Jason Pye

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This is going to drive the gun control crowd crazy: NRA launches “Trigger the Vote,” a nationwide GOTV drive

NRA's Trigger the Vote

The National Rifle Association, the nation’s oldest civil liberties organization, has launched a nationwide get-out-the-vote campaign to encourage gun owners to make sure their voices are heard this fall.

Though “Trigger the Vote” is a nonpartisan voter registration drive, the NRA Freedom Action Foundation is hoping that the push will lead to defeats at the ballot box for gun control activists’ favorite candidates.

“Registering to vote is critical to preserving our Second Amendment rights. Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun allies are committed to taking away our freedoms,” Chris Cox, president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation, wrote in an email blast to supporters. ”You can protect your rights by registering to vote and making sure that your freedom loving family and friends are registered to vote.”

The NRA Freedom Action Foundation also rolled out a new 30-second ad featuring a father and a son to promote the “Trigger the Vote” campaign.

Hey, Barack Obama, businesses are moving overseas because of a terrible tax climate made worse by you

There’s been a lot of talk lately from President Barack Obama and administration officials about “economic patriotism.” They say that corporations shouldn’t be allowed to move overseas to escape paying the corporate income tax.

“Even as corporate profits are higher than ever, there’s a small but growing group of big corporations that are fleeing the country to get out of paying taxes,” President Obama said at a stop in Los Angeles on Thursday. “They’re keeping, usually, their headquarters here in the U.S. They don’t want to give up the best universities and the best military and all the advantages of operating in the United States. They just don’t want to pay for it. So they’re technically renouncing their U.S. citizenship.”

Earlier this month, President Obama suggested that Congress (read: Republicans) lack “economic patriotism” to work with his administration on issues the country faces. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew dropped the same term in a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) as he urged Congress to pass legislation to end corporate inversions.

“What we need as a nation is a new sense of economic patriotism, where we all rise or fall together. We know that the American economy grows best when the middle class participates fully and when the economy grows from the middle out,” Lew wrote in the letter to Wyden. “We should not be providing support for corporations that seek to shift their profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”

The RNC is actually trying to shame you into giving them money, proving yet again that it’s a worthless organization

The Republican National Committee sent out an email blast this morning, a screenshot of which can be found at the end of this post, in which they basically tried to shame supporters into giving them more money.

Yeah, this is an election year and both parties — and, yes, we subscribe to emails from Republicans and Democrats — are doing just about everything they can to squeeze out every penny out of donors, both large and small.

“Did you abandon the Republican Party?” writes RNC Treasurer Tony Parker. “Chairman Priebus has written to you already this year asking you to contribute to the RNC and renew your membership. But we haven’t received your financial support yet this year.” (Emphasis in the original.)

“Right now you are handing the advantage over to Democrats. That’s exactly what President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want you to do. With committed Republicans like you sitting out in 2014, the Democrats are able to continue their liberal rampage on conservative principles,” Parker added.

UNSUBSCRIBE.

Seriously, that email is the worst. The RNC demeaned its hard-working volunteers, basically telling them that what they’re doing isn’t enough. Well done, guys. Well done.

But, to answer the question in the subject line of the email, I don’t give money to the RNC for a number of reasons. Here are some of them:

Obamacare’s architect agrees: Healthcare law subsidies were supposed to apply only to state-run Exchanges

The Obama administration’s claim that Congress never intended for Obamacare subsidies to apply only to states that implemented their own Exchanges looks much, much weaker this morning. Reason’s Peter Suderman has passed along some video gold, in which the architect of the law says it was worded to place political pressure on states.

Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist who worked on Romneycare in Massachusetts, helped the administration craft Obamacare and, in January 2012, stated pretty clearly that consumers in states that opted out of the law would be denied subsidies.

“What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits — but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill,” Gruber told an audience. “So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country.”

“I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together,” he said, “and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges.”

Here’s the clip (the original is almost an hour long) via Phil Kerpen:

Today in Liberty: Looks Obamacare’s employer mandate will take effect, House lawsuit against Obama moves closer to a vote

“Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.” — H. L. Mencken

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz to Harry Reid: Stop playing games with the bipartisan Internet Tax Freedom Act

There’s a little bit of good news out of the Senate. Well, at least for now. The upper chamber will move on a short-term extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act to keep state and local governments from taxing access to the World Wide Web:

Senate Democrats are gearing up to pass a short-term extension of a moratorium on Internet access taxes, according to aides and K Street officials.

The Internet Tax Freedom Act expires on Nov. 1, and Democratic leaders are pushing to extend the moratorium through 2014.

A vote on the short-term extension could come as soon as next week, or when lawmakers return to Capitol Hill after their August break, a Democratic aide said Wednesday.

The bad news, however, is that supporters of the so-called “Marketplace Fairness Act,” the Internet sales tax, are still going to try to attach the measure to the extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) after the mid-term election. Check out the Orwellian-style doublespeak from this Internet sales tax crony:

Outside supporters of the Marketplace Fairness Act insisted Wednesday that the short-term Internet access measure wasn’t a setback. Lawmakers have little interest in telecom companies potentially noticing rate increases shortly before November’s election.

“No long-term extension of ITFA will occur without MFA because it’s important to keep the Internet tax-free and protect local jobs,” the Marketplace Fairness Coalition said.

Thomas Massie went after D.C.’s absolutely terrible gun control laws, and anti-Second Amendment Democrats are losing their minds

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) really isn’t happy with Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY). Since the passage of an amendment last week to block enforcement of the District of Columbia’s terrible gun control laws, Norton’s office has sent out a barrage of press releases aimed at the libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican.

It all started last Tuesday, July 15, when Massie tried to offer the amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, which would fund the Treasury Department and related agencies for the next year.

The amendment was ruled out of order by the chair, a Republican. That prompted Norton’s office to send out a press release gloating about the procedural setback (“Rep. Massie Humiliated on the House Floor, Norton Claims Victory for D.C.’s Gun Safety Laws,” 7/15).

Huzzah! Or something.

Well, Norton’s “victory” was short-lived. Massie offered the amendment again the following day. “Criminals by definition don’t care about laws. They will get guns any way they can,” said Massie. “Strict gun control laws do nothing but prevent good people from being able to protect themselves and their families in the event of a robbery, home invasion, or other crime. Studies indicate that murder rates rise following bans on firearms.”

He’s right. What’s more, Congress has constitutional authority over the District and, he declared, that it was time for his colleagues “to step in and stop the DC government’s harassment and punishment of law-abiding citizens who simply want to defend themselves.”

Watch Trey Gowdy absolutely destroy the IRS commissioner over his contradictory testimony

Trey Gowdy

Yeah, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen had a really tough time yesterday during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s hearing into the tax agency’s response to the IRS scandal.

Frankly, any time the IRS is scrutinized is glorious. But the best part of the hearing was when Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) grilled Koskinen over his previous misleading statements about Lois Lerner’s missing emails and supposedly “recycled” backup tapes as well as the IRS’ failure to properly investigate the targeting of conservative groups:

Republicans must abandon corporate welfare and learn to leave Americans alone if they want to win elections

The Republican Party has a fever, and Sen. Rand Paul has the cure. In an interview with Reason’s Nick Gillespie at last week’s Lincoln Labs’ Reboot Conference, the Kentucky Republican explained that the GOP can find electoral success if they learn how to stay out of Americans’ personal lives and abandon corporate welfare.

Paul and Gillespie chatted about several topics — including the seemingly shifting political dynamics in Silicon Valley, innovation and regulations, and foreign policy — before moving onto

“I think Republicans could only win in general if they become more live and let live — ‘leave me alone,’” said Paul. “Grover Norquist will talk about this sometimes, this ‘Leave Me Alone’ Coalition.” He explained that the GOP may not be a “pro-choice, pro-gay marriage party,” but he envisions one in which people with differing views on social issues work together to limit the federal government.

“And I think that live and live, agree to disagree kind of amalgamation in the party will allow us to be big enough to win,” he said, adding that Republicans can reach out to reach out to Millennials with a pro-privacy, anti-NSA message. 

Clown show at the IRS: Tax agency chief now says they’ve found the backup tapes he previously claimed they didn’t have

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was just kidding, guys. The federal agency he oversees totally has those backup tapes that he previously told House Oversight and Government Reform Committee had been recycled. But whether or not Lois Lerner’s emails are on them remains to be seen:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, testifying before a House oversight subcommittee, stressed that he does not know “how they found them” or “whether there’s anything on them or not.” But he said the inspector general’s office advised him the investigators are reviewing tapes to see if they contain any “recoverable” material.

The revelation is significant because the IRS claimed, when the agency first told Congress about the missing emails, that backup tapes “no longer exist because they have been recycled.”

It is unclear whether the tapes in IG custody contain any Lerner emails, but Koskinen said investigators are now checking.

The latest revelation in the IRS comes just days after the House Oversight and Government Reform released testimony from Thomas Kane, the IRS official in charge document compliance, who suggested that the backup tapes containing Lerner’s emails may not have been recycled after all.

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