Today in Liberty: Left-leaning law professor slams Obama’s lawless presidency, Bergdahl was never listed as a POW

“A lot of Republicans tend to have top down Soviet style campaigns. It’s very odd for a party that believes in the free market that they run campaigns through command and control centralized control and so they have the politburo. ‘You will go do that. You will go do that.’ And that is disempowering and it doesn’t inspire. It is far more effective having a race that empowers the grassroots.” — Sen. Ted Cruz

— Republicans shift away from “repeal and replace”: Republicans may still want to get rid of Obamacare, but you may not know that from the ads you’ll see this fall. “We are now fighting well across the center line. The entire right half of the country is galvanized against Obamacare,” one GOP ad-maker told the Washington Examiner. “We are now working to pick off people who are not ideologically opposed to it  but who believe it has failed.” David Drucker points out that some strategists are leery of the repeal because it suggests “that the GOP wants to move the country from one disliked health care system (Obamacare) to another disliked system (pre-Obamacare.)” That, of course, is a failure of congressional Republicans. They’ve focused so much on “repeal” in the last four-plus years that they haven’t gotten behind an alternative healthcare reform proposal.

— Turley says Obama broke the law: Georgetown law professor Jonathan Turley blasted President Barack Obama’s flouting of the law yesterday during an appearance on CNN, noting that it’s just the latest example of startling behavior. “I don’t think the White House is seriously arguing they’re not violating federal law. To make matters worse, this is a long series of violations of federal law this president has been accused of,” said Turley. “I testified twice in Congress about this record of the president in suspending or ignoring federal laws. This is going to add to that pile. I don’t think there’s much debate that they’re in violation of the law.” Turley also noted that Obama opposed presidential signing statements when he was the junior senator from Illinois and as presidential candidate. “He’s essentially arguing the very same principle of George Bush,” Turley explained, “that when it comes to Gitmo, he has almost absolute power, that it is his prerogative, his inherent authority to be able to make these decisions as he sees fit.” By the way, Turley isn’t a conservative. He actually agrees with much of President Obama’s agenda, but he’s concerned about concentration of power in the Executive Branch.

— Bergdahl wasn’t listed as a POW: Sgt. Bowie Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers are speaking out about the Obama administration’s deal for his release. The Associated Press reports that some troops are calling him a deserter. And while White House and administration officials are calling him a prisoner of war, the Pentagon never listed Bergdahl as a POW. “In his five years of captivity, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was never listed by the Pentagon as a prisoner of war,” the AP explains. “Nor has the U.S. applied that term to any of its Taliban prisoners — including the five senior Taliban figures who were released last weekend from detention at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for Bergdahl’s freedom.”

— Seattle raises its minimum wage: The Seattle City Council didn’t learn any lessons from its suburb, SeaTac. City leaders voted yesterday to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. “The measure, which would take effect on April 1, 2015, includes a phase-in of the wage increase over several years, with a slower process for small businesses. The plan gives businesses with more than 500 employees nationally at least three years to phase in the increase,” Politico reports. “Those providing health insurance will have four years to complete the move. Smaller organizations will be given seven years.” SeaTac raised its minimum wage earlier this year, and the hike is hurting both small business and workers.

— Expect some big Supreme Court rulings this month: June figures to be a busy, impactful month for the Supreme Court and the Constitution, with new orders and opinions released every Monday. There are a number of cases worth watching, but four stand out from the list that Doug Mataconis wrote up (and we don’t mean to take away from the importance of other cases). The first is Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board. This one involves President Obama’s illegal “recess appointments” to the New Deal-era NLRB. It looks like the Court was skeptical of the Obama administration’s arguments, though nothing is certain until a decision is announced, as the 2012 Obamacare ruling taught us. Another is Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius. This case is over Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate and religious freedom. And, finally, there’s Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie, both of which deal with warrantless searches of cell phones and the Fourth Amendment.

— NRA says it’s probs not a good idea to carry your rifle into a restaurant: The National Rifle Association wants you to think twice before you carry your AR-15 inside a coffee house. “Now we love AR-15s and AKs as much as anybody, and we know that these sorts of semiautomatic carbines are among the most popular, fastest selling firearms in America today,” the NRA said in a statement posted on its website. “Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.” The message is tailored to Texans, due to instances of gun owners bringing their rifles into restaurants. One pro-gun group, Open Carry Texas, has already blasted the NRA, claiming that it sided with “gun control extremists.”

— Medicare officials not interested investigating fraud: A recent report from the HHS watchdog (PDF) found that Medicare overspent by $6.7 billion in 2010 for patient evaluation claims (E/M services) that “were incorrectly coded and/or lacking documentation,” roughly a fifth of all payments for these services that year. The watchdog recommended that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) review billed services to catch possible fraud. “But in its reply to the findings,” NPR explains, ”the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs Medicare, said it doesn’t plan to review the billings of doctors who almost always charge for the most expensive visits because it isn’t cost-effective to do so.” Sigh.

— Free market healthcare v. socialized medicine: The Blogfather, Glenn Reynolds, explains in his latest USA Today column that free market healthcare would be more responsive to patients’ needs than a government-run system like the VA. “[A] for-profit medical system might actually offer employees less room for greed than a government system. That’s because VA patients were stuck with the VA. If wait times were long, they just had to wait, or do without care,” Reynolds writes. “In a free-market system, a provider whose wait times were too long would lose business, and even if the employees faked up the wait-time numbers, that loss of business would show up on the bottom line. That would lead top managers to act, or lose their jobs.”

—  Senate Democrat suddenly realizes we have a debt problem: Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) recently spoke to supporters in Harrisonburg, Virginia about United States’ long-term fiscal problems. “If we don’t get our fiscal house in order, shame on us. You know, the greatest threat to our country is what the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, said it wasn’t some external threat, it’s this question of our national debt,” said Warner. “We’re $17 trillion in debt. You know, it goes up almost $3 billion a night.” Warner talked about entitlement reform and the need for Democrats and Republicans to compromise, but he didn’t mention his votes for big spending bills like Obamacare and the farm bill, and the Ryan-Murray budget.

— Rand Paul to keynote Texas GOP convention: Sen. Rand Paul will (R-TX) will address the Texas Republican Party’s convention on Saturday at 2 pm in Forth Worth. “The Republican Party of Texas is honored to have Senator Paul as a keynote speaker at the 2014 Texas State Convention,” said Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri. “Senator Paul, as a native Texan who grew up and went to college here in Texas, represents his Texas roots well by espousing the conservative values of limited government, fiscal responsibility, free enterprise, and an effective national defense.” Paul will be available to media after his speech, according to RandPAC.

— There shall be primaries: Voters in eight states — Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota — will head to the polls to cast their ballots in party primaries. The AL-06 Republican primary featuring seven candidates is one to watch Dr. Chad Mathis has received support from outside groups. Paul DeMarco seems to be his biggest competition. The CA-07 primary, which due to California’s weird election system, features Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), Igor Birman, Elizabeth Emken, and Doug Ose. Birman and Ose are competing for the second stop to move on to face Bera this fall. The bitter Republican Senate primary in Mississippi between Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Chris McDaniel will get the most attention from the media. This race, which pits an establishment politician against a Tea Party challenger, looks very close and could come down to the wire tonight.

— The Daily Signal: The Heritage Foundation relaunched its blog, The Foundry, as The Daily Signal, this morning. The Daily Signal is billed as a “digital-first, multimedia news platform” and will be led by news producer Kelsey Harkness and two reporters, Melissa Quinn and Josh Siegel.

— Birthday: Happy birthday to RedState’s editor and talk radio host Erick Erickson. Give him a follow on Twitter at @EWErickson and drop him a line to wish him a happy birthday.

Other items we’re reading this morning:

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