Openmarket.org:Facebook Filing Blasts Obama-Bush Overregulation of Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank
In his letter to prospective shareholders in the middle of the 201-page “Form S-1” that Facebook filed yesterday afternoon to launch its much-anticipated initial public offering, company founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that one mission of Facebook is to “bring a more honest and transparent dialogue around government.”
In one important way, another section of the IPO already does so in communicating the incredible burdens on companies attempting to go public — burdens that create difficulties even for companies as big as Facebook and almost insurmountable for smaller firms.> Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org
CHEVY VOLT FIRE DEBACLE - MARLO LEWIS
Globalwarming.org:Update on Chevy Volt Hearing
Marlo Lewis provides detailed analysis of the contentious House investigation and hearing concerning the Chevy Volt debacle:
As noted here last week, the sparks flew at a Jan. 25 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing titled “The Volt Fire: What Did NHTSA Know and When Did They Know It?“ Three witnesses testified: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator David Strickland, General Motors (GM) CEO Daniel Akerson, and John German of the International Council on Clean Transportation. My earlier post was based on newspaper accounts of the hearing. Over the weekend, I watched the archived video of the proceeding and read the testimonies and Committee Staff Report. Here are the key facts and conclusions as I see them:> Globalwarming.org: Update on Chevy Volt Hearing
"CEOs everywhere have been led by both their outside critics and in-house management gurus to heed the calls for 'organic' and 'sustainable' products made by appropriately "diverse" work forces in a politically correct fashion. They have fallen for this line even though their products have made the world a better place. And when they heed their critics, they end up attracting even more criticism because the world still doesn't meet some outsider's utopian standards.
"The error of these CEOs lies in thinking that just because the customer is always right, so is the critic. That is a lethal mistake that McDonald's has thankfully avoided. Rather than cave in, it continues to satisfy consumers while just as importantly defending consumers' right to choose."
"We are totally dependent on the Russians for both transportation to and from the ISS, and for emergency lifeboat services, for which (unsurprisingly) they have been increasing the cost since the Shuttle was belatedly retired last summer, and shipping taxpayer funds overseas to them. Worse, each time we give them a new contract, we have to waive the Iran North-Korea Syria Non-Proliferation Act which prohibits trade with countries who aid those nations in the development of missiles and nukes, because Russia continues to help Iran with both.
"Worse yet, while they have been flying for decades, their space systems have proven unreliable just at the point at which we have attained such total dependence. Last summer and fall, they had multiple launch failures, and then a failed Mars probe in November, which recently entered the atmosphere with a load of toxic propellants, but fortunately seems to have fallen into the ocean. And now, they’ve delayed their next ISS flight because they have leaks in the pressurized Soyuz crew module."
Globalwarming.org:What Is “Open” and “Transparent” Obama Administration Hiding on Stream Buffer Rule?
While environmentalists loathe coal in general, they hate especially coal produced via mountaintop removal mining. Unfortunately for them, the mining practice, which is essential to the economies of West Virginia and Kentucky, is sanctioned by state and federal law. In 1977, the Congress enacted the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, legislation that created a regulatory regime for surface mining practices like mountaintop mining.
Now, thirty-five years after the Congress endorsed mountaintop mining, President Barack Obama is poised to radically reinterpret SMCRA—legislation that authorizes mountaintop mining—such that the law would ban it. This contortion of legal logic is an affront to Congressional intent.>View the commentary on Globalwarming.org
The Hill's Congress Blog:The FDA has it dead wrong
When policy makers responsible for writing a bill send a letter telling an enforcement agency that it is out of line, one would hope the agency would sit up and listen. This week, Senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wrote to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claiming that the agency's recently released guidelines on dietary supplements undermines the statutory framework for regulating such supplements, as outlined in a bill crafted by the two Senators. If the outcry in the supplement industry and consumer advocates hasn't got the attention of FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, perhaps the Senators' letter will.> View the full commentary on The Hill's Congress Blog
Openmarket.org:Justic Kagan Should Recuse Herself From Obamacare Case
Only in Bizarro World can you claim someone is your attorney — and thus shielded by attorney work-product privilege — and then insist in the very next breath that they never represented you. But that is what the Obama administration and Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan are doing. The Obama administration refuses to release its communications with Kagan about health care litigation back when she was the administration’s Solicitor General, on the grounds that they are covered by attorney work-product protection. Yet, contradictorily, it and Kagan insist that she never acted as the administration’s lawyer in the matter, and thus doesn’t need to recuse herself from hearing the constitutional challenges to Obamacare that will be decided by the Supreme Court this year. >View the commentary on Openmarket.org
Openmarket.org:Michigan SEIU Scam the Product of Government Collective Bargaining
Proponents of government collective bargaining view it as a fundamental human right. The shameful actions of SEIU in Michigan, however, undermine this claim.
