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OpenMarket: April 2014

  • Republican Internet Gambling Ban Undermines States’ and Individual Rights

    April 28, 2014
    Despite rhetoric that we need to “restore” the Federal Wire Act in order to protect states’ rights, Republican lawmakers are pushing a bill that would do the exact opposite. The bills would rewrite a U.S. federal law instituted in 1961, creating a de facto ban on Internet gambling, prohibiting states from legalizing and regulating the activity—something three states have already done with others in the process. Not only does the proposal trample states’ rights, but it will fail to eliminate illegal online...
  • Google's Self-Driving Cars Approach 700,000 Miles of Crash-Free Driving

    April 28, 2014
    In a report released last week for CEI, I noted that developers need to be able to demonstrate automated vehicle safety benefits in order to justify releasing them to consumers. Based on road use and crash data, the critical milestone to reach is about 725,000 miles of crash-free driving in order to be 99 percent confident that automated vehicles are safer than manually driven ones. Today, Chris Urmson, director of Google's Self-Driving Car Project, announced the company had reached nearly 700,000 miles of crash-free driving across its fleet of self-driving cars. Google's self-driving fleet has been involved in a couple of minor accidents, but they either occurred when the self-...
  • Education or Indoctrination?

    April 28, 2014
    Bills are being introduced in Connecticut and Illinois that would require school curriculum to teach the history of the labor movement.
  • Ninth Circuit win in Apple MagSafe case

    April 28, 2014
    The Apple MagSafe settlement paid the attorneys $3.1 million, but the class less than a quarter of that, yet the district court rubber-stamped settlement approval without addressing the objection to the self-dealing by class counsel, and, worse, imposed an illegal $15,000 bond to appeal the case. We posted the bond and appealed. (Briefing and oral argument here.) Thursday, the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded for consideration under the appropriate legal standards, and was especially critical of the abusive appeal bond. The most comprehensive coverage is by ...
  • CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    April 28, 2014
    84 new regulations, from spearmint oil to hot air balloons.
  • FCC's Internet Fast Lanes Should Outrun Net Neutrality Bias

    April 25, 2014
    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will issue proposed rules May 15, rules expected expected to allow premium pricing for Internet fast lanes alongside the lane we have now, for those willing to pay. The open-access tech utopians aren't amused; They see the Internet as some kind of magical public resource, as something that popped fully formed out of nowhere, and need never change. In the modern style, they have demands that others must fulfill, and want to set the terms for others' property deployment. The New York Times wrote,
    Dividing traffic on the Internet into fast and slow lanes is exactly what the Federal Communications Commission would do with its proposed regulations, unveiled this week. And no amount of reassurances about...
  • A Victory for Taxpayers and Equal Protection: Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Proposal 2

    April 25, 2014
    Taxpayers of all races pay more when government contracts are doled out based on race, rather than awarded to the lowest bidder. That's one reason why it's great news that the Supreme Court reversed a ridiculous lower court decision claiming that it violates the Constitution for voters to ban racial preferences in state government. In its 6-to-2 decision Tuesday in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action (BAMN), the Supreme Court overturned a contentious, 8-to-7 ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals striking down a provision of the Michigan state constitution that rightly banned racial preferences in government contracts and employment, and in state college admissions. That provision (Article I, §26) was added to the...
  • California Labor Board Obstructing Farm Workers Union Decertification Bid

    April 24, 2014
    Outdated labor law has led to the problem of inherited unions. Research done by the Center for Union Facts has found that less than 10 percent of employees actually voted for their union representation.
  • CEI Sues National Park Service and Interior Department under FOIA over Government Shutdown Documents

    April 23, 2014
    Last night, CEI filed suit against the United States Department of the Interior and the National Park Service for failing to produce documents in response to two pairs of Freedom of Information Act requests. Those requests, sent to them way back on October 9, dealt with these agencies' closures of private businesses and privately-run tourist attractions in the 2013 federal government shutdown, and also with their closures of public monuments and spaces, which are often open to the public even when no federal employee is on duty. The agencies have neither produced documents, nor set an estimated date for when they will be produced, nor indicated how many documents they might...
  • CEI Podcast for April 23, 2014: Reforming Fannie and Freddie

    April 23, 2014
    Senior Fellow John Berlau argues that a bill from Senators Tim Johnson and Mike Crapo intended to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would only make things worse.

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