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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "food stamps"

Are You Eligible for Food Stamps Now? Maybe, but It’s Complex

Westlake Legal Group 17money-facebookJumbo Are You Eligible for Food Stamps Now? Maybe, but It’s Complex Personal Finances food stamps Food Insecurity Food Banks and Pantries Food Feeding America Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Agriculture Department

The safety net is starting to unravel.

At the end of the month, struggling Americans could lose the extra $600 per week they’ve been receiving in unemployment insurance. Some eviction protections are already expiring.

And as people scramble to afford basic needs, hunger looms.

Tens of millions of Americans are in danger. According to Census Bureau Pulse Survey data released this week, 10.8 percent of American adults are experiencing some level of food insecurity. Louisiana, Nevada and Ohio had the highest rates: 17 to 18 percent. Food lines have been a feature of newspaper front pages and home pages for months now.

And yet there is a program that may be able to help millions of struggling Americans. One that was underused even before the coronavirus crisis: food stamps, or as they are known in most places now, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Policy experts and social services administrators are hoping that everyone whose income has gone to zero or close to it will at least ask. “If you’ve never accessed these benefits before, it may be because of the way that SNAP in particular has been portrayed or vilified,” said Carlos M. Rodriguez, president and chief executive of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, which helps people sign up for SNAP. “People do not understand that this program is here for them at this exact time.”

SNAP is overseen by the Department of Agriculture, which lays out the rules. States handle applications and administration, and they have some leeway with the federal regulations. (And with the terms: Missouri still uses the older “food stamp” phrasing.)

As a result, it’s possible to offer some general guidelines for understanding how the program works, but your state has the final word. The rules are numerous and complicated, but there are exceptions and waivers that might apply to you — so don’t be deterred.

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Updated 2020-07-17T19:21:34.016Z

In the 2018 fiscal year, 39.7 million people qualified in an average month. To do so, they usually had to pass both income tests and asset tests, though households with elderly or disabled people may face less strict rules.

In most places, someone living alone can have a gross monthly income of no more than $1,354 and a net income of $1,041. For a family of four, the gross income limit is $2,790 while the net income limit is $2,146. The Food and Nutrition Service of the Department of Agriculture lists these limits and many other rules on its website via a SNAP frequently asked questions page.

Net income figures account for deductions that the program allows. Those deductions include allowances for earnings (to encourage work), dependent care, certain medical expenses and unusually large housing costs. Applicants generally have to provide documentation.

Money you receive from unemployment payments may reduce or eliminate your SNAP eligibility. Still, if unemployment is your only income and you have few assets, it’s worth applying for SNAP to see if you qualify.

The cap on assets is $2,250, or $3,500 if a household has someone 60 or older or someone with a disability. Homes and most retirement plan balances don’t count. Vehicles can count, though states have leeway to set those rules.

Yes, two of them.

First, if you’re between the ages of 16 and 59, you’re supposed to enroll in relevant state training programs, accept suitable offers of employment and not quit voluntarily or choose to work less than 30 hours per week. But there are exceptions, including for people caring for children under 6 years old or incapacitated adults, and those who have a physical or mental limitation or are participating regularly in a drug or alcohol treatment program.

There’s another set of rules for people between the ages of 18 and 49 who are both able bodied and have no dependents, including working or participating in a work program at least 80 hours per month. You can read more about them on the Department of Agriculture’s website.

Waivers sometimes apply to work rules as well, which is why it’s important to apply for SNAP if you’re not sure how your own work situation applies, instead of just assuming that you’re ineligible.

You apply through your state. The Department of Agriculture has a map-based directory on its website, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has collected additional state-by-state information.

For people with no internet access, SNAP’s phone number is 1-800-221-5689. There or via the 211 phone service in many areas, you can likely find a state program’s phone number.

Most states have online applications and calculators that screen for eligibility. The application process usually includes an interview, which can often happen over the phone. The process is supposed to take no more than 30 days, and it could take less than a week if your income or assets are particularly low.

To gain access to benefits, you’ll use an electronic benefit transfer card that works like a debit card in grocery stores. You’ll need to be ready to recertify eligibility from time to time, which can be a major obstacle for struggling individuals who may also be trying to navigate uncertain unemployment schedules or commute without a reliable vehicle.

“A lot of people roll off at that point,” said Pamela Herd, a Georgetown University professor and an expert on the “administrative burdens” that keep otherwise eligible people from getting access to many public programs.

People who have less get more, but there are limits and they depend on your family size.

The maximum monthly allotment for a one-person household is $194. For a family of four, the cap is $646. Cost-of-living adjustments may change those amounts in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

Sometimes, yes. A 2018 Government Accountability Office report found that 57 percent of low-income students who seemed potentially eligible for SNAP (and had at least one other additional factor that suggested they were food insecure) did not report receiving SNAP benefits. That was about 1.8 million people.

Moreover, investigators found that state SNAP employees and some federal officials admitted confusion about student eligibility rules.

SNAP rules generally keep students whose parents are supporting them (or those on a meal plan) from getting benefits. Others who have little income or assets should consult the Agriculture Department’s bare-bones guidance and inquire further with their state if they think they might qualify. The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Temple University has a guide for colleges and universities that want to help students.

It depends. If you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits, you should definitely apply for SNAP. In many instances, someone from a Social Security office may be able to help.

Some people receiving Social Security retirement benefits may be eligible for SNAP, too, but as of 2015, fewer than half of eligible older Americans were receiving benefits. The Department of Agriculture has a separate section of its website laying out the different eligibility rules for elderly and disabled people.

Carrie R. Welton, director of policy at the Hope Center, a research and advocacy group, said your first stop should still be the state agency that determines eligibility. Caseworkers can be both helpful and empathetic: Ms. Welton recalled her own time on public assistance, when the person on the other side of the desk started to cry when she realized that Ms. Welton would need to stop attending college full time if she hoped to maintain her benefits.

Other organizations may be able to help. Part of Ms. Welton’s work involves translating federal and state policy to help students who may be eligible for SNAP and other benefits. College financial aid offices may be able to assist students, too.

Help may also be available at your local food bank (several hundred colleges and universities have food banks as well). You can find a food bank near you using the ZIP code tool on Feeding America’s website.

“We’re pursuing the initiative to feed the people in the lines but help shorten them as well,” said Mr. Rodriguez, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey president. “SNAP puts dollars in people’s hands to shop the way you and I do.”

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

As Hunger Swells, Food Stamps Become a Partisan Flash Point

WASHINGTON — As a padlocked economy leaves millions of Americans without paychecks, lines outside food banks have stretched for miles, prompting some of the overwhelmed charities to seek help from the National Guard.

New research shows a rise in food insecurity without modern precedent. Among mothers with young children, nearly one-fifth say their children are not getting enough to eat, according to a survey by the Brookings Institution, a rate three times as high as in 2008, during the worst of the Great Recession.

The reality of so many Americans running out of food is an alarming reminder of the economic hardship the pandemic has inflicted. But despite their support for spending trillions on other programs to mitigate those hardships, Republicans have balked at a long-term expansion of food stamps — a core feature of the safety net that once enjoyed broad support but is now a source of a highly partisan divide.

