Sunday, October 9, 2016

FW Newsletter: Harry Reid's Petty Politics


Harry Reid's Petty Politics Block Giving Sick 'Right to Try' Treatments

- Adam Brandon via The Hill

"If they saw what it does to somebody who was a healthy mom with a good career and great friends, and then all of a sudden this different path you can’t come back from, they would all say, 'what can I do to help?'"

That’s what Trickett Wendler, a mother of three young children, told a Milwaukee-based news station in February 2015, roughly a month before she succumbed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Also called "Lou Gehrig's disease," after the legendary New York Yankees first baseman, ALS is a terrible, debilitating neurological disease that cuts short the lives of those it ravages.

Sadly, there is no cure.

Wendler knew her time would be cut short, but she bravely fought for every breath, for her loving husband and children. "At this point in time," she said, "I know I’m drawing closer to the end." Read more here...

FreedomWorks' October Legislative Update

FW October Leg Update.PNG

FreedomWorks' Book Club Spotlight: "Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America's Founding Document"

In Our Lost Constitution, Senator Mike Lee tells the dramatic, little-known stories behind six of the Constitution’s most indispensable provisions. He shows their rise. He shows their fall. And he makes vividly clear how nearly every abuse of federal power today is rooted in neglect of this Lost Constitution. Get your copy here...

ObamaCare Rate Hikes: Incompetence or Sabotage?

- by Newt Gingrich via Real Clear Politics

Most Americans have seen the headlines about skyrocketing health-care premiums and insurers fleeing the individual marketplace—but few people understand why these things are happening. When you learn the story behind the trends, however, it’s hard not to wonder whether the Obama administration is deliberately sabotaging Obamacare.

The idea seems absurd until you examine how badly CMS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has administered a critical part of the law, the so-called premium stabilization programs. These programs were supposed to help the individual marketplace adjust to Obamacare’s new rules, and prevent the market from entering a “death spiral” of increasing premiums and fewer choices. Read more here...

Strings Attached: The One-Sided Relationship Between the FDA and the Media

- by Michael Hall

To the modern American, the word propaganda may conjure up images of World War II, Soviets, or even an Orwellian police state. It just does not sound like something that is encountered in America today. But the truth is that propaganda is still alive and kicking and, as covered by a recent Scientific American article, the FDA utilizes journalists to disseminate propaganda.

Sometimes when there’s a new story coming out of an institution, that institution will invite reporters to a meeting where select journalists will get the story early, but it’s all done under the agreement that the story will not be published until a specified time on a specified date. It’s an old journalistic tool known as an embargo, and before the embargo is lifted, reporters typically seek outside comment on the stories to get the perspective of an expert or some interested party. This is done so that a story is published with a variety of viewpoints in an effort to keep readers informed and to help readers reach their own conclusions. Read more here...

Regulators Target Payday Loans, But Put Borrowers in a Bind

- via Competitive Enterprise Institute

Payday loans are a form of small-dollar, short-term credit used by lower- and middle-income consumers, principally to enable them to withstand expense shocks and to smooth consumption when their income is “lumpy.”

In a report published today by Competitive Enterprise Institute, I explain how the payday-lending policy debate has largely moved on from earlier squabbles over whether lenders earn abnormally high profits, target minorities or, on balance, harm consumers; economic literature now substantially resolves these issues in lenders’ favor. Read more here...

Lesson of the Week
Peter Schiff gives insight on the business cycle, booms and busts, expansions and recessions that are baffling to many economists across the political spectrum. Most people still think that recessions occur randomly or are caused by irrational behavior by consumers. Only the Austrian School of economics has a fully-developed theory to account for the business cycle—that booms and busts are caused by government intervention in markets, sending distorted signals to investors. The resulting malinvestments are the cause of booms and busts. Watch it here...

New Regulations Threaten Innovative Methods of Payment

- by Kenny Stein

On Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized new rules on certain types of increasingly popular new payment methods. While primarily aimed at prepaid debit cards, the regulations are so broad that they also include new mobile payment options such as Google Wallet, PayPal, Venmo, and potentially many more. The rules effectively seek to regulate all these financial products in much the same manner that credit cards are currently regulated, with all the paperwork and compliance that entails. The new regulations threaten to crush these flexible payment methods simply because the bureaucrats cannot contemplate that a business activity might be better off beyond the reach of the regulators.

In recent years, payment methods outside of traditional bank accounts and credit cards have grown in popularity. Prepaid cards, for example, allow low-income Americans to receive, store and spend their paychecks in much the same way as checking account-linked debit cards, but for significantly less cost in fees. Apps like Google Wallet, PayPal, and Venmo give a convenient payment option to those Americans, such as young people, that cannot qualify for credit cards. All these products have arisen because of the cost of traditional financial products from banks and credit card companies. Costs that are often created by federal regulations, for example, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Read more here...

The Serious Reality for Kids In Solitary Confinement

- by Christina Herrin

Locking a child up for extended periods of time ranging from several days, weeks, months, and even years without human contact for 23 hours a day causes permanent psychological damage. Children are in the crucial stages of development; it is important to consider that solitary confinement does particularly affect youth physically and emotionally, which can lead to irreversible trauma, psychosis, depression, and even self-harm. Half of all suicides in juvenile facilities occur when youth are in solitary confinement.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has stated that the “isolation of children is dangerous and inconsistent with best practices and that excessive isolation can constitute cruel and unusual punishment.” The U.S. Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence also stated, “Nowhere is the damaging impact of incarceration on vulnerable children more obvious than when it involves solitary confinement.” Read more here...

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