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OpenMarket: May 2011

  • CEI Podcast for May 31, 2011: FDA Rescinds Approval of Breast Cancer Drug

    May 31, 2011
    Conko believes this battle boils down to one question: who decides which treatments patients can use? Will it be the FDA, or doctors and patients?
  • Liberalize High-Skilled Immigration

    May 31, 2011
    Over at the Daily Caller, Alex Nowrasteh and I tell the story of Jeffrey Lin. He is a Ph.D student at CalTech who holds three patents, has invented a device that would cure glaucoma, and is planning to start his own business. And he might get kicked out of the country.
  • California High-Speed Rail All Strung Out on Stimulus on the Outskirts of Town

    May 31, 2011
    Emily Washington of Market Urbanism highlights this Los Angeles Times article on the latest -- depending on your outlook: hilarious or pathetic -- development in California's high-speed rail saga: Ray LaHood's Department of Transportation won't even let them attempt to slightly improve on economic/success grounds the proposed line, which is quite literally a rail corridor segment to and from nowhere. Here's a nice quote:
    Rail officials plan to build the first section of the 500-mile system between Bakersfield and the tiny town of Borden in Madera County. The initial leg, which would pass through Fresno and Corcoran, has been criticized as a "train to nowhere" because high-speed trains...
  • Fiscal Conservatives Must Turn Policy Debate to General

    May 31, 2011
    "The people in general are more conservative and in particular are more liberal. That is to say, if you ask the people in general, what do you think of government, 'Get it off my back, less taxes.' If you ask in particular what about health, national health; what about full employment, government is the employer of last resort," by Michael Harrington. Fiscal conservatives must heed Harrington’s advice and turn the policy debate toward the general. Over the weekend, congressional Republicans introduced, "The House Republican Plan For America’s Job Creators," politically shifting spotlight to the general: the economy and job creation. It is this instance of a jobs plan where fiscal conservatives must tell citizens what they will take away from them; regulations hindering job...
  • New York City Health Officials: No Fun for Adults

    May 31, 2011
    Last year we watched as the FDA used its regulatory might to institute a de-facto ban on alcoholic energy drinks like Four Loko, Joose, and Sparks because it said the high alcohol, sugary drinks were being marketed toward underage drinkers. As I noted in my post, the biggest sin the makers of Four Loko and other banned “alcopops” committed was marketing their products as good-tasting and fun -- a mortal sin these days in America. Now, the New York City Department of Health is continuing the "war on fun" by asking for a ban on the sale...
  • Morning Media Summary

    May 31, 2011
    Tech: PBS Sites Hacked: Attackers Publish False News Story and Login Data: “Late Sunday night, hackers gained access to several areas of PBS Web servers and were able publish a fake news story on a PBS news blog. The hackers also published PBS internal user login information that they were able to siphon from PBS databases. The fake story was about rapper Tupac Shakur, who died in 1996 after being shot in Las Vegas, being been found alive and well in a small resort in New Zealand. (See screenshot as the story was taken down).” Conservative group accuses Education Dept of invading students’ privacy with new FERPA rules...
  • Yet More Proof that the Supreme Court is Not Pro-Business

    May 27, 2011
    The Supreme Court has ruled against the Chamber of Commerce's challenge to an Arizona law punishing businesses that hire illegal aliens by taking away their business licenses, and requiring use of E-Verify. The vote in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting was 5-to-3, with the five "conservative" justices voting against the Chamber of Commerce. So much for the erroneous claim that the Supreme Court is dominated by pro-business conservatives. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick falsely claimed in 2009 that in the Supreme Court, “big business always prevails, environmentalists are always buried, female and elderly workers go unprotected, death row inmates get the needle, and criminal defendants are shown the door.” Supreme Court reporters for ...
  • Regulation Roundup

    May 27, 2011
    Some of the zanier happenings in the world of regulation:
  • Morning Media Summary

    May 27, 2011
    Tech: EBay and PayPal sue Google over trade secrets: “EBay and its online payment unit, PayPal Inc, on Thursday sued Google Inc and two executives for stealing trade secrets related to mobile payment systems.” Amazon challenges Apple with Mac app download store: “Amazon today launched a Mac-specific application download store that will compete with Apple's nearly five-month-old Mac App Store.” Google unveils mobile wallet service: “Google on Thursday unveiled a mobile wallet platform and field tests in New York and San Francisco that will let people with special...
  • Shedding Light on Light Bulbs -- Don't Count on the NYT

    May 27, 2011
    In its “Home and Garden” section yesterday, The New York Times did it again: in what should have been a straight-forward puff piece about incandescent light bulb hoarding, the writer, Penelope Green, rather than shedding light on the subject, provided some misleading information. The article focused on decorators and stylists buying large quantities of standard light bulbs because they think they are going to be phased out.  Not at all, Green writes, that’s wrong – that’s not what the law says.
    Late in his second term, George W. Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires light bulb makers to improve the efficiency of incandescent bulbs by 25 percent. The details of the law dictated a phase-out of the...

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