Democrats play with filibuster fire

By David Marcus Senators Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, and their party fellows in the senate are facing a dilemma. Should they blow up the legislative filibuster to pass their inaptly named Voting Rights Bill, or preserve it to defend against Republicans doing the same when they have a majority? …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Anxious for Nothing

By Carmel Richardson

It is at once both the most distinctly human behavior and the most technically de-humanizing that we have chosen to wield advanced science for no nobler end than designer babies. And for the plebes, the knock-off option: prenatal genetic tests for every disability you could imagine. Knowledge is power.

A new study reported on in a widely circulated article in the New York Times last week showed that several major prenatal genetic tests, however, are wildly off target. The five most common microdeletion tests—microdeletion tests screen for missing pieces of chromosomes that can result in a variety of intellectual disabilities—were all wrong more than 80 percent of the time.

The tests the Times studied were as much as 93 percent inaccurate. On average, for every 15 times they correctly identified a problem, they misidentified it another 85 times. They weren’t just wrong, moreover, but skewed heavily to the side of false positives. In effect, these tests are weighted to say a baby’s life will not be worth living.

It’s a jarring statistic, not least because some mothers will choose to abort their child if such tests come back positive.

The Times describes several cases in which follow up testing revealed babies thought to be missing parts of chromosomes were in fact healthy. Not everyone takes a second test, however. Writes the Times: “A 2014 study found that 6 percent of patients who screened positive obtained an abortion without getting another test to confirm the result. That same year The Boston Globe quoted a doctor describing three terminations following unconfirmed positive results.” Much has changed since 2014, but more comprehensive data on the current rate of abortions done after erroneous testing has yet to be collected.

More reliable than microdeletion tests, the typical “follow up” procedure involves removing a piece of the mother’s placenta to see if it confirms the first tests’ results. Because placenta tests can cost thousands of dollars, and come with their own risks, which include miscarriage, it’s not hard to see why mothers don’t always immediately choose to go through with this. Moreover, placenta cannot be extracted until later in the pregnancy, sometimes past the point where abortions are legal in a given state.

When my husband and I went in for a routine first trimester checkup this fall, we were encouraged to take a litany of tests to ensure our baby didn’t have any problems. The recommended list was about 15 tests long, despite the fact that we are in a low-risk category. My husband asked if there was any reason to take the tests, if we planned to carry the baby to full term regardless? Was there anything we could do if we knew our child had one of these genetic disabilities before birth? The nurse, after much talk, admitted that for the most part there was not.

The Times journalist admits this, too, however inadvertently. The 32-year-old woman featured in the article is devastated that, after months of …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Biden’s new COVID-19 policy is not what Martin Luther King dreamed about for America

By Newt Gingrich The Biden administration’s discriminatory COVID-19 treatment policy is particularly offensive as we honor the life of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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‘America First’ Foreign Policy Gets Its Next Generation

By Curt Mills

Andrew McCarthy cuts the figure that former President Donald Trump revered, for better and worse, in his own staffing selections: “central casting.”

Crew-cutted, with a military background, and carrying himself almost with a literal chip on his shoulder, the millennial McCarthy is a part of a new breed: the next generation of would-be “MAGA” congressmen. In 2022, McCarthy’s campaign site might seem something of the Trumpist boilerplate. “Tyrannical globalists and Washington, D.C. elites have been chipping away at our region for years,” McCarthy reports. “They’ve intentionally gutted our economy: Shipped our jobs overseas, raised our taxes, and taken every dollar they can get from our small business owners. Every single day the mainstream media and the political elite hide the corruption of the Washington establishment. … Billions of dollars pour into Amazon, Apple, and Pfizer.”

But it’s easy to forget that seven short years ago, that might have been the kind of stuff more readily accessible on the website of a “liberal Democrat.” That is, after all, what former Vice President Dick Cheney called Donald Trump during his initial rampage through the 2016 Republican primary, when Trump assailed the legacy of the Iraq War: “He sounds like a liberal Democrat to me,” Cheney told Fox News.

Today, it is of course Cheney who stands with Democrats in one of the more bizarre twists in recent American political history. Cheney eventually endorsed Trump’s rise, but with his daughter Liz, the Wyoming clan has joined houses Bush, McCain, and Romney in rejecting the erstwhile president. Trump lost his only remaining defender from a GOP ticket (including his own vice president) with the death of party man Bob Dole last year.

