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Showing posts from October, 2012

Gary Johnson AND Scott Gesty on the radio in Delaware

Two firsts: Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson will be doing a live interview on the Al Mascitti Show on WDEL 1150AM at about 10:20am tomorrow morning (November 1).  Al assures me that if you cannot listen live there will be a podcast up soon thereafter. The same day--Thursday, November 1--will see the first-ever Libertarian radio advertisements, specifically for Scott Gesty, candidate for the US House, go live on WDSD 94.7FM throughout the day.  Scott will not only talk about his own campaign, but will speak on behalf of Libertarian candidates across the state.  This is the first time, so far as we know, that a Libertarian campaign has raised enough money to do any radio advertising.  (Honorable mention to Will McVay, who was running as a Republican at the time he purchased ads before the September primary.) Listen to both!

New Gary Johnson TV ad now running in six or seven states

President Obama institutionalizes Catch-22

Warrantless surveillance are unconstitutional. But President Obama's Justice Department has taken the position that you lack the standing to challenge the law unless you know for sure you are under surveillance. And you cannot know if you are under surveillance because that's a matter of national security. So if you, as a presidential administration that hates civil liberties as much as the last two (and presumably the next one) have, then all you have to do to insulate yourself from constitutional challenge is to prevent anyone from being able to bring a lawsuit. Where is Yossarian when we need him?

Uh oh

My house is marked with the little red icon; the storm track for the center of Sandy is the blue line. Aw shit.

If you're gonna have "first vote sex," have it with Gary Johnson

Some light reading for hurricane shut-ins: North Korea executes General . . . with mortar round

This , I just had to post: A North Korean army minister was executed with a mortar round for reportedly drinking and carousing during the official mourning period after Kim Jong-il's death.   Kim Chol, vice minister of the army, was taken into custody earlier this year on the orders of Kim Jong-un, who assumed the leadership after the death of his father in December.   On the orders of Kim Jong-un to leave "no trace of him behind, down to his hair," according to South Korean media, Kim Chol was forced to stand on a spot that had been zeroed in for a mortar round and "obliterated." And then, I thought (more soberly), couldn't this be considered a low-tech drone killing ordered by an unaccountable chief executive against one of his own citizens without due process?

Watch extended Scott Gesty interview at Libertarian Progressive

First Gary Johnson TV ad hits several states tonight

We really do live in a one-party state--and it is not going to be Republicans who change that

As we approach the last two weeks in the election season, it is important to take note of the various party offerings.  There are 183 ballot-qualified candidates in Delaware, including the Presidential tickets.  Here's the breakdown: 92 of them are Democrats (50%) 57 of them are Republicans (31%) 23 of them are Libertarians (13%) 5 of them are Greens (3%) 5 of them are IPODs (3%) 1 of them is Unaffiliated We can learn several things from this. First, we are already a one-party state when the total of all the non-Democrat candidates in four other parties is required equal their offerings. Second, the Republicans continue to decline, accounting for fewer than one-third of the candidates running this year.  They are not even running sufficient candidates to retake the General Assembly if they win everything.  Nor are they managing to raise money for their candidates--c'mon, $60K to run for governor and you are a major party candidate? Third, the Libertarians have establis

Proof that being a General does not exempt you from being an idiot

Gen. Mark Hertling: I'm wearing the glasses so that you cannot tell that my head is hollow. A case in point: Speaking today to the Defense Writers Group, Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, the commander of the US 7th Army said he believes it is  too early to tell  whether the multi-year occupation of Iraq “created an ally” in the new Iraqi government.   “I don’t know what’s going to happen in Iraq,” Hertling said, “I’m hopeful for increasing positive signs.” He went on to complain that America is “not feeling particularly appreciated” for the eight year occupation of Iraq, which killed hundreds of thousands of people by even modest estimates. I bet he thinks all those people with relatives blown to shit by our drones in Pakistan, in Yemen, and in Honduras are equally ungrateful.

And a little John Carney astro-turfing for good measure . . . .

