Monday, December 29, 2014

Obama Never Ceases to Amaze

It is no secret that President Barack Obama suffers no insecurity issues.  To the contrary, his sense of self-worth is wide and paved with self love.

So this story should come as no surprise, and yet it shocks me:  Obama booted off of a Hawaiian golf course two Army Captains who had planned to marry there.  They were forced to relocate their wedding to suit the president's tee time.

To be sure, Obama gave them 24 hours.  Anyone who has ever planned a wedding can imagine the inconvenience, outrage and panic the poor bride must have felt.  Well, maybe not panic.  She is, after all, an Army Captain and presumably resilient, courageous and used to overcoming adversity.  This was not, however, a foray by an enemy or a terrorist attack:  it was Obama, playing golf.  Something he gets to do - a lot.

Obama is the Commander-in-Chief to both this bride and groom. His rudeness in displacing any couple in these circumstances is hard to comprehend; to do so to his soldiers is disgraceful.

Obama called the couple and apologized.  Maybe he didn't know that his underlings had told the bride and groom to go elsewhere.  However, that doesn't give a lot of comfort because it simply reconfirms the perception that Obama's staff is arrogant and unchecked.  The tone is set from the top.

The fish rots from the head.  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Grimes Gives Rand a Gift

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes might have thought she was sounding tough recently when she told Sen. Rand Paul that she will go to court, if necessary, from keeping Paul from appearing on the ballot twice.

Grimes told WHAS 11's Joe Arnold:

The law is clear,” Grimes told WHAS-TV in Louisville. “You can’t be on the ballot twice for two offices.”
“We’ll look to the court for any guidance that is needed,” she added. “And at the end of the day, we’re not going to be bullied.”
That removes a legal hurdle for Paul, a doctrine called standing, that might have been problematic for him but for Grimes's statement.  Standing is a doctrine that court's use to avoid ruling on a case.  It requires that the plaintiff have a particularized injury that could be redressed by the relief sought in the case. That allows courts to dismiss cases where the connection between the relief sought and the injury alleged is speculative.  
For Paul, standing might have been an issue if he challenged Kentucky's statute prohibiting one's name from appearing on a ballot twice.  If Paul brought suit before he had actually filed to run for both the U.S. Senate and the presidency, there is a very real possibility that the court would dismiss on either standing or ripeness.
Grimes's comments, however, make clear that Paul's injury is neither speculative nor premature.  She has, in effect, teed up his legal challenge for him by removing several possible procedural hurdles.

My C-J Column On Free Trade

In case you missed my Courier-Journal column on free trade this week, here's the link.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jeb is Running

Jeb Bush has just announced on FaceBook that he has" decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States."  This is no surprise; one of his good friends told me last March that Jeb would run. 

I wish him well.  I really do.  

But I do not want to see him become the nominee.  It is not his last name.  I think the Bush fatigue that the country experienced at the end of W's term has largely dissipated due the incompetence and mendacity of Obama.  Every day that Obama remains in office makes W look better by comparison.  (Hell, Jimmy Carter looks better by comparison).

 Jeb is by all accounts a smart and decent man.  However, he is not conservative enough on immigration or on Common Core.  

I am sick and tired of the Republican party nominating moderates.  When we nominate moderates we lose.  We saw this with Ford, Dole, Bush 41's bid for reelection, McCain and Romney.  All moderates.

When we nominate bold and unapologetic conservatives -- Reagan and W -- we win.  To my mind, Jeb would govern more like his father than his brother.

To be sure, he'd be a better president than Hillary or Fauxaontas.  If he is the nominee I will therefore support him.  I just hope that isn't the case. 

Mayor Fisher to Veto Minimum Wage Hike

Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher announced last night that he will veto the Metro Council ordinance that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10.

Fisher said that he supports a minimum wage hike on a state-wide and national basis.  The problem with just raising the minimum wage in Jefferson County, he explained, is that it would drive jobs to nearby counties.

That's the same point I made in my Courier-Journal column a few months ago. I have to commend Fisher for his courage in taking this position, for which he took tremendous heat on Twitter immediately upon announcing it.  For a Democrat, Fisher has been relatively pro-business.

Where Fisher gets it wrong is that a state-wide minimum wage hike takes the same problem and just magnifies it; jobs would flow to states surrounding Kentucky that have not raised their minimum wage. A national minimum wage increase, according to the CBO could cost America between 600,000 to one million jobs.

My youngest son, reading the rants against Fisher on Twitter, observed to me that the market is already pricing labor above the current minimum wage.  That's why he earned $9 and hour for flipping burgers.

The minimum wage is a terrible policy that hurts those it is designed to help:  the poor and unskilled, particularly young minorities.  Instead of increasing the minimum wage, it would be better to repeal it altogether.