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Can the Right Push Back?

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Politically Correct Anti-Tobacco Regs: How Many People Might Die Because They Were Denied a Less Harmful Choice?

Better something that is less harmful than more harmful. But to some, innovative new products that reduce health risks – should be banned. In the tobacco and nicotine industry, the politically-correct anti-tobacco movement is advocating for the suppression of individual rights and elimination of less harmful choices, via restrictions and outright bans on products that could improve public health.

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Utilities Reducing Rates Around the Country Due to Tax Cut

Paul Bedard reports in the Washington Examiner that National Grid won’t be alone if it reduces rates to reflect its lower tax burden, owing to the GOP-Trump tax cut that has just gone into effect:

On the heels of companies dishing bonuses of up to $3,000 to over one million workers due to the anticipated benefit of President Trump’s tax reform victory, several major utilities have announced plans to cut rates in a consumer payback related to the lower taxes.

Energy suppliers like Washington’s Pepco, Baltimore Gas and Light, Pacific Power, Rocky Mountain Power and Commonwealth Edison said they plan to give hundreds of thousands of customers a rate cut due to the tax reform.

Again, lowering the cost of doing business lowers the prices that companies have to charge to cover operating expenses and achieve whatever profits they need, which contrary to popular progressive delusion, they can’t just arbitrarily collect.

On the same topic, I asked Lt. Governor Dan McKee’s office whether his call for lower utility rates means he supports the tax reduction.  Here’s the response:

Lt. Governor McKee has publicly voiced his concern with the tax bill. One of his major issues with the bill is that it gave the overwhelming amount of tax relief to a very small and select percentage of the population and particularly large corporations. Lt. Governor McKee will use the new law in any way possible to help Rhode Islanders. In that vein, he will continue to pursue the rollback of previously approved and pending National Grid rate increases and encourage others to do the same.

Political rhetoric notwithstanding, one suspects that the former mayor of Cumberland understands that tax cuts in a system in which a relatively small percentage of the population pays the majority of taxes will lead to disproportionate reductions for those who pay the most.  One also hopes that the lieutenant governor is cognizant of the fact that his latest initiative plans to take advantage of the relief given to a “large corporation.”

We can only shake our heads, though, that a politician who actually seeks to draw advantage from the effects of legislation from the opposite party seems so moderate.

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Challenging The Progressive-Left

At the Center, we know that the high levels of taxation and over-regulation forced upon the people by an ever-growing state government is the main culprit in causing Rhode Island’s weak and stagnant performance. Look at it this way, heavy handed action by a state government that primarily seeks to perpetuate itself, actually works against the best-interests of the very people it is supposed to be serving.

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Clinton’s Record and Our Division Over Reality

Just a reminder from Deroy Murdock on National Review Online:

Former secretary of state Clinton is a free woman largely thanks to the tender loving care that the FBI provided her and her conspirators during its probe of her illegal, unsecure email server and related abuse of government secrets. GOP lawmakers concluded this after grilling FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe on December 21, behind closed doors, according to John Solomon’s molar-grinding exposé in Tuesday’s The Hill.

Murdock lays out the case, and one could certainly argue the propriety of prosecuting political opponents, balanced against the wisdom of allowing campaigning to become a means of immunity, but the Left and the mainstream media don’t want to acknowledge that this is what we’d be doing.  Instead, they perpetuate this sharp division in the public’s awareness, wherein their audience believes that President Trump has been proven incompetent and is skating the razor’s edge of indictment while all allegations against their allies have been proven false and most of the rest of us who follow the news conclude that the president has been all but exonerated (despite a corrupt investigation) and the Obama administration (under which umbrella Clinton crouches) is still avoiding consequences for its bad actions.

I’ve no doubt that an honest exploration of misbehavior across the board would breed division over who should be prosecuted for what, but that would have to be better than our current condition of division over reality.

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A “Sweetheart” Deal on a Compromised Military

If the facts that Ted Nesi reports on WPRI are the entirety of the story, we’re at a bizarre and dangerous crossroads in our country:

A U.S. Army general’s nomination to receive a third star has been pulled after he reportedly referred to one of Congressman Jim Langevin’s staff members as “sweetheart.”

Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper, reported that Maj. Gen. Ryan Gonsalves’ promotion was withdrawn after an inspector general’s report determined he had likely used the term in reference to the unidentified female Langevin employee during an October 2016 meeting.

As is always necessary, let’s assess the situation objectively:  We have, here, the potential promotion of an executive tasked with preparing and guiding the country’s forces in the matter of war, with some indication that he might have been headed for command of all U.S. Army forces in Europe.

War, as a reminder, is an armed conflict in which two sides in an otherwise irresolvable dispute kill each other’s people until one side concludes that the dispute is not worth the losses that it will suffer (or that it cannot win at all).  It is manifestly in a nation’s interest to have the most competent leadership possible when it comes to the military, as proven by their record of military service and acumen in the conduct of military affairs.

The question of whether General Gonsalves is such a leader (on which I have no evidence beyond the absence of other reported complaints against him in these articles) is not well determined through a he-said-she-said verbal controversy resulting from a single meeting with a testy political staffer, especially considering that we have not been provided any context at all indicating her behavior during the meeting.

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AP Spins Christmas and Violence for Partisan Point

Let’s just say that I’m no prude when it comes to observing media bias, but this AP article by 

It was a subdued Christmas Eve in the historic birthplace of Jesus on Sunday, with spirits dampened by recent violence sparked by President Donald Trump’s recognition of nearby Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Crowds were thinner than previous years, with visitors deterred by clashes that have broken out in recent weeks between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces. Although there was no violence Sunday, Palestinian officials scaled back the celebrations in protest. Cool weather, and a rainy forecast, also weighed on the holiday cheer.

Reading the article, you’d almost think that the Palestinians are a majority Christian people.  You’d also think that they had no human agency and couldn’t help but react to the actions of an American president.

Pay particular attention to this quotation from the mayor of Bethlehem:

“We decided to limit the Christmas celebrations to the religious rituals as an expression of rejection and anger and sympathy with the victims who fell in the recent protests,” he said.

Objectively stated, the story is this:  The government of a majority-Muslim city in which the mayor and deputy mayor are required to be Christian (one Roman Catholic and one Eastern Orthodox) restricted Christmas celebrations as a headline-capturing protest.  Reading further, one sees that their anger is mainly over their desire to claim Jerusalem uniquely as the capital of a Palestinian nation that could have been created years ago but for the intransigent of Palestinian leaders.  (The article, by the way, doesn’t mention that moving the embassy to Jerusalem has been a bipartisan promise that has somehow never been fulfilled, until now.)

In short, the AP journalists are merely passing along propaganda as news.  Shame on the Providence Journal for playing along.

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The Political Fault Line Opens

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