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Special Report

Media and Muslims

By 9.22.15

Complaining about liberal media bias is like complaining about a puppy peeing on the rug: it’s just what they do, and if you don’t like it then don’t have them in your house.

We’ve all seen editorials masquerading as news and television anchors impersonating objective journalists when hosting Republican debates or Sunday talk shows. We, America’s non-leftists (whether or not Republicans), know the game and filter our processing of “news” and debate questions through that lens.

But the media’s recent obsession with what Republican presidential candidates think of Muslims (or whether President Obama is one), their badgering of said candidates with questions that are irrelevant to the governing of the country, their distraction away from legitimate issues and into the looking glass of political correctness so extreme that it is literally ridiculous (i.e. not just silly but, as one online dictionary puts it, “deserving or inviting derision or mockery”) demands a response beyond “that’s just what they do.”

The Environmental Spectator

The Climate Left’s Belief in Papal Infallibility

By 9.22.15

Pope Francis has yet to invoke the doctrine of papal infallibility for his environmental encyclical, Laudato si’. That would require the agreement of all of his bishops. Not all of the world’s leading Catholic clerics have concurred on the secular doctrine of environmental alarmism.

But an unconventional ecumenical ally has. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency co-wrote the encyclical, according to an op/ed by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), a Catholic congressman who is boycotting the pope’s planned address to the Congress this week.

Free Market Accountability Project

Wind Holds Energy Exports Hostage

By 9.22.15

Congress has taken action that actually advances free markets and limits government intrusion. I was in the room when, on September 17, the House Energy and Commerce Committee—with bipartisan support—advanced legislation to lift the 1970s-era ban on crude-oil exports. HR 702, “To adapt to changing crude oil market conditions,” is expected to receive a full floor vote within a matter of weeks.

The export ban is a relic of a bygone era during which ideas like “peak oil” and “energy scarcity” were the conventional wisdom. Despite all those who cried “wolf,” the U.S. is now the world’s largest combined oil-and-gas producer.


The Left Has Its Pope

By 9.22.15

Pope Francis has created political controversy, both inside and outside the Catholic Church, by blaming capitalism for many of the problems of the poor. We can no doubt expect more of the same during his visit to the United States.

Pope Francis is part of a larger trend of the rise of the political left among Catholic intellectuals. He is, in a sense, the culmination of that trend.

There has long been a political left among Catholics, as among other Americans. Often they were part of the pragmatic left, as in the many old Irish-run, big city political machines that dispensed benefits to the poor in exchange for their votes, as somewhat romantically depicted in the movie classic, The Last Hurrah.

But there has also been a more ideological left. Where the Communists had their official newspaper, The Daily Worker, there was also The Catholic Worker published by Dorothy Day.

A landmark in the evolution of the ideological left among Catholics was a publication in the 1980s, by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, titled “Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy.”

The Right Prescription

Obamacare Lawfare in Oregon

By 9.22.15

In October 2013, Oregon was just another state whose Obamacare exchange failed to achieve lift-off when its Democrat governor attempted to abet the President in the launch of his “signature domestic achievement.” Shortly thereafter, Governor Kitzhaber earned two additional distinctions not enjoyed by Obama’s other accomplices: He was the first to abandon his constituents to, and resigned pursuant to an ethics scandal. Before leaving office, however, Kitzhaber made what may be the most outrageous decision of his tawdry tenure—he sicced his Attorney General on the IT firm that built the exchange as well as some of its employees.

Clinton Watch

Obama Accused Hillary of ‘Labeling Him as a Muslim’

By 9.21.15

In a heated 2007 confrontation on a tarmac at Reagan National Airport in Washington, ex-Obama aide Reggie Love witnessed an irate Senator Barack Obama personally accuse Hillary Clinton of spreading a rumor that he was a Muslim. 

Love’s account was reported in the Washington Post in a January review of his book: Power Forward: My Presidential Education. The Post quotes Love as writing the story this way:

Another Perspective

Why I Don’t Like Carly Fiorina

By 9.21.15

Carly Fiorina is the most recent darling of the anyone-but-Trump-crowd, but I am not a fan. She turned me off when she referred to Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei as the “Supreme Leader” during the second debate. On her first day in office, she’d pick up the phone and call him, and he’d take her call. “Supreme Leader,” she’d say, you open up those military and nuclear installations or else.

Isn’t there something incongruous about anyone — especially the leader of the free world — addressing a brutal dictator who wants to take us all back to the 7th century as “Supreme Leader”? The ultimatum that follows is rendered hollow. Remember when Jackie Kennedy asked her husband about curtsying to the Queen of England. President Kennedy told her that Americans don’t curtsy or bow to anyone. But that was before Obama went to the Middle East in search of degradation.

The Public Policy

Obama’s Job Killing Gift to Big Labor

By 9.21.15

The Obama administration rewarded its union allies last month with a decision that threatens millions of jobs and thousands of businesses, from staffing agencies to cleaning services and auto-repair shops to construction companies. In a case involving Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided to unilaterally redefine the concept of joint employment—when more than one business is responsible for an employee or group of employees—and made it easier to unionize large corporations. This ruling could have a devastating effect on small businesses, job creation, and the U.S. economy.

Special Report

Iran Deal: Not Too Late for the U.S. Senate

By 9.21.15

With respect to the Iranian nuclear deal, President Barack Obama and U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), the Senate Minority Leader, have played the Republican Senators, the Senate as a whole, and, through them, the American people they represent, for fools, in at least two ways:

  • The Corker-Cardin law that passed both houses of Congress and was signed by the President in May (formally the “Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015,” Public Law 114-17) required the President to submit all side agreements to the Iran nuclear deal to Congress. He didn’t.
  • The Corker-Cardin law provided for a vote (within 60 days of the President submitting the deal to Congress) by both houses but 58 senators, led by Senator Reid, filibustered it on September 10. (This was Vote No. 264 to close debate on McConnell Amendment No. 2640.) 

Given this situation, the House took the following three actions in short order:

Free Market Accountability Project

Mississippi Power Politics

By 9.21.15

While the attention of most politicos is on the national political stage, local and state level races find themselves largely neglected. Such is the case of the race for Mississippi Public Service Commission. This three-member executive board is responsible for the regulation of the state’s electricity, water, telecommunications, gas, and sewer utilities.

“The agency is charged with assuring that rates and charges for services are just and reasonable, that the service rendered is reasonably adequate, and that any facilities constructed or acquired are required for the convenience and necessity of the public,” according the PSC’s website. Each of the PSC’s commissioners represents one geographic slice of Mississippi. Kicking up the most dirt is the race for the Southern Mississippi seat.

Hattiesburg oilman and Democrat Thomas Blanton is running for the PSC’s Southern District spot. The election will be held in November. Blanton’s history with Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company, is a relationship worth exploring.