Tonight's Crazy Story:
Artist Plans to Bury Boeing 727 Jetliner in Calif. Desert
In a new twist on what qualifies as "art", a Swiss artist plans to bury a Boeing 727 jet in a desert and then build a tunnel so that others can see it. Exactly what he intends to accomplish with this project is beyond me.
Topic One: Unemployment
It's the first Friday of the month, so that means January's unemployment numbers were out today. Unemployment dropped again, and even better, the labor participation rate was up. White House economic adviser Alan Krueger called the gains encouraging and said, "Today's employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression." Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner stated, "There's welcome news in this latest jobs report as more Americans found work last month, but the fact is our unemployment rate is still far too high. Our economy still isn't creating jobs the way it should be and that's why we need a new approach."
While the numbers do offer some hope, they still paint a grim picture. The White House will certainly try to take credit for the improvement. However, it was not until a group of people went to Washington and stood their ground against increased spending and deficits that the economy began improving. Bailouts and stimulus did not improve the economy, but after some in Washington forced Congress into a small amount of fiscal restraint, the economy did begin to improve. There certainly were other reasons as well, and the President may even be responsible for some of them. However, I believe that one major reason for the improvement we are seeing now is that business owners now feel more confident that Washington will make decisions that have a positive effect on them.
There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"Donald Trump announced that he’s endorsing Mitt Romney for president. It was really nice. Trump was like, 'There’s only one man with the brains, the skills, and the charisma to be president — but since I’m not running, you might as well vote for Mitt Romney.'"
Topic Two: STOCK Act
The STOCK Act passed the Senate yesterday by a vote of 96-3. This bill would ban members of Congress from trading on information they received as a result of their position. It now moves to the House, and if approved, it will go to the President, who has promised to sign it "right away." However, FOX News has a list of other laws Congress from which Congress has exempted itself. Perhaps it is time for us to demand that members of Congress live under all of the laws that it passes for the rest of us, not just the ones they want to live under. If we implemented this one requirement, I think we would be living under much less restrictive laws and regulations.
Thursday, the government added $20,628,174,789.89 to the national debt, bringing the total debt to:
Topic Three: Unions and Right-to-Work
With the recent addition of Indiana, 23 states are now right-to-work states. Jeff Jacoby has a great piece on the benefits of right-to-work legislation. "To hear them tell it, they only object to "free riders." Labor leaders claim it would be unjust to allow employees to avoid paying for the unions that negotiate benefits on their behalf. "There's always going to be a certain amount of the population that will take something for free if they can get it for free," says Nancy Guyott, head of the Indiana AFL-CIO. That's not a principle, it's a shameless pretext. Unions demand monopoly bargaining power -- the right to exclusively represent everyone in a workplace -- and then insist that each of those workers must pay for the privilege. This is the "principle" of the squeegee-man who aggressively wipes your windshield when you stop at a red light, then demands that you pay for the service he has rendered you."
At RedState, a former union representative describes the benefits and downsides of right-to-work legislation. A measure to put right-to-work on the ballot in Indiana failed, but a petition to force a similar measure is being passed around Ohio. However, as the article mentions, "If successful in getting enough signatures to have the initiative placed on the ballot, Littleton and his compadres will likely do nothing more than ensure an Obama victory in Ohio. With unions collecting more than $8 billion per year in union dues, no amount of money Littleton can raise will be enough to outspend the unions on the issue Right-to-Work—as evidenced by the recent fight over SB5 (Issue 2) in November."
Tweets of the Day:
Larry O'Connor (@LarryOConnor): Ironic that the left pretends to be against bullying and then treats Komen the way they did. #tcot
Topic Four: The Buffett Rule
Michael Kinsley has a piece describing the the problem that the Buffett Rule will not fix. "The Buffett Rule would just paper over mistakes in our tax system that ought to be fixed. Let’s be clear: The reason that many millionaires pay so little income tax is that Republicans in the White House and the Congress wanted it that way." Although I disagree with his views on many of the peripheral issues he raises, I agree with his principal point that the Buffett Rule will delay a true reform of the tax code. We do not need a new rule that does nothing more than institute a second Alternative Minimum Tax while still allowing a myriad of deductions; we need to have a "fundamental transformation" of the American tax code.
Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"How could a readiness for war in time of peace be safely prohibited, unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the preparations and establishments of every hostile nation?"
Topic Five: Regulations
Henry Miller writes about the failure of Obama's regulatory reforms. "Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote recently that America's obvious decline is due in part to our having elevated and elected salesmen — "people good on the hustings and good in the room, facile creatures with good people skills" — above people who really care about and understand the product, which is competent and coherent government. To make that product, she said, "you need a certain depth of experience. You need to know the facts, the history, how the system works, what the people want, what the moment demands." We don't have that, and the posturing and fakery by the president and his minions will become increasingly evident as their "regulatory reforms" fail to stimulate investment, grow the economy and create jobs. In the meantime, their cant and falsity will exact a huge price."
Tomorrow in History
February 4, 1789 - George Washington was unanimously elected by the electoral college to serve as the the first President of the United States.
Grab Bag - Interesting and Important Stories to Conclude Your Evening
How Israel keeps us safe
Lawmaker wants to ban government-funded anti-junk food legislation
GOP states balloon and approach Democrat number
ACLU fights release of Wisconsin petition signers
The Greek bailout cycle
Quoting Jesus, Obama demands more tax revenue
Payroll tax conference committee avoids discussing payroll tax cuts
Supreme Court justice says US Constitution is not that great
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