Site for Free Markets and Free People

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gore Starting To Feel Heat; Police Re-open Investigation

Portland Police re-open the Gore investigation into his alleged sexual advances towards a massage therapist.

Dee Snyder, former Twisted Sister singer, didn't pull any punches in a brief interview with TMZ, when he pointed out that Al and Tipper lambasted Twisted Sister as a threat to family values back in the 80s. Snyder reminded us that he and his wife are still happily married 25 years later, which is more than he could say for the Gores.

Obama Blames GOP and Bush....Again...

This is getting old. The petulant man-child of a president is again blaming the GOP (and yes, Bush) for his disastrous policies over the past two years.

The easiest way for the economy to recover is for Obama to resign.

How to Respond to an Oil Spill

Anyone see Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal's recent approval ratings? 74%. And it's improved since the BP oil spill in the gulf by 10%. Not sure of the specifics of what he did, but he did at least show that he cared about what was happening and took a hands on approach in doing

Now compare that with Obama - 45%, down from 50% before the oil spill. Obama might learn a thing or two from Jindal.

Jeges Block Obama From Scrapping Yuca Site

Interesting how the "pro-nuclear power" president is trying to block the nuclear waste facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada from being developed. Fortunately, a panel of judges said that they cannot withdraw the application over the authority of Congress.

IBD Wonders Why Confidence is So Broken

As the IBD points out, no one should be too surprised that consumer confidence is plummeting. After all, the Obama-Pelosi Administration spends like crazy and then says they can't fix anything.

The "can't dos" from our elected and appointed officials, both at the federal and state level, are piling up. Consider the following:

• "I can't suck the oil up with a straw," said President Obama when asked what he was doing about the BP spill that began April 20. Nor could he approve the building of sand berms, or the suspension of the Jones Act, which would have let foreign skimmers into U.S. waters to help with the oil cleanup.

• "You're never going to totally seal that border," said Janet Napolitano, making excuses for why Homeland Security has essentially ceded entire parts of Arizona to violent Mexican smuggling rings while still seeking "comprehensive immigration reform."

• "I think the world understands now that growth in the future around the world cannot depend as much on the United States as it did in the past," opined Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in a defeatist interview with the BBC before the G-20 summit.

• "There's no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession" was how Vice President Joe Biden put it at a fundraiser for Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold. But wasn't that the reason for the $862 billion stimulus package, the $700 billion in bailouts and the takeover of the auto industry and Wall Street?

• "It isn't possible to debate and pass a realistic, long-term budget until we've considered the bipartisan commission's deficit-reduction plan," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, explaining why Congress couldn't pass a budget as required by law.

Kagan Scandal: Doctored Lie to Lift Ban on Partial Birth Abortion?

If any conservative was caught in such a scandal, he would be forced to resign. But Elena Kagan will likely be praised for her influence over the latest scandal which is just now coming to light.

While working for Clinton, she was able to reverse the language of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) specifically to provide "evidence" to the court that the partial birth abortion ban should be lifted.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dems To Use TARP Money as Slush Fund

Unsurprisingly, Democrats are now looking at raiding the repaid TARP funds to be used for their various spending initiatives. After failing to pass the Financial Profit Prevention bill because of a last-minute $18 billion tax hike, Chris Dodd says he plans to raid TARP instead.

Of course, his language is that they will "save money" by ending TARP early. This is absurd, as the TARP funds were only a temporary backstop for banks and the government made a very nice profit on those temporary backstops. (The auto union bailouts is another matter, of course.) Now instead of the money going back to the taxpayers, it will be used as a Democrat slush fund.

Silver Lining: Obamanomics Dying Slow Death

The only good news in the market today is that more and more people are realizing the disaster of Democratic Obamanomics. Scott Brown might help prevent the disastrous financial regulation bill from becoming law.

First, prevent any new Obamanomics laws from being enacted. Then after he's defeated, we undo every bill he's passed since he became President.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sen. Byrd, Democrats' Favorite KKK Leader, Dead at 92

Robert Byrd, WV Democrat Senator and former KKK leader, is dead at 92.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Democrats Going After For-Profit Schools

It's no surprise that Democrats are not fans of for-profit companies, period. But even less so in the education space, which they generally regard as the exclusive domain of the government. It appears that Wall Street is beginning to take notice of their disdain for for-profit education companies, with stocks falling to new year-to-date lows.

(Heck, the Democrats successfully put their feet on the necks of finance, health care and oil, so education is the next obvious industry.)

Lawmakers Agree to Destruction of Bank Profitability Bill

Congratulations to Congress, who came to terms on a Bill to Destroy U.S. Bank Profits last night. Unfortunately, it will do nothing to prevent another U.S. bailout and does nothing to address the two companies most responsible for the mortgage meltdown, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

But it does a great job of reducing bank profits, damaging the private equity industry and killing growth. Pretty good day for Obama and Pelosi.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chavez Pulls An Obama, Steals U.S. Oil Rigs

Hugo Chavez pulled a page from Barack Obama when he seized 11 U.S. oil rigs owned by Helmerich & Payne, which stopped production because Chavez was not paying their invoices.

Businesses should know better than to do work for a dictator like Chavez, but they will learn soon if they haven't already. A lot are learning the same thing about Obama as well...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Obama Looks For "Betray-Us" To Save Him After Previously Lecturing Him

We now know from McChrystal how Obama is viewed among the warrior types within the U.S. military. It's interesting that Obama is now turning to Petraeus to save his hide in a failed Afghanistan policy. (Keep in mind that McChrystal was turned down by Obama for his troop request - after 6 months of Obama dithering.) Let's not forget that Obama and Biden both previously ripped Patraeus and all but called him a liar. This was Vanity Fair's take on Obama's prior interaction with Petraeus:

Senator Barack Obama was equally dismissive. He had staked his campaign in part on the purity of his opposition to the war. When his turn came, Obama lectured Petraeus on the futility of his mission, using up the full seven minutes allocated to him and giving the general no chance to respond. “We have now set the bar so low,” said Obama, “that modest improvement in what was a completely chaotic situation … is considered success. And it’s not. This continues to be a disastrous foreign-policy mistake.”

Victor Davis Hanson writes that Obama's decision is ironic on a number of fronts, particularly his calling for a national "common purpose" to support the military after he, Biden and the Democrats did the exact opposite when Bush was President.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Judge: Obama Admin. Misled Public on Drilling Report

In a harsh rebuke of the Obama Administration, a federal judge granted an injunction to lift the Obama drilling ban. Judge Feldman also said that the Obama administration misled the public:

"Much to the government's discomfort and this Court's uneasiness, the summary also states that 'the recommendations contained in this report have been peer-reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.' As the plaintiffs, and the experts themselves, pointedly observe, this statement was misleading," Judge Feldman said in his 22-page ruling.

Obama's Anti-Drilling Commission

The WSJ has an excellent piece on Obama's 7-person oil drilling "commission." Unsurprisingly, they are a bunch of anti-drilling, environmental activists.

One co-chair is former Democratic Senator Bob Graham, who fought drilling off Florida throughout his career. The other is William Reilly, who ran the Environmental Protection Agency under President George H.W. Bush but is best known as a former president and former chairman of the World Wildlife Fund, one of the big environmental lobbies. The others:

• Donald Boesch, a University of Maryland "biological oceanographer," who has opposed drilling off the Virginia coast and who argued that "the impacts of the oil and gas extraction industry . . . on Gulf Coast wetlands represent an environmental catastrophe of massive and underappreciated proportions."

• Terry Garcia, an executive vice president at the National Geographic Society, who directed coastal programs in the Clinton Administration, in particular "recovery of endangered species, habitat conservation planning," and "Clean Water Act implementation," according to the White House press release.

• Fran Ulmer, Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage, who is a member of the Aspen Institute's Commission on Arctic Climate Change. She's also on the board of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which opposes nuclear power and more offshore drilling and wants government policies "that reduce vehicle miles traveled" (i.e., driving in cars).

• Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, who prior to her appointment blogged about the spill this way: "We can blame BP for the disaster and we should. We can blame lack of adequate government oversight for the disaster and we should. But in the end, we also must place blame where it originated: America's addiction to oil."

On at least five occasions since the accident, Ms. Beinecke has called for bans on offshore and Arctic drilling.

• Rounding out the panel is its lone member with an engineering background, Harvard's Cherry A. Murray, though her specialties are physics and optics.

And not a single one of them knows a damn about oil drilling.

Merkel Disagrees With Obama's Excessive Spending

While Obama wants to take the whole world down the drain with his spending policies, it's refreshing that most, if not all countries, are sticking to their guns and want to control spending.

When Europe won't spend more on social policies, but the US will, what does that say about our President?

Top Afghan General Slams, Feels "Betrayed" By Obama Administration

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, was apparently too candid in a recent interview for Rolling Stone, where he said he felt "betrayed" by the top US diplomat in Kabul, Karl Elkenberry. McChrystal was also "disappointed" by Obama, who was unprepared at their first meeting, which he described as a "photo op" for Obama. He also refers to Obama and his inner circle as the "wimps in the White House."

McChrystal, by the way, voted for Obama. I think that, and not the candid article, was McChrystal's real lack of judgment.

Monday, June 21, 2010

White House is Right: Americans Benefit With Obama Playing Golf

For once I agree with the Obama White House. Although Obama was off playing another round of golf (already surpassed any president in history), all Americans benefit when he's out there not damaging the U.S. economy.

It's just unfortunate that we all suffer when he's working.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Obama: GOP Blocking My Plan to Destroy U.S. Economy

Obama is angry that Republicans are blocking his latest continuation of the Obamanomics disaster.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lousiana Oil-Sucking Barges Shut Down By Feds

The barges that Jov. Bobby Jindal deployed in the Gulf to help capture some of the oil were shut down by the Coast Guard. The reason? Even though the barges have been proven to work,

The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

I expect to see more of this nonsense with Obamacare, like a heart surgeon being forced to shut down during an operation because the Dept. of Labor wants to make sure the hospital janitors are being given their proper 20 minute breaks.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bailout for Rich Depositors

This is interesting. The government has agreed to retroactively increase the FDIC deposit limit from $100K to $250K back to January 2008.

While it's unfortunate that people who held more than $100K would lose that amount, why should taxpayers be on the hook when the rules were clearly defined and known for a long time? Tom Brown agrees.

Oh well, what's another $200 million to taxpayers...

Obama Pay Czar to Oversee $20 Billion BP Escrow?

Ken Feinberg, Obama's "pay czar," is going to be the "independent third party" overseeing the $20 billion BP escrow fund.

Sort of like Al Gore is an independent source to analyze the climate change issue.

Democrat Stimulus Bill Fails; Obama Warns of Gov't Employee Layoffs

Hooray. The mini-stimulus bill that is designed to extend unemployment benefits and give $24 billion to states was defeated in the Senate.

Obama warned of government employee layoffs if states don't get the cash. I think he unknowingly is helping cause its defeat with that argument.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fed Adopts New Credit Card Rules to "Protect Consumers"

Don't you feel more protected now that the Fed has adopted rules to protect you by preventing credit card issuers from "charging too much?"

It's kind of like Obama is protecting employees who are paid too little by eliminating their jobs altogether. Problem solved.

NYPost: Obama's Stimulus to Ruin

It's hard to argue with this article from the NY Post this morning that Obama's new "$50 billion emergency stimulus" is nothing more than a continuation of his disastrous economic policies.

In the next week or so, Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council will finalize a $66 billion budget -- culminating a two-year spending increase of $3.4 billion, equivalent to 8 percent of city-funded outlays.

That's right -- for all the talk of Draconian cuts, the city has watched spending soar at well over the (negligible) rate of inflation, even as a grim recession has hammered local taxpayers.

Thank the "stimulus" bill of February 2009, which threw nearly $300 billion at state and local governments -- including $4.8 billion in operating cash for New York City.

