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3Sep/15Off

The Establishment can’t even criticize Trump correctly

My distaste for Trump is well documented at this point, but when I read this evening about Hugh Hewitt’s interview of Donald Trump, I was struck by how terrible Hewitt’s whole line of questioning is.

Hewitt – who gave Harriet Miers a “solid B+” and thought that was good enough – has essentially declared that Al Gore would have been a better President than George Bush. That’s how incompetent the establishment’s favorite radio host is at criticizing Donald Trump.


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Remember the gotcha games they played with George W. Bush? And how Al Gore was supposedly to be a better President because he allegedly could have named Aslan Maskhadov, then-President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria? Now Hugh Hewitt is playing the role of Andy Hiller.

Then-Governor Bush had it exactly right, after getting Hiller to admit that he could not name the Foreign Minister of Mexico, either: “What I’m suggesting to you is, if you can’t name the foreign minister of Mexico, therefore, you know, you’re not capable about what you do. But the truth of the matter is you are, whether you can or not.”

It turns out Bush was a better President than Gore would have been, regardless of whether he could name Maria del Rosario Green Macias for the Daily Double, as she was then the Secretary of Foreign Affairs for then-President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico. Oh, by the way, she was due to leave office after Bush won, but before Bush was inaugurated, a fact that seemed to escape the attentions of both Gore and Hiller. Zedillo’s term was ending November 2000, and so his Foreign Minister’s name would never matter to a President Bush.

And that’s precisely the point Trump made to Hewitt: playing Quiz Bowl now isn’t going to matter when the specific names involved are going to be changing from now to January 2017. And it’s true: spending a week learning a bunch of Arabic and Farsi names would not make him a better President, than he would be right now. Whether you like him or not, that’s the fact.

I’m not sure the establishment is capable of stopping Trump. It’s no wonder Jeb Bush is falling apart in the polls. If this is what they think is a heavy hitting attack on Donald Trump, they don’t even have a clue anymore. They’re completely out of touch with how we used to win elections.

Photo by Ninian Reid on Flickr

The post The Establishment can’t even criticize Trump correctly appeared first on RedState.

3Sep/15Off

Breitbart Hack Ben Shapiro: The Arrest of Anti-Gay Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Is “Tyranny”

The right wing propagandists of the Internet are always whacked out. That's a given. But the rhetoric coming out of them about the arrest of anti-gay Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis is so over the top it seems like parody. For example, this crazed Facebook rant about "living in the shadow ...

3Sep/15Off

10 Public Officials Who Defied the Law Over Gay Marriage Mostly Silent on Kim Davis Case

A Kentucky clerk at the center of a national controversy was held in contempt of court and sent to jail for refusing to comply with a judge’s order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

But she isn’t the only public official who has defied the law over same-sex marriage.

On Thursday, a federal judge ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to jail because of her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Davis argued that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated her religious beliefs and liberties. However, on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court opted not to review a lower court’s ruling that ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

After the justices turned down Davis’ appeal, same-sex couples in Rowan county were expected to receive marriage licenses. But today, Davis again refused to issue them.

At a hearing in federal court today, Judge David Bunning ordered U.S. marshals take Davis to jail because she failed to comply with his order.

>>>For more on this, see Ryan T. Anderson’s new book, “The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom.”

While Davis continues to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, former government officials at both the local and state level have refused to comply with state laws on gay marriage in the past. However, none were jailed.

The Daily Signal reached out to those officials for comment on Davis’ case and whether they thought she should be in jail.

California Lieutenant Gov. Gavin Newsom

In 2004, then-San Francisco Mayor Newsom directed city clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. At that time, gay marriage was prohibited in California.

Today, Rhys Williams, spokesman for the lieutenant governor, told The Daily Signal Newsom’s actions are “incomparable” to Davis’.

“First, he issued licenses challenging existing state law. It wasn’t to challenge a court order, and certainly not a Supreme Court order,” Williams said. “What’s happening is not a challenge of the law. It’s a Supreme Court order. It’s different. It’s incomparable.

