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OpenMarket: July 2009

  • Policy Translated: Stimulus to Nowhere

    July 29, 2009
    [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS7phV9-0WA 285 234]
  • Food Police Attack Denny's Over Salt

    July 29, 2009
    It seems that the food police at the unconscionably named Center for Science in the Public Interest are at it again. Last week, CSPI filed a class action lawsuit against the restaurant chain Denny's, claiming that, because most Denny's menu items contain a "high" level of sodium, the chain is engaging in consumer fraud and breaching the implied warranty of merchantability.
  • Ameritrade Stock Spam Settlement briefing

    July 28, 2009
    Unlike the Bluetooth case, we were among several plaintiffs who filed substantive objections to this settlement. The hearing will be before Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco on September 10.
  • Best Way to Curb Irrational Exurberance?

    July 28, 2009
    Zachary Goldfarb, a Washington Post staff writer, discusses (p. A10, "SEC Moves to Limit Short Sales of Stocks") this SEC proposal - sympathetically.  The article is naïve - buying the complaint of "High-profile Wall Street executives" that short sellers "played an outsized role in crashing the stock values of several major financial services companies."  Now, it is certainly true that when an asset value is falling, some will anticipate further declines and sell short - just as many will anticipate that an asset whose values are rising will rise further and buy long. But in politics, as elsewhere, while success has a thousand fathers, losses are orphans.  Thus, many clamor for curbs on short selling, but there are few calling for curbs on those betting on things still going up.  That is we critique irrational exurberance but we penalize only rational prudence.  The story betrays this...
  • Policy Peril Segment 2: Air Pollution

    July 28, 2009
    Last Friday, I launched a blog series on CEI's film, Policy Peril: Why Global Warming Policies Are More Dangerous Than Global Warming Itself.  The film is our antidote to Al Gore's Scare-U-Mentary, An Inconvenient Truth. The blog series highlights 10 short segments of the film, one each day this week and next. Yesterday's blog was on the hype about heat waves--the claim that people will drop like flies from heat stress in U.S. cities unless urgent action is taken to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Today's segment rebuts a related scare--the claim that global warming will sicken and kill thousands of us by increasing air pollution. Click...
  • Regulation of the Day 22: Rhinestones

    July 28, 2009
    The Consumer Product Safety Commission, after much deliberation, has banned crystal rhinestones from children's products, despite no evidence of harm.
  • The Folly of 100%

    July 28, 2009

    The same groups that have been insisting for years that there is something fundamentally wrong with the United States' international broadband ranking are also the most strident advocates for the necessity of broadband’s total market saturation, even to the point of calling on benevolent old Uncle Sam to subsidize broadband deployment nationwide.

    Consumer advocacy groups and even some telecom companies are lining up at the FCC’s door with petitions in hand and supplicant requests on their lips, claiming that access to broadband is a basic public necessity and should be meticulously regulated as such, right here and right now.

    These...

  • Just Another Tuesday in Washington

    July 28, 2009
  • Policy Translated: Introduction

    July 28, 2009
    [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48isQh-5CLE 285 234]
  • Obama Health-Care Plan Will Harm People With Insurance, and Raise Taxes, Obama Adviser Says

    July 28, 2009
    Obama's health-care plan is drawing criticism from one of his own advisers, Harvard University's Martin Feldstein. In today's Washington Post, Feldstein warns that "For the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, the Obama health plan is bad news. It means higher taxes, less health care and no protection if they lose their current insurance because of unemployment or early retirement." Obama's plan would "cost more than $1 trillion," and raise the top federal "income-tax rate from 35 percent today to more than 45 percent," he notes. As CNN earlier...

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