Gary Johnson

Penn Jillette backs Gov. Gary Johnson

Penn Jillette, half of the magic duo, Penn & Teller, has been everywhere the last few years. In addition to their almost nightly performances at the Rio in Las Vegas He and Teller hosted Bullshit!, a libertarian-themed show on Showtime that took on conventional wisdom and junk science.

More recently, Jillette has been acting as a political commentator. He appears regularly on various shows on CNN and Fox News and has been known to write an occasional column on political issues.

However, his recent criticism of President Barack Obama over the so-called on “war on drugs” gave him the opportunity to note on Hannity that, while he disagrees with many of the policies pushed by the White House, he is backing Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for president.

Here’s the entire segment of Jillette with Sean Hannity:

 

Gary Johnson: Peace is cheaper

Gov. Gary Johnson’s team has released a new web video promoting a message of peace as polls show a war weary nation. In the video, Johnson’s team labels Republicans as “Thelma” and Democrats as “Louise,” noting that both parties “have a death wish” because they seem to want perpetual war:

Gary Johnson releases first ad as a Libertarian

Gary Johnson, the former two-term Governor of New Mexico (1995-2003) and 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee, has dropped his first ad of the general election campaign.

The ad, which has no narration, only captions, notes that Johnson vetoed 750 bills during his eight years in office, has the best record of job creation of any candidate running in the fall, including Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and left New Mexico with a $1 billion budget surplus at the end of his last term. The end of ad notes that the Libertarian Party isn’t just a party, rather it encompasses the “People,” urging voters to “participate in [their] freedom”:

Mitt Romney is not the only choice on the ballot this fall

With the conservative sphere beginning to finally coalesce around Mitt Romney, like a soap opera that has just gone on way too long, the conservatives are now going into full defense mode of the Mitt and his hairdo. He may not be the best choice, but as far as they’re concerned, he’s the only choice.

Which leads to idiotic tweets like this:

Or this:

Or maybe even this:

No doubt these tweets are emerging because of fear that disgruntled Republicans may vote for Ron Paul or, heaven forbid, Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, instead for the GOP’s presumptive nominee.

Ron Paul’s campaign to take a step back

While Republicans have constantly tried to dismiss his campaign, Ron Paul has certainly showed that there is a strong battle for the heart and soul of the party; pitting limited government conservatives and libertarians up against the establishment. But Paul hinted yesterday that, while his campaign has had success in exposing these fissures, he has decided to scale back his operation:

An announcement from Rep. Ron Paul indicates that the Republican presidential candidate will no longer actively campaign for the GOP nomination, but will continue to work to secure delegates at upcoming Republican state conventions. “Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted,” said Paul, in a statement released Monday afternoon. “Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have.”

But the longtime congressman from Texas, who’s making his third bid for the White House, says he’ll continue to try and secure delegates to the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida in late August.

“Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future,” adds Paul, in his statement.

Paul hasn’t suspended his campaign, as some media outlets are reporting. The delegate strategy that his supporters are carrying out at caucuses and state conventions is very much alive. However, it seems that Paul is more interested in gaining enough delegates to make changes to the platform, rather than to ruin Romney’s chance at the nomination.

Obama is playing gay rights supporters

I’ll fully admit to being a devout cynic when it comes to politics.  On the issue of gay marriage, this is very easy to be.  Opponents prey on the inherent discomfort many have with homosexuality to drive people to oppose marriage equality, offering almost nothing in the way of reasoning or logic.  But proponents (or at least those who claim to be) are playing games too.

Look no further than President Obama’s announcement last week that suddenly, after years of standing against same-sex marriage rights, he had “evolved” to the point where he now personally supported the right of gays to marry.  But in saying so, Obama included a caveat that renders the entire position practically inert - that he still supported the ability of states to decide the matter.  While it is encouraging to see Obama supporting both marriage rights and the 10th Amendment, his statement does nothing.

Instead, Obama and his team are playing a pretty despicable game on gay rights supporters.  Support gay marriage in rhetoric, thus gaining the support of millions who long for the ability to marry their loved ones; but in reality, fail to demonstrate the slightest interest or desire to change it.  Compare this to Obama’s position on health care.  On that issue, a subject that he and I deeply disagree on, Obama spent nearly a year fighting for what eventually became known as ObamaCare.  He devoted huge amounts of political capital and time.  But on gay marriage, the best he can offer is a nice statement.

Barack Obama finally endorses gay marriage

Just days after Vice President Joe Biden endorsed the idea of gay marriage, President Barack Obama offered support for the idea as well, noting that his position had been evolving over the years:

President Obama today announced that he now supports same-sex marriage, reversing his longstanding opposition amid growing pressure from the Democratic base and even his own vice president.

In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, the president described his thought process as an “evolution” that led him to this decision, based on conversations with his staff members, openly gay and lesbian service members, and his wife and daughters.

“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Roberts in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.

Johnson Crushes Obama On Gay Marriage Question

President Obama has been playing games over the past week, after Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview that he was “comfortable” with gay marriage and the administration has rushed out to say that he’s not marking a change in government policy or any such thing. There’s even been talk that Biden’s comment was deliberate, an attempt to have one’s cake and eat it too.

Meanwhile, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson had this to say in a press release:

Libertarian nominee for President and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson today called for the Obama Administration to “make up its mind” when it comes to supporting marriage equality for all Americans, citing Vice-President Biden’s weekend comments appearing to support gay marriage and White House efforts since to clarify those comments.

Johnson, who supports gay marriage equality, received the Libertarian Party nomination for President Saturday, and will be on the ballot in all 50 states. “The President is playing cruel, cynical politics with a deeply personal issue for many Americans,” said Johnson. “He should quit trying to have it both ways and take a stand.”

In a statement released Wednesday, Johnson said, “Gay marriage equality is not a trick question, and we shouldn’t be getting trick answers from the President of the United States. Gay Americans deserve better than a President who winks and nods and tries to convince them that he will protect their rights, but refuses to emerge from the closet and support one of the most basic rights – the right to  equal access to marriage.  And frankly, even opponents of gay marriage deserve the truth from the White House.  Is the President for it or against it? Right now, the Administration is trying to have it both ways”

Gary Johnson Wins Libertarian Party Nomination On First Ballot

Gary Johnson has won the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President:

For the second consecutive election cycle the Libertarian Party has nominated a prominent ex-Republican politician as their presidential nominee. Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, won the party’s nomination on the first ballot. Johnson’s opponents, including his debate partner Lee Wrights, trailed far behind.

Johnson is the first former state executive to run for president on the Libertarian line and, arguably, provides the LP with their highest profile candidate since Ron Paul in 1988.

Johnson, you may recall, originally ran for the Republican Party’s nomination but dropped out of that race and left the Republican Party in December after recieving little traction or media coverage, and after being invited to only one of the many debates that were held between May and December of last year. Since then, he has been travellng the country meeting with Libertarian Party state organizations, members, and national officials in pursuit of the LP nomination.

Judging from the first ballot results, it would appear that his efforts were quite successful:

Gary Johnson must refute birtherism

Responding to charges that Gary Johnson is not a libertarian, Jeremy Kolassa notes that libertarianism isn’t as rigid as some think, particularly on foreign policy. It is this sort of philosophical polytomy that has given us the choice of two libertarians in the 2012 election, both from different factions of the liberty movement.

For many libertarians like myself, Gary Johnson offers a breath of fresh air from several themes popular with the Ron Paul movement, which is fraught with conspiracy theorists, anarcho-capitalists, and armchair economists who believe themselves to be experts on monetary policy after reading End the Fed. Views of this nature are detrimental to the growth of libertarianism and have tainted Ron Paul’s campaign, rendering it unacceptable to many mainstream voters. Thus far, Governor Johnson has done well to avoid these poisons.

Unfortunately, not everyone within the Johnson campaign agrees with this strategy. While it is certainly not a requirement that campaign staffers agree entirely with their boss, there are some views that must be repudiated for the good of the campaign. Birtherism – a conspiracy theory believing that President Barack Obama was not born within the United States – is one of those views. For this reason, Gary Johnson must immediately remove his Virginia campaign Co-Director, Juanita Billings, as she has revealed that she subscribes to this theory.


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