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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Friday, September 26, 2008

Democrats add billions to stopgap bill

Washington Times
Say funding a raft of special projects would stimulate economy

Even as Congress moves to bail out Wall Street, congressional Democrats called Thursday for billions more in taxpayer dollars to be spent on private shipyards, a new Department of Homeland Security headquarters and hybrid car batteries - all to get the economy going.

As part of their massive new spending plan, Senate Democrats also proposed continuing a ban on U.S. oil shale, a resource Republicans said leaves hundreds of millions of barrels of oil off limits, just a day after the House agreed to lift a ban on oil shale exploration.

Those are all part of a $56.2 billion economic stimulus package Democrats in the Senate have crafted and are .... [more]

Away from Wall Street, Economists Question Basis of Paulson's Plan

Away from Wall Street, Economists Question Basis of Paulson's Plan
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.'s rescue plan rests on the government buying troubled mortgage securities.

The Bush administration's pitch for a sweeping bailout of the financial system has centered on two simple premises: that the economy could suffer a crippling downturn if action is not taken very quickly and that this action should consist of the government buying troubled mortgage securities from banks and other institutions.[continue]

Experts Unimpressed by Russian Military Capabilities
Despite ongoing tensions between Russia and the West, British analysts on Thursday played down concerns that the world may be on the brink of a new Cold War. While the invasion of Georgia might seem to be a triumph, one expert said, the performance of the Russian military against a much-smaller neighbor was an “absolute shambles” in Western terms. [continue]

Fiscal Conservative Sees Strong Opposition to Paulson’s Bailout Approach
- “There is overwhelming opposition to the original $700 billion Paulson plan among Republicans in Congress,” Rep. Mike Pence (D-Ind.) told CNSNews.com at the Capitol on Thursday. “I oppose the Paulson plan and though I believe it’s important for Congress to act in this situation, nationalizing every bad mortgage in America is not the answer," he said. Pence told CNSNews.com that opposition to that original plan among congressional Republicans was so great there was “no need’ to quantify it and said he hopes there will be enough votes to defeat such a plan if it reaches the House floor. [continue]

Conservative Republicans Say They’re Standing Up for Taxpayers
Democrats on Friday were blaming House Republicans and Republican presidential candidate John McCain for disrupting what Democrats claim was an almost-done deal on bailing out Wall Street. But reports in two mainstream newspapers on Friday suggest that House Republicans, in refusing to go along with a $700-billion bailout, are more in sync with the American public than Democrats and the Bush administration are. [continue]

EU: Sudan using white aircraft resembling UN's for Darfour attacks

World Tribune
LONDON — The European Union has charged that Sudan has been using aircraft mistaken for those of the United Nations in military operations in Darfour.

The EU said the Sudanese Air Force aircraft are the same color as those deployed by the UN-African Union mission in Darfour, or UNAMID, Middle East Newsline reported. They said Sudan has been flying both fixed- and rotary-wing white unmarked aircraft to avoid rebel surface-to-air missile strikes.

"It condemns the use of white..... [Read more]

Israel on high alert for mass-casualty strikes

World Tribune
TEL AVIV — Israel's military has been placed on high alert following an airline bomb scare and reports of other threats.

Officials said the intelligence community has warned of an imminent attack by either Al Qaida or Hizbullah against Israel. They said the Islamic insurgency could be planning the hijacking of an Israeli passenger jet that would then be crashed into an Israeli residential area.[Continue]

Syria has quietly deployed 10,000 troops along Lebanon border

World Tribune
NICOSIA — Syria has moved thousands of troops to its border with Lebanon.

Lebanese military sources said around 10,000 Syrian troops were stationed along the border with Lebanon. [Full story]

Statement by McCain on bailout talks, Obama, debate

World Tribune:
ARLINGTON, VA — U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today released the following statement on negotiations:

"John McCain's decision to suspend his campaign was made in the hopes that politics could be set aside to address our economic crisis.

"In response, Americans saw a familiar spectacle in Washington. At a moment of crisis that threatened the economic security of American families, Washington played the blame game rather than work together to find a solution that would avert a collapse of financial markets without squandering hundreds of billions of taxpayers' money to bailout bankers and brokers who bet their fortunes on unsafe lending practices. [Full story]


By Jack Kelly

"There are a lot of people to blame for the subprime mortgage crisis and this week's wall Street meltdown. Above all are the crooks and mismanagers who ran the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) - and their political enablers.

Fannie and Freddie were very good at greasing palms on Capitol Hill. Fannie spent $170 million on lobbying since 1998, and $19.3 million on political contributions since 1990.

The principal recipient of Fannie Mae's largesse was Sen. Chriss Dodd (D-CT), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Number two was Barack Hussein Obama.

Fannie bought most of its bad mortgages from Countrywide Financial, whose CEO, Angelo Mozilo, gave sweetheart loans to senior executives of Fannie Mae.

Sen. Dodd was also the second largest recipient in the Senate of contributions from Countrywide's PAC and its employees. The number one senator on Countrywide's list? Barack Hussein Obama."

Idols of Crowds

By Thomas Sowell
To find anything comparable to crowds' euphoric reactions to Obama, you would have to go back to old newsreels of German crowds in the 1930s, with their adulation of their fuehrer, Adolf Hitler. With hindsight, we can look back on those people with pity, knowing now how many of them would be led to their deaths by the man they idolized.

The exultation of the moment can exact a brutal price after that moment has passed. Nowhere is that truer than when it comes to picking the leader of a nation, which means entrusting that leader with the fate of millions today and of generations yet unborn.

A leader does not have to be evil to lead a country into a catastrophe. Inexperience and incompetence can create very similar results, perhaps even faster in a nuclear age, when even "a small country"-- as Senator Obama called Iran-- can wreak havoc anywhere in the world, when they are led by suicidal fanatics and supply nuclear weapons to terrorists who are likewise suicidal fanatics.

Barack Obama is truly a phenomenon of our time-- a presidential candidate who cannot cite a single serious accomplishment in his entire career, besides advancing his own career with rhetoric. [Continue..]



By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann

McCain has transformed a minority in both houses of Congress and a losing position in the polls into the key role in the bailout package, the main man around whom the final package will take shape. He arrived in Washington to find the Democrats working with the Bush Administration to pass an unpopular $700 billion bailout. The Democrats had already cut their deal with Bush. The Dems agreed to the price tag while Bush agreed to special aid to families facing foreclosure, equity for the taxpayers, and limits on executive compensation. But no sooner had McCain arrived than he derailed the deal.

Full Story

The Media's Double Standard
By Hugh Hewitt

"On a recent conference call with reporters, McCain/Palin senior strategist Steven Schmidt took the opportunity to blast the New York Times for the partisan extension of the Obama campaign it has become. Schmidt also challenged the media to investigate the ties between Barack Obama and terrorist William Ayers and new reports of connections between the serial smears of Sarah Palin and the Obama campaign hierarchy.

Schmidt's blast reminded the so called journalists that Obama has conducted this campaign behind a screen of mainstream media indifference to deeply troubling associations with dirty Chicago politics and radical Chicago activists.

The names Ayers, Rezko and Wright are widely known to be trouble for Obama but uninteresting to MSM. The double standard has never been more obvious, but with the decline of MSM's power and audience, never less important than in 2008."

Let's Get It Right

By Michael Reagan
Congress is running around in circles trying to figure out how to handle the hot potato the Bush Administration has handed them with its $700 billion bailout proposal, and how they can load it up with their own list of taxpayer-financed handouts.

If left to their own devices they'll turn it into a giant .... [CONTINUE...]

Thursday, September 25, 2008


“Barclays Bank in England purchased bankrupt Lehman Brothers Tuesday along with its Manhattan tower, saving nine thousand jobs. It’s humiliating. The United States of America is 232 years old and we’re having to go to mom for money.”
-- Argus Hamilton --


“Joe Biden isn’t backing down from his startling claim last week that raising taxes on the rich is the ‘patriotic’ thing to do. [In fact,] he upped the ante, thundering that he also has Jesus in his corner. ‘Catholic social doctrine as I was taught it is, you take care of people who need the help the most,’ Mr. Biden preached to a group of union supporters... We won’t get into a theological debate with Mr. Biden, except to say that Biblical tax rates tended to run around 10%, not the 39.6%-plus that Barack Obama’s tax plan calls for. As for patriotism, maybe the young Joe Biden missed school the day the Boston Tea Party was being taught. There’s also the point that if you want to finance a war, you need a strong enough economy to throw off the tax revenues to pay for it. As we learned in the 1980s under Reagan, lower taxes that help an economy grow can finance a defense buildup that helps win the Cold War. By that standard, cuts in marginal income tax rates deserve to be called patriotic. Regarding taxes and social justice, the issue is whether the high taxes that Mr. Biden favors promote economic growth and prosperity, not least for America’s poorest citizens. There he doesn’t have evidence on his side. Studies from around the world, including the annual Wall Street Journal-Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom, conclusively indicate that countries that keep taxes low tend to have the least amount of poverty. As for fairness, we’d note that today the top 1% of taxpayers pay twice as large a share of income taxes (39%) at a 35% rate than they did in 1980, when they were taxed at a rate of 70% yet paid only 19% of income taxes. In that sense, the tax code is more ‘progressive’ now. By the way, Mr. Biden and his wife recently released their tax returns, and they reported an average of $380, or 0.2% of their income, in annual charitable contributions over a 10-year period. The national average was about 2% of income.” —The Wall Street Journal


“Crisis is the friend of the State. The politicians are desperate to be seen as ‘showing leadership,’ so we’re surely in for a new round of government interventions.” —John Stossel


[A]s lawmakers debate buying up hundreds of billions in assets, they should realize that the government’s aggressive meddling in financial decision-making is what got our economy into this mess in the first place. The long-term answer isn’t more federal control, it’s a return to free-market principles.” —Ed Feulner

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
-- Thomas Jefferson --


“During decades of researching racial and ethnic groups in countries around the world—with special attention to those who began in poverty and then rose to prosperity—I have yet to find one so preoccupied with tribalistic identity as to want to maintain solidarity with all members of their group, regardless of what they do or how they do it. Any group that rises has to have norms, and that means repudiating those who violate those norms, if you are serious. Blind tribalism means letting the lowest common denominator determine the norms and the fate of the whole group. There was a time when most blacks, like most of the Irish or the Jews, understood this common sense. But that was before the romanticizing of identity took over, beginning in the 1960s... The unanswered question is why an approach with a proven track record, not only in American society but in various other countries around the world, has been superseded by a philosophy of tribal identity overriding issues of behavior and performance. Part of the problem is the ‘multicultural’ ideology that says all cultures are equally valid. It is hard even to know what that means, much less take it seriously as a guide to living in the real world.” —Thomas Sowell


“Like it or not, the perception is growing that Team Obama is focusing on [Sarah] Palin as a clueless hockey mom from way up north and on [John] McCain as an old fogy. But that emphasis on sex and age doesn’t become a moralist, especially given Obama’s own siren warnings that his opponents might resort to racial attacks against him. Then there were Obama’s once-lofty progressive principles. Yet no Northern Democratic liberal like Obama has won the presidency in a half-century. So everyone knew that Obama sooner or later had to move to the center in the general election to win over independents. For the hope-and-change candidate, those natural readjustments now appear insincere and opportunistic—especially given that he had to move so far from the left to get to the middle. On campaign-finance reform, FISA, NAFTA, abortion, capital punishment, guns, Iran, Iraq, the surge, and drilling offshore, Obama has fudged on his earlier positions in the normal way of savvy pragmatists—but not in a manner befitting angelic idealists. The new Obama probably will recover from his temporary setback in the polls. But right now his problem is that disappointed independent voters are catching on that this saintly savior is all too human.” —Victor Davis Hanson


“One has to wonder just how much more Democrats will milk class-warfare politics before people wake up to their deception. No matter what economic problems we face, Democrats always find a way to blame them on the ‘rich’ and the Bush tax cuts. Why? Because it rallies their base and—they hope—will alienate enough others against evil Bush Republicans to give Democrats a prohibitive advantage on domestic issues. Joe Biden even blamed the current mortgage crisis on the Bush tax cuts. He said: ‘We should try to correct the problems that caused this... [which are] the profligate tax cuts to the very, very wealthy that John [McCain] wants to continue.’ Never mind that low- and middle-income earners received greater tax rate reductions than the highest-income earners; that doesn’t fit within the Democrats’ class-envy template. Forget the reckless legislation forcing financial institutions to lend money to people who probably couldn’t pay it back—to satisfy the liberals’ obsession with looking compassionate and pandering to minorities. Forget that Obama was the second-highest recipient of campaign cash from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (according to the Center for Responsive Politics), cash aimed at keeping congressional regulators off their backs... Despite the Democrats’ destructive practice of blaming every economic woe—from Enron to rising oil prices—on the Bush tax cuts, the tax cuts had nothing to do with those problems, including the mortgage crisis.” —David Limbaugh


“With freedom comes responsibility. Those who would have self-government must, by definition, govern themselves. Self-government only works when people act responsibly and fulfill their obligations. When people abuse these freedoms to enrich themselves at the expense of others, then the public will demand the government to step in. That is how government grows, and how freedom is diminished. The prospect of government intervention should be terrifying to corporate leaders. For too long many of them viewed it as a safety net. ...[A]fter the recent federal bailouts, some corporate officers are likely considering seeking the same bailout. As my grandmother was fond of saying, if you reward bad behavior all you are going to get is more bad behavior. Reckless and irresponsible individuals like those at the companies mentioned above give decent corporate managers a bad name. When financial meltdowns occur, the public’s outrage drives government to take over part of the private sector. When the government does so, it replaces irresponsible executives with unaccountable bureaucrats. That takes us out of the frying pan and into the fire.” —Ken Blackwell


“The configuration of the financial hurricane will become clear soon enough. The sad thing is that the free market will likely get a disproportionate share of the blame, finding its wrists more tightly shackled if the bloodthirsty critics of free enterprise gain enough power in Washington. Whenever markets mess up, control freaks blame it on too much freedom, on undue latitude for plungers and gamblers and similar riff-raff, when the blame properly rests with the gambling instinct itself, which is a part of human nature. If it weren’t, and thanks goodness it is, the first man to peek outside the cave and see the possibilities of a home on the hillside would never have tried it. ‘Too much risk!’ he would have muttered (in caveman-ese). Nothing ever gets done without risk. Risk entails the possibility of failure, but also of growth and gain. If you don’t want growth, you shun risk. Fortunately, capitalists and entrepreneurs constantly seek growth. They gamble. They stick out their necks, sometimes fatally.” —William Murchison


