AP Rand Paul
There wasn’t much suspense, but the reality is no less jarring: Ron Paul’s son, a 47-year-old ophthalmologist with no previous political experience, is the Republican nominee for Senate in Kentucky — and he’s in good position to win the seat in the fall.
For months, Paul enjoyed double-digit polling leads over Trey Grayson, Kentucky’s secretary of state and the handpicked choice of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, his dominance impervious to the GOP establishment’s effort to portray him as a risky general election candidate. Paul also withstood a concerted effort by his father’s neoconservative enemies to delegitimize his candidacy; Rudy Giuliani and Dick Cheney were among those who sided with Grayson.
When the results began streaming in shortly after 7 P.M. on the East Coast, it was clear a Paul landslide was in the offing.
Many will credit Paul’s triumph to the Tea Party movement, which he embraced wholeheartedly. There is something to this; after all, many original Tea Party activists are veterans of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign. But as it has grown, the Tea Party movement has become virtually indistinguishable from the Republican Party base. This makes Paul’s achievement that much more remarkable: In racking up such an enormous margin, he managed to unite factions of the GOP that don’t frequently see eye-to-eye.
With Paul as the GOP nominee, national Democrats will now talk up the Kentucky race as a chance for a pick-up this fall — especially if the Democratic establishment’s preferred candidate, state Attorney General Jack Conway, wins his primary. (Early returns showed Conway, who had trailed Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo for most of the campaign before pulling into a statistical tie in the final week, leading.) The logic is simple: With his libertarian economic views (and family name), Paul will be easy to caricature as a quirky extremist.
That’s the theory, at least. But Paul may be harder than Democrats believe to knock off. For one thing, he’s a far more charismatic and savvy communicator than his father — not quite as easy to caricature as a quack. Moreover, the political playing field in Kentucky in 2010 isn’t exactly level. The state has conservative leanings to begin with. Add in the fact that midterm elections almost always boost the out-of-power party; the fact that Barack Obama has never really caught on in the state; and the fact that his popularity in Kentucky has been further ravaged by the economy — suddenly, a Paul victory in November hardly seems improbable.
Certainly not as improbable as his victory tonight seemed a year ago.
by Ellen Brown
Hat tip: web of debt
March 18th, 2010
As the states’ credit crisis deepens, four states have initiated bills for state-owned banks, and candidates in seven states have now included that solution in their platforms.
“Hundreds of job-creating projects are still on hold because Michigan businesses and entrepreneurs cannot get bank financing. We can break the credit crunch and beat Wall Street at their own game by keeping our money right here in Michigan and investing it to retool our economy and create jobs.”
–Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in the Detroit News, May 9, 2010
Struggling with 14% unemployment, Michigan has been particularly hard hit by the nation’s economic downturn. Virg Bernero, mayor of the state’s capitol and a leading Democratic candidate for governor, proposes that the state relieve its economic ills by opening a state-owned bank. He says the bank could protect consumers by making low-interest loans to those most in need, including students and small businesses; and could help community banks by buying mortgages off their books and working with them to fund development projects.
Bernero joins a growing list of candidates proposing this sensible solution to their states’ fiscal ills. Local economies have collapsed because of the Wall Street credit freeze. To reinvigorate local business, Main Street needs a heavy infusion of credit; and publicly-owned banks could fill that need.
Originally published as, “Ohio has no idea how to pay U.S. back for jobless benefits”
$2 billion-plus debt grows as leaders pass the hot potato
It has been more than a year since Ohio depleted its unemployment-compensation fund, and with the fund’s debt surpassing $2billion and growing, a fix is nowhere in sight.
No one has even proposed what should be done to shore up the fund – not the governor, not the General Assembly, not an advisory panel made up of business, labor and legislative leaders.
In fact, state leaders can’t even agree on who is responsible for solving the problem.
The Unemployment Compensation Advisory Council threw its hands up 15 months ago after it was unable to reach consensus; it said the legislature would have to figure out a solution.
GOP leaders in the Senate say Gov. Ted Strickland must come up with a plan. The governor has urged the council to take another crack at it.
Absent action from the Statehouse, Ohio will owe the federal unemployment trust fund an estimated $3billion by the end of the year. Interest payments on the loan, which begin to accrue on Jan. 1, are projected at $120 million a year.
Frustrations boiled over again in a Senate committee hearing this week when Republican legislators pushed the administration for answers.
“It’s amazing the governor hasn’t said anything about this,” said Sen. Keith Faber, R-Celina. “This is a problem that is not going to get any smaller. … It’s part of a big hole going into the next budget.”
Read the rest of the story here.
By David Edwards
hat tip: Raw Story
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
A Code Pink protester claimed a high-ranking Blackwater official threatened his life during a break of a Senate Armed Services hearing focused on the military contractor’s actions in Afghanistan.
Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin reported that the threat was made by Johnny Walker, a program manager with one of Blackwater’s subsidiaries. Walker testified at the hearing about the role his company, Paravant, played during its mercenary deployments to the Middle East.
Shortly after the break was announced, Tighe Barry criticized the US military’s use of Blackwater to the court and the CNN camera. As Walker brushed past on his way out of the courtroom, Barry claims Walker said “I’m gonna kill you.”
“This is how they run their business,” Barry said to the camera after Walker left the room. “They are trained murderers. They will threaten you at any moment and they’ll be in our communities soon.”
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does.
You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices — 545 human beings out of 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
The Liberty Voice Transcript Service
This segment of Steven Colbert’s “The Word” on the Colbert Report (Comedy Channel) aired on September 26, 2006. Bracketed comments denote text which appeared on-screen as part of Colbert’s monologue.
Now listen folks. We all know about the big dust-up between President Bush and Senate leadership over his wanting to change the language of the Geneva Conventions, right? Well, on Thursday, they reached a compromise. And that’s not just a victory for Bush—it’s a victory for the country. Because basic human rights is something we all need to compromise on.
You see, his opponents are a group of rebels within the Republican party, John McCain, Lindsay Graham and John Warner who stood up and said “NO!” to the President’s plan. Meanwhile, the Democrats also stood up and said, “We’re just gonna wait over here. You tell us when you’re done.”
Which brings us to tonight’s word, “Opposition Party.”