Bringing Back Earmarks Would Be a Colossal Mistake

In November the American people voted to give Republicans unified control of the federal government because, in large part, we pledged to “drain the swamp”—that corrupt political culture prevailing in our nation’s capital that enables elites to manipulate the levers of government to their advantage.
Changing business as usual in Washington is a tough fight. But we would be going the wrong way if Republicans were to lift the current ban on earmarks—those infamous provisos attached to spending bills that funnel taxpayer money to pet projects and parochial interests—as some have proposed.

The most that can be said of the proposal to revive earmarks—a practice Republicans voted to prohibit in 2010—is that it begins from a correct observation that political dysfunction is plaguing Washington today.
Article I of the Constitution vests “all legislative powers” in Congress. But in recent decades, legislators have been giving away many of their lawmaking powers to the executive branch.
So today, just as the vast majority of the federal government’s rules are written by unelected bureaucrats in the executive branch, these same bureaucrats often enjoy more discretion than members of Congress in deciding how federal taxpayer money is spent.
Republicans are rightfully frustrated by this state of affairs, which has led some of our colleagues in the House to float the idea of bringing back earmarks.
As they tell it, reviving earmarks would strengthen Congress by reclaiming the legislature’s most potent authority: the power of the purse.
Congress needs to assert its power of the purse, but not in this manner.
Letting members of Congress take credit for federal money steered to their constituents does not fix the incentive problem at the core of today’s congressional dysfunction. In fact, it would only worsen it.
As anyone who worked in Washington before 2010 will remember, earmarking was not the innocuous exercise of Congress’ constitutional spending power. It was the tool lobbyists and leadership used to compel members to vote for bills that their constituents—and sometimes their conscience—opposed.
The good news is that there’s a better way to strengthen Congress. Instead of reviving earmarks, which would ultimately only further weaken the legislative branch, there are other ways to reinvigorate Congress’ power of the purse without also reinvigorating special interests in Washington.
For example, Congress can use the authorization process to reform how federal agencies spend taxpayer dollars to ensure the process for selecting funding priorities and recipients is transparent, merit-based, and consistent with congressional intent.
We can also rewrite our outdated budget process rules in a way that puts Congress back into the driver’s seat instead of the current role of junior partner to the executive branch.
As the co-leaders of the Article I Project, a network of House and Senate conservatives committed to putting Congress—and, by extension, the American people—back in control of Washington, our mission is to make Congress once again responsible, both in discharging its constitutional duties and making itself accountable for the consequences.
Unfortunately, bringing back earmarks would not do this. It would make our job harder, make Congress weaker, and make federal power more centralized, less accountable, and more corrupt.
That’s why we’ll be working to keep the ban in place, and we invite conservatives to join us.

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Gene Editing, New Mental Health, The Year Of Giving, And Halal Tourism – New Trends In Mena For 2017

J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group MEA released its Future 100 Trends and Change to Watch in 2017 report, which highlights the top 100 consumer trends driving change across the Middle East and North Africa today.

Future 100 MENA 2017 – Cover image –

AMMAN, Jordan – Feb. 12, 2017 – PRLog — J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group MEA released its Future 100 Trends and Change to Watch in 2017 report, which highlights the top 100 consumer trends driving change across the Middle East and North Africa today.  Gene Editing, New Mental Health, Halal Tourism and The Year of Giving, are just a few of the trends that describe a region advancing social change for itself and others, through diversity and inclusion. For brands wishing to keep pace, and tune in to current consumer attitudes, the report is a must read guide about sectors and personal needs that have been ignored for way too long.
Authored by Mennah Ibrahim, the 100 trends are categorized into 10 major consumer categories, including travel & hospitality, retail, health, and food & drink. Last year’s report outlined how societies are embracing topics previously considered taboo.  Businesses heard and reacted.  This year change is centered around aspects of life that consumers have firmly reclaimed.
An increasing demand for brands and lifestyle products to offer Muslim-centric options, has fueled a wave of innovative solutions from start-ups all over the world.  Created by and about a diverse yet inclusive Muslim identity, they prioritize social justice and social impact within the business models.
Gene Editing: The Arab world is poised to take off on the biotech frontier.  Pioneering initiatives are surfacing that will fill the lack of Middle Eastern genomics data, and potentially revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.  The Saudi Human Genome Programme looks to sequence the genomes of 100,000 Saudis, to identify population-specific risk variants.  This programme makes the Kingdom the region’s leading centre for human genetics research.  And Egypt is planning an Egyptian reference database which they will use to micro-dissect Egyptian cancers.
New Mental Health: Suicide rates have skyrocketed within the last year with drivers of mental illness such as – violence, injustice, inequality and the impact of modern-day living – all taking their toll on MENA societies. One suicide is reported every three days in Lebanon; and in the UAE, a 2013 Dubai Health Authority study uncovered that one in five teenage students in the emirate were showing symptoms of depression. Companies are now partnering with government organisations to offer consumers support; a much needed initiative when anxiety rates for Generation Z are already through the roof.
Halal Tourism:  The tourism industry has woken up to the growing spending power of the Muslim traveler well beyond the Arab world.  Asia and Europe already account for 87% of the entire market. Muslim business travel is expected to reach $22 billion by 2020, with Muslim travel overall expected to be worth $220 billion (MasterCard and Crescent Rating, Oct 2016). Closer to home, Mecca is gearing up as a MICE travel destination in Saudi Arabia, combining Umrah pilgrimage trips with business visits.  Hospitality brands are making sure they do not miss out on the segment.
The Year of Giving: Underscoring the importance of humanitarian work, HH Sheikh Khalifa has decreed a philanthropic approach to strengthening social responsibility in the private sector, with The Year of Giving.  Promoting the spirit of volunteerism and instilling loyalty and commitment in the next generation, it harks back to Sheikh Zayed’s legacy that measured generosity not only by donations, but by positive impact on a person’s life, on society and the UAE nation. Partnerships with the private sector are expected to bring something exceptional to the community, and contribute effectively to societal development.
Data the New Luxury: In an age that has become increasingly beholden to data, people are coming to consider their data as highly precious. Evolving past conventional security on devices, the psk series of jewelry have replaced diamonds and gems with something far more valuable per square millimeter – personal data.  Founded by Wagenknecht and Sunde, the psk series shines a harsh light on the tech industry that relies on users’ data, instead of direct payment, to fund their operations. Entirely in line with our SONAR data which revealed that 81% of people in MENA believe they should be compensated for their data.
Mennah Ibrahim, MEA Director of the Innovation Group, said, “Having documented how consumers are evolving for over five years now, it is incredible to watch the pace of change accelerate so much across the region.  We are experiencing technological developments – and the ethical questions they bring; we are taking huge progressive societal steps across major markets; and we are embracing our polycultural, influential and forward driving momentum for hope.  It’s not easy living in today’s constant state of uncertainty – not for brands, nor consumers.  Yet the trends we have identified all point towards an exciting, collaborative and compassionate future.”
To view a sample of the report, click here (…).  To download the full report, click here (
J. Walter Thompson Company was founded in 1864 and has been making pioneering solutions that build enduring brands and business for more than 150 years. Today the company has evolved to include several global networks including J. Walter Thompson Worldwide (, Mirum and Colloquial (
In the Middle East and Africa, J. Walter Thompson is one of the leading communication agencies in the region with 27 offices in 24 markets.   The MEA region is structured to deliver communication based business solutions across all channels needed to successfully deliver the marketing plan.  For more information, please visit us  and follow us @jwtmea

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"Dirty Jobs" Host Mike Rowe Talks American Jobs, Scholarships on Podcast

Mike Rowe on The Unwritable Rant podcast

CHICAGO – Feb. 12, 2017 – PRLog — The Unwritable Rant podcast, hosted by author Juliette Miranda, is excited to announce the posting of an interview with TV host and trade activist Mike Rowe.

Often referred to as “the dirtiest man on TV,” Rowe has travelled the country as host of “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel and “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” on CNN. He is the narrator for shows like “Deadliest Catch” and “American Chopper.”
In this revealing and humorous 30-minute interview, Rowe discusses the lessons he learned exploring skilled trades on television, considers the role gender plays in the country’s relationship with work, and discusses the scholarships available through the mikeroweWORKS Foundation.
“It was such an honor to speak with Mike Rowe,” says host Miranda. “He’s an incredible storyteller, and his focus on changing the way we think about work is essential in our current job climate.”
Rowe also shares a revealing story in this interview about how he records his podcast, “The Way I Heard It.”
“This may be borderline inappropriate,” he says. “But since this is The Unwritable Rant, I guess it’s okay. I just hope I don’t make it unlistenable.”
The Unwritable Rant is a weekly podcast focusing on storytelling, humor and celebrity interviews. The show is available for free download on iTunes and iheartradio and broadcast on and
The Mike Rowe interview episode can be heard here:

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Daniel Hernandez Couturier Headed to London Fashion Week

International Award Winning Fashion Designer Daniel Hernandez is presenting his new collection during London Fashion Week.

