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Wanted: A Bigger, Badder Air Wing to Fight China
Center for the National Interest • Saturday, Oct 10

A new report published by the Hudson Institute concludes that the U.S. Navy’s carrier strike groups (CSG) and their air wings are vital to tackling China’s anti-access/area denial capabilities (A2/AD). But report—titled Sharpening the Spear: The Carrier, the Joint Force, and High-End Conflict, which is written by TNI contributors Seth Cropsey, Bryan McGrath & Timothy A. Walton—also concludes that the Navy must adopt new operating concepts and fundamentally reconfigure the...

Meltdown: The GOP’s Leadership Struggle
Center for the National Interest • Saturday, Oct 10

When House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy stunned Washington by pulling out of the race to succeed John Boehner as speaker, it brought to mind another Republican politician who recently crashed and burned.Scott Walker, whose chances of winning the GOP presidential nomination once looked almost as promising as McCarthy’s chances of becoming speaker, had an interesting way of distinguishing himself from fellow Republicans.Walker said there were Republicans who had experience winning...

Following the Money in Libya
Center for the National Interest • Saturday, Oct 10

LONDON. Muammar Gaddafi may have had many shortcomings, but grant him this: there was only one of him. When the Libyan Investment Authority was set up in 2006 to manage the country’s new oil wealth, it faced plenty of challenges, not least the idiosyncratic wishes of the Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya as to where the money should be invested. But at least there was no doubt about who was ultimately in charge.  By contrast, today uncertainty seems to define...

Exposed: NATO’s Dangerous Vulnerability to Russia
Center for the National Interest • Friday, Oct 9

As with his previous moves in Syria, the incursions by Russian planes into Turkish airspace and other related incidents along the Turkish-Syrian frontier are direct geopolitical communications from Russian President Vladimir Putin.The first is to show that Russia has the ability to pivot along several fronts. For the past year, the smart money on where the Kremlin would seek to challenge the coherence of the North Atlantic alliance was the Baltics. A good deal of attention was paid...

Brazil at an Economic Crossroads
Center for the National Interest • Friday, Oct 9

In September President Dilma Rousseff spoke at the United Nations, indicating that Brazil “will keep on moving on the democratic pathway.” Brazil has indeed made strides down the democratic pathway, but Latin America’s largest country has now reached another critical decision. One path roads leads to more responsible government; the other is a continuation of long-term and ultimately legitimacy-eroding corruption, which could throw the country into a new lost decade akin to the...

After Iran: Repairing U.S. Relations with Israel
Center for the National Interest • Friday, Oct 9

In January of 2017 a new President will be sworn. He or she should should immediately seek to repair the American relationship with Israel. From the Israeli perspective, a strong relationship with the US provides valuable security guarantees in a dangerous region. From the perspective of the US, Israel can help check the rise of a regional power that could threaten the position of the United States. The US and Israel share democratic values but the real necessity of the alliance...

More on Bobby Jindal’s tax cut plan
American Enterprise Institute • Friday, Oct 9

The WaPo’s Catherine Rampell writes that Bobby Jindal’s tax plan “has made Donald Trump look like a grown-up.” Why’s that? Well, both tax plans would lose about a trillion dollars a year, even accounting for faster economic growth. In other words, they would cut federal tax revenue by roughly a third as a share of GDP.And here’s the thing: If you are going to (a) propose such a thing and (b) also favor a balanced budget, then you need to (c) have...

Why is Assad still there?
American Enterprise Institute • Friday, Oct 9

The long-term solution to the problem of Syria is the building of a system of representative and just government. I want to put that out there because I don’t believe that any interim solution that finds some new dictator more to our taste (see: Sisi, Abdel Fattah) will be sustainable.But let’s set aside what’s right for a moment, and consider what’s expedient. What the heck is going on in Damascus? It’s been clear for at least two years now that few — not even Iran, probably not...

Six takeaways on federal support of the charter sector
American Enterprise Institute • Friday, Oct 9

The US Department of Education (DOE) recently announced the winners of $157 million in grants through the department’s Charter School Program (CSP). The program makes federal funds available “to replicate and expand successful schools; help charter schools find suitable facilities; reward high-quality charter schools that form exemplary collaborations with the non-chartered public school sector; and invest in national activities and initiatives that support charter schools.”Since...

Norway’s oil fund: More than just a piggy bank
American Enterprise Institute • Friday, Oct 9

For years, Norway has used revenues from its oil fields to pour monies into its sovereign wealth fund. Now valued at well over $800 billion, the sovereign fund is the globe’s largest.Since the early 1970s, when oil was first pumped from Norway’s seas, oil and gas extraction has been a boon to the country at large and driven up per capita income. At present, nearly a quarter of Norway’s GDP is tied to the energy sector. And, with the long-term spike in the price of oil from the...

Bad news mounts for Brazil’s beleaguered president
American Enterprise Institute • Friday, Oct 9

Months ago, observers believed that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff would manage to hold on to power, despite separate investigations against her administration, campaign and political party.  Even when the lower chamber of the Brazilian National Congress began an open debate last month on allegations against Rousseff, it was not clear where the process would lead. Because her opposition was unprepared to agree on a successor and in no hurry to take power in the middle of a...

What Are We Reading
American Security Project • Friday, Oct 9

Key Reads Obama Administration Ends Pentagon Program to Train Syrian Rebels Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt / New York Times The Obama administration has ended the Pentagon’s $500 million program to train and equip Syrian rebels, administration officials said on Friday, in an acknowledgment that the beleaguered program had failed to produce any kind of ground combat forces capable of taking on the Islamic State in Syria. ISIL kills top Iranian commander in Syria Al Jazeera An...

Overshadowed by Ozone? EPA’s New Petroleum Refinery Emissions Rule
Bipartisan Policy Center • Friday, Oct 9

On Oct. 1, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued revised National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone, setting a new, lower limit of 70 parts per billion (ppb). The new ozone rule, while certainly the most controversial, was only one of several rules that EPA issued last week in a flurry of activity. On Sept. 29, EPA announced a final rule updating standards that control toxic air emissions from petroleum refineries, after being sued by...

What We’re Reading in Financial Regulatory Reform, October 9
Bipartisan Policy Center • Friday, Oct 9

We hope you enjoy these readings from the financial regulatory world. As always, the views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent the views of the Initiative, its co-chairs, task force members or the Bipartisan Policy Center. Compiled by Aaron Klein, Justin Schardin, Kristofer Readling and Olivia Weiss. What we’re reading on insurance regulation The Business of Insurance and Banking: Understanding Two Different Industries By The Insurance Task Force, Bipartisan...

Could Airlander be the Future of Freight?
Cato Institute • Friday, Oct 9

The airship is making a comeback. Take the British Airlander10, which uses 20 percent of fuel burned by conventional aircraft and can be fitted with solar panels. Airlander can stay airborne for five days while carrying a maximum payload of 20,000 pounds. It is much safer than its 1930’s cousin and can operate in adverse weather. Combined with GPS navigation and tracking, an unmanned Airlander could stay airborne for up to two weeks, carrying cargo vast distances, including...

Social Security Technical Panel: 75-Year Shortfall Might be 28 Percent Larger
Cato Institute • Friday, Oct 9

A recent report from the Social Security Advisory Board’s Technical Panel found that the 75-year shortfall could be 28 percent (roughly $2.6 trillion) larger than the estimate in this year’s Trustees Report due to changes in some of the underlying technical assumptions. This disparity is more the product of the difficulties related to projecting the trajectory of a program as large and complicated as Social Security so far into the future, with the chair of the Technical Panel...

Will TTIP Wilt in the Shadow of the Aging German Voter?
Cato Institute • Friday, Oct 9

In today’s Cato Online Forum essay, Iana Dreyer of the EU trade news service Borderlex marshals public opinion data to support a rather gloomy prediction about the chances for a robust and comprehensive TTIP outcome. Despite having “strong ‘Atlanticist’ instincts and the vision for Europe as a dynamic, globalized, economic powerhouse,” the EU’s business community and its cosmopolitan policy makers are likely to be thwarted by demographics: especially, by the aging...

Want Better Tomatoes? Add Carbon Dioxide and a Pinch of Salt!
Cato Institute • Friday, Oct 9

Who isn’t nuts about fresh tomatoes plucked from a garden at the peak of ripeness? And who doesn’t bask in the adulation of those to whom we give them? According to work recently published by Maria Sanchez-González et al. (2015), the more years you garden, the more tasty your tomatoes are likely to get, as atmospheric carbon dioxide increases. And, if you add a pinch of salt to the soil, they’ll taste even better. Here’s the story: The authors note “the South-Eastern region of...

Propaganda Posters Document the Madness of Chinese Communism
Cato Institute • Friday, Oct 9

SHANGHAI, CHINA—Shanghai is China’s financial capital. A former Western concession, the city today shows little sign of the many bitter political battles fought over the last century. Tourists throng the Bund along the Huangpu River while global corporations fill the skyscrapers in Pudong, across the water. But politics in China today is a blood sport. President Xi Jinping has been taking down powerful opponents, so-called “tigers.” However, he has not revived propaganda posters,...

Platitudes Won’t Solve Metro’s Problems
Cato Institute • Friday, Oct 9

The Washington City Paper asked “thirteen riders, advocates, and experts” how to fix the Washington Metro Rail system. Former Metro general manager Dan Tangherlini and former DC DOT director Gabe Klein offered banalities about “putting the customer first.” Smart-growth advocate Harriet Trepaning thinks Metro “needs a different kind of leader,” as if changing the person at the top is going to keep smoke out of the tunnels and rails from cracking. She admits that “I don’t think we’ve...


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