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Author Topic: Obama: Corruption, Deception, Dishonesty, Deceit and Promises Broken  (Read 77222 times)
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« Reply #1850 on: May 02, 2013, 01:46:22 PM »

Commerce nominee tangled in massive bank collapse that cost depositors millions


By Judson Berger
 
Published May 02, 2013
 
FoxNews.com



May 2, 2013: President Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, where he announced his pick for Commerce secretary, Penny Pritzker, right. (AP)


President Obama's nominee for Commerce secretary was embroiled in a massive bank failure more than a decade ago, in a collapse that cost depositors and federal insurers millions of dollars.
 
The 2001 collapse of Superior Bank FSB now appears likely to re-emerge, more than a decade later, as Commerce nominee Penny Pritzker prepares for a confirmation hearing and Republicans already draw attention to the bank implosion.   
 
Pritzker's family, which founded Hyatt and is one of the wealthiest in the country, co-owned Superior Bank at the time of its collapse. The lawyer who represented depositors in the case told FoxNews.com on Thursday that the Pritzker family enjoyed a "special deal" while the "little guys" ended up "footing the bill."
 
"The message of our Cabinet members should be people who do the right thing," attorney Clint Krislov said Thursday. "And it should not be a message of, if you're very wealthy you get a special deal and you get to sit on the Cabinet, too."
 
Uninsured depositors at the Illinois bank are still owed roughly $10 million, according to federal records -- after a court challenge was rejected in 2007, those savings may never be recovered. The collapse also cost the FDIC, which insures banks, nearly $300 million.
 
The failure, according to federal regulators, was triggered by a pattern of risky lending.
 
The Office of Thrift Supervision took the rare step of shuttering the Hinsdale, Ill., bank on July 27, 2001. The office said at the time the bank "suffered as a result of its former high-risk business strategy," including "significant volumes of subprime" mortgage and auto loans.
 
What happened after the collapse, though, is what triggered the lawsuit involving Krislov.
 
The Pritzker family, as part of a settlement to shield itself from liability, agreed to pay $460 million to the federal government. But the family was subsequently able to claim part of a separate $125 million settlement from the bank's accounting firm.
 
Krislov said the family was first in line for the money, followed by the depositors.
 
"That is what is fundamentally troubling," he said. "They got a priority ahead of depositors while depositors were still short."
 
An FDIC representative, though, suggested to the Chicago Tribune in 2004 that the sheer size of the $460 million settlement justified the trade-off.
 
"If it means $30 million is turned over to the Pritzkers, I think it's hard to dispute that it's not advantageous for creditors of that failed institution," the spokesman said.
 
Pritzker's involvement with the bank's questionable lending practices is unclear. She served as chairwoman of the bank from 1991 to 1994, after her uncle Jay went in with another wealthy family to buy Superior in the late '80s.
 
A spokeswoman told The Washington Times last year that Penny herself was never accused of wrongdoing -- though there were concerns with the bank's operation dating back to the early '90s.
 
Krislov said he wrote to Penny Pritzker after his clients lost their suit asking her to pay the remaining $10 million to the uninsured depositors.
 
"I just figured it was the right thing to do," he said, adding that he never heard back.
 
The Pritzker family also reportedly struck a deal in 2011 that allowed them to enjoy a discount off the $460 million settlement.
 
The FDIC insures depositors for up to $100,000. In the case of Superior, those with accounts above that amount were still repaid part of their uninsured savings.
 
The history of the bank was glossed over in Thursday's announcement at the White House, though the Republican National Committee blasted out old news clippings from the saga.
 
Obama, during the nomination ceremony, cited Pritzker's "extraordinary experience."
 
"Penny is one of our countries' most distinguished business leaders. She's got more than 25 years of management experience in industries, including real estate, finance, and hospitality. She's built companies from the ground up," Obama said.
 
Pritzker is on the board with Hyatt Hotels Corp., which was co-founded by her dad. She's also chairwoman of Pritzker Realty Group. She previously served on Obama's jobs council, and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the president's 2008 and 2012 campaigns -- she held positions with both campaigns.
 
Pritzker is also one of the wealthiest people in the country. Forbes pegs her net worth at $1.85 billion, and lists her as the 277th wealthiest person in the U.S.
 
Krislov acknowledged the family has done some "very terrific things" in philanthropy, but said: "She would not be my first pick" for Commerce.
 
The White House did not return a request for comment.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/02/commerce-nominee-tangled-in-massive-bank-collapse-that-cost-depositors-millions/#ixzz2SAZBAQVx

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« Reply #1851 on: May 04, 2013, 08:35:24 AM »

Obama: The fall
By Charles Krauthammer, Published: May 2
Fate is fickle, power cyclical, and nothing is new under the sun. Especially in Washington, where after every election the losing party is sagely instructed to confess sin, rend garments and rethink its principles lest it go the way of the Whigs. And where the victor is hailed as the new Caesar, facing an open road to domination.

And where Barack Obama, already naturally inclined to believe his own loftiness, graciously accepted the kingly crown and proceeded to ride his reelection success to a crushing victory over the GOP at the fiscal cliff, leaving a humiliated John Boehner & Co. with nothing but naked tax hikes.

Thus emboldened, Obama turned his inaugural and State of the Union addresses into a left-wing dream factory, from his declaration of war on global warming (on a planet where temperatures are the same as 16 years ago and in a country whose CO2 emissions are at a 20-year low) to the invention of new entitlements — e.g., universal preschool for 5-year-olds— for a country already drowning in debt.

To realize his dreams, Obama sought to fracture and neutralize the congressional GOP as a prelude to reclaiming the House in 2014. This would enable him to fully enact his agenda in the final two years of his presidency, usually a time of lame-duck paralysis. Hail the Obama juggernaut.

Well, that story — excuse me, narrative — lasted exactly six months. The Big Mo is gone.

It began with the sequester. Obama never believed the Republicans would call his bluff and let it go into effect. They did.

Taken by surprise, Obama cried wolf, predicting the end of everything we hold dear if the sequester was not stopped. It wasn’t. Nothing happened.

Highly embarrassed, and determined to indeed make (bad) things happen, the White House refused Republican offers to give it more discretion in making cuts. Bureaucrats were instructed to inflict maximum pain from minimal cuts, as revealed by one memo from the Agriculture Department demanding agency cuts that the public would feel.

Things began with the near-comical cancellation of White House tours and ended with not-so-comical airline delays. Obama thought furious passengers would blame the GOP. But isn’t the executive branch in charge of these agencies? Who thinks that a government spending $3.6 trillion a year can’t cut 2 percent without furloughing air-traffic controllers?

Looking not just incompetent at managing budgets but cynical for deliberately injuring the public welfare, the administration relented. Congress quickly passed a bill giving Obama reallocation authority to restore air traffic control. Having previously threatened to veto any such bill, Obama caved. He signed.

Not exactly Appomattox, but coming immediately after Obama’s spectacular defeat on gun control, it marked an administration that had lost its “juice,” to paraphrase a charming question at the president’s Tuesday news conference.

For Obama, gun control was a political disaster. He invested capital. He went on a multi-city tour. He paraded grieving relatives. And got nothing. An assault-weapons ban — a similar measure had passed the Congress 20 years ago — lost 60 to 40in a Senate where Democrats control 55 seats. Obama failed even to get mere background checks.

All this while appearing passive, if not helpless, on the world stage. On Syria, Obama is nervously trying to erase the WMD red line he had so publicly established. On Benghazi, he stonewalled accusations that State Department officials wishing to testify are being blocked.

He is even taking heat for the Boston bombings. Every day brings another revelation of signals missed beforehand. And his post-bombing pledge to hunt down those responsible was mocked by the scandalous Mirandizing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, gratuitously shutting down information from the one person who knows more than anyone about possible still-existent explosives, associates, trainers, future plans, etc.

Now, the screw will undoubtedly turn again. If immigration reform passes, Obama will be hailed as the comeback kid, and a new “Obama rising” narrative proclaimed.

This will overlook the fact that immigration reform has little to do with Obama and everything to do with GOP panic about the Hispanic vote. In fact, Obama has been asked by congressional negotiators to stay away, so polarizing a figure has he become.

Nonetheless, whatever happens, the screw will surely turn again, if only because of media boredom. But that’s the one constant of Washington political life: There are no straight-line graphs. We live from inflection point to inflection point.

And we’ve just experienced one. From king of the world to dead in the water in six months. Quite a ride.


