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Posts Tagged ‘Representative Ron Paul’

16th August 2011

Frequent followers of American political developments may have noted the results of the recent Iowa straw poll, a non-binding poll taken to gauge the sentiments of the sovereign State of Iowa‘s electorate. The substance of this posting is not an analysis of that poll, but an analysis of the response of the so-called “mainstream media” in the aftermath of the poll. In order to provide further elucidation it is necessary to quote directly from an Associated Press article featured on Yahoo News at Yahoo.com:

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Ron Paul, once seen as a fringe candidate and a nuisance to the establishment, is shaping the 2012 Republican primary by giving voice to the party’s libertarian wing and reflecting frustration with the United States’ international entanglements. The Texas congressman placed second in a key early test vote Saturday in Ames, coming within 152 votes of winning the first significant balloting of the Republican nominating contest. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota won the nonbinding Iowa straw poll, but Paul’s organizational strength and a retooled focus on social issues set him up to be a serious player in the campaign. “I believe in a very limited role for government. But the prime reason that government exists in a free society is to protect liberty, but also to protect life. And I mean all life,” he told a raucous crowd on Saturday… Later Saturday, Paul won 4,671 votes, or roughly 28 percent of the votes from party activists who flocked to a college campus for the daylong political carnival Paul’s narrow second-place finish pushed former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty down to third, leading Pawlenty on Sunday to abandon his effort to challenge President Barack Obama next November… [sic]

This blogger asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to read this enlightening story in detail.

Of interest to this blogger is the fact that only recently the campaign of Ron Paul was viewed as “outside the mainstream” by some commentators, but that view appears to be fading away. Meanwhile, Representative Ron Paul is not the only candidate to have apparently gained ground in the aftermath of the Ames Straw Poll as Representative Michele Bachmann, the winner of the poll, has seen something of a “boost in momentum” as of late. Although the campaign is far from over and an ultimate Republican nominee remains to be seen, the 2012 campaign is shaping up to be quite interesting and arguably unique from an historical perspective. This stated, there is little doubt that President Barack Obama will be a formidable adversary in the upcoming general election (as evidenced by his strong campaign in 2008). Therefore, those, like this blogger, who follow politics the way others may follow sports or favorite TV programs may find the 2012 campaign to be exciting indeed.

In the world of American politics it has often been said that “Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows”. This maxim is quite correct, but perhaps a variation on this theme is appropriate under the circumstances: “Budget Deficits Elicit Strange Solutions”. It recently came to this blogger’s attention that many American States and the District of Columbia are contemplating implementation of various forms of online gaming. To provide further details on these developments this blogger is compelled to quote directly from a recent article posted on the CNBC website, CNBC.com:

The District of Columbia is not thrilled that its residents are traveling to Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to gamble in casinos. Starved for cash, like states across the country, the district wants some of the millions in revenue that gambling generates each year.So district officials want residents to gamble closer to home — inside their homes, actually. Or in cafes, restaurants and bars. By year’s end the district hopes to introduce an Internet gambling hub that would allow Washington residents to play blackjack, poker and other casino-style games…It’s an idea gaining currency around the country: virtual gambling as part of the antidote to local budget woes. The District of Columbia is the first to legalize it, while Iowa is studying it, and bills are pending in places like California and Massachusetts. But the states may run into trouble with the Justice Department, which has been cracking down on all forms of Internet gambling…The states say they will put safeguards in place to deal with the potential social ills. And they say they need the money from online play, which will supplement the taxes they already receive from gambling at horse tracks, poker houses and brick-and-mortar casinos…

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this interesting article in its entirety.

Frequent readers of this web log may recall that the current federal restrictions imposed upon certain facets of online gaming are the result of the rather dubious legislative machinations surrounding the passage of the SAFE Port Act (sometimes referred to as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 or UIGEA). As a result of this legislation, some online gaming operators have been subjected to fines and/or sanctions (including the threat of incarceration) for allegedly illegal activity. Therefore, the possibility that States and federal jurisdictions may be contemplating online gaming as a possible source of revenue may come as a relief to some within this interesting and often misunderstood industry. In any event, hopefully arrangements can be made to provide a reasonably beneficial framework from both an operational and revenue generation perspective.

It should be noted that under most circumstances gambling is illegal in the Kingdom of Thailand.

For related information please see: Online Gaming Lawyers.

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4th June 2011

I have sworn on the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

–Thomas Jefferson (3rd President of the United States of America, First Secretary of State [Washington Administration])

Gay rights are human rights.

– Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (Former First Lady of the United States)

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

– 9th Amendment of the United States Constitution, quoted from Wikipedia

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

– 10 Amendment of the United States Constitution, quoted from Wikipedia

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond located in the sovereign Commonwealth of Virginia has taken political criticism for flying a rainbow flag (traditionally viewed as a flag denoting support for the LGBT community and, for some, their struggle for equal protection under United States law and/or equal recognition of same sex marriage solemnized and/or legalized in one of the sovereign American States, the District of Columbia, or the Federal territories, if applicable). To quote directly from an article by Olympia Meola posted on the official website of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, TimesDispatch.com:

Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, is asking the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank to remove the rainbow flag flying below the American flag outside of the building, calling its presence “a serious deficiency of judgment by your organization, one not limited to social issues.” In a letter to Richmond Fed President Jeffrey M. Lacker, Marshall says the homosexual behavior “celebrated” by the bank “undermines the American economy…”

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this story in detail in order to gain further insight into this developing situation.

This blogger must pause this analysis for a moment of personal observation. It is intriguing that Delegate Marshall would seem to be trying to scapegoat some of the blame for recent economic events upon the LGBT, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (transsexual, or “third sex“), community. This blogger must retort: how could the LGBT community “undermine” America’s economy? Explain this? Especially since a great deal of economic activity that produces revenue in America comes from married couples trying to make a living, build a home, and start a family. Is it in dispute that marriage and family generate economic benefits for America? If it is not, then the only way the LGBT community could be at fault for some hypothetical economic downturn would seem to arise from the fact that they have not started families (and therefore not generated the concomitant economic activity derived therefrom) due to the fact that they cannot gain the same legal recognition of their relationships in the same way that those in different-sex relationships are able to. This is especially true in the context of same sex bi-national couples as some of these relationships are separated by thousands of miles and jurisdictional boundaries due to the fact that federal enforcement of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) does not allow a same sex bi-national couple to petition for the same US visa benefits (such as the CR1 visa or the IR1 Visa, not to mention the K1 visa which is a US fiance visa) in the same manner as a different sex couple. There are currently American federal legislators such as Representative Mike Honda and Representative Jerrold Nadler who have introduced legislation, such as the Reuniting Families Act, the Uniting American Families Act, and the Respect for Marriage Act; which would, to one degree or another, at least end the current discrimination that the bi-national LGBT community faces when trying to reunite with family in the United States of America. Apparently this Federal Reserve Bank was flying this flag pursuant to a request from another organization which appears dedicated to the cause of LGBT equality:

The flag is being flown at the request of PRISM, a Richmond Fed group representing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and allies.

This PRISM organization should be commended for their efforts on behalf of the LGBT community, but this blogger must say that he would like to see legislation passed which provides tangible benefits to the LGBT community rather than a gesture from a private corporation which, at least ostensibly, has no role in deciding American policy toward legal recognition of LGBT relationships. Others echoed some of these sentiments, but for what are, in this blogger’s personal opinion, the wrong reasons:

Its presence also prompted mention from Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation in an email release on Wednesday. Although the Federal Reserve is a private entity, it is disappointing to see it participate in this celebration,” she said.

This blogger is always a bit skeptical when a group uses the term “family” when describing themselves as it is usually an indicator that such an organization has its own idea about what the definition of “family” actually is. Concurrently, such organizations are sometimes known to attempt to foist their own paradigm or definition of family upon others who may not necessarily share the same view. Therefore, readers are asked to always conduct their own research on all aspects of such issues in order to form their own well informed opinions.

This blogger must confess that this recent display of support for LGBT equality by the Fed seems a bit disingenuous considering the timing and circumstances. It has recently been reported on some mainstream and alternative media outlets that there are currently worries growing about the state of the American economy. Meanwhile it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the government of China is reported to have diminished their position in United States Treasuries. To quote directly from an article written by Terence P. Jeffrey and posted to the website CNSNews.com:

(CNSNews.com) – China has dropped 97 percent of its holdings in U.S. Treasury bills, decreasing its ownership of the short-term U.S. government securities from a peak of $210.4 billion in May 2009 to $5.69 billion in March 2011, the most recent month reported by the U.S. Treasury. Treasury bills are securities that mature in one year or less that are sold by the U.S. Treasury Department to fund the nation’s debt. Mainland Chinese holdings of U.S. Treasury bills are reported in column 9 of the Treasury report linked here

Readers are strongly encouraged to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this article in full and learn more. This situation is only brought up in the context of this posting to elucidate the fact that the Fed is currently in something of a “pickle”. This news comes upon the heels of recent announcements (noted in a previous posting on this blog) that the USA and China are set to be engaging in cooperative efforts in the context of relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Clearly, current American relations with China and countries in Southeast Asia are multi-facted and complex so those interested in such topics are encouraged to conduct thorough research before forming opinions on issues associated with American, Chinese, and ASEAN economic policies and relations.

It was recently reported on the website Law.com that the Federal Reserve has come under intense scrutiny from legislators such as Representative Ron Paul for current policies supposedly being maintained by the Fed. To quote directly from an insightful article written by Shannon Green and posted on the website Law.com:

The Congressman criticized the Fed for its reluctance to disclose to the public when banks are unhealthy. Paul said the Fed’s practices of protecting banks’ privacy appears to be at odds with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is pushing companies to reveal more information.

Readers are strongly encouraged to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this article in full to gain more context.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with positions held by the various members of House of Representatives is not really relevant to the issue of the Fed’s decision to hoist this particular flag at this particular time. Although it is certainly a commendable gesture, this blogger’s response, with all due respect, must be: why so late, and why now? If the Fed is raising the Rainbow flag because they genuinely support LGBT Equality, then great; but if this institution is simply raising this flag because of political expediency or to score some sort of “political points”, then one must ask: why? Hopefully the LGBT community will see their equal rights fully vested soon and this valid grievance will be redressed. In the meantime, this blogger hopes that the American economy will rebound from any relative downturn to find itself more vibrant and dynamic than ever, but some developments take time. For those personally impacted by the current state of affairs: it is hoped that change will come sooner rather than later.

Readers should note that in the context of same sex marriage this blogger feels that fundamentally the issue of LGBT equality is an individual rights issue as the right to enter into a consensual relationship with whomever one wishes is an inalienable natural right reserved to the People notwithstanding the Constitution, but nevertheless enshrined within the provisions of the 9th and 10th Amendments noted above. The implied right of “free association” has also long been held to provide Constitutional protection for Americans wishing to form intimate associations with others. Concurrently, this blogger feels that where sovereign States have heeded the call of their citizenry to provide government licensure of same sex marriages or marital unions, then that licensure acts as an imprimatur of sovereign recognition which, in this blogger’s opinion, cannot be negated by the federal government and must be accorded Full Faith and Credit by sister States within the Union. Those unfamiliar with the Full Faith and Credit Clause should note that Congress can make rules regarding the effect of State law upon other States, but, in this blogger’s opinion, such law cannot be made to render the States’ laws ineffective, which is the current result of the federal government’s application of some, or all, depending upon circumstance; of the provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act“. This blogger must point out that although same sex couples ought to be able to get Full Faith and Credit for those marriages solemnized and/or legalized in one of the sovereign States of the United States of America, they may not necessarily see States which do not permit same sex marriage in an intrastate context engaging in the legal procedure of divorcing same sex couples as this blogger believes that one must utilize a “horizontal vs. vertical” analysis of the Full Faith and Credit Clause in the context of same sex marriage since there is both an intrastate and interstate component to such an analysis. Such an analysis could, at times, result in a situation where a State Court permits recognition of the fact that a same sex marriage exists in another State jurisdiction, but the Full Faith and Credit Clause’s provisions may not necessarily be interpreted to mean that States should be compelled to grant same sex divorces if the public policy of the State in question does not permit State sanctioned legalization or solemnization of such unions in the first place.

On a side note, this blogger just thought of an interesting hypothetical: could a federal Court with concurrent federal jurisdiction over State territory grant divorces for same sex couples who were married in another State jurisdiction (which allows same sex marriage) if the underlying State’s public policy runs counter to the notion of granting recognition for such unions? It would currently seem that pursuant to the Erie Doctrine the US Courts under such circumstances may be prohibited from undertaking certain functions pertaining to same sex marriages if the underlying State’s law does not recognize such unions. That stated, as of the time of this writing any such analysis remains mere speculation as a broadly binding legal opinion on these issue has yet to be handed down.

Readers interested in learning more about the struggle for LGBT Equality are encouraged to check out UnitingAmericanFamilies.Net, Lez Get Real, and/or the Immigration Equality Action Fund Blog.

For further related information please see: Rainbow Flag or US Company Registration.

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17th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that Republican Presidential Candidate Representative Ron Paul was recently reported to have noted his support for the idea of the United States Federal Reserve selling its gold reserves. To quote directly from the official website of the New York Sun, NYSun.com:

NEW YORK — The next big question on the federal debt limit could be whether to start selling the government’s holdings of gold at Fort Knox — and at least one presidential contender, Ron Paul, has told The New York Sun he thinks it would be a good move. The question has been ricocheting around the policy circles today. An analyst at the Heritage Foundation, Ron Utt, told the Washington Post that the gold holdings of the government are “just sort of sitting there.” He added: “Given the high price it is now, and the tremendous debt problem we now have, by all means, sell at the peak.”

The administration of this blog asks that readers click on the hyperlinks above to read this story in full as it is very cogently written by David Pietrusza. It should be noted that this issue may have an international complexion as some nations have taken measures of their own regarding gold. To quote further from Mr. Pietrusza’s aforementioned article in the New York Sun:

Mexico has acquired 93.3 tons of gold this year, while Thailand added 9.3 tons to its national reserves this March. Russia added 22.5 tons in January and February.

This information would seem to concur with information that this blogger has come across on the World Wide Web. In fact, to quote directly from the website CommodityOnline.com:

International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced huge gold purchase by Russia, Mexico and Thailand valued nearly $6 billion. The three nations situated on different regions of the globe added to their reserves in February and March as the price of bullion advanced to a record. Mexico has bought nearly 100 metric tons of gold since January while Russia increased its reserves of the metal by 18,8 tons to 811,1 tons in March and Thailand expanded assets by 9,3 tons to 108,9 tons in the same month.

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in full and to conduct further research in order to gain insight into this important state of affairs. It should be noted that recently the Head of the International Monetary Fund was arrested in New York City.

Issues surrounding sound money and legal tender reform can be complex and controversial on both the federal and State level. The reader is asked to conduct thorough research on these issues before coming to a conclusion as to one’s own opinion.

For related information please see: Legal.

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4th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the recently announced Presidential candidate Representative Ron Paul noted his reaction to hearing the news of the demise of terrorist Osama bin Laden. To quote directly from an interesting article posted on the official website of The State Column, thestatecolumn.com:

Texas Rep. Ron Paul said Tuesday that he was delighted to hear of the death of Osama bin Laden.

The Texas Republican, and potential Republican presidential candidate, discussed the killing of bin Laden on The Diane Rehm Show, saying he is “still looking for more information” concerning the details of the killing.

Mr. Paul said he supported the killing of bin Laden, adding that he voted for the authority to go after those responsible for 9/11.

The administration of this blog recommends readers click upon the hyperlinks above to learn more from this insightful story.

On a somewhat related matter (related as both stories pertain to U.S. politics), but certainly of likely interest to readers of this blog, it would appear as though the Immigration Equality Action Fund has taken steps to build a coalition of businesses in favor of enactment of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). To quote directly from the official website of the Immigration Equality Action Fund, ImmigrationEqualityActionFund.org:

Immigration Equality Action Fund created the Business Coalition for the Uniting American Families Act to engage global companies who are fed up with the loss of talented LGBT employees due to immigration restrictions. The Coalition is a group of global businesses calling on Congress to pass the Uniting American Families Act, S. 424/H.R. 1024.

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read about this information in detail. Furthermore, readers are encouraged to take note of those companies which have shown their support for the rights of the American LGBT community.

For those unfamiliar with this issue, the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), recently reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Jerrold Nadler, would provide immigration benefits for the “permanent partners” of United States Citizens and/or Lawful Permanent Residents thereby circumventing the current (questionably Constitutional) legal restrictions barring the granting of federal benefits to those who are in a same sex marriage or intending to enter into a same sex marriage upon lawful admission to the United States of America. Such discrimination currently exists pursuant to the provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). The reader is encouraged to note that these current restrictions exist notwithstanding the fact that a number of sovereign American States have voiced their support for same sex marital unions. Most notable for those interested in the legal ramifications of this issue: the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of California have seen cases pertaining to these issues, but as of yet, the issue remains in a sort of stasis as the wheels of justice slowly turn.

As the 2012 election approaches it is noteworthy how varied the issues are likely to be even as they comprise the spectrum of presidential debate topics.

For related information please see: Respect for Marriage Act or Full Faith and Credit Clause.

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26th April 2011

It would appear as though Representative Ron Paul will soon be joining the list of Presidential hopefuls which would currently appear to include names such as Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Gary Johnson (not to mention the incumbent President Barack H. Obama). To shed more light upon these developments it may be best to quote directly from the National Journal‘s official website NationalJournal.com:

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, whose outspoken libertarian views and folksy style made him a cult hero during two previous presidential campaigns, will announce on Tuesday that he’s going to try a third time.

Sources close to Paul, who is in his 12th term in the House, said he will unveil an exploratory presidential committee, a key step in gearing up for a White House race. He will also unveil the campaign’s leadership team in Iowa, where the first votes of the presidential election will be cast in caucuses next year.

Clearly, Rep. Paul appears poised to make another run for the White House following a recent win of the CPAC straw poll which saw Mainstream Media outlet Fox News take criticism for their coverage of the event. The author of the aforementioned article seemed optimistic about Representative Paul’s chances in the upcoming election:

This would seem to be an ideal year for Paul: Since the last election, the Republican Party has moved much closer to his view on deficit reduction, which made him an early tea party favorite. All of the party’s top-tier presidential hopefuls are focusing on lowering debt, government spending, and tax rates, issues Paul has long advocated.

Readers of this web log are strongly encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks above to read about these developments in detail.

It is interesting to this blogger that of all of the coverage of the 2008 elections the speeches and comments delivered by Representative Paul along with those made by Representative Dennis Kucinich seem to have been both prescient as well as the only comments which were at all noteworthy in that campaign. However, during that campaign both Representative Paul and Representative Kucinich were considered far from “mainstream” candidates. Clearly, the shift in paradigm regarding Representative Paul as a candidate is attributable to changed conditions both in the United States and abroad.

As noted in previous postings on this blog, the Presidential elections can have a tremendous impact upon the international community. This is especially true in an Asian context as China and the economies comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) become increasingly important in a global economic context. It is likely that a Ron Paul administration would have policies which could be construed as substantially different from those of his predecessors. How events will play out in the lead-up to the election remains to be seen, but with issues such as the economy becoming of increasing concern to Americans this election could prove to be one of the most important in United States history.

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10th April 2011

In previous postings on this blog it was noted that the issue of impeaching of President Barack Obama was brought up in the context of the administration’s current position regarding enforcement of the provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). At the time of that posting, the notion seemed a bit more far fetched compared to the tone some lawmakers and advocates on Capital Hill are now taking especially in light of the recent events in Libya and what appeared to be partisan acrimony in the lead up to the 11th hour agreement to keep the United States government funded.

Many legislators seem rather fixated upon the President’s recent actions in Libya and elsewhere in North Africa. To quote Representative Ron Paul directly from his recent speech on the floor of the United States House of Representatives (as found at approximately the 2:00 minute mark of the YouTube video referenced in the aforementioned hyperlink):

“It is against international law and it challenges the war powers resolution…”

Meanwhile, dissenting voices are not only heard on the Republican side of the current political aisle as Democratic members of Congress have voiced concern about Mr. Obama’s recent decisions regarding the situation in Libya. To quote directly from Representative Dennis Kucinich (approximately the 2:40 mark) in a video on YouTube from a broadcast which would appear to have initially aired on Russia Today, the Representative summed up his position on Obama’s decision regarding Libya, when asked if the President’s actions were impeachable and for further elaboration on that subject:

