Today in Liberty: Harry Reid is the new Nancy Pelosi, taxpayers subsidize state-owned businesses

Today in Liberty is a daily roundup of recent political news and other interesting stories presented with liberty-minded commentary. We frequently keep tabs on liberty-minded politicians and candidates in these updates. We also inject some humor on occasion. Click here to receive Today in Liberty every weekday morning via email.

— Harry Reid is the new hotness: The Senate majority leader is the villain in this year’s mid-term election, in case you haven’t already noticed, and he’s one that can be used in both House and Senate races. “A GOP strategist said Pelosi is still No. 2 on the list of liberal villains that scare conservative donors into action, after President Obama. But others say Reid has become a more compelling bogeyman,” The Hill explains. “The main reason? Pelosi no longer runs the House after the GOP reclaimed the lower chamber in 2010. Republicans have been unable to strip Reid of his majority leader title, but they think this will be the year they do that.”

— Al Gore is still around: And he’s stull super serial about climate change. After three  pretentious opening paragraphs, Politico Magazine catches us up on what former Vice President Al Gore is doing these days and his frustrations with the lack of action on climate change. Basically, big money and the Koch brothers are blamed. Oh, and when asked if he’ll run for president again, Gore said this: “I am a recovering politician. And the longer I avoid a relapse the more confidence that I will not succumb to the temptation to run yet again. But I’m a recovering politician. I’ll just leave it at that.”

— Chris Hayes wants you to die: Yeah, it may be hyperbolic, but his most recent missive at The Nation, in which he compares the environmental movement’s push to rid the world of fossil fuels to slavery abolitionists, is basically nothing more than a rant against mankind. “As simply as possible: It took 2 million years or so of human history for the population of Planet Earth to reach 1 billion, early in the 19th century. A few years prior to that landmark, the continuous-rotation steam engine was invented. And by the strangest coincidence, that population number went on to increase seven-fold in only 200 years,” writes Tim Cavanaugh at National Review. “A perceptive person might conclude that internal combustion and the use of fossil fuels had something to do with that progress, at least by providing a range of options beyond freezing, starving, dying in infancy, or any of the other indignities that constitute most of human experience in a state of nature. A person in an expansive mood might even say exploitation of fossil fuels is a miracle, enabling transnational markets for food, widespread travel and education, heavier-than-air flight, full-time employment for left-wing commentators, and even the abolition of slavery.”

— Wait! There’s more!: Washington Post reporters who’ve covered the NSA documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden say that there’s even more revelations on the way. “The reason stories are still coming out is cause there’s a lot of material and we are not casual about putting it out on the public record,” said Barton Gellman, “[but] there’s more.” There was an agreement between Snowden, the Post, Glenn Greenwald that the information would be released slowly. Gellman and Greenwald’s respective papers shared a Pulitzer Prize because of their reporting on the NSA surveillance revelations.

— PAC to help pro-gay rights Republicans: American Unity PAC plans to drop big money to assist pro-gay rights Republicans running in races across the country. “The pro-gay rights group American Unity PAC has decided its initial congressional targets to support this year, with plans to spend at least $500,000 in both Massachusetts and California,” Politico reports. “The initial expenditure by the Republican-leaning group will be on behalf of Republicans Richard Tisei in Massachusetts’s 6th District, and Carl DeMaio in California’s 52nd district, according to Jeff Cook-McCormac, a senior adviser to the group.” Both DeMaio and Tisei are openly gay and are running in competitive House races. American Unity PAC also plans to spend in other House races in Florida, Illinois, and New Hampshire.

— Ex-Im Bank subsidizing state-owned companies: Actually, that should read “American taxpayers subsidizing state-owned companies,” because, after all, we’re funding the Export-Import Bank. Tim Carney, who is covering the bank annual conference, points out what’s going on. “The second panel of the day featured Emilio Lozoya Austin, CEO of Pemex, the oil company owned by the Mexican government. Austin said Pemex is ‘Ex-Im’s largest client,’ and Ex-Im is Pemex’s largest financier,” Carney noted. “Austin considers his company a client of a U.S.-taxpayer-backed agency. That means U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing a Mexican oil company. But more to the point, we’re subsidizing the Mexican government. Further, we’re propping up a Mexican economic policy that includes state ownership of the biggest companies.

— Rand Paul is one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People: This is notable because the person who authored the short bio of Paul is none other than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who, if you’ll remember, endorsed his now-colleagues’s primary opponent. Nevertheless, McConnell has some great things to say about what Paul is doing for the Republican Party. “From Berkeley, Calif., to Detroit, my Kentucky colleague has been cheerfully clearing a path for Republican ideals in the unlikeliest precincts. And he’s done it with rare magnanimity, making common cause with anyone who agrees that an all-powerful government in Washington is a threat to individual liberty — and to the American project itself,” McConnell wrote. “Spend five minutes with Rand and it’s clear he doesn’t care what you look like or where you’re from. He’s beating the bushes for anyone who prizes liberty, and he’s forcing people to rethink the Republican Party.”

— Speaking of Rand Paul: And, yes, we know we’re kind of heavy on our favorite liberty folks, but Rand Paul leads Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head matchup in Colorado. “Colorado voters would favor the Kentucky Republican over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by 48 percent to 43 percent in a potential 2016 presidential race, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll,” Politico explains. “Paul also has a higher favorability rating than the other three possible Republican presidential contenders listed in the poll — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.”

— California legislators are insane: There is a proposal working its way through the California legislature that would tie the state’s corporate income tax rate to CEO pay. “If enacted, this proposal would raise the top corporate rate to 13 percent, which would be the highest in the country,” writes Scott Drenkard of the Tax Foundation. “When added to the 35 percent federal corporate income tax rate (already the highest in the world!), companies would face a top marginal rate of 48 percent, which doesn’t really pass the laugh test for competing in a global market.” Drenkard goes on to note that retailers would be hit “disproportionately” because of how the tax would be structured.

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Other items we’re reading this morning:

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