You are browsing the archive for 2014 November 20.

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Sen. Paul Issues Statement on the President’s Abuse of Executive Amnesty

November 20, 2014 in Politics & Elections

Sen. Rand Paul today issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s decision to implement immigration reform through the use of executive action. ‘President Obama is not above the law and has no right to issue Executive Amnesty. His actions blatantly ignore the Separations of Powers and the principles our country was founded on. The President has said 22 times previously that he does not have the power to legislate on immigration,’ Sen. Paul said. ‘I believe that immigration reform is needed, however for true and effective reform, we must first secure the border. I will not sit idly by and let the President bypass Congress and our Constitution.’ Additionally, Sen. Paul appeared last night on the Fox News Channel’s On The Record with Greta Van Susteren to discuss President Obama’s actions on immigration reform. A clip of the interview can be found HERE or below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. PAUL ON FOX’S ON THE RECORD …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Statement from McConnell, Paul, and Whitfield on Army Aviation Force Restructure Announcement

November 20, 2014 in Politics & Elections

Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and Congressman Ed Whitfield today released the following statement regarding the Department of Defense announcing its Army Aviation Force Restructure removing the 159th Combat Aviation ‘Thunder’ Brigade from Fort Campbell Army Base: ‘We are deeply disappointed by the Obama administration’s decision to remove the 159th CAB from Fort Campbell. It is bad news for our nation’s security and for the local Fort Campbell community. Our military’s readiness and national security must remain the highest priority for the American people, and for Fort Campbell’s troops and families in the great Commonwealth of Kentucky. We believe that cuts need to be made in places other than deployable troops as a means to make smart cuts to government spending. We also must not allow our number of troops to fall to the dangerously low levels being sought by the Obama Administration, especially at a time of increasing instability in the world.’ …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Sen. Rand Paul Appears on Fox's On The Record with Greta Van Susteren – November 19, 2014

November 20, 2014 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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TIME Op-Ed: What I'm Thankful For

November 20, 2014 in Politics & Elections

I am thankful that Missy Paul is safe. Missy was kidnapped by Boko Haram and survived a harrowing ordeal in which her school was burned to the ground in Nigeria. With a gun to her head, she was forced into the back of a truck with thugs who said they intended to “marry” her. As the truck sped her away from safety, from her school, and from her friends, she made the decision to jump. She was warned they would shoot her if she tried to escape, but she chose to tumble into the bush at a high-speed rather than become prisoner.
Missy is a survivor. She survived the kidnapping and the deaths of her friends. She survived as a Christian amidst the chaos of religious extremism so intolerant it would rape, savage, and butcher people of another faith.
I am thankful to my friends Doug and Myriam Wead for bringing Missy Paul to America and giving her a chance. The Weads have provided Missy with a full scholarship to a Christian school in Oregon. When I met Missy, I sensed that she was beginning to understand the possibility of hope, but I also sensed that it would take a while for her to believe that she is truly safe.
I asked Missy about her dreams for the future. Her dream, she said, is to become a doctor.
Amidst so much violence, hatred, and cruelty, miracles do occur. Einstein wrote that you have a choice—you can view life as if miracles are everywhere, or as if they are nowhere. I choose to acknowledge the miracles and truly believe that if we allow ourselves to be blinded by conflict and carnage, we will miss the God-given goodness that surrounds us.
Evil can and is overcome every minute of every day. If we paid more attention to the hope that emanates from the tentative smile of Missy Paul, maybe then, evil would begin to lose its grip. As my time with Missy Paul came to an end, I told her, “We share the same last name. We must be relatives.” I smiled, “I want you to know that in America, you have a relative and you can count on me if you ever need help.”
I am thankful every day for my wife Kelley, my sons William, Duncan and Robert and all of my family and friends who bless my life every day. I am thankful to have …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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America's Leadership Crisis–and Its Economic Implications

November 20, 2014 in Economics

By John A. Allison

John A. Allison

One of the underlying causes of the Great Recession and its abnormally slow recovery is a failure of leadership. We have a leadership crisis at the individual, organizational and societal level that has exacerbated our economic problems and handicapped the fundamental motivating principle at the heart of our country, the pursuit of happiness.

