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'Corporate' Finale Exploits 9/11 in Attempt to Provoke Fox News

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 04:07
<p>The writers of Comedy Central’s anti-business <em>Corporate </em>are exploiting the tragedy of 9/11 to get a rise out of conservative viewers. Star Jake Weisman told <em>The Daily Beast, </em>“Honestly, I want Fox News to see it and I want them to get really mad,” regarding their season finale mocking the tragedy that resulted in the deaths of 2,996 people. <em>Corporate </em>writers are apparently oblivious to irony as this week’s episode exploits 9/11 in order to portray businesses as exploiting 9/11 for monetary gain. Clearly pandering to a liberal audience’s desire to see corporations accused of egregious evils, Wednesday’s finale, “Remember Day,” features a fictitious world where a business attempts to turn the anniversary of 9/11 into a profit making national holiday, complete with goose dinners, office parties, and red, white, and blue apparel.</p>

NBC Ignores Report McCabe Misled Investigators, ABC Frets for his Pension

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 03:18
<p>On Wednesday, word leaked out that the FBI’s Inspector General’s office was recommending former deputy director, Andrew McCabe be fired for misleading their investigators who were looking into the handling of the Clinton e-mail investigation. The report hasn’t been made public yet but it comes as the Trump administration was experiencing numerous firings. While ABC, CBS, and NBC had previously hyped such firings, NBC ignored this one as ABC spent more time worried about McCabe’s pension. </p>

Hulu's 'The Path' Spotlights Abortion as 'Righteous Fight' Against 'Dark Forces'

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 03:17
<p>Hulu’s <em>The Path </em>has approached topics involving systemic racism, religion, and even life during the Trump administration. For a show that’s supposed to follow the politics of a cult, there seems to be a lot more of actual politics bouncing around in some episodes. Case in point, the latest episode featuring an outright promotion for reproductive rights.</p>

Civility, Everyone: MSNBC’s Wallace Blasts Trump as ‘Bleep-Hole’ for Wanting to Fire McCabe

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 02:48
<p>Offering the latest installment of her deep-seated disdain for President Trump, MSNBC’s<em> Deadline: White House</em> host Nicolle Wallace blasted the President during Wednesday’s show as “a bleep-hole” for considering whether to terminate Andrew McCabe before his official retirement from the FBI.</p>

Networks Celebrate Students Walking Out of Class for Gun Control

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 01:11
<p>Wednesday was marked by the mass exodus of students from reportedly over 3,500 schools who cut class and took to the streets for gun control. The liberal media flocked to the nationwide spectacles to hear their talking points parroted back at them. ABC, CBS, and NBC all led with the protests to kick off their evening newscasts.</p>

Fake-Conservative Comedy Central 'Twins' Mock 'Draculess' Dana Loesch, Fox News Stars

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 01:09
<p>Comedy Central’s lame replacement for the Colbert Report, The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, is even worse than Colbert at disguising their liberal agitprop as hiding behind a mask of idiotic conservatism. On Tuesday night, Klepper brought on his cast mates Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson, pitched on screen as "Authors of <em>F**k the Poor: A Conservative Guide to Comedy.”</em></p>

The Crisis of Fatherless Shooters

The Stream - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 01:04

In the wake of the Parkland massacre, the age-old question, "Am I my brother's keeper?" has a newfound relevance.

As another mass school shooting stuns Americans, it is time to talk about not just how to protect students from shooters, but also about what must happen so that fewer students become shooters in the first place.

It is crucial to talk about how more American children can grow up with the emotional, psychological, and spiritual security that comes from relationships where one is deeply cared for, connected, and known.

For what lies inside so many school shooters is a deep void of identity and relationship that they tragically seek to fill through nihilistic violence.

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There is a sobering theme repeated over and over in the biographies of school shooters -- the fatherlessness of a broken or never formed family.

Among the 25 most-cited school shooters since Columbine, 75 percent were reared in broken homes. Psychologist Dr. Peter Langman, a pre-eminent expert on school shooters, found that most came from incredibly broken homes of not just divorce and separation, but also infidelity, substance abuse, criminal behavior, domestic violence, and child abuse.

