I’d like to take just a moment to consider the great force propelling privatization around the world. Look at the amazing liquidization of assets going on today in the
If you strip away the misrepresentations and deceit and look at what
The entire thrust of the
-Martin Anderson, senior fellow, Hoover Institution
SAY IT AIN’T SO, JOE
Towns in the American west change their names at the drop of a cowboy hat. Early in the century, two Utah towns were so keen to win a philanthropist’s library that one called itself after him, Bicknell, with the other assuming his wife’s maiden name, Blanding. And 40 years back, Hot Springs in New Mexico took the shilling of a hit radio show and became Truth or Consequences.
Now the obscure hamlet of Ismay has followed the same opportunistic path, renaming itself for America’s most famous football player. Welcome to Joe, Montana. -Financial Times
DEFLATING GOVERNMENT? HELIUM DIDN’T
When the Clinton Administration set out to streamline government, a lot of budget watchdogs said it should start at the helium reserve in Amarillo, TX, a cluster of mines, pipes, and cooling vats that was $1.3 billion in debt and 100 years ahead on the supply curve.
But when President Clinton’s National Performance Review finally focused on the complex this month, it suggested that Congress cancel the program’s debt and issued a vague call to “increase efficiencies in helium operations.”
Rather than becoming a model of “reinvented” government, the helium reserve-begun in the 1920s to inflate blimps and used today by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in its spacecraft-became instead a model of how politics and economics sometimes can converge to spare seemingly unnecessary programs.
Critics of the debt-ridden program, which was bolstered in the 1960s amid fears that America might run out of helium as its space program was rushing to put men on the moon, have urged that it be abolished or privatized. “We may conceivably in the future need ermine pelts and Grand Marnier,” said Pete Sepp, a spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union. “That doesn’t mean the federal government needs to be in charge of stockpiling them.”
-Sam Howe Verhovek, The New York Times
CARTER VERSUS CLINTON: PART I
Sports fans love to compare yesterday’s heroes with modern-day players. In a recent issue of The American Spectator, columnist and author P.J. O’Rourke turns the fantasy impulse toward politics, citing “100 Reasons Why Jimmy Carter Was a Better President Than Bill Clinton.” Following are some excerpts from that list. More to follow in this space.
Carter had once held a job.
He came from a more cosmopolitan hometown.
It took Carter months to wreck the economy.
It took Carter weeks to become a national laughingstock.
Carter committed adultery only in his heart.
Carter let the Soviets have Angola, Ethiopia, and South Yemen. And, in retrospect, the Soviets deserved no better.
Carter wasn’t a throwback to the Carter Era.