In this week's Liberty Update commentary "Captain America, Barack Obama and Surrender of U.S. Internet…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
"Reset" Fail: Russian Approval of U.S. Leadership at Record Low 1%

In this week's Liberty Update commentary "Captain America, Barack Obama and Surrender of U.S. Internet Authority" we highlight the Obama Administration's uninterrupted pattern of foreign policy failure to illustrate one reason its plan to surrender oversight of the open Internet to the "international community" is a toxic idea.

Perhaps nothing better represents Obama's record of failure better than Russia, where he and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bungled their infamous "Reset" attempt.  For all of its efforts to placate Vladimir Putin to the detriment of U.S. allies like Poland and Ukraine, a new Gallup survey shows that Russians' approval of U.S. leadership has fallen to a record low of 1%:

Just 1% of Russians approved of U.S. leadership in 2015 - the worst rating in the…[more]

May 27, 2016 • 12:55 pm

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Notable Quotes
On Memorial Day:

"Freedom is never given; it is won."

— A. Philip Randolph, Civil Rights Activist and Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
— A. Philip Randolph, Civil Rights Activist and Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
Posted May 27, 2016 • 07:01 am
On Clinton's State Dept IG Investigation:

"Well . . . what are we to make of the refusal by Clinton, Mills, Sullivan, and Abedin to cooperate with the Obama State Department IG?

"What are we to make of Mrs. Clinton's public posturing that of course she is prepared to cooperate -- and encourages her subordinates to cooperate -- with government investigators?

"And how is a former high government official who systematically evaded federal records requirements and then refused to cooperate with a government investigation into that evasion conceivably fit to be president of the United States?"

— Andrew C. McCarthy, Legal Commentator, Terrorism Expert and Former Federal Prosecutor
— Andrew C. McCarthy, Legal Commentator, Terrorism Expert and Former Federal Prosecutor
Posted May 26, 2016 • 08:10 am
On the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act Loophole:

"Last week's unanimous passage of a Senate bill making it easier for 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia and other foreign terror sponsors was widely heralded as a major victory.

"It's more of a cruel hoax.

"It turns out that just before the vote, Sen. Charles Schumer and other proponents of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act stuffed an amendment into the final draft allowing the attorney general and secretary of state to stop any litigation against the Saudis in its tracks.

"Yes, JASTA would remove the statutory restrictions that have prevented 9/11 families from taking the Saudi kingdom to court. But Schumer helped craft an entirely new section to the original bill, giving the Justice and State departments the power to stay court action indefinitely. All they have to do is inform the judge hearing the case that the US government has engaged with Riyadh in diplomatic talks to resolve the issue."

— Paul Sperry, New York Post
— Paul Sperry, New York Post
Posted May 25, 2016 • 07:44 am
On Curbing Union Release Time and Government Waste:

"On May 10, the Arizona Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could provide a roadmap to eliminate a persistent form of government waste in nearly all 50 states.

"At issue is the practice of union release time, which allows government employees paid time off to conduct union activity unrelated to their job duties or any public purpose. The wasteful practice occurs in a majority of state and local governments.

"The Goldwater Institute, an Arizona-based free-market think tank, filed a lawsuit in 2011 that argued release time granted to the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, a government employee union, was an unconstitutional government expenditure. ...

"If the Arizona Supreme Court establishes release time as unconstitutional, the decision could have far-reaching impact."

— Trey Kovacs, Competitive Enterprise Institute
— Trey Kovacs, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Posted May 24, 2016 • 07:50 am
On the Realities of the Ferguson Effect:

"The definitive chronicler of proactive policing, the Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald, spotlighted the Ferguson effect in a Wall Street Journal article in May 2015. She noted that arrests were sharply down in cities such as St. Louis and Baltimore because the 'incessant drumbeat against the police' across the country had 'officers scale back on proactive policing under the onslaught of anti-cop rhetoric.'

"Those encouraging such rhetoric include President Obama and his first attorney general, Eric Holder -- even though an intensive Justice Department investigation of Brown's killing in Ferguson cleared the officer involved and made clear that charges that Brown had put up his hands and surrendered were baseless.

"Obama has since said that 'there's no data to support' a Ferguson effect. That puts him at odds with his appointee FBI Director James Comey, who says that his conversations with police officials around the country convinced him there are 'marginal pullbacks by lots and lots of police officers.' ...

"Black Americans were the primary victims of the huge crime increase starting in the late 1960s, and they will be the primary victims again if the Ferguson effect continues to result in more homicides. Can't we prevent this awful history from repeating itself?"

— Michael Barone, Washington Examiner
— Michael Barone, Washington Examiner
Posted May 23, 2016 • 07:52 am
On Stinging Judicial Rebuke of DOJ Misconduct:

"In one of the most devastating critiques I have ever read of the misbehavior of lawyers at the U.S. Justice Department, a federal judge has issued an order imposing sanctions in U.S. v. Texas, the immigration lawsuit filed by 26 states that is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas, which is the federal trial court where the lawsuit was originally filed, released a 28-page opinion on May 19 that takes the Justice Department and its lawyers to task for violating multiple ethics and court rules by intentionally misleading and lying to the court. ...

"Hanen lists the specific statements made by DOJ lawyers in court and on conference calls that were outright lies, and then he lists all of the applicable ethics rules that the DOJ lawyers violated. Those misleading statements put 'to rest any doubt regarding misconduct.' Hanen said the representations were made in 'bad faith' by DOJ lawyers and breached Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b), which makes such conduct sanctionable.

"The ethics and conduct rules require a lawyer to '(1) tell the truth; (2) do not mislead the Court; and (3) do not allow the Court to be misled.' According to Hanen, the 'Government's lawyers failed on all three fronts' because their behavior was 'intentionally deceptive.' In fact, said Hanen, 'it is hard to imagine a more serious, more calculated plan of unethical conduct.'"

— Hans A. von Spakovsky, Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow
— Hans A. von Spakovsky, Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow
Posted May 20, 2016 • 07:36 am
On His and Her Clintonomics:

"The Clinton Administration was no free market paradise. And arguably his worst economic-policy instinct was making his wife 'co-President' for health care -- though the implosion of the new entitlement she tried to create helped usher in the Gingrich Congress, which pulled Mr. Clinton to the political center.

"The point is that Mrs. Clinton really is now running to be co-President, but this time her ex-President partner won't be the Bill everybody remembers from the 1990s. At least on economics, her co-President will be Mr. Obama, whose policy results everybody can see in stagnant paychecks and diminished economic prospects. Once was enough."

— The Editors, The Wall Street Journal
— The Editors, The Wall Street Journal
Posted May 19, 2016 • 07:20 am
On Puerto Rico's Unfunded Pension Liabilities:

"Unfortunately, many state and local governments have ... not been setting aside nearly enough each year to fund their pension commitments. ...

"Puerto Rico's pension plans are only 7 percent funded, resulting in some $47.6 billion of pension liability compared to $70 billion of municipal debt. The Obama administration has relentlessly pressed Congress to enact legislation that would explicitly allow Puerto Rico's pension liabilities to leapfrog all its municipal bonds, even the portion that has a constitutional priority over all other liabilities. Republican Reps. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin and Rob Bishop of Utah are sponsoring legislation in the House that would do just that.

"Proponents of such legislation falsely proclaim that its enactment would be irrelevant to the market for non-Puerto Rico bonds. This does not pass the 'straight-face' test. ...

"If Congress plays along, every municipal bond issuer in the country will pay the price going forward, and state and local pensions will be even less likely to become properly funded."

— William M. Isaac, Former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman
— William M. Isaac, Former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman
Posted May 18, 2016 • 07:42 am
On HRC Tasking Bill Clinton With 'Revitalizing' the U.S. Economy:

"The most enduring and destructive superstition about American politics is that the president is 'in charge of' the economy, and so it was no surprise to hear Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday say that she'd put her husband 'in charge of revitalizing the economy.' As my colleague Charles C. W. Cooke points out, this is an example of 'talismanic' thinking, that what makes the world go 'round is having the tribal chieftain do that voodoo that he does so well.

"There are some obvious problems with this line of thinking, the main one being that it is complete and utter undiluted poppycock. ...

"Maybe you think that Bill Clinton can turn around the U.S. economy because, as Mrs. Clinton insists, 'he knows how to do it.'

"If he does, why didn't he tell President Obama?"

— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
Posted May 17, 2016 • 08:15 am
On Obama's Two Full Terms at War:

"President Obama came into office seven years ago pledging to end the wars of his predecessor, George W. Bush. On May 6, with eight months left before he vacates the White House, Mr. Obama passed a somber, little-noticed milestone: He has now been at war longer than Mr. Bush, or any other American president.

"If the United States remains in combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria until the end of Mr. Obama's term -- a near-certainty given the president'€™s recent announcement that he will send 250 additional Special Operations forces to Syria -- he will leave behind an improbable legacy as the only president in American history to serve two complete terms with the nation at war.

"Mr. Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and spent his years in the White House trying to fulfill the promises he made as an antiwar candidate, would have a longer tour of duty as a wartime president than Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon or his hero Abraham Lincoln."

— Mark Landler, The New York Times White House Correspondent
— Mark Landler, The New York Times White House Correspondent
Posted May 16, 2016 • 07:38 am
Question of the Week   
Since its inception in 1861, how many Medal of Honor recipients have been women?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"Freedom is never given; it is won."…[more]
—A. Philip Randolph, Civil Rights Activist and Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
— A. Philip Randolph, Civil Rights Activist and Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
Liberty Poll   

If Bernie Sanders debates Donald Trump before the California presidential primaries, who will be the biggest loser?