This was not your grandfather's hearing. The air was thick with partisanship already but when Darrell Issa began by playing audio of Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights and President Barack Obama's nominee to become the next Secretary of Labor, in which he confirms that he is arranging for details relating to the St. Paul case not to be disclosed. "Do you think it's appropriate for someone to -- at a federal level -- to try to keep information out in order to disguise what's actually going on?" Issa asked. "There are a whole variety of reasons why people, why we as a government and Justice Department, decide not to become involved in qui tam cases," Holder replied. Holder and Issa went back and forth until Holder lost it... "It is inappropriate and too consistent with the way in which you conduct yourself as a member of Congress," Holder said. "It is unacceptable. It is shameful."
And so the final curtain falls on the myth of what was supposed to be, in its own words, the "most transparent administration" in history. As it turns out, the big Friday story of Bloomberg journalists snooping on clients was just amateur hour compared to what the AP was about to serve. In fact, the Watergate affair may soon appear like a walk in the park compared to the First Amendment shitstorm that is about to be unleashed following the just reported news that the US Department of Justice had "secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news." First amendment? Freedom of speech and press? Surely not when it comes to the Nobel-peace prize winning President and those who dare to expose his secret ways. And what's worst, is that the AP breach has all the makings of a spiteful hack driven by personal vengeance against one of America's premier news outlets.
"The financial problems of the Postal Service are getting bigger every year," is how US Postmaster General Donahoe tried to convinced Congress not to block the bill the end Saturday delivery of mail. Raising the specter of mutually assured destructive bailouts in the future, the CEO rattle lawmakers (and other stakeholders) as NBC News reports, Representative Darrell Issa noting "It's very clear that ultimately, either the rate payer or the taxpayer will have to pay the $20 billion in debt of the Postal Service." Indeed Mr. Issa - so by our reckoning the plan to tax emails was a non-starter and so we compare the 73.5 billion pieces of mail handled by the USPS and the $20bn budgetary gap, it would appear the answer is simple - the current 46c stamp will have to rise in value by 27c or 60% in order to meet the shortfall. The problem of course is the legal limit on increasing stamp prices is bounded by what the BLS' official annual inflation report is, and which as the Fed is happy to reminds us, is at best 2% per year. Luckily, every problem, in this case too little inflation, has a solution: in this case hyperinflation.
Today, to little fanfare, the Fed announced a major binding settlement with the banks over robosigning and fraudclosure, which benefited the large banks, impaired the small ones (which is great: room for even more consolidation, and even more TBest-erTF, which benefits America's handful of remaining megabanks), and was nothing but one minor slap on the banking sector's consolidated wrist involving a laughable $3 billion cash payment. As part of the settlement, the US public is expected to ignore how much money the banks actually made in the primary and secondary market over the years courtesy of countless Linda Greens and robosigning abuses. A guess: the "settlement" represents an IRR of some 10,000% to 100,000% for the settling banks. We are confident once the details are ironed out, this will be an accurate range. Yet what is most disturbing, or not at all, depending on one's level of naivete, is the response of Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the house Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. As a reminder, Congress had demanded that the settlement not be announced before there was a hearing on it. This did not even dent the Fed's plans to proceed with today's 11 am public announcement which can now not be revoked. It is Cummings' response which shows, yet again, just who is the true master of the Federal Reserve.
Obamacare - There was a significant “drafting” mistake in the original legislation.
California Demands Business Insider Retract False Story On Jobless Claims Misreporting; Business Insider RefusesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/12/2012 09:24 -0400
After yesterday Zero Hedge first reported the reason for the surprising plunge in the past week's initial claims, which as the BLS explained was due to "a state" (whose identity despite all tabloid speculation to the contrary is still unknown) not reporting "some" figures, assorted blogs picked up on what has since been confirmed to be an incorrect report by Business Insider's Henry Blodget claiming that "Well, we're glad to say that we've finally gotten to the bottom of what happened" and that the state in question is none other than California (supposedly as opposed to Illinois to shut up those wacky conspiracy theorists). Turns out the site known best for its slideshow presentations (which will soon double down as advertisements) may have once again fibbed just a little, following an official demand by none other than California state Employment Development Department direct, Pam Harris, that BI retract its article. To wit: "Reports that California failed to fully report data to the U.S. Department of Labor, as required, are incorrect and irresponsible... It’s unfortunate this ‘reporter’ and others who repeated the article’s erroneous statements chose to speculate rather than report, failing to confirm this information with EDD." Sure enough, the 'reporter' in question replied, and it appears that Business Insider is better informed than California when it comes to matters such as these, and has refused to retract.
Perhaps we are finally getting somewhere, though we suspect only traversing the toilet bowl, as the Chairman of the Government Oversight Committee, Darrell Issa, just blasted the BLS over the jobs data in a conversation with Greta Van Susteren on FOX Business. Issa demands a 'Hearing' because:
the way it's being done with the constant revisions, significant revision, tells us that it's not as an exact a science as it needs to be and there's got to be a better way to get those numbers or don't put them out if they're going to be wrong by as much as half a point.
We are more than happy to provide the factual data to support this Hearing - though we suspect Hilda Solis will be deeply offended that her PhDs' work could be questioned.
Ben talks, the WSJ blows smoke and storms grow.
Gold $1669.80 up 20 cents - Silver $30.61 up 16 cents Silver Charges Ahead, Gold Rebuffs Cartel RaidSubmitted by lemetropole on 08/24/2012 20:03 -0400
Silver is going to blow SKY HIGH!!
How should we say this: we are shocked, shocked, that the DOJ won't prosecute itself.
BREAKING: DOJ says it won't prosecute Attorney General Holder after the GOP-led House voted to hold him in criminal contempt of Congress - Fox
And now, back to the far more important news of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes divorcing.
After earlier none other than Obama stepped up and invoked an executive privilege, hoping the next step would be avoided, Darrell Issa just called the president and the AG's bluff:
HOUSE PANEL VOTES TO HOLD ERIC HOLDER IN CONTEMPT - BBG
But wait, there's more:
HOLDER CALLS CONTEMPT VOTE `EXTRAORDINARY' AND UNNECESSARY
HOLDER CALLS CONTEMPT VOTE `ELECTION-YEAR TACTIC'
... And now to give some illegal immigrant voters pseudo-amnesty. So aside from this soaring acrimony between Republicans and Democrats, the "Fiscal cliff" issue will be promptly resolved. Promise.
If there was any confusion whether Obama is in fact Bush, or maybe even Nixon, this has now been squashed. From Fox:
President Obama has granted an 11th-hour request by Attorney General Eric Holder to exert executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents, a last-minute maneuver that appears unlikely to head off a contempt vote against Holder by Republicans in the House. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is expected to forge ahead with its meeting on the contempt resolution anyway.
Holder, whose guilt is implicitly proven by this action, is now likely absolved of everything as the TOTUS has effectively onboarded all of his "balance sheet risk." And why not. The Fed does it for everyone else every day.
Treaty Negotiated In Secret – Hidden Even from Congressmen Who Oversee Treaties – Threatens to Destroy National SovereigntySubmitted by George Washington on 06/14/2012 19:50 -0400
Treaty Threatens Global Government … Run by Giant Corporations
While normally we stay away from outright political commentary especially of the kind that has no direct relation to finance or the economy, the fact is that if the US had a functioning, uncompromised, uncorrupt, and effective Justice Department, much of what we see every day on Wall Street would be vastly different since if crime did indeed have punishment, then a vast portion of the questionable behavior that is exhibited by financiers would have been eliminated long ago. Which is why we find the news just released from The Hill that "Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has circulated a draft copy of a resolution that would hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress" particularly relevant. For it is none other than Holder's complete lack of involvement and intervention to outright daily crimes conducted in the financial world that is as much a reason for the deplorable economic state of this country and the world, as are all those other factor extensively discussed in books and documentaries each and every day.