Conservative economists are paying attention to the man behind the curtain and not liking what they see. At a meeting in a Manhattan hotel on Nov. 20, the so-called Shadow Open Market Committee criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for an ultra-easy monetary policy that will, in their opinion, lead ultimately to dangerously higher inflation. “We aren’t in Kansas anymore,” said Columbia University economist Charles Calomiris, referring to the mind-bending changes in the Fed’s monetary policy under Bernanke’s chairmanship. That’s not the same as calling Bernanke the new Wizard of Oz, but it’s close.
Comments: Are we allowed to question Bernanke´s competence?
Washington--The Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin finished removing a contentious phrase on the memorial for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Thursday in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington at the end of the month. The phrase came from Dr. King’s “Drum Major Instinct” speech. It read, “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.” Critics of the memorial, including the poet Maya Angelou, said the phrase did not show the true nature of the full quotation.
Galesburg,IL--In a week when he tried to focus attention on the struggles of the middle class, President Obama said in an interview that he was worried that years of widening income inequality and the lingering effects of the financial crisis had frayed the country’s social fabric and undermined Americans’ belief in opportunity. (Snip)“If we don’t do anything, then growth will be slower than it should be. Unemployment will not go down as fast as it should. Income inequality will continue to rise,” he said. “That’s not a future that we should accept.”
Audacity: Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson eloquently refuses to stay on liberalism´s black plantation. So, naturally, the left seeks his destruction. George Zimmerman´s prosecutors´ star witness, Rachel Jeantel — whose contentious, garbled testimony backfired badly — told CNN´s Piers Morgan of the jury that heard her, "They old. That´s old-school people. We in a new school, our generation." As she experiences her 15 minutes of fame, Jeantel would no doubt lump Benjamin Carson in with the "old-school people." But these two black Americans represent the different paths available to everyone in a free country, regardless of ethnicity.
President Obama is announcing for the umpteenth time he´s going to "pivot" to fixing the economy — as if that´s ever worked before, since it is he who broke it. That said, Obama will pivot to tiddlywinks if that´s what it takes to get out from under his mountain of scandals. (Snip)Here´s a fun fact: As a lawyer for the Washington law firm Wilmer Hale, Wilkins represented Rev. Wright´s Trinity United Church of Christ in 2007 when the IRS began asking questions about whether the tax-exempt church was too involved in political work for its most prominent member, Sen. Obama.
Trust: Why should anyone believe what the president says about ObamaCare? Last week he touted nonexistent rate cuts and rebate checks. And the White House now admits his promise about keeping your doctor was false. On Thursday, the president tried to shore up the ever-weakening support for ObamaCare by boasting about $100 rebate checks millions of Americans were supposedly getting in the mail thanks to the law´s restrictions on overhead spending by insurance companies. "Millions of Americans opened letters from their insurance companies," Obama said, and "were pleasantly surprised with a check." Not exactly.
A growing number of Americans are getting permission to carry firearms in public—and under their clothes—a development that has sparked concern among some law-enforcement authorities. Applications for "concealed-carry" permits are soaring in many states, some of which recently eased permit requirements. The numbers are driven in part by concern that renewed gun-control efforts soon could constrain access to weapons, along with heightened interest in self-defense in the wake of mass killings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo.
The Obama administration is assembling a shortlist of candidates to lead the Federal Reserve, in the expectation that chairman Ben Bernanke won´t seek reappointment when his second term at the central bank ends in January, according to people familiar with the matter. (Snip)Mr. Bernanke has left his mark on the U.S. economy with a wave of easy-money policies in response to the 2008 financial crisis, recession and sluggish recovery that followed. His successor will need to figure out how to pull those policies back. If the Fed changes policy too soon, it could undermine the recovery.
Jon S. Corzine, no stranger to bare-knuckle brawls after spending nearly 40 years on Wall Street and in New Jersey politics, now faces the biggest fight of his career: a showdown with the United States government. (Snip)In another call that month, the global treasurer indicated that the firm’s liquidity “situation” was “not sustainable” and that “we have to tell Jon that enough is enough. We need to take the keys away from him.” If found liable, Mr. Corzine and Ms. O’Brien could face fines and possibly a ban from trading commodities.
