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OpenMarket: John Berlau

  • 'Net Neutrality’ for Credit Cards?

    September 25, 2006

    An op-ed I wrote for last Sunday's Washington Times talked about the battle over the interchange fees that banks and credit card companies charge to retailers. The retailers, including some big chains, are whining about the fees they have to pay and want the government to step in to control how much the card companies charge them. This is another example of the phenomenon described in CEI Warren Brookes Journalism Fellow Tim Carney's book The Big Ripoff, in which businesses lobby for big government when it favors their bottom line. And given the experience in Australia when the government imposed price controls on retailer...

  • Senators on 9/11 movie – “Public interest” is what makes us look good

    September 14, 2006
    No matter what anyone thought of the ABC's “The Path to
    9/11,” the actions of certain senators who objected to the miniseries should
    give everyone who values the First Amendment a big chill.

    A letter
    signed by Democratic Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Debbie
    Stabenow, and Byron Dorgan not-so-implicitly threatened ABC's broadcast license
    if it aired the drama that was deemed to be critical of the Clinton
    Administration.

    The letter they sent to Robert Iger, CEO of ABC parent
    Disney, stated bluntly that “[p]resenting such deeply flawed and factually
    inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a
    gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to
    your shareholders, and to this nation.” The letter spent the whole second
    paragraph explaining to...

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