The odds of filling out the perfect March Madness bracket is 1 in 9.2 quadrillion. By the end of day 1, scrappy seeded upstarts like Florida Gulf Coast University and Harvard destroyed my bracket. I had never heard of FGCU but I appreciate their athletic style of play. FGCU not only wins but wins by making Lebron-esque dunks. FGCU is also the only 15th seeded team in tournament history to make the Sweet Sixteen.
FGCU is not only a fantastic Cinderella story but also a bastion of economic liberty!
Although Florida Gulf Coast University is only 22 years old, its economics department has already developed a reputation for it’s pro-free enterprise philosophy.
A 2011 article by Jean Gruss of the Florida-based Business Observer describes how department is run by “core group of a half dozen economists whose research supports the ideas of free-market capitalism, still an unpopular subject in most faculty lounges.”
Students entering FGCU’s economic department will receive Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and take classes like the “Moral Foundations & Capitalism.”
In an academic environment controlled by the anti-capitalist cabal, FGCU is a breath of fresh air.
Only a few other colleges and universities in the U.S. are known for their research on free-market capitalism, including Hillsdale College in Michigan and Grove City College in Pennsylvania. Other schools noted for their pro-capitalist bents include George Mason University in Virginia, San Jose State and Suffolk University in Boston.
“I’d like to develop a center for free enterprise,” says Bradley Hobbs, the professor of economics who is spearheading the effort. In 2009, Hobbs was named BB&T Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise after former BB&T Chairman John Allison made a $600,000 gift to the university to encourage teaching about the contributions of free enterprise and individual liberty.
If you are a parent looking for a college to send your child, FGCU might be the answer. The school is near the beach, has a good basketball team, and will teach your child the benefits of capitalism. What’s not to love?
China’s Suntech Power, one of the world’s largest producers of solar panels, has recently declared bankruptcy. Suntech also announced the closure of its only U.S. factory in Goodyear, Arizona.
The bankruptcy of Wuxi Suntech, which supplies more than 95 percent of Suntech Power’s products, was reported by the official Xinhua news agency Wednesday.
Suntech Power, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, at its peak had a market capitalization of $16 billion. But the company was experiencing a drop in profits due to a global oversupply of solar panels, falling prices and anti-dumping tariffs imposed on China by the U.S. government.
Last Friday it failed to make payments on $541 million worth of convertible debt, the first time a major Chinese company had defaulted on its bonds.
Suntech, like many other green companies, received lucrative governmental incentives.
Suntech, a large Chinese firm whose Goodyear solar panel factory was hailed as proof that government economic planning works. Indeed, when Suntech announced its plant in 2010, Gov. Jan Brewer proclaimed it the result of “the right incentive program to make business sense.”
Three years later, Suntech is shuttering the Goodyear plant and laying off its 43 remaining workers. But not before it pocketed $1.5 million in tax breaks from the state, $2.1 million from the federal government, and $500,000 in job training from the city. Goodyear also waived its plan review requirements and permit fees. Not for all firms, mind you, just for this one particular Chinese company with its grandiose promises.
Suntech’s bankruptcy is another example of the market illusion that is “green” investments. The global free-market might be heavily constrained but it still will not suffer technology that perpetually operates in the red. Despite this plain economic knowledge, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will give $150 million in manufacturing tax credits for green energy companies.
It has not worked before and will not to work. In the end, the American taxpayer is left standing holding the bag and our domestic energy prices are as expensive as ever.
Thank you, Obama.
Barack Obama might be crazy. Seriously. Yesterday, during his visit with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, President Obama said:
“If we get an agreement then, it will be very clear what the nature of that agreement is: there will be a sovereign Palestinian state, a sovereign Jewish state of Israel and those two states, I think, will be able to deal with each other the same way all states do [HUH??]. I mean, you know, the United States and Canada has [sic] arguments once in a while, but they’re not the nature of arguments that can’t be solved diplomatically.”
The leader of the free world, ladies and gentlemen!
The last time the U.S. and Canada exchanged fire was during the War of 1812—and Canada was a British colony; the last time for Palestine and Israel was in the past few days. Aside from this, Canada and the U.S. are both peace-seeking, have a common heritage, don’t question each other’s right to exist, have vast territories, and neither of us is surrounded by countries bent on our destruction.
If he can make a statement like this, clearly, Obama fails to understand the situation in the Middle East. By oversimplifying it, he hurts his—and America’s—credibility with Israelis, Palestinians, and the rest of the region.
Would it be great if Israel and Palestine had a U.S.-Canada relationship? Of course. Could it ever happen? Nope.
And, there’s the fundamental problem with Obama and the Left. In making their policies, they rarely acknowledge what is; instead, they wish for a utopian what-could-be and decry the wisdom of “cynics.” As Thomas Sowell said, “Wishful thinking is not idealism. It is self-indulgence at best and self-exaltation at worst. In either case, it is usually at the expense of others.”
March Madness commenced yesterday and President Barack-toligist huddled with ESPN to enlighten America on his picks for the NCAA men’s basketball tourney. Funny how he can entertain ESPN in the Oval Office yet thousands of school children from across the country are currently banished from the “People’s House.”
While the President was able to submit his NCAA bracket on time this year his respect for budgetary deadlines continues to be elastic. This is nothing new; it’s the fourth out of five years Obama has broken the law with regards to getting his budget proposal to Congress. By law the President is required to submit a federal budget the first Monday in February – Congress is still waiting.
The bracket fest with ESPN was completed prior to his departure to Israel on his ‘do you love me?’ tour. Interestingly, this year our Commander-in-Chief has selected his winners conservatively—something rare for the White House.
Take a closer look at the President’s bracket and three of the states of Obama’s Final Four picks (Louisville, Florida, and Indiana) have unemployment rates higher than the national average.
The President has Indiana University taking the championship home. Not sure they are happy about him jinxing their chances.
It’s a shame that politics has to enter March Madness, but to the President everything is political — even gracing us with his expertise in college basketball. Maybe he should stick to the Easter Egg Roll at the White House. Is that still on?
Let the smear campaign against Dr. Ben Carson begin! Today’s New York Times features an article introducing readers to Dr. Carson. From headline, “Neurosurgeon’s Speeches Have Conservatives Dreaming of 2016,” to finish, the piece seeks to discount Carson and the conservatives who love him.
Using words like dream, fantasy, and lofted, the Times paints Carson’s newfound fame as a flash in the pan. Out-of-touch, old, rich, white, conservatives are desperately grasping at straws; Carson is a straw.
Take a look at the opening paragraph:
“Then with a single speech delivered as President Obama looked stonily on, he was lofted into the conservative firmament as its newest star: a renowned neurosurgeon who is black and has the credibility to attack the president on health care.”
It’s the same tired argument that the Left trots out every time a black conservative appears on the national scene: conservatives are attracted to Carson not because he can convincingly and succinctly extoll the virtues of conservative thought, but because he is black. Give me a break. This statement also strangely seems to imply that only those with a medical degree can credibly attack the president’s disastrous health care law. According to this reasoning, only those with a medical degree should be able to argue in favor of the law as well…I forget, where did Obama go to med school?
Carson’s inspiring American success story is a testament to conservative principles of individual responsibility and personal achievement, so the article attempts to degrade that story by framing it as a self-serving political prop:
“In an interview in his office at Johns Hopkins University, he said he had been told for years that he could have a political career. It would be built on his compelling personal story that began in poverty in Detroit, leading to fame through pioneering work separating conjoined twins and his own self-help and inspirational books, including “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great.”
The Times devotes an entire paragraph to a detailed account of Carson’s office voicemail recording and depicts the doctor as arrogant, writing that Carson is not shy or self-deprecating. The article reveals that Carson attributes much of his success to his mother’s high expectations for him and her insistence that he read. Then, insults Carson’s mother and, in a beautifully executed trick of bias, makes it seem that the condescension comes from Carson, “But his mother insisted that he and an older brother turn off the television and read, writing weekly book reports that she could only feign understanding.”
Next, in describing Carson’s formidable success, the article notes, “He gained fame for a series of operations separating conjoined twins, long and risky procedures that did not always succeed.” A surgeon without a 100% success rate—we knew he was too good to be true!
Carson acknowledges that, like so many misguided youngsters, he was a “flaming liberal in college,” and explains that he became conservative because “One thing I always believed strongly in was personal responsibility and hard work…I found the Democrat Party leaving me behind on that particular issue.” But, the Times characterizes his change in philosophy a bit differently, “[Carson] became conservative through his own climb to success.”
A proponent of a flat tax, Carson famously exclaimed at the prayer breakfast, “You make $10 billion, you put in a billion; you make $10, you put in 1…Now some people say that’s not fair because it doesn’t hurt the guy who made 10 billion as much as the guy who makes 10. Where does it say you’ve got to hurt the guy?” After which the Times notes, “Dr. Carson said that he was in the new top federal bracket for family income above $450,000.”
Yep, he’s just another greedy rich guy.
In reality, Carson is a committed philanthropist. Since 1996, Carson and his wife have been giving scholarships to promising students and promoting reading in schools throughout the country. The Carson Scholars Fund awards 500 scholarships annually and has provided more than $2 million to 5,200 scholars in all 50 states. The Ben Carson Reading Room Project has provided more than $850,000 to establish 85 Reading Rooms at schools in 12 states. How does the Times describe this remarkable undertaking? “With his wife, Candy, Dr. Carson founded the Carson Scholars Fund, which awards $1,000 to students to help pay for college. He has also endowed Ben Carson Reading Rooms at schools that serve disadvantaged students.”
The article closes, “As for politics, [Carson] said, “I would like to have a voice.” The New York Times and those on the Left will try hard to silence that voice, but something tells me they won’t have much luck.
At 12 hours, 52 minutes, the ninth longest filibuster in Senate history began with these simple words:
“I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.”
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul doesn’t oppose John Brennan the person, he opposed that Attorney General Eric Holder, and thereby the Obama White House, would not rule out the possibility of an American citizen being killed by a drone on U.S. soil at the command of the president. Unsatisfied with a March 4th letter from Holder that said it was possible to imagine an “extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate” for the president to “use lethal force” within the U.S., Paul took to the floor to voice his concerns.
I stand with Rand. I would stand with him no matter the president’s political party (does anyone wonder how the Left would react to this if Bush was still president?). It has been an established fact, since 1789, that in the United States of America, one person cannot serve as judge, jury, and executioner; is this now in dispute?
The White House and others point to 9/11 as an extraordinary, unforeseen circumstance. On September 11, 2001, Vice President Cheney gave the order to shoot down hijacked passenger planes over New York and Washington. By that point however, all of the hijacked planes had crashed and the order was never carried out. The president’s supporters argue that, prior to 9/11, this situation was unimaginable, so, essentially, one should “never say never” about such things. But, the imminent threat posed by a hijacked airplane is quite different from the potential danger of a suspected criminal who is not in the process of committing a crime.
Paul isn’t saying the president should not use lethal force to stop someone in mid-attack. He’s asking, and rightly so, if the president believes that he has the power to kill a United States citizen who does not pose an imminent threat, but is suspected of being a domestic terrorist. The answer, from the former constitutional law professor in the White House should be a firm no. It is troubling that neither Obama, nor his attorney general, unequivocally support the Fifth Amendment.
However as a result of Paul’s filibuster, Holder has sent an updated letter saying that the President does not have that authority.
Paul was right to engage in the filibuster. Imagine if he hadn’t? We would be truly down the rabbit hole with Alice, listening to our leaders scream “sentence first – verdict afterwards!”
This column by James Taranto (the second item down) is so good, it warrants a full cut and paste. Read it all:
Barack Obama isn’t a dictator, and as of yesterday neither is Hugo Chavez. The socialist Venezuelan demagogue died of cancer yesterday, as London’s left-wing Guardian notes in an over-the-top obit:
No one imagined it would end like this. A ravaged body, a hospital bed, a shroud of silence, invisible. Hugo Chávez’s life blazed drama, a command performance, and friend and foe alike always envisaged an operatic finale.
He would rule for decades, transform Venezuela and Latin America, and bid supporters farewell from the palace balcony, an old man, his work complete. Or, a parallel fantasy: he would tumble from power, disgraced and defeated by the wreckage of revolution, ending his days a hounded pariah.Oh give us a break. Chavez announced he had cancer almost two years ago, and it had been clear for months that his condition was terminal. It would take either an overactive imagination or none at all to fail to imagine “it would end like this.” Still, Chavez’s expected death calls to mind Hilaire Belloc’s “Epitaph on the Politician Himself”:
Here richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politician’s corpse was laid away.
While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged,
I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.”The most damning critique of Chávez’s rule concerned not democratic credentials but managerial competence,” the Guardian obit claims:
After a decade of record oil revenues totalling around a trillion dollars, an unprecedented bounty, Venezuela is falling apart: roads crumbling, bridges falling, refineries exploding. A wheezing power grid produces regular blackouts. Public hospitals are dank, prisons filthy and barbaric. Murder and kidnapping rates have soared, imposing a de facto curfew in many cities. The currency was recently devalued for the fifth time in a decade. Many young professionals have emigrated.
The economy is warping from subsidies and controls. You can fill a car’s petrol tank for around 50 cents but battle for months to start a company. High-rolling parasites nicknamed “boligarchs” exploit government links to siphon off billions.
Harassed by expropriations, private agriculture and industry have shrivelled. Huge imports fill the gap, the containers stacked into pyramids at ports, though you would never guess it from Orwellian rhetoric trumpeting “food sovereignty” and “manufacturing independence”.”Managerial incompetence,” it seems, is a euphemism for socialism.
Jimmy Carter delivered quite a eulogy:
Rosalynn and I extend our condolences to the family of Hugo Chávez Frías. . . . Although we have not agreed with all of the methods followed by his government, we have never doubted Hugo Chávez’s commitment to improving the lives of millions of his fellow countrymen.
