Archives for August 2012

Confused, Yet Natural, Libertarians Protesting at RNC Convention

I just arrived at the RNC convention and noticed the protesting is quite scattered and not serious. According to a police officer I spoke to, there was only 1 convention-related arrest within the past 24 hours… which is pretty amazing considering that much of Tampa is under heavy surveillance.

Below is a great video of a furious protester who, while denouncing capitalism, projected a libertarian message which is common amoung protestors, but is never reported on- Because it doesn’t fit into a neat template set by the liberal media.

When asked what system should replace our current government, the masked protestor explains, “People should have the right to do what they please as long as it doesn’t… hurt anyone else.”

That, in one sentence, is what libertarianism is all about.

Someone should buy this guy a Henry Hazlitt book asap!

H/T: Revealing Politics

ICYMI: Speeches from last night at the RNC

Last night was highly anticipated as both New Jersey Gov. Chris Christe and Ann Romney, wife of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, spoke to delegates at the Republican National Convention.

There had been some talk that Gov. Christie was asked by the RNC to tone down his usual firebreathing for the national stage. Based on what I’ve read this morning and afternoon, that was probably a mistake. Gov. Christie looked slightly out of his element, not necessarily uncomfortable, but it obviously wasn’t what we’re used to seeing from this very animated character.

Here’s video of Gov. Christie. You can judge for yourself:

On the other hand, Mrs. Romney’s speech has received rave reviews, definitively putting herself on the national stage, offering a sorely needed human side to the Romney family. And I don’t mean that as an insult, but polls show that Romney needs help connecting with skeptical voters:

Ted Cruz, a Tea Party candidate who won a tough primary against an establishment-backed favorite, also spoke yesterday. Cruz, along with Mia Love and Artur Davis, showed diversity in the Republican Party lineup:

Yahoo! News Employee: GOP “Happy To Have A Party When Black People Drown”

Originally reported by the brilliant Matt Sheffield of Newsbusters, Yahoo! News’ Washington bureau chief David Chalian said during a live online broadcast saying that Mitt Romney and Ann Romney are  “happy to have a party when black people drown.” (Matt thought it was an ABC News reporter, as it was tied into the ABC news stream online.)

Listen below:

Believing Republicans are thrilled about injury and death which Hurricane Isaac could cause is disgusting.

GOProud’s “Homocon” was awesome

After a long day of hanging around the media center yesterday, some of us decided we wanted to party last night. We wound up over at the Honey Pot in Tampa’s Ybor City for “Homocon,” which was hosted by GOProud, an organization for gay Republicans. This was easily the best party of the week, folks:

Unlike their reception at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, pro-gay rights conservative group GOPProud staged a great party here on Tuesday night, hosting hundreds of guests at The Honey Pot, complete with glittering disco ball lights.

The three-floor “Homocon” bash featured go-go dancers clad in black T-shirts with the words “freedom is fabulous” written on them, a message underscoring GOProud’s goal to highlight gays and lesbians in the conservative movement.

Seated in the VIP sections were MSNBC “The Cycle” co-host S.E. Cupp, former Rep. Mark Foley and Grover Norquist, the founder of Americans for Tax Reform. Both Cupp and Norquist are members of GOProud’s advisory board.

“I think the Republican party and the moderate Reagan conservative movement is the home for all right-thinking people, and it should be for gays as well as other people,” Norquist said at the event, which he attended with his wife, Samah Alrayyes Norquist.
As for Homocon in Tampa, just don’t call it run-of-the-mill.

“You can find dozens of coat-and-tie [parties], stand around with a cocktail, pose for a picture and then move to the next one. They have the same hors d’oeuvres at all of them. It’s one menu. Our events are different.” [GOProud Executive Director Jimmy] LaSalvia said.

GOP Calls for an Assault on the Porn Industry

Part of the Republican Party platform to be voted on at the national convention this week is language that calls for a crackdown on the porn industry.

Before we jump the gun on anything, it’s worth noting that the party platform isn’t binding. The GOP platform has called for lots of things Republicans don’t actually endorse, so we probably shouldn’t panic too much…yet.

So, if it’s not binding, what’s the problem with having issues like this in the platform? Here are a few reasons:

1. It distracts from the real issues.

Today the news isn’t talking about a massive budget overhaul. They’re talking about how Republicans want to prevent adults from accessing pornography. We have a $1.5 trillion annual deficit. We are fighting wars we can’t afford. We are heading toward complete fiscal ruin, and Republicans want to talk about banning porn? It’s nothing more than a distraction to take our eyes off of what’s important.

