This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight…
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Happy 40th to the Staggers Rail Act, Which Deregulated and Saved the U.S. Rail Industry

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight rail and saved it from looming oblivion.

At the time of passage, the U.S. economy muddled along amid ongoing malaise, and our rail industry teetered due to decades of overly bureaucratic sclerosis.  Many other domestic U.S. industries had disappeared, and our railroads faced the same fate.  But by passing the Staggers Rail Act, Congress restored a deregulatory approach that in the 1980s allowed other U.S. industries to thrive.  No longer would government determine what services railroads could offer, their rates or their routes, instead restoring greater authority to the railroads themselves based upon cost-efficiency.

Today, U.S. rail flourishes even amid the coronavirus pandemic…[more]

October 13, 2020 • 11:09 PM

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Biden's Disgraceful Hypocrisy on Sexual Misconduct Print
By David Harsanyi
Friday, May 08 2020
We now know Biden believes that allegations against him should be evaluated using the precise principles that he would deny others.

If presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden were forced to live by the standards he wants to set for college students accused of sexual misconduct, he would already have been presumed guilty, been denied a genuine opportunity to refute the charges leveled against him by Tara Reade, and had his life ruined.

While Biden has hundreds of pundits and an entire constellation of Democratic Party-affiliated groups defending him, accused 18- and 19-year-olds have no such recourse under Biden's preferred set of guidelines. As conservatives keep hammering the partisan double standards in the media's coverage of sexual assault accusations  a wholly legitimate grievance  they should not forget that Biden has long championed stripping the due process rights of college students accused of sexual misconduct.

In 2011, the Obama DOJ's "Dear Colleague" letter directed institutions of higher learning to adjudicate sexual assault and misconduct cases under Title IX not by a "clear and convincing evidence" standard, but by a "preponderance of evidence." The letter also "strongly" discouraged cross-examination of alleged victims  one of the fundamental methods of determining truth  because it "may be traumatic or intimidating" to the alleged victim. After Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos proposed new rules to reinstate some semblance of impartiality in the process, Biden, and a number of other Democrats, engaged in a smear campaign against her.

The former vice president has never actually spelled out his specific criticisms of DeVos's proposal. In a sycophantic 2017 Teen Vogue interview, in which Biden offered a number of rambling platitudes regarding sexual assault, he argued that DeVos is incentivizing assaults by proposing that colleges live by the traditional criteria of fairness. "Let me tell you," he said, "it bothers me most if Secretary DeVos is going to really dumb down Title IX enforcement. The real message, the real frightening message you're going to send out is, our culture says it's OK."

Arguing that unprejudiced hearings (and I'm still not sure why these cases aren't adjudicated in civil and criminal court) are a tacit approval of rape is repulsive. Even worse: We now know Biden believes that allegations against him should be evaluated using the precise principles that he would deny others.

Under the Obama administration's directives, an accused college student was often denied the ability to question his accuser, denied the right to review the allegations and evidence in an ensuing investigation, denied the right to present exculpatory evidence and denied the right to call witnesses. Oftentimes a "single investigator," with minimal training, would be deputized to be judge and jury. Biden's personal expectations are dramatically different. Indeed, he refuses to even open his own senatorial papers  which might contain evidence related to Reade's accusations  or to allow the public to see them.

Biden is lucky that, in this case, media outlets chose to act in a professional manner, reporting and offering context to Reade's allegations. Brett Kavanaugh was not so fortunate. Back then, journalists relayed every salacious, uncorroborated and risible allegation thrown at them, leaving the Supreme Court nominee to prove his own innocence. The former vice president expects college students to live under the Kavanaugh standard while he enjoys his own.

Now, obviously, Biden is to be judged by voters, not by a court or institutional tribunal. Reade hasn't filed criminal charges. But guess what? Most students aren't under criminal investigation either, and yet their collegiate careers and reputations can be forever ruined by the prejudiced process that was forced on colleges by Biden. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education estimates that half of unfair-treatment lawsuits completed since 2013 have ended in the favor of the accused.

Every allegation of sexual assault should be taken seriously. But as I've argued elsewhere, due process isn't the opposite of justice; it is the prerequisite to it. Biden, whose campaign argues that he is falsely accused, should finally comprehend the importance of traditional tenets of justice. And no, not just for himself.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer at National Review and the author of the book "First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History With the Gun." 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was the first 20th century presidential candidate to call for a Presidential Debate?
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Quote of the Day   
"Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden admitted during Thursday night's final presidential debate that he going to end the oil industry if elected president.'Would you close down the oil industry?' President Donald Trump pressed just before their closing statements.'I would transition from the oil industry, yes' Biden replied. ...'That's a big statement,' Trump said, slamming Biden for his bold…[more]
—Jordan Davidson, The Federalist
— Jordan Davidson, The Federalist
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Do you believe Republicans will continue to hold a majority in the U.S. Senate following the 2020 election?