DC Exclusives – Opinion

“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” — Letter to Congress from Attorney General William Barr

Now that the findings of the Department of Justice have exonerated the president, will Democrats follow their own advice, admit there was no collusion or obstruction and Move On?

The liberal activist organization of that name was founded a generation ago when Congress investigated and tried to impeach President Clinton. Congress didn’t take the advice of legal experts and constitutional scholars then, and unfortunately it looks like Democrats intend to repeat the mistake.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) says regardless of the report’s findings, he will pursue investigations even “broader” than what the special counsel has done with 2,800 subpoenas, 500 witnesses, some 500 search warrants and more than $25 million over the last two years.

Democrats and the media should be trying to heal the nation not divide us. Instead, Democrats intend to spend the next two years subpoenaing and dragging every member of Trump’s administration, his family and business associates to testify before their committees.

Nadler says he’s doing it to protect “the rule of law.”

But will House Democrats really respect the institutions and traditions of American jurisprudence? If the past is prelude, the answer to that questions is, sadly, no.

Democrats did away with the presumption of innocence for Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Kavanaugh, with his family and the American people paying the price Now, Democrats are now ready to abandon other bedrock principles of American justice.

One of the most basic principles is equality before the law!

The Constitution prohibits double jeopardy. It’s a matter of basic fairness — no one should be victimized by vindictive prosecutors armed with the power of government and $25 million in financial backing of the U.S. Treasury.

Congressional Democrats’ endless investigations, leaks and political machinations violate the spirit of that constitutional prohibition. Americans understand that, no matter what the spin or who stands accused. The constitution guarantees fair and equal justice for every American regardless of who they are!

Democrats want to convict President Trump in the court of public opinion to set the stage for impeaching him. That’s what Rep. Nadler told George Stephanopoulos: “Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen.” Fortunately Mueller’s exoneration of President Trump will make that extremely difficult to do, despite media persecution and false news stories,

The Democrats are ready to violate another norm of legal precedent by asking Attorney General Barr and the DOJ to release every scrap of paper the special counsel gathered.

Prosecutors normally don’t release confidential material gathered during an investigation out of respect for the privacy of individuals not charged with a crime.

”The normal procedure is that unless there’s a damn good reason, you don’t release grand jury material,” Nadler said a generation ago when he opposed releasing the evidence behind the Ken Starr report.

Nadler and fellow Democrats accused the Judiciary Committee of seeking the background material to build a public case for impeaching President Clinton.

“They don’t think there is enough of a vote for impeachment yet out in the public,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), the second ranking Democrat on the committee, said. “So what you have a very one-sided, partisan effort to release material, before the president gets a chance to review it or respond to it, that makes the president look bad.”

Nadler took a page from that playbook and now demands the raw material Mueller obtained to build his own case for impeaching President Trump. Furthermore, he says the White House “should not get an advance look at the report” or the evidence.

That’s quite an about face from the Jerry Nadler of 1998 who fought for Clinton to have time to look at the Starr report. “The president is asking for two days. The Republicans say no,” he said bitterly.

The DOJ does not release such information to protect the innocent. Furthermore, the Trump administration has a legal right to review the report, prepare a response, rebuke any false accusations and information covered by executive privilege. 

As for an impartial hearing, President Trump can expect no better from House Democrats than Senate Democrats gave Judge Kavanaugh.

Chairman Nadler already convicted the president of obstruction of justice before seeing the attorney general’s letter and the Mueller report.

House Democrats don’t care that the special counsel found the president did not collude with the Russians or obstruct justice. They will continue their investigations, attempts to smear the president. Like Javert obsessed with Jean Valjean, Democrats can’t help themselves.

All Americans, Democrats, Republicans and independents alike, should be celebrating the fact investigators found no evidence of collusion. However, Democrats won’t take the finding of no collusion or obstruction for an answer.

That tells you they were never pursuing the truth, just a political vendetta and a different outcome for the 2016 election. Their obsession with President Trump will only further divide the nation, not help unite us.

Rep. Nadler says he wants to protect the rule of law and “the institutions we depend on for our democratic form of government.”

But Democrats are weakening those institutions by engaging in relentless political warfare. Voters elected Congress to address the very real challenges our country faces — an opioid epidemic, China’s economic aggression, the crisis on our southern border, the difficulty of raising a family, to name, just a few.

Our system is founded on belief in equal justice under the law. All will be held accountable.

We hope the politicians, intelligence officials, journalists and media executives who fed Americans unfounded speculation, conspiracy theories for the last two years that have done incalculable damage to our country and its institutions will be held accountable.

Preserve the principles of justice on which our incredible country was founded.

Kimberly Guilfoyle (@KimGuilfoyle) is vice chairwoman of America First Policies, a nonprofit organization supporting key policy initiatives that will work for all citizens in our country and put America first.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Duke got the scare of a lifetime Sunday against UCF.

The Blue Devils won 77-76, but the dramatics were high. Coach K’s guys took a lead with seconds remaining, and then nearly blew it on two missed shots from the Knights. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

If you have a heart condition or a weak stomach, I wouldn’t recommend watching the ending sequence below.

Simply an unreal finish. UCF had two chances to win after Tacko Fall fouled out. Two of them in the closing seconds!

This game was everything I hoped for and much more. Fall was incredibly entertaining to watch, Zion Williamson was incredible down the stretch and Duke survived to fight another day.

That’s what March Madness is all about. You fight to earn the right to play 40 more minutes. It doesn’t get much more American than that.

There was no reason for Duke to win that game. Absolutely none at all, but they did. That ending was literally the type of situation you can’t script.

Welcome to March, gentlemen. It’s always one hell of a fun ride.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Bob Barr | Former Congressman (R-GA)

The college-admissions scandal announced this involved public and private colleges and universities from coast to coast. It netted the perpetrators tens of millions of dollars, and ensnared media darlings along with working-class individuals. While it may be the largest such scandal in the history of modern higher education, it is not the first and likely won’t be the last.

At the outset, it is important that this “vast college prep conspiracy” be considered and treated solely and precisely for what it is — a criminal enterprise fueled by greed. Grift on a massive scale.

Already, however, some on the Left are shifting the focus from the crass criminality of the scandal’s many participants, to a broader political attack on “privilege” in America. Others, on the conservative side are blaming affirmative action as the predicate for what the federal indictment properly characterized as a “racketeering enterprise.”

While the cheating scandal very well may exhibit elements of “class privilege” and affirmative-action abuse, obscuring the scheme by viewing it through the lens of contemporary public policy debates diminishes its importance and increases the likelihood it will be repeated.

Ten years ago, the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) system was shaken by a massive cheating scandal; orchestrated not by students trying to improve their grades, but by teachers and administrators fearful that lower student scores on standardized tests mandated by the federal “No Child Left Behind Act,” would slow the spigot of federal tax dollars on which the schools had become dependent.

When news of the APS scandal broke, many educators and public officials in Atlanta and across Georgia sought to have it addressed administratively; as a policy failure rather than a criminal enterprise. The pressure to thus downplay the scandal was pronounced. Fortunately, the venue in which the cases unfolded over the following five years remained exactly where it should have been — in criminal court.

Atlanta’s public schools still have not recovered fully from that sordid scandal, but the example set by aggressive prosecution of the teachers and administrators involved — a process free of partisan politics or racial division — remains a gold star in a state not often cited for upholding high ethical standards.

We all should hope that a decade from now, the 2019 college preparatory cheating scandal will be similarly remembered and cited as an example of how greed rising to the level of systemic criminality must be addressed by prosecution rather than policy debate. This is a task far more difficult than it should be, considering that in today’s hyper-partisan climate virtually every matter of constitutional or legal significance is distilled down to an excuse to challenge someone’s racial, gender, political or class worldview.

A review of the indictment unsealed just days ago — charging more than four dozen individuals with fraud, money laundering and racketeering in a scheme to afford children with parents of means an unfair advantage to gain admittance to top-tier universities — makes clear why the criminal process must remain front and center.

The scheme charted in the federal indictment was extensive in every important respect: taking place over several years and with tentacles reaching from university athletic and admission officials, to individuals employed by organizations supposed to fairly administer college entrance exams and even to include high school teachers; all were part of the grift. Virtually no aspect of the college-entrance process was unsullied by the racketeering scheme, including tax laws and various other federal laws designed to ensure fair competition in college admission processes.

The scheme was so brazen and sophisticated that — as detailed in the indictment — the managers of the conspiracy maintained their own “waiting lists,” so that if a child whose parents already had paid bribes (sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars) to secure their admittance to a chosen university ultimately decided not to go to that school, the ringleaders simply gave that “slot” to the child of another crooked parent.

Thankfully, our federal criminal justice system remains largely insulated from the childish vagaries that have infected the parameters of public policy debate in modern America. While it would boost ratings if the scandal were presented as a “reality” show rather than a federal criminal proceeding, allowing it to be trivialized in such way would do great and lasting harm to our nation’s system of higher education.

Bob Barr (@BobBarr) represented Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He currently serves as president and CEO of the Law Enforcement Education Foundation.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

Over the past several decades, the think tank world in Washington has led the conservative movement down a path in which it is essentially the president of the local debate society but has precious little impact on public policy outcomes that affect the lives of real Americans. 

Recent criticisms of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol by the Competitive Enterprise Institute demonstrate this clearly. In addition, these criticisms make plain that the same think tank culture has yet to grapple with the ascent of President Trump and all he represents.

The Kigali Amendment is a relatively obscure proposal, but one that would have a significant and positive impact on American manufacturers and their employees.

In the next decade, one billion air-conditioners will be installed around the world, making it a good time to be in the air conditioning business. America has been the global AC leader since American innovation first brought it to market in 1902. The Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration industry — or HVACR — is a domestic powerhouse. It is responsible for over 2.5 million American jobs, almost 700,000 manufacturing jobs, and $621 billion of economic output per year. 

Kigali initiates a phase down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in air conditioning systems and replaces them with new coolants. As it happens, American manufacturers hold the patents on the bulk of those new products. By signing onto Kigali, America will remain the global leader in the industry.

Despite the undeniable advantages Kigali provides to American manufacturers, it deals with a climate-related issue, so the folks at CEI have adjusted their spectacles and straightened their bow ties and have begun to lecture American workers on how terrible it is.  

CEI argues that China gets more lenient treatment under Kigali. While it’s true that China will be permitted to continue producing HFCs under Kigali, as he states, they will not be permitted to sell these products in the U.S if we sign on Kigali. It’s irrelevant how many HFCs China will be permitted to make, let alone for how long, if it’s illegal to sell them. 

Kigali will have a positive impact on U.S. manufacturing and the U.S. economy. A recent study conducted by Inforum and JMS Consulting titled, “Economic Impacts of U.S. Ratification of the Kigali Amendment,” shows is will have a net positive impact on America’s trade imbalance of more than $12.5 billion by 2027.

But China cheats, they argue in their second point. Well, duh. Of course China cheats. They’ve already gotten pinched for dumping cheap coolants into the U.S. market. But that was under a different president. If nothing else, President Trump has shown he will not stand by as China cheats its way to global economic dominance.  The truth is, Kigali stops Chinese cheating. This is a principal reason why the economic impact study cited above found that ratification would lead to $6.5 billion in reduced imports.  

CEI’s third point is their most onerous and sloppy. They claim U.S. companies like Honeywell and Chemours will just manufacture new products in China anyway. Wrong. So wrong, in fact, that their supporting documentation for this fake news states, “On the fluoroproducts side, Chemours plans to shift most production of its Opteon hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerant to its new plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, US.”  That story went on to quote Chemours’ CEO saying that the company “will shift most of our production to Corpus Christi as soon as possible.” 

Overall, American companies have invested more than $1 billion in research, development, and expanded domestic production of next generation coolants.  What’s more, Kigali has the support of virtually the entire U.S. business community, large and small.

Donald Trump is a master negotiator whose stated goal as president of the United States is to reconfigure global agreements to benefit America. He isn’t an ideologue. He isn’t concerned with legacy disputes between competing think tanks in Washington. And he’s tired of deals that meet some precious standard for “free market” purity but hurt American workers.  These are some of the reasons people like me, regular working Americans, flocked to his campaign early and stuck with him when the establishment tried to take him down.

I trust that President Trump will send the Kigali Amendment to the Senate for ratification on its merits, where it will be well received by Republicans and Democrats alike. 

Paul Nagy (SouthTrentonGuy) has worked as a conservative activist in New Hampshire for over 30 years. He is the founder and chairman of Americans for Secure Borders, and worked previously as northeast campaign director for Pat Buchanan’s 1992 presidential campaign and as the northeast regional director for the National Christian Coalition.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is done playing football.

The three-time Super Bowl champion wrote the following in part on Instagram Sunday when explaining his decision:

It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field.

You can see his whole post below.

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It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

What a crazy development on a Sunday afternoon. There appeared to be some serious hints that Gronk was going to be done sooner than later. He’d been very open about his injuries in the past and the physical toll of the game on his body.

What an incredible career he has had. He’ll go down in history as arguably the greatest tight end to ever pick up a football. (RELATED: Patriots Beat The Rams In The Super Bowl)

Plus, he gets to go out after winning another Super Bowl. What more could you ask for?

Gronk will retire with 79 career receiving touchdowns and 7861 receiving yards. He also made more than $50 million in his career.

I have no idea what the former Patriots star will do in retirement, but I do know that he’ll have plenty of options. He’s an incredibly entertaining guy, he’s charismatic and seems to crush it in front of the cameras.

My guess is that he’ll have no shortage of suitors in the entertainment world. Props to him for an incredible career, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Wisconsin Badgers are national champions.

My women’s hockey team defeated Minnesota 2-0 Sunday afternoon in dominating fashion to win our fifth national title in the past 13 years.

Star Annie Pankowski shredded apart the Gophers, and our neighbors to the west really never had a chance. (RELATED: Watch ‘Miracle On Ice’ Legend Mark Johnson‘s Wisconsin Jersey Retirement Ceremony)

I know that I regularly trash women’s sports, but women’s hockey is different. Whether it’s the national team or the top teams in college, those gals are exciting as hell to watch.

Just days after our hearts were broken by Oregon in March Madness, my beloved Badgers are back on the top of the world. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

What an incredible time to be a Wisconsin Badgers. Five titles since 2006. Mark Johnson really has done something incredible with this program.

Again, I know you’re probably shocked I tuned in for a women’s sporting event, but you just don’t know what you’re talking about if you don’t understand the high level of play in elite women’s hockey.

It’s incredibly entertaining and we’re here for every single second of it. Major props to my ladies back home for taking care of business. I couldn’t be prouder of them.

Finally, Wisconsin star Sophia Shaver is an absolute smoke.

With women like that on our roster, we were winners before they even dropped the puck.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Karl Notturno | Center for American Greatness

Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) recently appeared on the Tonight Show with Stephen Colbert.

Gabbard’s bright red jacket along with Colbert’s unusually pointed, abrasive, and denigrating questions could have easily confused many in the audience — but yes, she is a Democrat.

But while many other Democrat presidential candidates have twisted themselves into identitarian knots and prostrated themselves on the altar of political correctness in order to placate an increasingly extreme Leftist wing of the party, Gabbard has primarily campaigned on removing the United States from foreign entanglements.

A combat veteran who fought in Iraq, Gabbard knows the cost of regime-change wars and has a deep distrust of the pseudo-intellectuals and supposed policy experts who start them. And she is not afraid to speak her mind, even if it displeases her Democratic colleagues in Congress and the media. She has already had plenty of experience standing up to the Democratic establishment.

Gabbard was one of the few Democrats who met with President-elect Trump shortly after the election, with many reporting that he was considering making her ambassador to the United Nations. Gabbard said that while she was defying the “rules of political expediency” by meeting with Trump, she would not “play politics” with American and Syrian lives.

Gabbard ruffled more feathers in the establishment by meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, once again showing timid policy wonks across the country that meeting and talking with enemies does not give them a magic shield of credibility. She was criticized by Democrats and the media, but she made the case for seeking peace through dialog and refused to back down.

Gabbard is one of the few Democrats who realize that while conversation may be distasteful, the lack of conversation can be fatal.

The media has largely marginalized Gabbard, opting to focus on the circus of other Democratic candidates cannibalizing each other over jokes, apologizing for complimenting their wives, and cooking up strategies to preemptively mitigate their white privilege. They do not want to give credence to a candidate who has echoed Trump’s insistence that without a “secure border, we don’t really have a country.”

As the rest of the Democratic field rushes to out-woke each other and alienate most moderate Americans, Gabbard is one of the few candidates who is sticking to her principles and continuing to fight for normal citizens who are far more concerned about maintaining peace than appeasing the radical identitarians.

It is clear that the Democratic establishment does not appreciate Tulsi Gabbard and will do everything in their power to ensure that she does not make it through the primary process. We should expect no less from the same party that rigged the 2016 primaries against Bernie Sanders.

But what should we do when a moderate Democrat gets a better reception on Tucker Carlson Tonight than on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert?

Conservatives — the non-neo-con ones — have a unique opportunity.

Many moderate Democrats privately despair at the radicalization of their party and the lengths their candidates have to go in order to emerge from the primary process relatively unscathed. Even Nancy Pelosi has a difficult time walking the tight-rope to ensure that she retains the support of the extremists without losing the rest of America.

Conservatives should make a concerted effort to reach out to open-minded moderate Democrats, engage them in good faith, debate their policy proposals, and find common ground to build a new pro-America coalition. We may disagree on many specifics, but at least we have the same goals and priorities.

There is a new political divide in the country between the people who want what is best for America’s citizens and those who would prefer to virtue signal by calling for increased foreign engagement, fundamental impairment of our economy, and continued identitarian strife.

This is a divide between those who believe that America — despite all of its flaws — is still a fundamentally good country and those who believe that it — despite all of its ideals — is a bad country that needs fundamental change.

Reasonable people can disagree on the efficacy of Medicare for All without tearing the country apart. But a house fundamentally divided against itself cannot stand. Self-hatred and the constant call for self-flagellation stokes internal animus, leaves the country weary, and eats at the morale of a nation that already faces existential threats.

Let’s unite a new coalition of politicians and constituents who put America first. The threat from the anti-America coalition is far greater than any petty internal squabbles we may have.

Karl Notturno (@KarlNotturno) is a fellow at the Center for American Greatness. He also serves as director of A Soldier’s Home, a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans. He graduated from Yale University with degrees in philosophy and history.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

Charles Kolb | Deputy Assistant to George H.W. Bush

If only Christopher Hitchens were still alive!

The Vanity Fair and former Nation journalist died of esophageal cancer at age 62 in December 2011. He would have a field day with today’s strange new world: the 2016 election, the Clintons (whom he detested), Trump’s presidential antics, Brexit (born a Brit, Hitchens became an American citizen), social media, artificial intelligence, and the 2020 presidential candidates.

Hitch was a great debunker. His irreverence was exceeded only by his intelligence, his eclectic reading, and his remarkable memory. He seemed to know just about everything, and his book titles trumpeted his strong verdicts. Bill Clinton was skewered in “No One Left to Lie To,” and his slim, scathing volume about Mother Teresa was titled “The Missionary Position.” There was, however, one unassailable Hitchens Hero: novelist and essayist George Orwell.

Hitchens’s 2002 book, “Why Orwell Matters,” is worth reading today. Hitchens praised Orwell as a relentless champion of liberty and equality whose vision embraced “a society of free and equal human beings.” Orwell despised communism and fascism, and his novels “Animal Farm” (1946) and “Nineteen Eighty-Four”(1949) warned about the danger of “Big Brother” governments that adopt authoritarian tactics against the governed.

Orwell never knew the Internet, but he surely would have been concerned about how social media platforms operate, with business models heavily reliant on algorithms that maximize profits by freely mining individual data at the expense of privacy. And that’s the problem: a Faustian bargain that says “give us your personal data in exchange for free services.” Governments now justify enhanced surveillance in exchange for enhanced security. As Hitchens wrote, Orwell believed deeply that “there should be no utilitarian tradeoff between freedom and security.”

To her credit, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) recognizes the dangers described by Orwell, and that is why she pledges to break up the big data-driven tech companies if she becomes president. Warren is not alone. The pushback is already starting: the European Union has adopted internet rules (the General Data Protection Regulation) that strengthen individual privacy, is pursuing vigorous antitrust enforcement, and has levied substantial fines against Facebook and Google. We can expect continued congressional hearings that will examine these firms’ business practices, their privacy protections, and their profits.

Hitchens probably would have panned Warren’s fake populism (“I’m a gonna get me a beer”) and her ludicrous Cherokee-heritage claims (“my papaw had high cheekbones”). But the irreverent journalist and the consumer-oriented senator probably would have agreed on curbing social media platforms, enforcing antitrust laws, and forcing changes to existing business models that mine “free data” while offering inadequate privacy guarantees. Warren deserves credit for pressing these issues.

Machines governed by algorithms (mathematical problem-solving formulas that impose a set of rules designed to seek, identify, and capture patterns) now impact increasing aspects of contemporary life. This development is not inherently bad. Algorithms drive a significant portion of daily stock-market trading. Driverless cars use algorithms to process information faster than human brains. Algorithms now fly planes and track our Internet activity, including our daily movements based on our cellphone locations.

Edward Snowden’s massive data dump revealed that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress when he told Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) that the government was not collecting personal data on American citizens. The government was scooping up everything it could find and relying on algorithms to search that information for potential terrorist threats.

When algorithms become linked with the brave new emerging world of artificial intelligence, however, there is the potential for both good (health care, fraud prevention, driverless cars, airport facial recognition) and bad (China’s plans to use AI for political monitoring through a “social credit system” that tracks citizens and bolsters Communist one-party political control).

Along with Hitchens and Orwell, Elizabeth Warren worries about tradeoffs between freedom and security. We need to tame the use of algorithms and make them work for us, not against us. What makes us human is our personal interaction with other humans, not with machines.

“Orwellian” is now applied to situations involving official government deception, extensive secret surveillance, and evading reality through lies and misleading information. George Orwell and Christopher Hitchens are no longer with us, so we need crusaders like Elizabeth Warren (and others) to ensure that our world remains governed by humans and not by machines responding to impersonal mathematical formulas.

Charles Kolb served as deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy in the Bush White House from 1990-92.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

The TV ratings for March Madness are huge.

According to a release from March Madness TV on Twitter, the Friday primetime slot across CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV hit a 28-year high of 7.7 for the tournament. Streaming numbers on March Madness Live were also up 20 percent from 2018. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Duke playing in primetime obviously helped the numbers, but these ratings are outstanding. It initially looked like the ratings were going to take a substantial dip after Thursday. Clearly, that wasn’t a trend that would actually hold. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

You know that things are going good in America when college basketball TV ratings hit a near three-decade high. Our founding fathers would be proud as hell.

The other thing worth noting that’s so impressive is the fact these games haven’t been particularly close, but people keep watching. That’s a great sign.

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Make sure to keep tuning in for all the action as we go down the stretch this beautiful Sunday and into next week. Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss one second of the action.

God bless this beautiful country!

Source: The Daily Caller

Andrew Wilford | National Taxpayers’ Union Foundation

Newly-announced presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has been criticized in recent weeks for being light on policy specifics. Of course, it’s hard to blame him for holding back on policy specifics when his primary electorate is hammering him for acknowledging some pretty basic realities about our debt crisis back in 2012.

Back in 2012, when he was in the middle of a primary challenge against then-incumbent Rep. Silvestre Reyes, O’Rourke stated that the size of the federal government was “extravagant” with an “out-of-control debt” and that “significant” spending cuts were necessary. That was true then, and it’s only become even more accurate as spending discipline has continued to slip.

It’s true that we are running trillion-dollar annual deficits and that the national debt has blown past $22 trillion in total debt. Unfortunately, that’s small potatoes compared to what’s on the horizon. Social Security and Medicare are going to blow our short-term budget problems out of the water as the baby boomer generation retires — these two programs alone are projected to run a deficit of $82 trillion over the next 30 years.

That’s a huge crisis in two programs that Americans contribute to from their paychecks and count on for their retirement. Unfortunately, it’s next to impossible for politicians to propose meaningful reforms to Social Security and Medicare without needing to look for work come next election cycle.

Instead, it’s become a common refrain on the left that the debt only became an issue on December 22, 2017, when President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law. That ignores the clear reality that we are in a debt crisis because our government overspends, not because we are undertaxed.

Even if the TCJA had never passed, our debt-to-GDP ratio would have gone from 76.65 percent in 2017 to 111.23 percent in 2027; with the tax reform law, the debt-to-GDP ratio was projected to increase just 3 percent by 2027, to 114.2 percent. An easy way to spot a dishonest partisan is when they blame the $1.43 trillion TCJA for our current debt crisis, but are mum on the $1.66 trillion bipartisan spending bill signed just a couple months later.

O’Rourke deserves praise for making tough statements while running for Congress in 2012. The candidate has been under attack from more extreme elements of the left due to his habit of taking positions that go against the tenets of democratic socialism — for example, refusing to back Elizabeth Warren’s tech breakup plan, making positive statements about capitalism and the power of the market, and seeming hesitant to endorse a single-payer plan. All of these heresies have led many on the left to suggest that O’Rourke doesn’t actually believe anything, a refrain that has been dutifully parroted by mainstream outlets.

Unfortunately, because of this pressure from the left, his spokesman has since felt the need to walk those statements back somewhat. For a primary electorate obsessed with denial of impending crises, the irony of a major candidate being savaged for acknowledging that Medicare and Social Security are in danger of not being solvent by the time millennials are ready to receive benefits from them is thick enough to choke on.

Beto O’Rourke was right to point to the need for Social Security and Medicare reform. It’s too bad that he’s stuck with an electorate that would rather engage in “deficit denial.”

Andrew Wilford (@PolicyWilford) is a policy analyst with the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to fiscal policy analysis and education at all levels of government.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

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