Sign an electronic petition with Supporters for Paul to prove skeptics wrong

My objective here on this site is to remain as nonpartisan as possible and provide unbiased information about the candidates. So that you can decide who is the best candidate for you and our country. However, I feel that I can announce whom I am voting for and still remain committed to fairness in presenting all candidates. Having said that, I am begining an online petition of Supporters for Ron Paul. Many dismiss his poll results as spam by a few avid supporters. So, let's see how many "real supporters" there are by signing your name and state. Please take a second and drop your full name and state here.


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All straw poll results

You can follow all of the straw poll results here, the site looks like it could be slanted toward Obama, but that is my opinion after reading some of their analysis.


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USAelection polls looks eerily similar to mine, with Ron Paul demolishing his competitors

Check it out here

An interesting thought aside, could the national polls be skewed themselves, because their polls are not representative of the internet only voting types? You decide, either way - Some of these dark horses could provide some good opposition for the better known candidates.



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2008 Race Comes Down To The States

Oxford Analytica 08.31.07, 6:00 AM ET

State governments that unilaterally moved their 2008 presidential primaries to earlier dates will be penalized, the Republican National Committee has announced.

While the 2008 presidential contest is a federal election, the process is implemented at the state level and is monitored by state officials. This arrangement has been increasingly fraught, as states jockey to maximize their political influence through primary scheduling, and concerns about partisan bias in state election administration increase.

Global media outlets overwhelmingly focus on the national implications of U.S. elections, particularly during presidential campaign cycles. However, the constitutional structure of the U.S. federal system means that the individual states are responsible for administering elections and are the main venues for the presidential campaign.

Presidential hopefuls from the two major parties must gain nomination through a grueling primary and caucus process at the state level.

Rules vary widely form state to state, concerning almost every aspect of the process (apart from certain campaign finance rules regulated by the Federal Election Commission), including voter eligibility, filing deadlines, nomination rules and laws on advertising and political contributions.

The U.S. Constitution's Electoral College system, which ultimately determines the outcome of presidential elections, is state-based.

States may alter the dates of their primaries and caucus votes to increase their influence over the presidential nomination process. Therefore, idiosyncratic state regulations and administrations can have a decisive impact on the outcome of presidential elections--as the 2000 Florida debacle illustrated.

This state-based system has become increasingly controversial. State officials, "secretaries of state," who administer elections often have conflicts of interest. They are usually permitted to assume active political roles and party affiliations, such as chairing a national candidate's state election campaign organization, despite their concurrent responsibility to ensure electoral probity.

Time limits seldom dictate when these state officials may accept positions with lobbying firms. Moreover, the "revolving door" between the voting-machinery industry and the election administration sector, now much diluted at the federal level, thrives in the states.

These problematic issues cannot be easily disentangled from the U.S. constitutional framework. In the federal system it embodies, states predominate on policymaking where appropriate.

The Constitution dictates that power resides with state governments unless explicitly stated otherwise. Both the political activity of state election officials and the Electoral College are a consequence of this arrangement.

Perhaps the most important expression of state influence over the national parties' presidential nominations is the power to set the date for their own primaries and caucuses. This power has become increasingly significant, as states' efforts to maximize their influence over presidential candidate selection often leads to revised primary dates.

The 2008 election now faces a new federal restriction, in which many of the most populous and influential states will hold primaries over a two-week period in late January and early February. These first primaries may decide the nomination.

South Carolina Republicans have just moved the date of their primary forward from February 2008 to mid-January in order to preserve its status as the ''first in the South." New Hampshire and Iowa are considering similar moves.

Increasingly fractious state attempts to compete for influence over the nomination process, and the resultant public uneasiness, have spurred proposals to modify the way such votes are conducted. There is widespread discontent with the rules of an electoral game that often privileges relatively small numbers of voters in certain key states.

Several states have enacted laws imposing certain limits on the political activity of election officials. Such legislation has passed in Virginia, Massachusetts, Colorado and Ohio.

To read an extended version of this article, log on to Oxford Analytica's Web site.

Oxford Analytica is an independent strategic-consulting firm drawing on a network of more than 1,000 scholar experts at Oxford and other leading universities and research institutions around the world. For more information, please visit www.oxan.com. To find out how to subscribe to the firm's Daily Brief Service, click here.





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Worldwide press freedom index


Yearly worldwide press freedom ranking of countries
published by Reporters Without Borders
Rank Country Index

Learn more about this here.




