We take no position in the ongoing Taylor Swift versus Kanye West divide.  But as perhaps surprisingly…
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Taylor Swift: Intellectual Property and Anti-Counterfeiting Champion

We take no position in the ongoing Taylor Swift versus Kanye West divide.  But as perhaps surprisingly featured in a Wall Street Journal opinion this week, we do applaud her strong stance in defense of intellectual property (IP) and against the scourge of counterfeiting:

Pop star Taylor Swift has been feuding in recent days with rapper Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian.  The details of the drama are lurid and complicated, but young aficionados of Snapchat and Instagram have been following it all intently.  If only the same were true for other Taylor Swift feuds that have received less attention.  Namely, those the 26-year-old songstress has fought in defense of a principle often scorned by fellow celebrities and the social-media generation generally:  the value of intellectual…[more]

July 22, 2016 • 01:09 pm

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Obama’s 2012: Governing Without Congress Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, January 05 2012
In our constitutional system, presidents don't get to 'refuse to take no for an answer.'

2011 was Barack Obama’s year of living dangerously. Whether it was the debt ceiling showdown, the prospect of closing the federal government or the push for a macroeconomically meaningless payroll tax cut, the president’s standard operating procedure was to wait until the eleventh hour, then hope that the resultant chaos in Congress would be sufficient to get the legislative branch to bend to his will.
 
If a contempt for Congress was the hallmark of Obama’s lawmaking strategy in 2011, however, the president looks to be taking it one step further in 2012: ignoring the legislative branch outright.
 
The predicate for this strategy was laid late last year, when the White House rolled out the "We Can’t Wait" campaign, a political maneuver designed to capitalize on Republican “intransigence” (read: garden-variety opposition) to the president’s agenda. Manning his old “fierce urgency of now” parapets, Obama responded with unilateral action in the form of administrative directives and executive orders. The resultant policies – all of which were disreputable and middling in equal measure – included spending $4 billion to improve energy efficiency in buildings, allocating $1 billion for a crony capitalist-style startup fund for small businesses and making it more expensive to hire in-home health care workers.
 
On Wednesday, however, Obama made it clear that he would up the ante in 2012, announcing the recess appointments of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three new members to join the National Labor Relations Board. There’s only one problem: The Senate was not in recess, having met the day before.
 
The president’s announcement amounts to a naked power grab. Republicans had long opposed the president’s nominees to both bodies because of the excessive power that the administration would exercise from within them. The NLRB already showed this tendency for intemperance last year when it attempted to prevent Boeing from creating new production jobs in the right-to-work state of South Carolina instead of union-dominated Washington (the NLRB dropped the case in December).  The CFPB, a creation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, would have unaccountable and virtually unlimited power to regulate an enormous variety of non-bank financial transactions, ranging from how consumers can pay bills over the phone to what kind of paperwork developers must give to prospective homebuyers. Republicans had sat on the nomination to head the CFPB primarily because they were waiting on changes to the law that would provide some measure of congressional oversight for this far-reaching authority.
 
Obama, however, couldn’t be bothered with the niceties of the separation of powers, making the implicit claim that it was he – not the Senate – who would determine when the Senate was in session. Announcing Cordray’s appointment in Ohio on Wednesday, Obama referenced GOP opposition to his nomination, saying, “I refuse to take ‘No’ for an answer.” Cute, but wrong.  In this case, the president doesn’t even have the power to refuse. While there are legitimate disagreements about how long the Senate must be adjourned for the president’s power to make recess appointments to become operative, there is no debate that he can’t do so when the body is still meeting. In our constitutional system, presidents don’t get to “refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer.”
 
As disquieting as it is, expect this to be the template for 2012. Throughout the year, the President will pop up behind a microphone somewhere outside of Washington (it will always happen – by sheer coincidence – to be a swing state), announcing some bold (and legally dubious) action to override a recalcitrant Congress. This instinct is born from a belief that Americans are fed up with a legislative branch that won’t act. It ignores the countervailing possibility: that they’ve had it with a president whose hyperactivity is matched only by his imprudence.

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years was Secret Service protection afforded to major candidates for President and Vice President of the United States?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Disruptive. That's a good word to describe Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, and to describe the sometimes ramshackle Republican National Convention his campaign more or less superintended in Cleveland this past week. ...Over history America has mostly been built by disruption. ... Maybe some disruption from a candidate who says he has 'no tolerance for government incompetence' is in order."…[more]
 
 
—Michael Barone, Principal Co-Author, The Almanac of American Politics and Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst
— Michael Barone, Principal Co-Author, The Almanac of American Politics and Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst
 
Liberty Poll   

Following the Republican National Convention, how do you now rate Donald Trump’s chances of winning the presidency?