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Category Archives: Ron Paul

Ron Paul: Socialists Have Credibility for First Time Due to Rate Cuts, Trump Tariffs – Money and Markets

Posted: October 16, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Libertarian economist Ron Paul, a non-interventionist in foreign policy who loathes the Federal Reserve, said President Donald Trumps tariffs are far removed from capitalism and when paired with recent interest rate cuts, are giving credibility to socialists for the first time in his life.

Its a real incentive for the socialists to chime in and for the first time in my lifetime, socialists sort of have credibility, the doctor and former Texas Congressman said Friday on CNBCs Squawk Box.

Paul, a three-time presidential candidate who has written a number of books on economics and central bank policy, said the Fed is doing too much as far as monetary easing while the economy is strong.

It is central economic planning, mainly through manipulation of money and credit, Paul said, sounding much like Money and Markets columnist Bill Bonner, who constantly decries the U.S. central bank and its phony-money policies.

The Fed has cut rates twice this year, once in July and again in September, the first rate cuts in more than a decade, and the stock market is already pricing in another rate cut by the end of the year.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell, often the target of Trumps ire for not cutting rates far and fast enough, said the central bank will begin blowing up its balance sheet soon but denied it was restarting quantitative easing, or QE.

In no sense is this QE, Powell said after a recent speech, which economists have largely scoffed at.

The Fed ran three rounds of QE amid the Great Recession while people like Paul believe it stayed in easing mode for far too long, not raising rates soon enough. And here we are, easing again after a short period of tightening. The long period of easing, Paul said, also inflated stock prices.

Then Paul switched gears back to Trumps trade war, saying we get into manipulating trade.

Were so far removed from capitalism. Yet we get blamed, Paul said. Socialists come in and say, See what you guys did to our economy.

The first step, Paul said, is we need to cut spending which has soared under Trump with little resistance from formerly deficit-conscious Republican lawmakers and stop the Feds pretending they can do economic planning.

Unfortunately, thats not going to happen, Paul said. I believe were going to see a collapse that will force us to reassess the monetary policy, and that will be very disruptive.

Editors note: Do you agree that Trumps tariffs and the Feds easing while the economy is strong are giving rise to socialism? Share your thoughts below.

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Ron Paul: Socialists Have Credibility for First Time Due to Rate Cuts, Trump Tariffs - Money and Markets

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Ron Paul: Washington Is Wrong About The Kurds – FITSNews

Posted: at 4:49 pm

byRON PAUL||When President Trump Tweeted last week that it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous endless wars, adding that the US would be withdrawing from Syria, Washington went into a panic. Suddenly Republicans, Democrats, the media, the think tanks, and the war industry all discovered and quickly became experts on the Kurds, who we were told were an ally being sent to their slaughter by an ignorant President Trump.

But it was all just another bipartisan ploy to keep the forever war gravy train rolling through the Beltway.

Interventionists will do anything to prevent US troops from ever coming home, and their favorite tactic is promoting mission creep. As President Trump tweeted, we were told in 2014 by President Obama that the US military would go into Syria for just 30 days to save the Yazidi minority that they claimed were threatened. Then that mission crept into we must fight ISIS and so the US military continued to illegally occupy and bomb Syria for five more years.

Even though it was the Syrian army with its Russian and Iranian allies that did the bulk of the fighting against al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, President Trump took credit and called for the troops to come home. But when the military comes home, the military-industrial-Congressional-media complex loses its cash cow, so a new rationale had to be invented.

The latest mission creep was that we had to stay in Syria to save our allies the Kurds. All of a sudden our military presence in Syria was not about fighting terrorism but rather about putting US troops between our NATO ally Turkey and our proxy fighting force, the Kurds. Do they really want us to believe that it is pro-American for our troops to fight and die refereeing a long-standing dispute between the Turks and Kurds?

