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rand paul

House Freedom Caucus, Sen. Rand Paul Score Political Victory As “Obamacare 2.0” Implodes

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The House Freedom Caucus scored a big political victory yesterday, as their fierce opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) prevented the controversial legislation from even bring brought up for a vote on the floor. “I applaud House conservatives for keeping their word to the American people,” Senator Rand Paul said in a statement. In spite of legislating from a different chamber, Paul was in the corner of the House Freedom Caucus from the start urging members to stand strong and even giving them pointers from President Trump’s signature book The Art of the Deal in a well-received publicity stunt.

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Fearing Possible Walkout, Sen. Rand Paul No-Shows Students For Liberty Conference

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In an abrupt and unexpected maneuver, Sen. Rand Paul no-showed at the 2017 International Students for Liberty Conference (ISFLC) in Washington D.C. tonight. The reason given by event organizers was that he was busy with an important Senate vote, but records suggest that no such vote was taking place. Wolf von Laer, President of Students for Liberty, claimed that Sen. Rand Paul couldn’t make the conference due to pressing Senate business. However, the United States Senate Floor’s Twitter account reported that the body had adjourned at 1:54 pm in the afternoon, leaving attendees to speculate about the real reason why Rand didn’t show up. Recent controversial decisions from Senator Paul to support border enforcement measures and confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General had spurred ire from left-libertarians. It was heavily rumored that a large walk-out of attendees would have happened when Rand went on stage to protest these actions.

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The Masses In Motion: Why Libertarian Populism Is The Way Forward

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For students of political strategy, the 2016 presidential race was a remarkable and informative election. This is especially true for grassroots libertarians who want to learn how to build an electoral coalition capable of winning national elections. It shows why libertarian populism must be the way forward for activists interested in advancing the liberty movement. Donald Trump – or should I say President Trump – accomplished something incredible: he methodically took down sixteen of the Republican Party’s best candidates in the primaries and then annihilated Hillary Clinton in an electoral landslide, holding on to traditional red states while winning states like Michigan and Pennsylvania that establishment Republicans could never even dream of winning. What made his victory even more amazing was that Trump managed to win these traditionally deep blue states despite being viciously attacked around the clock by the mainstream media, Democratic Party, and neoconservatives (who de facto are the Republican establishment). Trump accomplished all of this while turning the traditional political strategy of beltway elites on its…

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Repeal And Replace Within Reach

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Since the divisive passage of the ironically titled “Affordable” Care Act, the Republican Party has with earnest been attempting to both repeal and replace former President Obama’s signature legislation. For almost the complete duration of Mr. Obama’s two terms, such a mission was completely futile; there was simply no way he would have signed into law the substitution of his landmark triumph (I use the word generously) for an alternative crafted by his political rivals. Those days are over. In lockstep with efforts to undermine the ACA were cries from the Left that the GOP was unprepared to replace it, that they had no plan. The Democrats played upon the worst fears of the American public and, for the most part, were completely unsuccessful as evidenced by their humiliating losses in 2010, 2014, and November of 2016. Their fatuous criticisms were, from the beginning, part and parcel of the many bold-faced lies that have come to define them as a party struggling to retain relevance in the face of…

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Was Rand Paul Cucked By Rachel Maddow Back In 2010?

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As liberty conservatives pick up the pieces from Rand Paul’s failed presidential campaign, it is important to consider the psychology behind his disappointing showing. What was really going on in Rand’s head as it all fell to pieces? While examining Rand’s meteoric rise to senatorial power, one occurrence stands out as being particularly impactful: the infamous hit-piece conducted by Rachel Maddow on Rand back in 2010. Although it did not make any short-term negative impact, that exchange may have changed the trajectory of Rand’s entire political career. By becoming too focused on the mainstream media and their narratives, Rand lost touch with the conservative and libertarian grassroots and what they were looking for from a leader. Let’s explore this topic, and what could have circled through Rand’s mind as his prospects for the presidency slipped away. Pretext Back in 2010, the tea party had just arrived on the scene and was already shaking things up. Populist enraged right-wing politics were born anew, and the libertarian-leaning Rand Paul was seemingly…

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Lessons Learned: What The Liberty Minded Can Take Away From Trump’s Triumph

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I have noticed a troubling trend amongst liberty conservatives that is growing lately. Instead of forging alliances with the anti-establishment Republican grassroots, they are pouting, whining, doing the bidding of the Bill Kristol’s of the world, abandoning ship, taking their ball and going home. They are proving all the worst stereotypes about the liberty minded: that we are marginal, petty, flaky, unreliable, melodramatic and undeserving to enjoy the blessings of freedom. Although events in the last year have killed morale and bruised many of our egos, there is a silver lining. The Trump phenomenon has harmed our enemies more than it has us. The elite media is reeling, having been out-smarted by a reality TV star. The neocons have never looked more foolish and out of touch. The special interest money machine that fuels Washington D.C. has been neutered by Trump’s garbage machine. When looked at as a case study, there are many lessons that we can learn from Trump’s historic campaign. Take some notes, class is in session…

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How Liberty Supporters Can Capitalize On The Trump Phenomenon

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This was supposed to be our big year, but it all went awry. Liberty conservatives had two strong horses in the race: Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. It was more conceivable than ever before that one of those men could win the GOP nomination for President, but they were upstaged by a reality TV blowhard instead. Every liberty-minded conservative should be asking themselves the following simple question: How did we allow this to happen? Arrogance and haughtiness is not going to make the situation any better. Brushing it off and making rationalizations will only ensure that more crushing defeats are in our future. Right now, it is time for liberty-minded folks to re-group and re-evaluate. We have many months to do that as Trump struts around the country as the GOP’s top dog. It is time to take a step back, and make sure all our ducks are in a row. In spite of a disappointing year, lovers of liberty should not toss the baby out with the bath…

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What Rand Paul Can Learn From Nigel Farage

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It has been a fun time for proponents of independence and decentralization throughout the world. Most liberty conservatives that I’ve seen are struggling not to overdose on liberal tears in the wake of the historic Brexit vote. The great Nigel Farage, the iconoclastic Ron Paul-inspired leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), has quite the feather in his cap after being one of the primary orchestrators of this huge political blow against the European Union. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like we have anything to be nearly as excited over in jolly old America. Liberty conservatives have had their hopes dashed, for the most part, during the 2016 Presidential race. Of course, there are a good handful of liberty-minded folks who support Trump for President, supported Cruz for President, or went a different way this year. But I think it is fair to say that the lion’s share of liberty conservatives were firmly behind Rand Paul. His underwhelming campaign was like to a punch in the gut for those…

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Rand Paul’s Former Chief Of Staff Exposes Liberal Hypocrisy On Gun Control

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Late yesterday afternoon, the Senate voted on 4 separate gun related amendments to the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Act. The four amendments, two sponsored by Republicans and two sponsored by Democrats, were each voted down largely along party lines. The legislation followed a week that started with a shooting in Orlando, Florida that left 50 people dead and more than 50 injured and ended with a 15-hour filibuster by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) during which he preached “common sense gun reform”. Murphy’s amendments, which were proposed along with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), would prevent anyone on the “terror watch list” or the “no-fly list” from buying a gun and would expand background checks to all private firearms sales. The current use of these secret FBI lists already violates due process, but their use to limit a constitutional right would mark an unprecedented shredding of the 5th Amendment. Despite the claims of the gun grabbing duo, their “common sense” solutions would result in gross violations of our constitutional rights…

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Congress Should Be Ashamed Of Itself

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Most Americans who have taken a civics course are aware that the Constitution, in Article 1 Section 8, grants the legislative branch the authority to declare war. However, it appears that our country’s lawmakers have either forgotten this or are instead choosing to pass the buck on to President Obama to avoid their Constitutional obligation to declare war on ISIL. Last Thursday’s vote in the House of Representatives on a bipartisan amendment offered to the 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill is yet another example of this dereliction of duty by Congress. House Armed Services Committee member Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) authored an amendment to the appropriations bill that will cut off funding for the war against ISIL unless the Congress passes a new Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) by April 30, 2017. At the heart of the issue is the question of whether or not the AUMF passed in 2001 gives President Obama the authority to fight a war against ISIL in 2016. While…

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Ayn Rand, Rand Paul, And Paul Ryan Walk Into a Bar…

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The age of social media has given rise to an increasingly large group of people who believe that a couple sentences, or even just a few words posted on a picture constitute an effective argument.  While in some ways, political and philosophical debate is healthier than ever before, the over reliance on simplistic arguments is creating a “meme world” where an asinine idea can be conveyed in few words and posted in mere seconds.  Proper refutation, however; takes more than a few words. In the 140 character world of Twitter, these types of arguments exist almost exclusively.  This tweet from “Miss O’Kistic” has made its rounds in the online world: “Ayn Rand, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan walk into a bar.  The bartender serves them tainted alcohol because there are no regulations.  They die.” It’s the classic, “But if not for the state, how would we…” delusion.  People live in such fear over the possibility of government shrinking just one iota, that when confronted with radical reduction of government,…

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Dear Austin Petersen, Personhood Is The Ultimate Liberty Issue

