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Video: Prager U explains how regulations hurt small businesses

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 9:07am

What do Dunkin’ Donuts, Hertz Car Rental, and Hilton Hotels have in common? They’re all franchises. Franchises allow small business owners to manage just one or two locations in a chain, and it’s worked well for decades. But now, the National Labor Relations Board wants to impose new rules and regulations which will hurt both franchises and their employees.

What are these regulations and what harm will they cause? What the video below to find out.

OSHA Must Revisit Costly Expansion Of Maritime Construction Rule

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 2:46am

Originally published by The Daily Caller on April 11, 2017.

In the waning hours of the Obama administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalized a rule to dramatically lower the level of permissible exposure to beryllium in workplaces. This expensive regulation was expanded behind closed doors after its initial public proposal and lacks strong scientific support. It is set to take effect May 20, after President Trump directed agencies to delay for 60 days rules that had been published in the federal register but not yet taken effect. His administration should insist that OSHA reverse the last-minute expansion of the rule, and at the very least follow proper procedures if it wishes to expand it again.

OSHA says that lowering the allowed level of beryllium exposure from 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 0.2 micrograms over an eight-hour period will save over 90 lives per year. But it hasn’t provided evidence to sustain that number, nor the fanciful claim that the rule will somehow provide net savings of $560.8 million per year.

Given the way these agencies work, their estimation that the rule will cost $74 million per year to implement is almost certainly low. American business don’t need those added costs.

Nevertheless, the major problem with the rule is its last-minute expansion to cover not only those working with beryllium alloys, but also abrasive blasting in the construction and shipyard industries.

The materials used for abrasive blasting, like coal and copper slag—waste products from coal power plants or smelting and refining processes—would otherwise end up in landfills. Instead, it is recycled and put to use. It also contains only trace amounts of beryllium, as much as 22,000 times less than in some copper beryllium alloys, the original focus of the rule.

The already heavily regulated abrasive blasting industry, which directly employs over 400,000 workers, has never had a documented case of beryllium-related illness in either the manufacture or use of coal and copper slag abrasive materials. There are also likely to be unintended health consequences if the industry is effectively forced to substitute silica-based materials in order to avoid unaffordable burdens.

The added provisions in the regulation were never offered for public comment, thus limiting stakeholder input. Congressman Byrne (R-AL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, recently authored a letter chastising OSHA for this “impermissible overreach,” and called for an indefinite delay to the rule while the agency reopens the rule-making process and follows proper procedure for amending the scope of the original proposed rule.

If OSHA fails to take his advice and adhere to the rules put in place to ensure transparency and accountability in the regulatory process, then Congress has a remedy. The Congressional Review Act provides a mechanism for the reversal of agency ruling within 60 legislative days after a rule is submitted to Congress.

OSHA had the dubious distinction of being the originator of the only rule—requiring workplaces to create ergonomic programs—ever repealed using the Congressional Review Act prior to this year’s Congress, which has undone several costly Obama-era regulations already. If OSHA wishes to avoid seeing another of its rules preempted by Congress, it should respect the regulatory process and take out the 11th-hour expansion of the beryllium rule.

The newest ‘privilege’ to guilt-trip over: Being ‘average’

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 10:18pm

[Ed. – Basketball centers, Women of Size, and people who don’t run faster than Oprah Winfrey need not apply, apparently.  I’m starting to suspect that none of this is actually about “justice.”]

In the first section, titled “The World Around You Was Designed for Your Body to Easily Access It,” Lays explains that people who are “physically average” get to do great things like “fit into seats on public transport.” And in another section, titled “A Variety of Products and Media Cater Specifically to Your Diverse Needs,” Lays talks about how truly privileged she is to be able to “easily find things in non-specialty shops that are branded ‘nude,’ which pretty much accurately represents [her] skin tone.”

The rest of her piece centers around the idea that “‘physically average’ looking people are not something to be shocked by when they go about their normal life.” …

“Being physically average means I’m almost never singled out for ‘security purposes,’” she continues. “Even though I spend the majority of my time outside my house pushing a double stroller – in which I could hide all sorts of things, even though in reality it’s stuffed with snacks, wet wipes, and nappies.”

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Observers report polling place intimidation, violence in Turkey’s referendum

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 10:00pm

[Ed. – This won’t surprise well-informed readers.  It should be a reminder, in any case, of how far gone Turkey is now.]

When attorney Necmi Acar arrived at a polling station this past Sunday in Oyuktas, a village in southeast Turkey, he was greeted by an armed squad of rural policemen. Voting had just begun in a referendum that, if passed, would consolidate governmental powers under the presidency, currently held by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Acar, a volunteer with the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), had come to the station in response to a complaint of voter suppression in Oyuktas: Villagers claimed they were being forced to cast their ballots openly, under the watch of the Muhtar, or village leader, who they said was forcing them to vote “Yes.” The Muhtar allegedly did so while carrying an unconcealed handgun in the waistline of his pants.

Acar tried to enter the school where voting was taking place, but the Muhtar and the local jandarma, or rural law officers, confronted him. “They [asked] me ‘what are you doing here? We don’t want you here. … When I introduced myself as a lawyer and said I would take them to court, they let me pass,’” Acar said in a phone interview on Tuesday. He said he then entered the polling site to find four to five armed jandarma in each voting room. Under Turkish law, voting is supposed to be conducted in private booths, without security personnel or others seeking to influence voters present.

The ballot-box observer who called in the violations Acar had come to investigate had left the polling site by the time he arrived. He told Acar he had been beaten by the Muhtar for snitching, and had gone into hiding. A shootout at another polling station had already claimed three lives that day, and the observer had no interest in being the fourth.

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91 days out of office, Biden bemoans state of nation’s infrastructure; blames Chris Christie

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 9:41pm

[Ed. – I do like the “Chris Christie” touch, in front of the New York audience.  The whole nation sucks, and what really blows is this guy across the river.]

Taking note of the recent service problems at North America’s busiest train station (including, he noted, an actual stampede), he said New York’s Penn Station, “is barely hanging on by a thread.”

New York’s airports and subways are, by Biden’s lights and pretty much everyone else’s, outmoded and overcrowded. Friday morning’s widespread MTA delays, which Biden apparently learned about while shaving, personally affected him by tripping up the guy who does his advance work.

Three years after Biden said LaGuardia Airport reminded him of a “third world” country, a statement that preceded Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s launch of an $8 billion renovation there, Biden told a room full of planners, bureaucrats, politicians and business people that the country’s infrastructure, like New York City’s, is a “national disgrace.”

The audience at the Regional Plan Association’s annual assembly was receptive, greeting his comments with rounds of laughter, particularly when he (twice) dinged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for halting construction on a new cross-Hudson tunnel…

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Trump inauguration rioters are organizing the upcoming ‘People’s Climate March’

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 9:29pm

[Ed. – What could go wrong?]

The same agitators behind the riots on the day of President Trump’s inauguration are helping to organize the upcoming People’s Climate March in Washington D.C.

Resist This, whose motto was “we disrupt” when dozens of its members were arrested for rioting in January on the streets of Washington D.C., is calling for volunteers.

“April 29th marks the 100th day of the Trump administration, which makes it an extremely important moment to send the message that our resistance to his disastrous policies isn’t going anywhere. From Day 1 we have seen what people power can achieve: Trumpcare? Withdrawn. Muslim ban? Blocked. Now Trump’s entire fossil fuel agenda is next, and the People’s Climate March is a crucial turning point in that fight,” an email sent out by the group Friday states.

“100,000 people have already signed up to march in DC. 250 sister marches are being planned across the country. …”

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SEIU, Muslims join forces to pressure Seattle security company, purportedly over prayer breaks

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 9:10pm

[Ed. – Sounds like the real issue here is that SEIU won’t stop until they’ve forced the company’s workers to unionize.  The few Muslims willing to march with them against one of the company’s biggest accounts — other Muslims say there are no problems at all taking prayer breaks at Amazon — are basically being used.]

The Service Employees International Union and three Muslim guards who work for Security Industry Specialists, the security contractor Amazon uses to guard its facility, accuse SIS, and by implication Amazon, of refusing to allow the guards space to pray five times daily, even though members of other religions are granted the privilege of using prayer rooms. …

The May 1 rally won’t be the first time SEIU and former SIS guards who are Muslim have knocked at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ front door.

“There’s been issues regarding religious prayers, [with some not being] given a space to practice,” Ismahan Ismail, a security specialist at Amazon, told the South Seattle Emerald. “When I did speak up, I was actually retaliated against. I had someone step on my prayer items.” [Which sounds suspicious, since such allegations rarely if ever pan out. – Ed]

“I want to set the record straight,” Usama Baioumy said. “Amazon provided us with a prayer room. … I pray in the room here. Amazon helped us by providing prayer rooms across the building.”

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Dem Rep. tells HS kids: Jim Crow’s ‘nieces and nephews’ are in the White House

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 8:48pm

[Ed. – Gravitas.  In any case, it sounds like his young audience was well-primed for such hate-speech sentiments.]

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) criticized President Trump’s administration Friday, tying it to the Jim Crow laws that protected racial segregation in the decades after the Civil War.

Giving his opening statement during a town hall at Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn, Jeffries defended former President Barack Obama’s tenure while contrasting it with the current administration.

“While Jim Crow may be dead, he’s got some nieces and nephews that are alive and well. And a few of them are running around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” Jeffries said to laughs and cheers from the audience.

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O’Reilly’s firing is really about Trump

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 7:30pm

[Ed. – Actually, it’s really about the vicious, determined intolerance of the left.  “Trump” is just the focus of effort right now.]

[I]f I were Sean Hannity, I’d be watching my back.  Bill O’Reilly — whatever his behavior — may only have been the first to go.

The real target in the defenestration of Bill was not O’Reilly himself but very obviously Donald Trump.  He’s the Big Kahuna the obscenely named “Resistance” (hey, you idiots, that was about Auschwitz, not tax reform) is after and Bill was only a stop along the way.  Indeed, several of Bill’s accusers, represented by the daughter of Gloria Allred, appear to be people who find Trump particularly loathsome. And the original story was broken by the New York Times, the literary capital of the “Resistance.”

The timing of the attacks on O’Reilly — who everyone knew for years was not a saint, sort of like Bill Clinton and half the stars in Hollywood we hear pontificating on a daily basis — is also far from coincidental.  O’Reilly, although he pretended to even-handedness (no journalist is), was one of Trump’s most staunch defenders in the media, arguably his most powerful one. For the “Resistance,” he had to go.

If I were Fox talent right now, I’d be very nervous and especially careful about saying anything too positive about Trump.  I’d remember to add a few negatives, maybe more than a few, to undercut any approving statements about the president or his policies, just like they do it on CNN.

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Bear on the move: Russian long-range aircraft operate near Alaska for fourth day this week

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 2:21pm

Although U.S. officials are describing the activities of Russian strategic bombers and other long-range aircraft this week as routine, it’s not actually routine to see them this often.

The “routineness” lies more in the fact that the Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers aren’t making sudden moves or doing anything alarming during each individual flight.

The IL-38 “May” aircraft, meanwhile, are maritime patrol planes, dedicated to ocean surveillance and antisubmarine warfare.  They can be armed with antiship and antisubmarine weapons, but they work for the theater fleet commander (the Russian Pacific Fleet, in this case) and are not part of the strategic nuclear force.

So IL-38s operating near Alaska don’t send a “strategic” signal in the nuclear-forces sense, as the forward operation of Tu-95 Bears does.

The best assessment of what Russia is doing is based on a combination of factors.  One is the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and the response of the Pacific military powers to it.  Japan has been on heightened alert for some days now.  China has deployed additional troops to the border with North Korea, and has put bomber aircraft on alert.

The U.S. has completed a major, recurring exercise with South Korea in the last month, has stood up the Terminal High-Altitude Air Defense/Area Denial (THAAD) system in South Korea, and sent our vice president to roam South Korea inspecting military preparations and issuing political assurances.  For whatever reason(s), the Trump administration has also allowed rumors to flourish about our intentions for carrier strike groups, including USS Carl Vinson’s, which was thought to be heading directly for Korea from the South China Sea (but isn’t – yet), and the strike groups of USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz.

Interestingly, the Russian flights off the U.S. West coast kicked in the day the anonymously-sourced report came out that Reagan and Nimitz would be heading for the Far East, supposedly to join the Carl Vinson there.  In a time of heightened tensions, a show of force and intention, by visibly monitoring the progress of a strike group coming from the U.S. West coast (i.e., Nimitz’s), would be quite in character for Russian forces.

But this week’s flights near Alaska were preceded last week by a 24-hour period of heavy Russian air activity around Japan.  On 12 April, according to the Daily Mail, Russia sent two IL-38s, two Tu-95 Bears, and two Tu-142 Bear “Fs” (“Bear Foxtrots”) – maritime warfare aircraft like the IL-38s – to operate over the waters around northern Japan, causing the Japanese to scramble fighters for numerous intercepts.  (Note: another source has one of the maritime aircraft sorties as an IL-20 “Coot,” an older reconnaissance aircraft that is not equipped for antisubmarine warfare.  Daily Mail erroneously describes the IL-38s in some places as “fighters,” so it’s possible there is some garbling in the communication here.  That there were Tu-142 Bear Fs operating during the 12 April surge seems to have been affirmed by later reporting; see one of the Russian exercise summaries below.)

All of this activity is also strongly reminiscent, however, of “SPRINGEX” – spring exercise – drills conducted by Russian military forces at this time of year in the Soviet era.  A resumption of visible SPRINGEXes is one of the things we should expect from a Russian military seeking to reestablish itself as a global force.

Russia’s Eastern military assets are still much diminished from what they were 30 years ago – and the Pacific theater was always secondary for Russian planners.  The forces of the Far East have been, comparatively, orphans surviving on scraps for decades.  So there’s a limit to the level of flash and dash they can put on.  How far forward their SPRINGEXes roam is likely to depend on what else is going on; i.e., whether they just need to practice their own skills, or whether there is a real-world crisis for which Moscow needs a display of force.

This was the basis on which Russian forces operated in the Soviet era for a good quarter century, from the mid-1960s to 1990.  Basically, it looks like it’s coming back again.  Vladimir Putin has been talking about bringing it back for ten years, and has been building toward it throughout that time.  Now it’s here.

Establishing that new basis for the Russian posture is still a work in progress.  We’ll have to see some iterations, from out here in the public square, to have more certainty about the patterns.  Right now, for example, we’re seeing reporting that Russia has deployed additional forces to the border with North Korea.  But Russia is claiming that the movement of forces is related to a military exercise – and that may actually be true.  (A sampling of exercises in recent weeks in the Eastern Military District: here, here, here, here.)

Russia moves forces for real-world operations under cover of “military exercises”; but Russia also just runs exercises.  In a pattern of frequent exercises, the excuse of an “exercise” may be a reliable one.  And Russian exercises have been gaining in frequency over the last five or six years.  It’s possible Russia has decided to go ahead with a previously scheduled exercise, rather than cancel it.

The good news is that the U.S. military should have pretty good insight into that, from clues that the public will never see.  My prediction is that we will keep seeing more Russian military activity overall.

We’re not going back to the Cold War, however.  We’re going forward, in a world in which American power already is no longer a single dominant factor.  In that world, Russia will use force to send signals in a lot of directions.  And that will mean moving it around more, where everyone can see it.

Who Will Prevail in Sunday’s French Presidential Contest and Earn the Right to Preside over the Nation’s Decline?

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 12:00pm

The last time there was a presidential election in France, I like to think my endorsement made a difference in the outcome.

Now that another election is about to take place, with a first round this Sunday and a runoff election between the top-2 candidates two weeks later, it’s time to once again pontificate about the political situation in France. But before looking at the major candidates, let’s consider a couple of pieces of economic data to get a sense of the enormous challenges that will have to be overcome to boost France’s anemic economy.

We’ll start with this measure of implicit pension debt (IPD) in various European nations. France, not surprisingly, has made commitments to spend money that greatly exceeds the private sector’s capacity to generate tax revenue.

By the way, the accompanying article notes that the numbers for France are even worse than suggested by the chart.

Most tax and accounting codes require companies to report such implicit debts on the liability side of the ledger as obligations. Not so with governments, whose accounting practices would under normal circumstances be considered as falsifying public accounts. …According to a recent study, six European countries – Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy and Poland – have an IPD exceeding 300 percent of gross domestic product. …And the kicker? The data cited above are based on the present value of future pensions as of 2006. More up-to-date figures probably won’t be available until the end of 2017. …The issue is no longer when France goes bankrupt, but when Europe does. The level of debt declared in the national accounts is already worrying. With implicit pension liabilities a multiple of that, it appears that a systemic implosion is unavoidable.

Here’s another sobering visual. France is doing a very good job of scaring off the geese that lay the golden eggs. It is losing more millionaires than any other country.

The combined message of these two visuals is that the already-enormous burden of spending in France will get worse, yet the country is chasing away the people who finance the lion’s share of the government’s budget.

And lots of young entrepreneurs also are escaping, which further exacerbates the nation’s long-run troubles.

Now that we’ve looked at where France is heading, let’s contemplate whether the politicians running for President will make the situation better or worse.

We’ll start with this helpful table summarizing the views of the major candidates (though the hard-left vote apparently has consolidated behind Mélenchon, so Hamon can be ignored).

What’s not captured in this table, however, is that the presidential race pits two outsiders (Mélenchon and Le Pen) against two establishment candidates (Macron and Fillon).

And this is leading to some interesting analysis. The establishment point of view is captured by Sebastian Mallaby’s column in the Washington Post. He is very opposed to Fillon, Le Pen, and Mélenchon, and also rather concerned that his preferred candidate – Emmanuel Macron – won’t make it to the runoff.

In the first round of its presidential election, to be held on Sunday, some three-quarters of the French electorate are expected to back candidates who stand variously for corruption, a 100 percent top tax rate, Islamophobia, Russophilia, Holocaust denial, the undermining of NATO and the traumatic breakup of Europe’s political and monetary union. France was once the cradle of the Western Enlightenment. Now it threatens to become a spectacle of decadent collapse.

I disagree with some of Mallaby’s analysis, but enjoyed his depiction of Mélenchon, who bizarrely thinks Venezuela is a role model.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Communist-allied candidate who styles himself after Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and promises a “citizens’ revolution.” No prizes for guessing that he’s the one who proposes a 100 percent top tax rate… Oblivious to the fact that France has taxed and regulated its way to a 25 percent youth unemployment rate and a government-debt trajectory that threatens Armageddon, he wants further cuts to the French workweek, an additional 10,000 civil servants and a shift in the retirement age from 62 to 60.

To put it in simple terms, Mélenchon is appealing to voters who think Hollandedidn’t go far enough.

CNN reports that Mélenchon is even more fixated on class warfare than Bernie Sanders.

Instead of a 90 percent top tax rate, he wants to steal every penny from the supposedly evil rich.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who has been endorsed by the French Communist Party, says he would introduce a 100% tax on income above €400,000 ($425,000). …France already has some of the world’s highest rates of income tax, and previous attempts to push them even higher have failed. …Around 10,000 millionaires left the country in 2015, followed by 12,000 last year, according to New World Wealth.

Though maybe he’s the French version of Obama, who also got support from communists.

And, like Obama, he thinks he should get to decide when someone has earned enough money.

“I believe that there is a limit to the accumulation [of wealth],” Mélenchon said in March. “If there are any who want to go abroad, well, goodbye!”

Though at least he has the courage of his convictions. He doesn’t mind if upper-income taxpayers leave. Though I wonder if he’s given any thought to who will then pay the bills?

Anyhow, the 100 percent tax is just one of many crazy ideas.

He also wants to limit pay for CEOs to 20 times the salary of their worst-paid employee. …Here’s a quick look at Mélenchon’s other economic policy proposals: Cut France’s working week to four days…More vacation days for workers…Raise minimum wage by 16%…Increase the tax on inherited wealth…100% renewable energy by 2050…No new free trade agreements…Nationalize French energy company EDF and gas provider Engie.

Now let’s shift to other candidates. I’m irked that Macron generally is portrayed as a centrist and even more irked that Le Pen is portrayed as being on the right.

Prince Michael of Liechtenstein is a very astute observer of European political and economic affairs and his analysis is more accurate. We’ll start with what he wrote about Le Pen’s support for statism.

Ms. Le Pen’s…socialist economic program will continue the ongoing destruction of the French economy, its competitiveness and public finances. …Such a scenario would, however, only accelerate a disaster that was already looming. The present government’s socialist policies, which have shied away from reform and preserved France’s oversized public sector, will eventually bear the same results.

To augment that analysis, Le Pen is considered on the right simply because of her anti-immigrant policy. But on economic policy, she is very much on the left.

Prince Michael also exposed Macron’s support for a more burdensome government.

Mr. Macron…claims that he will bring France’s budget deficit below the European benchmark of 3 percent. …The candidate’s plan…does not appear plausible in light of his intention to further increase government spending. Mr. Macron’s pronouncements indicate an adherence to the Keynesian economic policy approach at the EU level. According to him, Europe should end austerity and introduce a growth model in which additional spending – on top of the already lavish outlays planned by European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker – ought to be implemented. The Macron policies boil down to more state and more EU centralization. At the heart of the scheme is the creation of a European Ministry of Finance and Economy, an all-powerful body to plan and monitor the EU economy. …Macron intends to continue treating the French cancer with aspirin and transmit the disease to Germany and the rest of the EU, while demanding that they pay for France’s subsistence in the meantime.

In other words, Macron wants this cartoon to be official French policy. Yet some people actually think of him as a pro-market reformer. Wow.

Let’s conclude with these wise words from an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal, which is very worried that the runoff may feature two pro-big government outsiders.

All four major candidates are polling at around 20%, but Mr. Mélenchon has momentum and the highest personal favorability. A Le Pen-Mélenchon finale would be a political shock to markets and perhaps to the future of the EU and eurozone. …Mr. Hollande’s Socialists have made France the sickest of Europe’s large economies, with growth of merely 1.1% in 2016, a jobless rate above 10% for most of the past five years, and youth unemployment at nearly 25%. His predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy and the Republicans talked a good reform game but never delivered. …the stage is set for candidates who appeal to nativism or a cost-free welfare state. Let’s hope a French majority steps back from the political brink.

By the way, it’s not yet time for me to make an official endorsement, though I’ll share my leanings.

I confess that I’m torn between Fillon and Mélenchon. By French standards, Fillon is apparently very pro-free market. So I should like him. He could be the Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher of France.

But what if he turns out to be another Sarkozy, a big-government fraud?

If I support Mélenchon, by contrast, at least I can say with great confidence that I will be able to continue using France as an example of bad public policy. I realize that’s not an ideal outcome for the French people, but you know what they say about omelets and eggs.

In any event, I’ll wait until the runoff election before selecting a candidate.

 

‘How cool’ does Chelsea Clinton look? Inquiring minds at Variety want to know

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 10:39am

Chelsea Clinton has the charisma of a speed bump and about as much charm as her mother, but that isn’t stopping the media from pushing her down the public’s throat as “edgy” and “cool.

As a case in point, Variety magazine Co-Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller, who upon seeing an image of Chelsea on their cover immediately wanted to know: “How cool does she look?”

So we decided to let our viewers judge – How cool does Chelsea Clinton look on the cover?

How cool does Chelsea Clinton look on our Power of Women, NY, cover?
Read her great interview with @RaminSetoodeh in tomorrow's issue! pic.twitter.com/M4cj9gXdEk

— Claudia Eller (@Variety_Claudia) April 17, 2017

You may recall Variety and Lifetime teamed up to name Clinton a recipient of “Impact Award,” an honor bestowed “for her work with Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which empowers kids to develop lifelong healthy habits.”

Because nothing says “achievement” quite like using your last name to earn high-profile positions at consulting firms, NBC News, and her family’s Clinton Foundation, rather than earning such distinctions through hard work.

Even if you wanted to award someone as unaccomplished as Chelsea with an achievement award, shouldn’t the body of work speak for itself? Why do the media insist on attempting to paint her as a hip, cool, charismatic character?

Social media users simply weren’t buying what Eller and Variety were selling, and responded in spectacular fashion.

@Variety_Claudia @RaminSetoodeh OMG SO COOOOL pic.twitter.com/RE9wxHadDC

— Sean Agnew (@seanagnew) April 17, 2017

@MattWelch She actually looks distinctly uncomfortable, like she’s wearing a cool person’s clothing without their permission.

— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) April 17, 2017

And this about sums it up:

@Variety_Claudia @RaminSetoodeh She looks like a privileged woman with zero accomplishments the left/media is desperately trying to make “a thing.”https://t.co/Xzz6OT2RyS

— BonkPolitics (@BonkPolitics) April 17, 2017

But … But … she makes spinach pancakes! That’s hip, isn’t it?

Spinach pancakes for #NationalPancakeDay (we won’t eat them all tonight although Charlotte would if we let her)! pic.twitter.com/9zgWZ0k94W

— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) March 7, 2017

Cross-posted at Mental Recession

How America learned that Obama told Clinton to concede

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 10:13am

America found out exactly how much former President Barack Obama had to pressure Hillary Clinton to concede to Donald Trump last November in the new book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign” by political writers Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes.

The first call came from White House political director David Simas. “POTUS doesn’t think it’s wise to drag this out,” Simas told Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook on election night, the book reveals.

It took another call from the president himself to convince Clinton that it was over, and she had lost.

Even though most media outlets considered Clinton’s victory in the 2016 election to be all but a sure thing, “Shattered” reveals just how troubled the Clinton campaign was from the start. And reporters can’t get enough of the juicy stories leaked by staffers of Clinton’s failed campaign.

New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani writes that the book shows how “a series of perverse and often avoidable missteps by an out-of-touch candidate and her strife-ridden staff that turned “a winnable race” into ‘another iceberg-seeking campaign ship.’”

Clinton’s former campaign staff, unsurprisingly, are not fans of the book. Former Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri disagreed with the books portrayal of the campaign staff as “mercenaries with questionable motives who lacked a loyalty to a candidate described as ‘imperial’ and removed from the campaign,” according to Medium.

This report, by Thomas Phippen, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The media’s pathetic cheers for Chelsea Clinton

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 10:02am

How thirsty does Variety look begging readers to join it in doing high V cheerleading moves for Chelsea Clinton?

Thirstier than an ultra-marathoner lost in Death Valley in mid-July.

Hyping the entertainment magazine’s latest cover, Co-Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller gushed this week, “How cool does Chelsea Clinton look on our Power of Women, NY, cover?”

Welcome to the liberal media’s manufacturing of “cool.” Leather jacket? Check. Overzealous airbrushing? Check. Humanizing grin? Check. Democratic establishment pedigree? Checkity-check-check.

This is just the latest attempt by The Media Resistance to make Chelsea Clinton a thing. The same liberal lunatics in the press who rage about the Trump children’s nepotistic privileges champion the ‘‘refreshingly outspoken’‘ daughter of the Clinton dynasty — who, at 37 years old, will receive a “Lifetime Impact” award from Variety on Friday for her “humanitarian work.”

The honor comes during the same week that the Clinton Global Initiative cash machine officially shut down. Among the generous “humanitarian” projects of CGI’s parent, the Clinton Foundation: accused of using its resources for Chelsea’s wedding to another heir of Democratic corruptocrats, Marc Mezvinsky — the newly jobless former hedge-fund manager and son of convicted fraudster Edward Mezvinsky, a former Democratic congressman from Iowa.

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Arkansas executes first inmate in 12 years

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 9:10am

Arkansas executed its first inmate in 12 years on Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the inmate’s request to halt the lethal injection in a late-night ruling.

Ledell Lee, 51, was the first to be put to death out of a group of eight men that Arkansas originally planned to execute within a span of 11 days, before the expiration of one of the drugs the state uses for the lethal injection.

The rapid pacing of the planned executions prompted a flurry of legal challenges and renewed a debate over executions in the United States, with lawyers for the inmates arguing that Arkansas was in an unseemly rush that offended standards of decency.

Courts have halted four of those executions as arguments continue over death-penalty protocols, but the Supreme Court denied the petitions for the group. One of them was a 5-4 decision in which new Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with the four other conservative justices in denying the motion, while the court’s liberals dissented.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer said he took issue with the state trying to use the drugs before their expiration date.

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New study shows Trump has already saved the American people tens of billions of dollars

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 9:06am

A  new study from the American Action Forum (AAF) reveals that President Donald Trump has already, in just his first 3 months in office, saved the American people more than $86 billion.

The AAF begins by explaining that cutting spending isn’t the only way to save money. In fact, the quickest way for the government to save cash is to cut regulations instead. It is this cost-cutting measure that the Trump administration has been able to use so effectively early in its tenure. The Trump administration has been able to roll back more than a few Obama-era regulations either by using executive orders or by prompting the Republican-led Congress to use of “CRA’s” (or the Congressional Review Act).

Combined, five regulations would have cost more than $86 billion in federal funds. Easily the largest rule was the Department of Education’s “Accountability and State Plans” final measure, implementing the “Every Student Succeeds Act.” The regulatory burdens were notable ($73 million in costs and 930,000 paperwork burden hours), but the fiscal imposition could have topped $86 billion alone. The largest component, which was not necessarily struck down by the CRA vote, would have spent $59 billion to fund operations at state and local educational agencies. These are known as Title I funds and likely unaffected by the CRA vote. The regulation contained certain conditions for accessing these funds, but they have still been appropriated and authorized. In addition, “Supporting Effective Instruction” would have appropriated an additional $9.3 billion. Combined, appropriations, “over and above what would have been spent,” reached $86.9 billion…

Regulatory reform has taken many shapes during the Trump Administration: CRA votes, increased flexibility in compliance, and formal reviews of major rules. As AAF has documented, this has the ability to generate more than $60 billion in cost savings for American businesses, investors, and consumers. These benefits, through just the first few months of an administration, are profound, but the fiscal savings of regulatory reform should not be overlooked. Broad reforms have the ability to generate billions of dollars in taxpayer savings, and millions of fewer paperwork hours.

Together, Congress and the President have cut regulations from the Education Department, the EPA, and regulations that make work done by government contractors more expensive. In fact, as The Hill reports they’ve cute at least 13 regulations together, and Trump has cut others through executive action.

These are just a few examples mentioned in the report. Since taking office, Trump and Congress have repealed 13 rules with the CRA. The CRA allows lawmakers to overturn recent rules they disapprove of with a simple majority in Congress, and send the action to the president for his signature.

AAF director of regulatory policy Sam Batkins notes that “just as there are fiscal costs for new significant rules, there can be savings from repealing old rules through comprehensive regulatory reform.”

Cross-posted at Constitution.com

Teacher wears profane anti-Trump jacket … in classroom!

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 8:44am

Cheryl Judy is the art teacher at Sherman Junior & Senior high School in Boone County, West Virginia. She is also a self-described liberal.

The other day she committed an anti-Trump fashion faux pas in the classroom – surrounded by several students.

Ms. Judy was photographed wearing a jacket with the words “Tuck Frump” pinned on the back — the letters comprising the f-word highlighted in white.

One of the kids in the classroom posted the photo online –and it went viral faster than an Angry Cat meme.

“Without me thinking I said, ‘Sure,’ and she didn’t post it to be mean or anything,” Ms. Judy told the Gazette Mail.

“She has apologized for it and she didn’t know that this is what would happen and she put it on Snapchat and then it just went everywhere. It exploded. It was unintentional on my part and her part.”

She told the newspaper she had modeled the jacket for several students who shared her liberal ideology.

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Sidewalk outside White House shut permanently to public

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 8:41am

The US Secret Service has announced it has permanently closed access to a sidewalk along the perimeter of the White House.

The decision was part of an “ongoing comprehensive review” of security measures at the White House and its surrounding grounds, the agency said.

It comes one month after a man armed with pepper spray jumped the fence and was inside the grounds for 16 minutes.

Two Secret Service agents who were on duty that night were fired.

President Donald Trump was there at the time, but the intruder did not make it into the White House building.

The new restriction moves public view on the south side of the White House about 82ft (25 metres) farther back from where people were previously able to stand.

Secret Service Communications Director Cathy Milhoan said on Wednesday “that vantage point… is still there. It’s just a few feet further back”.

A higher fence has also been approved for the White House, she told WTOP News.

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Toronto to impose 15% tax on foreign home buyers

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 8:39am

Foreigners who buy homes in Toronto and its surrounding area now face an additional 15% tax – echoing a recent measure adopted in Vancouver – as part of a slew of measures aimed at tempering a heated housing market that ranks as one of Canada’s most expensive.

The tax – part of proposed legislation unveiled on Thursday by the Ontario provincial government – will be levied on houses purchased in the Golden Horseshoe, an area that stretches from the Niagara region and the Greater Toronto Area to Peterborough.

It will apply to all residential purchases made by those who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada, as well as foreign corporations. Once the legislation passes, the tax would be applied retroactively to purchases made as of 21 April.

“When young people can’t afford their own apartment or can’t imagine ever owning their own home, we know we have a problem,” said Kathleen Wynne, the Ontario premier. “And when the rising cost of housing is making more and more people insecure about their future, and about their quality of life in Ontario, we know we have to act.”

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