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OpenMarket: June 2010

  • A new low for science and the NAS -- the "Black List"

    June 23, 2010
    In what has to be one of the most disgraceful examples of political, unscientific attacks, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a report, "Expert credibility in climate change," alleging to show that climate change "deniers" have less impressive credentials and haven't published as much as those promoting anthropogenic climate change. With the billions in research money given to climate change advocates over the past 15 years, and the recent ClimateGate email disclosures about shutting skeptics out of key scientific journals, it's no wonder there is a discrepancy. But, of course, neither of those issues is mentioned. The article was researched and/or written by a biology professor, an engineer, a foundation executive, and the infamous Stephen H. Schneider, known for his advocacy...
  • Five Years After Kelo

    June 23, 2010
    Today--this June 23--marks the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's wrongheaded ruling in Kelo v. New London. Here's my piece on Kelo+5 in The Daily Caller. The reasoning behind the opinion relied primarily on three past (although modern) Supreme Court decisions involving definitions of "public use":
    1. Berman v. Parker (1954) -- This case upheld the right of municipalities to declare entire areas blighted, even if the property in question isn't blighted. It also accepted Washington, D.C.'s argument that the area condemnation was necessary to prevent future blight. An all around terrible decision.
    2. Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff (1984) -- This case involved redistribution of land titles in Hawaii. When the state moved to seize the properties, 49 percent...
  • Sen. Inhofe demolishes energy independence rationale for cap-and-trade

    June 23, 2010
    Sen. James Inhofe's daily Environment & Public Works Press Blog is a source I check early and often. The posts, which are more like essays than press releases, are incisive, rigorous, and witty.  In today's post, Sen. Inhofe explains, by the numbers, why the claim that cap-and-trade will help us get "beyond petroleum" is horse feathers. Cap-and-trade will significantly increase our pain at the pump, yet will hardly make a dent in U.S. dependence on petroleum and oil imports. In EPA's analysis, the Kerry-Lieberman bill would raise gasoline prices to $5.00 a gallon in 2050 yet would leave U.S. petroleum consumption about where it is today. EPA's analysis...
  • New Federal Interference With Oil-Spill Clean-Up: Feds Stop Louisiana From Dredging Needed to Create Protective Sand Berms

    June 23, 2010
    A TV station in New Orleans reports that "the federal government is shutting down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico."   Louisiana planned to create the sand berms to prevent the massive BP oil spill from polluting its coastline. Earlier, a federal judge blocked Obama's drilling ban on offshore drilling, citing deception by Obama administration officials.  The ban applied mostly to oil companies with...
  • Stimulus Package to Cost $75 Billion More Than Predicted; Plus, Government-Employee Bailout Sought

    June 23, 2010
    The stimulus package is going to cost at least $75 billion more than the $787 billion the Obama administration claimed, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  President Obama and congressional leaders kept its projected tab beneath $800 billion to keep the support of wavering lawmakers like the senators from Maine, who worried that earlier stimulus proposals were too costly.   The Congressional Budget Office admitted last year that the stimulus package actually would shrink the economy “in the long run.” Undaunted, Obama is now backing a...
  • Canada sees a good deal in Colombia FTA

    June 23, 2010
    Canada ratified a free trade agreement with Colombia on June 21, showing that the U.S.'s northern neighbor knows a good deal when it sees it. Not so the U.S., which has been sitting on the U.S.-Colombia FTA since it was signed four years ago. And it's not all likely that the FTA will be submitted to Congress before the fall elections.  Too many unions have campaigned against the agreement since it was first negotiated.  Maybe after the elections more enlightened policymakers will realize that there's no downside to the trade pact.  After all, most Colombian goods and services - under preferential agreements - already come into the U.S. duty-free or with low tariffs.  With the FTA, Colombia would...
  • Judge rules Obama deepwater drilling ban "arbitrary and capricious"

    June 23, 2010
    Yesterday, Judge Martin Feldman of the Eastern Louisiana District Court lifted the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on all oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in waters over 500 feet in depth.  Feldman held that the moratorium was "arbitrary and capricious" and would do "irreparable harm" to businesses that own, operate, and service vessels used to support offshore drilling -- an industry critical to the region's economy. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar imposed the moratorium on May 28 in response to the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill. Judge Feldman found the moratorium to be "arbitrary and capricious" on several grounds....
  • "Oddly enough, I admired one of the lawyers."

    June 23, 2010
  • Judge Blocks Gulf Drilling Ban, Citing Deception by Obama Administration; Obama Continues to Delay Gulf Clean-Up

    June 22, 2010
    A federal judge has just blocked the Obama administration from imposing a blanket ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.  Judge Martin Feldman cited blatantly false claims by the Obama administration in its report imposing the ban, and violations of the Administrative Procedure Act, which protects against arbitrary government actions.  Earlier, Obama had delayed a clean-up of the Gulf of Mexico by Louisiana and foreign countries, by imposing unnecessary red tape. "Judge Feldman hones in on...
  • Supreme Court Upholds Controversial Antiterror Law; More Clues About Elena Kagan

    June 22, 2010
    Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was instrumental in getting President Clinton to veto a ban on partial-birth abortion.  She also lumped together the NRA and KKK as "bad guy" organizations while serving in the Clinton White House. The Supreme Court upheld an anti-terror law that is part...

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