TIME 2014 elections

Third-Party Candidates Could Disrupt 2014 Midterms

Sean Haugh Libertarian Candidate From US Senate From North Carolina
Libertarian Sean Haugh, is running for the US Senate from North Carolina seen here in Raleigh, North Carolina on July 2, 2014. Rachel Mills—The Washington Post&/Getty Images

Most are right-leaning, potentially threatening GOP bid for control of the Senate

For most of modern era, third-party candidates were the crazy uncles of U.S. Senate elections, fun to watch and almost never relevant. In the 1990s and 2000s combined, only six Senate races were impacted by third party candidates. That is now changing. In the past four years alone, the outcomes of four Senate races have been impacted by outsiders, and this year is lining up to deliver more disruption.

10 of the 12 Senate seats in play this cycle have drawn third-party challengers, and nine of those races have Libertarian Party candidates—some of them more than one—who are likely to draw votes from Republicans. That’s bad news for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is hoping to win six seats and control of the Senate, but first may have to contend with a Libertarian challenger coming after his own seat—if he succeeds in getting on the ballot.

Much of the shift has risen from the conservative backlash against Republican incumbents. While many establishment candidates have beat back Tea Party primary challenges this cycle, activists are increasingly deciding to try to organize outside the party structure. These third-party bids have little chance of success, but they can easily spoil a close race by drawing away a few percentage points from mainstream Republicans or Democrats. For the embattled GOP establishment, it’s yet another reminder that the Tea Party isn’t going away and won’t be ignored.

In the razor-thin race for the retiring Saxby Chambliss’s seat in Georgia, outside candidates such as Libertarian Amanda Swafford, a paralegal and former city councilwoman, have drawn up to 7% of the vote in early polls. Swafford is Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn’s not-so-secret weapon: Republican David Perdue currently leads Nunn by 3.2% in a Real Clear Politics average of Georgia polls.

Likewise, Sen. Kay Hagan, one of the most vulnerable Democrats up this cycle, must be happy to have Libertarian Sean Haugh on the ballot. Haugh, a pizza deliveryman, has rated in the high single digits in early North Carolina polls, far more than the percentage of voters that divides the major party candidates there.

In most cases, third party candidates will likely have little impact on the midterms, like in the West Virginia race to fill retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s seat, where Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito leads West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant by a commanding 9.3 percent, according a Real Clear Politics average, despite the presence of both a Libertarian and a Tea Party candidate in the race. And the majority of third party candidates vying for the 21 House seats in play this cycle are perennial campaigners, like Mike the Mover in Washington’s First District, who runs as a business advertisement. Experts expect only a handful of those races will be substantially affected by also-rans.

Still, with Senate control on a razor’s edge, every vote counts. And with voters hating Washington now more than ever, non-mainstream candidates are more than likely to leech away support. The anger at both major parties might even delay the outcome of this year’s election. In Louisiana, four other candidates look likely to deprive Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu or her Republican challenger Bill Cassidy of an outright win of 50% of the vote, thereby forcing a runoff to be scheduled for Dec. 7. If control of the Senate hangs on this race, the nation will have to wait until next year to find out who controls Congress.

TIME Congress

Congress Plays Chicken With Highway Funding

National Labor Leaders Held Rally To Urge Congress To Replenish The Highway Trust Fund
Transit workers participate in a rally to urge Congress to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, on Capitol Hill, May 20, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Galloping towards a five-week break, the two chambers race to stick the other with their version

The House and Senate have two competing versions of a temporary fix for the Highway Trust Fund, which is set to run out of money at the beginning of August if nothing is done.

The House passed its version of the $10.9 billion fund bailout on July 15, while the Senate passed a bill of its own Tuesday night. The problem, however, is that House Republicans object to how the Senate pays for its bill, arguing the upper chamber has left a $2 billion hole that’s unpaid for.

“I just want to make clear: If the Senate sends a highway bill over here with those provisions, we’re just going to strip it out,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Tuesday.

The legislative friction comes just as both chambers are expected to recess for five weeks at the end of this week, setting up a game of congressional chicken. The House plans to re-pass its version and send it back to the Senate before breaking for recess, thus leaving the Senate with the choice of defaulting or passing the House bill. If there’s enough time, however, the Senate could turn the tables on the lower chamber, passing its version of the bill and daring the House to not come back to work and prevent a default.

Such games of chicken are common before recess breaks. In this case, what will most likely happen is the slower-moving Senate will likely accept and pass the House version. But all the ping-ponging doesn’t endear Congress to the states and companies depending on Highway Trust Fund money for projects—or to the American people at large.

TIME republicans

Inside Sarah Palin’s Truman Show

Western Conservative Summit
Former Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin speaks to the crowd of Western Conservative Summit at Hyatt Regency in Denver on July 19. 2014. Hyoung Chang—Denver Post/Getty Images

Want to know Palin’s every inner thought? There’s an online channel for that

Any time former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a thought, she now can share it with the world, or at least the world of Internet television subscribers willing to pay $9.99 a month or $99.95 a year for Palin’s pearls of wisdom.

The newest platform for Palinisms is brought to us by Tapp, a platform for subscription video channels. Palin is the second channel Tapp has launched, following one for radio relationship guru Steve Arterburn. But while Arterburn usually films his daily shows over a day and a half each week, Palin’s approach is decidedly more Truman-esque — that’s Truman like Jim Carrey’s The Truman Show, not the former President.

Tapp installed dozens of cameras in Palin’s two homes, one in Alaska and another in Arizona, so that any time the mood strikes her, she can flip on a camera virtually anywhere in her house and broadcast. “She’s not on a set. She can just riff and you’re seeing your idol in their natural habitat,” Jon Klein, Tapp co-founder and CEO, tells TIME.

Palin has also gone mobile, shooting video on smartphones “as she’s taking her kids around town,” says Klein. “It’s really front row seat of her life as it unfolds,” he adds.

Klein approached Palin with the idea through her lawyer, Bob Barnett, and he has shouldered all the upfront costs, while he’ll split any profits with Palin. He says he’s already happy with the response to their endeavor, though he declines to “characterize” the number of people who have signed up thus far. Active members of the armed services can sign up for free.

So, what does Palin talk about all day long? “She’s really in to what people post— the comments on her Facebook page, she reads Twitter—and she’s really into the communal aspects of things. She loves crowds; loves engaging. Instead of keeping all the responses to herself or turning to [her husband] Todd Palin, she can flip on the camera and respond.”

And her “super fans,” as Klein calls her subscriber base, can respond as well. A sampling of some of the comments Palin followers have made on her channel:

Curtesy of Tapp cable tv

 

But Palin’s “super fans” aren’t the only ones who have taken notice. Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert registered the domain TheSarahPalinChannel.com. Thus far, the site just links to a Colbert show segment on Palin and Paul Revere, but Colbert and his staff have promised to have some fun with Palin and her channel’s footage. Super fans, it seems, come in all different forms.

TIME Congress

House Republicans Unveil Women’s Legislation in Push for Female Voters

Speaker Boehner And House GOP Leadership Address The Media After Their Weekly Conference
Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers listens during a briefing at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee in Washington on March 5, 2014 Alex Wong—Getty Images

The party that was once against identity politics is learning to court the female vote

House Republicans on Wednesday will introduce a package of legislation aimed at helping “all Americans — particularly women — succeed at home and at work,” Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ office told TIME exclusively. McMorris Rodgers has been spearheading the House effort to draft and introduce the measures for months. For a party that has loathed identity politics, the moment is an acknowledgment of how powerful female voters have become.

“As a wife, mom, and member of Congress, I am proud to promote legislative solutions that celebrate the extraordinarily positive role women play in all sectors of our economy,” McMorris Rodgers, the No. 4 House Republican and the highest-ranking woman in GOP leadership, tells TIME. “Simply put: these bills will make life better for millions of Americans.”

Democrats have focused almost their entire 2014 agenda around issues that affect female voters, from pay equity to increasing the minimum wage, which impacts women disproportionately. They are hoping that by turning out single women, a reliably Democratic group but one that doesn’t often turn out for midterm elections, they can keep the Senate from flipping.

