Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holiday Gifts for Americans: Lumps of Coal

It looks like Americans got the proverbial lump of coal for the holiday gift from their government.

It started in the week before the Christmas week, but the news quietly spread on the Internet during the Christmas week.

Did Obama exempt Interpol from same legal constraints as American law-enforcement? (12/23/09 Hot Air)

The president of the United States did that on December 16 by amending Executive Order 12425 signed by President Reagan and removing the exceptions in the original Order. Mainstream media didn't report. It was bloggers who caught it.

"In Executive Order 12425, Reagan made two exceptions to that status. The first had to do with taxation, but the second was to make sure that Interpol had the same accountability for its actions as American law enforcement — namely, they had to produce records when demanded by courts and could not have immunity for their actions."

Now that's gone, thanks to the presidential signature. Interpol can do whatever it wants in the U.S., and they don't have to tell anyone why they are doing what they are doing.

Then, on Christmas Eve, we were greeted with two pieces of joyful news. First, in the very early morning,

Senate Passes Health Bill (12/24/09 Politico Live Pulse)

So now we have a new "right" - a right to health care insurance. And we don't have a right not to have health care insurance. And the right will be forced upon us with penalties and taxes and jail-time. (Much like spreading "democracy" at gunpoint.)

Then, after the holiday-shortened stock market was closed, Treasury Secretary Timmy Geithner announced that the government was going to remove the $400 billion cap on aid to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two of the three wards of the state (the third one being AIG):

A Lump of Coal from Treasury (Mark A. Calabria, 12/29/09 Cato Institute)

The existing limit was $200 billion each, total $400 billion. Now the federal government will backstop the entire balance sheets of Fannie and Freddie, and that's over $5.5 trillion dollars. Cato Institute's article speculates that it is not for the support of the U.S. mortgage market but to support large holders (foreign and domestic) of Fannie and Freddie debt instruments.

On Christmas Day, a hilarity and ensuing dismay: a panty bomber struck and failed, and airline passengers get the punishment.

A son of a rich Nigerian banker was assisted by a sharply-dressed man at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam and boarded the plane without passport. Then, just before landing on Detroit, he tried to ignite explosives hidden in his underpants and failed.

As the result, all around the world, people are being subjected to lengthy and probably totally unnecessary pre-boarding checks and other potential intrusions into privacy like whole-body scan and behavioral profiling (whatever that means by this towering intellectual), and a bracelet that can zap you immobile if you are bad ("bad" defined by the panicky flight attendants?).

Then on December 30, a Bloomberg article revealed that Barney Frank's bill for financial overhaul (H.R. 4173) which passed the House include a generous help package for the too-big-to-fail banks: $4 trillion. U.S. taxpayers will have the privilege to pay for it one way (tax) or the other (inflation):

Bankers Get $4 Trillion Gift From Barney Frank (David Reilly, 12/29/09 Bloomberg)


Happy New Year.

4 comments:

Musa Kocaman said...

Türkiye'nin ve dünyanın her yerine seyahat

planınızı yapabilirsiniz.

Musa Kocaman said...

Bütün şarkıcılara ait şarkı sözü ve onların biyografilerini bulabilirsiniz.

Musa Kocaman said...

En ucuz ve en cimri alışveriş arama motoru!

Musa Kocaman said...

Türkiye'nin en ucuz ve akıllı en ucuz ürün arama motoru.

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