Election 2016

3 Ironclad Reasons Gary Johnson Should Be in the Presidential Debates (+ 2 for Jill Stein)

If you care about expanding choices and discussion when it comes to politics, the only proper reaction to Johnson's exclusion is outrage.

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To the surprise of no one who is familiar with how the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) works, Libertarian Gary Johnson has been excluded from participating in the first of three presidential debates (it's scheduled for next Monday night).

I can think of three solid reasons why Johnson should absolutely be included (most of the reasons also work equally well for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who has less than half the support of Johnson and none of the governing experience).

None of the reasons has to do with ideological preference on my part and I'll lay out them out in a moment. But first, let's dilate for a moment on what largely goes undiscussed about the CPD's mission: It exists to keep third parties off the debate stage. Keeping outsiders such as Johnson, a former two-term governor whose running mate is also a two-term governor, off the stage was one of the main reasons the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee took over organizing the debates nearly 30 years ago.

As I write at The Daily Beast,

Democrats and Republicans may disagree when it comes to abortion, spending, and taxes, but they are thick as thieves when it comes to maintaining an electoral duopoly (go check out your state's ballot-access laws sometime). Nowhere is this collusion more flagrant than in the machinations of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), the "nonpartisan" nonprofit that operates the debates and was created 29 years ago by the Democratic and Republican Parties with the goal of excluding third-party candidates.

"By jointly sponsoring these debates," reads the 1987 press release (PDF) announcing the formation of the CPD, "we will better fulfill our party responsibilities to inform and educate the electorate, strengthen the role of political parties in the electoral process and, most important of all, we can institutionalize the debates, making them an integral and permanent part of the presidential debate process."

Read the whole thing.

C-SPAN

I spoke to one of the authors of that original press release. Terry Michael, a contributor to Reason.com who now calls himself a "libertarian Democrat," was the DNC's press secretary at the time and he was neck deep in the machinations by which the DNC and RNC took responsibility for the debates away from the League of Women Voters starting in 1988. It was, says Michael, a "power play to confine the debates to a conversation between Republicans and Democrats."

While we take tedious, stage-managed television debates for granted, the history of televised presidential debates is short and sketchy. After the Kennedy-Nixon one in 1960 (sponsored by the TV networks), there wasn't another one until 1976. In 1980, President Carter refused to participate in the first debate because independent candidate John Anderson was included along with Ronald Reagan. The CPD has organized debates since 1988 and had no intention of including Ross Perot in 1992, except for the fact that he was leading the race before dropping out temporarily for the weirdest of all reasons (he claimed the Bushes and Republicans were going to falsely unmask his daughter as a lesbian. For realz.). The commission, says Michael, let him in when he rejoined the race in late September. And get this: Perot was pulling 8 percent—less than Gary Johnson is now!—when he got a bid to join the big boys on the stage. "Mr. Perot's standing in 1992 polls at one time was close to 40 percent and exceeded that of the major party candidates, and he ultimately received 18.7 percent of the popular vote," crows the CPD about its inclusivity. As if Perot's final showing wasn't massively enhanced by the fact that he participated in nationally televised debates! Indeed, in 1996, despite the fact that Perot had clearly affected the outcome of the previous race, they kept him off the stage despite his pulling as high as 19 percent before finishing with 8 percent of the vote. The current cut-off of 15 percent in five polls selected by the CPD came into existence in 2000 as Ralph Nader was polling as high as 6 percent (he would finish with 2.74 percent of the vote in the closest presidential election in U.S. history). For 2016, CPD has also added the requirement that a candidate be on enough state ballots to theoretically win the 270 electoral votes needed for victory.

So what are the three strong reasons Gary Johnson and should be on the debate stage with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? (Two of the three apply also to Jill Stein.)

First, the 15 percent mark is totally arbitrary and meaningless. If you're going to insist on a poll-driven number, 5 percent makes far more sense. That's the number you need to hit to receive federal matching funds and it's also the level that most states insist on for a party to receive "major-party status" and thus not have to jump through a bunch of ballot-access hoops every election. According to RealClearPolitics' latest roundup of national polls, Johnson is at 8.6 percent (Stein is at 3.1 percent).

Second, Johnson will be on the ballot in all 50 states, so he can theoretically win the election but more realistically, he can totally influence the outcome. In fact, a recent state-by-state poll had the guy in double digits in 42 states and at 15 percent or better in 15 of those. WTF is going on when a figure who will be on every American's ballot isn't given a shot to make his case on the same stage as the Republican and Democrat? FWIW, Stein will be on the ballot in 45 states.

Finally, there's this charming bit of video from 2000, when Donald Trump himself argued forcefully for the Reform Party candidate, Pat Buchanan, to participate in the presidential debates. Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura introduces Trump by calling the exclusion of third parties "despicable" and noting that if he hadn't been allowed to debate Democrat Humbert Humphrey III and Republican Norm Coleman, he never would have become governor. "I think it's unfair to have such a high standard, a high criteria," said Trump of the then-new 15 percent polling threshold.

His comments kick at the 2:30-minute mark.

NEXT: Updated en banc briefing in the 9th Circuit's Facebook CFAA case

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  1. You forgot the 1972 prez & VP debates.

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  2. Ther’ll be troble if GaayJasy is not in the delbates!

    1. No GayJasy, no peas!

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  3. Okay so then what should be the criteria to keep people out? Or should anyone that declares they want to be president be in the debates and we just have a few hundred people debating.

    1. Or even a dozen! That would be anarchy!

      1. Just Vermin Supreme and Jimmy McMillan would produce that!

      2. Just like during the primary season debates!

      3. Gillespie himself made disparaging comments about the GOP debates last year being a “clown car”.

    2. If you’re going to insist on a poll-driven number, 5 percent makes far more sense.

      RTFA, how does that work?

      1. Except he doesn’t have an argument as to why 5% makes more sense. He just cites the fact that other bureaucracies use it for purposes that libertarians condemn.

        1. That’s the number you need to hit to receive federal matching funds and it’s also the level that most states insist on for a party to receive “major-party status” and thus not have to jump through a bunch of ballot-access hoops every election.

          RTFA, Tulpa.

    3. I think you have to be on enough ballots in states with electoral votes that add up to 270 (the number needed to win).

      If you’re on enough ballots to win you are a legitimate candidate and you should be in the debates.

      1. That seems reasonable.

      2. Certainly being on all 50 ballots should qualify if this were a reasonable thing.

      3. Why do you hate write-in candidates, Juice? WHY?!

      4. That doesn’t make you a legitimate candidate. It just means you’re not mathematically eliminated before the voting even starts.

        1. Either you have no idea what it takes to get on all 50 ballots or you’re just a troll. Possibly both.

    4. A one percent debate threshold worked in the primaries. Stick with what works.

  4. I yearn for a day when female politicians no longer have to wear the fire-engine red outfit.

    1. Isn’t that the moderatrix?

  5. BTW, that hubris of GWB in 1992, checking his watch and snickering while the other candidates spoke did quite a bit of harm to his campaign.

    1. Supposedly he was looking at his watch because the moderators were letting Bill Clinton go way over time.

  6. the only proper reaction to Johnson’s exclusion is outrage.

    I say we boycott the debates until Gary’s included! Who’s with me?

      1. We can get Eddie with us if we humor his Darrel Castle infatuation.

        1. Wait? Darrel Castle is an actual candidate? I thought he was talking up a chess move.

          1. Well, he’ll be an actual candidate once he gets a cool nick name. D-Cas, or Da Rook or summat, I dunno,… i got nothing.

            1. The Darrel Castle is when you swap your King and Rook’s position, realizing you have no more pawns for cover.

        2. “We can get Eddie with us if we humor his Darrel Castle infatuation.”

          I’m for a free market where a group can sponsor debates and invite whatever candidates (or spokespeople) it wants, and Lois Lerner clones in the IRS don’t get to punish a debate sponsor for being “partisan.”

          In such a climate, the debate sponsor might decide that Castle isn’t popular or fun, or PC, enough to be on the state, and that Johnson is.

          The underlying problem is that large numbers of voters will tune in to watch a joint Dem/Rep press conference organized by the duopoly, but would be much less likely to watch a broader debate.

          Persuading these voters to watch a broader debate is the key thing. That, and having a broader debate in the first place, which of course doesn’t mean a CPD debate. Maybe Stossel?

          1. on the *stage* not on the state.

    1. Pretty sure to boycott it no matter who’s there.

      1. Seriously? I expect it to be huuuugly entertaining. Listen. It’s going to be wonderfully entertaining. Ok? Wonderfully. Entertaining.

        1. Indeed. “The greatest event since the Creation.”

  7. I think it’s better that he sit it out.

    I predict that the debates between Hillary and Donald will be an epic circus. Gary benefits from being on the outside. If he were in the middle of it, he would need to respond to their stupid and crazy in a way that I don’t think he’s capable of. He’s just not that witty or quick with a retort and that’s what would be needed in these debates.

    Everyone would need to see the contrast between him (sanity) and them (crooked and ridiculous). You’d think it would be easy, but it’s not and Gary can’t do it.

    It’s best if he sits it out and allow people to use their imaginations to fill in what he might have said. Or at least he’ll look sane and not have to suffer through “he doesn’t even know what Aleppo is.”

    1. Fair analysis.

      1. He just needs to answer every question the same: “My name is Gary Johnson and I’m on all 50 state ballots. I’m not Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I was a 2-term governor of New Mexico. If you vote for me, I’ll win.”

    2. Gary benefits from being on the outside.

      Only if people know who he is first. Him and Weld had a good interview on 60 Minutes last night but that’s not the demographic that’s going to vote for him.

      1. Which demographic do you think watches televised political debates at night?

        1. The same kind that like to go to the circus?

    3. The benefit from his being in any of the debates won’t be from his performance, because unless he’s improved enormously from 2011, he’s lousy at it. The benefit will be the conclusion drawn by the audience that he is an Important Person, important enough for their consideration as a voter, simply because he was asked to appear.

  8. Longmire might not vote on principle.

    But if he did? I bet he’d vote for Johnson.

    Henry Standing Bear would definitely vote for Johnson.

    And and Katee Sackhoff can vote for anybody she wants as long as I get a ride on her bad ass custom . . . you. know. what.

    http://tinyurl.com/jedzk6h

    1. So say you all!

  9. If third party candidates want to be included in the debates, maybe they should win some presidential elections first so their respective parties have some credibility.

  10. I believe Trump has said that he thinks Johnson should be in the debates while Clinton has said no.

    1. Yet *another* clear distinction!

  11. Although let’s be honest. Even if Johnson were allowed to participate, he’d be given about five minutes while the other two would get forty-five each.

    1. “My doggie produces shovel-ready jobs..teeheehee…”

      GayJay’s best debate line came when he was channeling Ralph Wiggum

      1. I question why he thinks the dogs produce shovel ready jobs given the shit-eating grin on his face.

  12. I suspect breaking up the duopoly won’t work as well as many people think. The Socialist party is more likely to garner votes than the libertarian one. Even if the Presidency were changed to make it possible for candidates with 20 or 25 percent to win in a crowded field like some in Europe we’ll probably just get governments like Europe.

    1. Even if the Presidency were changed to make it possible for candidates with 20 or 25 percent to win in a crowded field like some in Europe we’ll probably just get governments like Europe.

      Unlike the current situation.

      1. You don’t seem to be familiar with European governance.

    2. Like how Trump won the nomination?

      1. It really wouldn’t be like that at all. The LP is just the club that bothers in this fruitless effort but if debates and ballots and electoral votes had a lower threshold several factions would appear. You may get a Paul/Cruz type conservative next to Trump along with a Bernie running to the left of Hillary but I doubt that puts Libertarians closer to power.

        The real problem is just that Lobertarian ideas aren’t very popular and bitching about reorganizing elections isn’t ever going to change that.

        Any breakup that allows a faction of voters as small as libertarians into power is just as likely to allow a faction of hard socialists into power.

        1. Which is exactly how Trump won the nomination.

          There were too many other people splitting the non-Trump vote. If there had been one establishment guy that the Republicans all rallied around, he’d be the nominee right now instead.

          1. But you could always say that, substituting any qualifier for “establishment”. Trump was more voters’ 2nd or 3rd choice than many observers thought. Preferences don’t divide only along the lines other people think. For the blowhard vote, Trump beat Christie. For the anti-establishment vote, Trump beat Cruz & Carson. For the Rockefeller Republican vote, Trump beat Bush. For the businessman vote, Trump beat Fiorina. For lawnorder, Trump beat Rubio.

    3. Except that possibly most voters only vote for Republicans or Democrats because they believe them to be the lesser evil, not because they truly like them. So even if we currently see a situation where a grand majority of voters vote for one of the two dominant parties, that merely presents us with an illusion of unity and majority consensus. Not to mention, our current system is basically just limiting people’s options in practice, which gives the impression that they shouldn’t be allowed to make their own decisions.

      If our voting system allowed people to vote for as many candidates as they wished, preferably with some kind of ranking system, people would be better able to vote for the candidates they actually prefer. Hopefully you wouldn’t reject that system just because you believe people would vote in candidates you don’t like, because it also gives actual libertarians a better chance of appealing to voters.

      1. I’m sure most do vote for candidates because they believe them to be the lesser evil. The electoral system is basically set up to ensure roughly half the country has to agree a candidate is acceptable, therefore each candidate is a compromise between the voters in each party.

        I’ve simply pointed out that even if that was broken apart the left and right aren’t moving. Libertarians may get a few more percentage points but Socons will probably get more, alt-right, tea party, moderate democrats, socialists, greens, etc. Even if somehow all these factions managed to pull each other’s votes and the LP guy won (which is certainly no more likely than other factions like socialist who likely have more support) you would have a president that 75-80 percent of the country did not vote for or find acceptable.

        That strikes me as an unstable plan. If a hard leftist got into power and began enacting gun confiscation or something I think we could see riots, and I don’t see much reason to think Libertarian ideas could tesult in the same if they are foisted upon a populace that overwhelmingly didn’t vote for them.

        Overall I don’t see any reason to believe that a multi-party system will lead to libertarian ideas ever happening, or a stable government. And I don’t see any evidence it ever has elsewhere.

        1. Because of the winner take all system of allocating States’ electoral college votes, two big tent parties are almost inevitable.
          So, let’s change that so that the electoral college votes are allocated proportionately. We still have a situation where no third party candidate is going to receive a majority of the EC votes.
          In most parliamentary systems, if there is a president at all, he has little power. The true executive power is wielded by the prime minister, who gets elected/appointed by a coalition of smaller parties that join together in order to have majority status.

          1. So, let’s change that so that the electoral college votes are allocated proportionately.

            That sounds tempting, but has some severe problems:

            – it would have to be imposed from top-down, as no state will want to go first because it dilutes their importance in the EC
            – the entire campaign would be centered around the big metro areas, because that’s where you get the most bang for your buck, and the flyover country would essentially be ignored

            The Founders explicitly wanted to avoid a parliamentary system due to the unification of powers in one small group.

            1. Yes, I understand that. I wasn’t clear. I don’t actually think the EC should be changed, I was pointing out that it simply wouldn’t change anything in favor of third parties. It would, however, ensure that the executive branch would be permanently in the hands of the Democrats.

              1. I agree. Eventually when the GOP becomes decrepit enough, that bogeyman will be gone and you’d probably have a split between the center-left Dems and the far left ones. This is basically the dynamic in Western European politics, the Social Democrats vs. the Greens, with the right wing fighting for parliamentary scraps.

          2. It’s got very little to do with the electoral college. You could isolate any state from the USA, and its gov’t would also be dominated as now by 2 parties, even though they’ve nothing like electoral votes.

            Mostly it’s because of plurality elections of individual candidates. A party-list system, where you’d no longer vote “for the man”, would be a wrenching change that would alienate most Americans.

          3. n+1 theory of party systems.

            You’re arguing either for PR EC votes, or just making each state MMD (divide the state on congressional lines and have each elect it’s own Electoral College guy thingy)

        2. I see a difference in those scenarios because of the nature of the “foisting”. There’s no libertarian analog of gun confiscation, for example. Who would riot? The people who didn’t have or want guns? Similarly, who would riot if narcotics were legalized? If taxes were cut?

          The only major group of potential rioters I see would be those denied their free shit. And most of those people are already so privileged and/or so old, they’re not likely to take a chance on rioting or looting.

          1. I don’t understand what you’re saying in the second paragraph.

            There are plenty of relatively young, able bodied low-income people who get free shit. They absolutely would riot if the govt teat was cut off.

            1. They don’t get a lot of it, they’re not good rioters, they don’t pay much att’n, and they’re mostly women.

              1. Not only that, but because blacks are over-represented among them, there’d be more sentiment this time for annihilating them rather than buying them off as before. And I think they know that, so they wouldn’t.

          2. I don’t think you realize who the looters are.

        3. Even if somehow all these factions managed to pull each other’s votes and the LP guy won (which is certainly no more likely than other factions like socialist who likely have more support) you would have a president that 75-80 percent of the country did not vote for or find acceptable.

          Again, that’s already the situation (minus the vote part, but voting for someone doesn’t mean you like them), but it’s hidden by our corrupt political process that causes most people to vote for the candidate they believe is the lesser evil.

          Overall I don’t see any reason to believe that a multi-party system will lead to libertarian ideas ever happening, or a stable government. And I don’t see any evidence it ever has elsewhere.

          That might be true, but for me it’s not merely about the result, but also about the fact that it seems incredibly unjust to, in practice, limit people’s choices to two options.

          And oftentimes you have to take risks in order to gain the chance to improve the situation. I really don’t see any way out of this situation no matter what we do, though.

    4. That’s what I was afraid of in 2004 when I wrote this: http://users.bestweb.net/~robg…..y_win.html

  13. I think Trump should demand that Johnson get into the debate.

    Johnson is pulling fare more Hillary supporters than Trump supporters, and that’s to Trump’s advantage.

    If Trump won’t insist that Johnson be included in the debate, then it must be personal.

    So if Trump won’t support putting Johnson in the debate, then I think Johnson should challenge Trump to a duel.

    There, I said it.

    1. I think Johnson should challenge Trump to a duel

      Weed on top of Everest, first one not to fall off wins.

      1. First not to lose his hairpiece wins.

    2. Johnson is pulling fare more Hillary supporters than Trump supporters, and that’s to Trump’s advantage.

      Letting Johnson in the debates might mess that up. Trump is probably happy leaving things as they are, especially if Hillary is the one on record as resisting.

      1. I still want to see the duel.

        1. It’s going to be a great duel, and Johnson is going to pay for it. I’m telling you: he is going to pay for it. But, it’s going to be a wonderful duel, just wonderful.

    3. A third person in the debate gives Hillary time to rest, reducing the chance of a medical meltdown.

  14. “Johnson will be on the ballot in all 50 states, so he can theoretically win the election but more realistically, he can totally influence the outcome.”

    McMullin – you know, the Blofeld-looking former CIA guy – can theoretically win the election and has a prospect of influencing it.

    If he wins those few states where he’s on the ballot, and the other states are divided between Donald and Hillary, then the election goes into the House where a majority of the delegations would be entitled to choose McMullin for President.

    Short of that, McMullin could certainly influence who wins in the states where he’s on the ballot.

    But this all misses the point – if enough people are truly disgusted with the duopoly’s joint press conference, the whole thing will collapse. The joint press conference system lasts only as long as viewers want it. (and if the viewers *do* want it, there’s no excuse for censoring it with IRS retaliation, which seems to be what Johnson wants).

    Instead, why not hold a debate with at least some of the 3rd party candidates and see who shows up? To increase the viewership, if Hillary and Donald don’t show up, have celebrity partisans speak on their behalf.

    If freed from IRS supervision (as if what our elections need is monitoring by tax collectors), a debate sponsor could choose its own rules for inclusion or exclusion.

    1. Has it occurred to anyone that for a non-CPD group to sponsor a debate, they’d have to run the gantlet of Louis Lerner clones and run the risk of being slapped with penalties for being “partisan.”

      Obviously, despite Johnson’s efforts, there’s little prospect of the IRS, which is one wing of the duopoly, penalizing the CPD, which is another wing.

      So this focus on siccing the IRS on one’s political opponents can bit people in the ass.

      I’m really going out on a limb there, aren’t I?

    2. How about if they don’t show up we have “celebrity impersonators” fill in for them instead?

      1. But that would detract from the dignity of…heck, do it.

        1. Tina Fey can play Hillary “I can cash Russia’s check from my house!”

          1. I don’t care who you are…

  15. I think both Johnson and Stein should be there. That will help Hillary, because it increases the chances of someone catching her when she has another seizure.

  16. My daughter in 7th grade told me today that all the boys go around writing “Trump” on the boards and notebooks and saying it.

    My daughter says she’s against Trump because the wall is dumb, and what about people who aren’t ISIS.

    None of these kids know anything about the election of course but I think it’s funny how the boys have picked up that Trump is the equivalent to saying dirty words or smoking cigarettes to make certain people cringe.

    1. I just saw Hillary’s latest commercial – it’s a parade of Republicans saying how scary and dangerous you-know-who is. Nothing about her.

      1. Didn’t Scott Adams comment on an ad like that?

        In a year of widespread disillusionment with the political class, there’s nothing quite like summoning forth a parade of old political hacks to say how much Trump scares them.

        1. Yep.

          Something, something, phony-baloney jobs.

    2. They probably also write shit, cunt, and cocksucker on notebooks, so it may not mean what she thinks it does.

      1. I don’t know what she thinks it means, but I think it’s just the equivalent of smoking in the boys room. We know saying Trump was a way to piss of certain people in certain circles, I’m just surprised it’s something even adolescent boys picked up on and are doing. Basically all the over the top hand wringing is making saying Trump cool.

  17. OT So if Trump is a Galaxy Note 7 (flames up every now and then) and Hillary is an iPhone 7 (overpriced and much ado about nothing), would GayJay be a Blackberry Classic?

    Discuss

    1. much ado about nothing

      Unless you count its ability to turn you into a homicidal maniac.

      1. So he lied about his employment, lied about his enrollment… you think maybe he lied to his family about going to the mall to pick up an iPhone, too?

    2. Gary Johnson is the cheapest Android phone at the Cricket store: not the one you wanted, but the only one you could afford.

      1. He’s the flip-phone. It works better than all the other phones as an actual phone. But nobody wants one.

  18. (most of the reasons also work equally well for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who has less than half the support of Johnson and none of the governing experience).

    I don’t see the utility of “governing experience” and wonkish top men-crafted policy proposals for 3rd Party/Independent candidates. Did voters go with George Wallace for his Alabama governing chops? Or Ross Perot for his detailed plans to “tinker under the hood”?

    1. Nick values governing experience, which is why he considers George W. Bush to be the last good president.

  19. At this point I don’t care if he is in any debate because in my view the whole debate crap is outdated and useless. Watching the two imbeciles, Hillary and Trump, go at it like a couple of Rock’em Sock’em Robots is going to be like watching Puck walk around picking old scabs and scratching his ass in an old episode of MTV’s The Real World, totally useless. I’ve heard Clinton’s, Trump’s, Stein’s and Johnson’s ideas and views right from the comfort of my smartphone and I know Johnson is the only honest and sain choice this election. I don’t need some old school CPD or bias media to inform me of my choices!
    Johnson/Weld 2016!

  20. I really want Johnson in debates if only to see social conservatives’ faces when they’re forced to ask themselves “Why is it that the guy on weed is the only one making sense?”

    1. Even Trump would know what to do with this – “Bill and Gary over there are on an excellent adventure against religious freedom and in favor of abortion. Gelded Weld there wants gun control. If you think that makes sense, sure, vote for them.”

      1. Seriously, Bill and Gary went out of their way to make clear they think social conservatives are, like, gross, and that they want to get the votes of former Bernie supporters.

        Don’t make me turn into SIV.

        1. Looking forward to your granny-panty blog.

          1. I so want to reblog this NSFW image but Chicks In Their Underwear has to maintain it’s high-quality reputation as a family fashion blog.

              1. +1 not sarcarmic post

            1. I so want to reblog this NSFW image

              I’ll be in my Trump-brand, no cucks allowed, alt-right themed bunk, complete with satellite feed of the latest doings in fowl combat sports.

  21. Has this been posted yet? Trump’s ironclad defense of the 1st Amendment in reaction to the Chelsea bombing:

    “So I see the other day, and they’re all talking about it so wonderfully because it’s called freedom of the press — where you buy magazines and they tell you how to make the same bombs that you saw. I would — now people will go crazy, they’ll say Trump is against freedom of the press. I’m totally in favor of freedom of the press. But how do you allow magazines to be sold — these are magazines that tell you, from step one, go to the store and buy such-and-such, right?”
    He continued, “Those people should be arrested because they are inciting violence, OK. They are making violence possible. They should be arrested immediately. They have websites that tell how to make bombs, how to make all sorts of things that are totally destructive, and you know where they are coming from, and yet we don’t want to touch them because of freedom of speech.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/19/…..-bombings/

    1. Never mind, somehow I missed the article on this while scrolling through the blog.

      1. Clinton’s reaction is also absurd. If Trump said that about her, then her supporters would accuse him of accusing her of treason and thus calling for her death since it’s a capital crime.

    2. We really are just down to two factions of the left deciding which things to ban, and which are mandatory.

  22. what largely goes undiscussed about the CPD’s mission: It exists to keep third parties off the debate stage.

    Just like the mission of Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealers is to keep Chevys out of the automobile showroom. Nobody’s stopping you from setting up your own debate, finding someone to broadcast it and an audience to watch it.

    First, the 15 percent mark is totally arbitrary and meaningless. If you’re going to insist on a poll-driven number, 5 percent makes far more sense. That’s the number you need to hit to receive federal matching funds and it’s also the level that most states insist on for a party to receive “major-party status” and thus not have to jump through a bunch of ballot-access hoops every election.

    The reason it makes more sense is because that’s the standard used by a federal bureaucracy, the existence of which libertarians oppose? One could just as validly argue that the federal matching funds standard should be 15% because that’s what the CPD uses.

    Second, Johnson will be on the ballot in all 50 states, so he can theoretically win the election but more realistically, he can totally influence the outcome.

    But if the standard is “influencing the outcome”, then being on the ballot in 50 states is not a requirement. Being on the ballot in one swing state could be enough to influence the outcome. That brings in not only Stein but the Constitution Party candidate, the Prohibition Party candidate, and Evan McMullins.

    1. Finally, there’s this charming bit of video from 2000, when Donald Trump himself argued forcefully for the Reform Party candidate, Pat Buchanan, to participate in the presidential debates.

      And finally a tu quoque for the loss.

      Pathetic reasons, Nick, and clearly cherry-picked to benefit your guy.

  23. Reason #4: The debate won’t be a one party affair after Clinton has a seizure and falls off the stage.

  24. That horse is dead, Nick. Flogging it won’t help.

    You know as well as I do that the entire purpose of the CPD is to prevent another Ross Perot from getting a shot at making the Ruling Party candidates look like the assholes they are. Gary was never going to be in the debates.

    -jcr

    1. I’m not really sure what we’re supposed to do. I’m sure most people here would like for Johnson to be in the debates, and even Stein as well, at least for humor.

      But what can we do? Should we all go on twitter and throw a hissy like some perpetually aggrieved children? When libertarians can amass enough support in the country, they’ll get in the debates. I’m still saying that 20% is the magic number. If a LP candidate could get over 15% in the polls and stay there on a consistent basis, that might even do it. It’s not an easy task to overcome this entrenched bullshit and throwing an outrage party is not going to do it. I honestly do not want to be thrown in with childish tantrum throwers like SJWs.

      1. . I’m sure most people here would like for Johnson to be in the debates, and even Stein as well, at least for humor.

        I’d actually like to see Stein/Clinton go at it much more than i’d like to see Gary do his ‘stare into space and start rambling towards the most watered-down rationale possible‘ form of question-response. i mean, regardless of his performance, showing up would be great for him. and i would be thrilled to see him crush the other 2 by simply *raising* basic questions re: ‘fiscal sanity’ which moderators won’t ever even bring up. But for entertainment? Gary would stink. I’d much prefer watching Stein and Trump and Clinton all delivering barely veiled insults and making crazy statements.

        1. Damnit, I keep forgetting why it is that I cringe every time Johnson is about to appear on some TV show and start talking. Good that 15% rule. Let’s take this back up when there’s a libertarian candidate who is at least capable of not embarrassing the hell out of us.

      2. A third party candidate will never hit 15 percent — that’s why they picked it. When all the news networks cover the election as if it’s a 2-person race, no one will know who the third candidate is, or think he is a serious contender. Johnson polling at 9 percent with 0.1 percent of the news coverage is a miracle, or a sign of how bad Trump and Clinton are.

        The polling threshold should be at 1 percent, just to keep out the crank candidates. Is 4 people on stage too many? We had 10 or 11 in the primary debates.

        1. And I suspect that if it were a blind test where all the voter had all the info on all 3 candidates and thought all 3 had an equal chance to win, Johnson would be polling around 35 percent.

  25. Hillary gets trolled by a 4chan meme.

    Trump tricks cable news into giving him a live, 30-minute campaign ad for free.

    A Muslim immigrant who had sued the cops for Islamophobia goes on a bombing spree.

    A Mexican illegal immigrant activist who had criticized Trump for comments about Mexican illegal immigrant rapists gets arrested for rape.

    Best. Election. EVER.

  26. We’re missing a trick here. We just need to argue that a two-candidate debate is just as outdated and restrictive and downright bigoted as the idea that there are only two genders. Now, I’m not arguing that it would be practical to have a debate among 30 people, but a debate among four seems like a good compromise.

  27. Papaya, I’m sure you caught this:
    SF voters passed a law requiring developers to reserve 25% of any new (large) development as ‘below market rate’. So as a developer, 1/4 of your units have to be set aside and you have to go through all sorts of admin costs to make sure they go to those favored by the city government. I’m sure the accounting departments had fun with that.

    “Has San Francisco’s housing boom peaked? New project proposals drop along with rents”
    […]
    “The major policy change that may be hurting the pipeline is Prop. C, which voters passed in June. The ballot measure raised the city’s requirement for new projects to include 25 percent affordable housing, a move that developers said would make some projects economically unfeasible. Following the new law, between June and the first week October, new proposed housing units fell by 58 percent to 1,250 units, compared to 3,000 units proposed for the same period in the prior year, according to an analysis of preliminary project assessments by blog Bay Area Metropolitan Observer.”
    http://www.bizjournals.com/san…..rop-c.html

    Who could possibly have foreseen that raising the costs of providing housing could possibly lead to a reduction in that supply? It must be just bad luck, like the oil price collapse causing the Venezuelan disaster!

    1. SF makes old and cheap housing illegal, makes new housing difficult and expensive, and then demands increasing amounts of privately-subsidized housing….

      1. Did you catch where Peskin has now been busted for approving the residence tower he now wants to investigate?
        (local dish, folks; Peskin is a tin-pot dictator of North Beach who may now be in trouble and is grasping at camera-time)

        1. No. I actually don’t follow local politics. I’m a big-picture guy.

      2. You forgot the part about banning residential buildings over 3 stories high.

        1. Mine was not meant to be an exhaustive list. Life is too short.

    2. The bigger question is, why does anybody want to move to SF at this point?

      The weather is nice (at least from the POV of a Rust Belt native) but… I don’t see the appeal beyond that. Everything costs 3x as much as anywhere else and you’re surrounded by beggars everywhere you walk.

      1. It’s the place to live for hip young techies, even if they work in the Valley an hour or more south. Hence our $3K/month one-bedrooms. Which is doable if you are making $100K.

      2. “The bigger question is, why does anybody want to move to SF at this point?”

        Now, I wouldn’t. But it is a visually wonderful place to live; as the film director’s comment went: “No bad angles!”. It’s a matter of spending effort to fly under the SF gov’t radar, and that’s not impossible.

  28. I can just visualize the debates now.

    Moderator 1: The first question is for Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Clinton, is it true your favorite ice cream is strawberry?

    Hillary: Well, I’m glad you asked, because it just so happ…

    Trump: Hey, what the hell is this?! That’s not…

    Moderator 1. Mr Trump, please, let Mrs Clinton finish.

    Trump: Bullshit! This is rigged against me and …

    Hillary: *cough cough cough*… can someone get me water? *cough cough*…

    Trump: What’s wrong with gradma? She’s sick!

    Moderator 1: We’re going to take a little break here while Mrs Clinton gets a drink for those allergies! We’ll be right back and the next question is for Mr Trump.

    After 15 minutes…

    Moderator 2. This question is for Mr Trump. Mr Trump, everyone thinks you’re a racist and bigot. Is it also true you’re a misogynist and you hate children?

    Yes, it really will be like that.

    1. “Moderator 2. This question is for Mr Trump. Mr Trump, everyone thinks you’re a racist and bigot. Is it also true you’re a misogynist and you hate children?”

      You left out beating his wife.

      1. That’s not until after ‘Mrs Clinton, tell us how growing up, tell us about your mother. She was wonderful, yes?’.

        1. “And your daughter! Isn’t she just terrific? I mean, marrying a champion of the little people!
          .
          .
          .
          .
          Oh, sorry!

    2. Moderator 2. This question is for Mr Trump. Mr Trump, everyone thinks you’re a racist and bigot. Is it also true you’re a misogynist and you hate children?

      they’d never be so direct and give him any opportunity to deny things. It will be more like =

      “”You’ve made a number of controversial statements about mexicans and muslims; how will you be able to overcome the negative impressions you’ve made, and engage with foreign leaders, who already consider you the fat bloated stereotype of an ignorant American blowhard?””

      1. Looks like he already proved something about dealing with foreign leaders when he met with Mexico’s president. Did Hillary make it down there yet?

        1. Much as I wouldn’t vote for that blow-hard if the alternative was HRC, I figured that was a very savvy move on his part.
          Wanna talk about immigration from Mexico? Why not talk to the guy who went there while Shrill was ‘not available’?

  29. Johnson: What’s strawberry? By the way I just want to say Hillary is a wonderful public servant. And according to Isidewith I agree with Bernie on 70% of the issues and social conservatives are icky. Also I’m not high. Sorry what is the question?

    1. Did you know I have a nickname? Seriously, it’s a funny nickname… I can’t remember what it is at the moment… Bill Weld, that guy, wow, at the convention I was so worried he wouldn’t be my VP candidate. Phew, I could have lost the election!

  30. Seen on Candid: “A bunch of autistic guys posting frogs on the internet are taking down a crooked political dynasty.”

    1. I still don’t know what this frog thing is about.

        1. Not too biased: http://nymag.com/selectall/201…..ction.html

  31. Well dressed thieves? Homeless? Stop. More like somebody over in Quantico devised a secret bombing plot, a plot that was interrupted by the Impossible Mission Force

    1. So much for, “Si ve algo, diga algo”

    2. Muslim Bombers Defeated by NYC Bag Thieves! The election just keeps getting better!

  32. Hillary get trolled by Amazon reviewers:

    5 stars, I don’t want to die!

    1. A month or so ago, it seemed the stupid party had nominated the only sorry POS from the bench who could assure the hag a win.
      Now, it’s beginning to look like the crooked party nominated a pathetic, lying, obnoxious POS which could mean that stupid party POS might win.
      Not like there’s a lot of choice; may as well enjoy the amusement.

      1. That’s my p.o.v. these days: who is the most entertaining choice for the next four years? Trump, by a mile.

        1. G, I hope I’m not misrepresenting, but you seemed to suggest that a hag win would be good, as it would give the voters what they asked for ‘good and hard’. I don’t agree, in that the woman is so universally despised, that presidential efforts on her part will go nowhere in congress.
          P, I’m not sure in that if he were elected, the congress looking at that groundswell, might give him what we don’t want and he does.
          “Trump, this morning, on Fox & Friends, blamed the freedom of the press because of the publishing of magazines that instruct people on how to make bombs. He insisted that he believes in the freedom of the press (doubtful), but also called for anybody who provides instructions on how to build bombs to be arrested because they’re “participating in crime.”
          https://reason.com/blog

          1. Meh, he’s wrong there, but remember, he’s a loud-mouthed New Yorker, a negotiator, and a pragmatist. He’s still less scary than the Hillary camp, which looks to criminalize “hate speech” and “microaggressions” and “intentionally hurtful misgendering with the wrong pronoun” and whatever else.

          2. G, I hope I’m not misrepresenting, but you seemed to suggest that a hag win would be good, as it would give the voters what they asked for ‘good and hard’.

            If you’re speaking to me? that’s not exactly what i’d intended, really.

            my personal analysis is more along the lines of =

            – There are currently pressures within both the left and the right (which aren’t the same as the DNC/GOP, but for now those proxies suffice) which will lead to major political fracture within both groups.

            IMO, it not a question of “if”, so much as ‘when’ and ‘how fast’ and ‘which parts are preserved’;

            the reasons are multiple, but one of the most significant is simply demographic – the old-guard on both sides are exiting quickly, and there’s no very-strong replacement structure being left in place behind them.

            w/the DNC, Hillary and her ‘old-school establishment insider’ peers are on the last-gasp. The GOP is better, but not by much. they’ve got a deeper bench, and the Tea Party provided a re-invigoration of ‘core principles’ which we’re still seeing some effects of. i know you’ll go, “wha?” but bear with me.

            Basically, think of it like sports teams which lose a multi-decade coach, and all its career players. They’re forced to rebuild.

            rebuilding requires a completely fresh look at “how do we win”, and “where does future talent come from”; stuff any good coach should do every year *anyway*, but which they dont because they stick with ‘what works’. (more)

            1. (cont)

              anyway…. my thinking is, both the GOP and DNC are facing this generational transition issue, which will be compounded by ‘new political demands’ from the public. My thinking is that its going to occur over the next 2 terms or so, as many of these fogies retire/croak

              What would the impact of a Trump or Clinton presidency be for each side?

              My thinking is that if Trump wins, its ‘worst’ for people like us. Because it allows the right to put off any sort of re-think of their core-mission. “Crazy populist won! = let’s stick with that”! I don’t think it will work beyond 1 term, and i think his presidency would be a disappointment regardless. they’ll avoid very painful re-org, and the grassroots will fight amongst itself about who is to blame.

              If Hillary wins… well, in my mind, it does good things for the GOP; they’ll be forced to address their base and put together some kind of coherent structure which integrates the hitherto neglected people who showed up for Trump. they’ll be free to build around younger leader figures, and perhaps even integrate more Libertarian people; a ‘coalition’ GOP concept as opposed to ‘top down’ GOP which is what its been for my lifetime.

              if Hillary wins, i think it also has negatives for the Left. they’ll coast on her victory, but it will leave huge swaths of the progressives unsatisfied. Disunity will be increased. also = policies already failing (ACA) will get worse. etc. etc.
              (more)

              1. (cont)

                in sum = i see the net-net of a Hillary win being modestly positive for “the right” (not *just* the GOP, but more of a re-thinking of what the american right is); and a modest drag on the left, at least in the sense of being stuck with a ‘figurehead’ who is just bloody awful and unlikeable, and unable to get anything significant done. I think they’ll fester, and their hubris will end up pushing more and more people looking for an alternative, which libertarians may incidentally benefit from.

                that’s the rough shape of it. Its not quite about anybody getting it “good and hard”, so much as my thinking about the timing of inevitable political generational-shifts, and how the next few years are likely to shape out in slightly different scenarios. i think we’ve reached the end of the Boomer reign, and the next stage (which may last 8-10 years, or be faster) is going to involve more ‘political realignment’ than we’ve seen since the early 1960s

                1. I’m with you for the first part of your analysis, but not the consequences of the two possibilities.

                  A Trump win is better for libertarians. It puts the brakes on the Obama years, and possibly reverses some of it. SJWs, Obamacare, and leftist judges hit hardest. Any decrease in illegal and Muslim immigration decreases the need for the welfare state and the surveillance state. Possible cuts in taxes and bureaucracy.

                  Trump, being a pragmatist, would be more open to libertarian-oriented solutions to certain problems.

                  A Trump win shatters both parties more than a Hillary win. More major party shattering = better for smaller parties.

                  A Trump win will cause the press to go into investigative/watchguard mode. Under Hillary, it would be another four years of lickspittle/coverup mode.

                  Plus, it will help shatter the dangerous illusion that Presidents are, or ought to be, all-powerful. Of the unconstrained wonders of democracy. Suddenly, the left will see virtue in restraining presidents, maybe even the federal government as a whole. At least for four years.

  33. Johnson and Stein can be in the debates that occur after Hillary croaks during the first debate.

    1. I smell motive…!

  34. Not mine, but deserves circulation: https://imgur.com/gallery/Wkokb

    1. “Global puppet masters” is code for Jews. More white nationalist propaganda from Trump supporters.

      1. Meh. People call Bush and Clinton “globalists.” People say Hillary is in the pay of the Saudis. What’s Jewish about any of that?

  35. Donald Trump today: “Hillary Clinton talks tougher about my supporters than she does about Islamic terrorists.”

    Hillary is not going to somehow nimbly and convincingly refute that. And go six weeks in public without coughing, stumbling, suffering a brain-freeze, crossing her eyes, or falling down.

    Now I read that she has no public appearances for a week. Still recuperating.

    Trump takes the polling lead in Nevada, and her poll numbers are dropping in California, too. But don’t worry. The SS Hillary Clinton just grazed the iceberg, and there are many watertight compartments. Expensive, state-of-the-art stuff.

    She’ll use her charming personality and deft political instincts, along with her planks of pro-BLM, more gun control, more Muslim refugees, and more Obamacare (now for illegals!), and cruise to victory.

    It’s 100% certain that Hillary will win in an unprecedented landslide, destroying the Republican Party forever. I’m just sad that Cytotoxic isn’t here to see it.

    1. “Hillary will win in an unprecedented landslide, destroying the Republican Party forever”

      I’m unconvinced of this. I think that a Trump win destroys (i.e. radically changes) the R party more than a Hillary win would. That is, with Hillary winning, the R establishment will circle the wagons and regroup. Not to mention the fact that, after losing, Trump will be out of the picture.

    2. Now I read that she has no public appearances for a week. Still recuperating.

      She’s basically running the first invisible presidential campaign by a major party candidate in modern history. Gee, I wonder why that could possibly be?

    1. I actually believe her. Reagan’s second biggest mistake has always been a liberal at heart.

  36. Expanding choices means getting to a point where people believe you are a viable choice.

  37. Here is a suggestion for the CPD. Wouldn’t it make more sense if the CPD modified its criteria to only consider how well a candidate is doing among respondents who have heard of the candidate? This would help correct for the fact that third party candidates get far less free press than the duopoly candidates and also provide an estimate of how the third party candidate would be likely to poll after they became nationally known.

    In most polls, that ask some form of the question “Have you heard of Gary Johnson?” and about 35% say some form of Yes. So Gary Johnson is polling at around 10% generally but only 35% of the respondents have heard of him. So this means he is polling at around 28% among people who are already familiar with all 3 candidates. It would then stand to reason, assuming the other 65% of voters have similar preferences, that if Johnson became known nationally, he would approach 28% overall as he became widely known.

  38. The debates will feature Trump demolishing HRC.

    She will say anything to get a vote. Trump has beat her at her own game and will
    say even more and get wacko to make it more interesting.

    He knows how to manipulateTV in ways that she and her advisors can’t even comprehend.

    If 14 Republican candidates couldn’t win a debate with Trump does anyone honestly believe HRC will?

    So it is a small blessing that Gary will not be there.

    He will be outside with Bill Weld answering the same questions while ClinTrump destroy each other.

  39. There won”t be any debates. Hillary is not going to risk having a seizure on live television.

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    ——————>>> http://www.highpay90.com

  41. #1 reason- Hillary Clinton
    #2 reason- Donald Trump
    Reasons one and 2 are interchangable.

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