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Author Topic: Obama: Corruption, Deception, Dishonesty, Deceit and Promises Broken  (Read 89487 times)
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« Reply #50 on: August 30, 2010, 09:01:41 AM »

Landrieu to White House: Lift drilling moratorium ASAP
By Bridget Johnson - 08/29/10 11:25 AM ET
www.thehill.com


________________________ ________________________ __
 
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) implored the Obama administration Sunday to lift the offshore drilling moratorium, saying it was excessive and hurting Gulf Coast residents.

Landrieu said that a pause in operations, imposed in the wake of the BP oil spill, was necessary but that the moratorium needed to be lifted.

"A 6-month moratorium has put a blanket of fear and anxiety and it must be lifted as soon as possible," Landrieu said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The senator said she was not fighting for "big oil," but for small businesses affected by the ban.

"We need to get back to work to build this region and we intend to do so," she said.


________________________ ______________________

Obama - destroying the nation any and all ways he can fathom. 

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« Reply #51 on: August 30, 2010, 09:10:22 AM »

Jindal calls for greater 'urgency' from Obama on ending drilling moratorium
By Sean J. Miller - 08/29/10 08:31 PM ET

www.thehill.com
 
 
NEW ORLEANS – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) on Sunday blasted President Obama’s failure to revisit his ban on offshore oil drilling. 

“We don’t think the fact that they’re not doing their jobs in D.C. should cost thousands of Louisianans our jobs,” Jindal told reporters shortly after the president spoke at Xavier University in New Orleans. 

Obama’s speech on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina addressed the rebuilding of New Orleans and his commitment to clean up the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but did not mention his administration’s decision to halt deepwater offshore exploration until Nov. 30.

The White House is reportedly considering an early end to the ban but Jindal wants to see a “greater sense of urgency” from the president. “The experts all agree, we can end this moratorium before six months," he said. "Let’s put our people back to work.”

Jindal said he was going to meet on Monday with former Florida Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who co-chairs the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission, to make that point. The first-term governor said he’s fine with increased inspections of the rigs off Louisiana's coast; “what we’re saying is, a one-size-fits-all moratorium doesn’t make sense.”

The Republican said the decision to ban further exploration in the wake of the explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig resulted from “confusion.”

“I don’t think they understood how the energy industry worked – I think they really thought that the rigs could simply flip a switch,” he said. “In the beginning, the administration suggested people file BP claims with unemployment claims. We made it clear that people want to go back to work.”

Jindal said he’s been in “constant contact” with the White House about the moratorium, as well as the ongoing hurricane recovery effort and the spill cleanup operation.

“I hope [they] now have a better understanding of what’s at stake, the jobs that are at stake,” he said. “Until they came down here, they didn’t understand the human impact in terms of the small businesses and jobs.”

The administration spent the week leading up to his trip to New Orleans touting the number of people displaced by the storm who have returned to the city since 2008, and the strides the schools have made.

But in his speech, Obama admitted more work needed to be done, and made a renewed commitment to helping the area recover from the disasters.

 “I wanted to come here and tell the people of this city directly: my administration is going to stand with you – and fight alongside you – until the job is done,” he said.

________________________ ________________________ _________

240 cant spin this crap anymore.  Both parties realize Obama is INTENTIONALLY destroying the nation. 
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« Reply #52 on: August 30, 2010, 09:14:53 AM »

Energy Department watchdog notes woes with managing stimulus dollars
By Darren Goode - 08/15/10 10:30 PM ET
www.thehill.com


________________________ ________________________ _____________________


 
The Energy Department’s internal watchdog has mixed reviews of the department’s distribution and use of economic stimulus dollars, even as the White House touts the massive spending bill in the run-up to midterms.

President Obama’s planned tour Monday of ZBB Energy Corp.’s facilities in Menomonee Falls, Wis., is the latest in a series of stops this election season to highlight what the administration calls the effectiveness of federal clean energy stimulus investments.

But recent reports by DOE’s Inspector General (IG) have cited problems with the department’s distribution of the stimulus dollars and recipients’ use of them.

The IG reported Wednesday that DOE has given out about $2.7 billion of $3.2 billion in energy and conservation block grants provided in last year’s stimulus. But grant recipients had used only 8.4 percent of the total after more than a year.

Spending delays were “prevalent and widespread throughout the Program,” particularly by those receiving the largest grants of more than $2 million each, the report found.


DOE officials have pointed out that “spending rates have significantly increased since March 2010,” according to the IG report, which also noted that recipient spending “was not a leading indicator” of the program’s overall performance.

But the IG still concluded that rapid spending of the funds “was hampered by numerous administrative and regulatory challenges associated with implementing a new program” at the federal, state and local levels.

An Aug. 4 IG report indicated “a number of issues” needing to be addressed before the remaining $3.4 billion of $32.7 billion in contracts and grants for science, energy and environmental programs can be doled out.

As of July 9, the department had obligated 90 percent of that $32.7 billion. But less than half intended for a couple of major projects had been spent, and none of the programs covered under the stimulus plan had all funding obligated.

“We are particularly concerned that delays in the award process for two major Fossil Energy projects could result in the expiration of funds before all awards are made,” the report stated.

The day after the IG delivered its report to senior DOE officials, the department announced $1 billion in stimulus money was being awarded to the revised version of the long-planned and troubled “FutureGen” project, a prototype coal-fired power plant that would trap and store almost all of its carbon dioxide emissions.

But Mattoon, Ill., the town that was to house the FutureGen project, subsequently rejected the project revisions after seeing its role change and shrink.

DOE spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller said the department has “now made selections for all of our program areas and are highly confident we will meet the September 30 deadline of obligating Recovery Act funds.” She adds that the energy efficiency and conservation block grant program “has seen significant growth this summer,” with more than 4,000 projects now under way.

“And as project deployment continues to accelerate, the rate of payments to local communities has also increased, including a doubling of total payments between the first and second quarter of 2010,” Mueller said.

Early challenges with the block grant program — such as environmental reviews and technical staff support — “have now largely been addressed and grantees are moving forward with their projects,” she said.

Separately, while the administration overall has doled out the majority of its stimulus funds — including a $14.7 million tax credit to ZBB Energy Corp. — it still faces backlash from the renewable energy industry over the diversion of more than half of loan guarantees set aside for the industry in the stimulus.

Lawmakers — with the backing of the White House — have diverted for other priorities $3.5 billion of the $6 billion in DOE loan guarantees authorized in the stimulus.

Democratic congressional leaders and the Energy Department are promising to replenish the loan guarantees so projects in the pipeline aren’t affected.

“The Department recognizes the urgent need to avoid devastating teacher layoffs and to avert cuts in medical and social services for our most vulnerable citizens,” an Energy Department spokeswoman said in a statement. “At the same time, we recognize the need for continued investments in clean energy. In the short term, we have the resources to support a broad portfolio of clean energy technologies — even as we work with Congress and the White House to secure additional funding to invest in a clean energy economy."

Renewable energy groups are still somewhat skeptical given that it has been a year already since an initial $2 billion was diverted.

“They said, ‘OK, guys, don’t worry we will replenish it. We have plenty of time to get the funding back in there,’” said Monique Hanis, spokeswoman for the Solar Energy Industries Association. “I think that’s why we have been very vocal this time. Now there is definite concern.”

The $6 billion in lending authority would actually affect the development of 10 times that — roughly $60 billion — worth of projects, renewable energy industry groups argue.

Source:
http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/114365-energy-dept-watchdog-notes-problems-with-distribution-use-of-stimulus


________________________ ________________

Stim Bill = FAIL. 
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« Reply #53 on: August 30, 2010, 10:07:01 AM »

Obama’s Old Deal
Why the 44th president is no FDR—and the economy is still in the doldrums.

 
by Michael HirshAugust 29, 2010


www.newsweek.com

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Barack Obama was “incredulous” at what he was hearing, said one of his top economic advisers. The president had spent his first year in office overseeing the biggest government bailout of the financial industry in American history. Together with Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, he had kept Wall Street afloat on a trillion-dollar tide of taxpayer money. But the banks were barely lending, and the economy was still mired in high unemployment. And now, in December 2009, the holiday news had started to filter out of the canyons of lower Manhattan: Wall Street’s year-end bonuses would actually be larger in 2009 than they had been in 2007, the year prior to the catastrophe. “Wait, let me get this straight,” Obama said at a White House meeting that December. “These guys are reserving record bonuses because they’re profitable, and they’re profitable only because we rescued them.” It was as if nothing had changed. Even after a Depression-size crash, the banks were not altering their behavior. The president was being perceived, more and more, as a man on the wrong side of an incendiary issue.

