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OpenMarket: June 2007

  • Bureaucrash Does Dallas (Morning News)

    June 30, 2007
    Congratulations to Jason and our friends at Americans for Prosperity and the Moving Picture Institute for their recent anti-Sicko demonstration here in DC. Photos and video available here. Better yet, the protest has garnered a mention in Jason Robertson's story about Sicko in the Dallas Morning News:
    Weeks before the film opened, some health care activist groups began sending e-mails to journalists disputing Mr. Moore's assessment of America's health care system, as well as the efficiency of systems in other countries. Bureaucrash, an international activist group based in...
  • Entrepreneurs' victory as House passes Sarbox relief

    June 30, 2007
    Entrepreneurs savored a small but significant victory last night in a surprise House vote that extended for one year an exemption for small public companies from burdensome requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley act. The measure's success and support from a significant number of Democrats once again illustrates that Sarbanes-Oxley relief is has become a populist issue. Much of the public now correctly associates Sarbox with the burdens it places on honest entrepreneurial firms such as the Max & Erma's regional hamburger chain, rather than its intended effort rein in companies like Enron.
  • AEI Panel Discussion about the bipartisan trade deal - Continued

    June 30, 2007
    Kimberly Ann Elliot, senior fellow with the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, contended that labor and environmental standards do have role to play, but that the FTAs are too intrusive as they are now. She claimed that the US does not do anything to have a true positive effect on the actual enforcement of labor laws. It is indeed anti-democratic and patronizing to force democracies to adopt certain standards by FTAs. However, she did not want to say that the the agreements was not worth the deal. The person with the most libertarian approach to trade was Avind Panagariya, Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University. He contended that most of the partners the US has chosen are not the ones to choose if we actually want to improve free trade. If this was the case, we should focus on larger nations like Brazil and China. The FTAs...
  • LOST at Sea

    June 29, 2007
    Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media quotes our beloved Fred in his column today about the Law of the Sea Treaty, and the debate over ratification that went on recently at the Heritage Foundation:
    In a release, [House Republican Whip Roy] Blunt declared, "More than 25 years ago, President Reagan refused to commit this country to a treaty that would've weakened our sovereignty at home, and rendered American companies less competitive abroad…We need all the energy we can get, whenever and wherever we can get it. Submitting ourselves to an unelected, unaccountable international ocean bureaucracy when it comes to distributing what American companies rightfully mine doesn't strike me as a good thing to do―25 years ago, today, tomorrow, or in the future." At the Heritage event, Fred Smith of the...
  • Fred on Philanthropy in WSJ

    June 29, 2007
    Fred Smith, the president of CEI, was featured in today's Wall Street Journal in a letter to the editor responding to Robert Barro's commentary on Bill Gates ("Bill Gates's Charitable Vistas," editorial page, June 19). In the piece Fred argues that wealth creation is much more affective at reducing poverty than philanthropy, especially in the case of Mr. Gates:
    Traditional philanthropy is collective, tribal, even. The donor feels noble; paternalism reigns; poverty is perpetuated. Extending the institutions of economic liberty -- even to the limited degree that this has occurred in China and India -- has done more good than would have been achieved had Mr. Gates liquidated Microsoft and shipped all that money to Africa.
    Though some might disagree that Bill...
  • George H.W. Bush Only Feared One Opponent Enough to Put Him in Jail

    June 29, 2007

    Dave Weigel has a great post today on the Wacky World of Lyndon LaRouche over at Hit & Run. We often see the acolytes of LLR here in DC near OpenMarket Blog Headquarters on the corner of Connecticut and K Streets. They pass out pamphlets, they chant, they sing, but most of all they annoy with a vengeance. As Dave points out, though, this is the first presidential election cycle since
    1976 that has not seen LaRouche running for the Democratic nomination. He's getting on in years, so his college-aged cultists will have to pick up the torch.

    Also, here's a little celebrity prison trivia from an old version of his Wikipedia entry archived on

    LaRouche did not stop all political activity while in prison. He ran for...

  • Grindhouse Grinds Down Crime

    June 29, 2007
    It's received wisdom that violent movies encourage violence and that if only we were like our enlightened European cousins and restricted violence in movie theaters, we'd move instantly to a cafe society with low crime rates and gang-bangers discussing Sartre over strong coffee. Yes, I exaggerate, but whenever a study comes out that looks at the neurological responses to violent movies, that is the subtext of every article written. Yet as with everything CEI deals with, the real story is a risk-risk trade-off. While the neurology certainly suggests an increase in violent impulses, the empirical evidence suggests that the act of watching the movie itself incapacitates those impulses:
  • Riffing on Jonah

    June 29, 2007
    I testified yesterday at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on "global warming issues and the power plant sector." Both my written and oral remarks began with a riff on Jonah Goldberg's NRO column, "Global Cooling Costs Too Much." Here's what I told the assembled saviors of the planet:
    Thank you, Chairman Boxer and members of this committee for inviting me to testify today. Jonah Goldberg, the columnist, notes that Earth warmed about 0.7 degrees Celsius in the 20th century while global GDP increased by some 1,800 percent. For the sake of argument, says Goldberg, let's agree that all of the warming was anthropogenic—the result of...
  • Every Day is Christmas When You're an Ethanol Producer

    June 29, 2007
    Our good friend Tim Carney has an excellent op-ed today in the Examiner on who's getting screwed and who's getting rich off of the energy legislation that's currently making its way through Congress:
    While raising the CAFE [Corporate Average Fuel Economy] requirements would be a stick in the eye of the Big Three (whose political action committees [PACs] in 2006 gave about $1.3 million to federal candidates), it would clearly be a gift to the ethanol industry, whose strong connections to lawmakers are legendary. Ethanol, an alcohol fuel made from grain, usually corn, benefits from special tax breaks, protective tariffs, and federal and state handouts, as well as government mandates. In the 2006 election cycle, the PAC for Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), the nation's top ethanol maker, gave $120,000 to federal candidates while fellow agribusiness giant Cargill, No. 2 in...
  • Thieves Fall Out

    June 29, 2007
    My colleague Marlo Lewis testified at a painfully comic hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday on "examining global warming issues in the power plant sector". Marlo's testimony is well worth reading, as is the testimony of two other witnesses: Bob Murray, chairman and CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, one of the biggest independent coal companies in the country: and Tom Borelli of the Free Enterprise Action Fund. But I write to discuss the testimony of three heads of major electric utilities and of two leading 'viros....


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