We Have More Than Enough Ammo For the Information War

August isn’t over yet — so I assume the Heritage Foundation’s “Insider Online” will send out one more end-of-the-week email this month linking to the latest studies and key policy commentary. It’s a wonderful resource, to be sure. Heritage has no equals when it comes to think tanks, but that’s not to say the many, many other think tanks and issue advocacy organizations that populate the fruited plain aren’t doing a great job covering their issues.

My first point in posting the following is simple, and it’s expressed in my headline. I’ve been writing about what I call the “information war” for some time. My second point is — we have the ammunition — but too little of it is being used to its potential. It’s all about public opinion, and if we don’t get more of the facts disseminated to more people this country will be lost.

Yesterday, National Review’s Jim Geraghty brought attention to this tweet by “@E_Strobel”: “The term ‘low-info voter’ is inadequate… More like ‘wrong-info voter.'” Fine. Nice point. (I’ve been making it for many months.) But please, guys, don’t start writing 1,000 word op-eds debating the problem. We know the problem. And the problem implies the solution. I’ve been calling them the “uninformed and misinformed.” Until more people on our side are all about outreach to them, then we will not begin to turn the tide and win support for the many reforms and course corrections needed.

The links posted below are a small fraction of what conservatives produce on a weekly/monthly basis. Everyone has their favorite websites — news, policy, commentary, etc. We all know that it would be impossible for anyone to see but a relatively small percentage of what’s written weekly/monthly by those who support the principles of the Declaration of Independence and are willing to defend the U.S. Constitution. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, and I’m not saying that this is anything but a miracle. What I’m saying is that it should only be considered the first step.

What follows are large sections of the last four “Insider Online” emails from the Heritage Foundation. (Please forgive the sloppy font changes, etc., as it was a quick cut and paste job.) For the sake of space I deleted a lot from each. You need not see everything to get the point: we need more think tanks employees who are dissatisfied with producing fantastic reports that too few people benefit from — and more people dedicated to becoming the equivalent of policy missionaries to the political pagans.

Image credit: theweek.com.


August 23, 2014

Latest Studies
31 new items, including a report form the Truth in Accounting Institute on the financial state of the states, and a Nevada Policy Research Institute report on how to improve education without spending more

Notes on the Week
Criminalizing vetoes is probably unconstitutional, HHS swings and misses again on contraception mandate, only Chad and United Arab Emirates have higher corporate taxes than U.S., and more

To Do
Take your activism to the next level

Latest Studies

Budget & Taxation
State Budget Overview: Teacher Compensation and Medicaid Drive the 2014-15 Budget – John Locke Foundation
Sales Taxes and Exemptions – Mercatus Center
The United States’ Debt Crisis: Far from Solved – Mercatus Center
Risky Business: Will Taxpayers Bail Out Health Insurers? – National Center for Policy Analysis
Corporate Income Tax Rates around the World, 2014 – Tax Foundation
The 2013 Financial State of the States – Truth in Accounting

Crime, Justice & the Law
A Judicial Cure for the Disease of Overcriminalization – The Heritage Foundation

Teacher Quality 2.0 – Harvard Education Press
Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act—Toward Policies that Increase Access and Lower Costs – The Heritage Foundation
33 Ways to Improve Nevada Education Without Spending More – Nevada Policy Research Institute

Family, Culture & Community
A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans – Random House

Foreign Policy/International Affairs
The Way Forward in Iraq – The Heritage Foundation
Chaos in Libya – Hoover Institution

Monetary Policy/Financial Regulation
‘The American Banking System Might Not Last Until Monday’ – American Enterprise Institute
The Federal Reserve’s Policy Dilemma – American Enterprise Institute
The Fed’s Failure as a Lender of Last Resort: What to Do About It – The Heritage Foundation

National Security
NATO Summit 2014: Stay Committed to Afghanistan – The Heritage Foundation
NATO Summit 2014: Time for the Alliance to Get Back to Basics – The Heritage Foundation
NATO Summit 2014: Time to Make Up for Lost Ground in the Arctic – The Heritage Foundation
Iraq after America: Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance – Hoover Institution
The Salafi Dawa of Alexandria: The Politics of A Religious Movement – Hudson Institute

Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
Flash Point: New Oil-by-Rail Rules – American Enterprise Institute
Reining in the EPA Through the Power of the Purse – The Heritage Foundation
Environmental Regulation through Litigation – National Center for Policy Analysis

Regulation & Deregulation
Co-opting the Criminal Justice System to Prevent Competition or Serve Noncompetitive Interests – The Heritage Foundation
The End of FDA Paternalism – Hoover Institution
Non-Renewal of Policies in Texas’ Homeowners Insurance Market – Texas Public Policy Foundation
Racing Commission Should Abandon Effort to Legalize “Historical Racing” Slot Machines – Texas Public Policy Foundation

The Constitution/Civil Liberties
The Obama Administration’s Attempt to Balkanize Hawaii – The Heritage Foundation

Review of Greenlight Pinellas – Cato Institute

Notes on the Week

Only the United Arab Emirates and Chad have higher corporate tax rates than the United States. 

