Grassroot Perspective: Halftime Half-truths, Healthy Federalism, and More

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Scanning the week’s national news, views and clues with you and yours in mind

Photo by Spinerod, released into the public domain.

By Malia Hill


“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”— Robert Collier

Each week, we’ll be monitoring the web to find the most interesting, challenging, or important items for those who are concerned about liberty, accountability, and big government.  Here are some of the highlights from the past week:

Half-Truths at Halftime

If you’re like many Americans, you saw the now-famous “Halftime in America” Chrysler ad and then spent the next few minutes watching the TV in puzzlement.  “What on earth is Madonna wearing on her head?” you may have wondered.  “And I hope she doesn’t waste too much time with new material.”  But later, you would have returned to thinking about the Clint Eastwood halftime ad and wondered whether they were a coded message for or against the President.  And you might have asked yourself how the company had the gall to gloss over the fact that they were the recipients of a generous government bailout.  Halftime indeed.  Now, (and Remy) give you the “Halftime in America” spoof that hits on all those questions nagging at your mind while Chrysler tried to play your heartstrings.

A Jones for Fighting

There is a tropical island in America that has finally had enough of the damage that the Jones Act causes their economy, and which has decided that (in order to become economically competitive—and therefore successful) it’s time to seek an exemption to it.  Unfortunately, the island in question in Puerto Rico, not Oahu, and the crusading Governor that has helped reform so much of the region’s economy is Gov. Fortuño, not Governor Abercrombie.  I suppose we can only hope that our own state government will be inspired by the example set by Puerto Rico’s reforms, and recognize that the Jones Act may be good for unions, but it’s not good for Hawaii’s businesses.

New Adventures in Authoritarianism

There was a time when the Left’s chants were all about keeping government out of your bedroom.  Now it appears that they’ve had a change of heart.  As John C. Goodman explains, the Obama Administration, not content with regulating the hoped-for economic recovery to a standstill, now feels the need to decide who is entitle to contraceptive coverage.  The fact that this has created a crisis in religious liberty and conscience issues with certain religious institutions seems to have caught the Administration by surprise.  Perhaps the Advisors who came up with this policy (and the false and insulting “compromise” that followed the initial outcry) ought to spend a little time considering the possibility that government edicts in one’s moral life are neither required nor welcome.

Obamacare and Federalism

Yes, I am aware that I am linking to a long legal brief.  And yes, I am also aware that it contains legal writing (hence this warning) and terms like “amicus” and “Necessary and Proper”.  But if you’re interested in the battle over the constitutionality of Obamacare (and you should be, because that’s really like saying, “if you’re interested in whether your spendthrift brother-in-law has your credit card,”), you should at least read the introduction to ALEC’s amicus brief on the individual health care mandate.  Not only will it remind you of why you were so annoyed back when the Bill was shoved through Congress in the first place, but it’s also an excellent review of the principles of Federalism and why it is important to constrain the power of Congress to impose such mandates on the States.

European Dis-Union

It was inevitable, perhaps, that the economic woes in Europe would lead to prophecies of doom for the European Union.  (For those of us who were history majors, it remains amazing that a group of countries that seem to excel in nursing grievances with each other that last for centuries could ever achieve any measure of unity.)  But is this prediction that we might see the end in less than a decade correct?  Time will tell, but it does seem clear that—absent dramatic action—the EU is headed towards a crisis.

Views expressed in this column are intended to promote creative thought, educate, and, we hope, prompt comment. Accordingly, thoughts expressed do not necessarily reflect the official position of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii or the author.

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