The Powerline guys are superb at sifting through superflous presentations and reaching the core quickly.
Quoted directly from their site.
"Do They Need the Public Option
October 30, 2009 Posted by John at 11:39 AM
Much discussion of the House Democrats' health care bill has focused on its inclusion of the "public option," which most observers see as a Trojan Horse intended to serve, ultimately, as the vehicle for socialized medicine as private insurers are driven from the market--a process that President Obama has said may take ten to twenty years.
What strikes me as I read the House bill, however, is how closely it approximates socialized medicine even without the public option. The bill is classic national socialist legislation, in that it takes ostensibly private entities, the health insurance companies, and perverts them into instruments of the state, run top-down and barred from competing among themselves.
Under the House bill private health insurance companies will still exist, but to what end? They will be legally prohibited from competing in any meaningful sense. They will be required to issue substantially the same coverages at substantially the same rates, changes in which must be justified to the government. They will be prohibited from underwriting insurance risks in any rational way: they must pay all bills resulting from preexisting conditions, and they will be prohibited from charging lower-risk customers lower rates.
As I wrote here, you can force insurance companies to "cover" preexisting conditions, but the resulting product is not insurance. You cannot insure against something that has already happened. It is merely a bill-paying mechanism. Likewise, the House bill prohibits insurance companies from charging premiums on any rational basis. Section 213, titled "Insurance Rating Rules," provides:
The premium rate charged for a qualified health benefits plan that is health insurance coverage may not vary except as follows:
(1) LIMITED AGE VARIATION PERMITTED.--By age (within such age categories as the Commissioner shall specify) so long as the ratio of the highest such premium to the lowest such premium does not exceed the ratio of 2 to 1.
So young people--who, remember, will now be forced to buy health insurance--will subsidize older people.
(2) BY AREA.--By premium rating area (as permitted by State insurance regulators or, in the case of Exchange-participating health benefits plans, as specified by the Commissioner in consultation with such regulators).
(3) BY FAMILY ENROLLMENT.--By family enrollment (such as variations within categories and compositions of families) so long as the ratio of the premium for family enrollment (or enrollments) to the premium for individual enrollment is uniform, as specified under State law and consistent with rules of the Commissioner.
That's it. A lower premium for non-smokers or the non-obese? Forget about it. It's illegal.
Under the House bill, it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that health insurance companies are no longer in the insurance business. They can't rate and underwrite risks, which is the essence of insurance. That's illegal. They can't decide to whom they will issue policies; that's illegal, too. They can't offer novel or innovative coverages; their coverages are dictated by law. To a limited extent they can make decisions on paying claims, but under the watchful eye of government regulators. Meaningful competition among insurance companies will be, in effect, illegal. (In that context, it is a sick joke that the Pelosi bill also subjects health insurance companies to the antitrust laws, from which they had been exempted in consideration of their regulation by state, not federal, authorities.)
In the world that the House bill would create, the money we will pay to insurance companies won't really be insurance premiums. Insurance premiums are contractual payments which the parties voluntarily agree upon and which are based on a mutual assessment of risk. Rather, the checks we write to insurance companies will be taxes--legally compelled, at rates set by the federal government that are designed to punish some and subsidize others.
Isn't this socialized medicine in all but name? The only difference, perhaps, is that when things start to go badly, as they inevitably will--spiraling costs, long waits for treatment--Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues will have someone to blame: the insurance companies. Maybe old-fashioned socialized medicine would be better. Then, at least, the government would have to take responsibility for its folly."
On the eve of Halloween just had to post this. Monster Mash by Bobby Boris Pickett was released in 1962.
YouTube - Groovie Goolies Monster Mash Music Video
Link came in email, very worth watching.
Interesting, also says lots for 'green' shoots only visible in newly created bureaucracies.
"Costco to accept food stamps nationwide
"Coming in December: World government
Posted: October 24, 2009
1:00 am Eastern
By Henry Lamb
World Net Daily© 2009
"It is impossible to overstate the importance of the climate-change treaty now being negotiated for adoption at the Copenhagen, Denmark, U.N. meeting in December. The Kyoto Protocol was bad enough. It required the United States to reduce its carbon emissions 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. When fully implemented, the Kyoto target was supposed to reduce global carbon emissions by 5.2 percent. Thanks to George W. Bush, the U.S. did not participate in the Kyoto accord.
According to the World Bank, global emissions have risen by 19 percent since 1990. U.S. emissions have risen 20 percent since 1990. India's and China's emissions have risen by 88 percent and 73 percent respectively. Neither of these countries was bound by the Kyoto Protocol.
The new treaty now under negotiation seeks to impose an emissions reduction requirement on developed countries of as much as 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2017, and by as much as 95 percent by 2050. (Read paragraph 31 on page 16 of the 181-page negotiating text). These numbers are completely ridiculous; compliance would require a return to the Stone Age.
The ongoing negotiations include whether developing nations will be required to reduce emissions, and if so, by how much. China, a so-called developing nation, has now surpassed the United States as the world's No. 1 carbon emitter.
Regardless of the final numbers the negotiators decide upon, it will make no difference to the climate. It will, however, make an enormous difference to people, especially the people who live in the United States and the other developed nations.
This treaty will create an international bureaucracy with the authority to regulate energy use. This entity would, in fact, be a political institution with the power to govern. In other words, the treaty will create a world government to administer global governance.
Lord Christopher Monckton created a tidal wave across the Internet with excerpts from his Oct. 14 presentation to the Minnesota Free Market Institute. He, too, has read the negotiating text and says without hesitation that this treaty will create a world government. He goes further, much further, to explain that while this treaty will have no impact on global climate, it will have a great impact on the global economy.
The purpose of the treaty is, and has been since the very beginning of negotiations in the early 1990s, to transfer the wealth from developed nations to the developing nations – under the supervision of the United Nations. Treaty negotiations justify this action because developed nations have spewed more carbon into the atmosphere than the developing nations. Therefore, according to U.N. reasoning, it is the developed nations that caused the global warming, so the developing nations are entitled to compensation.
Go figure. Or better yet, go wade through the negotiating text, but only if you have a strong stomach. It will make a non-Marxist throw-up.
Monckton rightfully says that President Obama will sign the treaty. It will take more than his signature to make the treaty binding, however. It will take the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Senate to ratify whatever comes out of Copenhagen.
That is, unless the politicians resort to procedural hanky-panky. The Convention on Desertification was ratified by a show of hands – no recorded vote – on Oct. 18, 2000, when the Senate chamber was mostly empty. To avoid the two-thirds vote requirement, the World Trade Organization was presented as a trade agreement instead of a treaty. A trade agreement requires only a majority in both houses of Congress. This hurdle is much lower than two-thirds of the Senate. Or, Congress could simply impose the treaty requirements as domestic law. The Waxman-Markey bill (H.R. 2454) which passed the House by only two votes, is a major step toward this option.
The treaty negotiators in Copenhagen will also have to decide how to enforce whatever emissions reductions they eventually decide are appropriate. In the past, negotiators considered using the International Criminal Court. The World Trade Organization has also been considered; the WTO has the authority to levy sanctions for various forms of misconduct. But now, a new possible enforcement mechanism is in the wind: a new international monetary-policy mechanism that has been under development for the better part of a year. Obama gave his blessing to the G-20 recently, and this group is working toward controlling the global economy, much like the Federal Reserve controls the domestic economy.
Negotiators have talked openly about requiring developed nations to contribute 2 percent of their GDP to the new U.N. climate-change mechanism. To put this in perspective, total U.S. defense spending reached 3.9 percent of GDP in 2005. Imagine paying what amounts to a U.N. tax roughly equal to half our total defense budget for redistribution to developing nations. This would satisfy what the U.N. calls the "carbon debt" owed by developed nations to the rest of the world.
The only way to insure that this treaty will not by imposed upon every American is to change the majority in Congress to people who pledge to reject all forms of international control. There are only 53 weeks before voters will choose America's future. It's time to get started."
"The American Self Immolation, Truly a Sight to See
19.10.2009 Source: Pravda.Ru
"As my readers know, I am a fan of economics and of history, as well as politics, a combination that forms some very interesting cycles to research, discuss and argue on. None is so interesting than the death of great nations, for here there is always the self destruction that comes before the final breakups and invasions. As they say: Rome did not fall to the barbarians, all they did was kick in the rotting gates.
It can be safely said, that the last time a great nation destroyed itself through its own hubris and economic folly was the early Soviet Union (though in the end the late Soviet Union still died by the economic hand). Now we get the opportunity to watch the Americans do the exact same thing to themselves. The most amazing thing of course, is that they are just repeating the failed mistakes of the past. One would expect their fellow travelers in suicide, the British, to have spoken up by now, but unfortunately for the British, their education system is now even more of a joke than that of the Americans.
While taking a small breather from mouthing the never ending propaganda of recovery, never mind that every real indicator is pointing to death and destruction, the American Marxists have noticed that the French and Germans are out of recession and that Russia and Italy are heading out at a good clip themselves. Of course these facts have been wrapped up into their mind boggling non stop chant of "recovery" and hope-change-zombification. What is ignored, of course, is that we and the other three great nations all cut our taxes, cut our spending, made life easy for small business...in other words: the exact opposite of the Anglo-Sphere.
That brings us to Cap and Trade. Never in the history of humanity has a more idiotic plan been put forward and sold with bigger lies. Energy is the key stone to any and every economy, be it man power, animal power, wood or coal or nuclear. How else does one power industry that makes human life better (unless of course its making the bombs that end that human life, but that's a different topic). Never in history, with the exception of the Japanese self imposed isolation in the 1600s, did a government actively force its people away from economic activity and industry.
Even the Soviets never created such idiocy. The great famine of the late 1920s was caused by quite the opposite, as the Soviets collectivized farms to force peasants off of their land and into the big new factories. Of course this had disastrous results. So one must ask, are the powers that be in Washington and London degenerates or satanically evil? Where is the opposition? Where are the Republicans in America and Tories in England?
The unfortunate truth here is: the Republicans and Tories are the Mensheviks to the Democrat and Labour Bolsheviks. In other words, they are the slightly less radical fellow travellers who are to stupid to realize that once their usefulness is done, they will go the very camps they will help send the true opposition to. A more deserving lot was rarely born. Of course half of the useful idiots in the Bolshevik groupings will go to those very same camps.
One express idiocy of Cap and Trade in America will be the approximately additional $.19 per liter of gasoline, which is a rather very large increase in taxation, however indirectly. Of course this will not only hit the American working serfs in the pocket at fuel up, but will hit them in everything they buy and do, as America has almost no real rail to even partially off set the cost of transporting goods.
But how will this work itself out? Very simple and the chain of events has been worked out often enough.
First, the serfs will start to scream at the cost of fueling up and the cost of all their goods. The government, ever anxious not to take responsibility, will single out the petroleum factories and oil companies for gauging the people. They will make demands for them to cut prices, which of course means working for a loss. When plants start to close down or move overseas, they will be called racketeers and saboteurs. Their facilities will be nationalized so that the government can show them how to do things properly. Shortages will follow as will show trials and that's as long as the USD holds up and foreign nations are still willing to sell oil and gasoline for other than gold, silver and other hard resources.
When food goes up, and it surely will, as the diesel the farmer uses goes up as well as his fertilizers, the government will scream that the farmers are hording, thus undermining the efforts of the enlightened. There will be confiscations of all feed crops while the farmers will get production quotas to meet or have their land nationalized again. Do not believe me? Look at the people running your governments and ask yourself: would they rather take some one's land or admit that they screwed up and ruined everything? After a point, only the corporate farms will remain, food by oligarch, just a like the factory farms. There will be plenty of dissidents to work them.
This will of course spread from industry to industry and within a rather short order, you will be living the new fractional dream, that is a fraction of what you have now. But on the bright side, for once, your children, working for government/oligarch run joint ventures, will be able to compete adequately with the Chinese, to feed the demands of Europe and Latin America. But that will take at least a generation or two first along with a cultural revolution or two."
The article has been reprinted with the kind permission from the author and originally appears on his blog, Mat Rodina
"U.S. official resigns over Afghan war
Foreign Service officer and former Marine captain says he no longer knows why his nation is fighting
By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
"When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan.
A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.
But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.
"I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department's head of personnel. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."
The reaction to Hoh's letter was immediate. Senior U.S. officials, concerned that they would lose an outstanding officer and perhaps gain a prominent critic, appealed to him to stay.
U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry brought him to Kabul and offered him a job on his senior embassy staff. Hoh declined. From there, he was flown home for a face-to-face meeting with Richard C. Holbrooke, the administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"We took his letter very seriously, because he was a good officer," Holbrooke said in an interview. "We all thought that given how serious his letter was, how much commitment there was, and his prior track record, we should pay close attention to him."
While he did not share Hoh's view that the war "wasn't worth the fight," Holbrooke said, "I agreed with much of his analysis." He asked Hoh to join his team in Washington, saying that "if he really wanted to affect policy and help reduce the cost of the war on lives and treasure," why not be "inside the building, rather than outside, where you can get a lot of attention but you won't have the same political impact?"
Hoh accepted the argument and the job, but changed his mind a week later. "I recognize the career implications, but it wasn't the right thing to do," he said in an interview Friday, two days after his resignation became final.
"I'm not some peacenik, pot-smoking hippie who wants everyone to be in love," Hoh said. Although he said his time in Zabul was the "second-best job I've ever had," his dominant experience is from the Marines, where many of his closest friends still serve.
"There are plenty of dudes who need to be killed," he said of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. "I was never more happy than when our Iraq team whacked a bunch of guys."
But many Afghans, he wrote in his resignation letter, are fighting the United States largely because its troops are there -- a growing military presence in villages and valleys where outsiders, including other Afghans, are not welcome and where the corrupt, U.S.-backed national government is rejected. While the Taliban is a malign presence, and Pakistan-based al-Qaeda needs to be confronted, he said, the United States is asking its troops to die in Afghanistan for what is essentially a far-off civil war. .........."
Continued on pages 2 & 3
Maybe the fat lady hasn't sung after all.
There is some religious reference in the latter part of the video so if you're offended by that .... then don't watch it.
U.S. Sovereignty is NOT over! Constitution Supercedes Treaties...
"Treaties Do Not Supersede the Constitution
"The following qualifies as one of the greatest lies the globalists continue to push upon the American people. That lie is: "Treaties supersede the U.S. Constitution".
The Second follow-up lie is this one: "A treaty, once passed, cannot be set aside".
HERE ARE THE CLEAR IRREFUTABLE FACTS: The U.S. Supreme Court has made it very clear that
1) Treaties do not override the U.S. Constitution.
2) Treaties cannot amend the Constitution. And last,
3) A treaty can be nullified by a statute passed by the U.S. Congress (or by a sovereign State or States if Congress refuses to do so), when the State deems a treaty the performance of a treaty is self-destructive. The law of self-preservation overrules the law of obligation in others. When you've read this thoroughly, hopefully, you will never again sit quietly by when someone -- anyone -- claims that treaties supercede the Constitution. Help to dispell this myth.
"This [Supreme] Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty." - Reid v. Covert, October 1956, 354 U.S. 1, at pg 17.
This case involved the question: Does the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (treaty) supersede the U.S. Constitution? Keep reading.
The Reid Court (U.S. Supreme Court) held in their Opinion that,
"... No agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or any other branch of government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution. Article VI, the Supremacy clause of the Constitution declares, "This Constitution and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all the Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land...’
"There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification which even suggest such a result...
"It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights – let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition – to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power UNDER an international agreement, without observing constitutional prohibitions. (See: Elliot’s Debates 1836 ed. – pgs 500-519).
"In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V. The prohibitions of the Constitution were designed to apply to all branches of the National Government and they cannot be nullified by the Executive or by the Executive and Senate combined."
Did you understand what the Supreme Court said here? No Executive Order, Presidential Directive, Executive Agreement, no NAFTA, GATT/WTO agreement/treaty, passed by ANYONE, can supersede the Constitution. FACT. No question!
At this point the Court paused to quote from another of their Opinions; Geofroy v. Riggs, 133 U.S. 258 at pg. 267 where the Court held at that time that,
"The treaty power as expressed in the Constitution, is in terms unlimited except by those restraints which are found in that instrument against the action of the government or of its departments and those arising from the nature of the government itself and of that of the States. It would not be contended that it extends so far as to authorize what the Constitution forbids, or a change in the character of the government, or a change in the character of the States, or a cession of any portion of the territory of the latter without its consent."
Assessing the GATT/WTO parasitic organism in light of this part of the Opinion, we see that it cannot attach itself to its host (our Republic or States) in the fashion the traitors in our government wish, without our acquiescing to it.
The Reid Court continues with its Opinion:
"This Court has also repeatedly taken the position that an Act of Congress, which MUST comply with the Constitution, is on full parity with a treaty, the statute to the extent of conflict, renders the treaty null. It would be completely anomalous to say that a treaty need not comply with the Constitution when such an agreement can be overridden by a statute that must conform to that instrument."
The U.S. Supreme court could not have made it more clear : TREATIES DO NOT OVERRIDE THE CONSTITUTION, AND CANNOT, IN ANY FASHION, AMEND IT !!! CASE CLOSED.
Now we must let our elected "representatives" in Washington and the State legislatures know that we no longer believe the BIG LIE... we know that we are not bound by unconstitutional Treaties, Executive Orders, Presidential Directives, and other such treasonous acts.
[Note: the above information was taken from Aid & Abet Police Newsletter, with limited revision. P.O. Box 8712, Phoenix, Arizona. Acknowledgment given to Claire Kelly, for her good assistance and in depth treaty research. The use of this information is not to be construed as endorsement of Aid & Abet Police Newsletter. Claire Kelly is a trusted and knowledgeable friend. - CDR]
Here's what Thomas Jefferson said on the right to renounce treaties:
"Compacts then, between a nation and a nation, are obligatory on them as by the same moral law which obliges individuals to observe their compacts. There are circumstances, however, which sometimes excuse the non-performance of contracts between man and man; so are there also between nation and nation. When performance, for instance, becomes impossible, non-performance is not immoral; so if performance becomes self-destructive to the party, the law of self-preservation overrules the law of obligation in others".
pg 317 - "The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson," A. Koch & Wm. Peden, Random House 1944, renewed 1972. Jefferson also said in a letter to Wilson C. Nicholas on Sept. 7, 1803, Ibid. pg 573
"Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction [interpretation]. I say the same as to the opinion of those who consider the grant of the treaty making power as boundless. If it is, then we have no Constitution." ______________________________________________________________
Excerpt from a letter from U.S. Senator, Arlen Specter, (R. Penn.) to constituent, November 3, 1994.
