Friday, February 28, 2014

Lucky Jim | Washington Free Beacon

Lucky Jim | Washington Free Beacon: "“Messina’s effort to tap his earning potential while maintaining a hand on the levers of the party’s apparatuses,” Vogel and Haberman write, “has fueled grumbles from various Democratic donors and operatives, who accuse him—privately, and without the risk or accountability that can come from on-the-record criticism—of taking more than his share of the credit for a multifaceted victory, and of a cash binge that exposes Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to potential backlash.”"



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U.S. assessment of Crimea: This isn’t an invasion, it’s an … “uncontested arrival” « Hot Air

U.S. assessment of Crimea: This isn’t an invasion, it’s an … “uncontested arrival” « Hot Air: "Popehat’s right: “Uncontested arrival” is the best Orwellian euphemism for war since “kinetic military action.” Laying aside the fact that we’re now lending rhetorical support to aggressive irredentism (the Tatars in Crimea are going to “contest” this “arrival,” I’m pretty sure), explain to me why he went out there an hour ago and blathered about his “deep concern” for violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty if we’re adopting the position that maybe Ukraine’s not the rightful sovereign in Crimea after all. I took his statement to be a condemnation of Russian action today, but maybe I have it wrong. Maybe all he meant was that a broader invasion of Ukraine would threaten the country’s sovereignty — although your guess is as good as mine as to how broad it’d have to be to trigger U.S. disapproval. A Russian incursion into the rest of eastern Ukraine might also go uncontested. At this point, if you’re Putin, hearing this reaction from the White House (and crickets from the EU, do note), why not give it a go?"



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Dem investigator: Hey, maybe Christie should resign « The Greenroom

Dem investigator: Hey, maybe Christie should resign « The Greenroom: "Oh, that’s right.  They have no evidence.  And by the way, Coleman has an added incentive to make attention-grabbing statements these days: She’s trying to win a Democratic Congressional primary.  By saying what she said, she generated an ugly-looking headline for Christie based on nothing, and got her own name in the paper.  A  two-fer.  I’m confident she’s carrying out her investigative duties with the highest degree of integrity.  In spite of a bruising few months, Christie’s (significantly diminished) job approval rating is still above water, with a majority of New Jerseyans giving his performance a thumbs-up."



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Keystone Foes Form Circular Firing Squad After Running Out of Arguments | National Review Online

Keystone Foes Form Circular Firing Squad After Running Out of Arguments | National Review Online: "And that — “Environment Good, Keystone Bad” — is about the sum total of his argument. Rather bizarrely, much of the op-ed is spent relitigating the Bush years. He remembers vividly when “George W. Bush was president and big business wrote environmental policy.” He recalls with horror “Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force.” And he harks back to the days when Barack Obama’s election seemed to promise a “change from Mr. Bush’s way of doing business with business.” There’s a lot of harking, actually. Insofar as the op-ed has a clear point at all, it seems to be that under Bush our environmental policy was disastrous, that it is a little better now, but that Obama might ruin all that if he has the temerity to approve a pipeline. Grijalva makes this point eight times in eleven paragraphs."



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Progressives not quite ready to let that Keystone XL “conflict of interest” thing go yet « Hot Air

Progressives not quite ready to let that Keystone XL “conflict of interest” thing go yet « Hot Air: "The GAO will probably take a couple of weeks to make a final decision on whether to investigate the process, an oh-so-auspicious use of our tax dollars on which these lawmakers and a bunch of environmentalist groups are now insisting — but please, by all means, proceed. At the end of the day, the Keystone XL pipeline will still be in our national interest, because the fact of that matter is that the United States needs to start laying down a lot more pipeline infrastructure to take better advantage of our shale oil and gas boom, and no amount of wind and solar energy is going to be able to provide a viable substitute for fossil fuels for a long time coming."



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Kimberley Strassel: All the President's IRS Agents - WSJ.com

Kimberley Strassel: All the President's IRS Agents - WSJ.com: "Democrats are instead fully vested now in using the IRS to shut down criticism by outside groups of ObamaCare, overspending or (ironically) the IRS targeting. Even liberal groups are howling about the White House's use of the IRS to silence political speech, and the House on Wednesday passed a bill to delay the regulations. The White House's response? A veto threat.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee markup Thursday morning, Texas's Ted Cruz offered an amendment to prohibit IRS employees from deliberately targeting individuals or groups based on political views. It was unanimously rejected by every member of the Democratic majority.

The IRS targeting was shocking because Americans expect that agency to be free of politics. In the age of Obama, that era is over. Only when Washington recognizes the IRS for the political tool it has become can it start to fix the problem."



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Liam Neeson Tees Off on Mayor DeBlasio on the Daily Show | NewsBusters

Liam Neeson Tees Off on Mayor DeBlasio on the Daily Show | NewsBusters: "Actor Liam Neeson ranted against New York City's ultra-liberal Mayor Bill DeBlasio on Wednesday's Daily Show, citing his ban on horse-drawn carriages and keeping city schools open during a recent snow storm.

"I'm a little bit pissed off at our elected new mayor," Neeson revealed to host Jon Stewart. "He made my kids go to school in all that snow." Neeson added later that despite poll numbers supporting the contrary, "He [DeBlasio] wants to close this horse and carriage industry in New York.""



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Peggy Noonan: America and the Aggressive Left - WSJ.com

Peggy Noonan: America and the Aggressive Left - WSJ.com: "It's all part of the malaise, the sclerosis. So is the eroding end of the idea that religious scruples and beliefs have a high place that must culturally and politically be respected. The political-media complex is bravely coming down on florists with unfashionable views. On Twitter Thursday the freedom-fighter who tweets as @FriedrichHayek asked: "Can the government compel a Jewish baker to deliver a wedding cake on a Saturday? If not why not." Why not indeed. Because the truly tolerant give each other a little space? On an optimistic note, the Little Sisters of the Poor haven't been put out of business and patiently await their day in court."



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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Uh oh: Democrats to force House vote on amnesty? « Hot Air

Uh oh: Democrats to force House vote on amnesty? « Hot Air: "The reason House Dems want to push their own bill, I guess, is that if you’re going to pander, you might as well pander all the way. They know that centrist Republicans are too gutless to put their names on a discharge petition for amnesty, even though we all know they’d happily vote for it if they could keep their vote secret. The point here for Pelosi is simply to signal to Latinos that Democrats are trying to give them everything they want (even less border security than Chuck Schumer agreed to!) and they’re being thwarted by the racist Republicans. Might as well add an “instant citizenship” provision for illegals to the bill too. Go all out."



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Inspector general: EPA officials actively obstructed that crazy fraud investigation « Hot Air

Inspector general: EPA officials actively obstructed that crazy fraud investigation « Hot Air: "What’s worse than a high-ranking Environmental Protection Agency official defrauding the agency over the course of twelve years by taking lengthy unexplained absences, doing very little actual work, stealing nearly one million dollars in the form of pay, bonuses, and airfare he didn’t deserve, and getting away with it all by cultivating an enigmatic reputation and telling his superiors (including now-EPA chief Gina McCarthy) that he was performing joint government work for the CIA vaguely related to climate change?

Other EPA officials actively obstructing the investigation into the whole mess, that’s what."



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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Left’s New Story: Nobody Is Hurt by Obamacare | National Review Online

The Left’s New Story: Nobody Is Hurt by Obamacare | National Review Online: "In what is rapidly becoming the latest liberal trope, left-wing news outlets and commentators have begun telling the world that there actually are no victims of Obamacare. Daring to do the impossible (again), the Left is telling America that all the stories of cancellations, lost plans, premium hikes, and other troubles are all just made up by vicious and deceitful right-wingers in order to defame their beautiful Obamacare.

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman uses his perch at the New York Times to argue that Obamacare is doing just fine, and conservative doomsday predictions won’t come true. Conservatives, knowing this, Krugman writes, are “groping toward a new strategy, one that relies on highlighting examples of the terrible harm Obamacare does. There’s only one problem: they haven’t managed to come up with any real examples.”"



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Debra J. Saunders: The Experts Agree; If You Don't, Shut Up

Debra J. Saunders: The Experts Agree; If You Don't, Shut Up: "It is a happy conceit in the climate change community that true believers are sophisticated, fact-based practitioners of science and that skeptics essentially are a bunch of superstitious nitwits who refuse to respect the -- all bow -- climate change consensus.
If that were true, you would expect the science-loving know-it-alls to welcome opportunities to challenge the arguments of "deniers" of global warming. To the contrary, climate change groups have been engaging in a spirited battle to muzzle dissenters and pressure news organizations not to publish skeptical opinion."



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The Period Of No Global Warming Will Soon Be Longer Than the Period of Actual Global Warming - Forbes

The Period Of No Global Warming Will Soon Be Longer Than the Period of Actual Global Warming - Forbes: "If you look at the record of global temperature data, you will find that the late 20th Century period of global warming actually lasted about 20 years, from the late 1970s to the late 1990s. Before that, the globe was dominated by about 30 years of global cooling, giving rise in the 1970s to media discussions of the return of the Little Ice Age (circa 1450 to 1850), or worse.

But the record of satellite measurements of global atmospheric temperatures now shows no warming for at least 17 years and 5 months, from September, 1996 to January, 2014, as shown on the accompanying graphic. That is surely 17 years and 6 months now, accounting for February."



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Here Come The Democratic Birthers - The Daily Beast

Here Come The Democratic Birthers - The Daily Beast: "What? You thought only Republicans could be birthers?

In a fundraising email sent out Monday, the bombastic, bombthrowing Florida Democrat Alan Grayson included a transcript of remarks from an interview with MSNBC where he claimed that Ted Cruz was ineligible to be president. Grayson said "since Ted Cruz is a Canadian, and our Constitution requires tha[t] an American win, I'm pretty sure that it's not going to be Ted Cruz." Cruz, a 2016 presidential hopeful, was born in Canada but his mother was an American citizen and the Texas senator became a citizen of the United States at birth. 

Although the Constitution says that the President must be a "natural born citizen," the term is not defined. However, most legal scholars believe that anyone who is a citizen at birth is "natural born." As Jack Maskell of the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service noted in a report."



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Best of the Web Today: 8960 or Fight! - WSJ.com

Best of the Web Today: 8960 or Fight! - WSJ.com: "Some TurboTax customers are mad at Intuit, maker of the popular tax-prep software, because they've finished their returns but are unable to file. Their anger is misplaced. They should blame the Internal Revenue Service, along with the 111th Congress and President Obama for enacting and signing the tax increase with which TurboTax can't yet comply. (They could also blame George W. Bush if they're in a jocose frame of mind.)

At issue is ObamaCare's new 3.8% "net investment income tax." It took effect Jan. 1, 2013, so that taxpayers are encountering it just now as they prepare their returns for last year. In effect, it applies the Medicare payroll tax to interest, dividends and capital gains.

But it doesn't apply to all such income. If your modified adjusted gross income is under $200,000 (or $250,000 for a married couple), you don't pay the tax at all. Further, if your modified AGI is above the threshold but your noninvestment income is below it, the tax is applied on the difference between your total income and the threshold."



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Michelle Obama: White House Sets Limits On School Junk Food Ads | TIME.com

Michelle Obama: White House Sets Limits On School Junk Food Ads | TIME.com: "The Obama administration laid out new restrictions on the marketing of junk food and sugary drinks in schools on Tuesday.

The new rules from the White House and the Department of Agriculture prohibit advertisements for unhealthy foods on school campuses during the school day, including sugary drinks that account for 90 percent of such ads in school. An ad for regular Coca-Cola, for example, would be banned from appearing on a scoreboard at a high school football game, though ads for Diet Coke and Dasani water, owned by the same company, would be allowed. Junk food ads like a Coca-Cola scoreboard would be phased out under the new rules and would not have to be replaced overnight."



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Nader: Let’s let a billionaire buy the presidency, or something « Hot Air

Nader: Let’s let a billionaire buy the presidency, or something « Hot Air: "How old am I? I’m old enough to remember when Ralph Nader fought against the corporations, man, and the interests of the so-called One Percenters. Nader ran for the presidency twice on populist platforms that professed to return political power to the people. One of those runs arguably cost Al Gore enough votes in Florida to cost him the election in 2000."



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The Hollywood tax wars: It’s on « Hot Air

The Hollywood tax wars: It’s on « Hot Air: "As Ed described last week, the House of Cards producers recently served the state of Maryland with their demands for more sweet cash monies in the form of state taxpayer subsidies — despite the almost $40 million worth of subsidies the show has already received and their rather dubious job-creation claims. Maryland is hardly the only state on the receiving end of that kind of pressure from the entertainment industry, either; Watchdog.org reports that Florida’s production industry is currently lobbying lawmakers for a whopping $1 billion in various tax perks, and the pros of all of that largesse aren’t at all clear."



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Obama’s EPA is using the Clean Air Act to justify regulating emissions from power plants. Can they even do that? « Hot Air

Obama’s EPA is using the Clean Air Act to justify regulating emissions from power plants. Can they even do that? « Hot Air: "Back in 2007, the Supreme Court determined that, under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency not only has the authority to regulate but indeed should regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles — but fast-forward to President Obama’s climate-change agenda and his administration’s strategy to use the EPA’s Clean-Air auspices to regulate stationary sources (i.e., coal-fired power plants), and the EPA is back at the Supreme Court. I’ll point you to Carrie Severino’s review at NRO for a more thorough rundown, but the justices heard the arguments on Monday from the six combined cases, with the utility industry, the Chamber of Commerce, and thirteen states arguing that the EPA has once again overzealously outstripped its own authority, while fifteen other states and environmentalists groups argued that the EPA is doing exactly what it should be doing."



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California paroling record number of lifers under Jerry Brown « The Greenroom

California paroling record number of lifers under Jerry Brown « The Greenroom: "Opponents of the death penalty — myself among them — argue that life sentences are enough to keep society safe. What happens when life sentences … aren’t? The Associated Press reports that paroles of lifers in California have skyrocketed under Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration."



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When 'leave us alone' became 'bake us a cake!': The clash between gay rights and religious liberty | The Daily Caller

When 'leave us alone' became 'bake us a cake!': The clash between gay rights and religious liberty | The Daily Caller: "The reason conservative Christians are fighting this fight today is because it’s a firewall. The real danger, of course, is that Christian pastors and preachers will eventually be coerced into performing same-sex marriages. (Note: It is entirely possible for someone to believe gay marriage is fine, and to still oppose forcing people who hold strong religious convictions to participate — but I suspect that is where we are heading.)

Think of it this way. If you were a congregant in a church, wouldn’t you expect the pastor to marry you? Why should you be treated different?

Any pastor — if he or she wants to maintain the church’s tax status, that is — had better grapple with this now."



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Ronan Farrow’s Debut Gets Major Media Love While Joy Reid Is Ignored | Mediaite

Ronan Farrow’s Debut Gets Major Media Love While Joy Reid Is Ignored | Mediaite: "The typical 2014-kind-of-reaction to this, one that’s all the rage these days, is to scream RACISM. Why else would the New York Times, Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Jon Stewart and Bill Maher fall over themselves in previewing Mr. Farrow’s show, but ignore Reid…who has infinitely more broadcast experience than her younger lead-in? Both worked with (Reid) or in (Farrow) the Obama Administration, but only one has actually guest hosted programs on MSNBC before (Reid).



So the answer is obviously bigotry, with the lily-white Farrow getting all of the attention for his 1:00 PM show, with the African-American Reid being snubbed by the press in launching her 2:00 PM offering. It’s no different than NBC News anchor Brian Williams ignoring Arsenio Hall when running down a list of late-night hosts last week (which were all white in the graphic, by the way).



And while we’re at it, let’s throw misogyny into the mix as a good reason for the Reid snub as well. The War on Women continues down an ugly path…



So now that we have the mocking-racism-and-sexism charges-exercise out of the way, let’s look at the real reason Farrow is a media darling while Reid is overlooked:



Celebrity."



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Leading Texan Democratic Senate Candidate Compares Obama to Hitler | Mediaite

Leading Texan Democratic Senate Candidate Compares Obama to Hitler | Mediaite: "In what has to be a blow for Democratic partisans who were convinced that state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) can single-handedly turn the Lone Star State blue in November, the Texas Democratic Party appears to be on the verge of tarnishing its reputation. According to a poll conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune, the frontrunner to face likely incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in November is Kesha Rogers. She is also somewhat… unhinged."



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Rothman: As the World Grows More Dangerous, America Retreats | Mediaite

Rothman: As the World Grows More Dangerous, America Retreats | Mediaite: "When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and the Warsaw Pact dissolved, America’s forward positioning and nearly 700,000 strong Army became instantly anachronistic. In 1990 – 1996, Congress passed measures designed to facilitate a drawdown of American forces in accord with a new peace. In spite of the fact that the world has grown more dangerous in the intervening decades, those incentives to facilitate the reduction in America’s armed forces personnel, which expired in 1996, were reinstated in 2012.

On Monday, the Pentagon announced a dramatic reduction in Army personnel to levels not seen since before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. These reductions are not being made to account for reduced threats abroad. Instead, they are being made in spite of the numerous and increasing threats to American interests."



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Monday, February 24, 2014

Give Felons the Vote? | National Review Online

Give Felons the Vote? | National Review Online: "Further, in many jurisdictions felons are broadly excluded from running for office. (Here we see an inversion of the Illinois practice, in which residents tend to become felons after being elected to high office.) If voting for a candidate is fundamental to justice in a democratic republic, then it can hardly be the case that standing as a candidate for office could be less fundamental.

Eric Holder has not given any speeches about that, either."



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Dictatorship and Double Standard: Meet Venezuela's Useful Idiots - The Daily Beast

Dictatorship and Double Standard: Meet Venezuela's Useful Idiots - The Daily Beast: "Perhaps reactions would be muted if motorcycle gangs loyal to President George W. Bush circled anti-Iraq War protests physically attacking--and occasionally murdering--demonstrators. How about if a judge ruled against President Obama’s domestic spying apparatus and, in return, the White House ordered that judge thrown in prison? How long would an American president be allowed to run up massive inflation, despite massive oil revenues coming into government coffers? How long would it be considered reasonable--and not the president’s responsibility--to preside over 23,000 murders in a country of just under 30 million people, a rate that would horrify the average resident of Baghdad? How long could supermarket shelves remain bare of basic staples like bread and milk before The Nation or The Guardian would gleefully decide that America was a failed, kleptocratic state? Or if Bush or Obama’s economic policies meant that toilet paper could no longer be found on the open market?



So I ask a rather straight-forward question to those who pretend to care about the Venezuelan people (much like those who miraculously lost interest in the Vietnamese people after 1975 or the Nicaraguan people after 1990), those who care so deeply for the poor and destitute in Latin America: Why the double standard?"



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Video: Hagel announces plan to shrink army to pre-World War II levels « Hot Air

Video: Hagel announces plan to shrink army to pre-World War II levels « Hot Air: "Among the specifics: The army will swap its Black Hawks for the National Guard’s Apaches, which have more firepower; funding for cyberwarfare and Special Ops, two of Obama’s priorities, will continue at current levels; and the A-10 Warthog, which was designed to target Russian tanks in case they invaded Europe, will be retired. (Anyone in Kiev want to buy a jet?) I’m not qualified to say which cuts are smart and feasible and which are dangerously short-sighted but I know we have plenty of readers who are, so here’s your thread to sound off. I am qualified to say that a few years ago this type of move from a liberal president who’s already seen as provocatively weak would have raised holy hell on the right."



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Obama to make Keystone XL decision “one way or the other in a couple of months”? « Hot Air

Obama to make Keystone XL decision “one way or the other in a couple of months”? « Hot Air: "In terms of what the White House is thinking on finally gracing us all with a decision on the languishing Keystone XL pipeline, I’ve fluctuated several times along the imminent-to-indefinite spectrum, and I was just starting to lean back toward the post-midterm elections line of thinking — especially since the administration was just handed such a potentially affable excuse in the form of a Nebraska judge’s decision to invalidate the governor’s approval of TransCanada’s proposed route through the state. Sure, the executive branch’s only job is to determine whether the pipeline project is on the side of the general public welfare and can cross the international border — which they have now affirmatively done several times over — but if a state spat gives provides them with even the slightest cover for continuing the delay, why would they pass it up?"



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Fading empire finds hope, solace in new Waffle Taco « Hot Air

Fading empire finds hope, solace in new Waffle Taco « Hot Air: "As Taco Bell gobbles up some of McDonald’s breakfast market, McD’s gobbles up some of TB’s dinner clientele with the promise of all-day McMuffins. From there the escalation will be steady and ruefully predictable: Taco Bell extends its breakfast menu to all hours, then McDonald’s releases the Bacon Mac served on bacon strips instead of a bun, then TB counters with the Triple Bacon Burrito dipped in Bacon, and soon they’re putting together special “all bacon” menus to maximize their social-media presence. This way lies madness, my friends. But, as with American decline, I fear it’s inevitable.

Did any of our California readers try this thing? ‘Fess up. Exit question: Isn’t this basically just … a McGriddle?"



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USA Today: Say, isn’t this Univision-Hillary partnership worrisome? « Hot Air

USA Today: Say, isn’t this Univision-Hillary partnership worrisome? « Hot Air: "USA Today deserves some credit for taking a closer look at the partnership between Hillary Clinton and Haim Saban, the owner of Univision, the large Spanish-language cable news channel, but most of the credit belongs to the Miami Herald’s Marc Caputo. Caputo first blew the whistle two weeks ago on the multi-year deal signed between Saban and the Clintons, while Saban bragged at the same time that Univision would “pitch in with full might” if Hillary ran for President.  “Seeing her in the White House is a big dream of mine.”"



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The Economist: Obama’s unwillingness to fight for trade is going to make everybody $600 billion poorer « Hot Air

The Economist: Obama’s unwillingness to fight for trade is going to make everybody $600 billion poorer « Hot Air: "Administration officials are still claiming that President Obama hasn’t given up on the fight for fast-track trade promotion authority (the better to complete a couple of major trade deal with Pacific countries and the European Union), despite Democrats’ general reluctance to engage on the issue and Harry Reid’s insistence that he won’t even entertain the notion during this politically sensitive pre-midterm period, but… Obama isn’t exactly pushing it, either. One of Democrats’ big arguments against the idea of setting the United States up for freer trade is that none of the deals on the table would really do that much to help out our economy anyway, so there’s no use getting so upset over the whole thing — but The Economist offers up some solid numbers to explode that myth, as well as some apt criticism of Obama’s pusillanimity to boot."



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Angry man angry at everyone, but especially at MSNBC « Hot Air

Angry man angry at everyone, but especially at MSNBC « Hot Air: "Bashir was the network’s bottom-feeder, a guy who occasionally waded into depths of nastiness that even other MSNBC hosts would avoid precisely because he didn’t have much to offer content-wise. He wasn’t the smartest liberal on the network, he certainly wasn’t the liberal with the most Beltway experience, so apparently he resolved to be the meanest. Eventually he waded a little too far and drowned. If Bashir was Baldwin’s Great Highbrow Hope, whom does he consider lowbrow?"



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Gallup: For the first time, majority of Americans think foreign leaders don’t respect Obama « Hot Air

Gallup: For the first time, majority of Americans think foreign leaders don’t respect Obama « Hot Air: "For most of his term a slim majority said yes when asked whether they thought foreign leaders respected him — impressive resilience, really, for a guy who was pilloried for blowing hot and cold first on Mubarak’s ouster and then on Morsi’s. Sunni leaders certainly didn’t respect O for that, but then who cares what the oilbags in Saudi Arabia think? Last year, though, the bottom dropped out: Now he’s at 41/53 on the “respect” question. It’s not Republicans who’ve soured on him, either, as they never thought much of O’s international leadership in the first place. It’s independents and even Democrats who’ve lost that Hopenchangey feeling."



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US sending high-ranking State official to Ukraine « The Greenroom

US sending high-ranking State official to Ukraine « The Greenroom: "This can’t be just a coincidence — and it may send a signal from Turkey as well to Moscow to stay out of Ukraine. Turkey the Black Sea with Ukraine and Russia, and they may have an interest in ensuring a westward-looking policy from Kyiv in the future."



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Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience - The Daily Beast

Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience - The Daily Beast: "So, why do many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently? The most common liberal answer to that question isn’t quite correct: namely, that creationists harm society in a way that homeopaths don’t. I’m not saying that homeopathy is especially harmful; I’m saying that creationism may be relatively harmless. In isolation, unless you’re a biologist, your thoughts on creation don’t matter terribly much to your fellow citizens; and unless you’re a physician, your reliance on Sacred Healing Food to cure all ills is your own business.

The danger is when these ideas get tied up with other, more politically muscular ideologies. Creationism often does, of course—that’s when we should worry. But as vaccine skeptics start to prompt public health crises, and GMO opponents block projects that could save lives in the developing world, it’s fair to ask how much we can disentangle Whole Foods’ pseudoscientific wares from very real, very worrying antiscientific outbursts."



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Sunday, February 23, 2014

NFL considers 15 yard penalty for use of racial slurs « Hot Air

NFL considers 15 yard penalty for use of racial slurs « Hot Air: "One assumes that this penalty will also apply to slurs regarding Jews, Muslims, gays, Native Americans and left handed players as well. But does this type of behavior really fall under what would be considered the rules of the game? I don’t think so. I can see ejecting someone from the game, and certainly the team’s owners should be able to fine – or even suspend – players for actions which they feel besmirch the team. But a fifteen yard penalty in the middle of a drive? How does unacceptable, racist speech relate to the game structure which governs the actions of the players? This seems completely out of step with the entire concept of the rules committee.



Further, what about players who use the term regarding their own friends and teammates in a way not intended to insult them? I’m not saying I approve of it personally, but the fact of the matter is that we do hear some black celebrities in sports, music or movies using the term in a casual way about each other. Will they have their TD drive shut down at midfield if they are not intentionally hurling racial invectives, but just saying something to their buddy that they would say in the locker room anyway? This looks very much like the rules committee meddling in an area where they don’t belong, potentially opening up a can of worms in terms of unintended consequences."



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Wells Fargo sued by employee fired for concealed carrying at work « Hot Air

Wells Fargo sued by employee fired for concealed carrying at work « Hot Air: "Of course, one of the best arguments in terms of hoping that Ms. Ros prevails is that it just drives the gun grabbers insane.

Florida has more than its share of gun rights cases going on in addition to this one, so it may be the starting point for additional clarity from the courts on a number of related subjects. And some of them are sure to drive the Left equally crazy. Just take the case of the blind man who had his guns returned to him after shooting an intruder. Cue the heads exploding in five… four… three… two…"



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Piers Morgan and CNN Plan End to His Prime-Time Show - NYTimes.com

Piers Morgan and CNN Plan End to His Prime-Time Show - NYTimes.com: "There have been times when the CNN host Piers Morgan didn’t seem to like America very much — and American audiences have been more than willing to return the favor. Three years after taking over for Larry King, Mr. Morgan has seen the ratings for “Piers Morgan Live” hit some new lows, drawing a fraction of viewers compared with competitors at Fox News and MSNBC.

It’s been an unhappy collision between a British television personality who refuses to assimilate — the only football he cares about is round and his lectures on guns were rife with contempt — and a CNN audience that is intrinsically provincial. After all, the people who tune into a cable news network are, by their nature, deeply interested in America."



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Why do so many liberals want to suppress political speech? | WashingtonExaminer.com

Why do so many liberals want to suppress political speech? | WashingtonExaminer.com: "The amazing thing is that this wacky project, which was supposedly based on the need to identify barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and small businessmen in broadcast businesses, was humming along without demur until, in a Feb. 10 opinion article in the Wall Street Journal, Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai blew the whistle. “How can the news judgments made by editors and station managers impede small businessmen from entering the broadcast industry?” he asked. “And why does the CIN study include newspapers when the FCC has no authority to regulate print media?” Even after that appeared, it was not until Feb. 21 that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, at least temporarily, shut the project down. Wheeler, a successful communications venture capitalist and lobbyist, is obviously a smart person; the fact that it took him more than an instant to stop this ridiculous process shows the strength of the liberal impulse to suppress speech.

Some of us are old enough to remember when liberals’ response to speech they disagreed with was: more speech. The reflexive response of many liberals today seems to be: shut it down."



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Virginia working on hilarious new ethics law « Hot Air

Virginia working on hilarious new ethics law « Hot Air: "This law is a joke, and if Terry McAuliffe signs it, that’s going to speak volumes about him. Of course, it’s a lesson a lot of us already knew."



'via Blog this'

Obama to propose changes to forest fire funding, because climate change « Hot Air

Obama to propose changes to forest fire funding, because climate change « Hot Air: "For most of the 20th century, the federal government’s forest fire policy on the one-third of the surface area of the United States it now owns was dominated by suppression tactics that have resulted in overly dense forests choked with too many trees and too much vegetation, all competing for precious water resources. Fire is just nature’s way of thinning out trees, curing blights, and maintaining generally healthy ecosystems, but for decades the Forest Service actively prevented this cyclical light burning. Throw a match or a lightning strike into any of dense, dry forests today, and of course it’s going to explode into a massive runaway fire.

Nutshell version: Through environmentalists’ misguided land management policies, the federal government directly created a gigantic, terrible problem, and now they need more of our tax dollars to try and solve it. Perfect."



'via Blog this'

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The de Blasio de Bacle: New NYC Mayor Off to a Hilariously Horrific Start | Mediaite

The de Blasio de Bacle: New NYC Mayor Off to a Hilariously Horrific Start | Mediaite: "It’s hard to find anyone getting off to a more brutal start to any job than New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has in the first seven weeks of his term.

Week after week, it’s been one ironic blunder after the other.

The comedic apex of the Mayor’s tenuous tenure came over the past 36 hours. First, there was a local CBS News crew catching de Blasio’s caravan speeding well over the limit and blowing through two stop signs on Thursday afternoon (there was no emergency at the time). This wouldn’t be such a big deal, except…Mr. de Blasio had very publicly unveiled a huge traffic safety initiative just days earlier."



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WashPost Subtly Relays That Major Government Grantee Planned Parenthood Is Selling Obamacare Door to Door | NewsBusters

WashPost Subtly Relays That Major Government Grantee Planned Parenthood Is Selling Obamacare Door to Door | NewsBusters: "So Planned Parenthood, a major government grantee and a group that stands to benefit from more federal funding for health care -- and they hope taxpayer-funded abortions in the near future -- is fungibly using its government grants as they knock on 15,000 doors a day? It sounds like the House needs to hold an oversight hearing on how this is happening."



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Venezuela: the Left's favourite 'socialist paradise' is sliding into poverty and dictatorship – Telegraph Blogs

Venezuela: the Left's favourite 'socialist paradise' is sliding into poverty and dictatorship – Telegraph Blogs: "The crisis hasn't come from nowhere. It is the inevitable product of Chavez's brand of socialism, which created a base of support by convincing the urban poor that they were the victims of a conspiracy by the rich. The base has been kept on side with social services bought with the use of oil, fostering a false economic boom and a fantasy of progress. Beneath the surface, civil society has been allowed to stagnate. Now that Chavez is dead and the magic gone, there is anarchy. We might even ask if the elections that put Chavezism in office were ever truly legitimate. Yes, they were technically democratic (although the opposition complained that the odds were rigged against them) but the Chavezistas were never really committed to democracy in the orthodox, liberal sense. They were constructing a new order out of clientism. It's astonishing that their supporters in the West couldn't see this, that they deluded themselves that Hugo was building a Latin American Sweden."



'via Blog this'

The minimum wage and “the end of work” « Hot Air

The minimum wage and “the end of work” « Hot Air: "Most of this analysis makes a lot of sense, but I would take it one step further and ask if the minimum wage debate doesn’t play directly into the effect being observed. With public policy, regulation and an uncertain environment for employers exerting downward pressure on hiring, the temptation is already there to invest in advanced technology to achieve the same productivity. Unlike the case of Great Britain, if the government drives up the cost of employing workers further, wouldn’t that incentive to automate become greater? Businesses have a target level of productivity they must achieve in a profitable manner. When labor costs are low, expensive technology isn’t as attractive and they would naturally hire more workers as described above. But when you artificially drive up the cost of labor in an already challenging environment, the opposite effect would seem natural."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The economics of sex: Has the price gotten too cheap? | New York Post

The economics of sex: Has the price gotten too cheap? | New York Post: "And this is where the economics matters. Because many more women than men are in the market for a serious relationship, the video explains, “men can be picky and can insist on extensive sexual experience before committing.” Women’s competition for those men has increased, and so the “price” of sex — what the man has to “deliver,” emotionally and commitment-wise — has gone down.
If girls did actually come to realize that they’re “in the driver’s seat” when it comes to sex (and if sisterhood really were powerful), they could change the market entirely, having sex only when they were ready and only when they saw a serious commitment on the part of their partner."



'via Blog this'

Those Who Can’t, Govern | National Review Online

Those Who Can’t, Govern | National Review Online: "For much of last year, a standard trope of President Obama’s speechwriters was that there were certain things only government could do. “That’s how we built this country — together,” he declared. “We constructed railroads and highways, the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. We did those things together.” As some of us pointed out, for the cost of Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill alone, you could have built 1,567 Golden Gate Bridges — or one mega–Golden Gate Bridge stretching from Boston to just off the coast of Ireland. Yet there isn’t a single bridge, or a single dam (“You will never see another federal dam,” his assistant secretary of the interior assured an audience of environmentalists). Across the land, there was not a thing for doting network correspondents in hard hats to stand in front of and say, “Obama built this.”"



