Posted by Adam @ 1:10 pm on July 4th 2013

While I’m trawling old posts

I would note that Brad was in on the Ron Paul thing not just early, but also with gusto. It’s easy to look back at successful campaigns which took off from humble beginnings and feel that it was obvious all along, but it’s also pretty easy to back a damp squib (at least I didn’t back Giuliani! My failed candidate had the virtue of not stressing any of us out too much and he can sell you an excellent reverse mortgage, to boot, whereas Giuliani would let you marry your same-sex partner, but only in anti-terrorist permanent detention).

So, in summary, I think we can conclude that Brad is responsible for Ron Paul’s success and the rest of us can bask in his glory.

Posted by Adam @ 8:20 pm on July 3rd 2013

The test of time

When the blog was scarcely a month old, back in February 2007, when we were filled with the joy of young blogging and never had to resort to, erm, recycling old posts, Rojas and I made suggestions for candidate emblems. I did Republicans:

  • John McCain: Barney the Scottish Terrier. Doomed to follow Bush around. Will never be president.
  • Rudy Giuliani: The Koala Bear. Superficially adored by a large number of people who have no idea what he is actually like.
  • Mitt Romney: The ruby-throated hummingbird. A flashy lightweight able to migrate between widely separated positions.
  • Sam Brownback: The raccoon. Often suspected of being rabid; generally considered to be smarter than the majority of wild animals.

Rojas did Democrats:

  • John Edwards: The hyena. Grins a lot; doesn’t seem capable of bringing down any meaninful prey on his own, but is more than capable of growing fat off of the carrion created by deadlier predators.
  • Hillary Clinton: The puffer fish. Prickly exterior; can fool unintelligent observers into thinking it’s a bigger deal than it is; might well prove to be poisonous to whichever predator ends up devouring it.
  • Barack Obama: The squid. Superficially impressive and intimidating; we don’t really know much of anything meaningful about it; impressive array of suckers attached.
  • Dennis Kucinich: The lemming.

I actually rather like these posts.

Posted by Brad @ 11:25 pm on December 7th 2008

I am the Phant in your Donkle

FYI, Justin Gardner at Donklephant has asked me to contribute over there. I’ve become a big fan and a daily reader of their site over the last several months, so I was honored to accept. As such, I’ll likely be cross-posting stuff over there; anything original I’ll link forward to.

Posted by Brad @ 12:30 pm on November 4th 2008

Welcome Our Three New Bloggers

Today, we’re proud to announce three new bloggers who join our ranks.

The site began with Adam and myself, and quickly Rojas rounded out our founding fathers. The intention of this site has always been to provide a voice for a thinking man’s conservatism, people who fall outside the normal partisan spectrum but nevertheless all believe, in varying ways and to varying degrees, in the principles of small government and positive liberty. Our dual hook is we’re all people who come from a wildly divergence background, geographically as well as ideologically. An expat Englishman, a Kansan rhetoritician, and a roamer. The site, in those respects, has been about crossing borders.

We went on to add James, curmudgeonly East Coast conservative, Jack, a left-libertarian military man, the mysterious and rarely-sighted Mark, and, on occasion, Dizzy, our English instigator friend. All of our participations wax and wane as real life demands, and to keep things fresh, we’re always on the lookout for new voices who can add more to the ongoing conversation.

Today, we add three more. None of them will be new to regular readers, but we felt it was worthwhile to give all an extended platform.

The first is Cameron. Cameron is one of our most veteran commenters, and we’ve always been impressed with his thoughtful cynicism. I’d describe him as right of centre, a fiscal conservative, though anything but dogmatic or partisan.

Liz is a relatively recent transplant to our site. She’s a libertarian-sympathetic, with a background in literature and cultural studies (near and dear to my own heart). Also, she’s a woman. So…she’s got that going for her.

Jerrod is a friend that pre-dates the site. He’s an Idaho transplant, who has settled in Japan teaching anthropology. He’s hard to plot politically, and will be providing us with some more pond-crossing perspective.

I’ll leave it to them to post more formal introductions later. But they’ll be part of our transition team as we head into the new administration, so we figured we’d add them to our election day coverage team. Welcome.

Posted by Brad @ 1:36 am on November 4th 2008


Another announcement about tomorrow.

As I mentioned, we hope to have things hyper active tomorrow. I’ll be around blogging all day (I now work freelance full time, so I set aside Tuesday), and all of our bloggers will be blowing through at one point or another. We’ll have updates on everything, and plenty of liveblogs. I can’t promise any kickass widgets or automatically updated whatsits, but at least you get the personal touch! We’ll have one long rolling chatter-fest, and you’re all invited.

