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OpenMarket: June 2010

  • Obama Wants Taxpayers to Cough Up $50 Billion To Bail Out Public-Employee Unions

    June 14, 2010
    President Obama now wants Congress to spend $50 billion to keep state governments from laying off government employees.  In essence, this is a bailout for the public-employee unions that bankroll liberal politicians.  Earlier, Obama's allies in Congress proposed spending billions to bail out mismanaged and underfunded union pension funds. The state governments will never have to pay back any of this bailout money, which rewards them for irresponsibly increasing government-employee pay much faster than...
  • Regulation of the Day 141: Mandatory Fire Sprinklers

    June 14, 2010
    Politicians love it when housing prices go up. That's why Cumberland, Maryland is mulling requiring all new homes to install fire sprinkler systems. Cost: $3,000-$9,000 per home.
  • CEI Weekly: Senate Defends EPA Power Grab

    June 11, 2010
    CEI weekly is a compilation of articles and blogs from CEI's staff. This week features the vote in the Senate on the Murkowski resolution that would have prevented the EPA from having the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Obama Fires Inspector General Who Uncovered Fraud, and Honors Defrauder Instead

    June 11, 2010
    Earlier, President Obama fired the inspector general for the AmeriCorps program after he uncovered fraud by Obama crony Kevin Johnson.  (Johnson did not receive even a slap on the wrist for his fraud; an organization Johnson ran was required to pay $350,000, but it never did so because it was insolvent; and Johnson himself was not ordered by the Obama administration to pay anything.) Now, the Obama administration is honoring Johnson despite his fraud,...
  • "'Denialism' has no place in scientific debate," my letter in Nature Medicine

    June 11, 2010
    The key sentence in the letter is this, "'Denialist' is an ad hominem argument, the meaning of which is defined entirely by the user, intended to discredit the accused without evidence." The "anti-denialism" campaign is, to use a word I rarely employ, a literal conspiracy--albeit something of an open one in that it's openly pushed by Chris Mooney. (Inset.) The purpose is two-fold. 1) Brand those with the "wrong" scientific views not just as "kooks" or "nuts" but as literally pathological. This from a recent article in The New Scientist:
    Instigators of denialist movements have more serious psychological problems than most of their followers. 'They display all the...
  • AIG Bailout Had "Poisonous" Effect, Bailout Oversight Panel Says

    June 10, 2010
    "American International Group Inc.’s bailout had a 'poisonous' effect on the U.S. financial system because it demonstrated the government would protect Wall Street firms from their own risk-taking, said a Congressional" bailout oversight panel. Earlier, the Obama administration used the $170 billion AIG bailout to give billions in legally unnecessary payments to the Wall Street firm of Goldman Sachs, which is so rich that it has admitted it didn't even need the money.  Goldman Sachs, one of the Democratic Party's...
  • Judiciary Committee Votes to Promote Judge Who Made Excuses for Roadside Strangler, Claiming His "Sexual Sadism" Was a "Mitigating Factor"

    June 10, 2010
    On a party-line vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved President Obama's promotion of a federal judge who tried to block the execution of a serial killer and rapist known as the Roadside Strangler based on the unbelievable ground that this serial killer's  “sexual sadism” was a mitigating factor.  The judge did so even though this serial killer admitted his sentence was appropriate and did not seek to challenge it...
  • Regulation of the Day 140: Plastic

    June 10, 2010
    “Plastics are the future,” a pushy relative told a young Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. Was he giving career advice -- or a warning?
  • No, It's Not About Oil; Besides, Oil Is Good!

    June 10, 2010
    It is a measure of the weakness of the case against Sen. Murkowski's resolution of disapproval (S.J.Res.26) that opponents keep trying to change the subject. They want to pretend that a vote for S.J.Res.26 is a vote for Big Oil in general and for BP's oil spill and all the associated ecological and economic damage in particular. To say it again, if they really think oil is so bad that America should pay any price, bear any burden, and endure any sacrifice to get "beyond petroleum," then they should follow the Constitution and try to assemble legislative majorities capable of enacting their agenda. They know they can't, so they want EPA -- an administrative agency -- to enact their agenda for them. That this makes a mockery out of our constitutional system of separated powers and democratic accountability doesn't seem to bother them one whit. The vote on S.J.Res. 26 is not "about oil...
  • Senator Kerry - Wrong on Iran

    June 10, 2010
    Senator Kerry just said during the debate on SJRes 26, the "Murkowski resolution" to disapprove EPA's rule relating to greenhouse gas regulation that the USA pays President Ahmadinejad of Iran $100m a day for oil. This is absolutely, unequivocally false.  Iran is subject to sanctions that specifically target the Iranian oil industry.  This is from the Energy Information Administration's website:
    As per the Iran Transactions Regulations, administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), U.S. persons may not directly or indirectly trade, finance, or facilitate any goods, services or technology going to or from Iran, including goods, services or technology that would benefit the Iranian oil industry....

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