AEI describes how private industry used government force to kill the traditional light bulb for higher profits.
The [incandescent bulb] ban is crony capitalism in its most seductive form—when it’s disguised as green. Major light bulb manufacturers supported the ban from the outset. The profit margin on old-style bulbs was pitifully low, and consumers just weren’t buying the higher-margin efficiency bulbs. New standards were needed, a lobbyist for the National Electrical Manufacturing Association told Congress in 2007, “in order to further educate consumers on the benefits of energy-efficient products.”
So Philips Electronics and other manufacturers joined with environmental groups to push for tighter lighting standards. As the New York Times Magazine explained in 2011, “Philips told its environmental allies it was well positioned to capitalize on the transition to new technologies and wanted to get ahead of an efficiency movement that was gaining momentum abroad and in states like California.” After much negotiation, a classic “bootleggers-and-Baptists” coalition was born. Industry and environmental groups agreed to endorse legislation to increase lighting efficiency by 25 to 30 percent.
The light-bulb ban is an example of how political coalitions are formed to force regulations on the general public that benefit a few large producers. A recent survey found that six out of every ten Americans are still in the dark about the latest bulb ban. Meanwhile, the dimwitted light-bulb policy just became the law of the land. The lesson here is straightforward: When industry and environmental groups claim that a regulation will solve all problems, consumers beware. It’s probably green cronyism in disguise.
President Obama walks into a local bank in Chicago to cash a check. He is surrounded by Secret Service agents. As he approaches the cashier he says, “Good morning Ma’am, could you please cash this check for me?”
“It would be my pleasure sir. Could you please show me your ID?”
“Truthfully, I did not bring my ID with me as I didn’t think there was any need to. I am President Barack Obama, the President of the United States of AMERICA !”
“Yes sir, I know who you are, but with all the regulations and monitoring of the banks because of 9/11, impostors, forgers, money laundering, and bad mortgage underwriting not to mention requirements of the Dodd/Frank legislation, etc., I must insist on seeing ID.”
“Just ask anyone here at the bank who I am and they will tell you. Everybody knows who I am.”
“I am sorry Mr. President but these are the bank rules and I must follow them.”
“I am urging you, please, to cash this check. I need to buy a gift for Michelle for Valentine’s Day”
“Look Mr. President, here is an example of what we can do. One day, Tiger Woods came into one of our bank branches without ID. To prove he was Tiger Woods he pulled out his putter and made a beautiful shot across the bank into a coffee cup. With that shot we knew him to be Tiger Woods and cashed his check.”
“Another time, Andre Agassi came into the same place without ID. He pulled out his tennis racquet and made a fabulous shot where as the tennis ball landed in a coffee cup. With that shot we cashed his check.
So, Mr. President, what can you do to prove that it is you, and only you, as the President of the United States?”
Obama stands there thinking, and thinking, and finally says, “Honestly, my mind is a total blank…there is nothing that comes to my mind. I can’t think of a single thing. I have absolutely no idea what to do and I don’t have a clue.”
“Will that be large or small bills, Mr. President?
At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission, according to an explosive new book scheduled for release August 21. ...
Miniter, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, cites an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.
Obama administration officials also said after the raid that the president had delayed giving the order to kill the arch-terrorist the day before the operation was carried out, in what turned out to be his fourth moment of indecision. At the time, the White House blamed the delay on unfavorable weather conditions near bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
But when Miniter obtained that day’s weather reports from the U.S. Air Force Combat Meteorological Center, he said, they showed ideal conditions for the SEALs to carry out their orders.
“President Obama’s greatest success was actually his greatest failure,” Miniter told The Daily Caller Friday. ”Leading From Behind,“ he said, traces the arc of six key Obama administration decisions, and shows how the president made them — and, often, failed to make them.
When I tried to open the Daily Caller link this morning, Firefox initially blocked access, warning that this site had been reported as a site distributing malware.
It is evident that someone on the left was sufficiently angry and alarmed by the Daily Caller’s scoop that a false malware complaint was filed to deter traffic.
The website WikiLeaks has continued releasing for a fourth day what it says will eventually be 5 million e-mails sent between July 2004 and late December 2011 by the private intelligence company Stratfor. ...
Wikileaks claims that Osama bin Laden’s body was transferred to Dover, Delaware on a CIA plane. An email dated May 2, 2011 states the body will then be moved “…to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda.” Two US Air Force Airlift Wings are based at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware. In another email dated May 2, 2011 a Stratfor staff member expresses doubt that Bin Laden’s corpse was buried at sea and mentions, “We would want to photograph, DNA, fingerprint, etc. His body is a crime scene and I don’t see the FBI nor DOJ letting that happen.”
