In our Liberty Update commentary entitled "No, Scandinavia Doesn't Vindicate Socialism" this week, we…
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Image of the Day: Gallup Poll on Americans' View of Job Market Hits All-Time Record

In our Liberty Update commentary entitled "No, Scandinavia Doesn't Vindicate Socialism" this week, we rightly ridicule admitted socialist Bernie Sanders, including his odd claim that "we now have an economy that is fundamentally broke and grotesquely unfair."  Well, as this Gallup survey illustrates, he's swimming upstream against American public opinion.  Specifically, in a survey that Gallup has conducted periodically since 2001, the public's view of the job market has now hit an all-time record high:

. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="720"] Sorry, Socialists[/caption]


. Perhaps this helps explain why Sanders has suddenly plummeted in 2020 Democratic candidate surveys, although one wonders how long people like Elizabeth Warren can avoid the same fate.


June 14, 2019 • 02:30 pm

Liberty Update

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Notable Quotes
On Papadopoulos and the Italian Connection:

"Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos said Thursday that the FBI tried to get his wife to wear a wire to 'entrap' him and that he thinks Congress 'probably has transcripts' of meetings he had that prove he was spied on by the FBI.

"'Besides the FBI trying to have my then-girlfriend, now wife, actually wear a wire to try to entrap me herself -- which was completely crazy -- she was an Italian citizen visiting me as a girlfriend. And they subpoenaed her and tried to flip her against me, which was incredibly bizarre,' Papadopoulos said on Fox News' 'The Ingraham Angle.'

"Papadopoulos said he believes his wife was targeted because she knew all about academic Joseph Mifsud's connection to Italian government.

"'But what we believed that they really targeted her for is, we believe she knew all about Joseph Mifsud's connections to the Italian government and his connections in Europe, which we just found out today that ... the prime minister ... just fired the heads of three intel agencies in Italy. And I think it has to do with the person, Joseph Mifsud, who the president and Devin Nunes and other people have been asking the government in Italy to examine a lot more because he's actually at the core of this entire scam,' Papadopoulos said.

"Mifsud, 59, a professor from Malta who helped ignite the Russia probe in 2016, has largely vanished from the public eye since his name began surfacing in news stories. Nunes, a California Republican, is ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee."

Read entire article here.

— Victor Garcia, Fox News
— Victor Garcia, Fox News
Posted May 17, 2019 • 07:37 am
On Shedding Light on a Government Practice Costing Millions of Taxpayer Dollars:

"The Interior Department will publicly list attorneys' fees paid out, often to environmental activist groups, for legal settlements, according to a recent memo from Principal Deputy Solicitor Daniel Jorjani.

"Jorjani's memo states the Interior Department will develop a webpage within 30 days to publicly list details of legal settlements and cases, which the agency says is a big step in bringing sunshine to a non-transparent practice that the public is largely unaware is happening. ...

"Environmental groups have been particularly successful using 'citizen suits' to sue the federal government into taking an action, then getting taxpayers to pay their attorneys' fees. A 2016 Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found federal agencies paid out $49 million for 512 citizen suits filed under three major environmental laws during the Obama administration.

"Those laws -- the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act (ESA) -- allow certain groups to recoup attorneys' fees, which can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars per case."

Read entire article here.

— Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller Energy Editor
— Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller Energy Editor
Posted May 16, 2019 • 07:39 am
On the Supreme Court's Internal Rift Over Capital Punishment:

"Pointed divisions within the Supreme Court over capital punishment reemerged Monday, as the justices issued new opinions rehashing recent last-minute death penalty appeals.

"The Court has barely concealed its sharp internal disagreement over late-arriving death penalty cases in recent months.

"One such dispute arose in Alabama, where inmate Christopher Lee Price asked to be put to death with nitrogen hypoxia, as opposed to a lethal injection protocol. Price asked the high court to stop his execution on April 11. The Court denied Price's application, over a seething dissent from Justice Stephen Breyer.

"Thomas wrote a separate opinion to 'set the record straight' Monday, hitting notes frequently sounded by the conservative justices in recent death penalty cases.

"'[Price's] strategy is no secret, for it is the same strategy adopted by many death-row inmates with an impending execution: bring last-minute claims that will delay the execution, no matter how groundless,' Thomas wrote. 'The proper response to this maneuvering is to deny meritless requests expeditiously.'"

Read entire article here.

