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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The 2016 GOP Debate Debacle Print
By Michelle Malkin
Wednesday, March 02 2016
The obvious, effective solution is to wrest control from mainstream media networks and hold debates sponsored by conservative media outlets with conservative journalists and broadcast/simulcast on neutral ground (hello, C-SPAN!).

When the dust settles on this wild and wacky GOP primary season, there will be at least one clear Biggest Loser: the Republican National Committee.

After 2012, when liberal journalists routinely hijacked the party's 20 televised debates while cashing in on ratings and advertising revenue, the RNC resolved to change narrative-surrendering business as usual.

There would be no more cable TV anchors belligerently taking President Obama's side while arguing with the GOP nominee (as Candy Crowley infamously did with Mitt Romney over Benghazi).

There would be no more former Democratic operatives-turned journalists injecting their left-wing social agenda into GOP primary forums (as Clinton adviser-turned-ABC newsman George Stephanopoulous did at the January 2012 Republican debate in New Hampshire when he pushed the Democrats' War on Women propaganda by pressing Republicans on a nonsense contraceptive ban.)

And there would be real balance in the selection of moderators, through partnerships "with conservative media to make sure the concerns of grassroots Republicans are addressed."

RNC chairman Reince Priebus declared in 2014 after the committee adopted measures to reassert control over the process: "The liberal media doesn't deserve to be in the driver's seat."

How's that working out? It's the same old, same old. Last week's debate hosted by CNN was commandeered by a Telemundo celebrity journalist Maria Celeste Arraras, known as "the Katie Couric of Spanish TV," who soaked up nearly half the show representing "the Latino community" on issues such as Puerto Rico's bankruptcy.

It shouldn't have been a surprise to the RNC. She did the same during a Democratic presidential debate in 2004, when she argued with candidates about driver's licenses for immigrants here illegally. The lone conservative token questioner, Salem radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, received a fraction of the time. The infamous "screaming lady" in the audience earned far more buzz.

Hewitt had made an earlier appearance in the second debate hosted by CNN last September. But again, he was relegated to the margins. As even the left-wing New York Times pointed out, the network "came to the second Republican primary debate looking for a fight" along with an agenda of setting up "catfights" between Donald Trump and the rest of the candidates.

Conservative blogger Scott Johnson of Power Line noted that instead of giving GOP voters "a chance to assess the strengths of the candidates and to pick the strongest candidate to achieve their objective...(CNN moderator) Jake Tapper had other ideas in mind. His consignment of Hugh Hewitt to the witness protection program is representative of his pursuit of other ideas."

The third debate hosted by CNBC in Boulder was deemed a complete disaster by observers across the political spectrum. Instead of focusing on economics, as the network and RNC promised they would, the "moderators" made themselves the center of attention with trivial and condescending questions designed to instigate circus conflict between personalities instead of enlightening viewers about actual policy differences between candidates.

Again, this shouldn't have been a surprise to the RNC. CNBC chief clown John Harwood had a long public record running interference for Hillary Clinton, denigrating conservative critics of Obamacare, and shrugging at convicted infant murderer and abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

As for giving actual conservatives a central chance to address the candidates directly, the RNC yielded to Google during the seventh debate in Iowa in January. We didn't hear from grassroots voters who had their health insurance canceled because of Obamacare or business owners negatively affected by Dodd-Frank or victims of illegal alien crime who oppose amnesty.

Instead, the privileged questioners included a YouTube fashionista who had crossed the border illegally from Mexico as a child and a Muslim activist who spread debunked, CAIR-style propaganda about "Islamophobia" hate crimes in America.

The ninth debate hosted by CBS in South Carolina was moderated by John Dickerson, a Beltway liberal elite who called on President Obama to "Go for the Throat!" and "declare war on the Republican Party," and to "pulverize" his political enemies over gun control, climate change and immigration. The event was remarkable not so much for any overt political bias as it was for a complete lack of control over both the candidates and the audience.

And, of course, no one remembers anything about the first debate other than the feud between Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump.

The obvious, effective solution is to wrest control from mainstream media networks and hold debates sponsored by conservative media outlets with conservative journalists and broadcast/simulcast on neutral ground (hello, C-SPAN!). The RNC had one such debate in the works, but abandoned the idea last month.

For the candidates, continuing with these rigged charades is an exercise in futility and masochism. For the RNC, it's suicide. By its passivity and complicity, the current batch of GOP enablers have proved that they don't deserve to be in the driver's seat.

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Michelle Malkin is the author of the new book "Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs."   Copyright © 2016 Creators.com

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   
 
"In nominating Barrett to the Supreme Court, [President Trump] kept his promise by choosing an undaunted originalist -- someone who interprets the Constitution based on the understanding held by its ratifiers.Trump's most profound effect on the Constitution will come when she and the other Trump Justices apply that originalism to the questions of liberty and equality."Read entire article here.…[more]
 
 
—John C. Yoo, Heller Professor Law at U.C. Berkeley School of Law
— John C. Yoo, Heller Professor Law at U.C. Berkeley School of Law
 
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