Illinois Lawmaker Calls for School Funding Formula Change

Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) called on his fellow lawmakers and Gov....

Texas Lieutenant Governor Calls School Choice ‘Top Priority’

At a state think tank’s annual convention, Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick (R) announced his...

‘Big Data’ Tries to Zero Out Parents in Common Core Review

When grassroots parents discovered big-education elitists had kept them in the dark about the...

Sanders: What Will His Socialist Plan Do to YOUR Medical Care?

There is one thing that supporters and detractors of Bernie Sanders might agree on: he seems to be...

A Constitutional Convention can be Limited in Scope

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio recently announced that he fully endorses an Article...

Obama’s EPA to Ohio’s Anti-Frackers: You’re Wrong

Two recent reports on Ohio’s wastewater injection well program discredit chronic allegations by...
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Education

Illinois Lawmaker Calls for School Funding Formula Change

Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) called on his fellow lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) to reform the public education system’s funding practices. In a January 26 speech before the City Club of Chicago, Cullerton said he wants to make rewriting the state’s school funding formula a part of a budget compromise with Rauner. Cullerton says the way Illinois funds its public...

Environment

The Quality of Temperature Station Siting Is Critical for Determining Temperature Trends

At the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), held on December 17, I presented research conducted by myself, Evan Jones, John Nielsen-Gammon, and John R. Christy that analyzed the 30-year trend of temperatures for the continental United States since 1979. We found the temperature trends measured by unbiased ground-based weather stations in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

A Grand Exploration of the ‘Evolution of Everything’

Review of The Evolution of Everything: How Ideas Emerge, Matt Ridley (Harper, 2015), 368 pp., ISBN-10: 0062296000, ISBN-13: 978-0062296009; $18.44.  For those whom I convince to buy this book, it is likely you will e-mail me a thank-you when you get to the final page. This book is the culmination of author Matt Ridley’s intellectual life and is the most informative book I have ever read....

300 Scientists Request Explanation for Temperature Shenanigans

Climate Change Weekly #201 Approximately 300 scientists, engineers, economists, and other climate experts sent a letter to U.S. House Science Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) in support of his ongoing investigation of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In June 2015, NOAA issued a report purporting to find Earth had continued to warm during a nearly two-decades-long...

Finance & Insurance

Federal Reserve Places Restriction on Future Bank Bailouts

The Federal Reserve has adopted new rules restricting its ability to bail out financially strained banks, complying with provisions in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The new rule limits the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending powers to “broad-based” programs, as opposed to targeted lending to individual banks. Escaping Accountability Norbert Michel, a financial...

Lawmakers Hit Brakes On Proposed Fiduciary Broker Rules

Lawmakers in Congress are fighting with U.S. Department Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and President Barack Obama over proposed new regulations on the investment industry. Congressional Democrats are calling on the Department of Labor (DOL) to open a period for public comment after a final version of the rule is published next year, adding delays to the rule change’s implementation, during the...

Smart Growth Policies Worsen Housing Crash

A new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) details the harmful impact of smart growth policies on housing affordability. The 2007 financial crisis began when relaxed lending practices, allowing people to buy homes they could not afford, led to the creation of a housing-price bubble. The crisis deepened when home values stopped rising, causing a subsequent rise in defaults,...

Health

It’s Too Early to Prove Absolute Safety, But Smokers Shouldn’t Wait to Vape

Tobacco opponents say that we’ve had too little experience with e-cigarettes to know whether they are safe.  While it is true that we don’t yet know the health consequences of long-term use, that should not discourage smokers from switching.  We know that smoke contains high levels of thousands of agents, many of which are toxic or carcinogenic.  In contrast, e-cigarette vapor...

Obamacare Paperwork: A Multi-Billion-Dollar Cost Americans Can’t Afford

Consumer Power Report #492 [Subscribe here.] Opponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Barack Obama’s signature law, including the entire field of Republican presidential candidates, say Obamacare has caused significant premium price increases and has forced millions of Americans out of insurance plans they enjoyed prior to the law’s passage. While these burdens are significant and...

Small Businesses Suffering Under Obamacare

Consumer Power Report #491 Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2010, millions of Americans have been forced to obtain a new, often inferior health insurance plan; health insurance premiums have risen dramatically, especially for young adults; and many health insurance companies operating in the Obamacare exchanges have lost millions of dollars. For instance, UnitedHealth Group, the...

Taxes

Texas Governor Calls for National Constitutional Convention

During a speech at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s annual Policy Orientation convention, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called on state lawmakers to draft and pass legislation that would authorize the state to join the growing movement to convene a convention of the states to consider and draft a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced national budget. All Aboard the Reform Train Kyle...

Supreme Court Hears Landmark Forced-Unionism Case

Lawyers representing a group of California teachers challenging the constitutionality of deducting union fees from government teachers’ paychecks have presented their opening arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). If SCOTUS rules in favor of the lead plaintiff, Rebecca Friedrichs, individual teachers would be allowed to decide whether or not to contribute to teachers unions. Currently...

Hawaii Hikes Minimum Smoking Age to 21

A new statewide law raising the minimum age required for individuals to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes has gone into effect in Hawaii. Individuals under the age of 21 are now no longer able to legally purchase these products, making Hawaii the first state in the nation to raise the smoking age to 21, as of January 2016. Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, an...

Tech

Government Drags Us Back in Time – Because Cronies and Ideology Tell It To

Government by ideological fantasy – at the expense of actual facts – is a terrible idea. So too is government of, by and for the donors. Far too often government regulators and bureaucrats ignore Reality – to tilt at ideological windmills. And WAY too often government becomes one giant stenographer for contributors – writing laws and regulations to accommodate their check-cutters’ every whim and...

Why FCC Title II Telephone Privacy Rules Can’t Work with an Open Internet

Square peg meet round hole. The FCC is poised to try and force-fit inherently-irreconcilable, telephone closed-ecosystem privacy rules into a broadband open-system Internet. Good luck with that. Expect the FCC to have fits trying to successfully craft workable, non-arbitrary, and legally-sustainable Title II broadband privacy rules in the year ahead. It is a problem of the FCC’s own making. In...