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Military Photo of the Day: Training with Fire

The Stream - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 21:57

U.S. Marine firefighters work with Royal Thai firefighters to put out a simulated aircraft fire during a recent training exercise in Thailand.

Thanks to Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony for capturing this image.





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Daily Beast to Kendall Jenner: If You're Not Gay, Keep it To Yourself

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 21:25
<p>The Daily Beast is bashing a <em>Vogue</em> interview with Kendall Jenner for “coming out” as heterosexual. Because, you know, that’s the “default sexuality.”</p>

Apparently the #MeToo Movement Doesn’t Apply to Katy Perry

The Stream - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 21:19

#MeToo is in the news once again. Who was it this time? Did Harvey Weinstein invite another young actress to his hotel room? Did Anziz Ansari push another young fan to go farther than she wanted to go? Is Ben Affleck still groping breasts

Nope. This time it was Katy Perry.

Her victim? A 19-year-old boy. 

A Cringe-Worthy Scene Unfolds

Here’s the scene. It happened on the American Idol reboot premiere, which aired Sunday, though it was taped last October. Then-19-year-old Benjamin Glaze (he’s now 20) enters the audition with his guitar. He says he’s a cashier from Oklahoma, and likes to get cute girls to say hi to him at work. 

Country singer Luke Bryan, one of three judges, asks Glaze, “Have you kissed a girl and liked it?” (Cue flashbacks to high school and that annoying Katy Perry chorus looping incessantly through my brain.) 

Glaze says no. He’s never kissed a girl; he’s saving that for his first relationship. 


That’s when Perry, also a judge, stands up and beckons the bewildered contestant. “Come here,” she demands. “Come here right now.” Obviously nervous, Glaze walks over. “One on the cheek?” he asks. With Perry’s cheek in his face, Glaze quickly pecks it. Perry criticizes: “You didn’t even make the smush sound.” She leans in for another. This time, as he goes in for another cheek kiss, she turns and smacks his lips with hers. 

Surprised, he falls down. Perry celebrates.

When the judges are finally ready for Glaze to sing, he asks for water. It’s awkward as an aide hands him a water bottle from off-camera, Glaze attempts to regain composure, and third judge Lionel Richie walks over to see if he is “gonna be okay.” 

“Your first kiss was Katy Perry,” Richie says. “You understand me?” 

Eventually Glaze goes on to sing, but he’s not good enough to move to the next round. 

Glaze is Gracious, But Katy’s Still Wrong

When The New York Times interviewed Glaze by phone, he said, “I was a tad bit uncomfortable.” He added that if Perry had actually asked him for a kiss, he’d have said no. “I wanted to save it for my first relationship,” he said. “I wanted it to be special.”

Glaze is gracious in the interview, noting how he talked through the experience with friends. They determined the kiss didn’t really “count,” since it wasn’t a “romantic situation with someone you care about.” 

We need to demand an end to this kind of behavior, in all industries, all workplaces, and everywhere else. We can’t get angry and start a movement when it happens to women, then laugh it off when it happens to men.

In response to negative backlash against Perry, Glaze defended her in an Instagram post. “I don’t believe my views have been appropriately communicated through the media,” he writes. He said he does not consider the kiss sexual harassment, and is not complaining. He “was uncomfortable in a sense of how I have never been kissed before and was not expecting it.” 

The singer wishes he’d performed better. “I should have picked another song to sing and calmed myself down regardless of the kiss. I should have been able to perform under pressure.”

I’m glad Glaze isn’t harboring a grudge. He even told the Times the whole incident has steered more attention to his music, which he appreciates. But that doesn’t make Perry’s actions okay. 

What If …

Let’s state the obvious. What if Glaze had been a young woman? What if the judge demanding a kiss had been Bryan or Richie? Can you imagine him standing up, leaning over the table, and saying “Come here right now,” demanding that a 19-year-old contestant (whom he was about to evaluate) give him her very first kiss? Especially after she just explained that she was saving that first kiss? And then after she reluctantly conceded to a cheek kiss, stealing one off her lips without her consent?

