EU Trade Protectionism

Now the EU is looking to claim that cheeses originally made in Europe cannot be made anywhere else and marketed under those European generic names: feta and parmesan cannot be made in the US, but only in Greece and Italy, for instance.  Never mind that it’s the same cheese made here, the manufacturers have to use different terminology to market their cheeses, the EU is demanding.  The EU even is (mendaciously, say I) claiming that feta, for instance,

is so closely connected to Greece as to be identified as an inherently Greek product.

No War is Painless for Either Side

But the war Russia is waging against Ukraine, and against Western values generally (against little things like the right of the citizens of a sovereign nation to govern themselves, the right of the people of a sovereign nation to run their economy their own way, the right of the citizens of a sovereign nation to hold their own, fair votes) can only hurt Russia in any serious way, if only Western leaders can find the courage to stand with Ukraine in a more meaningful and direct fashion than merely sitting courtside cheering the Ukrainians and clucking their tongues at the Russians.

More Governance by Diktat

Rule by law, not rule of law.  Here‘s the latest Obama installment.

The president plans to make the announcement [ordering Labor to expand overtime pay requirements to include millions more workers] on Thursday at the White House, a senior administration official confirmed to Fox News. Though the administration has claimed previous executive actions had bipartisan support, officials are acknowledging that this particular move [does not.]

These aren’t blue-collar jobs covered by “collective bargaining” agreements—union contracts—either.  Now, managers and executive officers of companies will be…covered: fast-food restaurant managers, loan officers, computer technicians, and more.

Jobs

Here’s where we are, five years into the Obama “recovery” from the Panic of 2008:

  • 4.1 million fewer full-time workers today than in November 2007
  • 81% of workers are full-time now vs. 83% prerecession—and that per centage is of a smaller labor force than extant in 2007
  • per CBO, employment at the end of 2013 was about 6 million jobs short of where it would be if the unemployment rate had returned to its prerecession level…”if the participation rate had risen to the level it would have attained without the current cyclical weakness”

Federal Transfer Payments to States

Federal transfer payments to state and local governments totaled some $444 billion in 2013; these included payments of $282 billion for Medicaid, $3.4 billion for LIHEAP, $80 billion for SNAP, and some $78 billion for other transfers to the states.

The payments often are synergistic, not at all fixed, too.  For instance, LIHEAP payments are used by the states to magnify SNAP payments, since SNAP contains an energy allowance, a “standard utility allowance.”

Sanctions and Competition

Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Czech Republic have directly appealed to our Congressional leadership to expedite turning on the export spigot for our natural gas.  These four nations see the directness and immediacy of the advantage of buying natural gas from us rather than from the Russians.

Crimea and Sanctions on Russia

Promptly opening the export spigot on our own oil and gas production and accelerating our development of those fields, including on Federal land (which will have minimal production effect today; although it’ll have significant effect in the near- to mid-term by significantly expanding the supply of oil and gas on the global market) will produce an immediate spike down in the global price of oil and gas, which will have an associated immediate negative impact on the value of Russian oil and gas exports.

Blocking Russian access to credit on the global banking system—even just on the American banking system—and requiring cash-only transactions will have a negative impact on Russia’s cash reserves.

Budget Lies

President Barack Obama, aided and abetted by the mendacious NLMSM, is touting his latest “budget” proposal as cutting spending by $600 billion over the next 10 years.  But Scott Rasmussen, cited in The Wall Street Journal, has noted,

in the current year, the federal government is expected to spend $3,651 billion.  …the president’s budget calls for spending $3,901 billion in 2015.  That’s $250 billion more than this year.  It’s not a one-year aberration either.  Spending increases are projected every single year for the next decade and beyond.

Obamacare Dissembling

The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will let people keep health insurance plans that would otherwise be out of compliance with ObamaCare for another two years….

Yet, just a bit over a year ago, when President Barack Obama first “waived” the Business Mandate, he threatened to veto a House bill that would have codified that delay and that added a comparable delay of the Individual Mandate—what he’s now “waiving” for those two years.

Obama vastly prefers diktat to legitimacy.

Speaking of Out of Touch

Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT) demonstrated the depth of his condition of out of touchness in a Tuesday op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.  Although Sanders’ out of touchness is amply demonstrated by his full-throated defense of the dinosaur that is the United States Postal Service, I want to look at a couple of other things he said in his piece.

First, there’s this:

There are very powerful and wealthy special interests who want to privatize or dismember virtually every function that government now performs, whether it is Social Security, Medicare, public education or the Postal Service.  They see an opportunity for Wall Street and corporate America to make billions in profits out of these services….