Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00…
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This Week's "Your Turn" Radio Show Lineup

Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT: James Bacchus, Former U.S. Representative, Professor of Global Affairs at the University of Central Florida, and Adjunct Scholar at Cato Institute: Free Trade and Destiny;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: John Hannah, Senior Counselor at Foundation for Defense of Democracies: US-China Relations;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Quin Hillyer, Contributor to the Washington Examiner and Author: Happenings Inside the Beltway;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: Andrew Och, First Ladies Man and Author: The Legacy…[more]

December 10, 2018 • 03:51 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 Bloomberg's Donor-Funded Climate-Change Prosecutors:

"With their busy schedules and tight state budgets, Democratic attorneys general have little in the way of time and resources to advance climate-change policies, which is where billionaire Michael Bloomberg comes in.

"The former New York City mayor's fortune has bankrolled a year-long effort to place privately funded lawyers as 'special assistant attorneys general' in at least six states with specific instructions to work on 'clean energy, climate change, and environmental interests.'

"The program, run through the New York University School of Law, comes as the most disturbing example of the 'billion-dollar per year climate industry' gaining access to law-enforcement authority in pursuit of a political agenda, according to a report released Wednesday by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

"'The scheme raises serious questions about special interests setting states' policy and law enforcement agendas, without accountability to the taxpayers and voters whom these law enforcement officials supposedly serve,' said CEI senior fellow Chris Horner, who authored the report, 'Law Enforcement for Rent: How Special Interests Fund Climate Policy Through State Attorneys General.'"

— Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times
— Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times
Posted August 31, 2018 • 08:21 am
On the Perils of Playing God Online:

"Playing God, even online, is not as easy as it looks. Facebook, Twitter and the other technology firms in control of the social-media universe are learning that with nearly limitless power comes the responsibility to administer it fairly. So far social media has failed. Bias, mostly but not all left-leaning, has obstructed the free flow of dialogue. Unless the tech giants figure out how to remedy their tendency to mediate political discourse by leaning left, the bloom will fade from the unmatched flower of human connectivity, and bad things will follow.

"In his 2003 fantasy film 'Bruce Almighty,' funny man Jim Carrey plays a TV reporter who, following several personal misfortunes, has the gall to loudly second-guess God. Annoyed, the Creator lets his critic try his hand at directing the affairs of men. The newly omnipotent reporter discovers the dilemma of adjudicating humanity's billions of competing petitions, and with rue and remorse begs the Almighty to take it all back.

"The tech giants that unleashed the cacophony of global communications are similarly overwhelmed. As the number of social-media enthusiasts has exploded across our orb, so has a list of complaints from users who say their messages are electronically folded, bent, spindled or mutilated simply because of an offending turn of phrase. ...

"Social media is regarded as electronic bulletin boards where everyone is free to post his thoughts. Such thoughts are exempt -- for now -- from the requirements of the Communications Decency Act that apply to paper-and-ink publishers who are liable for the content of third-party users. If the gatekeepers of conversation continue to tilt left as arbiters of acceptable speech, they, too, are likely to be subject on one sad day to the government's rules, and learn the perils of playing God online."

— The Editors, The Washington Times
— The Editors, The Washington Times
Posted August 30, 2018 • 07:36 am
On Google's Search Algorithm:

"Is Google manipulating its algorithm to prioritize left-leaning news outlets in their coverage of President Trump? It sure looks that way based on recent search results for news on the president.

"Conservatives and Trump supporters have for the last several years questioned whether Google was deprioritizing conservative news sites, hiding them from users who utilize their search engine. Google has maintained that all outlets are treated fairly, but nevertheless, conservative sites have reported reduced search traffic and, in the case of Google-owned YouTube, content creators have been banned and demonetized. Google's high-profile firing of conservative James Damore, purportedly over his conservative political views, only reinforces the idea that Google is picking winners and losers.

"To test the premise, I performed a Google search for 'Trump' using the search engine's 'News' tab and analyzed the results using Sharyl Attkisson's media bias chart.

"I expected to see some skewing of the results based on my extensive experience with Google, but I was not prepared for the blatant prioritization of left-leaning and anti-Trump media outlets. Looking at the first page of search results, I discovered that CNN was the big winner, scoring two of the first ten results. Other left-leaning sites that appeared on the first page were CBS, The Atlantic, CNBC, The New Yorker, Politico, Reuters, and USA Today (the last two outlets on this list could arguably be considered more centrist than the others).

"Not a single right-leaning site appeared on the first page of search results.

"But it got much, much worse when I analyzed the first 100 items that Google returned in a search for news on 'Trump.'"

Read entire article here.

— Paula Bolyard, PJ Media Supervising Editor
— Paula Bolyard, PJ Media Supervising Editor
Posted August 29, 2018 • 08:08 am
On Filling John McCain's Senate Seat:

"PHOENIX (AP) -- Sen. John McCain's death in office has handed Arizona's governor an empty Senate seat to give out -- and a difficult political puzzle to solve before he does.

