Thursday, February 11, 2016

The U.S. economy grew at an anemic rate of less than 1 percent in the last quarter of 2015.

While the unemployment rate has dipped below 5 percent, the all-important labor force participation rate is at a historic low of just 62.7 percent. More than 90 million able-bodied adults are either not currently in the labor force or have stopped looking for work altogether.

Average household incomes have been mostly stagnant in recent years relative to the rate of inflation. The Dow Jones industrial average fell by 2.2 percent in 2015 and has continued to plummet this year. Most people's retirement portfolios have been losing money.

Such economic sluggishness, more than seven years after the 2008 financial crisis, was not supposed to happen, given all the traditional economic stimuli.

When times are tough, politicians sometimes call for a reduction in energy taxes to help lower gas prices and bring down household heating and cooling costs. Such cutting usually puts more disposable income into the pockets of families.

Yet, largely because of Persian Gulf oil politics and private-sector fracking and horizontal drilling, U.S. gas prices have already plunged to a national average of less than $1.80. That is a huge drop from the average 2014 price of about $3.34 a gallon -- and it should provide an enormous economic stimulus.
The Environmental Protection Agency's "Clean Power Plan," an enormous regulatory monster unilaterally cooked up by federal bureaucrats and attempted to be foisted on states, utility companies and consumers, was dealt a huge blow at the Supreme Court this week when the regulations were put on hold pending the numerous legal challenges that have been percolating through the court system.

The importance of this stay cannot be overstated. In the past, some EPA regulations that have been overturned in the court system were not put on hold and their damage was already done while other states and groups were challenging their legality. In Michigan v. EPA, for example, the Supreme Court overturned onerous EPA MATS regulations on power plants, but the rules were not suspended while the legal challenges were made. In that case, the MATS regulations were issued in 2012 and the Supreme Court didn't overturn them until 2015 - and by that time the damage had already been done.

Those regulations cost consumers almost $10 billion per year, and many power plants were shuttered in the years between when the EPA issued the rule and the Supreme Court overturned them. Since the regulations were in place for so long, the EPA already won by the time they were struck down: most power plants and utilities are now in compliance with the rules. And the specter of these MATS regulations will haunt businesses for years: what utility would open a new plant that wasn't in compliance with a rule that no longer exists if they're scared the EPA might try again? Indeed - the EPA has already re-issued the MATS regulations, claiming to now be in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling against them.

Robert Spencer in FP: Syrian Archbishop to West: “Why Are Your Bishops Silent?”
By Robert Spencer / Jihad Watch


Robert Spencer in FP: Syrian Archbishop to West: “Why Are Your Bishops Silent?”
Silent about a threat that is theirs today as well. My column in FrontPage today: Jean-ClĂ©ment Jeanbart, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, gave a recent interview with a French reporter, in which he was highly critical of the mainstream media and even of his fellow bishops for ignoring the Muslim persecution of Middle […]
Read in browser »

share on Twitter Like Robert Spencer in FP: Syrian Archbishop to West: “Why Are Your Bishops Silent?” on Facebook Google Plus One Button 

Al Qaeda Insider’s Account of 9/11 Plot: Islam’s 20th Century War on the West

Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs

This will be roundly ignored by media and political elites. More’s the pity. It should be required reading for every civilized human being who cherishes his freedom. And it validates everything my colleagues and I have been saying for well over a decade. This has always been a holy war — a religious war — to impose Islam across the world.

Clearly, all practicing Muslims understand these religious supremacist objectives. For decades, Islamic military groups wanted to overthrow secular “Arab” leaders and impose the sharia on Muslim majority countries. But it wasn’t until Osama bin Laden changed strategy to first conquer the West  that Muhammad’s mad totalitarian dream of Islamic conquest could be...