Brian McNicoll

Brian McNicoll

Articles by Brian McNicoll

Fox News Starts 2017 with Best Quarter Ever

Buoyed by The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News just reported the best quarter in cable television history – better even than the final quarter of 2016, when the presidential race reached its stunning climax.

Bill O'Reilly Fox

NBC News Head: ‘We’re Not the Opposition Party’

NBC News chairman Andy Lack said Tuesday that President Donald Trump “has us a bit more focused on temperament than we expected,” but he derided Trump’s complaints about “fake news” and the role the media has played in covering the campaign and now the administration.


McNicoll: Protecting Those Who Write the Music

The music industry is not the auto industry. The people who make our music and the composers who write it are wrangling with major corporations for the rights to their work. They’re vulnerable to exploitation and outright theft.


McNicoll: Don’t Let Democrats Burrow Into Federal Agencies

There are whimsical recount efforts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – three states the Democrats were shocked to lose. There are death threats to the people who will vote in the Electoral College, as well as campaigns to try to convince them not to vote as their constituents directed.

A woman protests against US President-elect Donald Trump in front of Trump Tower on Novemb

Alaska Cable Giant Gearing Up To Rob State Piggybank Again

The state has put more than $50 billion in oil and gas royalties into the Permanent Fund since the 1970s, when oil started flowing through the Alaska Pipeline. Interest from the fund is used to fund the payments of about $2,000 per year that go to every resident in Alaska.

A buried section of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline emerges a few miles north of the Yukon River

Congress Can Act To Roll Back Regulations

It’s high time Congress strike back and re-assert its constitutionally enshrined co-equality with the other branches. After all, it holds the power of the purse, the ability to grant presidents the power to declare war and even the power to approve key presidential appointments.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 08: The Capitol Building is pictured on November 8, 2016 in Wash

Transportation Regulators Are off the Rails, Again

The Surface Transportation Board, which governs rail traffic, wants to make it easier for big shippers to force private railroads to switch trains to tracks owned by other railroads to accommodate delivery.

Switchman Kirk Hughes works on a train in the Upper Ninth Ward May 12, 2009 in New Orleans

CFPB Asks For Advice; Prepares to Ignore It

The CFPB hid the results – it took a Freedom of Information Act request from the Community Financial Services Association of America to dislodge them – because they wanted to promulgate a far tougher regulation than the industry’s customers would want.

A customer walks out of a Check Masters payday lending store Monday, Dec. 28, 2009, in Sea

What You Can’t See: Special Interests Blocking Contact Lens Innovation

There already are a variety of apps that administer various eye tests, complete with the familiar black-on-white letters to be identified and other features. There is an app with it that allows your phone’s camera to see into and behind retinas and actually look through the eyes at the human brain.

File, June 24, 2010 in Cheshire, Connecticut.

Postal Service Not Delivering on Pension Promises

Since 1970, when Congress passed the Postal Reorganization Act, the Postal Service has operated as a quasi-government agency. Revenues are supposed to cover costs, and political interference on where post offices and other facilities are located is supposed to be removed from the process.

Paint coveres U.S. Postal Service mailbox on November 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida.

Getting to the Bottom of Things with Elon Musk

On Sept. 1, a rocket made by SpaceX, the space exploration company Elon Musk owns, blew up on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Fla. It was the second time in nine months one of Musk’s rocket projects blew up, but it wasn’t his engineers he questioned about the latest mistake. It was his biggest competitor.

Elon Musk Tesla Battery (Kevork Djansezian / Getty)

One Judge Could Upend The Music Marketplace

Judge Lewis Stanton, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ruled the consent decree that BMI, a major American music publisher, operates under, does not prohibit fractional licensing.

CDs in Norridge, Illinois.

Protecting Loans for the Little Guy

As this most intellectually slothful of administrations mercifully winds down, the president is stepping up efforts to drive out private loans to small-dollar borrowers and replace them with a government-owned bank, run through the Postal Service.


Is the FCC Hung Up on Small Carriers?

Could the fines be politically motivated? These phone companies would not be the first to suggest as much from the Enforcement Bureau of the FCC.


Bill Ackman Can’t Manage to Destroy Herbalife

Herbalife is a multilevel marketing company, much the same as Avon and Tupperware, in which distributors earn money both by selling products and by recruiting other distributors. Ackman tried to establish that it was rather a pyramid scheme, in which little of the actual product ever is sold and the entire effort is focused on recruiting new investors to keep the people at the top earning.

July 30, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the Other Washington, Governor Inslee Sows Confusion

Why can’t Governor Inslee acknowledge that, unlike the pie-in-the-sky activists he seeks to appease, he has a responsibility to govern — for the people who need energy, jobs, infrastructure and the products these goods produce?

Governor Jay Inslee speaks at the 2013 Green Inaugural Ball at NEWSEUM on January 20, 2013

CFPB Wants to End Short-Term Loans That Can Help Real People

The key for Sherrill was a series of short-term loans to cover business expenses when he was starting out. His first was for $250 to cover expenses. He repaid it in two weeks, then took out another loan for his business. He met payroll, purchased equipment and supplies and stayed above water in his business’ formative years with the help of these small loans.

Payday Loans AP

Elon Musk Wins By Gaming the Subsidy Game

Elon Musk has made a ton of money on his own – and continues to. He founded, an online payment company, with profits he made off the sale of Zip2, the first online version of the Yellow Pages. eventually merged with Confinity and became PayPal.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV o

Operation Choke Point Targets Businesses Liberals Don’t Like

Liberals hold fewer electoral offices at the federal, state and local level than at any time in the last century. Their sole significant legislative victory of the last 20 years – Obamacare – passed in the dead of night on Christmas Eve without a single Republican vote.

A Japanese court has told Internet giant Google to hide a man's criminal past from its sea

Crony Capitalism Targeting The 340B Program

The 340B program is a case study in what happens when a powerful lobby doesn’t like having to participate in a government program but knows it can’t kill the program.


Fixing the Post Office’s Problems

In recent weeks, Chris Edwards at the libertarian Cato Institute has called for the Postal Service to be privatized, and the Washington Post has called for it to be reformed from within.

Paint coveres U.S. Postal Service mailbox on November 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida.