Court Papers Reportedly Contradict Gingrich On First Divorce

One of the most difficult problems faced by Newt Gingrich in appealing to religious voters is his record of adultery and three marriages. His campaign insists that it was his first wife, Jackie, not Gingrich, who wanted the first divorce. However, recently released papers contradict that claim and indicate it was Newt Gingrich who wanted the divorce.

The campaign previously insisted that “it was (Jackie Gingrich) that requested the divorce, not Newt.”

That first divorce was particularly because Jackie was reportedly dying of cancer and rumors suggested that Newt actually served the divorce papers the day after her cancer surgery — Gingrich denies the claims as does their daughter.

CNN was told the divorce papers were sealed but it later found the documents.
Friends of both Gingrich and his first wife contradicted Gingrich’s claims about who wanted the divorce.

The papers show that Newt Gingrich filed a divorce complaint on July 14, 1980, in Carroll County, saying that “the marriage of the parties is irretrievably (sic) broken.” Even more interesting is that Jackie filed opposing the filing — a curious response if she wanted the divorce or, as the campaign claimed today, she asked him to file the papers. She added that “[a]lthough defendant does not admit that this marriage is irretrievably broken, defendant has been hopeful that an arrangement for temporary support of defendant and the two minor daughters of the parties could be mutually agreed upon without the intervention of this court . . . All efforts to date have been unsuccessful.”
Jackie Gingrich has never spoken to the media on the allegations. However, in 1985, she stated”He can say that we had been talking about it for 10 years, but the truth is that it came as a complete surprise.”

The bigger concern for evangelical voters is that Gingrich was already in a relationship with a 28-year-old congressional aide at the time. He later married the aide, Marianne Ginther Gingrich, and then divorced her 19 years later for another, and younger, congressional aide whom he married soon after his divorce. The third wife, Callista Bisek Gingrich, is now campaigning for him.

I have previously written how candidates like Gingrich who are running on faith should not complain when asked about their own commitment to faith. In this case, Gingrich clearly violated (repeatedly) an oath to God in a different ceremony. With the declining separation of church and state, such questions are likely to increase.

How relevant should that be to voters? Would it be equally relevant if he was not campaigning for religious voters?

Source: CNN

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241 thoughts on “Court Papers Reportedly Contradict Gingrich On First Divorce

  1. To my knowledge, there is no legal way to hold a political candidate to their campaign promises once they have won the office, they can do as they like until the next election.

    Thus, anything that speaks to the integrity of the candidate is fair game for consideration in whether they can be trusted to keep their campaign promises after the campaign is over.

    Of course this matters, whether he is courting religious voters or not. Take all the salacious bits out, the upshot is that Newt lies, Newt cheats, Newt blames others when he is at fault, and Newt has a track record of not caring who he hurts or what he promised, he will apparently say anything to get what he wants, and his campaign is meaningless because it is all just a con of whatever he thinks might trick you into voting for him, the only thing you can be sure of is that Newt will do whatever benefits Newt.

  2. I don’t see Newt’s problem any greater then Romney’s to appeal to them given his hypocrisy. Oh I forgot, religious voters don’t really care about hypocrisy since most of them are filled with it.

  3. @1zb1: No better than Romney, no better than Obama. The only candidate in the current crop that seems to not be lying is Ron Paul, and the problem there is I wouldn’t want him to implement about half of what he truthfully wants to do!

  4. @Elaine: I doubt he is being honest about that either; although it does appear they were written by others, I find it hard to believe he wouldn’t know WHO wrote them (he says he does not).

    I don’t think he is lying about what he wants to do as President, I do not read or watch everything he says but I have seen plenty and haven’t seen him back down or reverse field on any political or policy stance just because it is unpopular.

  5. A) Given the ethics violation that bounced Gingrich as Speaker, it appears he violated his oath of office as well as personal oaths.

    B) Perhaps Dr Paul knows all too well who the writer was but doesn’t want to besmirch the junior Senator from Kentucky. Just a guess, but he comes off otherwise as a pretty smart guy. The lapse is uncharacteristic.

    C) Tony C’s adverse reaction to “about half of what he (Paul) truthfully wants to do!” is, I think, consistant for folks on both sides of the aisle. Each side would gladly accept half while the other half of his beliefs scare the hell out of them. No miltary interventions? Yay! No Department of Education? Boo! Medical marijuana? Good call, Dr. Paul. No healthcare insurance reform? WTF!

  6. @rcampbell: My concerns with Ron Paul are the same as my concerns with most libertarians, he seems to have blind faith in free markets despite the repeated evidence that they don’t work. In general, free markets fail when it comes to powerful conflicts of interest.

    So yeah, although I despise what got passed in the name of healthcare reform, it is pretty obvious to me that in the health insurance industry the conflicts of interest (making a profit or paying for care) led to massive abuse and tricking people into thinking they were covered until they discovered too late they were not.

    The same is true of the housing bubble, there was a fundamental conflict of interest when the first lenders could earn a profit by approving loans to people that could not afford them, and even trick those people into thinking they could, when the approval guaranteed them a profit by selling the crap loan.

    My worry about Paul is that he has a firmly-entrenched wrong-headed view of how the economy works, and how it should work.

    But I might vote for Paul anyway if he wins the nomination, I would rather wreck the economy than give Obama or any Republican another four years in which to consolidate their new monarchical powers and gutting of the Constitution. I do think Ron Paul is a constitutionalist, and IMO almost any amount of pain is worth restoring the civil rights we have had taken from us.

    No more right of habeas corpus, the President can have you assassinated at will, or imprisoned indefinitely, without charges and without an attorney. No first amendment rights, the government can shut down your website at will. It records every email you send and phone call you make. You can be searched without cause, and routinely are at airports and on buses. You can be arrested for recording an encounter with a police officer. You no longer have the right to protest on public property. Police tase and pepper spray people with impunity for engaging in entirely legal protest, taking entirely legal video, or any number of other entirely legal activities.

    So I don’t know what scares the other half, but I can live with what scares me if it offers even a remote chance of restoring our civil rights. If we give four more years to another corporatist that will just completely ignore the Constitution, as both Bush and Obama have done in equal measure, then I doubt the Constitution’s slide into irrelevancy can be stopped.

  7. @Swarthmore: The article you linked, if you read it, just quotes the newsletters that went out under Ron Paul’s name. They actually do not prove anything, nobody thinks he wrote those newsletters. The article Puzzling posted has a more balanced view that does not assume Paul subscribed to the views in the newsletters.

  8. I wonder why female politicians don’t have this problem.

    I’m not trying to be snarky … I have wondered about this for years. As the number of female politicians attaining elected/appointed office grew, I kept waiting for the sex scandals to be revealed. Yet, relative to their numbers, the instances are very few.


    As to the question of Gingrich’s clearly violating (repeatedly) an oath to God or the oath to his newest bride (however you want to look at it), it proves the man’s word is not his bond on either a sacred or secular level.

    As for Paul … I do think his word is his bond which makes some of his utterances downright scary.

  9. Tony C, The NYT article and the Frumm piece are newer. Paul is finally getting the attention that he has asked for.

  10. In A Nutshell.Newt form a person who held the office you seek and saw people like you coming.

    “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
    Abraham Lincoln, (attributed)
    16th president of US (1809 – 1865)”

  11. Tony C,

    I ran across that article after Greenwald recommended it. The author acknowledges the seriousness of the newsletters but considers broader questions:

    In 2012, when accused terrorists are held indefinitely without charges or trial, and folks accused of drug possession have their doors broken down by flash-grenade wielding SWAT teams in no-knock raids, Paul would arguably protect the rights of racial, religious or ethnic minority groups better than Obama, regardless of whether Paul is now or ever was a racist, and irrespective of the fact that Obama, as the first black president, has in some ways transformed Americans’ thinking on race. (LBJ, who signed the Civil Rights Act, was not know for his personal progressivism on race or women’s rights, but he nonetheless backed policies that had powerful consequences for women and minorities).

    What I want Paul detractors to confront is that he alone, among viable candidates, favors reforming certain atrocious policies, including policies that explicitly target ethnic and religious minorities. And that, appalling as it is, every candidate in 2012 who has polled above 10 percent is complicit in some heinous policy or action or association. Paul’s association with racist newsletters is a serious moral failing, and even so, it doesn’t save us from making a fraught moral judgment about whether or not to support his candidacy, even if we’re judging by the single metric of protecting racial or ethnic minority groups, because when it comes to America’s most racist or racially fraught policies, Paul is arguably on the right side of all of them.

  12. Blouise – perhaps you missed the little embarrassment of the now-former majority leader of the Minnesota Senate. GOP Senator Amy Koch (no idea if she is related to those Kochs) seems to have slipped from her family & into the sack with a nasty bit of work who was her communications dir. It did however have one happy moment – Minnesota’s gay community begged for forgiveness since it HAD to be their drive for marriage equality that caused the problem:

  13. @Blouise: I wonder why female politicians don’t have this problem.

    I don’t think that is snarky. Not to be a misogynist, but there are clear evolutionary psychology explanations for that phenomenon, to which I subscribe.

    It is in a man’s reproductive interest to be as sexually promiscuous as he can be, it is not in a woman’s reproductive interest to be promiscuous.

    It is possible for a promiscuous man to father over 10,000 children in his lifetime; about 500 times more than the maximum children a woman can have, no matter how promiscuous she may be. Extreme promiscuity is far more rare in women than it is in men.

    Also, although many women tend to be attracted to wealthy, powerful and socially prominent older men, young men are seldom sexually attracted to wealthy, powerful and socially prominent older women. Their better reproductive bet is a young, healthy, symmetrical woman.

    I am not saying anything is impossible here, but when it comes to sexual attraction, betting that attraction will favor the odds of reproductive success has proven a winning strategy in thousands of pyschological and sociological experiments. Even if nobody is thinking about “reproductive success” when their eyes light up.

  14. Puzzling and Tony C.,

    The linked defenses of Paul I find reminiscent of Wm. F. Buckley’s article admitting that Pat Buchanan was an anti-Jewish racist, but then equivocated by stating his other good qualities. Paul made a lot of money from a bigoted newsletter that went out under his name. to me that alone loses my vote as does any association with Von Mises.

  15. Tony C

    Can’t share your enthusiasm for Paul, cautionary as it might be. I cannot live with the elements of his policies with which I disagree and find as vile and abhorant as those of all the other Republicans’. Though personally a Roosevelt-style Democrat, I’ll take the corporate Democrat every time over any conservative. At least some of the time the Dem will represent the interests of the American people and those who don’t buy lobbyists. That’s never going to happen with a conservative. They’ve proven enough times that they are either unwilling or unable to govern with consideration for people versus corporate interests and I don’t need to see America subjected to their destructive impulses ever again.

    I wanted to see the health insurance companies put out of business and replaced by a single payer, universal coverage system. But I’m willing to accept what we got as a step away from from the domination of for-profit insurers and to get coverage for more people.

    Your, our, choice will be between the two corporatists, though. It’ll be Obama vs Romney with the future of the Supreme Court hanging in the balance. I’ll take Mr Obama.

  16. My biggest beef with libertarians is that they appear to have no sense of community or even of country. It’s an everyone-for-themselves and you’re-on-your-own philosophy that glorifies the individual and ignores or harms the communal aspects of living and working for a common national identity and purpose. It strikes me as more closely embracing the royal model or anarchy rather than a democratic (small d) model. Libertarians act as though the government is something other than what it is—us. They promote an anti-government rhetoric instead of a participtory one. They don’t want people to get involved in the democracy, they want people to ignore it or get rid of it. I don’t see any evidence our Founders had that in mind for America.

  17. Mike,

    If Buckley’s objection over Buchanan’s opposition to the Gulf War (or just his current objection to the coming US/Israel war with Iran) qualifies one to be an “anti-Jewish racist”, that’s quite a broad indictment.

  18. @rcampbell: At least some of the time the Dem will represent the interests of the American people and those who don’t buy lobbyists.

    I no longer believe that, about Obama or any other Democrat. Obama failed to represent us on the right to a trial, on our freedom of speech, on the privacy of our emails and phone calls, on our freedom from search without a warrant. He promised us, on tape, he would not vote for a health care bill without a public option, then secretly sent Rahm to sabotage it because he had promised in a no-longer-secret meeting with pharma and the health insurance companies (which he had also promised to have none of) that the public option would never happen.

    But the politicians drew it out for months, because at the beginning of the debate the public option was polling at 75% approval, and they knew it would be a great source of campaign contributions, no matter whether the pitch was to save it or kill it.

    What we got is not a step away from the domination of the for-profit insurers, what we got gives them $100 for $5 worth of additional coverage. It is just another rip off, and further solidifies their hold on our wallets.

    I think that anybody voting for Obama, or Romney, or Newt, or Perry is unwittingly voting for the continuation of the destruction of America and irrelevancy of Constitutional rights, perhaps irretrievably. I never thought that would happen in my lifetime, but it seems quite probable now.

  19. Puzzling,

    Buckley’s article in the National Review in 1991 titled “In Search of Anti-Semitism described Buchanan as an “anti-semite” but since they were lifelong friends, Buckley somewhat softened his critique. I personally do not label people anti-Jewish because they don’t support Israel. That is a foreign policy issue open to debate. I call someone anti-Jewish (I avoid the use of “anti-semitism” because frankly “Semitic” was used by 19th Century eugenicists derogatorily) when they think of Jewish people in hateful stereotypes. Buchanan does and apparently Paul allowed a newsletter published under his for the same type of thing.


    I strongly agree with and support both your comments.

  20. “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”—-‘faithfully’ as in the manner of a faithful spouse? Or does constitutional fidelity mean something entirely different than its ordinary definition? At any rate a serial adulterer’s promise of fidelity to anyone including spouses and fellow citizens is really not to be trusted.

  21. SM,

    I think the motives of Paul’s ex-employee are suspect. He was fired by Paul for continuing to push Paul to support the post-9/11 wars.

    Eric Dondero (a.k.a. Eric Rittberg) made similar statements about Paul in 2007 when Paul was competing in the primaries. Dondero supported Giuliani. Dondero also stated that he would challenge Paul in TX-14 with a “balls to the wall” campaign.

    From the NYT 2007:

    For Eric Dondero, who plans to challenge him in the Republican Congressional primary next fall, foreign policy is Paul’s central failing. Dondero, who is 44, was Paul’s aide and sometime spokesman for more than a decade. According to Dondero, “When 9/11 happened, he just completely changed. One of the first things he said was not how awful the tragedy was . . . it was, ‘Now we’re gonna get big government.’ ”

  22. In may father’s time, a divorce (which could then only be obtained on fault grounds like adultery or cruelty) would disqualify a person from advancement in his job or from partner’s status within a profession. I used to laugh these off as conventions of the past based on antiquated and unreliable markers of fidelity and honor which seemed so revealing of character to the leading men of my father’s day. As I look now on the current crop of persons jockeying to become our rulers, I am becoming more impressed with the decision-making of the past and reconsidering my own attitudes about the qualifications of those who would have us bestow our trust in them.

  23. Tony C.,

    “Extreme promiscuity is far more rare in women than it is in men.”

    Part of the reason may be society and the old double standard: Men who are promsicuous are considered to be studs; women who are promiscuous are thought to be sluts.

  24. A list of financial disclosures and support demands from the divorce reveals (according to Raw Story) this list of Newt’s expenses and debts. I find it interesting that he had payments owed to a jewelry store. He’s been a bling addict for 30 years apparently. :-)

    “Attached was an estimate of Gingrich’s gross monthly income from “Congress ($5,015.21), which, after taxes and insurance payments, was an estimated net of $3.341.24. He claimed to be spending money on houses in Fairfax and Arlington, the utilities on a Virginia house, $407 a month on food, $75 on an orthodontist and $477 a month on his various bank debts unrelated to any mortgages. He also had $120 — due in 4 remaining payments — to Cole’s jewelry store. (Marianne Ginther Gingrich told Esquire that he’d already asked her to marry him at that point.)”

    Blouise, Sarah Palin may have broken the mold for women in politics regarding sexual scandals; rumors of an affair with her husband’s business partner were made several times but there didn’t seem to be any follow-up.

    Mespo: “In may father’s time, a divorce (which could then only be obtained on fault grounds like adultery or cruelty) would disqualify a person from advancement in his job or from partner’s status within a profession.”
    Right, Being divorced probably kept Nelson Rockefeller from being a serious contender for president in the early 60’s.

    I checked Wikipedia to get the year but found this instead which is far more interesting:

    ” Rockefeller, favored by moderate and liberal Republicans, was considered the front-runner for the 1964 campaign against conservative Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, who led the right wing of the Republican Party. In 1963, a year after Rockefeller’s divorce from his first wife, he married Margaretta “Happy” Murphy, a divorcee with four children.[49] This turned many in the party off, especially women.[49] The divorce hurt Rockefeller’s standing among voters and was widely condemned by politicians, including US Senator Prescott Bush (R-Connecticut), …”

    That old fascist and traitor Prescott Bush helped deep-six Rockefeller over divorce? Actually Rockefeller was a centrist Republican which probably offended Bush (from the right-wing of the party) greatly and divorce was a convenient pretext for the attack.

  25. Commoner has previously written on this topic. Should yucky Newt be nominated, Obama will probably get my vote. I know this controversy is dated, but it never gets old to me.

  26. @Bonnie: Physical bilateral symmetry is a sign of health. In the body, limbs, breast, face, cheekbones, nose, teeth and eye spacing, for both males and females. This is even true across species, female peacocks will preferentially mate with males with symmetric tails over those with asymmetric tails. Asymmetry is typically caused by disease and malnutrition. Symmetry is one of the key features looked for in aspiring models.

    In psychology experiments when people rate people for looks, even though they do not consciously realize it they will put a great deal of emphasis on the symmetry of facial features: The more symmetrical the facial features are, the higher the rating the faces will get. Very few people are completely symmetrical; the left half of the face photo-shopped with its own reflection and the right half of the face photo-shopped with its own reflection look more like siblings than identical twins.

  27. The past is past, bygones be bygones. Uh, by the way, by the bye, who is his present aide of female persuasion? Inquiring minds want to know.

  28. @Swarthmore mom-

    So he had a difficult childhood. That does not excuse his behavior. That article reads like a well written Tabloid.

  29. commoner, Sometimes Gail Sheehy has insight. Gingrich’s stepfather was an abusive alcoholic. This back round often leads to addictive behaviors such as compulsive womanizing and compulsive overeating. Bill Clinton had a similar back round and engaged in similar behaviors. It does not excuse it but offers some insight.

  30. @Elaine: Part of the reason may be society and the old double standard: Men who are promsicuous are considered to be studs; women who are promiscuous are thought to be sluts.

    I believe the societal double standard arises directly from the biological double standard. Women who are promiscuous are acting against their own best interest, in the eyes of both men and women, because biologically they are taking an enormously foolish risk. By failing to secure a commitment of care from a man, they risk becoming pregnant and then being responsible for a child alone, with the added burden of making it more difficult to attract a mate that would then have to support a child that wasn’t his. In short, a promiscuous women risks a life of poverty, so unless she is already relegated to a life of poverty, she risks a great deal.

    A man does not, because he does not risk pregnancy. Not the incapacitation, the health risk, the responsibility of raising a child, or the expense of a child. The risks are completely asymmetrical. To be a “stud” means to be of such high quality that you warrant having as many offspring as possible, and historically speaking, for a man to have several women and many children has been a sign of status and success. Because obviously, the women are won at the expense of other men.

    In fact, based on DNA studies, Baumeister reports that in the last 50,000 years, 2/3 of our ancestors are female: If 70% of all women have reproduced, only 35% of all men reproduced. Yes, each child has one mother and one father, but the pattern among men is that some men have lots and lots of children while other men have none at all.

    Which is another way of saying that men have to compete to reproduce, while woman typically do not: Woman may compete with each other for better men, but if they want to be a mother they can typically find some man willing to father their children. This has not been true for the male of our species (or most species) at all, about 2/3 of males have failed to find any woman to bear their child.

    As such there exists a life-and-death competition among males to have offspring that simply does not exist among women, and that has had its effects in the biological programming of male psychology. There is a reason men compete, and take risks, and go adventuring, and even a reason males of so many species (including ours) have on average 50% more body mass than the females: Males must compete to reproduce (and in the past most frequently that was physical competition) and females do not. Among human females, the extent of their competition is in the social rank of their children, not whether or not they will reproduce at all.

    The social mores and customs and stereotypes are a reflection of the irrefutable biological differences in reproduction, which produce differences in basic mating psychology, and a few decades of birth control isn’t going to change a biologically programmed value system.

  31. Tony C.,

    “Among human females, the extent of their competition is in the social rank of their children, not whether or not they will reproduce at all.”

    Really? What about the social rank of their husbands? What about women taking pride in their own accomplishments?

    A few decades of birth control did change quite a few things. The modern world is a different place than the one I grew up in. Many women have different expectations for themselves than they did in the past. More women have premarital sex without fear of becoming pregnant. Many educated women marry and have children later in life than they did before. Many married mothers work.

    Are men who are faithful to one woman biological oddballs?

  32. Commoner,
    Paul frightens me on two levels. The first is the possible bigotry coupled with being wed to the Von Muses school of economics. The second is even more disturbing is his opposition to abortion. Since we know his is wed to Ayn Rand’s objectivism, his religious views represent an almost pathological sense of denial. The psychological defense mechanism of denial in someone with power is dangerous because they can turn any action into something that is ethically unsupported by their own belief system.

  33. Bonnie

    To Tony C: What the heck is a symmetrical woman????!


    Both breasts are the same size?! …;)

    (leave it alone, Tony)

  34. Mike,
    Don’t forget that Dr. Paul does not believe in Evolution!
    Blouise and Elaine,
    I am not going to tell my wife she is a biological oddball!! I am slow but not that stupid. :)

  35. Tony,

    I will not argue with all of the perfectly valid points you raised as they are very much a part of our human nature (mother nature, if you will) and convinced me a long time ago that it was not a man who invented religion, but a woman. She did so to for purely practical reasons … to keep the father of her children in the home providing for his off-spring … an insurance policy that threatens damnation.

    As proof, I offer you Mary, Mother of God. But that is a fun discussion for another time.

    Women have always been promiscuous … ask any nurse who runs the blood tests on newborns. Look at successful Hollywood stars, then and now. Powerful women throughout history have been promiscuous … Cleopatra, Catherine the Great, Elizabeth I (now there was a politician who understood the power of Mary, Mother of God … the Virgin Queen).

    No, there is something else at work here but I don’t think it has as much to do with the sex drive as it does with the ability to bring intellect to emotion in order to maintain power.

  36. raff,

    Elaine asked if a man who was faithful to one woman was a biological oddball.

    You are perfectly safe telling your wife you are a biological oddball. I would not, however, suggest to her that you aren’t. 😉

  37. Think all issues about “rights” are easy choices:

    “Are Medical Journals a Threat to National Security?
    Scientists are butting heads with the government over whether scientific openness trumps national security ”

    Read more:

    “Just because we have the right to be ignorant doesn’t mean we have to exercise it all the time.” (you can quote me with that one)

  38. @Blouise: Yes, both breasts being the same size, that is symmetry.

    I see no need to leave it alone; I am talking about proven psychological science, we can measure even tiny amounts of sexual response, in both men and women, in the lab, using digital sensors. If the girls want to giggle that the man doesn’t know what he is talking about, I figure they can ignore reality at their own peril.

    Symmetry means what it means, the left side looks like a mirror image of the right side, and both men and women register variations in symmetry of the face to the fraction of a millimeter, without consciously realizing it. So much so that in order to get test pictures of faces with perfect symmetry, researchers actually do just photo-shop it with a mirror image.

    Women have always been promiscuous … ask any nurse who runs the blood tests on newborns.

    Not in the sense of men being promiscuous. Evolutionarily speaking women can gain a small survival advantage for their offspring by having babies by multiple fathers, but the promiscuity tends to be serialized and tied to the independence cycle of a typical child, about two years. It is evolution working on female psychology that makes women look for some commitment on the part of the male in helping to raise a child for those few years, to provide for her and protect her while she is pregnant.

    But once a woman is pregnant, she’s pregnant. Having sex every day is not going to increase the number of her offspring. After giving birth, until she is done nursing having sex would actually decrease the survival chance of her newborn. Evolution took care of that by diminishing the sexual drive of women on average.

    That isn’t true for a man. For a man, evolution succeeded by erring on the side of 24/7 sexual readiness. Every time he has sex with a woman it increases the chance of more offspring, and every different woman is another chance to have offspring. Evolution is what makes the male psychology less picky and easily aroused by appearance alone, males do not need to look for commitment. If they get the woman pregnant, she is committed by biology. For the same base psychology reasons, it is almost exclusively men that rape, and primarily men that are market for pornography.

    As for women, historical or otherwise, that have been promiscuous or sex-addicted, evolution is not an exact scientist, it is a gambler that plays the odds. We cannot point at one lottery winner and claim the lottery is profitable, any more than we can point at one lottery loser and claim that the lottery is a waste of money. You need to look at the averages, or general trend.

    What is that for the sexuality of men and women? Since the advent of birth control, it is true that women have been freed in many respects, and that has given them power in their relationships, and reduced the power of males in relationships. A male can no longer bargain with a woman’s father for her hand in marriage, a female can indulge herself with attractions without worrying about a need for commitment.

    But the fundamental truth remains that women bear a much greater risk in sex than men do, and on average men have to pursue and court women far more than women have to pursue or court men. It is men that must get accustomed to rejection, it is women that learn to reject them.

    In scientific studies conducted on campuses, researchers recruited students to approach members of the opposite sex they considered fairly attractive and proposition them, with a polite script, to get together later for the purpose of sleeping together. 75% of the men propositioned agreed to the date, and those that declined made polite excuses. Not a single woman propositioned agreed, and some of them reacted with irritation, anger and insults.

    Even in romantic comedies where the power dynamic is turned on its head, like in Pretty Woman, in the end it is the rich, powerful, handsome man that must submit to the commitment demands of the pretty hooker. That is what the audience expects, for a happy ending.

    Let the giggling commence!

  39. “In scientific studies conducted on campuses, researchers recruited students to approach members of the opposite sex they considered fairly attractive and proposition them, with a polite script, to get together later for the purpose of sleeping together. 75% of the men propositioned agreed to the date, and those that declined made polite excuses. Not a single woman propositioned agreed, and some of them reacted with irritation, anger and insults.”

    Does that prove the biological imperative–or could social mores have something to do with the different responses of the males and females?


    “For a man, evolution succeeded by erring on the side of 24/7 sexual readiness.”

    Especially if a man has a prescription for Cialis or Viagra in the medicine cabinet!

  40. Tony C.,

    There are also movies in which the kind-hearted “woman of easy virtue” loses the guy to the gal with upstanding reputation. Can’t end a film with a whore riding off into the sunset with the hero at her side.

  41. Elaine M:

    What’s your take on the CNN reporter taking credit for uncovering the file? Were it not for Craig Hardegree, Esq. (as pointed out and referenced by OS in his comment above citing the dailykos article), there would be no file. Hardegree, motivated by his belief in open government, was prepared to litigate the issue of the availability of the file, but found it unnecessary when it was determined the file was never sealed, merely secreted away by the former clerk for “safekeeping.”

    Good lawyering in service to the public with no chance of a receiving a fee. These episodes rarely get any press. They don’t fit the greedy lawyer stereotype pushed by our corporate wannabe masters.

  42. It should be relevant to voters in several ways. Religious people are often extremely hypocritical, claiming their virtue while acting in ways that are inhumane, cruel and repulsive. This is true of “leaders” and “followers”.

    Here we have an example of a man who is a cheater and a liar. For evangelical voters he can repent and their problem with Newt is solved. For Obama supporters, Newt’s horrible character and actions are a rich source of hypocrisy. While they decry someone who is a liar and cheating bastard they fail to apply this same test to their own lying and cheating bastard president. So, the formula becomes: lying, cheating bastard who is Republican is bad while lying, cheating bastard who is Democrat–he gets my vote.

    That is simply hypocrisy.

    All candidates, including the president should be asked, in detail, how it is that 1. god speaks to them, 2. which god is it that is speaking to them and 3. what happens when god is telling one person one thing and another person the exact opposite. They should be asked what part of the bible they draw from in waging multiple wars against civilians, and where they get the idea that their highest good in life is to protect those who torture and the wealthy thieves who have brought down the economy. I’m not saying they can’t point to passages in the bible which justify these things, I just want to hear them calmly explain their reasoning on all these issues.

    I would also like religious voters to examine their own views. Where in their religious texts does it say that one should support a candidate/president who kills civilians, protects torturers and the wealthy? If this is justified, then isn’t it justified whether someone is Republican or Democratic? If it is not justified, then wouldn’t it be wrong to support someone who did these things whether they were Republican or Democratic?

  43. mespo,

    From the CNN article:
    “After initially being told that the divorce documents were sealed, CNN on Thursday obtained the folder containing the filings in the divorce, which had been stashed away for years in a Carroll County, Georgia, court clerk’s drawer.”

    There is no mention of how or from whom CNN obtained the file.


    I always believe in giving credit where credit is due.

  44. Tony C.

    I wrote:

    “Can’t end a film with a whore riding off into the sunset with the hero at her side.”

    I should have added: Unless, of course, the woman of easy virtue is Julia Roberts who is really just the girl next door down on her luck and trying to earn tuition for art school.

  45. Elaine, CNN and other news outlets got it from Craig Hardegree, Esq. after he snagged the file from the bowels of the clerk’s files and posted them online as Scribd files. Despite what CNN, Bloomberg and others thought, the file had never been sealed. It had been hidden for fear the file might be stolen when Newt became a public figure, and the sealed part was just a cover story by the local officials of the time as an explanation as to why the file was not in the regular file drawer.

    As I posted earlier, and for those who missed it, here is the back story straight from Craig. Having worked in many small towns, with many small town lawyers, this is how home cookin’ works.

  46. Jill. Absolutely.

    Apparently they managed to skip over Article VI of the Constitution:

    “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

  47. @Elaine: (Re Julia Roberts) I was going to mention that.

    There are also movies in which the kind-hearted “woman of easy virtue” loses the guy to the gal with upstanding reputation.

    I cannot recall any. Are they popular?

    The typical romantic fiction has a male that is successful, or born to wealth or power. The female is beautiful, but in trouble or distress. The guy saves the girl and they live happily ever after. Morality seldom enters into it; the storyline is embedded in the psyche of dozens of cultures for hundreds of years. Cinderella wins her prince on beauty alone. Heck, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty did not even have to be conscious to win their respective princes. Women need not acomplish anything at all in romantic fiction, their value is in their beauty.

    One exception I can think of is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”, which worked, but even there the female lead character (played by Janeane Garofalo) is terrified of rejection on the basis of her appearance, so the script writer acknowledges the pre-eminence of beauty, and the entire movie is basically about how she overcomes that obstacle.

  48. Tony C.,

    I’m not belittling the points you’ve raised though I can understand why you might think I was being somewhat cavalier and I sincerely apologize for that.

    I do, however, think that there is more at play in this matter than pure biological factors or even the social mores “it is women that learn to reject them.” (Tony) … though that point trends more in the direction I am going.

    I started performing on stage at the age of 4 and by the time I had reached full puberty in my teams I was a pretty big fish in an expanding pond. I also possessed, along with the well trained musical talent, a charisma of which I was fully aware and able to turn off and on at will. Add to that a pleasing physical appearance and the intellect to grasp insights into my own failings … well, I was a huge danger to my own future.

    At the age of 16 my lawyer, my voice and cello coach, and my father (all males) sat me down to explain the facts of life. They didn’t want to talk about sexual intercourse that could lead to pregnancy or disease … they figured my mother had handled that category. They wanted to talk about power and how that power attracted men (and women) and how foolish misuse of that power to satisfy sexual urges or emotional wants could easily kill my expanding career and ruin the potential success that was in front of me.

    They explained that the power flowing out of a good performance should be seen as just that, a performance and never, never should I infuse that power into my off stage life nor be confused that those who were drawn to the power of the performance were at all interested in doing anything other than conquering it for their own emotional gratification or financial gain.

    I was advised to be-ware and be-smart and always bring my intellect to bear on my emotions before acting out. At the moment of your greatest success is also the moment you are most vulnerable to your own failure.

    My lawyer (he remained my lawyer throughout my career … and beyond) was an “Entertainment” lawyer and a young man at the time he began representing me. He had many clients and gave his “Beware the Power” speech many times over the years and he always bemoaned the fact that the majority of his female clients took the matter to heart whilst the majority of his male clients did not.