2006 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002
1 Finland 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
1 Iceland 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
1 Ireland 0.50 0.50 0.50 2.83 1.00
1 Netherlands 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
5 Czech Republic 0.75 1.00 3.50 2.50 11.25
6 Estonia 2.00 1.50 2.00 2.50
6 Norway 2.00 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
8 Slovakia 2.50 0.75 0.50 2.50
8 Switzerland 2.50 0.50 0.50 2.50 4.25
10 Hungary 3.00 2.00 6.00 3.33 6.50
10 Latvia 3.00 2.50 1.00 2.25
10 Portugal 3.00 4.83 4.50 5.17 1.50
10 Slovenia 3.00 1.00 2.25 3.00 4.00
14 Belgium 4.00 4.00 4.00 1.17 3.50
14 Sweden 4.00 2.00 2.00 1.50 1.50
16 Austria 4.50 2.50 3.25 2.75 7.50
16 Bolivia 4.50 9.67 20.00 9.67 14.50
16 Canada 4.50 4.50 3.33 1.83 0.75
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina 5.00 7.00 3.67 6.83 12.50
19 Denmark 5.00 0.50 0.50 1.00 3.00
19 New Zealand 5.00 2.00 0.67 2.83
19 Trinidad and Tobago 5.00 2.00 2.00 1.00
23 Benin 5.50 5.50 5.50 5.25 6.00
23 Germany 5.50 4.00 2.00 1.33 1.50
23 Jamaica 5.50 7.50 4.17 3.33
26 Namibia 6.00 5.50 10.00 11.00 8.00
27 Lithuania 6.50 4.50 3.00 2.83
27 United Kingdom 6.50 5.17 6.00 4.25 6.00
29 Costa Rica 6.67 8.50 7.63 3.83 4.25
30 Cyprus (Republic of Cyprus) 7.50 5.50 22.00 20.83
31 South Korea 7.75 7.50 11.13 9.17 10.50
32 Greece 8.00 4.00 7.00 6.00 5.00
32 Mauritius 8.00 7.50 10.50 7.25 9.50
34 Ghana 8.50 15.00 13.50 8.75 23.00
35 Australia 9.00 6.50 9.50 9.25 3.50
35 Bulgaria 9.00 10.25 8.00 6.50 9.75
35 France 9.00 6.25 3.50 4.17 3.25
35 Mali 9.00 8.00 12.83 11.00 12.50
39 Panama 9.50 15.00 14.50 9.75 15.50
40 Italy 9.90 8.67 9.00 9.75 11.00
41 El Salvador 10.00 5.75 6.00 6.83 8.75
41 Spain 10.00 8.33 9.00 7.67 7.75
43 Republic of China (Taiwan) 10.50 12.25 14.25 12.00 9.00
44 South Africa 11.25 6.50 5.00 3.33 7.50
45 Cape Verde 11.50 6.00 8.75 8.25 13.75
45 Republic of Macedonia 11.50 8.75 11.25 9.67
45 Mozambique 11.50 10.50 16.25 14.00 23.50
45 Serbia and Montenegro 11.50 14.83 20.13 21.33 20.75
49 Chile 11.63 11.75 10.00 6.83 6.50
50 Israel 12.00 10.00 8.00 8.00 30.00
Grenada 12.00
51 Japan 12.50 8.00 10.00 8.00 7.50
52 Dominican Republic 12.75 12.25 6.75 17.00
53 Botswana 13.00 14.00 11.50 13.00
53 Croatia 13.00 12.83 11.83 16.50 8.75
53 Tonga 13.00 14.50 38.17
53 United States (American territory) 13.00 9.50 4.00 6.00 4.75
57 Uruguay 13.75 9.75 10.00 4.00 6.00
58 Fiji 14.00 14.00 16.00 11.50
58 Hong Kong 14.00 8.25 7.50 11.00 4.83
58 Poland 14.00 12.50 6.83 6.17 7.75
58 Romania 14.00 16.17 17.83 11.50 13.25
62 Central African Republic 14.50 19.75 32.50 32.75 21.50
62 Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus 14.50 12.50
62 Guinea-Bissau 14.50 17.00 23.50 35.25 30.25
62 Honduras 14.50 18.00 11.75 14.17
66 Madagascar 15.00 24.50 18.50 8.17 22.75
66 Togo 15.00 23.75 19.50 27.50 31.50
68 Ecuador 15.25 21.75 16.50 7.67 5.50
69 Nicaragua 15.50 15.25 11.67 6.50
70 Burkina Faso 16.00 19.00 16.25 18.00 27.75
70 Kosovo 16.00 25.75
70 Lesotho 16.00 19.50 29.50 17.75
73 Republic of the Congo 17.00 17.00 17.50 14.00 23.17
73 Kuwait 17.00 21.25 31.67 31.33 25.50
75 Brazil 17.17 14.50 16.50 16.75 18.75
76 Argentina 17.30 13.67 21.33 15.17 12.00
77 Mauritania 17.50 40.00 51.00 36.67 41.33
77 Senegal 17.50 19.00 21.50 14.50 14.00
77 United Arab Emirates 17.50 25.75 50.25 37.00
80 Albania 18.00 14.17 11.50 6.50
80 Qatar 18.00 23.00 32.50 35.00
82 Paraguay 18.25 15.50 10.50 7.17 8.50
83 Timor-Leste 18.50 13.50 13.50 5.50
84 Liberia 19.00 20.50 40.00 40.00 37.75
85 Moldova 19.17 17.50 20.50 27.00
86 Mongolia 19.25 12.50 19.00 18.25 24.50
87 Haiti 19.50 33.50 42.13 31.00 36.50
88 Tanzania 19.82 17.50 14.50 16.50 21.25
89 Georgia 21.00 25.17 27.50 17.33
90 Guatemala 21.25 21.50 16.50 30.83 27.25
91 Angola 21.50 18.00 26.50 28.00 30.17
92 Malaysia 22.25 33.00 39.83 32.00 37.83
93 Comoros 22.50 22.00 26.50 18.50 20.50
93 Zambia 22.50 23.00 29.75 23.25 26.75
95 Niger 24.50 13.00 18.33 15.75 18.50
95 Seychelles 24.50 17.00 23.50 26.75 20.75
97 Morocco 24.83 36.17 43.00 39.67 29.00
98 Bhutan 25.00 51.50 55.83 77.33 90.75
98 Côte d'Ivoire 25.00 52.25 60.38 42.17 19.00
98 Turkey 25.00 25.00 37.25 35.00 33.50
101 Armenia 25.50 26.00 23.50 25.17
101 Malawi 25.50 22.75 31.00 21.00 27.67
103 Indonesia 26.00 26.00 37.75 34.25 20.00
103 Sierra Leone 26.00 39.50 24.50 23.50 24.50
105 India 26.50 27.00 38.50 39.00 26.50
105 Ukraine 26.50 32.50 51.00 40.00 40.00
107 Lebanon 27.00 28.25 24.38 32.50 19.67
108 Cambodia 27.25 23.00 36.50 19.50 24.25
109 Guinea 27.50 26.00 24.50 33.17 26.00
109 Jordan 27.50 24.00 39.13 37.00 33.50
111 Bahrain 28.00 38.75 52.50 35.17 23.00
112 Cameroon 28.25 20.50 27.00 30.50 28.83
112 Peru 28.25 33.33 40.00 10.25 9.50
114 Gabon 28.50 26.00 37.50 31.25 20.50
115 Venezuela 29.00 23.00 24.63 27.83 25.00
116 Uganda 29.83 19.25 24.00 25.75 17.00
117 Tajikistan 30.00 33.00 27.75 34.50 28.25
118 Kenya 30.25 30.00 22.25 18.50 24.75
119 United States (extra-territorial) 31.50 48.50 36.00 41.00
120 Nigeria 32.23 38.75 37.75 31.50 15.50
121 Djibouti 33.00 37.00 55.00 35.50 31.25
122 Thailand 33.50 28.00 14.00 19.67 22.75
123 Kyrgyzstan 34.00 32.00 35.25 32.00 31.75
124 Chad 35.50 30.00 33.25 24.00 28.75
Brunei 38.00
125 Burundi 39.83
126 Algeria 40.00 40.33 43.50 33.00 31.00
127 Swaziland 40.50 35.00 31.00 37.50 29.00
128 Kazakhstan 41.00 36.17 44.17 42.50 42.00
128 Rwanda 41.00 38.00 37.25 34.25 37.50
130 Afghanistan 44.25 39.17 28.25 40.17 35.50
131 Colombia 44.75 40.17 47.38 49.17 40.83
132 Mexico 45.83 45.50 27.83 17.67 24.75
133 Egypt 46.25 52.00 43.50 34.25 34.50
134 Palestinian Authority 46.75 42.50 43.17 39.25 27.00
135 Azerbaijan 47.00 51.00 49.67 34.50 34.50
135 Israel (extra-territorial) 47.00 37.50 49.00
137 Bangladesh 48.00 61.25 62.50 46.50 43.75
137 Equatorial Guinea 48.00 44.00 46.25 44.75 42.75
139 Sudan 48.13 44.00 44.25 45.75 36.00
140 Zimbabwe 50.00 64.25 67.50 45.50 48.25
141 Sri Lanka 50.75 33.25 36.50 24.83 15.75
142 Democratic Republic of the Congo 51.00 57.33 51.50 38.50 40.75
142 Philippines 51.00 50.00 36.63 35.25 29.00
144 Maldives 51.25 58.50 69.17 47.50
144 Somalia 51.25 59.00 43.50 45.00
146 Singapore 51.50 50.67 57.00 47.33
147 Russia 52.50 48.67 51.38 49.50 48.00
148 Tunisia 53.75 57.50 62.67 50.83 67.75
149 Gambia 54.00 41.00 29.50 18.25 22.50
149 Yemen 54.00 46.25 48.00 41.83 34.75
151 Belarus 57.00 61.33 54.10 52.00 52.17
Oman 57.75
152 Libya 62.50 88.75 65.00 60.00 72.50
153 Syria 63.00 55.00 67.50 67.50 62.83
154 Iraq 66.83 67.00 58.50 37.50 79.00
155 Vietnam 67.25 73.25 86.88 89.17 81.25
156 Laos 67.50 66.50 64.33 94.83 89.00
157 Pakistan 70.33 60.75 61.75 39.00 44.67
158 Uzbekistan 71.00 66.50 52.13 61.50 45.00
159 Nepal 73.50 86.75 84.00 51.50 63.00
160 Ethiopia 75.00 42.00 37.00 37.50 37.50
161 Saudi Arabia 76.00 66.00 79.17 71.50 62.50
162 Iran 90.88 89.17 78.30 89.33 48.25
163 People's Republic of China (mainland only) 94.00 83.00 92.33 91.25 97.00
164 Myanmar 94.75 88.83 103.63 95.50 96.83
165 Cuba 95.00 87.00 106.83 97.83 90.25
166 Eritrea 97.50 99.75 93.25 91.50 83.67
167 Turkmenistan 98.50 93.50 99.83 82.83 91.50
168 North Korea 109.00 109.00 107.50 99.50 97.50

The moral of the story as you see the USA ranks 53rd, don't trust the national media for your news. Be diligent, try and seek multiple sources for your information.


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Presidential candidates on healthcare

"Presidential candidates in both parties are promising to overhaul the nation's health care system and cover more — if not all — of the nation's uninsured. In 2005, 44.8 million people — 15.3 percent of the population — were without health insurance, according to estimates released by the Census Bureau in March. The leading Democrats are competing among themselves over who has the better plan to control costs and approach universal coverage. The Republicans, for the most part, are promising to expand coverage without increasing the role of the federal government, and reduce cost through tax incentives. Most of the candidates have not presented a detailed outline of their health care plans, but here is what they have said so far." - FARHANA HOSSAIN

Here is a list of all the presidential candidate's position on health care.


What's more? A nifty spot that provides several comparison's of most of the candidates health plan.


