Earlier this week, we continued our efforts to highlight how Elon Musk and SpaceX have propelled American…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Image of the Day: SpaceX Also Means Lower Cost to U.S. Taxpayers

Earlier this week, we continued our efforts to highlight how Elon Musk and SpaceX have propelled American space exploration from the private sector.  In that vein, UnbiasedAmerica illustrates vividly how this month's SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch also means significant savings for U.S. taxpayers over equivalent predecessors:

. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="840" caption="SpaceX Success"][/caption]…[more]

February 16, 2018 • 12:22 pm

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Notable Quotes
 
On the Russian Game:
 
 

"For all the diplomatic wizardry of reporters eager to emulate the fame of Woodward and Bernstein (with a movie coming soon to a theater near you), and pundits ever ready for attack, so far few of them recognize the Russian game for what it is. Vladimir Putin was not out to elect an American president. He was out for bigger game.

He wants to mislead, confuse and confound, and some get it. 'When we are attacked by forcible warfare,' writes Andrew McCarthy, a former U.S. prosecutor, in National Review, 'we instantly grasp the nature of the threat and tend to pull together as a people. Information warfare is a different beast, one that plays on our vulnerabilities, dividing us. The Russians are masters of this game. They understand that unlike bombs and missiles, attacks by political messaging are filtered through our politicized media before Americans internalize them. The messages are not conveyed to us as "the Russians are trying to divide and destabilize us." They are taken at face value if the commentators and partisans calculate that doing so is helpful to their political agenda. Thus, we get nonsense like, "The Kremlin wanted Trump to win" and "Putin was motivated by his fear and loathing of Hillary Clinton."'

Vlad the Imposter loosed his cybernauts against America not to obstruct Hillary Clinton's path to the White House, but to sow discord and division, to stir resentment, to cripple her if she won or to wound Donald Trump after he won against the expectations of all the wise men. That's why he encouraged rallies against the winner. The idea was to set American against American, to stir up enough rant and rage that the wise men would be so busy with their anger that they would not stop to figure out Vlad's game.

The pieces fell into place with unexpected ease and precision. The new president was left wounded, the loyal opposition stuck in a permanent pout. Dysfunction is the name of the game, and everybody plays."

Read entire article here.

 
 
— Wesley Pruden, The Washington Times Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
— Wesley Pruden, The Washington Times Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Posted February 21, 2018 • 08:09 am
 
 
On Tax Overhaul Gaining Public Support and Buoying Republicans:
 
 

"The tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law now has more supporters than opponents, buoying Republican hopes for this year's congressional elections. ...

"Over all, 51 percent of Americans approve of the tax law, while 46 percent disapprove, according to a poll for The New York Times conducted between Feb. 5 and Feb. 11 by SurveyMonkey. Approval has risen from 46 percent in January and 36 percent in December, when the law was passed.

"'Public opinion is moving in the direction of this bill,' said Jon Cohen, chief research officer for SurveyMonkey.'Considering where it was, it is dramatically different.' ...

"Only one in three respondents expects to receive a tax cut from the law. The independent Tax Policy Center in Washington estimates that four in five Americans will actually see a tax cut from the law this year, though that number is projected to shrink sharply in 2027 if individual tax cuts expire as scheduled in the law."

 
 
— Ben Casselman and Jim Tankerley, The New York Times
— Ben Casselman and Jim Tankerley, The New York Times
Posted February 20, 2018 • 08:36 am
 
 
On the Trump-Russia Collusion Narrative:
 
 

"Friday's grand jury indictment in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election destroys Democratic claims that the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russia to win the race, and that the Russian interference cost Hillary Clinton the election. It is now time for Mueller to look into real election interference and collusion with the Russians by the Democrats.

"The grand jury indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities for their alleged efforts to interfere with the 2016 election. The indictment says the Russians hid their involvement in this scheme and communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign. There was no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in the scheme.

"Boom. The Democratic Trump-Russia collusion narrative is dead. ...

"Now Special Counsel Mueller must turn to real and far more serious instances of election meddling and collusion with the Russians by the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Obama administration to damage the Trump campaign. These efforts included misleading the FISA (Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act) Court to approve electronic surveillance of a Trump campaign staff member and leaking highly classified National Security Agency intelligence to the press.

"Although Russia's meddling in the 2016 election is a serious matter that must be addressed, Democratic abuses to weaponize U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to win a presidential election represent grave threats to our democratic system. There must be indictments of everyone involved in Democratic election meddling as soon as possible."

 
 
— Fred Fleitz, Center for Security Policy Senior V.P. for Policy and Programs
— Fred Fleitz, Center for Security Policy Senior V.P. for Policy and Programs
Posted February 19, 2018 • 08:00 am
 
 
On Senate Dreams of a DACA Extension:
 
 

"Temporary protection for Dreamers could be squeezed into a March spending package along with border security funding, lawmakers said after the Senate failed to pass a more comprehensive measure on Thursday.

"Senators announced the new plan after emerging from the chamber, where lawmakers defeated four immigration-related measures offered by both parties that would have provided Dreamers with permanent protection from deportation.

"Two of the measures included $25 billion for border security and a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million younger immigrants, or Dreamers, who came here illegally as children and may be at risk of deportation with the expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

"Republicans said the failure of the four bills has pointed them in a new direction. They will instead consider extending the DACA program for several years in a provision that would be included in the fiscal 2018 spending bill that must pass by March 23. The measure, known as the omnibus spending bill, would have to also include money for border security and a southern border wall, but lawmakers did not specify how much funding."

 
 
— Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner
— Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner
Posted February 16, 2018 • 08:18 am
 
 
On Bipartisan Senate DACA Proposal:
 
 

"A bipartisan Senate group tentatively agreed on a trimmed-down immigration proposal Wednesday that would allow citizenship for young undocumented immigrants and provide $25 billion for a border wall without meeting White House demands for cuts in family migration and an end to a diversity visa lottery.

"'You're down to what most Americans would cheer: strong border security and fair treatment of 1.8 million DACA population,' said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, referring to the young immigrants. 'It would be a two-pillar bill.'

"Second-ranking Senate Republican John Cornyn said that proposal is among four that are likely to get the first votes, also including cracking down on sanctuary cities; a plan by Cornyn and Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa that mirrors a plan by President Donald Trump, and a bipartisan plan by GOP Senator John McCain of Arizona and Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware. Cornyn of Texas said he couldn't say what the timing would be.

"White House officials who briefed reporters Wednesday said any sort of fallback solution falling short of Trump's demands would be insufficient."

 
 
— Laura Litvan and Anna Edgerton, Bloomberg
— Laura Litvan and Anna Edgerton, Bloomberg
Posted February 15, 2018 • 08:24 am
 
 
On the U.S. Economy and Election Messaging:
 
 

"A top Democratic group issued a warning to party leaders nine months out from the midterm elections: It's still the economy, stupid.

"The prominent super PAC Priorities USA released a polling memo Tuesday showing that as attention has been centered on White House scandals and immigration the past few weeks, Democrats have been losing ground on taxes and the economy.

"The findings deliver welcome news for Republicans, who have been working on improving public perception of their originally unpopular tax bill and also banking on an improved economy in 2018. The Priorities' survey shows upticks in President Trump's job approval rating, along with increased approval on key GOP policy items including health care, taxes and the economy."

 
 
— Caitlin Huey-Burns, RealClearPolitics
— Caitlin Huey-Burns, RealClearPolitics
Posted February 14, 2018 • 08:08 am
 
 
On Susan Rice's Inauguration Day Message:
 
 

"Two top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are questioning former national security adviser Susan Rice about an 'unusual' message she sent to herself on Jan 20, 2017 -- President Trump's Inauguration Day.

"Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) questioned Rice why she sent a note detailing a conversation she observed on Jan. 5 between then-FBI Director James Comey and then-President Barack Obama.

"'It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation,' they wrote in a letter to Rice.

"They said that in the message, Rice noted how Obama repeatedly emphasized during the meeting on Russian election hacking with Comey that he wants every aspect of the issue handled 'by the book.'"

Read entire article here.

 
 
— Olivia Beavers, The Hill
— Olivia Beavers, The Hill
Posted February 13, 2018 • 08:09 am
 
 
On Making America a Strategic Mineral Superpower:
 
 

"Why is the United States reliant on China and Russia for strategic minerals when we arguably have more of these valuable resources than both these nations combined? This has nothing to do with geological impediments. It is all politics.

"This is an under-reported scandal that jeopardizes American security. As recently as 1990 the U.S. was number one in the world in mining output. But according to the latest data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. is 100 percent import dependent for at least 20 critical and strategic minerals (not including each of the 'rare earths'), and between 50 percent and 99 percent reliant for another group of 30 key minerals.

"Why aren't alarm bells ringing?

"This import dependency has grown worse over the last decade. We now are totally dependent on imports for vital strategic metals that are necessary components for everything from military weapon systems, to cellphones, to solar panels to scores of new age high-technology products. We don't even have a reliable reserve stockpile of these resources.

"Fortunately, the Trump administration is working to reverse decades-long policies that have inhibited our ability to mine on federal and private lands our own abundant resources -- mostly in the Western states like Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and the Dakotas."

Read entire article here.

 
 
— Stephen Moore, Economist, Economic Consultant and Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow and Ned Mamula, Geoscientist and Cato Institute Adjunct Scholar
— Stephen Moore, Economist, Economic Consultant and Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow and Ned Mamula, Geoscientist and Cato Institute Adjunct Scholar
Posted February 12, 2018 • 08:13 am
 
 
On How Gentry Liberals Own the Democratic Party:
 
 

"Amid the brouhaha about the Nunes memo and the DACA controversy, an item from Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business caught my eye. Local demographers crunching Census data estimate that Chicago's black population fell to 842,000 last year, while its white non-Hispanic population increased to 867,000. National political significance: in our three largest central cities -- New York, Los Angeles, Chicago -- gentry liberals have become the dominant political demographic group.

"That's consistent with election results. Gentry liberals -- the phrase is urban analyst Joel Kotkin's -- are the political base of each of those cities' mayors, Bill de Blasio, Eric Garcetti, and Rahm Emanuel. That's something new in American politics. Modest-income Jews used to be a key group in New York, white married homeowners in Los Angeles, 'bungalow ward' ethnics in Chicago. In time they faced challenges from candidates with non-white political bases -- blacks, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in New York, Mexicans in Los Angeles, blacks and Hispanics in Chicago. Now gentry liberals are on top.

"This reflects demographic change. Blacks have been moving from central cities to suburbs and to the South. Mexican immigrant inflow largely shut down circa 2008. Affluent professionals and single college graduates have colonized -- gentrified -- neighborhoods like Park Slope, Silver Lake, and Wicker Park, with bedraggled but potentially attractive housing stock convenient to downtowns.

"The trend is visible elsewhere -- not only in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, but also in Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, even in Cleveland and Detroit. It's widespread and strategic enough to be changing the face of the Democratic Party.

"There's irony in this. Gentry liberals have produced the highest-income-inequality metropolitan areas in the nation. They decry gentrification, and the accompanying movement of low-income blacks and Hispanics out of their neighborhoods, even as they cause it. They sing hymns to diversity even as they revel in the pleasures of communities where almost everybody believes and consumes exactly the same things -- and votes uniformly Democratic."

Read entire article here.

 
 
— Michael Barone, Principal Co-Author, The Almanac of American Politics and Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst
— Michael Barone, Principal Co-Author, The Almanac of American Politics and Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst
Posted February 09, 2018 • 07:57 am
 
 
On Senate Bipartisan 2-Year Budget Agreement:
 
 

"Senate leaders announced a bipartisan two-year budget agreement Wednesday that would provide nearly $300 billion in additional funding, a crucial step toward averting a Friday government shutdown and ending a months-long impasse on spending priorities.

"The plan would suspend the federal debt ceiling until March 1, 2019, and would provide almost $90 billion in hurricane and wildfire disaster aid. A Senate vote is expected Thursday, followed by the House. ...

"Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called the plan a 'significant agreement' among Senate and House leaders that gives both parties what they want. It includes a long-sought defense spending boost that was the top goal of Republicans who lead both chambers in Congress and gives more funding for domestic programs sought by Democrats. ...

"Defense spending would increase by $80 billion over current law in this fiscal year and $85 billion in the one that begins Oct. 1. Non-defense spending would rise by $63 billion this year and $68 billion next year."

 
 
— Laura Litvan, Erik Wasson and Sahil Kapur, Bloomberg
— Laura Litvan, Erik Wasson and Sahil Kapur, Bloomberg
Posted February 08, 2018 • 08:23 am
 
Question of the Week   
Who was the first African American to be commissioned as a medical officer in the Union Army?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"For all the diplomatic wizardry of reporters eager to emulate the fame of Woodward and Bernstein (with a movie coming soon to a theater near you), and pundits ever ready for attack, so far few of them recognize the Russian game for what it is. Vladimir Putin was not out to elect an American president. He was out for bigger game.He wants to mislead, confuse and confound, and some get it. 'When we…[more]
 
 
—Wesley Pruden, The Washington Times Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
— Wesley Pruden, The Washington Times Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
 
Liberty Poll   

The current federal gasoline tax is 18.4 cents per gallon, last raised in 1993. What level of additional federal tax would you support to fund infrastructure redevelopment needs?