You are browsing the archive for 2013 October 07.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Sen. Paul Appears on NBC's Meet the Press- October 6, 2013

October 7, 2013 in Politics & Elections

…read more

Source: RAND PAUL

Avatar of admin

by admin

Amerisclerosis: An Outsider’s View of the Bush-Obama-Fed Great Stagnation

October 7, 2013 in Economics

By John P. Cochran

The Economist provides support for arguments the U.S. is in the midst of a Bush-Obama-Fed Great Stagnation. While I recently argued that the U.S. already is “in a Japanese-style stagnation or a semi-permanent Eurosclerosis”, the Economist  describes the U.S. labor market as “Amerisclerosis”:

In the early 1980s the distressing persistence of high unemployment in Europe was labelled “Eurosclerosis”. Some now wonder whether “Amerisclerosis” is the right word to describe America’s labour market. It is true that unemployment has slowly dropped from a peak of 10% in late 2009, to 7.3% at present. But this decline overstates the health of the jobs market.

HT to Robert Higgs

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Strike Down All Contribution Limits

October 7, 2013 in Economics

By Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

The First Amendment protects political speech and the use of resources (printing presses, the Internet, money) to facilitate that speech. Yet when someone wants to engage in the most obvious kind of political speech — supporting election campaigns — the government restricts this important constitutional right. These limits on political donations aren’t supported by any compelling governmental interest.

In the seminal 1976 case of Buckley v. Valeo, the Supreme Court held that such limits are justified when tied to preventing quid pro quo corruption or the appearance thereof. But the court also decided that restrictions on campaign spending put a heavier burden on political expression, one which the government couldn’t justify. One of the plaintiffs’ arguments in McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission is that contribution limits are simultaneously a limit on expenditures — a position that the Cato Institute supports in our amicus brief.

We argue that Buckley’s distinction between contributions and expenditures is problematic. Not only does it allow infringements on the freedom of speech, but it has led to an unbalanced and unworkable campaign finance system.

Various justices over the years have engaged this point. Justice Clarence Thomas in particular has assailed the distinction, pointing out that both contributions and expenditures implicate First Amendment values because they both support political debate. Moreover, candidates spend an inordinate amount of time fundraising instead of legislating because they face an unlimited demand for campaign funds but a tapered supply. At the same time, money has been pushed away from politically accountable parties and candidates and toward unelected advocacy groups, leading to a warping in political competition.

In a free society, people should be able to give whatever they want to whomever they choose, including candidates for public office. The Supreme Court should strike down contribution limits and give those who contribute money to candidates and parties as much freedom as those who spend money independently to promote campaigns and causes.

Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review.

…read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

SCOTUS-Palooza: Preview of the Big Cases in the New Term

October 7, 2013 in Economics

By Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

As the leaves turn colors and another debt-ceiling showdown looms, the Supreme Court returns on its traditional First Monday of October. Though the dust has barely settled on a term that saw the high court strike down key parts of the Voting Rights Act and Defense of Marriage Act, our nine black-robed platonic guardians are back for more.

While the cases won’t match last year’s highs, expect big decisions on campaign finance, criminal forfeiture, and much more.”

While the docket doesn’t yet rival the previous two terms in capturing the public’s attention—Obamacare and same-sex marriage are hard acts to follow—there are more than enough significant cases to headline many news cycles.

Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest ones. (Full disclosure: I’ve filed briefs in all of these cases on behalf of the Cato Institute, supporting the asterisked party.)

1. Campaign Finance: McCutcheon

Avatar of admin

by admin

Obama Opens Another Bloody Front in the War on Terror, Somalia

October 7, 2013 in Economics

By Gene Healy

Gene Healy

Before dawn Saturday, U.S. Navy SEALs launched an amphibious assault on an al Shabaab facility in Somalia, turning away under heavier-than-expected fire.

The SEALs didn’t get their man, a top commander of the Islamic terrorist group that carried out the horrific massacre at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, two weeks ago. But the aborted raid raises an important question: Are we now at war with al Shabaab?

The Obama team keeps the list of the organizations we’re at war with on a need-to-know basis — and you don’t need to know.”

It’s not clear, and President Obama likes it that way. As legal justification for the raid, administration officials point to the post-Sept. 11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, empowering the president to go after those responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, atrocities and anyone who “harbored” them.

That could mean one of two things: one, that the target of the raid, an al Shabaab commander, alias “Ikrima,” has “dual membership” in al Qaeda, in which case, targeting him was business as usual.

Or two, that the administration has designated the group itself — al Shabaab as a whole — one of al Qaeda’s “associated forces,” all members of which are thus wartime targets.

If it’s the latter, the president has unilaterally opened “a major new front” in the war on terror. But good luck finding out. The Obama team keeps the list of the organizations we’re at war with on a need-to-know basis — and you don’t need to know.

“We have classified the list,” a Pentagon spokesman told journalists this summer: “We cannot afford to inflate these organizations that rely on violent extremist ideology to strengthen their ranks.”

The Washington Post reports that shortly after Obama’s inauguration, the Obama team rebuffed a Defense Department proposal to target al Shabaab, “arguing that the group was focused primarily on domestic attacks.”

True, as al Shabaab is a repugnant and evil bunch, formally allied with al Qaeda, but the group’s focus thus far has been regional: the creation of an Islamic state in Somalia, and, as a group spokesman put it in 2010, “sending a message to every country who is willing to send troops to Somalia,” like Uganda and Kenya.

After the mass murder at Westgate, however, “United States officials fear that the Shabab could attempt a similar attack on American soil, perhaps employing Somali-American recruits.”

That’s worth worrying about. So far, the few Somali-Americans who’ve aided al …read more

Source: OP-EDS