For over two weeks now, failed retransmission negotiations between AT&T and Nexstar Media Group…
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TV Blackouts Reconfirm Need for Free Market Regulatory Reform

For over two weeks now, failed retransmission negotiations between AT&T and Nexstar Media Group have deprived customers across the United States of 120 Nexstar television stations in 97 markets.

That's unfortunately something to which far too many Americans have become accustomed recently, as 2019 has already witnessed more TV blackouts than any year in history.  And the news only gets worse:  CBS is now warning that stations in numerous major markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas and others, could be blacked out as this week concludes.

Here's the overarching problem.  Current laws dating all the way back to 1992 empower the federal government to pick TV market winners and losers by tipping the scales during negotiations.  Those laws governing what…[more]

July 18, 2019 • 08:58 pm

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A Tale of Two Legacies: Reagan at Brandenburg Gate, Obama Beneath Che Guevara Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Wednesday, March 23 2016
What must go through the mind of a man or woman sitting in a wretched Cuban prison simply for speaking out against this tyrannical regime, as he or she looks beyond the barred window to see Air Force One descending?

For American presidents, overseas appearances provide trademark moments that symbolize them and cement their legacies, particularly visits during the autumn months of their presidencies. 

For John F. Kennedy, perhaps no moment better captured his vibrancy and Cold War steadfastness than the "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in a Berlin that had only recently been divided by the Soviets' wall. 

Nearly a quarter-century later, as that Berlin Wall and a divided Europe entered their final days, Ronald Reagan boldly and defiantly demanded that his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev "tear down this wall." 

And then there is Barack Obama. 

As twilight descends on his own presidency, Obama's legacy may have been captured by not one, but two tragic images from his visit this week to the oppressive communist island prison. 

The first image would be his solemn, respectful, even obsequious pose beneath an enormous, menacing mural of Fidel Castro's murderous accomplice Ernesto "Che" Guevara.  For the nation's first black president to stand dwarfed below such an openly racist demagogue cast a particular stroke of humiliation upon himself and the nation he represents. 

The second image came at the end of a joint press conference with current Cuban President Raul Castro.  The two men beamed together in a way that immediately contrasted with Obama's moments with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, an actual friend of the United States.  As they exited the stage, Castro forcefully grabbed Obama's arm and lifted it, limp-wristed, above his head as if a puppet.  For anyone who thought an image of Obama's weakness and subservience could not be captured better than the multiple times he literally bowed before foreign leaders, it is a moment that must be witnessed to be believed and fully appreciated. 

Unsatisfied with those self-degradations, Obama proceeded to deliver a speech reciting his stale list of American moral transgressions to an audience all too pleased to receive them.  The fact that Obama said such things a short time after Islamic terrorists slaughtered dozens in Brussels rendered his behavior even more despicable. 

Obama's defenders, and even some on the libertarian/conservative right who favor rapprochement with Cuba, contend that his trip constitutes part of a broader campaign to open and ultimately liberalize the island prison. 

Respectfully, however, where is the evidence to support those expectations?  Although Cuban leaders and their fellow-travelers scapegoat American trade restrictions for all that ails Cuba, the fact is that the most of the world, including the developed nations of Europe and Canada, have continued to trade with them for years.  Moreover, humanitarian U.S. aid has always been permitted.  Accordingly, contentions that unrestricted American trade will somehow provide a magic elixir to turn Cuba into Switzerland doesn't accord with the available evidence. 

Conversely, however, think of the negative effect that Obama's trip must have on freedom fighters both within and outside of Cuba. 

What must go through the mind of a man or woman sitting in a wretched Cuban prison simply for speaking out against this tyrannical regime, as he or she looks beyond the barred window to see Air Force One descending?  What does it say to political prisoners or potential activists in places like Iran, where Obama commenced his presidency by turning his back on their uprising? 

And what message does Obama send to the North Koreans, Syria's Assad, Russia's Putin, Chinese militants or other assorted despots across the globe, when continued defiance and malfeasance not only receive no punishment of consequence from his administration, but actually bring even more concessions and fealty? 

The simple fact is that Obama's foreign policy is one of much gain and little pain for America's enemies, but great pain and little gain for America's friends.  At the very least, Obama could have insisted upon full and unconditional release of Cuba's political prisoners, as well as satisfaction of legal judgments against the Cuban regime for kidnapping and murder of U.S. citizens. 

In a tragically fitting gesture, Obama concluded a day that witnessed massacre in Europe and capitulation in Cuba with a trip to sit beside Castro at an exhibition baseball game.  When confronted about the optics, Obama replied, "The whole premise of terrorism is to disrupt people's lives." 

Yes, Mr. President - the terrorists slaughtered dozens in remote Brussels in order to interrupt one of your golf outings or spectator appearances. 

Then off he went with Mr. Castro.

 

Question of the Week   
On July 20, 1969, the first man to walk on the Moon was Neil Armstrong, making “one giant leap for Mankind.” Who was the last person to walk on the Moon?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"Sen. Bernie Sanders is one of the many faces that make up the progressive left within the Democratic Party. He's an unapologetic democratic socialist. He has an economic agenda that would cost us trillions of dollars. And he's staunchly pro-labor union. That is until his campaign staff starts making demands for better pay, right? Yeah, it seems so. The Sanders campaign has unionized and is demanding…[more]
 
 
—Matt Vespa, Townhall.com Senior Editor
— Matt Vespa, Townhall.com Senior Editor
 
Liberty Poll   

In the current U.S. House of Representatives, who is, at the practical level, most in control of the agenda?