Today’s Links: February 14, 2012


DAVID WEIGEL: “Why Super PACs Are Good for Democracy
“It’s getting harder to argue that super PACs have horribly degraded our elections. In this first presidential election since the dawn of the supers, they have actually—and probably by accident!—given us a more competitive, transparent Republican primary. They are, in a sense, a good thing for our democracy.”

JERRY BRITO and TATE WATKINS: “Cyberwar is the New Yellowcake, Fueling a Cybersecurity-Industrial Complex
“The reason cybersecurity legislation is so pressing, proponents say, is that we face an immediate risk of national disaster. […] Yet evidence to sustain such dire warnings is conspicuously absent. In many respects, rhetoric about cyber catastrophe resembles threat inflation we saw in the run-up to the Iraq War. And while Congress’ passing of comprehensive cybersecurity legislation wouldn’t lead to war, it could saddle us with an expensive and overreaching cyber-industrial complex.”

DON BOUDREAUX: “Looking High and Low for Sources of Economic Growth
“High-skilled immigrants are sexy.  By definition, they possess talents that are rare relative to the skills possessed by the bulk of workers in both developing anddeveloped countries.  High-skilled immigrants, therefore, stand apart from other immigrants as well as from most workers in destination countries. […] [But] a focus on the (very real) benefits of a liberalized policy toward high-skilled immigrants removes attention from the (very real) benefits of a liberalized policy toward low-skilled immigrants.  Put differently, treating the immigration of high-skilled workers separately misleadingly suggests that a categorical distinction separates high-skilled immigrants from low-skilled immigrants.”


CANADA – Online Surveillance Critics Accused of Supporting Child Porn
“Critics of a bill that would give law enforcement new powers to access Canadians’ electronic communications are aligning themselves with child pornographers, Canada’s public safety minister says.”

BUDGET – Obama’s Budget: Government Still Getting Bigger
“Taking a pass on reining in government growth, President Barack Obama unveiled a record $3.8 trillion election-year budget plan Monday, calling for stimulus-style spending on roads and schools and tax hikes on the wealthy to help pay the costs. The ideas landed with a thud on Capitol Hill.”

AIR TRAVEL FEES – Fliers Griping Over Obama “Grope Hike”
“No grope tax! That’s the message from Bay State fliers, already saddled with sky-high ticket prices and now fuming over the president’s proposal to triple the cost of passenger security fees — which would force travelers to fork over almost eight bucks for getting groped or scanned at airports by the Transportation Security Administration.”