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Freedom Caucus member reveals GOP’s ‘vindictive retaliation’ | New … – New York Post

President Donald Trump took aim at the Freedom Caucus last month after they helped torpedo his ObamaCare replacement bill, claiming they will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they dont get on the team and fast.

But, as Freedom Caucus member Rep. Ken Buckexplains in his new book, Drain the Swamp (Regnery), out Tuesday, the group was founded to give conservative values more leverage in Congress. Here, in an excerpt, Buck explains the groups origins and defends its tactics amidst the GOP backlash.

I was elected to the House of Representatives in January 2015, and shortly after arriving in Washington, the newest GOP members elected me to serve as president of the freshman c lass, which made me their representative to the GOP leadership. At the same time, a group of Republican congressional conservatives set up the Freedom Caucus, and I was among them.

Unlike the Republican Study Committee, which had started as a conservative caucus but was open to all and therefore had been subverted by the Republican leadership (which had encouraged moderates to join), the Freedom Caucus was to be a closed, invitation-only caucus. Republican leadership needed 218 votes to get anything done, half of the House plus one. The aim of our new Freedom Caucus was to get leverage for common-sense solutions and conservative principles. We soon had about 37 members, which was enough to deny then-Speaker John Boehner a majority if everyone voted together. This gave conservatives leverage because Democrats almost always vote as a bloc against anything Republicans want.

The first big test of the Freedom Caucus arrived when Speaker Boehner tried to force us to agree to give President Obama more power (or what had been known as trade promotion authority) to negotiate trade deals with foreign countries. We didnt think that was a good idea.

Now trade promotion authority itself is not a bad thing. Beginning in 1974, Congress had granted special authority to the president to facilitate trade deals in the best interest of America and agreed to expedite the approval of those deals. The idea was to give trading partners reassurance that Congress, and special interests represented in Congress, would not amend trade agreements negotiated by the executive branch. Congress can give guidelines on the front end, but only a yes or no vote on the final agreement.

This fast-track authority was allowed to expire in 2007 when Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate and George W. Bush was the president. Subsequently, the Obama administration began negotiating a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement assuming that the executives trade promotion authority would eventually be reinstated. In April 2015, several senators introduced a bill to reinstate and expand that authority. The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 cleared the Senate in May and arrived in the House to mixed reviews.

I had many concerns, frankly, about granting the president more authority to negotiate anything. President Obama had just negotiated with the worlds largest sponsor of terrorism Iran. He had agreed to give $150 billion to the country responsible for the improvised explosive devices maiming and killing thousands of American soldiers in Iraq. His secret nuclear agreement with Iran had side deals he failed to reveal to Congress; and the agreement itself though a treaty in all but name was not deemed a treaty so that Obama could avoid objections from Congress and the constitutional stipulation that treaties be ratified by the Senate.

Of course, as freshmen, we had all been told that we should never vote against our party on procedural motions.

I was not alone in my concern. Many of us did not believe President Obama had proven himself to be trustworthy. As this trade promotion authority bill came before the House, we balked at giving President Obama or any future president broader powers to make even worse deals. At least 33 other Republicans agreed with me.

What came next was a procedural issue. We vote on rules that allow a bill to come to the floor of the House. The majority party controls the process, if all members vote on party lines. Of course, as freshmen, we had all been told that we should never vote against our party on procedural motions.

Obama had insisted that he would only accept a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill that included an increase in funding of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, which is usually described as a training program for American workers adversely affected by trade agreements. Really it is a payoff to labor unions. Many Republicans considered the TAA to be nothing more than another opportunity to spend more money.

This particular rule was split into three smaller bills:

1)A TAA bill with Medicare spending cuts;

2)A TAA bill without any Medicare cuts;

3)The TPA legislation itself.

Emma Dumain at Roll Call summed up the purpose of the complex rule: The rule would state that, once passed, the Medicare offset provision also would be considered passed, canceling out the need to hold an actual vote on the Medicare language. In other words, once the rule was passed, the first vote to fund TAA with Medicare spending cuts would be considered passed without members actually voting on it. In this way, no one had to go on record as cutting funding for the elderly even though the reality was that nothing would actually be cut because Congress has ways of shifting money around to cover itself from criticism.

This wasnt simply a procedural motion. Legislative action was inserted into the rule and we were required to vote for a rule that would expand an out-of-control presidents authority and increase funding of the TAA.

I discussed this vote with Republican Congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina and we both refused to go along with the madness. The whole purpose of this vote was to play the bipartisan game of increasing spending and federal power while giving members plausible deniability by disguising what we were actually voting on.

Thirty-four Republicans, mostly Freedom Caucus members, said no. If we stuck together, we had enough votes to bring the GOP total under the 218-vote majority needed to pass the rule.

As the time came to cast our votes, the party whips, members whose job it is to turn out votes, scurried to get the majority they needed. Speaker Boehner realized the vote could be close, and the usual bullying tactics werent working, at least not yet.

Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the powerful Rules Committee, and someone I considered a friend, tried to talk me out of opposing the party leadership. Pete was one of the architects of the Republican majority in 2010 and often referred to me as his little brother.

While Pete voted with Boehner to keep his chairmanship on Rules, he treated conservatives fairly and found ways to achieve harmony within the Republican conference.

When Pete came up to me and asked me to vote for the TPA rule, I paused out of respect for him. Finally, I looked at him and said I just couldnt do it. He told me I should always vote my conscience. I appreciated knowing there were still some good people in Congress.

The next person who tried to whip my vote wasnt nearly as pleasant. Boehner himself came striding up the center aisle towards me, grimacing and clearly unhappy with how the vote was going.

Buck! Put your card in and vote yes!

Sorry, sir, Im going to vote against this one.

What?

Im going to vote against this one, I repeated, and reached for my voting card. Boehner stormed off, looking for someone elses vote to change.

As the votes were being cast, it looked pretty certain that we had enough Republicans to block Boehner. But Boehner and Republican leadership did something unprecedented: They started whipping Democrats to vote for the bill, because they knew that many Democrats wanted to pass the TPA and TAA but needed political cover.

The rule passed by a vote of 217 to 212. It was a bipartisan victory to spend billions of dollars while dodging responsibility for that decision.

We all knew there would be consequences for our decision to stand on principle, but the level of vindictive retaliation still surprised me. Three members of the Republican Whip team, who voted against their party, were removed from their positions Trent Franks of Arizona, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, and Steve Pearce of New Mexico.

Lummis knew what was coming and left the whip team voluntarily. Boehner, she told me, clearly couldnt give a rip about Wyoming and its member of Congress, and had no sympathy for a conservative whip that thought members should vote their conscience. But her resignation wasnt good enough for Boehner. The leadership announced that she had been fired, along with Franks and Pearce.

At the next meeting of all House Republicans, Speaker Boehner called members out publicly in front of their peers to berate and humiliate them. Our committee chairs met with us individually, telling us we would lose our committee assignments if we voted against another rule, and that the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) the recipient of millions in members committee dues would never help us again.

Candidly, that second threat was worthless to members of the Freedom Caucus because the NRCC didnt help any of us anyway. You have to be almost 100 percent loyal to Republican leadership and in a competitive seat to receive any financial help from the NRCC. Freedom Caucus members contributed a lot of money to the NRCC, but we received no financial help in return. So losing NRCC support was a symbolic punishment, but losing committee assignments was a real threat.

Congressman Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, for one, was defeated in his 2016 primary in no small part because Boehner ousted him from his seat on the House Agricultural Committee and supported his primary opponent.

Within days of his vote against the rule, Congressman Meadows got a visit from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah.

Meadows served as Government Operations subcommittee chairman and had been an exemplary chairman to that point, fully engaged with one of the best attendance records on the committee. Chaffetz had two issues with Meadows: voting against the rule and not paying his dues to the NRCC.

Chaffetz told Meadows he had to be a team player. He told him he had to give money across the street, meaning to the NRCC. The fact was that Meadows had a $21,000 check ready to give but had paused when leadership began to run attack ads against his fellow Republicans. He wanted assurances that his own party wouldnt run attack ads against him hardly an unreasonable request. When Chaffetz told him the speaker didnt have any control over the ads, Meadows told him that was nonsense. It was very clear where the message was coming from.

Chaffetz told Meadows he couldnt have him voting against the rule and not giving to the NRCC. So he took Marks chairmanship away.

But this time, the blowback from angry members of Congress and outraged citizens forced leadership to walk that back, and Chaffetz reinstated Meadows.

Then, Nevada Congressman Cresent Hardy, a fellow freshman, asked if he could talk with me. We walked together from the Capitol to the Cannon Building, where we both had offices on the fourth floor.

Ken, he spoke somewhat hesitantly as we approached my office, theres been a group of us whove met and were going to ask for your resignation as class president. We just dont think youre doing a good job.

I tried not to laugh. After all, there was no job description for class president in the House. The position was what anyone chose to make of it. I had been waiting to see what form the consequences of my vote would take, and now I knew. This was about payback for voting against the rule, pure and simple.

OK, you asked, I said with a shrug, and Im not going to resign.

Well, in that case, were going to have a special meeting to recall you, he replied, then paused before adding, and Im thinking of running for the position. I smiled as more of the plan came to light.

OK, if youve got the votes, I responded with a quick nod, then I guess you can do it. He kept talking, seemingly gaining confidence with each revelation.

They knew they didnt have the votes to do anything, so the meeting ended with no change in leadership.

Weve gone to the House parliamentarian and asked him what the procedure is to recall an officer in the class, Hardy said, and weve got the procedure down.

OK. There wasnt much more to say. We parted ways.

An e-mail went out to all the Republican freshman members except to me and the freshmen most supportive of me to inform them of an important meeting to discuss the performance of the class president. The meeting was scheduled by Congresswomen Mimi Walters of California and Elise Stefanik of New York. The morning before the meeting, I called a friend who worked with a conservative activist group. He got the word out. Radio shows, blogs and social media lit up about the move to oust me.

The House leadership was inundated with angry callers, and the leadership must have known that some members were stepping up to defend me as well.

Still, on Thursday morning, we had the freshman meeting, and I wasnt in control of it Walters and Stefanik were. Instead of removing me as they had originally planned, they gave each freshman member a chance to critique my performance.

They knew they didnt have the votes to do anything, so the meeting ended with no change in leadership.

During the meeting we agreed not to speak with the press about what transpired; I abided by that, but I noticed others didnt.

Still, the Beltway bullies had suffered at least a temporary defeat because the American people had spoken.

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Freedom Caucus member reveals GOP’s ‘vindictive retaliation’ | New … – New York Post

Dream Job Alert: Defend Digital Freedom as an EFF Activist – EFF

Want to spend your days fighting for digital rights and building a grassroots movement across the U.S.? Youre in luck! EFF is hiring.

Were expanding the grassroots advocacy team at EFF. Part of our larger activism team dedicated to defending digital liberty in the public sphere, the grassroots team focuses on outreach to campus and community groups across the country and connecting them to advocacy opportunities, training resources, community organizing best practices and guidance, and allies both nearby and across the country.

The teams signature project is the Electronic Frontier Alliance. Launched in 2016, the Alliance includes 52 autonomous local groups across the country, from small nonprofits dedicated to civil rights to campus student groups and hacker spaces. Every group in the Alliance embraces a shared set of digital liberty principles including privacy, security, access to knowledge, creativity, and freedom of expression.

Groups in the Alliance each set their own agendas and organize their own programs. EFF’s grassroots team coaches them in pursuing various forms of public education (including discussion events, teach-ins, movie screenings, and interactive workshops), as well as advocacy opportunities (such as engaging policymakers at both the federal and local level, writing op-eds, and organizing the occasional protest). The team at EFF strives to inspire, coordinate, and amplify their work.

The Alliance is the grassroots wing of EFFs traditional digital advocacy strategy. Were building these connections in offline spaces to strengthen the digital rights movement beyond EFF and defend the rights of all Internet users.

EFF’s grassroots team, and our work building and coordinating the Alliance, are also diversifying our community, ensuring that the digital rights movement of tomorrow engages technology users across gender, orientation, race, socio-economic background, age, political affiliation, and location.

The Activist role focuses on building local communities and support their independent efforts to defend digital rights. Every day includes opportunities to connect, encourage, inspire, and support people passionately concerned about free speech, privacy, and technology.

Sometimes those opportunities entail acting as a mentor to a student who wants to make a difference on their college campus. At other times, they involve connecting supporters seeking digital security training to others in their respective areas poised to address their needs. Others include speaking to public audiences about why free speech is vital to a functional democracy, why both values require privacy, and how individuals can meaningfully defend those values in their respective communities.

If you appreciate freedom, share our concerns about how freedom is threatened online, and enjoy facilitating workshops, hosting conference calls, speaking in public, writing articles, connecting allies to each other, and meeting with local digital rights activists to coach and guide their advocacy, youll love this job.

This position offers a chance for frequent travel and speaking engagements, so it is ideal for someone who is curious about seeing new places and eager to connect with new people. When youre in town, youll work from the funky, fun, and fabulous EFF headquarters in San Francisco, a dog-friendly environment with flexible working hours, people from all walks of life, and staff-organized communities united around everything from weekend bike rides and board games to learning Spanish and baking pies. EFF offers unparalleled benefits, including dental & vision coverage, competitive pay, and retirement savings. We also offer further assistance with housing to ensure that employees (both renters and home buyers) can afford to live in the beautiful Bay Area, as well as relocation expenses for candidates moving from elsewhere.

What are you waiting for? Apply today and help us build the future of the digital rights movement.

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Dream Job Alert: Defend Digital Freedom as an EFF Activist – EFF

Facing Freedom – Helena Independent Record

The Jewish people are about to embark on a journey. It is an annual ritual filled with song, teachings, food and ceremony. Pesach. Passover. The retelling of the 3,000-plus- year-old Exodus of the Israelites from enslavement in Egypt. We are encouraged to immerse ourselves in this holiday as if each of us, personally, has experienced both the bitterness of slavery and the redemptive power of liberation. Indeed, each of us, in our own way, has our own personal struggles or Mitzrayim (Egypt) to break free of. What better time than the beginning of spring to clean house (both figuratively and literally), embark on a spiritual quest and strive to live more fully, more compassionately in the world?

The story of the Jewish peoples exodus from Egypt, their wandering in the desert and, ultimately, their entering the Promised Land, is a focal point of Jewish tradition, ritual and history. We were once strangers in a strange land. Therefore, we vow to welcome the stranger into our midst. It is not just a matter of freedom from but freedom to. With freedom comes responsibility. We seek not just Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, but the courage and will to fight for the rights of all people to live in freedom, without fear of repression or reprisal because of their otherliness.

Traditionally, the Passover seder, which means order and involves 15 steps in the telling and retelling of our story, continues long into the night: midnight, to be exact. The festival is filled with much more than good food, ritual objects and symbolism. We ask questions; we talk about freedom, justice and faith. Ultimately, we recognize that speaking of such things is not enough. We must act. We must face the challenges that we see in our communities, society and world and then work to change what needs to be righted. We strive to make the world a better, fairer, more justice place for all.

One aspect of the Passover seder that is familiar to many is the recitation of the 10 plagues that befell the Egyptian people before Pharaoh ultimately Let My People Go. Back in the day, those plagues included such things as hail, frogs, darkness and disease. Today, as we recall the plagues of the past, we also acknowledge our modern day stumbling blocks that inhibit freedom for all. Ritualistically, for each plague that is mentioned, we dip one drop of wine or grape juice from our cups, recognizing that our own joy is diminished by the suffering of others. Im certain we can all conjure up at least 10 plagues that the world would be better off without right now: Destruction of our natural resources, xenophobia, extreme wealth inequality, Islamophobia, turning a blind eye to the cries of the refugee, anti-Semitism, homophobia, denial of climate disruption, misogyny, racism. The list could go on and on.

Ideally, at the conclusion of the Passover ceremony, the participants will experience a sense of transformation. We will have moved from a place of a hardened heart to one of compassion, empathy and action. But one night, or even two, may not be enough to ensure that we have fully internalized our desire to not just seek out freedom for ourselves, but to actively work for justice for all. In order to encourage success, on the second of Pesach, we begin a forty nine day spiritual journey: the Counting of the Omer, a process of personal growth, contemplation and introspection. At the conclusion of the Omer, we arrive at Mount Sinai and are ready to enter the Promised Land as a new nation: ready to face the challenges ahead, which are sure to come, but confident in our sense of community, pursuit of justice and freedom for all.

As the symbols of Spring emerge: buds on the trees, blossoming flowers, new Life in all its many forms, let us strive to make a fresh start, a new beginning, a time of peace, justice and security for all.

Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday)!

Janet Tatz, M.Ed., is the Jewish educator at Intermountain childrens home and the lay leader of the Helena Jewish community.

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Facing Freedom – Helena Independent Record

HS SOCCER ROUNDUP: Garrett scores game-winner for Freedom – Morganton News Herald

The Freedom girls soccer team defeated East Rutherford 1-0 on Friday night at the Catawba River Soccer Complex in a nonconference matchup as junior Erin Garrett scored the only goal of the game for the Lady Patriots from an assist by freshman Riley Carswell.

The Lady Patriots (5-8, 1-7 Northwestern 3A/4A Conf.) were outshot 16-12, and the visiting Cavaliers also held the corner-kick edge, 13-6. But Freedom junior goalkeeper Jalyn McCoy kept the clean sheet with nine saves to help preserve the victory.

The night before, Freedom fell at Watauga 9-0 in a league game played in driving sleet and gale-force winds. The Pioneers outshot Freedom 25-3 and also held a 10-4 corner-kick advantage.

The visiting Lady Panthers (2-8-1, 0-7 NWC) nearly earned their first conference triumph Friday but fell just short.

After an early Indians goal, Pattons Olivia Kirk evened the score in the 28th minute before the hosts tacked on the games final tally before halftime. Saint outshot Patton by a 14-5 margin and took eight corner kicks to Pattons two.

