On multiple measures, the economic "recovery" under Barack Obama was the worst in recorded U.S. history…
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Image of the Day: Obama "Recovery" Worst On Record

On multiple measures, the economic "recovery" under Barack Obama was the worst in recorded U.S. history, due to his policies of more regulation, higher taxes and administrative fiat.  The most consecutive months of unemployment above 8% (despite promising that his trillion-dollar spending "stimulus" would prevent it from exceeding 8% at all).  The worst deficits in history, and the most debt in history.  The first time that we never reached even 3% economic growth in a year (the post-World War II average was 3.3%).  And so on.

Now here's another.  The worst record of new business creation following a recession.

. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="574" caption="Obama Economic Record"][/caption]

. Keeping in mind that most new jobs are created by new businesses, that…[more]

July 14, 2017 • 11:50 am

Liberty Update

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Notable Quotes
On the Brewing Republican Credibility Crisis:

"There's a Republican credibility crisis brewing. The party's leaders are not leading their troops, who have found that there is often only disappointment rather than reward for following orders. Republican members won office promising to reform healthcare and taxes, but run the risk of doing neither.

Republicans need to reform taxes, both to prove they can govern and to juice the economy. To reform taxes, they need to pass a budget. And to pass a budget, their leaders need to abandon their heavy-handed ways."

— The Editors, Washington Examiner
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
Posted July 20, 2017 • 07:52 am
On Senate Republicans' Failure To Repeal and Replace ObamaCare:

"There were lots of celebrations on the left side of the aisle after the Senate GOP bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare died. The good times will be short lived, because one way or another ObamaCare is going away, and it's not at all clear that Democrats will gain additional leverage over what comes next by waiting for its collapse.

"It was amusing to hear Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer say, after the Senate bill failed, that Republicans should 'work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long-term stability to the markets and improves our health care system.'

"Lower premiums, stabilize insurance markets, improve health care? Wasn't that what ObamaCare was supposed to do in the first place? ...

"So the GOP's answer to Schumer should be: You had your chance to fix health care. You blew it. Twice. First when you passed ObamaCare, and second when you refused to admit that mistake and decided to cast Republicans as evil. Why should the GOP reward you with a third?

"Plus, as the ObamaCare exchanges continue to crumble and as more states chafe at Medicaid's costs, it will be easier for Republicans to get what they want on their own -- if Republicans are smart enough to seize the opportunity, that is."

— The Editors, Investor's Business Daily
— The Editors, Investor's Business Daily
Posted July 19, 2017 • 08:06 am
On ObamaCare Repeal on the Verge of Collapse:

"With Mike Lee and Jerry Moran declaring their opposition, the latest Senate health-care bill is dead. McConnell now wants to revert to what was his original idea of repeal-only. The problem is that the CBO score will be much worse -- a projected 32 million fewer with insurance rather than 22 million -- and even repeal-only isn't true repeal (the repeal-only bill in 2015 left the Obamacare regulations untouched). If Republicans can't pass what is, in relative terms, a generous version of a repeal bill, it's hard to see how they are going to get a more stringent version over the hump -- they may get Mike Lee and Rand Paul on board, but they will presumably lose from the left of the caucus. McCain is already out with a statement calling for a bi-partisan bill. If the current fight isn't completely over, it's certainly closer to the end of the end than the end of the beginning. We may well be witnessing one of the greatest political whiffs of our time."

— Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
— Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
Posted July 18, 2017 • 08:19 am
On the Cruz Amendment to the Senate Health Care Bill:

"The Cruz amendment -- which has been inserted into the GOP Senate health plan -- is smart, because it doesn't take anything away from anyone. If you want Obamacare -- you can have it. You can have the coverage for the 10 'essential benefits,' you can have the subsidies and the exchanges that were supposed to save $2,500 per family. It's still there for you.

"The Cruz amendment creates what is called a 'Consumer Freedom Option.' This essentially allows an 'off-ramp' from Obamacare for the tens of millions of Americans who don't want it. The 'Consumer Freedom Option' allows insurers who offer Obamacare-compliant plans to offer a range of much less costly plans. In other words, it empowers people and families to pick and choose what they want in their own insurance package. Some families want and can afford blanket coverage that insures them for everything from cancer to contraceptives to drug addiction to dental care to the sniffles. If you want to pay for that coverage, go for it.

