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Of Rice, fronts & centralized failures

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Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, 9:10 p.m.

I n withdrawal, Susan Rice revealed the depths of her denial, hubris and complicity.

The one-time odds-on favorite to be President Barack Obama's nominee to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of State took herself out of the running late Thursday. America's ambassador to the United Nations blamed “irresponsible ... politics.”

“Politics”? Ms. Rice deep fried her own goose in a pan of oil placed underneath her by an administration still scrambling to cover its behind.

Rice's Senate rejection was writ large not only in the garish neon of her affectatious innocence that belied the facts of her prevarication in the Benghazi cover-up but in the growing documentation of her neophytic diplomatic acumen over the years.

And it was a highly orchestrated tail-tuck for the administration, complete with a convenient Rice appearance on NBC's “Rock Center” that night and a first-person defense on Friday's Washington Post op-ed page. The Fourth Estate yet again served as the Obama administration's pro bono public relations firm.

Susan Rice is said to be “safe” in keeping her U.N. situation. Expect that to change when the investigation into the Benghazi murders is complete.

Liberals are citing the work of the Economic Policy Institute to argue that job-pool-expanding and business-inviting “right-to-work” laws, such as the latest one to become law in Michigan, somehow hurt workers.

What a hoot, especially when considering who's behind EPI — some of the most flaming lefties of the modern organized labor movement, some of whom openly advocate violence.

For cryin' out loud, the chairman of the institute's board of directors is none other than violence-promoting AFL-CIO Chairman Rich Trumka. He's Mr. Kick the (Expletive) Out of Every Last Worker, incarnate. Then there's “more militancy”-backer Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers. This cat advocates seizing bridges and banks. Nearly one-third of EPI's 30-member board of directors is packed with labor loonies — socialists in the clothing of “progressives.” And the rest of the board isn't much better, filled with members of the economics-perverting “social justice” lobby, which is spelled “r-e-d-i-s-t-r-i-b-u-t-i-o-n-i-s-t-s.”

EPI is nothing more than a front for the kind of cartelism that is anathema to freedom and liberty and actually hurts the very people its professors claim they are helping.

A very wise warning against the kind of increasing centralized economic planning (i.e., “industrial policy”) that will be ratcheted up in a second Obama administration — and favored by the Rich Trumkas, Leo Gerards and EPIs of the world — comes from economics scholar Don Boudreaux, a George Mason University professor and regular Trib columnist.

Reminds the good professor, in a letter to The Washington Post, taking issue with those pining for a return to Franklin Roosevelt-like calls for “bold, persistent experimentation” (government-directed, of course):

“(E)xperimentation in the style of the New Deal actually chokes off the real deal. Substituting serially a handful of grandiose, one-size-fits-all schemes dreamed up by politicians forcibly eradicates hundreds, even thousands, of individual private experiments undertaken simultaneously, each launched and guided by someone with his or her own money at stake and prohibited from forcing unwilling others to play along with any particular experiment.

“Experimentation, therefore, of the sort that FDR championed was really neither ‘bold' nor ‘persistent' as, at any time, it displaced countless individual and simultaneous experiments with one gargantuan ‘experiment.' ”

As Boudreaux nails it, “New Deal centralization put the ‘Great' in the Great Depression.” That today's “leaders” continue to fail to understand that is a national tragedy.

Colin McNikle is Trib Total Media's director of editorial pages (

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