Author Archives: Stephen Gordon

TSA updates from people who opposed the TSA before opposing the TSA was cool

As Stephen Littau noted, November 24th (Wednesday) is the busiest travel date in the country and it’s also National Opt Out Day.  To assist Opt Out Day participants, and all air travelers after Wednesday, the Opt Out Alliance is providing free “Know Your Rights” travelers cards. I spoke with one of the key people at the Opt Out Alliance and he stated that because there isn’t enough time for people to receive a real card via snail mail before Wednesday, people who sign up will get an immediate .pdf copy of the card by e-mail and their wallet card will arrive later in the mail.

Here are some additional recent Transportation Security Agency highlights:

Penn Jillette gets funny:

[The TSA PR person] said, “Well, the airport is very important to all of our incomes and we don’t want bad press. It’ll hurt everyone, but you have to do what you think is right. But, if you give me your itinerary every time you fly, I’ll be at the airport with you and we can make sure it’s very pleasant for you.”

I have no idea what this means, does it mean that they have a special area where all the friskers are topless showgirls, “We have nothing to hide, do you?” I have no idea. She pushes me for the next time I’m flying. I tell her I’m flying to Chicago around 2 on Sunday, if she wants to get that security guy there to sneer at me. She says, she’ll be there, and it’ll be very easy for me. I have no idea what this means.

Ron Paul gets serious. Here’s the bill he’s introduced:

No law of the United States shall be construed to confer any immunity for a Federal employee or agency or any individual or entity that receives Federal funds, who subjects an individual to any physical contact (including contact with any clothing the individual is wearing), x-rays, or millimeter waves, or aids in the creation of or views a representation of any part of a individual’s body covered by clothing as a condition for such individual to be in an airport or to fly in an aircraft. The preceding sentence shall apply even if the individual or the individual’s parent, guardian, or any other individual gives consent.

Over at Forbes, Art Carden gets pragmatic:

Bipartisan support should be immediate.  For fiscal conservatives, it’s hard to come up with a more wasteful agency than the TSA.  For privacy advocates, eliminating an organization that requires you to choose between a nude body scan or genital groping in order to board a plane should be a no-brainer.

Bob Barr was prophetic, then adds that folks should opt out:

Well, surprise, surprise — the government is not telling us the truth.  In fact, the specifications for the manufacture of the machines mandates that they have the ability to store images on hard disk storage, and that they possess the ability to send the images.   Of course, the transmission of such data creates the obvious possibility that hackers could access the data and print out or view the images.  The images themselves portray people without clothes on, and include relatively clear depiction of genitalia.

Jason Pye described the concept of “security theater”:

I don’t know if you’ve heard the term “security theater,” but that’s what we have in our country. Rather than actually doing their jobs and following up on leads like the one given by this terrorist’s father, security officials are more interested in creating an illusion that we are safe by temporarily curtailing privacy rights or keeping you from bringing a razor in your carry-on.

Doug Mataconis targets President Obama:

More importantly, though, Obama’s response strikes me as being politically tone deaf. In the face of outrage over Americans being groped by TSA agents, children being man-handled in a bizarre procedure that makes no logical sense, and people being exposed to the humiliation of having prosthetic breasts removed or being covered in their own urine, Obama’s “Too bad, you’ve gotta do it anyway” response is a sign of how far removed from reality the Presidency makes a person. If the President or members of his family had to subject themselves to TSA screening on a regular basis, one would think his opinion on the matter w0uld be quite different.

Over at Reason, Hawk Jensen and Nick Gillespie channel Chuck Berry with the ultimate TSA theme song:

My Ding-A-Ling My Ding-A-Ling I want you to play with My Ding-A-Ling
My Ding-A-Ling My Ding-A-Ling I want you to play with My Ding-A-Ling

Back to the serious side of things, Gary Johnson asks “Why Do We Have a TSA?” His solution:

Instead of trying to fix or adjust or moderate TSA airport screening procedures to make them less abusive or slightly more tolerable, I say it is time to turn airport screening and security over to those who should be doing it in the first place: the airlines.

To be sure, there are plenty of additional TSA links and stories out there. Republicans galore are coming out of the woodwork regarding this issue right now. It’s worth noting that the original TSA authorization passed the Senate by a vote of 100 -0. Only nine House Republicans (and zero Democrats) opposed the final conference report on the bill.

Therefore, I thought I’d limit the links to people within the freedom movement who actually opposed the TSA long before opposing the TSA was cool.

It’s time for libertarians to start taking a look at Gary Johnson for POTUS 2012

“That’s the first sign you know you’re a libertarian. You see the red light. You stop. You realize that there’s not a car in sight. And you put your foot on the gas.” - Gary Johnson

Former two-term Republican Governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico has been hitting the news a lot lately. This makes sense, as he’s not ruled out a possible presidential bid. Wikipedia provides this brief overview of Johnson’s history:

Gary Earl Johnson (born January 1, 1953 in Minot, North Dakota) is an American businessman and Republican politician who served as the 29th Governor of the U.S. state of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003. He is well-known for his low-tax libertarian views and his regular participation in triathlons.

Founder of one of New Mexico’s largest construction companies,[1] Johnson entered politics for the first term by running for Governor of New Mexico in 1994. He beat incumbent Democratic governor Bruce King by 50% to 40%. He cut the 10% annual growth in the budget by using his gubernatorial veto on a record 48% of bills.[1]

He sought re-election in 1998, winning by a ten-point margin. In his second term, he concentrated on the issue of school voucher reforms, as well as campaigning for marijuana decriminalization. During his tenure as governor, he adhered strictly to an anti-tax, anti-bureaucracy program, and set state and national records for his use of veto powers:[1] more than the other 49 contemporary governors put together.[2][3] Term-limited, Johnson retired from politics at the end of his second term.

In 2009, he founded the Our America Initiative, a 501(c)(4) political advocacy organization. Johnson has also been the subject of media speculation as a possible candidate for President of the United States in the 2012 election.[4]

Recent media reviews are a bit interesting. A current Daily Caller interview begins with this paragraph:

“For eight years,” former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson said with a wide grin on his face, “I was a libertarian governor disguised as a Republican!” Often dubbed the “next Ron Paul,” Johnson wears the libertarian (small “L”) label proudly, though in an interview with The Daily Caller he swore he was still a Republican.

