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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Barack Obama’s Increasingly Reckless Habit: Speak First, Get the Facts Later Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, July 30 2009
“If you have health insurance, and you like it, and you have a doctor that you like, then you can keep it. Period.”

When you’re the President of the United States, you must select your words wisely.

As the leader of the most powerful nation in human history, a President’s careless statements can jar markets, reorder international relations and even trigger global conflict.

Perilously, Barack Obama has demonstrated an increasingly frequent habit of making reckless comments without first marshalling the critical facts.

The world received an early warning of Obama’s carelessness during the 2008 campaign, after Russia brazenly attacked Georgia, its former captive state. In a troubling display of his naïveté, Obama suggested a moral equivalence between invader and victim by recasting Russia’s invasion as an “outbreak of violence in Georgia” and urging restraint by both parties:

“I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict. Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full-scale war.”

Imagine for a moment President Franklin Roosevelt advising similar “restraint” from both Poland and Germany in 1939.

The potential consequences of this sort of negligence are obvious, particularly during a period in which nuclear-armed and increasingly thuggish Russia seeks to reassert its international dominance. North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, and Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, partially as a consequence of perceived White House ambivalence, so the risks and historical lessons are clear.

Unfortunately, Obama’s tendency to speak recklessly has only seemed to intensify since assuming office in January. In the past month alone, he has shot from the hip in a manner that will inevitably lead to tragic consequences if he does not correct his tendency soon.

The most familiar example of Obama’s carelessness occurred when he inserted himself into the Cambridge, Massachusetts arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates.

During a July 21 press conference, Obama was asked about the inflammatory incident. After admitting twice that he was unfamiliar with the surrounding facts, he could have diplomatically relented. Instead, Obama ignorantly stated that Sgt. James Crowley acted “stupidly.” Since that evening, a cascade of new information, including statements from the African-American officer accompanying Sgt. Crowley at the scene, establishes that the only people who acted “stupidly” were Professor Gates and Barack Obama himself.

While that gaffe drew the most media attention, Obama also reverted to his habit of speaking without the critical facts on much more consequential matters. Namely, regarding the healthcare system on which our very lives and well-being depend.

During that July 21 press conference, Obama appointed himself arbiter of what surgeries and medical procedures are justifiable, despite his conspicuous lack of a medical degree. Broadly slurring ear, nose and throat surgeons, Obama appallingly suggested that they base surgical decisions on naked profit motive:

“Right now, doctors, a lot of times, are forced to make decisions based on the fee payment schedule that’s out there. So if your child has a bad sore throat, or has repeated sore throats, the doctor may look at the reimbursement system and say to himself, ‘You know what? I make a lot more money if I take this kid’s tonsils out.’ Now, that may be the right thing to do. But I’d rather have that doctor making those decisions just based on whether you really need your kid’s tonsils out or whether it might make more sense just to change – maybe they have allergies.”

The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) hastily corrected the record, noting that tonsillectomies often save money:

“The AAO-HNS is disappointed by the President’s portrayal of the decisionmaking process by the physicians who perform these surgeries. In many cases, tonsillectomy may be a more effective treatment, and less costly, than prolonged or repeated treatments for an infected throat.”

Frighteningly, this wasn’t the worst of Obama’s gaffes.

While campaigning this month in favor of his proposed governmental healthcare overhaul, Obama promised unequivocally that his plan would not under any circumstances interfere with people’s preferred private insurance plans:

“If you have health insurance, and you like it, and you have a doctor that you like, then you can keep it. Period.”

While participating in a teleconference with friendly left-wing bloggers, however, Obama made a glaring admission. One blogger from Maine quoted an Investor’s Business Daily article, which claimed that Section 102 of the House’s proposed healthcare legislation would outlaw private insurance. The blogger asked, “Is this true? Will people be able to keep their insurance and will insurers be able to write new policies even though H.R. 3200 is passed?” In response, Obama disturbingly admitted, “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you’re talking about.”

Had Obama bothered to actually read the legislation before using his celebrated powers of personal persuasion to soothe the public, he would have realized that Section 102 does precisely that. Under the bill, only those plans that a new federal bureaucracy approves as a qualifying “exchange-participating health benefit plan” would survive.

The implications of Obama’s habit of speaking before he masters the facts are ominous.

Whether on the international stage, or with regard to domestic issues that affect our lives, health and prosperity, someone in the White House had better have a stern discussion with Obama’s teleprompter before he triggers a much more catastrophic gaffe.

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
Liberty Poll   

Should any sitting president publicly pick either side in a private labor dispute?