“Democratic leaders should be asking themselves just how they have gotten to the point that their strategy is to amend a law that doesn’t exist yet by passing a bill without voting on it.”
Yuval Levin (National Review Online)
Just in case it wasn’t already crystal clear to you before today, Nancy Pelosi has again reveals the dangerous mindset of the progressive liberal. They always know better and a federal government filled with them can manage your life far better than you can.
It took courage for Congress to pass Social Security and Medicare, which eventually became highly popular, she said, “and many of the same forces that were at work decades ago are at work again against this bill.”
If the last year has taught the average American anything, it is the reality of just how well the federal government has managed the Ponzi scheme that is Social Security, and just how well the federal goverment has managed Medicare. The average American now understands that both of them were unsustainable ideas from the beginning and that today both are essentially broke. But that doesn’t stop progressives.
“We’re not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress,” she said. “We’re here to do the job for the American people.”
“Time is up. We really have to go forth.”
So even though the American people have clearly said, no, Madame, we don’t want some more, the Speaker of the Nuthouse thinks it’s time for all the Democrat to join hands, damn the reelections, and full-steam ahead shove socialized medicine down America’s throat. She and her ilk continue to live in a fantasy world where we, the people, are just a bunch of drooling imbeciles, unable to comprehend what we read and see and to then form our own opinions about it.
“The Republican Party directs a lot of what the Tea Party does, but not everybody in the Tea Party takes direction from the Republican Party. And so there was a lot of, shall we say, Astroturf, as opposed to grassroots.”
And Congress wonders why over 75% of Americans now disapprove of them? And why Obama’s job approval rating is now running neck-and-neck with the number who disapprove of the job he’s doing?
They remind me of a bumper sticker I once saw. It read, “Lawyers eat their young.”
Though the GOP continues to be portrayed by the mainstream media (as egged on by the Democrats) as a bunch of mean-spirited, miserly old white people whose favorite pasttime is saying “No” just for the sake of saying “No”, the polls show clearly that even the most average of Americans now feels that the federal government is way out of control and a clear majority disapprove of Congress. Everyone in Congress.
So it seems to me that just like any good employer whose employees have taken to holding open-bar tailgate parties and hosting strippers in their cubes, funding them out of the petty cash or charging them to their business credit card, the correct response to any further requests for any kind of non-essential spending is “No.” In fact, I’d to so far as to say, “Hell no. And while we’re talking, pack your personal things and don’t let the door hit you on the ass as this nice security guard escorts you out of my building.”
And as every a astute parent will tell you, “no” is a perfectly fine word. It is what shapes our world by helping us define our boundaries, it is part and parcel of the rules of any game. In the same way you don’t let your teenager head off in a car full of their friends if those friends are drunk by using the word, “no”, so, too, should the GOP and any reasonably sane Blue Dog Democrat be saying no every time the far left-wingnuts propose more “I won”-drunken and therefore dangerous spending.
One example is the so-called “jobs bill”. It’s nothing more than Obama’s coveted “second stimulus” in populist clothing. While our economy needs a big shot of tax breaks, cuts, and even those stinky little taxpayer loans to the feds euphemistically referred to as tax “credits”, these are easily accomplished by simply writing them up as such and passing them through Congress. It’s so simple even a child could do it.
Instead, what His Transparency has set forth is just one more charge against the already-unfathomable national debt. Sure, there are tax credits and a few tax breaks, but when the first unstimulating stimulus hasn’t even been spent, what the hell do we need to spend billions more for now on “shovel-ready” projects that mysteriously didn’t manifest the first time around? Particularly troubling is that some of it comes as a direct attack on the insurance companies, paid for with the tax dollars of future generations. He’s building then riding a wave of angst over what are in truth rather justifiable health insurance premium increases in a state so broke due to the expansiveness of its coddling entitlement programs that include illegal immigrants that even its IOUs aren’t any good any more in order to sneak into place another piece of the puzzle being put together to socialize American medicine. And if that’s too hard to get your brain cell around, just what does regulating the insurance companies have to do with creating jobs, anyhow? If anything, this will kill jobs in the insurance industry, aka the private sector and replace them with yet more federal bureaucrats.
I don’t know about you, but it makes my head spin. The one thing of which I am certain, however, is that if America is to survive we must have the word “No!” ringing out loud and clear. Every time something is proposed that requires more government employees (meaning, it costs money), the GOP and Blue Dogs should be standing up and shouting “No!”. That is what the majority of we, the people, desperately want. That is what this beloved country desperately needs. Contrary to the affirmatively-graduated Ivy League stated opinion that Americans somehow just don’t understand the elitist prattlings teleprompting their way down to the great unwashed masses from the upper levels of the federal government, the majority of American people are not stupid. Even if Congress doesn’t bother to read the legislation they slap together under cover of darkness, we do. And no matter how slowly you state your case, no matter what pretty words you use to try and put a positive spin on it, if it costs money and especially when it infringes on our privacy and our liberties, the bottom line is that we don’t want it.
That’s the big mistake that Scott Brown made. While no one expected a true, Constitutional Conservative to come out of the state of Massachusetts, his vote to end debate over President Walking Eagle’s “jobs bill” showed clearly that he doesn’t get it.
What we, the American people, want is NO.
And more importantly, no more lies.
If members of the GOP were wise, they would clean up their act and then wear every single “NO” as a badge of honor.
We all knew the first big, fat, unread “stimulus” bill shoved through by the Democrats last year would be useless and some had noticed it contained frightening encroachments upon American liberties. And even though all the money from the first “stimulus” hasn’t even been spent, the Democrats are ramming another one through Congress under the wolfskin guise of “jobs”. But this one is not only going to be more more wasted money, it is, in fact, the death blow to the foundation of freedom upon which this country was founded.
So many Americans have been raising their voices in a chorus ranging from displeasure to outright anger for a year now but time and time again the administration simply ignores them. Even when a million-odd citizens gathered on the Mall on 9/12 to protest the ever-increasing size of the federal government, the administration claimed they didn’t notice. Indeed, President Walking Eagle made it a point to leave town.
It’s discouraging, to be sure, when phone calls go unanswered, mail responses are simply canned campaign-like responses, and face-to-face encounters go unacknowledged except as an excuse for the mainstream media to show off the more vulgar side of their limited vocabulary. But there may be hope. For not only was the Massachusetts special election just too big to be ignored, but the reasons behind it may actually start to be sinking in. Though not exactly in a straight, forward direction.
David Axelrod stated that “in this weird political season, we have become accustomed to unusual outbursts” in the House during presidential speeches.
I suppose that if you’re of the opinion that Government Knows Best, then having your self-proclaimed authority challenged might very well be considered unusual. But I personally find it incredibly refreshing that ordinary citizens, like you and me, are finally beginning to participate more fully in the grand old glory that is the process of governing the Republic. Our unique system of checks and balances provides for debate and there isn’t a damned thing wrong with an honest rebuttal. But I suppose the key word there is “honest”. As we, the people, slowly regain our insight into the workings of our government, it is clear that honesty is decidedly lacking and the main purpose of debate has been reduced to little more than posturing for position.
His Transparency has even resorted to avoiding press conferences for fear reporters will ask questions that we, the people, want answered. The official spin is that the TOTUS prefers to instead give “interviews” (aka campaign ops).
And that spells not only Waterloo for His Transparency, but for all the progressive liberals in government and their dangerously socialist ideology.
So you know what your government is doing? If you only listened to the mainstream media you’d think we were almost out of the woods. But the SIGTARP’s quarterly report to Congress was released this morning. And in direct contrast to President Walking Eagle’s tingle-tales about the program’s effectiveness in saving America from the mess he inheirited because of the actions of his predecessor and the Congress of which he, himself, was a part, Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for TARP, didn’t have anything good to say.
The long story short is that TARP has provided little more than a taxpayer-funded safety net and basically nothing has been done to curb the underlying causes of the recent financial meltdown. The program is fraught with abuse and fraud and bailouts have, as many of us predicted, simply encouraged the continuation of the wrong kinds of risk-taking and, in Mr. Barofsky’s educated opinion, even more dire straits lay ahead.
“Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car.”
Some highlights from the report itself:
It is hard to see how any of the fundamental problems in the system have been addressed to date.
Many of TARP’s stated goals, however, have simply not been met. Despite the fact that the explicit goal of the Capital Purchase Program (“CPP”) was to increase financing to U.S. businesses and consumers, lending continues to decrease, month after month, and the TARP program designed specifically to address small-business lending — announced in March 2009 — has still not been implemented by Treasury. Notwithstanding the fact that preserving homeownership and promoting jobs were explicit purposes of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (“EESA”), the statute that created TARP, nearly 16 months later, home foreclosures remain at record levels, the TARP foreclosure prevention program has only permanently modified a small fraction of eligible mortgages, and unemployment is the highest it has been in a generation. Whether these goals can effectively be met through existing TARP programs is very much an open question at this time. And to the extent that the Government had leverage through its status as a significant preferred shareholder to influence the largest TARP recipients to carry out such policy goals, it was lost with their exit from TARP.
• To the extent that huge, interconnected, “too big to fail” institutions contributed to the crisis, those institutions are now even larger, in part because of the substantial subsidies provided by TARP and other bailout programs.
• To the extent that institutions were previously incentivized to take reckless risks through a “heads, I win; tails, the Government will bail me out” mentality, the market is more convinced than ever that the Government will step in as necessary to save systemically significant institutions. This perception was reinforced when TARP was extended until October 3, 2010, thus permitting Treasury to maintain a war chest of potential rescue funding at the same time that banks that have shown questionable ability to return to profitability (and in some cases are posting multi-billion-dollar losses) are exiting TARP programs.
• To the extent that large institutions’ risky behavior resulted from the desire to justify ever-greater bonuses — and indeed, the race appears to be on for TARP recipients to exit the program in order to avoid its pay restrictions — the current bonus season demonstrates that although there have been some improvements in the form that bonus compensation takes for some executives, there has been little fundamental change in the excessive compensation culture on Wall Street.
• To the extent that the crisis was fueled by a “bubble” in the housing market, the Federal Government’s concerted efforts to support home prices — as discussed more fully in Section 3 of this report — risk re-inflating that bubble in light of the Government’s effective takeover of the housing market through purchases and guarantees, either direct or implicit, of nearly all of the residential mortgage market.
…the Government has done more than simply support the mortgage market, in many ways it has become the mortgage market, with the taxpayer shouldering the risk that had once been borne by the private investor.
Treasury’s failure to discover the scope and scale of AIG’s executive compensation obligations, in particular at AIGFP, potentially resulted in a missed opportunity to avoid the explosively controversial events surrounding the AIGFP retention payments and the considerable public and Congressional concern that followed. Although SIGTARP saw no indication that Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner (the “Treasury Secretary” or “Secretary Geithner”) had personal knowledge of the AIGFP bonuses until shortly before they were paid, this too suggests a failure of communication. In light of the political sensitivities associated with the bailout of AIG, in his role both as then-President of FRBNY and subsequently as Treasury Secretary, it was necessary that Secretary Geithner be informed by his staff, in a timely manner, of such sensitive and significant information so that he could have sufficient time to explore possible solutions.
Through December 31, 2009, SIGTARP has opened 86 and has 77 ongoing criminal and civil investigations. These investigations include complex issues concerning suspected TARP fraud, accounting fraud, securities fraud, insider trading, bank fraud, mortgage fraud, mortgage servicer misconduct, fraudulent advance-fee schemes, public corruption, false statements, obstructionof justice, money laundering, and tax-related investigations.
On October 22, 2009, the Special Master, who was appointed without the advice and consent of the Senate, made determinations concerning executive compensation within AIG, Bank of America, Chrysler Financial, Chrysler, Citigroup, GM, and GMAC. …on November 2, 2009, SIGTARP requested from the Chief Counsel of OFS an explanation of Treasury’s legal position regarding the constitutionality of the position of the Special Master. A copy of that request is included in Appendix G: “Correspondence.” Treasury has not yet responded.
Although Treasury has projected an overall profit from CPP , any such profit will be diminished by billions of dollars in losses in certain CPP investments in which the banks have closed or reorganized. Three TARP recipients — CIT , UCBH, and Pacific Coast National Bancorp — have declared bankruptcy. Although there were two different paths to the organizations’ bankruptcies, the result for taxpayers appears to be the same — total or near-total loss of their investment.
As detailed in prior quarterly reports to Congress, one of SIGTARP’s most important recommendations with respect to PPIP has been that Treasury require strict information barriers or “walls” between the PPIF managers making investment decisions on behalf of the PPIF and those employees of the fund management company who manage non-PPIF funds trading in the same kinds of securities. For various reasons, Treasury has decided that requiring such walls “is simply not practical in the context of PPIP,” and has refused to adopt this recommendation. …a series of unusual trades undertaken in one of the PPIFs just weeks after trading began has highlighted the problems that can arise in the absence of a robust conflict-of-interest wall.
Of the $84.8 billion invested in Chrysler, GM, and their finance companies, $3.3 billion has been repaid. …According to the TARP Financial Statements, Treasury projected that, as of September 30, 2009, the AIFP investments will result in a $30.5 billion loss to U.S. taxpayers.
On November 9, 2009, the Federal Reserve announced that, of the 10 bank holding companies identified through its stress testing as needing additional capital, only GMAC failed to raise enough funds to meet the requirement.
From its inception, SIGTARP’s most fundamental recommendation with respect to basic transparency in the operation of TARP has been that Treasury should require all TARP recipients to report periodically on their use of TARP funds. …For the first time, Treasury will be collecting and publicly reporting this data on an institution-by-institution basis. Although regrettably delayed, SIGTARP believes that Treasury’s decision to provide this basic transparency will give meaningful information to the public and to policymakers on whether the TARP programs have met their goals and, as a result, may enhance the credibility of TARP. If implemented as described, Treasury’s plan on this front will constitute an adoption of SIGTARP’s recommendation and will finally give the American people the basic transparency they deserve in these investments.
On December 30, 2009, Treasury announced that GMAC met its SCAP capital requirement upon receipt of an additional $3.8 billion from AIFP. Treasury received $2.5 billion in trust preferred security plus $1.3 billion in MCP in exchange for this investment. Treasury also received warrants to purchase $127 million of trust preferred securities and $63 million of MCP, which it exercised immediately. In addition, Treasury is converting $3 billion of the MCP it acquired under previous TARP investments to common stock. As a result of these transactions, Treasury’s ownership of GMAC’s common stock increased from 35.4% to 56.3%, and it holds an additional $2.5 billion in trust preferred securities and $11.4 billion in MCP.
…infusions to AIG are linked inextricably: more than half the total amounts paid to counterparties in connection with the CDS portfolio retired through Maiden Lane III did not come about through the Maiden Lane III CDO purchases, but rather from AIG’s earlier collateral postings that were made possible in part by the original FRBNY loan, which was, in turn, paid down with TARP funds. Because of this linkage, the ultimate costs to the Government and the taxpayer cannot be measured in isolation. Stated another way, regardless of whether FRBNY is made whole on its loan to Maiden Lane III, the ultimate value or cost to the taxpayer cannot be calculated until the likelihood of AIG repaying all of its assistance can be more readily determined. Treasury’s recent suggestion to the contrary is, at best, incomplete.
…simply by purchasing comparatively tiny thrifts, Hartford and Lincoln [insurance companies] — companies whose primary businesses (unlike other CPP participants) have little to do with lending to consumers and businesses — gained access to more than $4.3 billion in taxpayer funds, an amount that is many multiples of the thrifts’ total assets.
It’s time to throw in the towel here. Oops. I mean, the TARP.
It was a big deal in the entertainment world when NBC decided to can Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien. Personally, I found Conan’s final week hilarious and reminiscent of its good old days with Johnny Carson and “Coco” was very gracious as he said his goodbye.
And why shouldn’t he be? Under the terms of the separation contract, NBC is paying O’Brien $45 million to not work for the next eight months, and he got them to give another $12 million to his staff of 200.
Not bad for a 7-month stint, eh?
But the one question no one is asking is: exactly how can NBC possibly afford to pay out all this money? Well, dear readers, the joke’s on you. Via the government’s bank bailouts last spring.
I know, I know. NBC isn’t a bank.
But in the Obamanation, that’s just a little legal technicality when your parent company is GE.
General Electric, the world’s largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government’s key rescue programs for banks.
At the same time, GE has avoided many of the restrictions facing other financial giants getting help from the government.
The company did not initially qualify for the program, under which the government sought to unfreeze credit markets by guaranteeing debt sold by banking firms. But regulators soon loosened the eligibility requirements, in part because of behind-the-scenes appeals from GE.
As a result, GE has joined major banks collectively saving billions of dollars by raising money for their operations at lower interest rates. Public records show that GE Capital, the company’s massive financing arm, has issued nearly a quarter of the $340 billion in debt backed by the program, which is known as the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program, or TLGP. The government’s actions have been “powerful and helpful” to the company, GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt acknowledged in December .
Banking companies are regulated by the Federal Reserve and not allowed to engage in commerce, but federal law has allowed a small number of commercial companies to engage in banking under the lighter hand of the Office of Thrift Supervision. GE falls in the latter group because of its ownership of a Utah savings and loan.
Unlike other major lenders participating in the debt guarantee program, including Bank of America, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase, GE has never been subject to the Fed’s stress tests or its rules for limiting risk. Also unlike firms that have received bailout money in the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, GE is not subject to restrictions such as limits on executive compensation.
What was that again about “too big to fail”?
Let’s see now. We’re in the middle of a pretty serious recession that has no end in sight. The administration is about to tax banks for taking a loan from the government and then paying it back while the IRS upped just pretty much everyone’s tax bill with new 2010 federal tax rates. Two of the Big Three automakers are owned by the taxpayers and that brilliant, Ivy League idea of a “Cash For Clunkers” program ended up with top ten clunkers traded in having been made by those Big Two but the top ten sales of new vehicles going to everyone else. Unemployment and housing foreclosures are both at double-digits with no real signs of slowing down so the administration is exploring ways to get their hands on the money people have put into their 401ks. The government’s security programs failed to stop both a jihadist massacre at Fort Hood and a jihadist attack on a plane above U.S. soil and their diplomatic efforts are failing equally with the nuclear weapons programs of both North Korea and Iran.
We mustn’t forget that it’s absolutely imperative for the government to take over the U.S. health care industry and to convince enough people that there is such a thing as global warming or climate change or something, anything, even if validated by falsified data, Virginia, to justify passing on the enormous financial burdens of cap and trade.
So what does a United States president do when the going is so very, very rough? How does he lead his country back to the prosperity inherent in Her Constitution and Bill of Rights? Why, he schemes in pure partisanship until the wee hours of the morning behind closed doors, then hits the campaign trail for Martha Coakley in Massachusetts this weekend. And he also picks up his magic pen to write a piece for Newsweek about the disaster in Haiti.
Atta boy, Barry. Demonstrate your commitment to transparency. Stump for a corrupt candidate whose own husband’s own police union won’t endorse her. Indulge your penchant for spouting nonsensical fluff about something that isn’t anyone’s fault and where the need is obvious for a publication that has become nothing more than venue for op/ed pieces. That’s the way to show real leadership.
You know it’s really bad when President Walking Eagle decides that he needs to use our hard-earned tax dollars to fly to Massachusetts to do his favorite thing in the world: campaign.
Yes, His Transparency is going to take time out of his busy weekend to fly to Boston in an attempt to inspire Democrats there to get out and vote next Tuesday for his latest little lapdogdancer-wannabe, state attorney general Martha Coakley. The same Martha Coakley who went down to Washington this week to collect campaign contributions from special interest lobbyists, the result of which are little more than a flurry of negative attack ads against state senator Scott Brown that either contain misspellings or are so blatantly offensive they are quickly and stealthily pulled from places like You Tube.
Yessiree. Partnering up with the Chicago machine is really going to show the good people of Massachusetts that you have taken their views against this administration’s policies to heart, Martha.
That the TOTUS is so willing to ignore the wishes and needs of the majority of Americans by spending their dimes to actively campaign in a state election is equally inspiring.
Flying pig, anyone?
Obama said, “I see the polls. … I catch the occasional blog poster, cable clip that breathlessly declares what something means for a political party, without really talking about what it means for a country. But I also know what happens once we get this done, once we sign this … bill into law: The American people will suddenly learn that this bill does things they like and doesn’t do things people have been trying to say it does. The worst fears will prove groundless.”
Groundless? When nothing managed by this administration has accomplished anything that could be honestly determined as successful, I don’t think it is groundless that as the passage of time rightly allows for better understanding of what Senator Harry Reid hastily scribbled as pork & bribes into his “manager’s amendment” that became the Senate version of health care “reform” we find more and more reason to be very afraid.
Another report has been released about federal funding for abortion in the Senate bill. And clever bastards that they are, it was assumed no one would notice or, if they did, they wouldn’t really understand how such a thing would be allowed, smoked over by the ineffective language included to help buy Senator Ben Nelson’s 60th vote. It is yet more damning evidence that this entire effort cannot be allowed to be birthed behind closed doors nor in such insane haste.
Buried deep in the 383-page Manager’s Amendment was new language making a direct appropriation of funds for Community Health Centers or CHCs (which are also called Federally Qualified Health Centers, or FQHCs), totaling $7 billion ($7,000,000,000) over five years. (See Sec. 10503 on page 2355 of the Senate-passed bill, H.R. 3590.) Because this is a direct appropriation in the health care bill itself, these funds will not flow through the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. Therefore, these funds would not be covered by the Hyde Amendment, which is a limitation provision that has been attached to the annual HHS appropriations bill in past years. Nor is there any other language in the Senate-passed bill that would prevent the use of the new funds to pay for abortions performed at Community Health Centers. (Note: Section 1303 of the bill contains certain language pertaining to abortion, but that language applies only to a proposed program of tax credits and cost sharing for health insurance for low-income individuals; it has no bearing at all on Section 10503, the CHC section.)
Also, there is no restriction in the current laws authorizing CHCs that restricts these centers from performing abortions. [See 42 U.S.C. 254b and Section 330 of the Public Health Services Act.]
CHCs can only use these so-called “Section 330 funds” for purposes within the scope of their grants, but one can assume that grant applications that included (for example) “reproductive
services” would not be deemed objectionable under the Obama Administration, and abortions could be subsumed under various other classifications as well.
This is not a merely hypothetical concern. There is already an organized effort underway by the Reproductive Health Access Project to encourage Community Health Centers to perform abortions, “as an integrated part of primary health care.” For evidence, see “Frequently Asked Questions About Integrating Abortion into Community Health Centers, Potential Obstacles and Possible Solutions” at http://www.reproductiveaccess.org/getting_started/faq.htm
Indeed, the Reproductive Health Access Project and the Abortion Access Project have produced an “administrative billing guide” to help CHCs integrate abortion into their practices within the confines of existing federal and state restrictions. See “Administrative Billing Guide for Medical Abortion at Facilities that Receive Title X, Section 330, and other Federal Funding,” at http://www.reproductiveaccess.org/med_ab/downloads/Admin_Billing_Guide.pdf.
I wonder if anyone in Nancy’s Nuthouse who supported the Stupak amendment will do the hypocritical Blue Dog roll over and swallow this one whole if those Democrat closed-door reconciliation meetings don’t pull it out?