'via Blog this'

Pulling Pork | National Review Online

Pulling Pork | National Review Online: "Thad Cochran is old school. Before the Tea Party came to town in 2010 and ruined everything, the six-term Republican senator from Mississippi had made a name for himself as an unapologetic purveyor of pork. But Cochran’s past could haunt him as he tries to defend his seat against a conservative primary challenger.

When Republicans won the House in 2010, they helped bring about an end to the long-cherished practice of congressional earmarking. During the lame-duck session in December 2010, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) rallied Republicans to kill a proposed omnibus spending bill that was loaded with earmarks, including more than $500 million that Cochran had requested."



'via Blog this'

Getting to Know Oliver Stone | National Review Online

Getting to Know Oliver Stone | National Review Online: "During the question-and-answer session, Luis Eduardo Barrueto of Guatemala read some of the group’s open letter to the panel and asked for a response. What followed was revealing. Stone, who is producing a biopic on the life of Hugo Ch├ívez, said the American media don’t give Venezuela a fair shake and implied that student protests against the regime there weren’t legitimate. “Venezuela is a democratically elected government. These people who keep protesting are sore losers,” he told the skeptical audience. He said revolutionary changes were needed in the county because rich people still owned so much of it.



I spoke with several of the Latin American students afterward, and they were appalled. When it came to Venezuela, they noted that Human Rights Watch recently concluded that “the concentration of power and erosion of human rights protections had given the government free rein to intimidate, censor, and prosecute Venezuelans who criticized the president or thwarted his political agenda.”



“Just a few days ago, three students were shot dead in Caracas and one of our Students for Liberty colleagues, Jesus Armas, was jailed,” Gabriel Salas of Venezuela told me in disgust. “The populists always justify repression in the name of the poor, but they are impoverishing everyone,” Antonella Marty of Argentina added."



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The UAW's Worker Problem | RealClearPolitics

The UAW's Worker Problem | RealClearPolitics: "The only law that will satisfy King is one that forbids anyone from saying a discouraging word about his union, which was found alone in a room in 2009 with two nearly dead car companies. After the UAW did so much to chase automaking out of Detroit with unsustainable labor costs and ridiculous work rules, it is no wonder that workforces haven’t welcomed it into the South, where right-to-work states have become alluring destinations for foreign car companies.

For the longest time, the business model of the UAW has been to take its members’ dues and funnel them to friendly Democratic politicians. Unless it breaks into the South, the union knows it’s all but doomed. It may feel this institutional imperative keenly, but workers in good manufacturing jobs who owe nothing to this self-serving dinosaur from the 20th century don’t. They can be forgiven for wondering which side the union is on. "



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Univision boss says Hillary presidency his 'dream' | The Daily Caller

Univision boss says Hillary presidency his 'dream' | The Daily Caller: "The billionaire Univision owner whose company is promoting Hillary Clinton on Spanish-language media platforms is a Clinton friend who said that seeing Clinton in the White House is his “big dream” and that “Hillary is Obama’s natural successor.”

The partnership raises serious questions about the role independent media networks can play in preparing Clinton for a presidential run."



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Zombie » .00001 Billion Rising: Another Failed Mass Movement

Zombie » .00001 Billion Rising: Another Failed Mass Movement: "I had previously estimated the attendance at last year’s event as somewhere around two thousand. But the 2014 1 Billion Rising, as shown by this overall shot of the pitiful crowd I snapped from behind the stage, was much smaller — a few hundred at most. This newspaper report says there were only 100 participants, while a more generous media estimate says “nearly 400″ at the high end, most of whom showed up late in the event to hear Black Eyed Peas rapper apl.de.ap spin records as the headlining attraction.

The event’s own official Web page reveals that only 71 people RSVPed, which seems about right, considering that well over half the people on hand were the organizers, performers, staff, volunteers, speakers and security."



'via Blog this'

Zombie » .00001 Billion Rising: Another Failed Mass Movement

Zombie » .00001 Billion Rising: Another Failed Mass Movement: "I had previously estimated the attendance at last year’s event as somewhere around two thousand. But the 2014 1 Billion Rising, as shown by this overall shot of the pitiful crowd I snapped from behind the stage, was much smaller — a few hundred at most. This newspaper report says there were only 100 participants, while a more generous media estimate says “nearly 400″ at the high end, most of whom showed up late in the event to hear Black Eyed Peas rapper apl.de.ap spin records as the headlining attraction.

The event’s own official Web page reveals that only 71 people RSVPed, which seems about right, considering that well over half the people on hand were the organizers, performers, staff, volunteers, speakers and security."



'via Blog this'

Proposed IRS Rule Change Fractures the Left | National Review Online

Proposed IRS Rule Change Fractures the Left | National Review Online: "The American Civil Liberties Union, meanwhile, submitted a 26-page comment to IRS commissioner John Koskinen slamming the proposed regulations. “Social welfare organizations praise or criticize candidates for public office on the issues and they should be able to do so freely, without fear of losing or being denied tax-exempt status, even if doing so could influence a citizen’s vote,” the group wrote, calling such advocacy “the heart of our representative democracy.” The ACLU argued that, if the advocacy of social-welfare groups influences voting, it does so only by “promoting an informed citizenry.”

Then, late last week, the liberal magazine The Nation piled on with an op-ed arguing that the rules would “do almost nothing to fix the things you think are broken and may, in fact, do some real damage to the ability of everyday Americans to have an impact on the political process” — that is, that groups funneling big money into the electoral process would find a way around the rules, perhaps by recategorizing themselves, while the little guy would effectively be silenced."



'via Blog this'

Democrats in Denial Over Obamacare - NationalJournal.com

Democrats in Denial Over Obamacare - NationalJournal.com: "All signs point to Republicans having a fruitful Election Day running against the president's health care law. The Senate map is expanding to states like Michigan, Iowa, and Virginia, while senators are losing traction in the red-state seats Democrats need to defend. It may be news that Democrats are doing what they can to mitigate the law's political damage, but it doesn't mean that those efforts will be able to stop the bleeding.

Democrats are now in the bargaining stage of Obamacare grief, but it's shaping up as a prelude to a November depression."



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Video: The strangest, most illegal beer run, ever? « Hot Air

Video: The strangest, most illegal beer run, ever? « Hot Air: "I’d call it your palate cleanser for the evening, but this is just… so… what?! These two burglars inflict thousands of dollars worth of damages on a gas-station convenient store and risk 1. possibly killing or horribly maiming an innocent bystander(s); 2. possibly getting shot at by store patrons/employees in fear for their lives; 3. possibly totaling their own car; 4. probable jail time and fines if they got caught… all for one case of Bud Light? They didn’t even grab the Bud heavy, or at least a bag of donuts on the way out? Who was in charge of that cost-benefit analysis? Is this one of those insane things kooks do when they’re tripping on crystal meth?

“There’s something wrong with that.”"



'via Blog this'

White House, Big Labor: The CBO has no idea what it’s talking about on minimum wage « Hot Air

White House, Big Labor: The CBO has no idea what it’s talking about on minimum wage « Hot Air: "What else can they say, really? The Democrats have built their entire midterm strategy on an economic populism focused around the minimum wage as a way to both cudgel Republicans and distract from ObamaCare’s woes — it’s much too late to turn back now, not even for a super official, nonpartisan report confirming many of the plan’s negative effects on the job market and those in poverty to which Republicans have been pointing. This one’s getting the White House’s full sugarcoat/whitewash treatment."



'via Blog this'

Five-term former Dem Congressman calls exiting Congresswoman a “bimbo” « Hot Air

Five-term former Dem Congressman calls exiting Congresswoman a “bimbo” « Hot Air: "To be fair, former Rep. Joe Baca’s a Democrat, so he knows the intricate and contradictory rules of the “War on Women” allow him to say this with little to no price to pay. He was also on the West Coast when the misogyny was perpetrated, which is another loophole for Democratic men looking to act like skeezeballs. And, finally, the woman in question had the temerity to beat him in an election in 2012, so who can blame him? Amirite?"



'via Blog this'

Nancy Grace to Piers Morgan on guns: That’s enough outta you, Limey « Hot Air

Nancy Grace to Piers Morgan on guns: That’s enough outta you, Limey « Hot Air: "One loopy, arrogant CNN host castigating the most loopy, arrogant CNN host, and using the American Revolution to do it? You know you gotta be bringing the quality ruckus when Van Jones and Ben Ferguson, the purported partisans in this fight, are just sitting back and chuckling at you.

Oh, my. Why? Because you deserve it. And, it may be the only time you ever side with Nancy Grace."



'via Blog this'

Nancy Grace Slams Piers: 'It's Not Really Right For A Brit To Jump Up...To Us About Gun Control' | NewsBusters

Nancy Grace Slams Piers: 'It's Not Really Right For A Brit To Jump Up...To Us About Gun Control' | NewsBusters: "Nancy Grace blasted Piers Morgan on the latter's CNN program on Monday for unsurprisingly forwarding gun control in the middle of a panel discussion on the controversial Michael Dunn case: "It's not really right for a Brit to jump up and start talking to us about gun control." Morgan shot back by condescending to the HLN host specifically and to Americans in general: "It seems like it's entirely down to a Brit, because your lot can't sort out your own gun problems."

Grace, who is no stranger to controversy, interrupted the British native before he could finish his pro-gun control rant, and threw the American Revolution and the Constitution at the CNN host."



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MSNBC.com Hypes How Obama Judicial Pick Is Target of Pro-Abortion Lobby | NewsBusters

MSNBC.com Hypes How Obama Judicial Pick Is Target of Pro-Abortion Lobby | NewsBusters: "This is precisely the sort of special-interest, litmus-test judicial nomination politics that MSNBC would skewer if it involved a Republican president, a moderately pro-choice judicial nominee, and social conservatives rising up in arms to scuttle two district court nominations.

But, alas, because this controversy is tied up in the fictitious "war on women" and the abortion lobby has a dog in the fight, well, it's a far different story.

It's also worth noting both Boggs and Cohen are nominated to district court seats, which are trial level in nature and do not set precedent as appellate courts do. As District Court judges, they would have a strong incentive to follow precedent and not rock the boat so as to better position themselves in the future for nomination by Mr. Obama or a future president to an appellate court seat."



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Sore Losers at MSNBC and American Prospect Play 'Race' and 'Culture' Cards in UAW's VW-Chattanooga Loss | NewsBusters

Sore Losers at MSNBC and American Prospect Play 'Race' and 'Culture' Cards in UAW's VW-Chattanooga Loss | NewsBusters: "Meyerson's poisoning of the race and culture well at American Prospect is especially telling. Why? Because he also wrote a lengthy column two days before balloting began in the three-day election. In that column, he never used any variation on the words "race,"  "culture," or even "class." In other words, he didn't think that those items were particularly relevant to the upcoming election's outcome. Only when things didn't go his way did he reach for the bottom of the barrel and go back to the good old leftist standbys of race and class.

Nice try, Harold. No sale. Oh, and shame on you."



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NBC's Brokaw: U.S. Anti-Communism Efforts During Cold War A 'National Obsession' | NewsBusters

NBC's Brokaw: U.S. Anti-Communism Efforts During Cold War A 'National Obsession' | NewsBusters: "The anchor never explained that in each of those instances, the United States was responding to an earlier move by the Soviet Union or its allies. During the Korean War, the Soviet-backed North Korean "People's Army" invaded South Korea. Several years later, the U.S. space program was sent into overdrive after the launch of Sputnik in 1957. The following decade, the Soviet Union placed nuclear missiles in Cuba, which led to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962; and South Vietnam was already fighting the communist North Vietnamese forces as the U.S. gradually become more and more involved."



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Liberal Billionaire Pledges $100 Million to Bully U.S. on Global Warming | NewsBusters

Liberal Billionaire Pledges $100 Million to Bully U.S. on Global Warming | NewsBusters: "Steyer has been repeatedly described as a liberal counterpoint to the conservative Koch Brothers. Businessweek referred to him as “a liberal analogue of the conservative Koch Brothers” in April 2013, and in March 2011, the Times called him “the anti-Koch”. Of course, liberals already have a major donor, George Soros. As the Media Research Center reported in 2011, Soros gave $550 million to liberal causes between 2000 and 2009 alone, in addition to spending more than $400 million on colleges and universities.

This isn’t the first time the left has committed to creating a major propaganda push about global warming. According to ABC News “Former Vice President Al Gore launched a three-year, multimillion-dollar advocacy campaign” in 2008 to push for limits on greenhouse gas emissions. The plan for the $300-million project was to “combine advertising, online organizing and partnerships with grass-roots groups to educate the public about global warming and urge solutions from elected officials,” wrote ABC."



'via Blog this'

MSNBC.com Attacks ‘Conservative Case to Limit Voting’ | NewsBusters

MSNBC.com Attacks ‘Conservative Case to Limit Voting’ | NewsBusters: "As we've documented time and again, MSNBC.com’s Zachary Roth is obsessed with defending the ballot box from his favorite villain: the GOP. His February 18 item may have taken the cake for fear-mongering and outright peddling of liberal talking points.

Roth penned a nearly 1500-word piece in which he threw together examples from the 1800s and 1900s where certain segments of the population were excluded from voting -- by Democrats, of course -- as evidence of the “conservative case to limit voting.”"



'via Blog this'

The Problem with 'Super Trucks' | National Review Online

The Problem with 'Super Trucks' | National Review Online: "And improving mileage may not even be the best way to reduce emissions from freight-hauling trucks. Those generally run on diesel, and companies such as Mercedes have had great success in reducing diesel emissions with exhaust additives rather than through simply improving fuel economy. But the Obama administration’s mandate to automakers was improving fuel economy, not reducing emissions. It is conceivable that one could improve fuel economy while doing nothing to reduce emissions, the relationship between the two being nonlinear, and while doing nothing to reduce the cost of ownership, either.

Whatever the technology that is deployed to maximize freight trucks’ fuel emissions, one thing is a safe bet: It will not be free. Like most passenger hybrids, it may not even produce savings. President Obama had a bit to say about the benefits, but nothing substantive to say about the costs."



'via Blog this'

Obama orders more EPA regulations for more fuel-efficient “super trucks” « Hot Air

Obama orders more EPA regulations for more fuel-efficient “super trucks” « Hot Air: "Consider his speech today, in which he praised the fuel economy of a new “super truck,” making the point that, since most U.S. freight moves in trucks, lower operating costs for freight operators should in theory mean lower costs for consumers. And he would have a point — if that fuel-economy technology were free. It is not. It costs money to develop. It costs money to deploy. Where it adds to the price of a vehicle, it also adds to ownership costs such as insurance and taxation."



'via Blog this'

Obama finally apologizes — to art history majors « Hot Air

Obama finally apologizes — to art history majors « Hot Air: "The reason I say he had only half a point about art history is because — here, just read Virginia Postrel, who’s written about this more than once. There’s no denying that some people would be better off skipping college but (a) most kids do major in “practical” disciplines like business and the sciences, with art history drawing only a tiny percentage of each class, and (b) if you’re dead set on the humanities, art history is arguably as effective as any other in teaching you critical thinking. (If you’re considering law or business school after graduation, your choice of major may not matter.) If anything, the most offensive thing O said in all this was implying that some significant chunk of college kids might still be clueless enough about the state of the economy after five years of Hopenchange that they’d pick a major without an eye to their employment prospects. Their age demographic has taken the economic equivalent of a two-by-four to the face since the financial crisis. Only the very dumbest (or richest) are picking their majors without weighing the job market afterward. The argument against college is just that — an argument against college, not against art history specifically."



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Why it's a good time to be a dictator like Kim Jong-un | Jonathan Freedland | Comment is free | theguardian.com

Why it's a good time to be a dictator like Kim Jong-un | Jonathan Freedland | Comment is free | theguardian.com: "Maybe this is what it means to live in the post-intervention era. Few even call for action – in North Korea or Syria – because we know it's not going to happen. In the 1990s, those outraged by the Balkan war could believe that, if they only shouted loud enough, they would eventually get the international powers to act – which, eventually, they did. Now, after Iraq and Afghanistan, that belief has vanished. In Britain, military planners have reportedly concluded that the nation is too war-weary to countenance yet more action. In the US, Barack Obama's foreign policy seems predicated on a similar assumption. Few speak now of the notion that once seemed set to reshape international relations, the "responsibility to protect".

It makes today a good time to be a dictator, a butcher or the torturing head of a brutal regime. The world will let you carry on killing – even when it knows exactly what is happening."



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Bake Us a Cake, or Else! | National Review Online

Bake Us a Cake, or Else! | National Review Online: "But in 2008, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission ruled that the Huguenins, by declining to use their artistic and expressive skills to communicate what what occurred at the ceremony, had discriminated based on sexual orientation. The commission ordered them to pay $6,637.94 in attorneys’ fees. The ruling cited New Mexico’s human-rights law, which prohibits discrimination in “public accommodations” (that is, “any establishment that provides or offers its services . . . or goods to the public”) based on race, religion, and sexual orientation — among other protected classes.

At the end of 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the Human Rights Commission. It concluded that under the state’s sexual-orientation and gender-identity law, the First Amendment does not protect a photographer’s freedom to decline to take pictures of a same-sex commitment ceremony even when doing so would violate the photographer’s deeply held religious beliefs. Justice Richard C. Bosson, in a concurring opinion, made the additional claim that requiring the Huguenins to relinquish their religious convictions was permissible as “the price of citizenship.”"



'via Blog this'

Video: Hollywood producers raising funds through telemarketing fraud? « Hot Air

Video: Hollywood producers raising funds through telemarketing fraud? « Hot Air: "First, if you’re making investments based on cold calls over the phone, I’d direct you to the film Boiler Room, or even better yet Glengarry Glen Ross. That investment in Hollywood would cost at most $10 and perhaps put you on guard against pie-in-the-sky profit claims, especially in Hollywood, where the creative department is usually Accounting. James Garner once sued over the distribution of profits from The Rockford Files, which exposed some pretty shady practices at the time regarding the definition of “profit” by the studios."



'via Blog this'

Billionaire Tom Steyer turning his anti-Keystone offensive into an all-out climate crusade for 2014 « Hot Air

Billionaire Tom Steyer turning his anti-Keystone offensive into an all-out climate crusade for 2014 « Hot Air: "If we had to assign a name to the most tangible reason why Keystone XL is still only a proposed pipeline extension and not yet a physical one, then reason, they name is hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer and his well-monied, self-fancied “green,” and heavily Democrat-donating ilk. Ahead of his reelection, President Obama did not want to forgo this largely California- and Manhattan-based set’s sweet cash monies by green-lighting the project onto which pharisaic environmentalist groups have symbolically foisted all of their climate-change hopes (and only they know why), and that campaign-minded motivation hardly holds any less true going into the midterms or even 2016."



'via Blog this'

Live video: Nine dead in Kiev as riots erupt in Ukraine « Hot Air

Live video: Nine dead in Kiev as riots erupt in Ukraine « Hot Air: "Protesters are refusing to leave Independence Square, saying that “Ukraine is behind us … Ukraine’s future is behind us.” The armed conflict could spread to other cities, as the opposition has seized government buildings elsewhere. For the moment, though, it appears the violence is contained to Kiev."



'via Blog this'

Venezuela expels more American diplomats, arrests opposition for whipping up anti-government violence « Hot Air

Venezuela expels more American diplomats, arrests opposition for whipping up anti-government violence « Hot Air: "By this point, the United States is all too familiar with what the Venezuelan government’s panicked scapegoatism in a devolving crisis looks like — i.e., blame foreign imperialist conspirators and economic terrorists in league with greedy domestic opposition politicians trying to undermine the rule of Chavismo — so the latest iteration of the socialist country kicking out American diplomats in the face of erupting protests comes as no surprise."



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CBO: Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could eliminate 500,000 jobs by 2016 « Hot Air

CBO: Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could eliminate 500,000 jobs by 2016 « Hot Air: "So more than 80 percent of the gains in earnings will go to people other than the very poorest, and meanwhile as many as a million people potentially could end up being laid off. When you net out all the income created and lost by this disruption, says CBO, you come up with a modest gain of $2 billion, or about what the feds spend in four hours on a given day."



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'Bible' Producers Cut Satan Scenes From 'Son of God' Following Obama Controversy (Video) - The Hollywood Reporter

'Bible' Producers Cut Satan Scenes From 'Son of God' Following Obama Controversy (Video) - The Hollywood Reporter: ""It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time," said Roma Downey, who produced the movie with her husband, Mark Burnett."



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Which American Turncoat Could Be On U.S. Kill List? - ABC News

Which American Turncoat Could Be On U.S. Kill List? - ABC News: "One of a handful of Americans who have joined al Qaeda in Pakistan may soon find himself in the crosshairs of a U.S. killer drone, but officials will not say which one.

Current and former officials involved in the fight against terrorism tell ABC News the most likely candidates include fugitive al Qaeda mouthpiece Adam Yahiye Gadahn, the son of a California goat herder and under indictment for treason, and as many as three other American citizens who have taken up arms with al Qaeda in Pakistan or with affiliated groups battling U.S. forces along the border with Afghanistan."



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The Establishment Holds Fire in the GOP Civil War - NationalJournal.com

The Establishment Holds Fire in the GOP Civil War - NationalJournal.com: "Remember when the Republican establishment declared war on the tea party?

One year ago, the Crossroads super PAC founded by Karl Rove launched a new group to defend incumbents from volatile, too-conservative challengers who might scuttle the party's takeover of the Senate in 2014. The empire-strikes-back counteroffensive gained allies like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and gridlock-weary Republicans in Congress after tea-party members shut down the government in October.

But so far, what was billed as an ugly and expensive all-out civil war within the GOP looks more like a few scattered skirmishes unlikely to declare a clear victor."



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Bret Stephens: Climate Prophets and Profiteers - WSJ.com

Bret Stephens: Climate Prophets and Profiteers - WSJ.com: "The weirdest thing about John Kerry's weekend speech on climate-change—other than the fact that this is the same guy who in 1997 voted to forbid the U.S. from signing the Kyoto Protocol—is that it begins by quoting something Maurice Strong said at the U.N.'s 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro: "Every bit of evidence I've seen persuades me that we are on a course leading to tragedy."

Maurice who?

Mr. Strong, a former oil executive from Canada (he was Pierre Trudeau's pick to run state-owned Petro-Canada in the mid-1970s), was for many years the U.N.'s ultimate mandarin. He organized many of its environmental mega-confabs, including the 1972 Stockholm Conference and the 1992 Rio summit, before rising to become Kofi Annan's right-hand man. At various times Mr. Strong has served as director at the World Economic Forum, chairman of the Earth Council and the World Resources Institute, vice chairman of the Chicago Climate Exchange and chairman of the China Carbon Corporation, to name just a few of his many prominent affiliations."



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Exclusive: Mega-donors plan GOP war council - Alexander Burns and Kenneth P. Vogel - POLITICO.com

Exclusive: Mega-donors plan GOP war council - Alexander Burns and Kenneth P. Vogel - POLITICO.com: "A group of major GOP donors, led by New York billionaire Paul Singer, is quietly expanding its political footprint ahead of the midterm elections in an increasingly assertive effort to shape the direction of the Republican Party.

The operation was launched discreetly last year, with the previously unreported formation of a club called the American Opportunity Alliance to bring together some of the richest pro-business GOP donors in the country, several of whom share Singer’s support for gay rights, immigration reform and the state of Israel. Around the same time, Singer and his allies also formed a federal fundraising committee called Friends for an American Majority that raised big checks for a select list of the GOP’s most highly touted 2014 Senate hopefuls."



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EXCLUSIVE: National clown shortage may be approaching, trade organizations fear - NY Daily News

EXCLUSIVE: National clown shortage may be approaching, trade organizations fear - NY Daily News: "Send in the clowns — please!

As the “Greatest Show on Earth” returns to Brooklyn Thursday, circus folk fear a national clown shortage is on the horizon.

Membership at the country’s largest trade organizations for the jokesters has plunged over the past decade as declining interest, old age and higher standards among employers align against Krusty, Bozo and their crimson-nosed colleagues."



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Why Hillary Clinton's past is fair game in presidential race | WashingtonExaminer.com

Why Hillary Clinton's past is fair game in presidential race | WashingtonExaminer.com: "There's a debate going on about Hillary Clinton's past. If she runs for president in 2016, should Republicans reach back to the scandals of her years as First Lady? Or should they focus on more recent times, especially her tenure as Secretary of State, to build a case against her?

The GOP doesn't have to choose. Of course Clinton's recent experiences are relevant to a presidential run. But so are her actions in the 90s, the 80s and even the 70s. It's not ancient history; it reveals something about who Clinton was and still is. And re-examining her past is entirely consistent with practices in recent campaigns."



