DEPARTMENT OF INJUSTICE

By TEMPLE LI

Are Americans confused?  Well, they should be!

Andrew McCabe, the former Deputy Director of the FBI, has successfully achieved national attention for his recent book, The Threat, on CBS’s 60 Minutes.  This is the same man that was fired for lying last March and for which the Inspector General sent a criminal referral to the Department of Justice in April.

On 60 Minutes, he bragged that he, along with Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, conspired to remove the President of the United States through a process established within the 25th amendment, approaching members of Trump’s cabinet seeking their support.  The 25th amendment, simplified, can provide a path for the removal of a president by their (although “their” is not grammatically correct, it is politically correct) own leadership team, should the President become incapacitated.

Additionally, McCabe claimed that Rod Rosenstein offered to wear a wire during meetings at the White House with the President.   This information had come to light several months ago and which Rosenstein characterized as a “joke.”

But is the joke on the American public?  Although Lindsay Graham, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has sworn to address this outrage of non-elected government employees inciting an “administrative coup” in disregard of the will of the electorate, there is no date set for this investigation to begin.

Bill Barr is facing a monumental task as he becomes the next Attorney General in restoring the faith of the American people in the Department of Justice.

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

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IDENTITY POLITICS

By TEMPLE LI

Apparently, instead of “egg on their faces,” the Dems have “black” on their faces.   It’s hard to believe that two decades after the 60’s, there were folks who still believed in the Ku Klux Klan and White Supremacy.  The 60’s was the era of the Civil Rights Revolution; assassinations of Kennedy and King; the Viet Nam War; and a counter-revolution resulting in the “hippie movement.”  It ended with an American walking on the moon.  By the 80’s greed, big hair and oversized mobile phones dominated the times.  It was the era of the “yuppies;” the introduction of the personal computer; Reagan and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the first official report of the AIDs epidemic  by the CDC and the Wall Street Crash.  But it was not dominated by issues of race and civil rights.   So are the two men, both coincidentally in the executive branch of the Virginia state government an anomaly?  What was going on in Virginia then and now?  A sitting governor and an attorney general, both in blackface in the 80’s?  Will there continue to be a place in the Democrat party for white men from the south of a certain age?

But hold on—it’s not just white men in their 50’s and 60s.  What about the Lieutenant  Governor—a black man just turning 40, accused of sexual assault, purportedly occurring in 2004?  Is he going to be joining the ranks of all those infamous Hollywood types that transgressed and fell out of grace with the Dems?

It doesn’t stop there.  Added to the guys from Virginia is the anti-Semitism being exhibited by two young female democrats in the House of Representatives—AOC and  Ilhan Omar–and Senators Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirona’s attack on Catholics.  Who do the democrats want more—the socialists and Me Too contingent at the expense of the Jews, Catholics and white Southern males?

Identity politics can come back to bite you in the ……..!  The Dems are in a crisis of their own making and  finding a unifying presidential candidate will be a major challenge.

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

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CIAO, AMAZON

By TEMPLE LI

The disarray within the Democrat party is highlighted in Amazon’s recent pulling out of their plans for a second headquarters in Long Island City.  The short-sightedness of the socialist left politicians has resulted in the loss of long-term  net revenue benefits of approximately $24.3 billion and 25,000 to 40,000 new jobs  over a 25-year to longer period.   The resistance evinced by these politicians directly impacted Amazon’s reconsideration of their decision, as they felt that cooperation from the community leaders was paramount to successful implementation of their planned HQ2..

The $3 billion offered by New York City and New York State, the majority of which were in tax incentive, apparently overshadowed the huge benefits anticipated in jobs and tax revenue and  caused these politicians to voice their objections.  By doing so, they exhibited their ignorance in claiming that the $3 billion should be used for repairing the crumbling subway system and improving housing.  They failed to realize that at least $2.5 billion were tax incentives—not cash currently in the New York City and State coffers.  These politicians are also not listening to their own constituents.  In a recent Quinnipiac University Poll, 60% vs. 26% of Queens voters were supportive of Amazon’s HQ2 coming to Long Island City.

Both de Blasio and Cuomo have had to stand helplessly by while their fellow democrats have caused the loss of future revenues which could have improved the transit system, housing and overall quality of life for the citizens of New York, particularly those in Long Island City.  However, the Dems have nobody to blame but themselves, starting with the lazy Democrat incumbent who let AOC win in the 2018 primary, resulting in her election.

“Ciao” can be a salutation for either hello or good-by.  In the case of Amazon and New York City, it means both!

Welcome to the beginning of the Green New Deal……

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

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IT’S TEXAS TIME IN BORDER FIGHT AS LONE STAR STATE CALLED ON TO DECLARE EMERGENCY, TOO

By RICK MANNING

Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) got it 100 percent correct when in response to President Donald trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the southern border he suggested that the state of Texas “should also consider a similar declaration” of national emergency due to the illegal immigration invasion in a statement released on Friday, February 15, 2019.

In fact, a declaration by the Texas legislature of an emergency based upon what Gohmert terms “a blatant invasion happening at our border” would trigger Constitutional remedies for the situation through a little-known portion of the U.S. Constitution. Article 4, Section 4 reads, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

Now that the President has declared a state of emergency at the border, it would be the ideal time for the state of Texas to join in that declaration.  In doing so, they would compel the President to provide critical assistance to the state under the Constitution and end obstructionist objections to taking necessary measures to secure the border.

Additionally, the U.S. Departments of State, Homeland Security and Treasury can jump into the action by declaring the drug cartels which control much of the Texas/Mexican border as terrorist organizations.  In doing so, the Treasury Department can begin shutting down the money flows of those targeted cartels as they have done with the government of Iran or North Korea. The State Department can work with the Mexican government to secure a deal that isolates those cartels from protections of that government allowing U.S. operations within Mexican sovereign space. And Homeland Security can deploy rapidly to build the congressionally authorized portions of the wall, allowing other agencies to fund and build appropriate barriers throughout the various federal lands and local cities that Congress tried to turn into safe spaces for human and drug traffickers.

Perhaps most importantly, a response to a declaration from the Lone Star state government would put the issue squarely in the Fifth Circuit, and away from the loony left Ninth Circuit.  While any actions along the border between California and New Mexico would be tied up in the imaginary world which the Ninth Circuit operates, the Texas border would be secured as best as possible outside of the jurisdiction of a court gone mad.

With all of the discussion of the border funding fight, the actual pathway to border security is only in about the fifth inning and it is time for the state of Texas to come up to bat and swing for the fences.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.  You can read more of his articles at www.dailytorch.com. 

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TRUMP ADMIN. SHOULD REJECT $3.7 BILLION LOAN TO JAPANESE-OWNED COMPANY FOR FLORIDA HIGHER-SPEED RAIL PROJECT OPERATING ON MEXICAN COMPANY-OWNED LINE

By ROBERT ROMANO

The Department of Transportation could be on the verge of approving a $3.7 billion Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) low-cost loan to Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline), owned by the $100 billion market cap SoftBank Group based in Tokyo, to build a higher-speed train project on a freight rail line in eastern Florida owned by Grupo Mexico.

The project would expand Virgin Trains USA from southeast Florida, currently operating between West Palm Beach and Miami, all the way to Orlando.  Future phases include Orlando to Tampa and up the eastern coast to Jacksonville.

The RRIF Loan would be more money than the Trump administration has received from Congress to date to build the southern border wall and that was only $1.6 billion to repair existing fencing. It would also be the largest RRIF loan in Department of Transportation history, beating out Amtrak’s $2.45 billion loan in 2016.

Virgin Trains USA has already raised $1.2 billion in private equity from Fortress Investment Group, which Japan-based SoftBank Group bought in 2017.

The Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) project has been approved by the Build America Bureau (also run by the Department of Transportation) for $1.75 billion of tax-exempt private activity bonds, $600 million for phase one and $1.15 billion for phase two to Orlando.

In addition, Virgin Trains USA has an initial public offering on Nasdaq planned for Feb. 13 for another $619 million.

So, what does it need more Department of Transportation funds for? This is a multibillion project owned by the same company, SoftBank Group, which owns Sprint, even has a 30 percent stake in Alibaba and could just issue its own bonds to cover the costs of the project, were it so inclined.

This is to say nothing of Grupo Mexico which will be the other net beneficiary of the public funds as Virgin Trains USA will be paying for the right of way on the tracks. Essentially, Grupo Mexico is getting a free track out of the deal and double the freight capacity.

This is the definition of crony capitalism, where private companies that can afford to sustain themselves nonetheless come to taxpayers looking for grants or low-cost loans to mitigate their risk.  Low interest federal loans and tax-free Private Activity Bonds are taxpayer subsidized financing schemes which, if Virgin Trains USA projections are accurate, mean cash in the pockets of foreign corporations.

In the meantime, the project has not been fully vetted by the state of Florida, which does not even have state regulations governing higher-speed rail (trains going 80-125 mph), according to the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA), a research arm of the Florida legislature. The Office contracted an independent, international transportation consulting firm, CPCS, to conduct the study.

The OPPAGA study, notes the gap in regulations, stating, “While the Federal Railroad Administration and  the Florida Department of Transportation have in place regulations for conventional (up to 80mph) and high-speed (126 mph to 220 mph)rail, neither agency has developed additional regulations that are specific to higher-speed rail (81mph to 125mph).” Meaning, what Virgin Trains USA is building may not meet the safety regulations Florida ultimately comes up with. Shouldn’t Florida develop its regulations before the project is funded partially using taxpayer dollars?

Making matters worse, according to a Dec. 13, 2018 letter from U.S. Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and U.S. Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, “since the AAF-Virgin high speed train began testing and operating the South Florida portion of its line last year, ten fatalities and multiple accidents have already been reported.”  That number is now up to 14 fatalities.

Other possible impacts to Virgin Trains USA financing include two lawsuits currently in the courts.  One group of challenges by Indian River County now at the appellate level of federal court questions the validity of the Department of Transportation approving the Private Activity Bonds and whether the National Environmental Protection Act requirements are being met.  Indian River County also has a local suit challenging Virgin Trains USA’s ability to require local taxpayers to pay for crossing upgrades and equipment maintenance for the new service.

Given the safety concerns, it’s a wonder the Florida Department of Transportation  did not fully consider an alternate route for the rail project away from densely populated areas with fewer road crossings, such as the one suggested by a 2010 Economic Development Research Group, Inc.-Siemens study on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors that would have run along a coastal bypass route of the Florida Turnpike (Phase 2, Option 2 below).

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning questioned the project in a statement, asking, “Why in the world would the Trump administration even consider the largest RRIF loan in history for a project that not only endangers lives but is overwhelmingly opposed by the people who would be directly impacted by it?”

Manning urged the Trump administration to reject the project, concluding, “Limited government means ending crony capitalism and the Trump administration needs to just say no to the lobbyists trying to reach into the taxpayers’ pockets.”

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.   You can read more of his articles at www.dailytorch.com. 

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IMAGINE NO FREEDOM, IT’S EASY IF YOU TRY

By RICK MANNING

Everyone is talking about the Green New Deal, and how it would end domestic airline travel, the internal combustion engine, fossil fuel usage, most electricity generation and even ban cow flatulence.

You have groups guessing what the cost of the Green New Deal would be in terms of dollars on an annual basis coming up with figures in the trillions of dollars.

To everyone seeking to normalize this Green New Deal, please just shut up.

The Green New Deal is the baring of teeth by the new American communist.  A new breed unleashed that we have seen to the streets attacking people attending Trump rallies, screaming at teenagers wearing Make America Great Again hats, shouting down and rioting against conservative speakers on college campuses.

Here is the truth.  Socialism and communism are evil.

Putting a shroud of legitimacy and normalcy to the destruction of the American ideal is being a Menshevik in a Bolshevik Revolution, you cannot moderate the blood lust of those who seek to enslave you by trying to come up with common ground or discuss alternatives to meet their needs.  The revolution demands immediate payment.

So, let’s stop talking about the symptoms which the New Green Deal represents and actually begin to dissect the disease that is collectivism.

First definitionally the only difference between socialism and communism is if you voluntarily surrender your freedom and wealth or have it confiscated.  Either alternative ultimately comes from the coercive power of the gun and are based upon the premise that those who have attained wealth used ill-gotten means to get it.  As a result, they have no moral authority to keep it from those from whom it presumably was stolen.

In socialism and communism, individual rights are not derived from God and guaranteed by the Constitution, instead everything you have and can expect comes from the good will of the government. It is no mistake that John Lennon’s socialist anthem, “Imagine” starts with the following words:

“Imagine there’s no heaven,
“It’s easy if you try.
“No hell below us,
“Above us, only sky.
“Imagine all the people living for today.”

In order to achieve a kingdom ruled by man unfettered by morality or rules, you have to nix a sovereign God from the equation.  If there is no God, then all rights are nothing more than those that the government chooses to allow you to have, and the only protections that exist are those which they grant.  The only question is who gets to be the one holding the keys over everyone else’s life.