"Dear Mr. Neely:
"Thank you for contacting my office regarding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. ... I have signed on as a cosponsor of Senator Bradley’s resolution [SR 70, which urges the president to seek the advice and consent of the Senate for ratification] because I believe that the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child is an appropriate step in the direction of promoting the well-being of children throughout the world. [he goes on to mention concerns that the treaty would subjugate familial and parental responsibility to an international entity, which he denies]
"... Secondly, the Convention would not override the U.S. Constitution; rather, as in the case of any treaty, any provision that conflicts with our Constitution would be void in our country... "
[CDR Note: It is our belief that Arlen Specter would not have been as truthful regarding Constitutional Supremacy over treaties if he had a clue that this letter to a constituent would have found its way into the hands or eyes of the public.]
No law or treaty supersedes the Supreme Law of the Land. 'Supreme'... meaning 'highest or greatest'. What is higher than highest or greater than greatest, other than our Creator? The Constitution acknowledges our God-given, unalienable rights, and secures those rights in that acknowledgement.
The Constitution gives the US Senate authority to ratify treaties with other nations. Americans have been propagandized into believing that those treaties become the supreme law of the land superseding the Constitution. Let's examine this deception closely and dispel the myth once and for all. Article VI of the Constitution states:
Clause 2 - "This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution [of any state] or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."
Clause 3 - "The senators and representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executives and judicial officers, both of the United States and the several states, shall be bound by oath of affirmation to support this Constitution ."
Laws made in pursuance of this Constitution are laws which are made within the strict and limited confines of the Constitution itself. No federal, state, or international law, rule or bureaucratic regulation and no state constitution can supersede B or be repugnant to B this Constitution.
Treaties made under the authority of the United States... the United States (federal government) was authorized by and on behalf of the people and in pursuance of this Constitution to enter into certain treaties with other governments. The United States (federal government) obtains its authority solely from the Constitution. It would be ludicrous to think that it has the power to circumvent (via treaties) that which grants it its authority.
In Clause 3, it is made clear that every elected official, both federal and state, is bound by oath to support this Constitution. Who can rightly, and genuinely claim to be given the power to destroy that which they are elected and sworn to uphold?
The powers granted by the Constitution cannot sanely be construed to provide the authority to usurp, pre-empt or eradicate it.
The U.S. Supreme Court as cited above correctly ruled that the supremacy of the Constitution overrides treaties. It should be noted that if any Court, be it a State, Federal or the U.S. Supreme Court, should ever rule otherwise, the decision would be repugnant to the Constitution and the ruling would be null and void. The answer to this question is self-evident.
The Constitution authorizes the United States to enter into treaties with other nations B the word Anation@ although not explicit, is certainly implied. The United Nations is an Organization - a Global Corporate Bureaucracy. The 'experts' in international law, commerce, banking, environment, etc.; and a cadre of alleged conservative / Christian-conservative leaders -- lawyer, Dame of Malta, Phyllis Schlafly being a prime example -- have been spewing forth propaganda to instill and further the myth of 'treaty-supremacy' for decades. Their 'expertise' is an illusion created apparently with hopes to instill a sense of inferiority in the 'common man' (their term) so we will all defer to their superior intelligence. Let's not go there.
Here's a perfect example of 'expert' propaganda on the supremacy question: On April 11, 1952, Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles (cfr), speaking before the American Bar Association in Louisville, Kentucky said...
"Treaties make international law and also they make domestic law. Under our Constitution, treaties become the supreme law of the land.... Treaty law can override the Constitution. Treaties, for example, ...can cut across the rights given the people by their constitutional Bill of Rights."
Mr. Dulles is confused about the People's rights. To repeat an earlier statement of fact: the Constitution doesn't 'give' us rights. The Constitution acknowledges and secures our inherent, Creator-endowed rights. What Creator gives, no man can take away.
The Dulles brothers worked (lied) long and hard to firmly establish the treaty-supremacy myth. And they realized it would have to be done by deceit -- propaganda. Admittedly by propaganda.
"There is no indication that American public opinion, for example, would approve the establishment of a super state, or permit American membership in it. In other words, time - a long time - will be needed before world government is politically feasible... This time element might seemingly be shortened so far as American opinion is concerned by an active propaganda campaign in this country..."
Allen W. Dulles (cfr) from a UN booklet, Headline Series #59 (New York: The Foreign Policy Association., Sept.-Oct., 1946) pg 46.
The question of "nationhood" in reference to the United Nations seems to have been addressed by the errant Congress. A quick fix apparently took place in the U.S. Senate on March 19, 1970. According to the Anaheim (Cal) Bulletin, 4-20-1970, the Senate ratified a resolution recognizing the United Nations Organization as a sovereign nation. That would be tantamount to recognizing General Motors as a sovereign nation. Are we beginning to get the picture?
Case Closed "
Came in email, another good one.
Butch the Rooster
John the farmer was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young layers (hens), called "pullets" and eight or ten roosters, whose job was to fertilize the eggs.
The farmer kept records and any rooster that didn't perform went into the soup pot and was replaced. That took an awful lot of his time so he bought a set of tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone so John could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing. Now he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report simply by listening to the bells. The farmer's favorite rooster was old Butch, and a very fine specimen he was, too. But on this particular morning John noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all!
John went to investigate. The other roosters were chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing. The pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover. But to Farmer John's amazement, Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring. He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one. John was so proud of Butch, he entered him in the Boone County Fair and Butch became an overnight sensation among the judges.
The result... The judges not only awarded Butch the No Bell Piece Prize but they also awarded him the Pulletsurprise as well. Clearly Butch was a politician in the making: who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most highly coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the populace and s@rew!ng them when they weren't paying attention?
Correspondent Jeff Ray sent in this story Milking the Poor: One Family's Fall Into Homelessness (The Atlantic) http://correspondents.theatlantic.com/christina_davidson/2009/10/milking_the_poor.php#
which is representative of the trend in local government to criminalize poverty for its own enrichment.
Here's the deal. Local government has grown fat in a decade of gargantuan capital gains and real rising real estate taxes. Employees pulling down over $100,000 each are legion, as are public retirees pulling down over $100,000 a year in pension payments. Local government has added 15% more employees even as population grew by a meager 3%. (The numbers may vary in your area but the percentages won't.)
Now the seven fat years are over and local government is not liking the seven lean years. Now that housing has plummeted, so have the tax rolls; capital gains have dried up and even sales tax revenues are crashing. Despite the usual bleatings of hope, the chances of tax revenues recovering are slightly lower than the proverbial snowball's chance of remaining frozen in Heck.
Foreclosures: 'Worst three months of all time' Despite signs of broader economic recovery, number of foreclosure filings hit a record high in the third quarter - a sign the plague is still spreading.
Meanwhile, a perfect storm is gutting public pension funds. More Pain for State's Taxpayers, Cities: CALPERS losses $50B. In order for the State amd local governments of California to meet their future pension obligations (paid by CALPERS, the massive public pension fund), they need to kick in hundreds of millions of dollars more in coming years, even as their revenues are falling.
The conclusion that the medical and pension benefits which were promised in the fat years are no longer payable is anathema to public unions and managerial staff alike, and so the machinery of local government has geared up to stripmine the citizens like a giant trawler stripmines the sea: parking tickets have been jacked up to $60 or more, traffic violations are in the hundreds of dollars, speed traps abound, and as noted in the top story, fees for "crimes" like driving without auto insurance now cost more than the insurance itself.
And gosh forbid if you don't pay on time--the penalties double the original fine and then go up from there.
Is there anything more pernicious, malicious and immoral that this criminalization of poverty to engorge the coffers of local government? If John Q. Citizen defaults on his credit card, he might have to endure harrassing phone calls from bill collectors. But worst case, he can unplug his phone or cancel that number and get another phone number. Fortunately, the bank cannot have him imprisoned (yet).
But local government isn't quite as kind and gentle as the bankers. Mess with their revenues (i.e. don't pay the hefty fines they levy) and they'll haul your carcass into court and then into jail (can't make bail? Too bad. You're a full-blown criminal now.)
Exactly what is the difference between racking up $1,000 in fines off an innocuous violation and being imprisoned for lack of payment and a 19th century-era Debtors prison?
Isn't this part of the reason why the Parisian mobs tore down the Bastille?
Does this make any sense at all, arresting people who can't pay their nonsensically stupendous fines and penalties just so government employees don't have to take a cut in pay and benefits? When did a ticket go from $50 to $300 and up? And why? Does anyone think the cost leaped up "for the public good"?
Is getting nailed for a ticket you can't pay really a deterrent to being too poor to keep your auto insurance current?
Let's follow this all the way to the end. Now that John Q. Citizen is in jail because he was nabbed driving without insurance and a big fat fine is outstanding, aren't the taxpayers throwing away $50,000 to $100,000 a year to process his tortured journey through the Kafkaesque court and jail system with those other "dangerous criminals"?
Hey, the war-on-drugs/prison/gulag pays very well, thank you, and filling cells with Mr. Citizen is just grist for the mill.
Now when Mr. Citizen is released (darn it, we can't get blood from a turnip!), his car has been impounded and he owes the towing yard $1,000 which he doesn't have. So he no longer has a car to get to work, or even drive to an interview.
OK, so maybe he was irresponsible in not setting aside enough money for the car insurance. Is that now a criminal offense? Is this the best use of police officers, judges, jails and the "justice" system? Is anyone being deterred by the ruthless criminalization of poverty? Please make the case for that, local politicos and bureaucrats.
Great work, local government. You've not only stolen the citizen's last few dollars, you've also deprived him of his employment opportunities and livelihood.
Here's a thought: you need more tax revenue? Then make the case to the citizens at the ballot box to pay more. Prove you're not squandering the tax money you're already getting by the boatload. Show us how you're going to spend our money as carefully as we do.
If you really want to stripmine somebody's cash assets, why not start with your local Wal-Mart? I can guarantee you they won't leave town when you enact a new ordinance taxing all retail establishments of 50,000 square feet or more.
Or impose a tax on all homes worth more than triple the median price in your zip code. You want to nail somebody with higher taxes? Then go after the top 5% who still have assets. Don't trawl the streets for the folks who can least afford your rapacious imposition of authority.
Bankers aren't the only rapacious greedheads in this nation. Look no farther than city hall, the county building and the State capitol. Just hope it isn't you who runs low on cash and gets nailed with that $395 ticket which soon morphs into $695 and an arrest warrant.
You can't blame local government avarice on Washington or the bankers. All this greed is homegrown, local and entirely unnecessary. As it stands now, 10% or maybe even 20% of the citizenry will soon have outstanding arrest warrants for what amounts to local government Debtors Prison.
Come November 2010, we can only pray that the citizenry "takes care of business" at the ballot box, and all the incumbent politicos who approved this evil criminalization of poverty get tossed out en masse, regardless of party affiliation.
Permanent link: Criminalizing Poverty For Profit: Local Government's New Debtors Prisons
Came in email, a good one!
A Harley biker is riding by the zoo in Washington DC when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion's cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her screaming parents.
The biker jumps off his Harley, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.
A reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter addressing the Harley rider says, 'Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I've seen a man do in my whole life.' The Harley rider replies, 'Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger and acted as I felt right..'
The reporter says, 'Well, I'll make sure this won't go unnoticed. I'm a journalist you know, and tomorrow's paper will have this story on the front page... So, what do you do for a living and what political affiliation do you have?'
The biker replies, 'I'm a U.S. Marine and a Republican.' The journalist leaves. The following morning the biker buys the paper to see if it indeed brings news of his actions and reads, on the front page.
U.S. MARINE ASSAULTS AFRICAN IMMIGRANT AND STEALS HIS LUNCH
That pretty much sums up the media's approach to the news these days!!!!!!!! !
Hat tip to Karl Denninger, MarketTicker.org for this. http://market-ticker.org/archives/1513-A-Birdie-On-Possible-Foreclosure-Frauds.html
Suggested reading if you have a mortgage. Florida cited but similar public records apply in all states.
Foreclosure Fraud - Guide to Looking up Public Record
"The MERShole Yawns WideKarl Denninger
“The foreclosure sales (in question are) invalid because they failed to meet the requirements of (Massachusetts law),” Land Court Judge Keith Long wrote yesterday in reaffirming a decision he originally reached in March.
At issue is "lost" (or improperly endorsed) paperwork when mortgages are sold from party to party, as typically happens many times during a securitization process.
I have often argued that a lot of "lost" paperwork is in fact intentionally destroyed, as this is one of the few ways to cover up blatant fraud in the origination of mortgages - brokers putting the same application through with a half-dozen ever-higher "claimed" incomes, for example, until they get an approval. The original paperwork that is executed by the borrower, if it bears hand-written numbers that don't match the signature, could be a strong indicator of fraud committed by those brokers (and willingly ignored by securitizers.)
Judge Long wrote:
“The issues in this case are not merely . . . a matter of dotting i’s and crossing t’s. Instead, they lie at the heart of the protections given to homeowners and borrowers,”
Banks have long run roughshod over the law. Indeed, their so-called "profits" virtually demand it in this world of lies, deceit and outright fraud. In several states, including Florida, judges have been nothing more than handmaidens of these "enterprises", despite black-letter law in this state (and most others) that demand an unbroken chain of original, wet signatures in the assignment of interest.
If you can't produce the documents, by statute, you have no standing to foreclose.
As specifically stated:
"The statute's commands are clear, the plaintiffs' own securitization documents show that they knew of those requirements, and if they failed to follow them, the responsibility for the consequences is theirs.
The willful destruction, non-retention, or improper (or no) recording of these documents makes all such affected securitizations fraudulent, as they were sold off to investors as being "asset backed" when in fact they were not, as being "asset backed" requires compliance with state law in the perfection of the security interest. No security interest, no asset backing, and the offering prospectus is representing that which is known to be factually incorrect.
Most importantly all of the actors involved, including the securitizing banks, MERS and similar institutions, were aware at the outset that they did not comport with the laws of these states, and this knowing failure is given formal judicial recognition in this decision. The offering documents as cited in the decision make clear that for each such tendered mortgage into the pool either a validly-recorded interest or transfer in recordable form was required, and such was warranted to have taken place. It clearly, from the record, did not.
This elevates these omissions from "ministerial errors" to something far more serious, in that if you sell something to someone knowing you are not complying with the black letter of the law of the state in which you operate in every line of business - save one - you'd find yourself on the wrong end of a criminal complaint from the State Attorney General.
We need 50 Andrew Cuomos to bring criminal and civil charges, and we need them now. This is a legitimate State Law issue in that The States have an affirmative duty to enforce the laws that protect their citizens, and in this regard the law is black-letter.
Can we find a (state) cop somewhere?
Oh, and for extra credit, does anyone care to take a wager on how much of the so-called "Secured" MBS that The Fed has been monetizing also has no valid assignment and thus has NO collateral, and in the event of a default, is WORTHLESS?
PS: Want to help yourself and others in your state? Raise hell with your State AG, starting with faxing this Ticker to him or her..... The PDF of the decision showing that the securitizers were in knowing breach of their own covenants and requirements is found here.
Link to Pdf
"Mass. Land Court ruling on foreclosure sales
Full text of the ruling by Justice Keith C. Long, which affirmed his own March decision that invalidated foreclosure proceedings involving two Springfield homes because the lenders did not hold clear titles to the properties at the time of sale.
"Feds to issue new medical marijuana policy
By DEVLIN BARRETT
Source My Way News
"WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal drug agents won't pursue pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers in states that allow medical marijuana, under new legal guidelines to be issued Monday by the Obama administration.
Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law......"
Sidebar comment: On October 14th 2009, Lord Christopher Monckton, a noted climatechange expert, gave a presentation at Bethel College in St. Paul, MN inwhich he issued a dire warning regarding the United Nations ClimateChange Treaty which is scheduled to be signed in Copenhagen in December2009.
Hmmmm, looks like rationing of sorts has begun before it hits the ground. One sentence sums it up ...... "and it would give government officials the power to raise it to 50 percent.
That's a message more Americans could hear if the health care reform bills passed by the Senate Finance and Health committees become law.
By more than doubling the maximum rewards and penalties that companies can apply to employees who flunk medical evaluations, the bills could put workers under intense financial pressure to lose weight, stop smoking or even lower their cholesterol.
The initiative, largely eclipsed in the health care debate, builds on a trend that is already in play among some corporations and that more workers will see in the packages they bring home during this month's open enrollment. Some employers offer lower premiums to people who complete personal health assessments; others offer only limited benefit packages to smokers.
The current legislative effort takes the trend a step further. It is backed by major employer groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. It is opposed by labor unions and groups devoted to combating serious illnesses, such as the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Diabetes Association.
A colossal loophole?
President Obama and members of Congress have declared that they are trying to create a system in which no one can be denied coverage or charged higher premiums based on their health status. The health insurance lobby has said it shares that goal. However, so-called wellness incentives could introduce a colossal loophole. In effect, they would permit insurers and employers to make coverage less affordable for people exhibiting risk factors for problems like diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
"Everybody said that we're going to be ending discrimination based on preexisting conditions. But this is in effect discrimination again based on preexisting conditions," said Ann Kempski of the Service Employees International Union.
The legislation would make exceptions for people who have medical reasons for not meeting targets.
Supporters say economic incentives can prompt workers to make healthier choices, thereby reducing medical expenses. The aim is to "focus on wellness and prevention rather than just disease and treatment," said Business Roundtable president John J. Castellani.
BeniComp Group, an Indiana company that manages incentives for employers, says on its Web site that the programs can save employers money in a variety of ways. Medical screenings will catch problems early. Employers will shift costs to others. Some employees will "choose other health care options."
Douglas J. Short, BeniComp's chief executive, said the incentives he uses focus on outcomes, not conditions.
"I can't give you an incentive based on being a diabetic or not being a diabetic, but whether you're managing your blood glucose level — I can give you an incentive based on that," Short said.
National epidemic of obesity
The incentives could attack a national epidemic of obesity. They also cut to a philosophical core of the health care debate. Should health insurance be like auto insurance, in which good drivers earn discounts and reckless ones pay a price, thereby encouraging better habits? Or should it be a safety net in which the young and healthy support the old and sick with the understanding that youth and good health are transitory?
