Listening to lawmakers talk about the economy when they do not understand the mechanisms behind capitalism can be quite frustrating. Too often, they are unaware of how the system works and why it gives rise to affordable services and products, making trade and the distribution of several products, from basic to valuable items, accessible to nearly almost every American.
But every now and then, a legislator comes along to prove that they weren’t only elected to brag about passing complicated laws on national television.
Sean Hannity had Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) as a guest on his show to ask him a few questions regarding ObamaCare, the problematic Health Insurance Marketplace website and why Americans are appalled to have learned that their insurance premiums are actually much higher now than they were before the law kicked in.
According to Sen. Paul “if you mandate what is included in your insurance policy, if you say it has to cover all kinds of new things that haven’t been covered, it has to be more expensive,” which is why so many young and healthy people are quickly discovering that their coverage is much more expensive than before. While the Obama administration is attempting to give access to health coverage to every single American through ObamaCare, the final cost was apparently never taken into consideration.
The administration keeps repeating that people will now get better coverage without having to pay as much, but consumers are slowly learning that that is simply untrue, since all they have access to is insurance premiums offering excessive coverage that do not fit their budget.
One truth about politics: when those who have taken up one side of an issue are forced to accept and defend that same issue, should it suit their needs to do so, the acknowledgement of their previous criticism will be generally non-existent.
Take the histrionics surrounding 2010’s Citizens United decision — “Corporations aren’t people! They shouldn’t have First Amendment rights! Elections will be bought and sold by evil dark money special interest groups! Those with the most cash will always win!”
Forgetting for a moment that Barack Obama managed to get re-elected despite the impressive amount of money that was raised to support Mitt Romney via super PACs that were not associated with his actual campaign, this idea that corporations — really just groups of people — shouldn’t retain First Amendment speech rights is proving quite the interesting conundrum for those who both HATED the Citizens United decision but now find themselves DESPISING that National Security Agency’s (NSA) peek under the hood at millions of lines of metadata on American citizens’ phone records.
Because corporations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Google are taking the uncomfortable action of invoking their First Amendment speech rights to file suit, in the case of the former, and in requesting the release of records showing exactly how persistent the government was in insisting that the search giant provide them private information on American citizens.
Michael Turk wrote a terrific blog post detailing a similarly terrific piece on the ACLU v. Clapper case by Wendy Kaminer at The Atlantic at his blog, Kung Fu Quip:
The rise of the so-called “liberty movement,” which sprang out of the early days of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, and of the tea party movement, which was a reaction to the one-party Democrat rule in Washington after the 2008 elections (with Obama’s victory being the likely spark) has forced the Republican Party to wrestle with warring factions in an attempt to establish a winning coalition.
Those in the media love to paint the GOP’s internal struggle as evidence of a party in the throes of extinction; as a party out-of-touch with mainstream America. But I think the “growing pains” the GOP are experiencing could potentially strengthen the Republican Party.
I am of the opinion that we have two political parties in our first-past-the-post electoral system. Few candidates have won major office in recent history under the banner of any party other than the Republican or Democrat parties. There are exceptions, but they’re rare, and those candidates usually win because of their personality, rather than a set of ideals on which a party platform could be constructed. Think Maine’s Angus King or Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman.
It is with that understanding that many within the “liberty movement” in Virginia have begun working within the Republican Party to move it in a more (small-L) libertarian direction. Our reasoning is that political parties do not hold a certain philosophy; they are vessels through which their members advance a set of ideas and beliefs. As the GOP looks for a path forward, it should look to the way the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) has embraced liberty activists.
We’re approaching the one-year anniversary of the senseless, tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in which a madman killed 26 people, including 20 young children.
This shooting left a lot of questions about motive and rekindled a dormant debate over gun control in the United States, leading to a series of executive orders signed by President Obama that would not have prevented this tragedy, nor will the actions stop future incidents. The push culminated in the defeat of onerous new anti-gun measures in April, including policies long-pushed by gun control advocates.
Despite frequent talk of reviving the gun control issue, the White House and Senate Democrats have been unable to gather enough support to move any legislation forward. Still, activist organizations have been trying to gin up grassroots support wherever they can.
The latest example comes from Organizing for Action (OFA), a Leftist grassroots organization formed out of the remnants of President Obama’s 2012 campaign that advocates for policies pushed by the White House.
The organization is urging Leftist activists and gun control advocates to host “a Newtown Anniversary Event” on December 14 to mark the tragic shooting:
There is a new wrinkle in the IRS scandal. Documents obtained by USA Today shows that the tax agency targeted Tea Party and conservative groups specifically because of what they deemed to be “anti-Obama rhetoric” (emphasis added):
Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about ”anti-Obama rhetoric,” inflammatory language and “emotional” statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status.
The internal 2011 documents, obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as “propaganda.”
Tax law experts say those comments appear to show IRS employees trying to apply the murky rules governing political activities by social welfare groups.
But the American Center for Law and Justice, a nonprofit legal institute that represents 23 of the groups appearing on the IRS list, said it appears to be “the most powerful evidence yet of a coordinated effort” by the IRS to target Tea Party groups.
Noam Chomsky, a prominent leftist and professor at MIT, says that Sarah Palin got it right when she criticized then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008 for lacking substance and running on the cheap, meaningless campaign slogan of “hope” and “change.”
“With regard to other issues, [Obama] was, as he himself put it sometimes, a kind of a blank slate, didn’t say anything. There was vague talk about all kind of nice things,” Chomsky, a self-identified socialist, told Democracy Now during a recent interview.
“I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she was making fun of this ‘hopey-changey’ stuff, she was right,” said the MIT linguistics professor. “There was nothing there.”
Chomsky, praised Occupy Wall Street in the interview and complimented President Obama for far-left appointments he made to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), also said that elections in the United States’ are “public relations extravaganzas” designed to stay away from relevant issues and concerns.
“That’s the thing that’s so interesting about the Left, is they think they’re populists, but they’re really elitists. So all of these elitists, you know, say, ‘Oh, individuals can’t make decisions about healthcare. These are too complicated for people.’ Well, yes, they can!” — Stephen Moore
There are many issues swirling around Capitol Hill these days, many of which could great impact the every day lives of Americans.
Earlier this week, United Liberty stopped by the Washington, DC offices of the Wall Street Journal to chat with Stephen Moore, a member of the paper’s editorial board and senior economics writer, to talk about tax reform and the push inside Congress to defund ObamaCare.
Moore is no stranger to the conservative movement. In 1999, he founded the Club for Growth, an advocacy organization that promotes free market policies, and served as its president until 2004. Moore joined the Wall Street Journal in 2005 and is the author of six books, the most recent of which is Who’s The Fairest of Them All: The Truth About Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America.
There has been a lot of discussion about tax reform recently in Congress. Moore has long-been an advocate of pro-growth tax reform and explained that the current tax code serves as a “deterrent” to our success in the global economy.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the most reliable Leftist votes on the Supreme Court, made it clear this past week that she has no intention of retiring so that President Barack Obama can pick her successor:
At age 80, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, leader of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing, says she is in excellent health, even lifting weights despite having cracked a pair of ribs again, and plans to stay several more years on the bench.
In a Reuters interview late on Tuesday, she vowed to resist any pressure to retire that might come from liberals who want to ensure that Democratic President Barack Obama can pick her successor before the November 2016 presidential election.
Ginsburg said she had fallen in the bathroom of her home in early May, sustaining the same injury she suffered last year near term’s end.
The justice, who survived two serious bouts with cancer, in 1999 and 2009, is keeping up a typically busy summer of travel, at home and abroad, beginning next week with a trip to Paris. Ginsburg said she was back to her usual weight-lifting routine and recently had good results from a bone density scan.
These comments are similar to hints dropped by Ginsburg back in 2011, when she joked that she had “a way to go” to catch up with Justice Louis Brandeis, who retired when he was 83. That indicated that she would stay on the Court until at least 2016.
Progressive groups did not receive the same measure of scrutiny as conservative groups, according to the IRS watchdog.
In a letter released by the House Ways and Means Committee, J. Russell George, the IRS watchdog, told Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) that only six progressive groups were set aside for scrutiny, 30% of the total number of progressive groups that sought tax-exempt status. George noted that 100% of conservative groups were set aside for scrutiny.
“Based on the information you flagged regarding the existence of a ‘Progressives’ entry on BOLO lists, TIGTA performed additional research which determined that six tax-exempt applications filed between May 2010 and May 2012 having the words ‘progress’ or ‘progressive’ in their names were included in the 298 cases the IRS identified as potential political cases,” George explained in response to Levin. “In total, 30 percent of the organizations we identified with the words ‘progress’ or ‘progressive’ in their names were processed as potential political cases.
“In comparison,” wrote George, “our audit found that 100 percent of the tax-exempt applications with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political cases during the timeframe of our audit.”
At a time when President Barack Obama and his administration are under fire for the various scandals that have emerged, MSNBC, which presents its coverage with an unabashed Leftist slant, has seen a pretty significant ratings drop:
In May, MSNBC, which generally runs second to the dominant leader, Fox News, among cable news channels, plunged all the way to fourth place, dropping behind not only its closest rival, CNN, but also that network’s sister channel, HLN (formerly Headline News).
At a time of intensely high interest in news, MSNBC’s ratings declined from the same period a year ago by about 20 percent. The explanation, in the network’s own analysis, comes down to this: breaking news is not really what MSNBC does.
“We’re not the place for that,” said Phil Griffin, the channel’s president, in reference to covering breaking events as CNN does. “Our brand is not that.”
A broader question is whether MSNBC is being damaged by a perception that it is not really a news channel anymore. “MS has stopped doing news so you don’t really think of them when there is a breaking news story,” said a producer who has worked in both cable and broadcast news, who asked not to be identified because of continuing relationships with one of the networks.