Obama tacitly approves of proposed IRS regulations with veto threat

The White House has threatened to veto a measure that would temporarily delay proposed regulations under consideration by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that would ostensibly legitimatize and institutionalize its targeting of conservative groups.

The Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act (H.R. 3865), proposed last month by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), would halt the IRS from implementing the guidance for one year. The measure has the support of more than 55 conservative groups — including Americans for Tax Reform, Campaign for Liberty, Heritage Action, and the National Taxpayers Union.

Through a policy statement released on Monday, the White House relied its threat to veto the measure, laying the path for the IRS to do as it pleases.

“The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3865, which would prohibit the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from clarifying the standards that organizations must satisfy to qualify for tax-exempt status,” the White House wrote in the statement. “Under current law, organizations qualify as tax-exempt organizations ‘operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare’ if they are primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people.”

Thad Cochran in 2008: Obama won’t be so bad

Thad Cochran

Conservative organizations supporting Chris McDaniel, an insurgent conservative candidate running for U.S. Senate in Mississippi, seizing comments made by Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) in 2008 about then-candidate Barack Obama.

Cochran, who is being challenged in the primary by McDaniel, told a Mississippi paper that students he had spoken to before the 2008 election were “surprised” when he said he “really like[s] both the candidates very much” and “thought we would be well served however the election comes out.” The candidates Cochran referenced were Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).

After a follow-up question by the paper’s editorial board about those “who think it will be a disaster for the country if Obama was elected,” Cochran focused on the 2008 Democratic Party’s nominee personal qualities, adding that he thought Obama would do “an excellent job.”

Today in Liberty: Keystone XL dealt a blow, Obamacare alternative endorsed by FreedomWorks, Thomas Sowell on Ted Cruz

“Many unions have contracts with employers that are based on a multiple of the prevailing minimum wage. If the minimum wage goes up, union salaries go up by a similar percentage.” — Neal Boortz

— Keystone XL hits a road block not named Obama: The Lancaster County District Court has shot down a 2012 state law that would have sped up the regulatory process to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. “TransCanada now must secure approval for the pipeline route from the state’s utility regulators — a step the 2012 Nebraska law sought to circumvent,” notes Zack Colman of the Washington Examiner. “Judge Stephanie Stacy said [Gov. Dave] Heineman’s move to approve the revised pipeline plan, as the law allowed, was unconstitutional because it wrested control of oil pipeline decisions from the state regulatory body, the Nebraska Public Service Commission. As such, Stacy ruled the law null and void.”

MS Senate: Thad Cochran says he doesn’t know much about the Tea Party

Thad Cochran

You know that Tea Party movement thing that took off five years ago this month and helped Republicans take control of the House of Representatives in 2010? Yeah, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) doesn’t know anything about it. No, seriously, that’s what he told Mississippi News Now.

Cochran is facing a conservative primary challenger, State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville), who has cast the 36-year senator an establishment politician who is out-of-touch with Mississippi’s conservative tendencies.

“He’s wrong. He’s flat wrong,” Cochran told Mississippi News Now. “I’m as in touch with the people of Mississippi as an elected official can be.”

But when asked about McDaniel’s support from outside conservative and Tea Party groups, Cochran said, “The Tea Party is something I don’t really know a lot about,” adding that “[i]t’s a free country. We have open opportunities for people to participate in the election process.”

Conservative groups that are openly backing McDaniel’s candidacy have seized on Cochran’s comments. The Club for Growth, for example, is running a 10-second web ad with featuring Cochran’s admitted ignorance about the Tea Party, followed by a snarky reply from McDaniel, who says, “Perhaps it’s time for an introduction.”

FreedomWorks and Rand Paul Sue the NSA

See Video

FreedomWorks released a video this afternoon shortly after they joined Senator Rand Paul in filing a class action lawsuit against President Obama and intelligence officials over the National Security Agency’s violation of the Fourth Amendment through their domestic surveillance program.

While preparing to walk over to the court, FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said, “One of the footnotes I find particularly interesting, this is a quote from then-Senator Barack Obama, who complained about the lack of judicial oversight with the NSA’s programs. He said in 2005, ‘If someone wants to know why their own government has decided to go on a fishing expedition through every personal record or private document, the library books you’ve read, the phone calls that you made, the emails that you sent, this legislation gives people no rights to appeal the need for such a need in a court of law. No judge will hear your plea. No jury will hear your case. This is just plain wrong.’”

Kibbe went on to call this the biggest day in FreedomWorks history.

During the joint press conference, Kibbe said, “I don’t think this is a partisan issue. This isn’t Republican versus Democrat. This isn’t about the Obama Administration. This is about a government that’s crossed a line.”

Senator Paul and FreedomWorks are being represented by former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who says that they filed the class action lawsuit “to vindicate the Fourth Amendment rights of every American who uses a phone.”

Rand Paul, FreedomWorks file lawsuit against NSA spying

Photo credit: Kate Todd

It’s official. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe have filed a class action lawsuit against President Barack Obama and senior intelligence officials over the NSA’s domestic surveillance program.

“On behalf of myself, FreedomWorks and everyone in America that has a phone, we’re filling suit against the President of the United States in defense of the Fourth Amendment,” Paul said in front of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. “We will ask the question in court whether a single warrant can apply to the records of every American phone user all of the time, without limits, without individualization.”