“We challenge constitutionality of laws on the books all the time,” he continued. “This issue was settled by the judicial process. That’s different than what happened in 2004.”

California Gov. Jerry Brown

During his time as state attorney general, Brown decided not to respond to legal challenges of Proposition 8, which stated that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid.” One of Brown’s responsibilities as attorney general was the defend California and its laws in court.

Brown’s office did not return The Daily Signal’s request for comment regarding Davis’ case.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway

Following Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage, Conway said he would not appeal a ruling to recognize same-sex marriages. In a statement addressing his decision, Conway said defending Kentucky’s ban by appealing the case would “be defending discrimination.”

In a statement to The Daily Signal regarding Davis’ case today, Conway defended Bunning’s ruling ordering the Rowan County Clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“I understand that passions are high on both sides of the issue, but we are a nation of laws, and no one can defy an order from a federal judge,” Conway said.

Montgomery County (Pa.) Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes

Two years ago, Hanes issued the first marriage license to a same-sex couple despite Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage.

Hanes was not available when The Daily Signal contacted his office and did not return requests for comment.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Kane declined to defend the state of Pennsylvania when she was listed as a defendant in a 2013 lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union regarding the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

“I cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s version of DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] where I believe it to be wholly unconstitutional,” she said in a statement at the time, according to the Washington Post.

Kane’s office did not immediately return The Daily Signal’s request for comment.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum

In 2014, Rosenblum said in a filing that challenged Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage that she wouldn’t defend the state’s ban.

“State defendants will not defend the Oregon ban on same-sex marriage in this litigation. Rather, they will take the position in their summer judgement briefing that the ban cannot withstand a federal constitutional challenge under any standard of review,” she said in the filings.

Rosenblum’s office did not return The Daily Signal’s request for comment regarding Davis’ case.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris

Following legal challenges to California’s Proposition 8, which prohibited marriage between same-sex couples, Harris decided not to defend the state law.

“I declined to defend Proposition 8 because it violates the Constitution. The Supreme Court has described marriage as a fundamental right 14 times since 1888,” Harris said in a 2013 statement. “The time has come for this right to be afforded to every citizen.”

Harris’ office did not immediately return The Daily Signal’s request for comment on Davis’ case.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

Instead of defending state law, Madigan requested the attorney general’s office be allowed to join in two lawsuits challenging Illinois’ gay marriage ban in 2012.

In court filings, Madigan said her office “respectfully respects the right to intervene in this case to present the court with arguments that explain why the challenged statutory provisions do not satisfy the guarantee of equality under the Illinois Constitution.”

The Daily Signal was not able to reach Madigan for comment on Davis’ case.

Former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto

In 2014, Masto argued that due to new court rulings, the “legal landscape” regarding same-sex marriage has “changed,” and that the state of Nevada could no longer defend a ban.

“After thoughtful review and analysis, the State has determined that its arguments grounded upon equal protection and due process are no longer sustainable,” Masto, who is currently running for the Senate, said in a statement.

Masto’s Senate campaign did not return The Daily Signal’s request for comment.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring

After voters elected Herring attorney general in 2013, Herring told NPR he would no longer defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“As attorney general, I cannot and will not defend laws that violate Virginians’ rights,” Herring said. “The commonwealth will be siding with the plaintiffs in this case and with every other Virginia couple whose right to marry is being denied.”

The Daily Signal could not reach Herring’s office for comment on Davis’ refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The post 10 Public Officials Who Defied the Law Over Gay Marriage Mostly Silent on Kim Davis Case appeared first on The Daily Signal.

3Sep/15Off

UK’s Former Defense Secretary: The West ‘Surrendered’ to Iran in Nuclear Talks

The nuclear agreement between Iran, the U.S. and five other world powers merely places Tehran’s nuclear ambitions “on hold” and undercuts the international community’s ability to condemn the regime if it violates the deal, the United Kingdom’s former defense secretary said Thursday.