Dakar, Senegal--As a freshman senator from Illinois, Barack Obama told a packed auditorium in Kenya’s capital, “I want you all to know that as your ally, your friend and your brother, I will be there in every way I can.” But he will not be there. (Snip)Despite decades of American investment to promote stability in the volatile region of East Africa, Kenya just elected a president indicted by the International Criminal Court, accused of bankrolling death squads driven by ethnic rivalry. It was the outcome that Washington had desperately tried to avoid,
A prominent corporate lawyer in Chicago has been accused by an Illinois disciplinary board of charging the firm for phony expenses, including about $70,000 in taxi trips, $35,000 in sporting events and a Thanksgiving celebration at his country club. Lee M. Smolen, a partner at DLA Piper, the world’s largest law firm, was named in a complaint filed this month by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Before joining DLA, Mr. Smolen was a longtime partner at Sidley Austin. (Snip) In 1988, Michelle Robinson was a young Sidley lawyer
Sanford, Fla--The screams are clearly coming from a distraught male, whose repeated cries for help end abruptly with a gunshot. What is not clear from a recording of a 911 call, however, is the identity of the screamer: George Zimmerman, the volunteer community watchman, or Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old he killed that night. (Snip)One [expert witness] concluded that the voice was not Mr. Zimmerman’s; the other said it was very likely Mr. Martin’s. In an order released on Saturday, the judge in the case, Debra S. Nelson, excluded their testimony. She said the science supporting
Washington--Within days, the Supreme Court is expected to issue a series of decisions that could transform three fundamental social institutions: marriage, education and voting. (Snip)But a tension runs through the cases, one based on different conceptions of equality. Some justices are committed to formal equality. Others say the Constitution requires a more dynamic kind of equality, one that takes account of the weight of history and of modern disparities. The four major cases yet to be decided concern same-sex marriage, affirmative action in higher education and the fate of the Voting Rights Act of 1965,
Colin Powell has admitted to exchanging ´very personal´ emails with a Romanian diplomat but denies having an affair with the much younger woman after a hacker threatened to release their intimate messages. The 76-year-old retired general told the Smoking Gun that he met Corina Cretu, 45, roughly 10 years ago when she was working as an assistant to the president of Romania. She is now a member of the European Parliament. ´After I left the Department of State in January 2005 we stayed in touch via email,´ he told TSG.
CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya. Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret. CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy
The United States will temporarily shut down its embassies and consulates around the world Sunday, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt, as a precautionary measure, the State Department said Thursday. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf did not say how long the international installations would stay closed -- only that the decision was taken “out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting.” Sunday is a normal workday in many Arab and Middle Eastern countries. Embassies in Europe and Latin America would be shuttered that day anyway.
In preparation for the release of Oscar-bait film The Butler, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, and director Lee Daniels (Precious) sat down with Parade magazine. The film chronicles a butler (Whitaker) who works in the White House through seven administrations. Winfrey plays the butler’s wife. In the interview, Winfrey explained her sadness that so few Americans know about the history of the civil rights movement: “They don’t know diddly-squat. Diddly-squat.” She then said of the historic use of the n-word, “I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last
American scientists claim the planet is undergoing one of the largest changes in climate in the past 65 million years. Climatologists at Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment have warned the likely rate of change over the next century will be at least 10 times quicker than any climate shift since the dinosaurs became extinct. If the trend continues at its current rapid pace, it will place significant stress on terrestrial ecosystems around the world, and many species will need to make behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations to survive, they said.
About 400 area retail and fast-food workers, together with colleagues nationally, participated in a strike Thursday to demand raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. “If not $15, then something. I mean give us something. I work 36 hours a week and barely make enough to pay my rent, gas bill, light bill. It gets to the point where I barely have enough for lunch sometimes,” said Angel Richardson, 21, who works at McDonald’s. “I’m five months pregnant, what am I going to do in four months? I hope something changes.” The minimum wage is $7.25 nationally and $8.25
[Video] Ouch. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie turned down an offer by Sen. Rand Paul to join him for a beer and bury the hatchet in their ongoing -- and very public -- feud. "I´m running for re-election in New Jersey. I don´t really have time for that at the moment," Christie said in an interview on a local radio station. The New Jersey governor said if he finds himself in Washington, "I´ll certainly look him up." But he added: "I don´t suspect I´ll be there anytime soon. I´ve got work to do here."
Oprah Winfrey said Americans by and large know “diddly-squat” about the history of the civil rights movement. The talk show queen and media mogul made her comments during the promotion of her new film, “The Butler,” about a black man who serves in that capacity through seven administrations at the White House. “They don’t know diddly-squat,” she said in a recent interview with Parade magazine. “Diddly-squat.” Ms. Winfrey also said that when she hears the N-word, she thinks of the “millions of people who heard that as their last word as they were hanging from a tree.”
The administration has popped the bubble of hope some small business had that switching to part-time staff would let them escape the high costs of Obamacare. The Small Business Administration on Thursday created a website to explain to businesses that the government will simply tally up the number of part-time employees firms have to determine if enough hours have been worked to essentially create a "full-time equivalent." Some smaller businesses had thought that if they could get under the 50 full-time employee cap that activates Obamacare by cutting full-time workers and hiring more part-time workers they would escape
Government workers in the city of Seattle have been advised that the terms "citizen" and "brown bag" are potentially offensive and may no longer be used in official documents and discussions. KOMO-TV reports that the city´s Office of Civil Rights instructed city workers in a recent internal memo to avoid using the words because some may find them offensive. "Luckily, we´ve got options," Elliott Bronstein of the Office for Civil Rights wrote in the memo obtained by the station. "For ´citizens,´ how about ´residents?´"
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) suggested on Friday morning that the tea party movement is comprised of the same types of people who fought against the civil rights movement during the 1960s. Speaking with the Daily Beast, Rangel said of the movement: “It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police. They didn’t care about how they looked. He added that the tea party movement can be defeated similar to how the civil rights movement eradicated Jim Crow mentality: “It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused
The nation´s most active death penalty state is running out of its execution drug. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Thursday that its remaining supply of phenobarbital expires in September and that no alternatives have been found. It wasn´t immediately clear whether two executions scheduled for next month would be delayed. The state has already executed 11 death-row inmates this year, and at least seven more have execution dates in coming months. "We will be unable to use our current supply of phenobarbital after it expires," agency spokesman Jason Clark said. "We are exploring all options at this time."