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Rand Paul endorses Libertarian Party candidate at the expense of liberty



Rand Paul endorses Libertarian Party candidate at the expense of liberty

If you haven’t been following the race in New Mexico for the US Senate, you won’t be missing much. The Libertarian Party nominated Gary Johnson as their candidate. The third party is putting a lot of eggs in their failed presidential candidate’s basket to claim their first major election win. Gary Johnson’s presence makes the New Mexico Race a 3 man race. Rand Paul weighed in gave Johnson his sign of approval, breaking party lines.

Legitimizing a weak candidate doesn’t do much to help the cause of Liberty. Even if Johnson is fiscally conservative, he was too pro-abortion to gain any traction during his failed run for President. The tweet by Rand Paul also came off as insulting to many in the liberty movement.

This is a reminder of how Rand Paul repeatedly ignored Austen Petersen’s senate campaign which featured a great opportunity to send another liberty minded candidate into the Senate. Yet in New Mexico, where the Republican candidate is actually solid, Rand Paul chooses the long shot over the safer liberty minded bet.

How competitive was the race?

The GOP has lost the last two runs in New Mexico by single digits, hovering around 45%. Five points wasn’t an impossible feat. But five points with a third party candidate undermining a close race, is insurmountable, at a glance. Mick Rich seemed like a genuine and likable Conservative candidate. Back in June, it was noted in Conservative Picks for the New Mexico Primary that Mick Rich was a solid candidate who could win.

Mick Rich is surprisingly the only Republican running for the Senate in New Mexico. Even other blue states can’t boast that. Despite the lack of competition, it’s still important to at least vet him. Rich’s background is in construction. In searching Mick Rich’s platform he has more advanced Conservative positions than your typical campaign conservative. He’s the real deal from an ideological standpoint. It is worth noting that his campaign skills may be lacking. His social media presence is saddening for a Senate candidate who is unopposed. November is months away and he has a lot of ground to make up. In the last two Senate races, Republicans have hovered around 45% of the vote. This race is winnable, but it will require a lot of work.

Mick Rich doesn’t come off as a great campaigner, but it’s highly unlikely he finishes third in this race. Gary Johnson on the other hand could do what third party candidates rarely do: break into double digits. Gary Johnson, essentially finished the race before the election day, handing Martin Heinrich the swift reelection.

Which candidate was better for liberty?

Gary Johnson is notoriously pro-abortion which was a huge deterrence to disgruntled Conservatives during his presidential campaign. He also answered in a debate that he believed bakers should be forced to bake cakes for gay couples. During a Libertarian forum, the subject came up to much rebuke.

During the first hour of the Libertarian Party presidential forum that aired Friday night on the Fox Business Network, leading Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson admitted that in his view, Jewish bakers should be forced by government to bake wedding cakes for Nazis.

The issue arose when fellow Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen brought to the attention of moderator John Stossel that in an earlier debate in Oregon, Johnson declared that bakeries should be forced to bake wedding cakes for gay couples.  Johnson affirmed the position, arguing that being able to discriminate on the basis of religion is a “black hole.”  Petersen pushed Johnson on the issue and asked whether he felt Jewish bakers should be forced to bake wedding cakes for Nazi customers. Stossel directed the question to Johnson, who replied “that would be my contention, yes.”

To Johnson’s credit, he is rather strong on Amendment 4 even if weak on Amendment 1. Mick Rich, in contrast, is staunchly pro-life, something Rand Paul is a leading voice in the Senate for. Rich also makes it a campaign theme to implement free market solutions in healthcare, which Johnson does not. Both candidates have a similar taxation policy, with mention of eliminating special interest loopholes and a immigration policy that emphasizes assimilation. A border wall would likely be the separating factor on this issue. The two candidates aren’t that dissimilar on their platforms, but Gary Johnson has a much longer history of buffoonery and inconsistent positions especially in regards to personal liberties. He would most certainly be a wildcard in the Senate, as opposed to a consistent liberty minded vote. The liberty movement doesn’t need wildcards, it needs reinforcements.

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  1. June

    August 30, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Gary Johnson may not win but he has a far better shot at it than Rich does. He COULD possibly win if Rich dropped out because he will draw votes from Ds and well as Rs. He is a far better choice than Heinrich. So stop denigrating him and get behind him.

    If Heinrich does win it will likely be by less than a majority so at least John son will help to make the case for using Ranked Choice Voting rather than Plurality voting. Go Gary!

  2. Starchild

    August 31, 2018 at 1:11 am

    As reported in Reason, a recent poll showed Gary Johnson outpolling the weak GOP candidate by 10 points, 21% to 11%. All those who support limited government in New Mexico should get behind him. His record as governor shows he isn’t just talk, but can be counted on to act to rein in the growth of government.

    If you’re pro-freedom and still supporting the 2-party establishment cartel, you’re fulfilling the definition of insanity – doing the same old thing and expecting different results.

    Thank you Rand Paul for looking outside your party and doing the right thing to advance the cause of freedom.

    Go Gary!

    • Ray Fava

      August 31, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      Starchild, thanks for taking the time to comment. I read the exact article from Reason you referenced before posting the article. It was an online poll with only 500 “participants”. By no means is this a reliable indication of how November’s election will perform. Polling these days is already depleted in value, see Gillum’s win in Florida for a most recent example.

      As for two parties, there are a number of writers here that express similar sentiments about two parties. I believe in supporting pro-freedom candidates, but I don’t consider that to be Johnson in this instance.

      With regards,
      Ray Fava

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Argentina: Submarine missing a year found deep in Atlantic



Argentina Submarine missing a year found deep in Atlantic

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina’s navy announced early Saturday that searchers found the missing submarine ARA San Juan deep in the Atlantic a year after it disappeared with 44 crewmen aboard.

The vessel was detected 800 meters (2,625 feet) deep in waters off the Valdes Peninsula in Argentine Patagonia, the statement said.

The navy said a “positive identification” had been made by a remote-operated submersible from the American ship Ocean Infinity, which was hired for the latest search for the missing vessel.

The discovery was announced just two days after families of the missing sailors held a commemoration one year after the sub disappeared on Nov. 15, 2017.

On Thursday, on the anniversary of the disappearance, President Mauricio Macri said the families of the submariners should not feel alone and delivered an “absolute and non-negotiable commitment” to find “the truth.”

Macri promised a full investigation after the submarine was lost. Federal police raided naval bases and other buildings last January as part of the probe, soon after the government dismissed the head of the navy.

The San Juan was returning to its base in the coastal city of Mar del Plata when contact was lost.

Argentina gave up hope of finding survivors after an intense search aided by 18 countries, but the navy has continued searching for the vessel.

The German-built diesel-electric TR-1700 class submarine was commissioned in the mid-1980s and was most recently refitted between 2008 and 2014. During the $12 million retrofitting, the vessel was cut in half and had its engines and batteries replaced. Experts said refits can be difficult because they involve integrating systems produced by different manufacturers, and even the tiniest mistake during the cutting phase can put the safety of the ship and crew at risk.

The navy said previously the captain reported on Nov. 15 that water entered the snorkel and caused one of the sub’s batteries to short-circuit. The captain later communicated that it had been contained.

Some hours later, an explosion was detected near the time and place where the San Juan was last heard from. The navy said the blast could have been caused by a “concentration of hydrogen” triggered by the battery problem reported by the captain.

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Fire deaths rise to 71 ahead of Trump’s California visit



Fire deaths rise to 71 ahead of Trumps California visit

CHICO, Calif. (AP) — With the confirmed death toll at 71 and the list of unaccounted for people more than 1,000, authorities in Northern California on Friday searched for those who perished and those who survived the fiercest of wildfires ahead of a planned visit by President Donald Trump.

The president on Saturday is expected to get a look at the grief and damage caused by the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century, and he could face resentment from locals for blaming the inferno on poor forest management in California.

In an interview taped Friday and scheduled for broadcast on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump said he was surprised to see images of firefighters removing dried brush near a fire, adding, “This should have been all raked out.”

Deputies found eight more bodies Friday, bringing the death toll to 71.

The number of people unaccounted for grew from 631 on Thursday night to more than 1,000 on Friday, but Sheriff Kory Honea said the list was dynamic and could easily contain duplicate names and unreliable spellings of names.

He said the roster probably includes some who fled the blaze and do not realize they’ve been reported missing.

“We are still receiving calls, we’re still reviewing emails,” Honea said Friday.

Some on the list have been confirmed as dead by family and friends on social media. Others have been located and are safe, but authorities haven’t gotten around to marking them as found.

Tamara Conry said she should never have been on the list.

“My husband and I are not missing and never were!” Conry wrote Thursday night on Facebook. “We have no family looking for us. … I called and left a message to take our names off.”

Authorities compiled the list by going back to listen to all the dispatch calls they received since the fire started, to make sure they didn’t miss anyone.

In last year’s catastrophic wildfires in California wine country, Sonoma County authorities at one point listed more than 2,000 people as missing. But they slowly whittled down the number. In the end, 44 people died in several counties.

The wildfire this time all but razed the town of Paradise, population 27,000, and heavily damaged the outlying communities of Magalia and Concow on Nov. 8, destroying 9,700 houses and 144 apartment buildings, authorities said.

Firefighters were gaining ground against the blaze, which blackened 222 square miles (575 square kilometers). It was 45 percent contained and posed no immediate threat to populated areas. Crews managed to stop it from spreading toward Oroville, population 19,000.

A search and rescue dog searches for human remains at the Camp Fire, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)

This patch of California, a former Gold Rush region in the Sierra Nevada foothills, is to some extent Trump country, with Trump beating Hillary Clinton in Butte County by 4 percentage points in 2016.

But some survivors resent that Trump took to Twitter two days after the disaster to blame the wildfires on poor forest mismanagement. He threatened to withhold federal payments from California.

“If you insult people, then you go visit them, how do you think you’re going to be accepted? You’re not going to have a parade,” Maggie Crowder of Magalia said Thursday outside an informal shelter at a Walmart parking lot in Chico.

But Stacy Lazzarino, who voted for Trump, said it would be good for the president to see the devastation up close: “I think by maybe seeing it he’s going to be like ‘Oh, my goodness,’ and it might start opening people’s eyes.”

In his Fox News interview on the eve of his visit, the president repeated his criticism. Asked if he thought climate change contributed to the fires, he said, “Maybe it contributes a little bit. The big problem we have is management.”

Nick Shawkey, a captain with the state fire agency, said the president’s tweet blaming poor forest management was based on a “misunderstanding.” The federal government manages 46 percent of land in California.

“The thing he’s tweeting about is his property,” Shawkey said.

California’s outgoing and incoming governors said they would join Trump on Saturday.

Democrats Gov. Jerry Brown and governor-elect Gavin Newsom said they welcomed the president’s visit and “now is a time to pull together for the people of California.” Brown and Newsom have been vocal critics of Trump.

There were also worries the presidential visit would be disruptive.

“It’s already a zoo here and I don’t care who the president is. He needs to wait because the traffic’s already horrendous,” said Charlotte Harkness, whose home in Paradise burned down. “He could just tweet something nice — three words: ‘I am sorry,’ and that’s fine.”

More than 450 searchers continued looking for human remains in the ashes.

Around 52,000 people have been driven out and have gone to shelters, motels and the homes of friends and relatives. With winter coming on, many are seeking answers on what assistance will be provided.

At the Chico Mall where the Federal Emergency Management Agency and others set up an assistance center, 68-year-old Richard Wilson sought information about lodging. His wife is nearly bedridden from lupus and fibromyalgia.

“We’re having to stay at a Marriott, which is like $100 a night, and we’re running out of money,” Wilson said as he stood outside in rubber sandals and no socks — the only footwear he had when he fled the flames that destroyed his home.

In Southern California , meanwhile, more residents were being allowed back in their homes near Los Angeles after a blaze torched an area the size of Denver and destroyed more than 600 homes and other structures. The blaze was 69 percent contained, authorities said.

At least three deaths were reported.

Schools across a large swath of the state were closed because of smoke, and San Francisco’s world-famous open-air cable cars were pulled off the streets.


Associated Press reporters Janie Har and Olga Rodriguez in San Francisco contributed to this report.


This story has been corrected to show that Crowder spoke by Walmart and that Wilson spoke at an assistance center.

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Entertainment and Sports

Jon Cryer announced as Lex Luthor on Supergirl and the internet goes crazy



Jon Cryer announced as Lex Luthor on Supergirl and the internet goes crazy

If you weren’t impressed by Jesse Eisenberg playing one of the most iconic villains in comic and movie history, stand by. Your mind is probably about to be blown.

The next actor to take on the role will be Jon Cryer of Two and a Half Men fame. The comedian had taken on many supporting roles through a long career before landing the CBS gig. Now he’s going to play the bald baddie in the CW show Supergirl.

Twitter wasn’t impressed.

My Take

I like this move for one reason and one reason only. It can’t get any worse than the initial reaction. All he has to do is be pretty good at the role and everyone will say, “Hmmm, not bad. Wasn’t expecting that.”

I’m not a fan of the show so I can’t really express a valid opinion. All I can say is that moves like these generally turn out to be okay. Remember the backlash against Hugh Jackman as Wolverine?

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