I also mentioned, though you may have missed it, that we mean to add some new blood to the blogging team here. Tomorrow, they will be making their debut, helping us keep things lively. They will formally introduce themselves a bit later, but they’ll start posting tomorrow. So that’s another good reason to have us in your browsing schedule, and after tomorrow, they’ll allow us to move into the next phase of politics-watching with some fresh pairs of eyes.

Also, we are almost finished up with endorsements. Despite the fact that most of us are beginning from relatively similar places, I think you’ll find it somewhat amazing how diverse our picks are. Adam has had a lot of exciting real life stuff going on, but he’ll have one out tomorrow as well.

So, join us tomorrow, and keep checking back. It’ll be interesting to see what the New Year brings.

Posted by Brad @ 7:34 pm on October 8th 2008

New Things Coming to The Crossed Pond

As a site announcement, two things to foreshadow a bit.

The first is, as we did for the primaries, we’re going to write endorsements this election season. I’ve even created a new post category to catalogue them right over there —>

So you can sift through the old ones.

Unlike my one-off VP ones, or the group-exercise of our primary endorsements, this time we settled on doing it individually. “Officially”, that’ll be me, Rojas, and Adam, each writing a case for our candidate of choice (though of course the other bloggers may well jump in and post their own if’n they like). It’s a way of both focusing our own arguments, archiving what-we-thought-when, and maybe helping readers clarify their own thinking, either in agreement or contrast or whatever. Mostly, I dislike when blogs comment incessantly on politics, clearly have their favorites and preferences, but refuse to put that on the table. I’m not sure our endorsements will be any great surprise, but it will be a bit more thoughtful than the comment back-and-forths. We’re shooting to post all three on Tuesday, October 21st. “Get Off The Fence and Say What You Mean Day” here at The Pond.

The second thing is the problem all political blogs face coming off a big election…where do we go from here? From pretty early on we decided we weren’t just interested in hearing each other talk, but were interested in keeping a lively roster of other voices, mostly people we enjoy reading ourselves. We’re also hoping, coming off the electoral hangover, to push ourselves a bit more, and we hope to come back more to part of our site’s purpose, crossing ponds, pushing boundaries, jumping borders. As such, we’ll be welcoming a few new faces to our authors’ list come the second week in November, new blood, which we think will prove to be a diverse set of voices and perspectives and issues to add to the conversation.

And we might also finally get around to a few functional changes.

So, keep coming back. Tell your friends. More in store.

Posted by Brad @ 1:57 am on September 6th 2008

Ron Paul: A Life Of Ideas

I almost forgot to plug my book.

Variant Press was kind enough to ask me to contribute to a Ron Paul biography. It’s a fairly unusual model for a biography, in that each chapter of Ron’s life is authored by a different “prominent writer/activist” who was involved in his campaign.

The authors include Christopher Horner, Karen Kwiatkowski, J. H. Huebert, Stephanie Murphy, and…me.

Don’t ask me why.

In any case, the publisher is Variant Press. And the book is described thusly:

The first biography of 11-term congressman and Internet phenomenon Dr. Ron Paul, this comprehensive volume includes never before published private interviews with Ron Paul, his wife, Carol, plus close friends and associates. Tracing the life of this self-made man through painstaking research, this book covers his formative years spent in Pennsylvania; his careers as an Air Force flight surgeon and, later, an obstetrician; and, finally, his political journey from U. S. Congressman to presidential contender. Known as “Dr. No” for his refusal to spend taxpayer money unnecessarily, Paul repeatedly overcame substantial opposition to become a nationally recognized political figure, grabbing the spotlight in American politics despite a media that was determined to ignore him. This compelling portrait also chronicles how Paul’s 2008 campaign broke several fundraising records through its innovative use of the Internet, culminating in a new movement for freedom.

You can order it at Amazon, or directly through the publisher.

It’s a small press book, but it was a really interesting exercise in how to write a biography. I guess I would have to call myself a freelance writer by trade by now, but I’d never really been involved in a “labor of love” kind of project before. We interviewed Ron and Carol Paul, Kent Snyder (RIP), Jesse Benton, and the usual gang, but we also made it a point to interview some prominent critics (I spoke a lot with Eric Dondero, for instance, and many of Ron’s Libertarian Party critics), and some outside the-box-sources (his old medical practice partner, colleagues, former campaign staffers, etc.). So the book, I’m fairly confident in saying, is certainly written by supporters, but it’s not a cheerleading exercise.

