CFIF has joined a broad coalition of fellow conservative and libertarian free-market organizations in…
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Image of the Day: Peril of a "Buy American" Medical Mandate

CFIF has joined a broad coalition of fellow conservative and libertarian free-market organizations in opposing any proposed "Buy American" mandates on medicines, because they would place unnecessary sourcing requirements upon medicines and medical imputs purchased with federal dollars.  That is the last thing that Americans need at the moment, not least because it doesn't single out China in the way that some falsely assume, and the just-released coalition letter is worth reading in its entirety here.

In that vein, however, this image helpfully illustrates some of the logic behind the letter:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="574"] The Peril of a "Buy American" Order[/caption]

 …[more]

April 07, 2020 • 11:04 am

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Caricaturist Rand Paul Bemoans "Caricatures" of Himself Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, December 04 2014
Senator Paul appears unwilling or unable to recognize the shortcomings of his own foreign policy views.

It is often observed that American presidential elections tend to be an application of Isaac Newton's Third Law of Physics:  For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  

In other words, we tend to elect presidents who contrast with their immediate predecessors. 

To the degree that proves true in 2016, Senator Rand Paul (R - Kentucky) could face a difficult uphill climb should he opt to run.  In at least one important rhetorical regard, he will encounter great difficulty distinguishing himself from the current White House occupant. 

Specifically, in their shared habitual resort to caricature when referencing opposing viewpoints. 

Barack Obama has plunged to unprecedented presidential depths in that regard, with his ongoing reliance upon such gems as, "They don't do anything except block me and call me names."  Or, "There are those who embrace a view that can be summarized in two words:  anything goes."  Or his astute observation that, "Not every problem has a military solution." 

Senator Paul, however, may surpass even Obama in resorting to that regrettable manner of argumentation. 

Consider the manner in which he opened his commentary in National Review earlier this year: 

"The knives are out for conservatives who dare question unlimited involvement in foreign wars.  Foreign policy, the interventionists claim, has no place for nuance or realism.  You are either for us or against us.  No middle ground is acceptable.  The Wilsonian ideologues must have democracy worldwide now, and damn all the obstacles to that utopia.  I say sharpen your knives, because the battle once begun will not end easily." 

Then, in a Wall Street Journal commentary in August of this year, Paul resorted to the same juvenile method.  "Shooting first and asking questions later has never been a good foreign policy," he wrote.  Naturally, he failed to identify by name anyone who advocated that policy position.  He then took aim at fellow Republicans: 

"But the same is true of hawkish members of my own party...  Those wanting a U.S. war in Syria could not clearly show a U.S. national interest then, and they have been proven foolish now.  A more realistic foreign policy would recognize that there are evil people and tyrannical regimes in this world, but also that America cannot police or solve every problem across the globe.  Only after recognizing the practical limits of our foreign policy can we pursue policies that are in the best interest of the U.S." 

So which Republican asserts that America can "police or solve every problem across the globe?"  Which Republican suggests that we shouldn't recognize "the practical limits of our foreign policy?"  Again, Senator Paul attaches no names to his field of straw men. 

Moreover, Paul later reversed course and advocated military action against ISIS.  Does that mean he now includes himself among those he described as "wanting a U.S. war in Syria?"  At least then he would've identified a subject of his mockery. 

Fast-forward to this week, when Paul attended the annual CEO Council summit hosted by The Wall Street Journal.  Addressing foreign policy and critics who label him excessively isolationist, he protested, "That's a caricature, and I will have to fight it." 

Thus, the man who consistently relies upon caricature of policy opponents even within his own party doesn't take kindly to suffering the same indignity. 

But apparently that's not enough to discontinue the habit himself. 

At the same summit, Paul claimed, "There are conservatives who say, 'I'll spend anything and I don't care if it bankrupts the world.'"  He added, "To those Republicans who love a Republican intervention, Iraq's worse off now." 

Funny, Iraq seemed to be doing remarkably well after the surge and prior to our complete troop withdrawal. 

Then, for good measure, Paul gratuitously maligned Senator John McCain (R - Arizona) as someone who favors "fifteen more wars."  Talk about caricature. 

Notably, the same man who once proposed to cut defense spending by 10% now says that he's open to more money for defense, "as much as I can get out of Congress if I were president."  He then added, reverting to caricature form, "However, I won't do it and run up another $10 trillion in the deficit."  Paul also opposed new sanctions on Iran and advocated continued diplomacy, saying, "I think it would be a mistake to push them away from the table." 

As if negotiations to date have done anything other than facilitate that nation's ongoing march toward nuclearization? 

More broadly, Senator Paul appears unwilling or unable to recognize the shortcomings of his own foreign policy views.  He labels those who favored removing Saddam Hussein from power after his litany of transgressions and decades of aggression "warmongers" and "interventionists."  But does he believe that his non-interventionist alternative possesses a substantially better record?  Our failure to act against Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and elsewhere allowed 9/11 to occur, and our unwise withdrawal from Iraq has allowed ISIS to flourish, among myriad examples. 

To his credit, Senator Paul has brought a fresh perspective to his party, and drawn positive attention from audiences typically uninterested in hearing Republican voices. 

Nevertheless, his foreign policy views may render him unpalatable to the Republican and general American electorate.  Whatever the case, it would be preferable if he at least learned to advocate his position without resorting to his characteristic manner of caricature. 

Especially if he's also going to complain about others treating him in the same manner. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following pandemics caused the largest number of deaths in the 20th Century alone?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"In the end we were unprepared for what has happened, just as we were unprepared for 9/11. Administration after administration, over decades, gave lip-service to the possibility of a pandemic but made no real plans for all of the equipment necessary to be available -- we had no effective early-warning pandemic system, no stockpile of masks, no effective testing, no technology alliance for safety monitoring…[more]
 
 
—Mark Penn, Managing Partner of the Stagwell Group, Chairman of the Harris Poll, and Former Pollster and Adviser to President Clinton
— Mark Penn, Managing Partner of the Stagwell Group, Chairman of the Harris Poll, and Former Pollster and Adviser to President Clinton
 
Liberty Poll   

Have you or a member of your family contracted coronavirus or are having undiagnosed coronavirus symptoms?