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  • Play Movie Petraeus Testimony Background Video Recorded on February 29, 2008 Petraeus Testimony Background

    Kirk Johnson of the Heritage Foundation talks about General Petraeus' testimony to Capitol Hill.…

  • WebMemo posted September 13, 2007 by Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. A Baghdad Statistician's Perspective on the Positives and Negativesof Polling in Iraq

    Opinion polls can provide some insight into the thoughts of broad populations and have been used to gauge public perception for decades in the United States and other Western countries. Since shortly after the start of the conflict in Iraq, household surveys have been conducted by a variety of news outlets, non-governmental organizations, and other groups in order to…

  • WebMemo posted September 11, 2007 by Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. After the Petraeus/Crocker Hearings: Four Issues for Congress

    Now that General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker have made their long-awaited statements to Congress, what should policymakers and the public take away from the hearings? And what should guide the debate on Iraq going forward? Naturally, there was a great deal of discussion from both men on the varying facets of the surge, but there are four issues that…

  • WebMemo posted September 10, 2007 by Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. Understanding Violence and Civilian Casualty Rates in Iraq: AnInsider?s View

    When General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testify before Congress this week, much of the discussion will focus on population security. Civilian casualty rates, in particular, are a very important measure of success in Iraq. Though some critics of U.S. Iraq strategy focus on rates of sectarian violence, broader measures present a better picture of the…

  • WebMemo posted September 7, 2007 by Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. Making Progress: What to Expect from General Petraeus andAmbassador Crocker's Report on Iraq

    On September 10, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker will report to Congress on the status of U.S. and Coalition efforts in Iraq. While many Members of Congress will use the opportunity to assail U.S. efforts there, these two men will have a number of important points to make. Though no one knows with certainty what will be said in the hearings, recent…

  • WebMemo posted May 19, 2006 by Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. The SAFE Visa: A Good Starting Point for a Truly Temporary Guest Worker Proposal

    The current battle over the guest worker provisions of the Senate's Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (CIRA, S. 2611) centers on the amount of time that guest workers would be allowed to remain in the United States. As Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) noted, "There is nothing temporary about this guest worker program,"[1] and he is correct. The current bill would…

  • WebMemo posted April 6, 2006 by Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. The Senate Compromise on Immigration: A Path to Amnesty for Up to 10 Million

    The Senate's compromise on immigration reform, which could be put to a vote as soon as the evening of April 6, is a problematic approach to the issue of illegal immigration. Brokered by Senators Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE), the compromise deal has the following broad provisions: Likely amnesty for immigrants in country five or more years: These…

  • Commentary posted March 15, 2006 by Tim Kane, Ph.D., Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. Immigration: "Neither Preference Nor Prejudice"

    There's a difference between having an "open door" policy and having no doors at all. The U.S. economy has been strengthened perpetually via its open doors. Free flows of immigration, trade and capital have fueled the wealthiest economy in history. But the continued success of this policy hinges on us knowing who is attempting to come through those doors -- that…

  • Backgrounder posted March 1, 2006 by Tim Kane, Ph.D., Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. The Real Problem with Immigration... and the Real Solution

    America's exceptional status as a "nation of immigrants" is being challenged by globalization, which is making both migration and terrorism much easier. The biggest challenge for policymakers is distinguishing illusory immigration problems from real problems. One thing is quite clear: The favored approach of recent years-a policy of benign neglect-is no longer…

  • White Paper posted October 27, 2005 by Robert Rector, Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. Teenage Sexual Abstinence and Academic Achievement

    Introduction There is strong and widespread support of teaching sexual abstinence to American teens. Over 90 percent of parents, at a minimum, want teens to be taught to abstain from sexual activity until they have at least finished high school. (Some 84 percent of parents favor teaching a stronger standard: abstinence until a couple is married or close…

  • WebMemo posted October 19, 2005 by Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D., Tim Kane, Ph.D. "Recapturing" Visas: A Sensible Temporary Fix for America's Foreign Worker Problem

    On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark up a technical amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act as part of a reconciliation bill that would recapture unused H-1B and immigrant employment ("EB") visas from previous years. Chief among the benefits of this reform are that it would increase flexibility in hiring foreign workers, would…

  • WebMemo posted October 6, 2005 by Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. The Looming Problem of Long-Term Care and Medicaid Spending

    In 2008, the oldest of the baby boomers will turn 62, become eligible for Social Security benefits, and begin to retire en masse. As the retired population swells, so will the number of seniors living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Because the Medicaid program often pays for these long-term care services, the aging of the baby boomers will…

  • Backgrounder posted October 5, 2005 by Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. How Immigration Reform Could Help Alleviate the Teacher Shortage

    Before each new school year, there is a predictable barrage of news stories lamenting the lack of qualified public school teachers, especially in the hard-to-fill areas of math and science. This year, math and science teacher shortages have been reported across the nation, from Alabama to Nevada and from Texas to Utah. There are a number of potential ways to…

  • WebMemo posted August 30, 2005 by Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D., Rea S. Hederman, Jr. New Census Bureau Report Underscores the Need for More Pro-Growth Policies

    On August 30, 2005, the Census Bureau reported that the poverty rate was essentially unchanged in 2004 and that the level of income inequality was unchanged, as well.[1] Still, expect the familiar refrain that the "rich are getting richer" to be echoed once again. It is important to understand what the Census numbers on poverty and income inequality really say…

  • WebMemo posted July 18, 2005 by Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D., Jonathan Butcher What to Make of the New NAEP Scores?

    Last week, the National Center for Education Statistics released its new "long-term trend" data on math and reading achievement, known as the "Nation's Report Card," or National Assessment of Educational Progress. The new data show statistically significant improvements among 9-year-olds in reading and math and among 13-year-olds in math.[1] The U.S. Department…