Sunday, July 31, 2011

What Steve Rattner did before saying 'Tea Party persons were strapped with dynamite in Times Square at rush hour' on MSNBC

Rattner committed "the most heinous sorts of financial crimes"-Forbes. In Dec. 2010 he agreed to pay a $10million fine for influence peddling.

7/29/11, MSNBC, Morning Joe, Violent, mass murder rhetoric from former Obama Car Czar Steve Rattner, whose friend Joe Klein even says "is lucky he's not going to jail" (para. 7)

Rattner says of Tea Party people:

"It's a form of economic terrorism,

These Tea Party guys, they’re strapped with dynamite sitting in middle of Times Square at rush hour”…
  • (Rattner clip begins after a :15 or :30 commercial on MSNBC video, via Fox Nation)
Time's Joe Klein says his friend Steve Rattner is one reason why the Tea Party exists:

10/14/2010, "I am not saying that Steve Rattner is directly to blame for Christine O’Donnell. But he is part of a generation of financiers, the most respected figures in our society, who have been disgraced utterly by their greed and shenanigans–and who have made the world safe for Mama Grizzlies. This is how a great power wanes." (last paragraph)


Steve Rattner's life of apparent crimes before his Tea Party remarks:

10/14/10, "Rattner Shows Cuomo, SEC Justice Is Corrupt, Not Blind,", Neil Weinberg

"Former Obama Administration car czar Rattner’s apparent crimes:
  • perjuring himself to downplay his involvement.

As punishment for what are arguably among the most heinous sorts of financial crimes, the centi-millionaire will apparently be forced by the Securities and Exchange Commission to cough up $5 million or $6 million and steer at least partly clear of Wall Street for a couple of years. If past is any precedent, Rattner won’t even be required to admit to wrongdoing."...


10/13/10, "Steven Rattner Settles with S.E.C., Banned from Industry for Years, Fined Millions," NY Observer, Max Abelson:

  • he is a very specific kind of a very important New York person.

He works for important clients at important banks, writes important books, throws important parties in important homes, keeps important friends, is called on to do important things in the capital, and has a wife that does important Democratic Party fundraising. That will all change depending on how long his ban is, and how Mr. Rattner settles the remaining charges with New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

Allegedly, Mr. Rattner paid the political operative Hank Morris more than $1 million in exchange for a $100 million investment from the state's pension fund, and had a subsidiary of his firm pay $88,841 to buy up the DVD rights to a lowbrow comedy called Chooch, produced by state official David Loglisci and his brothers. Earlier this year, Mr. Loglisci pled guilty to a corruption charge."


"On Tuesday night, Steven L. Rattner was surrounded by an assemblage of stars from the financial and media worlds at the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan. Chief executives and powerful politicians had gathered to celebrate his new book on the restructuring of the American auto industry.

Few if any of the guests sipping sauvignon blanc and snacking on crab cakes could have guessed that Mr. Rattner was near a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over illegal kickbacks to New York State pension fund officials.

In many ways, the high-wattage at the party traced the career arc of Mr. Rattner, 58, who has been a financial reporter,

  • an esteemed media investment banker,
  • a member of the Obama administration.
Many believed that Mr. Rattner had set his sights even higher — to become Treasury secretary in a Democratic administration. If he held such national ambitions, they have now likely been vanquished by a scandal involving
  • corruption at the New York state pension fund.

The legal morass has ensnared Mr. Rattner for the last 18 months. A settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including a multiyear ban from the securities industry and a multimillion dollar fine, over illegal kickbacks to officials at the New York State pension fund may be announced as soon as Thursday.

The scandal involved associates of Alan Hevesi, former New York State comptroller. Mr. Hevesi and others have pleaded guilty to charges that private equity executives paid for access to pension fund officials. The investigations, by the S.E.C. and Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, have tarnished others in the private equity industry, including the Carlyle Group and the firm Mr. Rattner helped found, the Quadrangle Group, which have settled charges.

They have also changed the way these firms solicit business from big pension funds, eliminating a sometimes shadowy world of informal middlemen that arrange meetings between potential investors and investment funds. The New York State and City pension funds now forbid the use of agents who connect officials with investment firms, though the practice continues in other parts of the country.

And the impact of the so-called “pay to play” investigations has reached far beyond New York and Quadrangle.

But few buyout figures were as affected as Mr. Rattner, who while at Quadrangle helped distribute a film produced by the New York pension fund’s chief investment officer. Mr. Rattner had long been the most prominent target of the investigations, which continued after he left Quadrangle

  • last year to join the Obama administration.

Raised on Long Island, Mr. Rattner graduated from Brown University in 1974. He became a reporter at The New York Times in its Washington and London bureaus. He then left journalism to pursue banking, moving from Lehman Brothers to Morgan Stanley and then Lazard as an investment banker.

Along the way, he became known as a top-flight mergers and acquisitions expert who specialized in media companies, brokering deals on behalf of companies like Viacom and Comcast.
  • Vanity Fair once described Mr. Rattner as “the most talked about investment banker of his generation,”

a smooth negotiator whose advice won the confidences of moguls like the telecom entrepreneur Craig McCaw and Brian L. Roberts, the chief executive of Comcast. His parties at his homes on Fifth Avenue and Martha’s Vineyard,

He also rose as high as Lazard’s deputy chief executive, though he clashed frequently with Felix G. Rohatyn, the firm’s senior deal-maker.

But Mr. Rattner left in 2000 to pursue yet another career change, banding together with three other Lazard partners to form Quadrangle. While there, he pursued leveraged buyouts of media companies like the takeovers of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and most of the American titles of Dennis Publishing, including men’s magazines like Maxim and Stuff. (Some of those investments have faltered;
  • M.G.M. is close to filing a prepackaged bankruptcy that will wipe out its equity holders, including Quadrangle.)

Mr. Rattner had also sought to gain influence in the Democratic Party, giving millions of dollars to candidates like Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. His appointment as the White House’s car czar, in charge of its ambitious plan to reorganize General Motors and Chrysler, was in part the

  • culmination of years of hosting fund-raisers and writing opinion articles on economic issues in major newspapers.

After assiduously working his way up the New York media and financial worlds, Mr. Rattner drew an elite crowd on Tuesday night. Among the guests at Tuesday’s book party were Henry R. Kravis of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Millard S. Drexler of J. Crew

His closest friends include the co-hosts of his book party, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City and Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The New York Times, as well as Mr. Roberts of Comcast."


10/19/10, Steve Rattner speaking engagement canceled by Detroit Economic Club.

  • ""When you accept a multimillion-dollar fine from the SEC, it doesn't seem appropriate to have him speak here.""...

12/30/10, "Former Obama car czar Steve Rattner settles NY influence-peddling probe for $10 million," AP, via

MSNBC video via Weasel Zippers

To William Yeomans, for 'terrorist tactics' look at Big Labor, not the Tea Party (which people keep saying is dead anyway)

7/30/11, "Big Labor: The Real Hostage Takers," American Thinker, Brett McMahon

"It took an amazing amount of gall, guile, or both for a former Ted Kennedy political staffer to decry supposed Tea Party "terrorist tactics" in seeking to rein in the debt drowning our nation.

"It has become commonplace to call the tea party faction in the House 'hostage takers,'" William Yeomans wrote. "But they have now become

  • full-blown terrorists."

Forget, for a moment, the lack of violence--verbal or physical--coming from Tea Partiers, which would constitute terrorism. Forget, also, that grassroots pressure on politicians to control profligate spending (sure to be followed by tax hikes) is neither an act of hostage takers or terrorists.

Instead, consider for now the actions of President Obama and his key backers from Big Labor. As John Mariotti described this week, the "president's job killers" include a host of minions enacting harmful regulation and:

It should be no surprise to anyone reading it why the US has a jobs problem. It is governed by an anti-business president, and no matter how many nice speeches he makes about jobs for Americans, his minions are behind the scenes doing the dirty work, killing American jobs and companies everyday--and no one seems to be able to stop them.

For its part, Big Labor--the sine qua non of the Obama administration--has held up vital trade deals that would give a boost to domestic manufacturers, small and large. It continues to demand job-killing card check, first by legislation and now by regulation. Big Labor was, as many will remember, the cornerstone of power for Yeomans' former employer, Kennedy--making his terrorist allegations all the more shocking.

Perhaps most strange of all is that an anti-business agenda, propelled in part by the various and sundry anti-corporate Left--but primarily by organized labor--represents such a
  • small portion of actual working Americans.
Most are familiar with labor's decline and that it now represents only about 7 percent of private sector workers. What many haven't recognized is that only 1.3 percent--a rounding error (or economic error)--of private sector workers in Right To Work states are members of a union. Yet it is organized labor's lobbyists that relentlessly pressure senators from those states to bend to the will
  • of a small special interest.
It is time to recognize that if there is a supposed "hostage taker" or "terrorist" in American politics it is the constituency of Big Labor bosses. And it is time to remember that America does not negotiate with terrorists."

Commenter to article

KeeperOfThePuros Yesterday 10:25 AM

"organized labor's lobbyists that relentlessly pressure senators from those states to bend to the will of a small special interest."

What's the problem? Just can't say no to a bribe?"

Labor nice guys in Wisconsin this year

Signs protesting Governor Walker and generally suggesting
violence in Wisconsin.

from Hot Air, which has more signs.


Obama Twitter campaign vulgar, classless, desperate-UK Telegraph

7/30/11, "Barack Obama’s vulgar Twitter spamming campaign is a classless act of desperation by the US president," UK Telegraph, Nile Gardiner

"The Washington Post and a number of US news sites are reporting that tens of thousands of Twitter users have unfollowed President Obama after being deluged by tweets on Friday requesting they contact Republican legislators over the debt ceiling issue. According to The Post:

Obama’s official 2012 campaign Twitter account announced to its 9.4 million followers that it would begin publishing the Twitter account names of House Republicans. Over the course of the day, @BarackObama sent out around 100 tweets.

Not everyone was enamored. The account stood at 9.366 million followers by 6 p.m., a loss of more than 30,000 followers. The White House’s official account, @whitehouse, was also publishing tweets at a rapid-fire pace throughout the day.

One would have thought the leader of the free world might have better things to do with his time than spam Twitter with highly partisan tweets that quickly became a major annoyance, the online equivalent of receiving voluminous amounts of junk mail through the post. With the United States facing the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression due to towering mountains of federal debt (much of it racked up by his own administration), the president should be actively thinking of ways to reduce the size of government, cut the budget deficit and spur job growth, instead of flooding social media with politically charged propaganda.

As the president’s approval rating slips to a dismal 40 percent in the latest Gallup poll, the spin-obsessed White House only looks further out of touch with reality in a nation where 75 percent of likely voters believe the country is moving down the wrong direction. This latest Twitter campaign merely comes across as yet another act of desperation from a presidency whose mantra is

  • increasingly “leading from behind,” both at home and abroad."

7/25/11, "(UK) Business Secretary Vince Cable owes US Congressional leaders an apology for his sneering and insulting remarks about 'right-wing nutters'," UK Telegraph, Nile Gardiner


Newsweek cover, Feb. 16, 2009


S&P warns debt ceiling action alone will not cut it, must have sizeable debt reduction plan-CNN/Money


7/21/11, "Debt ceiling: House GOP gets lowdown on fallout," CNN/Money, Jeanne Sahadi

"S&P further warned that it wouldn't be sufficient for Congress to simply raise the debt ceiling. Lawmakers must also pass a sizeable 10-year debt-reduction deal to preserve its otherwise sterling AAA rating, S&P said.

And, the agency added, "for any agreement to be credible, we believe it would require support from leaders of both political parties.""...(para. 6)


For all the talk of freshmen Tea Party murderers and terrorists, only 10 were among 22 who voted no on Boehner deal. Media and the Left libel again

Two, Bachmann and Steve King voted no saying they'd only consider changing their vote after a full repeal of Obamacare.

7/30/11, "Gang of 22," NRO, Andrew Stiles

"House Speaker John Boehner’s (R., Ohio) deficit reduction plan passed the House on Friday, but just barely (218 to 210). Even with the last minute addition of measure requiring that Congress pass a balanced-budget amendment before a second installment of new debt can be authorized, 22 Republicans voted ‘nay.’ Ironically, despite the media’s insistence that Boehner was facing a “freshman uprising,only 10 new members voted against the plan. Out of the 38 members who signed a pledge promising not to vote for a debt increase absent the full enactment of “Cut, Cap and Balance,” only 18 ultimately stay true to that pledge. Of the 22 members who voted no on Friday, only one (DesJarlais) supported the Obama-Boehner “budget deal” negotiated in April. Here’s a breakdown:

Rep. Justin Amash (R., Mich.) — A staunch libertarian, the freshman Amash signed the “Cut, Cap and Balance” pledge and was never a likely contender to support the Boehner plan.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) — The presidential candidate has been one of the most vocal opponents of raising the debt ceiling. Bachmann signed the “Cut, Cap and Balance” pledge, but ended up voting against that bill, saying she would only consider voting for a debt increase if it included the full repeal of Obamacare. It’s doubtful that leadership even bothered trying to persuade her otherwise.

Rep. Paul Broun (R., Ga.) — Broun, who is serving his third term in congress, signed the CCB pledge and was an early hard no against the Boehner plan. In fact, Broun told National Review Online that he wanted to lower the debt ceiling to $13 trillion (from $14.3 trillion). He’s even introduced legislation to do just that.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) — Many consider Chaffetz, a two-term member, a sure bet to mount a primary challenge against Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) in 2012. He introduced the CCB legislation, and is a prominent member of the conservative Republican Study Committee. He was also an early no.

Rep. Chip Cravaack (R., Minn.) — This tea-party freshman did not sign the CCB pledge, but voted against the April “budget deal.”

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R., Tenn.) — A freshman, he supported the “budget deal” in April, and almost certainly regretted it. Perhaps to compensate, DerJarlais voted against CCB, as well as the Boehner plan.

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.) — South Carolina’s GOP congressional delegation, which includes three freshman (Duncan, Gowdy, Mulvaney and Scott) has often joined together in opposition to party leadership. They all have strong conservative voting records, though some members attribute their opposition in this case to the powerful influence of Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), a prominent supporter of CCB who led an effort in the Senate to oppose the Boehenr plan. One senior House Republican speculates to NRO that some if not all of these members could be mulling a run for Senate. DeMint’s self-imposed term limit means there will be an open seat in 2016. And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), who is up in 2014, has long been seen by some conservative as a potential primary target.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) — See above.

Rep. Tom Graves (R., Ga.) — A staunch RSC conservative and “freshman in spirit” (he won a special election in the summer of 2010) Graves signed the CCB pledge and was an early no. Earlier this year, Graves played an instrumental role in pressing leadership to live up to its pledge to cut $100 billion from this year’s budget.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.) — p f CR

Rep. Tim Johnson (R., Ill.) — A six-term member with a relatively moderate voting record, Johnson opposed the “budget deal” earlier this year. However, his vote was a bit unexpected, at least in the sense that his name was not included in many of the early whip counts in the run-up to the vote.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) — The chairman of the RSC insited that “Cut, Cap and Balance” was the only comprise House conservative were willing to make in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa) — A strong Bachmann ally, King signed the CCB pledge, but suggested to NRO that only the full repeal of Obamacare could compel him to support a debt ceiling increase. He is serving his fifth term.

Rep. Tom Latham (R., Iowa) — A nine-term member and Boehner ally, Latham held his vote until the final minutes before voting ‘nay.’ He signed the CCB pledge.

Rep. Connie Mack (R., Fla.) – Mack, a four-term member, signed the CCB pledge but voted against the bill. He was always likely to oppose Boehner’s plan.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R., Calif.) – A two-term member, he introduced the House version of Sen. Pat Toomey’s “Full Faith and Credit Act” that would instruct the Treasury Department to prioritize interest payments to avoid default in the event that the debt ceiling isn’t raised. Leadership opted not to hold a vote on the bill. McClintock voted against the April “budget deal” and told NRO that he hoped Republicans would “learn from our mistakes” this time around.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.) — See Rep. Jeff Duncan.

Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) — Like fellow 2012 hopeful Bachmann, Paul signed the CCB pledge then turned around and voted against it, presumably because it failed to abolish the Federal Reserve.

Rep. Tim Scott (R., S.C.) — As one of two freshman representative on the leadership team, Scott was presumably in a tough position regarding this vote. He initially support the April “budget deal,” but ultimately voted against it. Scott and Gowdy were both last minute “emergency” holdouts during the vote on Friday, casting their ‘nays’ in the final seconds after Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) gave them the all-clear.

Rep. Steve Southerland (R., Fla.) — A conservative freshman and RSC member, Southerland opposed the April “budget deal” and signed the CCB pledge.

Rep. Joe Walsh (R., Ill.) — This outspoken freshman is a strong Jim Jordan ally, who rarely holds back his frustration with party leadership. Walsh, a signer of the CCB pledge, led an effort to prevent the debt ceiling plan drafted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) from ever coming to a vote in the House.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R., S.C.)Joe “You Lie!” Wilson is not a freshman (currently serving his sixth term), but has a solid conservative record and also represents the same state as Jim DeMint. "

via Weasel Zippers

Saturday, July 30, 2011

"Charley, it was shoulda looked out for I wouldn't have to take them dives for the short-end money"

Post title is from Marlon Brando taxi cab scene in 'On the Waterfront' (link below).

7/29/11, "Behind the DC slugfest," Victor Davis Hanson, NR

"The agenda of the poorer and lower-middle classes is championed mostly by an affluent elite located on the two coasts, who find power and influence in representing “the people,” and are themselves either affluent enough, or enjoy enough top government salaries and subsidies, to be largely
  • exempt from any hardship that would result from
  • their own advocacy
  • of much higher taxes and

"...the Democrats’ newfound strength among “knowledge workers.“ These Democrats are relatively well-off and socially liberal."...

4/1/10, "The Obama Coalition," The Atlantic, Edsall


Title of this post is from Marlon Brando in "On the Waterfront" where he tells his big brother he kept him from realizing his potential and much greater success:

"Charlie (Rod Steiger): You coulda been another Billy Conn, and that skunk we got you for a manager, he brought you along too fast.

(Marlon Brando): It wasn't him, Charley, it was you. Remember that night in the Garden you came down to my dressing room and you said, "Kid, this ain't your night.We're going for the price on Wilson." You remember that? "This ain't your night"! My night! I coulda taken Wilson apart! So what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors on the ballpark and what do I get? A one-way ticket to Palooka-ville! You was my brother, Charley, you shoulda looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda taken care of me just a little bit so I wouldn't have to take them dives
  • for the short-end money.
Charlie: Oh I had some bets down for you. You saw some money.

: You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it.
  • It was you, Charley."...

"On the Waterfront" (1954) dialogue from IMBD

The death of the middle class, long awaited by many.

4/1/10, "The Obama Coalition" 4/1/10. The Atlantic, Edsall

"The ranks of those who identify with either the “haves” or the “have-nots” are swollen, while the number of those seeing themselves as
  • in the middle, centrally positioned,
  • has declined....
At the same time that the ranks of those identifying with the “haves” have expanded to incorporate those of modest means, there are two other powerful forces—the rise in the number of non-white voters, and of unmarried men and women—
  • boosting the ranks of the “have-nots.”