Read more from Charles Krauthammer’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

Read more: Jamelle Bouie: Why Obama struggles to ‘beat’ the GOP E.J. Dionne Jr.: Obama needs to hope again Dana Milbank: A presidential bystander Greg Sargent: No, Obama can’t bend Congress to his will Jonathan Capehart: Obama’s real ‘leadership’ problem Jennifer Rubin: Obama’s condescending press conference


© The Washington Post Company
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« Reply #1852 on: May 07, 2013, 06:12:08 AM »

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE          www.nationalreview.com           PRINT

How Obama Betrayed America
Obama’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood belongs at the forefront of our political debate.
By David Horowitz
“If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see farther into the future.”
— Madeleine Albright, secretary of state (1997–2001), Clinton administration

It is a judgment on Barack Obama’s timorous, apologetic, and irresponsible conduct of foreign affairs that Madeleine Albright’s words, spoken little more than 15 years ago, now sound as antique as a pronouncement by Harry Truman at the onset of the Cold War, the great challenge America confronted bravely and without equivocation generations ago. Obama has set in motion policies meant to make America far from indispensable — a diminished nation that “leads from behind,” if at all; a nation with a downsized military, chronically uncertain about its meaning and its mission as it skulks in the wings of the world stage.

Albright made her statement about Iraq when Democrats were still supporting their country’s confrontation with the sadistic dictator Saddam Hussein, and before they defected from the war, shortly after its battles were under way. Obama opposed America’s war with Iraq and then opposed the military surge that finally brought victory. As president, Obama presided over the withdrawal of all American forces from Iraq, against the wishes of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who wanted a continuing military presence — withdrawal paid for in the blood of thousands of American men and women in arms. Obama thus turned that benighted nation over to the malign influences of America’s chief enemy in the Middle East, Iran.

Far from shouldering his responsibility as the commander-in-chief of America’s global War on Terror and embracing it as this generation’s equivalent of the Cold War, Obama showed his distaste for the entire enterprise by dropping the term “War on Terror” and replacing it with an Orwellian phrase — “overseas contingency operations.” Minimizing the Islamist threat to the United States is not an oversight of the Obama administration; that is its policy.


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It should not have been difficult for Obama to make the nation’s defense a priority when he became America’s commander-in-chief in January 2009. The American homeland had already experienced a devastating attack, which terrorists have been constantly trying to repeat. The number of foreign states openly supporting terror has steadily risen during Obama’s tenure. The most dangerous Islamist regime, Iran, is building nuclear weapons, while Washington dithers over pointless negotiations. As secular governments give way to Islamist regimes in Turkey, Egypt, and Iraq, and with the Taliban on the rise in Afghanistan and an American withdrawal imminent, the parallels to the early Cold War are eerie, the implications equally dire. Yet instead of policies that put U.S. national security first and are pursued without hesitation or apology, Obama’s time in office has been marked by retreat and accommodation and even support of Islamist foes — most ominously of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which swept aside an American ally with Obama’s help and is busily creating a totalitarian state.
Obama’s Foreign-Policy Disasters
In the four years since Obama’s first inauguration, almost three times as many Americans have been killed in Afghanistan as in the eight years of the Bush administration. Withdrawal, not victory, has been Obama’s goal from the outset, and now it is the only outcome possible. During the Obama years, there have been more than 8,000 Islamic terrorist attacks on “infidels” across the globe, a 25 percent increase over the number when the fighting in Iraq was at its height. In the face of this bloody and intensifying Islamist offensive, Obama has tried to convince the American people that the war against al-Qaeda has been essentially “won” — by him — and that the terrorist threat is subsiding. Denial of the war that Islamists have declared on us, and of the threat it represents, is the heart of the Obama doctrine and has guided this nation’s policies for more than four years.

Obama’s desire for rapprochement with the Islamist regime in Iran has prompted the administration to drag its feet on the sanctions designed to halt Tehran’s nuclear program. For the same reason, the president and his administration were silent when hundreds of thousands of Iranians poured into the streets of Tehran to call for an end to the dictatorship and were met by an orgy of violence from the mullahs’ thugs. Because of the White House’s moral and political timidity, its denial of the Islamist threat, and its conviction that America (presumably an even greater predator) has no right to condemn another nation, Iran reached its tipping point and went the wrong way.

The administration’s denial was glaring also in its response to the massacre of 13 unarmed soldiers at Fort Hood by an Islamic fanatic and terrorist, Nidal Malik Hasan, who three and a half years later still has not been brought to trial. Hasan infiltrated the American military and, despite open expressions of hatred for the West, was promoted to the rank of U.S. Army major. The Obama administration’s Kafkaesque response to an obvious case of Islamist violence against the U.S. was to classify the terrorist attack as an incident of “workplace violence,” and thus to hide the fact that Hasan was a Muslim soldier in a war against the infidels of the West.

#page#This inability to name our enemies was on display again on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, as jihadists staged demonstrations and launched attacks against American embassies in Egypt and other Islamic countries. In Libya, al-Qaeda terrorists overran an American consular compound and murdered the U.S. ambassador and three brave staffers. The attack took place in a country that had recently been destabilized by Obama’s own intervention to oust its dictator. Again, Obama had denounced a military intervention in Iraq as senator; that intervention, unlike his Libyan adventure, had been authorized by both houses of Congress and a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution. As president, Obama had invoked the principle of non-intervention to justify his passivity in the face of atrocities in Syria and Iran. But in Libya he conducted an unauthorized invasion of a country that posed no threat to the United States and was not, as Syria is, in alliance with the mullahs of Iran and the terrorists of Hezbollah. The chaos that followed Obama’s Libyan intervention led directly to the rise of the local al-Qaeda, which planted its flag atop the same American outpost in Benghazi it later destroyed.

The events in Benghazi were a stark revelation of the consequences of a foreign policy without a moral compass. The battle over the embassy lasted seven hours. Although the Obama learned about the attack shortly after it began, and although the embattled Americans inside the compound begged the White House for help, and although U.S. fighter jets were stationed in Italy only an hour away, the president, in one of the most shameful acts in the history of that office, denied help by leaving his post, so that only silence answered their desperate calls. The president and his administration then went into cover-up mode, lying to Congress and the American people, pretending for weeks afterward that the attack was the result of a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Mohammed video, whose director they then threw in jail.

Before his overthrow, the dictator Moammar Qaddafi warned that his demise would unleash the forces of the Islamic jihad not only in his own country but throughout North Africa. This was a prophecy quickly realized. In the aftermath of Obama’s intervention, al-Qaeda in Mali took control of an area twice the size of Germany. In Tunisia and Egypt, jihadists emerged as the ruling parties, with the acquiescence and even assistance of the Obama administration. In Syria, a savage civil war metastasized unimpeded, killing tens of thousands and eventually pitting a fascist regime allied with Iran against rebel forces largely aligned with al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.


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As these disasters unfolded, the White House not only did not oppose the Islamists but armed and enabled them. Obama had previously intervened in Egypt, the largest and most important country in the Middle East, to force the removal of its pro-American leader, Hosni Mubarak. He then promoted the Brotherhood’s ascension to power by portraying it as a “moderate” actor in the democratic process. As the Middle East situation deteriorated, the Muslim Brotherhood became the chief beneficiary of America’s financial, diplomatic, and military support. This same Brotherhood was the driving force behind the Islamist surge, the mentor of Osama bin Laden and the leaders of al-Qaeda, and the creator of Hamas. Rather than being quarantined, the Brotherhood-dominated government in Cairo has received hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid and F-16 bomber jets from the Obama administration that had facilitated its rise to power.
Appeasement of Islamist Enemies
To allay concerns about the emergence of the Brotherhood, Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, uttered this justification for its acceptance by the White House: “We believe . . . that it is in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are peaceful and committed to non-violence, that intend to compete for the parliament and the presidency.” In these words, Clinton was referring to an organization whose spiritual leader, Yusef al-Qaradawi, had recently called for a second Holocaust of the Jews, “Allah willing, at the hands of the believers,” and to a party that was calling for the establishment of a Muslim caliphate in Jerusalem and for the destruction of the Jewish state. Soon after Clinton’s endorsement, the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate, Mohamed Morsi, was elected Egypt’s new leader and was referring to Jews as apes and pigs. Secure in the support of the American administration, he wasted no time in abolishing the constitution and instituting a dictatorship with no serious protest from the United States. Senator John Kerry, shortly to be Hillary Clinton’s successor as secretary of state, had visited the new dictator only months before this destruction of Egypt’s civic space. Kerry assured the world that the new Muslim Brotherhood regime was “committed to protecting fundamental freedoms.”

As in Egypt, so in Syria. Both Clinton and Kerry promoted the ruthless dictator Assad as a political reformer and friend of democracy just as he was preparing to launch a war against his own people. (Meeting with Assad, Kerry called Syria “an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region.”) Shortly thereafter, the dictator began a series of massacres of his own population. Obama ignored the resulting tens of thousands of fatalities and the international calls for a humanitarian intervention — just as he had ignored the desperate struggle of the Green Revolution in the streets of Tehran three years earlier. The chaos in Syria has now led to the emergence of al-Qaeda as a leading actor among the rebel forces, under the revealing name “the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.” The very name indicates the potential scope of the disaster that the Obama administration is presiding over in the Middle East.#page#

Republican Retreat On National Security
Until the “new politics” presidency of Jimmy Carter, the Democratic party during the Cold War would never have tolerated such abject capitulations to totalitarian forces. And when Carter showed such doubt and denial, the Republican party could be counted on to defend the morality of American power and carry the fight to the enemy. The Republicans did so with the conviction that they were expressing the deepest convictions of the American people.

In domestic politics, the American people preferred Democratic promoters of the welfare state to Republican proponents of fiscal restraint. The same electorate switched its vote, however, when the issue was protecting the American homeland. While voters made Democrats the majority party in the people’s House for 38 of the 42 years of America’s Cold War with the Soviet Union, in 28 of those years they elected a Republican to be their commander-in-chief. Moreover, three of the four Democrats who did make it to the White House — Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson — were militant anti-Communists and military hawks who on national-security issues held views indistinguishable from those of Republicans.

Given that the most durable lesson of postwar electoral history was that Democrats win national elections on domestic policy and that Republicans win on national security, it seems incomprehensible that the Obama administration has been able to degrade American power virtually without Republican opposition. At the Republican party’s 2012 convention in Tampa, its nominee, Mitt Romney, failed to mention the Islamic jihad and devoted only one sentence to the fact that, in order to appease America’s enemies, Obama had thrown Israel, America’s only dependable ally in the region, “under the bus.” Romney did not mention Obama’s role as enabler of the Muslim Brotherhood or the millions of dollars his administration had given to the Palestinian jihadists on the West Bank and in Gaza, whose official goal was the destruction of Israel and its Jews. He did not mention the calls by the Islamist leaders of Egypt and Iran for the destruction of the Jewish state and the completion of the job that Hitler started.

Romney devoted exactly two sentences to Obama’s appeasement of the Russians and his abandonment of America’s Eastern European allies, which were harmed by the president’s reneging on America’s commitments to their missile defense. About the Korean peninsula, a flashpoint in national security and a theater for the current administration’s diplomatic dithering, Romney said nothing.

While Romney failed to confront a vulnerable Obama on national-security issues and gave Obama a pass on his shameful betrayal of his embassy in Benghazi, no other Republican campaign was likely to make the holy war that Islamists are waging against us, and Obama’s feckless national-security policies, a focal point of their attack. At one time or another, there were ten Republican candidates for the nomination that Romney won. Each of them participated in at least three of 20 public debates; two of the candidates participated in all of them. There were candidates for social conservatism, candidates for fiscal responsibility and job creation, candidates for libertarian principles and moderate values. But there was not one Republican candidate whose campaign was an aggressive assault on Obama’s disastrous national-security decisions and how they had imperiled America’s interests and its basic safety.

The extent of the Republican retreat on national security was dramatized by an incident that took place a few months before the election. In a letter to the Justice Department’s inspector general, Representative Michele Bachmann and four other Republican House members asked him to look into the possibility of Islamist influence in the Obama administration. The letter expressed concern about State Department policies that “appear to be a result of influence operations conducted by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.” The letter then listed five specific ways in which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had actively assisted the Muslim Brotherhood’s ascent to power in Egypt, producing in the Middle East a decisive shift toward the jihadist enemies of the United States.

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« Reply #1853 on: May 07, 2013, 06:21:11 AM »

The letter specifically asked for an inquiry into the activities of Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff and principal adviser on Muslim affairs. It was a reasonable, indeed a necessary, request. Members of Abedin’s family — her late father, her mother, and her brother — were all identifiable leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. For twelve years prior to being hired by Hillary Clinton, Abedin herself had worked for an organization founded by Abdullah Omar Naseef — a major Brotherhood figure, a close associate of Abedin’s mother — one of the three principal financiers of Osama bin Laden, and a man dedicated to promoting Islamic-supremacist doctrines. A second figure with Muslim Brotherhood ties occupying a high place in the Obama administration was Rashad Hussain, deputy associate White House counsel, who had responsibilities in the areas of national security and Muslim affairs. And there were others.

#page#In other words, people with high-level Muslim Brotherhood connections occupy positions of influence in the Obama administration on matters related to national security and Muslim affairs — at the same time Obama’s policies have encouraged the dramatic rise of the previously outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East. Yet when the congressional letter surfaced, Bachmann and her colleagues came under savage attack as McCarthyites and “Islamophobes,” whose request for an inquiry was itself deemed un-American. These attacks came not only from the Washington Post, leading Democrats, and such well-known apologists for Islamists as Georgetown’s John Esposito, but also from Republicans John McCain and John Boehner. Without bothering to address the facts the Bachmann letter presented, McCain said, “When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches vicious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are, in ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poor because of it.” In other words, Bachmann and her colleagues were bigots. Said Boehner: “I don’t know Huma, but from everything that I do know of her she has a sterling character. Accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.” In other words, asking reasonable questions about a woman with undeniable ties to the Muslim Brotherhood who stands at the center of American policy was more dangerous than allowing those ties to remain unexamined.


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In the hands of today’s leftists, the terms “McCarthyite,” “Islamophobe,” and their equivalents are not descriptions of a political pathology but rather bludgeons wielded to shut down inquiry into behavior that may be harmful to the United States. Instead of rejecting these slurs as they are used to invoke a brutal cloture on a matter of national security, Republican leaders participated in the successful effort to suppress the debate.
The Betrayal of Iraq
Why this lack of conviction on a matter combining internal security and foreign policy, traditional pillars of Republican strength? The answer can be found in the way the Republicans allowed themselves to be intimidated and then silenced as the Left put forth its version of “the lessons of Iraq.” The moment when Republicans lost the national-security narrative — and abandoned their role as defenders of the homeland — came in June 2003, just six weeks after the Saddam regime fell. That month, the Democratic party launched a national television campaign claiming that Bush lied to the American people to lure them into a war that was “unnecessary,” “immoral,” and “illegal.”

Until that moment, the war in Iraq had been supported by both parties and was regarded by both as a strategic necessity in the larger War on Terror. Removing Saddam’s regime by force, moreover, had been a specific goal of U.S. policy since October 1998, when Bill Clinton, a Democratic president, signed the Iraqi Liberation Act.

In his time on center stage, Saddam launched two aggressive wars, murdered 300,000 Iraqis, used chemical weapons on his own citizens, and put in place an active nuclear-weapons program. He was thwarted only by his defeat in the first Gulf War. As of 2002, his regime had defied 16 U.N. Security Council resolutions designed to enforce the Gulf War truce and stop Iraq from pursuing its ambition to possess weapons of mass destruction. In September 2002, the U.N. Security Council added a new resolution, which gave the regime until December 17 to comply with its terms or face consequences. When Iraq failed to comply, Bush made the only decision compatible with the preservation of international law and the security of the United States: He prepared an invasion to remove the regime and the weapons of mass destruction it was reasonably presumed to possess. The Iraqi dictator was provided the option of leaving the country and averting war. He rejected the offer and the U.S.-led coalition entered the country on March 19, 2003. (I recounted the story in Unholy Alliance.)

The use of force in Iraq had been authorized by both houses of Congress, including a majority of Democrats in the Senate. It was supported in eloquent speeches by John Kerry, John Edwards, Al Gore, and other Democratic leaders. But just three months into the war, Democrats turned against an action that they had authorized and began a five-year campaign to delegitimize it, casting America as its villain. It was a fundamental break with the post–World War II bipartisan foreign policy that had survived even Vietnam.

With the support and protection of Democratic legislators, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the major TV networks now undertook a relentless five-year propaganda campaign against the war, taking relatively minor incidents like the misbehavior of guards at the Abu Ghraib prison and blowing them up into international scandals, damaging their country’s prestige and weakening its morale. Left-leaning news media leaked classified national-security secrets, destroying three major national-security programs designed to protect Americans from terrorist attacks. (For more on this, see my work with Ben Johnson, Party of Defeat, and Douglas Feith’s War and Decision.) Every day, the New York Times and other left-leaning media provided front-page coverage of America’s body counts in Iraq and Afghanistan and helped to fuel a massive “anti-war” movement, which attacked America’s fundamental purposes along with its conduct of the war. The goal of these campaigns was to indict America and its leaders as war criminals who posed a threat to the world.

