Barack Obama’s legacy will be as the most lawless president in American history. His contempt for the Constitution in general, and its separation of powers doctrine in particular, drips from his lips like saliva from a rabid dog. Like most progressives, he sees the Constitution and Congress as useless impediments to the implementation of his brilliant policies.
One would be challenged to point out one area of Obama’s policy that has been a success (or, at least, a success by the standards of the American people, as opposed to progressive zealots), but if one were to try to pinpoint the area where Obama’s efforts have been most disastrous, a strong case could be made for his Middle East policy, which has made the world a far more dangerous place.
He pulled out all American troops from Iraq, against the direct recommendation of his military advisers, and as a result the “sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq” he left behind was soon overrun by ISIS, the most radical, violent terrorist group we’ve seen in our lifetimes. He essentially deposed Moamar Ghaddafi of Libya who, though certainly an evil tyrant, was no threat to the U.S. In the power vacuum in Libya, chaos and bloodshed has been rampant. He claimed a “red line” in Syria past which dictator Bashar al-Assad must not pass, and when Assad soon crossed that red line by using chemical weapons, Obama backtracked and claimed that the red line was never his, but the “world’s”.
Thanks largely to a successful social media campaign and a smash hit musical, Alexander Hamilton will remain on the $10 bill for the forseeable future. Instead of a woman replacing him, Harriet Tubman will replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. This is good news for several reasons, and beautifully poetic justice for several more.
1. The $20 is used much more than the $10.
As of 2015, there were 8.6 billion $20 bills in circulation, but only 1.9 billion $10 bills. Having a woman, especially one as historically important as Harriet Tubman, on the $20 will mean more than 4 times as much visibility.
2. "Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?"
As the insanely successful Broadway musical has reminded America, Alexander Hamilton was one of its most important and praiseworthy founding fathers. A penniless immigrant from the Caribbean, Hamilton fought in the Revolution and rose with sheer intellect and will power to be the first Secretary of the Treasury. He's basically single-handedly responsible for ensuring the financial solvency of the republic for its first generation. If anyone should be on American currency for the duration of the republic (or at least its fiat currency system), it's Alexander Hamilton.
Bernie Sanders has won the hearts of basement-dwelling socialists everywhere with his angry, septuagenarian rants against the evils of capitalism and the greedy One-Percent, his denunciation and vilification of America’s top earners and producers, and a market system he deems “unfair” to the poor and the middle class (he actually once argued that there are poor kids in America because consumers have too many choices of deodorant).
Sanders has also repeatedly criticized anyone who takes advantage of standard tax deductions in order to lower their taxable income, and therefore their effective tax rate, stating on his campaign website that “We need a progressive tax system in this country which is based on the ability to pay. It is not acceptable that corporate CEOs in this country often enjoy an effective tax rate which is lower than their secretaries.”
A “startling” new study published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences takes a deeper look into how employment status impacts people’s views on wealth redistribution, and finds that people who work for a living prefer to keep more of the money that they’ve earned. In related articles, the science journal discovers other “startling” facts, such as water is wet, and fire is hot.
The only thing startling about these findings is that anyone would be startled by these findings. Human nature, despite the often absurd claims of the intellectual class, has not changed since Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden (or, if you prefer, since fish flopped onto land and turned into lizards, which turned into birds, which turned into apes, which turned into people…though I may have missed a couple of mutations there).
In the study, participants were invited to play anonymously in a “redistributive justice” game in which each player is allocated a different sum of money, and each player knows how much the other players have received. Prior to the start of the game, players had to engage in a specific task for which they were rewarded, with the best outcomes producing the higher rewards. The rules were as follows:
If the House legislation on Puerto Rico is defeated, and the bailout and super Chapter 9 Bankruptcy wins instead, Obama Administration cronies that support the latter will benefit greatly. They stand to make more than $100 million if the bankruptcy and bailout plan for Puerto Rico is put in place.
MillCo Advisors, headed up by former U.S. Treasury official Jim Millstein, could see $52.4 million in revenue from consulting work related to the Puerto Rico bailout, the New York Post is reporting, as well as, “Puerto Rico also has contracts with Manhattan law firms Cleary Gottlieb and Proskauer Rose that max out at $37 million and $6.6 million, respectively, according to government records and contracts reviewed by The Post.”
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico hired SKDKnickerbocker, an influential Manhattan communications and public relations firm, for a $3.4 million public relations and marketing contract that includes a $500,000 advertising budget. Former Obama administration Communication Director Anita Dunn, who still regularly visits the White House, and was hired by Puerto Rico’s Governor Padilla as a bankruptcy advisor, also works for SKDKnickerbocker.
“The fact that the Puerto Rican debt crisis resulted from years of over-spending, political cronyism and outright corruption goes a long way to explain why Puerto Rico’s political leaders have poured many millions of dollars into a small group of politically connected legal, lobbying and consulting firms,” the New York Post quoted from Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a Virginia watchdog.
The hallucinagen LSD has been illegal in the United States since the 1960s, and apparently in the fatherland of free speech, that means you can’t even name things “LSD” either.
