The decision to become a cultural commentator or pundit, like any other decision, comes at a cost. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, scarcely any commentator has thought to comment on the danger to one’s moral character that this decision imposes.
The Gallup pollsters have released their most recent report on which parts of the United States can boast the most religious residents, and predictably, those living in the Bible belt once again scored “above average” on questions of church attendance, importance of faith in their daily life, and the like, while those living in both northeastern and northwestern states scored “below average” in their emphasis on religious observance.
The charge made by a report from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) that the country’s students score poorly despite U.S. schools spending more than schools in other countries surprised no one. What was surprising was their recommendation: Leave things alone.
When President Obama signs the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Start-up Act) bill into law today it will reflect the first sign in a long time that some in Congress are waking up to reality: government regulations stifle business growth. The bill passed the House 390-23 in March and then passed the Senate 73-26 last week but not without much weeping and gnashing of teeth from regulationists decrying the bill’s alleged resurrection of “deregulation.”
Residents of Anchorage, Alaska, defied the hopes of homosexual activists and the predictions of political pundits, voting down a proposal that would have added sexual orientation and “transgender identity” to anti-discrimination language in the city’s municipal code. While polls had suggested that the measure, known as Proposition 5, had plenty of voter support to win handily, at the end of the day the controversial proposal failed by a decisive 58 to 42 percent margin.
Without a concrete plan for funding, proponents of a California high-speed rail project began pitching their plan this week to legislators and the general public. Updated from a previous proposal, the new plan narrows the scope of the project and intends to speed up construction to save money. However, despite the spending reductions, the rail still leans on shaky funding sources that might never materialize.
A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in five states where marijuana is legal for medicinal use sent a scathing open letter to President Obama demanding that he uphold his campaign promise to end the federal government’s war on patients. Shortly thereafter, an alliance of non-profit drug law-reform groups sent a similar letter.
Because April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is a holiday in the District of Columbia, the deadline for filing federal income-tax returns this year falls on April 17. Coincidentally, that is also Tax Freedom Day for 2012: the day on which the average American will have worked long enough to pay his share of all the taxes government will extract from the populace this year.
When the Justice Department announced in March that it intended to sue Apple and five book publishers for collusion over the pricing of eBooks, David Boaz of the Cato Institute could be heard to say “Here we go again.” Boaz wrote about Washington regulators and busybodies two years ago, calling them “parasites” and expressing the hope that Apple would avoid the absorption into the Washington “Borg” suffered first by Microsoft and then Google.