We played a solid second half and controlled the tempo much of the time, PHS coach Keith Scott said.

The host Lady Cavaliers (5-8-2, 4-5-1 South Mountain 2A/3A Conf.) dropped a fourth straight league game Thursday, fighting back from a 1-0 halftime deficit but falling in extra time. Jennifer Xiong scored EBs second-half goal, and keeper Ariana Hawkins posted six saves for the game.

The Lady Wildcats (0-12, 0-11 SMAC) fell Friday in Henrietta as Chase completed the season sweep. No more details were available.

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HS SOCCER ROUNDUP: Garrett scores game-winner for Freedom – Morganton News Herald

The Freedom Caucus and Strife in the GOP – New York Times


New York Times
The Freedom Caucus and Strife in the GOP
New York Times
Representative Adam Kinzinger's essay is intended to be an indictment of the House Freedom Caucus. It is as much an indictment of himself. The premise of his essay is that the G.O.P. cannot pass any meaningful legislation unless the overwhelming
Rep. Gary Palmer hopes risk-sharing program can help Freedom Caucus 'push the yes button'Washington Examiner
Freedom Caucus chair: Government shutdown isn't likelyPolitico
A Trump-Freedom Caucus alliance is imperative to American prosperityThe Hill (blog)
CNBC –MyDaytonDailyNews –Jackson Clarion Ledger
all 1,088 news articles »

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The Freedom Caucus and Strife in the GOP – New York Times

Michael Caine: I Voted Brexit for ‘Freedom’ – Breitbart News

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I voted for Brexit what it is with me, Id rather be a poor master than a rich servant, the 84-year-oldGoing in Stylestar told Sky News, adding that his support for Britains independence wasnt about the racism, immigrants or anything, it was about freedom.

Last week, theUnited Kingdomofficially filed to leave the European Union. Caine, a London-born, two-time Oscar-winner, said politics is always chaotic.

In politics youre always going into areas youve never been before, so youre going to get lost and then youre going to find your way, and then itll be alright, he said of Europes historic vote.

Caine is currently promoting his last filmGoing in Style,which follows three lifelong friends who rob a bank after it stops paying out their pensions.

Im playing Brian Reader, who when he did that robbery was 73, Caine said. I knew I was going to get a phone call, I said to my wife heres my next part, I think.

And if you were wondering, dont expect the 84-year-old star to stop acting anytime soon.

People always say are you going to retire? and of course the movie business retires you, Caine said, adding You get paid a fortune for kissing the most beautiful women in the world, not a bad job is it?

Caine isnt the only British celebrity to have revealed he voted for Brexit.

Last month,Roger Daltrey, founder and lead singer of the English rock bandThe Who, reiterated his support for Britains independence from the European Union.

We are getting out, and when the dust settles I think that itll be seen that its the right thing for thiscountryto have done, thats for sure,Daltreytold NME.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter@jeromeehudson

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Michael Caine: I Voted Brexit for ‘Freedom’ – Breitbart News

Warrington inundated with freedom campers – Otago Daily Times

As the Dunedin City Council looks at opening up new areas for freedom camping, to ease the pressure on Warrington Domain, some local residents are begging for relief.

Warrington Domain and Ocean View Recreation Reserve are the only two Dunedin sites which accept non-self-contained vehicles.

Consequently, the number of freedom campers is high, particularly at Warrington, where an average of 75 to 80 vehicles camped each night during February and March.

Recently, The Star was approached by a group of Warrington residents concerned by the volume of freedom campers arriving nightly in the small settlement.

While not fundamentally opposed to freedom camping, the residents have called for numbers to be restricted.

Dunedin City Council recreation, planning and facilities manager Jendi Paterson, who is leading a review of freedom camping, is well aware of the issues for Warrington people.

“Warrington, I think everyone would agree, has been inundated with freedom campers,” Ms Paterson said.

When the city’s Camping Control Bylaw was introduced in 2015, no-one had foreseen the demand that would be placed on Warrington Domain, she said.

Warrington resident Paul Hersey said, despite the cool summer, numbers of freedom campers had “really picked up” since Waitangi Weekend.

“There have been truckloads of them – sometimes hundreds of people in a night,” Mr Hersey said.

At times, the reserve’s facilities struggled to cope with demand, and it was difficult for locals to use Warrington Reserve for recreation. I’m not against freedom camping at all, but I do feel that its impact on Warrington needs to be limited,” Mr Hersey said.

Fellow resident Sonia Evers, a senior firefighter and an operational Land Search and Rescue dog handler, used to be a regular user of the domain.

“It was an ideal space for doing play-training with my dogs, but after I was abused by a camper last year, I don’t go there any more,” Ms Evers said.

“I’m not against the freedom campers – I used to quite enjoy it when the numbers were more reasonable.”

Ms Evers urged the DCC to cap the numbers at Warrington Domain, and open up more spots for non-self-contained campers.

“That might leave some room for the locals,” she said.

Waikouaiti Coast Community Board chairman Alasdair Morrison said that, going back to February last year, the numbers of freedom campers had “caught everyone by surprise”.

Toilet facilities and rubbish collection at Warrington reserve had been inadequate, resulting in hygiene problems, but this had since been addressed, he said.

Numbers were light from September to December, but had picked up from January to March – when there was an average of 75 to 80 vehicles a night.

Ms Paterson said the DCC had upgraded the infrastructure at the domain during the off season, and had surveyed the numbers. With two seasons of data in hand, the council was now well placed to consider amending the bylaw to increase the number of freedom camping sites for non-self-contained vehicles.

“If we are going to amend the bylaw, we want to make sure we are doing the right thing.”

BRENDA.HARWOOD @thestar.co.nz

Freedom camping is a topic of great interest for the citys community boards. The Star reporters spoke with board chairmen and women about the past summer season, and what impact freedom campers have had in their communities.

OTAGO PENINSULA

Changes to freedom camping bylaws have improved the situation on Otago Peninsula, but work remains to be done, Otago Peninsula Community Board chairman Paul Pope says.

While there were still a few “hot spots” at Tomahawk Beach and other parts of the peninsula, the situation had “changed quite [a] bit” with the new bylaws.

“We have the odd problem … but there’s been a marked improvement.”

By the end of the two-year Macandrew Bay trial the number of freedom campers in the peninsula area had dropped.

However, as there was still no designated freedom camping area with facilities on the peninsula, the problem with non-self-contained vehicles continued.

“There’s always room for improvement.”

SADDLE HILL

Saddle Hill Community Board chairman Scott Weatherall said there had been minimal infringements by freedom campers over the summer and few concerns raised by the Brighton and Ocean View communities.

The use of the Brighton Domain – which is restricted to self-contained camper vans which can process their own waste – had taken the pressure off the Ocean View site, he said.

Positive feedback from members of the community now exceeded concerns.

“They kind of see the benefit of freedom campers – that they provide quite a cool culture within the community.”

Council staff and contractors were managing well in terms of waste disposal, and the council was working with the community to ensure freedom camping did not have a negative impact, Mr Weatherall said.

“What we would ask of the freedom campers visiting our community is that they treat our community with respect.”

MOSGIEL TAIERI

Mosgiel Taieri Community Board chairwoman Sarah Nitis said more freedom campers had been spotted at several sites around Mosgiel over the summer.

Freedom campers had recently been seen in the Seddon Park car park and the accompanying reserve in Wickliffe St, as well as in the Taieri Rugby Football Club and Wingatui racecourse car parks.

There were “about eight” camper vans in the Seddon Park car park a “couple of weekends ago”, she said.

While that was “event specific”, it did highlight a growing load on existing infrastructure in Mosgiel, she said.

She had “mixed” feelings about freedom campers and the “change in emphasis” from private-sector campgrounds towards freedom camping sites, which were now a council and ratepayer responsibility.

WEST HARBOUR

West Harbour Community Board chairman Steve Walker said freedom camping was “not an issue” in the West Harbour area – probably because it was not on a main route for travellers.

“We occasionally have a few people who stay overnight, but there have been no problems,” he said.

He sympathised with Warrington residents and those in other areas where freedom camping was popular.

“It can sometimes be difficult to find a balance between encouraging tourism and safeguarding residents’ right to enjoy their surroundings,” he said.

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Warrington inundated with freedom campers – Otago Daily Times

The Freedom Cities Campaign: Resistance through Progress at … – ACLU (blog)

On Saturday night, people at more than 2,200 events around the nation tuned in for the inaugural event of People Power, a new platform harnessing nationwide grassroots resistance to the Trump administrations assault on our Constitution and our values. At the event, we announced Freedom Cities, a campaign that provides a concrete plan for the People Power team to play offense in cities and towns across the country.

Watch the Recording

Even before Freedom Cities, our grassroots activism has borne fruit, as evidenced by the incredible protests around the country that brought defeat to President Trumps first attempt to ban Muslims and refugees. We will resist with equal strength Muslim Ban 2.0, along with any other unconstitutional and un-American policies that flow from the White House.

