TROY: Leaky Leon Strikes Again
| June 7, 2013 | 11:07 am | Tevi Troy | No comments

In 2009, I warned in this space that Obama CIA nominee Leon Panetta was the most likely leaker of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s “benign neglect” memo to the New York Times in 1970. Moynihan was a Nixon White House aide at the time, and he had written the memo to President Nixon to make the case that “in quantifiable terms, which are reliable, the American Negro is making extraordinary progress.” Because of this, Moynihan argued, the administration should try to promote moderate African-American voices and try to marginalize radicals.

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Gerson: George W. Bush, A Principled President
| April 29, 2013 | 9:43 am | Michael Gerson | No comments

Published for The Washington Post, April 25, 2012

The dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum here has been an occasion for both friends and critics of the former president to press their case. According to the polls, the number of critics has fallen over time. They make up for it with enthusiasm.

I fall into the friend category, having worked for President Bush for several years beginning early in the 2000 campaign. There are a number of reasons to join a presidential campaign, not least of which is the main-stage, high-wire excitement. But I can recall the day I decided that my guy was the guy. Bush, campaigning at a town-hall meeting in Gaffney, S.C., got a question demanding to know how he would stop the flow of illegal immigrants. He took the opportunity to remind his rural, conservative audience that “family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande” and that as long as “moms and dads” in Mexico couldn’t feed their children at home, they would seek opportunity in America.

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VIDEO: Fratto on MSNBC – On The Bush Administration
| April 25, 2013 | 10:32 am | Tony Fratto | No comments

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Hennessey: George W. Bush Is Smarter Than You
| April 24, 2013 | 1:21 pm | Keith Hennessey | No comments

Published April 24, 2013

The new George W. Bush Presidential Center is being dedicated this week. This seems like a good time to bust a longstanding myth about our former President, my former boss.

I teach a class at Stanford Business School titled “Financial Crises in the U.S. and Europe.” During one class session while explaining the events of September 2008, I kept referring to the efforts of the threesome of Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, and Tim Geithner, who were joined at the hip in dealing with firm-specific problems as they arose.

One of my students asked “How involved was President Bush with what was going on?” I smiled and responded, “What you really mean is, ‘Was President Bush smart enough to understand what was going on,’ right?”

The class went dead silent. Everyone knew that this was the true meaning of the question. Kudos to that student for asking the hard question and for framing it so politely. I had stripped away that decorum and exposed the raw nerve.

I looked hard at the 60 MBA students and said “President Bush is smarter than almost every one of you.”

More silence.

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VIDEO: Fratto on KXAS Dallas – The Bush Library
| April 24, 2013 | 10:57 am | Tony Fratto | No comments

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VIDEO: Fratto on KDFW Dallas – The Bush Library
| April 24, 2013 | 10:56 am | Tony Fratto | No comments

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VIDEO: Fratto on KTVT Dallas – The Bush Library
| April 24, 2013 | 10:47 am | Tony Fratto | No comments

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VIDEO: Fratto on CNBC – Companies Cutting Costs, Not Hiring
| April 22, 2013 | 2:40 pm | Tony Fratto | No comments

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Rosen: Fishing for a reason to regulate
| April 16, 2013 | 5:28 pm | Jeff Rosen | No comments

Published for The Hill Congress Blog, April 16, 2013

This Thursday, when the Senate holds its hearing on President Obama’s nomination of Gina McCarthy for EPA administrator, attention is likely to be focused on the many costly rules that EPA has issued during the last four years, and the additional ones now planned. During the president’s first term, the administration issued more than 200 economically significant new rules each involving more than $100 million in new annual costs — a record high for any president’s first term — and EPA alone accounted for more than 25 new economically significant final rules, with annual costs in the billions of dollars by EPA’s own estimates.

The administration has argued that these regulatory costs are justified, by asserting high “benefits” that exceed their costs. It is to the president’s credit that he has continued to require cost-benefit analysis of major rules to ensure they do more good than harm, as presidents of both parties have required in the past. But with regard to EPA, what has been less noticed than the high cost of the agency’s rules is that there is considerable reason to be skeptical about how EPA is assessing the benefits that it claims. Though environmental goals often deservedly command wide support, careful analysts have noted that EPA has overstated benefits and included things that ought not count at all. (See Dudley, 47 Business Economics 165, July 2012.) As one example, an ongoing action by EPA illustrates just how far agencies may go to find supposed “benefits” to justify new red tape.

In 2011, EPA proposed a new regulation governing the equipment that power plants and manufacturing facilities use to draw in water to prevent overheating. These water intake systems generally are not harmful to health or water quality, but EPA’s staff expressed concerns primarily about their effect on larvae and forage fish — commonly known as “bait”. To reduce losses of such fish, EPA wants to require installation of advanced screens at 1,200 facilities and dramatically more expensive technologies to be decided later on a site-by-site basis.

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VIDEO: Fratto on CNBC – on Obama Budget
| April 10, 2013 | 9:43 am | Tony Fratto | No comments

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