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"Texas Democrats plan presidential ePrimary"

"Texas Democrats have scheduled an online presidential poll to counter a GOP straw poll, but Democratic officials acknowledged they won't have much control over who clicks a vote.

Starting Friday, visitors who log on to the state party's Web site will have the chance to vote for one of the Democratic presidential contenders and to mention the election issues they're concerned about.

Party officials said they'll work to monitor responses to make sure only Texans' votes are counted in the "ePrimary Poll." But that could include Texas Republicans.

Party spokeswoman Amber Moon said the poll will be worthwhile.

"This is open to a wide universe of people who want to be involved in the political process, who want to be involved in our party's effort to select our presidential nominee," she said.

She said she's not worried about Republicans participating.

"Republicans aren't participating in their own straw poll," she said.

The Texas GOP straw poll is Saturday in Fort Worth. Hans Klingler, spokesman and political director for the Texas Republican Party, dismissed the Democrats' online poll.

"The Republican Party of Texas is bringing together thousands of our grass-roots leaders from across Texas this weekend in Fort Worth to voice their choice for president of the United States," Klingler said. "Unfortunately, it looks like the Texas Democratic Party's only hope is to do that in a virtual world."

Texas lawmakers dashed both major political parties' hopes of moving up the state's 2008 presidential primaries. They both wanted the Legislature to move the March 4 primary to Feb. 5. The Texas House approved the bill, but it died in the Senate.

Both the Democrat or Republican polls could suffer from shortcomings in their methodology.

The National Council on Public Polls refers to online polls as "pseudo-polls."

"All these pseudo-polls suffer from the same problem: the respondents are self-selected," according to the council's guidelines.

The Republican poll won't be a scientific sampling of state party members, because those casting ballots must have been a delegate or alternate to a recent GOP state or national convention. That means the winner will be selected by voters who are the most conservative of Republicans.

The Democratic online poll extends through Sept. 7. Results will be announced Sept. 10."



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Only in America, The Nelson Mail

"The next general election in New Zealand is still more than a year away, even if, especially since John Key took over the leadership of the National Party, it seems as if the two main parties already have their eyes on the prize in word and deed, the Nelson Mail said in an editorial on Thursday.

Even so, national political campaigning in New Zealand pales in comparison, thankfully, to the political process in the US to just elect presidential candidates. The next US presidential election is November 4, 2008, but the horse race of aspiring presidential candidates has already begun; indeed, in the race for either the Democrat or Republican nomination, decided at conventions in late August and early September next year, the candidates are heading down the back straight. Labour Day in the US, the first Monday in September, traditionally marks the beginning of the presidential nomination campaign before an election year, but most candidates have been campaigning for the past six months.

Such campaigning is foreign to New Zealand. The battle to win a party's presidential nomination is a public display of internecine warfare, in which members of the same party suddenly treat colleagues as enemies - just ask John McCain who suffered at the hands of George W Bush's campaign crew in 2000. The process is a complicated one, but basically candidates try to win support through a series of state primaries and caucuses. Traditionally, New Hampshire holds the first state primary and Iowa the first state caucus, but several states are now jockeying to be the first primary/caucus, or among the first ones, in order to attract more attention and be more influential. The Wyoming Republican caucus has leapfrogged the pack to January 5, making it likely that the organisers of the Iowa caucus (January 14) and the New Hampshire primary (January 22) will move their dates in front of Wyoming.

The result is the longest general election campaign in US history - and the likely winners of each party's nomination should be known earlier than ever before, unless a contest is so tight that no single candidate emerges until the party's nominating convention. At this stage, however, most political pundits see the Democrats winning the White House in November 2008. In four of the five times since World War 2, the party having held power for two consecutive terms, as Republicans have since 2000, has failed to win a third. Add to that the plummeting public approval ratings for the war in Iraq, plus the results of the 2006 mid-term Congressional elections (won by the Democrats). The only question is who will be the party's candidate.

In polls matching leading candidates from each party against the others, the Democrats win each time. However, the Democratic favourite at the moment, Hillary Rodham Clinton, fares the worst, making former Bush administration strategist Karl Rove's stated belief that she is the inevitable Democrat candidate an interesting remark. Does he want Clinton to be chosen because she tends to polarise voters and he sees her as being the most vulnerable to a Republican victory? Or does he hope Barack Obama, her closest challenger, or John Edwards, who was John Kerry's running mate for the presidency in 2004, is chosen because the Republicans have a better chance against them than Clinton?

The saga that is the race for victory in the 2008 US presidency election will once again be about money (the first $1 billion election) and power brokerage in the hands of a few. But the stakes are high, the international consequences significant and the outcome still unpredictable. However, the battle between Clinton and Obama is the one to watch."



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"Presidential Race Returns to Protectionism, Mythic Reaganism"

Retronomics

Call it retronomics. ``They're looking to the past for their policies,'' says David Gergen, a professor of public service at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government who served as an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Reagan and Clinton. ``The Democrats' center of gravity has moved further to protectionism since Clinton left office, and the Republicans clearly are not going to hold George Bush up as a model president.''

The leading Republican candidates for president -- Rudolph Giuliani of New York, Romney and Arizona Senator John McCain -- all support Bush on the war in Iraq. On economic policy, they're backing away from the president, whose approval rating was 29 percent in a July Newsweek poll.

The Republicans' complaint is that Bush has abandoned his commitment to trimming the budget and reducing deficits. They hold up Reagan as their touchstone -- even though he had no more success at reducing the size of government than Bush has.


By Matthew Benjamin


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How the FBI Wiretap Net Operates - Unreasonable search and seizure anyone?

"The FBI has quietly built a sophisticated, point-and-click surveillance system that performs instant wiretaps on almost any communications device, according to nearly a thousand pages of restricted documents newly released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The surveillance system, called DCSNet, for Digital Collection System Network, connects FBI wiretapping rooms to switches controlled by traditional land-line operators, internet-telephony providers and cellular companies. It is far more intricately woven into the nation's telecom infrastructure than observers suspected.

It's a "comprehensive wiretap system that intercepts wire-line phones, cellular phones, SMS and push-to-talk systems," says Steven Bellovin, a Columbia University computer science professor and longtime surveillance expert.

Snapshots of the FBI Spy Docs
DCSNet is a suite of software that collects, sifts and stores phone numbers, phone calls and text messages. The system directly connects FBI wiretapping outposts around the country to a far-reaching private communications network.

Many of the details of the system and its full capabilities were redacted from the documents acquired by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but they show that DCSNet includes at least three collection components, each running on Windows-based computers.

The $10 million DCS-3000 client, also known as Red Hook, handles pen-registers and trap-and-traces, a type of surveillance that collects signaling information -- primarily the numbers dialed from a telephone -- but no communications content. (Pen registers record outgoing calls; trap-and-traces record incoming calls.)

DCS-6000, known as Digital Storm, captures and collects the content of phone calls and text messages for full wiretap orders.

A third, classified system, called DCS-5000, is used for wiretaps targeting spies or terrorists.

What DCSNet Can Do

Together, the surveillance systems let FBI agents play back recordings even as they are being captured (like TiVo), create master wiretap files, send digital recordings to translators, track the rough location of targets in real time using cell-tower information, and even stream intercepts outward to mobile surveillance vans.

FBI wiretapping rooms in field offices and undercover locations around the country are connected through a private, encrypted backbone that is separated from the internet. Sprint runs it on the government's behalf.

The network allows an FBI agent in New York, for example, to remotely set up a wiretap on a cell phone based in Sacramento, California, and immediately learn the phone's location, then begin receiving conversations, text messages and voicemail pass codes in New York. With a few keystrokes, the agent can route the recordings to language specialists for translation.

The numbers dialed are automatically sent to FBI analysts trained to interpret phone-call patterns, and are transferred nightly, by external storage devices, to the bureau's Telephone Application Database, where they're subjected to a type of data mining called link analysis.

FBI endpoints on DCSNet have swelled over the years, from 20 "central monitoring plants" at the program's inception, to 57 in 2005, according to undated pages in the released documents. By 2002, those endpoints connected to more than 350 switches.

