The DC Morning – September 7, 2010

Mike Riggs Contributor
Font Size:

1.) Paper pushers will rule like kings if Republicans take Congress — Ever wondered what exactly would change if Republicans took back Congress in November? Of course you have! Perhaps you thought that the aggressive wringing of our national sponge would become less aggressive, or that the burning money pit (around which Congressional Dems have danced like satyrs honoring Dionysus, the patron saint of excess and entitlement programs) would starve for want of legal tender and eventually self-extinguish. This could happen, maybe. But it’s not likely that big government types will simply sober up and simmer down. According to The Daily Caller’s Jon Ward, “A Republican takeover of the House will make Capitol Hill a much less relevant place for President Obama, and is likely to turn the administration’s focus toward working through federal agencies and regulation—which it can do unilaterally—rather than trying to pass new legislation.” Ward points out that Obama and his team have their work cut out for them establishing the rules for health-care bill and financial regulatory “reform,” and that perhaps they have had their legislative fill. On the other hand, it’s not like federal agencies are all gums and no fangs. EPA? DEA? FCC? IRS? They don’t play.

2.) Ecofreaks will guilt you into buying the correct car — Stickers that grace the windshield of every new car sold in the U.S. will soon feature a large letter grade that reflects the car’s fuel efficiency and its environmental impact, thanks to the unsupervised coital cogitating of the EPA and the DOT. “The updated look, which offers considerably more information, is a bet on the part of government that more people will buy fuel-efficient cars if the accompanying sticker simply does a better, in-your-face job of explaining just how valuable they are — to the environment and your pocketbook,” reports Miller-McCune magazine. But just as beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder, so too is a car’s non-monetary value derived from the wants and needs of individuals. Try telling an independent building contractor, for instance, that her decision to buy a V-8 pickup truck is an, uh, “D” decision, and why doesn’t she give the “A+” Chevy Volt a look? Or tell a middle-aged workaholic that his desire for a stress-relieving sports car is a “C” grade life choice. Your customers will not see these stickers and think, “Oh, my dealership had no choice but to lecture me for choosing the car that I want/need.” They will see those stickers and think, “That’s it, I told my husband/wife/parole officer that I would learn to roll with the punches, but I think I am just going to burn this place down right now.” The flip side of these new stickers, which promise to tell consumers how much they’ll save in fuel costs over five years, is that the sanctimonious gasbags who dropped $40k on an air-conditioned go-cart years agowill feel even more entitled to tell everyone they know (and a few people they don’t) that snatching up a first-gen Prius was the best decision they ever made. That, and buying fair-trade cocaine.

3.) Chamber of Commerce invites teat-addicted unions to talk through their impending doom — “Labor groups will be invited to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to talk about an alarming shortfall in state employee pension plans that some believe could lead to a new government bailout,” reports The Hill. The CoC decided to host a special conference for unions after labor leaders bitched to the press about not having a seat at the table the last time the Chamber explained how unions were bankrupting America. “They said, ‘you’re not giving us a fair debate,’” posits Randy Johnson, the Chamber’s senior vice president for Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits. “So I think what we’re going to do is have another conference and give them their debate.” Assuming labor makes good on the invitation, the Chamber conference would be the perfect opportunity to explain to the Overpaid Picketers of America that “an August report by the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University found government pension programs in as many as 31 states are headed for financial disaster by 2030 and that taxpayers will likely wind up paying for unfunded liabilities.”

4.) If GOP takes House, Pres. Obama and Rep. Boehner will have to breathe the same air — “President Obama will need to sign Republican-approved appropriations bills, meaning Obama and Ohio Rep. John Boehner — who is likely to become the Speaker of the House in a Republican-controlled Congress — must arrive at some kind of agreement at least once a year,” reports TheDC’s Jonathan Strong. “Otherwise, the federal government will shut down — in a repeat of a showdown between then-President Bill Clinton and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich during the 1990s.” So how likely is it that Pres. Obama will still receive his hefty allowance? Not. Likely. At. All. “Republicans will have a hard time getting votes to pass funding bills in any event,” said Republican lobbyist Vin Weber. “All these people are running out there, in the Tea Party atmosphere – they’ve seen Republicans get beat in primaries and caucuses because they have been perceived as spending so much anyway – so there’s going to be a propensity on the part of grassroots Republicans to vote against funding anyhow.” WHO DO THESE TEABAGGERS THINK THEY ARE, ACTING LIKE THEY HAVE SOME CONTROL OVER HOW THEIR MONEY IS SPENT?

5.) California’s public college bubble swells against a sharp edge — If you’re still looking for signs that the Golden State is running on fumes, look no further than its free-for-all-Californians school system. According to Inside Higher Ed, “the budget cuts and fiscal uncertainty are so severe that the University of California at Los Angeles’s business school is proposing that it give up all state funding — in return for greater budget flexibility and the right to raise out-of-state tuition to the levels of private institutions. The plan has been approved by UCLA, but is awaiting a review by Mark G. Yudof, president of the university system.” While a flack for UCLA’s business school argued that going private is a good way to circumvent the anxiety caused by the absence of a 2010-2011 California budget, going fully private also means charging more for a degree. “Right now, annual tuition at the business school is $41,000 for California residents and $49,000 for out-of state residents. (Room and board and other charges aren’t included.) Olian said that if the plan goes through, she would expect the non-resident charges to rise to the range of $53,000 to $58,000 — similar to the rates of top-rated private programs.” Much of it backed by federally guaranteed student loans! BUBBLICIOUS!

6.) Two years after forking out big bucks for hope and change, some Dem donors are now GOP donors — “In an uncharacteristic twist this year, people at Tony Podesta’s powerhouse lobbying firm have chosen to donate $32,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee to help its chairman, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats,” reports the Houston Chronicle. And it’s not just employees at the Obama-friendly lobbying outfit who are helping fill GOP coffers. “Since Obama’s election, the political action committees and employees of 126 businesses that had donated money to Senate Democrats in the 2008 campaign have switched all or most of their 2010 contributions to the Republicans, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission reports by the Houston Chronicle.” These donors come from Wall Street, main street, and even Satan’s Thoroughfare, more commonly referred to as all of Washington, D.C. In addition to getting friendly with Republicans, “their donations to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee have dropped 25 percent this year, to $1.67 million.” Ruh-Roh!