Archive for September, 2018
September 24th, 2018 at 1:06 pm
Image of the Day: Something Apparently Turbocharged U.S. Economic Sentiment in 2016
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From the left-leaning Pew Research Center, note how something caused the number of Americans responding that the state of our economy is good to turbocharge past the Europeans and Japanese around 2016.  Perhaps Paul Krugman of The New York Times has a theory.

Something Happened Around 2016

Something Happened Around 2016

September 24th, 2018 at 11:50 am
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Show Lineup
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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: Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute: 40 Years After Camp David Accords;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment: Canada and NAFTA Negotiations;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs: Expansion of the Leftist War;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Bradley A. Smith, Chairman and Founder of Institute for Free Speech: Maine’s Crowdfunding Campaign and the Kavanaugh Hearings;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: Edward Fleming, Founding Partner of McDonald Fleming Moorhead in Pensacola, Florida: Capitalism,  Socialism and Communism; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: Mayor Ashton Hayward, Mayor of Pensacola, and Luke Goodrich, Vice President and Senior Counsel at Becket: Pensacola’s Memorial Cross Cert Petition to SCOTUS.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.

September 24th, 2018 at 9:40 am
The FCC Must Move to Stop the Local Internet Power Grab

More than thirty years ago, Congress gave local governments the power to impose “franchise fees” and other regulations on cable television service.  It was part of a broad framework for shared national and local authority over cable television in the 1984 “Cable Act,” which laid the foundation for the cable (and eventually satellite) TV boom of the 1980s and beyond.

By contrast, local governments have very limited power to tax or regulate the internet.  Unlike television, which has a long tradition of serving independent local markets with discrete programming, options, and infrastructure, from the beginning it’s been clear that the internet is inherently national and interstate and can only be effectively regulated at the federal level.  That has been core federal policy for decades, as most recently expressed in the 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which concluded that, “regulation of broadband Internet access service should be governed principally by a uniform set of federal regulations, rather than by a patchwork that includes separate state and local requirements.”

But recently, a number of local franchising authorities have tried to upend that federal policy and claim the right to impose local taxes and regulations on the internet by seizing on the fact that some broadband providers also offer cable television services.  Now, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is rightly working to put a stop to this local government internet power grab – moving to make clear that the Cable Act only allows local franchising boards to tax and regulate cable companies based on their cable television operations.

If every local franchising board in the country can impose its own rules and fees on internet providers, the freewheeling and open internet we all enjoy today will slowly grind to a halt.  The resulting cacophony of regulation will overwhelm operators, slowing down cyberspace and making it less reliable and less secure.  It will drive away new investment needed to continue to achieve ever-increasing speeds users have come to take for granted.  And it will confuse consumers who expect the internet to be a consistent experience everywhere they go.

This is the exact harm federal policy strives to avoid.  As the FCC explained, “allowing state or local regulation of broadband internet access service could impair the provision of such service by requiring each ISP to comply with a patchwork of separate and potentially conflicting requirements across all of the different jurisdictions in which it operates.”

For that reason, the FCC’s “Section 621 Proceeding” must move quickly to shut down the local power grab by making clear that neither the Cable Act nor any other source of local regulatory power authorizes franchise boards to tax or regulate the internet or any other non-cable-television businesses.

The future of the internet and our unfettered access depend on it.

September 18th, 2018 at 4:32 pm
Google and Other Politicized Organizations Target 2nd Amendment and Consumer Choice
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In recent months, Google has justifiably suffered heavy criticism for selectively acting as internet gatekeeper, deciding what Americans can and cannot view online.  Countless examples exist when the liberal Silicon Valley giant leveraged its  market power to censor along ideological lines, including:  banning the conservative blog The New York Conservative, hosted on Google Blogger, for opining on the trial of terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed;  demoting pro-Brexit/Euroskeptic websites by pushing them down in search results;  excluding Donald Trump from “presidential candidates” search;  and blocking free speech social network Gab from the Google Play Store, alleging violations of the company’s hate speech policy.