For the other “Imagine” songwriter, Yoko Ono, the dream continues as a lyrical assault on nations, religion, and possessions ending with the following two verses:

“Imagine no possessions,
“I wonder if you can.
“No need for greed or hunger,
“A brotherhood of man.

“Imagine all the people,
“Sharing all the world.”

“You may say that I’m a dreamer,
“But I’m not the only one.
“I hope someday you’ll join us,
“And the world will live as one.”

It makes one wonder if Ono has given up 100 percent of her songwriter royalties to the song to the government as a show of solidarity for the dream.

And here is what they don’t say, in order for the world to “live as one” with no possessions, someone is going to have to take all the stuff and hold it collectively for the common good.

In order for there to be stuff to take and most importantly eat in the future, someone is going to have to do the hard work to produce it.  Someone is going to have to figure out how to produce it, and someone is going to have to get it from where it is produced to where the brotherhood is living.  And then someone is going to have to distribute it being certain that everyone gets the same amount of gruel.

Socialism and communism are a recipe for scarcity as those who choose to not work are entitled to the same rewards as those who choose to work.  Soon, the numbers of those inspired to bust their backs plowing a field are few and far between and the state has to compel people to do necessary tasks all for the good of the common man. The result is effectively slavery, where the worker receives nothing more than the roof over their head, the clothing on their back and enough food to fuel his or her next day’s work.

Medical, architecture and engineering schools are empty as those who would have been STEM professionals choose less rigorous pursuits or no pursuit at all.  Medicines become scarce because there is no one to invent or manufacture them because there is no reward for finding the disease curing needle in the haystack.

You may say that I’m a dreamer, but to me socialism and communism are a nightmare of hopeless poverty as the masses serve their overseers under threat of the whip or worse.

When contrasted with the overwhelming wealth that capitalism has spread throughout the world. The rebellion here in America is particularly ironic as anyone who wishes to have a job can find one.  A place where politics is accessible and a seat in Congress can even be won by a bartender with social media savvy. A place where energy is abundant, inflation is low, wages are up and renewed hope is stirring.

The collectivists will never understand that capitalism works because it isn’t driven by macro-decisions from Washington, D.C. as much as it is by a series of millions of individual decisions in the market place. When politicians take their thumbs off the scales, those individual decisions are likely to be rational ones based upon the needs of each person, and this leads to an overall market place that picks winners and losers based upon merit as opposed to political favor.

Ultimately, capitalism is the individuals freedom of choice to not only buy pizza or a hamburger, but a choice of dozen or more different competing pizzas.  Each pizza maker vying for customers based upon a balance of price, convenience, quality, taste and sales panache.

And in the end, not everyone has to eat pepperoni, but instead there are choices upon choices.  These choices are not because someone in government demanded pizza choice, but instead because the market demanded it.

Over the months ahead, Americans for Limited Government will be exploring the subject of why capitalism works, and why individual rights matter in order to help meet the challenges of the 21st century.  I hope that you will join us on this exploration as we seek to educate those who are naïve to the evils of socialism and communism. Imagine the counter-cultural revolution that the truth can unleash.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.  You can read more of his articles at www.dailytorch.com. 

 

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“BARBARIANS AT THE GATE”

By TEMPLE LI

He stood on the last ferry making its way across the Hudson as people jumped to their deaths and the Twin Towers collapsed.  That was during his early years with Bank of New York and over the next eighteen years, he contributed to the growth of this organization as a white collar manager, resulting in incremental increases in salary and responsibilities.  This month, he, along with 3,999 other Bank of New York Mellon employees, was laid off—10% of their workforce.  How then does the Bank of New York Mellon justify paying the CEO, Charles Scharf, brought on board in 2017, compensation which is approximately 345 times the median employee, according to the AFL-CIO’s 2018 Executive Paywatch?  The same report shows income inequality between CEO’s in the S&P 500 index companies and their median employees grew from 347 to 1 in 2016 to 361 to 1 in 2017.

In 2018 U.S. Bank laid off 1% of its staff, while GM has begun its lay-off of 4,000 white collar employees.  Charles Payne of Fox Business Network has expressed his concerns related to companies’ decisions to reduce staff during a period of “record earnings.”   These white collar workers should be “no brainer” supporters of capitalism.  But the massive lay-offs within their ranks and the growing disparity between top management and the average employees’ salaries are fodder for those who are promoting socialism in the United States.  These white collar employees in private industry need only to look at their white collar brothers in government, whose jobs are protected by unions, to start thinking twice about their allegiance to capitalism..

