CFIF has long championed greater fairness for recording artists and protection of intellectual property…
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CFIF Strongly Opposes Senator Ron Wyden's "ACCESS to Sound Recordings" Act

CFIF has long championed greater fairness for recording artists and protection of intellectual property (IP) rights in the music industry.   Among other problems, current law generally protects recording artists' rights for post-1972 songs, but not pre-1972 classics:

. Under byzantine laws, artists receive just compensation whenever their post-1972 recordings are played, but in many cases not for their pre-1972 recordings.  That's an indefensible and arbitrary artifact that has persisted far too long.  Why should Neil Diamond receive payment whenever 'America' is played, but not classics like 'Solitary Man?'

Fortunately, the opportunity to correct that unfairness has arrived.  Even better, legislation to correct the existing flawed system arrives alongside other music legislation…[more]

June 18, 2018 • 11:43 pm

Liberty Update

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Notable Quotes
 
On U.S. Withdrawal From U.N. Human Rights Council:
 
 

"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley were right to withdraw U.S. membership from the U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

While that council purports to defend human rights, it actually focuses on far less noble objectives. Namely, attacking Israel, challenging Western liberal values of free speech, and lending moral credibility to the world's most unpleasant regimes. Ignoring repeated U.S. challenges to address those failings, the council deserves neither U.S. diplomatic credibility nor U.S. taxpayer dollars. ...

The U.N.'s own statistics show that the U.S. was the largest voluntary contributor to the organization's 2017 human rights efforts. The Human Rights Council will surely miss that money. But if they want it back, they need only to start living up to their name."

 
 
— Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner
— Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner
Posted June 20, 2018 • 07:51 am
 
 
On U.S. Largest Recipient of Asylum Applications:
 
 

"Germany is no longer the largest recipient of new asylum applications worldwide, according to the United Nations: the U.S. is.

"A report released Tuesday by the U.N. Refugee Agency showed that the number of new, individual asylum applicants plummeted drastically by 73 percent in Germany between 2016 and 2017, from 722,400 down to 198,300.

"Meanwhile, the U.S. saw a nearly 27 percent increase in new applications within a year, reaching 331,700 in 2017. This was the first time since 2012 when the U.S. was the largest recipient of new asylum applications. ...

"Worldwide, the report said that forced displacement reached a new high last year for the fifth year in a row, including 25.4 million refugees and 40 million internally displaced people."

 
 
— Emma Anderson, Brussels-based POLITICO Assistant News Editor
— Emma Anderson, Brussels-based POLITICO Assistant News Editor
Posted June 19, 2018 • 07:31 am
 
 
On Washington's Anti-Trump Bias:
 
 

"As FBI director Christopher Wray started giving his response to the blistering report on the Hillary Clinton investigation, I hoped he would accept the findings as proof the agency lost its way and must be shaken to its foundation. By the time he finished talking, I felt naive for daring to hope.

"Wray's performance was worse than disappointing. It was infuriating proof that it will take more than one election to change the corrupt culture of Washington. ...

"The report ends forever the illusion that Comey was a noble public servant. He served only himself and is now so toxic to both parties that it's unlikely he will ever get another government job. Hallelujah.

"But the FBI didn't stink only from the head. The report paints an agency run amok, with numerous examples of serious misconduct by leaders, agents and lawyers."

Read entire article here.

 
 
— Michael Goodwin, New York Post
— Michael Goodwin, New York Post
Posted June 18, 2018 • 08:05 am
 
 
On the Justice Department Inspector General’s Report on the 2016 Election:
 
 

"[T]he real reason Americans should care about Thursday's development isn't that it created rare unity of Clinton-Trump opinion.

"Rather, it is because the FBI, over which Comey presided, had leaders who lied, violated the rules, usurped authority that was not theirs, and expressed political biases that may have impacted how two presidential candidates were treated by the bureau during the middle of one of America's most precious events -- an election.

"With all the awesome powers that the FBI possesses, and the trust Americans must place in the agency, that crime is one that should not be tolerated by Republican, Democrat or independent alike."

