Ohio May Free Some STEM Schools to Create Their Own Tests

Ohio may soon give certain school districts the option of creating their own exams. As criticism of...

How Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Can Revolutionize Finance

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order...

Nebraska Lawmakers Approve Gas Tax Hike

Nebraska lawmakers approved hiking the state’s gas tax by $0.06 per gallon of fuel, ignoring Gov....

Global Warming? The Pope is Wrong

I have devoted the better part of more than two and a half decades speaking out against the...

It is a Bad Time to be in the Renewable Energy Industry

2015 may go down in the books as the year support for renewable energy died—and we are only a few...

School Vouchers May Become a Reality in Tennessee

A bill under consideration by the Tennessee legislature would allow school vouchers in the state...
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Education

Ohio May Free Some STEM Schools to Create Their Own Tests

Ohio may soon give certain school districts the option of creating their own exams. As criticism of Common Core continues, the Ohio Department of Education is considering implementing what it calls the Innovative Learning Pilot. This pilot program would permit 15 science, technology, engineering, and math-focused school districts to develop their own tests. Outlining the initiative, an April 6...

Environment

‘My Scientific Adventure’: Renowned Scientist Willie Soon Talks Climate Change

Editor’s Note: Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, Ph.D., is a geo-scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Soon has written papers in a number of peer-reviewed journals examining the relationship between solar phenomena and global climate. He recently coauthored a piece in Science Bulletin demonstrating a simple climate model displayed superior performance reflecting actual temperature...

Eco-echo Chamber Amplifies “Corrupt Skeptics” Myth

Review of Merchants of Smear, by Russell Cook; Policy Brief, The Heartland Institute, September 2014, 17 pages; $6.95 at The Heartland Institute. http://heartland.org/policy-documents/merchants-smear In Merchants of Smear, a September 2014 Heartland Institute Policy Brief by investigative journalist Russell Cook, the origin of the idea skeptical scientists have been paid by industry to lie about...

Obama’s Climate Obsession Loses Allies to China

Climate Change Weekly #169 President Barack Obama’s climate obsession is costing U.S. commercial interest and influence all over the globe. The United States has pressured the World Bank to cease funding coal-fired power plant projects in developing countries. According to World Bank Executive Director Whitney Debevoise, “The Obama Administration believes that the Multilateral Development Banks (...

Finance & Insurance

Study: ‘Sharing Economy’ Revolution Empowers Customers

Businesses such as Airbnb and Uber, which directly connect consumers and service providers without the need for middlemen, are empowering consumers and creating a self-regulating economy, a recent study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has found. By allowing “underutilized assets or ‘dead capital’ to be put to more productive use,” the authors explain, the sharing economy...

A Well-Written Overview of Governments’ Economic Misdeeds

The Impending Monetary Revolution, the Dollar and Gold, Second Edition By Edmund Contoski; American Liberty Publishers, November 2014 281 pages, ISBN-13 978-0-9655007-1-5 $28.95 on publisher’s website, http://www.amlibpub.com/order.html The first edition of Edmund Contoski’s book The Impending Monetary Revolution, the Dollar and Gold was excellent, and it makes an outstanding textbook for a...

Study: Housing Bubble, Rising Caused Consumer Retail Prices to Rise

A new study has uncovered evidence the 2000s housing bubble affected the U.S. economy in previously unsuspected ways, by causing consumer prices to rise and fall based on the rate of homeownership in any particular area. In “House Prices, Local Demand, and Retail Prices,” New York University Assistant Professor of Finance Johannes Stroebel and University of Chicago Assistant Professor of...

Health

Obamacare’s an 8 out of 10, Except for States and People

Consumer Power Report #458 Asked to grade the performance of his signature law recently, President Barack Obama gave Obamacare an 8 out of 10. “The reason I don’t put it at a 10 is because you can always improve something,” Obama told ABC News in an interview published Wednesday. The White House has been more bullish lately about public acceptance of the largest overhaul to the healthcare system...

An Unpaid Doc Fix

Consumer Power Report #459 In a bipartisan vote this week, the Senate undid the longtime Sustainable Growth Rate can-kick for a more permanent fix – but one that is not paid for by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the Senate rejected an opportunity to require the increased payments to physicians be paid for: Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee had introduced a potential amendment to the bill...

Ted Cruz Isn’t Like Most Obamacare Enrollees

Consumer Power Report #457 Supporters of Obamacare have been making noise of late about the fact leading Obamacare opponent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is going to have to sign up for health coverage under the law. But in obsessing about this issue, these supporters are doing themselves no favors, because Cruz’s situation highlights the wide gap in experience between those whose coverage is subsidized...

Taxes

How Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Can Revolutionize Finance

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order, Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey; St. Martin’s Press, 2015, 368 pages; ISBN-13: 978-1250065636: $19.00 on Amazon. Bitcoin is digital money for a digital age, and it could launch an economic revolution. In The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic...

Five States’ Slumping Financial Conditions Reflect Widespread Pension Problems

Financial conditions in many states have shown improvement in the years since the recession began in 2008, but the economies of Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey have continued to deteriorate. These five states are being called “sinkholes” because they have the highest debt per taxpayer after available assets are tapped.  The ‘Sinkhole States’ In 2013, each...

Nebraska Lawmakers Approve Gas Tax Hike

Nebraska lawmakers approved hiking the state’s gas tax by $0.06 per gallon of fuel, ignoring Gov. Pete Ricketts’ (R) threatened veto. If Gov. Ricketts carries out his threat and vetoes the legislation, 30 lawmakers would have to vote to override Ricketts’ veto, voting to increase the price of fuel from $0.256 to $0.316 over a four-year period. Nebraska state Sen. Dave Bloomfield (R-Hoskins) says...

Tech

ObamaNet vs EuroNet -- “Competing” Protectionist Industrial Policies

The US-EU “competition” of protectionist digital industrial policies -- U.S. Title II net neutrality vs. the EU’s emerging “platform neutrality” plans -- creates an ironic backdrop to negotiations for the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) “free” trade agreement. Heightening the irony, the Obama Administration, not the European Commission, has been the protectionist...

FCC-ville’s Kangaroo Court

If you are guilty until proven innocent of charges that can be made up after the fact, you may be in FCC-ville. Think of the FCC, unilaterally self-armed with the “strongest possible rules” of Title II 1934 monopoly telephone regulation, as a Washington backwater “kangaroo court,” where innocent communicators can be hauled before a mock court system where normal due process, rule of law, and...