Archive for December, 2014
Constitutional Federalism Beats Feds’ Bribery of the States

Almost five years ago the final Common Core national standards were published. These national standards epitomize government that has grown beyond all constitutional bounds. As elected officials learned more about the “voluntary” standards, the less they liked, and efforts to reverse course are underway in the states as well as Congress. Certainly, federal overreach...
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The TSA: A Brief Tale

This Christmas I flew out of town with my fiancé to see his family. Since we’d be out of town for several days, I checked a bag with the airline. We arrived to our destination without any fuss and drove to see his family. As I went to my bag to retrieve some things before bed,...
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Last week’s GDP Estimate Included a Massive Upward Revision in Health Spending

Last week’s third estimate of 3rd quarter GDP contained a significant upward revision to the real (inflation-adjusted) increase in GDP, from a 3.9 percent in the second estimate (released in November) to 5.0 percent in the third estimate. November’s second estimate of 3rd quarter GDP included very tempered growth in health spending. The third estimate blows...
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NSA’s Keystone Kops Play Kryptos Kristmas Kwiz at Our Peril

The Cloud is not secure. This not-surprising news is among the revelations from further exploration of the Snowden archives in an article posted at Spiegel. Among the investigation’s conclusions: the U.S. government and its allies—the so-called Five Eyes alliance, made up of the secret services of Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United...
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Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Don’t Worry, They’ll Guard Themselves!

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards themselves? Do not fret, mis amigos. Our guardians have already made ample provision for guarding themselves. They have, among other upstanding actions, appointed ombudsmen, established offices of inspector generals, enacted the Administrative Procedure Act, and created internal affairs divisions in police departments. So, as anyone...
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The 100th Anniversary of the Christmas Truce

This Christmas marks the 100th anniversary of the spontaneous “Christmas Truce” created by trench-warfare soldiers of World War I. All along the European front, soldiers lay down their arms on Christmas day, and took the chance that those on the other side would join them in observing their common holy day: A German soldier,...
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Putin’s Collapsing Russia

Vladimir Putin, who worked for the Soviet Union’s KGB from the time he graduated from college through the Soviet Union’s dissolution, obviously is nostalgic for the days in which the Soviet Union was regarded as one of the world’s two superpowers, as it was when Putin joined the KGB in 1975. When Putin first...
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Obamacare Premiums Higher in States with ‘Active Purchaser’ Exchanges

Sixteen states plus the District of Columbia chose to set up their own Obamacare exchanges, in which insurers offer subsidized health insurance to individuals. States had two ways to set up exchanges. Ten set up exchanges where the exchange itself was the “active purchaser,” meaning that it negotiated premiums, provider networks, and number and...
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Photo Explaining Obamacare’s Perverse Incentives Is Worth a Thousand Words

Health insurers in Obamacare’s exchange plans have perverse incentives to attract healthy patients and deter sick ones from enrolling. This is because the law forbids insurers from charging premiums that reflect applicants’ likelihood of incurring high medical costs. Although there are risk-mitigation mechanisms to overcome this, they appear to be inadequate. If this photo does not tell...
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I Can’t Believe There’s No Butter! Bad Trade Policy Burns Christmas Bakers

I love to cook. From my great grandmother’s recipe for fried chicken (fried in lard, of course) to my mom’s recipe for Kentucky burgoo (think stew), there are a few kitchen staples this cook can’t do without. The star of many southern recipes is butter. Perhaps famous southern cook Paula Deen put it best:...
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