Today in Liberty

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.

Today in Liberty: Obama’s approval rating tanks, Kerry deals with “apartheid” fallout

“Your mountains are breathtaking, your coffee is fair trade, and everywhere you go you hear the sound of f**king ukuleles. That’s all very charming until you waste tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on a website that doesn’t work.”John Oliver on Oregon’s Obamacare website

— WaPo/ABC poll brings bad news for Obama: A new Washington Post/ABC News poll released this morning finds that President Obama’s approval rating has taken a nosedive. “The poll shows Obama’s approval rating is down to 41 percent, a point below its previous low of 42 percent, in November,” the Washington Post reports. “The president’s disapproval rating is at 52 percent, three points lower than the previous high. Six percent have no opinion on Obama.” #PANIC #DOOM

— Yeah, that Obamacare “boost” is gone: the WaPo/ABC News poll also found that the boost President Obama got from the Obamacare enrollment numbers is gone, just a couple weeks after he spiked the football at a White House press conference. “Following some rare good news about the law — including meeting its sign-ups goal despite a rough launch— 44 percent of voters approved of his handling of it. That number is now down to 37 percent, with 57 percent disapproving,” the paper explains. “Views of Obamacare overall have also dropped after a slight boost. While 49 percent approved of the law last month, 44 percent approve of it this month — the lowest that number has been since November. Forty-eight percent of Americans disapprove of the law.”

Today in Liberty: Dems worried Obama will compromise, Fourth Amendment at the Supreme Court

“One area of common ground for most politically engaged people (who aren’t cronies) is the issue of crony capitalism. [M]ost people, libertarians, progressives, liberals, conservatives, pretty much agree that using the government to further the interests of private parties for profit is wrong.”Nick Sorrentino

— Dems worried Obama will compromise: That relies on the assumption that Democrats perform poorly this fall, of course. “With Obama’s political career winding down and poll numbers continuing to languish, his party brethren fret that their own president — forced to work with GOP majorities — would give away the store on key policy issues ranging from the budget to energy and trade,” Politico explains. “It’s a concern congressional Democrats have voiced every time Obama and Vice President Joe Biden tried to cut big fiscal deals with Republicans — and the panic is now more palpable with the growing prospect of a Senate GOP majority.” Oh, God forbid President Obama wake up to a new reality on January 3, 2015 and realize he needs to, you know, actually work with Republicans if he wants salvage his legacy.

Today in Liberty: Harry Reid is the new Nancy Pelosi, taxpayers subsidize state-owned businesses

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. We also inject some humor on occasion. Click here to receive Today in Liberty every weekday morning via email.

— Harry Reid is the new hotness: The Senate majority leader is the villain in this year’s mid-term election, in case you haven’t already noticed, and he’s one that can be used in both House and Senate races. “A GOP strategist said Pelosi is still No. 2 on the list of liberal villains that scare conservative donors into action, after President Obama. But others say Reid has become a more compelling bogeyman,” The Hill explains. “The main reason? Pelosi no longer runs the House after the GOP reclaimed the lower chamber in 2010. Republicans have been unable to strip Reid of his majority leader title, but they think this will be the year they do that.”

— Al Gore is still around: And he’s stull super serial about climate change. After three  pretentious opening paragraphs, Politico Magazine catches us up on what former Vice President Al Gore is doing these days and his frustrations with the lack of action on climate change. Basically, big money and the Koch brothers are blamed. Oh, and when asked if he’ll run for president again, Gore said this: “I am a recovering politician. And the longer I avoid a relapse the more confidence that I will not succumb to the temptation to run yet again. But I’m a recovering politician. I’ll just leave it at that.”

Today in Liberty: Veterans die waiting for healthcare, Rand Paul touts school choice

“The difference between government and organized crime is that organized part.”Anonymous

— Veterans die while waiting for government-run healthcare: CNN’s Anderson Cooper touched on an outrageous, very serious problem with the government-run veterans’ healthcare system. “At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list,” CNN reports. “The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.”

— Rand Paul talks up school choice: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke to a crowd of Latino parents and students in Milwaukee yesterday about Wisconsin’s school voucher program. National Review notes that Paul hailed the city at the “home of school choice” and explained that the tax dollars used for voucher problems belong to parents, not bureaucrats. “The exact ways the programs are set up is more of a state issue,” Paul told National Review, ”but I think the more school choice the better, so I would really allow everybody to have school choice regardless of income. I think for political reasons it’s been easier just to start with some. What I see is it’s a great advantage for everybody that I’ve seen participating in it.”

Today in Liberty: Rand Paul-backed House candidate wins in Florida, SCOTUS upholds affirmative action ban

“We cannot wish away the objections of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith traditions, or browbeat them into submission. Even in our constitutional system, persuasion is a minority’s first and best strategy. It has served us well and we should not be done with it.”Freedom to Marry, Freedom to Dissent: Why We Must Have Both

— Clawson wins special election in FL-19: Curt Clawson, a self-funder backed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Tea Party Express, won the special election in Florida’s 19th Congressional District, to fill the seat left open by Trey Radel’s resignation. Clawson took 38 percent of the vote to state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto’s 26 percent. Benacquisto was backed by Sarah Palin. “I got into this race because I felt like we needed more Outsiders in Congress,” said Clawson, according to The Hill. “The career politicians aren’t getting the job done, and I don’t see a whole lot of people in Washington with the experience as a CEO in making the tough decisions to save our country.” No Democrat ran in the special election.

Today in Liberty: NAACP praises Rand Paul, GOP winning the Twitter war

“There is an ongoing national discussion about marijuana sentencing reform, and I want to make sure the Republicans are leading the charge. It’s an issue that can unite members of our community, regardless of party, race or gender.”Matthew Hurtt

— NAACP leader praises Rand Paul: The Kentucky Republican’s message on civil rights has won praise from the NAACP, a group not usually sympathetic to Republicans. “It is such a pervasive issue in our community,” NAACP President and CEO Lorraine Miller told NPR, “and, quite honestly, if we can get the ear of someone like Rand Paul, that helps us in trying to find solutions that make sense.” Paul has pushed issues like mandatory minimum reform, school choice, and restoring felon voting rights in various speeches around the country. The NAACP has contacted Paul about speaking to the organization.

Today in Liberty: Greenwald teases more NSA revelations, just half of Georgia’s Obamacare signups have paid

“[I]f you want to be adversarial to those who wield power, you have to expect that those who wield power aren’t going to like what you’re doing very much.”Glenn Greenwald

— Expect more NSA revelations: In an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Glenn Greenwald said that we can expect more disclosures about the NSA in a new book due out next month. “There are stories that I felt from the beginning really needed the length of a book to be able to report and to do justice to,” Greenwald said, “so there’s new documents, there’s new revelations in the book that I think will help inform the debate even further.” The book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, is slated for a May 14 release.

Today in Liberty: IRS tracking license plates, Amash outraises primary opponent

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

— IRS among agencies using license plate-tracking: Several federal agencies, including the IRS, have contracted with vendors to use license plate-tracking technology. “Bloomberg News reported that the IRS and other government agencies awarded about $415,000 in contracts to Livermore, Calif.-based Vigilant Solutions before the Department of Homeland Security dropped a plan for similar work after privacy concerns were raised,” Fox News reports. “The Justice Department’s Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, DHS and U.S. Marshals Service have also awarded contracts to Vigilant for access to its records or tracking tools, according to the report.” There are obviously some big issues with this. “These systems treat every single person in an area as if they’re under investigation for a crime,” said Jennifer Lynch, a staff attorney with EFF, “that is not the way our criminal justice system was set up or the way things work in a democratic society.”

Today in Liberty: Republicans must take on cronyism, national ID making a comeback

“If the grassroots, conservative activists, and tea parties are going to change Washington, they must change the GOP. To change the GOP, its incumbent faces must be changed. These are the three incumbent races that matter most. Right now, the grassroots are behind. They have to make up ground.”Erick Erickson

— Democrats apparently serious about Sebelius: It’s not a joke, folks. Democrats are serious about their efforts to draft former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to run for the U.S. Senate seat in Kansas. “I can’t think of a person who’s in a better position to defend Obamacare than Sebelius,” a Democratic strategist told The Hill. “If she runs and she becomes a viable and serious candidate for Senate, that really throws a wrench into the Republicans’ playbook and certainly their narrative that there’s this kryptonite out there called Obamacare.” People closest to Sebelius doubt she’ll run, largely because it’s just too soon after her tumultuous tenure in the Obama administration. Also, President Obama and Obamacare just aren’t that popular in Kansas.


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