Constituencies strongly supportive of government intervention in the economy to provide a much stronger safety net are expanding. In the 2008 election, three previously-marginalized groups—unmarried women, Latinos, and African Americans—made up 43 percent of the total electorate and just over 62 percent of the voters who backed Obama....

Single women voted by better than two to one for Obama over McCain (70-29 percent). ...

As each of these left-leaning constituencies grows, they transform the Democratic Party....While 16 percent of the entire population received some form of public assistance, the percentage was much higher for the following constituencies: 28 percent for unmarried women, 36 percent for African Americans, and 26 percent for Hispanics....

The potential or even incipient shift in the balance of power from “haves” to “have-nots” is not purely demographic. The shift stems from a combination of economic developments, especially the army of long-term unemployed and stagnant incomes at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder....

In 2009, a key constituency of the liberal coalition, organized labor, reached a critical turning point. Overall, union representation of private sector workers continued to fall to an almost insignificant 7.2 percent, or 7.43 million out of a total workforce of 108.07 million. Conversely, union representation of public sector workers continued to grow, reaching, in 2009, 37.4 percent, or 7.9 million out of 21.31 million employed by government entities at the state, federal, and local level.

While these trends have been in evidence for decades, last year, for the first time, public sector union members outnumbered those in the private sector. The consequences of this shift are profound. A majority of the American labor movement is now directly dependent on tax dollars. In terms of political orientation, these workers can now be described as tax consumers as well as tax payers. For these workers, a tax increase may result in a slightly smaller paycheck but, more importantly, the hike means more money is available to pay for raises and new benefits.

Union representation of public sector workers has, in turn, paid off. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in December, 2009, that the average wage of state and local government employees was $39.83 per hour, $26.24 in salary and $13.60 in benefits. Conversely, private sector employees made an average of $12.34 an hour less, or a total of $27.49 ($19.45 in salary, and $8.05 in benefits).

The strength of the public sector unions is reflected not only in their superior compensation packages, but in the continued superior growth of those pay packages. From the four years between December 2005 and December 2009, total pay (salary and benefits) of private sector workers grew by 10.4 percent while government employees saw their pay rise by 14.1 percent. A 3.7 percent difference may not appear significant, but it translates to the fact that public sector pay is growing 35.6 percent faster than private sector pay. Those who are skilled at computing compound interest can figure out what this would mean over a work life of, say, 45 years.

Public support for labor unions has been plummeting. Pew found that from January, 2007 to February, 2010, the favorability rating of organized labor fell from 58 to 42 percent. Gallup, in turn, found in September 2009 that approval of labor unions had fallen to its lowest level, 48 percent, since the polling firm first asked the question in 1937.

What all these trends—the growing strength of minorities and single women, the conversion of organized labor from private to public sector employees—mean is that the fundamental economic issue in post-Great Depression American politics, the issue that dominated politics from the start of the Great Depression into the mid-1960s, has renewed salience."...

" (Obama) could effect—as promised—the long-awaited transformation of American politics."


Taxi Cab scene, from IMDB

Hanson piece via Instapundit

Yeah Obama will be remembered as the 'jobs' president. Too bad it's not Steve Jobs we're talking about-commenter

7/30/11, "Economic 'growth' at a near standstill (updated)," American Thinker, Randall Hoven

Commenter 'tonymarini'

"I heard on the radio this morning that Merck is poised to lay off over 10,000 workers and up here in Massachusetts that Boston Scientific is ready to jettison approximately 1,500. Nothing robust about this recovery. Yeah Obama will be remembered as
  • the "jobs" president.


Obama says he has hundreds of thousands of dollars he doesn't need

Obama, a multi-millionaire, says he doesn't need all the money he has but doesn't offer to give it to someone else who needs it more. (2nd para)

7/12/11, "Obama's Marxist Immersion Shows in Presser," American Thinker, Ann Barnhardt

From Obama press conference:

"I do not want, and I will not accept a deal in which I am asked to do nothing. In fact, I am able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don't need, while, uh, a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their kid to college suddenly finds, uh, that they've got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student loans. That's what the revenue debate is about." (2nd para.)

-Barack Obama, July 11, 2011" (video)


Commenter expects Boehner to file amicus brief supporting ObamaCare when it gets to the Supremes

7/30/11, "ObamaCare Lawsuit Reaches the Supreme Court (Video)," Free Republic, via ^ | July 28th, 2011 | Jordan Sekulow

Commenter 'sheikdetailfeather'

"I expect the speaker's (John Boehner) office to file a friend of the court brief supporting Obummer care, after all we need to protect that spending base line."


I listened to the video but the audio was so low (perhaps my computer) that I couldn't understand what they were saying, except they won't know anything until October. I'm not sure what the group has achieved, but the commenter's point about Boehner still applies.

via Free Republic

US in third decade blabbing about securing the border, now arming the invaders-commenter

7/30/11, "Obama and the Drug Cartels," American Thinker, Elise Cooper

Commenters to AT article:

Schmutzli, 2:18am

"The USA is in at least the third decade of talking about securing the border and dealing with the illegal invasion problem. What has actually happened? The US government is essentially arming the invaders. One has to be nuts to consider that any type of progress toward solving the problem and securing the safety of law abiding, legal residents has been made. The alliance between drug cartels and the Obama regime should surprise no one, under Holder and Napolitano the US government is itself a criminal enterprise."


