Articles of Interest

Kansas budget, wind power, alternative fuels gone wild, newspaper bailouts, journalism entrepreneurship

House pushing big K-12 cuts (Topeka Capital-Journal) “The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a budget-reduction plan that would trim $100 million in state aid to public schools in Kansas. The 3.3 percent reduction for the upcoming 2010 fiscal year would help balance the state budget.” With K-12 schools consuming about half of state general fund spending, it’s surprising that is all they’re asked to sacrifice.

Wind farm to provide power to Greensburg homes, businesses (Wichita Eagle) A town destroyed by too much wind now seeks to benefit from wind. Actually, it’s milking the government subsidy that will benefit Greensburg: “And NativeEnergy Inc., a leader in climate solution services, will buy about two-thirds of the wind farm’s renewable energy credits over 20 years.” It’s unlikely this would be happening without taxpayer subsidy.

Brownback backs Open Fuels Standards Act (Kansas Liberty, a subscription service) “Republican Sen. Sam Brownback today endorsed the introduction of legislation that would require 50 percent of new cars to have the capability to operate on gasoline, ethanol and methanol or diesel or biodiesel.” This is more of government trying to plan the future of the automobile industry, this time from someone who is considered a conservative.

Kerry aims to rescue newspapers (Washington Times) “Troubled by the possible shuttering of his hometown paper, Sen. John Kerry reached out to the Boston Globe on Tuesday, then called for Senate hearings to address the woes of the nation’s print media.” Bailout fever continues to spread. If you think it’s bad for the federal government to run banks and automobile companies, just think how bad things will be when the press is beholden to people like Kerry for its survival.

True/Slant Tests Another Model Of Web Journalism (Wall Street Journal) “This week, a new Web news site is entering the fray, with a novel approach to journalistic entrepreneurship, new forms of advertising, and an effort to blend journalism and social networking.” This site’s address is trueslant.com. If journalism is to survive — and let us hope it thrives — it will serve America best if it is through private initiative like this, rather than through Sen. John Kerry’s government bailouts.

Alternative Fuel Folly (Kimberly A. Strassel in the Wall Street Journal) Describes how a paper company may reap a $1 billion annual windfall by simply continuing to do what it already does. It’s an example of how government policies often produce unintended effects.

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