You’d think with all the drama happening within the Justice Department, Attorney General Jeff Sessions would have such a full plate dealing with personnel issues, illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, gang violence, and the opioid crisis that he wouldn’t have time to fight for the ability to prosecute states over medical marijuana. Well, if you assumed that, you’d be wrong.
Derek Hunter | All Articles
I wrote back in September about problems with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), private student loan debt, and the corrupt bargain between then CFPB head Richard Cordray and a friend given domain over a large slice of that debt, a deal from which that friend could profit handsomely. With Cordray’s departure, the deal remains in place because, in Washington, “the swamp” remains fully un-drained.
As someone who makes a student loan payment every month, news surrounding student loans gets my antenna up. While I’d like nothing more than a magic wand to waive what I owe away, I know that’s simply not going to happen, and the idea of mass government “forgiveness,” code for socializing student debt, is unappealing, too. I borrowed it, I have to pay it back.
It’s been a tough go for President Donald Trump lately, and by lately I mean since the moment he took the oath of office. He came to town to find a DC establishment angrier that an outsider swept into the highest office in the land. It’s not that he hasn’t gotten anything done, it’s that he hasn’t gotten any of his major campaign promises done. The establishment has afforded him minor victories, but the big ones remain elusive. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot he can and should do on his own. Minor victories are still victories.
Puerto Rico is a financial mess. Years of overspending has the island in bankruptcy and drowning in more than $100 billion in debt and pension liabilities it has little hope of crawling out from under anytime soon. Why should you care about what happens to the economy of an island you’ll probably never visit? Because while you may never visit Puerto Rico, the problems in Puerto Rico may well visit a state near you soon, and they will have an impact on your wallet and retirement.
The fact that politics makes strange bedfellows is well known, but in the think tank world you’re supposed to be principled, not hop into bed with your ideological opponent. Still, it happens from time to time, on the rare occasion you have common ground with them. Yet other times it remains inexplicable as to why, say, a conservative group would crawl under the sheets with someone like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Politicians, particularly in large cities, like to claim the mantle of “champion of the poor.” Realistically, they wouldn’t have been elected in the first place if not for their promises to “help” the underprivileged. But are these assurances improving people’s lives or are they just giving politicians a way to say they are helping when they aren’t? As Ronald Reagan famously said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.”
Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson once famously worried sending too many US troops to Guam, especially if they were at one end of the island, might cause it to tip over. Seriously, he said that. While Guam, and every other island for that matter, doesn’t run the risk of flipping like a coin, on island is about to go under – Puerto Rico.
Has Google, the world's most popular search engine, changed the definition of the word "fascism" to protect liberal mobs using violence to silence those who disagree with them politically? The evidence suggest they have.
The idea of traveling to Mars is all the talk among space enthusiasts. The red planet is just sitting there, waiting, almost daring humans to walk on it, even colonize it. While the idea is intriguing, it won’t be cheap. And at least one of the “pioneers” hoping to send people to Mars, billionaire Elon Musk, is mapping his path right through your wallet.
You can’t escape politics these days. You used to be able to. Actors used to just act; now they preach and pander. Athletes used to just try to win games; now they demand attention for their cause. Musicians used to just play their songs; now they act as though groupies have imbued them with truth. And investment funds used to simply try to make money for their investors; now they seek to force change.
When it comes to money-fueled influence peddling, few special interest groups rival the sugar industry, which according to the Heritage Foundation has spent some $50 million over the last five years to preserve its near-monopolistic stranglehold on the U.S. market. A pretty sweet deal, eh? In a time when the president decries money in politics and “greed,” it’s the kind of investment that would make Gordon Gekko blush.
In days gone by, wedding officiants would ask the assembled guests if anyone knows of any reason the bride and groom shouldn’t be wed and “to speak now or forever hold their peace.” Rarely, outside of 80s romantic comedies, did anyone ever object, and that was the end of it; the happy couple were wed and legally conjoined. Imagine for a moment the chaos that would ensue if the opportunity to challenge the basis for that marriage remained open forever. Such a policy would provide anyone seeking to break up the marriage a limitless ability to do so. While this might be good for ex-boyfriends, romcoms, and daytime TV plot lines, it wouldn’t be good for marriage. The lack of certainty would inhibit everything from buying a home to building a family.
A caller into my radio show the other day asked, “If the government can’t even build a website that works, how can it be expected to run our health care system?” Considering the news we’ve seen since the launch of Obamacare, it’s a valid question.
If there’s one thing those who report on others dislike more than anything, it’s the lens of scrutiny being turned on them. That explains Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s reaction to Jeff Himmelman’s new book “Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee.” While Woodward isn’t the subject of the book, he is the focus of a couple of controversial revelations from it.
Nothing is more important than our health. We’re blessed in this country to have the greatest health care system in the world. Through emergency rooms, the insured and uninsured alike have access to that health care system, without regard to their ability to pay. But imagine being in the middle of nowhere, literally, and being in need of urgent medical attention. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does we spring into action and go to extraordinary lengths to preserve human life.
A tourist watching the hippies, freaks and beatniks --- people I affectionately call “mutants” --- at Occupy Wall Street would have to think that Halloween had come early to New York City this year. Yet, these protesters have achieved a degree of legitimacy thanks in part to a hearty embrace from President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and union bosses.
Ever heard of a group called the “Breast Cancer Fund”? No? You’re not alone. BCF is a friendly sounding advocacy group that “works to connect the dots between breast cancer and exposures to chemicals and radiation in our everyday environments.” The “connect the dots” part is key. BCF has taken it upon itself to replace science with conjecture and draw conclusions based on a desire to rid the world of chemicals that actually keep us safe and healthy.
Maybe you can’t fight city hall, but Terrance Kalley isn’t fighting city hall, he’s fighting the federal government. His wife, Arlene, has breast cancer. She relies on the late-stage cancer drug Avastin to survive. Insurance covers the cost of the drug despite its expense, which is significant. But if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules the way it’s looking like it might, Kalley’s wife, and thousands of other women fighting breast cancer, could die. An FDA advisory panel has recommended delisting Avastin from official government formularies for late-stage breast cancer treatment due to cost concerns. If this happens, Avastin will no longer be covered by Medicare. And private insurance companies, which follow the government’s lead, would likely deny coverage for the drug. This would make this crucial drug available only to those with the means to afford its hefty price. But Kalley isn’t just sitting by while bureaucrats contemplate his wife’s fate; he’s taking action.