Over a century ago, politician Simon Cameron famously quipped, "An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought." He could have been referring to congressional efforts to impose price controls on credit card transaction fees.
Andrew Langer | All Articles
- Subscribe to RSS
Andrew Langer is president of the Institute for Liberty.
Relitigating old losses seems to be all the rage for Democrats these days. Though we’re now nearly three weeks out from the presidential election, progressives are working overtime to try and undo the stunning loss that was handed to them at the polls.
In the 1992 Cable Act, Congress carved out special protections for traditional broadcast television networks in which pay TV and cable companies were either forced to negotiate compensation with broadcasters to retransmit what those broadcasters were transmitting free “over the air," or, the broadcaster could opt for a “must carry” option in which the pay TV provider would be forced to carry the broadcaster’s signal.
Recently social media was ablaze with the news that adult entertainer, Teagan Presley, had received word from Chase Bank that they were closing her account. Presley had just become the latest law-abiding citizen to be swept up in “Operation Choke Point,” an joint effort by the Departments of Justice, Treasury and a handful of other agencies to effectively shut-down industries that the federal government doesn’t like. Here’s the catch – they have no legal authority to shutter them and most of the victims of this overreach are losing their banking relationships even though they’ve done nothing wrong.
As the Obama administration continues its full-on assault on aspects of the private sector lending industry, Americans are now supposed to believe it’s purely a coincidence that the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service suddenly wants to offer financial products. The plan would see the failing agency begin offering those same loan products presently in the crosshairs of the administration’s Operation Choke Point to millions of Americans with little or no credit.
In politics, the most successful warriors are persistent. That should serve as a warning to anyone tempted to shout “mission accomplished” when a campaign is finished, since your opponents will likely be back.
At their core, both the U.S. presidential inauguration and the celebration of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. have one thing in common: they both symbolize the triumph of liberty over the forces of oppression. As it happens, this weekend also features another blood-stained commemoration of freedom trouncing evil: “Black January,” the Russian massacre of Azerbaijan civilians on January 20, 1990, that failed to prevent the proud nation of Azerbaijan from achieving independence.
Rural Americans have long felt like second-class citizens. Their small numbers reduce their political clout, their way of life is largely misunderstood by those who grew up in urban and suburban America, and in many cases (especially out West) their self-governance is hampered by the sheer amount of land that the federal government owns in and around their communities.
For the president, the stakes could not have been higher. In his State of the Union address, he had to build on the momentum of his Tucson speech, bringing all the elements of the Democrats’ coalition back into the fold. That is a tight needle to thread considering the tension within the Democrat camp — between those who want the president to be a so-called “New Democrat” in the mold of Bill Clinton, and those who want the president to make true on the promises born out of his progressive roots.
Since the moment that Jared Lee Loughner allegedly committed his heinous acts in Tucson, Arizona, the left has used the tragedy as an opportunity to bash the right. So it comes as no surprise that the left has attacked Speaker John Boehner’s decision to stay in Washington, D.C. during the memorial service for the victims of Loughner’s alleged insanity, and questioned Boehner’s commitment to unity and national healing. The truth is that Boehner’s commitment to unity is amply demonstrated by his decision to stay behind.
The tides appear to be turning for the world’s largest environmental activist organization. Last Thursday, Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior flagship was denied entry into the Port of Jakarta, Indonesia’s largest seaport. This historic rebuke of Greenpeace’s anti-development agenda sends a clear shot across the bow: the organization’s bullying of developing nations will no longer be tolerated.
Since the tragic disaster that was last spring’s Gulf oil spill, the public has been inundated by newspaper and television coverage that, while prolific, is at best superficial and generally one-sided. It’s time to tell the truth.
The hustle and bustle of life is hard enough with work, family, and finances without someone actively making it more difficult. So it’s unfortunate that new evidence suggests a small cabal of special interests is totally disregarding the public’s interest.
Those glum faces you’ve been seeing at the start of this school year? It’s not the disappointment of kids seeing their summer vacations coming to an end. It’s the resignation you see when working parents realize the ever-increasing price tag for getting their kids back to school. That resignation has grown more palpable this year. With more and more school systems finding themselves in tough financial times due to the economic downturn, parents are finding themselves having to pay directly for materials traditionally provided by schools — materials whose costs continue to skyrocket.
Back in April of 2008, TIME Magazine published a report detailing how the American obese reported feeling more discrimination than they had in the past decade. Ever compassionate, TIME speculated that, given the rising level of obesity in the country, it was reasonable to expect tolerance for those struggling with weight. Alas, however, the report indicated at the time that the general public was increasingly unforgiving of their heavier countrymen and women. Readers couldn’t help but take the hint. The piece even went so far as to suggest laws prohibiting discrimination against the obese.
Missed warning signs
Ultimately, with election victory comes the responsibility of governance. That responsibility requires grappling with the excruciating problem of making tough choices. This is something all elected officials face at some time or another, and it is the caveat for anyone interested in pursuing a political career. Problems ensue when political leaders abdicate their responsibilities—and a case can be made that such abdication is an abuse of the public trust. And when it comes to domestic policy, there is no more important issue than the creation of a government’s annual budget.
The aftermath of the BP oil rig disaster has been front-and-center in the last month. Invariably, when discussing the response to the disaster, the following question is asked, “Why has this president and his administration dragged their collective feet in their response to this?” It’s not a question with an easy answer. One could speculate about vested interests, but that would only serve to fuel conspiracy theories and not help solve the actual problems. One could mention the glacial pace of bureaucracies in a general sense but, again, that line of reasoning doesn’t solve problems.