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OpenMarket: October 2008

  • Vote for

    October 31, 2008 is trying to win the Blogger's Choice Award for the best political blog.  Just a few dozen votes should do it.  If you'd like to vote, just visit, click Sign Up at the top of the page, and vote. I've registered and voted for several...
  • City Journal on card check

    October 31, 2008
    In City Journal, Claire Berlinski looks at the effects of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) by looking at a precedent of EFCA in reverse, in Great Britain early the Margaret Thatcher's government.
    Thatcher put reform of the trade union law at the top of her agenda. Among the key provisions of Britain's 1980 Employment Act was a change in the way government would recognize unions. At the time, workers voted to join unions—or not—in public, by voice vote. Dissenters suffered harassment and physical intimidation. Henceforth, Thatcher decided, new union membership agreements would require approval by means of a secret ballot in order to protect rank-and-file workers from bullying by union organizers. If allowed to vote secretly, she believed, ordinary workers would not vote for policies against...
  • Charles Ogletree Declared "Dim Bulb" for Calling America Racist

    October 31, 2008
    The Washington Examiner today declared Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree, a top adviser to Obama and likely future Assistant Attorney General, to be the "dim bulb" of the day for his racially-charged remarks branding America as a racist country: "During an Oct. 25 panel discussion on race at Harvard, this top Barack Obama adviser said the U.S. should still be considered a racist nation even if the Illinois Senator is elected to the White House because Obama 'happens to be biracial.'   So even if a majority of Americans vote for him, it won't count.  WHY IT'S DIM:  Ogletree's comments conjured up the discredited 'one drop rule' laws adopted by many Southern states during the Jim Crow era that were used to...
  • FreeRoots

    October 31, 2008
    Some of the brightest minds in the online conservative movement — John Hawkins, Patrick Ruffini and Mark Tapscott — are discussing what it would take to build a "rightroots" movement, aimed at replicating the political activism of the left "netroots." As Patrick makes clear in a further post, this is not about building a partisan shilling machine (if it was, the effort would deserve to fail), but about a grassroots-driven...
  • Fighting Global Warming Amidst a Snowstorm

    October 31, 2008
    The Brits have quite a reputation.  Stiff upper limit and all that.  Which may account for the picture of parliament debating global warming legislation in the midst of the first October snowstorm in London in more than eight decades.  Reports the Britain's Register:
    Snow fell as the House of Commons debated Global Warming yesterday - the first October fall in the metropolis since 1922. The Mother of Parliaments was discussing the Mother of All Bills for the last time, in a marathon six hour session. In order to combat a projected two degree centigrade rise in global temperature, the Climate Change Bill pledges the UK to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. The bill was receiving a third reading, which means both the last chance for both democratic scrutiny and consent. The bill creates an enormous bureaucratic apparatus for monitoring and...
  • Why the Endless Bail-Outs are Making Things Worse

    October 31, 2008
    No surprise, argues Russell Roberts of George Mason University, the mindless, almost random federal bail-outs are going to leave us far worse off.  Writes Roberts:
    By acting without rhyme or reason, politicians have destroyed the rules of the game. There is no reason to invest, no reason to take risk, no reason to be prudent, no reason to look for buyers if your firm is failing. Everything is up in the air and as a result, the only prudent policy is to wait and see what the government will do next. The frenetic efforts of FDR had the same impact: Net investment was negative through much of the 1930s. The next administration is unlikely to do any better. Mr. Bernanke is perhaps the greatest living authority on the Great Depression, yet he has failed to stem the damage. Messrs. Paulson and Bernanke are...
  • House GOP 'Rapid Recovery' plan spurs growth by changing long-term expectations

    October 31, 2008
    As soon as the elections are over, Congressional leaders are planning to have a "break the bank" party. On top of the $700 billion bailout that unfortunately both Republicans and Democrats supported, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plan to call Congress back into a "lame duck" session in mid-November to pass a $300 billion "stimulus" package. The attitude seems to be, what's $300 billion for "Main Street" after we just approved $700 billion for Wall Street fat cats? But all the package is really likely to do is add $300 billion to Main Street's public debt without spurring economic growth. There is no reason to believe that the hodgepodge of programs Pelosi and Reid want the stimulus to fund -- from food stamps to unemployment benefits to infrastructire -- will be any more successful at jumpstarting the economy than the hundreds of billions spent...
  • Depressed by Regulation in America? Look at Europe!

    October 30, 2008
    You've got to love the Europeans. They demonstrate that things always can get worse. For instance, think about the epidemic of stupid farmers who use their farm equipment on wet ground. The EU is on the case! No harvesters in the mud, please! Reports the Yorkshire Post:
    EUROPEAN law which bans farmers from using their combine harvesters on wet soil has been criticised by prominent members of the House of Lords.
    Former Commons Speaker, Baroness Boothroyd, described the laws as "ludicrous" while former National Farmers' Union (NFU) president Lord Plumb referred to them as "one of the most stupid ever" during question time in the House of Lords.
    The regulations, imposed by the European Union, have been...
  • Voter Fraud: An Epidemic of Repeat Voters

    October 30, 2008
  • From NRO: GM Wants a Piece of the Bailout

    October 30, 2008
    From the Editors at National Review Online:
    That $700 billion rescue package for the banks is in danger of turning from a safety net into a slush fund. The scent of money has attracted lobbyists for every interest group in Washington. Now comes word that Treasury secretary Henry Paulson might dip into the fund to bail out struggling automakers GM and Chrysler. If car companies can qualify for a piece of that $700 billion, then there are no theoretical constraints on its use.
    GM has many expenses, so one could imagine why they feel motivated to get a piece of the bailout.  How else will they pay their lobbyists and car show models? Of course GM also employs thousands of American workers, but those folks should consider the consequences of their...


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