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Today's Links: February 22, 2012

OPINION

MORT ZUCKERMAN: "The Cost of Obama's Keystone XL Dithering"
"The original Keystone pipeline won approval after two years and is operational. But in 2013, the Keystone XL (extension) will be in its fourth year of review, a Great Dither not justified when the State Department conducted three consecutive environmental reviews to reach its conclusion of minimal environmental impact. In that time, there have been many public hearings to satisfy local communities and private property owners. More than a dozen alternative routes have been surveyed, and TransCanada Corp., the builder, agreed to 57 special conditions beyond current federal pipeline regulations."

EMILY RICHMOND: "Will Rasing the School Attendance Age Lower the Dropout Rate?"
"Even as President Obama urges states to raise the minimum attendance age to 18, public schools nationwide are struggling to get the students who are already required to be there to show up.  [...] [E]xperts say measures such as raising the minimum attendance age are  unlikely to have a significant impact on the dropout rate . The underlying issue -- how to make students see school as a relevant, and meaningful experience that they willingness want to engage in -- still has to be solved."

MICHAEL TANNER: "We're Already Europe"
"With seemingly every day bringing more bad news from Europe, many are beginning to ask how much longer the United States has before our welfare state follows the European model into bankruptcy. The bad news is: It may already have."

NEWS

MILITARIZATION OF POLICE - Lenco Tank Purchase at Center of New Hampshire Furor
"New Hampshire residents in Keene have managed to block a plan by its council to purchase what was described by its Mayor Kendall Lane as a ‘tank.’ The Lenco Industries BearCat G3 was set to be added to the local law enforcement fleet at a cost of $285,933, courtesy of a grant from the Department of Homeland Security."

FACETIOUS LEGISLATORS - Democratic Women Seek a State Ban on Vasectomies For Men
"This afternoon, the House Judiciary (Non-Civil) Committee will take up HB 954, a measure that would prohibit abortions on women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant. [...] In response, House Democrats have scheduled a 3 p.m. Wednesday hearing at the state Capitol, to propose a bill that would ban Georgia males from seeking vasectomies. From the press release: 'Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies,' said Rep. Yasmin Neal, author of the bill."

IMMIGRATION - Immigration Enforcement Program to Be Shut Down
"The Obama administration is starting to shut down a program that deputized local police officers to act as immigration agents."