In my new book, “The Leadership Crisis and the Free Market Cure,” I lay out what it takes to be an effective leader. Leaders must live and communicate the fundamental values that are necessary for human flourishing. They must create the processes that incentivize superior performance and design a purposeful, rational mission to meet objective goals. This requires education, feedback and the honing of behaviors that produce excellent results.

During my almost 20-year tenure as CEO of BB&T, the company grew from $4.5 billion to $152 billion in assets. In our leadership development program, we educated employees by requiring them to read “Atlas Shrugged, Economics in One Lesson,” and other books on the principles that underlie a free society and free markets.

Individual, organizational, and societal success are all based on the same principles that are derived from the laws of nature and human beings’ fundamental nature.”

Drawing lessons from these principles was critical to the success of the company. For example, we decentralized the decision-making structure in a way that enabled BB&T to weather the financial crisis without a single quarterly loss. This was in stark contrast to the example of some other financial institutions that centralized and focused on ill-gotten short-term gains in a toxic regulatory environment plagued by excessive meddling by the government and the Federal Reserve.

Excessive government interference distorts the economy

The crux of America’s economic problems lies in this irrational system of excessive government interference that distorts the proper functioning of the economy. Most of the goals that are described by political leaders are based on an assumption that the country is one monolithic whole. In reality, a country is millions of individuals with wildly varying goals that are too complex for central planners to account for.

Unfortunately, the flawed fundamentals that led to the terrible financial crisis in 2008-2009 are still around and have been amplified since the crash. Recent presidential leadership has discouraged businesses and entrepreneurs to invest for the future. More regulations, higher taxes, government-chosen winners and losers — these are not the ingredients of a …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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An Awkward Celebration in the Heart of Europe

November 20, 2014 in Economics

By Dalibor Rohac

Dalibor Rohac

There was not much jubilation at the events commemorating 25 years since the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. During his speech at an official gathering of Central European heads of states in Prague, the President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, was booed by the crowd and pelted with eggs and tomatoes.

In neighbouring Slovakia, meanwhile, the anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution was marked by the surprising resignation of Pavol Paska, the speaker of parliament, following a scandal over corrupt public procurement of medical equipment, implicating him and his family. On Monday, a crowd of some five thousand people gathered in Bratislava to protest against rampant corruption and the growing ties between big business and government. On the same day, over 10 thousand Hungarians protested in Central Budapest against corruption, at an event dubbed ‘Public Outrage Day’.

There can be no question about the enormous economic, social, and human progress that countries of the region have made since 1989. However, there is a gap between the exuberance epitomized by the recent Foreign Affairs article by Harvard economist Andrei Shleifer and UCLA political scientist Daniel Treisman, who write about what they see as “normal countries,” and the growing dissatisfaction of many of the citizens of these countries, illustrated by this weeks protests — as well as by the growth of fringe, anti-system, populists of different ideological stripes.

The widely shared feeling of dissatisfaction in the heart of Europe cannot be dismissed simply as a product of people’s unrealistic expectations of the change that the fall of communism would create.”

Among the successful countries of Central Europe, this backsliding has been the most pronounced in Hungary. Its Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, cited Turkey and Russia as examples of illiberal democracies that worth following and emulating. Though disturbing, Mr Orban’s rhetoric pales in comparison with his actual policies, which have aimed consistently at suppressing the civil society and extending the power of the state.

Corruption is a problem, both for Hungary and its neighbours. On most indicators of institutional quality and corruption, a significant gap persists between post-communist countries and the more successful European economies- and it might even be widening. Slovakia, for example, ranked 57th on the 2004 edition of Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. By 2013, it moved down to 61st place. The Czech Republic, in turn, fell from 51st to 57th place.

This goes hand in hand with the …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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What the Inequality Warriors Really Want

November 20, 2014 in Economics

By John H. Cochrane

John H. Cochrane

Progressives decry inequality as the world’s most pressing economic problem. In its name, they urge much greater income and wealth taxation, especially of the reviled top 1% of earners, along with more government spending and controls—higher minimum wages, “living” wages, comparable worth directives, CEO pay caps, etc.

Inequality may be a symptom of economic problems. But why is inequality itself an economic problem? If some get rich and others get richer, who cares? If we all become poor equally, is that not a problem? Why not fix policies and problems that make it harder to earn more?

Yes, the reported taxable income and wealth earned by the top 1% may have grown faster than for the rest. This could be good inequality—entrepreneurs start companies, develop new products and services, and get rich from a tiny fraction of the social benefit. Or it could be bad inequality—crony capitalists who get rich by exploiting favors from government. Most U.S. billionaires are entrepreneurs from modest backgrounds, operating in competitive new industries, suggesting the former.

Confiscating wealth is ultimately about political power.”

But there are many other kinds and sources of inequality. The returns to skill have increased. People who can use or program computers, do math or run organizations have enjoyed relative wage increases. But why don’t others observe these returns, get skills and compete away the skill premium? A big reason: awful public schools dominated by teachers unions, which leave kids unprepared even to enter college. Limits on high-skill immigration also raise the skill premium.

Americans stuck in a cycle of terrible early-child experiences, substance abuse, broken families, unemployment and criminality represent a different source of inequality. Their problems have proven immune to floods of government money. And government programs and drug laws are arguably part of the problem.

These problems, and many like them, have nothing to do with a rise in top 1% incomes and wealth.

Recognizing, I think, this logic, inequality warriors go on to argue that inequality is a problem because it causes other social or economic ills. A recent Standard & Poor’s report sums up some of these assertions: “As income inequality increased before the [2008 financial] crisis, less affluent households took on more and more debt to keep up—or, in this case, catch up—with the Joneses. ” In a 2011 Vanity Fair article, Columbia University economist Joe Stiglitz wrote that inequality causes a “lifestyle effect … …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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On Obama and Immigration

November 20, 2014 in Economics

On Thursday, President Obama will announce the specific provisions of his immigration executive order. This order will have broad policy implications. Argues Cato scholar Alex Nowrasteh, “Viewing the executive order in purely policy terms, it will produce positive economic effects and legalize a significant number of unlawful immigrants. But whether this executive order is constitutional is a major question. …The best possible policy outcome is if Congress were to use this opportunity to seriously debate and pass some of the conservative proposals on immigration reform.”

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Source: CATO HEADLINES

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Join me on Tsu and make money!

November 20, 2014 in Blogs

By Political Zach Foster

There’s been all kinds of hype this week about Tsu, the new social media platform that supposedly let’s users make money. So let’s skip straight to that money, which is probably why you want access to Tsu.co in the first place.
In short, it is possible for people to make money on Tsu. However, don’t think that this new social media platform–which combines the best features of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram–is going to replace your day job or make you loads of supplementary income.
It just doesn’t work that way. The gold is in the advertising revenue.
You’re used to seeing tons of ads on Facebook and other platforms. Whenever someone clicks one of your stories and then clicks an ad link related to what they saw on your page, Facebook doesn’t share any of that ad revenue with you.
You’ve seen lots of exquisite or amazing pictures on Instagram. The more high quality content you post, the more likes and followers you get. And that’s all.
Tsu tries to remedy that by sharing with you the revenue from ads people click on your page. But before you start seeing dollar signs floating around your head, think of what a pain it is to make money from Google ads. Same mental image here… Hey, it’s better than nothing!
In my opinion, this is a great innovation in social media. Facebook and other leading platforms specialize in passive consumer marketing, where personalized ads are thrown at you and your followers, but all it does is annoy you. Tsu, on the other hand, specializes in incentivized consumer marketing, where the money you earn lights a fire under your ass to produce high quality content that YOUR consumers want to see and subscribe to.
So now that you’re better informed, here comes the moment you’ve been waiting for. YOU are invited to join me on Tsu:

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Keep Calm image courtesy of keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

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Source: ZACH FOSTER RANTS