Democrats want to raise food stamp benefits by 15 percent for the duration of the economic crisis, arguing that a similar move during the Great Recession reduced hunger and helped the economy. But Republicans have fought for years to shrink the program, saying that the earlier liberalization led to enduring caseload growth and a backdoor expansion of the welfare state.

For President Trump, a personal rivalry may also be in play: In his State of the Union address in February, he boasted that falling caseloads showed him besting his predecessor, Barack Obama, whom Newt Gingrich, the former Republican House speaker, had derided as “the food stamp president.” Even as the pandemic unfolded, the Trump administration tried to push forward with new work rules projected to remove more people from aid.

Mr. Trump and his congressional allies have agreed to only a short-term increase in food stamp benefits that omits the poorest recipients, including five million children. Those calling for a broader increase say Congress has spent an unprecedented amount on programs invented on the fly while rejecting a proven way to keep hungry people fed.

“This program is the single most powerful anti-hunger tool that we have and one of the most important economic development tools,” said Kate Maehr, the head of the Chicago food bank. “Not to use it when we have so many people who are in such great need is heartbreaking. This is not a war that charity can win.”

The debate in Congress is about the size of benefits, not the numbers on the rolls. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, as food stamps are also known, expands automatically to accommodate need.

“SNAP is working, SNAP will increase,” said Representative K. Michael Conaway of Texas, the top Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, which oversees the program. “Anyone who qualifies is going to get those benefits. We do not need new legislation.”

Mr. Conaway noted that Republicans have supported huge spending on other programs to temper the economic distress, and increased benefits for some SNAP recipients (for the duration of the health emergency, not the economic downturn). Democrats, he said, want to leverage the pandemic into a permanent food stamp expansion.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_152728413_afb3d017-d2e1-4c91-a329-009651e53e7c-articleLarge As Hunger Swells, Food Stamps Become a Partisan Flash Point Welfare (US) United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Republican Party Poverty House of Representatives food stamps Food Diet and Nutrition Democratic Party Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Children and Childhood
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

“I’m a little bit jaded,” he said. “The last time we did this, those changes were sold as being temporary — when unemployment improved, the rolls would revert back. That didn’t happen.”

Rejecting what he called the Democrats’ narrative of “hardhearted Republicans,” he warned against tempting people to become dependent on government aid. “I don’t want to create a moral hazard for people to be on welfare.”

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Food stamp supporters say the program is well suited for the crisis because it targets the poor and benefits can be easily adjusted since recipients get them on a debit card. The money gets quickly spent and supplies a basic need.

During the Great Recession, Congress increased maximum benefits by about 14 percent and let states suspend work rules. Caseloads soared. By the time the rolls peaked in 2013, nearly 20 million people had joined the program, an increase of nearly 70 percent, and one in seven Americans received food stamps, including millions with no other income.

The Growth of a Core Safety Net Program

The number of people receiving food stamps, also known as SNAP, soared during the Great Recession and has never fully returned to its previous level.




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Westlake Legal Group 0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Recipients-Artboard_2 As Hunger Swells, Food Stamps Become a Partisan Flash Point Welfare (US) United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Republican Party Poverty House of Representatives food stamps Food Diet and Nutrition Democratic Party Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Children and Childhood

AVERAGE NUMBER OF SNAP RECIPIENTS*

AVERAGE MONTHLY BENEFIT PER PERSON

million recipients

Adjusted for inflation

GREAT RECESSION

FISCAL YEARS

FISCAL YEARS

Westlake Legal Group 0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Recipients-Artboard_3 As Hunger Swells, Food Stamps Become a Partisan Flash Point Welfare (US) United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Republican Party Poverty House of Representatives food stamps Food Diet and Nutrition Democratic Party Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Children and Childhood

AVERAGE NUMBER OF SNAP RECIPIENTS*

million recipients

GREAT RECESSION

FISCAL YEARS

AVERAGE MONTHLY BENEFIT PER PERSON

Adjusted for inflation

FISCAL YEARS


*The 2019 data excludes January and February, which were artificially affected by the government shutdown in January.

By The New York Times | Source: United States Department of Agriculture

Supporters saw a model response. The share of families suffering “very low food security” — essentially, hunger — fell after the benefit expanded (and rose once the increase expired). Analysts at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Arloc Sherman and Danilo Trisi, found that in 2012 the program lifted 10 million people out of poverty.

“This is what you want a safety net to do — expand in times of crisis,” said Diane Schanzenbach, an economist at Northwestern University.

But a backlash quickly followed, as a weak recovery and efforts to increase participation kept the rolls much higher than they had been before the recession.

Republican governors reinstated work rules for childless adults, and one of them, Sam Brownback of Kansas, succeeded in pushing three-quarters of that population from the rolls. A new conservative think tank, the Foundation for Government Accountability, said the policy “freed” the poor and urged others to follow. By the time Mr. Trump introduced his brand of conservative populism, skepticism of food stamps was part of the movement’s genome.

In a history that spans more than a half-century, the program has alternately been celebrated as “nutritional aid” and attacked as “welfare.”

Its current form dates to a 1977 compromise between two Senate lions, the liberal George McGovern and the conservative Bob Dole. But almost simultaneously Ronald Reagan added to a stream of racialized attacks on the program, invoking the image of a “strapping young buck” who used food stamps to buy steaks. As president, Reagan went on to enact large cuts.

Credit…Juan Arredondo for The New York Times

After President Bill Clinton pledged to “end welfare” in the 1990s by restricting cash aid, conservatives sought to include big cuts in food stamps, which he resisted. The law he signed subjected cash aid to time limits and work requirements but allowed similar constraints on just one group of food stamp recipients — adults without minor children, roughly 10 percent of the caseload. (Other provisions disqualified many immigrants.)

His Republican successor, George W. Bush, called himself a “compassionate conservative” and promoted food stamps — partly to help people leaving cash welfare to work — and the caseloads grew by nearly two-thirds.

“I don’t see it as a welfare program,” said Eric M. Bost, Mr. Bush’s first food stamp administrator. “I see it as a nutritional assistance program. You can only use it to buy food.”

Food stamps remain central to the American safety net — costing much more ($60 billion) than cash aid and covering many more people (38 million). To qualify, a household must have an income of 130 percent of the poverty line or less, about $28,000 for three people. Before the pandemic, the average household had a total income of just over $10,000 and received a benefit of about $239 a month.

But Mr. Trump has done all he can to shrink the program. He sought budget cuts of 30 percent. He tried to replace part of the benefit with “Harvest Boxes” of cheaper commodities. He tried to reduce eligibility and expand work rules to a much larger share of the caseload. When Congress balked, he pursued his goals through regulations. His chief of staff, Mark Meadows, called last year for using erroneous food stamp payments to fund the border wall.

“Under the last administration, more than 10 million people were added to the food stamp rolls,” Mr. Trump said in his State of Union speech (understating the growth). “Under my administration, seven million Americans have come off food stamps.”

