EPA’s Orwellian Transparency

Congressman Lamar Smith (R, TX), Chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, is unhappy with the EPA’s decision to be unresponsive to Committee requests for information regarding the EPA-caused disaster in and downriver from a Colorado mine.

It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the EPA failed to meet the House Science Committee’s reasonable deadline in turning over documents pertaining to the Gold King Mine spill. These documents are essential to the Committee’s ongoing investigation and our upcoming hearing on Sept 9. But more importantly, this information matters to the many Americans directly affected in western states, who are still waiting for answers from the EPA.

Border Walls

There are lots of reasons for objecting to a wall running the length of our southern border (and I’ll elide the reasons for supporting one for the purposes of this post), but the reasons posited by the National Journal aren’t on that list.

[T]he more difficult it becomes to cross the border, the more likely undocumented migrants are to turn to smugglers for help getting across….

It’s not a perfect solution so we shouldn’t bother trying it at all? Aside from that bit of foolishness, the question of coyotes is a wholly unrelated question that needs to be addressed regardless of the measures we take to tighten security at our borders.

Panicky Central Planners

…and maybe pundits, too.

For the Federal Reserve, the aftershocks threaten to set back its path to interest-rate normality yet again….

That’s how Alex Frangos and Justin Lahart opened their Wall Street Journal piece Monday, writing of the People’s Republic of China’s (second in a month) “market” meltdown last week and with it the demonstration by the PRC’s economic central planners and their panicky twitchings with interest rates, bank reserve requirements, market interventions, and the like that, once again, central planning cannot seriously impact economies for longer than the moment.

Market Timing

Gerald Driscoll, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and former vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, thinks the Fed should engage in market timing regarding its planned short-term interest rate hike in September—a planned move that he actually calls a course change.

The world markets are in turmoil, he worries, and the Fed should delay its planned hike. Why raise rates now, he asks.

Why not now? Well, the inflation rate doesn’t justify a monetary tightening, he says.

There’s a Hint Here

Boeing Co is scrambling to renegotiate an about $85 million satellite contract that became the first big casualty of the US Export-Import Bank’s loss of its operating charter due to congressional opposition.

Asia Broadcast Satellite last month terminated its order for a Boeing 702SP satellite, although the two say they are continuing to discuss the deal.

On the other hand,

SpaceX played down the threat, and said only two of the 50 launches in its current manifest were due to be backed by the bank.


PC Foolishnesses

The Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA has proposed removing the term “midget” from its raisin standards in response to a petition from the Little People of America.

The AMS wants to eliminate five references to the term “midget” in the United States Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins, opting to replace the term with the word “small” instead.

Because some folks might get their precious feeling hurted. Never mind that the LPA admits

[T]he use of the word midget by the USDA when classifying certain food products is benign…

What Really Happened?

Regarding the cell phones used by Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, both aides to Hillary Clinton during the latter’s stint as Secretary of State, and other devices,

[T]he State Department said in a court filing that BlackBerry devices used by two former Clinton aides during her time as secretary of state have most likely been destroyed or sold off by the agency.

The devices, used by Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, have not been located by the agency, State Department Executive Secretary Joseph Macmanus wrote in a filing submitted in DC Federal Court, adding that the agency’s “standard procedure upon return of such devices is to perform a factory reset (which removes any user settings or configurations) and then to re-issue the device to another employee, to destroy it, or to excess it.”

Some Black Lives Matter More than Others

Particularly when there’s no political point to be made from the others.

A crowd gathered Wednesday evening to protest the shooting of an armed suspect by Missouri cops, but no mention was made of the 9-year-old girl who had been shot dead by an unknown assailant just seven miles away the night before.

Racist identity politics matter more than actual lives to protest “movements.”

Another Clinton Lie

Hillary Clinton’s campaign said Wednesday that emails on the private server she used when she was secretary of state contained material that is now classified, the clearest explanation thus far of an issue that has roiled her bid for the presidency.

At the same time, the campaign sought to play down the disclosure by saying the material had been retroactively classified out of an abundance of caution by US intelligence agencies.

“She was at worst a passive recipient of unwitting information that subsequently became deemed as classified,” said Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs Clinton’s campaign.

Another Example of Central Government Intrusion

…into the States’ internal affairs. This one is via The New York Times and a piece Matt Apuzzo has there [emphasis added].

Burlington, WA, was a small city fighting what seemed like a local lawsuit. Three poor people said that their public lawyers were too overworked to adequately represent them in municipal court cases. The dispute went mostly unnoticed for two years, until the Obama administration became involved.

Unannounced, the Justice Department filed documents in the case and told the [Federal] judge that he had broad authority to demand changes in Burlington and nearby Mount Vernon. The judge quickly agreed and ordered the cities to hire a new public defense supervisor. He also said he would monitor their legal aid program for three years.