Wednesday, November 30, 2016

NH Libertarian Executive votes for secession

LPNH EC adopts resolution in support of peaceful secession | Free Keene:

November 20, 2016 - "With a vote of 4 in favor and 1 abstention, the LPNH Executive Committee on November 20, adopted a resolution in support of self-determination.

"LPNH Vice Chair Rodger Paxton, who is the Rochester Regional Captain for the Foundation for NH Independence, says, “Recognizing that libertarianism is defined as self-ownership, and recognizing that both our federal and state founding documents make it clear that we have the right of peaceful secession. I’m pleased that the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire has resolved its support.'

"The resolution was drafted after a vote by the EC was passed 3 to 1 with 1 abstention, requesting the Chair, Darryl W. Perry, draft a resolution in support for the NH Secession Movement."
'via Blog this'

Whereas the National Libertarian Party platform states, “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of individual liberty, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to agree to such new governance as to them shall seem most likely to protect their liberty.”; AND
Whereas the federal government became destructive of individual liberty many years ago; AND
Whereas recent polls indicate nearly 1 in 5 Americans support secession; AND
Whereas there is a growing secessionist movement in New Hampshire; AND
Whereas Part 1 Article 10 of the NH Constitution states, “whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government.”; AND
Whereas Part 1 Article 10 of the NH Constitution also states, “The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
"Be it therefore resolved, the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire supports all peaceful efforts to alter or abolish any government that is destructive of individual liberty; AND
Be it therefore resolved, the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire supports all peaceful efforts to alter or abolish any government that endangers public liberty; AND
Be it therefore resolved, the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire specifically supports peaceful activities of the NH Secession movement.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Legal cannabis the only solution, says UK report

Legalisation of cannabis 'only solution to crime and addiction problems' | Society | The Guardian - Carolyne Davies:

November 21, 2016 - "Cannabis should be legalised in the UK, according to a report that has the backing of several cross-party MPs including the former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

"Current cannabis policy in Britain is a 'messy patchwork' of legislation intermittently enforced by regional police and an embarrassment, says the report by the free-market thinktank the Adam Smith Institute.

"The government must recognise that legalising the Class B drug is the 'only workable solution to the problems of crime and addiction in the UK and modernise and legalise', the report says.

"Politicians and the public should recognise the UK’s drug strategy 'has failed in its core aims to prevent people from using drugs, manufacturing drugs, and to put a stop to the crime, corruption and death that is taking place on an industrial scale around the world'.

"The report, The Tide Effect: How the World is Changing Its Mind on Cannabis Legislation, says legalisation would ensure the drug meets acceptable standards, remove criminal gangs from the equation, raise revenue for the Treasury and protect public health.

"A legal cannabis market could be worth £6.8bn annually, providing up to £1bn to the Treasury. It would also lower criminal justice costs, with 1,363 inmates currently in prison in England and Wales for cannabis-related offences at a cost to the taxpayer of £50m a year, the report says.

"Legal regulation would also allow long-term studies of the drug’s health effects that are not currently possible, it says."

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Libertarian McGahn named White House counsel

Donald Trump Appoints Libertarian to Key White House Position | The Liberty Conservative - Dan Wilson:

November 26, 2016 - "Donald Trump has appointed Don McGahn, a former member of the Federal Election Commission and the Trump campaign’s counsel, as the White House Counsel. The White House Counsel advises the President on all legal issues surrounding the administration....

"[T]he Washington Post has described McGahn as a 'libertarian election lawyer', quoting President Obama’s White House Counsel, Robert F. Bauer, as saying 'it will be interesting to see how Don’s suspicion of government — his deep libertarianism — will affect his advice on questions of executive authority'....

"Forbes noted that McGahn used to work for Freedom Partners, a non-profit free market organization closely associated with the Koch brothers, who are well known for their libertarian-leaning political views."

Read more:

The Other Donald Behind Donald Trump Carrie Levine, Newsweek:

May 9, 2016 - "McGahn has often cited free speech grounds in opposing restrictions on campaign spending, and he’s pushed back against federal enforcement cases, arguing that they could chill political speech.

"'When elected officials are able to handicap and silence their electoral opponents, they will rarely refrain from doing so,' McGahn wrote last year in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on Clinton’s campaign finance reform proposals....

"McGahn — together with fellow Republican FEC appointees Caroline Hunter and Matthew Petersen, currently chairman of the commission ... drove changes in the way the commission did business, especially concerning how they punished — or didn’t punish — political actors suspected of violating federal rules and regulations."

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Private property and the first U.S. Thanksgiving

Property and the First Thanksgiving | Mises Institute - Gary Galles:

November 25, 2004 - "At Thanksgiving, Americans reflect on their blessings and hope for uplifting family gatherings of togetherness and unity, with the Pilgrims used as examples of peace, harmony, and thankfulness. However, ... Plymouth Colony before 1623 was closer to a Thanksgiving host's worst fears — resentments surface, harsh words are spoken, and people turn angry and unhappy with one another.

"The Pilgrims' unhappiness was caused by their system of common property (not adopted, as often asserted, from their religious convictions, but required against their will by the colony's sponsors). The fruits of each person's efforts went to the community, and each received a share from the common wealth. This caused severe strains among the members, as Colony Governor William Bradford recorded:
 " ... the young men ... did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense. The strong ... had not more in division ... than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labors and victuals, clothes, etc ... thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And the men's wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it....

"For this community of property (so far as it went) was found to breed much confusion and discontentment and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort ... all being to have alike, and all to do alike ... if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them."
"In the spring of 1623, they decided to let people produce for their own benefit:
 "All their victuals were spent ... no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length ... the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves.... And so assigned to every family a parcel of land ....

"This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn, which before would allege weakness and inability, whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression."
"That was quite a change from their previous situation, where severe whippings had been resorted to as an inducement to more labor effort, with little success other than in creating discontent....

"It is appropriate to remember the Pilgrims as Americans celebrate Thanksgiving....  But we should also remember that our material blessings are the fruits of America's system of private property rights, whose power for peaceful and productive cooperation the Pilgrims began to prove by experiment almost four centuries ago, because those rights, and the freedoms and prosperity they entail, are under constant assault today."

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

20th-century libertarian beginnings traced by anti-libertarian group

from "Against the Libertarian Party" | Jacobin - Branko Marcetic:

November 4, 2016 - "The modern libertarian movement has its roots in the 1930s, when a host of business leaders, terrified by Roosevelt’s New Deal, set up a series of overlapping organizations to oppose what they saw as a government incursion.

"One such group was the American Liberty League, founded in 1934 by executives from General Motors, US Steel, and other corporations, as well as three members of the du Pont family (who owned the DuPont Chemical Company).

"Another was the Volker Fund, a charitable trust set up in 1932 by Kansas City businessman William Volker (who put his nephew Harold Luhnow in charge). The fund sponsored various right-wing initiatives, such as the Mont Pelerin Society, an annual summit of pro-market scholars, journalists, and businessmen. It also helped subsidize the careers of various free-market intellectuals, such as Ludwig von Mises (“the fountainhead of modern libertarianism”) and, even more importantly, Friedrich von Hayek (whose 1947 book Road to Serfdom is widely viewed as kickstarting the free-market right’s intellectual resurgence).

"Two of the nascent movement’s most important backers were also drawn from the ranks of corporate America: J. Howard Pew, president of Sun Oil, and Jasper Crane, the former executive vice president of DuPont Chemical.