Last night I pointed out that over 30% of the respondents to WDEL's debate poll had selected Scott Gesty as the winner of the debate.  John Carney finished third.  Tom Kovach obviously had his supporters organized, because he was in first place. Here were the numbers at 10:40 pm yesterday: WDEL Listener Survey Who won WDEL's U.S. House debate?   Tom Kovach 45.9% Scott Gesty 30.2% John Carney 21.9% Bernie August 2.0%   Total votes: 351 Obviously somebody clued in the Carney people that dear old John was looking foolish, because about 3:00pm this afternoon around 700-800 Carney votes abruptly appeared on the site: Amazing, huh?  Especially since the WDEL site allows you to vote as many times as you want from the same computer (I just checked). So picture the poor Carney intern who was told, "And don't go home till the Congressman is ahead, damn it!"

State GOP Chair John Sigler gets his victim on . . .

To be clear, I do agree with the GOP that Brian Pettyjohn's name should be placed on the ballot in the 19th District.  With a candidate withdrawn for over 100 felony charges and a duly nominated replacement, democracy is not served by playing politics with ballot access here. Hi, I'm John Sigler, and I hate the idea that anybody in America could be disenfranchised at the polls unless they're poor, black, hispanic, Libertarian, Green, Constitution, IPOD . . . . I mean, you've got to have standards, don't you? That said, it is comical to hear John Sigler whine thus in the current GOP email blast: Time is of the essence, and the Democratic machine in Dover is trying to squash our voice completely in the legislature. We must not let this happen!   I cannot urge you enough to donate. No political party should be disenfranchised in our state, and the future balance of power in Dover hangs in the balance! Now let's get this straight:  this is John Sigler cr

For the folks who insist on seeing major differences between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. . .

. . . and who insist that those of us who think they are pretty much the same are only pursuing a "third party strategy" of equivalence. . . . . . this editorial cartoon in today's News Journal suggests that our meme might be catching on:

Totally apolitical--just unbelievable

THIS: . . . is not a photograph. It is a pencil drawing. h/t Kids Prefer Cheese

Margaret Melson gets some major head-to-head coverage against Pete Schwarzkopf

The Cape Gazette again proves to be the most open news organization in the state toward carrying third party news and candidates. A teaser that shows Margaret can hold her own with anybody: Q: With redistricting, Dewey Beach has become part of the 14th Representative District. Do you support town officials in their efforts to reduce public drunkenness and promote a family-friendly environment?  Why or why not? Schwartzkopf:  I believe in home rule – decisions should be made by the elected people closest to the problem or situation.  I will respect that philosophy and handle issues and complaints right up to the town limits of Dewey and let their elected council members handle the town.  I will always be prepared to lend assistance should they request it.  I love Dewey, and I think that the town leadership should draw a line in the sand and move forward seeking a partnership with the business community to address the issues of the day. Melson:  I support efforts to reduce public dr

The class of right-wing sites masquerading as Libertarian

From the comments on a post about Sandra Fluke at Libertarian Republican : Yep, that's class.

Sun rises in south: WNJ actually covers Libertarian candidate Wendy Jones

Credit James Fisher of the WNJ with including Wendy Jones in his coverage of the 6th Senate race: Jones, 53, of Milton, is a school bus driver and volunteer mentor at an elementary school. It’s an uphill battle – Libertarians hold no statewide offices, and campaign finance figures show her race is nearly expense-free. Jones has joined the other candidates at several public forums and made the case for her candidacy of limited government, entrepreneurship and gun rights. On the campaign trail, she tells voters too many manufacturing jobs have fled the state, pointing out that even the state’s license plates are imported.   “Delaware needs to focus on Delaware,” she said at a candidates’ forum. “Money needs to stay here.”

Gary Johnson on Geraldo. . . .

