Jason and Matthew

Recent Posts From Jason and Matthew

Today in Liberty: House authorizes lawsuit against Barack Obama, Rand Paul slams MSNBC host’s distortion of his record

“The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.” — Milton Friedman

— Happy birthday, Milton Friedman: You may have noticed that we’ve featured quotes from Milton Friedman, the famous free market economist and Nobel Prize laureate. He was born on this day in 1912. Words cannot express how much of an impact Friedman had on public policy. He advanced free market capitalism in various areas, especially in school choice. He played a key role in ending the military draft and made some of the compelling arguments against the war on drugs. Celebrate Milton Friedman’s legacy by checking out Capitalism and Freedom and Freedom to Choose: A Personal Statement.

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: 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 gives a middle finger to Congress on Iraq, GOP establishment may lose by winning in Mississippi

“I believe that every individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruits of his labor, so far as it in no way interferes with any other men’s rights.” — Abraham Lincoln

— What dystopian country does Obama think he runs?: President Barack Obama says he has constitutional authority to send American troops to Iraq without congressional approval. “This action is being undertaken in coordination with the Government of Iraq and has been directed consistent with my responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive,” Obama wrote in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). “I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in these actions.” As a reminder, the War Powers Resolution doesn’t give a president carte blanche to bomb a country or deploy troops whenever he pleases. It lays out very specific conditions in 50 USC § 1541(c) under which the White House can utilize its powers: a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization, or a national emergency created by an attack on the United States. The 2002 Iraq war resolution is, basically, irrelevant in the current situation, meaning that President Obama should seek authorization before sending advisers or troops to Iraq or approving military strikes against ISIL.

Today in Liberty: IRS scandal is worse than we imagined; SCOTUS issues big win for cell phone privacy

“Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant.” — Chief Justice John Roberts

— Oh, wow, the IRS scandal just got a lot worse: Emails released by the House Ways and Means Committee reveal that disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner targeted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), referring him to the agency for examination. “We have seen a lot of unbelievable things in this investigation, but the fact that Lois Lerner attempted to initiate an apparently baseless IRS examination against a sitting Republican United States Senator is shocking,” Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) said in a press release. “At every turn, Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights.  We may never know the full extent of the abuse since the IRS conveniently lost two years of Lerner emails, not to mention those of other key figures in this scandal. The fact that DOJ refuses to investigate the IRS’s abuses or appoint a special counsel demonstrates, yet again, this Administration’s unwillingness to uphold the rule of law.” Basically, Lerner received an invitation to an event that was intended for Grassley, and it looks like Grassley received hers. The group sponsoring the event, the name of which was redacted, offered to pay for his wife to come along. Lerner suggested that it was inappropriate and wrote: “Perhaps we should refer to Exam?”

Today in Liberty: Battle over Ex-Im Bank builds; MSNBC host thanks David Koch… really?!

“The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people.” — Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

— Lots of Ex-Im Bank news from Capitol Hill: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) demurred when asked about the future of the Export-Import Bank. “My job is to work with our members to get to a place where the members are comfortable,” Boehner told reporters. “Some people believe that we shouldn’t have it at all. Others believe that we should reauthorize it with significant reforms, and we’re going to work our way through this.” He’s not saying that the Bank is doomed, but he isn’t throwing his weight behind it either, which is significant. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), however, said that the upper chamber should vote on reauthorization. “I think we ought to take it up,” McConnell said. “That’s the whole point of what we’ve been talking about here. The fact that there are dissent and disagreement is not unusual. It’s a country of 315 million people, lot of different points of view. They expect us to debate these issues and vote on them here in the Senate.” House Democrats are making a push for reauthorization, introducing legislation that would extend the Export-Import Bank’s charter for seven years. Because cronyism.

Today in Liberty: Obama secretly argued against your Constitutional rights; Republicans will decide Cochran vs. McDaniel today

“Political success over time is determined by the number and effectiveness of activists on either side.” — Morton Blackwell, founder and president of the Leadership Institute

— You have no constitutional rights: Because they can be revoked by the federal government whenever we’re at war. At least that’s what the Obama administration argued in the July 2010 legal memo it used to justify the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki. “We do not believe that [al-Awlaki’s] U.S. citizenship imposes constitutional limitations that would preclude the contemplated lethal action under the facts represented to us by DoD, the CIA and the Intelligence Community,” the memo says (begins on p. 67). “Based upon the facts represented to us, moreover, the target of the contemplated operation has engaged in conduct as part of that organization that brings him within the scope of the AUMF.” More here. Two things about the memo. Once we begin sacrificing constitutional protections, for whatever reason, we begin going down a very dangerous road. But let’s remember that this isn’t the first step down that road, just the most recent. The other point is that David Barron, the author of this memo, was recently confirmed by Senate Democrats to serve on the First District Court of Appeals.

Today in Liberty: Rand Paul smacks down Obama’s neocon foreign policy, House passes Massie NSA amendment

“Talk is cheap…except when Congress does it.” — Cullen Hightower

— Rand Paul smacks down Obama and neocon foreign policy: In an editorial at the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) cautions the Obama administration and lawmakers from choosing sides in, what has become, the Iraq civil war. But something he mentioned in the piece deserves some attention. “Saying the mess in Iraq is President Obama’s fault ignores what President Bush did wrong. Saying it is President Bush’s fault is to ignore all the horrible foreign policy decisions in Syria, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere under President Obama, many of which may have contributed to the current crisis in Iraq. For former Bush officials to blame President Obama or for Democrats to blame President Bush only serves as a reminder that both sides continue to get foreign policy wrong. We need a new approach, one that emulates Reagan’s policies, puts America first, seeks peace, faces war reluctantly, and when necessary acts fully and decisively,” Paul writes. “Too many in Washington are prevented by their own pride from admitting their mistakes. They are more concerned about saving face or pursuing a rigid ideology than they are with constructing a realist foreign policy.” Basically, both sides are to blame for the foreign policy mess that we’re in today, and there’s really no getting around that.

Today in Liberty: House Republican Leadership elections are today, terrible bipartisan idea to hike the gas tax on the horizon

“The more the state ‘plans,’ the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.” — F.A. Hayek

— Raul Labrador makes his case for Majority Leader: Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) pitched his candidacy on Wednesday for House Majority Leader to his fellow Republicans. “If you have an idea, I want to empower you to take it through committee. You will not always succeed, but I want you to feel like you had a fair shot. I want members of Congress to be more relevant than the staff. Why are we even here if the leadership staff is going to make all decisions any way?” Labrador asked, according to prepared remarks. “I want the process to work. If bills pass, they must pass on their merits. I don’t want any more SGR bills passing on voice votes, Transportation/Postal Reform deals that nobody has heard of, NSA reform bills that pass a committee unanimously and are changed and watered down in the Rules committee.” He also said that he wants bill text posted online for at least 72 hours before the House votes and for the Republicans to keep their pledge to “reform Congress and restore trust,” asking his colleagues if they believed that they’d followed through on that promise. “If you vote for the status quo [on Thursday], you will prove that we are still not listening,” said Labrador. “We will break our pledge and with that we may lose the ability to regain control of the Senate and eventually win the Presidency.” The vote is schedule for today. We’ll have the results posted as soon as they’re available. Courtsey of Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), you can get an idea of how some House Republicans plan to vote.

Jason and Matthew

Editor-in-Chief


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