TOP POLICY STORIES
The resounding failure by unions and Democrats to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Tuesday was a significant moment for democratic self-government. It showed that an aroused electorate can defeat a furious and well-fed special interest that wants a permanent, monopoly claim on taxpayer wallets.
The crisis unfolding in Europe is less about the euro than it is about whether the union-dominated entitlement state can reform so it can pay its bills. In Wisconsin as in Greece and France, unions and the political left were trying to demonstrate that power and privileges once granted are eternal. They wanted to run Mr. Walker out of Madison as an object lesson that trying to limit collective bargaining and mandatory dues collection for government unions will end your political career. (read more)
EPA Fracking Investigation Was Flawed, Study Concludes, James M. Taylor, The Heartland Institute
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency used improper procedures and analytical methods in a report claiming hydraulic fracturing may have impaired groundwater quality near Pavillion, Wyoming, an independent scientific assessment concludes.
EPA released a report in December 2011 asserting hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, may have polluted groundwater in the Pavillion region. According to an EPA statement accompanying the report, “ground water in the aquifer contains compounds likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing.”
If EPA ultimately concludes hydraulic fracturing polluted groundwater in the region, it would mark the first time the agency has ever found a link between fracking and groundwater pollution. (read more)
Consumer Power Report: Here Come the Food Police, Benjamin Domenech, The Heartland Institute
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on large sodas and other sugary drinks is just the most recent, and most ridiculous, act by the self-appointed chief of food police for the nation, I write at the American Thinker:
In the press conference announcing the move, Bloomberg rejected the idea that this would annoy people or store owners.
“Your argument, I guess, could be that it’s a little less convenient to have to carry two 16-ounce drinks to your seat in the movie theater rather than one 32 ounce,” Bloomberg said. “I don’t think you can make the case that we’re taking things away.” (read more)
Overwhelming Support for Pension Reform in San Diego, San Jose, Steve Stanek, The Heartland Institute
Wisconsin wasn’t the only place government unions took an election-day drubbing in June.
Voters in two major California cities overwhelmingly approved cuts in retirement perks for local government workers.
Most of the national headlines on the June 5 election results focused on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who handily survived a recall challenge that had been led by government employee unions. The unions were angered at legislation Walker backed and signed into law to restrict collective bargaining and end the forced collection of union dues. Thousands of Wisconsin government workers have stopped paying union dues. Membership in the state’s chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has dropped 45 percent. (read more)
FCC Issues Narrowbranding Deadline Waiver, Phil Britt, South Holland, Illinois
Public-safety radio networks operating on the T-Band will not be subject to the narrowbanding deadline scheduled for the end of this year, the Federal Communications Commission stated in a public notice released April 26, 2012. According to published reports, some public safety radio networks have installed the required new equipment at little to no cost, but others projected the switch to cost more than $1 million. (read more)
School Reform News Roundup June 4 to 8, Joy Pullmann, The Heartland Institute
Senator Jim DeMint and Rep. Trent Franks have introduced an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would affirm parental rights.
The Michigan Senate passed a Parent Trigger bill. An attempt at amending the New Hampshire constitution to give the legislature and not state supreme court control over school funding has failed. Because of the federal budget limits imposed by its failure to reach a budget compromise, Texas schools will see a 10 percent reduction in federal aid this, a loss of approximately $350 million. (read more)
If Greedy Speculators Drive Up Fuel Prices, Why Do Prices Fall?, Steve Stanek, The Heartland Institute
Earlier this year, as gasoline and diesel fuel prices were climbing, President Barack Obama and others in his administration were loudly telling Americans to blame greedy oil speculators.
Now that gasoline and diesel fuel prices have been falling, the complainers have been conspicuously silent.
Does greediness ebb and flow? Or could other factors be responsible for fuel prices rising and falling?
Other factors such as war talk, monetary manipulation, and growing or slowing economies drive fuel price changes, says economist Robert Wenzel of EconomicPolicyJournal.com. (read more)
Thursday, June 14, 2012 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Jaks Tap 901 W. Jackson, Chicago IL
According to Jonah Goldberg, if the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing themselves that they’re not ideological. (read more)
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