Third Party Debate Scheduled

Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson will finally be allowed to participate in a Presidential debate, except Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will not be present.

The debate, sponsored by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, will take place Tuesday and will also include the Justice Party’s Rocky Anderson, the Constitution Party’s Virgil Goode and the Green Party’s Jill Stein.

“The previous debates between President Obama and Governor Romney have failed to address the issues that really concern everyday Americans,” said Christina Tobin, founder and chairwoman of the Free and Equal Elections Foundation. “From foreign policy, to the economy, to taboo subjects like our diminishing civil liberties and the drug war, Americans deserve a real debate, real solutions, and real electoral options.”

Johnson has also been critical of the two-party Presidential debates, describing them as “dueling Phil Donahue acts carping at one another over who is worse.”

“I defy anyone who watched the debate to identify a plan from either the Republican or Democrat that will achieve a balanced budget,” he said. “We need a fundamental reduction in the role and cost of government, and both Romney and Obama are fundamentally big-government guys.”

The third party debate next Tuesday will be broadcasted live by Ora T, a digital programming service, and moderated by famed television newsman Larry King.

Iranian Leader Predicts U.S. Collapse

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said there is a collapse of the “US empire” on the way because of a combination of massive debt and its loss of legitimacy within the international community, according to Iran’s official news agency, IRNA.

“How long can a government with a $16 trillion foreign debt remain a world power?” Ahmadinejad asked at a press conference with Kuwaiti media personnel. “The Americans have injected their paper wealth into the world economy and today the aftermaths and negative effects of their pseudo-wealth have plagued them.”

He went on, “An empire, or a government, remains in power so long as the people under its power support it, but today the Americans have acted in a way that the world nations do not like them at all, and therefore, their international legitimacy is annihilated.”

Ahmadinejad also downplayed the effects that Western sanctions have had on the nation. However, riots broke out in Tehran earlier this month when the nation’s currency lost two-thirds of its value against the dollar, thus sparking inflation.

Multivitamins Reduce Cancer Risk

A new study shows that daily use of a multivitamin by middle-age and older men could result in a modest decrease in cancer risk.

In a randomized trial that included nearly 15,000 male physicians, daily multivitamin use resulted in a modest but statistically significant reduction in cancer after more than a decade of treatment and follow-up, according to a study appearing in JAMA.

The researchers say that given the inconsistency of previous studies regarding multivitamin intake and cancer reduction, the new results are surprising. In the new study, multivitamins cut the chance of developing cancer by 8 percent.

According to background information from the study: “The combination of essential vitamins and minerals contained in multivitamins may mirror healthier dietary patterns such as fruit and vegetable intake, which have been modestly and inversely associated with cancer risk in some, but not all, epidemiologic studies.”

Cancer experts say the benefit of taking a multivitamin in cancer prevention, however, is far less than sticking to a good diet, exercising and not smoking. Each of those can lower cancer risk by 20 percent, according to research.

Stein: Debate Commission Damns Democracy

There was another option besides President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney at the Presidential debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday, but local police promptly led long-shot Green Party candidate Jill Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, away in cuffs when the two tried to enter the venue.

Stein and Honkala will appear on 85 percent of ballots on Election Day, and poll around 2-3 percent in a handful of recent national polls. The two women were arrested by local police when they tried to enter the grounds of Hofstra University, in Hempstead, N.Y., where the debate was scheduled to take place. They were later released from police custody.

A press release from the Stein campaign explains:

Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala walked with supporters toward the Hofstra campus at 2:00pm EST [Tuesday]. There they were met by three ranks of police officers in uniform and plainclothes. At this point, the Green Party candidates held an impromptu press conference in which Dr. Stein called the CPD debate a “mockumentary,” saying that, “We are here to bring the courage of those excluded from our politics to this mock debate, this mockery of democracy.”

Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala then turned and began walking onto the debate grounds, at which point the rank of police officers physically stopped them and pushed them back. The two women sat down and the police arrested them, saying that Stein and Honkala would be charged with “obstructing traffic,” a charge Jill Stein for President staffer and lawyer Alex Howard called “bogus” in that there was no through-traffic visible at any time during the incident.

While Stein and Honkala presumably did not actually expect to be allowed to enter the debate, the duo was protesting the Democrat and Republican elites’ control over the Commission on Presidential debates (CPD). The CPD has gone to great lengths to ensure that no third party candidates would share the stage at any debate with Obama and Romney despite vocal protests and even a lawsuit from Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

Stein makes a convincing case as she is being arrested in the video below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnam1yi5bVs&w=560&h=315]
 
Stein is a human health and environmental advocate who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1973 and from Harvard Medical School in 1979. For the past 25 years Honkala has been a leading advocate for poor and homeless in America.

Debate: Obamney Will Win The Election, America Loses

The headlines following last night’s debate were to be expected; jubilant cries from the mainstream media that President Barack Obama is back in front of the Presidential horse race.

But, besides doing so in a more forceful manner, the President did little more than make the same promises that he has made since 2008 — and bend the truth to embolden his weak record. Republican challenger Mitt Romney, despite the opportunity to distinguish himself as a conservative in a battle against leftist policy, spent much of the night dodging the President’s rightful accusations of his flip-flop-flips from left to right to moderate.

The only thing that could have made the debate less useful to voters wishing for a clear distinction between the two candidates would have been easily evadable softball questions tossed by presumably uninformed voters in the audience. And that’s just what we got. Anyone watching saw only kid-glove questions (certainly handpicked by Party elite) the audience members had for the two men vying for a seat in the Oval Office.

