Tonight is the second State of the Union (SOTU) address for pResident Obama. I doubt we will hear any stimulus talk, in its place will be the word invest, investment or some some variation there of. While the words may be different the underlying meaning is the same.. spend. Investment will be suggested through shovel ready infrastructure projects. Wasn’t that a key component of the previous stimulus investment program replayed over the last two years?
Many may not be aware of the Pigford settlement, the mainstream media has all but ignored what amounts to a flood gate of reparations soon to be paid out to “black farmers.”
Black farmers is in quotes above because the necessity of proof of USDA discrimination on the part of individuals in this settlement is laughable. Fill out some minor paperwork claiming you were denied USDA loans because you are black and shazam.. you are entitled to $50,000 in reparations from the government. No proof needed, other than your word since the USDA did not keep files of the loans applications which were turned down.
As early as tomorrow (11-16-2010) the Senate may take up pork barrel spending otherwise known as earmarks. You know those pet project add-ons which Congress critters slip in to legislation to show the folks back home they are doing something for their constituents.
Often these add-ons are totally unrelated to the legislation which they are attached to. They are not reviewed by committee and are “favors” to the Congress critters whose states/districts they will eventually land in. You’ve seen them reported, things like studying the impact of cow flatulence on the environment, the effects of alcohol on prostitutes in Taiwan, the mating habits of mice or installing new windows in a visitors center which has long ago been closed; none of these “projects” would stand peer review for their inherent worth. In fact I would suggest that none of them would pass unless attached to some other “vital legislation.”
It is time that Congress starts being honest with Americans and shuffling earmarks in to legislation is a violation of the trust we given elected officials.
Missouri voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a federal mandate to purchase health insurance, rebuking President Barack Obama’s administration and giving Republicans their first political victory in a national campaign to overturn the controversial health care law passed by Congress in March.
“The citizens of the Show-Me State don’t want Washington involved in their health care decisions,” said Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, one of the sponsors of the legislation that put Proposition C on the August ballot. She credited a grass-roots campaign involving Tea Party and patriot groups with building support for the anti-Washington proposition.
This is the iceberg of Tea Party patriots, only 10% are above water: meaning that 10% are the patriots which take to the streets protest and are publicly vocal. The remaining 90% support the basic tenets of the limited government intrusion in our lives, fiscal responsibility and seek representation that align with the basic values of the Constitution. Way to go Show-Me State patriots, your voice echoed through the nation with Americans cheering your stand.
Tonight the pResident will address the American people from the Oval office. The official stated reason for this address is to update the people on the BP Gulf catastrophe, with the hidden agenda a prime time lecture to US citizens about the dire need for Congress to pass a comprehensive energy program otherwise known as Cap and Trade. Never waste a CRISIS to implement policy which has stalled in the Senate after barely passing the House last year. Cap and Trade legislation will destroy the economy and place further hardship on households across the country as prices for every commodity we purchase jumps in price.
I don’t expect the pResident to deal with the ineptness of his administration in dealing with the clean-up and protection of the shores of Gulf. I would hope to hear explanations and solutions offered on the fiasco of the government response. These are a couple of items I would like to see addressed:
~ Why has the Jones Act which prevents foreign ships to operate in our sovereign waters not been suspended? The Danes who are considered the experts in oil spill containment offered on day two of the spill to send specialized ships and gear to the region to help and were told .. NO. In fact 13 countries have offered their assistance and have been told NO.
~ Governor Jindal requested permission to erect shoal barriers within days of the spill to assist in protecting the delicate marsh areas, after considerable delay and much frustration Jindal finally told the federal government to f$%^ off and made the decision to begin creating the barriers, but only after the oil had already begun to taint the shores.
~ Why has a no-fly zone been instituted over the spill, which prevents reporters from first hand reporting of the devastation?
~ Why is the the military being used for a tight security lockdown on Grand Isle, Louisiana ?
~ And what of the reports that the leak is actually below the ocean seabed, which brings an entirely new worst case scenario into the picture? For additional information on this potentially eco-destroying possibility, check out Oil Drum, take time to read the comment section below.
My prediction the pResident won’t address any of these issues, rather staying true to form we will see him attempting to coherse the American public in embracing cap and trade. NEVER waste a CRISIS.
What questions would you like to see the pResident address?
Will any of these valid questions be answered?
Yes Congress has passed the financial “reform” bill, it now moves to committee to reconcile the two Congressional versions. The puzzling aspect of this bill is that both the House and Senate version fail to address the catalysis for the housing meltdown, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In fact, late last year Congress opened, what can be described as an open line of credit for these institutions, creating agencies which have NO incentive to make prudent loans based on sound financial principles. Instead the underwater and deep red financial sheet of these agencies is sure to plunge deeper in to an abyss of waste and irresponsible lending, needn’t worry though our tax dollars will prop of this agencies which display government irresponsibility at its highest.
Take a look at the dismal shape of these agencies, courtesy of the Heritage Foundation:
- Market Movers: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both played a major role in the housing boom that preceded the economic meltdown of 2008, controlling as much as half of the nation’s residential mortgage market. And that role has grown: Last year, these two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) financed or backed about 70 percent of single-family mortgage loans. They hold about $5 trillion in their investment portfolios.
- Ignoring the Problem: Yet the legislation Congress is considering to reform the financial industry would do nothing to fix the problems associated with Fannie and Freddie. Some lawmakers have attempted to ensure that the current reform effort addresses the problems created by both entities—to no avail.
- Taxpayers Foot the Bill: Fannie and Freddie are losing money fast, and their losses are being covered by taxpayers—the same taxpayers whom lawmakers say they want to protect from footing the bill for future bailouts.
- Wanting Even More Money: For the first quarter of 2010, Freddie Mac announced losses of $8 billion and said it would be asking for another $10.6 billion in taxpayer help. Fannie Mae, meanwhile, announced an $11.5 billion loss and asked for another $8.4 billion. This is on top of the nearly $145 billion in taxpayer dollars
- A Running and Endless Tab: This total, unfortunately, is sure to go higher. Last December, the Obama Administration lifted caps on how much total bailout money Fannie and Freddie can receive. The limits have gone from $200 billion each to however much they say they need.
Trouble Then, Trouble Now
- Courting Trouble for a Long Time: Experts have warned for decades that Fannie and Freddie lacked sufficient capital—made up of both investors’ money and retained earnings—to protect against losses.
- Lawmakers Look the Other Way: Back when they were privately owned, Fannie and Freddie had only $1 in capital for every $20 in assets; most banks had $1 in capital for every $12 in assets. Congress did consider higher standards in the 1990s, but many of the same lawmakers who head the oversight committees for Fannie and Freddie today bowed to a high-powered lobbying campaign that derailed reform.
- Kicking the Can: According to Senator Mark Warner (D–VA) and the Obama Administration, a plan to tame these two GSEs will have to wait until at least next year. An effort by John McCain to amend the pending financial regulation bill to address the problem was defeated recently and replaced by a call for a “study” of the issue.
- Fixing Fannie and Freddie
- Stop Perpetuating the Problem: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have posed a risk to the financial system and the taxpayer for long enough. They need to be put on a path to genuine resolution. Fannie and Freddie should be partly wound down, the rest broken up and sold off—not replaced, reformed, or rejuvenated.
- Don’t Let It Happen Again: Congress should also ensure that no successor institution be provided with the implicit guarantees that allowed these two to play h
From the NY Times:
President Obama denied “categorically” on Wednesday any political involvement or advance knowledge of the federal case against Goldman Sachs, saying he learned about the civil fraud suit from television.
The accusations lodged against the Wall Street giant came right as the White House was pressing forward in its drive to pass new regulations on financial firms. The timing, and the party-line 3 to 2 vote by the Securities and Exchange Commission approving the lawsuit, have stoked suspicions of political manipulation.
Yet Obama’s political machine, Organizing for America (OFA), just before the S.E.C. announcement bought the Google keywords of SEC and Goldman Sachs. In making this purchase whenever someone searches Google for either of these words a paid ad link for OFA appears on the top of the page. It appears beyond coincidence that of all the words, companies and government agencies available for purchase they would make the purchase of these two words. Okay, it’s a long shot that Obama didn’t know about the SEC investigation, but apparently someone in his political organization was aware of pending charges.
Financial expert, Terry Savage, from the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday wrote an interesting article on the SEC and Goldman Sachs, breaking down the charges, the entire article can be read here.
Near the end of the article Ms. Savage states:
In the meantime, they have given fuel to the fire that demands increasing regulation over Wall Street activities. Never mind that government regulators had the laws, and the power, yet still completely failed to uncover scams ranging from Madoff to the current Goldman conflict of interest.
So the laws are already in place to prevent the alleged misdeeds of Goldman Sachs, but like in the Madoff case, they failed in performing their due diligence and uncovering potential wrong doings. Instead of investigating where the current law and system failed, Congress wants to jump on the bandwagon of convoluted populace thought that “those big, bad, mean companies need to be shot down.”
But the real loss is to the future of America, which needs the free enterprise system to provide growth and opportunity, as well as pay down our existing debts. Every over-regulated economy in history has failed — from the U.S.S.R. to Cuba — to provide for its citizens, despite the good intentions of government planners.
And for what it is worth.. NO Obama is NOT going to give back the almost one million dollars Goldman Sachs gave his campaign.
Illinois politics are a strange mix of Capone style authority and party over the will of the people.
Scott Lee Cohen, the pawnbroker whose surprise victory in last week’s Democratic lieutenant governor primary was followed by scandalous revelations about him, quit the race tonight during the half time of the Super Bowl, saying he didn’t want to “put the people of Illinois in jeopardy in any way.”
Cohen’s candidacy was widely perceived as a potential disaster for Gov. Pat Quinn and the rest of the Democratic ticket in the November general election.
When Cohen became a candidate, he disclosed that a 2005 domestic battery charge against him had been dismissed. It was only after his victory Tuesday that the details became known: His girlfriend at the time, a prostitute, had accused him of holding a knife to her throat but had failed to appear in court, leading to charges being dropped.
Yes, Cohen won with 26% of the Democratic vote during the primary. Was he the best candidate? No, his past displays of violence should have been made known by the Democratic party prior to the election. The question which nags in my mind is.. why didn’t the Illinois Democratic party expose this abuser for what he was prior to the primary? I can only see two potential reasons: 1.) The Illinois Democratic party did not think he had a prayer of winning the primary and hence chose not to inform the voters, or 2.) The Illinois Democratic party knew that regardless of who won the primary they could maneuver, Chicago-style, their preferred candidate in to the position.
Cohen at first adamantly refused to quit, doing a series of media interviews to present his position that the allegations against him were overblown and that he had been transparent about his background when he first got in the race in early 2009. But he was drowned out by a chorus of Democratic calls for him to quit.
While I find the behavior by Cohen contemptible, the point here is that he was elected by the people of Illinois. The Illinois Democratic party was complacent over the abuse accusations.. they helped usher the abuser in to office. And now they cry foul? So what’s in it for them?
Steve Brown, a spokesman for Michael Madigan, the Democatic party chairman and Illinois House speaker, said work would begin soon on picking a replacement.
“The speaker is prepeared to work with the members of the (Democratic) State Central Committee, Gov. Quinn and Senate President (John) Cullerton to work on selecting a replacement,” Brown said. “We’ll start with members of the central committee and work on ideas.”
Selection of a replacement to fill the ballot vacancy is the work of the 38-member Democratic State Central Committee, made up of a male and female representative from each of the state’s 19 congressional districts. The state central committee is scheduled to meet March 17, though a meeting could be held sooner.
The state central committee is not bound to select any of the candidates who lost to Cohen in last week’s primary. State Rep. Art Turner of Chicago, a member of Madigan’s House leadership team who was backed by the powerful Southwest Side lawmaker, finished second to Cohen.
Apparently in Illinois, the voice of the people does not matter. The most obvious replacement would be the number two candidate on the primary ticket, but that is unlikely to occur. Now the Democratic party is salivating over their chance to hand-pick the running mate of the Democratic Gubernatorial candidate. As the disgraced indited former Democratic Governor Blagojevich (Blago) stated when talking about filling the President elect Senate’s seat.. “This is f%$#@% golden.”