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OpenMarket: January 2009

  • Barack Obama and the Price of Change

    January 16, 2009
    [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEcLes2dD7k 285 234]
  • PEOTUS Behavioral Targeted Advertising Adventure

    January 16, 2009
    The prevention of regulation and the Rule of Law pounding its mighty fist within a medium or sector of business is generally something that is lauded around these parts.  On occasion, though, an industry will find that it is possibly pushing the envelope ever so much over the line and chooses to act on its own behalf.  This self-supervision, for the most part, tends to deter government involvement and the creation of legal regulation, which can in many cases be far more costly than self-imposed rules. In December of 2007 the FTC notified the online advertising industry that Behavioral Targeting-style advertising was pushing the boundaries of privacy.  Their letter--entitled "Behavioral Advertising: Moving the Discussion Forward to Possible Self-Regulatory Principles"--should have made it abundantly clear that this was a warning shot and the hammer was about to drop.  The industry,...
  • VIDEO: Barack Obama and the Price of Change

    January 16, 2009
    How much will President Obama's plans for economic stimulus and other federal spending cost the American taxpayers? We do the math.

    Binary Data
  • Telecom Lobbyists in the DTV Henhouse?

    January 16, 2009
    With the election of a new president and new Democratic majorities in Congress, the era of corporate influence is over in Washington, D.C. Or, at least that what I had heard. According to our old friend Tim Carney, I may have been mistaken:
    A telecommunications company has confirmed for this columnist that its vice president for policy—who is also an Obama donor and a former lobbyist—is advising Barack Obama's transition team on telecom policy. Obama's transition team, which has failed to disclose this executive's involvement, happens to have proposed a significant change in telecom policy that will profit that very company, called Clearwire. By pushing to delay the long-scheduled transition of television broadcasting from analog...
  • John Berlau on Tim Geithner's Qualifications

    January 15, 2009
    [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qaza_FkFUV4 285 234]
  • FEMA -- Fraudulent Emergency Mismanagement Agency

    January 15, 2009
    President Bush has declared an emergency in the District of Columbia for the inauguration of his successor. This unprecedented move will allow FEMA to reimburse state and local governments. In reality the DC government doesn't really view the inaugural as an emergency so much as a reason to throw a giant 5 day party. In December the DC city council passed emergency legislation allowing all bars, restaurants, and nightclubs to serve alcohol until 5 am and to stay open for 24 hours from January 17th through January 20th. Given the number of people expected to attend the inaugural this is pretty much a security nightmare for the metropolitan police. Since this is a larger than usual inaugural, the $15 million that Congress has already appropriated to the DC government is already spoken for. Which means the DC government is on the hook for paying the triple overtime for the police,...
  • D.C. Event: BB&T's John Allison on the Financial Crisis

    January 15, 2009
    Our friends at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights are hosting what promises to be a fascinating public lecture on the state of the U.S. economy and what it means for the future of capitalism. Former CEO and current Board Chairman of BB&T bank, John Allison, will explain the interventionist government policies that brought us where we are today and their anti-capitalist underpinnings. Location and Details: The Financial Crisis: Causes and Possible Cures Thursday, January 29, 2009 National Building Museum—Great Hall 401 F Street NW Washington, DC 20001 Red Line Metro, Judiciary Square Doors open: 6 PM Lecture and Q & A: 6:30 PM This event is FREE and open to the public.
  • How gullible are we?

    January 15, 2009
    Scrolling through the $825 billion dollar monstrosity, my first question is--how many unemployed construction workers do they think there are? Don't they realize that they will be competing with the private sector beyond those currently unemployed? We signed our name to a blank check. (CEI opposed it.) Now they want us to sign again and again—bailout, stimulus, whatever they're calling it today.  But as Martin Hutchinson said, “Stimulus plans also raise the chance of a Great Depression because of the deficits they cause.” The Wall Street Journal reported today that Americans are in favor of Obama's stimulus with...
  • Regulate First, Think Never?

    January 15, 2009
    Twitter can be very useful. Walter Olson of Overlawyered.com sent out a tweet this morning about an Amazon list of toys that will be affected by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which comes into effect February 10. This new law aims to protect children from the harmful effect of lead in toys, but does so, as usual, in an expensive and ham-fisted way that ignores unintended consequences. Intrigued, I researched further and found a classic tale of regulatory incompetence, but also an excellent example...
  • Obama's Trillion Dollar "Stimulus" Fantasy, at $300,000 per Job

    January 15, 2009
    Barack Obama claims his trillion-dollar stimulus package, financed through new deficit spending, will "create or save" 3 million jobs. That's pure fantasy -- even given the wiggle-phrase "or save" -- but even if it worked, it wouldn't be worth it. That works out to more than $330,000 per job! Like the Biblical Esau, who sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage, we are selling our children and grandchildren into debt just to increase employment in the U.S. by a tiny percentage. And in reality, the only jobs the...

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