UPDATED: We need help to get Scott Gesty on the radio

UPDATED --Jesse McVay of Dover has agreed to match the first $350 donated.  There is no excuse not to toss in your contribution. We're almost there. The radio spot is cut, we're negotiating with stations, and you can hear it here . But we still need about another $700 to go with our plan. Help us spread the message that there is a Libertarian alternative to more of the same in Demopublicans John Carney and Tom Kovach. Visit Scott Gesty's website today and make a donation.  I did.

Maybe the University of Delaware should sub-contract security for its next debate to the Boston Police

. . . because the BPD could take the harassment of legitimate protesters to a whole new level for Ralph Begleiter and crew:

If News Journal staff ever paid attention to third parties, they'd know the answer to their own question

Today the editorial page of the News Journal laments the fact that candidates from neither wing of the Demopublican Party have provided answers to the question of what to do about illegal drugs: We have heard candidates take tough stands on what they will do to criminals who get caught. But they said little to nothing about the drug business that is causing the violence.   In Wilmington, where the violence is the greatest, there was little discussion of what to do about drug trafficking. Should the laws be changed and how? Should drugs be legalized or decriminalized? Should the penalties be changed? What kind of alternatives should be made available?   We are not endorsing any of these views. But it is curious that all that most candidates have done is rant against crime. Where are their solutions? If Libertarians had been allowed to debate at the University of Delaware this week, or if the News Journal had ever noticed press releases or announcements of campaign activities fro

UD spins debate exclusions . . . by lying about them

This saga continues to be interesting.   Here's what WBOC reports the UD spokesman as saying about Green US House candidate Bernie August and the debate in which he was arrested for protesting: NEWARK , Del. (AP) - A spokeswoman for the University of Delaware says a Green Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives was arrested after participating in a disturbance before a debate at the university.   University of Delaware spokeswoman Andrea Boyle Tippett says candidate Bernie August and another person, Desmond Kahn of Newark, were arrested Tuesday evening and face disorderly conduct charges. Kahn also faces a resisting arrest charge.   The two were part of a group that stood up to chant and speak at the start of the debate at the university's Mitchell Hall.   Two other candidates for U.S. House were debating, but August had not qualified to debate. The university says he did not apply. My initial favorite part of this article is that Bernie and Desmond were

Sean O'Sullivan commits journalistic malfeasance, or incompetence, or something . . .

. . . in reporting on last night's US House debate between fellow members of the Demopublican Party John Carney and Tom Kovach. First, he reported that the two squared off in front of about 400 people Fact check:  more than one-quarter of the seats in the theater were empty.  Even counting all the folks associated with the debate (hosts and hostesses, police, etc.), there were only 267 people sitting in the theater as Ralph Begleiter got up to tell the audience he would have anybody arrested who said anything or used their phones.  [This is not an estimate; I counted the crowd twice, head by head, after they closed the doors; 267 was my highest count.] [If you did not count reporters, police, and debate functionaries, the count of actual audience members was in the 225 range.] Then he reported on the ruckus at the beginning of the debate: The debate got off to a rocky start, as more than a dozen people in the hall began shouting to protest the exclusion of Green Party a

What I saw at the UD/DFM debate. . . .

About 30% of the seats in the theater were empty. . . About 10% of the remainder left after the US House lovefest between Carney and Kovach, probably so they could catch the presidential debate. After Ralph Begleiter got up on stage and said this is the part of democracy where we have to hear from the candidates, they need to be able to get their messages out, because that's why we have debates-- [of course he carefully eliminated half the ballot-qualified candidates] --and we have police here to cart out anybody who uses their phone or claps or says anything-- [which is roughly when Green US House candidate Bernie August jumped up and Occupy Delaware went into "Mic Check" action with about 15 protesters standing up and shouting about exclusion.  There were more protesters than police, so it took about four minutes to get them all out of the hall, some of them dragged in headlocks.  All the people in the VIP seats pretended not to see.] Then John Carney and To

