Ross Mackenzie

A random walk among issues currently in the news....

Comes now Big Brother. Not only do state and local governments have unfunded retirement obligations totaling at least $2 trillion. Also, of the 50 states, at least 31 are insolvent. So, with states and localities facing such massive debt issues, why put a gun to their heads and force them to bargain collectively with police, fire, and emergency personnel? It's a unionist priority, and the Senate is expected to vote soon on the blandly named Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act. Passage would mean federal overriding of state laws principally in the South, the West, and the Midwest, and would compel collective bargaining with public safety personnel nationwide.

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon undersea gusher now in Lake Pontchartrain. Monster Asian carp from an Arkansas fishery now in Lake Calumet -- just shy of Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes. Where's the federal cavalry? These days, does calling it do any good at all?

The New York Daily News reports that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is telling friends and relatives he will not retire from the court before the next presidential inauguration (in 2013). And that may tell us all we need to know about Kennedy's opinion of President Obama and his two nominees to the court. Kennedy is the fifth, or swing, vote between the court's leftist and conservative wings. He may feel that given the strange jurisprudential views of Mesdames Sotomayor and Kagan, an Obama nominee for a vacancy created by his retirement would secure the court among the far-left loons for generations.

Colombia is our most loyal Latin American ally -- and has won a war against narc-running Leninist guerrillas to boot. So why doesn't Congress approve the Colombia free-trade pact awaiting a vote since the Democrats took over Congress in 2006? Reason One: Barack Obama campaigned against ratifying the pact and evidently still doesn't like it. Reason Two: Not enough time. In early June, Sen. Chris Dodd termed ratification of the pact this year impossible because Congress had just 40 working days before recessing for vacation.

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

Be the first to read Ross Mackenzie's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.