Thursday, May 31, 2012

The good news is that they are already starting to go after Libertarians, and next it will be Gary Johnson

Ron Paul and his supporters know how this works.

(With apologies to anything Gandhi may or may not have said.)

First they ignore you:  no polls, no media coverage, not even any hit pieces.  They hope you will die and go away.

Then they attack the ideology as "fringe," or "populist," or "peculiar," or "naive," or even "racist," or "dangerous."

They do this first because attacking the message does not require them to build up the name recognition of the messenger.

Next, they's attack the candidate or the spokesperson--for anything from speaking style to personal quirks.

Finally, if that all fails, they will attack the followers of the movement as hicks, thugs, elitists, racists, reactionaries--whatever can be made to stick.

Usually, if you survive all that, you're getting close to breaking through.

So these are the for steps:  ignore, attack the ideology, attack the leader, attack the followers.

Ron Paul has moved through all four steps, and ironically, it is necessary to move through all these steps because that is the only way to become nationally known outside the confines of the two parties.

Gary Johnson is now moving from step one (ignoring him) to step two (attacking the ideology).

Offered, as Rod Serling used to say, for your amusement, a small helpful of recent attacks on libertarianism:

Gary Johnson qualifies for Federal matching funds

The FEC officially announced that Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson has been approved for matching funds.

His campaign had to prove its ability to raise funds nationwide to qualify:
To be considered for federal matching funds a candidate must raise at least $100,000 “by collecting $5,000 in 20 different states in amounts no greater than $250 from any individual,” according to a release from the FEC.

I know that some Libertarians find fault with any candidate who would participate in, or benefit from, any government program.

Put me firmly in the camp that says, once they've got your money, use any legal means available to get any of it back.

The accomplishments of the past four years . . . .

. . . are many.

They also explain why I could not vote for Barack Obama,  or for his mini-me Mitt Romney:

President Obama . . . .

  • Opposed gay marriage in 2009 and reaffirmed his position in 2010. When he finally flipped on his position in 2011 he stated that he was still "grappling" with his personal views on gay marriage.
  • Signed the NDAA - an indefinite detention bill - into law.
  • Gave $535,000,000 of our money to a company which he knew (or at least should) have was going to go bankrupt.
  • Placed Sanctions on Iran that will likely lead to war.
  • Increased the TSA’s budget and allowed the scope of their authority to increase
  • Gave Blackwater a quarter of a billion dollars.
  • Approved of a more draconian Patriot Act.
  • Assassinated three American Citizens 1 2 3.
  • Continued the Drug War. Including pushing for a five year mandated sentence for Charles C. Lynch the owner of a licensed medical marijuana dispensary.
  • Wins right to deny habeas review from detainees.
  • Protected Bush officials from charges relating to torture.
  • Waged war on Libya without congressional approval.
  • Waives health care coverage for employees of 29 companies including McDonald's.
  • Deports record number of immigrants.
  • Continued and escalated a covert, drone war in Yemen.
  • Takes the hardest stance in American history against government whistle blowers.
  • Escalated the proxy war in Somalia.
  • Pushes harder for warrantless wire taps than Bush did.
  • Escalated the CIA drone war in Pakistan including attacking first responders and funerals.
  • And what about the Children?
  • Promises more transparent government denies more FOIA request than Bush.
  • Gives BP and other big oil companies exemption from EPA laws.
  • Will maintain a presence in Iraq even after "ending" war.
  • Sharply escalated the war in Afghanistan.
  • Secretly made deal to kill health care public option while secretly meeting with health care executives and provided an exemption for abortion.
  • Secretly deployed US special forces to 75 countries.
  • Sold $30 billion of weapons to the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia.
  • Signed an agreement for 7 military bases in Colombia
  • Appoints multiple lobbyists while signing an executive order limiting this practice. This included lobbyists from Goldman Sachs , Raytheon and Monsanto.
  • Continued Bush's rendition program.
  • Ron Paul supporters: How are you going to campaign and vote for Mitt Romney when he thinks . . . .

    That we're not spending enough to fight America's wars.

    Maybe a picture will help.  

    This is how US military spending compares to the rest of the world:

    Yessir, Mr. Governor Romney, we've certainly gutted defense spending
    under the current administration.  Thank GOD you're around to promise
    that you will increase it!!!!!!!

    Remember:  Mitt Romney says it's not enough to outspend the next fourteen nations (many of whom are our allies) combined, or for the US to spend 41% of the world's military budget.

    He wants us to SPEND MORE.

    This is what the US defense budget will look when Gary Johnson sends his defense budget to Congress, with a 43% cut:

    Wow! That's quite a difference, isn't it?

    When Mitt Romney refuses to go along with Dr Paul's principled stand on military non-interventionism and reduced spending of America's wars, and becomes the GOP nominee anyway, who are you going to vote for?

    Mitt Romney:  who thinks that the largest military budgets in the history of the planet are too small (Figure 1)?


    Gary Johnson:  who thinks we need to cut our miltiary budget in 2013 by 43% (Figure 2)?

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    For Hube: a comic book story

    Because, when it all comes down to it, comics are supposed to be for little kids.

    It wasn't until the third story about President Obama picking drone targets personally that I got really pissed

    I mean, you have to figure that a man with that kind of ego would want to shuffle around terrorist trading cards so he could reduce the targeting procedure of our drone strikes to a game of Pokemon.

