File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
April Fools' Day Four Days Late? Google Objects to OpenAI Using YouTube to Train Its Own Generator

File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up."

Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools' Day headline, in fact.  Google, with its deep history of scraping and scanning other sources' substantive content for its own uses, now objects to OpenAI using YouTube content to train its text-to-video generator:

The use of YouTube videos to train OpenAI’s text-to-video generator would be an infraction of the platform's terms of service, YouTube Chief Executive Officer Neal Mohan said."

Optimists might hope that Google is finally recognizing and preparing to correct its wayward course, while realists and cynics will roll their eyes at what they'll label naivete.  As the old adage goes, however, "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future," so we'll maintain hope.…[more]

April 05, 2024 • 05:09 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
2016: Obama's Presidency Has Decimated His Own Party Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, March 26 2015
That state of affairs is the direct consequence of Obama's own behavior and choices as president.

Barack Obama has undermined American interests in innumerable ways during his presidency, both domestically and abroad. 

As we detailed last week, one cannot identify a single important theater of the globe in better condition today than when Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took office in 2009. 

Domestically, Obama's policies have caused the worst cyclical economic recovery in recorded U.S. history, amassed higher deficits and total debt than any administration in history, reduced voters' trust in the federal government to record lows and even worsened race relations. 

But as the 2016 election takes form, there is another underemphasized victim of Obama's presidency:  his own Democratic Party. 

A recent Washington Post interactive piece entitled "Watch America Drift More and More to the Right Since 2008" captures the degree to which Americans have rebuffed Obama's Democratic Party since his election: 

"Every year, Gallup provides an assessment of how Democratic and Republican states are, by subtracting the percentage that identifies with one party from the percentage that identifies with the other...  Since the dawn of the Obama era, the whole country has shifted to the right.  Literally every state but one is now more Republican than six years ago."

Perhaps nothing better illustrates that decline than the following dilemma:  Which should trigger greater fear among Democrats, that they're stuck with Hillary Clinton as their inevitable nominee, or the possibility that she opts not to run and they're stuck with someone else from an utterly unimpressive field? 

According to a new CBS News survey released this week, the prospects are increasingly ugly for Clinton: 

"More generally, 26 percent of Americans now have a favorable view of Hillary Clinton, while 37 percent view her unfavorably; another third are undecided or don't have an opinion of her.  As Clinton weighs a presidential bid, her favorable views are 12 points lower than they were in the fall of 2013, just months after leaving her position as Secretary of State...  More than 6 in 10 Americans do not think it was appropriate for Clinton to use a personal email address and server for work-related matters as Secretary of State." 

In addition to the latest batch of Clinton scandals, history also creates strong headwinds for Democrats in 2016. 

Specifically, only one president since Franklin Roosevelt has been so successful and popular that his party won a third consecutive White House term:  Ronald Reagan.  Moreover, as The Post highlighted, no Democrat who has served out his term was replaced by another Democrat since before Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president.  That was Martin Van Buren, who followed Andrew Jackson.  "Only twice since Lincoln," noted the Post, "has a Democrat replaced a Democrat at all:  Lyndon Johnson in 1963 and Harry Truman in 1945." 

Needless to say, Barack Obama hasn't enjoyed the type of successful presidency that Reagan, Roosevelt or even Jackson did. 

Meanwhile, the Republican Party during the Obama presidency has flourished in a manner not seen since the 1920s and possesses a deep bench of up-and-coming figures that Democrats simply cannot currently match. 

Under Obama's watch and due to voter revulsion toward his actions, Republicans recaptured the House of Representatives just two years after his historic election victory.  Democrats' hold of the Senate quickly decayed in similar fashion, starting with Scott Brown's unfathomable victory in capturing Ted Kennedy's seat.  Democrats' Senate numbers have declined in each election since 2008, and they now hold minority status.  Elsewhere across America, Republicans now hold more governorships and state legislative seats than at any point since the 1920s. 

As a result, Republicans possess an impressive field of prospective 2016 candidates.  That includes swing-state governors who won reelection by impressive margins last fall, as well as popular Senators who have established themselves as policy beacons on domestic and foreign policy. 

In contrast, Democrats currently appear stuck with an increasingly unpopular and tone-deaf Hillary Clinton, who always seems to possess all of her husband's controversy but none of his political talent.  If not Hillary, then who? 

That state of affairs is the direct consequence of Obama's own behavior and choices as president.  He ran as a moderate and conciliator, but he has governed in a ruthless, divisive, gratuitously petulant manner.  He has ignored constitutional limits and protocol, and persecuted America's friends while coddling those who wish us ill. 

Democrats have already paid a high electoral price.  As 2016 approaches and their options appear so limited, things may soon go from awful to worse. 

Notable Quote   
 
"'Don't,' President Joe Biden replied when asked for his message to Iran during a press conference Friday afternoon, followed by a lamentable 'showdown' glare. It was the second time he'd used the word in an attempt at dramatic understatement in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel. Vice President Kamala Harris has also used the line in interviews with the same cringey effect.But as the world…[more]
 
 
— Peter Laffin, a Contributor at the Washington Examiner
 
Liberty Poll   

Given dramatically escalating premiums for homeowner and vehicle insurance, do you believe that your state insurance officials are conscientiously regulating those inescapable costs?