Why our foreign policy sucks--quick hits

1.   As I started reporting yesterday, we are involving ourselves in yet another civil war in Africa--this time in Mali--that ought best to be left to France and her ECOWAS allies to deal with.  But no!  We have declared the fundamentalist Islamic separatists in northern Mali (who are fighting both the government and the indigenous Tuareg population) to be Al Qaeda of the Mahgrib!  We must stop the people feuding over these hundreds of square miles of useless, parched, semi-arable land, because if we don't they will trade in their camels (not a stereotype, they have camels) for nuclear weapons and be on our shores tomorrow to kill our women and rape our goats.  Or if not tomorrow, at least by next Tuesday. 2.  The Syrian civil war points out yet two more reasons why it is utter idiocy to take sides in local civil wars:  (a) the Syrian rebels that we have been backing are now not just fighting the central government, but also attacking Syrian Christians ; and (b) most of the weapo

The US and our militarized foreign policy

The US has now added Jordan as the latest place that we have deployed troops, which--although White House officials talk about it--is still a secret according to the Pentagon, which won't talk about it. Meanwhile, while rabid military interventionist are using the dog whistle of Al Qaeda creating a new base in northern Mali to encourage continued American military interventions in Africa . . . . . . . France is organizing an internal diplomatic and military effort from the ECOWAS allies in Africa to intervene. Let's point out a couple details here for the uninformed: 1.  France, with the world's 8th most powerful military , has far fewer logistical difficulties operating in this area, far more diplomatic and economic ties to the area, and much more influence with most African nations. 2.   The government of Mali accepted the offer to deploy ECOWAS forces in the northern provinces in September , just three days before the US attempted to stall the deployment until

Firedog Lake: Political censorship in Delaware

Firedog Lake takes up both the Ralph Begleiter/UD debate exclusions of third parties and the Wilmington News Journal's refusal to publish candidate responses of third party candidates in its voter guide. From a personal standpoint, here's the scoop on media and third parties in this state (from worst to best): 1.  The News Journal.  With the exception of the story about the UD debates, the News Journal has refused to cover any third party news other than Alex Pires.  They refused to print an announcement of the Libertarian VP candidate Jim Gray coming to DSU, despite the fact that they received press releases from both the LPD and DSU Public Relations.  Although I have several friends on staff at the WNJ, it has clearly been the most hostile major media outlet to third parties this cycle.  (I would give Delaware First Media this title, except that I don't consider them major media.) 2.  WDEL radio.  Some good news:  they invite all candidates to their debates.  Then t

Things I learned from the Vice-Presidential debate

Joe Biden, when he's almost but not quite grinning and looking straight at the camera . . . looks a lot like William Shatner. Paul Ryan drinks an awful lot of water. And, oh yes, both men are the interventionist warmongers I thought they were. Other than that, pretty boring actually.

If you claim to be a Libertarian, and you support Mitt Romney, here's even more evidence that one of you is an idiot

First, a nonsensical piece by yet another conservative GOPer hack (Brady Cremeens, rhymes with "cretin," I think) out to make all us Libertarians feel guilty that because they nominated an idiot, if we don't vote for him, it's our fault Barack Obama gets re-elected. And the paragraph by paragraph refutation at United Liberty. And now the reality: Today Mitt Romney announced that he supports the Patriot Act, but he doesn't know enough about the NDAA to say whether or not he would support indefinite detention.  He also implied that he supports torture for information gathering. Yeah, that's right. I could tolerate a man who understood the issue and didn't agree with my position.  I could even respect him. But what do you do with a guy who wants to be President who hasn't even (apparently) bothered to examine critical legislation? I-d-i-o-t. And if you support him?

