Archive for the ‘#election2016’ Tag

#Free #Giveaway Continued   Leave a comment

Hullabaloo Front CoverThe giveaway for Hullabaloo on Main Street continues through the weekend.

For a committed democrat, it sure does suck when you lose an election.

You know what I mean?

Nearly half the country refuses to listen to the other half. We think we know what the other side means, but we never venture outside our own bubbles to actually find out.

#Libertarian Connor infiltrates both bubbles in a Midwestern town on Election Wednesday 2016 and brings readers along for a wry non-partisan tour of the “Bubble Battles.” He even offers a solution … not that any bubble dwellers will listen.

This #novelette is a work of #fiction based upon real-life events. Any resemblance to yourself or people you know is purely coincidental.

#Political #satire from a #nonpartisan perspective.

Remembering What Was Leaked #1   4 comments

Whether or not the Russians actually hacked the DNC or Juliane Assange’s network of hackers did it, we the people need to remember WHAT was leaked and WHY it had the power to defeat She-Who-Would-Be-Queen. It’s not so much that Trump won the election, but that Clinton was rejected at the polls and he was the only alternative in most people’s minds.

Image result for image of WikileaksWhen the first slug of emails were released in the summer, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign as WikiLeak’s released nearly 20,000 emails and some of them were horribly damaging to the Democrats.

 

Many of the most damaging emails suggested the Democratic National Committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. I wasn’t a supporter of Bernie Sanders, but had the DNC not intervened, he likely would have been the Democratic nominee and … who knows … maybe there are enough economically challenged voters who would have made him President of the United States.

What if Democratic voters had known earlier what their party administration was doing to rig their primary system? The WikiLeaks revelations came late in the primaries, after Hillary Clinton was clearly headed for victory, but they belied the national party committee’s stated neutrality in the race even at that late stage.

So here’s just some examples of what WikiLeaks let the voters know.

On May 5, DNC officials appeared to conspire to raise Sanders’s faith as an issue and press on whether he was an atheist . This was an apparent attempt to steer evangelical voters in Kentucky and West Virginia to Clinton. Sanders is Jewish but has previously indicated that he’s not religious.

One email from DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall read:

It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.

Marshall added in a later email: “It’s these Jesus thing.”

In response, DNC CEO Amy Dacey said: “Amen.”

Manipulative and dismissive of evangelicals. Way to go, guys! We feel so respected! How would Kentucky and West Virginia evangelicals have voted if they’d known they were being manipulated?

On May 17, after controversy erupted over the Nevada state Democratic convention and how fair the process was there, Wasserman Schultz herself took exception to Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver’s defense of his candidate’s supporters.

“Damn liar,” she wrote. “Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and threatening behavior that occurred.”

I personally think the Sanders supporters were pretty violent, but the violence at the Nevada convention seemed to have been caused by the disenfranchisement of Sanders voters.

That wasn’t the only time Wasserman Schultz offered an unvarnished opinion about the Sanders operation. In one late-April email, she even questioned Sanders’s connection to the party.

Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do,” she said in response to a Politico story about Sanders saying the party hadn’t been fair to him.

Sanders, for what it’s worth, wasn’t a Democrat before entering the Democratic primary. He caucused with the party but has long been an independent.

In that way, Wasserman Schultz’s comments could be read simply as her defending her party; that she felt Sanders was attacking. Still her comment suggests a particularly dim view of Sanders that she didn’t feel the need to obscure in conversations with other DNC staff.

When the Sanders campaign alleged that the Clinton campaign was improperly using its joint fundraising committee with the DNC to benefit itself, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias offered the DNC guidance on how to respond.

“My suggestion is that the DNC put out a statement saying that the accusations the Sanders campaign are not true,” Elias said May 3 in response to an email about the issue sent by communications director Luis Miranda to other DNC stuff that copied Elias and another lawyer at his firm, Perkins Coie.

Elias continued: “The fact that CNN notes that you aren’t getting between the two campaigns is the problem. Here, Sanders is attacking the DNC and its current practice, its past practice with the POTUS and with Sec Kerry. Just as the RNC pushes back directly on Trump over ‘rigged system’, the DNC should push back DIRECTLY at Sanders and say that what he is saying is false and harmful the the Democratic party.”

Elias’s guidance isn’t perhaps all that shocking; he’s Clinton’s lawyer, after all. But the fact that he was talking to the DNC about how to respond would appear to suggest coordination between the DNC and Clinton campaign against Sanders in this particular case.

On May 21, DNC national press secretary Mark Pautenbach suggested pushing a narrative that Sanders “never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess.”

After detailing several arguments that could be made to push that narrative, Paustenbach concludes: “It’s not a DNC conspiracy, it’s because they never had their act together.”

Paustenbach’s suggestion, in that way, could be read as a defense of the committee rather than pushing negative information about Sanders. But this is still the committee pushing negative information about one of its candidates.

One of the chief complaints from Sanders and his supporters was a lack of debates. They said the fact that there were so few was intended to help Clinton by reducing her opponents’ exposure and their chances to knock her down.

After the Sanders campaign presumptuously declared that an agreement for an additional debate in California had been reached, Miranda responded to the Sanders campaign’s release on May 18 simply:

lol

As noted, the release from the Sanders campaign was presumptuous in declaring that an agreement had been reached. Miranda could simply have been responding to the somewhat silly tactic. But the debate never actually happened, as the Clinton campaign later opted not to participate.

Many of these emails came as it was clear Clinton was going to win. In retrospect, that makes the apparent favoritism appear less offensive, but Sanders supporters disagreed because they recognized that he might have had a better chance of winning the nomination had the DNC had not been working against him.

There was plenty of DNC cheerleading for the race to simply be over — for Sanders to throw in the towel so that Clinton could be named the presumptive nominee. The party was supposed to be neutral even though the odds and delegate deficit for Sanders looked insurmountable and they wanted to be free of that lie.

On May 1, in response to Sanders again saying he would push for a contested convention, Wasserman Schultz said, “So much for a traditional presumptive nominee.”

The term “Bernie bro” — or “Berniebro,” depending on your style — over the course of the campaign became a kind of shorthand for the worst kind of Sanders supporter. These were the supporters who couldn’t be reasoned with, who verbally assaulted opponents, sometimes in very nasty ways.

Some in the DNC apparently used the pejorative to refer to one particular radio host seen as overly sympathetic to Sanders, Sirius XM’s Mark Thompson.

“Wait, this is a s––– topic,” Miranda wrote on May 4 after Thompson’s program director, David Guggenheim, requested an interview on a Clinton fundraising controversy. “Where is Guggenheim? Is he a Bernie Bro?

“Must be a Bernie Bro,” DNC broadcast booker Pablo Manriquez responds. “Per Mark’s sage, I turned him down flat (and politely) and inquired into opportunities next week to talk about something else.

While the Sanders emails have gained the most attention, some of the more interesting emails involve a peek behind to curtain of how party officials talk about fundraising and major donors, even President Obama.

In one email on May 9, DNC mid-Atlantic and PAC finance director Alexandra Shapiro noted that Obama wouldn’t travel 20 minutes to help the party secure $350,000 in donations.

“He really won’t go up 20 minutes for $350k?” Shapiro wrote. “THAT’S f—ing stupid.”

DNC national finance director Jordan Kaplan responded: “or he is the president of the united states with a pretty big day job.”

In a May 16 exchange about where to seat a top Florida donor, Kaplan declared that “he doesn’t sit next to POTUS!” — referring to Obama.

Here are some other things Kaplan and Shapiro said about donors, via Karen Tumulty and Tom Hamburger:

Kaplan directed Shapiro to put New York philanthropist Philip Munger in the prime spot, switching out Maryland ophthalmologist Sreedhar Potarazu. He noted that Munger was one of the largest donors to Organizing for America, a nonprofit that advocates for Obama’s policies. “It would be nice to take care of him from the DNC side,” Kaplan wrote.

Shapiro pushed back, noting that Munger had given only $100,600 to the party, while the Potarazu family had contributed $332,250.

In one email attachment from Erik Stowe, the finance director for Northern California, to Tammy Paster, a fundraising consultant, he lists the benefits given to different tiers of donors to the Democratic National Convention, which starts next week in Philadelphia. The tiers range from a direct donation of $66,800 to one of $467,600 to the DNC. The documents also show party officials discussing how to reward people who bundle between $250,000 to $1.25 million.

This particular email dump told Democratic voters that their primary system was rigged for a particular candidate. While that wouldn’t matter to die-hard Democrats who would have voted for the nominee no matter what, but independent voters who might have been convinced to vote Democrat were turned off by this in-party manipulation. I know here in Alaska, where 56% of voters are not registered with a party, independent voters tend to pay attention to issues like this. Some of the people I know who voted for Trump did so because they felt the Democrats had illegitimately pre-selected Clinton as the nominee. In the Lower 48, I know Democratically-leaning independents who stayed home on Election Day because they felt Hillary would win regardless and they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for them.

Whether or not Russia was involved in the WikiLeaks hacking of DNC emails, the CONTENT is what is important. This was information the voters had a right to know. Public officials should not have the right to manipulate our elections. So, now they’re whining that Russia “manipulated” the election, but in reality, the email dump REVEALED manipulation.

 

Posted January 3, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Russians Revealed Truth   2 comments

At this writing, it appears that the Electoral College has settled the matter in favor of the Constitution and Donald Trump will be the president … like it or not.

This entire electoral incident should warn us on just how insane the American elite has become. Presumably, they have access to the same Constitution that I have access to, so why is it that they seem unable to understand this very simple truth?

Image result for image of election interferenceThere has never been a national popular election for United State President. The Constitution provides for the states to elect the President and allows for states to decide what procedures to follow to do that. Theoretically, they could vary the procedures from state to state, but that isn’t the reality. Since 1836, the states have held statewide popular elections for President. Three states allow votes to be counted proportionally. The rest apportion electors according to the winnter of the statewide popular election. Additionally, 30 states require electors to vote with their statewide popular election. The media (and I suspect the public schools since I graduated) has put forth this fantasy of the national popular election, but it is a fantasy. It doesn’t exist. In fact, states should probably just stop giving their vote totals to the media until after the Electoral College meets. This might help with some people’s Electoral Delusional Complex.

On November 8, 2016, the voters in 51 states held popular elections (in accordance with the Constitution) and Donald Trump won 30 of those states. Hillary Clinton lost in a landslide. He may not be the best president we could have gotten. It’s entirely possibly he will not do what needs to be done. I suspect he’s better than Hillary would have been, but I don’t think that’s saying a whole lot. But he won the election and it’s time to move on.

Image result for electoral delusional complexBUT …

 

American elites are working to create a constitutional crisis as I write this, building up an immense head of steam that the Electoral College did not defuse.

Why? Because the Russians allegedly “intervened” in a US election. How did they do that?

They revealed the truth.

Yeah … shocking, right? How dare they!

But … wait … they told the truth and America’s elite overlords are upset about that?

 

Hmmm … maybe that tells us something about the elites that we really ought to pay more attention to.

The leaked emails were true and the truth they revealed ought to be huge news, talked about around every dinner table in America. Instead, the elites are trying to distract us with the revelation that RUSSIANS may have “interfered” with the election.

The inference is that the Russians did more than just reveal the truth at the worst possible time in the campaign for Hillary Clinton. I know people who are absolutely convinced that the Russians hacked the voting machines … even though that would be virtually impossible in 51 separate statewide elections, especially since some states use different systems at the district level … resulting in hundreds of different systems that would all need to be hacked. Yeah … can you say “Conspiracy Theory”?

Image result for electoral delusional complexBut, truthfully, they are mostly upset that the American people learned the truth about Hillary Clinton from her own camp and then voted based on that truth.

 

I didn’t vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. My decision was made months before the emails confirmed what I already knew, that Hillary Clinton is a lying warmonger who hates ordinary American people. But, for half a second in the voting booth, I almost filled in the oval for Donald Trump because I feared Hillary Clinton might win. Why was I more worried about it than I had been since March? I’d read those emails. I suspect a lot of people who read those emails filled in ovals for Donald Trump … because they had seen the truth about Hillary Clinton and they were voting against her and all that she stands for.

Democracy is supposed to be about allowing the people to self-govern through the ballot box. This time around, we rejected a candidate who had revealed herself to be an elitist snob, warmongering liar and enough of us embraced a candidate some of us don’t like. When it was Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in 2012 there was no call to set aside the election results. Why? Because everybody … even the losers … accepted that the US system works and doesn’t need to be “fixed”, but also because most people recognized that Romney’s “49% of the electorate” comment was him opening his mouth to insert his foot by revealing himself to be an elite. So, why is it different now with Hillary?

 

I suspect a lot of Hillary supporters have refused to read the emails. Maybe none of our elites have read them. I did … well, a sizeable chunk of them. They were … damaging. If I’d liked Hillary before, I probably wouldn’t have liked her after reading them. And, I know people who did change their votes after reading them. The emails, because they were truth revealed, had that effect. Yet, the entire elite class, including nearly all major media, doesn’t seem to have read them. Or maybe they didn’t have that effect on them because they already knew that was the prevalent Democratic attitude toward the American people.

So, to my point of view, the Russians did us a favor by revealing the truth. They didn’t tell us their version of the truth. They released elitist emails that revealed the truth about the elites in their own words. So much more damaging than if the Russians had concocted lies.

 

Thos emails are a massive condemnation of American governance, especially in the Obama administration. The voters, now thusly informed, voted in their own better interests to pivot away from DC elites. I still doubt that Trump will “drain the swamp” or “make America great”, but I don’t fault my fellow voters for voting against Hillary. That is how democracy works … like it or not.

The Russians didn’t “interfere” with the election by enlightening the electorate with actual truth. Would we be having this conversation if the New York Times had released the information? I doubt it. We’d be excited to see real journalism back from the dark maze it has been wandering in. Can someone please lower a lantern into that sewer? Really, it would be wonderful to see the return of real journalism.

If you want to know what interference in an election looks like, go back and review what the elites have done to forestall the inaugaration of the people’s choice for President. Remember the riots? Remember the calls for Electoral College electors to disenfranchise the voters of their states and vote for Hillary? Do you hear the continued calls for Congress to step in and overrule the EC?

Yeah, THAT is interference in an election and you don’t have to love Donald Trump to recognize it.

Gross Arrogance & Gross Miscalculation   Leave a comment

Since 2008, conservatives and libertarians have been told by progressives that the demographics of the country were changing and not in our favor. We were told that we should change our values or face being marginalized because “nobody thinks like you anymore.”

I remember pointing out that just one month before the election of Barack Obama, Rasmussen Polls surveyed voters and found that 42% self-described as “conservative”. When the most liberal president ever was elected, it seemed reasonable to assume that Rasmussen had been wrong. The problem with that was everywhere I went, I ran into conservatives. And, I do mean everywhere. When visiting the very blue East Coast, I had people ask me admiringly if I had met Sarah Palin. Which I have. And, no, I can’t explain what happened to her after she lost the Vice Presidential bid. Greed … corruption … overreach and inability to deal with it? Sarah now is not the Sarah I knew then. Not that we were close friends, but she was a GREAT governor who banked money for the rainy day we’re in today, as opposed to Parnell, who spent all that money … with a lot of help from our legislators. Anyway, she’s not the topic here.

In the run up to the 2016 election, Democrats and progressives were particularly gleeful, certain that they would prove their assertions once and for all. Here are some examples:

On August 8, 2016, Mark Siegel of the Huffington Post averred:

The votes of the Electoral College states that consistently vote Democratic has now swelled to a reliable 244, just 26 electoral votes from the majority needed to win. For Republican presidential candidates to prevail in the Electoral College, they must thread the needle of marginal “purple” states, needing to win ALL of them to succeed.

Current demography makes a Republican win increasingly difficult, exacerbating recent historical trends. In the last six presidential elections Republicans have lost the popular vote five times. They prevailed in the Electoral College in 2000 and 2004 with 284 and 286 Electoral College votes, a margin of 14 and 16 electoral votes out of 538. In the last four elections won by Democrats, they received 370 Electoral College votes in 1992, 379 in 1996, 365 in 2008 and 332 in 2012, margins of victory ranging from 52 to 109. Democrats can afford to lose almost all purple states and still top 270.

The Trump-ization of the Republican Party in 2016 makes the future of the party even more problematic. The outlook for Trump’s candidacy points to the same losing Electoral College pattern — or worse — with even the “red” states of NC, AR, GA and MO now in play. And demographic projections currently predict that Texas, the most critical Republican prize of all, with 32 electoral votes, will slip from “red” to “purple” to “blue” within two cycles as a result of of the rapid acceleration of the Hispanic electorate. When — not if — Texas turns blue, the Republicans, under the best of conditions, will cease to be a competitive national political party in presidential elections.

On November 6, 2016, Stan Collander wrote in Forbes:

 

[A] realignment has to be evident at the bottom as well as the top of the ballot. To be considered real, the change in voting behavior has to occur for governor, mayor, sheriff and dogcatcher as well as for president.

That is why any absolute declaration any time soon that the 2016 election shows that there is a new and unstoppable Trump movement will be nonsense. A proactive declaration of a realigning election at best will be “premature,” and that’s using very polite language.

I tend to agree that realignment elections take several election cycles to prove themselves, which was why I was skeptical there was a political realignment underway when Barack Obama won in 2008. In 2012, when he won again despite a very poor performance in foreign policy and the economy, I began to wonder if the progressives might be right.

Wondering if someone is right does not obligate me to change my principals. I remain who I am regardless of what you think of me or what some expert tells me is going to happen to people who hold my values.

Apparently there are a lot of people who agree with me and they’ve been very busy in their respective states making Democrats look like blue-bubble dwellers.

This is the electoral composition of state Legislatures across the country.

Image result for image of states controlled by republican legislators in 2016

Republicans control both chambers in 32 states, including 17 with veto-proof majorities. Those 32 states cover 61 percent of the U.S. population. Democrats, meanwhile, control the legislature in just 13 states, amounting to 28 percent of the country’s population; only four of those chambers have veto-proof majorities.

With a firm grip on the presidency, Congress, and soon the Supreme Court, Republicans have won more political power in 2016 than in any election since at least 1928, when Herbert Hoover was elected to the White House. Democrats now face a deep hole they need to climb out of if they ever hope to be competitive in the future.

For blue islanders, it becomes even more terrifying when you look at governors:

That’s 34 states with a Republican governor (up 3 states since 2015), not including Alaska’s independent Governor Bill Walker who used to be a Republican and only dropped his party membership after he realized the GOP primary in Alaska is rigged.

As shown above, Republicans now control the governor’s office in 33 states, amounting to 60 percent of the population, while Democrats control just 16 states with 40 percent of the population. (Alaska has an independent governor supported by the Democrats.) Republicans now hold a greater number of governor’s offices than they have in several generations.

This transition has been underway for some time. It picked up speed under Obama’s capricious policies that seemed designed to build up the blue regions at the expense of the red ones.

It’s important to understand that Donald Trump pierced the Democrats’ vaunted “blue wall” of reliable states, carrying the Midwest states of Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan (recount notwithstanding). Barack Obama carried all three of these states in 2012, when he was running against a white male candidate, suggesting these states are not chockful of racists. In fact, after those white voters supported Obama, they were praised, by leading Democratic voices and media wise men, for being enlightened, broad-minded, unselfish and patriotic Americans.

So, right now, the Democrats are struggling with the outcome of this election. I’m not really happy with it myself. I’m glad Clinton didn’t win and dismayed Trump did. But here’s a friendly suggestion to Democrats. Learn something from Hillary’s “deplorable” misstep. If you demonize the people who supported the other party’s candidate as moral lepers, mental midgets or ethical eunuchs, you’re probably not going to win their goodwill and their future votes.

This election ended where elections always do: with the voters. … and the voters are angry.

  • Voters are angry at the failure of elected officials in Washington to listen to them and act.
  • They are angry at the arrogance of the rich and well educated who don’t seem to know — much less care — that working people’s standard of living has been declining for a generation.
  • They are angry at the media, at journalists they think, look and sound too smug, too certain and too aloof.
  • They are angry at the ‘new economy’ that trumpets apps and functionality and brags about the ‘costs’ (read: jobs) that are being eliminated.
  • They are angry about being mocked and vilified as rubes, racists and ‘deplorables.’
  • They are white-hot angry that their children don’t have reasonable prospects for advancement.

Until the Democrats stop addressing social issues that divide moral people from their values and start addressing economic and trade issues, they will remain a fringe party. Yes, they have the cities … but the cities aren’t everything, even if their residents think they are.

Until elites learn that they are not the center of the universe and stop treating people who don’t live in the blue bubble zones as if they’re idiots, they will find themselves in the shame corner.

This election was about a lot of things, but more than anything it was about respect … or the “blue” lack of respect for a substantial portion of the population that feeds them and mines their energy and repairs their stuff.

Electoral Deja Vu   2 comments

This sort of looks like 2008 in reverse. Remember that was the year everyone got really upset with the sitting president and decided to elect an inexperienced half-term Senator to the presidency because we wanted to prove we weren’t racists.

Well, except for those of us who know we’re not racists and preferred someone else.

Image result for image of political slaveryNow we’ve got a political neophyte headed to the White House. The Senate is narrowly in Republican hands and the House is strongly in Republican hands. Almost exactly the opposite was true in 2008.

In 2009, Barack Obama told half the American populace to sit down and shut up because “elections have consequences”. He then jammed huge spending bills (and commensurate debt) down our throats and saddled us with a medical insurance system that will see all of us more broke and more unhealthy. Every time we protested, his followers insisted that those of us who don’t want to become Europe are old-fashioned and dying part of the country so we should be silent and just let them push our faces in the mud a little deeper. Socialism was the new future. “Shut up and take what’s good for you. We know better than you.”

Image result for election map 2008So now the electoral map looks a lot the same only red is the dominate color rather than blue. And what will President Donald Trump say? Sit down and shut up, elections have consequences? Let’s get together and make America great again?

I don’t know. Not a fan of Trump. But I did notice that he was very gracious in accepting Hillary’s concession. He said “we owe her a debt of gratitude for her service to our country.” I disagree with him on that as I disagree with him on so much, but let me suggest that Hillary (she of the “basket of deplorables”) would not have been so gracious.
I hope the Republicans take the next several weeks leading up to the inauguration to take some deep breaths and consider if they want 2017 to look like 2009 politically. Maybe they want to present a better vision for the United States, one in which the winning party is willing to listen to the losing party. I’m not saying they should allow the Democrats to keep their signature tyrannies or continue growing liberal policies, but that it might be a good idea to listen to them, to ask their opinion on how to implement the needed changes.

Image result for image of electoral map nov 9 2016We do need to make big changes — reduce/eliminate regulations, reduce spending, address the debt, make the military and the entitlement state much smaller — but that doesn’t mean that those who are opposed to such needed changes shouldn’t have a voice in how those changes are instituted.

Yes, elections have consequences, but it shouldn’t mean the enslavement of half the population to the dictates of those who won the election.

Where is Johnson on the Issues?   Leave a comment

Libertarians believe in liberty, enterprise and personal responsibility:

“Each individual has the right to control his or her own body, action, speech, and property. Government’s only role is to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud,” the party’s website says.

Gary Johnson.jpgGary Johnson rightly calls the Democrats and Republicans “slightly different flavors of the status quo.”

