- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2014

Yes, someone is actually tracking the hidden economic weight of all those pesky federal regulations. Here’s the startling news: It cost Americans $1.9 trillion last year to comply with all the myriad rules and protocols that are issued by the federal bureaucracy at the rate of 3,500 a year — this according to Clyde Wayne Crews, vice president for policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The regs are, in essence, like a hidden tax.

“Federal agencies crank out thousands of new regulations every year, but we have little information on the cost or effectiveness on most of them,” says Mr. Crews. “There’s little transparency, and no reliable source of information on exactly what benefits rules are supposed to be generating or if they are serving their intended purpose.”

He adds, “The regulatory state wasn’t small before, but it has grown at an alarming rate during the Obama administration. The president has said publicly he will not wait for Congress to pass legislation because he has a pen and a phone. This means the administration aims to implement policy through regulation which will add a hidden tax on every form of commerce and trickle down to all consumer.”

Curious? Find the appropriately titled 87-page “Ten Thousand Commandments” after 9 a.m. Tuesday here: Cei.org/10KC

A SEAL ON RADAR

Political radar, that is. In the nation’s capital Tuesday to check the lay of the legislative land and perhaps find some actionable intelligence was Larry Wilske, retired command master chief of SEAL Team Seven and now a Republican congressional candidate in California’s 53rd District. He has a new mission.

“I had the privilege of serving for 30 years as a United States Navy SEAL, and it would be an honor to continue serving our country as a congressional representative,” Chief Wilske tells Inside the Beltway. “In the SEAL teams, our ethos is ‘Forged by Adversity.’ It calls on each and every one of us to answer any call, never quit and never fail. There is a tremendous demand for leadership in America right now, and I feel this is my most important mission yet. That’s why I’ve chosen to run for Congress.”

Mr. Wilske has received the endorsement of the Republican Party of San Diego, Combat Veterans for Congress and the Latino American Political Association. He will face seven-term Democratic incumbent Rep. Susan Davis in November.

KERRY‘S ‘A-BOMB’

For better or worse, Secretary of State John Kerry engaged the press, activists and lawmakers after he warned in leaked comments Monday that Israel could become “an apartheid state” if peace talks with Palestinians fail. Some of that engagement was brusque, both here and abroad. The remark prompted Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, for example, to advise Mr. Kerry to resign. A review of the public reactions in the last 24 hours:

Kerry’s A-bomb makes clear: the apartheid label just won’t go away” (Haaretz); “GOP slams John Kerry” (Politico); “The worse foreign policy team ever?” (The Washington Post); “Kerry’s apartheid slur jeopardizes peace” (Commentary); “Kerry’s apartheid comments provoke political storm” (Daily Beast); “John Kerry is getting slammed for using the A-word” (Business Insider); “Hill Republicans call on Kerry to apologize, resign” (The Hill); and “Is he right?” (The New Republic).

FOX NEWS, SCOTT BROWN, DEMOCRATS

Democrats in the Granite State are playing persistent hardball with Republican Scott Brown, now running for the U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire. They’ve gotten out a calendar and examined Mr. Brown’s political pedigree, following the candidate’s casual comment during a recent university radio interview on Sunday that he’d made his decision to run on Valentine’s Day.

It raises “potential legal questions,” the determined Democrats say, suggesting Mr. Brown opted to run for office more than a month before suspending his contract as a FOX News contributor, then claimed otherwise.

“If Scott Brown really decided to run for New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate seat on Valentine’s Day, that means that he spent the next five weeks not being truthful with New Hampshire voters, and possibly skirted FEC regulations,” says New Hampshire Democratic Party communications director Julie McClain.

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