Gary Johnson wins LP presidential nomination

Quick thoughts on the LP convention vote for President and Johnson’s nomination speech:

  • Wow, our poll was mostly right. While we didn’t hit everything within our 4.5 MOE, we nailed the final vote winner and final ballot order. Not bad for the first scientific poll to ever pierce the Libertarian veil.
  • Rather noteworthy, McAfee’s support didn’t fade at all between first and second ballots.
  • Gary Johnson was a clear winner among Libertarians, but has to make the case to voters during what will continue to be a negative and acrimonious election… Does he have the stomach to pick up the mud and sling it back in order to give voters what they apparently want?
  • 44% did not vote for Johnson. Although his executive credibility as former Governor of New Mexico is apparent, it’s yet to be seen if there is high enthusiasm for Johnson’s second swing at the presidency nor how his lawsuit against the CPD will proceed.
  • Johnson is certainly the #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary choice among disaffected Republicans and even disaffected Democrats. The money will finally be there for Libertarians, which will be something that has never happened before. It will be interesting to see if it will be used for becoming just another voice at a debate podium or for paving a path to the White House with an effective 50 state strategy.

MOE Analysis:
Capture

Second ballot results (final):
vote 2

First ballot results:
vote 1

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Libertarian Party Membership Survey 2016

lp-torch-logoHammer of Truth is pleased to announce the results of a first ever scientific membership survey conducted between May 17th-20th of 1,563 Libertarian Party members — including delegates and alternate delegates to the upcoming National Convention in Orlando, Florida.

Our key findings:

  • 2012 presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson holds a formidable 44-point lead of over his nearest competitor. This is highly indicative of strong name recognition.
  • Current LNC Chair Nicholas Sarwark also appears to be the early favorite with a 40-point lead over his nearest competitor.
  • The logo redesign of 2015 is well-received, with 87% approving the new torch logo.
  • A majority approve of litigation seeking to stop public funding from going to institutions that don’t include Libertarian candidates in polls.
  • The top issues for Libertarians are the economy and taxes, with foreign policy coming in a strong third.
  • Ever wonder the best way to ask for money? The “donates” have it with an average “donation” amount of $335 beating out an average $258 “contribution” amount.

lp-presidential-graph

lp-chair-graph

lp-donate-vs-contribute

It should be noted that the most accurate poll is the one that occurs on election day. No poll can predict whether a floor speech will be well-received or fall flat. We want to thank everyone who participated. We will be making additional crosstabs analysis in the coming days.

PDFs: Read the full results · Read about methodology
LINK TO THIS POST: hammeroftruth.com/asked/Libertarians2016

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Afghanistan: Home to indefinite war

endless-warWhile NATO decreed the “war” in Afghanistan had ended several years ago, Antiwar.com reports NATO’s “military involvement didn’t significantly change on that date,” and NATO involvement was then set to end at the end of 2016. Antiwar.com adds, “No one had any realistic expectation that the 2016 date would be the actual end to the mission.” And sure enough NATO announced on May 20 that NATO forces would remain in the occupied nation indefinitely. see more…

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Pentagon investigates itself, finds no war crimes committed in MSF bombing

msf-protest-kunduz-apOver six months after a trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, operated by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), “was hit by a series of aerial bombing raids at approximately 15 minute intervals” the US Central Command (CENTCOM) issued a 120 page report and a 5 page summary of its investigation.

The summary states, “The investigation concluded that the personnel involved did not know that they were striking a medical facility. The intended target was an insurgent-controlled site which was approximately 400 meters away from the MSF Trauma Center.” see more…

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A real proposal to change the face of money

cash-tenderThere has been a lot of discussion recently about the decision by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman. In an open letter published April 20, Lew wrote “The decision to put Harriet Tubman on the new $20 was driven by thousands of responses we received from Americans young and old. I have been particularly struck by the many comments and reactions from children for whom Harriet Tubman is not just a historical figure, but a role model for leadership and participation in our democracy.” see more…

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SCOTUS hears immigration case

Members of CASA de Maryland participate in a immigration rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. The Supreme Court has agreed to an election-year review of President Barack Obama’s plan to allow up to 5 million immigrants to “come out of the shadows” and work legally in the U.S. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Members of CASA de Maryland participate in a immigration rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. The Supreme Court has agreed to an election-year review of President Barack Obama’s plan to allow up to 5 million immigrants to “come out of the shadows” and work legally in the U.S. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In November 2014 President Obama issued an executive order deferring or preventing deportation for roughly 4 million people. According to Reuters, “those who have lived illegally in the United States at least since 2010, have no criminal record and have children who are US citizens or lawful permanent residents” will be allowed to get into a program that shields them from deportation and supplies work permits. see more…

