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Entrepreneurial & Regulatory Freedom

Monument To Hubris In The Arizona Desert

by George LandrithGaming Gambling

I don’t know if the ancient language of Arizona’s Tohono O’odham Native American tribe includes a word for “hubris” — defined as excessive pride or self-confidence, with synonyms like “arrogance” and “deceit.”

Regardless of whether they have an equivalent word for hubris, the Tohono O’odham Nation (TON) leaders have proven themselves masters of the concept.  And the casino they plan to open December 20th in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale is a monument to hubris, not to mention greed and a shameless distortion of the principle of tribal sovereignty. Now, it appears, federal legislation is the only solution.

All 17 Arizona gaming tribes – including TON – joined in a compact with the state, supported by a public referendum that gave the tribes exclusive rights to operate gambling casinos in Arizona. In return the tribes agreed to specific limits on the number of casinos in Arizona. This was intended to prevent over-saturation thereby providing financial support to the tribes and host communities through gaming revenues, a structure that has proven profitable since enacted in 2002.

The TON casino in Glendale violates the agreed upon limit of seven casinos in the Phoenix area at least until the compact expires in 2027. TON already runs three lucrative casinos on their reservation lands near Tucson. Its Glendale invasion is empire-building pure and simple, not to be confused with a poor tribe trying to pull itself out of poverty. Continue reading


A Road Paved With Good Intentions

by Kenneth BloomquistWeak Economy

Standing before an audience of college students, President Obama remarked that “As Americans, we can and should be proud of the progress that our country has made over these past six years. This progress has been hard, but it has been steady and it has been real. And it’s the result of the American people’s drive and their determination and their resilience, and it’s also the result of sound decisions made by my administration.” These remarks sound more defensive than confident. The President asserted that Americans should feel proud of the modest economic gains his administration frequently cites, but given that over half of Americans still consider the economy to be meandering through a recession it seems they have overwhelmingly rejected his outlook and chosen to remain humble instead.

Perhaps they’re being overly pessimistic? In the President’s defense, the metrics commonly used to measure the duration of recessions do indeed place the end of the Great Recession in 2009. Since then, GDP has risen slowly, but steadily, at an adjusted rate of just over 2% per year. The unemployment rate has fallen from its 2009 high of just under 10% to just under 6%, and new jobs are being created at a pace which is improving with time. And yet despite the graphs and charts, Americans refuse to be optimistic no matter how often they are told to be. The economy as described in press conferences doesn’t seem to be same one which most Americans live and work in, where family and friends remain unemployed or underpaid, where they have been passed over for raises, and where there just isn’t enough income leftover to save. Americans may not all have advanced economics degrees, but they are intuitively aware when times are good and when times are bad, and they remain skeptical even when bombarded by a steady stream of rose-tinted statistics.  Continue reading


Obama Administration: Pumpkins Causing Climate Change

By Jennifer PompiWashington Times

How scary are your jack-o’-lanterns? Scarier than you think, according to the Energy Department, which claims the holiday squash is responsible for unleashing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Most of the 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins produced in the U.S. end up in the trash, says the Energy Department’s website, becoming part of the “more than 254 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced in the United States every year.”

Municipal solid waste decomposes into methane, “a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a part in climate change, with more than 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide,” Energy says. Continue reading


Voluntary initiative to stop ad-supported piracy

The winners:  consumers, content providers, and advertisersIntellectual Propery Piracy

The losers:  pirates, malware, viruses, and thieves

The internet has been a huge engine for commerce. You can go online to by just about anything and have it delivered to your home. You can also legitimately buy and download music, movies, and television shows from a incredible array of legal services. But where there are legitimate businesses, there are also pirates trying to make a quick buck selling that which they do not own. The truth is they make more than a quick buck — they steal billions every year pirating content belonging to others.

GroupM, a leading global media investment management company, recently announced that they will require all their partners to become certified by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), a voluntary initiative by the advertising industry to fight internet piracy of copyrighted material — typically movies, music, and television programing. Many piracy sites make their money from advertisements on their websites. Indeed, the Digital Citizens Alliance conducted a report concluding that piracy sites made over $209 million selling ads in 2014. So the initiative is aimed at stopping advertisements from legitimate companies running on illegitimate pirate sites. By stopping the flow of advertising dollars to the pirate sites, piracy itself will be reduced, thereby incentivizing creativity, innovation, investment, and jobs. Continue reading


Is Government Eroding America’s Work Ethic?

by Stephen Moore     •      NY Sun youth unemployment

What ever happened to the old-fashioned American work ethic? I ask this because Thursday’s Labor Department report for June found yet another 430,000 Americans of working age (16+) dropped out of the workforce.

Over the last year more only 1.3 million of Americans of working age have entered the workforce even as the population of this same demographic increased by more than 2.8 million. Just over 1 million of this group found jobs. That’s right—of the increase in working age population, less than 36 percent found employment! Continue reading


Greece has become a battleground for the worst ideas of the 20th Century

There will be no winners in this showdown between Left-wing fantasists and the European project’s true believers.

by Janet Daley      •      The Telegraph (London) 2852.EconomicRecession

Which of these do you find more repugnant: an autocratic European Union which is no longer bothering to conceal its intention to displace an elected government, or a shambolic clique of Left-wing fantasists who are propelling a country – and its hapless population – into economic ruin and political chaos?

It’s a tough call, isn’t it? Whatever happens in the Greek referendum on Sunday, it will not be the end of this pantomime. In fact, it is intended not to be the end, in spite of the Greek prime minister’s bizarre assertion last week that he could guarantee a deal would be made with the country’s creditors within 48 hours of a “no” vote – when, in fact, a “no” vote would effectively guarantee the impossibility of making such a deal since the answer “no” is a rejection of meaningful concessions to the creditors. Continue reading


USPS is losing sight of public safety

by George Landrith    •     The Hill us postal service usps

When it comes to the U.S. Postal Service, the organization’s decline has been well documented for years. Last year the Postal Service lost $5.5 billion, marking the eighth consecutive year of multi-billion dollar losses. Further, for consumers, the Postal Service is still failing to meet performance targets for First-Class mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services, and more according to a recent federal review.

As the agency seeks to regain solid footing for its balance sheet and service standards, it’s clear that improved management at the top is necessary. In the last several months the Postal Service has made ill-advised efforts to expand into offerings that are unrelated to its primary letter mail responsibility and interrupt areas where such products are already provided.

Achieving excellence in the core product offerings is also grounded in one major facet of the Postal Service’s operations – its ability to handle items in a way that prioritizes the overall security of the mail system for the safety of the public. Continue reading


The President’s Fictions: from Obamacare to ISIS

President Obama lives and operates in a fictitious world because the real world doesn’t cooperate with his dogmas. 

by New York Post Editorial BoardOrwellian Doublespeak Obama

 

It’s plainly liberating for President Obama to simply deny reality and declare everything just peachy, as he did again Monday at the G7 summit in Germany. Sadly, reality’s not cooperating.

One of his fictions du jour: All’s well with Obama­Care. No joke.

“The thing is working,” the president insisted. “We haven’t had a lot of conversation about the horrors of ObamaCare, because none of them have come to pass.”

Somebody’s having those conversations. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 54 percent oppose ObamaCare, with only 39 percent — the lowest ever — in favor.

He also insisted that a big suit against ObamaCare, Burwell v. King, is so clearly based on a “twisted interpretation” that “it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up.” Continue reading


America’s Most Advanced Climate Station Data Shows US in a 10-Year Cooling Trend

by Michael Bastasch     •      Daily Caller warming global climate ice caps

Data from America’s most advanced climate monitoring system shows the U.S. has undergone a cooling trend over the last decade, despite recent claims by government scientists that warming has accelerated worldwide during that time.

The U.S. Climate Reference Network was developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide “high-quality” climate data. The network consists of 114 stations across the U.S. in areas NOAA expects no development for the next 50 to 100 years.

The climate stations use three independent measurements of temperature and precipitation to provide “continuity of record and maintenance of well-calibrated and highly accurate observations,” NOAA states on its website. “The stations are placed in pristine environments expected to be free of development for many decades.” In essence, NOAA chose locations so they don’t need to be adjusted for “biases” in the temperature record. Continue reading


Why does USPS favor foreign shippers?

by George Landrith    •     Washington Examiner usps postal service

Where possible, policy leaders in this country should make the promotion of American businesses a priority. When the American economy is flourishing, our country flourishes.

That doesn’t mean Americans should shy away from international trade. In our global economy, the shirts we wear, the phones we use and the cars we drive oftentimes are made overseas. Due to a number of factors, there are some products where American companies do not enjoy a comparative advantage compared to foreign competitors and vice versa.

It is understandable that American companies sometimes lose in competition. What is not understandable, however, is when an American entity like the United States Postal Service creates a competitive advantage for foreign producers.

USPS charges less than 94 cents to deliver a four-pound package from China to an American consumer. Compare that to an American company trying to ship the same package from a neighboring state — it could be charged $11.30, according to a quick online search. The American company has to pay 12 times what the Chinese shipper would be charged, adding to its overhead costs. Something seems out of whack here. Continue reading


The Fantasy that ObamaCare ‘Is Working’

by Steve Moore    •    Forbes obamacare tire mud

Sometimes it seems President Obama lives in a parallel universe where facts are floating around to be plucked out of suspended animation. Never more so than on the effects of the Affordable Care Act.

