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The Left’s Student Loan Agenda Is Out of Touch And Dangerous

By Isabelle MoralesTownhall

 The Left’s Student Loan Agenda Is Out of Touch And Dangerous
Source: Leisa Thompson/The Ann Arbor News via AP, File

As the Biden administration readies its fifth extension of federal student loan repayments, voter concerns over surging inflation take a back seat to the needs of Democrats’ donor class in the run up to the midterm elections. 

The current student loan moratorium is set to expire on August 31, leaving the Democrats with the prospect of student loan payments resuming just two months out from an election. Democrats are almost certain to extend the moratorium again.

The student loan “pause” begin in March 2020. Yes, two-and-a-half years ago.

This policy has been a disaster: costing taxpayers nearly $135 billion while primarily benefiting the elite and contributing to the highest inflation in 40 years.

Recently a group of 180 left-of-center organizations signed a letter urging President Biden to extend the moratorium on student loan repayments. They insisted that the moratorium be extended until the administration fulfills its promise to cancel student loan debt.

This letter is filled with delusional, out-of-touch arguments that perfectly illustrate the Left’s understanding of the student loan issue.  

The primary assertion by these groups is in the letter’s one bolded line: “People with student debt cannot be required to make payments toward loans your administration has promised to cancel.”

Ironically, the Left is arguing that a politician’s “promise” while on the campaign trail should be more binding than the contractual agreement borrowers signed promising to pay back their debts.  

The signers also describe the moratorium and cancellation as a way to relieve the financial pressure of inflation on Americans, especially “economically vulnerable” people, people of color, and women. This, of course, is just part of the Left’s strategy to frame every policy goal of theirs as “justice” for the destitute and oppressed. This kind of framing for the student loan issue is especially shameless, though, as the student loan moratorium primarily benefits white, wealthy elites while worsening inflation for low and middle-income Americans.  

About 75 percent of student loan repayments come from the top 40 percent of earners. The bottom 20 percent of earners only pay 2 percent of monthly student loan payments. As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget points out, the effects of the student loan moratorium is even more skewed toward elites than a blanket cancellation, as graduate student loans tend to have higher interest rates than undergraduate loans.

The Brookings Institution, whose scholars generally support student loan cancellation, described those who would benefit most from student debt forgiveness as “higher income, better educated, and more likely to be white.”

Adam Looney, a former economic advisor to President Obama, explained that, “Measured appropriately… loan forgiveness is regressive whether measured by income, educational attainment, or wealth. Across-the-board forgiveness is therefore a costly and ineffective way to reduce economic gaps by race or socioeconomic status.”

This is not very surprising. As one might assume, many low-income Americans chose not to go to a four-year, private university. Many paid their way through community college or a public university/college, went to trade school, joined the military to pay for their education, or went straight into the workforce after high school. For these Americans, the moratorium and cancellation proposals are slaps in the face. If student loan debt is cancelled, their sacrifices and hard work was futile.

Further, the letter’s assertion that student loan handouts could help ease the financial pressure of inflation on Americans is especially misguided. About 45 million Americans, or 17 percent of the adult population, have federal student loan debt. While this limited group of Americans, who already skew higher-income, may experience relief, every American is facing crippling inflation.

The consumer price index increased by 9.1 percent on an annualized basis in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), setting yet another 40-year high for the sixth time under President Biden.

A primary cause of inflation is the government’s reckless spending. The federal government is flooding the economy with so much money that demand is growing too fast for production to keep up. The moratorium on student loan repayments has been incredibly expensive: so far, it has costed taxpayers $135 billion, and continues to cost them an additional $5 billion each month.

While the Left has attempted to frame the student loan issue as one pertaining to “racial and economic justice,” it is simply a handout to the liberal elite. Lawmakers cannot allow the Left to worsen inflation for average Americans under these false pretenses.


Biden disinformation board, speech cop ripe for satire, but mainstream comics don’t indulge

"Gutfeld!" panelist Tyrus envisions a musical take on Homeland information czar and TikTok variety act Nina Jankowicz — like "singing telegrams when you're canceled for a tweet."

By Christian TotoJust the News

ove or loathe President Donald Trump, but the 45th commander in chief gave comics all the material they needed.

Now, the Biden administration is serving up a potential bounty of low-hanging new satirical fruit, but so far most comedians aren’t indulging.

Biden’s proposed Disinformation Governance Board, an off-shoot of the Homeland Security Department, promises to root out “lies” peddled by Russia, Iran and other global forces. Conservatives pounced on the group’s formation, dubbing it a spiritual cousin to George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth from his dystopian classic, “1984.”

Biden’s group will be led by Nina Jankowicz, a so-called disinformation guru who previously labeled the Hunter Biden laptop story Fake News and sang the praises of Christopher Steele, author of the widely debunked Steele Dossier.

That plus her history of posting goofy TikTok videos of her singing in a Mary Poppins-style falsetto about “misinformation” offer up comic gold.

At least on paper, that is. We’ve yet to see late night TV or “Saturday Night Live” line up to explore the possibilities. Stephen Colbert is laser-focused on the Roe v. Wade debate flowing from the Supreme Court leak earlier this month.

Unwoke comedy insurgents, however, are another story. Paul Crosetti, executive producer of the right-leaning satire series “That Show Tonight,” says his show already has the topics in its sights.

Pulling no punches, a recent “That Show Tonight” parody featured the new board’s “strategist,” Vilhelm Kannepertz, speaking in a Nazi-like accent.

“The no-brainer is comparing the department to past ‘ministries of truth’ regimes,” Crosetti says. “You can see how Jankowicz could easily become a caricature of herself, especially if she spends any amount of time in the public view.”

He doesn’t expect much comedy competition, at least for now, in poking fun at either Jankowicz or the board in general.

“If recent history serves as a guide, mainstream network shows, whether ‘SNL’ or the late-night shows, will steer clear,” he says of those left-leaning outlets.

Comedian Andrew Heaton agrees that Colbert and co. won’t be addressing the board or its antic maitresse anytime soon.

“I’m the sort of person to make fun of this thing, and this is the first I’ve heard of it — I doubt it’s widely known, and probably a secondary issue to Ukraine, Roe v Wade, and of course the eternal ‘the other party is truly evil’ slapfight,” says Heaton, host of  podcasts “The Political Orphanage” and “Losers, Pretenders & Scoundrels.” 

Political satirist Lou Perez thinks comedians will come around to both the board and Jankowicz.

“A Disinformation Governance Board that openly threatens civil liberties should be a nonpartisan field day for joke slinging,” says Perez, author of the upcoming book, “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore: On the Death and Rebirth of Comedy.”

“The question is, which comedians?” asks Perez, who previously satirized both sides of the political aisle via We the Internet TV. “For years, many comedians on the left were afraid to make jokes that could hurt their side. Trump was an existential threat after all … I think this is an opportunity for them to step up and rightfully mock our current president and his administration.”

As for Jankowicz, her social media warblings make her perfect for a Broadway musical parody. “Musical versions of George Orwell’s 1984 have been done already,” he says. “But I imagine Jankowicz’s 2022 would be a lot brighter than ’84. More pop and TikTok, you know. Call Jankowicz ‘Miss Information’ or something cute like that.”

Tyrus, the wrestler-turned-pundit from Fox News’ “Gutfeld!,” sees plenty of satirical fodder in the board and its leader — but fears party discipline may interfere with comic opportunity. 

“Unfortunately, [comedians] let division and politics get in the way of a great joke or jokes,” he says. “Tragic.”

Like Perez, Tyrus envisions a musical take on Jankowicz, like “singing telegrams when you’re canceled for a tweet,” he suggests.


