Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Pictures from Smart Girl Summit

JD Wilson sent in these great photos from this weekend's Smart Girl Summit. Check 'em out!

‪Saturday Picnic with Ed Martin

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder talks to PJTV at Smart Girl Summit

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder begins by speaking about the rise of Republican women and encouraging more women to get involved in politics especially online and in the new media. Kinder also discusses the debt ceiling debate, the irresponsibility of DC Democrats, and the role of conservatives going forward.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

‪Senator Rubio Speaks Tea Party Truth to Entrenched Establishment Power


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) delivered a tremendous soliloquy on the floor of the Senate Saturday. He yielded to a couple of questions from Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). Simply put, Sen. Rubio spoke Tea Party truth to entrenched establishment power. And, really, watch the whole thing--it just keeps getting better.

Obama Loses 40,000 Followers; Twitter Loses Credibility


NY Daily News: President Barack Obama takes debt battle to Twitter, loses more than 40,000 followers in one day:

President Obama brought his debt battle to Twitter and he lost – more than 40,000 Twitter followers.
Obama asked Americans Friday to call, email, and tweet Congressional leaders to “keep the pressure on” lawmakers in hopes of reaching a bipartisan deal to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline.

Was it worth it? Was all of that tweeting actually helpful? Did it advance the legislation? Now consider this next paragraph:

Obama’s campaign staff used the @BarackObama Twitter account to post the Twitter handles of tweeting GOP leaders – state by state, tweet by tweet.

His campaign staff? But President Obama has a "Verified Account". Something similar came up during the Anthony Weiner fiasco, and I blogged about it in The Technical Ramifications of Weinergate. At this point, it appears that Twitter's "Verified Account" badge is almost worthless.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Photos from Smart Girl Summit

Here are a few pictures I took at Smart Girl Summit this afternoon. The Summit is sponsored by Smart Girl Politics and runs through Saturday in downtown St. Louis.

The Study that Justified #Aerotropolis

Thursday, July 28, 2011

‪Video: AWOL Soldier Admits to Ft. Hood Bomb Plot ‬‏

Associated Press: ‪AWOL Soldier Admits to Ft. Hood Attack Plot:‬‏

An AWOL infantry soldier caught with weapons and a bomb inside a backpack admitted planning what would have been Fort Hood's second terrorist attack in less than two years, the Army said Thursday.

Video: The Facts of Life about Money for Liberals

Pajamas Media: ‪Andrew Klavan: The Facts of Life for Liberals‬‏:

If someone from the government tries to put his hands on your money... run away as fast as you can and tell the nearest conservative.

Klavan mentions Nicole Gelinas's After the Fall and Peter Schiff's How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

‪Video: Newt Gingrich Rips Agenda 21

Monday, July 25, 2011

Speaker of the House John Boehner Goes Mano-a-Mano with the President


Associated Press: ‪House Speaker Says Obama Won't Get 'blank Check'‬‏:

House Speaker John Boehner says Pres. Barack Obama wants a blank check from Congress to raise the debt ceiling, but that he's not going to get one. In his response to Obama's televised address, Boehner gave no indication of compromise.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Greasing the St. Louis Democrat Machine with #Aerotropolis Dollars

Audrey Spalding of The Show Me Institute spoke to the K & N Patriots Saturday morning about the crony capitalism in the aerotropolis bill. Spalding explains that the bill provides $360 million dollars of tax credits. Of that, $300 million is designated to build warehouses in north St. Louis where there are already 18,000,000 sq. ft. of available warehouse space.

She also notes that new warehouses can only be built in "gateway zones". Those zones can only be created by County Executive Charlie Dooley (D) in St. Louis county or Mayor Francis Slay (D) in St. Louis city. In short, Missouri's Republican controlled General Assembly, led by Speaker Steve Tilley (R), wants to oil the St. Louis Democrat machine with $300 million dollars to dole out to their cronies.

Given that Moody's Investors Service is contemplating a review of Missouri's AAA credit rating, wouldn't the passage of this boondoggle negatively effect their rating of the state?

Gold Reacts to the Debt Negotiations in Washington

That's the live gold chart from Kitco. The blue line is from last Thursday, the red last Friday, and the green from just minutes ago. That's a pretty impressive opening spike and it's almost certainly a result of the uncertainty in Washington, DC, over the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling, reduce spending, and/or raise taxes.