Perry held a position of authority over Glaze in that moment. She was about to judge him on his musical performance, and potentially launch him into the career of his dreams. How is this different from some Hollywood executive asking an aspiring young actress for sex, when she knows he can -- and will -- make or break her career?

If Bryan or Richie had done that, there would be no doubt about what the male judge’s actions constituted: sexual harassment. He’d find himself denounced by every major media outlet. He’d also find himself out of a job the next day. The producers of American Idol would issue a statement apologizing to the victim and claiming the action didn’t represent their values.

Arrogance -- A Big Red Flag

In the video, all three judges seems to think that Perry’s done Glaze a great favor. Perhaps she flattered herself, thinking, what teen boy wouldn’t be grateful that I gave him his first kiss? 

That’s just the kind of arrogance that will get one into trouble, big time. It’s the kind of arrogance that prevents us from seeing the other person -- their desires, their pleasure, their discomfort, their autonomy over their own body.

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In fact, it’s likely what’s gotten so many powerful men into trouble. Who wouldn’t want to have the chance to kiss me? To sleep with me? I’m ME! Perhaps this was the belief that led Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and many others down their destructive spirals.

Mind Your Blind Spots

We need to demand an end to this kind of behavior, in all industries, all workplaces, and everywhere else. We can’t get angry and start a movement when it happens to women, then laugh it off as “fun” or “cute” or a “joke” when it happens to men. 

I’m sure Katy Perry never intended to harass Glaze. But she obviously has a huge blind spot regarding the significance of her own actions and their effect on others. Perhaps this will be a wake-up call for her. 

And may it be a wake-up call for us all. No one in their right mind supports sexual harassment of anyone. The #MeToo movement wants men to see what they’re doing when they push a woman for sex. But part of the #MeToo movement must be recognizing and acknowledging our own blind spots, whoever we are. If you see no problem with Perry’s actions toward Glaze, examine your own. 

Victories Are Luring Dems Into a Political Trap on Abortion

The Stream - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 21:04

Dems are chortling with glee about the election on Tuesday night: They snatched another victory in deep red territory. Trump won Pennsylvania 18th congressional district by 20 points. On Tuesday, the Democrat Conor Lamb eked out a win over GOP's Rick Saccone.

Dems are smacking their lips: They see a Democratic wave in November, and they may be right.

But Democrats beware: your short-term special election victories are leading you into a huge political trap.

Abortion Extremism

This week's win follows the surprise victory of Democrat Doug Jones over Judge Roy Moore in deep-red Alabama.

In both elections, the Democrats won by doing two things: First, getting a huge turnout from their Trump-hating base. Second, running moderate Democrats. They think this is a roadmap to victory.

Here's the trap: The Democratic candidates were moderate on all issues except abortion.

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Just last year Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, promised no ban on pro-life Dems. "There is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates," he said, adding, "You need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district."

Heads are spinning at the 360-degree turnaround.

The Democrats ran pro-abortion extremists in special elections in Trump territory. And won. They think they can keep doing this.

This is a delusion, thank God. It will lead the Democrats to stunning defeats shortly down the road.

Americans are Pro-Life

Sixty-three percent of Americans in a recent Marist poll say they support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks. This includes 56 percent of Democrats.

Even Doug Jones and Conor Lamb are going to have a hard time holding onto their seats in a general election.

Abortion extremism spells deep trouble for Dems in 2018. Consider the polling in six major 2018 Senate battleground states: Ohio, Montana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Florida and North Dakota. On average in the states, 62 percent of voters support late-term abortion bans. In a majority or plurality of cases in these states, voters say are less likely to support a Senator who refuses to ban these abortion.

Sixty-three percent of Americans in a recent Marist poll say they support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks. This includes 56 percent of Democrats.

Yet the Dems drive for pro-abortion purity shows no signs of slowing. Watch next week's Illinois primary. Rep. Dan Lipinski, practically the last moderate pro-life Democrat, a stiff challenge from a pro-abortion purist Marie Newman. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's job is to re-elect incumbents. Yet several members of the DCCC took the unprecedented step of endorsing his challenger.