In December, Mr. Trump issued a rule that made it harder for states to waive work mandates in areas of high unemployment. Conservatives say liberal states have abused waivers to gut the work rules — only six of California’s 58 counties, for example, enforced the requirement at the start of the year.

“Millions of able-bodied, working-age adults continue to collect food stamps without working or even looking for work,” Mr. Trump said.

But opponents of the Trump work rule, which applies to able-bodied adults, say it will punish indigents willing to work but unable to find jobs. Before the pandemic, the administration predicted nearly 700,000 people would lose benefits. They have average cash incomes of about $367 a month.

Credit…Al Drago for The New York Times

“This rule would take a group of people who are already incredibly poor, and make them worse off,” said Stacy Dean, vice president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which favors broad access to benefits.

Even as the pandemic unfolded in mid-March, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue vowed to implement the work rule on April 1 as scheduled. A federal judge halted the move, and Congress deferred the rule until the pandemic ends.

A second target of administration ire is a policy that lets states expand eligibility by waiving certain limits on income and assets. About 40 states do so, although the budget center found more than 99 percent of benefits go to households with net incomes below the poverty line ($21,700 for a family of three).

Critics of the policy — “broad-based categorical eligibility” — say it encourages abuse by allowing people with significant savings to collect benefits. The Trump administration is seeking to eliminate it and has and predicted that 3.1 million people would lose benefits, 8 percent of the caseload.

The Republican distrust of food stamps has now collided with a monumental crisis. Cars outside food banks have lined up for miles in places as different as San Antonio, Pittsburgh and Miami Beach.

Among those seeking food bank help for the first time was Andrew Schuster, 22, a long-distance trucker who contracted Covid-19 and returned home to recover outside Cleveland.

Unable to get unemployment benefits as the state’s website crashed, he exhausted his $1,200 stimulus check on rent and watched his food shelves empty. He was down to ramen noodles when he learned the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio was distributing food at his high school.

“I felt kind of embarrassed, really, because of the stigma of it,” Mr. Schuster said. But a box of milk, corn and pork loin “lifted a weight off my shoulders — I was almost in tears.”

Mr. Schuster, who voted for Mr. Trump, said that he used to think people abused food stamps, but that he may need to apply. “I never thought I would need it.”

While Mr. Schuster’s income fell, others have seen expenses rise. Jami Clinkscale of Columbus, Ohio, who lives on a disability check of $580 a month, has gone from feeding two people to six after taking in grandchildren when their mother was evicted. She feeds them on $170 of food stamps and frequents food pantries. “I’ve eaten a lot less just to make sure they get what they need,” she said.

Food Insecurity During the Pandemic

The share of Americans who say they cannot always afford enough food has hit the highest level on record and has increased most rapidly among families with young children.





#g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-box , #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-box .g-artboard { margin:0 auto; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-box p { margin:0; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-box .g-aiAbs { position:absolute; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-box .g-aiImg { position:absolute; top:0; display:block; width:100% !important; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-box .g-aiSymbol { position: absolute; box-sizing: border-box; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-box .g-aiPointText p { white-space: nowrap; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_2 { position:relative; overflow:hidden; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_2 p { font-family:nyt-franklin,arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-weight:500; line-height:16px; height:auto; filter:alpha(opacity=100); -ms-filter:progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.Alpha(Opacity=100); opacity:1; letter-spacing:0em; font-size:13px; text-align:left; color:rgb(51,51,51); top:1px; position:static; text-transform:none; padding-bottom:0; padding-top:0; mix-blend-mode:normal; font-style:normal; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_2 .g-pstyle0 { line-height:10px; height:10px; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_2 .g-pstyle1 { font-weight:700; line-height:10px; height:10px; font-size:14px; top:1.1px; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_2 .g-pstyle2 { line-height:17px; height:17px; text-align:right; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_2 .g-pstyle3 { line-height:17px; height:17px; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_2 .g-pstyle4 { font-weight:700; height:16px; text-align:right; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_2 .g-pstyle5 { height:16px; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_2 .g-pstyle6 { line-height:10px; height:10px; font-size:12px; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_2 .g-pstyle7 { line-height:10px; height:10px; text-align:center; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_3 { position:relative; overflow:hidden; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_3 p { font-family:nyt-franklin,arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-weight:500; line-height:16px; height:auto; filter:alpha(opacity=100); -ms-filter:progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.Alpha(Opacity=100); opacity:1; letter-spacing:0em; font-size:13px; text-align:left; color:rgb(51,51,51); top:1px; position:static; text-transform:none; padding-bottom:0; padding-top:0; mix-blend-mode:normal; font-style:normal; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_3 .g-pstyle0 { line-height:17px; height:17px; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_3 .g-pstyle1 { font-weight:700; line-height:17px; height:17px; font-size:14px; top:1.1px; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_3 .g-pstyle2 { line-height:17px; height:17px; text-align:right; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_3 .g-pstyle3 { height:16px; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_3 .g-pstyle4 { line-height:10px; height:10px; font-size:12px; text-align:right; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_3 .g-pstyle5 { line-height:10px; height:10px; text-align:center; position:relative; } #g-0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_3 .g-pstyle6 { height:16px; text-align:center; position:relative; }

Westlake Legal Group 0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_2 As Hunger Swells, Food Stamps Become a Partisan Flash Point Welfare (US) United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Republican Party Poverty House of Representatives food stamps Food Diet and Nutrition Democratic Party Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Children and Childhood

Share who answered “often” or “sometimes” to the statement:

“The food that we bought just didn’t last, and we didn’t have money to get more.”

Mothers with children 12 and under

GREAT RECESSION

U.S. households with children under 18

All U.S. households

April ’20

Westlake Legal Group 0506-nat-web-DC-VIRUS-FOODSTAMPS-Insecurity-Artboard_3 As Hunger Swells, Food Stamps Become a Partisan Flash Point Welfare (US) United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Republican Party Poverty House of Representatives food stamps Food Diet and Nutrition Democratic Party Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Children and Childhood

Share who answered “often” or

“sometimes” to the statement:

“The food that we bought just didn’t last,

and we didn’t have money to get more.”

Mothers with children

12 and under

GREAT RECESSION

U.S. households with

children under 18

All U.S. households

April

’20


By The New York Times | Source: Brookings Institution

The new research by the Brookings Institution underscores the rising need. Analyzing data from the Covid Impact Survey, a nationally representative sample, Lauren Bauer, a Brookings fellow in economic studies, found that nearly 23 percent of households said they lacked money to get enough food, compared with about 16 percent during the worst of the Great Recession. Among households with children, the share without enough food was nearly 35 percent, up from about 21 percent in the previous downturn.

When food runs short, parents often skip meals to keep children fed. But Ms. Bauer’s own survey of households with children 12 and younger found that more than 17.4 percent reported the children themselves not eating enough, compared with 5.7 percent in the Great Recession. (Her survey is called the Survey of Mothers With Young Children.) Inadequate nutrition can leave young children with permanent developmental damage.

Credit…Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

“This is alarming,” she said. “These are households cutting back on portion sizes, having kids skip meals. The numbers are much higher than I expected.”