The Nurse Ratched of Disinformation

Nina Jankowicz says she’s “committed to protecting free speech.” LOL

By The Washington Free Beacon EditorsThe Washington Free Beacon

When we first heard Alejandro Mayorkas announce a Department of Homeland Security “Disinformation Governance Board,” we thought he was trolling. Then he said Nina Jankowicz, best known as TikTok’s “Mary Poppins of Disinformation,” would head it. LOL, as the kids say. Right out of the gate, Jankowicz trumpeted her “committment [sic] to protecting free speech.”

Apparently Mayorkas is serious, and the administration is rolling out Jankowicz, author of the new book “How to Be a Woman Online,” as a “renowned expert in the field of disinformation.” That’s true, though she’s more a practitioner of the craft than an expert in combating it. Jankowicz condemned the New York Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop as a “Russian influence op” and fanned the bogus claim that the Steele dossier began as a “Republican opposition research project.” These are fine examples of Democrats, as Washington Free Beacon man of the year Matt Yglesias explained in a recent analysis, using the “disinformation” charge as a scapegoat for losing voters.

As for her commitment to unfettered speech, Jankowicz told her friends at National Public Radio last month that she “shudder[s]” to think about a scenario in which “free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms” and bemoaned so-called “awful but lawful content.” The solution? “Law enforcement and our legislatures,” she said, must “do more.”

Mayorkas, meanwhile, is busy tamping down the concerns of proles like us that the Nurse Ratched of disinformation will have any power. “The board does not have any operational authority or capability,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash. “What it will do is gather together best practices of addressing the threat of disinformation from foreign state adversaries, from the cartels, and disseminate those practices to the operators that have been executing and addressing this threat for years.” Sounds like disinformation to us.

The administration dispenses Orwellian lies on a daily basis. We may be in a recession, but that’s just masking a broader recovery! That $3.5 trillion spending bill actually costs zero dollars! And, per Mayorkas jawboning on another topic on Sunday, the administration has done a fine job managing a ballooning crisis on the southern border.

This is Joe Biden’s nut house. We’re just living in it.


The Partisan Undermining of Coronavirus Science

Politicians and public-health authorities reveal their hypocrisy — and reduce the chances of the public taking them seriously again.

By PRADHEEP J. SHANKERNational Review

The universal lockdown of the country following the COVID-19 outbreak raised tensions through every segment of American society. The social and economic disruptions sparked protests all over the country, most famously in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. These protests were quickly denounced by media personalities, medical experts, and politicians who claimed that the risk of spreading the virus made it foolish to gather in such ways.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer address the media after several dams breached, in downtown Midland, Mich., May 20, 2020. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

Consider Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, who said that those protests were risking the health of the people of her state, that they “make it likelier that we are going to have to stay in a stay-at-home posture,” and that anyone with a platform should encourage others to “do the right thing” and remain home. Or consider Deborah Birx, the lead doctor on President Trump’s coronavirus task force, who said: “It’s devastatingly worrisome to me personally because if they go home and infect their grandmother or their grandfather who has a co-morbid condition and they have a serious or a very — or an unfortunate outcome, they will feel guilty for the rest of our lives.”

Such concerns were completely reasonable. The nation had just passed the peak of the virus surge in hot spots such as New York and Michigan, and fear of further spread was legitimate. The entire scientific logic for the lockdowns, after all, was to suppress the peak of the surge of the disease, in hopes that our health-care system would have time to learn and adapt.

However, everything changed on May 25, 2020, when Minneapolis resident George Floyd was killed. The outrage over this cruel killing by an officer of the state inflamed the passions of the country, sparking protests, violence, and looting, in the Twin Cities and across the United States. People surged onto the streets, primarily peacefully, to display their full displeasure, fear, anguish, and sorrow.

This time, the response from national pundits and experts to the protest movement was starkly different. Dan Diamond’s excellent article in Politico provides a full accounting of how the medical community has responded to these protests. Jeffrey Flier, the former dean of Harvard Medical School, admitted that physicians were grappling with conflict between the science, and their emotions:

“It makes it clear that all along there were trade-offs between details of lockdowns and social distancing and other factors that the experts previously discounted and have now decided to reconsider and rebalance.” . . . Flier pointed out that the protesters were also engaging in behaviors, like loud singing in close proximity, which CDC has repeatedly suggested could be linked to spreading the virus. . . . “At least for me, the sudden change in views of the danger of mass gatherings has been disorienting, and I suspect it has been for many Americans.”

“Disorienting” is a very kind way to paint the shift from outright disgust and hatred that many Americans faced when they challenged the logic of the lockdowns to the ongoing celebration of the current protests. Don’t forget just how vitriolic the earlier outrage was: On social media, people were outright called murderers and terrorists; numerous governors, including New York’s Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey’s Phil Murphy, literally said people would die because of those protests; and media personalities behaved even worse, with Julia Ioffe of GQ calling the protesters selfish and demanding they stay home originally, and Soledad O’Brien calling Ricochet editor Bethany Mandel a “Grandma Killer.”

Suddenly, with the eruption of protests in the name of the murder of George Floyd, those concerns conveniently disappeared. Some former critics, such as Ioffe, have reversed their positions on mass gatherings and openly support them. Others remain silent, demonstrating their cowardice by barely mentioning the threat of the coronavirus to the public at large as thousands of people congregate in protest.

Consider, again, Governor Whitmer of Michigan. Whitmer has been very slow to reduce restrictions on the lockdowns. She and her attorney general, Dana Nessel, famously pursued a barber in the city of Owosso, Mich., who refused to close during the pandemic; the barber has since won his case in court. Whitmer has continued demanding strict masking and social-distancing rules for everyone in the state well into June. Yet when the BLM protests arrived in metropolitan Detroit on June 4, Whitmer was there to greet them. She wore a mask but rejected all social-distancing regulations, marching side-by-side with protesters. Whitmer was more than happy to violate her own executive orders.

Such hypocrisy is not unusual from journalists, or even politicians. However, a much more serious ethical and professional issue arises when doctors and scientists show such blatant hypocritical bias. As scientists, we have sworn to the public that our recommendations would depend on the science and the data, and reject the whims of emotion and personal opinion.

Sadly, this has not been the case. Former head of the Centers for Disease Control Tom Frieden tweeted that he was concerned about losing the community trust by having physicians voice the risks of the virus to protesters. However, back on May 3, he stated, without any fear, “We’re not just staying home in the magical belief that the virus is going to go away. It won’t. Staying home gives us the opportunity to strengthen our health-care and public-health systems.”

Did the virus change in the last month in ways that staying home now doesn’t weaken our system? Frieden is now making the same arguments that lockdown opponents were making a month earlier! In a tweet on June 2, Frieden stated: “The threat to Covid control from protesting outside is tiny compared to the threat to Covid control created when governments act in ways that lose community trust. People can protest peacefully AND work together to stop Covid. Violence harms public health.”

The facts and reality are that the science and data have not substantially changed. We don’t have a good quantification of the risk of viral spread outdoors: the common consensus is the risk is low, but that consensus existed a month earlier as well, and no conclusive, landmark studies have emerged. Nothing about our fundamental understanding of the disease has changed, but Frieden has done a 180-degree reversal of his position regardless.

Many physicians and scientists have likewise let their partisan leanings overshadow the science. An epidemiologist on Twitter stated: “In this moment the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus.” What absurd scientific standards were used to make that remarkable statement?

The short answer is: none. Between 2013 and 2019, police in the United States killed a total of 7,666 people, according to Mapping Police Violence, a research and advocacy group. That data shows that relative to their share of the general population, blacks are 2.5 times as likely as whites to be killed by police; since 2015, 1,252 African Americans have been shot and killed by police, using the Washington Post’s database. These are obviously horrific numbers, and we should stipulate that no citizen of the United States should be complacent about these obvious abuses.