#page#The principal justification offered by the Democrats for their campaign against the Iraq War was that “Bush lied” in order to persuade them to support an invasion that was unnecessary, illegal, and immoral. This claim was the only way Democrats could explain the otherwise inexplicable and unconscionable fact that, for domestic political reasons, they turned against a war they had supported, following the lead of an anti-war primary candidate, Howard Dean, who appeared to be on his way to winning their presidential nomination. It was only then that Kerry and Edwards, the eventual nominees, reversed themselves on the war; they were followed by the entire party, which saw a partisan advantage in attacking Bush over an increasingly difficult situation on the battlefield.

The claim that Bush lied was false. Bush could not have lied to Kerry or the congressional Democrats about WMDs in Iraq, because Kerry and other Democrats sat on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and had access to the same intelligence data that Bush relied on to make his case for the war. When the Democrats authorized and supported the war, they knew everything that Bush knew. The claim that he lied to get their support was itself the biggest lie of the war. Its only purpose was to hide the Democrats’ own perfidy in abandoning the nation’s mission for partisan gain, and to discredit the president and turn the country against him, at whatever cost, in the hope of winning the 2004 election.


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Republicans didn’t lose control of the national-security narrative simply because Democrats betrayed a war they had authorized, however. Republicans had the option of standing fast, as they had done since the attack on Pearl Harbor. They lost control of the narrative because they never held the Democrats accountable for their betrayal. They never suggested that the Democrats’ attacks on the war were deceitful and unpatriotic, aiding our enemies and risking the lives of our troops in the field. The Bush White House failed to defend itself from the attacks, and the Republicans as a whole failed to expose the Democrats’ lie and to describe their reckless accusations as the disloyal propaganda it clearly was. “Betrayal” and “sabotage” — the appropriate terms for Democratic attacks on the motives of the war — were never employed. Republicans did not accuse Democrats of conducting a campaign to demoralize America’s troops in the field, even when Kerry during a presidential debate called it “the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” (How did that sound to a 19-year-old Marine facing down Islamic terrorists in Fallujah?)
The Republican Failure and the American Future
The Republicans’ failure to defend their president and the war turned a good war into a bad one. It turned a disloyal opposition into a patriotic movement. It crippled America’s ability to protect other people’s freedom and defend its own. If the war against a dictator like Saddam Hussein was illegitimate and immoral, then American resistance to any outlaw states could be portrayed — and opposed — as reckless and unjustifiable aggression.

In failing to fight the political war over Iraq, Republicans lost their legitimacy as the party that had always taken the hard, sometimes unpopular steps to protect national security, as they did in the mid 1980s when they held the line against Soviet efforts to support Sandinista subversion and subject El Salvador to a bloody Marxist guerilla war. Losing — and to some degree failing to fight — the war over the war in Iraq is why Republicans are mute today in matters of foreign policy and why they have not challenged Barack Obama’s dangerous course of appeasement and drift, particularly in the Middle East.

The Joint Chiefs had suggested that a military presence of 20,000 troops in Iraq was necessary to keep it free of Iran’s control, but the demand for such a presence became problematic when the Republicans allowed the Democrats’ narrative of “Bush lied, people died” to succeed. When 2008 presidential candidate John McCain suggested that maintaining troops in a postwar Iraq was a prudent measure, candidate Obama attacked him as a warmonger. “You know,” Obama said, “John McCain wants to continue a war in Iraq perhaps as long as 100 years.” This refrain became a constant theme of the winning Obama campaign — Republicans are warmongers, and dangerous.

That is why three years later, when Obama withdrew from Iraq, no Republican dared accuse him of betraying the Americans who gave their lives to make Iraq independent, even though Iraq as a consequence fell under the sway of Iran and was providing air space for Iranian weapons headed for Syria..

How far America has fallen since Madeleine Albright called us the indispensable nation that stands taller and sees farther becomes ever more apparent with each new international crisis. We are not only losing the war with enemies whose stated goal is our destruction, we are led by a political party that constantly finds excuses not to take these enemies seriously, and never has to account for its disgraceful conduct because its potential opposition is mute. The only way to reverse this trend is to mount a campaign to put Obama’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood at the forefront of the political debate, and to educate Americans about the real dangers we face. Americans need to become aware of the Islamic-supremacist threat, of the malignant designs of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of the disasters that may lie ahead because of the Obama administration’s policies of appeasing and enabling our enemies’ evil ambitions.

— David Horowitz is author of Radicals: Portaits of a Destructive Passion.
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« Reply #1854 on: May 07, 2013, 06:43:24 AM »

The ObamaCare Train Wreck Is Already Here




 Posted 05/06/2013 07:18 PM ET
 



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Medical Overhaul: Democrats fret about a "train wreck" when ObamaCare goes into effect next year. But the law is already a disaster for workers who've seen their hours and benefits cut as employers try to avoid its costs.
 
As IBD's Jed Graham reported late last week, government data clearly show that businesses are already cutting worker hours and benefits in advance of ObamaCare's employer mandate, under which every business with 50 or more full-time workers will have to provide government-approved insurance.
 
Graham found that overall benefits climbed just 0.1% in Q1, the smallest gain since 2001. Benefits in the service sector dropped 0.3%, the first quarterly decline in more than a decade.
 
As the IBD story notes, benefits climbed steadily even through the recession and the first years of the very weak Obama recovery. So the only real explanation for the cutbacks now is that employers are trying to make room for ObamaCare costs.
 
In addition, Graham found that retailers are cutting worker hours "at a rate not seen in more than three decades." Again, the culprit is clearly ObamaCare.
 
The average workweek in April was 2% shorter than it was a year ago, marking the "steepest sustained decline since 1980."
 
Even the liberal press is starting to take notice of ObamaCare's ill effects on the workforce.
 
The New York Times recently reported on a family-owned bakery that figures ObamaCare will eat up more than half its annual profits. The owners are looking at "outsourcing certain jobs to reduce the staff."
 
A Los Angeles Times story last week noted that companies are cutting back on part-time hours so they can avoid the ObamaCare mandate, which kicks in for employees working 30 hours or more.
 
"Not only will these workers earn less money," the Times noted, "but they'll also miss out on health insurance at work."
 
The story pointed to research from UC Berkeley, which found that some 2.3 million workers risk seeing their hours cut back thanks to ObamaCare.
 
Meanwhile, publicly traded companies are starting to explain to shareholders the impact ObamaCare will have on their businesses and how they'll respond.
 
A recent Krispy Kreme filing, for example, notes that unless it cuts back on the number of workers subject to the law, it will get hit with up to $5 million in new health care costs.
 
AAA Parking says it will likely switch half its full-time workers over to part time because of ObamaCare.
 
And the Federal Reserve's recent Beige Book reports that employers across the country are citing the uncertainties surrounding ObamaCare "as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff."
 
Businesses are right to worry. Despite its official name — the Affordable Care Act — the law is likely to drive small business premiums up.
 
How far up remains to be seen, but insurers in Maryland and Rhode Island are already pushing for double-digit increases.
 
And if too few businesses agree to buy ObamaCare insurance, rates could go even higher, causing further damage to jobs, work hours and benefits.
 
A couple years ago, a reporter asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius whether ObamaCare's employer mandate would hurt job growth, particularly among small firms close to the 50-worker threshold.
 
"I think that this will actually be a great incentive" to increase jobs, was her response. "I don't hear anything from people who say, 'Oh, I would never grow my business past this threshold,' but are very enthusiastic about the notion that this is a competitive issue."
 
We seriously doubt any business actually told Sebelius they were enthusiastic about ObamaCare's employer mandate back in 2011.
 
And even if there were a few, they've likely lost their enthusiasm now that they face the imminent reality of this disaster.


Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/050613-655037-the-obamacare-train-wreck-is-already-here.htm#ixzz2Sc8n5dWP
 Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook
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« Reply #1855 on: May 07, 2013, 07:54:13 AM »


 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-scheer/obama-penny-pritzker-commerce-secretary_b_3227356.html?utm_hp_ref=politics



The love fest between Barack Obama and his top fundraiser Penny Pritzker that has led to her being nominated as Commerce secretary would not be so unseemly if they both just confessed that they did it for the money. Her money, not his, financed his rise to the White House from less promising days back in Chicago.

"Without Penny Pritzker, it is unlikely that Barack Obama ever would have been elected to the United States Senate or the presidency," according to a gushing New York Times report last year that read like the soaring jacket copy of a steamy romance novel. "When she first backed him during his 2004 Senate run, she was No. 152 on the Forbes list of the wealthiest Americans. He was a long-shot candidate who needed her support and imprimatur. Mr. Obama and Ms. Pritzker grew close, sometimes spending weekends with their families at her summer home."

But don't sell the lady short; she wasn't swept along on some kind of celebrity joyride. Pritzker, the billionaire heir to part of the Hyatt Hotels fortune, has long been first off an avaricious capitalist, and if she backed Obama, it wasn't for his looks. Never one to rest on the laurels of her immense inherited wealth, Pritzker has always wanted more. That's what drove her to run Superior Bank into the subprime housing swamp that drowned the institution's homeowners and depositors alike before she emerged richer than before.