— Kevin J. Daley, Daily Caller News Foundation Supreme Court Reporter
— Kevin J. Daley, Daily Caller News Foundation Supreme Court Reporter
Posted May 15, 2019 • 08:02 am
On Investigating the 'Russia Investigation':

"WASHINGTON -- Attorney General William P. Barr has assigned the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut to examine the origins of the Russia investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter, a move that President Trump has long called for but that could anger law enforcement officials who insist that scrutiny of the Trump campaign was lawful.

"John H. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, has a history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials, including the F.B.I.'s ties to a crime boss in Boston and accusations of C.I.A. abuses of detainees.

"His inquiry is the third known investigation focused on the opening of an F.B.I. counterintelligence investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign into possible ties between Russia's election interference and Trump associates.

"The department's inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is separately examining investigators' use of wiretap applications and informants and whether any political bias against Mr. Trump influenced investigative decisions. And John W. Huber, the United States attorney in Utah, has been reviewing aspects of the Russia investigation. His findings have not been announced."

— Adam Goldman, Charlie Savage and Michael S. Schmidt, The New York Times
— Adam Goldman, Charlie Savage and Michael S. Schmidt, The New York Times
Posted May 14, 2019 • 07:48 am
On the Current State of the Democrat Party:

"In recent weeks the Democrats have turned into a bizarre version of the caricature of Trump they regularly denounce. They lambaste Trump for indulging in conspiracy theories, but the Russia investigation has become their Benghazi, a scandal too complicated and not quite substantive enough to inflame the public imagination. They went after Trump for the 'lock her up' chants at his rallies but flirt with jailing both the attorney general and secretary of the Treasury, passed a New York state law directed at a single individual (forbidden in the Constitution as a bill of attainder), and speculate endlessly about how the president might one day end up behind bars. Pelosi says she worries Trump might not accept a loss in 2020 as Hillary Clinton says the election was stolen from her and the entire Democratic party indulges in the ludicrous fantasy that Stacey Abrams is the legitimate governor of a state she lost by more than 50,000 votes amid record minority turnout.

"This is not a serious party. It has abandoned policy for litigation, and common sense for fantasies of Medicare for All, Green New Deals, abortion after birth, and slavery reparations. The Democrats assume impeachment will be Trump's Watergate. It may well turn out to be their Waterloo."

— Matthew Continetti, Washington Free Beacon Editor in Chief
— Matthew Continetti, Washington Free Beacon Editor in Chief
Posted May 13, 2019 • 07:30 am
On President Trump's China Trade Policy:

"You don't have to like tariffs to like President Trump's strategy of imposing harsh ones on China. Those he imposed overnight are punishing, not only to China but to American consumers. The longer they last, the more they will cost. Yet serious trade sanctions are the only hope of getting Beijing to roll back its abusive economic practices and open its markets to U.S. exporters and investors.

"China won't act unless it feels real pain in its export sector, which is a powerful economic driver. And pain is what Trump means to inflict unless China provides much greater market access.

"Half measures and paper promises won't do. The U.S. wants a big deal, and it wants teeth in it to prevent cheating. To get it, Trump is willing to threaten a trade war. We don't know if it will work. ...

"No one doubts China's own protectionism. It uses tariffs, non-tariff barriers, and outright theft of intellectual property to support its industries and harm U.S. interests. It demands American companies share ownership, profits, and proprietary information with local partners, most with strong ties to Communist Party leaders. The U.S. market, by contrast, has been relatively open to Chinese goods and investments, which are protected by the rule of law. No such luck for Americans in China."

— Charles Lipson, University of Chicago Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Political Science Emeritus and Program on International Politics, Economics, and Security Founder
— Charles Lipson, University of Chicago Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Political Science Emeritus and Program on International Politics, Economics, and Security Founder
Posted May 10, 2019 • 08:03 am
On Guarding Students in the Sunshine State:

"Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Wednesday signed a bill that would arm teachers throughout the Sunshine State.

"In order for teachers to carry on school campuses, their district must opt into the 'Guardian program.' The program allows teachers to go through a screening process and training by their local sheriff's office before they're able to legally carry a firearm on school grounds. They're also required to obtain authorization from the school board, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

"The controversial bill, Senate Bill 7030, is an extension of an already existing piece of legislation that was enacted following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The original program allowed faculty and staff, but not classroom teachers, to receive firearms training and eventually the ability to carry on campus."

