Category Archives: United States

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Conservatives are giving Trump a pass over golf trips because of politics, not racism

Shaun King, senior justice writer at the New York Daily News, recently wrote that the conservative silence over President Trump’s golfing schedule is evidence of racism, and not simply a matter of politics.

Trump has spent an inordinate amount of time golfing in his first months in office, and the hypocrisy is obvious, given that Trump was never shy about criticizing President Barack Obama’s outings on the golf course. Conservatives more generally have refused to criticize Trump on the matter, given that he has spent seven out of 13 weekends as president at his estate in Florida. However, the double standard simply highlights the power of partisan politics, and isn’t evidence that Trump supporters and surrogates are racist.

King claims that the lack of a reaction to Trump’s time on the golf course is proof that “conservatives never really had a problem with a golfing President, what they hated seeing was a black golfing President.” Barack and Michelle Obama represented “uppity negro[es]” — or black men and women who do “anything other than working from sunup to sundown” and enjoy “creature comforts in life that some whites may not yet be able to afford to enjoy — say a musical, a play, fine dining, or, you guessed it, a round of golf.”

King’s evidence in support of this argument is flimsy. He correctly points out that Fox News pundit Sean Hannity and former Congressman Newt Gingrich each criticized the Obamas, and have yet to criticize Trump.

Continue reading at the Washington Examiner 

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Podcast #50: Can We Afford to Keep Ignoring the Cost of War?

War! What is it good for? And what does it cost? It seems that when countries go to war they consistantly lowball both the financial cost of the conflict, and also the loss of life. John Dale Grover, a Young Voices Advocate, wrote a piece in RealClearDefense that week on this very topic and joins the show today to discuss it.

You can follow John Dale Grover on Twitter @JohnDaleGrover , Stephen Kent @Stephen_Kent89 and Young Voices @YVADV

U.S. Army Capt. Brittany Woods, right, an operations officer with the U.S. Army Pacific contingency command post, works with Japan Ground Self Defense Force Capt. Kousei Matunaga, center, an exercise operations officer, in preparation for the Yama Sakura 61 exercise at Camp Itami, Osaka, Japan, Jan 23, 2012. Yama Sakura (YS) is an annual, bilateral exercise between the U.S. military and the Japan Self Defense Force and. YS is the largest command post exercise that focuses predominately on the bilateral and joint planning, coordination, and interoperability of ground based elements of the U.S./Japan security alliance. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brandy Mort/Released)

Stop Suggesting Mandatory National Service as a Fix for America’s Problems

There’s a season for it–the thinkpieces, the brave suggestions, the crawling out to the edge of the limb and saying, yes, I have the answer, we should force America’s youth to come together and serve in some collective cause.

In spite of the right’s fondness for military service and such pageantry, it’s usually the left or the more accurately, the muddy, authoritarian center that suggest this kind of thing. Progressives worry over wars, but they don’t worry enough over the civilian casualties in other countries, or the blowback in America. Sometimes they become overly concerned, insteadn about how poor people join the military, and rich, privileged people don’t. Sometimes they even pull up an extra deep argument, dust the dirt off of it, and say, gee, maybe the draft can stop wars! Charlie Rangel spent decades in congress trying to bring back conscription for that very reason.

And then the thought leaders–the columnists who have to waste space in the New York Times or various blogs each week–they need to get in on this brainstorming. America is broken. America is fractured and overly politicised, and we could be on the brink of a God damned civil war. This is dangerous. Also dangerous is the fact that young people aged, say, 18-25, just keep on choosing their own paths in life. Sometimes they get married or do important things that contribute to society’s togetherness. But sometimes they just eat exotic food and become polyamorists or or Instagrammers. We have to do something.

Why not bring back the draft? What was once the weight on the back of every young man–the fear that he would have to kill or be killed for a broadly-defined goal of patriotism, nationalism, service, whether he wanted to or not–is now gone. Youths are not grinding themselves down under nationalist knapsacks nearly as much as they did before, in the days that were good.

Read more at COUNTERPUNCH

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How Tuition-Free College Education Hurts Young People

Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren recently proposed the College for All Act, which promises to make public universities free for most students. A similar bill just became law in New York, and support is building for tuition-free public universities in other states as well.

Unfortunately, the senators’ proposal would hurt the very Millennials it aims to help, by reducing economic growth. Median wages have stagnated for decades precisely because of the mismatch between the skills workers have and those businesses need. So while wages in some sectors — for example, the IT industry — continue to rise, young people without marketable skills are being left in the lurch.

This includes many college graduates. While defenders of college-for-all proposals point out that a college degree improves a graduate’s lifetime earnings in the aggregate, not all majors are created equal. According to a new paper by Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, over half of graduates in many liberal-arts majors work a job they don’t need their degree for. The problem isn’t just that too many students seek a degree in an obscure subject, either; it’s that too many graduates lack the ability to think critically or write clearly. In a recent survey, only 39 percent of managers said that students were ready for the work force.

Read more at National Review 

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Obamacare May Increase Doctor Visits, But It Isn’t Making Anyone Healthier

Ever since President Donald Trump won the White House, Democrats, interest groups, and even some Republicans have argued that rolling back Obamacare would harm the health of millions. But a new study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests Obama’s healthcare law does little to actually improve patient’s health outcomes.

The research shows that while Obamacare expanded patient access to doctors, nurses, and hospitals, it’s provided little-to-no actual health benefits. The authors analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual medical survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control. After two years of observations, survey respondents reported they enjoyed greater access to health insurance, primary care, and routine check-ups. Yet the authors observed almost zero overall improvement in physical health after the patients got covered by Obamacare.

Read more at The Federalist