But science shouldn’t deal with emotion or fundamentals. It deals with facts and data. And the facts are these: As of May 26, 2020 (the last date for which race-based data is fully available), the APMResearch Lab documented a total of approximately 88,000 deaths as a result of COVID-19. Of those, 21,878 were African-American. African Americans were shown to die of the coronavirus 2.4 times as often as whites, and 2.2 times as often as Hispanics and Asians. To put that into better perspective, 1 in 1850 black Americans in the entire country perished, versus 1 in 4400 white Americans. African Americans represent 13 percent of all Americans, but have suffered 25 percent of all viral deaths.

These are incredible, and tragic, numbers. And medical science can give us some clues as to the reason for the disproportionate effect. African Americans are less likely to have family physicians, are more likely to have co-morbidities that lead to high risk of complications with coronavirus, and are more likely to use mass-transit systems. Additionally, more African Americans live in multi-generational homes, with possibility of infection from their children and grandchildren. All of these factors likely made them far more susceptible to the disease than the average American. But ultimately what this shows is that the coronavirus is somewhere in the range of 200 to 300 times more deadly than all of the police in the entire country — as a conservative estimate.

To be sure, reducing this complex issue to basic numbers fails to capture the complexities of dealing with racism in our society. These are emotional issues that cannot be distilled scientifically. It is perfectly reasonable for the public to deal with these issues by contemplating the larger context of society, racism, and historical connotations.

But scientists and physicians are supposed to be immune to political or emotional whims. Too many are showing themselves not to be. And the dangers extend beyond hypocrisy. Distrust between the public and the medical community makes it harder for the public to make sacrifices in the name of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Physicians fundamentally rely on trust; the doctor–patient relationship is one of the fundamental philosophical cornerstones in medicine. So, too, do public-health officials, whose recommendations can be disruptive to ordinary people’s lives.

It took a Herculean effort to institute the lockdowns. But many experts have totally refused to speak up about the risk of these protests to cause future surges of the disease, while they were violently opposing similar, smaller protests a few weeks ago. The narrative is clear: They are willing to stand up for the science, as long as it is politically and emotionally convenient.

Not all experts have stayed silent about the risks that persist to this day. Anthony Fauci has remained consistent in warning about the likely consequences of mass gatherings. But, from the beginning, plenty of people in the public-health and medical communities have expected ordinary Americans to listen to their recommendations while failing to admit their own scientific and knowledge limitations. In a piece in April, I stated that we would need sympathy and empathy nationwide to get through this crisis. We should now add humility to the list as well.


FCC Chairman: Net-Neutrality Supporters Saw ‘Political Advantage’ in Stirring ‘Fear’

By Mairead Mcardle • National Review

Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai said Friday that some advocates of net neutrality saw a political advantage in fomenting fear about the policy’s end.

Pai joined Charles Cooke of National Review at the National Review Institute’s 2019 Ideas Summit to discuss how the agency’s role has changed from its founding in the 1930s to today.

“Net neutrality” is a “very seductive marketing slogan,” Pai said. But “ultimately what it means is government regulation of the Internet.”

“As to the question of why people are upset, I’ll be candid. I think it’s because a lot of people saw a political advantage in fomenting a lot of fear,” he continued, recalling the doom-and-gloom warnings of critics who warned that Pai’s rollback of Obama-era net-neutrality regulations would be the “end of the Internet as we know it.”

“Last time I checked, you can still hate-tweet your favorite FCC chairman,” he quipped.

Continue reading


She’s Allergic to Grass Pollen, and the Local Government Is Forcing Her to Grow Turf Grass

by John-Michael Seibler • The Daily Signal

For four years, Carl and Janice Duffner of St. Peters, Missouri, have been fighting the city’s enforcement of a mandate to grow turf grass in their yard despite Janice Duffner’s grass pollen allergy.

Now facing potential cumulative penalties of more than 20 years in prison and $180,000 in fines, the Duffners’ case is pending before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where they are arguing that the mandate to cover half of their lawn in allergens violates their state and federal constitutional rights.

Whatever comes of those claims, the city’s enforcement action may violate Duffner’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Congress barred state and local government entities from discriminating against individuals with certain disabilities through any services and activities, including the enforcement of an ordinance.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the law “protects people with asthma and allergies even if reactions or attacks happen only when triggered. The Americans With Disabilities Act can help to create an environment where patients can avoid their triggers.” Fortunately for the Duffners, that extends to the place where people most want and expect to escape their “triggers”—in their own home. Continue reading


Deregulation Nation: President Trump Cuts Regulations At Record Rate

By Terry Jones • Investor’s Business Daily

Cutting Rules: Baseball season is winding down and, as it does, so is another grueling annual event: The U.S. government’s fiscal year. But this year, with just two months to go, something remarkable is happening: Regulations are being slashed at a record rate.

A new report by the American Action Forum (AAF) says that not only is President Trump meeting his deregulation goals, he’s exceeding them — in some cases, by a large amount.

“Collectively, executive agencies subject to regulatory budget remain on pace to double the administration’s overall saving goal,” wrote the AAF’s Dan Bosch. “On an individual basis, 12 of 22 agencies have already met or surpassed their savings target.”

“The Department of Labor enjoys the largest total savings of covered agencies with $417.2 million,” Bosch wrote. “The Department of Health and Human Services comes in second in savings … at Continue reading


Government Workers ‘Free at Last’

By Betsy McCaughey • Real Clear Politics

Rank and file government workers won big over union bosses Wednesday, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Mark Janus, an Illinois state worker who refused to join the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. The court struck down an Illinois law that allowed the union to deduct fees from Janus’s paycheck despite his refusal to join.

The Janus ruling smashes laws in 22 states — including New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and California — that compel nonmembers to support unions. Until now, if you wanted a government job in these states, you had to pay up. But now firefighters, teachers and other public employees won’t have to fork over a penny to a union if they choose not to join. For the average worker who opts out, it will mean hundreds of dollars more in take-home pay a year.

More in workers’ pockets, less in union coffers. Nationwide, unions are expected to forfeit Continue reading


The Death Knell for Unions? Supreme Court Gets to Decide

By Steve Kurtz • Fox News

A $45 monthly fee could end up costing big labor billions. Public unions are getting nervous, while those who don’t like how they operate are claiming the free lunch may be over soon.

An explosive case regarding government employees and the First Amendment that the Supreme Court will hear on Feb. 26 could redefine the relationship between public unions and workers.

Petitioner Mark Janus works at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and didn’t like that a certain amount was deducted from his paycheck — he didn’t believe he should be forced to pay union dues or fees just to be allowed to work for the state. He didn’t agree with the 1.3 million-member AFSCME union’s politics, and so believed, under the First Amendment, he couldn’t be forced to contribute.

In his court filing, Janus quotes Thomas Jefferson, who said to “compel a man to furnish contribution of Continue reading


Preserving Our Republic as Federal Government Expands

By James L. Buckley • National Review

The following speech was delivered on January 27 in Old Saybrook, Conn., as an address to the William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale upon the inauguration of the James L. Buckley Award for Public Service.

Until the summer of 1965, I had lived a totally contented, interesting, and highly private life. Although I have always been interested in questions of public policy, I had never, ever given any thought to public service. Then something wholly unexpected occurred. I received a telephone call from brother Bill in which he informed me that he had decided to run for the office of mayor of New York City and, furthermore, that I was to serve as his campaign manager.

I told Bill that that last was preposterous: I was far too busy with my own work and, furthermore, I knew absolutely nothing about politics or the conduct of political campaigns. Bill, though, could be very persuasive. He explained, among other things, that as he could not possibly win, he didn’t expect the race to take very much of his time. Therefore, it would take even less of mine.

