The Sony cyberattack - apparently state-sponsored - obviously raises solemn concerns, including national…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Google Seeks to Exploit Sony Cyberattack for Its Own Self-Interest

The Sony cyberattack - apparently state-sponsored - obviously raises solemn concerns, including national security and the very safety of American citizens.

Accordingly, immediate public discussion should focus primarily upon the gravity of the attack and how the Internet, one of the most transformative and beneficial innovations in human history, can sometimes become a tool for those with destructive and even deadly intent.  While Sony Pictures, its employees, and its customers were the immediate victims this time, the reality is that this could happen to anyone and any enterprise.  In fact, such attacks on other companies and individuals occur at an alarmingly accelerating pace.

Leave it to Google, however, to attempt to profit from the attack and leverage it on behalf of its own…[more]

December 19, 2014 • 03:09 pm

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Obama Ties Nixon for Lowest Public Approval at This Point in Presidency Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, July 18 2013
Obama’s policies have brought record malaise, not record growth.

In 2008, Barack Obama immodestly cited Ronald Reagan as the type of “transformative” president he intended to become.  “Ronald Reagan,” he said, “changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not, that Bill Clinton did not.” 

Bold words, but what’s equally notable is that Obama highlighted Nixon as a comparatively futile president.  Today, Obama ties Nixon for the lowest public approval at this point in a presidency in Gallup’s recorded history. 

In fact, even that comparison doesn’t capture the full degree of Obama’s presidential futility, since Nixon enjoyed a 57% to 34% approval/disapproval rating as late as April 1973.  Obama, in contrast, hasn’t seen that level of approval since five short months into his tenure.  At that point in Nixon’s presidency, Watergate revelations suddenly escalated into a public scandal, sending his approval over the figurative cliff. 

So that’s the company in which Obama finds himself.  His policies have failed so badly that he’s as unpopular as the man disgraced by Watergate. 

For purposes of comparison, the history of scientific polling reveals that this point in a presidency typically remains something of a honeymoon.  Harry Truman enjoyed a 57% to 27% approval/disapproval rating, Dwight Eisenhower’s ratio was 65% to 22% and Lyndon Johnson also enjoyed a 65% to 22% differential.  Nixon, as referenced above, faced a 44% to 45% deficit, whereas Ronald Reagan – Obama’s professed model – enjoyed 63% public approval versus just 28% disapproval.  Bill Clinton stood at 58% to 34%, and George W. Bush was above water at 49% to 48% even after his mismanaged Social Security reform effort. 

For this dubious predicament, Obama has only his own policies to blame.  As the shadows grow longer on his tenure, the consequences of his choices emerge ever more clearly. 

Here’s one alarming illustration from just this week.  According to a new Pew survey of 38,000 people across 39 nations, more people say China either has replaced or will replace America as the world’s leading superpower.  Five years ago, Obama could make bold claims and breezily scapegoat his predecessor for whatever difficulties America faced abroad.  Today, he cannot displace Syria’s tinpot dictator, Iran ignores his supplications, Vladimir Putin brazenly ignores him, European leaders learn that he has spied on them, Afghans anticipate his languid retreat and our closest Pacific allies no longer feel secure under our military umbrella. 

Here at home, an equally futile legacy has emerged to explain Obama’s record low esteem. 

More than four years have passed since the last recession ended and the current “recovery” began.  But over those 15 fiscal quarters, gross domestic product (GDP) growth has averaged just 2%, an unprecedented low.  That is less than half of the 4.1% average for the first 15 quarters of previous recoveries since record keeping began.  Meanwhile, Obama’s policies have inflicted four consecutive deficits exceeding $1 trillion, whereas the largest deficit prior to his presidency was less than half that at $450 billion. 

Accordingly, Obama’s policy of record spending and record deficits have only resulted in record economic under-performance. 

American households have fared no better.  Four years into the nominal recovery, median household income not only remains below pre-recession levels, but also below the level of June 2009 when the recession officially ended.  As summarized by The Wall Street Journal, American families continue to suffer in an unprecedented manner: 

"Despite the rejoicing over last year’s big drop in unemployment, the 3.3% growth in disposable income was the lowest since such records began in 1959, excluding the 2009 swoon.  Stripping out December’s surge in dividends and bonuses ahead of January’s tax increases, income rose by a little less than 3% in 2012.  This year is on track to be even slower. 

"Over the past five years through March, disposable personal income has risen 10.5% in total.  That is the worst pace on record, reflecting not just a nasty recession but a lackluster recovery.” "

Obama’s policies have brought record malaise, not record growth.  Revelations of IRS abuse, ObamaCare’s unpopularity and disintegration, domestic surveillance, the Benghazi coverup and targeting of journalists have only inflamed public angst further. 

Given that accumulating record of failure and abuse, it comes as no surprise that Obama suffers a historically low level of public approval.  The question now is whether he corrects course and salvages some legacy of success while there’s still time. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following Americans was the first to successfully fly a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Obama is hardly the first president to seek rapprochement with our adversaries and reconciliation with our enemies, of course. But his determination to make nice -- even in the face of clear and repeated rejection from the other side -- is unparalleled. For Obama and his team, diplomacy with rogue regimes is an end in itself, and any deal, however one-sided, is a win, especially one that the White…[more]
 
 
—Stephen F. Hayes, The Weekly Standard
— Stephen F. Hayes, The Weekly Standard
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. opening diplomatic relations with Cuba?