Today in Liberty

Today in Liberty: House GOP slams Harry Reid’s dictatorial Senate rule, voters remain skeptical of military intervention

“Conservatives who want to seal the border because liberal elites have taken over are directing their wrath at the wrong people. The problem isn’t the immigrants, it’s the elites and their multiculturalist predilections who want to turn America into a loose federation of ethnic groups. Conservatives are right to complain about bilingual education advocacy, anti-American Chicano studies professors, Spanish-language ballots, ethnically gerrymandered voting districts, La Raza’s big government agenda, and so forth. But these problems weren’t created by the women changing the linen at your hotel, or the men building homes in your neighborhood.”Jason Riley

Today in Liberty: House Republicans ramp up scrutiny of crony Ex-Im, NSA probably has your “compromising” selfies

“It constantly amazes me that defenders of the free market are expected to offer certainty and perfection while government has only to make promises and express good intentions. Many times, for instance, I’ve heard people say, ‘A free market in education is a bad idea because some child somewhere might fall through the cracks,’ even though in today’s government school, millions of children are falling through the cracks every day.” — Lawrence W. Reed

Today in Liberty: Darrell Issa may hold White House official in contempt, Senate Republicans block anti-Hobby Lobby bill

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” — Sun Tzu, The Art of War

— Issa may take action against defiant White House official: David Simas, director of the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, may find himself in contempt of Congress for his refusal to testify yesterday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on violations on the Hatch Act. “I can’t rule it in or out, yet,” said Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), according to Politico. “I can’t answer what we will do in this case, but I can tell you that there is a similar case that occurred under President [George W.] Bush and the similarities are significant.” Democrats on the committee, of course, defended the White House, which has ostensibly claimed executive privilege in order to prevent Simas from testifying. Because, you know, the suspicious political activities of the White House are basically state secrets. Or something.

Today in Liberty: Obama’s Treasury secretary wants forced “economic patriotism,” Ted Cruz backs Justin Amash in Michigan primary

“People acting in their own self-interest is the fuel for all the discovery, innovation, and prosperity that powers the world.” — John Stossel

— Treasury secretary wants to force “patriotism”: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has penned a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) in which he called on Congress to pass legislation that would discourage American-owned businesses from moving their operations overseas to more friendly tax climates. “What we need as a nation is a new sense of economic patriotism, where we all rise or fall together. We know that the American economy grows best when the middle class participates fully and when the economy grows from the middle out,” Lew wrote in the letter to Wyden. “We should not be providing support for corporations that seek to shift their profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. I hope that you will support these legislative initiatives to reverse the trend toward corporate inversions.” The U.S. has the highest marginal effect corporate income tax rate of any of the 33 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to the Tax Foundation. That’s the reason why businesses are moving overseas. Corporate inversions “hollow out the U.S. corporate income tax base,” Lew says, which is the real reason why the Obama administration is trying to get Congress to act. Businesses act in their own self-interest, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They shouldn’t be compelled to stay in the U.S. by some Orwellian sense of “economic patriotism” when the problem here is a broken tax code that discourages investment.

Today in Liberty: NSA spying damages the United States’ reputation as a beacon of freedom, crony Ex-Im pals pressure Boehner

“So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.” — Milton Friedman

— Land of the Free?: The disclosures about the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs have damaged the world’s view of the United States as a country that protects individual liberties. “In 22 of 36 countries surveyed in both 2013 and 2014, people are significantly less likely to believe the U.S. government respects the personal freedoms of its citizens. In six nations, the decline was 20 percentage points or more,” Pew Research notes. “Still, the U.S. has a relatively strong reputation for respecting personal freedoms compared with the other major nations tested on the survey. A median of 58% believe the American government respects individual liberties, while 56% say this about France, 36% about China, and only 28% say it about the Russian government.” Notice that Brazil and Germany, two countries on which the U.S. reportedly spied, are at the top of the list.

Today in Liberty: Rand Paul absolutely owns Rick Perry on foreign policy, Jon Voight says Obama is tearing the U.S. apart

“The fact that the market is not doing what we wish it would do is no reason to automatically assume that the government would do it better.” — Thomas Sowell

Today in Liberty: Obama still avoiding border visit during fundraising trip, Ted Cruz is really not happy with the NRSC

“There is something fundamentally unfair about a government that takes away so much of people’s money, power, and personal control while telling them that life will be better as a result.” — Steve Forbes

— Obama will discuss border crisis in Texas, but won’t visit the border: Facing increasing political pressure over the “humanitarian crisis” (his words) at the United States’ Southwest border, President Barack Obama will meet with local officials and church leaders to discuss the issue today in Dallas. But he still won’t visit the border during the two-day swing in which he’s set to raise money for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). “The roundtable discussion in Dallas is seen by the White House as a way to address the immigration issue while avoiding awkward optics at the border,” the Associated Press explains. “Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children have arrived there in recent months, many fleeing violence in Central America, but also drawn by rumors that they can stay in the U.S. White House officials say most are unlikely to qualify for humanitarian relief and will be sent back to their home countries.” The meeting is going to provide more fodder for congressional Republicans as well as Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), who has asked President Obama to visit the border during his trip to the Lone Star State. Pundits on MSNBC’s Morning Joe suggested on Wednesday that President Obama could offend the Democratic Party’s base if he visited the border.

Today in Liberty: Harry Reid doesn’t care about religious liberty, Ted Cruz wants a voter fraud investigation in Mississippi

“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” — Benjamin Franklin

— Harry Reid plans to address Hobby Lobby: Though Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says the Senate will tackle legislation to address the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case in the coming weeks. He didn’t offer specifics, but The Hill notes this morning that Democrats on Capitol Hill are planning to introduce legislation before that August recess to amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and reverse the decision. “At least three pieces of legislation being prepared by Democrats would help maintain access to free birth control for women affected by the court’s ruling,” The Hill explains, “though staffers provided few details on Monday.” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) is reportedly “leading the push in the upper chamber.” Sen. Dick Durban (D-IL) plans to introduce legislation to require employers to disclose whether prescription birth control is covered by in their plans. That legislation is odd given that Hobby Lobby, for example, objected to two forms of over-the-counter birth control. Two House Democrats are also working on legislation to amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The measures being crafted by congressional Democrats have no chance of passage, but this is a wedge issue, so they’re going to play it up to motivate their base. Because politics and elections.

Today in Liberty: Economy shed 523,000 full-time jobs in June, conservative groups take IRS scandal to federal court

“Governments never learn. Only people learn.” — Milton Friedman

— Yeah, about June’s jobs report: On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 288,000 jobs were added in June. That sounds great on the surface, but the devil is in the details. “The Labor Department’s household survey reveals that the economy lost 523,000 full-time jobs in June. At the same time, it gained an astounding 799,000 part-time jobs - the largest such monthly jump in two decades. Part-time jobs now top 28 million for the first time since last July,” the Washington Examiner notes. “This shift to part-time labor is an echo from June 2013, when the economy added 360,000 part-time jobs and shed 240,000 full-time ones. So why has history thus seemingly repeated itself? One possibility is that Obama decided last July to delay Obamacare’s employer mandate from 2014 to 2015.” Interestingly, Politico ran a story over the weekend pointing out that many Obamacare supporters are now “abandoning the employer mandate” because the provision of the law does “more harm than good.” The relevant data from the June jobs report can be found here (under “full- or part-time status”).

Today in Liberty: 288,000 jobs added in June, Obama’s new monarchy, federal “privacy” board not interested in privacy

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” — Declaration of Independence.

— June jobs report: The economy added 288,000 jobs in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent. Economists had projected 215,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate would hold steady. The labor participation rate — the percentage of Americans working or looking for work — was unchanged at 62.8 percent, maintaining a 35-year low.


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