Archives for June 2012
American Crossroads, a PAC that has already put millions into the upcoming election, put out a new ad just after President Barack Obama’s speech on Thursday in Cleveland with which he hoped to reboot his economic message after a disastrous White House press conference the week before.
The speech really was nothing new. It was the same familar class warfare, big government talk that we’ve all become used to with Obama. In fact, it was so typical that it bombed with the media. So with that, American Crossroads took some of the soundbites and translated them into what Obama really means, in true Peanuts fashion:
Author’s Notes: This will be the first of an ongoing series that will highlight libertarian “activism” fails and give advice to what will actually effectively promote liberty. In addition, the link about the event I’m criticizing does contain lots of vulgar language, you have been warned.
As you may know, the town of Middleborough, Massachusetts just passed an ordinance in a town assembly that bans profanity and punishes offenders with a $20 fine. The law is obviously unconstitutional and the town has earned national ridicule for passing it. If the law is ever challenged in a Federal court, it will be tossed out. Just the thought of a lawsuit, along with the national ridicule the law is causing, will likely cause the town to reconsider it, if it is even ever enforced.
Now enter into the mix, Z-list celebrity Adam Kokesh. The last time he was actually being talked about, it was when he was contemplating the murder of Mitt Romney in order to secure Ron Paul the GOP nomination for President. Now like how a moth is attracted to a bright light, Kokesh is trying to preserve his pseudo-celebrity status by staging a self-promoting stunt. He has called for a “free speech demonstration” in the town of Middleborough.
The Supreme Court will any day now issue their decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as ObamaCare. There is little doubt that, from a constitutional perspective, much is on the line. But from a fiscal perspective, there is just as much to be concerned about.
We’ve noted that ObamaCare will cost more than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally estimated. Recent studies, both from the CBO and Medicare trustee Charles Blahous underline the fiscal threat of the program to taxpayers. But the Heritage Foundation notes another recent study from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary (OACT) showing that ObamaCare will do nothing to lower health care costs:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary (OACT) just released its projections for national health spending through 2021. The picture isn’t pretty, as health spending will continue to increase at a much faster rate than the gross domestic product (GDP), consuming 19.6 percent (almost one-fifth) of the nation’s economy in 2021.
Politics is a nasty business. A Really dirty business in which a select few are qualified to engage. Even fewer can do this and retain their own integrity and principles.
Those who watch from the outside tend to romanticise the process. This is probably because those who write about history and current events rarely give the general public a peek into the sordid affairs of politicians that does not involve naked women or bribes. Parliamentary procedures and party rules aren’t that exciting.
A prime example of how the media has, from time immemorial, missed the entire point, can be found in the Republican nomination process. You know, the one where Willard “Mitt” Romney has been named the presumed nominee months before the nominating convention has even been assembled.
But before examining this recent example, let us examine the process of a rag-tag band of colonists who were attempting to shrug off what they considered bonds too tight to bear; bonds which by today’s standards would be laughably inadequate to justify a bloody revolution.
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson, as a result of parliamentary procedure and reputation, was commissioned to write a draft list of grievances to be presented King George III; a literary gauntlet to be thrown down in response to a growing, oppressive government which considered its subjects chattel for its own hegemonic designs and even mere protestations, acts of open rebellion.
The draft was to be reviewed and revised by a small body of men who had tenuous grasp on power and credibility as representatives of the 13 colonies’ citizens. A Continental Congress sent to Philadelphia to try reason with the Crown after many trips across the ocean to petition the people’s representatives in London had netted nothing but scoffs, more taxes and bullets for the effort.
Politics is a nasty business.
On Friday, President Barack Obama announced a shift in immigration enforcement by issuing an executive order that would bypass Congress, which has stalled on the DREAM Act, allowing hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States provided they receive a work visa:
The Obama administration announced Friday it will stop deporting illegal immigrants who come to the country at a young age.
The politically charged decision comes as Obama faces a tough reelection fight against Republican Mitt Romney, and Hispanic voters in swing states will play a crucial role in the contest.
The change in policy could allow as many as 800,000 immigrants who came to the United States illegally not only to remain in the country without fear of being deported, but to work legally, according to a senior administration official speaking to reporters Friday.
In a Rose Garden statement, President Obama said the measure would “lift the shadow of deportation” from immigrants, some of who have made “extraordinary contributions” by “serving in our military and protecting our freedom.”
“That we would treat them as expendable makes no sense,” Obama said.
“They study in our schools, play in our neighborhoods … they pledge allegiance to our flag, they are Americans in their hearts and minds … and in every single way but one: on paper.”
I don’t have a problem with most of the goals of the DREAM Act. Being a libertarian, I believe immigration is a net-positive for country and it should be encouraged, though our terrible immigration laws need to be reformed. However, I do take issue with President Obama because he has bypassed Congress to implement policy.
Many conservatives like to knock Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, as a liberal that like to pick on them and their views. While it’s true that he does poke fun at them at times, Stewart has also criticized President Barack Obama for abuse of executive power, his lack of transparency, his military crusade in Libya, the Solyandra scandal, and the Summer of Wreckovery.
On Wednesday, Stewart again criticized Obama, this time on the “kill list” that the White House put together. He also laid into some of the critics of the intelligence leak, who insist that it came from the White House because it makes Obama “look good.”
Watch Stewart’s reaction to this and more below:
Many gun rights advocates will open their discussion about gun rights by pointing out that they don’t believe convicted felons should have guns, a position I have some issues with. Most will also say that those who are found to have guns in their possession should go to jail. The question is, what about those who are imprisoned for being felons with guns but weren’t really felons?
USA Today had the story yesterday.
A USA TODAY investigation, based on court records and interviews with government officials and attorneys, found more than 60 men who went to prison for violating federal gun possession laws, even though courts have since determined that it was not a federal crime for them to have a gun.
Many of them don’t even know they’re innocent.
The legal issues underlying their situation are complicated, and are unique to North Carolina. But the bottom line is that each of them went to prison for breaking a law that makes it a federal crime for convicted felons to possess a gun. The problem is that none of them had criminal records serious enough to make them felons under federal law.
Still, the Justice Department has not attempted to identify the men, has made no effort to notify them, and, in a few cases in which the men have come forward on their own, has argued in court that they should not be released.
We’ve recently noted that House Republicans have largely been a disappointment when it comes to cutting spending. Since taking control of the chamber in January 2011, the national debt has increased by over $1.59 trillion and reasonable amendments to bills that would cut spending have been shot down with many Republicans opting not to keep the promise they made to voters in the fall campaign. There is also talk of bringing back earmarks, an untransparent process that is often corrupt.
So why are the spending cutters in the House? The Club for Growth has tracked the 25 votes on amendments that would cut spending and found the consistent budget hawks in the lower chamber (I’m only posting those that score 100%, for sake of space):
How would you feel if property you owned was taken away from you by the federal government because of something your tenant did? You’d probably be pretty pissed. Now, imagine that they were doing something legal in that state? How would you feel then?
According to Rueters, that’s a predicament many landlords in California may be faced with as Uncle Sam continues it’s assault on medical marijuana dispensaries in that state.
The authorities are pressuring landlords to shut down the shops or face possible loss of the real estate through the unconventional and low-key use of a civil statute designed primarily to seize the assets of drug-trafficking organizations.
While some states, including California, have legalized medical marijuana businesses, the federal government does not recognize their authority to do so and has targeted the shops for violations of the 40-year-old Controlled Substances Act.
The goal of the Justice Department’s effort, part of a crackdown announced last October, is to fight the medical marijuana industry, estimated at $1.7 billion annually, without confronting it head-on with costly and potentially embarrassing criminal prosecutions, industry sources and legal experts said.
This indirect strategy is reminiscent of the department’s attempts, which have met with only limited success, to sever the medical pot industry’s access to banking services. Many businesses have found ways around those restrictions, experts said.
“Filing asset-forfeiture lawsuits against these commercial properties is a very clever way to handle an otherwise horribly difficult and controversial situation,” said Greg Baldwin, a partner at the Miami law firm Holland & Knight and a former federal prosecutor.
Desparately trying to get back in a groove after a rough end to last week, President Barack Obama visited Cleveland, Ohio yesterday where he relaunched his economic message with familar themes and talking points:
Framing his re-election bid as a stark choice between government action to lift the middle class and a return to Republican economic policies that he said had caused a deep, on Thursday called the presidential decision facing Americans a clear-cut one that will determine the long-term trajectory of the economy.
“This November is your chance to render a verdict on the debate over how to grow the economy, how to create good jobs, how to pay down our deficit,” Mr. Obama told enthusiastic supporters at Cuyahoga Community College here. “Your vote will finally determine the path that we take as a nation — not just tomorrow, but for years to come.”
In his remarks, the president acknowledged that divergent views between him and Mr. Romney on how to revive the economy would define the election.
“There is one place I stand in complete agreement with Mr. Romney,” Mr. Obama said. “This election is about our economic future.”