Chuck Hagel’s first major speech as secretary of defense is receiving the sort of attention that one would expect .
Today is “Blog Action Day;” here’s an apparent mission statement from the official website : “Today thousands of bloggers will unite to discuss a single issue–poverty. We aim to raise awareness, initiate action and to shake the web!” I’ve been telling people for weeks that economists are the wet blankets of the world, so keeping this in mind I thought I would offer a few ideas about what we can do to reduce poverty around the world. 1.
~ Frederic Sautet ~ Some depositors at Cyprus’ largest bank may lose a lot of money (e.g. see article in FT ). Those with deposits above €100,000 could lose 37.5 percent in tax (cash converted into bank shares), and on top of that another 22.5 percent to replenish the bank’s reserves (a “special fund”). Basically “big depositors” are “asked” to pay for (at least part of) Cyprus’ bailout (the rest will be paid by other taxpayers in the EU). I cannot think of a faster way to completely destroy a banking system than to expropriate its depositors.
Washington, D.C.— The Supreme Court heard oral argument today on Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids the federal government from recognizing state-level same-sex marriages. Judging by what I saw in the courtroom this morning, DOMA could be in serious trouble. “The question is whether or not the Federal government, under our federalism scheme, has the authority to regulate marriage,” declared Justice Anthony Kennedy, who repeatedly suggested that he saw DOMA as an unconstitutional federal intrusion on “the essence of the State police power.” Notably, at least one member of the Court’s liberal wing appeared to share Kennedy’s worries about DOMA and federalism. “What gives the federal government the right to be concerned at all at what the definition of marriage is?” asked Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Sidney Newman, 17, and Ferdinand Hunt, 18, were just hanging out on a New Orleans sidewalk , waiting on Hunt's mother to come back with something to eat. All of a sudden, about 10 men rushed at them, knocking them to the ground. The boys said they thought they were being robbed, but the men were plainclothes state troopers and one New Orleans police officer. The officers later said they were just trying to ID the boys. They released them after Hunt's mother, who is herself a police officer, returned. <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>