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OpenMarket: March 2012

  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    March 19, 2012
    The Defense Department is still implementing parts of the Privacy Act of 1974, plus more.
  • Consumer Freedom and the Risks of Raw Milk

    March 16, 2012
    Earlier today, Nicole Ciandella linked to an essay by the John Locke Foundation's Fergus Hodgson, titled "The Absurdity of Raw Milk Prohibition." It's a good piece, worth reading. But Hodgson makes a couple of errors worth pointing out, so I thought I'd add my two cents. Hodgson begins well enough:
    "Picture a peaceful, Amish farmer, selling one of nature’s super foods — fresh, raw milk. Eager customers came from afar, even across state lines, to savor the taste and access a nutritious product. Who could oppose such harmonious commerce on Rainbow Acres Farm? Government officials and their enforcers, that’s who. This Pennsylvania farmer has been the subject of a yearlong...
  • CEI Weekly: Senate Votes No on "Pickens Payout"

    March 16, 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 March 16, 2012 >>Featured Story FEATURE: Senate Votes No on Pickens Payout Natural gas mogul T. Boone Pickens is already a billionaire, but that hasn't stopped him from lobbying Congress for handouts. This week, the Senate rejected  an amendment that would have subsidized natural gas vehicles and fueling stations. CEI's Center for Energy and the Environment has long worked to expose the "Pickens Plan" as the corporate welfare that...
  • Today's Links: March 16, 2012

    March 16, 2012
    OPINION ELSPETH REEVE: "Could You Really Get Rid of Porn on the Internet?" "Rick Santorum is the latest politician to promise to ban online porn, but is it possible? When politicians say they want to ban porn, it's sort of like they've claimed they can fly: most reporters simply point out the promise, as if the absurdity were self-evident. [...] In the case of Rick Santorum, a statement went up on his campaign site on Wednesday pledging a grand crackdown on the "distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier." ALEXANDER FURNAS: "...
  • EPA's Toxic "Negotiation"

    March 16, 2012
    It's pretty amazing when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can essentially use extortion as a negotiating tool, and industry casts it as a plea to find "common ground." You can't blame industry too much for trying to place the issue in a positive light when they basically have a gun to the head. Check out EPA's latest argument to industry as to why it should support reform to the Toxic Substances Control Act. A March 13 story in Risk Policy Report explains it this way:
    Jim Jones, the Obama administration's nominee to head EPA's chemical safety office, is urging industry officials to reach a "common sense" agreement with environmentalists and other stakeholders on how to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act ( TSCA) in order to speed chemical...
  • Obama Reveals His Own Ignorance of American and World History While Denouncing Others' Alleged Ignorance

    March 16, 2012
    Even the liberal Talking Points Memo criticized a recent speech in which President Obama revealed his ignorance of U.S. and world history and disparaged a past U.S. President while denouncing the alleged ignorance of others. In a recent green energy speech, Obama mocked Republicans, "comparing their skepticism of alternative energy to the 'Flat Earth Society' in Christopher Columbus’ day and President Rutherford B. Hayes’ apparent dismissal of the telephone. But while Obama thinks the GOP is in need of a science lesson, he may need to bone up on history himself," TPM notes, since President Hayes was a supporter of new technologies...
  • AFSCME leadership fight will shape public employee union future

    March 16, 2012
    Warren Brookes Journalism Fellow Matthew Patterson Featured in The Washington Examiner Unions are salivating at the opportunity to take down their arch-nemesis, Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker. Last...
  • CEI Podcast for March 15, 2012: T. Boone Pickens Amendment Fails

    March 15, 2012
    The Senate this week voted down a highway bill amendment that would massively financially benefit natural gas mogul T. Boone Pickens. Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis explains why the Senate did the right thing.
  • Girl Model Documentary: Exploitation or Opportunity?

    March 15, 2012
    A new documentary explores alleged market exploitation of the powerless, a theme so repeatedly appealing to documentarians. This one, "Girl Model," caught my attention because it focuses on a facet of the fashion and modeling industries. It's the story of a 13-year-old Russian girl who is an aspiring model, along with several complicated, hardened model recruiters, one of whom actually initiated this documentary effort. Apparently, young female Russian models are in demand in Japanese advertising. They are recruited in Russia and sent off, willy-nilly to Japan to fend for themselves in the strange, unregulated, exploitative world of fashion modeling  But such narratives should trigger some viewer skepticism, in my opinion.
  • Bill Clinton's Economic Nationalism

    March 15, 2012
    Over at RealClearPolicy, I recently reviewed Bill Clinton’s latest book, Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy. You can read the review here. It’s a thought-provoking book, so there’s plenty I didn’t have room to say. Hence this post. Where the review focused mainly on Clinton’s philosophy and rhetoric, this post is mainly about Clinton’s economic policy proposals. I'll still take him over Bush or Obama, but some of his policy ideas make an economist's head shake. Two things are worth pointing out before we dig into the weeds of policy. One is that Clinton seems to believe that you are for something if you want to increase government spending on it, and...


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