Ms. Bauer said disruptions in school meal programs may be part of the problem, with some families unable to reach distribution sites and older siblings at home competing for limited food.

Republicans say the government is spending trillions to meet such needs. In addition to the stimulus checks, Congress has added $600 a week to jobless benefits through July and raised food stamp benefits during the pandemic for about 60 percent of the caseload, at a cost of nearly $2 billion a month. They note that Democrats have not only pushed a longer benefit increase but proposed to permanently block Mr. Trump’s work rules and asset limitations.

“This is a backdoor way to get permanent changes,” Mr. Conaway said.

Democrats say the emergency help will end before the economy recovers and mostly bypasses the neediest families, few of whom qualify for jobless benefits. About 40 percent of food stamp households — the poorest — were left out of the benefit expansion. (The increase gives all households the maximum benefit, $509 for a family of three, though the poorest 40 percent already received it.)

Prospects for a congressional deal remain unclear and may depend on horse-trading in a larger coronavirus bill. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi is adamant that it should contain a broader food stamp expansion.

“First of all, it’s a moral thing to do,” she said in an interview with MSNBC. “Second of all, the people need it. And third of all, it’s a stimulus to the economy.”

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Cities Prepare for the Worst as Trump’s Food Stamp Cuts Near

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-foodstamps-1-facebookJumbo Cities Prepare for the Worst as Trump’s Food Stamp Cuts Near Welfare (US) United States Politics and Government Unemployment Trump, Donald J Poverty Ohio Labor and Jobs food stamps Food Banks and Pantries Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Cleveland (Ohio)

CLEVELAND — Next month, Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s second largest, will begin sending letters and fliers, making phone calls and hosting information fairs to alert struggling citizens of a change about to befall them: Come April, able-bodied adults without children may lose their food stamps if they do not find work fast.

A Trump administration rule change, long in the making, is about to become real, and by the administration’s own estimates, nearly 700,000 people across the country — 20,000 of them in Ohio, 3,000 alone in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County — will be dropped from the food-stamp rolls.

“That’s a fairly big hit for the county, for our population,” said Kevin Gowan, the administrator of Cuyahoga Job and Family Services, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly (and still popularly) known as food stamps. “We’re not happy to do it. It is our job and we will fulfill our job.”

To the Trump administration, record low unemployment and steady economic growth mean there is no time like the present to nudge people off federal assistance. Around 40 million people access the food-stamp program each year, nearly 3 million of them able-bodied, without children. Of those 3 million, around 2 million do not work.

“Millions and millions of people don’t need food stamps anymore,” President Trump declared this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “They have jobs. They’re doing really well.”

For Carl Thomas, a 48-year-old with a high school degree, it is not that simple. He spends most of his time holed up at a public library, making use of its internet access to apply for all of the jobs he can find.

Before 2016, when his mother died at age 84 of sepsis, he had spent most of his life caring for her. He has been job hunting ever since her death. Some employers want to see a lengthy work history and a college degree. Some are far away, and he does not have a car.

On the sixth day of every month, Mr. Thomas plans out how he is going to make his $194 in food assistance stretch. Coupons in hand, he walks or takes the bus to Walmart, Giant Eagle, and Dave’s Market to find the lowest prices on meat, vegetables and produce. He is ecstatic when seeded red grapes go on sale.

That lifeline could soon disappear. Able-bodied adults with no children lose their food assistance if they fail to work 80 hours a month for three months in a three-year period unless they live in a state with a waiver. Under the looming changes, waivers from this work requirement, once common, will be much harder to come by.

Fourteen states, New York City and the District of Columbia have sued the Trump administration to block the new rules from going into effect in April, accusing the administration of doing an illegal end run around Congress.

Cuyahoga County and its urban heart, Cleveland, are preparing for the worst. They will start by conducting two information fairs every month starting in February. They will also call and send mail to people, which “will explicitly tell them the ramifications of noncompliance,” Mr. Gowan said, while stressing that it is time to “achieve self-sufficiency.”

By some accounts, Ohio has yet to recover from the recessions of the early and late 2000s. A healthier job market has not led to significantly higher wages. In 2018, five of Greater Cleveland’s 10 most common jobs — retail sales, food preparation and service, cashiers, waiting tables and janitorial and cleaning work — did not pay enough for people to afford food without assistance, according to Policy Matters Ohio, a liberal research organization.

But even for struggling areas like Cuyahoga County, where the majority of food assistance recipients in Ohio live, the bar will soon be too high for waivers from Washington’s work requirement. Such waivers will only go to “labor market areas” defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and an area’s unemployment rate will have to be both 20 percent above the national unemployment rate over a two-year period and at least 6 percent.

For Cleveland’s poor, such economic thresholds and measurements may feel remote, but in April, their responsibilities under the new system will become very real. People seeking food assistance will have to track their work hours each week and report them by mail, phone or in person.

County officials say they will look for individual exemptions based on physical or mental limitations. Already, applicants for food assistance take part in an initial phone screening, and then an in-person assessment test to determine if they are exempt from work requirements. But Mr. Gowan said only 20 percent of those eligible actually make it in for the assessment.

“In general, people don’t want the government involved in their personal lives,” he said.

Local anti-poverty advocates worry that people who should be exempt from the work requirements will be kicked off the food-stamp rolls anyway. Notifying people of the rule change will be challenging because food-stamp recipients often lack a permanent home address or reliable phone service. Even if they do know of the rule, the paperwork may be confusing, said Rachel Cahill, a Cleveland-based consultant for Cuyahoga Job and Family Services.

People may not work because they lack educational qualifications and transportation to surrounding towns with more employment. They may also face discrimination in the hiring process because of the color of their skin or their gender, Ms. Cahill said.

And struggling people tend to have complications in their lives that would challenge anyone. Mr. Thomas’s late mother left behind $25,000 in medical debt, and her house, where he lives, may be seized to pay it off. He said he will likely end up homeless.

Zhavahna Thompson, 22, has been on and off food stamps for years. Finding a job in Cleveland is difficult, she said. So are food stamps.

“Sometimes I honestly wish I just would have never ever applied for food stamps, because it is very complicated,” she said.

Ms. Thompson has worked multiple low-wage jobs, including seasonal work at the Cleveland baseball stadium, where her hours were determined by how long the games went, at a Dollar General, at a Subway, and for Amazon, before getting injured lifting a box and then getting laid off.

Ms. Thompson said she is saddened by the new food stamp rule. “That’s how people eat,” she said.

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank worries that the rule will move people out of the grocery store and into the food pantry line.

“We know SNAP is the largest defense against hunger,” said Tiffany Scruggs, the director of outreach at the food bank. “We know with cuts like these, we can’t supplement and make up for the shortfalls.”

Feeding America, which the Greater Cleveland Food Bank is part of, estimates that for every meal provided by a food bank, the food-stamps program provides nine. The program kept more than three million people out of poverty in 2018.

And April’s rule change may be just the beginning. Two other rules to trim the food-stamp rolls are pending. More than 100,000 more Ohioans could lose benefits under one rule change, according to Mathematica Policy Research in Cambridge, Mass. And 41 percent of Ohio households would see a decrease in their benefits under the other, $45 a month on average, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank in Washington.

Mr. Thomas spends 24 hours a month answering phones and handling incoming packages at University Settlement, a food pantry in Cleveland that he also relies on when his food assistance run out. He hopes to find a full-time job soon.

“Not everybody wants to be on government assistance,” Mr. Thomas said. “There are people who want to be self-reliant. Sometimes you just need some help, just a little bit to get back on their feet.”

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Trump Policy Favors Wealthier Immigrants for Green Cards

Westlake Legal Group 12dc-immig-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Trump Policy Favors Wealthier Immigrants for Green Cards United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Immigration and Emigration food stamps

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will make it harder for legal immigrants who rely on government benefit programs, such as food stamps and subsidized housing, to obtain permanent legal status as part of a far-reaching new policy aimed at altering the flow of legal immigration and reducing the number of poor immigrants.

The move will have the greatest impact on immigrants who are living in the country legally and are likely to receive government benefits, making it much harder for people who are struggling financially to win legal permanent status — commonly known as a green card — so they can remain in the United States.

Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, announced the new regulation at the White House on Monday morning, declaring that it would allow the government to insist that immigrants who come to the country were self-sufficient and would not be a drain on society.

“The benefit to taxpayers is a long-term benefit of seeking to ensure that our immigration system is bringing people to join us as American citizens, as legal permanent residents first, who can stand on their own two feet, who will not be reliant on the welfare system, especially in the age of the modern welfare state which is so expansive and expensive,” Mr. Cuccinelli said.

Under the new rule, the financial well-being of immigrants who are in the United States legally on temporary visas will be more heavily scrutinized when they seek a green card. Immigration officials will consider an immigrant’s age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status and education. But the officials will be given broad leeway to determine whether an immigrant is likely to be a user of public benefits, to deny them a green card, and to order them deported out of the country.

Officials said the program would not apply to people who already have green cards, to refugees and asylum-seekers, or to pregnant women and children. But immigration advocates warned that vast numbers of immigrants, including those not actually subject to the regulation, may drop out of needed benefits programs because they fear retribution by immigration authorities.

“This news is a cruel new step toward weaponizing programs that are intended to help people by making them, instead, a means of separating families and sending immigrants and communities of color one message: you are not welcome here,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.

She added: “It will have a dire humanitarian impact, forcing some families to forgo critical lifesaving health care and nutrition. The damage will be felt for decades to come.”

Monday’s announcement is part of President Trump’s concerted assault on the nation’s system of immigration laws and regulations. For much of the past three years, the president has railed against what he calls the dangers of illegal immigration. But administration officials have also sought to impose new limits on legal immigration into the United States.

The rule has been the top priority of Stephen Miller, the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda, who views it as the most significant change to regulations that had encouraged migrants to come to the United States. Mr. Miller has repeatedly pushed administration officials to finish the regulation, known as the public charge rule, at one point telling colleagues that he wanted them to work on nothing other than it until it was completed.

L. Francis Cissna, the former director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, had resisted the rush to finish the rule, drafts of which were several hundred pages long and very complicated. But Mr. Cissna was forced out of his position earlier this year and replaced by Mr. Cuccinelli, a former attorney general in Virginia and an immigration hard-liner who shares Mr. Miller’s view that immigrants should not rely on financial support from the government.

The complex regulation, which is scheduled to go into effect in 60 days, would give the Trump administration a powerful new tool to narrow the demographic of people who come to live and work in the country. According to the new rule, the United States wants immigrants who can support themselves, not those who “depend on public resources to meet their needs.”

The ability of immigrants to support themselves has long been a consideration in whether they were granted the right to live and work in the United States permanently. But the Trump administration’s new move has made predicting the economic well-being of immigrants a more central part of that decision-making process.

An applicant who speaks English, shows formal letters of support and has private health insurance would be more likely to be approved than someone whose economic situation suggests they would probably need housing vouchers or enroll in Medicaid in the future if they were given a green card.

Over time, administration officials hope that the tough policy will shift the composition of the American immigration system by favoring wealthier immigrants.

Asked about the plaque on the Statue of Liberty that invites “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” Mr. Cuccinelli said that “I’m certainly not prepared to take anything down off the Statue of Liberty. We have a long history of being one of the most welcoming nations in the world.”

But immigration advocates reacted with anger at the announcement, calling it a cruel policy that they said was already causing immigrants around the country to abandon housing and medical benefits because they were concerned about the impact that using them might have on their immigration status or the status of someone in their family.

“Shame on the Trump administration for expanding a rule with racist roots in a shameful ploy to rig the immigration system for the wealthy,” said Cynthia Buiza, executive director of the California Immigrant Policy Center. “We thank all who stood up against the administration’s hate-filled agenda, and we will continue to fight for our values of community, compassion, and common humanity.”

The fear touched off by the new rule is illustrated by Maria, a 28-year-old woman from Colombia who is five months pregnant with a baby girl and reached out to her lawyer for advice a couple of weeks ago after she started seeing coverage of the draft version of the public charge rule in the news. Her husband, a childhood friend from Colombia, is a United States citizen, and she is in the United States on a tourist visa while she applies for a green card with him as a sponsor.

Maria’s husband, a high school teacher, had been off work during the summer break, forcing them to enroll in supplemental nutritional program for women, infants and children, known as WIC, in order to afford food and prenatal care. Though the new rule specifically does not penalize pregnant women for seeking such assistance, she said she fears that it could be used against her anyway. She said she wished she could stop accepting the help.

“I can’t,” said Maria, who worked as an industrial engineer in Colombia and asked that her last name not be used because she feared reprisals by American immigration officials. “Right now we need to use it,” she said, adding: “Whatever happens, the most important thing is that the baby is O.K., right?”

How many people the rule will affect is in dispute. Citizenship and Immigration Services did not conduct an “in-depth” analysis to estimate that, according to a senior administration official, who asked for anonymity to brief reporters on the rule.

But in the Federal Register, Homeland Security officials estimated that more than 382,000 immigrants seek an adjustment to their immigration status each year and would be subject to the public charge review. More than 324,000 people in households with undocumented immigrants are estimated to drop out or not enroll in public benefit programs.

Advocacy organizations say the number of people affected by the regulation is vastly larger, estimating that 26 million immigrants living in the United States legally will reconsider their use of public benefits because they fear how accepting assistance could affect their ability to remain in the United States.

Asked whether the agency expected immigrants to drop out of benefits they’re entitled to simply because of fear of losing their protections, the official said, “whether or not somebody disenrolls, you know, that’s a decision the alien would have to make to consider the future immigration consequences but the intention is not to have disenrollment consequences.”

Several immigration groups have pledged to sue the administration in an attempt to block the regulation from going into effect. Tens of thousands of people opposed the rule in a public comment period over the past several months.

The regulation was published in the Federal Register Monday morning with the following acknowledgment: “While some commenters provided support for the rule, the vast majority of commenters opposed the rule.”

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Trump Rule Targets Legal Immigrants Who Rely on Food Stamps and Other Aid

Westlake Legal Group defaultPromoCrop Trump Rule Targets Legal Immigrants Who Rely on Food Stamps and Other Aid United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Immigration and Emigration food stamps

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will penalize legal immigrants who rely on public programs, such as food stamps and government-subsidized housing, as part of a sweeping new policy aimed to narrow the demographic of people who come to live and work in the United States.

The move will have the greatest impact on poor immigrants who are living in the country legally and are receiving public benefits from the government, forcing them to make a choice between accepting financial help and living and working in the country legally. It will probably not affect immigrants who already have green cards.

The United States want immigrants who can support themselves, according to the rule, not those who “depend on public resources to meet their needs,” according to the new rule.

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‘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 

Manufacturing is Back – Now We Need a Food Manufacturing Restoration

When President Donald Trump was Candidate Donald Trump – he promised a restoration of the US manufacturing sector.

Which his predecessor – thankfully-ex-president Barack Obama – dismissed as impossible:

“When somebody says – like the person you just mentioned, who I’m not going to advertise for – that he’s going to bring all these jobs back.  Well, how exactly are you going to do that?  What are you going to do?  There’s no answer to it.  He just says ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’  Well, how exactly are you going to negotiate that?  What magic wand do you have?  And usually the answer is – he doesn’t have an answer.”

Undaunted by Obama and the Downers, just after winning election – Trump yet again teed up his administration:

“Our goal as a nation must be to rely less on imports – and more on products made here in the USA….This is our mantra: Buy American – and hire American….Our country is all about making dreams come true.  Over the last number of years – that hasn’t been necessarily the case.  But we’re going to make it the case again….My focus has been all about jobs.  And jobs is one of the primary reasons I’m standing here today as your President.”

Two years hence, it would appear Trump is a combination of Merlin and Gandalf – wielding magic wands aplenty.

The Trump Manufacturing Jobs Boom: 10 Times Obama’s Over 21 Months

Things do not appear to be slowing down.

Trump’s Policy ‘Magic Wand’ Boosts Manufacturing Jobs 399% In First 26 Months Over Obama’s Last 26

All of which is, of course, spectacular news.

Westlake Legal Group farm-aid-panorama-620x241 Manufacturing is Back – Now We Need a Food Manufacturing Restoration 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”

The world has spent the last half century-plus – totally tilting the global market playing field against us.

Titanically stupidly – we have been allowing the world to do it.

Which Citizen Trump spent decades pointing out.  Here he is on The Oprah Winfrey Show – in 1988:

“We let Japan come in and dump everything right into our markets.  And it’s not free trade.  If you go to Japan right now and try to sell something – forget about it, Oprah.  Just forget about it.  It’s almost impossible.  They don’t have laws against it – they just make it impossible.  They come over here – they sell their cars, their VCRs.  They knock the hell out of our companies.  And hey – I have tremendous respect for the Japanese people.  You can respect someone who is beating the hell out of you.  But they are beating the hell out of this country.”

Oprah says “This sounds like presidential talk” – and asks if he’ll ever run.  To which Trump responds:

“Probably not.  But I do get tired of seeing the country ripped off….I do get tired of seeing what’s happening to this country.  And if it got so bad – I would never want to rule it out totally.  Because I really am tired of seeing what’s happening to this country.  How we’re really making other people live like kings – and we’re not.”

(Certainly sounds like a guy who would sell out to the Russians to get elected, does it not?  What a bunch of idiots those people are.)

Flash forward three decades – and Citizen Trump…is now President Trump.

Stupid Trade Policy Isn’t the Only Reason We Lose Jobs – But It’s a Big One

Crony Socialism: Governments All Over the World Are Messing Up a Free Trade Market

Trump Rightly Demands End to All Trade Tariffs And Subsidies – of Everyone

President Trump’s chief weapon to better the trade playing field – has been the tariff.  Dishing out an infinitesimal amount – of what we have been taking on the chin by the ton for decades.

The DC People who allowed the global market to become so anti-free trade and anti-American – freaked the heck out.  Bizarrely, in the name of “free trade.”

Is Trump’s Protectionism The Death Knell For Global Free Trade?

There’s a Glaring Problem with Trump’s Trade War that Could Drag out the Fight Indefinitely

As Trump Ponders Auto Tariffs, Free-Trade Republicans Push Back

And the DC People – were dead wrong.  And they STILL don’t get it.  To wit:

Despite Trump’s Tariff and Border Threats, Mexico Is Now the Largest U.S. Trading Partner

Not “DESPITE Trump’s tariffs” – “BECAUSE OF Trump’s tariffs.”  Trump put pressure on Mexico – and Mexico buckled.

It’s happening – all over the world.

Trump Tells EU’s Juncker He Seeks ‘Reciprocal’ Trade

No Deal: EU Resists Trump’s Zero-Tariff Trade Offer, Prepares New List of Sanctions to Add Pressure

Except less than seventy-two hours after that latter headline….

Trump and EU Officials Agree to Work Toward ‘Zero Tariff’ Deal

It’s almost like – no, it’s exactly like – Trump was right all along.

And despite Trump’s tariffs – oh wait…BECAUSE OF Trump’s tariffs – how’s our economy doing?

U.S. Economy Grows 3.2% in the First Quarter, Well Above Estimates

“Well above estimates?”  Oh look – the DC People were wrong AGAIN.  Shocker.

Just as we globally trade just about every other commodity – we globally trade food.

And just as we have with every other commodity and their manufacturers – we have allowed the rest of the planet to screw our farmers…and the rest of us.  To wit:

Tiny Thailand’s 2016 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $407 billion.  Tiny Thailand subsidies sugar – just sugar – at $1.3 billion per year.  Which has ably assisted tiny Thailand – to cheat its way controlling 10% of the global market.

That’s nothing.  Bigger Brazil’s 2016 GDP was $1.8 trillion.  Bigger Brazil subsidizes sugar – just sugar – between $2.5 and $4 billion per annum.  Which has ably assisted bigger Brazil – to cheat its way to controlling almost 50% of the global market.

More than one hundred countries sell sugar on the global market.  Two countries – control 60% of that market.  Because they government-money-cheated their way to the top.

We import sugar.  Which means we are importing the government-money-poison Brazil and Thailand are injecting.

Which is obscenely unfair to our farmers.

Brazil’s subsidies – allow them to charge 20% less for their crop.  Thailand’s subsidies – allow them to charge about 10% less for their crop.

Which is obscenely unfair to our farmers.

Thankfully, Trump is also looking to straighten out the farm market.  To wit:

Trump Looks for End to Japan Farm Tariffs Ahead of Two Visits:

“President Donald Trump urged Japan to end tariffs on U.S. farm products when he met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe….

“‘We’ll be discussing very strongly agriculture because as the prime minister knows Japan puts very massive tariffs on agriculture, our agriculture, for many years, going into Japan, and we want to get rid of those tariffs,’ Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with Abe on Friday.”

Trump REALLY needs to have a sugar talk with Brazil’s new president.  Methinks he might find him receptive.

