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OpenMarket: November 2007

  • Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer

    November 7, 2007
    Anyone who thinks history is a dry and dull subject should read James Swanson's Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. His fascinating book brings to life the 12 days after Lincoln's assassination so effectively that you almost feel almost as if you were living through the period yourself. The dialogue in Manhunt is so real and vivid that some reviewers have erroneously described it as a novel, rather than as a history. Yet, amazingly, the dialogue is drawn word-for-word from firsthand accounts of what actually happened during this tumultuous period. It makes you see through the eyes of people who actually lived in the Civil War and its aftermath. In that respect, it is much like William Safire's historical novel Freedom, which brought...
  • Bad omen for freedom of the press in Sweden, again...

    November 7, 2007
    You might have heard about the chaos surrounding the Swedish executive branch lately. First, an undersecretary that was on call for the evening was caught on camera making out with a television reporter covering said executive office. The undersecretary was supposedly tipsy at the time. She was finally let go with a 2 million Swedish kronor parachute that will be paid out over the next two years. Enter replacement undersecretary, who barely made it more than a couple of days in the office before the headlines exposed her use of black market construction labor to the tune of about 60 thousand Swedish kronor. The most recent development is that the proscutor's office raided the television station of the reporter the first...
  • Referendums Block Tax Increases, Trim Property Rights, Enrich Lawyers

    November 7, 2007
    In Oregon, voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have created a permanent state health-care program financed by a major cigarette tax increase (which would probably not be enough to pay for the program in the future). They also cut back on a prior referendum that expanded property rights against regulatory takings (some say that the property rights protections provided by the earlier referendum have been gutted by the new one). In Washington, voters passed a trial-lawyer backed initiative that will make it more profitable to file frivolous lawsuits against insurance companies, and...
  • Voters finally done with public spending?

    November 7, 2007
    Voters seemed intent on tightening up the public belt buckle if we are to believe this story from AP of all the ballot initiatives that failed during yesterday's elections.
  • “Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité” -- Sarkozy addresses Congress

    November 7, 2007

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed a joint session of Congress this morning and devoted most of his remarks to the close historical ties between the U.S. and France, beginning with the founding of this country.
    It is together that we must fight to defend and promote the values and ideals of freedom and democracy that men such as Washington and Lafayette coined and invented together.
    He also said that America didn't invent liberty, but the country showed how to practice it. Sarkozy particularly extolled the U.S. for its role in World War II and its aftermath in helping to rebuild Europe. In his review of current events in which the U...
  • NYT: "Pass the Peru FTA"

    November 7, 2007
    “Pass the Peruvian F.T.A,” so reads a New York Times editorial today on the same day the House is scheduled to vote on the U.S.-Peru trade pact. One of four pending trade deals, the Peru agreement is also the one that has the best chance of passage in this anti-trade climate. The four trade agreements all have enforceable labor and environmental standards that were part of a “bipartisan trade deal” negotiated with the Democratic leadership and the Bush Administration. But labor unions — even though they got what they wanted in the agreements — still aren't satisfied and are campaigning against the pacts. The NYT noted:
    A group of Democratic leaders from the Clinton administration and...
  • It Looks Evil

    November 7, 2007
    That's really all I have to say about Robopanda. Robopanda.
  • Al Gore is a McCarthy-ite

    November 7, 2007

    Steven Mufson reports in today's Washington Post that Kansans for Affordable Energy, a non-profit funded by coal interests, has taken out full page advertisements in local papers warning that a recent decision by the Governor's administration to block the construction of two coal fired power plants will make Kansas energy dependent on the likes of Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez.

    To which Bruce Niles of the Sierra Club responded, “This is McCarthyism.”

    If baseless alarmism equates with McCarthyism, then what does that say about Al Gore? My colleague Marlo Lewis has documented the Goracle's tall...

  • China's Olympic Dilemma: Backsliding on Human Rights

    November 7, 2007
    The Beijing Olympics are less than a year away, and China hopes to showcase its growing economy and expanding international influence. China is a fascinating and vibrant nation, a world apart from the Maoist house of horror of 30 and 40 years ago. But though the People's Republic has gone far, it still has far to go. As I detail in a new article on the American Spectator online, Beijing is backsliding on human rights. Although the PRC promised to improve its record when it pursued the Olympics, those pledges have been tossed aside as the authorities attempt to stifle protest before the Games. There's nothing the West can do to forcibly improve the human rights situation in China. A threat to boycott the Olympics would be particularly counterproductive, angering average Chinese citizens as well as officials....
  • U.S. Economy Declared World's Most Competitive

    November 6, 2007
    The World Economic Forum in its annual Global Competitiveness Report declared last week that the U.S. economy is the most competitive in the world. The U.S. also earned top marks in labor market efficiency and innovation. The report is a refreshing reminder that, despite a myriad of regulations and taxes, America is still the pinnacle of global creativity. Pessimistic naysayers and doomsday prophets tirelessly criticize the United States for its allegedly decrepit telecommunications infrastructure, spiraling health care costs, and mounting trade deficit. Liberals prescribe more government intervention to solve these woes—but the phenomenal economic successes of the United States are not because of government, but in spite of it. It can be challenging to remain optimistic in the face...

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