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  • Monthly Archives: February 2011

    Estonia's Love Affair with Ronald Reagan

    While members of Congress, former cabinet members, long-time aides and assorted VIPs were celebrating Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday at the Reagan Presidential Library in sun-baked Simi Valley, California, I was nearly 6,000 miles away in snow-bound Tallinn, Estonia, a small Baltic country bordering on the former Soviet Union. As a … More

    The Case for Entitlement Reform: Taxpayer Contributions Fall Dangerously Short of Received Benefits

    Medicare and Social Security are important retirement security programs for millions of Americans. But they are ticking time bombs with trillions in future unfunded obligations that will bankrupt America if they are not changed. Though awareness of this critical situation continues to grow, Americans remain reluctant to support reform, understandably … More

    Raymond Davis Tension Perfect Time to Ramp up Pakistan Civil Society Dialogue

    In the midst of a tense bilateral dispute between the U.S. and Pakistan over the case of Raymond Davis—an American Embassy employee who shot and killed two armed Pakistanis in what he claims was self-defense—civil society leaders from both countries met in Lahore, Pakistan, February 17-19. The initiative, dubbed the … More

    North Korea Outbreak Offers Opportunity for U.S.-China Cooperation

    News sources are reporting that North Korea is confronting a major outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease. This virulent disease can be dealt with only by destroying infected stock and quarantining farms that are suffering the outbreak. Given the condition of North Korea’s food stocks, which have remained low, this additional disaster … More

    Obama's Phony Obamacare Flexibility Offer

    Speaking to the National Governors Association at the White House today, President Barack Obama endorsed legislation by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Scott Brown (R-MA) that would allow states to request waivers from some Obamacare mandates in 2014 instead of the existing 2017 date. President Obama claimed: “It will give … More

    Cutting Defense Can't Balance the Budget

    The roaring debate over the budget has flooded Congress with proposals and counter-proposals aimed at lessening the gaping hole between federal revenues and expenses. Almost every part of the federal budget, including defense, has been targeted under various plans. But cutting defense spending doesn’t fix the problem. It doesn’t even … More

    Government Unions: It's About the Money

    “It’s not about the money,” says University of Wisconsin Associate Professor of Political Science and Law Howard Schweber. Wisconsin Education Association Council President Mary Bell agrees: “This is not about protecting our pay and our benefits. It is about protecting our right to collectively bargain.” Both Scheber and Bell are … More

    Morning Bell: The Middle East's Third Wave

    In a private phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, almost two weeks after the unrest began, President Barack Obama finally called for Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi to step down. While the President’s inertia may have been mitigated by the need to get Americans out of the country so Qadhafi … More

    House and Senate Cloakroom: February 28 - March 4, 2011

    House Cloakroom Analysis: The House returns next week from the Presidents’ Day recess to tackle a shortened two week Continuing Resolution (CR) package unveiled on Friday that includes more than $4 billion in spending cuts. HR 1, passed in the House on February 12th, cut spending by $61 billion for … More

    Wisconsin: An Education in Special Interest Power

    Early yesterday morning, the Wisconsin assembly passed Governor Scott Walker’s (R) budget repair bill, which includes language requiring public employees to contribute 5.8 percent of their salaries to cover the cost of their pensions and pay 12 percent of their health insurance premiums. The measure also significantly limits collective bargaining … More