Call it what you want, but Indeed Brewing Company can no longer market or label its seasonal spring honey beer as LSD Ale.
The feds made the brewery change the name of its Lavender Sunflower Date (that’s where the acronym came from) Honey Ale so that the acronym was no longer apparent.
The brewery did not face federal regulation until it started to cross state lines, and for a while, when Indeed was selling only in limited Wisconsin markets, they kept that particular beer in Minnesota. Regulators were concerned that the name implied there were drugs in the beer.
It’s unclear what federal agency mandated this sophomoric overaction, likely the FDA or ATF. Regardless, the insanity and hipocrisy is self-evident.
Why is the federal government concerned about products that might (but definitely don’t) make people think there are illegal drugs in them? If the products don’t have illegal drugs in them, what is the harm done by that (entirely mythical) suggestion?
After record breaking year of royalty payments, ASCAP and BMI demand more… Just because!
Last year, ASCAP and BMI collected more than $2 BILLION, a record-setting amount of royalty payments for songwriters and composers. This is great news for anyone involved in the music industry and those of us who love many different types of music. It should cause us all to be happy knowing that those who write the words and music we love are receiving bigger pay checks as the overall amount of revenue within the music industry increases.
Or are they?
In the face of this unprecedented level of royalties, why are ASCAP and BMI pushing legislation designed to break the very system which has caused this surge in royalty payments?
The Songwriter’s Equity Act (SEA Act) is the creation of ASCAP and BMI with some help by their favored Members of Congress. But there are legitimate questions whether this legislation truly seeks an increase in royalties for composers and songwriters or whether it is simply to compensate for ASCAP and BMI’s own bloated and antiquated systems. Is the goal of this crony legislation to continue to support the bloated bureaucracy which the PROs have built on the backs of the artists they claim to represent?
Music is now accessed via a wider array devices then ever before. Songs are embedded in the background of video games accessed around the globe, playing in the background of every business patrons enter and streaming during practically every online ad. Many of the dedicated streaming music application have been forced into a commercially impractical contract similar to that of indentured servitude.
“Somebody said, ‘Well, there’s a rule and another rule.’ I don’t care about rules, folks… We win, we get the delegates.” ~ Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump
That, in a nutshell, summarizes the Trump campaign’s approach to winning the 2016 Republican nomination for the presidency; defying and discarding conventional rules of politics, refusing to abide by the traditional rules of decorum which provide a patina of civility to an often bitter political process, choosing instead to resort to character assassination and open mockery of his opponents (accusing Ben Carson of being a child molester, branding Cruz “Lyin’ Ted”, labeling Rubio “Little Marco”, and mocking Carly Fiorina’s looks, just to name a few).
Trump, with virtually no traditional political organization to start, relied on sheer force of will and a larger-than-life personality to rise in the polls. Trump’s faux pas and unapologetic coarseness seemed only to increase his popularity. Trump has been the front-runner in the race almost from the day he announced.
His non-traditional strategy has worked well thus far, but in recently, like Achilles’ heel, Trump’s lack of grassroots political organization has proven a serious liability. Long before Trump announced his candidacy; indeed, long before he announced his own candidacy, Ted Cruz was working in the political ditches, recruiting grassroots activists and local elected officials at the county and district level to serve as campaign chairs, and eventually, as delegates during the Republican convention cycle. It has paid off well for him. The race has come down to the strength of Trump’s cult of personality, versus the breadth and depth of Cruz’s grassroots campaign organization.
A stoner, an outlaw, and a teenager walk into a television studio. Not the start of a terrible joke, but the latest Libertarian Party debate, hosted by John Stossel on Fox Business, the first half of a two-hour forum. The second half airs next Friday, April 8.
Participating in the debate were former New Mexico governor and previous Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, software entreprenuer John McAfee, and Libertarian Republic founder Austin Petersen. Each demonstrated plenty of knowledge about liberty issues, but also plenty of idiosyncracies that, while largely unnoticable among the Libertarian faithful, might hinder their appeal in a general election.
— Matthew DesOrmeaux ⚜ (@cynicusprime) April 2, 2016
Helpfully, Stossel himself pointed out some of these issues and had the candidates address them.
Petersen is only 35 years old and inexperienced in the campaign and television world. He was very animated and forceful in his answers, but has a very freshman debate club tone that would need to be refined over the campaign.
It is difficult to quantify the impact on the nation of the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Adored by conservatives/originalists, and reviled by progressives and the “living Constitution” crowd, Scalia was not only arguably the greatest legal mind of his generation, but one of the most brilliant and articulate legal scholars in all of America history. Combining rapier wit with a towering intellect, he shaped the legal thinking of conservatives and liberals alike in the judiciary.
In recent years many of the most controversial rulings handed down by the Supreme Court have come in the form of 5-4 rulings, typically with Justice Anthony Kennedy being the swing vote. The loss of Scalia leaves the Court with eight justices, increasing the likelihood of 4-4 decisions that, rather than establish constitutional law precedent, leave issues unsettled and keep in place lower court rulings.