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Feds Spend $686,350 Paying Fat Kids Not to Eat

REEDLEY, CA – OCTOBER 21: (L-R) Mary Healy, Makayla Smith, Marissa Hamilton and Elizabeth Fedorchalk react as a classmate surprises them as they sit in the girls dorm at Wellspring Academy October 21, 2009 in Reedley, California. Struggling with her weight, seventeen year-old Marissa Hamilton enrolled at the Wellspring Academy, a special school that helps teens and college level students lose weight along with academic courses. When Marissa first started her semester at Wellspring she weighed in at 340 pounds and has since dropped over 40 pounds of weight in the first two months of the program. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 percent of children in the US ages 6-19 years are overweight or obese, three times the amount since 1980. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

BY: Elizabeth Harrington
September 22, 2017 5:00 am

The National Institutes of Health is spending nearly $700,000 for a study that will pay obese teenagers to not eat as much.

A University of Minnesota study that began earlier this year is analyzing whether teens who receive financial incentives for replacing meals with liquid shakes is an effective anti-obesity tool.

“Severe obesity is the fastest growing category of pediatric obesity, with a reported prevalence near 6 [percent] in the United States,” according to the grant for the project. “Unfortunately, conventional treatment approaches rarely result in sufficient weight loss in adolescents with severe obesity; therefore, innovative and effective strategies are desperately needed.”

“The financial incentive model has been used successfully in adult obesity trials to address suboptimal adherence to lifestyle modification therapy and improves weight loss outcomes,” the grant continues. “Although yet to be investigated as a weight loss intervention among adolescents, financial incentives have been shown to improve many health-related behaviors in teenagers.”

The study will involve a yearlong trial with 142 obese teens. A grant worth $686,350 was awarded in April, and research will continue through March 2022.

Researchers believe paying obese teenagers will be a more effective weight loss method if it is paired with “meal replacement therapy,” or substituting liquid shakes such as Slim Fast for regular meals.

“This research targets a significant public health problem, will utilize an innovative treatment concept and approach, and will generate new knowledge to guide selection of treatment type and intensification, ultimately exerting a powerful and sustained influence on the field of pediatric obesity,” the grant states.

A 2012 Canadian study details several obesity payment programs used by other countries. The paper cites the United Kingdom’s “nudge unit,” which started a program called “Pounds for Pounds.”

The program rewarded obese Brits with up to £425, roughly $577, if they maintained weight loss for 6 to 12 months.

“Six hundred obese participants, with an average starting weight of 218 pounds, lost an average of 14 pounds in six months and 29 pounds over 12 months,” according to the paper. The payments amounted to between $19 and $41 for every pound lost.

The 2012 study concluded that short-term payment incentive programs are not as effective as those that continue to pay people for losing weight for a long period of time.

The NIH has funded several similar studies involving paying patients to be healthier. One study that has cost taxpayers $3,639,417 since 2013 is paying low-income pregnant women not to smoke.

Another UCLA study, which has cost $1,432,544, is giving financial incentives for obese adults to shed pounds.

A third study, costing $1,560,895, is analyzing the difference between paying obese adults directly for losing weight versus randomly selecting a lottery winner for individuals enrolled in its weight-loss program.

Aaron Kelly, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota who is leading the project, declined to comment on the specific details of the payment because the study is using a “deception design.”

“This means that participants randomized to the control group will not know they are in a trial of financial incentives until after they are done,” he said. “This is [Institutional Review Board] IRB approved but we don’t want to highlight the true nature of the study too much for risk of contaminating the design.”

Update 11:15 a.m.: This post has been updated with comment from Aaron Kelly.

Geraldo Rivera calls BS on San Juan mayor’s false Trump blame: ‘I’m here. Who is dying?’

You called down the thunder. Well, now you’ve got it!

The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, may have bitten off more than she can chew in politicizing the Trump administration’s relief efforts following Hurricane Maria now that Geraldo Rivera is on the case.

When not busy cranking out nifty custom T-shirts and hats by candlelight, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz has made a name for herself complaining about the people who have come to her island to help with recovery efforts.

And while Cruz has been throwing President Donald Trump under the bus at every opportunity, other mayors are confused about her reasoning.

Rivera too saw things differently.

“On the ground I see the suffering-but feel deeply that attacking @realDonaldTrump for the ravages of nature &neglect is politicizing tragedy,” he tweeted.

The Fox News correspondent-at-large did find a “bankrupt criminally incompetent” culprit closer to home:

 Rivera caught up with Mayor Cruz, sans her custom-made T-shirt, and said she was “being partisan in her sharp unfair attacks,” although he did not agree with President Trump’s most recent assessment of her criticism.

“I’ve been traveling around, I don’t see people dying,” Rivera informed the mayor.

Rex Tillerson Just Stood Up And RUINED The United Nations Today With One Brilliant Move

 

The United Nations was a GREAT idea in concept. A coming together of nations to work together and prevent wars. Now, it’s become a place for Israel hating America bashers to help themselves at our expense. NO MORE!The United Nations was a GREAT idea in concept. A coming together of nations to work together and prevent wars. Now, it’s become a place for Israel hating America bashers to help themselves at our expense. NO MORE!

A lot of people have been wondering what Rex Tillerson was good for as Secretary of State. Well, today he showed us his worth by doing the one thing the UN has been begging America not to…He left UNESCO.
Tillerson made the decision to leave United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) after he got sick and tired of all their Anti-Semitic Israel bashing.

AdvertisementMost Shocking Women on Earth [Viewer Discretion Advised]PoplyftAds by RevcontentFind Out More > 93,029UNESCO has made their stance on Jews very clear by constantly denying Jews, not Muslims, connection to holy sites, referring to Israel as the “occupying power” and letting Palestine become a permanent member in 2011.

Of course, the folks at UNESCO are desperate to gloss over the issue, saying it’s a loss for the world in our ability to conquer extremism. Oh, really? Why not start by looking at the member states of your own group?!?!

Look, the United States has a lot of allies in the world but not many true friends. Israel is one of those actual FRIENDS of our nation and we Americans always keep our friends’ backs.

Help Tillerson and Trump stand up to the Jew Haters at the United Nations by sharing this around and letting the world know we’re not gonna take it, anymore!

THE SODA TAX: A SINGLE VICTORY, OR A BLUEPRINT FOR THE FUTURE?

 

By John F. Di Leo – 

In November, 2016, the Cook County Board of Confiscators created a new tax on most non-alcoholic beverages – punitive, astronomical, and unconstitutional.

Virtually everything that could be wrong with a government policy was wrong with this one, and the community reacted with unexpected force. County commissioners reported receiving more complaints about this issue than on any other issue in their careers. Despite a united front held by County Board President Toni Preckwinkle through the summer 2017 implementation, the resolve of her members soon withered as the real effects of the hated tax began to be felt.  In the end, it was repealed after less than three months of actual collection, and will be gone completely when the clock strikes midnight on December 1.

The question for us is therefore, do we pat ourselves on the backs and enjoy the victory, or do we double down, and put the lessons of the beverage tax to work in other areas of public policy?

Problems Galore

The beverage tax suffered from a number of key flaws, and all were so tangible that they became visible to every onlooker. For example:

 

  1.  With a range of anywhere from 30% to 80%, and with a peculiar target list of products, no cash register system could be designed to accurately collect it, so the tax is an administrative nightmare for businesses.
  2. The cost being so high ($2.88 on a six-dollar 24-pack of pop, for example), it drove people out of the county. Hundreds of thousands of shoppers, particularly those on the geographic periphery, switched not just their beverage purchases, but often all their grocery purchases, to stores in neighboring counties.
  3.  This massive loss in business caused grocery stores, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, and every other business that depends on beverage sales to cut employees’ hours, cut employees, and even begin consideration of shutting down entirely (Philadelphia’s nearly identical experiment has resulted in hundreds of such stores going out of business).
  4.  The tax was likely to eventually fail in the courts anyway, because it’s unconstitutional; the Illinois Constitution requires that taxation of like products be identical, and the demarcations between taxed and untaxed in this experiment were utterly capricious.
  5.  Since federal rules don’t allow such a tax to be applied on food stamp purchases, the tax drove a huge class wedge between those paying with SNAP cards and those not. The relationship between people on relief and people struggling to make it without aid has never been so tested.
  6. Most taxes don’t bring in the revenue projected, but the differences are rarely this stark. The county had projected $18 million from this tax in August, and when the numbers were in, it brought in less than $300,000. Even for the normally economically illiterate, this proved how much the county was losing in sales taxes due to shopping fleeing the county. This wasn’t due to an error in calculation; it was due to an error in behavior; the county simply never believed that shoppers would vote with their feet. We did.

 

This is a victory. For one short period of time, really, barely over a quarter, the vast majority of Cook County residents started paying attention to economics.  Voters who have usually shrugged their shoulders and taken taxes as part of the unavoidable realities of life actually picked up a phone and complained to their representatives. Grocery stores and fast food places posted signs sharing the phone numbers of the county commissioners.  An alliance of businesses took the county to court on the constitutionality grounds.  And people made huge changes in their behavior, as they started shopping in different tax jurisdictions.

This must not stand as a brief blip in American history. This should be a clarion call:  to all who want America to again be the nation our Founding Fathers intended for us, we now have a blueprint for what works!

Constant action, constant flooding of the airwaves and news, punishing districts that take the wrong position, rewarding districts that choose right. Activism.

Nobody dumped soda pop in Lake Michigan as part of a “Boston Tea Party” action; nobody held violent rallies or attacked elected officials.   There was no need.

The opponents just kept the pressure on, and focused on the facts… in a way that everyone – every voter, every shopper, every parent, every consumer, every politician – could understand.

This isn’t the way to address every issue, but perhaps this is a template for some issues. Consider:

The Minimum Wage

The right has always quoted economists, cited statistics, written columns, and testified before committees, proving that the minimum wage destroys jobs, destroys opportunities, freezes out whole groups of people from any chance at the American dream… but we get nowhere. We even see politicians like California’s Governor Moonbeam make idiotic statements like “It may not make economic sense, but it makes moral sense. It’s the right thing to do.”

The destruction caused by the minimum wage – particularly by one jurisdiction setting a higher one than neighboring jurisdictions – is at least as clear and powerful as the beverage tax. Employers flee when the minimum wage is hiked, not only eliminating the starting jobs that locals need when just starting out, but also the permanent full time jobs that the same companies employ.

When we talk about entry level jobs, we often forget that the same companies also employ managers, buyers, salesmen, engineers, executives, and all sorts of other good full time positions. When you drive that company away, you drive away both kinds of jobs – both that critical first step on the bottom rung of the ladder, and every other rung on that ladder as well.

Catch and Release Criminal Justice

Just as the beverage tax made Cook County a hostile environment for a certain class of employment – grocery stores, fast food places, Walmarts and Costcos, convenience stores – our catch-and-release criminal justice system creates a hostile environment for more narrowly-defined neighborhoods.

Throughout the region, there are suburbs or neighborhoods of the city where people simply dare not go. Employers, shoppers, tourists, everyone avoids the areas that are known for high crime.

And we know exactly WHY they have the high crime: It’s not that we don’t catch criminals; we catch them all.  It’s not that we can’t prosecute and convict them; we certainly do.  The problem is that we let them go.  Our sentencing is too soft; when they get out, the return right back to the same community they terrorized before.

When we talk about fixing the big cities, particularly the Chicago metro area, we must remind people of the effect of high crime on their neighborhood, on their employment options, on their cost of living. Auto insurance costs more, safe housing costs more, jobs are harder to find, people who need second jobs can’t take them because the dangers of being out at night… The catch-and-release system does at least as much damage to every citizen’s life as the beverage tax did.

Corruption

One of the hardest issues to tackle in big cities like Chicago has always been political and bureaucratic corruption. Many people tolerate it, because they just think it’s the way it is…  but what if the corruption was ended?  Think of the investors, the startups, the developers who would love to shower their investment on a place like Chicagoland if only it managed to solve these issues?

The news of the week – this week – is on the pressure brought to bear on a Wicker Park building owner by aldermen and bureaucrats, in an effort to force the landlord to approve a politically connected tenant, using the threat of municipal zoning powers to bend him to their will.

Every year, every month – sometimes every week – there is another such story, going back decades. One year it was Operation Greylord, another it was Silver Shovel… sometimes the focus was on an individual, sometimes on whole rings.  Sometimes the pressure was brought by the press, sometimes by the feds.  For all their differences, the one constant in Chicagoland has been that there’s always a corruption case, and it never seems to end.

But what if it did? What if we could end the corruption, by identifying the practitioners and defeating their protectors at the ballot box?

Think of Foxconn, building a massive new complex just north of the Wisconsin line. They never considered Illinois.  But they could have… if only we’d remove the deal-breakers that drive wise investors away.

