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OpenMarket: April 2009

  • Censoring Critical Blogs as "Harassment" Would Violate the First Amendment

    April 30, 2009
    Under a recently-introduced bill, H.R. 1966, bloggers would face up to two years in prison if they "harass" public figures by criticizing them in a "severe, repeated, and hostile" manner, and thereby cause them "substantial emotional distress." U.C.L.A. Law Professor Eugene Volokh, the author of a First Amendment treatise, has concluded that the bill is unconstitutional. I agree, as I explain here. As a federal appeals court noted in DeJohn v. Temple University (2008), "there is no harassment...
  • LibertyWeek 40: Keepin’ It on the CL

    April 30, 2009
    CEI Studios Producer Drew Tidwell joins regular hosts Richard Morrison and Cord Blomquist for Episode 40 of LibertyWeek. We start with discussion of the Obama administration’s plan to (further) regulate the credit card industry, scandalous shenanigans on Craigslist and the prospect of carbon dioxide cap and trade legislation in Congress. We then move on to the necessity of TVs and the FCC, why it pays to be crafty in Beer News and finally a multimedia blitz from the London 2012 Olympics.
  • Advice for Conservatives

    April 30, 2009
    Conservatives are supposed to be the opposition to progressives. But opposing something requires philosophical disagreement. Left and right are variations on the same theme.
  • Chrysler bankruptcy an opportunity to reject Obama nationalization

    April 30, 2009
    Is 48 hours enough time to save Chrysler from being nationalized?
  • Detroit, D.C.

    April 30, 2009
    Today's Wall Street Journal further drives home the difficult position in which the United Auto Workers, Chrysler, and General Motors are likely to find themselves as a result of the UAW becoming part owner of GM and majority shareholder of Chrysler. First, the lead editorial notes the political risks inherent in the arrangement:
    Some Treasury officials have told the media that 50% government ownership is important to ensure that taxpayers get repaid for the $16.2 billion in Treasury loans. But this is false logic. Taxpayer-shareholders are likely to be far better off with a smaller stake in a truly private company that is better insulated from political meddling. Private owners are more likely than the Treasury or the unions to try to run the company for profit, and so...
  • Civil Rights Commission Members Urge "NO" Vote on Federal Hate Crimes Bill

    April 29, 2009
    Four members of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission urged Congress not to pass the federal hate crimes bill (LLEHCPA) . . . pointing out that it would circumvent protections against double jeopardy.
  • Washington Swallows Detroit, Gives UAW a Piece

    April 29, 2009
    The United Auto Workers' (UAW) loud complaining that they're being asked to bear a disproportionate share of the costs of restructuring the Big Three begs the question: How much is their fair share to bear? As Holman Jenkins notes, in his Wall Street Journal column, the UAW may not like the answer.
    The two parties that turned the Big Three into a perennially limping freak of unwritten industrial policy now will take formal ownership of their handiwork. The United Auto Workers (UAW) would own 39% of GM. The federal government would own 50%. The creditors will be shafted with just 10%. (In the Chrysler plan being discussed, labor would own 55%, making it effectively a subsidiary of the UAW.) The day after any such settlement is finalized, the clock will start ticking...
  • Fix Social Security; Unleash Capital

    April 29, 2009
    In RealClearMarkets.com, Fred Smith and I explain how the seemingly forgotten -- but still important -- goal of Social Security reform can help unleash capital, now that the U.S. economy desperately needs it. Whole thing here.
  • Fed Policies Contradict Each Other

    April 29, 2009
    Low-inflation monetary policy and low-unemployment monetary policy contradict each other. The results speak for themselves.
  • Specter Switches Parties, Cementing Liberals' Filibuster-Proof Control of Senate

    April 28, 2009
    Contradicting earlier claims, Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter has switched to the Democratic Party, cementing the liberals' filibuster-proof majority on most issues in the Senate.

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