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OpenMarket: March 2009

  • LibertyWeek 35: Dodd Man Out?

    March 24, 2009
    Your hosts Richard Morrison and Cord Blomquist welcome back special guest co-host Michelle Minton for Episode 35 of the LibertyWeek podcast. We begin with a celebration of human achievement and a peek into the realm of secret government documents. We then investigate how the White House is going to waste another $1 trillion of your money and how the British beer tax has managed to kill off 20,000 jobs. Finally we focus on the history of the scandal-addled Sen. Dodd of Connecticut and the future of U.S. Olympic glory. BONUS BOOK FEATURE: We congratulate our good friend Steve Milloy on the publication of his new book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to...
  • Obama for global financial governance?

    March 24, 2009
    With the G-20 meeting looming in the midst of a worldwide recession, President Barack Obama sent an essay published today in about 30 newspapers to urge world leaders to work together to take "bold, comprehensive and coordinated action that not only jump-starts recovery, but also launches a new era of economic engagement to prevent a crisis like this from ever happening again." In his essay, Obama puts blame on the financial institutions for causing the crisis and the "absence of oversight."
    We must put an end to the reckless speculation and spending beyond our means; to the bad credit, over-leveraged banks and absence of oversight that condemns us to bubbles that inevitably bust.
    He intimates that he would support some sort of global financial regulatory system, as he states:...
  • Toxic Asset Rip-Off

    March 23, 2009
    Obama is proposing that the Treasury provide loans up front and insurance against potential losses on the back end. It’s what Paul Krugman called "heads I win, tails the taxpayers lose."
  • Human Achievement Hour

    March 23, 2009
    This week CEI announced the creation of Human Achievement Hour (HAH) to be celebrated at 8:30pm on March 28th 2009 (the same time and date of Earth Hour). Our press release described ways people might celebrate the achievements of humanity such as eating diner, seeing a film, driving around, keeping the heat on in your home—all things that Earth Hour celebrators, presumably, should be refraining from. In the cheekiest manner, we claimed that anyone not foregoing the use of electricity in that hour is, by default, celebrating the achievements of human beings. Needless to say, the enviros in the blogosphere didn’t take to kindly to our announcement. Matthew Wheeland, an environmental journalist called the holiday “...
  • U.S. Chamber unveils NIMBY Watch Web site

    March 23, 2009
    Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce unveiled a NIMBY-Watch Web site called Project No Project . With case studies from more than 30 states, Project No Project  chronicles how NIMBY ("not in my backyard") activists "block energy projects by organizing local opposition, changing zoning laws, opposing permits, filing lawsuits, and bleeding projects dry of their financing." Many of the projects blocked are not coal plants but alternative energy projects or infrastructure often touted as "green." The site invites readers to provide examples from their own locales of NIMBY efforts to block or stall energy-related projects. Proponents of "green jobs" should be concerned as much as free-market and property-rights advocates, because "...
  • "Heads I win, Tails the Taxpayers Lose": Toxic Asset Rip-Off

    March 23, 2009
    That's how analysts describe the trillion-dollar toxic-asset buy-up program proposed this weekend by the Obama Administration: "the president is putting forth his idea to have the Treasury become the new AIG. In order to get hedge funds to buy up toxic debt, Obama is proposing that the Treasury provide loans up front and insurance against potential losses on the back end. It’s what Paul Krugman called 'heads I win, tails the taxpayers lose.' By the way, it may cost another $1 trillion." The Treasury Secretary claims taxpayers won't lose a full trillion, because the assets aren't as worthless as their current...
  • Alarmists turn blind eye to global warming benefits--again

    March 23, 2009
    Tomorrow, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the national security threats from melting Arctic ice. Greenwire (subscription required), the Online environmental news service, explains the rationale for the hearing:
     In a report last year, the European Commission warned that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization must be prepared for an intensified "scramble for resources" as melting glaciers and sea ice open up previously inaccessible areas to exploitation. The report explicitly expressed concerns over "long term relations with Russia," (ClimateWire, April 2, 2008).
    Now, opening up "previously inaccessible" areas to oil and gas development could also be a font of economic and national security ...
  • Blind to Obama's Broken Promises

    March 23, 2009
    In 2008, Obama promised a "net spending cut" (although he never did come up with cuts to offset his proposed spending increases). Obama broke this campaign promise in a big way with his proposed budget, which could bankrupt the United States, according to senior Senators. Obama's budget would ...
  • Fishing for Rationality in the Beauty Salon

    March 23, 2009
    Thinking of getting one of those cool new “fish pedicures”? Well, you’d better act fast. 14 states have already banned the process. But a member of the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology says, “It seemed to me it was very sanitary, not sterile of course." But, “[s]anitation is what we’ve got to live with in this world, not sterility.”
  • Regarding the Economics of Environmentalism, A Response to CAP’s Brad Johnson

    March 20, 2009
    it, either. So it seems there is some uncertainty on global warming. What is certain, however, is that reducing emissions also reduces economic growth, by making energy more expensive.

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