Over at The American Conservative, Daniel Larison describes a potential problem with a Johnson candidacy, which is electability in a Republican primary:

The possibility of a Gary Johnson presidential bid is an exciting one, and I say that as a New Mexican who didn’t like some of the major projects he undertook as governor. I can say that I would happily support his candidacy were he to pursue the Republican nomination. That’s part of the problem Gary Johnson faces in a GOP nominating contest: he appeals to people like me and Matt Welch, who are not remotely representative of the Republican primary electorate. For one thing, I’m not a Republican. Not even Ron Paul’s 2008 bid could make me change my registration to vote in the state primary, and I doubt I would change it for the next election.

While a lot of Republicans liked Ron Paul’s fiscal policy issues during the 2008 elections, his foreign policy views certainly hampered his ability to win a GOP presidential nomination. Johnson has been very outspoken regarding marijuana policy, which has the possibility of making it tough for him to win a GOP nomination, as well.

“Marijuana legalization, arguably Johnson’s hallmark political platform, was advertised as being a main point of the lecture, and Johnson subsequently devoted a substantial portion of his address to it,” writes Patrick Derocher after a recent Johnson lecture at Fordham University.

Over at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government, long-time Republican political consultant Roger Stone is a bit more optimistic than I am:

A 2012 Presidential candidacy by Johnson would lead to a needed public dialog on the failed war on drugs. Prop 19 failed only because of the gross lies told about marijuana use by police groups, Senator Diane Feinstein and, get this, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Anyone who has seen “Pumping Iron” remembers Arnold puffing on a joint between heavy sets. Do as I say, not as I do, Ahhnold ?

This is not to say Johnson is a one dimensional candidate and their will be plenty of opposition to ending the prohibition of Marijuana in the Republican Party, but a Johnson candidacy would find a constituency in the early primary states, particularly “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire and would spark a national discussion that must be had.

Sarah Palin won’t run ( you heard it here first!). The race is wide open. Run, Gary Run.

Following the same vein, CNN entitled a recent article “Forget Palin, here’s Gary Johnson.” Here’s the pertinent excerpt:

Skeptics of the Tea Party note that the right never organized in opposition to the profligate spending of the Bush administration. They wonder why a movement so vocal about liberty focuses exclusively on the economic variety, and suspect that if the GOP is returned to power, government won’t grow smaller or less intrusive so much as serve different masters.

Come 2012, however, there is one Republican who’ll be uniquely positioned to win over these skeptics: former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a long-shot candidate whose success in the presidential primary would signal, as nothing else could, that the principles espoused by the Tea Party really changed the GOP.

Certainly Johnson would provide a bridge between fiscal conservatives and the left, as E. D. Kain notes at The Washington Examiner:

That being said, Johnson’s positions on civil liberties, foreign policy, and the war on drugs dovetail nicely with my own, and are quite a lot better and more coherent than anything we’ve seen out of either traditional Democratic or Republican candidates. I’m not nearly the sort of fiscal hawk that Johnson is, preferring to keep reasonable spending levels on public education, transportation, and health, but at least he’s consistent in his approach to both civil liberties and fiscal affairs. Indeed, if the Tea Party was as coherent as Johnson, I might even join up – though my participation would be more a protest of our egregious drug policies and our failed security policies than anything. Limiting government must mean more than simply limiting taxes and spending if it is ever to become a truly coherent political force.
Johnson isn’t afraid to take on his likely competition.  This clip from a recent profile piece from The New Republic is telling:

What does Johnson make of Palin? On a drive through the foothills of New Hampshire, I ask him. Riding shotgun, he turns the question around on me. “Um, I guess some people think she’s folksy,” I say from the backseat. “Well, at first she strikes you as folksy,” he shoots back. “And then you realize: She might be running for president of the United States! And then, don’t we have the obligation to tell her what a terrible idea that is?” Cupping his hands to his mouth, he brays, “Sarah! We love you! Don’t run!” He also performs a rendition of the “deer-in-the-headlights” interview she did on “The O’Reilly Factor,” about the BP oil spill.

He’s also happy to take on the Republican establishment, as The New Mexico Independent notes:

The free-speaking Johnson also penned a critical statement on the Republican takeover of the House, on Facebook:

“After yesterday’s election I think it would be wrong for the Republicans to take the results as some sort of mandate for Republican leadership. I believe that the Republicans have an opportunity to redeem themselves for when we owned the White House and when we ran up record deficits and when we gave America a prescription health care benefit that added trillions to the entitlement liability and ran up record deficits.”

If Johnson runs, and all signs seem to indicate that he will, the Republican primary process will certainly be interesting.

“As an unabashed Johnson supporter (which is an extremely unusual place to find myself vis-a-vis a politician), my main hope has been that at least one libertarian-minded candidate make it to the GOP’s final round in 2012,” writes Matt Welch at Reason. “Though as one wag suggested to me on Election Night, why not two?”

Over at Slate, Dave Weigel noted that the process could be a lot of fun, too. Here’s the excerpt he pulled from the TNR profile, which was immediately followed by the quote at the top of this post:

“Look,” he says, “there are times and places where it would be perfectly safe to go one-forty, and there are others where it would be reckless to go fifty-five.” Within moments, he’s taking aim at stop signs and red lights. “I’m not opposed to the concept,” he allows. “But sometimes, you know, it’s 5:30 in the morning! There’s nobody on the road!”

I’ll have the advantage being able to have some face time with Governor Johnson next week, as the Samford College Republicans and the Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus (disclosure: I’m the current chairman) will be co-hosting a campus event in Birmingham where he will be speaking. We are following this up with a Liberty on the Rocks mixer right down the street, where Johnson will also be present.

While it’s far to early to begin predicting the outcome of the 2012 GOP presidential nomination process, it seems pretty safe to predict that the debate could indeed be interesting.

Mike Huckabee: The Benedict Arnold of Today’s Tea Party Movement

“If a libertarian thinks he’s a better Republican and calls people like me a RINO or a liberal, I have a real problem with that.” – former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in a recent television interview.

Of all of the politicians likely to become presidential candidates in 2012, it’s probably former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who scares me the most. He’s got a unique ability to praise small-government types in one breath then dis them with the next. People, especially in the Tea Party movement, either aren’t aware of how he REALLY feels about them or tend to forget such important details as his actual quotes and voting record.

