A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week or so.
Victor Davis Hanson on sitting it out and economic death by a thousand cuts:
Here is the lament I heard: the near $5 trillion in borrowing in just three years, the radical growth in the size of the federal government and its regulatory zeal, ObamaCare, the Boeing plant closure threat, the green jobs sweet-heart deals and Van Jones-like “Millions of Green Jobs” nonsense, the vast expansion in food stamps and unemployment pay-outs, the reversal of the Chrysler creditors, politically driven interference in the car industry, the failed efforts to get card check and cap and trade, the moratoria on new drilling in the Gulf, the general antipathy to new fossil fuel exploitation coupled with new finds of vast new reserves, the new financial regulations, an aggressive EPA oblivious to the effects of its advocacy on jobs, the threatened close-down of energy plants, the support for idling thousands of acres of irrigated farmland due to environmental regulations, the constant talk of higher taxes, the needlessly provocative rhetoric of “fat cat”, “millionaires and billionaires,” “corporate jet owners,” etc. juxtaposed, in hypocritical fashion, to Martha’s Vineyard, Costa del Sol, and Vail First Family getaways — all of these isolated strains finally are becoming a harrowing opera to business people.
This is precisely why businesses are sitting on piles and piles of cash. What incentive is there to invest when you are being harrassed by the feds for opening up a new jet aircraft facility in South Carolina? What incentive is there to invest when you just have no idea what it is that the EPA is going to decide to regulate next? And what incentive do you have as a business to invest or expand when you don't even know the provisions contained in the byzantine new health care law for which you will be charged with covering your employees. Going Galt, indeed.
Awwww... environmental groups totally bummed by Team O's recent actions:
For environmental groups, it was the final hard slap that brought a long-troubled relationship to the brink.(italics, ours)
In late August, the State Department gave a crucial go-ahead on a controversial pipeline to bring tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Then on Friday, leading into the holiday weekend, the Obama administration announced without warning that it was walking away from stricter ozone pollution standards that it had been promising for three years and instead sticking with Bush era standards.
Except for his enhanced ability to wage war, the last phrase has been a hallmark of his administration.
The man may be an economic illiterate but one thing he does know is political self-preservation and he knows there is no way in hell he is getting re-elected in this current economic climate.
Lose a few votes on his left or rein-in an extra-legal, hyper-active EPA with the hopes of getting the economy rolling and thus secure some independent votes? It's a no brainer even for the most committed redistributionist.
Leslie of Temple of Mut is back from vacation with some thought ranging far and wide including this one on the dismal state of the state:
California is giving me lots of reasons to drink, as usual. It seems some of the Democrats in our Legislature want to “ease regulations”. However, their version is to promote the smaller-scale power grab. This explains why the Golden State has the largest Jobs Gap number compared to the country, which increased rapidly after the passage of one of the most horrendous regulations ever promulgated, AB-32 (Global Warming Solutions Act).
Here's B-Daddy on the (second) Iraq War: nice concept, horrible execution.
I was in the military when Bush was elected and Rumsfeld became Secretary of Defense. At the time, Rummy made it clear that he was out to downsize the military. His vision was for more special forces and aircraft and fewer soldiers, sailors and marines. I remember thinking that this was a risky proposition, because we had learned from Desert Storm that massively numerical superiority along with speed of maneuver could close out a war in weeks, rather than the years we had been bogged down in other ventures. Interestingly, Dick Cheney was Secretary of Defense during that first Gulf War and I would have thought he would have drawn the correct lessons from the "Powell Doctrine," as well as the use of overwhelming force.
Looking back, shouldn't we have seen the hand-writing on the wall with the execution of the war in Afghanistan?
Awwww (Pt. II)... Religious groups totally bummed that ObamaCare may force them to violate their own practices.
The Obama administration is taking heat from religious groups, particularly Catholic leaders, upset that new federal health regulations may force them to pay for employees' birth control, a violation of church tenets.
Proposed religious exemptions to the new regulations, unveiled Aug. 1 by the Department of Health and Human Services, are considered so narrow that even Catholic officials considered friendly to President Barack Obama argue that they should be changed.
“I call this the parish housekeeper exemption — that's about all it covers,” Sister Carol Keehan (pictured), president of the Catholic Health Association, a 600-member umbrella group for Catholic hospitals, told The Associated Press.
Ol' Sister Carol helped provide the push to finally get ObamaCare across the goal line with her endorsement of the bill. Perhaps next time, she won't be so enthusiastic about a piece of legislation, the details of which she has no clue or the execution of which are at the complete whim of the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
And as Protestants, we don't want to get too far out of our swim lane but just how Catholic can you be if you are cozying-up to a AAA+ NARAL-rated politician? Just askin'.
Your unauthorized Libyan post-military kinesiology update: What could possibly go wrong?
Rebel forces and armed civilians are rounding up thousands of black Libyans and migrants from sub-Sahara Africa, accusing them of fighting for ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi and holding them in makeshift jails across the capital.
Virtually all of the detainees say they are innocent migrant workers, and in most cases there is no evidence that they are lying. But that is not stopping the rebels from placing the men in facilities like the Gate of the Sea sports club, where about 200 detainees — all black — clustered on a soccer field this week, bunching against a high wall to avoid the scorching sun.
/sound of media furiously sweeping this bit of unseemliness under the carpet.
Alright, gang, that will probably be it for today. We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Labor Day.