DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

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Archive for the 'Your tax dollars at work – and play.' Category

Democrat Didn’t Fire Top Staffer – Who Earned $170k – for Tax Evasion Conviction

19th October 2017

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The chief of staff to Rep. Bennie Thompson spends his days in the halls of Congress and his weekends in jail for tax evasion, after the Mississippi Democrat violated his pledge to fire his wealthy chief if the aide was found guilty of stiffing the treasury of $150,000.

A Democrat violating a pledge is news?

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Sue & Settle: The Important Story You’re Not Hearing Much About

19th October 2017

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What would you think of someone who got sued, lost in court, and celebrated the loss? You’d think there is something seriously amiss. In fact this has been the longstanding practice of a number of federal agencies, who actively cooperate with activist groups (invariably on the left) to set up lawsuits against agencies that result in the agencies having more power and instituting more regulations.

To give a good example, when the EPA lost the 2007 case of Massachusetts vs. EPA (that was the one that said the EPA could regulate greenhouse gas emissions), employees at EPA opened champagne to celebrate their “loss” at the Supreme Court. Much of the time these legal actions never actually make it very far in court, because the agency will “settle” with the plaintiffs through a consent decree, which means in practice that the agency conveniently consents to having more power. It is called “sue and settle,” but I call this “crony administration.” Much of the time these faux lawsuits are filed with the active participation of the agency, making a mockery of the rule of law.

A very bizarre form of ‘regulatory capture‘.

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Judge Allows Eco-Terrorists to Use Necessity Defense in Pipeline Sabotage Case

19th October 2017

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A Minnesota judge will allow four anti-pipeline activists who damaged an oil pipeline to present evidence supposedly showing the threat of climate change justified their actions.

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Rep. Wilson Pivots Conversation About Gold Star Mom To #BringBackOurGirls

19th October 2017

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I personally find no credibility in a ‘representative’ whose persona includes a rhinestone-encrusted cowboy hat.

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Trump Finds Out Comey Wrote Clinton Was Innocent Before Investigation Ended

18th October 2017

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My, what a surprise. Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

Yet Trump is the New Hitler.

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Taxing and Regulating the Competition

18th October 2017

The Antiplanner blows the whistle.

Here’s a difference between government-run businesses and private businesses: when private businesses face competition, they are forced to innovate to survive. When government-run businesses face competition, they can regulate or tax their competitors out of business.

Now consider the Chicago Transit Authority, which has lost riders in every year since 2012, partly if not mostly because of the growth of Uber and Lyft. Ridesharing has also reduced car rentals (which are taxed by the city) and downtown parking (which is taxes by the city). Although Uber and Lyft also pay taxes to the city, the city estimates it lost a net of $40 million in revenues (including transit fares and vehicle taxes) in 2016. So Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to increase taxes on Uber and Lyft to make up the difference.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Ford subsidiary Chariot is running buses in competition with publicly subsidized Muni. This has led to demands that the city “regulate Chariot to save public transit.” The term public in public transit doesn’t refer to ownership; it refers to transport that is available to all of the public. So what they really mean is “regulate privately owned transit to save publicly subsidized transit” because, for some reason, subsidized transit deserves to be “saved” from private competition.

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Black Activists Credit Trump Policies for Helping Create 17-Year Low in Black Unemployment

17th October 2017

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Another win for Trump.

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Illegal Aliens Have No Constitutional Right To Abortion Says HHS

17th October 2017

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Sounds like another win for Constitutional government.

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New Orleans D.A. Sued for Using Fake Subpoenas to Coerce Witnesses and Crime Victims

17th October 2017

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A Democrat, of course.

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Atlanta Scrambles to Get Out of Expensive Deal It Forgot It Made

17th October 2017

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Which is worse: committing to sell off public land at millions below its market value, or not remembering you’d made that commitment in the first place?

That’s the question the Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) is no doubt asking itself as it tries desperately to get out of a deal it made to sell $138 million of land to a property development company for the recession-era price of $17 million.

