What was supposed to be legal lynching of AIG's Edward Liddy turns into huge defeat for Congress
We have met the enemy and it's the people who represent us. The blowhards and buffoons in Congress proved again Wednesday they are worse than useless.
Ronald Reagan's famous line that "government is the problem" kept going through my head as the AIG hearing demonstrated the dangers of Washington's role in the economy. The very people who can't balance America's budget now claim the expertise to run banks, insurance companies and automakers.
If we let them, we're dumber than they are.
What was supposed to be a legal lynching of AIG boss Edward Liddy over the firm's bonus plan turned into a humiliating defeat for the lynch mob. Liddy came off as a smart straight shooter, a man who gave up retirement for $1 a year to rescue AIG so it wouldn't bring down the financial system.
He also proved himself a cut above those who aimed to make cheap headlines at his expense. I'd pay to see him question Congress on its role in the economic mess...
Friday, March 20, 2009
A $14 trillion economy hangs by a thread composed of (a) a comically cynical, pitchfork-wielding Congress, (b) a hopelessly understaffed, stumbling Obama administration, and (c) $165 million.
For this we are going to poison the well for any further financial rescues, face the prospect of letting AIG go under (which would make the Lehman Brothers collapse look trivial) and risk a run on the entire world financial system?
Acting with lightning speed, the Democratic-led House has approved a bill to slap punishing taxes on big employee bonuses from firms bailed out by taxpayers. The vote was 328-93. Said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: '
'We want our money back and we want our* money back now for the taxpayers.''
Republicans called it a legally questionable ploy to paper over Obama administration missteps...
[UK, HT:LH, a Brit who reminds me that, as here, for every malcontent the media focuses on there's plenty of patriotic folk who haven't forgot who they owe their liberty to.]
HOMECOMING troops were given a heroes’ welcome by a staggering 10,000 well-wishers yesterday.
A town centre came to a standstill as our brave boys and girls were greeted with deafening cheers and flags.
The 250 troops beamed after spotting banners reading “You’re our heroes” and “We salute you”.
Sgt Jamie Webb, reunited with his girlfriend and two-year-old son, said: “Fantastic. It makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.”
The Lancers’ final homecoming parade followed similarly well-attended ones in Derby and Leicester.
L/Cpl Darren Edwards’ sister Donna said: “It’s only right we all turn out and show our support.”
Geneva - A top-ranked Iranian defector told the United States that Iran was financing North Korean moves to make Syria into a nuclear weapons power, leading to the Israeli air strike that destroyed a suspected secret reactor, a report said Thursday.
The article in the daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung goes into detail about an Iranian connection (Snip) U.S. intelligence had detected North Korean ship deliveries of construction supplies to Syria that started in 2002...
Report: Iran's first satellite completes its mission in space
Iran's first domestically produced satellite has successfully completed its tasks in space, state television said on Thursday, seven weeks after the Islamic Republic sent it into orbit. Iran launched a research and telecoms satellite called Omid on February 3.
The long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit could also be used to launch warheads...
SecDef Robert Gates is now making military cut-back noises, but long before they take effect we will be challenged on half a dozen fronts abroad.
The news is already being picked up in Moscow, Tehran, Pyongyang, Venezuela, and maybe Beijing. As a direct result, Israel may be challenged much more directly than ever before, and Netanyahu may move to forestall the threat from Tehran preemptively.
All the power-hungry tyrannies around the world can recognize a sucker a mile away, and here we have an administration full of Charles Freemans and Jimmy Carters. Freeman himself had to quit because he was dumb enough to say his real feeling out loud. His former DCI boss, Dennis Blair, was all in favor of keeping him, and Blair is still running the show.
Nobody objected to Charles Freeman in Obama's alternate universe, did you notice? By their silence ye shall know them.
And don't think the power-hungry tyrants around the world are missing a move. Those emails from their Washington sources are sizzling.
[Recommended > ]
New York - The world's 20 most advanced economies should discuss investment of 1 per cent of global gross domestic product - about 750 billion dollars - into five sectors to build an environmentally sustainable global economy, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said Thursday. Such an amount could finance a 'Global Green New Deal.
[Environmentally sustainable economy. The lunatics are running the asylum.]
A collapsing carbon market makes mega-pollution cheap
'Roll up for the great pollution fire sale, the ultimate chance to wreck the climate on the cheap. You sir, over there, from the power company - look at this lovely tonne of freshly made, sulphur-rich carbon dioxide. Last summer it cost an eyewatering €31 to throw up your smokestack, but in our give-away global recession sale, that's been slashed to a crazy €8.20. Dump plans for the wind turbine!"
[A government-run program that with the exact opposite results of those intended. What were the odds?]
During his presidential campaign, President Barack Obama promised the American people a "net spending cut." Instead, he signed a "stimulus" bill that spends $800 billion. The proposed a budget would:
- Increase spending by $1 trillion.
- $250 billion for another financial bailout.
- Likely lead to a 12 percent increase in discretionary spending.
- Permanently expand the federal government by nearly 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
- Raise taxes on all Americans by $1.4 trillion.
- Call for a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) law despite offering a budget that would violate it by $3.4 trillion.
- Leave permanent deficits averaging $600 billion even after the economy recovers.
- Double the publicly held national debt to over $15 trillion.
It assumes that the temporary stimulus spending provisions will be allowed to expire and that the $634 billion down payment on universal health care will not be expanded.
It proposes destructive income tax increases and a new cap-and-trade energy tax that could devastate the manufacturing sector. Yet, somehow, the budget assumes much faster economic growth than forecast by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Blue Chip Consensus.
Overall, the President's budget represents a sharp break from the policies that created the most prosperous 25-year period in American economic history.* Instead, it puts politicians in charge of an increasing portion of the economy. Congress should discard this tax-and-spend budget and follow Reagan's successful 80's-recovery model.
[*And that's part of the problem; 25 years is also generally considered to be 'a generation'. I.e., we've a new crop of young adults who don't know (and weren't taught) how disastrous socialistic policies have proven to be throughout history, and weren't around during the 70's - so they simple don't know any better (but can still vote).]
image toon - 1st mny bbro sclm - White fountain dyed red ink
Gov. Sarah Palin just told reporters that she’s accepting only 55 percent of the federal economic stimulus money being offered to Alaska. The governor said that she will accept only about $514 million of the $930 million headed to the state.
"Will we chart our own course, or will Washington (D.C.) engineer it for us?"
Missing in her bill will be millions that Palin said are contingent on the state increasing the size of government, chipping in more dollars, or passing new laws that Alaskans might not want.
“We are not requesting funds intended to just grow government. We are not requesting more money for normal day-to-day operations of government as part of this economic stimulus package. In essence we say no to operating funds for more positions in government,”
Palin pointed out that the energy money appears to require the state to pass a building code, while other funds could result in more state employees and programs that can't be maintained in the future.
Palin said she’ll work with the Legislature if it decides that it wants to go ahead and accept the money (although she didn’t rule out vetoes).
Source 1 and Source 2
In his Oscar acclaimed work of fiction, An Inconvenient Truth, Gore includes a troubling scene which involves a graphical representation of the world's major cities drowning due to a rise in sea level from the melting of Antarctica and Greenland.
What Al Gore failed to mention was the IPCC section from which his West Antarctica and Greenland melting scenarios were lifted is entitled, How Likely are Major or Abrupt Climate Changes, such as Loss of Ice Sheets or Changes in Global Ocean Circulation? The section begins with this disclaimer:
Abrupt climate changes, such as the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the rapid loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet or large scale changes of ocean circulation systems, are not considered likely to occur in the 21st century...[iv]
That means that over the next 90+ years, even the usually enthusiastic global warming editors at the U.N. are not anticipating the kind of predictions that Gore, or for that matter, the Pacific Institute, lay forth.
Also, some additional snapshots from the IPCC regarding Antarctica:
- "All studies for the 21st century project that Antarctic [ice] changes will contribute negatively to sea level..."[v] (italics mine). That means there is more snow and ice accumulating on Antarctica than is breaking off and melting into the surrounding waters.
- "...for the last two decades...Antarctica as a whole has not warmed."[vi]
- Regarding the potential collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, "...no quantitative information is available from the current generation of ice sheet models as to the likelihood of such an event."[vii]
- "...accelerated sea level rise caused by rapid dynamic response of the ice sheets to climate change is very unlikely during the 21st century."[viii]
[Recommended > ]
After I came home from the fabulous sold out Maher -Coulter debate, I began to wonder something. The next big show on the MSG Speaker series is the Al Gore show on April 1st. If two circus acts like Maher and Coulter can sell out the Chicago Theater it should be no problem for an elder Statesman like Gore whose mantle holds trophies from the Nobel, Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy organizations. Certainly a man so popular with the elite should have no trouble selling out the joint.
A couple clicks on the Ticketmaster link assured me that there is no danger of a People’s Choice Award on that mantle anytime soon, since the public isn’t buying Gore. With a little more than two weeks before showtime, it is still possible to purchase six seats on the main floor, center stage, row K. Ouch.
So what could Al Gore do to move some of the tickets? I did notice that he is the only solo act on the entire Speaker Series. All the other acts have agreed to a debate or round-table format. This solution worked quite well for Bill Maher, as evidenced by the sold out Chicago Theater show– he was able to put the butts in the seats last Wednesday by adding Ann Coulter to the ticket.
Of course, Al Gore would never do that. Al Gore refuses to debate and has declared the Global Warming debate over. My friend Jerry Agar suggests this is not because he doesn’t want to debate, but because he CAN’T debate.
If Al Gore were to face an opponent who actually studied science in college rather than spending football weekends driving sorority girls out to the family vacation retreat, everyone would recognize Global Warming Apocalysim for the fraudulent house of cards it really is...
Sixty-eight percent (68%) of U.S. voters favor strict government sanctions on employers who hire illegal immigrants, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
Only 22% say the employers should not be penalized, and 10% are not sure.
Congress last week did not reauthorize the federal E-Verify program which allows employers to check on the immigration status of prospective employees.
Use of E-Verify has been voluntary because efforts by the Bush Administration to make it mandatory have been opposed in court by the Associated Builders and Contractors and others.
The Obama administration wants to review the program before deciding whether to endorse it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently told a group of both legal and illegal immigrants and their families that enforcement of existing immigration laws, as currently practiced, is "un-American."
Referring to work site enforcement actions by ICE agents, Pelosi said,
"We have to have a change in policy and practice and again ... I can't say enough, the raids must end. The raids must end."[Forget what the law says - they're potential voters.]
Seventy-three percent (73%) of U.S. voters believe that a police officer should automatically check to see if someone is in this country legally when the officer pulls that person over for a traffic violation. Only 21% disagree, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of voters also say that if law enforcement officers know of places where immigrants gather to find work, they should sometimes conduct surprise raids to identify and deport illegal immigrants. Twenty-four percent (24%) oppose surprise raids.
The findings come after the announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice that it is investigating an Arizona sheriff for using aggressive tactics like these to enforce federal immigration laws. The investigation was sought by Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan and others.
President Barack Obama will present plans for immigration reform this year, Hispanic lawmakers said Wednesday after strategic talks at the White House. Obama
''was clear and eloquent and determinate to let us know that we are all together in the route of comprehensive immigration reform,''
Democratic lawmaker Luis Gutierrez told reporters after the discussion between the president and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).
[Who's 'we' ? Certainly not the public based on the forgoing surveys. Representative government? We'll need work even harder this time around...]
Now that President Obama and the Dems have laid out the principle that paying bonuses the failed executives, where's the outrage over taxpayer funds being paid as bonuses to principals of failed public schools?
Diette Courrégé of the Charleston (SC) Post and Courier reports:
Seventeen Charleston County principals who oversee the school district's lowest-achieving schools will receive more than $320,000 in bonuses this year for working at their respective schools.
Included in the list published by the Post and Courier, and based on information from the Charleston School District, are Brentwood Middle School and Morningside Middle School. These two schools are listed as number 9 and number 8 respectively in the national "worst public schools" list.
If the Congress wants to teach those who profit from failure at the taxpayers' expense, how about some legislation taxing bonuses paid to failed educational bureaucrats?
image toon - edu crpt - Teachers unions not listening to oby
But the bill's opponents say it could cram ideology down the throats of young "volunteers," many of whom could be forced into service since the bill creates a "Congressional Commission on Civic Service."
The bipartisan commission will be tasked with exploring a number of topics, including "whether a workable, fair and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the nation." [snip]
said Luke Sheahan, contributing editor for the Family Security Foundation:
"The idea that government should order its people to perform acts of charity is contrary to the idea of charity and it removes the responsibility for charity from the people to the government, destroying private initiative"
"It's allowing taxpayer funding of the left-wing organizations,"
said Larry Hart, director of government relations for the American Conservative Union.
"I think this is a problem that is rife throughout the federal government. When you dramatically expand the program, then you dramatically expand the ability for these left-wing advocacy organizations to get more funding. I don't see a lot of attention being paid to that, even from those who are critical. That's where the focus should be. Republicans tend to say its not that they oppose the program, they just want to spend less money. It's the program that's bad."
South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson was one who opposed the legislation in committee. Wilson questioned the utility of the cash-strapped federal government making such huge investments in what he says should be community-inspired projects and programs.
[A: because of the power to influence our young. America, are you paying attention?]
California state government's full-time work force continues to grow despite Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's order to freeze hiring amid a historic budget shortfall.
From June 2008 to February 2009, most state agencies either increased or kept the same number of full-time employees, according to a Bee analysis of personnel data.
Military Laser Hits Battlefield Strength
Huge news for real-life ray guns: Electric lasers have hit battlefield strength for the first time -- paving the way for energy weapons to go to war.
In recent test-blasts, Pentagon-researchers at Northrop Grumman managed to get its 105 kilowatts of power out of their laser -- past the "100kW threshold [that] has been viewed traditionally as a proof of principle for 'weapons grade' power levels for high-energy lasers," Northrop's vice president of directed energy systems, Dan Wildt, said in a statement.
That much power won't get you a Star Wars-style blaster. But it should be more than enough to zap the mortars and rockets that insurgents have used to pound American bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
[As on offensive weapon lasers really don't (currently) compete with our extrememly effective weapons. But as a speed-of-light defensive weapon...]
Explorers On Global Warming Expedition Stranded in North Pole by Cold Weather
“We’re hungry, the cold is relentless, our sleeping bags are full of ice,” expedition leader Pen Hadow said in e-mailed statement.