U.S. credit ratings giant Standard & Poor's (S&P) lowered its rating on the credit-worthiness of nine European nations January 13. "It's not the cut in the rating that is historic," BNP Paribas economist Dominique Barbet told the Wall Street Journal. "It's the depth of the euro crisis that is historic."
The latest international Index of Economic Freedom revealed that the economy of the United States lost even more liberty for a fourth consecutive year, dropping from ninth to tenth place under the Obama administration and solidifying its designation as “mostly free” — earned in 2009, down from “free” the year before that.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce targeted the Obama administration Thursday with a call to authorize the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport Canadian crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to southern parts of the United States. TransCanada’s 1,700-mile pipeline has been battling an ongoing review by the State Department, and while a final stamp of approval was expected last fall, the Obama administration folded to Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups in November, deciding to suspend its verdict until 2013.
The Chamber’s plea arrived a day after Obama held a White House meeting with U.S. business leaders to announce a new plan designed to boost job "insourcing." "In the next few weeks, I will put forward new tax proposals that reward companies that choose to bring jobs home and invest in America — and eliminate tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas," the President declared. "Because there is opportunity to be had, right here."
At a press conference Thursday, Bruce Josten, the Chamber’s executive vice president for government affairs, referenced Obama’s job-creation rally cry. However, Josten affirmed, "The president missed the biggest in-sourcing opportunity yesterday and it’s called the Keystone Pipeline."
Central banks are often justified on the basis that a complex, modern economy requires top-down management by experts. These people, it is said, can study the markets and then “fine-tune” the economy to keep it humming along.
As if the last few years haven’t provided evidence enough that such notions are pure folly, newly released transcripts of 2006 Federal Reserve meetings offer further proof. The transcripts show that the “experts” — members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) — were so clueless that even as late as December, when the housing market was displaying serious signs of decline, most showed little concern that the bursting bubble could take down the entire economy.
The latest revelations from WikiLeaks confirm Monsanto’s continuing efforts to influence governments worldwide to rule in its favor and punish those who won’t.
A cable written in 2007 and released recently by WikiLeaks confirmed the company’s important influence at the very highest levels of the U.S. government. Authored by Craig Stapleton, a friend and business partner of then-president George Bush, the cable outlined a response to resistance from various members of the European Union to adopting GM (genetically modified) crops. At issue specifically was France’s move to ban Monsanto’s GM corn variety:
The Black Hills of South Dakota have long been associated with the four U.S. Presidents who adorn Mount Rushmore. The granite faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln have been etched into the American imagination. Yet a fifth granite face has emerged from the Black Hills in the form of the famous Lakota leader Crazy Horse.
The government of Greece is catching flack over its decision to add some questionable categories to its list of recognized disabilities. As reported by the Associated Press, disability groups in the country were especially outraged over the government’s decision to add pedophiles to its list of those the state recognizes as disabled individuals. Among the other “disabled” categories added to the list were exhibitionists, kleptomaniacs, pyromaniacs, compulsive gamblers, fetishists, and sadomasochists.
With the announcement by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, that Trustmark Life Insurance Company’s recent increases in premiums for their health insurance were “excessive” comes the certain result: A few may be helped, but many will be harmed.
She declared, “It’s time for Trustmark to immediately rescind these rate [increases], issue refunds to consumers or publicly explain their refusal to do so.” Under ObamaCare’s usurpations of prior state law, any premium increases of more than 10 percent are to be reviewed and if determined to be unreasonable, made subject to public exposure and pressure to abide by the agency’s dictates as to what is reasonable.
A spokeswoman for Trustmark, Cindy Gallaher, responded to Sebelius: “We respectfully disagree with the assumptions and conclusions drawn today by the Department of Health and Human Services. Our premiums are driven by the rising cost and increased utilization of medical services.”
Despite his advanced age, it appears Warren Buffett has never heard the admonition, “Practice what you preach.” And it seems that some of his apologists haven’t, either. As you may know, Buffett has long been urging the government to seize more money from the rich, with the rationale that they have an obligation to pay more. In response, many traditionalists have told him to put up or shut up: If he truly believes in what he says, there’s nothing stopping him from writing a check to Big Brother as large as his socialism-espousing mouth. And now Buffett has a response:
Will a northern plains state axe the property tax? This June, residents of North Dakota will vote on a primary ballot measure which, if approved by voters, would eliminate local property taxes, retroactive as of January 1, 2012. There could be no better place than the Flickertail State — which has the lowest unemployment rate in the country and a thriving energy-based economy — to attempt this unprecedented experiment in government by the people.