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OpenMarket: October 2013

  • Obama Administration Memo: Keep Paying Union Bosses on Official Time

    October 7, 2013
    Over the weekend, the House unanimously passed the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act. If passed by the Senate, all furloughed federal employees will receive back-pay over the duration of the government shutdown.
  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    October 7, 2013
    113 new regulations, from drawbridge schedules to viticultural areas.
  • Some Genuine Vindictiveness in Park Closings

    October 4, 2013
    The Washington Times story on the attempted forced shut down of the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina may provide some insight into the attitudes of the National Park Service in shutting down private concessionaires on federal lands that still have open access for the public. NPS chief spokesman said: "NPS [is]a single entity....We do not believe it is appropriate or feasible to have some parts of the system open while other parts are closed to the public." If other words, if we suffer, you suffer. Appears to be some genuine vindictiveness there. Perhaps NPS is worried that if the public sees how well the private concessionaires are running campgrounds, picnic areas, hotels, stores, bookshops and properties such as the Claude Moore Colonial Farm in McLean, Va., which was closed even though it takes no federal money and has no federal employees -- they...
  • Obama Administration Unnecessarily Shuts Down Many Private Businesses in Government "Shutdown"

    October 4, 2013
     PJ Media's Bryan Preston reported Wednesday that the "White House [is] ordering hundreds of privately run, private funded parks to close," using the government shutdown as an excuse (even though most federal employees remain on the job): "Warren Meyer of Phoenix, AZ, is owner and president of Recreation Resource Management, Inc. RRM employs about 400-500 camp workers and managers across about a dozen states. It is one of a handful of companies...
  • Selfishness Underlies the Shutdown, At Home and Abroad

    October 4, 2013
    Americans aren’t the only ones talking about government shutdown this week. Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi almost collapsed Italy’s government on Wednesday by threatening to pull his party’s support for the current left-right coalition government. Fortunately, he eventually relented. At their core, petty selfishness drives both President Obama and Berlusconi’s actions. The former, by defending his signature healthcare law at any cost, hopes to preserve his spot in the history textbooks. The latter will pull out all the stops to prevent his expulsion from the Italian Senate—after a tax fraud conviction this summer--that would signal an end to his longtime pursuit for political glory. I elaborate on their similar motives to gum up the political works in my recent...
  • Twitter IPO a Vindication of Bipartisan JOBS Act

    October 4, 2013
    Almost two years ago, I wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed entitled, "Making It Legal to Tweet for Investors." In the op-ed, I described bipartisan bills that contained modest but significant deregulation of securities laws—an update for the age of social networking. These bills were eventually merged into the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which was signed by President Obama in April 2012. And in a twist, Twitter is using JOBS Act provisions for its own intial public offering, as revealed by the filing of its first IPO documents last night. And investors are better off for it, as companies like Twitter going public at earlier stages of growth will mean greater opportunity for ordinary shareholders to grow wealthy with the company. And going public at an earlier stage...
  • CEI Podcast for October 3, 2013: The Federal Shutdown

    October 3, 2013
    For the 17th time since 1976, the federal government has shut down over a partisan fiscal squabble. Vice President for Strategy Iain Murray gives his thoughts.
  • Regulators and Justice

    October 3, 2013
    The federal government cajoled JP Morgan into acquiring Bear Stearns. Now they are punishing JP Morgan for crimes allegedly committed by Bear Stearns prior to the acquisition. Maurice Greenberg, chairman and CEO of C.V. Starr & Co, writes in The Wall Street Journal:
    History seems to be repeating itself with the case of J.P. Morgan. The global bank is now under siege by federal and state regulators. The most ironic claim against J.P. Morgan is an allegation from current New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of mortgage fraud at Bear Stearns that allegedly took place prior to J.P. Morgan's acquisition of that firm. J.P. Morgan acquired Bear Stearns at the urging of federal officials who feared that fallout from Bear's collapse would damage the entire economy. Like AIG, J.P....
  • Obama Administration Uses "Government Shutdown" as Pretext to Block Access to Tourist Attractions

    October 3, 2013
    In response to the so-called “government shutdown” (which actually has not shut down most of the government—80 percent of federal workers are still working), the Obama Administration is shutting down various tourist attractions, even though doing so costs the government more money than leaving them open.  It is renting costly...
  • NYC Rubber Rooms Still Packed

    October 2, 2013
    Just three years ago, New York City Mayor Bloomberg and the United Federation of Teachers publicly heralded a deal to end "rubber rooms," the reassignment centers that hold suspended teachers accused of incompetence or misconduct, where they collect full salaries and do no work.

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