Posted by on September 12, 2019 10:48 am
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Categories: Weekly Update

Editor’s Note: Completely bizarre is the new normal


After centuries of mostly sensible democratic self-government, with only the occasional beheading or religious purge, the UK is flailing into uncharted territory following last week’s Parliamentary rebellion against Prime Minister Boris Johnson over his plans to take the country into a “no-deal” Brexit.


Before being prorogued for five weeks, Parliament passed a law forcing Johnson to seek an extension of Article 50 unless he is able to strike a deal with the EU — something he has vowed to never do. Johnson now says he will strike a deal with the EU, even though its demand for a “backstop” — a temporary customs union between the UK and the EU to avoid a hard border in Ireland — would still seem to present an insuperable obstacle.


Making matters even more complicated, the Conservatives no longer have a majority in Parliament thanks to Johnson’s decision to kick out 21 Tory rebels, while the opposition refuses to trigger an election as he’d hoped; and a Scottish court just ruled his request for prorogation unconstitutional (all totally unprecedented, which is becoming the usual mode of British politics).


The fact that the British constitution isn’t written down probably won’t help clarify matters. Will Johnson and his advisors come up with a tricky way to fulfill the letter of the law but not its spirit, for example by attaching ludicrous demands to the request for an extension? Or will he reverse course and cave to the backstop demand? Or perhaps resign? The clock is ticking, but Britain’s government doesn’t look like it will start making sense anytime soon.


— Erik Sass, Editor-in-Chief, The Economic Standard



Featured Opinions


Not The Full Shilling: Irish Skeptical of New Brexit Deal


— Erik Sass, TES editor-in-chief


The Gubernator Unloads On Trump For Blocking Fuel Efficiency Rules


— Arnold Schwarzenegger, former California governor


Can Threat of Decoupling Resolve Trade War?


— Jake Novak, Analyst 


Trump Can Support Hong Kong Protesters (If He Wants To)


— Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker, and Christine Whiton


She’s Baaaack: Vestager Returns, More Powerful Than Ever


— Erik Sass, TES editor-in-chief


Don’t Freak Out Over Vaping, Say UK Docs


— Daniel Pryor, Adam Smith Institute



Washington Beyond The Headlines


By Andy Blom, TES Contributor


Congress is back! Back from 5 weeks of taxpayer funded recess! Ready to work on…the Spiraling National Debt? Gun Control? The Canada Mexico Trade Deal? Nope. Congress wants to investigate Stormy Daniels. And misread hurricane maps. Really. Meanwhile free market conservatives continue advancing ideas to move America forward. Here’s a roundup of the week’s activity in Washington…


  • Food Stamps for Millionaires. It’s True. And You Can Help Stop It. Glitches in our welfare regulations, and some extremely sloppy regulating by the Obama Administration have created a loophole that is allowing actual millionaires to get actual food stamps. The Trump Administration is trying to stop it. Read about it here. Do your part and comment on the proposed rule here. Comments close on September 23.


  • Income Inequality? Not According to the Numbers. Mark Perry takes a look at figures just out from the Census Bureau and they put the lie to income inequality hysteria. According to Census info, the income shares of the top 5% and top 20% of U.S. households have remained flat for the last 25 years. See the chart here.


  • CBO: Bailing Out Failing Union Pension Funds Won’t Work. In response to a request from Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi the Congressional Budget Office studied the potential effects of H.R. 1994, the SECURE Act of 2019 which is designed to help underfunded trade union pension plans regain financial integrity and pay promised benefits. In truth, the CBO says the legislation would end up costing taxpayers as much as $638 billion while the funds still went bankrupt and failed to fulfill their obligations to repay Federal loans or pay their beneficiaries full benefits. Mark Tapscott gives details here.


  • Attorney General William Bart: End Nationwide Injunctions. We’ve all seen it over and over…the President or Congress enact an initiative, then some local judge blocks it all across the nation. It’s frustrating. Now, U.S. Attorney GeneralWilliam P. Barr writes a compelling piece in the Wall Street Journal calling for an end to Nationwide Injunctions issued by activist judges. A relatively recent practice, the procedural device is being used in a local case to prevent the government from proceeding nationally with a policy. These days virtually every significant congressional or presidential initiative is enjoined, threatening our Democratic system and undermining the rule of law. Barr points out that this allows willful courts to ruin the chance for political compromise, and further, that partisans who cheer the practice should recognize that at some point the shoe will be on the other foot. In 8 years the Obama Administration suffered 20 nationwide injunctions. The Trump Administration has already faced nearly 40. Read Barr’s thoughts on stopping this unjust Judicial practice.


