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The official blog of the National Center for Public Policy Research, covering news, current events and public policy from a conservative, free-market and pro-Constitution perspective.

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Jesse Jackson: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is just published a short story about Project 21's press release of earlier today.

Jesse Jackson Urged to Sponsor Black Race Car Driver

( - A conservative African-American leadership network says Jesse Jackson should put his money where his mouth is -- by sponsoring a promising black race-car driver. Project 21 notes that Jackson has publicly complained about black drivers being excluded from NASCAR. Given this continuing dissatisfaction, Project 21 said Jackson should use some of the money NASCAR has given him "and use it to directly support an up-and-coming black driver -- a driver, for example, such as Herbie Bagwell, Jr." As reported earlier, on June 24, a board member of Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition renewed the attack on NASCAR, publicly charging that auto racing remains "the last bastion of white supremacy" in professional sports. According to Project 21, Bagwell - a racer since 1988 - recently was offered a race team for the upcoming Busch North Series after posting good testing times at the New Hampshire International Speedway. The $250,000 that NASCAR reportedly gave Jackson could be used to finance a driver like Bagwell throughout the six-race series, Project 21 said in a press release.


Volunteering for Dollars

In Al Hunt's Wall Street Journal column today, he complains about inadequate federal funding for AmericCorps volunteers.

If they need funding, why are they called "volunteers"?


Civility, Schmility

"If anyone disagrees with you or has a different point of view, you demonize them and label them as extremists." - Marty Hayden, legislative director of Earthjustice, complaining about press releases issued by House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) that criticize groups on the environmental left, Sacramento Bee, Sunday, June 29, 2003.

"The Bush administration has adopted a 'no tree left behind' policy when it comes to our national forests. Under the Bush administration, the timber industry is calling all the shots; leaving fish, wildlife and the American public out in the cold." - Marty Hayden to's Jeff Johnson while participating in a "21 Chainsaw Salute" protest demonstration outside the U.S. Forest Service Headquarters in Washington, July 3.


Make Way for Ducklings

"The one woman will throw herself into traffic to save baby ducks, but promotes human abortions as a career."

-Our executive director, David Almasi, commenting on a June 28 Washington Post story about the communications director of the National Abortion Federation, who "threw herself in front of a Metro bus" to protect wandering baby ducks.


Choosing to Chew - Why Do Advocates of Choice Draw the Line at Tobacco?

Annette Niebelski has an interesting point on the Capital Research Center website today:

Anti-smoking advocates don't want you to compare the health risks of smoking and using smokeless tobacco because they oppose all tobacco use. They tout a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, which shows smokeless tobacco leads to oral cancer rates higher than non-use. But they fail to point out that smokers who switch to smokeless tobacco reduce their risk of developing oral cancer by 50 percent. Also, it seems counter- intuitive for activists to campaign aggressively against second-hand smoke yet oppose smokeless tobacco.

Abstinence-only activists worry that if tobacco companies are allowed to show tobacco users how to minimize their health risks, the companies will entice new users. This is the impetus behind their campaigns attacking any kind of tobacco advertising.

But why should abstinence from tobacco be the only answer? The answer is that the activists are really arguing over morality. Many liberals tolerate promiscuity and drug use, but not tobacco. Most conservatives have strict moral objections to promiscuity and drug use, but don't think using tobacco is a sin. Both sides construct abstinence programs to reflect their moral opinions. An alternative like smokeless tobacco only seems incomprehensible if you are morally opposed to tobacco use.



Not everyone agrees with my rosy picture of Senator Hatch's work on a solution to the asbestos crisis. "D.C." e-mailed me to write, in part: "Please read today's WSJ editorial: Senator Hatch's long-awaited 'reform' makes things worse. This contrived issue of asbestos liability is a national embarrassment concocted by the trial lawyers and the Democrats to bleed successful people of their hard-earned money. In fact, everyone in their criminal conspiracy should be sued by people injured or burned by fires and explosions that would have been prevented had asbestos been in more common use."


Sue Me Before I Speak Again

The June 30 Wall Street Journal editorial page reports that after a group of tort reform advocates held a press conference recently, the speakers were immediately subpoenaed by a firm of trial lawyers.

The press conference was about class action abuses. The law firm has filed a class-action suit against Ford Motor Company. It apparently believes the topic of the press conference applies to its case.


The Last Bastion of White Supremacy

Members of Project 21, the conservative black organization that has been sponsored by The National Center since 1992, have announced their support for the National Legal and Policy Center's call to NASCAR to cease its support for Jesse Jackson.

According to Marc Morano at, NASCAR has donated at least $250,000 to Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

In grateful thanks, Bill Shack, a board member of Rainbow/PUSH has just given a speech calling auto racing organizations such as NASCAR "the last bastion of white supremacy."

A quick Google check found that many others in recent months have publicly been dubbed "the last bastion of white supremacy," among them: the University of Virginia, Columbia University, the South African rugby team, Minnesota's Guthrie Theater, the entire United States, all of academia, the Los Angeles police officers' union and many others.

Shack's gratitude is exceeded only by his originality.


Public Access to Yosemite National Park

Bonner Cohen, who just joined the National Center as a senior fellow after leaving the Lexington Institute, has a new piece on our website discussing the National Park Service's Yosemite Plan. It seems the Park Service wants to spend $442 million making Yosemite more difficult to visit for people who have small children or don't make a lot of money.

The goal, of course, is to make this popular park less popular. To be fair, the Park Service probably has nothing against families or lower-income people, but if you make visitors tote strollers on buses and eliminate 60 percent of the campsites that are accessible by car (but leave in place the more expensive hotel housing), you are bound to end up with older, richer visitors.

We could call it the graying -- or the whiting? -- of the National Park Service. The NPR crowd will be overrepresented.


What is this blog, and why is it here?

We've decided to create a blog in order to share news about The National Center for Public Policy Research as well as anything of interest to our staff and the many interesting people we work with and talk to.

For those who don't know, The National Center for Public Policy Research is a conservative/free-market public policy foundation located just a little bit north of the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C. We've been here -- well, in various locations on Capitol Hill -- since 1982, and we've seen a lot of interesting people and issues come and go.

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