CEI Daily - Wikileaks, Jeff Flake, and Light Beer




Amazon and other companies cut off services to Wikileaks after Sen. Joe Lieberman called for organizations to cut all ties to the controversial website.


Associate Director of Technology Studies Ryan Radia asks if Wikileaks has a First Amendment case against Joe Lieberman.


"While Lieberman’s tirade against Wikileaks was certainly related to matter of public policy, was he actually expressing an opinion on policy? Or was he simply threatening private firms for facilitating the dissemination of speech he didn’t like? Legislators rightly enjoy broad leeway to speak their mind about legislative matters and criticize their political opponents, but should a legislator’s own First Amendment rights enable him to trample the First Amendment rights of private citizens engaged in political discourse?"




Jeff Flake


Incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner says he backs Congressman Jeff Flake's bid for a seat on the Appropriations Committee.


Adjunct Scholar Fran Smith wishes Flake luck.


"Flake's principled positions were duly noted by free market policy groups. He was rated the most fiscally conservative House member by the National Taxpayers Union, a Taxpayer 'Super Hero' by Citizens Against Government Waste, and the top free trader by Cato Institute. Undeterred by his slapdown, in 2008 Flake asked for an Appropriations seat but was turned down."



Light Beer


If Colorado bars and restaurants adhere to the letter of the law, they won't be able to sell beers that are under four percent alcohol.


Policy Analyst Michelle Minton explains that when legislators address this problem, they may also finally make it possible for grocery stores to sell full-strength beer--which some craft breweries are fighting against.


"Small brewers fear that the 'big beer' companies will strike deals with grocery and big-box stores, keeping craft bottles off the shelves. At the same time they worry that customers who purchase beer at grocery stores will no longer visit liquor stores, which in turn might drive the stores out of business for lack of customers, leaving small craft brewers with no place to sell their product. [...] Yet allowing more places to sell beer will not result in disappearing shelf space; it will only increase the likelihood and opportunity for small breweries to get their products in front of new customers. Even if grocery stores do decide to exclusively stock mass-produced beers, liquor stores will become a haven for the ever growing craft beer market. If liquor stores decided to specialize their beer selection to local and craft beers, this would actually result in increased shelf-space for microbrews in the same establishments where they previously had to compete with the 'big beers'."