Monday, September 29, 2008

House Fails on Passage of Credit Bailout

As I write this entry the 1st vote in the House of Representatives on the Economic Recovery Act of 2008 has failed to pass 205-228 (217 needed). Whether this is a good thing or not, I'm still not sure. The experts opinions are divided, and the public is firmly against the passage.

While I still don't know what the solution is, I do know what the original sin was that caused the current mess. Democrats. In particular the Jimmy Carter Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. This act was greatly expanded by Bill Clinton in 1994. And it was the Democrats in general and Barney Frank (D-MA) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) who killed several pieces of legislation which might have prevented today's mess.

President Bush, Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Fed Alan Greenspan all warned of this crisis in 2003, 2005 and 2006. Other warnings go back to 1999. These warnings were ignored by the Democrats. Not only where they ignored, the public statements of Frank, Dodd and other Democrats assured us nothing was wrong with the system. There was no impending Financial Crisis.

Confirming these observations is this article The Financial Mess: How We Got Here.
The Community Reinvestment Act was pushed hard by Bill Clinton, although it originated under Jimmy Carter. Asked about it the other day on one of the morning TV talk shows, Clinton said times back then were different. Fannie and Freddie had lots of money and he (in his infinite wisdom) decided that the money should not go to share holders or to executive compensation, but should be used to put the poor into homes.
Notice that a Politician (Clinton) decided that the Government is in a better position to know what to do with lots of money. How many times has this idea worked in the past? Remember what Ronald Reagan said were the most terrifying words anyone could ever hear - "I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help."
As you can imagine, wonderful things happen when the government strong arms corporations as to how they should spend their money and, better yet, how they should assess the qualifications of home buyers. So the country's biggest buyers of mortgages were pressured into lowering the qualifications of applicants, in order to increase the percentage of poor that got mortgages. By 2006, 30% of all mortgages went to people who in any other circumstances wouldn't qualify.
Ask anyone who is familiar with the Banking Industry, what a low CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) score did to their business. The Clinton administration aggressively pursued Financial Institutions who did not make enough or the "right kind" of mortgage loans, to the point the Financial Institutions went begging for the 30% of buyers, who under good Financial Practices of Prudent Accounting Guidelines, did not qualify for mortgages.
Now the political left would like you to know that the CRA-controlled institutions did not lend the largest percentage of sub-prime mortgages. But that's information by deception, because the mortgage business is a competitive business. If the government strong arms one part of the business, the other part will respond. And strong arm was what the Clinton administration did, even using the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to pressure banks to lend more money to the disadvantaged. Caught in the act, a spokesman for the office noted that its abuse of power was "for the best of intentions:" the same inclination used to pave the road to hell.
While the Real Estate Market was growing and values increasing, the subprime, CRA mandated mortgages worked.
In the short run, all sorts of money was to be made by lowering standards and processing sub-prime loans for the poor. The Wall Street Journal raised concerns about Fannie's and Freddie's capital requirements. Senator Phil Gramm (R, TX) raised issues about community pressure groups, such as Barack Obama's ACORN, extorting money from banks by holding their feet to the CRA fire, and threatening to militate against mergers and acquisitions unless the banks entered into preferential agreements with community groups. [emphasis mine]
Community Groups like the Local ACORN organization in Chicago for whom Senator Obama was their Legal Council and who have a decades long history of voter registration FRAUD and CORRUPTION. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act forced ACORN to reveal its relationship with banks and mortgage institutions.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae made other uses of "lots of money", besides backing subprime loans.
Fannie and Freddie became big contributors to the Democratic Party. The sub-prime business paid off-at least while the bubble was growing. And the Kerry, Hillary and Obama campaigns have numbered among the leading recipients of the largess of the two mortgage lenders. [emphasis mine]
And they also made huge "Golden Parachute" payments to CEO's. Fannie Mae made payments to disgraced CEO Franklin Raines.
Franklin Raines, the Fannie Mae C.E.O. from 1999 to 2004, had been budget director in the Clinton administration. The left would not like you to be reminded that Raines has been a consultant to the Obama campaign, according to the Washington Post, and that Freddie and Fannie number among the top 5 contributors to Obama's run for the presidency. Raines is being sued for the recovery of 50 million in compensation acquired by the alleged manipulation of Fannie's books. Now, that's not change we can believe in. That's Washington as we have come to know and "love" it.
And now we hear that the Democrats, Particularly Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Obama are outraged at "Golden Parachute" payments. It's time for a Reality Check. The same Democrats who let it happen, no actually insured the Credit Crisis would happen, who now complain the loudest. Where were Nancy, Harry, Barack, Barney and Chris when the Republicans were sounding the alarms?
The Bush administration in 2003 tried to change the system, to no avail. Congressman Barney Frank, (D, MA ) was in the forefront of stopping the Bush proposal to take control out of Fannie and Freddie and put it into a third overseeing organization. Frank too has emerged in the current crisis as one of the major critics of the administration.
And ...
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan continued to raise the alarm over Fannie's and Freddie's weak capitalization. His concerns were ignored.
And ...
Former Congressman Michael Oxley (R,OH), then chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and co-author of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, introduced a bill in 2005 in response to the growing problem, but Fannie and Freddie put their lobbyists to work and the bill died.
Senator Dodd (D-CT) continues to try to place the blame on President Bush. It happened on Bush's Watch. Well, who was on watch when the warnings were made by the Republicans?
After all, the Bush administration in 2003 and Senator Phil Gramm even earlier, in 1999, had been working to change the system. Dodd, like Obama, has been a big recipient of campaign funds from Fannie and Freddie, organizations that Dodd oversees. Dodd has apparently been more consumed with campaign contributions from the mortgage giants than the responsibilities of oversight.
Placing blame on the CRA requirements was not the sole cause of the present Credit Crisis, but it is the original and underlying cause. When you next hear that it's the Republicans who caused this crisis, remember the facts and that the Democrats passed CRA and Stopped attempts to correct the problem.

Congress Makes $25 Billion Auto Industry Loan

In case you missed it, in addition to the Wall Street/Mortgage/Credit guarantees, Congress has also made the US Auto Makers a $25 Billion Loan Guarantee. But after all it's only money - Your Money. More of our Tax Dollars spent. US Congress passes 25 bln loan guarantees to automakers has the details of this expendutare.
The loan guarantees were included in a continuing resolution that included funding for the US government and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These Loan Guarantees includes Foreign Auto Makers with Manufacturing Plants in the US.
Under provisions of the new legislation, not only US carmakers are eligible for the guarantees but also suppliers and foreign automakers with plants in the United States that are more than 20 years old -- Nissan and Honda's US operations qualify.
Our National Debt is Over $9Trillion. It is time to Rein in our Spending and fill-in the Debt Hole!!

Can we really aford to elect a President who wants to expand the National Debt? In case you aren't aware of it - Senator Obama wants to increase Taxes and Spend, Spend Spend. His programs will require spending many times what his Tax Increases Realize If you though President Bush was a spender, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Alternative Credit Crisis Answers

What do Congress and the President need to do to address the Credit Crisis? The answer appears to be extremely complex. However, we do not need to rush to do something in a panic state. On the other hand, we do need to take action quickly. This problem will not solve itself.

At present the Democrats control enough votes in both the House and Senate to pass whatever they want. Why haven't they? Because they need Republican Cover, which they can only get by calling this a bipartisan bill. The Democrats, lead by Nancy Pelosi in the House and Harry Reid in the Senate, must be able to defend their bad judgment which lead to this Credit Crisis by saying "the Republicans agreed to this problem's solution."

It is for this reason that the House Republicans, and John McCain, are insisting on some changes in the original measure. However, there is only so much these Republicans can do. Since the Republicans are the Minority, their power is limited.

The problem is one of CONGRESSIONAL OVER REGULATION . Congress created the problem, Congress can solve it, but NOT with MORE REGULATIONS. The Bowyer Bailout Alternative, by Jerry Bowyer agrees.
Over-regulation brought us to this crisis, not under-regulation. If we get the diagnosis wrong, then the prescription will be wrong too.
Mr. Bowyer presents us with a somewhat convoluted analogy to describe our problem.
Think of the analogy of a 'bail out': someone knocks a hole in a boat and the water rushes in. The crew bails water out of the boat to keep it from sinking. [...] This analogy points to the real problem: the hole! If you patch the hole early, no bailing is needed. If you patch it very late, the whole ship needs to go into dry dock. But the bailing out only makes sense in the context of patching the original problem. The worst thing to do would be to allow the ship to sink to make some kind of populist political point. No, revise that:

The worst thing to do would be to take the left's view and say "too much water in the boat, let's knock more holes into it so the water can get out." [emphasis mine]
Mr. Bowyer's quote is a little awkward, but you get the point. The quicker the original problem (the hole) is fixed the faster the ship becomes seaworthy again. But sometimes in politics the fix to a complex problem, especially one not well understood, is to regulate a solution. And that's because politicians are legislators who believe legislation and regulation will solve any problem.

Barney Frank (D-MA) in the House, and Chris Dodd (D-CT) in the Senate chair the Financial Services Committee and the Banking Committee, respectively, in Congress. They have said there is no hole in the boat, but if there ever should be a hole, we require more holes be made NOW, so the water can drain out. The Democrats answer: "Regulate more holes to ensure safety." And what was a sound boat, now has holes in its hull. They're currently above the water-line, but when the storm comes, the ship will sink.
Place salary ceilings on "every company that benefits in any way whatsoever from the bailout" as Barney Frank said today on CNBC, and you'll get a talent exodus. Give judges the power to obviate existing mortgage contracts with investors around the world - the dollar will plunge. Every one of those proposals is another hole in the boat.
More regulation (holes) from Barney Frank (D-MA). Representative Frank is unwilling to admit we need to patch the current holes. Holes like this ...
Some are talking about putting a hold on the mark to market regulations. That's a start but not enough. Don't suspend mark to market, abolish it. It's part of the whole Sarbox, Spitzer, FAS 157 wave of punitive regulation after Enron. It makes no sense to impose and universalize temporary downturns, especially during panics.
And this ...
Abolish the Bank Holding Company Act. It's a remnant of the 1920s before branch banking. Its only current effect is to keep private equity from buying majority stakes in troubled banks. Goldman's decision yesterday just illustrates the problem. They had to change structure in order to buy up other banks. This is nuts. Get rid of this dinosaur and private equity will start the capital infusions.
And this, GIGANTIC HOLE ...
Abolish the Community Reinvestment Act. Forcing banks to make minority loans is the original sin out of which came the Subprime mortgage industry. Let banks decide where to loan; that's their job. Leave identity politics out of our credit system. [emphasis mine]
The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) came into being under President Carter (1977) and was Greatly Expanded by President Clinton (1994) to mandate subprime loans. Its provisions work as long as the Housing Market keeps expanding. But when they started to fail last year, the bubble burst with a bang. The provisions of the CRA, are not sound Financial, Fiduciary and Accounting principles. Over Regulation resulting in a lack of prudent policy to gain political advantage with the voters.

Friday, September 26, 2008

You Need To See This

Want to know about the cause of the Financial Crisis? Watch this Video.

Post it, e-mail it, share it and do it now.

Thank you,

Monday, September 22, 2008

Economic Credit Crisis - Blame Democrats

Yesterday a comment from Investor Business Daily Editorials and their article Congress Lies Low To Avoid Bailout Blame was posted on this blog. The article made the claim that the Democrats in Congress must share the greatest part of the blame for the current Credit Collapse. Barney Frank, (D-MA) was quoted thus.
"These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Rep. Barney Frank, then ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."
This quote came in response to an attempt by President Bush to get legislation passed through Congress to tighten the regulations on both Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae.
President Bush in 2003 tried desperately to stop Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from metastasizing into the problem they have since become.
And the result of that effort -
Bush tried to act. Who stopped him? Congress, especially Democrats with their deep financial and patronage ties to the two government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie and Freddie.
If you care to read my full comments follow this link. (Economic Credit Crisis - Who's To Blame?)

Today we have further confirmation of who's to Blame. Confirmation from and It is the Democrats! The article, How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis, is a commentary by Kevin Hassett.
The financial crisis of the past year has provided a number of surprising twists and turns, and from Bear Stearns Cos. to American International Group Inc., ambiguity has been a big part of the story.

Why did Bear Stearns fail, and how does that relate to AIG? It all seems so complex.
However, Mr. Hassett claims the Financial Crisis is not complex at all, no matter how is appears.
Enough cards on this table have been turned over that the story is now clear. The economic history books will describe this episode in simple and understandable terms: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exploded, and many bystanders were injured in the blast, some fatally.
How was it that these two quasi-governmental institutions were able to explode?
Back in 2005, Fannie and Freddie were, after years of dominating Washington, on the ropes. They were enmeshed in accounting scandals that led to turnover at the top. At one telling moment in late 2004, captured in an article by my American Enterprise Institute colleague Peter Wallison, the Securities and Exchange Comiission's chief accountant told disgraced Fannie Mae chief Franklin Raines that Fannie's position on the relevant accounting issue was not even ``on the page'' of allowable interpretations.
Franklin Raines was the CEO who was forced to resign as a result this accounting scandal and poor management. Mr. Raines was President Clinton's Director of the Budget.
Then legislative momentum emerged for an attempt to create a ``world-class regulator'' that would oversee the pair more like banks, imposing strict requirements on their ability to take excessive risks. Politicians who previously had associated themselves proudly with the two accounting miscreants were less eager to be associated with them. The time was ripe.
Enter Alan Greenspan and his warning.
The clear gravity of the situation pushed the legislation forward. Some might say the current mess couldn't be foreseen, yet in 2005 Alan Greenspan told Congress how urgent it was for it to act in the clearest possible terms: If Fannie and Freddie ``continue to grow, continue to have the low capital that they have, continue to engage in the dynamic hedging of their portfolios, which they need to do for interest rate risk aversion, they potentially create ever-growing potential systemic risk down the road,'' he said. ``We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.''
Now that's a pretty stern warning. But after this warning and after the Raines scandal was out of the bag, it was up to Congress to do something about it. So what did they do?
For the first time in history, a serious Fannie and Freddie reform bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. The bill gave a regulator power to crack down, and would have required the companies to eliminate their investments in risky assets.
However, for a bill to become law it first has to pass both the Senate and The House, not just a Committee.
But the bill didn't become law, for a simple reason: Democrats opposed it on a party-line vote in the committee, signaling that this would be a partisan issue. Republicans, tied in knots by the tight Democratic opposition, couldn't even get the Senate to vote on the matter. [emphasis mine]
As this article points out, this was an irresponsible act by the Democrats. Socializing Risk and Privatizing Profits is not a smart financial idea. The history of this era will probably show the recklessness of the actions of the Democrats in the House and Senate.
...we now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were making contributions to members of Congress (mostly Democrats) to influence the votes.
Throughout his political career, Obama has gotten more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and political action committees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, second only to Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee chairman, who received more than $165,000.

Clinton, the 12th-ranked recipient of Fannie and Freddie PAC and employee contributions, has received more than $75,000 from the two enterprises and their employees. The private profit found its way back to the senators who killed the fix.
The article ends with this paragraph. It makes sense to me.
...there is one little footnote to the story that's worth keeping in mind while Democrats point fingers between now and Nov. 4: Senator John McCain was one of the three cosponsors of S.190, the bill that would have averted this mess.
Murky Research Note:
Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He is an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.
While Mr. Hassett may be somewhat biased, the facts presented, are to the best of my knowledge accurate.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Economic Credit Crisis - Who's To Blame?

There is no simple answer to the question of Blame. Politicians, Financial Institutions, Speculators ETC. It also includes the ignorant public, some of the homeowners, for instance. All have some reason to share at least some of the blame.

But, we elect officials (Politicians) to Serve and Protect us. Part of that responsibility is to protect us from ourselves. Since they had the opportunity and did not, it is correct to lay the lion's share of the blame at the feet of the Politicians.

Investors Business Daily (IBD) has a very interesting web page of IBD Editorials. One of these editorial pieces - Congress Lies Low To Avoid Bailout Blame - makes some very interesting points. Most of our Political Leaders are running for cover while denying any responsibility for our current Economic Crisis.
Until now, Congress has been surprisingly passive. As Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid put it, "no one knows what to do" right now.

Funny, since it was a Democrat-led Congress that helped cause the problems in the first place.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently barked "no" at reporters for daring to ask if Democrats deserved any blame for the meltdown, you saw denial in action.

Pelosi and her followers would have you believe this all happened because of President Bush and his loyal Senate lapdog, John McCain. Or that big, bad predatory Wall Street banks deserve all the blame. [emphasis mine]
Most analysts agree that the problem began with the Sub prime Lending Practices. But, for a member of the US Congress, both the House and the Senate, to make the comments Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi did is dishonest.
"The American people are not protected from the risk-taking and the greed of these financial institutions," Pelosi said recently, as she vowed congressional hearings
.But They Could Have Been, if they had been protecting and serving us - the people they serve. It is true that some banks made loans they should not have; and CEO's got ridiculous bonuses in the millions of dollars while ruining their companies.
...President Bush in 2003 tried desperately to stop Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from metastasizing into the problem they have since become.
Who stopped President Bush 5 years ago? The Democrats in Congress and specifically Representative Barney Frank (D-MA).
Who stopped him? Congress, especially Democrats with their deep financial and patronage ties to the two government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie and Freddie.

"These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Rep. Barney Frank, then ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing." [emphasis mine]
Five years ago Barney Frank claimed "..No Financial Crisis..." and "...People Exaggerate These Problems..." and was wrong. John McCain also tried to do something about Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac 3 years ago."If Congress does not act," McCain said in 2005,
"American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole."
Senator McCain's warning was again ignored by Congress.

Referring back to an earlier cited quote of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi "The American people are not protected from the risk-taking and the greed of these financial institutions," we can correctly conclude it was because they (and she) did not listen, let alone act to protect and serve the electorate - US

The root of this crisis goes all the way back to the Presidency of Jimmy Carter.
To hear today's Democrats, you'd think all this started in the last couple years. But the crisis began much earlier. The Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act forced banks to lend to uncreditworthy borrowers, mostly in minority areas.
The Community Reinvestment Act became US Law under Carter. It was well-intentioned, but not sound credit policy.
Age-old standards of banking prudence got thrown out the window. In their place came harsh new regulations requiring banks not only to lend to uncreditworthy borrowers, but to do so on the basis of race.

These well-intended rules were supercharged in the early 1990s by President Clinton. Despite warnings from GOP members of Congress in 1992, Clinton pushed extensive changes to the rules requiring lenders to make questionable loans.
Since these rules had the force of Law, the Lenders were REQUIRED to comply, regardless of the economics and prudent credit policy, or face the consequences of the Federal Government.
Lenders who refused would find themselves castigated publicly as racists. As noted this week in an IBD editorial, no fewer than four federal bank regulators scrutinized financial firms' books to make sure they were in compliance.

Failure to comply meant your bank might not be allowed to expand lending, add new branches or merge with other companies. Banks were given a so-called "CRA rating" that graded how diverse their lending portfolio was.
Banks and other financial credit sources were pursued and hounded under CRA Law and Rules aggressively by the Clinton Administration.
"We have to use every means at our disposal to end discrimination and to end it as quickly as possible," Clinton's comptroller of the currency, Eugene Ludwig, told the Senate Banking Committee in 1993.


In the name of diversity, banks began making huge numbers of loans that they previously would not have. They opened branches in poor areas to lift their CRA ratings. [emphasis mine]
In other words, the Clinton White House waged a war on discrimination by making credit available to homeowners who did not deserve and could not afford it by foolishly ignoring prudent fiscal policy. And the Congress was fully complicit in this policy.
Meanwhile, Congress gave Fannie and Freddie the go-ahead to finance it all by buying loans from banks, then repackaging and securitizing them for resale on the open market.
In retrospect, it is surprising that it took this long to collapse.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac grew to become monsters, accounting for nearly half of all U.S. mortgage loans. At the time of their bailouts this month, they held $5.4 trillion in loans on their books. About $1.4 trillion of those were subprime.

As they grew, Fannie and Freddie grew heavily involved in "community development," giving money to local housing rights groups and "empowering" the groups, such as ACORN, for whom Barack Obama once worked in Chicago.
The Democrats were on a roll. They kept reassuring us that everything was OK.
Warning signals were everywhere. Yet at every turn, Democrats in Congress halted attempts to stop the madness. It happened in 1992, again in 2000, in 2003 and in 2005. It may happen this year, too.
Why would Congress and Democrats in particular ignore the warnings? The Answer is not Surprising, it's MONEY.
Since 1989, Fannie and Freddie have spent an estimated $140 million on lobbying Washington. They contributed millions to politicians, mostly Democrats, including Senator Chris Dodd (No. 1 recipient) and Barack Obama (No. 3 recipient, despite only three years in office).
Besides Money for Congress, look at who made the Money while holding positions in Fanny and Freddie.
The Clinton White House used Fannie and Freddie as a patronage job bank. Former executives and board members read like a who's who of the Clinton-era Democratic Party, including Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick, Jim Johnson and current Rep. Rahm Emanuel. [emphasis mine]
Are there any Republicans in the money pit? Sure there are, but take a look at the list of the top 25 receipitents of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac campaign contributions.
All Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008

Name Office State Party Grand Total Total from
PACs Total from
Dodd, Christopher J S CT D $165,400 $48,500 $116,900
Obama, Barack S IL D $126,349 $6,000 $120,349
Kerry, John S MA D $111,000 $2,000 $109,000
Bennett, Robert F S UT R $107,999 $71,499 $36,500
Bachus, Spencer H AL R $103,300 $70,500 $32,800
Blunt, Roy H MO R $96,950 $78,500 $18,450
Kanjorski, Paul E H PA D $96,000 $57,500 $38,500
Bond, Christopher S 'Kit' S MO R $95,400 $64,000 $31,400
Shelby, Richard C S AL R $80,000 $23,000 $57,000
Reed, Jack S RI D $78,250 $43,500 $34,750
Reid, Harry S NV D $77,000 $60,500 $16,500
Clinton, Hillary S NY D $76,050 $8,000 $68,050
Davis, Tom H VA R $75,499 $13,999 $61,500
Boehner, John H OH R $67,750 $60,500 $7,250
Conrad, Kent S ND D $64,491 $22,000 $42,491
Reynolds, Tom H NY R $62,200 $53,000 $9,200
Johnson, Tim S SD D $61,000 $20,000 $41,000
Pelosi, Nancy H CA D $56,250 $47,000 $9,250
Carper, Tom S DE D $55,889 $31,350 $24,539
Hoyer, Steny H H MD D $55,500 $51,500 $4,000
Pryce, Deborah H OH R $55,500 $45,000 $10,500
Emanuel, Rahm H IL D $51,750 $16,000 $35,750
Isakson, Johnny S GA R $49,200 $35,500 $13,700
Cantor, Eric H VA R $48,500 $46,500 $2,000
Crapo, Mike S ID R $47,250 $40,500 $6,750
Frank, Barney H MA D $42,350 $30,500 $11,850
Bean, Melissa H IL D $41,249 $34,999 $6,250
Bayh, Evan S IN D $41,100 $16,500 $24,600
McConnell, Mitch S KY R $41,000 $40,000 $1,000
Maloney, Carolyn B H NY D $39,750 $16,500 $23,250
Dorgan, Byron L S ND D $38,750 $30,500 $8,250
Miller, Gary H CA R $38,000 $31,500 $6,500
Rangel, Charles B H NY D $38,000 $14,750 $23,250
Tiberi, Patrick J H OH R $35,700 $32,600 $3,100
Bunning, Jim S KY R $33,802 $29,650 $4,152
Stabenow, Debbie S MI D $33,450 $32,000 $1,450
Chambliss, Saxby S GA R $33,250 $22,500 $10,750
Menendez, Robert S NJ D $31,250 $30,500 $750
Enzi, Mike S WY R $31,000 $27,500 $3,500
Van Hollen, Chris H MD D $30,700 $11,000 $19,700
Landrieu, Mary L S LA D $30,600 $20,000 $10,600
Murray, Patty S WA D $30,000 $23,000 $7,000
Clyburn, James E H SC D $29,750 $26,000 $3,750
Crowley, Joseph H NY D $29,700 $25,500 $4,200
Sessions, Pete H TX R $29,472 $24,000 $5,472
McCrery, Jim H LA R $29,000 $26,000 $3,000
Hooley, Darlene H OR D $28,750 $19,500 $9,250
Royce, Ed H CA R $28,600 $4,000 $24,600
Renzi, Rick H AZ R $28,250 $28,000 $250
Lieberman, Joe S CT I $28,250 $11,500 $16,750
Baucus, Max S MT D $27,500 $21,000 $6,500
Moore, Dennis H KS D $26,550 $25,500 $1,050
Coleman, Norm S MN R $24,690 $12,000 $12,690
Matheson, Jim H UT D $24,500 $24,000 $500
Schumer, Charles E S NY D $24,250 $1,500 $22,750
Durbin, Dick S IL D $23,750 $14,000 $9,750
Rogers, Mike H MI R $22,750 $21,000 $1,750
Lynch, Stephen F H MA D $22,500 $13,500 $9,000
Rockefeller, Jay S WV D $22,250 $5,000 $17,250
Smith, Gordon H S OR R $22,000 $20,000 $2,000
Mikulski, Barbara A S MD D $21,750 $16,500 $5,250
McCain, John S AZ R $21,550 $0 $21,550 [source:]
As you can see, and IBD confirms, Congress got the money, we got the bill.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Democrats Don't Want Domestic OIL

Despite what the Democrats say about being in favor of Domestic Oil and Gas Production, it's all smoke and mirrors. The Wall Street Journal on-line edition contains a good look at what the Democrats are Offering (Democrats Still Aren't Serious About Drilling).
...the problem is that their plan, which passed the House yesterday and will likely come up for a vote in the Senate later this week, will not produce a single drop of oil.
Why? Environmentalists. But now the Democrats can play politics by saying 'We introduced legislation to allow drilling - The Republicans Stopped it from passing.' That kind of statement is a half truth and exceedingly misleading.
The Democratic proposal is not a death-bed conversion, it's designed to solve their political problem. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her members in August that they can say they are in favor of drilling, but that she wouldn't allow a vote on a drilling bill. Now that she has been forced to, she knows her environmental allies will block new drilling from going forward. [Emphasis mine]

In this article we learn what the Green Forces are currently doing.
The green lobby, however, is not going away. EarthJustice, which employs over 150 people, has filed hundreds of lawsuits. On its Web site, it says "Because lawsuits can be so effective, we have a team of policy experts in Washington, D.C. that work hand-in-hand with our attorneys to stop legislative backlash . . ."
And these legal measures are what the Democrats rely on to make their statements such as the claim that ' will be years before drilling now will produce results'.
In February 2008, the administration issued 487 leases in Alaska's Chukchi Sea, which holds an estimated 15 billion barrels of oil and 76 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, and other groups used the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act to challenge and delay progress on all 487 leases. In a separate lawsuit, they challenged the entire national outer continental shelf (OCS) leasing program, seeking to block all future leases.
The Democrats know too that the reason the Oil and Gas Producers are not producing from the 68 million acres of leases they now hold is - they can't. They can't because of the Environmental studies, permits and court challenges every time they try. In addition, many of these leases have not yet been explored and cannot be explored until the Environmentalists roadblocks are overcome. Many of these unexplored acres will yield nothing. There is nothing there.
Even if a lease makes it through these challenges, it isn't clear sailing. Right now, there are 748 leases in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Exploration activities in every single one were challenged in May of this year by EarthJustice in conjunction with others.
Reasonable people agree the Environment is worth protecting, but the current measures are beyond reasonable.
Any serious energy plan would encourage the development of alternative and renewable fuels, and open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the OCS and the Western U.S. to drilling. It also would put a stop to never-ending litigation. But that's not what Democratic leaders are offering.
Remember what the Democrats are claiming are not reasonable or accurate claims because they know they are spouting half-truths.
Some 70% of Americans favor increased domestic drilling. Unfortunately, if Mrs. Pelosi and her party's leaders continue to play politics, we can be sure Americans won't get the energy they want.
Ms. Pelosi also has a financial reason to prevent domestic oil and gas production. It's Money. A lot of it. According to a World Net Daily article from June of 2008 - Pelosi, Pickens plan to pick your pocket, Ms. Pelosi owns some 22,000 shares of T. Boone Pickins company CLNE. CLNE promotes the use of alternative energy sources. This appears to be a classic case of Conflict of Interest for the 'Most Powerful Woman In The World'.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Financial Mess 2008 Edition UPDATED

Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcpy, Meryl Lynch bought by Bank of America, Bear Stearns and maybe AIG lead the list of financially troubled institutions. Oh, let's not forget Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Who is really to blame for the current financial implosion?

It is easy to blame the Current President, but is George Bush really to blame? Not entirely. Yes he bears some of the blame, but the bigger share goes to Congress. According to the New York Times online, President Bush asked for an overhaul in September 2003 - that's 5 years ago (New Agency Proposed to Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae).
The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.
The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt -- is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates. [Empahis mine]

So what happened?
''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.
Ultimately it is the Democrats in Congress, Lead by Barnie Frank, who must bear the lion's share of the blame. It was five years ago that President Bush stated that the present system was broken. It may be that President Bush didn't push hard enough, but the Congress has the final say in this matter.
(H/T Hot Air)

Nancy Peloci has, according to "The Hill", refused to take any responsibility for the current Financial Mess.
When asked whether the Democrats “deserve some responsibility” regarding the economic crisis, Pelosi responded: “No.”
Somehow I recall Congress claiming the need for more Congressional Oversight on just about everything. Apparently this is true only when the News is Good. Interesting.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Obama's Tax Plan

Senator Barack Obama has proposed "Change" as his Presidential Campaign motto. Part of that "Change" would involve significant increases in taxes and large increases in Government spending. Yesterday Paul Gessing authored this article Obama's change could cost big bucks to detail the effect of the Obama Tax Plan.
When it comes to Americans' pocketbooks, Obama has laid out a clear vision that calls for a bigger, more costly government. Unfortunately, at a time when economic growth is slowing at least partly as a result of misguided government policies such as ethanol subsidies, refusal to allow oil companies access to oil, federal encouragement of the housing bubble, and the costly Iraq war, taking an even bigger share for government is bound to only prolong our current slowdown. [Emphasis mine]
Can we afford Bigger Government? How will we pay for more costly government? Mr. Gessing paints a clear picture in his article of what this means for all of us.
So what does Obama propose? To be sure, he does have a few tax cuts aimed at middle- and low-income Americans sprinkled through his plan. His "Making Work Pay" credit would offset payroll taxes on the first $8,100 of earnings, generating savings of up to $500 per person or $1,000 per family. His campaign says that will eliminate income taxes for 10 million low-income Americans.
On the surface, this sounds like a pretty good idea, and certainly will appeal to a large segment of the voting public.
But we already have the Earned Income Tax Credit [EITC] for low-income wage earners. The IRS estimates that nearly one-third of EITC payments - more than $10 billion annually - now are wasted in overpayments. Is it really wise to create an entire and complicated new credit that would be subject to the same abuses? [Emphasis mine]

Our government spends our money (Tax Dollars) without much thought about where the money comes from. We need to balance the Budget, which under Obama's Tax Plan will institute heavy tax burdens on the "rich".
The centerpiece of Obama's plan is to end the Bush tax cuts and allow the top two tax rates to return to 36 percent and 39.6 percent. He would also phase out personal exemptions and deductions for those with income in excess of $250,000.
So what's wrong with making the "rich" pay for the rest of us?
Again, with an eye toward punishing those who have achieved economic success, Obama plans to end the Social Security payroll-tax cap for those making more than $250,000. The cap is currently set at a more reasonable $102,000. [Emphasis mine]
Note the word punishing in the above paragraph, because that what Obama's Tax Plan really does. It doesn't matter that they can afford it. It matters that we shift monies from one class to another. This is redistribution of wealth, and ultimately punishes all Americans.
Under Obama's plan, these individuals will face a tax rate of 15.65 percent from payroll taxes and the top income-tax rate of 39.6 percent for a combined top rate of more than 56 percent on each additional dollar earned. [Emphasis mine]
One of the most overlooked facts is this: While some of these "rich" people are CEO's of large major corporations, many are small business owners. These small business owners are the ones who provide jobs for America. By increasing the Tax Burden on the small business owner, these same businesses have less dollars to provide the jobs we need. This is when jobs go overseas.
As if those proposals were not enough to weigh the U.S. economy down, Obama plans to nearly double the top dividends and capital-gains rate from the current 15 percent rate to as high as 28 percent. Indeed, while most tax cuts may result in slight revenue declines even as they spur economic growth, Bush's dividend and capital gains tax cuts actually have increased federal revenue. Obama would be wise to reconsider these particularly destructive tax increases. [Emphasis mine]
Most Americans have some form of investment program. A 401(k) for instance. These programs invest heavily in Companies that pay dividends. Tax increases on Dividends results in lower yields and slower growth not only for these Companies, but also for each of us personally.

Finally, consider this.
...Obama's massive payroll-tax increase abandons any pretext of Social Security's being "social insurance," as opposed to just another welfare program. It would massively expand government with almost no positive effect on Social Security's solvency.

Obama's plan would keep Social Security in the black for only three more years. Annual deficits would hit in 2020, instead of 2017, and by the 2030s the system would still run an annual deficit exceeding $150 billion.
If elected, President Obama would institute increases in Government size and spending. This would have the effect of slowing the economy, cutting jobs and increasing the National Debt. What good is a Tax Cut for the Middle Class, if they have not earnings to Tax? Of the Developed Nations of the World, the US has the second highest Corporate Tax Rate Now. We don't need and can't afford to increase the Tax Burden even more.

With a Democrat in the White House, and a Democratic Majority in the Congress, Bigger Government, More Spending and Higher Taxes are almost guaranteed. This is not the kind of "Change" we need. This is not the kind of "Change" most of the voters expect, but it is what we all will receive.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

McCain Tax Plan

According to AP/GLEN JOHNSON's article published at (Greenspan: McCain's Tax Cuts Too Large)
Alan Greenspan says the country can't afford tax cuts of the magnitude proposed by Republican presidential contender John McCain — at least not without a corresponding reduction in government spending.
This is not news. John McCain has been advocating and insisting on smaller Government and a need to cut Government Spending. Therefore, the article's headline is just an attention grabber. It is not a complete or accurate statement of John McCain's position. In fact if you continue reading, the article's fourth paragraph states the need to cut spending.
McCain has said that he would offset his proposed cuts — including reducing the corporate tax rate and eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax that has plagued middle-class families — by ending congressional pork-barrel spending [Earmarks], unnecessary government programs and overhauling entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
John McCain has been widely quoted as willing to veto any bill which Congress passes that also contains Earmarks when he is Elected President. Mr. McCain has pledged to reduce spending along with a reduction in the size of Government. As a side note, Alan Greenspan endorsed John McCain for President as far back as April 2008.

The Democrats have also tried to make the case that John McCain opposed the Bush tax cuts. (How does that fit with the attempt by Democrats to portray McCain as Bush III?) But also from this article we learn the reason Mr. McCain opposed the Bush Tax Cuts.
"John McCain opposed President Bush's tax cuts in 2003, because they didn't include the necessary spending controls. Sen. McCain's proposed job-growing tax cuts are modest in comparison to his plans to slow the exploding growth of federal expenditures — meaning that contrary to Chairman Greenspan's assertions, this relief isn't proposed on borrowed money," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. [Emphasis mine]
There is a point that almost everyone overlooks from the Saddleback Civil Forum with Pastor Rich Warren Interview. In his answer to the definition of Rich, almost everyone remembers John McCain's Five Million Dollar answer. What few have focused on, is the more important point John McCain made next.
And my friend, it was not taxes that mattered in America in the last several years. It was spending. Spending got completely out of control. We spent money — (applause) — in a way that mortgaged our kids’ future. [Emphasis mine]
As Mr. McCain also said '...he wants everyone to be rich'. It is the spending of the last eight years that must be reduced along with taxes to strengthen our economy, keep our jobs here and decrease our debt. John McCain's Tax Policy is much more responsible than Barack Obama's Tax Policy. (Obama's change could cost big bucks)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sarah Palin's 1st Interview - Part 2

Yesterday I posted Kristin Powers criticism of Charlie Gibson's ABC News Interview with Republican VP Candidate Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin.(Sarah Palin's 1st Interview)

Charles Krauthammer has posted his view of the Gibson Interview and finds a different Gibson Gaffe (Charlie Gibson's Gaffe). So now we have Ms. Powers, a Liberal, and Mr. Krauthammer, a Conservative, both of whom find fault with Charlie Gibson's, and ABC's presentation.

Mr. Krauthnammer starts his article with a quote from the New York Times September 12th edition.
"At times visibly nervous . . . Ms. Palin most visibly stumbled when she was asked by Mr. Gibson if she agreed with the Bush doctrine. Ms. Palin did not seem to know what he was talking about. Mr. Gibson, sounding like an impatient teacher, informed her that it meant the right of 'anticipatory self-defense.' "
To which he makes this statement.
Informed her? Rubbish.

The New York Times got it wrong. And Charlie Gibson got it wrong.

There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration -- and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different.
Mr. Krauthammer, it seems, is in a unique position to know about the Bush Doctrine(s).
I know something about the subject because, as the Wikipedia entry on the Bush doctrine notes, I was the first to use the term. In the cover essay of the June 4, 2001, issue of the Weekly Standard entitled, "The Bush Doctrine: ABM, Kyoto, and the New American Unilateralism," I suggested that the Bush administration policies of unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol, together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should be called the Bush doctrine.
Therefore Ms. Palin was exercising good judgement when she had this exchange with Mr. Gibson.
[Mr. Gibson asked] "Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?"

She responded, quite sensibly to a question that is ambiguous, "In what respect, Charlie?"
And the reason is clear when Mr. Krauthammer points out that there have been FOUR different Bush Doctrines during the last eight years. We see the first Bush Doctrine above, as coined by Mr. Krauthammer. Here is the Second Bush Doctrine.
In his address to the joint session of Congress nine days after 9/11, President Bush declared: "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." This "with us or against us" policy regarding terror -- first deployed against Pakistan when Secretary of State Colin Powell gave President Musharraf that seven-point ultimatum to end support for the Taliban and support our attack on Afghanistan -- became the essence of the Bush doctrine.
Here is Bush Doctrine three.
A year later, when the Iraq war was looming, Bush offered his major justification by enunciating a doctrine of preemptive war.
This is the Bush Doctrine Mr. Gibson expected Ms. Palin to know. It seems Ms. Palin knows more about the Bush Doctrines than Mr. Gibson does. She realized that in times of War, things change rapidly, and President Bush has had different Doctrines at different times as circumstances changed. The Fourth Bush Doctrine is the current Doctrine.
...the most sweeping formulation of the Bush approach to foreign policy and the one that most clearly and distinctively defines the Bush years: the idea that the fundamental mission of American foreign policy is to spread democracy throughout the world. It was most dramatically enunciated in Bush's second inaugural address: "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."
By the way, this final Bush Doctrine is a continuation of President John F. Kennedy's pledge, and incorporates part of President Harry S. Truman's doctrine, plus drawing from President Woodrow Wilson's ideas.
This declaration of a sweeping, universal American freedom agenda was consciously meant to echo John Kennedy's pledge in his inaugural address that the United States "shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." It draws also from the Truman doctrine of March 1947 and from Wilson's 14 points.
Apparently Ms. Palin is much more informed and knowledgible than Mr. Gibson is/was.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin's 1st Interview

Today is the first day after Charlie Gibson's Interview with Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin for ABC News. Analysis is still on-going, but most on both sides agree that there were no major gaffs.

There is one exception to that analysis, however. But the Gaff was not made by Governor Palin. It was made by Charlie Gibson. Kirsten Powers, who is a Democratic Strategist and former member of the Clinton White House (Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Public Affairs), noticed the same error. Ms. Powers currently is a columnist for the New York Post and explains the bungle in this article ABC'S BUNGLES - BOTCHES MAR PALIN INTERVIEW.
Gibson - probably relying on a sloppy Associated Press report - told Palin she has said that, "Our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God."

In a part of the interview that was edited out (but is available on ABC's Web site), Palin says, "You know, I don't know if that was my exact quote."

Gibson snaps: "Exact words." [Emphasis mine]
Charlie Gibson's Interview, as presented by ABC News, appears to be heavily edited. Fortunately, Ms. Powers also provides us with the full text of Ms. Palin's remark which gives a completely different color to the comment.
In the video of her remarks, Palin says "Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [US soldiers] out on a task that is from God." She is clearly praying for wisdom for our national leaders - praying that they are following God's will.

This is Christianity 101, not some fundamentalist plot to wage a holy war. Presumably, Obama, as a Christian, utters similar prayers for our country as well. [Emphasis mine]
Ms. Palin explained that she was making a reference to a remark by President Abraham Lincoln: “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right” Clearly, ABC News has taken Ms. Palin's statement out of context.

Ms. Powers further comments on another of the other bungles of ABC's Editing.
There's more: Gibson also accused her of saying of Iraq, "There is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

Here's what she really said: "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."
From ABC News we receive a slanted and distorted view of Ms. Palin's religious views.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Obama Will Likely Regret This

According to Ken Blackwell, (Words Obama Will Regret) at,
On Monday, Senator Obama uttered one sentence that could haunt him until Election Day. He said of Senator McCain and Governor Palin telling voters they would bring change, “they must think you’re stupid.” Given his stances on the surge, social issues, and his past, Mr. Obama will regret those words. [Emphasis mine]
Mr. Blackwell very effectively illustrates the incredibly poor Judgment of Senator Obama.
Let’s start with social issues like Second Amendment freedoms. Mr. Obama denies that he’s ever supported banning handguns, right after the landmark Heller case where the Supreme Court struck down Washington D.C.’s handgun ban.
But then there's this.
When a 1996 questionnaire surfaced that had asked if Mr. Obama supported banning all handguns, his one-word written answer was “yes.” He said an unnamed staffer must have filled it out without his knowledge. Then another copy surfaced — this one with his handwriting on it. He says he must not have read that particular question. Sure.
Great idea. First make a false claim. Second, blame a staffer. Third, claim he didn't read the fine print. Three reasons to question the Obama Judgment. Do we really want our President to make these kind of mistakes?

Next consider this.
On the hot-button issue of abortion, last month saw a growing concern over Mr. Obama’s opposition to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which states if an abortion is botched and a live birth results, the baby is entitled to medical care. The federal version of this law unanimously passed the U.S. Senate.
Having just read this last quote, how does this fit?
However, when a version of this bill came to the Illinois Senate, Mr. Obama opposed it. When confronted last month with the fact that the federal version of this bill had been supported by the likes of Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer, Mr. Obama said the he would have supported the federal version. Those suggesting otherwise were lying, he said. Then it was revealed that a second bill was introduced in the Illinois Senate, and this one was identical to the federal version. Mr. Obama opposed that bill as well. He has yet to come up with an explanation on that one. [Emphasis mine]
A question of Judgment? Again, we find more false claims. This really goes to the issue of Senator Obama's Credibility.

