Carlyle Group Chair Gives AEI $20 Million; Larry King Favorite for Piers Morgan Slot

Saturday, 01 Mar 2014 02:54 PM

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. 2.5 Million Students Now in Charter Schools
2. Equity Giant Gives $20 Million to Conservative Think Tank
3. Rasmussen: Mexico Not 'Aggressive' in Stemming Drug Trade
4. Electronic Tolling Could Replace Gasoline Tax
5. Greenpeace Co-Founder: 'No Scientific Proof' of Manmade Global Warming
6. We Heard: Allison Pataki, Ukraine, Larry King
 

1. 2.5 Million Students Now in Charter Schools

The number of American students now attending public charter schools has surpassed 2.5 million as more than 600 new schools opened for the 2013-14 school year.

Ten years ago there were only 790,000 charter school students.

An estimated 288,000 additional students are attending public charter schools in this school year compared to the previous school year, according to a report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

There are now about 6,400 public charter schools across the country, and this year's "7 percent growth in the number of operating public charter schools and 13 percent growth in public charter school student enrollment are demonstrations of parents' demand for high-quality educational options," the report states.

The report takes into account the fact that about 200 public charter schools that were open in the last school year did not open their doors to students this fall.

Among the reasons for closure are low enrollment, financial concerns, and low academic performance.

"The closures provide evidence that the charter school bargain works; schools that do not meet the needs of their students are closed," the report observes.

California opened the most new charters for this school year, 104, bringing in 48,000 additional students. Arizona was next with 87 new charters, followed by Florida (75), Texas (52), and Ohio (45).

California has 1,130 charter schools, with a student population of 519,000. Florida is second with 625 charters.

Every state now has a charter school. Iowa has the fewest at three, Wyoming has four, and Maine has five.

Proponents of public charter schools also got a boost with the release of a report from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, which disclosed that charters in New York City have outperformed district public schools in 29 out of 36 performance categories over the last three years.

Editor's Note:



2. Equity Giant Gives $20 Million to Conservative Think Tank

Daniel D'Aniello, co-founder and chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm Carlyle Group, is donating $20 million to the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

AEI will name its new building after D'Aniello before moving in late next year, The Washington Post reported. The building was previously owned by Andrew Mellon and was purchased from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

According to AEI President Arthur Brooks, the contribution will allow the think tank to expand, building radio and television studios, classrooms, and other meeting spaces.

D'Aniello, vice chairman of AEI's board, said he is making the contribution because AEI's philosophy mirrors his own.

"It's all about freedom, opportunity, and enterprise," he told The Post. "Those are the watch words of AEI."

AEI has become an increasingly significant source of ideas for Republicans as the GOP moves its focus from debt and spending toward more politically popular policies addressing challenges such as poverty and mobility, The Post observed.

"With respect to the philosophical statements of AEI, the most important is driving a full understanding of what earned success is and what it can mean to your own happiness and success," said D'Aniello, 67. "It's very disincentivizing to have others take care of your needs."

D'Aniello grew up in a coal-mining town in Pennsylvania, served in the Navy, and attended Harvard Business School before co-founding the Carlyle Group in 1987 along with David Rubenstein and William Conway Jr. Forbes estimates his net worth at $2.6 billion.

In making his donation, D'Aniello is following in the footsteps of Rubenstein, a major contributor to a number of causes.

His donations include $75 million to the Kennedy Center, $4.5 million for the National Zoo pandas, $7.5 million to repair the Washington Monument, $10 million to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, and gifts totaling nearly $60 million to Duke University.

Editor's Note:



3. Rasmussen: Mexico Not 'Aggressive' in Stemming Drug Trade

 

Despite the Mexican government's recent capture of the man considered the world's most wanted drug lord, a majority of Americans still believe that Mexico is not trying hard enough to fight the illegal drug trade, a new poll reveals.

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of the Sinaloa Cartel, was arrested by Mexican marines in the city of Mazatlan on Feb. 22.

But a survey of likely voters by Rasmussen Reports found that 65 percent of Americans believe the Mexican government has not been "aggressive enough in its efforts to stop illegal drug traffickers in Mexico."

Just 12 percent think Mexico has been aggressive enough, and the rest are not sure.

But 32 percent of respondents believe that drug users in the United States are more to blame for drug violence in Mexico than are Mexican drug producers, while 49 percent say the drug producers are more to blame, down from 56 percent four years ago.

Asked if the legalization of marijuana in the United States would help reduce drug-related violence in Mexico, 34 percent said yes, up from 28 percent in April 2009, and 45 percent said no.

Rasmussen Reports also found that 64 percent of voters favor the use of the U.S. military to protect Americans if drug violence escalates along the border, and 24 percent oppose it.

A large majority of Republicans (78 percent) and independents (72 percent) favor the use of U.S. military along the border to protect Americans, but only 47 percent of Democrats feel that way.

Most voters since 2009 have been more concerned with increasing drug violence along the border than with illegal immigration, according to Rasmussen. But just 12 percent believe the Mexican government wants to stop its citizens from entering the United States illegally.

Editor's Note:



4. Electronic Tolling Could Replace Gasoline Tax

Advances in electronic tollbooth technology have made per-mile tolling a practical alternative to the dwindling revenue from fuel taxes, according to a report from the Reason Foundation.

Fuel taxes to fund road construction and maintenance were first levied by Oregon in 1919, and all other states had taxes on gasoline by 1930. The federal government enacted a fuel tax in 1956, creating the Highway Trust Fund to pay for building the Interstate highway system.

But in recent years fuel tax collections have been diminishing. Due to stringent fuel-economy standards, drivers are buying less gasoline and therefore paying less in fuel taxes. The economic downturn has also had an effect as fewer people were employed and driving to work. And there has been significant political opposition to boosting fuel taxes.

The report authors observe: "The Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences issued a special report in 2006 concluding that fuel taxes would not be sustainable as the primary highway funding source in the 21st century," and a commission concluded that charging highway users per mile was better than per gallon.

In the 20th century, switching to a per-mile toll would have required creating and staffing tollbooths, making that economically unfeasible.

But "today's all-electronic tolling is very different from 20th-century cash tolling," the authors point out.

With per-mile tolling, the maintenance of highways would be funded by the drivers who actually use those thoroughfares.

Neighborhood streets are typically funded by local governments. The tolling would be implemented on the nation's major highways — expressways and Interstates.

With fuel taxes, drivers pay the tax whether or not they use the highways that they fund. And drivers of electric cars, who use those same highways, pay no fuel taxes at all.

The report authors — Robert Poole, director of transportation policy and the Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow at the Reason Foundation, and Adrian Moore, vice president of policy at the foundation — conclude: "A utility-like system for a state's major highways would yield a monthly highway bill, similar to those already received by customers using tolled expressways and Interstates in 15 Northeastern and Midwestern states using the region-wide E-ZPass electronic tolling system."

And in contrast to fuel taxes, "customers would know how much they were paying."

Editor's Note:



5. Greenpeace Co-Founder: 'No Scientific Proof' of Manmade Global Warming

In eye-opening testimony before a Senate subcommittee, the co-founder of the environmental activist group Greenpeace refuted assertions that carbon dioxide emissions from human activity are responsible for global warming.

He also said a warmer temperature would be "far better" than a cooler one.

Patrick Moore, Ph.D., testified before the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight on Feb. 25.

"There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth's atmosphere over the past 100 years," said Moore, who left Greenpeace in 1986 due to what he called its "sharp turn to the political left."

"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states: 'It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming' since the mid-20th century.

"'Extremely likely' is not a scientific term but rather a judgment, as in a court of law."

Moore, chairman emeritus of Greenspirit Strategies in Vancouver, Canada, also told the subcommittee: "Perhaps the simplest way to expose the fallacy of ‘extreme certainty’ is to look at the historical record. When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an ice age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today.

"The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming.

"The increase in temperature between 1910 and 1940 was virtually identical to the increase between 1970 and 2000. Yet the IPCC does not attribute the increase from 1910-1940 to 'human influence.' They are clear in their belief that human emissions impact only the increase since the mid-20th century. Why does the IPCC believe that a virtually identical increase in temperature after 1950 is caused mainly by 'human influence,' when it has no explanation for the nearly identical increase from 1910-1940?"

Moore went on to say: "Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species. There is ample reason to believe that a sharp cooling of the climate would bring disastrous results for human civilization.

"It is 'extremely likely' that a warmer temperature than today's would be far better than a cooler one."

Editor's Note:



6. We Heard…

THAT a new novel by Allison Pataki, daughter of former New York Republican Gov. George Pataki, has earned a spot on the New York Times Best-Sellers list.

Pataki's "The Traitor's Wife" is No. 5 in the paperback trade fiction category on the Times' latest list.

The historical novel revolves around Peggy Shippen Arnold, the cunning wife of Benedict Arnold who actually masterminded America's most infamous act of treason.

"When I discovered that historical nugget, I thought, that's a story that a lot of Americans would be very interested in hearing and so I set out to write it in this novel," Pataki told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV in February.

And in an email to supporters after her book made the best-sellers list, she writes: "I had high hopes prior to launch week, but this exceeded them."

The book is also No. 5 on Amazon.com in the Historical Fiction category.

THAT there is an interesting footnote to a recent corporate sale and the ongoing political and economic turmoil in Ukraine.

Jan Koum, who was born in Ukraine and moved to California at age 16, is the founder of WhatsApp, which enables people to exchange free text messages with friends and family all over the world. It was sold to Facebook in February for $19 billion, Forward.com reported.

The sale price of his firm is equal to more than 10 percent of Ukraine's entire GDP.

THAT Larry King is the television personality most favored to replace Piers Morgan in the 9 p.m. slot on CNN, a poll by TVNewser reveals.

The legendary interviewer, who left CNN in 2010 after 25 years, received 86 percent of the nearly 12,000 votes cast.

Jay Leno was a distant second with 8 percent, while Katie Couric got 3 percent and Bill Weir and "Other" both got 2 percent.

Among those cited by voters who chose "Other" were Justin Bieber, Jerry Seinfeld, and Donald Duck.

CNN announced on Feb. 24 that it was pulling the plug on Morgan's show, saying at the time that he would leave the air in March.

Note: Newsmax magazine is now available on the iPad. Find us in the App Store.

Editor's Note:



Editor's Notes:

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