29 August 2012

The RNC Power Grab

A lot of you have probably already heard about the latest round of shenanigans and hijinks, courtesy of the RNC. For those who haven't, it all started Friday when the Rules Committee, led by one of my least favorite people, John Sununu, decided to radically change the power structure of the party, in essence, neutering the grassroots. Specifically, it would make the RNC  very much a top-heavy organization and give the national party establishment, as well as the party's nominee, ultimate authority over the delegate process.

So fast-forward to Tuesday when the convention convened to start handling party business. The matter concerning the rule changes was brought before the assembled body and while, according to multiple reports, the nays had it, it was passed. Before we go any further, I'd have to recommend a write-up by Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks. This pretty much gives all the info you need about this power grab. The main points were Rules 12 and 15, respectively, which if changed, would create the aforementioned shift of power.

As Clancy notes, there was a lot of misinformation flying around that helped cause this mess. The main one being that this was just a Ron Paul thing:

Some delegates seem to have believed that the rules fight was really just a proxy fight in the larger battle being waged between the Romney and Ron Paul camps over who would represent certain states on the convention floor. This assumption may have discouraged some Rules Committee members from supporting the minority reports.
Certainly it seems intuitive that the power elite of the party probably figured this would happen and that it would help their cause. As Michelle Malkin herself tweeted, this was not about Ron Paul. It was an all-out power grab. During the session, #RNCpowergrab started to trend on Twitter. On the front lines of this battle--FreedomWorks and The Heritage Foundation. For Heaven's sake, even Rush and Mark Levin started to decry this obvious mistake, but, it didn't matter. It passed...

My personal thoughts were basically along these lines: Is the GOP intentionally trying to do everything wrong? But perhaps Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks,who was just highlighted yesterday on a blog I contribute to,United Liberty, summed it up best:

I believe that the Republican party has made a huge mistake by effectively disenfranchising grassroots activists who want to be a part of the party process. If the party sincerely wants the support of citizens, shutting them out of the process is not the way to do it. Sooner rather than later the Republican establishment needs to come to terms with the decentralized nature of grassroots organization circa 2012. The terms of engagement can no longer be dictated from the top-down.

27 August 2012

Tampa, FL--It's Gettin' Hot in Herre!

Most people wouldn't know it, but even though the 2012 Republican National Convention has only been in session for a short amount of time, there has been a ton of stuff going on. First off, before the convention even started, there was a lot of committee meetings and things of the like going on. That's where the interesting stuff has been occurring.

As I mentioned on United Liberty, there has been a lot of BS going on including the GOP's inexplicable decision to be A-holes to the good doctor himself, Ron Paul. Naturally, with their way of thinking, they decided that it would be best to lie, cheat, and steal their way to a nice scripted infomercial for Mitt Romney and company. That sucks! And it's weak as hell. However, they saved their best for later...

On Friday, the Rules Committee, headed up by none other than Jabba himself, John Sununu, decided they would just basically do away with grassroots activity, all together. They probably thought it would work. Why not? Everything else that the establishment has done has worked. But they didn't count on other people and groups not going for it. Like the entire Texas delegation, Washington delegation, FreedomWorks, and a plethora of other groups and organizations.

So, just this Monday evening, on the eve of the convention, the establishment worked out a "compromise" that changes the worst aspects of the aforementioned decision in order to dispel any perception of disunity, which has been, apparently, their goal all along. But...I think that things just might be getting started. I think more and more people are getting fed up with this crap emanating from Romney and the establishment. I think we might be on the verge of something very interesting. I think it's about to get hot in Tampa.


It's gettin' hotter, baby!

From FreedomWorks:

Now the Romney forces are removing unfriendly Rules Committee members.  
The GOP is obviously a more fractured party than most people are thinking. That's without even getting into this whole Romney power play thing. This is getting very interesting...

24 August 2012

GOP breaks own rules; Dr. Ron Paul will not be properly nominated

 *This write-up was cross-posted at United Liberty*

Well...it's all but official now. Ron Paul will not be on the ballot in Tampa, nor will he be able to speak. Dr. Ron Paul and the forces of Freedom worked very, very hard to get the good doctor a plurality of delegates in 8 states. Easily passing the threshold of 5 states needed to be able to nominate Dr. Paul from the convention floor and give him the automatic speaking time earned, the GOP and the Romney camp has spent the last several months fighting and lawyering its way to silence the Paul forces. Things have really heated up this week in Tampa as various convention committees have broken its own rules multiple times to make sure that the Republican National Convention is a smooth, scripted infomercial for Mitt Romney and the Grand Old Party.

But. At what cost? Will the majority of Paul supporters be content with a Rand Paul prime-time speech on Monday night and several platform planks that, honestly, really don't matter. I don't think so. I think the GOP has really mucked this one up. Rather than letting things play in a natural way where the 500 or so Paul delegates and alternates--and the thousands and thousands of supporters across the country--would have felt validated and respected, the Republicans have basically said that it is more important to maintain a facade of loyalty and unity. Rules and principles be damned.

My take on all this? I think Gary Johnson will be seeing a surge of support in the next few weeks.

21 August 2012

Former Marine Arrested and Detained for Anti-Government Comments

Early Monday morning while making my news rounds, a very interesting item from caught my attention. Brandon Raub, a former Marine, was arrested by local police and the FBI in Virginia and was sent for a mental evaluation for posting anti-government comments. At least, according to that first article I read.

I sure as hell wasn’t going to share or comment on the story until I had more info, but I had to get to work. So, as the day progressed, I read more and more about this story. There was talk about green warrants and possible mental health issues. Then someone posted a link to this guy’s FB page. Some of the stuff on there was just downright crazy. But! Was it a threat or a call for violence? No. Not in my opinion.

Still…I didn’t have the necessary information to make an informed decision. Did this guy’s family have him committed? At this point, it’s looking like no.  And the strangest thing to me was, as I mentioned, that the FBI was involved with his detainment.

As of last night, Mr. Truth himself, Ben Swann, stated that he was on it. That makes me feel good. Ben will get to the bottom of it. He has said that at this point—it does not seem to be passing the smell test. Also, The Rutherford Institute has now come out in support of Mr. Raub. But until more information presents itself, I just can’t make an informed analysis; however, I will say this—if he wasn’t involuntarily committed in a proper way…if this was just the government deciding that they would detain this man for words he wrote. Then—we might have a problem. This might be a game-changer. This could be one of the biggest stories in America that hardly no one knows about. If this was done improperly, then the United States Government may have just committed an egregious error.

Time will tell, I’ll follow up soon…

15 August 2012

The East Metro Round-up, 8/15/12


Corn shortage--Obama's got that!

Let's see. We could scrap the mandate for ethanol, lowering corn prices and therefore lowering meat prices in the process (and stopping it from tearing up our engines), or...just spend upwards of 200 million of tax money to artificially inflate meat prices. Brilliant!!!

From the article:

"To recap, government is driving up the cost of food, animal feed and gasoline, and Obama's solution is to drive up meat prices as well. Obama could eliminate the entire problem overnight and reduce carbon emissions were he to waive the ethanol mandate in a time of drought. Instead, he is creating a new spending program to mollify livestock producers, who, were it not for the ethanol mandate, would be able to make an honest living without his help."

Paul Ryan--for realz?

So we've all heard about the Ryan thing. Obviously, it's a smart pick from the GOP/Romney perspective. He does seem to energize the base and as someone said on twitter (I think it was Dave Weigel), he at least seems like the type of person who will remember what magazines and newspapers he reads and could probably recall at least a couple of SCOTUS decisions.

Of course, many of us, especially those of us on the Liberty tip, can point out that Ryan is not the conservative Godsend that many on the right are thinking he is. Let's go down the list: he supported TARP, the auto bailouts, Stimulus I & II, Patriot Act, Medicare Expansion, No Child Left Behind, NDAA, and several other big-government policies. But that won't stop your regular FOX viewer from gettin' real excited about him as I've already seen several times in the last few days.

Over at United Liberty, a page I contribute to, Matt Naugle looks at Ryan's budget plan to see if that, at least, is something that Libertarians and independents can get behind. The short answer--no. Unless you think balancing the budget should take a generation or two to complete...

And to complete the UL hat-trick, here's a very well-written write-up (I'm a sucker for alliteration) that tries to explain why a Libertarian/libertarian should get behind a Romney/Ryan ticket. 

Her main point is--"we've got to start somewhere." That somewhere is supposed to be a voucher program for Medicare that really probably won't lower expenses and will probably only benefit the big health insurance companies? I don't think so. And as I commented on her write-up, the elephant in the living room is military spending. We're just wasting time until we're ready to address that:

All I’m pointing out, to use a business analogy, is if I’ve still got cash flow covering most expenses on a certain budget item (medicare) while I’m spending tons more without any revenue on another budget item (military, DOD, FP etc.), I would look at the item where I’m spending way more without any revenue. I run a business and you have to look at the big, long-term picture (net profit) and short-term (cash flow) at the same time. Both are important but when you’re in survival mode, you’ve got to look at cash flow with more urgency. With all that said, as I’m sure you well know, all one has to do is to look at the government’s own numbers relating to future expenditures of entitlements and debt service to see how really screwed we are. But! We’re going to be dead in the water anyway until we make huge spending cuts on everything else. Those cuts must be done right now for us to have any chance…

Y'all do know that we have a trillion dollar defense budget. Meanwhile, Social Security, at approx. 770 billion per year, is still basically paying for itself as is Medicare. We've got to get serious about this military spending before it's too late. Ole Ike tried to warn us about this a half-century ago... 

Local/East Metro 

We've got 2 runoffs coming up in Newton Co. BOC 5, GOP, and State House 113--Democrat.
The BOC race is between Levie Maddox and Ronnie Dimsdale...mmm...I just don't know about that one. Dimsdale does seems to be a "consensus builder," whatever that means, and Maddox seems to be a pretty intelligent guy who seems to really care about our county. Chances are, either one of them would probably to an alright job, so perhaps you should just flip a coin.

In the State House race, I'd definitely voted for Mrs. Sharon Sawyer if I lived in that district. She's a super nice lady who would do a good job, I think.

01 August 2012

7/31/2012 Election Recap


Well, there's no doubt about it--TSPLOST is toast, at least in most of Georgia. For our purposes, it lost badly. The Northeast Region currently has the nays at 65% while the ATL region is at 63%. As of right now, 9 of the 12 regions will definitely vote no and I think it will be 10 when it's all said and done. I think this really sends a huge message. And that message is...ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! You have enough of our tax money. We don't need a regressive tax that won't really accomplish anything, anyhow. You have enough money--quit wasting it, dammit!

4th Congressional District

I supported Greg Pallen in this race and it looks like he will come up short. He ran a great race, and he had a core group of very loyal and dedicated supporters who helped him achieve a very strong number. He's a good man, and I hope he runs again. As of this posting, J. Chris Vaughn is winning with around 54% of the vote.

10th Congressional District

I attended an event where the challenger, Stephen Simpson,  spoke. By the end of it, I thought the crowd was about to run his ass out on the street. A very weak candidate who had a very weak showing. At this time, Dr Paul Broun is leading 69% to 31% with most precincts reporting.

Local Races

Newton Co. will lose a great voice of honesty and intelligence with the eminent departure of Commission Chair, Kathy Morgan. She lost by 8 points.

The biggest surprise, to me, was the BOC 5 Dem race where a very good man, Phil Johnson, got thrashed.

In terms of the Dem primary, it was pure demographics--the black voters, for the most part, solely voted for the black candidates, and they were the majority of those voting in the Democratic primary. And there wasn't enough of a crossover vote to make a difference. Not being racist--just stating fact. However, all that likely did was to assure GOP victories for Commission Chair and BOC 5.

Speaking of the GOP, in their primary, a good and honorable man, Bill Watterson, lost his bid to be Sheriff, losing by 10 points. That's a shame...

The most interesting race on the GOP side was BOC 5 where four men were vying to be the nominee. It's looking like long time politco, Ronnie Dimsdale, will join establishment pick, Levie Maddox, in the run-off in three weeks. Chamber of Commerce pick, Jared Rutberg, just missed it by a point. Mr. Negativity, Wesley Dowdy, managed a weak showing of 12% to bring up the rear.

State House 109 saw the incumbent, Steve Davis, get his ass handed to him by Dale Rutledge. And in State House 113, incumbent Pam Dickerson finds herself in a run-off against Covingtonian Sharon Sawyer.

That's all I got for this round. Until next time...