- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Big government was not quite good enough, perhaps. As a kind of grand finale, President Barack Obama championed gargantuan government during his last year in office, according to a significant new study by Wayne Crews, a meticulous analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He’s tracked all the pesky federal regulations and the cost of implementing them in a new report appropriately titled “Ten Thousand Commandments.” This year’s installment arrives Wednesday and is described as a “whopper.”

The analysis reveals that during his final year in office, Mr. Obama imposed “a significant regulatory surge” that resulted in a mammoth Federal Register, the master guide to federal regs. The thing boasts 95,894 pages, is 19 percent larger than in 2015, and is the longest in the history of the register itself.

“This jump in major regulations has set a benchmark by which the Trump administration will be compared. Trump has promised to slam the brakes on overregulation,” Mr. Crews notes.

“The burden of federal regulations cost American consumers, businesses and the economy an estimated $1.963 trillion in 2016. If the cost of federal regulations were a country, it would be the 7th largest in the world, behind India and ahead of Italy,” reports Mr. Crews, who calls for more transparency, a better review process and more cost-benefit analyses for new and current federal regulations.

“In 2016, Washington bureaucrats issued 18 regulations for every one law Congress enacted. Washington must be held accountable for the burden they impose on Americans and the economy,” Mr. Crews says.



See for yourself. The report goes live online at 5 a.m. EDT Wednesday here.

‘MEDIA RESENTMENT’

White House adviser and businessman Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka Trump and son-in-law to President Trump, gets lousy press for a specific reason, says Fox News media Analyst Howard Kurtz. Journalists appear to resent him.

Mr. Kushner hasn’t even been designated as a “target” of an FBI probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Mr. Kurtz pointed out Tuesday on Fox News.

“With the headlines and drumbeat here, it sounds like he’s under investigation, it sounds like he has done something nefarious. We don’t know that he’s done anything wrong. There’s an automatic assumption here that there must be something nefarious,” Mr. Kurtz said, noting that the press targets Mr. Kushner because there’s “media resentment” toward him.

“He needs to be covered as fairly as anybody else. There’s even some commentators who have said he needs to take a leave of absence. Based on what?” the analyst said.

CONSERVATIVE BEACH READS

There is an alternative to The New York Times bestseller list. That would be the Conservative Book Club bestseller list, part of the burgeoning Salem Media Group stable and updated weekly based on Nielsen BookScan Data among other factors. Find the list at ConservativeBookClub.com. In the meantime, here are the top-5 conservative books this week:

No. 1 is “The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis — and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance” by Sen. Ben Sasse, followed by “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” by J.D. Vance; “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes; “Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom” by Condoleezza Rice; and “The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior” by Robert O’Neill.

And rounding out the top 10:

In sixth place, “The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For” by David McCullough, followed by “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babi; “The True Jesus: Uncovering The Divinity of Christ in the Gospels” by David Limbaugh; “Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success” by Ivanka Trump; and “Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.

A STARK WARNING FOR DEMOCRATS

Perhaps it’s time to curb the anti-Trump tirades? Could be.

“Wake up, liberals: There will be no 2018 ‘blue wave,’ no Democratic majority and no impeachment. Lessons of Montana: There’s no quick fix for Trump or our damaged democracy — and the Democrats still look hopeless,” writes Andrew O’Hehir, executive editor of Salon.

“Right now the Democratic Party has no clear sense of mission and no coherent national message, except that it is not the party of Donald Trump. I can understand the appeal of that message, the longing for a return to normalcy, calm and order that it embodies. What we learned in Montana this week — and will likely learn in Georgia, and learn again in the 2018 midterms — is that that’s not enough. There is no ‘normal’ state we can return to,” Mr. O’Hehir concludes.

Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi advises the Democrats to get a new message.

“People need a reason to be excited by politics, and not just disgusted with the other side. Until the Democrats figure that out, these improbable losses will keep piling up,” he writes.

POLL DU JOUR

91 percent of U.S. employees took “some time off” in the past year.

66 percent of that group did some work on vacation.

54 percent of the group say they can completely relax on vacation.

23 percent of that group took all of their vacation time; 23 percent took a quarter or less of their time off; 9 percent took no vacation time.

27 percent are expected to “keep up on work issues” on vacation.

12 percent must deliver work, make conference calls or “be reachable” while on vacation.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,224 U.S. adults conducted March 1-April 31 and released Monday.

• Cranky complaints, cheerful generalities to [email protected]

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