I haven’t read the entire thing yet, so I can’t vouch for the book in total, but I will say this: I’m pretty “read in” on the history and career of Ron Paul, and even I learned a helluva lot just in writing my own chapter. So I’m pretty certain there’ll be something there for everybody, from people looking for an introduction, to die-hard supporters.

Because I am a nobody, you won’t find my name on any of the online listings, but for the record, I was asked to write the chapter on Ron’s 1988 campaign for President as the Libertarian Party candidate. I was kind of honored to be tasked with such a big (I guarantee you my word count exceeds all others, heh) and pivotal chapter of Dr. Paul’s life.

And for the record I get no back end, so I’m not just saying that.

So, if you’re of a mind to, or if you’re looking to either learn about Ron Paul, or learn more, I’d suggest Ron Paul: A Life of Ideas.

But don’t take my word for it…

Well, yes. Take my word for it.

Posted by Brad @ 9:16 pm on August 29th 2008

Tooting Our Own Horn

You know, we get things wrong a lot, and in the chatter, say a lot, but it occurred to me today that we’re also racking up a damn fine track record this season.

James, as we’ve been arguing, more or less correctly identified the Hillary Clinton speech for what it was, and has been more or less right on her throughout the primaries. Rojas cut through the noise and nailed the likely truth behind the John Edwards fiasco. And I managed to get all four major candidates right.

In December of last year, I correctly picked not just both major party nominees (I called it Obama and McCain before Christmas), but more or less accurately predicted the ORDER of how all the candidates would finish (McCain, Romney, Huckabee, Giuliani/Paul; Obama, Clinton, Edwards)(though the reasonings didn’t all pan out 100%, but what do you want, voting hadn’t even started). And, as I’m crowing about presently, by July, I nailed both VP candidates (though that wasn’t a prediction per se). So I’m mildly impressed with myself tonight.

The Crossed Pond: Where You Go When You Want Right.

Posted by James @ 9:01 pm on August 27th 2008

Bill Clinton Live!

Here we go!

Posted by James @ 9:56 pm on August 24th 2008

McCain surprise?

I have been thinking about McCain’s options with regard to a VP selection, especially after Mr. Obama’s selection of Joe Biden. I have wondered whether he would seek the reluctant Bobby Jindal for his youth, or one of his fellow primary contenders for their base supporters. I must say that the Mitthuckerudy option seems doomed to failure. Likewise, seeking a young politician for the sake of their youth is similar folly. Let’s face it, Obama is a unique “young” man in the political field. So what does McCain do? I can only think of one very reluctant man that would more than level the field, but would actually tip it deeply McCain’s way were he to be persuaded to join the ticket. That person is Colin Powell.

Powell is only slightly younger than McCain, so the “youth” factor would be out the window. However, Powell has at least a little support from every corner of the political landscape, and a lot of support from much of it. A McCain/Powell ticket would be a formidable team for Obama/Biden to tackle. The question is: Is it even possibility? Powell has been reticent about everything political for a long time. Could he ever be persuaded to jump into the cesspool of a presidential campaign? I have no idea, I am just thinking out loud.

What do you think? Is a McCain/Powell ticket an impossibility?

Posted by Brad @ 9:50 am on August 7th 2008

Perfidy and Colombia

We of course reported on the freeing of the American hostages in Colombia, and the daring and pretty ingenious rescue the Colombian government devised and executed that precipitated it. We have been as central in the online fight to get our hostages back as anybody—much more so in truth.

But, in the glory of getting them back, one thing that had honestly not occurred to me at the time:

The International Red Cross said Wednesday that Colombia broke the Geneva Conventions by deliberately using its humanitarian emblem during the covert military mission that freed Ingrid Betancourt and other hostages…. “It seems to be a deliberate improper use of the emblem,” said Anna Schaaf, an ICRC spokesman. She said this was a violation of international law.

Use of the Red Cross symbol in a military operation violates the first Geneva Convention because it could damage the relief group’s neutrality in conflicts, endangering medical personnel on the battlefield who are using the red cross for protection.

In the July 2 rescue, a team of Colombian military intelligence agents posing as members of a fake international humanitarian group airlifted the hostages safety, including Betancourt, a former Colombian presidential candidate, and three U.S. military contractors….

Now, fat chance the Colombian government is going to give a toss what the Red Cross says on this matter. And Andy McCarthy will not be alone in blowing a big fat raspberry on the whole notion of it. And, quoting WSJ’s Best of the Web, this attitude probably sums up most people’s immediate response:

“Maybe we’re dense, but it seems to us that rescuing civilian hostages from a terrorist group is a higher humanitarian priority than preventing unauthorized use of a trademark. The way the Red Cross interprets them, the Geneva Conventions seem almost quaint.”


