August 20, 2009In this morning's Washington Post, columnist George Will brings to light a particularly egregious example of politically-connected developers abusing the legal system to silence their land-grab critics:
When Kelo was decided, H. Walker Royall, a Dallas developer, already had designs on some property that for more than a decade has belonged to the Gore family shrimping business in coastal Freeport. In 2003, Royall signed an agreement with that city's government to build a yacht marina, hotel and condominiums using property the city would seize by eminent domain.
The day after the Supreme Court made its Kelo mistake, Freeport intensified its pressure against the Gores, whose stout resistance caught the gimlet eye of Carla Main. An experienced...
August 18, 2009CEI Editorial Director Ivan Osorio discussed the true economic costs of the Obama administration's "Cash for Clunkers" program, calling it "a costly boondoggle that will yield little net benefit." It is pretty clear that Cash for Clunkers will prove harmful to the long-run economy, but what about the program's other purported purpose--reducing CO2 emissions? Below are a couple of interesting quotes.
President Barack Obama, July 31, 2009:
The [Cash for Clunkers] program has proven to be a successful part of our economic recovery and will help lessen our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, while reducing...
August 11, 2009Yesterday, the Obama administration distanced itself from some of the more outrageous comments made by congressional Democrats, including one made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) which labeled some critics of a government takeover of health care as "simply un-American." Speaker Pelosi was specifically referring to those opponents who have been attending health care congressional town hall meetings, claiming that "disruptive" actions are perverting our democratic system and preventing a real dialogue between Congress and constituents.
CEI Fellow in Regulatory Studies Ryan Young made a valid point that the average town hall attendee is likely politically invested...
August 10, 2009So says British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell. At a meeting of Canada's provincial premiers held in Regina, Saskatchewan, last week, slapping retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods was barely averted.
Harper and his Trade Minister Stockwell Day scored an important victory Friday when provincial premiers finally agreed not to retaliate. "We've made it clear we won't ask the U.S. for anything we are not willing to give the U.S.," said British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, who attended a meeting of premiers held in Regina, Sask. this week.
For months Canada's premiers, who are that country's equivalent of state governors, have spoken out forcefully against the Buy-American clause, which requires that stimulus-financed public works projects use American...
August 5, 2009Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB), a group opposed to the taxpayer-financed development project Atlantic Yards, filed a motion with the New York Court of Appeals alleging that the environmental impact statement authored by the Empire State Development Corporation was illegally biased and predetermined in a manner that favors the property developer.
Specifically, according to DDDB, the latest brief filed in the case that challenges the environmental review asks the Court of Appeals to hear its case and address the following:
“1. Whether ESDC’s purposeful denial and mischaracterization of the uncontroverted economic conditions and trends in the project area, and its knowing misrepresentations of crime data in the project area, to support its ‘blight’ determination, demonstrate a...
August 4, 2009As described in an OpenMarket post by CEI's Ivan Osorio a couple weeks ago, the Teamsters union and UPS are currently lobbying Congress to change FedEx's labor law status, thereby making it easier for the Teamsters to organize FedEx drivers.
Today, the Washington Times ran an article on the ongoing battle, which included a you-can't-make-this-up quote from Teamsters boss James P. Hoffa:
FedEx has built much of its empire on low-cost business models and other unsavory tactics, some of which are now coming back to haunt it.
This quote, which...
July 20, 2009Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The mission represents a significant milestone in human achievement and was watched live on television by millions of people.
July 17, 2009I am slowly being convinced that Obama's so-called "stimulus" plan is really just a piece of neo-Dadaist performance art. Today's evidence supporting my theory comes from The Morning Call in Allentown, PA:
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is spending $60,000 of its stimulus money on $2,000 road signs to highlight projects funded by the massive economic recovery package.
The large green signs mark about 30 of what PennDOT calls ''higher visibility projects'' statewide. Each denotes the project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and features the act's logo.
Nationwide, several million dollars are being spent producing the signs.
July 14, 2009Last week, Michelle Malkin posted on the disturbing past of Obama's Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology--more popularly known as the "science czar"--John Holdren. The page Malkin links to containing scans of a past publication is offline as of this writing, but I'll re-post an excerpt from her site below:
In a book Holdren co-authored in 1977, the man now firmly in control of science policy in this country wrote that:
• Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
• The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs...
July 13, 2009While the public outrage over eminent domain abuse following the 2005 Kelo ruling has waned to some degree, the controversy surrounding private property takings for purposes of "economic redevelopment" still burns in many municipalities across the country. Now a new documentary, titled Greetings from Asbury Park (yes, like the Springsteen record--he is listed among the film's supporters), seeks to bring national attention to the plight of one elderly woman fighting to keep the home she has lived in for two...