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NEW CALLS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES TO POLICE VIOLENT CONTENT
SABRINA SCHAFFER: This is a horrible crime the week of Christmas; I don't think there is anyone who wants to diminish this. But I don't think going after companies like Instagram and Facebook or Twitter is the right approach. We have to remember there is a very different world now with social media than regular broadcast media where an editor or publisher affirmatively publishes something. This is very different, it is a self-publishing application anyone can put things on. Companies shouldn't have to monitor everything.
CARRIE SCHEFFIELD: I think they should, they bear responsibility. If Instagram had been more vigilant there could be two police home with their families for the holidays and the shooter himself could have been alive, he was clearly mentally ill.
STEVE FORBES: You don't know the difference between someone letting off steam and someone who is carrying it out. To have Instagram responsible for it is just preposterous. This is a trial lawyers delight when something goes wrong they can go through and say oh you should have tagged this one and sued the pants off them.
JOHN TAMNY: I think all of this is a bad idea that will make us less safe. There are all sorts of uneven people out there who post odd things. But suddenly if we are informing on them we will require law enforcement to cover all bases and chase false alarms and we will live in a society that we don't like where we are informing on people because we don't like them. This is a dangerous thing.
RICH KARLGAARD: It would be expensive for these companies to come up with the software or have live people monitors. China employs millions of people who monitor websites and I don't think we want to go in that direction.
'MOST REDICULOUS' LAWSUITS IN 2014 SPARKING NEW CALLS FOR TORT REFORM
STEVE FORBES: These examples will be a huge push for tort reform. The answer is if you file a suit and lose you pay the other sides fees.
BRUCE JAPSEN: Certainly there are a lot of goofy lawsuits out there, but whether they see the light of day and result in a settlement, you don't need tort reform, since you have Justice Roberts. And the Justice Roberts court has been gutting plaintiff's actions and litigation for the last several years now and it's only going to continue.
RICH KARLGAARD: It does add up, if you add it all up across the country it's something more than 250 Billion per year, that's 1.5 percent of the GDP. That's what's being stripped out of the potential growth. It means tens of millions of people who should be comfortably in the middle class aren't there.
JOHN TAMNY: We don't need national tort reform. I think this is a local issue, each state should decide how they are going to treat lawyers.
SABRINA SCHAFFER: The problem is we have progressive policies like ObamaCare that are on the national level. So we found that places like the Massachusetts medical society, which some research into this, about 80 percent of their doctors acknowledged that about 20 percent of the tests and procedures they are ordering are all defensive medicine to prevent lawsuits. Similarly the Pacific Research Institute, they found that this accounts for about 200 billions of dollars of wasted medicine per year. These are real numbers. We have a national issue to talk about.
NEW CUBA CONTROVERSY
STEVE FORBES: What Obama has done here is a bailout of the Castro brothers in a corrupt communist aristocracy. These red aristocrats have been looting the Cuban people for decades. If you're not part of the elite, you will suffer. This is a corrupt regime that starves its people; the only one in the world that is worse is North Korea.
JOHN TAMNY: I think what has to be stressed is that Cuba is not a poor country because of U.S. sanctions. It's poor because its people are economically unfree. If there is all sorts of cross-border trade between the two countries that is a beautiful sign, because they only way to trade is to produce first. So if this means that some of that money is going into Castro Inc. that is a good bargain. You figure our politicians take in some of the money that we produce also. Let's make this happen.
RICH KARLGAARD: In an imperfect world this is a net positive. Yes, Castro Inc. is going to be enriched further, it's maddening, and we would like it to be the opposite but on the whole it's a move in the right direction.
CARRIE SHEFFIELD: There is not a 2-way street here, unlike with China. We were at our most leverage point here, because Venezuela, its patron was shriveling with falling oil prices. Obama could have gotten some major concessions here from the Castro regime, but he didn't.
BRUCE JAPSEN: Unfortunately, the palms of the dictators are going to be greased, just like the 535 palms in Washington and Congress. It will be a net-positive; yes some money will go to the Castro's.
STOCKS FOR THE NEW YEAR
JOHN TAMNY: (DNKN)
RICH KARLGAARD: BOEING (BA)