…He did not abide by the Constitution…

Readers of this blog are highly encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks above to view these videos in detail in order to gain real insight on these issues. Concurrently, it would appear as though American advocates for Constitutional adherence are becoming increasingly vocal in their opposition to recent policies of the Obama Administration as writer Ben Smith noted in a concise and interesting article on the website Politico, to quote directly from Mr. Smith:

A prominent libertarian constitutional lawyer and civil libertarian has drafted an article of impeachment against President Obama over his attack on Libya, throwing down a legal gauntlet that could be picked up by some Congressional Republicans

Bruce Fein, a former Reagan administration official in the Department of Justice and chairman of American Freedom Agenda writes in his 15-page argument of Obama’s course that “Barack Hussein Obama has mocked the rule of law, endangered the very existence of the Republic and the liberties of the people, and perpetrated an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor.”

This blogger undertook some research regarding Mr. Bruce Fein as he appears to be a very learned individual especially regarding the subject and intentions underlying the drafting of the United States Constitution. Recently, Mr. Fein was featured in a 2 part interview on YouTube’s Alex Jones Channel and his analysis of the issues at play as well as the Constitutional legal principles underlying those issues was highly insightful, especially for those who may be unaccustomed to a truly thoughtful analysis of Constitutional law and the original intentions behind the adoption of the Checks and Balances system inherent to the Separation of Powers embodied within the provisions of the Constitution itself. Many people are under the mistaken impression that the only issues that come up with regard to the United States Constitution pertain to the so-called “Bill of Rights”, the reference to the original 10 Amendments to the Constitution which most clearly elucidates the rights, privileges, and immunities of States and People of the United States of America. However, the provisions regarding the relationships and interrelationships between the Several States and the Federal Government, the People and the Federal Government, the States’ relationships amongst themselves, and the States’ relationship to the People are more clearly defined within the provisions of the US Constitution itself.

One quote that this blogger felt was of most significance during the interview came when Mr. Fein stated (at approximately the 5:20 minute mark of the interview mentioned above):

“…The fundamental rule of law is at stake here.”

Later in this same interview (at approximately the 8:30 minute mark at part 2 of this interview) Mr. Fein went on to take exception with an apparent policy that Americans can be placed upon “assassination lists” if found to be an imminent threat to the country. Mr. Fein took exception with this policy based upon a belief that the United States government is not permitted to take the life of an American Citizen without the due process of law.  He went on to note that the so-called “Patriot Act” is “being used against us” (use of the word us implying the American People). Those interested in these issues are strongly encouraged to click on the links above and review this interview as it is quite insightful.

That said, a final resolution to the issues being brought to the foreground by Representatives such as Mr. Kucinich and Dr. Paul as well as advocates such as Mr. Fein has yet to manifest itself from the bubbling cauldron that is the American political system. To paraphrase Ted “Theodore” Logan from one of this blogger’s all time favorite movies, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure: Strange Things Are Afoot On Capital Hill. How the issues noted above will play out in a Congress that just barely managed to patch together an 11th hour resolution to keep the government funded remains to be seen.

Strictly speaking, proceedings such as impeachment have a more political character compared to, say, a legal proceeding, but the outcomes of such proceedings can have legal consequences as well as consequences in the policy arena. To be candid, such events can even have geopolitical consequences as evidenced in the waning days of the Presidency of William Jefferson Clinton or, arguably, those of Richard Nixon or even Andrew Johnson. Therefore, in today’s interconnected world American Presidential impeachment can have ramifications for people as geographically distant as China or the Nations comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In real terms, all hyperbole aside: is impeachment possible? Certainly, it is always a technical possibility under the provisions of the United States Constitution. The question to be asked by the observant student of political and legal history in the United States is: can Senatorial removal be considered a real possibility? This is a much murkier issue as the Senate of the United States is currently dominated by members of the Democratic Party who would likely prove less-than-willing to vote to remove a President of their own Party. To put it as simply as possible, it is this blogger’s opinion that notwithstanding the possibility that articles of impeachment may be introduced against Mr. Obama, the possibility of seeing those articles of impeachment adopted by the full House of Representatives is simply that: a possibility.

To sum up, whatever one’s opinions are regarding Mr. Obama’s administration there is one thing that is certain: he will be running for a second Presidential term. Mr. Obama recently announced that he would be seeking the office of the Presidency for a second time. To quote directly from The Link Paper at thelinkpaper.ca:

US President Barack Obama announced his decision to run for a second term as he called upon his supporters to mobilise for the 2012 election campaign. “This campaign is just kicking off,” Obama said on his official website. In a message to his supporters through email, text and video, titled ‘It Begins with Us’, Obama said he would be filing his papers to launch his campaign for a second term.

As of yet, it would appear as though Mr. Obama’s main Presidential challengers have yet to officially reveal themselves. Although the reconvening Congress may be more interesting even than that which very nearly shutdown only mere hours ago.

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17th February 2011

As an American Resident Abroad, this blogger finds a certain sense of comfort in watching the lead up to the 2012 Presidential Election. For those who have been reading this blog with any kind of regularity it may have been noticed that the posting have become more centered upon issues arising in an American political context. To be clear, this blogger truly feels that the events transpiring in the United States can have a significant impact upon Asia as a whole and Southeast Asia in particular. This blogger has personally witnessed the way in which United States policy can impact the Kingdom of Thailand, for good and for ill. Clearly, what happens in Washington D.C. and on the campaign trail leading up to the 2012 election can have a tremendous effect upon the economies and polities that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the broader Asia-Pacific region. Bearing that in mind, the reader should note that the administration of this blog is tracking the lead up to the 2012 election out of mere curiousity and will try to remain unbiased regarding the candidates themselves.

In politics, as in many other areas of life, “perception is reality”. This colloquialism is often interpreted to mean that a candidate’s portrayal in the media has a direct impact upon his or her chances of attaining national office. In many respects, this has been true in the past. The Michael Dukakis tank/helmet incident is a prime example of the way in which a public figure’s image can be portrayed in the media in such a way that it damages that candidate’s chances at the polls.

It would appear that the “Mainstream Media” outlet Fox News has been taking criticism for their portrayal of the recent victory of Representative Ron Paul at the CPAC straw poll. To quote directly from AAyles on the website twirlit.com:

A new video released today via YouTube shows footage from 2010 where Ron Paul was booed after winning the CPAC. So what’s the big deal, right? Well, the footage from 2010 was presented in a manner that made it seem as though it was from 2011.

Firstly, this blogger greatly encourages readers to click on the links above to watch the full video as it would appear that Fox News did indeed use footage from the previous CPAC straw poll which did show a less enthusiastic reception to the Ron Paul victory (to be clear, Ron Paul won both the CPAC straw poll in 2010 and the straw poll in 2011, but by a much wider margin in 2011). To quote further from AAyles on twirlit.com:

The video pretty much explains everything very clearly but the message we want to get across is that, despite what Fox News reported, Ron Paul was not booed when he was announced as the 2011 CPAC winner. Not at all, actually. As you can see in the video, there was nothing but loud cheers when Ron was announced as the 2011 winner.

It is interesting to note this apparent manipulation of the reporting of the Ron Paul CPAC victory as it shows how influential the “Mainstream Media” can be in the realm of political perception, but the incident also shows something else: the “Mainstream Media” may be in danger of losing their hold over key sectors of their audience. This is not to say that Fox News will discontinue their operation anytime soon. On the contrary, it would appear as though National News organizations will continue to thrive, but machinations once used to influence the audience are being exposed so quickly through the “Alternative Media” (namely, websites, blogs, the blogosphere, social media, youtube, etc) that there is a sort of grassroots “blowback” (to borrow a phrase from the intelligence community) that occurs following incidents such as the one described above. It stands to reason that anytime a media outlet is discredited it will have an adverse impact upon the way in which said outlet is viewed by the public-at-large in the future. The issue for mainstream media is one of survival, in order to maintain relevance in an increasingly “Alternative Media” saturated society “Mainstream Media” outlets must guard against being portrayed as “taking a side” in an issue lest their viewers choose to seek their news and information via other channels. The fact that Fox News was so quickly vilified for their portrayal of the CPAC straw poll outcome goes to show how tremendously effective the “alternative media” can be when it comes to disseminating information, especially information about “Mainstream Media” mistakes or misinformation.

In many ways, the upcoming Presidential Election will be interesting, not because of the outcome; but because it will showcase what appears to be a “Mainstream Media” heading into decline.

For related information please see: Patriot Act Extension.

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