“[ObamaCare] is working…We haven’t had a lot of conversation about the horrors of Obamacare because none of them have come to pass. You got 16 million people who’ve gotten health insurance.

“It hasn’t had an adverse effect on people who already had health insurance. The overwhelming majority of them are satisfied with the health insurance…

“The costs have come in substantially lower than even our estimates about how much it would cost. Health care inflation overall has continued to be at some of the lowest levels in 50 years. None of the predictions about how this wouldn’t work have come to pass.”

Barack Obama, June 8, 2015

So let’s see whether anything he says on the new law, including that it “is working,” comports with the facts: Continue reading


Conservatives have every reason to be optimistic

Freedom and opportunity are on the horizon with a new crop of principled, capable and positive conservatives. 

by George Landrith   bright-future-optimism-optimistic

In the past few weeks and the next couple weeks, we will see most of the expected entrants into the GOP presidential sweepstakes make their plans official. The GOP bench is deep with a number of highly credible and well qualified potential nominees. Part of this deep bench is the result of the conservatives doing well in a majority of the non-presidential and state elections during President Barack Obama’s time in office. The GOP has gained 70 seats in Congress and 910 state legislators around the nation since Barack Obama took office.

If you’re a conservative, there is a lot more good news on the horizon. That deep bench of well-qualified and highly credible candidates is revealing itself in congressional elections around the nation. Speaking with campaign experts around the nation, one thing is clear — the GOP has a bumper crop of great conservative candidates.

I can’t write about each of them, but perhaps I can pick one that caught my eye and shows real promise. In Florida’s 18th Congressional District, an established name is retiring from the House of Representatives to pursue the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Marco Rubio. Rick Kozell has announced his candidacy for the open congressional seat in the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach area.

Here’s what I like about Rick Kozell — he’s an optimistic, principled conservative with a winning vision for the future. He reminds me of a young Ronald Reagan. The press will have a hard time casting him as the stereotypical angry conservative. Kozell is affable, young, smart, and articulate. His smile is natural and his energy and enthusiasm are obvious. Continue reading


Corruption and abuse of power at the EPA

by The Washington Examiner Editorial BoardEPA Frankenstien

Last week, we looked at how the EPA manipulated the public comments process for its new rule defining protected waters under the Clean Water Act. The agency’s officials met behind closed doors and teamed up with left-wing environmental activists to get as many comments in support as possible. Like elections in pre-war Iraq, the drive was too successful to be remotely convincing; nearly 90 percent of the comments turned out to be in favor of the rule, a number that was then cited by EPA officials as evidence of how popular the rule was.

But as much as this rule was shaped by astroturfing, it will affect real people if it is allowed to take effect this summer.

If there is confusion about exactly what the rule does, the EPA can be blamed for that. In mounting its public defense, the agency has drawn up detailed fact sheets that attempt to minimize the additional lands over which the rule will give them power. Their propaganda for the layman, the purpose of which is to frighten the public into believing their drinking water won’t be clean without the new rule, does just the opposite. In one video posted online, EPA claims that “60 percent of our streams and millions of acres of wetlands” were unprotected or had an ambiguous status. These will now be regulated. Continue reading


Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi are responsible for Obamacare’s chaos

The Left desperately wants to blame Obamacare’s chaos on the GOP.  But it is all a lie. They passed it without a single GOP vote and they rammed it down America’s throat with lies. Now they want to blame the GOP. Have they no shame?  Evidently not. 

by David Harsanyi    •   The Federalist 

If the Supreme Court decides that there will be no more retroactive legislating and upholds Obamacare as written, terrible things will happen to America. No doubt, you’ve heard some of them. We might, for instance, find out what health insurance in fabricated, state-run “marketplaces” actually cost:

Twitter Obamacare Costs

Yikes, indeed. But her contention isn’t exactly right. Insurance plans in federally run exchanges already cost 650 percent more than consumers pay. The difference is picked up taxpayers. Kaiser estimates that the 37 states that have declined to set up exchanges will see an average spike of 287 percent should the King v. Burwell decision not go the administration’s way. A ruling that only proves exchanges have not made insurance markets more competitive or more affordable, as promised. Continue reading


EPA power grab looks like Obamacare redux

by Peter Roff     •     Washington Examiner

epa-logoEveryone remembers former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ill-advised comment that the Affordable Care Act would have to pass so that the American people could find out what was in it. Unfortunately, what should have been a cautionary tale has instead been an object lesson in rulemaking for President Obama’s bureaucracy.

Take, for example, the pending Clean Power Plan, an initiative of the Environmental Protection Agency. If fully implemented, it could lead to the mass shuttering of existing power generation facilities, rolling brownouts, blackouts and a significant increase in electrical rates. Continue reading