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Archive for December, 2010

Top Ten Reasons America Won't Miss the 111th Congress

OUR STARS FOR 2010

SARAH PALIN

THE TEA PARTY NATION

A remedy for beggar states

By George F. Will
Sunday, December 26, 2010

The nation’s menu of crises caused by governmental malpractice may soon include states coming to Congress as mendicants, seeking relief from the consequences of their choices. Congress should forestall this by passing a bill with a bland title but explosive potential.

Principal author of the Public Employee Pension Transparency Act is Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, where about 80 cents of every government dollar goes for government employees’ pay and benefits. His bill would define the scale of the problem of underfunded state and local government pensions and would notify states not to approach Congress like Oliver Twists, holding out porridge bowls and asking for more.

Corporate pension funds are heavily regulated, including pre-funding requirements. A federal agency, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., copes with insolvent ones. By requiring transparency, the government gave the private sector an incentive to move to defined contributions from defined-benefit plans, which are now primarily luxuries enjoyed by public employees.

Less candor, realism and pre-funding are required of state and municipal governments regarding their pension plans. Nunes’s bill would require them to disclose the size of their pension liabilities – and the often-dreamy assumptions behind the calculations. Noncompliant governments would be ineligible for issuing bonds exempt from federal taxation. Furthermore, the bill would stipulate that state and local governments are entirely responsible for their pension obligations and the federal government will provide no bailouts.

Nunes’s bill would not traduce any state’s sovereignty: Each would retain the right not to comply, choosing to forfeit access to the federally subsidized borrowing that facilitated their slide into trouble.

Those troubles are big. A study by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management calculates the combined underfunding of pensions in the all municipalities at $574 billion. States have an estimated $3.3 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities.

Nunes says that 10 states will exhaust their pension money by 2020, and all but eight states will by 2030.

States’ troubles are becoming bigger. Hitherto, local governments have acquired infusions of funds from federal budget earmarks, which are now forbidden. Furthermore, states are suffering “ARRA hangover” – withdrawal from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a.k.a. the 2009 stimulus. With about $150 billion for state and local governments, it raised the federal portion of state budgets from about a quarter to a third. Also, in 2009 and 2010, states and localities borrowed almost $200 billion through the ARRA’s Build America Bonds program, under which Washington pays 35 percent of the interest costs. Republicans, in another victory over the president in negotiations on extending the Bush tax rates, extinguished that program, which they say primarily produced more public-sector employees.

There are legal provisions for municipalities to declare bankruptcy. Some have done so. As many as 200 are expected to default on debt next year. There are, however, no bankruptcy provisions for states. Some who favor providing such provisions say states are “too big to fail,” and under bankruptcy, judges could rewrite union contracts or give states powers to do so, thereby reducing existing pension obligations. Unfortunately, government-administered bankruptcy of governments might be even more unseemly than Washington’s political twisting of the bankruptcy process on behalf of General Motors and Chrysler, including the use of TARP funds supposedly restricted for “financial institutions.”

Oliver Twist did not choose his fate. California, New York and Illinois – three states whose conditions are especially parlous – did. And in November, each of these deep-blue states elected Democratic governors beholden to public employee unions.

San Francisco is spending $400 million a year on public employees’ pensions, up from $175 million in 2005. In November, San Franciscans voted on Proposition B, which would have required city employees to contribute up to 10 percent of their salaries to their pension plans, and to pay half the health-care premiums of their dependents. Michael Moritz, a venture capitalist, says: “A typical San Francisco resident with one dependent pays $953 a month for health care, while the typical city employee pays less than $10.”

San Francisco voters defeated Proposition B. If they now experience a self-inflicted budgetary earthquake, there is no national obligation to ameliorate the disaster they, like many other cities and states, have chosen.

People seeking backdoor bailouts hope that the fourth branch of government, a.k.a. Ben Bernanke, will declare an emergency power for the Federal Reserve to buy municipal bonds to lower localities’ borrowing costs. This political act might mitigate one crisis by creating a larger one – the Fed’s forfeiture of its independence.

Days of Auld Lang What?