    Why is that I wonder and is that not not a part of what we see in the difference between male and female politicians? So, I repeat what I wrote at the beginning of this missive … “it is women that learn to reject them.”(Tony) … though that point trends more in the direction I am going.

    Power, Tony … do women handle it better than men?

  49. Tony C.,

    I’ve got to say that your take on this reminds of “The Selfish Gene” and while there are no doubt evolutionary aspects to this, such as the strategies of the different sexes in procreating, I’m not quite certain it resolves anything. A just as good an explanation for this is that of Patriarchy and the drive to keep it. Female sexuality is scary to many males, so much so that to my mind they would irrationally prefer virgins as mates. I have long believed women should be considered equals by men and that those who don’t consider them equals are dealing with greater issues than the biological imperative. Ours and other society’s are obsessed with punishing the female for her sexuality and our art and images reflect that. I’ve always preferred strong women. I’ve married one and helped raise two. As a Father I was never very interested in my daughters sexuality, once I was sure they had the knowledge to deal with it in an informed manner and the maturity to make good choices. This occurred in their mid-teens and I never even met many of their boyfriends, or knew if they had them at a given time.

  50. Tony,

    I’m older than you. There were a number of movies in the past with that type of storyline. The first one that comes to mind is “Red Dust” starring Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and Mary Astor. It was released in the 1930s. The movie was remade as “Mogambo” in the 1950s and starred Gable, Ava Gardner, and Grace Kelly.

  51. “Good lawyering in service to the public with no chance of a receiving a fee. These episodes rarely get any press. ” (mespo)

    That is the truth

    “Like fingerprints, I find that the proclivity to be promiscuous is unique to the person and not the gender.” (mespo)

    That has also been my experience

  52. @Blouise: It is possible that men and women misuse power in different ways. All the scientific evidence is that men are hornier than women; men want sex more often, masturbate more often, want more variety in sexual positions, want more variety in partners, and are more easily aroused by appearance than are women. And this is true at all ages, from teenager to octegenarian. Literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of academic studies back that up, it isn’t just culture, it isn’t just folklore, it isn’t just common wisdom, it is scientific fact.

    As a result, we’d expect men that abused power to abuse it for sex far more often than we’d expect women to abuse their power for sex. Women do not typically require power to have as much sex as they desire, but it is quite likely somebody like Newt has relied heavily upon power and wealth to convert “aide” to “laid.”

    So I suppose in the sexual arena, I definitely expect fewer peccadillos among the women with power, but I suspect they indulge their abuse in different ways. Sarah Palin, for example, abused her expense account far more than any male has for designer fashions and personal hair and makeup artists that travelled with her at all times. Remember the ribbing Edwards got for his $400 haircut? Palin was paying her makeup artist alone something like $15K a month.

    Hillary, using campaign cash, insisted on lavish quarters in Vegas costing $5000 a night, lunch costing $500 a plate with a few thousand dollars worth of wine.

    So I am not saying women have no sexual desires, I am saying that power doesn’t really add anything to their ability to have those desires satisfied, like it does for men.

    I do not think women with power are inherently more honorable than men with power, I think for both of them, if they abuse power, they abuse it for what they desire and could not have without the power. For men, that is often just women willing to act out their sexual fantasies. For women, I think it is often luxury, servants, attendants, personal care and in general being treated like royalty.

    I will defer to your greater expertise in what women might abuse their power to get, I just doubt it is a parade of new sexual partners.

  53. Tony,

    I’m going to have to agree with mespo’s comment, “Like fingerprints, I find that the proclivity to be promiscuous is unique to the person and not the gender.” While what you say about general differences is choices to apply power between genders may have some general truth in it, the counter argument is Madonna or Cameron Diaz – exceptions that proves the rule. Just as gender identity has some flexibility to it, so does any preference in the expression of power along gender lines.

  54. @Mike: Patriarchy is an example of a different but related human trait; greed. Females are valuable. Men will compete for them. If a father controls his daughter as property, she is valuable property.

    The virginity aspect is also biological; the point isn’t to have a satisfying sexual experience, it is to procreate. Virginity in a female is valuable because it has been (mistakenly) taken as proof of fatherhood, if a male deflowers a virgin and controls her enough to ensure he is the only one that can mate with her, then if she becomes pregnant he has ensured he is the father. If he is mating with a non-virgin and in a few months learns she is pregnant, he cannot be sure exactly when the pregancy started, and may for years be raising another man’s child.

    Both of those cultural values (patriarchy and virginity) are essentially results of the inherent biological value of females. Virginity is not valued in men because it proves nothing, except perhaps ineptitude. Conquerors like Genghis (or Moses) slaughtered males and distributed females as prizes because men are expendable, but females are inherently valuable.

  55. @Gene: Like I said, evolution is a gambler playing the odds. The outcome may be unique to the person, but the averages and studies do not lie, a few hyper-sexual females notwithstanding. How many nationally known male actors or rock stars or male sports stars bed hundreds of women? Versus, how many nationally known female actresses, singing sensations or sports stars have bed hundreds of men?

    I would be quite surprised if the percentages were even remotely comparable.

  56. Tony,

    Ah, Sarah Palin is an excellent example but never the less in the minority and I would be willing to wager that she now handles power with greater sensitivity to her own failings than she did back in 2007 -’08.

    The Hillary example is common to both men and women … desire for luxury and infusing the power of the performance into one’s everyday life .. I am entitled to the best table, the best suite, the best limo because of who I am and the power I possess … is as much misused by men as women.

    “I do not think women with power are inherently more honorable than men with power …” (Tony) Inherently? … perhaps not … but I do think women are quicker to understand the dishonor and danger to their own advancement of misusing power than men and I wonder why.

    Perhaps it is inherent and due to the lack of high levels of testosterone.

    Thanks for the discussion. I must sign off now. Tex and I are going to dinner at our favorite restaurant where the chef is preparing a meal just for us. We have no idea what he is preparing nor what wines he will be serving with each coarse. It’s all a big surprise and our Christmas gift to each other. Luxury …😉

  57. Tony,

    As to men being more easily aroused by appearance than are women, I’d say–speaking as a woman–that my interest in a man is aroused by his appearance of intelligence, his sense of humor, and his consideration for others. All those hunks can keep their washboard abs behind buttoned shirts as far as I’m concerned.

  58. “Tex and I are going to dinner at our favorite restaurant where the chef is preparing a meal just for us. We have no idea what he is preparing nor what wines he will be serving with each coarse. It’s all a big surprise and our Christmas gift to each other. Luxury … ” -Blouise

    Enjoy…. It sounds wonderful… (Looking forward to the details.)

  59. FACT CHECK: Ron Paul Personally Defended Racist Newsletters
    By Judd Legum on Dec 27, 2011

    Paul’s denials, however, are not supported by the public record. When the newsletters first arose as an issue in 1996, Paul didn’t deny authorship. Instead, Paul personally repeated and defended some of the most incendiary racial claims in the newsletters.

    In May 1996, Paul was confronted in an interview by the Dallas Morning News about a line that appeared in a 1992 newsletter, under the headline “Terrorist Update”: “If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be.” His response:

    Dr. Paul denied suggestions that he was a racist and said he was not evoking stereotypes when he wrote the columns. He said they should be read and quoted in their entirety to avoid misrepresentation…

    In the interview, he did not deny he made the statement about the swiftness of black men.

    “If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them,” Dr. Paul said.

    Paul also defended his claim, made in the same 1992 newsletter that “we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in [Washington, DC] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal” Paul told the Dallas Morning News the statistic was an “assumption” you can gather from published studies.

    Paul’s failure to deny authorship was not an oversight. He was repeatedly confronted about the newsletters during his 1996 campaign and consistently defended them as his own. A few examples:

    – In 1996, Ron Paul’s campaign defended his statements about the rationality of fearing black men. (“[W]e are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational.”) The Houston Chronicle reports, “A campaign spokesman for Paul said statements about the fear of black males mirror pronouncements by black leaders such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson.” [Houston Chronicle, 5/23/96]

    – Paul said that his comments on blacks contained in the newsletters should be viewed in the context of “current events and statistical reports of the time.” [Houston Chronicle, 5/23/96]

    – Paul defended statements from an August 12, 1992 newsletter calling the late Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-TX) a “moron” and a “fraud.” Paul also said Jordon was “her race and sex protect her from criticism.” In response, Paul said “such opinions represented our clear philosophical difference.” [Roll Call, 7/29/96]

    – “Also in 1992, Paul wrote, ‘Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions.’ Sullivan said Paul does not consider people who disagree with him to be sensible. And most blacks, [Paul spokesman Michael] Sullivan said, do not share Paul’s views.” [Austin American Statesman, 5/23/96]

    Contrary to his statements to CNN last week, it was not until 2001, that he first claimed that newsletters were not written by him. He told the Texas Monthly in the October 2001 edition that “I could never say this in the campaign, but those words weren’t really written by me.” The reporter noted, “until this surprising volte-face in our interview, he had never shared this secret.”

  60. The only difference between Ron Paul and the rest of the Republican/Tparty candidates is who they hate. They all hate some group or another. It is the party of HATE.

  61. @Elaine: The majority of women agree with you. It is the reason pornography for women (the explicit ‘romance’ novel) requires a storyline that can convey those qualities, and pornography for men does not.

    A similar division holds in cheating: The vast majority of men that cheat do so for the pleasure of sex, while the vast majority of women that cheat say the pleasure of sex is secondary, their primary goal is the pleasure of company, feeling loved, wanted, respected, some sort of an emotional connection they no longer feel with the person they are cheating on.

    Men and women just differ in their sexual psychology, it doesn’t mean one is better than the other, and it doesn’t mean we cannot override our instincts. Newt is still a corrupt, cheating, weak-ass lying bastard.

  62. Old Ron Paul Video Warns of One-World Religion, UN Dictatorship
    By Tim Murphy
    Tue Dec. 27, 2011

    Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign has run into trouble recently after national media refocused on decades-old racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and deeply conspiratorial articles published under Paul’s name (and at least occasionally under his signature) in late 1980s and early 1990s newsletters.

    The Texas congressman, who defended the newsletters when they first became a political issue in 1996, has since disavowed their contents repeatedly. But in a 1998 John Birch Society film unearthed by Andy Kaczynski, Paul endorsed some of the more paranoid ideas outlined in the Ron Paul Survival Report—including the the idea that a United Nations dictatorship was imminent…

  63. Elaine,

    “I think some womanizers/men who cheat do it for “the conquest” and egotistical reasons.”

    I’m not sure you can entirely divorce that from for the pleasure of sex. True, some people have a sexual addiction and on that level, they are both psychologically and physiologically addicted to the adrenalin, dopamine, oxytocin, norepinephrine, and endorphins released during sex in which the act itself becomes the obsession. However, the conquest/egotistical mode is still related to this – their primary driver may be conquest and/or ego massage, but the reward for that still has that chemical component to it in addition to satisfying a compulsion. Similar creatures medically speaking.

  64. Elaine,

    Without a doubt, but in the two/three instances here, the pathology is similar – compulsion and reward. Some people’s compulsions are more cerebral, some are more chemical, but both have neurochemical components to reward even if the compulsions are different. That was my only point. Ethically speaking, I have issues with all three behaviors, but then again I’ve always been a one relationship at a time kind of guy.

  65. @Elaine: I think some womanizers/men who cheat do it for “the conquest” and egotistical reasons.

    Do you think the same proportion of women that cheat are doing it for conquest and egotistical reasons?

    In a way that observation speaks to my point; male sexual psychology differs dramatically from that of females. Men are quite likely to want something that females are very unlikely to want: A large number of sexual partners with as little “relationship building” as possible and as little subsequent responsibility as possible.

    That isn’t due to cultural learning, it is due to reproductive imperatives hard-wired into both males and females. It is no different than sexual orientation, in fact these attitudes are close siblings of sexual orientation. Just as humans do not choose which gender they will be sexually attracted to, humans do not choose their sexual value system.

    Both can be overridden, many lesbians first try the straight life, often to the point of marriage and kids, and we are no longer shocked to hear that some married men are secretly gay.

    Whatever social mores exist are either reinforcements of or correctives to the underlying biological imperatives: Male reproductive success is maximized by bedding as many women as possible with as little attachment as possible. Female reproductive success is not maximized by bedding as many men as possible, it is maximized by bedding men they can count on for protection and assistance during pregnancy and support of the children, at least until they are no longer infants.

    The social mores are a match to that, albeit confused with religion and other societal goals. But men court women with kindness, flowers, gifts, and displays of wealth, and if they don’t have wealth, often with acts of courage, fearlessness, daring and strength.

    Why do these generally appeal to women, across cultures?
    Why would a female trying to court a male in the same way fail?

    It is because there are underlying reproductive strategies hard wired into our psyche, when it comes to sex and mate selection there is far more than “sexual orientation” that is baked in the cake.

  66. Tony,

    “Do you think the same proportion of women that cheat are doing it for conquest and egotistical reasons?”

    What are the proportions of men and women who cheat for conquest and egotistical reasons?

    Do you believe that all men are “wired” to cheat on their wives? If so, why do some men choose to remain faithful? Do you think the faithful men may have a weaker sex drive than the cheaters? Are the philanderers the “real” men of the human species?

  67. @Elaine: So do I, but “an impact” is not determinative, it is just an influence. The underlying sexual desires and sexual judgments are biologically determined, and then influenced by the conscious mind, which may be able to suppress taking action on those desires, but cannot prevent them. As has been shown in the lab, for both males and females, most of the sexual response that occurs in the brain is involuntary.

    We are not born as blank slates. Particularly when it comes to sex, it is the one thing we have in common with nearly all animal life, and the most likely to have been hard wired into our pre-conscious ancestry.

    Of course society and mores and laws all influence us, it is what keeps men from killing each other in anger. But it is not the reason lingerie is really only worn by women to attract men, and not vice versa.

    I am sure Victoria’s Secret would love to sell some sort of male lingerie that turned on women, and men would love to buy it and wear it if it turned on their women: Even in faithful marriages men complain of too little sex far, far more than women do, so if dressing up meant more sex for the men, you can bet men would be lined up to the street.

    There is nothing in our American social mores that prevents that world from being; heck we sell penis growth pills and hard-on pills and all sorts of crap that promises to get men more sex. If some kind of garment actually worked, men would buy it openly and without a hint of shame, just as women buy lingerie.

    The reason we do not live in a world where men wear any kind of lingerie or garment that turns on women in the bedroom is because of a fundamental biological difference in the sexual turn-ons of men and women. It isn’t a cultural prohibition, it just really doesn’t work.

  68. Tony C.,

    Again I think you perspective throws in too much of the viewpoint outlined in “The Selfish Gene” by Dawkins:

    And too little of the effect Elaine put forth:

    “I believe that nature and nurture and society/social mores have an impact on our behavior.”

    All I know is I’ve always had a very healthy sex drive and yet it was in the context of a needing a satisfying intimate relationship. I’ve had my share of one-night stands prior to my marriage, but afterwards I always felt dissatisfied. This is stated not as some sort of attempt to seem feminist, which I am though, but sincerely. I’ve never understood, even remembering the sexual imperative of youth, why a male would let a perfect stranger handle their equipment so to speak.

    The sex drive can and should be over-ridden when you have little idea of the person you are sharing sex with. As far as the historical genetic context that you have couched your points in, I think it ignores the importance of the economic/social power structure that has been the human norm for centuries. Among the Great Apes, the Alpha gets his choice of females.. Although I have a dim view of how much we’ve evolved beyond that state, I think the invention of human society gives us choices that can easily override biological urges, if we so wish. If I’ve learned anything in my sexual life it is that prudence must temper desire. This is hardly a prudish attitude on my part, merely one informed by experience.

  69. @Elaine: Do you believe that all men are “wired” to cheat on their wives?

    I believe virtually all men are wired to be sexually attracted to healthy young women ready to have children. That is not being wired to CHEAT. Cheating is a behavior, not an impulse, and behavior can be controlled.

    If so, why do some men choose to remain faithful?

    I choose to be faithful because I believe that cheating would destroy my marriage, even if my wife never knew about it. I believe that breaking my vow to be faithful would harm my wife, and indirectly my daughter, and me. I do not cheat because it isn’t worth it, ever.

    As for philanderers, I presume they have a weaker will and are engaging in self-destructive behavior by surrendering to short-term pleasure that will lead to long term loss (like Jesse James cheating on Sandra Bullock), OR, they just think they have nothing to lose, they do not care if whatever relationship they are in survives or doesn’t, so the short-term gain is all they need. It does not make them “real men,” it makes them weak-willed and self-destructive or cowardly selfish men.

  70. Tony<

    "Even in faithful marriages men complain of too little sex far, far more than women do…"

    Maybe some of those men who complain about too little sex should look at themselves in the mirror…or help with the housework, grocery shopping, and cooking. Studies have shown that in families where both parents work women still do hours more of household chores every week. Maybe they're exhausted.

    I have no doubt that there are women who aren't sexually satisfied even in faithful marriages. Remember…we women reach our sexual peaks later in life than you men.

  71. @Elaine: Or maybe the women simply do not want sex as much or as often as their men, regardless of the housework they are doing; which is what the science actually indicates even when we control for externalities like household duties. Even in wealthy households where women have no such duties, women want sex less than men.

    But feel free to ignore science and reality when they fail to support your preconceived notions, that is the American Way.

  72. Tony C.,

    “But feel free to ignore science and reality when they fail to support your preconceived notions, that is the American Way.”

    Chill out, Tony! We’re having a discussion. I thought I brought up some points that were pertinent to the discussion at hand. I have no doubt that men and women are “wired” differently. That doesn’t mean we have all the answers as to why people behave the way they do.

    You keep talking about scientific studies. Why not provide information about how and when they were conducted and whose sexual appetites were studied.

  73. @Mike: I think the invention of human society gives us choices that can easily override biological urges

    I think the question is not whether we can override them, I think the question is whether they exist, and precisely what they are in males and females, and how they differ in males and females.

    Of course we can override them, by sheer willpower. Anthropologists have even shown that chimpanzees can override them: Sexually excited males will refrain from engaging in sex with a ready female in front of an alpha male, even to the point of leaving the scene, but if the alpha male is out of sight they will attempt to engage, sometimes successfully. The first part is self-restraint (for fear of being beaten, but self-restraint).

    I am arguing that the urges are pre-programmed and differ dramatically between males and females. With variation, and with programming error, but among typical heterosexual males and females there is a large difference in the sexual urges, and most of the difference makes sense in the light of their inevitably different reproductive roles.

    A man can father a child with a dozen calories and leave a woman to expend millions of calories to birth and raise the child. That’s it. That is huge dichotomy, and it is reflected in the evolution of our respective psyches and sexual behaviors.

    And not just ours, in the sexual behaviors of almost all animals. Birds have no social mores that dictate the males must put on a show to impress females. Their society does not dictate that females choose their mates. Their urges and the roles they assume are biological. So are ours.

    So sure, as individuals we can override them, or let our intellect rule, but typically in humans, just like the birds, it is the males that are selling and the females that are buying, at least in modern societies where the females have not been oppressed and enslaved.

  74. “…the males that are selling and the females that are buying, at least in modern societies where the females have not been oppressed and enslaved.”

    I’d say there are still plenty of cultures and countries where women are still oppressed and enslaved. There are even instances within our own country. So, is it only in modern societies where males typically do the selling? Are the other societies atypical of normal human behavior?

  75. @Elaine: No, in cultures that have oppressed or enslaved females, it is still males that must sell themselves, just not directly to the female: To the person that controls her fate, usually her father or some other male authority.

    In the vast majority of species, including ours, males must prove themselves worthy of being chosen by a female. The females do not have to prove anything, they either appeal to some males or they do not, and they do not increase their appeal by feats of daring, strength, stamina or courage.

    The societies where females are not free to choose are not atypical of normal human behavior; greed, control and oppression by force are all normal human behavior. They are atypical of normal human sexuality, in which, like most other species, the females choose their mates from among the males that choose to court them.

  76. I’m still trying to understand why Obama supporters object to those who support other Republican candidates. I listed this elsewhere but all of you, who support Obama or another Republican candidate other than Ron Paul agree on the following:

    1. a president may torture
    2. a president may kill American citizens on his/her own say so
    3. people may be indefinitely imprisoned without trial
    4. people may have all their communications monitored
    5. the US should be a global, military empire
    6. it is fine that 1/2 of our people are in poverty or near the poverty level
    7. the banking industry may continue to commit criminal acts with impunity, right now the total stolen lies at at least 23 trillion-this is acceptable
    8. the rule of law and the Constitution do not matter
    9. the abuse of protesters is acceptable

    I say the majority of people agree that the above items are acceptable because the majority of people will vote for candidates who hold these positions. If they did not on some level countenance these positions, they could not vote for candidates who are currently or will in the future implement these policies.

    I also listed the consequences of this shared belief system.

    Because the political/corporate/military class understands that they have the backing of the majority of our population, they will continue these policies. There will be no arrests, only an increasing amount of police state powers brought against anyone who dissents. In the meantime, the majority of the population will consent to police state powers used against dissenters and they themselves will make certain, in their own way, to silence the dissenters, including the dissent inside their own conscience (at least those who have one).

    It is hypocritical to object to these policies when adopted by a self identified Republican but be willing to vote for a man who holds every one of these same positions because he self identifies as a Democrat. These positions should not be supported. Because you as Obama supporters will vote for, donate to and speak on behalf of a person who carries them out, you have absolutely no moral standing to criticize someone who believes the other candidates are good choices. You are instrumental in shaping this society into a police state. You are instrumental in allowing harm to come to others.

  77. @Jill: I’m still trying to understand why Obama supporters object to those who support other Republican candidates.

    It is just tribalism, Jill. Obama supporters believe Obama. Bachmann supporters believe Bachmann. Paul supporters believe Paul. Evidence doesn’t sway them, they aren’t interested in following logic or making conclusions, and they all believe the other side would be worse than their side, because their side is telling them what they want to hear and the other side is spoutin’ crazy talk.

    Certainly electing Ron Paul would also make one instrumental in allowing harm to come to others, Ron Paul wants to abolish government agencies that have saved others from harm, and benefited others. Ron Paul is opposed to regulating business, when virtually all the regulations on the books are there to protect citizens from the reckless disregard of business that harms others, with pollution, endangerment, unsafe products, fraudulent claims and more. Those regulations are in place because the free market failed to alleviate those harms. A corporatist Congress will be happy to undo those regulations and reinstitute those harms, and Paul’s philosophy is amenable to signing those bills.

    Electing Paul will harm others, electing Romney or Gingrich will harm others, reelecting Obama will harm others. The issue is judging the combination of short-term harm and long-term harm.

  78. Comparing the Republican/Tparty principles, reality, or candidates to Obama and the Democrats is like comparing the dark ages to the 20th century – sure there is plenty wrong with the 20th century but that doesn’t mean I want to go back to the dark ages, where, incidently, you as a woman would have no rights and be considered property.


    – Saved the country from Republican caused full blown depression. – Healthcare for 30 million people. – Rained in Insurance Companies – Financial Regulation of Banking Industry. – Killed Bin Laden. – Courage to go after them in Pakistan. (Republicans did not) – Got rid of Gadhafi in 6 months, 2 billion dollar cost, no American Lives. (Compare to Republicans 10 years in Iraq, trillion dollars, & thousands Americans lost) – Beat Republicans holding country hostage over debt crisis. – Ending Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy . – 3 Trillion in deficit Reduction (Super committee, Bringing Troops Home, End of Bush Tax Cuts for Wealthy) – Brought troops home from Iraq. – Stabilized situation in Afghan (Republicans had abandoned) – Ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (a vestige of Republican Bigotry) – Payroll Tax cut for middle class. – Extended unemployment benefits. – Got China to reduce currency manipulation. – Strengthened America’s Military Position in Asia to confront China. – Financial support to states and local governments for police & teachers. – Slowed illegal immigration and deported more criminal illegal immigrants then Bush/Republicans. – Protected Social Security and Medicare from Republicans. – Set back Iran’s nuclear program with software virus. – Opening up Miramar. – Fixing Republican Donut Hole Drug Plan. – Saving 100 Billion Dollars on healthcare plan. – Protecting Patients from coverage denial. – More health and job help for Veterans.- Saved American Automobile Industry that Republicans wanted to abandon.- Helped get $20 billion Aircraft Sale for Boeing. And more!

    WHAT REPUBLICAN’S HAVE ACCOMPLISHED: – Caused the worst economic crisis since Great Depression. – Lied our way into a trillion dollar war in Iraq (that has killed or wounded nearly 50,000 Americans) – Unfunded war in Iraq.
    – Unfunded Tax Cut for Millionaires. – Virtually abandoned Afghanistan. – Did not get Bin Laden. – Caused housing crisis. – Turned a 3 trillion dollar surplus into a 5 trillion dollar Deficit – Caused Banking Crisis – Made the whole world angry at us. – Sent millions of Jobs to China – Killed millions of Jobs in America – 911 – Held the nation hostage over the debt – No healthcare. – Increased the wealth gaps between rich and middle class. – Assault on personal liberties. – Ignored China’s growing power. – Did almost nothing to stop Iran nuclear efforts – Unfunded drug plan with donut hole – Gave Tax cuts to the wealthy even as we went to war. – Republican Appointed Supreme Court gave Corporations more rights then citizens. – Republican Appointed Supreme Court blocked campaign finance reform.

    WHAT TO EXPECT IF REPUBLICANS WIN THE ELECTION: (Based on past actions and statements by candidates)
    – More Tax Cuts for wealthy and big corporations;- Cuts to Social Security and Medicare and probable effort to eliminate;- Appointment of 2 new Supreme Court Justices like Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, Alito;- Overturning a Woman’s Right To choose;- Deregulation of Financial Industry;- Elimination of regulation that protects the environment, consumers, minorities, workers.- Elimination of worker’s rights to organize;- Ending healthcare for 30 million people; – Elimination of regulation of the Insurance industry;- Elimination of right to sue medical providers for mistakes;- Elimination of protection against insurance company denial of medical coverage;- Unfunded war against Iran;- Elimination of Child labor Laws;- Religious Takeover of government;- Higher taxes on middleclass and poor;- Cut in aid to Students and education;- Elimination of Department of Education;- Giving States the Right to discriminate;- Economic Trade War;- Destruction of National Parks;- Loss of Millions of Government worker Jobs thereby undermining effective government;- Attacks on Gay Rights and other minorities.- Increase in military spending on wasteful programs;- Keeping Troops in Iraq even though they don’t want us.

  79. Tony C.,

    I agree with you about Ron Paul. While I think he is right on a number of issues, I disagree with his position on many others–including the following:

    Ron Paul
    – Doesn’t accept the theory of evolution.
    – Doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose.
    – Thinks Social Security should be abolished.
    – Claims Medicare and Medicaid are unconstitutional.
    – Published racist/anti-gay newsletters.

  80. 1zb1,
    Great list!
    I agree with your assessment of Ron Paul. He is also pro-unregulated business because the market will solve all problems and weed out those corporations that pollute.

  81. Ron Paul
    – Doesn’t accept the theory of evolution.
    Neither do most Americans. According to Gallup, only 39% of Americans answer “yes” to the question “Do you believe in evolution?” Only 13% believe in evolution without any aid or guidance from God.

    – Doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose.
    To be clear, he has said he believes Roe v. Wade was decided wrongly and abortion law should have been left to the states, and he has said he will enforce the law of the land even if he doesn’t agree with it, and he has said his belief is that human life starts at conception.

    – Thinks Social Security should be abolished (and)
    – Claims Medicare and Medicaid are unconstitutional.
    Anybody that thinks the President has the power to unilaterally abolish the most popular government programs in American history is delusional. Ron Paul can be overridden by Congress, and on these programs also, Ron Paul has said he will follow the law until it is overturned by new law, if that ever happens, and THAT is virtually impossible.

    – Published racist/anti-gay newsletters.
    Paul voted twice, in both key decisions where he had a vote, to repeal DADT and allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military, and it isn’t like Ron Paul is a stranger to voting his mind all alone. That seems like evidence he didn’t really believe what was written in those newsletters.

  82. Jill,

    As Spiro Agnew once opined you act at times like a battering nabob of negativity. Your last comment managed to be both insulting and patronizing. I have made clear why I will vote for Obama many times and it is not because he’s a Democrat. You and Tony talk a great game of political purity, but offer no one who will make it any better for the 99%, who has a chance of winning. You will of course do as you please, but I for one am not into phyrric victory’s of pious political dogmatism. I have too much empathy for those who will behurt by any current Republican campaigning.

  83. Tony C.
    The President has the ability to veto legislation from Congress to abolish or emasculate Social Security and/or Medicare so it is important what Ron Paul says about those two issue. If Ron Paul didn’t believe in those newsletters, why did he defend them in the 90’s?

  84. “Do you think the same proportion of women that cheat are doing it for conquest and egotistical reasons?” (Tony C … I think, but maybe Elaine … I’m playing catch up)

    I don’t know about the proportion part but “conquest and egotistical reasons” play a huge role in female cheating on spouses or significant others. Alpha females will go to war with each other over a new male at the drop of a hat. It has little to do with the male, himself, as alpha females are able to pick from a large male pool and can dismiss loyalty to the significant other with ease … it has everything to do with ego and conquest. I have found that this is a common, female, behavior most males prefer to ignore … even deny.

  85. Ron Paul is simply not an alternative I can go with … I’ve tried to talk myself into it but there’s just too much I’d have to ignore … but then, I’ve got the same problem with Obama.

    This is going to be a very difficult decision come November no matter who the Republicans choose.

  86. Blouise, Your state is one of the swing states. Mine goes republican no matter what. Looks like Romney will prevail at this point and further entrench the top 1 percent.

  87. I will vote for Obama because of the courts. Romney will constantly be trying to court the right wing of the republican party in my opinion.

  88. SwM,

    I can say “told you so” and you won’t be offended?

    Romney will lose but the turnout for Obama will be greatly reduced from 2008. The really interesting races will be for the Senate and the House so find a few candidates you support outside your state … like Brown in Ohio and Warren in Massachusetts and contribute money ’cause they’re going to need every cent in fighting off the Koch/Rove machines.

  89. @rafflaw: Personally I think he tried to find ways to defend them because at the time he was afraid admitting he carelessly sold his name and signature for money, or knowingly use race baiting and exploitation of conspiracy theorists to sell newsletters he didn’t believe in himself, would ruin any chances he had for election or campaign funding at the time.

    I am not arguing Ron Paul was truthful about the letters; he either lied defending them, or he lied when he repudiated them!

    I believe he lied defending them, because actions speak louder than words in my book: he voted to repeal DADT when he did not have to do so and 175 other House members were voting against it, almost all of them Republicans. Paul had plenty of cover and company, and he voted against his party line anyway. Even if he is homophobic, apparently his libertarianism is stronger than his homophobia.

  90. No easy answers… We’ll have to see where we are when the elections roll around. There’s still a lot of time…

  91. Tony,

    Most Americans aren’t running for president. One would hope that a candidate for the presidency of the USA would be more enlightened than the anti-science folks among us.

    Does Ron Paul believe a woman has a right to choose? Yes or no?


    You wrote:
    “Anybody that thinks the President has the power to unilaterally abolish the most popular government programs in American history is delusional.”

    Did I say the president has the right to unilaterally abolish government programs when I said that I disagreed with his position on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid?

    P.S. I’m not delusional.


    You wrote:
    “Paul voted twice, in both key decisions where he had a vote, to repeal DADT and allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military, and it isn’t like Ron Paul is a stranger to voting his mind all alone. That seems like evidence he didn’t really believe what was written in those newsletters.”

    You think that makes it okay and absolves him from any responsibility for the newsletters and what was written in them? It doesn’t matter to me whether he wrote those newsletters or not. They were published under his name–that lent his imprimatur to what was written in those publications.

  92. @rafflaw: he President has the ability to veto legislation from Congress to abolish or emasculate Social Security and/or Medicare

    If we have to worry about Congress doing that, we have to worry about Congress overriding the veto. If the citizens of this country are too lazy to prevent their Congressmen from eviscerating SS/MC then it will be eviscerated, that is how we run the country. If we cannot count on our own Democrat Senators to pull out every stop, filibuster, hold and Senate rule to prevent such a bill from getting to the President’s desk, we might as well admit defeat now, because that would mean the corporations are bound and determined to get it passed and Obama has proven himself to be just another corporate pawn that does what he is told, he is not a principled man in the least measure.

