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Texas’ Excuses for Cronyism Are Just as Lame As Everyone Else’s

Westlake Legal Group texas-excuses-for-cronyism-are-just-as-lame-as-everyone-elses Texas’ Excuses for Cronyism Are Just as Lame As Everyone Else’s Texas Legislature Texas Technology republicans Politics Policy News law Inconsistency Government Front Page Stories Front Page Energy electricty Economy Deregulation Cronyism crony cronies Conservatives competition Capitalism California Business & Economy austin

We’ve been on the government cronyism beat for…a while.

Because cronyism – is inherent in government.  Government officials spend money – and they will oft look to do so to benefit the people who get them elected.

It is why we less government types – want less government.  Less government spending – less opportunities for cronyism.

The solution isn’t to curtail our First Amendment rights to speak and lobby.  The solution is to restore government to Constitutional tininess.

Meanwhile, the attempts to justify cronyism – the excuses for cronyism – are as numerous as the stars in the sky.  And they all have (at least) one thing in common – they are ALL exceedingly lame.

Take Amazon’s exceedingly crony deal to locate its second headquarters in New York.  The deal one-term (and one-term only – watch) Democrat Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) helped to kill.

Most of us less government types – got that entirely wrong.  AOC was right – though she had almost zero idea why.

These cronyisms paying for themselves – is like the search for the Loch Ness Monster.  They never work out – but we never stop looking.

These corporations – are pirates.  They will put into any port at all – whichever offers them the most cronyism.

They will then continue to demand additional capitulations – and will stay as long as they continue to get them.  When the host finally tires of being bled and says “Enough” – the pirates leave…and start looking for their next victims.

If you have to buy someone – you have to ensure they stay bought.  Which means they aren’t bought – they’re rented.

Amazon is loyal – only to itself.  If you want a friend in politics – get a dog.

Westlake Legal Group cronyism-kills Texas’ Excuses for Cronyism Are Just as Lame As Everyone Else’s Texas Legislature Texas Technology republicans Politics Policy News law Inconsistency Government Front Page Stories Front Page Energy electricty Economy Deregulation Cronyism crony cronies Conservatives competition Capitalism California Business & Economy austin

Most unfortunately, Texas is rapidly descending into cronyism-infested governmental-ism.

Like California Before, Texas Is Bleeding to Democrat Blue:

“George Mason’s Mercatus Center releases a yearly ranking of freest states.

“In 2009 – Texas was fourth.

“In 2017 – Texas was twenty-third.”

Cronyism: Why Are Republicans in Texas Sponsoring a Bill to Block Competition?:

“Specifically by state Senator Kelly Hancock (SB 1938) and state Representative Dade Phelan (HB 3995).  Hancock is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce – and Phelan Chairman of the House Committee on State Affairs.  So you’d hope they’d know better.

“The legislation has to do with electricity – and (specifically) electricity transmission….

“‘An electric utility may not directly or indirectly provide service to the public under a franchise or permit unless the utility first obtains from the commission a certificate (called a CCN) that states that the public convenience and necessity requires or will require the installation, operation, or extension of the service.

“Legalese-to-English translation: Any company that wants to provide (electricity transmission) service – must first play Mother May I with the government.

“And this is not just a routine permit process request.  The company must meet some amorphously awful definition of ‘public convenience and necessity.’

“Which means the government has any one of a million obtuse outs – to deny permission to any  company it wishes.

“To my highly cynical eye and mind – this looks very much like an incumbent protection bill.  Designed to allow government to block any and all newcomers – to shield the existing providers from the additional competition.”

A precursor to this bill?  A non-crony actually won a transmission contract – by offering a lower price for better and upgraded service.  Cronyism can’t stand for that.

To detail this – we now must regrettably enter Acronym Land.  A government place where its myriad agencies all have long names – shortened to just their first letters.

Here’s our map legend:

FERC: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PUC: Public Utility Commission of Texas

ERCOT: Electric Reliability Council of Texas

MISO: “MISO is a not-for-profit member-based organization that ensures reliable, least-cost delivery of electricity across all or parts of 15 U.S. states and one Canadian province.”  Including in Texas.

And of course, the residents of Acronym Land use language that is oft unnecessarily dense and bizarre – almost always to obfuscate and distort.  We will do our best to un-cloud the waters.

Ok, here goes….

The electricity transmission line the non-crony won the bid to run – is outside of ERCOT (the Texas-only grid manager).  It is instead in MISO’s area – so FERC has jurisdiction over rates.  As they must – since it is a multi-state transmission grid.

Thus FERCs bidding process – does in fact rule the day.

The winning non-crony bidder was less expensive – and they promised to deliver new, upgraded technology in an expeditious manner.

An incumbent crony monopoly – is Entergy.  They lost the bid war – and went whining…not to FERC, the host of the bid process.  Entergy instead went to the Texas PUC – where they hold much more crony sway.

Entergy asked Texas PUC to overturn or change the results of the competitive bid process – that Texas PUC didn’t even run.

The argument Entergy (and all other incumbent transmission monopolies in the state) are making – is that they have no confidence FERC will actually hold the winning bidder accountable for the lower rates, new technology and expedited timeline contained in the winning bid.

Ok – conceivably understandable.

To address this issue, a part of the crony Hancock-Phelan bills – to which no one at all objects – would allow the Texas PUC to hold the bidder accountable to their bid.

This is double-down protection – as FERC would almost certainly enforce the terms of the contract they themselves elicited in their bid process.

Of course you can have that portion of the bill – as a standalone bill.  Without all the crony protection nonsense the Hancock-Phelan bills contain.

Ok – now we must very briefly get into some serious government weeds.  And additional attending ridiculous language.  Again, our apologies.

Texas PUC will have to issue the non-crony bid winner an aforementioned, statewide Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) to build the line.

The other argument Entergy and the Cronies are making: Because a non-incumbent won the bidding – FERC will have to meddle in state energy transmission.

Except…that’s not true.  Nothing actually changes.

Oh – and did you get that antithetical mess made by the cronies’ two arguments?

Argument 1: “We’re very concerned the federal government will not involve itself.”

Argument 2: “We’re very concerned the federal government will involve itself.”

This is just the sort of incoherence you get – when cronies try to ensure their cronyism.

Because cronyism – never, ever makes any actual sense at all.

The post Texas’ Excuses for Cronyism Are Just as Lame As Everyone Else’s appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group cronyism-kills-copy-300x209 Texas’ Excuses for Cronyism Are Just as Lame As Everyone Else’s Texas Legislature Texas Technology republicans Politics Policy News law Inconsistency Government Front Page Stories Front Page Energy electricty Economy Deregulation Cronyism crony cronies Conservatives competition Capitalism California Business & Economy austin   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Potemkin legislation

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-04-17-at-07.25.35 Potemkin legislation Work Women and equality Women wages Treasury ToryDiary Stella Creasy MP sport Sam Coates (The Times) Sajid Javid MP rent Public Sector Northern Ireland NHS Local government and local elections Local Elections (general) Liz Truss MP Julian Assange jobs James Brokenshire MP immigration housing Home and family Highlights healthcare Health football Family and relationships exports employment Elizabeth Truss MP Economy DUP divorce disability Diane Abbott MP David Gauke MP David Blanchflower Conservatives Abortion

The ten most recent subjects covered by the Conservative Party’s Twitter feed are as follows: record employment, the provision of free sanitary products in primary schools, Conservative councils recycling more than Labour ones, more statistics about work and wages, record women’s employment, workers’ rights, an exports increase, more disabled people in employment, an end to no fault evictions, Conservative councils fixing more potholes than Labour ones, banning upskirting, funding more toilets at motorway service areas to help people living with complex disabilities, Sajid Javid criticising Diane Abbott over Julian Assange, kicking out racism in football, and a new law to protect service animals.

