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OpenMarket: March 2011

  • Morning Media Summary

    March 11, 2011
    Tech: Herb Kohl vows Google probe: “Media consolidation, net neutrality and Google's dominance in Internet search are among the issues the Senate's leading legislator on antitrust issues plans to scrutinize in the months ahead.” Darrell Issa: White House Influencing net neutrality: “In a November 2009 letter to Genachowski, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said media reports suggest “that Obama administration officials had knowledge of and potentially contributed to [the] crafting of” the controversial net neutrality rules.” Illinois Governor Signs Amazon Internet Sales Tax Law: “After two-months of fence-sitting, Illinois...
  • Subway Surpasses McDonald's

    March 10, 2011
    It's a new era in fast food. Last decade everyone was asking which food was the healthiest. Now growth is global, and it all comes down to dominance. The bigger they are, the bigger they'll get. According to the Wall Street Journal, Subway has trumped McDonald's in the US and abroad, though McDo continues to rule in sales dollars:

    At the end of last year, Subway had 33,749 restaurants worldwide, compared to McDonald's 32,737. The burger giant disclosed its year-end store count in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late last month.


    Subway has achieved its rapid growth, in part, by opening outlets in non-traditional locations such as an automobile showroom in...

  • Bill Introduced to End Ethanol Tax Credit

    March 10, 2011
    Via The Hill's Energy blog:
    “The ethanol tax credit is bad economic policy, bad energy policy and bad environmental policy. The $6 billion we waste every year on corporate welfare should instead stay in taxpayers’ pockets where it can be used to spur innovation, stimulate growth and create jobs,” Coburn said in a statement Wednesday.
    The bill would repeal the VEETC. As before, a broad coalition emerged in support of the legislation. CEI's Marlo Lewis commented on the idea that ethanol is an infant fuel that needs protection:
    Henry Ford built his first car, the Quadricycle, to run on pure ethanol. That was...
  • Vintage Friedman in CNBC Ad

    March 10, 2011
    This is a current CNBC ad -- gasp -- produced from a 1979 interview of Milton Friedman by Phil Donohue. Can hardly get a better defense of free markets.
    H/T Cato, David Boaz
  • CEI Podcast for March 10, 2011: Keeping Private Data Private

    March 10, 2011
    Associate Director of Technology Studies Ryan Radia talks about rampant how to prevent data privacy violations in the Internet age.
  • Human Achievement of the Day: Nanospiders in Your Blood

    March 10, 2011
    In his writings, noted futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil has said that he believes human technology will one day reach a point where the human life expectancy will be radically extended, resulting in near immortality. In a 2009 interview with Computerworld, Kurzweil put the date at which immortality could be achieved somewhere around 2040 or 2050 thanks to the ever-quickening pace of technological development and the rise of nanotechnology that will repair or even replace parts of the human body. Kurzweil may have overshot that date by a few decades, as today’s human achievement is the invention of nanospiders that can crawl along human DNA and change it. DNA nanospiders, created by Columbia University scientists, are small robots (about 100,000 times smaller...
  • Obama Administration Tries to Rip-Off Retirees in New Mortgage Bailout

    March 10, 2011
    The Obama administration is now working with state attorney generals to rip off pension funds to bail out mortgage borrowers who don’t even need help. Pension funds that millions of Americans rely on for their retirement will suffer. Bank shareholders will also suffer. I  explain how and why in a commentary at The Washington Examiner website. The government is trying to get mortgage servicers to write off portions of loans that are owned by other people or institutions -- like the pension funds that millions depend on. That undermines property rights. Last fall, intellectuals with ties to the Obama administration proposed a much larger, but conceptually similar, bailout that could cost taxpayers...
  • Pressure Mounts for Three Free Trade Agreements to be Submitted

    March 10, 2011
    Bi-partisan pressure mounts for the Obama administration to move on long-pending free trade agreements (FTAs). At Senate Finance Committee hearings yesterday on the trade agenda, both Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) gave the Obama administration a hard time on not moving on pending trade pacts as U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk testified before the full committee. Sen. Hatch took a particularly tough line in his questioning. He noted that while the Obama administration is prepared to submit the U.S.-Korea FTA, he questioned why it has dragged its feet on setting any definite timetable for considering the pending free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. Both trade pacts have been negotiated and re-negotiated for several...
  • Popularizing Hayek

    March 10, 2011
    The good folks at IEA have just released Eugene Miller's summary of all the arguments Hayek makes in The Constitution of Liberty.
  • Mission Creep

    March 10, 2011
    Andy Greenberg reports that the TSA would like to expand its scanning operations to pedestrians and train passengers.


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