"What Price Christie? Part 5Source Powerlineblog.com
June 29, 2010 Posted by John at 12:48 PM
"These days, there is no more effective public servant than New Jersey's governor Chris Christie. In this CNBC video, he runs a victory lap following the New Jersey legislature's adoption of his austerity budget on a bipartisan basis. The budget closes a massive deficit by cutting spending by 9%, with no increased taxes. Every special interest group hated the budget, and some have threatened to sue. Governor Christie's response: "If they want to sue me, they can get in line."
"After a couple of very quiet weeks, things became a bit hectic this week after our very own Director of Government Relations, Rosemary Jenks, learned of an Amnesty plan being discussed behind closed doors that includes the abuse of executive actions. The news was made public on Tuesday when Sen. Chuck Grassley drafted a letter signed by seven other Senators, asking the White House for answers.
So what exactly is being discussed behind closed doors by the Democratic Leadership?
Since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can't secure enough votes in Congress to pass a mass Amnesty bill this year, the Obama Administration is thinking of using two executive actions to offer an Amnesty to the nation's estimated 11-18 million illegal aliens.
By using 'deferred action' or 'parole', the Administration is planning to provide the nation's illegal aliens with work permits and temporary legal status while Congress searches for votes on a mass Amnesty bill.
Both actions are intended to be used on a case-by-case basis and only for extenuating circumstances. Though both actions are legal, they certainly weren't intended to be used for more than 10 million illegal aliens at one time.
Read a full analysis of what the Administration plans to do in Roy's blog, and then listen to this radio interview with Rosemary for more details.
Since we learned of this 'sneaky amnesty plan', you've sent more than 200,000 faxes to the White House and your three Members of Congress. We've also posted two phone notes on your Action Board with talking points for calls to your Members of Congress and Pres. Obama. We've also started a new petition to the President, voicing opposition to this plan."
Website Content Manager
"Tea Party StatsSource Powerlineblog.com
June 24, 2010 Posted by John at 6:26 PM
"Today's Rasmussen Reports has two surveys that relate directly to the Tea Party movement. The first is in Nevada, where Sharron Angle leads Harry Reid by 48-41 among likely voters. Eight percent prefer "some other candidate;" those, presumably, are the ones who would like to get rid of Reid but have serious reservations about Ms. Angle. Attitudes may change, in either direction, as voters learn more about the Republican nominee, but for now, at least, fears that the Tea Party movement has generated a weak candidate look overblown.
The second survey typifies Rasmussen's knack for asking interesting questions. He asked adults (not likely voters) whether the government is a threat to individual rights, or a protector of individual rights. By a 48-37 margin, Americans see the government more as a threat to their rights than as their guarantor.
Liberals view Tea Partiers as weirdos largely because they do not understand why Americans would see their government as a threat. To liberals, government represents all that is good about the human condition. (I might see it that way if, like so many liberals, I was living on government checks.) As the Rasmussen survey indicates, however, the idea that government represents a threat to our liberties is not a fancy of the lunatic fringe; rather, it is the view of a plurality of Americans. As it was, of course, the opinion of the founders."
"Deepwater Horizon worker claims oil rig leaking weeks before explosion
"Oil worker told the BBC's Panorama programme that both BP and Transocean, who owned the rig, were informed of the leak
"An oil worker on the Deepwater Horizon rig said that it was leaking weeks before it exploded. Photograph: Gerald Herbert/AP
"An oil worker who survived the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion has claimed that the oil rig's safety equipment was leaking several weeks before it exploded, triggering the huge spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tyrone Benton says that he spotted a leak on the rig's Blowout Preventer (BOP), the device that is meant to shut the well down if there is an accident. He told the BBC's Panorama programme that both BP and Transocean, who owned the rig, were informed of the leak, and the faulty part – a control pod – was switched off rather than being repaired.
"We saw a leak on the pod [and] we informed the company," Benton told the programme, which will be broadcast at 8.30pm tonight. "They have a control room where they could turn off that pod and turn on the other one, so that they don't have to stop production."
Benton added that he was unsure whether the leaking control pod had been turned back on again before a huge gas explosion ripped through the rig on 20 April, killing 11 workers.
The failure of the BOP was one key factor that led to the ongoing environmental disaster. The BOP is designed to clamp the well tightly shut, using cutting equipment to slice through the casing, but on 20 April it did not engage.
After the explosion, BP sent robot submarines down to the seabed to try to trigger the BOP, but failed. The company has already admitted to a Congressional committee that the robots discovered a leak in the BOP's hydraulic systems, which meant they could not generate enough force for its giant shears to cut through the pipe.
Last week, BP chief executive Tony Hayward repeatedly cited the BOP as a major cause of the disaster, saying it was "not as failsafe" as BP had been told.
Benton's revelations will pile even more pressure on BP, at a time when its minority party in the leaking well is refusing to pay its share of the costs. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation argues that BP was "grossly negligent" or guilty of "willful misconduct" in the way it drilled the Macondo prospect, which some workers described as a "nightmare well". Last week the Congressional committee accused BP of taking "risky" decisions to save time and money.
And in another development, BP has been accused of lying after internal documents showed that it has estimated that the leak could reach 100,000 barrels a day, much higher than its public forecasts.
$2bn and rising
The cost of the clean-up operation has now broken through the $2bn (£1.3bn) mark, BP told the City this morning. That is just a fraction of the total bill, though, with BP already committed to putting $20bn into an escrow account to cover compensation claims. That will not cap its liabilities, though, and there are suggestions that BP is now looking to raise $50bn.
The company has said it will sell off some of its assets. This has raised concerns in several countries, including Russia, where the TNK-BP joint venture generates around a quarter of BP's global production.
Hayward is to fly to Russia to assure the Kremlin that BP can survive the oil spill disaster, the Financial Times reported today.
BP's chief executive took the decision to meet Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in the next few weeks following a weekend board meeting, and after Medvedev warned that the catastrophe could lead to BP's "annihilation".
BP continues to insist that it will clean up the spill and pay "all legitimate claims", and rejected Anadarko's claims.
"These allegations will neither distract the company's focus on stopping the leak nor alter our commitment to restore the Gulf coast," said Hayward. "Other parties besides BP may be responsible for costs and liabilities arising from the oil spill, and we expect those parties to live up to their obligations."
Shares in BP fell by more than 3% this morning to 345p, making it the biggest faller on the FTSE 100. Swiss bank UBS warned shareholders that it did not expect the company to resume paying dividends until 2012. Last week it agreed to cancel payments for the rest of this year, but UBS believes that the cost of the Deepwater spill means a longer suspension is inevitable.
City sources believe that BP may have to sell its operations in the North Sea as part of its drive to cut spending and raise funds."
"Want to protect the poor? Then give them jobs
Most people who are 'forced’ into minimum wage jobs move quite quickly up the earnings ladder, says Janet Daley
By Janet Daley
Published: 9:00PM BST 26 Jun 2010
"At last, we are having the right argument for our time. Virtually everybody who is in touch with political reality now accepts that the old contest – socialism vs capitalism – is over. We all believe, with greater or lesser degrees of enthusiasm, in free-market economics. So the real source of contention that remains is the size and role of the state.
Anyone who thinks that this is a puny arena – that the boundaries of debate have shrunk to a less inspirational, purely managerial scale – is mistaken. The passion with which those on the Left are now defending their new turf should make it clear: this fight will be to the death because the power of government to control social and economic outcomes is seen by them as the last plausible incarnation of their moral world-view. The current arguments about welfare reform which the Government has robustly initiated are going to bring this abstract confrontation into the day-to-day experience of national life.
Now it is perfectly understandable that those who have a vested interest in state power – public sector trade union leaders, for example – should be prepared to risk everything to preserve it, but have the more thoughtful Left-liberal proponents really thought this through? Are they actually prepared to go down fighting for the idea that the state is the source of social virtue and must be the answer to all of our civic problems?
If we learnt anything from the terrible ideological crimes of the 20th century, it was that over-powerful states were dangerous: that even if they did not commit murder or enslave their own populations, their good intentions ended up producing perverse effects simply through the gross, insensitive interventions of central bureaucracy which could take no account of individual needs. Can anyone still believe that the largely catastrophic consequences of Big State solutions to poverty, to housing shortages, to unemployment, to educational disadvantage, have been pure coincidence?
The effect of government housing programmes is a perfect case. Council housing – with its class-ghetto implications – always seemed to me to be a pernicious social phenomenon, reinforcing social divisions and encouraging passivity. Not only were people told where they would live, but they were often forbidden to make changes to – or take responsibility for – their own homes. But now, in areas where unemployment has become endemic, council estates have become social death-traps.
As Iain Duncan Smith points out in our interview with him today, the security of tenure of the council tenant means that he dare not risk moving to another area of the country – or even to the far side of his own city – to seek employment for fear of losing his housing rights. So we have large swaths of unemployed people tied like serfs to the land, in workless communities, doomed to a hopeless future in which no one in their everyday acquaintance is in paid employment.
This is a grotesque state of affairs that was born out of good intentions, but by now it should be clear why it has come to this pass: when the state creates a mass, collectivist solution to a problem, it ends up treating people as categories (“the poor”, “the deprived”, “the homeless”) rather than as individuals who are ultimately going to have to determine their own fate.
Mr Duncan Smith speaks of introducing mechanisms for “portability” and “flexibility” in housing provision, which is another way of saying that we must create routes for people to escape from the monolithic state solution in which they are imprisoned.
The council estate is a way of encasing people in a bricks-and-mortar embodiment of government policy, but benefit dependency is a more all-encompassing form of incarceration from which it can be virtually impossible to break free. The scandal of welfare dependency as a way of life is now so well-established that there is no need to rehearse its depressing facts again.
But we must be clear that we have not got to where we are by accident. It is the basic premise of Big State thinking that has produced the monstrous edifice that we know as the benefits trap: the idea that “the poor” are a fixed and immutable section of society who must be “protected”. Sadly, what “protecting the poor” generally amounts to in practice is “protecting poverty” – which is to say, preserving it. Welfare dependency creates huge disincentives to entering employment because few jobs at entry level can offer a competitive package of payments and support equivalent to the benefits system.
At this point the Big State camp will shriek: “Why should people be forced into demeaning, low-paid jobs?” Answer: because most of them will not stay on such low pay for long. All the statistical evidence from the US welfare-reform programmes shows that people who are “forced” into minimum wage jobs initially, move up the earnings ladder quite quickly into better-paid employment, with their places at the bottom being filled by newer recruits to the workforce. Getting a job at almost any rate of pay is, indeed, the best and most lasting route out of poverty.
There may always be a cohort of people in low-paid work, but the important thing is that they not be the same people. Poverty should always be regarded as temporary: the goal should be to facilitate people moving out of it. At the moment, our tax and benefits system penalises people both for taking a job in the first place and then for climbing up the income ladder. This is crazy – and it is a direct consequence of the tendency of government programmes to regard personal initiative and effort as a bureaucratic inconvenience.
The tragic inevitability of government intervention is that when you create a permanent agency to deal with a problem it has an inherent tendency to make the problem itself permanent. This is not only for self-serving reasons – to justify its own continued existence – but because it prefers to deal in fixed entities such as poverty, deprivation, or educational inequality, rather than to view the infinite range of human possibilities and personal circumstances as a dynamic, ever-changing spectrum in which individual vagaries matter more than any total result.
Labour’s “target culture”, which is now being busily disowned by absolutely everybody, even its own architects, was the final apotheosis of Big State folly. But the idea that every social outcome and public-service goal could be quantified in objective terms was really just the logical conclusion of a philosophy of government that no one in his right mind should adhere to any longer."
Long, detailed with dates, well worth the time to read.
"Regulators Failed to Address Risks in Oil Rig Fail-Safe Device - NYTimes.com
"Kopp the Custard Man
"It doesn't have quite the snappy ring of "Joe the Plumber," but it will do. Earlier today Joe Biden was in Wisconsin, trying to help Russ Feingold salvage his Senate run, and he stopped at a frozen custard stand. When he asked the proprietor how much the custard cost, the proprietor answered, "Nothing, just lower our taxes." Here is the exchange:
Biden, of course, had no response. The last thing Joe Biden or any other Democrat intends to do is lower any taxpayer's bill. The longer the Dems govern, the more obvious it becomes that there is a stark and growing division between two categories of citizens with diametrically opposed economic interests: those who work in the private sector and those who are government employees. The Democrats are the party of the public employee unions. That sums them up in a nutshell; there isn't much more to be said about them.
This graph, courtesy of Veronique de Rugy at The Corner, depicts the contrast in these two groups' fortunes. Since the recession started, almost eight million private sector jobs have been lost. But no worries if you're a government employee; in the public sector, almost 600,000 jobs have been gained. We are experiencing a deep private sector recession, combined with a government boom:
The Democrats' "stimulus" bill was a joke. Much of the money never has been spent, and most of what was spent went to state and local governments to subsidize the salaries of public employees, the Democratic Party's core constituency. Consequently, the public employee boom continued as the recession deepened.
If you are a government employee, you have little reason to favor tax cuts: taxes pay your salary. As confiscatory taxation and over-regulation strangle private enterprise, the government is presented with endless excuses to increase public employment as a supposed response to the crisis in the private sector. It is a vicious cycle, but one that inevitably comes to an end. The goose stops laying eggs, or, as Margaret Thatcher put it, eventually you run out of other people's money.
In the meantime, the sharp conflict we are experiencing between government and the private sector is almost enough to make a neo-Marxist out of me. We have an oppressive ruling class--the government and its foot-soldiers, members of AFSCME--and an exploited, subservient working class, those who toil in the private sector for wages that currently average only around one-half of what our ruling class, government employees, are paid. The tick, in other words, is now faring much better than the dog.
Workers of the private sector, arise! You can no longer afford to keep your public sector masters in the lavish style to which they have become accustomed.
UPDATE: Biden thought Kopp was being a "smartass" for suggesting that the Democrats should lower taxes.
Everyone involved laughed it off, but a serious point lingered. A simple way to think about the Democratic Party is, you're the human being, they're the tapeworm. Yet they claim a weird sort of parasite's moral superiority over you: if you point out that they have their hand in your pocket, you're a "smartass." The Democratic Party needs to be torn, root and branch, from our public life."
Wonder what kind of storm this would have created if done under the Bush Presidency?????????????? Of course it doesn't give them the power to quiet dissension, censor or control information ..... because they said so.
"Obama Internet kill switch plan approved by US Senate
President could get power to turn off Internet
By Grant Gross
Published: 11:02 GMT, 25 June 10
"A US Senate committee has approved a wide-ranging cybersecurity bill that some critics have suggested would give the US president the authority to shut down parts of the Internet during a cyberattack.
Senator Joe Lieberman and other bill sponsors have refuted the charges that the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act gives the president an Internet "kill switch." Instead, the bill puts limits on the powers the president already has to cause "the closing of any facility or stations for wire communication" in a time of war, as described in the Communications Act of 1934, they said in a breakdown of the bill published on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee website.
The committee unanimously approved an amended version of the legislation by voice vote Thursday, a committee spokeswoman said. The bill next moves to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.
The bill, introduced earlier this month, would establish a White House Office for Cyberspace Policy and a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications, which would work with private US companies to create cybersecurity requirements for the electrical grid, telecommunications networks and other critical infrastructure.
The bill also would allow the US president to take emergency actions to protect critical parts of the Internet, including ordering owners of critical infrastructure to implement emergency response plans, during a cyber-emergency. The president would need congressional approval to extend a national cyber-emergency beyond 120 days under an amendment to the legislation approved by the committee.
The legislation would give the US Department of Homeland Security authority that it does not now have to respond to cyber-attacks, Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, said earlier this month.
"Our responsibility for cyber defence goes well beyond the public sector because so much of cyberspace is owned and operated by the private sector," he said. "The Department of Homeland Security has actually shown that vulnerabilities in key private sector networks like utilities and communications could bring our economy down for a period of time if attacked or commandeered by a foreign power or cyber terrorists."
Other sponsors of the bill are Senators Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat.
One critic said Thursday that the bill will hurt the nation's security, not help it. Security products operate in a competitive market that works best without heavy government intervention, said Wayne Crews, vice president for policy and director of technology studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an anti-regulation think tank.
"Policymakers should reject such proposals to centralize cyber security risk management," Crews said in an e-mail. "The Internet that will evolve if government can resort to a 'kill switch' will be vastly different from, and inferior to, the safer one that will emerge otherwise."
Cybersecurity technologies and services thrive on competition, he added. "The unmistakable tenor of the cybersecurity discussion today is that of government steering while the market rows," he said. "To be sure, law enforcement has a crucial role in punishing intrusions on private networks and infrastructure. But government must coexist with, rather than crowd out, private sector security technologies."
On Wednesday, 24 privacy and civil liberties groups sent a letter raising concerns about the legislation to the sponsors. The bill gives the new National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications "significant authority" over critical infrastructure, but doesn't define what critical infrastructure is covered, the letter said.
Without a definition of critical infrastructure there are concerns that "it includes elements of the Internet that Americans rely on every day to engage in free speech and to access information," said the letter, signed by the Center for Democracy and Technology, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other groups.
"Changes are needed to ensure that cybersecurity measures do not unnecessarily infringe on free speech, privacy, and other civil liberties interests," the letter added."
"Teen shot by Border Patrol had smuggling arrests
Jun 26, 1:16 AM (ET)By ALICIA A. CALDWELL
"EL PASO, Texas (AP) - A 15-year-old Mexican boy shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent was among El Paso's most wanted juvenile immigrant smugglers, according to federal arrest records reviewed by The Associated Press......."
"20 Must-See Charts On America's Disastrous Level Of Government Spending
"Mark Tapscott: Big Government is dying in the Gulf oil spill UPDATED!
By: Mark Tapscott
Editorial Page Editor
June 24, 2010
Source Washington Examiner
"It's not just millions of gallons of black gold spilling into the Gulf of Mexico that are being lost. Also disappearing into watery despair are the last shreds of credibility for progressive Big Government.
It's Day 65 of the Deepwater Horizon spill and the only hope of stopping the flow of thick, gooey crude remains the relief well being drilled by the private sector.
None of the ass-kicking political speeches by President Obama, bureaucratic edicts by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar or EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, or hypocritical posturing for the cameras in Congress has plugged the hole to stop the flow of suffocating oil headed to the beaches.
We see this week a remarkable confluence of events signaling the eventual end of Big Government: The bureaucrats and politicians can spend trillions but they can't plug the Gulf oil spill, agree on a budget in Congress or end the Great Recession's foreclosures and unemployment.
We've been here before. In the 1950s and '60s, Detroit's Big Three automakers utterly dominated the market. Americans bought only Chevys, Fords and Plymouths because our cars and trucks were "the standard of the world."
Detroit auto execs just laughed when Volkswagen Beetles trickled over here from Germany. Then, as Toyota and Honda began attracting serious attention from early adopting consumers, the Big Three confidently vowed to push the new invaders back to Japan.
It didn't happen. Instead, Detroit steadily lost the ability to produce quality products. By the 1970s, late-night comedians joked that every new Chrysler came with its very own union worker to reattach the chrome pieces as they fell off.
Imports couldn't be rolled back because General Motors, Ford and Chrysler were hamstrung by executive hubris and the endless demands of the United Auto Workers union for higher pay, more generous benefits and permanent job security. Give us the welfare state in microcosm or we will shut down the assembly lines, the union bosses shouted.
The execs caved, so American cars cost on average $2,000 more to build than those from Japan, and the union refused to give up the insanely complicated work rules that robbed management of needed flexibility to respond to a changing marketplace.
Predictably, when consumers compared Detroit's costlier offerings with cheaper, better-made Japanese products, they logically chose the latter. GM went from 60 percent market share to less than half that in the 1980s. Ford barely evaded bankruptcy and Chrysler survived only because Washington bailed it out.
Now it's Big Government that needs a bailout because its progressive politicians and bureaucrats can't stop doing what they've always done -- spending more, taxing more, regulating more, grabbing more power for themselves and their special interest buddies.
The result is that by trying to do everything for everybody, Big Government steadily loses the capacity to do anything for anybody. Thus, the oil keeps spilling into the Gulf as the politicians speechify, the bureaucrats issue new orders and the congressmen posture.
This is why, as just as most Americans long ago stopped trusting Detroit to build the world's best cars, today we no longer believe the grand promises that more massive, wasteful government will bring prosperity and good health for our families, security in our old age and a better life for our kids. We see the Gulf.
So do the progressives. Worrisome hints abound of their response to their swelling crisis:
They wrote Obamacare behind closed doors in Congress, then rode roughshod over public opposition to make it the law of the land.
At the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Election Commission, they're reaching for tools to silence their critics in the media and on the campaign trail. And when a judge rules their Gulf drilling ban is unconstitutional, they give him the middle finger, too, with a vow to impose a new ban.
In short, they're doing what they always do -- grabbing more power over the rest of us. And telling us it's for our own good.
UPDATED: New NBC/WSJ poll has jolt for Obama
AllahPundit at Hot Air says the oil spill calamity has finally begun to hurt President Obama's popularity and this development is reflected in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal survey. The survey finds 42 percent approve of Obama's handling of the spill, while 50 percent disapprove.
Overall, according to NBC/WSJ, Obama's approval ratings stand at 45 percent approving and 48 percent disapprove. There is much, much more in the data and AllahPundit suggests starting on page 19 of the crosstabs."
Have seen various reports about this .... it's hitting mainstream media now.
"Is BP burning sea turtles alive?
"SPEAKING OF CONFIDENCE IN OUR "RULER"
By Neal Boortz @ June 24, 2010 9:25 AM Permalink | Source Boortz.com
First ... remember that Obama sees himself as our "ruler," not our leader. It was his campaign spokesman who said "We'll be ready to rule from day one" just before the election. That was a hint, folks; a hint most people missed.
Maybe people are waking up to the disaster they cause at the ballot box in 2008. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that Americans are "more pessimistic abou the state of the country and less confident in President Barack Obama's leadership [rule?] than at any point since Mr. Obama entered the White House." Well isn't that special. That means that more Americans are paying attention. That's a good thing."
"Obama Changes His TuneJune 23, 2010 Posted by John at 3:47 PM
"I'm glad that President Obama has appointed Gen. David Petraeus to replace Gen. McChrystal, but I can't help wondering whether Obama himself feels any discomfort at turning to the hero of the Iraq surge to try to bail the administration out in Afghanistan. After all, Obama opposed the Iraq surge before it happened, and after the fact claimed that it had made only modest gains and was not responsible for the most significant improvements in Iraq. This video from September 2007 reminds us that before Obama became a lousy President, he was a lousy Senator. Watch as he badgers Petraeus and ambassador Crocker and belittles their efforts in Iraq; almost eight minutes go by before either witness gets a word in. Petraeus never does talk: ......"
A follow up to my previous post. You decide.
Tuesday, June 22. 2010
Posted by Karl Denninger in Oil The World at 22:16
Source The Market Ticker
"Open Contempt: Will The Judiciary Sit For It?
Tuesday, June 22. 2010
Posted by Karl Denninger in Oil The World at 18:19
Source The Market Ticker
"Obama Loses: Drilling Ban
"...... How about the fact that MMS rubber-stamped the well designchange on the casing just days before the well blew up? (Known fromCongressional testimony.)
That MMS appears to have known about earlier gas kick problems at thewell site, and thus had no reason to approve those changes? (Reportedpublicly.)
That MMS also appears to have intentionallyignored regulations requiring blowout preventers to be certifiedoperational and capable of shutting in a well at all times.
And finally, there were four specific safety problems identified with theblowout preventers - some of them identified four or more years ago.
Why did the well blow up?
Because the regulators didn't regulate.
Does this justify a "full stand-down" order? No.
It justifies arresting the MMS employees responsible.
It justifies arresting the BP employees responsible.
And, if Transocean has responsible employees who are still alive, itjustifies arresting them too.
Manslaughter, for starters. 11 men are dead.
The judge was correct in issuing his injunction, and the malfeasanceand misfeasance in this agency is uniquely owned by PresidentObama. A year and change into the administration, if hewas unhappy with the people at MMS, he could have replaced them.
He did not.
The buck stops on his desk, and there are 11 dead men's heads thatare sitting square on it in the Oval Office.
Solve the problem, yes. But the problem lies with the Governmentthat has refused to enforce the law, just as was - and still is - the case withthe banks."
Sunday, May 9, 2010, 12:22 AM
Source Wayne Allyn Root's Blog
"It’s time to stop mincing words. Obama is not a fool. He is not incompetent. He is not a madman. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis, and social chaos- thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within. But the bonus is brilliant…as he destroys and taxes to death business owners, he also cripples his political opposition.
Rahm Emanuel cynically said, “You never want a crisis to go to waste.” It is now becoming clear that the crisis he was referring to is Obama’s Presidency. As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Obama’s Columbia University. In 1966, they outlined a plan to socialize America by OVERWHELMING the system with government spending and entitlement demands. Add up the clues below. Taken individually they’re alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant, Machiavellian game plan to overwhelm the system, wreck the U.S. economy, damage or destroy the free market, in order to turn the U.S. into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival.
*Universal healthcare. The healthcare bill had very little to do with healthcare. It had everything to do with adding millions of new union and government employees (sixteen thousand new IRS agents) feeding at the public trough. Obama doesn’t care that giving free healthcare to 30 million Americans will add TRILLIONS to the national debt. Or that not one new doctor was added to the system, thereby causing a healthcare crisis. What he does care about is that it overwhelms the system and cements the dependence and loyalty of those 30 million voters to Obama and big government. Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression? Why now? Why the rush? Why risk destroying the economy on a reckless, unproven scheme? There is only one answer -- OVERWHELM THE SYSTEM.
*Cap and trade. Like healthcare legislation having nothing to do with healthcare, cap and trade has nothing to do with global warming. It has everything to do with overwhelming the system, redistribution of income, government control of the economy and a criminal payoff to unions and Obama’s biggest contributors. Those powerful and wealthy unions and contributors (like GE who owns NBC, MSNBC and CNBC) can then be counted on to support everything and anything Obama wants. They will kick back hundreds of millions in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party to keep them in power. The bonus is that all the new taxes on Americans with bigger cars, bigger homes and businesses helps Obama “spread the wealth around.” Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless tax and spending bill in the middle of a depression? Why now? Why the rush? Why risk destroying the economy on a reckless, unproven scheme? There is only one answer -- OVERWHELM THE SYSTEM.
*Make Puerto Rico a state. Why? Who's asking for a 51st state? Certainly not the Puerto Ricans, who have repeatedly voted against it, and certainly not American taxpayers. Who's asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression? But this has been Obama’s plan all along. His goal is to add two new Democrat Senators, five Democrat Congressman and a million loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government. Who but a socialist revolutionary would support this reckless scheme in the middle of a depression? Why now? Why the rush? There is only one answer -- OVERWHELM THE SYSTEM.
*Legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. Just giving these 12 million potential new citizens free healthcare alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America. But hey...it adds 12 million reliable new Democrat voters- who can be counted on to support big government. Add another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security. Who but a socialist revolutionary would support this in the middle of a depression? Why now? Why the rush? There is only one answer -- OVERWHELM THE SYSTEM.
*Card check. This disastrous bill creates more union employees EVERYWHERE- all of them Democratic voters. More union employees mean more union dues and hundreds of millions of new dollars to spend on campaign contributions to Democrats. Who cares that it will damage the capitalist system? Who but a socialist revolutionary would support this scheme in the middle of a depression? Why now? Why the rush? There is only one answer-- OVERWHELM THE SYSTEM.
*Stimulus & Bailouts. Where did all that money go? It went to Democrat contributors, organizations (ACORN), and unions- including billions of dollars to save the jobs of government employees across the country, and billions more to hire new government employees. It went to save GM and Chrysler, so that their employees could keep paying union dues. It went to AIG so that Goldman Sachs could be bailed out (after giving Obama almost $1,000,000 in contributions). A staggering $125 billion went to teachers (thereby saving their union dues to teachers unions). All those public employees will vote loyally Democrat to protect their bloated salaries and pensions that are bankrupting America. And their union dues will be forwarded directly to Obama and Democrat politicians. All while the private sector is melting down. Pretty soon a government job will be the only game in town. The country goes broke, future generations face a bleak future, but Obama, the Democrat Party, government, and the unions grow more powerful. The ends justify the means. OVERWHELM THE SYSTEM.
*Spend trillions on bailouts. Who needs welfare mothers, when you can addict America’s largest companies on welfare? These companies are now beholden to Democrat politicians and therefore powerless to criticize anything Obama does. The trillions to GM, Chrysler, AIG will never be paid back. But, that’s no concern to a socialist revolutionary who wants to destroy capitalism, control business, and OVERWHELM THE SYSTEM.
*Raise taxes ONLY on small business owners, high-income earners, and job creators. Put the entire burden on 10% of the population, redistribute the income, punish success, and reward those who did nothing (except vote for Obama). Why? Because such a plan destroys the group that contributes the most money to fiscally conservative politicians and causes. Reagan wanted to dramatically cut taxes in order to “starve the beast” (by cutting off funds for government). Obama wants to starve his political opposition by taxing them to death. OVERWHELM THE SYSTEM.
With the acts outlined above, Obama and his regime have created a vast and rapidly expanding constituency of voters dependent on big government; a vast privileged class of public employees who work for big government; and a government dedicated to destroying capitalism and installing themselves as socialist rulers by OVERWHELMING THE SYSTEM.
My God...Add it up and you’ve got the perfect Marxist scheme.
Only one thing stands in their way – you and me, the American taxpayers. If we want to save the greatest country and economic system in world history, we had better get busy. We had better fight back hard. Our children and grandchildren’s futures are at stake. And please don't assume the GOP is the answer. They had their chance. Bush spent irresponsibly; Bush never vetoed a single spending bill; Bush supported bailouts, earmarks and stimulus; Bush was responsible for the Medicare expansion; Bush spent a trillion dollars on two never-ending wars; Bush was the disaster that opened the door for Obama.
The answer is to support true fiscal conservatives who understand that national debt is the real global threat to our survival. Libertarians who truly support economic freedom are the real Tea Party candidates who want to truly change "business as usual" in Washington D.C. Libertarians don’t just talk the talk- we walk the walk. On November 2nd let's throw every incumbent in Congress out (with a few exceptions like Ron Paul)...and if the new class let's us down...let's throw them all out again in 2012. Eventually they'll get the message- the citizens are in charge."
Some satire ...... we NEED a comic relief break. Enjoy!
Score 1 for BP's attorneys .... 0 for Obama's 'ass-kicking' dog and pony show.
"If you're wondering why BP "agreed" to the $20 billion escrow fund, wonder no more....
In the end, one aim of the fund—and a prime reason BP agreed to it—will be to minimize lawsuits against the company. To do that, Mr. Feinberg will offer big lump-sum payments to workers and businesses as an enticement to stay out of court.
"At some point, I will have to make an offer—'You take this amount in full satisfaction of your claim, but only if you waive your right to future litigation,'" Mr. Feinberg said. "And if I package it right, people will see that it makes no sense to fight it out in court."
Ding ding ding ding. .........."
Suggest reading the entire article which is a good read ..... click the article title which is permalinked.
Tuesday, June 22. 2010
Posted by Karl Denninger in Politics at 08:52
Source The Market Ticker
As I noted last night on Blogtalk in response to a question (the last 15 minutes or so of the show) the Feral Government is increasingly being exposed as a pack of animals - cornered animals.
Recognition that The Feral Government has run the ship not aground but rather into an iceberg is rapidly spreading throughout the second-level administration people - along with firms and individuals who are in some way dependent on it.
The inevitable "rats jumping from a sinking ship" process has begun
Orszag, 41, considered leaving his post as director of the Office of Management and Budget in April and stayed on after an appeal from the president, the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. Orszag’s decision to leave in July will accelerate the process of picking a successor. ............."
"......... Then there's this:
A band of McChrystal’s profane, irreverent aides are quoted mocking Vice President Joe Biden and Richard Holbrooke, the special U.S. representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
McChrystal himself is described by an aide as “disappointed” in his first Oval Office meeting with an unprepared President Barack Obama. The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama, the two failed to connect from the start.
It includes a list of administration figures said to back McChrystal, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and puts Biden at the top of a list of those who don’t.
The article claims McChrystal has seized control of the war “by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House.”
Why that's positively revolting! ......"
Monday, June 21. 2010
Posted by Karl Denninger in Corruption at 21:17
Source The Market Ticker
"God's Work? Luck? Or Lawbreaking?
It seems incomprehensible that the president and other members of the administration still have jobs when it is now being reported that the federal government was apprised by BP on February 13 that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was leaking oil and natural gas into the ocean floor.
In fact, according to documents in the administration's possession, BP was fighting large cracks at the base of the well for roughly ten days in early February.
Further it seems the administration was also informed about this development, six weeks before to the rig's fatal explosion when an engineer from the University of California, Berkeley, announced to the world a near miss of an explosion on the rig by stating, "They <snip> near blew up the rig."
Now let's see.... there was no public dissemination of this information, was there? Well, no.
According to regulatory filings, RawStory.com has found that Goldman Sachs sold 4,680,822 shares of BP in the first quarter of 2010. Goldman’s sales were the largest of any firm during that time. Goldman would have pocketed slightly more than $266 million if their holdings were sold at the average price of BP’s stock during the quarter.
Tony Hayward cashed in about a third of his holding in the company one month before a well on the Deepwater Horizon rig burst, causing an environmental disaster.
The latter article also says:
There is no suggestion that he acted improperly or had prior knowledge that the company was to face the biggest setback in its history.
Further it seems the administration was also informed about this development, six weeks before to the rig's fatal explosion when an engineer from the University of California, Berkeley, announced to the world a near miss of an explosion on the rig by stating, "They <snip> near blew up the rig."
So here are my questions, which I believe we all deserve answers to:
Just curious, mind you.... "
"Cracks Show BP Was Battling Gulf Well as Early as February
It took 10 days to plug the first cracks, according to reports BP filed with the Minerals Management Service that were later delivered to congressional investigators. Cracks in the surrounding rock continued to complicate the drilling operation during the ensuing weeks. Left unsealed, they can allow explosive natural gas to rush up the shaft.
“Once they realized they had oil down there, all the decisions they made were designed to get that oil at the lowest cost,” said Peter Galvin of the Center for Biological Diversity, which has been working with congressional investigators probing the disaster. “It’s been a doomed voyage from the beginning.”
BP didn’t respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment. The company’s shares rose 22 pence to 359 pence today in London after the company struck a deal with the Obama administration yesterday to establish a $20 billion fund to pay cleanup costs and compensation. BP has lost 45 percent of its market value since the catastrophe.
On Feb. 13, BP told the minerals service it was trying to seal cracks in the well about 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast, drilling documents obtained by Bloomberg show. Investigators are still trying to determine whether the fissures played a role in the disaster.
The company attempted a “cement squeeze,” which involves pumping cement to seal the fissures, according to a well activity report. Over the following week the company made repeated attempts to plug cracks that were draining expensive drilling fluid, known as “mud,” into the surrounding rocks.
BP used three different substances to plug the holes before succeeding, the documents show.
“Most of the time you do a squeeze and then let it dry and you’re done,” said John Wang, an assistant professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering at Penn State in University Park, Pennsylvania. “It dries within a few hours.”
Repeated squeeze attempts are unusual and may indicate rig workers are using the wrong kind of cement, Wang said.
BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward and other top executives were ignorant of the difficulties the company’s engineers were grappling with in the well before the explosion, U.S. Representative Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said today during a hearing in Washington.
“We could find no evidence that you paid any attention to the tremendous risk BP was taking,” Waxman said as Hayward waited to testify. “There is not a single e-mail or document that you paid the slightest attention to the dangers at this well.”
BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles and exploration chief Andy Inglis “were apparently oblivious to what was happening,” said Waxman, a California Democrat. “BP’s corporate complacency is astonishing.”
In early March, BP told the minerals agency the company was having trouble maintaining control of surging natural gas, according to e-mails released May 30 by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating the spill.
While gas surges are common in oil drilling, companies have abandoned wells if they determine the risk is too high. When a Gulf well known as Blackbeard threatened to blow out in 2006, Exxon Mobil Corp. shut the project down.
“We don’t proceed if we cannot do so safely,” Exxon Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson told a House Energy and Commerce committee panel on June 15.
On March 10, BP executive Scherie Douglas e-mailed Frank Patton, the mineral service’s drilling engineer for the New Orleans district, telling him: “We’re in the midst of a well control situation.”
The incident was a “showstopper,” said Robert Bea, an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has consulted with the Interior Department on offshore drilling safety. “They <snip> near blew up the rig.”
"CNBC Reporter Attacks Obama for Creating 'His Own Sense of a Legal System' over Oil Spill
By Jeff Poor
Wed, 06/16/2010 - 17:28 ET
For anyone believing the Gulf states would be the only ones impacted by Obama's oil spill, think again.
"North America faces years of toxic oil rain from BP oil spill chemical dispersantsJune 17, 12:30 PMPolitical Spin ExaminerMaryann Tobin
Source Examiner.com Atlanta
From Steve Quayle, Q-News Photo of the Day.
"OBAMA'S OIL SPILL
By Jon Christian Ryter
June 19, 2010
"First, let's get this right. While this article will refer to the Gulf oil spill as the BP oil spill, we need to understand from the gitgo, this is Obama's oil spill. He didn't cause it, but he converted it into the crisis it has become for his own personal reasons and his own personal political gain..
By this time, the American people—if they are smart enough to tie their own shoes—have to be asking themselves a question. Or maybe two or three. I know it was a long time ago, but do you remember when the Deepwater Horizon well and platform explosions happened? In case you forgot—April 20, 2010. When White House resident Barack Hussein Obama stopped partying at the Party Palace on Pennsylvania Avenue long enough to decide he had let the BP oil crisis develop long enough that it would require a social progressive "crisis solution," it was May 15. Obama let the BP oil spill dump what is now estimated to be 2.52 million gallons of crude oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico. That's a total of 88,200,000 gallons of oil in 35 days. Yeah, that reeks of a crisis.
Most Americans don't know that three days after the Deepwater Horizon platform sank to the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, along with any evidence of what caused the underwater pipeline explosion below the safety cutoff valves, the Dutch government called Obama and offered to loan BP ships outfitted with oil-skimming booms, and a plan to quickly build sand barriers to protect the marshlands that everyone knew would be affected worst if the seepage was left uncontained and the oil reached the Louisiana coastline. The Heritage Foundation reported that, according to one Dutch newspaper, the European oil companies that offered to help BP said that left to do the job alone they would have contained the oil and completely cleaned all of the oil scum from the Gulf of Mexico in four months. With the help of the US government, the report said, the cleanup would have be complete in three months or less. According to estimates from US Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen and BP, the cleanup would take an estimated nine months—after they got the leak plugged.
Again, what the American people don't know is that 13 different countries offered to help clean the oil sludge from the Gulf. And, finally, what the American people don't know is that the Obama Administration turned all of them down. Obama had a crisis in the making and as Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel so aptly told the media during the housing and credit disasters that led to the piling on of over $3 trillion in new taxes on generations of Americans in February, 2009, you "...never let a crisis go to waste."
Had Obama allowed those 13 nations to contain the oil leak and clean up the mess within the first two weeks of the BP oil spill, the marshlands would not be devastated and the tourists would be flocking to the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico this summer. Instead, in the height of tourist season—June 15 until Labor Day—those who usually flock to the Gulf coast will be spending their vacations in North Carolina, or Cape Cod...or in their backyards at home wondering when Obama's next crisis will devastate the industry they work in and end their jobs.
When Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal tried to get the White House to allow willing nations, experienced with oil spill cleanup in the North Sea, to come into the Gulf of Mexico to help, Obama cited the Jones Act as his reason for being forced to decline their offer of help. The Jones Act (also known as the Sailors's Rights Act, Title 46 USC) is a protectionist piece of legislation that mandates that all goods transported by sea between US ports must be transported by US flag ships that are owned by US citizens and whose crews must be at least 3/4 US citizens.
However, the law provides a waiver in times of emergency. President Bush-43 used the waiver twice during his second term. First, in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina. He allowed foreign ships to transport oil and natural gas between US ports in the Gulf. In 2006, a waiver was issued so a foreign ship could bring a jack-up rig into Alaska's Cook Inlet. Thus, emergency waivers are common. Which raises the question why Obama declined the offer of help which, had he accepted it, would likely minimized or eliminated the oil spill crisis in the Gulf.
But what should worry the American people most is the new life Obama's oil crisis has pumped into the failed Cap & Trade legislation. Remember Cap & Trade? The Carbon Fuel tax? Cap & Trade or, if you prefer, Cap & Tax, didn't die during the December, 2009 blizzard that greeted the environmental bureaucrats flying into Copenhagen, Denmark to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (which was initially called the UN Framework Convention on Global Warming) until climate skeptics hacked hundreds of computer files and private emails exchanges between the world's leading global warming "experts," and released the data to the media in Europe on Nov. 9, 2009, less than a month before the Copenhagen Conference. Obama intended, on the last day of the conference, to back door Cap & Trade into the United States by signing what was known as the Copenhagen Protocol. Preparing for the Conference, the House enacted their version of Cap & Trade, the Waxman-Markey Bill (be sure you remember both Henry Waxman [D-CA] and Edward Markey [D-MA] on election day.) That legislation will ultimately bankrupt every American, and control the settings on the thermostat in your house, summer and winter alike. (That is, if you still have a home after Cap & Trade destroys the company you work for and you no longer have a job.)
The data proved conclusively that, for years, global warming advocates had colluded to manipulate data that supported the view that global warming was real when, in fact, the scientists and "experts" in natural and anthropogenic climate change who claimed the planet was heating up at a phenomenal rate knew the Earth was cooling down, not heating up. They knew the data they were presenting as fact was pure fiction based on corrupt computer models built on the philosophy of "garbage in, garbage out." But, to punish the industrialized world for not sharing its wealth with the impoverished third world, the social progressives needed a catalyst that would allow them to tax the industrialized worlds for their greed.
Not in the least deterred after being caught in their lie, the global warming advocates arrogantly became "climate change" advocates. The conference was renamed, assuming without saying what everyone would know was ridiculous, the climate change advocates want us to believe that global cooling is also caused by man, and his misuse of carbon fuels. In reality, carbon dioxide is critical to the production of oxygen. Oxygen is a necessary component in the air we breathe and the water we drink. Without oxygen, and thus, without carbon dioxide, we all die...and the world the climate change advocates claim they are trying to save dies, too.
Cap & Trade was too important to let a little thing like that stand in their way of imposing a wealth-draining tax on the industrialized world and mandating a draconian reduction in carbon dioxide which, of course, will reduce crop yields worldwide at a time when a growing global population demands the production of even more food that requires—you guessed it—carbon dioxide to feed those plants and grow the food the world needs. Cap & trade is the catalyst that the world government advocates intend to use to redistribute the wealth of the world from the industrialized nations to the overpopulated third world—tomorrow's key consumers and the future profit in the "profit and loss statements" of world's Fortune 1000 companies. The fact that it will reduce crop yields, reduce the quality of air you breathe, and reduce water levels worldwide is of no importance to them because, in their view, there are too many people in the world and if a few million more die of starvation the world will be a better place for those who survive.
Since it is unlikely the US Senate, which knows it's already in trouble with the voters, will let Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV] put Cap & Trade back on the table, Obama has already authorized the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] to classify carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Where does he get that authority? From the US Supreme Court, which decided on April 2, 2009 that the EPA has the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases in automobile emissions—i.e., carbon dioxide. The court also ruled that the EPA had an obligation to regulate greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming unless they (or hopefully, someone with a brain) present a scientific basis for not regulating them. In a separate decision, the high court also ruled that the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the dissenting opinion, said that the broad coalition of cities, counties and environmental groups that brought the lawsuit had no legal standing as litigants, and the case should never have been accepted by the high court. His dissent was joined by Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, Jr. When the social progressives on the high court hold 4 seats and can usually depend on the one swing vote, they can hear any case they wish to hear; and when they pull that swing vote left of center, they can win any case, whether it has legal standing or not. Once they prevail, those 5 judges have more power than 535 members of Congress.
The Obama EPA took the issue to court to undo 8-years of Bush-43 policy during which time President George W. Bush insisted the government did not have the authority to regulate carbon dioxide since it is a natural element necessary to sustain human life. Giving the EPA the authority to greatly reduce breathable air and drinkable water on Earth were Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Stephen Breyer and swing vote Anthony Kennedy. Since Souter has retired and Stevens is about to, and its likely that Ginsburg will step down before Obama leaves office, it appears only Breyer will need to be impeached for judicial stupidity and ignorance of basic chemistry. Of course, all of the justices and any federal judge appointed by non-citizen Obama need to be replaced as well since the Constitution of the United States does not allow illegal aliens, even if they reside in the big white house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, to sign legislation into law or appoint judges to the federal courts.
Obama's remarks on the oil spill on May 15 were easy to predict since he did a test run of the speech at the Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh earlier in the week. When Obama tied the BP oil spill to Cap & Trade, his words sealed the deal. "I will make the case for clean energy whenever I can," he said, "and I will work with anyone to get this done. And we will get it done."
Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who joined the Obama Administration advocating for a system in which all government funds used on government building projects should be required to hired only minority workers even if they were not qualified for the projects, called for the US government to seize BP. In an op ed piece, Reich, now a University of California at Berkeley professor, said: "It's time for the federal government to put BP under temporary receivership, which gives the government authority to take over BP's operations in the Gulf of Mexico until the gusher is stopped." Perhaps Obama should appoint Hugo Chavez as temporary CEO of BP while he's at it since Chavez is one of the world's experts on seizing oil companies.
Reich, Obama and Emanuel may not realize this since none of them have likely ever read the Constitution, but there is absolutely nothing in the founding document of the United States that gives any President the power to temporarily declare martial law over one or more corporations and actually seize the operating control of that business entity because the president or his men think they can run it better than the duly elected corporate management of that corporation. Nor, by the way, does a US president have the authority to fire the head of any private company, large or small, in the United States."
© 2010 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights Reserved
All dictators' promises sound hunky-dory until they're implemented in the real world.
"Hugo Chavez Spearheads Raids as Food PricesSkyrocket
Published: Friday,18 Jun 2010 | 5:18 PM ETSource CNBC
"Mountains of rotting food foundat a government warehouse, soaring prices and soldiers raiding wholesalersaccused of hoarding: Food supply is the latest battle in President Hugo Chavez'ssocialist revolution.
Venezuelan army soldiers swept through the workingclass, pro-Chavez neighborhood of Catia in Caracas last week, seizing 120 tonsof rice along with coffee and powdered milk that officials said was to be soldabove regulated prices.
"The battle for food is a matterof national security," said a red-shirted official from the Food Ministry,resting his arm on a pallet laden with bags of coffee.
It is also the latest issue todivide the Latin American country where Chavez has nationalized a wideswathe of the economy, he says to reverse years ofexploitation of the poor.
Chavez supporters are grateful fora network of cheap state-run supermarkets and they say the raids will slowmassive inflation.
Critics accuse him of steering thecountry toward a communist dictatorship and say he is destroying the privatesector.
They point to 80,000 tons ofrotting food found in warehouses belonging to the government as evidence thestate is a poor and corrupt administrator. ....."
Still in campaign mode ... note the slip.
"Obama administration speaks with forked tongue
"Obama's thuggery is useless in fighting spill
By: Michael Barone
Senior Political Analyst
June 20, 2010
Source Washington Examiner
"Thuggery is unattractive. Ineffective thuggery even more so. Which may be one reason so many Americans have been reacting negatively to the response of Barack Obama and his administration to BP's Gulf oil spill.
Take Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's remark that he would keep his "boot on the neck" of BP, which brings to mind George Orwell's definition of totalitarianism as "a boot stamping on a human face -- forever." Except that Salazar's boot hasn't gotten much in the way of results yet.
Or consider Obama's undoubtedly carefully considered statement to Matt Lauer that he was consulting with experts "so I know whose ass to kick." Attacking others is a standard campaign tactic when you're in political trouble, and certainly BP, which appears to have taken unwise shortcuts in the Gulf, is an attractive target.
But you don't always win arguments that way. The Obama White House gleefully took on Dick Cheney on the issue of terrorist interrogations. It turned out that more Americans agreed with Cheney's stand, despite his low poll numbers, than Obama's.
Then there is Obama's decision to impose a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf. This penalizes companies with better safety records than BP's and will result in many advanced drilling rigs being sent to offshore oil fields abroad.
The justification offered was an Interior Department report supposedly "peer reviewed" by "experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering." But it turned out the drafts the experts saw didn't include any recommendation for a moratorium. Eight of the cited experts have said they oppose the moratorium as more economically devastating than the oil spill and "counterproductive" to safety.
This was blatant dishonesty by the administration, on an Orwellian scale. In defense of a policy that has all the earmarks of mindless panic, that penalizes firms and individuals guilty of no wrongdoing and that will worsen rather than improve our energy situation. Ineffective thuggery.
And what about the decision not to waive the Jones Act, which bars foreign-flag vessels from coming to the aid of the Gulf cleanup? The Bush administration promptly waived it after Katrina in 2005. The Obama administration hasn't and claims unconvincingly that, gee, there aren't really any foreign vessels that could help.
The more plausible explanation is that this is a sop to the maritime unions, part of the union movement that gave Obama and other Democrats $400 million in the 2008 campaign cycle. It's the Chicago way: Dance with the girl that brung ya.
Or the decision to deny Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to deploy barges to skim oil from the Gulf's surface. Can't do that until we see if they've got enough life preservers and fire equipment. That inspired blogger Rand Simberg to write a blog post he dated June 1, 1940: "The evacuation of British and French troops from the besieged French city of Dunkirk was halted today, over concerns that many of the private vessels that had been deployed for the task were unsafe for troop transport."
Finally, the $20 billion escrow fund that Obama pried out of the BP treasury at the White House when he talked for the first time, 57 days after the rig exploded, with BP Chairman Tony Hayward. It's pleasing to think that those injured by BP will be paid off speedily, but House Republican Joe Barton had a point, though an impolitic one, when he called this a "shakedown."
For there already are laws in place that insure that BP will be held responsible for damages and the company has said it will comply. So what we have is government transferring property from one party, an admittedly unattractive one, to others, not based on pre-existing laws but on decisions by one man, pay czar Kenneth Feinberg.
Feinberg gets good reviews from everyone. But the Constitution does not command "no person . . . shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law except by the decision of a person as wise and capable as Kenneth Feinberg." The Framers stopped at "due process of law."
Obama doesn't. "If he sees any impropriety in politicians ordering executives about, upstaging the courts and threatening confiscation, he has not said so," write the editors of the Economist, who then suggest that markets see Obama as "an American version of Vladimir Putin." Except that Putin is an effective thug."
Michael Barone, The Examiner's senior political analyst.
June 19, 2010 5:00 A.M.
"Gulf War Three
Source National Review Online
"Thank goodness, the president has directed BP to order up some new tackle and connect it to the thingummy next to the whachamacallit.
"I believe it was Jean Giraudoux who first said, “Only the mediocre are always at their best.”
Barack Obama was supposed to be the best, the very best, and yet he is always, reliably, consistently mediocre. His speech on oil was no better or worse than his speech on race. Yet the Obammyboppers who once squealed with delight are weary of last year’s boy band. At the end of the big Oval Office address, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and the rest of the MSNBC gang jeered the president. For a bewildered Obama, it must have felt like his Ceausescu balcony moment. Had they caught up with him in the White House parking lot, they’d have put him up against the wall and clubbed him to a pulp with Matthews’s no longer tingling leg.
For the first time I felt a wee bit sorry for the poor fellow. What had he done to so enrage his full supporting chorus? In the Washington Post, the reaction of longtime Obammysoxer Eugene Robinson was headlined “Obama Disappoints From The Beginning Of His Speech.”
So what? He always “disappoints.” What would have been startling would have been if he hadn’t “disappointed.” His eve-of-election rally for Martha Coakley “disappointed” the Massachusetts electorate so much they gave Ted Kennedy’s seat to a Republican. His speech for Chicago’s Olympic bid “disappointed” the Oslo committee so much they gave the games to Pyongyang, or Ouagadougou, or any city offering to build a stadium with electrical outlets incompatible with Obama’s prompter. Be honest, guys, his inaugural address “disappointed,” too, didn’t it? Oh, in those days you still did your best to make the case for it. “He carries us from meditative bead to meditative bead, and invites us to contemplate,” wrote Stanley Fish in the New York Times. “There is a technical term for this kind of writing — parataxis, defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘the placing of propositions or clauses one after the other without indicating . . . the relation of co-ordination or subordination between them.’”
Gotcha. To a fool, His Majesty’s new clothes appear absolutely invisible. But, to a wise man, the placing of buttons and pockets without indicating the relation of co-ordination is a fascinating exercise in parataxical couture.
And so Obama bounded out to knock ’em dead with another chorus of “I’ll be down to get you in a parataxis, honey,” only to find himself pelted with dead fish rather than Stanley Fish. The Times’s Maureen Dowd deplored his “bloodless quality” and “emotional detachment.” This is the same Maureen Dowd who in 2009 hailed the new presidency with a column titled “Spock At The Bridge” — and she meant it as a compliment. Back then, this administration was supposed to be the new technocracy — cool, calm, and credentialed chaps who would sit down, use their mighty intellects to provide a rigorous, post-partisan, forensic analysis of the problem, and then break for their Vanity Fair photo shoot.
What was it all the smart set said about Bush? Lazy and uncurious? Had Obama or his speechwriters chanced upon last week’s fishwrap, they might have noticed that I described the president as “the very model of a modern major generalist,” and they might have considered whether it might not be time to try something new. For example, he could have demonstrated, as he and his energy secretary (whoops, Nobel Prize–winning energy secretary) have so signally failed to do, an understanding of what is actually happening 5,000 feet underwater and why it’s hard to stop. Instead, lazy and uncurious, this is what the Technocratic Mastermind offered: “Just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge — a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize–winning physicist and our nation’s secretary of energy. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice.
“As a result of these efforts, we’ve directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology.”
Excellent. The president directed his Nobel Prize–winning Head of Meetings to assemble a meeting to tackle the challenge of mobilizing the assembling of the tackling of the challenge of mobilization, at the end of which they directed BP to order up some new tackle and connect it to the thingummy next to the whachamacallit. Thank you, Mr. President. That and $4.95 will get you a venti oleaginato at Starbucks.
The boring technocrat stuff out of the way, he then did his usual shtick. In the race speech, invited to address specific points about his pastor’s two-decade pattern of ugly anti-American rhetoric and his opportunist peddling of paranoid conspiracies to his gullible congregants about AIDS being invented by the U.S. government to wipe them out, Obama preferred to talk about race in general — you know, blacks, whites, that sort of thing; lot of it about. The media loved it. This time round, invited to address specific points about an unstoppable spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Obama retreated to more generalities — the environment, land, air, that sort of thing; lot of it about. “President Obama said he is going to use the Gulf disaster to push a new energy bill through Congress,” observed Jay Leno. “How about using the Gulf disaster to fix the Gulf disaster?”
When he did get specific, he sounded faintly surreal. “As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows.” Energy-efficient windows? That’s a great line — if Obama’s auditioning to play himself on Saturday Night Live parodies.
And hang on, isn’t this the same guy who was promising to start “kicking ass” just a few days ago? You may find yourself recalling the moment in the film In and Out when Kevin Kline is trying to master the How to Be Manly audiotape and accidentally says, “What an interesting window treatment.”
But, as Rahm Emmanuel shrewdly noted, never let a crisis go to waste, not when you can get a new window treatment out of it.
My colleague Rich Lowry suggested the other day that most people not on the Gulf coast aren’t really that bothered about the spill, and that Obama has allowed himself to be blown off course entirely unnecessarily. There may be some truth to this: For most of America, this is a Potemkin crisis. But what better kind to trip up a Potemkin leader? So the president has now declared war on the great BP spill — Gulf War 3! — and in this epic conflict the speechgiver-in-chief will surely be his own unmanned drone:
“I fired off a speech
But the British kept a-spillin’
Twice as many barrels as there was a month ago,
I fired off a speech
But the British kept a-spillin’
Up the Mississippi from the Gulf of Mexico . . .”
Chris Matthews and the other leg-tinglers invented an Obama that doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, they’re stuck with the one that does, and it will be interesting to see whether he’s capable of plugging the leak in his own support. If not, who knows what the tide might wash up?
Memo to Secretary Rodham Clinton: Do you find yourself of a quiet evening with a strange craving for chicken dinners and county fairs in Iowa and New Hampshire, maybe next summer? Need one of those relaunch books to explain why you’re getting back in the game in your country’s hour of need?
“It Takes a Spillage.”
— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist "
I pulled the brasschektv link concerning a possible bubble under the gulf. I had reason to believe it was overblown and speculative at this point.
That does not negate the slow response from Obama to this crisis.
He remains holding it when it broke.
Awesome article has some really good maps, especially underwater topo of where Deepwater Horizon is located.
Friday, June 18, 2010
"Where is the Oil Spill?
"It's the largest environmental disaster in U.S. - and possibly world - history.
But do you know exactly where it is? Could you point to a map and show where the oil rig sank?
