Don’t Believe The Media Hype About Rand Paul Hypocrisy

rand reporters

The media may be tipping their hand at how they’re going to treat Rand Paul during the 2016 election cycle. Purity testing and alleged hypocrisy.

It started last month when Time.com put out an article on the Kentucky Senator’s proposal to increase defense spending. The piece claims Paul did an “about-face” and a “stunning reversal” from past stances on giving money to the Pentagon.

But that isn’t what Paul did.

He did propose $190-billion in defense spending, but tacked on $212-billion in cuts from other places, including foreign aid, HUD, and the EPA. Paul’s reasoning is simple: if the U.S. is going spend money on something, it needs to be able to pay for it. This is sound policy and certainly better than Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s proposal to increase spending without cuts.

It’s interesting Time didn’t bother getting a quote from Paul’s office. They instead just wrote the office confirmed the amendment was his, without getting context. Both Reason and Huffington Post were willing to get quotes from Paul’s office. That should say something about the context of how Time is treating Paul.

For those who are angry about Paul’s proposal, it’s important to remember he’s in the minority of the majority. He’s a libertarian, who is surrounded by people who aren’t. Paul may want to drastically cut the federal government back to sustainable areas, but he’s one man.

ICANN, Meet Your New Master, the FCC

ICANN

 

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an executive branch agency within the Department of Commerce, sparked controversy last year when it announced its intent to transition its oversight of Internet domain names to “the global multistakeholder community.” The controversy is now over. The NTIA no longer has authority to relinquish U.S. control over the Internet domain name system. Though few seem to have realized it, the FCC assumed plenary jurisdiction over Internet numbering in its 2015 net neutrality order reclassifying the broadband Internet as telecommunications (Reclassification Order).

Internet Domain System

The NTIA’s oversight of the Internet domain system includes the assignment of IP numbers and the system for registering domain names. Each device connected to the Internet has a uniquely identifiable IP address. Domain names allow users to identify these numbers using easy-to-understand names (e.g., www.cbit.org) rather than a string of numbers and/or letters. “In this way, it functions similar to an ‘address book’ for the Internet.”

Matt Lewis Is Right: Rand Paul Is Wrong on Term Limits, Here’s Why

(Editor’s note: this post first appeared on George Scoville’s personal blog.)

The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis has a really important piece up this morning critiquing Rand Paul’s rhetoric on congressional term limits from Paul’s announcement of his 2016 presidential campaign yesterday. During his speech, Paul said, “We limit the president to two terms … It is about time we limit the terms of Congress.”

Here are the counterpoints Lewis offers (emphasis added):

Rebuttal: The LGBT Mafia Demands Conformity or Destruction

tolerance

We are a diverse group here at United Liberty, and we’re not afraid to challenge each other. That said, this is a rebuttal to an earlier post on the RFRA fracas in Indiana. Debate is democracy.

 

“No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance.” ~ Alan Bullock, British Historian

 

Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last time, the political Left (and some libertarian allies) have attempted to declare victory on an issue by redefining the terms, maligning dissenters, and using strong-arm tactics to suppress dissent in the debate over homosexual “marriage” and “gay rights”. Watching the hysteria and outrage over Indiana’s recently signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act, one would think conservative Christians were attacking homosexuals with fire hoses and attack dogs.

So it is that I must respectfully take issue with the assertions of my more socially liberal friends, who paint the RFRA legislation as an instrument of discrimination, relegating homosexuals (and bisexuals and transgendered, and the dozens of other sub-categories of sexual “identities” that one may now claim to have – like a Baskin Robbins of sexual preferences) to the status of “second class citizenship”.

For Obama, the Answer to the Iran Question is Clear. The Middle East Isn’t as Optimistic.

Iran nukes

As I write this, President Obama is speaking from the Rose Garden — very proudly — of the preliminary deal that has been reached with Iran in the nuclear talks that some predicted might be pushed back to this summer:

The talks have been on shaky ground in recent days, with U.S. lawmakers worried Iran was making unreasonable demands and some even urging the U.S. delegation to “walk away” from the negotiating table.

Even the White House warned that they were prepared to do so if Iran did not start negotiating in good faith.

Pressured by congressional critics in the U.S. who threaten to impose new sanctions on Iran over what they say is a bad emerging deal, the Obama administration is demanding significant public disclosure of agreements and understandings reached at the current round. But the officials say Iran wants a minimum made public.

The talks resumed several hours after a flurry of marathon overnight sessions between Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, as well as other meetings among the six powers.

Details are still emerging but one thing seems certain: President Obama is selling this as a great win for diplomacy, and not the scary pathway to the bomb so many fear it is.

“Our work is not yet done,” says Obama.

Let’s hope that’s true because the people in the region that have a real, pressing interest in the relative power of the IRanian regime, are understandably concerned.

Because We’re Not Afraid of Debate: RFRA Madness —Marriage Support May Suffer, But That’s a Good Thing

RFRA desormeaux

 

This was originally posted at Cynicus Prime.

One of the most startling memes I’ve seen in the wake of the Indiana RFRA debate is the swift retreat by many conservatives from their previously stated support for same-sex marriage equality. Many analysts expect this kind of pushback when an issue becomes as heated as this one has. The pendulum swings back and forth, they say, and perhaps RFRA was the top of the equal rights swing and now the descent begins. Maybe, maybe not. But the pushback we’ve seen here is incredibly instructive, and ultimately worth the price for an honest public debate.

I couldn’t scroll my Twitter timeline at any point on Wednesday without someone saying they were now rethinking or abandoning their support for gay marriage after Indiana. They had reluctantly agreed that marriage would be ok, but to have their businesses hired to (not at all) participate in them? Fascism! Totalitarianism!

At first blush, this sounds like an unfortunate setback for the LGBT equal rights movement. Polls may soon show a softening of national support for marriage equality. Well, I say it’s about time. The emergent consensus was a fairy tale. It was too good to be true.

April Fool’s? Ron Paul Endorses Ted Cruz

ron paul

 

We’ll just have to wait and see…

Early Wednesday morning, former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) shocked the political world by endorsing Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for President. The move is of marked significance, as Dr. Paul’s son Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is expected to announce his candidacy early next week.

The elder Paul quickly articulated the reasoning for his endorsement, stating that he had “read hundreds of Facebook and Reddit comments” which suggested that his son was a “neo-con establishment statist” and “not Ron Paul.” Ron Paul thereby used the articulate and well-reasoned opinions of these online libertarians to come to the realization that he could not endorse Rand Paul.

Just in Time for Hillary to Declare: Bill Clinton and the Retroactive Application of Mitchell’s Golden Rule

This was originally posted at International Liberty.

 

It’s amazingly simple to reduce the burden of government spending. Policy makers simply need to impose some modest spending restraint so that government doesn’t grow faster than the economy’s productive sector.

In a display of humility that can only be found in Washington, DC, I call this Mitchell’s Golden Rule.

And, amazingly, even the International Monetary Fund agrees that spending caps are the most effective strategy for good fiscal policy.

Since I’m not a fan of the IMF, this is definitely a case of strange bedfellows!

Let’s look at some case studies of what happens when there are limits on the growth of government.

A review of data for 16 nations reveals that multi-year periods of spending restraint lead to lower fiscal burdens and less red ink.

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are Staking Out the Same Ground, Just Not Exactly in the Same Way

paul and cruz

While there are varying opinions about just how much support Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul may — or may not — have in regard to running for president in 2016, those opinions begin to coalesce when it comes to what kind of policy position both men may be staking out in the run-up to that contest. Mostly because the men themselves are already taking a stand:

In the brouhaha last week over Sen. Rand Paul’s defense-spending amendment (with offsetting cuts), an interesting dynamic got a bit overlooked. And that is: Outside of the blatant trolling exercise of the budget-amendment process, when it came time to pass a budget resolution for 2016 and the next decade, the only GOP senators voting “no” were Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

Apparently Cruz would like to see a long-term reigning in of entitlement spending, Paul is more interested in making sure that whatever defense spending we alot funds toward, we are responsible in actually paying for it, rather than just kicking those costs down the road.

Radical stuff, folks. Making sure we can afford what we’re buying and actually paying for it. What madness is this?

Time to Sell Economic Growth

lower taxes for dummies

While many people like to pay attention to polls so that they can end up offering tidbits of information to their friends with relatively easy to understand numbers, when it comes to activists, polls often guide policy decisions. Right now, activists that are concerned with the concept of promoting small business growth should be leaping to sway the public and politicians toward initiatives involving tax reform. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, public opinion is trending toward cutting government spending, and decreasing taxes.

This is a concept that Libertarians and free market activists have been pointing out forever, and it seems the public is getting the message, since 52% of voters now believe that cutting government spending helps the economy. However, there is a minor dissonance in these results, since about 47% of voters would support a candidate that would tax the rich more, while dropping taxes for others - that number is up from 44% in December. So, while people are getting that taxes hurt the economy, they aren’t quite comprehending that the governmental definition of “rich” as far as taxation is concerned could include the family-owned coffee shop down the street that only employs a handful of people.

 


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