London Fashion Week Official

BOSTON – Feb. 12, 2017 – PRLog — Internationally recognized and awarded, designer Daniel Hernández will be presenting during February’s London Fashion Week. After his latest shows with Seattle Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, Hernández is looking forward to introducing his new collection.

The London Fashion Week will take place at the historic Hoxton Arches, in North East London. “London is the birthplace of fashion movements that have influenced my entire career in fashion,” stated Hernandez.
Hernández’s London collection is comprised of Red Carpet Gowns and ready-to-wear looks. Inspired by the professional woman, the pieces reflect the need for function, while indulging in gorgeous fabrics. Italian zippers, Swarovski elements, and mechanical lace all bring the various looks to a new level. The Patriot Ledger described previous collections as, “Designs that brought to mind style icons such as Jackie Onassis and Audrey Hepburn.” The newest collection displays Hernandez’ artistry infused with a fresh attitude and imagination.
“I am elated to show my work in the native land of my favorite designer, Alexander McQueen. I cannot wait to work with the London Fashion Week Team,” Hernandez affirmed.
Joining the runway show will be Nuciano Bags, a designer that has previously shared the runway with Hernandez in Boston. This London adventure will take place for Hernandez thanks to the support of Virgin Atlantic.
Tickets for the Heartland London Fashion Week event can be purchased at….
Sun 19 February 2017
18:00 – 20:00 GMT
List of Designers
Mondo Guerra (USA)Daniel Hernandez (USA)Chanel Joan Elkayam (UK)
LOCATION:Hoxton Arches402 Cremer StreetLondon  E2 8HDUnited Kingdom
Fashion Industry Media
(917) 727-1663
###Daniel Hernández Couturier is an international award winning fashion designer based in Boston, MA. For more information, please visit or follow him on Instagram @danielhernandezcouturier.

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SyFy Novel Offers Humorous Explanation for Trump, Greed, Authoritarianism

In “Groganzola! Princess Noodle Head and the Sex Zombies from Earth”, author Ard Falten wraps a timely science fiction comedy around a theory blaming centuries of authoritarianism on an ancient conspiracy to divert reproductive energy to the wrong side of the brain.

CHICAGO – Feb. 9, 2017 – PRLog — The story is set in a dystopian near-future America ruled by talk radio and a Trump-like president.

Earth suffers from a bad case of ‘groganzola‘, a common mental disorder caused when impatient satisfaction-demanding reproductive energy is stolen from the emotional, creative side of the brain by the logical, mathematical side. The condition has rendered humans incapable of preventing self-destruction by war and global warming. The symptoms are worse in men and can be temporarily relieved with cannabis.
When an alien mission to save Earth goes badly, an intergalactic repairman named Yayo is marooned in New Mexico searching for a broken alien monolith. Hot-headed Lulu finds the super-tool he needs to locate it and discovers that it’s also a ray gun that makes sex zombies. When the king of talk radio deports her parents to Mexico she wants revenge and uses it to terrorize his radio stations. Enraged, he accuses Lulu of being a witch and promises to bring back public exorcisms when she’s caught. Yayo notices.
If Yayo gets to Lulu first he could end civilization as we know it, a mysterious monk warns the president as he uses a model of the president’s brain and a horny stallion to explain the secret of authoritarian power.
When the stallion gets into the side of the brain for numbers it craves more, bigger, faster – fueling greed. And where logic is done, the impatient horny stallion treats thinking like unwanted foreplay. It wants quick, easy answers and certainty. The irrational need for certainty turns everyday uncertainty into stress and fear. Certainty becomes more important than truth, explains the monk, and that is why leaders must be decisive, certain, and never wrong. They excel at denying reality and judging the world in simple black and white. They use order and quick, easy answers to reduce uncertainty and satisfy the horny stallions in their followers’ brains.

When Lulu and Yayo rescue each other he explains the cause of groganzola – humans have been learning sex with the wrong hand. Their only hope is to use the monolith to fix the faulty wiring in the human brain. Alien hunters and the Air Force race to stop them.
If they succeed, the monk warns, uncertainty will stimulate imagination instead of fear, Earth’s ancient power structures will collapse, and women will become equal with men.

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Shawnee Riverfest VI makes a splash with Pocono Alliance, spreading its presence within the Poconos

Shawnee Riverfest VI makes a splash with Pocono Alliance, spreading its presence within the Poconos. 12 International, National, and Local acts come together to support Pocono Alliance, and its mission.

Shawnee Riverfest VI

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. – Feb. 9, 2017 – PRLog — NY/NJ/PA- Shawnee Riverfest in its 6th year is excited to partner up with Pocono Alliance, spreading it presence in the community.  “Pocono Alliance is a dynamic, and exciting not for profit organization we are thrilled to partner with this year.  They work with and refer our community to over  521 agencies and 924 services, which provide education, food, shelter and so much more”  says Gil Coronado, Event founder.  Michael Tukeva, Executive Director of Pocono Alliance ads  “Shawnee Riverfest provides the opportunity to experience amazing International, National and Local artists as they come together to support our community through this 8 hour, family friendly free concert. Pocono Alliance is blessed to be a part of the event and encourages the community to come out for a day of fun, encouragement and hope.”   Shawnee Riverfest VI will kick off with a Preparty on Saturday July 8th at Sycamore Grille, were the public can come in and meet these artists, take photos, and hear some impromptu performances and collaborations.  Proceeds from this gathering are donated by Sycamore Grille, as the fundraising begins.  Then on Sunday July 9th, the main event takes place at the Historic Shawnee inn and Golf Resort, for this incredible 8 hour concert.  12 International, National, and local acts come together to support our community. There are food vendors, Auction Items, an Art Contest, Bouncy houses and even a Photo Booth to capture a moment with your favorite acts.  All proceeds will go directly to support Pocono Alliance’s mission, strengthening ties and creating connections within the community.    “We have attendees that travel here for this annual event, and look forward to seeing acts they would not normally have the opportunity to see.  Last year we had a family reunion that took place during Shawnee Riverfest, it was so great to see them having a great time and reconnecting” says Organizer Gil Coronado.  “This is what this event was aimed at doing, bringing the community together for a free family friendly event, where they can enjoy themselves, while supporting our community”.      This years sponsors include Sherman Theater, Pocono 96.7, Rockin Photobooth, Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, and CILA llc Management. To learn more on how to support, vendor, perform at this years event visit

What: Shawnee Riverfest VI PreParty and Shawnee Riverfest ConcertWho:  General Public/ PressWhen: Saturday July 8th Shawnee Riverfest PreParty 7:30 pm- 11:30pm         Sunday July 9th Shawnee Riverfest Concert 11:30 am- 7:30 pmWhere: Shawnee Riverfest PreParty Sycamore Grille, 65 Main St DWG, PA         Shawnee Riverfest Concert Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort 1 Shawnee          on Delaware, Shawnee on Delaware, PAAdmission:  Shawnee Riverfest PreParty Free         Shawnee Riverfest Concert  FreeContact: Gil Coronado, CILA llc Management for press inquiries, vendors, sponsorship opportunities 201-753-0093

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Join The Division 15 Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians for 75th Anniversary and Irish Culture Day

LAOH Irish Cultural Day 2017

WHITESTONE, N.Y. – Feb. 9, 2017 – PRLog — Join in all the fun as the ladies ancient order of Hibernians kicks off the month of March with a fantastic Irish Culture Day.
The event will be Sunday, March 5, 2017 12pm-4pm in the St Mel’s Church Basement located at 26-15 154th Street Flushing, NY.

The day will be filled with live music by Alice Smyth and Donnie Carroll.
Irish Dancing from the Fitzpatrick Academy of Irish Dance.
There will be food, Irish soda bread, Irish goods and crafts and so much more.
We are still seeking vendors for this event. Please contact Bridget O’Brien if you are interested or have any questions. 917-733-3617

About the Ladies AOH
Thank you for your interest in viewing the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Inc. website.  By viewing the content of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Inc website you will learn who we are, what we do, and how you may become a supporter of the LAOH through membership, donations, and prayer support.  The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Inc. is an Irish Catholic Woman’s Organization.
The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Inc was first organized as an Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America in 1894 with the women’s organization being authorized to form its own governing structure, subject to the approval of the men officers of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America.  The men’s organization is commonly referenced as the AOH, while the ladies’ organization was first referenced as the LAAOH and is now known as the LAOH.  The women of the LAOH and the men of the AOH worked both collaboratively and independently on projects and events for nearly 110 years adhering to the final authority of the men’s organization.
The Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America (LAAOH), after some study, completed the legal process to incorporate as a separate entity from the AOH.   The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Inc was incorporated in New York in 2004 as a separate legal organization with its own governance structure wholly separate from the governance structure of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America.
Today, the LAOH and the AOH continue their strong collaborative working relationship with each organization working to carry out its mission to uphold and defend the teachings of the Catholic Church, to aid and support the Irish people as they strive for a united, and peaceful independent Ireland, and to foster and perpetuate the history, culture, and traditions of the Irish people.  Both LAOH and AOH members strive to meet their mission through living their motto of Friendship, Unity, and Christian Charity in their daily living.

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