— Beth Baumann, Townhall
— Beth Baumann, Townhall
Posted May 09, 2019 • 07:23 am
On the Erosion of Freedom of Speech in America:

"It's hard to find too many First Amendment absolutists on either the left or the right these days.

"That's especially the case in academia, which seems to be most hostile to the idea of free thoughts and free expression. ...

"But here's the thing. If we cheer on Facebook and Twitter as they remove from their platforms people we find offensive, what happens when somebody finds something we say to be offensive?

"Are we going to have somebody monitoring all of our emails and call the authorities when your friend's uncle sends you a really bad joke? Where does this all end and who gets to decide?

"Who is the referee here? ...

"I for one would rather have a free market of ideas, to go along with the free practice of religion and the freedom to assemble and petition the government."

Read entire article here.

— John Feehery, EFB Advocacy Partner and Former Spokesman for then-Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Former Communications Director for then-Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Former Speechwriter for then-House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-IL)
— John Feehery, EFB Advocacy Partner and Former Spokesman for then-Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Former Communications Director for then-Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Former Speechwriter for then-House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-IL)
Posted May 08, 2019 • 08:08 am
On Israel's Legal Obligations and the Right of War:

"As of this moment, a fragile truce holds in southern Israel. After Hamas volleyed 600 missiles at Israeli civilian targets on Saturday and Sunday, prompting Israel to attack hundreds of targets in Gaza, the air-raid sirens have fallen silent, for now.

"But over the weekend, when the rockets fell, we saw all the old arguments against Israel's acts of self-defense crop up. The air raids were 'disproportionate,' we were told. There were arguments over individual civilian casualties, as if it would somehow discredit Israel if its precision strikes killed more than a handful of noncombatants. Yes, there were rote condemnations of Hamas's efforts to kill as many civilians as it could, but once again all too many voices on the left rose at once, demanding that the nation under attack -- the nation defending its schools, hospitals, and homes from an indiscriminate rocket barrage -- exercise restraint.

"It's important, however, to be very clear about Israel's legal obligations. When it comes to Hamas, 'restraint' is Israel's choice -- one it may make for tactical and strategic reasons of its own. The actual law of war would allow Israel to invade Gaza, utterly destroy Hamas, and occupy Gaza City until Israel's safety is ensured, even if it burned in the fight."

Read entire article here.

— David French, National Review
— David French, National Review
Posted May 07, 2019 • 08:05 am
On the Power of Legislative Oversight:

"I understand that Nadler is upset about the refusal of the A.G. to participate in some kind of show trial he was arranging after 5 hours of Barr's testimony before the Senate, but to the extent anyone is acting like a dictator here it's unfortunately Nadler. He has lost all perspective.

"Nancy Pelosi then piled on as well calling the Attorney General a criminal. You may or may not like Barr's demeanor, answers or his summary of the Mueller report, but he is no criminal nor does he deserve this kind of unrestrained disrespect. It's really hard to understand why Nadler or Pelosi believe this kind of personal vitriol will be rewarded at the ballot box. The evidence is that similar behavior during the Senate hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh may have cost Democrats several U.S. Senate seats. For presidential candidates wooing Iowa voters, over the top words and behavior at least makes some political sense. But Nadler and Pelosi should know better. ...

"Legislative oversight is not a specifically enumerated power in the Constitution -- it's a limited power implied from the 'necessary and proper' clause and subject to privileges, separation of powers, and the need for a legitimate legislative purpose. It's not an open-ended power but bounded by the checks and balances of our constitution."

Read entire article here.

— Mark Penn, Stagwell Group Managing Director and 1996, 2000 and 2008 Clinton Campaign Chief Strategist
— Mark Penn, Stagwell Group Managing Director and 1996, 2000 and 2008 Clinton Campaign Chief Strategist
Posted May 06, 2019 • 07:30 am
Question of the Week   
Prior to 2016, what was the last Presidential election year in which the candidate who won had never before held elected public office?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"And so it has come to this.Two oil tankers were just attacked in the Gulf of Oman, presumably by Iran. The United States and China are facing off in a confrontation that is about far more than trade. The southern border remains anarchic and uncontrolled.And Congress is asking: 'Can I get the icon in cornflower blue?'Here is the situation: The president of these United States gets from place to place…[more]
—Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
Liberty Poll   

Should the 2020 U.S. Census add a multi-part question regarding U.S. citizenship, including specifically whether the respondent is or is not a U.S. citizen?