- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Our American Revival: The title suggests camaraderie, patriotism and purpose. It is also the name of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker‘s new political action committee, launched Tuesday and raising the volume on rumors he would run for president in 2016. Well, sure. Mr. Walker has been delicately developing his political brand, starting with “Unintimidated: A Governor’s story and a Nation’s Challenge,” his 2013 memoir. But it’s a very crowded marketplace, and memoirs plus PACs are very much a part of the equation.

Mr. Walker’s PAC now joins those of his rivals. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has the Leadership Matters for America PAC. Sen. Marco Rubio offers the Reclaim America PAC while Sen. Ted Cruz steers the Stand for Principle PAC. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal founded the Believe Again PAC while Sen. Rand Paul has RandPAC and Ben Carson the One Nation PAC. Libertarian Gary Johnson pushes Our American Initiative PAC while Jeb Bush is the pointman behind the Right to Rise PAC — well, sort of. He is candid about borrowing inspiration from a certain Wisconsin lawmaker.

“Paul Ryan recently coined a smart phrase to describe the core concept of economic freedom: The right to rise. Think about it. We talk about the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to assembly. The right to rise doesn’t seem like something we should have to protect. But we do,” Mr. Bush noted in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last month.

This flock of Republican PACs are only a few of the offerings, meanwhile. Democratic hopefuls have their own, like Martin O’Malley‘s O’Say Can You See PAC. And there are many unofficial PACs, founded by devoted fans or even former employees of potential candidates. But back to Mr. Walker, a business-minded tactician who personally appeared at the opening of a Harley Davidson shop in China, arriving astride a formidable chopper, wearing black leather and aviator sunglasses. He also managed to snag an hourlong meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.


“Our American Revival encompasses the shared values that make our country great,” Mr. Walker says of the new PAC. “Limiting the powers of the federal government to those defined in the Constitution while creating a leaner, more efficient, more effective and more accountable government to the American people,” Mr. Walker said in a statement. And there’s no time like the present to strike a presidential pose on a snappy stage.

He will be in the nation’s capital on Friday, incidentally, delivering a lecture at the American Action Forum, a center-right policy institute scholarly group which includes the likes of Fred Malek, C. Boyden Gray, Michael Chertoff and Douglas Holtz-Eakin among its scholarly population. And yes, Mr. Walker plans a trip to New Hampshire - but not until March according to the New Hampshire Register.


Sen. Dan Sullivan delivered his first speech before his peers in the Senate on Tuesday, this following much hubbub over the Obama administration’s new plan to reserve 12 million acres of Alaskan wilderness that also happens to contain the state’s prime oil reserves. The Alaskan Republican has already deemed the plan “outrageous.” In his formal speech, he went on to praise the Keystone XL pipeline, advising the White House, “Mr. President, in supporting Keystone, I’m also standing for a larger, more important principle. The ideal that the federal government should be a partner in opportunity, a partner in progress, not an obstacle.”

And one more thing. The lawmaker also discussed his own amendment to the Keystone bill that would disarm Environmental Protection Agency personnel, prompted after some Alaskans were unnerved by EPA agents who wore body armor and carried rifles while investigating violations of the Clean Water Act. “I’m all for a country with an armed citizenry. As a Marine, I’ve taken an oath to defend and fight for this Constitutional freedom,” said Mr. Sullivan. “However, I am not for a country with an armed bureaucracy.”


The press is eager for more details about the person who flew an ill-fated drone onto the White House lawn at 3 a.m. on Monday. But one inquiring mind wants to know this: Did the White House actually bring down that hobbyist drone that fell so unceremoniously?

“The White House won’t comment on whether or not they took any special steps to bring down the small UAV. But the White House may have employed the same anti-drone technology that the military is trying to perfect to protect ships and planes from future drone swarms. There are plenty of ways to knock a drone out of the sky, everything from surface to air missiles to hunter-killer robots to, yes, lasers. But for a cheap off-the-shelf drones operating off a simple radio or Wi-Fi signal, the best method is simple jamming,” writes Patrick Tucker, technology editor for Defense One.

He noted that Raytheon makes a $10 billion “Next Generation Jammer” for military use, and the palm-sized Cyborg Unplug costs $66. And he still wonders about the White House mystery drone. “Reports suggest that the drone seems to have crashed on its own, begging the question, is the White House equipped with an off-the-shelf drone jamming kit? If not, why not?” Mr. Tucker asked.


Liberty-minded analysts at the Competitive Enterprise Institute have done a tally revealing that in 2014 alone, 3,541 new regulations hit the books, and the burden of their upkeep and the impact on productivity is constantly growing. The ultimate toll on the economy: $1.9 trillion. “If federal regulations were a country, their cost would amount to the world’s 10th largest economy,” notes “Free to Prosper” a study and policy agenda released Tuesday focused on eight economic issues and policy tactics that could free up the nation’s innovators from bureaucratic tethers.

“The choice is not between regulating and not regulating, but rather expanding opportunities and access to capital for all Americans instead of hindering them with a massive, regulatory burden imposed by Washington,” says Lawson Bader, president of the group. “The hidden and growing regulatory state deserves more attention, he says, noting that the agenda “puts Congress back in the driver’s seat to create real regulatory reform.”

Find the 94-page agenda — free to download — here: CEI.org


“Tip of the Costberg”

— Uh-oh. Beware the costberg, jutting out of the sea of success. From Wayne Crews, a Competitive Enterprise Institute analyst; he warns of the “tip of the costberg” — the array of federal regulatory costs, and the economic impact of government over-regulation.


81 percent of American “bootstrapped” entrepreneurs expect their business to grow faster in 2015 than last year.

72 percent say they find their most significant hires through “word of mouth.”

73 percent say their most important recruiting tool is the “great culture” at their business.

67 percent expect to hire more people in 2015 than last year.

57 percent say “finding good people to hire” is still their biggest challenge.

53 percent cay “competitive compensation” is the biggest draw for potential employees.

Source: A Mainsail Partners “Bootstrapped Sentiment Survey” of 460 entrepreneurs conducted in November-December 2014 and released Tuesday.

Rumors and rumors of rumors to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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