By George Noga
A Timely Collection of Pith and Pluck
Every so often I accumulate a critical mass of newsy hors d’oeuvres that are too compelling not to write about but are not, in and of themselves, enough for a full meal.
This is one of those times.
Following are 10 such lagniappes to be carefully savored such as with a degustation menu.
1. The Supreme Court already has voted on ObamaCare. The court is known for keeping its secrets, but perhaps not this go-round. Recently I participated in an off-the-record call with a consummate Washington insider. He stated there are many long-standing and deep ties between Justices Sotomayor and Kagan and key Obama operatives. This source believes Kagan and/or Sotomayor leaked the Supremes’ vote – and it was not good news for Obama. This could explain Obama’s erratic behavior and rant about the court.
2. ObamaCare redux. The commerce clause of the Constitution reads in its entirety: “Congress shall have the authority to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states and with the Indian tribes.” How is it possible to get from those words to ObamaCare? Even more fundamentally, how can any 2,700 page bill hope to achieve equality under the law? Such monstrosities are an affront to civilization. The US Constitution has only 4 pages – 5 when including the Bill of Rights.
3. Federal taxes will rise $500 billion in 2013. That’s $3,800 per average household of which 70% falls on low and middle income households. Next year there will be a half trillion in new taxes unless Congress acts. Six new taxes alone result from ObamaCare. Imagine the impact on the economy of taking nearly $4,000 from the average family.
4. Fortieth Anniversary of Limits to Growth. With massive fanfare and parroting by the state sycophant media, the Club of Rome in 1972 announced 5 megatrends that would imperil the Earth. They were dead wrong about everything. They estimated oil reserves at 450 billion barrels; since then we have produced 1 trillion barrels and today’s reserves stand at another 1.2 trillion barrels – and increasing every year. Same with natural gas; today’s reserves are a whopping 250 years supply. Malnutrition and the environment – same story. Today, all of the top 100 measures of human and environmental well-being are vastly improved from 1972 and continue to get better every year.
5. SEC ignores Allen Stanford’s $7 billion Ponzi scheme despite repeated warnings. In 1997 the SEC Texas office concluded Stanford was running a Ponzi scheme and referred the matter to the SEC enforcement staff. The Texas SEC staff investigated Stanford again in 1998, 2002 and 2004 – each time concluding he ran a Ponzi scheme. Absolutely nothing happened. Most of the investor money was lost after the initial warning. Folks, this is not a failure of government; this is how government works all the time. So, what is Obama’s solution? Increase the SEC staff, budget and regulations. Simply unbelievable!
6. It is now 2,392 days since a category 3 hurricane made landfall in the USA. This is the longest period in more than a century. Funny, this gets nary a mention from the troglodyte global warming crowd. What does get mention is Tropical Storm Franklin, one of several storms used solely to inflate the number of storms, a statistic often bandied about by warmists. Poor Franklin lasted less than 24 hours; its winds peaked at 45 MPH; it never made landfall; and it dumped all of .07 inches of rain. Meantime, Florida politicians fail year after year to solve our property insurance crisis which is all too real and will result in fiscal disaster when the inevitable major hurricane does hit the state. Hurricanes are an unpredictable act of nature but our politicians are creating a predictable (certain) man-made disaster that will be every bit as painful.
7. LaHood wins the “I can’t believe he said it” category. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wins the prize for the following: “I want Americans to be able to take their kids to school, go to work, see a doctor, go to the grocery store and post office, go out to dinner and a movie and play with their kids in a park – all without getting in a car.” This is nothing more than a vapid liberal Utopia. In the real world, since 1982 we spent $800 billion on public transit and usage declined 33%. Outside of NYC, public transit accounts for 1% of travel and roads are clogged and under-maintained because 35% of all gas tax receipts are diverted to liberal fantasies. I, for one, don’t want to live in LaHood’s central planned Utopia. In Yogi’s words, “include me out“.
8. President Obama continues to blame speculators for oil prices. Adam Smith 236 years ago knew better; here it is in Smith’s own words. Hint: substitute “oil” for “corn“. “When the government, in order to remedy the inconvenience of a dearth, orders all the dealers to sell their corn at what it supposes a reasonable price, it either hinders them from bringing it to the market, which may sometimes produce a famine even in the beginning of the season; or if they bring it thither, it enables the people and thereby encourages them to consume it so fast as must necessarily produce a famine before the end of the season. . . No trade deserves more the full protection of the law, and no trade is so much exposed to popular odium.” Either Obama is ignorant of knowledge 236 years old or he intentionally is being dishonest; there are no other possible explanations.
9. The latest abomination from the EEOC is just in. The Obama Administration now wants to prohibit employers from using credit and criminal checks in the employment process. There is no evidence of discrimination but the EEOC is basing its regulation on disparate impact – a theory under which I could prove the cow jumping over the moon turned it into green cheese. The harder it is to hire people, the fewer people will be hired.
10. Mad Cows, USDA and illegal aliens. If you read this far, you deserve this. There are 100 million cows in the USA. During the Mad Cow incident, the USDA was able to track down a single cow born in Canada 3 years previously directly to her stall in Washington state where they found her asleep. Incredibly, they even tracked the cow’s offspring to their stalls and so on for succeeding generations. This is impressive. Yet the same government cannot keep track of a much smaller number of illegal aliens even though you can send nearly any of them a FedEx for next day delivery. The solution is obvious: place USDA in charge of tracking illegal aliens. If you lose one of them, send them a FedEx, enter the tracking number, push “track” and find them online in real time.
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