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Westlake Legal Group > Infrastructure

Marianne Williamson Is Right About Grosse Pointe, For The Wrong Reasons.

Westlake Legal Group marianne-williamson1-j-300x153 Marianne Williamson Is Right About Grosse Pointe, For The Wrong Reasons. water crisis washington D.C. Social Media republicans racism Race progressives Politics Patriotism Morning Briefing Infrastructure Government Front Page Stories Front Page Flint Featured Story Featured Post elections democrats Conservatives Capitalism Bipartisanship Allow Media Exception 2019

Author Marianne Williamson speaks during the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Last night at round 1 of the Democrats debate in my hometown of DEEETROIT at the wonderful Fox Theatre on Woodward Ave, we had the opportunity to watch 10 people who are most likely not going to be the Democrats nominee for President in 2020.

That doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth watching.

One of the breakout comments of the night was from self-help author and feelings over facts guru, Marianne Williamson, when she compared the ultra-wealthy Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe located just a couple of miles from the Motor City to the decimated area of Flint 70 miles away.

Here is what the enlightened author said in regards to the Flint water crisis …

WXYZ Channel 7 Detroit

“I lived in Grosse Pointe. What happened in Flint would not have happened in Grosse Pointe.”

She then went on to talk about dark psychic forces and some other things that we can discuss in a later post.

She is 100% spot on though that this would never happen in G.P. and it is not because of race. Simply, it is because of competency.

Grosse Pointe and the surrounding cities are represented in District 2 by State Representative Joe Tate who just happens to be a Democrat. Also in the State Senate, this city is represented by State Senator Adam Hollier also, believe it or not, a Democrat. The citizens and the elected representatives would have never allowed the incompetence that occurred in Flint to materialize.

Back in April of 2014 when Flint changed its water delivery system from the Detroit water system to the Flint river it was overseen by…Democrats.

This does not mean that Republicans would have done better necessarily. The Governor at the time was a Republican by the name of Rick Snyder and his Department of Environmental Quality dropped the ball severely when the initial warning signs of issues popped up in Flint. As President Barrack Obama’s E.P.A. did also.

However, the debacle in Flint immediately became an issue of finger-pointing while people suffered and being used as pawns. That would not have happened in Grosse Pointe. Partly because of the value of the property but also there would have been demands for people to have been fired locally. The political class knows this and would have reacted before they had received 4 phone calls on this.

In Flint, there is still to this day almost zero accountability for the very people who put this plan into motion. If you don’t believe me take a look at the actual CITY COUNCIL MEETING from March 25th, 2013 and then google what penalties these people faced.

I’ll wait right here.

So while Williamson was right “technically” about her statement, she had it wrong and for all the wrong reasons. This had nothing to do with racism and more to do with the competence of officials that people just give a pass too when they constantly deliver poor results.

The decent citizens need to start kicking people in the arse in their city just like people in other cities across Michigan would do. I know the results they would see would amaze them.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post Marianne Williamson Is Right About Grosse Pointe, For The Wrong Reasons. appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group marianne-williamson1-j-300x153 Marianne Williamson Is Right About Grosse Pointe, For The Wrong Reasons. water crisis washington D.C. Social Media republicans racism Race progressives Politics Patriotism Morning Briefing Infrastructure Government Front Page Stories Front Page Flint Featured Story Featured Post elections democrats Conservatives Capitalism Bipartisanship Allow Media Exception 2019   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Andrew Bridgen: HS2 must be cancelled before it does taxpayers – and the Government – any more harm

Andrew Bridgen is Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire.

It has never been clearer than now that HS2 is a complete mess. There has already been a 13-month delay in phase one getting signed off for ‘Notice to Proceed’ because the project has been unable to demonstrate management capability, affordability of contracts and the robustness of the business case. Add to that the fact that both the former and current chairmen have admitted that it can’t be delivered on time on budget and to scope, and becomes clear that HS2 should be immediately cancelled before any more money is wasted on it.

With cancellation a very real possibility, we have seen supporters of the project scramble in desperation to prop it up. We’ve seen baseless rhetoric with buzz words like ‘essential’, ‘transformative’ and ‘game-changer’ thrown around without any foundation. We’ve seen made up jobs figures that suggest a slightly improved transport system could almost eradicate unemployment. We’ve seen suggestions that a project which is being lobbied for by airports will somehow reduce aviation. And to play to the anxieties of commuters stuck in crush hour, we’ve ridiculous, unfounded, undeliverable and uncosted promises that ‘freed up capacity’ will be a panacea for the rail network, forgetting to mention the intention to cut inter-city services to stations not on the HS2 route to a value of £11 billion.

In the recent heatwave, we even saw HS2 Ltd go so far as to claim they could change the laws of physics themselves, as their services will be impervious to the extremes of weather. The most ridiculous claim of all is the one that cancelling HS2 would be somehow be national embarrassment. To anyone outside the Westminster bubble, and the satellite bubbles HS2 would connect it to, the project has long been a national embarrassment, a fast train for fat cats that has somehow survived a decade of austerity. Following the news of even more cost escalations, gagging of whistle-blowers and assertions that the true costs of the project have been kept secret and Parliament misled for years, it is now a national scandal.

Back in May, a damning House of Lords inquiry found that HS2 was unlikely to be built within the current £55.7 billion budget, and that “the costs do not appear to be under control”. Last week we found out just how far out of control those costs are, when it was revealed that Allan Cook, the new HS2 Ltd chairman, has written to the Department for Transport to say the project will more likely cost between £70 and £85 billion.

This came of no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention as HS2 has lurched from one disaster to another over the last decade. With six straight ‘amber-red’ ratings from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, HS2 has consistently been the worst run project on the Government books. The problem has been that there have been so few of us paying attention, and when the project has been subject to scrutiny, such as the report leaked last year which said HS2 would already be considered as failed by any internationally recognised measure, it has been suppressed and dismissed.

Whilst it has been clear to the public for years that HS2 isn’t needed, is a waste of money and has been a complete mess from the get-go, up until now in Government circles HS2 has been immune to any form of criticism. This has been essential from the start, because as the project was given the original go-ahead without any assessment as to what the transport network actually needed, after it had been lobbied for by those who want to make money out of building it and the associated land-grab around the stations, it lacked substance and had to be promoted with hype and bombast. As Sir Rod Eddington warned in his 2006 transport study, the pursuit of icons is not a healthy or sensible way of deciding transport priorities.

With HS2 Ltd being such a chaotic organisation, paying highly inflated wages but still unable to stem a massive staff turnover, it has always been odd that so few whistle-blowers have come forward. The one notable exception so far has been Doug Thornton, who claims he was sacked from HS2 Ltd for refusing to tell the board the multi-billion pound lie that all was well with the land property acquisition estimates. The worry has always been that we only know about Thornton because he said ‘no’. Speculation is rife about the possibility of other whistleblowers.

We are getting the impression that this new £70-85 billion estimate for the cost of HS2 is not so new after all, but is actually the ‘real’ figure that came out of the 2015 Spending Review, or at the very least it was known before Phase 1 of HS2 received Royal Assent in 2017. This seems totally believable, as it is simply not credible to imagine that a potential £30 billion over-run has just appeared by magic in the last couple of months and must put the current estimate very near the £100 billion that I was ridiculed for saying HS2 would cost. Looking back, the semantics are notable in that for years the DfT have staunchly defended a ‘budget’ for HS2 of £55.7 billion, not an ‘estimated cost’ of £55.7 billion.

With Lord Berkeley, the former chair of the Rail Freight Group, saying that HS2 Ltd is ‘rampant with fraud’, and several other parliamentary colleagues very angry and determined to get to the bottom of this, it is clear that this scandal will not go away. HS2 will always be tarnished by it. One also has to ask that if we have been misled about the cost of HS2, what else has been said in support of the project that has no basis in reality? I would say almost everything.

With Brexit dominating everything at the moment, it is sometimes hard to see a time when other issues will hog the headlines. But if it allowed to continue, HS2 will still be around generating negative headlines for years to come. At this point in time the Prime Minister has a brief window of opportunity to cancel this gargantuan white elephant, otherwise he runs the risk of HS2 being the scandal that will keep on giving throughout his premiership.

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

Science: Meteorologist Firmly Scolds AOC Once Again For Blaming “Every Weather Event on Climate Change”

Westlake Legal Group AlexandriaOcasioCortez-June2019-620x317 Science: Meteorologist Firmly Scolds AOC Once Again For Blaming “Every Weather Event on Climate Change” Weather washington D.C. Social Media Science Ryan Maue Politics North Carolina New York Infrastructure Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats Culture Congress Climate AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listens during questioning at a House Oversight and Reform committee hearing on facial recognition technology in government, Tuesday, June 4, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A couple of months ago, meteorologist Ryan Maue got wind of an Instagram weather rant done by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and took to the Twitter machine to issue some clarifications on her claims about so-called “casual tornadoes” allegedly being evidence that “the climate crisis is real, y’all.”

“The Congresswoman @AOC does not know the difference between weather and climate,” he tweeted, explaining how to differentiate between the two:

“Weather is what outfit you wear heading out the door. Climate is your closet wardrobe.”

Fast forward to this week, and Maue is back, once again taking issue with the freshman Congresswoman’s alarming social media “reports” about DC weather.

Here’s what AOC wrote:

Maue responded with a series of tweets subtly insinuating that Ocasio-Cortez’s expertise in this area was … lacking:

Not every whether event is related to climate change, Maue noted:

He concluded with a little zinger about how “this science is cutting-edge … but the politics obviously isn’t”:

Maue is one of the few meteorologists I’ve heard of who is not afraid of openly disagreeing with and debating climate alarmists – and not just those in politics, but also others in his field of expertise. You can read some of his past writings on climate change here (scroll towards the bottom of the page).

————-
— Based in North Carolina, 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. –

The post Science: Meteorologist Firmly Scolds AOC Once Again For Blaming “Every Weather Event on Climate Change” appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AlexandriaOcasioCortez-June2019-300x153 Science: Meteorologist Firmly Scolds AOC Once Again For Blaming “Every Weather Event on Climate Change” Weather washington D.C. Social Media Science Ryan Maue Politics North Carolina New York Infrastructure Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats Culture Congress Climate AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

“I Don’t Know Why He Is All Bent Out Of Shape,” Sen. McConnell Says Of John Stewart

Westlake Legal Group AP_17311755872925-300x175 “I Don’t Know Why He Is All Bent Out Of Shape,” Sen. McConnell Says Of John Stewart white house washington D.C. Social Media New York Post Morning Briefing Mitch McConnell Infrastructure Front Page Stories Front Page Fox & Friends Featured Story Featured Post donald trump Conservatives Congress Breaking Allow Media Exception 9-11 Compensation Fund 2019

Sen. Mitch McConnell today on Fox & Friends with hosts Steve Doocey, Ainsley Earhardt and Dan Bongino responded to Jon Stewart’s criticism yesterday on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace of McConnell not showing compassion to these people and the fund.