However, what Trump lacks in peers, he seems to make up in young followers trying to get to Capitol Hill. “In 2016, we delivered Donald Trump to an unprecedented victory and ushered in an era of unmatched global presence, national security, and economic prosperity,” says McCarthy, an upstate New Yorker. “It’s time to deliver again.”

McCarthy got more reassuring news last week, with the announced departure of Rep. John Katko, the fourth Republican Trump impeachment vote to head for the exits after this year. Depending on redistricting hijinks out of Albany, McCarthy will seek to represent a district more or less like Katko’s current one, or parts of another district, currently repped by Tom Reed (who last year said Trump must “face justice,” but declined to vote for his impeachment).

McCarthy obviously takes a different approach, buddying up with aggressive, younger congressmen such as Matt Gaetz of Florida and Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina. But the battlelines of the new GOP, especially on foreign policy, are becoming clear.

Group one is the Republican old guard ready to be rid of Trump (and in some limited cases turning on him explicitly). Group two is the Trumpist wing, eager to boost both the man …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Rooftop Revelations: On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Pastor Brooks rejects three critical race theory lies

By Eli Steele Pastor Corey Brooks tackles critical race theory on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – the 58th day of his 100-day rooftop vigil. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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GOP-led states lead charge against Biden, Dems’ radical agenda

By Dee Duncan Democrat-controlled Washington has produced one broken promise after the next, and the president’s failed leadership and utter incompetency have only accelerated more chaos across our nation. …read more

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Words my uncle, Martin Luther King Jr., would share in our troubled times

By Alveda King As we celebrate the legacy of my uncle, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and also are reminded of the sanctity of life, the theme of human kindness and a regard for human dignity comes to mind. …read more

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Inflation Might Spell Doom for Wokeness

By Lewis M. Andrews

As more people, both in the U.S. and around the world, wake up to the reality of spiraling inflation, it becomes clear just how much of the overspending and deficits driving inflation are attributable to self-serving government inefficiencies. As the great economist Friedrich von Hayek once said, outbreaks of inflation are almost always “engineered by governments for the gain of governments.”

Consider healthcare, one of the largest public expenditures in developed countries. A 2017 OECD report found that government-subsidized medical services are commonly plagued by overdiagnosis and needless procedures. The report also found that a high percentage of government-subsidized treatments go to correcting provider mistakes, and that a third of patients rank their own nation’s public health system as either “corrupt” or “very corrupt.” The U.K. alone spends almost 13 percent of its economic output on its National Health Service (NHS), yet has terrible cancer-survival rates.

Public schooling is another major government service that, even in developed countries, turns out to be extremely inefficient. A 2017 study in the Journal of the Operational Research Society found that even some of the world’s best-funded school systems, including many in the U.S., produce only mediocre academic outcomes. And for all the hoopla that predictably attends every bureaucratic announcement of some new or improved curriculum, few have any measurable impact on student performance.

It shouldn’t be surprising that waste and inefficiency account for a significant portion of government overspending. Because the cost of every public service is annually folded into a much bigger federal, state, or city budget, creeping inefficiencies and even outright fraud are almost always guaranteed to escape timely correction. It is only when, as now, average citizens begin to feel the delayed inflationary consequences that public spending finally becomes a pressing political issue.

Unfortunately, the current challenge of making government more cost effective has gone way beyond giving Medicare doctors the authority to conduct cheaper online consults or urging school boards to buy chalk and other classroom supplies in bulk. In the years it has taken for lax spending discipline to trigger an inflationary wake-up call, those with a vested interest in the status quo have successfully demonized the most promising reforms.

Take, for example, what has come to be called “school choice”—subsidizing parents to pay for the education of their children in a placement of the parents’ choosing, including private academies and home schools. Numerous pilot studies have shown that voucher programs, education-savings accounts, and other ways of expanding school options would dramatically reduce K-12th grade spending while, as an added bonus, improving student learning. Yet teacher unions in the US and many other countries have succeeded in portraying parental choice as something between a parochial school conspiracy to religiously indoctrinate children and a Wall Street scheme to profit from running non-public schools.

Similar government savings could come from allowing citizens to set aside money, tax-free, for their medical expenses—expanding on what is called a Healthcare Savings Account (HSA) in …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Reflecting on Dr. King’s vision – how are we faring in pursuit of the just society?

By Ben Carson, M.D. As we remember the birth of Dr. King, it is worth reflecting on his message, and on whether we are moving in the direction of accomplishing the great vision he laid out for our nation. …read more

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