After the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, scholar Brad Wilcox called attention to the work of criminologists Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi, which found the absence of fathers to be one of the "most powerful predictors of crimes." He explained that fathers are role models for their sons who maintain authority and discipline, thereby helping them develop self-control and empathy toward others, key character traits lacking in violent youth.

The late rapper Tupac Shakur said, "I know for a fact that had I had a father, I'd have some discipline. I'd have more confidence. Your mother can't calm you down the way a man can. You need a man to teach you how to be a man." Shakur, who was murdered in 1996, started hanging out with gangs because he wanted to belong to a family.

In addition to structure and discipline, a boy's relationship with his father can be a profound source of identity -- or not. Dr. Warren Farrell, author of the The Boy Crisis, says that when a boy asks "Who am I?" the answer is that his identity is comprised of half his dad and half his mom. If he thinks his father has abandoned him, he fears he is not. Boys who do not have a strong relationship with their fathers may lack a model of healthy masculinity. Many of the school shooters struggled with a sense of "damaged masculinity" and sought to become "ultramasculine." Langman says that at the end of this spectrum is "getting a gun to suddenly have power."

In fact, the fathers of three of the most infamous school shooters were absent from their sons' lives. The father of Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, had not seen his son in two years and later told reporters he wished his son had never been born. The adoptive father of Nikolas Cruz died when Cruz was 5 years old. And the father of 6-year-old Dedrick Owens, the country's youngest school shooter, was in jail when his son killed his first grade classmate. Dedrick Owens' father has said that he suspects his son's crime was a reaction to his absence.

Since the 1965 Moynihan report, the breakdown of the American family has been hotly debated. Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's finding that fatherlessness would lead to poorer outcomes for African-American children was published at a time when only 25 percent of African-American households were led by a single parent. Today, 24 percent of white non-Hispanic families are headed by a single parent and the rate has reached 66 percent among African-Americans. If we don't reverse current trends on marriage, the number of fatherless children will only grow.

Ultimately, if we make fatherlessness and family breakdown a partisan issue, we all lose. Both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush promoted a National Fatherhood Initiative in their administrations. Because strong marriages promote strong bonds between fathers and their children, the Trump administration should emphasize both.

A good starting place would be to reduce the marriage penalties that have been built into our welfare system. A next step would be to elevate the contributions of ordinary men doing the extraordinary work of fathering. And if we directed 1 percent of the attention and media coverage we give to athletes, musicians, and movie stars toward fathers, perhaps more boys would grow up seeing them as role models. President Donald Trump, his Cabinet, Congress, and other leaders can also use their bully pulpits to lead in this direction.

#WhyWeDoThisWork Wednesday: When a Dallas middle school put a call out for mentors in the community to support 50 students without father figures present at a Breakfast with Dads, 600 men showed up. #OurSonsMatter

— The Broad Center (@BroadCenter) January 10, 2018

And the good news is that communities are devising creative ways to help make up for the absences of dads. One example is in Dallas, where Billy Earl Dade Middle School held its annual "Breakfast with Dads." To ensure that all 150 male students who wanted a mentor would have one, an organizer put out a request on a Facebook page for 50 "volunteer fathers." Nearly 600 men from all different walks of life and careers answered the call.

We cannot provide every fatherless boy with a dad, but we can start by respecting the unique role that fathers play in the lives of boys and encouraging more men to step into the lives of children who need a male role model.

To understand the brokenness of our children, Americans must take a deeper look at the brokenness of our families. We must do this together. We must be the keepers of all our country's sons so that they can grow up to be one another's. If we are going to prevent the next Parkland, we need to take seriously the need all our young boys and men have for a dad.


Emilie Kao is director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

Copyright 2018 The Daily Signal

ICE Director Slams Pelosi for Saying Federal Agents Make ‘Cowardly Attacks' on Illegal Aliens

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 00:58
<p>The ongoing struggle between Democrats and Republicans over illegal immigration took a major turn on Monday, when Thomas Homan -- acting director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency -- sharply criticized House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Pelosi for drawing a bright line against the federal lawsuit alleging California is nullifying federal law enforcement on immigration. She said "We will fight this sham lawsuit and will fight all cowardly attacks on our immigrant communities.”  </p>

Liberal Sports Blog Deadspin Picks Ridiculous Final Four Basketball Teams for President Trump

NewsBusters - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 00:19
<p>President Trump is most definitely <em>not</em> a cool, hip, basketball junkie like Barack Obama, who annually filled out his March Madness bracket on ESPN. With the help of a reader, a President Trump hater at the <em>Deadspin sports blog</em> picked an unauthorized Final Four field for their least favorite president. Complete with digs at Trump, of course.</p>

New NBC Drama: High School Students are 'Sexually Repressed' with 'Intolerant Parents'

NewsBusters - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 23:19
<p>If you could take every liberal, Hollywood writer’s agenda and cram it all into one show, that show would be Rise, the new NBC drama about an English teacher who takes over his school’s theater program and decides to shake things up. Based on a true story, the teacher chooses the musical “Spring Awakenings” for the students to perform, a controversial play that includes abortion, homosexuality, masturbation, incest, teen suicide, rape and other violence. He says he chose the play “about sexually repressed teenagers” because “just like you, they are dealing with intolerant parents, teachers that don’t get it. These kids are you. Their story is your story.”</p>

Sclerotic productivity hobbles Italy - Energy industry shows how information technology can boost productivity

American Enterprise Institute - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 22:17

Anyone who thought the euro area debt crisis was resolved has not been paying attention to economic and political developments in Italy, the bloc’s third-largest member.

In the last 10 years, Italy experienced a triple-dip recession that has left its economy around 5% below its pre-2008 financial crisis peak. The country’s unemployment level is about double that of its northern neighbours, and youth unemployment still exceeds 25%.

Italy’s sclerotic productivity performance has contributed to the persistence of significant economic vulnerabilities. These could be exposed once the European Central Bank exits from its bond-buying programme, which has been especially supportive of the Italian bond market.

Italy’s public debt to GDP ratio continued to rise to 133%, making it the most indebted country in the euro area after Greece. The Italian banking system is clogged with non-performing loans that amount to around 15% of its balance sheet and starve the economy of much-needed credit.

Italy cannot afford a prolonged period of political instability and policy experimentation. It needs fundamental economic reforms that would close the productivity gap with its northern neighbours and put the country on a faster growth path. Only then will Italy have a chance to grow out of its public debt and banking system problems.

Unfortunately, the result of the 4 March election does not hold out the prospect of a stable government committed to reform. The strong showing of the eurosceptic Five Star Movement and the League, whose combined vote exceeded 50%, means at least one radical populist party is likely to be a coalition partner in any future Italian government.

Italy could not have chosen a worse time to enter a prolonged period of political instability. In the US, the Trump administration’s shift to a more protectionist trade policy and to a reckless budget policy have put the global economic recovery in doubt. At the same time, there is every indication that the favourable global liquidity conditions that have buoyed the Italian government bond market are now ending. The Federal Reserve is firmly on a path of raising interest rates, while the ECB is intimating that it plans to exit its quantitative easing programme later this year.

A prospective Italian economic crisis will be of the utmost importance for both the euro area and the global economy. At around 10 times the size of the Greek economy, the Italian economy is far too large to fail if the euro is to survive in anything like its present form. Yet having the world’s third-largest government bond market after Japan and the US, with around $2.5tn in bonds outstanding, Italy is simply too large a country for even Germany to save.

For this reason, one must hope that somehow, out of the wreckage of the parliamentary election, a stable and reform-minded government is formed that can forcefully address Italy’s acute economic problems. However, global policy-makers would be ill advised to count on such a fortuitous outcome. Instead it would seem it is not too early for them to start making contingency plans for an Italian economic crisis.

Desmond Lachman is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He was formerly a Deputy Director in the International Monetary Fund’s Policy Development and Review Department and the Chief Emerging Market Economic Strategist at Salomon Smith Barney.

Dem Rep. Meeks Ducks Farrakhan Question, Smears Daily Caller as ‘Fringe, Right-Wing Tabloid’

NewsBusters - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 21:28
<p>While interviewing Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) on Wednesday morning, <em>CNN Newsroom</em> anchor John Berman pressed the Congressman about his past connections with the controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Meeks responded by attacking the news organization that reported Meeks attended a meeting with Farrakhan, <em>The Daily Caller</em>, as a "fringe, right-wing tabloid." </p>

NY Times Sheds Journalistic Inquiry, Goes All In on Anti-Gun Children’s Crusade

NewsBusters - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 21:19
<p><em>The</em> <em>New York Times</em> has fully and unapologetically embraced the children’s crusade of gun control in the aftermath of the Parkland school killings, and is now cheering on the promised nationwide school walkout today. The lead National section story for Wednesday, reported by Stephanie Saul and Anemona Hartocollis, was “Too Young to Protest? 10-Year-Olds Beg to Differ – Thousands of Students Nationwide Plan to Walk Out of Class.” </p>

Slate Writer: NatGeo’s ‘Race Issue’ Not Good Enough

NewsBusters - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 21:05
<p>Well that was predictable. <em>National Geographic</em> has an issue dedicated to self-flagellation for its racist past. That weak sauce virtue-signaling may be fine for general consumption, but good luck impressing a social Justice warrior like <em>Slate’s </em>Rachelle Hampton.</p>

China and the West: is conflict ahead? - Energy industry shows how information technology can boost productivity

American Enterprise Institute - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 21:04

Dr. Kori Schake has written an important essay about problematic assumptions and the challenges the United States faces if it is to take up the National Security Strategy mantle of the “great power competition” with China.

Unfortunately, the situation is more dire and more difficult, with fewer good options, than Schake lays out, for two main reasons.

China Will Only Grow Stronger

Schake admits that the hope that China would become more politically liberal as it grew richer was ill-founded. Her essay, however, still bears traces of optimism that political and economic weaknesses will ensure that China never reaches a level of power at which it can challenge the United States regionally, if not globally.

While she adeptly weighs all possibilities, I would argue that the United States is much more likely to be dealing with a strong China, with a stable Party that has the support of its people for its actions on the world stage. Even hypothesizing otherwise delays a good U.S. strategy response. Ever since Jiang Zemin made the bold decision to allow businessmen and entrepreneurs into the Party, a change of system has become less desirable for those benefiting the most from economic reforms. Coupled with the fact that the majority of Chinese citizens are still poor (500 million still live on less than $5.50 a day), live in rural areas, or make up an urban underclass of migrants, the “haves” are not particularly interested in giving the “have nots” power to determine China’s economic policies.

A more dominant theme in Schake’s essay is the idea that a democratic China would be easier for the United States to manage – and therefore that a democratic China is desirable from a strategic perspective. This is a problematic assumption. First, China’s national interests are not derived from its authoritarianism. A democratic China would also want to reduce its vulnerability to the United States and to have regional powers primarily accommodate its positions. This would necessitate a strategy of pushing out the U.S. military as much as possible, undermining U.S. alliances, and leveraging its economic power to coerce. Nationalism is more organic than many outside observers realize – often it is driven by netizens calling for the use of force while the government censors those calls, rather than the other way around. In short, a democratizing China would be a poster child for Mansfield and Snyder’s argument that democracies in transition can be the most dangerous nations.

Additionally, it seems that much of Schake’s view that things would be easier if China were a democracy is based on her interpretation of the power transition between the United States and Great Britain. While this area is beyond my expertise, I’ll just note that there are alternative explanations for why the transition was peaceful that rely more on realpolitik than on the countries’ similar democratic political systems. For example, Great Britain saw a closer, more immediate threat in Germany in the 1940s and therefore chose to join forces with the United States, and the United States did not have the desire to weaken Great Britain further for the same reason. Alternatively, it is possible that Great Britain realized that it was too weak to succeed in a conflict with the United States, and therefore chose accommodation. Either way, these explanations suggest that maintaining peace between China and the United States means the latter will concede its prime position in the international system without a fight, something at least this author hopes is not currently on the table.

Lack of Clarity about the Nature of the Threat and U.S. Strategic Objectives

Second, Schake’s piece seems to project a confidence that the U.S.-led world order is all-encompassing and creates constraints that makes it durable. Additionally, it implies that China has the choice either to overthrow the order or concede to it – and that it will be clear to U.S. policymakers which path China is choosing.

But one of the reasons historical analogies are not always useful is that every great power sets up a different type of world order – and therefore the rising power’s optimal strategy for challenging it changes as well. As John Ikenberry argues, the United States has set up an institutionally based international order in which its power is constrained in exchange for the consensus of the weaker powers. This is the ideal system for promoting a country’s rise for two reasons. First, the system itself has created the possibility of a degree of economic and political power that has never existed before. This provided an alternative means through which China could accumulate power without triggering heightened threat perceptions in the United States – think about how differently the United States would have responded to a Chinese NATO compared to OBOR. Second, while the declining hegemon used to have the option of launching a preventive war against a challenger, norms and institutional constraints have made this option no longer viable. In short, the U.S.-led world order created opportunities for China to rise and to delay any negative U.S. response to that rise.

The term “U.S.-led world order” is also a bit misleading, as it creates the impression that the world falls within one system and all to the same degree. But what China discovered was that some parts of the world were largely outside the system, and consequently were not benefiting from it. These included unsavory regimes that the United States had chosen to abandon, so China could court relationships to increase political power without threatening the United States. They also include parts of the world that the United States had neglected – China did not supplant the United States in Central Asia or in many African countries; the United States was simply not there. In short, China’s leadership has not decided, as Schake argues, that the time is nigh to challenge the U.S.-led international order. Beijing has decided, however, that it is time to challenge the United States.

Another implicit assumption that Schake does not address directly is the supposition that if China were integrated into the international system, China would come to realize that it was better off with the United States in charge. The U.S. position was that it would support the rise of China as long as Beijing did not resort to military force to get its way. China has largely upheld its end of the bargain – but what the United States did not expect was that China could challenge U.S. hegemony with largely political and economic means, with use of coercion below the threshold of force.

Schake’s complaints about Chinese behavior are understandable – using its economic power to accumulate and exercise power at the expense of the United States, coercing smaller actors to accommodate Chinese interests, and not allowing for the peaceful passage of U.S. military vessels and aircraft within its Exclusive Economic Zone. But it seems now that any Chinese attempts to accumulate or exercise power are labelled as undermining the international order or revisionist. It has become unclear in the policy debate what types of Chinese behavior are indeed threatening to the United States. Is it about process or outcome? If China succeeds through political means in getting the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea revised to take into account its interpretation of what constitutes peaceful passage, and this restricts the U.S. Navy’s access to the South China Sea, is the United States okay with it? My sense is that while many people point to process being the issue, including Schake, the real problem is the outcome – that is, China’s success at strengthening its position vis-à-vis the United States.

The bottom line is that while we can learn from history, we find ourselves in a situation never experienced before – a rising power that is primarily accumulating and exercising political and economic power (for now), within an institutionalized and integrated system such as we have never had, facing a hegemon more constrained than previous ones, in a region that is also rising on the whole. We need completely new thinking, a more innovative strategy.

The Path Forward

So, what are we to do? Schake argues that U.S. strategy has moved toward efforts to contain China. If containment is being used here in the Cold War sense, then I see little evidence or hope for this strategy, given the integrated nature of the international system. Moreover, we forget that the United States did concede the Soviet Union a sphere of influence, something we are not willing to do for China.

What about deterrence? The shift I see in U.S. strategy is the recognition that deterrence is no longer enough – if all we wanted was to deter the Chinese use of force, then we’ve succeeded. Instead, I think U.S. strategic objectives need to be twofold: first, to deter and prevent China from using any form of coercion – economic, political, military – to achieve its goals and gain advantage, and second, to maintain its dominant position vis-à-vis China. Achieving these goals requires a strategy that prevents China from accumulating and exercising power in a way that reduces U.S. influence. It also means that the United States needs to make sure the security and economic benefits states derive from their relationship with the United States are greater than the pure economic benefits they get from China.

These are difficult goals to reach. They require a willingness to escalate tensions and risk greater conflict (potentially upsetting other countries that just want stability) to counter Chinese coercion, even when China is operating in the grey zone or using alternative methods. And they require that the United States bring more to the table – in terms of both security and economic benefits. This administration seems to have no interest in the latter. The former involves the greater risks associated with more combined military operations. For example, the United States could put together a coalition of the willing to implement a Gulf of Aden-type task force in the South China Sea that would protect all vessels, regardless of flag, from dangerous, illegal, or harassing behaviors. A great power competition means every country is a battleground – the support of our allies is not enough (although, especially in the case of European countries, the United States needs to demand greater political support in its competition with China). It may also require the United States to get closer to some countries with unsavory domestic practices, even as we maintain our norms and values.

In sum, Dr. Schake has highlighted many of the difficulties involved in avoiding conflict with China while simultaneously protecting U.S. interests. Coupled with the fact, as I argue, that China is likely to be operating from a position of increasing strength on the international stage, there is still confusion about what types of behaviors are threatening and which are not, and how to define U.S. strategic objectives vis-à-vis China. As a result, we are still a long way from devising a feasible and effective strategy to preserve U.S. interests at an acceptable cost. In the meantime, China continues to advance along its path to achieving “national rejuvenation” and great power status, potentially at the expense of U.S. power, influence, and interests.

CNN Panel Excited Over 'Political Explosion' That Went Off Overnight

NewsBusters - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 20:59
<p><em>CNN Newsroom</em> host John Berman opened the show Wednesday with a "Kaboom!", intended to serve as a "not so dramatic re-enactment of the political explosion that went off last night." The political explosion Berman referred to was Democrat Conor Lamb's strong performance and potential victory in the special election for Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, a district President Trump carried by 20 points in the 2016 presidential election.</p>

PRESS RELEASE: Arthur C. Brooks to step down as president of the American Enterprise Institute in 2019 - Energy industry shows how information technology can boost productivity

American Enterprise Institute - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 20:47


CONTACT:, 202.862.5829

Washington, DC (March 14, 2018) — Tully Friedman and Daniel D’Aniello, co-chairs of AEI’s Board of Trustees, announced that Arthur C. Brooks intends to step down as president in the summer of 2019, after a decade of distinguished service. Brooks had asked AEI’s Board of Trustees to commence the search for his successor at the annual executive board meeting, and informed scholars and staff of his decision on Wednesday afternoon.

“Brooks has taken AEI to new heights in his tenure,” said Friedman. “He has built on AEI’s legacy of high quality research, transitioned AEI to a new and permanent home, established impactful new policy departments, and oversaw an unprecedented period of strong financial growth.”

Brooks joined AEI as a visiting scholar in 2007 while also teaching at Syracuse University. Brooks became the eleventh president of AEI on January 1, 2009.

“Brooks has left an indelible and lasting mark on AEI,” said D’Aniello. “His commitment to democratic capitalism, innovative policy ideas, American leadership, and solidarity with those at the periphery of society has helped make the nation and world more prosperous, free, and safe. Thanks to his many contributions, AEI is stronger than at any time in its history, and well-positioned for the future.”

As president of AEI, Brooks launched a series of highly successful entrepreneurial ventures expressly designed to create impact and fulfill AEI’s mission. These ventures include new scholarly departments in areas such as poverty studies; a communications system dedicated to reaching leaders and building a worldwide audience; a presence on more than 100 college campuses; and thousands of public events in Washington, DC, and around the country. Brooks also oversaw AEI’s Capital Campaign—allowing AEI to purchase and restore a historic headquarters in Washington, DC, debt free. Meanwhile, AEI’s traditional programs have grown dramatically and its annual resources have more than doubled.

Even as he oversaw all of these accomplishments, Brooks published three books, two of which made the New York Times bestseller list (with proceeds donated to AEI); wrote more than 150 columns for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other publications; produced peer-reviewed academic research; gave more than 1,000 public speeches; and traveled more than a million airline miles promoting AEI’s work and message.

“It has been a privilege to lead this incredible community of scholars and staff,” said Brooks. “I will always be grateful for the opportunity to lead my intellectual heroes—men and women dedicated to the competition of ideas and service to the nation and world.”

“My highest priority is to ensure the legacy, mission and success of AEI,” Brooks continued. “I am confident that AEI’s Board of Trustees will find a successor that will take the institute from strength to strength.”

D’Aniello and Friedman said that a search committee will be formed in the coming weeks, and a global search will be conducted for Brooks’ successor.

For additional inquiries, please contact AEI Media Services at or 202.862.5829.


The American Enterprise Institute is a public policy think tank dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world.

Arthur Brooks:

WashPost's Werner Calls Pompeo 'A Benghazi Bomb-Thrower'

NewsBusters - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 20:17
<p>Whenever establishment press reporters drop their masks of objectivity, de facto Democratic Party operatives or even hardened leftists almost invariably appear. Tuesday, in the wake of Rex Tillerson's announced departure from the State Department, Erica Werner at the <em>Washington Post</em> dropped her guard, tweeting the following about the Trump administration's related personnel moves: "A Benghazi bomb-thrower will be SecState and a torture overseer will be CIA director — IF CONFIRMED BY THE SENATE."</p>

Reflections on a decade of leading a think tank - AEI - American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

American Enterprise Institute - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 20:06
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I am in my 10th year as president of the American Enterprise Institute. This week I asked AEI’s board of trustees to begin, over the coming year, a search for my successor.

Why? AEI is flourishing, and I’m still having a wonderful time. But succession plans work best precisely when an organization is at maximum strength. And I believe social enterprises generally thrive best when chief executives don’t stay much longer than a decade, because it’s important to refresh the organizational vision periodically and avoid becoming uniquely associated with one person. I have seen ample evidence at other nonprofits to support this proposition, and I’m not willing to see if AEI can be an outlier.

AEI’s motto, going back to its earliest days, is: “A competition of ideas is fundamental to a free society.” Vigorous disagreements, expressed with civility and respect, strengthen a democratic and pluralistic culture. Conformity of ideas leads to stagnation and mediocrity.

Subscribers to The Wall Street Journal continue reading here

After a decade promoting this mission, what worries me most today—not for AEI, but for America—is that the competition of ideas is under attack. Many would rather shut down debate than participate in it. Politicians from both parties try to discredit their opponents with name-calling and ad hominem attacks. On too many college campuses, people with the “wrong” viewpoints and ideas are unwelcome. Much of the mass media has become polarized, meaning readers and viewers on the right and left are never challenged in their conviction that the other side is made up of knaves and fools.

Readers without a Wall Street Journal subscription can access the piece via Twitter.

Vatican Alters Photo of Benedict’s Praise for Francis

The Stream - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 19:55

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican admitted Thursday that it altered a photo sent to the media of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis. The manipulation changed the meaning of the image in a way that violated photojournalist industry standards.

The Vatican’s communications office released the photo of the letter on Monday on the eve of Francis’ five-year anniversary. The letter was cited by Monsignor Dario Vigano, chief of communications, to rebut critics of Francis who question his theological and philosophical heft and say he represents a rupture from Benedict’s doctrine-minded papacy.

In the part of the letter that is legible in the photo, Benedict praised a new volume of books on the theology of Francis as evidence of the “foolish prejudice” of his critics. The book project, Benedict wrote, “helps to see the interior continuity between the two pontificates, with all the differences in style and temperament.”

The Vatican admitted to The Associated Press on Thursday that it blurred the two final lines of the first page where Benedict begins to explain that he didn’t actually read the books in question. He wrote that he cannot contribute a theological assessment of Francis as requested by Vigano because he has other projects to do.

A Vatican spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, didn’t explain why the Holy See blurred the lines other than to say it never intended for the full letter to be released. In fact, the entire second page of the letter is covered in the photo by a stack of books, with just Benedict’s tiny signature showing, to prove its authenticity.

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The missing content significantly altered the meaning of the quotes the Vatican chose to highlight, which were widely picked up by the media. Those quotes suggested that Benedict had read the volume, agreed with it and given it his full endorsement and assessment. The doctoring of the photo is significant because news media rely on Vatican photographers for images of the pope at events that are otherwise closed to independent media.

Vigano read parts of the letter during a press conference launching the volume, including the lines that were blurred out. A journalist who attended the presentation, Sandro Magister, transcribed Vigano’s comments and posted them on his blog. But Vigano didn’t read the whole letter. The Vatican didn’t respond to a request to see the full text.

Most independent news media, including The Associated Press, follow strict standards that forbid digital manipulation of photos.

“No element should be digitally added to or subtracted from any photograph,” read the AP norms, which are considered to be the industry standard among news agencies.

Vigano heads the Vatican’s new Secretariat for Communications, which has brought all Vatican media under one umbrella in a bid to reduce costs and improve efficiency, part of Francis’ reform efforts. The office’s recent message for the church’s World Day of Social Communications denounced “fake news” as evil and urged media to seek the truth.


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