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OpenMarket: January 2009

  • Marlo Lewis on California's Global Warming Regulation

    January 20, 2009
    [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1zWB5yoDWA 285 234]
  • Milton Friedman counters Kennedy inaugural--and Obama's

    January 20, 2009
    Before President Barack Obama gave his inaugural address, it had been reported that he was heavily studying John F. Kennedy's speech at the inauguration in 1961. And no doubt Obama's "call to service" will be compared to Kennedy's inaugural that contained the famous lines: "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." On the good side, Obama did hail "doers" and "risk takers" in his speech and talked about how they have improved our way of life. That's important, given the bipartisan urge to stamp out all risk-taking in the wake of the financial crisis. Perhaps that's a good sign that will Obama...
  • HIGH NOON PASSES--Global Warming Doesn't Show Up At The Inaugural

    January 20, 2009

    Well, the noon temperature in Washington DC at the President Obama's swearing-in was 28 degrees F., eight degrees colder than when Bush was sworn in eight years ago.

    So is that what Bush's much bally-hooed failure to curb CO2 emissions produced in the way of climate change—a Inauguration Day for Obama that's eight degrees colder than Bush's inauguration eight years ago? Shouldn't more CO2 mean warming, not cooling?

    Well, as I said in my earlier post today, this is not scientifically significant. But it is funny.

    It's also in line with the lack of...

  • Barack Obama's 'Digital Lines' to Nowhere

    January 20, 2009
    When Barack Obama said in his inaugural address, "We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together," he was no doubt referring to his stated goal of having government build out broadband networks on the taxpayer's dime.
  • Marlo Lewis on California's Global Warming Regulation

    January 20, 2009
    [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1zWB5yoDWA 285 234]
  • Obama Inaugural Speech Spurns Notion of Apologizing

    January 20, 2009
    Listening to President Obama's inaugural address today, I was struck by his rhetoric with respect to "apologizing for our way of life." It was a bit unclear, but hopefully he was referring, not only to threats to our national security, but to energy consumption -- the notion that we (Americans, westerners) should not apologize for the energy we consume, which enables us to live better, more productive, healthy lives.
    With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be...
  • Why Good Men Don’t Become President Anymore

    January 20, 2009
    President-elect Obama became President Obama today. It is worth taking a minute to reflect on the nature of his office. Exactly what has he gotten himself into?
  • The Daddy Knows Best Inaugural Address

    January 20, 2009
    Fatal conceit alert! Here's the text of the Inaugural Address, with some comments from your humble servant.
    For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.
    Obama already shows that he...
  • President Barack Obama Already Dealing with Global Warming

    January 20, 2009
    Anyone who lives in the nation's capital knows that it has been FREEZING, with well below average temperatures. Even today, inauguration day, started out with the wind chill in single digits. It's good to know that the president already is seeking to fulfill his promise to halt global warming. After all, as candidate Barack Obama told us in his June speech celebrating having locked up the Democratic Party nomination
    "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
    Of course, I have to say--as a warm weather person, I think we've had a bit too much planet healing lately!
  • Bad Economic Metaphors: Priming the Pump

    January 20, 2009

    President Obama faces the immediate challenge of getting funds again flowing through the financial system.  And, apparently, his advisors are relying on "pump priming"—pouring money into the system to encourage more money to flow.  This metaphor is misleading.

    I grew up in a poor area of rural Louisiana where some families still relied on old style hand pumps. The process for pulling water from underground aquifers depended upon the vacuum principle—that is the (generally) leather seal in the pump casing would often dry between uses—loosening the seal and making a vacuum impossible.  Pouring some water into the pump pipe would moisten the leather, recreating the seal and restoring the potential vacuum.  That system worked well for many centuries.

    But an economy is not a pump and the banks aren't leather...

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