Author Archives: Stephen Gordon

About Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

Five Stupid Government Tricks

They send people to die in war, but don’t send enough to ensure that even more die:

Colin Powell, former US secretary of state, advised President George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, before the onset of war that the administration was not deploying enough troops to Iraq.

Mr Powell, joining a chorus of critics who have singled out Mr Rumsfeld’s handling of the war and the question of whether the US invaded Iraq with a sufficient number of troops on the ground, said in an interview on the UK’s ITV that the White House did not follow his recommendation.

“The president’s military advisers felt that the size of the force was adequate, they may still feel that years later. Some of us don’t, I don’t,” Mr Powell said. “At the time the president was listening to those who were supposed to be providing him with military advice. They were anticipating a different kind of aftermath of the fall in Baghdad, it turned out to be not exactly as they had anticipated”.

They try to shut down what people need to do to make a below-poverty-scale living and don’t expect people to get upset about it:

It is being billed as The Great American Boycott 2006. Tomorrow, international labour day in the US, thousands or perhaps millions of people are expected to join in a nationwide boycott to protest against proposals that would toughen existing immigration laws.

Under the slogan “No work, no school, no sales, no buying”, the boycott will be accompanied by marches and protests across the country. Organisers hope that it will build on the unexpected scale of the anti-immigration reform protest held at the end of March, which saw around half a million people take to the streets of Los Angeles and helped push the immigration debate to the top of the political agenda.

They shut down virtual skin peddlers:

Internet police in China’s capital have shut down six pornographic websites to prevent their “˜negative’ influence on society.

The six websites, including “˜www.ysdm.com’ and “˜www.xf13.net’, contained what was determined to be “˜unhealthy content’ and were shut down on Friday, ‘Beijing News’ reported.

Operators of two other websites were given a deadline to clean up contents on their websites after an investigation, the paper said.

They talk about freedom, but

The government of President Hosni Mubarak extended a 25-year-old emergency law by two years Sunday, despite his promise that it would be canceled and replaced with specific anti-terrorism measures.

No potential reform measure had been more anticipated than cancellation of the emergency law, which permits indefinite detention without trial and hearings of civilians by military courts, prohibits gatherings of more than five people, and limits speech and association.

Last year, President Bush demanded that Egypt take steps toward developing freedom of speech and organization as part of a U.S. drive to democratize the Middle East. Egypt, a staunch U.S. ally, receives $2 billion in aid annually from the United States.

They get upset when we get upset about all the bullshit — then they try to shut us down:

In early April, the advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a class-action lawsuit against telecommunications behemoth AT&T, alleging that the company has actively aided the US government’s covert surveillance program carried on by the National Security Agency. In a “Statement of Interest” filed with the US District Court of Northern California, the Department of Justice is requesting that the judge throw out the lawsuit because of what the government describes as a high possibility of classified information being made public.

In its filing, the DoJ said that the current administration would “assert the military and state secrets privilege” in its attempt to have the case thrown out of court. It also said that filing should not be interpreted as affirming or denying the allegations made by the EFF. In addition, AT&T also filed two separate motions seeking dismissal of the case.

Let’s hope this government thing is more like 5-Card Stud than 5-Card Draw.

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A Columnist’s Take on Libertarian Party Candidates

free pressMatthew Tully took on the Libertarian Party over at IndyStar. He begins:

But for me, nothing says election season like a complaining Libertarian. If Election Day is approaching, Libertarians are griping and moaning and whining about being ignored, mistreated, forgotten and generally shunned by the media.

The Libertarian Whine is one of the true campaign constants. It is to elections what potholes are to spring, or what mosquitoes are to summer.

That is, an annoying and guaranteed event.

Even as a Libertarian, I can sympathize with him. Rarely a day goes by where I don’t get some poorly written or overly hyped Libertarian press release in my inbox. Words like “you’ve got to cover this” generally fall on deaf ears because I don’t “have” to do anything I don’t want — and I don’t generally consider some Tax Day protest (with 5 whole protesters) at some Post Office very newsworthy.