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Unlocked iPhone opens privacy debate

image-497558482The FBI recently dropped a lawsuit against Apple that sought to force the phone manufacturer to unlock the iPhone used by a shooting suspect in San Bernardino, California. Before the suit was dropped, Apple said they did not have the ability to unlock the iPhone adding that creating a program to unlock the phone would be arduous and create a back door which would essentially nullify the encryption meant to protect the private information of the phone’s user. The lawsuit was dropped because the FBI claims to have found a way into the phone, though no one at the FBI is saying how they unlocked the phone. see more…

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The problem facing the electorate

end-evil-step-out-of-line-vote-third-party“Only in America!” It’s a phrase that has gone out of favor in recent times, but at one time referred to the opportunities available in the United States. Now it seems the phrase could be used to describe the unique political situation in which we find ourselves. While I’m not referring directly to the Electoral College, something which is not actually unique to the United States – nearly 40 non-monarchist countries have an indirect election of their head of state – I am referring to a situation that has been exacerbated in recent years by the plurality system used in American elections. I am referring to the unique situation we, the American electorate, face today: front-runner Presidential candidates with negative favorability ratings. see more…

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Yes, Virginia, taxation is theft

Screenshot from 2016-03-27 12:02:28We’re just a few weeks away from one of the most dreaded days of the year: April 15, Tax Day. Over the past few years discussions around Tax Day have led to a larger conversation of non-filers and/or non-payers of income tax. In the last Presidential election Mitt Romney made headlines with his comments about the so-called “47 percent” – the percentage of Americans who pay no income tax. Some libertarians, specifically Ron Paul, responded to Romney’s complaints that nearly half of all Americans don’t pay income taxes by saying “We’re half way there!” see more…

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SCOTUS decision paves way for expanded cannabis legalization

marijuana-lawsOn March 18, the Oregon Department of Revenue announced that during the first month of legal cannabis sales, nearly $3.5 million in tax revenues were raised, which far exceeded projections. Reuters reported, “tax receipts from January also surpassed the first-month tallies from recreational cannabis sales in Colorado and Washington state, the first two states to legalize general commercial distribution of pot for adults.” see more…

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Cuba: The final front in the Cold War

The petition will appear on the March 14 editorial cover of Publishers Weekly, which is one of the signatories.

The petition will appear on the March 14 editorial cover of Publishers Weekly, which is one of the signatories.

Despite the renewal of diplomatic relations between the governments of the US and Cuba, there remains an embargo on, among other things, books and educational materials. There is now a call to lift those specific aspects of the embargo. Nearly 50 CEOs and top executives from the publishing industry submitted a petition on behalf of the publishing industry urging President Obama to “lift the economic embargo against Cuba as it pertains to books and educational materials.” After submitting the industry petition, a second public petition was posted on the White House website. see more…

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On the Syrian ceasefire

0_1333165713554_newsNear the end of February, after five years of civil war, a ceasefire quietly took affect in Syria. However the ceasefire is not meant to stop all fighting in the war-torn country, as the truce will not apply to the battle against The Islamic State (commonly called ISIS) and the al-Nusra Front. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports, “135 [people], including 32 civilians, were killed in 7 days of military operations in the truce areas.” see more…

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Delegates, superdelegates, and the illusion of choice

freeChoice2After the First in the Nation New Hampshire Primary in early February, many people learned the term superdelegates, even though it’s not a new term or idea. The Democratic Party’s superdelegate rules have been in place since 1984. Superdelegates, unlike the pledged delegates, are not bound by the results of the various primaries and caucuses, and are free to support the Democratic Party Presidential candidate of their choice. CBS News reports, “A superdelegate falls into one of three categories: a major elected official, including senators and members of the House of Representatives; a notable member of the party, such as a current or former president or vice president; and some members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).” see more…

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Snowden, Ulbricht and the myth of a fair trial

12734092_10208984413271784_2823709359653599643_nIt was the first official event hosted by the Free State Project after the February 3 announcement that the group had reached it’s goal of 20,000 signers on the statement of intent to move to New Hampshire to “exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals’ rights to life, liberty, and property.” Liberty Forum 2016 was part celebration of all that has been accomplished over the past 15 years by the nearly 2,000 early movers, i.e. people who made the move to New Hampshire for the Free State Project prior to the move being triggered, and part conference on how to move forward. see more…

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On the Supreme Court vacancy

SCOTUS pix 2011Over the past couple of decades, every new appointment to the US Supreme Court has been more contentious and politically motivated than the last. Since the first appointment to the Supreme Court, 68 justices were approved on voice votes, Abe Fortas being the most recent in 1965 during the term of President Lyndon Johnson. It was three years after Fortas was appointed to the Supreme Court that Chief Justice Earl Warren attempted to work out a back room deal with Johnson to appoint Fortas as his successor prior to the 1968 Presidential election. The plan ultimately failed, and Warren officially retired on June 23, 1969. Prior to that attempt, the last Presidential election year vacancy to be filled was in 1940 when the Senate approved Frank Murphy on a voice vote. see more…

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College: worth it, or worthless?

college-730x430Young people have heard for many years that a college degree will help them earn more money than someone with only a high school diploma. Certainly, there is data that supports this claim. Discovery News reported in December, “In a recent Pew Research Center survey of about 2,000 people, young adults with bachelor’s degrees earned a median income of $45,500 in 2012. For people in the same age group (between 25 and 32) with two-year degrees or some college experience, median income dropped to $30,000. Those who maxed out at high-school graduation earned $28,000.” see more…

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Cruz, Sanders and Trump: The rise of dangerous populism

MAKE AMERICA HATE AGAIN!It’s no secret that Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are all riding high poll numbers on a wave of disaffection with the establishment and elitism. Being historian nerds, Hammer of Truth thought we’d present the case from several citable sources:

The Hannah Arendt Center posted this apt analysis:

Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal writes that the Trump phenomenon is manifesting a chasm between elites and the masses that threatens to transform the world of American politics.

She reports anecdotal evidence of a non-partisan mass of voters from all over the political and economic spectrum gravitating toward Trump. And the overriding theme she encounters is a disdain for political, economic, and mainstream elites.

“On the subject of elites, I spoke to Scott Miller, co-founder of the Sawyer Miller political-consulting firm, who is now a corporate consultant. He worked on the Ross Perot campaign in 1992 and knows something about outside challenges. He views the key political fact of our time as this: ‘Over 80% of the American people, across the board, believe an elite group of political incumbents, plus big business, big media, big banks, big unions and big special interests–the whole Washington political class–have rigged the system for the wealthy and connected.’ It is ‘a remarkable moment,’ he said. More than half of the American people believe ‘something has changed, our democracy is not like it used to be, people feel they no longer have a voice.’ Mr. Miller added: ‘People who work for a living are thinking this thing is broken, and that economic inequality is the result of the elite rigging the system for themselves. We’re seeing something big.'”

The mobilization of the masses outside and beyond traditional class boundaries is, of course, the kindling for all mass movements. see more…

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In support of sex workers rights

sexworkerrally_600At the August 2015 International Council Meeting of Amnesty International, “[d]elegates from around the world authorized the International Board to develop and adopt a policy on the issue [of sex workers rights].” Amnesty International reported, “The resolution recommends that Amnesty International develop a policy that supports the full decriminalization of all aspects of consensual sex work. The policy will also call on states to ensure that sex workers enjoy full and equal legal protection from exploitation, trafficking and violence.” see more…

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Asset forfeiture is legalized theft

policing for profitOver the past several years, awareness of the issue of civil asset forfeiture has garnered the attention of media and legislators around the country. Eric Holder last year made modifications to the policies involving “[f]ederal adoption of property seized by state or local law enforcement under state law.” Holder said that his order does not apply to seizures by state and local authorities working together with or on behalf of a federal agency, nor does it “limit the ability of state and local agencies to pursue the forfeiture of assets pursuant to their respective state laws.” see more…

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In support of ending sanctions

For the first time in years, nuclear-related sanctions against Iran placed by the American government have been lifted. Reuters reports on January 16 “the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms Iran had taken steps to restrict its nuclear activities required under the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] JCPOA.” The JCPOA is the official name of the P5+1 deal that was approved in July 2015. see more…

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Against legislating morality

free-the-nippleThere is a question that often comes up in a variety of ways, and boils down to: “Should any government legislate or attempt to legislate morality?” Most people would answer in the affirmative. However that’s where the disagreements and the question of “who’s version of morality is to be used?” begin. see more…

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Looking ahead to 2016 elections

futurama-politicsA new year is upon us, which means a few things. First and foremost, it’s a Presidential election year which means the focus for most of the year will be on who will replace Barack Obama in the White House, and what issues will be a top priority. To a lesser degree, there will be discussions about which party will control which house of Congress. And to an even lesser degree, on the national level at least, there will be some focus on state legislative issues and state ballot measures. see more…

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Top 5 stories of 2015: a year in review

2015-YIR-coverAs 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at some of the biggest stories of the year.

#5 Asset forfeiture halted!?
At the beginning of the year, Eric Holder made headlines when he announced a new policy prohibiting state and local governments from using federal civil asset forfeiture laws for most cases. The DOJ’s Equitable Sharing program has allowed thousands of local and state police agencies to have seized nearly $3 billion in cash and property since 2008. Using Equitable Sharing, a state or local police department or drug task force would seize property and then have that property adopted by a federal agency. The agency making the seizure would then be allowed to keep up to 80 percent of the value of the items confiscated. see more…

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