Today in Liberty: MSNBC mocks Hillary Clinton’s “dead broke” comments, veterans disapprove of Bergdahl-Taliban deal

“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

— MSNBC’s Morning Joe mocks Clinton’s Romney moment: In an interview with Good Morning America on Monday Hillary Clinton said that her family left the White House “not only dead broke, but in debt” and defended the millions she and former President Bill Clinton have made in speaking fees. “[W]e had to pay off all our debts,” she said, “which was, you know, he had to make double the money because of obviously taxes and then pay off the debts and get us houses and take care of family members.” Oh, the hardship of poverty: “How can we afford our $1.7 million and $2.85 million homes in New York and Washington!?” MSNBC’s Morning Joe had some fun with Clinton’s tone deaf, Romney-like comments this morning. Here’s a taste.

— 43 percent oppose Taliban deal: Though most Americans believe that the federal government should rescue captured soldiers, a USA Today/Pew Research poll finds that a plurality oppose the deal the Obama administration made with the Taliban for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. “Forty-three percent believe the Obama administration made a mistake by trading five high-ranking Taliban commanders held at the Guantanamo Bay detainee facility for Bergdahl, while 34 percent believe it was the right thing to do. The remaining 23 percent had no opinion,” Real Clear Politics explains. “While 56 percent of respondents believe the U.S. is responsible for securing a prisoner of war’s release regardless of the circumstances, the results were split among party lines. Only 39 percent of Republicans feel this way compared to three of four Democrats. Nearly half of Republicans believe the U.S. was not obligated to do all it could to secure Bergdahl’s release — because he had left his post — compared to only 16 percent of Democrats.” Nearly two-thirds of Americans says that a president should be required to inform Congress of prisoner transfers. CBS News and Reuters have also released polls with results along the same lines.

— Veterans aren’t nearly as divided on the deal: They’re rejecting the deal made for Bergdahl by a very large margin. “The USA Today/Pew Research Center poll shows people in households with veterans disapprove of the deal 55 percent to 26 percent,” Aaron Blake reports at the Washington Post. “In addition, according to USA Today, veterans themselves disapprove 68-16, and 33 percent of veterans say they are ‘angry’ about the deal, while just 6 percent say they sympathize with Bergdahl, who has been accused of deserting his unit.” Worth nothing, however, is that Americans, overall, don’t feel strongly toward Bergdahl, 15 percent say they feel sympathetic toward him and the same number is angry with him. Fifty-nine percent don’t express either emotion.

— House Republican benefits from crony Ex-Im Bank: Heritage Action, the political arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation, blasted Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) for benefiting from Export-Import Bank. “Collins’ is a co-founder and serves on the board of directors for Audubon Machinery Corporation, which reported a combined capital guarantee and trade insurance worth $8.33 million between 2007 and 2014, according to Ex-Im records. Collins spokesman Grant Loomis and an Ex-Im spokesperson each said Audubon did not receive a direct loan from Ex-Im,” The Hill reports. “Heritage says that doesn’t matter, saying Collins’ benefitting from Audubon has motivated him to push for Ex-Im’s reauthorization, which expires in September and has become a lightening rod in conservative circles.” Collins is actively working to build support reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, circulating a letter among his colleagues, and “has touted his Audubon experience in meetings with lawmakers as an example of Ex-Im working.” This, folks, is what cronyism looks like.

— FreedomWorks looking ahead to the fall: FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe says that the conservative organization’s PAC may get involved in several Senate races this fall, hoping to deny Democrats a majority in the chamber. “We don’t endorse candidates that we don’t really think are going to be rock stars,” Kibbe told Roll Call. “Our super PAC, on the other hand, has always spent money in races where we haven’t endorsed. So we might go into North Carolina and work against Kay Hagan, for instance, because clearly Tillis is better than Hagan, from our perspective.” FreedomWorks endorsed Greg Brannon in the North Carolina GOP primary. North Carolina may not be the only race in which FreedomWorks gets involved. “Kibbe mentioned Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa and Georgia as states where the group hasn’t endorsed but would consider helping the Republican nominees. The same goes for New Hampshire, where former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown, is running,” Roll Call notes. “Ultimately, Kibbe said, it would come down to where activists were willing to work. But when the primaries are over, their main goal would be getting a Republican majority.”