The company, Integral, claims it was promised the $120 million discount by former AHA chief Renee Glover in a 2011 agreement. AHA’s current president, Catherine Buell, says she knew nothing about the 2011 deal until Integral tried to make good on it in late 2016, and that the terms are wholly inappropriate.

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After Several Major Tax Increases, Connecticut Still Can’t Make Ends Meet

16th October 2017

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The rising cost of public employees’ retirement benefits has prompted the state to raise taxes three times in the last eight years. The public employee unions are adamant that the problem can be solved only by more taxation, and they have threatened to sue if any changes are made to the present payouts. Gov. Dannel Malloy and the General Assembly haven’t been able to agree on what to do, leaving the state without a budget for more than 100 days.

The state is $74 billion short of what it needs to fund those retirement benefits and the state’s bonded debt obligations. As of 2014, according to The Wall Street Journal, Connecticut ranked 48th in pension funding, meeting only 50 percent of its obligations. The state is looking at a budget deficit of $3.5 billion, out of a budget of about $19 billion.

The last time Connecticut faced financial difficulties of this size was in 1991. From 1984 and 1990, the cost of state pensions increased by 119 percent, according to The Connecticut Mirror. That led the state to impose its first-ever income tax. But the income tax revenue—$126 billion over the following 25 years—did little to restrain spending, and funding for pension programs is still inadequate. Retirement costs and debt services were 12 percent of the state budget 20 years ago. In this fiscal year, they will be 31 percent.

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.

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CBS: Sure, Obama Signed Harmful Opioid Law; But Blame Republicans Instead!

16th October 2017

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CBS on Sunday and Monday hammered Republicans in Congress for supporting a law in 2015 that changed how the Department of Drug Enforcement could regulate opioid distribution. The network minimized the fact that the law was signed by Barack Obama (as the opioid crisis grew). On 60 Minutes, Sunday, Obama’s name was mentioned just once.

What’s truth to a pig?

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Cop Roughs Up High School Girls, Tickets School Board Member Trying to Intervene

16th October 2017

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And he’s black, so they can’t blame White Privilege, although I’m sure they’ll find a way.

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Chicago Alderman Who Told Businessman to ‘Come Back To Me On Your Knees’ Sued for Abuse of Power

12th October 2017

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Machine politics in the United States is pretty much an invention of the Democrat party, and they certainly dominate it today. This is one of the reasons why I would never live in a major city, all of which are run by Democrat machines (even in Texas).

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Executive Unilateralism on Health Care

12th October 2017

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A defining feature of Barack Obama’s presidency was the rise of executive unilateralism. Obama, frustrated with the procedural constraints that govern America’s government, took several executive actions on his own that amounted to legislation by presidential fiat. Some of these actions, like DACA and DAPA, were justified on the basis of prosecutorial discretion, while others, like certain financial and environmental regulations, were implemented via federal agencies. But in practice, these initiatives amounted to material changes to the law that were instituted without congressional approval. They amounted, in other words, to the President’s usurpation of Congress’s constitutional role. “To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better or question the wisdom of [my] acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,” Obama said in 2014.

In addition to underlining the sclerotic laziness of Congress in this area, it also underlies the danger to democratic government of an executive branch that feels justified, on the basis of opinion polls or ideology, in doing an end-run around the Constitution. Franklin Roosevelt was a master of this technique, even with a highly subservient legislature at his beck and call.

Today, a different president is engaging in executive unilateralism of his own. Donald Trump will sign an executive order rolling back some of the health-care regulations imposed by the Affordable Care Act. “Since Congress can’t get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people — FAST,” he tweeted this morning. If that sounds familiar, it should: The president, whose agenda is constrained by the Constitution (and, arguably, the ongoing decay of our political institutions), is taking matters into his own hands.

How long will it take for proglodytes to realize that expanding the powers of government doesn’t always accrue to their benefit? They love it when Obama acts like Mussolini, but they have to wake up to the fact that there may be a Trump holding those reins of power. Will they take the hint? Probably not.

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Universal Coverage? My Fourth Health Care Plan Just Died Thanks to Obamacare

11th October 2017

Michelle Malkin brings the heat.