    And, remembering how body counts in Vietnam sometimes included cows and pigs as VC, I wasn't even surprised that President Obama had all male victims formally categorized as "terrorists" to reduce the number of collateral civilian deaths.

    I could deal with all that.

    But what makes me angry enough to categorize him formally as the Asshat-in-Chief is the fact that while he was selecting who lived and who died, he had his top political advisor in the room:
    David Axelrod, the president’s closest political adviser, began showing up at the “Terror Tuesday” meetings, his unspeaking presence a visible reminder of what everyone understood: a successful attack would overwhelm the president’s other aspirations and achievements.
     So while I wasn't willing, for the longest time, to publish what is beneath the fold (and I'm still not willing to put it on the front page) . . . it's time.

    If only they had called it . . . .

    A buncha wealthy guys want us all ta do what they say PAC, then at least Delaware would have made this list.

    And, no, you'll never know unless you click both links.

    Here is your only hint:  Americans for more Rhombus.

    Test tomorrow.

    Politically incorrect as this may be: we all knew it, already

    Scientists Confirm Existence of 'Old Person Smell'

    New Gary Johnson video: Fed Up

    Delaware's NCLB waiver: Deck chairs on the Titanic

    Gee, Arne Duncan decided that the Federal government imposing Race to the Top will no longer also impose its predecessor, No Child Left Behind, on Delaware.

    Of course, the price of an NCLB waiver is total acquiesence to the RTTT agenda.

    And here--in a single lesson--is why RTTT needs to be shown the door as well:  RTTT identifies "under-performing" schools for special attention [Partnership Zones].

    Notice that almost all our under-performing schools have a common denominator:  high poverty.

    So instead of helping solve the problem of extending equitable educational opportunities to poor kids, the rhetoric of RTTT simply labels their schools as the problem--they are "under-performing."

    That Arne Duncan--what a way with words and Federal regulations.

    Almost enough, isn't it, to make you wish the US Department of Education and the 6.6.% of the funding it grudgingly provides Delaware would just . . . go away.

    Zach Andersons at Policymic to Ron Paul supporters: just get over it and quit

    Zach Anderson has apparently had enough of the r3VOLution:

    How, I ask you, how, are there still delusional Ron Paul fans that believe that he could be the Republican nominee for president?  It is time for those who desire the end of the Obama administration to rally around the candidate who actually stands a chance of ousting the current President: Mitt Romney.
    We have all enjoyed the Ron Paul revolution, but enough is enough. It is starting to get a little sad now.  The Ron Paul fan club is undeniably admirable for their unquenchable spirit and steadfast faith in a principle. However, at this point, that is all that is left: a principle. There is no longer hope for the radical change of a Ron Paul presidency, so the time has come to make a decision: live in the real world and vote for the lesser of two evils (in what I am assuming is your opinion, Ron Paul supporter), or to continue to tout an ideology and allow President Obama to secure another four years in the White House.

    I guess good ole Zach doesn't (a) get that there is a third option in Libertarian Gary Johnson, and that (b) the lesser of two evils is still evil.  Or, as Governor Johnson himself put it:
    "Pick Obama, pick Romney, government's going to be bigger," Johnson told Yahoo News in a phone interview from his home in Taos, New Mexico. "Government's going to be more intrusive."

    Libertarian Barbara Howe stands up for LGBT couples in North Carolina: where are Pat McCrory and Walter Dalton?

    Barbara Howe: calling out the
    cowardice and pandering of her
    Barbara Howe and her husband Tom will shred their marriage license in front of Legislative Hall to protest North Carolina's Amendment One that outlaws gay civil unions and same-sex marriage.

    “I am just heart sick that the people of North Carolina have written discrimination into the Constitution,'' Howe said in a statement. “Constitutions are to limit government, not people. I'll be working on repealing this abomination.''

    Read more here:

    So, one wonders, while the Libertarian candidate leads, where is Democrat Walter Dalton or Republican Pat McCrory, the other two candidates for Governor?

    And can we expect to see Barack and Michelle do the same as Barbara Howe when they visit Charlotte this summer for their coronation?  Rhetorical question, of course.

    We all know the answer.

    Monday, May 28, 2012

    Working Families, Constitution, and Green parties recover ballot access in Delaware

    Ballot Access News reports that all three Delaware alternative parties previously in danger of losing their ballot lines due to new, higher registration requirements, have all exceeded the 600+ signature requirement to keep their position on the ballot.

    This means that the Working Families Party of Delaware, the Constitution Party, and the Greens will be on the November ballot.

    The Libertarian Party of Delaware and the Independent Party of Delaware were already above the required registration levels.

    The end of fusion nominations, however, still leaves question marks over the future of these parties.  Many candidates had previously run as Working Families/Democrat or Libertarian/Republican; this is no longer possible.

    While all of these parties have many differences among them, they share a common commitment to a more open political process, with more different voices at the table than the one-and-one-half parties in Delaware currently provide.

    (And an aside--congrats Andy Groff--you've got a party to go along with that nomination now.)

    The Mitt Romney pre-convention sell-out of Ron Paul continues

    Countering several days of posturing by President Obama, VP Biden, and especially SecDef Leon Panetta about the current administration's apparently unending appetite for larger military budgets and new wars to fight, Mitt Romney strikes back:
    Contrary to what the MSM would
    have you believe, Mitt Romney's
    Memorial Day speech was directed
    as much against Ron Paul as
    against Barack Obama.
    "We have two courses we can follow: One is to follow in the pathway of Europe, to shrink our military smaller and smaller to pay for our social needs," Romney said outside the city's Veterans Memorial Center and Museum. "The other is to commit to preserve America as the strongest military in the world, second to none, with no comparable power anywhere in the world."
    Now let's parse this a little bit.