All the "temporary" stimulus did was let the politicians off the hook: No need to make politically tough cuts to get the fisc under control; just keep increasing outlays as if financial bubbles would keep saving us forever.

Leadership in the Gulf Coast

There is some government leadership in Louisiana....and it's coming from Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has basically decided to take control from the incompetent Obama.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The NATO Threat

Arthur Herman makes a convincing argument that NATO is putting U.S. and western security at risk.

The Gaza convoy incident underlined the growing support of Iran and the terrorist group Hamas by Turkey -- a NATO member since 1958. That one of the NATO allies now wants to ally with the jihadist cause -- and a country that is NATO's face in the Middle East -- should get everyone's attention.

* France, having rejoined NATO's military structure in 2009 (after leaving in a huff back in 1966), is about to sell up to four Mistral-class helicopter assault ships to Russia. The warships include sophisticated technology that integrates the ships with the military command and information systems used by NATO and the United States, including in Afghanistan.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Former UK Conservative Leader: Obama's Conduct "Despicable"

Both London Mayor Boris Johnson and former Conservative Party Chairman Lord Tebbit called on Obama to stop "bashing BP," with Tebbit going so far as to call Obama's actions "despicable."

The truth is, Obama couldn't care less if BP (or any other firm that makes money) goes bankrupt. Welcome to our world, gents.

Obama Wants BP to Pay For Unemployed in Gulf

In a new twist, Obama wants BP to pay the costs of all unemployed rig workers that lost their jobs because of Obama's moratorium on all deep water drilling. Soon he will be asking BP to also pay for restaurants, hotels, airlines and anyone else who might have lost any business as a result of either the spill or Obama's kneejerk reaction to it. Hey, maybe he can ask them to pay for all of the consequences of Obamacare as well.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Obama Drilling Halt Destroying Jobs in Gulf

Unsurprisingly, after Obama's halt on deepwater drilling in the Gulf, companies are re-deploying their rigs to other areas around the globe.

So even if and when Obama lifts the moratorium, thousands of Gulf employees will be at risk of remaining unemployed.

Obamanomics at its best.

Bin Laden, Al Qaeda Leaders Hiding in Iran?

This would be very interesting if true.

Osama bin Laden's hiding place was pinned down for the first time Monday, June 7, by the Kuwaiti Al-Siyassa Monday, June 7, as the mountainous town of Savzevar in the northeastern Iranian province of Khorasan, 220 km west of Mashhad. He is said to have lived there under Tehran's protection for the last five years, along with Ayman Al-Zawahiri and five other high-ranking al Qaeda leaders.

Debkafile's intelligence sources disclosed Monday night that Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan and his intelligence chiefs are well aware that Bin Laden and Zawahiri are hiding in Iran. The leak to the Kuwait paper was intended to show the Obama administration that the Turkish leader's ties with Iran had grown intense enough for him to be fully in the picture of Iran's secret sanctuary for the authors of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

Of course, if it is true, it would be interesting to see whether there would be any repercussions for Iran and Turkey. My guess is Obama would be much too weak to do anything.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Latest Dem "Jobs Bill:" Jack Taxes on Job Creators, Give to Unemployed

In typical Democrat fashion, the latest "jobs bill" consists of jacking taxes on private equity and venture capital firms that create jobs and give the money to the unemployed.

Should produce the typical Obamanomics result.

Rating Economic Intelligence

Daniel Klein, an economics professor at George Mason University, conducted a study with 4,835 adults regarding their knowledge of basic economics. The results are very intriguing, as the WSJ notes.

How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.

Americans in the first three categories do reasonably well. But the left has trouble squaring economic thinking with their political psychology, morals and aesthetics.

To be sure, none of the eight questions specifically challenge the political sensibilities of conservatives and libertarians. Still, not all of the eight questions are tied directly to left-wing concerns about inequality and redistribution. In particular, the questions about mandatory licensing, the standard of living, the definition of monopoly, and free trade do not specifically challenge leftist sensibilities.

Yes, I'm sure the Left will scream bias or skewed results, but the results speak for themselves. Liberals are clueless on the economy.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Obama 2008: I Ran a Big Campaign, So I Can Handle a Gulf Emergency

Byron York reminds us that Obama declared during his campaign that because he had a gigantic campaign budget, he was well prepared to take on any Gulf emergency better than others.

OBAMA: Well, you know, my understanding is, is that Governor Palin’s town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees. We have got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So, I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute, I think, has been made clear over the last couple of years. And, certainly, in terms of the legislation that I passed just dealing with this issue post-Katrina of how we handle emergency management, the fact that many of my recommendations were adopted and are being put in place as we speak, I think, indicates the degree to which we can provide the kinds of support and good service that the American people expect.

But then again, this was one of his smaller untruths during the campaign.

UK To Eliminate Millions of Operations to Cut Costs

Health care rationing in the UK is alive and well in an effort to cut costs.

Millions of patients face losing NHS care as bosses prepare to axe treatments to make £20billion of savings by 2014, a top doctor has warned.

Among procedures being targeted by health trusts are hernias, joint replacements, ear and nose procedures, varicose veins and cataract surgery.

Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association’s consultants committee, warned NHS bosses wanted ‘wholesale reductions in budgets’.

He said primary care trusts – which commission care – are already compiling lists of ‘low value’ operations that would no longer be provided.

How about a deal where if you work for the government or a non-profit, you get the surgery, but if you work for the private sector, you do not? Don't be surprised if that's coming to Obamacare.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

WSJ: Obamanomics Has Created An Employer Strike

Unsurprising to anyone with even a remedial understanding of economics, the Democrat stimulus bills have been a complete disaster:

Almost everything Congress has done in recent months has made private businesses less inclined to hire new workers. ObamaCare imposes new taxes and mandates on private employers. Even with record unemployment, Congress raised the minimum wage to $7.25, pricing more workers out of jobs. The teen unemployment rate rose to 26.4% in May, and for those between the ages of 25 and 34 it rose to 10.5%. These should be some of the first to be hired in an expansion because they are relatively cheap and have the potential for large productivity gains as they add skills.

The "jobs" bill that the House passed last week expands jobless insurance to 99 weeks, while raising taxes by $80 billion on small employers and U.S-based corporations. On January 1, Congress is set to let taxes rise on capital gains, dividends and small businesses. None of these are incentives to hire more Americans.

What's the Democrat solution? Another failed "stimulus."

Friday, June 04, 2010

Barack's America

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

If the Obama administration's forecasts are this awful in just over a one-year time frame, what do you think the true costs of Obamacare will be 5-10 years from now?

Jobs....Fewer Than Expected...Again!

At this point in the recovery, the private sector is supposed to be creating tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of jobs per month.

Last month's jobs number looked impressive at 431,000 jobs but that was because 411,000 of them were temporary government census jobs. The market was expecting a somewhat modest 100,000 new private jobs. It got a fraction of that figure.

Obamanomics. Get used to it.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Turkey Switched Sides Long Ago

Pajamas Media has a good post on Turkey and its "switching sides" from ally to enemy of Israel a while ago.

The relationship breakdown was already clear — and in private every Israeli expert dealing seriously with Turkey said so — well over two years ago: the cause was the election in Turkey of an Islamist government.

Turkey’s AK Party government has not permitted a single new military contract with Israel since it took office. The special relationship was over then.

...And then, on top of that, the regime saw that the United States would not criticize it, not press it, not even notice what the Turkish government was doing. President Barack Obama came to Turkey and praised the regime as a model of moderate Muslim democracy. Former President Bill Clinton appeared in Istanbul, and in response to questions asked by an AK Party supporter, was manipulated into virtually endorsing the regime’s program without realizing it.


NY Teen Reinstated After Being Suspended For Rosary Beads

A federal judge ordered the reinstatement of Raymond Hosier, a New York teen, after he was suspended for wearing rosary beads to school. He wears the beads in memory of his brother who died in a bike accident.

"When I wear the rosary beads," Hosier says, "my brother's memory is alive." His brother, Joey Hosier, was holding the rosary when he died.

The response from the school system?

"Beads are often identifiers for gangs," says Karen Corona, who handles communications for the Schenectady City School District. "The code of conduct is entirely about keeping students safe. Unfortunately, we live in an area where we need to do that. We try to take every step possible to keep the displays out of school."

Please. If the biggest problem in your district is that "gangs" choose to wear rosary beads around their necks, I'd say you're doing pretty well.

White House Leaker: Obama Offered Romanoff Job Too

This is a brewing scandal that the media will try to brush under the rug, but it seems clear that this Sestak matter was not the only time Obama tried to fix elections by getting candidates to bow out. It happened with Colorado's Andrew Romanoff last year.

The Colorado episode follows a similar controversy in Pennsylvania. An embarrassed White House admitted last Friday that it turned to former President Bill Clinton last year to approach Rep. Joe Sestak about backing out of the primary in favor of an unpaid position on a federal advisory board.

Let's just say that if this were revealed during the Bush Administration, he would probably already have been impeached.

Romanoff admits discussions about 3 different jobs.

National Debt Skyrockets to $13 Trillion

The United States of Obama's national debt topped $13,000,000,000,000.00 for the first time, which is now 89% of GDP, a startling number that will grow to 100% of GDP before the end of Obama's term.

Look out Europe, the U.S. is catching up to your fiscal irresponsibility in the quickest timeframe imaginable.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

CBS: Gore Separation is Bush's Fault

CBS, the trusted Dan Rather's former network, says that Bush was ultimately the cause of the Gore breakup.

Turkish "Peace Activist" Flotilla Really a Terrorist Activist Flotilla

It's interesting how the Leftist media throughout the world got this story about the Turkish flotilla exactly wrong. First dubbed as "peace activists," it is now becoming clear that the leaders driving the flotilla were really terrorist activists and according to Debka, supported by the Turkish government.

This evidence released by the IDF Monday night, June 1, described how the Turkish Marmara, the flotilla's lead vessel, had been commandeered by terrorists indirectly supported by the Ankara government's subsidy to the Turkish Insani Yardim Vakfi - IHH, which is listed by the American CIA as an al Qaeda-linked Islamist terrorist organization with bases in Turkey, Bosnia and Bulgaria.

Those passengers attested to more than a hundred members of terrorist organizations aboard acting like a quasi-military group with a command hierarchy, whose leader forced the other four or five hundred passengers to fall into line behind them. The group was split into sub-sections, each in charge of a section of the ship before and after it set sail from Istanbul. Its members were all armed with an assortment of chains, iron bars and knives as well as night goggles and gas masks.

Although they appeared to hail from different terrorist organizations from various countries, they were all ordered to say they belonged to the IHH.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Democrat Minimum Wage Bill Destroys American Samoa Economy

Predictable repercussions of the Democrat minimum wage bill in American Samoa. From the WSJ:

When Democrats in Congress increased the minimum wage in 2007, the U.S. territory of 65,000 in the South Pacific pleaded for its traditional exemption from the wage law to prevent job losses. But Democrats followed union orders and said that if multinational companies like StarKist, one of Samoa's largest employers, could pay its CEO millions it could afford to pay workers $7.25 an hour. So they raised the minimum wage for low-skilled Samoan workers from $3.26 an hour to $5.25 today and by 2015 it will rise to the current U.S. minimum of $7.25.

Job losses have followed the way that any economics 101 student would expect. Last September Chicken of the Sea closed its tuna canning operation in the territory, leaving more than 2,000 Samoans jobless.

Then last month StarKist announced it will lay off as many as 800 workers, bringing its work force there from 3,000 before the minimum wage hike to 1,200 by 2011. StarKist explained that because of the minimum wage hike Samoa is no longer competitive with other tuna canning countries. American Samoa's unemployment rate, which was less than 10% in 2003, has climbed to some 30% or more today.

In return for destroying its economy, Congress is now seeking an $18 million handout from American taxpayers to support the Samoans. How kind of them.