According to leaked secret files of Statfor, a US security agency, Osama was not buried at sea in an Islamic ceremony but his body was shifted to the military mortuary in Dover, DE, on a CIA plane.
Then it was shifted to the medical institute of US armed forces in Maryland for examination.
At 5:26 a.m. on May 2, the morning after Barack Obama announced the successful raid on Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, Stratfor CEO George Friedman sent an email that said: “Reportedly, we took the body with us. Thank goodness.”
Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president for intelligence, followed that up at 5:51 a.m. with an email titled “[alpha] Body bound for Dover, DE on CIA plane” that said: “Than [sic] onward to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda.”
At 1:36 p.m. Burton replied to a thread named “Re: OBL’s corpse” with the message: “Body is Dover bound, should be here by now.”
That contradicts the official story that bin Laden’s body was handled in accordance with Islamic tradition and released into the sea from a U.S. Navy vessel.
If this is true, we need to elect another president from Yale who can see to it that Osama’s skull winds up (along with those of other enemies of the United States like Geronimo) preserved for long-term private appreciation and ridicule inside a certain windowless building on High Street in New Haven, Connecticut.
James Taranto, astutely explains that, when Newt Gingrich unlimbers the anti-capitalist “You liquidated companies and killed jobs!” arguments against Mitt Romney, Gingrich is not just being cynical and opportunistic. He is as well (possibly even a bit intentionally) inoculating Romney and developing his immunity to the same kinds of attacks when they are delivered again later by Barack Obama during the actual campaign.
It’s shameful for Romney’s rivals—especially Gingrich, who should know better—to be engaging in this sort of class-warfare idiocy. As Charles Murray asked in an ironically nocturnal tweet: “How can a conservative attack Romney for Bain and sleep at night?”
Yet all that said, assuming that Romney is the eventual nominee, Gingrich is doing him a huge favor. ...
If Gingrich didn’t attack Romney over Bain now, Barack Obama would do so in the fall. In fact, Obama will do so in the fall anyway, assuming Romney is the nominee. Others on the left, such as some guy at the Puffington Host, are already doing it:
Romney’s statement [about firing people], and in fact his entire career at Bain Capital, shows that this whole Republican job creator mantra is, to steal a line from Newt Gingrich, pious baloney. The word pious fits because Republicans really do worship the top 1 percent and the Wall Street tycoons like Romney who manipulate money but don’t actually build anything or create net new jobs. In fact, not only do they not create them, they actually destroy them.
By attacking now, Gingrich ensures that it won’t be the first voters hear about the matter, which will take some of the sting out of the Obama attacks. He’s also acting as a proxy for the president—call him Barack Hussein Gingrich—giving Romney the chance to practice and improve his defense, something he unquestionably needs to do.
Contrariwise, if Romney is incapable of learning to defend himself effectively, Republicans are better off learning that now, while there’s still time to nominate someone else.
We’ve all seen this happen before.
Barack Obama’s intimate associations with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and former Weatherman Bill Ayers were major issues during the nomination fight and caused his candidacy to reel a bit, but Obama survived, and later in the real campaign his former radical associations had magically become transformed into old news, not significantly relevant anymore.
These local festivities are characterized by a prominent humor site as insane, but I think several of the are of distinct historical or anthropological interest and the ones where you throw fiery things around sound like fun.
Once you’ve finished attending all of the above list of seven events, you’ll want to get right to work on Figaro’s list of 100 things you need to do in Paris during your life.
Demographic map of New Jersey. (I have been pretty successful in avoiding that state myself.)
A memorial to mounted US troops who accompanied Northern Alliance forces in the conquest of Afghanistan, providing direction and support to fighters allied with the US in avenging the 9/11 attacks, will be installed in the vicinity of Ground Zero on Veteran’s Day.
Afghanistan demonstrated that the world features plenty of terrain impracticable for motorized transportation, proving that the age of horse-mounted military operations will never really be over. The closing of the US Army Cavalry School at Fort Riley in 1947 was proven in 2001 to have been premature.
Mark Steyn has a few choice comments, as the chattering classes’ major case of buyer’s remorse becomes ever increasingly the topic of the day.
“Obamaism” was the Emperor’s new centrism: To a fool such as your average talk-radio host, His Majesty appears to be a man of minimal accomplishments other than self-promotion marinated in a radical faculty-lounge view of the world and the role of government. But, to a wise man such as your average presidential historian or New York Times columnist, he is the smartest guy ever to become president.
In part, this is a natural extension of an ever more conformist and unrepresentative establishment’s view of where “the center” is. On issues from abortion to climate change, a Times man or Hollywood activist or media professor’s notion of “centrism” is well to the left of where American opinion is.
That’s one reason why a supposedly “center-right” nation has wound up regulated into sclerosis, drowning in debt and embarking on its last decade as the world’s leading economy.
But in the case of Obama the chasm between soft, seductive, politico-media “centrism” and hard, grim reality is too big to bridge, and getting wider all the time.
You would think this might prompt some sober reflection from an American mainstream media dying in part because of its dreary ideological conformity. After all, a key reason why 53% voted for a man who was not, in Tina Brown’s word, “ready” is that Tina and all her pals assured us he was.
Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law, a little light community organizing, a couple of years timeserving in a state legislature: That’s what America’s elites regard as an impressive resume rather than a bleak indictment of contemporary notions of “accomplishment.”
Obama would not have withstood scrutiny in any society with a healthy, skeptical press. Yet, like the high-rolling Wall Street moneybags, they failed to do due diligence.
Peter Wehner, at Commentary, notes that the United States is in danger of joining Obama’s grandmother and his mentor Reverend Wright under the bus in the role of sacrifices to convenience, discarded or condemned by Barack Obama.
During his maiden trip overseas, we learned many things about President Obama. Among the most troublesome, I think, was the ease and eagerness with which he criticized the country he represents. In the words of the Daily Telegraph, “[Obama’s] speech in Strasbourg went further than any United States president in history in criticising his own country’s action while standing on foreign soil.”
To be sure, Obama did it in the fashion we have come to expect: he both praised and criticized the United States and chastised America and Europe, hoping to portray himself as a detached, disinterested commentator on world affairs. As a matter of practice, he aims his barbs at his predecessors — never by name, always by implication; mostly President Bush but, when necessary, even President Truman. His aides would have us believe that this is simply a tactical matter: Obama is engaging in “balanced” criticism of the United States in order to make us more popular in Europe and the rest of the world. ...
What leaves me with a queasy feeling, though, is the growing sense that Obama is willing to denigrate America in order to boost his own personal popularity in other countries. ...
At convenient points on his overseas trip President Obama purposefully disfigured reality in a way that reflected poorly on America. That is to say, an American president played up cartoon images of the United States in order to get foreign audiences to applaud him. It is rare for the leader of a nation to revise history in order to make his nation look worse. But for Obama, the upside — making himself look good — is an easy trade-off. One senses that when it comes to Obama, it is all, and always, about him.
George Friedman, at Stratfor, discusses the fundamental contradiction of the current European Union.
How do you have multiple sovereign states within a single central bank? How do you reconcile national sovereignty with a multinational monetary system when it is impossible to create a single monetary policy that satisfies the policies of multiple sovereign nations? Someone must always be hurt. What is of great significance is that Sarkozy has made it clear that it is France, one of Europe’s founders, that is being hurt—to the benefit of its partner, Germany.
This leads to the more immediate question: If Germany and France undertake fundamentally different approaches to economic development, how can both of these strategies be contained in a single European structure? In a way, it would have been simpler had there not been a euro. Multiple economic strategies can be reconciled with a customs union, or even a multinational regulatory system. But reconciling multiple economic approaches with a single currency cannot happen.
The United States confronted this question in the past. In the 1850s, some states wanted a radical revision of social, economic and monetary policy that would benefit them but leave other states at an enormous disadvantage. The industrializing part of the country wanted policies that would protect its interests. The agricultural part of the country, heavily dependent on exports, wanted a different policy. A conference was held in 1863 at Gettysburg. Both sides made compelling arguments over three days, but in the end it was decided that not only would the policies of the industrializing states be followed, but no one would be permitted to withdraw from the economic, political and social union of the United States. State sovereignty was to be limited and federal power was to be paramount.
It was the Union Army that made the most convincing argument at Gettysburg. There is no Union Army in Europe. There is no sovereign center that can hold dissidents in the monetary or economic union. And there is, for that matter, no power on Earth that can keep France and Germany within a single system if they do not want to be there. Sovereignty, without the slightest shadow of doubt, rests with the nation-states of Europe—and the European institutions will last only as long as they reflect the interests of all of these nations.
The three were plotting attacks on ships, railway stations and stadiums in the United States in a bid to outdo the casualties caused on 9/11, said Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu.
The arrests made front page news in newspapers in Italy, Britain and France. But apparently the only U.S. newspaper to mention them was the Philadelphia Inquirer, in a short AP dispatch on page A-6. The AP did not mention that the principal targets of the plotters were in the U.S.
The incuriosity of our news media about the plotters and their plots is curious, especially in light of the mysterious death of Joel Hinrichs, 21, a Muslim convert who, wearing a suicide vest, blew himself up Oct. 1 on a park bench outside the stadium in Norman where the university of Oklahoma football team was playing Kansas State. When Hinrichs’ apartment was searched after his death, the FBI found a plane ticket to Algeria.
Hat tip to AJStrata