Commentary: Job Creation, Not a $15 Minimum Wage, Will Reduce Poverty

Though the Senate parliamentarian rejected their efforts to include a $15-an-hour minimum wage in President Biden’s so-called COVID-19 relief bill, Senate Democrats are scrambling for a way to include it. Their efforts demonstrate the importance of this issue for the progressive left. But should they succeed, would such a measure truly help struggling Americans as promised?

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Commentary: Unions Take a Cut from Firefighters’ Annual ‘Fill the Boot’ Fundraiser

Thousands of “panhandlers” in oversized suspenders camp outside of town squares and churches and major intersections every Labor Day. Instead of fast food cups, they plead with passersby to donate what they can into large rubber galoshes, exhorting them to “Fill the boot!” Perhaps that is why they are so well-received by busy motorists. It also helps that these men are standing in front of fire engines.

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Commentary: Becerra as HHS Chief Would Undo Conscience Protections

Medical professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic desperately need reinforcements. That’s why President Biden, in his “American Rescue Plan,” proposes enough funding to triple the number of community health care workers.    

But if the administration doesn’t have a clear policy of enforcing longstanding conscience protections for health care providers, it will jeopardize their ability to recruit the talent we need to defeat the coronavirus.  

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Commentary: 60 Years After Eisenhower’s Warning, Distinct Signs of a ‘Digital-Intelligence Complex’

In June 2019, Susan Gordon stood on a stage at the Washington Convention Center. Behind her loomed three giant letters, “AWS,” the abbreviation for Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing division of the giant Internet retailer. After three decades at the Central Intelligence Agency, Gordon had risen to one of the top jobs in the cloak-and-dagger world: principal deputy director of national intelligence. From that perch she publicly extolled the virtues of Amazon Web Services and the cloud services the tech giant provides the CIA.

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Analysis: Biden’s New Dawn of Net-Zero Is Looking Like a Dark Day for Labor

Last Labor Day, candidate Joe Biden made an impassioned pitch to leaders and members of the AFL-CIO, America’s largest labor federation. Stressing that “the great American middle class was built by unions,” he jabbed his finger in the air for emphasis as he promised, “I’m going to be the strongest labor president you have ever had,” drawing a smile from his longtime ally and friend, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

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Commentary: Dems Close Ranks Around Newsom as GOP Recall Unity Frays

California Democrats are standing with Gov. Gavin Newsom as Republican unity around the effort to remove him from office is splintering over how to limit the GOP candidate field and thus pose the strongest recall challenge.

But proponents of the recall, considered a long shot most of last year, over the weekend celebrated a milestone: They reached the 1.5 million signatures needed by mid-March to qualify for a special election to remove the first-term governor. Yet with Democratic election officials expected to invalidate roughly 20% of all signatures gathered, recall organizers will continue working toward a goal of 1.8 to 2 million signatures by the deadline to allow for a buffer, a threshold they’re confident of reaching.

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Commentary: The Fund for American Studies

“We take seriously the idea that a republic cannot long survive without a virtuous citizenry,” says Brenda Hafera of The Fund for American Studies.

TFAS’s mission is to “win over each new generation to the ideas of liberty, limited government, and free markets” by offering educational programs for students and young journalists around the world.

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Commentary: A Monsoon of Manure

I refuse to watch the impeachment trial as a matter of principle. To devote any attention to this charade would legitimize the corruption of our Constitution. Tuning in would be a tacit acceptance of the blizzard of BS that has buried the national discourse. At least since Donald Trump’s election in 2016, Democrats and their media allies have demanded that we view their smears and lies as high-minded pursuits of the truth. Consider:

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Commentary: To Work, PPP Loans Must Be Fully Non-Taxable

Tax headaches have started early for American small businesses this tax season. States can help these employers and accelerate the economic recovery by clarifying that business expenses paid from Paycheck Protection Plan loans are fully tax-deductible, in-line with federal tax law.

The PPP is one of the most successful government programs in American history. It distributed $525 billion worth of forgivable loans to more than 5 million small businesses nationwide, supporting over 50 million jobs. Without the PPP, unemployment would have been far higher and the economic contraction much more severe. The PPP served as a bridge to get small businesses over the worst depths of the pandemic. Yet state tax rules threaten to undercut its success.