The writing on the wall is clear. So are its negative political consequences for Democrats.

Republicans should make them pay for this now.

Republicans, Spring the Trap

To Democrats I say: Keep swallowing that red pill, beltway boys.

To save the Senate and House, the Republicans should do what they almost never do: use the late-term abortion issue against Democrats in marginal districts.

To the GOP I say: get smarter about the political power of the life issue.

To save the Senate and House, the Republicans should do what they almost never do: use the late-term abortion issue against Democrats in marginal districts. To move 2 or 3 percent of Democratic voters into the GOP column would spell victory in a tight race. But soft Democrats never hear that the Dem candidate supports late-term abortions. Unless campaigns make it happen.

The Dems have walked in a trap. Republicans can spring it.

Candidates with guts and consultants with smarts will do two things at once: save babies and win elections.

Declining and Deported Audiences Lead to Cutbacks at Telemundo, Univision

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 21:01
<p>The nation's leading Spanish-language television networks, Univision and Telemundo, continue to pay the price for doubling and tripling down on pushing unfettered immigration policies, and declining numbers have now led to layoffs and more.</p>

Left-Leaning Sen. King Shockingly Calls Out Cuomo's Anti-Trump Bias: 'I Think You're Being a Little Hard'

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 21:00
<p>As Chris Cuomo, co-host of CNN's <em>New Day</em>, complained about President Trump's response to Russia's involvement in the poisoning of a former Russian spy residing in the UK, his guest, left-leaning Independent Senator Angus King told him "I think you're being a little hard." King, who caucuses with the Democrats and supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, is not normally known for defending President Trump.</p>

MSNBC Thinks It’s Strange Larry Kudlow Has Faith in ‘God’s Will’

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 20:38
<p>During MSNBC’s 11:00 a.m. ET hour, co-anchor Stephanie Ruhle made a point of mocking President Trump’s newly-named economic advisor and longtime CNBC analyst Larry Kudlow for expressing trust in “God’s will” as he began his new White House role.</p>

Cuomo: Hannity, Maddow Engage in 'Partisan Fights' (As If He Doesn't)

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 20:15
<p>CNN's Chris Cuomo will soon leave <em>New Day</em> for the network's 9 p.m. time slot. His new <em>Cuomo Prime Time </em>will compete with Fox News's Sean Hannity and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. In a Wednesday <em>Variety</em> piece, Cuomo said of his new competitors: "I don’t know where their partisan fights are getting us" — as if the CNN host himself isn't partisan.</p>

Apocalypse Now?

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 19:48
<p>Since the beginning of recorded history there have been end of the world predictions. In recent years we have had radio preachers, politicians and scientists declare with certainty that the world would soon end, either because of our decadent lifestyle, or because of "global warming," now known as "climate change."</p>

From the archives: Russian politics and Russian elections explained - AEI - American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

American Enterprise Institute - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 19:33

As the Russian election approaches, there is no better guide to the Russian enigma and its current president than the writings and research of American Enterprise Institute resident scholar and director of the Institute’s Russian studies, Leon Aron. For more than a quarter century at AEI, Aron has written about the country of his birth. His most recent collection of essays on this topic, “To Have and to Hold: Putin’s Quest for Control in the Former Soviet Empire,” takes a look at the political and military threat Russia poses to seven of its neighbors. This week, Aron invited a panel of experts to AEI in order to discuss this monograph and lay out possible US foreign policy responses.

In early 2000, he authored the first full length biography of Putin’s predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, which earned a glowing review on the front page of The New York Times’ Sunday book review for its deep understanding of a complicated individual who led a great nation at a fateful point in history. In this review, Bill Keller writes:

[Aron] understands in his bones the weird operational milieu of Soviet Communism. He understands how it got that way, how it functioned during the few decades when it functioned, how and why it failed and how on its deathbed it produced such anomalous Communists as Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin. He understands that the end of the Soviet empire was not primarily the work of a romantic popular uprising (although, unlike some scholars, he gives the Russian public its due), nor was it especially a triumph of cold-war containment; it was the result of the inevitable collapse of an exhausted economy propped up by a cynical ideology.

