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OpenMarket: November 2014

  • How the "Stupid" American Public Pays for Gruber's Deception

    November 17, 2014

    The Washington Times points out that Jonathan Gruber, our nation’s most famous sufferer of foot-in-mouth-disease, has profited greatly from the “stupid” American public to whom he felt the need to lie in order to pass his health care reform. In an editorial, the paper details the nearly $300,000 paycheck Gruber received from the Department of Health and Human Services to “sing the praises of the health care scheme.”

    And that’s not all. Several states—including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, West Virginia, Maine, Colorado, and Oregon—used Obamacare grants to pay Gruber millions of dollars for his services.

    Outrageous? Yes. But should we really be surprised?  

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) routinely pays researchers with certain biases to produce “...

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

    November 17, 2014

    The Federal Register took Tuesday off to observe Veterans’ Day. The short week was still a busy one, with Thursday’s edition alone totaling 783 pages.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 74 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 59 new final rules the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 16 minutes.
    • So far in 2014, 3,137 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,565 new regulations this year.
    • Last week, 1,755 new pages were added to the Federal Register.
    • Currently at 66,984 pages, the 2014 Federal Register is on pace for 76,119 pages. This would be the 6th-largest page count since the Federal Register began publication in 1936.
    • Rules...
  • Gruber’s “Speakola” Virus and Pelosi’s Selective Memory

    November 14, 2014

    Obamacare supporters say that when deciding King v. Burwell and the related Halbig v. Burwell, challenges to the law that the Competitive Enterprise Institute helped fund and coordinate, there is really no need for courts to narrowly confine themselves to the language of specific provisions. Instead, they should look at the broad purposes of the law, as explained by its key architects. But one problem with this approach is these architects of the law—both in Congress and outside—seem to have selective memories about the structure of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, aka Obamacare

    Until very recently, one of the key sources that Obamacare supporters have relied on to establish that purpose are statements and writings by the key architects of the law. For example, MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber’s writings on Obamacare were extensively...

  • CFPBs Prepaid Debit Card Rules Will Harm Low-Income Consumers

    November 13, 2014

    Today’s action by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue unprecedented burdens on providers of prepaid debit cards shows why the bureau needs to be held accountable to our elected representatives. This lack of constitutional accountability is why CEI, in partnership with the 60 Plus  Association seniors group and the tiny Texas community bank the State National Bank of Big Spring, is challenging the structure of the bureau created in the Dodd-Frank legislation of 2010 in a lawsuit to be heard before the D.C. Circuit on November 19.

    Though the CFPB says and many of the fawning headlines say the regulations are simply about consumer disclosure, the CFPB ...

  • USPS Data Breach Highlights Union Hypocrisy

    November 13, 2014
    Recently, a United States Postal Service computer system experienced a security breach. The result: around 800,000 current and former USPS employees' private information, including their names, email addresses, phone numbers, and home addresses were exposed.
  • Obama’s Meaningless China Deal on Climate Change

    November 12, 2014

    Myron Ebell discusses the recent climate deal between President Obama and Chinese President Xi at APEC:

    U. S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a commitment by both countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions by 2025-30, at the end of the APEC summit meeting in China on Wednesday.  President Obama pledged that the United States would reduce it emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, while President Xi pledged that China’s emissions would peak by “around 2030, with the intention to try to peak early, and to increase the share of non-fossil fuel share of all energy to around 20% by 2030.”  That quote is from the White House fact sheet on the agreement.

    ...
  • Minneapolis Adopts Unconstitutional Racial Quotas in School Discipline

    November 12, 2014

    Given a choice between following the law, and doing what a bureaucrat with power over them wants, many people will do what the bureaucrat wants, and ignore the law. That seems to be the lesson of the Minneapolis school system’s decision to adopt race-based school discipline.

    The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that “Minneapolis public school officials are making dramatic changes to their discipline practices by requiring the superintendent’s office to review all suspensions of students of color.” The Minneapolis school system will require prior review before “every proposed suspension...

  • Miami-Dade Contracts Keep Paying Government Employees to Perform Union Business

    November 11, 2014
    In the summer of 2013, Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser, and current Lieutenant Governor of Florida, Carlos Lopez-Cantera tried to fire an employee who wasn't showing up for work. Surprisingly, Miami-Dade County legal counsel advised against disciplining the no-show public employee.
  • Obamacare: Cert Granted on Friday, and Gruber III on Saturday

    November 11, 2014

    It was very good news, delivered in a very surprising way. Shortly after noon last Friday, the Supreme Court announced that it would review our Fourth Circuit Obamacare challenge, King v. Burwell

    Ever since we filed the case with the Supreme Court this past July, we’d been hopeful that the Court would take the case. The likelihood of the Court accepting any case is extremely low, but there were several major factors in our favor. 

    First, the question involved is extremely important to millions of Americans, be they taxpayers, health insurance policyholders, or workers. (In most cases, they’ll be all three.) The issue is whether Obamacare health insurance subsidies are available nationwide, as the White House claims, or whether they are...

  • The Long National Nightmare of Dodd-Frank Is Almost Over

    November 10, 2014

    One of the prime reasons for the continuing economic uncertainty that bedevils so many ordinary Americans is the presence in law of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which was meant to solve the problems of the financial crisis. In fact, by giving unelected bureaucrats Czar-like power over the financial system, it has caused the stagnation of that system, reducing the free flow of money through the economy and stopping businesses and citizens getting access to the credit that they desperately need.

    On November 19, however, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit will hear arguments in a case brought by CEI and others challenging the constitutionality of this new bureaucracy. If the judges rule in our favor, Main Street and Wall Street should both breathe a sigh of relief.

    The grounds for our...

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