Texas is trending libertarian, y’all

Texas been Democratic, it’s been Republican, it’s been a territory and a republic, but it’s always been pretty conservative. We like our guns and our families and don’t take kindly to criminals. That’s still true, but a shift is taking place in the Greatest State in the Union™ that is redefining those terms in a way that makes the state lean libertarian instead of conservative.

In the latest poll conducted by the Texas Tribune, same-sex marriage is now supported by a slim plurality of Texas voters. 44% support it, 41% oppose, and 14% are unsure. Just nine months ago, the opposite was true, with only 42% supporting and 47% opposing expanding marriage rights.


The same June poll also found more than two-thirds of voters favor reducing penalties for marijuana possession from possible jail time to civil fines. Only 26% would oppose such a decriminalization. In a previous February 2014 poll, the Tribune also found that nearly a majority of Texans oppose full legalization of small amounts of marijuana. 49% think it should be either completely legal or in only small quantities, and another 28% think it should be legal for medicinal use. Only 23% of Texas voters think marijuana should be completely illegal.


The War Over the Confederate Battle Flag Escalates


It’s a shame it took the violent deaths of nine people to do it, but it looks like 150 years after the end of the Civil War the days of the Confederate battle flag are finally coming to an end. South Carolina, where the racist massacre occurred is swiftly moving to take down the flag outside their state capitol. Lawmakers in Virginia and Missisippi are proposing similar action to remove the symbol from their official state business.

This is fantastic news. State governments have no business using the symbol of a treasonous and racially-motivated war, no matter how much they try to spin it as part of their “heritage”. The Confederacy should be a period of shame, not pride, to any moral and especially Christian southerners. Its relics belong in museums to remind us of the darkest moments of our past, not as part of our current identity on state flags, license plates, capitol buildings, and the honorific names of schools, military bases, and other government buildings.

CBO Report on Repealing Obamacare and Voxsplaining Muddy Interpretations


The Supreme Court decision on ACA — The Affordable Care Act or the always evocative Obamacare — could be handed down this morning and, because no one seems to have a really good read on which way The Court will go  (Chief Justice Roberts shocked many a conservative the last time he took a long, hard look at this legislation, remember?), there have been some rather interesting stories coming out in preparation for whatever the decision may be.

The Huffington Post, for example, calls the divide over the public’s taste for the law “ambivalence”, and suggests it really comes down to partisanship. Of course, saying that someone likes or dislikes Obamacare BECAUSE they’re one party or the other is silly. It’s probably more true to say someone identifies with one party over another BECAUSE of policies like Obamacare:

The Supreme Court could issue a ruling in King v. Burwell, the lawsuit threatening to undermine a key part of the Affordable Care Act, as early as Monday. But the debate over President Barack Obama’s controversial health care law is likely to continue no matter how the justices rule. And one reason is that Americans, on the whole, remain deeply ambivalent about it…

The first and more obvious factor is partisanship. No single characteristic better predicts how a person feels about the health care law than his or her partisan affiliation. Republicans tend to think the law is a failure, while Democrats tend to think it’s a success — most likely because they are reacting to the party leaders and news sources they trust and distrust and because they have genuine philosophical differences about the law’s virtues.

One Take: The Supreme Court Will Not Redefine Marriage


Any day now, the United States Supreme Court will issue its ruling on one of the most controversial issues in recent memory - the legal definition of “marriage”. If asked, most Americans would probably say the issue was decided a few years ago when the Supreme Court ruled in Windsor v. United States that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. However, that case did not decide the legal definition of marriage; it ruled on whether the federal government could deny spousal benefits to spouses of same-sex federal employees in states where homosexual “marriage” was legal. Since then, one federal court after another struck down the marriage laws in dozens of states, the judges substituting their philosophical preferences the clear text of the Constitution. Those dominoes stopped falling with a ruling by a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals last November.

Writing for the majority, Judge Jeffrey Sutton stated

United Liberty Owner Going Grassroots

pensive rand paul

Concerned American Voters is making waves as the new Super PAC on the block. Beyond filling a need in the Rand Paul campaign, it’s also gathering talent from all around the liberty movement. United Liberty’s own Martin Avila is joining the team as their Senior Tech Strategist - a generally unsurprising move since Avila did work for the Ron Paul 2008 campaign.

Avila will be joining Matt Kibbe, who is leaving FreedomWorks to join the newly formed Super PAC as their Senior Advisor. “Politics is more decentralized today and that makes insurgent candidates like Rand Paul more competitive,” Kibbe stated. “This is a big test for the liberty movement and I think our moment to deliver is now.”

As for the United Liberty family of writers, while Avila will be working with Concerned American Voters PAC, the UL site will continue to offer free thoughts on free markets and smaller government, even if the writers don’t happen to agree with the PAC. “I think we deserve all fair scrutiny just like any other organization,” Kibbe explained.

While Avila is not leaving UL behind, he also isn’t starting work with strangers. He and Kibbe have both worked together before, and with the PAC’s president, Jeff Frazee. Kibbe comes from FreedomWorks, Frazee comes from Young Americans for Liberty, and Avila has worked with both organizations.

As We Await Word on The King v. Burwell Decision, Let’s Revisit Why It’s Before SCOTUS: The Disaster of Cover Oregon

cover oregon

Like dominos crashing in a row, many States are realizing their Obamacare exchanges are either bleeding money, on the brink of insolvency, or sadly shutting down their State controlled operations and placing their citizens’ healthcare under the federal exchange and Washington bureaucrats.

According to a recent and important story in The Hill, many of the 13 states that established their own health care exchanges under ObamaCare are fearful they won’t survive when federal dollars dry up next year. Hawaii is the most recent to give up independent operations. Democratic Gov. David Ide put it best when he revealed the Health Connector was “unable to generate sufficient revenues to sustain operations.”

Hawaii isn’t the only exchange experiencing trouble in paradise. Nevada discovered more than 1,500 defects embedded in the site last year and joined the federal exchange. Colorado, Minnesota, and Vermont are next likely to remove the constant and ever-increasing drain on their state’s budget and shutter their failed exchanges. But none of these failures are close to matching the man-made disaster that is Cover Oregon, the Beaver State’s version of ObamaCare.

The story of Oregon’s health care portal is a story of waste, fraud, and potentially criminal abuse. Once the darling of the Obama White House, the truth has been steadily emerging. Congressional hearings should not merely detail the vast waste of taxpayers dollars but shine sunlight on facts so blatantly illegal that even President Obama’s own Department of Justice will be forced to finally begin necessary criminal proceedings in this case.




Hillary 2016: Inevitable? Not So Much.

“Mrs. Clinton, can you please tell us why you believe you’d be a good president, rather than a third term of President Obama’s economically and socially disastrous presidency?”

Editor’s Note: Originally published at The Ancient & Noble Order of the Gormogons.


‘Puter’s Democrat friends are pushing Hillary Clinton like mad. “Hillary’s the greatest thing EVAH!!1! and will totes beat any Republican,” they tell ‘Puter. Are ‘Puter’s friends right? Is a Hillary Clinton presidency inevitable?

‘Puter thinks Mrs. Clinton’s in far more trouble in 2016 than Democrats want to admit. Here’s why.

Jeb’s Exclamation Point Turned Out to Be Accurate: “I Will Run To Win”


“It is time to start making rules for the rulemakers.” - Jeb Bush

Well, he’s in. Offically.

As his mother, Barbara, the former first lady, looked on, Mr. Bush directly confronted the central doubt looming over his campaign: that he presents the latest incarnation of a tired dynasty and is entitled to the Republican nomination by virtue of his surname.

“Not a one of us deserves the job by right of resume, party, seniority, family, or family narrative,” Mr. Bush said inside a community college gymnasium. “It’s nobody’s turn. It’s everybody’s test.”

In declaring his presidential bid before a cheering crowd at Miami Dade College, Mr. Bush promised to remove Washington as an obstacle to effective government and economic prosperity by declaring that “America deserves better.”

He said all the right things to keep the base interested — small government, disrupting the culture of Washington, staying true to his principles, Obamacare and religious freedom, teaching Congress how to use veto power to protect taxpayers, a dwindling military, renewing ties with allies around the world, etc. — but he was also quite savvy on some of the issues he knows the base cocks an eyebrow toward, namely immigration and education.

But he handled those fairly comfortably as well, speaking to the humanity of special needs children and answering immigration hecklers attacking him from the left with a promise to pass immigration reform:

No, Tennessee Does Not Have the “Most Regressive” Tax System

[Editor’s note: This piece originally appeared on the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s blog.]


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