 

So much that’s wrong with Chicagoland is fixable. Just remove the barriers – the big, systemic barriers that act as “Keep Out!” signs to any possibility of economic expansion – and we could be on our path to prosperity again, as we once were.

Thanks to the ill-fated beverage tax, we now see what works:

  • Make the economic case CLEAR.
  • Show how the problem affects YOU, personally, and your children, your spouse, your friends.
  • Publicize which specific politicians need to be called, lobbied, educated… or replaced.
  • Put the signs EVERYWHERE – on social media, on billboards, on store shelves, on the drive-through windows.
  • And don’t let up until you succeed.

This is our state. We have seen how it’s done.

Now let’s do it.

Copyright 2017 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer, writer, and actor. Though born in Chicago, he moved to the suburbs at the age of one and never looked back.

 Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included.

 

Trump administration releases hard-line immigration principles, threatening deal on ‘dreamers’

 

The Trump administration released a list of hard-line immigration principles Oct. 8, which could threaten to derail a deal in Congress to protect “dreamers” from deportation. (Elyse Samuels/The Washington Post)

The Trump administration released a list of hard-line immigration principles late Sunday that threaten to derail a deal in Congress to allow hundreds of thousands of younger undocumented immigrants to remain in the country legally.

The administration’s wish list includes the funding of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a crackdown on the influx of Central American minors and curbs on federal grants to “sanctuary cities,” according to a document distributed to Congress and obtained by The Washington Post.

The demands were quickly denounced by Democratic leaders in Congress who had hoped to forge a deal with President Trump to protect younger immigrants, known as “dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children. Trump announced plans last month to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era program that had provided two-year work permits to the dreamers that Trump called “unconstitutional.”

About 690,000 immigrants are enrolled in DACA, but their work permits are set to begin expiring in March. Trump had met last month with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and agreed to try to strike a deal, worrying immigration hawks who feared that Trump would support a bill that would allow dreamers to gain full legal status without asking for significant border security measures in return.

The list released by the administration, however, would represent a major tightening of immigration laws. Cuts to legal immigration also are included. And, while Democrats have called for a path to citizenship for all dreamers, a group estimated at more than 1.5 million, a White House aide said Sunday night the administration is “not interested in granting a path to citizenship” in a deal to preserve the DACA program.


President Trump prepares to leave for Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

“The administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement Sunday evening. “We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures … but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise.”

In a conference call with reporters, White House aides described the proposals as necessary to protect public safety and jobs for American-born workers, which was a centerpiece of Trump’s campaign. The president has moved to tighten border security through executive orders, including curbs on immigration and refugees from some majority-Muslim nations and an increase in deportations.

The number of immigrants who have attempted to enter the country illegally across the Mexican border has decreased sharply since Trump took office.

Democrats had hoped that Trump, who had equivocated over the DACA program before deciding to terminate it in the face of a legal challenge from Texas, would be open to crafting a narrow legislative deal to protect the dreamers. But White House aides emphasized that they expect Congress to include the principles released Sunday in any package deal, a nonstarter for Democrats and some moderate Republicans.

The status of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants are up in the air with the Trump administration’s decision to phase-out DACA and pursue immigration legislation instead. Here’s a look at the “dreamers” who will be affected. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

“These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients,” Trump wrote in a letter to Congress. “Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end.”

Immigration hard-liners expressed support for the administration’s immigration proposals. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) praised the administration for “a serious proposal” and said that “we cannot fix the DACA problem without fixing all of the issues that led to the underlying problem of illegal immigration in the first place.”

Trump had said several times over the past month that he did not expect a DACA deal to include funding for a border wall, emphasizing that the money could be included in separate legislation. But ensuring funding for the wall, which is projected to cost more than $25 billion, is the top priority on the list. White House aides declined to specify during the call how much money the president would expect from Congress.

Despite the White House’s calls for the complete construction of a southern border wall and the support of some ardent conservatives in Congress, several GOP lawmakers from border states have expressed skepticism about such projects in the past. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), the second-ranking Republican, has introduced legislation that would fund only partial wall construction and mostly renovations of existing barriers.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a frequent sparring partner of Trump’s, has also cast doubt on building a wall, saying that such barriers would require accounting for the flow of rivers that run north and south across the two countries.

Others, including Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.), whose south Texas district includes more than 800 miles of border, has proposed using technology — not brick and mortar — to track the border for potentially illegal crossings.

In its principles, the Trump administration also is proposing changes aimed at reducing the flow of unaccompanied minors from Central America, tens of thousands of whom have entered the United States illegally in recent years. Immigrant rights groups have said the minors, as well as women and families, have fled gang violence and other dangers in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Under current law, minors who arrive from noncontiguous nations are afforded greater protections than those from Mexico and Canada, but the Trump administration is proposing to treat them all the same in a bid to be able to deport the minors more quickly. Such proposals will probably face fierce resistance from Democrats and human rights groups.

The administration also has sought to increase pressure on sanctuary cities, which refuse, in some cases, to cooperate with federal immigration agents seeking personal information about undocumented immigrants who’ve committed other crimes in their jurisdictions. Under the immigration priorities released Sunday, the administration is proposing that Congress withhold federal grants to such jurisdictions and that it clarify the authority of state and local jurisdictions to honor detainers issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“There is no justification for releasing a public safety threat back into the public,” said Thomas Homan, the acting director of ICE. “We will not stop illegal immigration unless we stop the pull factors that are driving it. … Entering this country illegally is a crime but there are no consequences for sneaking past the border or overstaying visas.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.), vice chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said that “Congress should reject this warped, anti-immigrant policy wish list. The White House wants to use dreamers as bargaining chips to achieve the administration’s deportation and detention goals.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a longtime advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, in an interview called Trump’s proposals “an extension of the white supremacist agenda.” He said it is “fanciful thinking that you can sit down with a man who has based his presidential aspirations and has never wavered from his xenophobic positions. I never understood — I just never got it, how you go from Charlottesville and white supremacists to reaching an agreement with him.”

Gutierrez renewed calls for Democrats to withhold support for an upcoming bill that would raise the debt limit or extend government spending, saying that “if you want a budget with Democratic votes, then it’s got to have some Democratic priorities.”

Trump aides said the administration’s priorities are imperative because legalizing the dreamers without fixing other parts of the immigration system would allow the problem to continue. The last major legislative overhaul to the nation’s immigration laws came in 1986 and included a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, but more than 11 million undocumented immigrants are living in the country now.

The White House’s list of immigration principles will move the debate over the fate of the dreamers toward the prospect of broader comprehensive reform. Efforts to forge a comprehensive bill failed under the past two presidents, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

During his campaign, Trump had threatened to end DACA on his first day in office, but he equivocated for months, suggesting that the decision over the fate of the dreamers was among the most difficult he faced. After Texas and several other states announced plans to sue the administration over the program, Trump moved to end it but said he would hold off the most drastic measures for six months to give Congress time to find a legislative solution.

“We would expect Congress to include all the reforms in any package that addresses the status of the DACA recipients,” said one White House aide on the conference call who was not authorized to speak on the record. “Other views had their fair day in the democratic process.”

Noting that the Republicans swept the White House and both chambers of Congress in November, the aide added: “The American public voted for the reforms included in this package.

In a list of “principles” laid out in documents released by the White House, the Trump administration also pressed for a crackdown on unaccompanied minors who enter the United States, many of them from Central America.

The plan, which was delivered to leaders in Congress on Sunday night, drew a swift rebuke from Democrats, who are seeking a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Trump ended last month.

“The administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans,” said House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

“The list includes the wall, which was explicitly ruled out of the negotiations. If the president was serious about protecting the Dreamers, his staff has not made a good faith effort to do so,” they said in a statement.

The Trump administration wants the wish list to guide immigration reform in Congress and accompany a bill to replace DACA, the Obama-era program that protected nearly 800,000 “Dreamers” from deportation and allowed them to secure work permits.

If enacted, the White House priorities could result in the deportation of Dreamers’ parents.

“These priorities are essential to mitigate the legal and economic consequences of any grant of status to DACA recipients,” Trump’s legislative affairs director, Marc Short, told reporters on a conference call. The White House made clear it would not be pushing for Dreamers to achieve U.S. citizenship, only legal status, in a potential deal.

Trump told Congress it had six months to come up with legislation to help Dreamers, who are a fraction of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, most of whom are Hispanic.

The documents call for tighter standards for those seeking U.S. asylum, denial of federal grants to “sanctuary cities” that serve as refuges for illegal immigrants, and a requirement that employers use an electronic verification system known as “E-Verify” to keep illegal immigrants from securing jobs.

