Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ron Paul Heads Into Iowa's GOP Debate Tonight in 3rd Place with 14%

Ron Paul (R) is really a libertarian, which means he is against overseas military aggression 
and wasteful military spending, against torture and violations of civil liberties, and 
against perpetuating the fragile house of cards that is our fractional reserve banking system.

Posted by: Noël Jones

It's really strange that in the incessant chatter about the GOP presidential race, on both liberal and conservative cable networks, both sides continue to all but ignore Ron Paul, who is currently pulling 14% in Iowa behind Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann leading into tonight's Republican debate and the Iowa Straw Poll on Saturday. The debate will be tonight on Fox News at 9pm EST.

In Michael D. Shear's blog post for The Caucus on The New York Times web site, Ron Paul is currently on track for a top three finish.  According to Reuter's, Ron Paul won the Straw Poll in New Orleans in June. So why is he still be marginalized in the press, even by Republicans?

Whether you're a Democrat, Republican, Independent or otherwise, I'd like to get impressions from readers who watch the debate as to who YOU think the top three are, so please post your comments here!


tunsie said...

I dont know but I like this man...I think he makes sense..I think hes brilliant...I want someone in the White House who is smarter than me...George Bush is not smarter than me....I want the person at the helm to be able to decide if we should kill a number of people because I avoid LITTLE minded business owner across the street...I cant kill anyone or for that matter a lot of people....I yuv U noel

noel jones said...

you lost me at the end there, tunsie...

noel jones said...

on Ron Paul--i wish he had appeared less flustered in his answers. it makes him come across as too old for the job. but he has the most integrity of anyone up there.

what was really frustrating was that Ron Paul was asked so few questions when he was ranked in the top three. he was not a "back of pack" candidate--in fact, in NPR's online chat i was watching on line during the debate, one of the pop-up votes was for who was doing the best out of the "back of pack" candidates, and he was not on it, so the media recognizes that he's in the front pack, but were not asking him as many questions.

he seemed strongest on the war questions--Americans are finally figuring out that these wars are an endless quagmire and wasting trillions of taxpayer dollars.

it was very interesting that both Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich took pages out of the Ron Paul handbook. Gingrich called for "sound money" and Cain called for ending federal control over states' educational systems.

noel jones said...

In terms of sheer PERFORMANCE, i hate to say it, but i think that Bachmann was strong. Pawlenty came across as confident and sincere and helped himself some. Huntsman came across as sincere, but a little meek. Romney came across as the Wall Street banker that he is--a smooth double-talker--and Santorum sounded like a loon. Herman Cain was likable and had a sense of humor, but did not come across as presidential.

Ron Paul made the most sense of all of them, but he didn't perform as well as I hoped he would. I've seen him have stronger performances in debates.

In the end, I think that no matter how anyone performs, Romney will be a main contender to the end, just because he has access to so much campaign funding through all of his banking buddies.

What do other readers think of the candidates and their performance in the debate?

Anonymous said...

I think it's because he gives you the sense that everything he believes is really just an academic exercise for him. The real world implications of no federal worker safety regulation, civil rights legislation, and environmental regulation are unacceptable. Libertarian philosophy discounts what is true about human beings and their propensity for corruption at the state level of government. And yes, I do know there corruption at the federal level too.

hellokitty said...

The GOP debates are really all about gauging which turd is polished the best and smells the least "crappy".

noel jones said...

hellokitty--well said! that's pretty much all of these national debates these days, i'm afraid. at least the moderators were asking tough questions on this one, and allowing candidates to respond to each other a bit. there were some pretty entertaining moments.

i couldn't believe it when Michelle Bachmann started talking about fighting for lightbulbs.

noel jones said...

i just get mad when they don't give all the candidates equal time. John Huntsman didn't get much time either...i'm really sick of the two party system in general...

hellokitty said...

agreed! i feel like there is going to be a huge "f-it" mentality this election cycle due to pure frustration with the system, and the fact that the change bus didn't really pull up to the bus stop where we have all been waiting.

noel jones said...

Ron Paul is the only one saying anything other than what supports the status quo, but nobody wants to hear it.

We are living in a house of cards. It's just like he said in the debate, the fractional reserve system is what causes the booms and busts, the bubbles and recessions, and until we recognize that our monetary system is unsustainable (and that the level of consumption that we have become accustomed to is unsustainable) everything else is just avoiding the root cause of our other problems.

Ken again said...

An answer that is too pat may well be too rehearsed. Ron Paul's bit of hesitancy a couple of times may well have been the equivalent of taking a breath to give him a second or two to frame an answer in a way that would not sound exactly like a Romney soundbite.

noel jones said...

I agree. I just wish that he would actually take that breath and then deliver the words, rather than stumbling to find the words. That is one thing that really impressed me about Michelle Bachmann, even though I can't stand her on so many levels. As far as performance though, she was thrown some serious (and really stupid) curve balls, and she stayed absolutely steady, took her time, took her breath, and then handled it expertly.

Paul could use some of that--then people would have a better chance of registering what he's saying.

noel jones said...

testing testing...

noel jones said...

posting for Dennis Lieb, who had trouble getting his comment to stick after four tries:


I am asking whether you chose to give only the Fox News venue info for this debate or if it is actually only being shown on that network?

I find the network to be a disgrace to journalism. If in fact they are the only network carrying the debate (and I hope this is inaccurate) then anyone would be hard-pressed to deny that Fox News is now the exclusive propaganda machine of the republican party.

I also couldn't agree more with Anon@11:38 on all points. Realities of the human condition and societal expectations must be considered when setting policy and Libertarians continually ignore them. I also would tend to disagree with the outcomes of - if not the thought process behind - tunsie's comment regarding the IQ of the President vis-a-vis effectiveness.

There have been some pretty intelligent ones in my voting lifetime and most have disappointed...the current President included. I am fast approaching the point where I would embrace a position similar to that expressed by an imprisoned Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn regarding the former USSR's government:

"Don't believe them, Don't fear them, Don't ask anything of them."

noel jones said...

(cont. --Dennis Lieb post)

I think national politics will quickly become irrelevant within a decade...for no other reason than none of the players can give an honest appraisal of the problems; that we literally may not be able to solve all of them and that the safe management of a contracting economy (i.e. zero growth) is preferable to wasting our dwindling resources on propping up a capital/energy intensive system doomed to collapse.

In an earlier post regarding the deficit, part two of my comment disappeared after I posted it, The gist of that comment was this:

I am serenely at ease with the concept that the country I grew up in is failing on every level. I am approaching this in a way that may seem aloof but I look at as an opportunity to watch a great experiment unfold even as I live through the experience - sort of akin to taking time to see the forest for the trees. The end of the consumer economy, globalism, techno-grandiosity and corporate control will not be the end of civilization. It will be a "time-out" for the USA to get it's act together.

I truly believe that "standard of living" and "quality of life" are not interchangeable terms. My standard of living dropped precipitously when I moved back to Easton from a new condo sub-division in Palmer in 1997. I struggled financially for a decade but found comfort and support in the network of friends and associates that being part of a REAL place allowed. My increase in quality of life offset any drop in standard of living - in spades.

If anyone is interested in the perspective of someone who lived through collapse, I encourage you to check out this PowerPoint from Dmytri Orlov, who was in the USSR when it collapsed and has some insightful lessons for Americans preparing for similar consequences.

The links:

This is a stand-alone presentation. If you do a Google search for "Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American century" you will be able to read all three parts of the follow-up article.


noel jones said...

Wow--Ron Paul is sweeping the country on the popular polls as to who won the debate on Thursday--check out this map:

This is interesting because it is a Fox News interactive map, and Fox News has practically ignored Paul (and will likely continue to do so).

[And Dennis, in answer to your question, Fox was the only channel that I knew of that was covering it, but then I did find out part way through that the NPR web site was also streaming it and running an on line chat.]

Apparently Michelle Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll and Ron Paul came in a very close 2nd place, with Tim Pawlenty finishing a distant third.

In this NYTimes article, other than mentioning that he got 2nd, the article completely ignores Paul:

It seems to me that Ron Paul's message right now is more popular with Americans than ever before, and that the media on both the left and the right are engaging in a shut-out of his ideas and his platform.

noel jones said...

Dennis--also--a great deal of the links that I post are sent to me from readers--and for this I'm truly grateful as I already spend a great deal of time researching topics myself, and so the additional help of links sent to me is a great help.

Since the blog has a pretty even percentage (as far as I can tell) of Democrats, Republicans and Independents reading it, I get links from both the left and right sent to me regularly, and I really appreciate all of it.

Personally, I watch CNN, MSNBC (especially Dylan Ratigan, who is an Independent), Fox News, and Democracy Now regularly, in addition to reading on line papers, and blogs, and talking to people in the community from all backgrounds and ideologies, because I feel like if I expose myself to perspectives (and bias) on all sides, I can sort of figure out where the truth lies for myself, and I really like to listen to various differing points of view to understand where people are coming from in political discussions.

