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PAUL: Retrieving California is the key to the future

June 7, 2013 in Politics & Elections

Last week, I spent some time traveling through a state that in recent years has become too much of a foreign territory for Republicans: California.
The last Republican presidential nominee to win California was George H.W. Bush in 1988, and statewide gubernatorial and Senate candidates haven’t done as well.
I think Republicans will not be a successful national party again until we can compete everywhere, every time, for every vote – coast to coast.
I began my trip to California by speaking to technology companies and executives in Silicon Valley. I met with Facebook, eBay, Google and smaller companies. What I heard was very encouraging. They are concerned with our fiscal mess and job-killing tax policies. They are worried their industry will soon be overregulated as most others are, and they think their customers’ right to privacy is in danger from an overreaching federal security state.
I was impressed to learn that both Facebook and Google are going a step above the letter of the law in protecting their customers. The trend in law enforcement in recent years has been to seek information from third parties and circumvent the Fourth Amendment rights of the consumers. I think that is wrong. I think your credit card bills, emails and other information that you share only with your provider should remain private and that your rights remain protected. I was pleased to learn that some of these tech companies quietly agree, and they now refuse to turn over email content without a warrant.
This is a big step by some of the tech industry’s biggest players, and I encourage others to follow suit in this important protection of constitutional rights.
Later in the week, I traveled down to Simi Valley to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, where I gave a speech on the future of our party and our country. Central themes of the speech included some of the lessons that I learned and shared in Silicon Valley about respecting privacy and the entire Constitution. In addition, I discussed my continued observation that we need to be a party of inclusion – a party that looks more like America.
Being inclusive and tolerant does not mean giving up conservative principles, particularly on the fiscal front. But it does mean sounding the right tone and …read more


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Global Warming and Energy Insanity

June 7, 2013 in Economics

By Patrick J. Michaels

Patrick J. Michaels

Rush Limbaugh hasn’t made a lot of green friends over the years with his “environmental wacko” tirades, but, given what’s going on these days, perhaps his rhetoric has been too mild.

Exhibit No. 1 is the sleek and sexy Tesla Model S. If you want the one with the lowest chance of stranding you on I-95, it will set you back over $100,000. You’ll be refunded $7,500 from the federal government, several thousand more (in most states) from state taxpayers, plus various other credits that governments bestow upon ostentatious and cheap virtue, like putting a special plug in your garage. Somehow, Tesla is still losing money.

The green world is stark, raving mad.”

You might have read otherwise. The company’s stock price doubled — to about $110 a share — after it reported a profit last month. Along the way, its genius founder, Elon Musk, hit upon the clever notion of paying off hundreds of million dollars in federal loans by issuing a jillion more shares of TSLA stock.

Supply and demand usually dictates that when the number of shares in a company is dramatically increased, the price goes down, but this is not the case with TSLA. By announcing a phony profit, TSLA made its stock kite to the point that issuing even more of it generated enough dough to retire its massive federal debt.

By “phony” I mean this: Conservatively speaking, Tesla lost about $11,000 for every car that rolled out the door last quarter. But they covered that by selling $68 million in “credits” to their competitors.

These competitors had chosen not to enter the obviously limited market for cars with an average real-world range of around 200 miles. We know the market is limited thanks to the paltry sales (averaging around 2,000 per year) of the Honda Civic GX, a natural-gas-powered version with about that range. But the State of California punishes car companies that won’t go along with this craziness, making them buy “credits” to not produce what no sane company would, from the only one that does: Tesla.

Honda (“The Power of Dreams”) thinks it’s a perilous business model to depend upon evanescent global-warming shakedowns and subsidies. They are reading the recent scientific literature in which climate scientists are clumsily trying to thread the needle between backing off their forecasts of the end of the world and maintaining a shred of credibility.

Exhibit No. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Why Obama Keeps Losing at the Supreme Court

June 7, 2013 in Economics

By Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

In cases before the Supreme Court last year, President Barack Obama’s Justice Department relied on outlandish legal theories that pushed a constitutional interpretation of extreme federal power. That posture led to unanimous losses in three very different areas of law: religious liberty (Hosanna-Tabor Church v. EEOC), criminal procedure (U.S. v. Jones) and property rights (Sackett v. EPA).

Obama’s Justice Department relies on outlandish legal theories that push a constitutional interpretation of extreme federal power.”

A year later, as the Court prepares to rule on affirmative action, the Voting Rights Act and gay marriage, the administration’s track record hasn’t improved. Notwithstanding the technical win on the health-care law, which was only achieved thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts’s controversial decision to rewrite it, the government has continued to suffer unanimous defeats. Not all its cases are losers, to be sure, but this administration’s pursuit of expansive authority tends to lose big.

Consider another major case from the 2011-12 term: Arizona v. U.S.

The conventional narrative is that the Supreme Court smacked down a perniciously anti-immigrant Arizona law that gave state police more power to enforce immigration laws. That interpretation simply isn’t correct. Only four sections of the law reached the Supreme Court — most of its provisions weren’t even challenged — and the U.S. won split decisions on three and unanimously lost the fourth.

Immigration Powers

The three splits involved complicated statutory interpretation regarding pre-emption of state law by federal law. In the ruling on the fourth, however,not a single justice accepted the government’s theory that mere federal enforcement priorities — as opposed to laws or regulations — trumped state law.

The government argued that discretionary decisions not to enforce certain federal laws overrode parallel state laws that enforced those same laws. The unanimous Supreme Court rejected that breathtaking claim of “pre-emption by executive whim.”

In the current term, another trio of cases highlighted the government’s overbroad assertions of power.

First, in Arkansas Fish & Game Commission v. U.S., the government tried to take property away from citizens without paying just compensation. It claimed that the Army Corps of Engineers’ periodic flooding of a wildlife preserve, causing severe damage, didn’t meet the criteria for compensation under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause. Even though the Supreme Court has required the government to compensate property owners for temporary physical invasions and permanent flooding, the government argued that it could freely engage in temporary flooding.

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled for the property owners in …read more

Source: OP-EDS