"Both had helped lead the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), a vehemently anti-union business organization. Pew went on to bankroll the Liberty League, as well as conferences, advocacy groups, and the conservative Christian organization Spiritual Mobilization, which put out the Christian libertarian magazine Faith and Freedom in the 1950s. Crane helped organize, and used his business connections to fund, the Mont Pelerin Society and a whole host of other initiatives. He, along with the du Pont family, would go on to donate to Barry Goldwater’s campaign in 1964.

"Perhaps the most important libertarian cause Pew and Crane were involved in was the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), an organization that sought to teach the public about libertarian ideas.

"Both acted as trustees, joined by an array of corporate executives: Donaldson Brown, a former executive of both DuPont and General Motors; Erle P. Halliburton, the founder of Halliburton; A.C. Mattei, the president of Honolulu Oil Corporation; Hughston McBain, president and chairman of Marshall Field & Company; W.C. Mullendore, executive vice president of the Southern California Edison Company; Charles White, president of Republic Steel; and B.E. Hutchinson, chairman of Chrysler’s finance committee. (The Volcker Fund’s Harold Luhnow was also a trustee.)

"Pew and Crane’s participation in the libertarian movement and its corporate circles didn’t end there. The pair sat on the board of the Freeman, the movement’s flagship magazine, alongside a smattering of businessmen.

"Major firms bankrolled the Freeman through advertising that doubled as ideological propaganda. Instead of touting their products, major firms like Chrysler, DuPont, Republic Steel, Marshall Field, General Motors, and Sun Oil — whose executives, past and present, were involved in the FEE and older anti-New Deal groups — took out ads promoting the virtues of business and the free market. (During the 1950s and 1960s, General Electric — also a frequent Freeman advertiser and a member of NAM — featured the publication on its anti-union reading list for managers and supervisors as part of its effort to delegitimize labor leaders.)"

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Costa Rican Libertarian praises Trump campaign

Libertarian Otto Guevara praises elements of Trump's campaign - The Tico Times - L. Arias:

November 23, 2016 - "Libertarian lawmaker and former presidential candidate Otto Guevara Guth says ... he thinks his party should learn some things from U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump’s political playbook; Guevara describes Trump’s strategy as 'telling people what they need to hear, regardless of the political cost.' He also praises elements of Trump’s position on immigration, while he criticizes other stances.

"Guevara’s Libertarian Movement Party finished fourth in the 2014 elections with 11.3 percent of votes. He now says that his party’s next presidential campaign should be 'groundbreaking and sincere,' just like Trump’s.

"Guevara, a founder of the party, told The Tico Times that he is not a Trump supporter. '“If I were a U.S. citizen I’d have voted for Gary Johnson,” he said, adding that the U.S. Libertarian’s ideas and proposals are the closest to Guevara’s vision of what Costa Rican society needs....

"If Guevara decides to run again he will have to face a primary election. Guevara’s fellow lawmaker Natalia Díaz Quintana was the first Libertarian to officially announce her interest to launch a bid to win her party’s nomination for the 2018 presidential election....

"He said one of the things he liked about Trump’s campaign strategy was that, in Guevara’s view, Trump understood that voters increasingly support candidates who speak directly and frankly; Guevara says traditional Costa Rican politicians do not do this....

"Guevara also said he agrees with Trump’s idea that the U.S. should stop being the world’s policeman and stop interfering with the internal situations of other countries, invest all those funds in the U.S. instead....

"Guevara said that he believes tightening immigration policies would likely be part of a possible campaign proposal.... 'That is the main problem with our current welfare state,' he said, adding that immigrants are attracted by the country’s social aid programs....

"Among Guevara’s main concerns about Trump are his proposals to lower corporate taxes as well as his plans to exit the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade deals.

"'If Trump moves forward with his idea of lowering corporate taxes from 35 to 15 percent, that would force us to speed up the approval of all required amendments to make our country more competitive,' he said".

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

3 libertarians named in Trump transition talk

Ex-BB&T CEO Allison said to be in running for Treasury chief - Chicago Tribune- Saleha Mohsin & Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg:
November 23, 2016 - "Former BB&T Corp. Chief Executive Officer John Allison is a late entrant on a short-list for the job of U.S. Treasury secretary, according to two people familiar with President-elect Donald Trump's selection process....

"Allison, 68, is a director at investment bank Moelis & Co. and is a former president and CEO of Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington where he is now on the group's board of directors. He's been a critic of the Federal Reserve and the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the government's effort to purchase toxic assets from financial institutions following the sub-prime mortgage meltdown."

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Myron Ebell A Telling Choice To Lead Trump's EPA Transition Team: The Two-Way: NPR - Nell Greenfieldboyce:
November 23, 2016 - "The good news for those worried that the U.S. will lose its leadership role in confronting climate change: President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday, 'I have an open mind to it. ... I do have an open mind.' At a meeting Tuesday with New York Times journalists and executives, Trump said he thinks 'there is some connectivity' in terms of human activity causing climate change.

"However, ... on the same day ... Trump formally announced that Myron Ebell would lead his transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency.... Ebell was one of seven people whose faces were recently featured in an activist campaign labeling them 'Climate Criminals.'

"He directs the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. It's one of the few conservative, free-market groups that's been an accredited non-governmental organization at the United Nations' climate meetings. Ebell has long questioned mainstream climate science and has argued against any need to rein in greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet."

Read more:

 November 17, 2016 - "[An] inside-the-Beltway wag gave this reply when asked who might head the U.S. Department of Transportation: 'Who knows if Trump is even aware that he has a secretary of transportation?' Naming said person obviously isn’t a high priority in Trump Tower, despite the fact that the president-elect has promised to pour $1 trillion into roads, bridges and other infrastructure....

"Former Reason Foundation analyst Shirley Ybarra is the Trump transition team member tasked with finding the new Sec/Trans, and there’s talk that she may be a candidate for the job herself."

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Paul's priority is repealing federal regulations

Rand Paul: Obama’s Overregulation Won Trump The Election | The Daily Caller - Michael Bastach:

November 9, 2016 - "Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul credited real estate mogul Donald Trump’s presidential win Wednesday morning, at least in part, to the Obama administration’s regulatory onslaught.

"'It’s in reaction to these regulations,' Paul told Fox News, referencing in particular federal regulations on the coal industry — a major talking point of the Trump campaign.... Paul, who held onto his Senate seat in a landslide victory against Lexington’s Democratic Mayor Jim Gray ... also laid out a goal to put legislation in front of Trump to repeal at least half a dozen regulations in his first week in the oval office.  

"Paul beat Gray by a 53 to 43 percent margin, and Trump went on to win Kentucky’s eight electoral votes. Kentucky was one of the first states media outlets called for Trump on Tuesday night.

"Trump promised Kentuckians he’d do all he could to revitalize the coal industry. Kentucky’s coal sector has been one of the hardest hit from cheap natural gas and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations."

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Rand Paul: ‘We’re going to spend the first month passing the repeal of Obama regulations’ - The Washington Post - Peter Holley:

 November 9, 2016 - "'I have a prediction to make this morning,' [Rand Paul] said during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Wednesday morning. 'I think were going to spend the first month passing the repeal of Obama regulations.... This is something I’m excited to do,' he added.

"Paul called the election 'a big rebuke' of the Obama administrations 'regulatory war' on business. He said the Obama administration was made up of 'extremist academics' who don’t understand business.

"During his short appearance, Paul didn’t specify what regulations congressional Republicans would seek to repeal.

"'I think you’re going to find that were going to repeal a half dozen or so of regulations that are killing jobs and making us less competitive with the rest of the world,' he noted, adding that he didn’t expect 'resistance' from Trump when it comes loosening regulations."

