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Videos: Heaven Knows Mr. Bloomberg

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

With Michael Bloomberg announcing his coming ascension into heaven, we offer a multimedia retrospective on the former mayor, now self-appointed saint.

CNBC: Michael Bloomberg Says He Has Earned His Place In Heaven

Reason: The Mike Bloomberg Legacy: 12 Years of Little Tyrannies

Bloomberg’s record on term limits:

The Mayor won’t answer a question about term limits:

The Mayor is heckled: “Why are you here?”

NY Times: Bloomberg Wins 3rd Term as Mayor in Unexpectedly Close Race

The billionaire mayor had poured $90 million of his own fortune into the race, a sum without equal in the history of municipal politics that gave him a 14-to-1 advantage in campaign spending.

George Will on ABC’s “This Week”: Bloomberg thinks “we own you”

NT Times: Bloomberg’s Soda Ban Explained, Sort Of

Awkwafina: “Mayor Bloomberg (Giant Margaritas)”

Common Sense with Paul Jacob: Michael Bloomberg

Video: More Competitive Political Races?

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Campaign finance regulation is in the news. Today’s video of former FEC Commissioner Brad Smith speaking to a Cato Institute audience about the impact of the Citizens United and Speech Now decisions is not news (a year old), but it is an important message, too seldom heard.

Smith argues that these court decisions have “made races more fluid” because “it is possible to get money into a political race much more quickly than used to be the case.” He recognizes that “most incumbent politicians tend to view that as bad.”

He points out that since the FEC (Federal Election Commission) was created in 1974, the incumbent spending advantage over challengers has grown from 1.5 to 1 to a whopping 4 to 1.

Smith also urges ending restrictions on contributing to political parties, which happened last week with the Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC.

Next, let’s end the limits on what an individual can contribute to an individual candidate.

We’ll be talking more about that — right here at Common Sense.

Video: Why George Will Changed His Mind on Contribution Disclosure

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

There’s a lot in this discussion, about the Mozilla CEO’s past political contribution and the hysterical and retributive boycott by advocates of gay marriage. But consider, especially, what George Will says:

Video: A Simple Explanation

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Though simplicity is a good thing, Occam’s Razor and all, not all simple explanations are correct. As discussed on Thursday and Friday, Matt Yglesias has simply laid out the “liberal” (or is that “progressive”?) case for the federal debt’s non-problem status. Here’s the video you may not have bothered to watch:

And we’re not over. Tomorrow, at Townhall, the Common Sense column by Yours Truly will be an expansion of what was presented on Thursday and Friday, here.

Why?

Because the dismissal of the public debt’s grave danger reveals, in simple splendor, the assumptions of the dominant liberal-progressive paradigm. The video is placed here not merely for the convenience of tomorrow’s Townhall readers, but also to challenge all readers to give the video a thorough debunking of their own.

We should thank Matt Yglesias. He has provided such a convenient target.

Video: Economics of House of Cards

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Why do politicians do what they do? Droll considerations of the popular Netflix show:

Video: Is Britain Cowardly Caving in to Radical Muslim Bullying?

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Pat Condell is a well-known YouTube ranter. He does this very well. One doesn’t have to agree with everything he says to admire his method, and to heed his more persuasive points. In this video he very forthrightly charges his nation with caving in to bullying by the violent amongst the Muslim population in Britain.

It is not quite so bad in America as it appears to be in Britain, but we catch whiffs of it here. Even now, liberals scornfully laugh at conservatives who worry about the establishment in America of Sharia law. But it is simply the case that, in Europe and elsewhere, the Muslims who easily take offense and threaten violence are successfully bullying others into silence and worse. It is something to worry about, and consider:

There are points in the above rant where Mr. Condell lashes out at Islam in general. He talks about “secular Muslims” (whatever they may be) so he is obviously not trying to imply that all Muslims are violent. But that is perhaps too easily inferred by some of his rants. I know that not to be true.

And I find it offensive.

Indeed, caving in to the violent threats and trumped-up umbrage of some Muslims does harm to the vast majority of Muslims who are peaceful. That, alas, is not Condell’s message. But the one he delivers is, still, worth thinking about.

We must not be cowards about our freedoms. And one of the most important is: civilized people have free speech, not ears and eyes protected from any perceived slight by state or private terror. Taking offense is not an excuse to undermine freedom. It is “Harm to others” that gives us standing to consider a lawful process to abridge a person’s freedom; not “offense to others.”

Video: The Five on E-Cigs

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

The innovation of e-cigarettes seems a major advance. Instead of smoking tobacco, complete with its carcinogenic tars clogging up lungs, one inhales water vapor imbued with a liquid containing a concentration of nicotine. And so of course there’s a political movement to ban the things, or at least heavily regulate them. The specified reason for most of these regulations or prohibitions is that “vaping” looks like smoking.

But it isn’t smoking. It’s much, much safer. So, argues Greg Gutfeld, the practice of vaping will save lives:

Not mentioned in this discussion (on Fox News’s evening talk show The Five) is the possible puritanism behind the move. The five Democratic politicians who are moving against the technology recognize, I am sure, that e-cigs are nicotine-delivery systems. To be against nicotine is to be against “addiction.” And, on this very simplistic view, for “health.”

But as mentioned by more than one of Fox’s talking heads, it’s hard to support free needle distribution on the one hand, and prohibit or “crack down” on e-cigs, on the other.

Strange world.