The Red Cross is making nothing other than a very plain reading of the Geneva Conventions—and the American Field Manual for that matter (though America, let’s note, was not really involved here, just using that as an example). The relevant section is the prohibition on perfidy—battlefield trickery—and the very few prohibitions in that regard represent some of the oldest and most core values of Western society on what is and isn’t appropriate conduct in warfare.

And they matter.

A lot.


Posted by Adam @ 2:36 pm on August 6th 2008


Politico has an article (I got it from this FOXNEWS page, where they actually has the link a) wrong and b) not hyperlinked) about Obama not improving his national figures any. And, equally, McCain not improving his figures any, either.

An immediate point, it seems to me, is that Obama’s ceiling is a ceiling in which he’s solidly ahead so he shouldn’t worry too much; the people that might worry are the people that want a national Democratic Party candidate to stomp across party lines, but those people might as well wait for the unicorns to appear with a working solution to Social Security shortfalls impaled on their fluted horns. The Democrats’ hope for national success is to be based, as Dean has based it, on local organisation for well-chosen local candidates; even if a Democrat wins a mighty national victory in a presidential race, I think that would say more about the candidate and their opponent than it would about changes in national preferences and breakdown of partisan politics.

Another point is that, of course, this is national polling, which is interesting as a measure of national sentiment (indeed, it’s a good measure of national sentiment) but not particularly predictive of general election outcomes via the electoral college and mostly winner-takes-all state elections. Obama seems fine in that regard, where he has sufficient states in which he’s close or ahead that he could lose all the 50-50s and still emerge a winner. Indeed, he could win 52-47, say, and still have an Electoral College blowout.

What it does show, I think, is that further progress for Obama or McCain will require more work from them to attract leaners or uncommitteds and the needle to thread there is how to do it without losing from the core, either in their enthusiasm (more of a problem for Obama, who has generated enormous enthusiasm from which has flowed cash on which he’ll depend now he’s not taking matching funds) or in their traditional support (more of a problem for McCain, I think, who has less of a hold on the Republican base by far than does Obama on the Democrat base).

Posted by Brad @ 6:34 pm on July 5th 2008

The Freedom Revolution

On the 4th of July, a number of Ron Paul activists went live with a new site, The Freedom Revolution. Intended as a sort of companion site to the post Ron Paul Revolution, but to my mind serving just as much as a clearinghouse for both the new breed of libertarians (be they from the LP, paleoconservatives, progressives, whatever) as well as libertarianism, the site is more or less in beta stages now, but looks to have a lot of interesting potential. One of the problems I write about from time to time is I feel that the forces co-aligned under the “Ron Paul Revolution” banner are a pretty heterogeneous bunch, but there is undeniably a common thrust that links them, and while Ron Paul himself often served as the unifying figure, I don’t think it’s confined specifically to him. The problem of how to keep these disparate voices marshaled and focused, to the extent that that’s even possible, is the primary concern on the lips of all who have thrown in with liberty these last few years.

Hence, The Freedom Revolution.

I’ve been asked to be a contributor, so I’ll probably be submitting pieces over there every other week or so, which I’ll link back to here, and Rojas, I believe, may be putting in some appearances there too. For you readers, it’s boasting itself as pretty open source, so spread the word, and if anybody would like to submit articles or put themselves in for some column space, I’m sure they’d be happy to have you. One of the things they made clear to us early contributers was that they weren’t interesting in purity dogma; all voices are welcome. It is not a Ron Paul blog per se (though his influence is of course obvious), it isn’t a libertarian blog per se. It’s a site for the exploration of freedom and activism in this new age. If you’re a blogger or activist, you can give them a hand in these early stages by spreading the word.

I’ll also be throwing them up on the blogroll today.

Anyway, go check it out. Content is fairly sparse as yet (they’ve only been up 24 hours), but already there’s some provocative and interesting stuff up (readers of this blog may also recognize Jim Forsythe as one of the co-founders).

Posted by dizzy @ 6:23 pm on May 21st 2008

Letters from London: Big Brother is watching you…..

My dear merkin friends,

I know it has been some time since my last letter and I apologise for not corresponding regularly enough. However, my latest letter will be short and sweet because it is already written. You see, “Big Brother” in dear old Blighty wants to get get even bigger, but thankfully it will never work in the way he would like it too.