It is this same understanding that provides such potency to Aron’s work here at AEI. Just as Aron documented the changes Boris Yeltsin set in motion — the flowering of green shoots of freedom — he now seeks to bring clarity to this enigma as it unfolds under the reign of Putin. An interesting tidbit Aron noticed, “First, by the end of his term Putin will have been in power as president or de facto leader for 24 years — longer than any Russian ruler since Nicholas I (1825-1855) except for Stalin.”

Winston Churchill once uttered a famous phrase about the Russian enigma, ending with this: “Russia . . . is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”

Related podcast:

Aron’s deep historical knowledge undergirds his understanding of Russia’s past, present, and future. His writings help us understand how Putin, soon to be in his fourth term, sees the Russian national interest and his own.

If you are interested in learning more about Leon Aron’s work at AEI, check out his scholar page for a complete collection of his work spanning more than 25 years. To stay up-to-date with AEI’s Foreign & Defense Policy team, subscribe to their weekly newsletter using the form below.

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Welcome to AEI's The Rundown, your weekly analysis of US foreign and defense policy.

CNN Guest Resurrects Metaphor Comparing White House to Day Care

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 19:31
<p>During Thursday's edition of CNN’s <em>New Day</em>, political analyst Brian Karem compared the White House to a "dysfunctional day care center." The Playboy magazine correspondent made the comparison after co-host Alisyn Camerota brought up the “game of musical chairs” at the White House, consisting of the actual impending transfer of the CIA Director to the State Department and wild speculation about more potential cabinet shake-ups to come.</p>

Employment Requirements in Benefit Programs Needed to Reduce Poverty - AEI - American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

American Enterprise Institute - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 19:18

Chairman Guthrie, Ranking Member Davis, and members of the committee: Thank you for the opportunity to testify today on how to best encourage work and increase earnings for beneficiaries of our nation’s safety net programs.

My testimony today is informed by more than 18 years of working in state and local social services agencies in New York state and New York City. It is also informed by the evidence base associated with our safety net programs, the populations that participate in them, and the current condition of our labor market. My remarks reflect three key points:

(1) Our country’s social safety net reduces poverty, but it is most effective when families combine earnings with support
(2) Too many families receiving government benefits are not working at all, and
(3) An expectation of work across safety net programs needs more emphasis, which includes but is not limited to, implementing work requirements in our safety net programs.

As I mentioned, much of my career has been spent working to provide benefits directly to low-income residents. The most important lesson I learned is that our system is designed to help people escape poverty by combining income from earnings with assistance from government. When earnings are leveraged with public benefits, even a low-wage job offers a path out of poverty for families in which the adults are not disabled. A single parent with two children who works full-time for $8 per hour can receive $25,000 per year in government benefits when you consider SNAP, tax credits, child support and Medicaid, bringing their total income above the poverty line.

Work is important from an income perspective, but it also contributes to a sense of self-worth and confidence, as well as having the effect of strengthening social and communal ties. But for too many, work is absent and no earnings exist.

For these reasons, I believe that our public policies need to prioritize families who are receiving aid but not working. I am not referring to the elderly or the disabled. I am referring to working-age people receiving benefits who are not working but likely could be. And contrary to what some believe, the problem of limited or no work among recipients is real and large and needs to be addressed.

Read the PDF.

Humanitarian aid should never be used to justify war in conflict zones - AEI - American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

American Enterprise Institute - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 19:06

For years, aid groups have been trying to draw international attention to the dire humanitarian crisis in Syria. Now, the Trump administration is using the crisis in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta to justify potential military action. This approach is deeply problematic because it challenges the very foundation of the international humanitarian system.