Tully’s article was precipitated by an e-mail from LP candidate Mike Kole.

Kole, who has held various top posts in the Libertarian Party, wrote to tell me what Libertarians strive for most.

No, not a more limited government. But, rather, more press for their campaigns.

“I try not to be too critical of reporters,” Kole wrote in his e-mail. “But I have to say, I am rather frustrated with the lack of inclusion Libertarians get, and that I get, in The Star.”

You see, every election year Libertarians run with huge dreams for offices big and small. Generally, they grab somewhere around 2 or 3 percent of the vote.

“I’m relegated to the sidelines,” Kole complained.

That’s what happens, Mike, when you get only 2 or 3 percent of the vote.

I’ve got to agree with both Kole and Tully on this one. From a writer’s perspective, two to three percent of the vote isn’t worth the same coverage as the Rs and Ds get. However, less than 1 percent (as Tom Knapp and I once calculated) of the mainstream media mentions us. Many major media outlets have Libertarians on blackout status. A reasonable amount of campaign coverage would be roughly consistent with election results. In this case, two to three percent would be fair — but less than one percent wouldn’t be.

“If I earn 10 percent,” Kole wrote, “the Libertarian Party will become a major party, on par with the Democrats and Republicans.”

This was when I started wondering just what they spike the water with down on Libertarian Avenue. Major parties don’t earn 10 percent. They win elections — with, say, 51 percent — every so often. With the exception of a rare head-scratcher, Libertarians don’t win elections. [snip]

I’ll believe that when a Libertarian candidate actually wins a statewide office in Indiana.

Or, at least when one hits that elusive goal of 10 percent.

Hey guys, you got it straight from the horse’s mouth. We’ll start getting coverage when we actually start winning. While I’d argue that we’ve earned slightly more coverage than we receive, it’s time for us to start creating some real world results for them to cover.

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Torture Topic within Law Enforcement Ranks

This posting with the Siler torture audio initiated some interesting debate over at a law enforcement site. It started this way:

Heard about this on a podcast I was listening to at work to day and actually got physically ill hearing the recording… And the longest any of them got was SIX YEARS. SIX YEARS FOR TORTURE.

The conversation continued:

There is an evil streak within some people. We are placing these people in positions where they can abuse their power.

I think any honest law abiding police officer here will agree with this statement. What’s the solution? Police chiefs and sheriffs nationwide would like to know the answer. You don’t know a person is a loose cannon until they have already lost their cool. And by then the sheriffs and chiefs have to back the loose cannons and their actions so as to lesson their own civil liability.

Others had different views:

I, for one, am glad that we have young Marines who are able to dehumanize the enemy and kill them in their own countries. And I’d much rather hear an 18 year-old speak like this than a 30 year-old. Maybe you’re not giving them or their leaders enough credit to be able to distinguish non-terrorists from the “ragheads” they want to kill. God Bless young bloodthirsty Americans with good guns and good leadership.

In the words of John McEnroe, you cannot be serious. The trouble with your theory is that the 18-year-old marine will grow into the f***ed up 30-year-old cop, who still has nightmares about what he did when he sleeps, and dehumanises “the enemy” – i.e, other people – when he’s awake.

I’ll add a couple of suggestions towards that conversation. One thing which can be done is to change the laws so cops aren’t wasting their time on victimless crimes. I don’t know how many serious crimes I see unresolved and how many lesser ones aren’t even investigated while I read daily stories of people being arrested for a little baggie of weed.

Another suggestion is to treat cops (and other public officials) like other citizens with respect to prosecution. Had Siler tortured a law inforcement officer in a hypothetical reversal of roles in this case, Siler would probably be spending life in prison and not just a few months.

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Humorous Take on Departmental Names

Michael Hampton has some good suggestions to make the federal government sound less Orwellian. Not that they’d be less Orwellian, but the ministry names would reflect the respective demparmental action. Here’s some samples:

Replace the Department of Agriculture with a Department of Poverty, which has as its purpose to ensure that everyone lives in the poorest possible conditions.

Replace the Department of Justice with a Department of Oppression, which has as its purpose to ensure that no person fails to feel the jackboot stamping on his face.

Replace the Supreme Court with a Kangaroo Court, which intends to ensure that no person may ever find justice, especially when aggrieved by the government.

You’ll have to pop over to his site to read the rest.

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Bill Weld Wins Libertarian Nomination in New York

The Libertarian Party of New York has confirmed former Massachusetts Governor William “Bill” Weld as their gubernatorial candidate for 2006.

Here’s a comment announcing his nomination:

A bit after 3pm, the NY Libertarian Party endorsed William Weld for the Libertarian line for Governor. A committee was appointed to select the Lt. Governor candidate, which needs to be combined with Welds pick for Lt. Governor for the Libertarian votes to count for Weld.

Other candidates endorsed today by the convention include John Cain for Comptroller, Chris Garvey for Attorney General, and Jeff Russell for U.S. Senate.

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Execute Drug Users or Challenge the FDA?

Note: this article contains dead links, the url is still in the hover/alt text. Keep the web working, curate content well!

Last week, we covered the new inter-agency letter from the Feds which stated (without the complication of actually providing evidence) that marijuana has no medicinal value. A lot of people immediately expressed strong opinions about that letter. The commentary continues, the best (IMO) coming from John Tierney. Here’s a snippet:

Washingtons latest prescription for patients in pain is the statement issued last week by the Food and Drug Administration on the supposed evils of medical marijuana. The F.D.A. is being lambasted, rightly, by scientists for ignoring some evidence that marijuana can help severely ill patients. But its the kind of statement given by a hostage trying to please his captors, who in this case are a coalition of Republican narcs on Capitol Hill, in the White House and at the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Action is being suggested, too. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (of the Hinchey-Rohrabacher bills) has demanded that the FDA actually support their claims. Here’s a clip from his letter to FDA Acting Commissioner von Eschenbach:

In light of our concerns over this release, please inform us if there is new scientific information that disputes the IOM study, including the results of the evaluation, any scientific paperwork generated in the study, the length of time the evaluation occurred, and whether the DEA or any other federal agencies aside from the ones mentioned in the letter had a role in the evaluation. If, as the press release leads us to believe, there is in fact no evaluation, please let us know what motivated the FDA to write a release that lacks scientific review. It disheartens us to see the FDA veer off course in this area of public health especially at the expense of many terminally ill Americans. We understand that FDA’s mission is to protect public health, which is why we respectfully request that you respond to these questions on this very important issue.

Here’s the list of the good guys (on this issue, at least) who cosigned the letter:

Ron Paul, Barney Frank, Sam Farr, Tammy Baldwin, Rafael Grijalva, Robert Wexler, Dennis Kucinich, John Conyers, Maxine Waters, Dana Rohrabacher, Jim McDermott, Tom Lantos, Jerrold Nadler, John Olver, Lois Capps, Julia Carson, Peter Stark, Jan Schakowsky, George Miller, Zoe Lofgren, Tom Allen, Barbara Lee and Gary Ackerman.

There are bad guys who want action, too. In this case, a newspaper reporter from Georgia wants to execute drug users:

If I were dictator of this country, I would not only outlaw drug users and addicts, but I would execute them as well, so they dont needlessly overcrowd jails. In the case of juveniles and marginal offenders that dont necessarily deserve death, I would banish them to an island. Like on the television show “Lost,” they would live there under the loose supervision of some shadow administration. But they would basically be on their own to survive.

Now that’s what I call a healthy dose of compassionate conservatism.

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Decrim Bill in Mexico Freaking Some Americans Out

Mexico will probably decriminalize small quanties of marijuna, cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy and heroin for personal use. The bill has passed in both chambers of the Mexican Congress and it seems that Vincente Fox will sign the bill. From Reuters:

Owning marijuana, cocaine and even heroin will no longer be a crime in Mexico if the drugs are carried in small amounts for personal use, under legislation passed by the Congress.

Police will not penalize people for possessing up to 5 grams of marijuana, 5 grams of opium, 25 milligrams of heroin or 500 milligrams of cocaine, under a bill passed by senators late on Thursday and earlier approved by the lower house.

People caught with larger quantities of drugs will be treated as narcotics dealers and face increased jail terms under the plan.

The government says the measure allows police to focus on major drug dealers, and President Fox is expected to sign it into law.

Here’s a sampling of what the right is saying about it already. Tracey Eaton:

Now this. Let’s just legalize drugs. Talk about stoking the flames. You’ve got protesters waving Mexican flags on American streets. You’ve got people singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” in Spanish. Now let’s just throw another fat marijuana brick on the fire and legalize heroin.

Open a fresh pack of needles — ah, heck, just use the old ones — and let’s get the party started.

Janelle Hironimus:

U.S. officials scrambled to come up with a response to the bill.

“The United States and Mexico have a strong history of counternarcotics cooperation, and the Fox administration has taken a firm stand against illegal drug cultivation, trafficking and abuse,” said Janelle Hironimus, a State Department spokeswoman. She said the department was trying to get “more information” about the measure.

One U.S. diplomat who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly said “any effort to decriminalize illegal drugs would not be helpful.”

Judith Bryan:

But the legislation came as a shock to Washington, which counts on Mexico’s support in the fight against smugglers who move large quantities of drugs through Mexico to U.S. users.

“I would say any law that decriminalizes dangerous drugs is not very helpful,” said Judith Bryan, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

SmartChristian:

So, get ready for more drugs flowing into America. After all, now it will simply be illegal immigrants with illegal drugs.

Actually, someone I read suggested that this is one way to get many illegals to return to Mexico.

I’m wondering if DEA Administrator Karen Tandy will have Mexican President Vincente Fox arrested in Mexico for violation of U.S. law if he signs the bill. After all, that’s what they did to Marc Emery in Canada.

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Limbaugh (Nation’s Loudest Hypocrite) Arrested

“What this says to me is that too many whites are getting away with drug use, too many whites are getting away with drug sales, too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we’re not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too.”Rush Limbaugh

This part is funny. Here’s the scoop from the AP:

Rush Limbaugh reached a settlement with prosecutors Friday in a fraud case involving prescription painkillers, though the conservative radio commentator maintains his innocence.

Limbaugh turned himself in to authorities about 4 p.m. on a warrant for fraud to conceal information to obtain a prescription, the first charge in the nearly 3-year-old case, said Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the state attorney. He was released an hour later on $3,000 bail.

This part is patently unfair:

Under the deal, Limbaugh would eventually see the charge dismissed in 18 months if he continues treatment for drug addiction, Black said.

What about all those other people in the southeast who get treated a lot more harshly by the system? I guess it helps to be rich, white and Republican.

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Interesting LP Convention Predicted for NY

With the internal debate over the nominations of Kevin Zeese and Loretta Nall out of the way, I was hoping for a bit of a breather. However, I’m expecting to some heated debate tomorrow at the NY Libertarian Party convention. From the NY Sun:

With little fanfare, a Republican candidate for governor, William Weld, is expected to be nominated by the Libertarian Party on Saturday at its convention in Albany.

As far as minor parties go in New York, the Libertarians are on the petite side. Their enrollment of about 800 could squeeze inside your average high school cafeteria.

By endorsing Mr. Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts, the Libertarians would be making a bid to become a player in the crowded field of third parties in New York. Leaders of the party say a key aim is to use the nomination to influence Republican policy on issues like marijuana legalization, Rockefeller drug laws, and eminent domain.

[snip]

Mr. Weld rejects one of the party’s main tenets, the legalization of drugs. The Libertarian Party’s candidate in 2002 was Scott Jeffrey, who ran on a platform of legalizing marijuana and won 5,000 votes. A large fraction of New York’s Libertarians are also firmly opposed to the war in Iraq. The party put out a press release six months ago calling for a withdrawal of American troops and urging anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan to run against Senator Clinton.

[snip]

If Mr. Weld in the November election receives at least 50,000 votes on the Libertarian line, then the party would be awarded with an automatic position on the ballot for at least the next four years.

If that happens, their endorsement would suddenly become a hot commodity. The ambition of party leaders is to use prominent ballot placement to challenge the Conservatives for the role of Republican kingmaker.

[snip]

“The expectation is that we could replace the Conservatives in a kingmaker situation,” the party’s chairman, John Clifton, a social worker in Queens, said. He said he would like the party to use that leverage to “influence Republicans on Rockefeller and legalizing marijuana.” New York’s Rockefeller drug laws, which were adopted while Nelson Rockefeller was governor in 1973, mandate long prison sentences for those convicted of drug crimes. He said he hoped his party would follow the trajectory of the Green Party, which grew exponentially between 1998 and 2002, to about 30,000 members.

So obvious question for New York Libertarians will be: Do they prefer to make some advances on marijuana legalization, Rockefeller drug laws, and eminent domain while obtaining ballot status — or would they rather get 5,000 votes and adhere to an absolute position on drug policy reform?

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Aaron Russo Update: Movie release notes and he’s not dropping the Libertarian Party

When I woke up, my inbox was filled with messages with this subject line: “Russo abondons LP” which contained this link. The title reads: “Aaron Russo Calls for People to Run for Office as IAPs.” It seems that every LP member with a Yahoo Groups account is speculating why Russo left the LP — and e-mailed their speculation to me. From the linked article:

The Independent American Party of Nevada is spreading the word about America, From Freedom to Fascism. The party has been fighting this move toward Fascism for 40 years. The State Chairman, Christopher Hansen, has made a pledge that Independent American Party Candidates in 2006 will be encouraging people to promote and see my movie.

Together we can make this film the SPARK that starts the peaceful revolution that we all want! This will create the most meaningful controversy of the 2006 election. The news media will be talking about it because the candidates will be talking about it and that means theaters will want to show it, and Americans will want to see it.

We finally have the tool we need to create the necessary changes to free America. We can win.

This is your chance to make a REAL difference. Register to vote in the upcoming elections. Stop voting Republican and Democrat. VOTE FOR FREEDOM. Consider Independent American Party candidates and all 3rd party candidates that believe in the constitution as realized by our founding fathers.

Consider running for a local office yourself and tell people you are running to promote this important film that can Wake Up Americans to the truth of what has happened to our once great country.

Running for office is not difficult. Running for office is not expensive.

With help from the Independent American Party, a little training and a few press releases you can spread the word because YOU ARE NEWS when running for political office.

I was tempted to start responding that Russo didn’t dump the LP by encouraging people to “consider Independent American Party candidates and all 3rd party candidates that believe in the constitution as realized by our founding fathers;” the closing point of his movie is quite clear: “Stop being a good Democrat. Stop being a good Republican. Start being a good American.” The movie is about promoting freedom, not the LP.

Instead of debating this point endlessly on LP Yahoo Groups (endless debates of minor nuances is what a lot of Libertarians do instead of accomplishing something which actually promotes freedom), I just picked up the phone and gave Aaron a call. According the Russo, the reality is just how I perceived it: Russo will support any constitutionally based independent candidate or political party. In other words, he’s supported Ron Paul as a Republican, Michael Badnarik as a Libertarian and would support any reasonable independent or third party candidate for other races. This includes, but is not limited to, Libertarians.

He added something. The Independent American Party of Nevada is helping to promote his film, and their candidates will be using it as part of their campaigns. Aside from the event I helped to host (it would not have happened without me), the LP has done nothing to help promote the film. Not even an article at LP News or a national e-mail alert for one of their celebrated former presidential candidates. To quote Janet Jackson, “What have you done for me lately?”