Should you be wondering what I am referring to, then may I take the opportunity to direct you to my Op-Ed piece that appears in The Times of London today.

Warmest regards


Posted by Brad @ 5:20 am on February 29th 2008

The Crossed Pond in the New York Times

Not sure it counts, and not nearly as good as our mentions in the Washington Post, Time, National Review, Orange County Register, LA Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and elsewhere (I have to remember to keep our “Shameless Self-Promotion” category updated), but in case you missed it we did get a little publicity in the paper of record.

Bonus: we were assigned responsibility for crashing a website. I figure daveg and Kaligula must have clicked that link 240,000 times between them.

Posted by Brad @ 3:07 am on February 15th 2008

What the Revolution Should Do Now

My article on the subject is up at Give it a look.

I’ll have more to say on the subject around these parts in the coming weeks, including profiling some of the candidates and causes.

The Revolution does indeed start now. The campaign is just beginning.

Spread the word.

Posted by Rojas @ 11:03 am on December 4th 2007

Ron Paul and Paris Hilton in High School Musical with nude cheerleader

Never mind me; just boosting our Google hits.

Posted by Brad @ 3:29 am on November 26th 2007

Free Assembly for Constitutional Thought

I’ve mentioned this obliquely enough times, and obviously it’s on the Liberty Forum page next to my name (though even if you’ve seen it before, it’s been retooled in a few key places in the last few days), but I figured it was time for an official announcement/solicitation.

My main political project over the last six months, outside of the blog, has been the incorporation and getting-off-the-ground of a political 527 (like, SwiftBoatVeteransForTruth, etc), called the Free Assembly for Constitutional Thought (F.A.C.T.). I’ve mentioned the Ron Paul rallies I’ve gone to lately; most of those are in service of that, and we’ve gone lots of other places as well. We’ve just got the chipin up (six hours old!), and the site overhauled, so we’re more or less ready to go live.

The basic idea behind it is that, whether Ron wins, loses, or draws for the Republican nomination, the message behind his campaign needs to keep being pushed, and there need to be organizations in place to do that. So, this summer, we started F.A.C.T (myself and the girl named Kari) specifically to hone in on the constitutionalist message. We’ve logged a lot of hours connecting with all kinds of constitutionalist-minded groups all across the country, and the goal is to begin connecting them and finding avenues of influence for them, rather than having us all, as we’ve been for too long, be disparate and lonely voices shouting into the night. I describe us primarily as a civic organization. We are not candidate-specific, but we are committed to helping anybody interested in spreading constitutionalism be able to find ways to connect and get their voices heard.

We have a fair few projects in the works for next year, but right now, our primary project just happens to be called The Primary Project. We’re interested in getting constitutionalist voices heard in early state primaries this cycle.

We’re working with all kinds of organizations and candidates, but as might be of most interest to this blog, we’ve become central affiliates to Operation Live Free or Die. Our primary collective purpose is to get 1000 volunteers from all across the country out for Ron Paul. If they can’t afford to do it, we’re buying. If anybody is interested in working for a constitutionalist candidate or cause for the New Hampshire primary, our goal is to see that they can, regardless of cost/logistics.

We’re going to make a concerted push for this soon, but I thought I’d give a first-look to readers of this blog.

To do all this, of course, we need two things: people willing to travel to New Hampshire the week of January 2nd through the 9th, and donations.

If you’re of the former category, please visit Operation Live Free or Die (or any other organization you’d like to work with) and get hooked in there. What F.A.C.T. can offer is, especially if you’re on the East Coast, we can set up buses/vans in a lot of key spots to transport you there for free. Sign up on our page if you’re interested, or email us directly. Spread the word to your Meetup groups, local organizers, etc. If you can get 12+ people in your location willing to spend the week in New Hampshire, we can get you there (and house you, and give you plenty to do).

If you’re in the latter category, please consider donating. Every 143 bucks we get will get another supporter into New Hampshire to work for the a week spreading the liberty message. Literally, we’ll have no problem finding the people willing to go. But we can only afford as much as we get donations for. So, consider sponsoring the people willing to be boots on the ground.

We don’t solicit donations at this site, or have ads, and we don’t (as far as I know) intend to. But, if you’re looking for a way to help spread the word, this would be a creative way of making a difference.

New Hampshire is pivotal. The difference between a Top Five finish and a Top Three finish, for instance, is the difference between viability and obscurity. The campaign has the money, what they also need are boots on the ground. Be there, or be there with us in spirit. Either way, consider signing up and/or donating to the cause.

