Putative libertarian Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah introduces bill that purports to limit law enforcement's use of stingrays (which can capture the data on your cell phone) without a warrant -- but, naturally, the bill contains broad exceptions for "national security" and FISA. And I do mean broad -- "conspiratorial activities threatening the national security interest" could mean a lot of things. File under "The Uselessness of Libertarian Republicans."
Steve Benen notes that Paul Ryan, since ascending to the Speakership, has hired eight-count-'em-eight new communications staffers and zero policy staffers. What do we expect, though, from a political party that thinks they can convince America that dung is meatloaf if they just message it right? (Mr. Benen is right, though, to note that getting rid of staffers who actually know policy and hiring more PR flaks is a long-standing problem. I suspect the enterprising messager could make campaign ads attacking Republicans on this very basis.)
Annie Waldman notes that the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (or ACICS) seems to oversee a lot of for-profit schools where students don't finish school very much and are swamped in debt. ACICS's President told Sen. Warren that his agency couldn't take "any kind of action" without "evidence," by which he meant the "outcome" of federal investigations, not merely the fact thereof. But if your students suffer under more debt and complete school less frequently, what evidence, exactly, are you waiting on?
Ben Carson alleges that a rival Presidential campaign leaked his ties to medical supplement corporation Mannatech, ties he denied having at that CNBC debate last week. The reporter who broke the story nine months ago, National Review's Jim Geraghty, denies the charge, but why isn't Ben Carson blaming himself for thinking he could just deny something that had already been widely-reported? I can't just blame the softball question that prompted the charge.
Finally, the Washington Post talks to some voters who support Donald Trump. There'll be no surprises -- they're mostly older folks who think of the Reagan era or the '70s or the Eisenhower/Kennedy era as the last American golden age, and they all admire a man who "talks like a regular guy." But you also know all these folks are going to vote for whomever the Republican nominee is, Trump or no, and none of them want to bring back things that actually made America great, like the 91% tax bracket and aggressive corporate taxation. And I hear too much complaining about "everything (being) about race" -- "everything wasn't about race" in the '50s because too many folks didn't even question segregation. And, ah, hate to pile on, but the Eisenhower era would never have produced a Donald Trump -- he's only this well-off because of the casino economy Ronald Reagan began to bring about.