When asked about creating jobs and lessening unemployment by a 20-year-old college student, the candidates reached into a tried and true campaign grab bag of rhetoric about the importance of education and manufacturing jobs to the American economy. Obama also mentioned the 5 million jobs he keeps saying he has created, which many Americans seem to be having a hard time finding.

When the President called out Romney with the accusation that the former Governor wanted “to let Detroit go bankrupt” the ensuing argument strengthened the feeling that these two men are not all that different in how they would handle certain situations.

“And I know he keeps saying you want to take Detroit bankrupt. Well, the President took Detroit bankrupt. You took General Motors bankrupt. You took Chrysler bankrupt. So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did,” Romney said. “And I think it’s important to know that that was a process that was necessary to get those companies back on their feet, so they could start hiring more people. That was precisely what I recommended and ultimately what happened.”

Obama moved directly into his class warfare rhetoric, accusing Romney of having a financial plan that will only serve to make the rich more wealthy.

“Governor Romney says he’s got a five-point plan? Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan,” Obama said. “And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector, that’s been his philosophy as Governor, that’s been his philosophy as a Presidential candidate.”

One thing that was quite clear during the Presidential debate was where moderator Candy Crowley’s allegiances lie. Questions from audience members, as well as Crowley’s follow-ups, were laughably and blatantly pro-Obama.

Playing on the tired “Republican war on women” myth, Obama used a discussion about budget cuts to attack Romney on plans to cut funding to abortion-provider Planned Parenthood. The President even rehashed the already debunked political myth that the organization provides free mammograms to needy women.

“When Governor Romney says that we should eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, there are millions of women all across the country, who rely on Planned Parenthood for, not just contraceptive care, they rely on it for mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings,” he said.

Romney, didn’t help his own case greatly in discussing women’s issues, however it was not for lack of care so much as poor word choice. In a statement that will undoubtedly go down in Internet meme history, Romney claimed to be at the forefront of women’s social and employment issues when he discussed his “binders full of women” as Governor of Massachusetts.

“We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet,” Romney said. “I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”

When the issue of the recent terror attacks that led to American deaths in Benghazi, Libya arose, the President floundered, just as his Administration did in the days and weeks following the attacks. But Crowley unashamedly jumped to his defense.

Romney pointed out that it took Obama a long time to admit the event had been a terrorist attack, but Obama said he had said so the day after in the Rose Garden.

When Crowley backed up the President’s assertion, he proclaimed with a hint of condescension, “Say that a little louder, Candy.”

Despite the tag-team effort against him, Romney pushed on pointing out that it was troubling to him that the President continued campaigning in the wake of the attack on the consulate.

Another question, this one focusing on the 2nd Amendment, should leave gun rights activists a little unnerved, as the answers given by both candidates do little to give confidence that either candidate believes in an unfettered right to bear arms.

Obama, in an act of outright dishonesty, nearly referred to any weapon that is not a sporting firearm as an automatic assault rifle and though Romney corrected him, the challenger promised nothing that would make the 2nd Amendment stronger.

Democrats will spend the day claiming their candidate won the debate, and Republicans will disagree. Unfortunately, with a clear difference on issues of financial responsibility, liberty and reckless war yet to be seen between the two men, it is America that continues to lose.

Debate Rules Reveal Presidential Puppet Show

Americans are told that this is the Presidential election that will determine the direction for the Nation’s future. The populace is told that a contest is under way between two ideologues — each with a separate vision for the United States and its people, and each with a different plan of action.

The election is in the final moments of a battle royal of impassioned Presidential candidates, with the finer points illustrated for the citizens of the Nation via nationally televised Presidential debates.

The portion of the population that believes this — the greater portion, no less — is simply made up of useful idiots that, in their ignorance, deserve the fate that will befall the populace of this Nation.

The truth is that the Democratic Party and Republican Party elite are orchestrating every aspect of the Presidential campaign to the benefit of the two-party political machine and the corporate and financial monied elite that have assumed plutocratic control of the United States.

A copy of the 21-page memorandum of understanding signed by the campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney that establishes the rules the two candidates must follow in debates like that which took place last night was published by TIME’s Mark Halperin this week. The document makes it clear that Americans didn’t witness a debate so much as they watched a two-party press conference.

Here is a selection of the rules set forth in the document which was signed prior to the initial Oct. 3 Presidential debate:

  • “The candidates may not ask each other direct questions during any of the four debates.”
  • “The candidates shall not address each other with proposed pledges.”
  • “At no time during the October 3 First Presidential debate shall either candidate move from his designated area behind the respective podium.”
  • For last night’s debate, “the moderator will not ask follow-up questions or comment on either the questions asked by the audience or the answers of the candidates during the debate….”
  • “The audience members shall not ask follow-up questions or otherwise participate in the extended discussion, and the audience member’s microphone shall be turned off after he or she completes asking the questions.”
  • “[T]he Commission shall take appropriate steps to cut-off the microphone of any…audience member who attempts to pose any question or statement different than that previously posed to the moderator for review.”
  • “No candidate may reference or cite any specific individual sitting in a debate audience (other than family members) at any time during a debate.”
  • “Each candidate may move about in a pre-designated area, as proposed by the Commission and approved by each campaign, and may not leave that area while the debate is under way.”

Here’s the entire document:

 

The 2012 Debates – Memorandum of Understanding Between the Obama and Romney Campaigns

 
The Commission on Presidential Debates (read: the Democratic and Republican Party elite controlling the debates) want no spontaneity or passion from either candidate.

The creator of the following video did a pretty good job of explaining why:

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZLqsRqKFyI&w=420&h=315]

Coburn: Congress Is No. 1 Wasteful Expense

What is the biggest Federal waste of taxpayer money? According to budget hawk Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) in his annual “Wastebook,” taxpayers are getting ripped off by employing an ineffective Congress.

Coburn notes in his annual list of wasteful government spending that the current Congress is on track to be the least productive that it has been since 1947, approving only 61 laws this year. He suggests that, as a result, Congress’ $1.32 billion budget for member, leadership and committee offices should be cut by 10 percent.

In “Wastebook,” Coburn writes:

Whether it was failing to hold oversight hearings, pass laws, cut unnecessary spending, or simply cast votes on amendments, the U.S. Congress let taxpayers down in 2012. In fact, many high school student councils have been more deliberative than the U.S. Senate.

All that follows in this report can be traced right back to what Congress has and has not done. Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution entrusts Congress with the responsibility to approve how money is spent out of the Treasury and to account for such expenditures. Congress approved every cent spent to fund the projects outlined in this report and did nothing to stop any of these expenditures. In fact, in many cases members of Congress actually took credit for the projects with no shame. All of the outrageous and wasteful contents of this report were made possible by either the action or lack of action of Congress, earning it the well-deserved but unwanted distinction as the biggest waste of taxpayer money in 2012.

Other examples of government wasteful spending include money spent to encourage caviar eating, tax breaks for the National Football League and other professional sports, rules that allow people to use food stamps for alcohol, a NASA program to make pizza to eat on Mars, and a $325,000 grant to produce a robot squirrel designed to lure rattlesnakes.

“As you look at these examples, put your personal political persuasion aside and ask yourself: Would you agree with Washington that these represent national priorities, or would you conclude these reflect the out-of-touch and out-of-control spending threatening to bankrupt our nation’s future?” Coburn asks.

Read the full report here.

Does Gary Johnson Matter?

The Republican Party is worried that Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson could take a substantial toll on the election outcome, so an all-out assault has been launched against the candidate.

As pundits note that Mitt Romney has taken a more moderate stance on many issues in recent weeks and President Barack Obama’s policies have turned voters concerned with civil liberties away from the Democratic ticket, there is buzz that Johnson may have a heavy impact on the outcome of an already competitive election.

According to The New York Times, Republican operatives in a handful of the 48 States where Johnson is on the Presidential ballot have been working to ensure that the Libertarian will be an option for as few voters as possible.

Johnson has been denied the opportunity to debate alongside Romney and Obama, but says he offers voters something that the two major-party candidates do not: a different path for America. For that reason, Johnson told The Times that he represents Perrier in a Presidential race between Coke and Pepsi.

Addressing Republicans who begrudgingly support Romney despite his moderate political views, Johnson asked in a recent campaign speech, “What is more of a wasted vote than voting for somebody that you don’t believe in?”

The Libertarian has offered harsh critiques of both Obama and Romney. In a recent interview with Salon, he took an opportunity to tell potential voters what he would say if allowed to join the debate stage tonight with the two-party candidates:

Well, I would not bomb Iran. I would get out of Afghanistan tomorrow, bring the troops home. I believe that marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right. I would end the drug wars. I would advocate legalizing marijuana now. I would have never signed the Patriot Act. I would have never signed the National Defense Authorization Act allowing for arrests and detainment of you and me as U.S. citizens without being charged. I believe we need to balance the federal budget now and that means a $1.4 trillion reduction in federal spending now. When it comes to jobs, I’m advocating eliminating income tax, corporate tax, abolishing the IRS, and replacing all of that with one federal consumption tax. In this case, I am embracing the FairTax. I think that that’s really the answer when it comes to American jobs. In a zero corporate tax rate environment, if the private sector doesn’t create tens of millions of jobs, then I don’t know what it takes to create tens of millions of jobs.

Voting Stresses You Out

A new study finds that voting in elections, like the quickly approaching Presidential election, can actually cause stress and emotional arousal, something people passionate about politics likely already knew.

“Emotional changes are related and affect various physiological processes, but we were surprised that voting in national democratic elections causes emotional reactions accompanied by such physical and psychological stress that can easily influence our decision-making,” according to Professor Hagit Cohen from the Anxiety and Stress Research Unit at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

The study, published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, found that the level of cortisol in study participants was nearly three times higher just before voting than it was 21 months later. Cortisol, known as the “stress hormone,” is released when a person is in a state of stress, threat or emotional distress.

The study was conducted on Israel’s Election Day in 2009 with individuals on their way into a polling place. They were asked to give a saliva sample and to complete a questionnaire examining emotional arousal at a stand that was placed 30 feet from the ballot box.

“Since we do not like to feel ‘stressed out,’ it is unclear whether this pressure on Election Day can influence people and cause them not to vote at all. Impact on voter turnout is particularly important given that the stress levels rise if our preferred party or candidate for whom we want to vote is not popular in the polls,” Cohen said.

Panetta Spreads ‘Cyber-Pearl Harbor’ Fear

The term “Cyber-Pearl Harbor” conjures up some ridiculous imagery, but the fateful military attack that led the United States full force into World War II is what Defense Secretary Leon Panetta invoked last week to make a case for passing online security bills like the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which has been widely criticized by privacy advocates.

