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Archive for June, 2014
Only 53 Percent of Previously Uninsured Obamacare Enrollees Have a Favorable Opinion of Obamacare

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a survey of a statistically significant sample of people who buy their own insurance. The headline reported by the media was that 57 percent of enrollees in Obamacare exchange plans were previously uninsured. To me, that seems underwhelming. But more on that later. We all know that Obamacare…
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Immigration and Mindless Partisanship

About two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Obama’s immigration policies. The polling reveals extreme partisanship: 60% of Democrats and 8% of Republicans approve of the president’s approach. And yet, there is nothing particularly remarkable about the current administration’s policies. In response to the increasing flow of children and women immigrants seeking asylum, Obama is escalating…
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The Veterans’ Administration Has Been a Disaster Since Its Inception

In her modern, exceptional biography of President Calvin Coolidge, Amity Shlaes (Coolidge, HarperCollins, 2013) documents the very blemished history of today’s U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), illustrating the trite, but nevertheless very true old saw that the more things change the more they remain the same. That department of the federal government, now…
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New Insights into Iraq

The Sunni extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which originated as al Qaeda in Iraq in a response to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq during the George W. Bush administration, now occupies much of northern Iraq and has been said to threaten Baghdad and the Shi’i government of Nouri…
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SCOTUS Affirms That Abstract Ideas Are Not Patent-Eligible

It is no secret that innovation suffers because of the current state of patent law.  Too many overly broad patents are issued and present patent trolls with the opportunity to sue, sue, and sue again.  Today, the High Court in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, made abundantly clear that abstract ideas are not patentable. …
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Is “Redskins” Offensive?

Controversy over the nickname of the NFL’s Washington Redskins has been swirling for nearly a year. Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it had withdrawn governmental protection for exclusive use of that name, meaning ironically that anyone (an individual or business enterprise) henceforth can call itself the “Washington Redskins”….
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Patent Troll Hit with Legal Fees

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a good post up on how the patent troll Lumen View just got hit with a fee award in federal court. This is in part because of recent Supreme Court decisions making it easier for defendants to collect attorney’s fees when they win patent suits.  The troll’s patent was but a  description…
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Enemies of Enemies

The Obama administration is considering working with the Iranian government to deal with the full-blown horrors currently plaguing Iraq. As a non-interventionist, I’m committed to opposing such an approach. If I were a pragmatic realist or a utilitarian I’d be tempted to agree that such an alliance would be the lesser of evils, although…
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Piketty and Emerging Markets

Much has been said to refute Thomas Piketty’s important book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, from the perspective of developed countries, but not from the standpoint of emerging markets. His contention that the rate of return of capital, roughly twice the rate of growth of the economy, leads to increasing inequality is not consistent with…
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World Cup Soccer’s Real Top Rivals: Nationalism versus Globalism

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the FIFA World Cup, which on June 12 kicked off its 20th tournament, this time in Brazil. Every four years this event captures the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of soccer fans around the globe. And like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, flags and national…
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