    Yet why now?

    The answer is pretty simple:  Mitt Romney needs to position himself in the lead as America's number one advocate of increased military spending and interventionism, and Ron Paul as a dangerous foreign policy dreamer, before the Tampa GOP convention.

    North Carolina: a Libertarian battleground state

    Barack Obama only won North Carolina in 2008 by 14,000 votes.

    Bob Barr, the Libertarian nominee that year, took 25,000 votes; he was presumably the spoiler for John McCain, because no one can seriously imagine him to have taken large numbers of votes from Obama.

    In the Governor's race, Libertarian Michael Munger received nearly 121,000 votes, and in the Senate race, Libertarian Chris Cole garnered 131,000.

    That's around 3% of the vote.

    NC Libertarian Barbara
    Howe will bike across
    every county in the state
    as she campaigns for
    This year, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Barbara Howe is polling at 7% of the vote already.

    Libertarian Presidential nominee Gary Johnson, last week, was pollng there at 6%.

    North Carolina libertarians are by and large left-libertarians.

    This is a state in which we can prove that Libertarians are key players, but only if we keep the movement going.

    Give to the Gary Johnson Mt. Everest fundaiser today.

    Gary Johnson and Mount Everest: we're just getting to the base camp

    Note for purists:  apparently, if we are to believe this map, Gary Johnson
    was so elated upon reaching the summit of Mt. Everest that he leapt seven
    feet into the air.  (You figure it out.)
    The Gary Johnson Everest fundraising event is over halfway there.

    As I write, we're at $16,695.00 with three days to go.

    You can see from the image above that means we can just see the base camp, and that the most difficult part of the trek upward is still ahead.

    It is going to take money to get Gary Johnson to 15% and into the debates.  Ron Paul supporters already know this--they know you've got to give consistently even if only in small amounts to keep your candidate going.

    Freedom costs.

    I will be digging down at least one more time in this fundraiser to get us to the summit.

    Please join me.

    Leon Panetta: We'll all be killed in our beds if defense spending is ever cut, and the President is lying about ever leaving Afghanistan

    On ABC's This Week, SecDef Panetta opined that any cuts to the largest defense budget in the history of the world would have Somali warlords riding our women and raping our goats:

    Leon Panetta:  I can tell you the truth
    on ABC's "This Week" because no
    one actually watches it.

    “I think what both Republicans and Democrats need to do, and the leaders of both sides, is to recognize that if sequester takes place, it would be disastrous for our national defense and, very frankly, for a lot of very important domestic programs,” Mr. Panetta said on ABC’s “This Week” program that aired Sunday.
    “They have a responsibility to come together and find the money necessary to detrigger sequester.”
    The US currently spends about 41% of ALL the military spending on the ENTIRE PLANET.

    Panetta also admitted that the campaign promises of the Obama administration to be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 are actually a lie meant to sway voters who only pay attention to Americans dying in combat if they have previously urinated on the corpses of their enemies:
    “Well, the most important point is that we’re not going anyplace. We’re gonna, we have an enduring presence that will be in Afghanistan,” Panetta said on ABC News’s “This Week.”

    Sunday, May 27, 2012

    Independent voters demanding fiscal responsibility, spending restraint

    That doesn't surprise me.

    It also doesn't surprise me that they don't believe Barack Obama will give it to them.

    It does, however, shock the hell out of me that they think Mitt Romney will.

    Zogby/IOBPE: nationwide support for Gary Johnson has doubled in a week

    Last week Zogby showed Obama 44%, Romney 43%, Johnson 2%.

    Now, IOBPE (formerly IOBPE Zogby) shows Romney 46%, Obama 43%, Johnson 4%.

    A lot of progress in one week.

    Why Gary Johnson? Because neither Barack Obama or Mitt Romney apparently give a crap about kids like Cooper Brown

    President Obama is running a Federal drug war determined to keep not only cancer patients, but also parents like Rebecca Brown from helping their children.

    Mitt Romney agrees with him.

    And in the meantime, in Michigan, Rebecca Brown has to become a criminal in order to take care of her son:

    Rebecca Brown, and son Cooper:
    Yep, she's the epitomy of the
    abusive, neglectful mom who only
    wants her child to smoke reefer
    and ruin is life.

    LANSING -- Rebecca Brown says she tried every prescription drug she could find to control the frequent seizures her son suffered because of a severe form of epilepsy.
    When nothing worked consistently, and the drugs and special diet caused kidney stones and pancreas problems as side effects, the Oakland County woman turned to medical marijuana.
    Now, Cooper Brown, 14, is one of 44 Michigan residents younger than 18 with a medical marijuana card. His mom says his seizures have dropped off dramatically since he started using it early this year.
    But the treatment is controversial. Marijuana -- medical or otherwise -- is illegal at the federal level and some doctors say it shouldn't be used by adults, let alone children. A lack of clinical studies means there is uncertainty about its effects on developing brains and nervous systems.
    Read the whole article.  You'll find the usual suspects admonishing us that there are long-term effects we don't know about (which is so different from the long-term effects of heavy-duty prescription meds that we DO know aobut), or folks concerned that a young person with Dravet syndrome, muscular dystrophy, and cancer might, ah, get high instead of suffering seizures, chronic pain, and nausea.

