Farage Beats Clegg in Second Debate on U.K.—E.U. Relationship

Last
night Nick Clegg, British deputy prime minister and leader of the
Liberal Democrats, and Nigel Farage, the leader of the United
Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) faced each other in the second
and final scheduled debate on the U.K.’s membership in the European
Union (E.U.).

According to polling,
Farage was the clear winner of last night’s debate. Farage managed
to present a case for British withdrawal from the E.U. by saying
(among other things) that immigration helps the rich but hurts
British natives and that the U.K. would be capable of making trade
agreements with countries if it were not in the E.U. Farage also
cast the status quo as unfair, emphasizing the undemocratic nature
of the E.U. and the fact that the British people have not been
offered a referendum on the U.K.’s relationship with Europe since
1975, when the British people voted to joined what was then called
the European Economic Community. 

Clegg, who was more forceful than he was in the first debate,
made sure to highlight Farage’s
controversial comments on Russian President Vladimir Putin
and
one piece of bizarre UKIP literature featuring a native American
which features the words: “He used to ignore immigration…now he
lives on a reservation.”

Clegg may be wondering why he agreed to these debates in the
first place. Farage is the head of a party which has no seats in
the House of Commons, has no hope of securing a majority in the
next general election, and cannot force a British referendum on
E.U. membership.

Farage will be particularly pleased by YouGov’s
polling
on the most recent debate:

It is clear that Farage gained ground most among the very people
LEAST likely to support his party or his cause:

  • The proportion of Labour supporters saying Farage performed
    better rose from 42% after the first debate to 57% after the
    second

  • Among Liberal Democrats, Farage’s figures are: first debate 20%,
    second debate 33%

  • Among people who told us ahead of the debate that they supported
    British membership of the EU, his figures are: first debate 30%,
    second debate 45%

Some members of the Conservative Party, which contains some
Euroskeptics, are worried that UKIP could take away votes in the
next general election. However, Prime Minister David Cameron, the
leader of the Conservative Party, could end UKIP tomorrow. All he
would have to do is work to secure a referendum on E.U. membership
to be held before the end of the current parliament.

Watch last night’s debate below:

Martin Durkin, a self described “wicked, middle-aged
libertarian,” spent six months with Farage and had the experience
filmed. Watch below:

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Americans Say 75 Percent of Politicians Are Corrupted, 70 Percent Use Political Power to Hurt Enemies

Americans don’t paint a pretty picture of their public servants
in the
new national Reason-Rupe poll
. Americans tell Reason-Rupe that
75 percent of all politicians are “corrupted” by campaign donations
and lobbyists.  And they say 70 percent of politicians use
their political power to help their friends and hurt their
enemies.

No wonder just 17 percent approve of the job Congress is
doing.  Or that President Obama’s approval rating is just 43
percent, with 51 percent disapproving.

And while the Supreme Court just struck down limits on campaign
contributions to federal candidates, the new Reason-Rupe poll finds
Americans are actually more concerned about how elected officials
misuse their power and taxpayer money once they’re in office than
they are worried about campaign contributions. 

Asked, which is a “more serious” problem — “special interest
groups spending private money on campaigns to elect the politicians
they favor” or “elected officials enacting policies and spending
taxpayer money that benefit the special interests they favor” — 63
percent of Americans said officials enacting policies and spending
taxpayer money for special interests was a more serious
problem.

Similarly, Americans say they are “more bothered” by politicians
abusing political power than they are by some of the personal
issues most often associated with political downfalls. 
Seventy percent of Americans say they would be “most bothered” by a
politician who used his or her political power to bully someone,
while 14 percent would be most bothered by a politician using
drugs, and 11 percent would be most bothered by a politician who
cheated on his/her spouse.


The Reason-Rupe national poll
 conducted live interviews
with 1,003 Americans on mobile (503) and landline (500) phones from
March 26-30, 2014.  The margin of error is plus or minus 3.6
percent.  Princeton Survey Research Associates International
executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey.

Paying NCAA Basketball Players

With the Final Four approaching, just 42 percent of Americans
say college athletes should be paid. However, when they learn the
NCAA makes over $700 million a year from the television broadcast
rights to the NCAA basketball tournament, 50
percent of Americans tell Reason-Rupe that college basketball
players should receive a share of the television revenue
. And
64 percent of Americans say college athletes should receive some of
the revenue when their jerseys are sold or likenesses are used in
video games or on merchandise.

Flight 370 Conspiracy Theories

With Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 still missing, there are no
shortages of theories about what happened.  Reason-Rupe
finds 35
percent of Americans think a mechanical problem caused the plane to
crash
, 22 percent believe the pilots crashed the plane
intentionally, 12 percent feel it was destroyed by terrorists, 9
percent say the plane landed safely and is in hiding, 5 percent
believe the disappearance is related to supernatural or alien
activity, and 3 percent think it was shot down by a foreign
government.

Trusting the IRS, NSA and Facebook

The NSA topped Facebook when Americans were asked who is most
likely to violate their privacy.Thirty-six
percent of Americans said the NSA was most likely to violate their
trust
, 26 percent said Facebook, 18 percent said the IRS and 12
percent said Google.

But when it comes to whom the public would trust the most with
their personal information, 35 percent said the Internal Revenue
Service, 18 percent said the NSA, 10 percent said Google and just 5
percent said they trust Facebook the most with their privacy.

Tax Returns and Government Waste

Americans may trust the IRS more than Facebook, but with the
April 15 deadline for filing federal income tax returns
approaching, they’re reminded of how much money they send to the
government. Asked open-ended how much of every tax dollar is
wasted, the
median answer was half, 50 cents
.

This time of year also reminds Americans of the overly
complicated tax code. Sixty-two percent of Americans say they’d
favor switching to a flat tax.  When asked open-ended what
they’d set the flat tax to, Americans said 15 percent (median).

Affordable Care Act


Fifty-three percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the
Affordable Care Act
, while 36 percent have a favorable view of
the law in this Reason-Rupe poll.

Forty-three percent of Americans say they will blame the federal
health care law if their health care premiums increase or their
health care plan changes in the next year. Twenty-six percent say
they’ll blame health insurance companies, 17 percent would blame
the economy and 5 percent would blame their employers.

Minimum Wage


Reason-Rupe finds 67 percent of Americans favor
 increasing
the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. 

Fifty-one percent would still support raising the minimum wage,
even if they had to pay higher prices as a result. However, just 39
percent of Americans would still favor raising the minimum wage if
it caused companies to lay off or hire fewer workers.

When it comes to paying for a higher minimum wage, 38 percent
say companies would raise their prices, 32 percent say companies
would lay off workers, 18 percent say they’d reduce executive
salaries, and 6 percent say firms would accept smaller profits.

Forty percent of Americans say raising the minimum wage would
have no impact on the number of jobs available, 38 percent say it
would decrease the number of jobs, and 20 percent believe it would
increase the number of jobs.

2014 Elections

If the 2014 elections were held today, 40 percent of Americans
said they’d vote for the Democrat in the congressional district and
36 percent would vote for the Republican. When it comes to
controlling Congress, 29 percent of Americans would like Democrats
to take control, 24 would like Republicans to control Congress and
43 percent wish neither major party would be in control of
Congress.

Republican Party Presidential Primary

Mike Huckabee         
15%

Paul Ryan              
   12%

Rand Paul
                
11%

Jeb Bush                
  11%

Chris
Christie            
10%

Ted Cruz                
  6%

Marco
Rubio             
6%

Democratic Party 2016 Presidential Primary

Hillary Clinton           64%

Joe Biden              
  11%

Elizabeth Warren       6%

Energy Subsidies and Keystone Pipeline


Americans favor building the Keystone Pipeline by a 61-32
margin
, Reason-Rupe finds.  Fifty-eight percent of
Americans support giving subsidies to wind, solar and hydrogen
energy companies. Just 31 percent of Americans favor giving
subsidies to oil, gas and coal companies.

Police Conduct

Reason-Rupe finds 78 percent of Americans have a favorable view
of the police. However, with protests over police shootings in
places like Albuquerque, 50
percent of Americans say police officers are not generally held
accountable for misconduct
, while 46 percent say police are
held accountable. Sixty-six percent of blacks and 64 percent of
Hispanics say the police are not held accountable for
misconduct.

Nearly nine in 10 Americans, 88 percent, believe citizens should
be allowed to videotape uniformed police officers while they are
making arrests or performing other parts of their jobs.

Full Poll

Poll results and additional Reason-Rupe poll resources
are available
here.
 This is the latest in a series of Reason-Rupe public
opinion surveys dedicated to exploring what Americans really think
about government and major issues.  This Reason Foundation
project is made possible thanks to the generous support of the
Arthur N. Rupe Foundation.

Contact

Emily Ekins, Director of Polling, Reason Foundation, (310)
574-2961

Kristen Kelley, Communications Specialist, Reason Foundation,
(443) 722-5592

Reason-Rupe
April 2014 National Telephone Poll

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A.M. Links: Four Dead in Shooting at Fort Hood, Senate Committee Voting on Bush-Era Torture Report, Aliens Wouldn’t Surprise Bill Clinton

  • what kind of a probe?A shooting at Fort Hood left four dead,
    including the gunman, and 16 injured. The shooter was identified as

    Ivan Lopez
    , an Iraq war veteran reported to have mental health
    problems.
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by
    Dianne Feinstein
    (D-Calif.), is voting today on whether to
    declassify part of its report on the CIA’s Bush-era interrogation
    techniques.
  • The former Pakistani President
    Pervez Musharraf
    may have been the target of an assassination
    attempt. A bomb exploded along the route on
    which Musharraf, who is in government custody on charges of
    treason, was being transferred.
  • The son of former Soviet Premier
    Nikita Khruschev
    , an American citizen, says Russia will never
    return Crimea and that his father transferred the region to Ukraine
    only for “logistical” and “symbolic” reasons.
  • Bill Clinton told
    Jimmy Kimmel
    last night he wouldn’t be surprised if aliens
    visit Earth one day.
  • Courtney Love insists a musical about
    Kurt Cobain
    is “very likely to happen.”

Follow Reason and Reason 24/7 on
Twitter, and like us on Facebook. You
can also get the top stories mailed to
you
sign
up here
.

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Vid: Errol Morris on Donald Rumsfeld, The Unknown Known, and Evidence-Based Journalism

Donald Rumsefeld’s “war crime,” says Oscar-winning filmmaker
Errol Morris, is “the gobbledygook, the blizzard of words, the
misdirections, the evasions…and ultimately at the heart of it
all…the disregard and devaluation of evidence.”

The former secretary of defense’s complicated relationship with
the truth is the subject of Morris’ new documentary, The Unknown
Known
which opens in theaters nationwide on Friday,
April 4. The Unknown Known is an extended conversation
with Rumsfeld, tracing his long career through the Nixon, Ford,
Reagan, and Bush administrations, and focusing on his role in
leading U.S. military forces into Iraq to fight a bloody and
senseless war.

View this article.

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Andrew Napolitano on the Threat of Government Secrecy

The
people’s representatives in government have a moral obligation to
reveal to their constituents that the president’s spies are spying
on all of us. And yet they—members of Congress—have kept quiet and
not lifted a finger to stop it. Perhaps they’re afraid, writes
Andrew Napolitano. What if the government’s culture of secrecy and
spying has taken on a life of its own? 

View this article.

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Brickbat: Finger Licking Good

The Liverpool City
Council is considering a measure that would require restaurants to
serve fish
and chips
 on plates to those eating outdoors.
Traditionally, the British serve fish and chips in paper and eat
them with their fingers. But council members say people often just
drop the paper on the street when they are finished and this law
would reduce littering.

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Vid: Americans Believe Most Politicians Abuse Their Power – Reason-Rupe Poll April 2014

“Government is losing some of the romance that it used to have
as people learn about what people do when they have political
power,” says Reason-Rupe polling director Emily Ekins.

Ekins sat down Reason TV to discuss the portion of the results
from the April Reason-Rupe poll focused on the public’s growing
distrust of politicians and government. Watch above, or click the
link below for downloadable versions and the full text.

For full poll results, check out reason.com/poll.

Approximately 1 minute long.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Paul Detrick.

View this article.

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Tonight on i>The Independents: Red Meat Wednesday, With Nick Gillespie, Johan Norberg, John Stossel, and Two Minutes Hate!

You people aren't nearly good enough for him. |||Tonight at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT), as
per tradition,
The
Independents
will be serving up Red Meat Wednesday on Fox
Business Network, starting off with the Supreme Court decision
that’s turning your Twitter feed into a demonstration of
schizophrenia,
McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission
. On to discuss
what lifting the caps of aggregated individual contributions to
federal candidates and political action committees means in the

English language
, let alone for the
future of democracy
herself, are Party Panelists Nick “Nick”
Gillespie
and Jehmu “Define
American” Greene
. The duo will also take circuitous routes to
such stories as the Boy Scouts bouncing a gay
troop leader
, a Kansas high school inviting only black kids to
the
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
saying that the Republican Party needs to get “beyond
deportation
.”

Beloved Fox Business hero John Stossel will talk about
his upcoming special on
gambling hypocrisy
; beloved Swedish person Johan Norberg will
talk about how income inequality can be reflective of good
economic indicators, and the show’s three co-hosts will spend some
time unloading on Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
And yes, back by unpopular demand is Two Minutes Hate, which I’m
betting early might contain some material from last night’s

hostile open thread
….

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Outrage over Mississippi Religious Freedom Law that Mimics Existing Federal Version

We need a Freedom of Association Restoration ActThe Mississippi legislature
(both houses) yesterday passed the Mississippi Religious Freedom
Restoration Act, a law that would allow citizens to fight back
against state and local regulations that place a burden on the
right to freely practice one’s religion.

The legislation
has already been compared
to Arizona’s recent proposal that was
ultimately vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer. Though the Arizona law never
mentioned sexual orientation, it was clearly a response to
anti-discrimination suits in other states where businesses had
refused to provide goods and services like wedding cakes and
photography to same-sex couples because they had religious
objections to gay marriage. Once again, Mississippi’s law is being
cast as anti-gay legislation.

There is a significant difference here, though. The law that
Mississippi is passing is not as broad as what was proposed in
Arizona and almost perfectly mimics the federal Religious Freedom
Restoration Act, which provides the same guidelines for federal
laws (and is currently part of the debate in
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby
over whether private businesses
can be required to fund contraceptive coverage for employees). You
can compare the Mississippi version
here
with the federal version here. Neither bill is
that long or complicated. It states that the government has to
prove that it has a compelling interest in creating any sort of
burden on a person’s practice of religion and prove that this
burden is the least restrictive means of forwarding that interest.
It doesn’t guarantee that individuals or businesses can
discriminate against anybody about whatever they can tie to
religion.

The bill didn’t start off that way, so it should be noted that
parts of the legislation that civil rights groups opposed to were
stripped out to get it passed. Nevertheless, the American Civil
Liberties Union
opposes
the bill, continuing its apparent disappointing
position that there’s no such thing as freedom of association.

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LAPD Chief Denies Favoritism in Reversing Firing of Problem Cop Who Came From a Family of Cops

pin the ________ on the _______Charlie Beck, the chief of the Los Angeles
Police Department (LAPD), overturned the decision of a disciplinary
board to fire Officer Shaun Hillman, who was involved in a drunken
fight at a bar. During the fight he pulled out his firearm and used
racial slurs. Hillman
reportedly admitted
to the facts of the altercation to the
Riverside County Sheriff’s Department but wasn’t charged with a
crime. He then reportedly denied involvement in the fight to
internal investigators of the LAPD and was recommended to be fired
for lack of integrity.

But Beck sees it differently, claiming that eight different
(internal) charges were brought up against Hillman but only three
were sustained. Otherwise, Beck says, he would’ve fired Hillman
before he was sent before the board. Beck insisted he couldn’t make
his decision driven by public opinion, nor “just because of a
person’s position, or just because of who they’re related to, or
any other reason.”
CBS Los Angeles explains
:

Officer Hillman’s father was an LAPD officer, while his
uncle, Michael Hillman, was a popular and well-known deputy chief,
who ascended through the ranks alongside Chief Beck.

Beck, however, insists that favoritism had played no part in his
decision on the matter.

“Favoritism had nothing to do with my decision on this,” Chief Beck
said. “I made decisions on this based on the facts, I can’t discuss
what those particulars are. You all know that. That’s state law…
.”

Beck said there was a “consistent standard” that he’s set that
was met in this case. But don’t expect it to be the same standard
you’d meet if you got into a drunken fight and pulled a firearm,
especially in California.

h/t Grand Moff Serious Man

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