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Libertarian women’s history month: (Lisa) Kennedy (Montgomery)

29 Mar
Lisa Kennedy Montgomery (September 8, 1972 – ) is an American political satirist, radio personality, former MTV VJ, and current host of Kennedy on the Fox Business Network. She was the host of MTV’s now-defunct daily late-night alternative rock program Alternative Nation throughout much of the 1990s.
Montgomery was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and raised in Lake Oswego, Oregon, an affluent suburb outside of Portland. Montgomery graduated from Lakeridge High School in 1990. She returned to school as a working adult and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from UCLA.
Montgomery first came into the public eye in 1991 as an intern at Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM, where she was known on the air as “The Virgin Kennedy.” A year later she took the “VJ” job at MTV, where she spent several years.
As “Kennedy”, Montgomery ushered in a new musical era for MTV as the host of Alternative Nation from 1992-1997, helping popularize bands like Nirvana,Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.
Montgomery appeared as a panelist on the 1998 revival of Hollywood Squares.
In 1999, Montgomery completed her first book, Hey Ladies! Tales and Tips for Curious Girls, in which she incorporated a multitude of personal experiences. That same year, she moved to Seattle to host a talk show on KQBZ “The Buzz” 100.7 FM talk station (now country station KKWF “The Wolf”). The show was a mix of news, local issues, and comedy. Montgomery then left Seattle in 2001 to co-host a morning radio show with Ahmet Zappa on the ComedyWorld Radio Network. The show was entitled The Future With Ahmet & Kennedy, and like her show in Seattle, consisted of news and current events with a comedy bent. She later co-hosted the morning show with Malibu Dan entitled The Big House, her final show on the network before the network went off the air.
Starting June 3, 2002, Montgomery hosted Game Show Network‘s original program Friend or Foe?, which ran for two seasons. On April 1, 2003, she guest-hosted the GSN show WinTuition, normally hosted by Marc Summers, who made a “guest” appearance. She also hosted GSN’s Who Wants to Be Governor of California?, a televised debate among some of the more colorful candidates in the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election, such as Gary Coleman and Mary Carey.
As of September 23, 2005, Montgomery appeared as an occasional panelist on VH1‘s Best Week Ever and MSNBC‘s Scarborough Country. MSNBC endedScarborough Country in June 2007. In October 2005, she became host of Fox Reality‘s Reality Remix until that series ended in June 2008.
In December 2007, she guest-hosted the evening show several times on Los Angeles talk radio station KFI, before being hired by the station for a regular show on Sunday afternoons from 3-5 pm. In April 2008 she joined Bryan Suits as cohost of the Kennedy & Suits Show, which ran from 7 pm-10 pm weekday evenings.
Kennedy’s final broadcast on Kennedy & Suits was September 30, 2009. She hosted Music in the Mornings (6 am to 10 am) on KYSR 98.7 FM in Los Angeles from 2009 until March 2014.
On January 18, 2011, she started appearing as Anthony Sullivan‘s assistant on PitchMen, looking for new inventions to promote in infomercials.
Kennedy is a contributor to and, and occasionally serves as guest host for Bill Carroll, John and Ken, and Tim Conway Jr. on KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles. She was a “special correspondent” on the Fox Business News talk show Stossel, and has made occasional appearances as a panelist on Fox shows including Red Eye and Outnumbered.
She hosted The Independents, a current events and political discussion show, from its debut on the Fox Business Channel on December 9, 2013. The show was cancelled in January of 2015 but she continued as host of her own show, Kennedy.

Montgomery is an Eastern Orthodox Christian, married to former professional snowboarder Dave Lee with whom she has two daughters, Pele and Lotus. The family lives in the posh Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles, but Kennedy rents  a pied à terre on the Upper West Side and logs 5,000 miles a week in the air, taking a redeye every Sunday night to New York and returning to the West Coast on Wednesday afternoons. Meanwhile, she is continuing to host a three-hour morning drive-time music show on Los Angeles radio. It is, needless to say, a killing schedule. “I want my girls to see that if something is really important to you,” she says, “you have to move hell and high water to make it work.”

In March 2012, reason magazine published an article by Kennedy claiming that atheism is an organized religion.
In September 2012, during an appearance on Red Eye, Montgomery said that she had been diagnosed with celiac diseaseleading her to change to a more meat-based diet.
Montgomery is a libertarian and a registered Republican, describing herself as a “Republitarian“. She even has a pink Republican elephant tattooed on her upper left thigh. She actively supported Gary Johnson’s 2012 presidential campaign.  Before she started hosting shows full time on the Fox Business Network she was a frequent speaker at libertarian conferences like those of Students for Liberty.
She is a supporter of same-sex marriagepro-choiceprivatizing social security, opposes the War on Drugs, and opposes bureaucratic regulations.
When Montgomery joined MTV in 1992, she said “I didn’t dare out myself as a conservative” in her early months at MTV. At MTV’s 1993 Rock ’n’ Roll Inaugural Ball for Bill Clinton, she chanted, “Nixon now! Nixon now!”, whenever the Clintons went on stage. Along with being a fan of Richard Nixon, she supported Dan Quayle and Bob Dole. She was also a speaker at the 1996 Republican National Convention.

She later abandoned conservatism. Montgomery said that “Social conservatism was really bringing me down, and I realized, as time went on, that I wasn’t a Bush conservative. I was really a libertarian.” She says she was first introduced to libertarianism when Kurt Loder suggested she read Ayn Rand‘s Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, though that sounds so improbable it is more likely a joke and it was more likely from reading Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged.  Kennedy hopes to wrangle some rocker-pals as guests:  “There’s a strong connection between music and politics, and a strong spirit of independent thinking that political musicians share,” she says. “And it’s funny because they tend to be libertarians. Frank Zappa”—whose children Kennedy remains friendly with—“died 20 years ago today [December 4]. He was a libertarian, and he was smart and tough to debate—and we don’t have a lot of people like that.”

The Independent’s Kmele Foster on the Prospects for Liberty

1 Jul

He’s a little sexier in real life (than on TV), ladies (and gents) because he’s got a very nice personality and a great smile.  Taken though, I believe!

Ann Coulter, Welfare Queen?

20 Feb
My girlfriend Ann Coulter, who I am known in libertarian circles to have a man-crush on (if only she were a real boy!), intrigues me with her acerbic commentary and confrontational style.  I believe that’s the real her, and not a marketing strategy.  She’s not just the Madonna of the right.

I even enjoyed sitting a few rows away and watching Ann be interviewed before 1400 mainly very unsympathetic libertarians this past weekend at the 6th Annual International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C.  (Living within walking distance of the several locations where all 6 have been held, I’ve been lucky to attend 4 of them.). The interview was a taping for John Stossel’s show, and she was interviewed in a two hour sequence of interviews that included Congressman Justin Amash and former Ambassador John Bolton (who was also interviewed last year).  I believe these will be aired as the next two Stossel shows, one tomorrow night, and one the following Thursday, on Fox Business, with various insomniac broadcasts on both Fox Business and the Fox News channels.

Like Bolton, my girlfriend Ann always pitches herself as a libertarian, “but….”  She wants a world of nations where people have maximum individual freedom except where allowing it would diminish it. She’s Hegelian even though not Marxist.  Bolton of course worries about civil liberties and non-intervention allowing tyrants abroad to gain power, a worthy debate but one where he would have more cred if he had spent more time in the past calling for defunding tyrants.

Ann’s hang ups include worrying that people using pot will become slackers, and end up on welfare adding to the oppression of all of us tax serfs.  It’s similar to the somewhat more credible fears that illegal immigrants will be used to oppress taxpayers, especially since we now know illegal immigrants are using $2 billion in tax funded health care, set to explode under fully government controlled medicine.

Here’s the problem though – we don’t have any accurate statistics on the budgetary and opportunity costs of the drug war or of illegal immigration.  I just ran for office in DC and I tried to find numbers on arrests, incarcerations, and budgets, either for the drug war as a whole or for pot specifically.  I’m not sure anyone knows.  Nor do I think anyone knows how many people have criminal records for non-violent drug crimes, nor how many have been prevented from obtaining employment because of them, such that they did either end up on welfare, or have much reduced life term earnings and careers.

Clearly Ms. Coulter knows everyone who smokes pot isn’t a slacker; at one point in the Q&A she replied to someone who asked why she so often smeared libertarians as stoners that “you’re not stoners, you’re nerds.”  So apparently some people can smoke pot and still become successful IT entrepreneurs.

Likewise we don’t know how many red blooded, native born, Americans, or even legally immigrated ones, can only make a living running farms, restaurants, and construction companies because they have access to illegal immigrant workers.   Maybe in both cases we need to make the economy more vibrant, and the tax funded benefits more meager, so that stoners and illegals will simply find it more attractive to get a job, start a business, or have a career.  In the free market community Ann, which you are welcome to join, we call those incentives.

Both Bolton and Coulter have a blind spot (which doesn’t mean they can’t argue that their opponents have their own blind spots, and ask whose is bigger).  They see the problems of welfare parasitism or Islamic violence, but don’t ask if our policies are funding and fomenting it.  Is the only evil that lazy slackers go on welfare, or is it also an evil that government schools, government regulations that keep poor people from starting small businesses, and the drug war that gives them criminal records, keeps them from ever getting out of welfare.  Thereby incidentally leaving whatever opportunities do remain available for nice girls from suburban Connecticut schools who have the grades to get into law schools (and access student loan programs and other forms of upper middle class welfare).  Most of these Connecticut girls end up being the Elizabeth Warrens who perpetuate the system, living in DC on their 6 and 7 figure salaries as regulators and lobbyists, blocks from the people they have condemned to lives of poverty and illiteracy.  Ann’s path is better, but not good enough.

