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Habit

Since 2013, the GOP has consistently proposed budgets that increase spending, and not by just a little. Consider that the Republican budget for the 2014 fiscal year, offered by then-Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., proposed $966 billion in base spending. This year, Speaker Ryan is pushing a budget that proposes $1.07 trillion.

That means in four years, Republicans have increased their proposal by $104 billion.

Via They are Doing It Again—-Republicans Are Addicted to Increased Federal Spending @ David Stockman’s Contra Corner.

Yes

The argument is simple:

1. Universities have a fiduciary duty to their students to hire competent instructors.
2. So far, most of the madjuncts’ criticisms of our paper have been so feeble or irrelevant that only people who A) lack basic reading comprehension skills, or B) lack basic reasoning skills, or C) are intellectually dishonest could have made them.
3. If someone exhibits A, B, or C, he is unlikely to be  competent instructor.
4. Therefore, universities have a fiduciary duty to their students not to hire these madjuncts.

Via Do Universities Have a Fiduciary Duty to Fire Madjuncts? @ Bleeding Heart Libertarians.

Joint Statement on Apple

A joint statement from Access Now, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Apple is engaged in a high-profile battle against a court order demanding it write, sign, and deploy custom computer code to defeat the security on an iPhone. As civil liberties groups committed to the freedom of thought that underpins a democratic society, this fight is our fight. It is the fight of every person who believes in a future where technology does not come at the cost of privacy or individual security and where there are reasonable safeguards on government power….

Via The Apple Fight Is About All of Us @ American Civil Liberties Union.

GOP Options

Sen. Ted Cruz could still conceivably win. But there’s no soft landing in this scenario. No rapprochement. No team-building exercise is going to fix the 2016 iteration of the Republican Party. There is only going to be a crackup, no matter who captures the nomination. If that’s true, and if it means one side has to prevail, why not save your party from a hostile takeover that could potentially cost it both the Senate and the House?

Via The GOP Should Steal the Nomination from Trump @ Reason.com.

Electoral College Against Trump 

“State legislatures should consider whether to retake [the authority to choose electors] in the 2016 election in an effort to stop Trump,” he says. “Many could consider this proposal, but the Texas state legislature is a natural place to start. It could easily pass a law returning power to the legislature. On Election Day, the legislature could decide whether to vote for Trump or Mitt Romney, the prior Republican nominee; former Texas governor Rick Perry, who dropped out of the 2016 race early on; a popular GOP figure such as Condoleezza Rice, whose name has recently been floated as an alternative; or their own junior Sen. Ted Cruz, presently trailing Trump in the Republican Party delegate count.”

Via Law Professor Suggests Electoral College Should Step in to Save America from Trump @ The Libertarian Republic. 

5 Dead Since 2008

Iberia Parish Jail

Iberia Parish (La.) Sheriff Louis Ackal was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy and deprivation of civil rights in relation to multiple alleged beatings of detainees in the parish jail’s chapel.

Several deputies who pleaded guilty to charges related to the abuse of prisoners testified that Ackal and one of his most senior officers, Lt. Col. Gerald Savoy (who was also indicted), ordered a number of men to be taken to the chapel, where there were no security cameras, and “take care” of them.

Via Louisiana Sheriff Indicted Over Jailhouse Chapel Beatings of Detainees @ Hit & Run : Reason.com

Open Borders

The right of consenting individuals to be left in peace by the government is the heart of freedom.  It doesn’t matter if the individuals are white or black, men or women, Christian or atheist; consenting adults of all stripes have the right to engage in consensual capitalist acts.

The case for open borders begins with a follow-up question: If race, gender, and religion don’t matter here, why should nationality?  Suppose I want to hire a Chinese citizen to work in my factory, and he wants to work in my factory.  Or suppose I want to rent my apartment to a Romanian citizen, and she wants to accept my offer.  It seems like government should leave us alone, too.  If it did, open borders – a world where every non-criminal is free to live and work in any country on earth – would result.

Via The Freedom-Loving Case for Open Borders, Bryan Caplan | EconLog @ Library of Economics and Liberty.

Most Americans support marijuana legalization

Research from YouGov shows that a majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana. 52% of Americans now support legalization, while only 34% oppose it. This is slightly up from 48% support for legalization when the question was last asked in March 2015.  Over half of all adults under the age of 65 support it, but over-65s do tend to oppose (49%) rather than support (39%) legalization.  Politically, Democrats (66%) and independents (51%) want to legalize marijuana but half of Republicans are oppose

Via YouGov | Most Americans support marijuana legalization.

1/435

When former Speaker of the House John Boehner—whom Amash helped push out of his leadership role last fall—used to preside over “pro forma” sessions during which most members were away from Washington, the libertarian-leaning congressman would always attend, just to make sure Boehner didn’t try to sneak a voice-vote extension of the PATRIOT Act. “Trust but verify,” the Michigan maverick would say, quoting Ronald Reagan’s famous line about the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons negotiations. Yes, Amash speaks of his own party the way Reagan spoke of the Russkies….

Via The Last Honest Man in Congress @ Reason.com

Rates 

If the candidates’ solutions for ending corporate inversions seem unnecessarily complex, their cure for income inequality is unlikely to produce the desired results. In a recent Brookings Institution paper entitled, “Would a Significant Increase in the Top Income Tax Rate Substantially Alter Income Inequality?,” economists William G. Gale, Melissa S. Kearney and Peter R. Orszag answer, no. Or, in their own words: “An increase in the top tax rate leads to an almost imperceptible reduction in overall income inequality, even if the additional revenue is explicitly redistributed.”

Via Raising Top Tax Rates Won’t Cure Income Inequality @ Economics21.

Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons

In one stroke, the Justice Department has dramatically amplified our efforts. It has issued a strong letter to state chief justices and court administrators making it clear that the 14th Amendment prohibits jailing people for nonpayment of court fines and fees without procedural safeguards. These measures include an ability-to-pay hearing before a neutral judge on whether a person’s nonpayment was willful or due to poverty, meaningful alternatives to jail for people who cannot afford to pay, and legal representation in certain collection enforcement actions.

DOJ’s letter also echoes longstanding ACLU concerns about the bias introduced when municipalities enlist for-profit probation companies that have a direct financial stake in the debts they are hired to collect. Employees hurt the company bottom line when they help courts identify indigent people whose payment of company service fees should be waived. The ACLU has sued the for-profit probation company Judicial Corrections Services, Inc. in Georgia and Biloxi.

Via The Department of Justice Throws Its Weight Behind Ending the Jailing of the Poor for Unpaid Fines @ American Civil Liberties Union.

Walked

According to an investigation by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, federal prosecutors turned down 12,703 out of 13,233 total complaints against cops between 1995 and 2015.

The newspaper looked at data from nearly 3 million U.S. Justice Department records related to how the department’s 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices handled civil rights cases referred to them by the FBI and opened on their own.

Via Cops Not Charged In 96 Percent Of Federal Rights Violation Cases @ Cop Block.