Atlantis Online
August 17, 2022, 11:08:22 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Underwater caves off Yucatan yield three old skeletons—remains date to 11,000 B.C.
http://www.edgarcayce.org/am/11,000b.c.yucata.html
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

The Obama Timeline

Pages: 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 [10] 11 12 13 14   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The Obama Timeline  (Read 9610 times)
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #135 on: July 29, 2009, 02:51:38 pm »

            William Poole, former St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank president, lambastes the Obama administration for its ineptness in handling the economic crisis. “Everyone agrees that the bailout regime cannot be allowed to persist, and yet federal authorities seem not to have a clue as to what our financial course is or should be,” states Poole. “We are in a terrible situation right now, lurching from crisis to crisis with no direction as to where we are going. The bailout regime in which we find ourselves is an affront to the market and an affront to democracy. Along with many citizens, I am angry, frustrated and worried.” He adds, “What is incomprehensible a full year after the Bear Stearns bailout is that there is still no plan for the future. We have a right to expect of our leadership a plan that will guarantee that we will never be stuck in this situation again,” and warns that “Washington does not have a clue as to what reforms to put in place.” [1765]

            In an interview with the German publication Spiegel, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is asked, “…in your first testimony to the U.S. Congress as Homeland Security Secretary you never mentioned the word ‘terrorism.’ Does Islamist terrorism suddenly no longer pose a threat to your country?” Napolitano responds, “Of course it does. I presume there is always a threat from terrorism. In my speech, although I did not use the word ‘terrorism,’ I referred to ‘man-caused’ disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs explains that Obama is using “different words and phrases (than war on terrorism) in order to denote a reaching out to many moderate parts of the world that we believe can be important in a battle against extremists.” There is no word on how Obama and Napolitano plan to respond to a significant Islamist “man-caused disaster” in the United States, whether they will continue to fight the “war on man-caused disasters,” or whether female suicide bomber attacks will be referred to as “female-caused disasters.” [1767, 1921]

            Veterans groups are outraged over an almost unbelievable Obama administration plan that would force private health insurance to cover the expense of injuries received by soldiers while on active duty! (If a soldier loses his leg in Iraq, for example, Obama does not believe the U.S. government should pay for his medical care and rehabilitation; he would be sent back home and his private insurance carrier would be sent the bill for all treatment he received from the government.) The plan would purportedly save the federal government $540 million; it would also end up causing military families to be hit with increased premiums and even the loss of private coverage, because maximum plan limitations could easily be reached for treatment of serious war injuries. (If, for example, a family’s health insurance policy had a $1 million limit on payments and the wounded soldier’s treatment quickly reached that limit, he, his wife, and his children would then have no insurance at all.) Businesses would be reluctant to hire veterans because it could mean skyrocketing insurance rates. [1766, 1790]

            Craig Roberts, media manager for the American Legion, properly calls Obama’s proposal a “desperate search for money at any cost.” After meeting with Obama, Rahm Emanuel, and Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to object to the absurd scheme, the American Legion’s Commander David K. Rehbein says, “This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ‘to care for him who shall have borne the battle,’ given that the United States government sent members of the Armed Forces into harm’s way, and not private insurance companies… the American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service-connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America’s veterans.” [1766, 1790]

            Obama defiantly tells representatives of 11 veterans’ service organizations in person that if they don’t like his plan they should come up with another way to generate $540 million in revenue. Obama’s plan is allegedly intended to “make the insurance companies pay their fair share,” but it is not the insurance companies that send the troops into battle. (Their “fair share” would be zero.) Service-related injuries have traditionally been paid for by the government; in fact, private health insurance policies typically exclude coverage for injuries or illnesses that are the result of combat service in the Armed Forces. Roberts states that Obama ignored the argument that the government obviously has a moral responsibility to pay for the treatment of injured soldiers. “The president deflected any discussion when it got into any moral issue… Any attempt to direct the conversation (to the moral aspect of the issue) was immediately deflected.” A letter of protest from the 11 veterans organizations states, “there is simply no logical explanation” for a plan to bill veterans’ personal insurance “for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide.” The letter called it “unconscionable” to shift the burden of the country’s “fiscal problems (to) the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country.” [1766, 1790]

            Democrat Senator Charles Schumer of New York warns on March 17 that AIG employees should refuse to accept their bonuses because he plans to get a law passed that will tax them more than 90 per cent, saying, “We will take this money back by taxing virtually all of it. So let the recipients of these large and unseemly bonuses be warned. If you don’t return it on your own, we will do it for you.” Obama’s press secretary states that lawyers are “looking through contracts to see what can be done to wrest these bonuses from their recipients.”  Ten Democrats in the House introduce a bill to tax all AIG bonuses beyond $100,000 at 100 per cent. Such “vengeance tax” legislation is clearly in violation of the U.S Constitution. Many legislators likely assume the bill would be found unconstitutional but will vote for it anyway to keep their angry constituents happy. They will be violating their oath of office by casting a vote they know conflicts with the U.S. Constitution. (If Congress is able to pass an illegal bill of attainder, it could arguably then go after any other target of its choosing—perhaps taxing conservatives at a higher rate than liberals, or whites more than blacks, or women more than men.) [1769, 1770, 1837]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #136 on: July 29, 2009, 02:52:20 pm »

            The Obama administration in general and Treasury Secretary Geithner in particular start receiving harsh criticism from lawmakers in both parties for the handling of the AIG bailout (which was orchestrated by Geithner, Paulson, and Bernanke). Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) remarks, “There’s either competence or incompetence going on here, and it looks like a lot of incompetence. I think this is the tip of the iceberg.” Appearing on the CBS Early Show, Shelby also states, “I think Secretary Geithner does not have his hands around the details of this, and if he does, then there’s a lot more questions to be asked. I don’t know if he should resign over this. That’s up to—you know, he works for the President of the United States.” According to press secretary Robert Gibbs, Obama has “complete confidence” in Geithner. Gibbs also says that based on what he “read in the newspaper” the administration learned about the (large AIG employee) bonuses the prior week, despite having given AIG another $30 billion in early March. Many legislators believe Geithner knew of the existence of the bonuses. Congressman Scott Garrett (R-NJ) comments, “So it’s only now that it’s making headlines that the president is coming back and basically second-guessing his own treasury secretary on this. Why Secretary Geithner didn’t raise this when he first understood it is beyond me.” Republican minority leader John Boehner asks, “What is the government’s exit strategy from this sweeping involvement in private business?” [1768, 1769, 1785, 1786]

            The predicament facing Obama and Geithner with the AIG bonuses is that if they come down too hard on the executives of the firm, many may simply leave the company and let it fall even further into disarray. The whole point of retention bonuses is to provide a financial incentive for executives to remain at AIG and help get it back on a sound financial footing, rather than just let it disintegrate. If Obama removes those incentives, the executives may simply walk away from the debris. Lesser-paid, less knowledgeable newcomers will take their place, but will have a difficult time reviewing and straightening out the firm’s records. If Obama addresses the issue of the AIG bonuses in too timid a fashion, Americans will be angry that he did not do more and will be less willing to support future bailouts he may request. The issue may ultimately be decided by lawyers. [1771]

            Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, former CEO of AIG, states, “Nobody during my tenure (at AIG) had a contract, starting with me. No one was ever paid a retention bonus. You believed in the company—or you didn’t.” Greenberg had successfully run AIG for more than 40 years, until New York Attorney General Spitzer went after the company and forced Greenberg to resign. (Many argue that Spitzer was out to make a name for himself with the AIG investigations. Spitzer later successfully ran for Governor of New York, and then had to resign in disgrace after his name surfaced in a prostitution investigation.) Greenberg’s successor, Martin Sullivan, then destroyed the company to the point where it required a taxpayer bailout. Sullivan’s government-picked successor, Edward Liddy, is attempting to stay out of the public limelight. Some argue that had Greenberg remained with AIG, its problems would have been significantly less serious. Greenberg also stated that “Although AIG stockholders could have fared better if the company had filed for bankruptcy protection, other stakeholders—like AIG’s Wall Street counterparties in swaps and other transactions—would have fared worse.” (That is, Geithner, Paulson, and Bernanke orchestrated the federal bailouts to save their Wall Street friends, not the average stockholder.) [1741, 1742, 1772, 1785, 1786]

            Attorney General Eric Holder moves to use Mexico’s drug violence to frighten Americans into accepting tougher gun regulations and restrictions. Holder says, “As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to re-institute the ban on the sale of assault weapons. I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.” National Rifle Association (NRA) president Wayne LaPierre responds that Holder’s argument is “bizarre,” and “It’s a delusion to say that diminishing the Second Amendment in America is somehow going to stop these ruthless drug cartels in Mexico.” Holder supports H.R. 45, the Blair Holt Act of 2009, which will place significant licensing restrictions on all gun owners, and not just on “assault weapons” as Holder implies. The law also allows the attorney general to add categories of guns to a list of banned weapons, thus making Holder the sole arbiter of whether civilians are allowed to own a particular gun. (If Holder adds a gun to the list, Americans can’t own it.) Many members of Congress in both parties will be reluctant to support H.R. 45 because that vote may cause their defeat in their next election. At least 65 House Democrats say they would oppose attempts to revive the weapons ban that Bill Clinton signed in 1994, but which was later allowed to expire by President Bush. Gun critics argue that the Mexican drug warlords are obtaining their guns from the United States and claim that simply preventing Americans from owning guns will keep them from finding their way into Mexico. (According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco, about 17 per cent of weapons recovered from Mexican crime scenes come from the United States, but Obama, Holder, Clinton, and the media deliberately inflate that figure to 90 per cent. Other black market weapons get into Mexico from South Korea, China, Spain, Israel, the Russian mafia, Columbia, Asia, and Guatemala. There is also evidence that many of the weapons used by Mexican drug dealers and gang members come from corrupt members of the Mexican military or deserters; the passage of H.R. 45 will not prevent Mexicans from buying or stealing guns from their own government.) On the other hand, beefing up border security will reduce the flow of guns from the United States into Mexico while at the same time reducing the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs into the country. The money saved by not providing hundreds of thousands of additional illegal immigrants with welfare, health, and education benefits would more than offset the cost of increased border security. [1597, 1598, 1599, 1600, 1773, 1845, 2010, 2198]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #137 on: July 29, 2009, 02:52:51 pm »

            It is disclosed that the corrupt activist group ACORN—which Obama had worked and cooperated with for decades and still continues to support with federal tax dollars—will be used to assist in the 2010 census. That immediately leads critics to express concerns that the enumeration operation will be wrought with fraud. Congressman Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-GA), ranking member of the U.S. Census subcommittee, says, “It’s a concern, especially when you look at all the different charges of voter fraud. And it’s not just the lawmakers’ concern. It should be the concern of every citizen in the country. We want an enumeration. We don’t want to have any false numbers.” ACORN claims to be non-partisan but it has a history of assisting Democrats through its frequently fraud-ridden voter registration drives. (In 2007, five ACORN employees were convicted in Washington State in “the worst case of election fraud” in the state’s history.) The GOPUSA’s Bobby Eberle comments, “ACORN has been accused of voter fraud, embezzlement, and more… and yet this is a group that the federal government wants helping with the census?” [240, 1776, 1795]

            On March 17, Obama confronts critics of his record-breaking budget, admonishing them with the statement, “If there are members of Congress who object to specific policies and proposals in this budget then I ask them to be ready and willing to propose constructive alternative solutions. ‘Just say no’ is the right advice to give your teenagers about drugs. It is not an acceptable response to whatever economic policies are proposed by the other party.” Many of Obama’s critics argue that ‘just say no’ is in fact the best response to the overblown budget, and the government should definitely say ‘no’ to a multitude of projects and programs that are not practical, cost-effective—or even consistent with the U.S. Constitution. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator James DeMint (R-SC) do more than ‘just say no’ by introducing a bill to rejuvenate the economy that is based mainly on tax cuts. [1777, 1797, 2126, 2164]

            Addressing a March 17 House panel on science, Obama’s Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, suggests raising tariffs on imported goods to protect American manufacturers from low-cost competition if the United States imposes cap-and-trade taxes and regulations and other nations do not. Chu states, “If other countries don’t impose a cost on carbon, then we will be at a disadvantage… (and) we would look at considering perhaps duties that would offset that cost.” The mainstream media takes little notice of Chu’s threat, but the Chinese respond immediately and state that such a move would be a “disaster” and simply an “excuse to impose trade restrictions.” Obama’s cap-and-trade plans would impose massive taxes on U.S. industries, putting them at a significant disadvantage against nations that do not succumb to “global warming” fears. High U.S. tariffs imposed on imported goods to “level the playing field” would simply prompt retaliation from other nations, with the same disastrous results seen during the 1930s when mindless protectionism prompted trade-destroying tariffs. (The Department of Energy was established in 1977 to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Its annual budget is approximately $25 billion; it has about 16,000 federal employees and 100,000 contract employees… and U.S. dependence on foreign oil has more than doubled since 1977.) [2075, 2076, 2436]

            During a St. Patrick’s Day event at the White House, the teleprompter malfunctions during a speech by Ireland’s Prime Minister Brian Cowen. Following the on-screen text, Cowen inadvertently begins repeating Obama’s comments. Cowen turns to Obama to say, “That’s your speech.” Obama then returns to the lectern to speak. The teleprompter, by then updated with Cowan’s speech, causes Obama to “thank President Obama” for his hospitality. [1931]

            In a test near Hawaii on March 17, the U.S. military successfully shoots down a medium-range ballistic missile using a ground-based missile defense system, thus vindicating the “Star Wars” missile defense system initiated by President Reagan in 1983. Obama has called the program a “boondoggle and unmitigated failure,” although Defense Secretary Robert Gates favors the continuing development of the system. Obama recently offered not to implement the system in Poland in exchange for Russia’s assistance in preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called Obama’s bluff and quickly accepted his offer not to deploy the defense system in Poland… but said he would not use Iran as a negotiating tool. [1439, 1504, 1839, 1840]

            Secretary Treasurer Geithner writes a letter to House Speaker Pelosi in which he says he “will impose on AIG a contractual commitment to pay the Treasury from the operations of the company the amount of the retention awards just paid. In addition, we will deduct from the $30 billion in assistance an amount equal to the amount of those payments.” AIG will therefore be forced to write a check to the government for the $165 million amount of the employee bonus payment, the next bailout payment to AIG will be reduced by $165 million, and Congress intends to tax the bonus payments at 90 per cent. (Some might look at that as penalties of almost three times the amount of the bonuses.) [1879]

            Caterpillar, the largest maker of construction and mining equipment in the world, announces that an additional 2,365 workers will be laid off (for an expected six months) and 89 will be let go permanently. (The company had laid off 22,000 workers in January.) Obama visited the company’s East Peoria, Illinois factory on February 12 and claimed “If Congress passes our (stimulus) plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off.” Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens later says, “The truth is we’re going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again… it is going to take some time” before the stimulus bill prompts new jobs. [1204, 1778, 1906]

            Jason Furman, deputy director of the White House National Economic Council, admits that the administration’s $646 billion estimate of the cost of Obama’s cap-and-trade tax program to “fight global warming” will instead be two or three times that amount. The revised estimate of $1.3 to $1.9 trillion in new energy taxes would be spread out over the first eight years of a 40 year program, and those costs will be passed on to consumers—because businesses and utility companies can’t print money. (The Obama administration says tax credits will be given to some American families to offset the higher energy costs, but those credits were not included in Obama’s budget proposal.) The administration’s revised cost estimates come at a time when Americans are becoming increasingly skeptical of man’s influence on climate change. (A Gallup poll found that 41 per cent of Americans believe climate change warnings are exaggerated.) According to energy analyst Margo Thorning, Obama’s cap-and-trade plan would, “In dollar cost terms, probably (be) an additional $700 to $1,400 per family per year, starting around 2012.” Thorning’s study was done before the admission that the tax will end up costing not $646 billion, but two to three times that amount. Other experts place the eventual cost of Obama’s global warming tax at $2,000 to $5,000 per family per year in added energy expenses, and not just families earning $250,000 or more per year. [1747, 1779, 1793, 1794, 1821, 1822, 2561]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #138 on: July 29, 2009, 02:53:29 pm »

            In March 18 testimony to a congressional committee, AIG head Edward Liddy defends the bonuses paid to its executives because those employees had specialized knowledge of the business operations and were critical to analyzing and disposing of its complex securities. Liddy accepts the criticism being leveled against AIG, saying, “We have been the beneficiary of the American people’s forbearance and patience. And we are acutely aware not only that we must be good stewards of the public funds we have received, but that the patience of America’s taxpayers is wearing thin.” Liddy is pressed by Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) to provide a list of the names of AIG executives who were paid bonuses. Liddy refuses, citing death threats the employees had received. (Liddy reads from a threatening letter warning that all bonus recipients should be “executed with piano wire around their neck,” and another that asks for “…all the CEOs’ names, kids, where they live, etc.”) Liddy also confirms that the Federal Reserve Board knew about the bonus payments in advance. While legislators from both parties criticize AIG for bonus payments, it is reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also issuing large bonuses to keep key executives from leaving. [1783, 1816, 1817, 1834]

            It is reported that a network of Iranian lobbyists has gained considerable access to the Obama administration, with the group seeking to influence U.S. policy toward Iran. The lobbyists have also been giving contributions to members of Congress, and are purportedly supported by high-level leadership in Tehran. [1973]

            Ron Kirk, Obama’s pick for U.S. trade representative, opposes the pending U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and says the deal “simply isn’t acceptable.” The FTA, negotiated by the Bush administration, calls for the elimination of both the U.S. tariff on cars made in South Korea (2.5 per cent) and the South Korean tariff (8 per cent) on U.S. automobiles. The elimination of the tariffs would lower costs for consumers and increase the sales of American cars in South Korea. The United Auto Workers (UAW) union nevertheless opposes the FTA and is pressuring the Obama administration accordingly, despite the estimated $10 billion in additional annual exports it would mean for the United States. Even though the FTA would be good for American business, Obama cannot support it without angering supporters in organized labor. (Kirk and the UAW are opposed to a treaty that would reduce tariffs on American cars sold in South Korea to zero; how that tariff could be further reduced is not made clear.) [1784]

            As of March 18, the Intrade prediction market lists odds at 25 per cent that Obama’s Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, will be asked to resign by the end of 2009. Representatives Connie Mack (R-FL) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) call for Geithner to resign immediately. “Quite simply, the Timothy Geithner experience has been a disaster,” says Mack in a written statement. “The Treasury Department is in disarray.” Issa, who sits on the House Government Reform Committee, issues a statement saying, “Secretary Geithner either didn’t know about the bonuses and was grossly negligent, or he did know and failed to bring this to the president’s attention. Either way, the end result has been a significant waste of taxpayer dollars and he should take immediate responsibility and resign.” Obama, meanwhile, states, “I have complete confidence in Tim Geithner and my entire economic team.” Not all criticism comes from Republicans. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) remarks, “The President goes out and says this is not acceptable, and then some backroom deal gets cut to let these things (AIG bonuses) get paid out anyway. They need to put this to bed once and for all.” AIG bonuses or not, Geithner’s future may hinge on the stock market and the economy. The longer the Dow Jones Industrial Average remains low and unemployment remains high, the more likely Geithner will be asked to resign—because Obama has to throw someone other than himself to the wolves. [1621, 1832]

            The Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) decides to allow cash-flow accounting, rather than mark-to-market accounting. That change may lead to more reasonable valuations of assets, reducing the bankruptcy chances for some investment firms and banks and increasing the likelihood of stock market improvement. Many investment losses have in fact not been actual cash losses but write-downs due to mark-to-market rules. [1788]

            It is reported on March 18 that the Obama administration is working to eliminate the program qualifying airline pilots to carry firearms, by shutting off the funds for the training and certification program. The Washington Times calls the move a “completely unnecessary harassment of pilots.” Congress authorized pilots to carry handguns on commercial flights after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. But because the program requires that all pilots re-qualify for weapons use every six months, Obama can effectively eliminate all guns in cockpits within one year simply by ending the training and qualification programs. Terrorists will be emboldened once they know pilots are no longer armed. [1798, 1801]

            The next day federal officials and the Airlines Pilots Association International (APAI) deny the Washington Times story that the administration is working to take weapons away from pilots. The APAI issues a statement saying the Times story “couldn’t be further from the truth.” The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) states that pilots union representatives “met with TSA executives and were told in no uncertain terms that TSA embraces the FFDO (Federal Flight Deck Officer) program, that there are no plans to reduce or restrict its growth, and that in fact the agency fully intends to grow and expand the program.” [1828]

            Israeli chief of staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi travels to Washington to meet with top U.S. officials but is turned away. Although Ashkenazi has met with key government officials in the past, the Obama administration turns a cold shoulder on him during the current visit. He is unable to meet with Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Admiral Michael Mullen (his counterpart on the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff), or National Intelligence director Dennis Blair. One diplomat remarks, “The administration is sending a very clear message to Israel, and this is we want to talk about Palestine and not Iran.” Critics sense that the Obama administration is only willing to meet with people who will “tell them what they want to hear.” [1800, 1893]

            Obama appears willing to meet with Iran despite its likelihood of being uncooperative and unresponsive, while Israel would prefer that the U.S. government maintain a hard line on Iran and work to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons. Ashkenazi is eventually allowed to meet with National Security Advisor James Jones, but not with anyone with authority to direct or change U.S. policy. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says, “The Obama administration believes that Israel is as much or more of a problem as it is an ally, at least until Israel’s disagreements with its neighbors are resolved.” Obama is likely to continue trying to establish direct talks with Iran, while pressuring Israel to give up land to Palestinians and accept a Fatah-Hamas coalition. One source states, “The Israeli government and military have been alarmed by the rapid and dramatic reversal in the U.S. policy toward Iran. This reversal took place without any consultation with Israel, Gulf Arab countries or even Congress.” Ashkenazi is in Washington to encourage the administration not to become too quick to deal with Iran at Israel’s expense, and purportedly to request additional weapons systems. The rebuff of Ashkenazi by Obama will be seen by Iran as evidence that Obama will not be as likely to come to the assistance of Israel as previous administrations. Obama is thus seen by some as strengthening Iran’s negotiating power. [1800, 1893]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #139 on: July 29, 2009, 02:54:04 pm »

            Obama’s hard-line stance against Israel may yield results contrary to what he expects. He likely believes he is forcing Israel into accepting his idea of a two-state solution—whether it likes it or not—by drastically reducing the support it has traditionally received from the United States (both financial and military). In Obama’s mind, Iran can then be allowed to continue its nuclear program because it will no longer have a desire to attack a weakened, humiliated, and largely irrelevant Israel. Obama does not realize that he may be making an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities more likely, because the problems Israel will face after such an attack may seem mild in comparison to giving up strategic territories and assimilating hundreds of thousands of Palestinians—effectively signing its own national death warrant. (Obama is also indirectly encouraging a secret strike. While Israel may have been willing to give advance warning of an attack on Iran to a Bush or McCain administration, it does not trust Obama to keep such a plan secret.) Obama sees himself as giving Israel a choice between accepting his two-state solution or going it alone against Iran and losing U.S. support. (Obama knows that his two-state solution will ultimately destroy Israel.) But Israel sees itself losing U.S. support either way, which therefore makes the option of striking Iran less risky. In Obama’s eagerness to please his Muslim friends by assaulting time-honored U.S.-Israeli relations, he is inadvertently helping Israel realize that the cost of attacking Iran may be less than not attacking. His stunning naïveté may precipitate a war.

 
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #140 on: July 29, 2009, 02:54:40 pm »



Start the Printing Presses

 

On March 18, the Federal Reserve Board announces it will be buying as much as $300 billion in long-term U.S. Treasury securities, as well as additional hundreds of billions in mortgage-backed securities. The government is thus essentially printing money to increase the supply of credit because the yield on Treasury notes is too low to attract sufficient buyers. The actions of the Federal Reserve Board cause the value of the U.S. dollar to drop, because foreign buyers of dollars realize that the inflated American currency is worth less. Combined with other moves, the Fed will be adding as much as $1.15 trillion into the economy through bond purchases. Inflation will be the ultimate result, because the money supply will have grown while the amount of goods and services is shrinking with a declining Gross Domestic Product. More money chasing fewer goods and services yields higher prices, and individuals and institutions holding low-interest bonds and securities will suffer when inflation and taxes consume more than the return on their investment. The Fed also leaves the federal funds rate at zero to 1/4 per cent and suggests they will remain low for some time. Keynesian economists and the media call the Fed’s move “bold”—as though printing worthless money requires courage. In response to the Fed’s “bold move,” the value of the U.S. dollar immediately drops and the price of gold rises. [1802, 1814, 1851]

            The Federal Open Market Commission’s (FOMC) press release makes the surprising statement that it “expects inflation will remain subdued,” despite the trillion dollars or more the government will be printing in order to buy up federal debt. The FOMC then says it “sees some risk that inflation could persist for a time below rates that best foster economic growth and price stability in the longer term,” suggesting there is some “ideal” inflation level that the government would be happy with and that “fosters economic growth.” (Inflation cannot create economic growth; it can only create an illusion of economic growth. It is simply a hidden and incredibly regressive tax on all Americans. If a person’s income increases from $30,000 to $60,000 he is not twice as well off if during the same period prices have also doubled; it is in fact more likely that prices more than doubled.) It appears that one administration goal is to increase inflation in order to get real estate prices back up to satisfy angry property owners (also known as voters) who have seen a significant decline in the market value of their homes and commercial real estate. At the same time, the inflationary policy contradicts government efforts to make housing more affordable for those who seek to buy homes, and harms people with low incomes who are most hurt by inflation. (It is impossible for the government to “target” inflation so that it affects only home prices and nothing else. A homeowner may be pleased if the market value of his property returns to its pre-2008 levels, but that may be of little consolation if a loaf of bread costs $7.00.) [1814]

            With regard to the continuous running of the printing presses, investment expert Peter Schiff states, “This week the Federal Reserve finally made clear what should have been obvious for some time—the only weapon that the Fed is willing to use to fight the economic downturn is a continuing torrent of pure, undiluted, inflation… In its statement, the Fed announced its intention to purchase an additional $1 trillion worth of U.S. treasury and agency debt. The purchases, of course, will be made with money created out of thin air through the Fed’s printing presses. Few can doubt that they will persist with these operations until the economy returns to its former health. Whether or not this can ever be accomplished with a printing press alone has never been seriously considered. Bernanke himself admits that we are in uncharted waters, with no map or compass, just simply a hope that more dollars are the answer.” [1882, 1905]

            Hispanic lawmakers meet with Obama and confirm that he promised plans for immigration reform in 2009. Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) member Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) notes that Obama “was clear and eloquent and determinate [sic] to let us know that we are all together in the route of comprehensive immigration reform.” Gutierrez also states that CHC members made “absolutely clear that this is the civil rights issue of our community and that we will all be judged on how we act on this issue.” The likelihood is that the CHC, most Democrats, and Obama will work toward amnesty and increased benefits for illegal immigrants, even though millions of Americans are concerned about jobs going to illegals, border security, drug violence, and the steadily increasing costs of providing welfare, education, and health benefits to illegals. But where many Americans view illegal immigrants as a problem, most Democrats view them as potential future votes. [1803]

            Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells a mostly-Hispanic San Francisco audience that raids by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) are “un-American” and “must be stopped.” Pelosi makes her comments at a church where she was invited to speak by Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) as part of a cross-country “united families” tour. Pelosi also calls immigrants “very, very patriotic”—although she does not say which country is the recipient of their patriotic feelings. [1811, 1856, 1857]

            Attorney General Eric Holder admits that some of the terrorist detainees currently being held at the detention facility at Guantanamo may be released into the United States. Holder tells reporters the administration is still reviewing the approximately 250 cases to decide which detainees can be tried and which can be released, and states that for “people who can be released there are a variety of options that we have and among them is the possibility is that we would release them into this country. That process is ongoing and we’ve not made any determinations or made any requests of anybody at this point.” [1813]

            It is reported that the U.S. Army is launching an investigation into how and why 22 active duty troops from Fort Rucker were patrolling the streets of Samson, Alabama, after a murder spree by Michael McLendon, a former police officer, on March 10. The use of the troops was likely a violation of federal law. A dispatcher at the five-man Samson Police Department said the soldiers “came in to help with traffic control and to secure the crime scene.” It is initially reported that the troop activity was not ordered by the Samson Police Department, Alabama Governor Bob Riley, the Defense Department, or Obama. Improper use of federal troops within the United States is a violation of several laws, including the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (Title 18, Section 1835 of the U.S. Code), which reads, “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.” (The Posse Comitatus Act is meant specifically to keep the federal government from exercising direct control over states and localities.) Another statute, Title 18, Section 375 prohibits any member of the Armed Forces from participating in a “search, seizure, arrest or other similar activity, unless participation is otherwise authorized by law.”  The Insurrection Act of 1808 (Title 10, Section 331) gives the president the power to authorize troops “to restore order and enforce the laws of the United States” in the event of an insurrection, but securing a crime scene is not an insurrection (and it was not Obama who ordered the troop into Samson, Alabama). [1804, 1805]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #141 on: July 29, 2009, 02:55:10 pm »

            On March 18, Obama addresses a gathering in Costa Mesa, California where he continues to drum up support for his already-passed stimulus bill by announcing the addition of an eastbound lane for SR91 in Orange County. Obama takes questions from the crowd, but to maintain his image of being a “fighter for populist causes” he addresses the issue of AIG bonuses (even though no one asks about them). When asked if he will seek re-election in 2012 Obama answers, “If I could get done what I think needs to get done in four years, even if it meant that I was only president for four years, I would rather be a good president—to take on the tough issues for four years—than a mediocre president for eight years.” Obama also tells the gathering that the issue of immigration cannot be “dealt with in pieces,” meaning he will not increase border security without also granting amnesty to illegal immigrants and making them citizens. (Immigration certainly can be addressed “in pieces.” There is no reason why the border cannot first be better patrolled, leaving other aspects of the problem for later.) [1829, 1831]

            Author, columnist, editor in chief of The American Spectator, and political observer R. Emmett Tyrrell remarks that Obama “…is the most ill-prepared man to be president of the United States since Lincoln’s Vice-President Andrew Johnson abruptly became president… and Johnson had the excuse of being an alcoholic.” He adds, “Obama simply is a man without any executive experience. He has spent his time as a community organizer or agitator. He has spent some time as a lawyer for the poor. And he’s spent a lot of his time daydreaming at the University of Chicago about what Utopia ought to be like. Now he’s planning to bring Utopia down on us and it’s going to very, very expensive,” and “It’s astonishing. Imagine, the Democratic Party worries about the civil liberties of terrorists in Gitmo. I worry about the civil liberties of ordinary Americans here in the United States with people like Obama and his aides in power.” [1838]

            On March 19, it is reported that it was the Samson, Alabama police chief who requested assistance from troops at Fort Rucker after a March 10 mass murder. The 22 soldiers and five vehicles were purportedly sent to Samson under a “mutual aid agreement” which Fort Rucker has with local law enforcement agencies. It is unclear how such an agreement came about or whether it is legal. [1812]

            U.S. Pacific commander Admiral Timothy Keating tells Senators at a hearing there is a “high probability” that the U.S. Navy could knock down a missile North Korea is planning to launch in early April. The U.S. commander in South Korea, General Walter Sharp, says the North Korean threat “is real.” A missile launch by North Korea would be a violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution. [2092]

            Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CN) continues to say that he was “completely unaware” of the AIG executive bonus payment plans, despite evidence that he sanctioned the deal. Instead, Dodd blames his staff for diluting the executive pay provision in the economic stimulus bill. Dodd claims he was “…the one who has led the fight against excessive executive compensation, often over the objections of many. I did not want to make any changes to my original Senate-passed amendment, but I did so at the request of administration officials.” Dodd refuses to name the administration officials. Dodd shamelessly blames the legislative process when he argues, “The alternative was losing, in my view, the entire section on executive excessive compensation. Given a choice, (and) this is not an uncommon occurrence here, I agreed to a modification in the legislation, reluctantly.” Dodd (whose father, the late Senator Tom Dodd, was one of few Senators ever censured for financial misconduct while in office) is up for re-election in 2010. Dodd is also under investigation for alleged sweetheart mortgage deals he received from Countrywide Financial Corporation, and currently trails his likely Republican opponent, Rob Simmons, 43 to 42 per cent. Between 2001 and 2004 Dodd’s wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, worked for IPC Holdings, Ltd., a company affiliated with AIG. [1818, 1819, 1823, 1824, 1864, 1976]

            Obama and Geithner continue to insist that they knew nothing of the AIG executive bonuses until the second week of March. Evidence suggests however that the administration and many members of Congress had known about them for months. Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs refuses to provide a timeline of “who knew what and when they knew it.” A November 2008 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) related that retention bonuses would be paid in order to keep valuable employees from leaving. Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) states, “There was outrage brewing already. I’m saying (to AIG CEO Edward Liddy), ‘Be a good citizen, do something about this.’” Lawyers for the Federal Reserve Board also began reviewing the bonuses while examining retention and compensation plans, but concluded that the employees would probably win a lawsuit if their payments were withheld. In January 2009, Congressmen Joseph Crowley of New York and Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania had asked the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Department to scrutinize the bonus program, knowing that “all Hell would break loose” if they didn’t “put the information out there so we wouldn’t have the shock… ” In February, legislators removed from the stimulus legislation restrictions on bonuses negotiated before February 11, 2009. Remarkably, by mid-March everyone involved seemed surprised that AIG executives would be receiving bonuses. The stimulus bill also had a provision added by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) that would have capped bonuses at $100,000. That provision was removed, but no one will say whether that was done by top Democrats in the Senate or ordered by the Obama administration. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) remarks, “It’s shocking that the administration would come to us now and act surprised.” [1833, 1844]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #142 on: July 29, 2009, 02:55:48 pm »

            Obama nominates Federal Judge David Hamilton to a vacancy on the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Obama says Hamilton has a “long and impressive record of service and a history of handing down fair and judicious decisions.” Although the media also attempts to portray him as “moderate,” the Committee for Justice argues that Hamilton is a “…classic, liberal judicial activist on issues like abortion, criminal issues such as suppression of evidence and sex offenders, separation of church and state issues.” The Judicial Confirmation Network states that Hamilton “appears to have made rulings that show his willingness to bend the law to reach outcomes favored by his ACLU allies, which are inconsistent with the proper role of a judge under our Constitution.” Hamilton once ruled that it was unconstitutional for the Indiana Legislature to say a prayer before each session. (The Seventh Circuit, to which Hamilton is now being appointed by Obama, overturned that ruling, saying it was outrageous.) Hamilton is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which routinely advocates anti-religious positions, and has engaged in fund-raising for Obama’s favorite voter registration organization, ACORN. Republicans will likely not have enough votes to stop Hamilton’s confirmation, but Senator James Imhofe (R-OK) threatens to filibuster the appointment. [1820, 1916]

            It is disclosed that Obama signed an agreement with Crown Publishing Group to write another nonfiction book after he leaves office. The dollar amount of that deal was not made public. Obama also approved a children’s version of his book, Dreams From My Father, for which he received an advance of $500,000. (Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was roundly criticized for a book deal while he was in office. The White House said Obama’s book deal—which he conveniently signed after he had resigned from the Senate but before the January 20 inauguration in order to avoid ethics charges—is not really a book deal, but a “license” agreement. The already wealthy Obama was apparently so eager for more cash that he could not wait until after leaving office to negotiate the $500,000 “license fee.”) [1825, 1913]