And so, prodded forward by Vice President Joe Biden—the product of a working-class upbringing in Scranton, Pa.—the president began to consider getting tougher on Wall Street. “We kept revisiting it,” said the economic adviser (who recounted details of the meetings only on condition of anonymity). One big proposal the White House hadn’t adopted was Paul Volcker’s idea of barring commercial banks from indulging in heavy risk taking and “proprietary” trading. In Volcker’s view, America’s major banks, which enjoy federal guarantees on their deposits, had to stop putting taxpayer money at risk by acting like hedge funds. This had become a grand passion for Volcker, a living legend renowned for crushing inflation 30 years before as Fed chairman. He had long been skeptical of financial deregulation. Beyond the ATM, Volcker asked, what new banking products had really added to economic growth? Exhibit one for this argument was derivatives, trillions of dollars in “side bets” placed by Wall Street traders. “I wish somebody would give me some shred of neutral evidence about the relationship between financial innovation recently and the growth of the economy,” he barked at one conference.

Yet for most of that first year, Obama and his economic team had largely ignored Volcker, a sometime adviser. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and chief economic adviser Larry Summers still questioned whether Volcker’s proposals were feasible. Now Obama was pressing them—very gingerly—to reconsider. “I’m not convinced Volcker’s not right about this,” Obama said at one meeting in the Roosevelt Room. Biden, a longtime fan of Volcker’s, bluntly piped up: “I’m quite convinced Volcker is right about this!”

Obama’s cautious, late embrace of Volcker was all too typical. He had arrived in office perceived by some as the second coming of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Yet Obama hadn’t acted much like FDR in the ensuing months. Instead he had faithfully channeled Summers and Geithner and their conservative approach to stimulus and reform. Early on, Obama’s two key economic officials had argued down Christina Romer, the new chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, when she suggested a massive $1.2 trillion stimulus to make up for the collapse of private demand. They opted for slightly less than $800 billion. “We believe that this is a properly sized approach to move the economy forward,” said Summers, who didn’t want to expand the federal deficit or worry the bond market. With the recession still darkening their outlook, Summers and Geithner also didn’t want to tamper too much with what they still saw as the economy’s engine room: Wall Street. Partly on their advice, the president “explicitly decided not to break up all big financial institutions,” said another top economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee.

After his first year, Obama felt he had done well overall on the economy. Helped by Fed chairman Bernanke, his administration had brought the financial system back from the abyss—from another Great Depression, in effect—by shoring up the banks with hundreds of billions in new bailouts. The administration also pushed for a broad array of reforms. The giant bill Obama signed early in the summer of 2010 brought trillions of dollars in “dark” trading in over-the-counter derivatives into the open. It created new, tough watchdogs for credit-card and mortgage companies, as well as banks. It gave the government new powers to liquidate failing financial firms rather than bail them out.

The president proudly called the new law “the toughest financial reform since the one we created in the aftermath of the Great Depression.” What Obama left unsaid was that his administration had argued against many of the toughest amendments in the bill. And Wall Street, in the end, didn’t complain about it all that much. The biggest firms knew that much of what their powerful lobbyists had failed to block or water down in the bill could be taken care of later on. They’d still be able to influence the vast set of rules on capital, leverage, and other financial issues that would be written by regulators. Led by Summers and Geithner, Obama’s economic team resisted almost every structural change to Wall Street—in particular, Volcker’s plan (initially) and Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s idea to bar banks from swaps trading. The administration’s program for getting underwater mortgage holders out of trouble was also criticized as too modest. Obama’s team accepted “too many givens,” says a former senior career Fed official who asked to remain anonymous so as not to offend his former colleagues. Obama’s effort “certainly wasn’t like FDR’s because reform wasn’t driven by the White House,” says Michael Greenberger, a former senior regulator who did much to shape derivatives legislation behind the scenes. “If anything, during most of the journey the White House was a problem and Treasury was a problem.”

Obama’s aides claimed they were only making necessary compromises, placating the Republicans and centrist Democrats they needed to pass the law. And they did stand firm on creating a strong Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But by midsummer of 2010 the Volcker rule that Obama finally backed was so full of exemptions—allowing banks to invest substantially in hedge and equity funds—that even Volcker expressed dismay. The fundamental structure of Wall Street had hardly changed. On the contrary, the new law effectively anointed the existing banking elite, possibly making them even more powerful. The major firms got to keep the biggest part of their derivatives business in interest-rate and foreign-exchange swaps. (JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley control more than 95 percent, or about $200 trillion worth, of that market.)

The same banks may end up controlling or at least dominating the clearinghouses they are being pressed to trade on as well. New capital charges, meanwhile, have created barriers to entry for new firms. This consolidation of the elites has in turn kept alive the “too big to fail” problem. “It makes it way tougher now to kiss somebody off when they get in trouble,” says the former Fed official. Eugene Ludwig, a former comptroller of the currency, believes the new law’s impact will be “profound” in changing the way banks do business. But he worries about a “skewing of the playing field” in favor of the big banks, putting community banks at a disadvantage.

The Obama administration also did little to use its bully pulpit to reorient pay packages at the big financial houses, where bonuses still often run in the tens of millions of dollars. Critics make the case that changing this pay structure would do more than punish those who helped spur the meltdown. It might also encourage some of America’s greatest minds to stay away from financial engineering, which contributes little of substance to the economy, and instead consider real engineering. Nor has the Justice Department launched prosecutions as it did after the S&L crisis, or during the insider-trading scandals of the ’80s, when Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky were led off in handcuffs. (One problem this time around, lawyers say, is that virtually everyone was complicit in the subprime-mortgage scam.)

Most significantly, Barack Obama, in contrast to FDR in the depths of the Depression, has failed as yet to restore confidence in the economy. A recent Associated Press poll showed him at his lowest point ever on that issue, with just 41 percent of Americans approving of his performance. It was little surprise last week when Republican House leader John Boehner, sensing blood in the water—and a possible speakership in his future—attacked the president’s economic team and called for the resignations of Geithner and Summers. (Both budget chief Peter Orszag and Romer had already announced over the summer they were leaving.)

Obama can hardly take all the blame for the surprising persistence of high unemployment and slow growth. Among the new headwinds beating the economy down in recent months was Europe’s currency crisis, for example. But the leadership question can’t be ignored. Financial and economic reform just never seemed to be a subject that kindled Obama’s passions, his critics say. (The White House strenuously disagrees: “Financial reform has been a top priority to the president since day one,” administration spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told me.) For much of his first 18 months in office, Obama always seemed to be finding some new thing to focus on. He spoke about financial reform, but he often seemed to address it on the fly, as he was tackling other priorities, like health care. To be fair, Obama was also juggling two wars. Yet all in all, he seemed perfectly willing to leave things to his trusted lieutenants, Geithner and Summers, puzzling some Democratic allies on the Hill. “Doesn’t the president realize he’s got a big flank exposed here?” said one Democratic staffer pushing for tougher restrictions on Wall Street early in the summer of 2010.

There was so much passion and ambition in Obama’s words about fixing the economy, and so much dispassion and caution in his policy choices. Early in the Democratic primaries, in January 2008, Obama had stunned many of his supporters by praising Reagan as a transformational president—a contrast to the eight years of Bill Clinton, Obama added cuttingly. Reagan, Obama said, “put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it.” Yet at what would seem to be a similar historical inflection point—what should have been the end of Reaganism, or deregulatory fervor—President Obama seemed unprepared to address the deeper ills of the financial system and the economy. Several officials who have worked with the Obama team said the president’s heart was in health care above all else. “He didn’t run for president to fix derivatives,” says Greenberger. “And when he brought in Summers and Geithner, he just thought he was getting the best of the best”—good financial mechanics, in other words, who would “get the car out of the ditch,” to use one of Obama’s favorite metaphors.

But the administration had a much bigger job than that. The worst economic downturn since the Great Depression hadn’t occurred just because of a simple crash. An entire era had overreached—the markets-are-always-good, government-is-always-bad zeitgeist that defined the post–Cold War period. The very idea of government regulation and oversight had become heresy during this epoch. Washington policymakers came to ignore the key differences between financial and other markets, differences that economists had known about for hundreds of years. Financial markets were always more imperfect than markets for goods and other services, more prone to manias and panics and susceptible to the pitfalls of imperfect information unequally shared by investors. Yet that critical distinction was lost in the whirlwind of deregulatory passion that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union and other command economies. Finance, completely unleashed, had come to dominate the real economy rather than serve its traditional role as a supplier of capital to goods and services. Venture capital transmogrified into speculative fever. Innovative ways of financing new business ideas evolved into vastly complex derivatives deals, like subprime-mortgage-backed securities, that were often little more than scams.

All of these challenges required a fundamental rethinking of the U.S. and global economy. Yet those who were most aligned with the “progressive” side of the Wall Street reform issue remained, for the most part, on the outside of the administration looking in. Among them were Brooksley Born, the former chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. Summers and Geithner, by contrast, had been acolytes of Bob Rubin, the former Clinton Treasury secretary who, along with then–Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, had presided over many of the key deregulatory changes in the ’90s. And they convinced Obama that the financial system they themselves had done so much to nurture was, on the whole, fine. As long as there were greater capital reserves, leverage limits, and more regulatory oversight, Wall Street could remain intact. (Summers would continue to maintain, well after the crisis, that he had never been a full-blown advocate of deregulation; Geithner did not respond to a request to comment for this article, but previously told me that he was no creature of Wall Street and was simply doing as much as he could to constrain it.)

Obama was clearly not pushing very hard to be FDR or even his trust-busting relative Teddy Roosevelt. Now it looks like grim growth and unemployment numbers could extend all the way into 2012. Distracting himself with health care and other issues, Obama may have politically maneuvered himself out of the only major remedy that could bring unemployment down and growth up enough to assure his re-election: another giant fiscal stimulus. Today, after engendering Tea Party and centrist Democratic resistance to more government spending by pushing his health-care plan, the question is whether he has the political capital he may well need, in the end, to save his presidency. And after a two-year fight over financial reform, one other question still lingers: has Wall Street come out the big winner yet again?

Adapted from Capital Offense, by Michael Hirsh, a new book on the 30-year history behind the financial crash and ongoing economic crisis.

________________________ ________________________ _____________________

Keep knee-padding you idiots.  The jig is up. 
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« Reply #54 on: August 30, 2010, 09:05:56 PM »

Barack Obama is considering new stimulus
World Buzz News / Reuters ^ | August 31, 2010



Barack Obama, under pressure to restart the economic machine and Employment, announced Monday it had discussed with his advisers to new stimulus measures including tax breaks.

The U.S. president had just returned after ten days of vacation, appeared at the White House to show its concern about the economy that some experts fear a relapse into recession.

“My economic team is working hard on new economic measures could make a difference in terms of growth and employment in the short term and to improve our economic competitiveness in the long term,” the president said.

He listed a number of possible measures such as the extension of certain tax benefits for the middle class should be cut this year, an increase in public support to clean energy development and renovation of infrastructure.

He also cited “new measures of tax relief to encourage businesses to employ their capital to create jobs here in the United States.”

“INITIATIVES” TARGETED ”

The spokesman Robert Gibbs White House said the president would present in the coming days or weeks ahead of “Targeted Initiatives” to support the economy and he wanted them to be approved before Congress does to end the parliamentary session to focus on the midterm elections.

The pressure is on for the head of state ahead of elections of November 2, so that his recovery plan of 814 billion dollars he has voted in February 2009 did not significantly reduce unemployment.

The jobless rate is close below 10% of the workforce. Some analysts expect an unemployment rate of 9.6% in August – the figures will be released on Friday – against 9.5% in July.

“In fact, there are too many companies still struggling, too many Americans who continue to seek work (…)”, said Barack Obama.


(Excerpt) Read more at worldbuzznews.com ...

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« Reply #55 on: August 31, 2010, 05:52:55 AM »


Public sours on health care reform as midterms loom
Backing for the landmark law dropped by 7 percentage points in August, a new poll finds. | AP Photo

By JENNIFER HABERKORN | 8/31/10 6:37 AM EDT Updated: 8/31/10 7:33 AM EDT

________________________ ________________________ ______



A new poll shows that public support for health care reform dropped sharply in August – a dagger in Democrats’ hopes that their landmark legislation will help them in November’s midterm.


The Kaiser Health Tracking Poll has support for the bill dropping seven percentage points in August – down to 43 percent – while opposition rose 10 points to 45 percent. That’s the weakest showing since May – and a far cry from the bump proponents had hoped to see as some of the law’s more consumer-friendly provisions kick in.

Democrats said throughout the year-long debate on Capitol Hill that support for the overhaul would increase once the bill passed and Americans were able to take advantage of some of its benefits. But it appears voters’ opinions of the legislation were set more firmly than anyone thought during the bruising political fight.

“Public opinion on health reform has been stuck in a fairly narrow band and is not changing dramatically,” said Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “And with concerns about the economy and jobs dominating the public’s agenda and local issues always so important in midterm elections, it is not clear that health reform will play a significant role at the polls in November.”

Respondents listed health care as the third most important factor in deciding how they’ll vote this fall — behind the economy and “dissatisfaction with government.”

Forty-two percent of respondents said health care reform will play an “extremely important” role in their ballot-box decisions, on par with the 41 percent who said the same thing in June.

About a third of voters say support for the health reform law would make it more likely that they’d vote for a candidate. But a third say it would make it less likely and a third say it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Those figures haven’t changed much since the law passed.

A series of insurance industry reforms, which Democrats pointed to as some of the most consumer friendly provisions of the law, are due to go into effect next month. They include a ban on lifetime or annual caps on insurance coverage and free preventive care on new insurance plans.

While many of these provisions have proven popular in polls, the popularity of the overhaul on the whole hasn’t improved. Plus, opposition to other provisions – namely, the requirement that nearly all Americans buy insurance coverage – has increased. The so-called “individual mandate” is opposed by 70 percent of the Kaiser poll’s respondents.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41611.html#ixzz0yBgDDMBW

________________________ ________________________ _____________

Good job dems - spend a year and a half on a crap health care mess while the economy gets even worse. 
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« Reply #56 on: August 31, 2010, 07:00:32 AM »

Advertise on NYTimes.com.Hedge Funds
Sorkin: Why Wall St. Is Deserting Obama
www.nyt.com

________________________ ______________

August 31, 2010, 2:22 am

A letter from a hedge fund manager to his investors about Washington’s policies is stirring up controversy on a sensitive topic among the moneyed elite, The New York Times’s Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in his latest DealBook column.

The poison pen of Daniel S. Loeb took a jab recently at one of his former allies, the Obama administration, deploring the redistribution of resources and power that Wall Street has come to fear with the passage of the financial regulation overhaul.

Some say that they knew Obama would seek higher taxes and tighter regulation; that was O.K. What they say they did not realize was that they were going to be painted as villains. And as they grow to distrust government, they threaten to cut off investment in the United States.

By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN

Daniel S. Loeb, the hedge fund manager, was one of Barack Obama’s biggest backers in the 2008 presidential campaign.

A registered Democrat, Mr. Loeb has given and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democrats. Less than a year ago, he was considered to be among the Wall Street elite still close enough to the White House to be invited to a speech in Lower Manhattan, where President Obama outlined the need for a financial regulatory overhaul.

So it came as quite a surprise on Friday, when Mr. Loeb sent a letter to his investors that sounded as if he were preparing to join Glenn Beck in Washington over the weekend.


“As every student of American history knows, this country’s core founding principles included nonpunitive taxation, constitutionally guaranteed protections against persecution of the minority and an inexorable right of self-determination,” he wrote. “Washington has taken actions over the past months, like the Goldman suit that seem designed to fracture the populace by pulling capital and power from the hands of some and putting it in the hands of others.”

Over the weekend, the letter, with quotations from Thomas Jefferson, Ronald Reagan and President Obama, was forwarded around the circles of the moneyed elite, from the Hamptons to Silicon Valley. Mr. Loeb’s jeremiad illustrates how some of the president’s former friends on Wall Street and in business now feel about Washington.

Mr. Loeb isn’t the first Wall Streeter to turn on the president. Steven A. Cohen, founder of the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors and a supporter of the Obama campaign, recently held a meeting with Republican candidates in his home in Greenwich, Conn., to strategize about the midterm elections, according to Absolute Return magazine.

Other onetime supporters, like Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, also feel burned by the Obama administration, people close to him say.

That the honeymoon between Washington and Wall Street has turned to bitter recriminations is not news, given that the administration had long pledged to revamp Wall Street regulation in the wake of a crisis that rattled the global financial system.

Less than two years ago, Democrats received 70 percent of the donations from Wall Street; since June, when the financial regulation bill was nearing passage, Republicans were receiving 68 percent of the donations, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group.

But what is surprising is that some of the president’s biggest supporters have so publicly derided his policies, even at the risk of hurting their ability to influence the party in the future. Issues like the carry-interest tax on private equity or the Volcker Rule have become personal.

Why so personal? The prevailing view is that bankers, hedge fund mangers and traders supported the Obama candidacy because he appealed to their egos.

Mr. Obama was viewed as a member of the elite, an Ivy League graduate (Columbia, class of ’83, the same as Mr. Loeb), president of The Harvard Law Review — he was supposed to be just like them. President Obama was the “intelligent” choice, the same way they felt about themselves. They say that they knew he would seek higher taxes and tighter regulation; that was O.K. What they say they did not realize was that they were going to be painted as villains.

That Wall Street view of itself as a victim has prompted much of the private murmurings and the unfortunate — or worse — outburst from Stephen A. Schwarzman, who likened the administration’s plan for taxes on private equity to “when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.” Mr. Schwarzman later apologized for the “inappropriate analogy.”

Now Mr. Loeb, who manages about $3.4 billion at his firm, Third Point Partners, has articulated in a more thoughtful way what a lot of others in finance and business are saying.

“We have given a great deal of thought about the impact that public policy has on individual companies, industries and the economy generally,” he said. Third Point has sold its investments in big banks as a result of “regulatory headwinds”; got rid of its stake in Wellpoint, which Mr. Loeb described as “a statistically cheap stock owned by several hedge funds, but which we saw as being overly exposed to unpredictable government regulation”; and taken a short position against for-profit education companies as a result of “the government’s increased willingness to use its regulatory muscle.”

Mr. Loeb’s views, irrespective of their validity, point to a bigger problem for the economy: If business leaders have a such a distrust of government, they won’t invest in the country. And perception is becoming reality.

Just last week, Paul S. Otellini, chief executive of Intel, said at a dinner at the Aspen Forum of the Technology Policy Institute that “the next big thing will not be invented here. Jobs will not be created here.”

Mr. Otellini has overseen two big acquisitions in the last two weeks — the $7.7 billion takeover of the security software maker McAfee and the $1.4 billion deal for the wireless chip unit of Infineon Technologies. If he is true to his word, those deals will most likely lead to job cuts in the United States, not job creation.

Mr. Loeb declined to comment.

But it seems clear that he wrote the letter because so much of his fund’s investments were being driven by the impact of politics. It appears he is no longer betting that a chief executive will make his numbers; he’s betting on what legislation Congress will pass next.

Mr. Loeb, whose poison pen is legendary, usually targets obstinate corporate managers or rivals. In one such note to the chief executive of Star Gas Partners, Mr. Loeb wrote: “It is time for you to step down from your role as C.E.O. and director so that you can do what you do best: retreat to your waterfront mansion in the Hamptons where you can play tennis and hobnob with your fellow socialites.”

In his letter to investors, he took issue with a number of Washington initiatives, including the Credit Card Act of 2009 and a proposed “enterprise tax” that would be levied on hedge fund managers who sell their firms.

“So long as our leaders tell us that we must trust them to regulate and redistribute our way back to prosperity, we will not break out of this economic quagmire,” Mr. Loeb wrote.

“Perhaps our leaders will awaken to the fact that free market capitalism is the best system to allocate resources and create innovation, growth and jobs,” he continued. “Perhaps too, a cloven-hoofed, bristly haired mammal will become airborne and the rosette-like marking of a certain breed of ferocious feline will become altered. In other words, we are not holding our breath.”

Critics of Wall Street will rightfully complain that it was the actions of free market capitalists that prompted a push for regulation. On that point, Mr. Loeb does not entirely disagree.

“Many people see the collapse of the subprime markets, along with the failure and subsequent rescue of many banks, as failures of capitalism rather than a result of a vile stew of inept management, unaccountable boards of directors and overmatched regulators not just asleep, but comatose, at the proverbial switch,” he wrote. “It is easy to see why so many people have concluded that the entire system is rigged.”


________________________ ________________________ _____

Great article. 

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« Reply #57 on: August 31, 2010, 08:18:07 AM »

Good article. Obama is going to drive any jobs and companies right out of this country.

You should start posting these in their own threads again. They definitely got more views that way. This thread only has 227 or so views and I reckon most of those are from the same three people.  Undecided
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« Reply #58 on: August 31, 2010, 08:26:11 AM »

Good article. Obama is going to drive any jobs and companies right out of this country.

You should start posting these in their own threads again. They definitely got more views that way. This thread only has 227 or so views and I reckon most of those are from the same three people.  Undecided

I don't want to spam the board with tons of articles and want to keep all these great articles in one place for later reference.   

either way, i plan on keeping this one going since by the time 2012 rolls around, it will have everything in it from beginng to end. 

But I get your point. 

________________________ ________________________ ______

Companies Say New US Pay Law A 'Logistical Nightmare'

Published: Tuesday, 31 Aug 2010 | 12:47 AM ET Text Size By: Jean Eaglesham and Francesco Guerrera in New York


www.cnbc.com


________________________ ________________________

US companies face a “logistical nightmare” from a new rule forcing them to disclose the ratio between their chief executive’s pay package and that of the typical employee, lawyers have warned.

 The mandatory disclosure will provide ammunition for activists seeking to target perceived examples of excessive pay and perks. The law taps into public anger at the increasing disparity between the faltering incomes of middle America and the largely recession-proof multimillion-dollar remuneration of the typical corporate chief.

S&P 500 chief executives last year received median pay packages of $7.5m, according to executive compensation research firm Equilar. By comparison, official statistics show the average private sector employee was paid just over $40,000.

Business sees the disclosure provision – buried in section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act – as a bureaucratic headache that may encourage false comparisons.

“We’re not debating the concept of disclosure – we think it’s a good thing,” said Larry Burton, executive director of the Business Roundtable, which represents chief executives of the biggest US companies. “But you can do more harm than good if you take a well-intended piece of policy and implement it badly. That’s the risk here.”

The rules’ complexity means multinationals face a “logistical nightmare” in calculating the ratio, which has to be based on the median annual total compensation for all employees, warned Richard Susko, partner at law firm Cleary Gottlieb. “It’s just not do-able for a large company with tens of thousands of employees worldwide.”

Pay experts said business had been caught off-guard by the measure, which was not one of the high-profile battlegrounds of the Dodd-Frank legislation. Companies are now gearing up to lobby the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has to write detailed provisions for the new rule.

The rule could also reward with a relatively low ratio those companies that outsourced low-paid work rather than keeping jobs in-house, lawyers said.

Robert Menendez, the senator who sponsored the provision, dismissed business fears. “Theidea behind the new rule is that sunlight is the best disinfectant,” said an aide. “Disclosure will help encourage fair pay for workers at a time when middle class pay has stagnated while CEO pay has skyrocketed.”
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« Reply #59 on: August 31, 2010, 09:28:43 AM »

Record number in government anti-poverty programs
Enlarge By Paul Sakuma, AP
 

________________________ _______________


Close to 10 million receive unemployment insurance, nearly four times the number from 2007. Benefits have been extended by Congress eight times beyond the basic 26-week program.
 
 
COSTS RISE WITH CASELOADS
By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Government anti-poverty programs that have grown to meet the needs of recession victims now serve a record one in six Americans and are continuing to expand.


More than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, the federal-state program aimed principally at the poor, a survey of state data by USA TODAY shows. That's up at least 17% since the recession began in December 2007.


POLITICS: Welfare agencies boost voter rolls

"Virtually every Medicaid director in the country would say that their current enrollment is the highest on record," says Vernon Smith of Health Management Associates, which surveys states for Kaiser Family Foundation.

The program has grown even before the new health care law adds about 16 million people, beginning in 2014. That has strained doctors. "Private physicians are already indicating that they're at their limit," says Dan Hawkins of the National Association of Community Health Centers.

More than 40 million people get food stamps, an increase of nearly 50% during the economic downturn, according to government data through May. The program has grown steadily for three years.

Caseloads have risen as more people become eligible. The economic stimulus law signed by President Obama last year also boosted benefits.

"This program has proven to be incredibly responsive and effective," says Ellin Vollinger of the Food Research and Action Center.

Close to 10 million receive unemployment insurance, nearly four times the number from 2007. Benefits have been extended by Congress eight times beyond the basic 26-week program, enabling the long-term unemployed to get up to 99 weeks of benefits. Caseloads peaked at nearly 12 million in January — "the highest numbers on record," says Christine Riordan of the National Employment Law Project, which advocates for low-wage workers.

More than 4.4 million people are on welfare, an 18% increase during the recession. The program has grown slower than others, causing Brookings Institution expert Ron Haskins to question its effectiveness in the recession.

As caseloads for all the programs have soared, so have costs. The federal price tag for Medicaid has jumped 36% in two years, to $273 billion. Jobless benefits have soared from $43 billion to $160 billion. The food stamps program has risen 80%, to $70 billion. Welfare is up 24%, to $22 billion. Taken together, they cost more than Medicare.


INFOMOTION GRAPHIC: A historical look at the national debt
INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC: Getting a grip on government debt

The steady climb in safety-net program caseloads and costs has come as a result of two factors: The recession has boosted the number who qualify under existing rules. And the White House, Congress and states have expanded eligibility and benefits.

Conservatives fear expanded safety-net programs won't contract after the economy recovers. "They're much harder to unwind in the long term," says Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

Other anti-poverty experts say the record caseloads are a necessary response to economic hardship. "We should be there to support people when the economy can't," says LaDonna Pavetti of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning think tank.
 
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« Reply #60 on: August 31, 2010, 10:18:41 AM »

Cost: Obamacare has killed the Dems, but they’re in denial
Washington Examiner ^ | 8/31/2010 | DAVID FREDDOSO



Jay Cost, over at RealClearPolitics:

"It would be difficult for any strong partisan to admit that such an accomplishment [as Obamacare] was so deeply unpopular. Yet the polling is pretty unequivocal on the relationship between the Democrats’ fortunes and the health care bill. It was during the health care debate that the essential building block of the Democratic majority – Independent voters – began to crumble. It was evident in the generic ballot. It was evident in the President’s job approval numbers. It was evident in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

Reconstructing the Democrats’ meme, we can fairly say that the economy is a huge problem for the party. Of this, there can be no doubt. We can also say that the stalled recovery denied the Democrats a chance to win back the voters they lost over health care. But the process and passage of health care reform were crucial elements in the story. That’s when the party started losing the voters it needs to retain control of the government."

I agree. Democrats — and especially President Obama — lost the public’s trust during and because of the health care debate. The polls show a huge shift in July 2009, when the first committee votes were taken on Obamacare.

This was the first crack in the windshield, and it has now spread everywhere. Independent voters have stopped giving Democrats the benefit of the doubt on a variety of other major issues — the stimulus, the war in Afghanistan, education (!), taxes, you name it. Obamacare has precipitated a dramatic loss of faith in Obama.


________________________ ______________

Everyones' costs are skyrocketing due to this disaster and everyone can rightfully place it on Obama, piss be upon him. 
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« Reply #61 on: August 31, 2010, 10:53:31 AM »

More Loose-Lips At The White House, As Another Staffer Basically Admits Stimulus Doesn't Work
Joe Weisenthal | Aug. 31, 2010, 12:09 PM | 1,703 |  18



Obama Blasts GOP On Economy: "Drop The Blockade"And Now Even The Administration Is Talking About A Double DipHow Bad Is It For Obama? Look How He's Completely Lost The New York Times

Obama has been getting aggressive lately about calling out the Republicans and trying to blame the weak economy on them.

But there's a risk to this strategy: If the President keeps talking about how the economy is weak, then maybe people who thought the economy was okay (and apparently a fair number still do, as evidenced by August's Consumer Confidence Index) might get the idea that things aren't so hot. Maybe they'll think: Sure I have a job now, but just in case, I better retrench and cut up my credit card.

So it's for this reason that White House critics (mainly from the left) are frustrated by the "loose lips" on the part of some administration staffers.

Yesterday we mentioned Austan Goolsbee's comment about how the economy was at some risk of sliding into a double dip.

Now it's Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Everyone's picking on him for comments he made about the stimulus yesterday:

Asked if the stimulus bill was too small, [White House press secretary Robert] Gibbs says: "I think it makes sense to step back just for a second. ... Nobody had, in January of 2009, a sufficient grasp of ... what we were facing." He adds that any stimulus was "unlikely to fill" the hole the financial meltdown created.

"What the Recovery Act did was prevent us from sliding even into a deeper recession with greater economic contraction, with greater job loss than we have experienced because of it," he says.

This line makes Krugman angry. Why? Because, says the Nobel Laurreate, he was SCREAMING at the top of his longs in early 2009 that the stimulus needed to be much bigger (Megan McArdle calculated yesterday that Krugman probably would've needed a $4.5 trillion stimulus to be happy).

But beyond that, The White House just feels off-message, and Gibbs makes it hard to argue for more stimulus when he's saying that any stimulus was "unlikely" to solve the problem.

 Okay, then what does The White House actually want?

Tags: Barack Obama, Economy, White House, Stimulus | Get Alerts for these topics »

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/robert-gibbs-admits-economy-is-in-trouble-2010-8#ixzz0yCtqmd19
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« Reply #62 on: August 31, 2010, 01:34:31 PM »

Obamanomics Failing to Create Jobs
By Peter Morici
www.realclearmarkets.com


________________________ ________________

With thousands of young college graduates moving in with parents and returning Iraq War veterans facing long-term unemployment, President Obama is scrambling for cover.

Irresponsible spending, largesse for big banks and subsidies for a broken health care system have busted the budget and failed to create jobs.

Economists expect the Labor Department to report on Friday the economy lost another 80,000 jobs in August after shedding 131,000 jobs in July.

Completion of the Census accounts for most of the loss, but the report will demonstrate that rewarding Democratic Party academics with new high paying regulatory jobs and general hostility toward business is causing America's largest enterprises to head for China and small businesses to wither and die.

The unemployment rate will likely creep up a bit closer to 10%, as more Americans drain their retirement accounts and endure the frustration of slammed doors in Barack Obama's jobs market.

In July alone, 381,000 adults chose to quit looking for work altogether, and that trend will continue in President Obama's land of dashed dreams and squandered opportunities.

Economists expect the private sector added about 100,000 jobs in August but that is an abysmal performance 14 months into a recovery from a deep recession.

The economy must add 13 million private sector jobs by the end of 2013 to bring unemployment down to 6%. President Obama's policies are not creating conditions for businesses to hire those 320,000 workers each month, net of layoffs.

Net of inventory adjustments, the economy's demand for goods and services is growing at only about 1% a year. The real potential is about 5% but with economic policies so ill conceived and with a president so ambivalent about private enterprises -- other than those run by Wall Street barons, Hollywood producers and union bosses -- that simply is not possible.

In the second quarter, consumer spending; investment in new structures, equipment and software; and government purchases added 4.4% to demand. But as imports grew much more rapidly than exports, the trade deficit tapped off 3.4%. The difference, 1%, is annual growth in demand for U.S.-made goods and services. That has been the pace since the recovery began in July 2009.

Businesses can accommodate up to 2% growth in demand just by improving productivity and not adding workers. Unless the rapid growth in imports can be curbed, the U.S. economy is headed for very slow growth and rising unemployment.
The president's economic policies -- more spending, taxes and regulation for Americans and appeasing foreign mercantilists like China -- is simply not working.

The massive permanent expansion in federal spending and regulatory oversight built into President Obama's budget is discouraging private hiring by raising fears of even higher taxes and yet more intrusive regulation.

Simply, higher taxes discourage purchases of non-essentials and high-line durable goods, like better appliances, more appointed automobiles and higher quality homes, and higher taxes and tougher regulation increase incentives to offshore production to China and other locations where those burdens are less and entrepreneurship is more welcome.

Prior to the 2008 crisis, President Bush spent 19.6% of GDP and the deficit was $161 billion; whereas two years into the economic recovery in 2011, President Obama's budget projects outlays at 25.1% of GDP and a $1.3 trillion deficit in 2011. The latter figures are like to be closer to 27% and close to $2 trillion if the president does not accomplish the 4% growth his budgets assume in stark contrast to the real world the rest of us struggle.

Too much spending will require new taxes, and not just pushing rates marginally above 50% on families earning $250,000. And, higher rates for those families will raise taxes on half the income earned by proprietorships -- those small and medium sized businesses the president is urging to create jobs.

Much of the $787 stimulus money was squandered on political hobby horses that create few jobs. For example, grants to build green buildings displace other, more cost-effective private construction and don't increase the amount of commercial space rented or built over the next several years. By delaying projects, those grants have slowed construction spending and killed jobs.

The biggest banks received more than $2 trillion in TARP and Federal Reserve assistance to clean up their balance sheets and recapitalize securities trading, while the 8,000 regional banks got little assistance and remain burdened by toxic real estate loans. Consequently, nearly 250 regional banks have failed, and small and medium sized businesses cannot get credit to expand.

In addition to credit, businesses need more customers to create jobs, and the trade deficit -- in particular, imports of oil and the imbalance with China -- cut a huge hole in demand for U.S. goods and services. Without addressing oil and China, other efforts to create jobs are futile.
The president's moratorium on deep water drilling, though popular with environmental fundamentalists, kills jobs by laying off workers in the oil, gas and supporting industries and by sending too many consumer dollars abroad that could be spent here.

Detroit has the technology to build much more efficient gasoline-powered vehicles now, and a shift in national policy to rapidly build these would reduce oil imports and create many jobs. Instead, the president proposes to replace stickers on cars that report gas mileage intelligent folks can understand with grade school letters -- A, B, C...

If we could only have those letter grades for the president's economic appointees, we might be better off

China's undervalued currency makes its products artificially cheap and deceivingly competitive on U.S. store shelves, but Beijing's promises of new flexibility on the yuan have not translated into meaningful revaluation. The president, like a provincial premier, stands patiently accepting Chinese largess -- bond financing for profligate spending in Washington.

If President Obama wants to fix the federal deficit and create jobs, perhaps he should spend less, get serious about better using and developing American energy resources and quit appeasing China.

Candidate Obama promised those things but President Obama's memory seems short on everything but the failings of presidents passed.


Peter Morici is a professor at the University of Maryland School of Business and former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

________________________ ________________________ ____

morici is one of the best out there.  when he talks, I listen. 
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« Reply #63 on: August 31, 2010, 01:36:02 PM »

Simply, higher taxes discourage purchases of non-essentials and high-line durable goods, like better appliances, more appointed automobiles and higher quality homes, and higher taxes and tougher regulation increase incentives to offshore production to China and other locations where those burdens are less and entrepreneurship is more welcome.

________________________ ________________________ ____

Why can't you leftists grasp this? 
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« Reply #64 on: August 31, 2010, 07:03:12 PM »

EDITORIAL: Ohio battles bullies at Justice
Obama voting officials push ethnic grievances
By THE WASHINGTON TIMES
-


Voter Terry Penrod prepares to cast his absentee ballot at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial polling place Tuesday, September 30, 2008 in Columbus, Ohio.

Voters in this crucial swing state began casting absentee ballots Tuesday, a day after the Ohio Supreme Court and two separate federal judges cleared the way for a disputed early voting law that allows new voters to register and cast an absentee ballot on the same day from Tuesday through Oct. 6.
 
The Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Board of Elections today can stare down the increasingly rogue voting rights section of the U.S. Department of Justice, which continues to play ethnic politics nationwide. The state of Georgia recently forced the department to back off from its bullying tactics, and this Buckeye county should do the same.

Justice officials have threatened legal action against the county board unless it prints all its ballots in bilingual fashion. "With additional requirements for translators, community outreach, additional staffing and printing, the demand potentially would double the county's election costs," board member Rob Frost told Jennifer Rubin of the Weekly Standard. "The Justice attorneys said they were authorized to sue the county. ..."

The Justice Department's position is wrongheaded on several levels. First, the department bases its demand on Section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act, which is meant to ensure ballot access for Puerto Rican natives who never learned English. Nothing in 4(e) requires that every ballot in a jurisdiction be printed in Spanish - but only that those Puerto Rican voters not be denied the right to vote due to an inability "to read, write, understand or interpret any matter in the English language." There's no reason to find the county noncompliant if most of its ballots are English-only, as long as its Spanish speakers have access to Spanish ballots upon request.

Second, as a purely practical matter, forcing Cuyahoga to print all its ballots in Spanish is overkill. According to Mr. Frost, Justice officials say only 6,334 people of Puerto Rican heritage in the county have limited English proficiency, and it's unclear how many of them are registered to vote. In a county of nearly a million registered voters, why burden all those ballots with Spanish when just one-half of 1 percent of voters need such special help?

The Cuyahoga board meets today at 2:30 p.m., with this dispute heading its agenda. It should take a cue from Georgia and tell the department to take a hike. Justice tried for more than a year to force the state to drop its requirement that people registering to vote verify citizenship. Faced with determined and legally correct insistence by Georgia officials that its law was perfectly allowable, Justice last month suddenly backed off. As columnist John Fund reported on Saturday, "no evidence existed that anyone had been barred from voting because they were incorrectly listed as a noncitizen."

The voting rights section at Justice is out of control. North Carolina voters now are suing because Justice refused to allow a black-majority town to adopt nonpartisan elections on the ground that the black voters would harm their own interests by choosing to do so. Pro-soldier watchdogs are fighting back against apparent Justice attempts to water down guarantees of military voting rights - attempts led by the same official, Rebecca Wertz, who has been pressuring Cuyahoga County. This is the same gang that bungled the now-infamous New Black Panther voter-intimidation case.

The lesson here is that the Obama Justice Department doesn't define the law; it politicizes it. If Cuyahoga fights back, courts should support the county.

© Copyright 2010 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
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« Reply #65 on: September 01, 2010, 05:10:44 AM »

IBD Editorials
Entrepreneurs Know What Obama Doesn't
By DAVID J. THEROUX
Posted 08/31/2010 06:33 PM ET


________________________ ________________________ ___


With the economy still floundering and nearly one in 10 Americans out of work, it's time for the Obama administration to discard the ideological fiction that a wise and benevolent government can fix things. Being in power doesn't necessarily mean you understand problems or have solutions. The White House is striking out on both counts.

Nowhere was this more evident than at the "Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship" last spring.

Summit spokesman Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser and former White House speechwriter, set the proper tone, noting that "entrepreneurship is a fundamental American value, and it's also a force that has the ability to unlock opportunity for people around the world."

Rhodes said the summit was intended not to showcase government officials, but to "bring together entrepreneurs — social entrepreneurs ... around this question of how we can galvanize entrepreneurship on behalf of economic growth."

Then the parade of government officials began, including the secretary of Commerce, administrator of the Small Business Administration, director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, senior director for "global engagement" of the White House national security staff and others, with closing remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

It was a classic example of "know-it-all" big government at its worst.

Innovators Needed

This should have come as no surprise. By now, it should be clear to most Americans — especially the "doers" who create jobs for others — that the White House is no fan of free enterprise.

In March, President Obama tipped his hand, excoriating the U.S. business community as "a corporate culture rife with inside dealing; questionable accounting practices and short-term greed." The real problem in America, according to the president, "is not that someone who doesn't look like you might take your job; it's that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit."

White House policies reflect this belief that business is self-centered and evil and government all-knowing and good.

The trouble is: Such attitudes and policies smother entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation, exactly what the U.S. economy so desperately needs, especially now.

Contrary to President Obama's view, the crucial factor for improving life in every society has been private enterprise, individuals who seek to uplift their lives and those of others. Entrepreneurship is neither created nor nurtured by government, nor reserved to the privileged; it springs from individuals and can be found even in the poorest communities in countries worldwide.

The White House economic team should be required to read "Lessons from the Poor: Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit." In this book, Alvaro Vargas Llosa shows how countless millions of small-scale entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia and Latin America have created a vast range of products and services, not because of government, but despite the enormous burdens imposed by government bureaucracies and corruption.

Human Progress

Entrepreneurship can only be fully beneficial to society when people are free to channel their efforts into voluntary and cooperative ventures that create wealth. Where governments dominate society, enterprising individuals typically are stifled. Their talents and energies are misdirected into political patronage.

Instead of building competitive businesses they seek government favors — tariffs, subsidies and regulations — to impede others and raise costs for consumers. All of this serves to inhibit, misdirect and destroy wealth and job creation.

While the Obama White House may see greed in free-market entrepreneurial activity, it fails to recognize that all entrepreneurial creations are not motivated by financial considerations.

This is why entrepreneurship guru Peter Drucker ranked the Salvation Army among the most entrepreneurial organizations in America. "No one even comes close to it with respect to clarity of mission, ability to innovate, measurable results, dedication and putting money to maximum use," he says.

In their book, "The Voluntary City: Choice, Community, and Civil Society," David Beito, Peter Gordon and Alexander Tabarrok demonstrate that private business and social entrepreneurs, not government command-and-control, is what makes human progress possible.

This is another book the president and his staff should take on their next vacation, instead of their golf clubs. They might learn something and put an end to their destructive big-government policies.

• Theroux is founder and president of the Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif., and publisher of The Independent Review.



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« Reply #66 on: September 01, 2010, 05:53:39 AM »


Another Ugly Jobs Number: ADP Says The Private Sector SLASHED 10,000 Jobs In August
Joe Weisenthal | Sep. 1, 2010


The numbers: Another ugly jobs number. According to ADP, the private sector slashed a net 10,000 jobs in the month of august. Analysts were looking for the creation of 13,000 jobs, so not good. Small businesses slashed 6,000 jobs. Manufacturing fell by 6,000 in august.

This is the first time in several months that ADP has reported net job losses.

The odds that this Friday we'll see a negative print on the government jobs report on the private industry side (a headline negative number is a done deal, thanks to the Census), seems to be increasing.

US futures are still pointing up, however.

Click here for a guide to 15 key economic events happening in the future >

Background: This is a little morsel of a jobs report before Friday's big show. The ADP report is a semi-reliable predictor of what the government jobs data will show. It only looks at private sector hiring (this not skewed by Census). Analysts are looking for a paltry 13,000 new jobs.

Tags: Employment | Get Alerts for these topics » Short URL  Share:


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/august-adp-report-2010-9#ixzz0yHXJsetC
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« Reply #67 on: September 01, 2010, 06:39:24 AM »

‘Clunkers,’ a classic government folly
By Jeff Jacoby
Globe Columnist / September 1, 2010

________________________ ________________________ _____


IN THE market for a used car? Good luck finding a bargain: The price of “pre-owned’’ vehicles has climbed considerably over the past year. According to Edmunds.com, a website for car buyers, a three-year-old automobile today will set you back, on average, close to $20,000 — a spike of more than 10 percent since last summer. For some popular models, the increase has been much steeper. In July, a used Cadillac Escalade was going for around $35,000, or nearly 36 percent over last July’s price.

Why are used-car prices rocketing? Part of the answer is that demand is up: With unemployment high and the economy uncertain, some car buyers who might otherwise be looking for a new truck or SUV are instead shopping for a used vehicle as a way to save money.

But an even bigger part of the answer is that the supply of used cars is artificially low, because your Uncle Sam decided last year to destroy hundreds of thousands of perfectly good automobiles as part of its hare-brained Car Allowance Rebate System — or, as most of us called it, Cash for Clunkers. That was the program under which the government paid consumers up to $4,500 when they traded in an old car and bought a new one with better gas mileage. The traded-in cars — which had to be in drivable condition to qualify for the rebate — were then demolished: Dealers were required to chemically wreck each car’s engine, and send the car to be crushed or shredded.

Congress and the Obama administration trumpeted Cash for Clunkers as a triumph — the president pronounced it “successful beyond anybody’s imagination.’’ Which it was, if you define success as getting people to take “free’’ money to make a purchase most of them are going to make anyway, while simultaneously wiping out productive assets that could provide value to many other consumers for years to come. By any rational standard, however, this program was sheer folly.

No great insight was needed to realize that Cash for Clunkers would work a hardship on people unable to afford a new car. “All this program did for them,’’ I wrote last August, “was guarantee that used cars will become more expensive. Poorer drivers will be penalized to subsidize new cars for wealthier drivers.’’ Alec Gutierrez, a senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book, predicted that used-car prices would surge by up to 10 percent. “It’s going to drive prices up on some of the most affordable vehicles we have on the road,’’ he told USA Today. In short, Washington spent nearly $3 billion to raise the price of mobility for drivers on a budget.

To be sure, Cash for Clunkers gave a powerful jolt to car sales in July and August of 2009. But it did so mostly by delaying sales that would otherwise have occurred in April, May, and June, or by accelerating those that would have taken place in September, October, or later. “Influencing the timing of consumers’ durable purchases is easy,’’ Edmunds CEO Jeremy Anwyl wrote a few days ago in a blog post looking back at the program. “Creating new purchases is not.’’ Of the 700,000 cars purchased during the clunkers frenzy, the estimated net increase in sales was only 125,000. Each incremental sale thus ended up costing the taxpayers a profligate $24,000.

Even on environmental grounds, Cash for Clunkers was an exorbitant dud. Researchers at the University of California-Davis calculated that the reduction of carbon dioxide attributable to the program cost no less than $237 per ton. In contrast, carbon emissions credits cost about $20 per ton in international markets.

Using Department of Transportation figures, the Associated Press calculated that replacing inefficient clunkers with new cars getting higher mileage would reduce CO2 emissions by around 700,000 tons a year — less than Americans emit in a single hour. Likewise, the projected reduction in gasoline use amounted to about as much as Americans go through in 4 hours. (And that’s only if you assume — contrary to historical experience — that fuel consumption decreases when fuel efficiency rises.)

When all is said and done, Cash for Clunkers was a deplorable exercise in budgetary wastefulness, asset destruction, environmental irrelevance, and economic idiocy. Other than that, it was a screaming success.

Jeff Jacoby can be reached at jacoby@globe.com.
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« Reply #68 on: September 01, 2010, 02:27:09 PM »

Administration Tries and Fails To Pull a Fast One (Drilling Moratorium)
American Thinker ^ | September 1, 2010 | Clarice Feldman


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Having been enjoined by Judge Feldman (no relation) from trying to halt oil drilling based on inadequate scientific basis, the Administration's Secretary Salazar, tried to pull a fast one by simply issuing another moratorium. Judge Feldman has refused to play along:


The federal judge who struck down the Obama administration's initial six-month moratorium on deepwater oil-drilling dealt the government another blow on Wednesday.


U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman denied the government's request to throw out a suit challenging the drilling halt that had been filed by offshore-oil-service companies. Justice Department lawyers had argued the lawsuit was moot because the Interior Department imposed a new, temporary drilling ban on July 12, replacing a May 28 order that Judge Feldman had struck down in June.


But Judge Feldman ruled that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's second moratorium order "is substantially the same as the first one" and "applies to the exact same rigs, to the exact same deepwater drilling, for the exact same time period."


Judge Feldman also noted that in crafting the second moratorium, Mr. Salazar appeared to have relied heavily on documents and data that he had at the time of the first moratorium order.


Who's dumber, Salazar or the Department of Justice lawyers making such frivolous claims?

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« Reply #69 on: September 01, 2010, 06:42:37 PM »

Outgoing Obama Aide Admits: Stimulus Failed Because We Didn't Understand The Recession

Joe Weisenthal | Sep. 1, 2010, 8:29 PM | 940 |  19


You have successfully emailed the post. As she prepares to leave The White House, outgoing economic advisor Christina Romer has delivered something of a valedictory speech to the National Press Club. The title: Not My Father's Recession.

For Romer, her Father's recession was the one in the early 80s, when unemployment surged above 10%, and Romer's own father got laid off.

But the title basically tells you what you need to know: It's different this time -- this recession was not anything like the Fed-induced recession of her father -- and the old recovery playbook could not possibly go as anticipated.

Here's the key part of the text, via Brad DeLong's blog:

But compared with the problems we face, the turnaround has been insufficient....

In a report that Jared Bernstein and I issued during the transition, we estimated that by the end of 2010, a stimulus package like the Recovery Act would raise real GDP by about 3 1⁄2 percent and employment by about 31⁄2 million jobs, relative to what otherwise would have occurred. As the Council of Economic Advisers has documented in a series of reports to Congress, there is widespread agreement that the Act is broadly on track to meet these milestones....

What the Act hasn’t done is prevent unemployment from going above 8 percent, something else that Jared and I projected it would do. The reason that prediction was so far off is implicit in much of what I have been saying this afternoon. An estimate of what the economy will look like if a policy is adopted contains two components: a forecast of what would happen in the absence of the policy, and an estimate of the effect of the policy. As I’ve described, our estimates of the impact of the Recovery Act have proven quite accurate. But we, like virtually every other forecaster, failed to anticipate just how violent the recession would be in the absence of policy, and the degree to which the usual relationship between GDP and unemployment would break down.

Read the whole thing here.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/chrstina-romer-not-my-fathers-recession-2010-9#ixzz0yKewyqRL
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« Reply #70 on: September 01, 2010, 06:47:00 PM »

Oh gee,Stimulus Failed Because We Didn't Understand The Recession, I feel much better now. Good thing they are in charge Roll Eyes
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« Reply #71 on: September 01, 2010, 06:49:18 PM »

Oh gee,Stimulus Failed Because We Didn't Understand The Recession, I feel much better now. Good thing they are in charge Roll Eyes


It was just more lies Obama told to get elected. 
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« Reply #72 on: September 01, 2010, 06:56:09 PM »

An estimate of what the economy will look like if a policy is adopted contains two components: a forecast of what would happen in the absence of the policy, and an estimate of the effect of the policy. As I’ve described, our estimates of the impact of the Recovery Act have proven quite accurate. But we, like virtually every other forecaster, failed to anticipate just how violent the recession would be in the absence of policy, and the degree to which the usual relationship between GDP and unemployment would break down.


This is the same thing we were trying to tell the clowns who supported the healthcare bill.  It's like trying to reason with a fucking wall.
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« Reply #73 on: September 01, 2010, 07:03:11 PM »

But again - if she got the 2nd part wrong, than why should we feel ok with the fact she says the plan is working according to her models? 


We wasted a trillion dollars on basically what amounts to a half measure because they read the economy wrong.  Sorry, I have posted many clips from Schiff, Celente, Chapman, detailing what was occuring and they were proven right.  So there is no excuse for this nonsense from the Admn.
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« Reply #74 on: September 02, 2010, 06:47:29 AM »

Economist Christina Romer serves up dismal news at her farewell luncheon

By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 1, 2010; 10:40 PM


________________________ ________________________ _________



Lunch at the National Press Club on Wednesday caused some serious indigestion.

It wasn't the food; it was the entertainment. Christina Romer, chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, was giving what was billed as her "valedictory" before she returns to teach at Berkeley, and she used the swan song to establish four points, each more unnerving than the last:

She had no idea how bad the economic collapse would be. She still doesn't understand exactly why it was so bad. The response to the collapse was inadequate. And she doesn't have much of an idea about how to fix things.

What she did have was a binder full of scary descriptions and warnings, offered with a perma-smile and singsong delivery: "Terrible recession. . . . Incredibly searing. . . . Dramatically below trend. . . . Suffering terribly. . . . Risk of making high unemployment permanent. . . . Economic nightmare."

Anybody want dessert?

At week's end, Romer will leave the council chairmanship after what surely has been the most dismal tenure anybody in that post has had: a loss of nearly 4 million jobs in a year and a half. That's not Romer's fault; the financial collapse occurred before she, and Obama, took office.

Romer had predicted that Obama's stimulus package would keep the unemployment rate at 8 percent or less; it is now 9.5 percent. One of her bosses, Vice President Biden, told Democrats in January that "you're going to see, come the spring, net increase in jobs every month." The economy lost 350,000 jobs in June and July.

But she was the president's top economist during a time when the administration consistently underestimated the depth of the economy's troubles - miscalculations that have caused Americans to lose faith in the president and the Democrats.

This is why nearly two-thirds of Americans think the country is on the wrong track - and why Obama's efforts to highlight the end of U.S. combat in Iraq and the resumption of Middle East peace talks have little chance of piercing the gloom as voters consider handing control of Congress back to the Republicans.

Romer's farewell luncheon had been scheduled for the club's ballroom, but attendance was light and the event was moved to a smaller room. Romer, wearing a green suit, read brightly from her text - a delivery at odds with the dark material she was presenting. When she and her colleagues began work, she acknowledged, they did not realize "how quickly and strongly the financial crisis would affect the economy." They "failed to anticipate just how violent the recession would be."

Even now, Romer said, mystery persists. "To this day, economists don't fully understand why firms cut production as much as they did or why they cut labor so much more than they normally would." Her defense was that "almost all analysts were surprised by the violent reaction."

That miscalculation, in turn, led to her miscalculation that the stimulus package would be enough to keep the unemployment rate from exceeding 8 percent. Without the policy, she had predicted, unemployment would soar to 9.5 percent. The plan passed, and unemployment went to 10 percent.

No wonder most Americans think the effort failed. But Romer argued, a bit too defensively, against the majority perception. "As the Council of Economic Advisers has documented in a series of reports to Congress, there is widespread agreement that the act is broadly on track," she declared. Further, she argued, "I will never regret trying to put analysis and quantitative estimates behind our policy recommendations."

But the problem is not that Romer did a quantitative analysis; the problem is that the quantitative analysis was wrong. Inevitably, this meant that, as she acknowledged, "the turnaround has been insufficient."

And what to do about this? Here, Romer became uncharacteristically hesitant to make predictions. She suggested some "innovative, low-cost policies." But the examples she cited - a "national export initiative," new trade agreements and a "pragmatic approach to regulation" - aren't exactly blockbusters.

"The only sure-fire ways for policymakers to substantially increase aggregate demand in the short run are for the government to spend more and tax less," she said. But asked about the main Republican proposal, extending George W. Bush's tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000, Romer replied that doing so would be "fiscally irresponsible."

The truth is that the Obama administration is pretty much out of options. Any major new effort would be blocked by Republicans, who have few alternatives of their own. "What we would all love to find - the inexpensive magic bullet to our economic troubles - the truth is it almost surely doesn't exist," Romer admitted.

The valedictory was becoming more of an elegy. At the end of the depressing forum, the moderator read a question submitted by a member of the audience: "You seem like you'd be a lot of fun at parties. Are you?"

The economist blushed. "You'll have to just take it for granted," she said.

Like 8 percent unemployment.


________________________ ________________________ ___

Ouch - even the libs are realizing the failures. 
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