The White House announced Tuesday that Ron Bloom, Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy and leading engineer of the auto bailout, will be leaving the Obama administration this month. White House officials say Bloom will be replaced, but in the interim, Gene Sperling, the Director of the National Economic Council, will expand his day-to-day focus to manufacturing.
"For the past two-and-a-half years, Ron Bloom's leadership and expertise has helped us put America's automakers back on the road to recovery, launch new partnerships to make our manufacturers more competitive and set aggressive fuel economy standards that will save consumers and businesses money at the pump," President Obama professed in a statement. Bloom complemented the President’s remarks, saying he is "confident in this administration’s ability to build on these accomplishments and continue our efforts to revitalize the manufacturing sector."
The stock market is in freefall once again, evoking specters of 2008. As one fund manager told the Wall Street Journal on Monday, “the sense of déjà vu is almost sickening.” The storied Dow lost more than 600 points Monday following huge declines late last week, appeared to get its footing yesterday, then plunged more than 500 points today. All over the world, markets are taking stock, so to speak, of the burgeoning debt crisis in the United States and Europe, and fearing the worst.
Despite the parallels with the autumn of 2008, the Wall Street Journal views the two crises as stemming from entirely different causes. Wrote the Journal’s Franceso Guerrera on Tuesday:
The reaction was predictable. Following the tragic terror attack in Norway that left more than 75 people dead, calls to further empower government erupted worldwide.
Anti-gun zealots immediately pushed for more restrictive laws, despite the fact that Norway already has an extraordinarily strict gun-control regime. The bullets reportedly used by the killer were already illegal, as was murder.
Others advocated a crackdown on so-called right-wing extremists and “hate speech,” which is already considered criminal in much of Europe. In the U.K., activists wanted to ban an anti-immigration rally, as police urged citizens to report individuals with anti-government views to authorities.
Now that children in New York are learning that a couple named Bruce and Trevor can “marry,” they’re going to learn the fine art of unrolling condoms and using contraceptive foam.
That’s the latest from leftist Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s New York, where the Department of Education has mandated that all school children get sex education rammed down their throats, regardless of parents' objections. Furthermore, he’s aiming the program at blacks and “Latinos,” whom he has singled out for special help, along with leftist billionaire George Soros, with his “Young Men’s Initiative.”
Parents Have No Choice
According to the New York Times, the mandatory nature of the program merely reprises something the Empire State had done before. The curriculum is mandatory for middle- and high-school students and “includes lessons on how to use a condom.”
Of all of the myriad agencies created and maintained by the Executive Branch, few have proven to be as detrimental to the United States as the Environmental Protection Agency. Since its birth under President Nixon’s executive order in 1970, the mission of the EPA has been to protect human health and the environment. The mission has been mutilated since the start, as the environment (or at least what we are led to believe is the environment) has taken so much precedent that the human health aspect — whether it is the physical, mental, social or economic sort — has been deemed worthless in comparison.
More often than not, it has appeared that the power brokers in Washington use the environment (and therefore the EPA) as a tool, a compelling means by which to exert its brand of total control over economic functions it would otherwise have a difficult time with without such propaganda. Over time, the EPA has touched everything from the food we eat (from over-the-top dust regulations to clean water rules that strip property rights) to the energy we use (telling oil and gas companies where, how and when to extract much-needed resources, creating a dependency on foreign sources) to the air we breathe (instituting utterly insane emissions standards for things as simple as portable fuel tanks). All of those rules and thousands more add to the cost of doing business and therefore the cost of living. The actual negative impact on the American consumer is in the hundreds of billions per year as we end up paying for these regulations at the market, fuel pump, and department store.
"The Fed spoke and financial markets rallied," began the Associated Press report on how the stock market responded after the policy-making panel of the Federal Reserve Board issued a statement Tuesday, saying the federal funds rate (the interest banks charge other banks for borrowed money) would be held to 0 to 1/4 percent through the middle of 2013. The Dow Jones industrial average surged more than 429 points, just one day after its biggest decline since 2008.
But the Fed's influence over the volatile stock market is of short duration and its ability to bolster a sagging economy is illusory. The Federal Open Market Committee's promise of low interest rates was accompanied by an assessment of current market conditions that look anything but promising. "Indicators suggest a deterioration in overall labor market conditions in recent months, and the unemployment rate has moved up. Household spending has flattened out, investment in nonresidential structures is still weak, and the housing sector remains depressed," the committee reported. On the plus side, "business investment in equipment and software continues to expand."
The sight of the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, lying in a hospital bed in a courtroom cage reminds me of the saying, “how the mighty have fallen.” It could also be said of the United States, “How the mightiest, richest, most advanced capitalist nation in the history of the world has fallen into a bumbling, dysfunctional confused, debt-ridden state run by the most corrupt government in its history.” In the case of Mubarak, it was the Egyptian people who brought the dictator down. In the case of the United States, it was the American people, who put their trust and faith in the hands of anti-constitutional politicians, who brought America down. To put it bluntly: treason is the reason.
For 30 years Mubarak was America’s best friend in the Middle East. He was the recipient of valuable U.S. military aid, and he maintained Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel to the letter. For Israel, Egypt meant stability on its southern border. But for the Egyptian people it meant an authoritarian regime with little political freedom. Mubarak was not like Saddam Hussein of Iraq — he didn’t commit the kind of atrocities against his own people that Saddam was known for. Nor were Mubarak’s sons the kind of pathological sadists that Saddam’s were.
Jackie Onassis, the widow of President John F. Kennedy, believed Vice President Lyndon Johnson and a “cabal of Texas tycoons” plotted and carried out the assassination of her philandering husband, London’s Daily Mail reports.
Citing soon-to-be-released audio recordings, the Mail reports that “the former first lady felt that her husband’s successor was at the heart of the plot to murder him.”
She became convinced that the then vice president, along with businessmen in the South, had orchestrated the Dallas shooting, with gunman Lee Harvey Oswald — long claimed to have been a lone assassin — merely part of a much larger conspiracy.
Historian and Kennedy braintruster Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. recorded the tapes, the Mail reports, just after two bullets were delivered into Kennedy’s back and head on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas, as the President’s convertible limousine rolled by.
A group of atheist soldiers has been cleared by the U.S. Army to hold a rock concert at Ft. Bragg next spring, the Associated Press has reported. Organizers of Rock Beyond Belief had planned the event for this year at the North Carolina Army base, “but they canceled after saying Bragg leadership was not providing the same support it gave to an evangelical Christian concert last fall,” reported the AP.
The godless event is slated for March 31, 2012, at Ft. Bragg’s main parade field — the same venue that held a 2010 Rock the Fort Christian event featuring Franklin Graham. The Freedom From Religion Foundation protested that event, claiming that it was exactly the type of thing the First Amendment was designed to forbid.
This time, however, opponents of faith in God are cheering the copy-cat concert sponsored by the group of atheist clubs.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was the first to announce his three nominees to the “Super Committee” created by the recent debt ceiling increase, and all three fit the mold of big-spending liberals: Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the latter of whom will also serve as co-chairman of the committee. Reid observed of his picks: