Yes, I am Podcasting from the 2016 Libertarian National Convention

Two short daily updates so far, and I'll shoot for AT LEAST one a day.

What you REALLY want to do is check out my whole-enchilada convention coverage page -- Instagram photos, YouTube videos, Soundcloud podcasts, off-site links, etc.

But if it's really ONLY the podcasts you want, hit the podcast page.

Later. Lots to do.

Libertarian National Convention, Friday Morning Gossip Starter

Anecdotally -- based on talk over drinks and noticing who wasn't out drinking in the Rosen Centre's bars last night -- Gary Johnson's presidential campaign seems to be in full panic mode. Can't say I blame them, given yesterday's Time article on Johnson's campaign finances and his 35% performance in last night's post-debate straw poll. I'm trying to make my own modest contributions to the coming rout as well.

Thanks For Asking, 05/25/16

This week's AMA post/thread and the podcast to follow are, as per usual, brought to you by Darryl W. Perry ...

... but this week things are a little different.

Usually, I invite you to ask me anything -- anything! --  in the comment thread below this post, and promise to answer your questions in the comment thread, on the weekend podcast to follow, or both.

This week, there will be multiple podcasts starting as early as today (although more likely tomorrow), centering around and mostly from the 2016 Libertarian National Convention in Orlando Florida. So two things:

  • Instead of asking me questions, think of questions you'd like me to ask other people I might encounter at the convention. That could mean presidential or vice-presidential candidates, Libertarian National Committee members or candidates for LNC, Libertarians you know or have heard of, etc. Maybe you'd like to know whether national chair Nick Sarwark prefers boxers or briefs, or ask William Weld what his good friend Rudy Giuliani is really like, or whatever.
  • This week, I can't promise that your questions will be answered, since I'm not the one who'll answering them. I can't even promise that I'll be able to ask your question of the person it's aimed at, because I don't know who I'll run into (I suspect certain people will turn and walk the other way if they see me coming, especially if I have a camera or microphone in hand).

Oh, and a third thing -- if you're in Orlando, say hi! I'll be with the New Hampshire delegation when doing party business, and probably hanging out with the Perry campaign and/or the Radical Caucus peeps and/or George Phillies at other times.

And the Non-Denial Denials Keep on coming ...

New email from Gary Johnson's presidential campaign. Excerpted:

Gov. Johnson Has Been Called a Lot of Things, But ...

A big government spender?? That's right. A writer for the conservative National Review posted an article this week attacking Gov. Johnson for his spending record as New Mexico Governor, absurdly calling him a 'big government type'. ... Without getting into mindless detail, it is clear that the writer who attacked Governor Johnson doesn't understand state budgets -- or chose to play 'fun with numbers' to paint an entirely incorrect picture. And he didn't even bother to call Gov. Johnson to talk with him about it.

As for the truth, it is highly unlikely that established, respected publications and organizations such as Reason, the Cato Institute, and even the Club for Growth wouldn't have lauded Governor Johnson’s fiscal conservatism if he had, in fact, been a 'big government type'. Big government types don't veto 750 bills and thousands of spending items, cut the size of government by more than 1,000 employees, and earn the title: 'Most fiscally conservative governor' in the nation.

Notice what's not in there? Any denial of the claims in the National Review piece.

Maybe that's because the two major claims in the piece are absolutely, irrefutably correct. They are:

  • That "[w]hen Johnson took the tiller in New Mexico in 1995, the budget stood at $4.397 billion. When he left in 2003, it had grown to $7.721 billion, an increase of 7.29 percent a year. Of the eleven governors who filed to run for president this year (two Democrats, Johnson, and eight Republicans), only one had a worse record on spending growth."
  • That "Johnson inherited a debt of $1.8 billion and left a debt of $4.6 billion, a rate of increase unmatched by the 22 governors in either party who have filed for presidential primaries in the past two decades, with the exception of Governor Tom Vilsack (D., Iowa) in 2007."
Apart from the ranking trivia -- which is quite interesting! -- this is nothing I haven't told you right here at KN@PPSTER.

As governor of New Mexico, Johnson grew government spending faster than inflation, faster than population growth, and faster than Barack Obama has grown federal spending as president of the United States.

As governor of New Mexico, Johnson more than doubled his state's debt.

Those are facts. Maybe there are good explanations for them, but they're still facts.

Johnson runs on the parts of his record that sound good, which is fine. But the other parts are fair game for discussion as well. If he wants to be the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee he needs to be able to talk about those parts too, if for no other reason than that just because we don't ask him about them, that doesn't mean Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won't ask him about them should he happen to achieve his goal of making the big-time debate stage.

PS: Yes, I noticed the double negative typo in the final paragraph quoted from Johnson's email as well. Hey, shit happens.

A Podcast Libertarian National Convention Delegates NEED to Listen To

I've actually been holding back on promoting it until the convention got close, because I want you to still be thinking about it when you arrive in Orlando. It's Rodger Paxton's LAVA Flow Podcast,  "BONUS: The My Libertarian Presidential Endorsement Edition," from May 16th (there's a new episode up this morning -- I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but it addresses the recently announced vice-presidential candidacy of William Weld, and because it's Rodger you know it's going to be good).

I encourage you to visit/listen at the links above, but getting this in your ear is important enough that I'm going to go ahead and embed it as well:

[Note: Or maybe I'm not. Can't seem to find anything that works. Maybe Blubrry doesn't want to feed the file to a rogue script or something? GO HIT THAT LINK, PLEASE! - TLK]

Thanks to the Wonders of Modern Technology ...

... I "attended" two Libertarian presidential candidate events tonight: A Google Hangout with John McAfee and his campaign manager Tiffany Madison, and a conference call with Gary Johnson and his preferred running mate, William Weld.

Bottom line: I didn't change my mind about which candidate I support or why, but I thought both presentations were reasonably good.

As befits the "revolutionary" among the top three candidates, McAfee, I thought he made a good case for himself, and Ms. Madison likewise justified the campaign's value to the party in terms of creating a candidate assistance package geared toward modernizing Libertarian campaigns.

No real surprises on the Johnson campaign call. A Utah state senator came on to wax enthusiastic and former LNC chair / current LP ballot access honcho Bill Redpath explained the challenges ahead on that front. Weld got a bit long-winded, presumably because he felt the need to familiarize the listening delegates with him, but I think he helped himself a bit (his account of his 2nd Amendment issues would have stood him in good stead if he hadn't already had a couple of false starts on it in the past few days). Both candidates made strong arguments that they are the ones who can get the Libertarian Party onto the debate stage and permanently enlarge its electoral base.

In other news, Austin Petersen has had two endorsements and two withdrawals of endorsement in the last two days.

The first was conservative talk host Glenn Beck, who clearly and unambiguously endorsed Petersen ("he's my guy"), then tried to "clarify" that he hadn't actually done what he had done.

The second was Walter Block (long associated with the formerly libertarian, now paleoconservative, Ludwig von Mises Institute), who apparently didn't bother to actually familiarize himself with the candidate before endorsing him and recoiled in horror when he learned that Petersen doesn't endorse the Non-Aggression Principle.

I feel bad for Petersen. Not because I support him, I don't, but because a candidate should be able to count on prominent endorsers to make up their goddamn minds and stick to their guns for more than, say, 15 minutes before turning tail.

OK, I Finally Found a Google Thing That I REALLY Hate

And it's not something I would have expected.

I created a YouTube channel specifically for videos I intend to record at the 2016 Libertarian National Convention. I thought about livestreaming via one of several services, but I don't really WANT to livestream. I prefer to record stuff and upload it. Other people will be livestreaming, I'm sure.

I had planned to embed the channel on the page I'm creating for my convention coverage (that page will also have embeds of my convention Instagram gallery, my convention podcasting, etc. -- basically one-stop shopping for my convention coverage).

It should be the simplest thing ever. Go to the channel, grab some embed code, go.

But noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ...

I'm pretty sure it's not impossible, but when I search for information on how to do it I get a bazillion help threads, all of which end with "this method has been deprecated, go here for the new way."

I finally gave up and just created a playlist on my default channel, then embedded that. But my original idea should have been easy to implement instead of some kind of nightmare.