Panetta, during a speech at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, said that America is in a “pre-9/11 moment” and should do everything in its power to secure its “national interests in cyberspace.”

Panetta said that in order to avoid a “Cyber-Pearl Harbor that would cause physical destruction and the loss of life, an attack that would paralyze and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability” Congress must pass a bill that enables the Federal government to freely obtain personal online information about Americans from businesses. CISPA, which does just that, was voted down by Congress after complaints from online freedom and privacy advocates who said it violated the 1st and 4th Amendments. The Barack Obama Administration, however, has not ruled out passing the legislation via executive order.

Panetta pinpointed China, Russia and Iran as the nations most likely to launch a damaging cyberattack against the United States. Panetta said (emphasis is the author’s own):

An aggressor nation or extremist group could use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches. They could derail passenger trains, or even more dangerous, derail passenger trains loaded with lethal chemicals. They could contaminate the water supply in major cities, or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country.

Panetta also argued that the U.S. government needs the ability to launch offense operations against cyber-actors it deems as threats to national security.

Kid Rock To Sean Penn: ‘Suck It, Commie’

With a vulgar and bizarre public service announcement posted to YouTube last week, musician and noted right-leaner Kid Rock joined lefty actor Sean Penn to send a message to America: Don’t let politics divide us.

“Don’t let politics divide us,” the short film’s tagline reads. “Thinking differently is what made this country great.”

The video starts out with the two getting into a confrontation at a bar, as Rock’s “Born Free” performance at a Mitt Romney event is playing on the television. The two insult one another feverishly and quite vulgarly until a breaking news report plays on the television in the background telling of troop deaths in the Mideast. The grim news pulls the two political opposites together, and they embark on a political stereotype-laden journey to better understand one another’s political views.

“It reminds us that what really matters is that we’re all Americans, with diverse thoughts, opinions and stances on issues,” the video’s YouTube description reads. “We are millions of unique, individual parts, the sum of which comprise a whole that is the shining beacon of freedom throughout the world.”

The video may be of dubious political value during an election season that many Americans believe will determine the direction of the Nation in coming decades, but it serves well to point out the often ridiculous stereotypes that the politically observant on both sides often foist upon their opposition.

Watch the video below, but be warned it contains some serious vulgarity.

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSQJ2ULuhb8&w=560&h=315]

Condescending Biden, Collected Ryan And A Continuing Horse Race

Following President Barack Obama’s assertion that he lost the first Presidential debate to Republican Mitt Romney because he was too polite, it appears as though the Democratic Party told Joe Biden that he needed to carry a decidedly “no more Mister Nice Guy” attitude to the Vice Presidential debate on Thursday.

A few dozen snickers, interruptions and condescending “look here, little boy” moments directed at Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan later, and Biden succeeded at one thing during the debate: emboldening Democratic voters. Despite Biden’s lively performance, Ryan offered a portrait of someone who could calmly defend Romney’s proposals and firmly point out where the Obama Administration has failed, appealing to Republicans and undecided voters alike.

Biden, famous for his foot-in-mouth moments, likely left many people watching the event in hopes of catching one of the Vice President’s verbal missteps disappointed; the gaffe-prone politico managed to keep his comments clean. Ryan was also able to avoid any verbal missteps, and pundits appear to agree that his first nationally televised debate performance was a resounding success.

“I know you’re under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground,” Ryan said to Biden at one point referencing the President’s poor debate performance last week as the reason the Vice President rudely interrupted him during the showdown.

When Biden attempted to take a cheap shot at the Republican ticket by bringing up Romney’s now infamous “47 percent” remarks, Ryan downplayed the controversy and issued a scathing rebuke of his opponent saying: “As the Vice President very well knows, the words don’t always come out of your mouth the right way.”

Though debate moderator ABC News foreign correspondent Martha Raddatz attempted to coax specificity from both candidates, they largely stuck to party line talking points throughout the night.  What did come as a surprise to many pundits watching the debate was the candidates’ heavy focus on foreign policy. The Obama Administration has attempted to avoid the topic in recent weeks in the wake of disastrous Afghan attacks on U.S. soldiers and the terrorist assault on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

“What we are watching on our TV screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy, which is making the world more chaotic and us less safe,” Ryan said, seizing the issues to reinforce a Romney assertion that Obama foreign policy is making the United States a weak world power.

Criticizing the Obama Administration on the Libya attacks, Ryan issued a handful of critiques on Obama foreign policy that Biden could do little to defend.

“It took the President two weeks to acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack,” Ryan said.

“Look, if we’re hit by terrorists, we’re going to call it for what it is: a terrorist attack. Our ambassador in Paris has a Marine detachment guarding him. Shouldn’t we have a Marine detachment guarding our ambassador in Benghazi, a place where we knew that there was an al-Qaida cell with arms?” he went on.

The Vice President’s rebuttal admitted foreign policy mistakes while making promises for the future.

“I can make absolutely two commitments to you and all the American people tonight. One, we will find and bring to justice the men who did this. And secondly, we will get to the bottom of it; and whatever – wherever the facts lead us, wherever they lead us, we will make clear to the American public, because whatever mistakes were made will not be made again,” Biden said.

In discussing a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014, Biden declared that the Obama Administration would stick to the schedule no matter what and said that the Afghans would fulfill their responsibility to providing proper security in the country until the U.S. military leaves.

“We are leaving. We are leaving in 2014. And in the process we’re going to be saving over the next 10 years another $800 billion,” Biden said.

