White House Timidity

President Barack Obama says he’ll veto a bill making its way through the House of Representatives that would repeal the oil export ban in place since Gerald Ford’s administration. Obama thinks he’s acting from a position of strength in saying “No” to anything Republican.

He’s actually acting from weakness and timidity. Leaving aside the destruction of potential American jobs such a veto, if carried through, would represent, there are a couple of foreign policy/national security aspects to lifting the oil.

Obamacare Strikes Again

The Obamacare law set up “risk corridors” for insurers in an effort to smooth the transition from quasi- (albeit very quasi) free markets for health insurance coverage to Obamacare’s government mandated health welfare coverage. Health plan providers that did relatively well in the transition were supposed to pay a taste of their profits into a pool—the risk corridor—from which health plan providers struggling with the transition were supposed to be able to draw to ease their losses.

There’s this snippet in Anna Wilde Mathews’ and Stephanie Armour’s piece in The Wall Street Journal on these risk corridors [emphasis added].

Hypocrisy of the Left

Sanctuary City San Francisco has

proposed new city regulations, which could only be aimed at High Bridge Arms, would have required the shop to take and preserve video of all transactions and turn customers’ personal data over to police on a weekly basis.

There was only one gun shop left in San Fran at the time these new rules were proposed. That shop already had 17 cameras installed and turned video over to the police on their request. However, as the shop’s General Manager said,

it’s the idea of filming our customers taking delivery of items after they already completed waiting periods[.]


Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has turned to bashing drug companies, and in doing so, she’s exposing her ignorance of economics. Last Tuesday, she proposed in all seriousness

a $250 monthly cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs and other measures to stop what she called “price gouging” by pharmaceutical companies.

Under Clinton’s plan, the monthly cap would limit what insurance companies could ask patients to pay for drugs that treat patients with chronic or serious medical conditions.

Then she added this gem:

Democratic Party Policy Regarding New-borns

The House recently passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act which requires that babies who survive an abortion attempt are to be cared for as though they’d been born more normally. The Act opens with these two paragraphs:

Sec. 2. Findings

Congress finds as follows:

(1) If an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws.

Let’s Increase Taxes

…and the costs all of us must bear from that. But the real story is this…proposal…Hillary Clinton has dreamed up for her Presidential campaign.

The centerpiece idea would require drug makers to devote a sufficient portion of revenue to research and development. Those that don’t would risk losing federal support, such as research grants or an R&D tax credit.

Never mind that drug companies already spend 15%-20% on R&D. This fine businesswoman, who’s never run a company in her life and who was dead broke when she left the White House, says that’s not enough. Never mind, too, that she has studiously avoided saying how much is enough.

The Obama Recovery

From ZeroHedge, this summary, in nine charts.ObamaRecoveryRight click on the image to enlarge it.


The EU Wants a New International Trade Court

The proposal is described in Tom Fairless’ piece in The Wall Street Journal. I want to focus on a couple of comments in that article, though.

Campaigners [for the proposed new trade settlement court] claim that the current system constrains governments and leaves policy makers vulnerable to legal proceedings from overseas investors.

Kind of like those impertinent American companies do with the US government.


[O]pponents [of the existing trade settlement system] warn that large US companies could use the dispute-resolution mechanism to challenge European laws and regulations on labor, food and the environment.

Price Supports

It seems there’s a glut of milk (among other farm produce) in the European markets, and milk prices are falling.

Milk producers want EU governments to prop up prices by giving more money to farmers who voluntarily cut production.

Social Democrat countries like France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy actually think this is a good idea.

What those good folks carefully decline to discuss, though, is their rationale for requiring consumers to pay artificially higher prices, instead of letting market forces take those prices to an equilibrium empirically agreed between the farmers and the consumers—without government as intervening middleman.

Whose Phones Are They?

Apple Inc’s move to make it easier to block ads on iPhones and iPads is troubling publishers and heightening tensions with its Silicon Valley neighbors.

Putting such “ad blockers” within reach of hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users threatens to disrupt the $70 billion annual mobile-marketing business, where many publishers and tech firms hope to generate far more revenue from a growing mobile audience. If fewer users see ads, publishers—and other players such as ad networks—will reap less revenue.