Aaron clearly qualified the issue by saying, “I haven’t dropped the Libertarian Party!” Like me, he’ll support any freedom candidate, no matter the party. While this may irritate those of you who prefer promoting a party name to the exclusion of winning campaigns or issues, both he and I prefer action to another 35 years of mental masturbation.

I’d been planning to provide an update about the movie for a few days, but left my notes behind while traveling the other day. What I recall from our talk (and related conversation with his post-production/distribution company) is that they are planning a general theater release for late July. I recall that the date was July 20th, but I’m not absolutely sure. They hope to open in New York, move to Hollywood, then release the film in theaters across the country. In my opinion, the timing is great as it’s in the heat of election season.

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George Bush Protecting Our Constitutional Rights

“Secondly, there are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so. It’s important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.”President George W. Bush

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Bush: Of God, evil or both at the same time?

From E&P:

Bush also explained, in unusually stark terms, how his belief in God influences his foreign policy. “I base a lot of my foreign policy decisions on some things that I think are true,” he said. “One, I believe there’s an Almighty. And, secondly, I believe one of the great gifts of the Almighty is the desire in everybody’s soul, regardless of what you look like or where you live, to be free.

“I believe liberty is universal. I believe people want to be free. And I know that democracies do not war with each other.”

The opposing view:

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The Arrogance of the Supreme Court

Is the United States Supreme Court cavalier about the death penalty? Yes, says The Kansas City Star:

The hooded figure with the sickle was in the U.S. Supreme Court gallery again Wednesday, hovering as justices bickered and joked about him.

After providing an update about cases where people’s lives are on the line, the article concluded this way:

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy asked, “Doesn’t the state have a minimal obligation on its own” to investigate whether its executions cause gratuitous pain?

Later he reprimanded his colleagues for laughing as several justices joked about the mischief that defense lawyers could cause if forced to propose ways to execute their clients.

“This is a death case,” snapped Kennedy, who is expected to be a key vote in the case.

Somehow, this dismissive and jaunty attitude doesn’t surprise me in the least.

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The real reason Tony Snow is at the White House

I’ve always found the title of the website All Hat No Cattle clever and amusing. When I’m running political campaigns, I often like to recruit a press secretary who has an opposing personality, appearance and speaking style to that of the candidate. It seems the White House must have had the same idea. Kevin Drum asked:

It’s hard not to wonder if this is all some kind of weird misdirection from the White House, though. I honestly don’t understand why they’re seemingly so set on Snow. What exactly does he bring to the table that’s so unique?

THIS AIN’T YOUR DADDY’S Parasitic Pin Head Whiners’ Home responded:

TONY SNOW HAS A GIGANTIC HEAD [snip]

The biggest fucking head this side of Brit Hume. I don’t know where FOX finds these fucking hydrocephaloids to do its news shows – Easter Island, maybe, or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – but somebody needs to find that place and destroy it, because enough is fucking enough already. I don’t watch FOX News, but sometimes I have to flip by it, and everytime it’s like fucking Attack of the Head People over there. If you look into Tony Snow’s eyes you can see there’s a midget sitting inside his head pulling all the levers and cranks that gives robot Tony Snow his lifelike animatronic reactions. I’ll swear right now on a stack of dead grandmothers, if the Bush administration tries to subject the country to this kind of phrenological freak show, there’s going to be an uprising that will make the Boston Tea Party look like a fucking tea party!

The last thing we need in Washington are more hydrocephaloids, but at least this will keep the photoshoppers busy for a while. Props.

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Rasmussen Polling: Third parties more popular than Republicans

Rolf Lindgren just passed me this link. Yes, the title is correct but requires a bit of explanation:

Democrats currently hold a 12-point advantage over Republicans on a generic 2008 Presidential ballot. However, a third-party candidate focusing on immigration enforcement issues could fundamentally alter those political dynamics.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national opinion survey finds that 44% of Americans say they would vote for a Democrat if the Presidential Election were held today. Just 32% would vote for a Republican. Those figures are likely a reflection of unhappiness with the Bush Administration rather than a commentary on prospective candidates from either party (see crosstabs).

