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 Rush Limbaugh:

"Radio is a powerful medium, more personal somehow than TV, and few broadcasters exploited its power to greater effect than Rush Limbaugh.

"The former DJ kicked around various gigs until finding the right outlet for his talent ('on loan from God,' of course) in political talk radio.

"Limbaugh created a new industry, revitalized AM radio, and made friends with millions of people who never met him but were drawn to his voice and irresistible persona. His lashing critiques of the Left, comic riffs, and combative ebullience spawned many imitators, but none of them came close to being his equal.

"To think that he had such an impact, sitting alone at a microphone, with few guests and not many callers, for three hours a day, is astonishing."

Read entire article here.

— The Editors, National Review
— The Editors, National Review
Posted February 18, 2021 • 08:11 AM
On Teachers Unions:

"The behavior of teachers unions during this pandemic confirms the nickname that Forbes magazine gave the NEA in the 1990s: 'The National Extortion Association.' This latest betrayal of American students is no surprise, considering the unions' long history of sabotaging learning. Since the 1970s, the National Education Association has been the leading advocate of 'no-fault' teaching: whatever happens, don't blame the teacher. Unions have launched strikes to prevent 'parental interference' in public education. The Chicago Tribune concluded in 1988 that the Chicago Teachers Association has 'as much control over operations of the public schools as the Chicago Board of Education' and 'more control than is available to principals, parents, taxpayers, and voters.' The Tribune noted that 'even curriculum matters, such as the program for teaching children to read, are written into the [union] contract, requiring the board to bring any proposed changes to the bargaining table.'

"Teachers unions have worked to destroy local control of education, subvert standards, prevent teacher accountability, and deny parents a significant voice in their children's education. In the late 1970s, the NEA denounced back-to-basics as 'irrelevant and reactionary.' An NEA publication asserted that such reforms were orchestrated by the 'neo-conservative New Right, a mixture of taxpayer groups, fundamentalists, and a few unreconstructed racists.' The same publication denounced minimum competency testing for students because it supposedly 'sacrificed children who are black and poor on the altar of accountability.' As Richard Mitchell noted in his 1981 classic, The Graves of Academe, the NEA has helped debase American public schools because its members 'wanted to be not teachers but preachers, and prophets too, charging themselves with the cure of the soul of democracy and the raising up in the faith of true believers.' For decades, the NEA pushed to have 'social studies' replace history, government, and other classes. The result: American students are appallingly ignorant of the Constitution, American history, and American culture.

"Teachers unions increasingly look like conspiracies to protect incompetent teachers and impoverish local taxpayers. Teachers unions are especially powerful in inner cities, where teacher pay is often highest and teacher performance is usually the worst. As far back as 1974, Mario Fantini noted in his book What's Best for Children, 'For many black and Puerto Rican parents, the teachers unions now represent the "enemy."' A 1992 Detroit Free Press investigation entitled 'Shielding Bad Teachers' found that it takes a Michigan school district seven years and costs an average of $100,000 to fire a single incompetent public school teacher. Seven years is over half of the schooling time of the average pupil. The Free Press concluded, 'No protections are built in for the state's 1.5 million public school students, who can suffer physical, sexual or educational abuse.' Thanks in large part to NEA priorities, by 1980 the average time spent studying traditional subjects in high school was less than three hours a day. A vast increase in government spending for schools has failed to undo the damage to students' reading ability.

"The clout of the teachers unions has become far more perilous during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Read entire article here.

— Jim Bovard, The American Conservative
— Jim Bovard, The American Conservative
Posted February 17, 2021 • 07:28 AM
On the New Green Deal Having Come to Texas:

"The Green New Deal has come, believe it or not, to the state of Texas. How's it working out so far?

"Well, the good news is all that alternative energy seems to have had a remarkable effect on the climate. Sunday night, parts of Texas got the temperatures that we typically see in Alaska. In fact, they were the same as they were in Alaska. So global warming is no longer a pressing concern in Houston.

"The bad news is, they don't have electricity. The windmills froze, so the power grid failed. Millions of Texans woke up Monday morning having to boil their water because with no electricity, it couldn't be purified. ...

"That happens every time when the power goes out; even advanced societies become primitive and dangerous, and people die. We've seen it happen repeatedly in California for years now, rolling blackouts in a purportedly First World state that is slipping steadily into chaos.