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Libertarian Senatorial candidates set vote records

Joe Miller Shatters Libertarian US Senate Record While 8 Others Set New State Party Marks | Smart Politics - Eric Ostermaier:

November 20, 2016 - "The nation’s third largest political party notched by far its most successful election cycle in races to the nation’s upper legislative chamber....

"Alaska’s Joe Miller ... was an 11th hour recruit by the Libertarian Party in September 2016 and his brief, two-month campaign won him an impressive 29.4 percent of the vote in the general election.... Miller not only far exceeded his polling numbers (which usually had him in the mid- to high teens), but he demolished his party’s mark for its all-time best showing in a race for the office....

"Party records were also set in:
  • Arkansas, Frank Gilbert (3.98 percent): Gilbert nearly doubled the 2.03 percent won by Nathan LaFrance in 2014. Gilbert and LaFrance are the only two U.S. Senate candidates to get on the general election ballot in the state under the Libertarian Party banner. 
  • Colorado, Lily Williams (3.61 percent): Williams, the seventh U.S. Senate nominee for the party in state history, eclipsed Gaylon Kent’s 2.59 percent record from 2014 by just over a point. 
  • Florida, Paul Stanton (2.12 percent): Stanton more than quadrupled the support received by the party’s only other nominee for the office in state history – Alexander Snitker in 2010 (0.46 percent). 
  • Georgia, Allen Buckley (4.16 percent): Buckley broke a 20-year record held by 1996 nominee Jack Cashin (3.60 percent). Libertarians have fielded U.S. Senate nominees in 10 elections in the Peach State since its first nominee in 1992. 
  • Iowa, Chuck Aldrich (2.71 percent): Aldrich, the seventh nominee fielded by the party for the office, broke 2010 nominee John Heiderscheit’s record (2.27 percent)....
  • North Dakota, Robert Marquette (3.08 percent): Marquette almost doubled the party’s previous best showing in the state in a U.S. Senate race – Keith Hanson’s 1.63 percent in 2010. 
  • Oklahoma, Robert Murphy (3.00 percent): Murphy – the first nominee to gain ballot access under the Libertarian banner in 20 years for the office – crushed the party’s previous best mark of 1.23 percent set in 1996 by Agnes Reiger. 
  • Wisconsin, Phil Anderson (2.96 percent): Anderson bested Joseph Kexel’s 2012 campaign (2.07 percent) by nearly a full point. None of the other seven U.S. Senate Libertarian nominees in the Badger State over the decades had reached one percent.... 
"An additional six other 2016 nominees turned in the second best Libertarian U.S. Senate performance in their respective states: Robert Garrard in Kansas (5.52 percent), Edward Clifford in Pennsylvania (3.84 percent), Sean Haugh in North Carolina (3.56 percent, 0.18 points shy of his own record), Kent McMillan in Illinois (3.22 percent), Richard Lion in Connecticut (1.14 percent), and Alex Merced in New York (0.65 percent).

 "Libertarian U.S. Senate candidates outperformed their party’s presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, in seven states: Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. "

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Monday, November 21, 2016

DEA's attempted kratom ban indefinitely delayed

What the Reversed Kratom Ban Teaches Us About Drug Advocacy in America - Brenden Gallagher, Merry Jane:

November 11, 2016 - "You may not be familiar with the drug kratom, but many Americans are. Kratom is known to relieve pain and anxiety, and has often been used to ease the challenges of getting off of more harmful drugs, namely opioids. The DEA was slated to ban kratom until late September, when an outpouring of public activism by kratom users led to an indefinite delay on such a ban.

"Earlier this year, the DEA announced its intent to place kratom on the list of Schedule I drugs. This is the most restrictive category of banned substances that includes drugs like heroin and LSD. The DEA describes a Schedule I like so: 'Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence.' Kratom users have used the drug to help them kick their OxyContin habit. Despite being a far more addictive substance, OxyContin is a Schedule II drug. Advocates for kratom compare the drug’s addictive power to coffee. No deaths have been linked to the drug....

"Fifty-one lawmakers came together from across the aisle to oppose a kratom ban. One aspect of a proposed ban that stuck in the craw of politicians is that a Schedule I ban prohibits both use of a drug and federally funded research into its potential benefits. Prior scientific research had found that kratom blocks pain receptors and could be an effective tool in combating symptoms of withdrawal. Lawmakers across the country are realizing that in districts that struggle with opioid addiction (and there are many), a victory for kratom could be interpreted as a victory for the beleaguered working class. Backbreaking jobs with gaps in insurance often lead to painkilling abuse, which leads to addiction.

"The kratom reversal came from Congressional activism born from grassroots movements.... Citizen agitation led to coverage from outlets like the Huffington Post and podcasts like Street Fight Radio (hosts Brett Payne and Brian Quimby first brought kratom to my attention). Journalistic research concluded that the Kratom ban was brought about in response to hundred of poison center calls about kratom, even though these calls rarely resulted in medical treatment, and never in serious aid. This signal boost put the issue on the Capitol doorstep. A White House petition created at the end of August garnered 145,000 signatures....

"As we move forward, remember that your advocacy is not limited to the possibilities you are presented by your government. Though the kratom stay may prove only temporary, the tactics its advocates used are permanent. In kratom we can find a valuable lesson: If you want real, effective drug policies in this country, the struggle starts with you."

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Free Staters help create NH real estate boom

The homebuyers aiming to make New Hampshire a Libertarian utopia - Nathan Brooker, Financial Times:

November 1, 2016 - "Get him on the upcoming presidential election and Trevor Parscal, a 32-year-old technology worker originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, .... says[:] 'Trump and Hillary sound pretty much the same to me. They are both squabbling over how to spend more and more of the taxpayers’ money.... I wouldn’t vote for either of them,' he says. 'I’m going to be voting for Johnson.'

"Gary Johnson is the presidential candidate for the Libertarian party, the self-proclaimed third party of US politics. Broadly, the party campaigns for a reduction in the size of government and taxes, though at its fringes it is renowned for getting a little oddball....

"Parscal is not only planning to vote for him but has moved his family 3,000 miles across the country to support the Libertarian cause, from California to Concord, New Hampshire. He is a participant in the Free State Project, an effort to get 20,000 like-minded Libertarians to pledge to move to New Hampshire, a fairly rural, sparsely populated state, where 20,000 activists might wield some political heft.

"'We hit that number in February of this year,' says Matt Philips, the president of the project. 'Every-body has five years to move to New Hampshire.'

"Those that do might want to call Mark Warden of Porcupine Real Estate. A Free Stater himself, Warden moved to New Hampshire from Las Vegas in 2009 and now acts as the project’s unofficial real estate broker. 'It’s been snowballing,' he says. 'I do between 40 and 50 transactions a year'.....

"Philips sees a natural affinity between Free Staters and New Hampshire. 'There’s an inherent Libertarian streak in the culture here,' he says, 'embodied by the state motto, which is "Live Free or Die".' There is no broad-based income tax in the state, no sales tax, liberal gun laws, no knife laws, no motorcycle helmet law and no law requiring you to wear a seatbelt. These things play well with Libertarians.

"Not everyone has welcomed them. A group of Free Staters who set up in the town of Keene have been causing a stir with their acts of civil disobedience. Some have refused to remove their hats inside the local courtroom and some have been smoking marijuana in the central square, openly. They’ve been given a nickname: 'Keeniacs'.

"Still, Parscal is upbeat. 'There’s nowhere in the US that’s a good example of Libertarian philosophies right now,' he says. 'If New Hampshire can become that, then hopefully we can attract people [here] who already feel that way and even convert some people as well.' Warden, for one, expects the phone to ring off the hook."

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gary Johnson: 2016 campaign was just a start

Gary Johnson: 'This is just a start' | TheHill - Nikita Vladimirov:

November 9. 2016 - "Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson on Tuesday thanked his supporters for backing the Libertarian ticket on Election Day, arguing they were part of a 'movement.'

"'This is just a start of a really big movement, the Libertarian movement,' Johnson said to a cheering crowd in Albuquerque, N.M.

'I think the next election cycle, I think there are going to be so many wonderful candidates line up all from top to bottom on the Libertarian ticket, and I think there is going to be a third voice,' he said.

"Johnson also praised the eight newspapers that endorsed him and his vice presidential nominee, Bill Weld, lauding the publications for their commitment to endorse the 'best candidates' for president.

"'You know what the eight newspapers said? They said these guys might [not] win, but we as newspapers have an obligation to point out the best candidates for president," he said....

"Johnson concluded Tuesday by thanking his supporters for backing a third party and voting their conscience. 'Always hold your head high ... thank you very, very much for being out here and supporting this campaign,' Johnson exclaimed as his supporters cheered."

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Libertarian Party registered voters top 500,000

Libertarian Party Breaks Half a Million Registered Voters - Hit & Run : - Brian Doherty:

November 15, 2015 - "The Libertarian Party (L.P.) started 2016 with around 411,000 registered voters. After a year of Trump and Clinton and the Libertarian's Johnson/Weld campaign with its record over 4 million votes for the L.P., nearly 100,000 other voters have seen wisdom in registering Libertarian.

"According to ballot access maven Richard Winger at Ballot Access News, the Libertarians are now the first nationally-organized Party in American history besides the Republicans and Democrats to break a half-million registered voters.

"The L.P. had never broken 400,000 registered voters before this year....

"Another sign of increased health for the L.P. is a yearly monetary take for the national Party of likely near $3 million, for what should be their highest-dollar year since 2000.

"And another: the L.P. got its most votes ever for U.S. House candidates, 1.67 million, even though it ran the same number of such candidates as in 2014, 122. That's a 73 percent increase in House votes over 2014, with same number of candidates run. (Voter turnout this year was about 58 percent higher than in 2014.)

"That's fewer than half the number of federal House candidates the L.P. ran in 2000, the last year in which their House vote total was close to, but not matching, this year's, with a total of 1.61 million. Thus, the Party's votes per candidate have gone up enormously."

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Mark Miller's 5% keeps TX Libertarians on ballot

Texas Libertarians clinch ballot access, Greens fall short | The Texas Tribune - Jim Malewitz :

November 9, 2016 - "Texas will give Libertarians a ballot spot during the state's next general election, after the party’s candidate for state railroad commissioner nabbed more than 5 percent of the vote — the threshold a party needs in a statewide contest to keep ballot access.... Mark Miller, drew 5.3 percent in a race that former Texas Rep. Wayne Christian easily won. No other Texas Libertarian met the 5 percent mark on Tuesday.

"Miller, who drew an unusual amount of newspaper endorsements in the contest, was hoping for more votes. But he was pleased to have achieved that 'minimum goal' for his campaign, he said Wednesday morning.

"'Ballot access is really important because it avoids a petition drive, which is very expensive, very time-consuming and very difficult,' he said. 'The fact that we were able to stay on the ballot – Libertarians are celebrating today.'"

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A Look at Some Key Lower-Ticket Libertarian Race Results - Hit & Run : - Brian Doherty:

November 8, 2016 - "Miller for Texas Railroad Commission looks like he pulled the 5 percent needed ... to give the L.P. in Texas petition-free ballot access for 2018. It is a sad commentary on democracy that this lifelong professional petroleum engineer and teacher of petroleum engineering, running for the regulatory board that oversees the oil and gas industries, which he's written a book about, with endorsements from major papers covering much of the state's population, lost to a Republican, Wayne Christian (52.9 percent), who won Texas Monthly's coveted 'Worst Legislator' award and a Democrat, Grady Yarbrough (38.8 percent) who barely bothered running, and of course knew nothing at all about the industry."

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Joe Miller gets highest Libertarian Senate %age

Former Tea Party Republican Gets Libertarians Their Highest Ever Federal Senate Percentage [UPDATED] - Hit & Run : - Brian Doherty:

November 11, 2016 - "Joe Miller earned the Libertarian Party (L.P.) its highest-ever vote percentage in a federal Senate race this week, with his 30 percent in Alaska.

"Generally when an L.P. candidate gets into double digits it is because one of the major party's isn't contesting the race at all. But Miller impressively got this 30 percent L.P. total coming in second place against a Republican (winning incumbent Lisa Murkowski, 44 percent), with a Democrat (Ray Metcalfe, 11 percent), and an independent (Margaret Stock, 14 percent) far behind him. Miller beat the combined total of the Democrat and the 3rd place independent.

"Miller pulled this off possibly despite the Libertarian label more than because of it; he was well-known to Alaskan voters, having been the official GOP Senate candidate in 2010. In that race he famously was beaten by the incumbent Murkowski, who Miller exceeded in the primary.... Yet in the general election she triumphed via write-in....

"Miller did not start off this election season necessarily intending to contend with his old foe Murkowski again, but in September the L.P.'s original candidate for the Senate seat, Cean Stevens, dropped out and the Party substituted Miller, after what Associated Press reported as failed past attempts on the L.P.'s part to recruit him.

"Miller's ability to win what must have been normally Republican votes is a vivid sign of major party disenchantment that the L.P. should try to further capitalize on, said Jon Watts, the Alaska state L.P.'s chair, in a phone interview this week.

"It's an example of how 'moving forward there's a huge opportunity to enlarge our tent,' Watts says. 'As much as we talk about open borders,' Watts says (Miller's Tea-Partyish belief in border walls was a sticking point with many Libertarians), 'we want folks to come in to our Party, to assimilate and actually become libertarians and understand the non-aggression principle and self-ownership and negative individual rights and the whole platform'....

"Despite Miller's early high polling, the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) declined to help Miller's campaign with money; LNC member Daniel Hayes noted in an LNC business email list post that he's 'not looking to enable a Republican retread just looking for ballot access that plans to caucus with the Republicans' though admitting he hadn't done a deep dive into Miller's specific beliefs....

 "Miller for his part said in a phone interview this week that he's been, even when he was a Republican, 'talking about the corruption of the two-party system since the '90's' and is mostly happy with his new Libertarian Party home. Miller's web page, though, mostly refers to him as the 'liberty candidate' without explicit L.P. branding."

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Abramson puts NH Libertarians on 2018 ballot

NH Libertarians Officially Recognized as Party For First time in 20 Years + “Free Staters” Win 15+ State Rep Races | Free Keene - Ian Bernard:

November 9, 2016 - "Libertarian candidate for NH governor Max Abramson got a higher vote percentage than every other Libertarian Party candidate for governor across the United States in 2016’s election. He did better than Gary Johnson did in NH, in fact. Beyond the feather in his cap, the 4.3% of the vote he received is significant because it qualifies the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire for equal ballot access with the Republicans and Democrats for the first time in 20 years! That means Libertarian candidates no longer have to worry about petitioning to gain ballot access – a costly and time-consuming process. Now we can pay the same affordable filing fees ($2 for state rep) that the Rs and Ds pay....