While we resist, however, we must also play offense, and work to paint a picture of the type of country we want to be. More than 170,000 people have already signed up on the People Power platform ready to lead the movement we need. And the Freedom Cities campaign provides a playbook for tackling some of Trumps most harmful policies.

Freedom Cities encourages and supports grassroots activism aimed at driving policy change at the local level. It allows individuals and groups to come together to actively shape how we treat vulnerable communities, how we cherish and safeguard fundamental freedoms, and how we respond as a society to the needs of our families, friends, and neighbors.

Make the place you live and work a Freedom City, or a Freedom Town, or maybe a Freedom County. In doing so, you can help win the fight to protect our civil liberties and promote equality and justice in the age of Trump one neighborhood at a time.

Freedom Cities is a sustained, multi-issue campaign that strives to generate tangible and lasting policy change change that reaffirms our values and counters backward ideas that undermine the Constitution and American values. Freedom Cities will help advance issues we hold dear, like the protection of LGBT communities, equal pay and fair housing, and policing reform.

The first issue the Freedom Cities campaign will tackle is immigration.

President Trump has already caused massive harm through his immigration policies. He has outlined, through executive orders issued his first week in office, a blueprint for a mass deportation machine, which will pull families apart and uproot hard-working, law-abiding individuals who have lived here for decades. The impact of this agenda is plastered in our newspapers daily, whether through the detention of a father of five U.S. citizen children who has only worked hard and obeyed the law since his arrival 15years ago, or a domestic violence victim in Texas, who sought protection through our judicial system, but fell prey to Trumps henchmen apparently based on a tip provided by her abuser.

The Freedom Cities campaign will allow us to make American communities welcoming again.

Building on the work of countless groups around the country who have labored for years on these issues, and with the guidance of law enforcement leaders who are committed to smart policing and placing local communities first, we have developed model local policies that we hope to see adopted in every city and town nationwide. Instead of scrambling to react to each outrage that sees our neighbor hauled away to a privately run detention camp, we will systematically work to disable Trumps deportation machine. Some of these model policies and rules are already on the books in certain places around the country, yet there are plenty of ways for most cities, towns, and counties to become more immigrant-friendly. And even once a community has adopted the full set of rules, activists will have additional opportunities to lend a hand on related issues or in neighboring communities.

During the March 11 event livestreamed from Miami, we provided a Freedom Cities Action Guide to the People Power team, which included a plan for activists to use in their local communities, along with useful strategic and tactical advice. This roadmap is meant to get people started, but the movement is yours. The United States has always been, and remains, what we make it.

So if you have not already joined the People Power team, the door is open. Sign up, receive the Action Guide, and take the first step in the plan. I have a hunch that a big group of people is waiting to tag team with you in your neighborhood.

Lets do this.

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The Freedom Cities Campaign: Resistance through Progress at … – ACLU (blog)

Just hours from freedom, Mosul’s civilians die under the bombs of their liberators – Telegraph.co.uk

That anyone still lives in the ruins is a measure of how desperate the situation has become. The Iraqi army says it has carried out 3,780 sorties against Isil in northern Iraq since the offensive to liberate Mosul began, which averages out to almost 30 a day. The US, which is supporting Iraqi forces, has conducted more than double that.

They dropped leaflets over the city telling us not to worry about the strikes, saying that they were extremely precise and would not hurt the civilians, says Mr Ahmed, 47. Now it feels like the coalition is killing more people than Isil.

He said he thought as many as 300 people had been killed in raids during the battle to liberate Samood and his late brothers neighbourhood al-Mansour. It was difficult to immediately verify the claim. A recent report by Airwars, a UK-based organisation which monitors international air strikes against Isil, suggested as many as 370 civilian deaths could be attributed to coalition raids in the first week of March alone.

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Just hours from freedom, Mosul’s civilians die under the bombs of their liberators – Telegraph.co.uk

Word of the Day: Cory Booker explains ‘freedom’ to Bert – Mashable


Mashable
Word of the Day: Cory Booker explains 'freedom' to Bert
Mashable
Two of your favorite SXSW attendees, Senator Cory Booker and Sesame Street's Bert, just shared a touching moment live on Twitter. After his eventful panel, Booker stopped by Day Two of "The Mashable Show" an exclusive 90-minute Twitter live stream of …
Newly woke Muppet blown away by Sen. Cory Booker's linkage of freedom and health care coverageTwitchy

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Word of the Day: Cory Booker explains ‘freedom’ to Bert – Mashable

Colours of freedom: Vrindavan widows play Holi – Times of India

MATHURA: A riot of colours took over the 400-year-old Gopinath temple here, as hundreds of widows clad in white sarees, smeared hues of reds, yellows and greens on each other.

Braving the morning chill, elderly women from Vrindavan and Varanasi gathered at one of the oldest Krishna temples in the crowded Gopinath Bazaar earlier this week, to shun taboos and celebrate Holi.

The ritual of widows celebrating the festival of colours among themselves began only in 2013, before which they were allowed to play Holi only with Thakurji (Lord Krishna).

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Colours of freedom: Vrindavan widows play Holi – Times of India

"Give Me Liberty": Exhibit highlights how African Americans fought for freedom during the Revolution – Virginian-Pilot

One night in July 1775, slave Joseph Harris slipped from his Hampton home and made it to the HMS Fowey, anchored in the York River. Colonists and British forces had already clashed in the north at Lexington and Concord. Now, Virginians were seething after Lord Dunmore, the Colonys royal governor, had hinted about freeing the Colonys slaves and arming them to fight with the British.

Dunmores headquarters was now the Fowey, and Harris knew hed have a chance at freedom if he could work with him. He was a harbor pilot and knew the local waters better than any other man.

The British welcomed him and others who followed, and in late October the Royal Navy attacked Hampton in the Souths first contest of the Revolutionary War.

Much has been written about slaves who found freedom along the Underground Railroad or who jumped behind Union lines during the Civil War in the 1860s.

But their fight for freedom started a century before. It is being explored in the Hampton History Museums latest exhibition, Give Me Liberty: Fugitive Slaves and the Long Revolution Against Slavery. It looks at the lives of more than 30 fugitive Hampton slaves who became known as Black Loyalists and joined the British navy and army during the Revolution. During the War of 1812, they were called refugees.

The yearlong exhibition includes artifacts such as the swivel gun from the HMS Liberty, a British ship that ran aground in Hampton a month before the attack on the town. The exhibit also includes items on loan from Europe and Canada, where thousands of African Americans settled after the wars.

Beth Austin, registrar with the Hampton museum, said it wanted to resurrect Harris story after the institution produced a re-enactment two years ago and realized it was little-discussed history. The museum had also received donated documents that shed light on the role of escapees during the War of 1812.

We realized the story of slave resistance is something thats a much bigger story than maybe weve told before, and the usual story that gets told, Austin said. We wanted to connect the dots and draw the line of the revolutionary movement.

A portrait of Olaudah Equiano, a leader in England’s abolition movement or his friend and fellow abolitionist Ottobah Cugoano is part of exhibit titled “Give Me Liberty: Fugitive Slaves and the Long Revolution Against Slavery.” The exhibit opened Feb. 25, 2017, at the Hampton History Museum. According to a title under the portrait “He was also well-connected to the Black Atlantic. He traveled widely as an enslaved sailor, a free man, and in the Royal Navy. He settled in London and worked tirelessly as an antislavery activist. The man in this portrait is unidentified but probably Equiano or his friend and fellow abolitionist Ottobah Cugoano.

The exhibition shows how the local waterways made escape and passing along information among slaves easier. It also explores how the talk of resistance and revolution among Colonists ignited the subjugated population. Then, as slaves took responsibility for their freedom, more Virginia Colonials wanted theirs from Britain. But they did not want to end slavery.

It highlights the more complicated story of the Revolution, Austin said.

Slaves ran, knowing they would return to harsher circumstances if caught. But the idea of a better existence was enough. For many, however, that wouldnt come to pass.

More than half a million African Americans lived in the 13 Colonies by 1775, most of them enslaved, most born here.

The British attack on Hampton wasnt simply to quell the rebels fervor, Austin said. It was tinged with the issue of slavery.

When the Liberty beached in a hurricane that September 1775, Harris helped the British commander on board flee with the help of a slave. Local patriots then pillaged the ship and burned it. The British demanded their supplies back, but Hampton fighters refused: The British needed to return their slaves.

The British not only said no but attacked in late October and also skirmished with militia across the water in Norfolk.

In November, Dunmore stayed true to his threat and issued a proclamation offering freedom to slaves or indentured servants in the Colony who would fight for the Crown. Within a month, hundreds flocked to the British, with some slaves coming from as far away as New Jersey, said Jason Farmer, senior interpreter for The Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in Birchtown, Nova Scotia. These escapees formed Dunmores Ethiopian Regiment.

In December, the unit, whose shirts bore the words Liberty to Slaves, joined the British in attacking rebels at the Battle of Great Bridge in present-day Chesapeake. Repelled, the British retreated to Norfolk, but African American men continued to join the ranks.

Tom Davidson, senior curator with the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, said its impossible to know how many enslaved people fought with the British. It is estimated that as many as 80,000 to 100,000 looked for sanctuary with the British, but that includes women and children.

Ed Ayres, historian at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, said most of the African American men who fled were used in support roles, such as cooking food and building reinforcements.

The British were as reluctant to give arms to the blacks as the South was during the Civil War, Ayres said.

In 1779, a British declaration out of New York offered freedom to enslaved people throughout the Colonies in exchange for their help. Promises of resettlement and land came later. Thousands swarmed to join the ranks.

The exhibition has a panel about a slave known only as Tom. He escaped from his Hampton master but was recaptured after the Battle of Hampton and sent to work in lead mines in Fincastle, Va. He was later sold in Antigua in 1776 by the state to buy gunpowder and war supplies.

Joseph Harris, who had joined the Royal Navy, died within a year of his escape, likely from disease.

Many of the members of the Ethiopian Regiment, Ayres said, died from smallpox once they mingled with the British, who had been exposed to it back in England. Those English who survived smallpox had a natural inoculation.

Still, the enslaved left, including women and children, who were of little use to the British.

Historical accounts describe British Maj. Gen. Charles Cornwallis and his troops developing an entourage of women and children as his men moved through Virginia in 1781, Ayres said. Cornwallis marched to Portsmouth seeking to establish a base but thought the area was too swampy. He then moved to fortify Yorktown.

He basically left the women and children in Portsmouth, Ayres said. You can bet the minute they left, the Virginians took them back and put them into slavery.

The siege of Yorktown began in September, and the British were surrounded by Colonial forces and their French allies. As supplies got low, the British expelled the former slaves and left them to be re-enslaved or killed by unsympathetic Colonials.

Weve treated these people very cruelly, a British soldier wrote in his journal, Ayres said.

After the British surrendered, Black Loyalists evacuated with them, primarily from New York. Some slaveholders, including Gen. George Washington, demanded their property back.

Washington and others were denied.

The names of the Black Loyalists were written in the Book of Negroes. It included information on each person, like Rachel Fox, 42, thin weakly wench, formerly slave to James Moorfield, late of Norfolk, Virginia; came from thence with Lord Dunmore.

Replica of the homes Black Loyalists would have built once they resettled in Birchtown, Nova Scotia after the Revolutionary War. It is called a pit house and starts by diggin a hole in the ground and using what could be found around them for the roof.

Black Loyalists were put on ships and deposited wherever the ships landed, a few in England and some in the West Indies, but more than 3,500 went to Canada. Most settled in Birchtown, Nova Scotia, which became the largest settlement of free blacks outside of Africa.

The promises of land did not come to pass. Heads of households were to get land for farming and a smaller lot for a home, with supplies from the British until they could live independently. The British dispersed land by rank and, first, to white loyalists who had also left the states. Former slaves were on the last rung; only about a third got land, and it wasnt the full amount promised, said Farmer, the Canadian historian. They were often left with the dregs, land too rocky to farm. In 1792, about a third left to go to a colony being established in Sierra Leone in Africa.

That community became the countys current capital Freetown.

When the British and Americans came to blows again in 1812, slaves again were offered freedom by the British.

In 1813, Bray and Milly Cooper of Hampton were the property of John Cooper, who had recently died. The couple and their five children fled on July 18 to two British ships. Other Cooper slaves ran, too. Coopers widow got on one of the ships and tried to talk Bray and Milly into returning. They wouldnt and later settled in Nova Scotia.

More than 4,000 slaves found freedom during the short-lived war. The refugees produced another wave of migration for Nova Scotia, Farmer said. About 2,000 settled in an area of Preston, about 2 hours north of Birchtown. Others were taken to Trinidad, where they were each given 16 acres of land. They called themselves Merikans.

Farmer descends from a Black Loyalist, a slave who had escaped from bondage in New Jersey. He learned that one of his ancestors, Jupiter, changed his last name from his masters Harmer to Farmer once he made a home in Nova Scotia.

It was a pattern among escapees.

They were trying to forget about their old life, a life of enslavement, he said, and start a new one where they would be free.

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"Give Me Liberty": Exhibit highlights how African Americans fought for freedom during the Revolution – Virginian-Pilot

Will Obamacare repeal break the Freedom Caucus? It depends on Trump. – Washington Post

The internal Republican battle over replacing the Affordable Care Act has become the GOPs first chance to break the House Freedom Caucus, the bloc of more than two dozen conservative lawmakers who have frustrated leadership for two years.

And President Trump is likely to play a leading role.

Trumps intervention in the debate over an unpopular ACA revision put forth by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has left both the partys leadership and its rebels convinced that they have an ally in the White House. The president has told conservatives he is open to negotiating changes to the bill, but after Trump met with GOP leaders Friday, his press secretary, Sean Spicer, said the opposite.

Doctors, hospitals, insurers and seniors have all weighed in against the Ryan plan, framing the broader debate over Obamacares fate primarily on how many Americans could lose coverage. Republicans, however, are selling their revisions as phase one in a three-phase repeal, so they are less focused on whether the bill could work. For them, the question is whether the GOP can govern without a right-wing litmus test blocking the way.

In news conferences, interviews and PowerPoint presentations, Ryans sales pitch has been directed not at industry opponents, but at the Freedom Caucus. Nor has he focused much on the substance of the proposal. On Thursday, he offered his conservative colleagues a binary choice between partial repeal of the ACA or total failure. On Friday, he suggested that some were simply being obstinate.

This reflects a Republican consensus, and thats the point. Its a consensus bill, Ryan told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. Were going through the growing pains of being an opposition party with Barack Obama to actually being a governing party with a Republican President Donald Trump. And that means we have to reach consensus on Republican priorities and principles. This reflects that.

[Trump stands with House GOP on proposal to revise Obamacare, spokesman says]

Members of the caucus, which has never revealed who belongs but includes at least 30 Republicans, have relished the attention the most theyve received since playing a key role in forcing out former speaker John A. Boehner in 2015.

Theyve won praise from conservative media. Theyve gotten face time with the president and vice president of the United States.

Theyve surmised that the American Health Care Act, as Ryans proposal to revise the ACA is called, cannot pass without their votes. And they say they think that the White House is working around Ryan to meet at least some of their demands. The result, as they see it, is a speaker talking tough while committee chairs listen to the caucus.

At the same time, there are few signs that the conservatives demands will actually be met. Ryan has made clear that revisions to please the Freedom Caucus would make the proposal less palatable to moderates and probably doom it in the Senate. At least some members of the Freedom Caucus appear to be considering supporting the proposal anyway.

What we hear from the White House is, this is a work in progress, said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), the sponsor of Freedom Caucus-backed alternative legislation. [Office of Management and Budget Director] Mick Mulvaney came here and talked to the Freedom Caucus two nights ago and he said this is a work in progress and were going to be open to amendments that you have to offer. Then we hear from leadership take it or leave it.

The question is whether the caucus is being given a seat at the table or being snowed.

There hasnt been the old days of lets do a rah-rah and try to run everyone over, said Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), a Freedom Caucus member who voted to advance the American Health Care Act in committee. Remember, one of the reasons we became a group was because we wanted to be able to have a voice. We wanted to be able to have amendments. We wanted to have this.

[Is that not correct? Male GOP lawmaker asks why men should pay for prenatal coverage]

Conservatives see the elevation of former caucus member Mulvaney to the Office of Management and Budget as an advantage for them. Others see it as a way to fracture the group by giving the new president a broker they trust.

Similarly, conservatives say they see the past weeks huddles with Trump and his aides more, including a get-together at the White House bowling alley, are coming as evidence that the administration is working with them. Others see it as a classic instance of good cop salesmanship.

President Trump is fully in the game, but hes doing velvet glove, Hewitt said in his interview with Ryan. Its pizza and bowling.

Trump is an X factor hovering over all of it. His popularity in virtually all of the Freedom Caucus members districts gives him enormous influence over the deliberations. If Trump tells the country that the Ryan plan is the way to go, conservative House members could think twice about saying otherwise.

Will the iron fist come out? Hewitt asked. And will he put people up to run in primaries if they obstruct what is, I think, a moment-killing obstruction at this point? Weve got to get this, or the rest doesnt follow.

Its worth noting that the 2016 elections did not go as well for the Freedom Caucus as its members had hoped. Their public membership was reduced after several lost primaries or simply retired. And overall, the GOPs six-seat loss was less than many caucus members expected, causing the counterintuitive result of limiting the caucuss influence and ability to block bills. Republicans who say they think that the caucus will fracture on the AHCA point out that only eight or nine of them need to come over to pass the bill, assuming no other defections.

The president endorsed the AHCA, giving many the impression he favored it as is. Then, he concluded meetings with a group of grass-roots conservatives seemingly offering a concession, by suggesting that he is open to moving up the end of the ACAs Medicaid expansion from 2020 to 2018. Then, on Friday, Spicer said negotiations are off the table.

All of it preserves uncertainty about what actually will happen and who will get what they want.

When he gets information from everybody, before the final decision is made, somebody might say, Well, I had a great conversation with him, said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus. Then hell go and go in another direction and have another great conversation. Thats how business people make decisions.

In many ways, the debate resembles one that has bedeviled Democrats since the passage of the ACA, and especially since its implementation began in 2013. Progressives favored several plans that would have essentially expanded Medicaid and Medicare, bringing tens of millions of Americans into a single-payer system.

That idea largely lost out to a combination of insurance exchanges and tax subsidies, which provided Republicans with years of horror stories about costly premiums and disrupted care. On the left, especially among those who supported the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), its taken for granted that Democrats would have been in a stronger position had they endorsed the bolder plan.

The more resolute Freedom Caucus members, who largely represent safe seats, argue that voters will punish them if the ACA is not obliterated.

The AHCA keeps the cuts to Medicare spending that Republicans made infamous in campaign ads. It introduces new, refundable tax credits, promises lower premiums, extends a Medicaid expansion and cuts taxes for wealthier Americans with no pretense of paying for any of it.

On Tuesday morning, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) told reporters that the ACA had been written in the dark of night and rushed through Congress. Days later, his committee voted out the AHCA at 4:30 a.m. With each development, Freedom Caucus members see evidence that they, and not the party leadership, are doing what voters had asked of them.

I might be the last person trying to prevent the Republican Party from being responsible for the largest welfare program in our history, said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.). The people in my district get it. They understand the risk of a debilitating insolvency. They understand that were looking at a $600billion deficit this year. They understand that were blowing through the $20trillion debt mark. They understand that within six years, were going to embark on a trillion dollar a year deficits indefinitely until such time as we collapse.

That may change. The American Action Network, a 501(c)(4) thats already spent $8million on ads supporting the Republican majority in the health-care fight, went on the air this week with commercials urging Freedom Caucus members to support President Trump and back the AHCA.

Some conservatives appear to understand the potential power of such messaging.

My sense is that the president doesnt care about the particular policy, said Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.). He cares about fulfilling a campaign promise to repeal and replace. Anything thats presented as repeal and replace, and makes it through Congress, hell be happy to sign.

Read more at PowerPost

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Will Obamacare repeal break the Freedom Caucus? It depends on Trump. – Washington Post

Yet Another Assault On Freedom Of Contract And Property Rights – Forbes

Yet Another Assault On Freedom Of Contract And Property Rights
Forbes
Once cornerstones of America, freedom of contract and property rights are being reduced to rubble by federal, state, and local officials. A case arising out of an ordinance passed in Seattle is illustrative of the trend. On January 1, a new law took

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Yet Another Assault On Freedom Of Contract And Property Rights – Forbes

No, Professors’ Academic Freedom Should Not Be Virtually Unlimited – The Federalist

Last December, I wrote an article for The Federalist entitled Oberlin College Did the Right Thing by Firing Joy Karega. There, I argued that the American Association of University Professors 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure (hereafter, Statement) and 1970 Interpretative Comments (hereafter, Comments) contain contradictions that lead, in part, to confusion about the limits of academic freedom.

My article advocated for a measured approach to academic freedom that balances rights and privileges with duties. The Statement declares that when professors speak as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship; however, their position as professors requires special obligations, including accuracy at all times, exercising appropriate restraint, showing respect for the opinions of others, and making every effort to indicate they are not speaking for the institution. These obligations are sometimes referred to as the responsibility standard.

Later in 1940, the AAUP adopted clarifying statements to the original statement. This clarification added that only when a college thinks a professor has not observed the admonitions on extramural utterances and that the expression has raised grave doubts about the teachers fitness can the administration act against the professor.

The 1970 Comments, adopted after a controversial faculty firing at the University of Illinois and a revised interpretation of extramural utterances by the AAUPs Committee A, assert that a faculty members expression cannot constitute grounds for dismissal unless it clearly demonstrates the faculty members unfitness for his or her position. The Comments also argue that extramural utterances rarely bear upon the faculty members fitness for his or her position.

In my view, the two statements create conflicting standards that leads to confusion for faculty, administrators, and practitioners, who use the AAUPs precedents and documents to determine what protected speech is and what it is not. I wrote in my article that the Comments created an additional, hard-to-satisfy standard for judging whether such speech affects a faculty members fitness for employment and that the newer standard gobbled up the special obligations in the Statement. The result of this contradiction has been a murky definition, at best, of academic freedom and the inconsistent application of academic freedom standards.

Within a few weeks, the AAUPs Academe blog published an article criticizing my conclusions entitled, On Extramural Expression: A Response to Jonathan Helwink. In his reply, Hank Reichman, AAUPs first vice president and a former history professor at California State University-East Bay, wrote that no contradiction exists between the Statement and the Comments.

While persuasive in parts, Reichmans argument overlooks two key points. First, he ignores the dramatic departure from previous AAUP precedent embodied in the Comments, examined well by the AAUPs John K. Wilson, whom Reichman relied upon for the historical context of his response. In Wilsons history, he argues the Comments were a radical new principle that rejected the notion of a common academic ethic that binds the behavior of professors, on and off campus.

Second, Reichman does not start his analysis at the beginning of the AAUPs precedent. It is important to view the Statement in light of the complete precedent that created it, the 1915 Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure (hereafter, Declaration). In light of the Declarations approach to professors speech as citizens outside the classroom, the Statement tracks much more closely to the Declaration than the Comments do, including the insistence on standards of behavior regarding extramural utterances. When viewed in this larger historical context, the sweeping changes the Comments embody are indeed, as Wilson says, radical, and do, in fact, contradict prior AAUP precedent.

To begin his argument, Reichman points to the 1940 clarifying statement adopted in November 1940 after the Statement. Reichman affirms that in it the AAUP called attention to the special obligations of the Statement, but added an important caveat: the fundamental issue was not the special obligations, but instead fitness for position and that teachers are citizens with the freedom of citizens. (I will address this freedom of citizens issue in a future article.) If Reichman is correct when he asserts that the special obligations in the Statement were already being limited in the year of its adoption, then his interpretation should appear in subsequent applications of the Statement, including the case of Leo Koch, on which he relies. Unfortunately, the history does not bear out Reichmans conclusion.

In 1963, Thomas Emerson, a famous First Amendment scholar from Yale Law School, would lead AAUPs ad hoc investigative committee on the Koch case. Emerson concluded that when making extramural utterances, the Statements standard of academic responsibility was not a valid basis for discipline. In For the Common Good: Principles of American Academic Freedom (Yale University Press, 2012), Robert Post points out that Emersons conclusion was consistent with a recent AAUP investigation.

In 1956, an AAUP report entitled Academic Freedom and Tenure in the Quest for National Security concluded that removal of a faculty member could be justified only on the grounds, established by evidence, of unfitness to teach. The report seemed to imply that unless a professors extramural utterance evidenced an unfitness for research, teaching, or institutional citizenship, the faculty member could not be disciplined.

Despite Emersons efforts, however, Committee A did not agree. Instead, faithful to the language in the Statement, the committee agreed with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Senate Committee on Academic Freedom, which concluded that a professor has the obligation to be accurate, to exercise appropriate restraints, and to show respect for the opinions of others. The Senate Committee added that academic freedom did not mean unlimited license in speech.

AAUPs Committee A also wrote that they disagreed with Emersons conclusion that the notion of academic responsibility, when the faculty member is speaking as a citizen, is intended to be an admonition rather than a standard for the application of discipline. In short, Committee A refused to give up the responsibility standard in the Statement, even though they found Kochs firing appalling.

The language Committee A and the UIUC Senate employed tracks closely to the language of the 1940 Statement, not the later clarifying statement. The conclusions regarding the facultys special obligations to be accurate, exercise restraint, and show respect for others is directly out of the Statement. The behavior of Committee A in this case shows that, despite what Reichman concludes about the clarifying statement, Committee A and the UIUC Senate enforced the understanding of extramural utterances as contained in the four corners of the Statement.

The Koch case was deeply controversial and had a profound effect on the AAUP, spurring major changes in AAUP policy. This history brings us to the 1964 Committee A Statement on Extramural Utterances. Reichman offers, and I agree, that the 1964 Statement is the foundation of the organizations current position on extramural utterances. However, where we disagree is whether current AAUP approach to extramural utterances conflicts with the 1940 Statement.

The 1964 Statement declared: The controlling principle is that a faculty members expression of opinion as a citizen cannot constitute grounds for dismissal unless it clearly demonstrates the faculty members unfitness to serve. Adding: Extramural utterances rarely bear upon the faculty members fitness. The question remains whether this 1964 Statement is an evolution of the 1940 Statement, thereby creating no contradiction, or whether the 1964 Statement marks a radical break with precedent that culminates in the 1970 Comments.

John K. Wilsons article on the Koch case and its aftermath contains telling remarks on this issue. Wilson argues, correctly, that the Koch case forced the AAUP to review its guiding philosophies and precedents. As a result of this, Wilson states that the AAUP moved forward with a new approach to extramural utterances.

Furthermore, Wilson argues that, by 1964, the AAUP accepted a radical new principle on extramural utterances. (Emphasis added.) He continues that through the 1964 Statement, the AAUP unilaterally changed the meaning of the 1940 Statement in a dramatic way that had never been intended by the original drafters a quarter-century earlierand which Committee A had itself rejected only a year earlier in the Koch case.

Wilson continues that to get around potential enforcement of the Statement, Committee A simply redefined the terms of the Statement and added a new requirement and a new standard, which Wilson states was a nearly impossible standard to meet considering that Committee A had just declared that extramural utterances rarely have any connection to a professors fitness to serve.

Wilson and I agree that by the mid-1960s the AAUP had broken in a radical direction away from the Statement. By redefining terms and creating a nearly impossible standard to discipline faculty, the AAUP had decided against the measured approach of balancing the protection of extramural utterances with the special obligations of the Statement. The result was to create a brand new standard that, indeed, gobbled up the obligations in the 1940 Statement.

Wilson writes that from the Statement to the Comments was the most important turn in the AAUPs history with regard to academic freedom.

This brings me to the Comments. Wilson states that the AAUP, as a result of the Koch case and through a general desire to update the Statement, adopted an interpretation of it to allow the AAUP to update the languages meaning without the burden of getting a consensus for a new statement and its adoption. This decision was reached, in part, because the leading college and university associations were not interested in expanding academic freedom by addressing the responsibility standards contained in the Statement.

Wilson writes that the AAUP was sensitive to the danger of having the Statement abandoned or potentially replaced by something worse. In fact, the AAUPs success in getting the Statement into so many campus codes was now a barrier, Wilson writes, to the AAUP wanting to alter its fundamental model of academic freedom.

Wilson writes that from the Statement to the Comments was the most important turn in the AAUPs history with regard to academic freedom. Wilson concludes that the Comments were amendments to the Statement which nevertheless often transform all previous interpretations of the words or effectively nullify them altogether and, at times, are directly countering the 1940 Statement.

In light of Wilsons well-documented history, I fail to understand how Reichman could conclude that no contradiction could exist between the Statement and the Comments. It is unclear to me how this redefining of terms and radical new principle does not constitute a contradiction. In fact, I would go further than my previous work for The Federalist. Not only do I continue to find a contradiction between the 1940 Statement and Comments, but I view the 1964 Statement and the Comments, like Wilson, as radical departures from previous AAUP policy including the Statement and the venerated 1915 Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure.

It is the principles enshrined in the 1915 Declaration that make it revered, not its age.

Interestingly, Wilson, whom I have extensively quoted above, identifies a worrying trend. He states, in another article for the Journal of Academic Freedom, AAUPs 1915 Declaration of Principles: Conservative and Radical, Visionary and Myopic, that while the Declaration is one of the most influential definitions of academic freedom that forms the foundation of AAUPs doctrines, the Declaration is largely forgotten within the AAUP. Wilson states that the Declaration remains beloved by conservatives, stating that for conservatives, its greatest virtue is, perhaps, its oldness.

As a historian, I can appreciate oldness. However, it is the principles enshrined in the 1915 Declaration that make it revered, not its age. Quoted in relevant part, the Declaration states: Since there are no rights without corresponding duties, the considerations heretofore set down with respect to the freedom of the academic teacher entail certain correlative obligations. This language provides the precedent for the special obligations of the Statement.

Regarding extramural utterances directly, the document states that teachers are under a peculiar obligation to avoid hasty, unverified, or exaggerated statements and to abstain from intemperate or sensational modes of expression. J. Peter Byrne, of Georgetown Law, wrote the committee that drafted the Declaration rejected any view that academic freedom implied an absolute right of free utterance for the individual faculty member. The Declaration continues:

It isin no sense the contention of this committee that academic freedom implies that individual teachers should be exempt from all restraints as to the matter or manner of their utterances, either within or without the universityIt is, in short, not the absolute freedom of utterance of the individual scholar, but the absolute freedom of thought, of inquiry, of discussion, and of teaching, of the academic profession, that is asserted by this declaration of principles.

In sum, the Declaration created the foundational precedent that academic freedom is a consideration with an accompanying duty. Even while he is critical of an individual academic freedom and of the nexus between rights and duties the Declaration seems to create above, Harvard professor Frederick Schauer concludes that it is no error to believe that special legal rights, like academic freedom, may impose on the right-holder special non-legal responsibilities.

Larry Alexander of the University of San Diego School of Law, writes that academic freedom is a privilege of academics that carries with it a responsibility, namely, to act as academics, following truth wherever it leads, within the guidelines of the professors academic discipline.

The Declarations language can be tracked directly into the Statements special obligations of accuracy, restraint, and respect. The Declaration makes no mention of only pursuing discipline against a professor if grave doubts about the professors fitness is raised, nor does it contain the controlling principle of the 1964 Statement, nor does it state that extramural utterances rarely bear upon the faculty members fitness.

When viewed in the totality of their historical context, it is in fact the 1964 Statement and the 1970 Comments that are outside the AAUPs precedents.

When viewed in the totality of their historical context, it is in fact the 1964 Statement and the 1970 Comments that are outside the AAUPs precedents. The Declaration and the Statement advocate for a similar approach of measured academic freedom that balance the privileges of additional speech protections with accompanying duties. I think this is the preferred approach.

So, in conclusion, after evaluating the AAUPs precedents and Reichmans article, I still believe a contradiction exists between the Statement and the Comments. As a practitioner, I see the value of trying to rectify the difficult issues between the documents. I understand the desire, on the part of an administrator or legal counsel, to try to glue common ground between the two competing conceptions of academic freedom to enforce any standards to hold faculty accountable.

With that being said, there is still a disconnect in AAUP precedents that needs to be addressed. Nearly unlimited academic freedom, as advocated by Reichman, Wilson, and the current AAUP, damages the credibility of the institution and, in the words of Mark G. Yudof of Berkeley Law: If academic freedom is thought to include all that is desirable for academicians, it may come to mean quite little to policy makers and courts. Until the contradictions are resolved, academic freedom will remain, as Byrne wrote, a doctrine [that] floats in the law, picking up decisions as a hull does barnacles.

Jonathan Helwink is a history professor at a college in Chicago. He is also an attorney licensed to practice law in Illinois. His academic interests include the intersection of law, history, tradition, and contemporary politics in American higher education. Reach him at jhelwink@gmail.com.

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No, Professors’ Academic Freedom Should Not Be Virtually Unlimited – The Federalist

WATCH: College Students Support Freedom For Muslim Singers But Not Christian Photographers – National Review

Alliance Defending Freedom asked students at the University of Wisconsin if they thought a dress designer should have the freedom not to design a dress for Melania Trump. They said absolutely.

The students also thought a Muslim should have the right to turn down singing at a Christian church. But when they are asked if a Christian photographer should have the right not to photograph a same-sex wedding, their answers uncomfortably change.

The powerful point is clear as can be:

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WATCH: College Students Support Freedom For Muslim Singers But Not Christian Photographers – National Review

Trumpcare will see some Americans lose health coverage because… ‘freedom’: Neil Macdonald – CBC.ca

Years ago, when Republicans tried to weaponize the term “Obamacare,” Barack Obama smiled that big toothy, socialist smile of his and neutralized it with a few words.

“I like it,” the socialist-in-chief proclaimed. “I don’t mind it being called Obamacare because it’s true. I do care.”

In that spirit, and as a tribute to President Donald Trump, who is after all a pretty darned caring fellow himself, his new plan should, without question, be known as “Trumpcare.”

Trumpcare is the “beautiful, beautiful plan” that Trump promised will bring not only greatly improved coverage, but much lower premiums.

Anyone who understands the basics of health care economics should be able to understand that. Trump will convince America’s insurance companies a bunch of ferociously aggressive profit-generators whose business model is to maximize revenue and minimize spending, and who find any excuse to turn down or slow a claim to provide much more expensive care for far less money.

Oh, and also freedom. That’s actually a talking point.

Trumpcare will deliver freedom to miserable Americans chained up by Obama’s statist squid of a system, which, in the words of Ben Carson, one of Trump’s cabinet secretaries, was the “worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

Obamacare to be repealed and replaced1:14

The thing about Obamacare that enslaved so many Americans, in the eyes of rightist Republicans, was what’s known as “the individual mandate,” which is a bureaucratic way of saying “the government trying to force everyone to obtain health insurance.”

The individual mandate idea was rooted in the basic concept of insurance: when more people buy insurance, the risk is spread more thinly, and everyone’s premium drops as a result.

Trouble is, young people hate buying medical insurance, because they know they don’t get sick much. They prefer to wait till they’re old to buy insurance, at which point they get very angry if the premiums are too high, and then start demanding that young people buy insurance, too, because if all young people buy insurance.well, you get the idea.

So Obamacare imposed a tax penalty on anyone who decided to remain uninsured. Just like slavery.

Even so, many young people preferred to pay the penalty, buying their way out of slavery and screwing the older people, whose premiums pretty soon began rising drastically, which Republicans then held up as Obama’s socialist failure.

Under Trumpcare, which is all about freedom, people will be free to buy no insurance. They will also be free not to be able to afford insurance. Because, well, liberty.

But anyone who has insurance and lets his or her coverage lapse, for any reason (even losing a job) shall face a 30 per cent premium increase if that person tries to renew.