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Monday, February 17, 2014

The Politics of Science and the Science of Politics

The Politics of Science and the Science of Politics: "Given the recent storms that have all but shut down the eastern United States, the New York Times might wish it had a little better timing for last week’s feature opinion piece, “The End of Snow?” The hook was the Olympics: the article opened with the attention-grabbing suggestion that only six of the nineteen former Winter Olympics host cities may still be cold enough to stage the Games in 2100.

The good news is that for now, at least, if Sochi can’t do it, there’s always Atlanta.

Climate alarmists are not known for their sense of humor–especially when this week’s/month’s/year’s/decade’s/century’s/millennium’s weather doesn’t fit their models (make the wrong joke–and get too many laughs–and you might get sued). What is now ritually characteristic of their arguments, however, is the clinching claim (in the words of the NYT piece): “This is no longer a scientific debate. It is scientific fact.” Or, as the President put it in his State of the Union Address, “The debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”"



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He’s Lovin’ It: Blind Man Wins McDonald’s for Year With 3-Pointer - NBC News.com

He’s Lovin’ It: Blind Man Wins McDonald’s for Year With 3-Pointer - NBC News.com: "Michael Quin wins McDonald’s food for a year after sinking a 3-pointer at halftime of a College of the Ozarks basketball game on Saturday in Point Lookout, Missouri."



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Australia on their renewable-energy mandates: We’re kinda’ over it « Hot Air

Australia on their renewable-energy mandates: We’re kinda’ over it « Hot Air: "It was out with the Labor Party and in with the Liberal Party in the Australian elections last September (translation: the government switched over from six years of progressive dominance to their version of conservatism). Part of Prime Minister Tony Abbot’s campaign platform was cutting government spending and taking a more reality-based stance on the country’s green commitments (including a deeply unpopular carbon tax), and he immediately started to make good on both of those promises by getting rid of the country’s Climate Commission and freezing renewables funding (not to mention his new government’s suggestion as to where the United Nations could stick their latest attempt to rope developed countries into a “global climate treaty”). Now, the government is moving forward on reevaluating the economic wisdom of their mandatory renewable energy target (RET), much to the chagrin of both Australian and global greens."



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Restricted Access | Washington Free Beacon

Restricted Access | Washington Free Beacon: "An extensive collection of papers related to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s years in the Arkansas governor’s mansion remains under tight control at a public library in Little Rock, with access restricted by the Clinton Foundation.

President Bill Clinton donated his papers from his tenure as Arkansas governor to the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) in 2003, and they are housed at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies in Little Rock."



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Volkswagen's Union Defeat - WSJ.com

Volkswagen's Union Defeat - WSJ.com: "These columns have long argued that a company organized by a union usually deserves what it gets, but most workers understand that the modern union offer is often a Faustian bargain. The UAW may be able to negotiate a near-term increase in pay and job security for current workers. But the price—in addition to the steep coerced dues—is usually a less competitive company that means less security and fewer jobs in the long run. The best proof is the UAW itself: It has lost 75% of its members in 35 years as its demands and work rules made their employers less competitive."



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Study: Democrats more likely to think astrology is scientific, less likely to know Earth revolves around the sun « Hot Air

Study: Democrats more likely to think astrology is scientific, less likely to know Earth revolves around the sun « Hot Air: "Why the disparity? One possibility is education. Follow the last link and scroll down to Table 7 and you’ll see, as expected, that the more educated you are, the less likely you are to see astrology as scientific. According to the very first polls taken on the tea party movement in 2010, TPers are better educated (and wealthier) than the population on average. That probably explains why “conservative Republican” is at the bottom of the list above. On the other hand, exit polls from election day 2012 show Obama winning only narrowly among voters without a college degree. Maybe the education gap between the parties isn’t so pronounced. Or maybe income is somehow a better peg for astrological belief than education is: O did win heavily among poorer voters."



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The Vetting of Hillary Already Labeled ‘Sexist’ in the Media | Mediaite

The Vetting of Hillary Already Labeled ‘Sexist’ in the Media | Mediaite: "Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) recently embarked on a campaign designed to make Democrats think twice about labeling Republican opposition to late-term abortions and contraception coverage mandates as offensives in the “War on Women.” Paul noted that the party attacking the GOP also lionizes a man who engaged in sexual activity with a subordinate in the workplace. The mere mention of this incontrovertible fact has worked Clinton’s supporters up into a fury.

“Any Republican who is dredging this up is a misogynistic sexist hypocrite,” Brzezinski declared, “because if Bill Clinton can win again with all of these problems, and Hillary Clinton, they can bring down because of this, and they think they can each go after it, they are clueless, and they are complete sexists because it’s not even her affair.”"



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Radio Station Admits They Invented Homophobic Birthday Party RSVP | Mediaite

Radio Station Admits They Invented Homophobic Birthday Party RSVP | Mediaite: "While it doesn’t sound like Sophia is the one with the issues here, we’re sorry she has to grow up this way too, living as she does in the imaginary kingdom of make believe virality, where the schools reportedly aren’t very good and there’s no Chuck E. Cheese’s."



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Dems to Secretary Vilsack: Could we get a delay on the new cuts to food stamps? « Hot Air

Dems to Secretary Vilsack: Could we get a delay on the new cuts to food stamps? « Hot Air: "That $8 billion spending cut, by the way, is going to come over ten years and amounts to a barely one percent reduction to the federal food stamp program’s budget, and according to the farm bill, the USDA is supposed to start phasing them in next month. These Democrats, evidently, are having difficulty abiding by that “drastic” cut for the sake of our national budget, despite the noticeably absent “stimulus” effect Secretary Vilsack once promised would result from the tens of millions more Americans added to the food-stamp rolls during President Obama’s tenure."



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Morning Joe Cheers on Wendy Davis…Then Admits She Won’t Become Governor of Texas | NewsBusters

Morning Joe Cheers on Wendy Davis…Then Admits She Won’t Become Governor of Texas | NewsBusters: "The Wendy Davis obsession continued with Al Sharpton gloating how “the skies are bluer when Wendy Davis was city council woman.” Amidst all of the glowing commentary over Ms. Davis, Scarborough managed to mock how “the part of the profile that I found amazing was as a city council woman she was responsible for the Berlin Wall coming down. I thought that was more of a Reagan thing.”

As the segment ended, Chuck Todd, exposed MSNBC’s bias surrounding Ms. Davis when he called her story the “American dream” before ultimately admitting that the Texas Democrat is a “candidate that is not ready… I don’t see what her path forward is.” The latest polling shows that Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott has on average of a 9.7 percent lead over Ms. Davis. Even the liberal Public Policy Polling has Mr. Abbott leading by 15 points.  "



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Maher Mocks Liberals for Loving Stalin - and His Liberal Audience Sits on Their Hands | NewsBusters

Maher Mocks Liberals for Loving Stalin - and His Liberal Audience Sits on Their Hands | NewsBusters: "The release of the Venona cables in the 1990s proved that McCarthy was right and, ever since, liberals have taken to criticizing McCarthy's tactics. OK, they sheepishly admit, there may have been a communist or three in the State Department, working way down in the basement, and only on weekends. But McCarthy was a drunken boor with bad table manners, and we can all agree that's far worse.

Liberals have tougher sledding with Stalin, what with those awkward photos of him with FDR and Churchill that can't be airbrushed away, at least not yet. Better that Stalin is mentioned infrequently if at all, and ignore it when he is."



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Rove Rips Former Ohio Gov. Strickland, Whose Admin Invaded Joe the Plumber's Privacy, for Criticizing Christie | NewsBusters

Rove Rips Former Ohio Gov. Strickland, Whose Admin Invaded Joe the Plumber's Privacy, for Criticizing Christie | NewsBusters: "Strickland appears to be correct that the leaked information that did get out "did not come from" Jones-Kelley. But leaked info did come out, and it could only have come from someone with authorized access or someone who allowed unauthorized people to access State of Ohio databases. On October 24, 2008, as the rest of the nation's establishment press was gleefully assisting the Obama campaign's smearing of Wurzelbacher, the Columbus Dispatch identified just a few of many others who could have done the leaking."



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Video: Food inflation far outstrips gov’t calculations « Hot Air

Video: Food inflation far outstrips gov’t calculations « Hot Air: "Forget college; how is an average family supposed to keep up with inflation on the essentials? Singer’s turning down the heat in the house to save money for groceries, but the real problem is that the family’s buying power in wages is steadily and quickly eroding. Wage growth isn’t even keeping up with the government’s projected inflation, let alone the food inflation at the grocery store."



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