Monday Top Headline Summary

by Media Editors: Seek and destroy: “The House Judiciary Committee will seek documents from more than 60 people and organizations as it begins investigations into possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by President Donald Trump, the panel’s chairman said on Sunday. … As evidence of obstruction, [Jerrold] scumbag-liar Nadler cited Trump’s May 2017 firing of FBI Director scumbag-James Comey, who was leading an investigation into Russia activities in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign. … While the dirty cop-Mueller investigation is focused on specific crimes, Congress’ probes will cast a wider net, scumbag-liar Nadler said.” (Reuters)

“Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has announced he will seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, becoming the second governor to join a crowded field of candidates. … In 2013 Hickenlooper signed universal background checks into law and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, but his pro-business centrist profile could be a turn-off for progressives in the party. He’s also been a strong supporter of Colorado’s oil and gas industry, which is sure to be a point of contention for some Democrats.” (NPR)

National Review reports: “At the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday morning, President Donald Trump addressed a crowd of about 9,000 attendees, regaling them with stories about his 2016 election campaign and eventual victory over scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton. … The president announced that he plans to sign an executive order requiring college campuses to support free speech, in the wake of an incident at the University of California, Berkeley, where conservative activist Hayden Williams was punched in the face while recruiting students to join the Leadership Institute. Trump also knocked Democrats for supporting the Reproductive Health Act in New York, which legalized abortion for any reason up to 24 weeks, and noted that 44 Democratic senators voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.” The Daily Signal provides additional insight into America’s biggest conservative conference.

“Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, said on Sunday that he would support a resolution that would overturn President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border, appearing to provide the crucial vote needed for the Senate to pass the measure. ‘I stand with the president often, and I do so with a loud voice,’ Mr. Paul wrote in an opinion piece published late Sunday on Fox News’s website. ‘Today, I think he’s wrong, not on policy, but in seeking to expand the powers of the presidency beyond their constitutional limits.’ … Mr. Paul joins three other Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — in backing the resolution. … Mr. Trump has said he would veto the measure, and it is unlikely that either chamber could muster the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.” (The New York Times)

“Tax refunds are up from where they were this time last year by 1.3 percent following the fourth week of the 2019 filing season, according to new Internal Revenue Service data. To be more specific, the average tax refund has increased to $3,143 from $3,103 last February, according to cumulative statistics comparing the 2018 and 2019 filing seasons. Oddly enough, certain newsrooms have responded to this development with total silence. I say ‘odd,’ because it was just a few weeks ago that these same newsrooms rushed to report that tax refunds were smaller this year, suggesting either implicitly or explicitly that the decrease was tied to the Republican Party’s tax reform bill.” (Becket Adams, Washington Examiner)

“The U.S. announced an end to its annual large-scale joint military exercises with South Korea on Sunday,” according to NBC News, which adds that the drills “will be replaced by smaller training exercises.” But The Heritage Foundation’s Thomas Spoehr warns that this “could weaken U.S. and South Korean readiness in a conflict with North Korea.”

“The Department of Defense on Friday released a plan for President Trump’s proposed Space Force, asking Congress for $2 billion to fund it over the next five years. The proposal, sent to Congress on Wednesday, stipulates that 15,000 space-related military and civilian personnel will be transferred from other areas of the Pentagon to the Space Force. … With Democrats now in control of the House, the plan is expected to struggle to pass Congress, as it is not popular among Democratic legislators.” (National Review)

“The Republican National Committee is making a concerted effort to court African-American voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election. The decision reflects a growing list of accomplishments President Donald Trump can credibly point to in the realm of expanding economic opportunities for minorities. … Despite the president’s success, his administration’s actions are not widely recognized and have received little attention from the national media. To get that message out, the RNC has launched a strategic initiative aimed at recruiting activists within the African-American community.” (The Washington Free Beacon)

Buzzkill: “Less than half of those surveyed in a new poll found Michael Cohen’s public testimony to Congress credible. While more respondents said they found Cohen’s testimony to be credible than those who said it was not, the overall results suggest the high-profile appearance by President Trump’s former personal attorney is unlikely to be a political game-changer. Thirty-seven percent of registered voters … said they found Cohen’s testimony credible, compared to 25 percent who said they did not find him credible.” (The Hill)

“Embattled Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) ignited another firestorm on Sunday when she made anti-Semitic comments to a Jewish member of Congress, accusing the congresswoman of wanting her to have dual loyalties to Israel. … Omar’s latest round of anti-Semitic remarks drew a lot of criticism from notable figures in the media and in politics.” (The Daily Wire)

Humor: “My health care is none of your business,” says woman who demands that you pay for her health care (The Babylon Bee)

Policy: “The Education Freedom Scholarship program proposed by Betsy DeVos and the administration’s congressional allies would be a huge step in the right direction,” John Schilling opines in National Review. Read more about “The Trump Administration’s Bold New School-Choice Plan.”

Policy: Oregon is “the first state in the nation to impose statewide rent controls,” says The Daily Signal’s Joel Griffith, who calls this “a step in the wrong direction.” Read his explanation of why the rent controls will reduce the housing supply.

~The Patriot Post


Reaching for the Moon and the Coddiwomple Conundrum

by Liat Collins

{} ~ There, I’ve written it. Sometimes you come across a word that is too good to ignore. It’s hard to casually drop the verb “coddiwomple” into conversation… believe me, I have been trying for a couple of months – on the other hand, it’s a pity to let it go to waste. According to the definition submitted anonymously to Merriam-Webster online, “Coddiwomple” means “to travel in a purposeful manner toward an uncertain destination.” Some definitions use “vague destination” instead. The word seems to have started broadly circulating in 2017. I only discovered it by chance at the end of last year when I was googling something. Is a Google search the equivalent of coddiwompling in cyberspace? It’s been hard to get it out of my mind, so I thought I’d pass it on. Ruminating on coddiwompling, I came to the conclusion that it can be both a positive and a negative trait. Travelers with time on their hands can gain from coddiwompling – taking the scenic route and seeing where it and life takes you. Israel’s spacecraft, Beresheet, has a definite aim – a moon landing, scheduled for April 11. It was launched with much fanfare last Thursday, but while the destination is not vague, its voyage is full of uncertainties. I’m looking forward to seeing Beresheet’s first “selfies” from the moon’s surface, but like most people tracking the small module, I realize that it might not all go smoothly and it mightn’t even reach its destination. Reports that it was “blinded by the sun’s rays” were disappointing and I’m trying not to anthropomorphize a metal container…


Who’s Afraid of the Green New Dal?

by Kate Aronoff

{} ~ For years, the terms of the debate about climate change in the United States have been clear. One side — flush with fossil fuel cash — cast doubt on whether the problem existed at all… spreading disinformation and calling global warming an elaborate hoax to bring about socialism. For the most part, they were Republicans. On the other side were those who believed the science and usually rallied around some call for climate action, however vague. The conversation around the Green New Deal has brought those sides together, as politicians on both sides of the aisle scramble to cobble together a third way. That Republicans being paid by the fossil fuel industry have come out against a plan for the United States to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 is hardly surprising. That they’re being joined by prominent Democrats in casting doubt on the idea is a signal for how old tribalisms around climate change are starting to radically shift. “The Anti-Green New Deal Coalition,” a new report from the Public Accountability Initiative, or PAI, attempts to map these evolving allegiances. Unsurprisingly, a common bipartisan thread in Green New Deal opposition is fossil fuel donations. Raking in 81 percent of all oil and gas donations since 1990, today’s GOP “operates as a de facto wing of the fossil fuel industry,” the report’s authors write. The exclusively white, male, and Republican leadership of the Congressional Western Caucus is a prime example. In the last election cycle, it accepted $837,480 from political action committees linked to the energy and natural resources industry, a fraction of the $4.3 million that same group has taken in from fossil fuel PACs over the course of its career. On Wednesday, the caucus hosted a “policy forum” on the Green New Deal — a “Green Pipe Dream,” as they call it — flanked by a who’s who of the country’s most prominent climate deniers, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Myron Ebell to ClimateDepot founder Marc Morano. Ceremoniously, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, ate a hamburger…


