Commentary

Bernie’s bill to break up big banks

May 7, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation Blog
by George Zornick  

"Senator Bernie Sanders announced legislation Wednesday that would break up the country’s largest financial institutions. It’s the third time he’s introduced such a measure, but this time around he wields the large microphone of a presidential candidate. The bill, titled the 'Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act,' will also be introduced in the House by Representatives Brad Sherman and Alan Grayson. If passed, it would require regulators at the Financial Stability Oversight Council to come up with a list of too-big-to-fail institutions whose failure would threaten the economy. One year later, those banks would be broken up by the secretary of the Treasury. Sure to be included on that list, based on the standards outlined in the legislation, would be JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley." (05/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kzmvr4k  

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New defense guidelines with Japan threaten US confrontation with China

May 7, 2015
posted by

Doug Bandow Cato Institute
by Doug Bandow  

"[T]he new rules build on the Obama administration's explicit promise to defend Tokyo's contested territorial claims, most importantly the Senkakus/Diaoyus. For instance, Obama declared that, 'our treaty commitment to Japan's security is absolute, and that Article 5 covers all territories under Japan's administration, including Senkaku Islands.' U.S. forces will be drawn into the islands' defense. According to the document, 'If the need arises, the Self-Defense Forces will conduct operations to retake an island.' The SDF would, of course, expect American support. Japanese and U.S. authorities also are discussing mounting joint air patrols to the edge of the East China Sea and into the South China Sea." (05/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pwnmd7k  

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University of Minnesota chills speech via “Charlie Hebdo” flyer investigation

May 7, 2015
posted by

Susan Kruth Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Susan Kruth  

"After sponsoring an event focused on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the aftermath of the tragic attack on the publication's staff in January, the University of Minnesota's (UMN's) College of Liberal Arts (CLA) was investigated by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) for flyers promoting the event. The flyers featured a reproduction of the cover of the first Charlie Hebdo edition published following the attack with the word 'censored' stamped over it. Eight individuals filed a complaint with EOAA, and approximately 260 people signed a petition calling the flyer design 'very offensive.' Both groups included students, staff members, and non-community members. After an investigation, the flyers were determined not to have violated university policy, but the community’s response to the flyers nevertheless demonstrates misunderstandings about freedom of expression and the interests at stake." (05/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kogmkrd  

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Greenpeace should be allowed to say it, even if they’re wrong

May 7, 2015
posted by

Tim Worstall Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall  

"That Greenpeace are wrong is something we've proven here and elsewhere before. However, there is that free speech issue. And as we say, we don't think that such speech should be banned." (05/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nb86t9o  

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A new formula for a real Democrat majority

May 7, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Stanley Greenberg  

"What is the biggest obstacle to Democrats truly winning a national election and pursuing a progressive agenda? What is the biggest obstacle to Democrats winning big enough, geographically broad enough, and deep enough to overcome the constitutional barriers to a governing majority in America? I posed that first question in The American Prospect in a piece titled 'From Crisis to Working Majority,' which I wrote at the time Bill Clinton was preparing to run for president." (05/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n892seq  

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“Perfect competition” and antitrust

May 7, 2015
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Thibault Schrepel  

"Instead of aiming at preserving a specific structure of the market regulators should be seeking to get out of the way of new technology breakthroughs. Yet, antitrust authorities often favor 'sustaining innovations' over new disruptive ones. For instance, when the European Commission ruled that Microsoft must ensure that its products were broadly compatible with other products in the market, the Commission was simply seeking to sustain the current market that exists rather than facilitating the creation of new markets and new products." (05/06/15)

https://mises.org/library/perfect-competition-and-antitrust  

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Surprising no one, big government union wants state to spend more

May 6, 2015
posted by

Show-Me Institute Show-Me Institute
by John Wright  

"The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 72 (AFSCME), a big government union representing various health, service, and maintenance personnel employed by the state government, is complaining about state employee compensation. The claim that Missouri ranks 50th for state worker pay is at the crux of their argument. This point is wildly misleading. Missouri has nearly the lowest cost of living in the country. Each dollar I spend in Missouri goes quite a bit further than it would in a high cost-of-living state, such as California or Maryland. ... A better way to determine whether state employees are underpaid would be to compare state employee compensation with the pay of people performing similar jobs in the private sector." (05/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/phtjpbg  

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American Jesus

May 6, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Pat Bagley  

Cartoon. (05/06/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/05/american-jesus/  

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Would financial crisis have happened if women ran Wall Street?

May 6, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Danny Vinik  

"At the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday, Institute for New Economic Thinking hosted a conference on the health of the financial system in the aftermath of the Great Recession. The event brought together some of the most important people in finance: academic experts and financial regulators who are well-known throughout the industry. They had disparate views of regulatory policies implemented by governments during the past few years. Maybe the one thing they all shared in common: They were all women." (05/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k5tall4  

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The rise in unrest

May 6, 2015
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"On Monday, pushing an expansion of his 'My Brother's Keeper' initiative, President Barack Obama gave a talk about the recent rise in racial discord. Does he ever ask himself, 'Under whose watch?' When the financial system melted down in 2008, candidate Obama -- not without some justification -- blamed President Bush and the Republicans. Why shouldn't he and his party be today held somewhat responsible for rising racial unrest?" (05/06/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/05/06/the-rise-in-unrest/  

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The tyranny of one man’s opinion

May 6, 2015
posted by

Andrew P. Napolitano Tenth Amendment Center
by Andrew P Napolitano  

"Thomas Cromwell was the principal behind-the-scenes fixer for much of the reign of King Henry VIII. He engineered the interrogations, convictions and executions of many whom Henry needed out of the way, including his two predecessors as fixer and even the king's second wife, Queen Anne. When Cromwell's son, Gregory, who became sickened as he watched his father devolving from counselor to monster, learned that an executioner for the queen had been sent for from France a week before her conviction, he asked his father what the purpose of her trial was if the king had preordained the queen's guilt and prepaid the executioner. Cromwell replied that the king needed a jury to give legitimacy to her conviction and prevent the public perception of 'the tyranny of one man's opinion.'" (05/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ogrh6b9  

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Libertarianism for and against war

May 6, 2015
posted by

Cory Massimino Antiwar.com
by Cory Massimino  

"War requires aggression. It's simply irresponsible to speak of war without innocent casualties. Given the weapons, tactics, and scale of modern warfare, civilians are inevitably put in harm's way. To separate modern warfare from innocent deaths seems to rely on an unrealistic conception of how war actually is in the real world. The notion of 'defensive war' is long outdated. All wars are aggressive. Even ones that are supposedly fought in response to some sort of aggression end up killing innocents." (05/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qxmt43q  

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Florida’s financial health care follies, and a problem with a part-time legislature

May 6, 2015
posted by

Randall Holcombe Independent Institute
by Randall Holcombe  

"Florida has been receiving about $1.3 billion a year in a Low Income Pool (LIP) grant from the federal government to help offset the costs hospitals incur from uninsured patients. The Obama administration is replacing LIP funding with Medicaid grants to states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act. Florida has not expanded its Medicaid program, so the Obama administration says it will not get the Medicaid money nor the LIP funding. The Senate wants to expand Medicaid and get the federal money. The House does not want the Medicaid expansion. There's the impasse. Meanwhile, Governor Rick Scott is suing the federal government to get the LIP money restored, claiming that the federal government is using the threat of funding cuts in order to try to force the state to expand a program it does not want to expand." (05/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pu68dxs  

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Good news (sort of) out of Texas

May 6, 2015
posted by

H Sterling Burnett Competitive Enterprise Institute
by H Sterling Burnett  

"How long does a state have to subsidize an industry before it has to stand on it own -- evidently 15 years is the limit in Texas, as the state is on its way to repealing its renewable energy mandate. Texas's renewable power mandate has been around since 1999, offered in order to get certain legislators and politically connected industries to buy into the 1999 legislation which established competitive electric markets in the state." (05/05/15)

http://blog.heartland.org/2015/05/good-news-sort-of-out-of-texas/  

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Child fears violence from cops more than criminals

May 6, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Linn Washington Jr.  

"The conversation was with my 11-year-old grandson, who himself was seething from what he saw going on in Baltimore. My grandson told me he was mad ... mad because police 'keep killing black men.' When I probed further into his anger he said he feared for his own life -- not because of what might happen when he gets older but because of what could happen even now if he encountered a police officer. 'I'm scared Pop Pop,' he confided. 'I'm scared that police might hurt me. I'm scared because police don't know how to control themselves!'" (05/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o2k5c69  

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The curious case of the pro-gun cop apologist

May 6, 2015
posted by

Christopher Cantwell ChristopherCantwell.com
by Christopher Cantwell  

"Imagine if you will, a mass movement of people with political views that oppose a particular set of laws. Picture this mass movement vehemently opposing any political actor who sought to pass these laws, by donating money, volunteering, and spreading information on social media. Conjure the image in your mind of these people publicly rallying outside a legislative building, threatening insurrection if such laws are passed. Then picture them heaping praise on those who enforce the laws, once the laws pass. That's the conservative relationship with gun control in America today." (05/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n8jase8  

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We need to talk about the economy

May 6, 2015
posted by

spiked spiked
by Phil Mullan  

"The state is propping up a zombie economy. Why isn't this an election issue?" (05/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/osm8lv8  

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You just think that because you’re white

