Obama’s dismal but forgettable legacy

President Obama gave his farewell speech the other night, orating for more than 50 minutes. As noted by the Washington Examiner, his remarks were “longer than the good-bye speeches of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush combined.”

But this wasn’t because he had a lengthy list of accomplishments.

Unless, of course, you count the bad things that happened. And there are three things on my list, if you want to know Obama’s legacy for domestic policy.

** A wasteful and failed stimulus.

** The Obamacare catastrophe.

** More regulation and red tape.

And those three things, combined with his other policies, produced dismal results.

** A very weak recovery.

** Falling labor force participation.

** Stagnant household income.

In other words, Obama’s legacy will be failed statism. Writing for the Orange County Register, Joel Kotkin is not impressed by Obama’s overall record.

“Like a child star who reached his peak at age 15, Barack Obama could never fulfill the inflated expectations that accompanied his election. …The greatest accomplishment of the Obama presidency turned out to be his election as the first African American president. This should always be seen as a great step forward.

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Here’s When You’re Most Likely To Get the Flu

The virus is popular in the winter for a reason

Cases of flu are on the rise, according to a recent statement from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and experts are warning that this year’s flu season will be worse than last. Now, a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Virology is shedding some light on exactly how cold weather and the spread of viruses are linked.

It turns out, seasonal flu outbreaks first appear each year about a week after the winter’s first cold spell—or at least that’s what happened in Sweden, over the course of three years when researchers tracked weather patterns and the prevalence of the virus.

During that time, researchers collected more than 20,000 nasal swabs from people seeking medical care in and around the city of Gothenburg, and analyzed them for influenza A and other respiratory viruses. Then they compared those findings with weather data from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute.

A surprisingly consistent pattern emerged: Each year, the first really cold week—with low humidity and temperatures below freezing—seemed to trigger the spread of flu.


Brexit Bulletin – The Telegraph

Good afternoon.

Theresa May will make her biggest speech yet about Brexit tomorrow morning. She has spent months making clear that Britain will leave the European Union, at very least to convince those who doubted her in Europe that she was serious. Although Philip Hammond found in his recent Die Welt interview that some people in Germany still hope it won’t happen. He explained that “the vast majority of people, like me, who campaigned to remain have now refocused on campaigning to get the right kind of Brexit.”

Mr Hammond’s new focus seems to be presenting Mrs May with a bit of a headache as she prepares to give a steer on what Britain’s relationship with the EU will be after it leaves. She is set to make clear it will involve leaving the single market. According to the FT, her ministers are drawing up plans for a two-tier system of UK border control for EU citizens as part of this. But she has yet to convince her Chancellor of the need to quit the customs union, Robert Peston reports. She won’t be announcing this then, barring a last-minute compromise. The lack of agreement will frustrate Brexiteers like Liam Fox, who see the customs union as roadblock to Britain being able to forge its own trade deals with countries outside of the EU – America, soon to be under the proudly pro-Brexit President Trump.

Mrs May will nonetheless seek to clear up what life will be like for Britain after Brexit. “It will be interesting to see if the Prime Minister expands on her view of what Brexit is actually for,” as Anand Menon of The UK in A Changing Europe writes for us today. “That is, not what Brexit means in legal or policy terms, but what Brexit means for us.” Remember she did write in last Sunday’s Telegraph that Brexit would “change the way our country works forever”.

The Prime Minister won’t just talk about where Britain is going, and how it will get there, but why Europe should want to support it on its way. She’ll talk up Britain’s hand, making clear it isn’t coming to the table as a supplicant, but as a big player. There are signs that EU negotiators know this, as the Guardian reported over the weekend that the bloc’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier wants a “special” post-Brexit deal to ensure easy access to the City for the other 27 member states. Mrs May will want to remind her EU partners that they don’t have all the cards in these talks.

Reaction of Geert Wilders to His Conviction

Dear friends, I still cannot believe it, but I have just been convicted. Because I asked a question about Moroccans. While the day before yesterday, scores of Moroccan asylum-seekers terrorized buses in Emmen and did not even had to pay a fine, a politician who asks a question about fewer Moroccans is sentenced.

The Netherlands have become a sick country. And I have a message for the judges who convicted me: You have restricted the freedom of speech of millions of Dutch and hence convicted everyone. No one trusts you anymore. But fortunately, truth and liberty are stronger than you. And so am I.

I will never be silent. You will not be able to stop me. And you are wrong, too. Moroccans are not a race, and people who criticize Moroccans are not racists. I am not a racist and neither are my voters. This sentence proves that you judges are completely out of touch.

And I have also a message for Prime Minister Rutte and the rest of the multicultural elite: You will not succeed in silencing me and defeating the PVV. Support for the Party for Freedom is stronger than ever, and keeps growing every day. The Dutch want their country back and cherish their freedom. It will not be possible to put the genie of positive change back in the bottle.

And to people at home I say: Freedom of speech is our pride. And this will remain so. For centuries, we Dutch have been speaking the unvarnished truth. Free speech is our most important possession. We will never let them take away our freedom of speech. Because the flame of freedom burns within us and cannot be extinguished.

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Why You Don’t Have to Exercise Every Day

Exercising a few times a week appears to be just as good

Exercise is one of the best ways to avoid chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer, as well as an early death. But it can be tough to squeeze into a schedule: Health experts recommend about 150 minutes of moderate activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous, breath-sapping exercise, each week.

Since daily exercise isn’t realistic for everyone, researchers decided to study whether people who tend to cram their weekly exercise into one or two days on the weekend (so-called “weekend warriors”) get the same benefits as those who exercise daily. In the new research published in JAMA Internal Medicine, they found that how often a person exercises might not make a difference in determining how long a person lives.

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UK Defies 70 Nations to Defend Israel, Refuses to Sign Paris Summit Statement

The United Kingdom defied the anti-Israel sentiment coursing through Sunday’s “peace” summit in Paris by criticizing the conference as detrimental to Israel’s interests and refusing to sign a joint statement issued after the summit which called for a two-state solution.

In a statement released by the UK’s Foreign Office, UK officials said they had had “particular reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them,” referring to the blatant lack of representatives from Israel or the Palestinian contingent.

The statement also referenced the inauguration of Donald Trump, arguing that the timing of the conference “just days before the transition to a new American President” rendered moot any agreement, of which the US would eventually be the “ultimate guarantor.”

Essentially, the conference would “harden positions” of Palestinian negotiators rather than encourage conditions for peace, the statement continued.

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