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OpenMarket: January 2009

  • We Can't Afford Much More Stimulus!

    January 15, 2009
    The deficit for this year already exceeds that for all of last year.  Reports Reuters:
    The United States racked up a record $485 billion deficit for the first three months of fiscal 2009, exceeding the $455 billion gap for all of the previous year, the U.S. Treasury said on Tuesday. In December, the government posted a deficit of $83.62 billion versus a year-ago surplus of $48.26 billion -- a wide swing that the Treasury attributed to a steep drop in corporate tax receipts and outlays from its financial rescue fund. The December budget gap was in line with consensus forecasts of an $83 billion deficit from economists polled by Reuters. The combined October, November and December deficit was nearly five times the year-ago budget hole of $107 billion, according to Treasury data. The ballooning...
  • Fat and Boring Is No Way to Go through Life, Son

    January 15, 2009
    Miami has been named the fattest city in America by Men's Fitness magazine, and its neighboring burg of Hialeah among the nation's most boring by Forbes. Some double whammy. For my part, having grown up in the area, the dubious honor of these two that I find surprising is not the one the rest of the nation would think about. Some might ask: "How about all those beaches; isn't that enough motivation to stay in swimsuit shape?" Well, no, unless you live right next to the beach. Plenty of Miamians rarely go to the beach, much as people in other cities don't partake in their town's defining landmarks -- as in the cliche of New Yorkers who have never been to the Statue of Liberty. A dietitian interviewed by...
  • Traveling Eco-Friendly

    January 15, 2009
    Even most of us free market people like a clean environment.  But I'll admit that I also like the conveniences and comforts provided by advanced industrial civilization.  You know, good health care, innovative communications, swift transportation, quality housing, and the like.  So the issue is one of trade-offs. And if people want to live "green" lives by voluntarily eschewing some of the advantages of modern life, that's great.  But sometimes the suggestions for eco-friendly living, including travel, seem, well, a little silly. has just put out a list of ten, which include buying luggage made of hemp, refilling your bottles of water with tap water, and arranging to be picked up by a hybrid vehicle.  My favorite was number one:
  • Chris Horner and "Red Hot Lies" on C-SPAN's Book TV

    January 14, 2009
    Senior Fellow Christopher C. Horner talks about his new book "Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed" on C-SPAN's Book TV (video clip below). Buy your very own copy of Red Hot Lies here! From the Inside Flap:
  • The Paycheck Fairness Act: Equal Pay Baloney From the Press

    January 14, 2009
    "News" stories on legislation often read like lazy summaries of press releases put out by the bill's sponsors. That's particularly true for so-called "equal pay" legislation, even if it would lead to inequities and frivolous lawsuits. The Gannett News service is claiming that the controversial Paycheck Fairness Act, which passed the House late last week, simply "elevates the status of gender-based pay discrimination lawsuits to the same level as lawsuits filed by those claiming discrimination based on race, age, or disability." That echoes press releases by the bill's sponsors. But it's not true. The bill would...
  • Why State Funded Energy R&D Doesn't Work

    January 14, 2009
    The fundamental shortcoming of government funded R&D is government's inability to successfully perform the development part.
  • RIP Patrick McGoohan, No. 6

    January 14, 2009
    Patrick McGoohan, star of the most brilliantly obscure TV series of all time, The Prisoner, has died at the age of 80. Growing up in the state-controlled Britain of the 1970s, the series resonated with me. I often felt like I was living in The Village. Nor was I the only one; I remember the comic John Sessions comparing the famous title sequence dialogue to the frustration of dealing with state-controlled directory inquiries (the equivalent of dialing 411):
    Operator: What do you want? You: Information Operator: You won't get it. You: But I dialled 411* Operator: I am not a number!**
    So it is with mixed feelings that I learn that a remake, or rather a re-imagining, is being planned. While the 60s series centered...
  • Bipartisanship Washington-Style

    January 14, 2009
    President-elect Barack Obama has received plaudits for reaching across the aisle.  That includes appointing Republican Rep. Ray LaHood to be Transportation Secretary.  But no budget hawk is Ray.  Rather, he's one of the great porkers in the Congress. Reports the Washington Post:
    The former Republican congressman chosen by President-elect Barack Obama to direct billions in federal highway spending has been an unapologetic advocate of earmarks, a practice Obama now opposes, and has used his influence to win funding for projects pushed by some of his largest campaign contributors.
  • Geithner should withdraw nomination for failure to pay self-employment taxes

    January 14, 2009
    Treasury Secretary Nominee Timothy Geithner's failure to pay four years' worth of self-employment taxes for Social Security and Medicare is absolutely astonishing. And as more details are released, Geithner's actions seem even more disturbing. According to the New York Times, Geithner still didn't correct the same type of error for some years, even after the Internal Reveue Services flagged him for the failure to pay the taxes in other years. To have him leading the department that manages the IRS would be a slap in the face to the millions of self-employed Americans who fulfill their responsiblities to correctly asses their tax burdens. These disturbing details paint a picture of a nominee who...
  • LibertyWeek 25: The Silver Lining to the News

    January 13, 2009
    Welcome to LibertyWeek's Silver Anniversary with your hosts Richard Morrison and Cord Blomquist and Special Guest William Yeatman. Our 25th episode starts with timely events from years past in The Day in Wikipedia, and then moves quickly into the latest, newest New Mexican news about Gov. Bill Richardson's bondage municipal bond scandal. We return to the salty seas to see some Somali pirates get their karmic comeuppance, listen to the bailout blather du jour coming out of Washington and New York and stand strong against attempts to demonize those violent video games we love so well. With that down, we congratulate the winners of the Golden Globes and finally turn to our Special Guest for a discussion of the President-Elect's energy and...


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