Ryan was less willing to call 2014 a concrete withdrawal date, saying that it was imperative that the United States not lose gains made over the past decade in the region by leaving too hastily.

Biden attempted to capitalize on American weariness about further Mideast conflict by painting the Romney/Ryan foreign policy plan as a hawkish guarantee of more ground wars in the region in coming years. He accused the Republicans of loose talk with regard to Syria and said that Republicans would put the country’s dictator, Bashar Assad, in a position that made U.S. conflict with the nation unavoidable.

Ryan denied that there were plans to put American forces in Syria to stabilize the nation, but doubled down on tough talk about the dangers of allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapon capabilities. He said that the Obama Administration’s sanctions on the country have been too weak and put the Iranians four years closer to their goal of nuclear armament.

When pressed by Raddatz for a precise plan to eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat, Ryan was largely mum. Political pundits speculate that the candidate’s silence was likely necessary to avoid an answer that would be unpopular with Americans tired of fighting in the Mideast: a military attack on Iranian nuclear sites.

When the candidates talked about the defense budget, Ryan denied the much-publicized claim that a Romney Administration would add $2 trillion to the military budget over the course of the next decade (which the Romney Budget does advocate). Ryan said, however, that Romney would simply not allow the kind of automatic military spending cuts for which the Obama Administration was prepared.

Biden rebutted that the military Joint Chiefs of Staff had no issue with the cuts and were in fact “in favor of a smaller, leaner military.”

The Vice President capitalized on criticism from economic policy wonks who say the Romney/Ryan budget proposals contain math that doesn’t exactly add up.

Ryan said that the Romney tax plan closes enough loopholes in the tax code to provide for an across-the-board tax cut for Americans. He attempted to drive home the point that the Obama/Biden plan would raise taxes on the middle class and small businesses making more than $250,000 a year.

“There aren’t enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for their spending,” he said. “Watch out, middle class. The tax bill’s coming for you.”

Biden protested that the Romney plan was “not mathematically possible.” In defense, Ryan invoked John F. Kennedy’s tax plan, which accomplished some of the things that the Romney/Ryan plan would if implemented.

Ending the exchange, Biden used a debate trick and interrupted Ryan with the quip: “Oh. Now you’re Jack Kennedy.”

For what it lacked in specific answers, the Vice Presidential debate made up for in vitriol with the two men constantly at the throats of one another’s policy. Following the event, polls indicated something of a tie in the debate with preference for the candidates split mostly along party lines.

In a CNN poll following the debate, 48 percent of respondents said Ryan won; 44 percent chose Biden. A poll by CBS claimed Biden had 50 percent preference and Ryan 31 percent.

Pundits say the debate and following polling results indicate that the election is becoming more and more a Presidential horse race that will likely boil down to a photo finish.

NYPD Hints Of Possible Iran Attack

Late last month, pro-Israeli lobbyist Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy floated the idea that a Pearl Harbor-style attack on America was the best way to get U.S. citizens on board with the idea of going to war with Iran. This week, the New York Police Department said that it is concerned about an Iranian threat to the city’s heavy Jewish population.

New York City is home to the largest Jewish population in any city outside of Israel with 1.5 million Jews spread throughout the metropolis.

Speaking at an anti-terrorism conference this week, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said that tensions between Israel and Iran could have deadly implications for the Big Apple if the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah terrorist group sets its sites on the city’s Jewish population.

“We’ve been concerned about Iran for a while, and I think the history of those events throughout the world since January give us cause for concern,” Kelly said.

Early last month, reports broke of ties between the Israeli government and the NYPD when New York’s finest opened a new branch, in Israel.

Obama And Civil Liberty

President Barack Obama said earlier in the week that he wants civil liberties to be brought forth as a more important topic of debate in the few remaining weeks before the Presidential election.

“We haven’t talked about what’s at stake with respect to civil liberties,” Obama mused during a campaign speech at the Los Angeles Ritz Carlton.

Obama critics would likely agree that, despite the President’s comment, a real conversation about civil liberties under his Administration would not likely gain him any favor with civil libertarians. While Mitt Romney isn’t exactly known for his love of civil liberty and his party certainly isn’t after the Patriot Act-laden reign of George W. Bush, what Obama has done (and has failed to do) is more alarming to libertarians than anything Romney might do.

In examining Obama’s record over the past four years alongside statements he made before he took office, it almost appears as if the President does not remember anything he has done with regard to civil liberties in nearly four years.

Obama said this in December 2007:

I reject the view that the President may do whatever he deems necessary to protect national security, and that he may torture people in defiance of congressional enactments. I reject the use of signing statements to make extreme and implausible claims of presidential authority. Some further points:

The detention of American citizens, without access to counsel, fair procedure, or pursuant to judicial authorization, as enemy combatants is unconstitutional.

Warrantless surveillance of American citizens, in defiance of FISA, is unlawful and unconstitutional.

The violation of international treaties that have been ratified by the Senate, specifically the Geneva Conventions, was illegal (as the Supreme Court held) and a bad idea.

The creation of military commissions, without congressional authorization, was unlawful (as the Supreme Court held) and a bad idea.

Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, a law that allows for “the detention of American citizens, without access to counsel, fair procedure, or pursuant to judicial authorization, as enemy combatants.” Though he claims to have “had reservations” about it.

Obama’s Administration not only continued Bush-era domestic spying programs, but dramatically increased warrantless electronic surveillance.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the Department of Justice monitored 37,616 phones in 2011 and increased its tracking of email and social networking data by 361 percent under Obama.

