Earlier this week, we continued our efforts to highlight how Elon Musk and SpaceX have propelled American…
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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

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Notable Quotes
 
On the Paradoxes of the Mueller Investigation:
 
 

"Is it now time to prosecute foreigners for attempting to interfere with a U.S. election? If so, then surely Christopher Steele, the author of the Fusion GPS dossier, is far more culpable and vulnerable than the 13 bumbling Russians.

Steele is not a U.S. citizen. Steele colluded with Russian interests in compiling his lurid dossier about Donald Trump. Steele did not register as a foreign agent. And Steele was paid by Hillary Clinton's campaign to find dirt on political rival Trump and his campaign.

In other words, Steele's position is far worse than that of the Russians for a variety of reasons. One, he is easily extraditable while the Russians are not. Two, his efforts really did affect the race, given that the dossier was systematically leaked to major media and served as a basis for the U.S. government to spy on American citizens. Three, unlike with the Russians, no one disputes that American citizens -- Hillary Clinton, members of the Democratic National Committee, and anti-Trump partisan Glenn Simpson and his Fusion GPS team -- colluded by paying for Steele's work. ...

Investigating any possible crimes committed by members of the Clinton campaign or the Obama administration apparently is taboo, given the exalted status of both. But every time Mueller seeks to find incidental wrongdoing by those around Trump, he only makes the case stronger that behavior by those involved in the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration should be investigated.

If such matters are not treated in an unbiased manner, we are not a nation of equality under the law, but a banana republic masquerading as a democracy."

Read entire article here.

 
 
— Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Nationally Syndicated Columnist
— Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Nationally Syndicated Columnist
Posted February 23, 2018 • 08:04 am
 
 
On Preventing Mass Shootings Through Gun Control:
 
 

"Gun control is a political fantasy because the Second Amendment and various states' constitutions protect the right to bear arms. This will not be changed, full stop. You don't need to support or even like the Bill of Rights to see that gun control is an administrative fantasy as well. In a country where private citizens own more than 300 million firearms, no effective form of gun control can be practical, and no practical form can be effective. Even an obviously unconstitutional ban on all new sales would take a century to make its effects felt. Universal confiscation of hundreds of millions of firearms would be several orders of magnitude more difficult than deporting every illegal immigrant in the U.S.

"Gun control advocates seem frustrated that this country is not and cannot ever be Luxembourg. But the sooner they accept that reality, the closer everyone will be to starting a productive conversation about how to prevent the next Parkland.

"This conversation ought to begin with the question of why the nation's existing background check system and law enforcement agencies are so woefully ineffective in preventing known threats, like that from the Parkland shooter, whose irregular and threatening behavior was no secret, from becoming school shooters.

"Why is the government so bad at keeping guns out of the hands not only of people who arguably shouldn't have them, but even of people who by law are already not allowed to have them? The Charleston church shooter was a felon who should not have been permitted to buy his gun, but for an FBI error during the background check process. The Parkland shooter, like the Pulse Nightclub terrorist and the Boston Marathon bombers before him, had been flagged for FBI attention long before his crimes. In each case, the bureau shrugged."

 
 
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
Posted February 22, 2018 • 07:37 am
 
 
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
 
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   
 
"Is it now time to prosecute foreigners for attempting to interfere with a U.S. election? If so, then surely Christopher Steele, the author of the Fusion GPS dossier, is far more culpable and vulnerable than the 13 bumbling Russians.Steele is not a U.S. citizen. Steele colluded with Russian interests in compiling his lurid dossier about Donald Trump. Steele did not register as a foreign agent. And…[more]
 
 
—Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Nationally Syndicated Columnist
— Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Nationally Syndicated Columnist
 
Liberty Poll   

Will the youth activism arising from the Parkland, Florida, high school mass shooting become a lasting, significant youth movement of political involvement or quickly dissipate as have other emotionally charged efforts of the past?