Do you know what the topography of the surrounding area is? Hint: If you think it's flat seafloor - as implied by BPs drawings - you'd be wrong (the spill site is actually located within a giant canyon system, rather than on flat ground).
This essay will provide some basic orientation as to ground zero for the oil spill.........."
Wooohooo Governor Christie!!! WTG!!!
"Democrats Surrender to Christie in N.J. Budget Battle
by Mark Impomeni
Source Human Events
"What looked to be an impending showdown between the Democratic-controlled New Jersey legislature and Republican Gov. Chris Christie over the state budget for fiscal 2011 may be over before it ever began. Democrats in the state assembly publicly conceded this week that Christie’s $29 billion budget would pass largely intact with Democratic support.
The move comes on the heels of last week’s collision between Christie and State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Camden). Sweeney delivered two bills reinstating New Jersey’s expired “millionaire’s tax” to the governor’s office in the State House, only to see Christie veto the bills almost as quickly as he received them. Sweeney promised that the Democrats would return with a similar tax increase soon, but reports indicate that there was no stomach among Democrats either to attempt a veto override or pass another version of the tax.
Rather than confront Christie and his veto pen again, Democrats have decided to allow the budget to go through. However, they are going to try and force Republicans to “own” the proposed cuts to programs for the elderly and the poor by insisting that those bills be initiated and sponsored by the minority. Most Democrats will then vote against the bills, supplying only the eight votes in the Assembly and four in the Senate needed for the measures to pass each house.
The chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, Assemblyman Lou Greenwald (D), explained that the Democrats’ strategy is designed to pin responsibility on Republicans in the legislature for Christie’s proposed cuts. “The Republican Party is going to own this budget,” he said. “We will get them the necessary votes to pass it, but they will own it.”
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo (D) similarly challenged Republicans to stand up for Christie’s budget. Referring to the Democrats’ claim that Christie’s reductions in state aid to municipalities and a one-year elimination of property tax rebates contained in the budget will cause property taxes to go up. “Show us some sponsors,” he said. “Show us some people willing to stand up for these tax increases.”
If Democrats are trying to put them on defensive, however, New Jersey Republicans are not taking the bait. Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R) told HUMAN EVENTS last week that his caucus would be glad to sponsor any bills necessary to implement Gov. Christie’s budget. “If the Democratic majority is either incapable or unwilling to sponsor the bills, we certainly will do so,” Kean said.
Kean scoffed at Assemblyman Greenwald’s suggestion that Republicans would “own” the budget cuts, turning the charge back on the majority, and aligning his caucus squarely on the governor’s side.
“Democrats in the Legislature have continued to practice the politics of the status quo by insisting on tax increases rather than spending reductions,” Kean said. “Democrats continue to focus on gimmicks and unsustainable one-shots (like the millionaire's tax) even as Chris Christie is focusing on real solutions for the affordability crisis facing the citizens of our state. The Democrats' record of 115 tax increases on every thing from income to sales to phones to tires to home energy over the past eight years is a clear contrast to Governor Christie's efforts thus far.”
Christie’s budget cutting ways got an unexpected boost from the courts this week, as a New Jersey appeals panel decided that the governor acted within his authority in rescinding planned school aid in February. The court ruled that the governor’s order left school districts with options from relying on other revenue to cutting programs.
“A school district may have sufficient resources without transferring excess surplus to support its current operating budget,” the court ruled. “If not…the district may review its budget for potential efficiencies.”
New Jersey Democrats have been frustrated at nearly every turn by Christie’s forthright and frank talk about New Jersey’s budget problems. With the state facing an $11 billion shortfall in fiscal 2011 and unemployment in the state at 9.8%, traditional Democratic arguments like increasing taxes on the wealthy are not having the same impact as in prior budget battles.
Republicans have tied their fate squarely to Christie’s, who often states that he was not elected to worry about getting reelected, but to fix the problems in state government. Kean said that Senate Republicans have adopted a similar attitude. Asked if Republicans were comfortable facing the voters next year after sponsoring the necessary implementing legislation, Kean said, “I’m not worried one bit.”
Mark Impomeni is a New Jersey based freelance writer and contributing editor at RedState. He will be reporting regularly on New York/New Jersey metropolitan area politics.
"Era of Obama rhetoric is over
June 17, 2010
Source Washington Examiner
(PHOTO) The President made a speech regarding the Gulf oil spill from the Oval Office Tuesday — ending an era in which many people believed in his supposed rhetorical genius. (Alex Brandon/AP)
"President Obama's Oval Office speech Tuesday marked the end of an era -- an era in which at least half the population believed any crisis could be defused by one man's supposed rhetorical genius and personal charisma. The derisive reception of President Obama's Tuesday night speech from the Oval Office on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill makes it clear that Obama's sweet voice no longer suffices, not even for his biggest boosters.
The thrill that Obamian rhetoric once sent up the leg of MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews is apparently gone. Obama's repeated references to Energy Secretary Steven Chu's Nobel Prize, Matthews said, now make him want to "barf." He compared Obama with former President Carter. Host Keith Olbermann, who normally wouldn't hesitate to lavish praise on Obama for coughing, was almost as blunt. "It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days," he said. Even Howard Fineman, a font of Washington conventional wisdom and a huge fan of the president, suggested that Obama wasn't acting like a commander in chief.
All three liberal commentators agreed: The speech contained little substance and far too few specifics. Even Obama's fans are catching on to a key feature of his political success. Biographer David Mendell described it before Obama's election as his "his ingenious lack of specificity. ... While talking or writing about a deeply controversial subject, he considers all points of view before cautiously giving his own often risk-averse assessment, an opinion that often appears so universal that people of various viewpoints would consider it their own." Now that a crisis is afoot, such hedging no longer helps Obama become all things to all men. Instead, it makes him appear unprepared. He is once again the state senator who voted "present" 130 times, and who on at least one occasion was present and near the Senate chamber but absented himself from a controversial vote.
The same day Obama spoke, a new poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found that 50 percent of Louisianans think Obama's response to the spill is poorer than his predecessor's response to Hurricane Katrina. The tainted, oily tide has turned on the inexperienced man whom Americans placed in the Oval Office based on hopes and dreams and little else."
Conspiracy theory or fact? Published by European Union Times. VIDEO showing Kenyan birth certificate with embossed seal, also enlarged birth certificate.
You decide for yourself.
Page loads slowly.
"Ever wonder about Barack Hussein Obama’s REAL birth certificate? Check it out here close-up and personal! Find out why the people trying to discredit it are so obviously desperately grasping at straws. Just a shorter part of a full documentary on the subject of Barack Obama”s ineligibility, but short and sweet.
"FAIRTAX RALLY THIS WEEKEND - Nealz Nuze on boortz.com
June 17, 2010
"Are Liberals Breaking Up with Obama?
By Kyle-Anne Shiver
Source American Thinker
"President Obama gave his big oil-spill speech Tuesday night, and I sat rather dumbfounded just after it as MSNBC's Keith Olberman and Chris Matthews virtually trashed a guy they've tingled and swooned over since early 2008. Hearing so much reality from the formerly dazzled was quite akin, I thought, to witnessing a teenage breakup, where a girl suddenly has the epiphany and sees the character defects in Mr. Cool. Teen-romance epiphanies, where the once-infatuated person now sees clearly the cause-for-grave-concern flaws that her friends saw all along, usually occur just after some especially revealing event.
For our liberal friends, the oil spill seems to represent the impetus for epiphany.
So, are liberals breaking up with Obama?
Now, liberals may wince mightily at having their sudden disdain for their own president compared to a teenage breakup, but it would take a rare ninny indeed not to admit that the entire Obama affair was always more fairytale -- as Bill Clinton surmised early on and was pitilessly pilloried for -- than it was based on reality.
The fairytale aspect of liberals' affair with Obama is, I think, that they -- like the infatuated teenage girl -- saw in him only what they wanted to see. The gaping holes in Obama's résumé got short shrift, while his teleprompted eloquence had them all a-swooning. Like the teenage girl who wants to hear or see nothing amiss about her new beau, liberals turned a deaf ear and blind eye to every troublesome bit of Obama's idealistic folderol and defended his lack of executive experience on the ridiculous notion that he was above those sorts of things because he was, after all, rather like a god.
There's a huge moral lesson in here, and I, for one, just hope that every good liberal is still open-minded enough to engage the lesson and still has enough integrity to own up to it. The purely golden moral lesson at hand has less to do with ideology than it has to do with keeping one's head about him. It has far less to do with who is president than with why he is president. If we, as a nation, are able to absorb the true lesson of Obama in time, we just might save our country for the next generation. We very well might be able to show our young people something so important that it will become next to impossible to elect another pure knave on the strength of emotional attachment and fantastical wishful thinking to the presidency.
By now, every single reasonable, sentient, in-charge-of-his-own-thoughts adult ought to know exactly where this is going.
When a republic elects an executive leader and commander in chief based on little more than an ethereal charisma, that nation gets what it deserves -- a celebrity president who takes his office about as seriously as the fawning crowds took their votes. Upon such idiotic decisions great civilizations do indeed fall.
However, all is not lost. One of the most wondrous, yet inherently sound, facets of the American form of government is that mistakes -- even of this magnitude -- last only four years. And even though the damage of Obama's incompetence has been exacerbated greatly by a lapdog congressional majority willing to sell themselves and the country out to make the president's day, the country is still redeemable. When all is said and done, the Obama presidency fades into the sunset, and another presidential election comes around, Americans once again will have the chance to take their votes seriously and elect a proven, competent executive to fill the office of the presidency.
There is the chance that Obama's election will have a spectacular silver lining for our republic.
Many candidates, mostly of the hollow political sort that Obama has proven to be, may think long and hard now before putting their names in contention. Without the requisite experience to handle huge national crises, or even the kind that occur in every city hall and governor's office in the country, legislators may see the debacle of Obama and stop themselves from making a similar mistake.
The presidency does not lend itself to vainglorious appraisals of one's own abilities; all is laid bare when push comes inevitably to shove. In light of Obama's historic failure to steer our ship of state, there is a lesson for every single would-be candidate of the future, a chance to see Obama's ignominious defeat at the cruel hand of reality, and a clear opportunity to take the hard, long look before leaping into the fires of a presidential campaign. Men and women of sound reason who might be candidates in 2012 should heed the lesson of Obama and not assume that just because they've been elected to office, they would make a good president.
A CEO job is a CEO job is a CEO job, and if one has never had one before -- either private or public -- then one ought to approach the candidate's ring with far more apprehension and humility than did either Barack Obama or any of his swooning party backers.
As for liberal ideologues in particular, the golden lesson of Obama ought to be that indulging in identity politics to the exclusion of demonstrated competence is a recipe for disaster at almost any level. When Chris Matthews gushed some months ago that he had "forgotten the president was black for an hour," he pretty much gave away his own penchant for identity politics. Liberal media elites, celebrities, and white guilt-ridden pols never let the public think much beyond this president's skin color for the entire campaign, when going beyond the book's cover is always -- every single time -- the duty of every voter, but most especially the duty of the fourth estate and all those who would use their positions to make endorsements.
At the end of the day, every one of these folks who rallied the votes for Obama -- based on nothing but his skin color and teleprompted eloquence -- have done far more damage to the cause of African-American parity than if they had refused to indulge their identity politics and had looked at the candidate's bona fides with a skeptical, purely investigative eye. As Walter Williams wrote recently, due only to the liberal bent to encourage character and ability judgments based upon one's skin color, gender, or any other artificial label, future black candidates will indeed be judged -- whether rightly or wrongly -- by the incompetency of Barack Obama.
This is inherently unfair. Obama is not a flailing president because he is half-black. His skin color has nothing whatsoever to do with his failure to lead coherently and competently. It has to do with him as an individual. Obama's failure is the result of biting off a bigger job than he was ready to chew. What is happening to Obama is precisely what would happen to anyone in so far over his head in any job. It's no more a black thing than it is a white thing; it's no more a man thing that it is a woman thing. It's an individual thing.
President Obama still has a couple of years to go in his term. Liberals may not be breaking up with him yet. They may require more epiphanies still. But once the spell cast by identity and charisma begins to fade, it's a sure bet that the gut-wrenching, self-examining morning after is well on its way.
And in that, I think I see hope for America's restoration.
It won't be easy or fast, but at least it seems possible now that liberals are showing that they might be willing to go all the way and break up with Mr. Cool."
Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.
Christie for President '12!
"What Price Christie? Part 4Source Powerlineblog.com
June 16, 2010 Posted by John at 2:37 PM
"Who is the most inspiring conservative leader in America today? Happily, there are a number of pretty good answers to that question. But I'm not sure anyone tops New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Here he is again, speaking at a town hall meeting in Perth Amboy yesterday:
UPDATE: So, how is Christie doing with New Jersey voters? Pretty well. Scott Rasmussen finds his approval/disapproval ratio at 51/45. Considering how deeply entrenched the Democratic Party/teachers' union/organized crime complex has been in New Jersey, those are hopeful numbers."
Read about this... video came in email. Conspiracy theory or fact?? Not a clue but the question won't go away.
Official who says Obama has no birth certificate thinks idea would 'solve the entire controversy'Posted: June 16, 2010
© 2010 WorldNetDaily, Article Source
"The former Honolulu elections clerk who maintains President Obama was not born in Hawaii and has no birth certificate from any hospital in the Aloha State is promoting a simple way to resolve the uproar over eligibility, at least for the future.
Tim Adams, 45, senior elections clerk for the city and county of Honolulu in the 2008 campaign, says all candidates for all offices should be required to prove their identity and eligibility before they can even run.
"The easiest way would be to pass legislation saying everyone has to verify their identity when they're running for office," Adams told WND in an exclusive interview last week. "I do think requiring everyone to certify their identity would probably solve the entire controversy."
Adams stresses the requirement should be for all political contests, from the presidency down to local races, to make sure officeholder-wannabes are who they say they are, and live in the proper district, for instance.
Regarding Obama's case specifically, he said, "I'd like to see it resolved finally."
"It's quite strange because when the next cycle comes, will they require that he show the birth certificate, or will he not get on the ballot in those states?" he wondered.
Adams, a Hillary Clinton supporter who now teaches English at Western Kentucky University while he works on his master's degree, burst onto the scene last week in a WND story in which he asserted that Obama was definitely not born in Hawaii as the White House claims and that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Obama does not even exist there.
"There is no birth certificate," he said. "It's like an open secret. There isn't one. Everyone in the government there knows this."
"I had direct access to the Social Security database, the national crime computer, state driver's license information, international passport information, basically just about anything you can imagine to get someone's identity," Adams explained. "I could look up what bank your home mortgage was in. I was informed by my boss that we did not have a birth record [for Obama]."
He stressed, "In my professional opinion, [Obama] definitely was not born in Hawaii. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that he was not born in Hawaii because there is no legal record of him being born there. If someone called and asked about it, I could not tell them that person was born in the state."
At the request of his university, Adams is now declining any further comment on the matter.
WND confirmed with Hawaiian officials that Adams was indeed working in their election offices during the last presidential election.
"His title was senior elections clerk in 2008," said Glen Takahashi, elections administrator for the city and county of Honolulu.
Adams oversaw a group of 50 to 60 employees and was responsible for verifying the identity of voters, especially absentee voters."
Tuesday, June 15. 2010
Posted by Karl Denninger in Oil The World at 18:18
SourceThe Market Ticker
"Ehhhh... BP A Zero?
"Probably not, but that's not the problem.
Let's run the numbers. The Government just said that the amount beingejected from the well is somewhere between 35,000 and 60,000 bbls per day.
Now let's look at the numbers, and analyze this strictly on that basis.
The minimum fine is $1,000/bbl spilled. But if negligence can be shown,the fine can be as high as $4,300/bbl.
This is strictly for the fine for spilling the oil,and excludes other considerations (damages, cleanup costs, potential criminalliability and of course whatever civil liability juries come at them with forall sorts of litigation.)
At $4,300/bbl we're looking at a fine of $150 - $258 million per day, andafter today's hearings it is probably reasonable to assume that BP will gettagged for "negligence" (at best.)
We're 50-some days into this; that works out to somewhere between $7.5 and$13 billion in fines alone thus far. If we presumethey can shut the well down in the middle of August, we're looking at another 50days (roughly) before that happens, leaving the totalfines in the neighborhood of $15-25 billion.
The company, like most multi-nationals, is partitioned. That is, BP is aconglomerate with legal and financial firewalls (physical ones) betweensubsidiaries.
The total value of their US-based assets is estimated somewhere around $90billion. On a 12-month trailing basis they have produced $265 billion inrevenue with an EBIDTA of $38.8 billion and a net income attributed to commonshares of $20 billion - globally.
Taken that way, and expecting complex litigation around any fine and otherlitigation, the payout time would be expressed in years, not months. As suchat first blush the fines and other exposure doesn'tlook like it will be enough - even under an adverse scenario - to zero thecompany.
BUT - will BP let things go that far and contaminatetheir global earnings with this claim?
More to the point, why should they?
Leave the morals/ethics out of this - this is, and will remain, a businessdecision.
Were I sitting in the White House contemplating my speech this evening Iwouldn't be so <snip>sure that I can bludgeon the company into submission.
There is real danger here for the Obama administration. If it appears thatthe fines and litigation losses will come within reasonable reach of their USassets they may well be better off to draw down the curtain and place the USsubsidiary into Chapter 11 - then let the creditors - including litigants -fight it out for the scraps in a restructuring. They come out with a good partof the liability (perhaps all or most of the fines!) discharged, and voila!
Want to bet they aren't thinking about it?
Oh yes they are. They've hired Goldman and Blackrock, and I don't care whatthey claim - you don't go hiring folks like that for a cakewalk. They've donethis analysis too and they're well-aware of the option - one that there isabsolutely nothing that the Obama Administration cando to prevent.
Congress and President Obama have a political Kobyashi Maru here.
MMS is 100% responsible for approvingthe well casing changes made on the rig - changes that, were they notapproved, would have likely prevented the blowout in the first place.
But MMS is the Obama Administration and thosechanges were approved just days before the blast. And while BP selected thedesign and implementation they used, they didn't do it in a vacuum - they did sowith the full permission of the government's so-called "regulators."
President Obama doesn't want to discuss this, of course. Did you notice thelack of an MMS representative at the hearings today? Guess why? Yep. Startasking about those permits and the rubber stamp at the MMS office, and you'regoing to get a lot of stuttering in response.
BP's chief executive said in the hearing today that he has no intention ofestablishing an escrow account, and frankly, I don't blame him. I also wouldn'tlet a third party adjudicate claims - other than a court, should someone want tosue. That's how it works in this country; being brow-beaten byCongress and Obama sounds good, and I believe BP is culpable for and will beforced to pay huge damage claims and fines - but nonetheless theyare entitled to due process of law, as is everyone.
I wouldn't touch this stock - except as a daytrade orhighly speculative play. With a dividend yield today ofclose to 10% and with all the litigation and fine risk there is certainly apossibility of a dividend cut - or elimination - in the future. With about 40%of its assets in the United States, the firm would be severely-damaged if it cutloose the US subsidiary and walked off.
But calls for debarment of the firm from leases it holds simply expropriatethe assets that the US wants BP to use to pay these claims. The higher the riskof that outcome, the more intriguing erecting the middle finger in the directionof President Obama becomes. And with the firm's stock trading with a current10% dividend, shedding 40% of the assets and literally walking off on theliabilities as those assets dwindle in value starts looking better andbetter.
You may get what you ask for, but it may not be what you actuallywant."
Found these videos on another site. Conspiracy theory connecting dots .... or facts? Or maybe a few facts knit together by conspiracy theories?
Friend sent this in email.
I have been driving nothing but Toyota trucks since 1980. I currently drive a 1995 Tacoma. It only has 250,000 miles. Had it tuned up and the drive shafts reworked last week for about $1200. Will probably be good for another 100k but my wife has been after me to get a new truck.
I stopped by the Toyota Dealership yesterday for a look at the new Tacoma. Just for fun, I took it out for a test drive. I wanted to sense that new "feel" before they become extinct.
The salesman (wearing an Obama "change" lapel pin) sat in the passenger seat describing the truck and all its "wonderful" options.
The seats were of particular interest. He explained that the seats directed warm air to your butt in the winter and directed cool air to your butt in the summer heat.
Feeling like messing with his mind, I mentioned that this must be a Republican truck. Looking a bit angry, he asked why I thought it was a Republican truck.
I explained that if it were a Democrat truck, the seats would blow smoke up your @$$ year-round.
I had to walk back to the dealership; darn guy had no sense of humor.
A bit late realizing that, aren't they?
"MSNBC Trashes Obama's Address: Compared To Carter, "I Don't Sense Executive Command"
Yet another politician that couldn't restrain himself. .... And these are the doofuses who want to rule our lives.
This one is NOT going away. JAP posted a YouTube video the censors apparently got, TigerAngel posted a link with a still good video.
Yahoo has an article showing his sad little boy face issuing an (expected) apology. "NC congressman apologizes for behavior on video
Maybe his handlers should have made him go to anger management classes before allowing him to walk public streets.
If the video below is sanitized this link seems pretty stable.
"CONGRESSMAN ASSAULTS STUDENT ON WASHINGTON SIDEWALK
"Speaking of Gangster GovernmentSource Powerlineblog.com
June 14, 2010 Posted by Scott at 7:14 AM
"Big Government reports on Democrat Congressman Bod Etheridge (D-NC2), who recently attended a fundraiser headlined by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He was asked by some students on the street whether he supported the "Obama Agenda." He didn't take it well. Indeed, he assaulted the young crew with the temerity to ask the question. This guy should not be free to pound the pavement, let alone represent North Carolina in Congress.
Big Goverment comments that "Democrats who are up for reelection this November are a bit testy" and notes that "Rep. Etheridge isn't one of those gerrymandered political welfare queens. According to the Cook Report, his district is an R+2 district. He has a credible opponent. Check her out here." Support Renee Ellmers!
Who do these people think they are? Big Government provides a helpful "recap what we saw on this video. A sitting Congressman-a presumed living extension of James Madison and other founding fathers-was asked on a public street whether he supported the President's agenda. His response was to hit away a video camera and assault a student. The age of Pericles this ain't." No, it's the age of Gangster Government.
UPDATE: The video has already been removed by the user. Here it is, once more once:
Via reader Dave Tinkle."
June 14, 2010 12:00 A.M.
"The Other National Debt
This article originally appeared in the June 21, 2010, issue of NR.
By Kevin Williamson
Source National Review Online
"About that $14 trillion national debt: Get ready to tack some zeroes onto it. Taken alone, the amount of debt issued by the federal government — that $14 trillion figure that shows up on the national ledger — is a terrifying, awesome, hellacious number: Fourteen trillion seconds ago, Greenland was covered by lush and verdant forests, and the Neanderthals had not yet been outwitted and driven into extinction by Homo sapiens sapiens, because we did not yet exist. Big number, 14 trillion, and yet it doesn’t even begin to cover the real indebtedness of American governments at the federal, state, and local levels, because governments don’t count up their liabilities the same way businesses do.
Accountants get a bad rap — boring, green-eyeshades-wearing, nebbishy little men chained to their desks down in the fluorescent-lit basements of Corporate America — but, in truth, accountants wield an awesome power. In the case of the federal government, they wield the power to make vast amounts of debt disappear — from the public discourse, at least. A couple of months ago, you may recall, Rep. Henry Waxman (D., State of Bankruptcy) got his Fruit of the Looms in a full-on buntline hitch when AT&T, Caterpillar, Verizon, and a host of other blue-chip behemoths started taking plus-size writedowns in response to some of the more punitive provisions of the health-care legislation Mr. Waxman had helped to pass. His little mustache no doubt bristling in indignation, Representative Waxman sent dunning letters to the CEOs of these companies and demanded that they come before Congress to explain their accounting practices. One White House staffer told reporters that the writedowns appeared to be designed “to embarrass the president and Democrats.”
A few discreet whispers from better-informed Democrats, along with a helpful explanation from The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle under the headline “Henry Waxman’s War on Accounting,” helped to clarify the issue: The companies in question are required by law to adjust their financial statements to reflect the new liabilities: “When a company experiences what accountants call ‘a material adverse impact’ on its expected future earnings, and those changes affect an item that is already on the balance sheet, the company is required to record the negative impact — ‘to take the charge against earnings’ — as soon as it knows that the change is reasonably likely to occur,” McArdle wrote. “The Democrats, however, seem to believe that Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are some sort of conspiracy against Obamacare, and all that is good and right in America.” But don’t be too hard on the gentleman from California: Government does not work that way. If governments did follow normal accounting practices, taking account of future liabilities today instead of pretending they don’t exist, then the national-debt numbers we talk about would be worse — far worse, dreadfully worse — than that monster $14 trillion–and–ratcheting–upward figure we throw around.
Beyond the official federal debt, there is another $2.5 trillion or so in state and local debt, according to Federal Reserve figures. Why so much? A lot of that debt comes from spending that is extraordinarily stupid and wasteful, even by government standards. Because state and local authorities can issue tax-free securities — municipal bonds — there’s a lot of appetite for their debt on the marketplace, and a whole platoon of local special-interest hustlers looking to get a piece. This results in a lot of misallocated capital: By shacking up with your local economic-development authority, you can build yourself a new major-league sports stadium with tax-free bonds, but you have to use old-fashioned financing, with no tax benefits, if you want to build a factory — which is to say, you can use tax-free municipal bonds to help create jobs, so long as those jobs are selling hot dogs to sports fans.
Also, local political machines tend to be dominated by politically connected law firms that enjoy a steady stream of basically free money from legal fees charged when those municipal bonds are issued, so they have every incentive to push for more and more indebtedness at the state and local levels. For instance, the Philadelphia law firm of Ballard, Spahr kept Ed Rendell on the payroll to the tune of $250,000 a year while he was running for governor — he described his duties at the firm as “very little” — and the firm’s partners donated nearly $1 million to his campaign. They’re big in the bond-counsel business, as they advertise in their marketing materials: “We have one of the premier public finance practices in the country, participating since 1987 in the issuance of more than $250 billion of tax-exempt obligations in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and three territories.” Other Pennsylvania bond-counsel firms were big Rendell donors, too, and they get paid from 35 cents to 50 cents per $1,000 in municipal bonds issued, so they love it when the local powers borrow money.
So that’s $14 trillion in federal debt and $2.5 trillion in state-and-local debt: $16.5 trillion. But I’ve got some bad news for you, Sunshine: We haven’t even hit all the big-ticket items.
One of the biggest is the pension payments owed to government workers. And here’s where the state-and-local story actually gets quite a bit worse than what’s happening in Washington — it’s the sort of thing that might make you rethink that whole federalism business. While the federal government runs a reasonably well-administered retirement program for its workers, the states, in their capacity as the laboratories of democracy, have been running a mad-scientist experiment in their pension funds, making huge promises but skipping the part where they sock away the money to pay for them. Every year, the pension funds’ actuaries calculate how much money must be saved and invested that year to fund future benefits, and every year the fund managers ignore them. In 2009, for instance, the New Jersey public-school teachers’ pension system invested just 6 percent of the amount of money its actuaries calculated was needed. And New Jersey is hardly alone in this. With a handful of exceptions, practically every state’s pension fund is poised to run out of money in the coming decades. A federal bailout is almost inevitable, which means that those state obligations will probably end up on the national balance sheet in one form or another.
“We’re facing a full-fledged state-level debt crisis later this decade,” says Prof. Joshua D. Rauh of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, who recently published a paper titled “Are State Public Pensions Sustainable?” Good question. Professor Rauh is a bit more nuanced than John Boehner, but he comes to the same conclusion: Hell, no. “Half the states’ pension funds could run out of money by 2025,” he says, “and that’s assuming decent investment returns. The federal government should be worried about its exposure. Are these states too big to fail? If something isn’t done, we’re facing another trillion-dollar bailout.”
The problem, Professor Rauh explains, is that pension funds are used to hide government borrowing. “A defined-benefit plan is politicians making promises on time horizons that go beyond their political careers, so it’s really cheap,” he says. “They say, ‘Maybe we don’t want to give you a pay raise, but we’ll give you a really generous pension in 40 years.’ It’s a way to borrow off the books.” The resulting liability runs into the trillions of dollars.
Ground Zero for the state-pension meltdown is Springfield, Ill., and D-Day comes around 2018: That’s when the state that nurtured the political career of Barack Obama is expected to be the first state to run out of money to cover its retirees’ pension checks. Eight years — and that’s assuming an 8 percent average return on its investments. (You making 8 percent a year lately?) Under the same projections, Illinois will be joined in 2019 by Connecticut, New Jersey, and Indiana. If investment returns are 6 percent, then 31 U.S. states will run out of pension-fund money by 2025, according to Rauh’s projections.
States aren’t going to be able to make up those pension shortfalls out of general tax revenue, at least not at current levels of taxation. In Ohio, for instance, the benefit payments in 2031 would total 55 percent of projected 2031 tax revenues. For most states, pension payments will total more than a quarter of all tax revenues in the years after they run out of money. Most of those pensions cannot be modified: Illinois, for instance, has a constitutional provision that prevents reducing them. Unless there is a radical restructuring of these programs, and soon, states will either have to subsidize their pension systems with onerous new taxes or seek a bailout from Washington.
So how much would the states have to book to fully fund those liabilities? Drop in another $3 trillion. Properly accounting for these obligations, that takes us up to a total of $19.5 trillion in governmental liabilities. Bad, right? You know how the doctor looks at you in that recurring nightmare, when the test results come back and he has to tell you not to bother buying any green bananas? Imagine that look on Tim Geithner’s face right now, because we still have to account for the biggest crater in the national ledger: entitlement liabilities.
The debt numbers start to get really hairy when you add in liabilities under Social Security and Medicare — in other words, when you account for the present value of those future payments in the same way that businesses have to account for the obligations they incur. Start with the entitlements and those numbers get run-for-the-hills ugly in a hurry: a combined $106 trillion in liabilities for Social Security and Medicare, or more than five times the total federal, state, and local debt we’ve totaled up so far. In real terms, what that means is that we’d need $106 trillion in real, investable capital, earning 6 percent a year, on hand, today, to meet the obligations we have under those entitlement programs. For perspective, that’s about twice the total private net worth of the United States. (A little more, in fact.)
Suffice it to say, we’re a bit short of that $106 trillion. In fact, we’re exactly $106 trillion short, since the total value of the Social Security “trust fund” is less than the value of the change you’ve got rattling around behind your couch cushions, its precise worth being: $0.00. Because the “trust fund” (which is not a trust fund) is by law “invested” (meaning, not invested) in Treasury bonds, there is no national nest egg to fund these entitlements. As Bruce Bartlett explained in Forbes, “The trust fund does not have any actual resources with which to pay Social Security benefits. It’s as if you wrote an IOU to yourself; no matter how large the IOU is it doesn’t increase your net worth. . . . Consequently, whether there is $2.4 trillion in the Social Security trust fund or $240 trillion has no bearing on the federal government’s ability to pay benefits that have been promised.” Seeing no political incentives to reduce benefits, Bartlett calculates that an 81 percent tax increase will be necessary to pay those obligations. “Those who think otherwise are either grossly ignorant of the fiscal facts, in denial, or living in a fantasy world.”
There’s more, of course. Much more. Besides those monthly pension checks, the states are on the hook for retirees’ health care and other benefits, to the tune of another $1 trillion. And, depending on how you account for it, another half a trillion or so (conservatively estimated) in liabilities related to the government’s guarantee of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and securities supported under the bailouts. Now, these aren’t perfect numbers, but that’s the rough picture: Call it $130 trillion or so, or just under ten times the official national debt. Putting Nancy Pelosi in a smaller jet isn’t going to make that go away."
— Kevin D. Williamson is deputy managing editor of National Review, in whose June 21, 2010, issue this article first appeared.
"Obama Tells Politico the Oil Spill is Like 9-11… Then Goes Golfing for 4 Hours
Posted by Jim Hoft on Sunday, June 13, 2010, 6:13 PM
Source Gateway Pundit
Barack Obama told The Politico this morning that the Gulf oil spill was like 9-11.
Then he went golfing for 4 hours.
The Hill reported:
President Barack Obama spent four hours on the golf course Sunday in temperatures that peaked in the low 90s.
The White House pool reported that they left Andrews Air Force Base as it started to rain after 4 p.m.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was among the group golfing with Obama.
Two Michael Ramirez Cartoons
Let's all hold a common vision of world peace.
June 12, 2010
"Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites
Came in email. You decide for yourself.
I was going to link to this but it contain sane sound reasoning in plain terms, so here it is in full.
Wednesday, June 9. 2010
Posted by Karl Denninger in Oil The World at 23:08
Source The Market Ticker
"BP, The Gulf, And Fools
"Just so nobody gets the wrong idea about my position on gulf oil drilling(or drilling anywhere), or anything else, here it is in a nice succinctposting.
I don't believe this is materially different than anything I've posted upuntil now, and I am intentionally not going back and readingeverything to "drill baby drill" - so if you "catch" me in some hypocriticalact, feel free to call me on it.
Ok, here we go:
As reported by Taylor Energy, the wells were covered by more than 100feet of mud and sediment and only four wells were capable of production withoutpressure assistance. The associated surface sheen was minimal and nevermade landfall. As a result of deploying three subsurface containment domes andperforming six successful well interventions, the initial averageobserved sheen volume of nine gallons per day has been substantiallyreduced.
Unidentified aircraft took photos this weekend that incorrectlyreported an oil leak coming from the drilling rig Ocean Saratoga. At thetime of these photos, Taylor Energy was actually conducting marine operations onsite with a 180 foot dynamically positioned workboat for regularly scheduledsubsea containment system drainage. The tanks mistakenly characterized ascontaining dispersants on the boat's deck, were actually tanks to store andtransport the collected oil as it was pumped from the underwater storagesystem.
"The effort is continuing as directed by the Unified Command," said WillPecue, President of Taylor Energy. "We have been working consistently andsuccessfully with MMS and the U.S. Coast Guard to address the resultingenvironmental impacts of one of the ten most intense hurricanes ever recorded bythe National Weather Service."
That should about wrap it up for today, but I'm sure there will be moretomorrow."
"Senators propose granting president emergency Internet powerby Declan McCullagh
"A new U.S. Senate bill would grant the president far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet.
The legislation announced Thursday says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines, or software firms that the government selects "shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed" by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined.
That emergency authority would allow the federal government to "preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people," Joe Lieberman, the primary sponsor of the measure and the chairman of the Homeland Security committee, told reporters on Thursday. Lieberman is an independent senator from Connecticut who caucuses with the Democrats.
Because there are few limits on the president's emergency power, which can be renewed indefinitely, the densely worded 197-page bill (PDF) is likely to encounter stiff opposition.
TechAmerica, probably the largest U.S. technology lobby group, said it was concerned about "unintended consequences that would result from the legislation's regulatory approach" and "the potential for absolute power." And the Center for Democracy and Technology publicly worried that the Lieberman bill's emergency powers "include authority to shut down or limit Internet traffic on private systems."
The idea of an Internet "kill switch" that the president could flip is not new. A draft Senate proposal that CNET obtained in August allowed the White House to "declare a cybersecurity emergency," and another from Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would have explicitly given the government the power to "order the disconnection" of certain networks or Web sites.
On Thursday, both senators lauded Lieberman's bill, which is formally titled the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, or PCNAA. Rockefeller said "I commend" the drafters of the PCNAA. Collins went further, signing up at a co-sponsor and saying at a press conference that "we cannot afford to wait for a cyber 9/11 before our government realizes the importance of protecting our cyber resources."
Under PCNAA, the federal government's power to force private companies to comply with emergency decrees would become unusually broad. Any company on a list created by Homeland Security that also "relies on" the Internet, the telephone system, or any other component of the U.S. "information infrastructure" would be subject to command by a new National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC) that would be created inside Homeland Security.
The only obvious limitation on the NCCC's emergency power is one paragraph in the Lieberman bill that appears to have grown out of the Bush-era flap over warrantless wiretapping. That limitation says that the NCCC cannot order broadband providers or other companies to "conduct surveillance" of Americans unless it's otherwise legally authorized.
Lieberman said Thursday that enactment of his bill needed to be a top congressional priority. "For all of its 'user-friendly' allure, the Internet can also be a dangerous place with electronic pipelines that run directly into everything from our personal bank accounts to key infrastructure to government and industrial secrets," he said. "Our economic security, national security and public safety are now all at risk from new kinds of enemies--cyber-warriors, cyber-spies, cyber-terrorists and cyber-criminals."
A new cybersecurity bureaucracy
Lieberman's proposal would form a powerful and extensive new Homeland Security bureaucracy around the NCCC, including "no less" than two deputy directors, and liaison officers to the Defense Department, Justice Department, Commerce Department, and the Director of National Intelligence. (How much the NCCC director's duties would overlap with those of the existing assistant secretary for infrastructure protection is not clear.)
The NCCC also would be granted the power to monitor the "security status" of private sector Web sites, broadband providers, and other Internet components. Lieberman's legislation requires the NCCC to provide "situational awareness of the security status" of the portions of the Internet that are inside the United States -- and also those portions in other countries that, if disrupted, could cause significant harm.
Selected private companies would be required to participate in "information sharing" with the Feds. They must "certify in writing to the director" of the NCCC whether they have "developed and implemented" federally approved security measures, which could be anything from encryption to physical security mechanisms, or programming techniques that have been "approved by the director." The NCCC director can "issue an order" in cases of noncompliance.
The prospect of a vast new cybersecurity bureaucracy with power to command the private sector worries some privacy advocates. "This is a plan for an auto-immune reaction," says Jim Harper, director of information studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. "When something goes wrong, the government will attack our infrastructure and make society weaker."
To sweeten the deal for industry groups, Lieberman has included a tantalizing offer absent from earlier drafts: immunity from civil lawsuits. If a software company's programming error costs customers billions, or a broadband provider intentionally cuts off its customers in response to a federal command, neither would be liable.
If there's an "incident related to a cyber vulnerability" after the president has declared an emergency and the affected company has followed federal standards, plaintiffs' lawyers cannot collect damages for economic harm. And if the harm is caused by an emergency order from the Feds, not only does the possibility of damages virtually disappear, but the U.S. Treasury will even pick up the private company's tab.
Another sweetener: A new White House office would be charged with forcing federal agencies to take cybersecurity more seriously, with the power to jeopardize their budgets if they fail to comply. The likely effect would be to increase government agencies' demand for security products.
