Two men were recently apprehended by Border Patrol and spent two hours in custody. What offense had these hardened criminals committed? Trying to smuggle chocolate eggs into the United States:
SEATTLE (AP) — Two chocolate eggs in their car.say they spent more than two hours in a detention center at the Canadian border after U.S. border agents discovered illegal
Brandon Loo andtold (http://is.gd/usuy85 ) they decided to bring home some treats for friends and family during a recent trip to . They bought — chocolate eggs with a toy inside.
The two men say border guards searched their car and said the eggs are illegal in the United States because young children could choke on the small plastic toys. Importing them can lead to a potentially hefty fine.
Sweeney says the bust was a waste of his time and the agents' time. The men eventually got off with a warning.
I find it hard to believe that the US Customs and Border Protection has nothing better to do than prevent people from smuggling illegal candy into the United States. Not only is it completely nonsensical to outlaw candy in the first place, but when allocating scarce resources, it's pretty ridiculous that this gets priority. As usual, overcriminalization leads to resources being directed away from real problems to contrived ones.
Recently, Senate Democrats caused a stir when they expressed outrage over the Ralph Lauren Team USA uniforms being made in China. My colleague Erika Johnsen at HotAir.com reported that Harry Reid said we should "burn" the outfits because they weren't made in this country. Now the Chicago Tribune reports that six Senate Democrats will introduce the Team USA Made in America Act of 2012 next week.
With U.S. unemployment hovering just above 8 percent, politicians have spoken out against the uniforms for the London Games, which start later this month, and six Democratic senators said they plan to introduce legislation requiring the ceremonial uniforms be produced in the United States.
Oh please. This fake populism warrants so much criticism that I'm not sure where to begin.
Currently, 2 percent of clothing is made in America. I imagine that most everything these members of Congress wear wasn't made in America. And that's a good thing. Counterintuitive as it may sound, we become wealthier from buying particular items abroad.
It's called comparative advantage. If someone spends time building something when they could buy it for less, they are making themselves poorer. I don't know too many writers who make their own pens or computers. If they did, they would have no time to hone their skill, and no products to offer to anyone else. This principle applies on an international level as well. Countries that are able to offer more advanced products that require a higher level of skill make themselves better off by concentrating effort on those products, not wasting time on things that could be done by someone else. The more time they spend making products that are cheaper to buy, the less time they spend making themselves wealthier by producing whatever it is that they are best at producing. It doesn't make sense to make more clothing here, but as the article linked above points out, we do design advanced clothing products (like waterproof jackets).
America has been consistently importing cheap products and designing more advanced ones, and I don't see our GDP shrinking. As a matter of fact, the only dip we've had came during the worst years of the recession. Poor countries design t-shirts. Given the opportunity, I would like to ask Harry Reid why he thinks we should be more like Honduras or Vietnam.
But even if you don't buy that, it's hard to stomach the faux outrage over Olympic outfits given how many imports we subsidize through things like the Export-Import Bank.
I can't imagine that the members of Congress who sponsored this legislation are losing sleep over the handful of jobs that would have resulted from making Team USA's outfits in America. I suspect it has a lot more to do with making a row to distract from their policies that caused the unemployment rate to get so high in the first place.
At National Review Online, Jim Geraghty notices a trend that has bothered Townhall readers for some time now-polls that are skewed towards Democrats. Geraghty posts an email from his number-crunching correspondent, bemoaning the blantant oversampling:
On another polling annoyance, I turn to your favorite punching bag PPP-D. Here is the trend with PPP-D. They do a terrific job polling our primaries (this is not sarcasm). Their closing polls are usually okay. But their tracks, should be involving a Republican versus Democrat race be viewed with healthy skepticism. The latest poll release in NC showing Obama +1 indicated a Democrat advantage of +12. I don’t know what they are smoking over there but I want some (just kidding) . . .
As I tracking every public poll, I have found it amazing on how many pollsters are oversampling Democrats. On average, every poll is indicating a partisan ID similar to 2008. Based on my analysis, the average gap is +6.4% Democrat which compares to the +7% which was in 2008. Alas, for the RCP poll average to be correct you have to assume the self-identified party preference turnout will be similar to 2008, if the turnout is similar to 2004 or 2000 or 2010, Obama’s polling leads may as well be part of his “story telling.” For the pollsters that look at preference, Rasmussen has indicated that the self-identified party ID (for Adults – not likely voters) is about +1.4% Republican.
Based on my track if the election were held today Romney wins by 5 percentage points.
We have reported this trend whenever we see it. One possible reason is that not everyone who is a registered Democrat actually votes that way. Geraghty notes that in North Carolina, for example, there actually are many more registered Democrats than Republicans, though Democrats tend to lean conservative.
Irritating for sure, but the good news is that President Obama seems to be losing ground even when given a sampling boost. And that in four months, we won't have to hear the media alternately slanting the polls, then patting the president on the back as they try to help him out.
More great news on the health care front, via The Hill. The FTC is now reporting that the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare is prompting scams.
"They might have the routing number from your bank, and then use that information to get you to reveal the entire account number," the alert stated. "Or, they'll ask for your credit card or Social Security number, Medicare ID, or other personal information."
According to the FTC website, the scammers are asking to verify bank information or asking for personal identification numbers for the purpose of committing fraud. The FTC advises that people just hang up, saying that the government has all the information it needs on each individual, and would not have to ask them for it.
After last week's speculation, it looks like Condi is still uninterested in being Mitt's running mate:
Condi has said time and again that she isn't interested in holding any political offices in the future. Conservatives have been pretty divided over some of her domestic policy stances, particularly her 'mildly pro-choice' views. Now it looks like that will no longer be an issue. So who's next?
Congratulations, fellow citizens. You have officially finished paying off the cost of government for 2012 today. Each year, Americans For Tax Reform calculates how long it takes to pay off the burden of federal, state and local taxes, and this year it took 197 days-88 for federal spending, 69 for regulatory burdens, and 40 for state and local spending.
Every year, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and the Cost of Government Center calculate the Cost of Government Day. This is the day on which the average American has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state, and local levels.In 2012, Cost of Government Day falls on July 15. Working people must toil 197 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government. 2012 marks the fourth consecutive year COGD has fallen in July.From a different perspective, the cost of government makes up 54.0 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP).
The full report, which can be found here, notes that since the 2010 elections, Cost of Government Day has gotten slightly earlier each year. That will change, however, if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, and all the various Obamacare taxes kick in.
Between 1977 and 2008, Cost of Government Day was never later than June. Thanks to TARP and the stimulus, the difference between 2008 and 2009 was 24 days. Since 2010, it has been going back down in small increments (COGD in 2012 was three days earlier than in 2011). If nothing changes, though, the coming onslaught of spending will negate these improements many times over.
In 2008, Obama For America made use of plenty of campaign spots. This week the Nevada Journal reports that several local governments are having trouble getting the campaign to pick up the tab for campaign stops-in 2008. Taxpayers have been on the hook for thousands of dollars in campaign expenses for four years.
This is a long article, but definitely worth a read in full. The campaign has ignored several requests for reimbursement in different cities, and even flat out refused requests. When officials in Durham, NH asked the campaign to $20,000-$30,000 in safety expenses, they received the following reply:
As a private organization, OFA does not participate in security or traffic control planning. All such decisions, including their impact on costs incurred by federal, state or local governments, are exclusively within the control of the appropriate government officials. Should there be a question about the allocation of expenses among the cooperating authorities, we assume that it should be directed to the U.S. Secret Service.
Interestingly, it wasn't until newspapers started reporting on this that the campaign began to repay its expenses.
Well, just about tied. The president currently leads Gov. Romney by one point:
According to the data, Gov. Romney leads among male voters by 14 points, while President Obama leads among female voters by the same margin. He also leads among black voters by a wide margin (93% to Romney's 7%). Interestingly, Hispanic voters are the most divided. 49% are inclined to vote for President Obama and 42% support Governor Romney.
Overall, it sounds like Governor Romney has his work cut out for him in Florida. As the article notes, that is the swing state that will award the most electoral votes this year. In spite of the overall near tie, voters in Florida don't approve of the job that President Obama is doing, don't seem to think that the country is on the right track, and oppose the health care law by a slim majority. Independents may not be completely sold on Governor Romney yet, but there's no reason that he can't take these numbers and run with them.
Earlier this year, the Obama Administration attempted to block Florida Governor Rick Scott's efforts to purge ineligible voters from Florida voter rolls. A review of drivers license data turned up 2,625 suspected ineligible voters. But the DOJ tried to stop the state from acting on this information.
Nearly two months later, and after getting smacked down by a judge, the Obama Administration is being ordered to help Florida clean up state voter rolls. This past week, the Department of Homeland Security agreed to let Florida access a law enforcement database to prevent non-citizens from voting.
The agreement, made in a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott's administration that was obtained by The Associated Press, grants the state access to a list of resident noncitizens maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. The Obama administration had denied Florida's request for months, but relented after a judge ruled in the state's favor in a related voter-purge matter.
It's not perfect. SAVE, or the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements can only identify people with an 'alien number', such as a green card holder or someone who has a work visa-in other words, people who are here legally but cannot vote. Those who are here illegally still slip under the radar. Still, Governor Scott told the AP that this is a "significant victory for Florida and for the integrity of our election system".
Officials in othe states such as Colorado are also seeking access to the SAVE database. Colorado's secretary of state, Scott Gessler says he wants to check the status of 5,000 registered voters.
Got 90 seconds? That's all it takes to help repeal Obamacare. As we wait for the Supreme Court to hand down the decision on Obamacare, the National Republican Congressional Committee is launching a petition for full repeal. If you want in, you can add your signature at iwantrepeal.com. Congressman Roskam is helping to kick off the campaign:
And if you need anymore reasons to help repeal Obamacare (or know someone who does) check out this video, which explains everything that is wrong with this trainwreck of a bill: