Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Chris Dodd

More than Executive Orders Needed to Reign in Regulators

The Executive Order issued by President Obama last week, “Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens,” made it sound as if the reality of crushing regulatory burdens was at long last being recognized as part of the cause of the sluggish economy. Said the order:

Regulations play an indispensable role in protecting public health, welfare, safety, and our environment, but they can also impose significant burdens and costs. During challenging economic times, we should be especially careful not to impose unjustified regulatory requirements.

His order then went on to state that “our regulatory system must measure, and seek to improve, the actual results of regulatory requirements… [through] periodic review of existing significant regulations.” Since his previous Executive Order issued in January 2011 agencies have already identified over five hundred “initiatives” that are supposed to save “billions of dollars in regulatory costs and tens of millions of hours in annual paperwork burdens.”

Cass Sunstein, the head of one of those regulatory agencies, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs—the “regulator of the regulators” so to speak—touted some of the burdens that allegedly have already

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SOPA, PIPA Blackouts Are Working!

Wikipedia Goes Dark

After months of discussion between and among 1,800 contributors to Wikipedia, the online information source, it decided to “go black” on Wednesday to protest the dangers in two bills that threaten the freedom of the Internet. Many other websites are also participating in today’s protest.

The bills are the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

According to Wikipedia, the proposed legislation would put “the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won’t have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors even if copyright isn’t being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted which means they won’t show up in major search engines. And SOPA and PIPA build a framework for future restrictions and suppression.”

Ostensibly to reduce piracy, the bills overreach greatly. A single perceived violation, for instance, could get an entire website shut down or starved to death through forced cessation of payment processing or delivery of advertising to the website. How this might work if the bills become law is expalained by

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Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is Overkill

Listen

The first hearing on Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R-Texas) bill HR 3261, known as the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA), was held Wednesday in Washington by the House Judiciary Committee, which Smith chairs.

The bill was offered back in October by Smith along with 12 cosponsors, including Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) who stated:

Intellectual property is one of America’s chief job creators and competitive advantages in the global marketplace, yet American inventors, authors, and entrepreneurs have been forced to stand by and watch as their works are stolen by foreign infringers beyond the reach of current U.S. laws. This legislation will update the laws to ensure that the economic incentives our Framers enshrined in the Constitution over 220 years ago—to encourage new writings, research, products and services—remain effective in the 21st century’s global marketplace, which will create more American jobs. The bill will also protect consumers from dangerous counterfeit products, such as fake drugs, automobile parts and infant formula.

The bill represents a modification of the Senate bill, the PROTECT IP Act, which was reported out of committee last spring but hasn’t yet reached the floor of the Senate for debate.

Supporters and opposition are rapidly lining up, pitting Hollywood’s producers against the Internet content providers, or, as Politico.com called it, the

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$5 Debit Card Fee: Blame Durbin, Dodd, Frank, the Fed—Not Banks

Sen. Durbin Answers Press

Image by TalkMediaNews via Flickr

On Thursday, Bank of America announced that, starting the first of the year, they would be charging debit card users $5 a month for the privilege as a way to recoup lost income under new rules from the Federal Reserve. The rules, which took effect on Saturday, October 1, limit the amount banks may charge merchants accepting debit cards to 21 cents per transaction, down from 44 cents previously. Under the Dodd-Frank bill passed in 2010—initially proposed by former Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.)—banks processing the transactions will see their income from those fees drop by about $10 billion a year, all in the name of fairness and equity, according to the Federal Reserve, which determined that the new fees are “reasonable and proportional.” According to industry sources, the real cost of handling each debit card transaction amounts to “a penny or two,” and so politicians decided

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Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Looms

electrical tape

Image by Julia Manzerova via Flickr

Tuesday’s hearing of the House Oversight Committee gave Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) a chance to vent, and witness Elizabeth Warren, President Obama’s Special Advisor for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP), a chance to defend, and for the entire hearing to accomplish nothing. The BCFP was the brainchild of Warren, and the centerpiece of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which was signed into law last July. Its Orwellian title hides the fact that the new agency will do little to reform Wall Street and nothing at all to protect the consumer.