— And any ground support will help: Nate Silver is still giving Republicans the odds, though some Democratic incumbents look stronger than they did a few months ago. “Our March forecast projected a Republicans gain of 5.8 seats. You’ll no doubt notice the decimal place; how can a party win a fraction of a Senate seat? It can’t, but our forecasts are probabilistic; a gain of 5.8 seats is the total you get by summing the probabilities from each individual race. Because 5.8 seats is closer to six (a Republican takeover) than five (not quite), we characterized the GOP as a slight favorite to win the Senate,” Silver writes at FiveThirtyEight. “The new forecast is for a Republican gain of 5.7 seats. So it’s shifted ever so slightly — by one-tenth of a seat — toward being a toss-up. Still, if asked to place a bet at even odds, we’d take a Republican Senate.” The Upshot, The New York Times’ new stats blog, is giving the GOP a 55 percent chance of taking the Senate, but urge Republicans not to get too confident. “Returning to a thought experiment we’ve used before, suppose you had two coins, one that comes up heads 47 percent of the time and another that comes up heads 55 percent of the time. It would take 211 coin flips to be confident that one coin was more likely to flip heads than the other,” 

— McDaniel picks up endorsements from Ron Paul, Sean Hannity: The two influential conservatives separately endorsed Chris McDaniel on Monday, joining his growing list of prominent supporters. “Chris McDaniel has been a fighter in the Mississippi Senate for smaller government and more personal liberties,” Paul said in a statement. “We need Chris McDaniel in the U.S. Senate and I am proud to endorse his campaign.” Hannity offered his endorsement on his syndicated radio show, which is broadcast daily to some 13 million listeners. “[I]t looks like the Tea Party is poised to pull out a major upset against the Republican establishment in Mississippi. And I’m glad to put my endorsement, now, behind State Senator Chris McDaniel,” Hannity told his listeners. “I don’t like to get involved in individual states’ campaigns. I have a couple times. This is too important; he’s too good. He’s a Tea Party candidate.”

— McDaniel holds edge over Cochran: Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) is hoping that running as a ”moderate conservative who will continue to deliver the federal funds and projects credited for untold thousands of Mississippi jobs” will land him renomination later this month. But McDaniel has momentum on his side, according to two recent polls. “One, from Chism Strategies, which is headed by Democratic strategist Brad Chism, shows McDaniel with a three-point lead, taking 50.6 percent support to 47.6 percent support for Cochran among Mississippians who voted in the past four primaries,” The Hillreports. “Another, from Tea Party-centric pollster Strategic National reported by Politico, shows McDaniel with 52 percent support to Cochran’s 46 percent support among likely GOP runoff voters.”

— CEI v. NSA: The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank, has filed an interesting lawsuit (PDF) against the National Security Agency over the latter’s failure to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests related to the Environmental Protection Agency. “This lawsuit stems from repeated incidents of the EPA circumventing federal recordkeeping laws by using personal devices, including email accounts and text messages, to conduct work-related correspondence and otherwise federal business,” CEI stated in a release. “When responding to previous FOIA requests, the EPA claimed, for example, that current EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy destroyed every single one of her thousands of text messages.” CEI is arguing that the NSA, which obtains metadata of Americans’ cell phone calls, has the information on the desired records. “The requested metadata is of significant public interest as it will shed light on ongoing controversies over widespread use by senior officials of non-official email accounts for work-related correspondence,” CEI argues in the lawsuit, “the increased use of text messaging as an alternative to email which, like non-official accounts, are generally not searched in response to FOIA or congressional requests seeking work-related ‘records’; and the admitted widespread destruction of such text correspondence.”

— Rand Paul wants a vote on Audit the Fed: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will object to pending Federal Reserve nominees until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) allows the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, better known as the “Audit the Fed” bill, to come up for a vote. “The American people have a right to know what this institution is doing with the nation’s money supply,” Paul said in a statement. “The Federal Reserve does not need prolonged secrecy — it needs to be audited, and my bipartisan Federal Reserve Transparency Act will do just that.”

Other items we’re reading this morning:

If you work for a liberty-minded organization, think tank, or candidate, please send tips, news, or event information to info-at-unitedliberty(dot)org.


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.