Pritzker and her family had acquired the savings and loan with the help of $600 million in tax credits. She became the new bank's chairwoman and ended up as a director of the holding company that owned it. Under her leadership, Superior specialized in subprime lending, hustling folks with meager means and poor credit into high interest loans that were bundled into the toxic securities that wrecked the U.S. economy.

As federal regulators began to move in on her bank after it had dangerously inflated the value of its toxic assets, Pritzker assured its employees: "Our commitment to subprime has never been stronger." Two months later, the bank was pronounced insolvent. At the time, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s inspector general report concluded, "The failure of Superior Bank was directly attributable to the board of directors and executive management ignoring sound risk diversification principles, as evidenced by excessive concentration in residual assets related to subprime lending. ..."

No biggie. In announcing her appointment, Obama joked, "For your birthday present, you get to go through confirmation. It's going to be great." It's the same sort of joke he could have cracked in appointing Citigroup alum Jack Lew to be Treasury secretary.

It is deeply revealing that in the midst of the continuing cycle of misery brought on by the chicanery of the financial community two key Cabinet positions dealing with business practices will likely be occupied by people who specialized in those financial rip-offs.

For Pritzker, as with the confirmation of Lew, the fix is in. The Republicans don't dare push back too hard on shady business practices that their deregulation legislation endorsed, and Democrats will go along with anything the president wants.

The same restraint will be exhibited in exploring the offshore tax havens that have protected the Pritzker family's immense wealth. Back in 2008, when she had been rumored for this same Cabinet post, Pritzker was queried about avoiding the sort of taxes most ordinary folks are obligated to pay, and she replied in writing: "I am a beneficiary of some non-U.S. situs trusts which were established about 50 years ago (when I was a child) and are administered by a non-U.S.-based financial institution as trustee. I do not control how those assets are administered." If the Republicans challenge that canard, the Democrats will smugly remind them of Mitt Romney's tax havens, as if that excuses tax avoidance within their own ranks.

Certainly the Republicans will not raise questions about the anti-union practices that helped create the Hyatt fortune in the first place and continue to this day. Nor will the Democrats, who embrace unions only at national convention time.

"There is a huge unresolved set of issues in the Democratic Party between people of wealth and people who work," noted Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, which attempts to organize the miserably paid workers that produced Pritzker's wealth. "Penny is a living example of that issue."

But it's payback time, and even normally progressive Democrats like Pritzker's home state Sen. Dick Durbin are prepared to roll over. Treating the appointment of billionaire Pritzker as a victory for women everywhere, the senator said she'd "broken through the glass ceiling with her extraordinary intelligence and business acumen."

Right, Pritzker will be a fine role model for those women working at the Asian factories that she'll be touring as Commerce secretary extolling the virtues of the American business model.
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« Reply #1856 on: May 07, 2013, 12:43:35 PM »


There's no party like a White House party
 
By Emily Goodin - 05/07/13 05:00 AM ET






Bill and Hillary Clinton, actress Kerry Washington, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and producer Harvey Weinstein were among those who joined the Obamas at the White House’s secret post-inauguration bash.
 
President Obama and Michelle Obama held the hush-hush, swanky, ultra-A-list party to celebrate his second term the night he took the oath of office. The party was not announced or listed on his official schedule, but a few of the guests tweeted about the event, which is what publicly revealed its existence.
 








The guest list that reveals who attended was never released though the White House visitors log from January, which came out at the end of April and was examined by The Hill: a mix of rock stars, actors, top campaign donors, White House aides, Obama friends and leading Democratic politicians.
 
Some of the names include actor Jamie Foxx; Obama adviser David Axelrod; Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) and his twin brother, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; singer Kelly Clarkson; Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.); actress Eva Longoria; singer James Taylor; former NBA player Alonzo Mourning; Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D); and former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. Clinton aide Huma Abedin was on the list, but her husband, former New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, was not.
 
Obama has a voluntary visitors records release policy, and more than 3.2 million entries have been made public. There is typically a three-month delay in the release of names.
 

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

The visitors log doesn’t give a detailed reason a guest is at the White House, but it does say who the person is there to see and where the meeting took place.
 
The names The Hill used to compile the guest list for the post-inaugural party were under a grouping of visitors who were at the White House to meet with “POTUS/FLOTUS” in the “residence” on Jan. 21.
 
Actress Ashley Judd and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) were among the list of names under that grouping, and both tweeted about the event.
 



RELATED ARTICLES
 •Who's who at the White House
 
Judd wrote, “How to arrive at the White House in style? Bum a ride from a kind citizen who happens to be off duty Secret Service!”
 

She later wrote, “It was elegant, warm, fun, & then an amazingly joyful house party. We had such a magical night.”
 
McCaskill tweeted, “Now we are rocking at the WH. Happy Inauguration. #2013inaug,” along with a blurry photo of a singer. The names of singers Usher and John Mayer were also on the list.
 
White House officials have previously said that visitors records have limitations and were never designed for public disclosure by the Secret Service. Names are listed without titles or additional identifying information.
 
There were some discrepancies in the most recent list of visitors released. The release date was labeled April 26, 2012, instead of 2013, though the records clearly state the appointments were in January 2013. A White House aide told The Hill the discrepancy was likely attributable to a typo.
 
Other names in the grouping include Commerce Secretary nominee Penny Pritzker; longtime Obama friends Eric and Cheryl Whitaker; Obama aides/advisers Ben Rhodes, Jim Messina, Julianna Smoot and Jeremy Bird; actress Whoopi Goldberg; Gayle King; actress Jennifer Hudson; and Attorney General Eric Holder.
 
And the list might not be complete.
 
There were some prominent names missing, such as Obama adviser and longtime friend Valerie Jarrett. She may, however, have a clearance level that does not require her to be listed as visitor to the residence. White House aides Dan Pfeiffer and Jay Carney were listed, however.
 
Also, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was not listed, but her husband, Paul Pelosi, was. Pelosi was cleared for White House access earlier in the day when Obama met with congressional leaders.
 
Kevin Bogardus, Justin Sink, and Amie Parnes contributed.


Read more: http://thehill.com/capital-living/cover-stories/298069-theres-no-party-like-a-white-house-party#ixzz2SdbN5xmy


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« Reply #1857 on: May 08, 2013, 08:24:39 AM »

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/05/coast-guard-ordered-to-stay-in-port-and-allow-infiltration-2640320.html


Worst Admn EVER!

Fuck obama
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« Reply #1858 on: May 08, 2013, 01:31:09 PM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/08/enron-ceo-released_n_3238948.html


LOL!!!!!


HOPE AND CHANGE SUCKERS!
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« Reply #1859 on: May 08, 2013, 08:12:53 PM »

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/08/Report-Obama-Spent-11-45-Million-Per-Green-Job-Created


unreal 

F Obama
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« Reply #1860 on: May 08, 2013, 09:08:48 PM »

http://www.twincities.com/national/ci_23202009/us-discussing-giving-russia-missile-defense-data


WOW.
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« Reply #1861 on: May 09, 2013, 08:21:35 AM »

Watchdog says government has tried to silence him on Afghanistan
By: Stephanie Gaskell
May 8, 2013 09:17 PM EDT

http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=A9EC85F1-16F0-4FE7-8EE0-3EA68EB00F25


 
The watchdog who tracks the billions of taxpayer dollars spent to rebuild Afghanistan says government officials have tried to silence him because they think he's embarrassing the White House and Afghan President Hamid Karzai by pointing out the waste and fraud.

John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, used a speech at the New America Foundation on Wednesday to blast government “bureaucrats”' who have told him to stop publicizing damning audits that detail case after case of waste, corruption and mismanagement of rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan. Some government officials have even complained that they aren't allowed to pre-screen or edit his reports, he said.

“Since my appointment by the president last summer, I have been surprised to learn how many people both in and out of the government do not understand the role of an independent inspector general,” Sopko said.

(PHOTOS: Obama in Afghanistan)

The Pentagon did not address Sopko’s remarks about pre-screening, but it endorsed his role keeping watch over the Afghanistan effort.

“We value inputs from independent oversight, including from inspectors-general, who play a key role in advancing the missions of the Department of Defense,” said press secretary George Little.

Even so, Sopko slammed the government for what he called a hostile attitude toward his work.

“Over the last 10 months, I have been criticized by some bureaucrats for not pre-clearing my press releases with them, for not letting them edit the titles of my audits, for talking too much to Congress, for talking too much to the press … and, basically, for not being a 'team player' and undermining 'our country’s mission in Afghanistan,'” he said.

