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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

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Geithner Plan Surfaces
The long wait for the Obama administration to act on the banking crisis ended Monday when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s plan to solve the banking crisis surfaced. Geithner’s plan is a highly complex version of what then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson proposed (and then abandoned) last fall. And it comes just a week after the Federal Reserve acted in apparent frustration at the Obama administration’s inaction.

Geithner’s plan creates a.........

The Dems' AIG Bonus Scam.

By Fred J. Eckert
The Democratic Congress put on quite a show for us last week (and this week may top last). Read the Full Story Here

Did Natasha Richardson Have to Die?

By Dr. Lee Hieb

Lack of medevac and shock-trauma treatment in government-run medicine may have played a part in the tragedy. Read more.


Published on DickMorris.com on March 28, 2009
President Obama's glib assertion that his reduction in tax deductions will not reduce donations is absurd. His pathetic defense at his press conference - that he would still give a $100 dollar check to charity even if he only got $11 less of tax deduction from it was both disingenuous and beside the point. And his comment that his reduced deduction would only impact one or two percent of the nation misses the point that it is these folks who are doing almost half of the donating. In 2006, the most recent year for which data is available, four million taxpayers had.....

Friday, March 27, 2009

Congress' financial mess

By Walter Williams
News media people, often plagued with little understanding, fail miserably in their duty to inform the public. This is particularly evident in their reporting on the current financial meltdown, suggesting it was caused by deregulation and free markets.

Professor David Henderson, research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, writes about regulation in "Are We Ailing From Too Much Deregulation?" in Cato Policy Report (November/December 2008). The Federal Register, which lists new regulations, annually averaged 72,844 pages between 1977 and 1980. During the Reagan years, the average fell to 54,335. During the Bush I years, they rose to 59,527, to 71,590 during the Clinton years and rose to a record of 75,526 during the Bush II years. Employees in government regulatory agencies grew from 146,139 in 1980 to 238,351 in 2007, a 63 percent increase. In the banking and finance industries, regulatory spending between 1980 and 2007 almost tripled, rising from $725 million to $2.07 billion. So here's my question: What are we to make of congressmen, talking heads and news media people who tell us the financial meltdown is a result of deregulation and free markets? Are they ignorant, stupid or venal? More.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Jay Leno:

People made a big deal out of the fact this is the first time a sitting president has done a late-night show. We tried to have other presidents on, but President Bush went to bed every night at 9:00. And President Clinton always seemed to have other late-night plans.

More problems for AIG: It turns out that the bonus money was actually $218 million, not $165 million as originally reported. AIG says they misplaced $53 million in bonus money. Today Sen. Chris Dodd said, "You mean that wasn't a campaign contribution?"

Senator Chris Dodd -- or 'Chris Dodge,' as they're calling him now -- after first denying it, now admits he's the one who eliminated the provision in the stimulus package that outlawed excessive bonuses. And coincidentally, he just happened to receive $280,000 from AIG in campaign contributions. What are the odds of that?

Congress is now investigating the special treatment that "Senator Dodge" ... received from Countrywide Mortgage for a couple of mortgages. Senator Dodd has contended he didn't know he was getting special rates on the mortgages. And, really, to be fair, how would the Senate chairman of the banking committee have any idea what the normal lending rate would be?

"One of the things that concerns me about Obama's presidency is that every time he opens his yap, he sounds so darn naive. Just recently, he spoke about reaching out to moderates in the ranks of the Taliban. A moderate in that society is a cretin who wants to murder Christians, Jews and any woman who refuses to wrap herself in a bed sheet before leaving the house, but who draws the line at beheading his victims for Al-Jazeera's TV cameras."

--columnist Burt Prelutsky

"[Obama] might be 'a fairly sensitive and compassionate man.' Alternatively, he could be a mean, self-absorbed S.O.B. who regards anyone other than himself as intellectually disabled. The truth is we don't know, because in the course of the presidential campaign the press declined to do even the most elementary due diligence on him. And, like Congress with the stimulus, the electorate didn't bother to find out what's in there before they voted for it."

--columnist Mark Steyn

"There should be no hurdles to restoring freedom. But when Congress attempts to restrict it, the hurdle should be high, if not impossible to clear. It's chilling to watch as men with authority and influence prefer to instead crash their way through. The power to tax is the power to destroy, as is the power to regulate and limit choices. These powers should be wielded judiciously, and only within a system that safeguards against excess and demands accountability. The overly ambitious and unelected can't be allowed to govern by walking over the governed."

--Investor's Business Daily

"The main vice of capitalism is the uneven distribution of prosperity. The main vice of socialism is the even distribution of misery."

-- Winston Churchill

"We can recall that the founders of our country intended the role of government to protect our lives and property, not violate them. And that in times when we have respected that proper use of government, our country has prospered."

--columnist Star Parker

"This whole AIG fiasco -- where the entire political class is suddenly screaming over bonuses paid to derivative traders in AIG's financial-products division -- is just a complete farce. What it really shows is how the government has completely bungled the AIG takeover. Blame the Bush administration and the Obama administration. It also shows, once again, why the government shouldn't run anything, because it cannot run anything."

--economist Lawrence Kudlow

"[Treasury] Secretary Geithner wants AIG and executives at other companies that receive tax dollars to be paid according to performance. That is a standard most of us would like to see applied to Congress, which enjoys annual pay increases no matter how much incompetence, malfeasance and misfeasance it demonstrates."

 --columnist Cal Thomas

AMERICA'S enemies smell blood and it's type "O."

All new administrations stumble a bit as they seek their footing. But President Obama's foreign-policy botches have set new records for instant incompetence.

Contrary to left-wing myths, I wasn't a fan of the Bush administration. (I called for Donald Rumsfeld to get the boot in mid-2001.) But fair's fair. Despite his many faults, Bush sought to do good. Obama just wants to look good.

Vice President Dick Cheney was arrogant. Vice President Joe Biden is arrogant and stupid. Take your pick.

Don't worry about the new administration's ideology. Worry about its terrifying naivete.

Consider a sampling of the goofs O and his crew have made in just two months:  Read on.

George Will : Political Malfeasance and the Financial Meltdown
WASHINGTON -- With the braying of 328 yahoos -- members of the House of Representatives who voted for retroactive and punitive use of the tax code to confiscate legal earnings of a small unpopular group -- still reverberating, the Obama administration Monday invited private-sector investors to become business partners with the capricious and increasingly anti-constitutional government. This latest plan to unfreeze the financial system came almost half a year after Congress shoveled $700 billion into the Troubled Asset Relief Program, $325 billion of which has been spent without purchasing any toxic assets.

Dennis Prager : Why Doesn't Communism Have as Bad a Name as Nazism?
Why is it that when people want to describe particularly evil individuals or regimes, they use the terms "Nazi" or "Fascist" but almost never "Communist?"

Given the amount the human suffering Communists have caused - 70 million killed in China, 20-30 million in the former Soviet Union, and almost one-third of all Cambodians; the decimation of Tibetan and Chinese culture; totalitarian enslavement of North Koreans, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Russians; a generation deprived of human rights in Cuba; and much more -- why is "Communist" so much less a term of revulsion than "Nazi?"

States Rebellion Pending
By Walter E. Williams

Our Colonial ancestors petitioned and pleaded with King George III to get his boot off their necks. He ignored their pleas, and in 1776, they rightfully declared unilateral independence and went to war. Today it’s the same story except Congress is the one usurping the rights of the people and the states, making King George’s actions look mild in comparison. Our constitutional ignorance—perhaps contempt, coupled with the fact that we’ve become a nation of wimps, sissies and supplicants—has made us easy prey for Washington’s tyrannical forces. But that might be changing a bit.

Health Care Overhaul May Cost About $1.5 Trillion
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press

Washington (AP) - Guaranteeing health insurance for all Americans may cost about $1.5 trillion over the next decade, health experts say. That's more than double the $634 billion 'down payment' President Barack Obama set aside for health reform in his budget, raising the prospect of sticker shock at a time of record federal spending.

Sen. Reid Willing to Fast-Track Health Care Overhaul; Republicans Cry Foul
By Erica Werner, Associated Press

Washington (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated Wednesday he is willing to move sweeping health care legislation through the Senate with a procedural maneuver that would block a GOP filibuster.

The prospect of the controversial tactic has already ignited Republicans' ire, and key Senate Democratic chairmen have said they don't want to do it.

Reid, D-Nev., took a different position on a conference call with reporters. "I think it's something we need to consider," Reid said.

Obama’s Tax Proposal Will Cost Charities Billions, Says Minority Whip
- President Barack Obama’s proposal to reduce the charitable deduction for taxpayers earning more than $250,000 annually will cost non-profit organizations billions of dollars and “defies logic,” House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told CNSNews.com on Wednesday. Some Democratic lawmakers who spoke with CNSNews.com said they also oppose using the tax code to discourage charitable giving.

EU Leader Says Obama Economic Policies ‘Road to Hell’
- European Union President Mirek Topolanek told the European parliament Wednesday that President Obama's economic policies were harmful to the U.S. economy and global economy. In response, the White House said it did not think the criticism would disrupt Obama’s meeting with European leaders next week.

Shameless Republicans Fuel Mob Anger Against A.I.G.

By Douglas MacKinnon:

The enraged mob came to the doors of Congress in the dead of night with their torches glowing, their pitchforks raised, and their voices screaming for the blood of anyone from A.I.G.

Read more.

Henninger: Democrats Bid Business Adieu
With its vote to punish corporate bonus payments, the national Democratic Party has disconnected itself entirely from the private sector.

Central America: An Emerging Role in the Drug Trade

By Stephen Meiners

Global Security & Intelligence Report

As part of STRATFOR’s coverage of the security situation in Mexico, we have observed some significant developments in the drug trade in the Western Hemisphere over the past year. While the United States remains the top destination for South American-produced cocaine, and Mexico continues to serve as the primary transshipment route, the path between Mexico and South America is clearly changing.
These changes have been most pronounced in Central America, where Mexican drug-trafficking organizations have begun to rely increasingly on land-based smuggling routes as several countries in the region have stepped up monitoring and interdiction of airborne and maritime shipments transiting from South America to Mexico.

The results of these changes have been extraordinary. According to a December..... Read on...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The Democrats’ $6 Billion National Service Boondoggle

By Michelle Malkin

Maybe it’s just me, but I find federal legislation titled “The GIVE Act” and “The SERVE Act” downright creepy. Even more troubling: the $6 billion price tag on these bipartisan bills to expand government-funded national service efforts.

Volunteerism is a wonderful thing, which is why millions of Americans do it every day without a cent of taxpayer money. But the volunteerism packages on the Hill are less about promoting effective charity than about creating make-work, permanent bureaucracies and left-wing slush funds.

The House passed the “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act”—or the GIVE Act—last week. The Senate took up the.... Read more.

Politicians Fret as Muslim Population Swells in Europe Amid Little Integration
By Greg Burke

BRUSSELS, Belgium — A clash of civilizations may be taking place on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, but it's also happening a lot more quietly in European cities.

Old Europe's population is dwindling even as immigration and high birth rates among Muslim groups are swelling in cities all over the continent.

And in Belgium, it is no different.

Filip Dewinter, a leader of the far-right separatist party Vlaams Belang, predicts there will eventually be a kind of civil war when the longtime residents of Brussels — the nation's capital and administrative seat of the European Union — realize their city is about to be taken over by Muslim immigrants. Read on.

File this under communication sterilization

Fox News:
Obama Scraps 'Global War on Terror' for 'Overseas Contingency Operation'

From the Politico:
Obama’s border plan elicits criticism

New York Times:
Dear A.I.G., I Quit!
AIG employee feels betrayed by Liddy, Congress

Mexican Journalist Says Drug Cartel Violence Forced Him to Seek Asylum in U.S.
Washington (CNSNews.com)
- A Mexican journalist from Ciudad Juarez told CNSNews.com that he is in exile in El Paso, Texas, due to threats on his life from the drug cartels. Jorge Luis Aguirre came to Washington last week to testify before a U.S. Senate panel looking into drug crime in Mexico. He said the United States needs to do whatever it can to help end the violence caused by drug trafficking in Mexico.

Congressman Warns Mexico More Dangerous than Iraq, Could Become Failed State
– At a House hearing on federal law enforcement’s response to the violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) said there is more danger in that region than in the Middle East. More than 7,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since January 2008.

Specter Announces His Opposition to Card-Check Bill; Battle Rages On
– The union-sponsored Employee Free Choice Act -- or card check bill -- isn’t the steamroller on Capitol Hill that AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and other union leaders hoped for last year when they announced the legislation would be the cornerstone their political agenda. A major blow came Tuesday when Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said that he will oppose efforts to get the measure passed in the Senate.

Holman Jenkins Says the AIG Bonus Episode Reveals Our Elected Officials' Lack of Political Courage
The stock market was intoxicated with the Obama administration's toxic asset plan. Whatever its contempt for the upper middle class that acquires wealth through salaried work and bonuses, Team Obama still has eyes for the hedge fund class, which will be ladled out taxpayer dollars to make one-way bets on problematic bank assets.

Yet the AIG bonus episode, the administration's one true disgrace so far, will not soon be forgotten.

Tim Geithner is rightly on the hot seat for saying he didn't know about the bonuses until just weeks ago -- because he should have quelled this furor before it ever got started. Instead he played dumb and climbed aboard the outrage bandwagon -- and let Mr. Obama do the same.

There is not a shred of justice in the hysteria that followed. As AIG chief Ed Liddy explained on the Hill last week, the people receiving retention bonuses were not the same people who launched AIG's unhedged housing bets that brought the company down. Those people were gone. Their pay is already being clawed back.

