Archive for May, 2008

Huckabee Advisor Moderates LP Debate

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Yes I’m about a week late on this, but I was thinking the other day about how one of the odder things about the Libertarian Party convention in Denver was the fact that Jim Pinkerton was selected to moderate the C-SPAN televised debate.

Pinkerton was most recently a “senior advisor” to Mike Huckabee’s campaign. Huckabee, with his combination of economic populism, nanny-state paternalism, and Christian Right moralism - is perhaps as far from Libertarian as one can get.

This description of Pinkerton seems (as far as I can tell) to be a relatively fair assessment:

Pinkerton is a quirky, independent-minded, and affable conservative… He proudly wears the paleocon badge, and he has been against the Iraq war from the start, blasting away at the neocons and their imperial ambitions. He’s a fierce hawk on immigration. No fence is too big or too large for him. He has railed repeatedly [on bhTV] that elites… just don’t get it–the “it” being the supposed widespread and deep popular anger about illegal immigrants. He’s also a utopian advocate of space exploration.

Clearly a mixed bag, although any establishment conservative who has opposed the war in Iraq deserves some credit.

But then, he also has proposed putting police in front of every mosque in America.

And the degree to which he actually opposes the war is put into some doubt with quotes lie this: “I’d rather lose our civil liberties than lose the war.”

Ultimately it doesn’t bother me that much - for one thing it isn’t my party, and further he is journalist who until he became a Huck adviser had a regular column in Newsday - but it surely did seem odd.

RE: Why Bother?

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Later in the same Minnesota Public Radio report the Minnesota state GOP Chairman says: “There’s no benefit for Republicans to continue on with a battle after the battle has been fought and a victor has been declared.”

The victor has been declared huh?

Yeah right, and Mission Accomplished.

Why Bother?

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Once again, GOP insiders are doing their best (worst?) to keep Ron Paul from wining delegates to the National Convention.   This time it is Minnesota and Missouri.

In Minnesota, the state GOP Chairman said “the only way Ron Paul can address the state convention is if he ends his candidacy and endorses John McCain.”

So then why bother with the state convention at all?  This from the party that claims to believe in the rule of law.

Further it should be noted that in Minnesota McCain only got 22 percent of the vote (meaning that 78 percent chose other candidates) and Ron Paul received 16 percent (and from what I heard an even larger proportion of state delegates).

Once again, we can count on the Onion

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Barr May Take Republican Votes

My favorite quote:

Andrew Saunders,
Animal Trainer
“So up until this nomination, our best choice to ensure public rights and personal freedoms was John McCain?”

Rachel Ray: Chef. Celeb. Terrorist?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

If you need further proof that the “war on terrorism” propaganda has turned some people’s brains to mush…

O.K., Michelle Maulkin’s intellectual capacity was suspect before this, but WOW!

Positive Results for the Ron Paul Revolution

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

With 42 percent reporting Ron Paul has 23 percent in the Idaho primary, the best showing yet in a primary.

Six percent have voted uncommitted meaning 29 percent of Idaho GOP voters said no thanks to the party’s presumptive nominee.

Meanwhile, Ron Paul delegates should be attending the National Convention from Washington State.

The Drug Warriors Strike Back

Monday, May 26th, 2008

When you criticize the war on drugs, the drug warriors will come after you.

That’s what happened to to the distributor of a movie about the malicious prosecution of Tommy Chong (of Cheech and Chong fame).  Thousands of copies of the DVD were seized under the guise of being “drug paraphernalia.” (Here are items that could all more plausibly be considered drug paraphernalia: apples, pumpkins, gatorade, cola… you get the idea.)

Radley Balko reports:

Buchanan’s latest effort is a sting on companies that sell masking devices to help people pass drug tests. Earlier this month, federal agents raided nine locations in six states where they suspected sales of products like the “Whizzinator,” made famous by actor Tom Sizemore and Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith. There’s no specific federal law criminalizing the sale of masking products, and none of the sites raided by federal agents were actually in Buchanan’s district. My guess is that she’s likely to charge manufacturers who ship the products into states that do have broad drug paraphernalia laws, or that have specific laws against masking products, under federal conspiracy statutes.

But it gets better. In the raid on Spectrum Labs in Newport, Kentucky, federal agents seized 8,000-10,000 copies of the movie AKA Tommy Chong. The movie is a documentary critical of Buchanan and the federal government’s persecution of Chong. Federal agents apparently think it’s drug paraphernalia.

“It’s a way to punish the distributor financially,” Mr. Chong said. “There’s no way to get the DVDs back until the investigation is over.” Mr. Chong said he has no ownership in the film.

He called the documentary a “focal point” of the raid. It was released about a month ago, and sales were slow, Mr. Chong said.

“It’s selling like crazy now, thanks to Mary Beth. She’s brought us a nice publicity gimmick.”

Buy your very own copy of the movie here.

There’s a reason the tagline for this site is: “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”

And the winner is…Pragmatic Libertarians

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

After endorsing Wayne Allen Root for his running mate, Bob Barr fought off a tough challenge from the absolutist/radical/anarchist wing in the form of party activist Mary Rewart to win the 2008 Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination. Barr’s support in Georgia coupled with Root’s name recognition in Nevada could turn two red states blue come November.

But the real winners are those that have argued and fought for a more mainstream, pragmatic approach to libertarian politics. The nomination of Barr coupled with a new, slimmed down and more realistic platform indicate that the party may be ready to move from a debating society to an actual player in the national debate. Congratulations to Bob Barr, the Libertarian Reform Caucus, and the the Libertarian Party. Now please save us from John McCain.