If there seems a tinge of hysteria in that giggle, you're probably right.
Is it really that Democrats are just that stupid?
I figure if I get bounced for errors, I too can be a member of The One's cabinet. Or the Ruler of the Queen's navy (apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan).
No, this has nothing to do with guns, ammo, dope, or even Hillary and her astoundingly in-depth knowledge of Mexican history and the Catholic church.
It has to do with free trade and the Obamanistas.
Surface trade between the United States and our two Norte Americano amigos in trade, Canada and Mexico, is down over 27% between January 2008 and January 2009.
North American surface trade
NAFTA surface trade with Mexico and Canada in January 2009 is down by 27.3% over January 2008; 21.7% over January 2007; 22.4% over January 2006.
One thing that has recently happened is that the Mexicans are imposing punitive tariffs on over 90 types of US goods imported into Mexico. This is because of US foot-dragging over the Mexican truck deal.
Feds outsource Mexican truck safety
How safe is that trucker? This one, dating from 2001, is quite interesting. It illustrates how much slanting is going on, from both sides.
Cross Border Truck Safety Inspection Program
You can find a lot more, piles of stuff, by simply Googling "Mexican truck safety" without the quotation marks. There is a lot of 'noise' out there and it can be difficult to separate fact from unionized hyperbole.
The most vocal opponents are those who have the biggest stake, the unionized American drivers. I see them in the same light as I do the United Auto Workers, who have their hands out to We the Taxpayer to keep them in their union benefits and pay scales. That most of We the Taxpayer don't have those kinds of benefits and pay scales doesn't bother them a bit; they still want us to pay their freight.
The Obama regime first ended the Department of Transportation's Mexican Truck Demonstration Project, with provisions included in Porculus Americanus. This had the Teamsters dancin' in the streets:
Hoffa praises border shutdown, which article specifically harangues on 'unsafe' Mexican trucks.
The article linked below describes it pretty well, and even raises the Question about the whole schlemiel being nothing more than a sop to the Teamsters Union, Jimmy Hoffa's boys, who are headquartered in Washington DC.
Obama reverses opposition to Mexican trucking
which is a real kick in the chops for the Teamsters, who hooted and hollered in Obama's favor during the campaign. The Teamsters can join the farmers under Obama's bus. Remember that 'revisiting' of the Farm Bill thing? With the $500,000 gross sales limit for subsidies?
Mexican punitive tariffs:
Mexican punitive tariffs
Mexico maintains that the United States violated the North American Free Trade Agreement by ending a pilot program that allowed a limited number of Mexican trucks on U.S. highways beyond the border area. The U.S. Senate ended funding last week when it excluded the program from a $410-billion spending bill.
"We consider this action to be wrong, protectionist and clearly in violation of the treaty," Economy Minister Gerardo Ruiz Mateos said this week when he warned that Mexico would retaliate.
Mexican trucks traditionally have been permitted only along a narrow strip north of the border to transfer cargo to U.S. trucks. Citing safety concerns, the Teamsters union and some lawmakers from both parties oppose giving the vehicles wider access.
Then we have:
Attempt to Limit Mexican Trucking in U.S. Masks Union Agenda:
A recent survey by the Arizona Republic newspaper found that those Mexican trucks allowed to operate in the U.S. have a superior safety record compared with U.S.-owned trucks. Since 2003, 1.2 percent of Mexican truck drivers operating on U.S. roads have been found to be out of compliance, compared with 7 percent of American drivers. Of Mexican trucks stopped for inspection, 21 percent are ordered out of service, compared with 23 percent of U.S. vehicles that are stopped.
Although the Teamsters talk about safety, their real agenda is not to promote safer roads but to protect themselves from increased competition. The real agenda of their congressional allies is to thwart full implementation of a successful trade agreement with Mexico, our third-largest trading partner. The real objection they have to Mexican trucks making deliveries to U.S. cities is not that they are unsafe but that those trucks are driven by Mexicans. In the eyes of congressional leaders, “driving while Mexican” remains an unacceptable public hazard.
I have to agree. The real issue here is not safety concerns; that is something that can be overcome in the same way we overcome safety concerns with American trucking.
The real issue here is union protectionism, at the expense of We the Taxpayer and We the American consumer.
Maybe Hillary Clinton should have picked up a guidebook prior to her trip to Mexico. Last week the secretary of state visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is the second most popular Catholic shrine in the world. Catholics believe the image of the Virgin Mary was miraculously imprinted on a peasant's cloak 500 years ago. Clinton was apparently unaware of the legend. The Catholic News Agency reports that after being shown the famous image, Secretary Clinton asked, "Who painted it?" The rector of the Basilica responded, "God!"
And as she left the church, Clinton told some waiting outside, "You have a marvelous virgin!" Spokesmen for Clinton did not respond to requests for comment.
This is the Secretary of State who was supposed to demonstrate how swah-vay and dee-boner 'Merkins really are. Can you imagine an overseas trip by Hillary and Joltin' Joe Biden, together?
Obama breaks it again:
Remember the campaign promise He made, about posting non-emergency bills for at least five days, for public review? He did it again with the omnibus land conservation bill. "Giggles" Gibbs weighs in:
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs addressed the shortened time saying: "Although not perfect, I think the president has made a greater step forward in transparency and feels like we're making progress on ensuring that the American people can see and read what their president is going to sign into law."
Of the nine bills President Obama has signed, six of them have not been posted the full five days. Officials say some of those bills were emergency legislation and therefore do not qualify for the five day minimum posting. And adding another excuse, White House officials said — in the most recent case — the President is leaving for Europe Tuesday.
And of course, no day would be complete without an update on GM (Government Motors). Here is the new GM logo, from Doug Powers:
Kinda like those "Dealin' Doug" Moreland commercials, don't you think?
GM CEO Wagner out; US sets new rules for GM, Chrysler
It was a tough day for the auto industry, as General Motors’s (GM: 3.62, 0, 0%) CEO was forced to step down, while the Obama Administration set strict new deadlines by which GM and Chrysler had to take steps toward financial viability and declared that Chrysler was not viable as a standalone company.
GM (GM: 3.62, 0, 0%) CEO Rick Wagoner is stepping down immediately, the government said on Monday, and is being succeeded by the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Fritz Henderson. Kent Kresa, a GM board member since 2003, will serve as interim chairman.
GM declined to comment on the executive moves.
A White House official told FOX Business that Wagoner was asked by the Administration to step down as a precondition for the company to continue to get help with its restructuring.
So now we have the president dictating to corporations who will run the show. Well, I guess that's a natural offshoot when the company sticks its corporate hand out and begs for billions of tax dollars.
But really now. The government? Aside from those who have drunk gallons of Obamanian Kool-aid and really think the government will keep their bellies full, their houses warm, their feelings happy, do we really think that Barack Obama, dancing to the Pelosi and Emanuel tunes, is the best judge of who should be running a company?
The Obama regime has also rejected the automakers' "plans".
Here's a corker:
The Administration plan will backstop warranties on new vehicles bought from auto makers participating in this plan during the time they’re restructuring. The cash contribution will be 125% of the costs anticipated by the manufacturer to satisfy projected claims – 15% of the projected cost will be paid by the auto company, and the Treasury Department will cover 110% of the projected costs.
If I read that right, Barack Obama is underwriting warranties for automobiles? Using your tax bux and mine?
The lunatics really are running the asylum.