"In 1990, the LP gained official party recognition for the first time. They held it until 1997 when the state legislature (specifically a group of Republicans) decided to raise the vote threshold from 3% to 4%, disqualifying the LP from official party status. Their candidates for governor since that time were unable to reach the new, raised bar.

"Until now. Riding on a national wave of frustration with the big parties, Libertarian candidate for governor Max Abramson managed to score 4.3%, (30,959 votes). This despite being excluded from the debates and also after making headlines for being a peaceful felon for defending his property with a gun.

"The news couldn’t come at a better time for the LP of NH, [whose] chair was replaced at a special convention called just weeks beforehand, where Free Keene blogger Darryl W Perry was unanimously elected chairman by those attending the convention. In addition, principled former Arkansas LP chair Rodger Paxton was elected vice-chair along with former independent candidate for governor Jilletta Jarvis taking the secretary position – much-needed new blood was transfused into the NH Libertarian Party, just in time for this epic win by Abramson. The gates are now open for libertarians to storm the ballots in 2018 with candidates statewide."

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Arkansas Libertarians have best election ever

Libertarians lose but see gains | NWADG - Frank E. Lockwood, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

November 10, 2016 -  "Arkansas Libertarians had their best election night ever on Tuesday, capturing 2.6 percent of the vote in the presidential race and topping 20 percent in three of the four congressional races.

"But they needed 3 percent of the presidential votes in order to keep their status as a political party in Arkansas.

"As a result, Libertarians won't automatically qualify for the state's 2018 elections. They'll have to collect 10,000 valid signatures and submit them to the secretary of state's office in order to regain ballot access.

"Frank Gilbert, the party's U.S. Senate candidate, said it's a ritual that Libertarian activists are already familiar with.

"'It takes a lot of time and money to get back on the ballot,' the former Tull mayor said. 'We've done it three times. Now we'll start on the fourth'....

"William Brackeen, the group's secretary, said the party's trajectory is encouraging, despite Tuesday's results.... Libertarian candidates made gains despite losing, he said.

"Their presidential nominee, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, received 29,593 votes, according to unofficial state returns. That's nearly double the 16,276 votes he captured in 2012.

"Gilbert, who got 1.9 percent of the vote when he ran for governor two years ago, claimed 4 percent of the vote in his latest race.

"Overall, the four Libertarian U.S. House candidates garnered nearly 200,000 votes statewide. In three of the districts, they were the only obstacle between Republicans and re-election....

"With the 2016 election over, Libertarians will need to start raising money again. It takes between $30,000 and $40,000 to finance the signature drive, Brackeen said.

"'That would buy a lot of yard signs and TV advertising,' Brackeen noted."

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Campaign over, Austin Petersen wastes no time declaring: "I despise Gary Johnson"

I despise Gary Johnson... but I voted for him. - Austin Petersen, The Libertarian Republic:

November 8, 2016 - "No one has more cause to dislike Gary Johnson than myself. After this man tossed my gift pistol in the trash when I refused to endorse his VP pick Bill Weld (in retrospect a smart decision), it took all the fortitude I possessed not to ignite a full-blown civil war against the ticket. Rebellion is in my nature after all, but when handed my first opportunity to do righteous violence … I chose peace.... I bit back my own hot tears, and told everyone to remain calm. We didn’t know the full story yet.

"But the full story would come out sooner than I expected, and the news was worse than I could have ever imagined. After suffering a year of brutal attacks on my character, my motives for running, and accusations that I was nothing more than an overgrown child, the truth was revealed. Johnson was the man-child. A spoiled, entitled brat, prone to public fits (which he claimed were not out of character), and someone who has no tact, or diplomacy....

"I entered the race for the White House out of sheer desperation and despair.... In October of 2015, Johnson had still not declared yet. Some were speculating that he might not even run.... I knew even if he did run that he wouldn’t change. He’d make the same mistakes, or even worse. I could not sit idly by and let that happen....

"The money poured in, and across the country we went, confronting in debate Johnson on his ignorance over the definition of a 'right,' and taking second place amongst a hostile crowd (who hadn’t invited me over my heresy on libertarian orthodoxy). Johnson pathetically pulled a “San Dimas High School Football Rules” at the end of the event, screaming 'YOU LEGALIZED WEED! I LOVE YOU! YOU ROCK COLORADO' in order to elicit applause … it was the first time I ever felt truly embarrassed to be seen with him. The primary season wore on, and ... my embarrassment only deepened ... and after the primary dealing with the backlash after 'What is Aleppo,' I can truly say that the Libertarian Party has blown a chance that it may never have again in my lifetime....

"With tears streaming down my face in front of thousands, I conceded to Governor Johnson my defeat.... Despite the personal affronts to me, I had high hopes for the ticket.... One gaffe and misstep after another would see my hope diminishing, as Johnson’s poll numbers declined, hope to make the debates faded, and then even hope that the party might reach 5% nationally began to be in doubt. Accusations from the Johnson camp that I wasn’t supporting the ticket enough due to honest criticisms of the handling of the campaign began to roll in.... The ticket floundered....

"After the failings of the Johnson campaign, my stock began to rise.... Colleges began scrambling to book me for keynote speeches. My hopes are buoyed by the eager faces of so many young people who meet me at these events (asking me invariably if I’ll run again in 2020).... I couldn’t be happier for the future, but I still worry about it....

"On May 30th, 2016, I pledged to Governor Johnson 'my respect, my support, and my gun.' Johnson tossed it in the trash, along with my respect, and my support would waver, but never shift. I would continue to support the ticket because my word means something. I voted for Governor Gary Johnson today under severe protest, and with admittedly many personal qualms.... But now, the campaign is over, and it’s time to look ahead.

"You are the past Governor Johnson.... Do the entire liberty movement a favor, Governor. Go skiing, smoke a bowl and be happy. You’ve earned it. Get as high as you possibly can, so even the thought of 'What is Aleppo' is washed from your memory. Go climb mountains, Gary, and never look back."

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Exit polls disprove idea Johnson helped Trump

Shades of Ralph Nader: Did Gary Johnson and Jill Stein tip the 2016 U.S. election? - Politics - CBC News - Eric Grenier:

November 12, 2016 - "In 2000, George W. Bush won the election against Al Gore, despite losing the popular vote by half a percentage point. That is because he won the Electoral College, thanks in part to wins in Florida and New Hampshire. In both of those states, the total number of votes cast for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader was greater than the margin between Bush and Gore....

"Ever since, Nader has denied that he cost the Democrats the election. [Gary] Johnson and [Jill] Stein, this year's Libertarian and Green candidates, might have to do the same for the rest of their lives.

"In five states, the margin of victory between Trump and Clinton was smaller than the number of votes cast for Johnson and Stein:
  1. Michigan: Clinton lost by about 11,800 votes. She would have won with just 23 per cent of Stein's votes or seven per cent of Johnson's.
  2. Wisconsin: Clinton lost by about 27,300 votes, representing 88 per cent of Stein's support or 26 per cent of Johnson's.
  3. Pennsylvania: A combination of Stein's votes and at least 14 per cent of Johnson's would have overcome Trump's 68,200 margin of victory, or 48 per cent of Johnson's vote alone.
  4. Arizona: All of Stein's votes and at least 81 per cent of Johnson's vote would have bridged the 84,500-vote gap between Trump and Clinton.
  5. Florida: Clinton lost the state that cost Gore the presidency by about 119,800 votes. All of Stein's votes plus 27 per cent of Johnson's would have given her the state, or 58 per cent of Johnson's votes alone.
"Clinton came up short by 38 Electoral College votes on Tuesday. Combined, these states were worth 96 electoral votes....

"But on Tuesday, exit polls suggest that about 25 per cent of Johnson and Stein's voters would have cast a ballot for Clinton if forced to choose between her and Trump, while 15 per cent would have voted for the Republican. The remainder would have stayed home.

"Based on these numbers, the math does not back up any argument that Johnson and Stein are this year's Ralph Nader.

"If we give 25 per cent of Johnson and Stein's voters to Clinton, 15 per cent to Trump and assume the rest do not vote, only Michigan flips over to Clinton. She wins it by about 11,000 votes. But she would have still lost Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Florida — the last by about 93,000 votes.....

"What we do know for certain, however, is that Clinton ... received about six million votes fewer than Barack Obama did four years ago. Just two per cent of those votes, cast in the right states, would have won her the election.

"So ... if the Democrats want to do any finger-pointing they should probably do it in front of a mirror.''

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Legal cannabis wins by slim margin in Maine

Maine Chooses to Legalize Marijuana for Recreational Use - ABC News- Patrick Whittle with Paul Sharp, Associated Press:

November 10, 2016 - "Maine residents have voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use in their state.

"The final results of the referendum were tabulated on Thursday. The count took nearly two days because of how close the race was, within a fraction of a percentage point, and The Associated Press made the call Thursday afternoon....

"People 21 or older will now be allowed to use up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana, and retail marijuana shops and social clubs could open around the state. Some municipalities have balked at allowing such businesses to open in their communities.

"Opponents who had vowed to request a recount said on Thursday that they would meet to decide what to do next.

"'We need to look at the numbers,' said Scott Gagnon, an organizer of a campaign against legalization that portrayed legalization as a threat to the health and safety of children....

"Marijuana won't become available at the retail level until after a state rulemaking process that could be slow and arduous....

"Pending the possibility of a recount, Maine joins California, Nevada and Massachusetts, which passed similar measures this week. Arizona rejected a similar measure. Recreational marijuana was already legal in Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska."

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

California, Massachusetts, & Nevada cannabis legalization initiatives pass

Voters Legalize Marijuana in Three States - The New York Times - Thomas Fuller:

November 9, 2016. - "Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada legalized marijuana on Tuesday in what advocates said was a reflection of the country’s changing attitude toward the drug.

"A similar measure in Maine led by less than a point with 98 percent of precincts reporting. Voters in Arizona defeated a legalization measure.

"Leading up to the election, recreational marijuana use was legal in four states: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, along with the District of Columbia.

"With the addition of California, Massachusetts and Nevada, the percentage of Americans living in states where marijuana use is legal for adults rose above 20 percent, from 5 percent.

"A Gallup poll in October found nationwide support for legalization at 60 percent, the highest level in the 47 years the organization has tracked the issue. Support is rising even though some public health experts warn that there have been insufficient studies of the drug’s effects, and that law enforcement agencies lack reliable tests and protocols to determine whether a driver is impaired by marijuana.

"Supporters in California portrayed legalization as both a social justice and a criminal justice issue, saying the measure would help redress the disproportionate numbers of arrests and convictions among minorities for drug crimes.

"A bill to legalize marijuana in Vermont, supported by Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, failed this year. But in Massachusetts, public support for legalization rose during the fall, even with bipartisan opposition from the state’s top elected officials and an organized anti-legalization campaign.

"In addition to Tuesday’s votes on recreational marijuana, Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota all passed medical marijuana initiatives."

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Congratulations and thanks to Johnson and Weld

Sincere Congratulations and Thanks to Gary Johnson and William Weld - Josh Guckert, Libertarian Republic:

November 9, 2016 - "[S]ome in the libertarian movement [may] admonish and criticize Gary Johnson and William Weld for their performance last night. However, after they earned over 3% of the vote, including over 4 million popular votes, they deserve praise. Not only did they shatter the LP record for earned votes, they won more votes than the LP has in the last eight presidential elections combined.

"This is without even mentioning their positive coattails in numerous down-ballot races....[I]t will undoubtedly be the most successful year for the LP in those contests as well. Numerous Libertarians will finish with solid percentages of the vote, with all of these candidates being greatly outmatched in funds and publicity.

"While Johnson has promised to have run his last race, Weld has stated that he will spend the next decade working with the LP to make it the majority party in the United States. Though the latter has received immense scorn for his positive remarks about Hillary Clinton throughout the campaign, Libertarians should take him up on his offer.

"It was far from the result that any in the liberty movement wanted, but it’s a start. Libertarians must now build upon this stepping stone."

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Danville Register & Bee endorses Gary Johnson

We support Johnson for president | Editorials |

November 6, 2016 "In a normal year, the Danville Register & Bee would endorse the Republican candidate for president. But this isn’t a normal year, and Trump isn’t even a Republican. He most closely resembles a one-man political movement.

"That leaves us with a choice all Dan River Region residents will have to make on Tuesday, but it’s not a tough choice. Today, we endorse Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee.

"We support Johnson because, like all Libertarians and conservatives, he understands that not all of our problems can be solved with new regulations and more government spending. Johnson is a businessman, who as governor of New Mexico cut taxes and vetoed 750 bills.

“'I hope that people will see that we don’t have to sit by the sidelines and watch as the two major parties limit their choices to slightly different flavors of the status quo,' Johnson writes on his campaign’s website. 'It is, in fact, possible to join the fray, stand up for principles and offer a real alternative.'

"Americans won’t have that real alternative if they keep voting for the lesser of two evils. The two-party system has survived for so many years because even when one party had a bad candidate, the other was able to provide a stronger one.

"That didn’t happen this year. There isn’t enough ink and paper to fully describe how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have failed us.

"But there is hope.

"Gov. Gary Johnson gives us a chance to tell the major parties that 2016 marks the end of business as usual in Washington and that the era of ever-expanding government is coming to an end.

"If you believe that it’s time for the American people to stop playing the game the two parties want us to play, then voting for a Libertarian this year makes sense. With Gov. Gary Johnson, we have a chance to slay the beast — and elect the best candidate on the ballot."

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Monday, November 7, 2016

Charleston Post & Courier endorses Johnson

A liberating presidential-vote solution | Editorials |

November 6, 2016 - "This isn’t the first time both major-party presidential candidates have drawn widespread disdain from the public. But it’s grimly obvious that a record number of voters are thoroughly dismayed by what they justifiably see as their lack of a positive White House choice in either the Democratic or the Republican nominee.

"And if you’re among that vast group, register your displeasure loudly and clearly by voting for neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump on Tuesday. Instead, vote for Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson....

"Mr. Johnson established a solid record as a fiscally conservative governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, earning re-election by a large margin in a state that has voted for the Democratic nominee in five of the last presidential elections.

William Weld, Mr. Johnson’s running mate, is also a fiscally focused ex-Republican governor. He was re-elected by a large margin in Massachusetts, which hasn’t voted for a GOP presidential nominee since Ronald Reagan in 1984. The Johnson-Weld ticket stresses the urgent need to reform unsustainable federal entitlement spending. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump duck that dire challenge of our times.

"No, Mr. Johnson won’t win the White House Tuesday. But if he gains a substantial vote total, that could help spark the liberation of our politics from the two-party monopoly now failing Americans....

"Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump emerged victorious in their parties’ extended primary competitions. Yet since winning those nominations, their most effective pitches to voters have focused not on their own visions but on their opponents being 'unfit' for the presidency.

