Ron Paul's anti-Fed message gains respect

Section:

By Catherine Dodge
Bloomberg News
Monday, June 27, 2011

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-27/ron-paul-s-anti-fed-message-dri...

WASHINGTON -- When Ron Paul announced four years ago that he was running for president, the congressman from Texas had a tough time attracting attention.

Paul, known for his anti-government views, opposition to the Iraq, Afghan and Libyan conflicts and drive to get rid of the Federal Reserve, stayed in Washington to declare his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination on C-Span, the cable television station devoted to government proceedings. His entry earned a one-sentence mention near the end of a Washington Post political story, and little notice elsewhere.

Last month, his venue for announcing another presidential bid was an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" -- a program with more than 4.5 million viewers. He spoke from a rally in New Hampshire, where hundreds of backers drawn to Paul's message of shrinking government and limiting its reach cheered the 75-year-old great-grandfather.

... Dispatch continues below ...



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Lewis E. Lehrman on How to Solve the U.S. Debt Problem

Lewis E. Lehrman, chairman of the Lehrman Institute, sponsor of The Gold Standard Now project, advises that to reduce the $1 1/2 trillion U.S. deficit, the Republican Party must initiate an investment program.

Working Americans are not saving, which enables the banks to lead the country into a cycle of debt, leverage, boom, panic, and bust.

Lehrman says: "Eliminating the budget deficit of a trillion and a half dollars cannot be done overnight. The proposal by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan was very dramatic -- one Republican called it radical -- but it was not happily received. The solution, of course, is to design an American program for prosperity, because you can solve these entitlement problems with a growing economy.

"We need a tremendous program of investment, and investment comes from savings. When you pay savers, middle-income professionals and working people, 0 percent at the bank, you are not going to encourage them
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"During the last campaign people weren't too interested in what I was saying," Paul said in an interview. "There's some respect for it now."

Paul, a former obstetrician who estimates he’s delivered about 4,000 babies, also has seen his clout grow within Congress, where during most of his 11 full terms he had little influence. This year, he ascended to the helm of the House subcommittee that oversees the Fed. Rand Paul, his son and a Tea-Party favorite who follows his father's anti-tax, anti-debt politics, joined Paul in Washington in January as a Republican senator from Kentucky, elevating the family brand.

Although political analysts give the elder Paul little chance of emerging as President Barack Obama's challenger, his limited-government goals echo through the Tea Party movement, the cadre of activists that helped Republicans gain control of the House in the 2010 election.

"He is one of the most long-standing advocates of a policy that is at its apex in the Republican Party," said Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas in Austin. "He doesn't look as much like an off-the-wall, cartoonish figure as he did in recent efforts to go national."

For decades -- and mostly from the margins -- Paul has held fast to his Libertarian message, giving him authenticity.

His positions include a return to linking the dollar to gold. He doesn't see a federal role in education and health care. He supports legalizing drugs, including heroin; this month he co-sponsored a bill to allow states to legalize marijuana. He urges a non-interventionist foreign policy, opposing U.S. involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.

He was critical of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, saying the U.S. should have worked with Pakistan and shown more respect for international rule of law.

"He says what he believes, and he believes what he says," said Dean Spiliotis, a New Hampshire-based political analyst. "You can't underestimate the extent to which people appreciate that."

Paul, an avid exerciser, gained a loyal band of followers in his 2008 campaign, including a large number of college students. His grassroots support fueled Internet donations, including a one-day $6 million haul. He raised a total of $34.5 million, more than double what former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee collected in his failed 2008 bid. And his backers even launched a Ron Paul blimp.

He's building on that support now. "We used to have to actively lobby and push to get him on a handful of cable news shows," said campaign aide Jesse Benton. "Now we get more than we can handle."

At the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, an annual gathering of party activists that this month featured speeches by several White House aspirants, Paul won a June 18 presidential preference straw poll. The day before, he took the stage at the event to a thundering chant of "Ron Paul" from supporters. Minutes into his speech, several hundred began shouting "Kill the Fed."

Paul looked on with a smile. "This is wonderful. This is where we have made our greatest strides," he said. "It's time we not only audit our Federal Reserve, but in due time get rid of the Federal Reserve."

The heightened appeal of his efforts was evident in 2010, when the House cleared his legislation to require audits of the central bank's interest-rate decisions. It was Paul's ninth attempt at passing legislation to rein in the Fed. A watered-down version of Paul's measure was included in the financial-regulation law enacted last year, and Paul has vowed to push for greater oversight.

"Anybody who ever thought Ron Paul was a joke was not paying attention," said Charlie Black, a veteran political strategist who advised Republican presidential nominee John McCain in 2008. "His stature is elevated because his followers did play a big role in the Tea Party movement and the victories for Republicans in 2010."

In the 2012 campaign, Paul said, rivals no longer dismiss him.

"In the debates last go-around, if I brought up monetary policy they literally would laugh or snicker," he said. "I don't think that's there anymore, because people are realizing the current system isn't working that well."

Still, little evidence exists that he can win any of the early primary contests, let alone the Republican nomination. Paul has rarely hit double digits in national polls of Republican-leaning voters on their presidential preferences; an aggregate of surveys by the RealClearPolitics website shows him with 6.9 percent support.

The rise of the Tea Party and a growing anti-government sentiment will probably lead to only slightly better results for Paul this year, said Mark McKinnon, a political consultant who advised Republican President George W. Bush.

"Paul is really a Libertarian, and while they are committed and passionate about Ron Paul, Libertarians represent at best about 10 percent of the vote," McKinnon said. "He'll stir the pot and add some entertainment at the debates. But he's more gadfly than threat."

Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, disputes Paul's influence on the movement. He said that while he agrees with some of Paul's ideas, others -- such as in foreign policy -- are "just nuts."

"This idea that Ron Paul started the Tea Party movement is revisionist history," he said. "People say Ron Paul is the godfather of the Tea Party. No, he isn't."

It's Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, who Phillips and some political analysts see as more polished and electable, should he seek the presidency.

"He'll be a force to contend with if he has ambitions to be in the White House," said Dave Carney, a Republican consultant who was political director for former President George H.W. Bush.

Until recently, the two shared an apartment in suburban Virginia, outside Washington. Rand Paul moved closer to the Senate so he wouldn't have to fight traffic and could walk to work. Ron Paul said he prefers to be farther from the city, where he enjoys morning walks of three to four miles and 12-mile bike rides at day's end, when his schedule allows. He also swims regularly.

"It's my therapy," he said. "I complain if I don't get to do that."

Rand Paul campaigned for his father in 2008 and will act as a surrogate again. "That's how a lot of people got to know him," said his father.

Ron Paul said his son has studied many of the same teachings and books on topics such as economic theory that have influenced his views. "Intellectually, it's a continuation of what I've been doing," he said.

Still, the patriarch of five children, 18 grandchildren, and five great grandchildren shrugs off any notion of a political dynasty in the making:

"I don't use those terms, especially since we are trying to get rid of power in Washington."

* * *

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Sona Drills 85.4g Gold/Ton Over 4 Metres at Elizabeth Gold Deposit,
Extending the Mineralization of the Southwest Vein on the Property

Company Press Release, October 27, 2010

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Sona Resources Corp. reports on five drillling holes in the third round of assay results from the recently completed drill program at its 100 percent-owned Elizabeth Gold Deposit Property in the Lillooet Mining District of southern British Columbia. Highlights from the diamond drilling include:

-- Hole E10-66 intersected 17.4g gold/ton over 1.54 metres.

-- Hole E10-67 intersected 96.4g gold/ton over 2.5 metres, including one assay interval of 383g of gold/ton over 0.5 metres.

-- Hole E10-69 intersected 85.4g gold/ton over 4.03 metres, including one assay interval of 230g gold/ton over 1 metre.

Four drill holes, E10-66 to E10-69, targeted the southwestern end of the Southwest Vein, and three of the holes have expanded the mineralized zone in that direction. The Southwest Vein gold mineralization has now been intersected over a strike length of 325 metres, with the deepest hole drilled less than 200 metres from surface.

"The assay results from the Southwest Zone quartz vein continue to be extremely positive," says John P. Thompson, Sona's president and CEO. "We are expanding the Southwest Vein, and this high-grade gold mineralization remains wide open down dip and along strike to the southwest."

For the company's full press release, please visit:

http://sonaresources.com/_resources/news/SONA_NR19_2010.pdf