(PHOTOS: 10 quotes about Hillary Clinton and Benghazi)

“Many in our government, even some surprisingly senior officials you think would know better, seem to believe that an inspector general should be their partner — or, more correctly, their silent partner,” he said. “In their opinion, my reports should be slipped in a sealed envelope in the dead of night under the door — never to see the light of day — because those reports could embarrass the administration, embarrass President Karzai, embarrass Afghanistan.”

Sopko said he wanted to make it clear that he wants Afghanistan to succeed and his work isn't meant to embarrass anyone.

“I support the mission in Afghanistan,” he said. “That is why I accepted the appointment. We must defeat the terrorists hiding in Afghanistan and build up an Afghan government capable of ensuring that Afghanistan will never again become a safe haven for those who want to harm the United States.”

Since taking office last July, Sopko has increased the number of audits and investigations threefold. His office has made 73 recommendations to government agencies that he says would save at least $450 million if enacted.

(PHOTOS: Chuck Hagel in Afghanistan)

Sopko defended his aggressive oversight of billions of taxpayer dollars being spent in Afghanistan, saying he's just trying to do the right thing.

“I am not a cheerleader. I’m a watchdog — it is my job to point out what isn’t working, so it can be fixed. To do it any other way is to just muddle along and then nothing will change,” he said.

This article first appeared on POLITICO Pro at 6:41 p.m. on May 8, 2013.
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« Reply #1862 on: May 09, 2013, 01:49:32 PM »

Green energy triumph: $11,000,000.00 spent per job created

via Politico

By: John Hayward 
5/9/2013 10:14 AM



“Without much fanfare, the Department of Energy (DOE) recently updated the list of loan guarantee projects on its website,” the Institute for Energy Research noticed on Wednesday.  ”Unlike in 2008, when Barack Obama pledged to create 5 million jobs over 10 years by directing taxpayer funds toward renewable energy projects, there were no press conferences or stump speeches.”
 
Uh-oh.  Why weren’t there any celebrations?  President Obama loves a good celebration.  Why, we just found out about the super-secret star-studded bash he held after his inauguration.
 
Maybe it’s because the IER divided the $26 billion spent on “green jobs” by the Energy Department since 2009, divided it by the 2,298 permanent jobs created, and came up with a cost of $11.45 million per job.
 
Ah, the miracle of Obamanomics!  At those prices, we could easily restore the 5 million jobs blown out of the economy since 2009 by spending a mere $57 trillion.
 
The IER provides a list of projects, loan amounts, and jobs created.  Your calculator will melt if you try to compute the per-job cost of famed boondoggles like Solyndra or Abound Soler, where the DOE handed out $535 million and $400 million respectively to create zero permanent jobs, because it turned out the companies were temporary.  But don’t overlook still-functional triumphs like Granite Reliable, a wind-power company that took $168.9 million in Energy Department loan money to create 6 permanent jobs.
 
“As the astronomical cost of the DOE’s loan guarantee program indicates, subsidizing renewable energy is not a good deal for taxpayers,” the IER observes dryly.  And that’s not the only raw deal we’re getting:
 

But loan guarantees are just one of the ways the federal government bankrolls risky green energy projects. Energy-related tax preferences cost taxpayers about $13.5 billion in FY 2012, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. But solar and wind power, for which the majority of the tax preferences for renewable energy were directed,produced only 3.6 percent of the nation’s generation in 2012. In addition, the Treasury Department’s 1603 grant program, which offers cash payments to renewable energy companies, cost taxpayers $5.8 billion in 2012. Many states also subsidize green energy through tax preferences as well as requiring renewable electricity mandates that require a specified amount of electricity to be generated from qualified renewable sources like wind and solar.
 
Clearly, in terms of “bang for the buck,” government programs that coddle renewable energy are losers. In terms of jobs, the losers are the American workers who would otherwise be gainfully employed but for the tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars on the administration’s obsession with “green energy.” As the economy continues to suffer and dollars for federal programs get harder to come by, it is getting increasingly difficult to defend a program that costs so much and produces so little.
 
Just imagine what the actual market – not the imaginary green one dreamed up by Obama and his billionaire cronies, who very much appreciate your support, even if they never seem to get around to thanking you for it – could have done with all those billions!  Let’s see, $26 billion in loan guarantees, plus $13.5 billion in tax preferences, plus $5.8 billion in cash grants for “renewable energy”… that’s $45.3 billion that could have been returned to the people who earned it, through pro-growth tax cuts. Would anyone like to wager that the private sector couldn’t create more than 2,298 permanent jobs with that kind of dough?
 
Not to mention all the marketplace confusion that could have been avoided by allowing the people who earned all that money to spend it, creating healthy and sustainable demand.  Quite a few suppliers and local service companies made the mistake of thinking Solyndra was a real company, and designed long-term business plans accordingly.  It’s hard to see real opportunities through all that taxpayer-subsidized static.
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« Reply #1863 on: May 09, 2013, 05:10:18 PM »

McDonald's cuts Angus burgers from menu          obamaaaaaaaaaaaaa  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #1864 on: May 09, 2013, 05:34:08 PM »

McDonald's cuts Angus burgers from menu          obamaaaaaaaaaaaaa  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy




Don't worry, your shift manager will keep a couple on the side just for you.  And I've got some Skip juice you can fry 'em in.
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« Reply #1865 on: May 09, 2013, 05:41:56 PM »




Don't worry, your shift manager will keep a couple on the side just for you.  And I've got some Skip juice you can fry 'em in.

you will, thanks  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #1866 on: May 11, 2013, 10:35:49 AM »

Stephanie Cutter, Former Obama Adviser, To Help Bank Of America Elude Regulation
 

Posted: 05/10/2013 5:53 pm EDT  |  Updated: 05/10/2013 6:11 pm EDT


"Big Banks Push Against Tighter Rules," says the headline in this piece from the Wall Street Journal. 'Twas ever thus, but now, "big banks" are doing so more overtly, and with more gusto, and with all kinds of interesting people helping them out. Per the WSJ:

The banks have hired longtime, influential Washington hands to deflect regulatory and political pressure to strengthen their finances and to sell assets. Regulators and some lawmakers have raised concern that large banks remain "too big to fail" and could require another government bailout in the event of a new financial meltdown.
 The effort by banks marks a lobbying turning point for the industry, which adopted a mostly low-profile stance to new regulations in the wake of the financial crisis.


Of course, most of us are nominally invested in the idea that the Obama administration is working to keep the excesses of these banks in check. I mean, just today, Bloomberg reminded everyone that President Barack Obama greeted the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act thusly: “Because of this reform, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes...There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts -- period.”

So, it would be quite reasonable to extract the notion, from that statement, that the Obama White House is fully on board with keeping tight rules on banks in place. Interestingly enough, however, someone who worked very hard to ensure Obama would be reelected to a second term does not appear to agree. Let's go back to that Wall Street Journal piece:

Regulators and lawmakers increasingly are signaling that more work is needed to lessen the risk posed by large, complex banks, including bigger capital cushions and minimum amounts of expensive long-term debt.
 The moves by banks include pushing back against bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sens. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, and Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, that would sharply increase capital cushions at large banks to the point where most analysts expect firms would be forced to shrink.

Stephanie Cutter, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, and Ed Gillespie, a former Bush administration official, are providing strategic advice to Bank of America on several issues, including efforts to break up the banks. Morgan Stanley recently hired Michele Davis, a top aide to former Bush administration Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, to help bolster the firm's credibility in Washington.


So, Stephanie Cutter (who I guess may also soon be repping Bank Of America's point of view on a rebooted "Crossfire" for CNN?) is working to undermine "tight rules" on banks? That seems like an odd thing for someone who supported Obama's reelection to do. Or does it? Is the implication here that Obama would not sign Brown-Vitter? Or that he contends that "bigger capital cushions" are not required?

It could mean that the White House isn't all that sincere about reining in the banks, maybe. It could also mean that the Obama White House will be battling its own adviser in the parking lot with tridents. I've not heard back from Cutter since I emailed her to ask, "HUH WHAT NOW?" But the day is young.

By the way, here is a fun fact that pertains to why tighter rules on banks, specifically those designed to prevent "Too Big To Fail" failures, might be of pertinent interest to normal human Americans. Per Bloomberg, today:

The firms that rate the creditworthiness of banks say the likelihood of a government rescue hasn’t gone away. Because of the implicit promise of bailouts, Moody’s Investors Service, the second-largest U.S. ratings company, has boosted the scores for the six banks. Each increase in credit grade makes borrowing less expensive.
 In a March 27 report, Moody’s displays a bar chart of its credit ratings for the banks in blue. In green bars, it shows Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo would be rated two grades lower if the taxpayer backstop didn’t exist. Moody’s boosted Morgan Stanley’s score by two grades for the same reason, even though it had downgraded that bank in June 2012.

The scores for Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan (JPM) are three grades lower in the green bars.

Debt sold by the holding companies of Bank of America and Citigroup (C), the second- and third-biggest U.S. banks by assets, would fall to junk status without the implicit government guarantee, Moody’s Senior Vice President David Fanger says.

“They have a high probability of government support,” Fanger says.


"Government guarantee" means "taxpayer guarantee," in the above construction. Taxpayer wealth is, to the banks' perspective, an implied asset on their balance sheet. So it's no wonder they don't worry about being overleveraged, and want to resist further regulations.

[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not?]


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/10/stephanie-cutter-bank-of-america_n_3255326.html?ref=topbar

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« Reply #1867 on: May 11, 2013, 11:33:32 AM »

Obama Pushes Funds for Islamists —- Trashes Their Christian Victims

Posted By Faith J. H. McDonnell On May 10, 2013 @ 12:39 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 10 Comments


The “Islamist apologist choir” described in Cinnamon Stillwell’s recent story “Profs on Boston Bombing” doesn’t sing solely on behalf of Chechnya and Cambridge. Some of that choir’s most dreadful caterwauling today is in support of Nigeria’s yet-undesignated terrorists, Boko Haram. The choir stalls are located in the U.S. State Department, which not only refuses to designate the jihadists as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), but maligns and defames Boko Haram’s Christian victims, as well.
 
Boko Haram’s latest attack, killing at least 42, took place on Tuesday, May 7, in the already battle-worn town of Bama, in Nigeria’s northeast Borno State. Borno, one of 12 states under Sharia, has suffered heavy losses under the Islamists. Some believe that Boko Haram has taken over northern Borno State much as Islamists took over northern Mali. At least 277 had been killed by Boko Haram in Borno State in 2013 before this attack.  According to an AP story the Tuesday event involved “coordinated attacks by Islamic extremists armed with heavy machine guns” in multiple locations around Bama. The jihadists also raided a federal prison, freeing 105 inmates.
 
Military spokesman Lt. Colonel Sagir Musa told AP that “some 200 fighters in buses and pickup trucks mounted with machine guns attacked the barracks of the 202 Battalion of Nigeria’s beleaguered army.” Musa, who said two soldiers and 10 insurgents died in the attack, revealed that the attackers “came in army uniform pretending to be soldiers.” The Islamists killed 14 prison guards. They also attacked and razed a police station, a police barracks, a magistrate’s court, and local government offices, according to Lt. Col. Musa. Bama police commander Sagir Abubakar reported that at least 22 police officers, three children and a woman were killed in the attacks.
 
Boko Haram frequently attacks Nigeria’s police and military forces. In 2012 as documented by the Facts on Nigeria Violence website, there were at least 67 attacks, almost exclusively by Boko Haram, against military barracks, police stations, prisons, and other government facilities, as well as against individual soldiers, policemen, and civil servants. But Boko Haram’s main targets are northern Nigeria’s Christians and churches.
 
The official name of Boko Haram, Jamā’a Ahl al-sunnah li-da’wa wa al-jihād, can be translated “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.” Its goal is to establish a pure Islamic state in northern Nigeria, removing the Christian presence – either by conversion, expulsion, or extermination. Boko Haram appears to prefer the third option. According to the World Watch Monitor (WWM) report on global Christian persecution, Nigeria had a higher death toll from anti-Christian persecution and violence than the rest of the world combined. WWM concluded that Nigeria is “the most violent place on earth for Christians.”
 
In a recent Front Page Magazine article, Daniel Greenfield exposed the unfortunate moral equivalence found in the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) 2013 report on Nigeria. While much of the report is very good and condemns Boko Haram, impunity, and the forced imposition of Sharia, USCIRF appears to have developed the same pathological impulse that afflicts the rest of the federal government, to never blame Islam. As a result, portions of the report mischaracterize certain acts of violence by both Boko Haram and other Islamists targeting Christians, and criticize northern Nigerian Christian leaders for calling the situation what it is: persecution.
 
USCIRF’s egregious observations and recommendations are actually State Department policy. For instance, USCIRF parrots former Asst. Sec. of State for Africa, Johnnie Carson, who declared in a congressional hearing, “It is important to note that religion is not the primary driver behind extremist violence in Nigeria” and that “the Nigerian government must effectively engage communities vulnerable to extremist violence by addressing the underlying political and socio-economic problems in the North.” USCIRF reports that “The U.S. government consistently has urged the Nigerian government to expand its strategy against Boko Haram from solely a military solution to addressing problems of economic and political marginalization in the north,” says USCIRF, “arguing that Boko Haram’s motivations are not religious but socio-economic.”
 
Responding to Carson’s testimony at a House Subcommittee on Africa hearing in July 2012, Subcommittee Chairman, U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), remonstrated that poverty alone does not drive people to violence. And in any case, Boko Haram is well funded by outside Islamists. “Heavy machine guns” and “buses and pickup trucks mounted with machine guns” are just the latest examples to show that Boko Haram is not just a motley crew of impoverished, marginalized local Muslims. In February 2013 it was revealed that hundreds of Boko Haram members had trained for months in terrorist camps in northern Mali with the local “Ansar Dine” al Qaeda of Mali. Their former chef, explained that he cooked for over 200 Nigerians who had “arrived in Timbuktu in April 2012 in about 300 cars, after al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) swept into the city.”
 
In its 2013 Nigeria briefing, human rights group Justice for Jos +, a project of Jubilee Campaign USA, remarked, “Ironically, in northern Nigeria, it is Christians who are totally disenfranchised politically, economically, and socially in their own states and by their own ethnic groups due to their religious identity.” This is worse than just “political marginalization,” Mr. Carson! Justice for Jos + continues, “Christians are regarded as inferior to Muslims and suffer ongoing, systematic and comprehensive discrimination even by local and (Sharia) state governments.”
 
As in many Islam-dominated regions, the northern Nigerian Sharia state governments require permits to construct new churches or repair old ones. But churches are disappearing from the northern Nigerian landscape because the permits are not granted and the existing churches are being demolished or burned in anti-Christian riots and Boko Haram attacks. “The Muslim community is so determined to prevent Christians from having churches to meet in, that when selling land to Christians they commonly include the proviso ‘Not to be used for a bar, a brothel, or a church’ on official deeds,” Justice for Jos + reveals.
 
Thanks to pressure from the U.S. State Department, Nigeria’s Christian President appears more concerned with demonstrating that he is not biased in favor of his fellow Christians than seeing justice done for those who have suffered (even to the point of considering offering amnesty to Boko Haram). The State Department has pressured President Jonathan to give more federal resources and create a special ministry for “northern affairs.” Justice for Jos+ reports that at the same time that federal resources have provided the northern states with “millions in public funds on forced mass weddings for widows, pilgrimages to Mecca, rams for sacrifice at Islamic celebrations, and payments to terrorists’ families,” there has been no compensation to the families of Christian victims.
 
In their many publicly released statements and videos, Boko Haram has never declared poverty and marginalization to be a motive for their actions. On the contrary, they state clearly that their actions are a “jihad (Holy War).” They said that “Christians in Nigeria should accept Islam, that is true religion, or they will never have peace,” and that they “do not have any agenda” other than working to establish an Islamic Kingdom like during the time of Prophet Mohammed.”
 
Could this be the reason why, in the disapproving words of the USCIRF report, “a number of prominent Nigerian Christian leaders . . . believe that Boko Haram has a significant sectarian dimension, and in particular, seeks to eradicate Christian communities in central and northern Nigeria”? USCIRF, again echoing the State Department policy worries, “This chasm in perspective is a serious concern. If Nigeria’s most prominent Christian leaders view the ongoing violence as sectarian, the faithful communities who follow their lead may also embrace this view, adversely affecting tolerance and respect across religions.” This is offensive not just in casting the Christian community as the villain of the piece, but in its lack of acknowledgement of the unbelievable restraint that Christians have shown in the face of the slaughter of their family, friends, and co-religionists.
 
In April 2012, former Asst. Secretary Carson told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that the US would soon open a consulate in Kano, one of the full-Sharia northern states, to join the U.S. Embassy in Abuja and the existing consulate in Lagos. Three months earlier, Boko Haram had carried out numerous simultaneous attacks on the security agencies in Kano – police stations, army barracks, intelligence headquarters – leaving some 200 dead. What a great place to build a new U.S. consulate. Kano is about 200 miles from Abuja. About half as far as Benghazi is from Tripoli.
 
