Zero-Cost Stimulus

…and a good moratorium:

The fact is that regulation now costs the US economy over $1 trillion a year, according to my colleague Wayne Crews. Every year, Wayne puts together a snapshot of the regulatory state called Ten Thousand Commandments. This year he found that regulation eats up 8.3 percent of the US economy and its cost is equal to 63 percent of corporate pretax profits. The burden of regulation on business dwarfs the burden of the corporate income tax.

So the one year moratorium is probably a good idea, slowing if not halting the regulatory juggernaut. However, we can go further and provide the stimulus the economy provides at zero cost by getting rid of some of this burden. We call this program “Liberate to Stimulate” and some of the measures we suggest are:

• Rather than trying to improve speeds by picking the particular R&D horses to run on the racetrack, improve the business and regulatory track so everyone can go faster, and let jockeys keep more of their earnings.

• Allow freer trade in skilled labor: Bright foreign workers want to stay and create U.S. jobs after graduating here. That’s a better way to address global competition.

• Avoid safety regulation that makes us less safe: Many frontier technologies like nanotech can make our environment cleaner. Exaggerating risks overlooks the hazards of stagnation.

• Liberalize capital markets: Capitalism ranks among the world’s great democratizing forces, but post-Enron Sarbanes-Oxley regulation has severely distressed smaller companies. Exempting firms with small market capitalizations is just for starters.

There’s more.

It will never fly, though. It doesn’t give the fascists on either side of the aisle enough power over our lives.

Lessons

from bureaucratic blunders:

Playing the role of Inspector Clouseau was Tom Vilsack, a former two-term governor of Iowa, who briefly was an active 2008 presidential candidate. For all of his executive experience and soaring ambition, Vilsack and his henchwoman, deputy undersecretary Cheryl Cook, made every wrong decision in a reign of error that produced Sherrod’s forced resignation. In fact, Cabinet secretaries should be given a wrist bracelet with the initials WWTVD (“What Would Tom Vilsack Do”) – so they can be certain to do the exact opposite during a future personnel crisis.

Heckuva job, Tommy.

The country’s in the very best of hands.

And as Ann Althouse notes, just how weak is Obama? So weak that the mere fear that someone might be discussed on Glenn Beck is enough to get them fired.

Sadly, of course, Vilsack isn’t an outlier.

Meanwhile, this gang is making the American people miss Bill Clinton and George Bush. Hell, he makes me miss Jimmy Carter.

Don’t Hold Your Breath

Professor Jacobson is waiting for apologies:

And while we’re at it, how about Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer apologizing for calling health care protesters “un-American”; and Harry Reid for comparing opposition to Obamacare to opposition to ending slavery; and Sheldon Whitehouse for invoking Kristallnacht and comparing health care opponents to white supremacists; and Alan Grayson and his groupies for saying Republicans wanted patients to die; and the Southern Poverty Law Center for serving as a tool of the Democratic Party by branding legitimate political opposition as racist.

And while we’re at it, how about all those who have elevated the use of the race card to the central tool in the Democratic Party arsenal, thereby tearing at the fabric of this country…?

If I were Breitbart, my response to demands for an apology would be, “After you.”

Sigh…

I just got this email in response to my AOL News piece:

Dear Rand:

My name is Chris Berman, author of RED MOON. (about Chinese domination of trans-lunar space) I read your article, and I have to say I disagree. In my opinion, the Obama plan was designed to basically kill NASA’s manned space program. In fact, once shuttle launches were to be ended in 2010, we would have had nothing to fly into space with period. You talk about handing space over to Russia but the Obama plan gives the keys to the Moon to China. In case you haven’t noticed, the Chinese are developing a formidable military derived space presence that will include orbital refueling stations and manned military space stations, similar to the old Soviet Almaz stations. The Ares I and V are excellent space vehicles and the Constellation program should be considered a priority in light of abundant water ice on the Moon. Yes, we need commercial space flight but these ventures are for small payloads and so far, for making sub-orbital passenger flights for well heeled tourists at $200,000 a pop. You don’t go to your local boat building company with a contract to build an aircraft carrier. I’m hoping that the Senate and the Congress get more aggressive and restore the funds for Constellation. This is a far better investment than the billions of failed stimulus dollars that have accomplished little if anything for our country. I do know at least one former NASA astronaut, Norm Thagard, and he agrees that the Obama plan was very lacking in vision.