The “Barbarians are at the Gate”  Big Business needs to wake up to the fact that “he” is “they” and “they” can turn into a powerful voting block , altering the course of government and history, with the “American Experiment” blowing up in its capitalistic face.  Just sayin……

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

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“THE FINAL SOLUTION?”

By TEMPLE LI

It is sad and frustrating to live in a state which legislates for abortion and further embellishes on Roe v. Wade.  It is pure hypocrisy on the part of the Governor of New York State to support a gun control law to protect the lives of our children, while signing off on another to kill our children in the wombs of their mothers.

Apparently, from his remarks at a recent news conference at the State Capital, he is a firm believer of “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and God the things that are God’s, “since he was quick to confirm that his politics trump his religion.  However, is that what our state and federal governments are demanding for payment in votes—the lives of unborn children.

Some in the Catholic Church have demanded Governor Cuomo’s excommunication.  However, his total disregard of one of their key religious belief indicates that excommunication would have very little impact.

Many parents whose children die prior to term mourn them, name them and bury them.  What happens to the children of abortion?  Are they similarly named, mourned and buried?  Or are they thrown away as part of medical waste?  Mr. Governor, man up, visit an abortion clinic and take a look in their garbage can.  It might wipe that smile off your face!

The Left equates Trump to Hitler.  At least there isn’t a trail of dead, innocent bodies following in his wake.

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

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CALIFORNIA’S IRRESPONSIBLE SPENDING OF TAX DOLLARS

By TEMPLE LI

How do Californians spend their tax dollars?  Their state legislature is busy passing laws in favor of undocumented aliens, including protections under sanctuary laws; benefits normally available only to citizens, such as health care, access to in-state tuition and financial aid benefits.  This, while they continue to thumb their noses at the Federal government and adherence to Federal laws.

Yet, they have no problem coming to the Federal government with their tails between their legs when natural disasters strike to seek Federal relief and  aid.  Where do these Federal tax dollars come from—you and me.  Did we have a say in how California squanders its own tax dollars?  Rather, we are indirectly being forced to subsidize California’s immigration policy since the money they spend on illegal aliens is not available to spend on disaster relief.

What would happen if California decided to secede from the Union?  Well, there would be a lot less liberal Democrat votes for the Republicans to worry about; we’d save a lot of tax dollars and there would be a place for all illegal immigrants to go.  How bad could that be?

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

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GRAMMATICAL OBSTACLES TO POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

By TEMPLE LI

Gender Dysphoria is defined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in medical terms.  It is “a strong, persistent feeling of discomfort in a person whose expressed gender conflicts with the gender assigned at birth.”  This apparently applies to both transgender and non-binary persons. While transgender people usually identify with the opposite sex to which they were born, non-binary do not identify exclusively as either male or female.  According to the National Institutes of Health, it is difficult to determine exactly how many individuals have the diagnosis of gender dysphoria;  however, in January, 2017, CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) conducted a U.S. study, reporting that about 150,000 youth, ages 13 to 17, as transgender and approximately 1.4 million adults, 18 and older. There has been limited research on the population of non-binary individuals, but based on studies done in 2016 and 2014 (James, Herman Rankin, et al, 2016; Barr, Budge, Andelson, 2016; Mikalson, Pardo  & Green, 2014), approximately 25% t0 35%  of transgender people have identified as non-binary.

However, whether classified in terms of sexual orientation or medical terminology, the traditionally defined binary gender is not exclusive, in defining homo sapiens.   Nor apparently are the pronouns which are normally used in referring to them.  How to determine in this electrified, politically correct environment what to use?  Appearances are deceiving; names don’t always help and besides, someone may look male or female, but not feel that way.  So what to do?

In English and going back to ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew, the masculine “he or him” was used when the gender was unknown.  But that doesn’t fly in the era of the “Me Too” movement.

In 1789, the existence of a dialectal English epicene (lack of gender distinction-androgynous) pronoun, “ou” was noted to mean either “he, she or it.”  However, “ou” apparently was short-lived.   And still popular is the singular “they” with a plural verb, “If anyone comes late, they will not get dinner.”  But does that really work when you’re referring to Chris Jones—not just anybody?

In the end, the best bet is—DON’T TALK—JUST POINT to whom you are referring.   You avoid getting in trouble that way!

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

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