Gary Johnson

Regardless of Aleppo, Gary Johnson Is Only Candidate Talking Spending Cuts and Foreign-Policy Restraint

Wash Post op-ed lays out strong case for a president not beholden to either Dems or GOP.

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Johnson-Weld campaign

Before the Great Aleppo Gaffe (GAG) this morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson must have thought this was going to be a pretty fine day for his campaign.

In fact, he's got an op-ed in The Washington Post that makes an unusual and pretty convincing case that he and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, are exactly what the country needs to break free of the partisan-spending stupor. While gridlock can be a good thing—do we really want the government to be super-active?—the plain fact is that 70 percent of federal spending is already on autopilot. So-called mandatory spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and more, along with interest on the national debt, happens whether Congress lifts a finger or not. Since 1970, the share of automatic spending has risen from 39 percent of the federal budget to 68 percent. According to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which advocates for less spending, by 2046, mandatory spending and interest on the debt will crack 80 percent of the federal budget.

What the hell is going on? Back in 1970, Medicare and Medicaid had yet to kick into high gear and Social Security spending was still fairly restrained. Since then, as especially in the 21st century, Congress and president after president (that is, George W. Bush and Barack Obama) have seen fit to push more and more spending into the "mandatory" category because then they don't have to take responsibility for it. The beneficiaries of entitlements, especially seniors, are big voters and aren't complaining. Younger Americans (generously defined as anyone younger than myself) are slow to call foul on olds who, we are constantly told, are just one means-testing law away from eating cat food and paying a billion dollars for basic medical care. But we're rapidly approaching a point where virtually all spending is already spoken for. If and when interest rates rise toward their historical average, the squeeze will be even tighter.

Peter G. Peterson Foundation

Johnson's Post op-ed addresses this budget problem directly. "Elected officials in Washington cannot even agree on a real budget — and haven't for years. That's their most straightforward responsibility," he writes.

The first priority of the Johnson-Weld administration will be submitting to Congress a balanced budget. As governors, we held true to promising that taxes would go down, not up. We'll end up cutting spending by roughly 20 percent in order to match it to current tax receipts.

My default is to question federal spending and to require every year that each agency justify its budget anew. As governor, I vetoed more than 750 bills, often special-interest payoffs, and I won't hesitate to veto such bills from Congress.

That said, Bill and I are reasonable and realistic executives. We will accomplish the free-market, fiscally conservative agenda of limiting government and increasing trade, while pursuing long-overdue immigration and criminal-justice reform.

More here.

Johnson argues that precisely because he is outside of either the Republican or Democratic Parties that he will be in a better position to pull people to the table and hammer out legislation that shrinks the size, scope, and spending of government. That's not because he is a deal-maker a la Donald Trump. It's because, he notes, a plurality of Americans (38 percent, according to Gallup's most recent survey) consider themselves independent and want "a common-sense approach that combines fiscal discipline with social inclusion."

The former two-term governor of New Mexico's op-ed is well worth reading.

So is his actual comments on Syria, which have been almost totally lost in the gotcha-ism of Johnson's GAG. Where Hillary Clinton has a clear record of pushing for military intervention—she voted for the Iraq War and was slow to acknowledge it was failing and she was one of the chief voices in the Obama administration pushing for bombing Libya, among other things—and Donald Trump talks about "bombing the shit out" of ISIS, Johnson has been consistently non-interventionist. Here's how his appearance on Morning Joe wrapped up:

"You asked 'what is Aleppo?' Do you think that foreign policy is so insignificant that somebody running for president of the United States shouldn't even know what Aleppo is, where Aleppo is, why Aleppo is so important?" [host Joe] Scarborough asked.

"I do understand Aleppo. And I understand the crisis that is going on, but when we involve ourselves militarily, when we involve ourselves in these humanitarian issues we end up with a situation that in most cases is not better and in many cases ends up being worse," Johnson said.

Imagine that. A presidential candidate who wants to restrain spending and foreign interventions. What a clown, right?

NEXT: Everybody Pretends They Know All About Aleppo, Clinton Holds Press Conference, Hackers Arrested for Targeting Feds: P.M. Links

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  1. But he didn’t know the name of a town which I didn’t know about until I knew that he didn’t know!

    1. After his Eagleton minute, he should bow out in favor of Weld.

    2. And every news show last night was pounding on this mercilessly, proclaiming him unfit for office and replaying the deer-in-the-headlights moment. He’s done.

  2. Would Hillary make a gaffe by getting caught in a gotcha question and not knowing about Aleppo?

    Trick question: Hillary is always told the question in advance. At least when she’s talking with the media.

    I’m sure after last night’s issue with that one Veteran, her people will be out demanding the pleebs not be allowed any more questions she doesn’t know about in advance too.

    1. I’m surprised that veteran hasn’t been in an unfortunate “accident” yet.

      1. Wait for it.

      2. Maybe not an unfortunate accident, but it may not be long before there are exposes, a la Joe the Plumber.

      3. It’s just sad when a veteran can’t take it anymore, and shoots himself in the back like that.

  3. How many Gary Johnson articles is Reason going to write? They must be shills for Johnson. I know several writers on here that are latched onto Johnson like a leech, sucking for all it’s worth.

    1. Hmmm, a Libertarian media outlet writing about the Libertarian candidate, that’s unpossible.

      1. Reason isn’t a capital “L” Libertarian magazine. It’s a lowercase “c” cosmotarian one. This is HampersandRun, their market-progressive blog.

        1. I don’t think that “progressive” means what you think it means.

        2. SIV doesn’t let his gamecocks watch anything besides FoxNews. And he wonders why they keep pecking at each other’s eyes.

        3. At least it’s not Harpers & Queen.

      2. Yeah. Except the “Libertarian candidate” part. Let’s admit, Johnson is not much of a Libertarian.

        1. Gary Johnson is VERY libertarian. He’s unlibertarian on 1 issue, that being public accommodation.

          1. Is banning burkas a public accommodation issue? For that matter, is adding new taxes absent a constitutional amendment banning income taxes? I mean, he’s more libertarian than Trump or Clinton, but that’s a bar that the majority of the population could clear.

            1. Go to the site. Read his positions.

              Burqas

              For that matter, is adding new taxes absent a constitutional amendment banning income taxes?

              Got a cite?

              1. Go to the site. Read his positions.

                He originally said he favored banning them, then walked it back when people complained. His true colors were in favor of a ban.

                Got a cite?

                You may have heard of the Fair Tax that Johnson supports. As the name implies it is a tax.

                1. The cite that he favors NOT repealing 16A.

                2. You may have heard of the Fair Tax that Johnson supports. As the name implies it is a tax.

                  FairTax requires the repeal of the 16th Amendment

              2. The whole carbon tax debacle???

                The guy is a freakin’ mess, and TEAM YELLOW is getting ridiculous trying to defend him.

                1. A position that he also clarified.

                  If any of you heard me say I support a carbon tax…Look, I haven’t raised a penny of taxes in my politicial career and neither has Bill [Weld]. We were looking at?I was looking at?what I heard was a carbon fee which from a free-market standpoint would actually address the issue and cost less. I have determined that, you know what, it’s a great theory but I don’t think it can work, and I’ve worked my way through that.

                  Please, stop SIVing.

                  1. A position that he also clarified.

                    Yeah, which is the problem. His first blush reaction to something he hasn’t thought about is to go full-on statist. Then, after the collective horrified gasp from his base, he walks back his authoritarianism and proffers a more reasonable answer.

                    The whole point of a protest vote is to not have to massively compromise, even though you know you’re not winning. I’d rather just sit home, because Johnson/Weld isn’t worth my time. The closest equivalent I can think of would be a Susan Collins/Joe Lieberman ticket.

                    Please, stop SIVing.

                    Fuck off. TEAM YELLOW nominated shit and alienated a significant portion of their base. I’m not SIV just because I acknowledge that fact.

                    1. His first blush reaction to something he hasn’t thought about is to go full-on statist.

                      How many politicians have you seen admit when they are wrong? I find his self reflection…almost human.

                      The whole point of a protest vote is to not have to massively compromise

                      Massively compromise? On on issue? Are you sure your bar isn’t set a bit too high?

                      TEAM YELLOW nominated shit and alienated a significant portion of their base.

                      Firstly, it’s TEAM ORANGE.

                      Secondly, their base is less than 10% of the population.

                      Lastly, if you think you can sway people towards liberty by any other methodology than incrementalism you are deluded. GJ is exactly the type of candidate liberty needs to advance its cause at this particular juncture. Yes, I wish he was more flamboyant, better spoken and principled, but he’s light years ahead of Trump/Clinton.

                    2. How many politicians have you seen admit when they are wrong? I find his self reflection…almost human.

                      It’s not the self reflection that I care about. It’s the whole authoritarian streak that bothers me. I don’t care if he gets Aleppo wrong. I do care when he gets libertarianism 101 wrong. That stuff needed to be ironed out well before he decided to be the POTUS candidate for the LP.

                      Massively compromise? On on issue? Are you sure your bar isn’t set a bit too high?

                      No, not one issue. Many issues. I listed some of them downthread. He’s a mess on the social issues, except for pot. He’s not great on climate change. He’s awful on freedom of association. He’s actively hostile toward religion.

                      I get that he’s lightyears better than the RED and BLUE candidates, but he’s a protest vote. I expect more from a protest vote than from a candidate who could actually win.

                    3. Lastly, if you think you can sway people towards liberty by any other methodology than incrementalism you are deluded.

                      People need to know what liberty is in order to be swayed. Fiscally conservative and socially liberal is centrism, not liberty. I don’t think a starker contrast can be drawn than the one between Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. Even though I’m not much of a Paul fan, I have no problem saying that Ron Paul has done orders of magnitude more for the liberty movement than Gary Johnson could even dream of doing. Learn from the failures of the Stupid Party. Putting squishy moderates up on the national stage means that you lose the election and the Overton window shifts authoritarian. Progressives (both TEAM RED and TEAM BLUE ones) speak statism naturally. You can’t beat them without having an equally passionate and natural advocate for liberty. Sure, there are other considerations (like charisma), but an ideology isn’t well promoted by a stiff, translated representation of its doctrines.

            2. he’s more libertarian than Trump or Clinton, but that’s a bar that the majority of the population could clear.

              I’m not sure that’s true of the popul’n of either the USA or world.

          2. Well, and carbon taxes, forced vaccinations, supporting the TPP, Bill Weld, calling Clinton “a wonderful public servant”, etc.

    2. Yah I’m disappointed in Reason worshiping Gary, and then not even mentioning Hillary having a heat stroke today. And third Trump is more libertarian than Johnson is on a bunch of topics. Oh well it’s their magazine.

  4. That graphic is tiny!

    I should be able to click on it and see a larger version.

  5. Regardless of Aleppo, Gary Johnson Is Only Candidate Talking Spending Cuts and Foreign-Policy Restraint

    Nick, now you know why they’re asking him questions about Aleppo, right?

  6. He’s finally getting to the veto threats, which is what he’ll have to do to make his budget-cutting promises anything more than slogans.

    But then he says:

    “…[blah blah] having both Republicans and Democrats in the Cabinet and working simultaneously with the leaders of those parties. Seeing that, by working together, the best ideas of each party will receive a fair hearing, both will see real movement toward addressing challenges they care about, not just winner-take-all partisan gridlock. A great deal could be accomplished by having third-party leadership dedicated to finding the common ground that has so often eluded the parties in recent years: on balancing the budget, curbing taxes, protecting our privacy and reforming our criminal-justice system.”

    No, the problem isn’t that each party has some good ideas and if only each party adopted the good ideas of the other, etc., etc.

    It’s that both parties have consistently bad ideas, and they have a broad consensus on the need to keep implementing these bad ideas.

    What a 3rd-party President ought to try and do is convince Congresscritters that the popular verdict at the polls shows that the country wants a change in direction, and that whichever party is quicker to adapt to this new reality is going to have an advantage.

    1. *applause*

      1. more ‘applause’.

  7. The Aleppo gaffe is a whole bunch of nothing. I don’t torture myself by watching MSNBC, but I’m guessing none of their hosts gave a “are you kidding me” response to Clinton’s reptilian rationale to the email scandal.

    We could probably search the internet and find dozens of stupid things Obama have said over the years, some of which led to disastrous policies. The thought of bozos at MSNBC mocking Gary Johnson (foreign policy is his strongest point) for an inconsequential gaffe galls me. His position on Aleppo is what most Americans want.

    I would have went after Clinton and Obama HARD on the spot if they did that to me. These are individuals responsible for the ongoing crisis in that region.

    And oh, look – Clinton is upset that Matt Lauer didn’t go after Donald Trump. Why, you precious candy ass.

      1. Her Dad was, according to this, former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.

        1. He was. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t get his acumen.

    1. Lauer also didn’t go after her the way he went after Lochte, so she should STFU.

  8. I do understand Aleppo. And I understand the crisis that is going on,

    I sincerely doubt he (or anyone in the media) could correctly answer any of the following questions =

    – Why is Aleppo important in the Syrian civil war?
    – How long has it been the most important point of conflict?
    – who are all the parties involved, and which areas do they control?
    – What is the US role influencing events there? And what is the Russian Role?

    1. Oh, more than that.

      I highly doubt they understand its role as one of the oldest longest inhabited cities- both free and under the Ottomans – with quite an interesting history going back to Silk Road. Moreover, I further doubt they can discuss its decline and how its used in the current context of contemporary politics.

      Scarborough, as I mentioned, can go fuck himself because I’m almost convinced doesn’t know.

      Plus, I go to a delicious Syrian restaurant named ‘Alep’. It makes me an expert.

    2. I sincerely doubt he (or anyone in the media) could correctly answer any of the following questions =

      – Why is Aleppo important in the Syrian civil war?
      – How long has it been the most important point of conflict?
      – who are all the parties involved, and which areas do they control?
      – What is the US role influencing events there? And what is the Russian Role?

      Hmmm. I’d take a crack at this:

      1. Town is traditional crossroads for all factions. It is (was) largest city in Syria, and such places in a civil war leave most in country with personal stake or connection.

      2. Salients develop in stalemates. Kursk from WWII is good example. Aleppo has accreted into an existential thing for all the relevant sides over past two years.

      3. Government owns the ‘burbs and countryside, alphabet soup of groups continue owning urban core. Entity like ISIS can project into the theater, but not control anything. All factions versus Assad can’t mass enough combat power to actually fight Syrian army without Russian Air Force having big target. So, stalemate.

      4. US gets weapons in-theater illicitly somehow. Not lots of stuff, but stuff that makes difference. A lot of Syrian tanks have been cooked up with TOW’s in Aleppo, for instance.

      5. Hillary totally knows all these things in far more detail than any of us plebs.

  9. Question, Why is the MSM even interested in destroying Johnson? Do they think his voters will turn out more for Hillary then Trump should he lose support?

    1. They don’t think it, the polls are showing exactly that. When Johnson and Stein are added to a poll, HRC’s lead all but disappears.

    2. If I had to guess, I’d say that Johnson is openly going for the left-wing voters, the kind who are disillusioned with Hillary – maybe they even voted for Bernie – but who simply can’t stomach voting for Trump.

      Without a third-party candidate in the race, these voters would vote for Hillary (and then throw up afterwards).

      But here is Johnson playing the role Mike Bloomberg would have played if he’d run – the reasonable centrist, appealing to people who want the government to just get things done and not be so sleazy and divisive.

      It has little to do with libertarianism as such, except to the extent that tarring him with his remnants of libertarianism can be used to discredit him.

      So the media is treating Johnson the way they’d probably have treated Bloomberg – bashing him as nonserious, not a *real* alternative to the Democrats but rather a pointless distraction.

      1. It has little to do with libertarianism as such, except to the extent that tarring him with his remnants of libertarianism can be used to discredit him.

        GayJay discredits libertarianism, not the other way around. The LP would’ve been better off with a blue colloidal silver guy/ fat male stripper ticket than Johnson/Weld

        1. I wouldn’t go as far as all that…the LP will get some credit if Johnson polls more than other LP candidates…but then Johnson will help close the Overton Window on some issues.

          But as for the party itself, it might benefit.

          1. I mean, if you’re an LP activist who wants to “grow” the party, without fussing about “purity,” then look at the extra votes, the extra federal grants, ballot access even more secure, cocktail party invitations…not exactly “all the kingdoms of the world,” but stuff a political party wants.

            Just so long as it does like the other political parties and doesn’t take its platform too seriously.

        2. I do find it funny though, that Libertarians who have criticized other Libertarians in the past for not being pure by voting Republican AKA the lessor of two evils, are now supporting Johnson who isn’t exactly a pure Libertarian either.

          The Libertarian purists are now suddenly ok with supporting the lessor of three evils.

          1. As I say, it’s gone beyond violating “purity” in one or two areas, Johnson has gone full-on Mike Bloomberg – he still has the budget-cutting thing going for him, but I imagine that Bloomberg would have done that, too.

            If he’s getting more support than other LP candidates, it’s because he’s being the reasonable centrist, the pragmatist, the “stop your partisan bickering and get together and DO STUFF” candidate. And like Bloomberg he used to be chief executive of a Democratic jurisdiction, showing that he’s all bipartisan-y and shit.

            If my focus was on growing the Libertarian Party, I’d be putting on my pom-poms.

            1. It’s great for LP, but shit for Libertarianism. I always thought the goal should be taking of the Republican party from within.

              1. then jump on the Massie/Amash/Rand train

                1. Fuck Massie. After his poutfest over Rand he’s now supporting trump.

            2. An addendum – the people he’s aiming at are probably not as insane as the Stein supporters, just generic leftists who probably call themselves “moderate” and who generally go Democrat because the Republicans are so extreme and culture war-y. But they don’t like the idea of voting for Lucrezia Borgia (sp?), so they’re interested in alternatives.

              The media’s job is to reach these people with the message that Johnson is an irresponsible, incompetent stoner loser whose *real* agenda is to throw Grandma off the cliff, or who in any event isn’t Presidential.

              As usual with the media, their message makes me more sympathetic for Johnson, not less, but *I’m* not the target audience.

          2. The Libertarian purists are now suddenly ok with supporting the lessor of three evils.

            Except GJ isn’t evil. He’s simply not as good as he could be. Let’s be perfectly clear, GJ is orders of magnitude better than the other two options.

            1. This is pretty accurate.

            2. Except GJ isn’t evil.

              Citation needed. He’s running for POTUS, so my presumption is that he’s evil until it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he’s not.

            3. If a Republican or Democrat said that religious freedom deserves no respect, and people can be forced to provide services to groups they disagree with, would you consider that evil?

              1. How many people do you agree with on every issue? Can you name one? How about all but 10 issues?

                He’s clearly wrong on PA. He’s clearly explained his position. He believes a black man won’t be able to buy gas at 12AM in Mississippi.

                It’s not like he’s going to get the CRA overturned in 8 years anyway. Being a single issue voter on the Civil Rights Act is batshit crazy when you compare him to the alternatives.

                1. Being a single issue voter on the Civil Rights Act is batshit crazy when you compare him to the alternatives.

                  Things Johnson/Weld and I disagree on:
                  -Anti-discrimination laws
                  -Gay marriage
                  -Religious liberty laws
                  -Abortion
                  -Climate Change

                  Things I don’t trust Johnson/Weld on:
                  -Gun control
                  -Transgender accommodation
                  -Carbon taxes
                  -Ending the drug war

                  I’m sure I could think of more, but this is just off the top of my head. Now, tell me, which is more likely? Johnson magically getting elected, getting a sympathetic Congress to pass the FairTax, and getting the states to repeal of the 16th Amendment, or Johnson magically getting elected and passing an executive order gutting RFRA??

                  I’m, of course, ignoring the fact that he’s never going to be elected, and so the only thing that matters is that he speaks libertarianism naturally and passionately on a big stage in order to expose as many people as possible to an alternative ideology. Unfortunately, he speaks libertarianism like he passed it through google translate 5 times.

                  1. HAHAHAHA!

                    Things Johnson/Weld and I disagree on:

                    -Anti-discrimination laws…agreed
                    -Gay marriage…then your position isn’t libertarian
                    -Religious liberty laws…is there something other concerning religious liberty that doesn’t relate to PA (that you can cite)?
                    -Abortion…there is no libertarian position on abortion
                    -Climate Change…so you’re saying that IF climate change is happening and is a result of human action you don’t favor a free market solution?

                    1. -Gay marriage…then your position isn’t libertarian

                      Bull. The leftytarian compromise on gay marriage is the illibertarian position. Get the government out of marriage. It’s really freakin’ simple.

                      -Religious liberty laws…is there something other concerning religious liberty that doesn’t relate to PA (that you can cite)?

                      Considering that 1) religious liberty (such as RFRA) extends well beyond PA; and 2) Gary Johnson has unequivocally made clear that religious liberty is a “black hole,” without any added nuance, you’ll have to excuse my skepticism that he only cares about making me bake cakes for Nazis.

                      -Climate Change…so you’re saying that IF climate change is happening and is a result of human action you don’t favor a free market solution?

                      No, I’m saying that I don’t trust somebody who appears to be all in on the global warming bandwagon and gets confused as to whether carbon taxes belong in the LP platform or not.

                    2. Get the government out of marriage. It’s really freakin’ simple.

                      It’s racism to judge others by their birth, like Trump does. (Jul 2016)
                      Individual liberty includes supporting gay marriage. (Jun 2016)
                      States have the right to display the Confederate flag. (Jun 2016)
                      Workplace discrimination against gays is like race in 1960s. (Jun 2016)
                      Each state has right to display Confederate flag. (May 2016)
                      Yes, equal pay for equal work, but hesitate on legislation. (Apr 2016)
                      No, bakers can’t deny a wedding cake to same-sex couples. (Apr 2016)
                      Denying gay couples the right to marry is discrimination. (May 2012)
                      Supports separation of religion and state. (Aug 2011)
                      Prostitution is safer when legal and regulated. (Jun 2011)
                      I support gay unions; government out of marriage business. (Apr 2011)
                      No affirmative action in college admissions nor state jobs. (Nov 1998)
                      Support principles embodied in the Equal Rights Amendment. (Feb 2001)
                      Overturn CA Prop. 8: Let gays marry. (Apr 2013)

                    3. you’ll have to excuse my skepticism

                      So, no cite…just your gut feeling? To my knowledge, he hasn’t taken any positions adversarial to religious liberty that didn’t directly relate to PA.

                      and gets confused as to whether carbon taxes belong in the LP platform or not.

                      Citation required. He said no such thing, to my knowledge. I’ve already cited his clarification.

                      Really TM, I think you sound like more of a contrarian than a libertarian. Am I right? Do you like libertarianism simply because it runs contrary to establishment?

                    4. Indeed- I oppose gay marriage, because I think we ought to throw the opposition a bone. I’m very much in favor of allowing people to make contracts equivalent to marriage.

          3. “Lessor”?

        3. McAfee/Weiss was where it was at.

        4. GayJay discredits libertarianism, not the other way around. The LP would’ve been better off with a blue colloidal silver guy/ fat male stripper ticket than Johnson/Weld

          Who would be the most ‘marketable’ libertarian to run for high office? Peter Thiel? Drew Carey?

          1. Duh… a Jacket/Robby’s Hair ticket!

          2. Clint Eastwood

          3. STFU and VOTE TRUMP

          4. Vince Vaughn?

      2. Hmmm I guess I just assumed that Johnson’s voters were mostly #NeverTrump Republicans. I figured the Bernie boys would support Stein.

        1. I would have thought that, but the media opposition plus the tone of his campaigns makes me prefer my hypothesis above.

          1. If he was cutting into Trump’s support you’d hear more about him being an “honorable alternative” etc.

            1. Good point. The media would fawn over him and sketch him as a family man and centrist wonk, if they didn’t see him as a threat to their Queen.

    3. My FB friends are shitting their pants over the idea someone might vote for Johnson instead of Clinton.

        1. I recently deleted my FB account, and used a script to delete all my FB activity. I’m much happier now, and would highly recommend it.

      1. I have a colleague who seems offended that I would vote Johnson instead of Trump.

        I think it makes him feel dirty for voting Clinton.

    4. Go watch The View today and Joy Behar’s pathetically ignorant and hostile behavior. I’m still shocked.

      1. I will not, and you can’t make me.

        1. You should. That’s EXACTLY what you’re up against.

          1. but she’s in the unconvincible camp. one only needs so much exposure to her nonsense.
            unless Trump wins, then I’ll watch her every day

            1. That would be pretty entertaining.

    5. Why is the MSM even interested in destroying Johnson?

      Any story about “everyone not Hillary is awful” is a net plus from the POV of the media.

      Also – Hillary gets more room/time to breathe and plot her next 5-question “Press Conference”

    6. Because the last time someone mainstream questioned Hitlery’s health they ended up unemployed and probably unemployable.

    7. I think he will pull more votes from Hillary than from the Donald. That is why they want him gone.

  10. Those people who were desperately looking for a reason not to vote for Johnson now have it – he didn’t recognize the name of a Syrian city.

    The only people qualified to be president are the grand winners on “Jeopardy”.

    1. GayJay’s lack of knowledge of geography, history and current events do not in anyway diminish his presidential qualifications of being a natural born American citizen over the age of 35 who can fog a mirror.

      1. You act as if fogging a mirror is something way below what previous presidents have achieved.

        1. I think there are candidates who are afraid to look in a mirror and maybe a few who don’t cast a reflection.

          1. If the mirror is in Aleppo GayJay’s not fogging shit.

  11. Too bad this will all be lost because “what is that” is going to be in rotation for a day or so.

  12. Didn’t hurt Bush that much. You’ll see a dem quizzed like this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMewf_LWfQo

  13. I bet NATHAN JOHNSON knows Aleppo isn’t a fucking acronym.

  14. The beneficiaries of entitlements, especially seniors, are big voters and aren’t complaining.

    The fuck I’m not.

    1. He stepped in it, BIG TIME.

      My carefully-considered analysis of GayJay’s gotcha gaffe here

      1. You were prescient! Troble indeed.

  15. If we’re talking about increases in entitlement spending, mass immigration has something to do with that.

  16. Has GayJay visited all 57 states yet?

    1. Hey he could always buy the British PM some dvds in the wrong format.

    2. No the Nuclear Triad prevents this.

    3. as GayJay visited all 57 states yet?

      In anticipation of eventually going there as President, GayJay I believe is boning up on his Austrian.

      Because Johnson.

  17. I like that MSNBC’s Mourning Joe is puffing itself up over this. They got to be the ones to catch a pesky third party unserious candidate.

    1. Scarborough Hair is a useless twat and Brezinski trades on her father’s name for her reputation.

  18. Blue silver guy was one of the world’s smallest minorities. Nominating him would have been so woke.

    Now we just have straight white guys, which is so bigot.

    1. No, they’re the “A”s in LGBTQA – they’re “Allies” – straight but not narrow – it’s like being gay without the butt-sex.

      1. (Though in their ads it’s lots of photos of Gary and William, and I haven’t really seen photos of their wives and children, NTTAWWT)

        1. I was always suspicious of the Templar’s insignia that showed two dudes riding the same horse, all tucked up behind one another.

      2. What do they call people who butt sex but don’t gay?

        1. Mr. and Mrs. Jones

  19. “If and when interest rates rise toward their historical average”

    As of Sept 2015, about 60% of the $12 trillion held by the public matures within the next 4 years.
    So raise rates 1% and tack on an additional budget expense of $18 billion of interest year 1, $36 billion year 2, $54 year 3 and $72 billion year 4. This ignores the interest expense for new debt and only speaks to the debt that has to be rolled over in the next 4 years.

    For context, $18 billion is a bit less than the budget for NASA ($18.7 billion).
    $72 billion is about the size of the budget for the Dept of Transportation and within range of Health & Human Services ($78.7). The next largest department after H is the Dept of Defense at $663 billion.

    Raise rates another 1% and the non-discretionary side really starts to get squeezed. The historical “average”, depending upon the range of years you pick, is somewhere between 4% and 5%. So interest on the national debt at historical average interest rates will quickly pac-man its way through discretionary spending.

    But who wants to talk about this because Aleppo.

    1. Of course all of that assumes that the $12t by the public remains at only $12t. The two Presidential frontrunners, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have proposed Kajiltrupling government spending, with the third party Candidate Trump, promising to beef up infrastructure and military spending.

      1. the known knowns are scary enough once the fed gives up keeping rates at zero

        1. Which is why they won’t give up keeping rates at zero.

          The Fed has quietly (and unilaterally) changed its own mission.

          1. This. The Fed is now actively trying to maintain equity priceso at their inflated values.

          2. ^This.

            Any numerate person can see a symbiotic death-spiral going on. Like the bus in old Keanu movie Speed, everyone knows they need to get off – but if it even slows down a little, much less actually stopping, than kaboom.

            1. good analogy

    2. The sad thing is that the 19 trillion in federal debt is a fraction of our future obligations. 19 trillion is an enormous number, but we’re a big nation. We could probably manage 19 trillion (though it would be painful.) And I assume you arrive at 12 trillion by subtracting debt the government owes itself, right?

      The problem is that when you look at all unfunded obligations, at all levels of government, the numbers start to look like 100 trillion. That’s a _really_ big number. I mean- 100 trillion? Why not just say a bazillijilligazillion? Our unfunded obligations are literally larger than the entire stock of wealth humanity has so far accumulated.

      Our spending is easy to analyze at the federal level, since essentially all of it is in three programs: military, Medicare, and SS. We _have_ to start means-testing SS. SS is essentially a welfare program, and we should stop giving the largest payouts to households worth millions of dollars. This is the single most important policy step we could take. Wake me up when we have a candidate who proposes that.

      Non-federal spending is just as out of control, and it’s not like a President should be able to curtail it. What he ought to say though is ‘if you guys fuck yourselves completely we’re not going to bail you out.’ He might also start poking around in labor law, because it’s the public-sector unions that have dragged us to the brink, and are dead-set on dragging us over it.

    1. “Gangsta rap was the most important movement since the beginning of rock ‘n’ roll,” Heller told The Times in a 2001 interview. “N.W.A were the first great rap audio documentarians of the problems in our inner cities.”

      When introducing 90s era hip-hop to the neophyte, I explain it like this:

      East Coast rappers talk about the problem in our inner cities.

      West Coast rappers ARE the problem in our inner cities.

      1. I just have trouble with the whole business, given that people were spraying gunfire over what is essentially ridiculous kayfabe.

  20. It was a bonehead moment but it doesnt really disqualify Johnson more so than some of the outright shit the two major party candidates have said.

    Johnson just doesnt have the charisma or the smarts. I am surprised he hasn’t been prosecuted for that billboard that said “Johnson 2016 – A Viable Alternative”. No one can convince me that people driving by and seeing that did not fall asleep at the wheel.

  21. You can’t spell Aleppo without Lop Ape!

    1. Or POLE PA. I heard some somewhere inbreeding was a problem in some middle eastern communities.

  22. You can spin this any way you like Nick (and God knows Reason has tried every spin today), it was a gaffe that libertarians can ill afford. Rick Perry didn’t get a pass, Herman Cain as well. Johnson won’t either. And when you are a distant third looking to get into the debates, it was a huge mistake.

    But good try.

    1. Cue all the “oh yeah? HILLARY” responses.

      1. You *do* contend that Hillary is a better candidate than Johnson, correct?

        In that case, what is the basis for your view?

        1. Let me add that by “better” I mean “better qualified to be President.”

        2. Yeah, I don’t actually. But no one ever accused you of being the brightest bulb on the tree.

          1. Interesting.

            Stein? Abstain from voting? What’s your preference?

            1. Was Sanders. Now Jill. But we digress. But I actually like both Johnson AND Weld.

              None of that means he didn’t make a huge mistake.

            2. Tell you what. If Johnson and Weld had any force behind the science of climate change, I would be there. Alas, they don’t.

                1. There you go! NOW I feel at home! Have a great evening, fusion!

                  1. That’s now about 3,102 grams of carbon dioxide you have released into the atmosphere.

              1. Good lord, you’re an idiot. I don’t think you’re Joe, because even Joe (who thought Monarch butterflies primarily subsisted on corn) was not as dumb as you.

      1. Hector is in the house! And here we were speaking of dim bulbs too! How goes it?

        1. Every time you post, I either go out to my driveway and let my car idle for 5 minutes or I burn a charge of firewood in my fire pit. Did you know that 83.83 grams of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere per megajoule of wood burnt?

          1. And the bulb grows even dimmer!

            1. 1 kilogram of pine wood produces about 18.5 megajoules. So that’s around 1,551 grams of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere that you are now personally responsible for.

              Do you think you can suppress your ego to “save the planet”? I don’t think you have the willpower.

            2. Jackand is just jealous that his video wasn’t as successful.

                1. (Depending on your specific situation)

          2. You need to get serious Heroic. Stop diddling around and burn a stack of old tires.

            1. I think it would be great if every one joins me in this pledge. And post pics too. Just make sure you clean your Exif tags first.

              1. I just ate beans. I’m on it.

    2. It was a dumb moment, but (1) he’s still leagues better than any other candidate, (2) I’m still going to vote for him, and (3) fuck Aleppo. Seriously, I could not give a softer shit about the endless cannibalistic squabbles of the world’s Allah-bothering sheepfuckers.

  23. To summarize:

    Gary Johnson: earlier today, was unclear what or where Aleppo is. Sure he’s reeeeally aware of where it is now. Has no plans to bomb it.

    Donald Trump: if asked, would fake knowing where it is, then call to bomb the shit out of it because full of furriners.

    Hillary Clinton: well aware of where it is, and wants to kill a lot of people in and around it, for poorly articulated reasons.

    1. It’s more ‘presidential’ to have a wrong solution (Hillary) or no solution but to pretend that you do (Trump) than it is to admit to not knowing something.

      That’s an indictment of our entire retarded political process and voter values right there.

  24. That flapping noise is the sound of your cocktail party invitations blatantly flying away from your condo.

  25. Completely out of the blue comes this unforseeable lawsuit about a boy claiming to be a girl and harassing girls in the girls’ locker room…and the local school district refusing to put a stop to it.

    1. And yet if they do something, they will also get sued. It would be a better world if public schools could be made to self destruct by confronting them with a legal paradox, Kirk style.

    2. a common sense practice that long protected every student’s privacy

      Forcing kids of any sex to get nekkid in front of each other isn’t “protecting privacy” either.

      1. You’re making the perfect the enemy of the good.

        The biggest potential problem arises when you put males and females together in that situation. Yeah, there could be problems with homosexuals and heterosexuals of the same gender, but that’s a much smaller issue. Unless you can afford to give every person their own private locker room, you’re never going to solve the entire problem.

        1. It can be traumatic to various kids for all kinds of reasons. (No, it wasn’t for me, but I saw it for others.) Who says where we draw the line at which some kids have to suck it up?

          1. A line has to be drawn, because we can’t afford one person locker rooms in schools. Separating based on gender (actual objective gender, not self-identified gender) is the most effective way to deal with the issues.

            I’m not against making accommodations for students who feel the need for complete privacy, but those accommodations can’t become common without making it impractical.

            And of course the left claims that even such accommodations to give a student complete privacy are discriminatory because they “other” transgender students.

    3. ‘Student X would dance in a sexually explicit manner “dancing like he was on a stripper pole” to songs with suggestive lyrics including “Milkshake” by Kelis.’

      How the hell does this happen in a locker room? I feel very, very old, because when I was a kid we got in, we got out, and that was that. Gender issues aside, we wouldn’t even have understood if someone had suggested we pole-dance to music in the locker room.

  26. Let’s get one thing straight here.

    No one in the rest of America, outside of punditville, has a problem with Gary saying he didn’t
    know what Aleppo is.

    I haven’t met a single person today in my busy medical practice outside of Washington, DC who heard about this and had an issue with it. If anything, they respected him for his willingness to say, I don’t know.

    Today we got more exposure to Gary than ever before. In a short time the context will be forgotten but not the man.

    And that kind of publicity can’t be bought.

    1. “No one in the rest of America, outside of punditville, has a problem with Gary saying he didn’t
      know what Aleppo is.”

      Outside of punditville and people looking for an excuse to talk shit, either out of animosity toward Johnson or libertarians in general.

    2. Except Punditville and the media elites has been the audience that Johnson-Weld is going after.

  27. ASK GARY JOHNSON ABOUT CELESTE GUAP

  28. Congratulations to Angelique Kerber, your new #1!

    1. Seems an appropriate time to bitch about how much ESPN’s coverage SUCKS. I love how they show half of one match and then switch to half of a different match.

      Then focusing on Serena’s fucking press conference while – oh gee – the other marquee match is in progress.

      GAH!

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