    Should the government have the power to tell patients and parents what medicines they or their children can take, especially if their doctors approve?

    Of all the presidential candidates who will be on the ballot in November, only Libertarian Gary Johnson says no.

    Gary Johnson's Everest fundraise: Who gave the two cents?

    There's a running total at the bottom of the page on Gary Johnson's Mount Everest fundraiser, and the good news is that it shows us as being over halfway up the mountain.

    (But you could still help out:  go here to donate.)

    What bothered me last night was that for about eight hours all the totals of money raised included an extra two cents.

    And I thought:  who gives two cents?  Or even $100.02?

    Finally, I realized (I'm slow that way) that some donors obviously used PayPal or something similar, and the campaign is only counting the net donation, not the gross.

    I felt better.

    I will feel even better when we are up to the top.

    $29,035 is not millions, but it's a start.

    Please consider even a small donation for the only candidate who will . . .

    (I'll even spare you the pitch; if you come here often, you've already heard it.)

    Just really, really bad history: Stephen B. Young and the erroneous connection of Libertarianism to Social Darwinism

    Don't know quite where to start with this one, since there so much counter-factual goodness here.

    Let's just do the first substantive paragraph of an idiotic essay entitled "Is It raining Libertarians, or what?"
    Out of their experience after the Civil War, America's Republicans came to believe in a philosophy called Social Darwinism, with its call for individual self-reliance, free markets and limited government. Most Americans who rejected Social Darwinism became Democrats
    Ah, well, this would be interesting if it were at all remotely true.

    The Republican ideology of individual self-reliance, free markets, and limited government predated the Civil War.  In modern terms, this is called "Free Labor Ideology," and the ground-breaking research on that was done by Eric Foner twenty-six years ago in Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men,  The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War.

    The generalized breakdown between Social Darwinists in the GOP and those the author will later refer to as progressives never actually occurred--at least not in the way he suggests.

    The identification of Herbert Spenser as the Father of Social Darwinism was an intellectual construct created by Richard Hofstader in 1944.  While Hofstadter's thesis was influential for several decades, it has  been pretty thoroughly debunked.

    But, hey, this is an election year, so it is fair game to say anything, right?

    Turning the internet over to the UN? If Congress is discussing it, it can't just be for Birchers any more

    The mania for government surveillance and government control is now endemic at all levels.

    The Montgomery County, Texas, Sheriff's Deparment plans to arm its surveillance drones with tear gas and rubber bullets.

    Legislators in New York are trying to ban anonymous blogging.

    And, of course, the FBI is seeking the power to have surveillance back doors built into all American communciations software.

    Now Congress is actually discussing a plan to turn over greater governance of the internet to the UN:

    House lawmakers will consider an international proposal next week to give the United Nations more control over the Internet.
    The proposal is backed by China, Russia, Brazil, India and other UN members, and would give the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) more control over the governance of the Internet.

    Granted, the discussions in Congress and even from the Obama administration are largely hostile to the concept, but that they are actually discussing it rather than rejecting it out of hand is disturbing.

    Obama/Biden: Proud of re-orienting toward a "war" foreign policy

    Joe Biden: we are as warlike as any
    administration could be expected
    to be
    You have to trust Joe Biden to say what's really on the Obama administration's mind.

    This time it was at the West Point graduation, where, according to, he first credited the President with having ended all the wars he inherited:
    "Winding down these longs wars has enabled us to replace and rebalance our foreign policy," Biden told the Army cadets and their families at the storied academy's football stadium.
    Let's ignore the fact that this administration only executed Bushco's withdrawal timetable from Iraq (where we still have tens of thousands of troops, by the way), doubled down in Afghanistan, and started its own conflicts in Somali, Uganda, Yemen, and Libya--with possible plans for more military interventions in Syria and Iran.

    Yep, let's ignore all that because war is good foreign policy:

    Why Gary Johnson and not Ron Paul for me: a personal opinion

    I read in multiple places that Governor Gary Johnson is "Ron Paul lite."

    Gary Johnson, because, let's face it,
    Ron Paul would never wear this shirt.
    In chat rooms and through comments on stories I constantly come across people who are upset with Johnson for attempting to run for President in the same year as Dr. Paul, or who are antagonized by the fact that the Governor keeps pointing out that by November he will be the only "freedom" candidate on the ballot.

    Reluctantly, about half of the Ron Paul supporters I have met say they will vote for Gary Johnson in November if Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee.

    They're not motivated to go out and work for Johnson, and they're probably aren't going to send him any money, but they will "regretfully" vote for him, unless they get inside the booth and the temptation to write in Dr. Paul is just too overwhelming.

    Gary Johnson's not my second choice.

    He's my first choice, and he's frankly one of the main reasons that I am getting back involved in politics.

    So I thought . . . I should explain why.

    I donated to Ron Paul in 2008 during the primaries.  I was originally as psyched as many other people, but I never got hugely personally involved.  Primarily it was because I had a few policy differences with the good Doctor.

    Saturday, May 26, 2012

    r3VOLution: Stories of our death greatly exaggerated

    There is a concerted attempt to put Ron Paul and his supporters back in the box, so to speak--he ran, he mobilized the fringe, he lost, now let's move on to the main event of Obama and Romney.

    Ironically, both Obama and Romney would agree on that approach.