Under current regulation, incentives based on health factors can be no larger than 20 percent of the premium paid by employer and employee combined. The legislation passed by the Health and Finance committees would increase the limit to 30 percent, and it would give government officials the power to raise it to 50 percent.
A single employee whose annual premiums cost him and his employer the national average of $4,824 could have as much as $2,412 on the line. At least under the Health Committee bill, the stakes could be higher for people with family coverage. Families with premiums of $13,375 — the combined average for employer-sponsored coverage, according to a recent survey — could have $6,687.50 at risk.
An amendment passed unanimously by the Health Committee would allow insurers to use the same rewards and penalties in the market for individual insurance, though legislative language subsequently drafted by the committee's Democratic staff does not reflect that vote, Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyo.), for the committee's ranking Republican, has said. The bill drafted by the Senate Finance Committee would set up a trial program allowing insurers in 10 states to use wellness-based incentives for individuals.
America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry lobby, has argued that insurers should be allowed to consider participation in wellness programs when setting individual premiums.
Wellness incentives voluntary
Employers and other advocates of expanded wellness incentives say taking steps to get healthier would be voluntary. Sen. John Ensign, a Nevada Republican and lead sponsor of the Finance Committee's wellness provision, said his proposal "would guarantee that the incentive is strong enough for Americans to want to participate."
Wellness incentives have been spreading rapidly in the corporate world. Unlike the legislative proposals, which address incentives based on results, the corporate programs typically compensate employees based on effort alone — for example, enrolling in smoking cessation programs even if they fail to kick the habit, or undergoing detailed medical assessments regardless of the findings. But there are exceptions: The Safeway supermarket company allows certain employees to reduce their premiums by meeting standards for body mass and other measures. Safeway chief executive Steve Burd has framed it as an issue of personal responsibility."
"The people vs Wall Street
Bear Stearns bankers on trial in first criminal case of the credit crunch
By Stephen Foley in New York Source TheIndependent.co.uk
"Thursday, 15 October 2009Amidst the economic wreckage, after 7 million job losses and approaching 2 million home foreclosures in the US alone, with businesses and consumers around the world still struggling to get finance after the long credit crunch, Wall Street is finally on trial. A little piece of Wall Street, at least.
In the first major case against bankers at the heart of the financial meltdown, a jury of 12 mainly working-class New Yorkers will decide the fate of the two Bear Stearns managers whose hedge funds imploded in 2007, signalling the start of the crisis. Ralph Cioffi, 53, and Matt Tannin, 48, pocketed millions of dollars in pay during the boom years, but the events of 2007 left their investors nursing losses of $1.6bn (£1bn) and ruined forever the reputation of Bear Stearns, one of the oldest investment banks on Wall Street.
Dressed as if for a funeral, the pair sat impassively in the brightly lit courtroom in downtown Brooklyn yesterday as assistant US attorney Patrick Sinclair recounted what he said was a litany of lies that they told to investors. The two men were desperate to stop investors deserting their funds when the sub-prime mortgage market began to plunge, Mr Sinclair said. Mr Cioffi alone was paid $32m in the two years before the funds collapsed.
They "violated a special relationship of trust" between fund managers and investors, he added. "They lied to investors to save their multimillion dollar bonuses. In the US, that is a crime, a serious crime. It's called securities fraud." The prosecution plans to lean heavily on private emails written by the men which suggest they knew much earlier that the sub-prime market was – in a word used by Mr Tannin – "toast". Yet the men glossed over the situation and deceived investors in two ways, it is alleged.
First, Mr Tannin said he was putting more of his own money into the funds, when in fact he did not invest a single cent of the $1m that was available in his bank account. Mr Cioffi, meanwhile, secretly withdrew $2m of his money. Second, Mr Cioffi denied any major investor was planning to pull out, when he had already received a major redemption request. More than a dozen friends and family crammed in to the few public benches, and more spilled into an overflow room as the trial got under way. While the prosecution aimed to distil the case for jurors into a handful of straightforward lies, it was clear yesterday that the defence will portray the events of 2007 as much more nuanced – and highly complicated. In an idiosyncratic opening statement, Mr Cioffi's lawyer, Dane Butswinkas, launched into an educational session on high finance. At one point, he used waste-paper baskets in an attempt to explain how hedge funds worked.
The prosecution is unfairly "cherry-picking from thousands and thousands of emails", Mr Butswinkas complained. "It is easier to call the right play on Monday morning after the game on Sunday, and it is always easier to pick the right investment strategy after the fact. Hindsight is 20-20."
Mr Cioffi was described by Mr Butswinkas as a man who reached a high level on Wall Street through talent and hard work. He came to New York in the late Seventies "with $200 in a slightly worn-out pouch" and "with hopes of being a banker". Mr Tannin's defence team will give their opening arguments this morning.
The trial promises to be a bitter fight between prosecutors, who accuse the pair of lying and manipulating evidence, and defence lawyers, who say the men are being made scapegoats for a financial crisis that was not of their making. The outcome could also be a harbinger of things to come, as the US Justice Department considers bringing cases against even bigger fish on Wall Street.
"This is not a revenge opportunity," the 75-year-old judge, Frederic Block, had told prospective jurors. Neither Mr Cioffi nor Mr Tannin is charged with "causing" the credit crisis. They are charged with behaving dishonestly when the crisis began to break. The pair were traders in mortgage securities, curators of two hedge funds that invested in debt which is now known to have been toxic but which had seemed to promise great riches. They worked at the long end of the chain that stretched from overheated housing markets in the south and west of the US, where millions of buyers were tempted into taking on mortgages they could not afford. Those mortgages were sliced and diced by Wall Street and turned into securities which could be bought and sold as if they were shares. Credit rating agencies had certified the Bear Stearns funds' mortgage derivative portfolio as super-safe; the defendants' superiors at Bear Stearns and the funds' outside investors believed they were taking little risk. The question is when the two managers realised this was far from true.
Messrs Cioffi and Tannin face 20 years in jail if they are found guilty of the securities fraud. Mr Cioffi is additionally charged with insider dealing."
"LEAKED NETWORK MEMO REVEALS: Obama Controls Your Television Set
"On September 10th of this year the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) posted a press release informing the world that “from October 19-25, more than 60 network TV shows [will] spotlight the power and personal benefits of service,” and that this “unprecedented block of TV programming is the first wave of a multi-year ‘I Participate’ campaign.”
On its face this all sounds rather benign in that silly, liberal do-gooder kind of way. The networks have launched these kinds of campaigns before and other than some clunky exposition awkwardly inserted into your favorite show to meet the mandate — no harm, no foul.
But this year there are a couple new strangers in town: “Volunteerism” and “Service.” You’ve heard of them. Their names have been bandied everywhere since President Obama took office, and this internal memo from the EIF to network showrunners obtained by Big Hollywood shows that the entertainment industry is well acquainted and eager to introduce both to as vast an audience as possible:
Like the NEA story, once again we see the same buzzwords pop up; suggested topics pitched to an overwhelmingly left-of-center group: Education, health, environment, the economy and lastly — almost as an afterthought as some kind of “bi-partisan” cover – support for military families.
We’ll have to wait until next week to see what effect this initiative will have on the 60 television (and news) programs in question, but thanks to the intrepid Patrick Courrielche and Stage Right, today we can answer the simple question of…
“What’s wrong with this?”
Doing the work the Kamikaze Media (many of whom are participating in this event rather than digging for the story) refuses, and with the help of Big Government’s Dana Loesch, Patrick and Stage Right have discovered that when it comes to this White House – whether it’s the NEA conference calls or EIF’s iParticipate programming — all roads funnel into one place: online volunteer portals, including Serve.gov, where if you plug in “health care” all kinds of Planned Parenthood openings pop up along with a video dispelling those ugly “myths” knocking ObamaCare.
There’s scarier stuff, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise. *cough*Trutherism*cough*
We’ll start with Stage Right. Next week, tens, if not hundreds of millions of Americans, will be urged through the (ab)use of public airwaves to log on to the EIF iParticipate site and volunteer. Stage Right will give you a preview of what the unsuspecting and well-intentioned, including your children, will find.
If you’re thinking it’s all about “Meals on Wheels,” think again.
From there, Patrick Courrielche will describe how this EIF initiative fits into a broader White House plan, including the push to politicize the NEA, to redefine “art” as “service” and engage an all too compliant news, entertainment, and artistic community to start a volunteer army through these online portals.
First the NEA, now the EIF…
Starting to notice a pattern?"
"Part III: Obama Controls Your Television Set — Serve.gov or Serf.dom?
"National service and volunteerism is a top priority of both the President and the First Lady. A broad effort has been launched to promote this priority. We’ve seen this in the May 12th White House briefing, the August 10th and 27th art community conference calls, and now in a new effort by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, entitled iParticipate, that is encouraging broadcast media to infuse national service stories into their show plots. The First Lady has even created a video expressing the importance of national service.
All of these efforts are driving would-be volunteers to Serve.gov. The question is, for what purpose?
Encouraging volunteerism is a noble effort undertaken by every US President. However, this Administration’s national service outreach has led on multiple occasions to outright policy advocacy. I’ve shown this throughout my writing on the subject, with a primary focus on the National Endowment for the Arts. However, the Corporation for National and Community Service is playing an even bigger role in this White House effort, and I don’t think general volunteerism is the only goal in mind.
The national service initiative is being led by The Corporation for National and Community Service (The Corporation) and the White House Office of Public Engagement. On the now infamous August 10th conference call, Nell Abernathy of The Corporation introduced Buffy Wicks as the person who championed the art community’s involvement in the Obama election campaign as well as the person spearheading this national service initiative. Wicks, the Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement, explained the White House’s rationale for selecting service by stating, “part of my role [at the White House] is working on service, and so when we were thinking about how do we take a lot of this energy that’s out there, how do we translate folks who have just been engaged in electoral politics and engage them in really the process of governing, of being part of this administration in a little bit of a different way because politics is one thing and governing is something totally separate, we really saw service as the platform by which we can do that.”
The White House views service as a good way for those that have just been involved in electoral politics to stay active, and is driving them to Serve.gov to organize and manage them. Buffy Wicks didn’t state that national recovery was the rationale for encouraging partisans to serve. She conveyed that the White House was interested in transitioning partisans from the election cycle into the administration, and using “service” as the mechanism for this transition.
What made candidate Obama’s campaign so successful, in simplistic terms, was his grassroots volunteers and his brand messaging. Of course there was the mainstream media favoritism, the unpopularity of President Bush, his fundraising, and the 2008 Democratic Primary schedule that also played a role. However, these areas were either out of his control or fed by his volunteers and branding.
So it is safe to say that to stay in power, it is vital for his organization to keep these resources organized and active so that the machine retains its potency. There is no better federal agency than The Corporation to serve this purpose. The Corporation’s entire existence is to encourage volunteerism. It is also the nation’s largest grant provider supporting volunteering. And starting sometime this month, Congress will reconcile two bills that fund the Corporation’s expanded role, which includes tripling the number of volunteers to 250,000 and the creation of an ArtistCorps and MusicianCorps.
Volunteers were the backbone of Obama’s grassroots organization and artists were the ones that led his unofficial campaign branding. These two groups were both massive tools used by the Obama campaign. And a pivotal developer of that tool was Buffy Wicks, the same person “spearheading” the White House volunteerism initiative.
Wicks, a former labor movement and anti-Iraq war organizer, helped develop the Obama campaign’s national grassroots field strategy. Her goal was to have as many organizing teams on the ground as possible and to have an infrastructure to support the addition of new volunteers. She expressed this goal in a Camp Obama training session during the election when she stated, “If we had an organizing team in every precinct, we win this campaign. Like that’s it, end of story, we win this campaign.”
You get a feel for her national volunteer strategy through this Camp Obama video. Her grassroots and infrastructure goal is in the 36:45-40:10 segment.
The NEA and White House conference calls and The Corporation’s new iParticipate effort all drive traffic to Serve.gov – a website that provides the infrastructure and mechanism for growth of volunteerism that looks a lot like what Wicks was advocating on the campaign trail. And Wicks, a political activist with a history of organizing people to take political action, is working with The Corporation on this effort.
By itself though, there is nothing nefarious about pushing volunteerism. However, there have been many warning signs that the White House is attempting to politicize national service.
The August 10th conference call is an obvious example. The call was partisan in nature, it led to policy advocacy, the Communications Director of the NEA resigned, the NEA issued a statement acknowledging inappropriate language, and the White House issued conduct guidelines to address the partisan “appearance” issues. The cover-ups and historical revisionism displayed by the White House, The Corporation, the NEA, and the moderator were troubling indicators of the calls intentions. Another example is the May 12th White House briefing, which also led to extreme policy advocating – but that meeting has yet to be fully vetted.
These partisan volunteer efforts along with the expansion of The Corporation are alarming signs. Through expanding the size and power of The Corporation, the Administration is in essence organizing and increasing the pool of resources that helped it acquire power.
But another event, on further review, adds to concern about the use of The Corporation.
On June 11th, President Obama controversially fired Gerald Walpin, Inspector General of the Corporation for National and Community Service. The termination, possibly violating a watchdog protection law, was thought to be due in part to Walpin’s dogged persistence in pursuing the misuse of The Corporation’s funds by grant recipients, one of which was a big supporter of Obama, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. After a brief period, Johnson’s funding suspension by The Corporation was lifted, triggering Walpin to scold the agency’s board of directors for that decision. Walpin was later fired by the President with little explanation.
If Walpin’s funding misuse investigation showed the White House anything, it was that he was actually going to be a watchdog – a good quality in an Inspector General unless you don’t want the dog watching.
It is my hope that the mainstream media, along with Congress, begins to look into these White House volunteerism efforts with a bit more of a critical eye.
This new iParticipate initiative by the Entertainment Industry Foundation and The Corporation appears tame on review of the press release and website. But a memo uncovered by Big Hollywood shows that the TV networks are being encouraged by this initiative to infuse the issues of health, the environment, and energy into their storylines.
Such a close relationship between the government and the networks should leave many to wonder whether the networks are too close to the White House to be critical. And recent comments by Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director, attacking a legitimate news network seem designed as a preemptive strike to marginalize critical inquiry.
The free press needs to keep a critical eye, regardless of whether the White House likes a watchdog or not."
Couple of videos plus one article below. First video bad audio, interesting message.
Gerald Celente, more plain talk for your consideration.
Gerald Celente, founder of The Trends Research Institute and publisher of the quarterly Trends Journal, is a staple of news and Internet media. Dubbed “The Martial Artist of Trend Forecasting,” Celente is world-renowned for his authoritative forecasts on events in financial markets and socio-political movements. Over the past 30 years, Gerald has been interviewed and extensively quoted around the world; in the US, he has been featured in every major newspaper, and has been a guest on CBS Morning News, Glenn Beck, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, and The Oprah Winfrey Show, among other TV shows.
Equally prominent in the blogosphere, Gerald can also be followed on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. I’m of course a fan of Gerald on Facebook – Nouriel Roubini and Peter Schiff, too – but let’s not get off topic. On the Internet, Celente has generated a high level of public interest; his forecasts are commonly discussed at prominent forums, as well as on websites that support conspiracy theories.
Celente publishes Trends Journal four times each year; this respected publication is read by a wide variety of people, and is available through subscription. Well-written and easy to follow, its audience includes politicians, businesspeople, researchers, journalists – even Joe & Jane Twelve Pack. Offering forecasts on worldwide trends, including all things Wall Street to all things Main Street, this expert analysis is informative and empowering to the individual reader; furthermore, it is backed by the research and credibility of The Trends Research Institute, and thus, it comes highly recommended.
Since 1980, Celente has made at least 40 accurate predictions about major world events. In 1986, he forewarned of a major global stock market crash, which occurred the very next year, and is now commonly known as Black Monday. Throughout the 1990’s, many other forecasts came true, including the collapse of the Soviet Union, surges in global terrorism, the popularity of spiritual and new age philosophies, public backlash against globalization, upsurges in online shopping, and the 1997 Asian financial crisis, to name a select few. In the new millennium, predictions-turned-real are the correction of the dot-com bubble, the 2001 recession, emerging bull markets for gold, the rise of alternative energy, the collapse of the heavily-inflated real estate bubble, and unsurprisingly, the ‘Economic 9/11’ that we are currently witnessing.
After thoroughly reviewing the recent summer edition of Trends Journal, I learned that Gerald is now forecasting “the greatest depression” for the rest of the world, while in the US, he believes we may experience “Obamageddon.” As the definition of this witty concoction is easily apparent, its implications are thoroughly conveyed within the opening paragraph:
Here we are in 2012. Food riots, tax protests, farmer rebellions, student revolts, squatter diggins, homeless uprisings, tent cities, ghost malls, general strikes, bossnappings, kidnappings, industrial saboteurs, gang warfare, mob rule, terror.
In late July, I spoke exclusively with Gerald, whose research I have been following for several years. My personal interest in his work materialized when I was serving as a publicist for a boutique securities brokerage. In that role, I often read niche financial publications, and discovered the Trends Journal, which inspired me – a former intern to the CEO of a multibillion-dollar credit union, for whom I collected intelligence on the banking industry – to further research the interconnected world of finance and politics.
Never one to mince words, Gerald kicked off our conversation in his no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is approach, which millions have warmed up to over the years. A team player, he answers on behalf of his colleagues at The Trends Research Institute.
“We want to make it very clear that the policies leading to the decline of ‘Empire America’ have been long in the making,” he said. “What has happened in the Obama Administration is that they have taken policies far beyond even what Bush took with the TARP program; for example, with his stimulus package, with the buyouts, with the bailouts, the rescue packages, these are unprecedented in American history.”
"Never before has so much phantom money been printed out of thin air, backed by nothing, producing practically nothing,” Celente continues. “You don’t even have to be a student of history to know the outcome of this. All you have to do is have your eyes open, and start thinking for yourself.”
Like many, Gerald is disturbed by our government’s record-breaking creation of new fiat dollars – Federal Reserve Notes – that are literally produced “out of thin air” on behalf of a quasi-public corporation known as the Federal Reserve. These worthless pieces of paper are not backed by any commodity, such as gold or silver, even though the US Constitution mandates their use as tender in the payment of debts. As this happens, a bailout bubble is being created, and when the “monster explodes” there will be dire consequences for all of humanity.
“When this bubble bursts, unlike the financial/real estate bubble that burst, the dot-com bubble before that, and the ’87 stock market bubble before that” US taxpayers will now be on the hook for trillions in losses as our “government is [a major] equity holder in private corporations. That never existed before.”
