A summer whose entertainment headlines were dominated by Taylor Swift and her blowout concert tour just…
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Event Ticket Purchases: The Proposed BOSS Act Would Empower Biden’s Rogue FTC and Make Matters Worse, Not Better

A summer whose entertainment headlines were dominated by Taylor Swift and her blowout concert tour just came to an end.  Unsurprisingly, a significant number of those headlines centered upon the ongoing public policy debate over the consumer ticket purchase experience, along with varying and differing calls for reform.

Unfortunately, some of that discussion served to introduce terribly ill-advised proposals that would only make the industry and American consumers’ enjoyment of it far worse.

To be sure, the genesis of the problem underlying various reform proposals is the issue of predatory ticket resellers who engage in harmful practices that hurt fans as well as the artists themselves.  As just one illustration, resale ticket prices at StubHub alone have increased over 100% since…[more]

September 26, 2023 • 07:25 PM

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LightSquared Imbroglio – “Fast and Furious” Doesn’t Just Describe One Obama Administration Scandal Anymore Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, September 22 2011
So now we have a LightSquared scandal that not only suggests pay-for-play within the Obama Administration, but also implicates American national security.

Supposedly scandal-free, the Obama Administration suddenly has three. 

First came “Operation Fast and Furious.” 

The Obama Administration notoriously disfavors the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms when it comes to actual American citizens.  Yet somehow, it determined in its wisdom that funneling thousands of firearms toward weapons traffickers and murderous Mexican drug cartels was a brilliant idea.  So in 2009, Obama’s Justice Department began saturating the market with guns in the belief that they could keep track of them for later use against international crime syndicates.  Predictably, hundreds of weapons quickly disappeared into the vapor and were later used in violent crimes on both sides of the border.  Tragically, one or more of them were even discovered at the murder scene of U.S. border agent Brian Terry. 

The deadly incompetence of “Fast and Furious” is nothing short of despicable.  To this day, however, the Obama Administration has not provided a full accounting and the scandal festers. 

Then came the Solyndra scandal. 

There, the Obama Administration recklessly steered over half a billion taxpayer dollars toward a California solar panel manufacturer as part of its “green jobs” and “stimulus” boondoggles, despite alarm from officials evaluating the company’s finances.  Obama himself publicly held Solyndra up as symbolic of his larger economic agenda, and Joe Biden said the venture was “what the Recovery Act was all about.”  Well, today Solyndra lies bankrupt and over 1,000 more Americans are unemployed.  Worse, Solyndra is now the subject of FBI and Congressional investigations, following allegations that its investors misled federal auditors and used political donations to obtain the Obama Administration’s support.  

Here’s another interesting angle to the Solyndra scandal.  Remember the Chrysler and General Motors bailouts, when the Obama Administration disregarded the contractual rights of private secured creditors in favor of labor unions?  Well, in the case of Solyndra, private creditors who had donated to Obama’s 2008 campaign received guaranteed priority payback over other creditors, i.e., taxpayers who are on the hook for the loan guarantee, who preceded them.  Are we to believe that was mere coincidence? 

Now, we have LightSquared. 

If you haven’t yet heard the name, LightSquared is a communications company that seeks to operate a cellular network using wireless spectrum that sits next to global positioning system (GPS) bandwidth.  According to military and civilian experts, LightSquared’s signals would possess five billion times the strength of GPS signals and, as a result, would interfere with GPS functioning.  According to such experts, LightSquared’s signals would thereby jeopardize a broad array of commercial and military activities such as air travel, automobile navigation systems and smart bombs. 

That’s where things really become suspicious. 

The Obama White House now faces allegations that it sought to pressure U.S. Air Force General William Shelton into minimizing his concerns and supporting LightSquared during Congressional testimony.  General Shelton resisted, and maintained his original testimony that, “Based on the test results and analysis to date, the LightSquared network would effectively jam vital GPS receivers.”  He added, “And to our knowledge thus far, there are no mitigation options that would be effective in eliminating interference to essential GPS services in the United States.” 

Additionally, one of LightSquared’s primary shareholders is a man named Phil Falcone, who has donated significant amounts to Democratic political organizations and paid visits to the Obama White House.  After LightSquared highlighted its investors’ fundraising on behalf of Obama and Democratic causes in emails to federal officials, the company received what the National Legal and Policy Center labeled “a highly unusual waiver that allows the company to build out a national 4G wireless network on the cheap.” 

In a strange attempt to defend LightSquared’s behavior, Mr. Falcone offered a rationale that should only raise even more concern.  “How LightSquared operated, and how LightSquared will continue to operate, is not different than what everybody else does,” he said. 

LightSquared CEO Sunjiv Ahuja’s defense was just as strange, essentially blaming everyone else.  According to The Washington Times, Ahuja “said GPS receivers should have been better designed to eliminate interference from neighboring areas of the spectrum, adding that the industry’s response had been ‘very disappointing and in many ways irresponsible.’” 

So now we have a LightSquared scandal that not only suggests pay-for-play within the Obama Administration, but also implicates American national security. 

Just last month, American University professor Allan Lichtman applied his political prediction formula to announce that Obama would coast to reelection in 2012.  According to U.S. News & World Report, one of Lichtman’s key factors was “the scandal-free nature of his administration,” and he boasted, “Even if I am being conservative, I don’t see how Obama can lose.” 

With the Obama Administration facing three alarming scandals, it appears that Professor Lichtman’s bold prediction was also a bit careless and premature.  Or, stated another way, a bit too “fast and furious.” 

Notable Quote   
"The Biden administration recently issued yet another outlandish immigration action, but most Americans likely did not realize it. I'm talking about the Department of Homeland Security's decision to extend and 'redesignate' Temporary Protected Status for more than 700,000 illegal aliens from Venezuela that the Biden administration has already allowed into the U.S. For many Americans, this may sound…[more]
— Chad Wolf, Former Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Executive Director of the Center for Homeland Security & Immigration at the America First Policy Institute
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