WASHINGTON, DC–In a widely anticipated move, the Federal Reserve decided on Wednesday to keep short-term interest rates steady, and announced a start date for its plan to burn $10 billion per month in an “epic” bonfire.
The bonfire program represents the other side of the extraordinary monetary policy measures the Fed implemented in the wake of the Great Recession. Those measures included the creation of trillions of dollars in new money, which were then spent primarily on US Treasury Bonds and mortgage-backed securities, with the goal of lowering long-term interest rates and increasing economic activity.
Although economic growth never recovered to historically normal rates, interest rates did plummet as intended and have stayed consistently low. Now the Fed has determined the policies were successful enough, and is starting to unwind the initial money creation. This led to the tricky question of how to dispose of all the money they printed.
WASHINGTON, DC–Saying that the last days are always the hardest to watch, a group of activists and lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week argued that the GOP Obamacare repeal effort should be allowed to die with dignity.*
“There are good days and bad days,” Senator Rand Paul explained, “but deep down, we’ve all known the patient is terminal.”
BOSTON, MA–On Friday, the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics withdrew its fellowship invitation to Chelsea Manning, the notorious traitor who leaked thousands of classified documents and exposed the inner-workings of America’s benevolent foreign policy.*
When the invitation was originally extended, it set off a firestorm of criticism from current and former high-ranking officials who helped oversee that foreign policy and were inexplicably upset at having their good deeds revealed to the public. Current CIA Director Mike Pompeo abruptly pulled out of a speech at the Harvard Kennedy School in protest. Additionally, former Acting CIA Director, and noted proponent of assassinating Russians and Iranians, Michael Morell penned a letter of resignation from his current post at the Kennedy School, thereby denying a generation of aspiring, patriotic sociopaths an experienced lecturer in the field.
WASHINGTON–On Wednesday, the US Senate voted 61-36 to end debate and kill an amendment that would have established an expiration date on America’s current Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMFs).*
The AUMFs have drawn criticism over the years for being both vague and stale. Apple comes out with a new iPhone almost every year. By contrast, the US hasn’t come out with a new AUMF in nearly 15 years.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), who spoke in favor of sunsetting the current authorizations, said that the AUMFs have been “terrific products that have exceeded all expectations in terms of durability and versatility,” alluding to the fact that the authorizations have been used to justify a highly diverse set of conflicts against various enemies.
“But now that the US government has gotten their use out of them,” Murphy continued, “we’re ready for something new.”
MIAMI–Speaking to reporters on a cell phone from the hood of his SUV while flood waters closed in around him, local resident Phil Stewart said he was grateful to the Attorney General for cracking down on would-be price gouging by gas stations.*
TEXAS–The flood waters and storm clouds of Hurricane Harvey are beginning to recede, but residents in the small town of Fiscal Conservatism say things will never be the same again.*
Surveying the damage after President Trump quickly agreed to a nominal 3-month debt ceiling extension with the Democratic leadership to ensure federal spending on Harvey relief, resident Rand Paul (R-KY) told The Daily Face Palm, “I don’t think we can recover from this.”
WASHINGTON, DC–Saying that the black-clad activist group has now become a significant threat to Americans’ liberty, property, and ground-floor windows, the FBI has officially decided to label the “Antifa” group “Domestic Keynesians”.*
The FBI noted that this is one of the highest threat designations they have for individual groups, roughly equivalent to the sunburst orange threat level for the country at large.
Though small in number, the anti-fascist groups are known for punching above their weight with high-profile counterprotests. They’re also known for punching.
On Monday, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the White House was eliminating all Obama-era restrictions on a controversial arms-transfer program, which allows domestic law enforcement agencies to purchase military surplus equipment.
Then-President Obama ordered restrictions put in place in 2015 after embarrassing photos emerged out of Ferguson, Missouri during high-profile police brutality protests. The photos featured heavily armed police in camouflage garb threatening protesters armed with cameras, leading to some confusion whether the pictures were taken in a US city or in one of the US’s many photogenic war zones.
President Obama responded to the mishap by establishing draconian restrictions on the surplus program, preventing police from purchasing even the most critical law enforcement tools like armored tanks, high-caliber weapons, grenade launchers, and bayonets (in case they come across any remaining redcoats on their patrol).*
When I write My Two Cents, I do my very best to stick to the straight and narrow of moderate centrism. So much damage is done to our democracy by politicians and voters who form principled opinions based on a coherent worldview instead of firmly sticking to the sensible middle ground position.*
But after hearing the news that the Trump Administration really is moving forward with his tweeted plan to prohibit transgender individuals from serving in the military, I realized I could not hold back what is left of my flaccid ideology any longer.
Not only is this latest trans-ban bad policy, and bad politics, it is fundamentally immoral.
The Daily Face Palm is excited to introduce My Two Cents, a bland new opinion column that advocates responsible centrist solutions to today’s problems.
Following in the wholly unremarkable footsteps of Senators Robert Menendez and John Kasich, My Two Cents believes that consistent principles often get in the way of effective governance. Both parties have a lot to offer Americans, and multiple studies have shown that the best policies come from a compromise between slightly left-of-center Democrats and slightly right-of-center Republicans.
We don’t need new ideas to improve this country. We just need the political courage to double down on the old ideas.
It’s time to put patriotism before principle and embrace the common sense reforms that will move this exceptional country forward.