— Patricia Morgan (@repmorgan) November 2, 2017
— Joseph R. Paolino Jr (@joepaolinojr) October 29, 2017
Sasse Says RI Commerce Failed to Properly Review PawSox Deal https://t.co/uGtS6gVYD6
— gary sasse (@gssasse) October 31, 2017
— Monique C (@MoniqAR) October 29, 2017
A Facebook video by “Woke Folks” explains privilege probably better than its authors intended or understand.
When people are rewarded for finding evidence of “isms” in their past, we move away from understanding and toward constant cultural warfare.
RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity CEO Mike Stenhouse was on John Carlevale’s State of the State show recently warning Rhode Islanders about the looming progressive wave and, specifically, its costs:
Remy captures the essence of a political question once again (via Instapundit):
Earlier this week, RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity CEO Mike Stenhouse was on GoLocal LIVE with Kate Nagle, talking about the Center’s release of the 2017 Family Prosperity Index (FPI) and the loss of 11 towns’ worth of residents to domestic migration.
RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity CEO Mike Stenhouse appeared on Dan Yorke State of Mind this week to talk about the Center’s Family Prosperity Index (FPI) release, but inasmuch as he followed a segment criticizing President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change accords, he tied the two together thus:
The one thing that’s missing from all [your previous guests’] discussions you heard was how this impacts real people and real families. There’s this mythical — I don’t think the professor can prove that there’s “catastrophic” climate change coming — there’s this mythical problem we’ve created of this catastrophe. Maybe the temperatures are rising, but is it a catastrophe?
What we do know is that it drives all these crazy energy policies, like the carbon tax, like energy mandates, that are driving up energy rates on families and businesses, that are driving people out of this state. Do you know that in those 12-year periods, we’ve lost the equivalent of 11 cities and towns worth of people to net migration loss.
The costs of energy and other taxes and regulations are so high on businesses and families that they’re fleeing our state. Eighty thousand people. That’s 11 of our smaller cities and towns gone.
To save RI from the disastrous progressive vision, we all have to get involved.
One of Rhode Island’s U.S. Senators, Sheldon Whitehouse, recently illustrated the outrageous level of partisanship that he exemplifies. Asked at a South Providence event “how long we have to wait” for the impeachment of President Trump, Whitehouse provided the following response (captured by RI Future’s Steve Ahlquist).
Sure, the blame could go around on who has contributed to the current atmosphere in the United States, and the argument would become yet another political rabbit hole. Not surprisingly, I’d fault the national Democrats and news media for stoking anti-Bush lunacy, an attitude that Barack Obama perpetuated as a theme of his presidency. But putting blame aside, what struck me is that Senator Whitehouse didn’t even give lip service to responsible rhetoric or patriotic sentiment.
- He didn’t caution his audience that investigations might produce nothing, or stop well short of the president.
- He didn’t express even superficial hope that the country could avoid something that would be so disruptive and damaging to our unity.
- He didn’t express a preference for a president who would grow in office, even if he’d find that miraculous, at this point.
- Instead, he furthered the speculation and presented impeachment as something for which we can and should hope.
That is a shocking degree of callousness. Until November 2016, we could have expected elected officials to muster at least the sense of responsibility for the health of the republic to express hope that even a horrible president wasn’t proven to have behaved in an impeachable manner and would correct himself in office, rather than drive the country to the point at which kicking him out would be the best option.
But not in 2017, apparently, and not Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
Imagine the parking lots of Rhode Island retailers filled with cars with Massachusetts license plates. New research from the Center, based on government data, shows that it is very possible. In the two years following the removal of sales tax on wine and spirits, the same level of economic stimulus, as projected by the Center by cutting the state’s overall sales tax, actually occurred! Now, there can be no doubt of our findings. The new research one-pager proves that Rhode Island would experience an ECONOMIC BOOM under a 3.0% sales tax.
Incredulous at the vision that progressive policies imply for our state, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity has put out a radio/YouTube ad summing it up:
I expect there will be more to come.
I’ll also be on Dan’s 630AM/99.7FM WPRO show this afternoon at 4:00.
Thanks to Kate Nagle and GoLocalProv for inviting the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity’s Mike Stenhouse on their new GoLocal LIVE program yesterday. They discussed, in part, Governor Raimondo’s recently announced manufacturing advisory council, which is comprised of lots of people but not a whole lot of economic diversity.
Meanwhile, congratulations and best wishes to Kate Nagle, Molly O’Brien and GoLocalProv on the launch of their cutting edge new program!
