GOP Soul-Searching Over Thad Cochran

By 6.27.14

By now you've probably seen the reaction to Tuesday night’s Mississippi Republican Senate primary election, in which shaky incumbent Thad Cochran eked out a victory over Tea Party insurgent Chris McDaniel by making use of some rather unconventional electoral tactics.

Cochran dedicated most of his efforts to pursuing Democrats, and specifically the black community. He went so far as to threaten his new voting base by saying McDaniel would cut food stamps, and made conspicuous charges of racism against both McDaniel and the Tea Party. There were further allegations, substantiated in news reports, of “street money” paid to Democratic fixers to turn out the votes of, shall we say, “new” Republican voters crossing over to vote for Cochran on a one-time basis.

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Two Pro-Liberty Decisions From the Supreme Court

By on 6.26.14 | 6:23PM

Besides the United States' loss to Germany in the World Cup, today was a good day for liberty. The Supreme Court ruled to restrict the power of government in three recent Supreme Court cases.

In the first case, Riley v. California, the petitioner Riley was charged in connection with a shooting after officers stopped him for a traffic violation and then seized and searched his cell phone. The Court ruled that “the police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested.”

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Search Lois Lerner’s Blackberry

By on 6.26.14 | 5:57PM

In a large-scale document dump, the IRS handed over thousands of emails from Lois Lerner, the key figure in the ongoing investigation of the IRS’s targeting of conservative Tea Party groups. The documents, obtained by multiple news organizations and the committees investigating the matter, appeared to show that Lerner intended to target Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In a statement released by Republican Congressman David Camp, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee:

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Obama Orders NASA to Prioritize Climate Change

By on 6.26.14 | 3:39PM

NASA is becoming just another tool in President Obama’s climate agenda.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s climate change speech in which he raged against greenhouse gas emissions. He proposed a series of executive actions on climate change and blamed Congress for failing to act on his fearmongering agenda. The executive actions sidestepped Congress by invoking the Clean Air Act, a broad-based law that gives the EPA the power to regulate carbon emissions on a commercial scale.

The budget for Obama’s seventy-five-point climate action plan includes $909 million to the State Department for clean energy and $1.8 billion to NASA for earth-oriented satellite and research efforts, among other expenditures involving twelve of the fifteen other departments and agencies.

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Karl Rove Silent on Mississippi Race Tactics

By on 6.26.14 | 12:27PM

This is amazing.

This morning in the Wall Street Journal, former Bush aide Karl Rove writes a column that includes the following on the Mississippi Senate race:

Mississippi's Sen. Thad Cochran pulled off a difficult and surprising win Tuesday night, and he has the state's open primary law to thank for it. In the June 3 primary, Mr. Cochran trailed tea party favorite Chris McDaniel by 1,386 votes or 0.5% of the 313,443 votes cast. This week, he beat Mr. McDaniel, a state senator, by 6,373 votes or 1.6% of 374,893 votes.

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Special Report

Marco Rubio’s Rehabilitation Continues

By 6.26.14

Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave a portmanteau speech before about 150 students, professors, and invited guests at the Washington campus of Hillsdale College Wednesday. The speech was entitled “Finding Economic Security in an Insecure Time," but the headline just as easily could have been, “The History and Trajectory of Everything,” so many topics were covered, so stuffed was Rubio’s forensic bag.

Rubio became a Republican star after he trounced then-Florida Governor (and prospective future Florida governor) Charlie Crist for a Senate seat in 2010. Rubio was on everyone’s presidential short list for a bit until he hurt his political prospects badly by backing the Senate’s awful immigration “reform” bill in 2012. Since then he has been trying to make amends by being active on every conservative front, and being very vocal. Yesterdays speech appears to be part of this strategy.  

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Who Paid for Race-Baiting Flier in Mississippi?

By 6.26.14

Who paid for it? Who will investigate it? Who will apologize for it? “It” being the flier distributed in the Mississippi Senate GOP primary, as seen here, whose headline reads: "The Tea Party intends to prevent blacks from voting on Tuesday." 

The flier says that the Tea Party uses the word “Democrats” as “code” for blacks. In short? Somebody out there in Mississippi put out a race-baiting flier to smear both Thad Cochran’s Tea Party opponent Chris McDaniel and the Tea Party itself. Using the worst lie about Republicans — against a Republican.

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The Cochran Comeback

By on 6.25.14 | 5:39PM

Just when you thought this primary season couldn't get any more unusual for Republicans, in a stunning turnaround of fortunes, incumbent Senator Thad Cochran, who was down in the polls across the board, managed to fend off Tea Party favorite Chris McDaniel. Many of the polls had Cochran down by eight to nine points, but his victory with 51 percent of the vote, or about 7,000 votes, stunned most observers.

So how did Cochran pull off this amazing comeback in such a short time, when everyone had him down by almost double digits? Over at Politico the usual suspect comes to mind: money:

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Conservatives and Social Justice

By on 6.25.14 | 12:13PM

Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, began AEI’s new “Vision Talks” Monday with “a conservative vision for social justice.” His condemnations of current conservative attitudes towards the poor and the communication gap between conservative leaders and the impoverished they would like to help rang painfully true. Progressives’ attempts to solve the problem of poverty have failed. It's time for a conservative plan to help the impoverished achieve the fullest expression of the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In doing so, conservatives must guard against abstracting the humanity of impoverished persons just as progressives do.

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Media Matters

Newspapers Line Up for Liberal Censorship

By 6.25.14

Last week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch decided to stop carrying George Will’s column after Media Matters for America and the National Organization for Women furiously objected to his piece on the federal government’s disregard—justified by dubious statistics—of due process for students accused of sexual assault.

Earlier this month, the Chicago Sun-Times took down a piece by Kevin Williamson of National Review on the transgender actor who had just appeared on the cover of Time. His premise fit inside the headline, “Laverne Cox is Not a Woman.”

There are two possibilities. 1) The editors at those papers failed to detect all the hatey awfulness in those articles before publication, and should resign in shame. 2) They found the articles reasonable, even provocative, but abandoned their commitments to free speech when the pressure got too great.

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