HARD LINE

Trump campaigned for president on a pledge to toughen immigration policies and build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. He vowed repeatedly that Mexico would pay for the wall, but began prodding Congress earlier this year to approve funding. Mexico has said it will not pay for the wall.

Trump’s suggestion after a meeting with Schumer and Pelosi that wall funding would not have to be part of a DACA fix alarmed some of his supporters.

The White House sees the wall as a priority but has indicated that it could be established as part of a DACA bill or through other legislative avenues. Administration officials said that legislation that did not include all of the priorities on the list would not necessarily trigger a presidential veto.

Republicans in Congress have introduced several bills that include aspects of Trump’s ideas, but many Democrats and immigration groups see the proposals as too harsh.

“The Trump administration has put forth a serious proposal to address the enforcement of our immigration laws and border security,“ said Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte in a statement. ”We cannot fix the DACA problem without fixing all of the issues that led to the underlying problem of illegal immigration in the first place.”

The White House’s wish list targets the flow of unaccompanied minors into the United States. It would require such children to be treated the same, regardless of their countries of origin “so long as they are not victims of human trafficking and can be safely returned home or removed to safe third countries,” the White House documents said.

It would expand the list of “inadmissible aliens” to include members of gangs, those who have been convicted of an aggravated felony, and former spouses and children of drug and human traffickers if they receive benefits from such behavior.

The plan also seeks to reduce the number of people who overstay their visas and reform how green cards that establish legal permanent residents are granted.

Trump’s White House has so far not been able to achieve a major legislative victory, casting doubt on the potential for a breakthrough on immigration reform, which Republican and Democratic presidents have tried before without success.

Since Trump took office in January, his fellow Republicans have failed to repeal and replace former Democratic President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and a White House plan for tax reform needs more support.

 

NFL Swirling Down the Death Spiral of Popularity…FAST

Who could have dreamed it? The National Football League, which depends on the love and support of millions of American patriots and conservatives for its ongoing popularity, is now facing a slump of historic proportions thanks to its untimely, ill-advised stance against the national anthem.

You would have thought that someone in Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office would have told him, “You know, boss, maybe we’re playing with fire here? NFL fans aren’t, by and large, known for their liberal activism.” You’d think that, but if anyone had that kind of advice for him or anyone else in the NFL’s front office, they were ignored. Instead, players have been allowed, week after week, to stage their little protests against the anthem and the flag. These protests haven’t had the slightest effect on the “problem” of police shooting black suspects, but they’ve had a terrible effect on the NFL’s bottom line.

As first reported by the Washington Examiner, a new poll shows that the NFL’s popularity has taken an enormous dive in recent weeks. The poll, taken by the Washington-based Winston Group, shows that the NFL now has the highest unfavorability ratings of any major sport in America. 40% of Americans now have an unfavorable view of the league, officially making it the least-liked major sports organization in the country. Meanwhile, the favorability ratings have also tumbled. At the end of August, 57% of the country had a favorable view of the NFL. By the end of September and the league’s silly little feud with President Donald Trump, only 44% said they had a favorable view of the institution.

“More critically for the NFL, the fall off in favorables occurred among important audiences,” reported the Winston Group. “Among males, NFL favorables fell 23 percent, going from 68 percent to 45 percent. In looking at a more specific audience, males 34-54, NFL favorables fell 31 percent, going from 73 percent to 42 percent. Among this group the NFL has a surprising negative image, as it went from +54 percent in August to -5 percent in September.”

Ticket sales are down, TV ratings are sinking like a stone, and the NFL has shown no signs of stepping in to even encourage players to make their voices heard in a more constructive manner. There appears to be nothing but contempt for the viewing audience, in fact, and the league may have already missed any chance it might have had at winning back disgruntled fans. In fact, with every passing week, the anger among patriotic Americans is only growing.

 

Democrat Arrested – Facing 357 Years In Prison For Sick Crime

WE WILL OVER COME.......

IT’S OFFICIAL: Trump Makes The NFL Bow To The Flag & Anthem

Would ANY other candidate for President have been able to take the NFL protest and turn it around to this?

In case this wasn’t clear to anyone out there, Trump was not elected — first and foremost — because of his policies.

