There’s been a lot of talk over the last few years about invasive species making life difficult in various bodies of water. Asian Carp has been right at the top of the list as it chokes out native species. It’s been particularly alarming for people who eat seafood as the fish that are being depleted are culinary favorites. However, the New York Times puts forward a potential solution for dealing with these invasive species.
Let’s just eat the little bastards.
Invasive species have become a vexing problem in the United States, with population explosions of Asian carp clogging the Mississippi River and European green crabs mobbing the coasts. With few natural predators in North America, such fast-breeding species have thrived in American waters, eating native creatures and out-competing them for food and habitats.
While most invasive species are not commonly regarded as edible food, that is mostly a matter of marketing, experts say. Imagine menus where Asian carp substitutes for the threatened Chilean sea bass, or lionfish replaces grouper, which is overfished.
“We think there could be a real market,” said Wenonah Hauter, the executive director of Food and Water Watch, whose 2011 Smart Seafood Guide recommends for the first time that diners seek out invasive species as a “safer, more sustainable” alternative to their more dwindling relatives, to encourage fisherman and markets to provide them.
On Friday, President Barack Obama gave a speech to address the latest monthly jobs report. If the consequences of his policies were not so disastrous, the speech would have been comedy gold. The history of Obama’s promises on the economy is a case study in cognitive dissonance, with promise after promise, then failure, then excuses and accusations. The only thing consistent when it comes to Obama and the economy is that when his predictions prove elusive, it comes as an “unexpected” shock to him and his diehard supporters in the media.
At issue is the jobs report issued by the Department of Labor for June, which reveals that a cadaverous 18,000 jobs were created for the month, 83 percent less than the 105,000 jobs predicted. The “unexpectedly” low jobs growth contributed to the rise in the unemployment rate, which rose to 9.2%. To put this in perspective, economists say that we need to create 125,000-150,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth, and we need to be creating roughly 300,000 jobs per month to begin seeing strong economic growth. The news was made even worse by the revelation that far fewer jobs had been created in May than originally reported, which was also “unexpected”.
Shortly after taking office Obama used the fiscal crisis to ram through the “stimulus” package, which we were told would keep unemployment below 8% if passed, and warned that unemployment would go as high as 9% if it did not pass. We passed it, and in the nearly two and a half years since, unemployment rose from 7.8% in January 2009 when Obama took office, to 10.1% in October 2009 (a full eight months after the bill was signed into law), hovered just below 10% for a while before dipping to 8.8% in April 2011. Unemployment has ticked up every month since, and Obama’s own Treasury Secretary warns that it could be more than five years before we see a drop to Bush-era unemployment levels.
Pushing back against a claim by Speaker John Boehner, who recently cited numbers from the Weekly Standard noting that the so-called stimulus cost $278,000 per job, economic advisors from the Obama Administration want to set the record straight:
The Council of Economic Advisers report, issued last Friday, states that in the first quarter of 2011, the stimulus bill “has raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by between 2.4 and 3.6 million.”
The White House has long disputed the math of dividing the cost of the stimulus by the number of jobs created – we asked a similar question back in October 2009, when that computation resulted in the comparable bargain of $72,408 per stimulus job, as you can read at this blog post.
When President Obama announced that he wanted a long, hard look taken at federal regulations to remove any that were burdensome, some folks cheered. Others, like myself, were skeptically optimistic. Some just flat out didn’t believe it was going to happen. Well, it turns out that while the jury is still out on the issue in totality, it looks like ObamaCare regulations won’t get that second look.
From The Hill:
The Health and Human Services Department won’t be revisiting regulations that implement the new healthcare law during its review of potentially burdensome regulations.
Sherry Glied, assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at HHS, said the rules are too new for a second look. She testified Monday at a hearing on President Obama’s executive order directing agencies to identify and revise regulations that can be streamlined or eliminated.
Glied said HHS is conducting that review but won’t include regulations that implement the healthcare law. Federal departments assess the costs and benefits of their regulations before issuing them. Because healthcare reform rules were issued so recently, she said, HHS is confident in its analysis of their impacts and doesn’t need to review those rules again.
“Nothing has changed to make us look at them” again, Glied said.
Really, this isn’t much of a surprise. We all had to kind of know this was coming. There was no way that President Obama intended for his crowning jewel to be examined critically. However, many opponents of the measure were hopeful. Color us stupid.
President Obama, who is supposedly a tireless crusader against Wall Street excesses that allegedly lead to the financial meltdown a couple of years ago, is now apparently trying to change his stripes and convince those same Wall Street folks that he’s the best choice for them.
The guests were asked for their thoughts on how to speed the economic recovery, then the president opened the floor for over an hour on hot issues like hedge fund regulation and the deficit.
Mr. Obama, who enraged many financial industry executives a year and a half ago by labeling them “fat cats” and criticizing their bonuses, followed up the meeting with phone calls to those who could not attend.
