Those who dismissed Rep. Ron Paul as a joke in the Republican presidential primary campaign aren’t laughing so hard these days.
The Texas libertarian’s rise in the polls and in fundraising proves that a small but passionate number of Americans can be drawn to an advocate of unorthodox proposals such as returning to the gold standard and abolishing the income tax, CIA and Federal Reserve.
Paul, 72, recently set a one-day, online GOP presidential fundraising record, and pulled slightly ahead of Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee in a New Hampshire poll, where he had 8 percent of the Republicans’ support. In Iowa, he tied John McCain for fifth place, with 4 percent each.
House Democrats pushed through a $50 billion bill for the Iraq war Wednesday night that would require President Bush to start bringing troops home in coming weeks with a goal of ending combat by December 2008.
The legislation, passed 218-203, was largely a symbolic jab at Bush, who already has begun reducing force levels but opposes a congressionally mandated timetable on the war. And while the measure was unlikely to pass in the Senate — let alone overcome a presidential veto — Democrats said they wanted voters to know they weren’t giving up.
Perhaps not since Watergate, when one former attorney general was headed to jail and another to a perjury conviction, has anyone taken over the Justice Department under more difficult circumstances.
As if to reinforce the impression that he is truly in charge, Michael Mukasey was sworn in as attorney general twice, privately last Friday and ceremonially Wednesday, with President Bush avowing that the former judge “has my complete trust and confidence.”
Did someone from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s team plant a question during an event in Iowa last week — and if so, who did it and why? That’s the mystery keeping all of political Washington agog and dogging what has until now been an almost flawless execution of a presidential primary campaign.
Was the senator herself involved? Highly dubious. Did a dumb, inexperienced staffer ask a college kid to pitch a predictable sop of a question? Likely. Or worse, could it have been planted by a seasoned political operative? Dumber than dumb. And unnecessary.
As America’s ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton was the White House’s most effective defender. Now, as an ex-diplomat, he has become among the administration’s toughest critics. But he critiques from the right, not the left, which probably explains why the elite media are not eager to focus on what he has to say.
As the holiday season approaches, our attention will, once again, focus on people, values and concepts that we hold dear.
It is often said that “fools rush in where wise men fear to tread.” If that is true, here are some thoughts from another foolish person. There is no four-letter word that carries as much emotional baggage as the word “home.”
News item: Former aviation and government officials, led by former Arizona Gov. Fife Symington, had a panel discussion at the National Press Club this week to call on the government to reopen investigations of UFOs.
Earthlings, this is not a good development.
Of course, I am not mocking the existence of aliens visiting this planet. After all, I am an alien myself. I have tried to keep this fact under my hat but my pointy ears often peep out from under the brim.