From AEI, something to remember when we're told that the middle class in America is disappearing. …
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Image of the Day: Middle Class Shrinking... In a Good Way

From AEI, something to remember when we're told that the middle class in America is disappearing.  It's disappearing because people are moving upward:


[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="1569"] Middle Class Disappearing... Upward[/caption]


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August 19, 2019 • 10:12 am

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 School Districts and Cyberattacks:

"School districts across the country are increasingly becoming a major target of malicious cyberattacks, leaving both the federal government and state governments scrambling to find ways to fight back.

"Recent cyberattacks on school districts in Louisiana, Virginia, and Oklahoma have highlighted the threat. In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a statewide emergency last month in response to ransomware attacks on three school districts, and authorized state resources and cyber assistance to help the districts. ...

"While school districts may not seem to be the obvious target for hackers in comparison to governments or essential services, Doug Levin, the founder and president of EdTech Strategies, a consulting firm, told The Hill that they are easy targets due to outdated systems and the fact that they handle large amounts of money.

"'They are a soft target, for those that are doing not-very-sophisticated attacks and they are looking to ransom people and steal data, they are just scanning the internet for easy targets and outdated systems,' Levin said.

"'They manage a lot of money, facilities, buses, food service, providing some degree of health care, providing special education services, telecommunications systems,' he added. 'Schools are major expenditures.'"

Read entire article here.

— Maggie Miller, The Hill
— Maggie Miller, The Hill
Posted August 09, 2019 • 07:58 am
On the Mastery of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has proven himself a master of both the Senate and the judicial branch. ...

"Those on the left are hoping to use McConnell as a boogeyman for everything they hate, because he has so deftly outmaneuvered them in the Senate.

"In fact, a large part of the success of President Trump comes from his ability to work with McConnell to get big things done.

"Under McConnell's leadership the Senate has confirmed two Supreme Court justices, 43 Circuit Court of Appeals judges, and 99 U.S. District Court judges.

"There are only 179 federal appeals court judges, so in less than three years the Trump-McConnell team has nominated and won confirmation for almost one-quarter of them. Trump and McConnell have shepherded in one-seventh of the district court judges. ...

"If President Trump is reelected (and McConnell gets reelected in Kentucky) at this pace by the end of Trump's second term they will have appointed and confirmed over half of all our federal judges.

"When you think about the lifetime nature of these appointments, you can see why McConnell can legitimately be considered a master of the judiciary as well as the Senate."

Read entire article here.

— Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
— Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Posted August 08, 2019 • 08:08 am
On Restricting the Second Amendment:

"Here is the fundamental, quite real, problem that gun-control advocates face when they try to persuade the gun-owning public to support additional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms: The burden of every single currently popular large-scale gun-control proposal will fall almost exclusively on law-abiding gun owners.

"Even in the case of our dreadful epidemic of mass shootings, the available evidence indicates that so-called 'common sense' gun-control proposals popular in the Democratic party (and the New York Post) are ineffective at stopping these most committed of killers. As my colleague Robert VerBruggen pointed out yesterday, a large-scale RAND Corporation review 'uncovered "no qualifying studies showing that any of the 13 policies we investigated decreased mass shootings."'

"It's one thing to ask millions of Americans to sacrifice their security for the sake of the larger common good. It's quite another to ask for that same sacrifice in the absence of evidence that the policy will accomplish what it is designed to accomplish."

— David French, National Review
— David French, National Review
Posted August 07, 2019 • 08:04 am
On Blaming the Constitution for Violent Acts:

"The very idea of democracy depends on the ability of those reading this to draw this important distinction. Political speech and opinion are not violence or threats. As convenient as it probably seems to blame constitutionally protected political debate for the heinous actions of a few individuals, such scapegoating will be the ruin of this nation and of the people's right and ability to govern themselves. When ordinary people of good will discuss politics, no matter how fringe their ideas are, the only people who are responsible for shootings are the shooters themselves and those who directly incite or aid them in their crimes."

— The Editors, Washington Examiner
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
Posted August 06, 2019 • 08:02 am
On the Dangers of Importing Foreign Prescription Drugs:

"The Trump administration just announced it is taking steps to introduce a 'safe importation action' pilot program authorizing states, wholesalers, and pharmacists to import drugs from Canada under one scenario and from other countries under another scenario. There is no specific timeline for implementation of a plan yet. According to the Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, the goal of the initiative is to 'lower prices and reduce out of pocket costs for American patients.'

"It won't work. Instead, importing prescription drugs would put our lives in danger.

"Almost every Food and Drug Administration commissioner in recent history has argued as much. In 2017, a group of them wrote to Congress, stating, 'Drugs purchased from foreign countries may be substandard, unsafe, adulterated, or fake' and are 'likely to harm patients and consumers.'

"Even drugs from developed countries like Canada can pose serious risks. In 2005, an investigation conducted by the FDA found that 85% of drugs from online pharmacies labeled as 'Canadian' actually came from 27 different countries. Many of them proved to be counterfeit., the nation's largest internet pharmacy, was fined $34 million by U.S. prosecutors in 2018 for selling two cancer drugs that contained no active drug ingredients."

Read entire article here.

— Sally Pipes, Pacific Research Institute President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Healthcare Policy
— Sally Pipes, Pacific Research Institute President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Healthcare Policy
Posted August 05, 2019 • 08:07 am
On FBI Inspector General's Report on James Comey:

"The Justice Department's chief watchdog is preparing a damning report on James Comey's conduct in his final days as FBI director that likely will conclude he leaked classified information and showed a lack of candor after his own agency began looking into his feud with President Trump over the Russia probe.

"Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz's team referred Comey for possible prosecution under the classified information protection laws, but Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors working for Attorney General William Barr reportedly have decided to decline prosecution -- a decision that's likely to upset Comey's conservative critics.

"Prosecutors found the IG's findings compelling but decided not to bring charges because they did not believe they had enough evidence of Comey's intent to violate the law, according to multiple sources."

Read entire article here.

— John Solomon, Award-Winning Journalist, Investigative Columnist and The Hill Executive Vice President
— John Solomon, Award-Winning Journalist, Investigative Columnist and The Hill Executive Vice President
Posted August 02, 2019 • 08:07 am
On the Second Night of the Second 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate:

"All night long, almost every candidate on stage aimed their attacks at Joe Biden. Early on, Kamala Harris referred to him as 'Senator Biden,' a perhaps not-so-accidental demotion. Julian Castro, Bill de Blasio, and Cory Booker all went after him in rapid succession. Even Kirsten Gillibrand claimed that Biden opposed women working outside the home, a particularly implausible accusation.

"Here's the good news for Biden: If tonight doesn't do any damage to his numbers, he will probably cruise to the nomination. This is life as the frontrunner -- you get attacked by everybody, all the time, on any issue that they think will get them some traction. Biden got socked in the jaw in the first debate, lost some ground in the subsequent polls, but gradually floated back to a solid lead. With the vast majority of Democrats living today having voted for him twice as vice president, and generally liking him and not all that bothered by long-ago not-so-progressive positions, all Biden has to do is not fumble.

"The weirdest aspect of the attacks on Biden was the suggestion that the Obama presidency was some sort of right-wing nightmare, full of draconian deportation enforcement, Americans desperately yearning for health care and having no way to get it, a Department of Justice that shrugged at police abuses . . . almost everyone assumes that Barack Obama will remain on the sidelines during this primary process. But if Biden is the lone defender of the Obama legacy, and every other upstart is painting the previous presidency as a failure, maybe Obama will come out and formally endorse his old wingman."

— Jim Geraghty, National Review Senior Political Correspondent
— Jim Geraghty, National Review Senior Political Correspondent
Posted August 01, 2019 • 07:42 am
On the Second 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate:

"It's the second debate and already Bernie Sanders is exhausting. Why does he feel the need to shout every single sentence? Every answer, on every topic, he sounded like he wasn't sure if his microphone was working. (Ryan had an okay delivery of a good line when he said to Sanders, 'you don't have to shout.') Sanders is the equivalent of getting e-mails from your great-uncle who FORGETS THAT HE HAD THE CAPS LOCK KEY DOWN. Also, I get the feeling a lot of Democratic officials have gotten sick and tired of Bernie's holier-than-thou 'I'm the only one who is willing to be bold and stand up for the people' schtick, particularly when he wasn't formally a Democrat for most of his career.

"On paper, Elizabeth Warren won, in the sense that she got through the night without any major gaffes. A lot of liberals will love her for her quip, 'I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running to the president of the United States to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for.' Of course, she's celebrating one of the big problems in our political system -- no presidential candidate wants to acknowledge the limits of the power of the office, the presence of the opposition party, judicial review, the inherent difficulties of enacting sweeping changes through legislation, or the limit of government policy to solve problems in society. One of the reasons Americans are so cynical is that they've seen plenty of politicians come and go, with almost every one of them promising the moon and very few living up to the hype.

"Warren shamelessly insisted that the government could pay for quality health care for every American -- and illegal immigrants, too! -- just by raising taxes on billionaires and big corporations. Warren made clear tonight that she's not going to let a little thing like fiscal reality get in between her and the nomination."

Read entire article here.

— Jim Geraghty, National Review Senior Political Correspondent
— Jim Geraghty, National Review Senior Political Correspondent
Posted July 31, 2019 • 08:01 am
On Baltimore and Guatemala:

"Republicans are very easy to intimidate. They still get red in the face when CNN calls them 'racist.' But they shouldn't. It's not real. Nobody means it, least of all, Al Sharpton. If you paid him money, he would stop criticizing you. You should, probably. It is just easier.

"The whole thing is a campaign tactic dreamed up at the DNC. Once the Russia conspiracy imploded, Democrats and their lackeys in the media moved on to the other message they have, which is, 'Shut up, racist.' It didn't work in 2016 for Hillary, but they're hopeful it will work this time. They are trying hard. We will see.

"Meanwhile, Baltimore -- the actual city of Baltimore, not the metaphor of Baltimore -- could desperately use some attention. So it's good news that it is finally getting some. If anything, Trump's tweets underplay the crisis there.

"Last year, the city of Baltimore recorded 309 homicides -- that's a rate of more than 50 per 100,000 people. To put it in perspective, if Baltimore were a country, it would have the fourth-highest murder rate in the world, barely below Venezuela.

"Or think of it this way: last week, the left denounced President Trump for reaching a deal with Guatemala that declares the country a safe location for asylum seekers. Liberals told us that Guatemala has too much crime and too many gangs to be considered safe. Making people stay in Guatemala is a human rights violation they told us, and yet, and here's the amazing part, Baltimore's murder rate is double that of Guatemala."

Read entire article here.

— Tucker Carlson, FOX News
— Tucker Carlson, FOX News
Posted July 30, 2019 • 07:49 am
On Putting the Brakes on the Impeachment Train:

"Having hit a dead end, the impeachment train is seeking new witnesses and new subpoenas to tie the president up in investigations and continue the empty threat of impeachment that has the support of about 25 percent of even the House of Representatives. Democratic candidates for president should be wary of all this rather than cheer it on. It's one of them who might get elected and face midterm elections that flip Congress, and they will find themselves subject to retaliatory investigations normalized by events taking place today.

"Targeting political opponents through the legal and subpoena process after a massive investigation revealed no collusion undermines our democracy. It is a far greater threat to our country and its institutions than any ads on Facebook. Whether you think the FBI acted out of political malice (which is now being investigated) or a sense of duty, there is simply no evidence that the president ever committed a crime, or that his top aides were involved in collusion or conspiracy. ...

"Mueller's testimony confirmed these basic facts, and it should put impeachment investigations in the rearview mirror."

— Mark Penn, Stagwell Group Managing Director and 1996, 2000 and 2008 Clinton Campaign Chief Strategist
— Mark Penn, Stagwell Group Managing Director and 1996, 2000 and 2008 Clinton Campaign Chief Strategist
Posted July 29, 2019 • 07:53 am
Question of the Week   
Which one of the following ships started out as a racing vessel, was fitted out as a slave ship, a Union gunboat and ultimately sank as a commercial vessel?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"Federal arrests of non-citizens has increased exponentially over the past two decades, and account for the majority of all federal arrests, data released by the Justice Department revealed.Non-citizens made up 64% of all federal arrests in 2018 despite making up 7% of the U.S. population, according to Justice Department data released Thursday and reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation. Between…[more]
—Jason Hopkins, Daily Caller Immigration and Politics Reporter
— Jason Hopkins, Daily Caller Immigration and Politics Reporter
Liberty Poll   

While media attention is most concentrated on federal government issues, how do you rate the performance of your local government?