by Mary Katharine Ham • The Federalist
In Arizona, an act of charity became a possibly criminal act when a state board took issue with a cosmetology student giving free haircuts to local homeless people.
Juan Carlos Montesdeoca is a Tucson cosmetology student who used to be homeless. He organized a Haircuts for the Homeless event along with other classmates in a local park in January, offering barber services and manicures for people who hadn’t had such treatment in years. But an anonymous complaint to state officials for practicing this rogue styling without a license led to an investigation by the State Board of Cosmetology.
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey sent a letter to the board Wednesday asking them to stop the investigation, calling Montesdeoca’s “an act of charity that we should be celebrating.” Continue reading
by Jeremy Lott • The Federalist
The foreign policy consensus in Washington DC is so stubbornly pro-intervention that our most recent president—who dragged the country into several foreign entanglements and whose military dropped 26,171 bombs last year alone—is seen as, at best, a ditherer. The World Politics Review summed up his legacy by saying, “The problem with Obama’s foreign policy has been inaction, not weakness.”
Get outside of DC and the estimation of what we ought to be doing is much different. Americans who are actually stretched to pay for those wars and whose children may be serving in the military are not as gung-ho about going there.
That is my takeaway from the latest Charles Koch Institute/Center for the National Interest poll of American attitudes toward foreign policy. A majority of those surveyed in late January turned out to be deeply skeptical that what America has been doing has been working. It’s hard to argue they don’t have a point. Continue reading
by Natalie Johnson • Washington Free Beacon
U.S. adversaries are rapidly catching up to America’s fifth generation fighter aircraft capabilities—a risk that has exacerbated given ongoing cyber vulnerabilities in the F-35 fighter jet program, according to an Air Force major general.
Maj. Gen. Jerry Harris Jr., the vice commander of Air Combat Command at the Langley, Va., base, said Thursday that while the United States maintains an advantage in the stealth and weapons capacities inherent in fifth generation fighter aircraft models, adversaries are “quickly closing the gap.”
“We are trying to maximize our ability to procure fifth generation airplanes and go from a 100 percent fourth generation fleet to a significant mix of fifth generation [planes] so that we have the opportunity to operate in these hostile environments against these threats that are catching us faster than we thought they would,” Harris testified before the House Armed Services Committee. Continue reading
by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon
Subsidies for health insurance purchased through the marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act are projected to more than double over the next decade, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office.
The report, which evaluated spending for various means-tested programs or programs that offer benefits to those who earn income under a certain threshold, found that spending on Obamacare subsidies will total $42 billion in 2017 and are estimated to more than double to $97 billion by 2027.
In fiscal year 2016, payments for subsidies totaled $31 billion and, according to the budget office, payments will grow rapidly in 2017 and 2018 largely due to the growth in enrollment. Continue reading
by Scott Lloyd • The Federalist
We remember the refrain from the run-up to Obamacare that 40 million Americans are without insurance, and we now have its echo in the Congressional Budget Office report that its repeal could lead to 18 million uninsured. Both of these figures are irrelevant.
If I have a broken leg, as a wounded person I want treatment that will heal it, and I don’t want it to ruin me financially. If I can get affordable care without health insurance, what difference is it to me that I have insurance? Similarly, if I have health insurance and the leg doesn’t get healed, or I am financially ruined, or both, what good is health insurance to me?
When discussing Obamacare replacements, we make a mistake when we focus too much on health insurance. Americans need health care. Universal health care could happen for every American in any number of ways that do not involve universal health insurance and all of the problems that it entails. Continue reading
by Bill Gertz • Washington Free Beacon
Four Russian military aircraft conducted low passes against a U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea last week, the first such military provocation since the new Trump administration took office.
The incident took place Feb. 10 and involved the USS Porter, a guided missile destroyer, fending off low flights by what the commander of the ship regarded as potentially dangerous flybys.
“There were several incidents involving multiple Russian aircraft,” said Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez, spokesman for the European Command. “They were assessed by the commanding officer as unsafe and unprofessional.”
The first buzzing involved two Russian Su-24 jet fighters followed by a single Su-24 and, in a third incident, an IL-38 transport aircraft. Continue reading
by Ben Domenech • The Federalist
Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live aired a Kellyanne Conway sketch that turned out to be very controversial, even for journalists who are generally very anti-Trump in their signaling. The depiction of Conway as a Fatal Attraction sex fiend obsessed with the limelight and furious at being closed off from CNN isn’t funny, it’s just disturbing – even if you don’t know her or her family. But the real indication here is in how quickly SNL moved from a depiction of Conway that was considered empathetic and showed a harried family woman who couldn’t escape the crazy demands of working for Donald Trump to a crazed lunatic obsessed with getting in front of a camera. It’s a total inversion of their earlier sketches, and it shows what happens when partisanship totally skews the perspective comedians have on the characters they’re mocking.
The saddest part about this moment is how revealing it is of the illiberalism of some pockets of American society. Continue reading
A key Obama administration scientist brushed aside inconvenient data that showed a slowdown in global warming in compiling an alarming 2015 report that coincided with the White House participation in the Paris Climate Conference, a whistle blower is alleging.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in a major 2013 report, concluded global temperatures had shown a smaller increase from 1998 to 2012 than any similar period over the past 30 to 60 years. But a blockbuster, June 2015 paper by a team of federal scientists led by Thomas Karl, published in the journal Science in June 2015 and later known as the “pausebuster” paper sought to discredit the notion of a slowdown in warming.
“Our new analysis suggests that the apparent hiatus may have been largely the result of limitations in past datasets, and that the rate of warming over the first 15 years of this century has, in fact, been as fast or faster than that seen over the last half of the 20th century,” Karl, who was at the time director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information, said at the time. Continue reading
by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon
A business owner told lawmakers on Tuesday that Obamacare has prevented new hiring because health care costs at his company increased by 51 percent.
Thomas Secor, president of Durable Corporation, a small manufacturing company that employs 37 individuals, testified at the House Small Business Committee hearing that the Affordable Care Act has made providing health care coverage for workers more difficult.
“Health care is certainly one of the most vexing problems facing small businesses. The enormous costs and ongoing uncertainty surrounding our health insurance system is a major cause for concern,” Secor said. “As a business operator, I am deeply troubled by the ongoing difficulties our health care system creates for my fellow small-business owners and their employees, and by the fact that the most recent national effort to reform the health care system has done very little to address the costs we, as small-business owners, face.” Continue reading
by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon
A Wisconsin insurance commissioner told lawmakers on Thursday that the state was better off before it implemented the Affordable Care Act and that the law did significant harm to the state’s health insurance market.
J.P. Wieske, deputy insurance commissioner for Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, said the state had a well-functioning market prior to the Affordable Care Act.
Wieske said that while Wisconsin was not the least expensive market in the country before Obamacare was implemented, it often ranked in the lowest third of states in terms of cost. In addition, Wisconsin offered consumer protections, guaranteed access for the most vulnerable, and had state authority to enforce the laws. The state also offered high-risk pools and subsidies for families with incomes up to $34,000 per year. Continue reading