Commentary

ObamaCare: Not as bad as it could have been, but still awful

March 26, 2015
posted by

Michael D. Tanner Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner  

"This may well reflect simple weariness with the issue. The law remains remarkably unpopular. The latest Real Clear Politics average of polls shows 52.5 percent opposed and 42 percent in favor. But much of the public appears to have settled for resigned grumpiness. After all, the worst news -- canceled policies, the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov -- is mostly in the past. Other expected problems have not come to pass just yet. On the other hand, supporters can point to little evidence of success beyond a modest increase in coverage and the fact that things haven't been as bad as they might have been." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/odv3nrt  

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My license plates, my free speech

March 26, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Ben Jones  

"A case before the Supreme Court has again brought the issue of the Confederate battle flag onto the public radar screen. At issue is whether a state-issued specialty license plate is an expression by the state government or by the individual who purchases it, and therefore protected by the First Amendment. Many legal experts believe the court will uphold the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor of the Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans to allow a specialty license plate that honors the heritage of those tens of millions of Americans whose ancestors fought for the Southern cause 150 years ago." (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nw6fhur  

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Why the army is charging Bowe Bergdahl with desertion

March 26, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by David A Graham  

"The justice system is complicated, but the military-justice system is another matter entirely. The vagaries of Army courts may help to explain why a general decided to charge Bowe Bergdahl with desertion on Wednesday. That choice seems pretty confusing: After all, why would the U.S. trade five high-value Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl, only to turn around several months later and accuse him of a major crime? ... But General Mark Milley, who made the call, may have had a restricted set of choices. While Bergdahl was in Taliban captivity, his term of enlistment expired, even though he remained on military rosters and was classified as being on active duty. As Military Times explained in December, that means the Army really had only two choices: either grant Bergdahl an honorable discharge, or else begin the procedure to court-martial him." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o4gar8t  

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The government’s fixation on spying and lying

March 26, 2015
posted by

Andrew P. Napolitano Antiwar.com
by Andrew P Napolitano  

"Think about it: The Israeli Mossad was spying on Kerry while the CIA was spying on the Mossad. Hillary Clinton thought she could destroy her emails just because she is Hillary Clinton, yet she forgot that the administration of which she was an integral part dispatched the NSA to spy on everyone, including her. And though it might not voluntarily release the emails she thought she destroyed, the NSA surely has them. The police have no hesitation about engaging in the same warrantless surveillance as the feds. And when Hayden revealed a cat-like smile on his face when challenged about the feds in our bedrooms, and the 10,000 folks in the audience did not reveal outrage, you know that government spying is so endemic today that it is almost the new normal." (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nk83s22  

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No, the college your kids go to won’t decide their destiny

March 26, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Rob Cox  

"New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, himself a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, thinks it’s time to take much of the anxiety out of the college admittance process. His new book, Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be, gives some pretty good reasons to relax, at least a little. Right now, letters from colleges are flooding into kitchens across America, crashing hopes and buoying dreams, but Bruni points out that of the 10 biggest U.S. companies, only one is led by an Ivy League graduate. Even looking at past presidents, Bruni argues, what people see is deceiving. Did Yale prepare the Bushes for the White House, or was Yale merely a stop on the way to destiny? He points out that George H.W. Bush’s father, Prescott, had already served in the Senate." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oxow5mb  

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Mandatory voting: A bad idea

March 26, 2015
posted by

Sheldon Richman Free Association
by Sheldon Richman  

"Having a right means you may freely decide to take -- or not take -- an action without forcible interference by anyone else, including people in the government. Your right to the car you bought signifies that you are free to use it peacefully -- or not. It makes no sense to say that your right to your car obligates you to use it or face punishment. Anyone who talks that way simply does not understand what a right is. A right, then, differs from an enforceable duty. The story is the same with voting. If one has a right to vote, the idea of making the exercise of that right mandatory is absurd." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pv6q6ss  

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Bad reporting about education harming schools & students

March 26, 2015
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"Be afraid, be very afraid, any time you see a reporter in the business media turn his or her attention to education and public schools. What will likely follow is a string of truisms used to prop up a specious argument, steeped in biased notions that were themselves picked up from ill-informed conversations promoted by other clueless business news outlets. All of this chatter would be something best to ignore were it not for the fact that reporters and pundits from these outlets are often raised to prominence, labeled as “experts,” and lionized by political leaders and policy makers, while real authorities on education are overlooked or completely drowned out in the babble." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pwobhmj  

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America’s aristocracy of privilege and power

March 26, 2015
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Daniel Bier  

"Bush, Kennedy, Romney, Clinton, and, yes, even Paul -- is it just a coincidence that the same names keep appearing on the ballots each election cycle? Are these families just innately talented legislators, naturally 'born to rule?' No, says economist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. America's lame political dynasties are the result of a political system rife with nepotism." (03/25/15)

http://fee.org/blog/detail/americas-aristocracy-of-privilege-and-power  

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Heartland Daily Podcast, 03/25/15