PayTreeIt 2:34am

"With the violence and border crossing (invasion), how about amnesty in the form of a 51st state? "

From article:

"David Greenberg, an Arizona gun shop owner, commented to American Thinker that on three different occasions he was told to sell guns to suspicious characters, inform both ATF and ICE, and they will apprehend criminals before getting to the border. The one problem with that, according to Greenberg, is that his shop is approximately only three miles from the border. The Obama directive offends him. He considers himself a responsible American who will not sell to someone who he regards as suspicious or who wants to buy a multitude of semi-automatic weapons. Besides, he never received an official word about this new regulation. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the oversight committee, in a conference call concurred to American Thinker that "The firearms dealers are on our side. That is the way this country works, law-abiding citizens work with law enforcement and we catch the bad guys."

Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA) regards this new regulation as ridiculous since "the bad guys will know how to get around these rules. Doesn't the President think that the bad guys would just move outside the line since there are 46 other states they can buy from? This is a PR move to cover for the Fast and Furious fiasco. They are trying to move the agenda away from them. Doesn't the President understand that the greatest source of Mexican guns comes from outside the US and that the US is used as a transport, specifically the Pacific ports?"

Law enforcement officials interviewed: Arizona Police Chief Alberto Melis and Sheriff Dever, a Border Patrol Agent, and ATF agent Jay Dobyns, explained that the majority of firearms, especially the heavy armaments, used by the cartels, comes from Europe, Central America, and Mexican army defectors, and that the directive is simply window dressing which will have no effect. Chairman Issa also pointed out that it is the Mexicans who claim the guns are coming from the US, although they will not allow the stockpile of weapons to ever be seen by US officials.

Since the Obama administration seems clueless in how to deal with this ongoing problem, do the experts have any solutions? ATF Agent Dobyns and Sherriff Dever want less rhetoric from the administration and more boots on the ground directly at the border. Assemblyman Kavanagh and Assemblywoman Judd agree with Senator Griffin that the fence needs to be completed and that inspections going into Mexico should not be superficial. Congressman Bilbray wants to require banks to ensure non-citizens have viable documentation

  • before opening a bank account in this country.

Sherriff Melis wants Americans to understand that "it is about the money, stupid." Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) and Congressman Bilbray did just that last year when they introduced a bipartisan bill to deprive the cartels of their money base, through curbing the flow of drug money across U.S. borders, by closing a loophole that lets money in "stored value cards" (prepaid cards) go undeclared. Giffords explained at that time that her goal was "to tighten the screws and make it significantly more difficult for them to operate since the narco-terrorists and their drug cartels are wreaking havoc on communities all across Arizona and the nation."

The American public should wake up and realize how badly this problem is out of control. If it wants to address the problem effectively, the Obama administration needs to realize that superficial directives will not stop the cartels and that the federal government


US military and families must observe sharia law in mid-east hell holes during Ramadan, forbidden to chew gum, eat, drink water, or smoke in public

Failure to comply is considered illegal and may result in a fine or imprisonment. "“Showing we respect the holiday will help the perception of Marines to positively change.”"

7/27/11, "Troops in Mideast given guidance on Ramadan," Stars and Stripes, by Geoff Ziezulewicz

As Muslims prepare to observe the holy month of Ramadan with fasting and prayer, U.S. troops across the Middle East are being reminded to respect the customs of the societies around them. Among the guidelines: Do not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum in public during the daily fast, and dress appropriately: no shorts or short skirts.

During Ramadan, which this year begins Aug. 1, Muslims refrain from eating or drinking between sunup and sundown.

Among guidance issued to U.S. military deployed in Muslim majority countries, the Bahrain-based command of U.S. Navy 5th Fleet

U.S. personnel are not expected to fast during Ramadan, but community members must refrain from eating, chewing gum, drinking water, smoking or chewing tobacco in public during daylight hours, according to 5th Fleet. “‘In public’ includes riding in a bus or car (even your own), walking or exercising,” according to the 5th Fleet’s Facebook page. “Eating, drinking or smoking by a non-Muslim in public during the day is considered a civil offence by many local laws, which may result in a fine or confinement.”

Alcohol consumption by U.S. military personnel in any off-base venue is prohibited during the holiday, with the exception of USO/MWR facilities, private off-base dwellings, or hotel rooms occupied by troops who are transferring or on a business trip.

Shorts are prohibited while off base during Ramadan as well, according to 5th Fleet, and women are required to wear pants or skirts long enough to cover their knees when seated.

Fifth Fleet spokesman Lt. Frederick Martin said this week that the command sends out Ramadan guidance annually....

“They are also warned that these actions are punishable under local law,” he (Capt. James Sweeney) said.

In Iraq, personnel are encouraged not to eat, drink or smoke in the presence of Muslims during the daytime hours, according to U.S. Forces-Iraq spokesman 1st Lt. Joseph Larrew....

While NATO troops in the field across Afghanistan are not restricted from eating, drinking or smoking outside the wire, they are made aware of the holiday, according to Air Force Maj. Deb Balentine, a spokesman for the coalition’s International Security Assistance Force.

Troops are encouraged to be sensitive to the importance of fasting and not to eat or drink in front of Afghan citizens, she said.

They are also told to be aware of the limits fasting may put on Afghan police or soldiers’

  • abilities to conduct operations or train, she said.

A Defense Department press release Tuesday said Afghan soldiers and Marines from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment in Helmand province were planning to distribute more than 1,200 bags of wheat grain to the local population.

“The Ramadan holiday is part of the daily life of every Afghan person, 1st Lt. Paul Mooney, the assistant civil affairs team leader for 1/3, said in the release. “Showing we respect the holiday will help the perception of Marines

  • to positively change.”"

via Atlas Shrugs, via Creeping Shariah

No debt ceiling on US tax dollars wasted in Iraq, $900 for a $7.05 control switch, 'contractor' has $3.9B in US deals, AND more are dying!

Military subcontractors routinely overcharge "including a $900 bill for a control switch that cost $7.05 and $3,000 for a circuit breaker worth $183.30.
" One such contractor has $3.9 billion in deals for US tax dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

7/30/11, "US review finds Iraq deadlier now than a year ago," AP, Lara Jakes, Baghdad

Frequent bombings, assassinations and a resurgence in violence by Shiite militias have made Iraq more dangerous now than it was just a year ago, a U.S. government watchdog concludes in a report released Saturday.

The findings come during what U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart W. Bowen Jr. called "a summer of uncertainty" in Baghdad over whether American forces will stay past a year-end withdrawal deadline and continue military aid for the unstable nation.

"Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work," Bowen concluded in his 172-page quarterly report to Congress and the Obama administration on progress - and setbacks - in Iraq.

  • "It is less safe, in my judgment,
  • than 12 months ago."

The report cited the deaths of 15 U.S. soldiers in June, the bloodiest month for the U.S. military in Iraq in two years. Nearly all of them were killed in attacks by Shiite militias bent on forcing out American troops on schedule.

It also noted an increase in rockets launched against the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, where government offices and foreign embassies are located, as well as constant assassination attempts against Iraqi political leaders,

  • security forces and judges....

Bowen accused the U.S. military of glossing over Iraq's instability, noting a statement in late May by the U.S. military that described Iraq's security trends as "very, very positive" - but only when compared to 2007, when the country was on the brink of civil war. In contrast, Bowen talked of "the very real fragility" of national security in Iraq today.

A spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq declined to respond.

If the U.S. military leaves on schedule, the American Embassy in Baghdad will pick up the responsibility of training Iraqi police. Bowen called the job "challenging" for the fewer than 200 advisers who would be based in three sites but tasked with supporting Iraqi police in 10 of Iraq's 18 provinces. There are an estimated 400,000 policemen in Iraq.

Baghdad and Washington are negotiating whether to keep the U.S. military in Iraq beyond the December deadline. A Saturday discussion about the Obama administration's offer to keep 10,000 troops in Iraq to continue training security forces has been postponed, despite earlier hopes by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that the meeting could yield an agreement.

Al-Maliki says the decision ultimately will be put to parliament. While many officials from both nations believe Iraq is still too unstable to protect itself without U.S. help, keeping a large presence of American troops may be difficult to sell to an Iraqi public tired of eight years of war.

Bowen also said his inspectors published six audits over the last three months, including reviews of U.S. government contractor Anham, LLC, which is based in suburban Washington. The review found that Anham allowed its subcontractors in Iraq to overcharge the U.S. government, including a $900 bill for a control switch that cost $7.05 and $3,000 for a circuit breaker worth $183.30.

As a result, Bowen's inspectors are seeking to review all Anham contracts with the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan, which total

  • about $3.9 billion.

Hassan S. Judeh, the dministration director at Anham's headquarters in Vienna, Va., declined to respond to Bowen's examples because he said the company has not seen the report. But Judeh said Anham has a history of providing competitive prices for services, resulting so far in $132 million in savings to the government."...

via Atlas Shrugs, via Stars and Stripes

Friday, July 29, 2011

'Shocking' US GDP corresponds to .1 in 1Q and only .3 in 2Q 2011-BBC

7/29/11, "US economy: GDP growth much weaker than thought," BBC


After the revision, the US growth figures now correspond to a quarterly increase
  • of just 0.1% in the first three months of 2011,
  • followed by a 0.3% rise in the second quarter....
In addition, growth for the fourth quarter of 2010 was revised down from 3.1% to 2.3%, indicating that the economy had already started slowing
  • before the end of last year.
Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Asset Management, said the figures
  • were "shocking"."...