Today, most carriers maintain their own central hub, called a "mediation switch," that's networked to all the individual switches owned by that carrier, according to the FBI. The FBI's DCS software links to those mediation switches over the internet, likely using an encrypted VPN. Some carriers run the mediation switch themselves, while others pay companies like VeriSign to handle the whole wiretapping process for them. "

By Ryan Singel at Wired


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Voting for a different party in the primaries? Make sure you can.

"In most states, only voters registered with a party may vote in that party's primary, known as a closed primary. In some states, a semi-closed primary is practiced, in which voters unaffiliated with a party (independents) may choose a party primary in which to vote. In an open primary, any voter may vote in any party's primary. In all of these systems, a voter may participate in only one primary; that is, a voter who casts a vote for a candidate standing for the Republican nomination for president cannot cast a vote for a candidate standing for the Democratic nomination, or vice versa."


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Presidential Primary Calender, 2008

Find the 2008 Presidential Primary and caucus calender HERE



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Freedom Index by The New American

"Our first look at the 110th Congress shows how every representative and senator voted on key issues, such as the minimum wage, immigration, stem-cell research, and the Iraq War."

View the Freedom Index here

"These United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States … We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."
— Declaration of Independence, 1776

This is extremely interesting, these guys rank our congressman on how well they uphold the constitution of the Unites States based upon their congressional past votes.

"The average House score for this index (votes 1-10) is 40 percent; the average Senate score is 38. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was the only representative to earn a perfect score of 100, and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) was the only senator who scored 100."


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Dirty Little Secret - Universal Healthcare? Social Security?

US Comptroller on 60 Minutes: America is facing total collapse

Leveling the playing field

"The Missouri Supreme Court on Monday ordered candidates to refund any oversized campaign contributions they accepted this year unless they could show such refunds would create a serious hardship.

The court ordered the Missouri Ethics Commission to give any candidate a hearing to show why refunding the money would be overly burdensome.

Such hardship, the court wrote, would depend on the amount of contributions that exceeded the limits in effect before Jan. 1, 2007, and the extent to which those contributions already had been spent.

“Depending on the amount of money involved, it could become prohibitively difficult and expensive to require candidates to refund this money,” the decision said. “It might also be futile, as donors could skirt the limitations on direct contributions” by giving the money indirectly through political party fundraising committees.

However, to allow candidates to keep thousands of dollars in huge contributions, the court said, would be unfair to candidates who have yet to raise money or even declare their candidacy.

“In balancing these variables in an election such as this, one must endeavor to avoid doing so in a way that creates a political advantage for one candidate over another,” the court said.

However, no refunds will be required of candidates whose elections already have been held, such as municipal races and other local contests held in the spring. To require refunds of money already spent would constitute a “manifest injustice,” the court said.

The unsigned decision was a follow-up to the court’s July 19 ruling that reinstated contribution limits that the legislature adopted in 1994. The legislature repealed the limits in 2006, but the court ruled unanimously that the legislative procedure was invalid.

Under the limits, statewide candidates could accept a maximum contribution of $1,275. Candidates for state Senate were limited to $650 and candidates for the House maxed out at $325.

With the limits gone, some candidates for state Senate received contributions as large as $40,000. Gov. Matt Blunt accepted $300,000 from a wealthy Texas couple. Attorney General Jay Nixon, who plans to challenge Blunt next year, received $100,000 from a single labor union.

Paul Sloca, spokesman for the Missouri Republican Party, stopped short of saying the decision was a loss for the GOP.

“We believe that candidates and contributors should not be punished for obeying the law, and we sincerely hope that the Missouri Ethics Commission will take the people, and not politics, into consideration when deciding the fairest way to apply the law the people’s representatives enacted,” Sloca said.

Democrats rejoiced at the ruling.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for those Missourians who believe elections should be fought on a level playing field,” party spokesman Jack Cardetti said. “It will be hard for Matt Blunt to argue that returning $350,000 from the Swift Boat benefactors creates a hardship.”

Nixon’s office said the decision “clears the way for the ethics commission to order refunds of contributions in excess of limits.”

Bob Connor, the Ethics Commission’s executive director, said the agency’s attorneys would present their recommendations and analysis to the full commission on Thursday. The commission might adopt policies to comply with the court ruling, Connor said.

But Connor said the ruling appears to require the agency to conduct a case-by-case review of every candidate for office. The agency will have to weigh each hardship that is claimed on all the other candidates in a race, he said.

“If X says, ‘I have a hardship for these reasons,’ ” the commission will have to consider it, Connor said. The commission will then determine how that affects every person in the same race.

After the decision to reinstate the limits, the Supreme Court invited legal arguments on whether contributions in excess of the limits should be refunded or whether the limitation should be enforced only after the July 19 ruling.

Monday’s ruling clearly fragmented the court. Four judges agreed with the decision, but two others dissented, saying the proposed remedy was unworkable."

By KIT WAGAR and TIM HOOVER
The Star’s Jefferson City correspondents



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Inch by Inch - Part 1

I am begining a short story, that will continue until completion on a daily basis. It will not be the cleanest, most grammatical piece of work you've ever seen, but hopefully it will construe my feelings in a meaningful way to my readers. So please, follow along to learn my feelings about politics of the past and future of America.

Growing up in the US can be the greatest or worst experience, depending on which side of the street you live on, who your parents are, or what you decide or don't decide to do for yourself.

Take a second and regress, you're a child again. Remember getting in trouble every other day in the summer? Then, one time, you didn't do something wrong, but you were smacked across the head for it? No matter how much you try and convince your parents to listen, they won't. They've heard it all before, and damn well know you are wrong. Trying to convince them otherwise is futile. Well, this story is kind of like that. You cannot expect the blind to miraculously see again. Well, it is possible I suppose – so I will try.

People are so engrossed in the moment, they can't listen to you. Like the friend of the friend that says all he wants is his golf and his wife and his daughter, as long as you don't take that nothing else matters. Yeah, OK pal. Your average American today is concerned with the now. What will hurt them, what will put shelter over their heads, what will put food on their plates? There is little time for common sense or watch what is going on in government, hell we have politicians for that. Well, what if those politicians were just as dumb as the average American.

However, my aim is not to alienate my reader, it's not to name call, rather seek an objective mind. I wish not push political ideologies on my friends, rather critical thinking. Maybe Alexander Hamilton said it better in his Federalist Papers.

"It is not, however, my design to dwell upon observations of this nature. I am well aware that it would be disingenuous to resolve indiscriminately the opposition of any set of men (merely because their situations might subject them to suspicion) into interested or ambitious views. Candor will oblige us to admit that even such men may be actuated by upright intentions; and it cannot be doubted that much of the opposition which has made its appearance, or may hereafter make its appearance, will spring from sources, blameless at least, if not respectable--the honest errors of minds led astray by preconceived jealousies and fears. So numerous indeed and so powerful are the causes which serve to give a false bias to the judgment, that we, upon many occasions, see wise and good men on the wrong as well as on the right side of questions of the first magnitude to society. This circumstance, if duly attended to, would furnish a lesson of moderation to those who are ever so much persuaded of their being in the right in any controversy. And a further reason for caution, in this respect, might be drawn from the reflection that we are not always sure that those who advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their antagonists. Ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, and many other motives not more laudable than these, are apt to operate as well upon those who support as those who oppose the right side of a question. Were there not even these inducements to moderation, nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties. For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution."

What defines a country's prosperity? Just because I have more money than my neighbor, does that make me better or happier? I think not. Happiness is derived from freedom, individual rights, liberty and justice. Are we free from our government's tyranny? Are we truly free?

The US was built upon and became extremely prosperous on some very wise men's experience and visions, that of our Founding Fathers. They agreed upon several fundamental rights to ensure their kids would grow up without the tyranny of a corrupt government, like one they had just escaped. They agreed upon the Constitution and several amendments known as the Bill of Rights of the United States. They carefully chose those things most fundamental to individual rights and means to protect those rights from the government taking them away. These things were created to ensure "Life, Liberty, and Justice for all."

The Constitution details the separation of power between the three newly created governing bodies. It speaks of states rights and the process to amend and ratify the constitution. Whereas, the amendments or the Bill of Rights articulates the protection "We the people" have from the government.

We have strayed so far from the original intentions of our Founding fathers, we are creating our own failure. However, we are so blind, we don't even know it is happening.


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"California Republicans seek to rig 2008 presidential vote" - wsws.org

Californian Republicans are fighting back for their electoral college votes. In what has been described as a transparent attack to reclaim electoral college votes, Republicans of the great state of California are fighting to put "a referendum on the ballot in June 2008 that would split the state’s huge bloc of electoral votes rather than awarding them based on the traditional winner-take-all formula."
Read more about this from the actual article here.


Currently, only Maine and Nebraska allocate their elctoral votes by congressional district.

What do you think about this? Would our country be better off breaking down votes by state instead of a winner take all? I think so.


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Third Party and Independent Presidential Candidates 2008

Just hit the "Ctrl" and "F" button at the same time, type in part of the name you are searching for, and it will highlight it for you. Otherwise, you will have to search through all the names. Good Luck.

CONSTITUTION PARTY:
Chuck Baldwin (Florida) - Baptist pastor, radio talk show host, conservative activist, and 2004 VP nominee.Jim Gilchrist (California) - Minuteman Project founder, retired accountant and '05 congressional nominee.Don Grundman (California) - Chiropractor, anti-tax activist & frequent candidate.Alan Keyes (Maryland) - Former US Ambassador, conservative activist, and frequent candidate.Bryan Malatesta (Texas) - State party chair, accountant and anti-tax activist.Diane Beall Templin (California) - Attorney, anti-gay activist and frequent candidate.

GREEN PARTY:
Jared Ball (DC) - College Professor and freelance journalist.Elaine Brown (Georgia) - Ex-Black Panther Party Chair, nonprofit group executive and author.Mike "Jingo" Jingozian (Oregon) - Software company founder & '00 city council candidate.Jesse Johnson (West Virginia) - Actor, filmmaker & '04 Governor Candidate.Paul Kangas (California) - Private investigator, '83 Congressional candidate & '86 US Senate candidate.Jerry Kann (New York) - Proofreader, editor & frequent candidate.Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-Georgia) - Ex-US Congresswoman (1993-2003 & '05-07), ex-State Rep. and Democrat.Kent Mesplay (California) - Biomedical engineer, '06 US Senate candidate and '04 Presidential candidate.Ralph Nader (Independent-Connecticut) - Consumer advocate, attorney and frequent Presidential candidate.Gail Parker (Virginia) - Businesswoman, USAF veteran, and 2006 US Senate candidate.Rebecca Rotzler (New York) - New Paltz Deputy Mayor, former party National Co-Chair, businesswoman, and community activist."Average Joe" Schriner (Independent-Ohio) - Substance abuse counselor, freelance journalist and '00/'04 CandidateKat Swift (Texas) - State Party Co-Chair, progressive activist & newspaper credit manager.

LIBERTARIAN PARTY:
Jim Burns (Nevada) - Ex-State LP Chair & frequent candidate. Dave Hollist (California) - Bus driver and frequent LP Presidential hopeful.Dan Imperato (Florida) - Businessman.Bob Jackson (Michigan) - Businessman, former Congressional candidate & ex-Republican.Mike "Jingo" Jingozian (Oregon) - Software company founder & '00 city council candidate.Steve Kubby (California) - Businessman, '98 Governor nominee & marijuana legalization activist.Alden Link (New York) - Manufacturing executive & Army veteran.Robert Milnes (New Jersey) - Progressive activist.George Phillies (Massachusetts) - College professor, writer, LP "Reform" activist & '96 US Senate nominee.Wayne Allyn Root (R-Nevada) - Sports handicapper, author & TV show host.Christine Smith (Colorado) - Progressive activist & writer. Ed Thompson (Wisconsin) - Tomah City Councilman, Bar Owner, Navy Veteran & '02 Governor nominee.

PROHIBITION PARTY:
Gene Amondson (Washington) - 2004 Nominee, Temperance lecturer, minister and artist.Earl Dodge (Colorado) - Ex-Party National Chairman, frequent Presidential candidate and businessman.

SOCIALIST PARTY USA:
Stewart Alexander (California) - Community activist, car salesman, '06 Lt. Governor candidate & '89 L.A. Mayor Candidate.Bruce Burleson (Massachusetts) - Social services worker and ex-Communist.Eric Chester (Massachusetts) - College Professor, Socialist activist, author and frequent candidate. David Frey (?)Evan Gelobter (Louisiana) - Fire Fighter.Stanley Hetz (Pennsylvania) - '06 US Senate nominee & '07 School Board candidate.Linda McKinney (Oregon) Brian Moore (Florida) - Executive recruiter, community activist, ex-Democrat and frequent candidate.Dusten Retcher (South Carolina) Dwight Welch (Illinois) - College professor, minister and radio talk show host.

SOCIALIST EQUALITY PARTY:
No Candidates Identified To Date
SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY:
No Candidates Identified To Date
WORKERS WORLD PARTY:
No Candidates Identified To Date

INDEPENDENT & WRITE-IN CANDIDATES:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Independent-New York)Former US Senator Sam Nunn (D-Georgia)
Independent Candidate Not Yet Named (Unity08)
Stephen P. "Steve" Adams (Independent-Kentucky) Donald K. Allen (Independent-Ohio)Blake Ashby (Independent-Missouri) Terry "Tee" Barkdull (New American Party-Nevada) John Taylor Bowles (NSM/American Nazi Party-South Carolina)Clark B. Braxton (Independent-California) Richard H. Clark (Independent-Maryland) Don Cordell (Independent-California) Claire Cruise (Independent-Georgia) Orion Karl Daley (Balanced Party-New York) Michael David Elder (Independent-Texas) Cris Ericson (Marijuana Party-Vermont)Quay Fortuna (Ward Republic Party-Iowa) Mark B. Graham (Independent-Florida) Pete Grasso (Independent-Virginia) Jon Greenspon (Independent-California) Jack Grimes (United Fascist Union-Pennsylvania) Bob W. Hargis (Independent-Oklahoma) William "Bill" Ingram (Independent-North Carolina) Paul Jensen (Independent American-Michigan) Arnold M. Jones (Independent American-Utah) Steve Kissing (Independent-Ohio) David Koch (Independent-Utah) Brad Lord-Leutwyler (Indpendent-Nevada) Joe Martyniuk (Independent-Illinois) David Masters (Independent-North Carolina) Charles Maxham (Give Me Back America Party-New Jersey) James McCall (Independent-Ohio)Frank McEnulty (Independent-California) Phillip W. Morrow (Independent-Texas) Ralph Nader (Independent-Connecticut) Jeff "Petro" Petkevicius (Independent-Louisiana) Arthur J. Regan (Independent-Massachusetts)Gary Rostad (Independent-California) "Average Joe" Schriner (Independent-Ohio) Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey (Vampire, Witches & Pagan Party-New Jersey) Charles Symonds (Independent-California) Ben Thompson (Independent-Minnesota)Michael "Mic" Tienken (Independent-Minnesota) Lanakila Washington (Humanist Party-New York) Lisa Weltman (Independent-Michigan) Carl Whitaker (Independent-Tennessee) Ruth Bryant White (Independent-Nevada)Rick Williams (Independent-Tennessee)Kelcey Wilson (Independent-California) Frank Zilaitis (Independent-Florida)


All of the above information was found at politics1.com

2decide.com

Here is another place with an even slicker comparison chart of the majority of Republican and Democratic candidates for 2008 Pres. on all of the major issues. They will be adding more in the near future it seems.

Presidential Debates are main-stream slanted, eliminate key candidates

You can always watch various recorded debates on YouTube, but where can you find out about upcoming one's so you can watch them live? Head on over to debates.org. There you will find the "The Commission on Presidential Debates."Established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates. The organization, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation, sponsored all the presidential debates in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004.

As you will see, the debates have had some criticism for being bi-partisan, as they are headed by the former chairs of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee. So keep in mind, their debates will likely have only those candidates that meet their criteria. Which, in fact, could eliminate potentially other interesting candidates. In general, the criteria is as follows:

To participate in the debates, candidates had to:
(a) be constitutionally eligible; (b) have ballot access in enough states to win a majority of electoral votes (at least 270); and (c) have a level of national support of at least 15 % as measured in polls done by five selected national polling organizations.

In my opinion, as many others would agree - this criteria eliminates all but a few candidates. Furthermore, it helps in the dumbing down of America, and spotlights only those candidates the national media want us to see. So the average American would have no idea that another, better candidate, would be eliminated from the debate before the fact, based upon unattainable criteria. I am not saying these debates are completely useless, however, I am saying they are misleading.

In summary, make sure what you are watching is truly "fair and balanced" for all candidates, and if it is not I advocate abandoning it for something more useful. Tell your friends and family and get the word out.

2008 Presidential Candidate Comparisons



On WAR in Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle East (Foreign Policy):
McCain "Supports Bush's surge, in fact, calls for more additional troops than Bush recommends. Has been quoted as saying he is willing to stay in Iraq for 100 years. "The most important weapons in the U.S. arsenal are the men and women of American armed forces. John McCain believes we must enlarge the size of our armed forces to meet new challenges to our security. For too long, we have asked too much of too few - with the result that many service personnel are on their second, third and even fourth tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. There can be no higher defense priority than the proper compensation, training, and equipping of our troops." Read more here.


Obama,as a state senator, he spoke out against Iraq war, before the war started. Has long favored a "phased withdrawal." "Our country's greatest military asset is the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States. When we do send our men and women into harm's way, we must also clearly define the mission, prescribe concrete political and military objectives, seek out advice of our military commanders, evaluate the intelligence, plan accordingly, and ensure that our troops have the resources, support, and equipment they need to protect themselves and fulfill their mission." -Barack Obama, Chicago Foreign Affairs Council, April 23, 2007. Read more here.

On Civil liberties:
McCain voted for the PATRIOT act and it's revisions. "He generally opposes the interests of the American Civil Liberties Union."

Obama voted against and later for bills to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act. "Let me be clear: this compromise is not as good as the Senate version of the bill, nor is it as good as the SAFE Act that I have cosponsored. I suspect the vast majority of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle feel the same way. But, it's still better than what the House originally proposed. This compromise does modestly improve the PATRIOT Act by strengthening civil liberties protections without sacrificing the tools that law enforcement needs to keep us safe." --February 16, 2006 Source. Obama supported the interests of the American Civil Liberties Union 83 percent in 2005-2006. "Senator Obama is a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and has supported efforts to base homeland security spending on risk rather than pork-barrel politics. He has also introduced legislation to strength chemical plant and drinking water security and to enhance disaster preparedness." -Campaign site

Social Security:
McCain would allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which they manage themselves. McCain's campaign site did not have a subject devoted to social security.

Senator Obama supported the interests of the Alliance for Retired Americans 100 percent in 2005. "We… have an obligation to protect Social Security and ensure that it's a safety net the American people can count on today, tomorrow and forever. Social Security is the cornerstone of the social compact in this country… Coming together to meet this challenge won't be easy… It will take restoring a sense of shared purpose in Washington and across this country. But if you put your trust in me — if you give me 'your hand and your heart' — then that's exactly what I intend to do as your next President." — Barack Obama, Speech in Des Moines, IA, October 27, 2007. Read more here.


Stem cell research:
Both candidates support federally funded stem cell research.

Same-sex marriage:
McCain has mixed responses from favoring to opposing same sex marriage, seemingly in favor of legal agreements but not marriage or unions. Obama favors civil unions, but opposes same sex marriage.

Free Trade:
McCain in favor, Obama mixed voting record.


Abortion:
MCain mostly pro-life, except in some circumstances. Obama is pro-choice.


Capital punishment:
McCain supports the death penalty, Obama does as well - but questions the legal system.


Medical Marijuana:
McCain opposes legalization, Obama in favor if proved useful in treatment.

Gun control:
McCain is mixed with wanting moderate gun control. "John McCain believes that the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is a fundamental, individual Constitutional right that we have a sacred duty to protect. We have a responsibility to ensure that criminals who violate the law are prosecuted to the fullest, rather than restricting the rights of law abiding citizens. Gun control is a proven failure in fighting crime." Find more about McCain's stance here. Obama wants strict gun control.



Health care:
McCain opposes universal health care, rather he calls for reform, Obama supports it.


Immigration:
McCain and Obama support amnesty/permanent legalization for illegal aliens and temporary legalization for illegal aiens as guestworkers Source

Education:
MCCain Supports vouchers, Obama opposes them.



Here is basic questionnaire to help you pick if you haven't already, from 2decide.com, rather basic, but it gets the job done.

HERE is a really cool questionnaire where you can select a candidate and whatever issue you want to see their views on.

Ron Paul Support or Spam?

After one day of polling, the results overwhelmingly favor Ron Paul. That brings up the point that many people on the internet seem to think there is a spam attempt to push Ron Paul to the front.

  1. Could the interwebs actually be slanted towards Ron Paul because of the age of the average web pollster, could this possibly not be spam?
  2. Could this be related to the fact that the only ones taking these polls are supporters for Ron Paul?
  3. Could it be the fact that supporters for "The favorite candidates off the web" just don't care to poll right now?

My point is this, it may be wise to actually think of possible reasons Ron Paul is getting all this internet support, instead of dismissing it all as spam. My views may be slanted as I do like Ron Paul as well, however, I will attempt to show no bias on this site, other than posting something additinoal about Ron Paul - in posting this blurp - that I haven't for the other candidates.

The point of this site is to encourage everyone to look at every option, and make the best, most informed choice you may on whatever candidate appeases your desires.

2008 Republican Presidential Candidates and their views

Your Current Republican Candidates for 2008 President are; Mike Huckabee,John McCain and Ron Paul.

More detailed backgrounds are provided below, but here are links to their sites - where they speak out on issues.

Mike Huckabee


What does Huckabee have to say on the issues



John McCain


McCain speaks issues



Ron Paul


Paul speaks issues







Mike Huckabee


Mike Huckabee is out to show people the American dream is still alive. The former Arkansas governor recently formed a 2008 presidential exploratory committee because he feels the country needs a reawakening and a leadership to address an array of issues, including how to improve the nation's infrastructure, education system, environmental policy and failing health care system. In the past year, Huckabee visited nearly 30 states to campaign for Republican candidates and conservative causes — and to share his message of vertical politics that he says reflects American values and priorities. From 1996-2007, Huckabee served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas. When he left office on January 9, 2007, he set out on a nationwide tour to promote his fifth book, “From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 STOPS to Restoring America’s Greatness.” The book reveals his optimistic vision for what America can become with the right kind of leadership and a clear direction. Huckabee is recognized as a national leader, having been honored by several renowned publications and organizations for his numerous accomplishments.

Governing Magazine named him as one of its ‘Public Officials of the Year’ for 2005, Time Magazine honored him as one of the five best governors in America, and later in the same year, Huckabee received the American Association of Retired Person’s Impact Award. In 2007, he was presented with the Music for Life Award by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) for his commitment to music education. Huckabee is past chairman of the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and chairman of the Education Commission of the States. During his tenure as governor, he served in other leadership positions including president of the Council of State Governments, state co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority, and chairman of the Southern Governors Association, the Southern Regional Education Board, the Southern Growth Policies Board, the Southern Technology Council, the Southern International Trade Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. As former chairman of the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, Huckabee worked with the 37-state coalition to develop energy policy and lobby Congress on energy matters, such as the regulation of oil and gas production. He also is known nationally for his focus on technology in state government. He created an automobile license renewal system that’s become a model for states across the country. Huckabee directed the creation of other advancements that have made Arkansas a technology leader among the states. Huckabee became governor in July 1996 when his predecessor resigned. He was one of the youngest governors in the country at the time. Huckabee was elected to a full four-year term as governor in 1998, attracting the largest percentage of the vote ever received by a Republican gubernatorial nominee in Arkansas, and was re-elected to another four-year term in November 2002. Huckabee first was elected lieutenant governor in a 1993 special election and was elected to a full four-year term in 1994. He was only the fourth Republican to be elected to statewide office since Reconstruction.