Trumpcare actually directs insurance companies to tack on the big surcharge, not that they need convincing.

This way, the government shifts the job of penalizing from the IRS to the insurance companies, thereby replacing slavery with liberty. If it’s government screwing you, like Obama did, that’s socialism. If it’s a corporation screwing you, and profiting in the process, well, that’s the American way. Freedom.

Which is why it’s so strange that some of the loudest opposition to Trumpcare is coming from his own party; congressional Republicans who call themselves the Freedom Caucus, joined by right-wing activist groups like Heritage Action and the Club for Growth.

These insolent, disloyal buggers are running around proclaiming that Trumpcare is just “Obamacare Lite” or “Obamacare 2.0,”and there are easily enough of them to kill Trumpcare before it ever reaches the president’s signing desk.

Mark Sanford, a deeply religious Freedom Caucus member the fellow who was forced to resign the governorship of South Carolina after admitting he’d lied about going hiking and had instead flown to South America to hook up with his mistress says the bill is just another form of entitlement, which is a poison word to Republicans. Sen. Rand Paul flatly says the slavery-like individual mandate is still in the new law.

The Freedom Caucus has other issues with Trumpcare, too. Like Obamacare, it socialistically prevents insurance companies from doing the things they used to do: dumping a sick patient whose costs get too high, or refusing to insure someone who has a “pre-existing condition.”

Some Republicans also aren’t too keen on Trumpcare’s rollback of Medicaid, the program that provides care to the indigent and poor. Obamacare expanded Medicaid, paying states to extend the program to tens of millions of uninsured Americans. Trumpcare would cut that money off.

The trouble is, a majority of Medicaid beneficiaries in the Republican states that expanded Medicaid voted for Trump, meaning they probably voted for the Freedom Caucus types, too. And Trumpcare would also cut tax credits most heavily for older and lower-income Americans, especially in rural areas. Guess who most of them voted for?

If Trumpcare becomes reality, those people will quickly discover that freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose, to quote Kris Kristofferson. And then they won’t like Trumpcare very much.

Jason Chaffetz suggests not buying an iPhone and spending the money on insurance instead. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Anyway, Jason Chaffetz, another conservative congressional Republican, says Americans need to understand that under Trumpcare, it’ll be time for people to take some personal responsibility for their medical care; he suggests not buying an iPhone and spending the money on insurance instead.

You can imagine how that went down in iPhone-loving middle America.

Rep. Roger Marshall, another House Republican, chimed in that poor people “just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”

What has the president said about all this? Not much. He just wants the damn thing passed without too much discussion. Next week would be good.

It’s also a safe bet that this beautiful, beautiful new plan is one of the few things on this earth Donald Trump doesn’t want to see his name on.

This column is part of CBC’sOpinion section.For more information about this section, please read thiseditor’sblogandourFAQ.

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Trumpcare will see some Americans lose health coverage because… ‘freedom’: Neil Macdonald – CBC.ca

UNAM’s Female Freedom Exhibition Celebrates International Women’s Day – Rivard Report

Arts & Culture By Andrea Kurth | 14 hours ago

Andrea Kurth for the Rivard Report

The exhibition celebrates feminity in many ways, from a portrait of artist Frida Kahlo in “Pasional y soadora (Mi Frida)” to many representations of the female form.

A new exhibition celebrating International Womens Dayopened on Thursday at the San Antonio campus of Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico(UNAM) in Hemisfair Park. The exhibition,Female Freedom,features the works of 18 women artists17 Mexicans and one Cubanand celebrates the artistry of women and their freedom in creativity.

After the success last yearof a similar exhibition featuring many of the same artistsat UNAMs Chicago campus, the university asked curator Alejandro Dorantes to exhibit at the San Antonio campus in 2017. Female Freedom is part of a rotating crop of exhibitions at UNAM, which showcases different works of visual and performing arts featuring Mexican and local artists each month.

The artists inFemale Freedom expressedthe equality and capacity of the female gender, Dorantes said. The 18 works, mostly oil and mixed media on canvas, depict the theme of woman as creator of children, nature, and artistic expression. Although the artists were constrained by the size of the canvas, they had freedom in expressing femininity through their artwork in their own particular way, Dorantes said.

The colorful canvases measuring 3 ft. x 2 ft.line the walls of the schools foyer, each expressing a different take on femininity. Although the subject matter of each painting varies, the female form from shadowy silhouettes to feminine faces presents itself in many of the works. The paintings also pay tribute towomens many relationshipsas mothers to their children, as keepers of the natural world, and as those who commune with the spiritual world.

Weve taken this opportunity to show what the women of Mexico have to offer in the world of art, said Jake Pacheco, who coordinates the art events at UNAM every month.

The university serves as an educational and social diffusion center for Mexican culture, and Dorantes envisioned using the exhibit as an outlet to present the work from Mexico City artists whodont have the resources to exhibit in big galleries in the United States, Pacheco said.

We have the feeling of crossing the wall that sometimes people want to put between us, Dorantes said about transmitting Mexican culture to Texas.

In addition to the curator, five of the exhibitors traveled from Mexico for the event and spoke about their works and their participation in the show.

Where women get the strength to make art is an enigma, said Pilar Maza, who exhibited her work entitled Enigma.Many times we are strong against adversity, and I think now is the right time to be strongespecially for women.

My position here is very important, said Marisol Gonzalez Valenzuela, the only Cuban artist exhibitor at the show. She said that although she is Cuban by heritage, she feels Mexican in many ways. Gonzalezcreated her work Symbiosis to represent the cooperation needed between women in order to improve the world, she said.

I wanted to demonstrate that Mexican women are valiant, she said. And the women of the whole worldwe are important. We can say beautiful things. We can transmit beautiful sentiments. My work Symbiosis signifies that we all need each other. One country to another, one person to another, we all cooperate to make a better life.

Female Freedom will be on display at UNAM until April 1. Other exhibitions planned at the school for this spring include a show featuring portraits of women from each Mexican state, as well as an exhibition for UNAMs childrens festival that features San Antonio artists Momo and Pompa, whose colorful sculptures are a mainstay ofthe citys art scene.

Andrea Kurth moved to San Antonio as a young child, and spent most of her life exploring the suburbs of the city. She graduated from UT in 2014 with degrees in journalism and economics. Since then, she devoted her life to exploring Asia and Australia until returning to Texas in 2017. These days, you can find her exploring the art scene in San Antonio or doing acro yoga at the Pearl.

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UNAM’s Female Freedom Exhibition Celebrates International Women’s Day – Rivard Report

Freedom Caucus head fires Obamacare warning shot – Politico

Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows said he is confident that conservatives will be able to negotiate with President Donald Trump. | AP Photo

By Kyle Cheney

03/10/17 11:35 AM EST

Updated 03/10/17 01:22 PM EST

If Republican House leaders are counting on conservatives to cave and back their version of an Obamacare replacement bill, they should think again, a top conservative lawmaker warned Friday.

That would be a faulty assumption, said Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.

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The caucus two-dozen members have enough clout to sink any pending Obamacare replacement bill, but theyre under heavy pressure from GOP leaders to back the current version, which conservatives say doesnt go far enough to undo Obamacares mandates and Medicaid expansion.

Some allies of Speaker Paul Ryan are confident that the House’s conservative wing will ultimately support the bill in whatever form it takes. And in fact, at least two Freedom Caucus members Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) voted to advance the bill this week when it cleared two crucial committees. But conservatives have indicated they expect to negotiate for changes that could move the bill to the right.

Meadows, who met Thursday with President Donald Trump, said hes confident that the president is willing to negotiate in good faith with conservative lawmakers who would like to see changes to the pending legislation.

Do I expect all of the issues that many of the Freedom Caucus members would like to have will be in a final bill that passes? The answer is no, he said. And so its about a good-faith negotiation and I think all of our members are willing to do that.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and his top allies are warning that theres no room to make major changes to the bill, which relies on scaled back tax credits and a multi-year phase-out of Medicaid expansion to alter Obamacare. If they push the bill too far to the right, they risk losing support of House moderates, and the bill is already facing an uphill climb in the Senate, where only three GOP defections could sink its prospects.

Asked about leaderships reluctance to accept changes, Meadows said they may want to reconsider.

If thats the best that they can do then perhaps they have a different whip count than I do, he said.

Still, Meadows acknowledged that if Trump mounts a lobbying effort aimed at individual conservative members, he may make inroads.

“It would be disingenuous to suggest that a call from the president doesnt make a difference,” he said. “The policy differences are so strong right now that its not just a little nudge. It would have to be a shove to get us there. … Thats why we have committed to the president to negotiate in good faith to find a reasonable compromise that makes both moderates and conservatives happy.”

Asked about the Freedom Caucus’ reputation for always saying no to major legislation, Meadows said in his previous occupation he used to run a real estate development company “I only got paid for a yes.”

“So maybe thats what we have to get back to,” he said, “only getting paid if youre a yes.”

Originally posted here:

Freedom Caucus head fires Obamacare warning shot – Politico


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