Bad news, gang: bank deposit confiscation could very well happen here, and it'd be worse than what happened in Cyprus. The FDIC -- which, as you know, is supposed to insure deposits against bankster shenanigans -- has issued a paper with the Bank of England suggesting that, if large "systematically important" banks failed again, our government could forcibly convert our savings and checking deposits into equity, most likely bank stocks of questionable value. Try buying a gallon of milk with ten shares of Bank of America stock! And rich folks don't really deposit money in banks -- they hold their money in stocks and real estate and derivatives and the like -- but poor and middle-class folks do, so our government would be seizing our money to pay for the banksters' next Armageddon. The only good news? The FDIC-BOE paper would need enabling legislation from Congress. Anyone think the Party of Evil and the Party of Somewhat Lesser Evil and the President of Super Happy Bipartisan Fun Time Land will stop such legislation? Of course not. It'll be up to us.
Speaking of evil: House Speaker John Boehner has lately taken to justifying his no-new-tax-cuts-only-cut-spending-for-poor-people stance -- which, as you can see, would be unpopular if expressed honestly -- by citing things Abraham Lincoln said in the 1843 Whig Circular, even before his lone term in the House of Representatives. Mr. Lincoln was plenty upset about government debt "growing with a rapidity fearful to contemplate," though, admittedly, as the national debt was close to zero percent of annual GDP back then (versus nearly 70% of annual GDP now), his remarks seem a little quaint. But, as Huffington Post's Luke Johnson reports, Mr. Lincoln went on to call for a tariff hike and/or a direct tax in 1843, which fact John Boehner has, strangely, left out of his remarks. Note well, also, that as President, Mr. Lincoln signed into law America's first national income tax (in the Revenue Act of 1861) and then America's first inheritance tax (in the Revenue Act of 1862). Yeah, yeah, he had a Civil War to fund -- which differs from modern times largely in the number of bullets actually flying.
Meanwhile, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D) wrote an op-ed in the New York Daily News advising New York Gov. Cuomo (D) to embrace the wonder that is hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. "fracking," the drilling method that sets our drinking water on fire and/or turns it brown and/or gelatinous). However, Mr. Rendell apparently failed to disclose his many financial ties to fracking, among them his consulting gig with Equity Partners, a private equity firm which invests in natural gas. Mr. Rendell now says he should have disclosed his ties to Equity, and the Daily News "should have included it" in the op-ed; the Daily News opinion editor seems to agree, saying he didn't know of Mr. Rendell's ties and "certainly would have disclosed that," and possibly avoided running the piece. Quiz time: how many folks read the Rendell piece? And how many folks will read any of the resulting admissions of error? Also, I'm a nobody, and I knew of Mr. Rendell's ties; why didn't the editor know? It's hard out there for a pimp.
Finally, in an already much-lampooned slab of rock-stupidity, two Tennessee state legislators actually queried the state Senate clerk about whether the state installed a foot-washing station outside a men's room exclusively for Muslims to wash their feet. The clerk assured them it was a mop sink. Admittedly, this mop sink is very nice-looking -- the tilework is especially impressive -- but then that's sort of the point: I'm able to compare it to the several dozen other mop sinks I've seen over the course of my lifetime. Seriously, it's almost like these two state legislators have never had a real job, or they don't talk to folks who have real jobs. But, actually, it could be a lot worse: it could be that's just what they want us to think, that they knew damn well what it was, and decided to gin up some fake controversy about it just to reassure their most backward constituents they were still the same jerks they voted for. I bet they had a big laugh about it, too. Their names are Bill Ketron and Judd Matheny. Now let's never speak of them again.