Two weeks ago, my husband and I received yet another cancellation notice for our private, individual health insurance coverage. It’s our fourth Obamacare-induced obituary in four years.

Just repeal the damned thing already.

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Trump Threatens to Take Obamacare Repeal Into His Own Hands Using ‘Power of the Pen’

11th October 2017

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Gee, just as Obama used to do.

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Bringing Soviet Planning to New York City

10th October 2017

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to bring the same policies that worked so well in the Soviet Union, and more recently in Venezuela, to New York City. “If I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed,” he says. “And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents.”

As shown in the urban planning classic, The Ideal Communist City, soviet planners also believed they were smart enough to know how every single plot of land in their cities should be used. The cities built on their planning principles were appallingly ugly and unlivable. They were environmentally sustainable only so long as communism kept people too poor to afford cars and larger homes.

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Florida Threatens Woman with Fines, Jail for Giving Diet Tips

9th October 2017

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The State of Florida is threatening a woman with jail unless she stops telling people what to eat.

To clarify: Heather Kokesch Del Castillo of Fort Walton Beach is not wandering around the supermarket in giving unsolicited advice. People have been asking her—and paying her—for dietary and nutritional advice. Though all she is doing is talking to people as a health coach, the state has declared her an unlicensed dietitian and fined her more than $750. She faces misdemeanor charges if she doesn’t shut her mouth, with further fines of up to $1,000 for each incident and possibly even a year in prison.

She has turned for help to the lawyers at the Institute for Justice, who have been fighting overreaching occupational licensing schemes for years.

Occupational licensing is typically a method for existing players in a market to use the coercive power of government to restrict entry and reap oligopoly profits, all in the name of ‘protecting the consumer’, even though in most cases the consumer is neither consulted nor desires such protection. But you knew that.

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California Sheriffs Are Openly Protesting Their New “Sanctuary State”

9th October 2017

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The complaints from the sheriffs are nothing we haven’t heard before and their concerns are well founded. What’s not made clear here is precisely what they would like the GOP led Congress and the President to do about it. What sort of federal law would overrule the state’s ability to dictate the policies of its own law enforcement agencies and not run into constitutional trouble when it was inevitably challenged?

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Therapy Dogs Flown in to Help and Comfort Las Vegas Shooting Victims

7th October 2017

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I am not making this up.

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States Fight Back Against USDA Rules That Cause School Food Waste

7th October 2017

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Food waste and the school lunch program are intimately linked. While former First Lady Michelle Obama—and her campaign to make school food healthier—is not responsible for creating the problem of food waste in our nation’s schools, the law she championed, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, has made an already bad problem far worse.

Proglodytes just assume that people will queue up like sheep and do what they’re told. Maybe Europeans do that, but not Americans.

“That directive is costing schools an added $5.4 million a day, of which $3.8 million worth of produce goes directly into the trash, according to national estimates,” reads one recent editorial in a Connecticut paper chastising the USDA for all of the food waste its program creates. “A Harvard Public Health study found that 60 percent of the vegetables and 40 percent of the fruits are being tossed. Researchers at the University of Vermont found an overall increase of 56 percent in wasted food as a direct result of the mandate.”

Of course, in the old days, Mom made your lunch, which you carried in a paper bag, if you were me, or a colorful decorative metal box, if you were an Obama.

“If kids aren’t eating the food, and it’s ending up in the trash, they aren’t getting any nutrition—thus undermining the intent of the program,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue in May.

Hey, why let facts get in the way of virtue-signaling?

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California Can Now Jail People For Misusing Gender Pronouns

6th October 2017

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Great. More people will be leaving there. We have plenty of room in Texas, folks, and no ThoughtCrime laws.

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Hollywood Actress Complains That a TSA Agent Asked for Her Number

6th October 2017

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Perhaps he thought, being in the Security Theater profession, that they were colleagues of a sort.

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Democrats Beg Susan Collins to Stay in the Senate

5th October 2017

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Which tells you everything you need to know about Susan Collins.

