Here is your Morning Brief for November 19, 2014.

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Personal Freedom Drops

Americans aren't as free as they probably think they are. According to the Washington Examiner, the United States now ranks below 20 other countries when it comes to personal freedom.

The research shows that citizens of countries including France, Uruguay, and Costa Rica now feel that they enjoy more personal freedom than Americans.

As the Washington Examinerreported this morning, representatives of the Legatum Institute are in the U.S. this week to promote the sixth edition of their Prosperity Index. The index aims to measure aspects of prosperity that typical gross domestic product measurements don’t include, such as entrepreneurship and opportunity, education, and social capital.

The freedom scores are based on polling data from 2013 indicating citizens’ satisfaction with their nation's handling of civil liberties, freedom of choice, tolerance of ethnic minorities, and tolerance of immigrants. Polling data were provided by Gallup World Poll Service. The index is notable for the way it measures how free people feel, unlike other freedom indices that measure freedom by comparing government policies.

“This is not a good report for Obama,” Legatum Institute spokeswoman Cristina Odone told theWashington Examiner.

In the 2010 report (which relied on data gathered in 2009), the U.S. was ranked ninth in personal freedom, but that ranking has since fallen to 21st, with several countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom passing the U.S.

You can read the entire article by clicking on the link above and see which countries come out better than the U.S. when it comes to personal freedom.

Numbers Game for Straus

According to the Texas Tribune, Joe Straus is likely to remain as House Speaker in Texas.

A dozen more House Republicans publicly pledged their support to Speaker Joe Straus on Tuesday morning, bringing the total number of members expected to back him above the 76 votes he needs to be elected for a fourth term as speaker.

State Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, released a statement Tuesday backing Straus, with 11 other Republican members' names on it.

“As conservative Members of the Texas House, we are proud to support the re-election of Speaker Joe Straus,” the statement reads. “Speaker Straus will be decisively re-elected because he encourages members to vote in their districts' best interests and because he is a fair, principled leader.”

The latest pledges of support for Straus make a path to victory exceedingly unlikely for challenger Scott Turner, a Frisco Republican who has the backing of many Tea Party activists.

Here’s how the math plays out so far: At the start of next year’s legislative session, the House is expected to be split between 98 Republicans and 52 Democrats. The 12 members listed in Morrison’s letter brings the total GOP members publicly backing Straus to 27, a total that includes Straus himself. (Several other Republicans who are longtime Straus supporters have yet to include their names on public statements, suggesting the number supporting him is higher.) If, as in past sessions, Straus draws the backing of the majority of the House Democratic Caucus, he would easily surpass the 76-member threshold.

Turner has not released a list of House supporters, though several members have publicly said they will. This week, both the Dallas and Collin County Republican parties approved resolutions endorsing Turner for speaker.


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These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard on our KFYO YouTube page after the show and online at