Matthew DesOrmeaux

Recent Posts From Matthew DesOrmeaux

Federal ban of “LSD Ale” shows corporatist consequence of overregulation

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The hallucinagen LSD has been illegal in the United States since the 1960s, and apparently in the fatherland of free speech, that means you can’t even name things “LSD” either.

From the Pioneer Press by way of Reason comes the story of “LSD Ale”, or at least that’s what it used to be called.

Call it what you want, but Indeed Brewing Company can no longer market or label its seasonal spring honey beer as LSD Ale.

The feds made the brewery change the name of its Lavender Sunflower Date (that’s where the acronym came from) Honey Ale so that the acronym was no longer apparent.

The brewery did not face federal regulation until it started to cross state lines, and for a while, when Indeed was selling only in limited Wisconsin markets, they kept that particular beer in Minnesota. Regulators were concerned that the name implied there were drugs in the beer.

It’s unclear what federal agency mandated this sophomoric overaction, likely the FDA or ATF. Regardless, the insanity and hipocrisy is self-evident.

Why is the federal government concerned about products that might (but definitely don’t) make people think there are illegal drugs in them? If the products don’t have illegal drugs in them, what is the harm done by that (entirely mythical) suggestion?

Stossel’s Libertarian debate highlights the good…and bad of the third party option

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A stoner, an outlaw, and a teenager walk into a television studio. Not the start of a terrible joke, but the latest Libertarian Party debate, hosted by John Stossel on Fox Business, the first half of a two-hour forum. The second half airs next Friday, April 8.

Participating in the debate were former New Mexico governor and previous Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, software entreprenuer John McAfee, and Libertarian Republic founder Austin Petersen. Each demonstrated plenty of knowledge about liberty issues, but also plenty of idiosyncracies that, while largely unnoticable among the Libertarian faithful, might hinder their appeal in a general election.

Helpfully, Stossel himself pointed out some of these issues and had the candidates address them.

Petersen is only 35 years old and inexperienced in the campaign and television world. He was very animated and forceful in his answers, but has a very freshman debate club tone that would need to be refined over the campaign.

It’s time to start including another name in polls and campaign coverage

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Twice in the last week I’ve had to personally update candidate comparison articles or memes that left out perhaps the most important name on the ballot. It’s time the professional media did their job up front instead.

As we’ve discussed, a Trump-Clinton election will likely be a historic low in terms of turnout and enthusiasm. It also opens a unique opportunity for another party candidate to make inroads in the national political landscape. So why are people ignoring that there are other candidates available?

You may have seen this candidate issue flow chart on social media in the last couple weeks.

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I noticed that it was missing something, so I updated it.

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Similarly, Vox’s income tax calculator showing how each candidate’s plans will affect your wallet only has four results.

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LOL @ “mostly on the rich”.

Definitely-Not-Super Tuesday 2016: The night the GOP tapestry was torn in two

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I was going to write a detailed post comparing the final polling averages of the Super Tuesday primary states with the final election results. Decision Desk HQ is a brilliant grassroots resource for live updated results at a glance, and Real Clear Politics’ polling data is second to none. But then I realized, as we all have at some visceral level this year, that lol nothing matters.

But Rubio won a state! lol nothing matters. But my candidate can unite the party at the convention! lol nothing matters. But Trump dramatically underperformed in several states! lol nothing matters. But thresholds were reached and delegates split, keeping Trump from sweeping! lol nothing matters.

The polling data has been decoded, analyzed, spun, and compared to primary and caucus results in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada to try to justify various candidates’ continued viability in the wake of the Trump juggernaut. It’s beyond apparent that it all amounts to slightly less than Ben Carson’s chance of being elected to anything ever.

As of this writing, Marco Rubio has won a single caucus state (not just tonight - ever), Ted Cruz has added Texas and Oklahoma to his previous Iowa victory, and Donald Trump has won literally everything else. Every debate, every candidate exit, every Twitter campaign, every attack ad, every PAC strategy has failed to slow the budding fascist’s momentum.

If the Houston debate doesn’t stop Trump, nothing will

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After Nevada, the depression set in.

Trump blew his rivals out of the water in the Silver State caucuses. Rubio, who briefly lived in Nevada and attended a Mormon church, was expected to do well in the sparsely populated state. He didn’t. While he did come in second, Trump still beat him 2-to-1 and got twice as many delegates.

In three of the first four primary states, Trump has either met or exceeded polling expectations. While his delegate lead is already large, it’s still very early, with 46 states and hundreds of delegates left to go. Theoretically, anything could happen. Bill Clinton lost nine the first ten primaries in 1992, but still went on to win the Democratic nomination after surprising in mid-March.

And although Rubio has a very similar political talent to Clinton, this is not 1992.

Trump Voters Weren’t Betrayed by the GOP, He’s Their White Knight

A broken clock is right twice a day, and Saturday night Van Jones was that malfunctioning timepiece. On CNN’s coverage of the South Carolina GOP primary results, he’d had enough of the media’s placating Trump’s antics and the teeming hordes who eat it up.

Jones is absolutely right that the media has “adapt[ed] to the absurdity” of Trump’s campaign. One of the worst ways they’ve done this is by accepting the premise that his popularity is a reaction to the GOP’s failure to enact change or stop Obama over the last 7 years. As Erick Erickson put it six months ago: “The Republican Party created Donald Trump, because they made a lot of promises to their base and never kept them.”

What a load of hogwash. Here’s why.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dies, Unleashing an Election Year Earthquake

Supreme Court associate justice and giant of US politics and constutional law, Antonin Scalia, 79, has died of apparent natural causes in Texas.

According to a report, Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.

Widely considered to be an “originalist”, Scalia actually used a “textual” interpretation of the Constitution, relying on the plain reading of the text as written to rule on cases. This interpretation placed him as one of the most conservative justices on the Court, and his intellect and integrity will make him impossible to replace.

It is no exaggeration to say that Justice Scalia was the most consequential jurist of the past 35 years. A persistent, pugnacious and persuasive advocate for textualist statutory interpretation and originalist constitutional interpretation, he had an outsize effect on his colleagues, the court and the course of the law. More than anyone else, Justice Scalia is responsible for the renaissance of these interpretive methodologies and the displacement of “living constitutionalism” and reliance upon legislative history.

He certainly won’t be replaced by President Obama.

Trump rallies the stormtroopers in Louisiana

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After driving two hours, standing in line for two hours, and catching most of Donald Trump’s hour and a half long sales pitch to a packed Baton Rouge River Center, I have a new, less charitable understanding of the phenomenon he has unleashed on the country.

I am not a Trump supporter, of course. I actually went to the event with the intention of holding up an anti-Trump sign and making my dissent known in person. But as the line nearly reached the door, I witnessed two gentlemen with similar, but more harshly worded signs than mine wrestled out of the building, to the ground, then one of the two tased by Baton Rouge PD after not going peacefully. After hauling away the protesters, the dozen remaining officers at the entrance were on high alert for any shenaningans, and I had a wife and children waiting at home for me. So I quietly tossed my sign in the trash on my way in. I decided to protest silently, then online instead.

The crowd was about what you would expect - almost exclusively white, conservative, polite but cocked and ready for action. When the scuffle ensued with the protesters, many got their phones out and scurried over to record and jeer the detainees. They stopped just short of calling for blood.

Trump was already speaking when I got inside, and the crowd was eating up every word. They weren’t transfixed in silence; there was lots of murmuring between friends and neighbors, going in and out from the bathroom and concession stand. After all, thousands of people were still getting inside as he spoke.

New Hampshire Polls Have Created a Political Narrative Perfect Storm

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Election polling is always wrong. Except when it’s not. And even then sometimes. But especially in New Hampshire this year. Confused yet? You should be.

Every single poll that’s come out in the last week has said something completely different is happening in the first primary, and not even in a linear trending way, with certain candidates ascending or descending. They’re literally all over the place.

The following is a list of all the polls currently included in the Real Clear Politics average for New Hampshire.

NH1

From this data we can tell only three things:

  1. Trump is leading in New Hampshire.
  2. There is a fight for second place between Rubio, Kasich, Cruz, and Bush.
  3. Christie, Fiorina, and Carson should probably have dropped out yesterday.

Second is where the real mystery is. Every poll shows a different person (or tie) in second place behind Trump [highlighted above in yellow]. Rubio comes in second place in one poll and ties for second in two others, but so does Bush in one, Cruz in one and ties in another, and Kasich in two and ties in another.

Some of these individual polls even show trends from earlier data, which usually signal a real change in support. But even here those trends are contradictory. In the CNN poll, Rubio has gained 6 points from the same poll taken a little over a week ago, while the other candidates have only gained 1 point. But in other polls, like the UMass daily tracking poll, Rubio has lost 2 points over the last week.

Sorry, You’ll Find No Rand Paul “Haters” Here

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Apparently explaining the reasons Senator Rand Paul couldn’t connect with Republican voters in his now-suspended presidential campaign makes us here at United Liberty “haters”, according to Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel.

In an interview before the Republican debates in Boulder, Paul told me ruefully that he had more haters than anyone else running for president, visible at blogs like United Liberty; fans of Ron Paul obsessed and condemned any Paul feint to the center-right.

Despite that silliness, the whole thing is worth your time, as is everything Weigel writes. He is among the best political reporters of his our generation. But really, what in the world, Dave?

There is plenty of Rand Paul hate to go around, to be sure, but you will find none of it on this server. Here’s a sampling of some of the Rand Paul headlines on this site since the presidential campaign started last year:

Matthew DesOrmeaux

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Contributor

married, father of two, atheist, libertarian, introvert.

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