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OpenMarket: August 2009

  • Land Grabbers Attack Free Speech

    August 20, 2009
    In this morning's Washington Post, columnist George Will brings to light a particularly egregious example of politically-connected developers abusing the legal system to silence their land-grab critics:
    When Kelo was decided, H. Walker Royall, a Dallas developer, already had designs on some property that for more than a decade has belonged to the Gore family shrimping business in coastal Freeport. In 2003, Royall signed an agreement with that city's government to build a yacht marina, hotel and condominiums using property the city would seize by eminent domain. The day after the Supreme Court made its Kelo mistake, Freeport intensified its pressure against the Gores, whose stout resistance caught the gimlet eye of Carla Main. An experienced...
  • FDA Regulation of Internet Drug Advertising

    August 20, 2009
    Today, CEI filed comments on a draft FDA guidance document advising prescription drug manufacturers on how to comply with regulations requiring the presentation of risk information in drug and medical device advertisements. Although we disagree in principle with the current regulatory regime that requires almost encyclopedic presentation of risk information any time a manufacturer communicates the name of a drug and any mention of benefits in promotional materials, these comments focused on the FDA's failure to treat the Internet and other new media as unique forms of communication that permit advertisers to present complete risk and benefit information in novel ways.
  • Bank Robbers for Transparency!

    August 20, 2009
    The news that the Federal Government has forced UBS to give up the details of 4000 of its customers' transactions has other financial institutions finding new ways to protect their clients.  This has been greeted with dismay by one community.  The following letter to the New York Times was intercepted and we provide it here in the interests of transparency.
    Dear Sir, As an international bank robber, may I say how much I deplore the underhanded way in which financial institutions are able to keep private details of how much money each of their clients has deposited. This makes my job so much harder. Indeed, we in the bank robbing community are working to improve our image after decades of negative coverage from conservative media and this could be enhanced by increased transparency,...
  • Regulation of the Day 36: Buying American

    August 20, 2009
    The $787,000,000,000 stimulus contains a provision requiring the Department of Homeland Security to buy american textiles. Basically, that means TSA uniforms will go up in price.
  • "ObamaCare Is All About Rationing" and Tax Increases, Obama Adviser Says

    August 19, 2009
    "ObamaCare is all about rationing," says one of Obama's own advisers, Martin Feldstein. Feldstein earlier noted that Obama's health-care plan would harm people with insurance, and massively raise taxes. Civil-libertarian and...
  • Former ACORN Las Vegas Director to Testify against Organization

    August 19, 2009
    The former director of the Las Vegas chapter of the far-left advocacy group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) has agreed to testify against the organization, in exchange for a plea to reduced charges: two counts of conspiracy to illegally pay canvassers registering voters. While any instance of ACORN being brought to account for breaking the law is welcome, this is only the tip of the iceberg. ACORN's history of scandal goes back years. Jeremy Lott and Matthew Vadum of Capital Research Center provide a sample:
    The Employment Policies Institute compiled ACORN cases for 2004 and 2005. Highlights include: * “An ACORN employee in New Mexico registered a 13-year-old boy to vote. Citing this and other...
  • UBS Deal Only a Partial Victory for the Feds

    August 19, 2009
    Today, after a long and protracted battle between the U.S. and Swiss government, Swiss bank UBS AG agreed to turn over the names of at least 4,450 U.S. holders of accounts in Switzerland.
  • Milton and Rose Friedman, Partners in Liberty

    August 19, 2009
    This week, the world has lost a champion of economic freedom, Rose Friedman.  While her Nobel Laureate husband, the late Milton Friedman, won widespread public acclaim, Rose was an accomplished economist, author, and champion of liberty in her own right. Together, the Friedmans co-wrote the seminal book and co-produced the television series “Free to Choose,” which introduced many people to the ideas of free markets and economic liberty.  The Friedmans' work together continues to be immensely invaluable to the cause of liberty. Sadly, Rose's death and that of Milton only three years earlier ends one of the world's most successful "ideological" marriage partnerships.  Together, Rose and Milton were a far more formidable force for liberty than either would have been alone. As such, they inspired many others to to become "double partners" in the struggle for liberty. My wife Fran and I,...
  • Regulation of the Day 35: Doctors with Borders

    August 19, 2009
    In 49 states, it is illegal to practice medicine outside of the state in which you are certified. Tennessee is the lone state with an open market.
  • Policy Peril Segment 8: Coal (updated 08/26/2009)

    August 18, 2009
    Today's excerpt from CEI's film, Policy Peril: Why Global Warming Policies Are More Dangerous Than Global Warming Itself, is on the global warming movement's anti-coal campaign and the dangers it poses to U.S. consumers and the economy. To watch today's clip, click here. To watch the entire film, click here. The text of today's excerpt follows. I provide additional commentary and links to supporting information in the footnotes.
    Narrator: First and foremost, they want to ban construction of new coal-fired power plants. [1] Why? Coal is the most carbon-intensive fuel. It releases the most carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced. [2]
    More...

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