Look, this business about Ron Paul meeting with white supremacists at the Tara Thai restaurant of Arlington, Virginia on Wednesdays is an empirically testable assertion. And it had better be tested, too, because this is a White Supremacist making the allegations, and pretty much by definition a White Supremacist has a tenuous grip on reality. Don’t believe a White Supremacist without confirmation from a non-loon source.
But for the assertion to be true, Ron Paul would have had to have attended the Tara Thai restaurant on some Wednesdays. We know that in the aggregate, the following expenses were charged by quarter to the Ron Paul campaign:
But the aggregate is not enough, because a lot of people go to the Tara Thai restaurant who are not white supremacists. This is where Federal Election Commission Images come in, because they are itemized. Did the Ron Paul campaign eat at the Tara Thai on Wednesdays, or were these expenditures made on other days of the week? There are 4302 pages in Ron Paul’s report in the 3rd Quarter of 2007 alone, and in those I’ve found seven images of Tara Thai restaurant expenses.
Here’s the first relevant FEC image:
June 18, 2007 is a Monday, not a Wednesday. This expenditure is not in alignment with the White Supremacist claim.
Here’s the second relevant FEC image:
July 3, 2007 is a Tuesday, not a Wednesday. This expenditure is not in alignment with the White Supremacist claim.
Here’s a third relevant FEC image:
July 24, 2007 is a Tuesday, not a Wednesday. This expenditure is not in alignment with the White Supremacist claim.
Here is a fourth relevant FEC image:
July 19, 2007 is a Thursday, not a Wednesday. This expenditure is not in alignment with the claim that Ron Paul went to Tara Thai for regular White Supremacist Wednesday meetings.
Here’s a fifth relevant FEC image:
July 16, 2007 is a Monday, not a Wednesday. This expenditure is not in alignment with the claim that Ron Paul went to Tara Thai for regular White Supremacist Wednesday meetings.
Here is a sixth relevant FEC image:
August 1, 2007 IS a Wednesday, the day of the week on which White Supremacists purportedly meet at the Tara Thai restaurant.
Here is the seventh relevant FEC image:
September 9, 2007 is a Sunday, not a Wednesday. This expenditure is not in alignment with the White Supremacist claim.
The expenditure of August 1, 2007 is just one in seven days for which the Tara Thai expense lies on a Wednesday, which is just what you’d expect by chance. I suppose you could come up with a story in which these expenditures registered on different dates than the actual dinners, but for the ones on the early days of the week you’d have to have a hefty delay, and besides, in these days of electronic banking same-date filings are the rule, not the exception. Even if that kind of supposition invoked possibilities, they’d only be possibilities, arguments about why the lack of support for the Ron-Paul-meeting-with-Supremacist assertion could maybe be invalid, sort of. That’s not a basis on which to say that these meetings actually occurred. Sorry, Bill White, but we’re going to have to have more evidence than that. Finding out that a white supremacist meeting occurred specifically on August 1, 2007 might be a start.
Update: Looks like Tara Thai is around the corner from an office the Ron Paul campaign rents. Apply Occam’s Razor, and the late-night-take-out theory wins over the secret-meetings-with-white-supremacists theory.