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  • Feds Target Yard Sales

    Thinking of having a fall yard sale to clean out some of the clutter from your house? Be careful, or it could get you in trouble with the Feds, and cost you up to $15 million in fines. Its no joke: the Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched a new … More

    Will (and Can) the FCC Regulate the Internet?

    Declaring access to the Internet to be like “running water or the light bulb,” FCC chairman Julius Genachowski declared today that it should be regulated. Specifically, he announced that the Commission will be voting next month on a proposal to impose so-called “net neutrality” regulation on Internet service providers such … More

    FCC "Speech Czar"? No, But That's Not the Problem

    Does the Federal Communications Commission have a “speech czar”? That was the question before Julius Genachowski yesterday, as he testified for the first time before Congress as FCC chairman. At issue was the appointment of ex-journalist Mark Lloyd to be the agency’s “chief diversity officer,” a position quickly dubbed “the … More

    Auto Bailout Funds Won't Be Repaid. And That's Not the Worst News

    Remember the auto bailout? It’s not in the front pages anymore, but last week the Congressional Oversight Panel — a body created by statute to oversee TARP spending — issued a comprehensive and critical report on Washington’s foray into Detroit. The headline news, reported in most major media: the money … More

    Good Czar, Bad Czar: Cass Sunstein and the Future of OIRA

    It’s perhaps the most important job no one has ever heard of. Yesterday, Harvard professor Cass Sunstein was confirmed by the Senate as the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, otherwise known as the nation’s “regulatory czar.” Nowadays, the mere mention of a czar tends … More

    Government Motors and Foreign Political Entanglements

    The Obama Administration’s claims that General Motors — the federally-owned auto manufacturer — is independent from political entanglements is once again being tested, this time with an international twist. The issue is what to do with Opel, GM’s German-based European subsidiary (as well as the smaller, British-based Vauxhal). Last week, … More

    The FCC's First Target: Wireless Phones

    Don’t look now, but the FCC is back in business. For some nine months the Federal Communications Commission had been operating with no permanent chairman, and with 3 of its 5 commissioner seats vacant. Now, with the confirmation of new chairman Julius Genachowski, and new commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Meredith … More

    Auto Czar to Become Manufacturing Czar?

    If you like what’s happened to the auto industry, you’ll love this. Bloomberg is reporting today that Ron Bloom — the head of the Obama Administration’s automobile task force — will soon get an expanded portfolio, with responsiblity for crafting Administration policies for all manufacturing industries. Yet another Obama Administration … More

    Oil Speculation and Other Conspiracy Theories

    The U.S. government is a favorite target among spinners of conspiracy theories. From the Kennedy assasination to the Apollo Moon landing, the government has allegedly been at the heart of dark plots to deceive the public. Washington, however, can spin its own conspiracy theories. Case in point, Tuesday’s announcement by … More

    Obama Financial Regulation Plan: Empowering Regulators, Not Consumers

    After months of internal debate, President Obama today released his much-anticipated plan for reforming the nation’s financial regulatory system. The 85-page document is nothing if not comprehensive, containing a grab bag of changes covering almost every aspect of the troubled financial industry. Taken as a whole, the changes would trigger … More