Libertarian Robert Sarvis Pulls 6.6 Percent in Virginia Governor’s Race, Almost Five Times Better Than Gary Johnson Last November

not de blasioIn a race where he was polling with a
double-digit lead
just last week
, Democrat Terry McAuliffe
won
the Virginia governor’s race in a squeaker tonight, with a
margin of victory of
just over
2 percent, receiving 47.6 percent to Republican Ken
Cuccinelli’s 45.42 percent. For libertarians the bigger news might
be that Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis pulled 6.6 percent, or
more than 142,000 votes, five times the vote total Libertarian
presidential candidate Gary Johnson won last November, despite a
significantly lower turnout. Democrats
tried to make
the election against Cuccinelli a referendum on
“Tea Party extremists,” and by that measure they lost; Cuccinelli’s
margin of defeat being about two-thirds the size of Mitt Romney’s
last year.

Cuccinelli supporters called Sarvis a spoiler before the polling
places even opened, with Ron Paul going so far as to say it would
be “insane
for anyone to vote for Sarvis because he expressed support for the
idea of a mileage tax, something the Reason Foundation’s Adrian
Moore believes is worth a try. At campaign rallies, Sarvis pointed
out the tax doesn’t require GPS tracking—a standard odometer
already tracks mileage. Scott Shackford pointed out last week that
Sarvis
drew support both
from Democrats and Republicans, something
that suggests libertarianism’s potency as a catalyst for
coalition-building around issues of freedom. Nevertheless, some
Republicans disappointed by such a close loss are sure to blame
Sarvis anyway, believing his votes “belonged” to the GOP, an
argument Nick Gillespie rightly took down
last week too
.

In the other governor’s race tonight, Libertarian Kenneth Kaplan
won .6 percent of the vote, the same as Gary Johnson last year, in
an election that saw Republican Chris Christie win re-election in a
landslide in the traditionally blue state of New Jersey.

Read Brian Doherty’s interview with Sarvis from last month

here
, and an overview of the Sarvis and Kaplan campaigns from
just yesterday
here
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/06/libertarian-robert-sarvis-pulls-66-perce
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Beverly Hills City Council May Blanketly Ban E-Cigarettes Tonight

Beverly Hills City Council has an urgent matter at hand! At
tonight’s meeting, the council will consider an “interim urgency
ordinance” that will declare a “moratorium of the establishment and
further operation of any electronic cigarette retailer.”
Remarkably, they are giving retailers two weeks notice:

“In order to allow retailers to amortize any investment in
e-cigarettes made before the adoption of the ordinance, retailers
who purchased e-cigarettes for resale prior to the date of adoption
of the ordinance will be able to continue to sell such cigarettes
for a period of two weeks after the adoption of the ordinance.
Selling e-cigarettes beyond the two weeks is a misdemeanor and is
punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment for up to
six months, or both.”

Along with the suggested moratorium on vape shops, there is a
separate
agenda
item that will extend all present smoking regulations to
electronic cigarettes. Read the rest of the proposed ordinance

here
.

Proponents of e-cigarettes fear that rash, local legislation
like this will set a precedent that will severly impact the
industry as a whole. For all the reasons that e-cigarettes
shouldn’t be regulated, watch
E-Cigarettes: Second-hand Smoke, Vaping, and the Price of FDA
Regulations
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/beverly-hills-city-council-to-blanketly
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Everyone Knows Toronto's Mayor Is a Drunken Lout, but the Real Scandal Is That He Smoked Crack Once?

Which is more troubling: that
Toronto’s mayor has smoked crack on at least one occasion (as he

admitted
today) or that he attempts to mitigate that
transgression by saying he has a habit of getting so drunk that he
does stuff like that without remembering it? I’d say the latter
should be more worrisome to any Torontonian whose mind is not
clouded by arbitrary pharmacological prejudices. Here is what Mayor
Rob Ford told reporters today, after months of questions prompted
by a video that seemed to show him sucking on a crack pipe:

You asked me a question back in May, and you can repeat that
question. Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But no, do I—am I
an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably, in one of my drunken
stupors, probably approximately about a year ago….

I wasn’t lying—you didn’t ask the correct questions. No, I’m not
an addict, and no, I do not do drugs. I made mistakes in the past,
and all I can do is apologize, but it is what it is….

I don’t even remember. Some of the stuff that you guys have seen
me—the state I’ve been in? It’s a problem.

No kidding. The New York Times notes
“several public occasions during which Mr. Ford acted boorishly and
appeared to be impaired.” Now he is saying—in his own defense, mind
you—that he frequently stumbles around town in a stupor, so what do
you expect? For all we know, smoking crack is the least of what
demon rum has driven him to.

As exercises in blame shifting go, I prefer Marion Barry’s

complaint
, upon being caught on tape in a similarly
embarrassing situation, that the “bitch set me up,” which had the
virtue of being true. By contrast, Ford says he “probably” did what
he is shown doing on video and furthermore that it was “about a
year ago,” but he can’t really be sure, what with all the
out-of-control drinking. He combines that wishy-washy confession
with a Clintonian claim that he spoke the literal truth when he
misled the public. At least Ford did not say that he lit the pipe
but did not inhale.

Still, despite crack’s fearsome reputation as a drug that
inevitably enslaves its users, there is littlle reason to doubt
Ford’s assertion that his not an crack addict. As I noted yesterday
in my Forbes column,
the vast majority of crack users do not become heavy consumers, and
those who do typically cut back or stop on their own. According to
the National
Survey on Drug Use and Health
, just 3 percent of Americans who
have tried this supposedly irresistible and inescapable drug have
smoked it in the last month. Furthermore, research by Columbia
neuropsychopharmacologist Carl Hart shows that even heavy users can
moderate their behavior in response to incentives—something Ford
evidently has trouble doing with respect to alcohol. If a drug is
interfering with Ford’s ability to do his job, that drug does not
seem to be crack.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/everyone-knows-torontos-mayor-is-a-drunk
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Everyone Knows Toronto’s Mayor Is a Drunken Lout, but the Real Scandal Is That He Smoked Crack Once?

Which is more troubling: that
Toronto’s mayor has smoked crack on at least one occasion (as he

admitted
today) or that he attempts to mitigate that
transgression by saying he has a habit of getting so drunk that he
does stuff like that without remembering it? I’d say the latter
should be more worrisome to any Torontonian whose mind is not
clouded by arbitrary pharmacological prejudices. Here is what Mayor
Rob Ford told reporters today, after months of questions prompted
by a video that seemed to show him sucking on a crack pipe:

You asked me a question back in May, and you can repeat that
question. Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But no, do I—am I
an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably, in one of my drunken
stupors, probably approximately about a year ago….

I wasn’t lying—you didn’t ask the correct questions. No, I’m not
an addict, and no, I do not do drugs. I made mistakes in the past,
and all I can do is apologize, but it is what it is….

I don’t even remember. Some of the stuff that you guys have seen
me—the state I’ve been in? It’s a problem.

No kidding. The New York Times notes
“several public occasions during which Mr. Ford acted boorishly and
appeared to be impaired.” Now he is saying—in his own defense, mind
you—that he frequently stumbles around town in a stupor, so what do
you expect? For all we know, smoking crack is the least of what
demon rum has driven him to.

As exercises in blame shifting go, I prefer Marion Barry’s

complaint
, upon being caught on tape in a similarly
embarrassing situation, that the “bitch set me up,” which had the
virtue of being true. By contrast, Ford says he “probably” did what
he is shown doing on video and furthermore that it was “about a
year ago,” but he can’t really be sure, what with all the
out-of-control drinking. He combines that wishy-washy confession
with a Clintonian claim that he spoke the literal truth when he
misled the public. At least Ford did not say that he lit the pipe
but did not inhale.

Still, despite crack’s fearsome reputation as a drug that
inevitably enslaves its users, there is littlle reason to doubt
Ford’s assertion that his not an crack addict. As I noted yesterday
in my Forbes column,
the vast majority of crack users do not become heavy consumers, and
those who do typically cut back or stop on their own. According to
the National
Survey on Drug Use and Health
, just 3 percent of Americans who
have tried this supposedly irresistible and inescapable drug have
smoked it in the last month. Furthermore, research by Columbia
neuropsychopharmacologist Carl Hart shows that even heavy users can
moderate their behavior in response to incentives—something Ford
evidently has trouble doing with respect to alcohol. If a drug is
interfering with Ford’s ability to do his job, that drug does not
seem to be crack.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/everyone-knows-torontos-mayor-is-a-drunk
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Illinois House Approves Gay Marriage

The Illinois
House has voted 61-54 to allow same-sex marriage. The measure will
be sent back to the Senate to have the effective date changed.

Governor Pat Quinn has said he will sign the bill into law.

From the
AP
:

A historic vote Thursday in the Illinois House positioned that
state to become the largest in the heartland to legalize gay
marriage, following months of arduous lobbying efforts by both
sides in President Barack Obama’s home state.

Lawmakers voted 61-54 to send the measure back to the Senate to
change the bill’s effective date, just a technical change since the
chamber already approved the measure in February. The measure will
then head to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has pledged to sign it into the
law.

Follow these stories and more at Reason 24/7 and don’t forget you
can e-mail stories to us at 24_7@reason.com and tweet us
at @reason247

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/illinois-house-approves-gay-marriage
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Will Legalizing Pot Result in More or Less Drinking?

Among the eight
“enforcement priorities” that the Justice Department
expects
states to address in exchange for prosecutorial
restraint vis-á-vis newly legal pot businesses is “preventing
drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health
consequences associated with marijuana use.” Last week I
noted
an article in which two economists, D. Mark Anderson of
Montana State University and Daniel Rees of the University of
Colorado, predicted that, on balance, the “public health
consequences” of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington
will be positive, mainly because more pot smoking will be
accompanied by less drinking. The same issue of the Journal of
Policy Analysis and Management
 includes a less
sanguine take
on the question by Rosalie Liccardo Pacula,
co-director of the RAND Corporation’s Drug Policy Research Center,
and University of South Carolina criminologist Eric Sevigny. Pacula
and Sevigny warn that research in this area is complicated by the
fact that legal restrictions on cannabis in states with medical
marijuana laws vary across states and over time within the same
state:

We find that states restricting broad access to medical
marijuana by requiring annual registration of patients have lower
marijuana prevalence rates among youth and adult[s] and lower
admissions to treatment than states without such requirements.
However, states allowing home cultivation and legal dispensaries
are both positively associated with recreational use and, in
particular, heavy use.

Pacula and Sevigny also note that states with legally protected
dispensaries tend to see statistically significant drops in price
and increases in potency—which strike me as benefits of
legalization but look like costs to analysts who worry that
cheaper, stronger pot will magnify the hazards associated with
marijuana consumption. 

On the question of whether marijuana and alcohol are substitutes
or complements, Anderson and Rees think the former is more likely,
while Pacula and Sevigny say the evidence “remains mixed.”
Although they acknowledge that the hazards associated with
marijuana itself pale beside the cost of treating its production,
sale, and use as crimes, Pacula and Sevigny worry that the cost of
increased alcohol consumption could swamp the benefits of
legalization if more pot smoking is accompanied by more
drinking:

Although there are small recognized health costs associated with
using marijuana and treating dependence, these costs are dwarfed in
comparison to the criminal justice savings associated with
legalizing and regulating the substance. Even if consumption were
assumed to rise by 100 percent, the savings of liberalizing
policies would dwarf the known health costs associated with using
marijuana. However, all potential savings associated with marijuana
legalization could be entirely erased, and tremendous losses
incurred, if alcohol and marijuana turn out to be economic
complements, particularly for young adults.

Notably, both Colorado and Washington plan to tax marijuana at

a much higher rate
than alcohol, which is just the opposite of
what Anderson, Rees, Pacula, and Sevigny presumably would
recommend. Anderson and Rees note the disparity (citations
omitted):

The current excise tax on liquor sold in Colorado is 60.26
cents/l, which represents roughly 3 percent of the retail price of
Jim Beam Whiskey purchased by the bottle. In comparison, Colorado
is set to impose a 15 percent excise tax and a 10 percent special
sales tax on marijuana sales. Washington is considering taxing
producers, sellers, and buyers at a total rate of 75 percent.

Today Colorado voters are deciding whether to approve the
proposed excise and sales taxes, both of which can be raised as
high as 15 percent. Based on how those taxes will affect retail
prices, they are 10
times
as high as the state tax on distilled spirits, by
far the most heavily taxed alcoholic beverage. And that’s before
considering local marijuana taxes, which in Denver (assuming voters
approve) will add another sales tax of up to 15 percent.

I am no fan of social engineering through taxation. But it’s
pretty clear that Colorado and Washington are not even trying to
set tax rates based on the relative hazards posed by these
products.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/will-legalizing-pot-result-in-more-or-le
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Climate Change "Alarmists" For Nuclear Power

Nuclear PowerNo one would accuse climate researchers
James Hansen, Kerry Emanuel, Ken Caldeira, and Tom Wigley of
moderation when it comes to banging the climate crisis drum. The
four have now issued an open
letter challenging the broad environmental movement
to stop
fighting nuclear power and embrace it as a crucial technology for
averting the possibility of a climate catastrophe by supplying
zero-carbon energy. From the letter:

As climate and energy scientists concerned with global climate
change, we are writing to urge you to advocate the development and
deployment of safer nuclear energy systems. We appreciate your
organization’s concern about global warming, and your advocacy of
renewable energy. But continued opposition to nuclear power
threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change.

We call on your organization to support the development and
deployment of safer nuclear power systems as a practical means of
addressing the climate change problem. Global demand for energy is
growing rapidly and must continue to grow to provide the needs of
developing economies. At the same time, the need to sharply reduce
greenhouse gas emissions is becoming ever clearer. We can only
increase energy supply while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas
emissions if new power plants turn away from using the atmosphere
as a waste dump.

Renewables like wind and solar and biomass will certainly play
roles in a future energy economy, but those energy sources cannot
scale up fast enough to deliver cheap and reliable power at the
scale the global economy requires. While it may be theoretically
possible to stabilize the climate without nuclear power, in the
real world there is no credible path to climate stabilization that
does not include a substantial role for nuclear power.

Well, yes. Just last week, I argued that solar and wind power
are “Not
Ready For Prime Time Renewable Energy Technologies
.”

The whole letter makes interesting reading.

Back in 2009, I pointed out “The
Cultural Contradictions of Anti-Nuke Environmentalists
,” in
which they were proud of the fact that they had killed off the
nuclear power industry. Had the industry developed as projected,
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions that they worry about would already
be at least one-third lower than they are now.

One other observation: Using current technologies, nuclear
socialism is more likely to result in adequate energy supplies than
is solar socialism.

For more background, see Reason contributor John
McClaughry’s
review of Superfuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the
Future
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/climate-change-alarmists-for-nuclear-pow
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Climate Change “Alarmists” For Nuclear Power

Nuclear PowerNo one would accuse climate researchers
James Hansen, Kerry Emanuel, Ken Caldeira, and Tom Wigley of
moderation when it comes to banging the climate crisis drum. The
four have now issued an open
letter challenging the broad environmental movement
to stop
fighting nuclear power and embrace it as a crucial technology for
averting the possibility of a climate catastrophe by supplying
zero-carbon energy. From the letter:

As climate and energy scientists concerned with global climate
change, we are writing to urge you to advocate the development and
deployment of safer nuclear energy systems. We appreciate your
organization’s concern about global warming, and your advocacy of
renewable energy. But continued opposition to nuclear power
threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change.

We call on your organization to support the development and
deployment of safer nuclear power systems as a practical means of
addressing the climate change problem. Global demand for energy is
growing rapidly and must continue to grow to provide the needs of
developing economies. At the same time, the need to sharply reduce
greenhouse gas emissions is becoming ever clearer. We can only
increase energy supply while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas
emissions if new power plants turn away from using the atmosphere
as a waste dump.

Renewables like wind and solar and biomass will certainly play
roles in a future energy economy, but those energy sources cannot
scale up fast enough to deliver cheap and reliable power at the
scale the global economy requires. While it may be theoretically
possible to stabilize the climate without nuclear power, in the
real world there is no credible path to climate stabilization that
does not include a substantial role for nuclear power.

Well, yes. Just last week, I argued that solar and wind power
are “Not
Ready For Prime Time Renewable Energy Technologies
.”

The whole letter makes interesting reading.

Back in 2009, I pointed out “The
Cultural Contradictions of Anti-Nuke Environmentalists
,” in
which they were proud of the fact that they had killed off the
nuclear power industry. Had the industry developed as projected,
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions that they worry about would already
be at least one-third lower than they are now.

One other observation: Using current technologies, nuclear
socialism is more likely to result in adequate energy supplies than
is solar socialism.

For more background, see Reason contributor John
McClaughry’s
review of Superfuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the
Future
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/climate-change-alarmists-for-nuclear-pow
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In Unintended, But Totally Expected, Consequences: Condé Nast Eliminates Internship Program

Condé Nast, the globally renowned media publisher
that produces magazines like Glamour, The New Yorker, and
Wired, announced late last month that it
will no
longer offer
its internship program. The decision comes in
response to a lawsuit filed by two former interns, Lauren Ballinger
and Matthew Leib; in June, the interns
sued
Condé Nast for months of backpay, alleging that the
publisher violated federal and state labor laws.

The Wall Street Journal
reports
:

Mr. Leib alleged that the New Yorker paid him well below minimum
wage—in stipends of $300 to $500—for each of the two summers he had
worked at the prestigious weekly, where he reviewed and proofread
articles. Ms. Ballinger alleged in the complaint that she was paid
$12 a day for shifts of 12 hours or more at the fashion
magazine.

The case is still pending, but Condé Nast’s decision has been
made. The current crop of interns will not be affected – they will
just be the program’s final participants.

The details of what Condé Nast will do moving forward are
unclear though. Will they replace the internships with more
competitive paid positions? Or will the publisher simply reshuffle
their existing workforce? The company has been silent since the
announcement.

Reactions have so far been mixed. Numerous former Condé Nast
interns have lamented that the elimination will mean lost
opportunities for future students. “It’s disappointing and kind of
ridiculous that it had to come to this,” Rachel Rowlands, a senior
at the University of Michigan who interned at Glamour
Magazine
this summer,
told
 USA Today. “I had an amazing experience at
Condé Nast, and I honestly feel bad that other college students
won’t be able to have the same experience that I did.”

Dylan Byer, a media reporter at Politico who completed
internships at The New Yorker,
told
the New York Times that he valued his experience
and disagrees with the lawsuits. For people to accept the terms of
an internship and then turn around and retroactively sue their
employer seems “disingenuous,” he said.

Yet another former intern told Buzzfeed that her
internship prepared her for the reality that the
print media industry doesn’t pay very well
, even for full-time
employees:

“A few years [after completing my Condé internship], I
interviewed for a job as a features assistant
at Vogue… an editor asked me what my parents
did before telling me how much money I’d make: $25,000 a year.”

Indeed, a brief perusal of Condé Nast’s average salaries shows
that Editorial Assistants
don’t even crack $30,000 per year
.

Even those advocating against unpaid internships expressed their
frustration and apparent surprise at the news.

The
Fair Pay Campaign
, a student-run organization with the rallying
cry “No-one should have their dreams denied because they can’t
afford to work for free,”
tweeted
:

SHAME on Condé Nast for ending their internship program, instead
of paying a living wage.#payyourinterns

Likewise, the lead attorney representing Leib and Ballinger,

told
the Wall Street Journal:

Our goal isn’t to end internship programs. Our goal is to…make
sure they’re legal, either by paying minimum wage or making sure
they meet the criteria the Department of Labor has spelled out.

Condé Nast is the first major firm to eliminate its internship
program since the
flurry of unpaid intern lawsuits
sprung up this summer.
However, lawyers and

employers
 are predicting that many firms may start to cut
their programs – or offer just a few paid positions instead of many
unpaid ones. So despite advocates’ desire to open doors for
struggling students, it seems the
“Great Unpaid-Intern Uprising”
 may result in employers
closing off opportunities altogether. 

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/in-unintended-but-totally-expected-conse
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