"Unfortunately, that 'unfit' charge rings all too true for both. Thus, many Americans will vote for Mrs. Clinton to prevent Mr. Trump from becoming president or vice versa....

"Yes, Mr. Johnson has committed some verbal stumbles over the last two months, exposing shortcomings in his knowledge of foreign affairs.

"But Mr. Johnson is not, as Mrs. Clinton is, under investigation by the FBI for improper use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State. He has not, as Mrs. Clinton has, repeatedly lied about that case, expanding a credibility gap for a troubling pattern of deceit that began long before her latest scandal.

"And Mr. Johnson is not, as Mr. Trump is, a crude braggart who has consistently shown alarming ignorance on both domestic and international issues. He does not, as Mr. Trump does, have a blatantly weak claim to any constitutional or conservative perspective. Nor does he exhibit, as Mr. Trump does, an excessive self-confidence that borders on blinding narcissism."

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Wikileaks: Democrats helped Trump win primaries

Leaked Memo Shows DNC 'Elevating' Trump TWO MONTHS Before He Announced | MRCTV - Nick Kangadi:

October 10, 2016 - "WikiLeaks ...release[d] an alleged memo sent by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in April 2015 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as part of a larger release of Podesta's emails ... this past Friday (with more out on Monday) while no one in the media was – or is – paying attention.

"[T]he email in question was dated over two months prior to Donald Trump announcing his candidacy, yet he was mentioned as a candidate to 'elevate'....  This alleged email was also just a few weeks before former president Bill Clinton had a private phone conversation with Trump.... Clinton’s personal office in New York confirmed that the call occurred in late May, but an aide to Clinton said the 2016 race was never specifically discussed and that it was only a casual chat.

"In the email, the candidates were broken down into categories. The 'Pied Piper' category was for those candidates who were not considered 'establishment' Republicans [Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Trump]. The rest of the candidates listed represented those that were more established politicians and suited for a general election.... [O]ne sentence in particular that might raise some eyebrows as to the DNC’s influence over the GOP election process. 'We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to [take] them seriously.'"

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WikiLeaks Reveals DNC Elevated Trump to Help Clinton | Observer - Michael Sainato:

October 10, 2016 - "It was in the best interest of Clinton, and therefore the Democratic Party, that Trump was the Republican presidential nominee. Polls indicated Sen. Rubio, Gov. Kasich, or almost any other establishment Republican would likely beat Clinton in a general election. Even Cruz.... Clinton and Democrats expected the FBI investigation into her private email server would serve as a major obstacle to Clinton’s candidacy, and the public’s familiarity with her scandals and flip-flopping political record put her at a disadvantage against a newcomer. Donald Trump solved these problems.

"All the Clinton campaign had to do was push the mainstream media in the general direction of covering and attacking Trump as though he was the star of the Republican presidential primaries. As the presumed Democratic nominee, whomever she decided to dignify by responding to — whether the comments were directed at her or not — would be presumed to be the spokesperson, or nominee, of the Republican Party.

"'Clinton, Trump trade insults as rhetoric heats up between front-runners,' read the headline from a CNN article in September 2015. 'Hillary Clinton Seizes On Donald Trump’s Remarks to Galvanize Women,' read a New York Times headline from December. Several media outlets criticized the mainstream media obsession with Trump, but despite a few concerns that the media was propping up his legitimacy as a candidate with their constant news coverage, it continued unabatedly.

"The mainstream media was more than willing to do the Clinton campaign and DNC’s work for them by creating a narrative that the 2016 presidential elections was about Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump.... The media gave Clinton what she wanted; impunity for the corruption, lies, and deceitfulness rampant in her political record, and an opponent who divided his own political party while driving fear and anxiety into her own to the point where enough Democrats and voters would gladly vote for her just to avoid Trump becoming president."

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Gary Johnson asks voters to look at issues

Gary Johnson: Libertarian ticket cares about issues - Detroit News:

November 1, 2016  - "In life and politics, you need to keep going and put one foot in front of the other. That was my personal mantra when I climbed Mount Everest in 2003, after I served two terms as the Republican governor of a Democratic state.

"I’m running for president as the only alternative to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the ballot in all 50 states. My running mate, Gov. Bill Weld, and I have always known that many extraordinary things needed to happen for us to win.

"Some of those things have happened: Young people and independents have connected with our message. We continue to draw support from all four corners of our nation — from Alaska to Maine, from the Dakotas to my home state of New Mexico — as well as heartland states of Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

"The 'system' hasn’t made it easy. The two-party Commission on Presidential Debates excluded Weld and myself — in spite of the urgings from former politicians, newspapers, and a majority of Americans. And seeing our strength among millennials and young independents, Super PACs and pro-Democrat outlets have launched unprecedented attacks against us. It is entirely possible these groups will end up spending more attacking me than our third party challenge will spend in total....

"Americans deserve leaders they can actually know and believe. They deserve the truth, and frankly, they deserve a break from politicians and their media surrogates who measure their worth in internet clicks....

"Call me naive, but I think Americans care about the issues. And on the issues, Weld and I are the only candidates pledging to deliver a balanced budget, and the only ticket that is pro-free trade.

"We are the only candidates with proven records of cutting taxes and reducing the size of government. On foreign policy, we offer a clear difference from Clinton’s plan to continue meddling in the Middle East, and Trump’s trademark unpredictability.

"Finally, we offer a pathway to national reconciliation on civil liberties, including the First Amendment’s protections for free exercise of religion, for political speech, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and the simple proposition that everyone deserves equal protection under the law."

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Cornell student makes case to vote Gary Johnson

Why a Vote for Gary Johnson Is a Strategic Vote | Cornell Daily Sun - Jacob Waltman:

November 4, 2016 - "This election cycle is a mess. We have a billionaire playboy with a trash mouth who doesn’t know why we just can’t 'nuke' people and a former secretary of state who is one of the least liked and most corrupt politicians in history.... I can’t bring myself to vote for either of them. But, fortunately, I have a choice. Contrary to popular belief, a vote for former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is not a wasted vote. In fact, it’s a strategic vote.

"In the 2012 election, Johnson was also the Libertarian candidate. He managed to receive 1,275,923 votes, just under one percent of the popular vote. In this election, he is doing much better. As of a month ago, Johnson was polling at 13 percent of the popular vote. A Washington Post survey showed Johnson polling at double digits in 42 states and at 15 percent or higher in 15. Another poll even showed him at 17 percent in New York, the home state of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Keep in mind, Gary Johnson has garnered this much support despite the fact that his campaign budget is a fraction of Clinton’s and Trump’s. On top of that, he has received little to no media coverage, evident by his exclusion from all three presidential debates....

"Yes, it’s true that the winner of this election, as has been the case for every election we can remember, will either be a Democrat or Republican. We have a bipartisan system and people are annoyingly loyal to their political party. Thus, when the two major parties nominate candidates who are unlikeable and/or unfit for office, we are left with a tough decision. A decision, as many people would say, to choose the lesser of two evils. This in itself is a sign that our bipartisan system is flawed....

"I will be voting for Gary Johnson, the most qualified candidate in the election, because I refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils and in doing so, my vote is a strategic vote for the 2020 election.

"Let’s just say that Johnson ends up getting 10 percent of the popular vote on November 8. It’s possible. If that happens, the Libertarian Party will have improved its support by 1000 percent from 2012 to 2016. Let me repeat that, ONE THOUSAND PERCENT. If the Libertarian Party support improves in 2020 at even a third of [that] ... we would be looking at a third party candidate polling at over 30 percent, which is certainly enough to be a serious competitor in a three party election.