He was elected as an antidote to the culture war that had been waged with impunity in the eight years before him.

We on the right got tired of having the institutions we love trashed, defamed, or ‘fundamentally transformed’ and watching the Republicans we elected to stop them get sand kicked in their faces. We got tired of half-measures and strategic withdrawals. We got tired of hearing ‘the better part of valor. Or ‘next time’. Or ‘the long game’

The math really isn’t that hard: when you surrender, you lose. 100% the time.

We wanted someone who wouldn’t back down from these fights. Because if we actually FIGHT them, we can win!

And guess what! Trump just scored a big win on the culture front!

Trump has stepped up to be the voice for our views. The one you don’t hear in the beltway. The one you don’t hear from all those leftist groups that absolutely despise the very idea E. Pluribus Unum. The ones that deliberately ‘divide and conquer’ us for their own political agendas.

This time, the Media didn’t have the loudest voice.

We did.

And the only way that could happen? Is because we have a bold, brash, President who picks fights for things he thinks are important. In this case, the Flag and the Anthem — some of the very few things that still keep us unified after generations of deliberately splintering America into competing interest groups.

 In case the text isn’t quite legible in that image, here is the NFL’s response:

Date: October 10, 2017

Re: Fall Meeting/National Anthem

We live in a country that can feel very divided. Sports and especially the NFL brings people together and lets them set aside those divisions, at least for a few hours. The current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country.

I’m very proud of our players and owners who have done the hard work over the past year to listen, understand and attempt to address the underlying issues within their communities. At our September committee meetings, we heard directly from several players about why these issues are so important to them and how we can support their work. And last week, we met with the leadership of the NFLPA and more players to advance the dialogue.

Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.

Building on many discussions with clubs and players, we have worked to develop a plan that we will review with you at next week’s League meeting. This would include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help to promote positive change in our country. We want to ensure that any work at the League level is consistent with the work that each club is doing in its own community, and that we dedicate a platform that can enable these initiatives to succeed. Additionally, we will continue the unprecedented dialogue with our players.

Rivera Refutes ‘Fake News’ Stories About Trump Admin’s Response To Puerto Rico

“Whatever you read in the so-called fake news … I think the president and the first lady were …”

Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera, who has been on the ground in Puerto Rico for over a week, refuted media reports that the Trump administration has failed to adequately respond on the island following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“Whatever you read in the so-called fake news … I think the president and the first lady were amazingly gracious and graciously receiving by the grateful Puerto Rican people,” Rivera said on Fox News on Wednesday.

The correspondent then aired his interview with President Donald Trump from Puerto Rico from the day before.

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“They’re special people,” Trump said. “I love the Puerto Rican people.”

Trump admitted it was a “very tough” situation, but the federal response was strong.

“I say we got an A+ in Texas, we got an A+ in Florida, and we may have done our best work here, but it hasn’t been appreciated,” he added, likely referring to members of the media and probably San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz both of whom he had tweeted about over the weekend.

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Rivera picked up on the reference, noting that Cruz, who is a likely Democrat candidate for governor in 2020, noticeably did not applaud when Trump came to the island to meet with local officials.

“How do you feel? You’ve been blamed for everything from kids dying to a cholera epidemic that didn’t exist?” Rivera asked the president.

“She was very, very nice at the beginning,” Trump replied, “and all of the sudden I noticed she went a little bit on the nasty side, and I said, ‘I guess she’s running for office.’ And it turns out I was right. Isn’t that a shock?”

Many media outlets seized on Cruz’s claim on CNN late last week that Puerto Rico is a “people are dying” story.

Rivera confronted Cruz on Sunday, asking, “Are people dying? I’ve been traveling around, and I don’t see people dying.”

“Dying is a continuum, right?” the mayor replied, explaining some people are not getting adequate amounts of food and clean water and medical care, and therefore are in the midst of dying.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrongly claimed via Twitter on Saturday that there had been a cholera outbreak on the island. Cholera is spread by bacteria in dirty water.

The tweet was shared over 14,000 times.

The Centers for Disease Control countered Krugman’s claim that same day, apparently prompting the columnist to partially walk back his assertion shortly thereafter.

Appearing on Hannity on Tuesday night, Rivera said the Trump administration is doing good work under difficult circumstances.

Regarding the 34 dead from the storm, Rivera said, “Blame Hurricane Maria for those deaths. Don’t blame President Trump.”

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