A way of life slips out of range
A semblance of the Old West survived in the folds of the backcountry around Ramona and Julian well into the 20th century. Faded black-and-white photos of ranchers and their families line a wall in the small museum at the Santa Ysabel Indian Mission. The weathered faces look to be those of pioneers. In fact, the snapshots were taken in the 1930s and '40s, a time when old hands sensed an era was fading away.
The headline on a 1934 story in The Times about the area's depleted range described the future bluntly: "It's 'Last Round-Up' This Time!"
"Three score grim-faced men met here today," the story begins. "They came minus the hopes of their youth -- minus the vision of mighty herds with which to feed the multitude of city dwellers, without the rollicking songs of men of desert and mountain. They brought instead a feeling of pathos and despair, for they came to plan the beginning of what may be the end of the great range cattle era in this county."
Today, the range has been subdivided and developed, the water sucked away by cities, the grass thinned by years of drought. With the beef industry consolidated far from Southern California, raising cattle in these mountains is as viable a business as selling surfboards in Nebraska.
Here's the deal:
California auto repair shops now are required to check tire pressure
Maintenance shops will have to check the tire pressure of every vehicle they service under a new regulation adopted Thursday by the state Air Resources Board.
The rule takes effect July 1, 2010, and is part of the package of rules the Air Board is adopting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It includes smog check stations, engine repair shops and oil service stations. Car wash, body and paint, and glass repair businesses are not included.
“Under-inflated tires waste fuel, cause tires to wear out prematurely and increase drivers’ safety risk,” said Dan Zielinski, senior vice president with the Rubber Manufacturers Association, which represents tire manufacturers, in a news release. “This regulation will help protect California’s environment, help consumers save money in fuel and tire costs, and help Californians optimize vehicle safety.”
Yes. You understand it correctly. The California state government now requires that vehicle tires be checked for proper inflation, even if the vehicle is in for repairs having nothing to do with the tires. Though the measure has obvious Big Brother connotations, it is (being California), like, dude, like, toadily in harmony with the government doing all things for all people, whether they want it or not.
So I think it's a magnificent idea, rife with job-creating opportunity, and we should do it here in Colorado, too. While most shops already check tire pressure (most of them do here in The Smile Hi City; I asked), making a regulation, or even a state law, that requires it just makes sure it is done. It's like the pooper scooper ordinance for the city. As we have seen, the mere passage of that ordinance has completely eliminated (no pun intended) canine elimination by-products.
But think of the revenue-generating opportunity: Our police officers could carry gauges and check tire pressure on each vehicle stop. They could ticket offenders, and help fill the city's coffers with money from fines. This could lead to the creation of more jobs in the courts, as more clerks would be required to keep up with the tickets and court cases.
And the gauges would have to be certified, as with radar devices. So we would have to create state-certified laboratories for tire gauges. And we would have to have state inspectors to certify the state-certified laboratories. Lots of jobs there, and they could apply for grants for free Federal money to fund them.
The police officers would have to be certified on the proper use of the gauges. This would create an entire new field of police-related equipment training. The officers could attend a one week basic certification course, where they would learn to check tires on all passenger and commercial vehicles. There could be an extra week for a 'special vehicles module', to take in such machines as aircraft, implements of animal husbandry, even wheeled military vehicles convoying on the public highways and byways.
The gauges of private citizens would have to be certified, too, of course, otherwise how could motorists risk running afoul of John Law? They'd have to take their vehicles to a shop every month or so for a certified tire pressure gauge operator to run the test, and provide proof of testing. Perhaps in the form of colored windshield stickers. We'd create jobs for more sticker printers and sticker affixers.
Perhaps the state could charge a fee per gauge, the inspection certificate on the gauge renewable annually. Professional gauges would have to bear a higher fee, of course. In fact, if we can get this rammed through the state legislature - no one would actually have to read the bill - a colleague and I already have plans to get the state contract to open up the shops to certify the calibration on all those tire gauges. Probably be able to get about $10 each from John Q. Public, with a percentage to the state. I think we could certify state gauges, for the state patrol and police, for example, we can go for a state contract to certify law enforcement units at, oh, $63.76 per gauge.
Think about this. The job creation opportunities are nearly endless.
Perhaps we should bring this up before city council, and get the ball rolling.
After the laws banning all guns are passed, there should be an amnesty period that would allow gun owners to voluntarily turn in their guns. After that, a system of rewards for informants could be put in place, with upgraded rewards for turning in family members who still own guns.
We should not only get rid of the guns in circulation now, but melt down those in museums; they have no place in our world. When all guns are gone, everywhere, the world will return to the peaceful, nurturing society that existed before the scourge of firearms made us violent.
Of course, warrantless personal/vehicular/home searches would be necessary, but what a small price to pay for a safe, orderly, peaceful society!
JEFFREY L. SUITS Kensington
Why do I suspect sarcasm here? Let me add that a cash reward system would be a perfect use of stimulus funds.
YOU MAY BE A TALIBAN IF ...
1. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.
2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and a $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.
3. You have more wives than teeth.
4. You wipe your butt with your bare left hand, but consider bacon "unclean."
5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.
6. You can't think of anyone you haven't declared Jihad against.
7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.
8. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off bombs.
9. You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least one.
10. You've always had a crush on your neighbor's goat.
Gregg was picked by Obama as nominee for Secretary of Commerce as a demonstration of how the Obama regime was going to "reach across the aisle".
Of course, Obama put the screws to that when he moved the 2010 census out of the Commerce Department and into the Orchid Office, specifically into the sticky fingers of Rahm "The Fish" Emanuel. The census is an important undertaking, as the results of the census determine Congressional districting as well as allocation of funding. Both parties have been guilty of manipulating the census for political purposes, but none in recent history have been so blatant about it as the Obama regime.
When Obama moved the census to the Orchid Office, Judd withdrew from consideration for Secretary of Commerce. I liked that. It showed that the New Hampshireman was not going to be an Obama puppet for the sake of a political appointment.
Gregg is considered by many knowledgeable people to be a fiscal expert, our foremost fiscal expert in the Senate. We've seen a lot of 'fiscal experts' in the past several months. Most of them would be best served by shoving their heads in a toilet for a swirlie, to clear out the fog or cobwebs or whatever. Timmy Geithner, for example.
Gregg has become an increasingly vocal opponent of Obama's 'fiscal policies'. I use the term guardedly, because figuring out what Obama's policies really are, other than huge takeaways/giveaways, requires a good background in Chaos Theory.
"We believe you create prosperity by having an affordable government that pursues its responsibilities without excessive costs, taxes or debt," Sen. Judd Gregg said Saturday in the weekly Republican radio address.
The Federal and state and local governments are identical in that respect. The same is true of family finances. How can any family spend itself into prosperity? How can any family borrow money many times the amount that it will reasonably bring in, in a year's time, and expect to survive? How can any small business do that?
Our city government does not run on a deficit. I suppose it could, if it could get a lot more of that free Federal money, but that Federal money has to come out of someone's wallet eventually. Obama is apparently not concerned about that. Gregg is. So am I. So should you be.
How about this:
Gregg said Obama's proposals "represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left."
He said Obama "is not trying to hide this; in fact, he is very forthright in stating that he believes that by greatly expanding the spending, the taxing and the borrowing of our government, this will lead us to prosperity."
Gregg countered that:
-- "It is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government."
-- "We believe that you create energy independence not by sticking Americans with a brand new national sales tax on everyone's electric bill, but by expanding the production of American energy ... while also conserving more."
--"We also believe you improve everyone's health care not by nationalizing the health care system and putting the government between you and your doctor, but by assuring that every American has access to quality health insurance and choices in health care."
He said the United States "has an exceptional history of one generation passing on to the next generation a more prosperous and stronger country, but that tradition is being put at risk."
'Put at risk'?
There is such a fundamental difference in personal philosophy in this nation today that I have begun to think that the difference is insurmountable. We have a large segment of the population, perhaps a majority, that has a deeply-held belief that the government owes them. That it is government's responsibility to make them happy. That it is government's responsibility to keep them fed and clothed and housed.
Then there is the other part of the population that believes this is nonsense. It is this part of the population that allow us to live up to Lincoln's closing comment at Gettysburg:
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government : of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Though no shots are being fired, and no battles are destroying the countryside, it seems to me that we are engaged in another form of warfare, a different version of "Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure." It's a war of ideologies.
Obama likes to hear himself compared to Abraham Lincoln, but any comparisons between Obama and Lincoln are shallow and specious at best.
Obama, who is proving to be more of a Pelosian puppet than a real president, and his collection of Chicago henchmen and Clintonistas, is not "... a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory."
So far, despite a few Congressional leaders like Judd Gregg ... or perhaps because there are so few of them ... we are losing the battle.
Erik Roberts, an Army sergeant who was wounded in Iraq, underwent his 13th surgery recently to save his right leg from amputation. Imagine his shock when he got a bill for $3,000 for his treatment.
"I put my life on the line and I was wounded in combat, and I came back and they're not going to take care of my medical bills?"
It's a level of outrage shared by his mother, as well as the doctor who performed the surgery.
"It's hard to understand why we're not taking care of guys like Erik whose injuries are clearly related to their service. They deserve the best care of anybody," said Dr. William Obremskey, an Air Force veteran and surgeon at Vanderbilt Orthopaedics in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has now decided to pay his bill, but only after prodding from a U.S. senator who got involved after CNN brought it to his attention.
The VA is going to pay the $3,000.
You'll recall that this is pretty much what Obama wanted to do anyway:
Obama medical plan for vets spurs outcry
You'll notice that Robert's insurance through his employer picked up most of the $90,000 in costs. The VA is going to pay the $3,000 - once they lose the paperwork a few times - but President Obama won't have to worry about that 90 large. Perhaps he can give it away to some of his non-voluntary volunteers in the GIVE-away program?
Good ol' Hillary is hard at it, serving as America's apologist. We certainly don't want to upset any tinpot dictators, do we.
The Obama administration over the past several weeks has developed a certain conciliatory style of diplomacy, striking a hard contrast between this White House and its predecessors.
While George W. Bush drew charges of "cowboy diplomacy" for his unilateral style of doing things, the Obama team might just be the Stuart Smalley counterpart to Bush's John Wayne.
Smalley, you may recall, was Al Franken's lovable alter-ego on Saturday Night Live -- an uncertified gusher of self-help advice who often needed that advice more than his guests.
"I deserve good things. I am entitled to my share of happiness," he used to recite to himself. "I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with."
The Obama administration, likewise, has invited a list of nations to join him on the couch, put down their guard and share in that sense of satisfaction.
"We know that you are a great civilization, and your accomplishments have earned the respect of the United States and the world," Obama said in a Web video message to Iran in celebration of Nowruz, the country's new year, last week, praising the country's art, music and literature that have "made the world a better and more beautiful place."
The Iranian government pretty much told The One what he could do with his schmooze.
And now we are groveling before the Mexican government.
Rooster Cogburn, where are you when we need you?
So far the blizzard has been pretty much of a fizzle, at least in The Holy Land - Smile Hi City Metroplex. Out in the open country might be a different story. We have a fair amount of snow, but nothing that can't be easily shoveled out by healthy kids.
Rahm Emanuel's profitable stint at mortgage giant
Before its portfolio of bad loans helped trigger the current housing crisis, mortgage giant Freddie Mac was the focus of a major accounting scandal that led to a management shake-up, huge fines and scalding condemnation of passive directors by a top federal regulator.
One of those allegedly asleep-at-the-switch board members was Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel—now chief of staff to President Barack Obama—who made at least $320,000 for a 14-month stint at Freddie Mac that required little effort.
As gatekeeper to Obama, Emanuel now plays a critical role in addressing the nation’s mortgage woes and fulfilling the administration’s pledge to impose responsibility on the financial world.
This guy really raked in the cash while he was at Freddie Mac, same as a lot of other Democrat power players. It was not only a form of Golden Parachute for them, but also a tool to be used for leveraging political power. That didn't set too well with regulators:
…During his brief time on the board, the company hatched a plan to enhance its political muscle. That scheme, also reviewed by the board, led to a record $3.8 million fine from the Federal Election Commission for illegally using corporate resources to host fundraisers for politicians. Emanuel was the beneficiary of one of those parties after he left the board and ran in 2002 for a seat in Congress from the North Side of Chicago.
The board was throttled for its acquiescence to the accounting manipulation in a 2003 report by Armando Falcon Jr., head of a federal oversight agency for Freddie Mac. The scandal forced Freddie Mac to restate $5 billion in earnings and pay $585 million in fines and legal settlements. It also foreshadowed even harder times at the firm.
Wow. I gotta wonder ... was Barney Frank having a hissy fit over those 'earnings', as with AIG? Chris Dodd? Was Barack Obama 'outraged', even belatedly?
Of course not:
Many of those same risky investment practices tied to the accounting scandal eventually brought the firm to the brink of insolvency and led to its seizure last year by the Bush administration, which pledged to inject up to $100 billion in new capital to keep the firm afloat. The Obama administration has doubled that commitment.
You see, you and I are paying for Rahm "The Fish" Emanuel's sticky-fingered sojourn at Freddie Mac. Still not convinced?
Financial disclosure statements that are required of U.S. House members show Emanuel made at least $320,000 from his time at Freddie Mac. Two years after leaving the firm, Emanuel reported an additional sale of Freddie Mac stock worth between $100,001 and $250,000. The document did not detail whether he profited from the sale.
Sarah Feinberg, a spokeswoman for Emanuel, said there was no conflict between his stint at Freddie Mac and Obama's vow to restore confidence in financial institutions and the executives who run them. At the same time, Feinberg said Emanuel now agrees that presidential appointees to the Freddie Mac board "are unnecessary and don't have long enough terms to make a difference."
Sarah Feinberg. Now there's a paragon of political virtue. I'm sure she's right, aren't you? Think about it. Now that Emanuel and his cronies have drained Freddie Mac like a bunch of blood-sucking leeches, their successors "are unnecessary and don't have long enough terms to make a difference."
Then what did he do to merit that $320,000 plus shares?
Why aren't we hearing a call for those funds to be returned, like the AIG bonuses?
Former President George W. Bush voluntarily stopped making such appointments following Falcon's assessment of their uselessness.
Colorado Avenue at 3:35 PM, just as the wind was picking up and the snow was starting.
Colorado Avenue at 4:35 PM.
Flags in front of the city building at 3:35 PM.
Flags in front of the city building at 4:35 PM.
The Holy Land at 5:30 PM.
More to be posted as we dig out tomorrow.
If you are so inclined, a prayer or two for our friends and neighbors in Fargo would probably be in order.
Relief agencies involved with the Red River Flood
American Red Cross
Salvation Army Northern Division
(note: many of the links on the local relief agencies page are broken. I've sent them an email so advising)
Obama Fails to Make the Sale
Though “words matter” to President Obama, details don’t.
Last night Obama delivered a live press conference that came after a week of bizarre behavior, ranging from inappropriate jokes on “The Tonight Show” and delayed outrage over executive bonuses. America is eagerly waiting for President Obama to make his case, but once again, there were no answers.
After Wednesday night’s prime time press conference , one thing is clear: Obama has his Bachelors, Masters and doctorate in persistent ambiguity. He dodged questions from the press on how exactly he’ll cut the deficit by increasing spending. He ducked the issue of whether his policies will result in massive inflation. And he danced around the fact that his budget will double the national debt in 5 years and triple it in ten years.
The only question of any substance was from Ed Henry, and that got a Chikaga wise-ass slapdown. Very nice, Mr. President.
Most notable was his verbal word orgy when it came to “investments.” We all know that is liberal-speak for spending. In fact, I use the term investment every time I try to justify a shoe purchase at Bloomingdale’s. Note: the last person to overuse the term “investment” was Bernie Madoff.
Well...we can always influence national policy via the Obama regime's new and highly reliable "Open for questions".
Obama turns to web to bypass news media
Open for questions
The only problem with this, of course is found in Pete Steiner's 1993 New Yorker cartoon:
In other words, with the media, you at least had a reporter, identifiably associated with a known source, asking questions. They may have been softball questions, and the "reporter" nothing more than a gibbering sycophant with thrills shooting up his leg, but at least you knew it was "real".
With this latest propaganda ploy by the Obama regime, all those questions are just as likely to be coming straight out of Rahm "The Fish" Emanuel's office. Yep. The pooch in the seat at the keyboard is Rahmbo, and the little tail-wagger sitting next to him is Dave Axelrod.
Looking at the questions posed, I see that all of them, at least at the time I looked, had to do with free handouts in one way or another. And, Obama will have plenty of time to get the teleprompter set up.
Sorry, sports fans, this one doesn't wash, either.
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.
From Mexico, America is receiving needed instruction about fundamental rights and the rule of law.
Trying to abolish the right of workers to secret ballots in unionization elections is California's Rep. George Miller who, with 15 other Democrats, in 2001 admonished Mexico: "The secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose."
Last year, Mexico's highest court unanimously affirmed for Mexicans the right that Democrats want to strip from Americans.
Congress, with the approval of a president who has waxed censorious about his predecessor's imperious unilateralism in dealing with other nations, has shredded the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Congress used the omnibus spending bill to abolish a program that was created as part of a protracted U.S. stall regarding compliance with its obligation to allow Mexican long-haul trucks on U.S roads.
The program, testing the safety of Mexican trucking, became an embarrassment because it found Mexican trucking at least as safe as U.S. trucking. Mexico has resorted to protectionism — tariffs on many U.S. goods — in retaliation for Democrats' protection of the Teamsters union.
and here's one that applies to Pelosi's blatant attempt at shoving yet another fiasco up our collective backside:
The Federal Reserve, by long practice rather than law, has been insulated from politics in performing its fundamental function of preserving the currency as a store of value — preventing inflation.
Now, however, by undertaking hitherto uncontemplated functions, it has become an appendage of the executive branch. The coming costs, in political manipulation of the money supply, of this forfeiture of independence could be steep.
Jefferson warned that "great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities." But Democrats, who trace their party's pedigree to Jefferson, are contemplating using "reconciliation" — a legislative maneuver abused by both parties to truncate debate and limit the minority's right to resist — to impose vast and controversial changes on the 17% of the economy that is health care.
and we have this nice summation:
This is but a partial list of recent lawlessness, situational constitutionalism and institutional derangement. Such political malfeasance is pertinent to the financial meltdown as the administration, desperately seeking confidence, tries to stabilize the economy by vastly enlarging government's role in it.
CNN's Ed Henry had the audacity to question The Obamessiah about why it took him so long to express outrage over the AIG bonuses:
Ed Henry: But on AIG, why did you wait — why did you wait days to come out and express that outrage? It seems like the action is coming out of New York and the attorney general’s office. It took you days to come public with Secretary Geithner and say, “Look, we’re outraged.” Why did it take so long?
Obama: It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.
"I like to know what I'm talking about." Ahaahhahahahaaha....hoooodoggie. That's a knee slapper.
It's also a steaming pile of horseshit. Yep. That's what I said.
Here is why:
Obama still doesn't get it. Remember how he was going on about how "McCain doesn't get it"?
Obama "doesn't get it". Obama and his crew of jolly spinsters - a nice way of saying 'liars' - claimed that they knew nothing about those bonuses. Then the Dodd amendment was exposed - again - and they claimed not to know about that. Then Dodd finally confessed to lying about the Dodd amendment that protected those bonuses, and which was in the bill signed into law by Obama. Then it came out that The Blithering Idiot of the Treasury Department and the Clowns of Congress discussed those bonuses back on March 3. And then FoxNews used FOIA to get emails showing that TBIOT (Geithner) knew about the bonuses back in November when he was still with the New York Fed. And, that TBIOT told Senator Chris "The Treasury Dept made me do it" Dodd to add the Dodd amendment protecting those bonuses.
Obama signed the bill into law.
Guess who made the bonuses possible? Ya, you betcha (wink). Mr. "Snippy".
This clip really doesn't pick it up, but the gathered reporters got an audible chuckle out of that one.
The president either remains clueless, or he is simply lying through his teeth.
She prefers "man-caused disasters".
Please see Obama has ended the terrorist threat for more on that.
Now, we have further proof that the Global War on Terror is over. The Obama regime prefers that we use the term "Overseas contingency operation".
Wow. In one swoosh of the pen, it's all over, and we no longer have a "war". Kind of like we didn't have a "war" in Korea, and we didn't have a "war" in Vietnam, and we didn't have a "war" in Bosnia, etc etc etc.
Is Obama cool, or what?
Hopefully, Hillary will get those Mexicans straightened out, and perhaps she can make another quick trip to Yurrup and straighten out Mirek Topolanek, who is not being at all helpful:
A top European Union politician on Wednesday slammed U.S. plans to spend its way out of recession as "a way to hell."
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, told the European Parliament that President Barack Obama's massive stimulus package and banking bailout "will undermine the stability of the global financial market."
Perhaps Brother Mirek should sit down with Obama and discuss it over coffee. Then he will understand that as a European, he is to recognize that we here in the US have recognized the horrible error of our ways under Bush, and are now embracing a Brave New World under the benevolent leadership of The One.
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.
1) About Broke. The collective debt is simply staggering, $1.7 trillion in borrowing this year alone. $3.5 trillion is our annual budget, and by 2012 what we all owe will be well over $15-17 trillion. (No fears: the President promises to triple the Bush deficit, but by the end of his “first” term “halve” the deficit, as if tripling and then halving it is not increasing it.)
Today while President Obama railed against AIG bonuses (imagine damning the bonuses you signed into law to the execs from whom you took over $100,000 in campaign donations!)—the congressional budget office “found” another trillion or so dollars in anticipated deficits that Team Obama lost.
So after Obama, the next President will campaign on “I promise a $1 trillion annual surplus for eight years to pay off the last eight, so we can then start over paying off the old $11 trillion shortfall.”
The rub is not just that we are inflating—no, ruining—our currency. And the problem is still more than the fact that we are destroying the lives of the next generation, whose collective budgets will be consumed largely with health care for us baby-boomers, and interest payments on our debts. (If I get to be 87, can we keep asking 500 or so Chinese to put off false teeth to lend me their money for a hip replacement?)
I think instead the worst element is a sort of ill-feeling about ourselves, an unhappiness as we look in the mirror and see what we are doing to our dignity in this, the hour of our crisis.
We are starting to fathom that when times got iffy, we lacked the resilience of the proverbial Joads and the grit of that tough Depression-era generation, and certainly we seem different sorts from those who built and flew B-17s amid the Luftwaffe.
Instead, this generation has gone quite stark raving mad the last seven months, hysterical, and decided we would simply borrow, charge it, print money, blame, accuse—almost anything other than roll up our sleeves, take a cut in our standard of living, pay off what we owe, admit that we lived too high on the hog, and find a certain nobility in shared sacrifice.
So again, here we are reduced to begging the Chinese to subsidize our life-styles, while 500 million of their own poor make their American counterparts of the lower classes here seem like well-heeled grandees.
2) Fides? We have almost destroyed the concept of trust: we don’t think there is any accuracy in AIG statements; don’t really believe GM will make it on its own, or that Goldman-Sachs is honestly run.
All our icons—Ford, General Electric, Citibank, Bank of America—in a mere generation imploded by their own hands, and now we don’t have any real idea of what went wrong, and believe their captains don’t either.
When Barack Obama says the economy will soon grow at a 4.6 annual rate, I simply don’t believe him. I don’t believe Sec. Geithner’s reconstruction of when he knew about the AIG bonuses, or that he simply forgot to pay his payroll taxes.
If Chris Dodd were to say that gravity exists, I could be sure we would float into the stratosphere. If Barack Obama said he was against renditions, I’d assume he had merely renamed them “transfers.” I do know that as we run up more trillions in debt the next four years, Obama will be in perpetual campaign mode with the same tired mantra “The Bush deficit mess I inherited” to screaming and adoring crowds.
3.) A Certain Coarseness. We also are wearied by a certain crassness in American society in ways we have not seen before—or at least since the mid-19th century. Sorry, I don’t want my President joshing about the Special Olympics on Leno. I don’t want him on Leno at all in his perpetual PR mode. I don’t want him drawing out his picks for the final four on TV. I don’t want him paid for rewriting/revising/ condensing/whatever his earlier book while he’s supposed to be President, or ribbing Gordon Brown about his tennis game in patronizing fashion, or giving the British a pack of un-viewable DVDs after they, in exchange, offered a tasteful gift of historic importance.
I was always an advocate of informality, of casualness, but now when on a plane, in a restaurant, at Starbucks, I am struck by the rare well-dressed person who does not crowd. How odd the extra-polite woman, who conducts herself with charm and grace at the counter, or the gentleman who opens doors, says excuse me, and whose intelligent conversation I enjoy listening in on—like a dew drop to someone thirsting in the desert. In contrast, when the punk walks by, with radio blaring, mumbling obscenities, flashing the ‘I’ll kill you’ stare,” it all leaves me in depression.
Worse still, on the opposite end of the scale, is the master of the universe who elbows his way onto a plane while he blares on the telephone and blocks the aisle. I feel creepy after walking through an electronics store and seeing some of the video game titles and covers.
In short, I don’t want to hear any more Viagra or Cialis ads, no more douche commercials—please no more talking heads about penises that are enlarging, hardening, stimulated on the public air waves.
The sum of these foul parts is smothering us. I don’t want to know that there is a new sex clinic opening in Fresno, or hear another ad about how I can skip out on my credit card debt, or that some sort of food is stuck to my intestinal walls like spackle and paste unless I buy some gut cleansing product.
At some point, we need to say enough is enough, and try to find some sense of honor and decorum in these times of crisis. My god, the entire country has become some sort of Rousseauian nightmare, as if the Berkeley Free Speech Area circa 1970 is now the public domain, as if the culture of the Folsom cell block is now the national ethos.
4) What is good/bad? We are depressed and listless and angry also because I think that we fear we have lost all sense of calibration. We can’t tell what is good and what is god-awful. Where does a Paris Hilton or Britney Spears come from? What can they do? What determines a modern poem’s line break?
Is there any transcendence in the rap album of the month? A Marxist folk singer like old Peter Seeger always had more talent in his little finger than the sum total of Madonna. How did a modern-day Cleon like Barney Frank become the national spokesman of populist outrage against Wall Street.
One, just one, novel of a Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe even, is worth more than what has been written collectively in the last ten years. T. S. Eliot in a day could write better poetry than what has been composed in all the creative writing departments in the United States over the last twenty years—and we are going to give more billions under Obama to “education.”
At some point, again, we need to establish criteria of excellence, regardless of ideology, politics, or of fashion. We honor actors like De Niro and Pacino because we instinctively feel they are talented and are at least shadows of the old breed; a David Petraeus seems like a Matthew Ridgway come to save us in Korea.
We yearn for an ex-President Truman or Eisenhower—and instead get Jimmy Carter. David McCullough sells books because he is talented, can tell a story, is reliable, has a sense of what is the essence of history—and won’t lecture us about his own agenda at a conference on transvestites in the Union Army. I allow that a perpetual adolescent Sean Penn can act (sort of), but a Jack Palance or Richard Boone of the second-tier could exhibit more stage presence, more auctoritas in a split second of exposure than Penn could achieve in a month at the dais.
(5) Yes/No/Sorta/Maybe We sense we are trimmers and redistributors, and wouldn’t dare build a new dam a transcontinental railroad, a new 8 -lane freeway.
Instead we would sue, file reports, argue, quit, delay—anything other than conceive a majestic idea and finish it, sighing, “It is not perfect, but damn good enough and will do.” Instead, here in California we are simply destroying agriculture by drying up its sources of water-giving life—a once brilliant farming that was the sum total of millions of brave lives from 1880 to 2000 who took a desert and fed the world.
Instead, ensconced in the Berkeley Hills or Woodside, our elites demand of better others to save for them not people, but a smelt, a minnow, or a newt-like creature that must have the entire Kings or San Joaquin River as it dumps its precious cargo out to sea.
So as scare snow melts, it goes out to the ocean, gratifying a lawyer or professor in Palo Alto that rivers flow as they did in the 19th-century, as millions of acres go fallow, hundreds of thousands lose jobs, and we feel so morally superior to those of the past who really were our moral superiors.
It is easy to dismiss our ancestors as illiberal, or with the caveat “Oh, but if we were as poor as they were, we’d have to prove just as tough”, but we still sense they were different in the sense of far better. When I drive up to see those Sierra dams poured in the 1920s, one wonders how they made such things with only primitive machines, and in contrast, are amazed with our sophisticated tools, we do so much less.
This self-congratulatory generation can hardly, as we are learning, build a Bay Bridge again. Yet when we see on the Internet pictures of a new aircraft carrier we are stunned in amazement—we did that? We built such a powerful, sophisticated ship? We—at least someone— can actually still do things on rare occasion like that?
The American people are, to be frank, nauseated by the archetype of a John Edwards, who never created anything other than a legacy of bankrupting doctors in order to enrich himself. I’d prefer one gall bladder surgeon to fifty Botox experts, a good Perkins engine mechanic to 1,000 deconstructionists at the MLA, one competent chemist to fifty government attorneys.
For the present I think that we have enough social service bureaucrats, enough consultants, enough PhDs that will lecture how race/class/gender has made us, our air, our dogs even, so unfair. We simply are thirsty for the unapologetic doer, who never says he’s sorry for himself or his country or his ancestors, but instead thinks and plans how he can build something better and leave it for others–the age old agrarian commandment “make sure you leave a better farm than you inherit.” Where are they all, in the grave?
We all seem to stare at the rare genius under a semi, working on the transmission, or someone on a catwalk riveting a girder, or a teacher who can wade into an unruly class and say “damn it, we are going to learn calculus one way or another”.
My complaint against Hollywood actors is not that they are talentless, though many are; or that they talk in the same tones as women did sixty years ago, but that they have no imprint, no trademark of individuality. In short, to paraphrase Orwell, “If it paid better, they’d be fascists.”
I think we responded to Mickey Rourke’s brief renaissance, not because he survived while being drug-addled, or was punched out, or reckless, but because he showed, as a torn-cat, a certain dignity, a certain courage of being so very different from the norm. Yes, at this point we are so desperate for talent and singularity we will take eccentricity bordering on nihilism.
So there you have this rant.
Why are Americans hesitant, bewildered after the arrival of the Messiah?
Not for the reason our President attests about high unemployment or shaky GDP or the lack of national health care. We simply are ashamed of our profligacy; we don’t trust those who should be trusted; we put up with the crass and honor the mediocre and ugly; and we fight and bicker over the distribution, never over a share in the creation.
Hope and change, indeed.
Reines storm: Clinton conflict brews
When she abdicated her throne in the US Senate, Hillary took her long-time Senate press secretary Philippe Reines with her. I expect the press reporting on the senate's doings breathed a huge collective sigh of relief.
Here are some excerpts from Hillary's latest effort to woo back the respect of Europe, for our benighted "hick from the sticks" image:
State Department reporters and observers have been buzzing about the brewing conflict since her second foreign trip, earlier this month, to Europe and the Middle East. On that trip, her longtime Senate press secretary Philippe Reines – one of the combatants in Hillaryland’s long civil wars – took over as the political staffer charged with handling the press.
The trip was marked by tussles over information and access, but it became known for a high-profile blunder in Geneva on March 6. There, Clinton met Sergei Lavrov, the dour Russian Foreign Minister, and cheerily presented him with a large red button in a yellow case, with the words “Reset” and “Peregruzka” written on it.
How cute! But then ...
“We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?” Clinton asked.
“You got it wrong,” said Lavrov.
The error appalled some in the State Department, because the button – which was inscribed in Latin script, not Cyrillic – hadn’t been assembled with the help of State’s cadre of Russian speakers and professional translators, but rather by Clinton’s small political team. The day of the event, people involved said, Reines showed the finished product to officials who spoke Russian, but who weren’t native, or up-to-date enough to catch the error in a word out of computer terminology.
Let's see...for most of Hillary's life, the "USSR" on Soviet (Russian) spacecraft and other military hardware was always "CCCP", the Cyrillic characters for the acronym for the Soviet Union. In most circles, that is seen as something of a clue. Russian uses a different alphabet. But of course, when you are a Clintonista, you aren't deterred by mere fact. You make your own. Like ... snipers in Bosnia. Serbia. Wherever. Whatever.
But then, we get to the really good stuff. Reines sent out an email explaining it all. The problem is, Reines turns out to be another illiterate inside-the-beltway moronic sycophant. The man simply can't spell, and is apparently too stupid to use a spell-checker. Note that we aren't talking about a little typo or the usual sort of thing that gets missed from time-to-time. Look at this:
“Ultimotely [sic], this was my soul [sic] risponsibility [sic], nobody else's in or out of the building. While the Russians laughed off the error and accepted the gift in the spirit of cooperation that it was meant, I've been sic [sic] about the mistake since, especially that I let down the Secretary and the fine professionals at the State Department,” he e-mailed.
This was supposed to be a "joking" response. Perhaps Reines and "Giggles" Gibbs should get together and compare professional techniques for "handling" the press.
Reines, who worked for Clinton through most of her Senate career, was a controversial figure inside Clinton’s world. As Senate staffer, he was kept out of the campaign by her senior political aides, who dislike him intensely. He was nearly fired, two senior aides said, for a key early mistake – telling Maureen Dowd, on background, that McCain’s alliance with the White House left the Republican “looking similar to the way he did on those captive tapes from Hanoi.” Clinton was forced to promptly apologize.
Yep. Reines and "Giggles" should definitely get together.
Meanwhile, Hillary and Phillipe are off to Mexico. One can only hope they don't step in the mierda down there, too.
See also: Hillary really sucks as Secretary of State
The locations of the homes of AIG executives.
The objective of the tours?
To foment rage at specific individuals.
Connecticut Working Families is a front for ACORN.
That's right. And ACORN receives piles of Federal money, "at least $31 million in direct federal funding from American taxpayers over the past 10 years".
So your money, and mine, is being used to harass and intimidate AIG employees.
First we had the United States House of Representatives, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the Obama regime all going after the AIG bonus recipients. That would be fine, except they are using the tax code to do it.
Now we have ACORN, recipient of Federal funds, lurking behind a cover organization, bent on harassing and intimidating private citizens.
Want another bonus?
The Obama regime is using ACORN to run the 2010 census. In a strictly apolitical, non-partisan way, of course.
We are going to refer to him as "The Blithering Idiot of the Treasury".
Yep. That's our Timmy Geithner.
Geither wants the power to seize corporations:
Geither seeks power to seize imperiled corporations
Corporations are property. Private property. Geithner seems to think the Congress has the power to grant him that authority. They do not.
That was the reasoning behind CongressCritter Michele Bachmann's questions to The Blithering Idiot earlier today. She asked Geithner repeatedly to state where in the Constitution the authority existed for Treasury to be taking the actions it has since March 2008.
Geithner kept going on about how the Congress, the House, had given him that authority.
Congress doesn't have the juice to do that.
Have any of these buffoons ever read the Constitution?
Last week they were using the tax code after the fact to punish and confiscate property legally obtained by United States citizens.
This week the Obama regime (note that we no longer refer to it as 'the Obama administration') is tap-dancing all over the place as it has finally dawned on them that it doesn't work that way.
Unless, of course, the Obama regime intends to trash the Constitution, which so far, they seem to be on course for doing.
Where is the outrage from the Left? From the MainStream Media? They lost their minds during the Bush years, screaming about how the Bushians were trashing our rights, our privacy.
Where is the outrage now? Do they really think the Obama regime has the legal authority to just take private property because The Blithering Idiot of the Treasury thinks a corporation is 'imperiled'?
Polk County school officials said there's no rule against flatulence, but there are rules against causing a disturbance on the bus.
The teen said he wasn't the one passing gas.
Whether he did it or not, he might have gotten off easy. A 13-year-old student at a Stuart school was arrested in November after authorities said he broke wind in class.
I once inadvertently and audibly passed gas in class. 7th grade, it was. I suffered for it for days afterward. Probably scarred me for life.
I had no idea this would become a criminal offense.
We should all be thankful that school administrators continue to come to grips with these vital issues.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has an explanation about why she never mentioned the word “terrorism” during her first testimony on Capitol Hill.
Napolitano tells the German news site Spiegel Online that while she presumes there is always a threat from 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.”
"... only a nuance ...". Ya think?
Since Obama has ended the terrorist threat, it is no longer necessary for airlines pilots to carry...guns:
After the September 11 attacks, commercial airline pilots were allowed to carry guns if they completed a federal-safety program. No longer would unarmed pilots be defenseless as remorseless hijackers seized control of aircraft and rammed them into buildings.
Now President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology…
Since Mr. Obama’s election, pilots have told us that the approval process for letting pilots carry guns on planes slowed significantly. Last week the problem went from bad to worse. Federal Flight Deck Officers - the pilots who have been approved to carry guns - indicate that the approval process has stalled out.
Pilots cannot openly speak about the changing policies for fear of retaliation from the Transportation Security Administration. Pilots who act in any way that causes a “loss of confidence” in the armed pilot program risk criminal prosecution as well as their removal from the program. Despite these threats, pilots in the Federal Flight Deck Officers program have raised real concerns in multiple interviews.
It's a new trillion dollars!
Little Timmy Geithner, Obama's Eunuch of the Treasury, is busy announcing that - having spent a trillion bux last week, while most everyone was busy watching the Great "Screw 'em with the tax code" abomination:
The Federal Reserve sharply stepped up its efforts to bolster the economy on [March 18], announcing that it would pump an extra $1 trillion into the financial system by purchasing Treasury bonds and mortgage securities.
Having already reduced the key interest rate it controls nearly to zero, the central bank has increasingly turned to alternatives like buying securities as a way of getting more dollars into the economy, a tactic that amounts to creating vast new sums of money out of thin air. But the moves on Wednesday were its biggest yet, almost doubling all of the Fed’s measures in the last year.
The action makes the Fed a buyer of long-term government bonds rather than the short-term debt that it typically buys and sells to help control the money supply.
Here is another observation on last week's spending extravaganza:
Note the losing battle Benanke is fighting: attitudes. The Fed has become the lender of only resort as opposed to the lender of last resort. Bernanke cannot force banks to lend nor can he force companies to hire or if they do hire the wages that will be paid.
Wage destruction continues unabated, and if Bernanke does succeed in driving prices higher, he just might ask himself, how anyone is going to pay the bills.
Deflation is a benefit, not a curse. It only appears to be a curse through the myopic eyes of Bernanke who is worried about the destruction of debt on the balance sheets of financial institutions. However the time to worry about balance sheets is not now. The time to worry about balance sheets was in 2002 when something could have been done about it.
Now the best thing to do is let things play out. The economy will bottom on its own once prices fall far enough.
Now, Obama and Geithner are going to use another freshly-printed trillion bux (starting to sound like Zimbabwe, aren't we?) to buy up failed banks.
Mike Shedlock on that:
This is similar in nature to fraudulent schemes that promise “what’s inside the bag is worth $1 million, unless you open the bag”.
In this case there may be a few “good bags” similar in nature to salting the mine schemes, but for the most part everyone knows what’s in the bag is toxic garbage. What really makes no sense whatsoever is why the government would risk 97% with shared “upside” instead of just buying it all.
Somehow, Geithner (and Obama by implication) believes that igniting a bidding war between hedge funds and private equity over a bag of cow manure will inspire confidence that there’s gold in the bag. Such insanity cannot possibly work, which means it won’t.
Meanwhile, we find that Geithner's little elves were busy at work with AIG on the bonuses for months:
Geithner Aides Worked With AIG for Months on Bonuses
Meanwhile, China holds a $1,000,000,000,000 (that's One Trillion dollars) in US debt.
Would you like noodles with your breakfast McFooYung?
Here is a meerkat, also from Islands of Life:
and an ostrich:
Chicago way extension runs right through D.C.
wherein he really hits the nail on the head. In this column, Kass notes that Obama had to really be off his Hopium to screw up so badly on the Jay Leno show. You probably think he's writing about the Special Olympics thing, right? He isn't. He's talking about the '... stunned, just stunned ..." thing.
Here are some excerpts:
Obama told Jay Leno he was surprised that those greedy AIG executives who helped lead the country into financial ruin were in line to receive $165 million in bonuses paid for by bailout cash authorized by his administration.
"Stunned, stunned is the word," said Obama.
It turns out that his Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner—who didn't pay all of his federal taxes but was still deemed worthy by Obama of collecting yours—knew all about the AIG bonuses weeks ago.
That was long before Washington Democrats began shrieking in pretend outrage over the bonuses, as if they didn't vote for them, sort of like Chicago aldermen shrieking about corruption from the 5th Floor.
In the meantime, all last week, the ludicrous Angry-Democrat-vs.-Greedy-AIG slapstick was highly entertaining, except when you realize the premise of the joke is that American taxpayers are so stupid we'll believe anything.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she'd tax those arrogant AIG guys and take the money back. This is the same Pelosi who is extremely wealthy, worth millions, yet she jets coast to coast on weekends on your dime, because she's the speaker. Why doesn't she buy her own jet and have the unemployed AIG guys serve drinks to the real estate lobbyists?
What they're trying to drown out with all their screaming is that the Democrats knew all about the $165 million to the AIG suits. And the Obama White House knew all about it too.
In fact, it was a rather brave New York Democrat, Rep. Joseph Crowley, who asked Geithner about the AIG bonuses in a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee. Not yesterday, or a couple days ago, but on March 3.
"Just last month," Crowley told Geithner, "AIG paid 343 employees of AIG FP—their Financial Products division that created the financial hole that AIG is in, and in turn a multibillion-dollar bill for American taxpayers—$56 million in bonuses and are slated to pay an additional $162 million in bonuses to 393 participants in the coming weeks," Crowley said.
"And there's more," Crowley said. "Further bonus payments totaling approximately $230 million are due to 407 participants at AIG's Financial Products division in March 2010. This makes no sense to my constituency."
Obama fires back at Cheney
You gotta be kidding me.
What next? The Democrats are going to start up another website, this time to deal with Cheney rather than Limbaugh?
Will the president appear on Jay Leno's show to toss glib one-liners from the teleprompter at Cheney?
The whole thing is turning into late night comedy.
Obama has brought 'shock and awe' right into our wallets.
So we should be focused on the AIG bonuses, but not exactly on da munny. We should be looking at how it happened.
Remember that 'act boldly' thing of Obama's? He acted 'boldly'. He also acted precipitously. He rammed his 'stimulus bill' through, with his homies in the Congress porking it out so badly that it is commonly referred to as 'Porculus Americanus'. Because it is going to create such a deficit that our grandchildren will be paying for it, it is also commonly known as 'The Generational Theft Act of 2009'.
Because it was rammed through so fast that no one had time to read it, much less discuss it intelligently, it included the now infamous 'Dodd Amendment'. That is what allowed the bonuses to be handed out. The bonuses were obligated contractually, and Obama, Timothy Geithner, Rahm 'The Fish' Emanuel, Dave Axelrod, Barney Frank, and Chris Dodd - just name a few key figures knew it. They knew it.
And then it broke in the news.
Now, we have all these people nailing the AIG bonus recipients to the cross, using the anger of the American people - righteous anger - to ram through yet another precipitous bill, this one using taxation as both punitive and confiscatory measures.
That isn't right. Americans should be more incensed over that than the bonuses. Such an action is contrary to the ideals for which we fought the American Revolution.
The United States Congress and the President of the United States are using the anger over the bonuses to obfuscate their direct complicity in why the problem exists in the first place. They are using taxes to show that they are 'getting even' with AIG bonus recipients. They are blowing smoke and waving mirrors to hide the fact that they caused the problem in the first place.
Colorado Democrat Jared Polis is playing it for all its worth: “We will hunt you down!” he thundered in the House last Thursday, like some kind of avenging angel.
Do we really want people like Polis knee-jerking their way through the legislative process? Do we really want Polis using his Congressional authority for vengeance and retribution?
Here is something else. The bonuses represent less than one tenth of one percent of the money that has been flushed down the AIG toilet, over $180 billion at last count. It started with a Republican administration that had obviously finally lost what few brains it had left, and continues through today with a Democratic administration that is totally unable to deal with any of it constructively. The leadership of the Congress is complicit, as is the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve.
While Polis is shouting about hunting people down, he and his cronies - including the Obama adminstration - continue to put the lie to their apparent new-found fiscal responsibility. Obama is up there spouting his own 'anger' at the continued rewarding of failure...yet he and his Congressional toads are shoving $5 billion into the auto industry.
Timmy Geither has managed to buy up piles of 'toxic assets', leading the Federal Reserve to announce, last Thursday, that they are going to print another $1 trillion in order to buy all those Treasury bonds and mortgage securities that no one else wants.
Between the Federal Reserve, FDIC, the Treasury Department, and the FHA, the bailout is up to $8.5 trillion. That's right. TRILLION!
It does not include the $5.2 in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for which We the Taxpayer are now responsible.
It does not include at least $50 billion that Geithner wants for mortgage bailouts.
It does not include the $2.5 trillion he wants for the next big bank bailout.
Browse Barry Ritholz' financial blog, The Big Picture, where we found this delightful cartoon, which helps put some perspective on the numbers:
It's maddening, isn't it?
But consider this. The Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve knew about the bonuses back in November. FoxNews has an exclusive report, here:
Treasury, Fed reviewed AIG bonuses months ago
Despite that, or more likely because of it since he is a recipient of considerable sums of 'contributions' from AIG and other such companies, Senator Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, caused to be inserted into the Obama stimulus bill language that would exempt those bonuses; in other words, the language approved the bonuses as they stood:
“... exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009”
This language passed through the House and the Senate like crap though a goose. There was no due deliberation. None of these people even bothered to read the bill. Certainly none of our Colorado Congressional delegation did.
The president then signed it into law, declaring that 'we' were acting 'boldly'.
These people knew about the AIG bonuses. They knew. So what was supposed to happen? Were the bonuses to have been passed out quietly and without fanfare? Did someone spill the beans inadvertently? Was the info about the bonuses leaked by someone who was outraged by them? Those are good questions, but the answers really don't matter.
Look at the language: '... contractually obligated ...'. Like it or not, there was a contract in place, and in place with the knowledge of the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, obligating AIG's owners to pay those bonuses.
The United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives passed that, agreed to it, authorized it, encouraged it, approved it. Sanctioned it.
It's their baby. The members of our Colorado Congressional delegation really ought to grow a pair and man up to it, but they aren't, they won't, because like most of the rest of the Congress, they are moral cowards. Both of our senators, and our Democratic members of the House, are moral cowards.
Why? Because they allowed this to happen. They are responsible for those bonuses being paid. They voted for, they approved, the enabling legislation.
Now, in order to make themselves look good, and by feeding off the anger of the public toward the recipients of the bonuses, they are using their Congressional authority to use the tax code as a punitive device, as a confiscatory device. They using their Congressional authority to violate legitimate contracts between AIG and the bonus recipients. They are violating the Constitution by passing what is clearly an ex post facto law, and what is clearly a Bill of Attainder. That is discussed here:
Congress invites court challenge
Note that this is not some 'legal technicality'. It is fundamental to the protections within the Constitution. It goes straight to the heart of why we even have a Constitution, and that is to protect We the People from the kinds of moral cowards we now see in droves in the Congress.
So why is this a 'criminal conspiracy'?
We have over two-thirds of the House involved in a criminal conspiracy to defraud, if not outright steal, money from private citizens who have committed no crimes. We have over two-thirds of the House involved in a criminal misuse of their authority to illegally take that which is the rightful property (the money) from private citizens who have committed no crimes. We have two-thirds of the House involved in wilfully violating the Constitution to deprive private citizens, who have committed no crimes, of what is rightfully theirs.
Make no mistake about it. Those bonuses, though ill-advised (how's that for an understatement) are legal; they are received through a legitimate contractual obligation already recognized by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve; they are received with the prior blessing via the so-called 'stimulus bill' of the same people who now misuse their authority egregiously.
We have a House full of criminals, moral cowards, and duplicitous, self-serving liars. That includes John Salazar, Betsey Malarkey, Dianna DeGette, Jared Polis, and Ed Perlmutter. It also includes Senators Mike Bennet, Mark Udall. They all voted for that stimulus bill, and by so doing, approved the Dodd Amendment and the exceptions for the AIG bonuses.
Salazar, Malarkey, DeGette, Polis, and Perlmutter all voted YES on HR1586: To impose an additional tax on bonuses received from certain TARP recipients.
Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman voted NO. They did not vote "NO' because they thought the AIG'ers deserved the bonuses. They voted "NO" because they have some understanding of the Constitution, and the law.
The others should be impeached.
I'll bet they didn't. I'd love to hear the spin they put on it, though. It would be better than the self-serving garbage they are shoving down our throats over the AIG bonus taxation.
Towards the end of his approximately 40-minute appearance, the president talked about how he’s gotten better at bowling and has been practicing in the White House bowling alley.
He bowled a 129, the president said.
“That’s very good, Mr. President,” Leno said sarcastically.
It’s “like the Special Olympics or something,” the president said.
When asked about the remark, the White House had no comment.
Here we have Charles Rangel (D-NY), chairman of the House Ways and Means committee and a tax cheat of no small proportions himself:
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel, D-New York, told reporters Wednesday, "We can't have any concept of we're getting even, but we must have a concept that we're trying to show that Congress ... cannot tolerate that."
We can't have any concept that we are getting even?
That is exactly what this is.
Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said the bill was "necessitated by the poor judgment shown by firms receiving bailout money."
The effrontery of this woman. The arrogance. It would be beyond belief if it had happened before our very eyes today. She is an embarrassment to the nation. She is an insult to the nation.
The people at AIG received the bonuses as the result of contracts previously agreed to. The United States Congress specifically and deliberately inserted an amendment, authored by both the United States Treasury Department and Senator Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking committee, to allow those bonuses.
The Congress legitimized the bonuses.
The people who received the bonuses did so under an exemption clause specifically emplaced in the Obama stimulus bill by the Congress.
That bill, including that exemption, was signed into law by the president of the United States.
Now, in an effort to deflect the righteous anger of the citizens of the nation, these moral cowards, these political whores, these pandering, simpering, sniveling weasels, are using their legislative power to screw a small group of Americans who have committed no crimes, who have acted with the blessing of those same moral cowards, those same political whores.
They are using their power to avoid responsibility for their hasty, ill-conceived actions in pushing that legislative abortion through without due consideration, without due thought.
They are cowards. All of them.
It is shameful.
Two-thirds of the House of Representatives, every one of those moral cowards who voted for this, should be impeached.
Our Colorado Congressional delegation is right in the middle of it.
How can anyone have any respect for them?