Thursday, August 9, 2012

US: 54.5 mpg and the law of unintended consequences

US: 54.5 mpg and the law of unintended consequences – by Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

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Legislators and regulators need to observe a fundamental Golden Rule: Do not implement new laws if you have not considered or cannot control important unintended consequences.
A perfect example is the Obama Administration’s plan to increase new car mileage standards, from the currently legislated requirement of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 to 54.5 mpg by 2025, as an average across each automaker’s complete line of cars and light trucks.
Carmakers reluctantly agreed to the new requirements, to avoid even more onerous standards, or different standards in different states. But the deal does nothing to alter the harsh realities of such a requirement.
First, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analyses indicate that the mileage standards will add $3,000 to $4,800 to the average price of new vehicles for models from now until 2025. Moreover, this price increase does not include the $2,000 to $6,000 in total interest charges that many borrowers would have to pay over the life of a 36-60 month loan.

US: Hands off Chick-fil-A

US: Hands off Chick-fil-A – by Lawrence Reed

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In coming weeks, I expect to eat often at Chick-fil-A and not just because I like the company and the food they serve. I’ll be there as my way of protesting the disgusting behavior of some big city political hacks.
The personal views of Chick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy on gay marriage sparked the recent controversy. It should be noted the company does not discriminate against anybody in its hiring or in whom it serves in its restaurants. Cathy expressed an opinion shared by millions of Americans and, until recently, even by President Obama. Agree or disagree with Cathy, you should be concerned when elected officials threaten to use government power against a company because of a political disagreement with the CEO. Consider the following remarks.

US: Aurora and the left’s hatred for America

US: Aurora and the left’s hatred for America – by Jeffrey Kuhner

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Liberals are exploiting the Aurora massacre to advance a political agenda. The tragic mass murder of 12 people is being used as fodder against the right. Within hours of the killing spree, the media establishment was hoping to link the suspected shooter, James Holmes, with the Tea Party, conservatives and — ultimately — the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.
On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” investigative reporter Brian Rossurgently told host George Stephanopoulos that a “Jim Holmes” was a member of the Colorado Tea Party. In fact, it was a different person. It never occurred to Mr. Ross and Mr. Stephanopoulos that there could be numerous people with a common name like James Holmes. Even by ABC News‘ standards, that was pathetic.

US: John Cochrane, The Grumpy Economist, Meets The Gold Standard

US: John Cochrane, The Grumpy Economist, Meets The Gold Standard – by Ralph Benko

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8+% unemployment, now.  The GDP, last we checked, crawls along at a 1.5% growth rate, slower than population growth.  Washington is paralyzed.
Neither political party is presenting a compelling solution.   In the words of Frank Cannon, president of American Principles Project (which this writer professionally advises) and former Kemp presidential campaign aide, the GOP has reverted to its pre-Kemp status as a party of severe rectitude rather than a party of equitable prosperity.  How little political sense does it make to turn to the voters to say, “Times are tough.   Our solution is to… cut your benefits”?

Rove: For Romney, Even Means Ahead

Rove: For Romney, Even Means Ahead

After absorbing three months of negative ads from President Obama, the GOP challenger is raising his game in time for the nominating convention.

Wednesday's Gallup poll had President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney essentially tied, with Mr. Obama at 47% and Mr. Romney at 46%. That's good news for the challenger: Mr. Romney has absorbed a punishing three-month Obama television barrage that drained the incumbent's war chest. Historically, undecided voters tend to break late for the challenger.
Mr. Romney and his campaign have also raised their game. After Mr. Obama declared on July 13 that "If you've got a business, you didn't build that," Mr. Romney went on offense, saying the following Tuesday in Pennsylvania that the notion entrepreneurs didn't build their businesses was "insulting." Wednesday in Ohio, Mr. Romney attacked Mr. Obama for not having met with his Jobs Council for six months. Thursday in Massachusetts, Mr. Romney belittled the White House's explanation that the president had failed to do so because he "has a lot on his plate." The following Tuesday in Nevada before the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Mr. Romney criticized Mr. Obama over cuts in defense and veterans care.
Democratic pollster Doug Schoen on whether Mitt Romney's decision not to release his tax will hurt him in November. Plus, are voters responding to President Obama's class warfare rhetoric? Photo: Associated Press.
Each time, Mr. Romney's message was delivered in the morning and dominated the day's coverage. That change appears now to be standard procedure for Team Romney.
Last week Mr. Romney began laying out a crisper, shorter economic agenda. His "Plan for a Stronger Middle Class" is built around five priorities: promoting more domestic energy, cultivating skills for economic success, making trade work for America, cutting the deficit, and championing small business (including tax and regulatory reform and the repeal of ObamaCare). It also compares the candidates' records in office. Jobs, home values, and family income rose—while budget deficits and unemployment declined—in Massachusetts under Mr. Romney, whereas all these measures are in the wrong direction under Mr. Obama.

The case against reelection

There are two ways to run against Barack Obama: stewardship or ideology. You can run against his record or you can run against his ideas.
The stewardship case is pretty straightforward: the worst recovery in U.S. history, 42 consecutive months of 8-plus percent unemployment, declining economic growth — all achieved at a price of an additional $5 trillion of accumulated debt.

The ideological case is also simple. Just play in toto (and therefore in context) Obama’s Roanoke riff telling small-business owners: “You didn’t build that.” Real credit for your success belongs not to you — you think you did well because of your smarts and sweat? he asked mockingly — but to government that built the infrastructure without which you would have nothing.

A Golden State train wreck

State Sen. Joe Simitian’s district office near Stanford’s campus is nestled among shops sporting excruciatingly cute names (A Street Bike Named Desire,Mom’s the Word maternity wear) intended to make the progressive gentry comfortable with upscale consumption by presenting it as whimsical. This community surely has its share of advanced thinkers who think trains are wonderful because they are not cars (rampant individualism; people going wherever and whenever they want, unsupervised).

Nevertheless, Simitian was one of just four Democratic state senators who recently voted — in vain — to derail plans that eventually may involve spending more than $100 billion on a 500-mile bullet train from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Simitian makes the obligatory genuflection: He favors high-speed rail “done right.” But having passed sixth-grade arithmetic, he has doubts. At one point, an estimate of 44 million riders a year — subsequently revised downward, substantially — assumed gasoline costing $40 a gallon.

Lights Out in India


India’s massive blackout is just the beginning.

The British—slightly less than a thousand of them—used to govern India. Without air-conditioning.
Conan O’Brien was not the only one who watched the London Olympic opening ceremonies with amazement. “Hard to believe my ancestors were conquered by theirs,” he tweeted. Every Indian watching must have been thinking the very same.
Until their TVs went dark.
The recent power outage in India interested me more than the Olympics. (I had a very British reaction to the opening ceremonies: I found them excruciatingly embarrassing.) The Indian blackout was surely the biggest electricity failure in history, affecting a staggering 640 million people. If you have ever visited Delhi in the summer, you will have some idea what it must have felt like.

Why Obama Would Love to Run Against Ryan

Jamelle Bouie

As Beltway anticipation builds for Mitt Romney’s vice presidential announcement, conservative pundits have re-upped their calls for a “bold” and adventurous choice. This morning, the Wall Street Journal editorial page took the lead with a plea to add House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan to the ticket.
The Journal acknowledges the appeal of VP frontrunners Tim Pawlenty and Rob Portman—working-class roots and high-level experience, respectively—but says that Ryan is the only politician with the gravitas and vision to campaign on a presidential level. Here’s the op-ed:

Flying With Milton Friedman Is a Trip Unto Itself

Flying With Milton Friedman
Illustration by Jasper Rietman
As I was leaving the house last Friday for a full day of travel, I wanted something to read during airport holdovers and almost-certain delays. My only prerequisite was that the book be small enough to fit in my purse.
Whether I grabbed Milton Friedman’s “Capitalism and Freedom” because of recent tributes to the Nobel laureate -- he would have turned 100 on July 31 -- or because of the book’s compact size, I can’t say. But I’m glad I did.

Take Me Down to the Parasite City

Take Me Down to the Parasite City

The District is booming.

Have you seen the latest jobs report? Major buzzkill: creeping unemployment, anemic growth, and the recovery's totally stalled.
But not here: The District is booming! "Washington may have the healthiest economy of any major metropolitan area in the country," says New York Times D.C. bureau chief David Leonhardt in Sunday's Gray Lady. "You can actually see the prosperity"!
Yes we can! Construction cranes dominate the downtown skyline, and your average homeless guy can barely grab a stretch of sidewalk before yet another boutique store pops up to bounce his bedroll.
True, if you venture outside the Death Star's orbit to visit the colonies for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you'll see a lot of boarded-up storefronts. You might even feel a twinge of shame when Matt Drudge feeds you headlines like "D.C. Leads List of Most Shopaholic Cities in America."

Got a Pencil? You Didn’t Build That

Got a Pencil? You Didn’t Build That

Nobody, Leonard Read once explained, can make a pencil by himself.

Most people would never accuse President Obama of memorizing Milton Friedman under the covers at night. Yet the patron saint of laissez-faire probably would not take as much exception as many Republicans have to Obama’s comment in Roanoke three weeks ago that “if you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Republicans have given Obama quite a rhetorical thrashing for that gaffe, and the attacks show little sign of letting up. That’s because his remarks are not only extremely convenient to the GOP; they also reopen an ideological fault line that goes back decades.

The Case for Paul Ryan for Vice President

The Case for Paul Ryan for Vice President

No matter whom Republican Romney taps as his VP nominee, Democrats will accuse this person of crimes against common decency and fairness.

The other day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi nonchalantly explained to a group in Florida that conservatives are in the "E. coli club."
The next day, a pro-Barack Obama super PAC began running an ad blaming Mitt Romney and Bain Capital for the death of a steelworker's wife (who actually had insurance and passed away seven years after Romney ran Bain and five years after her husband was laid off from a money-losing steel plant).
The Obama campaign has, more than once, implied that Romney is a felon.

Elementary, Dear Obama

 by Tibor Machan

Dr. Tibor Machan
Ok, so none of us creates or produces anything ex nihilo. What if anything follows from this? Our teeth weren't made by us, nor our hair or nose or eyes. Yet we often benefit because of these. Our beautiful eyes may impress someone and may even land us a movie contract. We may be very tall and do well at basketball in consequence. A few of us may have talents others would kill for!

Modern Madness: Saudi Arabia Building Women-Only Cities

 – by Staff Report

Prince Turki Al Faisal
Saudi-Modon plans to establish women-only industrial cities ... Efforts are under way to establish the Kingdom's first women-only industrial city in the Eastern Province city of Hofuf. Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) has initiated works for planning and development of the city. "We are now working on a second industrial city for women," said Saleh Al-Rasheed, acting director general of Modon. "We have plans to establish a number of women-only industries in various parts of the Kingdom," he added. Al-Rasheed said Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Prince Mansour bin Miteb, has already allocated land for the first women-only industrial city in Hofuf. – Arab News
Dominant Social Theme: Ain't Saudi Arabia grand? Its Saud sheiks are building entire same-sex cities to advance women's liberation – Middle Eastern style!
Free-Market Analysis: We read this article with growing disbelief. What kind of sick society builds separate CITIES for women?
Well ... the Saudis do.

Cracking of the Euro-Elite ... The Triumph of Hope?

– by Staff Report

Euro founder admits some nations may be forced to leave ... One of the founding fathers of the euro admits that some states may be forced to abandon the single currency, but insists Germany would be better off staying in. Otmar Issing, a former European Central Bank chief economist, warned that the eurozone could be heading towards fracture in a book called How we save the euro and strengthen Europe published this week. "Everything speaks in favour of saving the euro area. How many countries will be able to be part of it in the long term remains to be seen," said Mr Issing in the book, which is written as a conversation between an economist and a journalist. – UK Telegraph

Limbaugh's 'The Great Destroyer' Most Comprehensive Takedown of Obamaism Yet Written

Limbaugh's 'The Great Destroyer' Most Comprehensive Takedown of Obamaism Yet Written

I spent this last week vacationing with my wife in Paris. Between visits to historic sites like the Louvre and Versailles, my wife and I noticed something very odd: nobody seemed to be working. The sidewalk cafes were chock full of people sitting around in the middle of the day, watching the world pass them by. It seemed wonderfully relaxing.

Desperate Obama Scaring Woman Voters: Romney Will Take Us Back to The 1950's

Romney Ad Hits Obama for Declaring War On Catholics

Romney Ad Hits Obama for Declaring War On Catholics

Team Romney does a lot in thirty seconds….

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NYTimes Food Reporter Rejoices at Chick-Fil-A VP's Heart Attack, Apologizes

NYTimes Food Reporter Rejoices at Chick-Fil-A VP's Heart Attack, Apologizes

Mark Bittman, a New York Times food critic, admits he used an "inappropriate phrase" in an August 3 blog posting about Chick-Fil-A. In fact, it was down right Bitter, man, because he seemed to be rejoicing that a vice president of the fast food company had died of a heart attack back in July.

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