News Roundup for 9/16/14

Here are some of the important news stories and opinions from recent days.

Hillary the Faker: At a recent political event Hillary “Clinton gamely posed, pretending to grill a steak that had been pre-cooked for her,” reports the Economist, as quoted by National Review. That’s the main problem with Hillary, and the main reason why I think she’ll never be president: It seems like everything is staged with her.

Import-Export Bank: As Steve Simpson reviews for the Ayn Rand Institute, the House reauthorized the Import-Export bank for another six months. Simpson argues that politicians do such things to gain control over others: “When government holds the power to dole out benefits, like taxpayer-guaranteed loans from the Ex-Im Bank, and burdens, like Dodd-Frank and zillions of other business regulations, the only way to function is to plead for special status before the modern-day equivalent of the King’s court.”

City Socialism: My home city of Westminster, Colorado, will decide next month whether to enter into “an exclusive agreement with Oliver McMillan to redevelop” the (now demolished) Westminster Mall, the Denver Post reports. But why is city government even involved with such a thing? The article doesn’t say, but certainly the city’s restrictive zoning has something to do with it. If you don’t play by the city’s rules, you don’t build. As I wrote in 2005, the city declared the property blighted. I also suspect the city will come up with a package of tax discounts for the development. If you want to find free enterprise, don’t look in cities like Westminster.

Military for Ebola: “U.S. Military to Send 3,000 to Battle Ebola Virus,” the Wall Street Journal reports. I understand the Ebola outbreak is horrific, but this simply is not an appropriate use of the military.

Discounts for Churchgoers: The owner of a pizza shop in Arkansas offers discounts to churchgoers. A local group threatened to bring legal action. But the owner has a moral right to run his business as he sees fit, argues Natale Ogle for the Objective Standard.

China Economy: China is currently in the midst of a “sharp real-estate downturn” and “flagging factory output,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Wait a minute: You mean government “stimulus” doesn’t work?

American Tech Economy: This news was surprising to me: Hal Salzman claims for US News that the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workforce suffers from “ample supply, stagnant wages and, by industry accounts, thousands of applicants for any advertised job.”

Militarized… Schools? “Los Angeles Unified School District police officials are considering whether they need the armored vehicle and grenade launchers they received from the U.S. military,” CBS Los Angeles reports (hat tip to Drudge). Huh, tough question.

CO Anti-Abortion Measure: If you had any questions about whether a Colorado ballot measure this year is about bestowing full legal rights—”personhood”—to zygotes, just ask its sponsors. (It is.) See Jason Salzman’s report.

Taliban: From Kabul, Afghanistan: “A Taliban attacker detonated his car bomb next to an international military convoy on Tuesday, killing three members of the NATO-led force and wounding nearly 20 troops and civilians,” the Associated Press reports.

Declaration of War: An article from the Week makes a good point: If Obama wants to go to war with Islamic State, why doesn’t he seek Congressional approval, as the Constitution demands?

Boko Haram: “Boko Haram Declares Its Own Caliphate in Nigeria,” NBC reports.