Shortly before 3 p.m. [Monday], the men and women of the Cato Institute strolled into the renovated Friedrich von Hayek Auditorium to confirm their good news. Five days earlier, the Washington Post broke news of a settlement between David Koch, Charles Koch, and America’s largest, longest-lived libertarian think tank. Ed Crane, 68, Cato’s president since its 1977 genesis in San Francisco, would step down. His replacement would be John Allison, 64, a banker who’d endowed college courses on the work of Ayn Rand.
“I didn’t see today as Ed’s swan song,” says Levy. “He’s going to stay on for a while as CEO, and after that, he’s going to remain a very important consultant on fundraising and other issues.” What about all of that public Jell-O wrestling with two of the planet’s richest men? “We’ve gotten past that.” David Koch had stopped donating to Cato, but “if everybody behaves in a way that was contemplated, he’ll be a supporter in the future as he was in the past.”
Archives for June 2012
Michelle Fields was born in Los Angeles and received her degree in Political Science from Pepperdine University in 2011. She contributed video work for Reason TV and joined the Daily Caller in mid 2011. The Daily Caller, a 24-hour conservative news and commentary website funded by Foster Friess, was founded by Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel.
In between breaking stories at the Daily Caller and kicking liberal butt on Fox News, she tweets @MichelleFields.
Matt Naugle: How did you become a libertarian?
Michelle Fields: My older brother, Michael, is a libertarian and introduced me to Ayn Rand and Robert Nozick’s “Anarchy, State & Utopia.”
MN: You became a viral internet celebrity clashing with Matt Damon over tenured teachers. Did his harsh reaction surprise you?
MF: It did surprise me. I thought that I had asked a fair question. I understand where he was coming from, there are a lot of teachers out there who joined the profession out of a love for teaching. However, I don’t think that all teachers are impervious to economic incentives
MN: You have also recorded educational videos for the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. In your experience, do most people have a firm grasp of economics?
Following the three days of oral arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I made some predictions on how the Supreme Court would rule on each of the four questions they would consider. But after spending some time reading the vast commentary on the case, I wanted to take another look at the two most pressing questions.
First, my predictions on the specific arguments dealing with the Anti-Injuction Act and Medicaid expansion statues in the law are unchanged. The Supreme Court will almost certainly reject the argument, either unanimously or in an 8 to 1 decision, that the Anti-Injuction Act prevents a challenge until tax provisions in the law kick in.
On the Medicaid statues, I still believe a six-vote majority will reject the challenge brought forward by 26 states that expansion of the government-funded program impedes on their sovereignty. The only way that states will “win” that argument is if the High Court strikes down the law in its entirety.
On the Individual Mandate: I had previously written that the Supreme Court would, in a 5-4 decision, strike down the individual mandate. While I still think that’s the case, I’m much less confident that Justice Anthony Kennedy wasn’t able to create some sort of “limiting principle” on the Commerce Clause. If Kennedy does plan to vote in favor of the mandate, Roberts, who is expected to write the opinion, may indeed join him.
With that said Roberts’ may actually be more of a tip of the cards here since he expressed a lot of doubt about the individual mandate during oral arguments.
Before Rep. Michele Bachmann entered the race for the Republican nomination last year, the consensus was that was she would face a tough bid for re-election. Some evens speculated that her presidential bid was last hurrah. But Bachmann, who we haven’t covered since her exit from the GOP race, is indeed running for re-election, and the latest polling out of her district shows her with a small lead:
A new Democratic poll suggests Rep. Michele Bachmann could face a serious fight for reelection this fall, a finding sure to re-start the debate over whether the controversial Minnesota Republican can truly be beaten or whether she is simply the Democrats’ white whale.
In polling conducted by Anna Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosen Research Bachmann leads Minneapolis hotel magnate Jim Graves (D) 48 percent to 43 percent. A third (34 percent) of voters in the district rate her performance as “poor,” although 39 percent call it “excellent” or good.”
This poll will likely only embolden Democrats who would love, for largely symbolic reasons, to see Bachmann lose. Her outspoken conservatism, which was on full display during her 2012 presidential bid, has made her a enemy number one — or close to it — for many Democratic strategists and activists around the country.
The Supreme Court will hand down its ruling tomorrow in the case against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care (PPACA). As one might imagine, there is still a lot of speculation about where the ruling might fall. The latest poll on the matter, this coming from the Wall Street Journal and NBC, shows that a plurality of Americans would feel more comfortable if the High Court threw out the law. Republicans have already put together talking points on repeal of the law, anticipating that only the individual mandate will be tossed.
The law is indeed bad news, and not just from a legal perspective. Whether or not the Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare, it’s not going to prevent health care costs from rising. And then, after the constitutional concerns, we have the more immediate fiscal issues with the law, such as the fact that it raises taxes and fees in tough economic times and is largely a fiscal boondoggle. While theses issues are certainly a big factor driving opposition to ObamaCare, they are not the concern of the Supreme Court, which is tasked the the constitutionality of the law and whether or not it is severable.
Apparently a reporter at the New York Times Magazine didn’t get the memo that left-wing feminist hack Sandra Fluke’s 15 minutes were long past up. The reporter, Andrew Goldman, tracked Sandra down to get her er…..thoughts on some issues related to her call for the American people to pay for her birth control.
First up: About Rush Limbaugh’s despicable comments calling her a “slut” and attempts to have him taken off the air.
Free speech is a complex area legally, but it’s important to recognize that there are distinctions between one’s ability to express an opinion versus one’s ability to use F.C.C.-regulated airwaves to do so, and also one’s ability to engage in speech versus one’s ability to engage in slander.
First of all, there is no moral defense for what Rush Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke. If Rush Limbaugh called my mother, wife, daughter, girlfriend, sister, or any other woman I care about a slut, I would have some choice words for him. As a Southern boy, I was raised by my single mom to show women respect. However, I will defend to my death Rush Limbaugh’s right to free speech.
A little more than a week after the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee voted Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over failing to disclose documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal, House Republicans have scheduled a vote to come before the full chamber on Thursday:
A spokeswoman for Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) confirmed on Monday that the vote is scheduled for Thursday. Republicans have said the vote could be postponed if Holder complies with subpoenas issued by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, but President Obama has invoked executive privilege to shield Holder from releasing them.
The vote will likely coincide with a Supreme Court ruling on Obama’s healthcare law. That ruling is likely to overshadow the House vote, but a contempt citation could compound a politically disastrous day for Obama if the court overturns the healthcare law.
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who is responsible for whipping votes in his caucus, conceded yesterday that there will be some members of his party in the House that vote for the contempt resolution. Hoyer says that since the National Rifle Association (NRA) is scoring the vote, those in tough re-election bids where gun rights are a big deal need the good marks.
“We go from having a crush to being crushed,” said former Green Czar Van Jones in Politico:
It’s been an interesting several days for Democrats. Last week began an avalanche of elected officials declaring that they would not attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A few West Virginia Democrats — Sen. Joe Manchin, Rep. Nick Rahall, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin — recently kicked off the trend. Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Critz joined just a few days later. New York Reps. Bill Owens and Kathy Hochul joined the crowd the following day. And yesterday, three more joined Georgia Rep. John Barrow, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, and Montana Sen. Jon Tester announced that they would not attend the Democratic National Convention. Heidi Heitkamp, a Senate hopeful from North Dakota, also says she won’t be making the trip to Charlotte.
Among the opinions issued by the Supreme Court on Monday was the decision in American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock, which overturns a Montana law that barred corporations from participating in elections in the state:
The Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed the right of corporations to make independent political expenditures, summarily overturning a 100-year-old Montana state law that barred corporations from such political activity.
The justices ruled in an unsigned opinion that Montana’s law was in conflict with the court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which shifted the campaign finance landscape, opening the door to the massive political expenditures that have been shaping this year’s presidential race. The decision was 5-4, split along ideological lines.
Despite the Citizens United decision, the Montana Supreme Court had refused to strike down the state’s ban on election spending by corporations. Its judges cited Montana’s history of “copper kings” who bribed legislators. Advocates of campaign finance reform had hoped that the current wave of election-related spending would help make their case for the need to reconsider Citizens United.
Still, it was considered highly unlikely that the court, in its current configuration, would reverse itself on such a recent ruling.
The court issued a summary reversal without waiting to hear oral arguments in the case.
Over at the Cato Institute, John Samples explains the decision:
After some speculation, we now have an idea of some of the changes that will be made at the Cato Institute as a result of the lawsuit filed by Charles and David Koch. We had heard rumors in recent days, much of which was true.
Dave Weigel offered up some details on the campfire that was held yesterday at Cato to explain to employees what had transpired and how they would move forward under the terms of the agreement: