Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’
November 18th, 2014 at 9:12 am
Speaking of Illegal
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

November 2nd, 2014 at 10:55 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Halloween Is Over…
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

October 27th, 2014 at 10:22 am
Title II Reclassification: Not Just Unwise, But Also Illegal
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Those of us who oppose the Obama Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) effort to bridle the Internet  with so-called “net neutrality” regulation have explained at length why reclassifying the Internet as some sort of 1930s-style public utility under Title II is a dangerous idea.

Perhaps we we haven’t devoted appropriate time, however, to explaining why it’s almost certainly illegal.

As a broader policy matter, the vague and muddled calls from the extremist left to reclassify broadband typically don’t extend beyond an emotional demand for federal bureaucrats at the FCC to “do something.”  Or, as we often put it, they seek to impose a “fix” for an Internet that isn’t at all “broken.”  Accordingly, they go about offering substantive policy proposals as if lunching at a salad bar stocked with bad ingredients.  They pick and choose bad items, assembling what they consider a perfect combination.

But what they instead create is a Frankenstein-like monstrosity.

And in terms of legality more specifically, the FCC would be treading onto extremely unstable ground if it opts to follow the demands of far-left activists by rushing headlong into this dubious Title II reclassification proposal.  The fact of the matter is that the FCC has long contended that the Internet is a Title I service.  Therefore, in order to reclassify, the law requires it to meet a higher burden of proof as to why it got the initial classification wrong.  Hysterical activism from the far left that has tended to characterize this debate won’t suffice, whether as a matter of law or a matter of logic.  The FCC has already twice lost this legal battle in court (first in 2010, and again in 2014).  Rather than stubbornly tempt a third judicial rebuke of its effort to impose “net neutrality,” it would be better to learn its lesson as it proceeds with its rulemaking effort.

And that’s only with regard to traditional wired networks.  When it comes to wireless Internet (like the 4G/LTE smartphone technology), the law actually expressly prohibits the FCC from imposing Title II-type rules.  That clarity may not discourage the net-roots fringe from demanding reclassification, but it most certainly should stop the FCC from exceeding its legal mandate and once again blatantly flouting both the letter and spirit of applicable law.

Despite six years of effort to the contrary from the Obama Administration, we remain a nation of laws, not men.  That timeless principle does not yield to extremists’ pursuit of the “net neutrality” unicorn.

To date, and through previous administrations of both parties over the past two decades, the FCC has avoided attempting to classify Internet service under Title II for good reason:  it is bad policy and bad law.  Everyone except those clinging to an ideologically extreme position on the matter have recognized that reality.  We therefore cannot allow such Title II extremists to suddenly divert us from the “light touch” regulatory course that has made the Internet one of the most beneficial and revolutionary innovations in human history.  There’s too much to lose.

September 22nd, 2014 at 11:44 am
If Britain Were a U.S. State, It Would Be the Second-Poorest
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

An interesting new bit of original research by The Spectator’s Fraser Nelson entitled “Why Britain Is Poorer Than Any US State, Other Than Mississippi” helps reconfirm the concept of American Exceptionalism even amid the Obama Malaise. First, Mr. Nelson takes a welcome swipe against the all-too-common habit of American self-criticism:

No one beats up America better than Americans.  They openly debate their inequality, conduct rigorous studies about it, argue about economics versus culture as causes.  Their universities study it, with a calibre of analysis not found in Britain.  Americans get so angry about educational inequality that they make films like “Waiting for Superman.”  And the debate is so fierce that the rest of the world looks on, and joins in lamenting America’s problems.  A shame:  we’d do better to get a little angrier at our own.”

Nelson then gets to the heart of the matter:

If Britain were to somehow leave the EU and join the US, we’d be the 2nd-poorest state in the union.  Poorer than Missouri.  Poorer than much-maligned Kansas and Alabama.  Poorer than any state other than Mississippi, and if you take out the south east we’d be poorer than that, too.”

He also addresses the cliche of horrific American inequality along the way:

It’s not surprising that America’s best-paid 10 per cent are wealthier than our top 10 percent.  That fits our general idea of America:  a country where the richest do best while the poorest are left to hang.  The figures just don’t support this.  As the below chart shows, middle-earning Americans are better off than Brits.  Even lower-income Americans, those at the bottom 20 percent, are better-off than their British counterparts.  The only group actually worse-off are the bottom 5 per cent.”

Obama may not believe that American Exceptionalism is of any greater merit than British Exceptionalism, but the facts and some Britons contradict that notion.

September 12th, 2014 at 6:57 pm
ISIS or ISIL?

If you’re confused about what to call the newest terrorist threat – ISIS or ISIL – Daniel Pipes, the renowned conservative Middle East expert, has an answer.

Whichever one you want.

The Obama administration prefers “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL), while almost everyone else uses “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” (ISIS). At first blush, some commentators think they detect a subtle framing effect to blur any possible links between the rise of this group with Obama’s blundering Syria policy.

Pipes isn’t one of them. According to him, “both translations are accurate, both are correct, and both have deficiencies – one refers to a state, the other has an archaic ring.” Pipes should know since he wrote a book about the underlying history that gives rise to the translation difficulty.

Whatever one calls ISIS/ISIL, Pipes rightly focuses on the most important issue: “…ridding the world of this barbaric menace.”

September 12th, 2014 at 7:54 am
Video: An Age of Terror
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses the worldwide threat posed by ISIS, the Obama Administration’s response and the need to act urgently and decisively.   

September 9th, 2014 at 12:30 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: WH Daily Briefing Book
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

August 25th, 2014 at 5:19 pm
Obama: ‘My Thoughts Are With You…’
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

August 11th, 2014 at 9:51 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Trampled Under Foot
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

August 1st, 2014 at 7:58 am
The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Is Peace Possible?
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Bruce Herschensohn, Professor at Pepperdine University School of Public Policy, author and CFIF Board Member, discusses the war between Israel and Hamas, Secretary of State John Kerry’s bungled attempt to achieve a cease-fire and President Obama’s performance on foreign policy issues.

Listen to the interview here.

June 6th, 2014 at 11:19 am
“Operation Choke Point” – Obama Administration’s Latest Tactic to Circumvent Rule of Law and Persecute Disfavored Groups
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

By now Americans are well familiar with the Obama Administration’s habit of circumventing laws and persecuting groups it disfavors.  The IRS.  Operation “Fast and Furious.”  Targeting journalists.  The EPA.  More recently, its release of five high-level terrorists from Guantanamo Bay without consulting Congress as required by statute.

Now, we can add “Operation Choke Point” to that dishonorable list.

As detailed by a new House Oversight and Government Reform Committee report, Operation Choke Point is an Obama Justice Department campaign to “choke out” perfectly legal businesses that the Administration simply finds politically objectionable.  “The goal of the initiative,” the House report notes, “is to deny these merchants access to the banking and payments networks that every business needs to survive”:

Over the past year, the Department of Justice has initiated a wide-ranging investigation of banks and payment processors, known informally as ‘Operation Choke Point.’  As of December 2013, the Department has issued over fifty subpoenas to banks and payment processors.  The ostensible goal of the investigation is to combat mass-market consumer fraud by foreclosing fraudsters’ access to payment systems.  However, there is evidence that the true goal of Operation Choke Point is to target industries deemed ‘high-risk’ or otherwise objectionable by the Administration.”

Those targeted industries include firearms and ammunition sellers, short-term lenders that help lower-income workers, and other legitimate businesses.  By threatening and pressuring banks and financial institutions through this operation, the Obama Administration hopes to pressure them to refuse to continue doing business with law-abiding targeted industries.  Although the Administration claims to be acting on the basis of federal statutes prohibiting consumer fraud, the House report notes that no fraud by the targeted businesses has been demonstrated, let alone proven by evidence in a court of law.

The House will continue to pursue the matter, but individual Americans can do their part by remaining vigilant on this issue, and by contacting their elected representatives in the House and Senate to demand action (contact information can be found quickly and easily on CFIF’s “Take Action” page here).

June 6th, 2014 at 8:41 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Imperial President
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

June 4th, 2014 at 8:02 pm
Remembering What the Taliban Stands For

By now you’ve probably heard about the scandal surrounding the Obama administration’s deal to free five Taliban officials held at Guantanamo Bay for what increasingly looks like a deserter from the U.S. Army stationed in Afghanistan.

Those in the mainstream media defending the move – including a Daily Beast columnist who tweeted, “What’s the argument that these five Taliban guys are so dangerous? Are they ninjas? Do they have superpowers?” – would do well to remember how the Taliban’s members earned their cells at Gitmo.

The five released prisoners “were top officials in the Taliban regime: a provincial governor, a deputy defense minister, a deputy intelligence minister, a top arms smuggler, and a top Taliban military commander. Two of them are wanted by the United Nations for war crimes committed against Afghanistan’s Shiites,” writes Robert Tracinski.

Tracinski then gives a sampling of what these kinds of Taliban officials do:

  • Bomb schools because they let girls play sports
  • Shoot a girl in the head because she stands up for her right to be educated
  • Mutilate women to punish them for disobedience in their roles as marital slaves
  • Drag a 7-year-old out of the yard where he is playing and hang him from a tree because his grandfather spoke out against the Taliban

America can’t right every wrong in the world, but surely it should be counted on to keep the world safe from criminals in its custody. Freeing five prisoners so they can rejoin the ranks of a known terrorist organization is a deplorable dereliction of duty. If any of these men go on to commit more crimes, those who agreed to their release will share the blame.

May 29th, 2014 at 10:35 am
“I First Read About the VA Scandal in the Newspaper…”
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

May 16th, 2014 at 1:51 pm
Switzerland: No Minimum Wage, Low Unemployment, High Standard of Living
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

It might surprise many people to learn that Switzerland has no minimum wage, as The Wall Street Journal reports:

Switzerland will decide Sunday whether the country’s workforce should get something it has never had before:  a minimum wage.  On May 18, the Alpine nation will vote on an initiative to introduce a minimum wage of 22 Swiss francs ($25) an hour, a level that would be the highest in the world.”

But note the remarkably low Swiss unemployment rate:

Switzerland has an enviably low unemployment rate of 3.2%, but Boris Zuercher, head of the Swiss labor office, said the proposal would hurt the people it is designed to help if it makes it too expensive to hire low-skilled job seekers.”

So no minimum wage, low unemployment, and a famously high standard of living.  The Swiss example is obviously something that domestic proponents of a minimum wage increase, including Barack Obama, should internalize.

May 7th, 2014 at 4:28 pm
Cruz Highlights 76 Lawless Actions by Obama Admin

Today, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) unveiled his fourth cataloguing of the Obama administration’s abuses of power.

Among the 76 instances described, the Daily Caller spotlights eight that show the range and depth of the executive department’s dereliction of duty:

1.    “Obama implemented portions of the DREAM Act by executive action”

2.    “Ended some terror asylum restrictions”

3.    “Recognized same sex marriage in Utah despite a Supreme Court stay on a court order allowing the institution”

4.    “Illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation”

5.    “Illegally delayed ObamaCare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies”

6.    “Ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union”

7.    “Terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy”

8.    “Government agencies are engaging in ‘Operation Choke Point,’ where the government asks banks to ‘choke off’ access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like – such as ‘ammunition sales.’”

As this partial listing makes clear, good luck finding an example where the Obama administration has flouted the law to favor conservatives and obstruct liberals.

Download the full report (pdf) here.

April 29th, 2014 at 1:56 pm
Free Market Fairness

Ben Domenech says that one way for conservatives to reframe their economic message before the 2014 midterms is to start using the phrase, “free market fairness.”

“Those on the right should be prepared to make the case that the warped relationship between Wall Street and Washington needs to be fixed, that socialized risks and privatized profits are fundamentally unfair, and that… equality-focused policy solutions, and those of the left, would hurt income mobility and systematically destroy wealth and growth,” he writes in the Wall Street Journal.

Free market fairness can be thought of as the alternative to crony capitalism. The latter can be defined as “government efforts to tilt markets in favor of preferred firms [to] reward political connections and lobbying money.” Troy’s recent article on eliminating the elite-driven Export-Import Bank is an excellent example of how conservatives can show they are serious about removing barriers to equal economic opportunities.

Adopting the free market fairness frame also strengthens the GOP’s insistence on a government dedicated to the rule of law. As Solyndra and other Recovery Act era abuses fade from memory, the rule of law critique has been increasingly focused on abuses of executive discretion like Deferred Action for illegal immigrants, Justice Department refusals to defend the Defense of Marriage Act and the growing litany of delays and waivers of ObamaCare. Refocusing on how crony capitalism picks winners and losers would bring the rule of law argument full circle.

Maintaining a fair playing field isn’t the same as giving one team extra points. The only way the American dream can remain open to everyone is if the people in charge of the rule book fairly to all participants.

March 25th, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Obama’s New Overtime Rules Will Shrink Hours, Pay

The road to underemployment is paved with (so-called) good intentions.

In case you missed it, the Obama Labor Department is trying to raise the compensation threshold so that managers making at least $50,000 annually will qualify for overtime pay. The current threshold is $24,000.

To the liberal mind this policy change can only benefit workers by putting more money into their pockets. But to actual business owners like Andy Puzder, the real world consequences will mean less money and less work for the very people the Obama administration is trying to help.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Puzder – the CEO of several quick service restaurant chains like Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s – notes that current managers are eligible for performance bonuses of up to 28 percent of their salary. But if the new overtime rules go into effect, many of these will lose their managerial status and go back to hourly employment. Along with being demoted, they will very likely be assigned less hours to work to avoid triggering more expensive overtime pay. And for those that do qualify, their raise will translate into less money for the store’s operating budget, meaning less hours for someone else.

In a very tangible way, the Obama Labor Department’s new overtime rule seems destined to exacerbate the underemployment crisis in the American economy. How is is that the people proposing this can be so short-sighted?

March 25th, 2014 at 11:09 am
Ramirez Cartoon: World Famous Bear Trainer
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

March 14th, 2014 at 1:34 pm
Could Obama Neuter Putin by Increasing Natural Gas Exports?

That is the interesting idea being floated by commentators looking for ways to halt Russia’s military adventurism in Ukraine.

If direct military intervention is off the table – and at this point it’s hard to imagine the Obama administration going that route – then exporting America’s vast new reservoir of liquefied natural gas to Europe could be a way to deter Russian aggression in the region while at the same time strengthening our allies.

Gazprom, a huge state-controlled gas provider in Russia, supplies much of Europe. Hesitancy on the part of some European governments to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is tied to Russia’s use of Gazprom to raise prices or restrict access when confronted with political situations it does not like. Increasing United States exports of its natural gas stock to Europe would diminish this threat substantially, allowing America’s European allies to take a more assertive stance against further Russian force.

In order to wean Europe off of Russian gas, President Barack Obama “should order the Energy Department to expedite authorization for roughly 25 liquefied natural gas export facilities. Demand all decisions within six weeks. And express major U.S. support for a southern-route pipeline to export Caspian Sea gas to Europe without traversing Russia or Ukraine,” writes Charles Krauthammer.

This solution puts an abundant natural resource to work for America’s national security interests, and also increases the number of domestic production and manufacturing jobs. The only hitch is that it requires President Obama to commit his administration to an energy policy opposed by liberal environmentalists. That alone probably dooms an otherwise win-win alternative to direct military intervention or sitting pat while Russia reconstitutes the Soviet Union. If so, it’s more confirmation that current Oval Office decisions are based more on pleasing special interest groups than helping domestic workers or our foreign allies.