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Commentary: Expose the False Narrative of the ‘1619 Project’ by Teaching Students About Federalism and the States

A few weeks ago, the civics curriculum wars reached the White House: Donald Trump’s 1776 Commission published its first report on a Monday, and Joe Biden’s administration disbanded the group by Wednesday, the new president’s first day in office. The Commission’s first and only act, the 1776 Report, was a conservative response to the New York Times’s 1619 project, which it criticized by name. Its aim was to lay the foundation of a proper American civics education. The U.S. civics curriculum is subject to constant badgering from the Right and the Left, and as this latest White House drama shows, each side restating its narrative at the other accomplishes little. Conservatives are correct to care about America’s founding principles. But by tripping over tweaks to the curriculum, we miss a bigger opportunity to help the next generation act on one of those principles: federalism. Focus on national narratives comes at the expense of state-level knowledge and action.

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Analysis: Snopes and the Fact-Checked Claims That Weren’t Really Made

A fact-checker’s role is to help readers distinguish fact from fiction by analyzing and rating claims. Sometimes, however, fact-checkers seem to create and check claims that no one is making, or, perhaps inadvertently, blame outlets or individuals for false claims that they didn’t make.

In a fact-check published Jan. 5, Snopes contributor Madison Dapcevich analyzed the claim “Legislation proposed in the New York State Senate in 2021 called for the establishment of COVID-19 ‘detention camps,’” rating this a “Mixture” of truth and falsehood.

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Commentary: Electric Vehicles and Their Drawbacks, Chapter II

There is a growing push in the U.S. and throughout much of the developed world to convert transportation from a primary reliance on fossil fuels to an almost-exclusive use of renewable energy (wind and solar). With this goal come promises of unlimited clean and free energy, the creation of millions of green jobs, and the benefit of helping save the planet from an imminent climate catastrophe.

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Commentary: Civic Virtues as Moral Facts Trying to Recover the Other Half of Our Founding

Until a half century ago or so, there was a moral consensus, however fraying, that informed and shaped the exercise of freedom in the Western world. The self-determination of human beings, of citizens in self-governing political orders, presupposed a civilized inheritance that allowed free men and women to distinguish, without angst or arduous effort, between liberty and license, good and evil, honorable lives and dissolute and disgraceful ones. Few would have suggested that liberty and human dignity could long flourish without a sense of moral obligation and civic spirit on the part of proud, rights-bearing individuals.

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Commentary: Five Ways Hospitals Can Help Fix Vaccine Rollout Debacle

Hospitals have come under sharp criticism for their part in the chaotic COVID-19 vaccine rollout. That’s because in the rush to get the vaccine out quickly, many hospitals were shipped more vaccine than anticipated and fewer staff took it than anticipated. As a result, hospitals accrued a vaccine surplus and offered it to their low-risk grad students and young administrative staff working from home and are now scrambling to figure out what to do with the rest. The answer should be simple: give it to older members of your community, but a recent letter from the American Hospital Association cited a number of important barriers to effective vaccine distribution including a lack of coordination and guidance from federal, state, and local governments. 

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Falling CO2 Emissions Expose ‘Global Warming’ Alarmism As Anti-Science

The “experts” that dominate government, big business, universities, and international institutions vitriolically insist that “science” purportedly establishes beyond doubt that carbon dioxide emissions are raising global temperatures and that the warmer earth will be catastrophic.

In 2020, the pandemic-induced shutdowns that inflicted so much economic harm, particularly on the Third World’s already poor, reduced CO2 emissions by a record-breaking 7 percent. Those demanding that Americans reduce emissions must be especially pleased: the U.S. led the world with a 12 percent reduction.

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Commentary: Big Tech’s Conservative Purge Changes the Free Speech Debate

Big Tech’s coordinated silencing of conservative voices, including President Trump’s, signals a crossing of the Rubicon in the debate over government involvement to protect free speech.

Even conservatives like me, who have long argued that small-business competition is the best way to moderate the tech oligarchs’ power, recognize that government may now have an interest in making some large companies, such as basic web-hosting platforms, utilities akin to AT&T.

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Analysis: The Great Social Silencing

Last week Silicon Valley silenced the president. In unison, the social media giants, with an assist from Amazon and Apple, also eliminated their most popular conservative competitor and announced that their own moderation policies would now extend to other companies. Meanwhile, CNN openly called for Fox News to be banned from cable, while a major talk radio network issued new speech rules to its hosts, extending tech’s moderation policies to the offline world. Beyond all this, Congress and the European Union called for powerful new regulation of online speech.

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Commentary: Is Biden’s Team Rooting for Red China?

What if the real winner of November’s presidential election was Red China?

China apparently sees it that way. Its Global Times mouthpiece rejoiced that Joe Biden had selected “a group of ‘elites’” who would be “very ‘predictable’ in foreign policy with a multilateral mind-set.” A prominent Chinese professor, in a now-purged speech, lamented China’s loss of influence during Donald Trump’s presidency – but enthused, “now we’re seeing Biden was elected, the traditional elite, the political elite, the establishment, they’re very close to Wall Street,” and noted that “Biden’s son has some sort of global foundation. . . . There are a lot of deals inside all these.”

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Analysis: Electric Vehicles and Their Drawbacks

Electric-powered cars are now the rage. Tesla’s market capitalization is seven times larger than that of General Motors and fourteen times larger than Ford’s, though it builds a fraction of the vehicles that those companies do. Many politicians are even considering banning gasoline-powered cars within a few years in favor of electric vehicles (EVs), all in the name of saving the planet. 

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Commentary: Trump’s Top 10 Accomplishments of 2020

This year has been dominated by the pain and suffering thrust upon the globe by the criminal acts of the Chinese Communist Party. Even amid these harsh challenges, President Trump persevered to reach historic achievements. Therefore, as the year draws to its conclusion, it is worth detailing his 2020 accomplishments, as I have previously cataloged for each of the last three years.

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At Princeton, a Racial Reckoning and a Free Speech Battle

In 2015, Princeton University became the second higher-education institution to sign the University of Chicago Statement supporting campus free speech. Yet, five years later, Princeton professor Keith E. Whittington wrote that the university stood “on the front lines” of the battle over speech. Those battle lines were drawn this summer by students and faculty demanding the adoption of “anti-racist” policies, which some on campus say run counter to free speech and open inquiry.

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Commentary: 2020’s Never Before (and Never Again?) Milestones

We’ve all been deluged with lists of 2020 winners, losers, and reasons why everyone is saying good riddance to this challenging, tragic, chaotic, and unusual year.

This one has a different slant: Five “never before and never again” phenomena unique to 2020. (Yes, I know that one must “never say never,” but the following qualify as two-headed freaks of politics and economics.)

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Joe Biden’s About to Floor It to a Green Future – Straight into State Speed Traps

Joe Biden needs to put the pedal to the metal as he races toward his goal of ridding America’s energy sources of carbon emissions by 2035. But the president-elect’s headlong rush toward a green future may be slowed by a snarl of political speed limits in the states.

One of Biden’s most ambitious aims is to completely clean up the electrical grid, today powered mostly by fossil fuels, in only 15 years. Many energy executives consider that goal quixotic because it would require a breathtakingly fast transformation of the massive power industry — from replacing hundreds of dirty power plants to upgrading thousands of miles transmission lines.

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Poll: Perdue, Loeffler Could Score in Opposing Braves Name Change

A runoff election may very well be the closest thing in politics to extra innings in baseball, and with control of the Senate at stake, the GOP in Georgia hopes an appeal to America’s pastime will help keep the majority Republican.

This would explain why Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are talking baseball in December.

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Investigation Finds Georgia Officials Decline to Prosecute or Correct the Double Voters They Catch

More than 1,700 Georgians were singled out for illegally casting two ballots in 2020 elections – including last month’s hotly contested presidential race – but their fraudulent votes weren’t canceled out, according to state election officials. And so far, none of the cheaters has been prosecuted, raising concerns about continued fraud as Georgia prepares to vote again in twin U.S. Senate runoff elections next month.

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