Those who remained had been asked a year ago to stay and work themselves out of a job. In accepting the terms offered to them, they committed no offense (say, failing to pay taxes). Their...... continue here.

Hernando de Soto Says Toxic Assets Emerged From a Shadow Economy
If you think about it, everything of value we own travels on property paper. At the beginning of the decade there was about $100 trillion worth of property paper representing tangible goods such as land, buildings, and patents world-wide, and some $170 trillion representing ownership over such semiliquid assets as mortgages, stocks and bonds. Since then, however, aggressive financiers have manufactured what the Bank for International Settlements estimates to be $1 quadrillion worth of new derivatives (mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, and credit default swaps) that have flooded the market.

These derivatives are the root of the credit crunch. Why? Unlike all other property paper, derivatives are not required by law to be recorded, continually tracked and tied to the assets they represent. Nobody knows precisely how many there are, where they are, and who is finally accountable for them. Thus, there is widespread fear that potential borrowers and recipients of capital with too many nonperforming derivatives will be unable to repay their loans. As trust in property paper breaks down it sets off a chain reaction, paralyzing credit and investment, which shrinks transactions and leads to a catastrophic drop in employment and in the value of everyone's property. Continue reading.

Never Should Have Let You Go
From James Taranto
Best of the Web

"A leading U.S. politician is complaining that the Bush administration was too lenient in releasing detainees from Guantanamo. What's surprising is that the man making this complaint is none other than President Obama, as the Associated Press reports:

Obama says in a broadcast interview that some of the people released from the facility in Cuba have rejoined terrorist groups. He also says U.S. officials have not always been effective in determining which prisoners will be a danger once they are let go.

In characteristic fashion, the president is trying to have it both ways:

But he says the Bush administration's policy of holding detainees for years on end with no trials is "unsustainable," and has only fueled anti-American sentiments.

And of course the story, based on Obama's "60 Minutes" interview, says Obama still wants to shut down Guantanamo. Maybe he's committing the same logical fallacy he did in his comments about genocide back in 2007: claiming that because we are incapable of doing everything right, we are obliged to do everything wrong in order to be consistent."

TheHill.com - Obama’s just not that into you
Does President Obama truly believe that he can castigate and condemn Wall Street on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and then secure its cooperation on the other days of the week?

Does he not understand that when he ignites a public furor over AIG bonuses and then incites Congress to pass a punitive tax, he sends shivers down the spines of every other corporate executive who makes a lot of money?

Does he seriously believe that Wall Street investors will not worry that their winnings, should they join the Treasury as partners in risky investments, would be subject to public abuse, publicity and confiscatory taxation?

Of course he realizes that his rhetoric makes it unlikely that his program will succeed. He obviously....more

The Obamathon Continues

And we're all 'Barry's Kids' now.

By Matt Philbin
Business & Media Institute

It’s official. With Monday’s press conference, the Obama Administration has become the longest running telethon in American history.

Just when you think the president couldn’t possibly go back on stage, there he is again, explaining all the wonderful things he can do with your money. In the best tradition of celebrity philanthropists, he’s giving his time, his face and his teleprompter skills to a cause that means a lot to him.

Oh, the cynics might say it’s what he does instead of governing, but the cynics don’t understand his sincerity. They don’t realize that he knows how blessed he is, and that he’s compelled to compel you to give back. More.

Michelle to Young Girls: Aim for Vacuous Celebrity, Not Useful Productivity
The first lady sends a signal about what she considers acceptable ambition.

Despite Calls for Resignation, Media Support Geithner
Congressmen and Senators have already called for the Treasury Secretary’s resignation or firing because of A.I.G. debacle, yet the news media defend him. Time magazine even touted Geithner’s “transformation” from incompetence to success this week, but it was a different story when Bush appointees were under fire.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Interesting article in The Rolling Stone:

The Big Takeover
The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution

By Matt Taibbi

The Weimar Solution
“The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.”


"...... inflation is theft. It make liars and cheats of governments. By eroding the value of a currency, inflation punishes savers and creditors and rewards debtors. And what nation is the biggest debtor of them all? The United States of America."  (Read more.)

GOP warns about budget hardball
Won’t let Dems use budget process to ram through Obama’s agenda

Campaign Finance Law Challenged
Bill to Overhaul System Would Ban Lobbyist Donations
Washington Post

Grassley: Budget freeze needed to stop 'socialism'
Washington Times


Obama administration seeking additional power grab.
U.S. Seeks Expanded Power to Seize Firms
Goal Is to Limit Risk to Broader Economy
Washington Post

Monday, March 23, 2009

Obama's Afghan Struggle

The president can't build on the Iraq victory because he never embraced it.

We face today the oddest and most unexpected of spectacles: On its sixth anniversary, the Iraq war has been vindicated, while the war in Afghanistan looks like a hopeless undertaking in an impossible land.

This is not what the opponents of the Iraq war had foreseen. After all, Afghanistan was the good war of necessity whereas Iraq was the war of "choice" in the wrong place. READ ON.

Iran's Axis of Nuclear Evil - WSJ.com

While President Obama's unanticipated Nowruz holiday greeting to Iran generated considerable press attention, his video wasn't really this week's big news related to the Islamic Republic. Far more important was that a senior defector -- Iran's former Deputy Minister of Defense Ali Reza Asghari -- disclosed Tehran's financing of Syria's nuclear weapons program. That program's centerpiece was a North Korean nuclear reactor in Syria. Israel destroyed it in September 2007.

At this point, it is impossible to ignore Iran's active efforts to expand, improve and conceal its......

Worshipping Plants & Sacrificing People
By Frank Pastore

Whatever happened to human exceptionalism?--the idea rooted in the Judeo-Christian value system that places man at the moral pinnacle of all creation; that because human beings are created in God's image they therefore have moral worth greater than that of any animal, plant, or mineral?

Well, it's being replaced by a new value system that places the natural world over man. Think I'm making this up?

The Swiss have now written into their constitution the principle that plants have intrinsic dignity. They cite the instance of a farmer who needlessly "decapitates" a wildflower with a scythe on his way home as committing a terrible moral wrong--yes, they use the word "decapitate."

How strange. Beware of a radical environmentalism--an effort to "save the world" that doesn't include us, for we are a source of the pollution they're trying to eliminate.

"It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it. After discriminating, therefore, in theory, the several classes of power, as they may in their nature be legislative, executive, or judiciary, the next and most difficult task is to provide some practical security for each, against the invasion of the others."

--James Madison--

Iran Has Started a Mideast Arms Race

States throughout the region are looking to establish nuclear programs. - WSJ.com

In the capitals of Western nations, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the man regarded as the father of the Pakistani atom bomb, is regarded as a maverick with a criminal past. In addition to his well-documented role in developing a nuclear device for Pakistan, he helped Iran and North Korea with their nuclear programs.

But since his release from house arrest a month ago, Mr. Khan has entertained a string of official visitors from across the Middle East. All come with messages of sympathy; and some governments in that region are looking to him for the knowledge and advice they need to fast track their own illicit nuclear projects.

Make no mistake: The Middle East may be on the verge of a nuclear arms race triggered by the......

Obama Sticker Shock

The CBO Says Barack Obama's Budget Would Increase the Deficit by $2.3 Trillion More Than Expected - WSJ.com
President Obama's 2010 budget looks more astounding by the day, especially when someone other than the White House budget office is analyzing it. The latest case of epic sticker shock came Friday when the Congressional Budget Office published its assessment, which found that the proposals would increase the federal deficit by $2.3 trillion more over 10 years than the White House had claimed.
[Review & Outlook] AP

Hey, what's a little rounding error among friends? Read more.

Thoughts About Depressed Americans

By Victor Davis Hanson
Why are so many Americans so depressed about things these days? It is perhaps not just the economy.

I think the answer is clear: all the accustomed referents, the sources of security, of knowledge and reassurance appear to be vanishing. Materially, we still enjoy a sumptuous lifestyle in comparison with past generations—and the world outside our borders. America remains the most sane and successful society on the planet.

But there is a strange foreboding, a deer-in-the-headlights look to us that we may be clueless Greeks in the age of Demosthenes, played-out Romans around AD 450, or give-up French in late 1939—with a sense it cannot go on. Why? Let us count the ways.  Continue reading.

The D.C. Good Life Express

From Robert Ringer's Voice of Sanity Blog
While men and women in Des Moines and Birmingham and Kansas City are losing their jobs, their homes, and their savings, the people aboard the D.C. Good Life Express are continuing to live in the style to which they have become accustomed. They are the chief recipients of the print-borrow-tax con that has bankrupted the country and caused millions of outside-the-beltway folks untold pain. Read it all here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Venezuela's Chavez calls Obama ignoramus

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama was at best an "ignoramus" for saying the socialist leader exported terrorism and obstructed progress in Latin America.

"He goes and accuses me of exporting terrorism: the least I can say is that he's a poor ignoramus; he should read and study a little to understand reality," said Chavez, who heads a group of left-wing Latin American leaders opposed to the U.S. influence in the region. [More]