Banter #122: How can we reform the patent system?

Listen to the podcast!

On the latest episode of Banter, Stu and Andrew talk patent reform, Janet Yellen’s nomination to the Federal Reserve, and millennial home ownership. First up, Jeff Eisenach of AEI’s new Tech Policy Center sits down to discuss what can be done to fix the US patent system. Jeff not also outlines how large a problem fraudulent patents are, but why we should have an inherent interest in the topic. Also bantering with us is AEI researcher Emily Rapp, who explains what Janet Yellen’s nomination means for Fed policy going forward. Last, we discuss what mistakes millennial’s make when the decide to purchase homes, if they decide to buy property at all. Enjoy!

Rapp: Crashing through the glass ceiling: The importance of Yellen’s nod
Rapp: Millennials Must Be Informed About Purchasing a Home and Mortgage
Event: American strategy in the Asia-Pacific: Rep. Randy Forbes on the need for a congressional rebalance


10 2013

How I’d Rank the Presidents from 1900-Present

Random I know, but my Dad and I were discussing this and this is what he came up with:

Barack Obama -Anti- American and Destructive

Really Bad

Lyndon Johnson- Destructive
The Idiot Carter – An Idiot
Franklin Roosevelt – Basis for the welfare state, but at least he had a real crisis


Richard Nixon – Paranoid nut job who gave us price controls and expanded the Great Society
Woodrow Wilson – Just a misguided “I know better than others” idiot idealist
G.H.W. Bush – Squandered Reagan’s legacy
Teddy Roosevelt – Started Federal government activism


Harding \
Coolidge  \
Hoover      |- Meh.
Ford           /
Taft           /


Harry Truman – could easily slide in the Nebbish, but did a few decent things
George W. Bush – Morally great, but economically a sissy
Bill Clinton – I can’t rate him a nebbish and he wasn’t really bad…


John Kennedy- The last good Democrat, and we’ll probably never see another one
Dwight Eisenhower- He knew better than to mess things up and started some worthwhile govt programs (highway system, space exploration)


Ronald Reagan – No explaining needed.

Don’t think we missed anyone….


05 2012

Update to the Update on the Presidential odds.

Although not much has changed, besides Romney being guaranteed the nomination, I noticed over at TopBet Online sportsbook they have much better odds than a lot of the books. If you’re pulling for R0mney and think he can honestly pull it off, TopBet is giving great odds.

Democratic Party -280

Republican Party +210

Most other books are offering only +150 so that’s sixty cents of juice you can get for the exact same bet. Clearly we have a long way to go and a lot can happen, but it’s going to be tough for the democrats to pull an “October Surprise” on Romney, mainly because he doesn’t have any skeletons in the closet. So as I’ve said earlier if you like Romney now, I only see those odds going lower. Over at Real Clear Politics their national average has Romney 3.4 down in the last month, however the more recent data has them in a deadlock.

As other House, Senate, and Gubernatorial races heat up I’m sure more books will begin to post odds and we’ll let you know if we see any value.


05 2012

Political Odds Update!

Not much to report on the political odds front, except that, all the sports betting sites that post these odds have the democrats as a HUGE favorite to win in November. Right now multiple sports books have the odds set like this:

Democratic Party -210

Republican Party +170

If you think that Mitt Romney (the presumptive Republican nominee) has a shot at beating President Obama, now is you best chance at getting good odds. As previous elections have all been very close, there is no reason to think that this years won’t be. Right now Obama is polling about 2-5 points higher than Obama, but there is a long way to go. If the economy, gas prices, and the number of people unemployed doesn’t improve soon,  I can definitely see these numbers getting closer. Let me know what you think in the comments.


04 2012

Political Odds for the 2012 Election

As I’ve written in this space many times I’m a big fan of online gambling. Sports gambling mainly, however, over the last few years more and more sites are adding political prop bets to the list of things you can wager on. With the primaries in full swing and a tight race between Santorum and Romney shaping up here is where Vegas has each candidate going into the Michigan Primary, which takes place on February 28th:

Odds to win the Michigan Primary

Mitt Romney -130
Rick Santorum - EVEN
Newt Gingrich +5500
Ron Paul +5500

Romney is only a slight favorite in what most people considered a home state for him. Also, If you think Ron Paul or Gingrich could pull off a stunner there is a lot of money to be made. Here is a look at a more national odds: Read the rest of this entry →


02 2012

The Thoughtful Side of Occupy Wall Street …

Who says these young people aren’t mixing cold reality with their idealism?


Grounded in history, these civic-minded young activists understand the best traditions of America.

Armed with astute policy understanding and a clear, laser-like vision of reform, the 99%ers resemble no-one so much as the Founding Fathers.


10 2011

Maybe it’s the Chicago Way that’s ‘Gone Soft’

The sad quality of corruption in the Obama Administration.