Republicans are seeking to check that move by appealing to women themselves, and McMorris Rodgers’ pitch on Wednesday is part of that effort. The move, part of a coordinated GOP effort to woo women this year, is striking. Republicans have long eschewed identity politics and, aside from George W. Bush’s courtship of soccer and security moms, have never made such a push as seen this year to court an individual voting bloc.

The package consists of several bills the House has already passed that increase job training, incentivize flexible work schedules, tax breaks for children and families, and strengthens charter schools. Most of the bills have been DOA in the Senate in an election year, though in a less polarized time they might have drawn some support. Democrats have introduced several similar workplace flexibility bills. The package also includes some new legislation to prevent retaliation when women ask about equal pay, a bill that restores cuts to home Medicare health care services and Child Care and Development Block Grant legislation, a bipartisan bill that has already passed the Senate and would become law if passed by the House.

With more and more women working, flexibility for both parents has become an increasingly popular issue on both sides of the aisle in Congress. Three-fourths of women are in the workforce today, women manage over 80% of household income, and more than 60% of women with children under 6 are working, according to Labor Department statistics. “We absolutely believe that women should absolutely get equal pay for equal work,” McMorris Rodgers says. “If there’s discrimination taking place then laws need to be strengthened. Equal pay was passed in 1963, civil rights in 1964, it’s been the law of the land but we are looking at strengthening those laws … The workforce has changed. Our laws should too.” Democrats have brought up legislation allowing women an indefinite amount of time to sue for loss of equal pay, but Republicans have shot down those bills as too onerous on employers, preferring a route that strengthens penalties as a deterrence.

Democrats have a 10-point advantage with women voters, according to a July Pew Research Center poll. While, conversely, Republicans have a 12-point edge with male voters, men turn out proportionately 10% less than female voters. All of which is to say, the female vote is much more powerful. The only time Republicans have won the female vote since 1984 — by less than 2 percentage points in 2010 — they took back the House and nearly flipped the Senate. Democrats, who hold a two-point lead in generic poll matchups, say the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision and right-wing calls to impeach President Obama have helped bolster their case this year with women. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House, says 60% of donations reaped by their $2.1 million anti-impeachment fundraising haul have come from women.

Senate Republicans Kelly Ayotte and Deb Fischer have introduced their own flexible work legislation—Fischer also introduced a package of equal pay, paid leave and microfinance bills—and the Republican National Committee recently held a women’s summit to bolster candidate recruitment and training. The RNC also launched “14 in 14” a program, which recruits young women to volunteer at least 30 minutes of their time every week for the 14 weeks leading up to the midterm elections. They will recruit other volunteers, potential candidates, identify female voters, work phone banks and help get people to the polls on election day.

All of these GOP efforts are also pushback on Democratic assertions that Republicans are waging a “war on women,” trying to limit not only abortion rights, but access to contraception — a narrative the Hobby Lobby decision, which ruled that a private company’s owners could refuse to pay as part of employee health insurance certain kinds of contraception in the face of their Christian beliefs — plays into. The GOP made a coordinated effort over the past two years to train their candidates and members to speak more delicately about issues of rape and abortion after inopportune comments offending women by two GOP Senate candidates arguably cost the party control of the Senate in 2012.

At the same time, Republicans have countered with an emphasis on economic issues. An RNC poll out last month found that women voters care more about the economy and jobs than social issues. “Democrats have long tried to reduce women to single-issue voters, and Republican have consistently called them out for failing to respect the fact that women vote on a wide range of issues,” the RNC’s Sharon Day wrote in an op-ed on Real Clear Politics on June 24. “By relying on cynical political attacks like the ‘war on women’ that lack substance, Democrats have failed to provide women with solutions to our top concerns.”

McMorris Rodgers’ efforts dovetail with the broader GOP push to turn the conversation away from hot-button topics to areas where Republicans are stronger, and frankly more comfortable discussing, like the economy. But given the House’s crowded schedule, looking to pass a bill overhauling the Veterans Affairs Department, an $11 billion patch on transport ion infrastructure funding and dealing with the influx of child refugees, the legislation is unlikely to pass before they break on Friday for a five-week summer recess. “After 2010, women on the Democratic side looked at that and said, we’ve got to do something, and they came up with the ‘war on women,’” McMorris Rodgers tells TIME. “And unfortunately a couple of our guys weeks before the election in 2012 made some really outrageous comments that are not reflective of the entire Republican Party and yet were very damaging. So we have some work to do to build the trust and to make sure that people recognize that the policies that we’re promoting for men and women will empower them and make a better life for them.”

TIME Congress

GOP Conference Bids Eric Cantor Farewell With Video Tribute

But don't cry for Cantor. He is likely to be just fine.

In what will likely be former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s last conference meeting before he’s expected to resign, House Republicans paid tribute on Tuesday to Cantor’s legacy.

“While it’s impossible to fully capture your leadership on behalf of House Republicans, I wanted to remind everyone of a few of your many highlights,” said House Conference Chair Cathy McMorris-Rogers introducing the above video.

The video emphasizes Cantor’s work with children and, set to hopeful music, America’s bright next generation. It ends with the Virginia Republican’s own words from a recent speech on children’s issues: “Each setback is an opportunity and that there’s always optimism for the future.”

Cantor’s next steps are largely unknown. Many have speculated he’ll take a lucrative lobbying or government relations or consulting job. Though his dreams of becoming speaker were dashed when he lost his GOP primary last month, Cantor’s future is certainly not looking too shabby with what are surely many multi-million dollar options on the table.

TIME Senate

The ‘Nuclear Option’ Might Just Save Obamacare

Filibuster reform meant Democrats could pack the federal courts — including one that is now poised to overturn a ruling that would hobble Obamacare

Sure, the Senate has been a wasteland for eight months now, but for some Democrats it was worth sacrificing what little comity was left in the name of a bigger legacy builder for President Obama: taking the “nuclear option” on the filibuster so they could prevent Repubicans from jamming up appointments to the federal courts. And this week’s federal court decisions on Obamacare would seem to have validated that decision.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the Internal Revenue Service lacked the authority to allow the Affordable Care Act’s federal exchange to hand out subsidies. The same day, another three-judge panel on the Fourth Circuit Court of appeals in Richmond upheld that exact clause.

The Obama Administration is appealing the D.C. decision — which would effectively hobble the healthcare law’s subsidies—and that appeal will go before the D.C. Circuit’s full panel of 11 judges. The D.C. Circuit court is known as the second-most powerful court in the land as it often settles questions of policy given its location in the nation’s capital.

It is also the court Democrats blew the Senate up in order to stack, by stripping the minority of the ability to filibuster certain nominees—a move so toxic it became known as the nuclear option. Seven of the court’s judges were appointed by Democrats, so odds are good the court will reverse the three-judge panel’s decision and agree with the Fourth Circuit.

Such a move would prevent the case from ascending to the Supreme Court, where Republican nominees have a five-four edge, though there are similar cases pending in courts across the country, so the issue could still be decided by the Supreme Court.

But Obamacare defenders will be breathing easier knowing that the D.C. Court leans in their favor. So, maybe it was worth shredding what little bipartisanship that remained to the Democrats in Obama’s second term. The President’s greatest second term legacy may well prove to be stacking the federal courts—not just the DC Circuit but many others—for a generation. Will that be worth all the lost legislation, like reforming the VA, immigration reform, appropriations bills, and so on? Time will tell.

TIME republicans

Businessman David Perdue Wins the GOP Senate Primary in Georgia

David Perdue
David Perdue waves to supporters after declaring victory in the Republican primary runoff for nomination to the U.S. Senate from Georgia, at his election-night party in Atlanta on July 22, 2014 John Bazemore—AP

The Republican businessman will take on Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, at the polls in November

Georgia Republicans picked themselves a Republican nominee for Senate Tuesday. For the first time in many a pecan season, the choice was less about the quality of the GOP candidates than about who was best to beat the Democratic candidate, Michelle Nunn.

Nunn, the daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, is the most formidable Democratic candidate to crop up statewide in Georgia in years. She will face off with David Perdue, a businessman and cousin of former Governor Sonny Perdue, who won the primary runoff with less than 51% of the vote against Representative Jack Kingston. (Ideologically speaking, both Kingston and Perdue are very similar and capable of giving Nunn a tough race.)

Nunn enters the general elections with a money and momentum advantage over Perdue, who topped a May primary of seven candidates but faced a runoff with the other top vote getter, Kingston, after failing to secure more than 50% of the vote. Nunn had at least $3.7 million on hand at the end of the last quarter in April and her campaign recently announced she raised another $3.5 million in the second quarter, though they’ve yet to disclose how much cash on hand remains. Perdue, a millionaire who has already given his primary campaign $1.25 million in personal funds, had $784,000 cash on hand as of July 2, but his primary with Kingston was bruising and required a lot of paid media in the final weeks.

Neither Nunn, the former CEO of Points of Light — a national volunteer program run with the Bush Family Foundation — nor Perdue, the former CEO of Dollar General, have ever been elected to public office before. They are running to fill the seat of retiring Senator Saxby Chambliss, a Republican. Georgia is one of the Democrats’ top two pick of seats in the Senate and a stopgap measure as they stand of the edge of losing the Senate majority.

Kingston’s defeat was a defeat for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which poured $2.3 million into the race on his behalf, effectively making Perdue the CEO candidate without business backing. Kingston had a long record of probusiness votes, while Perdue is more of a blank slate.

“There is a clear contrast in this race between Michelle Nunn, a leader who has spent the last 25 years leading volunteer organizations and lifting communities up, and David Perdue, someone who has spent his career enriching himself while often times tearing companies and communities apart,” said Democratic Party of Georgia chair DuBose Porter. “Georgians want leaders who will fix the mess in Washington, not someone who puts personal profit ahead of regular people.”

TIME Foreign Policy

Obama Contends with Congressional Backseat Drivers on Ukraine

Congress again threatens to push Obama foreign policy with legislation

A Malaysia Airlines jet is shot down over the Ukraine and Congress is, of course, full of back-seat foreign policy advice for President Obama. The problem is when they start passing some of this advice to be signed into law.

Some say Obama has already been too aggressive. “[T]he crisis in Ukraine started late last year, when the EU and U.S. overthrew the elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych,” said former Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican. “Without U.S.-sponsored ‘regime change,’ it is unlikely that hundreds would have been killed in the unrest that followed. Nor would the Malaysian Airlines crash have happened.”

On the other side of the hawk spectrum, Republican Senators such as Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk felt compelled by the tragedy to call on Obama to pass energy, banking and defense sectoral sanctions against Russia, which has been supporting Ukrainian separatists but denies having anything to do with the downing of the plane. Thus far the Obama Administration’s punishment for Russia’s seizure of the Crimea and rabble rousing in eastern Ukraine has been targeted individual sanctions and visa restrictions.

“I don’t know how anybody can say our response has been anything but timid and cautious,” said Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee. “Hopefully on the positive side, this will galvanize the international community to take the kind of steps that should have been taken months ago to push back on [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and cause him to pay the kind of price that he should pay for this outrageous act.”

Kirk also called on Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a wrongful death suit. “I want to hear that the Department of Justice will bring one hell of a wrongful death suit against Russian assets located in the United States to make sure that there is significant cost paid by Russia for this action of shooting down with an international airliner with a weapons system that is directly related to Russian armed forces,” he told CNN.

Senator John McCain of Arizona, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, went so far as to call on Obama to arm the Ukrainian government. “Now is the time to provide Ukraine with the weapons and other military assistance they have requested and require to defeat the separatist groups and secure their country—assistance that, had we provided it earlier, might have enabled Ukrainian forces to succeed in this effort by now and thereby prevented last week’s tragedy,” McCain said on Monday.

So far, all Obama has threatened is to levy unspecified costs against Russia, along with urging the Europeans to step up on sanctions.

