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OpenMarket: June 2011

  • Morning Media Summary

    June 14, 2011
    Tech: Google’s Android ambitions go beyond mobile: “Andy Rubin, Google's (GOOG) top mobile-phone executive, likes to talk about everything being "Android-ized." Android has become the top smartphone operating system in the United States, but Google's ambitions for it go well beyond tablet computers and smartphones, even beyond the mobile Web.” House Bill Would Require Companies to Report Privacy Breaches: “Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., is circulating draft legislation that would require companies to provide a basic level of protection for consumers’ personal information and notify the government when data is stolen.” Global Warming / Environment / Energy:...
  • Ending Project Labor Agreements Vote Determines Congress’s Agenda: Jobs or Cronies?

    June 14, 2011
    Openmarket.org In a vote today, the House of Representatives will determine whether federal construction projects will be open to competitive bidding. In 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13502 declaring that to win a federal construction project costing over $25 million, the contractor must sign a project labor agreement. Project labor agreements eliminate competition and discriminate against non-union workers. In the current economic state, the federal government cannot afford to mandate any contract which increases costs and furthers the burden on the taxpayer. Section 415 of H.R, 2055 (The Military Construction (MilCon) and Veterans Affairs (VA) and Related...
  • American Sociological Review Finds that Right-to-Work States are Better for Business

    June 13, 2011
    The June publication of the American Sociological Review contained research on right-to-work states. The research in “Laws of Attraction: Regulatory Arbitrage in the Face of Activism in Right-to-Work States” reaffirms what many have known for years: that right-to-work (RTW) laws attract business. This is an assertion that labor unions have dismissed for years. “The American Sociological Review is the American Sociological Association’s flagship journal.” The Association has nearly 15,000 members and is the national association for professional sociologists. The three researchers are widely published professors at Stanford University, University of Southern California, and Columbia University. The...
  • More Free Speech Violations in New Mexico? Prior Restraint Against Billboard Likely

    June 13, 2011
    Last year, a New Mexico court issued a domestic-violence restraining order against David Letterman on behalf of a deluded woman who had never met David Letterman, but nonetheless believed he was harassing her through her TV and the content of his TV show, which supposedly contained "coded messages." (When I was at a non-profit law firm, similarly kooky people would contact me claiming that the CIA, or their ex-spouse, was monitoring them through a chip implanted in their brain. I turned them away, a sign of skepticism which I guess makes me unfit for the bench.) Despite nationwide ridicule, the trial judge defended his restraining order, making clear that he had read the plaintiff's...
  • Tea Party vs. Tea Partly

    June 13, 2011
    In noticing the upcoming debate tonight featuring Republican contenders, I wondered to myself under which candidate would the federal government actually be smaller after four years, should any of them win? Maybe Ron Paul, in working with some imaginary 114th Congress; but of course Trump told the CPAC crowd that Paul could never win. But he's fun to watch. Tonight's candidates will make the general case to to cut spending and debt. But sometimes it seems that "Big Government Conservative," which detractors called Trump, is a redundancy. The largest spending and regulatory programs have and do enjoy their support. There's more Tea Partly than Tea Party in my view. Thus even slashing record spending and debt is no longer enough -- even if the budget were balanced at, say, half its current level. The regulatory state has surged such that the U.S. is an increasingly hostile environment...
  • Ending Project Labor Agreements Vote Determines Congress's Agenda: Jobs or Cronies?

    June 13, 2011
    In a vote today, the House of Representatives will determine whether federal construction projects will be open to competitive bidding. In 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13502 declaring that to win a federal construction project costing over $25 million, the contractor must sign a project labor agreement. Project labor agreements eliminate competition and discriminate against non-union workers. In the current economic state, the federal government cannot afford to mandate any contract which increases costs and furthers the burden on the taxpayer. Section 415 of H.R, 2055 (The Military Construction (MilCon) and Veterans Affairs (VA) and Related Agencies...
  • Bankruptcy creditor objections: "Hipster Battles Funds"

    June 13, 2011
    A bankruptcy court reorganization approval has some similarities to a class action settlement fairness hearing, as the court engages in an equitable inquiry to determine whether unrepresented parties are being fairly treated by a proposal. And, as we know from the fairness hearing context, courts often disregard the concerns of lay parties who can't afford to retain attorneys to protect them. So Nate Thoma faced long odds when he filed a pro se objection to the reorganization proposal of bankrupt Washington Mutual, complaining about a structure that failed to treat similarly-situated creditors equally and "gerrymandering" by favored bondholders to buy up a smaller-valued class of securities that would be frozen out to create the artificial appearance of an impaired class favoring the reorganization. Three cheers to him for winning. [...
  • More States, Politicians Jump on the Internet Gambling Bandwagon

    June 13, 2011
    The oncoming legalization of online poker charges ahead this week with more lawmakers “seeing the light” or at least the potential revenue dollars that online gambling could add to state coffers. News broke Friday that Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill that would pave the way for licensing and regulation of online gambling in the state. The bill gives the Nevada Gaming Commission (the agency that regulates all gambling in the state) until this January to develop rules that would govern online gambling activities. However, those rules would not be implemented until the federal government passes some kind of legislation that officially legalizes online gambling. A graph of the odds of that happening would probably look something like a rollercoaster track. Yet, the events of the last three months...
  • John Hospers, RIP

    June 13, 2011

    I received a blast e-mail this morning from 2008 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root informing readers that John Hospers had passed away on Sunday. He was 93. I can't yet find any mentions in the press, but will update this post as soon as more information is available.

    For those unfamiliar with Professor Hospers, he was the first presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party in 1972. He and his running mate, Tonie Nathan, were the first (and so far only) Libertarian Party ticket to receive an electoral vote, which came after Virginia Republican elector Roger MacBride (who later became the LP's 1976 presidential nominee) refused to support President Richard Nixon's reelection. Tonie Nathan's place on the ticket also resulted in her being the first woman in United States history...

  • Unions kill jobs: Just ask the unemployed in South Carolina

    June 13, 2011
    The Examiner With an unemployment rate of 9.8 percent, South Carolina is in dire economic straits, and so in desperate need of the 1,000 jobs created by the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner assembly plant in North Charleston. Unfortunately, in April, the Obama administration's National Labor Relations Board decided that Boeing's decision to open the Charleston plant was an unlawful retaliation against the company's unionized work force in Washington State. Boeing's decision to relocate some Dreamliner production (the Washington facility will remain open) was driven by the Washington machinists unions' propensity to strike, a propensity that has cost Boeing a fortune -- one 39-day strike in 2008 cost the company an estimated $2 billion. Read more at the Washington Examiner: ...

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