The Tea Party is coming to the rescue! Seriously. Last month, when the Atlanta Braves announced their intention to abandon Turner Field for a new, publicly subsidized stadium in Cobb County, we were all wondering what America’s favorite “populist movement” would have to say. A local government committing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to a project without a referendum? This was tailor-made for them to go absolutely bananas. And, of course, Cobb County is Tea Party country -- the birthplace of Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid and home base of two of its most stalwart members, Republican Representatives Tom Price and Phil Gingrey.
On the other hand, when the County Commission passed the plan for the $672 million stadium on a 4-1 vote, the holdout was a lone Democratic commissioner. (Business as usual: When isn’t a highly profitable professional sports team bamboozling a local government into spending millions in tax dollars on a new stadium?)Read more »
It’s that time of year -- no, not the holidays, but the last meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee before 2014. Nowadays the nation’s monetary policy makers aren’t disagreeing as much about whether the economy needs more or less stimulus. Instead, they are being forced to grapple with far knottier problems relating to the tools at their disposal.
Just consider quantitative easing. When the Fed first bought government-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities during the worst of the crisis, it was acting as a market-maker. Everyone else was selling, and the Fed stepped in to stop the panic, so the impact was unambiguously positive. More recent rounds of purchases seem to have been less helpful, while everyone nervously awaits news of when they will end. Of course, the Fed was supposed to be done buying bonds by the time the unemployment rate had fallen to 7 percent (its current level), so who knows what will actually happen.Read more »
Here’s a new one. In the same court document yesterday, as part of the penalty phase for former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Vice President Fabrice Tourre, the Securities and Exchange Commission simultaneously did the following: (1) asked the judge in the case to keep information about Tourre’s pay at Goldman a secret and (2) asked the judge to reveal the information and to make it a matter of public record.
What gives? The short answer is that the SEC seems to be playing nice with Goldman, but only to a point. Yesterday the SEC filed a slew of papers with U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest of Manhattan as part of its request that Tourre pay $1.1 million after being found liable in August for misleading investors in a deal called Abacus.Read more »
Erdogan survived the Gezi Park protests earlier this year with relative ease, but this may be a more dangerous threat. Gulen lives in exile in the U.S., but has a large network of followers in Turkey, controls the country's biggest newspaper, and has deep roots in the courts and law-enforcement agencies.Read more »
The United States Olympic Committee is raising eyebrows over yesterday's news that the "Go USA" mittens sold on its website are made in China.
The "wardrobe malfunction," as the Associated Press called it, comes less than two years after fans and politicians criticized the USOC and Team USA clothing sponsor Ralph Lauren for the Chinese-made team uniforms worn in the London Olympics. After that incident, the USOC vowed that all uniforms going forward would be made in America, starting with the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.Read more »
President Barack Obama is under attack from Republicans for selectively enforcing immigration laws. He is under attack from immigration rights activists for enforcing laws too aggressively. Let's see if we can guess which group the White House will be more responsive to.
In his first term, Obama's administration deported a record 1.5 million undocumented immigrants. Republicans applauded this return to law and order following what House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte termed the "lax and loosey-goosey" administration of George W. Bush.Read more »