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Reason Alert: Giuliani, Jeb Bush in Action

July 19, 2007

Innovators in Action
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and several other local and state officials demonstrate how governments can tackle bureaucracy, streamline operations and become more accountable to taxpayers in a new Reason Foundation publication, Innovators in Action. In their own words, these leaders reveal how they are reducing government spending; collaborating with the private sector to deliver cost-savings and better services to taxpayers; using public-private partnerships to build roads their governments couldn't afford on their own; working with high-tech firms to improve technology and increase Internet usage without using taxpayer money; and reforming Medicaid, health and social services.
» Innovators in Action
» Rudy Giuliani: Management Requires Measurement
» Jeb Bush: Improvement Requires Willingness to Change

Prepare for "Plan C" and Give Washington an "F" in Iraq
Reason's Michael Young, opinion editor of the Daily Star in Beirut, writes, "That Iraq is an American mess is an understatement. However, like many messes, it is a metastasizing one. American politicians are panicking, and in so doing are making many more mistakes than they need to make—so that we can spread the blame across the political spectrum. President George W. Bush has the right instincts in believing that the only way to prevail in a place like Iraq is to make an open-ended commitment, with no talk of withdrawal. There are no quick fixes in Iraq, and no obvious slow ones either. But that's hardly enough. Bush seems to have no real clue about what to do next and is going through the same flawed thought processes as those of Richard Nixon in 1969, when he sought to engineer 'peace with honor' in Vietnam, while facing a public mostly focused on the 'peace' part of the equation. Like Nixon, Bush is fiddling with the switches, even if he, correctly, sees any talk of withdrawal at home as weakening his bargaining hand in Iraq. The military is preparing a plan to cut troop levels in quieter northern Iraq by half in the next 12 to 18 months. Nixon did much the same thing during his first year in office, mainly to reduce domestic political resentment; but this did not alter his desire to pursue, even escalate, the Vietnamese conflict."
» Michael Moynihan: Blaming the Press for Iraq

Oil Prices Surge
Crude oil closed at $75.92 a barrel today and the national average for a gallon of gasoline is over $3. Reason magazine's award-winning science correspondent Ronald Bailey examines this week's reports suggesting that higher oil prices are here to stay: "Seventy-seven percent of world oil reserves are owned by national oil companies. Unfortunately, national oil companies are located in technologically backward countries without access to world-class production expertise and adequate supplies of capital. As the [International Energy Agency] IEA diplomatically puts it, 'Often political and social spending needs grow to the point where oil exploration and development investment is compromised, in turn reducing oil and gas exports.' And this is happening. Major oil producers such as Venezuela, Mexico, Russia, and Iran are using oil revenues to bribe their people and not investing enough to maintain future oil production. To make matters worse, Venezuela is seizing a number of oil production projects operated by private international companies. Russia has done the same. Few investors are eager to invest in oil production in Iran and Iraq given current geopolitical realities. The IEA projects that there will no net expansion in oil production in Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria between now and 2012."
» Bailey: Turning Corn, Foods into Fuel May Not Be a Good Idea

Is Bill Richardson a Libertarian Democrat?
Reason's David Weigel isn't ready to call presidential candidate Bill Richardson a libertarian Democrat, but says he is more libertarian than the Democratic front-runners: "Richardson isn’t driven by libertarian principles. He’s simply a realist: more impressed by markets, and less impressed by central planning, than any other Democrat in the race. And that matters. Richardson would not be a semi-serious contender for the presidency if he hadn't looked at New Mexico's problems through 'Market Democrat' goggles. That's how he earned his marquee achievements, and that's how his credibility grew. Hardly anyone expects Richardson to win the nomination. He consistently polls in the high single digits, well behind the three front-runners. He has none of their interest group support either, and he hasn't stood out in the debates. But he's a strong contender for the vice-presidential nomination, and Richardson knows his libertarian talk has boosted his image."
» Jesse Walker: The Ron Paul Movement

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