The event, organized by the Democratic National Committee, kicked off an aggressive push by Mr. Obama to win back the allegiance of one of his most vital sources of campaign cash — in part by trying to convince Wall Street that his policies, far from undercutting the investor class, have helped bring banks and financial markets back to health.
Last month, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, traveled to New York for back-to-back meetings with Wall Street donors, ending at the home of Marc Lasry, a prominent hedge fund manager, to court donors close to Mr. Obama’s onetime rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton. And Mr. Obama will return to New York this month to dine with bankers, hedge fund executives and private equity investors at the Upper East Side restaurant Daniel.
If they buy it, they deserve everything that happens to them in regard to financial regulations that hamstring their ability to function. Honestly.
Just like in 2008, the Club for Growth is putting together a series of white papers on candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. They’ve already looked into the records of Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain. Next up is Mitt Romney; and it ain’t pretty.
The Club for Growth, which has received some good press on this release, points out that Romney has had a mixed record on taxes, supporting “fee” hikes, closing tax “loopholes” and tax hikes on businesses as Governor of Massachusetts. However, they do note some positives; such as unsuccessful proposals to cut the state’s income tax and a successful one-year rebate on the capital gains tax; certainly not an easy feat with a Democratic legislature.
But ulitmately, the Club concludes that Romney has been inconsistent on taxes; noting that while he supports keeping the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent, he has also opposed pro-growth reforms:
Just like in 2008, the Club for Growth is putting together a series of white papers on candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. They’ve already looked into the records of Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty. Next up is Herman Cain, a businessman turned talk show host.
The Club notes that Cain supports the FairTax, a plan that comes with a built-in constituency that would eliminate the federal income tax through repealing the 16th Amendment and replace it with an inclusive national retail sales tax. After opting against his own bid for president in 2000, Cain, then a flat tax supporter, backed Steve Forbes candidacy.
On spending, the Club finds Cain’s record to be thin, and carries a notable negative, in backing TARP, making claims that government ownership of financial institutions “is not a bad thing” and slamming that “free market purists” that opposed the bailouts, which Cain called a “rescue plan”:
Cain supported TARP, the government bailout of the financial industry, and even chastised people who opposed it in a condescending op-ed: “Earth to taxpayers! Owning stocks in banks is not nationalization of the banking industry. It’s trying to solve a problem,” Cain wrote. “Owning a part of the major banks in America is not a bad thing. We could make a profit while solving a problem.”
Why won’t Jon Huntsman be the Republican nominee in 2012? This video posted by Verum Serum highlights many positions Huntsman has taken, including support for cap-and-trade and the stimulus, that aren’t going to jive well with the Republican base:
As you may remember, Illinois recently increased taxes in order to close a massive budget deficit, which included a corporate income taxes that ranks among the highest in the nation. It was noted at the time that that job creators in the state would be less competitive:
The new corporate tax rate would bring the total percentage Illinois corporations pay on income, including a separate personal property replacement tax, to 9.5%, one of the highest in the nation.
That would make the corporate income-tax rate in Illinois the third-highest in the country when combined with an assumed 35% federal corporate income tax, following Pennsylvania and Minnesota, said Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation, a conservative-leaning Washington research outfit. Illinois currently ranks 21.
As other states cut taxes and Illinois raises them, the state “will be even more of an eyesore by comparison,” Mr. Hodge said.
A spokesman for Caterpillar Inc., one of the largest manufacturers in Illinois with 23,000 employees in the state, said in a statement that “such a tax increase will make it more difficult for Caterpillar to compete in today’s global economy from our operations in Illinois.”
Caterpillar looks like they are seriously considering leaving the Land of Lincoln because of the desire for more revenues instead of spending cuts:
In a letter sent March 21 to Gov. Pat Quinn, Caterpillar chief executive officer Doug Oberhelman said officials in at least four other states have approached the company about relocating since Illinois raised its income tax in January.
Carol Browner, who has served President Barack Obama’s climate change czar and previously as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in under Bill Clinton, will be leaving the administration:
Senior administration officials confirm reports that Carol Browner, assistant to the president for energy and climate change, is departing the White House in the next few weeks.
A White House official says Browner will stay on as long as necessary to ensure an orderly transition.
“Carol is confident that the mission of her office will remain critical to the president and she is pleased with what will be in the State of the Union address tomorrow and in the budget on clean energy,” the official says. “She is proud of the administration’s accomplishments – from the historic investments in clean energy included in the Recovery Act to the national policy on vehicle efficiency that will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and lower consumers’ prices at the pump.”
That said, it’s unclear that Browner will be replaced. When Democrats controlled the House and Senate, they were unable to pass major energy legislation addressing climate change, and now that Republicans control the House and Senate, Democrats have an even narrower margin.
“On the question of what will happen to the position, the president’s commitment to these issues will, of course, continue but any transition of the office will be announced soon,” the official says.