Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Foreign Policy, History, Law, Media Bias, Military, National Security, Politics, Progressivism, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Character, Hillary Clinton, Political Instinct
Hillary’s greatest problem is that though she has a profound interest in politics, she has really lousy political instincts. That is a sense of the right thing to do and a sense for how one’s actions will appear to others. The Clinton administration was full of controversy, the travel office scandal erupted early, as did Hillary’s expectation of being Bill’s co-president.
What she learned instead was a defensiveness and self-protective attitude that led to lies and concealment. Bill had pretty good political instincts, and a good-old-boy, aw-shucks grin that served him pretty well. You would think that observing Lois Lerner and her e-mail scandal would have alerted Hillary to potential troubles, but instead it led her to have her own private server installed in her home. Secretiveness replaced openness. When you try to pretend openness as a protective pose — nobody believes you anyway. It’s too late.
Good political instincts would have prevented the whole catastrophe of Benghazi. Deposing Muammar Gaddafi, refusing security to the ambassadorial mission, denial of the nature of the terrorist attackers, refusing help to the embattled American contractors, and then the absurd attempt to blame it all on a short, dumb video, and then Hillary met the plane with the bodies returning to the United States, and assured mourning parents that they would get the guy who made the video.
Any careful read of Hillary’s history should prevent her from ever being considered as “the first woman president” which seems to be her aim. I don’t accept the idea of first of this sex, first of this ethnicity, first of this color. That is not what is important about a person’s qualifications, but rather their accomplishments and their character. Can we trust them with high office? Do they have a good understanding of American history and character? Do they have a good mind? Do they have good political instincts? Trust it to the Left to always put the emphasis on the wrong things.
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Education, Freedom, Law, Regulation | Tags: Eliminating Competition, Licensing Boards, Setting Standards
Many professions have banded together to establish boards for professional licensing. Boards that are composed of people who practice the profession are the norm. Nobody else really knows the details of the profession, what education or training is needed, what is ethical and what is not. In many cases the boards are required by statute to be staffed by a majority of active market participants. So it is easy to slip over into making the requirements more stringent, or to eliminate competition.
In 2006, the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners banned salons, spas and other businesses from offering teeth-whitening services — essentially eliminating the competition. The FTC sued, arguing that the move constituted unfair competition in violation of the 1914 Federal Trade Commission Act. In Ninth Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, the Supreme Court affirmed the FTC’s position that state licensing boards controlled by “active market participants” are exempt from antitrust lawsuits only if they are also supervised by the state government.
It’s all very complicated, but it means that professional boards won’t be able to get away with trying to prevent competition.
Here in Washington State, the professional decorators have been trying to get the people of Washington to make it illegal for anyone to be compensated for decorating a home unless they belong to the professional organizations of decorators, and meet the standards required. Hasn’t worked. Most people seem to think that if a friend wants to give you advice on what color to paint your kitchen and help you with the tile, they shouldn’t require a special license.
Probably more people are familiar with cosmetologists and hair- braiders. The cosmetology boards require lengthy education in permanents, hair cutting, styling, dyeing (some of that stuff is dangerous) have wanted to require those who are engaging in hair-braiding to get a cosmetology license, since it’s also involved with hair. Hair-braiding is a distinct art, and quite beautiful, but does not involve the skills of a cosmetologist, and the schooling and licensing is expensive. I have seen braided hair that is so elaborate and lovely that I want to stop the woman and ask if she would mind if I stare a bit, but I’ve never had the nerve.
The ruling would seem to be a very good thing, requiring mostly some common sense. When practitioners just want to exclude competition, they are out of line.
This self-regulation has led to self-dealing: Cosmetologists, for example, are required on average to have 10 times as many days of training as emergency medical technicians. In Alabama, the unlicensed practice of interior design was a criminal offense until 2007. As the dentist case illustrates, even the boards of licensed “learned professions”—dentists, physicians and lawyers—create arbitrary restrictions.
But as with all thing legal and illegal, more lawsuits are possible. In general, the Supreme Court is opposed to cartel activity, and this seems like a good step forward.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, History, Humor, Intelligence, Law, National Security, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, The United States | Tags: Donations to the Foundation, Hillary Rodham Clinton, The Clinton Foundation
Yesterday’s news moved on from the Netanyahu speech to Hillary’s e-mails. It appears that for six years, Hillary was in violation of State Department regulations for using private e-mails. Government e-mails are supposed to be preserved and archived. It’s all about transparency.
Hillary has remarkably poor political instincts. She is a liar. She will usually attempt to cover up her errors rather than learn from them. She can be counted on to do the wrong thing at the wrong time. Her mind is on her ambition and how to get there, and she seldom realizes how what she says or does will appear. She is greedy and wants to match the wealth and style of those with whom she chooses to associate—hence her impressive fees for speeches and demand for royal treatment wherever she goes. It’s against the law to accept money from foreign countries when you hold a public office like Secretary of State, but she wants a big foundation and does not want to be accountable. Republicans have noticed.
Filed under: Politics, Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Democrat Corruption, Progressivism, Capitalism, Law, The United States, Canada | Tags: President Obama, The Keystone XL Pipeline, Truth and Falsehoods
President Obama in an interview with WDAY of Fargo ND, Feb. 26, 2015 — tried to explain his veto of a bill that would have leapfrogged the approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline:
“I’ve already said I’m happy to look at how we can increase pipeline production for U.S. oil, but Keystone is for Canadian oil to send that down to the Gulf. It bypasses the United States and is estimated to create a little over 250, maybe 300 permanent jobs. We should be focusing more broadly on American infrastructure for American jobs and American producers, and that’s something that we very much support.”
Obama has come to believe that he can say whatever he wants and the people will believe it, and it’s getting to be embarrassing.
Infrastructure is just equipment and structures like, well, pipelines. Building infrastructure is a construction job. Construction jobs only last until the structure is complete, and then construction workers move on to the next project. There are around 20,000 high-paying construction jobs in the pipeline and in materials, and the State Department estimates 42,000 spin-off jobs and the addition of $3.5 billion to the economy. Beats losers like Solyndra and the enormous Ivanpah Project.
The crude oil would indeed travel to the Gulf Coast. and be refined there. Most of the refined product is likely to be consumed in the United States. For Gulf refineries heavy bitumen from the oil sands is an attractive substitute for declining offshore heavy crude supply from Latin America. A report from IHS Energy concluded that 70 percent of the refined product would be consumed in the United States. Canadian crude is eligible for crude export licenses. The likelihood that WCSB crudes would be exported in volume is considered low.
TransCanada has signed contracts to move 65,000 barrels a day from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana, and about 12 percent of the pipeline’s capacity has been set aside for the Bakken region. U.S companies control about 30 percent of the production in Canada’s oil sands region, so production is not strictly Canadian, But the last time I looked, Canada was our friendly neighbor to the North, and our most important trading partner.
Obama got Four Pinocchios for that speech from the Washington Post Fact Checker.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Environment, Junk Science, Law, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Federal Judge Royce Lamberth, FOIA Requests, The Environmental Protection Agency
Federal Judge Royce C. Lamberth today warned the EPA not to discriminate against conservative groups in how it responds to open records requests. He said the agency may have lied to the court and showed “apathy and carelessness” in carrying out the law.
He said he could not prove that officials intentionally destroyed documents, but he described as an “absurdity” the way the EPA handled a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Landmark Legal Foundation and the court case stemming from it—including late last week admitting that it misled the court about how it went about “searching for documents.”
In a scorching 25-page opinion, the judge accused the agency of insulting him by first claiming it had conducted a full search for records, then years later retracted that claim in a footnote to another document without giving any explanation for how it erred.
“The recurrent instances of disregard that EPA employees display for FOIA obligations should not be tolerated by the agency,” the judge said. “This court would implore the executive branch to take greater responsibility in ensuring that all EPA FOIA requests — regardless of the political affiliation of the requester — are treated with equal respect and conscientiousness.”
This particular ruling can also be seen as a rebuke to President Obama who vowed to run the “most transparent administration in history” but has received constant challenges over how that vow has been carried out. Judge Lamberth made a point of the EPA delay of follow through on Landmark’s request until after the 2012 elections, and said explanations by EPA officials for why they failed to live up to the law “defied reason.”
Mark Levin, Landmark’s president, said it is up to the president to decide how to respond, but people should be fired. Nena Shaw and Eric Wachter, Judge Lamberth said, either lied to the court or showed utter indifference to the law.
Is it proper to send roses to a federal court? Probably not, but this arrogant agency certainly deserves a legal slap-down.