 
 
— John Solomon, Award-winning Investigative Journalist and Executive VP at The Hill
— John Solomon, Award-winning Investigative Journalist and Executive VP at The Hill
Posted June 15, 2018 • 08:15 am
 
 
On America's Growing Entitlement Crisis:
 
 

"One problem with living in times as interesting as these is that important news often gets lost amid the swirl of rapidly changing events. If you blinked last week, you may have missed the latest report from the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare systems. But for the sake of our children and grandchildren, not to mention the country's economic future, America's looming entitlements crisis is worth paying attention to.

"Start with Social Security. This year, the system's trustees pegged its official 'insolvency' date at 2034, the same as in last year's report. Unfortunately for those under age 51, of course, we are now a year closer to that date than we were a year ago. And unless something changes dramatically between now and then, current law will require benefits to be slashed by 21 percent at that point. ...

"Medicare is in even worse shape. This year's trustees' report estimates that the health-care program for seniors will hit technical insolvency by 2026, three years sooner than last year's estimate. The program's worsening financial condition is traced to 'higher-than-anticipated spending in 2017, legislation that increases hospital spending,' and higher payments to private Medicare Advantage plans. Congress also repealed the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an Obamacare provision that would have limited provider reimbursements. ...

"The report also makes clear that there can be no long-term reduction in the national debt without addressing these massive entitlement programs. Social Security now costs nearly $1 trillion per year, and Medicare more than $700 billion. Those two programs alone account for some 40 percent of all federal spending. Congress can and should slash away at discretionary spending all it wants, but without entitlement reform, the debt will continue to grow.

"It is long past time to face facts: We have lied to our kids. Social Security and Medicare cannot pay for all the future benefits that we have promised them -- and until we admit that, we'll continue down the road to national fiscal ruin."

Read entire article here

 
 
— Michael Tanner, Cato Institute Senior Fellow
— Michael Tanner, Cato Institute Senior Fellow
Posted June 14, 2018 • 08:13 am
 
 
On the Trump Effect on Two GOP Primaries:
 
 

"Washington (CNN) - Rep. Mark Sanford, a South Carolina Republican who's a critic of President Donald Trump, will lose his GOP primary to his conservative challenger, state Rep. Katie Arrington, CNN projects.

The outcome -- one that national Republicans working on House races said as recently as Tuesday morning they did not anticipate -- is another sign that GOP primary voters are rejecting lawmakers who break with Trump.

Trump endorsed Arrington hours before the polls closed Tuesday in a tweet attacking Sanford for being 'very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA.'

Last week in Alabama, GOP Rep. Martha Roby -- who had called on Trump to exit the 2016 race after the 'Access Hollywood' tape became public -- was held under 50% in her primary and forced into a runoff."

 
 
— Eric Bradner, CNN Politics Reporter
— Eric Bradner, CNN Politics Reporter
Posted June 13, 2018 • 07:52 am
 
 
On Avoiding an 'Iran Nuclear Deal' in North Korea:
 
 

"The looming 'Korean deal' should be approached by employing the very opposite methodology used in Obama's Iran deal: Be prepared to walk away; assume North Korea will cheat; do not separate its terrorist behavior or ballistic missiles from its promises to denuclearize; and focus on its nuclear patrons, without which there could be no North Korean bomb; expect even a denuclearized North Korea to remain an enemy of the U.S; do not invest presidential stature in the mercurial whims of a thug."

Read entire article here.

 
 
— Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Nationally Syndicated Columnist
— Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Nationally Syndicated Columnist
Posted June 12, 2018 • 07:54 am
 
 
On the Impact of the James Wolfe Leak Indictment:
 
 

"The indictment of James Wolfe, 58, former security director of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), has sent shockwaves around Washington. Wolfe faces three counts of violating 18 U.S.C. 1001, for making false statements to criminal investigators, and could easily face serious jail time if convicted. After a year of leaks cascading down Capitol Hill, Wolfe is a cautionary tale for many members, staffers and journalists. Yet, one person should be especially discomforted by the indictment: former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.

"The Wolfe indictment shows the Justice Department has been actively pursuing leaks out of Congress. Given the lack of prior action, members and staffers may have become emboldened over time, but it now appears the Trump administration has been quietly tracking down the source of some news articles. Wolfe was an obvious concern for any allegations of leaks, given his work at the SSCI for three decades, from 1987 to 2017. ...

"The only person who should be more worried than staffers and journalists by the Wolfe charges is McCabe. He is already embroiled as the subject of a referral by the Justice Department inspector general for possible criminal prosecution. This referral by career Justice Department officials is based on their finding that McCabe knowingly lied to investigators about leaking information to the media.

"It was bad enough for McCabe that he was involved in the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was charged with the same violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001 for lying to investigators. Now, Wolfe is charged under the same provision for a leak to the media. For McCabe not to be charged would lead to a torrent of criticism over the failure of the Justice Department to apply the same standards to its own lawyers."

 
 
— Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Professor of Public Interest Law
— Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Professor of Public Interest Law
Posted June 11, 2018 • 08:15 am
 
 
On the Democrats' IT Scandal:
 
 

"The curious case of Imran Awan, which sounds like an international spy thriller, is entering its third act. Awan was a congressional IT aide to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and he was finally fired just after he was arrested trying to fly to Pakistan last summer.

"Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, were charged last summer with bank fraud. They now appear poised to strike a plea deal with the Department of Justice. A plea agreement hearing is set for July 3 before U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington, Fox News reported Wednesday.

"As I've dug deep into this case for my book 'Spies in Congress' (out later this year), sources have made it clear that the bank fraud charges in this case, though very real, are just a way to hold the defendants.

"Alleged theft of congressional equipment, massive data breaches of Congress members' emails, likely espionage and more are all wrapped up in this case that involves data from 40 or more Democratic members of Congress. ...

"There is a lot more to come from this explosive case. Before this plea agreement hearing was set the biggest worry was that the government's odd failure to prosecute Awan for alleged thefts of government equipment (some of which were found in a garage of one of Awan's rental properties) and the many alleged national security violations pointed to a political cover-up.

"Now it appears the plot is set for a riveting climax."

 
 
— Frank Miniter, Author and Investigative Journalist
— Frank Miniter, Author and Investigative Journalist
Posted June 08, 2018 • 07:48 am
 
 
On Climate Change Having Run its Course:
 
 

"Climate change is over. No, I'm not saying the climate will not change in the future, or that human influence on the climate is negligible. I mean simply that climate change is no longer a pre-eminent policy issue. All that remains is boilerplate rhetoric from the political class, frivolous nuisance lawsuits, and bureaucratic mandates on behalf of special-interest renewable-energy rent seekers.

"Judged by deeds rather than words, most national governments are backing away from forced-marched decarbonization. You can date the arc of climate change as a policy priority from 1988, when highly publicized congressional hearings first elevated the issue, to 2018. President Trump's ostentatious withdrawal from the Paris Agreement merely ratified a trend long becoming evident.

"A good indicator of why climate change as an issue is over can be found early in the text of the Paris Agreement. The 'nonbinding' pact declares that climate action must include concern for 'gender equality, empowerment of women, and intergenerational equity' as well as 'the importance for some of the concept of 'climate justice.'' Another is Sarah Myhre's address at the most recent meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in which she proclaimed that climate change cannot fully be addressed without also grappling with the misogyny and social injustice that have perpetuated the problem for decades.

"The descent of climate change into the abyss of social-justice identity politics represents the last gasp of a cause that has lost its vitality. Climate alarm is like a car alarm -- a blaring noise people are tuning out."

 
 
— Steven F. Hayward, Institute of Governmental Studies Senior Resident Scholar, UC Berkeley
— Steven F. Hayward, Institute of Governmental Studies Senior Resident Scholar, UC Berkeley
Posted June 07, 2018 • 08:10 am
 
Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was NOT a pen name used by Benjamin Franklin?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley were right to withdraw U.S. membership from the U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday.While that council purports to defend human rights, it actually focuses on far less noble objectives. Namely, attacking Israel, challenging Western liberal values of free speech, and lending moral credibility to the world's most…[more]
 
 
—Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner
— Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner
 
Liberty Poll   

Recognizing that there will be more DOJ IG reports on DOJ/FBI issues, what level of trust do you have in the accuracy, fairness and conclusions of the just-issued report on the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation?