Another "blockbuster" report on Trump's "ties" to Russia has fizzled into nothingness, as the New York Times' piece over the weekend on an FBI counterintelligence investigation opened against the president was riddled with holes and absurdities. What came through loud and clear, however, was that Obama appointees and loyalists in the FBI and elsewhere in the deep state were determined to do everything in their power to overthrow a legally elected US president.
By Ron Paul
One of the new Democratic House majority’s top priorities is so-called campaign finance reform legislation. Contrary to the claims of its supporters, campaign finance reform legislation does not limit the influence of powerful special interests. Instead, it violates the First Amendment and burdens those seeking real change in government.
The First Amendment of the Constitution forbids Congress from interfering in any way with any citizen’s ability to influence government policies. Spending money to support candidates and causes is one way individuals influence government policies. Therefore, laws limiting and regulating donations to campaigns and organizations that work to change government policies violate the First Amendment.
One very troubling aspect of campaign finance reform laws is forcing organizations involved in “electioneering” to hand over the names of their top donors to the federal government. Electioneering is broadly defined to include informing the public of candidates’ positions and records, even if the group in question focuses solely on advancing issues and ideas. Burdening these types of organizations will make it harder for individuals to learn the truth about candidates’ positions.
America has a long and distinguished tradition of anonymous political speech. Both the Federalist and the Anti-Federalist papers where published anonymously. As Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote in NAACP v. Alabama, where the Supreme Court upheld the NAACP’s right to keep its membership list confidential, “Inviolability of privacy in group association may in many circumstances be indispensable to preservation of freedom of association, particularly where a group espouses dissident beliefs.”
Supporters of groups with “dissident beliefs” have good reason to fear new disclosure laws. In 2014, the IRS had to pay 50,000 dollars to the National Organization for Marriage because an IRS employee leaked donors names to the organization’s opponents. Fortunately, the Trump administration has repealed the regulation forcing activist groups to disclose their donors to the IRS. Unfortunately, Congress seems poised to reinstate that rule.
In recent years, we have seen the rise of authoritarian political movements that think harassment and even violence against those with differing views are acceptable tactics. Can anyone doubt that activists in these movements would do all they could to obtain the lists of donors to groups that oppose their agenda? They may be able to obtain the lists either by hacking government databases or by having a sympathetic federal employee “accidentally” leak the names.
As long as businesses can profit by currying favor with politicians and bureaucrats who have the power to reward or punish them via subsidies and regulations, powerful interests will find a way to influence the political process. These special interests seek out and reward politicians who support policies favoring their interests. So foreign policy hawks can count on generous support from the military-industrial complex, supporters of corporatist health care systems like Obamacare can count on generous support from the health insurance-pharma complex, and apologists for the Federal Reserve can count on support from the big banks.
Special interests do not favor free-market capitalism. Instead, they favor a mixed economy where government protects the profits of large business interests. That is why big business is more likely to support a progressive or a “moderate” than a libertarian. Campaign finance and donor disclosure laws will make it harder for grassroots liberty activists to challenge the corporatist status quo. Those wishing to get big money out of politics should work to get politics out of all aspects of the economy.
While touring the Middle East, including election-free Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for the Venezuelan opposition and armed forces to overthrow the current government under its president Nicolas Maduro. According to Pompeo, a coup is necessary to "restore democracy" after elections failed to produce the desired US outcome.
By Liberty Report Staff
By Liberty Report Staff
The words "National Emergency" should send shivers down the spine of anyone that values their liberty. At the same time, these words are music to the ears of those who lust after power. President Trump's threats to rule by fiat should not be taken lightly. Ron Paul discuses on today's Liberty Report.
By Jacob G. Hornberger
What better proof of the Iraq debacle than President Trump’s middle-of-the-night trip to that country at Christmastime to visit U.S. troops who are still occupying the country some 15 years after the Pentagon and the CIA invaded?
The U.S. national-security establishment has had a decade-and-half to bring its federally planned paradise into existence. From the very first day of the U.S. conquest of Iraq, a country that had never attacked the United States, the Pentagon and the CIA wielded total control over the country, being able to install whatever type of regime they wanted, with no pesky constitutional restraints to inhibit whatever they wanted to do.
After 15 years of building their paradise with such things as bombs, bullets, arrests, raids, indefinite detention, torture (e.g., Abu Ghraib), and assassination, the U.S. commander in chief has to leave Washington under cover of secrecy and darkness, land in Iraq in the middle of the night, talk to the troops for just a short while, and then skedaddle back to Washington in fear of being shot at by some disgruntled Iraqi who opposes the foreign invasion and occupation of his country.
If that’s not pathetic, I don’t know what is. Why can’t a U.S. commander in chief bravely and courageously fly into Iraq during the daytime the same way he would fly into London? Why can’t he freely travel into Baghdad and stay at a local hotel for a few days? Why can’t he meet with whoever happens to be the current U.S. puppet who is running the Iraqi government? Why does Trump have to instead sneak in and quickly sneak out of a country that the Pentagon and the CIA have had 15 long, deadly and destructive years to convert into a paradise?
After all, the president of Iran doesn’t do this. He flies into Baghdad, stays several days in a hotel, and takes the time to meet with Iraqi officials. But not Trump. He and his national-security team think that it would just be too dangerous to do that in the paradise that the Pentagon and the CIA have constructed over a period of 15 years.
For that matter, notice that not one member of Congress has ever taken one of the prized congressional junkets to Iraq. Not even a family vacation. What’s up with that? Wouldn’t you think that they would relish traveling to a country that has been invaded and occupied by troops who they never cease thanking for “their service” in Iraq?
If there is anything that should cause the American people to reject the conservative-liberal paradigm of foreign empire, intervention, regime-change, and wars of aggression, it should be Iraq. Trump’s sneaky in-and-out trip to visit the troops in Iraq 15 years after they invaded and began occupying the country and turning it into their paradise says it all.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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Economic collapse? More social media censorship? Will we get out of Syria? Legendary trends forecaster Gerald Celente joins today's Liberty Report to let us know what he expects for 2019!
With the killing of opposition journalist Khashoggi safely out of the headlines and with the House refusing to hold a vote on US involvement in the Yemen war, the Trump Administration is back to its Plan A: Sell more weapons to the Saudis as the Saudis annihilate Yemen. The latest is a $200 million missile "defense" deal. Will the Democrat-controlled House reverse former Speaker Ryan and hold a vote on US participation in the Yemen war?