Editorial: Trump bailout turns free market upside down

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Houston Chronicle:Americans of a certain age likely remember Tennessee Ernie Ford, a TV entertainer whose musical rendition of a coal miner’s lament, “Sixteen Tons,” sold millions of records in the mid-1950s. Written a decade earlier by a former Kentucky coal miner, “Sixteen Tons” opened with the evocative question: “You load sixteen tons, what do you get?” In his sonorous baritone voice, Ford offered up a doleful reply. What you get when you load sixteen tons of number nine coal, he sang, is “another day older and deeper in debt.”More than a half century later, Texas Rick Perry, the nation’s energy secretary, knows whereof Tennessee Ernie sang. Although Perry can’t admit it, he knows that coal-mining is a dying industry and, despite its proud tradition, a dangerous, dead end occupation for fewer and fewer American workers. Texas Rick knows that, and yet, “bless his little, ol’ pea-pickin’ heart” — as Tennessee Ernie would have exclaimed — he’s now having to warble his own coal-mining ditty.Perry has been ordered by President Trump to prepare immediate steps to keep money-losing coal and nuclear plants from shutting down. One plan under consideration is to require operators of the nation’s electricity grid to buy power or reserve generation capacity from plants scheduled to be retired. Phillip Bump of the Washington Post has compared the Trump/Perry plan to “having a failing grocery store in your neighborhood and the government mandating that everyone do enough of their shopping there to keep the place from shutting down.”Never mind that we consumers will be paying more for our “groceries” under the Trump directive. Never mind that coal is losing out in a power market dominated by cheap natural gas and increasingly efficient forms of renewable energy. What’s important is an ongoing effort by the White House to fulfill an implausible Trump campaign promise to bail out the coal and nuclear industries and to reward the operators who are his cronies. Perry, if he wants to keep his job, can only salute his boss—and betray his oft-proclaimed faith in the free market.Texans can appreciate the irony. This is the erstwhile governor who was so “fed up,” he even wrote a book, an impassioned screed decrying federal government intervention. Gov. Perry would have sneered at the blatant government intervention in the free market that Secretary Perry insists is necessary, and he would have scoffed at the “national security” rationale offered up by the White House.Now, of course, Perry—and we—are at the mercy of a president so ill-informed about the environment that he would reverse the progress we’ve made with natural gas and renewables. If Trump’s unprecedented effort to intervene in the energy market goes forward, whether through mandates or subsidies, then both natural gas and Texas suffers, and so does the rest of the country.More: Perry vs. Texas: Coal bailout will sell out wind and natural gas [Editorial] Editorial: Trump bailout turns free market upside downlast_img read more

South Korea to void visas of Japanese visitors in virus retaliation

first_imgSeoul summoned the ambassador to protest, with foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha telling him: “Japan’s action this time was not only unfriendly but also unscientific.”Her ministry accused Tokyo of ulterior motives, saying in a statement: “We can’t help but question whether Japan has other motives than containing the outbreak.”The South’s total reported infections — the largest figure outside China, where the virus first emerged — rose to 6,593 on Friday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.It announced seven more deaths, taking the toll to 42.Japan has reported 360 confirmed cases and six deaths from the illness, and a handful of countries have blocked arrivals from it or imposed restrictions.Around 40 countries and regions have banned entry to foreigners who have recently been in the South, while more than 20 require quarantine, as do several parts of China.Seoul has not protested to Beijing over those decisions, despite facing domestic criticism itself for not banning all arrivals from China, rather than only those from Hubei, the province at the center of the epidemic.Over 90 percent of South Korea’s cases are in the southern city of Daegu and the neighboring North Gyeongsang province.Most of the country’s infections are linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a religious sect often condemned as a cult, one of whose members attended at least four services before being diagnosed.Scores of events — from K-pop concerts to sports seasons — have been cancelled or postponed over the contagion, with school and kindergarten breaks extended by three weeks nationwide. Seoul suspended a visa-waiver program for Japanese nationals Friday in retaliation for what it called an “irrational” plan by Tokyo to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, escalating a diplomatic row over their containment measures.The two countries have close economic ties and are both major US allies, democracies and market economies faced with a rising China and nuclear-armed North Korea.But their relationship continues to be heavily affected by Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945 — a dispute that escalated into a trade and security row last year. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday announced that foreign arrivals who have recently been in China or South Korea would be required to spend 14 days in quarantine.The South’s two biggest airlines Korean Air and Asiana on Friday announced the cancellations of most or all of their flights to Japan once the measure comes into force, and K-pop band Super Junior indefinitely postponed their upcoming shows in the country.Seoul responded Friday evening by announcing a suspension of its visa-waiver scheme for Japanese visitors starting Monday and said it would also invalidate any travel permits already issued.Vice-foreign minister Cho Sei-young said South Korea would also impose a health check process on Japanese travelers, who may be asked to submit a medical certificate.  South Korea has reported more than 6,500 coronavirus cases — the highest total outside China — and around 60 countries and regions have imposed travel bans or quarantine on arrivals from the world’s 12th-largest economy.But it has taken particular issue with Japan’s restrictions, with the presidential office calling the decision “irrational” and contrasting its “scientific and transparent” outbreak control campaign with Tokyo’s “opaque and passive” efforts. Topics :last_img read more

Tipp manager ‘dissapointed’ for his players

first_imgThe Premier County went down 2-13 to 1-5 against Kildare in Division 3 of the Allianz National League – a loss that puts their promotion prospects in serious peril.Poor shooting was probably Tipp’s biggest failing and was exemplified by the fact that they only managed one point in the opening 35 minutes.Liam was pleased that his side didn’t throw in the towel, though.last_img

Barcelona, Madrid win as title race intensifies

first_imgMADRID (AP):Barcelona and Real Madrid won their matches yesterday with the Spanish league title race now guaranteed to go to the final round.Neymar scored a hat-trick for Barcelona in a comfortable 4-1 win at Las Palmas, while Cristiano Ronaldo scored a pair of goals for Madrid in a 4-1 home victory over Sevilla.Madrid scored with an unusual goal by Nacho Fern·ndez, who sent a quickly taken free kick into the net while the Sevilla defence and goalkeeper were preparing to set up a wall.EVEN ON POINTSThe results left the rivals even on points, with Barcelona ahead on the head-to-head tiebreaker. But Madrid can retake sole possession of the lead on Wednesday when it plays at Celta Vigo in a game postponed from February.Madrid needs four points from its last two games to secure the title regardless of Barcelona’s result against Eibar at home next weekend. Madrid’s final game is at Malaga.Madrid is trying to win its first league title since 2012, while Barcelona is seeking its third straight LaLiga trophy.last_img read more