"What about families or individuals with lower incomes or healthy life styles that want the other extreme? They want slimmed-down coverage that protects them from major medical expenses -- a bad injury like breaking a leg, or a serious disease with costly ongoing treatments. These families may voluntarily choose to pay for more routine medical expenses, like a checkup or a visit to the dentist's office, out of pocket. One benefit is that since more people will pay directly for medical services, they are likely to shop around for the best price, and this competition will lower prices for everyone."

— Stephen Moore, Economist and Heritage Foundation Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity
— Stephen Moore, Economist and Heritage Foundation Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity
Posted July 17, 2017 • 08:10 am
On Reporting Iran's Non-Compliance with the Nuclear Deal:

"Per the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015, the Trump administration is required to certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran is in compliance with the July 2015 nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) and that this agreement is in the national-security interests of the United States. The next certification is due on July 17, 2017.

"It is crucial that the Trump administration, in the next JCPOA certification statement, correct the gross error it made in April, when it certified that Iran was complying with this agreement and that the JCPOA is in the national-security interests of our country. Unfortunately, the administration reportedly might make this same mistake again.

"The April certification went against Mr. Trump's accurate statements during the presidential campaign that the JCPOA was one of the worst agreements ever negotiated and that there was clear evidence of Iran's failing to meet its obligations under the agreement as well as cheating. Although many Trump officials opposed the April certification -- and this decision to certify appeared to irritate President Trump -- State Department careerists succeeded in convincing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to agree to certify anyway. Press reports yesterday indicated that President Trump will grudgingly agree to certify Iranian compliance again but could change his mind.

"Senators Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), Ted Cruz (R., Texas), David Perdue (R., Ga.), and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) made it clear in a July 11 letter to Secretary Tillerson that they do not want this to happen again and cited four ways Iran is not complying with the nuclear agreement ..."

Read entire article here.

— Fred Fleitz, Center for Security Policy Senior Vice President
— Fred Fleitz, Center for Security Policy Senior Vice President
Posted July 14, 2017 • 08:25 am
On State Pension Budget Problems:

"The vast sums states are forced to throw into pension systems erode their ability to provide good public education, safe streets and livable communities -- all goals deeply cherished by progressives.

"Roughly a quarter of the entire Illinois budget in recent years has gone to funding pensions. And yet, all this money has done is slow the rate of decline of its financial outlook.

"It is time for Americans to recognize the troubling fiscal plight in many states. Perhaps when Illinois or other states like it finally hit a fiscal wall, voters will wake up to the calamity that awaits them."

— USA Today Editorial Board
— USA Today Editorial Board
Posted July 13, 2017 • 08:33 am
On Privileged Progressives' Attacks Energizing the Trump Populist Message:

"The problem with the Democratic Party can be summed up in the strange odyssey of Bernie Sanders. Formerly a weird, hard-Left socialist outlier, Sanders became iconic of the new party by his assault on inequality and his calls for massive government intervention to share the wealth.

"But if a self-acclaimed socialist can earn a $1 million a year while on the government payroll, own three tony homes, and have his wife under FBI investigation for mismanaging and bankrupting a college and leaving with a lucrative golden parachute (and perhaps on the way out, evicting the disabled from her college's new digs), then no progressive is immune from the new Democratic stereotype of talking socialist while living hyper-capitalist.

"Figures like Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros, Jeff Bezos, and other Silicon Valley and Wall Street grandees are not the Democratic pathway to rebuilding the blue wall. So far Trump has so positioned himself that most attacks on his agenda reflect the parochial concerns of privileged progressives rather than those of hoi polloi. Every time a MSNBC talking head, a NeverTrump New York pundit, an identity politics functionary, a Hollywood celebrity, a campus Pajama Boy, a Silicon Valley master of the universe, or a Democrat functionary attacks Trump, he ends up sounding either snobbish, hypocritical, or parochial -- and thereby energizes the Trump populist message."

— Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Nationally Syndicated Columnist
— Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Nationally Syndicated Columnist
Posted July 12, 2017 • 07:47 am
On the Congressional Summer of Fiscal Woe:

"Members of Congress returned from the Fourth of July recess this week facing a series of challenging fiscal issues with looming deadlines and no agreed-upon plan to avoid potentially disastrous outcomes.

"While the focus over the holiday and into this week has been whether Senate Republicans can pass their Obamacare repeal legislation, lawmakers have an increasingly tight timeline to speed through a consolidated budget and appropriations process and raise the debt ceiling. So far, there is no clear strategy to avoid the brinksmanship that has come to define Washington, D.C., in general, and Capitol Hill, in particular.

"Neither the House nor the Senate has passed a budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2018 despite the deadline to do so passing months ago. Neither chamber has yet considered a single appropriations bill, leaving them far behind schedule. Republican members have yet to coalesce around a strategy for raising the debt ceiling -- or even determine when they plan to lift it."

— James Arkin, RealClearPolitics
— James Arkin, RealClearPolitics
Posted July 11, 2017 • 07:52 am
On Securing the Blessings of Liberty:

"When President Trump declared in his speech that 'we must work together to confront forces, whether they come from inside or out, from the south or the east, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith, and tradition that make us who we are,' he was only stating a truth demonstrated throughout history: Societies that don't want to survive won't. And that would be a particular calamity in Europe and the Anglosphere, because it is there that the conditions of ordered liberty have been most spectacularly achieved, and that achievement is fragile. Securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity did not happen naturally or spontaneously, and it is not guaranteed, except by an unflagging commitment to maintaining them -- if necessary, by force of arms.

"This is not about race. It is one of the obvious achievements of Western civilization that its values and norms aren't limited to its core countries, but have spread throughout the world, and wherever they have taken hold have contributed to the advance of human liberty and welfare.

"All of this is apparently forgotten, though, when Donald Trump is involved. That the president's critics would jettison altogether the foundations of their own liberty for dislike of him would seem to make the speech's central question -- namely, 'whether the West has the will to survive' -- all the more important."

— The Editors, National Review
— The Editors, National Review
Posted July 10, 2017 • 08:05 am
On President Trump’s Remarkable Warsaw Speech:

"President Trump delivered one of the most important speeches of his young presidency on Thursday. Billed as 'Remarks to the people of Poland,' the address was as clear a statement we've heard of Trump's nation-state populism. This philosophy, which differs in emphasis and approach from that of other post-Cold War Republican presidents, is both enduring and undefined. ...

"The most important concept in nation-state populism is the people. These are citizens of the folk community, membership in which crosses ethnic, racial, and sectarian lines. Note, for example, Trump's reference to the Nazis' systematic murder of 'millions of Poland's Jewish citizens, along with countless others, during that brutal occupation.' Or as Trump put it, in a different context, in his Inaugural Address: 'Whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American flag.'

"Together, the people constitute the nation. Borders define the nation's physical extent, but not its nature. Indeed, the nation may exist independent of statehood or political sovereignty. 'While Poland could be invaded and occupied,' Trump said, 'and its borders even erased from the map, it could never be erased from history or from your hearts. In those dark days, you had lost your land but you never lost your pride.' Nor is the nation always represented in the corridors of power. 'Today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another,' Trump said at the inaugural, 'or from one party to another -- but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C, and giving it back to you, the American people.' ...

"These are more than remarks to the Poles. They describe a world of sovereign nation-states, governed by peoples proud of their histories and confident in their futures, united in common cause against the enemies of civilization, of freedom and human dignity. And Trump presents a challenge in the form of a question: Are we still made of that stuff that populated a continent, became an industrial powerhouse, went to the moon, and defeated the Kaiser and the Fuhrer and the Emperor and the Politburo? I hope the answer is yes."

Read entire article here

— Matthew Continetti, Washington Free Beacon Editor in Chief
— Matthew Continetti, Washington Free Beacon Editor in Chief
Posted July 07, 2017 • 07:34 am
Question of the Week   
Which one of the following U.S. Presidents signed into law the greatest number of legislative bills in the first 100 days of his presidency?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"There's a Republican credibility crisis brewing. The party's leaders are not leading their troops, who have found that there is often only disappointment rather than reward for following orders. Republican members won office promising to reform healthcare and taxes, but run the risk of doing neither.Republicans need to reform taxes, both to prove they can govern and to juice the economy. To reform…[more]
—The Editors, Washington Examiner
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
Liberty Poll   

Should House Republicans follow the lead of their Senate counterparts and forego part of their August recess to continue working, or return home to meet with voters?