Archives for June 2012
We should know the firm details of the future of the Cato Institute by the end of the day, but the Washington Times reports that Ed Crane, who founded Cato in 1974 and has served as the influential think tanks president since that time, will be forced into retirement as part of the settlement with Charles and David Koch:
The Cato Institute’s co-founder and president, Edward Crane, has been forced out by the libertarian organization’s board of directors, according to inside sources. John A. Allison, former chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation, will take over as interim president.
Mr. Allison is believed to be planning to arrive at the Washington-D.C. think tank on Monday for the transition news to be announced. Asked about the leadership changes, Cato spokesman Khristine Brooks said a statement would be issued on Monday.
By one account, Mr. Crane is “leaving kicking and screaming,” but he will do so “under the guise that he is retiring earlier than he had planned.” He will continue to have a role at the organization as a fundraiser and liaison with big donors. Ms. Brooks denied Mr. Crane was being forced out, adding, “Ed Crane will stay at Cato Institute for a period of time.”
Based on the rumors I’ve heard, the Kochs will have control of the board of directors as the recent additions to the board will supposedly be removed. That doesn’t strike me as a good thing for the future of the Cato Institute, but no one seems overly concerned, which I find to be odd if the Kochs truly have control.
Again, we should know more later today.
It’s official: the New York Times’ resident Nobel Prize Laureate/Loony is delusional. He wrote on his blog Monday about “how right he was”:
We’re coming up on the second anniversary of my piece “Myths of Austerity“, in which I tried to knock down the simply insane conventional wisdom then gelling among Very Serious People. Intellectually it was, I think I can say without false modesty, a huge win; I (and those of like mind) have been right about everything.
But I had no success in deflecting the terrible wrong turn in policy. Moreover, as far as I can tell none of the people responsible for that wrong turn has paid any price, not even in reputation; they’re still regarded as Very Serious, treated with great deference. And the political tendency behind that terrible economic analysis has at least a 50% chance of triumphing in America.
“Oh well” is right.
His first problem is that he says he has “been right about everything.” When one looks at the stimulus programs that have been enacted since this recession began, and the high unemployment that has persisted, the evidence is blatantly clear: Krugman is an idiot.
His second problem is his statement that “I had no success in deflecting the terrible wrong turn in policy.” Um, lest I am living on a different worldline than Krugman, the man’s main policy prescription has been stimulus, and we’ve had a lot of it:
Brian Doherty, whose written a history of the libertarian movement and, most recently, a history of Ron Paul’s two most recent campaigns for the Presidency, writes today about what might come next for the movement that has sprung up around the retiring Texas Congressman now that his campaign, and his political career, have come to an end:
While Ron Paul has no future in politics, the Ron Paul machine and his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, will. That’s why the political pros in the Paul movement don’t appreciate acting-out like Richard Gilbert’s lawsuit. That’s also why Rand Paul risked the wrath of his father’s hardcore fans by endorsing Mitt Romney, just as soon as Ron Paul admitted he would not win.
Senator Paul knows he needs to reach beyond his father’s 10-15 percent base in the primaries to more mainstream, red-state, talk-radio Republicans. He can’t do that by marking himself as a traitor to the party. So he stands behind nominee Romney and plans to actively campaign for him.
But he also can’t mark himself a traitor to the Ron Paul cause. So Rand Paul followed up his endorsement by calling out Romney in the pages of National Review for Romney’s declaration that he would have the authority as president to start a war with Iran. That sort of foreign policy adventurism — especially when done without respect for Congress’s traditional constitutional power over declaring war — is anathema to the core Ron Paul crowd, and Rand Paul condemned it.
While the U.S. Supreme Court keeps everyone in suspense about when the ObamaCare decision will be announced, it is important to prepare for what happens next. A recent Associated Press poll shows that just ⅓ of Americans support the new law, with only 21% of independents approving. Another poll shows that a majority of former U.S. Supreme Court law clerks believe at least the individual mandate will be struck down.
We’re not sure if Marco Rubio is being considered or not for vice president, but Robert Costa reported at National Review on Friday that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is being vetted to serve at Mitt Romney’s running mate:
I’m reliably informed that Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the Budget Committee chairman, has submitted paperwork to the Romney campaign. Sources confirm that he is being vetted for the vice-presidential nomination.
Ryan, one of the GOP’s brightest young stars, is clearly a favorite of Romney allies. But some top Republican officials are wary of plucking him from the House, where he is the party’s most influential voice on fiscal issues.
Earlier this week, Romney campaigned with Ryan in Janesville, Wis., Ryan’s hometown. Ryan previously stumped for Romney in late March and early April, ahead of Wisconsin’s Republican presidential primary.
This would be an interesting pick, but one that will likely help Romney excite conservatives. Ryan has been the intellectual force behind Republican budget proposals. He took on many of President Barack Obama’s apologists on the health care issue. During the so-called “health care summit” in 2010, Ryan went directly at President Obama, explaining the true cost of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Wait, WHAT? It was a total shock to me, but apparently, 54% of Americans are cool with an atheist president. Via Allahpundit at Hot Air:
I’ve blogged a bunch of these Gallup polls over the years and my demographic has always been at the bottom of the barrel preference-wise. But things are improving: In 2007, just 45 percent said they’d vote for an atheist, then last year it crept up to 49 percent. Now we’re over the hump at 54. I wonder why. It’s not like the “new atheism” suddenly exploded onto the national scene over the past six months, and to hear believers tell it, the new atheism is more likely to alienate people than persuade them. Maybe, maybe not. What you’re seeing here, I think, is the fruit of normalization: It’s not so much that people are becoming more sympathetic to atheism (although that might be true) than that, as atheists become more visible culturally, people see for themselves that we’re not that weird or threatening. Acceptance of gays works along the same lines, of course, except that they’re further along than we are. For a vivid illustration of that, follow the Gallup link up top and check out the breakdown among different age groups. Young adults react to gays and atheists similarly; older adults, not so much. Note the trendlines in the table I posted above, too. Thirty-five years ago, atheists held a double-digit lead on this question over gays. Today, the opposite is true.
A friend’s daughter is competing in a pagent here in Georgia (Teen Miss, or Miss Georgia, I have no idea which). Seeing photos of the preliminary winners, I was thinking about all the media I’ve seen and it reminded me how confusing our culture seems to be.
You see, listening to news reports, we seem to have two problems. One is that people, particularly young girls, are bombarded with images that create a poor body image and leads to eating disorders. The other is that we have an epidemic of obesity in this nation.
Maybe it’s just me, but when I think of both existing at the same time, I get a little confused. You see, telling our children that being fat is bad and they get an eating disorder, it’s our fault. If they get fat because we didn’t tell them that being fat is bad, it’s our fault as well. What is a parent to do?
Now, I don’t see anorexia as a good thing. Sure, it needs to be combatted. Personally, I’ve never found stick figure women attractive, so I never understood the “heroin model” fad that took over runways a few years ago (are they still there? Damned if I know) and am really fine with that not being the example we hold up to our daughters of what to be.
On the same token, I’m kind of tired of being told that my child needs to be comfortable with their own body image when that body is one that I’m also being told is part of an “epidemic” in this country. Here’s the problem folks, my son is fine being a little chubby. He honestly isn’t that worked up about it. How is that a problem? Because he’s not really motivated to do a damn thing about it.
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment, a columnist on Fox News Opinion, chairman of the Internet Freedom Coalition, and author of Democracy Denied: How Obama is Ignoring You and Bypassing Congress to Radically Transform America - and How to Stop Him.
The Hill newspaper named Mr. Kerpen a “Top Grassroots Lobbyist” in 2011. His op-eds have run in newspapers across the country and he is a frequent radio and television commentator on economic growth issues.
Prior to joining American Commitment, Kerpen served as vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity. He also previously worked as an analyst and researcher for the Free Enterprise Fund, the Club for Growth, and the Cato Institute.
Kerpen blasts out spirited, pro-liberty tweets @Kerpen.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a DC-based grassroots conservative group, has released a new ad knocking President Barack Obama for his recent comments declaring that the “private sector is doing fine.” The ad points out that Americans have seen an unemployment rate over 8% for 40 consecutive months with 12.7 million Americans currently unemployed and that the natonal debt has now exceeded $15 trillion.
Noting that Obama is out of touch with Americans, AFP asks, “How can [Obama] fix the economy if he doesn’t know what’s wrong?” At the end of the ad, AFP promotes their “Jobs Agenda,” policy proposals that would jump start the economy:
While the decision in ObamaCare obviously wasn’t released yesterday, the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, did hand a defeat to Service Employees International Union (SEIU) over the using non-member money in political campaigns:
The U.S. Supreme Courtsharply criticized public-sector unions for using money from nonmembers to fund special political campaigns, stepping into the intense political debate about such unions and signaling that new constitutional limits may be coming.
The justices ruled Thursday that the Service Employees International Union in California violated the 1st Amendment rights of its dissident members by taking extra fees from their paychecks in 2005. The money was used to fight two anti-union ballot measures sponsored by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“This aggressive use of power by the SEIU to collect fees from nonmembers is indefensible,” said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., speaking for the court’s conservative majority. “When a public-sector union imposes a special assessment or dues increase, the union … may not exact any funds from nonmembers without their affirmative consent.”
The court fight carried echoes of the recent battles in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states where Republican governors sought to limit the power of public-sector unions, and the two dissenters Thursday made reference to those tensions.
“The debate about public unions’ collective bargaining rights is currently intense,” Justice Stephen G. Breyer said in a dissent. “There is no good reason for this court suddenly to enter the debate, much less now to decide that the Constitution resolves it.”