March 26, 2015
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by  

"In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, managing editor of Health Care News, Sean Parnell, talks with John R. Graham. Graham is a senior fellow in health care policy at the National Center for Policy Analysis. Graham and Parnell discuss the health care related impacts of the proposed GOP budget." [Flash video] (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ong5aqe  

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Middle Eastern barriers to an agile marketplace

March 26, 2015
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Salmaan A Khan  

"According to economic historian Timur Kuran, 'Around roughly the tenth century, the Middle East was an economically advanced region of the world, as measured by standard of living, technology, agricultural productivity, literacy or institutional creativity. Only China might have been more developed.' Today, however, the Middle East is a victim of historical legal impediments that increase time preference among consumers and investors, and which are fraught with failures to restructure Islamic legal code to fit for the numerous changes in the nature of commerce." (03/25/15)

http://mises.org/library/middle-eastern-barriers-agile-marketplace  

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Obamacare and its discontents

March 26, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by AW Gaffney  

"Promising new treatments and techonlogies abounded, but the rising cost of healthcare was squeezing the finances of families throughout the nation. A research group, the Committee on the Costs of Medical Care, was assembled to study, and perhaps change, healthcare financing and delivery in the United States. The year was 1927, but the Committee’s final report, released five years later, remains quite timely." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o2pgrcc  

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Venezuelan opposition mustn’t accept sanctions scapegoat

March 26, 2015
posted by

The Canal The Canal
by Gustavo Rojas Matute  

"Obama's executive order has given Maduro the ammunition he needs to portray the old enemy as plotting a coup and waging economic war against Venezuela. Nevertheless, the sanctions are absolutely the correct course of action. The Venezuelan government sustains itself by means of a powerful coalition that includes narco-trafficking and money laundering, which needs to be dismantled. ... The dilemma lies in the fact that these actions reinforce Maduro's rhetoric about imperial aggression. They provide the perfect scapegoat to justify inflation and the shortage of food and vital basic goods. It's proof of the economic war, in which no one believed up until now. This presents a challenge for the opposition." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oygltz9  

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Cruz country

March 26, 2015
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"When Sen. Ted Cruz answered a question about his musical taste posed by a CBS news correspondent, and he announced that his preference switched after 2001, 9/11, the leftosphere fell of its rocker and into convulsions. Why? He said he switched from listening to classic rock to country, and did so because the country music culture responded to the 9/11 atrocity so much better than did rock-and-roll culture. Confession: my musical tastes lean toward classic rock. But there's no way I would get upset about a politician's musical choices -- unless he started listening to Wagner while reviving an interest in National Socialism." (03/25/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/03/25/cruz-country/  

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Jeb Bush & the two types of electability arguments

March 26, 2015
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"Not that it matters much now, with all the fascinating campaigning still to come, but I still think that Jeb Bush is the most likely Republican nominee, for reasons I outlined here. Josh Kraushaar of the National Journal, however, says that one of the cornerstones of Jeb's appeal to Republican primary voters (that he's the electable candidate) isn't something they're buying, partly because there isn't a whole lot of evidence for it, other than the fact that Jeb is the kind of candidate who would seem to be more able to appeal to a general electorate." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pwb2sg4  

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New bipartisan task force seeks to reform veterans health care

March 26, 2015
posted by

National Center for Policy Analysis
by Nate Wilson  

"The proposal, which could affect nearly 22 million veterans and more than 900 VA medical facilities, seeks to offer former military personnel the choice to receive subsidized private care and converts the VA into a non-profit organization, therefore relinquishing the government of its authority over the federal agency. ... Not everyone is on board though. The American Legion, for example, argues against using vouchers as a long-term solution. And Robert McDonald, who took over as the new VA secretary last year, has publicly opposed CVA's proposal." (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pu657ve  

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Peru: An argument for competition in currencies

March 26, 2015
posted by

Eamonn Butler Adam Smith Institute
by Dr Eamonn Butler  

"If only we had introduced the Hard Euro, as the UK Prime Minister at the time, John Major, had suggested! Sadly his proposal came just too late, as the EU Euro enthusiasts were already pressing ahead with their own plans to create a single, Euro, currency that would replace domestic currencies such as the Frank, Mark, Lire and of course Drachma. John Major's idea can be seen working perfectly well here in Peru, which I have been visiting for the Mont Pelerin Society conference in Lima. Being close to the US in terms of trade, and reasonably close -- well, in the same hemisphere -- in terms of geography, and having a border with Ecuador, which uses the US Dollar as its currency, US dollars circulate quite freely here, alongside the domestic currency, Soles." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nd3rvps  

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Magna Carta messed up the world