Let's try another issue.
And there are Mr. Obama’s associations. Let’s start with the infamous Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Mr. Obama expressed shock that Rev. Wright would say things like “God damn America” and say the American government created AIDS to commit genocide against black people. Yet he belonged to that church for 20 years. He was married by Rev. Wright, had his children baptized by him, and even took his book title from one of the good reverend’s sermons.
A question of Judgment? Senator Obama expects us to believe
  1. he was a member of Reverend Wright's church for 20 years
  2. Reverend Wright was his Spiritual Mentor
  3. Reverend Wright married Barack and Michelle
  4. Reverend Wright baptized both of his children
but he never heard any of his hate filled sermons? Isn't that beyond belief?
When Rev. Wright’s outrageous diatribes surfaced, Mr. Obama refused to renounce him. Then when Rev. Wright repeated the same statements at the National Press Club, and Mr. Obama had clinched the nomination, suddenly he denounced him. Why? He said Rev. Wright’s statements in D.C. were unlike anything he had heard before and he was shocked. But those statements had been in the news for months. Are we to believe that Mr. Obama had not read or heard any of the news for weeks? Or that he never heard anything similar in more than 20-years of listening to Rev. Wright’s sermons?
Seems to be a pattern here. A serious pattern as to why Senator's Judgment is in question!
Bill Ayers is another stunner. Mr. Ayers bombed a police station and the Pentagon, and recently said he wished he had done more. He is an unrepentant terrorist, but is popular among the ultra-left in Chicago. When Mr. Obama was asked about Mr. Ayers, he implied that he barely knew him.
As I recall in fact Senator Obama said he was just some guy from the Neighborhood.
But once again facts have surfaced. We now know that Mr. Ayers hosted a fundraiser for Mr. Obama. They served for years together on a board with only a few people, and they worked closely on financial matters during those years. Does that sound like someone he barely knows?
We are to believe that both Senator Obama's Memory and Judgment are questionable.
And then we have the Iraq war. Congress authorized war against Iraq in 2002. The vote in the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate was an overwhelming bipartisan majority of 77-23. The intelligence provided to Congress was profoundly flawed, but based on the intelligence presented, Congress voted for war. That is why those voting for the war included John Kerry, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton,and — yes — Joe Biden.
But Senator Obama was not Elected to Congress yet.
Yet Mr. Obama, who was in the Illinois Senate at the time and thus had no vote, opposed the war. He says that this shows his superior judgment, and that those voting for the war, like John McCain, lack the judgment to be president. But his vice presidential pick Joe Biden voted for the war, and Mr. Obama says Mr. Biden has the judgment to be president. How do you reconcile that?
A question of Judgment again.
And finally we have the surge. Mr. Obama opposed it, saying it was doomed to fail. Yet the troop surge has succeeded brilliantly, and all but the most dedicated diehards admit it. Now Mr. Obama acknowledges that it succeeded, but does not admit his predictions of failure were wrong. How were they not wrong? [Emphasis mine]
Great question and another reason to question Senator Obama's Judgment.
These actions have made a pattern. Mr. Obama has changed his position on numerous occasions, cannot explain why he has done so, and yet his campaign expects us to believe that he never changed his mind on any of those issues.

He must think we’re stupid.
The pattern is clear. Senator Obama is trying to play us like a drum. A pattern of change, lack of explanation and then deny he changed his mind on any of these issues. How dumb he must believe we are.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Democrats In Self Destruction Mode

Item - Biden: Hillary a Better Pick Than Me.
"Make no mistake about this," Biden responded. "Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Let’s get that straight. She’s a truly close personal friend, she is qualified to be president of the United States of America, she’s easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America, and quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me.[Emphasis mine]
Since Obama's VP believes Hillary would have been more qualified for President or VP, we can rightly question Obama's Judgment.

Item - S.C. Dem chair: Palin primary qualification is she hasn't had an abortion.
South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler sharply attacked Sarah Palin today, saying John McCain had chosen a running mate "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.”
The State Democratic Chair has this to say about an Elected State Governor and we are to believe that the Democrats want to debate the issues?

Side note: Carol Fowler is the wife of Don Fowler, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Don Fowler was caught on video laughing with South Carolina Congressman John Spratt about Hurricane Gustav hitting the Gulf Coast on the first day of the Republican National Convention.

Item - Obama Says McCain Is Offering Fake Change: 'You Can Put Lipstick on a Pig, But It's Still a Pig'
"You know, you can put lipstick on a pig," Obama said, "but it's still a pig."
While it's true that the lipstick on a pig comment is an old and often used comment to describe something in a new package as the same old stuff, coming on the heels of Governor Sarah Palin's RNC speech, the reference is a best a terrible choice for Obama to use.

John McCain used the statement in reference to Hillary's Health Care Plan, but Obama seems to have clearly aimed his remark at Governor Palin's reference. Obama's audience thought so too.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ophra Has A BIG Problem

Ophra has become a target of many (especially women) who object to her decision not to have Republican VP Candidate Sarah Palin appear on her show before the November 2008 Presidential Election. Is this outrage against Ophra Justified? The answer is (or at least should be) obvious? No, but to a large degree, it is a problem of her own making.

Remember, it is her program and as such Ophra has a right to choose who she asks to be a guest on her show.

Also remember the "Equal Rights Provisions" of Federal Election Law. Simply stated, now that Sarah Palin is the Republican VP Presidential Candidate, if she is a guest on Ophra's show, Ophra MUST, by law grant equal time to all other Presidential VP Candidates. The Presidential Campaigns of Ralph Nadar, Ron Paul, Bill Barr and Barack Obama (and others?) would also have to be granted equal time on Ophra's Program.

And there may be another reason Ophra refuses to invite Ms. Palin to a Guest Appearance.

After the hit her Magazine and TV program took because of her support for Barack Obama, Ophra is being cautious. However, it is also possible that she feels that Sarah Palin's appearance on the Ophra Show may convince enough voters to vote for the McCain/Palin Ticket. And this could cause the Presidential Campaign of Obama/Biden (which Ophra strongly supports) to loose the November Election.

Ophra has placed herself firmly between a Rock and a Hard Place. But, Ophra created this conundrum for herself when she pledged her support for Barack Obama.