"But who saw that coming in Texas? If there's one thing you would think Texas would be able to do, it's keep the lights on. Most electricity comes from natural gas and Texas produces more of that than any place on the continent. There are huge natural gas deposits all over the state. Running out of energy in Texas is like starving to death at the grocery store: You can only do it on purpose, and Texas did."

Read entire article here.

— Tucker Carlson, FOX News
— Tucker Carlson, FOX News
Posted February 16, 2021 • 07:33 AM
On Nursing Home Disclosures Tainting Cuomo's Pandemic Performance:

"ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote a book on managing the COVID-19 crisis. Now he faces intensifying accusations that he covered up the true death toll of the pandemic on nursing home residents, attacks that challenge his reputation for straight-shooting competency and could cloud his political future.

"State lawmakers called for investigations, stripping Cuomo of his emergency powers and even his resignation after new details emerged this week about why certain nursing home data was kept under wraps for months, despite requests from lawmakers and others.

"Top aide Melissa DeRosa told lawmakers the data was delayed because officials worried that the information was 'going to be used against us' by the Trump administration's Department of Justice.

"The new salvos from Republicans and Cuomo's fellow Democrats mark a stark turnaround from the early days of the pandemic, when Cuomo's daily briefings helped cement a national reputation for leadership. The briefings, in which he promised to deliver 'just the facts,' won him an International Emmy and helped lead to his book, 'American Crisis.'

"'He stepped in it, more than a little bit. It would be bad enough if this had come out and he had not been publicly sort of celebrating, and been celebrated, for his handling of the pandemic,' said Jeanne Zaino, political science professor at Iona College. 'But putting that aside, it doesn't get more serious than this. You're talking about the deaths of 15,000 people.'

"The Cuomo administration for months dramatically underreported the statewide number of COVID-19 deaths among long-term care residents. It is now nearly 15,000, up from the 8,500 previously disclosed."

Read entire article here.

— Michael Hill, Marina Villeneuve and Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press
— Michael Hill, Marina Villeneuve and Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press
Posted February 15, 2021 • 08:11 AM
On Californians' Attempt to 'Recall Newsom':

"(Bloomberg Opinion) -- After nearly a year under some of the nation's -- indeed, the world's -- toughest Covid-19 restrictions, Californians are increasingly frustrated. With little sympathy from elected officials, they've endured mass layoffs, wrecked businesses and lost schooling. They've even lost their Disneyland annual passes. Yet the virus has still devastated the state.

"Now they're taking out their frustrations on Governor Gavin Newsom, who for many epitomizes governmental high-handedness and dysfunction. It doesn't help that the governor suffers from what could be called resting smug face. Or that he comes from San Francisco, which exemplifies the combination of scary vagrants, general disorder and sky-high housing prices that makes Californians wonder how their state got so broken. (Not to mention the school district is against George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.)

"Petitions to force a vote on whether to recall Newsom look likely to succeed -- despite the obstacles to collecting signatures during a pandemic. Instead of relying on paid canvassers outside supermarkets, campaigners have to convince supporters to circulate and mail petitions individually. ...

"The recall has until March 17 to submit signatures. If it qualifies, the special election would include two items: a yes-no vote on whether to recall Newsom and a gubernatorial ballot to pick his replacement if the recall passes. So voters would have some idea of the possible alternatives."

— Virginia Postrel, Bloomberg Opinion Columnist
— Virginia Postrel, Bloomberg Opinion Columnist
Posted February 12, 2021 • 07:23 AM
On Coronavirus and Public School Closures:

"Six months ago, when President Joe Biden was candidate Joe Biden, he spoke of 'a crisis being felt all across the United States of America.' The crisis was school closures. Millions of children were staring at laptops rather than learning in a classroom. Biden said: 'This is a national emergency. President Trump doesn't have a real plan for opening schools safely. He's offering nothing but failures and delusions.'

"Six months later, the education crisis abounds, and now-President Biden is so far just making it worse.

"At Tuesday's press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the new White House goal was 'to have the majority of schools, so more than 50 percent, open by Day 100 of his presidency.' She defined that as 'some teaching in classrooms, so at least one day a week, hopefully it's more.' This isn't just walking back a promise; it's completely erasing one.

"According to school-data aggregator Burbio, we are already well past Psaki's spring milestone today, and we were before Biden took office. Over 60 percent of school districts are already open with at least a 'hybrid' model. 'Hybrid' colloquially means two to three days a week of in-person learning. One day a week was not originally part of this debate. It's a new and lower standard -- one Team Biden has introduced."

Read entire article here.

— Rory Cooper, Purple Strategies Managing Director, Former Adviser to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Parent of Three Elementary School Students
— Rory Cooper, Purple Strategies Managing Director, Former Adviser to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Parent of Three Elementary School Students
Posted February 11, 2021 • 07:22 AM
On the Biden Budget Plan:

"Is there even one half-sane Democrat that will stand up and denounce the fiscal atrocity of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion spending bill? Is there not one single patriotic Democrat in the entire country who will speak out? The silence is deafening.

"The House Democrats are now rallying behind a budget resolution that calls for a $6.1 trillion single-year budget. When I first came to Washington in 1985, President Ronald Reagan passed the first $1 trillion budget bill. We were all aghast. Now, we are spending six times that amount, and no one blinks an eye.

"Even worse, the Biden budget plan would authorize just under $4 trillion of borrowing in one single year. That is more debt than was allowed, adjusting for inflation, to finance the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War I and World War II. ...

"This bill has very little to do with coronavirus relief. Pelosi has inserted the $15 minimum wage, a $400 billion blue-state bailout to fund leaky government pension programs in states such as California and Illinois, and $130 billion for school funding, even though schools have been closed for 10 months. There is also a $400 per week bonus unemployment benefit that will pay most unemployed workers more money to stay home than go back to work and, of course, billions for the New York subway paid for people living in Nebraska."

Read entire article here.

— Stephen Moore, Committee to Unleash Prosperity Co-founder and Former Member of President Trump’s Economic Recovery Task Force
— Stephen Moore, Committee to Unleash Prosperity Co-founder and Former Member of President Trump’s Economic Recovery Task Force
Posted February 10, 2021 • 07:09 AM
On Certifying the Nation’s Last Undecided Congressional Race:

"ALBANY, N.Y. -- Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi conceded Monday that it was 'time to close the book on this election,' hours after New York officials certified Republican Claudia Tenney's razor-thin victory in the nation's last undecided congressional race.

"Brindisi's statement came three days after a state judge ruled that Tenney won the race for central New York's 22nd Congressional District by 109 votes. ...

"Judge Scott DelConte on Friday directed New York to certify results immediately. Commissioners with the state Board of Elections approved the results Monday in less than two minutes."

— Michael Hill, Associated Press
— Michael Hill, Associated Press
Posted February 09, 2021 • 07:13 AM
On New Energy Policies Set to Skyrocket Electricity Prices:

"Electricity prices are set to 'skyrocket' as President Biden steers the U.S. economy toward a green-energy agenda, according to experts.

"Biden has pledged to achieve a net-zero electricity grid by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050.

"Solar and wind make up a respective 1% and 3% of all U.S. energy, according to a report published last month by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Coal, petroleum, and natural gas account for a combined 79% of U.S. energy.

"Biden's new energy and climate plans are designed to 'get coal-fired and natural gas-fired electricity prices high enough that then solar and wind become competitive,' said Gregory Wrightstone, executive director of the CO2 Coalition, which seeks to educate the public about the important contributions carbon dioxide makes to our lives and the economy. ...

"Because solar and wind are unreliable energy sources and don't replace power plants on the grid, their costs are not replacement costs and are instead additional costs. Mining for materials and solar panels requires oil and forging the different components of solar panels and wind turbines use coal."

Read entire article here.

— Jonathan Garber, FOX Business
— Jonathan Garber, FOX Business
Posted February 08, 2021 • 07:49 AM
On the Result of the Anti-Policing Movement:

"Of all the ways 2020 was terrible, one of the worst was its violence: A study found the murder rate in America saw 'a large and troubling increase that has no modern precedent.' And it's plainly the fruit of the anti-policing movement.

"The country hadn't seen an increase in homicides of more than 13 percent for a half-century, but murder across America soared by 30 percent from 2019 to 2020, the National Commission of COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found, a 'historic' increase: 'Homicide rates were higher during every month of 2020 relative to rates from the previous year,' based on a sample of 34 cities, including New York.

"Gotham's homicide rate rose 43 percent, with 131 more killings, the report noted, while Chicago saw 278 more, for a jump of 55 percent."

— New York Post Editorial Board
— New York Post Editorial Board
Posted February 05, 2021 • 07:19 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?