The latest revelation of Google’s partisan bias arrived in late July, when the company quietly shifted its Google Play policy to ban apps selling firearms and accessories.  That change went largely unreported, although TechCrunch stated, “Google takes an almost moral position with the addition of a ban of apps that ‘facilitate the sale of explosives, firearms, ammunition, or certain firearms accessories.’”   That maneuver follows an instance in which Apple did something similar last December.

Given the sheer market power of Apple and Google, their ideologically driven policy poses an incredibly damaging peril not only to consumers who utilize firearm-related apps, but also an entire industry – a completely legal one –  selling firearms or firearms accessories.

The inescapable conclusion is that Google seeks to censor viewpoints and entirely legal behavior that it disfavors out of existence.  A full month after Google’s policy was quietly implemented, Steve Urvan, CEO and CTO of, received an email notification stating that the app had been suspended and removed from Google Pay due to a “Violation of Dangerous Products policy.”  Google’s questionable decision to ban’s app raises an ominous specter about politicized and powerful corporations  attempting to socially engineer from the boardroom.

Google’s behavior joins a wave of social activism that increasingly pervades American companies and weakens Americans’ ability to purchase perfectly legal goods.  In April, Bank of America announced that it would abruptly discontinue banking services to firearms manufacturers that produce legal and popular AR-15-style rifles.  Mere months earlier, Citigroup announced a new U.S. commercial firearms policy precluding the company’s commercial and institutional clients, small business clients and credit card partners from selling any firearm to individuals under the age of 21, (even though the legal age remains 18).  It also refused to serve any business client manufacturing magazines exceeding ten rounds. Citigroup has also held preliminary discussions about potentially monitoring consumers’ gun purchases within their internal payment systems.

These alarming steps highlight an emerging trend of politicized and politically powerful activist businesses targeting perfectly legal behaviors of everyday Americans.  If the leadership of Bank of America, Citigroup and Google want to dictate consumer choices, that’s  certainly within their rights, although perhaps they’d be better off running for official office.  At the very least, they could be more honest with consumers about their shenanigans.

September 14th, 2018 at 10:00 am
Image of the Day: Big Government’s Reverse-Midas Touch
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From our friends at American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a vivid illustration of big government’s reverse-Midas touch — notice what all of these things have in common:


Big Government:  Midas in Reverse

Big Government: Midas in Reverse



September 10th, 2018 at 2:04 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Lineup
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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:  Carol Greenlee, President and Managing Partner for Business Resource Group LLP and daughter of Charles Greenlee, and Gilbert King, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author of “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America” – Clemency Review and Pardons for the Groveland Four;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT:  Dr. Michael R. Strain, Director, Economic Policy Studies, John G. Searle Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute – Workers on Welfare;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT:  John Malcolm, Vice President, Institute for Constitutional Government, Director of the Meese Center for Legal & Judicial Studies and Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation – Kavanaugh Hearings;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT:  Leah Byers, Policy Analyst at the Civitas Institute – State Charitable Solicitation Programs and Privacy; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: William J. Conti, Partner at Baker & Hostetler – Mole in the White House, Midterm Elections and Nike/Kaepernick Ad.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments orStudi ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.

September 8th, 2018 at 11:01 am
Image of the Day: Senator Corey Booker’s “Resistance”
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The funniest response yet to Senator Corey Booker’s (D – New Jersey) self-immolation during this week’s confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh:

Corey Booker:  So Brave

Corey Booker: So Brave

September 5th, 2018 at 1:34 pm
Image of the Day: Right Track/Wrong Track Improves Sharply Since 2016
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Somehow, it has escaped mainstream media attention that public satisfaction with America’s direction has jolted upward by almost 40%, from 26% to 36%, since January 2017:


Right Track/Wrong Track Improves Dramatically Since January 2017

Right Track/Wrong Track Improves Dramatically Since January 2017