    Ron Paul and Gary Johnson:
    crashing the gates
    Ron Paul has interjected libertarianism and non-interventionism into the mainstream conversation.  My own candidate, Gary Johnson, would not have been a possibility without Ron Paul's existence.

    Right now the only bulwarks keeping ideas like those of Paul and Johnson out of "the mainsream"--by which I mean picking up millions of votes and changing the face of electoral politics are the media blackout and the bureaucratic rules of the GOP.

    The media blackout is crumbling, because today's media is no longer exclusively top-down.  Right now, one of the last effective weapons of enforcing obscurity is the exclusion of Johnson/Paul questions from presidential polling, and that's fall apart.

    The real last barrier--the organization of the two-party system--may hold out (just barely) for one more election.  But if Gary Johnson qualifies for significant matching funds, and Ron Paul comes as close to derailing the GOP convention as many people are starting to believe/fear is possible, then all bets are off.

    Two stories today--Ron Paul's revolution has successfully moved beyond the fringe--and how Ron Paul (and Libertarians) have moved the national conversation--make that point quite well.

    Friday, May 25, 2012

    One of the reasons I won't be moving to New York anytime soon . . .

    . . . . is that the legislature (seriously) wants to make anonymous (or even pseudonymous) blogging illegal.

    Climbing Mount Everest: why BOTH Gary Johnson and Ron Paul supporters should be contributing

    Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson, you may possibly know, has climbed Mount Everest.

    So for his first national fundraiser, we're starting with that--$1 per foot to $29,035 by May 30--which is the anniversary date of his reaching the summit.

    Here's the challenge for those of you who already support Gary:  throw something into the kitty--$5, $10, whatever you can afford.

    Here's the challenge for those of you supporting Ron Paul:  consider that Gary Johnson is already making Mitt Romney look like he cannot win New Mexico, Arizona, Wisconsin, and possibly New Hampshire.

    The higher that Gary Johnson polls between now and August, and the more obvious it becomes that Romney arrives in Tampa with increasing questions about his electability hanging over his head . . . well, anything could happen, couldn't it?  So consider that every dollar you can spare for Gary Johnson is a dollar that will be used to bite into Mitt Romney's lead.

    C'mon, $5, $10.

    I sent Gary $50 tonight.

    Make me look cheap.

    Go here to donate.

    Wisconsin: the importance of Libertarian Gary Johnson's 6% to medical marijuana

    As I blogged yesterday, Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson is achieving 5-6% support in Wisconsin polls.

    This has importance beyond getting a Libertarian message out, or electing the former two-term New Mexico Governor President.

    That 6% could be the critical difference between passage and failure of the medical marijuana ballot initiative, which both current Governor Scott Walker (fighting off a recall in the same election) and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (herself, ironically, a cancer survivor) adamantly oppose.

    Activists for marijuana legalization or marriage equality across the country, think about what having a presidential candidate openly supporting you could mean!

    Dewey Beach: screwing over cleaning ladies justifies screwing over musicians and business owners

    A thought to begin:  Dewey Beach club owners and the musicians who play in them already pay their own way.

    The clubs purchase business licenses, pay property taxes, and generate massive amounts of revenue for the town in terms of the tens of thousands of tourists who flock to the bars all summer, spending their money in hotels, rentals, restaurants, shops, etc.

    Hell, the bar owners even pony up their own money (without being required by any law to do so) to pay for extra police on high-density weekends like Memorial Day.

    Now, however, Dewey Beach has decided to impose a $109 annual business license on all musicians payed to play within the town limits.

    Of course the town wants revenue; all towns want revenue.  And the idea of taxing people who don't live there--as most musicians don't--is far more attractive than taxing the people who might actually vote you out of office.

    But it's the rationale that is just . . . sick.
    Hanson: screw 'em all! 

    Dewey Beach Mayor Diane Hanson brought up the issue with town council in recent months, and members soon approved the plan. Hanson says having artists pay for a business license is a matter of fairness.
    “My cleaning lady, who makes far less than some of these bands do, pays $109. So why shouldn’t they pay their fair share?” asks Hanson, who owns rental properties in town.
    “Do you really think it’s fair that [The Fabulous] Greaseband makes thousands of dollars working in Dewey for the summer and a cleaning lady who barely scrapes a living has to pay? That’s the bottom line. What’s fair is fair,” she says.
    "What's fair is fair?"

    Of all the idiotic, self-serving statements I have read this morning (I'd say this week, but I read a lot of idiotic self-serving statements) this is the winner.

    Think about what Mayor Hansen has said:
    We over-charge our domestic help [when we don't pay them in cash under the table], so it is only fair that we over-charge musicians.
    Why does your cleaning lady "barely scrape a living," Mayor?  Probably because, as her employer you don't pay her shit, and then as the town mayor you take out a hefty chunk of what she does get.

    Ironically, most business owners or the talent agencies who book the musicians will be paying the licensing fees for the musicians, and this will in turn be passed on to their patrons.

    But the bar owners know exactly what's happening here--a shake-down:
    “There is no question that there is a very organized minority of people in town who want Dewey Beach to operate the way they see,” says Jim Bauerle, the co-owner of Ruddertowne who has also decided to pay the fees for his bands. “What you see now is people who rented their properties for 25 or 30 years [and] now want to use them in their retirement and want the town to act the way they want. That’s the core issue.” 

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Reason-Rupe Poll: In Wisconsin Gary Johnson at 5%; only 3% separates Obama and Romney

    Spoiler situations are the first (and necessary) phase of getting Libertarian Gary Johnson to 15% in enough polls to be invited into the Presidential debates.