Delaware Right to Marry joins Delaware Liberty Fund in endorsing Libertarian Ronnie Fitzgerald in the 35th

Wow.  Talk about breaking open some doors.  Two major LGBT groups endorsing a Libertarian for the General Assembly. Here's the text of the endorsement: Delaware Right to Marry endorses Ronnie Fitzgerald, the Libertarian Party candidate for the 35th Representative District (Bridgeville/Greenwood/Lincoln), the seat currently held by Republican Rep. David Wilson.   Ronnie is Rep. Wilson's sole challenger this year. Ronnie is a Harrington native who now lives with his family in Greenwood, where he owns the small business he founded 5 years ago, "A Better Gutter, LLC," a seamless guttering and leaf guard company.   If elected to the Delaware House, Ronnie will fight for marriage equality for same-gender couples and other equal rights for the LGBT community.   Ronnie told us simply, "Discrimination is wrong, especially on a statewide sanctioned level." The Delaware Libertarian Party's 2012 platform is very clear that the right to civil marriage should be

Gary Johnson not fading in polls--could be spoiler in as many as 10 states

Here are the current poll numbers for Libertarian Gary Johnson compared to the respective leads for either Obama or Romney in several states: Ohio:  after the outlier 10.6% showing for Johnson in an earlier poll, CNN shows him now at 3%, which exactly covers the difference between Obama and Romney. Pennsylvania:  Obama's lead over Romney has shrunk to 2%; Johnson is currently polling at 3% . Colorado:  Obama leads Romney by a razor thin margin of perhaps 1%; Johnson is currently polling at 7%. Nevada:  Obama leads Romney by 4.6%; Johnson is currently polling at 3% . New Hampshire:  Obama leads Romney by 6%; Johnson is currently polling 7% . Virginia:  Obama leads Romney by 1-2%.   Johnson is currently polling 4%. Wisconsin:  Obama leads Romney by 6.6%.   Johnson is currently polling 6%. In North Carolina and Florida the polls so far do not include Johnson, but in Florida where he is the only other name on the ballot, the polls shows show the race between Obama and

Gary Johnson appearing poised to play spoiler in Virginia

PPP has the Virginia race thus Obama 48% Romney 44% Johnson 4% Goode 1% Stein below 1% Goode's early support seems to be evaporating. Johnson's support is extremely interesting if you look at the poll's internals :

The perils of socialized medicine (and just because it's Monday)

Libertarian math for Republicans: 20,606 is bigger than 20,601

Despite all Republican dirty tricks, Tom Stevens and the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania appear to have qualified five more signatures than necessary to put Gary Johnson and Jim Gray on the ballot in the Keystone State. This means that PA voters will now have four choices available to them for President (in alphabetical order):  Gary Johnson, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and Jill Stein. In order to achieve this, the Libertarian Party has had to spend tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, and show up with dozens of volunteers (all of whom paid their own way) every day for weeks to examine contested signatures. Whether you happen to be at all Libertarian or not, those volunteers won an important battle for democracy in America, and put one more dent in the locked door that Republicans and Democrats have tried to slam shut against fair and free elections in this country.

Many deer apparently died for our sins

. . . and the cool part is that Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia is not only running unopposed, but also sits on the House Science Committee.

President Obama's October Surprise?

. . . sending drones or special operations troops into Libya to do retaliation killings for the death of Ambassador Stevens . . . I love this paragraph from The Daily Beast: The choice facing Obama is difficult. On one hand, any military action could alienate the new government in Tripoli and carry risks if the intelligence turns out to be wrong. There is also a risk that any decision on this front will be seen as a political gambit with less than a month before election. On the other hand, a successful special-operations strike or drone hit could rally the nation around the president. Notice the new normal? Not a single raised eyebrow at the idea that President Obama would not be deciding whether this was the right thing to do or not in terms of ethics, the country, or our grand strategy, but that his election chances will be a paramount consideration. What offends me is that liberals across the nation are still pretending (or worse, excusing) their incumbent President from a

Libertarians who don't get it (or who have ulterior motives)

faux Libertarian Republican publisher Eric Dondero makes no bones about his motives:  he wants to elect Mitt Romney.  He has this insane idea that there is a major difference between the two statists running for president. As such, even though he pays lip service to supporting a larger voter turnout for Governor Gary Johnson, he's really only interested in Libertarians being a useful adjunct (he would say "ally") for the Republican Party.  So you have to be really careful about anything he publishes about the Libertarian presidential campaign.  For example, reading LR you'd never have any idea that Republicans were playing dirty tricks and using every legal maneuver in the books to force their "ally" off the ballot. So when you read anything at  faux Libertarian Republican you have to realize that it is all agenda-driven, and the agenda is NOT a pro-LP, pro-Gary Johnson agenda. Nonetheless, a brief post by Bruce Cohen , former Chair of the Orange

Does it matter if Mitt Romney won the debate by cheating?