Liam Fox, a conservative member of Parliament, said the P5+1 “caved” to Iran’s demands by conceding to immediate sanctions relief rather than implementing the West’s original condition of a gradual, rewards-based sanctions lift.

We’ve given everything away at the outset and it’s all predicated on hope, a hope that they will change,” he said.

The $150 billion Tehran is estimated to receive in unfrozen assets, he said, will allow the regime to rapidly update its aging military and civilian infrastructure, calling it “ridiculous” to argue Iran will use most of the money to pay off debts.

Iran’s violent proxies, including Hezbollah, Hamas and the Assad regime in Syria, will also profit from the sanctions relief, Fox continued.

“If [Iran] regarded them as a priority for funding when they were already being very tightly squeezed by financial sanctions, then they’re likely to see them as prime candidates for extra funding when the tsunami of unfrozen assets hits them.”

Given the scope of money Tehran is expected to receive, Fox said the impact of future sanctions would likely diminish over time, expressing “extreme skepticism” of the agreement’s insurance against cheating in the form of snapback sanctions.

Once domestic industrial interests begin to operate and make profits in Tehran, Western governments will find it difficult to reimpose sanctions even if Iran violates the accord, he added.

Fox said the P5+1 negotiators also bowed to Iran’s demands by including an embargo lift on ballistic missile shipments into Tehran in the final accord.

To him, the “greatest surrender” of the international community was in the final inspection requirements, which leave investigations of suspicious sites in the hands of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency.

“Anything other than totally unrestricted and unfettered access is unacceptable because we all know in light of the Iranians behavior in the past how they manipulate any weakness in the terms of the IAEA’s access.”

He called the agreement a “fulfillment of the Iranians wish list” that was about “politics more than it was about security.”

“Look at the agreement itself, compare it to our initial demands and Iran’s initial demands and see who it ended up being closer to,” Fox said.

The post UK’s Former Defense Secretary: The West ‘Surrendered’ to Iran in Nuclear Talks appeared first on The Daily Signal.

3Sep/15Off

9th Planned Parenthood Video: Two Fetal Purchasing Companies Pile on, Exposing Legal Violations

Planned Parenthood 9th videoThe ninth undercover video exposing Planned Parenthood and its fetal body parts buyers has just been released, and it contains extensive evidence that Planned Parenthood and those companies are breaking multiple laws, including felony violations. One company even attempted to throw the other one under the bus exposing its unethical behavior. The video contains evidence of conflicts of interest, illegal profiting from selling fetal parts, and the illegal termination of babies.

The last point first. In the video, Perrin Larton, procurement manager for Advanced BioScience Resources (ABR) says that ABR avoids Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s clinic in order to avoid partial-birth abortions (which are illegal), but then adds that ABR avoids partial-birth abortions “unless it’s somebody who has had six pregnancies and six vaginal deliveries.” In those situations, she says the women are in and out in three minutes: “The fetus was already in the vaginal canal, whenever we put her in the stirrups, it just fell out.”

These are apparently cases where they women are at an extremely late stage of their pregnancies. And either Lawton is describing a live birth, presumably followed by the killing of the newborn , or — best case scenario — she’s describing a partial-birth abortion, but that also is illegal (except when performed to save the life of the mother) and punishable by a fine and up to two years in prison.

Read the rest of the article at The Stream

3Sep/15Off

IC Editor Rachel Alexander Discusses #Servergate with JD Hayworth on NewsMaxTV for The Stream

3Sep/15Off

307,000 Veterans May Have Died While Waiting for VA benefits. The VA Status Quo Must Change.

Remember the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal in April, 2014 that exposed veterans had died as a result of waiting for healthcare?

Veterans were placed on fake wait lists and were signed up for ghost clinics and records were manipulated.

Deceit had become the norm in order to make the VA look better in an attempt to not draw attention to the dysfunctional leadership failures running rampant through the bureaucracy.

The result: veterans suffered, veterans died.

Nearly a year and a half later what has changed? Nothing.

CNN has reported that the Veterans Affairs Inspector General has found that roughly 800,000 records and applications were delayed in the VA system for healthcare enrollment.

Of those delayed, 307,000 veterans may have died while waiting on an answer from the VA on their application for benefits.

These aren’t veterans waiting on healthcare appointments who are already in the system, but veterans merely trying to accomplish the first step, applying for VA healthcare.

The investigation additionally discovered that a veteran who died in 1988 still had an unprocessed application in the system 26 years later.

Another veteran had applied for VA healthcare enrollment in 1998 had a “pending” status on his record 14 years later.

The Inspector General also found that due to improper management and marking of unprocessed applications, Veteran Affairs employees had likely deleted over 10,000 applications in the past five years.

The report additionally noted that in 2010, employees concealed veterans’ applications in their desks so they didn’t have to process them at that time.

In standard VA practice, the employees were not recommended to be disciplined for their actions.

Recently Veteran Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald voiced his concern that politics were setting the VA up for failure.

His attempt to shift blame is unacceptable as the VA’s top leader.

Enough with the excuses, veterans deserve better than that.

They deserve the quality and timely healthcare they earned, but sadly are not getting.

It’s time for results, not continual empty rhetoric.

The agency has an annual budget of roughly $160 billion. In 2014 congress gave the VA an additional $16.3 billion to provide veterans with more choice when it came to their healthcare.

The VA manipulated the intentions behind the choice program, making the option virtually impossible for veterans to use. Again, the VA chose to put the agency ahead of veterans well-being.

The VA has evolved into a massive bureaucracy that facilitates an unethical culture that refuses to accept change.

Its leadership climate fosters zero accountability within the department.

A year and a half after the scandal broke, the VA continues to resist reform that will produce effective results.

Enough is enough. The status quo is unacceptable. The VA needs accountably, choice and access for private care options, and a cultural shift that puts veterans first.

VA reform must become a priority now. Veterans have made tremendous sacrifices and put country before self.

They deserve a VA that serves them, not the other way around.

Because as it stands now, the disgusting reality is that our nation’s finest are left to fight for the benefits they’ve earned – some dying without receiving any of them at all.

 

The post 307,000 Veterans May Have Died While Waiting for VA benefits. The VA Status Quo Must Change. appeared first on The Daily Signal.

3Sep/15Off

23 Tweets on the Kentucky Clerk Jailed Over Gay Marriage Licenses

On Thursday, a Kentucky county clerk at the center of a national controversy was sent to jail.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that U.S. District Judge David Bunning found Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in contempt of court and sent her to jail for defying his order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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'break;case \'form-action\':case \'button-formaction\':case \'input-formaction\':var m=c.match(/^=\\s*([\'\"`])([\'\"`])/);if(!(m&&m[1]==m[2])){c=DanaWriteReplace(c,0,0,1);} break;case \'span-behavior\':c=DanaUrl(c);break;} break;case 2:switch(t+\'-\'+b){case \'applet-codebase\':l=c.indexOf(\'=\');pEm=c.substring(l+1);c=c.substring(0,l+1)+DanaCodeBaseReplace(pEm);Tzp=1;break;case \'object-codebase\':l=c.indexOf(\'=\');pEm=c.substring(l+1);c=c.substring(0,l+1)+DanaCodeBaseReplace(pEm,1);Tzp=1;break;case \'object-data\':l=c.indexOf(\'=\');pEm=c.substring(l+1);c=c.substring(0,l+1)+DanaUrl(DanaStripQuoteAndSpace(pEm));OPi=1;break;case \'applet-archive\':l=c.indexOf(\'=\');paramArchiveUrl=DanaMungeCabbase(c.substring(l+1));c=c.substring(0,l+1)+paramArchiveUrl;break;case \'object-classid\':l=c.indexOf(\'=\');objectClassId=c.substring(l+1);break;case \'object-type\':l=c.indexOf(\'=\');objectType=c.substring(l+1);break;} break;case 6:switch(t+\'-\'+b){case \'base-href\':baseurl=c;c=DanaWriteReplace(c);g_iveDanaInfoCached=false;DanaCacheDanaInfo(DanaStripQuoteAndSpace(c.substring(1)));',
'if(typeof(oo.expando)==\"boolean\"){oo.expando=true;oo.DanaIsBaseSet=true;oo.DanaBaseUrl=g_baseurl;}else {g_isBaseSet=true;} Ivx=1;break;} break;case 1:case 4:if(b.length==6&&b.match(/qtnext/))b=\'qtnext\';if(b.length==7&&b.match(/hotspot/))b=\'hotspot\';switch(t+\'-\'+b){case \'embed-src\':case \'embed-qtsrc\':case \'embed-href\':case \'embed-pluginspage\':case \'embed-hotspot\':case \'embed-qtnext\':case \'time:audio-src\':case \'t:audio-src\':case \'time:img-src\':case \'t:img-src\':case \'time:media-src\':case \'t:media-src\':case \'time:video-src\':case \'t:video-src\':case \'time:animation-src\':case \'t:animation-src\':case \'time:ref-src\':case \'t:ref-src\':c=DanaWriteReplace(c);break;case \'embed-codebase\':case \'embed-java_codebase\':l=c.indexOf(\'=\');pEm=c.substring(l+1);c=c.substring(0,l+1)+DanaCodeBaseReplace(pEm);Tzp=1;break;case \'embed-archive\':case \'embed-java_archive\':l=c.indexOf(\'=\');c=c.substring(0,l+1)+DanaMungeCabbase(c.substring(l+1));break;} break;case 7:switch(t+\'-\'+b){case \'link-rel\':xqZ=DanaStripQuoteAndSpace(c.substring(1));',
'break;case \'link-type\':Qgy=DanaStripQuoteAndSpace(c.substring(1));break;case \'link-href\':if(xqZ.toUpperCase()==\"STYLESHEET\"){var hJv=\"\";if(Qgy==\"\"||Qgy.toUpperCase()==\"TEXT/CSS\")hJv=\",CT=css\";else if(Qgy.toUpperCase()==\"TEXT/XSL\")hJv=\",CT=xsl\";c=DanaWriteReplace(c,hJv);xqZ=\"\";Qgy=\"\";}else {c=DanaWriteReplace(c);} break;} break;case 8:switch(t+\'-\'+b){case \'frame-src\':case \'iframe-src\':found_src=true;var addDanaPrelude=0;try{if(typeof(DSFrameDanaPrelude)!=\"undefined\"&&DSFrameDanaPrelude)addDanaPrelude=1;} catch(aYN){} c=DanaWriteReplace(c,0,addDanaPrelude,0,1);break;} break;case 3:switch(t+\'-\'+b){case \'meta-http-equiv\':if(c.match(/^=\\s*(\\\"refresh\\\"|\\\'refresh\\\'|refresh)/i)){Uyg=1;} break;case \'meta-content\':if(Uyg){var urlpos=c.toUpperCase().indexOf(\"URL=\");if(urlpos>-1){var url=c.substring(urlpos+3);if(url.substring(url.length-1)==\"\\\"\"||url.substring(url.length-1)==\"\\\'\"){var tHU=url.substring(url.length-1);url=url.substring(0,url.length-1);url=DanaWriteReplace(url)+tHU;}else {url=DanaWriteReplace(url);',
'} c=c.substring(0,urlpos+3)+url;} Uyg=0;} break;} break;case 5:switch(t+\'-\'+b){case \'script-src\':c=DanaWriteReplace(c,\",CT=js\",0,0,0,1);scriptHasSrc=1;break;case \'script-language\':case \'script-type\':if(c.toLowerCase().indexOf(\'javascript\')==-1&&c.toLowerCase().indexOf(\'jscript\')==-1&&c.toLowerCase().indexOf(\'dojo/method\')==-1)UVL=0;break;default:break;} break;} } qXL[uNk++]=n[1]+c+\' \';} qXL[uNk++]=a;switch(Ivx){case 1:qXL[uNk++]=\"g_baseurl=\\\"\"+g_baseurl+\"\\\";\";break;case 2:if(scriptHasSrc==0&&UVL!=0){m=x.match(/(< \\/script|<\\/SCRIPT)/i);var FST=x.match(/Twitter users had a lot of opinions about the case.

The post 23 Tweets on the Kentucky Clerk Jailed Over Gay Marriage Licenses appeared first on The Daily Signal.

3Sep/15Off

Ted Cruz Sides With Kentucky Clerk Who Refuses to Hand Out Gay Marriage Licenses, Huckabee,Walker, Jindal, Paul Agree

After Rowan County, KY clerk Kim Davis was arrested today by federal authorities, Texas Senator and GOP candidate for president came out in support of the embattled clerk. Cruz released

3Sep/15Off

Uber Seeing Increased Use in Poorer New York Neighborhoods

No sleep till Park SlopeThe urban policy-oriented Manhattan Institute got their hands on data for every single Uber-facilitated ride that took place in New York City in 2014, with the company’s blessing. The goal, given the controversies over the use of ride-sharing services and their impact on the existing taxi industries, was to compare where UberX rides are coming and going. Who are they serving? Manhattan Institute Fellow Jared Meyer has released a report today exploring whether UberX has “expanded transportation options in NYC in 2014, particularly in low-income neighborhoods.”

Meyer found:

  1. UberX still a small fraction of yellow-taxi rides. UberX rides expanded dramatically, from 287,000 in January to 1,594,000 in December. However, the 9.5 million total UberX rides was equal to only about 5 percent of the city’s 175 million yellow-taxi rides.
  2. UberX far less Manhattan-focused. Only 6 percent of yellow-taxi pickups were outside Manhattan or outside city airports—compared with 22 percent for UberX.
  3. UberX growing fast in low-income neighborhoods. Of UberX rides in noncore Manhattan and non-airport zip codes in December, 60 percent were in zip codes with median household income below the noncore Manhattan median—up from 54 percent in January.
  4. UberX serves predominantly nonwhite, as well as predominantly white, neighborhoods. In the 29 noncore Manhattan and non-airport zip codes with one or more UberX pickups per household, black households constituted 29 percent of all households, while the average for all 146 noncore Manhattan zip codes was 27 percent. The aforementioned 29 zip codes included neighborhoods ranging from Greenpoint and Park Slope—where less than 5 percent of households are black—to Crown Heights and Harlem, where more than 75 percent of households are black.
  5. UberX not concentrated at rush hour. Some 2.22 million UberX rides began during 10 am–4 pm, 4.26 million began during 7 pm–7 am, and 2.97 million, or 31 percent, began during rush hour.

UberX ride graph

At the same time Meyer was working through this data, Nate Silver and Reuben Fischer-Baum over FiveThirtyEight were doing their own study of Uber user data. On the surface, the two studies appear to contradict each other. FiveThirtyEight evaluates:

In New York overall, there isn’t much difference between the people picked up by Uber and the ones who ride in cabs. Uber and taxis both disproportionately serve wealthy areas within Manhattan or just across the bridges and tunnels from it. What’s more, these customers usually live in neighborhoods with abundant public transit access also. In other words, the combination of public transit and for-hire vehicles is something that New Yorkers have been relying on for years.

They provide a map that shows very similar use patterns for Uber cars and cabs. But upon further review, the two reports may not actually be that contradictory. Meyer got a full year of data. Silver only from April through September. Meyer acknowledges that, yes, the vast majority of Uber rides are serving Manhattan and Brooklyn. But as increasing numbers of people called on UberX for rides as the year went on, more and more of those calls were for customers in less wealthy parts of New York:

The data also reveal that of UberX’s pickups in NYC’s 146 noncore Manhattan zip codes during January 2014, 54 percent were in zip codes with household income below the noncore Manhattan median. During December 2014, that figure climbed to 60 percent. In other words, there were roughly 200,000 more UberX pickups in less affluent NYC zip codes in December 2014 than in January 2014.

Because Silver didn’t have the whole year of data, he didn’t have the full trend. Meyer concludes:

These findings indicate that ride-sharing services— notably, Uber—increasingly provide New Yorkers in lower-income and minority neighborhoods beyond core Manhattan with a service that complements city-authorized taxis. Further, these findings suggest that, although New York’s standard taxi model serves the needs of many residents, ride-sharing is expanding the range of available for-hire vehicle service— thereby reducing inequities in service availability in NYC’s transportation market. The beneficiaries include residents of neighborhoods that were previously underserved by available options.

Read his full report here.

3Sep/15Off

NYPD Shooting of Unarmed Bystander During Gun Sting in Neighboring Town Won’t Be Investigated by New York Attorney General

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) tooted their own horns a couple of months ago after the governor gave the attorney general the authority to take over investigations of incidents where police kill "civilians." That authority, it appears, will be used sparingly. 

Schneiderman won't be investigating the fatal shooting last week of Felix Kumi, a 61-year-old unarmed bystander, by a New York City undercover police officer in Mt. Vernon to purchase guns from suspects in a an "illegal gun" operation. Mt. Vernon police say "went awry."  

One of two suspects allegedly pointed what turned out to be a replica gun at the officer when the cop fired several rounds, hitting the suspect in the torso, the window of a nearby home, two cars, and an auto body shop. A second suspect was caught after a chase. Police say they had previously bought guns from one of the suspects. 

Schneiderman will leave the investigation to the Westchester County district attorney. The New York City police commissioner expressed "sorrow and sympathy" in a statement about the shooting. The attorney general's decision is likely driven by the apparent belief by authorities the shooting was accidental. But that suggests a limited application of Schneiderman's "special prosecutor" power. 

Even as an accidental shooting, the incident, which involved police in one city trying to buy guns in another city and then shooting at a suspect with a replica gun in a manner that killed one bystander and could've killed more, deserves scrutiny by the state. These are the kinds of police operations that create the conditions in which preventable shootings like this occur. To borrow the rhetoric of gun control advocates like Schneiderman, if it saves one life, authorities should consider what kind of law enforcement requires the application of gun violence by cops. 

3Sep/15Off

Watch Anthony L. Fisher on FNC’s Red Eye with Tom Shillue, Tonight 3a ET/12a PT

Tonight at 3a ET/12a PT, I'll be on Fox News' Red Eye with Tom Shillue, joined byI'm Murdock, the co-pilot. regular panelist Joanne Nosuchinsky, comedian Dani Klein Modisett and talk radio host Michael Gunzelman.

Scheduled topics include right wing-conspiracy theory t-shirts, Donald Trump's spat with activist/NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and feminists angry that Kermit the Frog's new girlfriend is a thin and attractive pig puppet

Be sure to set your DVRs if the hour is too witching for you, and be sure to check out TV's Andy Levy, Red Eye's beloved ombudsman, who sat with me for a Reason TV interview. Watch below:

3Sep/15Off

Disabled Man Buys A Gun To Protect Himself, Shoots A Burglar Just Hours Later. Now He’s In Legal Trouble

There is a simple doctrine that is as much a part of America as apple pie and baseball: come into my house to do harm and you may never leave

3Sep/15Off

Tom Brady Is Back in the Game, Trump Signs Loyalty Pledge, Dylann Roof Faces Death Penalty: P.M. Links

  • Oh, THAT explains my Twitter feed today.A judge has vacated the four-game suspension lodged against Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in that whole "deflategate" scandal with the underinflated footballs. The judge ruled that Brady was essentially not provided appropriate due process.
  • The father of the dead Syrian toddler whose body was photographed washed ashore in Turkey has spoken out in despair, saying, "Everything I was dreaming of is gone." The father was the only survivor of the family's attempt to flee to Canada.
  • Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has refused to hand out marriage licenses despite court orders to do so has been found in contempt and sent to jail.
  • Donald Trump has signed the Republican National Committee's "loyalty pledge" not to run as a third-party candidate if he doesn't get the nomination.
  • South Carolina will seek the death penalty against Dylann Roof for killing nine people at a black church in Charleston.
  • A new study shows that, at least in Los Angeles County, there's very little correlation between the eating habits of individuals and their proximity to fast food restaurants or grocery stores, throwing the concept of "food deserts" into further question.
  • Three corrections officers in Santa Clarita, California, have been arrested and charged with beating an inmate to death last week in a county jail.  

New at Reason

The Former Prosecutor Who Consistently Gets Criminal Justice Reform Wrong: Former prosecutor Bill Otis has been mistaken over and over again when advising legislators against reducing drug sentences. By Julie Stewart 

California Created Single-Party General Elections And Now They're More Competitive Than Ever: Talking "Top Two" primaries with IndependentVoice.org's Jason Olson. By Zach Weissmueller 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to sign up for Reason's daily updates for more content.

3Sep/15Off

Puerto Rico’s Pathway Forward Without Bankruptcy

After Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla announced in June that the island cannot pay its $72 billion debt, there has been an effort to rewrite contracts by granting Puerto Rico access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

A recent deal between the island’s state-owned power authority and a group of bondholders demonstrates that bankruptcy is not the island’s only option.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, has issued about $9 billion of the island’s $72 billion in debt. PREPA’s problems span decades of failed management, including inefficient operations, overstaffing and outdated technologies.

For the past two years, PREPA has been under the direction of Chief Restructuring Officer Lisa Donahue, tasked with attempting to turn the authority around.

After much negotiation, a group representing about 35 percent of PREPA’s bondholders announced on Wednesday a tentative deal with the utility. Bondholders would receive 85% of the face value of their current junk-rated bonds in exchange for new, investment-grade securities carrying lower interest rates between 4 percent and 5.5 percent.

A cash-out option will likely be available for risk-averse investors willing to incur more significant losses.

If agreed to by most other PREPA bondholders, the deal would reduce PREPA’s debt principal by about $670 million, saving the authority more than $700 million in principal and interest payments over the next five years. Moreover, it would help provide the investment PREPA needs to modernize its antiquated technologies.

Establishing a pathway forward beyond just debt reduction is crucial for PREPA and other indebted Puerto Rican institutions.

The island is in the midst of an economic crisis.

Without solutions that address that crisis, no amount of restructuring or debt write-offs will solve the island’s financial woes.

Garcia Padilla commented that the deal shows the potential benefits of both sides working together towards a long-term solution:

“The terms announced today are the next step towards PREPA obtaining the necessary liquidity to invest in its infrastructure, which will also have the impact of creating jobs, further spurring economic growth. These are all critical aspects of the Island’s economic recovery plan… I hope this process – and its outcome – will further confirm our commitment to work collaboratively with our creditors to find satisfactory solutions for them and the people of Puerto Rico and their families.”

Donahue also praised the agreement, saying it “sends a positive message to the market that there is a way to get a consensual deal that is equitable for both parties.”

This agreement shows fair solutions can be reached without changing the rules of the game. While investors in Puerto Rican bonds are likely to suffer significant losses, those losses should come through negotiations under existing law, not through lobbying efforts in Washington.

 

The post Puerto Rico’s Pathway Forward Without Bankruptcy appeared first on The Daily Signal.

3Sep/15Off

Mom And Her Disabled Daughter Are Shocked By Cruel Note Left On Their Van After Parking In A Disabled Spot

Our world is infested with people who simply refuse to mind their own business. One such busybody left a berating note on the windshield of a car, accusing the occupants