When the people get annoyed with a milquetoast incumbent, invariably there are at least a few calls to primary the person, to get them out. Most times it’s all bluster, out of pure frustration, that won’t lead to anything. That’s typically the case because of the one thing that keeps incumbents in office - name recognition. People get used to seeing that name, and out of a sense of not wanting to step into the unknown by trusting a new one.
That’s the case when the first calls to primary an incumbent happen, because people that haven’t been deeply involved in running for public office anywhere tend to throw their hats in the proverbial ring. As time goes by, and disillusionment grows, candidates that the people recognize start being considered as viable options.
John McCain will likely be facing a primary challenge, if any of the people mentioned in a recent Citizens United Victory Fund poll decide to run. Arizonians are most likely to end up with a new Senator if Gov. Jan Brewer or Rep. Matt Salmon decide to run. Based on the current numbers from that poll, either one would easily win against McCain in a primary today.
If both Brewer and Salmon would choose to run against McCain in a primary, it would be an historic race. It’s not very common to see a three-way race involving two challengers and an incumbent, with the challengers being in the fight to win, while the incumbent is the irrelevant candidate.
The IRS scandal just got a little bigger. The powerful tax agency and the Justice Department sought to prosecute tax-exempt groups that were suspected of engaging in political activity, according to emails obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group.
The emails released by Judicial Watch reveal that Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of congressional inquiries into the scandal, received a phone call from a Justice Department official who wanted to look into prosecuting tax-exempt groups for making “false statements.” That idea, they note, was floated by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
The email exchange took place between May 8 and May 9, 2013. Lerner revealed that the IRS had scrutinized groups seeking nonprofit status on May 10, setting off a political firestorm for the Obama administration and the IRS, one that continues today.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Judicial Watch obtained emails dating back to March and April 2013. In an email dated March, 27, 2013, for example, Lerner explains that “several groups of folks from the FEC world” were looking to shutdown groups with tax-exempt status, adding that ”[o]ne IRS prosecution would make an impact.”
Soviet dictator Josef Stalin is responsible for the deaths of at least 20 million people — through purges, famine, and other government policies — during his 30-year communist regime. The death toll on his watch put him behind only Mao Zedong as the most murderous dictator in history.
Despite the death toll under communist regimes, which were responsible for the deaths of 94 million people in the 20th Century, the ideology has been embraced, so to speak, in pop culture. Because cool, or something.
This author saw a tourist sporting apparel with a Soviet hammer and sickle outside the White House just this past weekend. You can even buy clothing with Mao’s image, lest you be without a shirt featuring a dictator whose regime killed 45 million people.
The Internal Revenue Service is still targeting conservative and liberty-minded groups, nearly a year after now-disgraced agency official Lois Lerner admitted to the inappropriate scrutiny.
In an email on Thursday, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) told supporters that Campaign for Liberty is now under fire from the IRS. The powerful tax agency, he says, has just hit the liberty-minded nonprofit with “a hefty fine” and “demanded” that it “turn over sensitive contributor information.”
“This is one of the toughest letters I’ve ever had to send,” Paul wrote to supporters. “For years, people have joked that the three most feared letters in the English language may well be these … I – R – S.”
“But today, I’m not laughing,” said Paul. “Just days ago, the IRS handed Campaign for Liberty a hefty fine and DEMANDED we turn over sensitive contributor information.”
Paul explained that failure to comply with the IRS’s demands could mean additional fines that could severely impact the work that Campaign for Liberty is doing and possibly force the group to shut down.
Because Campaign for Liberty is a 501(c)(4), donor information is supposed to be confidential. The organization, like many others targeted by the IRS, promotes economic and individual liberty and focuses its efforts on grassroots activism and education. It does not endorse candidates, in which case the organization would have to disclose
Today in Liberty: Cantor unwilling to fight for Ex-Im Bank reauthorization, Obama’s 442 tax hike proposals
“It is impossible to enumerate a priori all the rights we have; we usually go to the trouble of identifying them only when someone proposes to limit one or another. Treating rights as tangible claims that must be limited in number gets the whole concept wrong.” — David Boaz (Politics of Freedom: Taking on The Left, The Right and Threats to Our Liberties)
— Cantor backing away from cronyism: The Hill notes that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor isn’t going to spend political capital over the reauthorization of the controversial Export-Import Bank, a government-backed entity known for rampant cronyism. (They also read websites which mention them, at least that’s what our Google Analytics reports tell us.) “Cantor…has privately told members he does not intend to get involved this time around,” The Hill reports, “a message that some see as an indication that he is wary of battling conservatives angered by a number of his recent legislative moves.” It looks like House conservatives are going to make Ex-Im reauthorization their big issue this spring, part of a push to end corporate welfare and change the narrative about the Republican Party.
Unlike former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who supports Common Core and has even backed a campaign to boost it through his foundation, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is a fan of school choice and will soon be using some of his time to host School Choice roundtables with parents of certain communities in Milwaukee and Chicago.
According to RandPAC, Paul will be traveling to Chicago and Milwaukee on April 22 and 23, 2014 to talk to parents, students, educators and community leaders about the importance of having options when it comes to education.
Sen. Paul hopes to encourage parents to help school choice advocates to advance their message. According to Paul, “parents should have a role and a voice when it comes to their child’s education. These roundtable discussions will focus on raising standards, adding competition and strengthening our nation’s education system – a system that is broken.”
Many school choice advocates point out to the discrepancies in the speeches of those who advocate for Common Core.
“I never cease to be amazed that the loudest voices against the right to choice and access to a good education often send their own kids to private or parochial schools,” said Rachel Campos Duffy of the LIBRE Initiative. “These are also the same people who present themselves as the champions of ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’ for minorities and the poor.“ She is a mother and an activist in a mostly Hispanic community.
A Fox News poll released this week found that 61 percent of Americans believe President Barack Obama lies to the country about important matters, while just 15 percent believe that he always tells the truth.
As one might imagine, Republicans and Democrats have differing views on the question. For example, 85 percent of Republicans believe President Obama lies most or some of the time on important matters, while 59 percent of Democrats believe he lies only now and then or never. Independents, however, are more likely to side with Republicans.
The more interesting figure is the percentage of Millennials who believe President Obama has a lying problem. The poll found that 63 percent of registered voters under the age of 35 believe he lies to them most or some of the time.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) escalated his verbal attacks on people who are supporting the Bundy family in their dispute with the federal Bureau of Land Management. In an event sponsored by the Las Vegas Journal-Review, Reid said that protesters who stood up to federal agents are “domestic terrorists”:
“Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” Reid said during an appearance at a Las Vegas Review-Journal “Hashtags & Headlines” event at the Paris. “… I repeat: what went on up there was domestic terrorism.”
Reid, the Senate majority leader who is in Las Vegas during Congress’ Easter recess, is known for not pulling punches. The senator said he talked last week with federal, state and local officials about Bundy as well as the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, which has not backed Bundy’s personal battle but has expressed concerns about access to public land.
The senator said he spoke with Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI leaders and Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie. Reid said he understands there’s a task force being set up to deal with Bundy, and Gillespie is involved as well.
“It is an issue that we cannot let go, just walk away from,” Reid said.
“There were hundreds — hundreds of people from around the country — that came there,” Reid said. “They had sniper rifles on the freeway. They had assault weapons. They had automatic weapons.”
Also, “domestic terrorists”? Seriously? That’s the worse Reid uses to describe Bundy’s supporters? The Bundy family and their supporters don’t want violence, they just want the federal government to leave them alone.
ReasonTV has put out a video in honor of Tax Day to the tune of “Happy” by Pharell Williams. They point out that we DON’T want to pay for things like outhouse in the middle of the woods, a camel statue from Pakistan, and studies on quails.
As they say in the video, “It’s crappy!” But if you don’t pay up, you’re going to jail. Happy Tax Day!
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) disagrees with Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) assessment of the tense situation in southern Nevada between the Bundy family and the federal Bureau of Land Management.
Reid told reporters this week that the situation isn’t over, despite the federal agency’s decision to stand down over the weekend. “We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it,” he said. “So it’s not over.”
Paul, however, says that Reid has it wrong. In an interview with a Kentucky-based radio station, the potential 2016 presidential candidate questioned the need for armed federal agents threatening the Bundy family and explained some of the history of the situation.
“I think there’s an opposite thing to what Harry Reid said, and that’s that the federal government shouldn’t violate the law,” Paul told WHAS, “nor should we have 48 federal agencies carrying weapons and having SWAT teams.”