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  • Monthly Archives: April 2012

    Russia's Gunboat Diplomacy: Russian Warships to Patrol Syria's Coast?

    Newscom

    On April 13, the Russian RIA Novosti news agency quoted a high-ranking source in the Russian defense ministry as saying, “A decision was made to deploy Russian warships near the Syrian shores on a permanent basis.” The source announced that Russia’s naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean had “nothing to … More

    Subsidiarity: An Important Principle in Federal Budget Debates

    Paul-Ryan

    How should one’s faith shape his or her engagement in the policy arena? Political Correspondent David Brody recently asked that question of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R–WI) concerning the Republican budget plan. In a taped interview for the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Ryan, a Roman Catholic, identified care … More

    Obama Administration Discontinues Transparency Tool

    President Barack Obama

    Since 1993, the Census Bureau has made available detailed data about federal government expenditures in its Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR). The 2012 report will be the last one. Through the CFFR website, the public had access to such data as federal expenditures made at the county level for programs … More

    What Does the Supreme Court Think About Washington's Education Overreach?

    Classroom

    During the course of Obamacare oral arguments in late March, an interesting exchange between Justice Samuel Alito and U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli illuminated the Administration’s education overreach vis-à-vis national standards. Education Week reports: For the U.S. Supreme Court, the closely watched six hours of arguments last week were all … More

    Sandbagged at the Summit of the Americas

    summit_of_the_americas_1204

    On April 13–15, President Obama participated in what will likely be the last Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. It showed that contemporary gatherings such as this latest Summit—absent strong U.S. leadership and lacking a genuinely constructive agenda—can easily be derailed. The showy gathering of heads of state was … More

    Morning Bell: Tax Gimmicks, Tax Doom

    Obama-4-10-12-taxes

    The U.S. Senate could vote today on the gimmicky distraction known as the Buffett Rule — President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on wealthy Americans and job creators in order to supposedly bring “fairness” to the tax code and pay down the debt. As the paper-thin justification for the proposal … More

    Chart of the Week: The Tax Burden on American Households

    Though the economic downturn has temporarily lowered overall tax revenues, the tax burden on Americans is still high.

    Americans who are scrambling to pay their taxes by Tuesday’s deadline are in store for more depressing news: The tax burden on American families has risen dramatically and will continue to climb into the future without action from Congress. This week’s chart outlines the growth of taxes over the past … More

    Crisis in U.S.–Pakistan Ties Subsides, but Disconnect on Terrorism Persists

    pakistan-flag

    Pakistan’s parliament Thursday approved recommendations of a parliamentary committee to reset the terms of U.S.–Pakistan relations, paving the way for the reopening of NATO supply routes and the resumption of high-level U.S.–Pakistan diplomatic engagement. The supply routes were shut down and high-level visits suspended following a NATO air strike that … More

    DeMarco Warns of the Dangers of Large-Scale Forgiving of Mortgage Debt

    White picket fence in front of house / home

    To hear certain parts of the press tell it, the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Ed DeMarco, announced that the agency is willing to consider wholesale write-downs of underwater mortgages in a recent speech on the subject. However, a closer reading of DeMarco’s speech and the … More

    Scribecast: How Kony 2012 Went Viral

    Kony

    Invisible Children brought worldwide attention to Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army with a wildly popular documentary called “Kony 2012.” The 30-minute film depicted Kony’s violent militia in Central Africa. It currently has more than 87 million views on YouTube. The film’s success raised awareness about Kony and also … More