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Dear Austin, As a Libertarian Presidential Candidate, I know you’re busy with a lot of interviews and meetings with conservative media and voters looking for a way out of the coming Trump/Hillary nightmare, but I wanted to take the opportunity to reach out to you and try to iron out some of the wrinkles in your pro-life messaging. See, protecting life is an utterly non-negotiable issue for a slew of Libertarians as well as Republicans, and polls show that the nation as a whole is moving in an anti-abortion direction, with the highly-libertarian Millennial generation leading the way. Many of us flatly refuse to support anyone who won’t fight for the right to life, no matter how much we might agree on other things. I think you’re on the right track with the life issue, and that’s incredibly important for the sake of moving the historically pro-choice Libertarian Party (LP) that way. Your stance on this issue could impact the future of the LP well beyond 2016, and to…

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The Libertarian Party Vs. Austin Petersen

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On the night of the first ever nationally televised Libertarian Party presidential debate, myself and a small group of fellow writers, editors, and activists were invited by Libertarian Party candidate Austin Petersen to an after party of sorts in downtown New York City. It was history in the making – for the first time, national news had covered a debate between candidates seeking a nomination for this party, which was not one of the two viable political parties in the Republicans and Democrats (though if the state of those factions as of 2016 counts as “viable” today, I’m not sure how much credence we should give that definition). What this meant was that the mainstream news media was finally willing to take a third party ticket seriously, or at the very least, seriously enough to bother paying attention to us. This should have been a cause for celebration for us, and yet, an attitude of cautious optimism seemed to permeate the air in the room instead. Austin Petersen made…

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Freedom Caucus Leader Raul Labrador Endorses Ted Cruz

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Idaho Representative and Freedom Caucus leader Raul Labrador has endorsed Senator Ted Cruz for President, National Review reported yesterday. Labrador joins fellow Freedom Caucus members Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who previously indicated support for the Senator from Texas. Labrador, long viewed as an ally of the Liberty Movement, earned support from liberty icon Rep. Justin Amash for house speaker in 2013 and until recently served as Western State Chair for Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign. Cruz, the only candidate to contest Paul for the liberty vote over the course of the 2016 cycle, has drawn strong support from the movement in the wake of the latter’s departure from the race. The addition of Labrador could allow him to make an even stronger play for the libertarian bloc.  

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Iowa Just Destroyed The “Rand Or Nobody” Narrative

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Iowa was the final act for a number of presidential candidates, including liberty candidate Sen. Rand Paul – but the reason Paul dropped might come as a shock to many. Though the Rand campaign made many overtures to his father’s base in the final months, Rand Paul did not carry the Iowa libertarian vote. Among the chief victims of the dramatic Ted Cruz win Monday night was the “libertarians won’t vote for Cruz” narrative pedaled for the last year by the Rand Paul campaign. The caucus results have been sliced and diced a hundred ways, and with Sen. Rand Paul’s subsequent exit from the presidential race, the question of where the liberty vote will go is finally being asked — a question Iowa already answered. Sen. Cruz’s win was hailed as a show of power for Iowa’s evangelicals, but the math simply doesn’t add up for that narrative. Even if Cruz benefited from the Trump-inspired turnout bump — for which there is little evidence — that doesn’t explain his leapfrogging Trump and finishing more than…

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How To Get Forced Into Saying “I Told You So” Without Trying

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article for Liberty Conservatives Magazine predicting that the Rand Paul campaign would not see success in terms of voter numbers, but instead would leave a legacy with much larger implications than a short term presidential bid would normally have. I argued that Rand’s maverick approach to not only 2016, but his entire career as a politician thus far would go on to influence politics in a positive, long-term way, and that his supporters (a camp I find myself weaving in and out of depending on the issue at hand) should celebrate that fact rather than mourn the loss Rand’s current run was likely going to suffer. That was a positive article. It was pro-Rand Paul. But it was also realistic — something I frankly think the Paul fandom at large has a lot of trouble being at times. The people who read this aforementioned article had mixed results, but no comments I got directly were nearly as positive as I felt while…

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Three Reasons Every Libertarian Should Celebrate a Ted Cruz Iowa Win

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Much of the libertarian interest in next week’s Iowa Caucuses is focused on Rand Paul – and rightfully so.  Since his apparent decision to drop the middle-of-the-road rhetoric and go full libertarian early this year in the face of declining money and support, many of his father’s sidelined activists have taken renewed interest in his campaign. Rand’s numbers in Iowa have seen a slight uptick, and his campaign has released some impressive organizational numbers. Still, Rand is a longshot to pull off a win in a state where the competing candidacies of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have reshaped the entire political landscape. What began as a wide-open race for the nomination between members of a fractured conservative base and members of an even more fractured establishment base, has now become a story of evangelicals, libertarians, and conservative hardliners uniting to stop a fascist egomaniac from recreating the GOP in his own orange-haired image. So while I expect many liberty folks to stand with Rand next Monday, many of…

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Why Rand Paul’s Campaign Will Go Down In History

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I haven’t written much about Rand Paul in a while – not because I don’t like the guy, but because I feel like his most loyal endorsers are often the better sort to be writing about his current campaign. After all, those who love you most are the best voices to have in your corner when you’re trying to become the next leader of the free world. But now that Rand’s campaign looks to be coming to a forced, rousing, and highly resisted end sooner than later (though I would be happy to be wrong on that prediction), I feel there is now something more I can say about it worth listening to – even for people like myself who weren’t 100% on board with his decisions made along the way. First and foremost, Rand Paul aligns with many of American voters’ views on the issues. He may be more staunchly right-leaning than more outwardly libertarian politicians like Gary Johnson, but his anti-establishment, anti-spying, anti-war, anti-drone, and anti-drug war…

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The Debate Republicans Deserve

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As we approach tonight’s Republican debate, sure to be a spectacle similar to the last three awkward attempts to manage the political equivalent of a starting football lineup, it’s worth mentioning that debates don’t have to be this way. Late last week Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal challenged Senator Ted Cruz to debate Obamacare mano y mano in a response to the latter’s assertion that he would debate “anyone, anywhere”.  Though the move was a clear attempt by Jindal to lash his sinking dinghy to the surging Cruz ship, he served the ball directly into Cruz’s court in such a way that the Senator’s response has the opportunity to flip the Republican debate process on its head. But before I address that possibility, let’s step back and see how we got here. In the wake of the last debate hosted by CNBC (read that phrase however you like), anger among both the candidates and the conservative grassroots resulted in a coup in which the candidates effectively cut the Republican National…

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Ted Cruz Should Be Every Ron Paul Supporters’ Second Choice

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Rand Paul is without doubt my first choice for the presidency. As the most libertarian member of the United States Senate, and the son of Ron Paul, Rand is strongly deserving of our support and I wholeheartedly endorse him for President of the United States. However, should he be unsuccessful in his presidential campaign and choose to leave the race at any time in the next few months, we should keep our options open, for there is clearly another candidate in the race with strong liberty credentials. 1. Ted Cruz is one of the most fiscally conservative members of the United States Senate. He boasts a 98% lifetime score from FreedomWorks and a 96% lifetime score from the Club for Growth. He has consistently voted for spending cuts and lowering taxes, and has repeatedly stood up to the establishment’s last-minute deals that do nothing more than increase the national debt. Whilst it is fair to criticize him on the very few occasions where he has not stuck to his core free market  principles, the…

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Wanted: Dead Or Alive – What The RLC Vote Really Says About The Liberty Movement

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It turns out the death of the Liberty Movement has been greatly exaggerated. At the first sign of some sputtering from the presidential campaign of “libertarian-ish” Sen. Rand Paul, critics and pundits gleefully took to the web to declare the so-called “libertarian moment” over. But those seeking evidence of the continued relevance of America’s youngest and most vibrant political faction may just be looking in all the wrong places. Of course one shortfall in the arithmetic of those waiting to dance on the grave of libertarianism is that it attempts to judge the fate of a movement by the electoral success or failure of a single candidate.  That doesn’t make sense by anyone’s standards, but makes even less sense in relation to a group as ideologically diverse as the Liberty Movement. Contributing to the confusion were many liberty folks who placed all their eggs in the basket of the Randidacy from the get-go; attempting to force the movement into the shape of the younger Paul despite widespread hesitation within…

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Rand Paul Rips Walker As “part Of The Problem”

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Kentucky Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has slammed Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in response to recent remarks by the Governor regarding Washington politicians. Paul replied in a interview by the Associated Press, alleging that “part of problem we have is career politicians like Scott Walker.” “Has he ever had a job outside of politics? He was running for office when he was in college. I’m not going to be lectured by a career politician, that’s for sure,” Paul continued. This marks the first time in the presidential campaign that Senator Paul has attacked Governor Walker, and Walker is expected to respond in the coming days. While Paul, a physician, had performed eye surgery at his own practice for over 18 years before going into politics, many of his 2016 rivals, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, have served as politicians throughout their working lives.

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Donald Trump Comments Cause Political Uproar: Nearly 70% Disagree

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In an ongoing unscientific poll by Liberty Guy, nearly 70% of respondents believed that Donald Trump’s comments on Saturday afternoon about Senator John McCain weren’t in good taste. Donald Trump explained to an audience that McCain, “[Is] not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” The response was a mixture of clapping, gasps, and boos. To which Trump immediately said, “I guess he’s a hero.” Political stars within the Republican party, especially Presidential candidates, jumped to John McCain’s defence. United States Senator Rand Paul explained that while he might not always see eye to eye with John McCain, he appreciates “his service and the sacrifices he made for our country.” Neurosurgeon Ben Carson refused to side with either McCain or Trump, explaining, “I believe Sen. McCain has done some wonderful things.” Ted Cruz refused to bash Donald Trump but tweeted, “John McCain is an American hero. Although we have some policy disagreements, I’m proud to serve alongside him.” Others were…

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Coming Soon! The Return Of The Republicans!

