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OpenMarket: September 2012

  • Today's Links: September 6, 2012

    September 6, 2012
    OPINION TONY DOKOUPIL: "The Original Drug Czar" "Dr. Peter Bourne is on a high these days. The self-described “first drug czar”—the first with full control over both the punishment and the treatment sides of federal policy—left the Carter administration under a cloud in 1978, accused of snorting cocaine at a party thrown by none other than NORML, the have-a-hit marijuana lobby. He hotly denied the charge, but not his attendance—and that was enough. The scandal ended the only truce in the nation’s 40-year war on drugs, a moment when Bourne—echoing the president and a majority of the country at the time—tried to end criminal penalties against pot." JAMES VALVO: "...
  • Modernizing Air Traffic Control In The United States

    September 5, 2012
    In The Washington Examiner, a story citing me provides an overview of where the United States is in modernizing its air traffic control system. Currently, the core of U.S. ATC is decades old. New technologies are now available, but the Federal Aviation Administration is having difficulty rolling them out in a timely and cost-effective manner:
    A Transportation Department inspector general report in May stated bluntly that "success of the FAA's plans also depends on how it addresses significant workforce issues [and] ... will also require FAA to collectively bargain with its unions." The report goes on to note that while NATCA leadership has expressed support for the overall project, its local affiliates are pushing back. "During our visits to the...
  • The Conventions Continue

    September 5, 2012
    "When a nation is shallow and imitative, it finds nothing more powerful than editorial slogans." - Benjamin Constant
  • Today's Links: September 5, 2012

    September 5, 2012
    OPINION GENE HEALY: "Dinesh D'Souza Is the Right's Michael Moore" "I lost an hour and a half of my life Sunday at a matinee showing of the sleeper-hit documentary 2016: Obama's America. But I kept the stub for tax purposes, and you get to read this column. With luck, we'll both end up just slightly worse off for the experience." ROBERT BRYCE: "Democrats and Republicans Support Harmful Ethanol Subsidies For the Sake of Votes" "Corn ethanol is the Franken fuel of American politics. Neither party, neither candidate, dares question the program that requires motorists to buy  a...
  • Massive Fraud Against Clients In Class Action Lawsuit Brought By Obama As Lawyer?

    September 4, 2012
    I have often written about abuses in class-action lawsuits, such as lawyers ripping off their clients, or using settlement money for ideological causes rather than the benefit of their clients. But even I was amazed by what The Daily Caller recently reported: that massive fraud was apparently committed by lawyers against their clients in a 1995 class-action lawsuit brought by lawyer Barack Obama and his co-counsel...
  • Crony Capitalism In Fiction: Catch-22

    September 4, 2012
    In Joseph Heller's 1961 novel Catch-22, Lieutenant Milo Minderbinder is a walking parody of a conscience-free capitalist. After he impulsively buys all the cotton in Egypt, he's frantic to unload his expensive haul--but no one is interested in buying it. Catch-22’s main character, Yossarian, suggests Milo sell all his unwanted cotton to the U.S. government. This exchange follows:
    Milo vetoed the idea brusquely. "It's a matter of principle," he explained firmly. "The government has no business in business, and I would be the last person in the world to ever try to involve the government in a business of mine. But the business of government is business," he remembered alertly, and continued with elation. "Calvin Coolidge said that, and Calvin Coolidge was a President, so it must be true. And the government does have the responsibility of buying...
  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week In Regulation

    September 4, 2012
    74 new rules and 2,086 Federal Register pages, from migratory birds to cranberries.
  • Science And Technology Policy And The Democratic Convention

    September 4, 2012
    Now it's the Democrats' turn to gather for their convention in Charlotte and one element of the platform in common with basic Republican philosophy is the case for government funding of basic science. The Democrats are much more ambitious, however, in calls for the funding of "investment" beyond basic science. The word "investment," in fact, appears 40 times in the just-released 2012 Democratic National Platform. Indeed most agree with the notion that such a basic science policy is "unimpeachable," as Fareed Zakaria's, "How Government Funding of Science Rewards U.S. Taxpayers," put it in the The Washington Post. But needless problems arise when an institution with the power to tax and compel gets overly involved in the very production of knowledge itself. Problems include seducing industry...
  • Today's Links: September 4, 2012

    September 4, 2012
    OPINION JOHN H. COCHRANE: "CBO Demands a Leap of Faith on the Fiscal Cliff" "How does the CBO come up with these numbers? Its projections are Keynesian. If the government borrows $1 billion and spends it, the CBO will project that this action raises gross domestic product by $1.5 billion. Government workers are counted as 'producing' what they cost, so borrowing money to keep them employed generates the same GDP as building a bridge. If the government just gives the money to people, this also raises the CBO’s GDP estimate. Reducing government spending and transfers has the opposite effect. If, like me, you think that spending less money on useless...
  • Time for workers to take back Labor Day

    September 3, 2012
    Fox News On Monday, September 3, millions of Americans will celebrate Labor Day. For most, it will mean nothing more than the unofficial end of summer, a weekend for one last barbeque, campout, or trip to the beach. However,according to the United States Department of Labor, the day represents, “a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well being of our country." For a holiday little more than a century old, Labor Day’s origins are surprisingly opaque. Some say that Peter McGuire, co-founder of the...

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