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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

You’d think that a study that found that North Dakota — which recently passed a law that could close its one abortion clinic and prohibit sex education — to be the state with the most “freedom” would have been funded by the American Irony Society. But the work was actually done by the Mercatus Institute, a libertarian think tank that has received more than $30 billion from the Koch brothers.

And while Mercatus is interested in “bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems,” it doesn’t consider reproductive freedom a “real-world problem.”

Salon‘s Alex Pareene explains:

In fact, no issues specifically related to women’s rights are taken into account. Same-sex marriage is included, but not housing employment anti-discrimination rules. They do weigh “‘smoker protection’ in employment,” though. (I think they are in favor of laws barring companies from firing smokers. Isn’t that the government interfering with the employer’s freedoms?) There is also a list ranking the states in terms of friendliness to bachelor parties.

Here are the Mercatus rankings:

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Now, here comes the fun part. Where do Charles and David Koch live when not metaphorically lingering over us in the Muppet Show balcony, mocking us for wanting to “unfree” things like hoping to eventually retire and actually planning when and if to start a family?

According to Forbes, Charles Koch lives in Wichita, Kansas — number 26 on the list, down 12 since the last rankings. And David lives in New York City, which is located in the most “unfree” state in the union.

Thus an essential truth about American society: When it comes to freedom, it doesn’t matter where you live — or even what the laws are where you live — freedom comes from having the money to shape your reality. And in this way, the Kochs believe they are champions of “freedom,” when they are really hypocrites who wouldn’t want to live in the vision of the country they’re trying to create.

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Sen. Chuck Grassley

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Last year, Senate Republicans were already feeling so desperate about their upcoming midterm prospects that they rushed to wish Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa a speedy and full recovery from COVID-19 so that he could run for reelection in 2022. The power of incumbency is a huge advantage for any politician, and Republicans were clinging to the idea of sending Grassley—who will be 89 when the '22 general election rolls around—back to the upper chamber for another six-year term.

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