for weeks, but little action has been taken to shut these threats of violence down, and now they are reaching a crescendo as we reach election day. At the moment, law enforcement authorities and the mainstream media do not appear to be taking these threats of violence very seriously, but they should. Just look at what happened when the San Francisco Giants won the World Series. Horrible rioting broke out in San Francisco and a city bus was even set on fire. But that little bit of rioting is nothing compared to what could happen on a nationwide basis if Mitt Romney wins this election – especially if there are allegations that Romney stole the campaign. If Romney is victorious, expect to see allegations of “voter fraud” and “election fraud” from the other side. If there is a belief that the Republicans “cheated” (whether true or not), this would provide all of the justification that those out committing violence would need. Many of them would actually consider themselves to be “standing up for democracy” or “fighting for their rights”. Hopefully the scenario that I just outlined will not play out. Hopefully Obama supporters will be calm if Romney is declared the winner. But we would be very foolish to ignore the thousands upon thousands of threats that we have seen over the past few weeks.
This is a topic I have written about before, and I received quite a bit of criticism for writing about it. Apparently supporters of Barack Obama should be allowed to endlessly spew out threats of physical violence against Mitt Romney and his supporters and nobody is ever supposed to say anything about it.
Yes, there are a lot of Republicans that are saying some very cruel things about Barack Obama, but people know that if you make a physical threat against Barack Obama you are likely to get a visit from the Secret Service.
Apparently the same thing does not apply to threats against Mitt Romney. Every single hour, large numbers of physical threats directed at him and his supporters continue to pour in. If these people mean just a small fraction of what they are saying, we are going to see American cities burn if Romney wins.
Most of the examples that I could have included below I decided not to post because of the vulgar language used. A lot of children will end up reading this, and so I decided to try to keep it as clean as possible.
The following are just a few examples of some of the “cleaner” threats of physical violence and rioting that have been posted on Twitter just tonight…
If obama doesn not win im gonna go burn down every house who has mitt romney signs outside their house! (Link)
If mitt Romney win tomorrow, point blank, we might just start a riot ! # Team Obama tho, so I got faith in our president. (Link)
If Romney wins, we gona start a riot (Link)
if Obama wins i will burn every romney sign in breezewood! (Link)
I always wanted to be in a Riot , and if Romney wins my dream might come true. (Link)
If Mitt Romney wins; I might go around blowing heads off (Link)
Romney better start digging his grave cuz if he become president somebody might assassinate him..ALL BLACKS AND MIDDLE CLASS GONE TURN UP!!! (Link)
I would personally assassinate Mitt Romney if he wins… but I think Al Qaeda will beat me too it! (Link)
If Romney gets elected I’m going to burn down the White House so he doesn’t have a home (Link)
Trust me, it gets a lot worse than what you just read. You can see more threats against Romney and his supporters from recent days in this article right here. But please be warned, some of the language used is quite shocking.
Of course many in the mainstream media insist that we don’t even have to worry about what might happen if Romney wins because Obama “has it all locked up”.
For example, as I am writing this Nate Silver of the New York Times is projecting that Barack Obama has a 92.2% chance of winning the election.
Other publications are expressing similar sentiments. An article on Business Insider today had the following headline: “Either The Polls Are All Wrong, Or Mitt Romney Doesn’t Really Have A Viable Path To Win The Election“.
I honestly don’t know how people get paid to write that kind of stuff. This election is super close and it has been for months. According to the latest Gallup tracking poll, Mitt Romney has a one point lead over Barack Obama with likely voters. A lot of people on both sides are proclaiming that it will be a landslide for their guy, but I simply do not see it that way.
This is going to be close. In fact, we may not have a winner on Tuesday night. In fact, if it goes into the courts we may not have a winner for weeks.
We could very easily end up with another Bush v. Gore scenario. Only this time it might tear the entire nation apart. Obama and Romney both have hordes of lawyers ready to roll, and neither of them would hesitate to contest the results of the election if there is still a realistic chance of winning.
The funny thing is that it really does not matter that much which candidate wins anyway. Our nation has been going downhill for decades no matter who has been in the White House, and it will continue to go downhill under either Obama or Romney. When you take a very close look at their policy positions, they actually agree far more than they disagree, and no matter who wins this race the next four years are going to be worse for America than the last four years have been.
But like so many millions of other Americans, I find election night to be absolutely fascinating. So I will be glued to my television just like so many other Americans will be.
And I think that a number of states will end up being much closer than most people originally thought that they would be.
For example, I believe that Romney has a very real shot of winning Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. I am not predicting that he definitely will win those states, but he does have a legitimate chance.
Romney might even make things interesting in Minnesota, although that is more of a long shot.
It should be very interesting to see how it all plays out.
Many Americans are happy that this election season will soon be over, but unfortunately this election should not really be viewed as the end of something. Rather, I believe that it will be the beginning of a disturbing new chapter in American history.
A whole host of polls and surveys have shown that the American people are angrier today than just about at any other point since World War II. In recent months, this anger and frustration have been bottled up as people have waited for election day. Right now, true believers on both the red team and the blue team are optimistic about the future because they are totally convinced that they are going to win this election.
But when a winner is finally announced, close to half the country is immediately going to be bitterly disappointed. And then when things continue to get worse in this country despite “their guy” winning, the winning side is not going to be so pleased either.
This election could end up being the “release point” for a lot of the anger and frustration that have been building up in this country for a very long time. You can almost feel the tension in the air. All it is going to take is just the right “spark” to set it off.
If you have any political signs in your yard or any political bumper stickers on your car, you might want to start taking them down – especially if you live in a densely populated area. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail, but I wouldn’t count on it. There is just so much hate and anger out there right now.
So pray for peace, but also watch your back.
View full post on The Economic Collapse
What happens if there is no clear US presidential election result?
03 November 2012
It happened as recently as 2000. Then a series of irregularities in Florida delayed the election of President Bush that only came after an intervention by the Supreme Court. Next Tuesday another incumbent president is is a very close race, might the same thing not happen again?
We can even imagine why. Superstorm Sandy has caused widespread disruption in the US East Coast and even the New York Marathon has been cancelled. Can an election really be held in these circumstances without the possibility of ballot issues arising?
The polls have showed a dead heat but we know that there can only be one president of the United States, so who will it be and when will that happen? Uncertainty over who is to run the most powerful nation in the world would be very bad for financial markets that always have to discount the worst until they know better.
Besides there is another particular reason to fear such instability at this juncture: the so-called US ‘fiscal cliff’ of automatic tax increases and expenditure cuts on January 1st. The general assumption has always been that a newly endorsed president and Congress would be able to stop this process, what if it goes ahead?
That is the statute at the moment, and if the political system is stuck in an impasse that is what will happen. Economists say it would mean a return to recesssion and up to four per cent off US GDP. Then again there are reasons why this has been enacted: balancing the budget is not such a strange idea.
However, without a clear result in the US presidential election next week financial markets will visit a place that they really would rather not go. How low could they go? You never can tell when fear and greed come fully into play.
Markets are close to four year highs, and arguably the higher you go the harder you fall. An across-the-board sell-off would bring the price of just about every asset class tumbling down and trigger a panic to get out at any price.
This is the financial market counterpoint to the superstorm that hit New York last week and could be every bit as scary. Let us hope democracy can deliver its verdict without this unexpected consequence next week.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:49 pm
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
By Ilya Shapiro
I’m a few months late on this, but while the Supreme Court was figuring out what to do with Obamacare this spring, a work of political fiction came out that captures the tone in Washington better than any number of Bob Woodward tick-tock tomes. It’s called Don’t Mess with Travis, the fantastical tale of a homespun Texas governor facing off against an elitist president who rides roughshod over the Constitution.
[Full disclosure: The author, Bob Smiley, was a college classmate of mine, and he asked me to blurb the book, which I was happy to do because I enjoyed it so much.]
The plot, which perhaps had a bit more resonance when Rick Perry was riding high in the polls—and thus would’ve made the book a bestseller had Perry become the nominee—involves an unlikely state senator who finds himself governor when the two men ahead of him drive off the only cliff in the Lone Star State. Once in power and faced with the reality of an out-of-touch White House steering the country toward a cliff of its own, Travis pursues what he sees as the only sane option: secession!
Smiley mixes the best of Carl Hiaasen with touches of George Will here, but the novel is more than just a witty blend of larger-than-life characters and prescient political narrative: it’s intelligent satire, true on both the human and policy dimensions. The author—a Hollywood TV/film writer by day—may well become this generation’s Christopher Buckley.
In short, when you’re taking a break from reading my colleagues’ latest policy analyses or, of course, the Cato Supreme Court Review, I recommend Don’t Mess with Travis.
View full post on Cato @ Liberty