I'm still learning a lot...

Dennis R. Lieb said...

Michelle Bachmann reminds of a Stepford Wife...does her hair ever move or is it some kind of force field?

This new nitwit from Texas is like a Bush Mini-me. That squeaky voice of Dubya calling from the crypt...just grates on you like being in a group of screaming eight-yr-olds at a Chucky Cheese birthday party. We really want another corn-pone jackass in Washington after the most recent eight years?

Bottom line is that Paul could set his pants on fire and run 'em up the flag pole at the White House and he'd still be ignored. If we haven't figured it out yet, the press doesn't care about the issues. They just want to keep the freak show running, pile up ratings with the huddled masses of Cheetos's eaters and pretend they are giving us a "choice". Two party system = no party system and third wheels need not apply.

Ratigan's video rant on the deficit was right on the mark in every way and I'd be supporting a position like his if it wasn't for a few unfortunate facts.

First, the poor corporations he named as being forced to do business in China because of NAFTA's distortion of markets are the same corporations that wrote the damn law in the first place so they could suck the life out of the middle class and pile up cash in Cayman Island bank accounts.

Second, he may have great ideas for solving problems of the previous century's economy but is one of the many unfortunate souls who are still unable to grasp that we aren't going back to business as usual regardless of how bad we want to. Energy reality won't allow it.

Congress is clueless. The President is lost in raptures of false recoveries. The media primps unknowingly for a chance to preside over the national train wreck.

Like I said yesterday elsewhere:

Don't believe them, Don't fear them, Don't ask anything of them.


noel jones said...

Tim Pawlenty has dropped out of the Republican race:

FedUp said...

I thought there was supposed to be a new level of civility here in the US. Didn't our President call for it after the senseless shooting of Ms. Gifford? Apparently that doesn't include comments directed to and about Republicans.

hellokitty says: "The GOP debates are really all about gauging which turd is polished the best and smells the least "crappy"."

And Noel says: "well said!"

Dennis Leib: "Michelle Bachmann reminds of a Stepford Wife...does her hair ever move or is it some kind of force field?"

Dennis Leib: "This new nitwit from Texas"

Still Leib: "another corn-pone jackass"

I'm not saying that these people are my favorites in the GOP race for a candidate, but falling into the habit of dismissing people because they don't belong to your political party, talking about their hairstyles and then calling them names is childish schoolyard behavior. To quote a friend – “What are we all - twelve?”

Elitists be damned. This "I’m smarter than you, and I know better than you do about all things” group needs to shut up long enough to listen to the other side. They might just learn something. How are we ever going to evolve as a country if we can’t even do that?

noel jones said...

FedUp--I think what you're responding to if cynicism with regard to our faith in the candidates so far, and the structure of the debate itself. The only candidate running for office among the Republicans that has any real integrity is Ron Paul. He is also the only one dealing directly with any of the key issues driving our country into the ground, i.e., military spending waste and the fractional banking system headed by the Federal Reserve.

And yes, when the moderators (also Republicans) clearly structured their questions to marginalize Paul, who was a FRONT-of-pack candidate and took second place in the Straw Poll and won the popular poll taken nationwide DESPITE their attempts to marginalize him (which Fox News and the liberal media continue to do since then in their analysis), then I have to agree with hellokitty--the debate and the moderators were just there to "polish the turds".

noel jones said...

meant to say "is cynicism, not 'if' cynicism"

and as for civil dialogue in blogs, this one is way more civil than the discussions on most other blogs in the valley. people just get passionate and a little creative at times, but they have a right to "voice" their opinions, as do you.

there are plenty of conservative commenters that thrash liberal politicians (like our president) on this blog, but they too, for the most part, keep it toned down to heated and creative, without deteriorating into vitriol.

FedUp said...

No, Noel. I'm responding to statements that have little to do with a candidate’s stand on any issue. The examples I gave were recent and happened to be against the Republicans.

However, the comments I'm really concerned with, serve to only dismiss folks as an annoyance, because the person doing the dismissing has decided - because they don't agree with them – that the other people are fair game for name-calling. It matters not whether the name-caller is conservative, liberal or whatever! I'm still fed up with it! :)

For example: Your comment - "The only candidate running for office among the Republicans that has any real integrity is Ron Paul.” is in my opinion, laughable. However, I didn't call Ron Paul (or you, for that matter) a turd or a nitwit or a jackass in order to state that. How tough was that?

noel jones said...

FedUp--no, you just called him "laughable"--which is pretty much the same as the rest.

You also said:

"I'm responding to statements that have little to do with a candidate’s stand on any issue. "

Precisely what we're objecting to (or at least that's what I'm objecting to, the others can clarify for themselves if they care to)--most of the candidates on the both the right and the left are not taking on the real issues. Ron Paul is. I find it laughable that you find it laughable. But that's ok--to each his/her own opinion!

But if you are indeed that sensitive, then you might get your feelings hurt on this blog once in a while, so as always, it's your choice whether to participate or not.

But by and large the commenters on this blog have the ability to make salient points AND be occasionally snarky.

And this back and forth about whether people are being nice enough for your tastes, or on their best behavior doesn't address the issues at all.

Do you really think our economy is sustainable and that Ron Paul's take on the eventual collapse of our fractional reserve banking system is laughable? Do you really think that when candidates profess to be in favor of cutting wasteful spending and reducing the deficit, that being against bringing our troops home to defend us HERE and save trillions in defense contracting and other military waste to the tune of trillions is NOT laughable?

Let's get back to the issues and leave the policing of the comments to me. It rarely gets so bad that I have to delete anyone. Our readers are generally pretty hungry for frank conversations, and that desire tends to override the desire to spew pointless vitriol. Not always, but the vast majority of the time.

Who do you like among the candidates, FedUp? State your case--I'll listen.

I wish they had given more time to John Huntsman, as he got shut out too, and I would have like to have heard more. But then, he WAS "back of pack", where Ron Paul wasn't. Not that it should matter. In my opinion, all candidates should get equal time so that voters can give them each equal consideration.

But the fact that Paul was ranked "front of pack" going in and still got shut out, shows deliberate intent on the part of both the media on the right and the left to do so, no matter how much his platform is resonating with Americans.

I think the coverage on both networks since the debate also reflects that the media knows that what really wins elections is MONEY, because even though Romney didn't do well in the Straw Poll, they are still referring to him as "the perceived front runner."

noel jones said...

I also want to make it clear that I am not totally in love with any of the candidates, including our President. But the one who is the most INTERESTING to listen to, for me, so far, is Ron Paul, because he is the only one offering something other than the status quo that has got us into this mess, and is at least addressing the 14 trillion pound elephant in the room...

noel jones said...

i would much rather than Dylan Ratigan run for president...

FedUp said...

First of all, I'm not that sensitive. However, as my name implies, I am tired of all the snarky comments, name calling and know-it-alls, and I don't think that I'm alone in that position, whether on this blog or elsewhere in this country. Especially because the stakes are so high, I truly wish we could be more civil in our conversations with our fellow Americans.

Second - please go back and re-read my post. I said your COMMENT was laughable, not Ron Paul. I found it laughable because it was about real integrity and politics. I firmly believe the two are mutually exclusive. Oxymoronic comments make me laugh.

Ron Paul's stance on Iran scares me. I don't think Iran should be considered as anything other than a huge threat to the region and the world.

We agree on Dylan Ratigan.

Birdman said...

@Dennis Lieb: Dimitri Orlov and James "Cheetos" Kunstler are both clever wordsmiths who can paint an entertaining narrative but like a cheap sugar rush leave you feeling empty in the end. To better understand the predicament we are in I would suggest turning to William Catton, for starters, who best explains things in his seminal work entitled:Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change

"The core message in Overshoot

is that, "... our lifestyles, mores, institutions, patterns of interaction, values, and expectations are shaped by a cultural heritage that was formed in a time when carrying capacity exceeded the human load. A cultural heritage can outlast the conditions that produced it. That carrying capacity surplus is gone now, eroded both by population increase and immense technological enlargement of per capita resource appetites and environmental impacts. Human life is now being lived in an era of deepening carrying capacity deficit. All of the familiar aspects of human societal life are under compelling pressure to change in this new era when the load increasingly exceeds the carrying capacities of many local regions—and of a finite planet. Social disorganization, friction, demoralization, and conflict will escalate."[4]

He wrote this book in 1980. Production from the North Sea and Prudhoe Bay enabled us to postpone peak oil for awhile but that day has now arrived. Energy descent will not be pleasant but some remnant of humanity will be able to deal with it. Discussion of these emerging scenarios is much more instructive than the entertainments of Kunstler and Orlov.

---The Birdman

Anonymous said...

