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OpenMarket: July 2015

  • Federal Financial Aid Drives Up Tuition and College Costs, Study Finds

    July 9, 2015

    The federal government is now admitting that its own financial aid is partly to blame for rising tuitionreports Blake Neff in The Daily Caller:

    A ...

  • Supreme Court Expands Power of Trial Lawyers Over Elections in Arizona Ruling

    July 7, 2015

    The Supreme Court’s recent healthcare decision in King v. Burwell wasn’t the only case in which it twisted clear statutory or constitutional language in order to protect the progressive political agenda. The King decision perversely claimed that the words “‘Exchange established by the State’” “means ‘Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government,’” even though “the Act ...

  • Largest Union Decertification Effort in Railway Labor Act History Underway at Allegiant Air

    July 6, 2015
    Last week, Allegiant Air flight attendants have filed with the National Mediation Board to decertify the Transport Workers Union. If successful, it would be largest decertification under the Railway Labor Act.
  • Joel Kotkin's Analysis of Pope Francis's Encyclical

    July 6, 2015

    Joel Kotkin has written an outstanding analysis posted on the Daily Beast of Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’. I would quibble with certain details. For example, I think Francis is more influenced by Liberation Theology than by Argentina’s Peronist economy. And Kotkin’s historical account of the “Middle Ages” is based on outdated scholarship. But he is absolutely correct that the encyclical allies the Pope with radical Greens who hate capitalism and favor de-industrialization.

    Here...

  • Texas: Austin and San Antonio Release Time Records

    July 6, 2015
    The San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) granted 4,238 release time hours in fiscal year 2012, at a cost to taxpayers $135,786. In FY 2013, release time amounted to 4,620 hours and cost $151,585. The San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) granted 7,941 hours, at a cost of $252,581. In FY 2013, release time hours amounted to 8,301, at a cost of $272,244. City of Austin records showed the Police Department (APD), Fire Department (AFD) and Emergency Medical Services (AEMS) were granted 10,857 hours of release time in FY 2012 and 16,963 in FY 2013, a cumulative total of 27,821. A total cost figure cannot be calculated because salaries were not provided for all APD, AFD, and AEMS employees. However,...
  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    July 6, 2015

    It was a short work week due to the July 4 holiday, but regulators still managed to publish 34 proposed regulations and more than 90 final regulations covering everything from cranberries to rules of acquisition.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 91 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 64 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every one hour and 51 minutes.
    • So far in 2015, 1,602 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,071 new regulations this year, which would be several hundred fewer rules than the usual total of 3,154-plus.
    • Last week, 1,478 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,343 pages the previous week.
    • Currently at 38,258 pages, the 2015 Federal Register is...
  • The Other “Fourth” Worth Celebrating

    July 2, 2015

    On July 4, we’ll again celebrate the United States of America declaring independence from the British Empire some 239 years ago. As a young nation, the United States broke new ground in 1788 when the thirteen states voted to ratify the Constitution. This document set forth the supreme laws of our land, placing strict limits on the powers of the federal government. Then, in 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified, adding ten important amendments to the Constitution that clarified the limits on government power.

    Among these first ten amendments is the Fourth Amendment, which secures the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” This crucial guarantee of individual liberty—expanded in 1868 to protect Americans from unreasonable search and seizures by all levels of government—prevents officials from...

  • Vatican Downplays Political Involvement in Climate Debate While Joining Forces with Radical Leftist Naomi Klein

    July 1, 2015

    Kathryn Jean Lopez reports on NRO’s The Corner that Cardinal Peter Turkson downplayed the political intentions of Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’, when he spoke to a “high level discussion” in New York City Tuesday night (June 30).

    According to Lopez, Turkson said that the encyclical was, “Rather than a political or doomsday document, it’s a call to better stewardship.” Moreover: “He also insisted that Pope Francis is not against business and never puts them down in it or elsewhere but challenges business and technology to always be used to help the poor.”

    Cardinal Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for...

  • Clarification Regarding the Oregon Governor's Scandal

    July 1, 2015

    In a February 13, 2015, video interview on The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal, Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment Myron Ebell discussed the recent scandal involving then-Governor of Oregon Jon Kitzhaber and his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes. Myron stated that a number of billionaires had been promoting alternative energy despite the fact that it would raise electricity prices, and that money from energy advocacy groups related to Mr. Steyer, such as the Energy Foundation, was being provided to Cylvia Hayes.

    However, Mr. Steyer’s attorney, Martin Singer, has informed us that while Mr. Steyer’s charitable trusts donated funds to the Energy Foundation between 2009 and 2013, these funds were explicitly restricted...

  • Supreme Court Ruling that Fair Housing Act Bans Disparate Impact Creates Confusion and Uncertainty

    July 1, 2015

    The Supreme Court’s June 25 decision in Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. creates confusion and uncertainty in multiple respects. In a 5-to-4 decision, the Court ruled that the Fair Housing Act bans certain landlord rental practices and local housing regulations that are racially neutral and nondiscriminatory on their face, if they have a “disparate impact” on a minority group, by excluding minorities at a higher rate than whites, and thus causing a racial imbalance deemed statistically significant.

    In creating such a “disparate impact” prohibition, it failed to follow longstanding principles of statutory construction. And it also failed to provide meaningful guidance about what rises to the level of illegal “disparate impact.” This deeply myopic ruling will have many perverse consequences, as lawyer Paul Mirengoff ...

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