Jonathan Bydlak on Stossel

24 Jan

Thursday evening, I will be a featured guest on the John Stossel Show on Fox Business Network.

Click here to find the Fox Business Network in your area.

Please tune in at 9:00 PM ET, as John and I discuss the the prospects for reducing spending during the next four years, and how the CRS is working to turn up the heat. You may remember that last month John wrote a syndicated column, “It’s the Spending, Stupid,” that praised our work.

The full text of his article is reproduced below.

The Coalition to Reduce Spending is working aggressively to shape the debate regarding fiscal responsibility in this country, and pressing the case for living within our means.

Please support our work with a generous contribution so we may continue impacting public opinion for the better:

All the best,

Jonathan M. Bydlak

P.S. If you can’t tune in live tomorrow night at 9 PM ET, don’t forget to set your DVR!

It’s the Spending, Stupid
By John Stossel. December 18, 2012

Listening to progressive media pundits, I’d think the most evil man in the universe is Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform. His crime? He heads a movement that asks political candidates to pledge not to raise taxes.

I think Grover accomplished a lot. But I wish he’d convinced politicians to pledge not to increase spending.

President Obama says raising taxes to cut the deficit is a “balanced” approach.

Balanced …

But what’s “balanced” about raising taxes after vast increases in spending? Trillions for war, Medicare, “stimulus” and solar panels. Tax receipts rose — after tax- rate cuts — from $1.9 billion in 2003 to $2.3 billion in 2008, the year the recession started. That increase couldn’t keep up with the spending. The deficit doubled — actually, more than doubled — as politicians increased spending to nearly $4 trillion! Our debt, at more than $16 trillion, now exceeds our gross domestic product.

Ludicrous, irresponsible spending is why we’re in trouble. As columnist Ron Hart points out, Bill Clinton’s balanced budget spent $1.7 trillion. “Adjusted for inflation,” he writes, “our federal government would (have) a $200 billion surplus. But instead of increasing government spending in line with normal inflation, under Bush and Obama we are spending $3.8 trillion today. Democrats, who believe we have a ‘revenue’ problem instead of a ‘spending’ problem, must also think they have a bartender problem, not a drinking problem.”

The media obsess about tax rates, but spending is more important. As Milton Friedman taught us, spending is a far more accurate gauge of the government burden. If government spends a dollar, that dollar is taxed away from someone. If it’s borrowed, it’s removed from productive use, setting the stage for higher taxes later. If the government prints more dollars to fund spending, our purchasing power falls. Transferring purchasing power from the people to the government via inflation is a form of taxation.

If Republicans and Democrats reach a deal, the tax increases will be real — but spending “cuts” probably illusions. If they actually happen, they will only be reductions in already planned increases.

The Wall Street Journal notes that when the two parties talk about cutting spending by $4 trillion over a decade, “those numbers have no real meaning because they are conjured in the wilderness of mirrors that is the federal budget process. Since 1974, Capitol Hill’s ‘baseline’ has automatically increased spending every year according to Congressional Budget Office projections … . Tax and spending changes are then measured off that inflated baseline.”

Given our growing debt, can’t they even slow the growth of government to the rate of inflation? Or inflation plus 1 percent? Or even inflation plus 2 percent? That might balance the budget within a decade.

But the spenders won’t even give me that. They want more. Always more.

Jonathan Bydlak, founder of the Coalition to Reduce Spending, has a good idea. “It’s important to do for spending what Norquist has done for taxes: create a means for voters to hold elected officials accountable when they break campaign promises of fiscal responsibility.”

Bydlak has no time for any politician who pledges not to raise taxes without pledging to cut spending. He praises Doug Collins, representative-elect from Georgia, and Ted Cruz, senator-elect from Texas, for signing the Reject the Debt pledge and thereby promising voters they would:

“ONE, not vote for any budget that is not balanced nor for any appropriations bill that increases total spending;

“and TWO, consider all spending open for reduction, and not vote to authorize or fund new programs without offsetting cuts in other programs.”

Well, sure. Good luck to him.

But people are reluctant to give up their favorite programs. Or any programs.

Let’s not fool ourselves about how dependent politicians have made people on government.

To succeed, the crusade to cut spending needs an ideological understanding of how unsustainable our current course is, not just a narrow appeal to short-term self-interest. People will have to see the wisdom of giving up government benefits now — in exchange for something more abstract: a future free society in which our children won’t be burdened by debt and taxes.

John Stossel is host of “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network. He’s the author of “No They Can’t: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed.” To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



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