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Author Topic: Obama: Corruption, Deception, Dishonesty, Deceit and Promises Broken  (Read 97691 times)
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« Reply #1375 on: February 19, 2012, 11:41:38 AM »

Efforts to Prevent Another Fast and Furious Stripped by Obama
Twon Hall ^ | 2/17/12 | Katie Pavlich
Posted on February 19, 2012 1:51:41 PM EST by Nachum

Emily Miller of The Washington Times has been sifting through President Obama's latest budget boondogle and has found some pretty alarming items. First, Obama's budget strips language that would prevent another Operation Fast and Furious from occuring again.

In November, the president signed the Justice Department appropriations bill, which included language from Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, prohibiting federal agencies from facilitating the transfer of an operable firearm to an individual known or suspected to be in a drug cartel, unless they monitor the weapon at all times.

Now Mr. Obama is proposing to remove that provision from the 2013 spending bill, thus making it legal to revive gun-walking operations in the future. The White House justification is merely that the prohibition is “not necessary.”

Second, the budget pushes anti-Second Amendment policies.

Mr. Obama’s budget contains other gun-grabbing surprises. The White House is looking to reclaim authority to destroy surplus M1 Garand rifles and M1 Carbines. For 30 years, the Defense Department has been blocked from scrapping these collectible firearms that served our soldiers well in World War II and the Korean War. The administration also wants to melt down the military’s spent brass casings, thwarting gun owners who have been buying and recycling the surplus materials.

The president’s budget would also restore millions in funding to the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control so they can pump out junk science studies claiming handguns are a public health hazard.

(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...
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« Reply #1376 on: February 19, 2012, 02:25:31 PM »

It's not right to compare the Obama administration's performance in the matter of the Keystone XL pipeline to the Keystone Kops. Yes, the bunglers of the Charlie Chaplin silent movies are so busy blowing whistles that they arrest the victim while the bad guy makes off with the swag. But that was very funny, and the confused cops didn't know what they were doing. The administration knows full well what it is doing.

It has not gone so far as to kill the proposed 1,700-mile underground pipeline to carry crude oil from Canada to American refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. That might play badly against the president's vision in his State of the Union address of "a future where we're in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren't so tied to unstable parts of the world" (which stand to get a lot less stable, the way things are going). Instead, in Machiavelli's dictum, the president has been willing to wound but afraid to strike. He has contrived an excuse to delay a decision yet again. An environmental impact statement was issued by the State Department on Aug. 26, 2011, the conclusion of three years of reviews and negotiation. The approval process typically takes from 18 months to two years. That's understandable given the variety of concerns and interests a massive project entails about safeguarding water supplies, disturbing local landowners and communities, and restoring the landscape.

[Read Mort Zuckerman and other columnists in U.S. News Weekly, now available on iPad.]

The original Keystone pipeline won approval after two years and is operational. But in 2013, the Keystone XL (extension) will be in its fourth year of review, a Great Dither not justified when the State Department conducted three consecutive environmental reviews to reach its conclusion of minimal environmental impact. In that time, there have been many public hearings to satisfy local communities and private property owners. More than a dozen alternative routes have been surveyed, and TransCanada Corp., the builder, agreed to 57 special conditions beyond current federal pipeline regulations.

The president wants a relatively short section of the route from Alberta through Nebraska reconsidered. It means the State Department will have to agree to a new understanding with Nebraska and secure the governor's approval. Given the long history of Keystone XL, that is not a big deal. By all accounts, it could be done within a couple of months. Yet after three years of satisfying intense reviews, the president says that decision will not come until 2013. Hello? That wouldn't have anything to do, would it, with appeasing a particular left-wing environmental lobby until after the general election?

[Check out the U.S. News On Energy blog.]

It's a calculation which assumes that the voters concerned about the energy future that Obama paraded will be less active than the more extreme environmental lobbyists—who, in fact, will never be satisfied with anything to do with villainous Big Oil. Throwing a sop to the leftist anti-oil campaigners and "four more years" are apparently more important to the president and his campaign advisers than reducing our dependence on those unstable regions he mentioned and maintaining the momentum of the small improvement in the lamentable unemployment totals.

Notably, the Great Keystone Dither does not appeal to labor or indeed to all Democrats. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia put it well: "I'd rather buy from our closest ally and create jobs in America than push Canada to build a pipeline out to the West Coast of North America so that it ends up going to China. There is no question, this pipeline is a job creator with support of both labor and business. It needs to be built not for the benefit of one political party or one state, but for the benefit of America."

A final go-ahead for the $7 billion shovel-ready project would have supported tens of thousands of jobs now: 20,000 in new, direct well-paid construction and manufacturing jobs, and roughly 100,000 in indirect jobs along the pipeline, according to the developer, TransCanada. But the president's political concerns seem more important than enraging the Canadians, than giving China more edge in economic competition, than the defense and national security interests of truly independent energy.

[See a collection of political cartoons on energy policy.]

Keystone XL became a political issue only after the environmental lobby focused on a modest adjustment to the route involving about 100 miles of the pipeline, which would carry some 800,000 barrels of oil south each day. The state of Nebraska was unhappy about even this modest adjustment, given that its own exhaustive studies in three environmental impact statements over three years concluded that there would be "no significant impact" from the pipeline. The environmentalists argued that the state's ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region might be threatened by this minor change, but TransCanada had already said it would be willing to adjust the route in consultation with Nebraska officials. This did not suffice, because the more leftist environmentalists are just dead set against the development of Canada's oil-rich tar sands, which they wish to stifle by cutting off the export route to get the oil to market.

This is not quite 1812 again, with big bully USA intimidating the Canadians, but the fury of the Canadians is justified. Their minister of natural resources said the green movement's "goal is to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth," and that these groups are willing to "sue everyone and anyone to delay the project even further."

The Canadian prime minister, with the full support of his cabinet, may seek to redirect this oil to export markets in Asia, "based on what's happened with Keystone XL." He said recently, "This does underscore the necessity of Canada making sure that we're able to access Asian markets for our energy products." This is diplomatic language for making it clear that, without progress on Keystone XL, Canada would build a pipeline across Canada to the Pacific and ship the energy to Asia. The Canadians see the U.S. inaction as a direct rebuff, taken despite the fact that Canada is the largest U.S. oil supplier at about 2.67 million barrels a day, compared with 970 thousand barrels a day from Venezuela, and that this is the biggest infrastructure project on the continent and would enhance America's oil independence.

[Washington Whispers: Most Want Keystone Pipeline Built]

Congressional Republicans are also furious, and in this instance they, too, are right in their rebuttals of the administration's half-baked case for still more dither, sacrificing thousands of American jobs and energy security to the Chinese. The business community is also up in arms. As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce put it, "The president's decision sends a strong message to the business community and to investors: Keep your money on the sidelines, America is not open for business." The president's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness restated the concern that if the United States is going to have inexpensive and reliable energy, it needs "to optimize all of its natural resources and construct pathways (pipelines, transmission and distribution) to deliver electricity and fuel."

Furthermore, legislation passed by Congress late last year, setting a 60-day deadline for granting the Keystone XL permit absent a determination by the president that the pipeline was not in the "national interest," stated clearly that Obama could not consider any new environmental impact study. "The final environmental impact statement issued by the Secretary of State on August 26, 2011, satisfies all requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ... and section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act," it said. And to make it crystal clear: "No further Federal environmental review shall be required."

[Read Michael Lynch: Keystone XL's Rewards Outweigh Its Potential Risks]

The fight is not over. The outspoken Sen. Manchin has allies in the Democratic Party. They should coordinate their approach with the Nebraskans. The only question is how the battle will be waged. Clearly there is a national interest in securing an energy supply independent of the Middle East. No project of this scale avoids marginal costs, but the incremental benefits are such as to undermine the confidence that this administration has acted appropriately to balance the national interest with what it considers its own political interest. As Will Rogers said, "Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for."

Read Mort Zuckerman on America's energy future.
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« Reply #1377 on: February 21, 2012, 09:13:27 AM »

February 21, 2012

How Obama Makes Decisions

By Ed Lasky



There is a cliché in Washington.  There are two things you do not want to see made: sausage and laws.  To those we may add a third: Barack Obama's decisions.

Americans were warned by his opponents that Barack Obama was unprepared to be president.  He had very little record to run on, and his one experience at being an executive was a failure -- his hushed up history running and running through a hundred million dollars as the head of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge in Chicago.  He had a record of avoiding tough decisions (the "voting present" issue); he was just a celebrity who was not ready for the 3 A.M. phone call.  The presidency was not an "on the job" training program.

After three years we can judge those fears to be well-warranted.

There are many people who have problems with his policies.  Barrels of ink and billions of pixels have been used to criticize his agenda.  But surprisingly little analysis has gone into figuring out the mystery of how Obama actually goes about making decisions.

Fortunately, over the last few years journalists have been obsessing over Barack Obama almost as much as he has been obsessing over himself.  They have provided various vignettes that give us a disturbing picture of a man floundering in his own careless if not willful ineptitude.

Americans should have been alert to the paucity of his own record of accomplishment.  As a state senator he showed little interest in learning the intricacies of legislation.  Instead, his political mentor, Illinois State Senate President Emil Jones, allowed him to "bill-jack" the legislative work of others and claim it as his own.  This was a practice he continued as a U.S. senator.  He was unprepared to do the homework and heavy lifting -- that was for others to toil over.

If there is one constant to Barack Obama's life, it is his lack of a work ethic.  I never doubted that the Barack Obama had stellar grades in college and law school.  He surfed the wave of grade inflation that has probably always been a factor in his success.  This is pure speculation, but the reason why he never released his transcripts was probably because they would have revealed that he took easy left-wing courses that would have reflected poorly on his work ethic.  The laziness has persisted.

A leader has to be well-informed, consult with good advisers and experts, read and research, and make a decision.  He has to prepare himself to be a leader.

We saw signs during the campaign that he had little interest in the issues of the day.  The late Dean Barnett wrote in the Weekly Standard in a column titled "How Smart is Obama":

And there's also what appears to be a lack of intellectual curiosity. Abe Greenwald of Commentary's blog calls our attention to this nugget from an enjoyable New York Times profile of Obama "body man" Reggie Love:

Along the way, some unofficial rules have emerged between the candidate and his aide. From Mr. Obama: "One cardinal rule of the road is, we don't watch CNN, the news or MSNBC. We don't watch any talking heads or any politics. We watch 'SportsCenter' and argue about that."

So how, pray tell, is Obama staying informed about what's going on in the world? When he's pressing the flesh at crummy rural diners and speaking before 75,000 adoring acolytes, he's talking, not listening. Don't you think a guy who might be president would be obsessed with world events? Don't you think that obsession would have driven him into the race? And don't you think as a potential wartime leader he might be using his downtime to study, just in case he wins?

Obama has made a habit of coming across like a man who doesn't know what he's talking about. That's bothersome enough, but what's more worrisome still is how comfortable he is with not knowing what he's talking about, and how convinced he seems that his rhetorical flourishes will obscure his ignorance. That strategy may work on the campaign trail, but it certainly won't help him govern.

Perhaps that was why he could so readily dismiss Iran as being a "tiny country" that posed no threat.  And that was just one of many statements that had a Republican made them would have been broadcast far and wide.

If anything, his television-watching has gone downhill.  Now he watches Spongebob Squarepants and Hannah Montana -- albeit with his daughters (a fact that calls into question his fathering ability but it is a step above having them hear Jeremiah Wright's racist and anti-American rants).

Alas, how true Barnett's prophecy regarding Obama's ignorance and inability to govern has been.

Ron Suskind's book Confidence Men portrays Barack Obama as being confounded by his duties as president.  Some of the scenes depicted by Suskind would be comical if they were not so tragic for America.

For example, when Obama's experts assembled to discuss the scope and intricacies of the stimulus bill, Barack Obama was out of his depth.  He was "surprisingly aloof in the conversation" and seemed "disconnected and less in control."  His contributions were rare and consisted of blurting out such gems of wisdom as "There needs to be more inspiration here!" and "What about more smart grids" and -- one more that Newt Gingrich would appreciate -- "we need more moon shot" (pages 154-5).

Suskind writes:

Members of the team were perplexed...for the first time in the transition, people started to wonder just how prepared the man at the helm was.

He repeated a similar sorry performance when he had a conference call with Speaker Pelosi and her staff to discuss the details of the planned stimulus bill.  He shouted into the speakerphone that "this stimulus needs more inspiration! Pelosi and her staff visibly rolled their eyes."

Presidential exhortations more befitting a summer camp counselor will evoke such reactions.

Perhaps if Obama had been a better leader he would have been able to assemble better advisers who could have prepped him for the rigors of the office.  He was counseled by Washington veteran Erskine Bowles to "leave your friends at home. They just create problems when you get to Chicago."  So what did Obama do?  He ignored Bowles (presaging how he later ignored the Simpson-Bowles commission on fiscal responsibility).

As Timothy Noah wrote in the New Republic:

He brought Axelrod and Jarrett to the White House, made Emanuel chief of staff, and eventually replaced Emanuel with Daley. The rap against Obama's White House management style became that he was too dependent on old friends and fellow Chicagoans.

Almost all have left -- as have a number of others.  But who stayed?  Valerie Jarrett -- his own Svengali -- who plays a key role in Obama's decision-making process.  Should President Obama rely upon her in making decisions?  Her own record as a businesswoman is flecked with failure.  Matthew Continetti recently characterized her, with good reason, as "The Worst White House Aide," who has a perfect record of giving bad advice.

Should we be surprised by Barack Obama's choice of his closest adviser?  Lest we forget, he described Jeremiah Wright as his "moral compass" and "sounding board."

This reliance is a particular problem because Barack Obama runs the most insular White House in memory.  He rarely reaches out to members of the other party for their advice and suggestions (despite the fact that they represent millions of voters), and when he does so, it is mostly for photo-ops.  The sessions are not productive.  For instance, in January 2009 he met with congressional leaders to discuss the stimulus package.  Senator Kyl questioned the plan.  Obama's response was "I won."  A year later there was another bipartisan meeting to discuss health care reform where Obama gave the Republicans short shrift and unequal time because, he said, "I'm the president."

Republicans should not fret, though, since Democrats are also frozen out.  Barack Obama does not reach out to them for their ideas or input.  Liberal Washington Post columnists noted his refusal to touch base with fellow Democrats.  In her column "The Where's Waldo Presidency," Ruth Marcus noted the "startling number of occasions in which the president has been missing in action -- unwilling, reluctant or late to weigh in on the issues of the moment."  Memo to Marcus: check the links, the basketball court, or the East Room jazz club.

His having remained aloof from budget negotiations and his absence from supercommittee talks made for such an abdication of leadership that they earned a rebuke from Erskine Bowles.  And so it goes -- the Invisible Man hiding in the Oval Office or reveling in adoration showered on him at expensive elite fundraisers.

Compare and contrast this behavior with President Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson, or John Kennedy.  They were all policy wonks -- able and eager to reach out to experts and politicians from across the aisle, day or evening and, in the case of Lyndon Johnson, even when he was in the bathroom.  Instead, Barack Obama seems to avoid interaction with those who could help him make wise decisions.

Indeed, he showed a similar aversion as a law lecturer at the University of Chicago.

There was a revealing New York Times report during the 2008 campaign that portrayed him as a faculty member at the University of Chicago Law School who refused to have intellectual repartee with other teachers.  He would just walk right by other academics who were chatting about the law.  There seems to be a pattern of someone who wants to avoid having his intellect scrutinized (tellingly, of course, he never completed a single work of legal scholarship).  Is he fearful of revealing that he is not the grand intellect that besotted journalists have proclaimed him to be?  Is this why he is tethered to the teleprompter?  Do his handlers know something we do not?

Certainly when he goes off the prompter he says some truly ridiculous things (Hawaii is in Asia, there are 57 states in America, "spread the wealth").

Despite his early boast that "I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors," the reality is far different than the claim.  That might explain why he just decided to stop receiving daily economic briefings early in his presidency, despite the pain and suffering that millions of Americans have experienced during his reign, and why he would just walk out on Stephen Chu, his energy secretary, after only a few slides had been shown (the rudeness punctuated with "Steve, I'm done") that explained the complexities of the BP oil spill?  After all, when one "knows more about policy" than mere mortals, who needs to waste one's time with experts -- even Nobel Prize-winning scientists?

Why should taxpayers even fund experts when we have an omniscient president making up fact-free policy?  Perhaps we should just lay off thousands of people who toil away in the federal government trying to find facts.  American taxpayers can just rely on Barack Obama.

Indeed, a good rule of thumb to judge Obama is to take his boast, reverse it, and then apply it to Obama.  He seems out of his depth when discussing policy, so he avoids press conferences and becomes irate during the rare times a non-fawning journalist poses a challenging question to him.  Or he is just reduced to "gibberish," as Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson described his answer to ABC News's Jake Tapper over a question regarding his broken promise to reduce debt .

Or he relies on fluff as deep as "hope," "change," and "yes we can," as he did during the campaign.  Now he depends on "fat cats" and "fairness."  They are easy to remember and are not as challenging for him as being able to comprehend and explain actual policy.

His vanity leads to an aversion to showing how unprepared he is to be president.

The best ticket in town would be a debate between Congressman Paul Ryan and Barack Obama regarding the huge deficits and debt Obama has imposed on us and our children.  Ryan has a fluency and knowledge of these vital issues that dwarf those of Obama.  Instead of cooperating with Ryan, he ambushes and insults him in public and for good measure later insulted opponents of his job bill for being unable to understand the "whole thing at once" so "we're going to break it into bite-sized pieces."

Psychologists would call this "projection."

This refusal to do the homework necessary to make good decisions is worrisome on several levels.  It led to not only legislation being outsourced to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, but also to foreign policy decisions that seem to come from either the Arab League or the United Nations, or from some sudden inspiration of his disconnect from reality.  After all, the path of least resistance is just to do nothing, "lead from behind," or let others do the work.  At times, he appears to have adopted a "hear no evil, see no evil" approach that may conflict with the facts and with statements made by his own officials but has the virtue of avoiding the mere prospect of having to make a decision.

Did he not do his research or ask experts when he violated, for example, agreements made with Israel regarding settlements?  Or seek counsel when he broke agreements with East European allies to station missiles on their land as part of his feckless reset with Russia?  Or violated the War Powers Act by waging war in Libya?

Perhaps ignorance is bliss -- as blissful as a sunny day on the fairway.

Now, of course, he has gone full-bore into campaign mode, and his decisions are geared to improving his own re-election prospects (the omnipresent David Plouffe, Obama's senior political adviser, has become a de facto decider-in-chief).

One can point to myriad examples that prompt inquiries along the lines of "how did he make that decision?"

Yet, Barack Obama claims that he has gotten better as president.  One can certainly hope so.  But recent evidence does not show so.  Ryan Lizza recently wrote a New Yorker column that gave readers insight into how the president makes decisions, and it is as unappealing as watching sausage being made.  Mickey Kaus at the Daily Caller distilled the essence of Obama's decision-making:

The President's decision-making method...seems to consist mainly of checking boxes on memos his aides have written for him. ... He's presented with a list of $60 billion in cuts to his core stimulus policies, and writes "OK." ... He "authorize his staff" to plan a likely-to-be-useless "bipartisan 'fiscal summit,'" asks "what are the takeaways" is told he could "ask .. for continued dialogue," and doesn't write "this is all BS" and cancel the summit, which in fact proves useless. ... He's given a memo on cutting government waste and writes "This is good stuff-we need to constantly publicize our successful efforts here." Does he later notice that either the efforts or the attempt to publicize them were wildly ineffective?  ... He's asked to check a box saying whether he wants to fund his "child nutrition agenda" out of the money for community colleges. ... He's asked about including medical malpractice reform in his health care bill, and writes ("in his characteristically cautious and reasonable style") that "we should explore it."  ... He's presented a plan for a watered-down tax on multinationals or a very watered down tax. He writes "worth discussing."

Finally, he's presented with a classic three-box-con memo-two extreme boxes (big new jobs package, big new deficit package) and a safer middle box ("smaller, more symbolic" deficit efforts), a matrix clearly designed to get him to choose the middle option. He chooses the middle option.

His handlers have been reduced to managing the president in a way more appropriate for a child in grade school.

Kaus is incredulous that Obama can't just "be an executive who spend his days checking boxes, accepting the choices presented by his aides, never reaching outside them through unconventional channels or reaching unconventional thinkers, never throwing over the framework with which he is presented."

Why not?

Can't the presidency be a multiple choice exam?  Those are always the easiest tests especially for unprepared people in over their heads -- as President Obama has proven himself to be.

Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker.


Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2012/02/how_obama_makes_decisions.html



 at February 21, 2012 - 10:06:24 AM CST
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« Reply #1378 on: February 21, 2012, 08:19:45 PM »

Obama to law enforcement: Stop linking Muslims to Terrorism
canadafreepress.com ^ | Feb. 20, 2012 | Jim Kouri
Posted on February 21, 2012 10:27:52 PM EST by Free ThinkerNY

In yet another curtsy to the politically correct orthodoxy, President Barack Obama’s White House plans to tinker with federal police curriculums for counterterrorism training classes. The first bit of “revamping” is the removal of all material that groups, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, find offensive or containing a “negative” image of Muslims.

It’s a government-wide call to end Islamophobia, according to a blog by a Washington, DC-based watchdog group that investigates, exposes and prosecutes government corruption.

A few months after the Obama White House ordered an investigation of government counterterrorism training, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has destroyed instructional material that characterizes Muslims as prone to violence or terrorism, according to the Judicial Watch blog.

So far 700 pages of documents from about 300 presentations given to agents since the 2001 terrorist attacks have been purged, according to a new report published this week. The White House order came after the same publication reported in late November that the FBI, Department of Justice (DOJ) and Pentagon taught employees that mainstream Muslims embrace violence and compared the Islamic religion to the death star.

(Excerpt) Read more at canadafreepress.com ...
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« Reply #1379 on: February 22, 2012, 07:26:42 AM »

WTF! 

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh4d_XZ24ZY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh4d_XZ24ZY</a>

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« Reply #1380 on: February 22, 2012, 07:33:36 AM »

Obama to law enforcement: Stop linking Muslims to Terrorism
canadafreepress.com ^ | Feb. 20, 2012 | Jim Kouri
Posted on February 21, 2012 10:27:52 PM EST by Free ThinkerNY

In yet another curtsy to the politically correct orthodoxy, President Barack Obama’s White House plans to tinker with federal police curriculums for counterterrorism training classes. The first bit of “revamping” is the removal of all material that groups, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, find offensive or containing a “negative” image of Muslims.

It’s a government-wide call to end Islamophobia, according to a blog by a Washington, DC-based watchdog group that investigates, exposes and prosecutes government corruption.

A few months after the Obama White House ordered an investigation of government counterterrorism training, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has destroyed instructional material that characterizes Muslims as prone to violence or terrorism, according to the Judicial Watch blog.

So far 700 pages of documents from about 300 presentations given to agents since the 2001 terrorist attacks have been purged, according to a new report published this week. The White House order came after the same publication reported in late November that the FBI, Department of Justice (DOJ) and Pentagon taught employees that mainstream Muslims embrace violence and compared the Islamic religion to the death star.

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

Jesus Christ really?
Now we have to be PC to the fucking people that hate us, attack us and decry our existence every day? REALLY!?
Were going to let them dictate what material we can have?!
So, the FBI is allowed to have material claiming that citizens that feel the government is too large are terrorists, but theyre NOT allowed to have material talking about how Muslims are prone to violence or terrorism?!?

REALLY!!?!?!?!?!?!?!
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« Reply #1381 on: February 22, 2012, 10:42:49 AM »

Obama moves on corporate-tax reform (in the wrong direction!)
Hotair ^ | 02/22/2012 | Ed Morrissey





Corporate tax reform has long been an opportunity for a win-win bipartisan effort in Washington. Everyone agrees that the corporate code needs significant changes, if not a complete overhaul; it's too complicated, too costly, and rewards the larger companies that can afford to analyze it for every possible benefit. Both parties have made corporate tax reform part of their plartforms, Democrats arguing that we need to close loopholes, Republicans that we need simplification and lower rates.

The White House decided to go first on corporate tax reform:

The Obama administration Wednesday will unveil a framework for reforming the corporate tax code that would lower the top rate from 35 percent to 28 percent but generate more total revenue by eliminating “dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies” and creating a minimum rate on foreign earnings.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will formally unveil the tax reform blueprint at 11:30 a.m.

The “global minimum tax” makes an appearance, along with a laughable pledge to pay for the rate reduction by — wait for it — “greater fiscal responsibility”:

The tax reform framework “eliminates dozens of different tax expenditures and fundamentally reforms the business tax base to reduce distortions that hurt productivity and growth. … It reinvests these savings to lower the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, putting the United States in line with major competitor countries and encouraging greater investment,” according to an administration official.

The official added that the framework “would refocus the manufacturing deduction and use the savings to reduce the effective rate on manufacturing to no more than 25 percent, while encouraging greater research and development and the production of clean energy.”

The framework would establish “a new minimum tax on foreign earnings, to encourage domestic investment.” The proposal will be “fully paid for … to greater fiscal responsibility than our current business tax system by either eliminating or making permanent and fully paying for temporary tax provisions now in the tax code.”

“Greater fiscal responsibility”? Isn’t this the same White House that produced four trillion-dollar-plus budget deficits? Yeah, that will work out well.

James Pethokoukis takes a long look at the proposal, and declares that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner should resign for putting his name to it:

The current U.S. economic recovery is arguably the worst in modern American history. Incomes are flat, housing is moribund and the past three years have seen the longest stretch of high unemployment in this country since the Great Depression. Yet President Barack Obama—with the backing of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner—has the temerity to propose a corporate tax reform plan that would actually raise the tax burden on American business (and de facto on workers, too) without lowering rates to an internationally competitive level. This is a terrible, terrible plan:

1. The Obama-Geithner plan would lower the statutory corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 35 percent, currently the second-highest among advanced economies. But that would still leave the combined U.S. corporate tax rate — state and federal — at 32.2 percent, far above the OECD combined average of 25 percent. The U.S. combined rate would be a bit below slow-growing Japan and France but above the U.K. and Germany. That’s not nearly good enough. Canada just lowered its corporate tax rate, for instance, to 15 percent. So instead of having the second highest corporate tax rate in the world, the U.S. would probably be fourth behind Japan, France and Belgium.

2. The Obama-Geithner plan would establish, according to the New York Times, a minimum tax on multinational corporations’ foreign earnings to discourage “accounting games to shift profits abroad” or actual relocation of production overseas.

So instead of a carrot, Corporate America gets the stick. Instead of lowering the U.S. rate to a competitive level, Obama would raise the penalty on keeping profits overseas. Indeed, the United States is a huge outlier in that it taxes the foreign profits of multinational companies. Here is Obama’s own Jobs Council:

While most other developed nations have adopted territorial systems that exempt most or all foreign income from taxes when they are repatriated, the U.S. subjects all worldwide earnings to the corporate income tax when they are brought home to the U.S. This approach actually encourages U.S. companies to keep their earnings abroad rather than investing them here at home. Adopting a territorial tax system would bring us in line with our trading partners and would eliminate the so-called “lock-out” effect in the current worldwide system of taxation that discourages repatriation and investment of the foreign earnings of American companies in the U.S.

Obama’s debt commission made a similar recommendation.

James has plenty more to say, especially on the lack of understanding on the part of Obama and his team about basic economics. Who pays corporate taxes? Consumers and employees do.

However, from a political perspective, this may be even worse than its economics. For the second straight year, Obama has launched a major proposal while deliberately disregarding his own advisory panel’s recommendations. That turned into political disaster last year, when Obama’s budget ignored his own appointed deficit panel. His budget got voted down unanimously in a Senate controlled by his own party, making him look extreme and out of touch on budgetary issues.

Now his new corporate tax proposal ignores the recommendations from the panel Obama created to much fanfare last year as part of his focus on job creation and economic growth. The obvious conclusion is that Obama has prioritized punitive tax changes on American business in order to fund his spending expansion over economic growth. Republicans need to emphasize that Obama’s job council turned out to be nothing more than a smoke screen, just the same as Simpson-Bowles, and that this corporate tax “reform” is anything but.

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« Reply #1382 on: February 22, 2012, 11:09:40 AM »

Obama to Shut Down Immigration Enforcement Program
foxnews ^ | 02.22.12 | Alan Gomez




WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is starting to shut down a program that deputized local police officers to act as immigration agents.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have trained local officers around the country to act as their agencies' immigration officers. Working either in jails or in the field, the officers can check the immigration status of suspects and place immigration holds on them.


(Excerpt) Read more at nation.foxnews.com ...






More hispandering by the Occupier in Chief 
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« Reply #1383 on: February 22, 2012, 01:31:26 PM »

Sleight Of Hand: Obama To Propose 28% Corporate Tax Rate…But Increase Dividend Tax Rate To 64.1%
Pat Dollard ^ | 2-22-2012





Sleight Of Hand: Obama To Propose 28% Corporate Tax Rate…But Increase Dividend Tax Rate To 64.1%
February 22, 2012

Mr. Obama is proposing to raise the dividend tax rate to the higher personal income tax rate of 39.6% that will kick in next year. Add in the planned phase-out of deductions and exemptions, and the rate hits 41%. Then add the 3.8% investment tax surcharge in ObamaCare, and the new dividend tax rate in 2013 would be 44.8%—nearly three times today’s 15% rate.

Keep in mind that dividends are paid to shareholders only after the corporation pays taxes on its profits. So assuming a maximum 35% corporate tax rate and a 44.8% dividend tax, the total tax on corporate earnings passed through as dividends would be 64.1%.

...

Who would get hurt? IRS data show that retirees and near-retirees who depend on dividend income would be hit especially hard. Almost three of four dividend payments go to those over the age of 55, and more than half go to those older than 65, according to IRS data.

But all American shareholders would lose. Higher dividend and capital gains taxes make stocks less valuable. A share of stock is worth the discounted present value of the future earnings stream after taxes. Stock prices would fall over time to adjust to the new after-tax rate of return. And if investors become convinced later this year that dividend and capital gains taxes are going way up on January 1, some investors are likely to sell shares ahead of paying these higher rates.

The question is how this helps anyone. According to the Investment Company Institute, about 51% of adults own stock directly or through mutual funds, which is more than 100 million shareholders. Tens of millions more own stocks through pension funds. Why would the White House endorse a policy that will make these households poorer?

Seldom has there been a clearer example of a policy that is supposed to soak the rich but will drench almost all American families.













Go figure - more lies from Obama   
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« Reply #1384 on: February 22, 2012, 04:40:46 PM »

Every time I see one of your threads, you are the person that started it and you are the last person to post in it.

What do you think that says about you?

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« Reply #1385 on: February 22, 2012, 04:53:03 PM »

 Smiley
Every time I see one of your threads, you are the person that started it and you are the last person to post in it.

What do you think that says about you?




That I update them?   


Btw you are free to dispute anything I have posted. 
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« Reply #1386 on: February 22, 2012, 05:19:35 PM »

Smiley

That I update them?   


Btw you are free to dispute anything I have posted. 
I would love to keep up with your posts, but I have a job and human relationships.

These things, foreign as they are to you, do take up a man's time.
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« Reply #1387 on: February 22, 2012, 08:54:30 PM »

FCC chairman’s books contain undocumented meetings with left-wing lobbyists
daily caller ^ | 2/21/12 | Josh Peterson
Posted on February 21, 2012 7:22:20 PM EST by Nachum

In the months leading up to the Federal Communications Commission’s December 21, 2010 “net neutrality” vote, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s appointment book contained two key meetings not listed in Commission’s legal filings, The Daily Caller has learned.

Genachowski’s appointment book, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and provided to TheDC by the National Legal and Policy Center, showed two meetings that were not listed in the Commission’s ex parte filings in the month prior to the “net neutrality vote.”

“Net neutrality” is where Internet traffic management policies of Internet service providers (ISPs) are governed by the FCC.

One was a half an hour meeting on November 9, 2010 called “Tim Wu JG Drop by (Conf Room One). Wu, the chairman of the board of left-wing activist media lobby group Free Press from 2008 until 2011, was one of the chief architects of the “net neutrality” principle. Another was a 15 minute meeting on November 22, 2010 with Gigi Sohn – founder and president of Public Knowledge, also a left-wing activist media lobby group – in the minutes prior to an hour long meeting with “Public Interest Groups.”

When multiple parties are involved in a single issue before the Commission, ex parte filings — which keep all parties informed of private meetings between the Commission and a single party — are required to be filed by the lobby group who petitioned the FCC. Even when the information of the meeting is considered “restricted,” there is at least a notice filed by that party indicating the meeting took place.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailycaller.com ...
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« Reply #1388 on: February 23, 2012, 12:38:04 PM »

The Corner

Guess Who Decides What FBI Agents Get To Learn About Islam?

By Andrew C. McCarthy

February 22, 2012 





While we’re on the subject of the Muslim Brotherhood, this February 16 report from Steve Emerson at the Investigative Project on Terrorism will be an eye-opener. As I mentioned in my column over the weekend, the FBI — following the administration’s lead — is purging its training materials of publications that are deemed offensive to Muslims (you know, crazy stuff like claims that passages in the Koran and Hadith promote violent jihad, Islamic supremacism, killing of apostates, oppression of women, etc.). So what are the criteria the Bureau uses to figure out what materials are offensive? And who decides?

You’ll never guess. Steve, who has been talking to some mighty outraged law-enforcement officials, writes:

It was just revealed two days ago that FBI Director Mueller secretly met on February 8 at FBI headquarters with a coalition of groups including various Islamist and militant Arabic groups who in the past have defended Hamas and Hizballah and have also issued blatantly anti-Semitic statements. At this meeting, the FBI revealed that it had removed more than 1000 presentations and curricula on Islam from FBI offices around the country that was deemed “offensive.” The FBI did not reveal what criteria was used to determine why material was considered “offensive” but knowledgeable law enforcement sources have told the IPT that it was these radical groups who made that determination. Moreover, numerous FBI agents have confirmed that from now on, FBI headquarters has banned all FBI offices from inviting any counter-terrorist specialists who are considered “anti-Islam” by Muslim Brotherhood front groups.

The February 8 FBI meeting was the culmination of a series of unpublicized directives issued in the last three months by top FBI officials to all its field offices to immediately recall and withdraw any presentation or curricula on Islam throughout the entire FBI. In fact, according to informed sources and undisclosed documents, the FBI directive was instigated by radical Muslim groups in the US who had repeatedly met with top officials of the Obama Administration to complain, among other things, that the mere usage of the term of “radical Islam” in FBI curricula was “offensive” and ‘racist.” And thus, directives went out by Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Mueller to censor all such material. Included in the material destroyed or removed by the FBI and the DOJ were powerpoints and articles that defined jihad as “holy war” or presentations that portrayed the Muslim Brotherhood as an organization bent on taking over the world—a major tenet that the Muslim Brotherhood has publicly stated for decades.

Feel safer now?

 
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« Reply #1389 on: February 23, 2012, 12:54:56 PM »

Obama: I've got 'five years' left to solve immigration
Politico44 ^ | 2/23/12 | BYRON TAU




In an interview with Univision Radio, President Obama said that he has 'five years' left in his presidency to figure out issues like comprehensive immigration reform. Striking a confident note about his reelection prospects, Obama assured a largely Hispanic audience that he has not given up on getting an immigration bill done — one that would provide a pathway to citizenship.

"My presidency is not over," Obama told Univision's Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo "I’ve got another five years coming up. We’re going to get this done."

Obama also said that Hispanic voters would ultimately face an easy choice in deciding between him and the Republican nominee in November — emphasizing his support for comprehensive immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship.


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


________________________ _________________


God Help us. 
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« Reply #1390 on: February 24, 2012, 04:56:22 AM »

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The $4 Billion Obamacare Slush Fund for Progressives
Townhall.com ^ | February 24, 2012 | Michelle Malkin
Posted on February 24, 2012 6:43:56 AM EST by Kaslin

If you like how the Obama administration's multibillion-dollar "investments" in bankrupt solar companies have turned out, you'll love the latest federal loan program to nowhere. It's the Obamacare loyalty rewards program for progressives.

To appease liberal Democrats pushing for the so-called "public option" (the full frontal government takeover of our health care system), the White House settled for the creation of a $6 billion network of nonprofit "CO-OPs" that will "compete" with private insurers. It's socialized medicine through the side door. House Republicans sliced about $2 billion from the slush fund in last spring's budget deal and proclaimed the program dead. Hardly.

On Wednesday, the White House trumpeted the release of nearly $700 million in taxpayer-funded low-interest loans for seven CO-OPs in eight states. Administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the fund will pour more money into CO-OP plans nationwide throughout the next year. In 2014, according to Washington bureaucrats, the plans will be offered on the federally approved and federally monitored state health exchange "marketplace."

Some marketplace. Given how Team Obama has dispensed special Obamacare waivers to scores of campaign donors, it's a sure bet the CO-OP/exchange mechanism will be brazenly rigged against non-subsidized, for-profit insurers. And against taxpayers. Obama health officials assure us that there will be an "early warning system" in place before loan recipients get into financial trouble. But we know from the half-billion-dollar Solyndra scam that when this administration sees red flags, it's full speed ahead.

In fact, the Obamacare CO-OP overseers already predict a nearly 40 percent default rate for the loans, according to Kaiser Health. Welcome to the Chicago-on-the-Potomac reverse rule of holes: When you're in one, keep digging.

So, who are the lucky winners of the Obamacare slush fund lottery? Freelancers CO-OP of New Jersey, New Mexico Health Connections, Midwest Members Health in Iowa and Nebraska, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative in Wisconsin, Freelancers CO-OP of Oregon, Montana Health Cooperative, and Freelancers Health Service Corporation in New York.

You won't be surprised to learn that the Freelancers Union -- the largest CO-OP loan beneficiary to date, with a total $341 million subsidy -- is a left-wing outfit founded by a self-described "labor entrepreneur" and MacArthur "genius." Sara Horowitz has already snagged countless grants from the city and state of New York, the liberal Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Horowitz and Obama served together, along with former green jobs czar Van Jones, as advisers for the progressive think tank Demos -- which in turn partnered with fraud-ridden community organizers ACORN and Project Vote. She also runs a political action committee called "Working Today" that crusades for an expanded government safety net. Crowing about the CO-OP loan from her fellow progressive warrior, Horowitz exulted: "It's like venture capital for health care." Or more accurately, to borrow South Carolina GOP Sen. Jim DeMint's phrase, venture socialism.

While Horowitz plots to rope in 200,000 new clients, existing customers protested in The New York Times over lousy customer service and abrupt changes that resulted in "higher premiums, higher deductibles and more holes than their current plans." Horowitz is more preoccupied with ensuring that the "social-purpose company" meets social and environmental justice goals than with customer needs.

Another of the Obamacare slush fund winners, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative in Wisconsin, scooped up a $56.4 million federal loan. The group describes itself as a "coalition of religious groups and other organizations." Its pedigree is much more radical than that. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted, Common Ground "is the Milwaukee affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation, founded in 1940 by Saul Alinsky, a famed community organizer and author of 'Rules for Radicals.' The organization, based in Chicago, bills itself as the oldest and largest community organizing network."

The Industrial Areas Foundation was funded largely by the Gamaliel Foundation, which employed Obama in Chicago. As I first reported in 2009, Gamaliel's Gregory Galluzzo wrote that he "met with Barack on a regular basis," that Obama "acknowledged publicly that he had been the director of a Gamaliel affiliate," and that "we are honored and blessed by the connection between Barack and Gamaliel." No kidding. As Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson put it: "These grants/loans reek of political payola."

Cronies reap. Taxpayers weep.

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« Reply #1391 on: February 24, 2012, 09:53:05 AM »

http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-gives-another-sweetheart-deal-to-his-friends-at-ge-2012-2


What a corrupt thief obama is.   
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« Reply #1392 on: February 24, 2012, 10:28:20 AM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIBhg1v4bMo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIBhg1v4bMo</a>


 Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy


I wonder what economics teacher taught obama this brilliant concept? 
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« Reply #1393 on: February 24, 2012, 11:56:58 AM »

Obama's "Sneak Attack" on Senior Citizens''


http://www.forbes.com/sites/prospernow/2012/02/24/obamas-sneak-attack-on-senior-citizens




 John Mariotti, Contributor John Mariotti, ContributorFear is a powerful motivator.  Millions of seniors are fearful of how they make it through their golden years.



There are a lot of senior citizens in the US now. The number is increasing by 10,000 every day as Baby Boomers turn 65—and start applying for Medicare and then shortly after that, for Social Security. These are the folks who once thought this would be the “Golden Years” when their years of hard work and savings and pension plans would let them live the good life, in places that are sunny and warm.

Then came the financial crisis and the stock market crash, the recession, and the “non-recovery.” Whatever “nest egg” they thought they had suddenly was mostly gone. Panicked, they sold their portfolio of securities on the way down, and then fearful of what came next, they didn’t buy back in on the way up. Thus they missed out on the stock market growth over the past 18-24 months. They are left with a much smaller “nest egg,” or none at all, and their pensions are either broke or being discontinued too.

As bad as that sounds, it’s not the “worst news.” The “worst news” is that President Barack Obama plans and policies constitute a multi-faceted “sneak attack on seniors.” Obama cleverly conceals this “sneak attack” while he assures seniors citizens he’s going to take care of them—and “nothing will change” for them. Nonsense!

Consider these actions, all planned or already created by Barack Obama and his minions:

1. Depress Interest Income: Interest rates have been held unnaturally low (by the Fed) for a very, very long time. Thus any money that senior citizens have in safe places like savings accounts, money market funds, and even most bonds, earns very, very little interest—between 0.3% and 2%.

2. Draining Remaining Social Security Funds: In his desire to show some economic growth and “buy votes” Obama created the “Payroll Tax Holiday,” which was supposed to be for a short time—like 6 months—because reducing the employee’s portion of payroll taxes by 2% takes that money directly out of what is used to fund Social Security. And now he has “gallantly” decided to do it again—for a year this time. This further drains a Social Security System which the president has refused to “fix and fund,” and continues to ignore as it becomes more and more insolvent.

But that’s not all. There’s more. Of course these are all part of the President’s grand plan to keep the (lukewarm) recovery going artificially until he can be reelected to a second term.

3. Dry Up Dividends, Gut Capital Gains: Obama’s latest tax proposal includes doubling the tax rate on dividends and capital gains, which is his way of paying for the irresponsible spending that is creating $5 trillion in deficits just four years. Every year Obama has been in office spending has exceeded revenue by more than a trillion dollars. The only way to over that is with tax increases, and while he talks about taxing the rich—a part of the taxes involved doubling the tax rate on dividends and capital gains. These two of the primary sources of retirement income for seniors, will be taxed more heavily and thus less desirable for companies to pay dividends.

4. New Taxes Hidden in Obamacare: There are hidden surprises in Obamacare—the massive health care bill that was supposed to fix everything—but doesn’t. The most notable one is a 3.8% tax on “unearned income,” which includes dividends, interest, and proceeds from the sale of a home (which many seniors are downsizing, and would use as a source of assets for retirement income.

5. Reduced Funding in Medicare and Rationing Health Care: This one might help seniors by shortening the time they’d have to endure the others, because part of the economic justification of Obamacare was to cut Medicare benefits by $500 billion over a period of years. How? By rationing health care—and refusing to pay for medical expenses incurred by people whose lives were nearing the end anyway. Medicare is already insolvent, and President Obama has not done anything to try fixing it—except take more money away from it.

After all, it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot on medical needs for really old people does it? Not to Barack OBAMA and his minions it doesn’t. They will do a “cost benefit analysis,” and if the medical costs are too high, their appointed commissioners will simply refuse to pay the benefits and let the older, more infirm senior citizens die (sooner). After all, seniors incur more than70% of their lifetime health care expenses in the last few years of their lives.

What the heck, Obama’s got a plan for everything. Save on interest rates, collect more taxes, depress dividend payments and capital gains, and sneak a few more hidden taxes in the 2000+-page Obamacare bill. If rationing health care reduces the number of people who live long enough to need that extra retirement income, it doesn’t matter that the first four steps in the Obama Economic Plan cuts the income of seniors so much their lives wouldn’t be very pleasant anyway.

To top things off, Obama keeps wasting money on high risk “green energy” projects like Solyndra, meanwhile blocking oil and gas exploration, stopping drilling and development of delivery projects like the Keystone pipeline. So what if America sends billions over to the Middle East for oil? So what if the cost of gas goes over $5/gallon. Seniors on reduced fixed incomes, with untreated medial conditions (under rationing) don’t need to be driving around anyway.

What a wonderful country full of HOPE and CHANGE that Barack Obama has planned for us senior citizens. Now hee wants four more years, so he can “finish the job”—or “finish us off”—or both.

I am not making this stuff up. It comes right off the reports about Obama’s plans. You might want to share this with all your senior citizen friends, to make sure they know who and what they will be voting for in 2012.

———-
John Mariotti is an internationally known executive and an award-winning author. His newest book, co-authored with D. M. Lukas, Hope is NOT a Strategy: Leadership Lessons from the Obama Presidency will be available early in March 2012 at www.amazon.com . Mariotti’s 2008 book, The Complexity Crisis was named one of 2008’s Best Business Books.



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« Reply #1394 on: February 24, 2012, 02:43:35 PM »

Another Obama fundraiser turns out to be a bad ambassador
Foreign Policy ^ | 23 Feb 2012 | Josh Rogin






Candidate Barack Obama promised to end the time-honored American practice of appointing ambassadors who have no experience in foreign policy, but President Obama has completely ignored that promise, appointing fundraisers to dozens of ambassadorships all over the world.

Today, the State Department revealed that another fundraiser turned ambassador ran her embassy into the ground ... only to return to fundraising and leave the State Department to pick up the pieces.

According to a new State Department inspector general's report

on the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas, Ambassador Nicole Avant presided over "an extended period of dysfunctional leadership and mismanagement, which has caused problems throughout the embassy" since she was appointed by the president in 2009. Prior to being America's envoy in the Caribbean, Avant was Southern California finance co-chairwoman of Obama's presidential campaign and vice president of Interior Music Publishing.

According to her glowingly positive Wikipedia page, Avant spent her time in the Bahamas "focused on five priority initiatives: Education, Alternative Energy, Economic and Small Business Development, Women's Empowerment and Raising awareness of the challenges facing people with disabilities."

But according to the State Department's internal investigation, Avant was away from the embassy an inordinate amount of time -- mainly shuttling back and forth to her home in Los Angeles -- and when she was in town, she worked from her residence most of the day.

Avant was absent from the embassy 276 days between September 2009 and November 2011, including 102 "personal" days and 77 "work travel" days to the United States, of which only 23 were on official orders.


(Excerpt) Read more at thecable.foreignpolicy.c om ...



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« Reply #1395 on: February 25, 2012, 06:21:49 AM »

A123 Systems, an electric car battery company once touted as a stimulus "success story" by former Gov. Jennifer Granhom, D-Mich., has laid off 125 employees since receiving $390 million in government subsidies -- but is still handing out big pay raises to company executives.

"[T]he company has laid off 125 employees and had a net loss of $172 million through the first three quarters of 2011," the Mackinac Center for Public Policy notes, observing that the company's primary customer, Fisker Automotive, is also struggling financially. "Yet, this month A123’s Compensation Committee approved a $30,000 raise for [Chief Financial Officer David] Prystash just days after Fisker Automotive announced the U.S. Energy Department had cut off what was left of its $528.7 million loan it had previously received."

This month has seen significant pay boosts for other A123 executives, as well:

Robert Johnson, vice president of the energy solutions group, got a 20.7 percent pay increase going from $331,250 to $400,000, while Jason Forcier, vice president of the automotive solutions group, saw his pay increase from $331,250 to $350,000. Prystash’s raise was 8.5 percent, going from $350,000 to $380,000.

"It looks like they are trying to pad their top people’s wallets in case something really bad happens," Paul Chesser, associate fellow for the National Legal & Policy Center, suggested.

The Department of Energy gave the battery company $249.1 million in grant money, while the Michigan government provided A123 with another $141 million in tax credits and subsidies, according to the Mackinac Center.

 
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« Reply #1396 on: February 26, 2012, 05:52:26 AM »

Democratic governors discuss bypassing Congress with Obama
The Hill ^ | 02/24/12 | Alicia M. Cohn
Posted on February 25, 2012 5:08:01 PM EST by Da Bilge Troll

President Obama met with a group of Democratic governors on Friday and discussed plans to work around Congress toward policy goals.

Gov. Jack Markell, the Democratic governor of Delaware and the vice chairman of the National Governors Association, told The Hill that the meeting was “very good” and said many of the governors were responsive to ideas about bypassing Congress.

“There was a sense that none of us should wait, we can’t wait for things to happen in Congress,” Markell said of the meeting. “We’re going to do what we can do [now].”

Obama has positioned himself against Congress as he runs for reelection, arguing lawmakers are failing to solve the country’s problems. “Where Congress won’t act, I will,” he said in October when rolling out a series of executive orders aimed at creating jobs.

Markell said the conversation with Obama did not dwell on Republican opposition to the president’s legislative proposals.

The tone of the meeting was positive, Markell said, and the governors agreed that the Obama administration has been “terrifically responsive” to their state governments.

The Democratic governors discussed the three major job goals from Obama’s State of the Union address: building manufacturing, training workers and increasing American-made energy.

“We had a great conversation very focused, not surprisingly, on jobs,” Markell said, calling jobs the “biggest issue for all of us in the room, no matter where we come from.”

He noted that although they did not discuss the election, the sense in the room was that focusing on jobs is Democrats’ best chance to win in the fall. That is the message the Democratic Party has been sending in full force this season, ranging from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who slammed the GOP presidential candidates Friday on CNN for failing to mention jobs in the most recent debate and instead talking about “divisive cultural issues.”

Markell said the discussion with Obama steered clear of the transportation bills that are being fought over in Congress, though “it’s certainly something we as governors feel strongly about.”

The meeting, which lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes, took place in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and involved more than a dozen Democratic governors and several members of the Obama administration.

Governors present included Govs. Jerry Brown (Calif.), Jay Nixon (Mo.), O’Malley, Christine Gregoire (Wash.), Bev Perdue (N.C.), Peter Shumlin (Vt.), Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii), Deval Patrick (Mass.) and Pat Quinn (Ill.).

The governors are in town for the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association. Markell, who attended the meeting for the first time as vice chairman of the NGA, also talked up the level of bipartisan cooperation between the governors, which he said contrasted with what has “not been a great level of cooperation between members of Congress.”

“We don’t really care where an idea comes from if it’s a good idea,” he said.

Governors from both parties will meet with the president on Monday.

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« Reply #1397 on: February 26, 2012, 09:53:06 AM »

Obama Fee on Food Processors Would Raise Prices, Industry Says
February 24, 2012, 3:29 PM EST
By Stephanie Armour





Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- An Obama administration plan to raise $220 million for food-safety programs through fees on processing plants, warehouses and other facilities would hit consumers with higher food prices, industry groups said.

Congress rejected including a similar proposal in the Food and Drug Administration’s budget request last year and also ruled out the idea when debating a food-safety law that President Barack Obama signed last year.

Thirty-three industry groups said the cost of a food facility registration fee proposed by the administration to help fund oversight would be passed on to consumers at a time of economic hardship, according to a Feb. 23 letter the associations sent to top U.S. lawmakers.

“As food companies and consumers continue to cope with a period of prolonged economic turbulence, the creation of a new food tax would mean higher costs for food makers and higher food prices for our consumers,” associations representing egg producers, snack foods, juice, meat and other industries said in the letter.

The letter was sent to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican, and Representative Norm Dicks, a Washington Democrat, among others. Rogers and Dicks sit on the panel that oversees discretionary spending for food safety and agriculture programs.

Industry Concerns

The American Frozen Food Institute, National Meat Association, International Dairy Foods Association and United Fresh Produce Association were among the groups signing the letter. The FDA projects it will collect $220 million in fees in fiscal year 2013.

“We stand ready to work with Congress and the administration to find a better and less burdensome solution,” the groups said in the letter.

Congress raised the FDA’s budget by about $40 million in fiscal 2012 to support the law, which contains the biggest changes to food safety rules in more than 70 years.

The fees are minimal compared with the cost of foodborne illness, which the act seeks to reduce, Doug Karas, a spokesman for the FDA, said in an e-mail. Such illnesses cost $77.7 billion a year, according to a 2012 study cited in the agency’s proposal. That includes medical costs, time off work and the cost of premature death.

--Editors: Adriel Bettelheim, Andrew Pollack

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Armour in Washington at sarmour@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Adriel Bettelheim in Washington at abettelheim@bloomberg.net


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« Reply #1398 on: February 26, 2012, 10:39:05 AM »

Obama's Favorite Algae Company
The Obama Solution?




President Obama’s reference to algae in his Thursday energy speech drew flak over the weekend from Newt Gingrich, who called it “weird” before calling algal biofuel “a terrific concept.” But Obama had political reasons to promote algae in Florida, the sunny, swampy, politically-volatile state he carried in 2008.

The Obama Administration has already sunk $25 million into a Florida company—Alganol Biofuels—that is building an algae biorefinery using a patented technology that promises to streamline the process of extracting oils from algae so they be converted to ethanol.

In remarks at the University of Miami, Obama highlighted two domestic energy sources more than any other—natural gas and algae. After the speech, the Administration announced $30 million in grants to develop natural gas as a vehicle fuel, $14 million for algae.

“We’re making new investments in the development of gasoline and diesel and jet fuel that’s actually made from a plant-like substance — algae,” Obama said in Miami. ” You’ve got a bunch of algae out here, right? If we can figure out how to make energy out of that, we’ll be doing all right.”

Gingrich mocked Obama during an appearance in Idaho, calling a hypothetical bottle of algae “the Obama solution.” Then, more seriously, praised the concept but said it will take 20 to 40 years to develop.

Obama’s remarks rest on a 2011 study by the Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which found that 17 percent of U.S. oil imports could be displaced by domestic biofuels from algae.

“Believe it or not, we could replace up to 17 percent of the oil we import for transportation with this fuel that we can grow right here in the United States,” Obama said. “And that means greater energy security. That means lower costs. It means more jobs. It means a stronger economy.”

Obama used the study’s more conservative number. The authors found that algae has the potential to replace up to 48 percent of fuel imports for transporation—but that level of production would require vast amounts of fresh water and land: 5.5 percent of the land area in the conterminous United States and nearly three times the water currently used for irrigated agriculture.

The authors consider 17 percent a viable number based on optimal land and water and geographic placement of algae farms.

They did not propose a timeline for development of an algal energy industry, but they identified a potential Achilles’ Heel of algal biofuels: up to 350 gallons of fresh water would be needed to produce one gallon of oil from algae.

That’s where Florida’s Alganol Biofuels comes in: its biorefineries grow algae in saltwater and can sequester carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released to the atmosphere from industrial or power plants.

The Energy Department study did not consider saltwater production. Alganol broke ground in October on a 36-acre facility in Lee County, Florida that will use 3,000 “bioreactors” to produce ethanol from algae. The project is expected to create 130 jobs.

The company had originally partnered with Dow Chemical to build a demonstration plant at a Dow facility in Freeport, Texas, but Dow withdrew from the project—except as a supplier of plastics and potential purchaser of ethanol. Alganol shifted the facility to Florida adjacent to laboratories it also developed with the $25 million stimulus grant.

“The Dow Chemical Company supports the decision to build one larger facility in Lee County, Florida,” Alganon announced in a 2010 press release. “A Bio-Refinery located next to Algenolʼs new state-of-the-art laboratories will have greater capabilities and be more effective and efficient.”

A year later Alganon announced its development collaboration with Dow had come to an end.

Applications are due April 18 for the Energy Department’s new $14 million in grants, with the funding subject to Congressional approval.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This article is available online at:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2012/02/26/obamas-favorite-algae-company

 
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« Reply #1399 on: February 27, 2012, 10:55:39 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/27/business/media/white-house-uses-espionage-act-to-pursue-leak-cases-media-equation.html?_r=3&ref=todayspaper#commentsContainer



Fucking wow!!!!   Are you kidding me? ?  ? ?   Obama has got to go in november.   Without this tyrant facing the voters -  he will get even worse. 

Can anyone obama drone defend this shit? 
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