Here is what Stewart said on Sunday via the New York Post

“Have you had problems with Sen. McConnell?” host Chris Wallace asked.

“Yes,” Stewart replied. “I mean, not me personally, but in terms of getting the 9/11 bills passed, Mitch McConnell has been the white whale of this since 2010.”

“This has never been dealt with compassionately by Sen. McConnell,” Stewart said Sunday.

“He has always held out until the last minute, and only then after intense lobbying and public shaming has he even deigned to move on it.”

These comments are coming right after Stewart’s blistering speech to the House of Representatives committee last week that seemed to move the ball quicker than usual and got the House to move to pass the bill out of committee the same week.

Sen. McConnell had this to say about the remarks Stewart made the previous day.

All of his comments on this begin around 6:50 seco9nds in on the Fox & Friends Video Right Here and here is the direct quote…

I don’t know why he is all bent out of shape but we will take care of the 9-11 victims compensation fund.

Now to be fair to the Senator you have to listen to the whole conversation to make sure you get the whole context. However, this is a bit of a boo boo saying Stewart is all out of shape even if you REALLY think he is.

Congress always tends to slow roll everything important to make it seem that they are actually doing things we might want them to do. Stewarts point on this is dead on though. Why in the hell does it take right up until the last Minute to pass something like this? I understand there are issues of fraud but you people could not have dealt with this earlier this year or last?

We expected these men and women and their colleagues that died, to rush into burning buildings and save lives at the risk of their own. How about just passing this bill, this one bill long before it is due to be renewed and help those that helped all of us.

Sen. McConnell I’m sure meant no disrespect to all those men and women who feel Jon Stewart is representing them. Yet you know how the left will take any lil thing to smash anyone close to Trump into the ground.

Possibly the Senator could invite Stewart up to the Hill on the Senate side and mend some bridges. That would be a good faith effort to show they are just as committed to funding this and taking care of those that took care of us.

Those heroes deserve at least that much and a lot more.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post “I Don’t Know Why He Is All Bent Out Of Shape,” Sen. McConnell Says Of John Stewart appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AP_17311755872925-300x175 “I Don’t Know Why He Is All Bent Out Of Shape,” Sen. McConnell Says Of John Stewart white house washington D.C. Social Media New York Post Morning Briefing Mitch McConnell Infrastructure Front Page Stories Front Page Fox & Friends Featured Story Featured Post donald trump Conservatives Congress Breaking Allow Media Exception 9-11 Compensation Fund 2019   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Maher attacks Melania Trump, frets over political correctness

Westlake Legal Group BillMaher Maher attacks Melania Trump, frets over political correctness The Blog real time with bill maher President Trump Melania Trump Infrastructure Bill Maher

With a nod to Father’s Day weekend, Bill Maher took an opportunity to take a shot at First Lady Melania Trump while he was criticizing President Trump’s political agenda. He’s quite the misogynist, that Bill Maher.

Maher is upset that President Trump is not moving ahead with a plan for infrastructure projects and mentioned it during Friday night’s show. The Real Time with Bill Maher host teed up his criticism with a personal attack on the president’s looks as he said, “Republicans really see Trump as a father figure. A strong-but-quiet, strict-but-fair man…who gets up in the morning, puts on two pounds of concealer, inflates his hair, and spends the day tweeting like a mean girl. Atticus Finch? Meet Fatticus Bitch.” There is nothing particularly original in this snarky comment, though, as Maher frequently points out that the Bad Orange Man is overweight and combs his hair in an unusual way.

Then, though, Maher took a shot at Melania Trump as he continued on. “What kind of dad doesn’t take care of simple repairs? You know you’re the president who’s let the place go when your wife has had more work done than roads and bridges.” That’s a random, cheap shot.

Maher blames the Republican president for the fact that the Democrat Party, known as the Mommy Party, is now the Single Mother Party. It’s nonsensical, of course, yet this is Bill Maher. The Republican Party, traditionally known as the Daddy Party, elected Donald Trump, with the help of moderate Democrats and Independents and the economy has not been better for women or any group of people in America. I don’t know how a man leaving his family is the fault of an American president, except that this is Trump’s America now and this is the kind of stuff his critics say with straight faces.

One thing Maher said that rings true is that political correctness is killing the Democrat Party. He went after them on the subject of returning donations from unsavory characters. Republicans do it, too, but the GOP is outraising the Democrats so he’s upset.

On Democrats returning donations from compromised figures: “The Republicans take everybody’s money. Steve Wynn was found out, he got ‘Me Too’-ed? ‘Hey, we’re keeping the money.’ Harvey Weinstein, [the Dems] eve the money back. Why? His money didn’t rape anybody.”

On Democrats losing the fundraising fight: “The DNC took in $19 million so far this year. The RNC? $61 [million]. Trump has raised $30 million in the first quarter way before than any of the Democrats. This is another way they’re going to shoot themselves in the foot.”

Maher attacked the students and facility at Oberlin College who tried to destroy a local bakery when the owner took action against shoplifters. The college was ordered to pay $44 million to resolve a libel lawsuit brought by the bakery’s owner.

“Social justice warriors … are finally finding that maybe there’s a price to pay [for political correctness],” Maher said during the show’s panel segment. The liberal comedian has long argued that political correctness does more harm than good to the cause of liberalism.

It is consistent that Maher is concerned about the effects of political correctness. His first television show was titled Politically Incorrect and his schtick was centered around attacking both sides of the aisle. That show ran from 1993 to 2002. In his current show, Maher mostly sticks to attacking Republicans, and especially President Trump.

I’ll end with two tweets that I think perfectly exhibit the end of traditional politics in today’s political environment. They are from the “Overtime” part of Maher’s show. The first is a tweet from Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat who is actually using rational thought about beginning impeachment hearings. He’s against it and in favor of using the 2020 election to sort it all out.

Contrast that with a now mostly irrelevant Never Trumper who used to be important to Republican candidates because he had a radio show in Wisconsin. He now calls for Democrats to act immediately on the impeachment of this Republican president.

The post Maher attacks Melania Trump, frets over political correctness appeared first on Hot Air.

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George Freeman: Our new book. In which forty Tory MPs band together to help revive conservatism

George Freeman is the founder of the 2020 Conservatives Group, the Big Tent Ideas Festival and Chair of the Conservative Policy Forum. He is MP for Mid-Norfolk.

The Conservative Party is in a hole. We need to stop digging. And start thinking seriously about the real causes of the EU referendum result, the grievances it spoke to – and set out a plan to honour that referendum result by leaving the European Union and setting out a bold programme of domestic reforms.

The EU referendum was a massive vote to reject the political status quo and embrace radical, small c conservative reform. The 17.4 million Labour, Conservative and unaligned voters who voted Leave were voting for radical change. The genius of the Leave campaign was its call to “take back control”. It spoke powerfully to huge swathes of the country feeling marginalised by a potent mix of globalisation, post-Crash austerity, an influx of low paid labour from Eastern Europe, the decline of traditional market towns and high streets, fear of economic marginalisation from automation and the gig economy and a deepening despair at a sense of injustice at the gap between the “unaccountable elites” and the ordinary citizen.

Brexit spoke to – and has enshrined – the principle divide in Britain which is no longer between Left or Right, or North and South, but between those with comfortable lives and those on the margin.

This is hardly surprising. After eight years in office overseeing painful local public spending cuts, in the wake of the £700billon bank bailout, MPs expenses scandal and Blair’s dishonest Iraq war dossier which have entrenched a sense of Parliament dangerously detached from the people it serves, the Brexit referendum was a roar for reform. A number of us had been warning David Cameron and George Osborne it was coming.

Handled properly it could – and should – have been a catalyst for that most difficult of political challenges: renewal in office. But Cameron misjudged the mood and treated Leavers with contempt. Theresa May misjudged the mood as a mandate for a toxic combination of hardline anti-business UKIP rhetoric and bureaucratic Brexit bungling.

Now we choose a new leader in the teeth of a deepening public anger and pressure – whipped up by Farage and Banks – the Dick Dastardly and Mutley of British politics – to embrace the “kamikaze” approach of an anti-business No Deal Brexit.

Get this wrong, and we risk the destruction of the Conservative Party for a generation: losing our professional, business, metropolitan and liberal supporters to the Liberal Democrats, our Leave supporters to the Brexit Party and those who just want competence in office to stay at home in despair.

If we are to avoid gifting a broken Brexit Britain to Jeremy Corbyn, John Mcdonnell and Len McClusky, the next Conservative leader has to do three things:

  • Deliver an EU Withdrawal which a majority of moderate mainstream British voters in the centre ground can support
  • Embark on some bold domestic reforms to tackle the legitimate grievances which fuelled the Referendum vote
  • Restore some grip, vision, inspiration and unity to a divided country and Party.

The scale of the revolt against the status quo demands bold reform. Not the technocratic tinkering and endless self-congratulatory initiative-launching of Ministers looking busy on Instragram, but real reform.

This is a 1975, 1945, 1905 moment of profound disruption. The old order will be replaced by a new order. The only question is who will shape it? Can the Conservative Party make this a moment of bold and inspiring renewal in the same way that Mrs Thatcher and Keith Joseph did in 1975, Attlee, Churchill, Beveridge and Butler did in 1945, and Churchill and the Liberals did in 1905 to see of socialism by creating pensions and national insurance?

Too often, we forget that the great institutions we cherish as permanent were once mere ideas – whether the NHS, the BBC, the London Docklands, universal suffrage, the Right to Buy or the privatisation of the old state industries. They were bold ideas which reshaped a whole generation and quickly became permanent fixtures.

When was the last time any modern politician had an idea on the scale of any of these? We now face a genuine battle of ideas with a resurgent hard left and we need urgently to rediscover the power of political imagination.