(Click to view)

(Via: Getty Images)

It was a colossally dumb idea to train and arm the Kurds in Syria in the first place, but after spending billions backing what turned out to be al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria to overthrow the Assad government, Washington found that the Kurds were the only willing boots remaining on the ground. While their interest in fighting ISIS was limited, they were happy to use Washingtons muscle in pursuit of their long-term goal of carving out a part of Syria (and eventually Turkey) for themselves.

We can never leave because there will be a slaughter, Washington claimed (and the media faithfully repeated). But once again, the politicians, the mainstream media, and the Beltway experts have been proven wrong. They never understand that sending US troops into another country without the proper authority is not a stabilizing factor, but a de-stabilizing factor. I have argued that were the US to leave Syria (and the rest of the Middle East) the countries of the region would find a way to solve their own problems.

Now that the US is pulling back from northern Syria, that is just what is happening.

On Sunday the Kurds and the Syrian government signed an agreement, brokered by the Russians, to put aside their differences and join together to defend against Turkeys incursion into Syrian territory.

Now our Kurdish allies are fighting alongside the army of Syrian President Assad who we are still told by US officials must go. Washington doesnt understand that our intervention only makes matters worse. The best way to help the Kurds and everyone else in the region is to just come home.

(Click to view)

(Via: Gage Skidmore)

Ron Paulis a former U.S. Congressman from Texas and the leader of the pro-liberty, pro-free market movement in the United States. His weekly column reprinted with permission can be foundhere.

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These Nepotists Have a Lot to Say About Hunter Biden’s Nepotism – The Daily Beast

Posted: at 4:49 pm

It appears that self-awareness is currently in short supply.

On Tuesday morning, ABC News broadcast its exclusive interview with Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden, in his first on-camera appearance since a whistleblower alleged that President Donald Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate a gas company with ties to the younger Biden.

Hunter admitted to ABC that it was poor judgment on his part to take a seat at Burisma Holdings, a Kyiv-based company, while his father was vice president, adding that it was likely that he wouldnt have gotten that jobor many other things in his lifeif his father was not Joe Biden. At the same time, Hunter insisted there was nothing improper or unethical about his employment with the company.

Following the interview, a number of well-known Republican figures weighed in to criticize Hunter Biden for cashing in on his fathers name. And they all had one thing distinctly in common with the ex-veeps son.

Appearing on MSNBC, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), son of former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a libertarian icon who twice ran for the Republican nomination, seemed to suggest the government ought to investigate Hunter Biden and his dynastic connectionsbut once MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle asked him if that also applied to the presidents family, Paul suddenly sang a different tune.

If we want to go down the road of the politics of self-destruction of everybody, he exclaimed. Criminalize all politicians on both sides of the aisle and go after their family, we can do that. But both sides are doing that, nobody really should excuse themselves and say, Were holier than thou and Trump is evil, instead of saying, It looks like theres been a lot of self-dealings throughout history.

Paul, meanwhile, went on to brush off any further questions about whether its appropriate for a president to ask a foreign leader to dig up dirt on a political opponent or whether the Trump familys self-dealings are an issue, instead insisting that the Bidens need to be investigated.

And then over on ABCs chatfest The View, Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Sen. John McCainthe 2008 Republican presidential nomineefelt that Hunter didnt do a great job, feeling that part of the problem is he admitted to his nepotistic benefits.

I think it was some criticism thats been held against other politicians children, she added. I always say its like being in a mafia family and you all roll together, you know what youre getting into.

But it was the decidedly anti-nepotism responses of two other famous legacy cases, however, that really drew attention on Tuesday.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, the niece of 2012 Republican presidential nominee and current Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, took to Twitter shortly after Hunters interview aired to post a scorching hot take.

Hunter Biden got $50K a month from a Ukrainian energy company, despite having ZERO experience in energy, she wrote. His justification? That he was also on the board of Amtrakmore obvious nepotism. If thats not the swamp, I dont know what is!

It wasnt long before Ms. Romney, Ronna Romney, and Romney McDaniel were all trending on Twitter. (McDaniel famously removed Romney from her name after Trump reportedly pressured her to do so over his long-running feud with the former GOP standard-bearer, something she has denied.)

The coup de grce, meanwhile, was delivered by none other than the presidents own son.

Dumpster fire at Biden HQ! Donald Trump Jr. tweeted without a hint of irony. It is impossible for me to be on any of the boards I just mentioned without saying that Im the son of the vice president of the US. I dont think that theres a lot of things that would have happen in my life that if my name wasnt Biden Hunter Biden.

Reactions, especially from the presidents critics, quickly came pouring in.

[P]eople are dunking on jr for this but honestly i bet its incredibly peaceful and zen-like to have zero self-awareness, humorist and commentator Andy Levy tweeted.

The kind of introspective joke you make when you owe your job and your entire career path to your father and think that other people are screw-ups or corrupt for exactly the same reason, Bloomberg Opinion writer Tim OBrien noted.

World record achieved - and likely never to be broken - for self-unaware projection, The Intercepts Glenn Greenwald observed.

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These Nepotists Have a Lot to Say About Hunter Biden's Nepotism - The Daily Beast

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Trump Trade Deals And The Non-Interventionism Of Ron Paul With Scott Horton – Mike Swanson (10/15/2019) – WallStreetWindow.com

Posted: at 4:49 pm

I just put up a new podcast. After a quick update about last weeks Trump/China trade deal that has turned out to be a trade truce I interview Scott Horton of The Libertarian Institute about a new book he has published titled The Great Ron Paul.

Scott has done well over a thousand, perhaps several thousand, interviews with people mainly regarding US foreign policy and foreign non-interventionism. One of his most important guests has been former Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Scott explains why Ron Pauls views have been so important since 9/11 and continue to be important today. I also asked him about where this type of thinking is going in this time of Trump and partisan polar politics?

To grab The Great Ron Paul book go here:

You can also listen to this podcast on Youtube by clicking here.

Have you ever wondered why the US has been involved in so many wars since World War II? Well grab my book The War State and find out! I think youll like it. Just click here.

-Mike

SUBSCRIBE TO THE BRAND NEW WALLSTREETWINDOW PODCAST VIA OUR RSS FEEDSubscribe in a reader

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Trump Trade Deals And The Non-Interventionism Of Ron Paul With Scott Horton - Mike Swanson (10/15/2019) - WallStreetWindow.com

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Democratic Debate: Tulsi Gabbard, After Threatening Boycott, Will Participate on Tuesday – The New York Times

Posted: at 4:49 pm

Representative Tulsi Gabbard, one of 12 Democratic presidential candidates who have qualified for this weeks televised debate, said on Monday that she would participate in the forum after raising the possibility of boycotting it to protest what she sees as a rigging of the election.

Ms. Gabbard had argued that the corporate news media and Democratic National Committee were working together to influence the event. On Monday, she offered little explanation of why she had dropped her objection to participating. I just want to let you know that I will be attending the debate, she wrote in an email to supporters.

While Ms. Gabbard had met the qualifying criteria to participate in Tuesdays debate, she is among the lower-polling candidates and has struggled to gain traction, never breaking 3 percent in any major poll. She failed to qualify for the September debate and has not yet made the stage for the November face-off. The New York Times is a co-sponsor of Tuesdays debate with CNN.

Ms. Gabbard has disputed the polls selected by the national committee as certifying candidates for the debate, arguing that many of the noncertified surveys are more accurate. Those polls could also help Ms. Gabbard qualify for the November debate.

Her call won support from a fellow primary candidate, Marianne Williamson, who is also polling among the bottom tier of presidential hopefuls.

I have great respect for Tulsi for saying such inconvenient truth, Ms. Williamson posted on Twitter last week, after Ms. Gabbard first raised the idea of boycotting the debate.

Ms. Gabbards warnings of a rigged election are likely to resonate with her base, an unconventional mix of anti-interventionist progressives, libertarians, contrarian culture-war skeptics, white nationalists and conspiracy theorists. They like her isolationist foreign policy, her calling out of what she sees as censorship in the major technology platforms and her support for drug decriminalization.

Buoyed by frequent appearances on Tucker Carlsons Fox News show, her quixotic, bare-bones campaign has also won praise from some surprising admirers, including Stephen K. Bannon, President Trumps former chief strategist; former Representative Ron Paul, a libertarian star; and Franklin Graham, the influential evangelist, who has said he finds her refreshing.

Ms. Gabbard has lobbed some of the toughest attacks on the debate stage. In July, she assailed Senator Kamala Harris over her record as a prosecutor, becoming the most searched candidate on Google in the hours after the event.

Ms. Harris later shot back, calling Ms. Gabbard an apologist for Syrias president, Bashar al-Assad, whom Ms. Gabbard controversially visited in Damascus in January 2017.

A telegenic military veteran, Ms. Gabbard, once a Democratic darling, began falling out of party favor during President Barack Obamas administration, when she picked a series of high-profile fights over foreign policy, joining Republicans in demanding that Mr. Obama use the term radical Islam.

In 2016, she resigned her position as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. She has said that she believes that the primary was rigged by the party committee against Mr. Sanders.

This years qualifying criteria were designed by the national committee as a direct response to criticism leveled during the 2016 campaign by supporters of Mr. Sanders, who argued that the party committee organized the debate schedule to favor Mrs. Clinton, the eventual party nominee.

While some lower-polling candidates have expressed frustration with the qualification rules, particularly the requirement that candidates amass at least 165,000 unique donors to make the November debate stage, there has been little outcry from Democratic voters.

In June, nearly three out of four voters who planned to attend the Iowa caucuses said that at least several of the candidates should drop out of the race, according to a Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa poll. A little more than four months later, only four of the candidates have ended their bids, leaving 19 remaining in the race.

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Democratic Debate: Tulsi Gabbard, After Threatening Boycott, Will Participate on Tuesday - The New York Times

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Ron Paul: Washington Is Wrong Once Again As Kurds Join Assad To Defend Syria OpEd – Eurasia Review

Posted: at 4:49 pm

When President Trump Tweeted last week that it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous endless wars, adding that the US would be withdrawing from Syria, Washington went into a panic. Suddenly Republicans, Democrats, the media, the think tanks, and the war industry all discovered and quickly became experts on the Kurds, who we were told were an ally being sent to their slaughter by an ignorant President Trump.

But it was all just another bipartisan ploy to keep the forever war gravy train rolling through the Beltway.

Interventionists will do anything to prevent US troops from ever coming home, and their favorite tactic is promoting mission creep. As President Trump Tweeted, we were told in 2014 by President Obama that the US military would go into Syria for just 30 days to save the Yazidi minority that they claimed were threatened. Then that mission crept into we must fight ISIS and so the US military continued to illegally occupy and bomb Syria for five more years.

Even though it was the Syrian army with its Russian and Iranian allies that did the bulk of the fighting against al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, President Trump took credit and called for the troops to come home. But when the military comes home, the military-industrial-Congressional-media complex loses its cash cow, so a new rationale had to be invented.

The latest mission creep was that we had to stay in Syria to save our allies the Kurds. All of a sudden our military presence in Syria was not about fighting terrorism but rather about putting US troops between our NATO ally Turkey and our proxy fighting force, the Kurds. Do they really want us to believe that it is pro-American for our troops to fight and die refereeing a long-standing dispute between the Turks and Kurds?

