We at CFIF strongly advocate both free trade and intellectual property (IP) protection.  Although typically…
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Pass Free Trade Legislation, But Ignore Calls to Insert "Fair Use" Provisions That Weaken American IP Protections

We at CFIF strongly advocate both free trade and intellectual property (IP) protection.  Although typically distinct policy questions, they are currently intertwined as Congress finally and fortunately moves toward passing free trade legislation.

The pending legislation rightly demands that trading partners recognize American IP rights, but that has naturally drawn fire from some of the usual suspects (e.g., Google, the Internet Association, et al.) who tend to oppose stronger IP rights because those protections tend to run contrary to their own particular business interests.  Specifically, those interests seek to include copyright limitations in free trade bills, including mandatory "Fair Use" exceptions.

That would be a bad idea.

Among other problems, those voices misstate domestic…[more]

May 29, 2015 • 11:04 am

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Obamite Thuggery Has Long History Print
By Quin Hillyer
Thursday, May 16 2013
The message was clear: 'Mess with us and we’ll mess with you in a way you ain’t never been messed before – and it’s gonna hurt.'

It was Michael Barone who first wrote that Barack Obama was a practitioner of “gangster government.” Barone was right. The plethora of scandals now engulfing the administration, combined with all sort of prior scandals that a lapdog media largely ignored, show that this regime is thuggish beyond repair.

As they say in the game of bridge, “let’s review the bidding.”

* One of the most outrageous early examples of the vilest sort of hardball came in the case that we at The Washington Times (when I was there) called “Walpin-Gate.” When Gerald Walpin, the well-respected Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service, dared to point an unwanted focus on a close personal ally of the Obamas, not only did the White House fire him without the necessary notice to Congress but also smeared Mr. Walpin with the clear insinuation that he was becoming senile.

The message was clear: “Mess with us and we’ll mess with you in a way you ain’t never been messed before – and it’s gonna hurt.”

* Gerald Walpin was hardly the only IG who was “messed with” by this administration. In just the first half year of Obama’s first term, Iowa’s Sen. Chuck Grassley was rightly concerned about five – yes, count them, five – cases where it looked as if honest Inspectors General were being targeted nefariously by Obamites. Again, IGs are created specifically to be independent watchdogs; to bully a watchdog is to send a signal that nobody is safe from political retaliation with the full force of the federal government.

* When the Inspector General for the Department of Justice released a report this spring about the sorry state of the department’s Civil Rights Division, one of the most overlooked portions of the document was the lengthy description of how Obama political appointees worked to marginalize, demote and otherwise mistreat attorney Christopher Coates, a longtime hero of civil rights legal battles. They did so when it became clear he actually favored enforcing the laws as written, in a race-neutral fashion, rather than in the heavily politicized, racialist manner they preferred. The IG harshly criticized the Obama team for “a dysfunctional management chain,” and for “inevitably feed[ing] the perception that the administration of justice is politicized.”

And as the report made clear, the retaliation against Coates was par for the course within the division, with several other employees horribly treated merely for the sin of failing to toe the leftist line.

* When Coates and fellow DoJ attorney J. Christian Adams were subpoenaed (justifiably) by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (with regard to race-based actions by Obama’s team, including the now-infamous New Black Panther voter-intimidation case), Obama’s political appointees ordered Adams and Coates to ignore the subpoena – thus putting them in legal jeopardy, and effectively forcing them to pay for their own attorneys out of their own pockets in order to merely follow the law.

* The Obama-Holder Justice Department has turned threat-making into an art form. For instance, to quote a Washington Times editorial: “[DoJ said] Sheriff Arpaio [in Arizona] should not set up a phone tip line to search for immigration violators, and he is not allowed to tell the public about federal immigration enforcement policies even if he is merely disputing demonstrable falsehoods told about him; yet the Justice Department can set up an anonymous tip line to gather evidence against the sheriff.” And Civil Rights Division Chief Tom Perez threatened Alabama sheriffs to stop them from doing their jobs. He also bullied the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, into dropping a lawsuit the Supreme Court already had agreed to hear. Finally, on a much pettier level, DoJ backed its top spokesman, Tracy Schmaler, to the hilt after she made a habit of berating, indeed yelling at, reporters and encouraging smear campaigns against lawyers from her own department.

* Obama himself had two well-publicized, airport-tarmac run-ins with Republicans governors. “Careful,” he warned Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal when visiting the Bayou State after the oil spill. “This is going to get bad for everyone.” He also publicly berated Supreme Court justices during his State of the Union speech.

* Again and again, top Obama officials in federal agencies issue threats – sometimes veiled, sometimes explicit – to private citizens and businesses to not even say anything displeasing to Obamites. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius does it. The EPA has tried it repeatedly. The Obamites do it to the oil companies and to so many others that columnist David Freddoso has written a whole book about it.

So now comes the Justice Department with a chilling, over-broad subpoena of Associated Press telephone records, and the IRS with its targeting of conservative groups and the State Department’s demotion of a top diplomat for daring to tell the truth regarding the Benghazi calamity.

Gangster government, indeed.

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