Latest posts by Donald Kendal (see all)
If you don’t visit Somewhat Reasonable and the Heartlander digital magazine every day, you’re missing out on some of the best news and commentary on liberty and free markets you can find. But worry not, freedom lovers! The Heartland Weekly Email is here for you every Friday with a highlight show. Subscribe to the email today, and read this week’s edition below.
Puerto Rico Default Begins
Gabrielle Cintorino, The Heartlander
The slow-motion train wreck that is the economy of Puerto Rico is officially going off the rails. Lawmakers in the United States territory announced plans to partially default on $1 billion in monthly bond payments owed to investors in state-owned corporations. The potential for a large- scale bankruptcy is growing as some in Congress explore the idea of amending federal laws to allow states to declare bankruptcy. READ MORE
What’s Wrong with Wikipedia?
Joseph L. Bast, Somewhat Reasonable
In recent months, left-wing activists have hijacked The Heartland Institute’s profile at Wikipedia, removing objective descriptions of our programs and publications and replacing them with lies, errors, and outright libelous claims. Our efforts to correct the site have been rejected by the editors of the self-described “free encyclopedia.” Can you help? READ MORE
A Valentine’s Day Ode to Fracking
Isaac Orr, USA Today
Valentine’s Day is a time when we celebrate the affection and friendship we have for loved ones. Research Fellow Isaac Orr reminds us to write a special Valentine’s Day card for hydraulic fracturing. As Orr points out in USA Today, fracking has dramatically lowered the cost of gasoline and natural gas, giving people more resources to pamper their loved ones with flowers and chocolates. According to a study by the Brookings Institution, these low prices have saved people hundreds of dollars a year, depending on where they live. READ MORE
Heartland Study: The Social Impacts of Frac Sand Mining
Isaac Orr and Mark Krumenacher, Heartland Policy Study
When discussing the potential impacts of development, including frac sand mining, on land and scenic beauty, emotion and opinion tend to dominate the discussion. Heartland’s latest Policy Study brings technical facts and scientific data to the table instead. This study addresses commonly expressed concerns about frac sand mining and discusses how mining companies are already taking steps to reassure those who fear a loss in tourism and land value. READ MORE
Featured Podcast: Terry Miller: America Drops on the Economic Freedom Index
It might not surprise many that America’s economic freedom has declined in recent years. What might shock you is the fact that the United States is no longer among the top 10 freest countries in the world. Terry Miller, former U.S. ambassador and director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis, joins The Heartland Daily Podcast to discuss the latest edition of the Economic Freedom Index. LISTEN TO MORE
March 9 Event: Never Lose a Debate with a Global Warming Alarmist!
The Heartland Institute’s newest book, Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming, demolishes the most pernicious myth in the global warming debate: that “97% of scientists” believe mankind is the cause of a global warming catastrophe. Heartland President Joseph Bast, who edited the book, will discuss his findings and bid a fond farewell to one of the coauthors, Robert Carter who passed away on January 19, at a free event at Heartland’s headquarters in Arlington Heights, Illinois, on March 9. Go to Amazon.com or the Heartland store [store.heartland.org] now and order a copy, or become a Heartland donor and get a free copy!
Vouchers Are Everywhere. What Next?
Joy Pullmann, School Reform Weekly
The school choice movement is gaining momentum and could potentially be reaching a tipping point. Currently, a majority of states offer a school choice program that includes access to private schools. As it becomes more clear that school choice encourages innovation and quality, it will open the door for further progress on other fronts including vouchers and education savings accounts. While the progress that has been made so far is a major accomplishment, advocates of individual liberty and choice still have much work to do. READ MORE
Trend Watch: Parents Are Flocking to Homeschooling Conventions
Lennie Jarratt, The Heartlander
The popularity of homeschooling continues to grow nationwide as more parents choose to withdraw their children from government schools and take a more active role in their children’s education. There are now more than 100 homeschool conferences annually, where parents learn how to craft a tailor-made curriculum for their child and network with their peers in what has become a legitimate and influential cultural and political movement – one that puts families first. READ MORE
Medicaid Expansion: The President’s Discarded Valentine
Michael Hamilton, The Hill
President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for 2017 included a sour Valentine’s Day treat – the expansion of Medicaid, a jointly funded federal-state government program that uses taxes to provide health insurance to the poor. Using the same perverse incentives by which entitlements trap millions of Americans in poverty and government dependence, the latest Medicaid lure coaxes financially strapped states into federal assistance that is temporary and illusory. READ MORE
Ted Cruz’s Life-Saving Legislation Would Reduce FDA’s Monopoly
Justin Haskins, Consumer Power Report
Regulations related to the introduction of new drugs and medical devices cost money and, more importantly, lives. Newly proposed legislation from U.S. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-Texas) attempts to fix this problem. The Reciprocity Ensures Streamlined Use of Lifesaving Treatments Act would transform the way drugs and medical devices are approved by the federal government. READ MORE
Bonus Podcast: Ryan Yonk: The Economic Impact of Renewable Fuel Mandates
Ryan Yonk, assistant research professor at Utah State University and executive director of Strata Policy, joins The Heartland Daily Podcast to discuss an in-depth analysis of the economic impact of renewable fuel mandates. A new study found these mandates contributed to the poor economic recovery of “corn belt” counties, despite the fact that they historically supported renewable fuel subsidies. LISTEN TO MORE
Supreme Court Blocks Obama’s Climate Regulations
H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly
Hundreds of state legislators and business, labor, consumer, and public-interest groups are rejoicing after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to stay the Obama administration’s anti-fossil fuels Clean Power Plan. The regulation would have dramatically increased energy costs while having virtually no impact on the supposed threat of “global warming.” “We are thrilled that the Supreme Court realized the rule’s immediate impact and froze its implementation, protecting workers and saving countless dollars as our fight against its legality continues,” said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. READ MORE