And that is how the leaders of New York’s Conservative party came to learn of my existence; and three years later, when hunting around to fill a gap, they persuaded me to run as a pro forma candidate for the U.S. Senate. As it would be an unwinnable race against a popular liberal incumbent, they assured me it would require little effort on my part. As it happens, it took a great deal of it, but I did surprisingly well. So, two years later, yielding to a Continue reading


Government Cannot Solve Every Societal Problem

By Michael Tanner • National Review

The Western world can breathe easy. British prime minister Theresa May has solved one of the great crises of our time: She has appointed a Minister of Loneliness. Tracey Crouch, who is currently the Tory undersecretary for Sports and Civil Society, will be charged with leading a government-wide effort to “develop a strategy” for ending “loneliness and social isolation” among adults.

It is easy to have a laugh at the expense of the Brits, of course, although just last year President Obama’s surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review arguing that the societal problem of loneliness needs more attention from business and government. But there is something bigger at work here. There is now a general belief, one increasingly shared by politicians and voters of both parties, that every problem, large or small, can only be solved by the government.

The Declaration of Independence says that governments are instituted among men to secure our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Today, too many people see government as the solution to whatever ails us.

Obesity a problem? We need the government to regulate what we eat. Wages too low? The government should set them. Are people doing things that you think are immoral? Continue reading


When Picking Apples on a Farm With 5,000 Rules, Watch Out for the Ladders

By Steve Eder • New York Times

ALTAMONT, N.Y. — For eight weeks every fall, Indian Ladder Farms, a fifth generation
family operation near Albany, kicks into peak season.

The farm sells homemade apple pies, fresh cider and warm doughnuts. Schoolchildren arrive by the busload to learn about growing apples. And as customers pick fruit from trees, workers fill bins with apples, destined for the farm’s shop and grocery stores.

This fall, amid the rush of commerce — the apple harvest season accounts for about half of Indian Ladder’s annual revenue — federal investigators showed up. They wanted to check the farm’s compliance with migrant labor rules and the Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets pay and other requirements for workers.

Suddenly, the small office staff turned its focus away from making money to
placating a government regulator.

The investigators arrived on a Friday in late September and interviewed the
farm’s management and a group of laborers from Jamaica, who have special work
visas. The investigators hand delivered a notice and said they would be back the
following week, when they asked to have 22 types of records available. The
request included vehicle registrations, insurance documents and time sheets —
reams of paper in all.

Continue reading


Trump administration ending ‘sue and settle’ is an important First step

By Peter RoffWashington Examiner

Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency is taking the lead on this, but expect it to spread to other agencies, including the DOJ. It’s a good start, but there are other problems in the lawfare arena that need to be addressed to ease tensions and restore order to the legal system.

Consider the attacks on Big Oil, which started with a novel legal theory that presupposed the U.S. oil and gas industry deliberately conspired for several decades to deceive the public about climate change.

That theory became an allegation which, when backed by several of the attorneys general of more than a dozen states, turned into litigation that threatens to set a number of dangerous legal precedents while undermining the nation’s economic vitality.

Continue reading


Waiting Times For Canada’s Single-Payer Health Care System Hit Record High

by Ali Meyer • The Free Beacon

Waiting times for medically necessary health care services under Canada’s single-payer system have hit a record high, according to a report from the Fraser Institute.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has touted Canada’s single-payer system, saying it is a model the United States should follow. He introduced a “Medicare for All” plan this past September.

“The issue that has got to be studied is how does it happen that here in Canada they provide quality care to all people, and I don’t think there is any debate that the quality of care here is as good or better than the United States, and they do it for half the cost,” Sanders said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) cosponsored Sanders’s bill, saying she believes the measure will bring high-quality and low-cost care to Americans. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) wrote a provision in Sanders’s bill allowing Americans to buy into a public plan during the transition to single-payer.

The Fraser Institute found that patients under Canada’s single-payer system this year waited an average of 10.9 weeks—roughly two-and-a-half months—from the time they had a consultation with a specialist to the time at which they received treatment. Physicians consider 7.2 weeks to be a clinically reasonable wait time. Continue reading


Arizona Governor: Drop Charges Against Guy Giving Free Haircuts To Homeless

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


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