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OpenMarket: November 2014

  • Thanksgiving and Markets

    November 26, 2014

    When the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony celebrated the first Thanksgiving on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod, they shared a feast with the Pokanoket tribe, in thanks to God for the colony’s bountiful harvest. As Plymouth Governor William Bradford explained in his memoirs, ending the colony’s initial communal system produced the abundance of the first Thanksgiving, and marked the end to famine and plague, during which half the colony died. Governor Bradford explained that initially, “The strong…had no more in division of victuals and...

  • Washington's Thanksgiving Turkeys: Here Are All of the White House's 200 Economically Significant Rules

    November 26, 2014

    As usual, the president will pardon a turkey again this year for Thanksgiving; For us turkey eaters, though, our federal holiday treat is lots and lots of federal red tape.

    In fact, the Holiday was just used as cover for what some news reports called a White House dump of 3,415 regulations just before the break. You could stuff a lot of turkeys with that.

    It’s really not unusual though; there are thousands of rules every year, in every administration.

    A portion of these...

  • Michael Mann Case Is about First Amendment, Not Global Warming

    November 25, 2014

    This morning the D.C. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Michael E. Mann v. Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Review, et al. CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman gave the following comments about the case:

    Regardless of where one stands on global warming, this case is about the First Amendment. Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit is an unfounded attempt to chill speech on a major issue of public concern. Professor Mann is a high-profile figure in the global warming debate, and he himself is responsible for much of the overheated rhetoric in that debate. His complaint about CEI’s criticism of his statistical methods belongs in the arena of public discussion and scientific inquiry, not in the courts.

    This is precisely the type of First Amendment lawsuit that the District of Columbia’s Anti-SLAPP law was...

  • How to Reform an Antiquated Union Model

    November 24, 2014
    Vincent Vernuccio of the Mackinac Center has written a report that addresses the major problems of an American labor movement on life support.
  • GAO: Union Official Time Costs Underreported

    November 24, 2014
    In October, the Office of Personnel Management released the long-awaited report that estimates the cost and amount of time federal employees spend on union activities while paid as if they were on duty performing government work. OPM's report found federal employees spent 3.4 million hours at a cost of $156 million in fiscal year 2012.
  • The Federal Register Topped 70,000 Pages Today

    November 24, 2014

    The Federal Register, where federal agencies’ daily rules, regulations, notices, “guidance,” bulletins and other material accumulate each day, just topped 70,000 pages for 2014. 

    70,052 in fact.

    The Register isn’t a very precise measure of regulatory activity, but it is one of the metrics we have in a largely unaccountable regulatory enterprise.

    Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) likes to keep a stack of Federal Registers next to a stack of Public Laws, which, unlike regulations, are actually passed by Congress and signed by the President.

    You know, the way the Constitution intended.

    The towering Federal Register...

  • New Field Study Confirms Neonicotinoids Have Little Impact on Honeybees

    November 24, 2014

    As the Ontario provincial government in Canada considers policies that may force farmers to stop using, or drastically reduce use of, a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, a new study shows why such policies are unlikely to do any good. Supposedly, limiting use of these pesticides will improve honeybee hive health, but such regulations will simply make it harder for farmers to produce an affordable food supply.

    The study, which relies on data from actual field conditions, confirms that farmers can protect their crops using these chemicals without harming honeybee hives. Published in PeerJ, it assessed the impact of neonicotinoid-treated canola crops on hives that...

  • NLRB's Mysterious New Member Dodges Important Questions, But Stresses Need for Fully Staffed Board

    November 24, 2014

    On December 16, Nancy Schiffer’s term on the National Labor Relations Board will end. Sharon Block was set to take her place but the Obama administration abruptly withdrew her nomination on November 12, 2014.

    Lauren McFerran, formerly the chief labor counsel and deputy staff director of the Senate HELP Committee is the next nominee in line.

    The NLRB has some very important cases before it including whether or not student athletes should be unionized, whether or not unions can use a company’s email...

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

    November 24, 2014

    It was a bit of a slow week as these things go, but regulators still published new rules on everything from stress testing to sage grouses. The Federal Register also has a chance of topping the 70,000-page mark next week.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 59 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 74 new final rules the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 51 minutes.
    • So far in 2014, 3,196 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,551 new regulations this year.
    • Last week, 1,404 new pages were added to the Federal Register.
    • Currently at 68,388 pages, the 2014 Federal Register is on pace for 75,987 pages. This would be the 6th-largest page count since the...
  • Adelson's Online Gambling Ban Losing Political Steam

    November 22, 2014

    It was a bad week for Sheldon Adelson. The billionaire casino owner has said he’ll spend whatever it takes to stop the spread of legal online gambling in the U.S. To that end, his lobbyists authored a bill, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), which would do just that; rewriting a 53-year-old law to create a de facto national ban on all Internet gambling. For a while, it seemed his measure was making headway; the bills had picked up cosponsors—18 for the House Bill 4301 and four for the Senate Bill 2159—and was set for a hearing in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations sometime in...

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