  93. @Elaine: It doesn’t absolve him, but I would rather vote for a man that lied about a newsletter than vote for the man that has claimed (and exercised) the right to unilaterally assassinate American citizens without charges, trial, or even judicial review. Not to mention Obama lied about the Patriot Act, closing Guantanamo, his claim that “I will not sign a bill without a public option,” the “complete transparency” of his White House meetings, his rejection of Executive Orders, and his promise to not hire any lobbyists for his staff. Not to mention his embracing of the horrific punishment of leaks, his claim of a presidential right to imprison US citizens indefinitely without charges, trial, or representation, his claim of the right to record and search at will ALL of our emails, postings, and phone calls.

    On the one hand I have Ron Paul, who lied about an embarrassing newsletter. On the other hand I have Obama, who has lied endlessly to get elected about important national policy and is responsible for thousands of deaths and the destruction of our Constitutional rights, to the point that the Constitution is becoming increasingly irrelevant.


  94. “Under Obama, an emerging global apparatus for drone killing”

    By Greg Miller, Published: December 27

    “The Obama administration’s counterterrorism accomplishments are most apparent in what it has been able to dismantle, including CIA prisons and entire tiers of al-Qaeda’s leadership. But what the administration has assembled, hidden from public view, may be equally consequential.”

    It’s what’s “hidden” that will ultimately be our undoing… and, in the end, it’s those we leave behind who will suffer the consequences of our actions (or inaction…)…

  95. Tony C.,

    I was unaware we were having an “either/or” discussion about who to vote for. I’ve mentioned nothing about President Obama. I was only expressing my opinion about Ron Paul.


    “On the one hand I have Ron Paul, who lied about an embarrassing newsletter. On the other hand I have Obama, who has lied endlessly to get elected about important national policy and is responsible for thousands of deaths and the destruction of our Constitutional rights, to the point that the Constitution is becoming increasingly irrelevant.”

    I doubt Ron Paul disagreed with the the content of those racist newsletters. That gives me pause for thought.

  96. @Elaine: Fair enough. Nevertheless, I think in the context of choices we may have, Ron Paul’s potential racism, pro-life stance and unexercised homophobia are very small potatoes compared to the civil-liberty and economic shitstorm any other candidate will unleash upon us.

  97. SM: you are so absolutely 100% correct. If for no other reason (and there are lots of really great reasons to vote for Obama) vote for him (and Democratic Senators) because of the Supreme Court. To paraphrase: “Its the Supreme Court, stupid!”

    For those who need a reminder why: Bush v. Gore, and Citizens United.

  98. Why worry about the SC when the judicial system has been made irrelevant? That doesn’t make sense.

    What does make sense is for the people of this nation to start caring about the welfare of others and the earth. That would preclude voting for Obama or any of the other major Republican candidates. It would mean being courageous enough to stand up for others and not sell them out for the blue or the red team. It would mean an absolute refusal to let others be unjustly imprisoned or killed or starved in one’s name.

    It means joining as citizens to oppose injustice, not voting for injustice because it’s your “team”.

    Since when did a “liberal” vote for a person who imprisons others without trial? That alone is so heinous, so cruel that I would be ashamed to say I even considered voting for a person who would do such a thing. If you are willing to vote for someone who claims he may imprison others without trial then I would say you need to do some serious thinking about what kind of person you are. If that’s who you are, then vote that way but please don’t criticize Rick Perry voters for being evil and stupid. They aren’t any worse than you.

  99. Erick Erickson of “Red State” is a Perry supporter. I would not call him dumb. I don’t know that he is evil either.

  100. A bit of good news that others, too, may have missed in the holiday shuffle:

    Senate Approves Intelligence Bill, But Extension Of Secret Law Allowing Spying On Americans Cut Back

    by Mike Masnick

    Tue, Dec 20th 201

    Senate Approves Intelligence Bill, But Extension Of Secret Law Allowing Spying On Americans Cut Back


    While there’s been plenty of (quite important) focus on the National Defense Authorization Act and its ability to detain Americans indefinitely, the Senate also recently passed the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2012, which (as the name implies) authorizes various intelligence activities. One important thing was missing from this bill: a multi-year extension of the FISA Amendments Act.

    As you may recall, earlier this year, the Senate tried to rush through a multi-year renewal of the FISA Amendments Act. The FAA, originally approved in 2008, retroactively made warrantless wiretapping efforts by the US government legal. The supposed intention of the bill was to make it easier to tap foreigners outside the US. However, it appears that the government has interpreted parts of it in ways that go beyond what people might expect, leading to significant surveillance of Americans inside the country. Senator Ron Wyden had sought information on just how many Americans had their communications intercepted under this law and was told it was “not reasonably possible” to answer that question. In response, he put a hold on the bill, and the Senate chose not to fight him on it, choosing not to put such a multi-year extension into the bill — meaning that the issue will have to be voted on again in 2012. According to Wyden:

    “I’m pleased that the final version of the 2012 Intelligence Authorization Act does not include the multi-year extension of the FISA Amendments Act that was included in the Senate version of the bill. I opposed the Senate version of the bill, and I announced a public hold on it, because I believe Congress has an obligation to get more information about the effects of this law before extending it for several more years.
    The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 was intended to give the government new authorities to conduct surveillance of foreigners outside the United States, but right now nobody in government knows how many people inside the United States have had their communications collected and reviewed as a result of this law. Congress will inevitably need to debate the reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act at some point during 2012, and when this debate occurs I plan to continue to press for more information about the impact that this law has had on the privacy of law-abiding American citizens.”

    Unfortunately, if the past few years have been any indication of how this all works, there will be no significant debate until the deadline is close, and then Senators will demand that everyone quickly reauthorize things or we’re all going to die (or some equally horrible scenario).

    It’s the “give us all sorts of extra powers immediately with no real oversight or we’re all going to die” form of government that has been so in vogue lately.

  101. Jill,

    Sure, let’s not vote it’s meaningless anyway. There’s noun difference between any of them. Put in your terms why bother even discussing it. We’re screwed so let’s keep bitching about it, until they lock us up and throw away the key. How does a message of hopelessness change anything? How does one begin organizing around such a message?

    Tony C.,

    Ron Paul is Stephen Grossman without the integrity.

  102. @Mike: I donated several hundred dollars to Obama’s campaign, and voted for him in the primary and in the general. As it turns out, Obama is a lying war criminal getting kids killed for nothing. He is destroying the Constitution and advancing the corpocracy at every turn. The fact that he still has you in thrall astounds me.

    Ron Paul is not Grossman, at least Ron Paul makes a coherent argument from the Constitution and understands the mechanisms of law and at every turn reaffirms he will obey the law as it is written until Congress overturns it, and at every turn reaffirms his belief that the President has limited power, and that both Bush and now Obama have acted unconstitutionally.

    Arguments for Obama are simply ludicrous given the number of times he has stabbed us in the back, done the direct opposite of his campaign promises, and actively circumvented the rule of law. He is a liar, not just once, but on dozens of points, and important points that have cost us money, lives, and justice for wrongdoers. He has actively violated every civil right that makes us American. Believing he will do anything he claims is delusional, especially if it is progressive or favors citizens over corporations.

    Is Ron Paul a racist homophobic? If he is, I see absolutely nothing in his legislative career that reflects that, and some that refutes it, so he would be a racist homophobic that has enough self-control to still act only on libertarian principle. Is he pro-life? Yes, but why would anybody think they can trust Obama to veto anything on any topic?

    At this point, on the edge of the cliff, that is good enough for me. I’ll take it, just on the chance that he will follow the rules: obey the law and Constitution, and perhaps find a way to use the Presidency to again limit the power of the Presidency, and the military, and extract us from the endless wars and the war on drugs, and bring the criminals to justice.

    I do not want to elect Ron Paul for life, I just want a chance, any chance, to reverse the trend to monarchical police state I see already underway.

    That is a chance that does not exist with Obama, Romney, Newt, or any other candidate still on the national stage.

  103. Sanctimonious Crappola. Yeah right, a choice between a bigot living in loony land and the Guy who had to clean up the mess left by the last group of loonys from the Republican Party, and you pick the bigot from loony land…

  104. @1zb1: Obama did not clean up the mess, he expanded and reinforced the mess, he created more mess. Clearly you are ill-informed. Bigotry is the least of our problems when the President has ordered the murder of an American citizen without any proof of wrong-doing whatsoever, without charges, trial, or any sort of due process, in direct violation of the Constitutional rights of a citizen born on American soil. That murder was carried out, and Obama claims ordering such murders at his sole discretion is a Presidential power. Now he claims the right to also imprison American citizens on American soil indefinitely, without trial, simply by him declaring them “enemy combatants.” Both of these claims are in direct violation of the Constitution.

    Neither of those things were done by or claimed as powers by the Republicans, and if you believe Obama has done this as part of cleaning up a Republican mess, you are delusional.

  105. Read the history of writ of habeas corpus. Here’s the short version Lincoln, Confederates, Post Civil War, FDR, Clinton, Bush all suspended it to one degree or another because of significant threats. Of course in your simplistic view of reality (or non reality, I should say) after 911 there was no reason to start searching people before they got on a plane because that would be an “unreasonable search and seizure”.

    And, of course “Bigotry”, a violation of the 14th amendment is okay but habeas corpus is not in time of national emergency. Oh, I forgot, after 911 we didn’t really have an emergency because Bush told us all to go out and shop, and while we are at lets give a tax cut to the richest people as we send our troops off to an unfunded war based on a lie.

    Of course, in your view, the police have a right to shoot a person who looks at them the wrong way, but the president does not have the right to do it with a guy who is hiding out from arrest in a foreign country.

    Must be nice to live in your world where reality doesn’t exist so you go right ahead and vote for Ron Paul. And btw, I don’t believe for a minute you ever voted for Obama, so what does that make you?

    Just wondering what you would say if Obama did everything exactly your way and somebody blew up a plane as a result? I seem to recall Republicans blamed Clinton for 911 because he didn’t kill bin Laden which just demonstrates another common trait among the Republican/Tparty called hypocrisy.

  106. @1zb1: Of course, in your view, the police have a right to shoot a person who looks at them the wrong way,

    Obviously you are not talking about me, I believe the police have overstepped their bounds and joined the authoritarian police state, so has the military, so has the congress, so has the president.

    And NO, the president does not have the right to shoot anybody on his own declaration, hiding out or not. What he can do is bring charges, have a trial, and get a conviction and permission from the court to use deadly force to apprehend a criminal. Period.

    How do you know the guy hiding was guilty of anything? Because Obama told you so? Because other government officials told you so? Did they prove it? Did they have evidence? Did anybody see it? Did they charge him with a crime? Did a judge or jury assent to his punishment? NO.

    You are too stupid to discuss anything, just another frightened child that believes whatever authority tells him to believe, no matter how inconsistent, implausible, or baseless the lie.

  107. Ah, the great words of the brilliant – others are too stupid…. got to go but to be continued… meanwhile lets hear your response to when they blow up the plane your family is on. Oh, and you seemed to have missed the part about the 14th amendment…. sounds to me like you have a terminal case of selective ranting. but don’t worry, its a common trait among the simple minded, ron paul followers, and the rest of the republican/tparty.

    Still want to claim you voted for Obama.

  108. @1zb1: Funny, because the first part of the 14th says no person shall be deprived of LIFE, liberty or property without DUE PROCESS OF LAW.

    And the 14th Amendment does not prohibit bigotry or racism at all, you fool, it prohibits the government from enacting laws based on bigotry or racism, or in general discrimination. There is a difference, your bigotry and prejudice are entirely legal, even if they are reprehensible.

    As for you being too stupid, that is a valid inference from somebody that thinks it is fine for the President to unilaterally declare somebody a danger and have them killed without any proof whatsoever. Even the government admits they had no evidence with which to charge Awlaki with a crime. If you cannot see the Unconstitutionality of THAT act, then you are too stupid or blind to contribute anything worth considering.

    As for blowing up planes: The great sentiment of the chickenshits that believe anything they are told by an authority, they will give up everything to be told they are safe and daddy is protecting them, whether the danger was real or not, whether the safety is real or not.

  109. Tony: Apparently you have a reading AND comprehension disorder:

    “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”


    I’m guessing from your comments that you also beleive 911 was a government conspiricy.

    You are absolutely right, in America we get to think as bigots, speak as bigots, and be ignorant, we just don’t get to act against others based on it. But just because we have the right to be a bigot and ignorant like doesn’t mean we have to exercise that right all the time the way you do (and your savior Ron Paul).

    Like, i said you have a terminal case of selective rants. You are also a liar when you say you voted for Obama. You are a shill so at least have the courage to admit it and stand up for your hate like a man.

    “Then there was the Bill of Rights: the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee that a “person” cannot be seized by the government unreasonably, and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that the government may not deprive a person of life “without due process of law.”

    The memo concluded that what was reasonable, and the process that was due, was different for Mr. Awlaki than for an ordinary criminal. It cited court cases allowing American citizens who had joined an enemy’s forces to be detained or prosecuted in a military court just like noncitizen enemies.

    It also cited several other Supreme Court precedents, like a 2007 case involving a high-speed chase and a 1985 case involving the shooting of a fleeing suspect, finding that it was constitutional for the police to take actions that put a suspect in serious risk of death in order to curtail an imminent risk to innocent people.

    The document’s authors argued that “imminent” risks could include those by an enemy leader who is in the business of attacking the United States whenever possible, even if he is not in the midst of launching an attack at the precise moment he is located.

    There remained, however, the question of whether — when the target is known to be a citizen — it was permissible to kill him if capturing him instead were a feasible way of suppressing the threat.

    Killed in the strike alongside Mr. Awlaki was another American citizen, Samir Khan, who had produced a magazine for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula promoting terrorism. He was apparently not on the targeting list, making his death collateral damage. His family has issued a statement citing the Fifth Amendment and asking whether it was necessary for the government to have “assassinated two of its citizens.”

    “Was this style of execution the only solution?” the Khan family asked in its statement. “Why couldn’t there have been a capture and trial?”

    Last month, President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, delivered a speech in which he strongly denied the accusation that the administration had sometimes chosen to kill militants when capturing them was possible, saying the policy preference is to interrogate them for intelligence.

    The memorandum is said to declare that in the case of a citizen, it is legally required to capture the militant if feasible — raising a question: was capturing Mr. Awlaki in fact feasible?

    It is possible that officials decided last month that it was not feasible to attempt to capture him because of factors like the risk it could pose to American commandos and the diplomatic problems that could arise from putting ground forces on Yemeni soil. Still, the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan demonstrates that officials have deemed such operations feasible at times.

    Last year, Yemeni commandos surrounded a village in which Mr. Awlaki was believed to be hiding, but he managed to slip away.

    The administration had already expressed in public some of the arguments about issues of international law addressed by the memo, in a speech delivered in March 2010 by Harold Hongju Koh, the top State Department lawyer.

    The memorandum examined whether it was relevant that Mr. Awlaki was in Yemen, far from Afghanistan. It concluded that Mr. Awlaki’s geographical distance from the so-called hot battlefield did not preclude him from the armed conflict; given his presumed circumstances, the United States still had a right to use force to defend itself against him.

  110. @1zb1: Those excuses prove too much, they essentially justify killing anybody that does not voluntarily surrender. They still do not prove Awlaki committed any crime, and Awlaki was not “fleeing a police officer.” As I said, the government has admitted it had no evidence Awlaki committed any crime, including the emails they were in possession of regarding the Fort Hood attack. They have no evidence that Awlaki did anything except act as a religious advisor and condemn the USA and call for the violent overthrow of the US Government, all of which have been held by The Supreme Court to be within our Constitutional Rights and Freedom of Speech. To be proven a traitor, he must be found on a battlefield, or must have been shown to participate in violent action against the USA, neither of which were done, not even to any of the many judges we have with top clearances to hear such evidence.

    Make all the excuses you want, you are too blind and stupid to make a coherent point.

  111. Now I know you are with the Republican/Tparty. You are still living in an age before telephones, telegraphs, nukes, and the internet. In your 17th century world its “don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes”. Unfortunately for you the world we live in is such that I can wipe out a countries’ entire economy and defenses without every having to fire a single shot.

    Ever hear of “conspiracy to commit…” You don’t have to actually pull the trigger to be guilty of killing someone.

    However, the point of all this is not to say we don’t need to be very careful when we are at acting at the boundaries of our civil rights (or in the case of Ron Paul, inciting acts as a result of our words and actions). It is especially important that when it comes to those who seem the most guilty, or speak the language we find most offensive, that we go the extra mile to protect their rights as the best means to protect all our rights.

    Yet, rights are rarely open ended. Your free speech rights don’t give you the right to shout fire in a crowded theatre.

    The real point is that this Awalaki was not an easy case, but a lot of thought clearly went into how to deal with it. On the one hand was a guy, by his own public recorded statements was at the very least shouting fire in a crowded theatre, and on the other side was the potential risk to the people in the theatre – us. Where do you draw the line?

    Apparently, you think that is an easy call. No doubt you would have been happy to cut the baby in half. You have taken a unique and specialized situation – well established by law and moral principle – that was carefully analyzed, and now you are hyperventilating over it while on the other hand blithely saying inciting bigotry is quite alright.

    I think it is time for you to do a little reality check and realize the world is not quite so simple unless of course when it comes to the Republican/tparty telling people what they should do in the privacy of their own home, or inside your own body, or who you marry.

    Time to wake up and smell the reality

  112. @1zb1: Your free speech rights have been explicitly found to include calling for the violent overthrow of the American Government.

    You do not have the right to shout “Fire” in a theatre when there is no fire, in that case the shout is a lie told with the intent of tricking people into a stampede, which would endanger those people for the shouter’s private entertainment.

    Calling for the violent overthrow of the American Government because you disagree with its policies is not a lie, it is a belief.

    Awlaki was not shouting fire, because he was not lying with the intent of tricking people. He was stating his belief that the US Government’s slaughter of innocent Muslims was the result of a corrupt government beholden to Israel and corporate oil interests. I do not agree with Awlaki, but I do not believe there is any evidence he was lying about his beliefs or saying what he said to trick people for his own ends.

    I do not care how “carefully analyzed” you believe the decision was, in the end you simply have blind trust in authoritarian rule, and I do not. Do you have access to the evidence that was “carefully analyzed?” Of course not, the government itself has said there isn’t any.

    I think it is time for you to face the fact that if the government says it, you believe it, and the rest of us can only conclude you are impervious to logic and a simple-minded monarchist.

  113. Anon Nurse,

    Thanks for taking the time to write a snippet in the articles you post. I know you must be busy…. But you take the time to show you care…:)

  114. AY, Now I do believe that I’m sensin’ a little sarcasm… Are you sayin’ that I’m the “cut and paste princess” of NY, perhaps? Of course you must know that I care… haven’t I shown it over and over and over again on the Turley blog…??? 😉

  115. AN,

    Never once in my life have I ever been sarcastic….. I DO appreciate that you take the time and post. Cutting and pasting…. Can be time consuming too… Especially if in footnotes….you are always appreciated…

  116. TONY, time to grow up and join reality. First, you are are wrong as a matter of law. Speech is generally protected but not under every circumstance see 18 USC Sec. 2101.

    The problem, I can assure is not my lack of a healthy distrust of government, but your complete lack of all trust in government, not to mention that your complete lack of trust has magically materialized with the election of Obama. (not to mention that little lie of yours about voting for Obama). And as always your rather selective notion of rights and pluck false and half truths out of the air like the disconnect dribble you spout.

    Face the facts. Admit it. your god Regan said “Government is the problem”. But even that isn’t good enough for you. You’re actually an anarchist. Have it your way and there is no government, no rules, no civilization.

    You are also wrong on the facts: Awalki was indeed shouting fire in the theatre. Read any and every public account of his statements and actions.

    But lets look at it this way:

    Suppose I Awalki was a computer wiz and traveled to a distant land where he can not be easily arrested, and from there he tells his followers to destroy the city you and your whole family live in and he gives them the instructions over the internet how they can do it.

    And there you are sitting in the White House, president of the US knowing if you don’t take this guy out a lot of people are going to die including your entire family.

    You going to make the call?

    Oh I forgot, according to you we can’t do anything until you find him and arrest him.

    Yeah right. sure, that’s exactly what you would do.

    FAce the facts: you are a liar, a hypocrit, a simpleton, and really when you come down to it a coward because you can rant but in the end thats about all you got and it ain’t much.

    18 USC Sec. 2101

    (a) Whoever travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses any
    facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including, but not
    limited to, the mail, telegraph, telephone, radio, or television,
    with intent –
    (1) to incite a riot; or
    (2) to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry
    on a riot; or
    (3) to commit any act of violence in furtherance of a riot; or
    (4) to aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in
    or carrying on a riot or committing any act of violence in
    furtherance of a riot;
    and who either during the course of any such travel or use or
    thereafter performs or attempts to perform any other overt act for
    any purpose specified in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of this
    paragraph – (!1)
    Shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five
    years, or both.
    (b) In any prosecution under this section, proof that a defendant
    engaged or attempted to engage in one or more of the overt acts
    described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of paragraph (1) of
    subsection (a) (!2) and (1) has traveled in interstate or foreign
    commerce, or (2) has use of or used any facility of interstate or
    foreign commerce, including but not limited to, mail, telegraph,
    telephone, radio, or television, to communicate with or broadcast
    to any person or group of persons prior to such overt acts, such
    travel or use shall be admissible proof to establish that such
    defendant traveled in or used such facility of interstate or
    foreign commerce.
    (c) A judgment of conviction or acquittal on the merits under the
    laws of any State shall be a bar to any prosecution hereunder for
    the same act or acts.
    (d) Whenever, in the opinion of the Attorney General or of the
    appropriate officer of the Department of Justice charged by law or
    under the instructions of the Attorney General with authority to
    act, any person shall have violated this chapter, the Department
    shall proceed as speedily as possible with a prosecution of such
    person hereunder and with any appeal which may lie from any
    decision adverse to the Government resulting from such prosecution.
    (e) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to make
    it unlawful for any person to travel in, or use any facility of,
    interstate or foreign commerce for the purpose of pursuing the
    legitimate objectives of organized labor, through orderly and
    lawful means.
    (f) Nothing in this section shall be construed as indicating an
    intent on the part of Congress to prevent any State, any possession
    or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia,
    from exercising jurisdiction over any offense over which it would
    have jurisdiction in the absence of this section; nor shall
    anything in this section be construed as depriving State and local
    law enforcement authorities of responsibility for prosecuting acts
    that may be violations of this section and that are violations of
    State and local law.

    (a) As used in this chapter, the term “riot” means a public
    disturbance involving (1) an act or acts of violence by one or more
    persons part of an assemblage of three or more persons, which act
    or acts shall constitute a clear and present danger of, or shall
    result in, damage or injury to the property of any other person or
    to the person of any other individual or (2) a threat or threats of
    the commission of an act or acts of violence by one or more persons
    part of an assemblage of three or more persons having, individually
    or collectively, the ability of immediate execution of such threat
    or threats, where the performance of the threatened act or acts of
    violence would constitute a clear and present danger of, or would
    result in, damage or injury to the property of any other person or
    to the person of any other individual.
    (b) As used in this chapter, the term “to incite a riot”, or “to
    organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot”,
    includes, but is not limited to, urging or instigating other
    persons to riot, but shall not be deemed to mean the mere oral or
    written (1) advocacy of ideas or (2) expression of belief, not
    involving advocacy of any act or acts of violence or assertion of
    the rightness of, or the right to commit, any such act or acts.

  117. @1zb1: You do not know what you are talking about. Talk about lying, you attribute beliefs to me I have never expressed, and I’ve been commenting on this blog for years. Literally. I am a progressive liberal that voted for Obama, twice. I won’t do it again.

    So rant and lie, dumbshit, I am not reading it, and you do not know your Constitutional rights, and like all of your tribalist kind of either party, you blindly accept whatever you are told by your sociopathic leaders.

  118. Tony: “A progressive liberal” and you are voting for Ron Paul…. what drugs are you doing in Chicago?

    (do I detect a bit of anger? having trouble forming intelligable thoughts?)

  119. I’m well aware Of Obama’s dismal record on civil liberties and I’ve criticized it many times. It is, however little expansion from the Bush debacle. In truth even Bush’s policies were old hat stuff fromthe earliest of the cold war. Mosadegh in Iran, Lumumba in the Congo, Diem in Viet Nam and so on were ordered killed by US Presidents. It is wrong, evil and. counter productive,but remained fairly open policy, with no one arrested. The Church Committee in the latter 70’s detailed it to no avail. Those who see Obama as any worse are kidding themselves. I hate the methods and decry them. We should never stop fighting against them. However, while not losing our sense of outrage, we can’t pretend innocence and proclaim our being “shocked” that this has been normal American policy among the national security establishment.

    That being the case the greatest argument to elect Obama and a Democratic Congress is that if we don’t we will lose our modest social safety net, our religious freedom and our current limited ability for free speech. People will die from lack of health care, starvation and economic despair. All Republicans have promised this in their beliefs and statements. Ron Paul, especially so. His purported civil liberties cachet is belied by his position on abortion. That you trust him Tony to do the right thing on civil liberties, is a badly placed trust. His lack of ethical compass is illustrated by his lucrative newsletter, because whether he agreed with its bigotry, or not, he used it as a cash cow. He is the worst kind of phoney : A fanatic who can rationalize his dichotomies through denial.

  120. Speaking of Paul’s lack of ethical compass, in this clip he is asked to explain why he assisted with childbirth for an interracial couple at a Texas hospital:

  121. @Mike: His purported civil liberties cachet is belied by his position on abortion.

    No it isn’t. Civil liberties does not mean carte blanche to do whatever you want, even to Ron Paul. Civil libertarians are just as opposed to murder as you and I. Although I am a pro-choice atheist and I personally do not think abortion is murder (except in the case of very late abortion of a normally developing fetus), I can at least understand the religious (like Paul) that think a life is a life, period. Civil libertarianism and a pro-life position are not in any kind of conflict whatsoever.

    @Mike: His lack of ethical compass is illustrated by his lucrative newsletter,

    I will agree with that, and note that Obama’s lack of ethical compass is illustrated by many other far worse acts while in office, including two significant lies on tape: He promised to filibuster the Patriot Act and then voted Yea without a twinge, and as a candidate he promised to veto any health reform that did not include a public option, and then (we now know) Obama met secretly with the industry leaders of health insurance and pharmaceuticals and promised them it would not happen, and dispatched Rahm Emanuel to recruit Liebermann and others to run point against it, and that was when the public option was polling at over 70% approval. The entire “debate” and pretense of support for the public option by Obama was a lying charade, he never intended to provide it and never intended to sign it. It was a lie, and the beneficiary was the murdering, fraudulent corporations he was supposed to control.

    Whose lies have been more harmful? Which is more harmful: Ron Paul openly advocating deregulation but greater power for citizens to sue corporations, or Obama colluding with them behind our backs and pretending to regulate while actually helping them to gouge us?

    @Mike: That you trust him Tony to do the right thing on civil liberties, is a badly placed trust.

    Not as badly placed as trusting Obama to do the right thing on civil liberties, when he has already done the wrong thing time and again. Look at Bradley Manning, the brutalization of other leakers he once praised, the open protection of top brass involved in torture and illegality. His demand for the right to assassinate citizens on his word alone, or his right to infinitely detain citizens without charges, representation, or proof of any kind, his demand to be able to record and listen to all of your communications without a warrant, his de facto demand to search you in an airport without warrant or cause.

    I think your priorities are mis-placed, or at least they seem alien to me. Obama just appointed two candidates to the Supreme Court, Sotomayor and Kagan. The Supreme Court justices know the game, in order to be replaced by somebody that agrees with their philosophy, they need to resign under the correct President. Any of them thinking of resigning in the near future would do so while there is time for Obama to nominate a replacement. Any Justices that choose to resign under Ron Paul will be sympathetic to Paul’s views, and replaced by somebody sympathetic to Paul’s views.

    My priority is turning back the Imperial Presidency and restoring the Bill of Rights and civil liberties and ending the police state we have become. I thought Obama was the man to do that, but I am not so enamored by his rhetoric that I am blind to the complete disconnect, even reversal, between his campaign rhetoric and his subsequent actions, and I am not ashamed to admit I was fooled. I think I am left with a deeply flawed choice that offers some chance of pushing back against the military-industrial-corporate hegemony, or no choice at all.

  122. I admit I am new here. So why didn’t anyone warn me Tony C. is a shill for Ron P.?

    In the Interest of full disclosure, I voted for Clinton in the Primaries; Voted for Obama in the Election; and will gladly vote for him in the next election without reservation.

    I am one of those people that knows our government sucks; all political parties are corrupted by money; but some political parties and ideas suck more then others as in the Republican/Tparty/Paulites really suck compared to most everyone else. And the reality of getting anything done in a country of 300 million in the real world is just a little bit more complicated then say giving a nonsensical rant.

    The notion that anyone would vote for any Republican/Tparty candidate including Ron [off his rocker] Paul demonstrates a complete disconnect from reality and the the history of civilization, America, and the 20th century up to and including the present.

    Oh, and in the interest of fairness I’ll even put RP’s website here:

    You might find a few things like this interesting:
    “Defining life as beginning at conception by passing a “Sanctity of Life Act.””
    In other words 2 cells in a womb have more rights to health then 30 million living people have a right to healthcare. Or the right of a woman to make choices about what happens to her own body, life and health is less important then those 2 cells.

    Oh, of course, more tax cuts to the wealthy, and a tax elimination on Corporate profits from overseas. And don’t miss the part about his statement of faith. I guess he missed the part in the constitution where it says “but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    I could go on but why bother….. did i mention his policies are pretty much the same as what got us into the great depresssion.
    by tony c Member since:
    September 14, 2006
    Total points:
    2,947 (Level 4)
    Add Contact

    Ron Paul is a good man loves this Country and will do the right thing, If he had a gun to his head he wouldnt vote for Obama& biden he knows they are far left Liberals
    3 years ago Report Abuse

  123. @1zb1: FYI, I am a far left liberal, and I am not the only person on the Internet that has chosen to post under the penname “Tony C.” I do not think Ron Paul is a “good man,” and I make my choices analytically, not by judging my emotional comfort level or the emotions of people I cannot possibly know, like this goofball claiming Ron Paul “loves this Country.”

    I also speak in complete sentences, I do not capitalize “Country,” I do capitalize “Biden,” and I strive to complete my punctuation.

    My personal belief is that the corporate tax rate should be about double or triple what it is now, the corporations should be required to pay precisely the average rate of Americans for government services; which is currently about 45% of income for the median wage earner.

    Is this how you run your personal life, too? Just start lying and hope somebody buys it?

  124. @1zb1: And don’t miss the part about his statement of faith.

    Ha! Have you missed the part about Obama’s statements of faith? Or any other candidate at virtually any level I can think of; what percentage of elected politicians are openly atheist (like me)? I would guess less than 1%, which is effectively zero.

    As for his religiously inspired pro-life stance, I have explicitly rejected his logic. I have also explicitly rejected Obama’s “logic” for violating his oath of office and violating our civil rights. There are negatives in both columns, but Ron Paul supports the Constitution, and Obama dismisses it as irrelevant.

    You are just a liar, is it impossible for you to make a point without lying? Tell me, what precisely would Paul actually be able to accomplish that would make him any “loonier” than any other candidate? Get into some detail and logic, and do it without lying, or you are just parroting something told to you by somebody with a vested interested in marginalizing Paul, like the media or Obama.

  125. I want to echo Mike S.’s comment from last night. Obama is damaged goods, but without a Dem in the White House and in control of Congress the middle class is doomed.

  126. “Civil libertarianism and a pro-life position are not in any kind of conflict whatsoever.”


    I couldn’t disagree with you more than in this statement. To say that the State has the right to make a woman carry an unwanted pregnancy to term is the essence of disrespect for civil liberties and at base is a religion driven attitude towards pregnancy and birth. See below:

    “And as President, Ron Paul will continue to fight for the same pro-life solutions he has upheld in Congress, including:
    * Immediately saving lives by effectively repealing Roe v. Wade and preventing activist judges from interfering with state decisions on life by removing abortion from federal court jurisdiction through legislation modeled after his “We the People Act.”
    * Defining life as beginning at conception by passing a “Sanctity of Life Act.””

