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]


.  …[more]

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 the 1-Day Cease Fire Between the President and Congressional Leaders:

"By all appearances, they are mortal enemies. President Donald Trump has been at war with Democratic leaders in Congress for months, as the two sides trade subpoenas, lawsuits and accusations of bad faith.

"But on Tuesday, Trump, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer did something few people expected: They got along -- or at least pretended to.

"After a 90-minute Oval Office meeting to discuss a potential infrastructure bill, both sides gushed about what may have been their first point of agreement this year, on a plan to spend $2 trillion to repair crumbling roads and bridges. Never mind that they left unresolved how to foot the gigantic bill. ...

"There's at least one explanation: Both Trump and Democrats are eager for a legislative win -- or short of that, the appearance of genuine legislative effort -- before the 2020 elections. Trump is about to embark on a tough reelection campaign with key promises, including a grand infrastructure plan, still unmet. Democrats are eager to pivot from the subject of Russia to more tangible issues like the economy, and to provide swing-district moderates with talking points about bipartisan action."

— Anita Kumar, Sarah Ferris and Burgess Everett, POLITICO
— Anita Kumar, Sarah Ferris and Burgess Everett, POLITICO
Posted May 01, 2019 • 08:00 am
On the Green New Deal:

"The Green New Deal (GND) is a set of policy proposals, some more concrete than others, with the central advertised goal of ameliorating a purported climate crisis by implementing policies that would reduce US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero, or to 'net zero,' by 2050 in some formulations. In addition, GND incorporates other important social-policy goals as a means of forging a majority political coalition in support.

"The GND's central premise is that such policies -- either despite or by reducing sharply the economic value of some substantial part of the US resource base and the energy- producing and energy-consuming capital stock -- would increase the size of the economy in real terms, increase employment, improve environmental quality, and improve distributional equity. That is a 'broken windows' argument: The destruction of resources increases aggregate wealth. It is not to be taken seriously.

"Moreover, notwithstanding the assertions from GND proponents that it is an essential policy to confront purportedly adverse climate phenomena, the future temperature impacts of the zero-emissions objective would be barely distinguishable from zero: 0.173 C by 2100, under the maximum Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change parameter (equilibrium climate sensitivity) about the effects of reduced GHG emissions. Under an assumption consistent with the findings reported in the recent peer-reviewed literature, the effect would be 0.083 C by 2100, a policy impact not measurable against normal variation in temperatures. This conclusion is not controversial and suggests strongly that the GND's real goal is wealth redistribution to favored political interests under the GND social-policy agenda and a dramatic increase in government control of resource allocation more generally."

Read entire article here.

— Benjamin Zycher, American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar and Pacific Research Institute Senior Fellow
— Benjamin Zycher, American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar and Pacific Research Institute Senior Fellow
Posted April 30, 2019 • 08:04 am
On the Democrats' Talk of Impeachment:

"The Democrats' talk of impeachment is partly about 2020, but it's mainly about 2016, and their adolescent psychic need to believe that the presidential election that brought Donald Trump to the White House was illegitimate rather than an opportunity they simply blew. The theory that the election was thrown by Russian trolls posting dank memes on Twitter is hard to take seriously. If we had a list of every voter whose mind was changed in 2016 by an anonymous social-media account with a Cyrillic bio, then disenfranchising those voters would be a good start on improving things for 2020. Alas and alack, we don't do that sort of thing. But the argument that bot-executed shenanigans nullified democracy in 2016 amounts to the Democrats protesting: 'These trolls robbed us of the support of our natural base: morons!'

"There's no quality control in social media -- and less quality control in ordinary news media than there used to be. Lies, distortions, exaggerations, and pure inventions are going to be out there in the intellectual marketplace, whether they originate in Moscow or in Brooklyn. That's a real problem, but it doesn't invalidate the outcome of the 2016 election.

"There are many reasons to oppose an impeachment at this time: One is that no one has made a very persuasive case for one, all of the Democrats' arguments up to this point having been transparently pretextual. Another is that the Republican majority in the Senate all but ensures that the process would be purely symbolic, an exercise in chaos for pleasure's sake. A third is that it normalizes the invocation of a procedure that should be reserved for extraordinary circumstances in the service of ordinary short-term partisan interests. For comparison, consider that there was no serious impeachment talk when Barack Obama authorized the assassination of U.S. citizens without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress -- or when he took executive actions that he himself had described as unconstitutional only months before. That suggests a pretty high standard -- and if 'I think that guy is a fink!' ends up being a common rationale for impeachment, then you'd better make your peace with anarchy, because Washington is going to be a ghost town.

"But the most important reason for forbearance here is that a political judgment already has been rendered on Donald Trump's character -- and, if you don't like how that came out, there's another chance right around the corner."

— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
Posted April 29, 2019 • 08:17 am
On Strzok-Page Texts Under Increased Scrutiny:

"Text messages between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page indicate they discussed using briefings to the Trump team after the 2016 election to identify people they could 'develop for potential relationships,' track lines of questioning and 'assess' changes in 'demeanor' -- language one GOP lawmaker called 'more evidence' of irregular conduct in the original Russia probe.

"Fox News has learned the texts, initially released in 2018 by a Senate committee, are under renewed scrutiny, with GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley and Homeland Security Committee chair Ron Johnson sending a letter Thursday night to Attorney General Bill Barr pushing for more information on the matter.

"'Any improper FBI surveillance activities that were conducted before or after the 2016 election must be brought to light and properly addressed,' the senators wrote.

"President Trump, speaking to Fox News' 'Hannity' Thursday night, responded to this report by unloading on Strzok and Page.

"'They were trying to infiltrate the administration,' Trump told Sean Hannity. 'Really, it's a coup. It's spying. It's hard to believe in this country we would have had that.' Trump called the news 'very disconcerting,' and emphasized that the Justice Department's watchdog previously faulted Strzok's communications with Page."

Read entire article here.

— Catherine Herridge and Gregg Re, FOX News
— Catherine Herridge and Gregg Re, FOX News
Posted April 26, 2019 • 07:45 am
On Facebook's Privacy Penalties:

"SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook said on Wednesday that it expected to be fined up to $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations. The penalty would be a record by the agency against a technology company and a sign that the United States was willing to punish big tech companies.

The social network disclosed the amount in its quarterly financial results, saying it estimated a one-time charge of $3 billion to $5 billion in connection with an 'ongoing inquiry' by the F.T.C. Facebook added that 'the matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome.'

Facebook has been in negotiations with the regulator for months over a financial penalty for claims that the company violated a 2011 privacy consent decree. That year, the social network promised a series of measures to protect its users' privacy after an investigation found that its handling of data had harmed consumers.

The F.T.C. opened a new investigation last year after Facebook came under fire again. This time, the company was accused of not protecting its users' data from being harvested without their consent by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm that was building voter profiles for the Trump campaign. Facebook also suffered a data breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 50 million users."

— Mike Isaac and Cecilia Kang, New York Times
— Mike Isaac and Cecilia Kang, New York Times
Posted April 25, 2019 • 07:41 am
On Cracking Down on Visa 'Overstays':

"President Donald Trump opened a new flank in his battle against illegal immigration on Monday when he ordered his administration to crack down on 'visa overstays' -- foreigners who legally enter the country but remain in the U.S. after their visas expire.

"The president signed a memorandum ordering the secretary of state and the secretary of homeland security to submit plans within four months to crack down on overstays, such as punishing countries whose citizens have high rates of overstays and requiring foreign travelers to post 'admission bonds' that would be repaid once they leave the country.

"The order is the latest example of Trump's renewed push on immigration, following a shakeup of the Department of Homeland Security and his increasing frustration with the rising number of Central American migrants entering the country.

"Members of both parties have long complained that overstays are just as problematic as undocumented immigrants who cross the southern border. More than 1.2 million foreigners overstayed their visas from 2016 to 2017, according to the most recent Homeland Security data."

— Alan Gomez, USA TODAY
— Alan Gomez, USA TODAY
Posted April 24, 2019 • 08:09 am
On the Democrat Divide Over Impeachment:

"The credibility of the Democratic Party is now at issue.

"If Mueller could not find collusion, what reason is there to believe Rep. Jerry Nadler's judiciary committee will find it, and then convince the country that they have discovered what ex-FBI Director Mueller could not.

"With conspiracy and collusion off the table, and Mueller saying the case for obstruction is unproven, the renewed attack on Trump takes on the aspect of a naked and desperate 'deep state'-media coup against a president they fear they cannot defeat at the ballot box."

— Patrick J. Buchanan, Syndicated Columnist and The American Conservative Magazine Founding Editor
— Patrick J. Buchanan, Syndicated Columnist and The American Conservative Magazine Founding Editor
Posted April 23, 2019 • 08:06 am
On Ukraine Electing a Populist Celebrity:

"'The people want someone to articulate their rage for them,' says the fictional network programmer played by Faye Dunaway in the 1976 movie classic Network. She then unleashes on audiences a newscaster named Howard Beale, who electrifies the country with his manta 'I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore.'

"Increasingly, voters are plumping for reality-TV stars to express their anger and seek solutions to intractable problems. Donald Trump, who used his NBC show The Apprentice to catapult himself into the White House, is the most obvious example. But look at Ukraine: This nation of 44 million people just saw a comedian who plays a fictional Ukrainian president on TV win 73 percent of the vote and become, as of today, the president-elect."

Read entire article here.

— John Fund, National Review
— John Fund, National Review
Posted April 22, 2019 • 07:30 am
On Easter:

Happy Easter to you, your family and friends!

— From Everyone at CFIF
— From Everyone at CFIF
Posted April 19, 2019 • 08:00 am
On Bernie Sanders' 2020 Presidential Run:

"The clever people in the Democratic party have turned their attention to Senator Bernie Sanders, the creepy Brooklyn red who for some reason represents Vermont in the Senate, functionally as a member of the Democratic party, an equally creepy political organization to which he does not belong but whose presidential nomination he nonetheless is seeking a second time.

"Stop Sanders! is the cry of the moment from Cambridge, Mass., to Tiburon, Calif., and everywhere that clever Democrats gather. The worry is that Senator Sanders's grumpy-Muppet shtick will not discreetly charm the bourgeoisie, that his disheveled populism and his unmade bed of a mind will not be a smash hit with well-heeled swing voters in the moneyed suburbs of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida -- which, the clever people inform us, is where the real action is going to be in 2020. They aren't out there screaming 'A vote for Sanders is a vote for Trump!' just yet, but they are scheming behind the scenes, and the moneymen of the party already are so alarmed that they are making approximately the same sound that Donald Sutherland makes at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
Posted April 18, 2019 • 08:00 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?