"Arizona law requires only that Gov. Doug Ducey name a replacement who is a member of McCain's Republican Party and who will fill the seat until the next general election in 2020. But in a state with a deeply divided Republican Party, where McCain was a towering but divisive figure, the choice is far more complicated.

"Ducey is balancing the demands of the many conservative Arizona Republicans who have soured on McCain due to his dovish immigration stance, criticism of President Donald Trump and vote against a rollback of President Barack Obama's health care law. They are wary of Ducey appointing a moderate. But naming someone with dramatically different views from McCain could be viewed as disrespectful to McCain's legacy, carrying its own risks. In either case, Ducey wants to set the party up to hold the seat two years from now, no easy task given the turmoil in his party."

Read entire article here.

— Melissa Daniels & Nicholas Riccardi, Associated Press
— Melissa Daniels & Nicholas Riccardi, Associated Press
Posted August 28, 2018 • 07:59 am
On the Economy and the Federal Reserve:

"There's an old cliche that the Federal Reserve likes to take away the punch bowl just when the party is getting going. That's what President Trump suspects that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is doing now by raising interest rates at a time of a booming economy.

"Last week Mr. Trump took a shot at the Fed when he complained to Reuters that 'I'm not thrilled with them raising interest rates.' When asked if he believed that the Fed should be 'independent,' Mr. Trump said, 'I believe in the Fed doing what's good for the country.'

"In response to these comments, many in the media and on Wall Street have been suffering heart palpitations. The president is trying to bully the Fed into keeping interest rates low, they protested. Others claim that Mr. Trump is trying to politicize the Fed. Of course, we don't want the Fed's monetary decisions to be based on politics or the election cycle.

"But why should it be taboo for this or any president, who effectively serves as the nation's CEO, to weigh in on financial and monetary decisions that fundamentally affect the economic success of the nation? The Fed independently makes its own decisions on the direction of monetary policy, but seemingly every pundit in America has an opinion on what it should do. Why not the president -- especially a man who has already proven he knows more than a thing or two about business and the economy? ...

"The Fed's job is not to stall growth or to prevent economic 'overheating,' whatever that means. It is to keep prices stable and the dollar a strong and reliable currency. Rapid GDP growth and rising wages are not the enemy -- they are the goal. This is what Trumponomics is all about, and if the Fed isn't with that program then Mr. Trump is right to attack them for trying to block America's grand economic comeback."

Read entire article here.

— Stephen Moore, Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow and Louis Woodhill, Houston, TX, Author and Entrepreneur
— Stephen Moore, Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow and Louis Woodhill, Houston, TX, Author and Entrepreneur
Posted August 27, 2018 • 08:12 am
On 2016 Compliance With Federal Campaign-Finance Laws:

"Special Counsel Robert Mueller's proxy prosecutor in New York City has obtained a plea agreement with Michael Cohen on some pretty slimy personal-business issues, and in the process, obtained pleas to two federal campaign-finance-law violations ... that, from my experience as an attorney in the field, do not appear to violate federal campaign-finance law. That aside, maybe this means that Mueller might step out of his snipe hunt of an investigation of Russian 'collusion' in 2016 to take an actual interest in whether there was compliance with federal campaign-finance law by both 2016 presidential campaigns, not just President Trump's. If Mueller is actually concerned, as his designated prosecutor in the Cohen case apparently is, about compliance with the federal statutes setting limits on contributions and reporting of expenditures by campaigns, parties, and candidates, his interest is long overdue. There are several serious enforcement and prosecutorial undertakings awaiting his attention -- none involving President Trump or his campaign.

"Let's start with the payments from the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to Fusion GPS for the infamous dossier that triggered the entire Mueller investigation of 'Russian collusion.' It is still not known how much the Democrats paid to Fusion GPS because that information has not been released, even though it was revealed almost a year ago that the source of payment was the Democrats. We should know the exact amount paid to Fusion GPS by the DNC and the Clinton campaign because all expenditures over $200 by parties and campaigns are required to be reported to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). However, the Democrats' payments for the discredited dossier were falsely reported as 'legal fees' paid to Perkins Coie, and not disclosed as to the actual vendor, amount, or purpose -- as required by federal law. It is a federal offense to falsify an FEC report, which was obviously done in this case. Perhaps there is a conflict of interest for Mueller to investigate this matter, since it involves several of his own agents as potential witnesses, thus suggesting that the investigation of the Fusion GPS payments from Perkins Coie should be referred to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, in the same manner that Mueller transferred the Cohen case to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. ...

"These co-conspirators collectively engaged in the greatest campaign-finance scandal in history. Mueller has the opportunity to prove that his investigation is not a partisan witch hunt, as millions of Americans now believe. It will be interesting to see if he applies the same fervor to the Democrats' 2016 campaign-finance violations and activities that he has applied to those of President Trump and his associates."

Read entire article here.