Debt Deal Brinkmanship U.S. leaders struggle to reach debt deal as deadline clock ticks:

The aide said that party members are "struggling to see how they reach an agreement with significant debt reduction without buying time to work out the details."
Boehner aide Steel had earlier told reporters that "it would be terribly unfortunate if the president was willing to veto a debt-limit increase simply because its timing would not be ideal for his re-election campaign. We want the most significant deficit reduction possible, but linking the full faith and credit of the United States to presidential campaign politics is not a defensible position."

I expect that there will be a plan sometime Sunday for a "clean"--no changes to taxes or spending--bump in the debt ceiling in the short term and an agreement in principal for changes later this year. If that's not enough to goose the markets, expect QE3 before the year's out. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Unemployment: The Effects of Relaxed Recruiting


Employers influence the pace of job filling by the intensity of their recruiting efforts. Under an aggressive approach, an employer places help-wanted advertisements, reaches out to attractive candidates and retains professional recruiters. Under a relaxed approach, an employer tends to rely on word of mouth or waits passively for applicants. Employers can also screen candidates quickly or slowly. They can set a high or low bar for experience, qualifications and promise. They can offer more or less attractive compensation packages.

Steven J. Davis goes on to explain the range of reasons why the recruiting intensity has diminished.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Building Finance on a Foundation of Moral Hazard

Breitbart: S&P renews US debt warning

S&P also reiterated that it could downgrade the US debt rating if politicians cannot reach a deal to raise the country's debt ceiling by August 2.
"We believe any additional stresses caused by a protracted standoff in the US would likely amplify already tense market conditions in Europe in light of significant fiscal imbalances in Greece, Portugal, and Ireland," the ratings agency said. 

Think about that for a minute. What Standard & Poors is saying is that fiscal restraint increases the risk rating of American securities (and the debt problems in Europe are our fault). We now live in a world where adding more debt reduces our risk of default. Clearly, our financial system is built on a foundation of moral hazard. That seemed to be confirmed in Europe on Thursday, too, where the EU adopted something a lot like our 2008 TARP bill. This tweet from @zerohedge illustrates the degree to which moral hazard rules the day:

France's Sarkozy says if there is any reaction from credit rating agencies, nation states will intervene with guarantees for banks, ECB

If anything's too big to fail, countries should be, but I've long thought that "too big to fail" is two words too long.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The US's Implied Credit Rating is a Two Step Downgrade



The current implied credit rating for the U.S. is 2.7, compared to 2.2 back in March, equivalent to approximate ly ‘AA’ on S&P’s scale. That is two levels below the U.S.’s current rating. March was the last time Bloomberg Brief looked at these implied credit ratings. At that time, the three most likely candidates to be downgraded were Portugal, Belgium and Spain.

Regardless of what happens in DC, the US is now flirting with a credit downgrade. The negative effects of that will filter down to state and local government debt.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Have Stephen Wynn and George Soros Gone Galt?

Seeking Alpha: Wynn Resorts' CEO Discusses Q2 2011 Results:

I'm saying it bluntly, that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime. And I can prove it and I could spend the next 3 hours giving you examples of all of us in this market place that are frightened to death about all the new regulations, our healthcare costs escalate, regulations coming from left and right. A President that seems -- that keeps using that word redistribution. Well, my customers and the companies that provide the vitality for the hospitality and restaurant industry, in the United States of America, they are frightened of this administration. And it makes you slow down and not invest your money. Everybody complains about how much money is on the side in America. You bet. And until we change the tempo and the conversation from Washington, it's not going to change.

Stephen Wynn put words to a problem that many have struggled to articulate. What I find more interesting is that uber-leftist, George Soros, may have confirmed Wynn's remarks. Soros's Quantum Fund may be parking their money for the time being. zero hedge: Soros Goes To 75% Cash As Fed No Longer Telegraphing Trades:

In the absence of the Fed semaphore, it turns out even such "legendary" hedge funds as Soros' $25 billion Quantum are about as clueless as everyone else. Bloomberg reports that "the fund is about 75 percent in cash as it waits for better opportunities, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the firm is private." The reason: "“I find the current situation much more baffling and much less predictable than I did at the time of the height of the financial crisis,” Soros, 80, said in April at a conference at Bretton Woods organized by his Institute for New Economic Thinking. “The markets are inherently unstable. There is no immediate collapse, nor no immediate solution." But, but... what about relative and fundamental value, pair, cap and M&A arb? What about long-term investment opportunities in the growth of the world? What about arbing the so-called business cycle? Are none of those strategies worthy of investment? Or has ubiquitous central planning made the only profitable trade simply frontrunning the Fed's beta wave with as much leverage as possible? What's that you say? Yes? Thank you, the defense of formerly fair and efficient markets rests.

So without clear market signals from the Federal Reserve to know which cronies will be capitalized, Soros seems to be stuffing mattresses with wads of cash. You know the world's got problems when the preeminent financier of central planning seems to have gone Galt.

Monday, July 18, 2011

‪Bill Hennessy speaks at the St Louis City GOP Picnic ‬‏

St. Louis Tea Party co-founder Bill Hennessy spoke at the St. Louis city GOP's picnic. He talked about the decline of the St. Louis region and how that corresponds to Democrat control. He mentioned the important progress that was made in 2010 for Republicans because of Tea Party conservatives and emphasized that both St. Louis city and county needed Republican leadership before they can reverse their downward trajectory.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Video: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on the Need for a Balanced Budget Amendment

In the Republicans' address Saturday, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah argued for passage of a balanced-budget amendment, blaming Democrats for failing to embrace adequate budget cuts.

Related articles

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Economic and Political Uncertainty in 2012

James Pethokoukis of noted the following quote in a Goldman Sachs press release that went out Friday night:

...we now expect the unemployment rate to come down only modestly to 8¾% at the end of 2012.

...But the slowdown of recent months goes well beyond what can be explained with these temporary effects. … final demand growth has slowed to a pace that is typically only seen in recessions.

Pethokoukis believes that that will make re-election for President Obama impossible. Zerohedge found this laugh line in the Goldman forecast:

The “bugbear” is that we are still unsure about the precise reasons for the slowdown in 2011 to date, which is sharply at odds with our expectation at the end of last year that growth would accelerate in 2011.

So the smart people haven't got a clue! It should be clear that we need is less centralization (Keynes) and more emergent order (Hayek), but this too will be spun into arguments for more centralization. matter what happens this week, or at 11:59:59pm on August 2, the long-term fate of the world's premier entitlement state is one which ends in disaster, and if history is any indication: war... Only this time everyone has the same just as destructive toys.

Cutting through the Debt-Ceiling Debate Hype 3 Reasons Why The Debt-Ceiling Debate is Full of Malarkey:

All anybody in Washington can talk about these days is the debt limit or debt ceiling – the total amount of money the federal government is authorized to borrow at any given time. After a decade in which spending increased by more than 60 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars and the debt limit was raised no fewer than 10 times, the government is about to max out its $14.3 trillion credit line, leading to fears that Washington is going to default on its bonds, stop cutting Social Security checks, and destroy the economy more than it already has.

But the current debate over the debt ceiling is full of malarkey for at least three reasons.

‪The Crisis of Credit Visualized

The goal of giving form to a complex situation like the credit crisis is to quickly supply the essence of the situation to those unfamiliar and uninitiated.

The video above is a good visualization of the credit crisis. It tends to stretch the numbers for the sake of making a point.

The Academic Fiefdom is All Wet


Phil Christofanelli’s odyssey in Introduction to Labor Studies at the University of Missouri bobbed back to the surface Thursday when Big Government reported on internal emails among administrators. Those emails demonstrate that Christofanelli was targeted because of his conservative political views and imply collusion with the Soros funded Media Matters

Thus begins my first post over at Big Journalism. Read the whole thing.

The Academic Fiefdom is All Wet


Phil Christofanelli’s odyssey in Introduction to Labor Studies at the University of Missouri bobbed back to the surface Thursday when Big Government reported on internal emails among administrators. Those emails demonstrate that Christofanelli was targeted because of his conservative political views and imply collusion with the Soros funded Media Matters

Thus begins my first post over at Big Journalism. Read the whole thing.

Friday, July 15, 2011

More Talk of a Return to the Gold Standard

I wasn't surprised about the exchange the other day between Ron Paul (R-TX) and Ben Bernake where Bernake says that gold (technically) isn't money; however, the story below from the UK...

Step by step, the world is edging towards a revived Gold Standard as it becomes clearer that Japan and the West have reached debt saturation. World Bank chief Robert Zoellick said it was time to "consider employing gold as an international reference point." The Swiss parliament is to hold hearings on a parallel "Gold Franc". Utah has recognised gold as legal tender for tax payments.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rep. Allen West Calls for Eric Holders Resignation

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) says he believes Attorney General Eric Holder knew about operation ‘Fast and Furious’ and should resign.

“I think he needs to step down. The president needs to recognize that he (Holder) is failing as the head of the Department of Justice and if the president does not do that, then maybe he’s complicit into what is happening in the Department of Justice,” West said Wednesday.

Justice for Sale in St. Louis County

My inaugural post at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government. Here's an excerpt:
On the first day of the trial, Gateway Pundit noted that union supporters were out in force to intimidate Gladney. In the courtroom, the defense planned to turn the court fight into a he-said, she-said because the prosecution did not have video of how the fight started. The defense also argued that McCowan and Molens had a right to self-defense, but that rests on the belief that Gladney instigated the confrontation.
Thanks to Dana Loesch and Mike Flynn for the invite!

24thState is asking important questions about the defense's witness:
As we pointed out years ago, there were no other witnesses to the beginning of the assault. The two people closest were Cheryl Johner (who pled guilty to assault of Kelly Owens), and the ponytailed man in jeans seen standing over McCowan in the opening sequence of the video. Neither testified.

Instead, there was a defense witness, still unnamed, who claims to have seen the beginning of the altercation. She was decribed as heavyset, with a cane.

Do you mean this woman? The one seen walking into the scene after the assault had taken place? The woman who slowly moves forward and who gets to the scene after David Brown (blue shirt), who did not see the initial assault? This is the witness?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jim Roos's Victory for Free Speech


The Institute for Justice: St. Louis Free Speech - Release 7-13-11:

Arlington, Va.—The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today handed down a major First Amendment victory for the right to protest government abuse.  The case is a victory for a St. Louis housing activist who grew so fed up with the government’s abuse of eminent domain that he painted an enormous protest message on the side of one of his buildings facing the interstate calling for the end of eminent domain abuse.  The city had required him to either remove the mural or get a permit to display his protest, but then it refused to issue him a permit when he applied.
Jim Roos runs a nonprofit housing ministry, which works to provide housing for low-income residents of south St. Louis.  Roos became a vocal critic of the city’s use of eminent domain for private development after the city took away several of his housing ministry’s buildings not for a public use, but for private development projects.
Roos refused to remove his protest and so he joined with the Institute for Justice to fight for his First Amendment rights.  And today the 8th Circuit handed him a victory, holding emphatically that government isn’t allowed to restrict speech based on its message.  The court struck down the St. Louis sign regulations that the city had tried to use to silence this anti-eminent-domain activist.
The court’s opinion held that the sign code’s definition of “sign,” as well as the code’s many exemptions allowing signs only on certain subject matters, are “impermissibly content based.”  As the court explained, “to determine whether a particular object qualifies as a ‘sign’ . . . or is instead a ‘non-sign’ . . . or exempt from the sign regulations . . . , one must look at the content of the object.”  Thus, a mural depicting the crest of the city of St. Louis would be allowed, but a mural like Jim’s, which protests city policy, is not.
Having determined that the sign code was content-based, the court then looked to whether it was nevertheless supported by a sufficiently compelling government interest.  Although the city had asserted traffic safety and aesthetic interests, the court held that it was “not required to accept legislative explanations from a governmental entity regarding the purpose(s) for a restriction on speech without further inquiry.”  When the court actually looked to the evidence, it concluded that the sign code “recite[s] those interests only at the highest order of abstraction, without ever explaining how they are served by the sign code’s regulations generally, much less by its content-based exemptions from those regulations.”
Michael Bindas, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, which represents Roos, said, “The court’s opinion is a case study in careful legal analysis and principled judicial engagement.  Although the city asserted traffic and aesthetic justifications for its discriminatory regulations, the court refused to accept those justifications at face value and instead looked to whether there was any evidence to support them.  It found none.”
Bindas said, “This case shows how interconnected our constitutional rights are—how vibrant free speech protections are essential to the preservation of our other rights and liberties, including property rights.  With many courts refusing to protect property owners from eminent domain abuse, the right to protest against such a misuse of government power becomes all the more important.”
“This is a victory not just for Jim Roos’ right to protest eminent domain abuse, but for the right of every American to stand up to government whenever it abuses its power,” Bindas concluded.
Roos said, “Our mural has helped change public sentiment against eminent domain abuse in Missouri.  We still have a lot of work to do to change the eminent domain laws, but free speech has allowed us to shift public sentiment in favor of property rights.”
“All of the Institute for Justice cases championing constitutionally enshrined rights happen only because a brave individual like Jim Roos is willing to stand up and challenge the government in court. This is not easy to do,” said IJ President Chip Mellor.  “The personal costs of litigation are enormous burdens for ordinary people to bear in the midst of trying to live their lives.  But it is these people—people like Jim Roos—who ensure the rest of the nation can enjoy the rights that are their birthright.”

Big "thank yous" to both Jim Roos and the Institute for Justice for leading on this important property rights fight!

Where is the President's Plan?


"Where is the president's plan? When's he going to lay his cards on the table? This debt limit increase is his problem, and I think it's time for him to lead by putting his plan on the table -- something that the Congress can pass," Boehner said

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Show Must Go On (without the Missouri Film Office)

Just days before I traveled down to Joplin to shoot video of Rush Limbaugh, I learned about the Missouri Film Office. What I learned was that, in an unusual pique of fiscal restraint, it was cut from the budget at the end of June. In the 2+ years that I've been doing video online, it never occurred to me that I should be pestering the Missouri Film Office for some of that crony capitalism they dole out. Even without the help of the Film Office the video above of Rush Limbaugh passed the 100,000 views mark this past Sunday. Yeah, a million would be more impressive, but the only way to get that many views is to incorporate cats.

Of the 500+ videos I've put on YouTube, only two have passed the 100,000 mark. Both were mentioned on-air by the Maha Rushie. Here's my Saving Healthcare video he mentioned back in 2009 and thanks Rush!

Video: Economist Murat Yülek on Turkey, Europe, and America

How bad is the Greek debt crisis? How will the U.S.'s inability to get its fiscal house in order impact rising countries such as Turkey? Economist Murat Yülek hails from Turkey and is a former Georgetown University professor and finance company CEO, who's worked with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Islamic Development Bank.

In early July, Yülek sat down with Reason Foundation's Director of Economic Research Anthony Randazzo to discuss how the Greek and American situations may just make it harder for countries such as Turkey to fully liberalize their economies.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Italy Teeters on the Edge

The Atlantic: Euro in Crisis: Is the Italian Domino Falling?

If Italy goes, it's not clear that the rest of Europe can save them.  In the FT, Neil Dennis says people are talking about doubling the euro bailout fund to €1.5 trillion--or about three times the size of TARP.  And you may have noticed that the bailout fund has not actually stopped Greece's descent into debt madness.

Default looks more likely in the case of Greece. If a default there leads to large quantities of paper assets vanishing as they're written off, it becomes more likely that Italy and other European countries will follow suit. What might that look like?


Debtmaggedon Arrives in Parts of Europe Italian Debt Adds to Fears in Euro Zone:

Top European officials planned to meet on Monday to wrestle with threats to the currency union as fears mounted that Italy could become a victim of the debt crisis even as discussions stalled over a second bailout for Greece.

Meanwhile, Greece continues to have problems because of it's debt-driven austerity measures and there's rioting in Ireland. That leaves Portugal and Spain as the remaining two dominoes often referred to collectively as the PIIGS.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Laurence Tribe on the Debt Ceiling and the Constitution Laurence H. Tribe: We Cannot Pretend the Debt Ceiling Is Unconstitutional:

The White House and Congressional Republicans agree in principle that the debt ceiling needs to be raised, but they are at an impasse on how to constrain the deficit’s rapid growth. Meanwhile, some people have theorized that there’s a way to get around the debt limit.

Several law professors and senators, and even Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, have suggested that section 4 of the 14th Amendment, known as the public debt clause, might provide a silver bullet. This provision states that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law ... shall not be questioned.” They argue that the public debt clause is sufficient to nullify the ceiling — or can be used to permit the president to borrow money without regard to the ceiling.

Tribe later concludes:

The Constitution grants only Congress — not the president — the power “to borrow money on the credit of the United States.” Nothing in the 14th Amendment or in any other constitutional provision suggests that the president may usurp legislative power to prevent a violation of the Constitution.

Read the whole thing and remember that Tribe was once considered a potential Clinton Supreme Court nominee. 

Video: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) asks: Where Are the Jobs?


In the weekly GOP radio and Internet address, Washington state Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers says the economy is actually creating fewer jobs month-to-month despite talk of economic recovery.

Preparing the Battlespace for Debtmageddon

The Washington Post: Boehner abandons efforts to reach comprehensive debt-reduction deal:

House Speaker John A. Boehner abandoned efforts Saturday night to cut a far-reaching debt-reduction deal, telling President Obama that a more modest package offers the only politically realistic path to avoiding a default on the mounting national debt.

GOP Senators and Representatives appear to be holding the line on their "no new taxes" pledge. They are also fighting for spending cuts. The Democrats are demanding more taxes and more spending. The two sides appear to be too far apart to reach a compromise on the debt ceiling. Then I saw this tweet from Zerohedge:

Two weeks from now: no tax hike, no spending cut, and debt ceiling rises by $2.5 trillion. PR spin - the "Great Compromise"

It feels depressingly likely.

We'll get to go through this all again next summer just a few short months before the November election.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Facts about Stimulus Spending

There's no question President Barack Obama inherited a lousy economy. Yet even many prominent Democrats now acknowledge that after two and a half years in office, the president owns the economy. And unfortunately for him, despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a stimulus, things still aren't looking so good. In her latest appearance on Bloomberg TV, Reason columnist and Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy explains the facts about stimulus spending by separating economic myths from economic truths.

As the country has a debate about our debt and the debt ceiling, the video above exposes the myths that have brought us here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

‪Former First Lady Betty Ford Dies ‬‏

Associated Press: Former First Lady Betty Ford Dies at 93‬‏:

Betty Ford, wife of former President Gerald Ford and the founder of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction, has died at age 93.

Rest in peace.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Debt Ceiling: What Would Reagan Do?‬‏: ‪What Would Reagan Do? WWRD Debt Ceiling:

Ever wonder what Ronald Reagan would do today regarding the Debt Ceiling. This latest episode of What Would Reagan Do - WWRD Debt Ceiling, does just that. Featuring great clips from Ronald Regan contrasted with Obama, the new video give us great insight into today's issues. Michael Reagan hosts this latest episode and brings additional insight into his dad's leadership.

I remember when everyone complained about Reagan's spending. Here's a chart to help put spending during his administration in context:


Academic Fiefdom: Atalanta Public Schools Cook the Grade Books

Associated Press: "A yearlong investigation by Georgia's governor shows educators at nearly four dozen Atlanta elementary and middle schools cheated on standardized tests..."

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Investigation into APS cheating finds unethical behavior across every level:

Across Atlanta Public Schools, staff worked feverishly in secret to transform testing failures into successes.

Teachers and principals erased and corrected mistakes on students’ answer sheets.

Area superintendents silenced whistle-blowers and rewarded subordinates who met academic goals by any means possible.


In the report, the governor’s special investigators describe an enterprise where unethical — and potentially illegal — behavior pierced every level of the bureaucracy, allowing district staff to reap praise and sometimes bonuses by misleading the children, parents and community they served.

Yeah. That just confirms my bias yet again: we should put middle school, high school, and college on Netflix and/or YouTube and fire all the teachers and administrators.

Fast and Furious: ATF Director Fingers FBI, DEA in Congressional Testimony

Town Hall: Scandal Grows: FBI, DEA Involved With Operation Fast and Furious:

Yesterday, Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson answered questions from Rep. Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley surrounding Operation Fast and Furious. Melson voluntarily participated in the interview and appeared with personal counsel, meaning although the Justice Department has prohibited Melson to testify before Congress on behalf of the DOJ about the scandal, he can in fact come forward with information as an individual informant outside of the DOJ and separate from DOJ interests.
Melson revealed the scope of Operation Fast and Furious reaches far beyond ATF and the Justice Department. He said the FBI, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and other agencies were heavily involved.

This is only going to get more interesting as the scope of the investigation widens now that Melson has implicated other agencies.