2. It gives politicians an excuse to expand government.

When a Republican decides it’s time to make legislation to control the behavior of others, he’ll have an easier time getting support for it when it’s part of the platform. Legislators can use the “well, it was in the platform, so I supported it like a good little Republican” excuse and support the expansion of government without fear of blowback from the party.

3. Protecting me from myself is not a legitimate function of government.

There is no scenario in which keeping an adult from viewing pornographic material created by consenting adults is a legitimate function of government. Whether we’re talking about state or federal government, that type of law is inappropriate.

Chatting with Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks

Matt Kibbe

Just a few moments ago, I got a chance to chat with Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks, about the Republican National Convention, efforts by pro-establishment GOPers to curtail grassroots activists, libertarian involvement in the Tea Party movement, and what to expect from a Romney-Ryan administration.

One of Many Ways the SEC Contributed to the Financial Crisis

Securities and Exchange Commission

Written by Mark A. Calabria, Director of Financial Regulation Studies at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

I was recently reminded that in its infinite wisdom, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) actually sued banks as the housing bubble was building for putting aside too much money to coverage potential loan losses.  It seems that while many banks were worried that bubble lending could turn out bad, the SEC felt that recent history did not offer banks enough justification for setting aside such funding (after all housing prices were going up).  The most significant example was the SEC suit against SunTrust.  In November 2004 the SEC actually pushed SunTrust to fire its Chief Risk Officer for setting aside too much to cover bad loans, while also pushing SunTrust to reduce its loan loss reserves.

Republicans and Local Control

Mitt Romney

Written by David Boaz, executive vice president at the Cato Institute. It is cross-posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

Jennifer Rubin, seeking to dispel “myths about conservatives,” takes on the idea that “the GOP doesn’t believe in community:

President Obama likes to say that Republicans want everyone to be “on his own.” In fact, conservatives, as Romney put it in a speech at Liberty University this year, believe family, communities, churches and other civil institutions are critical building blocks in society. They favor investing authority in the level of government closest to the people (locales and states), which they believe is most responsive and governs best.

That’s a nice theory, and it’s one that keeps many libertarians voting Republican.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Accuracy doesn’t matter

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Democratic National Committee chairperson apparently doesn’t think that accuracy really matters, so long as Team Blue gets the win in the long run.  Now, why would I say such a thing?  Well,it stems from a fundraising email that Debbie Wasserman Schultz sent out where she says this:

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are now, incredibly, saying they don’t agree with the policies of the party whose nomination they’re about to accept, but guess what? The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that the platform was, and I quote, “written at the direction of Romney’s campaign.”

This is some pretty unbelievable stuff, even by Mitt Romney standards.

It’s up to us to make sure voters see through this and know just how dangerously wrong for women these candidates are — but we can’t do it without your help. Donate $3 or more today.

Quote courtesy of

The above quote deals with abortion, and particularly with Romney and Ryan’s stances on abortion.  Romney in particular does agree with some exceptions to an abortion ban.  Three of them, as a matter of fact: Rape, incest, and the life of the mother.  However, Wassermann Schultz says that the GOP platform - you know, the same one with a call for a constitutional amendment banning abortion? - was “written at the direction of Romney’s campaign.”

MediScare, Part “O”, The Entitlement Bomb

Paul Ryan

Early during his second term, President George W. Bush declared he would spend his accumulated political capital on reforming Social Security. Democrats immediately lambasted the president, falsely claiming that his reform ideas were “radical” and would leave the elderly penniless and laying in the streets. They claimed Bush would gamble the life savings of our parents and grandparents on the stock market, and that his Wall Street buddies would grow rich while swindling granny out of everything she owned.

Of course, the truth was nowhere close. Bush’s “Strengthening Social Security for the 21st Century” plan was actually quite timid. It made no changes, zero, in the Social Security program for those 55 and over. Under Bush’s plan, personal retirement accounts would be phased in, with annual contribution limits gradually increased to a staggering…4%…yes 4%…of workers’ payroll taxes allocated to their personal accounts, with annual contributions initially capped at $1,000 per year in 2009, rising over time by $100 annually, plus growth in average wages. In other words, a measly 4% of payroll taxes would have been invested in private accounts, with the other 96% staying in the Social Security Trust Fund.

And yet due to this “radical” plan, this blindingly fast weaning of Americans from the government teat, Democrats successfully terrified Americas seniors and Bush’s political capital was eviscerated. He would end up abandoning the effort and Republicans would crawl back into their shells, unwilling to again touch this third rail of American politics.

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