PowerLine -> Teachers’ Unions: Enemy of Men and Minorities + Rick Santorum endorses Seth Leibsohn

Powerline John Hinderaker at HoaxAndChange

PowerLine -> Teachers’ Unions: Enemy of Men and Minorities + Rick Santorum endorses Seth Leibsohn

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest


German Energy Policy on the Rocks

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 01:59 PM PST

(Steven Hayward)It’s been a tedious chore to track the slow-motion train wreck of Germany’s energiewende, or “energy revolution.” Climatistas here have long touted Germany as the model we should follow. Think of it a renewable energy uber alles.

Well there’s a problem, and you don’t even need to know German to get this headline from two days ago:

Fortunately, we have Benny Peiser (a German native) at the Global Warming Policy Foundation to translate this story for us:

Irregular and unpredictable wind and solar power is increasingly becoming a problem for Germany’s power grid. Utility company Tennet TSO spent almost a billion euros last year on emergency interventions to stabilize the national grid.

That’s what the company announced earlier this week. The costs were thus about 50% higher than in 2016 (660 million euros) and around forty percent higher than in 2015 (710 million). Tennet is responsible for the electricity supply in an area that extends from Schleswig-Holstein in the north to Bavaria in the south of Germany and accounts for around forty percent of Germany’s total area. In particular, Tennet is responsible for important north-south transmission routes.

The reason for the increase in emergency interventions is the rising number of solar projects and wind turbines in Germany. The share of renewable energy increased from 29 to 33 percent of the electricity supply last year. Wind and solar power are irregular and often unpredictable. This makes the network increasingly unstable.

Of course, all this is necessary to save the planet, right? Well, oops:

German parties agree to scrap 2020 climate target – sources

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s would-be coalition partners have agreed to drop an ambitious plan to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, two sources told Reuters on Monday — a potential embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Negotiators for her conservative bloc and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) told Reuters the parties had agreed in exploratory talks on forming a government that the targeted cut in emissions could no longer be achieved by 2020.

How do you say “epic fail” in German? I think it’s alles is kaput maybe.

Reminder:

  

Rick Santorum endorses Seth Leibsohn

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:47 AM PST

(Paul Mirengoff)Our friend Seth Leibsohn is running for Congress in Arizona’s 9th district. I don’t know much about Arizona politics, but Steve Hayward does. He says “the 9th district, centered in Maricopa County, has a fairly close partisan balance among registered voters, and thus ought to be winnable by a strong candidate like Seth.”

Seth has our endorsement. More consequentially, he now has the endorsement of Rick Santorum & Patriot Voices. Santorum explains:

Seth is a long-time friend and former staff member. You can get to know him from his books or his career in radio or his work in substance abuse prevention or in the think tank community. We urge you to check out more of his biography at his website.

I first met Seth when he was working with Bill Bennett, Jack Kemp, and Jeane Kirkpatrick at their think tank, Empower America. We later worked together when I was the guest host of Bill Bennett’s radio show and I hired him to be my policy director for my run for President in 2012. I know Seth to not only be a highly articulate and intelligent conservative but delight in the idea he could now help flip a Democratic seat in Arizona to a Republican seat.

As Dennis Prager recently put it on his radio show, “Seth is the kind of conservative that has great appeal in a district that is not exactly liberal and not exactly conservative.” A man of great principle and conviction, who knows how to communicate our message and whose passions are our country and its children, we heartily endorse Seth and ask you to help his candidacy out any way you can. Again, you can learn more, and contribute to his campaign at Seth4Congress.com.

I’ll just add that Seth’s conservatism and his rare blend of communications skills (honed on his excellent “Seth and Chris” radio show) and intellectualism make him a special candidate well worthy of your support.