Congress, and particularly the party in opposition, has often expressed strong views on the President’s foreign policy. Despite the fact that, constitutionally, foreign policy is the purview of the Oval Office, Congress drove the War of 1812 and was a key factor in the Mexican-American War. They also dragged Franklin Roosevelt’s heels in getting into World War II and had an enormous impact on Vietnam policy, not to mention Democratic efforts to defund President George W. Bush’s actions in Iraq.

But Obama not only has to contend with opposition complaints about his foreign policy, but with some friendly fire as well. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, has been the driving force to get Obama to beef up sanctions against Iran, support Israel more strongly and hold a tougher line on Cuba. Menendez has helped push through sanctions that the Administration has explicitly said it didn’t want, something he could do again against Russia if the Administration doesn’t act.

Obama has not had an easy time with Congress on much of anything, but particularly on foreign policy. The other end of Pennsylvania Avenue is quick to condemn, and yet when they are asked to act, for example with Syria or Libya, they suddenly remember the separation of powers. Congress in both instances failed to pass any kind of resolution approving action in either country. That’s because polls show that from Libya to Syria to the Ukraine, the American people have zero desire to engage in more wars. Which means that despite the sturm und drang coming out of the hawkish wing of the GOP, Obama is probably more likely to listen to Paul’s libertarian Dovish wing.

TIME Republican Party

Ron Paul Says U.S. May Share Responsibility for Malaysia Airlines Plane Crash

Ron Paul
Former U.S. Rep. and presidential candidate Ron Paul waves to supporters before speaking at a campaign rally for U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel, Saturday, June 14, 2014, at Gander Mountain in Hattiesburg, Miss. Kelly Price—AP/The Hattiesburg American

He raises the possibility that the U.S. may be using the crash to start a war against Putin.

Former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul claimed Sunday that the U.S. and European Union may share responsibility for the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine last week.

“While western media outlets rush to repeat government propaganda on the event, there are a few things they will not report,” Paul, a former Republican congressman from Texas, wrote on his website. “They will not report that the crisis in Ukraine started late last year, when the EU and U.S. overthrew the elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Without U.S.-sponsored ‘regime change,’ it is unlikely that hundreds would have been killed in the unrest that followed. Nor would the Malaysian Airlines crash have happened.”

Paul is the father of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who is ahead in polls of likely candidates running for the GOP nomination for president in 2016. The younger Paul has come under attack in recent weeks from Republicans such as former Vice President Dick Cheney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a potential rival, for being too isolationist on his foreign policy.

Ron Paul, who ran for president in 2008 and 2012, and his son Rand both hail from the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, which advocates less intervention abroad, though Rand Paul has in recent months tried to distance his himself from his father. Rand Paul’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his father’s editorial.

In the post Sunday, Ron Paul goes on to write that Ukraine separatists would have everything to lose if they shot down the plane, and nothing to gain, suggesting Ukrainian culpability. “They will not report that the Ukrainian government has much to gain by pinning the attack on Russia, and that the Ukrainian prime minister has already expressed his pleasure that Russia is being blamed for the attack,” Paul said. “They will not report that the missile that apparently shot down the plane was from a sophisticated surface-to-air missile system that requires a good deal of training that the separatists do not have.”

President Obama suggested Friday that blame for the crash lay with Russian-backed separatists, and Ukraine has released audio-recordings allegedly documenting conversations about the missile strike among separatists. “Evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile that was launched from an area that is controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside of Ukraine,” he said.

Ron Paul compared the incident to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people last summer. “Assad was also gaining the upper hand in his struggle with U.S.-backed rebels and the U.S. claimed that the attack came from Syrian government positions,” Paul said. “Then, US claims led us to the brink of another war in the Middle East.”

At the end of the post, Ron Paul says it is entirely possible that Russia is responsible for the crash, just as the Obama administration has suggested. “Of course it is entirely possible that the Obama administration and the US media has it right this time, and Russia or the separatists in eastern Ukraine either purposely or inadvertently shot down this aircraft,” he writes. “The real point is, it’s very difficult to get accurate information so everybody engages in propaganda.”

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