President Chávez will be remembered for his bold assertion of autonomy and independence for Latin American governments and for his formidable communication skills and personal connection with supporters in his country and abroad to whom he gave hope and empowerment. . . . Venezuelan poverty rates were cut in half, and millions received identification documents for the first time allowing them to participate more effectively in their country’s economic and political life.Carter was considerably less effusive when Ronald Reagan died in 2004, as MSNBCnoted at the time:
Carter said Sunday that the death of Reagan, who defeated him in the 1980 presidential election, was “a sad day for our country.”
“He presented some very concise, very clear messages that appealed to the American people. I think throughout his term in office he was very worthy of the moniker that was put on him as the ‘Great Communicator.” ’
“I probably know as well as anybody what a formidable communicator and campaigner that President Reagan was,” Carter said before teaching Sunday school in his hometown of Plains, Ga. “It was because of him that I was retired from my last job.”We got to wondering how Carter marked the deaths of other thugs and dictators. He was as enthusiastic about Yasser Arafat as about Chavez:
Arafat’s death marks the end of an era and will no doubt be painfully felt by Palestinians throughout the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.
He was the father of the modern Palestinian nationalist movement. A powerful human symbol and forceful advocate, Palestinians united behind him in their pursuit of a homeland. While he provided indispensable leadership to a revolutionary movement and was instrumental in forging a peace agreement with Israel in 1993, he was excluded from the negotiating role in more recent years.We couldn’t find statements on the deaths of Fidel Castro, Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein, though we did find this quote in a 2007 interview with the hard-left TV show “Democracy Now!“: “I despised Saddam Hussein, because he attacked Iran when my hostages were being held. It was President Reagan who established diplomatic relations with Saddam Hussein after I left office.”
Which got us to thinking: How did Carter mark the death of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who not only kept “my hostages” in captivity for well over a year but released them immediately after Reagan’s inauguration, apparently just to rub Carter’s nose in it? Here’s the answer, from a 1989 Associated Press dispatch:
“I know he was a great hero in his own nation,” Carter told reporters outside his church in Plains, Ga., on Sunday. “My hope is that his successor will be more inclined toward peace and reconciliation.”So Carter praised Reagan only slightly more faintly than Khomeini.
Incidentally, as we were looking up old Carter statements, we came across a March 1989 Carter op-ed from the New York Times complaining that “Ayatollah Khomeini’s offer of paradise to [Salman] Rushdie’s assassin”–that is to say, the ayatollah’s effort to incite Rushdie’s murder–”has caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights.”
This tweet from Democrat Congressman Jose Serrano is disgusting.
To have a Member of the United States Congress celebrating Chavez, a communist dictator, is beyond the pale.
Just a reminder, here is the oath that Serrano swore as a United States Congressman:
“I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God” (5 U.S.C. §3331).
Here are a few quotes from Chavez to remind you of how evil this guy was.
“Let’s save the human race; let’s finish off the U.S. empire.”
“Ahmadinejad and I are going into the … basement now to set our sights on Washington and launch cannons and missiles.” — Chávez, referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in 2012.
“Yesterday the devil came here. Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today.” — Chávez in 2006, on George W. Bush, who appeared before the U.N. General Assembly at the same podium a day earlier.
So Serrano celebrates Chavez. Seems to me that he has broken his oath and should resign from Congress.
Oh, and it’s Chavez who is smelling sulfur now.
Did you know that one piece of Starbucks’s banana walnut bread has 490 calories? A quick google search of “calories in banana nut bread” shows that a piece of your average, homemade version contains less than half that many. When I heard this surprising information, I couldn’t help but think of our federal government’s budget compared to the budgets of hardworking taxpayers. Taxpayers trim the fat in their family budgets and live within their means, but Washington? They don’t cut the fat, their priorities are bananas, and they’re all nuts.
Just look at former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano’s sequester shenanigans. As the Homeland Security Secretary, Napolitano oversees the nation’s airports. This morning, she claimed our airports, specifically LAX and Chicago’s O’Hare, were experiencing major delays because of sequestration “budget cuts,” which both airports have denied. Only in bloated Washington can a reduction in the rate of spending increase be considered a cataclysmic cut.
The current administration is so bananas, it manufactures crises to make cheap political points. But, this time, they just might have gone too far. Poll after poll shows that the American people want spending cuts. They know Washington can cut back. So what’s an ideologue who’s completely incapable of compromise to do? Feign catastrophe of course. For weeks, President Obama described post-sequester America as a world of near-chaos with rotting food on grocery store shelves, youth roaming the streets, and pay cuts for U.S. Capitol janitorial staff. Like so many of Obama’s nutty claims, not one of these things actually happened.
This video by American Future Fund explains the sequester issue:
Darn funny stuff.