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Sometimes I don’t know whether to kick the Supreme Court or kiss it.  As America  seemingly turns to the left, albeit by judicial fiat,  the Right will have its revenge in 2016 via the legitimate voice of the people, the ballot box.  This is where real change happens.  A few black robed tyrants in narrow decisions on Obamacare and “Gay Marriage” may impose their  will on the American people for  a spell, but we the people still have the ultimate check on a court run amok and now have a rallying cry to overturn these political/judicial decisions.     Such revolutionary change to our fundamental values should never be made by the courts, instead the people through our representative government should resolve these controversial issues.  By giving conservatives a reason to mobilize and organize, Republicans will be in the driver seat and beat the Dems like a piñata with these flawed  Supreme Court decisions.  Congress can also nullify this Supreme court ruling by  defunding  any effort to enforce gay marriage and Obamacare. I…

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The GOP’s Rainbow Connection Just Won’t Work

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It’s a hunch I have, a feeling from growing up in a deep blue urban area which has seen a parade of different majority-minorities dominate the area, that the GOP’s attempt to “diversify” by running candidates of color just might not do what they want it to do.  As a child, it was a  deep blue and liberal professional lower middle class Jewish neighborhood. Our teachers lived in the same neighborhood as we did back in elementary school. There were also the Catholic kids (we didn’t know them because they went to Catholic school) who were from blue collar union and police and firefighter families. But they too, were deeply blue. I moved away to New Mexico to attend university, but came back to Philly because my now husband then boyfriend wanted to live in a big city. And over the years, as we’ve lived in more or less the same area in which I grew up, we’ve seen the neighborhood transition. There were the first Black families in…

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Bush, Cruz & Paul Cling To Hope In Long, Grueling Primary Battle

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Let’s face it: 2016 is a year where America can embrace Liberty or completely blow it, succumbing to the progressive rhetoric that has been lacking lately from Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. It’s without a doubt that the clear Republican frontrunner is Jeb Bush- thanks in large part to the constant media bias toward his name. For one, if 2016 does boil down to Hillary Clinton versus Jeb Bush, history will yet again be made no matter the final outcome. The first woman President versus the third Bush: such a great media narrative that is sure to drive the twenty-four hour news cycle to the point where political nerds will actually have to stop watching. Jeb Bush ultimately is rivaled closely by Scott Walker, who, as any political wonk will explain to you, is loaded up on cash. Again, his emergence was in large part due to the media coverage of a “campaign” stop in Iowa toward the beginning of the year. Weeks after and the media is still trying…

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4 Things You Didn’t Know About The TPP… Or Is It The TPA?

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The Far Left and the Far Right finally have something to agree on: opposition to the package of legislative endeavors leading up to what has been dubbed “Obamatrade”. The issue has given rise to the most bizarre coalitions, with Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee joining Harry Reid and Elizabeth Warren in opposing the deal, and Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Rod Blum siding with President Obama and John Boehner to support it. Broad criticisms have been matched against vague praise, and nobody really seems to know what’s going on. Meanwhile, social media has gone become a political Chernobyl – a radioactive chaos of arguments on an issue where the typical battle lines have become irrelevant. At least half of the conservative internet has simply decided to give a confused shrug and side with their presidential candidate of choice, using the rare alliances to leverage guilt by association. The fact of the matter is that there is no conservative – or liberal – consensus on trade promotion authority or…

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“The NSA Knows I Bought This Rand Paul TShirt”

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When Rand Paul put out the call to design his next t-shirt, he didn’t expect such an overwhelming response. There were 160 entries from across the nation, which were narrowed down to 10 by a campaign team committee. Thousands of votes later, one t-shirt, designed by Chris Mandle of Mandle Design was the winner. His design, which simply said, “The NSA knows I bought this t-shirt.” was simple and funny. When asked about his inspiration for the design, he said, “I was looking for a quick impact message that was a little tongue-in-cheek and would make people laugh when they saw it, even though it reflects a legitimate concern of many voters.” A close second was Rand Paul in a John Paul Jones look alike outfit saying a line from his announcement speech, “We have come to take our country back.” Third and fourth were more simple. They both had head and shoulder’s images of Rand Paul. Third has the words, “Liberty Bro” and fourth simply says, “Fearless.” “The…

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Rand Paul Opposes Obama Fast Track Authority, Cruz & Rubio In Favor

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One of the major issues that has caused a divide of late in the Republican presidential field is the granting of fast track authority to the Obama administration to negotiate the Trans Pacific Partnership. Earlier tonight, Senator Rand Paul came out against granting Obama fast track authority. Paul told WMUR.com that “the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement ‘is being held under lock and key’ by the Obama administration ‘because they’re afraid that if the public knows what we are going to vote on, that somehow that would destroy the republic.’” This is a move that builds on Paul’s long record of being an advocate of US sovereignty, notably being the most anti-UN candidate in the race. It also stands in clear contrast to two other candidates in the race, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who have advocated in favor of granting Obama this authority. This is notable for Ted Cruz in particular, whose position is very out of step with the conservative grassroots he is currently courting for votes. It…

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I’m a Ron Paul Guy, And I’m Supporting Ted Cruz

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The other night as my wife Kelsey and I were getting ready for bed, we were talking about the 2016 presidential race and discussing how things would shape up for the first-in-the-nation caucus state – our home state – of Iowa.  We had both heard that Ted Cruz was set to announce his candidacy at midnight, and were keeping a finger on the pulse of the reaction within our liberty-heavy political circles. My wife’s phone buzzed, and then I heard her groan. Another of our friends had asked her who we would be supporting for president in the state where politicos never sleep. Both of us knew that we were leaning toward supporting Sen. Ted Cruz, but both of us also knew that we didn’t want to have “the talk” with another of our Randian friends at 11 o’clock on a Sunday night. I had to chuckle as she tried to think of ways to defer the familiar question one more time.  Despite the fact that no candidates had…

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FEC: We Do Not Have a Filing Indicating Rand Paul Is Running

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UPDATE: The FEC confirmed to CNBC that this filing relates to an earlier report by a pro-Rand Super PAC, and that Rand Paul has indeed not yet filed to run for President. A spokesman for the Rand Paul campaign later affirmed this statement. ORIGINAL POST: Though Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has yet to make an official announcement of his candidacy for President, and is widely expected to do so at an event in Louisville on April 7, he has made the decision to preemptively file with the Federal Election Commission as a Republican candidate for President of the United States, according to the Washington Examiner. This early announcement could possibly be motivated by the rumors that Rand, unlike most candidates, will not go through an exploratory committee phase in 2016, therefore this early announcement could help generate attention for his likely campaign. Of the more than a dozen prospective rivals Rand will face for the Republican nomination, only Maryland neurosurgeon Ben Carson has thus far filed to run in 2016, though several are…

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Rand Paul Taps Liberty Movement Leader As Iowa Political Director

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Sen. Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential campaign, which in recent months has gone from being a strong possibility to a near certainty, has hired a new political director to conduct operations in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa. Jonathan Van Norman, who served as former Rep. Ron Paul’s regional director in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District during his 2012 presidential run, will join an Iowa campaign team which is already staffed with several big names such as former Iowa Republican Party chairmen Steve Grubbs and AJ Spiker. In addition to his work for Ron Paul 2012, Van Norman’s impressive resume includes Liberty For All (a political action committee which proved crucial for Thomas Massie’s 2012 victory), the National Right To Work Committee, and most recently as a Regional Field Director for the Republican Party of Kentucky. “Jonathan Van Norman comes highly recommended, especially for the good work he did with Ron Paul in 2012. AJ Spiker said he has a great work ethic and people like to work with him. Assuming…

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Rand Returns To His Roots

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Nobody thought that former US Representative Ron Paul would show up in Iowa this week to stump with his son, Kentucky Senator and likely 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul; but when Rand took the stage to deliver the keynote at an “Audit the Fed” rally hosted by Liberty Iowa, there was a whole lot of Ron in the room. Ron Paul shirts, Ron Paul hats, and Ron Paul stickers adorned many of the roughly 120 people that gathered in Des Moines to hear the younger Paul speak. Even the speech itself sounded a lot more like the fiery Texas Congressman of yore than the polished, diplomatic tenor that Rand has worked to fine-tune over the course of his fairly recent emergence on the national stage. While at times Sen. Paul has shied away from his libertarian heritage, he seemed to embrace it fully on Friday night – to the applause of an energetic crowd of Liberty activists from around Iowa. “Anybody here want to audit the fed?” Paul bellowed…

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Cruz To Liberty Movement: No Softballs

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Nearly two weeks ago, just prior to his appearance at Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz carved out some time to meet with leading liberty activists from around Iowa. The low-key meeting, held in Des Moines, was many activists’ first time to meet the libertarian-leaning Tea Party firebrand. It was also Cruz’s first time fielding questions from a crowd comprised almost exclusively of members of the thriving Iowa Liberty Movement. Cruz opened with high praise for former Rep. Ron Paul’s rapidly-maturing political army. “The power, the energy of the Liberty Movement is inspirational,” said Cruz. “I think it is starting to change the almost inevitable currents of Washington.” He went on to discuss his appreciation for libertarian thinkers like Hayek, Bastiat, and von Mises, keying on areas of agreement with his audience. Cruz, who recently challenged Republicans to “lighten up a little”, also threw in some of his characteristically disarming humor. Admitting himself to be a “geek” while discussing his high school pursuits, the 44-year-old Senator…

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Rand Paul: Obama Budget A ‘Wrong Recipe’ For The Country

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HANNITY: Now, under the president’s budget proposal, over the next 10-year period, tax increases will total $2 trillion. The projected federal debt by 2025 will topple $26 trillion. So what is he thinking? By the way, he said $9 trillion in debt was unpatriotic and irresponsible. Here with reaction, Kentucky senator, potential presidential candidate Rand Paul. Senator, what’s your reaction? SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: Well, it’s more of the same. I mean, this president now is going to add more to the debt than all 43 previous presidents combined. And there’s no slowing up on it. He doesn’t get what every American family gets. We can’t spend what we don’t have, or we go to bankruptcy court. And how are we supposed to be a powerful nation from bankruptcy court? So I think it’s exactly the wrong recipe for the country. HANNITY: OK, I agree with all of that. I have yet to see the Republican plan, either, that says not only are you going to reduce the rate…

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Cruz Courts Liberty Movement In Iowa

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Tea Party champion and conservative firebrand Ted Cruz may be ready to embrace his libertarian side – and he may need to, if he hopes to find a path from Iowa to the White House. As it turns out, the death of the Liberty Movement in Iowa may have been greatly exaggerated. While an establishment resurgence in 2014 spearheaded by Governor Terry Branstad succeeded in purging the Ron Paul element from the leadership of the Republican Party of Iowa, members of the state’s robust and often-boisterous Liberty Movement are turning their attention to greater things – namely, the 2016 presidential cycle. Still reveling in the unexpected victory of libertarian-leaning Congressman Rod Blum in what had been a heavily Democratic eastern Iowa district, the Liberty contingent is starting to have conversations about how much effort and energy should be poured into a presidential race that – for the first time in a decade – will not feature Rep. Ron Paul. Paul, who retired from Congress in 2013 but continues to…

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The Real Story Behind The Riots, Legalized Plunder

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Just last month my friend and photo radar expert Shawn Dow told me that the real reason behind the police protests in Ferguson was the automatic ticketing photo radar machines that had been put in place by local governments to raise revenue.  This has caused incredible harm on the poor in the community and frustration towards their police force which was becoming increasingly more militarized and disconnected from the public because of poor decisions made by the local politicians.  Upon further investigation the facts prove this to be the case. This anger at camera speeding tickets, not an apparently justified police shooting, was the long simmering motivation behind the riots.  Michael Brown was just the poor excuse to vent frustrations at the system that is shaking them down.  Unjust laws meant to fleece the public create resentment and disrespect for the law and those who enforce them.  It has been shown that these machines do not increase safety and in fact cause accidents to spike.  Missouri State representative  Courtney Curtis stated…

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The Absurd Attack On Rand Paul Via Association With Judge Napolitano

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The leftist website Media Matters has published a hit piece on Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul. In the article they attempt to smear Senator Paul by exposing his relationship with Fox News Contributor and former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano. Senator Paul wrote the foreword for Judge Napolitano’s new book, Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Assault on Civil Liberties. Media Matters claims that Napolitano is dangerous because he is a “9/11 Truther” and Confederate apologist. By smearing Napolitano, they’re trying to tarnish Paul. But there is one problem: the claims against Napolitano are mostly nonsense.     Here at Lions of Liberty we haven’t held back from criticizing Senator Paul when he has strayed from libertarian principles, which he does with increasing frequency. There’s nothing wrong with criticizing a politician, but it should be done based on their policy and character, not by manufacturing controversies. Let’s review the claims against Napolitano and by association Paul, which links them both to the 9-11 Truther movement because…

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Rand Paul Boosts GOP Senate Candidates

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Rand Paul’s leadership political action committee, RAND PAC, is launching ad buys on behalf of several Republican Senate candidates in tight races. RAND PAC had $242,000 cash on hand as of October 15, and has raised an additional $300,000 from a Ron Paul-style moneybomb over the last two weeks. The six-figure broadcast, cable, and online ad buys will primarily target Kansas, where incumbent Republican Pat Roberts is facing an unexpectedly tight contest against independent Greg Orman. The ads focus on the topic of foreign aid, with Paul lauding Roberts for opposing foreign aid to countries hostile to the United States. Furthermore, RAND PAC is spending $16,000 apiece in Kentucky, Iowa ,New Hampshire, and North Carolina to support other Republican Senate candidates in competitive races. Many other potential presidential contenders, such as Ted Cruz and Chris Christie, have been stumping around the country with Republican candidates this year. However, Paul goes a step further, digging into his own coffers in a largely symbolic yet meaningful gesture of support. The ad buys…

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Rand Paul’s Plan “A”

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  Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack. – Sun Tzu   Last week, Kentucky Senator and likely presidential candidate Rand Paul got in a highly-publicized spat with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council over the Senator’s answer to a question on abortion and contraceptives. Paul – a medical doctor – was asked directly whether the Plan B pill should be legal, to which he responded, “Plan B is taking birth control… I am not against birth control, and I don’t know many Republicans who would be indicating that they are against birth control.” His comments sent a shockwave of indignation throughout the virtual world, as pro-life conservatives took to social media to chastise Rand for “selling out” on life  – very reminiscent, in fact, of the shockwave that followed Rand’s “thousands of exceptions” gaffe last year. As I watched the predictable and useless “I’m more pro-life than you” chest-beating erupt among conservatives, I realized that in Rand’s latest futile attempt to walk…

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A Time For War: How Foreign Policy Can Make Or Break The Liberty Movement

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The Middle East is in flames again, and for once, Liberty people seem unsure what to think about it.  For years our only rallying cry was “no more nation-building – bring the troops home!” And for a while, that was enough.  Our foreign policy ideals were so diametrically opposed to those in play for the last few administrations, we didn’t need to nail down all the details of our ideology.  Mere assertion sufficed. But the situation in Iraq has brought the Liberty Movement to a crossroads. On one side, Ron Paul’s steady non-interventionism is what first drew many people to the Movement, and the case could even be made that these foreign-policy-first libertarians form the core of the Liberty Movement.  These folks steadfastly believe that the United States should bring all military forces home and leave the world to its own devices, relying on free trade and free association to govern international affairs.  But this group has fallen strangely silent in the wake of all the images coming out…

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A Movement To Maturity

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  Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions; but those who kindly reprove thy faults. – Socrates Last week I wrote an open letter to social conservatives, in the interest of broadening communication between two groups that both have a vital interest in stopping the socialist slide engineered by people who benefit from government expansion.  As a homeschooled Christian conservative who chose to plant my flag firmly within the Liberty Movement, I think I can offer some perspective to those on both sides who don’t see an avenue of cooperation. But as I pointed out in last week’s article, reproof is a two-way street.  Each leg of the conservative coalition exhibits different strengths and weaknesses, and there is opportunity for greater understanding and cooperation between all if we are willing to do some self-examination and establish goals both personal and political.  To that end, fairness demands that liberty people examine our own weaknesses, and work to improve our activism.  There are some ways in which the…

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Things You Can’t Do In The Land Of The Free

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Independence Day has always been one of my favorite holidays.  In fact, if Thanksgiving didn’t land squarely on the intersection of food, football, hunting, colorful leaves, hoodies, and cool weather, the 4th of July would be the undisputed champion of my holiday list. Independence Day is one of only a couple holidays that hasn’t yet been completely adulterated by irrelevant mythical beings or stained by a liberal re-telling of history. Better yet, the copious commercialism surrounding this holiday is actually cool. Ask any red-blooded American to choose between easter eggs, plastic Santas, and roman candles, and see which one brings out the wallet first. Sure, some folks are more sentimental about other holidays, and not everyone enjoys fireworks, but there’s something uniquely American about the fact that we delight in that short-lived flash and boom enough to gather all over the country, and sit outside and tolerate heat, humidity, mosquitoes, and that one crazy neighbor with the mullet and the battery-powered boombox playing Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” for the…

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“By The Waters Of Babylon We Sat And Wept”

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“By the Waters of Babylon” by Don McLean Iraq,  once known as the “cradle of civilization” may soon come to be known as the  “graveyard of civilization.”  The first laws, writing, astronomy and math were all gifts that Mesopotamia gave to advance civilization.  The most famous Mesopotamian from Ur of the Chaldeans, was Abraham,  the  patriarch of the three great religions; Christianity, Judaism and Islam.  Today the land  is being torn apart by religion and foreign intervention.  After the creation of Israel, most of the once large and thriving ancient Jewish community in Iraq fled.  My father came from Iraq to America in 1952 because he realized that Iraq was not a nation for a Christian man to raise a family.  He was an indigenous Chaldean who spoke Aramaic, the language of Christ, and wanted to be free to practice his Catholic faith. The number of  Christians who have emigrated from Iraq is over 1 million and increasing since the most recent societal breakdown. Soon the indigenous Christians could disappear…

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