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House panel OKs bill cracking down on cop killers

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 15:18
The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill on Thursday aimed at combating police deaths by enforcing stricter penalties for their killers.

US adds Saudi ISIS leader to terror list

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 14:13
The deputy leader of ISIS' affiliate in Saudi Arabia was designated as a terrorist on Thursday, according to the State Department.

Trump orders investigation into aluminum imports

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:59
President Donald Trump has signed a memo ordering an expedited investigation into whether aluminum imports are jeopardizing U.S. national security.

Trump, Argentine President Macri hold White House talks

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:58
President Donald Trump welcomed Argentine President Mauricio to the White House for talks on Thursday and said they'll end up being "great friends, better than ever before."

It's the ignorance, stupid

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:41
Is ignorance actually bliss?

Lawmakers push to roll back Obama-era e-cigarette regulations

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:17
Rep. Duncan Hunter, a long-time vaping proponent, introduced a bill Thursday aimed at loosening regulations for e-cigarette products that were tightened under the Obama administration.

ICE rips pranksters jamming hotline to report space aliens

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 12:51
The Trump administration is blasting pranksters who are jamming a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement hotline meant for victims of illegal alien crime – in order to report encounters with space aliens.

Trump's national monument order delights Utah Republicans, but sets stage for legal battle

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 12:32
Speaking during a signing ceremony at the Interior Department, Trump derided the national monument protection efforts of the last three presidents “a massive federal land grab.”

The Wheels of Change Turn Slowly

Cato Recent Op Eds - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 11:25

Ike Brannon

The Washington Post recently trumpeted an innovative new way that D.C. area residents are getting to work: taking the bus! It’s just the contrarian, old-is-the-new-hip take that’s bound to make the kids start buying morning newspapers again; never mind the fact that bus trips are down 12 percentin the last year.

Like much of the dreck that’s in the paper these days, there’s a little bit of truth wrapped up in its banal perspective—taking the bus probably does work for more people these days, especially given Metro’s troubles over the last year, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) could do more to help people use it.

However, it’s far from a panacea. The area’s bus service has as many problems as the Metro, and the biggest one is true for both: WMATA has been dreadfully slow at improving its bus service.

WMATA has been dreadfully slow at improving its bus service.

When I first got to town 15 years ago, I lived a block from a bus route that went directly by my place of work—a perfect arrangement, it seemed to me. I faithfully took the bus to work every day for my first month until I discovered one day that it was, in fact, faster to walk the 2 miles to and from work.

The problems with the bus route I took were numerous and self-evident to anyone who rode the route regularly. For starters, the stops were way too close together—less than a city block apart in many instances.

Exacerbating the time cost of each bus stop was the fact that many stops gave the bus little room to navigate in and out of traffic. The people in my neighborhood are adamant about protecting every single conceivable parking spot: Since the city charges a pittance for residents to store their car on the street, there is a vast excess demand for street parking, and the powers that be are willing to slow a few thousand commuters by 30 seconds a day to save even one spot.

And while Connecticut Avenue, the main corridor for my bus route, ostensibly limits parking during rush hours, such rules were (and remain) haphazardly enforced.

The traffic lights didn’t do buses any favors either: the lights flowing with rush hour traffic seemed to be timed so that a bus having to make stops usually hit each one. The one respite from these lights—going under Dupont Circle—was something that buses inexplicably never did until a decade ago, which meant that each bus had to navigate a circle choked with parked cars that would take a good five minutes during a rush hour.

To its credit, WMATA eventually figured out some of these problems. Buses now go under Dupont Circle during rush hour, and for those that do remain on the circle some parking has been removed and a new traffic pattern eased bottlenecks there. A few bus stops have been consolidated, although not enough.

And there seems to be a little less tolerance for errant bus driver behavior. In my initial months of commuting via the bus I had one driver stop the bus to feed a parking meter, and another driver stop to try to get a woman’s phone number. One afternoon a driver kept our bus at a traffic light for five full minutes without moving or responding to any entreaties from the passengers before moving on—a bit extreme but not especially so: Bus drivers go out of their way to hit red lights in this town.

It also appears that WMATA and D.C. have become more diligent in fixing a broken system. Last weekend I found myself in Georgetown and was amazed to observe traffic flowing normally—a feat usually achieved only during the overnight hours. The reason was that the city had blocked parking on a stretch of M street and used fences to give the lanes to pedestrians. The absence of drivers trying to get in and out of parking spots on an exceedingly crowded road fixed what had seemed to be an intractable problem.

WMATA’s new management seems to genuinely want to improve Metro’s safety and performance—the previous managers no doubt did as well, but didn’t seem willing to upset as many apple carts to achieve it as the current crew. These days the bus beats walking to my old job most days, sometimes by a fair margin. Here’s hoping it keeps getting better.

Ike Brannon is president of Capital Policy Analytics, a Washington consulting firm, and a visiting fellow at the Cato Institute.

North Korean crisis 'worst I’ve seen,' top Navy officer warns

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 10:47
The senior U.S. Navy officer overseeing military operations in the Pacific region told lawmakers Thursday that the North Korean crisis is the worst he’s seen -- testifying that it's only a matter of time before Kim Jong Un has the capability of launching a nuclear warhead toward the United States.

Man behind Trump's trillion-dollar infrastructure bill says it will create jobs

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 10:42
Imagine you had a trillion dollars and your job is to figure out how to spend it.

Obama's $400G Wall Street speech leaves liberal base stunned

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 10:39
Former President Obama's upcoming speech to Wall Streeters is putting $400,000 in his pocket - and putting longtime supporters in a difficult situation.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai reveals plan to 'reverse the mistake' of 'net neutrality'

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 10:11
Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, announced on Wednesday a plan to "reverse the mistake" of the Obama-era "net neutrality" regulations.

Letter shows Michael Flynn warned about foreign money; IG launches probe

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 09:48
The Defense Department inspector general has launched a probe into whether former national security adviser Michael Flynn failed to obtain prior approval for foreign payments he received – as new documents indicate he was warned about such arrangements.

Brunt of Syrian war hitting unborn children, mothers hardest

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 09:14
Before the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, medical professionals participated in an estimated 96 percent of deliveries in the Middle Eastern country. But as the six-year-long civil war drags on, with scores of hospitals having been blown to bits and doctors having died or fled, Syria’s unborn babies are the conflict’s unseen victims.

California gas tax hike prompts fierce backlash from the right

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 09:08
A 12-cent gas tax hike recently approved by California's Democratic leaders has prompted a huge backlash on the right, with a grassroots coalition vowing to ensure it never takes effect.

Trump has his Cabinet, but lagging behind on other appointments

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 09:00
While President Trump overcame deep Democratic resistance to install his Cabinet picks in his first 100 days, the former executive has struggled to fill hundreds of other administration posts -- and the vacancies could pose a mounting challenge as his presidency moves into the next phase.

AWW: United Nations really concerned Obamacare repeal would violate ‘global law’

Michelle Malkin - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 08:59

**Written by Doug Powers

I can’t seem to recall the U.N. expressing a similar level of concern after Obama’s “if you like your plan you can keep it” promise exploded and got a few million cancellation letters mailed out, but here you go:

The United Nations contacted the Trump administration earlier this year about its efforts to repeal ObamaCare, according to a new report.

The U.N.’s “urgent appeal” asked whether scrapping ObamaCare without a suitable replacement would violate global law, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The Post reported that the Feb. 2 memo was sent from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva.

“Recent reports have assessed the negative impact that this reform may have on the right to health of almost 30 million people in the U.S.,” the letter says.

“I wish to express serious concern over the impact of these measures on the rights to the enjoyment of the highest sustainable standard of physical and mental health and the right to social security of the people in the United States of America.”

There’s a “global law” about health insurance? And besides, the last thing the world needs is another lecture from the august body with Saudi Arabia on its Women’s Rights commission. Stuff like that makes me hope Trump shuts down U.N. headquarters in NYC and turns it into a Yuge Suites luxury hotel. The White House should respond swiftly.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

'Enormous progress' in US-Mexico ties, Mexican foreign minister says

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 08:54
Remarks followed a Wednesday night call between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Moore running for US Senate

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 08:43
Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's entry into the U.S. Senate race adds another layer of drama to what's already expected to be a rollicking special election to fill the seat previously held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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