In 2005, Michigan lawmakers signed off to create the Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3). MQC3 maintains a registry of homecare providers to assist Medicaid recipients looking for a caregiver. In reality, the primary function of MQC3 was to make 45,000 private homecare providers government employees and dues-paying union members.
In 2006, SEIU took advantage of Michigan law deeming homecare providers government employees. To gain exclusive representation SEIU organized a covert union campaign. The stealth-organizing tactic led to 20 percent voter turnout and SEIU won a landslide victory.
Soon thereafter, SEIU obtained a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the state. The events following the CBA expose the dangers of government union political influence and permanence of CBAs.> View the full commentary on Openmarket.org
In national news: Congressman Kurt Schrader of Oregon announced last week that he is withdrawing his support of the CARE Act, the piece of legislation that will likely make it more difficult for small producers of wine, beer, and spirits to reach the market. In his statement, Rep. Schrader noted that after listening to the concerns of Oregon’s wine growers he now believes the legislation would be detrimental to their industry. > View the full commentary on state and national alcohol regulation on Openmarket.org
Globalwarming.org:EPA’s Big Mercury Lie Already Killing Jobs
Recently, I blogged about EPA’s big mercury lie. In a nutshell, the Agency claims that its ultra-expensive new Mercury and Air Toxics rule is appropriate and necessary in order to protect fetuses from developmental disorders. Yet, according to EPA’s own analysis, the new mercury regulation serves to protect America’s supposed population of pregnant, subsistence fisherwomen, who eat 300 pounds of self-caught fish reeled in exclusively from the most polluted bodies of water. To put it another way, this regulation, which costs $10 billion annually, safeguards a population that doesn’t exist. > View the full commentary on Globalwarming.org
Globalwarming.org:Drip, Drip, Drip: Yet Another Green Energy Stimulus Recipient Hits the Skids (the third this week!)
Earlier [last] week, Stimulus beneficiary Evergreen Energy bit the dust. Then, Ener1, a manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles and recipient of Stimulus largesse, filed for bankruptcy. And today, the Las Vegas Sun reports that Amonix, Inc., a manufacturer of solar panels that received $5.9 million from the Porkulus, will cut two-thirds of its workforce, about 200 employees, only seven months after opening a factory in Nevada.
I foresaw this spate of bad news last November. As I explained yesterday,
In a previous post, I compared renewable energy spending in the 2009 Stimulus to a green albatross burdening the President. I argued that Stimulus spending was inherently wasteful, because politics invariably corrupts government’s investment decisions. The result is taxpayers losses on bankrupt companies that existed only by the grace of political favoritism, a la Solyndra. I predicted the green stimulus would haunt the President, in the form of a slow drip public relations nightmare, as a litany of bad investments go belly-up in the run up to the 2012 elections.
Mr. President, are you still sure you want to “double down” on renewable energy giveaways?>View the commentary on Globalwarming.org
Today, 11:30 a.m.Don’t Drill and Drive: Weakening the “User-Pays” Highway Funding Principle Would Endanger Our Nation’s Transportation Infrastructure
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday is scheduled to release details of its plans to reauthorize the federal highway bill, now two years delinquent (see Politico story). CEI co-hosts a Capitol Hill event today with the Reason Foundation, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and the Natural Resources Defense Council on why transportation funding should remain based on a user-fee system. >View event details.
PJ MEDIA:What are the costs, technologies, and politics behind the speaker's promise of a moon colony as the 51st state?
It would be a tough sell to a Congress that is used to directing space funds to its campaign contributors — a prize wouldn’t give them an adequate amount of control over where the money ended up. And even if a President Gingrich could get the support of Congress to establish such a prize, there would be no guarantee that a future Congress wouldn’t rescind it, creating a great deal of uncertainty and risk for someone who wanted to pursue it. A private prize can escrow the funds, but there’s no sure-fire way for a fickle U.S. government to do so, particularly in times of trillion-dollar deficits, because the Constitution doesn’t allow a Congress to commit a future Congress to an expenditure. A prize fund would always be at risk of being raided for some more “worthy” social objective.
But there’s another problem. When Speaker Gingrich proposes that the settlement eventually become a U.S. state, he is implicitly advocating withdrawal from the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which explicitly prohibits claims of national sovereignty off planet.> View the full commentary on PJ Media