Moody’s, one of the big three credit rating agencies, has announced new rules to be effective on September 1 that bring an additional dose of reality to the size of the funding gaps that currently exist with public pension plans.

In what analysts say is another indication that the economy will get worse in the not-too-distant future, recent filings by billionaire financier George Soros show he dumped virtually all his holdings in major financial companies like JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup. His multi-billion-dollar U.S. fund also loaded up on gold, with the portfolio now holding more than $130 million worth of the precious metal. 


 

Where are the jobs? That’s the first question we should be asking in what’s now become the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression — or, more precisely, the longest non-recovery since the 1930s.

 A video presentation produced by our partner Liberty News Network takes a hard look at the budget numbers put out by both President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney. The contrast between the two major-party presidential candidates on fiscal issues may not be as great as you think.

 President Barack Obama and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney are in the public eye almost every day, telling Americans about their plans to guide the country should they win the 2012 presidential race. Ironically, given such constant coverage, most Americans would probably be hard pressed to factually state what positions the candidates hold concerning fiscal issues, foreign policy, civil liberties, and social issues, especially to a depth great enough to compare and contrast the candidates or understand the long-term ramifications of their policies.

Selling lemonade, raw milk, or any other comestible is not a crime. That is the message of the second annual Lemonade Freedom Day. The event, to be held at the U.S. Capitol’s reflecting pool at noon Saturday, is being organized by the groups Lemonade Freedom Day and the Raw Milk Freedom Riders, both of which want the government to stop interfering in voluntary exchanges between food producers and food consumers.

Ten months after stitching together the pieces of the MF Global collapse and bankruptcy in October, 2011, the New York Times reported that criminal investigators aren’t likely to file criminal charges against the prime suspect: CEO Jon Corzine.

 A new proposal by the Obama administration to expand drilling to half of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) has attracted criticism from the oil industry, as the plan still leaves a broad area off limits to new oil development. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said new development will be permitted in an 11.8 million-acre geographical area, which purportedly holds about 549 million barrels of oil, while coastal regions such as Kasegaluk Lagoon and Peard Bay — where there is a higher concentration of seals and polar bears — will receive “special protection.”

The current drought afflicting the country is driving up the price of corn and reviving the debate over ethanol mandates that redirect corn from food to fuel.  

Because of the drought, corn yield per acre this year will be the lowest since 1995, while the actual production of corn will be the lowest since 2006. A congressional mandate to turn corn into ethanol in order to reduce emissions requires converting nearly 40 percent of that harvest into 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol. That leaves precious little to feed cattle and people, driving up the price.

 Paul Ryan may be the conservative’s conservative, but understand what that means: He’s out to save the welfare/warfare state from its own intrinsic unsustainability. He’s no small-government man.

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