Archive | Gary Johnson RSS feed for this section

First Monday Recommended Reading

2 Jan

Trumpertarians claim Johnson votes for a majority (Toledo Blade)

Estonian robots plan to take your women (BusinessInsider)

Democrats: “I see Russian from my mouse!” (Washington Post)

Ron Paul takes a shot at Gary Johnson?

3 Oct

People who viewed this on FOX tell me it was obvious that the interviewer deliberately interrupted Congressman Paul mid-sentence so it would seem like he was endorsing Jill Stein over Gary Johnson.

This is part of a pattern of media spin to attack Gary Johnson:  he didn’t recognize “Aleppo” as a reference to the Syrian refugee crisis and civil war (which obviously most people refer to as “Syria,” since millions then had to google “Aleppo” after the story was spun); he couldn’t recall Vincente Fox’s name (though he knew the only foreign leader he admired was the President of Mexico who has spoken around the world condemning the drug war) when asked about foreign leaders he admired – and this was spun as not knowing the names of ANY foreign leaders.  Likewise when William Weld said Hillary had paper-qualifications or Trump had not violated any tax laws, the press quoted these sound bites out of context as if they were endorsements.

Ron Paul: Jill Stein is more libertarian than Gary Johnson: Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is preferable to Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson on at least some issues, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul said Monday. I said if the independents, who don’t know what to do and who should they pick, I say if you tend to lean towards progressivism and liberalism and you’re interested in expressing yourself, you can vote for the Green Party, he said on MSNBC. I think she’s probably best on foreign policy at the moment. But on Gary Johnson, he does not come across with a crisp libertarian message. Related Story: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2584781 Paul, who was the libertarian nominee for president in 1988, stressed that he hasn’t endorsed anyone yet. I have not told any supporters who are interested for whom they should vote, he said.

Clinton Inc.

29 Sep
A shorter version of this was published today at AMI Newswire.

A documentary opening Friday about how Bill and Hillary Clinton’s marriage has powered their political dynasty is the latest entree in a growing menu of politically charged, campaign-season films.

Clinton Inc. scheduled to open in Chicago on Friday and around the country by mid-October, casts the Clinton marriage as an unusual arrangement that allows the couple to support each other’s separate political ambitions, and find ways to use their positions to enrich themselves along the way.



Loosely based the 2014 book Clinton Inc. by Daniel Halper, a former Weekly Standard editor who now runs the Washington bureau of the New York Post, the film draws on interviews and archival footage to explore the psychological roots of Bill Clinton’s philandering. It argues that Hillary made herself and their marriage essential to his political career by enabling and covering up his affairs (a territory also explored in the Roger Stone book The Clintons’ War on Women).


The documentary is part of a growing genre of influential and successful films that criticize contemporary politics and politicians. Peter Schweitzer, the author of a book on the Clinton Foundation, “Clinton Cash,” has produced a movie version of his book which anyone can be watched for free on the website of the conservative news outlet, Breitbart. 

A chronicle, by means of interviews and archival footage, of the rise of the Clintons as a nascent political dynasty, Clinton Inc. builds a case that the Clinton marriage is basically an unusual arrangement where Bill and Hillary support each other’s separate political ambitions, and find ways to use their positions to enrich themselves along the way.  Produced on a budget of $1.5 million, the movie is heavy on exploring the psychological roots of Bill Clinton’s philandering, and arguing that Hillary made herself and their marriage essential to his political career by enabling and covering up his affairs (a territory also explored in the Roger Stone book The Clintons’ War on Women)  The film’s producer has released four different trailers on YouTube.

It’s not the first time an explosive documentary has been aimed at the Clintons during an election.  Many have forgotten that the famous Supreme Court case Citizens United, decided in 2010, was also about a movie, another movie about the Clintons, Hillary: The Movie (2008).  A political group, Citizens United, planned to air the movie on TV during the primaries, and Democrats went to court to prevent that, claiming it was advertising that should be regulated under campaign finance law.  The Supreme Court struck down those aspects of laws regulating campaign finance, arguing that they violated the First Amendment guarantees of free speech.

Doug Sain, the producer of Clinton Inc. is no stranger to making political documentaries.  Sain was the executive producer of the 2016: Obama’s America, which was the #1 documentary of 2012 (earning $33.5 million at the box office), the #2 political documentary of all time, and #5 documentary of all time for highest domestic gross box office.  (It also came in second for the most DVDs sold for all movies during its home entertainment release week).

On a less elevated level than the Citizens United case, that Sain doc also ended up in court,  with Sain suing his co-producer of 2016, conservative writer and activist Dinesh D’Souza.  Sain claimed that his ownership should be increased from 25% to 50% and his production company should be paid additional fees for finding investors and other services.

The courts rejected Sain’s case, but he has a chance for a rematch of sorts.  D’Souza went on to produce his own movie about one of the Clintons, Hillary’s America, released this past July.  Starring Jonah Goldberg, an editor at National Review (a conservative rival to the Weekly Standard) and the son of Lucianne Goldberg, the PR pro who helped midwife the outing of Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.  Hillary’s America netted only $5 million at the box office.  The tightening in the polls might create extra interest in Sain’s later release. 

This election year is seeing a lot of free speech from filmmakers.  Besides Sain’s and D’Souza’s Hillary movies, Peter Schweitzer, the author of a book on the Clinton Foundation, Clinton Cash, also produced a movie version of his book which anyone can watch for free on the web at another conservative news outlet, Breitbart.  (In an echo of the 2008 Citizens United film release, a Clinton campaign spokesperson called in August for shutting down websites like Breitbart.)

A cable network could actually do a pre-election day marathon of campaign 2016 films.  Donald Trump has also become fodder for filmmakers. Johnny Depp’s online mockumentary Donald Trump: The Art of the Deal, released in February, has had over 5 million visits on the Funny or Die, an entertainment industry community produced website which has many takedowns of the Trump candidacy.   A relatively unknown film, One Nation Under Trump, was produced for $25,000 and released last month to bad reviews from the very few who saw it.  And movies about Donald Trump as a public figure, not as a presidential candidate, have been produced every few years, going back to 1991’s Trump: What’s the Deal?

Not to be left out, a movie about Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s unprecedented independent challenge, Rigged 2016, with a $1 million budget provided by Overstock.com founder Patrick Byrne, a Johnson supporter, also comes out in October.   And finally a movie somewhat aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement, IncarceratingUS, is available on line and is being shown at law schools, universities, and non-profit venues.  (Hillary Clinton has a cameo she probably didn’t want, clapping for President Bill Clinton when he enacted mandatory minimum sentences for all crimes including non-violent drug offenses.)

Voters this year are despairing their electoral choices.  Someone could organize a film festival for them for entertainment.  Maybe throw in The Manchurian Candidate and Wag The Dog for levity.

In Trump She Trusts

26 Sep
This was published today at The Daily Caller.

I love Ann Coulter.

Lately I’ve been descending into the smoking, stalling, short-circuiting Hades of the D.C. Metro holding as a protective relic her latest In Tump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome (Sentinel, 2016).  (She’d excommunicate me – I’m interfaith, so I was also wearing a Johnson-Weld tee shirt.)  It’s now 3rd on the best seller list.

It’s actually the first Coulter book I’ve read, though I’ve read many of her columns and seen her media appearances.  I was once sort of accused of reading a pre-publication copy of one of her earlier books – my immediate next door neighbor, like Coulter a former Congressional staffer when both were freshly minted law school grads, is one of the half dozen people who reads her drafts and makes suggestions, and is duly thanked in the prefatory acknowledgements. That year’s preview draft was lost and everyone was anxious to find it and slightly terrified it might have been mis-delivered to someone like me.  Who might post excerpts or discuss it in advance.

My neighbor, who like me is more libertarian than is Ms. Coulter, tells me he always tells her about half a dozen things  so outrageous she must remove them, and much as if she was following Coco Chanel’s fashion advice, she looks in her mirror and removes just one accessory before she goes out to the publisher.

Reading Trump I feel about Ms. Coulter and my neighbor the way I did when I started listening to Rush Limbaugh.  Everyone had always told me Rush was a sexist-racist-homophobe-bigot.  I had a job where I drove around a lot with the radio on, and I preferred talk, any talk, Howard Stern, Scott Simon, Terri Gross, Rachel Maddow, to music.  When poor gay GOP Congressman Mark Foley had the bad judgement to send purple prose mash notes to Congressional pages (who are all over the age of consent in Washington, D.C.) I was listening to the minor comic Stephanie Miller on Air America radio.  Stephanie, a “liberal,” was coming pretty close to making jokes about lynching the pedophile gays – jokes that are even more gruesome given what it going on in the Middle East in the aftermath of the policies of Ms. Miller’s heroes, President Obama and Secretary Clinton.

So I wondered, if Air America was calling for lynching the gays (around the time Sidney Blumenthal was inventing birtherism), what would that neanderthal Rush Limbaugh be doing?  I switched him on.  He was discussing the machinations of Congress and the two establishment parties as they scheme to enrich themselves and hold onto power.  It was like a case study of public choice theory.  Albeit delivered with humor by someone who was an American male from an earlier generation.

It wasn’t what I had been told I would be hearing.

And this is what Coulter’s book on Trump is like.

The Donald Trump she presents is not the Trump we’ve been told about.  Lots of Ann’s fun is trading on the hypocrisy and ignorance of her subjects, politicians, the media, and the consultant class.

She quotes them saying Trump won’t succeed in the primaries, and then shows them eating their words a few weeks later.

They say Trump has no policies, and she digests his many policy proposals and papers that they refused to cover.  His central policy, taxing the remittances that foreigners, especially illegal immigrants, working in the U.S. send out of the country, and using the money to build a wall on the southern border and otherwise vet immigrants and beef up border security may be a good or a bad idea.  But it does seem to be a policy, and a straightforward one that attempts to make people benefiting from cross border work and trade pay for an externality they are imposing on others, that is the cost of making sure violent criminals or terrorists are not crossing the border with them.  How is that much different from Gary Johnson’s temporary flirtation with a carbon fee that would “internalize” the cost of carbon?

They say Trump should have been disqualified for denigrating Senator John McCain, a war hero.  Coulter reproduces the entire quote and the context of Trump’s statement, where he was retaliating against McCain for saying that Trump was crazy, and more importantly smearing 15,000 Arizonan Trump fans who had gone to a rally  – McCain’s own constituents – as “crazies.”

They say Trump was making fun of a disabled reporter, Serge Kovaleski of the Washington Post.  Coulter makes a compelling case that Trump didn’t know Kovaleski was disabled, and was making fun of him for being wishy washy, as Kovaleski had written one of the original reports on American Muslims who chose to celebrate the 9/11 attack the day it happened, but then tried to claim he had not written such an article when the liberal media smeared Trump for allegedly inventing this calumny on Islam.

And on and on.  Coulter targets the political class, the consultant class, and the media spinners who make a good living in the wealthy counties around Washington, D.C., in Manhattan, and a few other enclaves, by delivering failed policies – or kneecapped, failed campaigns to change those policies – that always only benefit themselves.  And she presents Trump, as a heroic figure who alone is willing to be rude and politically incorrect in bashing these people, calling them out, and disregarding their increasingly hysterical attempts to take him down with their usual smears.

Coulter’s romance of Trump is not so much akin to an Ayn Rand story about an industrial titan, the easy parallel the facile might make.  It’s far more street.

A few years ago media critic Bernard Goldberg took Coulter to task for being a shock jock.  He was correct (much like Jamie Kirchick may be in this year’s conservative Jew vs right-wing blond contretemps with the gay Coulter, Milo Yiannopolous).  (Full disclosure:  I’m a little jealous of Milo’s becoming the gay Ann Coulter before I could, though I am not as willing to add to the other “big” blogs at Breitbart – Big Government, Big Journalism, Big Hollywood – by creating and editing Big Black Cock.)

Ann Coulter is a kind of shock jock, a Jacqueline the Ripper as Jane Austen.  And so it’s apropos that her admission of Trump is more akin to Howard Stern associate Robin Quivers‘  admiration for Muhammad Ali.  Coulter sees Donald Trump as the prize fighter for the Deplorables, the new negroes in the establishment’s new version of Jim Crow America. And she thinks the election is going to be a knockout.

Libertarian calendar for June 2016

28 Jun
June 28
New York, NY

Liberty Happy Hour

    • 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

<li class=”event-stack event-where complete” data-address=”687 Lexington Ave, New York, NY” data-id=”23837660″ data-name=”Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel” id=”event-where” style=”background-attachment: initial; background-clip: initial; background-image: initial; background-origin: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-size: initial; color: #272727; margin: 0px; padding: 8px 0px 0px;”>

Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel

687 Lexington Ave, New YorkNY (map)

 

  • When: 4th Tuesday of every month. 7-10pm
    Where: Fitzpatrick Hotel Bar (687 Lexington Avenue btwn 56th/57th – Manhattan, NY)
    Description
    Come share a drink (pub-grub, too) with like-minded Libertarians . . . Monthly, the 4th Tuesday at 7pm, we gather at the Fitzpatrick Hotel bar, 687 Lexington Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets

 

*****************************************************
June 28
Washington, DC

DC Blockchain Users Group (Bitcoin & Beyond)

 

6:00 PM
Chinatown WeWork
718 7th Street NW
Washington, DC

********************************
June 29
Washington, DC

Pride Social
7 pm

  • The Chastleton

    1701 16th St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20009
Libertarian candidates Bruce Majors and MArtin Moulton will attend

Come celebrate the end of LGBT Pride Month here in the nation’s capital with the local Log Cabin Republicans in the Chastleton Ballroom!

The Ballroom will have some snacks, an open bar, and a wonderful opportunity to catch up with old friends or make new ones. No matter how dark the night or how wicked our enemies, we will keep fighting, living, and loving.

All are welcome!

********************************
June 22
Gary Johnson CNN Townhall

Debate watching parties around the country including:

Montgomery, AL
7 pm

pin
Sinclairs East

7847 Vaughn Rd, Montgomery, Alabama 36116


Buzzards Bay, MA
8 pm


Little Rock, AR
7:45 pm

pin
American Pie Pizza

4830 N Hills Blvd, North Little Rock, Arkansas 72116

—-
Arlington, Virginia
9 pm

Hard Times Cafe
Clarendon Metro

Dallas, TX
7:45 pm

9405 Ruidosa Trl, Irving, TX 75063-4644, United States


Omaha. NE
7:45 pm

pin
Library Pub

5142 N 90th St, Omaha, Nebraska 68134


Las Vegas, NV
5:30 pm

The Phoenix Bar & Lounge

4213 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, Nevada 89102

********************************************

*************************************************************************
June 29
Washington, DC

Reforming the USPS
Cato Institute
Rayburn House office building B-369
Noon

The U.S. Postal Service has lost more than $50 billion since 2007 as mail volume has plummeted. House and Senate committees are working on legislation to stem the losses, and a stamp price hike is in the mix. Meanwhile, many European nations have reinvigorated their postal systems by privatizing them and opening them to competition.

What challenges does the USPS face, and what changes are being considered by Congress? Should the USPS be moved to the private sector, and should entrepreneurs be allowed to compete?

Join our distinguished panel of experts—James Gattuso, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation; Kevin Kosar, Senior Fellow, R Street Institute; and Chris Edwards, Editor, DownsizingGovernment.org, Cato Institute; and Peter Russo, Director of Congressional Affairs, Cato Institute—to hear about the postal deficit crisis and ideas for major reforms.

REGISTER: http://www.cato.org/events/reforming-us-postal-service

If you can’t make it to the event, you can watch it live online atwww.cato.org/live and join the conversation on Twitter using #CatoEvents. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute.

Libertarian calendar for July 2016

28 Jun
July 1-7

Bellevue, WA

Objectivist conference

The Objectivist Summer Conference of 2016 is growing closer! Put on by the Ayn Rand Institute, this is a unique opportunity for students to gather together to explore Rand’s ideas and decide for themselves what they think about many different aspects of Objectivism. Thanks to generous scholarships, attending this conference will be at little to no cost for students.


REGISTER NOW!

***************************************************************************************
July 5
Vancouver, Canada

Liberty on the Rocks
6:00 pm

Details

Brexit’s still fresh in mind and the U.S. presidential election is in the heat of things. Come out and learn more and talk with like minded friends. Cheers for liberty!

***********************************************************************************
July 7
Washington, DC

Governors Gary Johnson and William Weld Meet and Greet

5:30 pm

**********************************************************************************
July 10
Lorton, VA

Pink Pistols on the gun range
1:00 pm
Sharpshooters

 Here is the website with info and directions:     http://sharpshootersva.com/ 

**************************************************************************************

July 11
Brooklyn, NY
Libertarian Party ballot access suit
11 am
 US District Court, EDNY
225 Cadman Plaza
Room 6B South

Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. will hear our motion on July 11, and if the PI is granted then, we can start using modified petition sheets with a witness statement for non-duly qualified New York voters.

It would be helpful to the case if the gallery of the courtroom was packed with Merced and LPNY supporters at that hearing.  Monday, July 11, 2016, at 11:00 am, United States Court House for the Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, in Courtroom 6B South before District Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr.  See you there, spread the word!

Our lawsuit has been filed, to strike down New York Election Law 6-140(1)(b), which requires our nominating petition witnesses to be “duly qualified voters of the state” of New York, on the ground that it violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.  Our federal court complaint, filed today in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn, is attached.

The hearing on our motion for a preliminary injunction, to enjoin the NYSBOE from enforcing that provision while the suit is pending, will likely be heard on July 1, so until then at least, we must comply with the current New York law.  I will meet with the judge tomorrow(Tuesday) morning to fix the dates for our motion.  Also attached is my Memo of Law in support of the PI.

Brexit Victory, new reason editor Katherine Mangu-Ward, and a communication problem for libertarians

28 Jun
Some libertarians, like Katherine Mangu-Ward, the new editor in chief at reason (speaking last week on the Kennedy show) favored “remaining” in the EU, as a form of maximizing free trade.

