Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mark Steyn: Puncture the cocoon of denial

At the end of 2011, America, like much of the rest of the Western world, has dug deeper into a cocoon of denial. Tens of millions of Americans remain unaware that this nation is broke – broker than any nation has ever been. A few days before Christmas, we sailed across the psychological Rubicon and joined the club of nations whose government debt now exceeds their total GDP. It barely raised a murmur – and those who took the trouble to address the issue noted complacently that our 100 percent debt-to-GDP ratio is a mere two-thirds of Greece's. That's true, but at a certain point per capita comparisons are less relevant than the sheer hard dollar sums: Greece owes a few rinky-dink billions; America owes more money than anyone has ever owed anybody ever.

The total combined wealth of the Forbes 400 richest Americans is $1.5 trillion. So, if you confiscated the lot, it would barely cover one Obama debt-ceiling increase. Nevertheless, America's student princes' main demand was that someone else should pick up the six-figure tab for their leisurely half-decade varsity of Social Justice studies.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Samoa to skip Friday, lose December 30th 2011 forever

So Samoans, who currently live 20 miles east of the dateline, will go to sleep on Thursday night, skip Friday, and wake up on Saturday morning on the Asian side of the imaginary line. (American Samoa will stay where it is, timewise.)

 The 24 hour leap into the future will make trade withEast Asia “far, far easier,” Mr. Tuilaepa said.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Friday, December 23, 2011

Anti-SOPA boycott of GoDaddy will change their domain registrar:

Paul Graham will not invite SOPA supporters to Y Combinator Demo Days.

> When asked if that boycott extended to investors in those companies, Graham responded, “Several of the companies on the SOPA list have venture arms. I encourage startups to boycott them. We’ll certainly encourage all the startups we’ve funded to.”
>> The rationale? “If these companies are so clueless about technology that they think SOPA is a good idea, how could they be good investors?”

How to transfer out of GoDaddy:

> Follow these step-by-step directions to transfer all of your domains from GoDaddy to NameCheap.
>> I’m Boycotting GoDaddy because they are pro-SOPA.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

John Taylor: Want Growth? Try Stable Tax Policy

Rather than stimulate the economy, they hold the economy back by creating policy unpredictability and by distracting Washington from crucial long-term reforms that are key to restoring economic growth and creating jobs.

Indeed, this type of temporary tax change is making the entire tax system unpredictable. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the payroll tax cut is only one of 84 tax provisions expiring this year, about the same as in 2009 and in 2010. This is 10 times greater than the number of provisions that expired in 1999. As shown in a paper presented this October by economists Scott Baker and Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University and Steven Davis of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, this increase in policy uncertainty is one of the factors slowing economic growth.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Obama's Justice Department joins Britain's 'Climategate' leaker manhunt

Christopher C. Horner reports:

To review: The UK police and the US DOJ, Criminal Division, are pursuing a leaker of public records subject to one or more FOIA, records that were unlawfully withheld under those laws, which leaks indicate apparent civil violations (tortious interference by seeking dismissal of certain “skeptics”), and raising reasonable questions of fraud against taxpayers.

And they are pursuing the leaker.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion Undisclosed to Congress

The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.
The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.
Saved by the bailout, bankers lobbied against government regulations, a job made easier by the Fed, which never disclosed the details of the rescue to lawmakers even as Congress doled out more money and debated new rules aimed at preventing the next collapse.
A fresh narrative of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 emerges from 29,000 pages of Fed documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and central bank records of more than 21,000 transactions. While Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican