Say Goodbye to the Obama Era

from IBD:

Trump Dismantles Another Obama ‘Achievement’ — Just One More To Go

This week, the Trump administration announced that it would revise President Obama’s draconian auto fuel economy mandates. That alone is big news. But it marks the near total reversal of Obama’s anti-growth domestic policies. That’s bigger news.

EPA head Scott Pruitt said Tuesday that the administration would rewrite Obama’s fuel economy standards starting with model year 2022. Obama’s plan was to mandate that all cars sold average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, up from 38.3 mpg this year.

As we have repeatedly explained in this space, Obama’s fuel economy mandate was little more than a thinly disguised electric car mandate, since hitting that level would have required a substantial increase in plug-in sales. As it stands, there are only a handful of powered cars that can go more than 54 miles on a gallon of gas.

Pruitt said that, instead of trying to force consumers into more expensive cars that environmentalists like, the focus at the EPA will be “on making cars that people actually buy and that are efficient.” read more

Government Should Not Regulate Social Media

from IBD:

Facebook Privacy Scandal: Why Regulation Is Not The Answer

As Facebook’s privacy crisis grows, so too are calls for the government to regulate it, including from Republicans, the tech industry and Mark Zuckerberg himself. What could be wrong with that?

Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart, for example, told CNN that “I actually think it probably is” time to regulate Facebook (FB) and other social media companies because “these companies gather our private information and they monetize it.”

Speaking at a China Development Forum in Beijing, Apple (APPL) Chairman Tim Cook said, when asked about Facebook, “I think that this certain situation is so dire and has become so large that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary.”

Zuckerberg himself says that “I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,” adding that “I actually think the question is more ‘What is the right regulation?’ rather than ‘Yes or no, should it be regulated?’ ” read more

You Must Comply…With Your Dentist

from Michelle Malkin at Townhall:

The Snitches in Your Kids’ Dental Office

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth to have a despotic pediatric dentist.

Parents who decide, for whatever reason, that they don’t like their children’s oral care provider should be forewarned. Empowered by government “mandatory reporter” laws, dental offices are now using their authority to threaten families with child abuse charges if they don’t comply with the cavity police.

Mom Trey Hoyumpa shared a letter last week on Facebook from a dental office called Smiles 4 Keeps in Bartonsville, Pennsylvania. It informed her that if she did not make a dental appointment for “regular professional cleanings” for her child, she could be charged with “dental neglect.”
read more

Donald J “Smoot-Hawley” Trump – It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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Here we are again – our government doing what they do best – picking winners and losers. President Trump has done a lot of good things for this nation thus far, but protectionist tariffs aren’t one of them.

The first protectionist tariff, the “Dallas” tariff, was enacted in 1816. It happened again in 1824, in 1828, the infamous “Tariff of Abominations,” in 1832 to fix the problem in 1828 (which it didn’t), and in 1842, the “Black” tariff.

All these were passed to benefit the Northern States at the expense of the South, and all were major contributing factors in the run-up to the Civil War. No, the Civil War was not just about slavery.

And then there was the infamous “Smoot-Hawley” tariff of 1930. It was named after its authors, Utah Senator Reed Smoot and Oregon Congressman Willis Hawley. The purpose was to support U.S. farmers who had been ravaged by the Dust Bowl.

By the time 1930 rolled around, practically every legislator had added protections to Smoot-Hawley for their states’ industries. The bill ended up with proposed tariffs on 20,000 individual imported goods. Does this sound eerily familiar to anyone? It’s why bills are thousands of pages long – to attempt to hide such things.

This time, instead of agriculture, our government has chosen the American Aluminum and Steel industries to be the temporary winners. Yay! read more

Graffiti Artists Make Big Bucks

by: Brent Smith at The Common Constitutionalist

Warehouse building owner discovers the hard way that he really can’t do what he wants with his own building.

What would happen if your young child drew all over his or her bedroom walls? Of course as a doting parent, you would say it was art. I mean – what’s a coat of paint. It’s not worth getting upset about. The child is too young to understand anyway. So instead you say: “You did such a great job I think we’ll just leave it be.” And accept it you do, at least for a while, as the work of art it was intended. You even have him or her sign it, or make some sort of identifying mark to make their own.

Now years go by and your son or daughter is grown up and moves out. You then decide to rid the room of the once great work of art. But wait…not so fast. Instead of the shoulder shrug response you would expect from the lad or lass, he or she protests, and doesn’t want you to defile the masterpiece. What then?

