Commentary

Evil “House of Cards” characters are too competent to be believable

February 11, 2014
posted by

Gene Healy Reason
by Gene Healy  

"It's hardly a flattering portrait of the political animal -- so why are D.C.'s political animals so crazy about the show? It can't be HoC's devotion to cinematic realism. The show gets so many things wrong about politics that at times it's like watching a police procedural written by somebody who didn't bother talking to any cops. At the start of Season One, Frank Underwood is a contender for secretary of state; by Season Two, he's maneuvered himself 'a heartbeat away' from the presidency." (02/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nzopqtr  

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Obama major regulations 29% higher than Bush

February 11, 2014
posted by

OpenMarket.org
by Wayne Crews  

"President George W. Bush averaged 63 major rules per year during his eight years in office; Obama’s five years so far have averaged 81. President Obama has talked about regulatory lookbacks and reducing regulation in his executive orders on the topic, but his major rulemakings average 29 percent higher than Bush. The rise isn’t much of a surprise in the wake of the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are becoming increasingly active in terms of major rules." (02/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pzssqon  

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Corporate tax reform: California points the way?

February 11, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Bill Parks  

"The arcane, outdated and inefficient U.S. corporate tax code is costing our country jobs, factories, industries and tens of billions of dollars of badly-needed tax revenue each year. Our tax system is supposedly based on the idea that U.S. companies should pay taxes on all profits, no matter where they are earned. Yet this is undermined when companies are allowed to 'defer' taxes on profits made in other countries until those funds are repatriated to the United States." (02/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m9ryhwx  

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Gobbled by the blob

February 11, 2014
posted by

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Lori Heine  

"How does one begin to make sense out of the gooey, smelly mess that is today’s Republican Party? My question must be accompanied by a confession. I recently joined the GOP for the very purpose of screwing it up. I wanted to cause even more chaos within it, or at least my own local corner of it. But my purpose was not to do it harm, but to do it good. I hoped that the chaos to which I contributed would be creative, not destructive." (02/11/14)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1204  

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A lie can be half way around the world before the truth has got its boots on

February 11, 2014
posted by

Tim Worstall Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall  

"The lunar soil may indeed be rich in rare earths: I have no idea myself but it could be. However, absolutely no one, ever, is going to try and mine rare earths on hte Moon and then return them to Earth. It simply isn't going to happen. What I think has happened here is that people have absorbed the stories of the past few years about impending shortages of the rare earths. All that stuff about China reducing exports of these metals so vital to modern electronics. And thus there's a feeling that any deposit of them, even somewhere as inaccessible as the surface of the Moon, must be something that people would want to exploit." [editor's note: "Ever" is a long, long time. I expect that rare earths will be a reasonably important lunar export within 100 years, possibly within 50 - TLK] (02/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p99wtw4  

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Krugman: “Why aren’t wages going up?”

February 11, 2014
posted by

Independent Institute Independent Institute
by J. Huston McCulloch  

"Krugman’s elementary error is that he fails to realize that market wages result from the interaction of both supply and demand for labor: If supply falls while demand remains constant (that is, if the supply schedule shifts to the left while the demand schedule remains unmoved), equilibrium wages will rise. However, if both schedules shift an equal distance to the left, the equilibrium wage will be unchanged, and if demand shifts by more than supply, equilibrium wages will actually fall." (02/11/14)

http://blog.independent.org/2014/02/11/why-arent-wages-going-up/  

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JM Keynes: The damage still done by a defunct economist

February 11, 2014
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by Richard Ebeling  

"It would, of course, be an exaggeration to claim that without Keynes and the Keynesian revolution inflation, deficit spending, and interventionism would not have occurred. For decades before the appearance of Keynes’s book, the political and ideological climate had been shifting toward ever-greater government involvement in social and economic affairs, due to the growing influence of collectivist ideas among intellectuals and policy-makers in Europe and America. But before the appearance of 'The General Theory,' many of the advocates of such collectivist policies had to get around the main body of economic thinking which still argued that in general the best course was for government to keep its hands off the market, maintain a stable currency backed by gold, and restrain its own taxing and spending policies." (02/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nvnacav  

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Will no one challenge Obama’s executive orders?

