We at CFIF have repeatedly highlighted how the electric vehicle (EV) subsidy complex captures the American…
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Congress Moves to Exacerbate the Unjustifiable Electric Vehicle Subsidy Monstrosity

We at CFIF have repeatedly highlighted how the electric vehicle (EV) subsidy complex captures the American public's most hated elements of bureaucracy:  crony capitalism, wasteful spending, inefficient incentives and government picking winners and losers.

Whatever novelty that EVs may offer, taxpayer dollars shouldn't be subsidizing them, and bureaucrats shouldn't be unjustifiably foisting them upon a perfectly healthy automobile marketplace.

Unfortunately, as Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) notes, the EV Industrial Subsidy Complex is now demanding even more:

Although wind and solar advocates continue to assure us that wind and solar are now cheaper than conventional power, the wind and solar lobbies don't agree.  They are back at the trough.  And the automakers…[more]

November 15, 2019 • 12:32 pm

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Can Al Franken Be Rehabilitated? Print
By Byron York
Thursday, July 25 2019
The sheer partisanship would be funny if the results weren't so serious.

Al Franken, the Minnesota Democrat and former "Saturday Night Live" star forced out of the Senate in late 2017 by #MeToo allegations, is back in the news.

The New Yorker has published a long article suggesting Franken was "railroaded"  author Jane Mayer's word  and reporting that several of Franken's old Senate colleagues now regret calling for him to resign.

Two reactions: First, Franken was railroaded. Faced with a number of iffy allegations, Senate Democrats panicked and pushed him out before any investigation could be done. It was, as I wrote at the time, an example of the "kangaroo court justice of the college campus coming to the U.S. Senate."

Second, it is striking that Mayer would come to Franken's defense, and use the word "railroaded," given that just last year she tried to railroad Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with a flimsy, damning and unverified allegation of sexual misconduct. And, of course, in an earlier generation, Mayer tried to railroad Justice Clarence Thomas. The sheer partisanship would be funny if the results weren't so serious.

Mayer's new piece examines the most-publicized allegation against Franken, that he inappropriately kissed Leeann Tweeden, a radio host with whom Franken appeared in a series of USO shows in 2006. It was the most publicized because Franken posed for a gag photo in which he appeared to be grabbing Tweeden's breasts as she slept on a flight home from the USO tour.

Mayer applies all of her investigative skills to the case and discovers a number of holes in Tweeden's story. (The photo, however, is what it is, and Franken is still apologizing for it.) As for the other allegations against Franken  there were seven other women who said he behaved inappropriately  Mayer implies that maybe there's not much to them, either, although she did not actually check them out.

Of course, nobody really checked out any of the allegations in November and December 2017, when the Franken frenzy erupted. At the time, Democrats were trying to capitalize on accusations against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama and did not want to complicate matters by appearing to shield one of their own. So they dispensed with even a hint of due process  in this case, an Ethics Committee investigation  and hustled Franken out the door.

Now, Mayer has found seven current or former Democratic senators who say they regret dumping Franken. "One of the biggest mistakes I've made," said Sen. Patrick Leahy. "A rush to judgment," said Sen. Jeff Merkley. "We needed more facts," said Sen. Tammy Duckworth.

But the regrets don't matter. Once Franken resigned, no matter how precipitously, he was out. And he has not adjusted well to life outside the Senate. From Mayer: "When I asked him if he truly regretted his decision to resign, [Franken] said, 'Oh, yeah. Absolutely.'"

There are two types of villains in the Franken story, as Mayer tells it. First are the accusers, whom she suggests were conservatives targeting Franken for political reasons. Second are the senators who ran him out and still believe they did the right thing. Chief among them is Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, now a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. Gillibrand has no regrets; she told Mayer the allegations against Franken were credible, and "he wasn't entitled to me carrying his water, and defending him with my silence."

Now Mayer is the one carrying the water. It's not clear what effect, if any, her work will have on the Franken case. What is clear, though, is that Mayer's rescue mission is not playing well in progressive circles.

"Al Franken did the right thing by resigning; If he could remember that, everyone would be better off," was the headline of a story in Vox.

"What drove the New Yorker's Jane Mayer into Al Franken denialism?" asked Salon.

"What Jane Mayer gets wrong about Al Franken," wrote Slate.

The articles all suggested that Mayer had minimized the seriousness of Franken's conduct, and that she did not fully appreciate the importance of Senate Democrats setting a standard of behavior for themselves in the #MeToo era. Some could not imagine the bad optics, had Franken not resigned, of him sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he was a member, during the Kavanaugh hearings.

That, of course, didn't happen. And Franken won't be back. Judging from reaction to the New Yorker story, he is unlikely to regain the support he once had in the progressive world  no matter how hard some might try to rehabilitate him.


Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.
COPYRIGHT 2019 BYRON YORK

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following individuals attempted to assassinate President Ford in 1975?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"One of the ironies of today is that those who oppose this President constantly accuse this Administration of 'shredding' constitutional norms and waging a war on the rule of law. When I ask my friends on the other side, what exactly are you referring to? I get vacuous stares, followed by sputtering about the Travel Ban or some such thing. While the President has certainly thrown out the traditional…[more]
 
 
—Attorney General William Barr, Remarks at the Federalist Society, November 15, 2019
— Attorney General William Barr, Remarks at the Federalist Society, November 15, 2019
 
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