In Treasury Secretary Mnunchin’s report released today, the U.S. Postal Service’s future as a sustainable organization was appropriately and undeniably called into question. The Trump Administration has worked diligently this year to fashion positive USPS management changes and this report follows the President’s move to commission a Task Force review in April.
“The Task Force’s findings detail inexplicable financial malpractice on the part of the U.S. Postal Service,” said George Landrith, president of Frontiers of Freedom. “Clearly there are many new directives that the USPS must advance to create meaningful change for the sake of American taxpayers, consumers, and postal workers. For years, the Postal Service has asked to be treated like a private business, however, every action it takes has resulted in greater losses and worse service overall.”
“For an agency of the Federal Government, full accounting transparency of the costs and revenues of each individual product is essential. Members of Congress and USPS regulators and its board of governors must have the ability scrutinize services, like parcels and others, where the agency is unable to cover the costs of delivery.”
As a limited government advocate focused on constitutional principles, Frontiers of Freedom believes that the preservation of affordable and timely mail delivery is essential. Furthermore in 2019, the Postal Service must be subject to reforms to ensure its solvency and decrease the risk of a potentially massive taxpayer bailout.
By James Altschul • The Federalist
After two days of public outcry, Twitter has reinstated the account of conservative commentator Jesse Kelly. Contradicting their initial message to Kelly, which notified him that his account had been “permanently suspended” and “[would] not be restored,” a Twitter spokesperson stated on Tuesday that Kelly’s account had instead been “temporarily suspended for violating the Twitter rules.” Precisely which rules Kelly violated were not specified.
Given the opacity of the process, we can only speculate on what caused Twitter to reverse course, but a good bet would be the threat of governmental reprisal hinted at by tweets from Sen. Ben Sasse and Senator-elect Josh Hawley.
While Sasse merely commented that “The trend of de-platforming and shutting down speech is a bad precedent for our free speech society,” Hawley was more explicit, writing, “The new Congress needs to investigate…Twitter is exempt from liability as a ‘publisher’ because it is allegedly ‘a forum for a true diversity of political discourse.’ That does not appear to be accurate.” Continue reading
By David French • National Review
The proposed Title IX rules highlight how bad things have become on campus.
The Department of Education has issued its long-awaited proposed regulations reforming sexual-assault adjudications on college campus. Not only will these rules restore basic due process and fairness to college tribunals, but they also — given how basic the changes are — highlight just how ridiculous university kangaroo courts have become.
First and perhaps most important, the rules will not only require colleges to permit cross-examination of witnesses (including the accuser), but will also prohibit universities from relying on the statements of any witness who refuses to submit to cross-examination.
Cross-examination is so fundamental to adversary proceedings that it’s is simply incredible that some universities have been prosecuting and expelling students without permitting the accused’s representative to question his accuser. Continue reading
Frontiers of Freedom cordially invites you to attend
The conference will be held on Friday, November 30, 2018 at the Capitol Hilton (1001 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC – on the corner of K St. & 16th St.) from 9:30 AM until 2:30 PM. Lunch will be served to attendees who have RSVP’d at [email protected] and received confirmation of their RSVP.
Frontiers of Freedom is hosting a conference entitled, “Saudi Arabia & UAE: Regional Adventures & US Interests” that will discuss the state of affairs in both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Both Saudi and the UAE are commonly referred to as US allies, but an honest and candid review of their actions reveals that while they may be nominal allies, they have a troubling history of regional adventures that harm both regional stability and US interests. It is well past time that American policy makers and media understand the nature of these complicated relationships.
George Landrith, the President & CEO of Frontiers of Freedom, said: “Given recent events, this conference is both timely and necessary. American political leaders as well as opinion leaders need to understand the complexities and nuisances of the US’s relationship with Saudi and the UAE. For far too long, the United States has failed to factually and candidly hold the UAE and Saudi Arabia accountable for their activities. It is not enough to simply wave off the harm they do to American interests and regional stability by assuring ourselves that they are our allies. Reality demands we understand the facts and deal with them honestly. This conference is an important step in this direction.”
By David Harsanyi • The Federalist
Why did Sen. Elizabeth Warren spend all these years claiming to be a Native American?
One plausible answer might be that her family had lied to her, or were also misled about their heritage, and that Warren truly believed she was Cherokee. This happens relatively often, I suppose. Then again, few people exhibit as much certitude, and gain as many benefits, over a claim that’s so obscure and unverifiable.
The second is that Warren herself lied or exaggerated her heritage, knowing full well that her contention to Cherokee ancestry was likely nothing more than lore. She then latched on to this negligible history to gain traction in an academic field that was searching for more diversity in their candidates.
We now know that the second option is more probable after the prospective presidential candidate decided to make a huge deal out of taking a DNA test, that, in reality, only proves she is as white as I am. Continue reading
By Victor Davis Hanson • American Greatness
Donald Trump on occasion can talk recklessly. He is certainly trying to “fundamentally transform” the United States in exactly the opposite direction from which Barack Obama promised to do the same sort of massive recalibration. According to polls (such as they are), half the country fears Trump. The media despises him. Yet Trump poses no threat to the U.S. Constitution. Those who since 2016 have tried to destroy his candidacy and then his presidency most certainly do.
When, and if, we ever lose our freedoms, it will not likely be due to a boisterous Donald Trump, damning “fake news” at popular rallies, or even by being greeted with jarring “lock her up” chants—Trump, whom the popular culture loves to hate and whose every gesture and, indeed, every inch of his body, is now analyzed, critiqued, caricatured, and damned on the national news.
In general, free societies more often become unfree with a whimper, not a bang—and usually due to self-righteous pious movements that always claim the higher moral ground, and justify their extreme means by their self-sacrificing struggle for supposedly noble ends of social justice, equality, and fairness. Continue reading
by Aryssa Damron • The Washington Free Beacon
Ken Dilanian, a reporter for NBC News, tweeted on Monday that the idea of North Dakota and New York having the same amount of senators “has to change” because of the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
“It may not happen in our lifetimes, but the idea that North Dakota and New York get the same representation in the Senate has to change,” Dilanian tweeted, linking to a Washington Post article about the confirmation of Kavanaugh. “Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans”
It may not happen in our lifetimes, but the idea that North Dakota and New York get the same representation in the Senate has to change. “Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans” https://t.co/DAZWYT9Txg
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) October 6, 2018
There’s no question that Democrats had a good night on Tuesday. But it was nowhere near what the resistance crowd had hoped. The question now is: Can the party resist its angry base demanding retribution, or try to act like adults and get things done?
When it comes to wave elections, this one wasn’t. Not by a long shot.
In 1994 — two years into Bill Clinton’s first term — Republicans gained a stunning 54 seats to take control of the House, and 9 to take control of the Senate.
Then, in 2010 — two years into Barack Obama’s first term — Republicans gained an even more stunning 63 seats in the House, and six in the Senate, in another stunning rebuke of a Democratic president. Continue reading
by Jim Geraghty • National Review
Republicans lost a bunch of races on Tuesday that they wanted to win. Since Tuesday night, I haven’t seen any riots. I haven’t seen any violent protests, like the ones that have plagued Portland this year. I haven’t seen any Democratic candidates hung in effigy, the way Marsha Blackburn was in Tennessee earlier this month. I’m sure the “Proud Boys” will pop up again in some form, but they’ve been quiet since the NYPD announced arrest warrants for nine of them after that mid-October brawl.
Democrats, progressives, and liberals won a lot of the races that they wanted to win. And what happened? Did they celebrate with glee and good cheer? Did they relax? Did their anger and rage over the 2016 election dissipate and give way to relief and a more optimistic outlook for the future?
No, apparently some of them just got angrier and more explicit in their threats: Continue reading
Frontiers of Freedom released the following statement on property rights and condemning the ITC for approving of theft:
Protecting property rights has long been a core mission of Frontiers of Freedom. Our Constitution provided for property rights for physical property and for intellectual property. America became the world’s most innovative and economically powerful nation because our Founders grasped the importance of property rights and created a system that incentivized creativity, innovation and the productive use of such property.
Unfortunately, too many – in various industries and in government – dismiss the importance of IP rights. Too many users of patented technology (like big tech companies) think they should be able to use that technology in their products without paying at all or paying as little as possible. Along with that courts and legislators have taken steps to weaken those protections – causing the US to start losing its place as the world’s innovator.
A decision just last month is particularly egregious. The U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm filed a case against Apple at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for infringing some of their patents. An administrative law judge (ALJ) of the ITC found that Apple was guilty of infringing these patents, but in an strange conclusion decided not to impose an exclusion order – the one remedy available to the ITC. As Apple imports its phones (manufactured overseas) into the US, the ITC – a US agency – has the authority to impose an exclusion order to prevent them from importing devices that include infringed technology. The possible order would not apply to all Apple phones, btw, in case anyone worries iPhones would suddenly be banned. It would only apply to certain infringing devices. Of course, Apple could stop violating Qualcomm’s patents and there would be no issue.
It is outrageous that a judge can conclude that a company has violated the patent rights of another company but then impose no punishment or remedy whatsoever. The decision sets a very dangerous precedent and only encourages more IP theft by letting would be patent thieves think they can get away without punishment.
Our patent and IP laws work when individuals and companies believe they will pay a price when they violate those laws. If ignored, it encourages patent theft and damages the cycle of innovation that has set America apart! The ITC is one of the key agencies that is charged with enforcing those rights and must let anyone know – including powerful companies like Apple – that the law will be enforced pure and simple.
The ruling by the ALJ is only the first step and we are hopeful that the full ITC sees the importance of enforcing patent law and ensuring that patent infringement is punished accordingly.
Heller's bill is a horrible idea. Fredric Bastiat called it "legalized plunder." In contrast, Barrasso's "Fairness for Every Driver Act" is a great idea whose time has come. It is time to drain the swamp and end payouts for companies with high priced lobbyists. Barrasso deserves our praise!
Frontiers of Freedom President, George Landrith made the following statement on Senator Heller’s expansion of massive subsidies for electric vehicles and Senator Barrasso’s Fairness for Every Driver Act which would end those subsidies:
Senator Heller’s Expansion of Massive Subsidies
Senator Dean Heller (R-Nevada) introduced a bill to lift the cap on the number of electric vehicles eligible for a large $7,500 tax credit given to those who buy electric cars.
The big winners here are Elon Musk, Tesla and GM. Elon Musk is the fellow who recently was smacked down by the feds for violating the law and fined millions of dollars. I am not all sure why Elon deserves this big bonanza!
The big losers are average, everyday Americans who work hard and play by the rules and don’t have high priced lobbyists scamming the system for them. So if you’re working hard to make ends meet, or saving for your children’s future or simply wish you had a little more money at the end of the month, you should be outraged that Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle think you should be forced to help rich guys buy fancy, expensive electric sports cars.
Heller’s bill also proposes to eventually phase out the tax credit, but let’s be honest, that will be postponed and postponed so that it never actually happens. All that will remain is the greatly expanded tax credit that benefits a couple big corporations and burdens millions of taxpayers.
Heller is in a tight reelection bid and perhaps this is why. Putting the interests of big corporations ahead of the taxpayer isn’t a good longterm electoral strategy. As a purported conservative, he ought to know better. But sadly, with a Tesla plant in Nevada, he’s given in to the lobbying pressure.
The electric vehicle tax credit is a bad deal for a very simple reason. When someone buys a $70,000 to $140,000 Tesla, there is no good reason to ask lower income workers to help pay for it. If you want a fancy electric car, please feel free to buy one! But please don’t ask the rest of us to help you pay for it!
I’ve never asked anyone to help me buy a car. If I can’t afford the car I really want, I buy one I can afford. So I am not sure why it makes any sense to force millions of Americans to help relatively rich people buy expensive electric sports cars like Tesla makes. Even if the car were less expensive, why should the rest of America be forced to help them buy it using a corrupt federal tax code to effectively rob the rest of us?
I am not against electric cars. I am not against expensive electric cars. I believe if you want one and can afford one, you have every right to buy one. But what you don’t have the right to do is to get your congressman or senator to reach into my pocket and take my money to help you buy it. Yet that is exactly what Congress is promoting when it imposes the electric car tax credit on us. Shame on Congress!
Congress is engaging in what famed economist Frederic Bastiat called “legal plunder.” Simply stated, it is illegal to beat someone up and steal their money so that you can afford to buy a new car. Bastiat pointed out that rather than risk jail time, people lobby their representative to steal for you and help you buy the new car. He famously said, “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”This sort of abuse is exactly the sort of things that our Constitution was supposed to prevent. But sadly, too many on Capitol Hill, are all to happy to engage in this form of plunder if it will get them good press coverage or win them votes. But it is theft and it wrong.
In fairness, Senator Heller’s opponent Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada) will be a far worse practitioner of legal plunder than he is. If you look at her stands on the issues, it is clear that she is a big fan of what Bastiat called “legal plunder” and is committed to plundering the taxpayer every day of the week and twice on weekends.
Americans everywhere should rise up and oppose any effort to expand the electric vehicle tax credit. There is no good reason to expand it or even allow it to continue. It should be terminated immediately. The next best option would be to phase it out very quickly. But substantially expanding it while pretending to phase it out, as the Heller bill does, is doubly bad — because on top of being bad policy it is profoundly disingenuous.
Senator John Barrasso’s Fairness for Every Driver Act
This is why I am excited about the work that Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) is doing with his proposed Fairness for Every Driver Act. He has proposed ending subsidies for electric vehicles. This is a big win for working-class Americans. And it shows that Senator Barrasso is a principled, public servant who committed to our constitutional heritage of limited government. It From 2011 to 2017 alone, hard working taxpayers have been forced to pay almost $5 Billion to big corporations who make electric cars. Senator Barrasso is trying to end this corrupt practice. Kudos to him!
After the election, it is expected that there will be a lame duck session. We call upon Members of Congress to support the Fairness for Every Driver Act. And we call upon Members of Congress to oppose Heller’s back door attempt to pad the pockets of Tesla and GM.
We will be watching how Congress votes and we will make sure that good votes are rewarded and that bad votes are publicized.
The function of an Inspector General (IG) in the federal government is to detect waste, mismanagement, fraud, abuse, and even criminality. Each federal department or agency has an IG. But not all IGs are created equal. Some are fair minded watch-dogs who protect the taxpayer and follow the law in a nonpartisan way. But some are not. NASA’s Inspector General, Paul Martin, has repeatedly proven himself to be a defender of cronyism and a partisan hack.
Congressional leaders passed along whistleblower information to Martin that NASA had employed a Chinese spy and that Obama NASA appointees sought to circumvent the rules prohibiting the hiring of foreign nationals at NASA. Martin was angry with congressional leaders for revealing the spy problem, not with NASA officials for breaching our national security. He did nothing. Within days, the FBI arrested the Chinese spy, Bo Jiang, at the airport as he was fleeing to China on a one-way ticket with a treasure trove of sensitive information. Sadly, this was not the spy’s first data dump. But Martin wasn’t interested in investigating.
Martin isn’t just soft on spying at NASA. He has not protected the taxpayer, or rooted out waste or fraud. For example, NASA employees objected to the special treatment given SpaceX and provided evidence of favoritism, bid-rigging, and a long list of unethical and illegal actions. The entire process was subverted to benefit SpaceX, while the taxpayer was fleeced and competitors locked out. Long before the process was completed, top NASA officials were directing staff to give the award to SpaceX. In other words, the process was backwards — “Fire! Aim! Ready!” Continue reading
By Inez Feltscher Stepman • The Federalist
Most Americans are still under the illusion that when they elect a president, he takes control over the executive branch and proceeds to implement his agenda by working with Congress. Sadly, “School House Rock” is out of date.
An enormous amount of policymaking these days goes through the administrative state – the alphabet soup of agencies that have been proliferating like weeds since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. The outsourcing of legislative and adjudicatory powers to agencies is bad enough, and cannot square with the separation of powers between legislation, judiciary, and executive that is delineated in the Constitution. To make matters worse, these agencies and the employees who staff them are also politically unaccountable to the elected representatives of the people, violating not just the wise guardrails of our Constitution, but also the very idea of self-government.
Today, it is nearly impossible to fire the 2.8 million federal bureaucrats who staff the executive agencies, from which they issue regulations and policy guidance that directly affect the lives of Americans every day. Continue reading
By George Will • National Review
If this week has proven anything, it’s that we can always go lower.
When John Keats said that autumn is the season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness,” he did not anticipate this American autumn. It resembles the gorier Shakespearean plays in which swords are brandished, people are poisoned and stabbed, almost everyone behaves badly, and those who do not are thinking: Things cannot continue like this. Actually, they probably will because this is the first law of contemporary politics: There is no such thing as rock bottom.
On Monday, some hysterics in hot pursuit of the often heralded but never reached “constitutional crisis,” galloped off on the basis of rumors about speculations concerning hypotheses, all because Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein went to the White House, perhaps — there was a frisson of anticipation — to be fired. He was not. On Thursday, however, Rosenstein is expected to speak with the president, presumably because of last week’s report that in May 2017, Rosenstein spoke, in the presence of other senior Justice Department officials, about possibly wearing a wire to surreptitiously record the president, presumably to facilitate invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him. Continue reading
If the 1986 Challenger disaster taught us anything it was – “Don’t put all your Space Launch eggs in one basket.” After that accident and the other ones that grounded all of America’s older space launch vehicles for about two years, NASA and the Air Force decided to build two sets of rockets under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program.
The EELV program has been a success. Both Atlas V and the various Delta rockets, especially Delta Heavy, have been putting America’s important science and military payloads into space for roughly a quarter of a century. Continue reading