Rand Paul

Rand Paul, Justin Amash, and Grover Norquist are pushing the GOP in a more libertarian direction

Rand Paul and Grover Norquist

More Americans are embracing the ideals of liberty and limited government, Michigan Congressman Justin Amash suggested in a recent interview with Reason. “The public is more libertarian, the public is saying we want people who are going to be independent and not bow to leadership in either of the major parties,” Amash said, noting the House Liberty Caucus has seen steady growth over the last few years. Expressing optimism, Amash continued:

Things aren’t going our way when it comes to the votes right now… But we are seeing things change at home in our districts and we are seeing things change with respect to the newly elected members in both parties. There is a belief in liberty that is deeply ingrained in Americans, and when we see it starting to slip away, we push back against the system.

Though Amash suggests also that there are streaks of liberty in both parties, both Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and American’s for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist hope voters embrace the Republican Party in their quest to advance liberty.

Writing at Reason, Senator Paul notes:

I believe a Republican Party that is more tolerant and dedicated to keeping the government out of people’s personal business would be more appealing to the rising generation and libertarians alike.

Marvel just released their movie schedule through President Rand Paul’s first term

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It is truly a great time to be a nerd.

At a small New York press event on Tuesday, Marvel Studios announced their next phase of superhero movie releases after next spring’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, including the third Thor and Captain America titles, a slew of new character solo films, and a two-part grand finale called Avengers: Infinity War. In total, nine new movies were announced, spanning from late 2016 to the end of 2019, corresponding uncoincidentally with what will be almost the entire first term of President Rand Paul.

In addition to the already in production Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, both scheduled for release in 2015, the newly announced Captain America: Civil War will premiere in May 2016, in the midst of the presidential primaries. Though by that point, now-Senator Rand Paul may have wrapped up the GOP nomination and be gearing up to choose a running mate and rally the nation at the Republican National Convention.

Doctor Strange, the first of the newly announced character films, which likely will star Benedict Cumberbatch, will premiere on November 4, 2016, just four days before GOP nominee Paul receives at least 270 electoral votes (though probably closer to 315) to win the presidential election on November 8.

Rand Paul’s path to 2016 cuts through 2014 Senate races

Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell

It’s no secret Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is considering a run for the presidency in 2016. In fact, the discussion is so serious in the Paul camp that he’s calling a meeting of top advisers and allies in D.C. the week following the mid-term elections, ostensibly to switch gears from 2014 to 2016:

The gathering of Paul’s top lieutenants in the nation’s capital has been quietly organized by Doug Stafford, his chief political strategist, who began reaching out to key figures in Paul’s political world earlier this month, multiple sources told National Journal.

Stafford has told invitees to reserve Nov. 12 on their calendar both during the day and into the night. Paul himself is expected to attend some of the meetings.

“This is the come-to-Jesus before the planned launch,” said one Paul insider, who has been invited to the gathering.

The meeting of the Kentucky Republican’s kitchen Cabinet has been kept under wraps, with most of the invitees not even told who else will be there. Stafford has yet to circulate a formal agenda, though few on “Team Rand,” as Stafford sometimes calls the group, need to be told the talks will focus on a presidential run.

But in the weeks leading up to Election Day 2014, Senator Paul has been the most visible sitting Republican Senator on the campaign trail — stumping for incumbents and challengers alike as Republicans seek to take back the Senate majority.

When America’s interests are threatened, it must act: Non-interventionism is not pacifism, and sometimes you have to hit back

The mainstream media is all atwitter this week about how the new breed of Republican doves is already turning back to their old hawkish ways in the face of new global threats. I’m not sure if this is a not-so-subtle attempt to paint non-interventionism as unsustainable, or if conventional wisdom is just that ignorant about what non-interventionism actually is.

So let’s set the record straight once and for all. Non-interventionism is not pacificism. When American interests are threatened or Americans are killed, non-interventionists are right to demand action, and that doesn’t make them no longer non-interventionists.

Robert Costa and Sebastian Payne at the Washington Post provide good reporting on a faulty premise in their “Rise of Islamic State tests GOP anti-interventionists.” Naturally, Hawk-in-Chief John McCain is using this piece to mock Rand Paul and others via subtweet.

Only Congress can authorize military action: A stronger response against ISIS may be necessary, but Obama must seek approval

The United States’ airstrike campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is prompting some members of Congress from both parties to push for authorization for any further military action that President Barack Obama wants to take.

The situation is not unlike the push in the House of Representatives in August 2013 to put pressure on President Obama to seek congressional authorization against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-VA) penned separate letters to the White House, signed by more than 170 colleagues, in which they encouraged the administration to come to Congress, as the Constitution requires.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) recently told the Associated Press that, in light of the current situation in Iraq, he wants to “destroy ISIS militarily,” but said that such a campaign would need to be approved by Congress. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) has also said that President Obama must ask Congress for further action against ISIS, something that has gotten under the skin of his Democratic colleagues.

A third way on foreign policy: U.S. needs to be cautious about the prospects of military intervention

Libertarians, generally by definition non-interventionists, have found themselves in a bit of a quandary of late as the debate about ISIS — and how much of a REAL threat it poses to the United States — ramps up and gets the national security wonk tongues wagging. For many libertarians, the debate hinges less on protecting U.S. interests abroad, but in protecting hearth and home. In other words, non-interventionism ends the minute the enemy is at the gate. And since no one seems to know exactly how powerful ISIS is in their ability to cross the ocean, it’s been a fascinating debate to watch.

It’s a mistake to assume libertarians are anti-interventionist because they are afraid of a fight. Many, in fact, are by nature brave enough to stand outside current accepted thoughts and practices — often alone and screaming into the wind. Their preference for staying out of world conflict is born of economic pragmatism and a belief in individual and national self-determinism more than anything else.

So what do they do with an increasingly belligerent world and an enemy that threatened (even though that threat turned out to be hollow. This time.) to raise a flag over the seat of governing power in this country?

In other words, is there, as T. Becket Adams proposes in a recent piece for the Washington Examiner, a “third way”?:

Ron Paul calls the indictment of Rick Perry “a joke,” slams the prosecuting district attorney for abusing her power

Rick Perry and Ron Paul

Former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) may not see eye to eye on many political and policy issues, but that didn’t stop Paul, a two-time Republican presidential candidate, from tearing into the indictment:

“This is pure politics, I tell ya. This is really a joke,” Paul told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Monday.

The former Texas congressman made sure to mention that he doesn’t “generally defend our governor very much,” saying Perry’s record on civil liberties and foreign policy is “a disaster.”

But in this case, he added, “the abuse of power comes more from the DA’s office than the governor’s office.”

Paul and Perry ran for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. The two had an apparent confrontation during a commercial break at a September 2011 debate, during which Perry placed his right hand on Paul’s arm and held pointed his left pointer finger at his opponent in a lecturing manner.

Paul later played down the incident, telling a crowd of supporters that he couldn’t recall what he and Perry discussed.

Hillary Clinton under fire for extravagant speaking deal while Rand Paul heads to Guatemala to perform free eye surgeries

There is nothing wrong with a former public official leveraging their status to make a healthy living, and then some. But the case of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a little different.

The 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner has claimed that her family was “dead broke” when they left the White House, despite purchasing homes in Washington, D.C. and New York. To mitigate the criticism done by her gaffe, Clinton claimed that she pays her taxes, “unlike a lot of people who are truly well off.”

Clinton is trying to toe a fine line. She wants to present herself as a populist, someone in tune with the economic struggles of ordinary voters, or, as she says, earning a living “through dint of hard work.” But she’s finding it difficult to do so given that she’s made millions of dollars off speaking fees, $4.2 million alone from big business, and book deals.

Washington Post stumped by Rand Paul because he’s shattering media narratives about the Tea Party

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) outreach efforts to minorities and young people with a heavy focus on criminal justice reform, police militarization, and civil liberties has perplexed the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake.

Over at Washington Post’s The Fix, Blake declared that the “Tea Party” label — which, as he notes, has been overused since the peak of the movement in 2010 — is “far too simple” for Paul. He points to the Kentucky Republican’s piece in Time on the startling scenes from Ferguson, Missouri and police militarization:

Given Paul’s political rise — he defeated an establishment-aligned Republican in a 2010 primary — it was natural to label him a tea partier. We have done it too — repeatedly. It’s the easiest short-hand for a GOP outsider. But more and more, it’s looking like that label doesn’t really fit. While Paul is certainly aligned with the tea party on a lot of stuff, the label doesn’t describe him as well as it does someone like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). An op-ed Paul wrote Thursday in Time magazine was just the latest example of that. The things Paul said in it are not the kind of things you would expect from a tea partier.
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The trouble with Paul is that no well-known labels seem to fit him well. While his dad, Ron Paul, is a pretty straight-line libertarian, that’s not really who the younger Paul is. He’s not an establishment Republican, a neo-conservative, an arch-conservative or a moderate Republican.

We still don’t know what label would be better than “tea party,” but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that this label doesn’t really fit. Maybe he’s just a Rand Paul Republican.

There could be another Left-Right alliance forming over the issue of police militarization due to the scenes from Ferguson

Ferguson, Missouri

The tragedy that took place over the weekend in Ferguson, Missouri, in which Michael Brown, a recent high school graduate, was senselessly shot and killed by a local law enforcement officer, has sparked a debate over the issue of police militarization.

Although libertarians have, for years, talked about the militarization of police and the use of the weapons of war in communities across the country. Radley Balko even wrote a fantastic book about the issue and continues to cover it extensively. But the militarization of police hadn’t received a significant amount of attention from the media and lawmakers. At least until now.

Police in the St. Louis suburb responded to what was a peaceful protest by showing up with tactical gear, military-style weapons, and armored vehicles. The situation has obviously devolved since the first protest into rioting and looting by locals, actions that simply aren’t justified and only make matters worse.

Back in June, United Liberty’s Matthew Hurtt wrote about the state and local law enforcement agencies’ acquisition of surplus and refurbished U.S. military equipment —including armored vehicles, machine guns, and other leftovers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — for use in communities around the country.


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