Eric Cantor is rewarded by Wall Street cronies: Ex-House leader lands a cushy new job at an investment bank
Don’t you shed a tear for Eric Cantor. The recently defeated and now retired ex-House Majority Leader has, as predicted, landed what sounds like a pretty sweet gig working for Moelis & Company, a Wall Street investment firm:
“Eric has proven himself to be a pro-business advocate and one who will enhance our boardroom discussions with CEOs and senior management as we help them navigate their most important strategic decisions,” the firm’s founder, Ken Moelis said in a statement.
Cantor is signing on with the boutique investment bank as a vice chairman and managing director, the company said. He will also be elected to its board of directors. The firm said Cantor will “provide strategic counsel to the firm’s corporate and institutional clients on key issues. He will play a leading role in client development and advise clients on strategic matters.”
A third way on foreign policy: U.S. needs to be cautious about the prospects of military intervention
Libertarians, generally by definition non-interventionists, have found themselves in a bit of a quandary of late as the debate about ISIS — and how much of a REAL threat it poses to the United States — ramps up and gets the national security wonk tongues wagging. For many libertarians, the debate hinges less on protecting U.S. interests abroad, but in protecting hearth and home. In other words, non-interventionism ends the minute the enemy is at the gate. And since no one seems to know exactly how powerful ISIS is in their ability to cross the ocean, it’s been a fascinating debate to watch.
It’s a mistake to assume libertarians are anti-interventionist because they are afraid of a fight. Many, in fact, are by nature brave enough to stand outside current accepted thoughts and practices — often alone and screaming into the wind. Their preference for staying out of world conflict is born of economic pragmatism and a belief in individual and national self-determinism more than anything else.
So what do they do with an increasingly belligerent world and an enemy that threatened (even though that threat turned out to be hollow. This time.) to raise a flag over the seat of governing power in this country?
In other words, is there, as T. Becket Adams proposes in a recent piece for the Washington Examiner, a “third way”?:
Police should be held to the same standard as citizens: Cop emailing while driving kills cyclist, faces no charges
In December 2013 a former executive at Napster and A&M Records, Milton Olin, Jr, was cycling in a bike lane in Los Angeles when he was accidentally hit and killed by LA County sheriff’s deputy, Andrew Wood, in his official vehicle. The deputy admitted that at the time he drifted into the bike lane he was replying to a department email on his in-car computer.
In a rational world, this explicit admission of negligence would be followed by an open and shut case against the officer for vehicular manslaughter. Unfortunately, as we all know, we do not live in a rational world, and California is one of the least rational parts of it. It was therefore inevitably decided Wednesday by the Los Angeles County District Attorney that the officer will face no charges for the killing.
In fact, he will face no charges specifically because he was sending an email while driving. California law prohibits texting while driving, but it exempts emergency personnel (law enforcement, fire, EMT) as long as they are in their official vehicle or responding to an emergency. The exemption makes some general sense, but it should not be used as an excuse to clear a cop of a subsequent death. In the aforementioned mythical rational world, the legality of the act the officer was engaged in while he killed someone would be irrelevant…since he killed someone. But this is CaliWTFornia in the United States of Disturbia.
Well, this is an awful idea: There’s a push on the Hill to require Congress to work five days a week
It might sound like a good idea, but the latest call to make Congress work more probably is the most dangerous piece of legislation we’ve seen since the “you’ve got to pass it to know what’s in it” ObamaCare atrocity. Sure, the logic is that the taxpayers are paying lawmakers a (more than) fair amount of money yearly, considering wages, benefits and perks. The problem is that unlike other professions, getting “more bang for the buck” definitely should not include forcing longer work hours, at least not on the Hill.
Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) plans to introduce a bill that would require the House and Senate to work five days a week.
Congress is on a five-week August recess, which prevents Nolan from introducing his bill until the House comes back into session on Sept. 8.
The House and Senate rarely work five days a week in Washington. Each chamber typically is only in session for two full days and two half days per week, and lawmakers often spend the remaining half of the week back home in their districts.
Beyond requiring longer working hours, this bill would require open debate on all bills. While that might be a good idea, forcing longer sessions on the Hill definitely wouldn’t be a good idea. Our problem now is that we have far too many laws, so solutions to our problems do not include encouraging lawmakers to create more of them. Otherwise, it’s at least a little amusing to consider the irony that this bill hasn’t been introduced because Congress is in summer recess.
The reaction to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s Wall Street Journal column on Middle East interventionism isn’t surprising. Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post called Paul “ignorant” and suggests he could be lying about the arguments for and against. Adriana Cohen at the Boston Herald called him “clueless” and someone who should “wake up to reality.” Pema Levy at Newsweek says Paul is just trying to copy a page out of President Barack Obama’s 2008 playbook regarding opposition to the Iraq War. The Democrats called Paul’s foreign policy slogan “Blame America. Retreat from the World.”
This isn’t true at all. He told Breitbart.com on August 27 he was in favor of airstrikes against ISIS, but wanted to talk to Congress first. That’s the Constitutional stance because Congress has to approve war.
Mary Landrieu finds herself in another scandal: Louisiana Democrat claims Washington as her home on federal filings
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is under fire yet again. The Louisiana Democrat has been caught up in a scandal involving her use of taxpayer-funded charter flights around the state she represents that also included stops at campaign fundraisers. But she’s now facing accusations that she doesn’t actually live in Louisiana, according to the Washington Post:
In Washington, Sen. Mary Landrieu lives in a stately, $2.5 million brick manse she and her husband built on Capitol Hill.
Here in Louisiana, however, the Democrat does not have a home of her own. She is registered to vote at a large bungalow in New Orleans that her parents have lived in for many decades, according to a Washington Post review of Landrieu’s federal financial disclosures and local property and voting records.
On a statement of candidacy Landrieu filed with the Federal Election Commission in January, she listed her Capitol Hill home as her address. But when qualifying for the ballot in Louisiana last week, she listed the family’s raised-basement home here on South Prieur Street.
Big Business and big government cronyism is bad for taxpayers and consumers: Let the free market work
There’s a common misconception that people in favor of free markets love corporations. That isn’t the case.
There’s nothing wrong with a business being highly successful and expanding operations. The question becomes what happens when their operations end up getting involved in government and when government tries to influence business.
This is an issue a lot of groups have struggled against. Both the original Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street protests were against the government-big business bailout of 2008/2009. The solutions were much different. The Tea Party wanted the government and businesses to be separated and not mix with each other. Occupy (outside of it’s not-top hits) wanted businesses taxed to eternity and capitalism destroyed.
The problem with Occupy’s solution is it expands the role government has in people’s lives. The idea of using higher taxes against businesses and “the rich” doesn’t work (just look at France). Burger King is also an example because of their plan to leave the U.S. if they merge with Tim Hortons. Paying taxes isn’t patriotic, despite what President Barack Obama thinks.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, commonly known as ISIL or ISIS, has been a threat in the Middle East for some time, but you wouldn’t know that from the reaction of President Barack Obama and administration officials.
The Islamic militant group’s bloody and violent rise in Iraq, which came into focus for the United States in June, appeared to catch the White House by complete surprise. Nearly three months later, President Obama has yet to form a coherent strategy to deal with ISIL, something to which he owned up on Thursday afternoon:
“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, we don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama said in a press conference Thursday of seeking congressional approval for additional airstrikes in the Middle East.
Obama has been under pressure to expand U.S. bombings from Iraq to Syria, but his advisers remain divided about the prospect of military intervention there.
For his part, the president seemed to suggest Thursday that he was less interested in using military action in Syria than Iraq.
“My priority at this point,” Obama said, “is to make sure the gains that [ISIS] made in Iraq are rolled back.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is the darling of the political left. They can’t get enough of her. The Massachusetts Democrat’s willingness to take on corporate special interests, especially Wall Street and big banks.
But Warren’s anti-big business populism only goes so far. She recently came out in support of the reauthorization of the Export Import Bank, the controversial New Deal-era agency known for issuing taxpayer-backed loans to politically-connected big businesses. Unlike Warren, it’s conservatives that are trying to end the Bank’s brand of cronyism.
The Club for Growth released a nearly 3-minute video this week exposing Warren’s hypocrisy, pointing out that Ex-Im represents is exactly the type of corporate welfare that the Massachusetts Democrat should be against:
There’s no ambiguity about the process by which the United States can enter into a treaty. The Constitution, in Article II, Section 2, states that a president “shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.”
The ratification process is a very specific limitation on presidential power, one that provides a legislative check on the executive branch. But President Barack Obama can’t be bothered by the constitutional process. The New York Times reports that, in his latest move to get around Congress, President Obama’s State Department is negotiating a climate deal at the United Nations to update a 1992 treaty with new emission reduction targets (emphasis added):
Lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill say there is no chance that the currently gridlocked Senate will ratify a climate change treaty in the near future, especially in a political environment where many Republican lawmakers remain skeptical of the established science of human-caused global warming.
American negotiators are instead homing in on a hybrid agreement — a proposal to blend legally binding conditions from an existing 1992 treaty with new voluntary pledges. The mix would create a deal that would update the treaty, and thus, negotiators say, not require a new vote of ratification.