More Failed Government

This example isn’t a demonstration of dishonesty, and it isn’t unique to this administration.

Market-sensitive information vitally important to health-insurance companies has once again reached Wall Street before the public, and this time it appears to have come from the government itself.

On Dec 3, an official with the agency in charge of Medicare spending held a conference call for industry officials.  During the call, he provided data suggesting that federal funding for private Medicare plans would likely fall more than expected.

Standards and Government Mendacity

Some of you are familiar with EEOC v Kaplan, a case in which the EEOC sued Kaplan Higher Education Corporation for the crime of using background checks to screen job applicants prior to hiring them.  EEOC’s case centered on the nonsense of disparate impact: in the present case, since blacks have more bad debts than whites—for reasons wholly unrelated to the questions at issue in Kaplan—they were more often disqualified from hiring by Kaplan than were whites.

Democrats Against Education

Those of the great state of Illinois have become brazenly overt in their assault.  They’ve introduced 10 or more bills that target charter schools, seeking to restrict them severely or to shut them down altogether.

One of these bills would, effectively, cancel a law that lets charter schools to operate unhindered by state or union rules.  Imagine that.  It must be bad local control that allows a school to function without…benefit…of union oversight or absent the wisdom of the State.

Another bill would ban online classes, supported by these evil charters, that offer high schoolers things like Advanced Placement classes.  Can’t have students able to learn on their own schedules, now can we?

Restricting Voters?

Ex-President Bill Clinton and the AP are at it again, this time from the venue of the Civil Rights Summit at the Lyndon B Johnson Presidential Library in Austin.

Former President Bill Clinton is using the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act to criticize efforts in several states to create new restrictions for voters, saying they threaten to roll back a half-century of progress.

Another Blow

…in the Progressives’ war on diversity, this one struck against the concept of free speech.

Brandeis University in Massachusetts announced Tuesday that it had withdrawn the planned awarding of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a staunch critic of Islam and its treatment of women….

Their “rationale?”

She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world.  That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.

Hotel Maryland

You can check in, but you can’t check out.

Netflix’ show, House of Cards, is about cut-throat politics at its worst, it’s hugely successful, and it’s filmed in Maryland.  And therein lies the rub.

The show’s producers, Media Rights Capital, now want a larger set of tax credits, given that success.  If they can’t get an increase, MRC says it’ll move its filming location to another state where it can get a better deal for its proven product.  Fair enough.  The filming produces income for the state’s economy and for the state, even with the current credit structure, and that success is expected to continue.

Another 2nd Amendment Threat from DoJ

All for the very best of intentions, of course.

This time Attorney General Eric Holder wants to use bracelets that must be worn by lawful gun users as a means of electronically tying the firearm to its lawful owner.

I think that one of the things that we learned when we were trying to get passed those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and we talked about how guns can be made more safe.

Disarming While Our Enemies Grow Stronger and Get More Aggressive

The Pentagon said Tuesday it would sharply cut the number of US submarine and bomber-launched nuclear weapons, and preserve most of the nation’s land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles to comply with the New START treaty with Russia.

Never mind that the subs and bombers lend an enormous flexibility of response that’s utterly lacking in the missile force.  Never mind, also, that the submarine force is the most survivable (so far) of our nuclear forces.

Helping the Low Wage Worker

There are lots of sources for this help; I’m only going to talk about how government can help (yes, we can and should help the least among us, and yes, Conservatives, government does have a role, if limited: there are things government can do, even here, better than the private sector).  The trick here is to prevent government mission creep and an ever-increasing government role—a difficulty that in itself makes a powerful, and not entirely illegitimate, argument against any government role at all.

Spending on Education

…and education results turn out to be wholly independent of each other—that is, spending more and more hasn’t produced better and better outcomes for our students—it hasn’t had any effect at all.  It’s been a waste of our tax dollars.  This is clearly indicated by Cato Institute‘s Andrew Coulson’s report State Education Trends: Academic Performance and Spending over the Past 40 Years.  What Coulson found is illustrated by this statement early in the report:

The state-by-state results of this investigation are reported in the subsections that follow, but the overall picture can be summarized in a single value: 0.075. That is the correlation between the spending and academic performance changes of the past 40 years, for all 50 states.