As the public relations manager for The John Birch Society, the publisher of The New American magazine, I received an e-mail this morning from the senior press secretary for the National Governors Association, in response to my question to her asking why The New American was not going to be able to cover the annual meeting of the National Governors Association. I was told, essentially, that we were biased (as opposed to other "objective" news media):
Problem loans at China’s banks are significantly worse than initially thought, according to Moody’s Investors Service’s news release on July 4th. This raises concerns already expressed about China’s continued ability to grow its economy at annual rates approaching double-digits. The weakness is so pervasive that Moody’s “views the credit outlook for the Chinese banking system as potentially turning to negative. ” It added:
We assume that the majority of loans [by the banks] to local governments are of good quality, but based on our assessment of the loan classifications and risk characteristics, as provided by the NAO [China’s National Audit Office] and other Chinese agencies, we conclude that the banks’ exposure to local government borrowers is greater than we anticipated…
Constitutionally minded members of Congress, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Representative Mike Lee of Utah, have introduced federal legislation that would exempt gold and silver coins issued by state governments as legal tender from federal taxation. This bill, called the Sound Money Protection Act, is intended to protect efforts by states to create a stable, inflation-free form of money. In particular, it would protect from federal gains taxation transaction between legal money in states which are species (e.g. gold or silver) and paper.
Utah has already passed a state law that recognizes these gold and silver coins as legal tender in Utah. A dozen other states, Senator DeMint’s South Carolina, are considering similar laws. Senator DeMint expressed the need from such state laws:
It’s a question I’ve been asking many people. And they have no real answer. But the reason why the cost of computers keeps going down is because of the genius, ingenuity, and competence of the private sector. The new computers are not only cheaper but offer so many new features that we can barely keep up with these great innovations.
It used to be very expensive to make a transatlantic call. Now it costs only pennies. Again, the private sector is reality oriented. Private business knows that the lower the cost of a product, the more customers you get. But government officials and the politicians who run Washington are not only incompetent, they are not worth the trillions of dollars needed to keep them in their cushy jobs. Because they believe in a ridiculous doctrine known as political correctness, they’ve created a fantasy world that the public is too mystified and cowed to complain about. And the politicians have been able to buy a compliant electorate by sending them their Social Security checks and making Medicare payments. And that is why so many Americans tolerate wholesale government incompetence and corruption.
Over the years, the Federal Trade Commission’s promotion of "consumer protection" has escalated, and a dominant role the agency currently holds involves regulating corporate marketing strategies. The FTC’s latest victim in the arena of consumer protection is food marketing, more specifically, food marketing to children.
Legislated in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson, the Federal Trade Commission Act was a "trust-busting" prescription of the Progressive Era, but it further evolved into a broad, regulatory regime that now envelopes the private marketplace.
As the August 2 deadline for the debt ceiling approaches, Republicans and Democrats are preparing for battle over the vote. In bold language, Republicans have demanded that major spending cuts accompany any increase of the debt limit. Bipartisan talks on the subject have achieved nothing, as Democrats have sidestepped any mention of the debt ceiling. Some elected officials have grown frustrated with this tactic, especially Tea Party favorite Rand Paul. In a clip from C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers,” the Kentucky Senator announced his intent to filibuster any legislation unrelated to the debt ceiling:
I was part of a group this week that said, "No more, we’re tired of talking about extraneous issues." We’ve had not one minute of debate about the debt ceiling in any committee. I’m part of the freshmen group that said, "No more. We’re not going to let them go to any [other] issue if we have a say in it." Next week, we will filibuster until we talk about the debt ceiling, until we talk about proposals,” declared Senator Paul.
Unsurprisingly, the unions have indicated that they will be endorsing and supporting President Obama in 2012. However, Fox News notes that the labor movement is confronted by a diminishing membership, and that the relationship between Obama and the unions has suffered a bit, therefore making 2012 a more difficult campaign than that of 2008 for the labor movement.
First, unions are faced with the difficulties of justifying massive spending for political candidates while suffering from diminished membership.
Fox News reports:
Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker said in an interview over the weekend that the austerity measures being imposed on Greece in exchange for additional bail-out funding from the IMF will result in “the sovereignty of Greece [being] massively limited. ” He added, “One cannot be allowed to insult the Greeks. But one has to help them. They have said they are ready to accept expertise from the euro zone.”
Although the average Greek citizen has no interest whatsoever in such austerity measures being imposed on him by outsiders (recent polls show 80 percent opposed), the socialist-controlled parliament, headed by President George Papandreou of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, has agreed to accept such intervention in order to obtain funds sufficient for the country to avoid default, at least for the time being. Those measures include higher taxes and much tighter enforcement of tax collection measures, as well as selling off major publicly owned properties in order to raise $8 billion by the end of the year.
After weeks of negotiations between Democrat Governor Mark Dayton and the Republican-dominated legislature, no resolution to Minnesota’s $5 billion budget shortfall was reached and, except for some essential services, the Minnesota state government shut down at midnight, June 30. Governor Dayton maintained that he had done all that he could to meet the Republicans halfway, but he was determined that higher taxes on wealthy citizens was the only way to close the budget gap. He said, “They [the Republicans] don’t want to raise revenues on anyone, and I believe the wealthiest Minnesotans can afford to pay more taxes.” According to Phil Krinkle, president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, the wealthiest Minnesotans are already carrying a disproportionate share of the burden with the top 2 percent of earners paying 30 percent of the state’s income taxes.
The State of Washington is a Democrat stronghold. It has been decades since Democrats have lost a senatorial or gubernatorial race. Washington is also blessed with abundant natural beauty, excellent harbors, and an agreeable (if rather wet) climate. There are plenty of reasons why a company suc has Boeing would want to operate in Washington. But there are also plenty of reasons why Boeing and other aeronautical companies might want to operate in other places.
Wichita, for example, was long the center of small aircraft production in America. Houston and Cape Canaveral in Florida were seen, as early as Jules Verne's day, as the best locations for a moon shot. Most air traffic controllers are trained in Oklahoma City. The Wright Brothers, though from Ohio, chose the Carolinas for the first manned flight. The location of enterprise is the logical consequence of a balancing of different interests. Cities, for example, often gain donations for high culture (like symphony orchestras) by touting how this will attract business.