In politics, when people talk about change, they always mean change by the other guy. 

The Obama Department of Health and Human Services still wants employer plans to cover contraception.

Criminalizing governors’ vetoes is probably unconstitutional.

Video of the week: Gov. Perry, talking border security, makes the case for a more assertive response to Islamic extremists.

In some cities, the thieves wear uniforms .

Wind power needs 725 times more land to produce the same energy as shale oil.

August 16, 2014

Latest Studies
32 new items, including a report from the American Legislative Exchange Council on why some states are rich and others poor, and a Manhattan Institute assessment of why it is so costly to live in New York

Notes on the Week
Inversions help the economy, think tanks take a stand against enlisting the courts to shut down debate, HHS also lacks transparency, and more

To Do
Learn what Wikipedia could do for government transparency

Latest Studies

Budget & Taxation
Ten Reasons to Abolish the Export-Import Bank – Competitive Enterprise Institute
Understanding Public Pension Debt: A State-by-State Comparison – Competitive Enterprise Institute
Mismanagement of Export-Import Bank Invites Fraud – The Heritage Foundation
Is the Tax Code Driving Taxpayers from Wisconsin? An Analysis of Wisconsin Taxes – National Center for Policy Analysis
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Eight Patrick Administration Budgets Later – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research

Crime, Justice & the Law
Is Congress Addressing Our Overcriminalization Problem? Reviewing the Progress of the Overcriminalization Task Force – The Heritage Foundation

Economic and Political Thought
The Fourth Revolution – Cato Institute
John Rawls: Theorist of Modern Liberalism – The Heritage Foundation

Economic Growth
Rich States, Poor States 7th Edition: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index American Legislative Exchange Council
The Cost of New York – Manhattan Institute
Income Data is a Poor Measure of Inequality – Tax Foundation

Elections, Transparency, & Accountability
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A Review of Arizona’s Fiscal Transparency Efforts – Goldwater Institute

Foreign Policy/International Affairs
NATO Summit 2014: An Opportunity to Support Georgia – The Heritage Foundation
The U.S. and South Korea Should Focus on Improving Alliance Capabilities Rather Than the OPCON Transition – The Heritage Foundation
Don’t Ignore the Indo-Pacific – Hoover Institution
The Pax Americana Is Dead – Hoover Institution

Health Care
Transcending Obamacare: A Patient-Centered Plan for Near Universal Coverage and Permanent Fiscal Solvency – Manhattan Institute
Obamacare’s Phony Success Story – Reason Foundation

Information Technology
Innovation, Investment, and Competition in Broadband and the Impact on America’s Digital Economy – Mercatus Center

International Trade/Finance
Pacific Alliance Looks East – National Center for Policy Analysis

Monetary Policy/Financial Regulation
Good News for U.S. Capital Markets – American Enterprise Institute
Five Guiding Principles for Housing Finance Policy: A Free-Market Vision – The Heritage Foundation
Quantitative Easing, The Fed’s Balance Sheet, and Central Bank Insolvency – The Heritage Foundation

National Security
Pooling and Sharing: The Effort to Enhance Allied Defense Capabilities – American Enterprise Institute

Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
Facts on Fracking: Addressing Concerns over Hydraulic Fracturing Coming to North Carolina – John Locke Foundation
The 50 State Index of Energy Regulation – Pacific Research Institute
Texas Supreme Court Rejects “Any Exposure” Causation in Asbestos Litigation – Washington Legal Foundation

Regulation & Deregulation
A Flawed E-Cigarette Regulation – American Enterprise Institute
In Defense of Price Gouging and Profiteering – American Enterprise Institute
Reforming Regulatory Analysis, Review, and Oversight: A Guide for the Perplexed – Mercatus Center

What’s the Matter with Zoning? The Unintended Consequences of Planning’s Favorite Tool – Texas Public Policy Foundation

Notes on the Week

More “inversions,” please

A libel lawsuit threatens to chill speech about public policy .

Another federal agency loses key documents .