— Cleta Mitchell, Partner and Political Law Attorney at Foley & Lardner LLP
— Cleta Mitchell, Partner and Political Law Attorney at Foley & Lardner LLP
Posted August 24, 2018 • 08:14 am
On the Michael Cohen Investigation:

"Here we go, from Russia with love, to campaign finance with love.

"Why was Michael Cohen investigated? Because the 'Steele dossier' had him making secret trips to meet with Russians that never happened, so his business dealings got a thorough scrubbing and, in the process, he fell into the Paul Manafort bin reserved by the special counsel for squeezing until the juice comes out. We are back to 1998 all over again, with presidents and candidates covering up their alleged marital misdeeds and prosecutors trying to turn legal acts into illegal ones by inventing new crimes.

"The plot to get President Trump out of office thickens, as Cohen obviously was his own mini crime syndicate and decided that his betrayals meant he would be better served turning on his old boss to cut the best deal with prosecutors he could rather than holding out and getting the full Manafort treatment. That was clear the minute he hired attorney Lanny Davis, who does not try cases and did past work for Hillary Clinton. Cohen had recorded his client, trying to entrap him, sold information about Trump to corporations for millions of dollars while acting as his lawyer, and did not pay taxes on millions.

"The sweetener for the prosecutors, of course, was getting Cohen to plead guilty to campaign violations that were not campaign violations. Money paid to people who come out of the woodwork and shake down people under threat of revealing bad sexual stories are not legitimate campaign expenditures. They are personal expenditures. That is true for both candidates we like and candidates we do not. Just imagine if candidates used campaign funds instead of their own money to pay folks like Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about affairs. They would get indicted for misuse of campaign funds for personal purposes and for tax evasion."

Read entire article here.

— Mark Penn, Chairman of Harris Poll and author of “Microtrends Squared”
— Mark Penn, Chairman of Harris Poll and author of “Microtrends Squared”
Posted August 23, 2018 • 08:20 am
On Elections Having Consequences:

"Before the election, you'd be hard pressed to find a group of media and political commentators willing to talk about Russia the way they do today.

"In fact, pooh-poohing concerns about Moscow's obvious hostility to the U.S. was all the rage as recently as 2012. It was a great punchline during the presidential debate between then-President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney.

"Similarly, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who gave a good damn about Manafort before the 2016 election. That guy has been running scams and engaging in clearly unethical and illegal behavior for years. And it's not like he was a non-entity in political and media circles. Most just didn't care. But now that Trump is president, it's a very serious matter.

"I'm all for getting the crooks. I'm all for rooting them out, one by one. I just wish it didn't take Democrats losing a presidential election for it to happen."

— Becket Adams, The Washington Examiner
— Becket Adams, The Washington Examiner
Posted August 22, 2018 • 07:38 am
On the Continuing Attacks on Colorado Baker Jack Phillips:

"Liberalism has always struggled to balance the protection of minority rights against majoritarian institutions and -- less often appreciated -- the protection of individual rights. The American Left has liberated itself from such considerations by abandoning liberalism for identity politics and a might-makes-right ethic. Why compel Jack Phillips to knuckle under? Because you can, and because you hate him. Hate is an inescapable part of tribalism, and hate is now the single most important organizing principle of the American Left.

"T. H. White understood this ethic, which he described as the constitution of an ant colony: 'Everything which is not forbidden is compulsory.' To the cranky dissidents such as Jack Phillips, and to the likewise unassimilated nonconformists of our time, we owe a debt of gratitude. If the human ethic survives the ant ethic, it will be in no small part because of them."

— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
Posted August 21, 2018 • 08:41 am
On Surveying the Results of an Anti-Trump Media:

"A Gallup survey three years ago found that 40 percent trusted the media; two years ago, the trust meter declined by 8 points, to 32 percent. Now even that low bar looks like the good old days.

"Yet instead of soberly examining their conduct, most in the media ratchet up the vitriol, apparently believing that screaming louder and longer will lead the public to hate Trump as much as they do.

"But as the surveys show, their bias is a boomerang. With media behavior undermining public trust more than anything Trump says or does, a return to traditional standards of fairness and a separation of news from opinion are essential."

— Michael Goodwin, New York Post
— Michael Goodwin, New York Post
Posted August 20, 2018 • 08:34 am
Question of the Week   
The son of which one of the following U.S. politicians currently serves as a Marine aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"The failures of Comey's remarkably turbulent and short tenure as FBI director were on display again Friday on Capitol Hill, when he was interviewed in a closed-door session by two House committees. Republican lawmakers were aghast at his sudden lack of recollection of key events.He didn't seem to know that his own FBI was using No. 4 Justice Department official Bruce Ohr as a conduit to keep collecting…[more]
—John Solomon, Award-Winning Investigative Journalist and The Hill Executive Vice President for Video
— John Solomon, Award-Winning Investigative Journalist and The Hill Executive Vice President for Video
Liberty Poll   

For family Christmas giving this year, are you spending more than usual, about the same as usual, or less than usual?