So what would a bold programme of Conservative reform look like today? In our book Britain Beyond Brexit: a New Conservative Vision for a New Generation, published today by the Centre for Policy Studies, I and forty MPs from all sides of the party – Leave and Remain, North and South, left and right, urban and rural – have set out a collection of pieces to frame that programme.

Our book sets out a range of policy proposals across six defining themes we believe must be at the centre of a coherent and compelling narrative for the New Conservatism: identity, opportunity, enterprise, social justice, security and citizenship.

Of course, many may ask: is the Conservative Party capable of that task, amid the seemingly endless and deepening divisions of the Brexit civil war?

The successes and failures of a post-Brexit new conservatism will be based on understanding the profound societal, economic and technological changes coming at us. Not how we return to the old dividing lines of the 1980s or 1950s, but how we address the profound challenges of our age: issues such as globalisation, digitalisation, genetic engineering, sustainable development, religious extremism and the traumatic rupture of the crash and its legacy on our public finances.

We have got to be brave enough to tackle the big issues of the day. Low and fragile growth. A fragmented health and care system. Structural deficit. Intergenerational unfairness. Deepening anxiety, disillusionment and despair. Rising pressure on weary public servants in creaking public services. Stubborn ghettos of low aspiration and deprivation. Housing unaffordability, homelessness and small town decline. Sluggish infrastructure. Bad planning.

For our elderly – and the families and community of carers who look after them, we need a fair system of funding and providing elderly care. For the young, the urgent priority is addressing housing and the wider issue of economic disenfranchisement. Put simply, we’ve built an economy where the principal mechanism for building economic security – owning a home – is getting beyond the reach of all but the most privileged. Is it any wonder that a whole generation of millennial voters – with little or no chance of acquiring a house or any capital – are seduced by the rhetoric of anti-capitalism?

We face a genuinely historic challenge: are we going to make Brexit a moment of catalytic renewal of conservatism and our nation? Or a moment of annihilation by a new alignment of a new generation of voters?

To avoid a decade of decline in a post-Brexit Britain run by Corbyn, we urgently need a new conservatism for a new generation.

I hope our book will help light the way.

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

Hey Government: Stop Looking for New Ways to Tax Us – Instead Cut Spending

Westlake Legal Group hey-government-stop-looking-for-new-ways-to-tax-us-instead-cut-spending Hey Government: Stop Looking for New Ways to Tax Us – Instead Cut Spending washington D.C. Taxes stimulus republicans President Trump Politics Policy Passenger Facility Charge News law Infrastructure Government Front Page Stories Front Page Economy airports airlines

The federal government – is constantly setting new records for income tax money fleeced from We the People.

Then there are the dozens of other taxes, tariffs, fees and service charges the government imposes upon us.

The total revenue to The Feds in Fiscal Year 2020 – is projected to be $3.643 trillion.  Our nation’s entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the combined total wealth created by every man, woman and child – is $18.6 trillion.

Forget all the state, municipal and local governments – just The Feds take from us about 20% of what we collectively create.  Government theft – is truly sickening.

You get even more nauseous – when you see the mind-numbingly ridiculous ways far too much of our money is wasted by the government.

The federal budget – is $4.5 trillion.  The amount of waste tucked into those fatty, flabby folds – is easily in the hundreds of billions of dollars each and every year.

Westlake Legal Group FP_govtwaste Hey Government: Stop Looking for New Ways to Tax Us – Instead Cut Spending washington D.C. Taxes stimulus republicans President Trump Politics Policy Passenger Facility Charge News law Infrastructure Government Front Page Stories Front Page Economy airports airlines

50 Examples of Government Waste

Top 20 Worst Ways the Government Wasted Your Tax Dollars

20 of the Craziest Things the U.S. Government Is Spending Money On

So whenever anyone in DC declares they want to raise taxes – steam emits from hundreds of millions of ears throughout the nation.

There is an unspoken assumption when DCs denizens decide they want even more of our money.

That assumption is every cent they already take – is being spent wisely and well.

This is government.  We KNOW this isn’t even REMOTELY true.

And when it’s Republicans raising taxes – the anger is intensified further still.

Chris Collins (R): Here’s An Idea. Let’s Double The Gas Tax And Airline Fees

Infuriating:

“Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) is urging Congress to double the 18.4-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax, which has not been raised in more than a quarter century. He also wants to double the existing fee that airline passengers pay per flight.

“‘I not only support increasing the gas tax; I support doubling it. I support doubling the airline passenger fee from $4.50 to $8 or $9. Those are user fees. I won’t even call it a tax,’ Collins (said).”…

You know who will call it a tax?  Every single American not residing in DC proper.  And most of the ones who live there too.

Then there’s Georgia Republican Congressman Buddy Carter.  Who at a May 3rd House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee hearing extruded:

“First of all, I’d like to mention the importance of updating the PFC, which is important for many airports across the country.  In my district alone I have a number of airports that have stressed how critical it is that they are provided additional flexibility under the PFC to make improvements….By addressing the cap on the PFC we can give airports in nearly every congressional district the opportunity to modernize and meet their constituents’ needs.”

DC-to-English translation: The “PFC” – is the Passenger Facility Charge.  The tax imposed upon anyone taking a commercial flight.

DC-to-English translation: “Updating the PFC,” “additional flexibility under the PFC” and “addressing the cap on the PFC” – mean “We want to increase the PFC tax.”

Collins and Brady want these new picks of our pockets – to pay for the proposed $2 trillion infrastructure bill.

The American people will be forgiven for being a little dubious about such a proposition.

In 2009, Congress passed the $787 billion “Stimulus” bill.  Hundreds of billions of which was supposed to go to infrastructure – and millions of “shovel-ready jobs.”

If you’ll recall – not so much.  Even then-President Barack Obama admitted it was a mess:

“Shovel-ready wasn’t as shovel-ready as we expected.”

Of course, Obama never actually built anything.  President Donald Trump is a lifelong actual builder of actual things.  I am certainly confident Trump would get more out an infrastructure bill than did his predecessor.

But doubling the gas tax – is brutal to every single American.  Four million of whom drive for a living.   And everyone else who buys ridiculous extravagances like…food.

Since many of those four million driving gigs – are about getting our food to supermarkets.  And clothes to stores.  And medicines to doctors and druggists.  You know – life’s luxuries.

Doubling the PFC tax – is also brutal.  Especially so for people who do not live in Democrat big cities – and thus have to make multiple connecting flights to get anywhere.

Because PFCs are levied on passengers each time they board an aircraft.  The tax isn’t imposed per trip – it’s imposed per leg of the trip.  So if you have one connecting flight each way – you pay the tax four times round trip.

Oh – and did we mention the PFC tax is already setting records in fleecing us?

In 2018, U.S. airports collected a record $3.5 billion in PFC revenue – a $228 million increase from 2017 and exceeding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s estimate of $3.4 billion. In fact, 42% of airports reported record PFC receipts in 2017.

Oh – and did we mention airports are sitting on a mountain of existing money?

$14.7 billion in unrestricted cash (a 49% increase since 2010).  Enough to finance their infrastructure needs for more than a year – without collecting a penny in taxes…let alone higher taxes.

And as much as that is – that ain’t nothing.

The Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) will have an uncommitted balance of $47.7 billion by the end of the decade – up from the nearly $7 billion available now…at the existing PFC tax rate.

This is like colleges – sitting on trillions of dollars in endowment cash – exorbitantly raising tuitions anyway.

And just like with anything and everything else, increasing taxes on flights – will almost certainly decrease the number of flights people purchase.

A new report from the American Consumer Institute estimates that a PFC hike would cause the number of air passengers in the U.S. to drop by 7.5 million in 2019.

Decreasing the number of flights will of course decrease US GDP – and the number of air industry gigs.

When both direct and indirect impacts are considered, a study by the International Air Transport Association found that a higher PFC would reduce U.S. GDP by $5.1 billion and eliminate 52,000 jobs.

We can be pretty confident these drops will occur – because:

New Poll Shows Voters Overwhelmingly Reject New Tax Hike on Plane Tickets:

“Sixty-five percent of survey participants said they would be less likely to travel by air if the PFC was raised.”

That’s just “raised.”  The poll didn’t mention DOUBLED.

Both of these tax hikes – are an exceedingly terrible idea.

Neither should happen.

If you want to infrastructure – do so with the massive monies you already take from us.

The post Hey Government: Stop Looking for New Ways to Tax Us – Instead Cut Spending appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group FP_govtwaste-300x281 Hey Government: Stop Looking for New Ways to Tax Us – Instead Cut Spending washington D.C. Taxes stimulus republicans President Trump Politics Policy Passenger Facility Charge News law Infrastructure Government Front Page Stories Front Page Economy airports airlines   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Sponsored Post: Rail Delivery Group: Big change is needed on our railways, and we have a plan to deliver it

This is a Sponsored Post by the Rail Delivery Group.

There is no doubt that rail companies have not always got everything right and people feel intense frustration when the service doesn’t deliver for them. Too often in recent years that has been the case, as how the railway is structured has reached the limits of what it can deliver.

Just as 25 years ago when John Major’s Conservative government took a pragmatic approach to rail, ushering in a new era of investment and innovation, the time is right for a once-in-a-generation upgrade to the railway system. The status quo cannot remain if we are to have a rail system that is fit for the future.

Compared to 25 years ago, millions more passengers now travel by rail every day and there are thousands more trains on the tracks. The increased popularity of rail is good news, especially as it helps reduce road congestion and pollution, but it means that the UK’s rail network faces pressures that were never envisaged when today’s structure was designed.

Too often the debate about the future structure of Britain’s railways gets lost in wider political arguments and ideology. Finding the solutions that deliver the railway Britain needs over the next two decades requires a deeper and dispassionate look at what the country, communities and passengers require.

It is about recognising that the railway is the economic artery for many of our towns and cities and that it provides a vital service, relied upon by people and businesses nationwide.

In short, the railway is too important for anything else.

That is why rail companies are putting forward to the Williams Review, set up by the Government to consider the future structure of the railways, a radical set of proposals – a real alternative to the current system of franchising.

These proposals are based on months of conversations with passengers, businesses and communities up and down the country. They draw on the collective wisdom of men and women with decades of experience running the railway and utilise analysis of railways around the world.

The result is a long-term plan which we believe will deliver real, lasting change – the greater accountability and better value for money people expect and deserve. A new approach designed around the needs of passengers and communities and the businesses who depend on rail freight to trade. A new partnership railway.

On long distance routes where there is enough demand to underpin genuine competition, multiple operators would compete for passengers’ business. Whether it is quicker, more comfortable journeys or faster Wi-Fi, demand would shape the market – with passengers able to vote with their wallets by changing to a different operator, giving people genuine choice and helping to drive up performance. A new partnership between train operators and their customers.

In some of our major towns and cities, where commuters depend on the railway every day, there would be democratically accountable, Transport for London-style single-branded services, with an integrated transport body given greater control. This proposal has already won the backing of a number of local and metro leaders. It would represent a new partnership between the railway and the local communities it serves.

On other routes, tough targets combined with clear incentives would be introduced for companies to deliver the outcomes their customers want, replacing today’s tightly specified contracts. This would give operators the freedom to innovate to improve, while only rewarding them for good performance. A new partnership between the public and private sectors in rail.

Overseeing this new system would be a new national body, independent of government, that would act as the glue binding the whole thing together. It would hold the industry’s feet to the fire; ensure the people running the tracks and the trains are all pulling in the same direction for the customers they serve.

And crucially, a full reformed fares system with decades-old regulation updated would make ticket buying easier for all and enable a best fare guarantee. The regular commuter simply tapping in and out with the confidence of a price cap. The business person buying an intercity ticket on their smartphone on route to the station. The occasional traveller who today is bamboozled by the range of fares on offer presented instead with straightforward choices.

This plan is designed to deliver what the country expects – a world class railway that is based on what will work for passengers and the country, not ideology.

It responds to the reality that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

It strikes the right balance of public sector specification where the power of the market isn’t strong enough, and real competition and innovation where people really can exercise a choice.

It is a plan for every part of Britain. A new partnership railway.

So, while we await the outcome of the Williams Review, we will be taking this plan around the country to understand how the various elements can work in different areas to deliver the change we all want to see.

The industry has listened. We understand the need for change. Now we have the chance to get on with it and deliver a railway fit for the future.

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

‘In Bad Faith’: Big Tech’s Growing Conservative Censorship

Westlake Legal Group in-bad-faith-big-techs-growing-conservative-censorship ‘In Bad Faith’: Big Tech’s Growing Conservative Censorship 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 Slow Lanes 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 gamers 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 Lanes 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”

The latest Big Tech censorship news broke last week:

Facebook Bans Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Other Far-Right Figures

Let us for the moment leave aside this massive media inanity:

“Farrakhan also among those removed from social-media sites.”

If Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is “far-right” – I’m all the way back around to Karl Marx.

That being said, the latest move by Big Tech to de-platform people they don’t like – cleaved the center-right in two…Donald Trump-style.

The Trump-Never Trump Venn Diagram – is a nigh perfect overlay with the division over Big Tech censorship.

The Never Trump (NT) contingent mostly refused to defend the de-platformed – mostly on three fronts.

One: The de-platformed aren’t themselves defensible.  Because by their NT definition – they aren’t actually conservatives.  And/or they simply do not like them.

Which is willful blindness to the inexorable next waves of Big Tech purges – which will undoubtedly swallow very many who meet their definitions.

Next the NTers – start REALLY sounding Leftist.

Two: The de-platformed’s speech – may actually incite violence.  That crazy people will read what they say – and commit violence as a result.

This is at once incredibly anti-First Amendment, Leftist and intellectually diminutive (please pardon the redundancy).

Crazy people – are crazy.  They can be driven to mad acts – by their refrigerator manual.  Or by a Rogaine commercial.  Or by a flower opening in their yard.  Serial killer David Berkowitz said he took his murderous orders – from a dog named Harvey owned by his neighbor Sam.

Westlake Legal Group censored-620x331 ‘In Bad Faith’: Big Tech’s Growing Conservative Censorship 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 Slow Lanes 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 gamers 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 Lanes 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”

You simply can not sanitize the planet for crazy people.

And there is simply no way the threshold for violence-inciting speech – is this ridiculously low:

Conservative actor James Woods has been locked out of his Twitter account for now more than a week.  For curse-word-free quoting the TV show “The Wire.”

If it was on pay TV fifteen years ago – and available via streaming services ever since – there is no way Woods Tweeting it is even remotely problematic.

We’ll get into more, even more ridiculous examples in just a bit.

Three: The NTers say “These Big Tech monsters are private companies – and they can have or not have whomever they wish on their platforms.”

Under normal circumstances, this is exactly the First Amendment “freedom to assemble” argument I have made my entire life.

In our private and business lives, we are free to assemble – or not assemble – any way we wish.  Completely free from government interference or imposition.

I made this exact argument when the Colorado baker wouldn’t bake a homosexual wedding cake.  His lawyers made the “freedom of religion” argument – which worked, he won – but that was to me the weaker tack to take.

“It’s my private business…and I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” – seems undeniably strong to me.

But when faced by monstrous Big Tech’s de-platforming – this argument simply does not apply.  For several reasons.

For starters – Big Tech isn’t making this argument:

“Facebook Inc. said it’s banning a number of controversial far-right figures…for violating the social-media company’s policies on hate speech and promoting violence.”

This is omni-directional absurd.

“Promoting violence” – ???

Gay gadfly Milo Yiannopoulos was among the recently Facebook banned.  He was also banned by Twitter in 2016.

Milo has to my knowledge – and I LOOKED prior to writing this – never said a single thing that could be even remotely construed to incite violence.