The survey also asked respondents how they would vote if “a third party candidate ran in 2008 and promised to build a barrier along the Mexican border and make enforcement of immigration law his top priority.”

With that option, support fell sharply for both major parties. The Democrats still come out on top with support from 31% of Americans. The third party candidate moved into a virtual tie at 30% while the GOP fell to 21%.

This looks like a great opportunity for those Libertarian Party candidates who favor greater border security.

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Letter from Cory Maye

For those of you following the Cory Maye story, here is a letter from Maye to Mike Hayes. Hayes runs the MayeIsInnocent.com website. Props.

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Nall Rocking Around the Country

Speaking of Loretta Nall and radio interviews, I just learned that she’s going to be on San Diego’s Air America affiliate tomorrow. Nall is the Libertarian Party candidate for governor in Alabama. She’ll be at KSLD 1360 AM on the Stacy Taylor Show Friday at 8AM PT. You can catch that program live from their website.

Nall also needs your help to get on the ballot. Please consider making a small contribution by clicking this link.

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MN: Sue Jeffers is too fiscally conservative for GOP leadership

Note: this article contains dead links, the url is still in the hover/alt text. Keep the web working, curate content well!

It looks like Sue Jeffers has ceased being a thorn in the side for the Minnesota GOP establishment; she’s now becoming a serious threat. Jeffers won the Libertarian Party nomination to run for governor in the state, but is holding out on accepting that nomination as she plans to defeat incumbent Governor Tim Pawlenty at the Minnesota Republican convention. From MPR:

“I think Tim Pawlenty is ripe for the picking,” Jeffers says. “And I think once you throw in this stadium bill, if he signs for the Twins stadium, I think the voters are so irritated that they will throw him out of office.”

Jeffers has never run for office before, but has often been in the news as a leader in the fight against the Hennepin County smoking ban. Jeffers says Pawlenty signed a no-new-taxes pledge, but he hasn’t kept his promise.

“Tim Pawlenty is a very nice man. He is not a fiscal conservative,” Jeffers claims. “A fiscal conservative doesn’t raise $559 million in fees last year, doesn’t put up almost a billion-dollar bonding bill this year, and I think the voters know better than that.”

Jeffers wants to challenge Pawlenty for the GOP endorsement at the party’s state convention in June. But party officials say Jeffers identifies herself as a Libertarian, and the party’s convention is reserved for Republicans only.

It looks like the big tent is getting much smaller these days, as the Republican leadership seems committed to ensuring they don’t have an economic conservative represented at their convention.

Party spokesman Mark Drake says Jeffers would make a mockery of the GOP endorsement process.

“I think this whole thing is a publicity stunt, where she would attempt to use our delegates as campaign props,” says Drake.

As a former Republican, I’ll suggest that the typical GOP endorsement process is already a mockery of the delegates. Instead of a coronation, Jeffers offers them a choice. I’m not up-to-speed on Minnesota election code and wonder if there is ground for legal action if Jeffers is denied a spot at the GOP convention.

They are already denying Jeffers delegate lists. They are trying to prohibit any competition. This isn’t stopping Jeffers, though. A local blogger reports that Jeffers will be at a press conference at the State Capitol Rotunda at noon today, where she “will officially announce her bid for the endorsement of the Minnesota Repubican Party.”

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Nall Farking 96 Rocks

We were farked again today, which led a lot of people to this article about Loretta Nall, the Libertarian Party candidate for Governor in Alabama. As Nall had crashed at my Birmingham apartment last night, I got the full scoop first hand. Apparently the guys at 96 Rock in Atlanta read the Fark description, followed the link, and booked Loretta for the show. She’ll be on the air at 8:30 AM ET Monday morning and you can listen online from the 96 Rock website.

I’m not sure of his title (I’d imagine producer and general webdude), but one of the staff for the Regular Guys program also came up with a Nall graphic which links to this site (thanks, dude). I thought it would be cool to reciprocate — but don’t hit his site, the Porn Czar’s Port Hole, if you are offended by the female body (that disclaimer should serve to drive up their traffic).

With as many radio interviews as I’ve done, I find rock stations are always the coolest — but 8:30 ET (7:30 for Loretta) in the morning really sucks ass. Hopefully, Loretta’s a better morning person than I am.

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Ed Rosenthal’s Conviction Overturned

From the AP:

A federal appeals court today overturned the marijuana-growing conviction of the self-proclaimed “Guru of Ganja” who has written books on how to grow pot and avoid getting caught.

The court cited jury misconduct in overturning Ed Rosenthal’s conviction, but it otherwise upheld federal powers to charge marijuana growers.

Rosenthal was convicted more than two years ago for cultivating hundreds of marijuana plants for a city of Oakland medical marijuana program. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer sentenced him to one day in prison, saying Rosenthal reasonably believed he was immune from prosecution because he was acting on behalf of city officials.

While the federal court decision upheld federal power to convict medical marijuana growers, it did open another avenue of approach in these cases: Jury nullification.

A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based appeals court, in overturning the verdict, said a juror had had inappropriate communication with an attorney.

“Juror A” had asked the attorney during trial whether she had to follow the law or could vote her conscience because she suspected Rosenthal was growing marijuana for medicinal uses. The attorney told her she must follow the judge’s instructions to follow federal law or she would get in “trouble.”

“We hold that here the communication was an improper influence upon Juror A’s decision to acquit or convict,” the appeals court wrote.

Perhaps it’s time to begin a major educational campaign in the medical marijuana states letting potential jurors know they can vote to acquit in those states.

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Tony Snow to Transfer Departments

In what would be more properly described as a inter-departmental transfer than taking a new job, Fox News host Tony Snow is to become the new White House spinmeister press secretary. Here’s the MSM take on the issue:

It appears, according to CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux, that Fox News host Tony Snow is about to accept an offer to be the next White House press secretary. Time magazine reported this week that bringing in Snow is part of a five-point plan to rehabilitate the administration and that new White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten “believes the White House can work more astutely with journalists to make its case to the public.”

I’ve got some ideas for this five-point plan to rehabilitate the administration:

1) For Bush and Cheney to resign
2) To send our soldiers home from Iraq
3) To immediately stop spending the money which rightfully belongs to future generations
4) To pardon every person in Federal prisons for victimless crimes
5) A total reinstatement of the Bill of Rights

There are plenty more issues I could add to the list, but these five would be a helluva good start.

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A German brothel with no balls

Muslim extortionists in Europe are at it again. This time they coerced a brothel to modify it’s advertising. From Reuters:

A brothel in Cologne was forced to black out the flags of Saudi Arabia and Iran from a huge World Cup soccer-themed advertising banner after angry Muslims complained and threatened violence.

The 24-metre-high by 8-metre-wide (78 by 26 ft) banner displayed on the side of the building features a scantily-clad woman and the slogan: “The world as a guest of female friends,” a variation on the World Cup slogan: “The world as a guest of friends”.

It’s a shame the German bordello painted over the banner and gave in to those thugs. These cases of extortion are going to continue until people start standing up to these violent and close-minded punks.

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News of the Wierd

They keep finding mystery garbage bags filled with vomit in Iowa and no one has a clue as to why. From The Hawk Eye News:

Trash bags filled with regurgitated food have been found littering the former Pleasant Lawn School area and in roadside ditches northeast of Mount Pleasant over the last three years.

Late last summer, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office thought the littering had stopped. Then, on April 11, the office received another call.

“The last call was four bags,” said Deputy Dan Wesely. Over the last three years, dozens of bags may been dropped, Wesely said.

I could understand it if people were mailing bags of barf to their favorite government office in DC — but Iowa? Perhaps there’s some strain of communicable bulimia going around.

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