May 6, 2015
posted by

Jason Brennan Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jason Brennan  

"The not-so-serious academic crowds aren't big on data, reason, or arguments. But they're fond of accusations. One of their favorite rhetorical tools is to say, 'Oh, you just think that because you're white, or a male, or whatnot.' Introductory critical reasoning textbooks might call that an ad hominem fallacy. And no doubt many in the not-so-serious disciplines haven't learned elementary critical reasoning. (Indeed, it's rumored that Copi, Cohen, and McMahan's textbook burns post-modernists' skin the same way holy water burns vampires.) But, not so fast. It's at least possible that such claims -- e.g., 'You're into free markets because you're white' -- are true. If we're serious people, we'd want to test such claims, using proper social scientific methods." (05/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ofk72zo  

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Freedom Feens Radio, 05/06/15

May 6, 2015
posted by

Freedom Feens Freedom Feens Radio
by  

"MK Lords yaks with Michael W. Dean, Dan Greene and Caity Greene from the future about minimum wage disasters, how the National Health will slay you with its death panels, why old people rock, drunken Scottish proto-FeenPhoner Alexander Graham Bell, and why Michael W. Dean is on radio to contact aliens." [Flash audio or MP3] (05/06/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lfyj73c  

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The absurdity of criminalizing drug use

May 6, 2015
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Joe Szymanski  

"Statists put forth some fairly ridiculous arguments regarding why the state must exist in the first place, from regulating simple business transactions to policing what we do in our personal lives. Out of all the regulations state-supporters say are 'necessary,' the criminalization of drug use is the most detestable. People partake in many sordid vices, but drug use is without a doubt one of the most heavily-prosecuted." (05/05/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/37182  

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Merchants of hate

May 6, 2015
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"Neoconservative ideologue Jamie Kirchick says Pamela Geller, the well-known anti-Muslim demagogue, is an 'embarrassment.' 'She's what you would get,' he writes, 'if Fran Drescher and the late ultranationalist anti-Arab rabbi-turned-political leader Meir Kahane reproduced.' But why is Kirchick embarrassed? After all, what has Geller to do with him? The answer is that Geller says what he and his 'respectable' confreres over at National Review, the Weekly Standard and Commentary magazine only dare to imply, and she says it loudly, braying her bigotry without regard for facts or fashion. She's the neocons' portrait of Dorian Gray, sitting up in the attic hidden from the world, but now it's coming down the stairs -- and that's embarrassing for the Park Avenue neocons who wrinkle their noses at the brazen ugliness of her pronouncements, which so perfectly reflect their own worldview." (05/06/15)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015/05/05/merchants-of-hate/  

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Yes, Mitt, we have mass incarceration in America

May 6, 2015
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp  

"Two million Americans, give or take, are at any moment actually behind bars. Some polemicists highlight this figure as 'the biggest per capita prison population in the world.' I don't know if they're right (official figures from, say, North Korea are naturally suspect), but they've definitely got a case. 92% of Americans accused of crimes accept 'plea bargains,' admit to lesser charges, and forgo their right to trial in return for lighter sentences. 6% go to trial and are convicted. 2% go to trial and are acquitted. The Mitt Romneys -- and, not so long ago, the Bill Clintons -- of the world refer euphemistically to this system as 'rule of law.' The rest of us refer to it as 'government gone wild.'" (05/05/15)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/1295  

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“Safe-space” America dangerous to dissenters

May 6, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Kirsten Powers  

"Christina Hoff Sommers has been speaking on college campuses for two decades challenging students to embrace what she calls 'equity feminism' over 'gender feminism.' In her view, the former is focused on legal equality between men and women, the latter on disempowering women by portraying them as perpetual victims of the patriarchy. This heretical view now requires campus security. Prior to a mid-April lecture at Georgetown University, the American Enterprise Institute scholar was deemed a 'rape apologist' by campus feminists for challenging statistics that she says overstate the rate of rape on campus. 'The postings were so frantic that Georgetown sent undercover security into the audience,' Sommers told me." (05/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kwxqfhw  

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Because freedom

May 6, 2015
posted by

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan  

"Lately I've heard libertarians ridiculed because their argument against some law boils down to, 'Because freedom.' Why shouldn't we have inheritance taxes? Because freedom. Why shouldn't we ban handguns? Because freedom. Why shouldn't we have an affirmative consent standard for rape? Because freedom. The ridicule is often unfair on its own terms. There are consequentialist arguments for these libertarian positions, if you care to listen. Still, critics correctly sense that even self-styled consequentialist libertarians have a strong pro-freedom, anti-government presumption." (05/05/15)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/05/because_freedom_1.html  

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Should Americans join a military with a reckless commander-in-chief?

May 6, 2015
posted by

Doug Bandow Cato Institute
by Doug Bandow  

"Michael Huckabee is right. Americans should consider the commander-in-chief before joining the military. Unfortunately for Huckabee, if they do they will disqualify him and most of the other presidential contenders." (05/05/15)

http://bit.ly/1EdyFeo  

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