But what about Leftist radical group Antifa?

Antifa got a Milo appearance at Berkley University cancelled – by violently tearing up the campus the month prior to Milo’s arrival.

Here’s a bunch of videos of Antifa’s violent Berkley destruction.  Here’s more videos of Antifa violence – in Portland, Oregon, Huntington Beach, California, Laguna Beach, California, at Kent State University and elsewhere.  Here are two compilations of Antifa attacking people all over the place.

But Facebook – hasn’t banned Antifa.

So Milo tries to peacefully engage in free speech at Berkley.  Antifa responds with violence.

And Berkley, Twitter and Facebook – ban Milo, and keep Antifa.

That’s…a little backwards.

And “hate speech” – is speech.  You can’t ban the adjective – without banning the underlying noun.

And “hate” – is in the eye of the beholder.  And the beholder – has biases.  Because the beholder – is human(s).

Let’s do some basic math, shall we?

There are about seven-and-a-half billion people on Planet Earth.  Let’s conservatively say three billion of them have access to the Internet – which means access to Big Tech’s platforms.

There is literally no way a website with as many posting members as a Facebook or YouTube – can possibly read each and every post for possible deleting purposes.  There are simply WAY too many.

So the platforms will have to come up with some sort of criteria to preemptively prevent the kinds of posts they wish to prevent.

Well, Big Tech – is exceedingly hard Left.  So their criteria – will be exceedingly hard Left.

Google, Facebook, Reddit Are Run by a Bunch of ‘Left-Wing Guys’

Facebook, Google, YouTube All Discriminate Against Conservatives

Silicon Valley’s Anti-Conservatism Is Getting Really Ridiculous

The Tech World Is Still Screwing Conservatives

Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News

Google is Rigging Searches for Hillary Clinton

Google is STILL Rigging Searches for Hillary Clinton

Google Execs’ Trump Meltdown Reminds: There’s No Such Thing As ‘Unbiased’

96 Percent of Google Search Results for ‘Trump’ News Are from Liberal Media Outlets

The Purge: YouTube Mass-Censors Conservatives, New Right, Classical Liberals

Undercover Video: Twitter Engineers To ‘Ban a Way of Talking’ Through ‘Shadow Banning,’ Algorithms to Censor Opposing Political Opinions

Liberal Journos Prove Twitter is Censoring Conservatives

Twitter’s Anti-Conservative Political Bias

Twitter CEO Dorsey: Comment Backing ‘Free Speech’ Was ‘a Joke’

We could list examples…until the crack of Doom.

All of which brings us to: The 1996 Communications Decency Act – and its Section 230.

Which gives Big Tech companies running allegedly open platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – immunity from the lawsuit likes of slander, libel and Intellectual Property (IP) infringement.

Because it is users – not the companies – posting on their platforms.

So if a user slanders someone on Facebook – Facebook must remove the post when made aware, but can not be sued for it.

If a user uploads an entire movie to YouTube – Google must remove it when made aware, but can not be sued for it.

Makes perfect sense.

Except: The Big Tech companies were given this massive immunity – in exchange for each being an open platform.

Where everyone can post – and the companies do not edit.

If the companies start editing content and users, they cease to be immunized “platforms” – and start to be sue-able “publishers.”

To wit: The New York Times is a publisher.  With First Amendment rights – including the freedom to assemble any way they wish.  But they can be sued for slander, libel and IP infringement.

Big Tech – can’t have it both ways.  Availing themselves of “platform” immunities – while editing conservatives out of existence like “publishers.”

Big Tech’s Lying Legal Two-Step – To Defend Their Censorship Of Conservatives

Here’s the portion of Section 230 – on which Big Tech seems to be hanging its anti-conservative hats:

“Civil liability:

“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—

“(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or

“(B) any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph.”

(Emphasis ours.)

If Big Tech’s censorship is done “in good faith” – they do not lose their lawsuit immunity.

No one with an IQ above nine on a warm day – can possibly think Big Tech is censoring “in good faith.”

I’m no lawyer (thank God) – but there are several ways to address the monster, censoring monoliths these Big Tech companies have become.

Certainly antitrust is one.  (We have, in fact, made this argument also – for several years.)

Ok – Milo is kicked off of Twitter and Facebook.  What competitors to these two behemoths can he join instead?  You can’t think of a single reasonable one for either – and neither can I.

Really long second shot: We may even be able to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act:

“(C)ommonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO,…focuses specifically on racketeering and allows the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes they ordered others to do or assisted them in doing, closing a perceived loophole that allowed a person who instructed someone else to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because they did not actually commit the crime personally.”

But where we should certainly start – is Big Tech’s wanton and blatant violations of Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

I’ve been told by a Never Trump attorney that it is impossible to prove “bad faith” in court.

I’d argue I just did here in print.

But if it’s true this part of the law is unenforceable – then the law is an ass.

We should throw it out – and pass something enforceable in its place.

We must do something about what’s happening.

Because what’s happening – ain’t great for the future of our nation.

The post ‘In Bad Faith’: Big Tech’s Growing Conservative Censorship appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group censored-620x331-copy-300x160 ‘In Bad Faith’: Big Tech’s Growing Conservative Censorship 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 Slow Lanes 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 gamers 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 Lanes 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