In rare but refreshing bipartisan good news out of Congress, Senator Thom Tillis (R – North Carolina…
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Members of Congress Stand Up for Property Rights

In rare but refreshing bipartisan good news out of Congress, Senator Thom Tillis (R – North Carolina) and Representatives Ben Cline (R - Virginia), Theodore Deutch (D - Florida), Martha Roby (R - Alabama) and Harley Rouda (D – California) have just taken a firm stand protecting property rights – copyrights specifically – and merit our praise.

As we’ve long highlighted, property rights constitute a central pillar of “American Exceptionalism,” and that includes intellectual property (IP) rights – copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets.   Our Founding Fathers considered IP so important that they deliberately and explicitly singled it out for protection in the text of the Constitution.  As a direct result, we’ve become the most innovative and prosperous nation…[more]

December 06, 2019 • 02:15 pm

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Obama’s Oval Office Infomercial Print
By Troy Senik
Wednesday, June 16 2010
Having dispensed with his jaundiced attempt at choreographed compassion, Obama quickly resumed his traditional batting stance. The final ten minutes of the speech reverted to the closest thing there is to an Obama Doctrine: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s admonition to 'never let a crisis go to waste.'

Furnished from the planks of the HMS Resolute, a British ship that once patrolled the icy waters of the Arctic, the presidential desk that is the centerpiece of the Oval Office is a talisman of power. If you’ve ever been in the same room with it (as this author has), you begin to wonder if it gives the president his air of authority instead of vice versa. The desk, regal and somber, seems almost a modern-day Excalibur, yielding its power only to a capable handler. It’s thus doubly noteworthy that on Tuesday night it seemed to swallow President Obama.
 
In his first address to the nation from the seat of presidential power, Obama appeared timid and unsteady – a bizarre performance from an individual whose comfort with executive symbolism was sufficient to see him adopt a modified presidential seal (complete with a Latin inscription) for his podiums during the days when he was still just a candidate for the nation’s highest office. Using the arrhythmic hand gestures of a freshman speech student and miscuing on his verbal emphases, Obama committed the cardinal sin of presidential speechmaking: inauthenticity.
 
Perhaps this was an inevitable byproduct of the medley that Obama chose to sing for the nation. The first seven minutes of the president’s seventeen-minute remarks – not coincidentally, the most jarring – were a paint-by-numbers attempt at much-deserved empathy for the residents of the Gulf Coast. After a turgid regurgitation of his administration’s efforts thus far in the region, Obama made a play for populist solidarity. It didn’t fly. Those watching at home became keenly aware that this was probably the first time in the man’s life that he had used the word “shrimpers.” 
 
There wasn’t much tangible hope for the Southeast in the speech. The president touted his assemblage of “a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers” to quench the thirst of those who develop their ideas of presidential leadership from watching disaster movies. There were presidential commissions and a comprehensive economic recovery plan for the Gulf (absent specifics), a tone-deaf acknowledgment that this administration thinks that the committee is the most elemental form of human social organization. And there was, of course, the worthwhile promise to make BP compensate for the damage in the region – a plan that, in light of the preexisting cap on the oil company’s liability, seems utterly incompatible with the Constitution’s prohibition of bills of attainder.
 
Having dispensed with his jaundiced attempt at choreographed compassion, Obama quickly resumed his traditional batting stance. The final ten minutes of the speech reverted to the closest thing there is to an Obama Doctrine: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s admonition to “never let a crisis go to waste.” 
 
It turns out, with a convenience bordering on synchronicity, that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the perfect springboard to relaunch the president’s quest for a green economy. Given that this crusade is quixotic even by the through-the-looking-glass standards of the Obama White House, what followed was the elevation of blather to an art form.
 
Making the utterly correct case that the Minerals Management Service charged with regulating offshore drilling vacillated between corruption and incompetence, Obama thundered, “Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility - a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves.”  No serious figure in American politics holds this view. Obama is a man who once famously said, “I don’t oppose all wars … what I am opposed to is a dumb war.” Why is he then incapable of understanding conservatives who feel the same way about regulatory policy?
 
Obama’s diagnosis of our “oil crisis” was plagued by the same fatuousness. Proving the wisdom of the adage about having just enough knowledge to be dangerous, the President gravely warned, “We consume more than 20% of the world's oil, but have less than 2% of the world's oil reserves.” And this is a problem because? Is the modern, petroleum-dominated economy that is the White House’s scourge somehow simultaneously running short of fuel? As global demand increases, prices will go up … and alternative fuel sources will become relatively cheaper. In other words, the market will eventually furnish the outcome Obama is trying to manufacture from Washington at taxpayer expense.
 
How about this gem, beloved by the energy independence crowd: “Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil.” Yet, according to Department of Agriculture statistics for 2009, we send nearly $4.2 billion overseas every day for food products. Neither is an economic crisis, because we’re sending money, not “wealth.” We value the product we receive in the exchange more than the money we’re trading for it. Otherwise the deal would never take place. This is protectionism in evening wear.
 
When Obama finally brought the speech to a direct endorsement for his cap-and-trade legislation he praised it as “a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America's businesses.” And thus did we elect King Canute president.

No elected official in America is capable of making one form of energy more profitable than another unless he moonlights in research and development. What they are capable of doing – and what cap-and-trade explicitly does – is penalizing profitable energy and subsidizing its unprofitable counterparts until they reach an economic inflection point.
 
So it was that on June 15, 2010, a President of the United States sat behind the Resolute desk and proposed to solve the worst environmental problem in the nation’s history through an agenda of mandatory impoverishment.  The country was better off when he just seemed inept.

Question of the Week   
Where is the USS Arizona Memorial located?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"The most dangerous place for an academic is often between the House and the impeachment of an American president. I knew that going into the first hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on the impeachment of Donald Trump. After all, Alexander Hamilton that impeachment would often occur in an environment of 'agitated passions.' Yet I remained a tad naive in hoping that an academic discussion on…[more]
 
 
—Jonathan Turley, The George Washington University Law School Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, Legal Commentator, Legal Scholar, Writer, and Legal Analyst
— Jonathan Turley, The George Washington University Law School Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, Legal Commentator, Legal Scholar, Writer, and Legal Analyst
 
Liberty Poll   

Should House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff be investigated for subpoenaing and publishing call log records (with no details or context) of another member of congress, the president's attorney, a journalist and others?