Archive for the ‘government’ Category

Immigration: And I still ask, who’s organizing this?

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Headlines at Drudge,

Border Agents: We’re Letting In Gang Members…

Obama Admin Forbids Lawmakers From Taking Photos Of Illegal Immigrant Facility…

Border Patrol Threatened With Criminal Charges for Speaking to Reporters…

Agents changing diapers, heating baby formula for surge of children…

OBAMA: ‘Our Future Rests’ on DREAMers…

Honduran President: ‘Misinformation’…

More than 35,000 illegals entering TX each month…

PAPER: Orchestrated campaign to create chaos…
Embassies still not warning against sending children…

So no wonder the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, after 50,000 apprehensions of border crossers in south Texas, declared this week that “certainly we are not gullible enough to believe that thousands of unaccompanied minor Central American children came to America without the encouragement, aid and assistance of the United States government.”

Are we supposed to believe that tens of thousands of Central America’s indigents suddenly could come up with the money to pay the coyotes? Or that the coyotes are not getting paid?

Puerto Rico: Growth yes, more taxes no

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Says Monica Showalter of IBD, and I wholeheartedly agree:
To Avoid Becoming The Next Detroit, Puerto Rico Needs Growth, Not Taxes

Too much bureaucracy, much of it for welfare, and too much rewarding failure over success drive up costs and drive out the productive. Puerto Rico’s most talented citizens are voting with their feet. The island loses about 1% of its population a year, a deadly loss compounded over the years for any economy.
To bring these people back, the governor has to fight to cut taxes and really go after the country’s entrenched special interests with a baseball bat.

The 39% corporate tax has to go.

He [governor Alejandro García Padilla] also must fight in the U.S. Congress to reinstate Puerto Rico’s special tax break that ended in 2006 so that investment will once again return.

Finally, he must also take on Big Labor’s favorite, the Jones Act, which artificially drives up shipping costs, putting local manufacturers at a disadvantage, demanding Congress at least give Puerto Rico an exception.

Read the whole thing.


Snowden is in Hong Kong?

Monday, June 10th, 2013

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden headed to Hong Kong after releasing a series of sensitive documents to the Washington Post.

Hong Kong is part of China, a country that has blocked access to my blog at times. Not the most transparent place for internet communications.

Now he’s seeking asylum in Iceland, which means he’s hoping that

  • the Chinese won’t deport him to the USA
  • Iceland will grant him asylum

    Kristín Árnadóttir, Icelandic ambassador to Beijing, told the South China Morning Post that Snowden needs to be in Iceland in order to apply for asylum.

  • the Chinese will grant him safe passage to Iceland.

So far, he’s checked out of his hotel.

Memeorandum is abuzz,

 Barton Gellman / Washington Post:

Code name ‘Verax’: Snowden, in exchanges with Post reporter, made clear he knew risks  —  He called me BRASSBANNER, a code name in the double-barreled style of the National Security Agency, where he worked in the signals intelligence directorate.  —  Verax was the name he chose for himself, “truth teller” in Latin.
RELATED:

 Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:

Greenwald Says ‘There’s A Lot More Coming,’ Argues NSA Revelations Don’t Harm Security  —  The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald on Monday defended the 29-year-old who served as the source of one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history, arguing that the revelations of the National Security …
Discussion: Hot AirGuardian and The Daily Banter

 The Atlantic Online:

Edward Snowden in Hong Kong  —  I’m glad we have this information; I am sorry we are getting it from Hong Kong.  —  Three points:  —  1) I believe what I wrote two days ago: that the United States and the world have gained much more, in democratic accountability, than they have lost …

 New York Times:

Booz Allen Grew Rich on Government Contracts  —  WASHINGTON — Edward J. Snowden’s employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, has become one of the largest and most profitable corporations in the United States almost exclusively by serving a single client: the government of the United States.

 Daniel Ellsberg / Guardian:

Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America  —  Snowden’s whistleblowing gives us a chance to roll back what is tantamount to an ‘executive coup’ against the US constitution  —  In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release …

 Guardian:
Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

Discussion: The Raw StoryNew York TimesWashington MonthlyFiredoglake,ThinkProgressUSA TodayWashington PostThe Atlantic OnlineChina Real Time Reportimmi.isPower LinePoliticoWonkblogBBCmsnbc.comDaily MailNews DeskActivist PostCapital New YorkDaily KosYahoo! NewsThe BRAD BLOGThe WeekBusiness InsiderInfowarsAlan Colmes’ Liberaland,Hot AirNew RepublicMediaitekottke.orgWall Street JournalReuters,ViralReadThe SunTechCrunchLe·gal In·sur·rec· tionThe PJ TatlerDoug RossThe AgonistGood Gear GuideThe Daily CallerAlthouseThe Huffington PostTalking Points MemoSecrecy NewsRTInformed CommentTelegraph,Towleroad News #gayPrairie WeatherFP PassportKALWThe Gateway PunditAMERICAblogGawkeramericanthinker.comBoing BoingAMERICAN DIGESTThe HillBalloon JuiceFirst ReadNo More Mister Nice BlogThe ImpoliticPoliticusUSAUrbanGroundsPost PoliticsForbesNO QUARTER USA NETThe DishThe BLTLittle Green FootballsWashington ExaminerFox News InsiderThe Moderate VoiceTaylor MarshOutside the BeltwayLawfare,Hit & RunThe Hinterland GazetteRunnin’ ScaredInstapunditVox Popoli,WiredAmerican PowerCANNONFIREWhiskey FireThe VergeTHE ASTUTE BLOGGERSScared MonkeysU.S. NewsWashington Free Beacon,Liberal ValuesAllThingsDGigaOMLewRockwell.com Blogemptywheel,Engadget and Mashablemore at Mediagazer »

 Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
DOJ launches criminal probe of NSA leaker

Discussion: Politico

Person(s) of Interest

Friday, June 7th, 2013

No, not them,

Us,

 

US intelligence chief denounces info ‘leak’…

NYT: Obama has lost all credibility…

Paper ‘quietly changes published editorial to make less damning’…

RELATED:

 New York Times:

President Obama’s Dragnet  —  Within hours of the disclosure that the federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every …


FYI,

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

in case you missed it,

NSA is collecting the phone records of MILLIONS of Verizon customers daily under top secret order issued in April and it lasts into July

Because of the lack of distinction, it means that the phone records are not just being collected for suspected terrorists, but the company’s entire consumer base.

Meanwhile, Obama and Google swap staff


The IRS: soon in charge of enforcing Obamacare

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Ponder that disquieting thought while you read Drudge’s roundup: The governmental agency that did this will have full access to all your medical records, in addition to your financial records.

CLAIM: OBAMA CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR ATTACKED ROMNEY WITH LEAKED DOCS…

IRS ASKED FOR FACEBOOK POSTS, READING LISTS, PRIVATE THOUGHTS


W.H. Blames Treasury Dept for IRS Scandal…

CARNEY: Just because IRS apologized doesn’t mean it did anything wrong…

POLL: Most Want IRS Officials Fired or Jailed… Developing…

REPORT: Agency demanded list of students trained by conservative group…

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: WE WERE TARGETED…

Rev. Billy Graham Endorsed Romney…

‘Special unit’ went after pro-Israel Jewish groups…

Official speedily approved exemption for Obama’s brother’s ‘charity’…

Agency won’t say if it will comply with congressional demand…

Argentina: Courts now under Cristina’s authority

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

The judicial system is compromised: borrowing a page from Chavismo, Argentine Legislature Extends President’s Control Over the Judicial System

Argentina’s Congress passed legislation giving the president and political parties greater control over the judicial system, just days after hundreds of thousands of Argentines took to the streets to protest the measures.

President Cristina Kirchner’s populist, left-wing ruling coalition approved the changes that limit injunctions against government policies and create three new appellate courts.

Within a week or two, Congress is also set to change the Magistrates Council that appoints and impeaches judges, subjecting its members to popular elections. That likely will give Mrs. Kirchner’s party control over the council, which will be able to impeach judges by a simple majority, instead of the two-thirds vote required now.

Mrs. Kirchner says the new laws will make the legal system less beholden to special-interest groups. The sweeping changes come less than a month after Mrs. Kirchner submitted the legislation to Congress.

No more separation of powers,

Legal experts say the revisions will make it hard for individuals and companies to challenge laws and presidential decrees, especially those expropriating private property. Rights groups Human Rights Watch and Transparency International have warned the legislation would give the executive branch unprecedented control over the courts.

This gives free hand to the government to act or seize assets before a case is solved.

For commentary in Spanish, please read Monólogo de una República Perdida, by Agustín Ulivarri Rodi.

Captain Louis Renault goes to Cyprus

Monday, April 1st, 2013

“I am shocked, shocked!”
Mega-Rich Withdrew Money From Cyprus Before Looting

The real targets of the “haircut” are businesses, entrepreneurs and the middle class

News that the Cypriot President’s family moved 21 million euros to London days before the bank accounts of his people were looted as part of the bailout deal serves as another reminder that while the media portrays the victims of the Cyprus “haircut” as the mega rich and wealthy Russian oligarchs, the real victims are middle class families and small business owners.

And,

In addition, as Reuters reports, “While ordinary Cypriots queued at ATM machines to withdraw a few hundred euros as credit card transactions stopped, other depositors used an array of techniques to access their money.”

Branches and subsidiaries of Cypriot banks in London and Russia remained open while banks in Cyprus were closed, allowing Russian oligarchs and other wealthy depositors to move their money.

When asked about the amount of money that had exited Cyprus before the bailout deal, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble refused to provide figures.

Take it away, Louis!

Panama: “Deepen the port of Savanna”. Is Washington listening?

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

This blog’s mission, if you want to call it that, is to highlight the intersection of American and Latin American news and events.

The expansion of the Panama Canal is a crucial event that, for the most part, has been ignored by the American news media. It’s going on right now, and expected to be completed in April 2015. It will enable super-large ships, called “Post-Panamax,” to cross, but it necessitates that ports around the world, and especially in the Gulf states are deepend to accomodate them.

Roberto Roy, Panama’s Minister for Canal Affairs and Georgia Tech graduate, met with Georgia governor Nathan Deal,

“It is a critical issue for Georgia and for Savannah,” Roy said in an interview outside the governor’s office. “The reason is that the shipping fleet is totally changing. It is not only a matter of the ships being bigger. The key is that the most important variable is the fuel costs.”
Roy said the new ships can carry more containers, which makes them more energy efficient with significantly lower fuel costs per container.
“That is the game changer,” Roy said.

Georgia already has received the necessary federal approvals for the project, but it will need hundreds of millions of dollars in order to complete the deepening of the port. Reed has been working with state leaders to build support within President Barack Obama’s administration and other Democratic leaders for the project.
“Georgia needs to do a hard lobbying in Washington to get approval for this dredging,” Roy said. “The message is the fleet is changing, and we are already late.

Let’s hope the bureaucrats in Washington are listening. An infrastructure project of this magnitude should have already started in the US ports, instead of those so-called “shovel ready jobs” that wasted the stimulus money.

“It could never happen here”?

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Tomorrow all bank deposits over €100,000 will have 10% expropriated in Cyprus, while

Goat herders, taxi drivers, et al. (what the New York Times calls“pensioners, workers and regulator depositors”) with less than €100,000 get whacked 6.75 percent.

What do they get for that? A €10 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund and European lenders.

Roger Kimball has the story.

In Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and France, the governments take over citizens’ pension money to make up government budget shortfalls.

In 2008, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard asked, Argentina seizes pension funds to pay debts. Who’s next?

My fear is that governments in the US, Britain, and Europe will display similar reflexes. Indeed, they have already done so. The forced-feeding of banks with fresh capital – whether they want it or not – and the seizure of the Fannie/Freddie mortgage giants before they were in fact in trouble (in order to prevent a Chinese buying strike of US bonds and prevent a spike in US mortgage rates), shows that private property can be co-opted – or eliminated – with little due process if that is required to serve the collective welfare. This is a slippery slope.

This is only the beginning, folks.