March 11 roundup

  • Slightly afield from law, but good watching: Yale’s Nicholas Christakis speaks at Cato on his new book Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society [Cato Forum]
  • Tech platform regulation: “The ‘EARN IT’ Act Is Another Terrible Proposal to ‘Reform’ Section 230” [Eric Goldman and more] “Why Does The NY Times Seem Literally Incapable Of Reporting Accurately On Section 230?” [Mike Masnick, TechDirt]
  • Author of new book, a Fordham lawprof, “wants the U.S. Supreme Court (and other federal courts) to enforce international law standards against backward American states and localities.” It’s a no-go, says Jeremy Rabkin [Law and Liberty reviewing Martin Flaherty, Restoring the Global Judiciary]
  • Police transparency, Annie E. Casey Foundation, county liquor stores and bicycle licenses in Montgomery County, and more in my new Maryland policy roundup [Free State Notes]
  • Yikes: former BigLaw partner who specialized in product liability subrogation claims sentenced to five years on charges of defrauding almost $3.5 million from insurers, manufacturers and others [Judy Greenwald, Business Insurance]
  • Somehow missed this in 2018: Texas lawyer disbarred for barratry is re-elected while in jail [Lowering the Bar]


  • It’s easy to understand why OTB lost money in New York as there were “unlicensed” competitors in the private sector that offered better service with lower overhead. To lose money on a monopoly sale of liquor takes a special skill.

    • Disagree, Mr. B.
      At least in Suffolk County (Long Island) the OTB was famous as a patronage dump. Politicians, their supporters, relatives, etc., would draw salaries there on a “semi-no-show” basis, and lots of money would be spent on Stuff.

      When politicians view a government operation, they do not see it as an operational entity that does things and should do those things well, but more like a budget, with money to spend on patronage.

      Suffolk OTB miscalculated, and larded up expenditures to the point that the operation went into the red.

      Had cooler heads prevailed, the OTB would have been run in such a way that it barely squeaked by every year, while maximizing available patronage. This was not done, and thus the tsimmes.

  • Montgomery MD liquor monopoly–
    Can they simply jack up their monopoly liquor prices? Or are they already so high that leakage from the black market will cancel out higher per-unit revenue?