What will cause the bailout bubble to burst? “There are a lot of wild cards that can change the game, but what I will say is that you can’t keep printing phantom money – produced out of thin air, based on nothing, producing practically nothing – without destroying the currency.”
Many other economists, including Peter Schiff – who will hopefully unseat the pretentiously-corrupt Senator Christopher Dodd in 2010 – have joined Gerald in forecasting a massive devaluation of the US dollar. Just last week, Schiff posted an entry on his blog under the aptly-titled heading “The US Dollar is the New Peso,” wherein he notes “the dollar is going to fall sharply.” In 1994, the Mexican peso crisis led to the sudden devaluation of that nation’s currency; furthermore, as events unfolded, there was widespread political violence among citizens. Mexico also experienced hyperinflation, which causes sharp increases in consumer prices, and the rapid loss of currency value. Celente believes “we risk” hyperinflation here in America.
Believe it or not, there is actually some good news: you can protect your savings by purchasing physical gold and silver assets, but interested parties should execute such transactions without delay. Recently, China advised its 1.3+ billion citizens, for their financial security, mind you, to purchase these commodities. The IMF has also announced it will be selling one-eighth (403.3 metric tons) of its gold holdings, which many nations are reportedly seeking to acquire; concurrently, there are rumors swirling that Middle Eastern nations, in tandem with China, France, Japan and Russia, plan to abandon the use of our dollar in oil trading. These developments have caused a surge in the demand for gold, as it is an obvious safe haven against the floundering dollar; accordingly, gold has now surged to record-breaking highs, just under $1050 an ounce as of press time. Celente is forecasting the price will double from where it stands today, while Schiff believes it may hit $5000 an ounce over the next few years. In either scenario, these massive value increases will generate a hefty ROI for savvy individuals.
“No one will be able to deny it…once people begin to get into gold, all fiat [will] currencies decline, particularly overseas,” said Gerald.
Another distinct possibility is that a multinational coalition – with the assistance of the IMF and World Bank – will dictate the creation of a new global reserve currency. Indeed, recent events confirm that such moves are currently underway, as China, Russia and the UN have all come forward to support a new international reserve currency in lieu of the dollar. Should these efforts prove successful, Celente says it will cause a “devaluation of the dollar.” That’s putting it mildly, because if the dollar collapses, US living conditions will deteriorate rapidly. Gerald notes that in this scenario “it will only be a matter of time before a rebellion happens again. When people lose everything, and they have nothing left to lose, they lose it.”
The seeds for a second American revolution have already been planted, and now, it appears they are blossoming. Last December, Russian Professor and former KGB agent Igor Panarin – who has infamously predicted that the US will collapse for more than a decade – was the subject of a Wall Street Journal article; in it, he warned of a civil war in the US during 2010, and in the aftermath of that, he believes our nation will ultimately be divided into six respective regions, each controlled by foreigners. Many fear that, in line with Panarin’s theories, the racial tensions presently being exploited by mainstream media will only exacerbate an already fragile situation.
Celente believes there is a possibility for a civil war, “but we predict that it will end with the breakup of the Empire, which can’t sustain itself,” adding that his team originally forecast this back in fall 2002. Ultimately this means that the US “will look like [post-Soviet] Russia.”
So what could this mean for Main Street America? “Well, just drive around Detroit. Look at all the blown out houses and empty neighborhoods. Look at the violence that’s increasing around the nation. Look at the types of heinous crimes [already] being committed by people – some blowing their whole families away, wiping them out – these murders, we’ve never seen this kind of thing before.”
Right now, there is a robust amount of public outrage as everyday Americans are suffering, while “the money, as far as anybody can see, is going to the too big to fail,” he said, before asserting, “Their mothers are not better than mine…let them fail. That’s what America is about, success and failure.”
We briefly discussed the lucrative bonuses that are continuing to flow at Goldman Sachs like water taps – undeniably through some use of taxpayer funds – and while doing so, I interrupted Gerald to say that this is disgusting. He immediately agreed with me.
“Goldman Sachs is running Washington, look at the fingerprints, they are all over the place,” he said. “It is disgusting; they are robbing the nation blind. In fact, this is what we are writing about in the autumn issue of the Trends Journal. This is the greatest heist in US history, happening in broad day light.”
That assessment, while very serious, is nonetheless accurate. Of late, Rolling Stone’s Matt Tiabbi has fearlessly – and continually – taken on Goldman Sachs, as new reports emerge about this firm’s influence on our government, in addition to yet another round of billion-dollar bonuses that it plans to dish out.
“You know, I’m of Italian descent, and if what was [happening] on Wall Street [was being done by people] with names like Celente, Caruso, Rossini, Mondavi, Torchini, or the likes, they’d call it the mafia. Oh, and there would be a firestorm, the media would be filled with it…but you can’t call the white shoe boys crooks.”
Well, Gerald, you can gladly add Barello to the aforementioned list. As a fellow paesano I am going to join you – and break the absurd rules of politic correctness – by asserting that Wall Street and Washington D.C. are being run by psychopathic serial criminals. For those that feel this declaration is overzealous, please read the recent commentary of Jim Kouri, vice president and public information officer at the National Association of Chiefs of Police, wherein he likens the personality traits of politicians to serial killers.
The mortgage market collapsed due to massive, unprecedented frauds. More people would realize this if mainstream media outlets properly exposed such crimes; granted, investigative journalism has been pushed aside, and in its place, we find an array of pseudo-celebrity, nonentity imbeciles like John and Kate Gosselin, desperate for their 15 minutes of shame. Either way, most mortgage frauds were facilitated by both lenders and borrowers – many of whom knowingly agreed to terms they could not afford. Through the process of securitization, these bad loans have been turned into hot potatoes for tossing, often with the help of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae; this has allowed lenders to deceitfully transfer risky loans to unsuspecting counterparties. Ratings agencies aided and abetted the racket by claiming these junk assets are safe; accordingly, corporations, municipalities, and a plethora of worldwide investment vehicles have purchased toxic garbage, and many risk collapsing under the weight of such. As this has happened, unregulated, over-the-counter derivatives have allowed the same criminals to secretly hedge bets against portfolios – knowing full well that many of them would indeed go sour – and when credit events occur, they collect truly absurd bounties. Accordingly, Gerald is no fan of derivatives. “They are ponzi schemes,” he said, before quipping that the term should really be “Madoffs” from now on. “Ponzi was a piker compared to Madoff, [which] is more appropriate, because they make off with all your money.”
Per the latest assessment by the Bank for International Settlements, as of last December, the OTC derivatives market encompasses $592 trillion in notionally valued contracts. One should wonder how this is even possible, when the World GDP was estimated at a shy $61 trillion in 2008. This would also suggest that – when taken at face value, anyway – the potential liabilities for outstanding derivatives may exceed the entire world’s real wealth almost ten times over. With those odds, it sounds like another major financial disaster is just waiting to happen.
In August, Harry Markopolos – the Madoff whistleblower that was ignored by the SEC for over a decade, while fearing for his own safety – stated that the derivatives market will fully collapse, and when it does, it will make Madoff “look like small time.” Despite this dire warning, the mainstream media has since ignored Markopolos, just as the SEC so prudently did for more than ten years.
Bob Chapman of The International Forecaster recently wrote about the possibility of Chinese firms unilaterally defaulting on derivatives contracts; he notes that China may in fact consider these fraudulent assets to be de facto acts of economic warfare. In consideration of this purported viewpoint, it is interesting to note that Warren Buffet has been quoted as saying derivatives are “financial weapons of mass destruction.” Would you care to elaborate any further, Mr. Buffet?
Another key derivatives critic is Christopher Story FRSA, editor of the UK-based International Currency Review, which he has been publishing for 40 years; Story counts central banks, sovereign treasuries, and government intelligence agencies around the world among subscribers. Noted as a former occasional adviser to Margaret Thatcher, he has long maintained that the entire derivatives sector is centered on fraud. His website also presents a chronicle of very serious allegations – tantamount to charges of ongoing, worldwide economic terrorism – against high-level individuals within the US government and financial sectors, including current and former presidents, cabinet secretaries, intelligence agents, as well as Federal Reserve and banking officials.
It is common knowledge that severe consequences accompany the willful publication of libel in the UK; per Mr. Story, Britain’s Head of State, Her Majesty the Queen, and many other world leaders, are fully aware of these allegations. As he has not been prosecuted for disseminating libelous statements, one can only assume that these charges, spanning back at least six years, are indeed based on facts. Granted, I am in no position to individually authenticate purported crimes, but I can enlighten others on what is being published over an international landscape; after reviewing this catalogue of analysis – which forecast most of the events that are happening today – some will certainly be inclined to contact US law enforcement agents, and demand an investigation into these shocking claims. If that is the case, please do so in a civil manner. (Note: this report has been submitted directly to American authorities.)
I mentioned Mr. Story’s stance on derivatives to Gerald; the other allegations were not specifically referenced during our conversation. “Story is one-hundred percent right…these are con games,” he said, in regards to derivatives.
Clearly, the people running this nation are “out of control,” Celente continues, noting that as economic conditions further deteriorate “people are going to start losing it,” he said. “But, they are going to lose it in different ways: our greatest fear for the future [is] rampant crime, and the society breaking down.” He pauses briefly, and then offers a truly frightening thought. “When we say food riots, it’s going to people rioting just to eat.”
Given these horrid possibilities, I ponder the following thoughts: up to $24 trillion of taxpayer funds will be used to subsidize a financial system that is reported to be in worse shape than it was one year ago – and per TARP watchdog Neil Barofsky, a lot of that money will never be recovered – while food riots may be approaching for many others?
You have got to be kidding me. The aforementioned, perverse statements have no place in this world; my ancestors did not immigrate to America so that dilapidated thugs could become empowered by the fruits of their labor and create “the greatest depression” for this entire planet. Furthermore, it is important to point out that I inherited my blood from men that were the “Oath Keepers” of their respective heydays; indeed, my Great-Grandfather, Willard J. Kirchmer, 1st Lieutenant, US Army, World War 1, and my Grandfather, Mario Rocco Barello, Fireman, Second Class, US Navy, World War 2, took their oaths to support and defend the US Constitution exceptionally serious. As a descendent of these gentlemen, I can assure you that their oaths will continue to live on, unabatedly, through me. That being said, as a truly pivotal moment in our nation’s history approaches, We the People must assert our non-negotiable authority over what rightfully belongs to us: our government.
“Politicians don’t care,” Gerald prudently concluded, before adding, “the only thing they are interested in is themselves, and if anybody thinks that a politician is losing sleep because they are losing their house, they had better grow up.”
It is clear that people are in fact wizening up; the massive, ongoing ‘Tea Party’ protests are surely a sign of it. More importantly though, critics of these events must be fair, and recognize that the movement started long before the debate on healthcare reform entered the picture – it formed in response to the absurd bailouts of Wall Street criminals. Celente forecast the ongoing continuation of politically-charged protests several months ago, saying “we’re calling, of course, for an intellectual revolution: that people understand, become knowledgeable and not rise up against the government in an armed way, but in an intellectual way.” He also believes “we need a new, third [political] party.”
As America wakes up, those in power are doing everything they can to discourage us. Protesters are being labeled radical for utilizing their God-given, constitutionally protected freedom of speech to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Be that as it may, public officials would be very wise to respect the words of John F. Kennedy, who once said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
American Patriots must peacefully band together in this intellectual revolution – and embrace the principles of civil disobedience over violence – to force changes within our Federal Republic and its governing structures. By doing so, our nation will be empowered to foreclose on the ethically, morally, and financially bankrupt cesspool of corruption, which is destroying the entire world with it. In short, we need a change we can believe in; we need a new era – The Great American Renaissance – and we need it right now.
“The whole system is breaking down and something new will be born, but if we use our intellect, rather than continue along the same path, we can create a better future,” says Celente. “We don’t need Wall Street, we need Main Street. We don’t need Wal-Marts, we need Mom & Pops. We don’t need agribusiness, we need family farms. We need to bring America back to when it was at its most, when it was the most egalitarian nation in the world, when the quality of life was at its highest. That was the model [for success].”
“For America to regain its greatness, it has to regain its dignity. It has to bring back the model that worked in the past and push it forward…it’s a rediscovery…we have to go back to quality, and quality is the basis for success,” while at the present time, “we’re a junk food nation [that is fed] junk news.” We are also being crippled by outlandish, across-the-board corruption, and it must be stopped.
In light of Gerald’s comments, I must note that research indicates a majority of Americans do not trust mainstream news outlets. Although many will not want to hear it, this degradation in confidence is partially attributed to lingering questions about 9/11; in the absence of any mature discourse on the subject, an unstoppable, ever-growing assortment of conspiracy theories have emerged within the public domain. At the same time, international media outlets are beginning to question the “official story”, while in the US, Truthers™ are unwittingly exploited by hoodwinks, which causes politicians and media to shun them; out of respect for the near 3,000 victims of 9/11, this state-of-affairs is collectively inexcusable.
Over the past eight years, the media has also demonstrated a perceivable complicity in promoting lies to rally Americans behind ill-fated policies, such as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; furthermore, some outlets now appear to unapologetically support President Obama in every action, as if he is our best friend – and not a politician. Media executives should recognize that few will continue tolerating the brainless assumption that news outlets exist to merely report what the government tells them; such ignorant evasions will not validate the continued existence of organizations that are derelict in their mandated duty, which is to objectively question every alleged fact. Perhaps that is precisely why the oligopoly of media conglomerates is now impotent in mitigating the collapse of many sub-entities?
If ever there was a time for the mainstream media to prove its worth, the time is now: a whirlwind of major political scandals are ripe for exposure, and they cannot be suppressed. Any outlet that demonstrates fortitude, and accurately reports on these emerging “gates” – particularly in the financial arena – will reap the massive benefits associated with public trust; in short, your audience shares will increase, along your advertising revenues.
Directors at Fox News are ecstatic that the network’s viewership continues to grow, so bear with me as I state the obvious: political conspiracies offer an unparalleled level of appeal. To prove my point, one of this conglomerate’s most successful recent TV dramas – Prison Break – thrived due to its sharp, ongoing integration of high-level political conspiracies; at the same time, the show was obviously a smash because of its handsome breakout star, Wentworth Miller, a brilliantly talented man. Either way, imagine the ratings that Fox News would generate – and the income for its shareholders – if it were to integrate a model-of-the-sort in its news programming. Obviously, your exposures of ACORN have been groundbreaking, so why not have Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and/or Greta Van Susteren look into the following?
Recently, 60 Minutes exposed the true nature of derivatives and how they have been used to manipulate markets in recent years; furthermore, right in this very article, Gerald Celente – whom Bill and Glenn have had on their shows – is on the record acknowledging rampant derivatives frauds, which if left unchecked, may destroy the US capitalist system as we know it. Glenn, I know that the collapse of capitalism is something you fear greatly, is it not?
In the following, heavily underreported clip, Steve Kroft fearlessly addresses these de facto scams known as derivatives – primarily credit default swaps – and notes that they are:
A form of legalized gambling that allows you to wager on [financial] outcomes without ever having to actually buy the stocks, and the bonds, and the mortgages [that they are written against]. It would have been illegal during most of the 20th century under the gaming laws, but in 2000, Congress gave Wall Street an exemption and it turned out to be a very bad idea.
After viewing this explosive video, you will have seen Harvey Goldschmid, a Columbia University law professor, and former commissioner and general counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission acknowledging that the provisions of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 were made into law “at the height of Wall Street and Washington's love affair with deregulation, an infatuation that was endorsed by President Clinton at the White House and encouraged by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.” At the very least, both gentlemen owe the American public real explanations as to why they supported such moves, and while we have their time, let’s ask about the allegations being directly lobbied at them by Mr. Christopher Story FRSA.
In all fairness, though, it would not be right to lay the political blame for this disaster solely on the shoulders of former President Clinton, his administration, and Mr. Greenspan; no, we must give a fair share of attention to former Senator Phil Gramm, who is now vice chairman of the investment banking division at UBS, a criminal organization that recently agreed to pay nearly $800 million in fines to settle any US prosecution of its role in facilitating tax evasion.
Mr. Gramm, whose utter contempt for the American public has been thoroughly demonstrated time and again, can also be thanked for sneaking the unmitigated, disastrous CFMA provisions – which were unlikely to have ever passed through Congress in a stand alone bill – into a Christmas-season appropriations bill that most House representatives clearly failed to read. The Senate later approved these toxic addendums in a unanimous vote, which coyly allowed CFMA to be signed into law.
Obviously, many aspects of CFMA – particularly all clauses that provide legal certainty for unregulated OTC derivatives – must be rescinded immediately; however, this alone will not lead us, and the entire world, out of the financial crisis. As all of us know, the belief that some firms are too big to fail is, in-and-of-itself, an abject failure; accordingly, we must reverse this policy and dismantle every insolvent, transnational, all-in-one financial institution that has come to life – and collapsed – over the past decade.
At this process unfolds, we need to examine why the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton. This rubbish-encrusted non-improvement repealed key aspects of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which became effective during the height of the Great Depression, and prohibited any one financial firm from partaking in commercial banking, investment banking, and/or insurance at the same time.
A quick reflection brings two thoughts to mind: the first is that the use of the word modernization in finance bills tends to serve as an indicator that future problems will arise, so let’s refrain from using such terminology moving forward. Secondly, Mr. Gramm has once again demonstrated how connected his own hands are to this financial crisis, hook, line and sinker. With friends like you, Phil, who needs enemies? I urge investigators to keep that question in mind, especially as they continue to uncover the actions of Gramm and others, who literally believe they can do whatever they want, whenever they want.
To be fair to the former senator, who has received a decent portion of this writer’s indignation, we should also pay close attention to the following 155 present members of Congress – 101 in the House, 54 in the Senate – that voted in favor of FSMA one decade ago. Thanks to the Center for Responsive Politics, we are able to deduce exactly how much money each of them have received in financial contributions, through 2008, from the very same industry that directly benefited from these changes.
We need to reform our campaigning and election laws, and in doing so, we should adapt a more European model, which shuns the use of private funding, and severely limits overall campaign seasons, typically to around six weeks. The previous list, which totals into hundreds of millions of dollars, hammers the nail on why the influence of corporate funding is dangerouos, while the years 2007 and 2008 in America speak to the latter. Elections are not meant to be elaborate, multi-media rock concerts; they are supposed to be elections, plain and simple.
Dr. Ron Paul – perhaps the only true, remaining Statesman in Washington, D.C. – deserves much gratitude from the American public; his courageous, uninterrupted opposition of the Federal Reserve spans back many years, and it ultimately proves why he is a major ally for those of us seeking The Great American Renaissance. Congresscritters should note his leadership skills, and follow them to the tee.
Personally, I believe The Creature from Jekyll Island should have been instantaneously abolished earlier this week, when it emerged that the Fed has committed a fiduciary perjury against Americans (and the rest of the world) – the Treasury Department has, too – but something tells me that once the books and activities of this parasitic fiend are exposed, by audit, or otherwise, Dr. Paul will ultimately get his way, and we will finally End The Fed, once and for all.
I cannot understand why any politician or businessperson would support the continual operations of a privately-controlled central bank that has caused the US dollar to lose an estimated 95% of its value over the course of its near 100-year reign. That’s just me though, and while I am an advocate for a return to the gold standard, at the very least, the elimination of the Fed would provide one giant leap forward for all of mankind, and one hell of a kick start for The Great American Renaissance.
The final key to our economic recovery, if published reports are true – and a much-needed lifeline for the US dollar – may be provided to America by our greatest and most important ally, the UK. As many foreign nations now appear ready to flee the dollar, we must investigate the sincerity of a purported offer – apparently on the table now for several years – that is directly attributed to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, among others. God willing, the Dollar Refunding Operation is indeed a bona fide pro bono offer from the British Monarchy. I cannot – and will not – claim to know what the full story is behind these proposals, but if any official US sources are willing to comment on this, they are encouraged to do so without delay. Our entire nation is on the brink of collapsing, as demonstrated herein.
I am fully aware that by raising certain topics in this article, my life might be placed in jeopardy. I am also aware that when I say God Almighty directs my actions, it will provoke cynical feedback from certain parties; regardless, that is indeed the fact-of-the-matter from my perspective, and thus, no one can tell me to believe otherwise. I will not stand idle as this Great Nation risks unimaginable suffering, especially when there are numerous ways for us to mitigate, or prevent that from happening altogether.
In the end, as they move to rebuild their nation's finances, leaders around the world should follow the very wise advice of His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan, who has so prudently said, "I care less about the gross national product and more about the gross national happiness."
Put foxes in the henhouse, make them look like the rest of the chickens .... you're good to go.
Trojan Horse for astroturfers perhaps .... soften us up to accept government health care rationing, death counciling, decrease in medicare? Medicare could have had a smaller percentage cost of living increase equal to this proposed $250 and gone about its business except for ego showcasing itself.
"Obama calls for $250 payments to seniors
"Bernie Marcus Slams Health Care Plan
"ATLANTA -- Bernie Marcus and health care are synonymous. With donations of more than $44 million for the Marcus Autism Center, and an added $25 million to fund Autism Speaks.
He's added almost $18 million to support the Shepherd Center and major programs to rehabilitate returning military personnel. Almost $4 million to the CDC Foundation, and $20 million to enhance the Trauma Center at Grady Hospital.
But when it comes to the government's health care program, Marcus said, "I see a very bleak future for health care in the United States, if we pass government controlled health care. The Congress, the federal workers do not participate. This is for you and for me. I mean come on, give me a break will you, please."
Marcus says the real need is to curb fraud and limit litigation to bring costs into line.
"I don't support the national health care program. I think it's a disaster. I think we should fight it to the death," he said.
Marcus predicts a two-tier system for the United States, similar to England."
"Central Banking: A Blight On Humanity
-- Posted Friday, 9 October 2009
By: Rob Kirby
"Impeccably reliable sources have informed me that as recently as Sept. 30, 2009 – the last possible day of trade in the Sept. 09 gold futures – a number of well-heeled market participants “bought” substantial tonnage worth of gold futures on the London Bullion Market [LBMA] and immediately told their counterparties they wanted to take instantaneous delivery of the underlying physical bullion.
The unexpected immediate demand for substantial tonnage of gold bullion created utter panic in at least two banks who were counterparties to this trade – J.P. Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank – because they simply did not posses the gold bullion which they had sold short [an illegal act which in trading parlance is referred to as a “naked short”].
Because these banks did not have the bullion to honor their contracted commitments, one or both of them approached the counterparties and asked if there was any way they could settle this embarrassing matter quietly on a “cash basis” to absolve the banks from fulfilling their physical bullion delivery obligations. The purchasers were not interested in a ‘cash settlement’ and demanded delivery of physical bullion giving these banks 5 business days to resolve the situation. A premium of as much as spot plus 25 % [that would be 1,250 – 1,300 per ounce of gold] was offered to settle this matter in fiat money instead of the embarrassment of a very public “failure to deliver” on the part of the London Bullion Market Association.
Earlier this week, no less than two Central Banks became involved in effecting the physical settlement of this situation. One of these Central Banks was British [that would be the Bank of England] – and reportedly, even they were only capable of providing less than pure, non-compliant gold bars that did not meet good delivery standards stipulated by the LBMA. Like it or not, this is a testament to lack of physical gold available, folks.
To summarize: Banks like J.P. Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bk. - who sold endless amounts of gold futures at prices of 950 – 1025 and then tried to make “side deals” with the folks they sold the futures to – offering them spot + 25 % [let’s say 1,275 per ounce] to settle in fiat – only after their counter parties demanded substantial tonnage of physical gold bullion.
Stunningly, if accurate [and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is not accurate], this means that gold is already in SEVERE backwardation and this fact is being hidden from the public.
Then, to protect the “integrity” of the futures market as a ‘price discovery mechanism’ – Central Banks – aiding and abetting - plunder the sovereign assets of their respective countries to bail out their agents / friends in an attempt to ‘sweep the whole bloody mess under the carpet’.
To think that anyone wonders why our financial system and fiat money will soon to be TOAST?
What a disgraceful insult to humanity."
"Soldier dies after receiving smoker's lungs in transplant
A close up X-ray view of a cigarette smoker's lungs.
Corporal Matthew Millington, 31, died at his home in 2008, less than a year after receiving a transplant that was supposed to save his life at Papworth Hospital -- the UK's largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital, in Cambridgeshire, east England.
Papworth Hospital released a statement saying using donor lungs from smokers was not "unusual."
The statement added that the hospital had no option but to use lungs from smokers as "the number of lung transplants carried out would have been significantly lower," if they didn't.
An inquest held last week heard that Millington, who served in the Queen's Royal Lancers, was serving in Iraq in 2005 when he was diagnosed with an incurable condition that left him unable to breathe.
He was told he required a transplant and in April 2007 received a double lung transplant at Papworth Hospital.
Less than a year later, doctors discovered a tumor in the new lungs. Despite radiotherapy, Millington died on February 8, 2008, at his family home near Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire.
The inquest found a radiographer failed to highlight the growth of a cancerous tumor on the donor lungs.
Tests found that he had received the lungs of a donor who smoked up to 50 cigarettes a day, the inquest at North Staffordshire coroner's court heard.
The hospital said in the statement: "This is an extremely rare case. Papworth Hospital has a very strong track record of high quality outcomes and this is an extremely rare case.
"Patients who are accepted on to the transplant waiting list have no other option open to them, however, we must stress that all donor organs are screened rigorously prior to transplantation.
"Using lungs from donors who have smoked in the past is not unusual. During 2008/09 146 lung transplants were carried out in the UK.
"During the same period 84 people died on the waiting list. If we had a policy that said we did not use the lungs of those who had smoked, then the number of lung transplants carried out would have been significantly lower."
The tumor's growth was accelerated by the immuno-suppressive drugs Millington was taking to prevent his body rejecting the transplanted lungs, the inquest heard.
North Staffordshire coroner Ian Smith recorded that Millington, had died of "complications of transplant surgery and immuno-suppressive drug treatment."
October 07, 2009
"The Obama Justice Department’s Secret Blogging Team… Is it Illegal?
Warner Todd Huston | 8:35 am Obama’s
Source Right Wing News
"Attorney General, Eric Holder, has apparently hired a cadre of left-wing, Democrat campaign bloggers to troll through the Internet looking for news stories and blog posts that denigrate the Obama agenda. After such websites are found it is the job of these secret lefty bloggers to leave comments that come to the support of Obamaism in the comments sections. It seems that Eric Holder has created his own little propaganda unit in a valiant effort to become the Bloggi Riefenstahl of the Obama era.
As reported at The Muffled Oar, a blog that first broke the story of Holder’s secretive blogging unit — dubbed the “Blog Squad” by blogger Isaac Muzzey — Holder has housed this unit in the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice. It also appears that former John Edwards staffer Tracy Russo is part of this special unit.
A site called whorunsgov.com reported back in May that DOJ hired Russo to do “media outreach for the whole department.” It is, according to whorunsgov.com, the first time such an effort has been made at DOJ.
Of Russo’s duties, The Muffled Oar says:
Not only is the Department of Justice Blog Squad going to reach out to nontraditional media like TPM Muckraker or the Muffled Oar, but they are also tasked with fostering anonymous comments at conservative leaning blogs such as the Free Republic. They are also tasked with fostering anonymous comments, or comments under pseudonyms, at newspaper websites with stories critical of the Department of Justice, Holder and President Obama.
If indeed this is what DOJ media outreach does it would most certainly qualify as “astroturfing.” Astroturfing is the action of using fake commenters and multiple screen names on all sorts of sites to push a similar opinion to create the appearance of a grass roots movement and make it seem as if there are all sorts of individuals naturally supporting a product or political movement.
It most certainly is a creepy, propagandistic sort of effort that Holder’s office is involved in and it is one that certainly seems an immoral one. After all, it most certainly is lying to the public if there are a handful of DOJ employees casting about on hundreds of different websites pretending that they are just your average citizen coming to the support of the Obama administration. But is it illegal? Hans von Spakovsky of National Review’s the corner blog certainly thinks so.
I doubt that the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) has received an ethics opinion from Justice’s Professional Responsibility Advisory Office (PRAO) saying that it is acceptable for OPA employees to be harassing critics of the department through postings that deliberately hide their DOJ affiliation (a practice that is not very “open” or “transparent”). DOJ lawyers also ought to be aware of ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4, which states that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. If the report in The Muffled Oar is correct, tax dollars are being used directly for such dishonest, deceitful behavior.
I must say, it’s hard to disagree with von Spakovsky (if that’s his real name! — a little joke there).
Mr. von Spakovsky also makes a perfectly pertinent point to wrap up his blog post on this matter. He wonders if the Obama administration will ever learn the difference between political campaign and the “entirely different responsibility it now has to enforce this nation’s laws in an objective, nonpartisan, nonpolitical manner”?
I think that the question is a good one. After all, after nearly a year in office, we have yet to see the end Obama’s constant blaming of Bush for every little problem he runs up against not to mention the constant campaign speeches and appearances on TV at every hour, day and night. One gets the uneasy feeling that President Barack Obama has yet to put in an actual day’s work as he constantly campaigns for office instead."
(Image credit: Associated Press/Lefteris Pitarakis – April 27, 2009)"
Plant trees which give off oxygen as a by-product of their growth aside from being aesthetically pleasing. Then by the time the cycle changes back to global warming there will be more shade, preventing heat from absorbing into the surface.
Wonder how global warming scientists would do on "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader"?
"What happened to global warming?
By Paul Hudson
Climate correspondent, BBC News
"This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that factthat the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in1998.
But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.
And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbondioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, hascontinued to rise.
So what on Earth is going on?
Climate change sceptics, who passionately and consistently argue thatman's influence on our climate is overstated, say they saw it coming.
They argue that there are natural cycles, over which wehave no control, that dictate how warm the planet is. But what is theevidence for this?
During the last few decades of the 20th Century, our planet did warm quickly.
Sceptics argue that the warming we observed was down to the energy fromthe Sun increasing. After all 98% of the Earth's warmth comes from theSun.
But research conducted two years ago, and published by the Royal Society, seemed to rule out solar influences.
The scientists' main approach was simple: to look at solar output andcosmic ray intensity over the last 30-40 years, and compare thosetrends with the graph for global average surface temperature.
And the results were clear. "Warming in the last 20 to40 years can't have been caused by solar activity," said Dr PiersForster from Leeds University, a leading contributor to this year'sIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
But one solar scientist Piers Corbyn fromWeatheraction, a company specialising in long range weatherforecasting, disagrees.
He claims that solar charged particles impact us farmore than is currently accepted, so much so he says that they arealmost entirely responsible for what happens to global temperatures.
He is so excited by what he has discovered that heplans to tell the international scientific community at a conference inLondon at the end of the month.
If proved correct, this could revolutionise the whole subject.
What is really interesting at the moment is what is happening to our oceans. They are the Earth's great heat stores.
“ In the last few years [the Pacific Ocean] has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down ”
According to research conducted by Professor Don Easterbrook fromWestern Washington University last November, the oceans and globaltemperatures are correlated.
The oceans, he says, have a cycle in which they warmand cool cyclically. The most important one is the Pacific decadaloscillation (PDO).
For much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was in a positivecycle, that means warmer than average. And observations have revealedthat global temperatures were warm too.
But in the last few years it has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down.
These cycles in the past have lasted for nearly 30 years.
So could global temperatures follow? The global cooling from 1945 to1977 coincided with one of these cold Pacific cycles.
Professor Easterbrook says: "The PDO cool mode hasreplaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us ofabout 30 years of global cooling."
So what does it all mean? Climate change sceptics argue that this is evidence that they have been right all along.
They say there are so many other natural causes for warming andcooling, that even if man is warming the planet, it is a small partcompared with nature.
But those scientists who are equally passionate aboutman's influence on global warming argue that their science is solid.
The UK Met Office's Hadley Centre, responsible forfuture climate predictions, says it incorporates solar variation andocean cycles into its climate models, and that they are nothing new.
In fact, the centre says they are just two of the wholehost of known factors that influence global temperatures - all of whichare accounted for by its models.
In addition, say Met Office scientists, temperatureshave never increased in a straight line, and there will always beperiods of slower warming, or even temporary cooling.
What is crucial, they say, is the long-term trend inglobal temperatures. And that, according to the Met office data, isclearly up.
To confuse the issue even further, last month MojibLatif, a member of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)says that we may indeed be in a period of cooling worldwidetemperatures that could last another 10-20 years.
Professor Latif is based at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences atKiel University in Germany and is one of the world's top climatemodellers.
But he makes it clear that he has not become a sceptic;he believes that this cooling will be temporary, before theoverwhelming force of man-made global warming reasserts itself.
So what can we expect in the next few years?
Both sides have very different forecasts. The Met Office says that warming is set to resume quickly and strongly.
It predicts that from 2010 to 2015 at least half the years will be hotter than the current hottest year on record (1998).
Sceptics disagree. They insist it is unlikely that temperatures willreach the dizzy heights of 1998 until 2030 at the earliest. It ispossible, they say, that because of ocean and solar cycles a period ofglobal cooling is more likely.
One thing is for sure. It seems the debate about whatis causing global warming is far from over. Indeed some would say it ishotting up."
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/10/09 15:22:46 GMT
© BBC MMIX
"The Nobel Peace Prize Is Over
Weston KosovaSource The Gaggle blog.newsweek.com
"The Nobel committee has handed out some puzzling peace prizes over the years—Henry Kissinger and Yasir Arafat come to mind—but even given a few scratches and dings, the Nobel retained its luster as the most prestigious award of any kind in the world. Long after the "red carpet" pretty much destroyed the idea of prizes in general, the Nobel Peace Prize was still seen as rare and precious. By cloaking its deliberations and through brilliant PR, the committee gave the prize a supranatural aura, as if the name of the winner were spit out of the mouth of an ancient volcano.
That's all over now. The Nobel Peace Prize is finished. It's just another "prize," like a Teen Choice Award for old people. No matter what you think of Obama, the man has done nothing, at all, to deserve it. He may deserve it someday, but the Nobel prize isn't supposed to be a bet on the hope of the possibility of greatness at some point in the future. And it can no longer be taken seriously. From now on, no matter who wins, no matter how deserving, people will say, "Yeah, but they also gave it to Obama." The 1.4 million bucks is still nice, though."
"Posted By: Victor Erimita (October 10, 2009 at 2:37 PM)
Should the Nobel Prize in medicine be awarded to someone who hopes and aspires to create a cure for cancer? Should the physics prize be awarded to someone who makes soaring speeches about proving the Unified Field Theory?
And, Tomcat, the reason some of us might have a problem with just any American getting the prize is that the last three who got it, got it precisely for their anti-American rhetoric. In the view of Euro elites, America is the cause of most of the world's problems. We are to be diminished, weakened, humbled and vilified. Any prominent figure who will do that in a popular way is eligible for the prize. Obama qualifies, because he has "changed the tone" of American foreign policy, which means he apologizes endlessly for our national iniquity, ignores or praises tyrants from Iran to Saudi Arabia, from "Palestine," to Venezuela, Cuba and Honduras, while disrespecting our allies and joining the international chorus of condemnation for that other cause of all the world's problems, Israel. This is music to the ears of the luminaries of the Nobel committee. Yo see, Tom ,many of us lesser-enlightened Americans still feel we have done far more good than harm in the world, and that the self-styled voices of enlightenment in Europe and the American Left ignore, appease and praise the most vicious tyrants in the world so long as they mouth leftist slogans and and say hostile things to the hated U.S. Obama was awarded for that, which we think merely feeds the destructive narrative. But of course, those of us who have a different opinion than you are not worthy to speak, are we? Diversity of opinion is not a diversity you honor."
HR1207 - Audit The Fed - The Hearing Karl Denninger
Just in time for lunch .......
These guys are always good for relevant commentary. From Powerlineblog.com.
October 9, 2009 Posted by Scott at 6:48 AM
"President Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize after only nine months on the job. It seems a tad premature, but is undoubtedly a token of the committee's high expectations for what is to come. Obama's five disciples on the prize committee are helping to spread the word that he has come to bring peace, not a sword. His recognition comes for giving the world "hope for a better future" and striving for nuclear disarmament. Ah, but of course!
Congratulations are in order. The prize will provide a fitting occasion for another trip to Europe, and another speech! In truth, however, the Nobel Peace Prize has gone haywire on numerous occasions over many years. Although it has honored some worthy recipients, it has also become a megaphone amplifying the voice of tyrants, rogues and reprobates. Consider, in any event, a few recipients of years past.