In a way it’s a curious position for Ms. Mangu-Ward, a non-electoral libertarian who believes “voting only encourages them,” yet thinks international governmental organizations and agreements are a good path to free trade.  It may be a minority position too – not only conservatives but libertarians like Ron Paul as well as those in England and elsewhere favor Brexit.

It also highlights a problem area for libertarians, who often appear on C-Span, in the form of lawyers and scholars affiliated with CATO etc, arguing for free trade to an audience, if judged by the callers, who don’t get the economic arguments about gains of trade and then view the libertarians as a subspecies of the pointy headed technocratic elite that populates the government and wants to tell them how to live their lives.


In on line discussions among members of the British Libertarian Alliance, opinion was something like this:

“…The death of the UK to be replaced by being a sub-state of the EU is a libertarian nightmare. By rejecting the EU we have taken a major step in the direction of libertarianism.

This was not the intention of most Leave campaigners but it means that the UK is now more… vulnerable, one might say, to libertarian campaigning. The EU is no longer there to impose its own laws from outside. Now all that we, as libertarians, have to contend with is the infrastructure and bureaucracy of British government. This is by no means an easy job but it’s a lot easier than having to cope with the EU too!

Our job of bringing about libertarian change has just because a little bit easier.

All of a sudden, there is a lot less state for us to deal with.”


I fear libertarians have a communication problem they don’t know how to deal with here.  I saw one clicktivist in a group of gay Trump supporters recently damn all libertarians for looking down on people and thinking they are smarter than everyone else.  One of Gary Johnson’s main media people, as well as a Republican delegate to the GOP nominating convention who wants to campaign for Johnson, have both expressed to me their exasperation with me when I ask if Libertarian candidates should not find a way to appeal to the concerns of Trump voters.

I’m picking on Ms. Mangu-Ward a little, as she dislikes me.  She’s also a smart woman and might have some ideas about this communications problem.



Brexit Wins: Why That’s Great News for Europe, Too

British voters have elected to leave the European Union in a national referendum. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage declared Friday Britain’s “independence day.” That is quite a statement given British history. A little over two and a quarter centuries ago, America had its own first Independence Day, and the British Empire was the super-state from which Americans declared independence.
Independence is not isolation.
History has come full circle; in a sense, today we are seeing the American Revolution in reverse. In many ways, the European Union is a lever of US global hegemony. By seceding from the EU in spite of threats from Washington, Britain is declaring partial independence from America.
It must be noted that independence is not isolation. This is the key distinction that is intentionally blurred by the “Better Together” rhetoric of the “Remain” camp. When they scaremonger about “leaving Europe,” it conjures images of Britain abandoning Western civilization. But “the West,” as in the US-led alliance of neo-colonial powers, is not the same thing as Western civilization. And the European Union is not the same thing as Europe. Exiting a mega-state in defiance of an imperium is not withdrawing from civilization. In fact, such an exit is propitious for civilization.
Small Is Beautiful
Political independence fosters economic interdependence.
Advocates of international unions and super-states claim that centralization promotes trade and peace: that customs unions break down trade barriers and international government prevents war. In reality, super-states encourage both protectionism and warfare. The bigger the trade bloc, the more it can cope with the economic isolation that comes with trade warfare. And the bigger the military bloc, the easier it is for bellicose countries to externalize the costs of their belligerence by dragging the rest of the bloc into its fights.
A small political unit cannot afford economic isolationism; it simply doesn’t have the domestic resources necessary. So for all of UKIP’s isolationist rhetoric, the practical result of UK independence from the European economic policy bloc would likely be freer trade and cross-border labor mobility (immigration). Political independence fosters economic interdependence. And economic interdependence increases the opportunity costs of war and the benefits of peace.
The Power of Exit
Super-states also facilitate international policy “harmonization.” What this means is that, within the super-state, the citizen has no escape from onerous laws, like the regulations that unceasingly pour out of the EU bureaucracy. But with political decentralization, subjects can “vote with their feet” for less burdensome regimes. Under this threat of “exit,” governments are incentivized to liberalize in order to compete for taxpayer feet. Today’s referendum was a victory both for Brexit and the power of exit. That’s good news for European liberty.
During its Industrial Revolution, Britain was a beacon of domestic liberty and economic progress that stimulated liberal reform on the European continent. An independent Britain in the 21st century can play that role again. In doing so, Britain would help Europe outside the EU far more than it ever could on the inside. Brexit may be a death knell for the European Union, yet ultimately a saving grace for the European people.
Dan Sanchez

Dan Sanchez

Dan Sanchez is the Digital Content Manager at FEE, developing educational and inspiring content for FEE.org, including articles and courses. His articles are collected at DanSanchez.me.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.