I am a Ron Paul supporter, and I don't agree with every thing he says. I do believe that he will provide America with what is usually promised and almost never delivered, a commander in chief who will be transparent, honest and abiding to what his role in government and as a citizen will be. He is certainly one of the most intelligent candidates, and entered politics not to pursue a career as a politician, but to have his voice and opinion noted. It seems many are scared of the world without the many forms of government "protection", but the model of America in my opinion is individuals with a roughly related future. Someone mentioned the corruption of state government, which seems asinine if the argument is for a strong national government. Small states allow for more individual voices, the ability to vote with your feet, and true indications of success and failure in regard to policy and oversight. My initial thought seemed pointed but I just realized the rant I've fallen into, so I'm gonna stop short and save some thoughts for a better time and place. I'll leave on a related note, we're never going to have a perfect president, that's why the term is 4 years. He isn't supreme ruler of the land who can do whatever he wants, so it's silly to be afraid of every position he stands bye, also since he seems to be the most outspoken politician on almost anything. Ron Paul is the only candidate who will break the mold and offer something that hasn't been seen in a number of years. He's not a democrat, he's not a republican, he's an independent thinker, and that's why all parties dismiss and ignore him, they're afraid.

noel jones said...

Anon 3:57--I agree with you with much of what you're saying.

Birdman--I dunno...Catton sounds and awful lot like Kunstler to me...have you actually read him?

noel jones said...

check out this video on how mainstream republicans were "worried" that Ron Paul might ruin the reputation of the Straw Poll if he won it:

He was a running strong third going into the debate, and barely got asked any questions. He still came a strong 2nd in the Straw Poll and Bachmann only beat him by a few votes.

noel jones said...

how's this for dirty politics? how Michelle Bachmann bought the straw poll:

no one can say she doesn't have a smart team...

Dennis R. Lieb said...


Yeah, yeah...I know all about the experts on peak oil going all the way back to M. King Hubbert's 1956 paper. And I read The Oil Drum and ASPO and half-a-dozen other retired petroleum engineers like Colin Campbell, Ken Deffeyes, etc. By the way, Kunstler reads them too and knows quite a few personally including the late Matt Simmons.

Point is that he and Orlov are not engineers, they are ordinary people - one a writer, the other a technician - who have chosen to use the language of the common man to get the massage out that we are in trouble. Getting into all the technical jargon is fine for people like you and me, but the bottom line is this message requires messengers who can get out there and spread the word - and yes, entertain people in the process.

By the way, I wouldn't pass guys like Orlov off too lightly. He gave up his house, bought a boat and now lives in Boston harbour. He has taught himself sailing and other useful trades for keeping the the boat afloat and has a plan for life after the crash. I'd look favorably upon those that are walking the walk and not just talking the talk.


Dennis R. Lieb said...


First off, my name is LIEB. If you want to hammer me at least spell it right.

Secondly, what I am engaging in is called political satire - where one makes fun of the people one sees as being irrelevant, dangerous and/or distracting to the public welfare.

These are public officials and in choosing those roles they submit to being open game for anyone who wants to deride them as they see fit - regardless of party - because without that option we really have very little other way of effecting their performance once they're elected.

I actually happen to believe that the people in question are nitwits and jackasses. Where is their body of work to show they have any right running for President of the USA? A few years in office as Governor or congressperson makes you White House material? I doubt it. Look at it's current occupant for an example of how that works out.

I'm as civil a person as you will meet in a face-to-face debate about policy, whether it's with a local elected official or someone on the street corner. We have no control over these career politicians that lie to us on national TV every night. Shit, its plain obvious that half of em don't even have a policy position on anything.

I'll keep figuring out inventive and amusing ways to insult them on the blog until such time as Noel decides to stop me.


noel jones said...

DRL said:

"I'll keep figuring out inventive and amusing ways to insult them on the blog until such time as Noel decides to stop me."

Well, as they say, it's good to have *goals*!

noel jones said...

This article in POLITICO about the blackout of media coverage on Ron Paul after the GOP debate and his close 2nd Straw Poll finish is right on:

FedUp said...

Mr. Lieb:

I apologize for the incorrect spelling of your name in my post.

I understand political satire, I just don't think you were engaging in it. My opinion.

Question - what, in your opinion, would constitute a decent "body of work" for someone to achieve prior to running for President? Serious question by the way - not satire - political or otherwise.

noel jones said...

stay tuned for my next post on this--a Jon Stuart video mocking the media blackout of Ron Paul since the GOP debate and Straw Poll...