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OpenMarket: March 2012

  • A Response to Cato's Tim Lee on "Private" Turnpikes

    March 30, 2012
    Cato Institute adjunct scholar Tim Lee has an article up on The Atlantic's website, entitled “The Mirage of Free-Market Roads.” In it, he lays out his concerns regarding the private provision of roads, particularly privately financed and operated turnpikes. While he raises several valid points, such as the importance of preventing private parties from abusing eminent domain authority, his analysis overlooks some important issues. First, while I and many libertarians would love to see true road privatization, that reality is unlikely to be realized anytime soon. I surveyed several surface transportation public-private partnership (PPP) projects in a CEI report; I generally favor them. If...
  • CEI Weekly: Celebrate Human Achievement Hour Tomorrow!

    March 30, 2012
    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. March 30, 2012 >>Featured Story Celebrate Human Achievement Hour Tomorrow! Tomorrow evening, cities, businesses, and individuals around the world will shut off their lights for Earth Hour. As they sit in the dark---ruminating about how the environment would be better off without man-made wonders like electricity---CEI will be hosting a party in observance of our own holiday, Human Achievement Hour.  Founded by CEI Fellow in...
  • Throw Dulles Rail Under the Bus

    March 30, 2012
    Openmarket.org Last week, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the Fairfax Board of Supervisors granted the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors a 30-day extension to review the final cost estimates of Phase II of the Dulles Metrorail project. Unless MWAA agrees to drop a provision giving preference to bids that include a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) by then, Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors will likely opt out of participating. And, since the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has admitted that Phase II would be built to Route 28 with or without Loudoun County’s...
  • Today's Links: March 30, 2012

    March 30, 2012
    OPINION ERIC CRAMPTON: "Copyright Stagnation" "Paul Heald demonstrated the effect of the stagnant US copyright wall in seminar at Canterbury last week. Recall that books published through 1922 are in the public domain in the US; those published since then are covered by copyright. Heald dug through some Amazon stats to see what happens to books as they come out of copyright. Here's the rather stunning graph." MICHAEL JOSEPH GROSS: "World War 3.0" "When the Internet was created, decades ago, one thing was inevitable: the war today over how (or whether) to...
  • Will Congress stop NLRB?

    March 30, 2012
    CEI Labor Policy Analyst Trey Kovacs and Research Associate Jack Mann Featured in The Washington Examiner Imagine an election in which one candidate may campaign for a year while the other is only allowed to enter the race a week before Elec tion Day. Blindsided, the latter candidate would have no time to organize a team or respond...
  • Throw Dulles Rail Under the Bus

    March 29, 2012
    Last week, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the Fairfax Board of Supervisors granted the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors a 30-day extension to review the final cost estimates of Phase II of the Dulles Metrorail project. Unless MWAA agrees to drop a provision giving preference to bids that include a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) by then, Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors will likely opt out of participating. And, since the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has admitted that Phase II would be built to Route 28 with or without Loudoun County’s help, why wouldn’t they? It would be politically suicidal for a board of first-term republicans to sign off on a scheme that gives a 10-percent scoring bonus to firms who use...
  • TSA Trifecta

    March 29, 2012
    First, a TSA manager at Dulles airport has been arrested for running a prostitution ring. Second, two Miami TSA employees were arrested for trashing a hotel room and firing a semiautomatic handgun six times out of a window. Third...
  • Obamacare: Constitutionality Argument Misses the Point Entirely

    March 29, 2012
    Conservatives are ebullient over the unexpected hostility and skepticism the government's lawyers faced from the Supreme Court Justices over the three days of hearings on the constitutionality of Obamacare.  In fact, so withering was the interrogation that the consensus of the Beltway-NYC elite has shifted virtually overnight from "Of course the Court will uphold it!" to "Oh my God! The individual mandate is doomed!" It is heartening to see the Justices take the constitutional question seriously, and entertaining to see them pick apart the very weak case(s) for the individual mandate that every American purchase health insurance or face government sanction. And it certainly seems more possible now than it did last week that the Court may throw the baby out, and the bath water too, for good measure. However, it is possible that this focus on constitutionality may someday backfire on...
  • Obama Budget Rejected by House in 414-0 Vote

    March 29, 2012
    The House of Representatives rejected the Obama administration's proposed budget 414-to-0; it failed to get a single Democratic vote. As Ed Morrissey noted, “the President wants to keep proposing massive deficits, increased spending, and higher taxes . . . This is the second year in a row that Obama’s budget couldn’t win a single Democratic vote in Congress. In parliamentary systems, that would be a vote of no confidence and the party would be looking for new leadership."
  • CEI Podcast for March 29, 2012: The History of American Immigration in Six Minutes

    March 29, 2012
    Immigration Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh talks about the reasons behind the major historical shifts, and suggests reforms that would make today's immigration system fairer and less cumbersome.

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