    In Wisconsin, President Obama's lead over Governor Romney has shrunk to 44%-41% among likely voters.  Notably, the Obama lead is inside the +/- 3.7% margin of error, and Gary Johnson's 5% is outside of that same margin.

    It is also difficult to characterize the "average" Johnson voter:
    Gary Johnson voters in Wisconsin are difficult to categorize, as they agree with Mitt Romney supporters to end automatic union dues deductions, and think public employee unions have too much power and get better benefits than private sector workers. However, they are more like Obama supporters in that they are less comfortable limiting public unions’ collective bargaining, and are slightly more likely to vote for Tom Barrett (38 to 33 percent). They self-identify as Independent, but tend to lean Republican.
    Look tomorrow for a round-up post on all the early Gary Johnson polling, and an unvarnished analysis of what it means at this point in the race.

    NBC-Marist: polling the Tea Party in Florida, Virginia, and Ohio, but not Gary Johnson

    Check the internals in each poll.

    And while their big story is President Obama at 48% in each of these states, they don't talk about the number of "other" or "undecideds."

    Uh, then they'd have to mention Ron Paul or Gary Johnson.

    Have you noticed that no poll in the country right now is really interested in finding out what happens to the Ron Paul voter when Mitt Romney wins the nomination?

    Time to ask NBC-Marist who makes this stuff up.

    The Delaware Way: This is called keeping your bets hedged

    When Libertarian 5th District Senate candidate Scott Gesty and I were first discussing his campaign, he talked about the fact that the choices offered to Delaware voters by the Republicans and Democrats are pretty much indistinguishable.

    This was the specific example he gave:
    Last cycle, I got direct mail from the teachers union supporting my democrat opponent [Chris Counihan], and then the next day I get the same direct mail with my Republican Senators [Cathy Cloutier] face on it!  It was nuts.  I didn’t vote for Senate in 2010.  There was no choice . . . 
    At first I found this difficult to credit, but when I was looking up the campaign donations for each candidate in that race, I made an intriguing discovery.

    In 2010 the law firm of Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor used its PAC on 29 September to give $300 to Christopher Counihan.

    Almost exactly one month later, Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor used its PAC (25 October) to give $300 to Catherine Cloutier.

    Both records can be accessed via the Commissioner of Elections website.

    Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor is one of Delaware's heavy-hitter law firms, which invests heavily in our elections, spending nearly $29,000 in contributions via its PAC in 2010.

    One of the few glimpses into the inner workings of such a major player in our electoral politics came in 2010, when Above The Law ran a post on how Young Conaway controller Joe Lofink accidentally "outed" all of the firm's non-equity partners.  For those interested in the interconnections of Delaware politics, cross-indexing that list against the list of candidates receiving Young Conaway campaign donations is interesting.

    But the question does remain:  what interests would you be protecting by donating to both the Democrat and Republican in the same race?

    And Scott?

    Let us know when the check comes, will you?

    Why we need Libertarians and the ACLU: Sheriff's office wants to declare war on Montgomery County, Texas

    Drones:  they're not just for killing
    the civilians in Pakistan any more.
    I can recall people telling me that Libertarian arguments about "slippery slopes" are paranoid fantasies.

    They weren't worried when the same types of drones the US military employs to kill alleged terrorists, women, and children in Pakistan were approved for use by law enforcement agencies in America.

    Those are surveillance drones, they told me, less expensive and more maneuverable that helicopters.  You should be happy, it's cost less.

    I pointed out that the drone they use against Pakistanis are armed, and that the drones available for police work could be armed.

    Another Libertarian fear fantasy, they told me.  You and the Birchers and black helicopters, they told me.

    Enter the Montgomery County (Texas) Sheriff's Office:

    Randy McDaniel:  rubber bullets and tear gas 
     Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Texas told The Daily that his department is considering using rubber bullets and tear gas on its drone.
    “Those are things that law enforcement utilizes day in and day out and in certain situations it might be advantageous to have this type of system on the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle),” McDaniel told The Daily.
    So let me get this straight:  not content with surveillance, the Sheriff wants to be able to have drone operators shoot at people and gas them?

    The American Civil Liberties Union doesn't think this is funny:

    “It’s simply not appropriate to use any of force, lethal or non-lethal, on a drone,” Catherine Crump, staff attorney for the ACLU, told CBSDC.
    Crump feels one of the biggest problems with the use of drones is the remote location where they are operated from.
    When the officer is on the scene, they have full access to info about what has transpired there,” Crump explained to CBSDC. “An officer at a remote location far away does not have the same level of access.”
    “We don’t need a situation where Americans feel there is in an invisible eye in the sky,” Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at ACLU, told CBSDC.
    Nor would Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson, who says

    THE FREEDOMS ON WHICH AMERICA WAS FOUNDED are now under attack from the very people charged with protecting and upholding them.
    If, as an American, you're concerned about issues like your local law enforcement agency spying on you, or shooting at you, then voting for Gary Johnson for President is one thing you can do to avoid that happening.

    Roy Hall:  Libertarian candidate
    for Congress, 8th District (Texas)
    If, however, you live in Montgomery County, Texas, my strong suggestion is that you check out 8th District Libertarian Congressional candidate Roy Hall, who is likely to be the only person in the race who can help you keep from getting tear-gassed for jaywalking.

