Ben Bernanke is at it again. It appears the Fed Chairman is preparing for a third round of bond purchases (quantitative easing or QE3) that will further inflate the U.S. Dollar. Reuters reports Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee during the semi-annual monetary policy report the economic recovery was being held back by anxiety over Europe’s debt crisis and the path of U.S. fiscal policy. He also expressed concern over the stagnant job market.
Since December 2008 the Fed has held overnight borrowing costs near zero and has bought $2.3 trillion in government and mortgage-related debt to keep long-term interest rates artificially low. The Fed promised to hold rates at rock bottom levels until at least 2014.
Bernanke told lawmakers it was essential to find a way to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of sharp spending cuts and tax hikes that are scheduled to take place in the United States at the start of next year, warning it could tip the already weak economy into a recession. The Washington Post reports if Congress can’t resolve its budget impasse before the year ends. The “[c]uts in taxes on income, dividends and capital gains would expire. So would this year’s Social Security tax cut and businesses tax reductions. Defense and domestic programs would be slashed. And emergency benefits for the long-term unemployed would run out.”
Bernanke also told lawmakers the central bank was considering a range of tools it could employ to help the economy but he hewed closely to the message of watchful waiting that the central bank’s policy panel delivered in June. “Reflecting its concerns about the slow pace of progress in reducing unemployment and the downside risks to economic growth, the committee made clear at its June meeting that it is prepared to take further action.”
When asked about the possibility of QE3 Kate Ager, with Ladies in Keene, said, “I would prefer to use alternative currencies or barter instead of using Federal Reserve Notes (FRN’s).”
There are several alternatives to the FRN. In Keene, NH people have begun using 1/10th ounce and half ounce silver bars. These pieces of silver are even accepted by several businesses in the city. Other alternatives include Shire Silver, dime cards and silver, copper and gold rounds minted by the AOCS.
I realize it is not possible for everyone to completely avoid using the FRN, however it’s worth the effort to convert as much as possible to the use of honest money!
In mid-July the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives voted for the 33rd time to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Before the vote, Speaker of the House John Boehner said, “The intent of the president’s health care law was to lower costs and to help create jobs. … Instead, it is making our economy worse, driving up costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire.”
The Washington Examiner reports, “There was never any doubt that Republicans had the votes to pass the repeal in the House on Wednesday – or that it would die in the Senate, where Democrats possessed more than enough strength to block it.”
Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ), who was elected to fill the seat vacated by Gabrielle Giffords, said the GOP-inspired repeal legislation was a charade and showed the House “cares more about political grandstanding than in getting things done.” This vote was criticized by some as “campaigning for Romney” on the floor of Congress. I agree this is campaigning on the floor of Congress, however I do not believe it is unprecedented.
Since this action by Republicans was criticized as campaigning; I’m curious whether the same people would accuse Harry Reid of “campaigning for Obama” every time he prevents certain bills from coming up for a vote? Was it campaigning when Nancy Pelosi brought forth a bill to enact “Cap and Trade?” Is it campaigning when any member of Congress requests earmarks that benefit their district?
I would say, “yes” and contend that every action by every member of Congress can be viewed as an act of campaigning on the floor of the Congress. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) said before joining other Republicans in Wednesday’s House vote: “Here’s the good news. The voters get the last word in November.” The truth is most members of Congress are in “safe districts” and do need not worry about getting re-elected, as over 90% of Representatives consistently retain their seats.
CNN’s David Frum is watching every press conference in the ongoing character assassination campaign:
And it was that “win the hour” mentality that got the Romney campaign into much more serious trouble when the Obama campaign launched a big push on Romney’s business record the next day.
Thursday morning, the Obama campaign released a tough ad attacking the record of downsizing and outsourcing at Romney’s old firm, Bain Capital.
The Romney campaign reacted with outrage. That same day, it announced a multimillion-dollar purchase of airtime for an ad that bluntly accused President Obama of lying.
In support of the ad, Romney’s team argued that he had left Bain Capital in February 1999; the incidents alluded to by the Obama campaign all occurred after that date and had nothing to do with Romney.