Tom Gann, McAfee's vice president for government relations, stopped short of criticizing the Lieberman bill, calling it a "very important piece of legislation."
McAfee is paying attention to "a number of provisions of the bill that could use work," Gann said, and "we've certainly put some focus on the emergency provisions."
Last updated at 9:14 p.m. PT.
Long but good read.
"The Spill, The Scandal and the President
The inside story of how Obama failed to crack down on the corruption of the Bush years – and let the world's most dangerous oil company get away with murder
"Anybody But ReidSource Powerlingblog.com
June 10, 2010 Posted by John at 8:32 PM
"Honestly, I know very little about Sharron Angle, generally referred to as the "Tea Party" candidate for the Senate in Nevada. She won the Republican primary on Tuesday, and today Scott Rasmussen found that she has a healthy lead over Harry Reid:
Reid is, and deserves to be, deeply unpopular. It would be great to knock him off, as we did Tom Daschle a few years ago. The problem is that the Democrats have vastly greater financial resources than the Republicans, mostly due to the public employees' unions' ability to extort contributions from their members without their consent, and many millions of corrupt union dollars will flow to Reid. Republicans labor under the disadvantage of only getting contributions from people who actually want to make them, but we wouldn't have it any other way. ..............."
After finding this article with video I pulled two other articles I'd posted which leaned toward sensationalism without investigation.
Thank you Mr. Denninger for setting the record straight.
Tuesday, June 8. 2010
Posted by Karl Denninger in Oil The World at 11:02
"CAUTION: Envirowhackjobs On The Loose?
Reported by Bloomberg, CNBS, and everyone else - without first checking the facts:
They then present the following video:
Yes, there's a leak there.
But there is neither a cover-up or anything new related to this.
From the MMS via NOLA:
The other, the Diamond Ocean Saratoga, is operated by Taylor Energy, which has been in the process of plugging and abandoning a Mississippi Canyon well where the platform was toppled during Hurricane Ivan. The Diamond Ocean Saratoga is the only one on the MMS list that is operating at a depth of less then 500 feet.
Hurricane Ivan was in 2004 and hit my house!
Diamond Offshore (NYSE: DO) along with Transocean (NYSE: RIG) are both getting trashed this morning in no small part, I presume, based on this "disclosure", even though it is not a disclosure at all but rather is a hit piece - the company in question is working to plug and abandon a damaged well that happened six years ago.
There is every reason to be skeptical and ask questions but the "mainstream tout TV hype-based media" ought to pay attention to their facts before reporting what clearly appears to be utter and complete crap.
We have enough to deal with in regards to the Deepwater Horizon rig that really did sink during a real drilling operation and really is spewing oil into the water due to what appears to be human hubris - and needs to be plugged.
Casting aspersions on the companies that are fixing existing damage from a storm that happened some time ago and, it appears, painting their operations in a false light, along with alleging a "coverup" where a quick check of the facts appears to show precisely the opposite, is not "journalism" - it is sensational garbage that has no basis in reality.
I might have the wrong rig, but given that this is a specific exemption to the "tools up" call from MMS, I sorta doubt it.
Go after the real bad guys, not God and definitely not those men and women who are trying to mitigate damage done by God, not man."
"Ax may fall on tax break for mortgages
"The popular tax break for mortgage interest, once considered untouchable, is falling under the scrutiny of policymakers and economic experts seeking ways to close huge deficits. ........"
A friend sent this in email.
Coincidental timing or conspiracy theory? You decide.
"Evidence Points To BP Oil Spill False Flag
"- Sales of shares and stocks in days and weeks beforehand
- Halliburton link, acquisition of cleanup company days before explosion
- BP report cites undocumented tampering with well sealing equipment
- Government uses disaster to push for Carbon Tax, Nationalization talk
Troubling evidence surrounding the Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20th suggests that the incident could have been manufactured.
On April 12th, just over one week before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, Halliburton, the world’s second largest oilfield services corporation, surprised some by acquiring Boots & Coots, a relatively small but vastly experienced oil well control companies.
The company deals with fires and blowouts on oil rigs and oil wells. It was responsible for putting out roughly one third of the more than 700 oil well fires set in Kuwait by retreating Iraqi soldiers during the Gulf War.
The deal itself is still under scrutiny with Boots and Coots facing an ongoing investigation into “possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law”
Where this information gets really interesting is with the fact that Halliburton is named in the majority of some two dozen lawsuits filed since the explosion by Gulf Coast people and businesses who claim that the company is to blame for the disaster.
Halliburton was forced to admit in testimony at a congressional hearing last month that it carried out a cementing operation 20 hours before the Gulf of Mexico rig went up in flames. The lawsuits claim that four Halliburton workers stationed on the rig improperly capped the well.
As the New York Times noted on May 26th, “BP officials chose, partly for financial reasons, to use a type of casing for the well that the company knew was the riskier of two options,”
Workers from the rig and company officials have said that hours before the explosion, gases were leaking through the cement, which had been set in place by the oil services contractor, Halliburton. Investigators have said these leaks were the likely cause of the explosion.”
According to a 2007 study by Minerals Management Service, cementing was a factor in 18 of 39 rig blowouts in the gulf between 1992 and 2006.
Another intriguing connection Boots and Coots has to the Deepwater Horizon explosion comes via Pat Campbell, the man BP has employed to cap the well beneath the ruined rig. Campbell worked for Boots and Coots as general manager for many years.
BP has admitted to buying Yahoo and Google keywords in an attempt to control publicly available information in the wake of the catastrophe. It seems that the company is taking all the flack for the spill while the Halliburton link is being roundly ignored.
BP’s prepared testimony briefing, which has since leaked online, also intriguingly notes that the Hydraulic Control System on equipment designed to automatically seal the well in an emergency was modified without their knowledge sometime before the explosion.
“the extent of these modifications is unknown at this time” states the report on page 37.
Possible prior knowledge of the explosion is also evident via huge dumping of stocks and shares in the weeks and days prior to the incident.
Goldman Sachs dumped 44% of its shares in BP Oil during the first quarter – shares that subsequently lost 36 percent of their value, equating to $96 million.
Other asset management firms also sold huge blocks of BP stock in the first quarter. Though the amounts pale in comparison to Goldman’s holdings, Wachovia, owned by Wells Fargo, sold 98% of its shares in BP and Swiss bank UBS sold 97% of its BP shares.
Furthermore, as reported by the London Telegraph on June 5th, Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, sold £1.4 million of his shares in the fuel giant weeks before the spill.
In the days before the Deepwater explosion, Obama had announced a new effort to explore for and lease new drilling locations in the deep Gulf and in Alaska. In the wake of the disaster, these plans have been cancelled and BP is taking a PR bashing.
All of which has been capitalized on by the Obama administration to reinvigorate talk of a carbon tax and has created the opportunity to reintroducethe idea of nationalizing oil, which the Democratic leadership has long sought.
The full story of what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico is yet to emerge, there are rumours of more spills and an ongoing coverup. The site represents a $2.2 trillion source of wealth and power, a motive along with a plethora of suspicious activity that needs to be investigated further.
"GOP picks NV tea party candidate in Reid
Source My Way News
"........The choices couldn't be more different.
Reid, 70, is the bland, sometimes prickly Democratic powerhouse who tells Nevadans, "I'm just who I am." (Sharron) Angle, 60, is a fiercely committed small-government, low-tax crusader, an outsider even in the GOP, who says, "I am the tea party."
The former school teacher and legislator grabbed the nomination after a brutal primary in which her rivals depicted her as too extreme to appeal to independents who often cast the decisive votes in centrist Nevada. She benefited when one-time front-runner Sue Lowden was widely mocked for suggesting consumers use chickens to barter with doctors......"
Maybe he should begin kicking his own incompetent @$$, then working his way through his entire administration.
"Obama Seeking "Ass To Kick" Over Oil Spill
RealClearPolitics - Video
"Obama brings Nixonian twist to oil spill
June 7, 2010
"Nothing more fully reveals the essential character of a person or group than a crisis. Thus, the ecological and political catastrophe of the Gulf oil spill has exposed a breathtaking level of incompetence, political opportunism and mendacity at the heart of the Obama administration. Documents obtained by the Center for Public Integrity make clear that the White House was told by the Coast Guard within 24 hours of the April 20 explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon platform that the equivalent of 8,000 barrels a day could escape into the ocean. Within three days, Obama and his senior aides were warned that the spill could exceed the in environmental damage caused by the Exxon Valdez wreck in 1989.
Despite these warnings, over the next two months Obama attended Democratic fundraisers, played golf, hosted basketball and football teams at the White House and delivered commencement speeches. Two weeks passed before he could be bothered to go to Louisiana. On April 29, Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindahl declared a state of emergency as the oil spill covered 600 square miles and was only 16 miles from the coast. Jindahl begged federal officials for permission to build a massive network of sand berms to contain damage to beaches. Washington responded a month later but permission was only granted to build 2 percent of the berms requested.
Meanwhile, as Obama dawdled and oil appeared off Florida's beaches, the president delivered a strident speech in Pittsburgh with a decidedly Nixonian twist. He should have been summoning political leaders across the spectrum to lay aside partisan concerns for the moment, but instead Obama asserted that Republicans believe that "If you're a Wall Street bank or an insurance company or an oil company, you pretty much get to play by your own rules, regardless of the consequences for everybody else." This libelous mischaracterization marks a new low even for a man so highly practiced in the ugly art of political demagoguery.
Finally, as the thick black crude and natural gas continued to erupt into the Gulf waters and public exasperation with BP's futile attempts to stop it piled up one after another, Obama dispatched Attorney General Eric Holder to Louisiana to proclaim that "we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who has violated the law. We will not rest until justice is done." Shortly afterward, Obama blasted BP for "lawyering up" in response to the government's threats. As ill-timed as it was, Holder's announcement nevertheless clearly confirmed what was plainly suggested by Obama's Pittsburgh speech: His top priority is not to stop the spill, but to shift blame away from himself and to forever tar his opponents with responsibility for a catastrophe made far worse by his own spectacular mismanagement."
Do as I say don't do as I do.
"Obama to grads: 'Don't make excuses'
President speaks at high school graduation in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Link to this came in email, thought it timely.
Top U.S. General on Cover-up of Forces Behind War
"That war is a racket has been told us by many, but rarely by one of this stature. Though he wrote the landmark book War is a Racket in 1935, the highly decorated U.S. General Smedley Butler (two esteemed Medals of Honor) deserves to be heralded for this timeless message, which rings true today more than ever. Below is an engaging two-page summary.
"WAR IS A RACKET – by General Smedley Butler
"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. In the World War [World War I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted huge gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows. [Please note these are 1935 U.S. dollars. To adjust for inflation, multiply all figures X 10 or more]
WHO MAKES THE PROFITS?
The World War cost the United States some $52 billion. That means $400 [over $4,000 in today's dollars] to every American man, woman, and child. The normal yearly profits of a business concern in the U.S. are 6 to 12%. But war-time profits, that is another matter – 60, 100, 300, and even 1,800% – the sky is the limit. Uncle Sam has the money. Let's get it. Of course, it isn't put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and "we must all put our shoulders to the wheel," but the profits jump, leap, and skyrocket – and are safely pocketed.
Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people. The average pre-war earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6 million a year. Now let's look at their average yearly profit during the war years, 1914 to 1918. $58 million a year profit we find! Nearly ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950%.
Take one of our steel companies. Their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged $6 million. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did their profits jump? Well, their 1914-1918 average was $49 million a year! Or, let's take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-year period prior to the war were $105 million a year. Then along came the war and up went the profits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918 was $240 million. Not bad.
They sold your Uncle Sam 20 million mosquito nets for the use of the soldiers overseas. Well, not one of these mosquito nets ever got to France! There were pretty good profits in mosquito netting, even if there were no mosquitoes in France. When the war was over some 4 million sets of equipment – knapsacks and the things that go to fill them – crammed warehouses on this side. Now they are being scrapped because the regulations have changed the contents. But the manufacturers collected their wartime profits on them.
If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than incorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. Their profits were as secret as they were immense. How the bankers made their millions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets never become public – even before a Senate investigatory body. It has been estimated that the war cost your Uncle Sam $52 billion [X 10 or more for inflation]. Of this sum, $39 billion was expended in the actual war itself. This expenditure yielded $16 billion in profits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way. This $16 billion in profits is not to be sneezed at. It is quite a tidy sum. And it went to a very few.
WHO PAYS THE BILLS?
Who provides these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent? We all pay them – in taxation. But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill. If you don't believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields abroad. Or visit any of the veteran's hospitals in the United States. On a tour of the country, I visited 18 government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men – men who were the pick of the nation 18 years ago. Mortality among veterans is three times as great as those who stayed at home.
Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the offices, factories, and classrooms and put into the ranks. There they were remolded. They were made to "about face," to regard murder as the order of the day. They were put through mass psychology and entirely changed. We trained them to think nothing at all of killing or of being killed. Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another "about face!" This time they had to do their own readjustment. We didn't need them any more. Many of these fine young boys are eventually destroyed, mentally, because they could not make that final "about face" alone.
Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the "war to end all wars." This was the "war to make the world safe for democracy." No one mentioned to them that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that their ships might be torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to be a "glorious adventure."
HOW TO SMASH THIS RACKET!
Well, it's a racket, all right. A few profit – and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can't end it by disarmament conferences. You can't eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can't wipe it out by resolutions. Steps must be taken to smash the war racket. We must take the profit out of war. And we must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.
I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past. I know the people do not want war, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war. Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had "kept us out of war." Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany. In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they had changed their minds. Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly? Money.
An allied commission came over shortly before the war declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President and his group: "There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost. We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars. If we lose (and without the help of the US we must lose) we, England, France and Italy, cannot pay back this money. So..."
Had secrecy been outlawed as far as war negotiations, and had the press been invited to be present at that conference, America never would have entered the war. But this conference, like all war discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy. When our boys were sent off, they were told it was a "war to make the world safe for democracy" and a "war to end all wars." Very little has been accomplished to assure us that the World War was really the war to end all wars. Disarmament conferences don't mean a thing. At all these conferences, lurking in the background are the sinister agents of those who profit by war. They see to it that these conferences do not seriously limit armaments. So ... I say, TO HELL WITH WAR!"
"World arms spending soars
Source The Seattle Times
".......The United States remains the biggest spender, accounting for some 54 percent of the increase, the report said. China, which became the second biggest military spender in 2008, retained that position last year. France was third......."
"BP Well Bore And Casing Integrity May Be Blown, Says Florida’s Sen.Nelson
"The Left and Progressively Higher Taxes
by J.T. Young
06/06/2010 Source Human Events
"You can learn a lot from what the left says. And even more from what they don’t. Take taxes for instance.
Liberals have a very amorphous definition of fairness, and a very ambiguous definition of who should pay them. That is something that should leave us all very nervous.
How much, for how long, and to what end should taxes be paid? The left can not answer these questions. If they were to be honest, they would admit they have never even considered them. Still they are unshaken in their certitude of “fairness:” a progressive tax system.
According to liberals, a progressive tax system is simply one in which those making more money pay more in taxes. On its face, this would seem an acceptable standard—one few could dispute. Strangely enough though, the left themselves do not accept it.
The problem is that the standard of making more income and paying more in taxes is a very loose definition of a progressive tax system. And it certainly does not define the tax system that the left seeks.
Even under a flat-tax system, those making more in income pay more in taxes. In fact, under a pure flat tax system, people pay taxes in direct proportion to their income.
Take for example a system taxing income at a flat rate of 10%. An individual making $100,000 annually would pay $10,000 in taxes; an individual making $10,000 annually would pay $1,000 in taxes. The ratios of both income earned and taxes paid are 10-1.
This perfectly meets the left’s shorthand definition of a progressive tax system. It should make liberals very happy. However, the left despise the concept of a flat tax, despite its fitting the definition of fairness they profess.
The fact is that simply having those who make more, pay more is not what the left want at all. They want more, a lot more.
Now it is hardly unusual for the left to say other than what they mean. What they really mean is generally unpopular outside their own circles and would sound unfair by too many not of their ilk.
A truly progressive tax system is one in which those making more pay progressively higher rates—not simply paying progressively more in taxes. That’s a very big and important distinction from what the left blithely say about their tax fairness goals.
The results of such a system can be plainly seen in the U.S. tax system. According to Congress’ official and nonpartisan tax estimator, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the top 3.7% of filers earn 27.1% of the nation’s income. Yet they pay 54.8% of the total income taxes—more than double their income share. In contrast, the bottom two-fifths of earners (39.9%) earn 7.7% of the income and pay negative 2.1% of the income tax (due to government spending in the form of refundable credits).
And even this disproportionate burden, is insufficient. Liberals readily admit to wanting both higher taxes and those taxes to be focused on those earning more. Not only is this audacity of mendicancy enough to take one’s breath away, it also should take us back to the left’s fairness equation.
By defining fairness as a relation between earning and paying, it begs the question of the limits to this linkage. Is there a point at which rates, amounts, and total share in taxes could be increased to a level that liberals would deem unfair? What is the optimal point of taxation for the left?
While the left worries much about the fairness of earners not paying enough, they have apparently not given any thought at all about what too much would be.
For liberals, the system evidently just gets progressively fairer the more earners pay. Their definition of fairness is no definition at all; it is a continuum. Fairness in liberals’ terminology is not simply the definition for a progressive tax system. It is a definition for a system that progressively increases the level of taxation on everyone.
Of course, the left will never explicitly say this. Saying so would be too much of a shock—and too much of a threat—to anyone but themselves. And they really do not need to say it, their actions state it all too clearly."
Real rowdy bunch, huh????????????? Douglasville, GA an Atlanta suburb just off I-20 West a couple miles past Six Flags Over Georgia.
From the article linked below
"........From their government, Americans don't expect perfection. But the system requires that people at least have faith in their political leaders to be competent and accountable......"
We don't have either.
AP Essay: Gov't flunks test of trust in Gulf"-The Minerals Management Service, the regulatory agency that failed to clean up its act despite Obama's promise during the campaign to end the "cozy relationship" between the oil industry and federal regulators......."
"........The public's unconditional faith in national institutions is dying, too.........."
She did it to herself.
"Helen Thomas retires
Christie for President 2012!
"What price Christie?
"What price Christie? cont'd
"What Price Christie? Part 2
"What price Christie? part 3Source Powerlineblog.com
June 5, 2010 Posted by Scott at 12:47 PM
"......I would also like to repeat this footnote. Even Churchill had his doubts about the outcome of the Battle of Britain. While he was driving home from Buckingham Palace on May 10, 1940, after having received the King's appointment as prime minister, Churchill said to an aide: "I hope that it is not too late. I am very much afraid that it is. We can only do our best."
In the decisive Cabinet meeting of May 28, Churchill addressed members of the government who were considerably less resolute than he was: "I have thought carefully in these last days whether it was part of my duty to consider entering into negotiations with That Man.... And I am convinced that every one of you would rise up and tear me down from my place if I were for one moment to contemplate parley or surrender. If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground." The effect on his colleagues was electrifying.
Commenting on this episode in Churchill on Leadership, Steven Hayward writes: "[F]rom time to time, and especially in a crisis, the genuine leader must simply exert his personal force and summon up his willfulness." Watching the video of Governor Christie in Robbinsville discussing his battle with the teachers' union, one senses that he has absorbed this particular Churchillian lesson........."
"........But Obama will be endlessly second-guessed for allowing more offshore drilling before he made sure that his regulators were up to the task and then taking so long to jump in after it was clear they weren't..........."
Obama can rail all he wants but one fact remains Obama was holding it when it broke.
June 5, 2010 Posted by John at 11:14 AM
"President Obama was in the Gulf region yesterday, trying, somehow, to get ahead of the environmental/political disaster that is the oil spill there. The Associated Press http://www.startribune.com/business/95681104.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUac8HEaDiaMDCinchO7DU
covers his visit, no longer treating Obama as untouchable.
As a practical matter, Obama has been reduced to railing against British Petroleum and vowing that the oil company someday will pay. There are several problems with this approach. First, "railing" is never the image that a President wants to project. Second, as the oil begins to wash ashore in Alabama and Florida, and the spill goes on and on--what is this, day 46? Something like that--the inadequacy of money damages years down the road is painfully obvious. Obama risks looking impotent, as he and his aides can't keep their story straight: is BP just a puppet that has been taking orders from the feds from the first day of the spill, or are the federal agencies so constrained as to be virtually powerless to do anything about the crisis?
Further, Obama demanded yesterday that BP not pay its shareholders a dividend. This is beyond impotent, it's silly. If there were some legitimate concern about BP's solvency and its ultimate ability to pay cleanup costs and damages, such a demand might make some kind of sense. But there isn't. Once again, Obama just looks petulant.
Likewise with his ban on exploratory drilling in the Gulf, a classic case of shutting the barn door long after the cows are gone. A study by the Louisiana Mid-continent Oil and Gas Association concludes that Obama's moratorium will cost Gulf Coast workers $330 million per month in lost wages--exactly what the hard-hit Gulf economy doesn't need.
The AP story linked above includes this vignette:
On Obama's trip to the Grand Isle on the Louisiana coast, his motorcade passed a building adorned with his portrait reminiscent of posters of him during his presidential campaign. Instead of "hope" or "change," the words "what now?" were on his forehead.
Here is a photo of the building; the AP didn't mention the Jindal for President sign:
"What now?" is unfortunately a question to which the Obama administration has no apparent answer."
"Hey, union man
"EDITORIAL: FTC floats Drudge tax
Journalism can reinvent itself without government 'help'"The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking ways to "reinvent" journalism, and that's a cause for concern. According to a May 24 draft proposal, the agency thinks government should be at the center of a media overhaul. The bureaucracy sees it as a problem that the Internet has introduced a wealth of information options to consumers, forcing media companies to adapt and experiment to meet changing market needs. FTC's policy staff fears this new reality. ............."
Such a noble, thoughtful and heartfelt gesture .... I'm so impressed NOT!
You can bet the farm if the same bunch is elected .... business as usual hurling us deeper into a bottomless pit of debt and restrictions.
"Election spooks lawmakers, curbs Congress spending
"Ayers, Dorhn helped organize 'peace' flotilla
Former Weather Underground leaders William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, as well as Code Pink founder Jodie Evans, helped organize the Free Gaza Movement, which launched the six-ship flotilla from Turkey to Israel that ended in a violent clash with Israeli Defense Forces, BigGovernment.com............."
Like or hate him President Bush could speak far better from the heart than from a teleprompter. However, ability to speak eloquently and level of intelligence are two entirely different aspects of a person with one NOT flowing into the other by defalult. George Bush was smart like a fox but not a BSer like Clinton or Obama.
"Obama pays price for thinking Bush was a dunce
By: Chris Stirewalt
June 3, 2010
Source Washington Examiner
"President Obama went from the triumph of passing his national health plan to the tragedy of the BP oil spill in just two months.
It was only March 28 when Obama pronounced that getting Congress to pass a bill strenuously disliked by the American people was proof that government could "still do big things." By May 28, Americans were watching oil belch up from the briny deep and wondering whether government could do anything at all.
Blame over what Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano might call a "man-caused disaster" in the Gulf of Mexico will be traded until long after the last pelican has been wiped down and the final check has been cut to an out-of-work shrimper.
BP will get most of the blame, and there's reason to wonder whether a company that saw its stock described as having "the smell of death" will survive billions of dollars in fines, lawsuits and cleanup fees.
But Obama will be endlessly second-guessed for allowing more offshore drilling before he made sure that his regulators were up to the task and then taking so long to jump in after it was clear they weren't.
Some of the blame will be unfair, and some will be well placed. But a good bit from both categories will adhere to the president, who once was seen as spotless.
But Obama needn't wonder why the wreck of the Deepwater Horizon will have done so much damage to his political fortunes.
By raising expectations for what government can do and for campaigning irresponsibly against the failures of his predecessor, Obama made his own eventual fall all the more precipitous.
When Obama was running for president in 2008 he was still bashing George W. Bush for his handling of Hurricane Katrina, scoffing at Bush's promise to "do whatever it takes" to help New Orleans residents rebuild.
"Those words have been caught in a tangle of half-measures, half-hearted leadership and red tape," Obama said on a campaign swing through New Orleans.
Obama can hardly be surprised to now hear Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal giving him a taste of his own medicine for the administration's slow response to local requests for permission to act against the disaster when the feds weren't offering better ideas of their own.
Obama knew perfectly well that there were problems in New Orleans that predated Katrina that could never be fixed by the federal government, no matter how long the Bush administration carpet-bombed the city with free money. But he was not going to give up any of his rhetorical flourishes because of a fear that he might raise expectations too high in NOLA.
Obama believed his own hype and figured that he could succeed where Bush failed.
Now, two more years down the road, Obama has been unable to solve the problems that he accused Bush of leaving behind through "half-hearted leadership." And now the city faces another disaster, in part because Obama's administration was so bad at regulating the oil industry.
Obama, who railed against the oil industry and wrapped himself in the suffering of the poor people of New Orleans, surely was attuned to the risks at play in deepwater offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
But even he could not fly in like Superman and save the day.
Of all the fictions that Democrats embraced during the Bush presidency, perhaps the most dangerous was that Bush was an idiot.
John Kerry's bitter joke to a college class about poor students getting "stuck in Iraq" and Obama's famous line about being opposed to "dumb wars" reveal the view among liberal intellectuals that the country's problems arose because Bush was a dunce.
It played well to the liberal base that sees Bush as Will Ferrell's impersonation of him: a dope who was led around by Dick Cheney and a cabal of war-mongering oil barons. And as the Iraq war bogged down, New Orleans moldered under floodwaters and the Panic of 2008 wiped out retirement accounts, the idea that it could all be blamed on Bush's incompetence was appealing.
It was certainly more appealing than a more "nuanced" (as Kerry would say) view that America, in the third decade of its third century, faced some nearly impossible challenges.
Agree with him or not, George W. Bush was no dummy. But assuming that he was one allowed Obama to believe the job of being president was easier than it is.
Obama's misapprehension will pay bitter dividends for his presidency for years to come."
Chris Stirewalt is the political editor of The Washington Examiner. He can be reached at
Came in email .... easy listen.
Las Vegas hotel owner Steve Wynn splitting headquarters to Asia.. China is much more stable than USG--Video
Posted By: Watchman
Date: Friday, 28-May-2010 21:32:28
"Obama Under Fire for Backing Deal to Lift Global Ban on Commercial Whaling
Interesting ....... maybe Hayward's psychic.
"BP chief Tony Hayward sold shares weeks before oil spill
The chief executive of BP sold £1.4 million of his shares in the fuel giant weeks before the Gulf of Mexico oil spill caused its value to collapse.
By Jon Swaine and Robert Winnett
Published: 12:10AM BST 05 Jun 2010
Tony Hayward cashed in about a third of his holding in the company one month before a well on the Deepwater Horizon rig burst, causing an environmental disaster.
Mr Hayward, whose pay package is £4 million a year, then paid off the mortgage on his family’s mansion in Kent, which is estimated to be valued at more than £1.2 million. ................"
"Marco Rubio: The Real Deal (Florida)
"Never Letting a Serious Crisis Go to Waste
"White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gained notoriety for declaring his credo: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” In other words, when there is tragedy and suffering, intense human pain and disaster, a political expert enjoys a unique opportunity to push the least popular parts of his agenda past a distracted electorate.
No sooner had President Barack Obama entered the White House than the Emanuel Doctrine was put into motion with the 1,073-page $787 billion “stimulus bill” that had to be rushed through Congress, seemingly overnight. As Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) said: “We have not had a single hearing on anything in front of us….We’ve been told that even one hearing would be one too many, and that we have a single day to approve these five complex propositions that will affect the lives of millions.”
Faced in January 2009 with a looming national financial catastrophe, as a crash in the residential real estate market prompted a grave Wall Street crisis, the Obama White House detected cover to raid the public till and reward staunch Democrat loyalists under the rubric of a “stimulus bill.” Beneath the public radar and buried within the bill’s 1,073 pages, the “stimulus” allocated inter alia $50 million to the National Endowment for the Arts, nearly half a billion dollars for people interested in researching “global warming,” even at least $18 million for the website that reports how the “stimulus” funds are allocated. Overturning a prime achievement of the Clinton Administration, the “stimulus” restored key elements of the welfare practices that America had abandoned. Over time, the “stimulus” has trickled down to fund $233,825 for explaining voting patterns in Africa and $363,760 for two jobs “[d]evelop[ing] ‘real life’ st[or]ies that underscore job and infrastructure related to [the Stimulus Bill] research findings.”
In sum, there was crisis – thus opportunity. The sweaty-palms sense of crisis that demanded virtually overnight passage before Congressional representatives could read its encyclopedic contents has long since proven exaggerated. The vast majority of the bill’s funds still have not stimulated anything. Much of it still has not been infused into the economy.
This is the Emanuel Doctrine: never let a crisis go to waste. This doctrine similarly was implemented after the ObamaCare health measure had been all-but-abandoned when Scott Brown surprisingly defeated Attorney-General Martha Coakley in the race for United State Senator from Massachusetts. Soon after, unexpectedly, a national pseudo-crisis emerged when Anthem Blue Cross, a California health insurer, sought to raise its health premiums by as much as 39 percent. The crisis was not wasted by Washington. Within days, ObamaCare was rushed back onto the House calendar. Forgotten amid the federal legislative carnage that followed – most recently credited with helping bring down Rep. David Obey, Rep. Bart Stupak, and Sen. Arlen Specter – is that Anthem Blue Cross ultimately withdrew their rate-hike request as the California insurance oversight system effectively regulated as intended.
Considered in the light of this prior experience, it becomes understandable why the Obama Administration has opted to curtail oil-exploration, suspending and rescinding permits, in response to the tragic Deepwater Horizon oil rig spill off the Gulf of Mexico. The story is fresh in the public mind. In raw numbers, eleven have died, and between 18 million and 39 million gallons of oil have gushed along America’s Gulf Coast, already exceeding the Exxon Valdez disaster that spilled nearly 11 million gallons of oil into the waters along Alaska. One of America’s fiercest Democrat partisans, New Orleans resident James Carville, went on an extraordinary tear last week against the Obama Administration: “The President of the United States could’ve come down here. He could’ve been involved with the families of these 11 people….These people are crying. They’re begging for something down here, and it just looks like he’s not involved in this. Man, you got to get down here and take control of this. Put somebody in charge of this and get this thing moving. We’re about to die down here.” Observing that “[t]he political stupidity of this is just unbelievable,” Carville emphatically repeated his call: “There’s a thousand things that he could do. He just needs to get down here and start doing something, people are dying.”
By last Thursday, the daily Rasmussen tracking poll revealed that 26 percent of Americans strongly approve of the President’s job performance, while 42 percent strongly disapprove, giving Mr. Obama a Presidential Approval rating of minus-16. A USA Today/Gallup survey found that 53 percent of Americans rate his handling of the crisis as “poor” or “very poor” while only 43 percent still are satisfied. Nevertheless, Americans continue to support oil exploration. By a significant margin, Texas voters still want more offshore oil drilling. Similar percentages hold nationally. However, for this White House, proceeding with new drilling would “waste” the crisis.
If Obama’s goal were to evaluate ecologically responsible alternatives to drilling for oil a mile below the gulf’s surface, the White House could reconsider exploring for oil and natural gas in ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the north Alaskan coast. Of ANWR’s 19 million acres, there is enormous potential in a small section, the “10-02 Area,” which still would leave 92% of ANWR untouched. Only one-ten-thousandth of ANWR – a section smaller than LAX airport – actually would have surface drilling rigs. ANWR exploration could pump scores of billions of dollars into the national economy, create half a million great-paying jobs, and reduce American fuel-import expenditures by hundreds of billions of dollars. Moreover, the local caribou population fare better around oil pipelines than environmentalists ever expected.
The Obama White House also could focus its response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster by intensifying federal efforts to clean the environmental catastrophe to Louisiana’s fishing waters, and by moving rapidly to approve Gov. Bobby Jindal’s almost-frantic pleas for federal permission to erect more protective sand berms along the coast. However, prior crisis behavior by this White House – whether prompted by a devastating Wall Street collapse or an outlier health insurer inordinately applying to raise rates by 39 percent – reflects that President Obama deems moments like these as unique opportunities for “transformative social change.” Thus, we may well anticipate an intensified effort in the near term to resuscitate the moribund “Cap and Trade” bill which would add between $1,761 and $3,100 in annual energy costs for most American homes.
For the President’s longer-range vision of this crisis, we again encounter his determination to pursue ideological goals that clash with the American people’s concerns. He is now stopping new oil exploration: suspending plans for exploratory drilling off the Virginia and Alaska coasts; stopping 33 exploratory drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico, and; continuing a six-month moratorium on all permits for offshore drilling. Although our Outer Continental Shelf contains as much as 86 billion barrels of oil, with possibly 130 million barrels off the coast of Virginia alone, the President’s response means that we instead will continue importing approximately 13.5 million barrels daily – more than twenty percent of that from the Persian Gulf dictatorships – at prices that now hover around $70 a barrel. We will send Arab Gulf despots some $175 million daily or some $65 billion a year, even as our deficit-driven economy starves for capital, and as our unemployed search for good-paying jobs at home.
Our nation consumes more than 20 million barrels of oil daily, importing nearly sixty percent from foreign countries whose production standards are far less friendly to the polar ice caps than ours. Saudi Arabia, for example, ranks last as the dirtiest emitter of greenhouse gases among the 57 countries rated on one NGO’s “Climate Change Performance Index.” Moreover, our imported oil necessarily arrives in tankers – the petroleum obviously cannot be delivered any other way – and those tankers pose even more extreme environmental risks. The 1979 Atlantic Empress tanker spilled 88.3 million gallons of oil. The ABT Summer tanker spilled 78 million off the Angola Coast in 1991. The Castillo de Bellver spilled 78.5 million. The Amoco Cadiz tanker lost 68.7 million gallons off France’s Brittany coast. The Odyssey spilled 43 million off Nova Scotia. The Haven poured 42 million gallons in the waters outside Italy. The list goes on. Yet oil-importing tankers have not been suspended from sailing America’s waters. Nor do we suspend air travel after a tragedy in the sky nor rail transportation after a train wreck.
President Obama has long opposed new oil exploration. In November 2005, he voted against oil and gas leasing in the Alaskan Coastal Plain. On April 20, 2007, rolling out his “Initiative to Combat Global Warming,” he told students in New Hampshire that “[i]t will take a grassroots effort to make America greener and end the tyranny of oil.” Weeks later, he told a crowd: “The age of oil must end.” In his second Presidential Debate against John McCain, he stated: “[W]e can’t simply drill our way out of the problem. And we’re not going to be able to deal with the climate crisis if our only solution is to use more fossil fuels that create global warming.”
Now, with a crisis too opportune to waste, the President has chosen not to respond with a comprehensive proactive approach to America’s energy choices. He could have encouraged safe new exploration by directing his Interior Secretary henceforth to administer and enforce competently the safety regulations already on the books, but which his Minerals Management Service ignored on his watch during the construction of Deepwater Horizon. He could reconsider opening ANWR to drilling, encourage efforts to expand clean-coal technology, and even order a prioritized review aimed at reviving the construction of nuclear power plants in America. (America has not built a new nuclear power plant in more than thirty years, even as France’s sixteen nuclear power plants generate nearly 80 percent of that country’s electricity.) Instead, this Administration, which knows that it can take ten years from licensing exploration until newly discovered oil reaches market, is prepared to risk laying the foundations for a future crisis by presently deterring new exploration and instead tilting disproportionately at windmills."
Dov Fischer is a legal affairs consultant and adjunct professor of the law of civil procedure and advanced torts. He was formerly Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review and writes extensively on political, cultural, and religious issues. He is author of
Friday, June 4. 2010
Posted by Karl Denninger in Macro Economics at 08:57
Source The Market Ticker
"Non-Farm Payrolls 6/4: OUCH
Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 431,000 in May, reflecting the hiring of 411,000 temporary employees to work on Census 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Private-sector employment changed little (+41,000).
So much for the "strong" (+200,000) private sector job growth that everyone was expecting. ........"
"Federal debt tops $13 trillion mark - Washington Times
".........At $13 trillion, that figure has risen by $2.4 trillion in about 500 days since President Obama took office, or an average of $4.9 billion a day. That's almost three times the daily average of $1.7 billion under the previous administration, and led Republicans on Wednesday to place blame squarely at the feet of Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats. ........"
"HAVANA — Fidel Castro speculated Wednesday that a nuclear strike on Iran might help President Barack Obama win a second term in the White House and also suggested the United States could attack North Korea. ..........."
We no longer have a 'war on terror', but a 'Secret War' which gives it a pass.
"U.S. 'secret war' expands globally as Special Operations forces take larger role
That rhetoric is not much different than Bush's pledge to "take the battle to the enemy . . . and confront the worst threats before they emerge." The elite Special Operations units, drawn from all four branches of the armed forces, became a frontline counterterrorism weapon for the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. ......."
"Mexican consulate moves illegal immigant ID card handout
By: Sara A. Carter
National Security Correspondent
06/03/10 12:37 PM EDT
Source Washington Examiner
"Mexican government officials have moved their satellite consular office from the Catalina Island Country Club to a Catholic Church – citing protection under the Vienna Convention - after it was discovered that they did not have the appropriate paperwork to issue the island’s illegal immigrants identification cards.
Since The Washington Examiner reported that the management of the club, on the island of Catalina, discovered that the event was not a multi-cultural celebration as they had been told and refused to allow the Mexican government to set up shop.
The Mexican officials will provide "matricular" card services to Mexican nationals at St. Catherine’s Church, on the island.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican whose district includes Catalina Island, is heading to the island by helicopter today to confront the officials.
“If the Catholic Church insists on preventing immigration law from being enforced, then they should step up and pay the bill. Let the Catholic Church open up its schools for free and use their vast resources to pay for the benefits of illegals if they feel it’s such a moral issue,” Rep. Rohrabacher told The Examiner. “I don’t exactly see Cardinal Mahoney announcing the sale of catholic church property to pay the bills for illegal immigration. This holier than thou hypocrisy has got to stop.”
"Mexico opens California office to provide ID for illegals
By: Sara A. Carter
National Security Correspondent
June 3, 2010
Source Washington Examiner
"The Mexican government is opening a satellite consular office on Catalina Island -- a small resort off the California coast with a history of drug smuggling and human trafficking -- to provide the island's illegal Mexican immigrants with identification cards, The Washington Examiner has learned.
The Mexican consular office in Los Angeles issued a flier, a copy of which was obtained by The Examiner, listing the Catalina Island Country Club as the location of its satellite office. It invites Mexicans to visit the office to obtain the identification, called matricular cards, by appointment.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican whose district includes Catalina Island, said handing out matricular cards will exacerbate an already dangerous situation.
"Handing out matricular cards to Mexicans who are not in this country legally is wrong no matter where it's done," he said. "But on Catalina it will do more damage. It's a small island but there's evidence it's being used as a portal for illegals to access mainland California."
Rohrabacher added, "If there were a large number of Americans illegally in Mexico and the U.S. consulate was making it easier for them to stay, Mexico would never permit it."
Mexican officials with the consular office in Los Angeles could not be reached immediately for comment. The matricular consular identification card, is issued by the Mexican government to Mexican nationals residing outside the country, regardless of immigration status. The purpose is to provide identification for opening bank accounts and obtaining other services. But the cards are usually used to skirt U.S. immigration laws, since Mexicans in the country legally have documents proving that status, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.
In 2004 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI officials called the card an unreliable form of identification. The agency said that Mexico lacks a centralized database for them, which could lead to forgery, duplication, and other forms of abuse.
Officers with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said their agency was asked by Mexican officials not to enforce U.S. immigration laws on the island while the cards were being issued.
"It amazes me every time that the Mexican government has the gall to tell us what to do," said an ICE official, who asked not to be named. "More surprisingly is how many times we stand by and let them. This is just an example of one of hundreds of requests we've had to deal with."
In April, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies seized a boat carrying large quantities of marijuana and detained three Mexican nationals who said they were being smuggled into the United States.
The island has a sizable Mexican migrant population. Most are undocumented low-income workers."
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
"Feds Arrest Crist's Man in the Florida GOP
"Federal authorities today arrested Jim Greer, a close Charlie Crist ally and the governor's hand-picked choice to run the Florida Republican Party. No word yet on charges.
UPDATE:The Orlando Sentinel has the scoop on the charges against Greer, with a reliable source saying they will include four counts of grand theft, one count of attempt to defraud and one count of money laundering. Bail has been set at $105,000.
Meanwhile, Crist tells reporters that he is "disappointed" by the news but does not "feel complicit" with Greer's actions as head of the state Republican Party.
Gov. Charlie Crist didn't have a lot to say about the arrest of Jim Greer when asked this morning at a press conference dealing with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Crist, answering a question from a reporter, said he was "disappointed" by the news.
"I have faith in our judicial system," Crist said. "I know they will handle it appropriately."
A second question seemed to center around whether Crist felt responsible for Greer's actions as head of the Republican Party of Florida. Crist answered: "I do not feel complicit."
UPDATE II: More from the Sentinel outlining the case against Greer:
At a lunchtime press conference in Orlando, Statewide Prosecutor William Shepherd said Greer developed a scheme to take money from the Republican Party through a shell company he created, Victory Strategies. He used the money for his personal expenses — at least $100,000, Shepherd said.
A statewide grand jury indicted Greer on six felony charges: organized scheme to defraud, money laundering, and four counts of grand theft.
Greer was forced to resign in January amid allegations of extravagant overspending.
Since then, he's become the subject of a criminal investigation for income he earned from Victory Strategies LLC, a fund-raising company that kept 10 percent of all major donations it raised for the party. Greer owned a 60-percent stake of the company.
Shepherd also said Greer sent e-mails directing additional party funds to Victory Strategies, "per the chairman." He did not specify how much.
Greer was backed for the chairmanship job in 2006 by then-Gov. elect Charlie Crist, and an Orlando Sentinel analysis of party spending found Greer dramatically increased spending and the use of American Express charge cards during his three-year tenure."
Remember James O'Keefe?
"Federal Spending Limit
"The nation is facing a fiscal emergency. Debt is exploding and federal spending exceeds revenues by more than $1 trillion a year. To fix the problem, policymakers should pursue reforms on two paths.
First, policymakers should start identifying programs for termination, privatization, and devolution to the states. If a business conglomerate overexpanded and its spending ran ahead of revenues, prudent managers would start shedding low-value operations and refocusing on core activities. The federal government should do the same.
Second, policymakers should adopt new rules to bring greater discipline to federal budgeting. Right now, it’s anarchy on Capitol Hill with every member and interest group pushing for more dollars. Very few members consistently defend restraint.
The solution is for Congress to pass a law limiting annual increases in overall federal spending. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) recently introduced legislation to do just that. His SAFE Act (H.R. 5323) would cap annual growth in the federal budget to inflation plus population growth.
Smith’s bill, which has 34 co-sponsors, would cap growth in all spending including defense, nondefense, and entitlements. If spending this year was $3.70 trillion, inflation was 2 percent, and population growth was 1 percent, then federal spending next year would be limited to $3.81 trillion. If Congress failed to get spending under the limit by the end of the year, the president’s budget office would be required to apply an across-the-board cut, or sequester. I’ve discussed some of the details of such a spending limit in this congressional testimony.
Rep. Smith’s spending restraint legislation is exactly the type of budget process reform that Republicans should be championing. The idea of a cap on overall spending was supported by tea partiers in their Contract from America, and it’s easy for the average citizen to understand. The idea is simply that the government’s budget shouldn’t grow faster than the average family’s budget.
With a budget cap in place, it would be easy for voters and activists to know whether Congress was living up to a basic standard of fiscal prudence. If members of Congress tried to cheat on the legal spending limit, or tried to repeal it, citizens could impose political pressure on the spendthrifts. A simple and rigid budget limit would be a high-profile symbol of restraint for people to rally around and defend.
The chart below shows actual spending since 1990 and a budget limit of population growth plus inflation, with those variables averaged over the prior five years. In the 1990s, Congress generally kept spending under the limit. Over ten years, actual spending rose an average 4.2 percent annually, which was less than the 4.6 percent average growth of the limit. By contrast, spending growth during the 2000s has far exceeded the limit, illustrating where today’s huge deficits came from.
In sum, the nation can move back toward fiscal sanity by voting out the big spenders of both parties and voting in a reform-minded Congress to terminate programs and shrink the budget. Then, if Congress passed a law capping overall spending it would lock-in those cuts and make them harder to reverse later on. This two-part process could help ratchet-down the size of government over time.
Notes: Rep. Smith does not specify a five-year average for his spending limit variables, as I’ve assumed here. Also note that federal spending is calendar year data from the National Income and Product Accounts, Table 3.2."
Found via Steve Quayle, Q News. Good for Chinese people heading toward free market capitalism!
"This marks the birth of the world's largest e-commerce market," Masayoshi Son, chairman of Yahoo! Japan and CEO of mobile phone carrier Softbank, told a packed hall in a Tokyo hotel.
Online stores on Taobao will be able to offer products from China to Japanese consumers at Yahoo! Japan's China Mall, the companies said.
The new services will allow Internet users in both countries to buy and sell using systems and procedures that are familiar to them in their native languages, one of the biggest hurdles to doing business in either country.
The combined number of users on the new service is expected to eclipse the 90 million active users at US online marketplace eBay, which last year sold goods valued at 60 billion dollars.
Son is banking on Asia's exploding number of Internet users which he expects will account for 50 percent of the web in five years, compared to just 19 percent a decade ago.
He added that he expects the number of American users to fall to 12 percent of the global share.
Taobao is a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. Both SoftBank and US Internet company Yahoo! are shareholders in Alibaba.
Alibaba Group's Hong Kong-listed subsidiary Alibaba.com already has a joint venture with SoftBank called Alibaba.com Japan.
The cooperation with Yahoo! Japan is the latest effort by the Alibaba Group to expand in overseas markets.
Last month, its wholesale website Alibaba.com announced a new platform, AliExpress, allowing payments from users of US online payment service PayPal.
Online shopping in China has boomed in recent years, as the nation's more than 400 million Internet users -- the world's biggest online population -- become increasingly web-savvy.
Baidu, China's top search engine in terms of market share, said in January it would set up a joint venture with Japanese retail website Rakuten to launch a shopping mall targeting domestic web users in the second half of 2010."
Nailed it. If people bothered doing research before the election instead of being lead around by slick advertisements we might have elected someone competent to lead this nation.
Palin had boots on the ground experience dealing with oil companies and no doubt would have sprung to action a bazillion times faster than Obama and remained on top of the problem informing us about what's happening.
If the super majority in charge has a clue they will begin impeachment proceedings based on Obama's total incompetence.
Obama was holding it when it broke and has absolutely no clue about how to fix the spill or anything else.
"Morris: Obama doesn’t have a clue
"Conservatives are so enraged at Obama’s socialism and radicalism that they are increasingly surprised to learn that he is incompetent as well. The sight of his blithering and blustering while the most massive oil spill in history moves closer to America’s beaches not only reminds one of Bush’s terrible performance during Katrina, but calls to mind Jimmy Carter’s incompetence in the face of the hostage crisis.
America is watching the president alternate between wringing his hands in helplessness and pointing his finger in blame when he should be solving the most pressing environmental problem America has faced in the past 50 years. We are watching generations of environmental protection swept away as marshes, fisheries, vacation spots, recreational beaches, wetlands, hatcheries and sanctuaries fall prey to the oil spill invasion. And, all the while, the president acts like a spectator, interrupting his basketball games only to excoriate BP for its failure to contain the spill.
The political fallout from the oil spill will, indeed, spill across party and ideological lines. The environmentalists of America cannot take heart from a president so obviously ignorant about how to protect our shores and so obstinately arrogant that he refuses to inform himself and take any responsibility.
All of this explains why the oil spill is seeping into his ratings among Democrats, dragging him down to levels we have not seen since Bush during the pit of the Iraq war. Conservatives may dislike Obama because he is a leftist. But liberals are coming to dislike him because he is not a competent progressive.
Meanwhile, the nation watches nervously as the same policies Obama has brought to our nation are failing badly and publicly in Europe. When Moody’s announces that it is considering downgrading bonds issued by the government of the United States of America, we find ourselves, suddenly, in deep trouble. We have had deficits before. But never have they so freaked investors that a ratings agency considered lowering its opinion of our solvency. Not since Alexander Hamilton assumed the states’ Revolutionary War debt has America’s willingness and ability to meet its financial obligations been as seriously questioned.
And the truth begins to dawn on all of us: Obama has no more idea how to work his way out of the economic mess into which his policies have plunged us than he does about how to clean up the oil spill that is destroying our southern coastline.
Both the financial crisis and the oil come ever closer to our shores — one from the east and the other from the south — and, between them, they loom as a testament to the incompetence of our government and of its president.
And, oddly, to his passivity as well. After pursuing a remarkably activist, if misguided and foolhardy, agenda, Obama seems not to know what to do and finds himself consigned to the roles of observer and critic.
America is getting the point that its president doesn’t have a clue.
He doesn’t know how to stop the oil from spilling. He is bereft of ideas about how to create jobs in the aftermath of the recession. He has no idea how to keep the European financial crisis contained. He has no program for repaying the massive debt hole into which he has dug our nation without tax increases he must know will only deepen the pit.
Some presidents have failed because of their stubbornness (Johnson and Bush-43). Others because of their character flaws (Clinton and Nixon). Still others because of their insensitivity to domestic problems (Bush-41). But now we have a president who is failing because he is incompetent. It is Jimmy Carter all over again.
Who would have thought that this president, so anxious to lead us and so focused on his specific agenda and ideas, would turn out not to know what he is doing?"
"Police arrest Census taker
by John Burnett And Peter Sur
Source West Hawaii Today
Saturday, May 29, 2010 7:27 AM HST
"A battle is brewing between the state and federal governments over a Census taker arrested in Puna for misdemeanor trespassing.
The U.S. Attorney's office filed papers Thursday in federal court in Honolulu to take the case of 57-year-old Russell Haas out of 3rd District Court. That will pit the feds against local prosecutors.
"I'm looking to have it kept in state court," county Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Bridges said Friday.
Haas pleaded not guilty on April 8 to second-degree trespassing. He was arrested March 10 at 12:30 p.m. in in Hawaiian Acres, after a resident Haas says was an off-duty police officer allegedly refused to cooperate with the Census and called Puna police.
"When I opened his gate and walked in ... he stepped out of his garage and said, 'Please get off my property,'" Haas said Friday. Haas said he identified himself as a Census worker, and the man again requested for him to leave.
"I said, 'Can I please just give you the Census (form)?' And he didn't want it," Haas said. "He said he was going to call the cops, so I said, 'OK, fine.' We'd been trained to wait by the gate for the cops to get there and hand them the forms that we would have handed to the guy. The police then hand it to them and tell them, 'It's the law, do it.' Then everybody would walk away and it would be fine. That was what I expected.
"But when I was standing next to the gate talking to the guy, he pulls something out ...and out pops this little tin shield, and it falls and clatters on his driveway. And I realized he was telling me he was a cop."
"Then I went, 'Dude, if you're a cop, you know that you have to be in the Census. You have to be because you've sworn an oath to uphold and obey (the law).'"
Haas, who is a former New Jersey police officer, said while he and the man were talking across the gate, police "pulled up behind me, suddenly."
"I handed them the Census and expected them to hand them to this guy and say, 'That's it,'" Haas said. "They walked over and talked to him for a minute or two, then walked back to me ... and then stuffed it into my chest, and said, 'He doesn't have to enter your Census. He doesn't have to enter any Census. He doesn't have to fill out any of your forms or answer any of your questions. And if I were you, I'd get into my car and get the hell outta here, right now.'
"I turned to him and said, 'Or what?' And he said, 'I'll lock you up.'" And I turned back and said, 'So make your case.' They threw the cuffs on me, took me down to Keaau Police Station and I waited there until my daughter bailed me out." Haas' bail was $25.
According to the Census Bureau website, people are required by federal law to respond to the census. Title 13 of the U.S. Code says adults who refuse or willfully neglect to complete the questionnaire can be fined up to $100, and people who refuse to answer questions posed by census takers can be fined up to $5,000.
The identity of the man who refused to answer Haas' questions wasn't immediately known."
"Administration opposes Arizona law that penalizes hiring of illegal immigrants
"The Obama administration on Friday urged the Supreme Court to review and set aside an Arizona law that sanctions employers who hire illegal immigrants, saying it would disrupt the "careful balance" that Congress struck in federal immigration law. ................."
"The U.N. gun grabber
Global Small Arms Treaty threatens your right to self defense
"American gun owners might not feel besieged, but they should. This week, the Obama administration announced its support for the United Nations Small Arms Treaty. This international agreement poses real risks for freedom both in the United States and around the world by making it more difficult - if not outright illegal - for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. ........"
"Why Donald Berwick is Dangerous to YourHealth
"President Obama's nomination of Donald Berwick M.D. to head HHS's Center forMedicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) eliminates any lingering doubt he seeksto impose state-run medicine and a European style health care system on America.But before Dr Berwick gets an official nod of approval for the federalgovernment's most important health care appointment -- the CMS covers over 100million Americans, has an annual $800 billion budget that is larger than thedefense department's and is the 2nd largest insurance company in the world, theUS Senate may want to consider the nominee's remarkable and quite literalattachment to the socialist health-care model.
"I am romantic about the NHS. I love it." Dr Berwick says about probably thebest-known case of socialized medicine -- Britain's National Health Service(NHS). "All I need to do to rediscover the romance is to look at healthcare inmy own country," he says about a US health care system that is "bloated," runsin "the darkness of private enterprise," and has "tremendous excesscapacity."
Rationing -- Dr Berwick uses the "r" word himself -- is why he much prefersthe "politically accountable" British system. About Britain's rationing board,The National Institute for Clinical Health Excellence (NICE), Dr Berwick says:"NICE is not just a national treasure; it is a global treasure"
In using "quality adjusted life years" per British pound to make treatmentdecisions, NICE mandates that Britain cannot afford to spend, except in unusualcases, more than $22,000 to extend a life 6 months. But despite its Orwellianacronym and properly polite British exterior, NICE harbors a deep bureaucraticaversion to extended care for the elderly and those with chronic disease, anapproach which Dr. Berwick explicitly endorses.
"The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accountingfor potentially 80% of the total health care bill out there. There is going tohave to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. Thedecision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether wewill ration with our eyes open."
This sort of "eyes-open" endorsement of rationing by government panels,especially for the chronically ill and those (Sarah Palin call your office) whoare "towards the end of their lives", has about it chilling echoes of an earliercontroversy over similar views held by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of WhiteHouse chief of Staff .
But even if Dr Berwick does see America doing too much for the elderly andthe chronically ill, his vision for health-care change hardly stops with justone demographic.
"Any healthcare funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane,must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the lessfortunate. Excellent healthcare is by definition redistributional".
Indeed, lest there be any doubt about the range of Dr Berwick's schemes for"redistribution" - code for transferring power to the government -- he makesclear how grand his vision for statist health care.
"There needs to be global budget caps on total healthcare spending fordesignated populations (ie-rationing)" Dr. Berwick says. "The simplest way toreach these goals is with a single payer system."
But if Dr Berwick leaves little doubt who is going to be in charge of theredistribution, global caps, and the single payer systems, he shows with his useof words like "politically accountable" or "democratic", the sort of verbal ticthat betrays his own understanding. He seeks not broad-based, bottom-updecision-making but top-own edicts from elite panels of enlightened and, ofcourse, "global" thinkers like himself that preempt decisions now made bydoctors and their patients.
And that is what those of us who are practicing physicians find so troublingabout Dr. Berwick's nomination. We see him as a White House Rose Garden,photo-op doctor with a borrowed white coat; an academic who runs a $58 millioninstitute, who analyzes numbers and reports and theories about populations butis now totally out of touch with his former peers and the patients that theytreat every day. And this is the sobering point-- Dr Berwick will not be therewith us at the patient's bedside looking them in the eye and telling them thatthe life saving treatment that they need is not approved because they don't fitinto the right demographic.
So, US Senators might ask Dr. Berwick why he "loves" and is "romantic" abouta British health care system that institutionalizes such moments. A health caresystem where patients have little or no choice about their provider and littleaccess to specialists. A health care system where waiting lists for visits tospecialists and for surgery can sometimes last a year, 40% of cancer patientsnever see an oncologist, rationing for kidney dialysis and open heart surgery isopen and explicit, and minimum wait times have been instituted for hospitaladmission (of 122 days) to reduce costs, leaving 750,000 people on waitlists.
"The cult of the state is dying" Ronald Reagan said in 1982. "The Era of BigGovernment is over" Bill Clinton declared a decade later. Both presidents wereonly acknowledging the progress of modern economics and its insight thatgovernment panels - because they lack the information built into market-basedsystems-- make far less wise decisions than individuals making their own choicesand benefiting competition. The failure of "global" and "redistributive"thinkers like Dr Berwick to see any of this is compelling evidence that in theend they are not about better health care but an avarice for power."
Dr. Scherz is a pediatric urological surgeon at Georgia Urology andChildren’s Healthcare of Atlanta, serves on the faculty of Emory UniversityMedical School and is president and cofounder ofDocs4PatientCare.
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