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OpenMarket: June 2014

  • Eubank v. Pella Corporation (7th Cir. 2014)

    June 6, 2014
    Judge Posner writes a very interesting Seventh Circuit opinion reversing a settlement approval on multiple grounds. A lot of friends forwarded the decision to me. I got to write back that I had argued it.

    This wasn't a Center for Class Action Fairness case; the Center is a non-profit and restricted by federal tax law to cases where the client would not be able to retain a private attorney. But an objector's counsel retained my private solo law practice to assist with the briefing for one of the objectors; I then argued the appeal in Chicago in April along with counsel for the class representatives frozen out of the deal.

    But even if it's not a CCAF case, it's worth discussing here. The opinion is going to be very helpful to...
  • Good News and Bad News about Honeybees

    June 6, 2014
    News stories related to honeybee health the past few weeks are all over the map. Some headlines claim that new research proves that honeybees are dying off because of pesticides, while others say honeybees are doing just fine. But reality is different than either scenario. Beekeepers surely have their challenges, but banning pesticide's won't help them or their bees. Much of the media "bad news" comes from a recent Harvard University study, which some say proves that a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids are to blame for colony collapse disorder (CCD), a phenomenon in which bees leave the hive and never return. If we don’t ban...
  • Friday June 6th: Have a Doughnut for Freedom

    June 6, 2014
    Do you know what today is? If you said D-Day, you’d be right. But this year, June 6 also marks another, less well known occasion. National Doughnut Day, celebrated the first Friday each June, may seem like a silly excuse to indulge, but it has serious roots in American history. The holiday was created in 1938 by the Salvation Army to honor those who distributed doughnuts to soldiers on the front lines during World War I. At the time, the doughnut was a novelty to most Americans, but it quickly became a breakfast staple. So when did this beloved ring of fried dough become public enemy number one? Today, we’ve got a full-time “food police”—an array of bureaucrats, lawmakers, and public health advocates—going after doughnuts with taxes, laws, and brute force, all in the name of fighting obesity. The ultimate goal of these self-appointed guardians of our health is to get us to make...
  • UAW Hikes Union Dues 25 percent

    June 5, 2014
    On Monday June 2, the UAW's four-day constitutional convention commenced. And coming out of the convention is a really unpopular decision to increase union dues payments on union membership.
  • When Hedge Funds Meet Pension Funds

    June 5, 2014
    Are hedge funds dangerous? Depends on who you ask -- and where you look. For most investors, they're no riskier than other assets -- just ask Eastman Kodak shareholders. But this week, the Guardian featured a brief discussion of hedge funds that shines a light on type of investor whose involvement in hedge funds is more questionable: public pension funds seeking higher returns. The first essay -- subtly titled, "Hedge funds: the mysterious power pulling strings on Wall Street" -- provides more heat than light. Author Chris Arnade describes hedge funds as shadowy entities that thrive on secrecy as a means of exaggerating performance in order to earn lavish compensation for fund managers.
    The bottom line: investors, sophisticated or not, can't know in detail what...
  • Updated: Ohio Union Release Time

    June 5, 2014
    Union release time is a subsidy to public-employee unions at the state and local level, but the cost and activities are rarely available for public inspection, or kept track of at all.
  • Most Transparent Administration History Won't Release Cost of Union Subsidy

    June 4, 2014
    U.S. citizens should easily be able to find out how their tax dollars are spent by the federal government. Yet under the Obama administration, the Office of Personnel Management has made it increasingly difficult to inspect how much of the public's money is used to subsidize federal employee unions.
  • Union Deauthorization and Recertification Gains Employees Freedom in the Workplace

    June 4, 2014
    In today’s highly fluid workforce, employees require the freedom to associate or disassociate with labor unions in a timely manner. But for disgruntled union employees, breaking away from union representation (a process known as decertification) can be impossible.
  • Maya Angelou, Herb Jeffries, and the Freedom to Prosper

    June 4, 2014
    Competitive Enterprise Institute President Lawson Bader has said, "What CEI does, on a daily basis and at its core, is to celebrate and defend free enterprise," and "free enterprise is just another phrase for what I call the ‘freedom to prosper.'" Lawson makes it clear that "prosperity" does not necessarily mean accumulation of possessions, but enrichment of one’s own life and those of others through individual choice. Free enterprise means freedom to pursue various options, and "we who defend economic liberty view these endeavors with a non-judgmental eye, recognizing them as the choices free individuals make to realize their dreams,'" he writes. These thoughts on the freedom to prosper have been on my mind since last week after the passing of two individuals -- one of whom I was privileged to know -- who used what limited freedom...
  • CEI Podcast for June 3, 2014: EPA Proposes Major Carbon Emission Regulation

    June 3, 2014
    Senior Fellow William Yeatman breaks down a proposed EPA regulation intended to significantly reduce carbon emissions in the U.S.

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