Conservative Jair Bolsonaro Elected President of Brazil

Jair Bolsonaro: Brazil’s Firebrand Leader Dubbed the Trump of the Tropics

The Great Brazilian Foreign Policy Realignment:

“If Jair Bolsonaro continues to push for privatization in infrastructure and a drastic reduction in red tape, then foreign investment will likely follow.”

And actual free trade will follow as well.

For sugar – and everything else.

Which would be a whole lot fairer for manufacturers – food and all others – everywhere.

Most importantly – here in the US.

Most importantly – because #AmericaFirst.

The post Manufacturing is Back – Now We Need a Food Manufacturing Restoration appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group SteveSeagal-300x191 Manufacturing is Back – Now We Need a Food Manufacturing Restoration 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 

Good News for America and Americans – Is Gaslight-Requiring Bad News for Leftists

Westlake Legal Group good-news-for-america-and-americans-is-gaslight-requiring-bad-news-for-leftists Good News for America and Americans – Is Gaslight-Requiring Bad News for Leftists 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”

This has been an absolute truth for at least the last half century:

If something is good for America and Americans – it is bad for Leftists.

The Left is in the misery business.

In order for the Left to achieve and hold on to power – things must be awful.  Or they must lie – and say things are awful when they are not.

To foster this latter massive falsehood – Leftists concoct many less-massive falsehoods.

We import more than a million foreigners per year – yet the Left screeches we are a racist, xenophobic, anti-immigrant nation.

We just finished two terms of a black president – yet the Left screeches we are in times worse than the days of Jim Crow.

We just had a very impressive 3.2% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) first quarter.  A continued, massive economic expansion – in the face of widespread “expert” predictions of a looming recession.

Unemployment is at a near record low.  Speaking of “racism” – Black and Hispanic unemployment is at their lowest respective rates…since we began recording such numbers.

Wages are increasing at rates significantly greater than they have at any point during the preceding half century.

The Donald Trump Economy – is roaring.

Unfortunately for the twenty Democrat presidential candidates (so far) – they have to run against it.  So they have to pretend the very may significant improvements upon the Democrat Barack Obama Economy – aren’t actually happening.

Westlake Legal Group stock-photo-gaslighting-psychology-as-a-social-manipulating-concept-using-psychological-communication-to-1183712524-620x427 Good News for America and Americans – Is Gaslight-Requiring Bad News for Leftists 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”

Should the Trump Economy continue roaring as we head into the 2020 election – we will be subjected to the biggest Media-Left (please pardon the redundancy) gaslighting in the history of gaslighting:

“(A) form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.

“Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s belief.”

If you want a less esoteric explanation – I give you the Marx Brothers:

“Well, who you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?”

Sometimes things are so antithetical to the Left’s lies – they simply can not continue lying after the fact.

I give you – the Internet.  And the very many lies the Left tells about Network Neutrality.

Disingenuously in its name, the Obama Administration in 2015 unilaterally imposed 1934 landline telephone law upon the Internet.

In 2017, the Trump Administration prepared to undo this titanic stupidity.  And the Media-Left – went completely insane in their attempts to set up the gaslighting.

Donald Trump Plans Total Repeal of Net Neutrality Law that Keeps the Internet Free

The FCC Is Trying To Destroy The Internet

Trump’s FCC Wants to Kill a Free and Open Internet

Under Trump, Dark Days Ahead for Net Neutrality and the Open Internet

FCC Under Trump: Net Neutrality & Internet Freedom Face New Attack

The Grim Future of the Open Internet Under Trump

Will Donald Trump Dismantle the Internet as We Know It?

This Is the Year Donald Trump Kills Net Neutrality

Trump’s FCC Is About to Destroy Net Neutrality

If Portugal is a Net Neutrality Nightmare, We’re Already Living in It

If Trump’s FCC Repeals Net Neutrality, Elites Will Rule the Internet—and the Future

How Trump Plans To Slow Our Internet To A Crawl

Get Set: Your Internet Bill is about to Soar, Thanks to Trump’s FCC

Gutting Net Neutrality Is the Trump Administration’s Most Brutal Blow to Democracy Yet

Under Trump the Future of Net Neutrality and Broadband is Uncertain

Except the Trump Administration undid the Obama power and grab, and….nothing bad happened.  NONE of the very many negatives above – transpired.  The Internet after – was identical to the Internet before.

Oh – except private sector investment in the Internet shot back up to pre-Obama-power-grab levels…and beyond.  And as investment increased – Internet speeds increased.

All very good things for America and Americans.  All very bad things for the Media-Left.

The post-Trump-freedom-restoration Internet has been so outstanding – even the Media-Left’s massive mendacity…was exceeded by reality.

As dishonest as they are – they couldn’t bring themselves to try to lie about what is actually happening.

Except here comes another opportunity for the Media-Left to drum up one of their oldie-but-goodie lies – the “Internet fast lane.”

Cox Cable Testing a Form of ‘Fast Lane’ Internet For Gamers

And just like with everything else – this development is good news for America and Americans.  Which means it’s bad news for Leftists.

That phrase “fast lane” – is itself a misrepresentation of how the Internet actually works.  And the Left makes up the phrase “fast lane” – so as to then lie and say we’ll all be consigned to a made up “slow lane.”

After Net Neutrality, Brace for Internet ‘Fast Lanes’:

“Now that federal telecom regulators have repealed net neutrality, it may be time to brace for the arrival of internet ‘fast lanes’ and ‘slow lanes.’

Net Neutrality’s Repeal Means Fast Lanes Could Be Coming to the Internet. Is That a Good Thing?:

“The concept, known as paid prioritization, involves a telecommunications company charging an additional fee to transport a video stream or other content at a higher speed through its network.”

“Paid prioritization” – exists…everywhere else on Planet Earth:

“(T)he examples of private sector ‘paid prioritization’ ‘fast lanes’ – are nigh endless. Let’s examine just one.

“When you send a letter or package – are you limited to one delivery speed? Of course not.

“To chose but one private sector provider at random:

“UPS offers seven different delivery options: UPS Next Day Air Early, UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 3 Day Select and UPS Ground.

“Heck, the government post office offers five different delivery options – right there on its government website.

“These are all variations of ‘paid prioritization’ ‘fast lanes.’ And no one is demanding the government ban them – because anyone who would do so would look titanically stupid.”

And guess what?  The Left only wants to ban “fast lanes” – for Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

The much-more-massive, massive-bandwidth-hog Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook – who shovel lots and LOTS of money to the Left?  They not only can have “fast lanes” – they already do:

(T)here are hundreds of thousands (millions?) of them – and they have for years and years been an intrinsic part of the World Wide Web.

“Behold the Content Delivery Network (CDN): ‘(A) geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers. The goal is to distribute service spatially relative to end-users to provide high availability and high performance….

“‘CDNs are a layer in the internet ecosystem. Content owners such as media companies and e-commerce vendors pay CDN operators to deliver their content to their end users. In turn, a CDN pays ISPs, carriers, and network operators for hosting its servers in their data centers.’

“Get all the facets of this particular Leftist lie?

“‘Fast lanes’ – aren’t actually fast lanes. And they are nothing new. They have nigh always been intrinsically woven into the Internet fabric.

“And the Left only wants to ban the practice for their political enemies – while allowing their political cronies to continue to build and use them unabated. Enjoy some cronyism with your delusion.”

Per the gamers: They use a LOT of bandwidth when they play other gamers online.  And they are very much concerned with “latency”:

“Latency = delay. It’s the amount of delay (or time) it takes to send information from one point to the next. Latency is usually measured in milliseconds or ms. It’s also referred to (during speed tests) as a ping rate.”

Latency is the amount of time between a gamer hitting a controller button – and the computer recognizing and executing his push of said button.  Longer latency – gets you killed or beaten.  Thus, gamers are incessantly obsessing about latency.

And yet again, the marketplace – is trying to accommodate.

Cox Cable Testing a Form of ‘Fast Lane’ Internet For Gamers

Ok – let’s use the Left’s disingenuous terminology.  To demonstrate how incredibly stupid the Left’s objections are.

Giving gamers their own “lane” – gets them off the “main roads” with all the additional traffic slowing them down.  Less traffic – less latency.  Good for gamers.

And getting gamers off the “main roads” – is better for everyone else.  Because those massive bandwidth hogs – won’t be hogging the “main roads’” bandwidth.  Leaving much more for the rest of us.

Charging bandwidth hog gamers a little more for all the bandwidth they’re hogging – is only fair.  You pay more at the grocery store for fifty steaks – than you do for five.

Which, by the way, ends our subsidizing gamers’ bandwidth hogging.

And a whole lot of that additional money – will be invested in ever-improving the networks we all use.

All of which – is nothing more than the creation of more CDNs.

Which have existed for decades – and already exist in the millions.

All of which is very good for America and Americans.

But very bad for the Net Neutrality-fetishizing, anti-free market, gaslighting Left.

The post Good News for America and Americans – Is Gaslight-Requiring Bad News for Leftists appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group stock-photo-gaslighting-psychology-as-a-social-manipulating-concept-using-psychological-communication-to-1183712524-300x207 Good News for America and Americans – Is Gaslight-Requiring Bad News for Leftists 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 

The Eternal Stupidity: ‘Let’s Have Government Do It’

Westlake Legal Group the-eternal-stupidity-lets-have-government-do-it The Eternal Stupidity: ‘Let’s Have Government Do It’ 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”

Wisdom – is eternal.  Because it is so rare a commodity – it is treasured by all who actually like and respect all that is good.

Stupidity – is also eternal.  Because we are humans – and humans are flawed.  All who actually like and respect all that is good – try their best to minimize the stupidities…and ensure we at the very least not repeat any.

The political Left – loathes all that is good.  They actively attack it – and whenever possible erase it from history.

The old saw – is true:

“To anger a conservative, lie to him.  To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.”

The Left doesn’t like truth.  They don’t like wisdom.  They don’t like intelligence.  They actively attack all of it – whenever and wherever it arises.  And respond to all of it – the way vampires respond to sunlight.

Very rudimentary science tells us that when a human sperm meets a human egg – it instantaneously (barring a huge genetic mishap) makes a human.  Point that out to a Leftist – and watch the insanity ensue.

Very rudimentary science tells us that when a human sperm meets a human egg – it instantaneously (barring a huge genetic mishap) makes a human that is either male or female.  The chromosomes dictate – XX or XY.  Point that out to a Leftist – and watch the insanity ensue.

Westlake Legal Group socialism_always_fails-III The Eternal Stupidity: ‘Let’s Have Government Do It’ 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”

Please keep all of this Leftist nonsense in mind – when next the Left accuses the Right of being “anti-science.”

 

Human beings have spent the last 10,000 or so years trying all sorts of ways to organize themselves together.  Call it community, society…whatever.  What it nigh always is – is government.  Some wise truisms have ensued:

“Government, although intended to protect and preserve society, has itself a strong tendency to disorder and abuse of its powers, as all experience and almost every page of history testify.”  — John C. Calhoun

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”  — George Washington

“Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us.”  — Leo Tolstoy

“Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”  — Frédéric Bastiat

“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.”   — H. L. Mencken

The last thing anyone – in 2019, 10,000 years of humanity in – should want to do…is have government try to “help” us.

Because government is incapable of doing so.  And because it always, inexorably leads to tyranny:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”  — C.S. Lewis

“The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants.”  — Albert Camus

When the United States’ federal government spends $4.5 trillion per year – and the states and municipalities another trillion or two more per annum – there is a WHOLE LOT of government “helping” being attempted.

It is a long, unbroken line of unmitigated disasters.  Resulting in one titanic mess – with our entire nation collapsing under the weight of the accrued failure.

The disasters are of all sizes – and take on all forms.

And like the Left, the Media (please pardon the redundancy) loathe our attempts to minimize the damage they’re doing.

To wit – this recent spate of headlines.  Predicated upon a Leftist report – conducted by Leftists.

Report: 26 States Now Ban or Restrict Community Broadband

Municipal Broadband Is Roadblocked Or Outlawed In 26 States

Telcoms Lobbyists Have Convinced 26 States to Ban or Restrict Municipal Broadband

26 U.S. States Ban or Restrict Local Broadband Initiatives

Laws Prohibit or Restrict Municipal Broadband Networks in 20-Plus States

Apparently this last guy can’t count all the way to 26.

“Community broadband,” “municipal broadband,” “local broadband” – it all means government broadband.

Government pretending to be a Comcast or Verizon – and attempting to provide Internet access.

Government broadband – has been an unmitigated disaster.

The Internet ‘Stimulus’-Just as Destructive as the Rest of the ‘Stimulus’

Yet Another Terrible Internet ‘Stimulus’ Project

Municipal Broadband Is A Failed Model

Municipal Broadband: Many Promises, More Failures

Municipal Broadband Efforts Have Produced Failures

Municipal Broadband Fails – Again

Despite Glossy Reports, Muni Broadband is Still a Net Money Loser

Lake County Another Example of Failed Municipal Broadband

Sale Fail: Provo Considering Contingencies for iProvo

What Other Cities Should Learn from Philly’s Failed Municipal Broadband Effort

There’s even at least one website – dedicated to cataloguing the very many government fails:

Broadband Boondoggles: A Map of Failed Taxpayer-Funded Networks:

“For decades, local governments have made promises of faster and cheaper broadband networks. Unfortunately, these municipal networks often don’t deliver or fail, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. Explore the map to learn about the massive debt, waste and broken promises left behind by these failed government networks.”

The Media-Left’s unanimous complaint?

Twenty-six states have watched the train wreck disasters that have been attempts at government broadband – and decided to staunch or stop the bleeding.

And the Media-Left – is angry at the impediments to continued, all-encompassing government failure.

Because the Media-Left doesn’t like truth.  They don’t like wisdom.  They don’t like intelligence.

And they don’t like success.

For those of us who seek to better things for humanity – who understand humans, human nature and 10,000 years of our history – the question isn’t why 26 states have done this.

The question is – why haven’t the other 24?

The post The Eternal Stupidity: ‘Let’s Have Government Do It’ appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group socialism_always_fails-III-300x300 The Eternal Stupidity: ‘Let’s Have Government Do It’ 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 

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