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  • We are proud to announce that the 2014 Ronald Reagan Gala will honor Gary Sinise. For over thirty … [more]

    2014 Reagan Gala with Gary Sinise
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    2013 Reagan Gala
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    Ronald Reagan Tribute Video — 2012 Gala
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    2012 Reagan Gala

Obamacare Doctor Networks to Stay Limited in 2014

by Chad Terhune, Sandra Poindexter, Doug Smith     • LA Times

Obamacare-DelayFinding a doctor who takes Obamacare coverage could be just as frustrating for Californians in 2015 as the health-law expansion enters its second year.

The state’s largest health insurers are sticking with their often-criticized narrow networks of doctors, and in some cases they are cutting the number of physicians even more, according to a Times analysis of company data. And the state’s insurance exchange, Covered California, still has no comprehensive directory to help consumers match doctors with health plans.

This comes as insurers prepare to enroll hundreds of thousands of new patients this fall and get 1.2 million Californians to renew their policies under the Affordable Care Act. [Read more...]

Holder’s Legacy of Racial Politics

The attorney general battled against state voter-ID laws, despite all evidence of their fairness and popularity. What will his successor do?

by Edwin Meese III and J. Kenneth Blackwell     •      Wall Street Journal

HolderAttorney General Eric Holder, who announced his resignation on Thursday, leaves a dismal legacy at the Justice Department, but one of his legal innovations was especially pernicious: the demonizing of state attempts to ensure honest elections.

As a former U.S. attorney general under President Reagan, and a former Ohio secretary of state, we would like to say something that might strike some as obvious: Those who oppose photo voter-ID laws and other election-integrity reforms are intent on making it easier to commit vote fraud.

That conclusion is inescapable, given the well-established evidence that voter-ID laws don’t disenfranchise minorities or reduce minority voting, and in many instances enhance it, despite claims to the contrary by Mr. Holder and his allies. As more states adopt such laws, the left has railed against them with increasing fury, even invoking the specter of the Jim Crow era to describe electoral safeguards common to most nations, including in the Third World. [Read more...]

The Unfree Speech Movement

I was among the student radicals at Berkeley in 1964, back when colleges actually had intellectual freedom.

by Sol Stern     •     The Wall Street Journal

Free speechThis fall the University of California at Berkeley is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, a student-led protest against campus restrictions on political activities that made headlines and inspired imitators around the country. I played a small part in the Free Speech Movement, and some of those returning for the reunion were once my friends, but I won’t be joining them.

Though the movement promised greater intellectual and political freedom on campus, the result has been the opposite. The great irony is that while Berkeley now honors the memory of the Free Speech Movement, it exercises more thought control over students than the hated institution that we rose up against half a century ago. [Read more...]

The Air Comes Out of the Climate Change Talks

by Rupert Darwall     •     RealClearPolitics

Global-Climate-Change-environmentTuesday’s climate summit at the U.N. may well mark a turning point in the long-running talks as the reality sinks in that they are heading nowhere. For sure, the rhetoric is unchanged. Recently appointed U.N. peace messenger Leonardo DiCaprio is the show’s newest star, telling the meeting that it was “humankind’s greatest challenge.” But the older acts sounded stale. Former Vice President Al Gore demonstrated his green credentials when he said that political will was “a renewable resource,” recycling a line he’d first used at the 2007 Bali climate conference.

For small countries, the U.N. climate change talks provide an opportunity to show the world what virtuous global citizens they are. The Baltic republics boasted of the costly steps they are taking to rid themselves of fossil fuels as if decarbonizing their economies will help protect them against the Russian bear. [Read more...]

Targeting the Constitution

by Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz     •      Washington Post

IRS new logoIt is now well known that the IRS targeted tea party organizations. What is less well known, but perhaps even more scandalous, is that the IRS also targeted those who would educate their fellow citizens about the United States Constitution.

According to the inspector general’s report (pp. 30 & 38), this particular IRS targeting commenced on Jan. 25, 2012 — the beginning of the election year for President Obama’s second campaign. On that date: “the BOLO [‘be on the lookout’] criteria were again updated.” The revised criteria included “political action type organizations involved in … educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.” [Read more...]

The Divine Right of Barack Obama

The president who began as a champion of the legislature’s prerogative to declare war has morphed into Napoleon.

by Charles C. W. Cooke     •     National Review

Obama SmirkAsked earlier today how long he expected the bombing of Syria to last, Lieutenant General William C. Mayville Jr. advised reporters to think “in terms of years.” “Last night’s strikes,” Mayville confirmed, “were only the beginning.” A mile or so away, on the White House lawn, Barack Obama struck a similarly defiant note. “We’re going to do what is necessary to take the fight to this terrorist group,” the president explained, before assuring those present that the United States was but one part of a global alliance that stood “shoulder to shoulder . . . on behalf of our common security.” “The strength of this coalition,” Obama added, “makes clear to the world that this is not just America’s fight alone.” This much, at least, was true. Among the nations that have signed on to the attacks are Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates — all vital accomplices in the winning of hearts and minds. And yet, for all the cosmopolitanism, one crucial ally was conspicuously missing from the roster of the willing: the Congress of the United States. [Read more...]

No Matter the Arms Control Lipstick, It’s Still a Pig

by Peter Huessy     •     Family Security Matters

Missile DefenseIt has become a common assertion that future planned strategic modernization of the United States is unaffordable. The latest such claim was made by National Public Radio in a July story asserting that over the next three decades the United States is planning to spend $1 trillion in upgrading our entire nuclear deterrent.

Unfortunately, NPR’s assertion relies largely upon a mistakenly done Congressional Budget Office report earlier this year and some subsequent statistical gymnastics by a number of anti-nuclear organizations.

A central theme of the NPR report was how easy it would be for America to jettison the cheapest part of its nuclear Triad of forces–the ICBM leg–in order to save money, enhance stability and better manage our national security affairs. NPR got it wrong in every respect. [Read more...]

Are We Willing to Defend Ourselves?

by Peter Huessy     •     Gatestone Institute

missile defense copyThe U.S. Air Force has just completed a review of the ballistic missile threats to the U.S.: China is building more ballistic missiles than anyone – and faster. By 2015, Iran’s and North Korea’s long-range missiles will be able to reach the United States.

The Israeli Air Force, on June 7, 1981, carried out Operation Opera, in which F-16s flew hundreds of miles and successfully destroyed the nuclear facility in Osirak, Iraq — the difficulty of the task only increased by the absence of laser-guided technology and the distance the jets had to fly.

When, shortly after, President Ronald Reagan was asked whether a National Security Council emergency session should be called to “assess what to do,” he replied, “Well, boys will be boys,” and calmly proceeded to the presidential helicopter. No NSC session was convened. [Read more...]

Time for Solar Subsidies to Sunset

by Peter Roff     •     The Hill

Obama SolyndraSome of solar energy’s more persuasive advocates have some people believing the age of free, homegrown electricity is just around the corner. Of course they had folks believing that in the 1970s, back when Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House and wore a sweater when the weather started to cool.

The basic fact, as true today as it was then, is that solar energy – like many of the so-called green energy alternatives to oil, to coal, to natural gas, and to nuclear power – is too expensive for most consumers to utilize unless accompanied by generous subsidies at just about every level of the process.

Some solar panels are manufactured by companies that have received direct subsidies or loan guarantees from the federal government — and if those companies fail (remember Solyndra) the taxpayers are the ones who make it possible for the investors to recoup the money they put at risk. [Read more...]

Debunking the Anti-Fracking Fearmongers

by Alex B. Berezow     •     RealClearScience

frackingWorld events have made it quite clear to most Americans that we should develop more of our own energy sources. Reducing our reliance on foreign oil by exploiting the natural gas under our feet is not only smart foreign policy but also smart environmental policy: Natural gas burns cleaner than coal or oil, and it has already lowered our CO2 emissions. Natural gas is a win for America and the planet.

But not according to anti-technology environmentalists, who have made all sorts of wild, unsubstantiated claims about the supposed harms of fracking. Three claims in particular are worth examining: (1) Fracking causes a dangerous leakage of methane into drinking water; (2) Fracking causes earthquakes; and (3) Fracking chemicals contaminate drinking water. [Read more...]

Some First Principles of American Military Strategy

by Aaron Bazin and Dan Sukman     •     Medium.com

Military Spending GIIf the ability communicate complex ideas in an easily understood way is a valuable skill to the strategic thinker, then first principles offer one possible point of departure from which to begin any discussion on strategy. A few months ago, we posed a question on various strategy-related email chains and Facebook pages asking interested parties what the first principles of military strategy were. We got numerous responses; some humorous, some vitriolic, but all very interesting.

Development of a first principle is akin to boiling down information to uncover the elemental truth that lies within. We culled through the responses and necked down the subject to consider only ‘American’ military strategy to add further clarity and context. Then we tried to synthesize, combine, and distill each one down to the core of its essence. Our final list includes eight, but there are undoubtedly many, many more. We offer the outline of the first principles below for your consideration: [Read more...]

Free Speech Needs No Amending

Senate Democrats would restrict fundamental First Amendment rights in an election-year stunt

FreeSpeech_first amendmentAs election season enters full swing, Senate Democrats are taking the opportunity to garner votes by attempting to rewrite the Bill of Rights, something that hasn’t been done since those rights were enshrined. They want to ask the nation to change the First Amendment so that it protects political speech only up to a point.

The timing is right. Nationally eight Senate races have already received more than $10 million each in outside spending, according to the Federal Election Commission. In Michigan, huge amounts of outside money have flooded into the race between Rep. Gary Peters and former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. [Read more...]

Covering for the IRS

New details on the Administration’s spin and stall strategy.

Wall Street Journal

IRS scandal_lost emails_lois lernerThe IRS targeting of conservative groups has now become a story about the cover-up. More than a year after the scandal became public, the most transparent Administration in history has done everything in its power to spin the story, stymie Congressional investigators and run out the clock.

Take the latest moment of hilarity, er, clarity from the Justice Department, in which a communications aide to Attorney General Eric Holder mistakenly called Republicans on the HouseOversight and Government Reform Committee when he meant to call Democrats. The aide, Brian Fallon, told staffers he was calling to see if they could leak information to friendly reporters and give the Justice Department a chance to comment before the majority got their hands on it. [Read more...]

How to Transition from Obamacare to Real Health Care Reform

 by James C. Capretta and Yuval Levin     •     Weekly Standard

Obamacare-DelayObamacare—or at least the version of it that the president and his advisers currently think they can get away with putting into place—has been upending arrangements and reshuffling the deck in the health system since the beginning of the year. That’s when the new insurance rules, subsidies, and optional state Medicaid expansions went into effect. The law’s defenders say the changes that have been set in motion are irreversible, in large part because several million people are now covered by insurance plans sold through the exchanges, and a few million more are enrolled in Medicaid as a result of Obamacare. President Obama has stated repeatedly that these developments should effectively shut the door on further debate over the matter. [Read more...]

Vanishing Evidence for Climate Change

By Tom Harris and Bob Carter     •     The New York Post

global warning-catastrophic predictions-apocalypticIn the runup to the Sept. 23 UN Climate Summit in New York, Leonardo DiCaprio is releasing a series of films about the “climate crisis.”

The first is “Carbon,” which tells us the world is threatened by a “carbon monster.” Coal, oil, natural gas and other carbon-based forms of energy are causing dangerous climate change and must be turned off as soon as possible, DiCaprio says.

But he has identified the wrong monster. It is the climate scare itself that is the real threat to civilization.

DiCaprio is an actor, not a scientist; it’s no real surprise that his film is sensationalistic and error-riddled. Other climate-change fantasists, who do have a scientific background, have far less excuse. [Read more...]