A significant part of his adult life was spent as a pastor and denominational leader. He became the youngest president ever of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, the largest denomination in Arkansas. Huckabee led rapidly growing congregations in Pine Bluff and Texarkana. He said those experiences gave him a deep sense of the problems faced by individuals and families. Under Huckabee’s direction, Arkansas has been recognized as having created one of the nation’s best school accountability programs. Huckabee pushed through reforms in Arkansas that have significantly increased the number of charter schools and established new approaches to workforce education. One of his proudest achievements as governor was signing legislation creating ARKids First. The program provides health insurance coverage for more than 70,000 Arkansas children who otherwise might have gone without. Before leaving office, Huckabee supported the ARHealthNet program which gives small business owners and their employees better access to health care coverage. Huckabee, a fiscal conservative, pushed through the Arkansas Legislature the first major, broad-based tax cuts in state history — a $90 million tax relief package for Arkansas families. He led efforts to establish a Property Taxpayers' Bill of Rights and created a welfare reform program that reduced the welfare rolls in the state by almost 50 percent. He also doubled the standard deduction to $2,000 for single taxpayers and $4,000 for those who are married. He proposed The Property Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights which established a uniform notice and due process procedure to guarantee that all Arkansans will be treated fairly in property tax assessment. In total, Huckabee cut taxes and fees over 90 times during his ten and a half years as governor, saving the people of Arkansas almost $380 million. When he left office, Arkansas had over $800 million in state surplus, which he believes should go back to the people in the form of either a tax rebate or tax cut. As NGA chairman, Huckabee promoted his Healthy America Initiative, based on his successful Healthy Arkansas model. In 2004, Huckabee created the Healthy Arkansas initiative, an effort to encourage Arkansans to stop smoking, exercise more and eat healthier. As a direct result of his efforts, for the first time, Arkansas state employees are taking health risk assessments, are receiving individualized health information and are receiving discounts on health insurance premiums in exchange for healthy behavior. He encouraged private sector businesses by providing them with tool kits to create workplace wellness programs. The Arkansas Healthy Restaurant program was designed to encourage healthy eating options outside the home. Huckabee supported and signed into law the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006, which prohibits smoking in most Arkansas workplaces. Huckabee’s efforts to improve his own health have received national attention. Diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2003, he lost 110 pounds. Barely two years later, he has completed four marathons: The 2005 and 2006 Little Rock Marathons, the Marine Corps Marathon and the ING New York City Marathon. As a result of his accomplishments, The Road Runners Club of America named him its ‘Southern Region Runner of the Year’ and USA Track & Field has named him their ‘Athlete of the Week’ for the country. Continuing to call for a national emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle, Huckabee completed his fourth book, “Quit Digging Your Grave With A Knife and Fork.” This 12-stop program is a no-nonsense approach to managing one’s health through lifestyle change rather than a simple diet and exercise plan. Huckabee, 51, enjoys playing bass guitar in his rock-n-roll band, Capitol Offense, which has opened for artists such as Willie Nelson and the Charlie Daniels Band, and has played the House of Blues in New Orleans, the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, CO and for two presidential inauguration balls.
The former governor and his wife, Janet, live in North Little Rock. They have three grown children: John Mark, David and Sarah.





John McCain


"John McCain has a remarkable record of leadership and experience that embodies his unwavering lifetime commitment to service. John McCain has a remarkable record of leadership and experience that embodies his unwavering lifetime commitment to service. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982, John has led the fight for reforming Washington, eliminating wasteful government spending, and strengthening our nation's armed forces.
John McCain's reform agenda to reduce federal spending and lower taxes quickly elevated him to statewide office and he was elected to the United States Senate in 1986, after serving two terms in the U.S. House.
In the Senate, John continued to demand that Congress put an end to loopholes for special interests and fix the broken system in Washington that too often allows lobbyists to write legislation and members of Congress to waste taxpayer money. In November 2004, Senator McCain was overwhelmingly reelected with nearly 77 percent of the vote.
As the son and grandson of distinguished Navy admirals, John McCain deeply values duty, honor and service of country. John attended college at the United States Naval Academy, and launched a 22-year career as a naval aviator upon his graduation. He continued the McCain tradition of service to country passed down to him from his father and grandfather when he asked to serve in the Vietnam War.
On July 29 1967, John narrowly survived the first of many near-death experiences during his lifetime while preparing to take off on a bombing mission over North Vietnam from his ship, the USS Forrestal. A missile accidentally fired from a nearby plane struck the fuel tanks on John's plane and created a deadly inferno aboard the ship. John barely escaped the fiery disaster that killed 134 men, injured hundreds more and destroyed 20 planes.
Instead of taking the option to return home after the Forrestal disaster, Senator McCain volunteered for more combat duty - a fateful decision that stopped the clock on his life and separated him from his family, and country, for five and a half years.
During his 23rd bombing mission on October 26, 1967, a missile struck John's plane and forced him to eject, knocking him unconscious and breaking both his arms and his leg. John was then taken as a prisoner of war into the now infamous "Hanoi Hilton," where he was denied necessary medical treatment and often beaten by the North Vietnamese.
John spent much of his time as a prisoner of war in solitary confinement, aided by his faith and the friendships of his fellow POWs. When he was finally released and able to return home years later, John continued his service by regaining his naval flight status.
Senator McCain's last Navy duty assignment was to serve as the naval liaison to the United States Senate. John retired from the Navy in 1981. His naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Senator McCain has seven children and four grandchildren, and currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Cindy.

A Son of the NavyAs the son and grandson of distinguished Navy admirals, John McCain deeply values duty, honor and service of country.

The House and SenateIn the Senate, John continues to demand that Congress put an end to loopholes for special interests and fix the broken system in D.C"



McCain speaks issues





Ron Paul

"Congressman Ron Paul is the leading advocate for freedom in our nation’s capital. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dr. Paul tirelessly works for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies. He is known among his congressional colleagues and his constituents for his consistent voting record. Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.In the words of former Treasury Secretary William Simon, Dr. Paul is the “one exception to the Gang of 535” on Capitol Hill.
Ron Paul was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine, before proudly serving as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s. He and his wife Carol moved to Texas in 1968, where he began his medical practice in Brazoria County. As a specialist in obstetrics/gynecology, Dr. Paul has delivered more than 4,000 babies. He and Carol, who reside in Lake Jackson, Texas, are the proud parents of five children and have 17 grandchildren.
While serving in Congress during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dr. Paul’s limited-government ideals were not popular in Washington. In 1976, he was one of only four Republican congressmen to endorse Ronald Reagan for president.
During that time, Congressman Paul served on the House Banking committee, where he was a strong advocate for sound monetary policy and an outspoken critic of the Federal Reserve’s inflationary measures. He was an unwavering advocate of pro-life and pro-family values. Dr. Paul consistently voted to lower or abolish federal taxes, spending and regulation, and used his House seat to actively promote the return of government to its proper constitutional levels. In 1984, he voluntarily relinquished his House seat and returned to his medical practice.
Dr. Paul returned to Congress in 1997 to represent the 14th congressional district of Texas. He presently serves on the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He continues to advocate a dramatic reduction in the size of the federal government and a return to constitutional principles.
Congressman Paul’s consistent voting record prompted one of his congressional colleagues to say, “Ron Paul personifies the Founding Fathers’ ideal of the citizen-statesman. He makes it clear that his principles will never be compromised, and they never are.” Another colleague observed, “There are few people in public life who, through thick and thin, rain or shine, stick to their principles. Ron Paul is one of those few.”

Brief Overview of Congressman Paul’s Record:
He has never voted to raise taxes.He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.He has never voted to raise congressional pay.He has never taken a government-paid junket.He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
He voted against the Patriot Act.He voted against regulating the Internet.He voted against the Iraq war.
He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.
Congressman Paul introduces numerous pieces of substantive legislation each year, probably more than any single member of Congress. "

Paul speaks issues

2008 Democrat Presidential Candidate's, link to their site where they address issues

Your Current Democratic Candidates for 2008 President are; Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.


Hilary Clinton


"Hillary was raised in a middle-class family in the middle of America. From that classic suburban childhood in Park Ridge, Illinois, Hillary went on to become one of America's foremost advocates for children and families; an attorney twice voted one of the most influential in America; a First Lady of Arkansas who helped transform the schools; a bestselling author; a First Lady for America who helped transform that role, becoming a champion for health care and families at home and a champion of women's rights and human rights around the world."

"Since her path-breaking election to the United States Senate, Hillary has been a steadfast advocate for middle-class families, working to help create jobs, expand children's health care and protect Social Security from privatization. As the Senator representing New York after 9/11, Hillary has fought to strengthen our approach to homeland security and to improve our communications and intelligence operations. As the first New Yorker ever named to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hillary has been a tough critic of the administration's bungling of Iraq and a fierce advocate for proper equipment, health benefits, and treatment for military families."



Clinton on what's important.




Barack Obama


"Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born and raised in a small village in Kenya, where he grew up herding goats with his own father, who was a domestic servant to the British.
Barack's mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in small-town Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs during the Depression, and then signed up for World War II after Pearl Harbor, where he marched across Europe in Patton's army. Her mother went to work on a bomber assembly line, and after the war, they studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program, and moved west to Hawaii.
It was there, at the University of Hawaii, where Barack's parents met. His mother was a student there, and his father had won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams in America.

Barack's father eventually returned to Kenya, and Barack grew up with his mother in Hawaii, and for a few years in Indonesia. Later, he moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983.
Remembering the values of empathy and service that his mother taught him, Barack put law school and corporate life on hold after college and moved to Chicago in 1985, where he became a community organizer with a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment.
The group had some success, but Barack had come to realize that in order to truly improve the lives of people in that community and other communities, it would take not just a change at the local level, but a change in our laws and in our politics.
He went on to earn his law degree from Harvard in 1991, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Soon after, he returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer and teach constitutional law. Finally, his advocacy work led him to run for the Illinois State Senate, where he served for eight years. In 2004, he became the third African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
It has been the rich and varied experiences of Barack Obama's life - growing up in different places with people who had differing ideas - that have animated his political journey. Amid the partisanship and bickering of today's public debate, he still believes in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose - a politics that puts solving the challenges of everyday Americans ahead of partisan calculation and political gain.
In the Illinois State Senate, this meant working with both Democrats and Republicans to help working families get ahead by creating programs like the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which in three years provided over $100 million in tax cuts to families across the state. He also pushed through an expansion of early childhood education, and after a number of inmates on death row were found innocent, Senator Obama worked with law enforcement officials to require the videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases.
In the U.S. Senate, he has focused on tackling the challenges of a globalized, 21st century world with fresh thinking and a politics that no longer settles for the lowest common denominator. His first law was passed with Republican Tom Coburn, a measure to rebuild trust in government by allowing every American to go online and see how and where every dime of their tax dollars is spent. He has also been the lead voice in championing ethics reform that would root out Jack Abramoff-style corruption in Congress.
As a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, Senator Obama has fought to help Illinois veterans get the disability pay they were promised, while working to prepare the VA for the return of the thousands of veterans who will need care after Iraq and Afghanistan. Recognizing the terrorist threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, he traveled to Russia with Republican Dick Lugar to begin a new generation of non-proliferation efforts designed to find and secure deadly weapons around the world. And knowing the threat we face to our economy and our security from America's addiction to oil, he's working to bring auto companies, unions, farmers, businesses and politicians of both parties together to promote the greater use of alternative fuels and higher fuel standards in our cars.
Whether it's the poverty exposed by Katrina, the genocide in Darfur, or the role of faith in our politics, Barack Obama continues to speak out on the issues that will define America in the 21st century. But above all his accomplishments and experiences, he is most proud and grateful for his family. His wife, Michelle, and his two daughters, Malia, 9, and Sasha, 6, live on Chicago's South Side where they attend Trinity United Church of Christ."

Obama on issues

Mock Interweb Presidential Election 2008

Please cast your vote for President off to the right ----->

Check out all of the candidates here too.

"The 2008 presidential race is expected to be the first in decades that won't include a sitting president or vice president in the field of candidates vying for the White House. A large group of contenders are already putting together campaign operations and visiting the early primary states. washingtonpost.com's Presidential Field database will include full coverage of the candidates as the election season unfolds. " - washingtonpost.com

Definitions of democrat on the Web per Google: Oh Brother.

Democrat:
a member of the Democratic Party
an advocate of democratic principles wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
a person who belongs to the Democratic political party.www.enchantedlearning.com/election/glossary.shtml
31 seats --en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thailand_legislative_election,_2001
1. A politician, frequently a Liberal, who seeks to further his or her political career by complaining about such harmless issues as poverty, environmental destruction, job loss, education, and healthcare, while failing to address the primary concerns of Americans everywhere that they could be killed any second by a terrorist, or even worse, that two men somewhere may want to get married.www.republicandictionary.com/rd_d.shtml

WTF???? Who sounds like the bigger idiot here, the conservative that posted the last definition or the character they are describing. Terrible. That makes me feel like an idiot, feeling I have conservative values and to be associated with anyone who thinks or acts like that.

My quick interpretation of the two main US political parties, and a note on the Other party

As I strive to emphasize in picking a person and not a party for President of the USA - I keep circling back to attempt to define our two party system and what I think each political group stands for (or used to stand for). I want to break down some misconceptions Liberals have towards Conservatives and vice versa. I realize that my opinions are just that, opinions - and this should not be taken for fact - everyone has a different idea of what their "party" stands for.

Prelude: If I had to be honest and tell you which of the two parties I related most closely to - I would have to say Republican. However, in the last two presidential elections I voted for Democrats. Moreover, I prefer to call myself a Libertarian as I feel this political party has some of the best ideas on protecting everyone from the government and upholding our constitution as the Founding Fathers meant it to be preserved.

Back to my opinion: Giant generalization alert* = Conservatives stand for less government, less taxes, less change. Liberals want more government involvement, more taxes levied on the public to aid in a nanny state, more environmental protection. In a nutshell, liberals believe the people cannot help themselves, so the government should be responsible to step in, levy taxes and help the less fortunate.

In various conversations with Friends, families and colleagues I have come to believe many people just don't get politics. They tend to want to identify themselves with a group, so they can feel connected. When someone tries to challenge their position, they tend to lock up and will not even entertain any new ideas. The ole "it's prolly better if we steer from politics" message is sent. I believe this is the major problem with everyone. We have to be open minded and willing to at least hear what others have to say. I encourage anyone that reads this to challenge anything and everything I have to say - I will listen and engage you in a civil conversation anytime. On the other hand, people could construe and probably will construe my message as an attempt to coerce them into believing what I have to say. In the same way, I may have been in fact coerced through propaganda or some other manner to believe what I currently do - and maybe I need a straightening out.

No matter what, just because I put out those generalizations about the two tier political system - doesn't mean it holds true or will ever hold entirely true. It sure hasn't in the most recent two terms of the current US President.As many would agree (I hope), GWB is not a great example of a conservative, at least not fiscally.

My whole point in writing this goes back to my original post. There is much confusion as to what it means to be associated or agree with one party or another. Many liberals think conservatives do not care about taking care of the homeless, or not providing health insurance to those who cannot afford it. In some cases, they may be correct. Of course there are greedy scumbag old men, whored up in their "McMansions" not willing to give out a dime to anyone other than their next of kin. However, and in my own opinion, the vast majority of conservatives do care and would be willing to donate to whatever organization that would be setup to help the needy, however, they feel forced( in the form of taxes) to turn their money over to the government to handle these matters. And as I said before, look at what the government has done with virtually every single welfare type of program and look at the fraud and pork barrel spending that occurs when you have the government handle these things. If it were a conservatives choice, they would not be taxed and rather donate to private organizations that would be in competition with one another to provide the services to the homeless. Private organization will be obliged to operate efficiently or the donors would find someone else who does. This is one thing the government does not have, competition. They have very little oversight, and they take your money and spend it as they see fit. Not as you or I would see fit. That is where the problem lies.

I feel like liberals do not trust the public to donate to these programs unless it is forced down there throat in the form of taxes. I am seriously up in debate about this, but I believe people will find ways to shelter their money and defraud the IRS and governemnt of their duties owed, while if they weren't being forced to help - they would be more willing.

I realize I didn't post much more about how liberals view conservatives, but I have to get back to work.. and so I will carry on this post tomorrow, where I will further elaborate on liberal point of view.

-End rant. More to come in elaboration in the many days following and leading up to election '08.