“[T]he House of Representatives approved a bill to allow offshore oil drilling, but nearly all the Republicans voted against it... It isn’t a drilling bill, it’s an anti-drilling bill. If it becomes law, nearly all the oil and gas in the Outer Continental Shelf would be off-limits forever... This bill permanently bans all drilling within 50 miles of the US coast, which just happens to be where most of the recoverable oil and gas reserves are. It permits drilling between 50 and 100 miles out only if the adjoining states agree - which they won’t, since the bill denies them any share in the royalties the oil companies would have to pay, thereby eliminating any financial incentive for a state to say yes. Virtually all the oil off the California coast and beneath the Eastern Gulf of Mexico would be locked up for good. Don’t be fooled: The only offshore drilling this bill really opens the door to would have to be 100 miles or more out to sea, where the oil companies have no infrastructure... According to the Interior Department, the offshore areas where drilling is restricted contain more than 19 billion barrels—that’s equal to 30 years of current imports from Saudi Arabia. The bill would deny Americans access to as much as nine-tenths of that oil. A good deal? I don’t think so.” —Jeff Jacoby

No Time to Dither

By Hugh Hewitt

The Pelosi-Reid Democrats who control Congress dithered on Monday--and the markets fell and oil skyrocketed. As a result, nervous investors saw a replay of much of what has distinguished Washington, D.C. during the 110th Congress.

The economy and the people who work in it are deeply troubled by continued political posturing, whether on the real estate crisis or the refusal to authorize real exploration offshore on the outer continental shelf. Democrats are counting on fear and confusion to cloud voters minds, but they seem to underestimate the anger that is growing in the heartland at their indifference to real solutions to real problems.

Even if the Democrats wake up to the peril in the markets, it seems that the radical environmentalist special interests will keep them from doing anything to add to the domestic supply of oil.

Voters should remember in November the Democratic indifference to their issues in September.

What Happened to Market Discipline?

By John Stossel

Barack Obama says, "[Today's economic problems are] a stark reminder of the failures of ... an economic philosophy that sees any regulation at all as unwise and unnecessary".

What? Does that mean that until last week the Bush administration embraced the free market? Nonsense. Governments at all levels have regulated and subsidized the housing and financial industries for years. Nothing changed under President Bush.

The government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were created precisely to interfere with the housing and mortgage markets. In effect, Freddie and Fannie diverted money to people who wouldn't have qualified for mortgages in a real private market.

Had actual private companies performed these activities, they would have been subject to market checks. But they were not. The results were predictable.

Now that it's all tumbling down, the politicians and pundits blame the free market.

It's not simply misunderstanding. It's demagoguery by ........ [read on]

Scaring Us to Death

By Walter E. Williams
There is a H.L. Mencken quotation that captures the essence of this year's politics: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." The media, economic "experts" and both presidential candidates are making bad-talking our economy key features of their campaign messages. For politicians and their hangers-on, keeping the populace alarmed is a strategy to seize more control over our lives. It's so important that Senator John McCain took his economic adviser, former Senator Phil Gramm, to the woodshed for saying that America had "become a nation of whiners" and described the current slowdown as a "mental recession." Had Senator Gramm added that economically today's Americans are better off than at any time in our history, he might have lost his job altogether.

Things are not nearly as gloomy as the pundits say. Most of today's economic problems, whether it's energy, health care costs, financial problems, budget deficits or national debt, are caused by policies pursued by the White House and Congress. As my colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell suggested in a recent column, we don't look to arsonists to put out fires that they've created; neither should we look to Congress to solve the problems they've created........ [read more]

A Political "Solution": Part II

By Thomas Sowell:

Estimates of how much money a government program will cost are notoriously unreliable. Estimates of the cost of the current bailout in the financial markets run into the hundreds of billions of dollars, and some say it may reach or exceed a trillion.

The Wall Street Journal, which has for years been sounding the alarm about the riskiness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, recently cited Senator Christopher Dodd along with Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Barney Frank among those on Capitol Hill who have been "shilling" for these financial institutions, downplaying the risks and opposing attempts to restrict their free-wheeling role in the mortgage market.

As recently as July of this year, Senator Dodd declared Fannie Mae and Freddie "fundamentally strong" and said there is no need for "panicking" about them. But now that the chickens have come home to roost, Senator Dodd wants to be sure to get some goodies from the rescue legislation to pass out to people likely to vote for him....... [Read more of part II]

[Read part I here.]

What Should Be Done About the Financial Markets?
by Stuart M. Butler, Ph.D., Alison Acosta Fraser, and James L. Gattuso

The widening and accelerating turmoil in the world’s financial markets is so severe that it threatens gridlock throughout the economy. That in turn threatens dislocation and enormous damage to the economy, resulting in a continuing torrent of bankruptcies and job losses in otherwise sound sectors.