AL GORE The award to Al Gore and the IPCC "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change" fits in with a subset of cosmopolitan frauds, fakers, murderers, thieves, and no-accounts going back about twenty years.
MOHAMED ELBARADEI (joint winner). He's done such a nice job with Iran.
WANGARI MAATHAI The Kenyan ecologist peacefully teaches that the AIDS virus is a biological agent deliberately created by the Man.
JIMMY CARTER JR., former President of the United States of America. A true cosmopolitan, he has undermined the foreign policy of his own country and vouched for the bona fides of tyrants and murderers all over the world. Commenting on the award, Nobel Committee Chairman Gunnar Berge emphasized that the award was meant as a denunciation of American policy toward Iraq. "It should be interpreted as a criticism of the line that the [Bush] administration has taken," Berge said. "It's a kick in the leg to all that follow the same line as the United States."
UNITED NATIONS, New York, NY, USA.
KOFI ANNAN, United Nations Secretary General. Among other things, they respectively served as the vehicle for, and presided over, one of the biggest scams in history.
YASSER ARAFAT (joint winner), Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, President of the Palestinian National Authority. He was a cold-blooded murderer both before and after receiving the award.
RIGOBERTA MENCHU TUM, Guatemala. She is the notorious Guatemalan faker and author, sort of, of I, Rigoberta Menchu. Like President Obama, she is a memoirist of distinction.
THE UNITED NATIONS PEACE-KEEPING FORCES New York, NY, U.S.A. Notwithstanding rapes and sex abuse committed by the team in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and the Congo, still doing fine work all over the world.
BETTY WILLIAMS, United Kingdom, founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement (later renamed Community of Peace People), who in later years repeatedly called for the assassination of President George Bush. How peaceful can you get?
LE DUC THO (with Henry Kissinger) for the 1973 peace with honor bequeathed to the fortunate people of Vietnam.
A few years back Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby commented on the Nobel Peace Prize: that "the Norwegian committee entrusted with awarding the peace prize comprises politicians, not scholars. Like politicians everywhere, the peace prize committee tends to be more interested in what the headlines will say today than in what historians will believe 20 -- or 100 -- years from now. And unlike their Swedish counterparts, the Norwegians often intend their choice to have a political impact." That certainly explains this year's award, but one further point remains. Our occasional contributor Bill Katz observed:
[T]o fully appreciate the farcical nature of the peace prize, you need only go back to the painful years before World War II:
In 1931 the prize was shared by Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University, whose later enthusiasm for keeping good relations with Nazi universities has been a source of embarrassment to Columbia.
In 1933, 1934 and 1936, the peace prize went to executives of the League of Nations, already a colossal failure.
From 1939 through 1943 there was no peace prize. You know, World War II was such an inconvenience, and Oslo, where the peace prize is given, was under occupation. Ah, the success of those past prize winners!
Is it wrong to fear that the Columbia connection -- from Nicholas Murray Butler to Barack Obama -- may be the most relevant of the lot?
PAUL adds: There must be some sort of run-up to winning this award -- e.g. analysis, nominations, more analysis. When did the process that led to Obama getting this award begin and what was his record at that point? Surely, if there was any record at all, it was even more meagre than it is now.
The fix must have been in, sort of like TV wrestling.
UPDATE: I'm told that the cut-off date for nominations was only ten days after President Obama was inaugurated."
(continued reading below videos)
.......Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration .......
Obama administration .... same song second verse on steroids strapped to a retro rocket .... except GW didn't view US with utter contempt as Obama clearly does.
From Times Online
October 9, 2009
"Comment: absurd decision on Obama makes a mockery of the Nobel peace prize
"The award of this year’s Nobel peace prize to President Obama will be met with widespread incredulity, consternation in many capitals and probably deep embarrassment by the President himself.
Rarely has an award had such an obvious political and partisan intent. It was clearly seen by the Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration, approval for the election of America’s first black president and hope that Washington will honour its promise to re-engage with the world.
Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace.
The pretext for the prize was Mr Obama’s decision to “strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”. Many people will point out that, while the President has indeed promised to “reset” relations with Russia and offer a fresh start to relations with the Muslim world, there is little so far to show for his fine words.
Times Archive, 1973: Worldwide criticism of Nobel peace awards
The choice of Dr Henry Kissinger and Mr Le Duc Tho as joint winners of the Nobel peace prize continued to provoke criticism today
East-West relations are little better than they were six months ago, and any change is probably due largely to the global economic downturn; and America’s vaunted determination to re-engage with the Muslim world has failed to make any concrete progress towards ending the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
There is a further irony in offering a peace prize to a president whose principal preoccupation at the moment is when and how to expand the war in Afghanistan.
The spectacle of Mr Obama mounting the podium in Oslo to accept a prize that once went to Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and Mother Theresa would be all the more absurd if it follows a White House decision to send up to 40,000 more US troops to Afghanistan. However just such a war may be deemed in Western eyes, Muslims would not be the only group to complain that peace is hardly compatible with an escalation in hostilities.
The Nobel committee has made controversial awards before. Some have appeared to reward hope rather than achievement: the 1976 prize for the two peace campaigners in Northern Ireland, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, was clearly intended to send a signal to the two battling communities in Ulster. But the political influence of the two winners turned out, sadly, to be negligible.
In the Middle East, the award to Menachem Begin of Israel and Anwar Sadat of Egypt in 1978 also looks, in retrospect, as naive as the later award to Yassir Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin — although it could be argued that both the Camp David and Oslo accords, while not bringing peace, were at least attempts to break the deadlock.
Mr Obama’s prize is more likely, however, to be compared with the most contentious prize of all: the 1973 prize to Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho for their negotiations to end the Vietnam war. Dr Kissinger was branded a warmonger for his support for the bombing campaign in Cambodia; and the Vietnamese negotiator was subsequently seen as a liar whose government never intended to honour a peace deal but was waiting for the moment to attack South Vietnam.
Mr Obama becomes the third sitting US President to receive the prize. The committee said today that he had “captured the world’s attention”. It is certainly true that his energy and aspirations have dazzled many of his supporters. Sadly, it seems they have so bedazzled the Norwegians that they can no longer separate hopes from achievement. The achievements of all previous winners have been diminished."
Furthering globalist agenda at the speed of light, that's all.
For American citizens, the fastest failed president in US history.
"Analysis: He won, but for what?
Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Housing Administration, which insures mortgages with low down payments, may require a U.S. bailout because of $54 billion more in losses than it can withstand, a former Fannie Mae executive said.
“It appears destined for a taxpayer bailout in the next 24 to 36 months,” consultant Edward Pinto said in testimony prepared for a House committee hearing in Washington today. Pinto was the chief credit officer from 1987 to 1989 for Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance company that is now government-run. ......."http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aOmu318hOZr4
Top link is interactive site, bottom is story link.
"What the Doctors Think
By Larry Kudlow 17 Sep 2009
"Will Americans soon be too sick to work, produce, invest, and generate new prosperity? That's one conclusion you can draw from a new series by Investor's Business Daily, which reveals that doctors are overwhelmingly opposed to a government takeover of health care (including the Baucus plan). Just as important, IBD reports that any government-based health-care overhaul will exacerbate the growing shortage of doctors in this country.
IBD/TIPP found that 71 percent of physicians believe that government cannot cover 47 million more people without significant rationing of health care. And nearly half of the doctors polled say they would retire early if Congress passes the proposed overhaul.
IBD/TIPP surveyed nearly 1,400 physicians for its series. In written responses, doctors have pointed to lower pay, increased government mandates, and less freedom to practice as reasons for the physician shortage. In particular, Medicare and Medicaid, which essentially are running half of our health-care system, continue to pay below-market reimbursement rates that are putting doctors out of business.
Primary-care physicians are the worst off. The American Academy of Family physicians reports that primary-care doctors need a 30 percent pay raise in order to survive. They're not going to get it under Obamacare, or Obamacare Lite. In fact, physician payments will move lower should any of the various House and Senate plans pass.
The Massachusetts Medical Society, operating in a state that has implemented a Washington-like universal-overage plan, reports that primary-care doctors are in short supply for a fourth straight year, that the percentage of primary-care practices closed to new patients is the highest ever recorded, and that seven of 18 specialties — dermatology, neurology, urology, vascular surgery, and obstetrics-gynecology, in addition to family and internal medicine — are all in short supply.
On top of all that, enrollment in medical schools is already declining. By some estimates, the nation will have 159,000 fewer doctors than it needs by 2025.
So what exactly are we supposed to do about this doctor shortage? The easy answer is to create incentives for new doctors. And for that matter nurses. And for that matter hospital space. We should expand and grow the entire free-market health-care system, which up until recently was America's greatest growth industry.
But these government plans will do just the opposite. They will shrink private care and private insurance. They will reduce jobs. And they may well undermine American health and wellness.
Everyone should read the IBD series and consider the health-care debate from the standpoint of the doctors. That's something that hasn't been done yet. But it's darn important."
From SteveQuayle.com Q news Photo of the Day .... too good to pass up posting.
"are you ready to fight?
"Staging" real doctors with white coats for photo op. I though they were there for information, not to be conveniently used as 'props.'
"White House's botched 'op'
By CHARLES HURT, Post Correspondent
Last Updated: 12:27 PM, October 6, 2009Posted: 3:05 AM, October 6, 2009Source New York Post
In a heavy-handed attempt at reviving support for health-care reform, the White House orchestrated a massive photo op to buttress its claim that front-line physicians support Obama.
A sea of 150 white-coated doctors, all enthusiastically supportive of the president and representing all 50 states, looked as if they were at a costume party as they posed in the Rose Garden before hearing Obama's pitch for the Democratic overhaul bills moving through Congress.
OOPS! A crowd of 150 doctors gathers in the Rose Garden to support the health-care overhaul -- as White House staffers scramble to hand out camera-ready white coats to those who forgot their own. The physicians, all invited guests, were told to bring their white lab coats to make sure that TV cameras captured the image.
But some docs apparently forgot, failing to meet the White House dress code by showing up in business suits or dresses.
So the White House rustled up white coats for them and handed them to the suited physicians who had taken seats in the sun-splashed lawn area.
All this to provide a visual counter to complaints from other doctors that pending legislation is bad news for the medical profession.
"Nobody has more credibility with the American people on this issue than you do," Obama told his guests.
The president was flanked by four white-coated doctors at a podium as he delivered his pep talk.
"When you cut through all the noise and all the distractions that are out there, I think what's most telling is that some of the people who are most supportive of reform are the very medical professionals who know the health-care system best," the president said.
"I want to thank every single doctor who is here," Obama said. "And I especially want to thank you for agreeing to fan out across the country and make the case about why this reform effort is so desperately needed."
Underlying the strictly photo-op nature of the event, The Associated Press noted that Obama broke no new ground in his remarks.
The president told the doctors that if they back him, "I'm confident we are going to get health reform passed this year."
The Republican National Committee shot back with a response from Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), who was an orthopedic surgeon before being elected to Congress.
"Today, the president wants you to believe that the medical community supports his government takeover of health care. Don't be fooled," Price said.
He said he had spoken to "thousands of my colleagues" who oppose the Democrats' legislation.
House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) said large numbers of doctors fear it would cripple their ability to care for patients.
"Members of the medical community -- who deal with red tape day in and day out -- rightly recognize that the Democrats' government takeover would weaken the doctor-patient relationship that is so critical to making the right health-care decisions," he said.
Obama made no mention of the "public option" -- a controversial government-run insurance plan favored by liberal Democrats -- in his Rose Garden spiel.
A key version of the legislation, which doesn't include the public option, is expected to reach the Senate floor for debate later this month."
Don't care who she's supporting, poor taste to mock something a person can't help.
"BET Founder Mocks Deeds' Stuttering
Sheila Johnson was speaking at a fundraiserUpdated: Tuesday, 06 Oct 2009, 8:27 AM EDT
RICHMOND, Va. - The billionaire co-founder of Black Entertainment Television apologized Monday for pretending to stutter at a campaign event as she mimicked the Democratic candidate for governor.
BET co-founder Sheila Johnson, for years a major donor to President Barack Obama, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and other Democrats, stunned Virginia political observers in July by endorsing Republican Bob McDonnell in the governor's race.
He is running against Democrat Creigh Deeds to replace Kaine, who is barred by state law from running for a second straight term.
Virginia and New Jersey are the only states electing governors this fall, making the races an early barometer for next year's congressional contests.
In a YouTube video posted by Democratic blogger Ben Tribbett from a Sept. 25 McDonnell reception, Johnson tells a small crowd that Virginia needs a governor "who can really communicate, and Bob McDonnell can communicate."
"The other people I talk to, especially his op-op-op-o-opponent, di-di-did this all through my interview with him," she said to muted laughter. Then she added, "He could not articulate what needed to be done."
In a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press, Johnson said she sought to highlight Creigh Deeds' inability to "clearly communicate effective solutions" on important issues.
"I shouldn't have done it in the manner in which I did and for that I apologize for any offense he, or others, may have taken," Johnson said.
Deeds, a state senator from Bath County, occasionally hesitates and stumbles over words in ordinary conversation, speeches and media interviews. He sometimes jokes about his unpolished speaking style.
Deeds was campaigning Monday with U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., and was not immediately available for comment. Senior campaign adviser Mo Elleithee said Deeds never thought the problem warranted speech therapy.
"Creigh is the first to tell you he's not the smoothest talker, but when he says something, you know it's personal and it's honest," Elleithee said.
Advocates for people with speech problems were outraged at Johnson's characterization of Deeds.
"It's never acceptable to mock stuttering any more than it would be to laugh at someone in a wheelchair," said Jane Fraser, president of the Memphis, Tenn.-based Stuttering Foundation of America.
Dr. Ronald Webster, founder and president of the Hollins Communications Research Institute in Roanoke, Va., said stutterers are used to such jokes.
"What Ms. Johnson did was pretty much what a lot of people who are not mean or nasty or hostile do almost by accident. It's primarily due to a lack of knowledge about stuttering," he said.
Both national parties are pouring millions of dollars into this year's two contests for governor, particularly in Virginia, a 2008 battleground where Obama became the first Democrat to carry the state in a presidential race in 44 years.
The Democratic National Committee, headed by Kaine, put another $1 million behind Deeds over the weekend in addition to $5 million already pledged to the Virginia governor's race and to Democrats in two other statewide and legislative races.
In a contest grown markedly meaner and more personal in recent weeks, candidates for governor and their proxies can attack with impunity on policy issues, but turning a speech impediment into a punch line appears cruel and risks the wrath of voters, said Mark Rozell, a George Mason University political science professor.
"She would have been fine if she noted the fact that (Deeds) had not made a good case for his transportation proposals and left it at that, but making fun of his way of speaking, that's way out of line," Rozell said.
October 5, 2009
"National Stuttering Organization Responds To Political Ridicule
"The National Stuttering Association has a question for Sheila Johnson, who ridiculed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds stuttering:
Do you also make fun of people in wheelchairs, or do you believe that stuttering is the only disability its okay to ridicule?
The fact is that stuttering is a brain-function disorder thats mostly physiological rather than psychological, and is often genetic in origin. It has nothing to do with intelligence, temperament or leadership ability.
Stuttering affects 1 percent of the population, including 77,000 residents of Virginia.
People who stutter have succeeded in all walks of life and include actors (James Earl Jones), business leaders (Jack Welch), journalists (John Stossel) and politicians such as Winston Churchill, Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia).
There is no cure for stuttering, but most people who stutter can be helped by speech therapy and support groups such as the local chapters of the National Stuttering Association. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the facts about stuttering. Surveys show that eight out of 10 children who stutter are teased or bullied about their stuttering.
By the way, International
Stuttering Awareness Day is Oct. 22. People and organizations around the world will be showcasing the facts about stuttering to educate the public about this disorder. (We hope Sheila Johnson will be listening.)
The National Stuttering Association is a non-profit organization that helps adults and children who stutter with support activities, educational programs, publications and advocacy. It's the largest organization of its type with more than 100 local support groups across the U.S.
More information is available at http://www.WeStutter.org or by calling 800-937-8888."
Greg Craig, the top in-house lawyer for President Barack Obama, is getting the blame for botching the strategy to shut down Guantanamo Bay prison by January — so much so that he’s expected to leave the White House in short order.
But sources familiar with the process believe Craig is being set-up as the fall guy and say the blame for missing the deadline extends well beyond him.
Instead, it was a widespread breakdown on the political, legislative, policy and planning fronts that contributed to what is shaping up as one of Obama’s most high-profile setbacks, these people say.
The White House misread the congressional mood – as it found out abruptly in May, when the Senate voted 90-6 against funds for closing the base after Republicans stoked fears about bringing prisoners to the U.S. The House also went on record last week opposing bringing Gitmo detainees here.
The White House misread the public mood – as roughly half of Americans surveyed say they disagree with Obama’s approach. A strong element of NIMBY-ism permeates those results, as Americans say they don’t want the prisoners in their backyards.
But most of all Obama’s aides mistook that political consensus from the campaign trail for a deep commitment in Washington to do whatever it takes to close the prison.
“The administration came in reading there to be wide support for closing Guantanamo at home and abroad, and I think it misread that attitude,” said Matthew Waxman, a Columbia law professor who held Defense and State Department positions on detainee policy. “In general, they were right….but there was very little willingness to accept the costs and risks of getting it done.”
The White House declined to make Craig available for an interview, or discuss the Gitmo deliberations in detail, but several allies and even some critics scoffed at suggestions that Craig bears the main responsibility for the missteps.
“This clearly was a decision that had the full support of the entire national security team,” said Ken Gude, who tracks Guantanamo issues for the liberal Center for American Progress think tank. “It’s typical Washington that someone has their head on the chopping block, but it’s ridiculous that it’s Craig.”
“The implication that this was the brainchild of the White House counsel is not really credible,” said Elisa Massimino of Human Rights First.
When Obama signed a series of executive orders on Guantanamo during his second full day in office, what grabbed attention was not his promise to close the prison but his pledge to do it within one year.
During the presidential campaign, Obama talked almost daily about closing Guantanamo, but he rarely offered a timeline. His Republican rival, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), spoke in a far greater specificity, proposing to move the Gitmo prisoners to Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas.
However, back in July 2007, Obama co-sponsored an amendment offered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that called for Guantanamo to close within a year. Obama’s primary rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) was also a co-sponsor.
Some Bush administration officials contend that the one-year timeline was driven by a naïveté on the part of Obama’s aides.
“To a certain extent, they had drunk a lot of the far-left Kool-aid: that everybody, or most people, at Guantanamo were innocent and shouldn’t be there, and the Bush administration was not working very hard to resolve these issues, and that the issues were fairly easy to resolve once adults who were really committed to doing something about it in charge,” said one Bush official who met with Obama’s aides during the transition on Gitmo. “It became clear to me they had not really done their homework on the details.”
But even back on Jan. 22, 2009, the same day Obama signed the orders, Craig acknowledged some of the difficulties involved – including that some of the detainees can never be tried, a problem Craig called “difficult” and “most controversial.”
"ACORN embezzlement was $5 million, La. attorney general says
By Robert Travis Scott
October 06, 2009, 5:46AM(Photo) Michael DeMocker / The Times-PicayuneThe former ACORN headquarters at 1024-26 Elysian Fields Ave. is up for sale; the organization, which was founded in the New Orleans area, has moved its headquarters to Washington, D.C.
"Louisiana's attorney general has broadened the scope of an investigation of ACORN to include a possible embezzlement of $5 million a decade ago within the community organization, five times more than previously reported.
ACORN Chief Executive Officer Bertha Lewis said the new reported amount is "completely false."
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has been conducting an investigation of ACORN since June. He issued subpoenas in August seeking documents related to former ACORN International President Wade Rathke and his brother Dale Rathke, who kept the group's books. Those subpoenas were focused on possible ACORN violations for non-payment of employee withholding taxes, obstructing justice and violating the Employee Retirement Security Act. No charges have been made.
The attorney general had inquired in June into an alleged embezzlement within ACORN that happened 10 years ago. The group last year dealt with an internal dispute and a lawsuit involving accusations that Dale Rathke made nearly $1 million in improper credit card charges in 1999 and 2000. The brother and a donor repaid the money.(Photo) Ellis Lucia / The Times-PicayuneState Attorney General Buddy Caldwell
Caldwell said last month that the statute of limitations presented obstacles to prosecutors taking action on the embezzlement, and that his investigation was not focused on that issue. The subpoena issued Monday changed the tone of the investigation and put a new emphasis on the embezzlement issue.
"Current high-ranking members of ACORN have publicly acknowledged that embezzlement did in fact occur, but the exact amount of the embezzlement was unknown until it was recently acknowledged in a board of directors meeting on Oct. 17, 2008, by Bertha Lewis and Liz Wolf that an internal review had determined that the amount embezzled was $5 million, " the new subpoena says.
The subpoena says, "It is still unclear if some of the monies embezzled are from state, federal or private funds."
The subpoena requests documents from Citizens Consulting Inc., a financial arm of ACORN, and from various accounting and legal consultants in New Orleans. Investigators are trying to verify the issues raised in the subpoena.
"We're going to follow the evidence where it leads us and try to do the right thing," said David Caldwell, head of the attorney general's public corruption and special prosecutions divisions. "We are actively investigating the case, whatever the outcome might be. This is something we are devoting our full attention to."
Wade Rathke, who was in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday, referred questions to ACORN officials. Lewis said she would comment further after she and ACORN attorneys had a chance to review the subpoena.
ACORN board member Vanessa Gueringer, chairwoman of the Lower 9th Ward Chapter, said she had not seen the subpoena but that the accusation about the larger embezzlement was untrue.
"I believe it is another lie, another witch hunt, " Gueringer said.
ACORN, which provides counseling on housing and other assistance to low and moderate income families, has been reeling from national negative publicity in recent weeks. Actions have been taken on the federal level and by many states, including Louisiana, to end public contracts with the group."
You decide, but I have an aversion to any politician saying "trust me, I'll take care of it for you."
"Waking up to discover the mortgage market was a giant criminal enterprise
by Mike Taibbi
"A landmark ruling in a recent Kansas Supreme Court case may have given millions of distressed homeowners the legal wedge they need to avoid foreclosure. In Landmark National Bank v. Kesler, 2009 Kan. LEXIS 834, the Kansas Supreme Court held that a nominee company called MERS has no right or standing to bring an action for foreclosure. MERS is an acronym for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a private company that registers mortgages electronically and tracks changes in ownership. The significance of the holding is that if MERS has no standing to foreclose, then nobody has standing to foreclose – on 60 million mortgages. That is the number of American mortgages currently reported to be held by MERS. Over half of all new U.S. residential mortgage loans are registered with MERS and recorded in its name. Holdings of the Kansas Supreme Court are not binding on the rest of the country, but they are dicta of which other courts take note; and the reasoning behind the decision is sound.
via Landmark Decision: Massive Relief for Homeowners and Trouble for the Banks.
This is a potentially gigantic story. It seems that a court has ruled that about half of the mortgage market has been run as a criminal enterprise for years, which would invalidate any potential forelosure proceedings for about, oh, 60 million mortgages. The court ruled that the electronic transfer system used by the private company MERS — a clearing system for mortgages, similar to a depository, that is used for about half the mortgage market — is fundamentally unreliable, and any mortgage sold and/or transferred through MERS can’t be foreclosed upon, at least not in Kansas.
Coincidentally I’d been working on something related to this all day yesterday. All over the country, lawyers are contesting foreclosures because of similar chain-of-custody issues. I have some material about this coming out in my next Rolling Stone story, so I can’t get into this too much, but suffice to say the lenders and the banks were extremely sloppy about their paperwork (at best — there is a fraud angle as well) and jammed up the system with missing and/or mismarked mortgage notes. Since a sale isn’t legal unless there’s full transfer of the physical note, a lot of the sales of mortgage-backed securities were not entirely legal, since the actual notes were often not transferred.
Nothing like waking up in the morning and finding out a whole sector of the economy is completely screwed. Are these good times or what?
Although this particular case pertains to MERS, non-MERS mortgages were often even worse. Anyway I have more on this coming next week. Thanks again to Eric at MonkeyBusiness for the heads-up."
Seems the following quote could be corrected to:
"An adviser to the administration said: "People aren't sure whether McChrystal Obama is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn't seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly."
Looks like the Gen McChrystal rightfully handed Obama his a$$.
"Barack Obama furious at General Stanley McChrystal speech on Afghanistan
The relationship between President Barack Obama and the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan has been put under severe strain by Gen Stanley McChrystal's comments on strategy for the war.
By Alex Spillius in Washington
Published: 7:00AM BST 05 Oct 2009
"According to sources close to the administration, Gen McChrystal shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness of a speech given in London last week.
The next day he was summoned to an awkward 25-minute face-to-face meeting on board Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen, where the president had arrived to tout Chicago's unsuccessful Olympic bid.
Gen James Jones, the national security adviser, yesterday did little to allay the impression the meeting had been awkward.
Asked if the president had told the general to tone down his remarks, he told CBS: "I wasn't there so I can't answer that question. But it was an opportunity for them to get to know each other a little bit better. I am sure they exchanged direct views."
An adviser to the administration said: "People aren't sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn't seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly."
In London, Gen McChrystal, who heads the 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan as well as the 100,000 Nato forces, flatly rejected proposals to switch to a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaeda.
He told the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that the formula, which is favoured by Vice-President Joe Biden, would lead to "Chaos-istan".
When asked whether he would support it, he said: "The short answer is: No."
He went on to say: "Waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. This effort will not remain winnable indefinitely, and nor will public support."
The remarks have been seen by some in the Obama administration as a barbed reference to the slow pace of debate within the White House.
Gen McChrystal delivered a report on Afghanistan requested by the president on Aug 31, but Mr Obama held only his second "principals meeting" on the issue last week.
He will hold at least one more this week, but a decision on how far to follow Gen McChrystal's recommendation to send 40,000 more US troops will not be made for several weeks.
A military expert said: "They still have working relationship but all in all it's not great for now."
Some commentators regarded the general's London comments as verging on insubordination.
Bruce Ackerman, an expert on constitutional law at Yale University, said in the Washington Post: "As commanding general, McChrystal has no business making such public pronouncements."
He added that it was highly unusual for a senior military officer to "pressure the president in public to adopt his strategy".
Relations between the general and the White House began to sour when his report, which painted a grim picture of the allied mission in Afghanistan, was leaked. White House aides have since briefed against the general's recommendations.
The general has responded with a series of candid interviews as well as the speech. He told Newsweek he was firmly against half measures in Afghanistan: "You can't hope to contain the fire by letting just half the building burn."
As a divide opened up between the military and the White House, senior military figures began criticising the White House for failing to tackle the issue more quickly.
They made no secret of their view that without the vast ground force recommended by Gen McChrystal, the Afghan mission could end in failure and a return to power of the Taliban.
"They want to make sure people know what they asked for if things go wrong," said Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of defence.
Critics also pointed out that before their Copenhagen encounter Mr Obama had only met Gen McChrystal once since his appointment in June."
What are we doing in Afghanistan? How many more of our kids have to die or maimed for life to fill bankers coffers?
And where are the press photos of flag draped coffins returning to kids, wives and parents?
October 5, 2009
"Worst losses for a year as Taleban storm Nato outpost
Martin Fletcher in Forward Operating Base Airborne in Wardak Province
"It began before dawn — a devastating, well-planned attack. About 300 insurgents swarmed out of a village and mosque and attacked a pair of isolated American outposts in a remote mountainous area of eastern Afghanistan with machineguns, rockets and grenades.
They first stormed the Afghan police post at the foot of the hill in the province of Nuristan, a Taleban and al-Qaeda stronghold on the lawless Pakistan border. They then swept up to the Nato post. The battle lasted all day. American and Afghan soldiers finally repelled them, with the help of US helicopters and warplanes — but at heavy cost.
Eight American soldiers and two Afghan policemen were killed, with many injured. It was the worst attack on Nato forces in 14 months, and one of the deadliest battles of the eight-year war. The insurgents seized at least 20 Afghan policemen whose fate last night remained unclear.
The attack came at a crucial juncture in the war, with President Obama soon to decide whether to accept a request by General Stanley McChrystal, commander of the 100,000-strong US and Nato force in Afghanistan, for 40,000 extra troops, or to reduce the counter-insurgency operation against the Taleban and focus on al-Qaeda.
Domestic opposition to a US “surge” is increasing as the death toll rises. About 400 coalition troops have been killed in Afghanistan this year — the majority of them American. Saturday’s death toll was the highest suffered by Nato’s International Security Assistance Force since August 2008, when ten French troops died in an ambush in Kabul province. It was also the highest inflicted on US troops in Afghanistan since 200 insurgents killed nine Americans in an attack on another remote outpost in the village of Wanat in Nuristan in July last year.
Nato said that it inflicted heavy casualties in the attack but gave no numbers. “This was a complex attack in a difficult area,” Colonel Randy George, commander of the US force in the region, said. “Both the US and Afghan soldiers fought bravely together.”
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taleban spokesman, said that the insurgents included several suicide bombers and that they captured 35 policemen whose fate would be decided by the movement’s provincial council.
US forces have suffered some of their worst casualties in eastern Afghanistan, where they have sought to control the remote passes that insurgents use to cross the Pakistan border, but they had planned soon to withdraw from the area as part of General McChrystal’s strategy to focus on protecting population centres. ....."
Has god-complex grandiosity so overtaken this administration they can't observe common sense? Have they lost their minds or are they hoping to incite a potential attack from any ET's which may be based on the moon to bring about US poplulation reduction since swine flu doesn't seem to be moving fast enough???
An Urgent Message for President Obama
"NASA plans to bomb the moon
July 1, 9:32 AMSacramento UFO
Source Examiner Gregory Brewer
Could NASA be waging war on alien races.
"That is the question being tossed around at this very time in the wake of a recent release of information regarding the plans NASA has to bomb the moon. With all the information that has recently been disclosed regarding alien bases on the back side of the moon, it makes one wonder if we asked for anyones permission to bomb the moon for any reason. If there is infact an alien base on the moon, we hope that they have been informed and agree with NASA on behalf of the human race to drop a 2-ton kinetic weapon in the aim of creating a 5 mile wide deep crater. The following article was origionally featured by Alfred Lambremont Webre, The Seattle Exopolitics Examiner, in late June of 2009. If this subject concerns you in the slightest than please read on.
Commentary: The planned October 9, 2009 bombing of the moon by a NASA orbiter that will bomb the moon with a 2-ton kinetic weapon to create a 5 mile wide deep crater as an alleged water-seeking and lunar colonization experiment, is contrary to space law prohibiting environmental modification of celestial bodies. The NASA moon bombing, a component of the LCROSS mission, may also trigger conflict with known extraterrestrial civilizations on the moon as reported on the moon in witnessed statements by U.S. astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, and in witnessed statements to NSA (National Security Agency) photos and documents regarding an extraterrestrial base on the dark side of the moon.
If the true intent of the LCROSS mission moon bombing is a hostile act by NASA against known extraterrestrial civilizations and settlements on the moon, then NASA and by extension the U.S. government are guilty of aggressive war which is the most serious of war crimes under the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions, to which the U.S. is subject. The U.N. Outer Space Treaty, which the U.S. has ratified, requires that “ The moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military manoeuvres on celestial bodies shall be forbidden.” 98 nations have ratified and 125 nations have signed the U.N. Outer Space Treaty.
NASA’s LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission
The NASA LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission, which departed on Earth on June 18, 2009. According to one report, “Flying over the moon's southern hemisphere, LCROSS will use its high-precision instruments, as well as close-up images of the terrain gathered by the lunar orbiter, to seek out a crater just shallow enough and dark enough to be a prime bombing target.
“There, acting as what the Ames team calls its "shepherding spacecraft," LCROSS will guide an empty Centaur rocket weighing two tons toward its target. The rocket will crash into the crater at 5,600 mph, creating a new crater - perhaps as large as 5 miles wide. The crash is scheduled to occur Oct. 9.”
The two-ton Centaur rocket qualifies as a space-based kinetic weapon. The reason alleged by NASA for the mission is that “the [LCROSS} probes will map possible landing sites and search for water sources that could be used by a future lunar colony.”
According to NASA, “The Mission Objectives of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) include confirming the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at the Moon’s South Pole. The identification of water is very important to the future of human activities on the Moon. LCROSS will excavate the permanently dark floor of one of the Moon’s polar craters with two heavy impactors in 2009 to test the theory that ancient ice lies buried there. The impact will eject material from the crater’s surface to create a plume that specialized instruments will be able to analyze for the presence of water (ice and vapor), hydrocarbons and hydrated materials.”
U.S. astronauts, NASA employees, Soviet scientists, NSA confirm the extraterrestrial presence on the moon
There are confirmed reports of an extraterrestrial presence on the moon, both from U.S. astronauts who have visited the moon, from NASA employees, from Soviet scientists and observers of the NASA moon visits, and from witnessed NSA (National Security Agency) reports on a moon based on the far side of the moon.
One report states that, “In a 2006 television documentary, ‘Apollo 11: The Untold Story,’ Buzz Aldrin admitted for the first time publicly that the astronauts saw UFOs on their trip to the Moon, but they were not allowed to discuss this information on the live audio feed to NASA. He stated that he felt it would have caused a ‘panic.’”
Other research on witnessed corroboration of U.S. astronaut sightings of an extraterrestrial presence on the Moon states, “According to hitherto unconfirmed reports, both Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin saw UFOs shortly after their historic landing on the Moon in Apollo 11 on 21 July 1969. I remember hearing one of the astronauts refer to a "light" in or on a carter during the television transmission, followed by a request from mission control for further information. Nothing more was heard.”
“According to a former NASA employee Otto Binder, unnamed radio hams with their own VHF receiving facilities that bypassed NASA's broadcasting outlets picked up the following exchange:
“NASA: What's there? Mission Control calling Apollo 11...
“Apollo: These ‘Babies’ are huge, Sir! Enormous! OH MY GOD! You wouldn't believe it! I'm telling you there are other spacecraft out there, lined up on the far side of the crater edge! They're on the Moon watching us!
“In 1979, Maurice Chatelain, former chief of NASA Communications Systems confirmed that Armstrong had indeed reported seeing two UFOs on the rim of a crater. ‘The encounter was common knowledge in NASA,’ he revealed, ‘but nobody has talked about it until now.’
“Soviet scientists were allegedly the first to confirm the incident. ‘According to our information, the encounter was reported immediately after the landing of the module,’ said Dr. Vladimir Azhazha, a physicist and Professor of Mathematics at Moscow University. ‘Neil Armstrong relayed the message to Mission Control that two large, mysterious objects were watching them after having landed near the moon module. But his message was never heard by the public-because NASA censored it.’
“According to another Soviet scientist, Dr. Aleksandr Kazantsev, Buzz Aldrin took color movie film of the UFOs from inside the module, and continued filming them after he and Armstrong went outside. Dr. Azhazha claims that the UFOs departed minutes after the astronauts came out on to the lunar surface.
“Maurice Chatelain also confirmed that Apollo 11's radio transmissions were interrupted on several occasions in order to hide the news from the public. Before dismissing Chatelain's sensational claims, it is worth noting his impressive background in the aerospace industry and space program. His first job after moving from France was as an electronics engineer with Convair, specializing in telecommunications, telemetry, and radar. In 1959 he was in charge of an electromagnetic research group, developing new radar and telecommunications systems for Ryan. One of his eleven patents was an automatic flights to the Moon. Later, at North American Aviation, Chatelain was offered the job of designing and building the Apollo communications and data-processing systems.
“Chatelain claims that ‘all Apollo and Gemini flights were followed, both at a distance and sometimes also quite closely, by space vehicles of extraterrestrial origin-flying saucers, or UFOs, if you want to call them by that name. Every time it occurred, the astronauts informed Mission Control, who then ordered absolute silence.’ He goes on to say:
“I think that Walter Schirra aboard Mercury 8 was the first of the astronauts to use the code name 'Santa Claus' to indicate the presence of flying saucers next to space capsules. However, his announcements were barely noticed by the general public.
“It was a little different when James Lovell on board the Apollo 8 command module came out from behind the moon and said for everybody to hear:
'PLEASE BE INFORMED THAT THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS.'
“Even though this happened on Christmas Day 1968, many people sensed a hidden meaning in those words."
NSA photos, documents of an extraterrestrial base on the dark side of the moon
Former USAF U.S. Sgt. Karl Wolfe, a Disclosure Project witness, describes photos, documents of extraterrestrial bases on the dark side of the moon that he witnessed at the NSA (National Security Agency), in the 1960s. One report states that “Sgt Wolfe was working with Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia in 1965. There, he was assigned to the lunar orbital project with the National Security Agency where he met an airman who confided in him that they had discovered bases in the far side of the moon.”
