Our # 1story asks if regulations are hurting us. According to a Small Business survey and a number of executives in large businesses, it is. #2 gives us anecdotes of how government is hurting us create jobs. #3 lays out the latest scandal where the government appears to want a license to lie. #4 is a follow up story to yesterday’s regarding Michelle Obama. Article #5 discusses this administrations investments, or at least what they want to call investments. #6 is a frightening one regarding OWS and how confused they are. #7 talks about the law of unintended consequences and follows up with #8 demonstrating how a second energy company failure certainly illustrates that. #9 shows us how the political parties are breaking down and asks your opinion on that. #10 demonstrates a big problem in the schools. We pay teachers rather than paying teachers by their specialty.
1. Are Regulations hurting us?
The roots of today’s economic troubles are hinted at in a new Gallup Poll of small business owners, which finds compliance with government regulations tops their “problem list.”
Bigger businesses say the same. No one’s forgotten that Vegas resorts mogul Steve Wynn called Washington “the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime”; or that Bernie Marcus claims he could not have built Home Depot in the regulatory environment of today.
Lots of good comments from business leaders
2. Do Government Regulations affect Jobs?
Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the country and is one of the worst in foreclosures. “In my district,” Nevada Assemblyman Hansen reports, “one in seventeen houses is in foreclosure. One in eight is vacant. The people are economically desperate. MEANWHILE WE HAVE AN INDUSTRY THAT WOULD LOVE TO OPEN UP MINES AND CREATE JOBS WITH AN AVERAGE SALARY OF $80,000. UNFORTUNATELY WE ALSO HAVE A GOVERNMENT THAT TAKES TEN YEARS TO PERMIT A MINE.”
No wonder 77% of Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.
“Couldn’t we streamline the process or eliminate some steps?” asks Nevada State Senator Settelmeyer. He points out that the high gold and silver prices present a huge opportunity but he’s afraid that if we do not strike while the iron is hot, gold prices may fall before the mining projects get approved and get into production. “We have the resources and people need the jobs…..”
…. In Montana’s Finley Basin there are known tungsten deposits. An Australian company wanted to bring revenue and jobs to the state by developing the resource. While THE PROPERTY WAS SUCCESSFULLY DRILLED AND RECOGNIZED BY UNION CARBIDE IN THE SEVENTIES, IT IS NOW ABOUT 200 YARDS INSIDE A ROADLESS STUDY AREA. The Forest Service was willing to offer a conditional drilling. AMONG THE CONDITIONS WERE THESE REQUIREMENTS:
· The drill sites must be cleared using hand tools,
· The drilling equipment and fuel must be transported to the site by a team of pack mules,
· THE MULES MUST BE FED CERTIFIED WEED-FREE HAY, and
· Drill site and trail reclamation must be done using hand tools.
The company gave up.
I’m sure these “conditions” are a great comfort to those who are out of work.
3. On FOIA, Obama wants a license to lie
IT'S NOT OFTEN THAT THE LIBERAL AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION AND CONSERVATIVE JUDICIAL WATCH AGREE ON ANYTHING, BUT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S LACK OF TRANSPARENCY HAS BROUGHT THE TWO TOGETHER. Obama's Justice Department has proposed a regulatory change that would weaken the Freedom of Information Act. Under the new rules, the government could falsely respond to those who file FOIA requests that a document does not exist if it pertains to an ongoing criminal investigation, concerns a terrorist organization, or a counterintelligence operation involving a foreign nation.
There are two problems with the Obama proposal to allow federal officials to affirmatively assert that a requested document doesn't exist when it does. First, by not citing a specific exemption allowed under the FOIA as grounds for denying a request, THE PROPOSAL WOULD CUT OFF A REQUESTOR FROM APPEALING TO THE COURTS. By thus creating an area of federal activity that is completely exempt from judicial review, the proposal undercuts due process and other constitutional protections. Second, by creating a justification for government lying to FOIA requestors in one area, A LEGAL PRECEDENT IS CREATED THAT SOONER OR LATER WILL BE ASSERTED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN OTHER AREAS AS WELL.
Under FOIA's current national security exemption, bureaucrats can already deny access to documents without acknowledging their existence. This was noted by the ACLU (joined by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and OpentheGovernment.com) in a comment on the proposal. In instances where there is a legitimate grounds for not confirming a document's existence, "THE AGENCY SHOULD SIMPLY RESPOND THAT 'WE INTERPRET ALL OR PART OF YOUR REQUEST AS A REQUEST FOR RECORDS WHICH, IF THEY EXIST, WOULD NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS OF FOIA PURSUANT TO SECTION 552(C), AND WE THEREFORE WILL NOT PROCESS THAT PORTION OF YOUR REQUEST.' This response requires no change to the current FOIA regulation." Such a response would preserve a requestor's right to appeal to a federal court….
Perhaps there is common ground between the right and the left. At least we both seem to be suspicious of a government move to make lying okay.
4. Michelle Obama: Attack Dog
MICHELLE’S BACK, AND SHE’S MADDER THAN EVER. She was already pretty angry, seemingly unhappy with just about everything. As her husband wrapped up the Democratic nomination in 2008, she let fly her real feelings: “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.” A few months into her job as first lady, her French counterpart asked how she liked the gig: “Don’t ask!” she reportedly spat. “It’s hell. I can’t stand it!”
She even seems to be mad at her silver-tongued husband. When the two were to set off on a luxurious 10-day vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, she left early - four hours early - and flew up alone. And those private vacations. She’s traveled to some of the world’s most plush resorts, taking 42 days off in the past year - that’d be eight weeks of vacay time if she held down a normal job.
NOW, SHE IS READY TO SPEW HER BILIOUS DISGUST WITH AMERICA ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. A dignified, transcendent first lady? No chance. MICHELLE IS GOING TO BREAK WITH A HUNDRED YEARS OF TRADITION AND PLAY THE ROLE OF ATTACK DOG, HEAPING DERISION ON HER HUSBAND’S POLITICAL OPPONENTS LIKE NO OTHER FIRST LADY BEFORE HER….
This is not a smart move on the Obama Administration. It reminds people of her shortcomings, but also his administrations. Nothing is as it was in 2008. Hope and change is gone replaced by attack, attack, attack.
5. Obama Invests for America
Here's a great business model. START YOUR COMPANY WITH THE IDEA THAT IT'S GOING TO GO BANKRUPT. THEN, WHEN IT FOLDS, INFORM YOUR INVESTORS THAT THE BUSINESS WAS A SUCCESS BECAUSE IT DID EXACTLY WHAT YOU EXPECTED.
That's more or less what Obama has done with every "investment" government has made over that past three years. The Energy Department's failed green energy loan program is just one example. It appears that much of the $36 billion earmarked for alternative energy firms, including $500 million to Solyndra alone, has been squandered. If that money had stayed in the private sector, it would have produced jobs. As it is, with real unemployment running at 20%, the president has wasted billions on companies that were destined to fail. That "investment" produced nothing except more debt and slower economic growth.
It is not surprising, given his lack of real-world experience, that OBAMA DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF THE WORD "INVESTMENT." Like most in his party, Obama thinks every kind of government spending is an investment. His thinking is so twisted that HE SPEAKS OF ALL SORTS OF WELFARE, INCLUDING INCREASES IN THE EARNED INCOME CREDIT AND EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS PAST 99 WEEKS, AS AN INVESTMENT. SPENDING ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS AN INVESTMENT, BENEFITS FOR THE HOMELESS ARE AN INVESTMENT, FUNDING THAT MAKES ITS WAY TO THE COFFERS OF TEACHERS UNIONS IS AN INVESTMENT. JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING IS AN INVESTMENT, EXCEPT AN INVESTMENT
This isn’t tragic, it is scary. The left has taken the language and completely destroyed the meaning of certain words so that they can use it to advance their political cause.
6. OWS and the Duped Generation
Radicalized progressives have marched on Wall Street. They know that they are angry, and they want to change the system, BUT THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WILL DO ONCE THEIR PROTEST REACHES BEYOND THE SIMPLICITY OF MARCHES AND SLEEPING IN TENTS. They only do this because they know they are angry, and things must change. They understand little beyond that because the programming has not gotten that far, yet….
…THIS BELIEF IN BIG GOVERNMENT SUGGESTS THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KNOWS BEST, and should be trusted with regulatory powers over pretty much anything you can think of. Globalists and communists alike share in this belief. Well known statist Zbigniew Brzezinski once said, “I THINK WE ACCEPT THE IDEA OF A VAST EXPANSION IN SOCIAL REGULATION. IT MAY TAKE SUCH FORMS AS LEGISLATION FOR THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN, PERHAPS EVEN LEGISLATION DETERMINING THE SEX OF CHILDREN, ONCE WE HAVE CHOICE, THE REGULATION OF WEATHER, THE REGULATION OF LEISURE, AND SO FORTH.”
To achieve their vision of a new world, the old world must be destroyed. STATISM CANNOT COEXIST WITH LIBERTY, AND AN ALL-POWERFUL GOVERNMENT CANNOT COEXIST WITH RELIGION, MORALS, OR INDIVIDUALISM. The problem is that the existing population is aware of the existence of God, remembers the days of liberty, have moral fiber, and consider themselves individuals. Therefore, the existing generation is beyond reach. However, the children can be molded, taught the new way, the communal way, the way of statist utopianism…
When you hear most of the interviews of OWS people you absolutely cringe. Many of them are college students and you see how college is failing to educate these people. They don’t appear to understand reality and are hard pressed to express themselves beyond angry slogans.
7. The Law of Unintended Consequences
At 202 pounds, Steffany Sears knew she was fat, but NOT FAT ENOUGH TO QUALIFY FOR TRADITIONAL WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY.
Desperate for help, the Gold Bar, Wash., woman did what seemed the only logical thing: She gorged herself on chips and cookies, pizza and fried chicken so she’d gain at least eight pounds more
“I would have eaten myself stupid,” recalled Sears, 34, who was turned down by her insurance company for the $20,000 procedure. “I know friends who would have done that, too.”
IN THE END, SHE ACTUALLY QUALIFIED TO PARTICIPATE IN A CLINICAL TRIAL THAT LED THE FEDERAL FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION THIS SPRING TO LOWER THE BAR FOR OBESITY IN PEOPLE ELIGIBLE FOR ONE FORM OF WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY, Allergan’s Lap-Band stomach-shrinking device. Because she had a body mass index, or BMI, of between 30 and 35, the target range of the new rule, she even got the treatment for free, instead of having to take out a second mortgage on her house.
Today, at 5-foot-6, she weighs 143 pounds. "I felt like I'd won the lottery, really, with my life," said Sears…
As we become more and more dependent upon government, we find more and more incidents of people being caught by the law of unintended consequences. Here we have an obese woman having to gain weight.
8. Second Energy Department-backed company goes bankrupt
A MASSACHUSETTS COMPANY THAT RECEIVED A $43 MILLION ENERGY DEPARTMENT LOAN GUARANTEE LAST YEAR FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY SUNDAY, a step certain to fuel criticism of federal green energy financing in the wake of the solar company Solyndra’s collapse.
Beacon Power Corp., which develops energy storage systems, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
Beacon Power Corp., which develops energy storage systems, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
The government shouldn’t be a venture capitalist (socialist??). Picking winners and losers tends to be a losing proposition when done by bureaucrats
9. The American Political Parties Are Breaking Down
The decay of American political parties continues as the real money and power in politics shifts inexorably away from party organizations to informal and ad hoc groups. The combination of citizen grassroots movements, decentralized party structures and the vast sums of money short-circuiting the official party structures is changing the way politics works. As this story in the DETAILS, THE REAL CONVERSATION AMONG REPUBLICAN-AFFILIATED POWER BROKERS NOW TAKES PLACE OUTSIDE PARTY STRUCTURES.
American political parties are increasingly being reduced to flags of convenience; party organizations and party institutions have little influence over events. That didn’t use to be true. Party leaders and officials once exercised significant power over the choice of nominees, over the careers of aspiring pols, and over patronage. THESE DAYS, OUTSIDE CHICAGO AND A HANDFUL OF OTHER PLACES, WE NO LONGER THINK OF PARTY “BOSSES”….
What do you think about the weakening of the party power? I was going to ask this question assuming what the article would say. It went a different way than I thought it would, but that is still a good question. What do you think?
10. Physics vs. Phys Ed: Regardless of Need, Schools Pay the Same
THERE ARE 19 GYM TEACHERS IN THE FARMINGTON SCHOOL DISTRICT WHO MAKE MORE THAN $85,000 A YEAR EACH. THE AVERAGE GYM TEACHER'S SALARY IN FARMINGTON IS $75,035. BY COMPARISON, THE SCIENCE TEACHERS IN THAT DISTRICT MAKE $68,483 PER YEAR ON AVERAGE.
That’s not unusual in Michigan schools, according to Freedom of Information Act requests received from around the state.
In the Woodhaven-Brownstown district, 18.5 (FTE) science teachers average some $58,400 per year in salary, while 12 gym teachers averaged nearly $76,700. In Harrison, science teachers earned $49,000 on average while gym teachers averaged $62,000….
This is an issue in our school system with the compensation system that has been negotiated with the Teacher’s union. We have a system that pays “teachers” the same regardless of the scarcity or the surplus of skills needed to attract top notch candidates.