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Constitutional and Political Freedom

Open Letter to Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary

By Dr. Miklos K. RadvanyiStraight Talk USA

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I write this letter, because I care about the past, the present, and the future of the country in which I was born and grew up. Also, as an American citizen, I am deeply concerned about the steadily deteriorating domestic conditions in Hungary and the reckless foreign policy that you pursue against the fundamental interests of NATO, the European Union, and the entire Hungarian nation.

During your student years, you criticized and actively opposed the dictatorship of the communist party. You were instrumental in the establishment of the Alliance of the Young Democrats. Your memorable speech at the reburial of Nagy Imre and the other martyrs of the October 1956 Revolution, in which you demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Soviet Red Army from Hungarian territory and subsequent free elections contributed to the collapse of the regime in 1990. Elected to the Parliament in the spring of 1990, you led your party in opposition in a constructive fashion. Continue reading


How School Choice Can Solve States’ Huge Debt And Pension Woes

By Lewis M. Andrews • The Federalist

In 2011, Arizona became the first state to adopt the most flexible school reform yet, an education savings account (ESA) plan. It provides parents who believe their child is poorly served in the local public school with an annual budget they can spend on a wide variety of accredited alternatives—not just private or parochial schools, but tutoring, online academies, special-needs services, and even computer equipment for home schooling.

More recently, five other states have followed Arizona’s lead: Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, and just this year North Carolina. Initially these programs were designed to better serve learning-disabled children, but with the realization that most of its students could be educated independently for a fraction of public-school per pupil spending, Nevada authorized a plan open to any of that state’s children in 2015.

To date, Democrats in the Nevada legislature have held up funding for about 10,000 applicants, but nearly all of Arizona’s K-12 children are now eligible for an ESA worth 90 percent of their district’s per pupil spending. Continue reading


Obama’s EPA Spent $690,000 on Parking Spots No One Used

By Elizabeth Harrington • Washington Free Beacon

The Environmental Protection Agency spent nearly $700,000 for parking spots that no one used during the final two years of the Obama administration.

The office of inspector general released an audit Wednesday finding the agency wasted taxpayer dollars on subsidized parking for employees at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.

“Only EPA headquarters (based in Washington, D.C.) and Region 4 (based in Atlanta, Georgia) subsidized employee parking,” the inspector general said. “These offices paid over $840,000 to subsidize employee parking from January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2016.” Continue reading


Global Warming Alarmist Sues Scientists, Saying Academic Critiques Of His Work Are ‘Defamation’

By Robert Tracinski • The Federalist

If we have such an overwhelming scientific “consensus” about the supposed threat of catastrophic man-made global warming—and about the political and economic solutions to it—then why do advocates have to sue scientists to prevent them from questioning it? That’s the question raised by a $10 million lawsuit lawsuit filed by Stanford engineering professor Mark Z. Jacobson accusing other scientists of defamation for critiquing his scientific work in favor of “renewal energy.”

That’s not how science works. That’s not how any of this is supposed to work.

Jacobson made a name for himself and became something of a media celebrity for publishing a study in 2015 that claimed the United States could provide 100 percent of its energy needs from wind, solar, and hydroelectric power by 2050—and at a lower cost than with fossil fuels. Continue reading


The Lynch Mob Targets Scott Pruitt

By Julie Kelly • National Review

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s EPA administrator, is the top target of the anti-Trump lynch mob. He’s enduring daily attack pieces in the media and threats of violence against him and his family. It’s hard to think of any cabinet member — current or former — who has been subjected to more vitriol and vilification than Pruitt, and he’s been on the job for less than a year. Suddenly, everything from overlooked Superfund sites to the Flint water crisis to “toxic” pesticides are Pruitt’s fault, which of course means he is poisoning children and destroying the planet.

According to the EPA inspector general’s office, Pruitt has received “four to five times the number of threats” that his predecessor, Gina McCarthy, did. The level of concern for Pruitt’s safety is so deep that agents are being added to his round-the-clock security detail. In a recent Bloomberg News interview, Pruitt said, “The quantity and the volume — as well as the type — of threats are different. What’s really disappointing to me as it’s not just me — it’s family.” Continue reading


To Boost School Choice, Congress Can Do Much Better Than A Meagre Tax Carveout

By Joy Pullmann • The Federalist

Despite running two-thirds of states and looming fiscal catastrophes for which school choice is one of the few positive solutions, Republicans have mostly created tiny, overregulated choice programs that, consequently, have few significant effects. After decades of opinion polling have continued to find school choice a popular political position, Republicans have finally decided it’s safe for them to proclaim their support for it — without having taken or promising to take steps that actually would realize their rhetoric.

A new example of this tendency is inside the House GOP’s huge “tax reform blueprint” released last week and under consideration currently, more than a year after presidential candidate Donald Trump promised “major tax reform” if he were elected (presumably a signal to legislators to get some bills ready to roll come Inauguration Day, but obviously not). The current proposal would allow tax-advantaged savings accounts, or 529 plans, now only offered for college expenses to also apply to K-12, including private school tuition. Continue reading


FCC plans to revise outdated media ownership rules

By Frontiers of Freedom

FCC Chairman Pai recently announced plans to revise and update outdated and out-of-touch media ownership rules. To say that these rules are a relic of a bygone era is a gross understatement; they predate the advent of the internet and were adopted long before Americans went online for news and “over-the-top” for TV programming. The FCC adopted many of its current media ownership rules when Walter Cronkite ruled the nightly news and Lucille Ball was the Queen of Comedy. It is long past time that the FCC adjust regulations to account for an information-rich landscape that never was envisioned more than 40 years ago.   Continue reading


Report: GOP Tax Framework Could Raise GDP By 5%, Wages By 7%

By Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

President Donald Trump’s tax reform framework could raise GDP by as much as 5 percent and wages by as much as 7 percent, according to a new study from Boston University economists.

“We find that, depending on the year considered, the new Republican tax plan raises GDP by between 3 and 5 percent and real wages by between 4 and 7 percent,” the economists explain. “This translates into roughly $3,500 annually more annual real take-home pay for the average American household.”

Economists believe this growth can happen due to the plan’s aim to reduce the marginal effective corporate tax rate from 34.6 percent to 18.6 percent, which they believe will grow the capital stock by 12 to 20 percent. Continue reading


Analysis: Obamacare premiums to rise by average of 34 percent in 2018

by Kimberly Leonard • Washington Examiner

The price of premiums for Obamacare’s mid-level plans are set to rise by an average of 34 percent next year, according to an analysis by the consulting firm Avalere Health.

These mid-level, or silver, plans are considered to be benchmark plans for people who sign up for Obamacare’s health insurance. Premiums for bronze, gold, and platinum plans will rise by an average of 18 percent, 16 percent, and 24 percent, respectively, compared to last year.

Average premium increases varied by state, the analysis found. Iowa will have the highest jump in average silver premium, of 69 percent, while Alaska will have a decrease in premiums of 22 percent. Alaska’s plan was lower this year because the state set up a reinsurance program in which state and federal funds paid for the medical claims of high-cost enrollees. Continue reading


Bernie Sanders’s Senate Campaign Spent Nearly $40K on Private Jets Last Quarter

By Joe Schoffstall • Washington Free Beacon

The campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) spent nearly $40,000 on luxury private jet travel during the third quarter, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Sanders, who has said global warming is causing “devastating problems” and is in favor of a carbon tax, made the payments for the posh private travel arrangements from his Senate campaign committee, Friends of Bernie Sanders, to Apollo Jets, a New York-based private charter company that is “dedicated to providing a luxury flight experience based on superior safety and exceptional customer care,” its website states.

The campaign spent $37,567.53 to rent the private charters during the third quarter, which runs from the beginning of July to the end of September. Continue reading


Obama’s HUD Misplaced $500 Billion — Enron Was Only $63 Billion

By Ben Marquis • Conservative Tribune

Some of our readers may recall the massive scandal in 2001 surrounding the bankruptcy of the Enron Corporation, an energy company based in Texas.

Investors lost an estimated $63 billion when investigators discovered that Enron officials and auditors at the Arthur Anderson accounting firm had knowingly and unethically used loopholes in the law and various accounting tricks to hide billions that had been lost in bad deals and debt from shareholders.

Several people ultimately went to jail, and the liberal media used the scandal to excoriate capitalism in general and energy companies in particular. Continue reading


Take Tax Reform to the People

By Peter Roff • USNews

Serious people are starting to wonder if tax reform can pass, largely because they’re only talking to people inside Washington.

Instead they should talk to the American people. Most of them are hungry for it. A quarter of small business owners surveyed by CNBC/Survey Money said taxes were the most critical issue they currently face. Overall it’s their No. 1 concern and, since small business is the engine of growth in the U.S. economy, that’s an important consideration.

Things have improved since Election Day 2016, but the economy is still not growing like it needs to if we are to have hope of ever paying down the national debt, now equal to about one year’s U.S. GDP. Continue reading


New College Student Survey: Yes, Speech Can Be Violence

By David French • National Review Online

If you follow free-speech controversies for any length of time, you’ll understand two things about public opinion. First, an overwhelming percentage of Americans will declare their support for free speech. Second, a shocking percentage of Americans also support censoring speech they don’t like. How is this possible? It’s simple. “Free speech” is good speech, you see. That’s the speech that corrects injustices and speaks truth to power. That other speech? The speech that hurts my feelings or hurts my friends’ feelings? That’s “hate speech.” It might even be violence.

A new survey of college students demonstrates this reality perfectly. Conducted by McLaughlin & Associates for Yale’s William F. Buckley, Jr. Program, the survey queried 800 college students attending four-year private or public colleges, and the results were depressingly predictable. Continue reading


No, George Ciccariello-Maher Doesn’t Believe in Academic Freedom

By Theodore Kupfer • National Review Online

George Ciccariello-Maher is suddenly worried about academic freedom. Before now, the concerns of the associate professor of politics at Drexel University trended mainly to spreading the gospel of the Bolivarian Revolution, the disaster that has reduced Venezuela to penury and violence. Ciccariello-Maher writes books with titles such as “Decolonizing Dialectics” — Marx was white, after all — and articles for Jacobin asserting that “the only way out of the Venezuelan crisis today lies decisively to the Left.” It’s a faith-based creed, and he is most comfortable evangelizing in the classrooms at Drexel.

He also stumps online for the proletariat. Last Christmas Eve, Ciccariello-Maher, striving to goose the bourgeoisie’s Yuletide mood, tweeted: “All I want for Christmas is White Genocide.” That attracted the gimlet eye of Drexel administrators, who issued an official statement calling the comments “utterly reprehensible.” Continue reading


Obama’s Top Campaign Ad Firm Got Nearly $60M In Federal Contracts

by Ethan Barton • The Daily Caller

Former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign advertising agency received nearly $60 million in federal contracts after he took office, according to an analysis by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group.

The gravy train for the Washington, D.C.-based agency, GMMB, hasn’t slowed since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the analysis found. The liberal Democratic communications powerhouse was awarded nearly $15 million in a new contract in June, after Trump entered the Oval Office.

GMMB received a total of $58.4 million in federal contracts from 2009 to 2017, according to USASpending, which tracks federal spending through contracts, grants, loans and other forms. GMMB’s annual revenue is an estimated $32.6 million, according to D&B Hoovers, a private business research and rating firm. Continue reading