In confronting the growing challenge of China, as with Japan in the 1980s and other challengers in the…
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Rubio: Beat China via Free Trade and Passing Trans-Pacific Partnership, Not Self-Destructive Protectionism

In confronting the growing challenge of China, as with Japan in the 1980s and other challengers in the past, the easy and simplistic response is to advocate protectionism.  But America remains the most prosperous and innovative nation in human history on the basis of free trade, not protectionism.  If closing borders to trade was the path to prosperity, then North Korea would be a global exemplar.

On that chord, Senator Marco Rubio (R - Florida), set to give a much-anticipated foreign policy speech on the campaign trail today, offers a refreshing commentary in today's Wall Street Journal entitled "How My Presidency Would Deal With China."  In his piece, Rubio advocates free trade and passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership as effective tools for confronting China, resisting the…[more]

August 28, 2015 • 09:52 am

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Jester’s Courtroom
Restaurant Thrown Into Lawsuit
Thursday, August 27 2015

A Missouri woman is suing Lambert's Cafe, the "Home of the Throwed Rolls," after allegedly suffering injury from a (you guessed it) thrown roll.
Troy Tucker is suing the Ozark, Missouri, Lambert's Cafe for $25,000, claiming she "sustained a lacerated cornea with a vitreous detachment and all head, neck, eyes and vision were severely damaged" after being hit in the face by a roll. Lambert's is well-known for its servers tossing dinner rolls to guests across the dining room, an act that Tucker deems to be dangerous, careless and negligent. Tucker says she has $10,000 in medical bills and legal fees, which she wants Lambert's to cover.
News reports indicate that Lambert's signature designation as "Home of the Throwed Rolls" is clearly posted throughout the restaurant.

Lawsuit Bites Watchdog
Thursday, August 20 2015

A police watchdog who posted his arrest ordeal on his blog "Virginia Cop Block" is being sued by the Virginia state trooper who arrested him for $1.35 million.

In 2012, Nathan Cox of Mechanicsville, Virginia, got a $75 ticket from Officer Melanie McKenney for failure to display his front license plate. When the traffic stop allegedly turned contentious, McKenney ordered Cox to exit his vehicle. Cox began recording the incident on his cellphone. McKenney ordered Cox to put down the device, which he was holding over her head. According to news reports, McKenney feared it could be used as a weapon.

"There are reports of cellphones looking like guns," said McKenney, a 12-year veteran of the Virginia State Police. "I had no problem with him recording me. I was already being recorded with the dash cam."

Through a FOIA request, Cox obtained the 28-minute dash cam video, radio transmissions and text messages sent between McKenney and her colleagues. Cox posted the encounter on the Internet and accused McKenney of molesting him. According to news reports, the confrontation was viewed on YouTube more than 600,000 times.

McKenney sued Cox in May 2013 in small claims court for $5,000, then re-filed more recently in circuit court, this time seeking $1.35 million.

An attorney for Cox maintains his client's actions are protected under the First Amendment and claims the lawsuit is problematic because a number of the claims are barred by the statute of limitations.


The Award for the Worst Movie Goes to...
Tuesday, August 11 2015

A Hollywood star is suing (essentially everyone) for $55 million, claiming that her career as an actress has been ruined by her latest film appearance.

Paz De La Huerta played a nurse hell-bent on murdering cheating men in what some consider the worst movie of all time - "Nurse 3D." Now, De La Huerta claims an unscrupulous movie director and an ambulance chaser ruined her career.  According to news reports, De La Huerta says she suffered a spinal fracture when she was clipped by a speeding ambulance while shooting a scene in the movie. Plus, she alleges that the director hired a lousy actress to do voiceovers for some of her scenes, further jeopardizing her career. De La Paz wants the director to have to redub the movie with her voice.

De La Huerta has already collected over $70,000 in worker's compensation.


Three Lawsuits Add Up to $1.46
Wednesday, August 05 2015

An Illinois man sued three retailers alleging they overcharged him for tax on groceries by a combined total of $1.46.

Chang Wong sued Whole Foods in January, claiming the store overcharged him by $1.39 in sales tax because the tax amount was computed based on his pre-coupon total of $22.39, instead of his post-coupon total of $7.39. In the other two instances, one involving the Jewel-Osco grocery chain and the other Target, Wong claims he was overcharged a nickel by the former and two cents by the latter, when he purchased coffee from each using a Starbucks coupon.

According to Illinois law, a retailer is required to reduce the taxable total for store-issued coupons but not for manufacturer's coupons.  Despite the distinction, in a number of similar cases filed over the years, judges have determined that if a retailer overtaxes a customer and sends that tax money to the state, the proper course of action is for the customer to appeal to the state for their money back – not to sue the retailer. Wong maintained that because the Starbuck's coupons didn't include any wording to the effect that the "consumer is responsible for any sales tax," the stores were wrong to charge it to him and not Starbucks. Jewel-Oslo spokeswoman Melissa Hill told reporters that the chain "will not be instituting any changes with our current process of collecting sales tax" as a result of the settlement.

According to news reports, Wong has reached settlements with Jewel-Osco and Target, and appears poised to settle with Whole Foods. Wong also has a lawsuit pending against Domino's Pizza for a 72-cent overcharge for tax on the delivery fee.


A Lawsuit to Silence Critics, Yelp!
Wednesday, July 29 2015

A Colorado couple has spent $65,000 in legal fees after being slapped with a lawsuit following a critical review posted on Yelp; that's twice what they paid for the contractor's work.

Matt White and his fiancée, Amanda Jameer, of Jefferson County, Colorado, hired Footprints Floors to do some installation and repair work at their home. After deeming the work "deplorable," the couple posted a review on Yelp that described their experience with the company as "absolutely horrible." Footprints Floors, claiming White's Yelp review cost the company 167 projects and $625,000 in revenue between January 1 and August 1, 2014, filed a defamation suit. White and Jameer claimed that the suit is a blatant attack on free speech.

"Some of the other reviews were much more scathing than my review," said White.

"I feel like we're being bullied," added Jameer. "It's still unbelievable to me even though we've been going through this for a year."

Colorado State Senator Tim Neville worries such lawsuits are a way to censor critics, adding that he might introduce legislation next year that would make Colorado the 29th state to implement "Anti-SLAPP" legislation to protect consumers who post critical reviews.

"Opinions are opinions and sometimes we don't like someone else's opinion but the great thing about our country is that we have the right to exercise that opinion. That's free speech," Neville said.

White settled his case for $15,000, saying it was cheaper than going to trial, but he refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

Yelp weighed in as well telling news sources that, "Businesses that choose to sue their customers to silence them rather than address their comments, often bring additional unwanted attention to the original criticism. We frequently find that a better course of action, rather than suing your customers, is publicly responding to a critical review in the same forum."


Question of the Week   
A Louisiana second-grader wrote to First Lady Michelle Obama with regard to which one of the following school lunches that had changed under new federal nutrition requirements?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"A federal judge in North Dakota acted late Thursday to block the Obama administration's controversial water pollution rule, hours before it was due to take effect. Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota found that the 13 states suing to block the rule met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction, including that they would likely be harmed if courts…[more]
—Timothy Cama, The Hill
— Timothy Cama, The Hill
Liberty Poll   

Do you believe that Vice President Joe Biden’s willingness to consider a presidential run is because he knows more than the public knows about the content of Hillary Clinton’s emails?