• What to Ask Neil Gorsuch at His Confirmation Hearing


    Things are looking good for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch as he prepares for his confirmation hearings, which begin March 20. Judge Gorsuch has continued to be his charming and disarming self, leaving Democrats with little to latch onto in opposition and only increasing his already-solid chances for securing a seat on the high court. Indeed, a recent survey showed that 91% of Democratic congressional expect Gorsuch to be confirmed—and only 41% expect there to be an attempted filibuster. READ MORE...

  • californias-cap-and-trade-train-wreck

    California’s Cap-And-Trade Train Wreck

    Californians like to brag they are the nation’s pioneers, pointing to freeways, Disneyland and In-N-Out Burger. They’ve started construction on a 118-mile high-speed rail segment, the first in the nation, from Madera (population: 61,416) to Shafter (population: 16,998). They’re paying for it with revenues from a statewide cap-and-trade system, which sells “permits” allowing industry to emit carbon dioxide.

    That first segment, which is over land as flat as a table, requiring very little bulldozing and very few superelevated curves, was supposed to cost $6.4 billion, but that’s already ballooned to $10 billion. As Steven Greenhut at Reason.com wrote earlier this year, “it’s costing the train to nowhere a lot to get there.” READ MORE...

  • american-health-care-act

    The Failures of the American Health Care Act

    From the time it was enacted, most Americans disliked the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Republicans, promising to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, rode the wave of public dissatisfaction to repeated election victories. The GOP took the House of Representatives in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016, largely capitalizing on the skyrocketing premiums, rising deductibles, and disappearing choices that characterize Obamacare.

    Now, as Republicans control both Congress and the White House, they finally have the chance to deliver on their promise. And not a minute too soon. Because the mandates that Obamacare places on health insurance have sent our health insurance system into a death spiral. Premiums continue to soar as insurance companies are pulling out of the market, leaving consumers with fewer and fewer affordable choices. In over a third of the nation’s counties, individuals have just one insurance plan as a choice. Soon, many counties will have no plans available. Repealing and replacing Obamacare is no longer an option. It’s essential. READ MORE...

  • trump-budget-cuts

    Trump’s Budget Cuts Are Fair and Necessary

    When President Donald Trump released his first budget this week proposing to cut a range of agencies and programs, he declared, in an accompanying message “our budget blueprint insists on $54 billion in reductions to non-defense programs.” He said: “We are going to do more with less, and make the government lean and accountable to the people.”

    Many of Trump’s proposals will not be greeted warmly on Capitol Hill. And, to be sure the $54 billion in non-defense cuts he put forth are matched by $54 billion in defense spending increases. So that focus on “lean” does not extend to the Pentagon, and there is no overall spending reduction to help get rising deficits under control. READ MORE...

  • Rex-Tillerson-China

    Tillerson, China and the North Korea Question

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first visit to China came to a conclusion this weekend, having visited South Korea and Japan earlier in the week as part of his East Asia tour. As expected, policy options regarding North Korea were a top focus.

    Pyongyang’s recent set of missile launches, including a more advanced ballistic missile which landed in the Sea of Japan, tested not only Washington’s patience but also that of Beijing. Indeed, just hours prior to Tillerson’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, North Korea’s state media reported the testing of a new high-thrust rocket engine, overseen by Kim Jong-un himself who declared it “a new birth” for the isolated country’s rocket industry. So what is the likelihood of China supporting changes in U.S. policy toward North Korea? READ MORE...

  • Don’t Check the Bill of Rights at the Airport


    If you’re a seasoned traveler, chances are you know your “Passenger Bill of Rights,” which protects you from the horrors of extended tarmac delays and hidden fees. Unfortunately, many passengers are not aware that the Constitution’s Bill of Rights provides even more important protections, extending to the questioning many may receive at the airport gate.

    A case in point: In late February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers requested that passengers leaving a plane that had just arrived at New York’s JFK airport from San Francisco present their “documents.” These officers were reportedly searching for an immigrant with a deportation order. The immigrant was not on the flight. READ MORE...

  • dept-of-justice-seal

    Trump’s Tsa Budget Fails to Cut the Obvious: Air Marshals

    To fund President Donald Trump’s fanciful plans for a massive southern border wall, his administration is scrounging around in the budgets of current US government programs. The results are evident in last week’s budget blueprint.

    The administration has been looking to squeeze money from the budget of the Transportation Security Administration, which may represent an admission that some of the money slung at the terrorism problem in the United States might have been wasted.

    Although such a reappraisal is a decade or more overdue, it isn’t clear that Trump’s budget staffers know what they are doing. In particular, in their quest to cut costs they have ignored an elephantine program, the Federal Air Marshal Service, which provides little security at great cost. READ MORE...