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Ben Sasse

5th October 2017

I just listened to a podcast (look in iTunes for “Jonah Goldberg Remnant” by Jonah Goldberg (of National Review and the American Enterprise Institute) in which he has a conversation with Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska. I enjoyed it a lot. I almost wish I lived in Nebraska so that I could vote for him. Sasse is a very articulate, very witty guy, and it’s a very fun time. Highly recommended.

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Boeing and the U.S. Department of Cronyism: New at Reason

5th October 2017

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I have long said that the Department of Commerce should be renamed the Department of Cronyism. First, apart from the Census Bureau and the Patent and Trademark Office, the department mostly functions as a one-stop shop for special interests. Second, in a conflict between consumers and producers, the department always seems to side with the shareholders of large corporations.

The latest example of such behavior is edifying. Last week, as part of a preliminary determination in a countervailing duty investigation, the Commerce Department decided to slap a 220 percent duty on Canadian plane-maker Bombardier to protect its American boy Boeing against “unfair competition.” As if that weren’t enough, the Commerce Department is expected to announce other duties in a companion anti-dumping case soon. The decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission about whether the duty orders will be imposed is expected in early 2018.

The Department of Commerce was established in 1903 as the Department of Commerce and Labor in 1903 under protocol-fascist Teddy Roosevelt according to the ‘no sparrow shall go unregulated’ ‘Progressive’ agenda. I have always thought that anyone who could time-travel back to extinguish the Roosevelt gene-line would be the greatest benefactor in American history.

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Lawyer for IT Aide Says Dem Congressmen to Blame for Falsified Spending Records

4th October 2017

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My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

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Berkeley Students Shut Down Exam, Demand ‘Take-Home’ Instead

2nd October 2017

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“I don’t know why you’re still, like, sitting down, y’all. I don’t understand. I really don’t understand. Y’all can take your f**king test, but people are dying out there,” one protester, who remained behind, stated, then accusing students of supporting white supremacists.

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Evergreen State Punishes 80 Students for Berserk Race Protests That Shut Down Campus

2nd October 2017

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Too little, too late.

That flapping sound is chickens coming home to roots. Unless they clean house among the faculty, the problem will persist.

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San Juan Mayor Praised Convicted FALN Terrorist

30th September 2017

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Yeah, let’s just RUSH RIGHT OVER and help these people….

Why is Puerto Rico even our problem? Every other two-bit island in the Caribbean is independent; LET THEM GO.

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AP Tries to Pretend Convicted, Resigned Paterson, NJ Mayor Isn’t a Dem

29th September 2017

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Yet Another Corrupt Democrat Politician. (yawn)

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Another GOP Leader Calls for McConnell to Step Down

29th September 2017

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I can see the majority, but where’s the leader?

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ICE Arrests Nearly 500 Illegal Aliens In Sanctuary Cities

28th September 2017

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Acting ICE Director Tom Homan noted the importance of the operation in keeping American’s safe from criminal illegal aliens sheltered in “sanctuary” cities and states.

“Sanctuary jurisdictions that do not honor detainers or allow us access to jails and prisons are shielding criminal aliens from immigration enforcement and creating a magnet for illegal immigration,” Homan said. “ICE’s goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners to help prevent dangerous criminal aliens from being released back onto the streets. Non-cooperation policies severely undermine that effort at the expense of public safety.”

Guess posing and posturing doesn’t really work on people with actual badges and guns.

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“Tax Cut”

28th September 2017

What is being proposed in Congress is not a ‘tax cut’, because they are being very careful that every supposed cut is ‘paid for’, i.e. no matter what happens the government will get as much money (or more) as before.

That is not a ‘cut’.

What we’re seeing is a re-arrangement of how people are taxed, with some getting a bit of a break and the rest getting more broke.

Democrats, of course, no matter what happens, will characterize it as ‘a giveaway to the rich’, as if allowing someone to keep more of his own money, rather than giving it to the government, is the government somehow ‘giving’ him money. The reason for this is that Democrats, like all socialists, believe that anything you supposedly own is available for government to take and spend (or waste) as it wills — it actually belongs to the government, and you’re just allowed to keep it until they need it. Preferably earning them a return on it.

