1. ‘California Prison Academy: Better Than a Harvard Degree‘, Allysia Finley, Wall Street Journal
This excellent article is number one are on our list for a reason. It clearly lays out just how out of whack California’s public prison system has become with disastrous effects on the state’s budget and other priorities, such as libraries, highways, and lower taxes.
Roughly 2,000 students have to decide by Sunday whether to accept a spot at Harvard. Here’s some advice: Forget Harvard. If you want to earn big bucks and retire young, you’re better off becoming a California prison guard.
The job might not sound glamorous, but a brochure from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations boasts that it “has been called ‘the greatest entry-level job in California’—and for good reason. Our officers earn a great salary, and a retirement package you just can’t find in private industry. We even pay you to attend our academy.” That’s right—instead of paying more than $200,000 to attend Harvard, you could earn $3,050 a month at cadet academy.
It gets better.
Training only takes four months, and upon graduating you can look forward to a job with great health, dental and vision benefits and a starting base salary between $45,288 and $65,364. By comparison, Harvard grads can expect to earn $49,897 fresh out of college and $124,759 after 20 years.
2. ‘Has the Media Totally Forgotten About the Unemployed?‘, Derek Thompson, The Atlantic
Is 9% unemployment the new normal? I sure hope not. Thompson’s article highlights this growing feeling in our country and features numerous charts that portray how poor our nation’s current job market has become.
Articles mentioning unemployment have plummeted nearly 70 percent since last summer, while articles mentioning the deficit have doubled over the same time, according to a National Journal report…
Unemployment duration ain’t what it used to be. In 1982, the last time unemployment tipped double digits, joblessness was more of a short-term affair. Across these four categories, the plurality of folks were unemployed for fewer than five weeks. In 2011, by contrast, about half the jobless have been out of work for at least 27 weeks. Just as striking, the number of people unemployed for less than five weeks remained under its historical average even during the worst months of the recession. In 1982, unemployment was a terrible cold, measured in weeks and maybe months. Today it’s pneumonia .
3. ‘Nearly 20 percent of new Obamacare waivers are gourmet restaurants, nightclubs, fancy hotels in Nancy Pelosi’s district‘, Matthew Boyle, The Daily Caller
This is the article that broke the Pelosi-waiver story (Pelosi-gate??). Exemplifies some of the extreme corruption, hypocrisy, and devastating policy impact of Obamacare.
Of the 204 new Obamacare waivers President Barack Obama’s administration approved in April, 38 are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Northern California district.
Pelosi’s district secured almost 20 percent of the latest issuance of waivers nationwide, and the companies that won them didn’t have much in common with companies throughout the rest of the country that have received Obamacare waivers.
Other common waiver recipients were labor union chapters, large corporations, financial firms and local governments. But Pelosi’s district’s waivers are the first major examples of luxurious, gourmet restaurants and hotels getting a year-long pass from Obamacare.
For instance, Boboquivari’s restaurant in Pelosi’s district in San Francisco got a waiver from Obamacare. Boboquivari’s advertises $59 porterhouse steaks, $39 filet mignons and $35 crab dinners.
4. ‘Why Not Honesty?‘, Greg Scoblete, Real Clear World: The Compass
Scoblete is a realist’s realist when it comes to American foreign policy and in dissecting President Obama’s Middle East speech, and a conservative reaction to it, he finds many central questions that are being ignored:
Here’s my question: why even “endorse the vision” that our interests and values align in the Middle East? Why not treat the American people – and, indeed, the world – like adults and try to explain the basis for U.S. policies in the region? The president made a passing attempt at framing U.S. strategic interests in the region – terrorism, oil, Israel – in the beginning of the speech, only to drown it out in a lot of Wilsonian sanctimony. But a speech discussing the convergence of American values and interests in the Middle East that did not have a single word – not one – about Saudi Arabia, and only passing mention of the Gulf states, is self-evidently dishonest.
American “values” are clearly, and frequently, subordinate to strategic interests in the Middle East. No one can seriously deny this – nor is it something to necessarily be ashamed of! Rather than trying to dress this up in a lot of flim-flam, why not tackle it head-on? Why not explain to the U.S. and the world that in some places the U.S. cannot simply support “democracy” when it does not know what will spring forth from that democracy or that the U.S. has much more urgent needs to attend to – such as protecting Israel and ensuring the stability of the Saudi monarchy?
5. ‘Obama’s $250,000 Question’, William McGurn, Wall Street Journal
When the budget you lay out has government spending growing at such a high rate, as the Obama administration’s budget for the next 10 years has, there is only a matter of time before taxes are raised, not just on the ‘rich’, but on the rest of us:
In the New Republic, the Brookings Institution’s William Galston zeroes in on the fuzzy math. “Unless Obama is prepared to tolerate huge deficits indefinitely,” he writes, “or to emulate arch-conservatives and curb the budget deficit with spending cuts only, he will have to break his unsustainable tax pledge at some point. The only question is when.”
More remarkable still, Mr. Galston was jumping off from an article in National Review by Reihan Salam, who made the same point about the mathematical impossibilities of Mr. Obama’s present tax pledge. Mr. Salam, a policy adviser at the pro-market think tank Economics 21, observes that the revenues Mr. Obama needs to pay for his agenda fall in the rung just below the super-rich—that is, Americans earning between $100,000 and $200,000
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