by George Landrith • The Hill
When it comes to the U.S. Postal Service, the organization’s decline has been well documented for years. Last year the Postal Service lost $5.5 billion, marking the eighth consecutive year of multi-billion dollar losses. Further, for consumers, the Postal Service is still failing to meet performance targets for First-Class mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services, and more according to a recent federal review.
As the agency seeks to regain solid footing for its balance sheet and service standards, it’s clear that improved management at the top is necessary. In the last several months the Postal Service has made ill-advised efforts to expand into offerings that are unrelated to its primary letter mail responsibility and interrupt areas where such products are already provided.
Achieving excellence in the core product offerings is also grounded in one major facet of the Postal Service’s operations – its ability to handle items in a way that prioritizes the overall security of the mail system for the safety of the public. Continue reading
President Obama lives and operates in a fictitious world because the real world doesn’t cooperate with his dogmas.
It’s plainly liberating for President Obama to simply deny reality and declare everything just peachy, as he did again Monday at the G7 summit in Germany. Sadly, reality’s not cooperating.
One of his fictions du jour: All’s well with ObamaCare. No joke.
“The thing is working,” the president insisted. “We haven’t had a lot of conversation about the horrors of ObamaCare, because none of them have come to pass.”
Somebody’s having those conversations. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 54 percent oppose ObamaCare, with only 39 percent — the lowest ever — in favor.
He also insisted that a big suit against ObamaCare, Burwell v. King, is so clearly based on a “twisted interpretation” that “it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up.” Continue reading
by Michael Bastasch • Daily Caller
Data from America’s most advanced climate monitoring system shows the U.S. has undergone a cooling trend over the last decade, despite recent claims by government scientists that warming has accelerated worldwide during that time.
The U.S. Climate Reference Network was developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide “high-quality” climate data. The network consists of 114 stations across the U.S. in areas NOAA expects no development for the next 50 to 100 years.
The climate stations use three independent measurements of temperature and precipitation to provide “continuity of record and maintenance of well-calibrated and highly accurate observations,” NOAA states on its website. “The stations are placed in pristine environments expected to be free of development for many decades.” In essence, NOAA chose locations so they don’t need to be adjusted for “biases” in the temperature record. Continue reading
by George Landrith • Washington Examiner
Where possible, policy leaders in this country should make the promotion of American businesses a priority. When the American economy is flourishing, our country flourishes.
That doesn’t mean Americans should shy away from international trade. In our global economy, the shirts we wear, the phones we use and the cars we drive oftentimes are made overseas. Due to a number of factors, there are some products where American companies do not enjoy a comparative advantage compared to foreign competitors and vice versa.
It is understandable that American companies sometimes lose in competition. What is not understandable, however, is when an American entity like the United States Postal Service creates a competitive advantage for foreign producers.
USPS charges less than 94 cents to deliver a four-pound package from China to an American consumer. Compare that to an American company trying to ship the same package from a neighboring state — it could be charged $11.30, according to a quick online search. The American company has to pay 12 times what the Chinese shipper would be charged, adding to its overhead costs. Something seems out of whack here. Continue reading
by Steve Moore • Forbes
Sometimes it seems President Obama lives in a parallel universe where facts are floating around to be plucked out of suspended animation. Never more so than on the effects of the Affordable Care Act.
“[ObamaCare] is working…We haven’t had a lot of conversation about the horrors of Obamacare because none of them have come to pass. You got 16 million people who’ve gotten health insurance.
“It hasn’t had an adverse effect on people who already had health insurance. The overwhelming majority of them are satisfied with the health insurance…
“The costs have come in substantially lower than even our estimates about how much it would cost. Health care inflation overall has continued to be at some of the lowest levels in 50 years. None of the predictions about how this wouldn’t work have come to pass.”
Barack Obama, June 8, 2015
So let’s see whether anything he says on the new law, including that it “is working,” comports with the facts: Continue reading
Freedom and opportunity are on the horizon with a new crop of principled, capable and positive conservatives.
by George Landrith
In the past few weeks and the next couple weeks, we will see most of the expected entrants into the GOP presidential sweepstakes make their plans official. The GOP bench is deep with a number of highly credible and well qualified potential nominees. Part of this deep bench is the result of the conservatives doing well in a majority of the non-presidential and state elections during President Barack Obama’s time in office. The GOP has gained 70 seats in Congress and 910 state legislators around the nation since Barack Obama took office.
If you’re a conservative, there is a lot more good news on the horizon. That deep bench of well-qualified and highly credible candidates is revealing itself in congressional elections around the nation. Speaking with campaign experts around the nation, one thing is clear — the GOP has a bumper crop of great conservative candidates.
I can’t write about each of them, but perhaps I can pick one that caught my eye and shows real promise. In Florida’s 18th Congressional District, an established name is retiring from the House of Representatives to pursue the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Marco Rubio. Rick Kozell has announced his candidacy for the open congressional seat in the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach area.
Here’s what I like about Rick Kozell — he’s an optimistic, principled conservative with a winning vision for the future. He reminds me of a young Ronald Reagan. The press will have a hard time casting him as the stereotypical angry conservative. Kozell is affable, young, smart, and articulate. His smile is natural and his energy and enthusiasm are obvious. Continue reading
Last week, we looked at how the EPA manipulated the public comments process for its new rule defining protected waters under the Clean Water Act. The agency’s officials met behind closed doors and teamed up with left-wing environmental activists to get as many comments in support as possible. Like elections in pre-war Iraq, the drive was too successful to be remotely convincing; nearly 90 percent of the comments turned out to be in favor of the rule, a number that was then cited by EPA officials as evidence of how popular the rule was.
But as much as this rule was shaped by astroturfing, it will affect real people if it is allowed to take effect this summer.
If there is confusion about exactly what the rule does, the EPA can be blamed for that. In mounting its public defense, the agency has drawn up detailed fact sheets that attempt to minimize the additional lands over which the rule will give them power. Their propaganda for the layman, the purpose of which is to frighten the public into believing their drinking water won’t be clean without the new rule, does just the opposite. In one video posted online, EPA claims that “60 percent of our streams and millions of acres of wetlands” were unprotected or had an ambiguous status. These will now be regulated. Continue reading
The Left desperately wants to blame Obamacare’s chaos on the GOP. But it is all a lie. They passed it without a single GOP vote and they rammed it down America’s throat with lies. Now they want to blame the GOP. Have they no shame? Evidently not.
by David Harsanyi • The Federalist
If the Supreme Court decides that there will be no more retroactive legislating and upholds Obamacare as written, terrible things will happen to America. No doubt, you’ve heard some of them. We might, for instance, find out what health insurance in fabricated, state-run “marketplaces” actually cost:
Yikes, indeed. But her contention isn’t exactly right. Insurance plans in federally run exchanges already cost 650 percent more than consumers pay. The difference is picked up taxpayers. Kaiser estimates that the 37 states that have declined to set up exchanges will see an average spike of 287 percent should the King v. Burwell decision not go the administration’s way. A ruling that only proves exchanges have not made insurance markets more competitive or more affordable, as promised. Continue reading
by Peter Roff • Washington Examiner
Everyone remembers former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ill-advised comment that the Affordable Care Act would have to pass so that the American people could find out what was in it. Unfortunately, what should have been a cautionary tale has instead been an object lesson in rulemaking for President Obama’s bureaucracy.
Take, for example, the pending Clean Power Plan, an initiative of the Environmental Protection Agency. If fully implemented, it could lead to the mass shuttering of existing power generation facilities, rolling brownouts, blackouts and a significant increase in electrical rates. Continue reading
Frontiers of Freedom has long been a leader in protecting property rights. Our Constitution provided for property rights for physical property and for intellectual property. And with good reason. 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.
Sadly, some foolishly think that property rights are old fashioned or that everything should be free. But these folks miss the point that if new innovations were free, we would see far fewer innovations. That would mean fewer new life sustaining medications, fewer new movies, less new music, and fewer new electronic devices and gadgets. Imagine if someone argued that food is so important that everyone should be able to get it free and simply walk into grocery stores and restaurants and grab whatever food they want. How long would food be available? How long before grocers and restaurants close down? That’s the point. We need to incentivize the production of the things we want and need and we need to encourage innovation.
For this reason, Frontiers of Freedom was part of a group that sent the following letter to Capitol Hill hoping to highlight the importance of intellectual property rights. Continue reading
Affordable Care Act opponents must make their goal the enactment of a better plan.
by James C. Capretta • National Review
In the 2014 midterm elections, opposition to the Affordable Care Act — i.e., Obamacare — was a clear political winner. That’s obvious from the election results themselves but also from polling that consistently finds that far more of the electorate disapproves of the law than approves of it.
It is therefore to be expected that the incoming Congress, fully under the control of the GOP, will vote on a straight repeal bill, probably very early in next session. In the House, such a bill will pass easily. But in the Senate, Democrats will control at least 46 seats in the new Congress, giving them plenty of votes to filibuster most legislation they oppose. Consequently, the most likely scenario is that the repeal legislation will die in the Senate and therefore never get sent to the president for a certain veto. Continue reading
Editorial Board • Investors Business Daily
The lies continue to continue …
Lying With Statistics: In April, we doubted that the surprisingly high ObamaCare enrollment numbers could be trusted. Turns out, we were right to be skeptical. The White House had been vastly inflating the figures all along.
This week, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell admitted that her agency had accidentally counted those who’d signed up for stand-alone dental benefits in its health insurance numbers, padding its latest enrollment data by nearly 400,000 — or 6%.
“This mistake was unacceptable,” Burwell said. But don’t worry: The fact that they “quickly corrected the number should give people confidence.”
Never mind that she admitted the “mistake” only after the House Oversight Committee exposed the book-cooking scheme. Continue reading
A liberal elitist reveals the deception behind Obama’s health plan
by Jack Kelly • Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Only 36 percent of Americans expressed approval of Democrats in a Gallup poll Nov. 12, the lowest in the 22 years Gallup has been asking that question. Republicans were approved of by 42 percent. In Gallup’s poll 13 months ago, 43 percent had approved of Democrats, just 28 percent of the GOP.
To understand how Democrats could fall so far so fast, consider MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, to whom the Obama administration paid $400,000 to help design Obamacare.
Prof. Gruber thinks he’s very smart, and you aren’t.
“[Obamacare] was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies,” he said during a health care conference at the University of Pennsylvania in October of last year.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Mr. Gruber said. “Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass.” Continue reading
by Rex Murphy • National Post
Much is being made of Barack Obama’s “deal” with China on the always parlous matter of global warming and carbon dioxide emissions. For those who still retain their enthusiasm for the lame-duck Mr. Obama and his dear love of government by decree – this is an Executive Orders President — the announcement was a milestone in the fight against our ecological doom, an historical commitment. It is also said by its supporters that the deal “shames” Canada, “isolates” us, puts us in the overcrowded villains gallery of the environmentalist movement.
Is it not a thing of wonder just what a pledge (which is merely a promise in a rented tuxedo) with the leader of the world’s largest dictatorship can do? Moreover, in the fervid atmosphere of global warming, just what constitutes a deal? What’s the give and take for both parties? Continue reading
In just a few short weeks control of the United States Senate floor will pass from the Democrats to the Republicans. This single fact means the political pressure that typically accompanies a post-election “Lame Duck” congressional session will be atypically acute.
There’s a lot to do and precious little time in which to do it, meaning members of both parties in both chambers will need to prioritize. The time for partisan gamesmanship is over; practical policymaking concerns need to take the wheel.
In particular Congress needs to handle in a deliberative fashion those pending pieces of legislation that directly affect the nation’s national defense, its economic health, and the ability to create jobs and raise living standards that are set to expire at year’s end.
There are many pieces of legislation that fit the bill in one category or more – and very few that apply to all. One is the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, a law that passed with strong bipartisan support in the period after 9/11 and which is set to expire at year’s end.
If TRIA is allows to lapse, it would make it nearly impossible for commercial brokers to continue to offer terrorism insurance, something that has become essential in the post-bin Laden economy. Continue reading