Wham. The first attack on Romney had been a jab, dropping Romney’s guard against the haymaker: On Friday, the Obama team counter-charged that it was Romney who was lying in his ads or who had committed a felony, lying on 140 official forms that he signed as CEO and sole shareholder of Bain between 1999 and 2002.
[...] Romney’s core problem is this: He heads a party that must win two-thirds of the white working-class vote in presidential elections to compensate for its weakness in almost every demographic category. The white working class is the most pessimistic and alienated group in the electorate, and it especially fears and dislikes the kind of financial methods that gained Romney his fortune.
Romney has a strong potential defense: Bain was in the business of making companies more efficient and profitable. Downsizing and outsourcing were necessary — and often indispensable — means to that end… However, it’s not an argument that appeals much to the voters Romney most intensely needs to win. Hence his unleashing of the war room — but in the end, there’s only so much a war room can do. And this time, by trying to do too much, the Romney war room may have blasted its own side with lethal friendly fire.
It’s hard to find voters that identify with either candidate at this point in what has been an overwhelmingly negative game of “hate-monger your opponent”.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is conducting aggressive maneuvers against Iran with not a peep from either candidate (even Bush would have been politically smart enough to rub something like this in Kerry’s face by now).
Translation: The gauntlet is thrown down.
It’s the mothafuckin’ NYPD,
in the land of the mothafuckin’ unfree,
violating 685,000 of you me and… thee,
to get 770 dangerous guns off the streets.
Hit the baseline WNYC:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly argue the main purpose of stop-and-frisk is to get guns off the street. Out of more than 685,000 stops in 2011, about 770 guns were recovered. That means about one tenth of one percent of all stops result in the seizure of a gun.
But those guns are not showing up in the places where the police are devoting the most stop-and-frisk resources.
Using data from the New York City police department, WNYC mapped all street stops by police that resulted in the recovery of a gun last year. The digital map shows an interesting pattern. We located all the “hot spots” where stop and frisks are concentrated in the city, and found that most guns were recovered on people outside those hot spots—meaning police aren’t finding guns where they’re looking the hardest.
Hardest hit: the poorest areas of black and latino communities,
excuse my uncanny truth rhyming abilities,
I’m not an entitled man here to tax your facilities,
but fight this shit and I guarantee some tranquilities.
Prohibition does nothing but make a thing proliferate,
and so the net is clearly widening as we wait,
so why do we continue to vocally deliberate,
when all we need to do is re-liberate?
From Cleveland, with the Constitutional educate
From his twitter account, Kim Dotcom continues trying his legal battle in the court of public opinion by explaining the shams foisted upon him by the U.S. DOJ and their puppets in New Zealand:
Fact #1: All my assets are still frozen. I have no funds to pay lawyers & defend myself in the biggest copyright case in world history.
Fact #2: NZ courts ruled: Restraining order illegal. Search warrants illegal. But I still have no access to my files. Not even copies.
Fact #3: NZ court ruled: FBI removed my data from NZ illegally. But the FBI reviewed my hard drives anyway and didn’t send them back.
Fact #4: The DOJ argues in US court that I should not get a penny unfrozen for my defense cause I should be treated like a bank robber.
Fact #5: The DOJ argues in US court that I should not have the lawyers of my choosing because of a conflict of interest with rights holders.
Fact #6: There is no criminal statute for secondary copyright infringement in the US. The DOJ doesn’t care. Let’s just be creative.
Fact #7: Only 10% of our users and 15% of our revenue came from US users. Yet the DOJ argues in US court that all assets are tainted.
Fact #8: The DOJ told the Grand Jury that Megaupload employs 30 staff. In reality 220 jobs were lost because of the US actions.
Fact #9: The DOJ shut down several companies for alleged copyright infringement including N1 Limited – A fashion label making clothing.
Fact #10: The DOJ is charging us with Money Laundering and Racketeering cause Copyright Infringement isn’t enough for Extradition from NZ.
While it is very easily arguable that Megaupload and Megavideo were being used for copyright infringement at some level — something he’s acknowledged and had a response system in place to remove said infringing content — the DOJ’s response to the daily onslaught of Google/YouTube infringement claims in an entirely different manner can only explained as quid pro quo.
The unfortunate lesson: if you want to run a large internet company unmolested by Uncle Sam, you had better grease the right palms in DC.
UPDATE: According to a report last month from Stuff.co.nz, Dotcom is being denied access to evidence (except 40 pages of the prosecution’s “cherry-picked” items from over 22 million emails) as he fights the ongoing and financially exhaustive extradition battle, he has threatened to publish what little information has been released by the DOJ to his legal team to the public in a bid to win sympathy.
An unnamed donor had it announced on his behalf that a million dollars will be donated to
a yet unnamed SuperPAC the Freedom and Liberty PAC. Strangely, the windfall news broke at a Wayne Allyn Root poolside dinner:
Judge Jim Gray, at the Gary Johnson fundraiser held at former VP Nominee and current LNC member Wayne Allyn Root’s home, before a crowd of about 80 donors gathered around the outdoor pool on an unusually cool and humid Las Vegas evening, announced that a generous Libertarian supporter had recently donated $1,000,000 to a super pac supporting the Gary Johnson 2012 campaign to “keep us going.”
[...] Prior to Judge Gray’s announcement the Root family hosted a perfectly executed dinner party in their spacious Henderson NV home. BBQ Ribs, alcohol, fine desserts and all the extras flowed abundantly. LNC member Brett Pojunis introduced the first speaker who related a story of fishing in Alaska with a friend who was so (either fatigued, or inspired by) hearing stories about Gary Johnson that he eventually donated $2,500.00. Wayne was next, mentioning that he had never been fishing, but in what may have been his most adamant and passionate endorsement of the Johnson/Gray campaign urged everyone present to “give till it hurts” and to support the campaign because “while the Democrats are driving over the cliff at 180 mph, the Republicans are driving at that same cliff at 120 mph” and “we’re heading over the cliff either way” and “we can’t let that happen.” Wayne urged everyone present to support Gary Johnson.
[...] Brett then thanked everyone for coming. Wayne reminded everyone that this is Las Vegas, and there were “really people with baseball bats” and again asked everyone present to support the campaign. He also introduced a professional photographer who was present to take photos of anyone who wanted one with the Governor, Judge or anyone else.
In this reporter’s experience the event was perfectly executed, very well attended and an apparent unqualified success. The crowd seemed energized and was reluctant to leave. Several small buses were used to transport attendees from Freedom Fest to Wayne’s home and back. The bus ride back was, at least for the bus this reporter was on, highly energized with expressions of gratitude to the Roots, the million dollar donor and for the very real possibility that Gary Johnson and Judge Gray could actually be in the debates.
I doubt it’s mere coincidence to announce this kind of thing with scant details of where the money is going — at Root’s home (who’s basically endorsed Romney on multiple online comments) — so it’s probably best that Johnson’s business and political experience has prepared him to swim with party sharks.
And that baseball bats joke? Yeesh, we’re not the mafia, guys. We’re the ones who fight to end rackets of power-drunk republicans and democrats. But apparently politics is politics so Libertarian Party lordship rings are smartly being kissed in the process.
A just 9% peak polling and a stagnant economy wearing down small donors, Gary Johnson’s campaign desperately needed the financial support. More than that, Johnson’s team couldn’t hurt themselves by scouting out some Vegas-experienced publicists (even the ones with sharpened teeth). It’s no doubt he’ll have a lot to smile about this week.
Update: The name of the SuperPAC has been confirmed as the Freedom and Liberty PAC, a Johnson-specific PAC which had one other donation of $100K on June 28th.
When we recently opened up our registration on Hammer of Truth (Piwik is still broken to some degree so the deal stands, for now), a few trolls immediately crawled out from under their bridges and made trouble. Or at least they tried, and failed, and then we laughed at them.
With our super-secret troll and spammer detection system, we’ve already sent a few back under their bridges with some well deserved lumps and will continue to arm and teach our system to defend itself, like Skynet or something (not really).
It’s good to see Hannity has the man-stones to acknowledge Jillette’s appeal to reason in a recent interview on Fox:
HANNITY: You’ve never tried marijuana.
HANNITY: You never had a drink.
HANNITY: You’ve never had a cigarette that you smoked.
JILLETTE: I do fire eating, so I have to light a cigarette –
HANNITY: You never smoked a cigar.
HANNITY: You’re the exception to the rule for libertarians. You know that, right?
JILLETTE: I do know that, but I also do know that the most important thing is for the government to allow more freedom than I want for myself. Morality has to be a subset — the most important thing is that people in this country feel like they are living legally. There’s nobody in this country right now that can say with complete confidence they are doing nothing illegal. We have too many laws. What you need to do, is if you are a good person, you should have no fear of the government. It comes back to the Al Capone thing that we busted him on income tax invasion. You don’t want to feel good about that. You don’t want to feel good that the government can bust anybody on anything they want. You want to be able to do good things. Much smaller laws. You know, my son, when he gets to be 12 years old, should be able to understand everything that’s illegal and everything that’s not. There shouldn’t be this huge amount of illegal things you can do. Someone who is a good person should have no fear of the government whatsoever.
HANNITY: All right, I lost this debate. I can’t win this debate. Go waste half your vote.
JILLETTE: I’ll waste my whole vote. That’s what I’m going to do.
Oh wait, he added that qualifier in there… so fuck him.
I’m very much glad that Jillette had the sense to bitch slap some sense into him on the half-vote mockery he was attempting on everyone who would dare to vote for Gary Johnson or anything other than the pre-approved corporate-backed duopoly. It’s smug bootlickers like Hannity who are ultimately giving Americans a bad name by this kind of “blind” deference to power. We the people of all political stripes control the reins of this country, not with half-votes — whatever the shit that meant — but with full angry votes, backed by full angry mobs. I dare Hannity to keep pretending otherwise and ignore history.
Side note: Penn Jillette had a prior libertarian outburst speaking out against Obama’s drug use hypocrisy and is probably most beloved among libertarians for his infamous standoff against a TSA screener’s physical assault. Hammer of Truth reached out to Jillette for further comment on the matter and was rebuffed because of some bad manners (on twitter, no less). Do feel free to let him know what a silly mistake that was, seeing as we’re not his damn enemy.
On July 9, 1868 the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution was officially ratified. Hidden within this amendment is wording that enshrined the federal government with perpetual debt.
In recent years, partly in response to the growing federal debt, people have begun protesting in opposition to the debt racked up by Congress. In late 2008 a group in Phoenix, AZ began the “It’s not my debt” campaign. In response to this campaign a small political party passed a resolution that reads: “The national committee of the Boston Tea Party hereby calls upon both houses of the US Congress to promptly pass,and calls upon the state legislatures to ratify, a constitutional amendment repealing section 4 of the 14th amendment, prohibiting future indebtedness and deficit spending on the part of the federal government, and repudiating all federal government debt and debt service obligations accrued prior to the ratification of said amendment.”
The federal debt gained some mainstream media attention last year when Congress was debating whether or not and by how much to raise the debt ceiling. As predicted, Congress did not say, “No, we will not raise the debt ceiling.” Members of Congress came to a compromise that increased the debt ceiling, further inflated the currency and has continued to enslave tax-payers with a perpetual debt that will never be paid off.
In the 144 years since the ratification of this amendment, I don’t know of any attempt to hold a national rally to publicly question the validity of the national debt. On the anniversary of the enshrinement of the national debt, activists from across the country will gather in public to question the validity of the national debt.
It is past time for Congress to admit publicly the debt will never be paid off and repudiate the debt, because it is invalid. An alternate proposal for eliminating the debt, is to eliminate the federal government that created the debt. Again, not an easy task, though one that will likely occur at some point in the future; either being replaced by a new national government or with a total collapse of these United States of America. There are many theories of what a post USA North America would look like, though most agree that there will be at least 8 new nations. I’d prefer to see a peaceful split of the country rather than a violent rebellion.
*In violation of Section 4 of the 14th Amendment