I’ll probably post something about this every week or so until the primary. I’m a Midwesterner, so I’m not altogether comfortable making money pitches, but quite honestly, with the coalition of organizations we have in place, 150 bucks is going to support a die-hard volunteer spending the week leading up to the primary working their asses off for the liberty message. So, give it a thought.

Posted by Brad @ 2:28 am on November 20th 2007

The Liberty Forum

As promised, now that the schedule is updated:

I’ll be speaking at the 2008 Liberty Forum in early January. My speech is tentatively titled “Towards a Civic Constitutionalism”. What I’ll be primarily focusing on are the challenges and opportunities inherent to organizing a constitutionalist grassroots. Not only do I intend to argue that the constitution is more than a limiting framework, but also a productive engine, I also intend to outline ways in which constitutionalism can be a positivist force and organizing principle for grassroots activism across the spectrum, rather than just a stuffy legal abstraction.

Then, to fill the remaining 55 minutes of my alloted time, I shall make balloon animals. Live free or die!

In any event, the speaker list is by no means complete, but already there are more than enough reasons to register and show up (including the first announced keynote speaker, Senator John Sununu). It’ll be the premier libertarian forum of the year. But, if you need another reason, I have it on decent authority that the marquee speakers will be impressive, including probably at least one current presidential candidate. To put it lightly, if you can make it, you won’t regret it.

And yes, if you’re wondering, me pimping the Liberty Forum is a new bi-weekly occurrence. Get used to it.

Liberty Forum 2008.

Posted by Brad @ 1:56 am on November 13th 2007

The 2008 Liberty Forum

By way of announcement, I’ve been invited to speak at the 2008 Liberty Forum, which takes place on January 3rd-6th in New Hampshire. I’ll have an hour long slot during one of the three days, in which I’ll talk about the constitution and related issues. Though I obviously haven’t even begun hashing anything out, I think the specific topic I’m starting to formulate a speech for is “Towards a Civic Constitutionalism”. That may change, but it’ll be something similar to that.

The forum is put on annually by the Free State Project. Last year’s speakers included John Stossel (from 20/20), Michael Badnarik, Ron Paul, and leaders at Reason, CATO, The Republican Liberty Caucus, New Hampshire Union Leader, and more. As you can see, the current lineup isn’t yet finalized by any stretch, but includes more than its fair share of heavy hitters and fascinating leaders of the Liberty Movement. I’m honored and a little freaked out to be included.

If you want to register, go here. If you want a promo code to tell ’em I sent you (and to get 10% off), email me. You should all register and attend. Also, a good time for canvassing/volunteering in a key state.

I was invited in part because of the blog stuff, but also in part because of some civic advocacy stuff, with Kari, that I’ve been doing that I haven’t yet formally announced here (but will soon) because of some minor technical stuff. I want it to all be ready before I start getting it out there in a public way. More on that later.

I should be up on the schedule tomorrow night or the day after.

So yeah, I am a Libertarian Superstar, according to the promotional materials. I want you all to remember that, fellow bloggers at this site.

Posted by Adam @ 4:40 pm on November 6th 2007


Vote for us. Every 24 hours.

Our arch-nemesis, Connecticut Local Politics, is moving away from us.

Don’t forget, the Kelo v. New London is about something that happpened in Connecticut. A vote for The Crossed Pond is a vote for property rights.

Unless I want to build a road through your living room, in which case, suck it up.

Posted by Brad @ 4:29 am on November 2nd 2007

Vote For Us For “Best Political Coverage” At The 2007 Weblog Awards!!!

Oh, you think you’ve seen shameless, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Polls are now open for the “Best Political Coverage” category, and so far, TheCrossedPond is winning with 100% of the vote!!!!

Admittedly, that vote is mine.

You’re allowed to vote once every 24 hours. Voting is open for one week.

Tell your friends.

Posted by Brad @ 5:14 pm on November 1st 2007

2007 Weblog Awards Finalist – Best Political Coverage

I’m still new enough to the blogging game to be a bit gob-smacked by stuff like this, but the 2007 Weblog Awards Finalists were announced today, and The Crossed Pond is a finalist, in the category of “Best Political Coverage”.

Holy crap.

We join our friends Real Clear Politics, along with Ben Smith, Foreign Policy Watch, The Campaign Spot, and five others, to share the honor with.

I remember back in February when Adam, Rojas and I started this, wondering aloud if anybody but our small circle of online friends were going to read this thing, or whether we’d be able to motivate ourselves to write for it. On the latter, I think we’ve found this outlet for our armchair prognosticating/opining to be a lot more fruitful and….well, fun, than we could have imagined. And on the former, the amount of friends we’ve made in the blogosphere, the amount of whip-smart, well-informed, and classy readers we’ve heard from, and just the amount of positive feedback we’ve received has been humbling and ego-boosting at the same time. It’s been a great year, doing this.

I’ll let you know when voting opens up (and how to vote for us, so we may crush our competitors to dust beneath our bootheels!), and just for the hell of it, because we don’t shy away from rocking the apple cart, I’ll also put up a post later endorsing my picks in the political categories (I do have some favorites, naturally). Also, feel free to pimp us out (or, you know, whoever you like) in their forums here.

No, I am not above shameless pandering. The rivers will run red with the blood of the nonbelievers!

And again, thanks to all our readers and supporters over the last several months.

Posted by Brad @ 6:49 pm on October 29th 2007

Ron Paul: Good For Business

A weird agglomeration of my last two posts.

I showed the clip here that they’re referring to in this story, but what caught their eye was this bit:

Anne Kornblut from the Washington Post says internet traffic goes up when they write about Ron Paul. When interviewed as a guest on Tucker Carlson’s show Anne Kornblut said,

”This is the reason that you’re even putting him on your show it is to spike your ratings. We know that every time we write about him, hits to our website, it’s not a joke, its amazing, every time we write about him, the hits to the Washington Post website go up.

It was a startling statement considering that the Washington Post is ranked 755 on

Here’s some personal irony:

When I was interviewed by the Washington Post for their first major Ron Paul story, one of the things I talked about with Jose Antonio Vargas, the reporter, and one of the things I came into it wanting to get across, was that it wasn’t just some few hundred folks spamming message boards and polls, and I told him “Look, EVERY TIME we post a Ron Paul piece, our hits spike right through the roof. We’re hardly even on google yet, but within a few hours of a good Ron Paul piece, we’ll have thousands and thousands of people streaming in. This isn’t just some tiny phenomenon; these people are out there, and they’re hungry, and there’s a lot more of them than you or I realize”.

The quotes on that front didn’t make it into the story (I think it did later show up in a different newspaper story, for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette or something), but Mr. Vargas and I chatted about it for five minutes or so. It was a point I really wanted to drive home.

Anyway, so we finished the interview, and he posted the story. Which turned out to be their most-read article for a week or two solid. Pretty good for a Saturday’s Post story.

Interestingly, that reporter is back on the Ron Paul beat. And a week or so later, one of his colleagues is making the exact same point, on MSNBC, that I had to really impress upon Vargas in their first major Ron Paul story.

Guess they found out I wasn’t lying.

This just goes to show: the media should all bow down before me.

Posted by Adam @ 8:28 pm on October 22nd 2007

You heard it here first

A while back, I speculated about whom might be hit by a Colbert candidacy in South Carolina (my guess: Ron Paul).

Via Andrew Sullivan, I see that Josh Green has crunched some numbers. On page 2, he says:

put Ron Paul in a separate category of “protest candidate,” but he should be sweating, too. Paul’s supporters are among the most passionate and committed this cycle. But their profile is similar to that of the voters Colbert might attract. (“Pot smokers,” a Republican consultant called them.) Anonymous presidential advisor: “If Colbert wants to do it he’s got to convert every young, semi-liberal Ron Paul supporter to the Colbert cause. If a young white male is going to vote, watches Comedy Central, and is internet savvy, chances are he’s a Ron Paul supporter.”

As I said it the day before Green did (and if Colbert has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t need any fancy ‘numbers’, so Green was just wasting time with his calculator when he should have been listening to his gut) and it is now confirmed in his post on a blog hosted by a major publication, I declare myself the winner of this week’s internet. There are no appeals.

Posted by Brad @ 10:50 am on October 8th 2007

TheCrossedPond in the Orange County Register

As a bonus, it’s one of the best big media pieces I’ve yet read on the Ron Paul phenomenon. Plus, he wrote the anecdote better than I did. And, I’m glad that anecdote got passed on. It’s such a nice, inspiring story.

A Paul supporter and blogger from Pittsburgh who attended the rally told an interesting story. He had come to sell T-shirts to help finance what he hopes will be several hundred Pennsylvanians busing to New Hampshire the week of the primary to work for Paul. Toward the end of the rally a fellow who had been hanging around the table came over and plunked down a big wad of cash. He told them he wanted to be anonymous, but he wanted to buy a Ron Paul T-shirt for every child in the crowd (about 50) and have volunteers hand them out. Turns out he had already given the maximum $2,300 to the actual campaign, but he goes to campaign events and looks for other ways to help out.

That illustrates an aspect of the volunteer, grass-roots nature of the Paul campaign that may well be worth more than the $5 million in formal donations the campaign raised last quarter.

Like I said, great article.

Posted by Brad @ 10:52 am on September 25th 2007

Top Right-of-Centre Blogs

Iain Dale has compiled and this morning released his “Guide To Political Blogging In The UK”, a 288-page report on the state if bloggery in the United Kingdom. There’s nobody that’s sharper in this sort of thing than Dale, so it’s probably worth the time to pick through.

But, included in that report is a list of the 100 Top Right-of-Centre blogs, as decided by a panel of 12, and it turns out, unexpectedly, we’re on it. Check out the full list. Pay particular attention to #2, our friend Dizzy, and #89, us.


I’m guessing Dizzy, who was a judge, might have had a hand in this, but we’ll take what we can get. It might also surprise some of our American fans that we’re considered a UK blog, but that we are. 2/3s of us are American, indeed (if we ever get around to adding a permanent 4th, not counting James, that person may well be non-American), and we write a lot about American politics, but it’s always been our intent to use this space to mind the gaps—be they ideological, partisan, or geographic—and, to just write about whatever strikes our fancy (and since all of us live in the U.S. at present, that’s often U.S.-centric). I like to think that that puts us straddling a number of lines. We could legitimately be considered, on any given week, a Libertarian blog, a UK blog, a conservative blog, a Ron Paul blog, and a number of things in between. Indeed, we’re listed on blogrolls as all of those things depending on where you see it. All those things, and none of those things. As Andrew Sullivan says “of no party or clique”. If I had to peg it, I’d call us just “a conservative blog”, conservative in the most general sense, and with all the pond-hopping and party-jumping that that entails.

Anyway, congratulations to Iain, Dizzy, and Guido Fawkes, the Top Three. And a good Top Three it is.

Posted by Brad @ 2:45 am on August 3rd 2007

Ron Paul Comes To Pittsburgh

Ron Paul comes to town tonight. His first rally in Pittsburgh since the campaign has taken off. I will, of course, be there. It’ll be the first time I’ve ever seen him live.

There’s a very nice spread this morning in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about him.

I’ve been gone all month, and sort of out of it for the last two days as I recover from my monastic stay, so I haven’t been a very good blogger (James, who I hope will stay on permanently, has filled in admirably), but of course I won’t be able to resist writing about Dr. Paul, so expect me back in action this weekend.

Good times, in any case.

If you’re new to the site, the “About” category gives a nice bio for each of us. The “Ronslaught” category gives a nearly-comprehensive accounting of our writings on the Ron Paul campaign (we haven’t yet got everything archived, but most of it).

And the rest, as you see, is a free for all. As it should be.

Posted by Brad @ 10:06 pm on June 21st 2007

Republicans for Obama

We’ll I’ll be damned. Tom Bevan at Real Clear Politics did publish my letter.

And check out the guy “opposing” me there.

Most people in my Mississippi office are beginning to take a hold of Giuliani (at my initial urging and bumper stickers). They are beginning to realize that social policy means nothing without a country in which to implement it.


In totally unrelated, nothing-to-do-with-Giuliani news, we’ve switched out our blog quote at the top of the page. The current one is, of course, from Alexander Hamilton.

Posted by Brad @ 2:42 am on June 16th 2007

The Crossed Pond in the Washington Post

If you head on over to your local newsstand this morning and pick up a copy of The Washington Post, you’ll notice a front page article about Ron Paul and his massive online reach. At the end of the article, you might notice some random kid from Pittsburgh is mentioned talking about how inspiring Ron Paul is, and how important is his message.

“…Ron Paul is saying exactly what traditional conservatives have historically thought, and he’s pointing out that the Bush administration has walked away from these principles. That’s a very attractive argument.”

Especially to someone such as Brad Porter, who obsessively writes about Paul on his blog, subscribes to Paul’s YouTube channel and attended a Ron Paul MeetUp event in Pittsburgh last week.

The 28-year-old Carnegie Mellon student donated $50 to Paul’s coffers after the first debate, and an additional $50 after the third debate.

“For a poor college student, that’s a lot,” said Porter, a lifelong Republican. “But I’m not supporting him because I think he could get the nomination. I’m supporting him because I think he can influence the national conversation about what the role of government is, how much power should government have over our lives, how much liberty should we give up for security. These are important issues, and frankly, no one’s thinking about them as seriously and sincerely as Ron Paul.”

You can find the article online here (free registration required).


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