    That is the full quote from the Ron Paul Website that 1zb1 provided. Defining life as beginning at conception Tony? That one phrase alone shows that Paul’s beliefs are highly inconsistent with civil liberties for women and totally extreme. This is not an argument about the aborting of a viable fetus, it is about punishing women for having sex.

    “”@Mike: That you trust him Tony to do the right thing on civil liberties, is a badly placed trust.”

    Not as badly placed as trusting Obama to do the right thing on civil liberties, when he has already done the wrong thing time and again.”

    Tony you know from past comments that I respect you and your logical abilities. This, however, is not a logical refutation. The discussion is on Paul’s deficits, which are a fertile ground. You make light of them, without refuting them, by saying in effect “Nyanhh, Nyanhh, Nyanhh Obama is worse”. For someone with a logical mind that I respect this is not a good exhibit of that intellectual prowess I know you have. What you are doing is failing to answer the point I made in my 8:27 pm post, which is that Obama’s policies are no worse than those in effect since the “Cold War” first began and using that failure to set up a false equivalency.

    “Obama just appointed two candidates to the Supreme Court, Sotomayor and Kagan.”

    I think you’re mixing me up with someone else. While I would be afraid of Paul’s potential SCOTUS appointments, his other faults have me disqualifying him before that possibility arises.

    “My priority is turning back the Imperial Presidency and restoring the Bill of Rights and civil liberties and ending the police state we have become.”

    Tony, that is also a priority of mine and has been for almost my entire long life. However, I believe that we already are in effect a police state and that this has been a fact since the foistering of the “Cold War” on the American people. What is different now is that there are a lot more outlets where this truth can come out. It is a battle that must be fought. However, given that the fight for civil liberties is a battle of long duration, one must also look at the battle against making the 99% into the serfs of the 1%. I would submit to you that the quickest way to bring this about is too elect any one of the Republican candidates, particularly Ron Paul.


    While you and I share the same priorities, you are new to this site and as such are unaware of the totality of Tony C.s views. Your attacks on his personal political beliefs are way off the mark. Tony has been a great progressive voice on this blog for awhile. He is in my opinion completely wrong in his defense of Ron Paul, but that is because in many respects Barack Obama’s Presidency has been disappointing. While you and I agree that we should vote for Obama and that he is a clear choice over any other prospective candidate, reasonable men can differ given the performance.

    If we want to stave off the threat of corporate feudalism that this election poses we must build allies, not alienate people with attacks against them, rather than their political positions. The stakes are far too high this time around to alienate potential alliances, with people who don’t completely agree with us. Knowing the perspicacity of those who read this blog let me qualify my statement regarding these alliances. I won’t ally myself with anti-abortionists, religious fanatics and pseudo libertarians. I don’t love all of the Obama supporters and have written many times about my disagreements with their policies, but none of them represent the virulent strain of bigotry and religious fanaticism exhibited by some supporters of Paul and the rest of these right wing clowns.

  127. “what precisely would Paul actually be able to accomplish that would make him any “loonier” than any other candidate?”


    I don’t need much detail to answer that. If he’s elected, the probability of a fully Republican Congress and/or many Democrats afraid for their political positions will be disastrous. There will be privatization of Social Security ad Medicare, destruction of our already frayed “safety net”, further deregulation of corporations and the further impoverishment of the 99%.
    This isn’t speculation, it is the very things he and his cohorts desire. As for civil liberties they too will erode as corporations with no oversight will arrogate to themselves the power to control people’s lives for profit.

  128. Tony, you will have to wait for me to get back to you after I stop rolling on the floor with laughter over the notion you are a “far left liberal” or anything I have read of yours is remotely analytical. To paraphrase Dirty Harry, “You are an analytical far left liberal in your own delusion.”

    But I do admit I mad a mistake about something. I should encourage you with your silliness pushing RP. The only problem is why don’t you go to Iowa and do it or spend time on websites populated by the Rightwing/Republican/Tparty. That way if you were honest in your beliefs you could help promote RP where it counts to win the nomination instead of hear. I suggest Foxless News might be a good place. You would fit in perfectly.

    And really, best of luck to you in succeeding to get RP the Republican/Tparty nomination. I mean it.

  129. @Mike: Here is the We The People Act.

    As I have noted before, Paul tries to get his agenda passed by law, not by fiat or executive order. This bill attempts a reasonably coherent Constitutional argument for returning abortion law to the states, not for eliminating abortion at all.

    And further, in the data provided by Congress, it does not have a single co-sponsor, it was immediately (with a few weeks) relegated to sub-Committee nine months ago where it has died. And predictably so, because if it passed it would sap power from the national Congress and power is their bread and butter; I do not believe the We The People Act has any chance whatsoever of passing the House and Senate and landing on any President’s desk.

    As is said in debate, Ron Paul’s argument in this bill “proves too much:” If it were passed, it causes two problems (off the top of my head): First, it creates an intractable issue in which an end-run is made around the Supreme Court and their self-determination of what decisions are within their jurisdiction over Constitutional questions; and second, it becomes a blueprint for devolving the majority of legislative power back to the states. I do not think, even among Republicans, there is sufficient support for taking an action (short of a Constitutional Amendment) that would essentially overturn any Supreme Court decision.

    For abortion in particular, Gallup says only 22% of Americans think abortion should be illegal in ALL circumstances, and 49% identify as pro-choice vs. 42% as pro-life.

    Siding with Paul is not a winning strategy for most of Congress.

    Also, as Republicans clamor about “states rights,” that is the LAST thing national-stage politicians want; their ability to pass or repeal legislation on the national level is the bread and butter of their campaign contributions and those cushy responsibility-free retirement jobs in lobbying or industry. Hardly any politician is going to vote themselves into irrelevancy, and certainly not enough to pass a bill.

    I do not believe Paul can change the jurisdiction of Federal courts by Executive Order, it is explictly a right of Congress, as he says so himself in his bill.

    My analysis of this campaign promise is that he cannot make it happen, and it simply won’t happen.

  130. “My analysis of this campaign promise is that he cannot make it happen, and it simply won’t happen.’


    Your analysis is not good enough. Both of us are analytically gifted, yet we got Obama wrong. However, Obama never said the stuff Paul has and most Republicans in the Congress are batshit crazy.

  131. Mr. Turley, I need to inform you that there is some form of mental disease that is propagated by any form of participation on your website. It typically manifests itself by lack of facts, or use of half truths, an insistence on being correct while all others are in some way stupid or ignorant, and a delusional grandiosity of ones self such as the claim, “Both of us [MS and TC] are analytically gifted”.

    My recommendation is after all you analytically gifted types finish with your time machine you go back and cast your vote for John McCain instead of for Obama since reality is such a disappointment to you..

    Mr. Turley, maybe its time you administer a qualifying test to people before they can comment on your website. On the other hand that would probably mean there would be no one here making comments.

    In the meantime, this just in frommmmm CNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN about TC’s favorite RP:

    (Note, for the record – not that anyone cares – I am done with RP. TC is doing a good enought job all on his own to make him RP look like the fool he is – as much as I would like RP to be the Republican/Tparty Candidate, or better yet a 3rd party candidate. In the future I will focus on the Republican/Tparty in general and Romney in particular. Its fair to say that the real threat to the nation is more from them taking control then RP)

    :In one section of the book, Paul criticized people suffering from AIDS or other contagious diseases for demanding health insurance coverage.

    “The individual suffering from AIDS certainly is a victim – frequently a victim of his own lifestyle – but this same individual victimizes innocent citizens by forcing them to pay for his care,” Paul wrote.

    In another chapter on the rights of individuals outside of government – the central theme of Paul’s libertarian philosophy – he sharply criticized the “absurdity” of politicians who try to bestow differing rights on various social and ethnic groups.

    It’s dangerous to craft a separate set of rights for groups like Hispanics, African-Americans, children, employees and the homeless, Paul wrote.

    “Until all these terms are dropped and we recognize that only an individual has rights the solution to the mess in which we find ourselves will not be found,” Paul explained.

    “Every year new groups organize to demand their ‘rights,'” he continued. “White people who organize and expect the same attention as other groups are quickly and viciously condemned as dangerous bigots. Hispanic, black, and Jewish caucuses can exist in the U.S. Congress, but not a white caucus, demonstrating the absurdity of this approach for achieving rights for everyone.”

    Paul also defended the rights of an individual to “control property and run his or her business as he or she chooses,” without interference from “the social do-gooder.”

    In a passage first flagged by the Houston Chronicle in 2007, Paul then claimed that sexual harassment should not be a violation of one’s employment rights.

    “Employee rights are said to be valid when employers pressure employees into sexual activity,” Paul wrote. “Why don’t they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? Seeking protection under civil rights legislation is hardly acceptable.”

    Paul’s campaign manager Jesse Benton defended the book and said the candidate “has been speaking out for decades that rights do not come from belonging to a group.”

    “Rights come because we are all individuals, endowed by our creator, and Americans must look beyond race or creed and recognize that we all deserving of the same Liberty,” Benton told CNN in an email. “This truth is a tenant of natural law and the only way we will achieve a color blind and truly free society.”

  132. If there were a qualifying test, 1zb1, I imagine you would have disqualified yourself with your first lie about me. It is just your good luck that Professor Turley seems to believe in freedom of speech.

    As for what Paul has said, it is no different than what most libertarians espouse, if you want to see my comprehensive refutation of that logic, I refer you to Gene Howington’s guest post on this blog, “What makes a Good Law, What makes a Bad Law?”

    On the other hand, if you would like to read Professor Turley’s take on Obama and civil liberties, read THIS POST. Here is an excerpt: “Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University, wrote that President Obama may prove the most disastrous president in our history in terms of civil liberties.”

    I am not surprised you advocate censorship, it is not uncommon for ideologues to want to suppress dissent, and that damn freedom of speech is so pesky, isn’t it?

  133. More specifically, here is the full Turley Blog post on “Obama and the decline of the American Civil Liberties Movement.”

    I think, 1zb1, you are demanding that Professor Turley censor his own post.

  134. anon nurse,
    interesting clip of Gingrich crying over his mother’s problems. I have sympathy for what his mother went through, but does he tear up when he thinks about his ex-wifes cancer and his divorcing her?

  135. Believe it or not, even Mr. Turley needs to put mind in gear before engaging post on occassion… (fyi don’t have time right now to read his post, but the idea still applies)

  136. So, Tony, you want from God RP to God JT… and here I thought monotheism ruled the land.

    Oh, and I would certainly disqualify myself. Think of all the time I would stop wasting “conversing’ with you.

  137. @1zb1: On the contrary, I think for myself, and unlike you I have no crippling deference to authority. Turley just happens to be in agreement with me.

    It is you that is clearly bowed by authoritarianism, you just take the Obama administration’s word for it when they claim killing Awlaki without any form of due process was “necessary.” They didn’t present you any proof, they didn’t present you any argument, even the things they explicitly claimed he did were entirely within his rights as a citizen.

    And, I would point out, it isn’t Mr. Turley, he holds a juris doctor, he is a professor, it is Dr. Turley or Professor Turley or just Turley; he is specifically not a “Mister.” If you are going to pretend to intellectualism, at least get the terminology right.

    As for putting his mind in gear, the “post” was an article in The Los Angeles Times, and the talk on the radio was about that article, I am quite familiar with academia and I highly doubt PROFESSOR Turley wrote this article on a whim. I am confident it was not undertaken lightly and the result reflects his best considered opinion on the matter.

  138. Tony,

    What do you think of this link?–_%27cuddly%27_libertarian_has_some_very_dark_politics?page=4

    Ad my response to it on the Kayser thread?

    “At the John Birch Society 50th anniversary gala, Ron Paul spoke to another favorite theme of the Reconstructionists and others in the religious right: that of the “remnant” left behind after evil has swept the land. (Gary North’s publication is called The Remnant Review.) In a dispatch on Paul’s keynote address, The New American, the publication of the John Birch Society, explained, “He claimed that the important role the JBS has played was to nurture that remnant and added, ‘The remnant holds the truth together, both the religious truth and the political truth.’”

    This quote is from SwM’s link above. The John Birch Society has throughout its long history been racist, misogynistic, homophobic and anti-Jewish. It does not and never has accepted democracy, but instead favors rule by the wealthy elite. For Paul to be speaking at any JBS event, much less their 50th anniversary, means he is one with them. I don’t understand how anyone can believe he will protect our civil liberties.

  139. “Mr. Turley, I need to inform you that there is some form of mental disease that is propagated by any form of participation on your website. It typically manifests itself by lack of facts, or use of half truths, an insistence on being correct while all others are in some way stupid or ignorant, and a delusional grandiosity of ones self such as the claim, “Both of us [MS and TC] are analytically gifted”.”


    When you first arrived on the scene hers, I was impressed by your thoughts. However, as your comments have multiplied, your hysteria has risen to a peak that makes it annoying. Since I agree with you on voting for Obama, I find it distasteful to associate myself with someone whose remarks will tend to bring about the opposite result that person reportedly favored.
    Either dial it down a bit with your stupid personal attacks, or the suspicion will of necessity arise that you are actually playing a little game of opposites.
    If you are really sincere I think you are defeating your purpose.

    I disagree with Tony on this particular issue, but he has been around long enough for me to know his positions on a great many issues. He is quite intelligent and always thorough. I think he’s wrong on Paul, but he is very far from the person you infer him to be. From his writing I like him and respect him. From your writing in my mind the jury is still out.

  140. Just my $.02 worth. I agree with Mike Spindell in his comment just above. I never really cared for ad hominem attacks or pie fights.

  141. Well, since you are, according to you, “analytically gifted” along with Tony C. then it must be so. And of course since Mister “Turley just happens to be in agreement with me [Tony C.]”, according to Tony C. that must also make it so. Boy oh boy that sure is analytically gift” thinking. (I’m sure Mister Turley must get a laugh thinking HE agrees with Tony C.)

    I don’t think either of you realize how silly you sound, and mind you this has nothing to do with whether you agree with me on Obama or not (in fact you don’t because yours is a choice based on distaste of the alternative. you are what is known as a an apologetic).

    Here is a simple fact: Tony C. claims he is a “far left liberal” but he is supporting/promoting Ron Paul who most people would say is a conservative libertarian who is running for the presidential nomination on the Republican/Tparty ticket. Now if you don’t find that to be an political oxymoron then perhaps you should double check those analytical gifts of yours.

    As near as I can tell following the conversations here they read much more like what pubescent boys do in a circle then anything resembling reasoned analysis. Call it opinion if you like – everybody’s got one and is entitled to it – but lets not pretend what goes on here is real analysis connected to the real world based on real facts.

    Lets close for the moment with comments from your partner in the circle”

    “Tony C.1, June 11, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Hey stupid. Yes you, all those idiots who don’t know nothing about anything. Usful idiots, the lot of you.

    Do you know how Muslims treat Dogs? How dogs are treated in muslim countries? How they send groups of men to shoot dogs on sight?

    No? Because you all are hypocritical anti-war peacnik idiots. The same idiots who say we should not pour water on a terrorist’s head (waterboard) yet don’t have anything to say about the terrorist cutting the heads off innocent civilians and broadcasting it on TV.

    You make me sick.”

  142. 1zb1,

    Sadly you’re an ass or an “Opposites” troll. Boring and off base in either iteration. You got no game sonny, only ineffectual outrage or insults.

  143. Now I get how it works, Mike. Apparently I didn’t get the memo that I have to be here long enough before I use charachterizations. Until then, only you and your little circle friends get to attack me with insults.

    MIKE SPINDELL SAYS, “an ass or an “Opposites” troll. Boring and off base in either iteration. You got no game sonny, only ineffectual outrage or insults.”

    You folks really need to get over yourselves.

  144. “Now I get how it works, Mike. Apparently I didn’t get the memo that I have to be here long enough before I use charachterizations. Until then, only you and your little circle friends get to attack me with insults.”


    The problem is you don’t get how it works here and that’s because you are so full of yourself that you don’t bother to read. As far as characterizations go you are the one who began it, as shown from your quotes below. It was after that that Tony began to mildly attack you back and I think given your misassumptions he was quite entitled to do it.

    Quote 1.
    “Sanctimonious Crappola. Yeah right, a choice between a bigot living in loony land and the Guy who had to clean up the mess left by the last group of loonys from the Republican Party, and you pick the bigot from loony land…”

    “Of course, in your view, the police have a right to shoot a person who looks at them the wrong way, but the president does not have the right to do it with a guy who is hiding out from arrest in a foreign country.

