Supremes to Hear PATRIOT ‘Material Support’ Challenge

As I mentioned in passing in my post yesterday, one of the reforms in Russ Feingold’s JUSTICE Act involves tweaking the USA PATRIOT Act’s definition of “material support” for terrorism to ensure that it doesn’t cover things like humanitarian aid or legal assistance. Today, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case concerning that very […]

Wednesday Links

More  policymakers coming around to the idea that it is wrong to jail drug users as criminals. How Obama’s protectionist policies are hurting the poor. More stifling of political speech. “Checks and balances” be damned: “In a democratic country, you’d think that before the executive branch could regulate CO2–a ubiquitous substance essential to life–the legislature […]

Contempt of (Secret) Court?

At last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on the PATRIOT Act, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) raised an interesting question I haven’t seen discussed much: What happens to someone who willfully violates an order of the highly secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court? (FISA) Generally, courts have the right to enforce their own orders by finding those […]

Supremes Take Gun Rights Issue Nationwide

With its decision today to hear the case of McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court should settle the question of whether states must recognize the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. In June of 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court found, for the first time, that the federal government must […]

Inflation Warning

In the last few days, we have witnessed an almost unprecedented chorus of warnings about inflation prospects by senior Fed officials. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said the Fed must be prepared to tighten monetary policy by raising short-term interest rates with “alacrity.” President Charles Plosser of Philadelphia had spoken of the need to raise […]

Democrats Favor Trade Sanctions on Americans

Scott Lincicome sharpens his pencil today and calculates that Congressional failure to ratify the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement–a deal that was signed almost three full years ago–has so far cost American exporters $2 billion.  That tally increases $1.9 million each and every day. Since that time [the trade agreement signing], American exporters have paid approximately $1.9 million per […]

“Keep Your Subsidies off My Ovaries”

In my recent Cato paper, “All the President’s Mandates: Compulsory Health Insurance Is a Government Takeover,” I explain that if Congress compels Americans to purchase health insurance, it would “inevitably and unnecessarily open a new front in the abortion debate, one where either side—and possibly both sides—could lose.” Slate’s William Saletan explains how the pro-choice […]

Chart of the Day — Federal Ed Spending

The debate over No Child Left Behind re-authorization is upon us. Except it isn’t. In his recent speech kicking off the discussion, education secretary Arne Duncan asked not whether the central federal education law should be reauthorized, he merely asked how. Let’s step back a bit, and examine why we should end federal intervention in (and spending […]

Senator Bennett, Rubbing His Temples Over, and Over, and Over, and Over Again

Nancy Scola at TechPresident has a pretty hilarious write-up of a Senate hearing Tuesday on the transparency and accessibility of government contracting databases. Guess what? It’s a mess. And on the TechLiberationFront blog, I expressed my dismay with industry association “TechAmerica” dragging its heels on transparency in service to its government-contractor membership.

President Obama’s Trade War on the Poor

A Wall Street Journal story yesterday reports the rising level of poverty in America caused by the steep and lingering recession. As I point out in a Washington Times column that also ran yesterday, one unintended consequence of President Obama’s trade policies so far has been to make the growing number of poor even poorer. […]