I’m going to be honest here and say I’m not particularly fond of his running mate and I don’t agree with Johnson himself on every issue, but he is WAY ahead of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Here’s where Johnson stands on 11 key issues:

TAXES
Johnson would eliminate loopholes and deductions for special interests; get rid of “double taxation” on small businesses; and, eventually, replace income taxes with a tax on consumption. The Libertarian Party platform calls for the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service.

JOBS/ECONOMY
Johnson and Weld both tout their economic records as governors. They would cut over-regulation that they say is stifling entrepreneurs and small businesses. Remember Johnson became governor of a state (New Mexico) that had deep deficits and a trashed economy. He turned it around and left surpluses and a healthy economy. Weld was a red governor in a deep indigo blue state (Massachusetts) so had to work under a lot of regulations.

CIVIL LIBERTIES
Johnson opposes government surveillance of private communications and financial transactions and favors an unregulated internet. He was an early supporter of gay marriage. (I would get prefer to get the government out of marriage altogether so that nobody can force another into participating in their gay wedding against their beliefs). Johnson also supports a woman’s right to have an abortion.(I consider abortion to be morally reprehensible and preventable with modern contraception. I said I didn’t agree with Johnson on every issue) He opposes restricting gun ownership, except with respect to the mentally ill, and thinks Americans would be safer if more people carried guns. “Responsible adults should be free to marry whom they want, arm themselves if they want, and lead their personal lives as they see fit — as long as they aren’t harming anyone else in doing so,” his website says. (Weld is not as consistent. I will probably detail him sometime soon. Unfortunate, but this is one of those times when you just ignore the vice-president and hope that the healthy presidential candidate lives to a ripe old age — kind of like Joe Biden).

FOREIGN POLICY/MILITARY
The role of the military and foreign policy in a Johnson administration would be to “protect Americans from harm and allow us to exercise our freedoms.” Johnson would stop using the military for “nation building” and “policing the world,” which he says has created new enemies and kept the country in a state of “perpetual war.” (I think once he got into it, he’d find it’s hard to dismantle such an apparatus, but his presidency could be a step in the right direction … not the gutting of the military, but a return to its original mission).

IMMIGRATION
Johnson says his background as the former governor of a border state informs his understanding of immigration policy. He is critical of Trump’s plan to build a wall. Johnson would make it easier for immigrants, after a background check, to get a work visa and a Social Security card so they could pay taxes. And, isn’t that really the issue here, that they come here, work for below minimum wage (thus undercutting legal Americans ability to get jobs), don’t pay into the system, but then suck away resources that the rest of us pay for. If they were forced to compete on a level playing field with legal workers, they would probably choose to return to Mexico because the incentives would be taken away.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Johnson believes “tough on crime” laws have criminalized aspects of our personal lives that should not be the concern of the state. He cites the war on drugs as an example, and calls it a failure. Johnson also is critical of mandatory minimum sentences that prevent judges from using their discretion.

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
As president, Johnson would take marijuana off the federal government’s list of controlled substances, allowing states to legalize its recreational and medicinal use. He favors taxing and regulating the marijuana business. “We need to treat drug abuse as a health issue, not a crime,” he says. I’m double minded on this. I think marijuana and other drugs do immeasurable harm to our society and individuals and families within our society, but I think the war on drugs has been a disaster. Prohibition doesn’t work. We need to find other ways of dealing with the real problems of drug addiction in our country.

EDUCATION
Johnson would abolish the federal Department of Education and eliminate the Common Core curriculum. He favors school choice and competition to foster innovation. He’s also spoken in the past of favoring local control of schools. Historically, schools performed better when there was local control. The outcomes of schools nationwide have consistently declined since the creation of the Department of Education.

ENVIRONMENT
The Libertarian candidates would refocus the Environmental Protection Agency on its core mission of protecting the environment. Johnson says the climate “probably” is changing and that humans “probably” have something to do with it, but they question whether government’s efforts to combat it are working, or worth the expense. He favors science-based environmental regulation that does not involve social engineering.

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