As a general principle, the federal government should not intervene to stave off the consequences of unwise business decisions—even when those decisions are influenced by bad incentives or regulations emanating from the government. Bailing out firms that have miscalculated in the market shoulders taxpayers with costs that should be borne instead by those who made the mistakes. And any indication from government that it......


The other day Jed Babbin wrote about the Dangers in the Bailout, and said: "There are two great dangers in the president’s proposal to bail out the financial industry.

One is that the government may interfere too much in our market economy, creating long-term problems larger than those that have now destabilized our financial system. The other is that President Bush will pay too high a price on other issues to get his proposals through Congress this week.

There is only one certainty: whatever the government does will cost taxpayers vastly more than anyone will now admit.

Some Congressional conservatives are cautioning against doing too much too fast. In a statement issued Saturday, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind) said, “Congress should act, but should act in a way that protects the integrity of our free market and protects the American taxpayer from more debt and higher taxes. To have the freedom to succeed, we must preserve the freedom to fail. Any solution to our present crisis must preserve our essential economic freedom.”

Pence and like-minded conservatives are right. Doing too much too fast is how the government creates big problems by solving smaller ones."

Read all of his column here.

Today he follows it up by saying we need to stop the stampede. In his current column he writes: "President Bush has asked for urgent action on his proposal that would, for two years, enable the Secretary of the Treasury to contract for, purchase and resell up to $700 billion of “…mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States.”

But in congressional testimony earlier yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said, “We don’t really know what the long-term cost or benefit may be.”

There are many problems with the president’s proposal, but the one substantive problem Bernanke admitted overshadows all political issues. If we don’t know if it will work, shouldn’t less drastic measures be taken? Conservatives need to limit the government’s action and give the markets a chance to heal themselves. [Bold emphasis mine - HH]

"It is important also to consider, that the surest means of avoiding war is to be prepared for it in peace." -- Joseph Story

Wednesday, September 24, 2008



The administration's vast bailout plan is meeting resistance this week, with Democrats calling for a more populist plan, Sen. John McCain and others on Capitol Hill calling for more congressional oversight of these proposed new powers for Treasury, and some conservatives and economists of all stripes questioning the efficacy of Paulson's plan, if not the broad idea of a bailout.

1. The mood of the day in Washington is panic and fear. Lawmakers in meetings with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke left ashen-faced when warned about the potential course of the U.S. economy absent a massive bailout. Those in the know keep hushed tones and insist "trust us," while laymen—basically everyone in Congress and the press—fear the unspeakable catastrophe around the corner.

2. Emboldened Democrats—including Sen. Barack Obama—are forcefully pushing an unapologetically interventionist line, stating repeatedly, in as clear terms as possible, that capitalism is the problem and government is the solution. It's the sort of stark rhetoric Democrats have mostly avoided for the past 12 years, but they feel they can get away with in the light of the Republican administration's accelerating march towards nationalizing the financial sector.

3. Congressional Republicans and conservatives, meanwhile, are almost completely at a loss. Republicans are still finding their footing after denying for months that the economy is endangered. Frantic behind closed doors, they seem unable to propose any solution that approaches the magnitude of the problem. Promising more drilling, capital-gains-tax cuts, and full business expensing comes across as laughable—the same things the GOP was pushing while saying the economy was strong.

4. At the presidential level, it's not only that McCain and Palin lack credentials and knowledge about economics, but McCain also lacks a real rudder. As the GOP nominee, he has taken up free-market talk, but does he really have any roots in a philosophy? Does Palin have the clout or the know-how to guide McCain? The answer to both questions is probably not.

5. When Republicans highlight the Democratic big-government programs that contributed to the mess—Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act directing private capital in low-income housing—they lack conviction and credibility, having long been champions of policies such as IRAs and 401(k)'s driving money to Wall Street, or the home-mortgage interest deduction and the "ownership society."

6. The closest conservative talk has come to hitting on more fundamental problems of government's masterminding the economy has been a proposal—pushed by House conservatives under the auspices of the Republican Study Committee—to roll back the Federal Reserve's mission, leaving it only one charge: battling inflation. Some conservatives have critiqued "easy money."

7. Democrats, meanwhile, confront the threat of moral hazard by calling for stricter regulation and other expansions of government power. Control over CEO pay is just the most populist of the new regulations Democrats want to tack onto the bailout.

8. There is no Democratic willpower to torpedo this bailout. Right now, it appears the majority will simply add as much as they think they can get away with, and pass Paulson's plan. But Democrats also are very wary about passing a massive corporate bailout for which Republicans can attack them. In both chambers, they will work to make sure they have GOP support, but the minority may have the political upper hand here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


“[Barack] Obama... blamed the shocking new round of subprime-related bankruptcies on the free-market system, and specifically the ‘trickle-down’ economics of the Bush administration, which he tried to gig opponent John McCain for wanting to extend. But it was the Clinton administration, obsessed with multiculturalism, that dictated where mortgage lenders could lend, and originally helped create the market for the high-risk subprime loans now infecting like a retrovirus the balance sheets of many of Wall Street’s most revered institutions. Tough new regulations forced lenders into high-risk areas where they had no choice but to lower lending standards to make the loans that sound business practices had previously guarded against making. It was either that or face stiff government penalties. The untold story in this whole national crisis is that President Clinton put on steroids the Community Redevelopment Act, a well-intended Carter-era law designed to encourage minority homeownership. And in so doing, he helped create the market for the risky subprime loans that he and Democrats now decry as not only greedy but ‘predatory.’ Yes, the market was fueled by greed and overleveraging in the secondary market for subprimes, vis-a-vis mortgaged-backed securities traded on Wall Street. But the seed was planted in the ‘90s by Clinton and his social engineers.”

—Investor’s Business Daily

Republicans Suspect Democrats May Punt Oil Drilling Ban Past Election
Senior Republican congressional aides told CNSNews.com they believe the Democratic leadership may allow the ban on new offshore oil drilling leases to expire at the end of this month while planning to renew it early next year if they manage to win the White House and maintain control of Congress. That would allow them to avoid a potentially politically damaging showdown over offshore drilling in the month leading up to the November election. Such a tactic could succeed, the Republicans say, because no new drilling leases could be auctioned in intervening time.

Democrats Want Additions to $700 Billion Financial Bailout Package
As the Bush administration presses for quick congressional action on a $700-billion bailout package for financial institutions that made bad loans, Democrats insist that the plan must also help struggling people stay in the homes they can no longer afford. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson indicated that while mortgage relief is important, it shouldn't be part of the bailout package.

Political lesson for UMass chaplain - The Boston Globe
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst hardly has a reputation as a hotbed of political activism. But now a chaplain's electioneering has landed the flagship campus squarely on the partisan fault line.

News that a UMass chaplain had urged students to campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama - and told them volunteering could earn them course credit - ricocheted through the.....


Student, car debt quietly added to bailout plan, credit cards and possibly foreign banks all could be part of the bailout package.

In the dark of night over the weekend when most people were snoozing, the Treasury dramatically expanded its bailout plan to include buying student loans, car loans, credit card debt and any other "troubled" assets held by banks.

A Monday counterproposal by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd included such consumer loans as well as mortgages, just as the Treasury's draft did Saturday night.

"The costs of the bailout will be significantly higher than originally considered or acknowledged," said Joshua Rosner, managing director of Graham Fisher & Co., who charged that the Treasury and Federal Reserve have not been "forthright" about the ultimate cost to the public. The plan gives Treasury the discretion to buy the non-mortgage loans and securities in consultation with the Fed.

Conservatives cited the move as a sign that the massive plan to take over bad mortgage debt already is opening the door to further government bailouts.

"Such a large takeover by the government will surely be accompanied by adverse, unintended consequences," said Pat Toomey, president of the Club for Growth, a conservative advocacy group. "Already, other companies and industries are lining up at government's door asking for their own bailout."

Read more at the Washington Times.

‘Country First’ Veterans’ Group Seeking Like-Minded Candidates
Veterans who support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, including the Bush administration’s surge strategy, are raising money for veterans-turned-congressional candidates who share their view that the wars must be won. More.

Liberals Making ‘Deregulation’ A Dirty Word
Some people argue that “deregulation” caused the problems on Wall Street, while others say just the opposite: They blame misguided federal intervention for encouraging banks to lend money to unqualified borrowers. The Barack Obama campaign – and one of the labor unions that supports it – wants Americans to equate “deregulation” with failure. The Obama campaign is releasing a new political ad that blames the Wall Street crisis on “Bush-McCain” policies. “McCain wants to do the same to health care,” the Obama ad says. More.

Asinine item of the day

Posted at Lake Minnetonka Liberty:

How to lose friends and alienate people, Hurricane Ike edition: Teacher stocks up on free supplies meant for hurricane victims, brags about it on blog.

Read more.

Real crisis is loss of American principles

By Star Parker
My sense is that the attention that most Americans are paying as the power brokers of our government re-mold our future is not too deep.

Sure, we're watching to see which Wall Street firm emerges as the basket case du jour.

And the 50 percent or so of us who own stocks in some......

George Obama, Start Packing

By Dinesh D'Souza
So isn't it interesting that we keep hearing about Sarah Palin's peccadilloes while the major media continues to ignore the George Obama scandal? Here is a guy living in Third World poverty and his half-brother is the leading candidate to become the next president of the United States. Are the networks and major newspapers so exhilarated at the prospect of an African American president that they have become cheerleaders for the Obama campaign? Fortunately the McCain campaign is making the media an issue, and I hope the American people are smart enough to see through the news charade.

Here are the facts about George Obama. He’s in his.......

A World Without America

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Q. What do Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Barack Obama have in common?

A. The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Democratic candidate for president of the United States of America have both chosen to spend much of their lives in the company of people who are virulently hostile to this country. At least some of them seek to bring about, as Ahmadinejad puts it, a “world without America.”

As it happens, Ahmadinejad will ....

Violent Men at Center of "Troopergate"

By Amanda Carpenter
The more we find about “Troopergate” the more justified Sarah Palin seems in firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

The increased media attention to the controversy has revealed both men at the center of the inquiry have disturbing records of physical abuse against their family members.

Monegan is the man who Democrats believe GOP vice......

Liberals Warnings About Obama Loss May Prove Self-Fulfilling

By Dennis Prager
If Barack Obama loses the 2008 election, liberal hell will break loose.

Seven weeks before the 2008 presidential election, liberals are warning America that if Barack Obama loses, it is because Americans are racist. Of course, that this means that Democrats (and independents) are racist, since Republicans will vote Republican regardless of the race of the Democrat, is an irony apparently lost on the Democrats making these charges.

That an Obama loss will be due to racism is becoming.......


I was talking to a friend of mine's little girl, and she said she wanted to be President some day.

Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, 'If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?'

She replied, 'I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people.'

'Wow - what a worthy goal.' I told her, 'You don't have to wait until you're President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I'll pay you $50. Then I'll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food or a new house.'

She thought that over for a few seconds 'cause she's only 6. And while her Mom glared at me, the little girl looked me straight in the eye and asked, 'Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?'

And I said, 'Welcome to the Republican Party.'

Her folks still aren't talking to me.


Al Franken and Taxes


Whatever is left of the economy after the current round of crisis interventions by the Fed could go down the drain if Obama is elected and carries out his plans for sharp increases in taxation. Even if Obama does not understand the linkage, most Americans do and will turn sharply against Obama's tax plans if McCain hammers away at the risk they pose for us all.

During the Great Depression, Congress raised taxes sharply in the ..... [Read more]

Coming Economic Crisis

By Paul Weyrich
Judging from what I can tell of the current financial and economic woes of the nation, I am beginning to believe that this Presidential election may be a "no-win" proposition - the loser might very well be the lucky one, indeed.

We always will have our economic downturns. They basically are cyclical and we've suffered through many since......

FBI investigating companies at heart of meltdown

Sources say the FBI is investigating potential fraud by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, and AIG.

My prediction is that not much will come from any investigating into Freddie and Fannie as the tentacles run too deep. When the government screws up, they get a pass and the taxpayers have to bend over.

Thank you. May we have another?

America Beyond the Point of No Return

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
--  George Bernard Shaw --

By Doug Patton:
A half century ago, Russian-born writer Ayn Rand warned about the creeping socialism she saw in America even then. In her thousand-page tome, “Atlas Shrugged,” Rand told the story of John Galt, a shadowy figure who is so fed up with high taxes, burdensome regulations and interference from government, he secretly recruits the best and brightest of American capitalism — the captains of industry — to withdraw from society to the mountains of Colorado, leaving the growing welfare state without any visible means of support.

Imagine what Ayn Rand would say about the federal government coughing up quantities of cash even career bureaucrats didn’t talk about in the 1950s; all to bail out quasi-government entities whose overseers were complicit in the failures of those very institutions.

Republicans and Democrats alike share the blame for this mess. It was largely created out ....... [Continue reading]

A Political "Solution"

By Thomas Sowell
Who was it who said, "crack-brained meddling by the authorities" can "aggravate an existing crisis"? Ronald Reagan? Milton Friedman? Adam Smith? Not even close. It was Karl Marx. Unlike most leftists today, Marx studied economics.

Is the current financial crisis going to lead to crack-brained meddling or to some rational actions? Predicting what politicians are going to do is ......

"The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it."

-- James Madison --

Monday, September 22, 2008



The Wall Street mess now takes center stage in the presidential race. With company after company biting the dust, can John McCain survive as the representative of the incumbent party?

So far, McCain has focused on a populist criticism of Wall Street and its irresponsibility, firing away at corporate greed and lending practices.

But he has to fuse the issues of the economy and taxes -- to show how Barack Obama's tax proposals would lead to a catastrophic implosion of the nation's capital base.

With the top Wall Street houses crashing for a want of capital, how can Obama justify an increase, and perhaps a doubling, of the capital-gains tax?

Obama has already said he might drop his tax hikes if............... Read on.

The Question of Taxes
—Michael Medved

While telling ABC higher taxes were "patriotic," Joe Biden repeated Democratic claims that Obama's proposed tax hikes meant wealthy people are "still going to pay less taxes than they did under Reagan."

In truth, the Reagan presidency twenty years ago ended with a top marginal rate of 28percent; today it's 35 percent; Obama would raise it to 39.6 percent. The Democrats would only provide "less taxes than Reagan" if you focus on the Gipper's first months in the White House--before he radically lowered rates. After inheriting a top rate of 70 percent, Reagan slashed it several times to produce the '80s boom. The Obama tax plan shouldn't be associated with Reagan but with Carter--who presided over a dysfunctional economy even worse than today?s troubles. Dishonest references to Reaganomics dishonors a great president, and demonstrate the Democrats' shameless mendacity."


“Senator Biden must think America’s gun owners are dumber than rocks,” said Alan Gottlieb, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms chairman. “Here is a man who has supported every restrictive gun control and gun ban law that ever landed on his desk, suddenly telling Virginia residents that he’s a gun owner, and very pro-gun.
Read more at Bob McCarty Writes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Exclusive: Foreign banks may get help
By Mike Allen
In a change from the original proposal sent to Capitol Hill, foreign-based banks with big U.S. operations could qualify for the Treasury Department’s mortgage bailout, according to the fine print of an administration statement Saturday night.

The theory, according to a participant in the negotiations, is that if the goal is to solve a liquidity crisis, it makes no sense to exclude banks that do a lot of lending in the United States.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson confirmed the change on......

Obama adviser spun Enron-like accounting scandal

Former Fannie Mae CEO to repay millions in bonuses, stock options
By Jerome R. Corsi

NEW YORK – Former Clinton administration budget adviser and current Obama housing adviser Franklin Raines perpetrated an Enron-like accounting scandal as chief executive officer of Fannie Mae, resulting in his receiving millions in compensation over a six-year period.

Raines and two other top Fannie Mae executives agreed to pay $24.7 million, including a $2 million fine, to settle a civil lawsuit filed in December 2006. It accused Raines and the two other executives of manipulating Fannie Mae earnings, allowing executives to pocket hundreds of millions in bonuses from 1998 to 2004, according to the Associated Press.

The AP also reported Raines was forced to give up Fannie Mae stock options valued at $15.6 million as part of the settlement.......

Guess again who's to blame for U.S. mortgage meltdown

Analysts point not to greed, but to social activist politics
By Drew Zahn

While many pundits are pointing to corporate greed and a lack of government regulation as the cause for the American mortgage and financial crisis, some analysts are saying it wasn't too little government intervention that cased the mortgage meltdown, but too much, in the form of activists compelling the government to pressure Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into unsound – though politically correct – lending practices.

"Home mortgages have been a political piñata for many decades," writes Stan J. Liebowitz, economics professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, in a chapter of his forthcoming book, Housing America: Building out of a Crisis.

Liebowitz puts forward an explanation that he admits is ......

The coming 1-world currency

Some set 2010 as date for monetary union
The emergence of an Islamic single currency among these oil-rich Middle Eastern countries marks a significant step in the emerging worldwide movement to abandon national currencies in favor of regional currencies, along the model where the EU states have abandoned their national currencies in favor of the European Central Bank and the euro..........

Obama ad goes to war with abortion survivor

Video slams woman for 'despicable lie'
By Drew Zahn

In the increasing flurry of this election season's negative political ads, the Barack Obama campaign produced a TV commercial that not only attacks Republican rival John McCain, but also takes aim at an unusual target: a 31-year-old woman who was born alive after her mother's botched abortion.
Continue reading.

Palin family 'incest' joked about on NBC

'Saturday Night Live' skit suggests husband of VP candidate has sex with own daughters
By Joe Kovacs

A week after a high-profile send-up of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live," the NBC comedy show returned to making fun of the Alaskan governor in a skit where New York Times reporters sought to probe the possibility Palin's husband was having sex with the couple's own daughters.......

Wow. This is some really funny stuff.

Lehman Bros: The Environmentalist Connection
by Iain Murray

"Lehman Bros, like Enron, was heavily invested in environmentalism, lobbying hard for carbon trading. This fascination with trading in artificial products of no real value is something Wall Street should steer clear of." Continue reading.


Lehman bankruptcy: In capitalism, failure is not a dirty word
Posted by John Berlau

My reaction to Lehman Brothers’ declaring of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the refusal of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and others to take extraordinary Bear Stearns-like measures for the government to prop the firm up can be summed up in three words: It’s about time!

Business failure is not only a permissible outcome of capitalism, it’s a necessary........


Clinton Pressure to Promote Affordable Housing Led to Mortgage Meltdown

By Hans Bader

The current mortgage crisis came about in large part because of Clinton-era government pressure on lenders to make risky loans in order to......

Networks Help Obama Bridge Gap on Earmarks

Journalists race to 'check' Palin claims, ignore Democrats' billion dollars in earmarks.
By Julia A. Seymour
Business & Media Institute

When Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin claimed she defeated the infamous Alaskan “Bridge to Nowhere” earmark, the Democratic nominees and network, cable and print journalists rushed to “fact check” her statement..........

CNBC Analysts: Wall Street Bailouts Mean 'Socialism,' 'Communists'

'Mad Money' host Cramer says government has engaged in Marxist philosophies after AIG bailout.

By Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute

The federal government’s intervention and prevention of the collapse of American International Group (AIG) represents an acceptance of Marxist philosophies, according to some CNBC analysts...............