I don’t even know where to start. Have at it in comments.

Any Sympathy I Had For Shirley Sharrod

… is dissipating pretty quickly:

But when asked by CNN Chief National Correspondent John King what she would say to Breitbart, Sherrod did not dance around the question.

“I’d tell him he’s a liar. He knew exactly what effect that would have on not only – he knew what effect that would have on the conservative, racist people he’s dealing with. That’s why I started getting the hate mail. And that’s why I started getting the hate calls. He got the effect he was looking for,” Sherrod said on John King, USA.

And is Sherrod willing to forgive Breitbart?

“[H]e would really need to come and sit down with me and look me in the eye so that we could see if we can find a place,” Sherrod said. “I’m not saying I won’t forgive him, but we would need to see if we can find a place where that can happen.”

Emphasis mine.

If I were Breitbart, I’d tell her to go pound sand.

The Elena Kagan Myth

…versus the reality:

Kagan, according to these critics, engaged in regular “verbal abuse” of staff people, including the liberal use of profanity. On one occasion, I was told, she kicked a door while berating a staff member. “She has a terrible attitude toward what she considers underlings,” one faculty member told me. Apparently Kagan fired at least five members of the school’s administrative staff (none were willing to comment on the matter). Kagan’s alleged poor treatment of subordinates was apparently extended to some faculty members. “A lot of the faculty have been yelled at,” I was told. Another professor told me that “a cloud of fear” descended on the faculty during Kagan’s tenure, and that she was “at heart a mean person.” According to her critics Kagan was markedly hostile to disagreement and robust debate — a trait which was most evident in her management style, which was described to me as “authoritarian.” One dissident claimed Kagan had bulldozed appointment offers through hiring committees hand-picked by her to be reliably pliant, then made extravagant financial deals with many of the prospective hires — deals which had left the school in “disastrous financial shape.” Specifically, according to this person, the school’s new building project is badly undercapitalized, to the point where the interim dean looked into the possibility of suspending it, and major cutbacks have been made in areas such as hiring visiting professors, in order to deal with the consequences of Kagan’s alleged impecunious management of the school’s finances.

“She’s very much like her mentor Larry Summers,” I was told. “She buys people, in every sense of the word.”

A common complaint about Kagan among the faculty members I spoke with was that she had been credited with ending the high level of faculty conflict at the school. “That is simply nonsense,” one senior professor told me. “The real story is the precise opposite of what is being portrayed in the media. Bob Clark (the previous dean) should have gotten all the praise now going to Kagan. The dysfunctional faculty that Kagan is supposed to have fixed is the one he actually inherited. He ended the faculty wars. In fact Kagan changed the faculty atmosphere for the worse, with her authoritarian style and failure to involve the faculty in decision making.”

This is sort of good news, if true. If her style is really that non-collegial, she’ll have problems bringing others around to her fascist viewpoints.

What I Learned

from Shirley Sharrod:

The word racist is losing its sting. Racism used to be such a horrible thing to call someone, but since Obama became President it has been over-used by the left to describe anybody who disagrees with Progressive politics. It doesn’t seem as evil a word as it used to be, that is very sad.

…Damn, those lefty “reporters” really hate Andrew Breitbart. They couldn’t wait to pounce on him for this story despite the fact that they couldn’t have read his post that well. Do they hate him for his politics or because he does their job much better than they do? I pick both.

I did a radio interview on a Fargo station a couple hours ago (yes at 5:10 AM PDT) on my PJM piece, and have another one scheduled on the Martha Zoller show at 8:20 this morning (11:20 Eastern, in Gainesville, GA). We do seem to need a new word to describe the concept of thinking that someone else is inferior because they have a different hue to their skin, because the leftists have removed all useful meaning from the word “racism.”

[Update a few minutes later]

This week in racism.

[Update a while later]

What Sharrod’s speech wasn’t about — racial transcendence:

Pardon me, but I think I’ll stay off the Canonize Shirley bandwagon. To me, it seems like she’s still got plenty of racial baggage. What we’re seeing is not transcendence but transference. That’s why the NAACP crowd reacted so enthusiastically throughout her speech.

Yes, there does seem to be overshoot the other way. She’s certainly no saint, particularly given her slander of Fox News.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!