Tag Archives: MA

Holder’s DOJ Says, “You’re Grounded!”

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This week, a prospective merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways stalled, when the United States Department of Justice and six states’ attorneys general filed an antitrust lawsuit. If the merger succeeds, it would create the largest air carrier in the world. The DOJ cited numerous concerns over the effects that a newly merged airline company would mean for consumers.

Bill Baer, assistant-attorney general of  the DOJ’s antitrust division says he worries about the new company’s ability to change airfares unilaterally and sufficiently enough, that it would create price hikes across the industry. Through the company’s pricing power, industry standing, and numbers of slots at airports, the government contends the company would: wipe out special pricing programs and incentives, raise fares, reduce competition, and provide reduced services. The merger, which would leave three legacy carriers, would allow them to raise prices, because non-stop services would be eliminated, in lieu of connecting services.

In a refreshing change, it seems the DOJ is suddenly oriented toward thrift, and consumer protections. It is the government you have always wanted – they are looking out for you. It sounds great, right?

If this were not the same DOJ who turned a blind eye at voter intimidation and whose leader balked at answering questions about investigations of reporters, you might be able to take them at their word. It is also the same DOJ who allowed numerous other airline mergers in the past few years as well, without much criticism. (The lawsuit also uses those past mergers as proof that the new airline would raise prices).

As much as the DOJ would like to paint itself as some sort of a guardian of consumers, it is hard to believe. The remarks on the lawsuit contains several assumptions and suspicions about the prospective airline’s plans. The DOJ also points out that the two companies say they can manage without the merger, that each company stated they would do well without it. That is fine and good, but if the companies think that they can do business better still, with a merger, who is the DOJ to insert themselves (arbitrarily, in this author’s eyes) into the proceedings?

It was a done deal before the government stepped into the midst of the merger. ABCNews, and the Buckingham Group, point out that the merger had a 99% chance of happening. After the DOJ and state lawsuits, that figure dropped to 40%. The article continues to point out that if the merger occurs, the resulting, remaining airline companies would consist of four top airlines, which would control 80% of the commercial air market.

What does all this show us? What is the take away? I see a couple:

One, it seems to be another case of this administration seeking to pick winners and losers. A Blaze article goes so far as to say that the DOJ filed their suit to squeeze more concessions from the companies – this, despite people like Congressman Spencer Bachus mentioning that the airlines’ employees and unions supported the deal.

Two, in its prepared remarks about the merger, the DOJ lays out, step-by-step, the ways in which the merger will affect consumers. In a perfect understanding of market forces, they mention mechanisms such as supply and demand, competitive advantages, and pricing power concerns. Now, with an understanding such as that, how hard is it to swallow what this administration’s done elsewhere, and in other cases, where it has hurt capitalism?

The merger hits a big bump.

The American Airlines/US Airways merger hits a big bump.

Health Impacted by Green Wind Turbines?

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wind turbineTwo wind turbines towering located in the Cape Cod community of Falmouth, Massachusetts were intended to produce green energy and savings but after less than two years it appears they may instead be creating health issues to neighbors causing the town to consider their removal.

In the haste to reduce carbon emissions of standard fossil fuel generators, cities and towns have been given incentives to install green alternative energy producers. Unfortunately, it appears there maybe be unintended consequences from some of these programs.

Observational and case studies appear to show a broad range of health problems associated with the wind turbines including headaches, migraines, sleep disturbance, negative effects on psychological well-being, among others. A Canadian study has been commissioned beginning this month, to review the health and stress disturbances of residents who live in the vicinity of wind turbines.

The residents of Falmouth probably wish they had waited until this study was complete before spending all the money to install the turbines and now possibly spend as much, if not more, to remove them.

 

Proof That Romney Is Willing To Say ANYTHING To Get Elected


Willard Romney won six out of ten states last night, but you have to wonder how many voters saw this video before casting their ballots.  In it, he brags about how he was able to secure “over $410 Million” from the federal government to help fund the 2002 Winter Olympics.  What’s odd is that he even talks about how helpful it is to have people inside Washington to manipulate the system and get you money.

“I’ve learned from my Olympic experience that if you have people that really understand how Washington works and have personal associations there, you can get money to help build economic development opportunities.”  -Mitt Romney

To be honest… It kind of sounds like he describes a “Washington insider”.  And it sounds like he thinks that “Washington insiders” are good people to have around.  Later in the video, he even brags about how he got an extra million dollars from the Department Of Education.  When discussing it, he grins and describes it as using “creativity”.

This is all somewhat odd, considering that Mitt Romney has placed so much emphasis on the fact that he’s “not a Washington insider”.  But it sounds like when he was vying to be governor of Massachusetts, he was absolutely willing to employ the talents of just such insiders.

Romney has had a hard time convincing Conservative voters that he’s the candidate that they’re looking for, and examples like this might be why.

Barney Frank Ruins Mayan Expert's Big Break On TV


Barney Frank announced that he wasn’t running for re-election yesterday, and it’s almost like you could see the rays of sunlight beaming down on him while an angel’s chorus sang out, right?  A lot of people were happy that he made his announcement yesterday, but do you know who wasn’t?  This guy:

Arthur Demarest got to talk for about 18 seconds, before the news anchor cut him off to cover Barney Frank’s retirement announcement, and that’s just sad.  You can see that he went through a lot of trouble to come on and talk about the Mayan Calendar; it broke my heart.  There’s Arthur, all dressed up in a nice jacket.  He’s got a scenic skyline pictured behind him.  Here he was about to have his big break.  He was going to talk about the Mayan Calendar on America’s largest news channel, and then… BAM.  He gets “Franked”.  Barney Frank pulls the rug right out from under him.

Well, don’t worry, Arthur.  You’re not the first person that Barney’s Franked.  But hopefully, you’ll be the last, now that he’s getting out of Congress.  He’s done enough harm, and at one point or another, Barney’s Franked us all.

What are your thoughts on the distinguished congressmen’s retirement?  And what about poor Arthur?  Should he be invited back on?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.  And as always, gobble gobble.  (or something like that.. this holiday weekend was a bit too long)

Note:  “Franked” refers to Barney’s self-centered and self-serving policies that have harmed our nation over the years, and is not intended as a euphemism.