Even more shocking is that 'senior economists' and pundits up and down the dial still have jobs. ed.


2nd Q 2011 GDP down UNEXPECTEDLY, 'economists' wrong again. Even 1Q GDP was revised down to .4-next to nothing

Hey that Keynesian stuff is really working!

7/29/11, "Economy in U.S. Grows Less Than Forecast After Almost Stalling," Bloomberg News, S. Chandra

"The U.S. economy grew less than forecast in the second quarter....

Gross domestic product climbed at a 1.3 percent annual rate following a 0.4 percent gain in the prior quarter that was less than earlier estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for

  • a 1.8 percent increase.

Household purchases, about 70 percent of the economy, rose 0.1 percent....

Growth in the first quarter was revised down [to .4] from a 1.9 percent prior estimate, reflecting fewer inventories and more imports.

Revisions to GDP figures going back to 2003 showed that the 2007-2009 recession took a bigger bite out of the economy than previously estimated and the recovery lost momentum throughout 2010. The world’s largest economy shrank 5.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the second quarter of 2009,

  • compared with the previously reported 4.1 percent drop.

The second-worst contraction in the post-World War II era was a 3.7 percent decline in 1957-58....

Higher expenses for necessities like food and energy may have curtailed spending on less essential items. The cost of a gallon of regular gasoline climbed in May to about $4 a gallon, the highest in almost three years, according to AAA, the nation’s biggest auto group."...


Clue for 'economists':

"Every 50-cent jump in the cost of gasoline takes $70 billion out of the U.S. economy over the course of a year."...


7/29/11, "Wall street set for worst week in year after GDP data," Reuters


South Carolina small business man puts anti-Obama sign up because he wants people to think


7/28/11, "Anti-Obama sign owner: I want people to think," Lake Wylie (SC) Pilot, Andrew Dys

"(Store owner) Bursey said, "Anybody opposed to Obama is considered a racist.
  • Don't you watch TV?""...

via, photo Andy Burriss, HeraldOnline

John Boehner plan forces funding of ObamaCare, a stunning slap in the face to all Americans

George Bush was so bad there were almost no Republicans elected to the House in 2008. Therefore the fluke crime of ObamaCare was able to pass. We got the House back for the GOP in 2010, but they told us to shut up and leave them alone. They didn't ask for the new people we gave them and were happy in the minority.

7/29/11, "The Worst Negotiators," Erick Erickson,

"Frankly, the House Republicans have turned this vote into a cult of personality vote. It is not about saving the Republic, fighting Obama, or cutting the debt. And you remember that when they vote for it.

John Boehner has convinced House Republicans that they are both getting a good deal and that if it fails, Boehner himself is in jeopardy. So House Republicans will vote for the plan, see the Senate either kill it or butcher it, and then be stuck. It’s all about John Boehner now — nothing else.

To console themselves, Boehner is going to give House conservatives their balanced budget amendment language and then have them do the very thing they

  • promised they’d fight — fund Obamacare.

Yes, you see that’s the dirty little secret glossed over by everyone. John Boehner’s plan contemplates Obamacare’s continuation. And House Republicans will sell their souls today for a balanced budget amendment that the Senate will strip from the plan in the best case scenario.

I think the House Republicans are the worst negotiators, but doggoneit — imagine if John Boehner had been half as aggressive with the Democrats as he has been these past 24 hours with House conservatives.

Oh, and I still don’t think anyone can answer this question: if the House GOP only controls one half of one branch of the federal government and has no power, why the hell do they keep throwing plans against the wall hoping something will stick?


11/4/10, ""The Ruling Class of the Republican Party doesn't want conservatives having any kind of a foothold, any success, or any leadership in the party...It appears to me they're perfectly happy being in the minority
  • if it means not supporting conservatives....
Apparently the establishment Republicans will fight harder and more viciously to stop conservatives than to stop Obama and the left. "...
  • 11/4/10, Rush Limbaugh, from his transcript

7/25/11, "Trump: If There Is A Default, Americans Will Blame ‘One Name And That’s Obama’," MediaIte, Matt Schneider

Trump: "The Republicans hold all the cards."....


Health care costs will skyrocket under ObamaCare, the opposite of what Obama claimed, new US gov. report

"Government administration" costs will get most of the money, not actual health care.

7/28/11, "White House Celebrates: Health Care Spending Increases Because of Democrats’ Health Care Law," Big, House Ways and Means Committee

"Today, the White House spin machine attempted to use a Health Affairs report authored by the economists and actuaries from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to tout the supposed success of the Democrats’ health care law. The report once again cites that national health care expenditures will increase as a result of the law.

Recall that previously, the Obama Administration stated that slowing national health spending was the “single most important thing” we could do improve our nation’s finances. However, the chart below from the report (p. 5) shows national health care spending will increase drastically as a result of the Democrats’ health care law.

As our nation careens towards fiscal disaster, with the driving factor being health care costs, we find that we are much closer to the edge of the cliff."...

Data from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services