Time Warner and Comcast

The merger has gone bust, harassed into being discarded by the FCC and DoJ. The latter, for instance,

…said it had significant concerns that the merger would make Comcast “an unavoidable gatekeeper for Internet-based services that rely on a broadband connection to reach consumers.”

This is an…ironic…concern, given that DoJ’s partner in the merger’s destruction had only recently arrogated that gatekeeper role to itself with its Net “neutrality” rule recently announced.

Unfortunately, with this FCC and this DoJ, we can’t know whether the cancelation of the merger was a good idea or a bad one. And that’s bad for business and bad for American consumers.

Get Off My Lawn

The union looking to organize workers at Boeing’s South Carolina plant has put its plans in a holding pattern, claiming workers are so opposed to signing up that they chased labor leaders off their porches at gunpoint.

Poor babies. That’s private property you’re trespassing on. Get off. Stay off until you have the owner’s permission. How is that so hard to understand? Even by a union hack.

More importantly, though: how did those union hacks get these workers’ home addresses? Who gave up that private information without the workers’ permission?

Change We Can Hope For

A post-World War II-era program that forces raisin producers to give part of their annual crop to the government could soon be a relic of history.

Several Supreme Court justices expressed doubts Wednesday that federal officials can legally take raisins away from farmers without full payment even if the goal is to help boost overall market prices.

An immediately post-war New Deal law allows the Federal government to manipulate the market’s raisin supply by seizing a significant fraction of a raisin farmer’s crop and thereby prop up raisin prices—for the benefit of that farmer, you see.

Hillary Clinton’s “Reset”

From Thursday’s The New York Times comes this lurid tale of money and women.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale [to Rosatom of a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West] gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by…Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Wages

Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been making a big deal about what she claims is the outrageous pay of company CEOs compared to their employees. Here’s a graph, via AEIdeasCarpe Diem and Mark Perry that indicates how well she’s walking that talk.ClintonWage

Or is this fact just another of campaign season distraction and attack from the Hillary Truth?

Hmm….

Wrong Answer

Electricity producers in several states are asking for hundreds of millions of dollars in financial support to keep costly nuclear power plants in business[.]

For instance,

New York and federal regulators are weighing whether to make customers subsidize the Ginna nuclear station in Ontario, NY, 20 miles northeast of Rochester.

And

Illinois is considering financial assistance for three Exelon nuclear plants that the company says are suffering from low power prices. State officials are considering several forms of aid, including legislation that would require utilities to support carbon-free generators like nuclear and renewable energy.

And

More on the Minimum Wage

Ronald Bailey at Reason had this iteration of “more.” He brought this item up, even though it’s been described before:

In the absence of the higher minimum wage, employers would generally hire more workers to meet an increased demand for fast food. Boosting the minimum wage means that the revenues that would have otherwise been used to hire new workers is not available. The end result: fewer jobs created and more folks unemployed.

But then he cited some actual research:

Iran Inspections

President Barack Obama insists that the inspection régime agreed by Iran is

the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history.

No.

After the 1991 invasion of Iraq to liberate occupied Kuwait, an inspection régime was set up. The inspectors entering and operating in Iraq could

go anywhere, anytime, with any equipment. They could seize documents, interview people, operate aircraft for transportation (and with sensors), and, basically anything else the Chairman of UNSCOM (the special Iraq WMD inspection team) and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency decided was necessary.

The Modern Liberal Limited Government

The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2015 was 0.1% on April 2, up from 0.0% on April 1. Following this morning’s international trade release from the US Census Bureau, the nowcast for the change in real net exports in 2009 dollars increased from -40 billion to -33 billion. The nowcast for real equipment investment growth declined from 7.5% to 6.1% following the international trade report and the Census Bureau’s M3 manufacturing report.

Bailouts

The Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might need more government bailouts if housing markets decline. The problem: lack of capital reserves to serve as a buffer against future losses.

That lack of capital, says Fannie Mae boss, Tim Mayopoulos,

increases the likelihood that Fannie Mae will need additional capital from Treasury at some point.

William Isaac, FTI Consulting Senior Managing Director (and former FDIC Chairman), and author of the piece at the link, has a solution: Treasury should stop sweeping Fannie’s and Freddie’s profits into the Federal government’s piggy bank. He’s right that this is illegal, but it’s the wrong solution.