  

Teachers’ Unions: Enemy of Men and Minorities

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:45 AM PST

(Steven Hayward)The American Economic Association just wrapped up it’s annual meeting in Philadelphia, and one of the panels was devoted to the issue of the economic effects of teachers’ unions. Get a load of the abstract from this paper from two Cornell University economists presented at the panel:

The Long-run Effects of Teacher Collective Bargaining

Michael Lovenheim, Alexander Willen, Cornell University

Abstract

Teacher collective bargaining is a highly debated feature of the education system in the US. This paper presents the first analysis of the effect of teacher collective bargaining laws on long-run labor market and educational attainment outcomes, exploiting the different timing across states in the passage of duty-to-bargain laws in a difference-in-difference framework. Using American Community Survey data linked to each respondent’s state of birth, we examine labor market outcomes and educational attainment for 35-49 year olds, separately by gender. We find robust evidence that exposure to teacher collective bargaining laws worsens the future labor market outcomes of men: living in a state that has a duty-to-bargain law for all 12 grade-school years reduces male earnings by $1,493 (or 2.75%) per year and decreases hours worked by 0.52 hours per week. Estimates for women do not show consistent evidence of negative effects on these outcomes. The earnings estimates for men indicate that teacher collective bargaining reduces earnings by $149.6 billion in the US annually. Among men, we also find evidence of lower employment rates, which is driven by lower labor force participation. Exposure to collective bargaining laws leads to reductions in the skill levels of the occupations into which male workers sort as well. Effects are largest among black and Hispanic men, although white and Asian men also experience sizable negative impacts of collective bargaining exposure. Using data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we demonstrate that collective bargaining law exposure leads to reductions in measured cognitive and non-cognitive skills among young adults, and these effects are larger for men.

Christina Hoff Sommers has been arguing for a long while now that our current K-12 education system is heavily biased against boys, which she attributes to ascendant feminist ideology. Looks like unions play a large role as well. Of course, the main point of unionization is not to help kids: it’s about political power. Maybe someone should bring a whopping class action civil rights suit against them.

Hat tip: Iain Murray, Instapundit.

  

Populism and the administrative state

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:01 AM PST

(Paul Mirengoff)Steve Bannon’s days as an influential player may be over. If so, what is his legacy?

It’s not the election of President Trump. This was down to Trump himself, as the president likes to remind us.

Nor is Bannon’s legacy hanging tough on “Billy Bush weekend,” though at times this seems to be what he is most proud of. And his legacy is not blowing a safe Senate seat in Alabama. Roy Moore gets the credit for that.

In my view, Bannon’s legacy will be the Trump administration’s assault on the administrative state. Readers may recall that early in the Trump presidency, Bannon identified “deconstruction of the administrative state” as one of the administration’s three core policy goals (protecting national security and reviving the economy, including trade, were the other two). He was referring to our runaway bureaucracy’s threat to constitutional government — a threat posed by a lazy and complicit Congress, a liberal judiciary, and an aggressive left-wing bureaucracy.

A little less than a year after Bannon’s pronouncement, Team Trump has taken significant steps to combat the administrative state.Stanley Kurtz describes these steps:

Th[ey] include working with Congress to rescind many Obama-era regulations via the heretofore little-used Congressional Review Act; introducing “regulatory budgeting” designed to remove several outdated rules for each new one put in place; as well as major deregulatory moves at the FDA, FCC (ending net neutrality), EPA (ending the Clean Power Plan), the Departments of Education (withdrawing guidance documents on Title IX), and Interior (reducing federal restrictions on public land use).

And, with the guidance of his legal team, Trump has appointed judges — most notably Justice Gorsuch — who grasp the constitutional critique of the administrative state.

Kurtz suggests that battles over the size, scope, and constitutional legitimacy of the administrative state may become the centerpiece of our politics, energizing populist movements on both right and left. Indeed, he suspects that this process is already underway.

Kurtz directs our attention to a new book — Deconstructing the Administrative State: The Fight for Liberty — by Emmett McGroarty, Jane Robbins, and Erin Tuttle. McGroarty and Robbins helped lead the grassroots movement against the Common Core education standards. Tuttle is one of the Indiana mothers who helped ignite the anti-Common Core movement in the states.

