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OpenMarket: January 2010

  • Maryland Legislators Seek to Jack Up Child Support Levels, Based on Bogus Inflation Rationale

    January 28, 2010
    A bill, SB 252, was just introduced in Maryland to increase child support obligations for households at most income levels--a massive increase of nearly 30 percent for a couple with one child making $3,400 a month!  Maryland residents, already burdened by recent state tax increases, now face additional burdens. I don't live in Maryland, and I'm not divorced, so I won't be affected by the bill.  But as a lawyer who has studied most states' child support guidelines, I find the economic ignorance behind the bill infuriating. The bill is based on the bogus rationale that child support awards must go up, because inflation has increased child-rearing costs over the years.  But under Maryland's...
  • WHO swine flu chief caught twice lying about pre-fab pandemic

    January 28, 2010
    Even before the World Health Organization declared its phony pandemic last summer, its designated fibber-in-chief has been Keiji Fukuda. Yet I've never been able to catch him a lie so explicit that he couldn't somehow worm out of it. Till now. Thus when he said (and still does), the virus may be mild now but it could mutate to become worse I would point out that this would be the first time a flu virus has suddenly changed course like that. But technically he was right. Finally, I've caught him with his nose stretched out three feet long - and on a vital issue. As I pointed out upon the WHO's pandemic declaration in June, the definition previously required "enormous numbers of deaths." But the agency desperately wanted a pandemic and...
  • Cold, bitter winter is "proof" of global warming

    January 28, 2010
    "Winter offered as proof of warming" declares a headline in the print edition of the Washington Post, although perhaps the irony of that  later struck the editors and they softened it a bit in the online edition to "Harsh winter a sign of disruptive climate change, report says." Nothing especially outrageous here. The enviros have been doing this for years; indeed, it's why they adopted the term "global climate change" so that any change in climate or even just weather - which obviously this is - can be portrayed as a result of man's nefarious activities in putting greenhouse gases into the air. The report, incidentally, is from the National Wildlife Federation that makes money by promoting global warming in the same way that GM makes money selling trucks. But folks are having trouble...
  • State of the Union Live-Blog

    January 27, 2010
    Welcome to CEI's live-blog of the 2010 State of the Union address.
  • Flu expert slams WHO pandemic panic-mongering in German magazine interview

    January 27, 2010
    I missed this interview when it came out in the German magazine Der Spiegel in July, but it's still relevant. Unfortunately, even though the interview subject Tom Jefferson of the esteemed Cochrane Collaboration is an American, you're not going to find anything like this in a U.S. publication. Our media bought into the scare lock, stock, and virion and they're not going to admit they were wrong. Herewith some excerpts. SPIEGEL: Do you consider the swine flu to be particularly worrisome? Jefferson : It's true that influenza viruses are unpredictable, so it does call for a certain degree of caution. But one of the extraordinary features of this influenza -- and the whole influenza saga -- is that there are some people who make predictions year after year, and they get worse and worse. None of them so...
  • SEIU and the Shareholder Resolution Weapon

    January 27, 2010
    At Biggovernment.com, blogger Mandy/Liberty Chick has a good, concise account of the rise of shareholder resolutions as a favorite tool of organized labor. By leveraging their pension funds to purchase shares in companies they are trying to organize, unions can bring pressure on those companies, usually as part of a corporate campaign -- a coordinated attack on a company's reputation and ability to do business. She focuses specifically on the use of shareholder resolutions by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which has recently emerged as arguably the most powerful union in America.
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  • Regulation of the Day 106: Clotheslines

    January 27, 2010
    Some homeowners' associations ban clotheslines. For people who would like to use clotheslines and aren't allowed to, this presents a problem. Now regulators want to get involved.
  • My Two Cents on AmazonGate

    January 27, 2010
    Climategate, Himalayagate, Pachaurigate, and now NOAAgate -- it's hard to keep up with all the relevations and allegations buzzing around some of the biggest names in climate science.   Earlier this week in the Telegraph, the intrepid James Delingpole debuted "Amazongate." Like Himalayagate, this is a case in which ...
  • SEIU Suffers a Major Loss in California

    January 27, 2010
    The powerful Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has taken a major hit from a rival union, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), which is led by a former SEIU dissident. The Los Angeles Times reports that Kaiser Permanente workers throughout California have voted to disaffiliate from SEIU and join NUHW. Before he was removed by the SEIU's national leadership, NUHW President Sal Rosselli headed the Oakland, California, SEIU affiliate, United Healthcare Workers West (UHW). Rosselli had opposed SEIU chief Andy Stern's plans for consolidating SEIU local unions into giant mega-locals. The aim of that consolidation was to shift SEIU's organizing model away from small, specialized locals, which...
  • "The Hole in the EPA's Ozone Claims," my piece in Forbes Online

    January 26, 2010
    To the EPA, "safe" is a constantly moving target—and that's the way it likes it. Always something new to regulate, always a new hobgoblin from which to save us. Take the agency's proposal to yet again lower allowable ozone levels. It's another one of those win-win regulations for which the EPA is famous, supposedly saving both lives and money. But its assertions collapse when you examine the science on which they're allegedly based. U.S. ground-level ozone concentrations have fallen by 25% since 1980 and 14% just since 1990. Yet in 1997 the EPA tightened the screws with what it called a "safe" standard at 80 parts per billion (ppb). Then in 2008 "safe" became 75 ppb. Now the agency insists "safe" is a maximum of between 60 ppb and 70 ppb. No doubt the agency is already laying the groundwork to drop the "safe" level yet again. Read about the EPA's mighty effort to take us to pollution...

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