In a way, it’s rather admirable that Ron Paul sticks to his guns when everyone knows that his ostrich-like response to a nuclear Iran positively guarantees that he will not be the presidential nominee in 2012. Although I’ve always thought that Rep. Paul has a startling physical resemblance to the myopic cartoon creation Mr. Magoo, the real-life person he invariably brings to mind is none other than Neville Chamberlin. All the man needs is the furled umbrella.

On the other hand, I’d be churlish if I didn’t commend Paul for providing me with my only laugh during the Sioux City GOP debate. That was when he let us know that none other than James Clapper, Obama’s head of National Intelligence, agreed with his assessment of Iran. That would be like my denying that the Holocaust had taken place because no less an authority than Moammar Ahmadinejad said it hadn’t.

The fact is, until Dr. Paul mentioned him, I had assumed Clapper was long gone from the administration. After all, this is the same James Clapper who, in 2010, had been unaware late in the day that a dozen Islamic terrorists had been arrested that very morning in Great Britain. He’s the same fellow who insisted that the Muslim Brotherhood was a secular group that had eschewed violence.

In March 2011, this very same intelligence maven predicted that “Over the long run, Gadhafi will prevail.” Either he was all wet, as usual, or he considered seven months “the long run,” inasmuch as Gadhafi was dead as a doornail as of Oct. 20.

At the same congressional hearing, in March, he was asked why he’d neglected to list Iran and North Korea among the nuclear powers that might pose a threat to the United States. We’re all still waiting for his answer. That is, all of us who aren’t Ron Paul.

One has to assume that in a President Paul administration, Mr. Clapper would continue to be the head of National Intelligence, although combining Clapper and intelligence in the same sentence is my idea of an oxymoron.

Speaking of the Sioux City debate, I, unlike some others, did not think Newt Gingrich came out smelling like a rose.

For one thing, while arguing for his loony notion of forcing federal judges to defend themselves before the louts in Congress, he said that he would be taking on the judiciary in the spirit of Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and FDR. Well, lest anyone leap to the conclusion that I’m on the side of activist judges, let me make it clear that would never be my intention. But anything that a conservative president can do, a liberal president can do. So I’d suggest to Speaker Gingrich that he keep the political showboating to an absolute minimum.

But, more to the point, when he started to explain in what way his cockeyed idea was in the spirit of those four presidents, he said that Jefferson, when asked if the Supreme Court was supreme, replied, “That’s absurd.” He said that Lincoln had challenged the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dred Scott decision with his Emancipation Proclamation. While it’s nice to know that Gingrich still opposes slavery, I would have been far more interested in his defense of FDR.

You see, Roosevelt’s major judiciary battle arose when the conservative Supreme Court ruled several portions of his New Deal unconstitutional. FDR decided that nine old guys in black robes should not have the authority to dismantle any portion of his socialistic agenda. He therefore decided to pack the Court by appointing up to six new justices for every sitting justice over the age of 70 years, six months. Even a public enamored of Roosevelt opposed this clumsy ploy to expand the power of the executive branch.

But, then, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that historian Gingrich has stated that the greatest president of the 20th century was FDR, not Ronald Reagan.

Finally, after listening to Newt trying to explain why the $1.6 million he received from Freddie Mac was perfectly acceptable, I have come to two conclusions. The first is that it provides us with yet another excellent reason to rid ourselves of Freddie and Fannie once and for all.

The second reason is equally damning of Speaker Gingrich. If, as he keeps insisting, the services he provided Freddie were the equivalent of dusting the shelves and cleaning out the wastepaper baskets – and not influence-peddling in the corrupt halls of Congress – the schmuck is positively shameless.

I mean, how dare Newt charge $30,000-a-month – money coming out of the pockets of the American taxpayer – for advice that, by his own admission, was ignored for five long years!

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