Drawing on this background, the authors highlight the frustrating and sometimes ugly day-to-day politics of the administrative state, examining the state and local levels, as well as the federal. In so doing, they draw attention to the administrative state’s assault on the constitutional authority of the states. It turns out that, in Kurtz’s words, “vast swathes of state policy are now effectively controlled by anonymous federal technocrats.” As former Nebraska governor Ben Nelson once said, “I honestly wondered if I was actually elected governor or just branch manager of the state of Nebraska for the federal government.”

The book’s most controversial theme may be its discussion of business’s role in expanding the administrative state. Kurtz points out that, while business favors the Trump regulatory rollback at the federal level, many businesses are allied with progressive activists seeking to expand the federal bureaucracy’s hold over states and localities:

Businesses favor an unconstitutional federal takeover of education because they want national markets for textbooks and testing software. Businesses support the dumbed-down Common Core standards advocated by many progressives because they’re more interested in “workforce development” than classic liberal education for citizenship. Businesses favor federal attempts to force dense housing and public transportation on the suburbs when that means access to federal subsidies for building projects.

The political class, including the GOP, promotes these interests. McGroarty, Robbins, and Tuttle show how desirable committee assignments and leadership positions are tied to fundraising, which in turn pulls the GOP’s congressional leadership in the direction of businesses that benefit from the largesse of the administrative state. Thus, says Kurtz, “if business opposition to regulation at the national level separates Republicans from Democrats, the affinity of business for the regulatory state, especially at the state and local levels, separates the GOP establishment from the base.”

That’s why “populism” has a major role to play in the “deconstruction” of the administrative state. Indeed, Kurtz contends that “the administrative state is already a populist rallying cry, even if not by that name.” Steve Bannon can take some of the credit.

If President Trump follows his 2017 successes against the administrative state with major moves against federal control of localities — e.g. via common core and HUD’s “affirmatively furthering fair housing” regulation — he will further energize his populist base. If not, Stanley predicts that this base will energize itself once the next Democratic president re-seizes pen and phone on the Obama model

Either way, Kurtz concludes:

We are about a decade into an era of see-saw political battles over constitutionally questionable and vastly ambitious regulatory schemes. Increasingly, if perhaps without us yet quite recognizing it, the battle over the scope and legitimacy of the administrative state has moved out of the shadows and into the very center of our political life.

  

Rotten Apple

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 08:30 AM PST

(Steven Hayward)Among the many important periodicals that I don’t have time to read is Cigar Aficianado. I’ve been holding out for years for a companion glossy tabloid, Trophy Wife Aficionado, and long thought it was the perfect venture for Donald Trump, but he apparently had other ideas for his next career move. If someone made Trophy Wife Aficionado a package deal along with Marvin Shanken’s other glossy tabloid, The Wine Spectator (which I do read from time to time), then I’d sign up for the whole group.

In any case, a sharp-eyed Power Line reader who is also a subscriber to Cigar Aficionado passes along this interesting news:

The most recent issue of Cigar Aficionado (Jan/Feb 2018) has an opening Editor’s Note by editor and publisher Marvin Shanken and executive editor David Savona titled “Shame on Apple”. (Note that Mr Shanken is a long-time liberal who has long advocated the opening of Cuba, etc.)

The gist is that Apple, a paragon of morality and clean living, has banned CA’s “Where to Smoke” app from their app store. Cigar Aficionado’s staff worked very hard to provide users accurate and up-to-date info on where you can smoke cigars (cigar friendly venues).  This “app” supposedly violated Apple’s policy of  no apps promoting the use of tobacco. The app does not sell cigars, only lets users know where they can enjoy one.

The kicker is that Apple still has many apps that assist people buying marijuana. When this contradiction was pointed out to Apple, they told CA that THOSE apps do NOT violate their policy.

Sounds about right to me. No hypocrisy here…move along.

I’ve been warning for years that if lifestyle liberals have their way, tobacco smoking will be outlawed and pot smoking made mandatory. Looks like we’re one step closer to that utopia. I’ll just add that I’ve long agreed with Mr. Shanken that the U.S. should have lifted its ban on Cuban cigars, on the theory that if we can’t bomb their cities, at least we can burn their crops.

Neat to see the latest issue celebrates the greatest movie of the 1970s:

  

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