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OpenMarket: June 2011

  • Regulation of the Day 178: Helping Tornado Victims

    June 3, 2011
    Mike Haege, a tree-trimmer in Hastings, Minnesota, was threatened with jail and fined $275 for helping clear damaged trees from tornado victims' yards.
  • California Social Networking Bill In Its Death Throes

    June 3, 2011
    In Sacramento, California, a bill that would regulate social networking is reportedly on its death bed after failing by five votes last week. The online industry and Internet users will be able to breathe a little easier this evening if the bill’s author, State Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), doesn’t find the votes needed to bring her bill back by the end of today. Unfortunately, Corbett, has pledged to keep pursuing the issue if she fails today. Corbett’s legislation (S.B. 242) would force social networking sites to alter their privacy settings to ensure that no user’s personal information is ever made available to the public without that individual’s explicit permission. The bill’s definition of personal information encompasses names, addresses, phone numbers,...
  • Obama’s Chrysler Fiat -- Missing Jobs Under the Hood

    June 3, 2011
    “So far the auto industry’s added 113,000 jobs over the past two years.” So proclaimed President Obama in a speech at the Chrysler/Fiat plant in Toledo , Ohio, that was triumphal despite today’s horrific unemployment numbers. The 113,000 slightly less than the figure the administration and the media have touted all week of 115,000. But to use some auto terminology, both sets of these jobs figures have been jacked up. As with buying a car, it’s always a good idea to look under the hood. And upon closer examination, this White House’s auto bailout “success” statistics turn into lemons. In the cases of the GM and Chrysler “repaying” their loans, as my Competitive Enterprise Institute colleague Hans Bader and TruthAboutCars.com editor Edward Niedermeyer...
  • President Obama's Speech Perpetuates Bailout Payback Myth

    June 3, 2011
    In his speech just completed at a Toledo, Ohio Chrysler plant, President Obama continued the government PR work on behalf of bailed out auto companies when he stated the misleading claim that Chrysler had completely repaid its government loan six years ahead of schedule. For more on how the government and these car companies are lying about the repayment of the bailout, see CEI's news release from yesterday.
  • Regulation Roundup

    June 3, 2011
    Tennessee makes it illegal to use someone else's Netflix password, plus more.
  • NFL, Players in Court Today

    June 3, 2011
    Today is a crucial day in the ongoing labor dispute between the NFL and the supposedly disbanded players' union, the NFLPA as they return to court. In order to try and force the owners to give up their plans to use more of the NFL's annual profit to help expand the game, the NFLPA disbanded, allowing them to sue the NFL and its franchises for antitrust violations. The NFL responded by locking the players out. Today's hearing, among other things, will decide whether that lockout is legal or not. If the NFL wins, as seems likely, the players will have few options left. They can hope for a win...
  • Planning to Disaster: San Diego and California's Sustainable Communities Strategies

    June 3, 2011
    The San Diego metro area has been institutionalizing its boring reputation by undertaking in recent years what is arguably the most aggressive regional planning effort in the country. Enviros and "anti-sprawl" (read: anti-poor, anti-choice) types have fallen back in love with America's Finest City over San Diego's ease of meeting SB 375's Sustainable Communities Strategies targets. Thanks to the members of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), San Diegans can look forward to this whiter brighter future:
    While the notion of efficiently coordinating transportation, housing, and commercial development across thousands of square miles and millions of people sounds daunting, officials in the San Diego area say that...
  • CEI FOIA Request Reveals Relationship Between Treasury Department and GM

    June 3, 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 June 3, 2011 >>Featured Story In its now-infamous 2010 ad campaign, General Motors misleadingly claimed it had repaid all of its government loans. After the ads aired, CEI filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Treasury Department for documents pertaining to the ads. The Treasury...
  • How Free Is America?

    June 3, 2011
    Pajamas Media Americans are accustomed to thinking of themselves as the freest people on Earth. Except that according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2011 Index of Economic Freedom, the United States stands at a dismal 9th in international rankings for economic liberty, embarrassingly behind social democracies like New Zealand (4th) and Canada (6th) and well behind Asian powerhouses Hong Kong and Singapore (first and second, respectively). It is safe to say that these depressing stats would come as no surprise to the higher-ups at Boeing, who had the temerity to act as if they were a private company operating in a free market when they decided to relocate the company’s 787 Dreamliner assembly from Washington state to a new production facility in South Carolina.This new relationship was poised to be mutually beneficial — South Carolina would...
  • Official Time: Union Activity on the Taxpayers' Dime

    June 2, 2011
    Government Executive summarizes the Office of Personnel Management's report on the use of official time, whereby unionized federal employees carry out union business while being paid by the government -- i.e. taxpayers. The House Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and Labor Policy yesterday held a hearing on the topic, where CEI Labor Policy Counsel F. Vincent Vernuccio testified.
    The report, the subject of a Wednesday hearing on...

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