The Real Problem with the Blue-State Model

by Steven Malanga

{} ~ Last April, shortly after New Jersey governor Phil Murphy proposed a budget with hundreds of millions of dollars in new taxes, his Texas counterpart, Greg Abbott, published an op-ed in the Garden State’s largest newspaper… inviting businesses and residents to consider moving south. “I’d like to throw a lifeline to businesses and families throughout New Jersey who are looking for greater economic opportunity and relief from high taxes. Come to Texas and be a part of our economic success story,” wrote Abbott. “Combine our low taxes and reasonable regulatory environment with our access to global markets and our robust infrastructure, and it’s easy to see why the Texas economy continues to flourish.” Shortly afterward, Murphy responded in the Dallas Morning News, explaining that his budget sought to move Jersey in a “stronger and fairer” direction, after years of putting “the wealthy and big corporations ahead of ordinary people.” He didn’t explain how his state—with the nation’s third-highest corporate income tax and its worst business climate—had put “corporations ahead” of ordinary people. Nor did Murphy clarify how Jersey, where the top 1 percent of households pays 38 percent of the income taxes, favored “the wealthy.” Instead, the governor touted what he considered Jersey’s strengths—among them, lots of “investment” in things like education—as a reason for firms and residents to stay put. Murphy’s stance was typical of officials in high-tax states, who’ve long argued that businesses and families care about more than just taxes. They also want quality government service, on this view—and are willing to pay extra for it. In late 2017, when the Trump administration proposed nixing the federal exemption for state and local taxes, defenders of the policy, mostly from high-tax Democratic states, said that ending it would hurt them by making local taxes more expensive to residents. But this decades-old argument about the payoff from high taxes is increasingly at odds with reality. In polls asking whether residents and businesses want to leave a state, the most discontented respondents come from heavily Democratic and high-tax states. Many who say that they plan to leave say that taxes are indeed a factor. But lurking in the data are other reasons, including mounting discontent with what residents actually get for their tax dollars. Independent studies show that on the core tasks that people think government should do—building roads and bridges, running airports and transit systems, or otherwise spending tax dollars well—high-tax states rank low, despite enormous financial resources. States that tax a lot also tend to regulate heavily, and that has emerged as another underlying cost that this high-tax, high-spending model imposes on citizens and businesses. Of course, not all Democratic-leaning states are high-tax, heavily regulated environments, and not all Republican-leaning states deliver great services at low prices. But, Republican or Democratic, low-tax states are less likely to overcharge residents for government failure because they don’t automatically view government as the answer to public problems...


Learning the Lessons of Protectionism the Hard Way

by Veronique De Rugy

{} ~ Protectionism begets protectionism. The latest example of this sad state of affairs comes to us via the U.S. International Trade Commission… It ruled in January that American producers of line pipe are being hurt by imports of large-diameter line pipe from China and India, among other places. The remedy will likely be higher duties. Some background: Back in March 2018, President Donald Trump cited national security concerns to impose steel tariffs on our trading partners. At the time, trade experts warned that these duties imposed under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 would inevitably make the lives of American manufacturers more difficult. Trump’s 25 percent tariffs would significantly raise the price of imported steel used by American firms. Experts also predicted that manufacturers using domestic steel would pay a higher price. These predictions have proved correct. Unfortunately for U.S. producers, the higher costs are difficult to avoid. For starters, the type of steel that they want to import may not be produced in the United States, meaning that those producers must continue importing metal at the higher, tariffed prices. Yet even if substitutes for imported steel are produced in the United States, the quality might be inadequate, or the prices may already be higher. Moreover, although the Department of Commerce has put in place a process for requesting exemptions from the tariffs, this process has proved to be a nightmare. As my colleagues Christine McDaniel and Danielle Parks have documented, the steel industry — which stands to benefit massively from the tariffs — has objected to the exemptions. More often than not, the steel lobby has asserted that the exemptions sought by steel-using American firms aren’t necessary because U.S. steel producers could start producing more such steel domestically. That claim is highly dubious. The burdensome nature of the exemption request process itself combined with the lack of recourse for firms that are denied exemptions rarely yields positive results for steel-using American producers. Then they’re left paying higher prices for an important input…


Medicare for All Would Actually Be a Government Takeover of Health Care

by Peter Suderman

{} ~ A decade ago, as the legislation that would become scumbag/liar-nObamacare was making its way through Congress… Republicans frequently blasted the Democrats’ health plan as a “government takeover of health care.” That phrase, introduced into circulation by GOP messaging guru Frank Luntz, was eventually awarded Politifact’s Lie of the Year. One could argue about whether the GOP’s attack was the most significant lie of 2010, but it was, at minimum, an exaggeration. Although the Affordable Care Act increased regulation on individual health insurance to the point where it became something resembling a public utility, it left the bulk of the market for private health coverage intact, and even provided subsidies so that people could obtain heavily regulated private coverage. Today, an estimated 177 million Americans have private coverage. The single-payer health care plans now being put forth by Democrats under the label “Medicare for All,” however, would eliminate that coverage. As Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D–Wash.) said this week when announcing House Democrats’ new Medicare for All bill, the plan would “mean a system where there are no private insurance companies that provide these core comprehensive benefits that will be covered through the government.” Unlike scumbag/liar-nObamacare, then, Medicare for All can legitimately be described as a government takeover of health care. Although Jayapal’s plan would allow for the creation of a secondary market for supplementary coverage in addition to the government-run plan and direct cash payments to doctors, the market for the private health coverage that tens of millions of Americans currently have would be eliminated. Employers and insurers would be prohibited by law from providing the same benefits as the the government plan, a prohibition that goes further than some other countries with national health care systems. Private insurance as we know it today would be illegal…


The Left’s Latest Socialist Health Care Plan

by Thomas Gallatin: As part of their ever-expanding effort to buy votes with “free” stuff, House Democrats this week introduced their latest attempted government takeover of health care under the now-infamous label “Medicare for All.” The sweeping legislation, introduced by Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI), would essentially outlaw private health insurance, replacing it with an entirely federal-run single-payer system similar to those found in Canada and the UK. Obviously, this stands no chance of becoming law … yet. But let’s look at what Democrats want.

Evoking classic socialist, anti-capitalist rhetoric, Jayapal asserted, “It’s time to put people’s health over profit. Our bill will cover everyone. Not just those who are fortunate enough to have employer-sponsored insurance.” She further asserted, “Not just children. Not just seniors. Not just those who are healthy. Everyone. Because healthcare is a human right.”

How do Democrats treat such “rights”?

Make no mistake: This legislation is, as The Heritage Foundation’s health-care expert Robert Moffit writes, “profoundly authoritarian.” Individual freedom regarding health care would be a thing of the past. No more keeping your doctor or your health insurance. Those would all be eliminated in favor of a system based on centralized government control. While hospitals would not be owned by the government, they would essentially be controlled — along with many treatment choices — by bureaucrats in Washington. Hello, fascism?

Taxes would necessarily increase significantly, as the estimated cost for Sen. commie-Bernie Sanders’s similar Medicare for All plan comes in at a whopping $32.6 trillion over 10 years. Moffit further notes, “Ken Thorpe of Emory University, formerly an adviser to President scumbag/liar-Bill Clinton, estimates that the federal taxation needed to finance the commie-Sanders plan would amount to an additional 20 percent tax on workers’ income, and more than 7 out of 10 working families would end up paying more for health care than they do today.”

So, not only would Americans lose their freedom to choose their own insurance plans and doctors, they’d be paying more than ever for health care via taxes while receiving poorer service. Citing the Journal of the American Medical Association’s comparison of the current U.S. system to that of both Canada and the UK, Moffit explains, “Concerning access to specialized care, for example, they found that only 6 percent of American patients reported waiting more than two months to see a medical specialist, compared to 39 percent of Canadian patients and 19 percent of British patients. The Fraser Institute, a prominent Canadian think tank, estimated that in 2018 the median waiting time for a Canadian patient to see a medical specialist on referral from a general practitioner was 19.8 weeks.”

There are no two ways about it. This Democrat legislation is a boondoggle designed to buy votes and then install an authoritarian system to effect greater centralized control over the lives of all Americans, all under the guise of providing “universal” health care. This monstrosity of a bill is about as un-American as it gets. ~The Patriot Post


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