When you give workers choices, unions have to serve the workers .

Video of the week: Workers have rights. Do they know it?

More access to experimental treatments, please

Happy birthday, Phyllis Schlafly!

Toolkit: Extremism in the pursuit of optimization is a vice .

Is judicial deference unconstitutional?

August 9, 2014

Latest Studies
34 studies, including a Pacific Research Institute handbook on tobacco taxation, and a Hudson Institute report on Iraq’s second Sunni insurgency

Notes on the Week
The environmental costs of delaying Keystone, What does the strategic trade lit really say about the Export-Import Bank? Is administrative law running off the rails?

To Do
Figure out what now for ObamaCare

Latest Studies

Budget & Taxation
The Export-Import Bank: What the Scholarship Says – The Heritage Foundation
Abolishing the Corporate Income Tax Could Be Good
for Everyone
– National Center for Policy Analysis
Handbook of Tobacco Taxation – Pacific Research Institute
Sales Tax Holidays: Politically Expedient but Poor Tax Policy – Tax Foundation

The Constitution/Civil Liberties
An Originalist  Future – Federalist  Society
Repression in China and Its Consequences in  Xinjiang – Hudson Institute
Private Property Interrupted: Protecting Texas Property Owners from  Regulatory Takings Abuse –  Texas Public Policy Foundation

Crime, Justice & the Law
Criminal Law and the Administrative State: The Problem with Criminal Regulations – The Heritage Foundation

Economic Growth
The Long-Hours Luxury – American Enterprise Institute
Misallocation, Property Rights, and Access to Finance – Cato Institute
Do Labour Shortages Exist in Canada? Reconciling the Views of Employers and Economists – Fraser Institute
“Middle-Out” Economics? – Hoover Institution
How Many Jobs Does Intellectual Property Create? – Mercatus Center
Thomas Piketty’s False Depiction of Wealth in America – Tax Foundation

Philadelphia School Trends, 2002-03 to 2012-13 – Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives

Foreign Policy/International Affairs
Setting a Course for Obama’s Rudderless Africa Policy – The Heritage Foundation
The Failure of the E.U. – Hoover Institution
Iraq’s Second Sunni Insurgency – Hudson Institute
The Collective Security Treaty Organization: Past Struggles and Future Prospects – Hudson Institute

Health Care
Changing the Rules of Health Care: Mobile Health and Challenges for Regulation – American Enterprise Institute
Direct Primary Care: An Innovative Alternative to Conventional Health Insurance – The Heritage Foundation
How Obamacare Fuels Health Care Market Consolidation – The Heritage Foundation
A Time for Reform: Close and Consolidate Texas’ State Supported Living Centers – Texas Public Policy Foundation

International Trade/Finance
Sustaining the Economic Rise of Africa – Cato Institute
Market Solutions Should Be Central to U.S.’s Taiwan Policy – The Heritage Foundation

Asserting Influence and Power in the 21st Century: The NLRB Focuses on Assisting Non-Union Employees – Federalist Society

Monetary Policy/Financial Regulation
“Choking Off” Disfavored Businesses and Their Clients: How Operation Choke Point Undermines the Rule of Law and Harms the
– The Heritage Foundation

National Security
Autonomous Military Technology: Opportunities and Challenges for Policy and Law – The Heritage Foundation
Size Isn’t All that Matters – Hoover Institution

Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
The Keystone Delay Is Costing us More than Jobs and Revenue – American Action Forum
Who Watches the Watchmen? Global Warming in the Media – Capital Research Center
Rethinking Energy: Supplying Competitive Electricity Rates – Center of the American Experiment 

Retirement/Social Security
A Guide to the 2014 Social Security Trustees Report – e21 – Economic Policies for the 21st Century
Social Security Trustees Report: Unfunded Liability Increased $1.1 Trillion and Projected Insolvency in 2033 – The Heritage Foundation

Notes on the Week

The environmental costs of delaying Keystone
Rewarding work

What does a gas company have to do with ObamaCare?

The Constitution doesn’t exist for the convenience of the government.

The courts aren’t on board with the plan for unrestrained executive power—at least not all of them, yet.

Video of the week: Economics is everywhere, including between the goalposts. 

Pulling back the curtain on Healthcare.gov:


August 2, 2014

Latest Studies: 43 new studies, including a Competitive Enterprise Institute report on why the EPA’s climate rule is illegitimate, and an Independent Women’s Forum report on how educational freedom benefits women

Notes on the Week: Legislative history shows D.C. Circuit got Halbig right, Medicaid expansion dwarfs private coverage growth, another win for gun rights, and more

To Do: Defend state sovereignty

Latest Studies

Budget & Taxation
The Future of America’s Entitlements: What You Need to Know About the Medicare Trustees Report – American Action Forum
The Unseen Costs of Tax Cronyism: Favoritism and Foregone Growth – American Legislative Exchange Council
Why California Dissolved Its RDAs – Cato Institute
An Economic and Fiscal Comparison of Alberta and Other North American Energy Producing Provinces and States – Fraser Institute
Congress Should Fund Wildfire Suppression Without Creating a New Spending Loophole – The Heritage Foundation
A Legislator’s Guide to Delivering Better Service at a Better Price – Kansas Policy Institute
Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors – Mercatus Center
Pension Reform Handbook: A Starter Guide for Reformers – Reason Foundation
Teacher Pension Enhancement in Missouri: 1975 to the Present – Show-Me Institute
What Would Piketty’s 80 Percent Tax Rate Do to the U.S. Economy? – Tax Foundation

The Constitution/Civil Liberties
Obama’s LGBT Blunder – Hoover Institution

Crime, Justice & the Law
The Case for the Smarter Sentencing Act – The Heritage Foundation

Economic Growth
Increasing Economic Opportunity for African-Americans: Local Initiatives that Are Making a Difference – American Enterprise Institute
The Sharing Economy: A Positive Shared Vision for the Future – Free State Foundation
America’s Opportunity City – Manhattan Institute

Student Achievement and Prosperity – Center of the American Experiment
How Educational Freedom Benefits Women – Independent Women’s Forum
The Plot Against Merit – Manhattan Institute
Seeds of Achievement: AppleTree’s Early Childhood D.C. Charter Schools – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research

Foreign Policy/International Affairs
Khamenei’s Team of Rivals: Iranian Decision-Making, June-July 2014 – American Enterprise Institute
China Ascendent? – Hoover Institution

Health Care
Intellectual Property Underpinnings of Pharmaceutical Innovation: A Primer – American Action Forum
The Affordable Care Act’s Risk Spreading Mechanisms: A Primer on Reinsurance, Risk Corridors, and Risk Adjustment – American Action Forum
Even If You Like Your Plan, You May Well Lose Your Plan. And Even If You Like Your Doctor, You May Well Lose Your Doctor. – American Enterprise Institute
New Obamacare Enrollment Data: Employer-Based Coverage Declines – The Heritage Foundation
The Mechanics of Medicaid – John Locke Foundation

Brief Analysis of the House Republican Leadership’s Secure the Southwest Border Supplemental Appropriations Act and the Secure the Southwest Border Act of 2014 – Center for Immigration Studies
Immigration Working Group Recommendations Fall Short – The Heritage Foundation

Information Technology
The Questionable Call for Common Carriage – Cato Institute

International Trade/Finance
A Case against Child Labor Prohibitions – Cato Institute
Congress Should Upgrade the African Growth and Opportunity Act – The Heritage Foundation
China Needs a New Way to Manufacture Export Growth – Hudson Institute

A Federal Minimum Wage and the States – Cato Institute
The Unintended Consequences of Collective Bargaining – Competitive Enterprise Institute

Monetary Policy/Financial Regulation
Should Penny Auctions Be Regulated Under Gaming Law? – Cato Institute

Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
Alabama’s Environment 2014: Six Critical Indicators – Alabama Policy Institute
EPA’s Illegitimate Climate Rule – Competitive Enterprise Institute
Gene-Spliced Crops for the Dry Years – Hoover Institution

Regulation & Deregulation
FDA’s Animal Food Regulation Is for the Birds – Cato Institute
Operation Choke Point: What It Is and Why It Matters – Competitive Enterprise Institute

Retirement/Social Security
Hard Lessons for Institutional Investors from the MBTA Retirement Fund – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research

Rapid Bus: A Low-Cost, High-Capacity Transit System for Major Urban Areas – Cato Institute

SSDI Program Growth Will Continue Unless Fundamental Reforms Are Implemented – American Enterprise Institute

Notes on the Week

Legislative history supports the Halbig decision against subsidies in the federal exchanges.

ObamaCare “fixed” health care by expanding the part that was most broken.

No, Medicare has not been fixed.

President Obama could learn from President Lincoln.

How would the economy do under Piketty’s proposed taxes?

Your property could become the police’s property—even if you do nothing illegal.

Video of the week: The Lego Movie shows why central planning can’t work.

Worker freedom is good for workers.

Toolkit: raising transformational gifts.

A victory for the right to carry a gun for self-defense.