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OpenMarket: March 2011

  • The Obama Administration's "Open Government" Empty Rhetoric

    March 20, 2011
    Liberal "open government" advocates are giving the president a medal for supposedly promoting "government transparency."  He shares their liberal ideology, but not their alleged commitment to transparency. In reality, President Obama is so hostile to open government that “the Obama administration censored 194 pages of internal e-mails about its Open Government Directive,” according to the Associated Press. For example, "it blacked-out one e-mail discussing how to respond to AP’s...
  • America Doesn't Need More College Graduates at Taxpayer Expense

    March 20, 2011
    President Obama says that “the best economic policy is one that produces more college graduates.” No doubt this is best for colleges, which have been able to increase tuition faster than inflation, year after year, secure in the knowledge that they can rake in ever-rising government subsidies and skyrocketing tuition. Students have little choice but to pay inflated tuition bills to the education industrial-complex, as they vie with each other for scarce entry-level jobs by acquiring ever more degrees that show their ability to jump through hoops and master difficult (but largely useless) skills...
  • Alcohol Regulatory Roundup: St. Patrick's Hangover Edition

    March 18, 2011

    While you guzzled green beer and nursed the subsequent hangover, politicians and other interested parties were busy creating or preventing regulatory headaches of their own. In this post-St. Paddy’s edition of the alcohol regulatory roundup we see what’s on tap for booze regulation around the nation:

    National news: In a one-two punch, the federal legislature and the U.S. Supreme Court took actions that could severely hinder interstate sales of alcohol; first with the rejection of an appeal in the courts and the introduction of legislation that would allow states to protect businesses from out-of-state competition:

    The Supreme Court announced last week that it would not review a decision made by the Fifth Circuit. The...

  • Peer-to-Peer Visa Payments Coming to the U.S.

    March 18, 2011
    Assuming this system works well, it will have an enormous impact on cash transfers -- revolutionizing the way Americans dine out, the amount of cash we carry, etc. The friend who promises to pay you back when you're out to eat but never actually does? He will need to come up with a new excuse. It's amazing that this is the first time such a (useful) idea will potentially become widespread in the United States, as it already exists in other countries:
    But our long national post-meal nightmare may be nearing an end. On Wednesday, Visa announced a new person-to-person payment system that could transform how we pay our babysitters, split our checks, and reimburse our friends. Starting...
  • CEI Weekly: How Washington Ruined Your Washing Machine

    March 18, 2011
    CEI Weekly is a compilation of articles and blog posts from CEI’s fellows and associates sent out via e-mail every Friday. Also included in the weekly newsletter is a brief description of CEI’s weekly podcast and a feature on a major CEI breakthrough made during the week. To sign up for CEI Weekly, go to http://cei.org/newsletters. CEI Weekly March 18, 2011 >>Featured Story Energy efficiency mandates are lowering Americans' quality of life by lowering the quality of our household appliances. In The Wall Street Journal this week, CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman explains how energy restrictions have ruined top-loader washing machines, which were once both inexpensive and...
  • CEI Podcast for March 17, 2011: Are Biotech Crops Coming to Kenya?

    March 17, 2011
    CEI Senior Fellow Greg Conko discusses his recent trip to Kenya where he met with members of Parliament and other officials about the best way to regulate the introduction of genetically modified crops to the country.
  • Labor Unions Join Fight Against EPA Regulations

    March 17, 2011
    This is a few days old, but it's worth mentioning: "EPA Tangles With New Critic: Labor." The labor unions were supportive of the Waxman-Markey bill in the House, and are clearly much more aligned with Democrats than Republicans, especially given the collective bargaining issues that have emerged in the past month. However, they aren't supportive of EPA's current efforts to regulate...
  • Are Text Messages an Antitrust Issue?

    March 17, 2011
    Text messages cost 20 cents to send, even though they use a fraction of a penny of bandwidth. What gives? Antitrust authorities want to know.
  • Florida House Subcommittee Approves Dress Code Bill

    March 16, 2011
    There are a few reasons to be bothered by the Florida dress code bill that just passed a State House Subcommittee. First, it’s unnecessary. The bill would require all school districts to adopt a dress code that prohibits students from “wearing clothing that exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner.” But most schools in Florida---like most schools throughout the country---already enforce dress codes. There’s no reason for state lawmakers to be determining what constitutes appropriate attire for Florida students when school officials across the state have already done so. Second, the bill purports to homogenize dressing standards in a state that is culturally and ethnically diverse. The NAACP Florida State Conference claims that a state-wide...
  • Steve LaTourette Wants More Federally Funded Transit (Highway-User Robbery)

    March 16, 2011
    Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), vice chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, essentially told a bunch of transit lobbyists yesterday that he'd be willing to kowtow to whatever demands they made of him. As reported by Streetsblog:
    “You’ve got to get in people’s faces,” [LaTourette] told [American Public Transportation Association] participants. “You’ve got to go in and ask for something” -- even of the “knuckledraggers that came in in the last election that hate taxes.” He said it’s only fair that people pay for the transportation infrastructure they use.
    While the tax-loving congressman appears concerned about the financial...

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