Because of this, I find it important to remind people of Huckabee’s past whenever his name pops up on the electoral horizon. In my latest attempt at statist Whack-a-Mole, I tried to remind folks of the Huckster’s true record. As a refresher course for folks visiting this site, here’s what he told HuffPo not so very long ago:

The greatest threat to classic Republicanism is not liberalism; it’s this new brand of libertarianism, which is social liberalism and economic conservatism, but it’s a heartless, callous, soulless type of economic conservatism because it says “look, we want to cut taxes and eliminate government. If it means that elderly people don’t get their Medicare drugs, so be it. If it means little kids go without education and healthcare, so be it.” Well, that might be a quote pure economic conservative message, but it’s not an American message. It doesn’t fly. People aren’t going to buy that, because that’s not the way we are as a people. That’s not historic Republicanism.

Lest anyone think this is merely some random quote taken out of context, let’s see what Time does in an interview with Huckabee about his book:

In a chapter titled “Faux-Cons: Worse than Liberalism,” Huckabee identifies what he calls the “real threat” to the Republican Party: “libertarianism masked as conservatism.” He is not so much concerned with the libertarian candidate Ron Paul’s Republican supporters as he is with a strain of mainstream fiscal-conservative thought that demands ideological purity, seeing any tax increase as apostasy and leaving little room for government-driven solutions to people’s problems. “I don’t take issue with what they believe, but the smugness with which they believe it,” writes Huckabee, who raised some taxes as governor and cut deals with his state’s Democratic legislature. “Faux-Cons aren’t interested in spirited or thoughtful debate, because such an endeavor requires accountability for the logical conclusion of their argument.” Among his targets is the Club for Growth, a group that tarred Huckabee as insufficiently conservative in the primaries and ran television ads with funding from one of Huckabee’s longtime Arkansas political foes, Jackson T. Stephens Jr.

It seems that my rant caught the attention of Judge Andrew Napolitano’s producer Austin Peterson. Over the weekend, Napolitano interviewed the former governor on Fox’s Freedom Watch.

“But you don’t believe that the federal government should be concerned with people blowing smoke in other people’s faces?” asked Napolitano.

Huckabee’s responses blew smoke — not in people’s faces — but up a totally different orifice. He avoided answering a question about Constitutional authority, then came out sounding a bit more libertarian on privacy issues.

When Great Britain’s King George III raised taxes and caused other grievous injustices to the colonists, we knew who the enemy was. For the last two years, President Obama, House Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others have played a similar role.  During the Revolutionary War, the enemy was easy to spot and distinguish: They wore red coats. The traitors were more problematic, though. By squeaking out small-government noises lately, Mike Huckabee has become the Benedict Arnold of today’s Tea Party movement.

In the interview, Huckabee didn’t provide us with a shermanesque statement about his 2012 presidential ambitions. I’ve called out Huckabee’s record on countless blogs and media interviews, and even suggested to Rachel Maddow that Tax Hike Mike can’t tell if his tea bags swing to the left or to the right. Because Huckabee dons new uniforms like Benedict Arnold, it’s imperative that we all continue to tag Tax Hike Mike with “a RINO or a liberal” label as often as possible unless we wish to see the GOP nominate another John McCain as their presidential candidate.

Here’s the “Huckabee & Libertarians” segment on Fox:

UPDATE: Jason Pye pointed to the post which started this all off and a commenter notes:

I think part of that is because people still haven’t dug very deep into his record. Huckabee’s populism is I think as bad as it gets. Take the bad parts of both parties and put them into one dude, and you’ve got an ever-refattening Huckabee.

WaPo’s “Who Runs Gov” blog notes: Trouble on the right? [Mike Huckabee] is christened “The Benedict Arnold of Today’s Tea Party Movement” by the Liberty Papers.

UPDATE II: Over at Liberty Pundits, Melissa Clouthier scribed:

Dear Christian Conservatives intoxicated by the Jesus talk: It’s not Christian to steal from one person and give it to someone else. Mike Huckabee is a Big Government populist who wants to use government programs for Christian ends. The problem with that is it is inherently wrong. You cannot take the liberty of one person and increase the liberty of another. Period.

Doug Mataconis adds: “Hey Huckster, it’s on.”

James O’Keefe Highlights Alleged Voter Fraud in Jersey City Mayoral Race

Yesterday, we posted some new videos from the controversial self-described citizen journalist James O’Keefe. The videos highlighted racy footage taken at a New Jersey Education Association and the problems associated with teacher tenure.  O’Keefe has just launched a third video dealing with the NJEA, this one alleging voter fraud in a 1997 Jersey City mayoral election. The interview with NJEA Associate Director Wayne Dibofsky, combined with other details presented in the video, seems compelling enough to warrant a bit more investigation.

UPDATE: NJ Governor Chris Christie weighs in:

This is what I’ ve been talking about. This is another exhibit as to what I’ ve been talking about. The arrogance, the greed, the self-interest, the lack of introspection, the lack of standards. And it hurts the great teachers just as much as it hurts the kids.

I think that this video makes the distinction better than I ever could. This is their leadership conference where they’ re in a hotel, having this leadership conference, singing songs together about kicking the governor in his tool box. I wonder what they mean by that? But I can tell you I sense it would hurt.

They talk about the things.. I’ m not even going to say it because we have children in this audience but the things that they would have to do in order to lose tenure. And how exciting the moment is after three years when they get tenure and realize ‘ we can’ t get fired for anything’ .

Gov. Chris Christie comments on 'teachers unions gone wild'

James O’Keefe Taking Aim at NJ Teachers Union

Noted for his role in taking down ACORN, gonzo filmmaker James O’Keefe is at it again. The Daily Caller provides an overview:

O’Keefe, best known as the force behind last year’s ACORN scandal, said the first video was shot at a meeting of the New Jersey Education Association in August. Entitled Teachers Gone Wild, the tape shows people identified as teachers speaking in what appears to be a hotel lounge, as well as in a conference room. O’Keefe says the video was gathered by a “team of videographers,” whom he and his colleagues at Veritas Visuals hooked up with hidden microphones and cameras. O’Keefe says the journalists “weren’t in costumes.”