February 11, 2014
posted by

Ron Paul Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul  

"President Obama’s state of the union pledge to 'act with or without Congress' marks a milestone in presidential usurpation of Congressional authority. Most modern presidents have used executive orders to change and even create laws without Congressional approval. However President Obama is unusually brazen, in that most Presidents do not brag about their plans to rule by executive order in state of the union speeches. Sadly, his pledge to use his pen to implement laws and polices without the consent of Congress not only received thunderous applause from representatives of the president’s party, some representatives have even pledged to help Obama get around Congress by providing him with ideas for executive orders." (02/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k3kjjxr  

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If you’re reading this, you’re probably a terrorist

February 11, 2014
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"All the high-level 'counter-terrorism' legislation passed after 9/11 was justified at the time by the urgent need to stop anyone from ever again crashing a jet plane into a skyscraper, spreading anthrax or setting off a 'dirty bomb' in a major city. These were supposedly extraordinary powers granted only to counter extraordinary dangers, never to be used by law enforcement against ordinary crimes. But when has the state ever promised that and kept its word? The Espionage and Sedition Acts passed during World War I were accompanied by similar assurances that they wouldn’t be used to suppress ordinary dissent and political debate -- and wound up being used as grounds for mass arrests of I.W.W. and Socialist Party members and public critics of the war. So here we are." (02/10/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/24480  

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MyRA will leave America poorer

February 11, 2014
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Mark A. Calabria  

"President Barack Obama recently unveiled MyRA, a savings plan to allow Americans without employer-provided retirement accounts to invest in U.S. government bonds. His desire to improve the public’s meager personal savings rate of around 4 percent is laudable, but MyRA misses the mark. In fact, it pushes investors toward what is basically a government-run Ponzi scheme." (02/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pda3ydb  

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It’s time to grill the Federal Reserve about Bitcoin

February 11, 2014
posted by

Reason Reason
by Ira Stoll  

"The cashless economy, once a techno-utopian dream, is now approaching reality. Even Hillary Clinton’s spokesman Philippe Reines was recently quoted about how he hadn’t withdrawn any cash from the bank since June 2012. There are a whole variety of ways that Yell[e]n may want to break with Bernanke’s legacy at the Fed. But one point where continuity might inspire confidence would be if she were to convey that she shares his view that digital currency is a potentially promising development rather than a dangerous threat to the dollar’s monopoly." (02/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qz3zb8o  

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Practical vs. moral objections to open borders

February 11, 2014
posted by

Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jason Brennan  

"When choosing among institutions or policies in the real world, we of course have to take into account compliance issues. Will people go along with the rules? Will they try to take advantage of them, or use the institutions to harm others, or rebel against the rules? But there’s a difference between A) people are rebelling against the rules because the rules are unjust vs. B) people are rebelling against the rules because they, the people, are unjust." (02/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/plg6h3k  

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ABC News reports on guns mislead Americans

February 11, 2014
posted by

Fox News Forum
by John Lott  

"Gun control advocates not only push new fees and taxes on guns to reduce ownership, but they also employ another tactic: scaring people into not owning guns. Last week, on January 31, ABC News saturated its news programs with the alleged danger of gun ownership." (02/07/14)

http://tinyurl.com/obph96g  

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On the loss of a friend

February 11, 2014
posted by

The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith  

"My old friend Ambrose has died. I don't suppose this really concerns anybody but me, but it's my way of dealing with a surprisingly painful event, so please bear with me." (02/10/14)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2014/tle757-20140209-02.html  

1 Comment »

Chattanooga showdown

February 11, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Harold Meyerson  

"This week -- from Wednesday through Friday -- employees at Volkswagen’s factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee may well make history. Actually, they may make it twice. If a majority of the roughly 1,500 workers vote to recognize the United Auto Workers as their union, their plant will become the first unionized auto factory in the South. It will also become the first American workplace of any kind to have a 'works council' -- a consultative body of employees who regularly meet with management to jointly develop policy on such work-related issues as shifts, the best way to use new machinery, and kindred concerns." [editor's note: Somewhere a Wobblie founder is cheering and smiling! - SAT] (02/10/14)

http://prospect.org/article/chattanooga-showdown  

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The not-so-secret Ukraine phone call

February 11, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Bob Dreyfuss  

"Rarely has the sheer arrogance and manipulative game-playing of the United States in foreign policy been more clearly highlighted than in the recent episode involving a phone call between Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey R. Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine. In a stunning development, the entirety of the Nuland-Pyatt telephone call was taped and then released on YouTube, possibly as the result of a Russian intelligence coup or, less dramatically, by a snooper somewhere in Europe or Ukraine who managed to gain access to a crystal-clear, high-definition recording of their talk." (02/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o7ppo3w  

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Will the federal government turn a profit on risk corridors? That can be stopped.

