The One o’Clock Review of The News

political-newsKey news articles, opinion pieces, and reports to improve our understanding of the political landscape:

Christie Blocks Foreclosed Homes as Affordable Housing

Gov. Chris Christie’s latest rejection of legislation to make vacant foreclosed homes available as affordable housing has left a broad coalition of proponents scratching their heads about what to try next to deal with New Jersey’s foreclosure crisis.

Michael Cerra, legislative analyst for the New Jersey League of Municipalities, acknowledged that while the news was not good, he and other advocates are still trying to decipher what the governor’s words mean for future legislation and the state housing market.  Click here to continue reading this story.

FEC Increases Contribution Limits for 2014

The Federal Election Commission increased the limits on contributions that individuals can give to candidates for federal office and national party committees in the 2014 election cycle.

Individual donors can now contribute up to $2,600 to a candidate in both the primary and general elections — $5,200 total — and $32,400 per calendar year to national party committees. The total amount of federal contributions that an individual can give during a two-year cycle also increased to $123,200, including $48,600 to candidates and $74,600 to parties and political action committees.

Those and other contribution limit figures are indexed for inflation as directed in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, better known as McCain-Feingold, and generally increase with every election cycle.  Click here to continue reading this story.

Amnesty Gang Throws Law-Abiders Under the Bus

President Obama and the bipartisan Gang of Eight in Washington who want to create a “pathway to citizenship” for millions of illegal aliens have sent a message loud and clear to those who follow the rules: You’re chumps!

Have you patiently waited for months and years for the State Department and Department of Homeland Security to slog through your application? You’re chumps!

Have you paid thousands of dollars in travel, legal and medical fees to abide by the thicket of entry, employment, health and processing regulations? You’re chumps!  Click here to continue reading this story.

Zimbabwe Is Down to Its Last $217

There are cash-strapped governments and there are broke governments. And then there’s Zimbabwe, which, after paying last week’s government salaries, has just $217 left in the bank. No, we didn’t forget any zeroes to the end of that figure. Zimbabwe, the country that’s home to some of the world’s largest platinum and diamond reserves, literally has the same financial standing as a 14-year-old girl after a really good birthday party. The country’s finance minister admitted as much in a press conference on Tuesday. “Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217 [left] in government coffers,” Tendai Biti told reporters. “The government finances are in paralysis state at the present moment. We are failing to meet our targets.”

So it seems. However, Zimbabwe is hardly a stranger to financial hyperbole. The economy started to come apart at the seams in 2000, when President Robert Mugabe seized the land of over 4,000 white-owned farmers, effectively dismantling the country’s agriculture industry. Over the course of the next decade, the country spiraled into an extended period of hyperinflation, the likes of which the world almost never sees. It peaked in August 2008, when inflation reached 11,200,000 percent and economists around the world started to say that the country’s situation was hopeless.  Click here to continue reading this story.

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