As usual, the content on this Prager University video — featuring Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel — won’t be new to readers of the Ocean State Current, but it’s well done and worth the reminder:
Progressives are in the intimidation game for the long haul; indeed, Strassel points out that Southern Democrats used the tactics progressives now focus on conservatives (or any non-progressives) to suppress blacks. The strategies are:
- Harass, as with the IRS targeting Tea Party groups
- Investigate & prosecute, as with Wisconsin prosecutors raiding the homes of conservatives, or our own U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s attempts to criminalize opposing views and activities
- Blackmail, for which Strassel provides the example of threats made against corporate sponsors of ALEC
- Expose, by which progressive seek access to lists of donors and other supporters in order to apply the first three techniques
On the last count, Democrat Tiverton/Portsmouth Representative John “Jay” Edwards had a coup this latest legislative session with his legislation to harass with regulations any citizen who attempts to have a public say on any local ballot question and to open such local activists and their supporters to harassment by vicious groups like Tiverton 1st, which not only succeeded in making public office seem like a costly volunteerism, but also in driving some of its opponents clear out of the town and the state.
In a recent Prager University video, historian Amity Shlaes articulates a pretty straightforward position for many of us on the right end of the political spectrum: In taxation, percentages are implicitly fair and inherently progressive.
Unfortunately, she also correctly points out the difficulty facing those who would return the tax code to fairness:
… reversing a century of progressivity won’t be easy. For when you cut taxes for all in a progressive rate structure, the rich necessarily get a larger tax break. That is so because they pay a greater share to begin with, and advocating “larger breaks for the rich” is not a popular political move, to put it mildly.
She then goes on to touch on a theme that’s popping up in a variety of contexts. We need to stop attempting reform by addition and make it, well, reform. In other words, adding more and more tax credits for this group or that group in an effort to get back to what’s fair, we should intelligently assess what we have and simply revise it.
Of course, talking about intelligence in policy and politics has become just about a sign of insanity in modern America.
In this video, I speak out against a new scheme by the Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management to acquire farmland at a public comment forum held at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography on September 7, 2016.
With government increasingly influencing and controlling the means of production through myriad tax-credit, loan, and direct-subsidy schemes in a multitude of industries, the DEM farmland acquisition scheme, which will actually acquire and resell private property, is not based on any legitimate economic analysis — or any economic consideration at all.
Despite the fact that the state’s own Commerce Corporation demanded a RhodeMap RI–related mandate be inserted into the DEM plan, no economic justification was provided. The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity warned you about the dangers of RhodeMap RI; here is one place where the planners’ vision seems to be marching forward.
Since the release of the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s scorecard showing how legislators have voted when the 38 Studios scandal has been within their scope of office (as opposed to calling on the attorney general to release information), I’ve had a few media appearances. The most extensive, also touching on the legal settlement just announced related to the bankruptcy, was on Dan Yorke’s State of Mind on WPRI’s digital station:
I also had my first appearance on Frank Coletta’s Business Lunch on WJAR, Channel 10:
As part of its 100-year anniversary self-promotion, the Rhode Island Foundation has been spreading around a video by Nail Communications that is slap-in-the-face offensive. It begins by putting swear words in the mouths of children reading statements from (quote) actual Rhode Islanders; it tells Rhode Islanders to (quote) stop complaining and if they don’t have anything nice to say, well, be quiet.
Let’s be blunt, here. Given Rhode Island’s parade of corrupt officials and its stagnant economy, we would be shirking our responsibility as citizens if we didn’t complain. Now, if Nail Communications were to make another video about the view of Rhode Island’s insiders, it might go something like this.
[Advisory: In keeping with the original Nail Communications/RI Foundation video, the following contains bleeped swears.]
On this episode of “What’s Really In Your Best Interest?” I interview Aimee Gardiner, director of Rhode Islanders Against Mandated HPV Vaccinations, on the movement against the HPV Mandate in the Ocean State. Rhode Island parents deserve the freedom to make private family choices without government involvement. The mandate on the HPV vaccine for Rhode Island students is an important and symbolic violation of our rights.
Recently, the RI DOH undertook a marketing campaign directed at the children of our state. Do you think this is a proper use of taxpayer dollars? The government should include parents in the discussion when dealing with minors, not bypassing our families! This is a very disturbing trend. The #NOHPVmandateRI movement stands to reverse the HPV vaccine mandate in RI. Please watch the new videos of our interview now.
As the fiscal year comes to a close for the State of Rhode Island and most municipalities in June, it’s ever more clear that civic life in Rhode Island revolves around government budgets. For insiders, town, city, and state budgets represent their hopes and dreams — often their livelihoods. For everybody else, though, they can be a time of dread, as the impossibility of real change is affirmed, cherished programs are threatened (if you’re on that side of the ledger), or more money is confiscated from your bank account (if you’re on the other side of the ledger).
Herewith, a parody song to the tune of “But Beautiful,” inaugurating a somewhat regular new video series, “Katz’s Kitchen Sink,” which will feature whatever sort of content I think might be useful to throw at the problems of the Ocean State — songs, short skits, commentary, or whatever.
A budget’s taxes, or it’s pay
Handouts are credits or giveaways
We’re investing, or we save
Bountiful, our industry’s bureaucracies we run
It’s a budget you have no choice but to fund
A budget appropriates, or it steals
Votes are traded in backroom deals
Nobody’s sure just what’s real
And I’m thinking if I had chips, I’d cash them in for gold
And take them to a more bountiful abode