Would you like to receive The Final Five in your inbox each night? Click here to sign up for our e-mail list.
Starting tonight, I am going to begin writing a brief comment to kick off each night's final five. Sometimes it may be a humorous or interesting thought, and sometimes it may be a paragraph or more explaining my thoughts on a particular issue.
As you look through tonight's Final Five, you will find no mention of ObamaCare or John Roberts, despite the fact that the media has fixated on the Supreme Court's decision since it was announced last Thursday. Given the number of stories I read about the decision over the weekend, I could probably have produced a list of links to stories that would be longer than a typical edition of the Final Five. However, it is pointless to focus on analysis of the decision at this point. What happened last Thursday is over, and now we must turn our focus to repeal.
Overturning the mandate at the Supreme Court was never the "slam dunk" most people thought it should have been. No one would have been surprised if Ginsburg had read the court's decision, backed by the four liberals plus Kennedy. Even after the arguments, some people thought Kennedy had sounded too opposed to the mandate to actually be in opposition to it, and they speculated that he may have been playing devil's advocate with the attorneys. In the end, the only big surprise was that it was Roberts, not Kennedy, joining the liberal side of the Court to uphold the mandate.
While I am disappointed with Thursday's decision, there is a much greater prize that we must now focus on winning. From the time the law passed, we knew that November would bring one final chance to put this legislation to rest, and the Court's decision only makes the stakes of that day even greater. Trying to figure out what was going on in the head of John Roberts is not going to help us win this election. It is time we stop looking back to what happened on June 28th and start looking forward to getting the job done on November 6th.
Tonight's Crazy Story:
Cop Called For Drugs by Mistake 4 Times
Four people were arrested after a mistaken number resulted in a drug call being placed to a police officer. Despite the fact that the officer identified himself as a police officer, a meeting was arranged.
Topic One: The Entitlement Society
The Largest Theft Racket In World History: "Many people are so submerged in the entitlement system that they cast aside their ethical judgment to defend what is obviously robbery. The entitlement programs are the forced redistribution of wealth from the working young to the non-working elderly. If you object that there is a moral difference between a criminal theft racket and the entitlement programs, you might fire off a number of superficial dissimilarities between them. However, your ultimate argument, the one that manufactures a fundamental distinction between the two and which is the most accepted line of defense of the entitlements in the United States today, will be a monstrous philosophical concept called the social contract."
The economics of the welfare state: "You can look at the whole welfare state as a permanent, standing "stimulus" program, since it borrows trillions of dollars that are continually pumped into the economy by increasing the consumption spending of those who otherwise could not afford it. The Supreme Court just removed a major obstacle to a new expansion of that permanent stimulus state-which makes the question of why stimulus fails all the more urgent. A big clue to the answer is that stimulus fails because it always becomes permanent. The original Keynesian theory of stimulus was that the government would borrow and spend during an economic downturn in order to stimulate economic growth, and then once that growth took off, government would stop stimulating, cut its expenses, and pay down its loans. At least, that is how the idea is generally sold. The stimulators tell us that a recession is the wrong time to cut back spending, as if they ever thought that there might be a good time. But they never do, and there is an inexorable logic to this."
Time for a Laugh:
"The Democratic Convention is $27 million in debt. They had to cancel the kick-off event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. A speedway is the perfect place for the Democratic Convention. You go around in circles, turn left every few seconds, and you end up right where you started."
Topic Two: Egypt Elects a President
What if the people elect a President, but the President has no power. That is the dilemma facing Egypt right now, as the military still holds the majority of the power. However, the newly-elected President is vowing to fight for power: "President-elect Mohammed Morsi roused the masses in Tahrir Square on Friday, vowing to fight on behalf of the people and defying the ruling generals by reading a symbolic oath of office a day early at the site where Egypt's revolution was born. The country's first Islamist president also made a pledge likely to complicate relations with the U.S., vowing to seek the release of blind sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, jailed in the U.S. for plotting to blow up New York City landmarks and assassinate then-President Hosni Mubarak."
The impact of Morsi's call for Rahman's freedom: "Morsi’s call for Rahman’s return to Egypt was a curveball for all those Western watchers who are looking to brand the new president a moderate. At times, including during his speech on Friday, Morsi does use language that sounds quite conciliatory. But peppered throughout his rhetoric are troubling red flags. Sheikh Rahman was a longtime ally of Osama bin Laden. The deceased al Qaeda master credited a fatwa authored by Rahman for providing the religious justifications for the September 11 attacks. Rahman has also served as the spiritual guide for Gamaa Islamiya and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, both of which are terrorist organizations that have been close allies of al Qaeda for decades. Morsi’s call for Rahman’s freedom is, therefore, the latest red flag."
( As of Friday, June 29, 2012 )
Your share as a citizen: $50,649.61
Share per household: $138,803.60
Debt since Obama inauguration: $5,229,490,165,411.36
Topic Three: Student Loans
Student Loans and the Law of Unintended Consequences: "If the Law of Unintended Consequences ever applied, it is in federal student financial assistance. Programs created with the noblest of intentions have failed to serve either their customers or the nation well. In the 1950s and 1960s, before these programs were large, American higher education enjoyed a Golden Age. Enrollments were rising, lower-income student access was growing, and American leadership in higher education was becoming well established. In other words, the system flourished without these programs. Subsequently, massive growth in federal spending and involvement in higher education has proved counterproductive. With the ratio of debt to GDP rising nationally, and the federal government continuing to spend more and more taxpayer money on higher education at an unsustainable long-term pace, a re-thinking of federal student financial aid policies is a good place to start in meeting America’s economic crisis."
The student loan suicide problem: "Suicide is the dark side of the student lending crisis and, despite all the media attention to the issue of student loans, it's been severely under-reported. I can't ignore it though, because I'm an advocate for people who are struggling to pay their student loans, and I've been receiving suicidal comments for over two years and occasionally hearing reports of actual suicides. More people are being forced into untenable financial circumstances as outstanding student loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion. And people simply aren't able to pay all the money they owe. In the past few years, the rate of defaults for federal loans has increased at an alarming rate. According to the Department of Education, those recent graduates who began repayments in 2009, 8.8 percent had already defaulted on their federal loans. That compares to 7 percent in 2008. Currently, 36 million Americans have outstanding federal loans. I can't help but wonder how many of those millions are feeling distressed or suicidal, or how many have attempted suicide because of all that debt hanging over their heads."
Tweet of the Day:
Ashley Sewell (@TXTrendyChick): I count 51 TSA agents at this one 4-lane security check point. 51 agents to screen babies, toddlers, grandmas and grandpas, and hipsters...
Topic Four: Wasting Green
What happened at Rio? "With “dangerous manmade climate change” essentially gone as a public concern, the United Nations and its environmentalist coterie hoped to use the Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference to restore momentum for their radical green agenda. However, sharp debate during the Rio de Janeiro confab suggested that divisions between rich and poor nations have grown, and common sense may yet rule. The fact is, UN-style “sustainability” has gone nowhere for 25 years – for good reasons – and the radical ideas being promoted in Brazil ranged from counterproductive to ruinous." The connection between energy policy and big government: "As the revised push poll statement the polling expert crafted for me says: “The time is now for the US to free itself from overdependence on foreign oil imports. Congress should take action to ensure that our taxpayer dollars do not support worthless investments in renewable energy companies which have wasted billions of taxpayer dollars under President Obama who has used many of these dollars as payoffs to campaign cronies.” End the mindless pursuit of unreliable, inefficient, and uneconomical renewable energy at any cost.
And yet another example of government green waste: "The Obamacare Survives headline shares the space above the fold with the announcement of the closure of Schott Solar PV Inc.'s solar photovoltaic panel production plant in south Albuquerque, New Mexico. The company will lay off 250 employees by the end of the summer. ... It's only just another $33,000,000.00 flushed down the federal rat hole as a consequence of the Obama administration's promotion of what is, to date, a losing proposition."
Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun."
Topic Five: Iran vs. Israel
David Harris responds to Kenneth Waltz's article in Foreign Affairs, explaining why Iran should not be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon: "For starters, Waltz declares that Iran's leaders are rational, hence no need for concern about a nuclear bomb in their hands. Really? Just because Waltz deems them to be dependable actors who, he asserts, will behave like others moderated by their possession of a nuclear bomb (does that include North Korea's strongmen?), are we all now to go home and get a good night's sleep? Is their Shiite eschatology, focused on hastening the coming of the Hidden Imam, not to be taken into account, as if there were no place for state ideology in the discussion? Apropos, is it just possible that their vision of the "end of days" could be accelerated by a world without Israel? After all, the former Iranian president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, famously declared "[T]he use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel would destroy everything." Could that kind of thinking not prompt Iranian leaders, living in a self-imposed cocoon, to conclude that the risk might be worth the reward?"
This makes Iran sound like the "rational actors" Waltz described: "An Iranian military official threatened to “wipe” Israel “off the face of the earth” if the Jewish state attacks, a stark new threat coinciding with the start of a European Union oil embargo to put pressure on Iran’s nuclear program, Reuters reported.Revolutionary Guards General Amir Ali Hajizadeh reportedly issued the warning as he announced new missile tests to take place in the coming week."
Tomorrow in History
July 3, 1819 - America's first savings bank, the Bank of Savings, opens in New York City
Grab Bag - Interesting and Important Stories to Conclude Your Evening:
Mississippi abortion law blocked by US judge
Rangel using election theft tactics...against another Democrat
Free dinner with Obama could cost you
'The most transparent administration' more than doubles FOIA denials
Quirky laws take effect July 1st
Postal closures to start next week
Obama campaign to celebrate Independence Day with fundraiser in Paris
The five most unlibertarian Supreme Court rulings
"Fundraiser-in-chief" asks donors for more money
Can you solve the world's hardest sudoku?
Would you like to receive The Final Five in your inbox each night? Click here to sign up for our e-mail list.