    Quote 2.
    “Must be nice to live in your world where reality doesn’t exist so you go right ahead and vote for Ron Paul. And btw, I don’t believe for a minute you ever voted for Obama, so what does that make you?”

    Like, i said you have a terminal case of selective rants. You are also a liar when you say you voted for Obama. You are a shill so at least have the courage to admit it and stand up for your hate like a man.”

    Quote 3.
    “Mr. Turley, I need to inform you that there is some form of mental disease that is propagated by any form of participation on your website. It typically manifests itself by lack of facts, or use of half truths, an insistence on being correct while all others are in some way stupid or ignorant, and a delusional grandiosity of ones self such as the claim, “Both of us [MS and TC] are analytically gifted”.”

    The reference to your short term here was not because anyone commenting here is viewed as a “newbie”, but because you make assumptions about people you disagree with that are incorrect because you haven’t looked at their body of work here. Beyond that though, you appear by your words to be one of those kind of people who characterize all that disagree with them as evil and stupid. That is a mark of political/emotional immaturity. I too think many of the so-called leaders of today are evil, but that is after I have taken the time to assess their body of work. Everyone who I disagree with is not an evil person and everyone who I agree with is not necessarily a good person.

    I know for a fact that Tony C. is a progressive liberal. How do I know that? It’s because of his writing. Take a look at the huge thread on here called:

    “What Makes A Good Law, What Makes a Bad Law?”

    You will see positive proof of not only Tony’s progressiveness, but in his analytical expertise in demolishing both Libertarian and conservative thought, in more than 400 long comments in a colloquy with a libertarian and a conservative.

    Nevertheless, this is a blog created by a distinguished civil liberties lawyer and Law Professor. A Constitutional Law expert of note. That is the basis of what most blogs and comments are about and I as a guest blogger also have a long history here as well as many blogs that you can access and probably thousands of comments, where you can clearly discern where I’m coming from. I use my real name here, as do all guest bloggers. You are merely a recent pseudonym arrival who in your brief time has managed to wrongly characterize people about which you’ve haven’t taken the time to know. If your only judgment of people is that they are good if they agree with you and bad if they do’t, how in fact are you any different than the FOXNews crowd who are reality challenged?

    Now as far as President Obama goes, I clearly stated here numerous times that I would vote to re-elect him, urged others to do so and gave my opinion as to why I believed it to be the best course. I’ve been voting for 47 years and I’ve never once voted for a Republican, or even failed to vote in any elections. However, this doesn’t mean that I am just rooting for my Democratic “home team”, but that I’ve doe so because I perceived that for most of that time there has been an effort by a percentage of the 1% to destroy this country as a Democracy ad create a Feudal Corporatist State. I was a member of the 60’s Movement for Civil Rights and for ending the Viet Nam war. I was also an activist in the most radical labor union of its’ time. My profession was Social Services and I spent a career in service to those in need. I don’t even know if you’ve graduated high school, so you will pardon me if I think you’ve gone off “half-cocked”.

    Regarding Obama, if you don’t understand what a disappointment he has been to may of us who supported him financially and with our votes, than you are little more that a political “football fan” rooting for their favorite team. As a long time supporter of the ACLU for instance civil liberties is a key issue with me and what attracted me to this blog in the first place. Obama’s record on Civil Liberties has been to my mind and many others here dismal to say the least. He has continued and eve tried to expand those noxious policies of the Bush Crime Family. Now I fully understand also that he has been handicapped and possibly even coerced to do so.
    However, there are still people in Guantanamo Bay and there is the threat to lock up “terrorists” without trial ad in contravention to US law. I deplore that.

    On balance though I will vote for Obama, because I believe the alternative is much worse and there exists the possibility that under a Republican regime, our last vestiges of Democracy will be destroyed.
    Tony and many other people feel differently based on Obama’s bad record on civil liberties. I understand why they feel that way and sympathize with their viewpoint. In disagreeing with them I do it civilly because I know their hearts and minds are in the right place, but their perspective differs from mine. Minds as agile as those here always have the possibility of change, as does mine.

    You and I agree on electing Obama, but we are but two people. Others here also agree with the necessity of this. For Obama to be re-elected is an uphill battle and alienating voters is a poor political strategy. You do not win elections by insulting people who are possible allies and as far as I can see you do much harm to your position by casting aspersions upon people who might be able to come around to your point of view.

    You will notice that I’m addressing you in a civil tone, despite the vitriol you’ve been spewing. This is a blog that allows for all manner of opinions and does not banish people for there comments as long as they remain roughly civil and non-threatening to others. Professor Turley allows the widest range of free speech available on the web, but if you abuse civility in your comments don’t be surprised if you’re responded to i kind. There is no “newbie” vs “oldtimer” distinction here, but some of us get slack cut because we’ve produced a body of work that clearly shows our rage of beliefs and opinion. However, ew people come aroud all the time ad their comments are welcome provide they are mad with a modicum of civil discourse.

  145. I apologize that I am “N” key challenged because the one on my laptop skips. I hope all reading me will add “N’s” in reading my writing, where appropriate.

  146. Here is the latest set of observations by local attorney Craig Hardegree. He is the lawyer who discovered the Gingrich file had not been sealed; that it was still a public document.

    The money quote is Craig’s discovery that Newt was never deposed, because the divorces settled before Newt had to provide sworn testimony. What does that mean? It means that anything Newt says on the matter is suspect, because he has already demonstrated that he can be rather creative with the truth.

    Here is Mr. Hardegree’s account:

  147. Mike, forgive me (or not) I will pass on reading all that silliness. I get it I’m full of it, your full of it, Tony C, full of even more of it….. i get it i get i get it even though I am not as analytically gifted as you and TC.

  148. BTW, Mike are you really that full of yourself that you don’t get sarcasam when its slapping you in the face. You need to spend a little more time watching Comedy Central. Get out of the house once and a while, the sunshine will do you and your mind some good.

  149. 1zb1,

    Unfortunately you get none of it. You’re simply full of yourself. As for the sarcasm part, it is often used as an excuse when someone realized that their comments were badly written. BTW, if you really want to get the President re-elected I would urge you to send money and stuff envelopes.
    The less you are heard on the subject, the better his chances.

  150. Oh yes, old wise one who is analytically gifted and gets it all. Do you ever actually “listen” to yourself and hear how silly it all is?

    (btw: I actually put my money, time, and actions where I put my mouth which I dare say may not be the case for everyone else here)

  151. @1zb1: I am a far left liberal, I believe in social liberty for citizens, I believe in a strong public safety net, unemployment insurance, Social Security, I would nationalize healthcare in a heart beat, I would extend Medicare to everyone, I would make school free for life, even if you wanted to get seven PhDs. I would fund fundamental scientific research with the proviso that nothing discovered or invented as a result could be patented and everything would be disclosed for free to the public. I would spend about ten times as much money on infrastructure as we spend now; instead of letting the banks rip us off for $20 Trillion (latest known figure based on the audit of the Federal Reserve, insisted upon by Ron Paul, among others), I would have spent the $20T nationalizing the bankrupt banks and building infrastructure.

    BUT, and this is a critical distinction, I am a far left liberal with a cynical, analytical mind. I am a full-time hard-science research scientist. I do not vote blindly for politicians just because they tell me they are liberals. I voted for Obama because I read his biography and books and I believed them, and based on his biographical actions I believed he believed in what I believed in, and I believed that was reflected in his campaign promises. Hillary was lying about her background (duck and run for the car, remember? Among other lies), she and her campaign aides were openly looting and misusing funds, McCain was a lying philanderer and homophobe, and I thought Obama was the best choice.

    I was not wrong about Hillary and McCain proved himself even more of an asshole later. I was wrong about Obama’s motives and his character. I cannot, by nature or my profession, lie and insist I was right when I know I was wrong, and I cannot insist I know an alternative would be worse when there is no way to know it or project it with any confidence: My mistake with Obama is proof enough of that principle.

    What Obama has actually done has been a disaster for civil liberties, and a massive boon to the 1% over the 99%. There is a reason the wealthy are doing fine while the country slips into depression: Obama is firmly on the side of wealth and privilege, he has proven that by both his voluntary actions and his complete refusals to act.

    His rhetoric may sound populist, but he actually punishes the weak and rewards the elite. He holds harmless the torturers and war criminals at the top, while applying the full weight of the law to those without status or privilege. The soldiers that wrongly followed orders to torture prisoners are destroyed, while the elite that ordered them to do it are held harmless and given medals. He claims that those that leak evidence of criminality are our conscience, then (like Bradley Manning) subjects them to deprivations that the Geneva Convention defines as tortures, and with impunity, as a brutal warning to any future would-be heroes of conscience.

    The problem is, I am a far left liberal. Obama is demonstrably not. You, apparently, prefer to comfort yourself with fairy tales.

  152. Correction: the best you can say is that you WERE a far left liberal. You are now supporting a person who by every measure and his own claims is conservative libertarian (what ever that is). That would seem to make you in practice a CL now regardless of what you claim in the past.

    By your analysis (gifted as mike says it is) that would suggest during the Civil War you would have supported the South because Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus among other counter civil liberty actions….

    Personally, I think that you have been an RP supported (conservative libertarian) for a good amount of time but, that’s just my belief and is of no consequence to the current reality.

    No matter, as I said given your current support for RP and his position as a CL that makes you now a CL and not a FLL.

    Now, of course, if you believe that RP better represents your concept of what an FLL is even though I am reasonably certain if you Asked RP whether he is a FLL he would say he is not, then perhaps the discussion should be what actually is a FLL and how does one put that into practice in the context of the current political reality. For example, is it best to elect a president that is certain to his best to undermine many of the principles held by the FLL, appoint judges counter to most of those principles, and for the most part cooperate with a republican majority in congress, or better to elect a president, though not exactly to the liking of some on the FLL but will at least be an obstical to the right on many important issues.

    In my view (just my belief) no reasonably thoughtful person who actually believes in the FLL principles can seriousely consider of those 2 choices RP is the better choice, unless of course they are not really on the FLL, never really were, and this all a big misrepresentation or delusion.

    BTW: one way to perhaps resolve the issue about you having been a FLL is if you shared your voter registration with Mister Turly and perhaps an independent arbiter while maintaining your confidentiality.

  153. Alas, the world has not gone completely mad… from the article to get people started:

    “Lately I’ve noticed an uptick online in the number of people trying to sway the left wing over into supporting Ron Paul. Some of this may be driven by Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald, who has been singing Paul’s praises as an anti-war, anti-imperialist libertarian hero for liberals. (As opposed to Greenwald’s portrayal of President Obama as a warmongering neo-fascist who didn’t really end the Iraq War, Bush deserves that credit thank-you-very-much.)

    Of course, there’s the little complication to that that Paul is neither “libertarian” nor “anti-war” in any way, having supported the Iraq War until it turned out bad, has previously supported attacking Iran, and supports the criminalization of abortion and homosexuality. But then, you could say that about most of the Republican candidates.”

  154. Why would any self respecting democrat happy with all of what Obama has accomplished in office…be concerned with any potential threat to the president…..It is kind of moronic….or is it ironic….that they care… Now the ones who are displeased…with Obama’s record….Could Cut, Paste and Post…It just seems that people still in the state of Buyers remorse are looking for alternatives….and when all of the other players spots are spotlighted….it help the decision for lots to not vote for any of them….including the one remorsed over…lol…

  155. AY You started drinking way to early. For the sake of the sane and innocent please stay off the roads tonight. Find a designated driver to get you home.

  156. puzzling, if you can’t throw it, kick it, hit it or shoot it, there is very little to watch on the television machine. At the rate I use it, the remote batteries will last until the Second Coming.

  157. Also, I don’t think anyone has said Greenwald has “endorsed” Paul or anyone else, for that matter. What he has done is more or less done what the Madison Avenue types would call “positioned” Ron Paul. That is different from an endorsement, but is still a kind of left handed promotion by damning his opponents with faint praise.

    Analyzing statements linguistically is something I do professionally. And as I said earlier, no matter what anyone says, Paul is scary and I see what Glenn Greenwald is doing as a form of enabling. One of the reasons Ron Paul is scary is because he can be charming. Mark of a good demagogue is to be charming while they are picking your pocket.

  158. Looks like Gingrich and Perry may get a break on the Virginia ballot:

    Virginia AG Cuccinelli may intervene in ballot flap

    FORT DODGE, Iowa – Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other Republican presidential candidates who failed to get onto the Virginia primary ballot may have a glimmer of hope thanks to the intervention of Virginia’s top lawyer.

    The state’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, is planning to file emergency legislation to change the Virginia law that has kept most of the GOP candidates off the primary ballot, Fox News reported Saturday. Only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul met the requirement of 10,000 signatures to participate in the March 6 primary.

  159. OS,

    To me Greenwald is saying is that if it wasn’t for Paul in the race, areas where Obama has failed certain progressive ideals would be missing from the discussion entirely. He goes on to name those, like the War on Terror, Patriot Act, Iran, Surveillance/Police State, Drug War, Drones, Whistleblowers, etc.

    Greenwald states that many liberals don’t want to be reminded about these failings, and that too many are caught up in blind partisanship: “… Then there’s the inability and/or refusal to recognize that a political discussion might exist independent of the Red v. Blue Cage Match… Worse still is the embrace of George W. Bush’s with-us-or-against-us mentality as the prism through which all political discussions are filtered. ”

    Paul deserves credit for keeping these concerns in the debate and making the bipartisan consensus around them controversial. I’m not sure why that concept is “enabling” in your view. The campaign’s ability to actually question the US war machine and its consequences are things the public has rarely seen, especially since 9/11.

    I hadn’t seen this ad before linked from GG’s column. It’s as powerful a way to re-frame the debate on our foreign policy for regular voters as any I’ve heard. Frankly, I’m fine if this message is “enabled”:

  160. puzzling,
    I agree that Ron Paul has enlarged the discussion between the candidates when it comes to the war issues, but he is trying to forget his own history.

  161. @rafflaw: …but [Ron Paul] is trying to forget his own history.

    Doesn’t that apply equally well to Obama and his campaign promises, or Romney and his left-leaning governorship, or Hillary and her overblown re-imagining of her role as First Lady as actually being an international peace negotiator bravely ducking a rain of bullets?

    It is unfair to penalize one candidate with such a criticism and not the others, when it applies. Doing so is just disguised partisanship, inventing a test that no candidate can pass and then selectively using it to exclude just the candidates one dislikes.

    Ron Paul’s newsletter lies are lies, to be sure, but when all the candidates are liars, we have to judge the degree of harm their lies have caused. I think it is a stretch to claim either Hillary’s lies and Ron Paul’s lies have done any actual harm to this country or any citizens. To my knowledge they are all lies to salve ego or conceal embarrassment, something virtually everybody has engaged in at one time or another.

    On the other hand Obama’s campaign lies of populist rhetoric we now see he never subscribed to have done immeasurable harm; not only did he embrace the Bush/Cheney authoritarian policies, he voluntarily extended them into new realms, like asserting the right to kidnap, indefinitely detain, torture, or kill American citizens on American soil without any due process whatsoever. He has failed to enforce the rule of law on his predecessors, which is the only thing that would defend the Constitution, and seized new unconstitutional powers for himself.

    If new Presidents do not use their power to punish the Constitutional violations of their predecessors, and simply engage in further predations upon the Constitution, as Obama has done, the Constitution itself becomes irrelevant. That is the harm Obama has done to the country and to all of us, he has made our rights irrelevant, and we are now simply subjects of an Imperial President: Just like your selectively applied rule, the President will now decide if you have the right to free speech, habeas corpus, life, property, or any rights at all. If the President decides to declare you a “threat,” you have no rights at all, and he doesn’t have to share his reasoning or evidence that you are a threat with anybody.

  162. Greenwald, yesterday, plus an update:

    “It’s perfectly legitimate to criticize Paul harshly and point out the horrible aspects of his belief system and past actions. But that’s worthwhile only if it’s accompanied by a similarly candid assessment of all the candidates, including the sitting President.

    UPDATE: Also, President Obama today signed the NDAA and its indefinite detention provisions into law (a law which Paul vehemently opposed); the ACLU statement — explaining that “President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law” and “Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back the constitutional excesses of George Bush in the war on terror was extinguished today” – is here.”

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