A TURNING POINT
Re: Eric Peters’s Wasting General Motors:
In several years of reading Eric Peters’ articles I finally read one that I can agree with. It is both sane and a fair assessment of what has been happening to the auto industry for the past decade.
Obama has no more clue as to what will cure GM than its former CEO did. You can test that by the following. Obama was so smart to fire him that now his $20+ million retirement package kicks in which is a further drain on GM’s coffers. Plus, snicker, unemployment benefits. The much smarter move would have been to demote the CEO and ship him off to China operations.
— John McGinnis
If it is rational to oust Wagoner for “ruining” GM, what is the rational punishment for ruining the entire U.S. economy for decades to come? The iron maiden? The catapult? Forced watching of Oprah every day?
— David Govett
Mr. Peters’ article is right on. No one I know of is going out and just spending money unless it is necessary.
— Bill Coulter
WAR IS PEACE
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s Jimmy Carter’s Spirit of Notre Dame:
I was struck by the Gallup poll numbers for Presidents Carter and Obama because they are so similiar. I thought that you might be struck by my experience a Gallup poll member. I have been a member of the Gallup poll for about two years. During those two years I tried to fill in each poll (about twice a month) because I believed that it was important to be heard. Although I wavered in my approval of President Bush, I always answered the poll question “Do you approve of the way President Bush is doing his job?” in the affirmative–a decided minority. Since Obama assumed the office I have received one poll and I answered negatively about the President’s performance. I have not received another poll since. Just food for thought.
— Russell W. Koch
“Overseas Contingency Operation”??? “[M]an-caused disaster”????!!!! Shades of Newspeak!
Mr. Orwell, contact your office — stat!
— Gretchen L. Chellson
IT’S AT LEAST 60% ACCURATE
Re: William Tucker’s Three Mile Island — Thirty Years After:
I generally have no disagreement with your article on the nuclear industry. I think that a miscalculation must have occurred though with respect to the claim of the relative importance of Oyster Creek.
“Oyster Creek provides New Jersey with 60 percent of its electricity.”
This reliable, if somewhat dated, source indicates that the nuclear share of electrical production in NJ was hovering around 50% of the total as of five years ago. There are four nuclear power units in NJ, and Oyster Creek is the smallest of them, and it is responsible for about 16% of nuclear energy in NJ according to this source.
This would tend to indicate that Oyster Creek is responsible for about 8% of the electricity generated in NJ. If it ceased to operate without being replaced, it would strike a massive blow to the state’s economy. If 60% of the state’s capacity went away, it would be a true disaster.
THE ROYAL WE
Re: Ralph R. Reiland’s Hopelessly Naive:
For all of the truths in Mr. Reiland’s essay, the problem is NOT Obama’s “naiveté!” It’s his unalloyed arrogance.
The President does not recognize that a relatively small majority of Americans did not elect him as king, as dictator, as tyrant, or as führer.
He does not recognize that he was elected as president to “preside” over the executive branch of the government and to “execute” our laws under the Constitution.
Read Article II of the Constitution and see whether he has any element of power that even the most vivid imagination can create that would allow him to do the things he’s doing.
His mind-numbing diplomatic errors cannot be naiveté because there are long-serving professionals in the State Department who surely were available to advise him of the error of his “personal” approaches to the President of Russia and the people of Iran. Heaven only knows what else he’s been doing in his “transparent” administration!
The latest outrage is his requiring the chairman of a corporation to resign. Where is that authority in the Constitution?
Only in the Land of Ob.
Where’s that tornado when we need it?
— A.C. Santore
DETAILS DETAILS DETAILS
Re: Hans A. von Spakovsky’s The Tragedy of Supremely Bad Law:
Mr. von Spakovsky gets some of the details regarding the Wyeth Phenergan case incorrect. The actual facts suggest the case was even more wrongheaded than he describes. Specifically in the case a physician’s assistant injected the drug Phenergan into a vein (blood vessel which returns blood toward the heart — not an artery) this is an approved drug being given via an FDA approved route of administration for an FDA approved indication (nausea). At times however IVs can become defective and the drug can “infiltrate,” that is, leak into the subcutaneous tissues. This causes pain, tissue damage and potentially can cause clotting/ damage to an artery (blood vessels taking blood away from the heart). This ultimately led to loss of the patient’s arm. The plaintiff claimed Wyeth of all people acted negligently by accepting the FDA’s ruling that the drug could be given IV. Needless to say this is madness. This drug is given safely via this route probably thousands of times daily across the US. The injury to the patient is clearly related to failure to appreciate the IV had infiltrated, failure to avoid giving a large dose of drug via this route, etc. None of this Wyeth had any control over. The result of this case is we will have FDA regulation that will fail to protect any drug maker from being sued. If I worked for a drug company I would seek another line of work — this legal environment makes any kind of drug development madness. At one time I participated as a clinical investigator for clinical drug trials doing FDA-approved drug studies. I foolishly though strict compliance with FDA rules would exempt one from legal actions. This is obviously no longer the case. I will no longer plan on participating in such trials. I imagine others will do the same. I expect the number of new drugs for cancer, serious infections, heart disease, etc. will slow. I hope the plaintiff’s bar will be gratified by the result.
— Michael DePietro, MD
U.N.DO THE DAMAGE
Re: Paul Chesser’s Bustin’ a Cap & Trade:
Don’t worry, Mr. Chesser. The U.N. and their devotées in the E.U. are planning right now to take care of everything.
They’ll put an unconstitutional U.N. tax on our purchase of gasoline, require American companies to meet U.N.-imposed emissions standards, and generally direct our government and industry to do their bidding in furtherance of their global wealth-sharing whims.
The real reason for this usurpation is not protection of the environment. Emissions are emissions and will affect the atmosphere whether they come from a smokestack in Kansas or some U.N. satrapy in the southern hemisphere.
The U.N. understand the Obamalinsky style of creating a crisis then doing anything they want in the name of resolving it — even when there is not a sliver of a connection between the crisis and the resolution.
The U.N. are hellbent on transferring wealth — both in the form of unconstitutional taxation and in moving U.S. industries to the former third-world countries. We created the wealth. Our people depend on it for work. The U.N. will move it elsewhere. We pay the price.
It’s bad enough when our own government is transferring wealth inside the U.S., but imagine the U.N. transferring it out of the U.S.
Do we really want to give it to the U.N., one of the greatest enemies of Americans’ well-being?
— A.C. Santore
A VIOLIN PLAYING FOR THE TAX WRITERS
Re: J.T. Young’s A Tale of Two Taxes:
J.T. Young’s op-ed “A Tale of Two Taxes” claims that “for Washington’s tax writers, it is the best of times and the worst of times.” I don’t know who is crying for Washington’s tax writers, but for America’s family business owners, it is simply the worst of times.
Young repeats the disingenuous line that the death tax only impacts a “small percentage of respective filers.” The problem with this claim is that it ignores all the people who don’t pay the tax by spending thousands — and sometimes millions — in tax-planning strategies. Many family business owners use various legal tax means to reduce their overall liability — at the cost of productive capital. Liberal-leaning economist Alicia Munnell found that the cost of such tax-sheltering activities actually equals the revenue raised. The family business owners who misallocate capital to avoid a large estate tax liability are certainly affected.
Furthermore, the tax has secondary consequences on millions more Americans who rely on family businesses for jobs. When a family business is faced with a large tax burden, it is often the employees whose jobs are on the line. Economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin found that the Death Tax reduces overall employment in the U.S. by 1.5 million jobs.
Young also claims that eliminating the death tax would be “expensive.” Yet it is the tax-sheltering activities described above which reduce economic growth and the source for long-run tax revenues. When a business moves capital away from productive activities, it results in less income for the company and lower tax revenues for Uncle Sam. Economist Steve Entin has determined that the Death Tax encourages so much capital misallocation that it actually reduces overall tax revenues. In fact, Entin found that the Death Tax reduces revenues by $2 for every $1 of revenue that it raises.
— Adam Nicholson
Director of Research, American Family Business Institute
GITMO WELFARE QUEENS
Attorney General Holder says some Gitmo detainees may end up being released in the U.S.; Director of National Intelligence Blair adds that “we need some sort of assistance for them to start a new life.”
I’ve got a new neighbor who’s just moving in.
His life in our country’s about to begin.He’s got an unusual work resume.
Last place of “employment” — Guantanamo Bay.
So, what should I make of this fellow next door.
Can I really believe he’s combative no more?
His terror war’s off ’cause Obama decrees,
A “Contingency Operation Overseas”?
For DNI Blair, release isn’t enough.
Put detainees on welfare, and give them neat stuff.
And in-state tuition for college, I’ll bet.
No doubt there are Stimulus funds they can get.
Barack’s closing Gitmo; says “the World” did insist.
“Rehabbing” combatants; says they won’t reenlist.
But why only us does he chose to ignore,
By bringing these captured jihadi’s ashore?
This harebrained idea will cause voters to roar.
Most likely in two years and surely in four.
— Asher Embry
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.