It’s news that seems ripped from the pages of The Onion. Or perhaps Atlas Shrugged.
But incredibly enough it’s actually true: earlier this week, Congress proposed a new law authorizing the US Postal Service to provide banking and financial services.
It’s called the “Providing Opportunities for Savings, Transactions, and Lending” Act, abbreviated as… wait for it… the POSTAL Act.
And it provides explicit authorization for them to provide banking services including checking and savings accounts, money transfers, and “other basic financial services as the Postal Service deems appropriate in the public interest.”
Bank of the Post Office. It’s incredible when you think about it.
The US Postal Service hasn’t turned a profit in a decade.
As a matter of fact, its total accumulated losses now exceed $51 billion, easily ranking it among the least successful companies in history.
And the only way USPS can continue to maintain its operations is with regular bailouts from the American taxpayer.
The statistics are just horrendous. Mail volume is down dramatically, which means that revenue continues to fall.
Yet the Postal Service’s expenses and pension costs keep growing, along with its debt.
Just like the US government, the US Postal Service has its own debt ceiling that’s set by Congress.
USPS reached this debt ceiling back in 2012 and has remained at that level for years.
The only way they survive is by moving liabilities off-balance sheet and regularly going back to Congress with hat in hand.
Wow, talk about a responsible financial partner – this sounds like EXACTLY the place we should want to deposit our hard-earned savings!
Seriously, why would these people even consider an idea so absurd as to let an organization with a history of failed operations take over people’s savings?
Simple. It’s a cheap source of capital.
The Postal Service desperately needs cash. So what better way to raise capital than to sucker unsuspecting Americans into opening up Postal bank accounts?
When you deposit money in a bank, you are effectively loaning the bank your money.
In exchange, they pay you a whopping 0.01% interest.
This is what almost all banks do – they borrow money from depositors and (hopefully) make credible investments and loans with other people’s money.
Except in this case, the Postal Service needs to ‘borrow’ depositors’ savings to cover losses from its other operations.
There’s a term for this. It’s called a Ponzi Scheme.
In July 2014, I penned a column titled “The Jew-Hating Obama Administration.” In it, I wrote:
Jewish blood is cheap to this administration. That seems to be true in every administration, given the American government’s stated predilection for forcing Israel into concessions to an implacable and Jew-hating enemy. But it’s particularly true for an administration that has now cut a deal with Iran that legitimizes its government, weakens sanctions, and forestalls Israeli action against its nuclear program. It’s especially true for an administration that forced the Israeli government to apologize to the Turkish government for stopping a terrorist flotilla aimed at supplying Hamas. And it’s undoubtedly true for an administration that has undercut Israeli security at every turn, deposing Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, fostering chaos in Syria and by extension destabilizing Jordan and Lebanon, and leaking Israeli national security information no less than four times.
I was right. Never mind the fact that the Obama administration has routinely ignored Jewish Americans murdered by Palestinians in Israel. Never mind the fact that the Obama administration has overtly pushed Israel to make concessions to terrorist groups.
Now we know that the Obama administration targeted Israel directly, in contrast to their treatment with actual Islamists.
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration ceased eavesdropping on American allies, except for one notable exception: the Jewish State. The Journal said that Obama decided not to use the National Security Agency to target French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, or any other NATO leader – and Islamist leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been accused of working tacitly with ISIS, got off scot free too.
But not the Jews. Obama said that monitoring Netanyahu served a “compelling national security purpose.” What purpose? Stopping Netanyahu from pressing against the Iran nuclear deal that places the Jewish State under the nuclear umbrella of a genocidal anti-Semitic regime.
The State Department defines anti-Semitism – Jew-hatred – with relation to Israel as “applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation,” or “blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions.” By that definition, or any other decent one, this administration is deeply anti-Semitic. Spying on everyone would be completely justified – nations have done this historically, and continue to do this. But ending your surveillance of Turkey while maintaining it on Israel is a shocking double-standard.
And it’s worse than that.
The Wall Street Journal reports that while other nations had their surveillance lifted, the Obama administration kept their bugs on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; they even grabbed communications with Congress, allegedly illegally:
The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears – an “Oh-s___ moment,” one senior U.S. official said – that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress. White House officials believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign.
Undermining an American ally in order to pursue a deal with genocidal Jew-hating mullahs in Iran was important enough to merit spying on the legislative branch.
But that’s fully in keeping with the policy preferences of this administration.
Perhaps the only defense to charges of Jew-hatred from this administration could be that the administration dislikes Israel from a position of pure leftism: the old hackneyed “Israel as an outpost of Western colonialism” nonsense. But this latest story shows that even other Western countries aren’t treated as Israel is. There is something unique and pernicious about the Obama administration’s treatment of the only democracy in the Middle East.
Democrats need not worry; the Jews In Name Only who populate its voter rolls will continue to vote for them, and the Democrats will continue to brandish their non-Jewish Jewish support as evidence that the Obama administration can’t be anti-Semitic. But public relations don’t change reality. The Jew-hating Obama administration continues its ruinous policies, unabated.
A House panel on Wednesday announced it is opening an investigation into U.S. intelligence collection that may have swept up members of Congress.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s announcement of the probe comes after a Wall Street Journal report that the U.S. collected information on private exchanges between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of Congress during ongoing negotiations for nuclear deal with Iran.
“The House Intelligence Committee is looking into allegations in the Wall Street Journal regarding possible Intelligence Community (IC) collection of communications between Israeli government officials and Members of Congress,” Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said in a statement. “The Committee has requested additional information from the IC to determine which, if any, of these allegations are true, and whether the IC followed all applicable laws, rules, and procedures.”
According to the Journal, White House officials thought the information it uncovered could potentially be used to counter Netanyahu’s campaign against the nuclear accord but ultimately decided not to formally ask the National Security Agency to keep tabs on the Israeli premier’s maneuverings on Capitol Hill. The White House also gave the NSA the authority to determine what it would and wouldn’t do with the information, U.S. officials said.
“We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’” one senior U.S. official recalled in an interview with the Journal. “We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’”
The correspondence the agency revealed redacted the names of lawmakers, as well as personal information and “trash talk” about the White House, the Journal reported.
Meanwhile, the Dem candidates are yapping about prison reform and Black lives matter.
Via Stars and Stripes:
Senior members of Congress are investigating the case of two Veterans Affairs executives accused of abusing their positions to get plum jobs and perks, part of a pattern of unjustified moving incentives and transfers identified by the agency’s watchdog.
The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee has scheduled a hearing on the alleged abuses for Wednesday.
And earlier this week, the chairman, ranking member and two others on the Senate panel that oversees the Department of Veterans Affairs called on Secretary Bob McDonald to hold the benefits executives accountable for what they called a “shockingly unethical misuse of funds.”
“Our committee confirmed your nomination to fundamentally overhaul and reform this struggling agency,” the senators wrote in a letter released Tuesday, signed by Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), top Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut) and Sens. Patty Murray (D-Washington) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.). “But, unfortunately, it is clear… that your well-intentioned and meaningful efforts to change the culture of VA have not yet taken hold.”
The senators asked McDonald to document “any actions you are taking” to stop the practice of “inappropriate” job relocations and provide them with a plan to overhaul the approval and reimbursement process for relocations – in particular, a program where the government buys employees’ homes.
They also demanded documentation of any federal personnel requirements that prohibit agencies from lowering the salaries of senior executives who are transferred to new jobs that carry less responsibility.
Deputy Inspector General Linda Halliday reported in September that two senior executives gamed VA’s moving-expense system for $400,000 in what she described as questionable reimbursements, with taxpayers paying $300,000 for one of them to relocate 140 miles, from the District to Philadelphia.
Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves “inappropriately used their positions of authority for personal and financial benefit when they participated personally and substantially in creating opportunities for their own transfers to positions they were interested in filling,” investigators found.
Rubens and Graves kept their salaries of $181,497 and $173,949, respectively, even though the new positions they took as directors of the Philadelphia and St. Paul, Minnesota, regional offices had less responsibility, overseeing a fraction of the employees at lower pay levels. Rubens had been deputy undersecretary for field operations.
An estimated 200 retired generals and admirals put pen to paper and sent a letter to Congress to advise them to reject the nuclear deal pressed by President Obama, saying the world will become a more dangerous place if it’s approved.
“The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies,” the letter stated.
It was addressed to House Majority Leader John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The writers say the “agreement as constructed does not ‘cut off every pathway’ for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” an apparent reference to the terminology President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry used to tout the benefits of the deal.
“To the contrary,” it continues, “it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding the deal.”
The generals and admirals say the agreement will let Iran enrich uranium, develop centrifuges and keep up work on its heavy-water plutonium reactor at Arak.
And also of concern, they write: “The agreement is unverifiable. Under the terms of the [agreement] and a secret side deal (to which the United States is not privy), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be responsible for inspectiOns under such severe limitations as to prEvent them from reliably detecting Iranian cheating.”
The letter references the widely reported 24-day delay that was given Iran to keep out inspectors, under the terms of the forged deal. And it also mentions the facet of the agreement that “requires inspectors to inform Iran in writing as to the basis for its concerns about an undeclared site,” and says such allowances are inappropriate and dangerous.
“While failing to assure prevention of Iran’s nuclear weapons development capabilities, the agreement provides by some estimated $150 billion… or more to Iran in the form of sanctions relief,” the letter states.
And their conclusions?
“As military officers, we find it unconscionable that such a windfall could be given to a regime that even the Obama administration has acknowledged will use a portion of such funds to continue to support terrorism in Israel, throughout the Middle East and globally,” they wrote, summarizing the agreement is a danger to the world.
“Accordingly, we urge the Congress to reject this defective accord,” the letter wraps.
Among the signers: Admiral David Architzel, U.S. Navy, retired; Admiral Stanley Arthur, U.S. Navy, retired; General Alfred Hansen, U.S. Air Force, retired; Admiral James Hoggs, U.S. Navy, retired; and General Ronald Yates, U.S. Air Force, retired.