  • The Janus Decision Freed Public Employees from Forced Union Membership and Dues…But Not in California. The landmark Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 31 recognized workers’ constitutional rights not to have to pay for political speech they did not agree with (Union lobbying and political support/donations) and broke the back of compulsory union membership and dues paying for public employees. But California immediately took legislative action to hide the impact of Janus from its public employees. The Pacific Legal Foundation is fighting on behalf on two (and hence eventually all) public workers to combat the sneaky and constitutionally questionable actions of the Golden State. Read about it at


  • De Blasio Offers the Worst Regulation Ever Proposed. New York City Mayor (and Candidate) Bill de Blasio wants to fight 21st century’s inevitable automation with the creation of a brand new Federal agency with onerous powers and a frightening new tax that would dramatically slow, or even halt, automation across the land. Read this to see De Blasio’s sweeping bureaucratic vision.


  • Climate Change is a Hot Topic…So Watch a Heated Debate. As the UN convenes its Climate Summit on September 23rd, The Heartland Institute will present their own heated debate on the topic, bringing together some of the country’s most prominent advocates for immediate action on climate change and having them face off with a team, of “climate realist” scientists. It’s all being live streamed September 23 from 7 PM to 9 PM ET at John Stossel will moderate. AOC has been uninvited. Tune in for fireworks.


  • Cutting a Bad Obama Era Regulation…There’s a Lightbulb at the End of the Tunnel. One of the Obama Administration’s most intrusive regulations was its attempt to force Americans to buy the lightbulb of its choice: more energy efficient LED or compact fluorescent. The Trump Administration’s Department of Energy has removed the restriction, freeing Americans to buy the bulb of their own choice. Many may prefer the more energy efficient Obama regulated bulbs. Many will happily return to incandescent or halogen lightbulbs. What is important is that they have the freedom to make their own decisions without government regulation. More info? Read it here.



Upcoming events: Washington is getting busy, lots of interesting and important events:


  • 21st ANNUAL CONGRESSIONAL BASKETBALL GAME. Free! Lawmakers and Lobbyists Hoop-It-Up for Charity. Tuesday, September 17, 6:30 Congressional Staff Game; 7:30 Members of Congress Games. Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave NE, Washington.
  • INDIA ON THE HILL, Charting a Future for Indo-US Relations. A 2 day joint presentation of The Heritage Foundation and prominent Indian think tank The Observer Research Foundation. Wednesday and Thursday September 18th and 19th, 9 AM – 1 PM (light lunch follows). The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. RSVP: org/events.
  • AMERICA’S INDO-PACIFIC POLICY, featuring Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK). Monday, September 23, 3 PM – 4 PM. Reception follows. The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. RSVP: org/events.
  • COUNTERING HUMAN TRAFFICKING. A symposium of corporate efforts to combat the evil of modern slavery, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. September 24 in Washington. Times, location and RSVP here.
  • REASON, FAITH, AND THE STRUGGLE FOR WESTERN CIVILIZATION. Book presentation and discussion by the author, Samuel Gregg. Tuesday, September 24, 12 PM – 1 PM, Heritage Foundation’s Lehman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE. RSVP: org/events.
  • SAVE THE DATE: Senator Robert Griffey and Howard Jenkins, Jr. Induction into the U.S. Department of Labor Hall of Honor. Thursday, September 26, 2 PM. U.S. Dept. Of labor. Contact Rudy Olivo, Office of Public Liaison. 202-63-6000.
  • SUPREME COURT PREVIEW OF THE 2019-2020 TERM, featuring The Hon. Paul Clement, 43rd Solicitor General of the United States. Thursday, September 26, 12 PM – 1 PM, the Heritage Foundation’s Allison Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. RSVP: org/events.
  • COSM, A National Technology Summit Presented by Discovery Institute. October 23-25, Seattle, WA. Info at
  • DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION Annual Gala. Courage Under Fire Award: The Honorable Lindsey Graham. October 30, The Mayflower Hotel, Washington. Cocktails 6 PM, Dinner 7 PM, Dancing 8:30 PM. Info:
  • Austrian Economics Center, Hayek Institut, and Fundacion Internacional Bases, are organizing a conference with top tier intellectual contributors on the subject, Austrian School of Economics in the 21st Century, November 13-14, Vienna, Austria. Web site.


Short Takes…


  • Welfare Buys Democrat Votes…OSP has released historical data that shows the impact of welfare on low income voters. Among low income voters who have never receive welfare the voters split almost equally Republican and Democrat. Among those who receive welfare there is a 36% swing from R to D. And when people come off of welfare and go to work there is a 30% swing back from D to R. Welfare reform anyone?


  • A Worldwide Call for Worldwide Action on Hong Kong. 46 Organizations from 27 countries have signed a letter sent to world leaders calling for condemnation of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region of the People’s Republic of China’s actions against protestors and asking world governments to support passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, intended to safeguard Hong Kong’s autonomy.


  • Having Trouble Finding that ‘Right’ Employee? This May Be the Reason. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a chart showing recent employment data (July, 2019) with a staggering finding: America has less than 1 unemployed person per job opening. 0.8 unemployed per opening to be more precise. Ten years ago there were 6.4 unemployed persons per job opening. Amazing.