DECEMBER 31, 2010

The origin of the New Year’s anthem—

By PEGGY NOONAN

You know exactly when you’ll hear it, and you probably won’t hear it again for a year. The big clock will hit 11:59:50, the countdown will begin—10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4—and the sounds will rise: the party horns, fireworks and shouts of “Happy New Year!

And then they’ll play that song: “Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and days of auld lang syne?”

It is a poem in Scots dialect, set to a Scots folk tune, and an unscientific survey says that a lot of us don’t think much about the words, or even know them. The great film director Mike Nichols came to America from Germany as a child, when his family fled Hitler. He had to learn a lot of English quickly and never got around to “Auld Lang Syne”: “I was too busy with words like ’emergency exit’ on the school bus,” he told me. “As a result, I find myself weeping at gibberish on New Year’s Eve. I enjoy that.”

The screen and television writer Aaron Sorkin, who this year, with “The Social Network,” gives Paddy Chayefsky a run for his money, says that every year he means to learn the words. “Then someone tells me that’s not a good enough New Year’s resolution and I really need to quit smoking.”

Auld Lang Syne”—the phrase can be translated as “long, long ago,” or “old long since,” but I like “old times past”—is a song that asks a question, a tender little question that has to do with the nature of being alive, of being a person on a journey in the world. It not only asks, it gives an answer.

It was written, or written down, by Robert Burns, lyric poet and Bard of Scotland. In 1788 he sent a copy of the poem to the Scots Musical Museum, with the words: “The following song, an old song, of the olden times, has never been in print.” Burns was interested in the culture of Scotland, and collected old folk tales and poems. He said he got this one “from an old man”—no one knows who—and wrote it down. Being a writer, Burns revised and compressed. He found the phrase auld lang syne “exceedingly expressive” and thought whoever first wrote the poem “heaven inspired.” The song spread throughout Scotland, where it was sung to mark the end of the old year, and soon to the English-speaking world, where it’s sung to mark the new.

The question it asks is clear: Should those we knew and loved be forgotten and never thought of? Should old times past be forgotten? No, says the song, they shouldn’t be. We’ll remember those times and those people, we’ll toast them now and always, we’ll keep them close. “We’ll take a cup of kindness yet.”

The phrase old acquaintance is important,” says my friend John Whitehead, fabled figure of the old Goldman Sachs, the Reagan State Department, and D-Day. “It’s not only your close friends and people you love, it’s people you knew even casually, and you think of them and it brings tears to my eyes.” For him, acquaintance includes, “your heroes, my heroes—the Winston Churchills of life, the ones you admire. They’re old acquaintances too.”

But “the interesting, more serious message in the song is that the past is important, we mustn’t forget it, the old has something for us.”

So does the present, as the last stanza makes clear. The song is not only about those who were in your life, but those who are in your life. “And there’s a hand, my trusty friend, and give a hand of thine, We’ll take a right good-will draught for auld lang syne.”

To Tom Coburn, a U.S. senator from Oklahoma, the song is about friendship: “I think it’s a description of the things we lose in our hurry to do things. We forget to be a friend. We have to take the time to make friends and be friends, to sit and tell stories and listen to those of others.”

Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana said he always experienced the song as celebratory and joyful until something happened in 2004. Mr. Daniels was running for office, and it became a new bonding experience for him and his father, who followed the campaign closely: “He loved my stories from the road.” The elder Daniels died unexpectedly in August, “50 days short of my election as governor.” At a New Year’s party, the governor-elect heard the song in a new way. Ever since, “I hear its wistfulness.”

Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes,” enjoying one of the great careers in the history of broadcast news, thinks of childhood when she thinks of “Auld Lang Syne”: “I see New Year’s Eve parties going way back, all the way back to when we were little kids and you had to kiss someone at midnight and you had to sing that song.” She interviewed Mark Zuckerberg recently. “Maybe in the age of Facebook you don’t lose old friends,” she says. “Maybe it’s obsolete.” Maybe “they’ll have to change the song.”

For the journalist and author Marie Brenner, the song didn’t come alive until she moved from her native Texas to New York City, in the 1970s. That first New Year’s in town, “Auld Lang Syne was a revelation to me. . . . I thought, this is beautiful and maybe written by a Broadway composer, by Rodgers and Hammerstein.” She saw people singing it “on the street, and at a party in a bar downtown.” There was “this gorgeous moment when everyone seemed to know the words, and people looked teary and, yes, drunk.” They played the song back in San Antonio, “but it took me coming to New York to really hear it.”

The song is a staple in movies, but when I asked people to think of the greatest “Auld Lang Syne scene,” every one of them had the same answer. Not “When Harry Met Sally,” not “Out of Africa,” not, for film buffs, Charlie Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush.” The great “Auld Lang Syne” scene in cinematic history is from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which Mr. Sorkin puckishly describes as “Frank Capra’s classic tale of an angel who takes up the cause of a progressive in order to defeat a heartless conservative. It’s possible I’m misinterpreting the movie, but the song still works.”

The scene comes at the end of the film. Friends surround George Bailey, recently rescued by an angel. Someone bumps against the Christmas tree and a bell ornament makes a sound. George’s daughter says, “Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings,” and George looks up and winks. “Thanks, Clarence,” he says, as the music swells. God bless the baby boomers who discovered that film on TV after their elders dismissed it as Capra-corn.

Tonight I’ll be at Suzie and Joe’s, with whom I worked at CBS News in auld lang syne. I’ll think of some who won’t be entering the new year with us—big, sweet-hearted dynamo Richard Holbrooke, and Ted Sorensen, counselor to presidents, whose pen was a terrible swift sword. I’ll take a cup of kindness yet for them, for all the old acquaintances in this piece, and for the readers, for 10 years now, of this column. We mark an anniversary. Thank you for being in my life. Happy New Year.

Cultural Winners and Losers, 2010

by Brent Bozell
2010 may have been an encouraging year for political conservatives, but it wasn’t so rosy for America’s culture. The most depressing result was the Second Circuit Court of Appeals granting our television networks the right to employ the nastiest curse words in front of children at any hour of the broadcast day.

In her opinion, Judge Rosemary Pooler insisted that the TV networks weren’t pushing the envelope like “a petulant teenager angling for a later curfew”; they were good people with a “a good faith desire to comply with the FCC’s indecency regime.” The judge should win some sort of Alice-in-Wonderland prize for declaring the absolute opposite of all the evidence right in front of her face. Here are my other choices for other cultural winners and losers this year:

Loser: Perhaps inspired by Pooler, CBS put out a sitcom with the title “(Bleep) My Dad Says.” Critics were bored. Viewers flushed it.

Winner: Tim Tebow. The quarterback’s heartwarming pro-life ad with his mother during the Super Bowl was so winning, and so un-political, you could see why CBS would allow it.

Losers: The radical feminists who protested this ad as a vicious sermon without seeing it. How embarrassing. Let’s add Chicago-based sports marketer John Rowady, who sneered Tebow was ruining his career in Advertising Age magazine: “His promotion of his ‘belief system’ has built a perception throughout the league that he has a long way to mature from a business perspective, especially in the fast lane of the NFL.”

Tebow wasn’t harmed: He was drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos, and at year’s end, he was starting and leading the Broncos to victory.

Winner: Sandra Bullock. Defying the Hollywood odds, she won an Oscar for her heartfelt portrayal of Leigh Ann Touhy, whose Memphis family adopted a black teen named Michael Oher and loved him into college and then a starting job with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Critics hated the film, but America loved it. One reviewer found it “contrived, storybook-sweet, credulity-straining and — um, true.”

Loser: Fox’s “Family Guy” is always looking for a new low in sick jokes. They found one when baby Stewie and his dog, Brian, were accidentally locked in a bank vault. The baby orders the dog to eat the contents of his diaper. When the dog actually eats the baby feces, the baby vomits and then says, “Got some dessert for you.” The dog then eats the vomit. The dog also licked the baby’s rear end clean, so Stewie could boast to the otherwise empty vault that the dog “French-kissed my bottom clean.”

Earth to Judge Pooler: Networks never “push the envelope”? Millions of children are exposed to this garbage.

Loser: Garry Trudeau, who scheduled a comic strip on Christmas Day that spewed hate at God. A female soldier said her chaplain “yells at God a lot.” A female social worker replied: “He deserves it. In my extremely humble opinion.”

Winner: Charlie Daniels. His blazing violin graced an ad for Geico, and his new album, “Land That I Love,” underlined the strong emphasis on patriotism in his music. That’s a snapshot of his career, a love affair with his country that he has expressed in song, both here and everywhere our military serves, for more than a half-century.

Loser: Louis CK, promoted by Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” as “one of my favorite comedians.” As they were joking about being bleeped by censors, Louis said, “I was going to say that the Pope f—ed boys and I didn’t have time.” After sick laughs, he insisted he was serious: “I do think he does. Can I defend that before we go away? … Well here’s the thing. He lets other people do it,” and you are either outraged, or you are participating in it. Oddly, Stewart later held a “Rally for Sanity” to condemn vicious insults.

Winner: family films. Studio heads were shocked again by surprise hits like the remake of “The Karate Kid,” which grossed more than $175 million. None of the top 15 movies received an “R” rating. Six of the top 15 movies were animated, and at No. 1 in box-office receipts (with more than $415 million) was G-rated “Toy Story 3.” A St. Petersburg Times critic suggested it wasn’t just the best film of the summer; it could be Best Picture of 2010. Quality doesn’t have to equal perversity.

Children are good at nagging and dragging their parents to the cineplex. Someone in Tinseltown should just wake up and smell the popcorn.

Big Labor's Snowmageddon Snit Fit

by Michelle Malkin
Diligent English farmers of old once shared a motto about the blessings of work: “Industry produces wealth, God speed the plow.” Indolent New York City union officials who oversee snow removal apparently live by a different creed: Sloth enhances political power, Da Boss slow the plow.

Come rain or shine, wind, sleet or blizzard, Big Labor leaders always demonstrate perfect power-grabby timing when it comes to shafting taxpayers. Public-sector unions are all-weather vultures ready, willing and able to put special interest politics above the citizenry’s health, wealth and safety. Confirming rumors that have fired up the frozen metropolis, the New York Post reported Thursday that government sanitation and transportation workers were ordered by union supervisors to oversee a deliberate slowdown of its cleanup program — and to boost their overtime paychecks.

Why such vindictiveness? It’s a cold-blooded temper tantrum against the city’s long-overdue efforts to trim layers of union fat and move toward a more efficient, cost-effective privatized workforce.

Welcome to the Great Snowmageddon Snit Fit of 2010.

New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Queens, told the Post that several brave whistleblowers confessed to him that they “were told (by supervisors) to take off routes (and) not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner. They were told to make the mayor pay for the layoffs, the reductions in rank for the supervisors, shrinking the rolls of the rank-and-file.”

Denials and recriminations are flying like snowballs. But even as they scoff at reports of this outrageous organized job action, the city sanitation managers’ unions openly acknowledge their grievances and “resentment” over job cuts. Stunningly, sanitation workers spilled the beans on how city plowers raised blades “unusually high” (which requires extra passes to get their work done) and refused to plow anything other than assigned streets (even if it meant leaving behind clogged routes to get to their blocks).

When they weren’t sitting on their backsides, city plowers were caught on videotape maniacally destroying parked vehicles in a futile display of Kabuki Emergency Theater. It would be laugh-out-loud comedy if not for the death of at least one newborn whose parents waited for an ambulance that never came because of snowed-in streets.

This isn’t a triumphant victory for social justice and workers’ dignity. This is terrifying criminal negligence.

And it isn’t the first time New York City sanitation workers have endangered residents’ well-being. In the 1960s, a Teamsters-affiliated sanitation workers’ strike led to trash fires, typhoid warnings and rat infestations, as 100,000 tons of rotting garbage piled up. Three decades later, a coordinated job action by city building-service workers and sanitation workers caused another public trash nuisance declared “dangerous to life and health” in the Big Apple.

New Yorkers could learn a thing or two from those of us who call Colorado Springs, Colo., home. We have no fear of being held hostage to a politically driven sanitation department — because we have no sanitation department. We have no sanitation department because enlightened advocates of limited government in our town realized that competitive bidders in the private sector could provide better service at lower cost.

And we’re not alone. As the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Michigan reported: “The largest study ever conducted on outsourced garbage collection, conducted by the federal government in the 1970s, reported 29 to 37 percent savings in cities with populations over 50,000. A 1994 study by the Reason Foundation discovered that the city of Los Angeles was paying about 30 percent more for garbage collection than its surrounding suburbs, in which private waste haulers were employed. A 1982 study of city garbage collection in Canada discovered an astonishing 50 percent average savings as a result of privatization.”

Completely privatized trash collection means city residents don’t get socked with the bill for fraudulently engineered overtime pay, inflated pensions and gold-plated health benefits in perpetuity — not to mention the capital and operating costs of vehicles and equipment. The Colorado Springs model, as city councilman Sean Paige calls it, is a blueprint for how every city can cope with budget adversity while freeing itself from thuggish union threats when contracts expire or cuts are made. Those who dawdled on privatization efforts in better times are suffering dire, deadly consequences now.

Let the snow-choked streets of New York be a lesson for the rest of the nation: It’s time to put the Big Chill on Big Labor-run municipal services.

Obama’s New Year’s Resolutions

Liberals Give 'Til It Hurts (You)

by Ann Coulter
Liberals never tire of discussing their own generosity, particularly when demanding that the government take your money by force to fund shiftless government employees overseeing counterproductive government programs.

They seem to have replaced “God” with “Government” in scriptural phrases such as “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

This week, we’ll take a peek at the charitable giving of these champions of the poor.

In 2009, the Obamas gave 5.9 percent of their income to charity, about the same as they gave in 2006 and 2007. In the eight years before he became president, Obama gave an average of 3.5 percent of his income to charity, upping that to 6.5 percent in 2008.

The Obamas’ charitable giving is equally divided between “hope” and “change.”

George W. Bush gave away more than 10 percent of his income each year he was president, as he did before becoming president.

Thus, in 2005, Obama gave about the same dollar amount to charity as President George Bush did, on an income of $1.7 million — more than twice as much as President Bush’s $735,180. Again in 2006, Bush gave more to charity than Obama on an income one-third smaller than Obama’s.

In the decade before Joe Biden became vice president, the Bidens gave a total — all 10 years combined — of $3,690 to charity, or 0.2 percent of their income. They gave in a decade what most Americans in their tax bracket give in an average year, or about one row of hair plugs.

Of course, even in Biden’s stingiest years, he gave more to charity than Sen. John Kerry did in 1995, which was a big fat goose egg. Kerry did, however, spend half a million dollars on a 17th-century Dutch seascape painting that year, as Peter Schweizer reports in his 2008 book, “Makers and Takers.”

To be fair, 1995 was an off-year for Kerry’s charitable giving. The year before, he gave $2,039 to charity, and the year before that a staggering $175.

He also dropped a $5 bill in the Salvation Army pail and almost didn’t ask for change.

In 1998, Al Gore gave $353 to charity — about a day’s take for a lemonade stand in his neighborhood. That was 10 percent of the national average for charitable giving by people in the $100,000-$200,000 income bracket. Gore was at the very top of that bracket, with an income of $197,729.

When Sen. Ted Kennedy released his tax returns to run for president in the ’70s, they showed that Kennedy gave a bare 1 percent of his income to charity — or, as Schweizer says, “about as much as Kennedy claimed as a write-off on his 50-foot sailing sloop Curragh.” (Cash tips to bartenders and cocktail waitresses are not considered charitable donations.)

The Democratic base gives to charity as their betters do. At the same income, a single mother on welfare is seven times less likely to give to charity than a working poor family that attends religious services.

In 2006 and 2007, John McCain, who files separately from his rich wife, gave 27.3 percent and 28.6 percent of his income to charity.

In 2005, Vice President Cheney gave 77 percent of his income to charity. He also shot a lawyer in the face, which I think should count for something.

In a single year, Schweizer reports, Rush Limbaugh “gave $109,716 to ‘various individuals in need of assistance mainly due to family illnesses,’ $52,898 to ‘children’s case management organizations,’ including ‘various programs to benefit families in need,’ $35,100 for ‘Alzheimer’s community care — day care for families in need,’ and $40,951 for air conditioning units and heaters delivered to troops in Iraq.”

(Rush also once gave $50 to Maxine Waters after mistaking her for a homeless person.)

The only way to pry a liberal from his money is to hold tickertape parades for him, allowing him to boast about his charity in magazines and on TV.

Isn’t that what Jesus instructed in the Sermon on the Mount?

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do … But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:2-4)

In my Bible, that passage is illustrated with a photo of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

At least the hypocrites in the Bible, Redmond, Wash., and Omaha, Neb., who incessantly brag about their charity actually do pony up the money.

Elected Democrats crow about how much they love the poor by demanding overburdened taxpayers fund government redistribution schemes, but can never seem to open their own wallets.

The only evidence we have that Democrats love the poor is that they consistently back policies that will create more of them.

Let's Stop Taxing Our Children

The WallStreet Journal

Letters To The Editor

December 30, 2010

Municipal unions have made a great mistake of negotiating far-off pension payments with government entities that cannot (and never could) be expected to meet these huge commitments (“Pensions Push Taxes Higher,” page one, Dec. 24). Naturally, public-employee union leaders don’t want to admit this.

American citizens, unionized or not, are themselves culpable in this problem by going along with the game for the last 50 years. The great game is running out of borrowing power to mask the huge impact of these transfers of wealth from our children (current workers) to us retired, older folks—or those nearing retirement. How much do we oldsters want to tax our kids so that we can live as well as we do off of their work?

John McNiff

North Palm Beach, Fla.

 

Taxes supporting public-employee benefits cannot continue to increase, especially at the current rate. Few of us have the security of government employment, and few of us have a guaranteed pension.

Frederick Friedman Sr.

Livingston, N.J.

www.internet.gov

DECEMBER 30, 2010

The Wall Street Journal

The FCC’s new Web power grab deserves a vote under the Congressional Review Act

On the eve of Christmas Eve, while you probably weren’t paying attention, the Obama Administration released the text of its new Internet regulations, which mark a significant pivot from the hands-off approach to the Web observed by previous Republican and Democratic Administrations.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski delayed the release of the “net neutrality” order so he could incorporate rebuttals to the two dissenting commissioners, Robert McDowell and Meredith Baker, who argued that the new regulations are unnecessary and outside the agency’s purview. The closer you inspect Mr. Genachowski’s justifications for his FCC power grab, the weaker they look.

The Chairman cites, for example, several instances in which an Internet service provider has been accused of blocking an application that was slowing traffic on its network. But in each case the issue has been resolved to the satisfaction of everyone involved using existing law. Given the countless opportunities for such antics, the news is that the FCC can produce so few examples of alleged misbehavior.

Telecom is no different from other industries with a potential for market concentration and monopoly abuse, but the Sherman Act, the Federal Trade Commission and sundry consumer protection laws already exist to police such behavior. Nowhere in his document does Mr. Genachowski explain why these and other statutes are insufficient checks on Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and other Internet service providers.

Mr. Genachowski also continues to insist that the FCC has “ancillary” jurisdiction over the Internet under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, notwithstanding a federal court decision earlier this year that said the law grants the agency no such regulatory authority. “Were we to accept that theory of ancillary authority,” wrote the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in April, “we see no reason why the Commission would have to stop there, for we can think of few examples of regulations that [the Commission] . . . would be unable to impose upon Internet service providers.”

The FCC’s brazen power grab is already producing a welcome backlash on Capitol Hill. GOP Representative Marsha Blackburn says she’ll introduce legislation to prohibit the FCC from enforcing net neutrality rules. And Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison plans to introduce a “resolution of disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to overturn regulatory agency orders with a simple majority in the House and Senate.

The Congressional Review Act could get a workout over the next two years if President Obama tries to use regulatory agencies—the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—to achieve the policies he can’t get through Congress. Mr. Genachowski’s Internet coup would be a good place to start.

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