Saturday, March 25, 2017

In the news, Thursday, March 16, 2017


MAR 15      INDEX      MAR 17

Information from some sites may not be reliable, or may not be vetted.
Some sources may require subscription.


from BBC News (UK)

Are we seeing the rise of the postmodern politician?
In this opinion piece, journalist and writer Peter Pomerantsev argues that President Trump and President Putin share a disdain for facts - and that this is part of their appeal.


from Competitive Enterprise Institute

White House Budget Embraces Air Traffic Control Reform
Once the transition is complete, we can expect the FAA’s post-reform budget to be slashed by approximately two-thirds, which is the share of the agency’s budget currently dedicated to air traffic control operations, facilities, and modernization investments.


from FEE (Foundation for Economic Education)
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

Trade Deficits Don't Matter; Understanding Deficits Do
The economic gain to Americans from foreign trade is what we import. Exports are the cost of getting those imports. If a nation has a proper objective in trade, surely it is to get as large a volume of imports as possible, for as small a volume of our exports as possible.

Airport Noise and the Myth of Zero-Sum Economics
Recently, a number of my students all made the same interesting mistake on an exam. They took it for granted that games are zero sum, that what benefits one side must harm the other. That is a very dangerous mistake to make.

Obamacare and the Second Theorem of Government
It is much easier to block the enactment of a new handout than it is to take it away after it's been created and people get hooked on the heroin of government dependency.

Stop Misusing the Term "Health Care"
Much philosophical gibberish has been written about the moral responsibility of society to provide medical care to those who can’t afford it (as if society is an individual moral agent). Virtually nothing has been written about the moral responsibility of individuals to not inflict costs on the rest of society because they lack self-control and self-respect.

Andrew Jackson Is a Poor Presidential Role Model
Donald Trump added a portrait of Andrew Jackson to the White House Oval Office shortly after his inauguration. Jackson’s defeat of incumbent John Quincy Adams in the 1828 election was the first great US political upset in which an anti-establishment candidate defeated an insider, which no doubt pleases Trump given his own road to the Presidency, but does Jackson deserve to be remembered so fondly as the one who put power in the hands of the people?


from First Things

Paul Ryan, a valuable man in other contexts (like working across the aisle as a wonk willing to bridge idealogical divides), continues to exemplify the GOP’s misplaced priorities as Speaker of the House. The wonky, compromising Ryan was a very useful fellow—but Republicans couldn’t leave well enough alone.


from The Heritage Foundation
[Information from this site may be unreliable.]

Natural Disasters Are Costing FEMA Way Too Much Money. Here’s What’s Wrong.
Federal law gives state governments a disincentive to prepare for natural disasters, and instead to use federal funds. As Americans prepare for snowstorms, hurricanes, and other serious weather events, Congress should make sure the government is also prepared for the worst—by reforming FEMA and the Stafford Act.

How Local Citizens Can Take Up the Fight Against Public Corruption
No American should have to wonder if their hard-earned tax dollar is going to a road—or an insider’s slush fund.

Latest Projections Show Farm ‘Safety Net’ Is Going to Cost More Than Originally Projected
There are numerous hidden costs associated with "safety net" farm bill subsidies. Legislators should take a step back and ask why there even needs to be a farm-related safety net.

Trump’s Budget Takes a Cleaver to Cronyism and Waste at the Energy Department
The Department of Energy has long needed reform—and Trump's proposal would bring it. The draft budget cuts many pet projects of both Democrats and Republicans.

Planned Parenthood Will Keep Obama’s Parting Gift Unless Congress Acts
The clock is ticking for Congress to reverse President Barack Obama’s parting gift to Planned Parenthood. The House acted last month, but the Senate must take action as well to undo Obama’s move.

Trump ‘Skinny’ Budget Blueprint Puts Department of Education on a Diet
For the first time in decades, an administration is significantly trimming the budget at the Department of Education. The Trump administration’s budget blueprint, or “skinny budget,” cuts $9 billion from the agency’s $68 billion budget, trimming spending at the department to $59 billion. That represents a 13 percent reduction in discretionary spending, demonstrating a commitment to restoring federalism in education.


from The Living Church

Ambition and Bishops
About the idea of creating a pool of prospective candidates for the episcopacy: Creating a nursery for ambition is a profound theological and spiritual mistake.


from Mises Institute
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

The Census Bureau's Faulty Data About a Coming "Non-White" Majority
Government data about race and ethnicity in America is often manipulated for political purposes — and distorts our view of the American population.

Trump's Budget a First Step Toward De-Politicizing Science
While the Trump budget, should it pass, would do little to change government spending as a whole, the targeted cuts would have a positive impact beyond the US debt clock. For example, the proposed cuts to the Energy Department, the EPA, and the National Institute of Health represent a significant step toward separating state and science. Scientific research is important, which is precisely why it should be separated from the state.


from New Statesman
"The leading voice of the British left, since 1913."

Dutch election results at a glance
Right-wing blonde bombshell Geert Wilders was trounced. But he wasn't the only one.

Rural pubs are closing at an alarming rate
The village pub is a key – even clichéd – feature of rural England. They evoke images of pork scratchings and perilously low beams, frothy pints of warm ale and the summertime knock of willow on leather. They are often described as “friendly” and “homey” and many believe that they foster social relationships among residents, strengthening the level of cohesion in villages and positively contributing to communal well-being. But very few studies have tried to verify scientifically whether this is the case.

The war on the night: why bad sleep harms your health
Loss of empathy, memory impairment and higher risks of cancer are all linked to lack of sleep. So why don’t we turn in earlier? If you stay up looking at social media on your phone, you risk loss of empathy and raise the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Sturgeon's mission: how Brexit changes the SNP's argument for independence
With Labour in disarray and Westminster focused on leaving the European Union, the next Scottish referendum - whenever it happens - is the SNP’s to lose.


from New York Times

Disciples of a False Prophet
Trump’s life story is a pyramid scheme of ambitions.


from Patheos
[Information from this site may be questionable.]

Pre-approved Bishops: A Nursery for Ambition
In a report from the meeting at the House of Bishops for The Episcopal Church, Bishop Daniel Martins notes that the bishops are considering creating a pool of prospective candidates for the episcopacy. Creating another smoke-filled room or a nursery for ambition in the church is a profound theological and spiritual mistake.


from Russia Insider
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

Putin Urges Nations to Reject ‘Chaos’, Join Russia in Creation of ‘Fair’ World
Putin invites foreign diplomats to join Russia in the creation of a "fair world order" that respects "national sovereignty"


from The Spokesman-Review

Veterans Affairs budget is in line to grow by 6 percent
The Department of Veterans Affairs, the second-largest federal agency with 313,000 civilian employees and a far-flung hospital system, is one of the few corners of the government that would see its budget grow in the next fiscal year – by 6 percent.


from Trains Magazine

Amtrak and mass transit face severe budget cuts under President Trump's proposed fiscal 2018 budget. And a grant program that has provided funds for rail projects is on the verge of elimination.


from The Wall Street Journal

Trump Seeks Major Cut to State Dept., USAID
The proposed cuts, included in a 2018 budget blueprint, are part of the president’s pledge to boost federal spending on the military and slash foreign aid


from The Washington Post

Meals on Wheels is ‘not showing any results’ only if you ignore all these results
Meals on Wheels is a nonprofit group that receives funding from the federal government, state and local governments and private donors. “We serve more than 2.4 million seniors from 60 to 100+ years old each year,” the organization writes. “They are primarily older than 60 and because of physical limitations or financial reasons, have difficulty shopping for or preparing meals for themselves.” If that doesn’t clear the bar for “results,” as Mulvaney put it, there’s also been a fair amount of peer-reviewed research on the efficacy of the program.


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