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Today in Liberty: Email privacy reform bill hits the magic number, Senate Conservatives Funds goes on the air for Chris McDaniel

“Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?” — Thomas Sowell

— Email Privacy Act hits majority support: We mentioned in Tuesday’s Today in Liberty that the Email Privacy Act was very close to 218 cosponsors, a majority of the House of Representatives. Well, it happened. “The Email Privacy Act from Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-Kans.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) gained its 218th cosponsor late on Tuesday, giving the sponsors hope that the bill could move this year,” The Hill reports. “The sponsors have been talking with House leadership and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) about moving the bill forward, according to Yoder.” The Email Privacy Act would close a loophole in the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act that allows law enforcement agencies to access emails and other electronic communications older than 180 days without a warrant.

There’s an avalanche of bad news for Obama and Democrats in the latest Fox News poll

There are nearly five months — 148 days, to be exact — between now and election day, and the latest Fox News poll shows that President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are in terrible position.

President Obama’s approval rating is still anemic, at 40 percent, and his disapproval rating has jumped from 49 percent in May to 54 percent this month. But the low approval ratings have been around for a while, as Real Clear Politics’ poll aggregator shows, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of his problems.

Obama’s approval rating on key issues has taken a nose dive

President Obama’s approval rating on the economy and healthcare were in the 40s last month — 46 percent and 43 percent, respectively — and though he was still underwater the disparity wasn’t that large. His approval rating on foreign policy fell from 39 percent to 34 percent this month and his disapproval jumped from 49 percent to 56 percent.

Voters believe his administration less competent than Bush, Clinton

Today in Liberty: Clinton dismisses Benghazi as a “political slugfest,” Amash leads establishment challenger by 30 points

“Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.” — Thomas Jefferson

— Hillary Clinton won’t participate in Benghazi “political slugfest”: The former Secretary of State is basically daring the Select Committee on Benghazi to subpoena her as a witness. Clinton dedicated an entire chapter in her forthcoming book, Hard Choices, to the 2012 terrorist attack. “I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans. It’s just plain wrong, and it’s unworthy of our great country,” Clinton writes in her new book, according to Politico. “Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me.” Because answers are so overrated. House Democrats are participating in the select committee at the urging of Clinton allies to insulate her from attacks that could hurt a 2016 presidential bid.

Americans to Obama: No, the Obamacare debate isn’t over

Obamacare may be off the frontpage, as yet another Obama administration scandal has dominated the headlines, but the law remains immensely unpopular with Americans, according to the latest Associated Press-GfK poll:

A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that public opinion continues to run deeply negative on the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature effort to cover the uninsured. Forty-three percent oppose the law, compared with just 28 percent in support.
[…]
The poll does have a bright spot for the administration: Those who signed up for coverage aren’t reeling from sticker shock. Most said they found premiums in line with what they expected, or even lower.

But even that was diminished by another finding: More than one-third of those who said they or someone in their household tried to enroll, were ultimately unable to do so. For the White House, it’s an uncomfortable reminder of the technical problems that paralyzed the HealthCare.gov website for weeks after it went live last fall.

The numbers are roughly consistent with the past three Associated Press-GfK polls on the law dating back to December. Overall, more than 50 percent of Americans oppose Obamacare, according polling data compiled by Real Clear Politics, making President Obama’s declaration that the Obamacare “debate is and should be over” look laughably absurd.

New battleground poll shows a looming election disaster for Democrats

A new battleground poll released this morning by Politico shows that Republicans hold a huge advantage over Democrats in key House and Senate races as voters overwhelmingly disapprove of President Barack Obama’s job performance and Obamacare, his signature domestic achievement (emphasis added):

In the congressional districts and states where the 2014 elections will actually be decided, likely voters said they would prefer to vote for a Republican over a Democrat by 7 points, 41 percent to 34 percent. A quarter of voters said they were unsure of their preference.

Among these critical voters, Obama’s job approval is a perilous 40 percent, and nearly half say they favor outright repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Sixty percent say they believe the debate over the law is not over, compared with 39 percent who echo the president’s position and say the ACA debate has effectively concluded.

If those numbers weren’t bad enough, the graphic Politico included is just devastating for Democrats. As you can see, Republicans hold a 9-point advantage in competitive House districts and a 7-point lead in Senate races. Republicans need to win a net-six seats this fall to take control of the upper chamber.

Voters could hand Republicans a Senate majority if Obama rejects Keystone XL

As Democrats struggle to come up with a coherent message on the proposed Keystone XL, voters in five states with potentially competitive Senate race are signaling that President Barack Obama’s decision on the oil pipeline could loom large when they head to the polls this fall.

Vulnerable “Red State” Senate Democrats have been pressuring Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and other leaders to hold a vote on Keystone XL, though the measure could be a pointless, nonbinding statement of support from the chamber. Republicans, however, want the measure brought up as an amendment to the Shaheen-Portman energy bill, a nonstarter for Democratic leadership.

Democrats are in one helluva pickle on Keystone XL. On one hand they have their radical environmentalist base and big money donors like Tom Steyer. On the other, they have vulnerable members running for reelection in states in which there is support for the oil pipeline.

But utterly meaningless on statements of support in the Senate or even a binding resolution may not be enough for Democrats running in competitive Senate races. New polling, conducted by Hickman Analytics for Consumer Energy Alliance, finds that Democrats could face problems if President Obama rejects Keystone XL.

Sorry, McCain and Graham, Americans have become foreign policy skeptics

There are plenty of reasons to criticize President Barack Obama on foreign policy. He and his administration have made a number of missteps over the course of five-plus years, often coming across incoherent or badly prioritized.

President Obama, for all of his missteps, has largely put forward the same foreign policy as his predecessor, George W. Bush. He’s either intervened or tried to intervene in countries that present no threat to the United States. Even though the U.S. is (finally) withdrawing from Afghanistan, this administration has continued the war on terrorism through targeted drone strikes that violate the sovereignty of other countries.

But Hawkish Republicans have used these blunders to criticize his leadership on foreign affairs, frequently saying that he projects weakness and emboldens the United States’ enemies. There is some truth to that, but for different reasons.

Take Syria, for example. President Obama did project weakness in this situation, but only because he made a bold declaration by drawing a “red line” on the use of chemical weapons, which, if crossed, would bring a military response against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

It provided a convenient opening for the GOP to criticize President Obama’s foreign policy, much like the situation in Ukraine and tension relations with Russia do today. But the hawkish rhetoric that many Republicans doesn’t represent the way most Americans view foreign policy.

Today in Liberty: Chinese economy to pass United States, conservative Millennials more likely to vote this fall

Today in Liberty is a daily roundup of recent political news and other interesting stories presented with liberty-minded commentary. We frequently keep tabs on liberty-minded politicians and candidates in these updates. Click here to receive Today in Liberty every weekday morning via email.

— First quarter GDP figure disappoints: Though the stock market finished strong yesterday, the first quarter GDP figure was nothing to be happy about. The economy is still sputtering along, folks. “The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its first report for GDP growth in the first quarter of 2014 today,” the Heritage Foundation notes. “It showed the economy grew at an anemic 0.1 percent from January to March. The more meaningful measure of growth, private-sector GDP, rose by a still meager 0.2 percent.” If healthcare spending hadn’t skyrocketed by almost 10 percent in the first three months of the year, first quarter GDP would have been in the negative. Rick Santelli’s reaction? “Holy cow.”

Today in Liberty: Attacks on Koch brothers aren’t working, Millennials trust in gov’t falls to new low

“One of the reasons you’re seeing so many people interested in libertarian ideas is the failure of the Republicans, the failure of the Democrats, but also the ability to go get the information for yourself: You’re not waiting for the [parties] to tell you what you think anymore.” — Matt Kibbe

— White House opposes even the smallest Obamacare changes: On Tuesday, the House passed the Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act, a bipartisan measure introduced by Rep. John Carney (D-DE) that loosens health insurance rules on expatriates and Americans who travel frequently outside the country. The bill appears to be tailored for Cigna, a Delaware-based insurer. But the White House is having none of it. In a statement issued yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget stated that “[t]he administration does not support House passage of H.R. 4414 in its current form because it would reduce consumer protections and create even more loopholes in the tax code.” We’re not saying that this is necessarily a worthy bill, but the White House’s opposition to any changes to the law is just ridiculous.

CNN: ABC/WaPo Poll A “Low Point For Obama, For His Entire Presidency”

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In a panel discussion this morning on CNN’s New Day, John King brought up the new Washington Post/ABC News poll which found President Barack Obama’s approval rating falling across the board.

“The one constant if you look at history to track, to get a sense of where we’re going is the president’s approval rating. [The] ABC News/Washington Post poll out just this morning, the President’s job approval rating [is] at 41 percent,” said King. “In the ABC/Washington Post poll, that is the lowest of the Obama presidency.”

The Atlantic’s Molly Ball agreed, telling King that the poll “is absolutely a low-point for Obama, for his entire presidency.”


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