"The Libertarian Party has four years to increase its popularity and campaign funds. Not only is it possible that a third party candidate can compete in the 2020 presidential election, but it’s even likely....

"If the winner of this election turns out to be as awful as everyone thinks he or she is, the demand for a legitimate alternative will only grow.... So, when someone tells you that a vote for Gary Johnson is a wasted vote, tell them that they are wrong. It’s a strategic vote, a vote that will lead us to a future where we have more options and won’t have to choose between the lesser of two evils.

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See also: Cornell Republicans booted for endorsing Johnson

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Gary Johnson's SCOTUS picks 'best of them all'

Best Supreme Court Shortlist Of Them All: Gary Johnson’s | Above the Law - David Lat:

November 2, 2016 - "I’m a fan of the Supreme Court shortlist just released by libertarian president candidate Gary Johnson (and not just because I have some right-of-center tendencies). Say what you will about these folks, but at least they’re interesting.... All six figures on this list are brilliant and well credentialed....

"Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski ... needs no introduction to regular readers of Above the Law.... Damon Root of Reason offers a good summary of his appeal, noting the judge’s 'principled defenses of the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, limited federal powers, and the due process rights of criminal defendants.' And let’s not forget his TV and movie career....

"Randy Barnett: The Georgetown law professor is most famous for his libertarian legal advocacy, including the medical marijuana case of Gonzalez v. Raich, which he argued before SCOTUS, and NFIB v. Sebelius, the major Obamacare challenge.

"Judge Janice Rogers Brown ... the D.C. Circuit judge 'is revered in libertarian legal circles for her stirring votes in defense of the Fourth Amendment against pro-police ‘orthodoxy’ and in defense of economic liberty against ‘burdensome regulation'.... Back in 2010, I mentioned her in my round-up of uncomfirmable conservative dream candidates for SCOTUS.

"Tom Campbell, before he joined the faculty (and served as dean) of Chapman Law, taught law at Stanford and business at UC Berkeley. This former SCOTUS clerk also has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago — in economics, a Chicago specialty — and a J.D. from Harvard Law. As a former U.S. Congressman and California State Senator, he would bring much-needed political experience to the Court.

"Miguel Estrada ... a Harvard Law grad and ex-SCOTUS clerk, ... was famously nominated to the D.C. Circuit back in 2001, before falling victim to a filibuster (and despite receiving a unanimous 'well-qualified' rating from the ABA). He’s widely regarded as one of the finest appellate advocates in the nation, praised by Justice Elena Kagan — with whom he disagrees on many issues — as 'an extraordinary lawyer' with 'a towering intellect.'

Jonathan Turley ... [t]he George Washington University law professor supplements his scholarship with real-world litigation, in matters ranging from the Clinton impeachment to the Sister Wives case, and he engages in frequent media commentary, in broadcast and print as well as online....

"Johnson has a zero percent chance of winning — and that’s too bad, at least for the Supreme Court."

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Columnist explains why she's voting for Johnson

I’m voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson - San Francisco Chronicle - Debra J. Saunders:

October 31, 2016 - "Once again, Clinton is in hot water because of her reckless decision making. Her original sin was setting up a home-brew server. Her second sin was deciding to delete thousands of emails under subpoena. Defenders act perplexed as to why the Democratic nominee set up this email system. I assume she had many, many things she wanted to hide — which is why she lied about the whole arrangement.

"The GOP nominee lacks conviction, character and self-control. Trump didn’t keep his promise to release his tax returns. He trash-talks women and minorities. In all my years of covering politics, I’ve never seen a campaign where supporters actively blame the candidate’s lack of self-control — not his advisers or pollsters — for the harebrained things he says. Even his most enthusiastic fans say Trump is his own worst enemy.

"Clinton or Trump? I truly have no idea which candidate would be worse....

"That’s why I’m voting for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. The former GOP governor of New Mexico had the right stuff to win election and re-election in a purple state. Johnson believes in small government. He was not afraid to challenge federal mandates. In his first term, he cut the state workforce by 1,200, capped state budget increases at 4.2 percent (down from 10 percent) and vetoed 388 bills, according to the Almanac of American Politics. When he ran for re-election in 1998, he won 55 percent of the vote....

"Johnson doesn’t answer snap questions well in part because he doesn’t have a staple of canned sound bites he endlessly repeats. When I interviewed Johnson this summer, I asked him to name the first three regulations he’d work to eliminate. He drew a blank — he couldn’t name three. He instead said, 'I’ll bet that we’re able to do away with hundreds of regulations in a matter of weeks.' Later he mentioned he would get rid of the federal Department of Education and Department of Housing and Urban Development. He’s not afraid to push for smaller government. He has been a strong critic of the failed federal war on drugs. He supports legalizing recreational use of marijuana. That is, he understands where the federal government should pull back.

"Johnson doesn’t like being called an isolationist; he sees himself as a 'non-interventionist.' He told me he believes U.S. troops should work to defeat the Islamic State because 'ISIS has attacked us.' I fear that he will reduce America’s military footprint abroad, but at least he has little appetite to send U.S. troops in harm’s way for unclear objectives.

"Is he ready to be president? No. Neither is Trump. And Clinton isn’t ready to be the kind of president who works within simple rules. From Day One, Trump or Clinton will sow chaos. So I’m going with the no-drama candidate who actually means what he says."

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Opioid makers spend big to stop legal cannabis

Why Big Pharma is Spending so Much Money to Defeat Marijuana Initiatives - Hit & Run : - Eric Boehm:

October 28, 2016 - "Legal marijuana will poison children and cause more Arizonans to die in car crashes, according to scary television and online ads running across the state in advance of Election Day. 'Edibles that look like candy, marketed to kids,' warns one ad, with a voiceover meant to sound like a concerned mother....

"The ads were created by Arizonans For Responsible Drug Policy, a group that's encouraging voters to reject Arizona's Proposition 205, which would allow people aged 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants in their own homes. Arizona is one of [five] states — along with California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada — that could vote to legalize recreational weed on November 8.

"Despite the voices and faces in the ads, though, Arizonans For Responsible Drug Policy and similar groups urging 'no' votes on marijuana legalization in other states are not funded by concerned parents and public officials. In large part, these groups are funded by pharmaceutical companies trying to protect their share of the market for painkilling drugs — and in Arizona, the biggest donor to the 'No On 205' campaign is a company that's been investigated for its role in overdose deaths.

"That company, Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics Inc., is best known for manufacturing a pain relief spray that contains fentanyl, an opioid that's been under heightened scrutiny for its role in several overdose deaths, including the high-profile death of Prince in April..... Insys Therapeutics in August made a $500,000 contribution to Arizonans For Responsible Drug Policy, the largest donation the group has received from a single source.

"It's not just happening in Arizona. According to a report from The Nation, Purdue Pharma and Abbott Laboratories, makers of the painkiller[s] OxyContin and Vicodin, respectively, are among the largest contributors to the Anti-Drug Coalition of America. Meanwhile, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which advocates on behalf of drug companies, spent nearly $19m on lobbying in 2015, according to a report from The Guardian, which called PhaRMA 'one of marijuana's biggest opponents.' Federal lobbying data aggregated by Maplight shows that PhaRMA has spent more than $150 million on lobbying since 2008 — a total that only includes federal lobbying efforts, not similar work done in state capitals, where PhaRMA is also active....

"[I]t's worth asking why they would be so keen to spend millions of dollars fighting marijuana legalization.

"One big part of the answer is that states with legal marijuana — medical or recreational — have lower rates of drug prescriptions."

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