So whenever you hear the term ‘tax cut’ just translate it into your own mind as ‘tax re-arrangement’, which will allow you to interpret it properly, by looking at who wins and who loses in the re-arrangement.

As Lenin famously said, ‘Who? Whom?’ (Who is doing what to whom?) is the question to ask.

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Betsy DeVos Withdraws ‘Dear Colleague’ Letter That Weaponized Title IX Against Due Process

22nd September 2017

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Today Education Secretary Betsy DeVos withdrew the Obama-era letter instructing colleges to use the preponderance of evidence standard when adjudicating sexual assault.

DeVos called the previous guidelines—distributed to colleges in 2011 as part of a “dear colleague” letter, then clarified in 2014—well-intentioned but flawed.

“These documents have led to the deprivation of rights for many students—both accused students denied fair process and victims denied an adequate resolution of their complaints,” reads the new “dear colleague” letter, which was signed by Acting Assistant Secretary Candice Jackson and approved by DeVos.*

Another Trump win for the American people.

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Feinstein Rejects Another Judicial Nominee for Religious Views

22nd September 2017

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Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee want to block a Trump administration judicial nominee because of his conservative Christian views.

President Donald Trump tapped Jeff Mateer as a lifetime federal judge. But comments he has made on same-sex marriage and transgender rights are upsetting Democrats Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, according to The Dallas Morning News.

“There’s no question these views cast serious doubt on his ability to fairly enforce federal law and treat people impartially,” Feinstein said in a statement.

Article VI, section 3, of the United States Constitution provides, in relevant part: “… but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”  Senator Feinstein, who took an oath to support the Constitution when she was sworn in as a Senator, appears to be laying herself open to impeachment.

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PBS Tavis Smiley Guests Fret Over ‘White Rage,’ GOP ‘White Nationalism’

22nd September 2017

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On Tuesday, PBS’s Tavis Smiley show hosted two guests to discuss the issue of “white rage” in America in the age of Donald Trump. So did the taxpayer-funded network hold a balanced discussion with two opposing points of view? Of course not. True to form, the show was merely a conservative-free zone with two left-wing guests joining the left-wing host to go after Republicans with charges of “white nationalism,” “white supremacy,” and efforts to “move African-Americans back in their place.”

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When Governments Sue Citizens to Suppress Transparency

21st September 2017

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“These lawsuits are an absurd practice and noxious to open government.” That’s how the Associated Press quotes University of Kansas journalism professor Jonathan Peters, speaking about a troubling trend in recent years of government bodies suing citizens who seek disclosure of public documents through open-records laws.

I know all about these types of absurd lawsuits. Last year the Tuftonboro, NH Board of Selectmen (at the time: Carolyn Sundquist, Lloyd Wood, and Bill Marcussen) sued me and another Tuftonboro resident, Bob McWhirter, when we requested to inspect government records. They spent around $20,000 (and counting) in a vain attempt to charge us 25 cents per page to inspect the records, even though New Hampshire’s Right to Know law states that “no fee shall be charged for the inspection or delivery, without copying, of governmental records, whether in paper, electronic, or other form.” The selectmen’s attorney, Richard Sager of Ossipee, argued in court that the law doesn’t make sense because, if read literally, it meant that the selectmen couldn’t charge us a fee. And they wanted to charge us a fee.

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Dem Sen. Blasts Graham-Cassidy, Admits He Hasn’t Read It

21st September 2017

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When did a Democrat politician’s opinion ever have a connection with what he was criticizing?

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Rep. John Lewis Wants to ‘Take a Bullwhip’ to People So They Care About Civil Rights

21st September 2017

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The bullwhip is never far from Democrat thought. Just ask Bull Connor.

Apparently his glow from the past is wearing thin.

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Germany’s ‘First Wild Bison in 250 Years’ Shot Dead by Authorities

20th September 2017

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‘After more than 250 years a wild bison had been spotted again in Germany and all the authorities could think to do is shoot it,’ WWF board member Chris Heinrich said

Yeah, that sounds like a government to me.

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Dem Governor Candidate Rips Up Tax Pledge

20th September 2017

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Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez (D) is ready to raise taxes. Residents of Massachusetts, consider yourself warned.

Gonzales posted a video to Facebook this week after receiving a copy of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The Pledge, which ATR offers to every candidate and incumbent for state and federal office, is a written promise to a lawmaker’s constituents detailing their commitment to oppose all tax increases.

In his brief video, Gonzalez criticizes Grover Norquist, President and founder of ATR, for his resolution to limit government. After admitting that Massachusetts is “the most expensive state in the nation”, Mr. Gonzales affirmed his support for a tax increase.

“So Grover, here’s what I say to your Taxpayer Protection Pledge” said Mr. Gonzalez as he proceeded to rip up the printed document at the end of the video.

Refreshing honesty, especially for a Democrat. (They don’t call it ‘Taxachusetts’ for nothing.)

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Report: Fed Bureaucracies Commit Thousands Of Felonies Every Day

20th September 2017

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Bureaucracies have successfully evaded congressional budget oversight for years by illegally hiring contract labor to take the place of employees, according to a Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) report released Tuesday.

Bureaucracies commit thousands of felonies a day, misappropriating funds not approved by Congress and expanding agency influence at a time when government agencies should cut back.

Bureaucracies freeze hiring new employees, ideally to stop expansion and cut costs, when under pressure to reform or adapt to budget cuts. Many agencies continue to grow despite budget cutbacks, however, by illegally hiring outside contract labor.

My, what a surprise. Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

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Hours After Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County Tickets Residents for Code Violations

19th September 2017

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Mere hours after Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County was ticketing residents for building code violations on their wrecked properties.

Celso Perez was helping his neighbors remove some fallen trees blocking their street when a county code enforcer rolled up and issued him a safety notice for having a downed fence. “I laughed,” Perez tells WSVN-TV. “I thought he was kidding. ‘You are kidding right? We just had a hurricane six hours ago.'”

It wasn’t a joke. The official told Perez that the downed fence—which encloses a pool—was a safety hazard, and that if it wasn’t fixed by the time he returned, Perez would be hit with a fine. The official then hung the safety citation on the portion of Perez’s fence that remained standing, leaving him and his neighbors to finish clearing the debris from their street.

Bureaucrats remain bureaucrats and are oblivious to common sense.

And Bernie wants such people in charge of our health care.

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Nearly 550 Jailed Children Received $2 Million In Social Security Payments

18th September 2017

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And they want to put the government in charge of our health care? Nuh-uh.

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Missouri Gov. Warns St. Louis Protesters They’ll End Up in Jail If They Destroy Property

17th September 2017

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Gee, they ain’t never been in trouble with the law before.

Don’t just say it, bubba. Do it.

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Judge Suspends City’s Ban of Farmers Over Their Marriage Views

15th September 2017

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A federal judge ruled Friday that the Michigan farmers who were banned from selling their produce at a farmers market on public property because of their religious beliefs about marriage may resume selling their goods there as early as Sunday while their case proceeds.

The decision provides much-needed relief to Steve and Bridget Tennes, owners of Country Mill Farms in Charlotte, Michigan. East Lansing city officials had banned the Tennes family from selling at the East Lansing Farmer’s Market over a Facebook post addressing the farm’s policy on hosting same-sex weddings.

“As the court found, East Lansing officials changed their market policy to shut out Steve because they don’t like his Catholic beliefs regarding marriage,” Kate Anderson, a lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom who is representing the Tennesee, told The Daily Signal in an email.

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An Expensive Experiment With Single-Payer Health Care

14th September 2017

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Efforts to implement single-payer have been tried in both large and small states, in states that are growing quickly and states that aren’t. Despite those variables, one thing remains fairly constant: Such programs require at least twice the amount of revenue consumed by every other state-level program in a single year.

The problem with socialism, as has been said, is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.

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Bike Share Programs: Why?

14th September 2017

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After less than a year of operation, Baltimore is shutting down its bike share program for a month because so many of its bikes were stolen or are heavily damaged.

I guess not everybody in Baltimore is a white leisure-class hipster who can be trusted to borrow a bike and then bring it back. Who knew?

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