Journalists are turning on the White House

As I predicted, the news media is turning on the Obama administration.  Not just because the Justice Department, trying to trace a leak, subpoenaed phone companies for a list of calls made and received over two months by 20 reporters from the Associated Press (including both office and personal cell phones).   According to the Washington Post, tensions have been simmering between the White House and the press corp for some time. [Read more…]

Rand Paul courts Christian conservatives

Sen. Rand Paul is presenting himself as a “libertarian Republican” rather than a “libertarian,” and is courting evangelicals and other Christian conservatives.  In an apparent effort to position himself as a credible GOP presidential candidate, Paul is backing away from conventional libertarian positions, such as legalizing drugs, and is nuancing his support for gay marriage. (I believe he has always been pro-life.)

I know lots of readers of this blog have long supported the Pauls, both father and son.  Are you bothered by Rand’s attempt to appeal to the GOP establishment?  Or do you support him in trying to make himself electable?  And, for you Christian conservatives leery of libertarianism, do these efforts  make you likely to support him? [Read more…]

Should you be able to buy a car online?

It’s illegal to buy a car direct from the factory or over the internet.  You have to go through a local dealer.  The electric car company Tesla is trying to change that.  But state and local governments are resisting.  That, arguably, goes against the free market and against the trends of the new technology.  But do we really want online commerce to kill off small businesses that are the backbone of many small town economies? [Read more…]

IRS harassment of pro-life groups

More increasingly alarming details are coming out about the IRS scandal.  See this, for the kind of intrusive information the IRS demanded.  See also this and this for how liberal organizations applying for the same status were routinely and quickly approved, no questions asked.  And how as many as 500 conservative organizations were targeted.  We are also learning that the IRS was harassing pro-life groups as far back in 2009!  Not just making them fill out lots of forms and delaying approval for two years and more.  But forbidding pro-life leaders from sidewalk counseling and from protesting in front of Planned Parenthood abortuaries! [Read more…]

Court rules against German homeschoolers

The German government threatened to take away the children of a couple on the grounds that they were being homeschooled.  So the family fled to the United States and applied for asylum, claiming that they faced persecution for their beliefs.  Their application was first accepted, but later overturned, leading to a series of court battles, with the Obama administration arguing for deportation.  Yesterday, an appeals court ruled against the family.

I thought the Obama administration wants amnesty for immigrants.  Why not these immigrants, who–like many of the first settlers–came here specifically in search of religious, political,  and personal liberty?

[Read more…]

“A dagger at the heart” of a free press

Maybe we need to start worrying about those black helicopters after all.  The Obama administration keeps confirming the alarms over intrusive government and the violation of civil liberties.  In an effort to track down the source of leaks, the justice department has secretly subpoened and seized two months of phone records of the Associated Press.  David Schultz, lawyer for the AP, calls this crackdown on confidential sources a “dagger at the heart” of reporters’ ability to get the news.

Whether or not you are sympathetic to the plight of journalists here (and we must not let our dislike of the media distract from the First Amendment issues), this possible government overreach may have an unintended consequence:  What if it turns the press against the Obama administration?  Who knows what else they may dig up? [Read more…]