John Fund: Don't Underestimate Rick Perry

Sunday, 12 Jun 2011 02:33 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Adweek Raves About Herman Cain's Business Success
2. John Fund: Don't Underestimate Rick Perry
3. Three Industrial Powers Leaving Kyoto Agreement
4. Light Bulb Repeal Bill Stalls in Congress
5. Record Number of Americans Receiving Food Stamps
6. We Heard: Washington Times
 

1. Adweek Raves About Herman Cain's Business Success

Adweek, one of America's top media advertising publications, is touting the business acumen of Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, highlighting his "stellar career" as an executive.

"Cain has something rarely seen among Oval Office aspirants: genuine branding and marketing credentials," Adweek observes.

"Not only did Cain spend nearly two decades building brands, but he also did it in the dog-eat-dog world of restaurants."

Cain joined Pillsbury Restaurant Group in 1977, became a vice president two years later, then moved to its troubled Burger King division and had remarkable success, returning 400 underperforming restaurants to financial health.

Cain assumed the presidency of the Godfather's Pizza chain in 1986 and saved it from bankruptcy in just 14 months before leading a buyout of the brand.

Then in 1996, Cain became president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, turning it into a powerful lobbying group in Washington.

"When I became president and CEO of Godfather's Pizza, it was supposed to go bankrupt," Cain says on his YouTube campaign video. "But I didn't get the memo. We turned it around with common-sense business principles. And we can turn this country around the same way."

Cain says that as president he would seek to cut taxes and eliminate burdensome business regulations.

"I view the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza as the godfather of the tea party movement," political activist Lloyd Marcus, author of "Confessions of a Black Conservative," told Adweek.

A recent media report played down Cain's success at Godfather's, claiming he rescued the company "by shuttering hundreds of units."

But Rick Berman, a former Pillsbury vice president and now a Washington lobbyist, said Cain "took the company from where it was to something better, and if shutting down a portion of it was a good strategy, it was probably one that Pillsbury should have employed."

As for Cain's new goal, the White House, former Darden Restaurants senior executive and communications consultant Rick Van Warner told Adweek: "Anyone who has Herman's financial discipline would be great for the country."

Editor's Note:



2. John Fund: Don't Underestimate Rick Perry

After repeatedly disavowing interest in running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has sparked speculation about a White House campaign with his recent comment that he is going to "think about" running.

And Wall Street Journal commentator John Fund says his potential candidacy should be taken seriously.

Perry has planned four out-of-state political trips this month and is replacing Donald Trump as a speaker at a dinner for New York Republicans on June 14, Fund reports.

He vetoed a bill that would have required online merchants to collect sales tax from Texas residents, a move that pleased anti-tax groups. And he has proposed a budget that calls for a $15 billion cut in state spending over the next two years. Fund notes that cuts of that size are "sweet music indeed" for Republican primary voters.

Perry assumed office in 2000 and is the longest-serving current U.S. governor.

Fund acknowledges that a Perry run for president "seems implausible," since he has not even formed an exploratory committee or raised any money for a federal campaign.

"But as the liberal Texas Tribune points out, Mr. Perry shouldn't be underestimated," Fund observes.

That paper noted that Perry has never lost an election, clobbering Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary, and his state is responsible for the great bulk of the nation's new private-sector jobs.

Fund observes, "Perry knows how to play the base of the Republican Party like a finely tuned musical instrument."

Editor's Note:



3. Three Industrial Powers Leaving Kyoto Agreement

"It's over: UN's Kyoto Protocol Destined for Scrapheap of History." So reads the headline on the Climate Depot story disclosing that Japan, Russia, and Canada will not join a second round of carbon cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.

And with the United States stating that it will remain outside the treaty, the agreement appears all but dead, according to the Climate Depot website, which chronicles the opposition to global warming alarmists.

Developed nations signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, agreeing to legally binding commitments on curbing greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

Those pledges expire at the end of 2012, and a second agreement would be needed to continue the protocol. But at the recent meeting of the G-8 nations in France, diplomats from Japan, Russia, and Canada confirmed that they would not join a new agreement, AFP reported.

They argued that the agreement did not require developing nations — including China, the world's leading carbon emitter — to make emission cuts.

President Barack Obama said at the G-8 dinner that the United States would not join the new protocol.

The U.S. signed the agreement in 1997, but in 2001 President George W. Bush said he would not put it to the Senate for ratification.

Editor's Note:



4. Light Bulb Repeal Bill Stalls in Congress

A bill to repeal the banning of ordinary incandescent light bulbs is bottled up in a congressional committee despite Americans' apparent distaste for the more expensive bulbs that would replace them.

The 100-watt incandescent bulb is scheduled to be outlawed in January 2012, the 75-watt bulb will disappear in January 2013, and the 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs in January 2014.

The bill banning the bulbs — which use more energy than newer bulbs — was introduced in 2007 by then Rep. Jane Harman, a California Democrat, and Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, and signed by President George W. Bush in December 2007.

Upton is now chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and while lobbying Republicans for the post he vowed to repeal the section of the 2007 bill that bans incandescent bulbs.

"We have heard the grass roots loud and clear, and will have a hearing early next Congress," he said in December. "The last thing we wanted to do was infringe upon personal liberties, and this has been a good lesson that Congress does not always know best."

In January, Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton proposed the Better Use of Light Bulb (BULB) act, which would cancel the phase-out of incandescent bulbs. The bill has 62 co-sponsors, 61 of them Republicans, and a companion bill in the Senate has 28 co-sponsors.

But Upton's committee has not yet held a hearing on the bill, and "House Republican leadership has evinced no interest in bringing the Barton bill to the floor," Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, writes in RealClearMarkets. "Calls to repeal the incandescent light bulb ban are coming from consumers, who prefer incandescent lamps."

"Chairman Upton," she adds, "how about voting Mr. Barton's bill out of committee and sending it to the House floor?"

Once incandescent bulbs vanish, Americans will have to purchase either compact fluorescent bulbs — known as CFLs — halogens, or light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

All three cost significantly more than incandescent bulbs, although they last longer. Many people don't like the light cast by CFLs — the cheapest of the three — and they must be disposed of at special recycling centers because they contain mercury. They also pose a danger if broken in the home.

Another factor to consider: Incandescent bulbs are made in the United States, while almost all CFLs are made in China, according to Furchtgott-Roth.

She concludes: "Consumers should be free, in my opinion, to choose the light bulbs they prefer. If Congress believes that consumers should conserve energy, it can impose a tax on the model bulbs whose use it would discourage, or on electricity in general."

Editor's Note:



5. Record Number of Americans Receiving Food Stamps

More than 44 million Americans — 14 percent of the population — now rely on the federal government's food stamps program, an all-time high.

The number of recipients is up 11 percent from one year ago and more than 60 percent from just four years ago.

Nearly 21 million households are now reliant on the Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The program cost taxpayers over $68 billion last year, twice as much as in 2007, and accounts for 67 percent of the USDA's total budget, compared to 26 percent in 1980.

The 2012 appropriations bill includes $71 billion for food stamps, a 9 percent increase from 2011 but $2 billion less than what President Obama requested.

Critics complain that SNAP hasn't put a dent in poverty or hunger while taking away funds from other efforts that should be the main focus of the USDA, specifically agricultural programs, according to ABC News.

The food stamp program is also vulnerable to abuse. A Menominee, Mich., man was arrested recently and charged with food stamp trafficking. He allegedly used a food stamps card to buy $141 worth of lobster, steak and soft drinks and resold the items for 50 cents on the dollar.

The Republicans' 2012 budget plan seeks to change SNAP from an entitlement to a block-grant program that would be tailored for each state. The proposal would make aid contingent on work or job training and limit funding for the program.

Editor's Note:

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6. We Heard . . .

THAT Ed Kelley has been named editor of The Washington Times and will assume his duties on July 1.

Kelley was previously the editor of The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. In 1996 he received the Editor of the Year Award from the National Press Foundation for leadership of his paper's coverage of the bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

"Kelley will provide editorial leadership for the news and opinion content for Washington Times Media, a multimedia news organization focused on exclusive investigative reporting and compelling conservative opinion," the Times said in a statement.

Thomas P. McDevitt, president of the Times, said: "The Washington Times — and our readers — are very fortunate to have an editor with Ed Kelley's stature and experience. He is clearly one of the finest news editors in America."

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

Editor's Note:

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Editor's Notes:

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