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Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2013/faith-j-h-mcdonnell/obama-pushes-funds-for-islamists-trashes-their-christian-victims/
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« Reply #1868 on: May 11, 2013, 01:20:11 PM »

IRS Knew Tea Party Was Being Targeted In 2011: Report


By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER 05/11/13 03:18 PM ET EDT




WASHINGTON — A federal watchdog's upcoming report says senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups in 2011.

The disclosure contradicts public statements by former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who repeatedly assured Congress that conservative groups were not targeted.

On Friday, the IRS apologized for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if those groups were violating their tax-exempt status.

The Treasury's inspector general for tax administration is expected to release the results of a nearly yearlong investigation in the coming week.

The Associated Press obtained part of the draft report.

That report says the head of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups learned that groups were being targeted in June 2011. It does not say whether Shulman was notified.
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« Reply #1869 on: May 12, 2013, 07:59:19 PM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/11/irs-tea-party_n_3260286.html

Nixon was impeached for far less
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« Reply #1870 on: May 12, 2013, 08:55:23 PM »

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/iraqi-mp-obama-has-handed-iraq-over-to-iran-and-said-do-what-you-like


F obama and those who voted for him 
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« Reply #1871 on: May 13, 2013, 03:36:45 AM »

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-attend-3-democratic-fundraisers-monday_722435.html


Unreal.   He needs to resign.
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« Reply #1872 on: May 13, 2013, 03:50:47 AM »

President Obama refuses to fire IRS employees who illegally targeted conservative groups

In May 2013, the Washington Post reported that the IRS had illegally targeted conservative groups for additional reviews. Organizations with the words “tea party” or “patriot” were singled out for harassment, such as requiring them to provide a list of donors, details about their internet postings on social networking websites, and information about their family members.

When this was first reported by the media in May 2013, Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that had conducted these illegal activities, claimed that only low level employees had known about it, and that no high level IRS officials had known about it. However, soon afterward, NPR reported that an Inspector General report showed that Lerner had been lying, and that she herself had actually been aware of it since June 29, 2011.

During Congressional testimony that had taken place in March 2012, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman falsely said that the IRS had not targeted conservative groups.

Michael Macleod-Ball, chief of staff at the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, said of this:

“Even the appearance of playing partisan politics with the tax code is about as constitutionally troubling as it gets. With the recent push to grant federal agencies broad new powers to mandate donor disclosure for advocacy groups on both the left and the right, there must be clear checks in place to prevent this from ever happening again.”

The Washington Post reported that President Obama had not done anything to investigate or fire the IRS employees who had engaged in this illegal harassment.
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« Reply #1873 on: May 13, 2013, 09:47:32 AM »

Spinning Benghazi
Posted by Alex Koppelman8031Print More
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It’s a cliché, of course, but it really is true: in Washington, every scandal has a crime and a coverup. The ongoing debate about the attack on the United States facility in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, and the Obama Administration’s response to it, is no exception. For a long time, it seemed like the idea of a coverup was just a Republican obsession. But now there is something to it.

On Friday, ABC News’s Jonathan Karl revealed the details of the editing process for the C.I.A.’s talking points about the attack, including the edits themselves and some of the reasons a State Department spokeswoman gave for requesting those edits. It’s striking to see the twelve different iterations that the talking points went through before they were released to Congress and to United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who used them in Sunday show appearances that became a central focus of Republicans’ criticism of the Administration’s public response to the attacks. Over the course of about twenty-four hours, the remarks evolved from something specific and fairly detailed into a bland, vague mush.

From the very beginning of the editing process, the talking points contained the erroneous assertion that the attack was “spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved.” That’s an important fact, because the right has always criticized the Administration based on the suggestion that the C.I.A. and the State Department, contrary to what they said, knew that the attack was not spontaneous and not an outgrowth of a demonstration. But everything else about the changes that were made is problematic. The initial draft revealed by Karl mentions “at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi” before the one in which four Americans were killed. That’s not in the final version. Nor is this: “[W]e do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack.” That was replaced by the more tepid “There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.” (Even if we accept the argument that State wanted to be sure that extremists were involved, and that they could be linked to Al Qaeda, before saying so with any level of certainty—which is reasonable and supported by evidence from Karl’s reporting—that doesn’t fully explain these changes away.)

Democrats will argue that the editing process wasn’t motivated by a desire to protect Obama’s record on fighting Al Qaeda in the run-up to the 2012 election. They have a point; based on what we’ve seen from Karl’s report, the process that went into creating and then changing the talking points seems to have been driven in large measure by two parts of the government—C.I.A. and State—trying to make sure the blame for the attacks and the failure to protect American personnel in Benghazi fell on the other guy.

But the mere existence of the edits—whatever the motivation for them—seriously undermines the White House’s credibility on this issue. This past November (after Election Day), White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”

Remarkably, Carney is sticking with that line even now. In his regular press briefing on Friday afternoon (a briefing that was delayed several times, presumably in part so the White House could get its spin in order, but also so that it could hold a secretive pre-briefing briefing with select members of the White House press corps), he said:

The only edit made by the White House or the State Department to those talking points generated by the C.I.A. was a change from referring to the facility that was attacked in Benghazi from “consulate,” because it was not a consulate, to “diplomatic post”… it was a matter of non-substantive factual correction. But there was a process leading up to that that involved inputs from a lot of agencies, as is always the case in a situation like this and is always appropriate.
This is an incredible thing for Carney to be saying. He’s playing semantic games, telling a roomful of journalists that the definition of editing we’ve all been using is wrong, that the only thing that matters is who’s actually working the keyboard. It’s not quite re-defining the word “is,” or the phrase “sexual relations,” but it’s not all that far off, either.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/05/benghazi-cia-talking-point-edits-white-house.html?mobify=0

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« Reply #1874 on: May 13, 2013, 03:21:32 PM »

Benghazi is no ‘sideshow’
By: David Harsanyi 
5/13/2013

Notwithstanding the passionate protestations of President Barack Obama, it is possible that an issue can be both “politicized” and have merit.

And as we now know, it was the White House and State Department that had politics on their mind during the initial attacks. Why else would they edit CIA Benghazi talking points 12 times – eliminating all references to terrorism – before allowing the American people to hear them? And why else would White House spokesperson Jay Carney claim that there was only a single “stylistic” edit to the document? We know this is untrue.  An untrue statement  triggered by political considerations.

And here is what President Barack Obama had to say on that Benghazi talking-point issue this afternoon in a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

The whole issue of talking point, frankly, throughout this process, has been a sideshow. We have been very clear about throughout that immediately after this event happened we were not clear who exactly had carried it out, how it had occurred, what the motivations were. It happened at the same time as we had seen attacks on U.S. embassies in Cairo as a consequence of this film and nobody understood exactly what was taking place during the course of those first few days. And the e-mails that you allude to were provided by us to congressional committees. They reviewed them several months ago, concluded that in fact there was nothing awful in terms of the process that we had used. And suddenly, three days ago, this gets spun up as if there is something new to the story. There is no there there.

Almost all of this is untrue or misleading.

Perhaps there is no “there there,” as the president asserts, but there are a few things for certain: The administration, and Obama, took forever to make it “very clear” that the murders in Benghazi were the work of terrorists. Both implicitly and explicitly, they spent most of their media time trying to pin the blame on that preposterous Islam-bashing YouTube video. The administration asked YouTube to take the offending video down.

Despite knowing full well that the Arab Street hadn’t had one of its routine “spontaneous eruptions” of rage, but rather that a concerted terror attack had been to blame, Hillary stood in front of the families of the deceased and said: “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that, because it is senseless and totally unacceptable.”

Katie Pavelich has an excellent timeline here of various administration officials cynically blaming the video for the death of Americans. An attack on reality (not unusual) and the First Amendment (becoming less unusual). As you know, Hillary doesn’t think it matters very much why the carnage went down.

As a political matter, the administration has done its best to conflate two distinct issues: The attack and the cover-up.

Yes, we should do all we can to find ways to protect foreign service members abroad. Did we do all we could to save them? It seems that’s a legitimate question that hasn’t been fully answered.

Then there is the accusation of a “politicization” of the event. To this charge, Democrats argue: ‘Why would we do it? There is no reason to cover up anything.’ Which is demonstrable false. There are two very good reasons.

1 –  There is the political implication of appearing weak during an election. Obama has told is that the ‘Man-Caused Disaster’ problem is almost licked. To have to pop up, and to make Obama engage in a defense of the Libya  adventure and revisit the War on Terror. This, weeks preceding an election, would have been bad politics. There was every reason to deflect attention from the root cause.

2 –  Then, to a lesser extent  perhaps, is the  ideological need to blame Islamic terror on our own “hateful” speech, or supposed Islamaphobia. For weeks, the Obama and friends fed that very perception.

http://www.humanevents.com/2013/05/13/the-benghazi-sideshow/
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