“This, we believe, will be a historic lawsuit. We think it may well be the largest class action lawsuit ever filed on behalf of the Bill of Rights,” he added.

President Barack Obama, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, and Director of National Security Agency Keith Alexander were named in the lawsuit. Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will represent Paul and FreedomWorks in the case.

The lawsuit seeks a declaration the NSA’s bulk metadata collection program is unconstitutional and an injunction against further use. Paul and FreedomWorks want purged any metadata from the existing database.

Paul and FreedomWorks argue that they have a reasonable expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment as well as standing to file the complaint on the grounds that they are subscribers to Verizon and AT&T.

Rand Paul to file suit against Obama, intelligence officials today

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will file a class action lawsuit this morning against President Barack Obama and intelligence officials over the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs.

“I am filing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama because he has publicly refused to stop a clear and continuing violation of the 4th Amendment,” Paul said in a press release from RandPAC. “The Bill of Rights protects all citizens from general warrants. I expect this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court , and I predict the American people will win.”

Paul has long contended that the controversy over the NSA’s surveillance programs, through which the intelligence agency collects phone metadata of innocent Americans, is a matter that will eventually have to be settled by the Supreme Court. His PAC began collecting signatures for the lawsuit in January.

In addition to President Obama, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, and Director of National Security Agency Keith Alexander will be named as respondents in the lawsuit.

Paul will file the lawsuit at United States District Court in Washington, D.C and will host a press conference in front of the courthouse at 11 am. The Kentucky senator will be joined by FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who will serve as lead counsel in the case.

Medicaid expansion also encouraging people not to work

There has been much focus on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released last week, the findings of which showed that Obamacare will result in 2.5 million fewer people working full-time jobs by 2024.

Republicans have seized on the report as proof that Obamacare discourages Americans from working so that they can retain health insurance subsidies through the law and, by extension hurt economic growth. Those points were confirmed by CBO Director Doug Elemendorf in congressional testimony the day following release of the report.

But, as Jason Hart of FreedomWorks notes, the nonpartisan budget agency also went into detail on Medicaid expansion, another part of the law that will discourage Americans from working:

“CBO estimates that expanded Medicaid eligibility under [Obamacare] will, on balance, reduce incentives to work,” the nonpartisan budget office opined, citing a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper Media Trackers called attention to last summer.

CBO listed “expansion of eligibility for Medicaid” as the second most important Obamacare provision affecting the nation’s labor supply.

“In particular, studies of past expansions or contractions in Medicaid eligibility for childless adults have pointed to a larger effect on labor supply than CBO had estimated previously,” CBO wrote.

NC Senate: Brannon gains FreedomWorks’ endorsement

FreedomWorks PAC has endorsed Dr. Greg Brannon in the North Carolina Republican Senate primary, confirming an earlier report of a pending announcement.

In a statement released yesterday, FreedomWorks PAC called Brannon the “clear choice for North Carolinians looking to preserve individual freedom and rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending.” The organization also pointed the candidate’s experience as a physician as evidence that he knows the impact of Obamacare on families and doctors.

“Greg Brannon is a solutions-oriented leader with a stellar understanding of the constitutional role of government,” said Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks PAC, according to the statement. “He knows that North Carolinians - not some faceless bureaucrats in Washington - know what’s best for themselves and their families.”

“Greg Brannon will be a critical part of the Republican Senate takeover in 2014, and a welcome member of the Freedom Caucus within the new majority,” he added.

The endorsement could be key in the race. North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis is thought to be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. The most recent numbers from Public Policy Polling found Brannon trailing Tillis by 8 points among primary voters. Both candidates held small leads over Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), according to the poll.

Brannon called the FreedomWorks’ endorsement “an honor.”

KY Senate: McConnell tied with Dem challenger, Bevin leads

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) can’t be happy with the latest poll out of Kentucky, released yesterday by Rasmussen Reports. It’s not that he finds himself in an unusual position against his Democratic challenger, but rather than his primary opponent is outperforming him.

The poll found that McConnell is tied with Alison Lundergan Grimes, at 42/42. That’s on par with other recent polls, which have found the Kentucky Republican holding slight, statistically insignificant leads.

McConnell’s Republican primary challenger, Matt Bevin, however, holds a 4-point lead over Grimes, at 40/36, just inside the margin of error.

Though the poll didn’t offer any hint of McConnell’s approval ratings, Rasmussen did measure voter favorability of the three candidates.

Kentucky voters have a mixed view of Grimes, who is viewed favorably by 40%, while 37% hold an unfavorable view. Bevin isn’t well known, but 32% have a favorable view. The same number said that they’d never heard of him. Twenty-six percent (26%) view him unfavorably.

McConnell’s numbers aren’t bad, though he’s still underwater, with 46% holding a favorable of the Senate minority leader and 49% expressing an unfavorable opinion.

As one might imagine, Bevin gloated about the numbers.

“These poll numbers are an accurate reflection of what I see and hear every day traveling across the Commonwealth,” said Bevin in a statement. “Kentuckians have had enough of career politicians like Mitch McConnell who compromise our conservative principles and instead vote for Obamacare, bailouts, amnesty and tax increases.”

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