In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight the latest illegal leak of thousands of supposedly confidential…
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ProPublica/IRS Leak: There's No Underlying "There" There

In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight the latest illegal leak of thousands of supposedly confidential Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxpayer returns spanning over 15 years, confirming that the partisan and power-hungry IRS simply cannot be trusted to safeguard our sensitive records, let alone to begin collecting sensitive private information from nonprofit organizations on donors who contribute to them in violation of the First Amendment.

Getting to the substance of the ProPublica/IRS leaked documents themselves, former Senator Phil Gramm and U.S. Policy Metrics partner Mike Solon explain in The Wall Street Journal how there's nothing scandalous in the least in what they reveal:

ProPublica’s 'blockbuster' story showing that the wealthy 'pay income taxes that are only…[more]

June 18, 2021 • 04:40 PM

Liberty Update

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Notable Quotes
On Wearing Double Masks to Protect Against COVID:

"TOKYO, March 5 (Reuters) - Japanese supercomputer simulations showed that wearing two masks gave limited benefit in blocking viral spread compared with one properly fitted mask.

"The findings in part contradict recent recommendations from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that two masks were better than one at reducing a person's exposure to the coronavirus.

"Researchers used the Fugaku supercomputer to model the flow of virus particles from people wearing different types and combinations of masks, according to a study released on Thursday by research giant Riken and Kobe University.

"Using a single surgical-type mask, made of non-woven material, had 85% effectiveness in blocking particles when worn tightly around the nose and face. Adding a polyurethane mask on top boosted the effectiveness to just 89%.

"Wearing two non-woven masks isn't useful because air resistance builds up and causes leakage around the edges."

Read entire article here.

— Rocky Swift, REUTERS
— Rocky Swift, REUTERS
Posted March 05, 2021 • 07:13 AM
On the Untimely Cancellation of Dr. Seuss:

"Freedom of speech has nary a booster:

Not at The Atlantic nor Simon & Schuster.

The New York Times will bellow and bleat,

And the silence will echo down Mulberry Street.

"No, this won't do, this won't do at all --

This won't do, these minds so small!

If they see just one word that they deem indiscreet

They'll melt into puddles on old Mulberry Street. ...

"An intelligent book

Deserves someone to read it.

A book that starts fights?

We desperately need it.

An unpopular view?

The campus should hear it.

But both teachers and students

Are afraid to go near it.

They cling to their wubbies

And bury their faces.

Away with you ninnies --

Back to your safe spaces!

"Go back to TikTok or stay home and tweet.

You don't deserve to see Mulberry Street."

Read entire piece here.

— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Roving Correspondent
— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Roving Correspondent
Posted March 04, 2021 • 08:00 AM
On the Need to Stop Passage of HR 1:

"There is a reason Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called her 791-page bill, stuffed as it is with her favorite election-related changes, House of Representatives Bill Number 1 or HR 1. It's that important to her. She has convinced or pressured every single House Democrat to co-sponsor it as it comes up for a vote this week.

"That means it will likely pass narrowly given that Democrats have a 219 to 211 majority. It faces more debate and a tougher road in the Senate, which is split 50 to 50 between the parties with Vice President Kamala Harris as tiebreaker. It can be stopped. It must be stopped. It is the worst piece of legislation I have even seen in my 40 years reporting from Washington.

"HR 1 would cement all of the worst changes in election law made in blue states in 2020 and nationalize them. Federal control of elections would be the norm. States would be relegated to colonial outposts that carry out Washington DC's mandates. 'Democracies die when one party seizes control of the elections process, eliminates the safeguards that have protected the integrity of the ballot, places restrictions on free speech, and seizes the earnings of individual citizens to promote candidates they may abhor,' says Rep. Tom McClintock, a California Republican. 'Democracies die by suicide, and we are now face to face with such an instrument.'

"Does HR 1 justify such apocalyptic rhetoric? Sadly, yes. Hans von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Election Commission, says that while the Constitution does allow Congress to override the power of states to decide 'the time, manner and place' of federal elections nothing on the massive scale of HR 1 has ever been attempted.

"He consulted other former members and assembled a short summary of the worst provisions of HR 1:"

Read entire article here.

— John Fund, The Spectator
— John Fund, The Spectator
Posted March 03, 2021 • 07:21 AM
On Andrew Cuomo's (D-NY) Pattern of Misconduct:

"Two decades before being accused of misconduct against women while he was New York governor, a younger Andrew Cuomo was the subject of a sexual harassment complaint from a government official who claimed that Cuomo -- serving at the time in Bill Clinton's cabinet -- also hounded her with 'a series of attacks and dirty tricks.'

"Susan Gaffney filed the 2000 complaint against Cuomo while he was secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and she was the department's inspector general.

"In the complaint, which included other top HUD officials, Gaffney told the Office of Departmental Equal Employment Opportunity that she was sexually harassed and discriminated against in retaliation for her stance against fraud at HUD, and that Cuomo verbally abused her during weekend phone calls."

Read entire article here.

— Susan Katz Keating, Just the News Chief National Security Correspondent
— Susan Katz Keating, Just the News Chief National Security Correspondent
Posted March 02, 2021 • 07:45 AM
On the Return of Corrupt, Costly, and Inequitable Earmarks:

"Congress isn't even waiting to lift the decade-long moratorium on earmarking before starting to pig out.

"Look no further than the $1.9 trillion bill being touted by Democrats as the latest response to the COVID pandemic -- a proposal that's being fast-tracked through both chambers. Tucked within its nearly 600 pages are a number of pet projects -- also known as 'earmarks' -- that have absolutely nothing to do with COVID. Take, for example, the $1.5 million set aside for a bridge connecting New York and Canada. Elsewhere you will find a cleverly worded provision that earmarks $140 million for a subway from San Francisco to Silicon Valley. These projects will benefit the Democratic leaders of the Senate and House.

"This is precisely how earmarking works. Secret spending is dropped into a 'must-pass' bill at the behest of powerful politicians and is typically totally unrelated to the merits of the project or the purpose of the legislation. ...

"Earmarking -- by design -- will never be transparent. Unlike the federal grant-making process, there is no standard for competition for the grants, and taxpayers have no ability to examine how the money was doled out. Earmarking is quite literally decided in secret. More insidiously, decisions about who gets earmarks and who doesn't are usually treated as a form of political reward for the well-connected or as punishment for those who don't follow the party line. ...

"There's good reason why earmarks are referred to as pork: They stink, and they're messy. With the national debt headed toward $30 trillion, the last thing Congress needs to be focused on is finding other ways to waste money."

— U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tom Schatz, Citizens Against Government Waste President
— U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tom Schatz, Citizens Against Government Waste President
Posted March 01, 2021 • 07:56 AM
On House Passage of Election 'Reform' Legislation:

"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday slammed House Democrats' sweeping election reform bill as 'exactly the wrong response' to what he called the 'distressing lack of faith in our elections,' saying Democrats want to use their 'temporary power' to 'try to ensure they'll never have to relinquish it.'

"All House Democrats on Monday signed onto the bill -- H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2021 -- which they claim will expand voting rights and 'clean up corruption' in politics.

"From the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell, R-Ky., hit Democrats for trying to 'recycle failed legislation' that would have Washington Democrats 'grab unprecedented power over how America conducts its elections and how American citizens can engage in political speech.'

"'For several years now, we've seen the political left grow less interested in having normal policy debates within our governing institutions, and more interested in attacking the institutions themselves to tilt the playing field in their side's favor,' McConnell said. 'When their side loses a presidential election, it's not Democrats' fault, but the Electoral College's. When they don't like a Supreme Court decision, it's time to threaten the Justices or pack the Court. When long-standing Senate rules threaten to frustrate far-left proposals, it's the Senate rules they want to change.'

"McConnell added that 'no - they want to try to use their slim majorities to unilaterally rewrite and nationalize election law itself' he said, adding that Democrats want 'to use the temporary power the voters have granted them to try to ensure they'll never have to relinquish it.'"

Read entire article here.

— Brooke Singman, FOX News
— Brooke Singman, FOX News
Posted February 26, 2021 • 07:05 AM
On Allegations of Gov. Cuomo's (D-NY) Sexual Misconduct:

"ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A former member of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration who previously accused him of sexual harassment offered new details Wednesday, saying he once kissed her on the lips without consent.

"Lindsey Boylan said that during her more than three years in the Democrat's administration, Cuomo 'would go out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs,' compared her to one of his rumored ex-girlfriends and once remarked they should play strip poker.

"Cuomo's spokesperson Caitlin Girouard said that all Boylan's 'claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false.'

"But the state legislature's two top leaders criticized Cuomo's alleged conduct Wednesday as calls grew for an investigation."

Read entire article here.

— Marina Villeneuve, Associated Press
— Marina Villeneuve, Associated Press
Posted February 25, 2021 • 07:38 AM
On Preserving Free Speech:

"On Feb. 24, House Democrats will hold a hearing on 'traditional media's role in promoting disinformation and extremism.' This hearing is a dangerous threat to American democracy and goes entirely against what the Founders intended when they made a free press Americans' guaranteed First Amendment right in the Constitution.

"It's also just the latest threat against free speech from the left, which has now mainstreamed a despotic desire to use government to cancel conservative speech. ...

"Using government to restrict 'wrong' speech creates a chilling effect. People will get the message that they don't deserve to express themselves in the public sphere. Doing so may reduce divisiveness, but only in the way that nations like Russia, China, and Iran avoid 'divisive' public debates.

"If patriotism and respect for diversity aren't reasons enough for the mainstream press to pause its attack on free speech, perhaps its self-interest will be. Trump was accused of targeting journalists, but it was the Obama administration that actually wiretapped them. What if a future populist, conservative president followed Obama's path -- but went one step further, ordering the FCC to cancel outlets that allowed a commentator's undesirable opinion to be heard? If free speech can be tossed aside on a whim, not only the left will use that power.

"Those in the media and on Capitol Hill who misunderstand free speech are making a grave mistake. They should drop their dangerous demands before they cause irreparable damage to our democracy and to our society."

— Bradley A. Smith, Institute for Free Speech Chairman, Professor of Law and Former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission
— Bradley A. Smith, Institute for Free Speech Chairman, Professor of Law and Former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission
Posted February 24, 2021 • 07:27 AM
On the Problem With Minimum Wage Mandates:

"Minimum wage mandates aren't free. They force employers to make difficult decisions and tradeoffs. When government forces wages up, non-wage pay goes down: Workers get less paid time off, shorter breaks, higher insurance premiums, and fewer perks. Some workers lose their jobs. Some younger and less experienced workers never get hired at all. Yet, the pain is rarely spread around evenly.

"That is because the cost of living varies widely across different regions of the country. In high-cost Manhattan, for example, these tradeoffs may barely be visible at a $15 minimum wage, because wages there are already in that range. In smaller towns where costs and wages are lower, the tradeoffs would be severe. This is the regional differences argument. It is the primary reason why the push for a $15 federal minimum wage is facing an uphill battle in the Senate right now. ...

"The regional differences argument is why there should be no federal minimum wage at all. Different regions with different economic conditions should not have the same wage policy. States and cities are, rightly, free to set their own policies, and most already have. Twenty-nine states currently have minimum wages well above the current federal minimum of $7.25 per hour."

Read entire article here.

— Ryan Young, Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow and Author of “Minimum Wages Have Tradeoffs”
— Ryan Young, Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow and Author of “Minimum Wages Have Tradeoffs”
Posted February 23, 2021 • 07:35 AM
On Decreasing Individual Freedom:

"A strong majority of U.S. voters say an increase in the power of government leads to a decrease in individual freedom, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

"Sixty-three percent said increasing government's power means individual Americans will enjoy less freedoms. Just 22% disagree with that proposition, while 15% were 'not sure.'"

Read entire article here.

— Daniel Payne, Just the News
— Daniel Payne, Just the News
Posted February 22, 2021 • 07:04 AM
Quiz Question   
What is the current U.S. national debt?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
"Last month, we warned Republicans about the pitfalls of indulging President Biden's infrastructure fantasies. The bipartisan framework announced Thursday isn't causing us to change our mind.There is much to dislike about the so-called compromise proposal (even putting aside the minor detail that the nation's infrastructure is not, in fact, in dire need of repair). The deal negotiated by a group of…[more]
—The Editors, National Review
— The Editors, National Review
Liberty Poll   

In the first Supreme Court term with Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett all now on the bench, how satisfied are you with decisions in cases you care about?