“We Don’t Have a Strategy Yet”

President Barack Obama reiterated, in his speech Thursday, his reluctance to strike Syria, whether to support good-guy rebels or to attack ISIS forces there.

He also reiterated his reluctance to go beyond “humanitarian” air strike potshots in northern Iraq, whether to support the Kurds or to attack ISIS forces there.

He also ruled out any sort of military help for Ukraine by the US in the face of the now open Russian invasion of that country.

He also reiterated his reluctance to provide arms and ammunition to the Ukrainian forces so they could defend themselves, even if by themselves.

More Federal Arrogance

…EPA style.

Congressman Lamar Smith (R, TX) is highlighting [follow the links there for his letter to EPA Director Gina “Joe” McCarthy and for the EPA’s maps) a new example of this: EPA rule-making regarding waterways, particularly those on private land and how those private property owners must handle water on their property. In support of this new rule-making effort (although the EPA denies it’s in support), the EPA has generated highly detailed maps of every waterway in the US—down to what it classifies as “ephemeral streams,” or streams that only have water in them as a result of rain falling. Such “streams” include ditches on private property, runoff through a depression in someone’s yard, and so on.

Civics in Education

A great part of what ails our country is ignorance of our history and so of who we are—how the US came to be, how we got where we are today, the nature of our culture and ethnicity. This hasn’t been taught with any seriousness since the middle of the last century, beyond a couple of semesters of civics-like courses in high school and a once-over lightly few units of American and European history in grade school and junior high. Throughout the current century, civics, American history, the form and style of American governance, and the like almost are not taught at all. Symptomatic of this is the growing emphasis on identity politics and the differences among those who live in the US, rather than our share culture. Too often, we African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Chinese- or Japanese-Americans, etc. There’s too little thought given to the concept that we’re all Americans, full stop. American, albeit some of us might have African heritage, some of us might have Hispanic heritage, some of us might have Chinese or Japanese heritage, etc.

More Regulatory…Foolishness

Gordon Crovitz identified some.

The Obama administration’s standard reaction to technological innovation has been to block change via regulation….

Federal regulators are also putting the brakes on self-driving cars, which are closely related to the Uber innovation—enabling riders to order a car service using their smartphone app. If fast-moving technology hadn’t collided with slow-moving regulators, this might have been the last summer you’d have to drive your own car.

And

US regulators won’t let car manufacturers go much beyond what Mercedes now offers [active cruise control, automatic braking and lane-keeping technologies]. That means car makers can’t roll out technologies they already have, and auto makers in Europe, which has fewer regulations limiting technology, have surpassed their US competitors.

Federal Strings

…and Federal arrogance.

No police department should get federal funds unless they put cameras on officers, Senator Claire McCaskill (D, MO) said today.

“It seems to me that before we give federal funds to police departments, we ought to mandate that they have body cams,” McCaskill said.

Body cameras on cops may, in fact, be a good idea. However, that’s a thing to be determined by the locals for themselves. This is another example of how the Federal government seeks to control State and local governments in the place of the State’s citizens and the local community members.

Another Look at Tax Inversion Mergers

Burger King Worldwide Inc is in talks to buy Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons Inc, a deal that would be structured as a so-called tax inversion and move the hamburger seller’s base to Canada.

After all, Canada’s corporate tax rate is competitive even with Ireland’s 12.5% rate, at least from the lofty perspective of our own 35% top corporate rate: Canada’s rate is 15%. This inversion isn’t just the fiscally sound thing to do, it satisfies the company management’s fiduciary duty to control costs and maximize profits for the company’s owners.

BK isn’t alone in moving to Canada:

YGTBSM

This is what happens when you have a motor boat skipper for a Secretary of State. John Kerry, speaking through his spokeswoman, Marie Harf, had this to say about whether ISIS is at war with the United States:

(Unnamed) Reporter: I mean, even they are announcing, ISIL people in their message, whatever, the recorded message, other messages, that now we are in a war with America.
Kerry/Harf: This is not about ISIL versus the United States. They are killing anyone who gets in their way….
(Unnamed) Reporter: But they are announcing that it’s a war against America. Right or wrong, that’s what they are saying.
Kerry/Harf: Well, they can say whatever they’d like, but what I am making clear is that’s not what ISIL represents. And they don’t represent any religion. They are at war with everybody they come into contact with.

The Administration’s Considerations Regarding Resurgent Terrorism

Here we are, with the terrorist gang, ISIS, butchering American journalists, doing their best to exterminate Yezidis, Christians, fellow Muslims who don’t think like these thugs do, et al. Here we are with ISIS continuing to make significant military gains after their blitz through Iraq to the outskirts of Baghdad. Here we are with ISIS having successfully seized a military airfield in Syria.

Obamacare and Jobs

The results are starting to come in, via three independently done polls by three separate Federal Reserve Banks.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia:

  • 78.8% of businesses in the district have made no change to the number of workers they employ as the specific result of ObamaCare
  • 3% are hiring more
  • 18.2% are cutting jobs and employees
  • 18% shifted the composition of their workforce to a higher proportion of part-time labor
  • 88.2% of the roughly half of businesses that modified their health plans as a result of ObamaCare passed along the costs through increasing the employee contribution to premiums, an effective cut in wages

In Which Governor Jindal Has the Right of It

Governor Bobby Jindal (R, LA) has some thoughts on the proper way to deal with ISIS and its ilk in a recent op-ed for Fox News.

I listened to the president last week as he appropriately conveyed Americans’ revulsion at this savage act and our grief at the Foley family’s loss. As usual, the president’s words were very eloquent. To his credit, the president was unequivocal regarding the evil of this terrorist group, and he took the time to list some of their crimes against humanity.

But.