The deadline for comments on the proposed Volcker Rule was Monday night and hundreds, if not thousands, of letters arrived at the last minute to rail against the rule, mostly from Wall Street. The Volcker Rule — which would prohibit banks from trading with their own money — was proposed last summer by former chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, who said in a letter to President Obama that they shouldn’t be gambling with money guaranteed by the taxpayers. Big losses by government-backed banks that were trading in risky securities such as mortgage-backed assets precipitated the financial crisis in 2008 and set up the need for federal bailouts of those banks.
Following the approval of fresh austerity measures in Greece demanded by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to qualify for the next round of bailouts, furious rioters clashed with police and set dozens of buildings on fire in Athens. But despite the ongoing conflicts between law enforcement and protesters, the Greek police union has threatened to arrest senior EU and IMF officials, too.
It is said that the dinosaur had a tiny brain in a huge body, which undoubtedly contributed to its extinction. This huge body also required an enormous amount of food for its survival. The public education establishment has the same characteristics: small brain, huge body, enormous appetite for taxpayer money — its only means of survival.
The numbers posted at Investors Business Daily over the weekend by John Merline were impressive: U.S. manufacturing profits last year exceeded $600 billion, almost tripling since the bottom of the recession, while jobs in manufacturing have increased by 400,000 in the past two years. Unemployment in manufacturing has been below the national average for eight straight months, and the industry itself has been growing at three times the rate of the overall economy.
Georgia’s Supreme Court has overturned a law banning advertising for assisted suicide, ruling that it unconstitutionally restricts free speech. The legislature had enacted the law in 1994 in an attempt to keep “right to die” proponents such as Dr. Jack Kevorkian from offering their services in the state.
For weeks now politicians in New York have debated ad nauseum Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s proposal to increase the minimum wage in New York State by $1.25. The argument — whether to maintain the status quo or strive for $8.50 per hour — is wasteful political rhetoric in itself, for the determination of the wage scale is best left to the free markets.
The debt chickens are coming home to roost in Greece, and the hen house is collapsing. As the hard-pressed Greek parliament convened to vote on an enormously unpopular austerity measure insisted upon by international bankers with the power to prolong Greece’s agony with another bailout, furious mobs set Athens ablaze and fought pitched battles with police. On Monday morning, Greeks surveyed with horror the smoldering rubble of more than 90 buildings across the capital. The popular consensus: this is just the beginning.
The Intolerable Acts was the name used by American colonists to describe a series of oppressive measures passed by the British Parliament in 1774 relating to the amount of self-government permissible in the American colonies. The acts sparked outrage and firm resistance to the tyrannical regime of King George III throughout the 13 colonies. These arbitrary violations of the rights of the colonists — rights enjoyed by all Englishmen — resulted in the convening of the First Continental Congress in order to organize a formal denouncement of the decrees and to unite the Americans in their resistance to the Crown. Despite various attempts by several delegates to reconcile with Britain, independence was declared within two years and the American War for Independence raged until liberty was achieved in 1783.
In a formal "request for information," the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asked software companies for a digital tool that would systematically scan the entire social media realm to find potential terrorist-related threats and intelligence information. While hundreds of intelligence analysts are already probing overseas Facebook and Twitter posts, U.S. law enforcement officials claim digital software could sift through more data than humans ever could.
It is increasingly difficult to distinguish the friends of liberty from the foes. Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is perceived by Republicans to be a “conservative,” but despite that misleading label, Ryan is determined to hand a crown, jewel by jewel, to the President in the form of line-item veto power.