Monthly Archives: December 2009

Gary Johnson – Who Is He And Why Should I Care?

It’s a good question. He’s the former governor of New Mexico, but given that I can count the number of times I’ve visited that fine state (and their excellent green chiles) on one hand, that means little to me. So why would I care about Gary Johnson?

Well, the sad answer is that we live in a never-ending campaign where the groundwork for a presidential run begins to be laid days after the election of the last guy. As much as I hate politics and categorically distrust politicians — I believe that no single elected official can stop the US train from barreling off the cliffs in the [relatively near] future — I do think that the right politician might at least delay that inevitable outcome.

Is Gary Johnson that politician? I’m not sure. I know very little about him. What I do know is that many people who I’ve long respected in the pro-liberty movement are excited about him. An even cursory reading of his history suggests that he’s about as libertarian-leaning as one can expect from a major-party politician, and he’s been described as a “Ron Paul Republican”. He may be running for President in 2012, and given some of the prominent alternatives (Palin, Tax Hike Mike, Romney) might be the best hope for liberty.

So that’s all well and good, but like me, you’re probably wondering “How can I learn more about Gary Johnson?” Well, our good friends over at United Liberty just interviewed Gary for their podcast on many prominent political issues of the day. Head over for a listen. After all, 2012 is only three years away!

Quote(s) Of The Day

Both relate to Ben Nelson being bought off to provide the Democrats’ 60th vote. Oh, and what a bribe it was!

First, David Kotok over at The Big Picture:

Senator Nelson of Nebraska sold his vote in return for special treatment for the Mutual of Omaha insurance company and for perpetual Medicaid funding for his state. He has just set a record for pork. I have not seen the present discounted value of an open-ended perpetual funding for Medicaid for all Nebraskans. Believe me, the other 49 states would like to have it. And if you are a taxpayer in the other 49 states you are going to pay for it.

Now if the good Senator had bargained the abortion issue out of his pure conviction, I would not have agreed with him but I would have respected him for having the courage and honesty to practice politics because of policy. He argued he was maintaining his position out of conviction for an ideal and a belief. But the reality is, he sold his 60th vote for money. He practiced political prostitution.

Infinite future full federal Medicaid funding for Nebraskans? Well, I’ll say one thing for Ben Nelson — he doesn’t come as cheap as Mary Landrieu.

Of course, Ezra Klein (or in this case @ezraklein) thinks this is just tit-for-tat:

Every Republican whining about the deals made to pass health-care reform should demand repeal of Medicare Part D immediately.

Okay. I’m in. Let’s repeal it immediately. Granted, I’m a libertarian, but I think I can speak for many Republicans who were pissed off that their party in Washington ever passed Medicare Part D.

Grassroots Republicans were upset that politicians were being bought off to pass Medicare Part D, a bill we didn’t want in the first place. Did it ever occur to Klein that perhaps we voted Republicans out of office because they were acting too much like Democrats? Grassroots Democrats, however, are pissed off that Ben Nelson was paid so dearly for a bill that didn’t go far enough. I don’t think any Democrat is upset at buying off Ben Nelson, but they’d probably have preferred that Reid at least got a public option or Medicare buy-in if they had to pay him off.

United Liberty Podcast

Many readers here are also familiar with the United Liberty blog, not least because our contributor Jason Pye is the editor-in-chief of that blog, and co-contributor Doug writes at both locations.

They (Jason and UL Assistant Editor Brett Bittner) recently honored me be asking that I join them as a guest on their podcast, which you can find here or on iTunes.

Topics ranged from the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke, to health care, to home weatherization (a topic where I nearly defect from doctrinaire libertarianism), immigration and Copenhagen. All in all, I had a lot of fun and hopefully some of you may enjoy the listen.

Congressional Thug Tries To Silence Free Speech

Meet Congressman Alan Grayson, a punk ass bitch and wannabe thoughtpoliceman

Not everyone thinks imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

In fact, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando took such offense at a parody Web site aimed at unseating him that the freshman Democrat asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the Lake County activist who started it.

In his four-page complaint, Grayson accuses Republican Angie Langley of lying to federal elections officials. In particular, he writes, the Clermont resident lives outside his district but still uses the term “my” in her Web site, mycongressmanisnuts.com. The name mocks a Web site started by Grayson, congressmanwithguts.com.

“Ms. Langley has deliberately masqueraded as a constituent of mine, in order to try to create the false appearance that she speaks for constituents who don’t support me,” writes Grayson. “[She] has chosen a name for her committee that is utterly tasteless and juvenile.”

Grayson’s office confirmed he wrote the letter — including the request that Langley be fined and “imprisoned for five years” — and released a statement from Grayson saying, “Everyone has to obey the law, even rude, right-wing cranks.”

Langley, a former top Republican official in Lake County, said the letter initially “scared the heck out” of her but that she got angry after an attorney friend — who is acting as legal adviser — told her that the accusations were “groundless.”

“This man is nothing but a bully and an intimidator,” she said.

For those of you who don’t know Alan Grayson, he’s also the little punk who has described the GOP health care plan as dying quickly among other things. He’s basically the Sarah Palin or the Joe the Plumber of the left. Now this wannabe commissar is trying to jail a woman for expressing her opinion. Here’s a little obstacle to that:

Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There are no gulags in this country for those who speak against members of Congress, Representative Grayson. Hopefully his constituents will send this thug into retirement next year.

Related Link: Alan Grayson is Nuts

Edited on 12/20/2009 at 8:06PM to insert related before link

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at IJ Review.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.
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