Some Miscellany

Telling the truth at inconvenient times: The EU is considering banning rating agencies from publishing ratings on a member country’s sovereign debt whenever that country is in negotiation for a bailout.  After all, worries European Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier, who has made the proposal, a rating might be released at an “inopportune moment” and have “negative consequences for the financial stability of a country and a possible destabilizing effect on the global economy.”  M Barnier says that the ratings agencies don’t always publish accurate data.  Of course, the fact that the EU already has negligence (and fraud) laws that can be applied to this situation is unimportant.  It’s better simply to keep investors in the dark than to let them have a few unpleasant truths about European sovereign debt—especially when that debt is at its riskiest: the nation has only just recognized its debt to be worthless or approaching worthlessness, which is why it’s begging for bailouts in the first place.

Can’t trust those cops: They’re too anxious to Tase you, bro.  The New York Civil Liberties Union has their knickers in a twist because “[i]n 60% of cases, the circumstances did not meet standards recommended by experts.”  In their report (“Taking Tasers Seriously: The Need for Better Regulation of Stun Guns in New York”), they claim that “40% of the Taser incidents involved at-risk subjects” and that “people of color are overwhelmingly represented in Taser incidents,” yet the report contains no substantiating data for these claims.  Other beefs: 7% of those Tasered were handcuffed, and another 4% were fleeing. Hmm….  All handcuffed suspects are completely docile, are not kicking or biting risks, cooperatively enter the police car.  And, apparently, if a suspect is lucky enough to break free momentarily, he’s to be allowed to continue—potentially to pursue his misdeeds later.  And the obligatory tear-jerker: a poor 13-year-old boy was Tasered.  Never mind that he was fighting in a mall.  Never mind that the officer who Tasered the boy considered it necessary to “gain compliance.”  Apparently controlling a suspect isn’t allowed.  Of course there are bad apples in every police department, and they need to be weeded out.  And, of course, a few bad apples means we can’t trust the lot of them.

We got him?  The Daily Caller has this (follow the “Full Story” link) Reuters article indicating that in the process of finally gaining control over Sirte, Libya, Libyan fighters killed Muammar Gaddafi.  While the article itself seems clear about Gaddafi’s death (while acknowledging a lack of independent confirmation), the article does raise questions (at least in my grasshopper brain) about the timing of his wounds and of his killing relative to his capture, as well as the actual circumstances of his capture.  And I wonder at the Intelligence value that was lost with his death.

What did he know, and when did he know it?  Rep Jason Chaffetz (R, Utah) and Rep Trey Gowdy (R, South Carolina) are asking rude questions.  In a March interview with Univision, President Obama talked about “Fast and Furious,” and insisted that he “did not authorize it” and that “Eric Holder, the Attorney General, did not authorize it.”  This interview occurred a month prior to AG Holder’s Congressional testimony on the failed operation.  From this, Reps Chaffetz and Gowdy are wondering about things. “Would you inform us how you knew in March of 2011, 1 month prior to his testimony, that Attorney General Holder did not ‘authorize’ this investigation?  [I]f you knew the Attorney General did not authorize ‘Fast and Furious,’ how did you learn that and when did you learn that?  If you knew Attorney General Holder did not authorize it, inherent in that response is knowledge of who did authorize it. That information would be most helpful….”  Hmm….

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