In one video, Alissa Ploshnick, who is identified as a special educator at Passaic Public Schools, seems to verify the worst suspicions of education reformers. “It’s really hard to fire a tenured teacher,” she says. “It’s really hard – like you seriously have to be in the hallway fucking somebody.”

As an example, Ploshnick said, “we had a teacher that just recently was like – you NIGGER,” adding that the teacher was demoted, but is still teaching.

O’Keefe is organizing an event Monday in front of New Jersey’s statehouse in Trenton to call for that specific teacher’s identification – and dismissal.

“The time has come to put party politics aside and put our children first,” said Darryl M. Brooks, former New Jersey Senate candidate and long time community activist, stated in a release announcing today’s news conference. “I am tired of the pandering we hear every election cycle from our elected officials that we need to improve our education system, while nothing gets done. We continue to fall further and further behind other nations around the world when it comes to education, our schools continue to crumble, and our children, especially in the inner cities are being shortchanged. To add insult to injury must we now endure teachers calling students the N word, while the NJEA stands by and does nothing but protect one of their own.”

“Their office building directly across from the Statehouse in Trenton is called ‘The Kremlin,'” added a political consultant friend of mine who has worked a lot in New Jersey.

Here’s the first video. The Liberty Papers has been informed that additional video will be released soon. Additional information located here.

UPDATE: Here’s the second video:

What if the Founding Fathers could have posted to Facebook?

Yesterday, Glenn Reynolds posted a link to a post over at Cool Material which, in a humorous manner, displays what might have happened if historical events had Facebook statuses. I had so much fun with the historical events graphic, I thought I’d take a stab at what some of the Founding Father’s posts might have looked like along with some of the potential comments left afterwards.

Founding Fathers on Facebook

Founding Fathers on Facebook

Government-Run Amputation Panels

For some time, we’ve been using words and sometimes charts or graphs to describe the multitude of problems with government-run health care systems. The Greeks have finally allowed us to put a face to the issue. Well, perhaps a few extremities lower. From the Daily Caller:

This Saturday, one of Greece’s most respected newspapers, To Vima, reported that the nation’s largest government health insurance provider would no longer pay for special footwear for diabetes patients. Amputation is cheaper, says the Benefits Division of the state insurance provider.

In a true free market, health insurance providers couldn’t allow this sort of imagery, as it would hurt obviously their sales. Who’d want to purchase insurance from a company with a reputation of cutting granny’s feet off instead of covering the cost for therapeutic shoes?

The photograph above is from some Civil War amputation footage. I’d like to thank Congress and the president for bringing the United States one step closer to 1865.

The most revolting political video I’ve ever seen

Here are the first two tenets (of ten) of the organization dubbed 10:10:

  1. 10:10 is a voluntary emissions reduction campaign for any person, organisation or business to commit to cutting 10% of their emissions in a 12 month period starting in 2010.
  2. 10:10 is an inclusive campaign. Every person, business and organisation is welcome to join.

The video below (the original has already been deleted from their website) depicts what they mean by the word voluntary.  Those who can’t handle graphical depictions of school children being blown apart shouldn’t watch this, and parents should be advised that this is the sort of material from which some of you may wish to shield your children.

Here’s their current explanation as to why they deleted their own video:

Sorry.

Today we put up a mini-movie about 10:10 and climate change called ‘No Pressure’.

With climate change becoming increasingly threatening, and decreasingly talked about in the media, we wanted to find a way to bring this critical issue back into the headlines whilst making people laugh. We were therefore delighted when Britain’s leading comedy writer, Richard Curtis – writer of Blackadder, Four Weddings, Notting Hill and many others – agreed to write a short film for the 10:10 campaign. Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn’t and we sincerely apologise to anybody we have offended.

As a result of these concerns we’ve taken it off our website. We won’t be making any attempt to censor or remove other versions currently in circulation on the internet.

We’d like to thank the 50+ film professionals and 40+ actors and extras and who gave their time and equipment to the film for free. We greatly value your contributions and the tremendous enthusiasm and professionalism you brought to the project.

At 10:10 we’re all about trying new and creative ways of getting people to take action on climate change. Unfortunately in this instance we missed the mark. Oh well, we live and learn.

Onwards and upwards,

Franny, Lizzie, Eugenie and the whole 10:10 team

They may have deleted the video, but the Internet has a very long memory, indeed. I’m sure political opponents of the environmental movement will be using this footage for years to come.

Perhaps it’s time for a little compassionate libertarianism

“It is to put conservative values and conservative ideas into the thick of the fight for justice and opportunity.

“This is what I mean by compassionate conservatism. And on this ground we will govern our nation.

“We will give low-income Americans tax credits to buy the private health insurance they need and deserve.

“We will transform today’s housing rental program to help hundreds of thousands of low-income families find stability and dignity in a home of their own.

“And, in the next bold step of welfare reform, we will support the heroic work of homeless shelters and hospices, food pantries and crisis pregnancy centers people reclaiming their communities block-by-block and heart-by-heart.” - from George W. Bush’s 2000 Republican National Convention acceptance speech

True fiscal conservatives, especially libertarians, are among the most compassionate people I’ve ever met.  Time and time again I’ve witnessed the poorest of libertarians being the most generous with their money, especially when the giving process is personal and not directed through some government agency or large non-government organization. When a house burns down across the street, these are often the first people to show with food and clothing. When someone needs money for a medical calamity, these are the people who host the bake sale and pass the hat. They’ll assist in a traffic accident or help a stranger fix a flat in the pouring rain. Or give a homeless guy a few bucks. When you see that glass jar with a tattered photocopy of some local kid in need taped to it over by the checkout counter at your local mom-and-pop store, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Compassionate conservatism, at least of the variety schemed by Karl Rove and practiced by George W. Bush, has been a topic of constant ridicule from the left, libertarians, and the few fiscal conservatives with enough testicular fortitude to criticize Republican leaders for their hypocrisy regarding economic issues. True to his word,  Bush intervened in the health care, housing and welfare reform arenas, providing us with costly programs like Medicare Part D, the collapse of Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac, and problematic Faith-Based Initiatives, respectively.  And let’s not forget the federal expansion of the No Child Left Behind program or the federal intervention of the Terri Schiavo case. While these big-ticket items provide enough fodder to dismiss compassionate conservatism, there are countless additional examples of how Bush and his cronies managed equate the word “conservative” with a redistributionistic domestic policy or expansion of government.

A bit of fast forwarding provides the same general liberal and libertarian criticisms of compassionate conservatism today, but the populist mood has shifted and provided us with a Tea Party movement willing to, at least in part, take aim at the policies of the previous administration.  The Tea Party movement has also provided new fiscally conservative candidates, emboldened the few small-government conservatives holding public office, and forced others to wear a temporary, election year I-also-hate-deficit-spending-except-when-they-forced-me-to-vote-for-it cloak. For better or worse, the political landscape has certainly changed over the last couple of years.

President Obama’s election combined with a Democratic takeover of Congress led to an interesting phenomenon: An increase in the sales of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged.   All of a sudden, non-libertarians were no longer wincing when being criticized for greediness and the Tea Parties of early 2009 sported a lot of Rand-influenced signage.  During those days, I ran into a plethora of activists who could easily illustrate how individual “greed” is actually a virtue.

By the time the April 15, 2009 Tea Parties had concluded, the initially blurry composition of the movement had focused into a coalition of libertarians and fiscal conservatives with a better defined message regarding greed and compassion. Still today, there is a clear-cut and not-necessarily-defined-by-party-lines “us” and “them” — “them” being the liberals, the big-spenders, the establishment, the liberal media, elected officials, and so on.  In other words, the big-government political elite and their enablers.

In the process of defining “them,” fiscal conservatives also began to brand who the “us” are: the victims of the big-government political elite and their enablers. Populist identity politics in the Tea Party era focuses on the rights, and the votes, of people afflicted by government policies — especially redistributionistic ones. While a few people still concentrate on the Randian self-victim angle, a great deal are now concerned about how fiscal deficits will impact their children and grandchildren, how cap-and-trade legislation places arbitrary regulations on industries, and on how socialized medicine removes personal choice from large sectors of our society.

It seems that Bush’s brand of compassionate conservatism was designed primarily to win enough liberals without repulsing too many conservatives in order to win on Election Day.  This played out to three large sectors of the voting population:  It guilted the “haves” into paying for the “needs” of others, it bribed the “needy” in exchange for votes and the word “conservative” was tacked alongside socialistic policies in order to pacify other elements within the GOP.

That formula couldn’t work today because the “haves” are becoming fewer in number and those remaining are less inclined to pay taxes for either social or corporate welfare. Despite the protestations of the Mike Huckabees and Lindsey Grahams of the world, the word “conservative” is being redefined and the current incarnation deals more with fiscal than social issues.  Providing government services to classes of people in exchange for votes will always exist, but as the system continues to collapse, people have less faith in the ability of their own sector of society to continue to be the beneficiary of government largesse.

“Compassionate libertarianism” is not some policy of economic redistribution, as others have suggested in the past. It isn’t pandering for votes, although that could be a positive consequence. It doesn’t require compromising any values, therefore it isn’t oxymoronic.

“Compassionate libertarianism” is concentrating the imagery of the libertarian message towards the victims of government benevolence. It focuses on the small company forced to shut down because of ObamaCare or other tax and regulatory burdens. It illuminates a new class of unemployed as a result of Cap-and-Trade. It highlights a working family which just cut their food budget while paying for the more expensive food of people who don’t work at all. It centers our attention on the small businesses which are laying off employees while the government continues to hire.

Other examples include those suffering from collapsing roads or utility systems because government can no longer pay the bill. People being forced to purchase insurance they don’t desire. The family farm which can’t compete with the government-subsidized mega farms. The non-bailout automobile companies competing with those obtaining government cash. Someone who dies as a result of a government-influenced denial of his or her medical care. The people being looted, as opposed to the looters and beneficiaries of the looting process.

For the first time in my life, it seems that more people sympathize with the people being looted than with the looters. Maybe this is because more people are being personally impacted by our current fiscal crisis than has happened for quite some time.  And this seems to have led to additional education about our Constitution and the history of the dawning of our republic.

Perhaps this is the time to turn our country’s sympathies toward those individuals who are working hard and doing the right thing but having their property confiscated in the variety of social and corporate welfare scams being administered in D.C.

If we are going to be compassionate, let’s at least aim it at the true victims in society — the ones actually being tyrannized by our government, as opposed to the looters who receive the spoils of this economic and political war.

From Saxby Chambliss’s Office: “All faggots must die”

Here’s where you can find the offending quote on the Internet.

Here’s the challenge that was made to find the culprit:

The above comment was left today by “Jimmy” on my post about the DADT cloture vote. The IP address *appears* to resolve to the neighborhood of GOP U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ Atlanta office. The ISP is “United States Senate.” I’m confident that the JMG internet sleuths can get to the source.

Here’s the IP: 156.33.20.72. Get busy, geeks!

Here’s what the Atlanta Journal Constitution has written about it (so far):

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss confirmed Tuesday that he investigating whether one of his staffers left a threatening slur on an Internet discussion of the right of gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military.

“We have seen the allegations and are moving quickly to understand the facts. This office has not and will not tolerate any activity of the sort alleged,” Chambliss spokeswoman Bronwyn Lance Chester said. “Once we have ascertained whether these claims are true, we will take the appropriate steps.”

And here’s an additional update:

I’ve just gotten off the phone with Atlanta Journal-Constitution political writer Jim Galloway who says that Sen. Saxby Chambliss has confirmed that the “All faggots must die” comment left here on JMG earlier today did indeed come from his Atlanta office. Galloway reports that Chambliss told him his office is conducting an internal investigation.

And people wonder why I think social conservatives in the Republican Party should just shut the hell up.

UPDATE: An AJC commenter provides the following:

This “investigation” smacks of religious persecution. Whoever made the comment was just paraphrasing the Holy scripture: “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13) Our laws should reflect God’s law, right? This is a Christian nation after all.

Lest anyone think this sort of thought process is an isolated event, let’s take a look at what former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore wrote in a concurring opinion in D.H. v. H.H. (a case where a lesbian was attempting to obtain custody of her children):

“The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle.”

UPDATE II: The AJC provides the following:

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ office has determined it was indeed the source of a highly publicized homosexual-bashing slur on an Internet site.