Back in 2008-2009, one of the few consolations for we who remained hopeless in that dawn of hope and change was the chance to see some world-class Chicago-style corruption. No more of this Halliburton-told-Cheney-not-to-worry-there’d-be-WMDs-piled-in-the-streets-of-Basra tomfoolery, none of this third-rate Arkansas sleight-of-hand with the cattle futures records.

No, we were gonna see some brazen Windy City politicking. Tony Rezko in charge of HUD. Secretary of Defense Herb “Hefty” Kowalski (formerly Ward 57 waste-hauling commissioner). Somebody’s ex-con uncle in charge of the FBI. Ambassador Blago.

But nearly three years into the reign of the Sun King, and the administration’s corruption is no more effective than its legitimate policies (though, given the way ObamaCare came into being, one could be forgiven for confusing the two).

"And right over there, Mr. President, is where we're gonna store that pile of cash for your re-election campaign."

It would be understandable were it just the president himself. He probably learned no more in Chicago than he did at Occidental, Columbia or the Harvard Law Review. (Constitutional scholar? Please.) The affirmative action didn’t end at graduation. They were stealing h

im elections while he concentrated on attaining the proper air of cool, analytical detachment and getting that pants crease right. About the only thing he seems to have taken from the City with the Big Shoulders is a community organizer’s fondness for mau mauing the opposition.

But he had some real pros around him: Red diaper baby and one-time Chicago Tribune “journalist” David Axelrod. Eric “Pardons” Holder, who helped give us one last Clinton scandal for the road. Heck, wasn’t Rahm “Dead Fish” Emanual Obama’s Chief of Staff? That guy that made $18 million in three years working for Freddie Mac (three years that coincided with a lot of accounting “irregularities”) and then walked away smelling … not like a dead fish?

What a disappointment. Look, nobody expects Democrat programs to work, but the party of Tammany Hall, Billy Bulger and the Daily Dynasty should be able to get corruption right. But this gang has proven hapless.

To wit:

New Black Panther Gate: Are you kidding? If Chicago didn’t invent voting “irregularities” it raised them to an art form. These guys couldn’t even make a simple voter intimidation case go away without publicity. The two New Black Panthers caught on film menacing white voters in Philadelphia during the 2008 election were small-time and, with all the unicorns and rainbows and butterflies unleashed by Obama’s election, should have been utterly forgotten. OK, the investigation was begun under Bush, and a career lawyer, J. Christian Adams, decided to get all ethical and blow the whistle on Holder’s … indifference to the case. But Great Scarface’s Ghost! have Chicagoans lost the

"And here's the best part, Blago: the guns will only kill Mexicans! It's not like they'll be used to shoot our ICE agents. Great idea, right?"

ability to shut up an inconvenient witness?

Fast & Furious: What has it come to when the party of government can’t manage to use government in a nefarious manner to help grow government? On the surface, it’s kind of a neat idea, and super-attractive to liberal statists: get the ATF to buy legal guns in America, ship them to drug gangs south of the border and be shocked-shocked! when they turn up in violent crimes down there. “Why, we need to severely curtail the sale of weapons in our country, so they don’t go to Mexican narco-terrorists.”

But, as the left never seems to learn, liberals aren’t as smart as they think, and the rest of us aren’t as dumb as they think. The wrong people got killed. Someone added 2+2, and suddenly it’s “Yes Congressman Issa, no Congressman Issa.”

Solyndra: Do liberals think their corruption is more excusable if it’s in the service of failure? That would help explain this high-speed train-wreck. You slam through a half billion dollars in loan guarantees to a solar panel-maker (who’s other main investor just happens to have been a big-time bundler for your election campaign).

Of course, said manufacturer needs those guarantees because the market isn’t willing to capitalize it without them. Why? Oh, its competitors in China are making the same product for pennies on the dollar, and it’s got warehouses full of unsold solar panels. Oh, and nobody else has been able to make the business work without government subsidy.

OK, liberals’ blind faith in government means they don’t get business, so maybe that’s understandable. But if you’re gonna do something shady with $550 million of taxpayer money, have the good sense not to publicize it ahead of time. But Solyndra was the poster child for Obama’s green jobs pipe dream. They had a ceremony. Joe Biden was there by satellite – presumably, Amtrac didn’t run there.

We’re left with the spectacle of Obama cronies taking the fifth while even the mainstream media are publishing embarrassing details about whistling showers and robotic spas, or something.

This is embarrassing. The French are having a hearty laugh at our incompetence in extra-governmental activities. Tin-pot dictators in Latin America are cringing. Superpower, indeed!

Like all liberals, Obama’s always on about investing in our “competitiveness.” Given the sad state of corruption in his government, he may want to remember that investment begins at home.


10 2011

Selective Sexist Outrage

Recently, TV viewers might have run across the comedic JC Penney commercial advertising men’s clothes. The commercial begins with JC Penney pitchman Kenny Mayne addressing men, stating that JC Penney is aware men don’t like men’s clothing advertisements. He then promises that if they pay attention to the ensuing advertisement, he would essentially make it worth their while. Viewers are then treated to a split-screen commercial with varying business casual Van Heusen ensembles offered by JC Penney, next to a sexy scene from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High in which Phoebe Cates’ character is seen emerging from a swimming pool in a red bikini.” Mayne casually states, “That way, everybody wins.”

But this funny advertisement has created uproar among traditionally conservative groups, and JC Penney has since pulled the advertisement. an online group of mothers dedicated to “stop[ping] the exploitation of our children,” has decried the advertisement as “offensive” and “blatantly disrespectful to all women, especially mothers and wives.”

Is the ad sexist? Absolutely. Is it sexist on purpose? In the words of Sarah Palin, “You betcha.” Read the rest of this entry →


09 2011

Michael Moore, Dylan Ratigan: More Lefties Against Free Speech

Here’s a dirty little (not-so-) secret: Liberal Democrats really aren’t very liberal, and they don’t much care for democracy. You want proof? I mean, beyond campus speech codes and “hate crime” laws and Thomas Friedman’s kinky fantasies about being disciplined by Chinese engineers?

Okay, how about: professional gas-bag Michael Moore has signed on to professional gas-bag Dylan Ratigan’s petition to get the professional gas out of politics. That is, the two well-paid leftists want a constitutional amendment banning “corporate money” from “our political system!”

That’s right. Michael Moore, who’s given the equivalent of the starting salary of one of his beloved UAW bowling buddies to Democrats, supports Ratigan’s effort to curtail political speech in the United States. “No person, corporation or business entity of any type,” reads their amendment, can give money “directly or indirectly” to any candidate or campaign for federal office. First Amendment Shmirst Amendment.

Ratigan, presumably, has seen up close the corrupting, nefarious impact of corporate largesse in the workings of government. Until recently, his checks were signed by GE CEO Jeff Immelt, who threw the full weight of his corporation into electing President Obama, and then reaping the benefits of flagrant crony capitalism.

I’m sure Ratigan’s outrage is further fueled by the Solyndra scandal, in which well-connected political fundraisers received sweetheart federal loan guarantees for a highly dubious business model that just happened to dovetail nicely with someone’s “green” ideology. And you can be sure he finds Silicon Valley’s embrace of liberal issues and politicians deeply troubling.

While we wait for Ratigan and Moore to denounce President Obama as a corporate stooge (or, in lingo I’m sure they’re nostalgic for, a “capitalist running dog”), let’s see who else isn’t really happy with this whole republican democracy thing.

Why there’s former Obama Budget Director Peter Orszag taking time out from raising his 17 families to moan in the New Republic that we need “less democracy” to control the gridlocked that has gripped Washington lo these many months. How about North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue suggesting, “I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover.”

Yes, what politics needs is less accountability.

Look, anyone who’s observed American Lefties long enough knows that the only actual democracy they like involves getting homeless guys to vote in exchange for cigarettes. And who could blame them? They know better than the rest of us. So their natural inclination is to get our opinions out of their political system.

But this volley of complaints about our “small r” republican system is as sure a sign of lefty desperation as the sound of seeds and stems popping in their hash pipes. Obama has failed and failed big. He’s failed the country, yes, but that’s of little account. The problem is, he’s failed them. The union agenda is going nowhere. Green jobs are a grim joke. His environmentalist supporters can forget meaningful, economy-destroying action. The Earth would be better served if they pulled over their Priuses and flogged themselves in public for their crimes against Gaia (‘tis a consummation devoutly to be wished!)

No, the hot exhaust of failure is blowing up their white skirts of democracy and giving us a peek of their totalitarian iron underpants. It’s a desperate predicament, and an equally desperate metaphor.


09 2011

Las Vegas Weighs In On 2012

Every year Bodog tries to do it’s best at handicapping the the presidential elections. This year they’ve released odds for the Republican primary and Bodog seems to agree that Romney and Perry are the frontrunners, both receiving 5/4 odds. Gambling is big business and Bodog’s foray into political handicapping is probably nothing more than a publicity thing but you can really make some money doing this. With laws regarding online gambling having effected that sites that involve bingo games online, poker games, and other casino related games handicapping is becoming one of the few choices left online.

Lets take a look at some of the numbers:

2012 US Presidential Election – Republican Nominee

Mitt Romney 5/4
Rick Perry 5/4
Ron Paul 11/1
Sarah Palin 14/1
Jon Hunstman 18/1
Michele Bachmann 22/1

At this point it’s safe to say that it’s a Romney/Perry race, however Sarah Palin could surprise everyone and get in. Who knows how that would effect the odds. Here are the odds for the Presidential winner:

2012 US Presidential Election – Odds to be Next President

Barack Obama 10/11
Mitt Romney 4/1
Rick Perry 4/1
Ron Paul 20/1
Jon Hunstman 25/1

Obama, being the incumbent is the clear favorite, but if you think Perry or Romney will win the Republican nod you can parlay that with a Presidential win and get really good odds. This is a fun thing for gamblers to do, but it’s football season, and football is king.


09 2011