The President also embraced the use of the very military commissions that he once abhorred.

Furthermore, the “transparent” Obama Administration has waged all-out war on whistle-blowers because the President claims that “state secrets” have been put into danger.

If the President wants a conversation about civil liberty that makes him look better than the prospect of a Romney Administration, he has a great deal of bad policy to undo before November.

Rand Paul Slams Romney Foreign Policy

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) criticized Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on foreign policy in a column Wednesday published by CNN.

Romney, who got the Senator’s endorsement to the dismay of Ron Paul supporters earlier in the campaign, has been heavily critical of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy in recent weeks and has called for increased defense spending and more Mideast intervention. But the younger Paul says he cannot support Romney in certain areas of foreign policy.

Here’s an excerpt from the column:

Romney chose to criticize President Obama for seeking to cut a bloated Defense Department and for not being bellicose enough in the Middle East, two assertions with which I cannot agree.

Defense and war spending has grown 137% since 2001. That kind of growth is not sustainable.

Adm. Michael Mullen stated earlier this year that the biggest threat to our national security is our debt.

If debt is our gravest threat, adding to the debt by expanding military spending further threatens our national security.

While I would always stand up for America and preserve our ability to defend ourselves, a less aggressive foreign policy along with an audit of the Pentagon could save tens of billions of dollars each year without sacrificing our defense. To dismiss either idea is to miss the very compromise that will enable us to balance our budget. That compromise would be for conservatives to admit that not every dollar spent on the military is sacred or well-spent and for liberals to admit that not every dollar spent on domestic entitlements and welfare is necessary.

In North Africa and the Middle East, our problem has not been a lack of intervention. In the past 10 years we have fought two full wars there, and bombed or sent troops into several others.

Racist Morons Everywhere You Look

Racism in America is alive and well, but perhaps we should call it something different.

Race has been a hot topic in America in the years since the Nation’s “first black President” was elected (not Bubba but Barack) and has received heightened attention in headlines over the past year. In electoral politics accusations of racism have been flung from both sides of the aisle. In coverage of tragedies like the shooting of the black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by the Hispanic (white if you work in media) George Zimmerman, racism has been exploited as a sensational motive. And just yesterday, the Supreme Court heard a case involving a word that should have long ago been thrown in the trash bin with “nigger,” “spic” and “kike”: affirmative action.

After President Barack Obama was elected nearly four years ago, cries of jubilation from the hope-and-change peanut gallery were idealistic in tone and hinted of a new, improved post-racial American future. In fact, a poll released by Gallup in the summer following the President’s ascent to power showed that a little more than half of the population felt optimistic that the division of the past between blacks and whites in the Nation was closer than ever to being forgotten.

The results of that particular Gallup poll offer interesting, albeit heavily anecdotal, evidence of who more strongly believes that America can remove race from the success/failure equation and replace it with merit. As in “he didn’t hire me because I am black do not have enough experience in the field for the job” or “I wasn’t accepted into the University of Texas because the school couldn’t add more white students and still meet diversity requirements didn’t feel my application was as strong as others.”

That particular poll noted that while 59 percent of whites saw the election of a “black” President as a boon to American race relations, only 50 percent of black respondents shared the same view.

Since Obama took office, it has become harder and harder to tell who the most egregious racists in America are, save the obvious examples like the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nation and The New Black Panther Party which have given unfortunate merit to the race-baiting existence of organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center for decades. The examples of outright racism that are not so easily pointed out are those that burden the person pointing them out with proving that he is not indeed a racist himself.

If you’re white, criticizing the President is ridiculously likely to get you called a racist.

And pointing out that Huffington Post dedicates an entire portion of its website to black people — that’s racist — is a surefire way to elicit a response like the one of an impassioned young Occupy Wall Street Trotskyite forever immortalized on YouTube (the video, by the way, has an impressive number of views): “Are you a white man? If you’re a white man, then shut the f**k up about race because you don’t know s**t other than how to rape and kill.”

He goes on to mutter something about white people criticizing black people for criticizing the “power structure” — it is all so very Black Panther circa 1960s, but I digress.

Along with HuffPost’s “Black Voices” section, you can visit “Latino Voices” and “Gay Voices” if you are feeling incredibly minority-tastic. In honor of Columbus Day on Monday, one of the publication’s esteemed “Black Voices” columnists (a black man) penned a wonderfully racist column about “underwhelming” white people. The list, entitled “The 15 Most Overrated White People”, includes the likes of Elvis Presley, Ronald Reagan, the entire National Hockey League (except Wayne Simmons, a black Canadian), William Shakespeare, Joel Osteen, Sarah Palin and Bill Clinton.

The list includes such fallaciously sarcastic observations as this bit about Palin: “Although her political career is likely over, Palin continues to be a powerbroker among Right wing extremists. Despite her lack of knowledge of policy or strategy, Palin is still a go-to pundit on conservative media outlets. No one destroys the myth of white supremacy more effectively than Sarah Palin.”

While some of the author’s observations are actually spot on (Palin is no policy genius, and Osteen is a bit of a shameless self-promoter), imagine the racially charged vitriol coming from a white columnist in a similarly named article “The 15 Most Overrated Black People.” In the spirit of fair play, a few names come immediately to mind: Obama, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, many others whose names are preceded by “The Reverend,” Lil Wayne, Kanye West, the Congressional Black Caucus and anyone involved in the production of one of those dreadful Tyler Perry films.

Of course, you’ll never read that column because it would be an incredibly racist and culturally misguided critique of black culture coming from a white pundit.

The simple fact that the columnist in question felt the need to write about “overrated white people” in an all-black forum on Columbus Day demonstrates perfectly the damage that affirmative action, political correctness and the perpetual myth that white people are always trying to tread upon black people are doing to the Nation. Columbus Day has become a popular time for bleeding hearts to remind everyone that bad things happened in the past and will continue to happen as a result of evil and hate. And that’s fine, but picking selective racial battles only to self-embolden black identity is no noble endeavor. Perhaps a better article would have been “The 15 Most Underrated Native Americans Killed By European Settlers.” Of course, HuffPost has yet to add a “Native American Voices” section.

There is no shortage of white racists in America, but they by no means have the monopoly on hate and closed-mindedness. And so, because racist has always been such a white-centric term and “reverse racism” is an idiotic one, perhaps it is time to find another word that could encompass both the ignorant white man in his hood and robe and the spiteful black man who blames pigment for all of his problems. Luckily, we already have one: moron.

A Cup Of Tea To Battle Terrorism

New research indicates that a powerful weapon in the fight against bioterrorism could be a simple cup of tea.

The favorite English beverage has shown in studies the ability to kill certain deadly microorganisms and deactivate toxins. According to Dr. Simon Richardson, senior lecturer in Biopharmaceutical Sciences at the British University of Greenwich’s School of Science, and his team of researchers, a principal component of black tea can neutralize ricin, a highly toxic substance that has been used in a number of attempted bioterror attacks.

Ricin is a waste byproduct of the extraction of oil from castor beans.

“One cup of char [British slang for tea] won’t cure you if you have been poisoned, but compounds extracted from tea could, with further research, provide an antidote to poisoning following a terrorist attack,” said Richardson. “I’ve been working on neutralizing ricin poisoning for about six years as a by-product of my work in drug delivery…The next stage, as well as securing more funding, is seeing if other components of tea have a greater effect.”

There is currently no treatment for ricin poisoning. A number of failed terror attempts in the United States and abroad have involved the bioterrorism chemical in recent years.

In 1978, Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian journalist and activist living in London, was famously killed by a man with an umbrella rigged to inject a poison ricin pellet under Markov’s skin.

If refined into a terrorist or warfare agent, ricin could be used to expose people through the air, food or water.

Israel Early Elections And Attack Talk

At a press conference in Tel Aviv Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for early parliamentary elections in his country.

According to some analysts, Netanyahu wants to move forward with elections while his approval rating in the country is relatively good. He hopes to avoid allowing other Israeli parties to strengthen their platforms.

Some also suggest Netanyahu is worried about possible diplomatic retaliation if President Barack Obama is re-elected following the Israeli Prime Minister’s apparent support for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The early Israeli elections could come as soon as January.

The report comes just after Foreign Policy magazine published a piece detailing American and Israeli consideration of a joint surgical strike on Iranian uranium enrichment facilities. The article’s author, David Rothkopf, quotes “a source close to the discussions,” writing:

Advocates for this approach argue that not only is it likely to be more politically palatable in the United States but, were it to be successful — meaning knocking out enrichment facilities, setting the Iranian nuclear program back many years, and doing so without civilian casualties — it would have region wide benefits. One advocate asserts it would have a ‘transformative outcome: saving Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, reanimating the peace process, securing the Gulf, sending an unequivocal message to Russia and China, and assuring American ascendancy in the region for a decade to come’.

…To get to buried Iranian facilities, such as the enrichment plant at Fordow, would require bunker-busting munitions on a scale that no Israeli plane is capable of delivering. The mission, therefore, must involve the United States, whether acting alone or in concert with the Israelis and others.

Dismal Winter Gas Prices May Be Coming

Gas prices on the West Coast hit record-breaking highs on Monday, averaging nearly $4.67 in much of California.

Breaking records set in 2008, the recent surge in gasoline prices has been attributed to a series of pipeline and refinery problems that are slowing fuel production.

Prices throughout the rest of the United States have also reached historic highs for this time of year at about $3.82 per gallon as of Monday. Usually, October means falling gas prices throughout the Nation. Although prices tapered off in 30 States, they went up in 16 others. The most drastic increase has been in California where motorists have seen the price of gas jump an average of 50 cents since Oct. 1. In some parts of that State, gas costs more than $6 a gallon.

Some analysts predict that prices will continue to rise in coming weeks, meaning that some voters could have to stop for some more-than-$4-a-gallon gas on the way to the polls in November.

Conservative commentator Mike Huckabee slammed the mainstream media yesterday, saying news coverage has not paid nearly as much lip service to the rising gas prices under President Barack Obama as it did under the George Bush Administration.

“When George Bush was president, we heard about gas prices every time,” Huckabee said on FOX News’ Fox & Friends. “And they would take cameras to the pumps and have someone almost tearfully explaining that they were paying almost two dollars and fifty cents a gallon. It’s amazing how quiet the media has been when gas prices are double what they were when President Obama took office. They’re the highest in the country’s history.”

Pharmaceutically Induced Meningitis Outbreak Under Way

On Monday, health officials throughout the United States were working to identify victims of a rare form of meningitis spread to unsuspecting patients throughout the Nation by contaminated steroid injections.

The Centers for Disease Control believes that about 13,000 patients may have been exposed to the three lots of the steroid methylprednisolone acetate which was recalled from the New England Compounding Center Inc. in Framingham, Mass.

The CDC reported 105 cases in nine States on Monday, up from 91 cases on Sunday. According to the CDC, people who received the steroid injections between May and September in the following States may be at risk for the infection: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas and West Virginia.

The steroid shot reportedly was given to patients most often for relief of back pain.

NEEC, a pharmaceutical compounding company, was previously the subject of safety complaints and has suspended operations pending investigation.

Glenn Beck Needs To Make Some More Frog Soup

Ron Paul supporters who have decided that they can simply not bring themselves to support Mitt Romney or Barack Obama for President in November may soon get a clue from the Tea Party original himself as to who is the best candidate for disillusioned liberty lovers.

In an interview with Fox Business last week, Paul reiterated the fact that he has not offered any support for the Romney campaign saying: “I obviously haven’t announced in support for Romney, so that means that’s very unlikely. And I don‘t think anybody thinks I’m going to vote for Obama. So it’s back to that frustration level in not seeing a dramatic choice in how the system works.”

Paul also suggested a third-party candidate may be a better option for a voter who doesn’t want to be complicit in electing a President who really has little or no likelihood of dramatically changing the direction of the Nation.

“There are other people who are technically capable of winning because they’re on a lot of ballots,” Paul said, though he stopped short of offering a particular endorsement at this time.

The very conservative former candidate elicited shrieks from supposed conservatives like The Blaze writer Meredith Jessup, who, in a column entitled “Ron Paul Is Really Starting To Tick Me Off” writes a familiar “conservative nose-holder voting for Romney” response:

Countless conservatives voting for Romney this fall didn’t support him in the primary election but are now throwing their support behind the best chance this country has right now to avoid driving off a fiscal cliff.  Countless conservatives don’t agree with Romney on many issues, but see that they agree with Romney much more than they disagree with him.  Countless conservatives realize that voting for Romney doesn’t represent a rousing endorsement for every policy position he has.  And countless conservatives also know that a president is only capable of change with cooperation with Congress and if they want real change, it’s more important to elect conservatives from their local districts to represent them in Washington.

Jessup also trumps up to selfishness Paul’s and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s ambition to change the direction of the country drastically rather than mutedly, writing: “But the threat of four more years of Barack Obama apparently doesn’t matter to Paul, Johnson and their supporters who think the principle of their protest trumps the best interests of the country.”

The writer’s opinion is interesting coming from someone writing for a website created by the same guy — Glenn Beck — who took massive heat from Republicans three years ago when he told Katie Couric he would have voted for Hillary Clinton over John McCain before boiling rubber frogs to demonstrate why. Beck’s hypothesis, aptly demonstrated with his frog toy, was this: Someone who polarizes the Nation and gives real conservatives a reason to resist heavily, is much safer than a fake conservative who is able to lull others into a false sense of security as they boil to death.

Despite his aversion to supporting a progressive in conservatives clothing in the last election, Beck seems to be happy to support his fellow Mormon in this election, despite a heavy stench of progressivism lingering in the air.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDv-X8d-RKk&w=560&h=315]

So-called conservatives like the aforementioned writer of the column calling out Paul for not backing Romney already know that Obama is a liberal. They know that he wants to raise taxes and do away with the Bush tax cuts. These things scare them to death. But, evidently, they don’t fear the unknown. They don’t fear a candidate who has been on the same side of the aisle as Obama on a number of issues including social issues, taxes, global warming, ethanol, “model for the nation” healthcare and others but isn’t now only because he says he isn’t.

It would seem — to borrow from Beck — that many so-called conservatives are ready to jump out of this nearly four-year-old boiling pot of water and right into a more slowly heating cauldron where they may be cooked in a more relaxing manner.

But while Paul may be ticking off columnists like Jessup and Beck may have lost the fervor he had back in his days at Fox, not much has changed in the time since the last election: Two guys are running, one a known liberal and the other with closeted liberal tendencies; the economy is in shambles; and neither candidate is offering a clear plan on how to fix it. The bottom line is that conservatives who believe voting for a real conservative candidate is a throwaway are simply telling you (again hat tip to Beck’s frog boiling), “I’m tired of fighting and would much rather be boiled slowly.”

In the meantime, America can probably (and hopefully) expect Paul to make headlines in coming weeks when he throws his support behind a candidate who is on the ballot in 48 States and has been steadfast in his political beliefs.

That candidate said this in response to the debate — which he was not invited to, some suggest illegally — last week:

Everyone, including President Obama and former governor Mitt Romney, gives lip service to reducing the deficit. But when you do the math — whether it be Obama’s, Romney’s or even Paul Ryan’s — there is no plan for eliminating deficits that adds up. When a politician, Republican or Democrat, tells you we can balance the budget while not reducing Medicare costs or while spending even more for defense, it simply cannot be done. And they know it can’t be done.

Americans deserve the truth. The truth is that our deficits are not only unsustainable, but represent a very real threat to this nation. And of the $16 trillion in debt our government in Washington has racked up, it is almost equally split between Republican and Democrat administrations.

It doesn’t have to be that way. I will submit a balanced budget in 2013. Yes, that budget will call for spending reductions of 43% — the reductions necessary to match revenues without raising taxes.

And it would only be fitting for Paul to support the Libertarian. Johnson never flip-flopped, instead spending a massive amount of time smashing down his veto stamp (750 times on bills and thousands of budget line items) during his two terms as New Mexico Governor.

Besides, why turn down the flame under the water pot when there’s a way to cut the gas?