One might pick out three main themes, local election campaigning aside.

The first is the vibrancy of Britain’s jobs market and the country’s robust recent record on employment.  The aftermath of the Crash and the Coalition’s slowing of public spending growth, a.k.aa “austerity”, didn’t bring the five million unemployed that David Blanchflower believed possible.  The Government has to keep shouting about our employment rates because people have got used to them.  A generation is growing up that cannot remember the mass unemployment of the 1980s.

Then there are a battery of announcements aimed disproportionately at younger women voters, who were more likely to switch to Labour at the last election.  Those of a certain disposition will argue that some of these are trivial, and that women and men both want government to get on with addressing big issues: Brexit, health, the economy, immigration, education and so on.  But part of the point of banning upskirting, say, or providing more free sanitary products is gaining “permission to be heard”, in order to make some voters, in this case younger female ones, more receptive to what Conservatives are doing more broadly and widely.

Which takes us, third, to law-making – not admitttedly the only means, or even necessarily the main one, by which government can act, but indispensable none the less.  Under which category we find a new law to protect service animals and the proposed end to no fault evictions, about which James Brokenshire wrote on this site recently.  The two may seem to have nothing in common but, on closer inspection, tell part of the same story.

Namely that, as Sam Coates keeps pointing out, the Government can’t get any plan which is remotely contentious through the Commons.  Only the most uncontested ideas, such as providing police and other service dogs with more protections, can make it through the House. And this new service animals measure isn’t even Government leglislation.  It came about through a Private Members Bill tabled by Oliver Heald and then backed by Ministers.

Meanwhile, the proposal to end no fault evictions isn’t contained in a Bill at all.  The headline on gov.uk about the plan refers to an “end to unfair evictions” and “the biggest change to the private rental sector for a generation”.  But the text of the announcement refers to “plans to consult on new legislation” and refers to an earlier consultation, on Overcoming the barriers to longer tenancies in the private rented sector, to which it has now published a response.

As with housing, so with divorce.  On ConservativeHome today, Frank Young makes the point, in his article on the Government’s plans to ensure that no fault divorce can take place more frequently, that “it remains to be seen if the Justice Department’s enthusiasm for new legislation will be matched by government business managers and the ability of the current government to get any legislation through”.  For David Gauke has unfurled not a new Bill, but a White Paper.

Ditto Liz Truss’s announcment on a £95,000 cap on exit payments when public sector workers leave their jobs. “Six-figure taxpayer-funded public sector exit payments to end,” gov.uk’s headline declares.  The sub-heading is more candid than the one beneath the housing headline.  “A consultation has been launched outlining how the government will introduce a £95,000 cap to stop huge exit payments when public sector workers leave their jobs,” it says.  The Treasury confirms that legislation will be required.

Now think on.  As Sam goes on to say, Theresa May’s successor may take against these ideas or indeed all of them.  In which case, they will doubtless be quietly put to sleep.  And that successor may be in place soon.  (Regretfully, we have to add: as soon as possible after European Parliament elections, assuming these happen, please.)

Conservative MPs don’t want a general election.  Nor do we.  But the more one ponders the state of this Parliament, the more one sees why one is the natural solution to this impasse – and would be knocking on the door, were it not for the Fixed Terms Parliament Act.  These recent announcements are Potemkin Legislation.  They cannot be put to the Commons without risk of them being amended out of their original intention.

Nor can the Government legislate easily elsewhere.  Consider any proposals affecting women – to take us back to near where we started.  Up would pop Stella Creasy, looking for a means of changing the abortion laws in Northern Ireland.  Which would further strain the Conservatives’ relationship with the DUP, such as it is.  Prepare, when Brexit isn’t before the Commons, for many more Opposition Days.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Potemkin legislation

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-04-17-at-07.25.35 Potemkin legislation Work Women and equality Women wages Treasury ToryDiary Stella Creasy MP sport Sam Coates (The Times) Sajid Javid MP rent Public Sector Northern Ireland NHS Local government and local elections Local Elections (general) Liz Truss MP Julian Assange jobs James Brokenshire MP immigration housing Home and family Highlights healthcare Health football Family and relationships exports employment Elizabeth Truss MP Economy DUP divorce disability Diane Abbott MP David Gauke MP David Blanchflower Conservatives Abortion

The ten most recent subjects covered by the Conservative Party’s Twitter feed are as follows: record employment, the provision of free sanitary products in primary schools, Conservative councils recycling more than Labour ones, more statistics about work and wages, record women’s employment, workers’ rights, an exports increase, more disabled people in employment, an end to no fault evictions, Conservative councils fixing more potholes than Labour ones, banning upskirting, funding more toilets at motorway service areas to help people living with complex disabilities, Sajid Javid criticising Diane Abbott over Julian Assange, kicking out racism in football, and a new law to protect service animals.

One might pick out three main themes, local election campaigning aside.

The first is the vibrancy of Britain’s jobs market and the country’s robust recent record on employment.  The aftermath of the Crash and the Coalition’s slowing of public spending growth, a.k.aa “austerity”, didn’t bring the five million unemployed that David Blanchflower believed possible.  The Government has to keep shouting about our employment rates because people have got used to them.  A generation is growing up that cannot remember the mass unemployment of the 1980s.

Then there are a battery of announcements aimed disproportionately at younger women voters, who were more likely to switch to Labour at the last election.  Those of a certain disposition will argue that some of these are trivial, and that women and men both want government to get on with addressing big issues: Brexit, health, the economy, immigration, education and so on.  But part of the point of banning upskirting, say, or providing more free sanitary products is gaining “permission to be heard”, in order to make some voters, in this case younger female ones, more receptive to what Conservatives are doing more broadly and widely.

Which takes us, third, to law-making – not admitttedly the only means, or even necessarily the main one, by which government can act, but indispensable none the less.  Under which category we find a new law to protect service animals and the proposed end to no fault evictions, about which James Brokenshire wrote on this site recently.  The two may seem to have nothing in common but, on closer inspection, tell part of the same story.

Namely that, as Sam Coates keeps pointing out, the Government can’t get any plan which is remotely contentious through the Commons.  Only the most uncontested ideas, such as providing police and other service dogs with more protections, can make it through the House. And this new service animals measure isn’t even Government leglislation.  It came about through a Private Members Bill tabled by Oliver Heald and then backed by Ministers.

Meanwhile, the proposal to end no fault evictions isn’t contained in a Bill at all.  The headline on gov.uk about the plan refers to an “end to unfair evictions” and “the biggest change to the private rental sector for a generation”.  But the text of the announcement refers to “plans to consult on new legislation” and refers to an earlier consultation, on Overcoming the barriers to longer tenancies in the private rented sector, to which it has now published a response.

As with housing, so with divorce.  On ConservativeHome today, Frank Young makes the point, in his article on the Government’s plans to ensure that no fault divorce can take place more frequently, that “it remains to be seen if the Justice Department’s enthusiasm for new legislation will be matched by government business managers and the ability of the current government to get any legislation through”.  For David Gauke has unfurled not a new Bill, but a White Paper.

Ditto Liz Truss’s announcment on a £95,000 cap on exit payments when public sector workers leave their jobs. “Six-figure taxpayer-funded public sector exit payments to end,” gov.uk’s headline declares.  The sub-heading is more candid than the one beneath the housing headline.  “A consultation has been launched outlining how the government will introduce a £95,000 cap to stop huge exit payments when public sector workers leave their jobs,” it says.  The Treasury confirms that legislation will be required.

Now think on.  As Sam goes on to say, Theresa May’s successor may take against these ideas or indeed all of them.  In which case, they will doubtless be quietly put to sleep.  And that successor may be in place soon.  (Regretfully, we have to add: as soon as possible after European Parliament elections, assuming these happen, please.)

Conservative MPs don’t want a general election.  Nor do we.  But the more one ponders the state of this Parliament, the more one sees why one is the natural solution to this impasse – and would be knocking on the door, were it not for the Fixed Terms Parliament Act.  These recent announcements are Potemkin Legislation.  They cannot be put to the Commons without risk of them being amended out of their original intention.

Nor can the Government legislate easily elsewhere.  Consider any proposals affecting women – to take us back to near where we started.  Up would pop Stella Creasy, looking for a means of changing the abortion laws in Northern Ireland.  Which would further strain the Conservatives’ relationship with the DUP, such as it is.  Prepare, when Brexit isn’t before the Commons, for many more Opposition Days.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here

Westlake Legal Group us-farmers-are-food-manufacturers-and-we-need-policies-that-keep-them-here US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here WTO World Trade Organization Welfare trade wars Trade War trade tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff sugar subsidies sugar policy modernization act sugar republicans Regulation President Barack Obama Politics Policy Obama News merger law Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat farm policy farm law Farm Bill EPA Environmental Protection Agency elections Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism China Chicago Campaigns Budget Affordable Care Act acquisition “federal spending”

As we have very often pointed out, the US spent the last half century-plus very stupidly outsourcing our prosperity to the rest of the planet.

This has been devastating to the middle class.  A vital, once-thriving driver of our once very successful nation – we have spent decades thinning this essential herd to near extinction.

The chart lines run all-but-parallel: As we decimated our middle class – we decimated our economy.

A fundamental component of this inanity – was outsourcing our manufacturing.  Over decades, this represented hundreds of millions of middle class jobs – packed up and sent away.

The Rust Belt – wasn’t always rusty.  It was once the thumping heart of a robust US economic engine.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal of massive government expansion didn’t end the Great Depression – it exacerbated and elongated it.

It wasn’t paying for parks and artworks that restored prosperity.  It was modernizing and maximizing our manufacturing that did.

Hideki Tojo’s Japan bombing Pearl Harbor – ended the Great Depression.  We ramped up our domestic manufacturing of everything needed for the Second World War – and set ourselves up for the glorious Dwight Eisenhower 1950s.

We couldn’t have won the War – or restored our moribund economy – if we had in the half century prior outsourced our manufacturing to Chairman Mao’s Communist China.

Imagine trying to fight in Europe and the Pacific – while awaiting delivery of our guns, tanks and planes…from the other side of the planet.  Delivered in ships – subject to half-a-world’s worth of open water attacks from our enemies.  The very worst supply lines – in the history of warfare.

Imagine the massive amounts of money it took to win the War – not being spent in America.  We would have spent the War – setting up Communist China to dominate the latter half of the Twentieth Century.  Which would have been additionally fantastic news – what with our looming half-century Cold War with Communist Russia.

God bless President Donald Trump – who has prioritized bringing back American manufacturing.  Thank God – it is working.

Westlake Legal Group Kenney US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here WTO World Trade Organization Welfare trade wars Trade War trade tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff sugar subsidies sugar policy modernization act sugar republicans Regulation President Barack Obama Politics Policy Obama News merger law Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat farm policy farm law Farm Bill EPA Environmental Protection Agency elections Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism China Chicago Campaigns Budget Affordable Care Act acquisition “federal spending”

Of course, before we can manufacture anything – we have to eat.  Food (and water) – trump everything else.

And farmers – are manufacturers of food.  Maintaining and protecting domestic food manufacturing – is more important than…everything else.

The US Department of Agriculture recently released its Census of Agriculture:

“(A) complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Even small plots of land – whether rural or urban – growing fruit, vegetables or some food animals count if $1,000 or more of such products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year.

“The Census of Agriculture, taken only once every five years, looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures….

“The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation.”

How our food manufacturing sector is doing – is something you want to keep a good eye on.

And lately – it’s been more than a little extra tight.

The Midwest Flooding Has Killed Livestock, Ruined Harvests and Has Farmers Worried for Their Future:

“Historic, widespread flooding will continue through May, NOAA says.

“These are especially cruel times for Nebraska and Iowa farmers who had to scrape money to keep going just eight years ago, when floods overtook their lands in 2011.

“‘I would say 50% of the farmers in our area will not recover from this,’ Dustin Sheldon, a farmer in southwestern Iowa’s flood-devastated Fremont County near the swollen Missouri River, said this week.”

These floods are an act of God.  About which we mere humans can do nothing – in advance. But we can do something in response – and we absolutely should.

Because domestic food manufacturing – is a national security imperative.  Our supply lines should be as short as possible.  Our food supply lines – should be the shortest of all.

We can not alter acts of God.  We can alter terrible government policy.

The traditional conservative/less government movement – has spent a ton of time and effort, air and ink trying to end the US government’s relatively infinitesimal farm programs.  Their efforts – are decidedly misguided.  Well…mis-aimed.

As on all things global trade – we import foreign government subsidies that are orders of magnitude larger than ours.  Which is inordinately stupid – because it is devastating to our domestic manufacturers.

Take sugar.  Which ain’t just in your coffee and on your cereal – it’s in just about everything.  Food is a staple – and sugar is a food staple.

In the name of the free market, conservatives have for decades been freaked-the-heck-out about our TINY sugar program.

Public Interest Groups Oppose Sugar Subsidies – Competitive Enterprise Institute

Top Five Reasons to End U.S. Sugar Subsidies – Americans for Tax Reform

Sugar Subsidies Hurt Consumers and Cost the United States Jobs – FreedomWorks

You know what these well-intended groups – never, ever mention?

In Global Trade, We Need Equal Protection from All Governments:

“Brazil’s government gives its sugar industry every year more than $2.5 billion in cash infusions and other favors.  That’s a lot.

“Think that leads to a free global market?  Of course not.

“Brazil’s massive subsidies have warped the world market into a Brazil-dominated unequal nightmare mess:  ‘Brazil currently controls, roughly, 50 percent of global sugar exports. To put that into perspective, Saudi Arabia controls about 19 percent of the crude oil exports….’”

Brazil dominates the global market – because their government cheats.  Billions and billions of dollars per year – in cheating.

Which is decidedly unfair to our domestic manufacturers.  Who I am quite sure would like a fair shot at some of the 50% market share Brazil has unfairly grabbed.

Instead, we have allowed Brazil to continue its massive unfairness.

And even worse and stupider – we have imported Brazil’s massive unfairness.

Which has been dramatically damaging to our domestic manufacturers.  Who have had to compete – even in their own domestic market – against Brazil’s massively subsidized product.

This ain’t a free market.  This ain’t free trade.  It ain’t fair trade.  It is suicide trade.

We have engaged in this stupidity for decades – on just about every farm product produced.  And various governments the world over – subsidize to excess just about every farm product produced.

And then we blankly stare – and wonder why our farmers are struggling.

And then we go back to demanding we end the US’s TINY farm program.

Tell you what: We’ll end ours – when they end theirs.

And in the interest of proportionality and best time allotment – let’s expend our effort on the government programs requiring the most reform.

Which are – by orders of magnitude – theirs.  Not ours.

The post US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Kenney-300x224 US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here WTO World Trade Organization Welfare trade wars Trade War trade tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff sugar subsidies sugar policy modernization act sugar republicans Regulation President Barack Obama Politics Policy Obama News merger law Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat farm policy farm law Farm Bill EPA Environmental Protection Agency elections Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism China Chicago Campaigns Budget Affordable Care Act acquisition “federal spending”   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here

As we have very often pointed out, the US spent the last half century-plus very stupidly outsourcing our prosperity to the rest of the planet.

This has been devastating to the middle class.  A vital, once-thriving driver of our once very successful nation – we have spent decades thinning this essential herd to near extinction.

The chart lines run all-but-parallel: As we decimated our middle class – we decimated our economy.

A fundamental component of this inanity – was outsourcing our manufacturing.  Over decades, this represented hundreds of millions of middle class jobs – packed up and sent away.

The Rust Belt – wasn’t always rusty.  It was once the thumping heart of a robust US economic engine.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal of massive government expansion didn’t end the Great Depression – it exacerbated and elongated it.

It wasn’t paying for parks and artworks that restored prosperity.  It was modernizing and maximizing our manufacturing that did.

Hideki Tojo’s Japan bombing Pearl Harbor – ended the Great Depression.  We ramped up our domestic manufacturing of everything needed for the Second World War – and set ourselves up for the glorious Dwight Eisenhower 1950s.

We couldn’t have won the War – or restored our moribund economy – if we had in the half century prior outsourced our manufacturing to Chairman Mao’s Communist China.

Imagine trying to fight in Europe and the Pacific – while awaiting delivery of our guns, tanks and planes…from the other side of the planet.  Delivered in ships – subject to half-a-world’s worth of open water attacks from our enemies.  The very worst supply lines – in the history of warfare.

Imagine the massive amounts of money it took to win the War – not being spent in America.  We would have spent the War – setting up Communist China to dominate the latter half of the Twentieth Century.  Which would have been additionally fantastic news – what with our looming half-century Cold War with Communist Russia.

God bless President Donald Trump – who has prioritized bringing back American manufacturing.  Thank God – it is working.

Westlake Legal Group Kenney US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here WTO World Trade Organization Welfare trade wars Trade War trade tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff sugar subsidies sugar policy modernization act sugar republicans Regulation President Barack Obama Politics Policy Obama News merger law Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat farm policy farm law Farm Bill EPA Environmental Protection Agency elections Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism China Chicago Campaigns Budget Affordable Care Act acquisition “federal spending”

Of course, before we can manufacture anything – we have to eat.  Food (and water) – trump everything else.

And farmers – are manufacturers of food.  Maintaining and protecting domestic food manufacturing – is more important than…everything else.

The US Department of Agriculture recently released its Census of Agriculture:

“(A) complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Even small plots of land – whether rural or urban – growing fruit, vegetables or some food animals count if $1,000 or more of such products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year.

“The Census of Agriculture, taken only once every five years, looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures….

“The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation.”

How our food manufacturing sector is doing – is something you want to keep a good eye on.

And lately – it’s been more than a little extra tight.

The Midwest Flooding Has Killed Livestock, Ruined Harvests and Has Farmers Worried for Their Future:

“Historic, widespread flooding will continue through May, NOAA says.

“These are especially cruel times for Nebraska and Iowa farmers who had to scrape money to keep going just eight years ago, when floods overtook their lands in 2011.

“‘I would say 50% of the farmers in our area will not recover from this,’ Dustin Sheldon, a farmer in southwestern Iowa’s flood-devastated Fremont County near the swollen Missouri River, said this week.”

These floods are an act of God.  About which we mere humans can do nothing – in advance. But we can do something in response – and we absolutely should.

Because domestic food manufacturing – is a national security imperative.  Our supply lines should be as short as possible.  Our food supply lines – should be the shortest of all.

We can not alter acts of God.  We can alter terrible government policy.

The traditional conservative/less government movement – has spent a ton of time and effort, air and ink trying to end the US government’s relatively infinitesimal farm programs.  Their efforts – are decidedly misguided.  Well…mis-aimed.

As on all things global trade – we import foreign government subsidies that are orders of magnitude larger than ours.  Which is inordinately stupid – because it is devastating to our domestic manufacturers.

Take sugar.  Which ain’t just in your coffee and on your cereal – it’s in just about everything.  Food is a staple – and sugar is a food staple.

In the name of the free market, conservatives have for decades been freaked-the-heck-out about our TINY sugar program.

Public Interest Groups Oppose Sugar Subsidies – Competitive Enterprise Institute

Top Five Reasons to End U.S. Sugar Subsidies – Americans for Tax Reform

Sugar Subsidies Hurt Consumers and Cost the United States Jobs – FreedomWorks

You know what these well-intended groups – never, ever mention?

In Global Trade, We Need Equal Protection from All Governments:

“Brazil’s government gives its sugar industry every year more than $2.5 billion in cash infusions and other favors.  That’s a lot.

“Think that leads to a free global market?  Of course not.

“Brazil’s massive subsidies have warped the world market into a Brazil-dominated unequal nightmare mess:  ‘Brazil currently controls, roughly, 50 percent of global sugar exports. To put that into perspective, Saudi Arabia controls about 19 percent of the crude oil exports….’”

Brazil dominates the global market – because their government cheats.  Billions and billions of dollars per year – in cheating.

Which is decidedly unfair to our domestic manufacturers.  Who I am quite sure would like a fair shot at some of the 50% market share Brazil has unfairly grabbed.

Instead, we have allowed Brazil to continue its massive unfairness.

And even worse and stupider – we have imported Brazil’s massive unfairness.

Which has been dramatically damaging to our domestic manufacturers.  Who have had to compete – even in their own domestic market – against Brazil’s massively subsidized product.

This ain’t a free market.  This ain’t free trade.  It ain’t fair trade.  It is suicide trade.

We have engaged in this stupidity for decades – on just about every farm product produced.  And various governments the world over – subsidize to excess just about every farm product produced.

And then we blankly stare – and wonder why our farmers are struggling.

And then we go back to demanding we end the US’s TINY farm program.

Tell you what: We’ll end ours – when they end theirs.

And in the interest of proportionality and best time allotment – let’s expend our effort on the government programs requiring the most reform.

Which are – by orders of magnitude – theirs.  Not ours.

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Onward, Hancock – and the delusion of leadership candidates retreating to their comfort zone

James Frayne is Director of Public First and author of Meet the People, a guide to moving public opinion.

Reading Matt Hancock’s piece in the Sunday Times a couple of weekends ago previewing Onward’s interesting new publication, Generation Why, and watching a clip of his speech at the publication’s launch, reminded me why I gave up talking to people in politics about football nearly 20 years ago.

A weird link? Let me explain. There comes a time when, despite theoretically sharing an interest in the same subject, you have so little actual shared experience of that subject that it becomes impossible to have any sort of meaningful conversation about it. You might as well be talking to each other in a foreign language.

As a youth of 16 or 17, playing at the bottom of the non-league pyramid, my favourite place to play was Heanor Town. For those that don’t know the East Midlands, Heanor is a small town in the North of Derbyshire. The football pitch was located at the top of the slope of the cricket pitch. While badly sloped, the pitch was impeccably cut whatever the weather (usually cold or freezing), the floodlights worked, and the dressing rooms had the intense smell of deep heat. Most importantly, the locals absolutely loved football and sport in general. Heanor was a football town.

When you talked to the locals about football, they didn’t just talk about Man Utd or Derby or Forest; of course, they did talk about them, but they’d be as happy talking about the last game against Kimberley Town, or Jeff Astle’s last song on Fantasy Football, or how Notts County fans moaned all the time. In short, when talking about football there was a shared understanding that you were talking about the game as a whole. It was expected that everyone knew practically everything there was to know about the game since they were a child – about players, fans, grounds, songs, old kits and all the rest.

When I arrived in London politics, full as it was with privately educated, mostly Southern staff that hadn’t played much, that shared understanding was totally absent. While many professed a love of the game, their entire way of speaking about it was alien. They’d talk almost entirely about the top of the game over the last few years since they became interested or – increasingly and weirdly – about football statistics. Nobody knew what the Anglo-Italian Cup was, let alone the FA Vase. And because nobody had really played at school, nobody knew what it was like to get hit on the thigh with a Mitre Multiplex in January. The Fast Show’s “I love football” sketch was no longer an amusing parody, but reality. Talking about football was a bizarre and depressing experience. So I stopped.

Which takes me back to Hancock’s article and speech. In giving advice to the Conservatives in appealing to the young, he wrote: “First, we need to get our tone right. Sometimes Conservatives can sound, as Ruth Davidson succinctly put it, a bit ‘dour’. Of course, it’s our job to be the pragmatists, but nobody wants to hang out with the person always pointing out the problems, rather than the one hopeful about the solutions…” At the event, he said:  “As well as delivering better economic prospects for people, we’ve got to sound like we actually like this country. We’ve got to patriots for the Britain of now, not the Britain of 1940. And enough about being just comfortable with modern Britain, we need to champions of modern Britain.”

Just as I found it increasingly difficult to relate to most of the privately-educated, metropolitan Conservatives talking about football, hearing this, I found myself similarly thinking that I have literally nothing in common with the same sorts of people’s views on politics. It’s as if we’ve grown up in entirely different worlds. Honestly, how can anyone think that the British people are collectively optimistic, happy-go-lucky, and modernity-obsessed? How can anyone seriously think that this is the best way to engage with people? How can they imagine themselves walking into the average pub, shopping centre or call centre canteen and connecting with ordinary people with such a case? 

Ordinary people don’t want to hear about 1940 or about life before large-scale immigration; most are happy with the people they live amongst. But they also emphatically don’t want to hear politicians droning on about how great the future is going to be and how technology and 3D printing is going to change everything for the better. It’s just not how they think about the world and not how they talk about it.

Look at what most working class and lower middle class people really think about things – those that make up the bulk of electorate. They think: that the economy is, at best fine, but that they see little of the benefits of growth; that long-term careers are a relic of the past; that good pensions have gone and that a long retirement is just a dream; that home ownership is increasingly unattainable; that the cost of living is too high; that their town centres are boring; that the NHS is over-burdened and under-funded and might fail them when the time comes; that crime is rising and police numbers are falling; that their savings will get raided to pay for social care; that childcare is ruinously expensive; and they think that politicians are out of touch thieves. While this is more prevalent amongst the old in provincial England, it’s actually common everywhere.

Why get so worked up over one little speech and an article? Because it’s clear that the Conservative Party is preparing to return to its recent comfort zone – using claims of a broad appeal to the young, which would be reasonable, to justify an appeal to the tiny number of successful, highly affluent, urban voters who are basically like those at the top of the Party. It’s dressed up as daring and confrontational, but is in fact just about following a path of least-resistance in the Party, while making those that make the case feel good about themselves. If Hancock is so sure this plays well, Heanor are home to Gedling Miners Welfare on Saturday. I’m sure they’d love to hear from him.

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Happy Tax Day. Don’t Forget: Democrats Are Currently Trying to Tax the Internet

Westlake Legal Group happy-tax-day-dont-forget-democrats-are-currently-trying-to-tax-the-internet Happy Tax Day. Don’t Forget: Democrats Are Currently Trying to Tax the Internet World Wide Web wireless Welfare Veterans Administration twitter trade Title II Reclassification Title II Time Warner tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff stop online piracy act STELA spectrum incentive auction spectrum auctions Spectrum SOPA social security Social Media slowdown Shutdown Science Sales tax Russia collusion Robert McChesney Retransmission Consent Retransmission republicans Regulation reed hastings reclassification public broadband protect ip act Privacy PRISM President Barack Obama Portland Politics Policy PIPA patriot Obamacare Obama NSA News network neutrality Netflix Net Neutrality National Security Agency municipal broadband muni broadband merger Medicare Media Marxists MARK LLOYD Local Choice law july 12 day of action John Brennan james comey James Clapper IRS internet sales taxes Internet Sales Tax internet reclassification Internet Internal Revenue Service infrastructure spending Infrastructure Hillary Clinton HHS Health and Human Services government broadband Government Google Fiber Google FTC Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat Federal Trade Commission Federal Communications Commission FEC FCC Diversity Czar fcc chairman tom wheeler FCC fast and furious farm policy farm law Farm Bill facebook evan greer EPA Environmental Protection Agency Endorsements elections Edward Snowden Ed Markey Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats default debt ceiling crossfire hurricane Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism critical infrastructure crime CRA Congressional Review Act comcast Chicago Campaigns Business & Economy Budget broadband April 15 AOC antitrust antifa amazon Alexandria Ocasio-Cotez Affordable Care Act acquisition #OccupyPortland “federal spending”

Happy Tax Day, All.

Of course, this is America.  EVERY day is Tax Day.

Please – raise your hand if you think we aren’t paying enough taxes on enough things.

I don’t see a whole lot of hands.

In addition to income taxes, We the People pay taxes (or fees, which are taxes) on-and/or-for most or all of the following:

Property, sales, marriage licenses, schools, vehicles, recreational vehicles, drivers’ licenses, vehicle license plates, fishing licenses, hunting licenses, business licenses, personal license fees, waste management, water, cigarettes, courts, dogs, cats, gifts, Social Security, Medicare, self-employment, unemployment, gifts, estates, gasoline, biodiesel, gun ownership, highway tolls, hotels, imports, individual health insurance, insect control, government inspections, library cards, liquor, luxuries, parking, passports, flights, sports stadiums, general service charges, government park entry, tanning, tires….

Sadly, this is by no means a comprehensive list.

Westlake Legal Group imageedit_1147_2023867595-620x603 Happy Tax Day. Don’t Forget: Democrats Are Currently Trying to Tax the Internet World Wide Web wireless Welfare Veterans Administration twitter trade Title II Reclassification Title II Time Warner tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff stop online piracy act STELA spectrum incentive auction spectrum auctions Spectrum SOPA social security Social Media slowdown Shutdown Science Sales tax Russia collusion Robert McChesney Retransmission Consent Retransmission republicans Regulation reed hastings reclassification public broadband protect ip act Privacy PRISM President Barack Obama Portland Politics Policy PIPA patriot Obamacare Obama NSA News network neutrality Netflix Net Neutrality National Security Agency municipal broadband muni broadband merger Medicare Media Marxists MARK LLOYD Local Choice law july 12 day of action John Brennan james comey James Clapper IRS internet sales taxes Internet Sales Tax internet reclassification Internet Internal Revenue Service infrastructure spending Infrastructure Hillary Clinton HHS Health and Human Services government broadband Government Google Fiber Google FTC Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat Federal Trade Commission Federal Communications Commission FEC FCC Diversity Czar fcc chairman tom wheeler FCC fast and furious farm policy farm law Farm Bill facebook evan greer EPA Environmental Protection Agency Endorsements elections Edward Snowden Ed Markey Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats default debt ceiling crossfire hurricane Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism critical infrastructure crime CRA Congressional Review Act comcast Chicago Campaigns Business & Economy Budget broadband April 15 AOC antitrust antifa amazon Alexandria Ocasio-Cotez Affordable Care Act acquisition #OccupyPortland “federal spending”

We are constantly reminding tax-freak Leftists – they are free to send governments at all levels as much additional money as they wish.

Nigh none ever do.

Because Leftists are titanic hypocrites.

And of course, Leftists don’t like to leave things to voluntary chance.  They much prefer mandates.

Leftists like government pointing guns at you – and demanding you do exactly what they say.

Which is what we are currently witnessing in Washington with regard to the Internet.

Since the federal government rightly privatized the Web in the mid-1990s, the frigging thing has exploded outward and upward.

The Internet has become a free speech-free market Xanadu.  Going from “What’s that?” – to 1/6th of our $18-trillion-per-annum economy.

A fundamental element of the Web’s privatization – was the uber-light regulatory imposition chosen at that time.  The government…basically left the Internet alone.

When government leaves something alone – greatness ensues with monotonous regularity.

The Internet is a quarter-century’s worth of quintessential private sector success.  What happens when (relatively) free people are left to freely associate as they wish – commercially and otherwise.

The Left’s response to this?  Let’s undo ALL of this massive success – and jam a giant bunch of government down our Web-surfing throats.

Bicameral Democratic Leaders Unveil Save The Internet Act

The Donkeys’ bill would stuff the expansive, ever-expanding Web – into 1934 landline telephone law.

Which would absolutely mean the Web – would stop expanding and being expansive.  And implode – all the way down to landline telephone size.  Which as we know – is comparatively infinitesimal.

The less-discussed portion of the Democrats’ inane awfulness – is taxes.

There aren’t taxes directly upon your Internet access – shocker, I know.  Because Republicans permanently banned them.

So Democrats are looking to tax the Internet – by pretending it’s a phone.

If the Democrats impose telephone law on the Internet – they can then impose telephone taxes on the Internet.  And we pay a whole lot of telephone taxes.

There are various excise taxes.

There’s the 911 tax.  Except:

911 Taxes Don’t Fund 911 Service

Because of course.

And then there’s…the Mother of All Taxes: The Universal Service Fund (USF).

The USF varies by yearly quarter – but it is always a HUGE percentage.

Quarter Two of 2019 – it is 18.8%  Down from 20% in Quarter One.

Since 2015, the average USF tax rate is 18.3%.

Now, imagine your monthly Internet bill – with an extra near-20% on top.  Going right to the government.

You should – because Democrats are.

Please – raise your hand if you think this new massive tax on your Internet service is a good idea.

Because we aren’t paying enough taxes on enough things.

I don’t see a whole lot of hands.

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Westlake Legal Group imageedit_1147_2023867595-300x292 Happy Tax Day. Don’t Forget: Democrats Are Currently Trying to Tax the Internet World Wide Web wireless Welfare Veterans Administration twitter trade Title II Reclassification Title II Time Warner tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff stop online piracy act STELA spectrum incentive auction spectrum auctions Spectrum SOPA social security Social Media slowdown Shutdown Science Sales tax Russia collusion Robert McChesney Retransmission Consent Retransmission republicans Regulation reed hastings reclassification public broadband protect ip act Privacy PRISM President Barack Obama Portland Politics Policy PIPA patriot Obamacare Obama NSA News network neutrality Netflix Net Neutrality National Security Agency municipal broadband muni broadband merger Medicare Media Marxists MARK LLOYD Local Choice law july 12 day of action John Brennan james comey James Clapper IRS internet sales taxes Internet Sales Tax internet reclassification Internet Internal Revenue Service infrastructure spending Infrastructure Hillary Clinton HHS Health and Human Services government broadband Government Google Fiber Google FTC Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat Federal Trade Commission Federal Communications Commission FEC FCC Diversity Czar fcc chairman tom wheeler FCC fast and furious farm policy farm law Farm Bill facebook evan greer EPA Environmental Protection Agency Endorsements elections Edward Snowden Ed Markey Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats default debt ceiling crossfire hurricane Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism critical infrastructure crime CRA Congressional Review Act comcast Chicago Campaigns Business & Economy Budget broadband April 15 AOC antitrust antifa amazon Alexandria Ocasio-Cotez Affordable Care Act acquisition #OccupyPortland “federal spending”   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ouch: Walmart One-Ups #FightFor15, Plans to Add ‘Thousands’ of New Robots to Their Stores

Westlake Legal Group seattle-minimum-wage-620x319 Ouch: Walmart One-Ups #FightFor15, Plans to Add ‘Thousands’ of New Robots to Their Stores Walmart Politics North Carolina New York jobs Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Economy democrats Culture Capitalism Arkansas Allow Media Exception #FightFor15

The “Fight for $15” campaign may have had its share of victories in a handful of blue states like New York, but studies have shown that over time these “wins” are largely symbolic and ultimately end up hurting workers.

They hurt them in an number of ways, and one of them is in how companies – in response to these campaigns – start exploring different ways to save money to offset rising labor costs. Fast food chains and grocery stores have done this with self-serve kiosks and other self-checkout options.

One way Walmart is doing it by expanding their robot workforce:

The world’s largest retailer announced Tuesday that it is adding thousands of new robots to its stores. By next February, it expects to have autonomous floor scrubbers in 1,860 of its more than 4,700 US stores. Walmart will also have robots that scan shelf inventory at 350 stores. And there will be bots at 1,700 stores that automatically scan boxes as they come off delivery trucks and sort them by department onto conveyer belts.

Walmart says these “smart assistants” will reduce the amount of time workers spend on “repeatable, predictable and manual” tasks in stores and allow them to switch to selling merchandise to shoppers and other customer service roles.

[…]

Walmart has been testing out this technology in hundreds of stores over the past year.

Reducing the time their employees spend on “repeatable” tasks is not the only (and likely not the primary) reason they’re bringing on the bots:

Walmart is adding robots to help it manage rising costs, including for store labor. Unemployment is at its lowest level in decades, and Walmart and other retailers have increased wages and benefits to attract and keep workers.

Last year, the retailer raised its minimum wage to $11/hour in response to demands from the activist left to go higher, and they’ve been under increasing pressure from leftist groups like “Fight for $15” to raise it even more. 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has practically made forcing Walmart to raise their minimum wage to $15 his mission in life.

What will bringing in robotic labor mean for their human workers in the long run? If you guessed reduced hours and layoffs, you’d be right:

Walmart has said that it will reduce the hours it assigns workers to unloading boxes and mopping the floors. That will lead to some employee attrition over time, Walmart said.

“As we evolve, there are certain activities, certain jobs that’ll go away,” Walmart US CFO Michael Dastugue said at an analyst conference last month.

It’s almost as if this were predictable or something.

—————————————
Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–

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America First: Get US Business Executives Out of Ridiculous Foreign Charges

Kuwait is allegedly a United States ally.  Like far too many alleged US allies – Kuwait sometimes has a really obnoxious way of showing it.

For the Millennials and younger in our audience – We the People saved Kuwait’s posterior in 1990.  Neighboring Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had invaded and conquered Kuwait.  We arrived – and shoved Hussein out and back to Iraq.

Since, we’ve had a fairly strong relationship with Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah – the Emir of Kuwait.

So what Kuwait has been doing to a company with American ties and its executives – is more than a mite obnoxious.

The company in question – is KGL Investment (KGLI).

America First – Must Include Demanding Foreign Govs Unfreeze Americans’ Coin:

“KGL (has) made much of its money in Kuwait – and now wants to return much of it to the US.

“Enter Middle East cronyism.

“The Kuwaiti and Dubai governments – have frozen KGLs coin for no reason whatsoever.  Well, no legitimate reason.

“Behold Agility Logistics.  A Kuwaiti company – with close ties to the Kuwaiti government.  Agility’s CEO, Essa Anwar Al-Saleh – is a former Chairman of Kuwait’s Gulf Bank.  So he exercised significant power over Kuwaiti commerce and finance.

“And it appears Al-Saleh still does.  Agility is a KGL competitor – with the home court advantage.  The Kuwaiti government appears to be freezing KGLs coin – to benefit Agility.”

Not satisfied with crucifying just the company – Kuwait is going after its executives.

Westlake Legal Group 1-America-First America First: Get US Business Executives Out of Ridiculous Foreign Charges trade Taxes tax cuts republicans repatriation Politics Policy Patriotism News National Security military Middle East law Kuwait International Affairs Hillary Clinton Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy Energy Economy Dubai donald trump Department of Defense Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism crony corruption Clinton Foundation Campaigns Business & Economy Amerca First

When Leaders Land In Jail: Prominent Gulf Businesswoman Gets Ten Years, Vows To Appeal:

“Marsha Lazareva, (chief executive and vice-chairman of the private equity group KGL Investment), has vowed to appeal her conviction for misusing public funds in Kuwait after being sentenced to ten years hard labor.”

“Ten years hard labor” – ain’t Club Fed.

Lazareva is a Russian national – but she has a five-year-old America-born child.  And the charges against her – appear to be as bogus as those against her company.

Kuwait Government Faces International Tribunal over Jailing of Russian Businesswoman:

“Lazareva(’s)…lawyers, Washington D.C.-based Crowell & Moring LLP, say the charges brought against her were ‘demonstrably false’ and the case amounted to a ‘show trial.’…

“Her lawyers say she was denied access to one of the hearings and on other occasions the defence team was not permitted to introduce its own witnesses and was refused access to critical documents….

“‘Ms. Lazareva is the subject and victim of a politically-motivated vendetta initiated by powerful persons and entities, as well as competitors and rivals in Kuwait, against KGLI, KGL, and TPF,’ the (lawyers’) notice says.”

In other words, it would seem Ms. Lazareva is a victim of the same crony garbage her company is.

Kuwait is attempting to smear as many KGLI people as possible – in an attempt to make their crony garbage case against KGLI look less like crony garbage.

This heinousness began in 2018.  More than a year later – Kuwait ain’t behaving any better.  Despite the fact the contingent demanding Lazareva’s release – keeps getting bigger.

Kuwait Refuses Release of Female CEO Held Over a Year on False Charges:

“The Port Fund confirmed today that a Kuwait court has refused to release Marsha Lazareva, a prominent member of the international business community, who has been subject to unlawful detention and other human rights violations for the past 15 months.

“Following a coordinated multinational effort by high profile officials, former officials and private citizens from the U.S., Russia and the UK to demonstrate Lazareva’s innocence, this refusal serves as a significant insult to all three countries.

“Among those advocating for Lazareva’s release are Neil Bush, the son of the late President George H.W. Bush, Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI, Jim Nicholson, former United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, former U.S. Representative Ed Royce, Sergey Lavrov, foreign minister of Russia, British Barrister Lord Carlile and members of UK Parliament….

“‘The continued unjust incarceration of Ms. Lazareva threatens to darken relations between the U.S. and Kuwait, two countries that have enjoyed a long and prosperous relationship,’ said Bush. ‘We are confident that Kuwait will review the evidence that has not previously been considered, and immediately release Ms. Lazareva – a critical step toward maintaining America’s faith in the Kuwaiti justice system.’”

America’s shaken faith in Kuwait – ain’t just in the justice system.  As Lazareva’s lawyers pointed out:

“In July they issued a notice of arbitration to the Kuwaiti government, based on a November 1994 agreement between the Russian and Kuwaiti governments to encourage and protect investments in each other’s country.”

What companies – from the US or anywhere else on Planet Earth – are now looking to put their coin to work in Kuwait?  When this is the way Kuwait treats these companies, their executives and their coin?

Lazareva has garnered a great deal of current global government officials’ support.  Lazareva has garnered a great deal of former US government official support.

Lazareva deserves to get some current US government official support.

Like from, say, President Donald Trump.  And members of his administration.

This is a clear case of foreign abuse of a US company and its executives.  It is wrong – and the Trump Administration must correctly end this nonsense.

And not just to rectify this nonsense.

The Trump Administration must rectify this – to remind everyone what America First means…in totality.  That it includes the protection of American interests – anywhere in the world:

“The Roman Empire’s citizenry enjoyed for many, many years the global protection of Civis Romanus.  Aptly described – as so many things were – by TVs ‘West Wing’:

“‘Did you know that a thousand years ago a Roman citizen could walk across the face of the known world free of the fear of molestation?  He could walk across the Earth unharmed.  Cloaked only in the words “Civis Romanus” – “I am a Roman citizen.”

“‘So great was the retribution of Rome – universally understood as certain – should any harm befall even one of its citizens.’

“Civis Romanus – was a key component of Pax Romana (‘Roman Peace’):

“‘The Pax Romana…was a long period of relative peace and stability experienced by the Roman Empire….

“‘Roman trade in the Mediterranean increased during the Pax Romana. Romans sailed East to acquire silks, gems, onyx and spices. Romans benefited from large profits and incomes in the Roman empire were raised due to trade in the Mediterranean.

“‘As the Pax Romana of the western world by Rome was largely contemporaneous to the Pax Sinica of the eastern world by Han China, long-distance travel and trade in Eurasian history was significantly stimulated during these eras.’

“Pax Romana – inspired similar provisions from other nations.  Further expanding the free trade zones – for everyone.”

America First – is Pax Romana.

Well…it should be.

The Trump Administration should make sure that it is.

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Handing the Future to Communist China – One Awful Policy at a Time

Westlake Legal Group handing-the-future-to-communist-china-one-awful-policy-at-a-time Handing the Future to Communist China – One Awful Policy at a Time zte USPTO United States Patent and Trademark Office trade wars Trade War trade tivo South Korea Samsung republicans Qualcomm private property rights private property Politics Policy Patents Patent Troll patent and trade office patent act Patent Objectivism News National Security Michelle Lee law International Trade Commission Intellectual Property Intel innovation act Huawei Government Google FTC Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade fountainhead Federal Trade Commission fair trade Economy democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism crony cronies corruption China cfius Business & Economy broadcom bribery ayn rand atlas shrugged apple antitrust

The United States has spent the last half century-plus engaging in a titanic amount of very stupid policies.

Plan-by-plan, decision-by-decision – we have been outsourcing our prosperity to the rest of the planet.

Trade policy, tax policy, regulatory policy,… – we have spent decades going out of our way to be as dumb as possible in as many ways as possible.  Making the US a less attractive place to do business than…anywhere else on the planet.

Now-President Donald Trump has been correct about this – for decades.

Trump On Trade Wars With China, U.S. Allies: ‘We’ve Been the Stupid Country for So Many Years’

Trump: Tax Cuts Will Restore U.S. Competitive Edge

President Donald Trump Says He Can Cut Regulations by 75 Percent

If we continue to beat you about the head and shoulders with a bat – we should at least have the decency to not act surprised when you get up and leave.

And we want to help not just American employers – but American employees.  There being exponentially more of the latter, after all.

Keeping American employers here – helps American employees.  So does limiting the American employee competition…to American employees.

Now-President Donald Trump has been correct about this too.

Trump: America’s Political Class Push For Open Borders While Living Their Lives Behind Walls And Gates

Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers

How Trump’s Border Policies Are Boosting Wage Growth

Meanwhile, the planet is sailing fully into the Information Economy.  Where – even more than ever – ideas are driving things economics.  The intangible – continues to more fully eclipse the tangible.  The Mind – continues to more fully eclipse the Body.

If the US is to rely on the Intellect – and in the Information Economy, it must – it must guarantee protection of the Intellectual Property IP) our Intellects generate.

Unfortunately, the US spent the entirety of the Barack Obama Administration strip mining US IP protections.

Of all the very many Obama messes Trump inherited – this is almost inarguably the most important one to get clean.

The Obama Administration did everything it unilaterally could to undermine IP protections.  Including joining the very stupid global notion that punishing patent holders as monopolies was a good idea.

Let’s be clear here: Patents ARE monopolies.  Per the Constitution:

“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;”

Emphasis ours.  If only you can use something – i.e. you have “exclusive Right” to it – you are a monopoly.  Punishing patent holders for being a monopoly – is like punishing Shaquille O’Neal for being tall.

But the Obama Administration – did it anyway.

(Obama Federal Trade Commission) FTC Accuses Qualcomm of Smartphone Chip Monopoly – January 17, 2017

The Obama Administration – was gleefully following the lead of…Communist China.

China Fines Qualcomm Record $975M in Anti-Monopoly Case – February 10, 2015

And South Korea.

South Korea Slaps Qualcomm with Record-Setting $850M Fine – December 28, 2016

And much of the rest of the planet – gleefully followed the Obama Administration.

Taiwan Fines Qualcomm for $774 Million in Relation to Monopoly Abuse – October 12, 2017

Qualcomm Has to Pay €1 Billion Fine to the EU for Monopoly Payments – January 24, 2018

Westlake Legal Group China-IP-620x451-620x451 Handing the Future to Communist China – One Awful Policy at a Time zte USPTO United States Patent and Trademark Office trade wars Trade War trade tivo South Korea Samsung republicans Qualcomm private property rights private property Politics Policy Patents Patent Troll patent and trade office patent act Patent Objectivism News National Security Michelle Lee law International Trade Commission Intellectual Property Intel innovation act Huawei Government Google FTC Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade fountainhead Federal Trade Commission fair trade Economy democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism crony cronies corruption China cfius Business & Economy broadcom bribery ayn rand atlas shrugged apple antitrust

And speaking of all of this…no nation has been more enthusiastically insourcing our outsourced prosperity – than Communist China.

No nation has been more enthusiastically using the newfound, ever-expanding wealth the US keeps handing them…to hamstring and undermine the US – than Communist China.

To wit: No nation has taken greater advantage of our very stupid IP policy – than Communist China.

How Much Has the US Lost from China’s IP Theft?:

“The United States Trade Representative, which led the seven-month investigation into China’s intellectual property theft and made recommendations to the Trump administration, found that ‘Chinese theft of American IP currently costs between $225 billion and $600 billion annually.’

“Those numbers are in line with a 2017 report from the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property.”

“Between $225 billion and $600 billion annually.”  For DECADES.  TENS OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS.  About which the US did…NOTHING.

Now-President Donald Trump has been correct about this too.

Trump’s Next Trade Target: China’s IP Theft

And Trump’s calling China on its IP theft – is working.

China Admits for the First Time that US Officials ‘Have a Point’ on IP Theft and Hacking

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration’s very stupid IP policies – were very stupidly outsourcing IP creation.

Intellectual Property Crisis: U.S. Drops Out of the Top Ten in Innovation Ranking

And guess who’s looking to insource our very stupid IP outsourcing?

Communist China’s Latest Intellectual Property Con: Stealing IP Creation

“(China) is setting themselves up to be the recipient of the massive investment coin that will leave the US – as our IP protection continues to deteriorate.

“What China is establishing – is the latest version of their China First protectionism.

“China has spent the last several decades doing this to other US economic sectors – most notably manufacturing. The IP pattern and plot-line…is disarmingly similar.”

We wrote this last piece – on April 24, 2018.

And now….

Is China Catching Up to the United States in Innovation?

Not just catching up….

China Poised to Lead the World in 5G

5G – that’s the Fifth Generation wireless network.  5G is a quantum leap forward – exponentially bigger than the previous 4Gs combined.

And not at all incidentally – guess which American company was nigh solely delivering the US to 5G leadership?

That would be the same company that delivered the US to leadership on each previous Generation.

Qualcomm.

The company upon whom the Obama Administration very stupidly declared war.

As the visual aide of the administration’s very stupid war on IP.

Here’s hoping it isn’t too late.

And Trump can clean up this Obama mess in time.

Some good news: It appears the Trump clean-up is beginning to work….

U.S. Tied with China in Global 5G Race, New Report Finds

Now let’s call off the Obama dogs hounding Qualcomm – and get back to leading all by our onesies.

The post Handing the Future to Communist China – One Awful Policy at a Time appeared first on RedState.

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