Here are the rules: "No props, notes, charts, diagrams, or other writings or other tangible things may be brought into the debate by any candidate." Now watch the video:

The Nation: Gary Johnson and Jill Stein should debate, and maybe Romney shouldn't

In a particularly interesting article, The Nation columnist John Nichols makes two compelling points about the exclusion of third-party candidates from public debates. First, after having listed Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Virgil Goode as the leading alternative candidates, he points out that using electability as a standard is a two-edged sword: There’s not much chance that any of the three will be elected. But at this point, there’s not as much chance as there once was that Romney will be elected. It would be absurd to disqualify Romney on the grounds that he’s falling behind in the polls, just as it is absurd to disqualify candidates who are on the ballot but have not gotten the exposure that might run their numbers up. Then there is this embarrassing note: Only the most crudely authoritarian states erect the sort of   barriers that the United States maintains   to entry into the debates by so-called “minor-party” candidates.  

Delaware Liberty Fund endorses Libertarian Ronnie Fitzgerald in 35th State Rep District!!!!

Delaware Liberty Fund is a marriage equality PAC that is quite influential in some circles of state politics. This year the DLF has endorsed thirty-eight candidates.  Not surprisingly, 36 of 38 were Democrats. DLF endorsed on GOPer, Mike Ramone, based on his support for civil unions last year (it does make me wonder why they didn't stick with Joe Miro in the 22nd District, who also voted that way), and-- for the first time in history, DLF endorsed a Libertarian candidate. Ronnie Fitzgerald in the 35th District is a longtime, staunch Libertarian, who has never been afraid to put his efforts where his principles lie.  He worked for many hours at the Delaware State Fair soliciting signatures for the Delaware marriage equality petition.  He is well-deserving of this particular endorsement, and his success in gaining it represents a major step forward for the Libertarian Party of Delaware, which nominated a credible candidate in a district where the Democrats could not find anyone

So I read J. K. Rowling's "The Casual Vacancy" before I looked at any of the reviews . . .

. . . because I wanted to know what I thought of it, not what I thought of it in the light of what they thought of it. Here's what I think:  it is in many ways a depressing book.  Few of the characters populating the fictional town of Pagford (and its extension into The Fields) are sympathetic.  Both irony and message are often layered on with a trowel, and all the sex in the book is just about as inviting as the scenes of domestic violence. Yet there are flashes of well-crafted noir  humor, deftly drawn character sketches, and scenes that you can feel as well as see in your mind's eye.  Rowling's ability to limn the internal mental lives of the abused Andrew; or Krystal, the daughter of the addict/prostitute; or of Sukhvinda, the "average" daughter in an over-achieving family who cuts herself--these are characterizations that haunted me after I put the novel down.  (Unfortunately, Stuart/Fats, who Rowling uses as one of the main viewpoint teens throughout the

The absence of the rule of law: Mr. Obama's administration--some quick hits

1.  Soon drones will not even require a human operator to kill people.  They will be able to decide for themselves, relieving Mr. Obama of those tedious "kill sessions," while creating Skynet. 2.  Just because the US Congress voted to cut off funding for sending troops back to Iraq does not mean that Mr. Obama is going to stop.  He will take the money from elsewhere and--as usual for this administration--ignore the Constitution. 3.  In other laws that he does not like, and thus will ignore, Mr. Obama tells defense contractors he will pay their fines and legal fees for delaying required notices of lay-offs to workers until after the election. One of the right's favorite memes is "Obama as Jimmy Carter redux." This is clearly inaccurate. Richard Nixon would be a far more appropriate choice as a precursor example.