    Libertarian Party of Delaware endorses Andrew Groff for US Senate

    Andrew Groff: "We need
    to return to a market
    economy . . . ."

    Delegates from New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties voted Saturday at the Libertarian Party of Delaware’s annual state convention in Dover to endorse Andrew Groff for US Senate.  The party could not nominate Groff as its candidate because the Green Party has already nominated him, and the General Assembly recently abolished fusion nominations in Delaware.  But the endorsement means that the Libertarians will not nominate a competing candidate, and will support Groff’s campaign.
    Groff is the owner-operator of Avero Holdings LLC, a computer consulting business, and an adjunct instructor in Computer Information Systems at Delaware Technical and Community College.  He decided to take the plunge and run for public office after doing organizational work in support of Occupy Delaware.
    At the convention, Groff told the Libertarian Party, “I have always been one of you in spirit.”  He opposes the Patriot Act and the Federal “war on drugs,” and supports marriage equality.  “The government receives its power by consent of the governed,” Groff said.  “States have no rights other than those consented to by the people.”
    Groff also discussed the barriers that Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly have created to make ballot access and successful campaigning possible for “alternative candidates.”  “Raising the number of members in a political party necessary to appear on the ballot nearly extinguished several independent parties,” Groff said.  The Constitution Party has lost ballot access this year, and the Greens are scrambling to gather the final registrations necessary to assure that his name will appear on the November ballot.  “I think we’ll be all right,” the candidate said.
    Both the Libertarian Party of Delaware and the Independent Party of Delaware have sufficient registered members to guarantee their candidates will appear on this year’s ballot.
    “I intend to give Tom Carper a good hard run,” Groff promised.  “This year will be about a citizen against the corporate candidate.”

    For more information, or to donate (he really likes donations!), visit Andrew Groff for US Senate.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

    Rasmussen: 56% of Americans agree with Gary Johnson (who they won't include in their polls) that marijuana should be legalized

    Gary Johnson: not only did he inhale,
    he called for America to be able to
    do the same thing.
    No, they didn't mention him by name.  That would break the news embargo.

    Nobody in the business but Public Policy Polling bothers to ever track Libertarian Gary Johnson's increasing impact on the presidential race.

    But you can't miss his influence in the issues under discussion:  Gary Johnson favored legalizing marijuana long before everyone else.

    And now the American public--56% of them at least--have caught up.

    Just like Gary Johnson favored marriage equality back when Rick Santorum was advocating for an American theocracy.

    Eventually, Barack Obama and today Colin Powell got there.

    Politicians calculate.

    Soldiers follow.

    Leaders get out ahead of the curve.

    The man that the Richmond Times-Dispatch said might be too "unflinchingly honest" to be President is a leader.

    The Return of Tyler Nixon

    Only Tyler Nixon would not only show back up, but
    show back with photo of himself and Governor Gary Johnson.
    You have no idea how happy I am.

    Public Policy Polling: Libertarian Gary Johnson at 9%

    This is an interesting development:
    One thing that could make the race more competitive in Arizona, perhaps more so than other states, is Gary Johnson's presence on the ballot as the Libertarian candidate.  He pulls 9% in Arizona and he takes a lot more support away from Romney than he does Obama, narrowing Romney's lead in the state to 45-41. History suggests it's quite unlikely Johnson would really pull 9% in the end but it shows how many voters are unhappy with their main choices in this race.
    Actually, the poll's internals show that Gary Johnson does better with the very liberal and very conservative ends of the spectrum than he does with the middle.

    But here's why this is interesting:
    Arizona's still within the realm of possibility for Obama but he's going to have to really step it up with white voters to make it more competitive.
    If President Obama chooses to make a battleground out of Arizona, then Mitt Romney is going to have to do the unthinkable:  pay attention to the Libertarian candidate.  Romney will have to attack Gary Johnson in order to get back the 5% that the former New Mexico governor is siphoning off.

    And if Romney attacks Johnson that will mean more attention on his candidacy.

    Remember:  at this stage of the game it doesn't matter if they are saying nice things about Gary, it only matters that they're talking about him.

    Gallup: Why we're not polling Gary Johnson (or Jill Stein, or Virgil Goode)

    A Gary Johnson 2012 campaign staff member recently asked the Gallup Organization exactly why it was not including the Libertarian presidential candidate in current polls.

    The answer was interesting:
    Hi [name redacted]

    Gallup makes decisions on possible inclusion of third party candidates in its trial heat ballot testing based on a number of criteria. Gallup’s default position is to include only the two major party candidates, and to consider inclusion of one or more of the many third party and independent candidates only when there is compelling evidence that they are significant factors in the campaign. In large part, Gallup uses its editorial judgment as the basis for this decision-making, including assessments of news coverage of third party and independent candidates. Additionally, Gallup assesses evidence of significant voter interest in these candidates, based on responses to open-ended vote preference questions, in which any candidate or party’s name is accepted; responses to a vote preference question in which the names of all candidates who will appear on the ballot in most states are read; and measuring name identification of third party candidates. These questions help inform Gallup about the level of third-party voting and help inform Gallup about whether a third-party candidate merits inclusion in its standard presidential trial-heat question.
    Gallup has yet to assess where third parties candidates stand on these measures in 2012 as it waits for the various third parties to decide on nominees. Gallup will begin doing so as early as next month, and will continue to look for evidence that a third party or independent candidates deserves inclusion in Gallup’s standard vote preference question going forward. 
    Communication Specialist
    901 F Street NW
    Washington, DC 20004
    Let's parse this seriatem

    1.  Gallup's "default" is only two candidates.  Why?  Interesting question.  Can they make a methodological case that including more candidates somehow skews the results?

    2.  There must be "compelling evidence" to include a third party or an independent candidate in a poll.  Are we about to find out what that is?

    3.  Oh, the "compelling evidence" is Gallup "editorial judgment," relying heavily on "news coverage." Of course, Alyssa, one could argue that since polls actually drive coverage and analysis, that the ability to make significant inroads into news coverage hinges heavily on . . . inclusion in the polls.  Circular arguments, anyone.

    4.  They use a certain amount of open-ended questions without party preference, like (presumably), "Who would you vote for if the presidential election were held today?"  This is followed by reading the names of all ballot-qualified candidates, which automatically prejudices the poll against any candidate who has not yet finished achieving ballot access.

    5.  The most fascinating aspect of Alyssa's answer is this (which bears repeating):
     Gallup has yet to assess where third parties candidates stand on these measures in 2012 as it waits for the various third parties to decide on nominees. 
    Except, ah, Alyssa, the Libertarians have already nominated Gary Johnson, the Greens have already nominated Jill Stein, and the Constitution Party has already nominated Virgil Goode.


    But we do learn something very important:  it is at the beginning or middle of June that Gallup will make its decision about who should be covered in polling questions.

    That means that news coverage over the next three weeks is critical. 

    Romney: Our "Third World" Education problems can only be solved by (you guessed it) . . . more Federal intrusion

    In what was to be his defining speech on public education to the Chamber of Commerce today, Governor Mitt Romney had the opportunity to say something new, important, and visionary about public education.

    He didn't.

    Instead, predictably attacking teachers' unions as pretty much the sole source of our educational problems, Mitt characterized millions of American students as receiving "a Third World education."

    His prescription for fixing that?

    Not abolishing the US Department of Education (he used to hold that position, but dropped it).

    Not No Child Left Behind (he used to support that initiative, but "evolved").

    Nope, Mitt offers us worn out platitudes and--I couldn't make this up if I tried--a more stringent application of the principles behind Race to the Top:
    Mitt Romney:  Race to the Top
    is good, but needs steroids.
    Romney continues to support the federal accountability standards in the law, however. He also has said the student testing, charter-school incentives and teacher evaluation standards in Obama's "Race to the Top" competition "make sense" . . . 
    Of course, he said the words that chill my heart (and then used more code for more Federal strings in the next paragraph):
    He continued: "President Obama has made his choice, and I have made mine. As president, I will be a champion of real education reform in America."
    Romney said he would let low-income and disabled students use federal money to attend public schools, public charter schools and, in some cases, private schools. Federal funds could also be used for tutoring or digital courses. 
    In other words, Mitt would be exactly the same Federal education disaster the George W Bush (Tweedle-NCLB) and Barack Obama (Tweedle-RTTT) have been, another bureaucrat convinced that America's teachers, students, parents, and school boards are simply to f--king stupid to be left in charge of education.

    Need I say that only one candidate--Libertarian Gary Johnson--offers anything different.

    He'd like to get the Feds out of controlling our public education and let states/localities do their own thing.

    And so would I.

    Hey, Ron Paul supporters!  Is this what you signed on for?

    Penn Jillette Righteousness (and Delaware Libertarian's 3000th Post!)

    This is a must watch dose of hard truth from Penn Jillette about our self-admitted formerly cannabis-smoking, "blow"-snorting President who chuckles away merrily about his violent, destructive war on people, over some arbitrarily government-unblessed substances.

    Had "Black Jesus", as David Axelrod privately calls Obama, been on the receiving end of his own treatment, as are millions of otherwise peaceful, peaceable Americans - 100's of 1000's of whom are rotting in prisons this minute everywhere in this country (if not being ground up and ground down somewhere within the narco-enforcement police-prosecution-prison industry), his career and his life would have been senselessly ruined for no reason other than to justify the self-serving cowardice and willful ignorance of soulless he is now.

    Oh yeah, sure, Obama's cool.  Like a warm bucket of piss.

    JILLETTE: "What troubles me about this... I think it's beyond hypocrisy. I think it's something to do with class. A lot of people have accused Obama of class warfare, but in the wrong direction. I believe this is Obama chortling with Jimmy Fallon about lower class people. Do we believe, even for a second, that if Obama had been busted for marijuana -- under the laws that he condones -- would his life have been better? If Obama had been caught with the marijuana that he says he uses, and 'maybe a little blow'... if he had been busted under his laws, he would have done hard f*cking time. And if he had done time in prison, time in federal prison, time for his 'weed' and 'a little blow,' he would not be President of the United States of America. He would not have gone to his fancy-a** college, he would not have sold books that sold millions and millions of copies and made millions and millions of dollars, he would not have a beautiful, smart wife, he would not have a great job. He would have been in f*cking prison, and it's not a god damn joke. People who smoke marijuana must be set free. It is insane to lock people up."

    h/t RealClearPolitics: The Drug War & Obama's Drug Use: What Troubles Me - Penn Jillette

    Obama needs to go.

    Vote Gary Johnson / Jim Gray 2012

    Congratulations to Delaware Libertarian's godfather, Steve Newton, on reaching 3000 posts here (2900 something of which are his....800 just in the last week, I' believe! *HAH*)

    What an honor to be associated with him.  Thanks Steve!