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Worse Than Domestic Obama Cronyism? Exporting It Globally

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Bad Obama Ideas – Going Global

We just narrowly escaped the cronyism-infested eight years of the Barack Obama Administration. If you were a Leftist – the $4-trillion-per-year-government world was your oyster. The biggest bureaucratic favors of your wildest imaginings – were only a campaign contribution away.

Cronyism is one of the largest, slimiest critters in the Swamp against which now-President Donald Trump ran – promising to drain and dismantle. Which he – sporadically, in fits and starts – has started to do.

But as difficult as is unwinding the century-plus-long Swamp expansion – it got dramatically harder when the Obama-esque cronyism leaked out beyond our borders.

A fortnight ago we wrote of the DC Cronies working together to maximize their domestic cronyism when it comes to illegally strip-mining intellectual property (IP) protections:

“One of the other biggest…Crony beneficiaries – was Apple. You know, that tiny little $800 billion company – that really needs as much government assistance as they can muster. (Note: that was sarcasm.) More

WKRP in DC: Live Turkeys Fire Bombing the Economy

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

DC Should Be Permanently Grounded

WKRP in Cincinnati” is a fantastic legacy television show – about a 1970s rock-and-roll radio station. And perhaps its most famous episode – is “Turkeys Away.” (God bless the Internet – here is a thirty-second clipped summary thereof.)

WKRP general manager Arthur Carlson decides as a Thanksgiving promotion to drop live turkeys from a helicopter on a strip mall. Because he is somehow unaware that these particular fowl – are flightless. So basically he – as disc jockey Johnny Fever described it – “firebombed with live turkeys” the mall and everyone there.

Newsman Les Nessman returns from the debacle – and describes what subsequently happened: “Then Mr. Carlson had the helicopter land in the middle of the parking lot. I guess he thought he could save the day by turning the rest of the turkeys loose. It gets pretty strange after that….I really don’t know how to describe it. It was like the turkeys mounted a counter-attack. It was almost as if they were… organized.”

In Washington, D.C. – the Turkeys are most certainly organized. And have been for s VERY long time. And the American free market economy – is under constant arial assault therefrom. More

Another Day, Another DC Crony Lobbying for Continued Protectionism

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Just Another DC Day

It’s a day with a “Y” in it (check not your calendar – I’ve already checked mine). Which means in many places throughout $4-trillion-per-year Washington, D.C., there are recipients of massive cronyism – looking to keep their gravy trains a-rolling.

They’d ordinarily take for granted that the cronyism would continue – and be looking to accelerate their respective locomotives. But the election of President Donald Trump offers We the Victims the first glimmer of hope in decades that a diminishment of this business-as-usual – may finally be in the offing.

Most of the time, this rent-seeking is done in the privacy of Congressional offices and secluded corners of very expensive bars and restaurants. But sometimes, the behest-ing is brazen – and done in public.

Like, say, at Congressional hearings. As will happen today – when the House Ways and Means convenes to discuss direly needed tax reform.

Our tax code is a disaster. A nightmare mess of thicketed code complexity – and ridiculously high rates. And it is filled to the rafters with asinine anti-incentives to economic activity and productivity. More

Comedians Find Intellectual Property Theft No Joking Matter

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Rogan Doesn’t Look Amused

The comedy world – like much of the entertainment world – is rife with people of the Left ideological persuasion.  There are, of course, exceptions – but on the main they are on the Left.

But then there is Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics.  The first of which is: “Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.”  A law proven eminently true – when comedians steal jokes from other comedians.  Instantaneously, these Leftist laugh artists – become stalwart conservative champions of intellectual property (IP) rights.

What Does Conan O’Brien’s Court Fight Over Jokes Mean For The Wider World Of Comedy?: “Freelance joke writer Robert “Alex” Kaseberg has brought a suit against the writers of Conan (and the man himself), claiming that they stole five jokes from him in 2014-2015 (including one in very poor taste of Caitlyn Jenner’s transition). U.S. District Court Judge Janis Sammartino accepted that there was a possible case surrounding only three of the jokes….

“Even if this suit doesn’t end up going to trial, the taint of even alleged joke stealing can be a real black mark on a comedian. In his deposition, O’Brien said ‘Accusing a comedian of stealing a joke is the worst thing you can accuse them of, in my opinion, short of murder. I think it’s absolutely terrible.’ Clearly this is not something that the late night host is taking lightly. However, anytime an established comedian is profiting off of the work of a less well known entity is cause for concern.” More

Walmart Isn’t Conservative – Walmart is a Massive DC Self-Interested Special Interest

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Another Contributor to the America Last Approach

Walmart and the founding Walton family have long been seen as conservative stalwarts.  The Waltons have indeed contributed much money to conservative causes – much to the Left’s chagrin.

Walmart has long been a Leftist bogeyman – in large part because they remain rightly, reasonably opposed to the unionization of their stores.  Which drove the Left nuts.  And led to years of union-funded Leftist campaigns against the company.

To aid in their defense against this onslaught, the Waltons elicited conservative assistance.  Because conservatives bizarrely think people should be free to choose whether or not to join unions – and unions do not.

And it worked – Walmart remains a right-to-work entity.  God bless America.

But as time has marched on, it’s looking more and more like the Waltons cut these checks not in the interest of ideology – but in the interest of Walmart protectionism.  On a whole host of other issues, Walmart has been anything but conservative.

Which tells all of us what many of us have all along known – Walmart is just another massive, massively self-interested Washington, D.C. special interest.

Walmart has long been a lead outside champion of a ridiculous tax increase scheme ridiculously misnamed the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA).  Their brick-and-mortar stores have to collect sales and use taxes for the states and localities in which they are located.  Internet companies that sell in those states and localities but are not located there – do not. More

Apple: ‘We Won’t Pay You. We’ll Keep Using Your Stuff – But We Won’t Pay You’

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

We Really Wish They Would

I loathe thieves.  You want something – you pay for it.  It really is just that simple.  So when it comes to wanton thievery of the magnitude that follows – I get more than a little perturbed.

Computer giant Apple is currently in a huge intellectual property dispute with tech innovation giant Qualcomm.  I’m no lawyer (which perhaps affords me some additional clarity of thought which law school eradicates) – but this is pretty cut-and-dry, massive scale theft.

Here’s the deal: Qualcomm has some patented items which Apple needs to make its iPhones and cellular iPads.  Qualcomm and Apple negotiated an agreement – where Apple would pay Qualcomm in exchange for permission to use the patented items.  Lawyers drafted contracts – and representatives from both Apple and Qualcomm signed them.

End of story, right?  Of course not.  This is Brave New America – where even blatantly obvious obligations can and will be willfully ignored.

Apple Halts License Payments to Qualcomm in ‘All-Out War’: “Apple Inc. cut off billions of dollars in payments to Qualcomm Inc., turning a contract dispute into what one analyst called an ‘all-out war’ that forced the chip supplier to slash forecasts given only days ago….Shares fell as much as 4.1 percent to $51.05 Friday morning. It was the lowest intraday price since June.”

Get that?  The chip supplier forced to “slash forecasts given only days ago” – is Qualcomm.  Through no fault of their own, Qualcomm is having its entire company downgraded because of one titanic deadbeat – Apple: More

DC Economics ‘Experts’: Too Much ‘DC’ – Not Enough ‘Economics’

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

More Out of Balance than Ever

Steve Forbes, Larry Kudlow, Arthur B. Laffer and Stephen Moore are four big name Washington, D.C. free market economic “experts.”  They have for decades been ensconced inside the Beltway – doling out their brands of reform.

But as we have seen from nigh anyone who enters the belly of the DC Beast – people grow comfortable, and start to stray from the less government ideas that brought them there.

Rather than rock the boat – they’d prefer to remain comfortably aboard.

DC is now a $4-trillion-a-year luxury liner.  Retaining your all-access-passage – far too often trumps adhering to better policy.

Art Laffer was the first to deviate from the conservative norm.  He has for years been a leading champion of the Marketplace Fairness Act.  An absolutely awful federal law that would empower state governments to collect sales and use taxes – from companies not located in those states.

Get that?  This is the quintessential example of taxation without representation. More

Uber-Left Google’s Major Move – Flooding the Right with Cash

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

When the
Right Flips for Left Cash

Google is almost inarguably the dominant company on the Left.  So ensconced are they in the highest of high Left political circles, they basically owned and operated the Barack Obama Administration.

Google and the administration were an incestuous staff revolving door.  And Obama, Inc. was an eight-year Pez dispenser of Google-crony policies.  Whatever Google wanted – Google got.  And Google continues its complete subjugation of the post-Obama Left-Democrats.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ran against Obama, Inc. – and won.  And has set about doing what he said he would do – undoing lots and lots of Obama, Inc. policies.  Including the raft of cronyism Google received.

Which has the Left-Democrats and their fellow travelers in the media – freaking out.  At Google’s behest, of course.  Speaking of the media, how dominant of…everything is Google?  They and their Silicon Valley cohorts are paradigm shifting the entirety of the media – even further Left.  As sportswriter Jason Whitlock just astutely observed:

“The entire media has moved far left. The media used to cater to New York, the hub for traditional liberal values. Journalists used to be obsessed with working at a New York magazine or newspaper or TV network. Now the entire industry is obsessed with going viral and how words will be received via social media.

“Who determines this? San Francisco/Silicon Valley, the hub for revolutionary, far-left extremism, the home base for Twitter and Facebook. Twitter and Facebook’s employee base is from the area. New York and San Francisco are distinctly different. San Francisco is driving the American media, not New York. More

The Border Adjustment Tax: If You’re Right – You Don’t Have to Lie

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Once Lost, Integrity is Difficult to Regain

I like Bill Buckley, Frederic Bastiat, Milton Friedman and a whole host of other conservative luminaries.  But I am a conservative first and foremost – because I loathe lies and liars.  And Leftism – is a giant lie.

All the lies told by all of Leftism’s practitioners – are told in service of hiding the fact that the Big Idea behind all of it is hopelessly failed and fraudulent.  What is particularly annoying for a conservative – is when other conservatives do their best Left impersonations, and lie to advance a bad idea.

I speak of the very good idea that is the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) – and the lies some conservatives are telling to try to stop it.

What is the BAT?: “Under (this) tax reform, this system would not tax the exports of American companies, but would tax the gross value of any imports into the country. The new rate of tax on corporations is expected to be 20 percent, so that would also be the de facto rate of tax on imports.

“U.S. companies would immediately be on equal footing with their international competitors, the great majority of whom benefit from territorial taxation and border adjustability today.  American firms would be further advantaged by tax reform’s low 20 percent tax rate on corporations (down from a global high 35 percent today), and full business expensing of asset purchases (replacing multi-year depreciation deductions).

“Instead of taxing exports and not imports, we’d be taxing imports and not exports. Instead of reading about corporate inversions and outsourcing, we’d be reading about jobs and firms moving into the U.S. to take advantage of the favorable tax rules here.” More

Trump is About to Shed an Obama Holdover – May It Be the Lead of a Long Train

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

We’re Going to Need a
Whole Lot More Huge Hands

We have spent just about the entirety of the nascent Donald Trump Administration imploring them to rid themselves of every single Barack Obama Administration holdover they can identify.  And that they dedicate specific staff members – who spend their entire time identifying Obama Administration holdovers.

The incoming Trump Administration represents a nigh 180 degree reversal of just about all things outgoing Obama Administration.  And Obama Administration officials aren’t taking the transition lying down.

It was just yesterday reported that Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice spent her last months in office using our national security apparatuses to compile massive data on Obama Administration political enemies – specifically, incoming Trump Administration officials.

And then unmasking them.  People who are masked – are supposed to stay masked: “Individuals in the U.S. who (were) not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations.”

How very Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of her. More