March 25, 2015
posted by

Noam Chomsky The Nation
by Noam Chomsky  

"In a few months, we will be commemorating the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta -- commemorating, but not celebrating, rather mourning the blows it has suffered. The first authoritative scholarly edition of Magna Carta was published by the eminent jurist William Blackstone in 1759. It was no easy task. As he wrote, 'the body of the charter has been unfortunately gnawn by rats' -- a comment that carries grim symbolism today, as we take up the task the rats left unfinished." (03/25/15)

http://www.thenation.com/article/198513/killing-commons  

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Ted Cruz announcement

March 25, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Bruce Plante  

Cartoon. (03/24/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/03/ted-cruz-announcement/  

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Radio Free Acton, 03/25/15

March 25, 2015
posted by

Acton Institute Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
by  

"In this edition of Radio Free Acton, we talk with Dr. Gene Edward Veith, Provost and Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College. Dr. Veith discusses the influence of the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther's understanding of vocation on the development of capitalism, and gives his thoughts on how young people -- and all of us -- should view work and education as we discern our vocations in life." [Flash audio or MP3] (03/25/15)

http://www.acton.org/media/audio/gene-veith-reformation-vocation  

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Selma 50 years on: Why King’s dream still matters

March 25, 2015
posted by

spiked spiked
by Sean Collins  

"On 25 March, on the steps of the state capitol in Montgomery, Martin Luther King gave a speech that has become known as his 'How long, not long' speech. In this powerful and moving address, King presented his hope for the future: 'We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man.' Fifty years on, we all pay homage to King and the civil-rights activists of Selma and Montgomery. But many who invoke King's name promote ideas that are diametrically opposed to the universalist philosophy that informed King's work, and for which he and others gave their lives." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/olku7fy  

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Virginia’s out of control Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

March 25, 2015
posted by

A. Barton Hinkle Reason
by A Barton Hinkle  

"Lucky for him, he wasn’t selling loosies. Martese Johnson, a double major at the University of Virginia and a member of the school's honor committee, got turned away from a bar last week. Johnson was not trying to use a fake ID; Trinity Irish Pub in Charlottesville was turning people away because of crowding. Still, agents from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control pulled him aside -- and the next thing anyone knew, Johnson was lying on the ground, bleeding from the head. The story went national in hours, and has revived the sensible suggestion that the State Police take over the ABC's enforcement duties. No wonder: This isn't the first time the ABC has embarrassed itself." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pkg9qmw  

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Obama’s bizarre executive privilege claim over Fannie and Freddie

March 25, 2015
posted by

John Berlau Competitive Enterprise Institute
by John Berlau  

"FOIA requests are just the tip of the iceberg for this administration's secrecy, much of which has nothing to do with the legitimate exception of national security. In Dodd-Frank, the administration set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council -- the constitutionality of both of which are now subject to a lawsuit from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and other parties -- to be exempt from many open meetings and (especially with FSOC) open records requests. But probably the most egregious example of this administration's secrecy practices concerns its management of the government-sponsored housing enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." (03/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o8lhu5d  

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Time to KO the idea of boxing bans

March 25, 2015
posted by

Abigail Hall Independent Institute
by Abigail Hall  

"This past July, California governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill prohibiting middle and high school football teams from holding full-contact practices more than twice a week, limiting the duration of said practices, and prohibiting full-contact practices outright during the off season. While such stories have received significant attention. Nothing quite compares to what's been said about boxing. People have likened the sport to human cock fighting. It is argued that the sport is comparatively more dangerous than others and that boxing exploits individuals who often hail from poor or otherwise disadvantaged backgrounds. A variety of changes have been proposed, from requiring protective gear, to banning blows to the head, to outlawing the sport outright. Simply put, banning boxing is paternalism writ large." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nh2qoqw  

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What really regulates corporations

March 25, 2015
posted by

Don Boudreaux Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
by Donald J Boudreaux  

"Among the strangest notions ever to be believed by large numbers of adults is the 'progressive' notion that private corporations wield vast and socially destructive powers to the extent that they aren't regulated in fine detail by government. This notion is exactly the opposite of the truth. Yet I know from countless discussions with friends on the left that it is sincerely believed to be true. But it's bizarre. A corporation operating in the market can only make offers to consumers and to suppliers. Consumers and suppliers -- including suppliers of labor (workers) -- are free to accept or to reject these offers." (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o5xj6jd  

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Bush’s and Maduro’s power grabs

March 25, 2015
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"The Venezuelan legislature has just granted President Nicolas Maduro's request for emergency powers to deal with the crisis posed by President Obama's recent decree that Venezuela poses a grave threat to U.S. 'national security' and Obama's imposition of sanctions on Venezuelan officials. Not surprisingly, U.S. conservatives are ridiculing Maduro for exaggerating the threat posed by the U.S. national-security state and using it as an excuse for assuming extraordinary powers. But where were those same conservatives when President Bush did the same thing after the 9/11 attacks?" (03/25/15)

http://fff.org/2015/03/25/bushs-maduros-power-grabs/  

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