            Republican Congressmen are angered by a Department of Justice (DOJ) civil rights probe into the practices of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, of Maricopa County, Arizona. Arpaio is well known for his tough stance on crime, particularly when it involves illegal immigrants. Ten Congressmen send a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, stating, “It is important that state and local law enforcement officers and the public are reassured that the investigation is proceeding in a judicious and fair manner, and not for the purpose of politicizing or chilling immigration efforts.” Arpaio charges that the federal probe was prompted by his aggressive efforts to go after illegal immigrants in and around Phoenix, and denies that his deputies engage in racial profiling. Arpaio is not one to apologize for enforcing the law, and has a hot line for reporting immigration violations. Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, requested the DOJ investigation. [1826]

            Faced with immediate and intense criticism of an attempt to increase federal revenue by forcing the cost of medical care for wounded veterans onto private insurance carriers, Obama quickly drops the plan. Obama’s press secretary Gibbs makes the absurd and convoluted claim that Obama floated the idea as an attempt to “to maximize the resources available for veterans.” Gibbs announces the plan’s cancellation with the statement, “The President listened to concerns raised by the VSOs (veteran service organizations) that this (program) might, under certain circumstances, affect veterans and their families’ ability to access health care. Therefore, the President has instructed that its consideration be dropped.” [1827]

            On March 19, the House of Representatives votes to levy a 90 per cent tax on executive bonuses issued to AIG executives, and employees of other companies that have received $5 billion or more in federal bailout money. The vote is 328–93. Democrat Charles Rangel snidely remarks, “We figured that the local and state governments would take care of the other 10 percent.” Although House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) calls the bill “crap,” 85 Republicans vote for the bill—mostly to appease angry voters. Boehner says of the vote, “This is nothing more than an attempt for everyone to cover their butt up here.” Six Democrats vote against the bill. Some critics, noting the bill of attainder restrictions in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, as well as the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, argue that the bill is unconstitutional in singling out a specific group of individuals to whom a special tax rate applies. Most legislators follow the polls more closely than the Constitution, however, and a national telephone survey shows that three out of four Americans want AIG executives to return the bonuses. Legislators choose to ignore Obama’s words from his address to a joint session of Congress, “…that in a time of crisis, we cannot afford to govern out of anger, or yield to the politics of the moment.” (A Rasmussen poll shows that 81 per cent of U.S. voters believe Congress “does not have the right to raise taxes on all Americans retroactively.” Apparently most Americans do not want taxes raised retroactively on themselves, but believe it is acceptable to raise them on AIG employees or others.) [1835, 1836, 1837, 1860, 1871, 1961]

            Also on March 19, the House Judiciary Committee hears testimony from Heather S. Heidelbaugh, lawyer for a Democrat whistleblower who worked for ACORN, that the activist group sold “protest for hire” services to liberal and leftist organizations and coerced donations through a mob-like “protection racket.” Heidelbaugh’s accusations include tax violations, campaign finance violations, and other violations of the law by ACORN. Heidelbaugh states that “…protesting was used to get companies to negotiate. The companies would pay money to get the protesting to stop. In addition to calling this activity ‘Muscle for the Money,’ the insiders at ACORN called it ‘protection.’” ACORN was paid by the Service Employees International Union to harass the private equity firm Carlyle Group. Other shakedown targets included Sherwin-Williams, H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, and Money Mart. (The ACORN shakedown tactics are similar to those used by Jesse Jackson, who “persuades” large companies to place blacks in prominent positions or give donations to his Rainbow Coalition/Operation PUSH in exchange for “protest peace.”) Despite its many questionable activities ACORN receives substantial funding from the taxpayers, including money from the massive stimulus bill passed by Democrats and signed by Obama. After listening to Heidelbaugh’s testimony, House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) proposes hearings to look into charges against ACORN. “I think that it would be something that would be worth our time. We’ve never had one person representing ACORN before the committee. I think in all fairness we ought to really examine it.” One former ACORN employee charges that more than half of ACORN’s voter registrations from the last election were fraudulent or otherwise invalid. ACORN itself purportedly considers 40 per cent an “acceptable” level of accuracy for its workers. Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) fights the idea of an ACORN hearing, saying he will consider an investigation only when he sees “credible evidence” of wrongdoing. [1865, 1922, 1972, 2089, 2666, 2667]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #143 on: July 29, 2009, 02:56:24 pm »

            Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe (a former Obama professor) argues that an incredibly confiscatory tax that singles out a small group of people can somehow be made constitutional. In The Atlantic Tribe writes, “It would not be terribly difficult to structure a tax, even one that approached a rate of 100 per cent, levied on some or all of the bonuses already handed out (or to be handed out in the future) by AIG and other recipients of federal bailout funds so that the tax would survive bill of attainder clause challenge… The fact that the individuals subject to the tax in its retroactive application would in principle be readily identifiable would not suffice to doom the tax either from a bill of attainder perspective or from a due process perspective… All things considered, I believe it very likely that Congress could design a fully constitutional means of clawing back into the federal treasury all amounts paid (or to be paid in the future) in the form of retention bonuses…” In other words, Tribe is arguing that Congress can pass a tax that is clearly unfair and punitive as long as it is careful to word it so it can withstand Constitutional scrutiny; Congress can be cruel and tyrannical… as long as it pretends otherwise. Contradicting Tribe is Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University who once successfully fought a bill of attainder battle in a federal appeals court. Turley states, “I am not so confident that it (Congress’ 90 per cent bonus tax legislation) would pass constitutional muster. While courts give Congress great discretion in the tax area, this would require a case of willful blindness.” [1872, 1907]

            Within days of its decision, the Department of Defense (DOD), under pressure from ammunition manufacturers and Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, decides it will allow spent ammunition casings to be resold rather than crushed for scrap and sold to China. The quick reversal suggests that the DOD had perhaps made a policy decision without thinking it through, and that its proposal was not necessarily part of an Obama “stealth plan” to abrogate the Second Amendment right to bear arms. [1751, 1846]

            It is reported that Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Bill Clinton and current Obama administration special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, served on the board of AIG between 2001 and mid-2008. During that period, AIG accumulated the unwise investments that eventually led to its downfall and a federal bailout. (Holbrooke resigned just two months before the company collapsed.) White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said that Holbrooke “had nothing to do with and knew nothing about the bonuses,” although they were approved while Holbrooke, who was a member of the board’s compensation committee from 2001 to 2005, was still on the AIG Board. (The White House expects Americans to believe that the approval of a $165 million payout was too minor for AIG’s Board of Directors to be concerned with.) A Holbrooke spokesman declined comment. Obama ignores Holbrooke’s role as a board member and states, “Nobody here (in my administration) was responsible for supervising AIG and allowing themselves to put the economy at risk by some of the outrageous behavior that they were engaged in.” [1848]

            With the economy in shambles, the stock market in the tank, calls for his Treasury Secretary to resign, Iran close to acquiring nuclear weapons, and North Korea poised to launch an ICBM as a show of force, Obama finds time to appear on Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show. (Obama would rather be in campaign mode than governing mode; he is better at the former than the latter.) Obama also manages time for an interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz, in which he reveals his NCAA picks. (His “final four” picks are North Carolina, Louisville, Memphis, and Pittsburgh.) There is no official word on how much time Obama spent filling out the full bracket (college basketball fans know it can be time-consuming) or how much taxpayer money was spent on the specially made bracket board, complete with Presidential Seal. Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski remarks, “Somebody said that we’re not in President Obama’s Final Four. As much as I respect what he’s doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably, more than the brackets.” [1842, 1843, 1896]

            In his March 19 appearance on The Tonight Show, Obama accepts responsibility for the AIG bonus fiasco… right before blaming it on others. Obama also mentions how his bowling game has improved because of practice in the White House bowling alley. (Obama had bowled a pathetic score of 37 at a Pennsylvania bowling alley during the campaign, prompting one critic to ask, “If he bowls like a fag, does that mean he is one?”) Obama tells Leno “I bowled a 129.” Leno responds, “That’s very good, Mr. President.” Obama then remarks, “It’s like the Special Olympics or something.” The White House quickly attempts to play down Obama’s comment, sending deputy press secretary Bill Burton out to the media to state, “The president made an off-hand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics. He thinks the Special Olympics is a wonderful program that gives an opportunity for people with disabilities from around the world.” From Air Force One, Obama calls the chairman of the Special Olympics, Tim Shriver (a nephew of John F. Kennedy), to apologize for his offensive remark. MSNBC’s Alex Witt later attempts to convince viewers that Obama’s remark was actually a compliment of disabled athletes. NPR’s Nina Totenburg says of Obama’s appearance with Leno, “…he calmed me down… I thought it was just a masterful performance.” [842 p. 404; 856, 1853, 1858]

            NBC’s Today show does its best the next morning to avoid discussing the Special Olympics gaffe, with Meredith Vieira saying only that Obama “said something that forced the White House to issue an explanation afterward.” (Viewers would have to look elsewhere to find out what that “something” was.) On Good Morning America, Special Olympics head Tim Shriver (an Obama supporter and campaign donor), says that Obama “…apologized in a way I think was very moving.” [1917, 1933]

            Lloyd Marcus, a self-described “American black conservative,” writes a song called American Tea Party to be performed at a tax protest in Orlando, Florida on March 21. The first lines are, “Mr. President! Your stimulus is sure to bust; It’s just a socialistic scheme; The only thing it will do; Is kill the American Dream.” [1854]

            A report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) suggests that Iran may already have produced enough uranium for a nuclear weapon. Further threatening Israel is the revelation that Russia may sell its advanced S-300 air defense system to Iran. The S-300 system would protect Iran against attacks because it is able to engage targets at altitudes as high as 27,400 meters at a range of 150 kilometers. Retired General Richard Hawley (U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command) says that for non-stealth aircraft the Russian system “represents a virtual no-fly zone.” Israel’s F-15I and F-16I aircraft would be effective in taking out Iran’s nuclear facilities only until it deploys an S-300 defense system; after that, Israel would want to purchase F-22 Raptor stealth aircraft from the United States. Obama is considering canceling the production of the F-22, which would leave both the United States and Israel weaker—and eliminate as many as 95,000 jobs in the United States. [1688, 1855]

            The American Family Association announces it is organizing more than one thousand tax protest tea parties to be held across the nation on April 15. [1859]

            The House of Representatives approves H.R. 1388 (the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, or GIVE Act), which funds the existing Americorps and National Senior Service Corps. The vote is 221–191, with two Republicans voting for the bill and four Democrats voting against it. The bill also includes $6 billion for “new programs and studies,” which some worry will result in the National Civilian Security Force (or Civilian National Security Force) which Obama called for at a Colorado campaign appearance in July 2008. The legislation discusses whether “…all individuals in the United States were expected to perform national service or were required to perform a certain amount of national service,” and “The means to develop awareness of national service and volunteer opportunities at a young age by creating, expanding, and promoting service options for elementary and secondary school students, through service learning or other means, and by raising awareness of existing incentives.” Under the GIVE Act, volunteers would be “grouped together as appropriate in campuses for operational, support, and boarding purposes. The Corps campus for a unit shall be in a facility or central location established as the operational headquarters and boarding place for the unit… There shall be a superintendent for each camp.”  A “service learning plan” would be “a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.” The legislation discusses uniforms to be worn by the volunteers, and a “public service academy, a 4-year institution” for training future “public sector leaders.” Critics rightly question the concept of the program and wonder if it isn’t something similar to the “Hitler Youth” of the 1930s. [129, 276, 1861, 1954]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #144 on: July 29, 2009, 02:57:01 pm »

            The GIVE Act (Section 6104, subsection B6) calls for a commission to investigate “Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.” The federal government is thus considering forcing all American youths to be “volunteers.” (“Overcome civic challenges” likely means “How can we force people to cooperate when the plan will face tough opposition across the country?”) [1948]

            The GIVE Act also includes $115 million for a Foster Grandparent Program, $97 million for a Learn and Serve America program, $70 million for a Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, $55 million for a Senior Companion Program, $12 million per year for the Silver Scholarships and Encore Fellowships programs, $10 million per year for a Volunteers for Prosperity Program, and $50 million per year (escalating to $100 million in 2014) for a Social Innovation and Volunteer Generation Fund. Even if the federal government were not running trillion dollar deficits one would be hard-pressed to find justification for these programs in the U.S. Constitution. Columnist Michelle Malkin reports that Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) “successfully attached an amendment to the GIVE Act to bar National Service participants from engaging in political lobbying; endorsing or opposing legislation; organizing petitions, protests, boycotts or strikes; providing or promoting abortions or referrals; or influencing union organizing.” While they are supporting a “mandatory” volunteer program, supporters of the legislation are screaming censorship and demanding that the Foxx amendment be dropped, making it clear that the programs are less about volunteerism than they are about indoctrination of leftist ideology. [1958]

            The American Thinker states that Obama “…plans to double the Peace Corps’ budget by 2011, and expand AmeriCorps, USA Freedom Corps, VISTA, YouthBuild Program, and the Senior Corps. Plus, he proposes to form a Classroom Corps, Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, Veterans Corps, Homeland Security Corps, Global Energy Corps, and a Green Jobs Corps. Here a corps, there a corps, everywhere a corps corps.” [1992]

            Alaska’s Sarah Palin joins the list of governors turning down some of the Obama’s stimulus bill funds because of the excessive federal “strings” attached. In a later op-ed article for the Anchorage Daily News called “Shovel-Ready or Digging a Hole?” Palin says her “…job is to help Alaskans count the cost for the long term, not sell our birthright for short-term gain.” She writes that stimulus funds are tempting, but Alaska “…must consider whether they create sustainability, help develop our resources, reduce dependency on Washington, and all without mortgaging our kids’ futures. Unfortunately, a disproportionate percentage of the federal package available to Alaska would increase government operations. It’s a stretch to certify that more spending on more bureaucracy actually grows an economy,” and “When stimulus money runs out in two years, who will pay for the expanded government programs…? My administration will not willingly and knowingly dig a hole for Alaskans to fill under this enormous, debt-ridden, Washington spending plan.” [1862, 2072]

            Chief Financial Officer of Goldman Sachs, David A. Viniar, has a conference call with reporters and tells them that his company never needed federal bailout funds and would not have collapsed if AIG, in which it held some collateral (about $20 billion in total), had failed. Yet Goldman Sachs was given $12.9 billion of the more than $180 billion in federal funds handed out to AIG under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is a former CEO of Goldman Sachs. The disclosure raises even more doubts about the government’s insistence in late 2008 that it had to act quickly to save failing companies, and the motives behind the efforts of Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner, and Ben Bernanke to orchestrate the bailouts. [1964]

            Obama records a video to the Iranian people (with subtitles in the Farsi language) for release on March 20, the first day of spring. Obama says, “So in this season of new beginnings I would like to speak clearly to Iran’s leaders. We have serious differences that have grown over time. My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community.” Obama does not talk about freedom or democracy for the Iranian people; his message seems to be aimed more to Iran’s repressive leaders than its repressed citizens. He gives no indication that he will stand in the way of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. To Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Obama states, “This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect,” and “The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations. You have that right, but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization.” [1863, 1866]

            To the surprise of almost no one, Iran responds to Obama’s videotaped message by saying it sees no change in U.S. policy under the new administration. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says to a crowd of thousands, “They chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice. We haven’t seen any change,” and “He (Obama) insulted the Islamic Republic of Iran from the first day. If you are right that change has come, where is that change? What is the sign of that change? Make it clear for us what has changed.” As Khomenei speaks, the crowd chants “Death to America.” [1887]

            Obama is awarded a “newsmaker of the year” award by the National Newspaper Publishers Association (also known as the Black Press of America), a federation of 200-plus black community newspapers. The award ceremony is held in the State Dining Room of the White House. The self-described “most transparent administration in history” closes the event to press coverage. [1867, 1868]

            Perhaps as an indication of things to come under Obama’s future global warming cap-and-trade taxes and regulations, almost one hundred gas stations in California are being forced out of business by the state’s new vapor emissions reduction requirements. One station owner, George Fasching, relates, “I came to the decision that I was too small a volume operator to continue on with the expenses imposed by the bureaucracy of the state.” The required equipment will cost owners $11,000 per pump, which many operators will not be able to afford. For those who are able to stay in business, the cost of the equipment (and the interest on any loans needed to pay for it) will simply be passed on to consumers through higher prices, but the owners and employees of at least one hundred service stations will be unemployed. [1869]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #145 on: July 29, 2009, 02:57:37 pm »

            Bankers respond to the AIG bonus taxation legislation, warning that the industry will be significantly harmed if the most talented people are driven away by Congressional witch-hunts. One banker warns, “Finance is one of America’s great industries, and they (the Obama administration and Congress) are destroying it,” and “This is the most profoundly anti-American thing I’ve ever seen.” The crusade against the banks may work against the government’s efforts to loosen the “credit crisis” if the banks simply decide the hassle of the bailout money is not worth it and return the cash. One Wall Street executive cautions, “There are three big industries where the United States has global leadership: financial services, media and technology. Introducing this 90 per cent tax is like taking one of those industries out back and shooting it.” Some of the best commodity traders may simply move to other industries, leaving the banks and investment firms with less talented employees to resolve the massive problems. Firms that have not accepted TARP funds are actively recruiting the best employees of TARP companies, luring them with “Obama-penalty-free” salaries and bonuses [1870]

            Alarmed by Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget, a growing number of Democrats call for significant spending cuts. A group of 51 Democrats releases a list of budget cuts totaling $40 billion per year. That same group of legislators is also unlikely to give Obama free rein in passing expensive and economy-damaging cap-and-trade global warming legislation. The “blue dog” Democrats hope to re-establish some degree of budget discipline with a pay-as-you-go system, which will require that increased spending in one program be offset by cuts elsewhere. [1873]

            In a CNN interview on March 20 Secretary Treasurer Geithner half-heartedly accepts blame for the AIG bonus controversy, saying “On Tuesday (March17) I was informed about the full scale and scope of these specific bonus problems. You know, it’s my responsibility, I was in a position where I didn’t know about these sooner. I take full responsibility for that.” The problem with Geithner’s apology is that long before March 17 officials knew of the bonus payments, and Geithner himself was questioned about the AIG bonus payments by Congressman Joseph Crowley at a March 3 appearance before the House Ways and Means Committee. [1880]

            The chief political advisor for the terrorist group Hamas, Ahmed Yousef, says he is hopeful Obama will support Israel less than his predecessors did. “We hear all the time statements (from Obama) promising change will come to the region, and that’s what we count on. All the time the Israelis try to use their military might to destroy all chances of peace. Under Bush, America backed everything Israel did. Obama is someone who everyone looks to in a different way than Bush. He is willing to see things differently and take a more evenhanded approach toward Israel.” Yousef would like Obama to withhold U.S. financial support from Israel to force it to make concessions. The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel yet Obama advisors, including Paul Volcker and Zbigniew Brzezinski, have been pushing for a U.S. dialogue with the terrorist group. Supporting that position is Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor under President George H.W. Bush. Scowcroft is rumored to be the next chairman of Obama’s National Intelligence Council, the position originally offered to the anti-Israel Charles Freeman. [1891, 1893]

            Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad (D-ND), states that Obama has underestimated the projected 10-year deficit of $7 trillion by at least $1.6 trillion. (The Congressional Budget Office numbers also understate spending because they do not count the off-budget printing of money by the Federal Reserve Board.) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi makes the irrational statement, “You can’t say ‘we’re going to do less because the numbers are pessimistic.’ You say, ‘we have to do what we do in light of those numbers.’” Making sure to mention Obama’s triad of pet projects, Pelosi adds “We have to recognize that education, a change in energy policy and health care reform are what will turn the economy around, bring money to the Treasury, make us competitive internationally and put the economy on a much more stable footing as we go into the future.” She does not explain how spending trillions of dollars the government does not have will “bring money to the Treasury.” Senator Judd Gregg, also on the Senate Budget Committee, says, “The budget that was sent up is not sustainable for our nation. They are creating a structural failure in our economy, in our country, and in our governing. If you have debt in 2013, public debt at 67 per cent of GDP under the president’s score, and you have a deficit of over three per cent of GDP, and that goes on forever… you’re on a path where you are basically bankrupting the nation.”  [1881]

            Regardless of what Obama tells the American public, there is simply not enough income among taxpayers earning $250,000 or more to pay for all of Obama’s planned expenditures. At some point, taxes must be increased on millions of people below that level. Obama’s budget numbers reflect little of that reality, but there are clear hints. As an example, his Making Work Pay tax credit expires after two years—something he neglected to mention during the campaign. (Further, retirees who are receiving Social Security benefits at the same time they hold jobs will not be entitled to both the $400 Making Work Pay tax credit and the $250 supplemental check sent to Social Security recipients; those who receive both will end up having to pay back the $250 when they file their 1040 tax forms in 2010.) There is also no provision in Obama’s budget for the tax credits he said would be offered to offset massive utility bill increases resulting from his cap-and-trade regulations—suggesting he does not intend to grant those credits. The capital gains reductions Obama promised for small businesses do not appear in the budget until 2014, which certainly does nothing to help those businesses now. (Many of today’s small businesses will no longer exist in 2014.) [2561, 2633]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #146 on: July 29, 2009, 02:58:04 pm »

            Obama’s Budget Director Peter Orszag concedes at a March 20 news conference that the projected annual deficits are “ultimately not sustainable.” But like Obama and Pelosi, Orszag also predicts that everything will be rosy if Congress nationalizes health care, spends more money on education, forces America to “go green,” and cuts the deficit—despite the first three goals being in clear conflict with the last. A skeptical Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) remarks, “People can afford only so much government spending, even for the worthiest-sounding causes.” [1885]

            In a Sean Hannity interview on Fox, former Senator Fred Thompson weighs in on the AIG bonus fiasco and states, “I think clearly the administration knew about it last year, the Fed knew about a year ago, apparently, and it’s not like they don’t talk to the Treasury. And of course, Geithner was head of the operations that supervised AIG when they took him over, so they had to know… When I see Geithner (at) this late date say something like ‘I didn’t know the full scale and scope,’ I know he needs a good cross-examination. I hope someone gives him that… Not only did they agree to it and pass on it, they got with Dodd, as you pointed out, and figured out a way to save it in that last bill, and then feigning outrage when it all came to light. You know, it is—it was a blown cover-up… he (Senator Christopher Dodd) got caught in a flat-out lie, and just at a time when you think the American people can’t get any more cynical, I think they are…   And people are going to keep their money under the mattress until they have that confidence, and when they see that people in the administration are not being frank with them about relatively—some people might say minor things—then they don’t have any confidence in them with regard to anything else.” [1923]

 
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #147 on: July 29, 2009, 02:58:46 pm »

Rosy Scenario

 

In his Saturday radio address of March 21, Obama presses for approval of his budget. He accepts that Congress may end up making some changes to it, but again argues that the final budget must address health care reform, invest in education, reduce dependence on foreign oil… and cut the deficit. He makes that amazing deficit demand despite the fact that his own budget calls for a record $3.6 trillion in spending and will, according to congressional auditors, generate at least a $9.3 trillion increase in the national debt over 10 years. Obama states, “I realize there are those who say these plans are too ambitious to enact,” but “ambitious” is generally not the word used for criticizing his budget. In the weekly Republican radio address, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour slams Obama for his enormous spending spree the nation cannot afford, saying that Obama’s budget “…spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.” [1876]

            Obama’s budget will generate far more deficits than he admits, partly because he assumes overly rosy scenarios with regard to growth in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. His budget proposal also assumes savings from the expiration of spending for certain popular programs after 2011. An understandably skeptical Congressman Paul Ryan, ranking Republican member of the Budget Committee, remarks, “We are supposed to believe that Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel, Henry Waxman, and Ted Kennedy are going to allow spending for programs ranging from education for disabled kids, to Pell Grants, to Head Start, to child nutrition programs to fall off a cliff two years from now.” Allowing two dozen of the most popular such programs to continue would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, add an additional $3.27 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years. (Obama’s budget numbers are fraudulent because they count the “savings” from expensive programs that could be ended in a few years, when he most certainly knows there is no possibility of those programs being ended with Democrats in charge.) Adding even more to the deficits will be money for his national health care program, the cost of which Obama shamelessly underestimates in his budget proposal. [2071]

            While the U.S. government is busy printing money, a United Nations panel plans to recommend that the world stop using the U.S. dollar as its reserve currency. “It is a good moment to move to a shared reserve currency,” said Avinsah Persaud, a member of the U.N. panel. Persaud has argued that the Chinese yuan will eventually replace the dollar as a global currency reserves. [1892]

            On behalf of Military Families United the organization’s president, John Ellsworth, writes a letter to all members of Congress asking that the federal government not allow prisoners currently at Guantanamo to be brought to the United States if its detention facility is closed. The letter is in response to Attorney General Holder’s recent public statement that among the options the administration has is “…the possibility is that we would release them (some of the detainees) into this country.” [1813, 1878]

            Dr. Orly Taitz, who represents several plaintiffs in lawsuits challenging Obama’s eligibility to serve as president, writes FBI chief Robert Mueller and charges that “…there was tampering with documents and records by employees of the Supreme Court and the justices never saw (her legal) briefs.” She believes there was “…forgery of court records, tampering with court records, cyber crime, erasing of court records from the docket, fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud and other related crimes.” Taitz’ case, Lightfoot v. Bowen, had been scheduled for a Supreme Court hearing but it never took place. Justices Scalia and Roberts have both stated they never heard of the case, which contradicts other court information. [1883]

            While Obama pushes for “green jobs” and clean energy, environmentalists have the support of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in trying to stop solar energy production and wind farms on 500,000 acres in California’s Mojave Desert. To save the habitat of the desert tortoise, Feinstein plans on legislation to turn the area into a national monument, with future development prohibited. The Wildlife Conservancy says the solar projects would “…destroy the entire Mojave desert ecosystem.” (The Mojave Desert covers approximately 25,000 square miles.) Most would assume that a hot, cloudless, dry desert is the ideal location for solar power installations. It is unclear how Obama expects to make America less dependent on foreign oil if he and his fellow Democrats do not allow drilling for oil and natural gas in the United States or offshore and if solar projects cannot be built in a small portion of an enormous desert. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger remarks, “If we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave Desert, I don’t know where we can put it [sic].” [1886, 1897]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #148 on: July 29, 2009, 02:59:17 pm »

           Obama’s choice for Solicitor General is Elena Kagan, former dean of the Harvard Law School. Kagan has never argued a case before the Supreme Court, but the job of the Solicitor General is to litigate on behalf of the federal government in the Supreme Court and to supervise litigation as it flows through the appellate courts. The Solicitor General also files amicus briefs for significant cases. [1898, 1899, 1900, 2676]

            The New York Times reports that the Obama administration will call for “increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms, and possibly other companies.” Details are not provided. [1904]

            At the Gridiron Dinner Vice-President Biden jokes, “You know, I never realized just how much power Dick Cheney had until my first day on the job. I walked into my office, and you know how the outgoing president always leaves the incoming president a note in his desk? I opened my drawer and Dick Cheney had left me Barack Obama’s birth certificate.” The mainstream media chooses to ignore Biden’s remark, possibly because it might prompt people to wonder, “Why is that funny? Does Obama have a problem with his birth certificate?” Biden also pokes fun at Obama with the remark, “He can’t be here tonight because he’s busy getting ready for Easter. He thinks it’s about him.” [1905, 2320]

            A March 21 tea party tax protest in Orlando, Florida attracts approximately 4,200 protesters. One placard reads, “Obama lied, liberty died.” Others read, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money” and “Obama—he’s robbin’ U.S. not Robin Hood.” The event’s emcee, radio host Bud Hedinger, tells the crowd, “We have had enough of massive government-driven bailouts using our money.” The increasing numbers of anti-tax and anti-Obama public protests with thousands of participants receive almost no national media attention, although the New York Times does find space to report about an ACORN bus tour of the expensive homes of AIG executives (an event that had more reporters than protesters in attendance). [1910, 1932]

            The Obama administration states it will sign a United Nations declaration that calls for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality. The document is allegedly non-binding, but critics worry that it will lead to the United Nations defining laws within the United States. [1911]

            On ABC’s This Week on March 22, Biden’s economic advisor Jared Bernstein says the House bill to tax AIG bonuses at 90 per cent may have gone too far and that there may be “…some legal issues, constitutional validity, using the tax code to surgically punish a small group. That may be a dangerous way to go.” Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) warns, “…let’s not overreact in a way that basically has the Congress grabbing its pitchforks, and charging up the hill, and abusing what is a core authority of a government, which is the authority to tax its people.” Gregg again expresses concern over Obama’s budget, saying, “The practical implication of this is bankruptcy for the United States. There’s no other way around it. If we maintain the proposals which are in this budget over the 10-year period that this budget covers, this country will go bankrupt. People will not buy our debt. Our dollar will become devalued.” Obama’s budget will produce an estimated $9.3 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years—quadruple the deficits of the Bush administration. [1912]

            Obama supporters work to block Internet access to Pamela Geller’s popular AtlasShrugs.com Web site, forcing readers to find proxy sites to access her articles and news stories that the mainstream media refuses to cover. In one instance, an “overzealous” employee at Secure Computing (which is owned by the software security company McAfee) purportedly decided on her own that certain sites warrant being given a “hate/discrimination” classification—apparently for daring to be critical of Obama and radical Islamic jihadists. [1918, 1919]

            The liberal New York Times starts to become critical of Obama in its March 22 edition. Frank Rich writes that until Obama “addresses the full depth of Americans’ anger with his full arsenal of policy smarts and political gifts, his presidency and, worse, our economy will be paralyzed” and “(Obama economic advisor Larry) Summers is so tone-deaf that he makes Geithner seem like Bobby Kennedy.”  Paul Krugman lambastes the Obama/Geithner bank recovery plan, saying, “This plan will produce big gains for banks that didn’t actually need any help; it will, however, do little to reassure the public about banks that are seriously undercapitalized. And I fear that when the plan fails, as it almost surely will, the administration will have shot its bolt: it won’t be able to come back to Congress for a plan that might actually work. What an awful mess.” One bank executive says, “I don’t see how they are going to get the banks to sell (the questionable assets)” because they are likely to get a price far lower than the value on their books, and if the sale forces the recording of a substantial loss the bank may fail the legislation’s “stress test” and thus risk being taken over by the government. Obama and Geithner incorrectly assume that if only the banks could unload their “bad assets” they will start lending again and the economy will recover. The banks will however be more cautious than ever in their lending practices, logically not wanting to be hurt again by highly leveraged investments and subprime mortgages. At the same time, individuals will be less likely to borrow when they are trying to pay off debt—debt that appears more frightening with the values of their homes having declined and their jobs less secure. Businesses will be reluctant to add debt or expand their operations with a slow economy and the worry that accompanies the unknown… with the unknown being, “What scheme will Obama, Geithner, Bernanke, and Congress attempt next?” [1925, 2069]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Harconen
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2568



« Reply #149 on: July 29, 2009, 02:59:51 pm »

            Obama appears on CBS’ 60 Minutes to discuss the state of the economy. Despite the seriousness of the subject of the sour economy—and with millions of Americans unemployed—Obama laughs and chuckles several times during the interview. Asked about auto industry troubles, Obama laughingly states, “I just want to say that the only thing less popular than putting money into banks is putting money into the auto industry.” Obama’s lack of seriousness prompts CBS interviewer Steve Kroft to remark, “You’re sitting here. And you’re… you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he’s sitting there just making jokes about money…? ’ How do you deal with… I mean, explain… ” and asks Obama, “Are you punch-drunk?” Obama answers, “No, no. There’s gotta be a little gallows humor to get you through the day.” Referring to Wall Street investors who lost money, Obama says with a chuckle, as though he’s pleased that thousands of capitalists lost fortunes, “I mean there were a whole bunch of folks who, on paper, if you looked at quarterly reports, were wildly successful, selling derivatives that turned out to be… completely worthless.” In the interview, Obama also expresses confidence in his battered Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, and says, “Sorry buddy, you’ve still got the job.” [1924, 1927, 1934]

            On his weekly radio program Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accuses Obama of “exporting terrorism” and calls him a “poor ignorant person” who “should read a little bit so that he learns about… the reality of Latin America.” [1928]

            On March 23, the administration unveils a Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP) to buy up $1 trillion in “toxic assets” from the economic downturn. Under the program, the government would offer hundreds of billions in low-interest loans to encourage private investors to buy the troubled assets. The program would also allow the Treasury Secretary to seize a firm with the agreement of Obama and the Federal Reserve Board. The seized firm would essentially be in conservatorship, as in a bankruptcy. (It is unclear why that federal conservatorship program is needed when the firm could more easily be allowed to file bankruptcy.) [1914, 1915]

            Attorney Dr. Orly Taitz resubmits her case, Lightfoot v. Bowen, to the U.S. Supreme Court. She alleges that court clerk Danny Bickel mishandled the original filing and that many of the original documents she submitted in December were either not received or were kept from the Justices. Dr. Taitz also files a Motion for Leave to File Writ of Quo Warranto. (A quo warranto, Latin for “by what warrant?,” is essentially a legal request to compel a person to show by what authority or right he is exercising some power or authority, such as compelling an elected official to prove his is eligible to serve.) [2344, 2345]

            The stock market reacts favorably, if only temporarily, to the news that the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Department will pour more money into the banking system via the Public-Private Investment Program. The DJIA closes at 7,775.86 on March 23, up 497.48 points (6.8 per cent). Shortly after the announcement of the new program, Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) announces it would be willing to buy some of the “troubled assets” that will be available at bargain prices. On the up side, PIMCO may possibly make a substantial return on its investment. On the down side, the taxpayers will be lending money to the investors to buy the assets, and the taxpayers will share in any losses. (The government promises to put a floor on losses of only 10–20 per cent of what the investor pays for the assets.) Douglas Elliott, of the Brookings Institution, explains why the program can be a win-win for investors (but a “loss-loss” for the taxpayers). “For example, it could be rational for investors to offer 40 cents on the dollar, calculating that they would benefit sharply if the price went to 50 cents, while the government (the taxpayers) would absorb most of the losses if the value fell to 30 cents on the dollar.” PIMCO argues that the government should dump an additional $3 trillion into the economy. “Right now, the Fed has spent about $3 trillion. We believe there has [sic] to be further stimulus policies put in place,” said the CEO of PIMCO Asia, Ltd., Brian Baker. (The federal government does not have an additional $3 trillion to pump into the economy any more than it had the first $3 trillion, but PIMCO likely believes it would profit from the resulting federal borrowing and subsequent hyperinflation.) [1937, 1980]

            Although PIMCO may be eager to get involved in the federal program, many investors may shy away if they worry that making a profit off the purchase of troubled assets will result in the same abuse experienced by AIG executives (death threats, retroactive 90 per cent tax increases, public humiliation, ACORN tours of executives’ homes, and harsh media criticism and ridicule). Some of the assets have had willing buyers for months but many banks have been reluctant to sell them at greatly reduced prices; some banks have been waiting instead for a federal (that is, taxpayer-funded) program from which they might get a better return. By promising a bailout program, therefore, Obama and Geithner aggravated and extended the economic crisis by inadvertently encouraging the banks to hold on to their worst assets. (The bankers essentially thought, “Why sell ‘asset X’ for $50 million today when I can wait a while and possibly get $60 million from Obama and Geithner later?”) [1937, 1980]
Report Spam   Logged

Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Pages: 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 [10] 11 12 13 14   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy