**Written by Doug Powers
Yesterday, Barack Obama told an audience in Chicago what’s wrong with DC politics:
The ex-prez is still leading by example in his own curious way:
That Hillary-esque shot & chaser made for a funny juxtaposition, but CNN was too busy blushing to take much notice in anything like that:
Need a minute alone, CNN?
**Written by Doug Powers
Straight talk about women and the workplace…from the Little Brown Woman with a Big Mouth
by Michelle Malkin for CRTV.com
I am a woman who has worked in the media industry for 25 years – in newspapers, television, and on the Internet.
I’ve worked for big corporations and family-owned companies and independent start-ups and founded two of my own websites.
I am here to tell you that there is nothing stopping women from blowing the whistle if they don’t like how they are treated.
The most important career advice I give to young women is to learn to say NO. The world won’t end if you walk away from an awkward or ugly situation and head for the door if managers won’t support you.
I speak from experience. My conflicts with various media bigwigs and personalities – both men AND women – who crossed the line with me are well known. I don’t wait years to call people out. And I do it out in the open. Not behind closed doors.
If you’ve been sexually harassed and you CHOOSE to keep quiet about it because your career ambition is more important to you than your self-respect, blame yourself.
If you’ve been insulted or dissed by colleagues and you CHOOSE to suffer in silence because getting on air is more important to you than defending your integrity, that’s on you.
If you go along with the corporate ladder-climbing game and collect your paycheck and smile for the cameras while you sit across from the table from some creeper or pig or jerk, don’t expect sympathy 3 or 5 or 10 years later when you suddenly feel compelled to share a tale of hurt feelings to ingratiate yourself with your new bosses.
And if you LIE about sexual harassment or rape for fame, money, revenge, or political score-settling, you are the lowest form of female crapweasel on the planet.
Don’t blame The Patriarchy or Institutional Sexism for your own choices and failures and falsehoods.
Get off the Victim Bandwagon and hold yourself accountable.
That’s what TRUE feminist empowerment is all about.
**Written by Doug Powers
The words “My Sex Junk” and “Bill Nye in the same title is all you need to know, and apologies in advance to those who haven’t seen this clip from the Netflix show hosted by the nation’s foremost self-acclaimed climatologist that dropped on the same week as the “March for Science” and “Earth Day.” The science is settled — you might want to take some sort of antiemetic before clicking “play”:
The only reason I really wanted to share that is so everybody has an idea of who our scientific betters are, but now for some reason I’m in the mood to go set fire to a giant mountain of tires bathed in diesel fuel.
**Written by Doug Powers
The 8 June General Election is being viewed through the prism of Brexit.
In one fell swoop, it is said that Theresa May can quash holdout Remainers, manage her party’s competing visions of Brexit, and improve her Brussels negotiating strength. Add to that giving herself until 2022 to implement a deal before fresh elections, and going to the polls now makes sense.
But in the absence of meaningful opposition, far too little thought or attention is being given to the needs of the economy and a post-Brexit vision.
Politically, this is understandable. In fact, a Faustian pact will develop between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats for this General Election to be EU referendum mark two. The Tories know the overwhelming majority of constituencies voted for Brexit (Chris Hanretty has estimated 63 per cent of them). For the Lib Dems, starting with a mere minibus load of MPs, picking up seats where the Brexit irreconcilables are highly concentrated is the limit of their ambition. Both will overplay the election’s influence on delivering our EU exit.
With such weak opposition, the time for a bold, free market policy platform is now.
The arithmetic truth is that the Brexit die is cast. Jeremy Corbyn gets that, at least, which is why he is focusing on domestic issues. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for the rest of us, his weak leadership, anti-patriotism and economic socialism are so toxic that he is irrelevant to the discussion we need on a vision for Britain post-Brexit.
Thus far the Conservatives have been largely silent on this. May appears all but guaranteed to win a large mandate, but to what end? As well as enjoying the dominance of commanding a large majority, an understated effect of Britain leaving the EU is that the new government will be more powerful through virtue of having more powers. Repatriated levers in trade, regulation, tax, migration, agriculture and fishing will lead to a host of decisions to make. We have little insight into how the Prime Minister would seek to utilise them, and what principles will guide her in doing so.
The same is true on domestic economic policy. May has claimed the Brexit vote shows the public wants fundamental change. Yet so far her words and deeds are out of sync. An uninspiring first week of campaigning has seen the renewal of the arbitrary 0.7 per cent of GDP aid spending target, and a promise to cap energy prices — an economically illiterate policy for which her party rightly castigated Ed Miliband in 2015. In fact, the “boldest” move so far has been her willingness to flirt with abandoning a pledge not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT.
I doubt many Brexit voters expected the referendum result to be interpreted as a call for Miliband’s price controls, foreign aid or tax hikes, particularly given the Conservatives are already projected to take the tax-to-GDP ratio to its highest level in 30 years. The only thing saving any of this from being an electoral albatross is that Labour would be certain to do more of each.
Yet the wider problem is that this kind of agenda is not how Britain is going to make a success of Brexit. With recent polls showing the Conservatives at 45 per cent to Labour’s 26 per cent, the Prime Minister may not believe she needs to think much about economic reform. On this, she should learn from David Cameron. As the new Tory leader, he thought he could concentrate on other issues, right up until the point the financial crisis and ballooning budget deficit slapped him into shape. Now is the time to seek to turbo-charge the economy into any Brexit-related headwinds.
So significant is the Prime Minister’s room for manoeuvre that Britain has a unique opportunity to adopt an expansive free trade vision, to overhaul corporate taxation to attract inward investment, to liberalise energy markets, reclaim fishing grounds and replace the hated Common Agricultural Policy. With buckets of political capital to spare, the Tories could push for pro-growth property and land tax reform, further planning liberalisation and school choice too - leaving Britain structurally much better placed for strong growth in a post-Brexit environment.
It remains to be seen whether May will seize the initiative. But her backbench Tory colleagues should be making the case that the space for this kind of agenda exists in the manifesto. Many of them will be content with cementing Brexit and worrying about the details of what to do with it and in preparation for it later. But this would be a huge missed opportunity. With such weak opposition, the time for a bold, free market policy platform is now.Ryan Bourne occupies the R Evan Scharf Chair in the Public Understanding of Economics at the Cato Institute in Washington DC.
Marian L. Tupy
Whatever the final outcome of the French presidential election, the actual consequences for France will likely be less dramatic than many people hope or fear. Emmanuel Macron is a political novice, who enjoys support of the French political establishment only in so far as it is necessary to beat Marine Le Pen. His political party is a year old and it is unlikely that Macron’s personal appeal, such as it is, will translate into a parliamentary majority. Let’s not forget that Macron was the first choice of just 24 percent of the French electorate.
If Macron does become president, he will likely face a Parliament constituted of political parties that owe him zero loyalty. The French Parliament will be elected in June and the center-right Republicans, the National Front of Marine Le Pen, and an assortment of socialists and communists, are likely to be abundantly represented as well.
The consequences of France’s presidential election, irrespective of the final results, will be less dramatic than many people think.
Traditionally, French presidents have found it impossible to push through reforms even when they had parliamentary majorities (e.g., Alain Juppe’s and Jacques Chirac’s attempt to reform the French welfare system in 1995). Unlike his predecessors, Macron will be left alone to face the fury of special interests, such as the powerful public sector unions. That is not a recipe for a successful administration.
If Macron’s limited reform agenda fails, France will suffer five additional years of decline and anguish. By 2022, Le Pen’s radical platform will be even more appealing to the disgruntled populace.
Should she become president, Le Pen will face similar constraints to Macron’s. “France’s constitution says that proposed laws on the organization of state powers, reforms relating to economic, social and environmental policy, or a request for authority to ratify a treaty can be decided by referendums. But it stops short of providing the power to withdraw France from an existing international agreement.”
To give the voters such power, the Constitution would have to be changed in accordance with Article 89 of the Constitution, which says that “any such change must first be approved by the National Assembly and the Senate.” So that too is a non-starter in a Parliament united in opposition to Le Pen’s agenda.
That, in any case, is the theory. In practice, Le Pen could try to emulate President Charles de Gaulle, whose 1962 electoral reform was backed by a majority of voters and became law. De Gaulle “did not get the required parliamentary approval for it. He went straight to the French people. It was a revision of the Constitution but he did not use the revision procedure because he knew the two chambers [of Parliament] would be against it.”
The French legal community agrees that De Gaulle’s action was unconstitutional, but Marine Le Pen could attempt something similar. If that happens, years of legal wrangling will follow.
France’s choices aren’t good not only because of the shortcomings of the two remaining candidates. Making matters worse is the poor shape of the French economy and national security concerns—both of which require radical changes that the French political system is ill-suited to actualize. No matter who wins in May, expect malaise to continue.Marian L. Tupy is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity and editor of www.humanprogress.org.