Reason Alert E-News

Reason Alert: McCain’s Fiction, Clinton’s Glass Ceiling

  • Fact or Fiction with John McCain and the Media
  • It Takes a Family (to Break a Glass Ceiling)
  • Footloose: Arizona County Bans Dancing at Restaurant
  • DOT Encourages Congestion Pricing at NY Airports
  • Evolutionary Politics

Fact or Fiction with John McCain and the Media
Sen. John McCain is a media darling credited with his “Straight Talk Express” and “maverick” views. But Reason magazine’s Editor in Chief Matt Welch, author of the book McCain: The Myth of a Maverick, urges journalists to “please try to tell readers who he actually is, rather than who you’d like him to be.” Welch details numerous examples of the media ignoring McCain’s record, writing, “The State newspaper of Columbia, South Carolina, would have us believe the following: ‘John McCain has shown more clearly than anyone on the American political scene today that he loves his country, and would never mislead or dishonor it. He is almost unique in his determination to do what is right, whatever the cost.‘ Never mislead? Does a ‘lie’ count as misleading in South Carolina? Because that’s what McCain repeatedly copped to, after flip-flopping in the Palmetto State during the 2000 campaign on the Confederate flag, calling it a ‘symbol of racism’ one day and a ‘state’s rights’ issue the next…But the most boggling (and significant) McCain legend being perpetuated by editorial boards is the following: ‘McCain is strong on national defense but he’s no warmonger.‘ John McCain was the neoconservatives’ great hope in 2000, running as an interventionist against George Bush’s purported ‘humble’ realism. He is the third generation in a family whose basic bedrock belief is that U.S. military power alone can and must guarantee world safety. He told me personally that America’s percentage of global defense spending-currently more than one-half-is too small. When you ask him about the propriety of having U.S. troops in Iraq for 100 years, he doesn’t even understand the question. He sees imminent threats from North Korea to China to Iran.”
» McCain: The Myth of a Maverick
» McCain: No Surrender!
» Be Afraid of President McCain

It Takes a Family (to Break a Glass Ceiling)
In a column for The New York Times, Reason magazine’s Kerry Howley writes, “Hillary Clinton’s rise to power, unsettling as it is, follows a time-tested pattern for the breaking of gender barriers…Like it or not, the road to female advancement often begins at the altar. History books are thick with examples of women who broke political barriers because their family connections afforded them the opportunity. If you’ve ever wondered why India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan and the Philippines seem readier to elect women than does the United States, here’s your answer: Societies that value a candidate’s family affiliation, and therefore have a history of nepotistic succession, are often open to female leadership so long as it bears the right brand. Benazir Bhutto, Indira Gandhi and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, among many others, slashed through gender barriers on the strength of their family names. In the United States, where a poll last year found that 14 percent of people still admit they would not vote for a woman, nepotistic advancement for women in politics was most common early in the 20th century. As Jo Freeman, the feminist political scientist, has pointed out, six of the first 14 women elected to Congress were widows of incumbents. Three more were the daughters of politicians.”
» The Pantsuit Paradox

Footloose: Arizona County Bans Dancing at Restaurant
The newest Drew Carey video tells the story of Dale and Spencer Bell. The Bell’s dream of owning a family restaurant in Pinal County, Arizona, quickly turned into a nightmare filled with meddling politicians abusing their power. In September 2006, the county declared that since the Bell’s restaurant features live country music on its patio and allows diners to get out of their chairs and dance that the steakhouse is not a restaurant, but a “dance hall.” By declaring it a dance hall, local politicians were able to invoke a 1962 law that requires dance halls to be “fully enclosed,” which of course the San Tan Flat is not. So if the Bells don’t stop their customers from dancing they could be fined up to $700 a night, or more than $200,000 a year.
» Archive of’s Drew Carey Videos

DOT Encourages Congestion Pricing at NY Airports
Earlier this week, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced the Department of Transportation will allow airports to use congestion pricing to help reduce air travel delays. Reason’s Robert Poole, a long-time advocate of congestion pricing, says if pricing is implemented at New York’s delay-plagued airports it will “motivate airlines to make the highest and best use of runway capacity, while generating the funding to expand capacity.”
» Frequently Asked Questions About Airport Pricing
» Poole’s Air Traffic Reform Newsletter

Evolutionary Politics
“Biological evolution became a hot topic in the presidential campaign last May when Republican presidential hopefuls were asked during a debate if ‘there was anybody on the stage that does not agree, believe in evolution?’ Three held up their hands, Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.), Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.) and former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.). Evolution deniers Brownback and Tancredo have now dropped out of the race. So what do all the remaining candidates-Republican and Democratic-think about biological evolution? And does it matter?” – Reason’s Ronald Bailey details each presidential candidate’s stance on evolution and science and concludes, “Since science and technology policy issues are only going to become more important as the 21st century unfolds, we should all care how scientific knowledge informs a president’s leadership.”