It was a colossally dumb idea to train and arm the Kurds in Syria in the first place, but after spending billions backing what turned out to be al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria to overthrow the Assad government, Washington found that the Kurds were the only willing boots remaining on the ground. While their interest in fighting ISIS was limited, they were happy to use Washingtons muscle in pursuit of their long-term goal of carving out a part of Syria (and eventually Turkey) for themselves.

We can never leave because there will be a slaughter, Washington claimed (and the media faithfully repeated). But once again, the politicians, the mainstream media, and the Beltway experts have been proven wrong. They never understand that sending US troops into another country without the proper authority is not a stabilizing factor, but a de-stabilizing factor. I have argued that were the US to leave Syria (and the rest of the Middle East) the countries of the region would find a way to solve their own problems.

Now that the US is pulling back from northern Syria, that is just what is happening.

On Sunday the Kurds and the Syrian government signed an agreement, brokered by the Russians, to put aside their differences and join together to defend against Turkeys incursion into Syrian territory.

Now our Kurdish allies are fighting alongside the army of Syrian President Assad who we are still told by US officials must go. Washington doesnt understand that our intervention only makes matters worse. The best way to help the Kurds and everyone else in the region is to just come home.

This article was published by RonPaul Institute

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What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To? – The Indian Express

Posted: at 4:49 pm

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Faithless Electors Could Tip the 2020 Election. Will the Supreme Court Stop Them? – The New York Times

Posted: at 4:49 pm

WASHINGTON On Dec. 19, 2016, a little more than a month after the presidential election, members of the Electoral College gathered around the nation to cast their votes. Ten of them went rogue.

A swing by that number of electors would have been enough to change the outcomes in five of the previous 58 presidential elections, according to a petition filed last week in the Supreme Court. In the 2000 election, after an assist from the Supreme Court, George W. Bush beat Al Gore by just five electoral votes.

The petition asked the justices to decide whether faithless electors were free to disregard pledges they made to vote for their own parties candidates. It urged the court to act quickly. This case permits the court to issue a decision outside of the white-hot scrutiny of a contested presidential election, the petition said.

Deciding the issue in the context of an actual election could do lasting damage to the Supreme Court, said Lawrence Lessig, a law professor at Harvard who filed the petition on behalf of three Democratic electors from Washington State who were fined $1,000 each for casting their electoral votes for Colin L. Powell rather than for Hillary Clinton.

A ruling that tipped an election to one or another candidate could not but look political, Professor Lessig said. It would be disastrous for the institution, he said of the court, if they had to decide it in the middle of a presidential election.

The Washington State Supreme Court upheld the fines in May, saying that the Constitution allows states to insist that electors vote for their parties candidates.

In dissent, Justice Steven C. Gonzalez disagreed. The Constitution provides the state only with the power to appoint, he wrote, leaving the electors with the discretion to vote their conscience.

Three months later, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in Denver, rejected the Washington State Supreme Courts reasoning. It said that Colorado had been wrong to discard a vote from a Democratic elector who had wanted to cast a ballot for Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.

Electors, once appointed, are free to vote as they choose, Judge Carolyn B. McHugh wrote for the majority of a divided three-judge panel. While the Constitution grants the states plenary power to appoint their electors, it does not provide the states the power to interfere once voting begins, to remove an elector, to direct the other electors to disregard the removed electors vote or to appoint a new elector to cast a replacement vote.

Such sharp disagreements in the lower courts make a Supreme Court review more likely. So does the importance of the issue: It is hardly far-fetched that the next presidential election could turn on the votes of faithless electors.

Two things are reasonably clear. The first is that the framers of the Constitution and the language they used seemed to contemplate that electors would use independent judgment.

The second is that over time people have come to assume that electors are meant to vote for their parties candidates.

An 1892 Supreme Court decision captured this tension. Doubtless it was supposed that the electors would exercise a reasonable independence and fair judgment in the selection of the chief executive, Chief Justice Melville Fuller wrote. Over time, he added, the original expectation may be said to have been frustrated.

Alexander Hamilton described that original expectation in the Federalist Papers. Men chosen by the people for the special purpose of selecting the president, he wrote, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.

The Supreme Court these days is generally inclined to honor the original meaning of the Constitution, and the Tenth Circuit made a strong case that its language supports elector independence. The words of the relevant provisions, including elector, vote and ballot, Judge McHugh wrote, have a common theme: They all imply the right to make a choice or voice an individual opinion.

On election night in 2016, the electoral vote was expected to be 306 for Donald J. Trump and 232 for Mrs. Clinton. In the end, though, it was 304 to 227.

Seven electors succeeded in voting for other candidates. A fourth Democratic elector in Washington voted for Faith Spotted Eagle, and a Democratic elector in Hawaii voted for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Republican electors in Texas voted for Mr. Kasich and Ron Paul, a former representative of Texas.

Three more Democratic electors, in Colorado, Maine and Minnesota, tried to vote for candidates other than Mrs. Clinton. Two were replaced, and a third eventually came around.

The number of faithless votes was the largest in history, but the phenomenon was not particularly unusual. Congress has accepted the vote of every vote contrary to a pledge or expectation in the nations history that has been transmitted to it a total of more than 150 votes across 20 different elections from 1796 to 2016, the petition filed last week said, citing data from FairVote, a nonpartisan voting rights advocacy group.

Congress has only once debated the question, when some lawmakers objected in 1969 to counting a Republican electors vote for George C. Wallace after Richard M. Nixon won the popular vote in the electors state. Both houses rejected the objection, and the vote stood.

Professor Lessig, the lawyer for the Washington State electors, said a decision in their favor could help focus public attention on the shortcomings of the Electoral College in reflecting the popular will. One response, he said, is the National Popular Vote plan, under which states agree to grant their electoral votes to the candidate who gets the most votes nationwide.

It could also convince both sides that it is finally time to step up and modify the Constitution to address this underlying problem, he said. One possibility, he said, is a constitutional amendment requiring a proportional allocation of electoral votes at the state level.

The key point for now, Professor Lessig said, is to have a definitive answer on elector independence before the justices can know which candidate might benefit from their ruling.

Whatever way you resolve it, he said, it should be resolved.

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Faithless Electors Could Tip the 2020 Election. Will the Supreme Court Stop Them? - The New York Times

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This prediction market has Hillary Clinton in third place to win the Democratic primary – The Outline

Posted: at 4:49 pm

Every four years, large numbers of people waste countless hours of their lives toiling under the delusion that they will be able to predict who one or both political partys presidential nominee will be. Some people gather information from oodles of disparate sources polls, fundraising numbers, media coverage, historical trends, debate performance, sentiment of party insiders, etc. and often wind up focusing so intently on certain data points that they miss the forest for the trees and get it completely wrong. Others cherry-pick from much of that same information and attempt to use it to retroactively justify the inevitably candidacy of the politician they happen to like. (There is a lot of overlap between these two groups, however unintentional.) Others just bullshit like hell and sometimes end up being more right than the experts.

Often this is done in service of journalism or campaign emails telling you to DONATE NOW, but today we are going to talk about the people who do it for pure, unadulterated profit. As Ive written for The Outline previously, the website PredictIt is a political prediction market, in which users buy shares of an outcome they believe will occur, whether its which justice will be Trumps next Supreme Court nominee, which party will win the 2020 presidential election, or the number of times Andrew Yang will tweet this week. While yes, this is basically just gambling on politics, prediction markets do have genuine value for election forecasters such as Nate Cohn of The New York Times and Nate Silver of 538, the latter of whom, I noted in my previous piece, has written that [prediction markets] tend to mimic his websites forecasts more than conventional polling data does.

In the past couple of weeks, however, the PredictIt market for the 2020 Democratic presidential race has developed an anomaly that truly boggles the mind. While conventional polling indicates a dead heat between an ascendent Elizabeth Warren and a slowly receding, bleeding-from-the-eyes Joe Biden, with Bernie Sanders behind both in a competitive third place, PredictIts market for the same race looks nothing like that at all. For one, theyve got Warren way out in front of Biden, at 48 cents to 21 cents (each PredictIt market divides its shares into portions of a dollar, both to keep things cheap and to mimic actual polls), and Sanders in sixth place.

The space between Warren and Sanders, though, is where shit gets wild. Have a look for yourself:

Screenshot via PredictIt, taken around 11 a.m. on October 10.

Hillary Clinton, a person who is not currently running for president, is nevertheless neck and neck with Andrew Yang, the Ron Paul of the Democratic Party, for third place. (As you can see, Pete Buttigieg is in fourth, but I dont care and neither should you.)

Ever since he announced his candidacy, Andrew Yang has performed disproportionately well on PredictIt, especially relative to Sanders. This is in part because one of Yangs key bases of support is extremely online young men who are more interested in getting $1000 than they are in free healthcare i.e., the type of people who are really into prediction markets.

As for Clinton, its a weirder and not particularly explainable situation, given that, again, she is not currently running for president. But prediction markets dont care about whats happening now, they care about what will happen in the future, and clearly there are people out there who think that shes going to run for president and would have a shot at winning.

One of the arguments for the effectiveness of prediction markets is that in theory, they facilitate those with inside information anonymously coming forward and making that information known by placing a large bet on an otherwise unexpected outcome. If, say Hillary Clintons driver and had overheard the former Secretary of State telling someone on the phone that she was about to jump into the race, that person could hop on PredictIt and make a huge bet on Clinton becoming the nominee, which might catch the attention of other PredictIt users and cause them to also start betting on Clinton, which would in turn drive the price of her shares up. So: Are prediction markets trying to tell us something were not already privy to?

The ascendency of Hillary Clinton on PredictIt came to my attention when Kevin Munger, an Outline contributor and Political Science professor at Penn State, made a joke about it on Twitter on October 2. Since then, Munger has watched with bemusement as Clinton has crept upwards. Intrigued, I started looking at the market, trying to understand why this was happening and whether it actually meant anything. According to PredictIts chart of trade volume, which indicates the number of shares of Clinton being bought and sold on any given day, interest in Clinton shares originally spiked on October 2, and then jumped again on October 8. I then started Googling around to see if anything might have happened in the news on those days that might explain these upticks in trade volume. If there wasnt, that might be a clue that someone with connections to Clintons camp was trying to cash in on non-public information.

The results of my search, it turned out, were head-smackingly obvious.

On October 2, Hillary Clinton appeared on The View. Alongside her daughter, Chelsea, with whom she just co-authored a book. As for the October 8 spike, well, that was because Donald Trump tweeted, I think Crooked Hillary should enter the race, to which Clinton (or more likely, her assistant), responded, Dont tempt me.

While its true that presidential candidates go on The View and tweet epic clapbacks at Donald Trump, thats stuff that hundreds of public figures many of them politicians! do as well, and none of them are running for president. In an interview with CNN, Clinton confidant Terry McAuliffe said that shes re-emerging in the public eye because shes got a book to sell and that Shes having fun, but that doesn't mean shes going to run again. No one, not even Hillary Clinton, wants to relive the 2016 election again.

While the fact that Clinton is a contender on PredictIt isnt proof shes secretly getting ready to run for president again, its definitely proof that these markets, so vaunted by prognosticators named Nate, are sometimes driven by nothing more than a few people sitting at home saying, Hey, I saw that person on TV! Its certainly a bad sign that the sort of press tours that famous people do whenever theyre trying to hawk some dumb bullcrap are often indistinguishable from modern political campaigns, but the people of PredictIts inability to tell the difference between the two functions as an example of the learned insensitivity to reality that, as Tom Whyman wrote for The Outline yesterday, is one of the primary characteristics of modern stupidity. Sometimes, the more information we gather, the less were sure of which bits are worth focusing on.

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This prediction market has Hillary Clinton in third place to win the Democratic primary - The Outline

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Trump rally in Dallas: What to know about the Oath Keepers militia group – Times Record News

Posted: at 4:49 pm

John C Moritz Austin Bureau USA TODAY NETWORK, Corpus Christi Caller Times Published 4:19 p.m. CT Oct. 15, 2019 | Updated 4:25 p.m. CT Oct. 15, 2019

A self-styled militia group called Oath Keepers is seekingvolunteers to help "protectTrump supporters" during the president's rally in Dallas.

AUSTIN A 10-year-old self-styled militia group called Oath Keepers is seekingvolunteers to help "protectTrump supporters" during the president's rally Thursday in downtown Dallas.

"As always, we are confident that the interior of the venue itself will be safe (the Secret Service will see to that)," Stewart Rhodes, who founded the organization of military veterans and former law enforcement officers in 2009, wrote on the organization's website this week."But we have serious concerns for the safety of attendees as they walk from their vehicles to the venue, and then especially as they walk back to their vehicles in the dark afterward."

The anti-government group, Oath Keepers, says it plans to help protect Trump supporters at the president's rally in Dallas, Oct. 17, 2019.(Photo: Oath Keepers' Twitter page)

The group that calls itself defenders of the Constitution also lists a series what is says are potential government directives it will not obey, including disarming citizens.

The group was at Trump's rally last week in Minneapolis, and says it also will be at Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke counter-rally to Trump's appearance in nearby Grand Prairie.

Protesters clashed with supporters outside a rally in Minneapolis. Some burned MAGA hats and threw urine in the streets. USA TODAY

The organization, which according to several reports claims about 35,000 members, bills itself as a"non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Rhodes, a one-time staffer to former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, says on his personal website he is an "ex-paratrooper, disabled vet, ex-firearms instructor" and a graduate of Yale University School of Law.

"If a police state comes to America, it will ultimately be byyourhands," Rhodes wrotein an article called "Just Following Orders" in S.W.A.T. Magazine."That is a harsh reality, but you had better come to terms with it now, and resolve to not let it happen on your watch."

Rhodes also referred to Hillary Clinton as "Herr Hitlery" during the 2008 race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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Several articles and essays on the organization's website decry the decision by Democratic U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to move forward with an impeachment inquiry into Trump as a "circus" and a push to overturn the 2016 election.

Last month, the organization retweeted Trump when he said impeachment and removal from office would "cause a Civil War like fracture" of the nation and added a comment:

"This is the truth. This is where we are. We ARE on the verge of a HOT civil war. Like in 1859. Thats where we are. And the Right has ZERO trust or respect for anything the left is doing. We see THEM as illegitimate too."

As demonstrators began organizing a protest in Ferguson, Missouri, on the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown in August 2015, ablack man who was shot and killed by a white police officer, an armed group of protesters came to the city ostensibly to help law enforcement.

According to a USA TODAY report at the time, several members rifle-toting Oath Keepers walked amongthe protesters. Missouri law permits license-holders to openly carry weapons.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar called the group's presence "unnecessary and inflammatory."

Officers form a line across First Avenue following the rally for Donald J. Trump Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, outside the Target Center in Minneapolis. (Photo: Dave Schwarz, dschwarz@stcloudtimes.com)

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks what calls extremist groups, describes Oath Keepers as "one of the largest radical anti-government groups" in the nation.

"While it claims only to be defending the Constitution, the entire organization is based on a set of baseless conspiracy theories about the federal government working to destroy the liberties of Americans," SPLC says on its website.

In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Rhodes disputed the characterization and called his organization "the right-wing version of the ACLU."

John C. Moritz covers Texas government and politics for the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at jmoritz@gannett.comand follow him on Twitter@JohnnieMo.

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