February 11, 2014
posted by

Independent Institute Independent Institute
by John R. Graham  

"I have written twice about the 'risk corridors' in Obamacare’s health-insurance exchanges. The first post described how risk corridors will work in the exchanges. Risk corridors exist for three years and are designed to partially immunize insurers from losing money in the exchanges. Recently, the risk corridors have been described as a 'bailout,' especially by Republicans who seek to have them repealed. The political goal is to discourage insurers from continuing to participate in exchanges in 2015, thereby further weakening and crippling Obamacare." (02/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oym67a6  

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While we watch with our eyes tightly closed

February 11, 2014
posted by

Idaho Liberty
by Ted Dunlap  

"I’m not going to list the litany of problems with GMO. Since you are here, I’ll figure you have a pretty good idea of the depth and breadth of their toxicity to the people and planet. The point I’m struck with, sticking with, is the revolving door connecting the ruling elite with the corporations poisoning our environment." (02/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l8ywsjv  

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The art of American scaremongering

February 11, 2014
posted by

Philip Giraldi Antiwar.com
by Philip Giraldi  

"Whenever one needs a good laugh there is almost always an obliging politician who can come up with something that makes the rest of us smile. Michigan Republican Mike Rogers, frequently noted scowling with a face radiating hostility that could curdle milk, chairs the House Intelligence Committee. He is much given to finding enemies under every rock and is not normally a laugh-a-minute type of guy, but he does have his moments." (02/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lzca5zo  

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You like tax credits — why don’t we?

February 11, 2014
posted by

Hawaii Reporter
by Tom Yamachika  

"Solar and wind energy system owners, movie and TV producers, the impoverished, those who hire workers in certain zones, those who buy durable goods to use in a business. These seemingly disparate groups have something in common, though: they are all beneficiaries of tax credits. Those who seek to enlarge or expand those credits at the legislature frequently find the Tax Foundation opposed. Why is that?" (02/10/14)

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/you-like-tax-credits-why-dont-we  

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Curbing Leviathan series: Defeating the Redflex pirates

February 11, 2014
posted by

Zero Gov Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert  

"Today marks the first day the red light piracy goes live in Sierra Vista, Arizona. The Redflex pirates have invaded the little burg of Sierra Vista, Arizona and red light cameras are springing up in a little town in the same state that kicked them off the state payroll after allegations of bribery, fixing and corruption by the Governor." (02/10/14)

http://zerogov.com/?p=3259  

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The synthesis of rights and consequences

February 11, 2014
posted by

Libertarianism.org
by  

"Tom Palmer joins Aaron and Trevor for a discussion on the two most common philosophical justifications for libertarianism." [Flash audio or MP3] (02/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ovjogm4  

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Slaying straw Austrians

February 11, 2014
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"Hayek and Mises were certainly not New Dealers. But for Mr. Dionne to caricature their warning that freedom cannot survive if the economy becomes overwhelmingly politicized as a claim that the slightest bit of politicization is 'objectively comparable' to Nazism and Soviet communism is absurd." (02/10/14)

http://cafehayek.com/2014/02/slaying-straw-austrians.html  

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End of the line for the welfare state?

February 11, 2014
posted by

LewRockwell.Com
by Patrick J. Buchanan  

"The Congressional Budget Office did not exactly say Obamacare would cost the nation 2.5 million jobs. But what it did say is vindication of what conservatives have preached since Barry Goldwater stood in the pulpit 50 years ago: The more liberal the welfare state, the greater the disincentive to work and the more ruinous the impact upon a nation’s work ethic. The CBO has just given us a statistical measure of that truth." (02/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mwj83k4  

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Endangered species, private property and the American bison

February 11, 2014
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Benjamin M. Wiegold  

"In a recent move that is likely to come as a surprise to many animal lovers around the world, the South African government is asking the international community to legalize the rhino horn trade as a means to save the animal and to fight poaching. The justification for this is clear: by banning the sale of the horns and thus making them less available, the price for them has gone through the roof, creating incredible monetary incentives for poachers. Meanwhile, the rhino has been stripped of a major source of its value in legal markets, which has caused private owners of rhinos to question the profitability of providing heavily for the animal’s security." (02/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ly8t3mo  

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