Christian Britschgi
Christian Britschgi
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Ayanna Pressley Wants To Cancel the Rent. She's Also Made at Least $15,000 As a Landlord.

Ayanna Pressley Wants To Cancel the Rent. She's Also Made at Least $15,000 As a Landlord.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D–Mass.) wants to cancel the rent. She also is the owner of a rental property from which she and her husband have received tens of thousands of dollars in income.On Monday, the Washington Free Beacon—relying on tax and financial disclosure records— that Pressley and her husband purchased a Boston property for $615,000 in 2019, and rented out one of its units for $2,500 a month. That same year, the Free Beacon reports, Pressley reported $15,000 in rental income.It's unclear when or if Pressley stopped renting out the property. Regardless, it raises interesting questions...

Apr 20
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Biden's $1.5 Trillion Budget Request Would Fund All Nails Needed for the Coffin of Fiscal Restraint

Biden's $1.5 Trillion Budget Request Would Fund All Nails Needed for the Coffin of Fiscal Restraint

Despite the record amounts of money the federal government has spent over the last year responding to the pandemic—and the record deficits it's racked up in the process—the Biden administration continues to ask for trillions more.Today, the White House its first budget request. It has asked Congress to approve a $1.52 trillion budget, including $769 billion in non-defense discretionary spending (a 16 percent increase over fiscal year 2021) and $753 billion in defense spending (a 1.7 percent increase).That would represent an overall 8.4 percent increase in federal spending from last year,...

Apr 9
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Vermont Is Prioritizing 'BIPOC' Households for Vaccines. That's Almost Certainly Unconstitutional.

Vermont Is Prioritizing 'BIPOC' Households for Vaccines. That's Almost Certainly Unconstitutional.

Vermont is prioritizing people of color for vaccine eligibility over the state's white residents, provoking no small amount of controversy and constitutional concerns.On Thursday, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced on Twitter that anyone aged 16 or older who identities as black, indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), or lives in a household with someone who does, can get a COVID-19 vaccine.If you or anyone in your household identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), including anyone with Abenaki or other First Nations heritage, all household members who are 16...

Apr 2
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L.A.'s Plan To Save Old Affordable Units Could Mean No New Ones

L.A.'s Plan To Save Old Affordable Units Could Mean No New Ones

Los Angeles politicians' plan to preserve affordable housing might just end developers' incentive to ever build more of the stuff in the city.Last week, the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution directing city agencies to explore options for freezing rents at privately owned buildings with expiring affordability covenants. These covenants require building owners to keep their rents at below-market rates for a specified period of time, typically 30 to 55 years, in exchange for various government subsidies—including tax credits, low-interest loans, and relief from zoning...

Mar 22
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These San Francisco Condo Dwellers Are NIMBY Hypocrites

These San Francisco Condo Dwellers Are NIMBY Hypocrites

Residents of a San Francisco condo building that sailed through the city's planning process are now trying to prevent the approval of another apartment building next door, saying the new development would block their views, cast shadows on senior citizens, and threaten a historic gay bar.At issue is developer 1525 Pine Street Dev LLC's to build a 21-unit, 83-foot-tall mixed-use building with close to 3,000 square feet of commercial space in the city's Nob Hill neighborhood. The lot currently plays host to Grubstake, a longstanding gay bar that the developer is promising to incorporate into...

Mar 23
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A New Frontier in the War on Meth: A 40 Percent Tax on Bongs You Can't Use To Smoke Meth

A New Frontier in the War on Meth: A 40 Percent Tax on Bongs You Can't Use To Smoke Meth

Zerron Horton, co-owner of the Unkl Ruckus smoke shop in Des Moines, Iowa, has managed to steer his business through a flash flood in 2018, a major theft in 2019, and everything that 2020 threw at him. If Iowa legislators have their way, it might not survive 2021.In February, the state senate unanimously passed a bill that would impose a 40 percent tax on pipes and glassware and would require retailers like Horton to pay expensive new licensing fees.The goal of the legislation, according to bill author Sen. Dan Dawson (R–Council Bluffs), is to crack down on meth. "Metallic and glass devices...

Mar 18
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The Public Has No Real Way of Knowing How Many Troops Are Actually in Afghanistan

The Public Has No Real Way of Knowing How Many Troops Are Actually in Afghanistan

It's an open question of whether President Joe Biden will stick to the current deadline for pulling all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan under a peace agreement last year. First, though, we'll have to figure out how many troops are actually there right now.Earlier this week, The New York Times that the U.S. has about 3,500 troops in the country, or 1,000 more than the 2,500 that the Department of Defense has been .The Times, citing European, American, and Afghan officials, reports that the additional troops are a mix of special operations forces that have been moved "off the books" as well as...

Mar 16
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'Hero Pay' Requirement for Grocery Workers Results in Unemployed Heroes

'Hero Pay' Requirement for Grocery Workers Results in Unemployed Heroes

Mandated "hero pay" will add up to about $0 an hour for some grocery store workers in Los Angeles. Grocers there are closing three stores in response to newly enacted legislation that requires them to pay their workers an additional $5 an hour during the pandemic."It's never our desire to close a store, but when you factor in the increased costs of operating during COVID-19, consistent financial losses at these three locations, and an extra pay mandate that will cost nearly $20 million over the next 120 days, it becomes impossible to operate these three stores," grocery store chain Kroger...

Mar 12
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Did Anti-Price Gouging Laws Lead to More COVID-19 Deaths?

Did Anti-Price Gouging Laws Lead to More COVID-19 Deaths?

Price gouging laws are generally derided by economists for causing shortages during emergencies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, have they also led to more deaths? A provocative published today by Utah State University's Center for Growth and Opportunity posits that the shortages caused by government-imposed price controls led to increased numbers of people visiting retail stores in search of scarce products. That overcrowding in stores, the researchers argue, led to more COVID-19 cases and deaths."While mitigation policies primarily sought to decrease social contact among individuals to...

Mar 5
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Caitlyn Jenner Is Pitching Herself as the Anti-Lockdown Savior California Needs

Caitlyn Jenner Is Pitching Herself as the Anti-Lockdown Savior California Needs

Former Olympian, reality TV star, and conservative firebrand Caitlyn Jenner has announced she is running for governor against incumbent Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in the impending recall election."For the past decade, we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people," said Jenner in an announcement email sent this morning. "I am a proven winner and the only outsider who can put an end to Gavin Newsom's disastrous time as governor."The thrust of Jenner's initial pitch to voters was to paint Newsom and his...

Apr 23
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