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Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report: Classic Misdirection

Money

Image by TW Collins via Flickr

After nearly two years of investigation, reviewing millions of documents and conducting hundreds of interviews, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCICreleased its report, pinning the blame for the Great Recession largely on Wall Street and alleged deregulation of the financial markets in the 1990s.

The report of the panel of 10 (six Democrats and four Republicans) was delayed by a month as the final report became more of a partisan attack on Wall Street and a push for more regulation of the financial markets. The Republicans ultimately decided not to endorse the report, but instead issued their own report on the cause of the financial crisis.

According to the official report issued today by the FCIC, blame for the financial meltdown beginning in 2007 can be placed on:

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The Passing of Aaron Zelman, Founder of JPFO

Ahuachapan 01 - No guns allowed in the park

Image by Ben Beiske via Flickr

When Aaron Zelman, the founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, died just before Christmas at his home in Wisconsin, eulogies poured in from people Zelman had impacted. One came from Eugene Volokh, who said that Zelman’s “most notable contribution was research pointing out the frequency with which genocide has been preceded by prohibiting arms possession by the targeted victims.”

Zelman’s updated book Death by Gun Control reviews the history of

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John Allison: Free Market Banker

BB&T

Image by Frank Kehren via Flickr

When asked during an “Online with Terry Jeffrey” interview about how to solve the debt crisis facing the country, former Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T) CEO John Allison, was direct:

If you run the numbers…the United States goes bankrupt. It’s a mathematical certainty.

Now countries don’t go bankrupt the way companies do. They don’t file [for] bankruptcy. They usually hyper-inflate. They print a bunch of paper money, or they become Third World economies like Argentina—unless [they] change direction. So, we absolutely have to change direction.

When challenged about how to change direction, Allison was refreshingly candid:

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Financial Reform: Expanding Hubris, Limiting Freedom

Chris Dodd

Image via Wikipedia

When the House passed the 2,319-page Dodd-Frank financial reform bill by a vote of 237-192, all it did was confirm for many the extraordinary hubris of legislators believing they could in fact “fix” the problems they themselves created which resulted in the Great Recession of 2008.

John B. Taylor,  professor of economics at Stanford University says, “The main problem with the bill is that is based on a misdiagnosis of the causes of the financial crisis…the presumption that the government did not [already] have enough power to avoid the crisis.”

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Obama Healthcare by Hook or by Crook

ObamaCare Line

Image by Fresh Conservative via Flickr

According to the New York Times, President Obama has “his back to the wall” concerning the fate of his “signature initiative” and is doing everything in his power to “explain, persuade, and capture” to get the House to pass his healthcare bill. Despite repeated evidence from pollsters that the American people don’t want his healthcare plan, the Obama administration continues its push to take over private healthcare, and turn it into the largest socialization of the country since the Constitution was adopted in 1787.

Pollsters like Rasmussen Reports, Pollster.com, and RealClearPolitics show that more than half of Americans are opposed to the plan.  And some polls are showing that if Obamacare II is passed, it will have a major negative impact on Democrats in November.

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Financial Reform: Pressing On, Regardless

Bob Corker

Image via Wikipedia

Last month, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) pushed back against the Obama administration’s plans to create a “standalone” Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and some Washington-watchers held their breath to see if Corker would hold his ground.

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Democrat Retirements a Trend or a Tsunami?

Christopher Dodd, U.S. Senator.

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The announcements by Democrat Senators Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Byron Dorgan (N.D.) last week that they will not be running for reelection in 2010 raised both concerns by Democrats and hopes of Republicans.

Senator Dodd’s announcement has been examined thoroughly elsewhere on this site, but Senator Dorgan’s announcement was an unexpected bombshell that followed announcements by Alabama Representative Parker Griffith that he was switching parties from Democrat to Republican, along with the retirement announcements from two Democrats from Tennessee and another one from Kansas. The battles that are currently raging in Nevada for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s seat and in Pennsylvania for Democrat Senator Arlen Specter’s seat, along with the battles in Illinois and Delaware to fill the Senate seats formerly held by Democrats Barack Obama’s and Joe Biden, indicate more than just a midterm election shift.

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.