You pull out the old, “This is my house” card and paint over it. A month or so goes by and you receive a letter from an attorney. It seems your child is suing you for damages under 17 U.S. Code § 106A – Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity. read more

Does Apple Need to Curb Your Child’s Smartphone Use?

from IBD:

No, Apple Is Not Responsible For Your Kids’ Smartphone Addiction

Apple is now coming under fire from two big investors for not doing enough to curb childhood addiction to smartphones. What’s next? Government warnings and a class-action lawsuit against Big Smartphone.

In an “open letter” to Apple, Janus Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System — which combined own roughly $2 billion in Apple stock — scolded Apple for failing to “take steps” to curb overuse of smartphones by children.

The letter goes on at great length citing research into the harmful effects of too much smartphone use — from increased risk of depression and suicide risk to sleep and learning problems. read more

Trump is a Regulation Slashing Machine

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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As I have said many times over the past several months – that left to his own, President Trump is getting a lot accomplished, and virtually all of it is conservative-friendly. I’ve also stated ad nauseum, that I wasn’t a Trumpster, but have begun to come around. I will still never be a Trump apologist or mouthpiece. You know – those who go on Fox News and excuse everything the man has ever done, or will do. That’s just absurd.

But let’s give credit where credit is due. With all he’s had to contend with this past year, he’s done a remarkable job. Just imagine where we could be if the establishment would have given up their quest to torpedo his Presidency and come along for the ride.

One thing he’s begun, but not near completed, is government regulatory restraint. It is not as glitzy, and seemingly not as important as elections or scandals, but in fact, it as at least as important, if not more so, in the grand scheme of things.

And why is this? Well, I’ll you why. read more

Congress – Do Your Job and End the CFPB

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created out of the disaster that is Dodd-Frank. Mark Levin claims it is unconstitutional. And if he says it is – it is. It clearly violates the separation of powers in the Constitution.

In fact, in 2016, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the mere structure of the CFPB violates Article II of the Constitution, as it gives broad, unchecked authority to a single individual – the director of the Bureau. Writing the majority opinion, Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote that, “When the CFPB was established, it was structured to be headed by a single director rather than a multi-member commission. The director wields ‘enormous power,’ with the power to enforce 19 federal consumer protection statutes. The director can alone decide what rules to issue, how to enforce the laws, and what sanctions to impose.”

“No head of an independent agency has operated without a check on his or her authority—until now,” added Kavanaugh. It makes the director, radical leftists Richard Cordray, “In essence, the President of Consumer Finance,” and “the single most powerful official in the entire U.S. government, other than the president.” read more

Net Neutrality Finally on the Chopping Block

from IBD:

Net Neutrality Advocates Are Modern-Day Snake Oil Salesmen

When FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to repeal the Obama administration’s heavy-handed “net neutrality” regulations, critics acted as if the world were coming to an end. Actual consumers, however, aren’t likely to notice any difference, because the “problem” those rules were supposed to solve has always been wildly exaggerated.

Net neutrality sounds at first blush like a noble goal. Internet service providers shouldn’t, the argument goes, be allowed to favor some traffic over others, either by throttling speeds, charging more or taking any other action that discriminates against bits of data crossing their network.

But to enforce the rules, the Obama administration had to treat ISPs as if they were monopoly phone providers, which let the government not only impose net neutrality requirements, but gave it sweeping authority to regulate everything the ISPs did. read more

Economics of Bacon and Natural Disasters

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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You may have noticed that the price of bacon is off the charts. I know I have. It appears to have basically doubled in the last months. Why?

It’s simple – supply and demand. Over the last few year demand for everything bacon has skyrocketed. It seems bacon is in everything. There is Maple Bacon ice cream for dogs. There are bacon cream Oreos, bacon flavored gumballs, bacon mayonnaise, bacon toothpaste and Amazon sells Lester’s bacon soda. I love bacon, but ick!

In February, Business Insider explained the effect the demand for bacon has had on the industry.

The country’s supply of frozen pork belly — the meat used to make bacon — fell from 53.4 million pounds in December 2015 to 17.8 million pounds in December 2016. That’s the lowest level the nation’s pork reserve has been at since 1957, according to US Department of Agriculture data. “Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” Rich Deaton, the president of the Ohio Pork Council, said in a statement highlighting the data. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.”

What we’re witnessing are naturally occurring market forces at work – basic economics – supply and demand, and why the cost of bacon has increased so much. As demand outstrips supply, prices naturally increase. If it didn’t, soon there would be no supply left. The free market, left to its own devices, devoid of government meddling, will then re-balance itself, allowing supply to catch up with demand. Bacon will then return to more reasonable prices.

Put it this way. You go to store to purchase something. For this scenario, it doesn’t matter what it is. Luckily, you happen upon a store offering the product at 50% off. Why? read more