But in a statement, Chambliss’ office said it has not discovered exactly who was behind the slur, and has turned the matter over to the Senate Sergeant At Arms.

“The (Sergeant at Arms) has worked side by side with our personnel to determine whether the comment in question emanated from our office. That appears to be the case,” an unsigned statement from Chambliss’ press office read.

“There has not been a determination as to who posted the comment,” the statement read. “That part of the review is ongoing, and is now in the hands of the Senate Sergeant at Arms.”

Spokeswomen for Chambliss did not return a reporters phone calls or emails seeking more details.

Will the Tea Party movement be willing to support libertarian-leaning candidates?

Reason‘s Jesse Walker and the Atlantic‘s Andrew Sullivan have some back and forth and back again going on relating to the Tea Party movement and libertarianism.

Sullivan notes:

If only a left/right alliance would cooperate to end the drug war, get a grand compromise on the debt, and rein in defense spending and police state creep. But seriously, does Jesse really believe that the Tea Party would do any of these things?

Yes, they are, for the most part, emphasizing economic and fiscal issues, which is wonderful, even though they have no actual realistic plans to cut spending by the amount they would have to if taxes are not to rise. But that does not mean they have in any way forsaken the social issues substantively. Name a tea-party candidate who is pro-choice. Name one who backs marriage equality. Name one who wants to withdraw from Afghanistan beginning next year. Name one who has opposed torture. Name one who has the slightest qualms about police powers. Name one who would end the military ban on gays serving openly, and take even the slightest political risk on any of these subjects.

I welcome the belated right-wing opposition to out-of-control government spending. But the one thing you have to note about tea-party fervor is that none of it existed when they had real leverage over a Republican president, who spent us into bankruptcy. That tells you something. And if you think a party led by Palin will not embrace every neocon crusade or Christianist social policy, you’re dreaming.

From the perspective of a libertarian Tea Party activist, I’d like to add my two cents to the conversation.

To begin, Scott Rasmussen and Douglas Schoen scribed the following in Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System:

…it is premature to consider the prospects of a Tea Party message on the biggest national political stage. However, Gary Johnson, the libertarian-leaning Republican former governor of New Mexico, is rumored to be a contender in the 2012 presidential election, and possible the preferred presidential candidate of the Tea Party movement.

While Johnson, who has attended several Tea Party rallies, diverges from the Tea Party movement on certain issues such as immigration and support for the Iraq war, he has been praised by Tea Party groups for his support for personal liberty and smaller government. As governor, Johnson vetoes 750 bills, more than all the vetoes of the country’s forty-nine other governors combined, and he gained national notoriety for his support of legalizing drugs.

John Dennis, the Republican running for Nancy Pelosi’s congressional seat, offers the following on his platform:

  • The Constitution was written to restrict the actions of the government, not individuals.
  • If we support some types of liberty but not others, ultimately we will be left without liberty at all.
  • I oppose, warrant less wiretaps, water-boarding and other forms of torture.
  • Governments have historically institutionalized racism through legal preference and advantages to certain groups.
  • Racism a form of collectivism is the antithesis of liberty.
  • It is the pursuit of liberty and the equal application of the law that draws people together.
  • I support ending both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and withdrawing our troops as safely and quickly as possible.
  • I believe the men and women who bravely serve and defend our country should be well trained, well equipped, well clothed, well fed and deployed only when necessary.
  • I do not believe that our troops should be forced to be policemen of the world. Our troops, first and foremost, should protect Americans where they live – in America.

While these platform snippets don’t directly address all of Sullivan’s concerns, they seem to indicate that the candidate is certainly leaning in the direction Sully suggests. To be clear, I have no clue as to whether Dennis considers himself a Tea Party candidate. However, the only Tea Party activists I know in the district support him and it is difficult to imagine any person affiliated with the Tea Party movement supporting Pelosi.

I spoke with Daniel Adams, the chairman of the Libertarian Party of Georgia, on the telephone this morning.  His gubernatorial candidate, John Monds, had recently spoken at a Tea party event. Adams informed me that by the end of the evening half the of the people in attendance wearing stickers for a gubernatorial candidate preferred Monds while the other half preferred GOP nominee Nathan Deal. At this moment, all of Georgia’s statewide libertarian candidates are polling relatively high for third-party candidates while Deal continues to be plagued with financial (and other) problems.  I’m not stating that the Tea Party movement will go third party, but the Hoffman/Scozzafava debacle in New York indicates at least some willingness to pursue this option, if absolutely necessary.

To be sure, there hasn’t been a plethora of strong libertarian-leaning Tea Party candidates out there so far, but there are certainly plenty of libertarians within the Tea Party movement. Even in Alabama, I’m more likely to run into a Campaign for Liberty member than a Roy Moore supporter at a Tea party event — although both coexist within the movement to pursue common goals regarding fiscal policy and fighting “the establishment.”

There is a certain degree of pragmatism within the Tea Party movement, Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts serving as the perfect example.  It is also interesting to note that I know quite a few libertarians who snicker about Christine O’Donnell’s stance on a certain individual liberty issue, but still enjoy watching an establishment big-government Republican go down in flames in Delaware. I’ve also seen plenty of Ron Paul supporters speaking at Tea Party rallies.  There is clearly some give and take on both sides.

In their book, Rasmussen and Schoen clearly identify libertarians as one of the three major ideological components of the movement.  Combining the aforementioned factors, Tea Party support for reasonable libertarian-leaning candidates seems possible – at least in some districts and in some cases.

A libertarian live-blog of the State of the Union address

United Liberty’s live-blog of the State of the Union address will begin around 8:30pm. President Barack Obama will begin his speech to the joint session of Congress around 9pm.  Liberty Papers contributors Jason Pye, Kevin Boyd and Stephen Gordon will be among the live bloggers for the event.  Trying to insert the embed code now.  Here goes…

President Obama establishes Council of Governors by Executive Order

Brad just asked what people are reading today.  President Obama just provided some interesting reading material indeed. Here’s the opening text from an Executive Order dated January 11, 2010:

EXECUTIVE ORDER
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COUNCIL OF GOVERNORS

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 1822 of the National Defense AuthorizationAct of 2008 (Public Law 110-181), and in order to strengthenfurther the partnership between the Federal Government and State governments to protect our Nation and its people and property, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Council of Governors.
(a)
There is established a Council of Governors (Council).The Council shall consist of 10 State Governors appointed bythe President (Members), of whom no more than five shall be ofthe same political party. The term of service for each Member appointed to serve on the Council shall be 2 years, but a Membermay be reappointed for additional terms.
(b)
The President shall designate two Members, whoshall not be members of the same political party, to serve asCo-Chairs of the Council.
Sec. 2. Functions. The Council shall meet at the call of the Secretary of Defense or the Co-Chairs of the Council toexchange views, information, or advice with the Secretary ofDefense; the Secretary of Homeland Security; the Assistant tothe President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; theAssistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs andPublic Engagement; the Assistant Secretary of Defense forHomeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs; the Commander,United States Northern Command; the Chief, National GuardBureau; the Commandant of the Coast Guard; and other appropriateofficials of the Department of Homeland Security and theDepartment of Defense, and appropriate officials of otherexecutive departments or agencies as may be designated by theSecretary of Defense or the Secretary of Homeland Security.Such views, information, or advice shall concern:
(a)
matters involving the National Guard of the variousStates;
(b)
homeland defense;
(c)
civil support;
more
(OVER)
2
(d)
synchronization and integration of State and Federalmilitary activities in the United States; and
(e)
other matters of mutual interest pertaining toNational Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.

Read the rest here.

This is your government on no-bid contracts

Alabama’s premium political blog reports the following: “The Department of Finance, Executive Budget Office has released a power point presentation on the same subject.”

The topic of the report may be interesting, but that’s not why I’m posting these links.  If you open up the Power Point presentation, here’s what you’ll see on page 5:

clicktoaddtitle.

The rest of the pages aren’t any better.

Currently, Governor Riley is under fire for a $13 million contract awarded to the same finance department which released this slide show.  The contract was for computer work, even.

For $13 million, one might think that they would be able to figure out how to use a Microsoft template. And this is the same state government which is in charge of our public education system?

Huckabee’s hypocrisy

The former governor munching on a Huckaburger that he'd try to keep you from eating

The former governor munching on a Huckaburger that he'd try to prevent you from eating. Credit: Reuters

According to this Twitter account, if former Governor Mike Huckabee’s lips are moving, he’s lying.  Let put that statement to a test.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview transcript (emphasis added):

The last time out, my biggest challenge was with the establishment Republicans who just never showed their support. And while I think a person can possibly win without them, the Republican Party needs to unite if it’s going to win in 2012.

Now let’s compare Huckabee’s appeal for unity to other comments he has made.  This is from a year-old Time article:

In a chapter titled “Faux-Cons: Worse than Liberalism,” Huckabee identifies what he calls the “real threat” to the Republican Party: “libertarianism masked as conservatism.” He is not so much concerned with the libertarian candidate Ron Paul’s Republican supporters as he is with a strain of mainstream fiscal-conservative thought that demands ideological purity, seeing any tax increase as apostasy and leaving little room for government-driven solutions to people’s problems. “I don’t take issue with what they believe, but the smugness with which they believe it,” writes Huckabee, who raised some taxes as governor and cut deals with his state’s Democratic legislature. “Faux-Cons aren’t interested in spirited or thoughtful debate, because such an endeavor requires accountability for the logical conclusion of their argument.” Among his targets is the Club for Growth, a group that tarred Huckabee as insufficiently conservative in the primaries and ran television ads with funding from one of Huckabee’s longtime Arkansas political foes, Jackson T. Stephens Jr.

Then there’s this little gem from HuffPo:

Republicans need to be Republicans. The greatest threat to classic Republicanism is not liberalism; it’s this new brand of libertarianism, which is social liberalism and economic conservatism, but it’s a heartless, callous, soulless type of economic conservatism because it says “look, we want to cut taxes and eliminate government. If it means that elderly people don’t get their Medicare drugs, so be it. If it means little kids go without education and healthcare, so be it.” Well, that might be a quote pure economic conservative message, but it’s not an American message. It doesn’t fly. People aren’t going to buy that, because that’s not the way we are as a people. That’s not historic Republicanism. Historic Republicanism does not hate government; it’s just there to be as little of it as there can be. But they also recognize that government has to be paid for.

It seems that Huckabee is all for GOP unity so long as everyone in The Village agrees with his big-government prescriptions.  Not to kick a big-government Republican while he’s down, but it seems he’d be more concerned about dealing with his Willie Horton moment right now.

UPDATE: Here’s why The Humble Libertarian doesn’t heart the Huckster.

The War of the Whoppers

For some time, it looked like Republicans were more persuasive liars than their counterparts in DC. After all, they (with the assistance of Judith Miller and The New York Times) convinced a great deal of Americans that aluminum tubes had been intercepted which were to be used to create nuclear bombs. Visions of Islamic terrorists flooding across our southern border with truckloads of nukes provided the rest of the political support necessary for us to begin military operations in Iraq.

Of course, these so-called weapons of mass destruction were never found, which forced President Bush to state that he “fully understood that the intelligence was wrong, and [he was] just as disappointed as everybody else” about it.

Now it seems the Democrats have been caught with their pants down. Already dubbed ClimateGate, it seems that the data which has been used by the left to push for tighter environmental regulations is at least partially based on junk science — and they’ve been covering this up for some time.  It will take some time to determine the impact of the revelation of hacked e-mails and other files, but I’d expect to see at least a few reversals in environmental policy over the next few years.

Currently, the War of the Whoopers is playing out on another front: health care.  Megan McArdle has a pretty good take on the fecal matter being spewed by both sides. We’ll start with the red team:

  • This bill uses accounting gimmicks to front load the taxes and back load the spending, which is the only reason it’s deficit neutral over the ten year window.
  • The Democrats are refusing to let cuts to doctor payments stand, and also, doctors don’t get paid enough.
  • Millions of people are going to be added to Medicaid, which is a terrible program because providers don’t get paid enough.  Also, it would be too expensive to add people to Medicaid.
  • Medicare costs too much, and also, shouldn’t be cut.
  • The Republicans favor “real reform” which mostly seems to consist of liability caps.

Now for the blues:

  • Insurance companies are evil institutions which deny everyone any care that costs more than a pack of Freedent gum.  Also, they cannot control health care costs without substantial government intervention, because they spend far too much on expensive procedures.
  • Ted Kennedy sure was a swell guy, wasn’t he?  He’d be proud of every dang one of us today.  (It is impossible to exaggerate how great a role this point played.  There was a five minute stretch which consisted largely of people telling Ted Kennedy’s replacement that Teddy would be awfully proud of him, and him saying, “No, really, Ted would be proud of you.”)
  • Small- and medium-sized businesses are groaning under the weight of their health care costs.  Also, starting next year, we’re going to force them to give you much more generous coverage from your employer, such as coverage for non-dependent “children” up to the age of 26.
  • This problem is incredibly urgent, which is why we have to pass this bill, which now takes effect in 2014, RIGHT NOW.

She covered it pretty well, but seemed to miss one piece of GOP excrement the left frequently observes: ties between Republicans and the health insurance industry.

I’ve made this point before and I’ll make it again: So long as the Republican leadership doesn’t try in earnest to remove the legislative ties between employment and health insurance, they are leaving themselves wide open to accusations of hypocrisy.

The Democrats are trying to convince the American public that they can increase regulations, insure everyone, and still cut costs without running up the deficit. And don’t forget President Obama’s pledge not to increase taxes. I’m sure even Joseph Goebbels would be impressed with this one.

But Republicans can’t say squat about deficit spending. To listen to the typical GOP incumbent on the campaign trail, deficit spending is some new evil Democratic invention. Although these Republicans voted for one bloated budget after another, somehow they are managing to convince the voters in their districts that they are the voice of fiscal responsibility.  I felt as if I needed hip waders at the last congressional town hall meeting I visited.

Troops are lined up on both sides of the battle line shooting outright lies and hurling bullshit grenades at each other.  It wouldn’t bother me if they fought to the last man and took each other out.  Of paramount concern, however, is that the American people are the ones suffering the collateral damage.

Twitter user claims “Mission Accomplished” regarding Fort Hood incident

Profile_Pic

Profile photo of Twitter user SpicyHam

My nephew and his wife (who recently got out of the Army) live in the Fort Hood area.  After calling to see if they are all okay, I hit Facebook and Twitter to see if I could obtain some additional information.  That’s when I found this tweet:

“Fort Hood = Mission Accomplished.”

Here are some others from the same user:

Another: “Fort Hood, you deserved it. Next time, learn to dodge bullets, nubs.”

Another: “I’d nuke Fort Hood to clean that mess up.”

Another: “We were aiming for 9 to 11, apparantly our dear hero Scott has execded our expetations at Fort Hood and certainly over-performed! haha!”

Finally: “I say they went easy on them. I woulda burned their corpses and cut their head off at Fort Hood.”

The user name is Glenn Yu, he calls himself SpicyHam, and he indicates that he’s from Canada.

As soon as I found this, I notified the FBI. Shortly thereafter, television news indicated that one of the shooters was an Army major, so it’s unlikely this Twitter user was involved.  Whether he was or wasn’t, he’s certainly a sick s.o.b.

RINO of the Day: Nebraska’s Jeff Fortenberry

jefffortenberry

Rep. Fortenberry: Let's expand health care subsidies

It wasn’t all that long ago that Karl Rove was using an example of Republican socialized medicine to illustrate why Democratic socialized medicine is bad.  Now here’s Nebraska Republican Jeff Fortenberry calling for an increase in government health care spending:

In addition, we could expand subsidies for high risk pools for those with chronic illnesses and who are having affordability problems.

To a great degree, Republicans are currently fighting socialized health care by citing cost projections and then saying “we can”t afford it.” This leaves the door wide open for the Democratic response of shaving a few bucks off their plan to give us socialized health care “we can afford.”

I’d argue that the GOP leadership needs to make their arguments based on principles, but I don’t think there are senior Republicans who can even spell the word, much less put it into practice.

I’ll try to put it in language that even congressmen can understand, though: Expand subsidies=bad; decrease or eliminate subsidies=good.

Would Joe Biden promote orgies for sexual abstinence?

joebiden

Biden: We need to put more on our national credit card to keep from going bankrupt

CNS News provides the following quote (emphasis added) from Vice President Joe Biden:

“And folks look, AARP knows and the people with me here today know, the president knows, and I know, that the status quo is simply not acceptable,” Biden said at the event on Thursday in Alexandria, Va. “It’s totally unacceptable. And it’s completely unsustainable. Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it now. It can’t do it financially.”

“We’re going to go bankrupt as a nation,” Biden said.

“Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.”

My response is simple enough even for Twitter:

Earth to Joe Biden: Spending to avoid bankruptcy is like f***ing for virginity.

Considering the way Congress spends our money, perhaps ” orgy for sexual abstinence” may have been a better analogy.

Insert joke about stimulating the economy below.

Yo Meghan, the revolution already started. Where have you been?

Meghan McCain writes:

I understand that my place within the Young Republicans and the Republican Party is a controversial one, which is something I am still trying to get comfortable with. I am criticized almost daily for not being “conservative enough.” But the Republican Party needs to reach out to all kinds of voters. The last time I checked, most conservatives are already Republicans. It’s the independents that we need to sway. We need to make them believe we really do practice what we preached about less government, less spending, national security, etc, and we aren’t recruiting leaders who are old and out of touch.

This is interesting to me, because a few weeks ago, I went to a Young Republicans event in Birmingham. The following night, I cohosted a Liberty on the Rocks event in the same town. Both were on weekday nights, held in popular bars with decent food not too far away from each other, the weather was about the same (hot and muggy, of course), but quite a few more folks were at the latter event.  There were more Ron Paul voters at the LOTR event than voters for all of the GOP presidential candidates combined at the YR event.  To add fuel to the fire, there were even some Ron Paul supporters I know at the YR event.

From a libertarian perspective, both Meghan and her father have come out positively on a few issues, such as torture and gay rights. She made some comments about racism in her article with which libertarians will approve. With respect to less government and less spending, they’d both do well to spend a few hours around the good doctor from Texas. I don’t know if there is anything which can be done about the McCain impulse to go to war with little provocation, but I can easily set her up with some noted conservative/libertarian authors and politicans who would be willing to take the time to discuss the issue with her.

“What Young Republicans need is a revolution,” she writes.

In case she somehow missed the word, having been busy on the campaign trail and all, there already is one:

» Read more

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