People walk with their belongings as they flee the rebel-held town of Hammouriyeh, in the village of Beit Sawa, eastern Ghouta, Syria March 15, 2018. Reuters

Politicizing humanitarian aid to justify a strike on Syria would forever undermine the perception of humanitarian organizations as neutral, risking the lives of aid workers and limiting the future access of aid organizations to conflicts around the world.

In February, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire to allow for deliveries of humanitarian aid and medical evacuations in Syria. The United Nations estimates that 13.1 million Syrians require assistance and of these, 5.3 million are children.

When that resolution was predictably ignored, an aid convoy heroically endured continued shelling, finally reaching the besieged suburb of Damascus on March 5. However, the Assad regime’s attacks continued so intensely that the convoy was forced to turn around and leave Eastern Ghouta nine hours later without delivering all of its aid.

Understandably frustrated by this abysmal outcome, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley this week blamed the convoy’s failure on the cruelty of the Syrian and Russian governments. Invoking U.S. airstrikes ordered by President Trump last April following one of the Assad regime’s chemical weapons attacks on civilians, Haley’s message was clear: “The United States remains prepared to act if we must.”

But Haley and the rest of the Trump administration should think very carefully about how they are setting up potential military strikes on the Assad regime. The only reason that any aid organizations are currently able to operate in Syria is because Bashar Assad does not see them as a threat to his power.

Organizations like the Red Cross or Doctors without Borders were founded around a core set of values, often referred to as “dunantist” after Henry Dunant, who played a key role in the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Neutrality, impartiality and independence were seen as essential to the alleviation of human suffering.

Organizations that hold these values do not take sides in a conflict, treating both civilians and belligerents regardless of their political allegiance. They operate impartially, offering aid to those who need it the most, not just those who share their skin color or religion. As a result, they are seen by both governments and aid recipients as independent of the broader political processes associated with a conflict.

If the Trump administration appropriates the actions of these groups to justify military intervention, it will no doubt give other dictators and human rights abusers pause when considering whether to allow humanitarian aid to come into conflict zones. The resulting contraction of humanitarian space would cost countless lives.

This shift in justification would also have serious implications for the U.S. position on Yemen, a country faced with what the United Nations has declared the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Saudi Arabia repeatedly restricted humanitarian access in Yemen through its control of the country’s ports, before offering a $1.5 billion pledge of humanitarian assistance in January. The United States is clearly not prepared to act militarily to protect humanitarian assistance in Yemen, nor in the many other conflicts around the world where innocent civilians are suffering.

The Trump administration should not use humanitarianism to justify military action in Syria, and it does not have to. The Syrian regime has already provided more than enough reasons to act, including the continuing use of chemical weapons against the civilian population. Until Haley’s statement this week, the administration remained focused on Assad’s chemical weapons use. That message is compelling enough without jeopardizing the future of humanitarian aid.

Jessica Trisko Darden, Ph.D., is a Jeane Kirkpatrick fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and an assistant professor of international affairs at American University. You can follow her on Twitter @TriskoDarden.

Market Sets New Highs; Media Say Little

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 18:16
<p>The Nasdaq Composite, a tech-heavy index of 5,000 stocks, set new record highs again on March 9 and 12. Citing that and a host of other economic factors, market expert Marc Chandler described the current state of the economy as a “Goldilocks moment.”</p>

View’s Hostin Frets, Firing McCabe, 'The Stuff That Dictators Are Made Of!’

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 17:45
<p>March 15 on ABC’s <em>The View</em>, the table briefly discussed the potential firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who is under fire from the Justice Department for allowing FBI officials to talk to reporters about sensitive information regarding the Clinton Foundation investigation, and then going on to mislead Justice Department investigators in their review of this behavior.</p> <div> </div>

SNAP shouldn’t subsidize poor health - AEI - American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

American Enterprise Institute - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 17:39

Earlier this week, the Bipartisan Policy Council’s (BPC) SNAP Task Force released its report to promote better health through good nutrition using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As a member of the task force, our primary focus was addressing the contradiction now present in the country’s two largest safety net programs, SNAP and Medicaid. Both programs provide resources to low-income households so that they can afford a healthy lifestyle, yet when it comes to diet quality, SNAP falls short on its goals.

Medicaid and SNAP both provide resources to low-income households to support healthy lifestyles. But the latter actively undermines the former. Via Twenty20

Our task force developed 15 recommendations aimed at better promoting good nutrition through SNAP. Recommendations focused on prioritizing nutrition in SNAP, strengthening nutrition education in SNAP, better aligning Medicaid and SNAP, and better coordinating state and federal nutrition efforts.

One recommendation in particular — to eliminate sugary beverage purchases using SNAP — was expectedly controversial. SNAP provides $63 billion each year to low-income households to purchase food, much of which directly benefits retailers and beverage companies. It’s unsurprising that groups like the Food Marketing Institute, the National Grocer’s Association, and the American Beverage Association are opposed. Sugary beverages make up the second largest food group purchased in SNAP households, accounting for 9.3% of expenditures on food. Eliminating them from SNAP could mean billions of fewer dollars for beverage companies, as well as the grocers and marketers connected to them.

But the task force’s main concern was not the profitability of grocers and beverage companies. Instead, we focused on the purpose of SNAP, which is “to provide for improved levels of nutrition among low-income households.” We took seriously the concerns about industry disruption that might result from restricting sugary beverages, as well as concerns that they limit choice for SNAP participants. But in the end we believed that supporting the health and well-being of SNAP participants outweighed these concerns.

Sugary beverage consumption is harmful, and allowing it in the country’s main nutrition assistance program not only hurts poor people but costs the government billions in related health care costs through Medicaid.

The medical community is unequivocal on this point. As we highlighted in the report:

It is appropriate to target SSBs specifically because, while added sugars are rarely if ever conducive to good health, a growing body of research finds that SSBs have particularly pernicious effects: Unlike almost all other foods or beverages, they have no nutritional value and only cause harm to health without benefits. Per serving, SSBs are associated with greater long-term weight gain than nearly any other dietary component. Independent of weight gain, SSB consumption is also linked to diabetes and coronary heart disease. For every one to two daily servings of SSBs consumed, an individual’s lifetime risk of developing diabetes increases by 30 percent. This is concerning considering that the average number of servings of SSBs consumed by low-income adults (both SNAP participants and income-eligible nonparticipants) is almost three per day.

Restricting sugary beverages from SNAP is also needed to counteract the substantial marketing of sugary beverages that exists today. A 2012 survey of adolescents found that almost half of teens reported exposure to sugary beverage advertisements on a daily basis. Additionally, from our report:

In the United States in 2016, the food industry spent over $13.5 billion on advertising, including advertising for unhealthy items and SSBs. At least $1.8 billion of this total was spent on marketing that specifically targets children. According to a 2012 Federal Trade Commission report, fast food, carbonated beverages, and breakfast cereals account for 72 percent ($1.29 billion) of all youth-directed marketing expenditures. In addition, a high volume of often industry-supported conflicting messages about nutrition and food means that much of the public is confused about what to eat and has difficulty evaluating many of the terms commonly used to market foods, such as “natural” or “healthy.”

Direct marketing efforts that prop up sugary beverages and other high-sugar foods substantially overshadow SNAP’s nutrition education efforts. Eliminating sugary beverages from SNAP would complement nutrition education efforts and send perhaps the strongest possible message about proper nutrition and good health.

Almost eight years ago, as a Deputy Commissioner, I helped draft a request to restrict sugary beverages from SNAP in New York City, which was ultimately denied by the federal government. Since that time, the problem of obesity, especially among children, has gotten worse. In 2015–2016, 35.1% of all children were overweight or obese compared to 32% in 2010. To make matters worse, two out of every five 16–19 year olds fit this category in 2015–2016. Sugary beverages are a main contributor with daily calories attributed to them still 30% higher compared to 1990 among children.

Now is the time to put the health of low-income families above all other interests. SNAP may not be the entire solution, but it shouldn’t be contributing to the problem. As Congress starts to debate the Farm Bill, an honest discussion is needed about who benefits from sugary beverages in SNAP and who is harmed. Because allowing sugary beverages in SNAP does nothing to make low-income families healthier.

Learn more:

Hillary Clinton's Bitter Attack in India on Trump Voters Nearly Dies In Darkness

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 17:31
<p>Over the weekend, bitter also-ran Hillary Clinton traveled to India to complain about losing to Donald Trump again. The story broke on Monday, but the complaints apparently weren’t jarring enough to disturb the Democrats at the networks. On Tuesday, <em>Washington Post </em>political blogger Aaron Blake reported it as "incendiary” and “pretty remarkable.” Only Fox News agreed.</p>

CNN Hosts Complain About Lack of Action on Gun Control, Attack Rubio

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 17:20
<p>The co-hosts of CNN's <em>New Day</em> complained about lack of congressional action on gun control Thursday morning, one day after a multitude of students across the country walked out of class to protest gun violence. Chris Cuomo complained that Republican Senator John Kennedy (La.) introduced a bill to ban airlines from putting animals in overhead compartments while Congress has still yet to do anything on the gun issue.  Minutes later, while interviewing Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.), Alisyn Camerota mocked Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Fla.) for introducing a bill to make Daylight Saving Time year round, asking "Do you think that helps gun violence?"</p>

The coming end of the Arthur Brooks era - AEI - American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

American Enterprise Institute - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 17:04

Yesterday afternoon, at AEI — my other home, as it were — Arthur Brooks delivered his annual State of the Institute address. After running through all of the (very good) numbers and laying out his visions for various programs and the institution itself, he brought up the fact that he’s argued for years that leaders of think tanks and similar “social enterprises” should leave while things are going good. I let out a slightly too audible groan, because I knew where he was heading. He told all of us that he asked the board to start a search for the next president of AEI. Also, he added, an op-ed by him will be up at the Wall Street Journal in a few minutes making the decision public.

Within minutes my phone lit up with text messages and emails asking, “What’s the real story?” It’s an understandable reaction these days given how so many cover stories quickly evaporate when the slightest light is shed on them. Moreover, the presidency of AEI is one of the greatest jobs in the world (for the right person), so giving it up voluntarily seemed too implausible in this cynical age. But as I spent a chunk of the afternoon telling people yesterday, the cover story is the actual story. As far as I can tell, Arthur is overwhelmingly popular at AEI from the interns to the Board of Trustees. Do some people have disagreements with him? Sure. But Arthur has been explicit from the beginning that he wants AEI to be full of disagreements. He is not merely tolerant of dissent, he encourages it.

Arthur Brooks is a strange creature by Washington standards. Heck he’s a strange creature by bipedal standards. A former French horn player who decided to be an egghead late in life, he is a unique mix of Catholic piety, data obsession, sartorial connoisseurism, physical fitness, old-soul wisdom and basic decency. He reminds me of William F. Buckley in several ways. But at the top of the list: He shares Bill’s commitment to good manners, and, for a guy who seemingly knows everything, he is remarkably interested in the opinions of others. (The Arthur you hear in this podcast I did with him is the Arthur I know).

I don’t want to sound like I’m writing a eulogy. Arthur’s not dying. But a little bit of what has made AEI so special for the last decade surely is. I’m sure the next president of AEI will be great. But he will be no Arthur Brooks because there is simply no one quite like Arthur Brooks and, if I may offer my two cents early in the search process, it would be folly to try to find “another Arthur.” An Arthur Brooks impersonator would be a pale imitation because no one could fake Arthur’s gifts. They can only come naturally, and they only come along once in a generation, if that frequently.

Related reading:

CNN Compares ICE Deportations to Nazis Rounding Up Jews

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 16:27
<p>CNN, the alleged “facts first” network, made an absurd and egregious comparison last night on Twitter, demonizing illegal immigration officials as comparable to the Nazis. In a March 14 tweet, CNN touted their own report of a Jewish woman taking in illegal immigrants, “driven by thoughts of the Holocaust:”</p> <div> </div>


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