Americans are by now broadly aware of the threat posed by Chinese-owned TikTok, including its threat…
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TikTok’s Latest Assault: Ripping Off American Artists and Songwriters

Americans are by now broadly aware of the threat posed by Chinese-owned TikTok, including its threat to U.S. national security.

In recent days, we’ve witnessed in real time another emerging TikTok threat reaching the headlines:  The threat it poses to intellectual property protections, which undergird America’s status as the most artistically and musically productive and influential nation in human history.

Universal Music Group, however, has decided to stand up and fight back by removing its catalog of songs – including artists like Taylor Swift, Drake and Billie Eilish – from TikTok.

Tone-Deaf TikTok has built its aggressive worldwide empire largely on the backs of music created by American artists, as even its corporate leadership openly admits.  As TikTok’s very own…[more]

February 08, 2024 • 12:44 PM

Liberty Update

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Biden Scandals Causing Asymmetrical Damage Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Wednesday, August 16 2023
Credible evidence continues to accumulate that Joe Biden simply hasn’t been squaring with Americans.

A funny thing is happening along Joe Biden’s road to reelection, a road he hoped would be smoothed by multiple indictments against his predecessor and chief competitor.  

Instead, Biden continues to suffer asymmetrical damage from multiplying ethical scandals of his own. 

In Gallup’s latest survey, Biden averaged a 40.7% approval rating in his tenth quarter in office, lower than every post-World War II president except Jimmy Carter.  In a separate Gallup survey that must alarm Biden and his supporters, just 42% of Americans rate Biden’s ethical standards favorably while 55% rate him unfavorably.  

In contrast, Donald Trump’s own polling numbers remain comparatively static and a potential Biden-Trump rematch is a statistical dead heat.  

Accordingly, accumulating allegations of ethical misconduct harm Biden differently than they do Trump.  

Indeed, each new Trump indictment doesn’t merely offer diminishing returns, as social media traffic studies demonstrate.  

Rather, as captured by a Reuters/Ipsos survey predating additional damning revelations of potential Biden misconduct, growing public perception that prosecutorial authorities treat Biden and his family more favorably than they do Trump risks a blowback effect causing affirmative harm to Biden:  

A new Reuters/Ipsos survey finds that half of Americans believe that Hunter Biden is receiving favorable treatment from prosecutors because he is President Joe Biden’s son.  The same poll also finds that most do not believe the charges against Hunter Biden are politically motivated.  But a majority believe former President Trump’s criminal indictments are politically motivated.  

Rightly or wrongly, significant portions of the American public see prosecutors exploiting novel and tenuous legal theories across multiple jurisdictions to pursue Trump.  In contrast, presumably competent federal prosecutors investigating the Biden family delayed to such an extent that they somehow allowed multiple statutes of limitation to expire.  

For any everyday attorney, allowing a statute of limitations to expire would justify immediate termination.  Among federal prosecutors investigating the Bidens, however, missing a limitations period is apparently trivial.  

More broadly, whereas Trump’s character controversies have long been baked into his proverbial cake, Biden has inexplicably crafted a political profile as a “No Malarkey” regular guy.  According to popular myth, Biden may be a bumbling incompetent who has somehow managed to blow every major policy decision of his long political career, as famously noted by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served under both Republican and Democratic presidents.  But at least he seemed likable and down-to-earth to just enough of the media and electorate.  

How a man who was forced to withdraw from his first presidential campaign in 1988 due to plagiarism, and who bizarrely lies about everything from the circumstances of his first wife’s death to interactions with Amtrak personnel during his commutes between Delaware and Washington, D.C., became President will remain a mystery for future political scientists to study.  

Presently, however, Biden’s increasingly untenable denials of any involvement in his son’s shady business empire and even criminal activity damage him asymmetrically, as even CNN Chief National Affairs Correspondent Jeff Zeleny acknowledged:  

I think politically it removes some of the moral high ground that he might have against all the Trump accusations, and among Democrats it probably doesn’t matter, but among independent voters who are like, “You know, just this is why we don’t like government, they all just smell a little crooked here,” I think that could be an issue.  And also, perhaps most important how it directly impacts the president’s thinking and his head.  He is so defensive of Hunter Biden and I think that this has the potential of really agitating him.  

Meanwhile, it’s time to put to rest a diversionary tactic increasingly deployed by Biden apologists as damaging evidence and public distrust increase.  

Namely, they claim that “no evidence” suggests prosecutorial softness or Joe Biden’s substantive involvement in his son’s activities.  By that they appear to mean documentary evidence in the form of some written confession from Joe Biden or bank deposit record with his own name on it.  

In addition to a wealth of records, however, multiple witnesses have now testified to facts contradicting Joe Biden’s categorical denials, and witness testimony is “evidence” to the same degree as documentary or real evidence.  

Indeed, testimonial evidence is often more reliable than documentary evidence for numerous reasons.  

Among other advantages, testimonial evidence can provide a more comprehensive understanding of events, since witnesses can expand upon details, reflections and key context in ways that documents cannot.  Witnesses can also be cross-examined and placed under oath, whereas documents could be forged, altered or otherwise ambiguous.  Testimony, in contrast with most documents, offers a human perspective, emotional context and ability to clarify, which assumes added significance where human experience, nuance, emotion and perception play a crucial role, as is the case surrounding Joe Biden’s murky involvement in his son’s activities.  

In any event, credible evidence continues to accumulate that Joe Biden simply hasn’t been squaring with Americans.  For a man so reliant upon the “No Malarkey” slogan, this will continue to impact his reelection campaign in an asymmetrical way that he apparently never contemplated.

Notable Quote   
 
"Significantly more Americans name immigration as the most important problem facing the U.S. (28%) than did a month ago (20%). Immigration has now passed the government as the most often cited problem, after the two issues tied for the top position the past two months. The government ranked first each month from January through November 2023.In the latest poll, 20% of Americans name the government…[more]
 
 
— Jeffrey Jones, Gallup Senior Editor
 
Liberty Poll   

Would you feel safer riding in a self-driving car or one driven by Vin Diesel?