Amid all the sound and fury and the "high noon" drama surrounding the debt-limit deadline and the passing of a deficit reduction measure this week, one discomforting fact emerged: Federal spending will continue to increase and the national debt, now approaching $15 trillion, will grow, not shrink, over the next 10 years.
Despite protestations from Jon Corzine (left), former New Jersey governor, that he has no interest in taking Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner�s place if Geithner decides to step down, Corzine did manage to have a clause put into his company�s bond offering prospectus that if he did accept the position, bond holders would be paid an extra one percent interest, just in case. Corzine now heads up MF Global Holdings Ltd. which is planning on selling $300 million of five-year notes which includes an unusual �key man event� clause which pays bondholders an extra one percent:
For some time conservative Texans, especially constitutionalists, have raised eyebrows at Rick Perry’s Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF). The Texas Governor’s website calls the fund a “development tool” providing the state’s leaders with a “deal closing fund,” but its administration is questionable and its existence unconstitutional.
Arizona has taken the problem of illegal immigration seriously. Like several other states, Arizona has not just focused on the illegal immigrants themselves. Those who profit by hiring illegal immigrants also face more rigorous state actions for their misconduct. In 2007, Arizona passed LAWA or the “Legal Arizona Workers Act,” which provided for escalating legal sanctions up to the revocation of an employer’s right to do business if the employer knowingly hired illegal immigrants.
“3 arrested on raw-milk charges” read the headline. One could be forgiven for assuming the news source was the Soviet-era Pravda or the mouthpiece for some other tyrannical regime. What other kind of government would arrest people over moo juice? In fact, however, that headline appeared in the Los Angeles Times, which was reporting on a raid on a southern California business.
At least 72 individuals have been charged in an online child pornography ring in which participants allegedly used an Internet bulletin board to trade images and videos of adults involved in sexual activity with children 12 years old and younger. The U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security announced August 3 that indictments had been unsealed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, with 52 of the 72 defendants already in custody.
Lobbyists will be busier than ever in the next weeks and months ahead, trying to influence both the makeup and the recommendations of the new "supercommittee" that is supposed to recommend $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions over the next ten years. Under the terms of Budget Control Act of 2011 passed by the Congress and signed by President Obama on Tuesday, mandatory budget cuts will take effect if Congress cannot agree on the committee recommendations or some other plan to reduce the amounts being added annually to the nation's debt. The prospect of mandatory cuts has alarmed and aroused lobbyists and trade groups, especially those in the powerful defense and health care industries.
Texas Congressman and GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul continues to champion constitutional rights. His latest endeavor is a bill that would abolish “gun-free zones,” ultimately permitting teachers to carry firearms on school grounds. Predictably, anti-gun groups are calling the legislation “extremist.”
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's campaign for President announced that Romney has a committee of 63 lawyers advising his campaign August 2, and that list includes Bush administration torture lawyer Steven Bradbury. Bradbury, the Deputy Attorney General who approved the Bush administration torture policy written by John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee, is also known for telling congressional investigators, "The President is always right."
A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against a Kansas law that bans funding of abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Court Judge J. Thomas Marten was “incredulous” at the state’s insistence that the law prohibiting abortion funding did not target Planned Parenthood specifically, ruling that the law was intended to punish the abortion provider and would eventually be overturned.