Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Friday June 24, 2011

RightOnline may not follow Netroots. The Netroots Nation conference, tired of having the free market-based RightOnline follow them each year, has maneuvered to block RightOnline from following them to Providence next year. Will it work? More at Netroots Nation Strives To Keep Right Online Away From Next Year’s Convention.

Ann McElhinney. Speaking at last week’s free market-based RightOnline conference in Minneapolis, filmmaker Ann McElhinney addressed the general session and spoke against CINOs: Conservatives In Name Only, which she defined as anyone who thinks we should subsidize industry, anyone who believes that humans control the weather, anyone who thinks we should not explore and exploit ANWR, anyone who thinks we should not be drilling for oil off our coasts, anyone who thinks it’s okay to terrorize schoolchildren that the world is about to end, anyone who is talking nonsense about fracking, anyone who is against exploiting the oil sands in Alberta — bringing oil from a country that doesn’t believe in stoning women, and anyone who believes we can power our incredible dream with wind or the sunshine. … She criticized those feminists who talk about solar panels and windmills, saying that across Africa and India there are women who “devote a lifetime to washing clothes … a complete waste of time when you could have a washing machine.” She said it is a human rights abuse to deprive a woman of a washing machine. … Video is at Ann McElhinney at 2011 RightOnline.

Presidential candidate white papers. Club For Growth is an organization that works to “promote public policies that encourage a high growth economy,” believing — as do I — that “prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom.” To advance this end, it has created a “white paper” for most of the declared Republican presidential candidates, and it’s working on papers for the rest. The papers draw on a variety of sources for data, and seem to be balanced — and tough, too. They’re available by clicking on Club For Growth’s Presidential White Papers: How do the candidates rate as pro-growth economic conservatives.

Budget briefing book, volume one. Bankrupting America, “an educational project that explores the policies hindering economic opportunity and growth in America,” has released the first volume of its budget briefing book. It’s full of useful information: fact and figures, how much is spent on what, what does “debt ceiling” mean, what is the Ryan budget plan, etc. Volume one is available at Budget Briefing Book: Volume One, with further volumes to come. (sign up for an email notification, if you want.) I found the book easiest to read in full-screen mode.

Pompeo events. This Sunday (June 26) U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Wichita Republican serving his first term, will hold a public forum at Tri-City Senior Center, 6100 N. Hydraulic in Park City. This event starts at 2:00 pm, and based on my past experience, will last one hour and maybe a little more. … On Tuesday, June 28, 2011, Representative Pompeo and Mrs. Pompeo, along with staff, will host an open house at his congressional district office in Wichita from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The address is 7701 E. Kellogg, Suite 510. It’s the tall office building near the southwest corner of Kellogg and Rock Road.

Kansas tax competitive position slipped in 2011. Kansas Reporter: “Kansas current tax policies dropped one gauge of the state’s economic competiveness two spots this year, to 27th place among the nation’s 50 states, according to a new survey to be formally unveiled this week in Topeka. The latest reading marks the third time since the annual survey began four years ago, that Kansas has slipped in the rankings, which are compiled by researchers Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams for the Rich States Poor States rankings on behalf of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a group of 2,000 state legislators that generally advocates for free-market legislative approaches. Kansas’ economic competitiveness, as measured by a blend of 15 indicators of higher or lower tax burdens, was rated 25th best in the nation last year, down from 24 in 2009, but higher than 29th, which the researchers calculated the first year the three compiled their list.” … Jonathan Williams, one of the authors of Rich States, Poor States: The ALEC-Laffer Economic Competitiveness Index made a presentation in Wichita today. A report is forthcoming.

Redistricting in Kansas. Chapman Rackaway: “This week one of the most contentious processes in politics began in Kansas: redrawing the lines of our U.S. House, State House, State Senate, and State Board of Education districts. After each census, every state must redraw its legislative boundaries to ensure a roughly equal population.” It’s an important process. John Fund of the Wall Street Journal says redistricting is when politicians get to choose their voters. Rackaway believes it will be a struggle in Kansas: “The only certainty is that redistricting will be as contentious a fight in the 2012 legislative session as the budget has been for the last few years. Every constituent group will have a chance to be angered, because the process is a twisty one with numerous stops. The legislature is responsible for drawing and passing redistricting plans, and the Governor has the opportunity to veto.” Concluding, he writes: “Redistricting isn’t the most exciting thing to follow for most people, but the elections they influence are. The research clearly tells us that the best way to ensure safe or competitive legislative districts is to design them that way.” The full article is Insight Kansas: Drawing a Line.

The price system. A short video explains how prices work in free markets and how important is the information conveyed by prices. This is part one; I’m looking forward to part two. This video is from LearnLiberty.org, a project of Institute for Humane Studies, and many other informative videos are available.

Even quicker. Cantor Pulls Out of Biden-Led Budget, says Wall Street Journal: “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Thursday said he was pulling out of the bipartisan budget talks headed by Vice President Joe Biden for now because the group has reached an impasse over taxes that only President Obama and Speaker John Boehner could resolve.” … Rasmussen: 51% now recognize most federal spending goes to defense, Medicare and Social Security. Knowledge is the first step. … CommonSense with Paul Jacob: “Taxpayers fund about half of all medical industry transactions, and governments regulate that as well as a huge chunk of the rest. No wonder medicine is in chaos.” … Michael Petrilli in EducationNext: “As if the teachers unions need another reason to hate charter schools, here’s one: The finding, from a new Fordham Institute report, that when given a chance to opt out of state pension systems, many charter schools take it. Furthermore, a fair number of these charters replace traditional pensions with nothing at all.”

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