Sgt Wolfe’s Disclosure Project testimony, in which he states that he is willing to testify under oath before the U.S. Congress, can be seen in the video below.
One account states, “The airman told him (Wolfe) that all of the NASA photographs were sent to Langley, where they were enhanced, and eventually made into photographs to be sent to and studied by the different branches of the military. He was also told why security was of the utmost importance at the lab on this particular day-recent enhanced imagery had clearly shown structures on the far side of the Moon. These structures were definitely not created by natural forces-they were made by intelligent beings.
“’We discovered,’ the airman said, ‘a base on the back side of the Moon.’
Wolfe was in no way prepared for what he had just been told. When he airman saw Wolfe nearly shaking in disbelief, he reiterated:
“’Yes, a base on the dark side of the Moon.’
“Although Wolfe had not actually been told that some alien intelligence had made the aforementioned structures, who else could it have been? Although Russia had flown unmanned vessels around to the far side, no landing had been made, and the resources and technology needed to build a station there were far beyond that of Russia at the time. Had they made a landing on the Moon, the entire world would have known about it. And Wolfe knew America was still years from a Moon landing.
“His anxiety reached a new level. He was looking at, and being told about, something that he should not have seen or known about. He was actually afraid of being arrested and a court martial. He only wanted to finish his job, and get out of there, and forget the whole incident. He would finish the repair he was called to do, but he could never forget what he had seen that day at Langley. He would tell not a soul for 30 years.
“His release from the military also required that he not leave the United States for five years. This was a condition of his security status. He also was sworn to not reveal anything he had seen while performing his duties in the military. Wolfe would eventually put a report on what he had seen on video, which is now available on the Internet. There have also been several ex-NASA employees who have come forward telling of their experiences in air brushing structures out of NASA photographs of the Moon.”
We hope this article rattles you at the core. The time for your participation in where we go as a species has arrived. Lets get involved and move past the fear of doing so."
Most effective method of concealing something is right in front of your face.
"Obama economist jokes: Strategy is communism
'We kind of had to go back and look at the old textbooks – Marx, Trotsky
Posted: October 01, 2009
3:02 pm Eastern
By Aaron Klein
"Austan Goolsbee performs at 'D.C.'s Funniest Celebrity'
The Obama administration formulates its economic policies from the playbooks of communist philosophers Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky, joked White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee.
"I mean, it's been a long, long time since things were this bad, so we kind of had to go back and look at the old textbooks – Karl Marx, Trotsky – and the thing that we found was that it was critical that we do something," Goolsbee quipped at the 16th annual "D.C.'s Funniest Celebrity" contest.
The Obama adviser's routine mimicked the "Mr. Subliminal" skits on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in which he made a statement in a normal voice then revealed his inner thoughts sotto voce," noted Washington Examiner reporter Byron York.
See video of Austan Goolsbee's act by Politico:
The adviser, a recruit from the University of Chicago, took home the top prize with an 11-minute routine that lambasted Fox News correspondents as stupid and referred to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a "wingnut."
"There's a lot of governors," Goolsbee began, referring to potential presidential candidates for the 2012 election.
"There's obviously Sarah Palin – wingnut – from Alaska, who's the former Governor – quitter – and you just cannot rule out that by 2012 – there may be a warrant for her arrest – that she will be the nominee."
Jibing at Fox News, Goolsbee said, "If you have no skills and no education and you don't know anything, what future do you possible have – Fox News Correspondent."
The economist told the audience Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is out to get Obama.
"They might want to take somebody who was against Obama from the start, someone who's just had it out for him for some time – Hillary Clinton."
Perhaps expecting some blowback from the administration, Goolsbee jokingly concluded, "Have some sympathy for the unemployed, because when Rahm Emanuel sees my comments from this evening, I am going to be one of them."
Goolsbee also took a stab at some of the "birthers" who have speculated Obama might have been born in his father's home country Kenya.
"The president, I'm happy to say, is still pretty much the same regular guy that he always was in Chicago," Goolsbee said. "And that makes me feel good. And he and I always kinda got along. We had kinda the same temperament, we had the same sense of humor. We could really see eye to eye. We always joked we were the skinny guys with the funny names. I mean, look, I'm not saying that in 1961 we were separated – in a village in Kenya – what I'm saying is that we're friends."
On Chicago's bid for the Olympics and the president's trip to Copenhagen with the Illinois delegation, he said: "I think they're bringing the governors – if the parole board says it's OK.
On financial institutions, Goolsbee joked "our major banks – ungrateful s – the thing about them is that they may have stumbled a bit – bankrupting your grandma."
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama was forced to distance himself from Goolsbee, then his chief economic adviser, after reporters learned Goolsbee traveled to Canada to reassure Canadians that Obama's pledge to Ohio and Pennsylvania voters to renegoiate the North American Free Trade Agreement was just campaign rhetoric.
After Obama's inauguration, Goolsbee rejoined his former Hyde Park Chicago neighbor in the White House.
Goolsbee took a leave of absence from the University of Chicago after Obama appointed him to serve as chief economist and staff director of the newly created Presidential Economic Recovery Advisory Board, chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volker.
Obama also appointed Goolsbee to the Council of Economic Advisors, or CEA, which is charged with assisting in the development of White House economic policy."
WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi contributed to this report "
"Bank May Have Lost Grandma's Money
Wells Fargo Refuses To Cash Her CD Worth $100K
POSTED: 9:03 pm MST September 30, 2009
UPDATED: 11:55 pm MST September 30, 2009
Source KPHO.com Phoenix
PHOENIX -- Phoenix resident Rosemarie Braunstein said Wells Fargo has refused to cash her certificate of deposit because it has lost her records.
Braunstein said the CD is worth at least $100,000.
Braunstein and her husband purchased the CD for $18,023.15 for First Interstate Bank in Phoenix.
Since then, the bank has changed hand two times. It is now owned by Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo officials have told Braunstein they cannot find a record of her investment.
“I didn't work hard all of these years with my husband to get this kind of money, put it in a bank and be told, ‘I'm sorry. I don't know where your money is.’ Are they kidding?” Braunstein said.
Braunstein had forgotten about the CD.
Then, while searching through old records earlier this year, she discovered the original certificate.
"I said, 'I'll be <snip>ed, maybe God's throwing this at me for a reason,'” she said.
Braunstein had been forced to put her home up for sale after she lost her nest egg in the 2008 Wall Street crash.
She said money from the CD would allow her to stay in her Central Phoenix residence.
"This would be the answer to everything. The answer to my prayers,” she said. “We'd be able to pay off the house. We'd be able to stay here.”
So far, Rosemarie said Wells Fargo representatives have refused to help her find the missing money.
“They basically just laugh, not actually orally laugh at you, but dismiss you. Like you're insignificant,” she said.
“Maybe it's nothing to them, but it's an awful lot to me,” she said.
Braunstein contacted CBS 5 with her story after seeing our Tuesday 10 p.m. broadcast.
We told viewers about a Casa Grande couple with a similar problem.
Paul and Christine Dickey have a CD worth about $400,000.
Since the CD was purchased in 1980, their bank had changed hands three times.
The couple was unsure which bank owed them money.
At one time, Wells Fargo also owned the Dickey's bank.
Wells Fargo has promised CBS 5 they will contact Braunstein and Paul Dickey.
If you have a similar complaint, go to our homepage and click on "Saw It on CBS 5.”
It will link you to U.S. Comptroller of the Currency's Web site.
The government agency regulates some banks and has online tools to help you find out what agency regulates your financial institution.
Customers should file a complaint with the agency that oversees their bank."
Friday, October 02, 2009
By Nicholas Ballasy, Video Reporter
(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Thomas Carper (D.-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, told CNSNews.com that he does not “expect” to read the actual legislative language of the committee’s health care bill because it is “confusing” and that anyone who claims they are going to read it and understand it is fooling people.
“I don’t expect to actually read the legislative language because reading the legislative language is among the more confusing things I’ve ever read in my life,” Carper told CNSNews.com.
Carper described the type of language the actual text of the bill would finally be drafted in as "arcane," "confusing," "hard stuff to understand," and "incomprehensible." He likened it to the "gibberish" used in credit card disclosure forms.
Last week, the Finance Committee considered an amendment offered by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) that would have required the committee to post the full actual language of the proposed legislation online for at least 72 hours before holding a final committee vote on it. The committee defeated the amendment 13-10.
Sometime in the wee hours of this morning, according to the Associated Press, the Finance Committee finished work on its health-care bill. "It was past 2 a.m. in the East--and Obama's top health care adviser, Nancy-Ann DeParle in attendance--when Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the committee chairman, announced that work had been completed on all sections of the legislation," said the AP.
Thus far, however, the committee has not produced the actual legislative text of the bill. Instead the senators have been working with “conceptual language”—or what some committee members call a “plain English” summary or description of the bill.
Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), who sits on the committee, told CNSNews.com on Thursday that the panel was just following its standard practice in working with a “plain language description” of the bill rather than an actual legislative text.
“It’s not just conceptual, it’s a plain language description of the various provisions of the bill is what the Senate Finance Committee has always done when it passes legislation and that is turned into legislative language which is what is presented to the full Senate for consideration,” said Bingaman.
But Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who also serves on the committee, said the descriptive language the committee is working with is not good enough because things can get slipped into the legislation unseen.
“The conceptual language is not good enough,” said Cornyn. “We’ve seen that there are side deals that have been cut, for example, with some special interest groups like the hospital association to hold them harmless from certain cuts that would impact how the CBO scores the bill or determines cost. So we need to know not only the conceptual language, we need to know the detailed legislative language, and we need to know what kind of secret deals have been cut on the side which would have an impact on how much this bill is going to cost and how it will affect health care in America.”
Carper said he would "probably" read the "plain English version" of the bill as opposed to the actual text.
In a Thursday afternoon interview outside the hearing room where the Finance Committee was debating the final amendments to the still-unseen bill, Carper explained why he believes it would be useless for both members of the public and members of the Senate to read the bill’s actual text.
Committee members did not have a “clue,” he said, when one senator recently read them an example of some actual legislative language. When you look at the legislative language, he said, “it really doesn’t make much sense.”
“When you get into the legislative language, Senator Conrad actually read some of it, several pages of it, the other day and I don’t think anybody had a clue--including people who have served on this committee for decades--what he was talking about,” said Carper. “So, legislative language is so arcane, so confusing, refers to other parts of the code—‘and after the first syllable insert the word X’--and it’s just, it really doesn’t make much sense.”
Carper questioned whether anybody could read the actual legislative text and credibly claim to understand it.
If this bill became law, it would mandate dramatic changes in the U.S. health care system.
“So the idea of reading the plain English version: Yeah, I’ll probably do that,” said Carper. “The idea of reading the legislative language: It’s just anyone who says that they can do that and actually get much out of it is trying to pull the wool over our eyes.”
Carper compared the full legislative language of the bill to credit card disclosure documents that he described as “gibberish,” meaning that “you can’t read it and really know what it says.”
When asked if Republican members of the committee should have a chance to read the full text of the bill if they believe they are capable of understanding it, Carper suggested Republicans would only pretend to understand the bill when in fact they would not understand it.
“They might say that they’re reading it. They might say that they’re understanding it,” said Carper. “But that would probably be the triumph of man’s hope over experience. It’s hard stuff to understand.”
Carper said if Americans were given the chance to read the actual text of the bill he believes they would decide that it made little sense for either them—or members of Congress—to read such texts because of the difficulty in understanding them.
“I think if people had the chance to read that they’ll say you know maybe it doesn’t make much sense for either the legislators or me to read that kind of arcane language,” said Carper. “It’s just hard to decipher what it really means.”
CNSNews.com correspondent Edwin Mora contributed to this report.
~~~~ VIDEO LINK ~~~
Here is a full transcript of the CNSNews.com interview with Sen. Tom Carper (D.-Del.):
Nicholas Ballasy, CNSNews.com: I wanted to ask you if you plan, if you’re going, to read the entire actual text of the health care bill before the committee votes on it.
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.): I don’t expect to actually read the legislative language because reading the legislative language is among the more confusing things I’ve ever read in my life. We, we write in this committee and legislate with plain English and I think most of us can understand most of that. When you get into the legislative language, Senator Conrad actually read some of it, several pages of it, the other day and I don’t think anybody had a clue--including people who have served on this committee for decades--what he was talking about. So, legislative language is so arcane, so confusing, refers to other parts of the code—‘and after the first syllable insert the word X’--and it’s just, it really doesn’t make much sense. So the idea of reading the plain English version: Yeah, I’ll probably do that. The idea of reading the legislative language: It’s just anyone who says that they can do that and actually get much out of it is trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
Ballasy: Do you think--
Carper: But that’s a very good question and I’m glad you asked it, Nicholas.
Ballasy: Do you think Republicans on the committee should be able to read the entire full actual text of the bill?
Carper: I, I--They might say that they’re reading it. They might say that they’re understanding it. But that would probably be the triumph of man’s hope over experience. It’s hard stuff to understand.
Ballasy: And the American people as well--
Carper: I use it to like, for example, credit card disclosures. If you actually read the stuff, you say, you read it and say, like dozens of pages: ‘What does this say?’ And this is one of the reasons why we’ve directed, among others, banks to use plain, plain language, plain English to explain what they’re doing, so that the gibberish, you can’t read it and really know what it says.
Ballasy: The American people--do you think they should be able to read the bill online? Some have called for the bill to be online for at least 72 hours. Do you think they should be able to read the entire full actual text?
Carper: If people who work here on a daily basis and work with the legislation and shape the legislation--You know, we are pretty good at understanding the plain English version of the legislation. I think that should be certainly online and made available. The idea of folks--and what we’re, I think we’re doing, on my website is actually giving people an example of what legislative language looks like and how incomprehensible it can be. And I think if people had the chance to read that they’ll say you know maybe it doesn’t make much sense for either the legislators or me to read that kind of arcane language. It’s just hard to decipher what it really means.
Ballasy: Last question for you. If members on the committee, whether it’s Republican or Democrat, want to read the legislative language--if they feel they can understand it--will that language be available? Do you know where that language is? Have you seen any of the language or the full actual text?
Carper: In the time that I’ve spent here, I’ve seen plenty of legislative language and I know more often than not it’s almost incomprehensible as to what it means. Because what you do is you take certain language and you insert it in other parts of the law, other parts of the bill, and it frankly almost defies comprehension in many instances. Why that is a value and why someone should need to read that, or feel the need--I don’t understand. The idea, is actually like, say, I get my credit card disclosure and I have a one or two page summary written in plain English and then I have like 40 or 50 pages written by an attorney or a bunch of attorneys that is almost impossible to understand--Why you would insist on reading the stuff that’s incomprehensible as opposed to the plain English language that’s ordered by law so that people can understand it, that’s beyond me."
Terry Jeffrey contributed to this report.
Guess it's ok to heap American flags on a bonfire .... but this doesn't constitute free speech.
"Obama Nation Billboard Draws Attention
New Sign Along I-70 Has Motorists Talking
Preview of things to come if we allow our government to force universal health care down our throats.
"Britain must charge for health care and raise retiring age to escape debt crisis, says IMF
By Alex Brummer
Last updated at 9:06 AM on 02nd October 2009
"Gordon Brown was warned last night to raise the retirement age above 65 and introduce NHS charges to tackle the soaring state deficit.
In a devastating intervention, the International Monetary Fund called for radical changes to the pension system and spending cuts that go far beyond the plans outlined by the Prime Minister this week.
The global watchdog said root and branch changes to public sector spending would be necessary to 'help keep a lid on the debt' and restore financial stability.
Under threat: The IMF has long advocated that Britain introduce charges and bring an end to the high cost, free for all NHS and has renewed its call for action.
The IMF's broadside is highly unusual ahead of an election and reflects grave concern at the debt mountain built up by the Brown government.
The public reprimand will rekindle memories of the humiliation of the Callaghan government in 1976 when the IMF forced massive budget cuts on Britain to deal with the collapse of the pound.
Treasury ministers privately admit that the budget deficit is expected to rise to £200billion this year - £25billion more than the Chancellor predicted in the Budget.
That is the equivalent of £3,257 of debt for every man, woman and child, or £9,457 for the average family.
Oliver Blanchard, the IMF's top economist, told a press conference at a joint annual meeting with the World Bank that the next British government will 'have to take measures that improve the medium-term debt outlook'.
He added: 'That means reforms of the retirement system, that means reform of the healthcare system.'
The IMF said that radical reform of pensions should lead to a rise in the national retirement age from 65 and save billions of pounds.
And they called for politicians to target 'unfunded' final salary public-sector pension schemes which will potentially cost the the Exchequer up to £1trillion.
Mr Blanchard said reform was vital, adding that it would be 'a joke' if the Government settled instead for new fiscal rules that might be torn up at times of crisis.
The IMF estimated that by next year Britain's debt will represent 81.7 per cent of output.
Even with planned cuts and tax increases, it predicted a figure of 98.3 per cent by 2014.
There was a glimmer of hope for Alistair Darling in that the IMF raised Britain's growth forecast for next year to 0.9 per cent from 0.2 per cent.
The Chancellor's March budget went for a more optimistic 1.25 per cent.
The upgraded UK forecast was accompanied by caution that unemployment will continue to rise from 7.6 per cent of the workforce this year to 9.3 per cent next year. That would see three million without jobs.
The IMF also warned that Britain risks a new house price slump, despite an apparent recent market upturn. Their global outlook pointed to ' further large declines'.
In a bid to ease public concerns, senior Cabinet sources have revealed that Labour plans to make spending cuts and asset sales worth £75billion, taking an axe to major defence projects and the pay of judges, top civil servants and NHS managers.
Asked yesterday whether his spending plans were credible, Mr Brown told Five News: 'Absolutely. I've offered a deficit reduction plan. We've raised the top rate of tax. National insurance will rise by half of 1 per cent and we'll be cutting costs.
'There will be further announcements about how we sell off more than £16billion of assets. I have been absolutely straight with the British people.'
But Philip Hammond, Tory Treasury spokesman, said: 'It is increasingly clear that Labour have no plan to tackle the debt crisis they created.
'At their conference this week they showed absolutely no recognition of the size of the problem, and refused to be straight with people about the fact that their own Treasury documents show they are planning cuts to spending on public services.
'Labour still won't come clean with the British people.' "
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