Friday Facts: April 27th, 2011

It’s Friday!

“[President] Obama will participate in a town hall meeting hosted on Facebook. So just like everyone else in America, Obama will be on Facebook when he should be working.” – Conan O’Brien
“Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.” – Benjamin Franklin

– Register now 
for a May 12 noon Policy Briefing Luncheon, “The Battle,” at the Georgian Club in Cobb County, hosted by the Foundation and keynoted by Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute. The cost to attend this event is $35. To find out more and register, go to
– Saturday, April 30: 
Join me and hundreds of grassroots activists at Americans for Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” in Jasper, Ga. Speakers at the 9 a.m.-5 p.m. event at the Chattahoochee Technical College (Appalachian Campus) include Congressmen Tom Price and Tom Graves and bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza.Click here to register.
– Don’t-miss movies:

  • Atlas Shrugged: Part 1” – Based on Ayn Rand’s epic novel, “Atlas Shrugged.” Find a theater near you at
  • The Cartel – Teachers punished for speaking out. Principals fired for trying to do the right thing. Union leaders defending the indefensible. Bureaucrats blocking new charter schools. Teens who can’t read, parents desperate for change, and teachers struggling to launch stable alternative schools for inner city kids who want to learn. For information go to
  • Waiting for ‘Superman’“– A public screening and panel discussion on Thursday, May 19, 2011, 5-8 p.m. (Movie 5:15- 6:45 p.m.; panel discussion 7-8 p.m.) Rehoboth Baptist Church, 2997 Lawrenceville Hwy., Tucker. Free with registration

Government regulation
– Shades of “Atlas Shrugged”: The New York Times reports this week that, “In what may be the strongest signal yet of the new pro-labor orientation of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama,” the agency filed a complaint seeking to force Boeing to bring an airplane production line back to its unionized facilities in Washington state instead of moving the work to a nonunion plant in South Carolina.

Health care
– People who are medically vulnerable – those with low incomes or chronic health problems – who enroll in high-deductible health plans are at no more risk for cutting back on needed health care than others who enroll in the plans, according to a new RAND Corporation study. Among its findings: The chronically ill are more likely to receive some preventive health care than others enrolled in high-deductible health plans. High-deductible plans coupled with health savings accounts (HSAs) reduced spending by a greater amount than other types of high-deductible plans. Source: National Center for Policy Analysis

Energy and environment
– Hot air trumps science: 
Two years ago, even as U.S. greenhouse emissions fell to their lowest levels since 1995, the federal Environmental Protection Agency determined “that climate change caused by emissions of greenhouse gases threatens the public’s health and the environment.” An Investor’s Business Daily editorial notes: “Regarding politics to be more important than science, it has taken it upon itself to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) as a ‘pollutant.'” IBD suggests perhaps the EPA should focus on China. “While U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased 7.3 percent from 1990 to 2009, China’s carbon dioxide emissions have soared roughly 175 percent since 1999.” Read more at
– Plastic puffery: The push by state and local governments to tax or ban conventional plastic bags revolves around the assumption that plastic bag use degrades the environment. One of the biggest weapons has been the so-called “Great Garbage Patch,” a collection of various manmade debris (including plastic) blighting the North Pacific Ocean. But the patch, often said to be the size of Texas, is neither especially great, nor even really a “patch,” according to researchers at Oregon State University. Instead, it’s a zone of ocean where debris particulates, often invisible from the surface, exist at a higher concentration than the rest of the ocean. And the reality is, it’s closer to 1 percent of the size of Texas.
– Keep the carpet (clean): Positive environmental interventions in children’s homes, such as improved cleaning and the elimination of tobacco smoke, will reduce their asthma-related symptoms and increase symptom-free days, according to an Inner-City Asthma Study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study (not sponsored by the carpet industry) found no difference in the improvement experienced by children living in homes with carpet versus those in homes with other types of flooring. Also, no difference was found in the levels of allergens measured in carpeted homes compared to homes with hard surface floors. (See Harold Brown’s commentary, “Let the Asthma Blame Games Begin.”) Source: Carpet and Rug Institute

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a 3 percent decrease in road fatalities between 2009 and 2010, which still adds up to 32,788 deaths. According to LaHood, last year’s traffic fatalities fell to the lowest levels since 1949, despite a 0.7 percent increase in the number of miles Americans drove – about 20.5 billion extra miles and an 11 percent increase in congestion in the country’s 100 biggest metropolitan areas, making the decrease in traffic fatalities especially noteworthy. Source: The City Fix
– Samuel S. Staley of the Reason Foundation
 addressed a luncheon event this week on “How to Get the Funding you Want for the Transportation You Need.” Read editor Mike Klein’s report on Staley’s speech on The Forum at

– Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Georgia Among More than Half the Nation’s States Shortchanged by Federal Highway Program,” by Ronald Utt.

Have a blessed Easter weekend.

Kelly McCutchen

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