Archive for October, 2009

Democrats Under Ethics Inquiry Leaked

October 30, 2009

Wonder if the leaker will be labeled a patriot?  Doubtful, especially since the far majority of those listed are Democrats.  From Sweetness & Light:

From an outraged (at the leak) Washington Post:

House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ...

Dozens in Congress under ethics inquiry

AN ACCIDENTAL DISCLOSURE
Document was found on file-sharing network

By Ellen Nakashima and Paul Kane
Friday, October 30, 2009

House ethics investigators have been scrutinizing the activities of more than 30 lawmakers and several aides in inquiries about issues including defense lobbying and corporate influence peddling, according to a confidential House ethics committee report prepared in July.

The report appears to have been inadvertently placed on a publicly accessible computer network, and it was provided to The Washington Post by a source not connected to the congressional investigations. The committee said Thursday night that the document was released by a low-level staffer.

The ethics committee is one of the most secretive panels in Congress, and its members and staff members sign oaths not to disclose any activities related to its past or present investigations. Watchdog groups have accused the committee of not actively pursuing inquiries; the newly disclosed document indicates the panel is conducting far more investigations than it had revealed…

The 22-page “Committee on Standards Weekly Summary Report” gives brief summaries of ethics panel investigations of the conduct of 19 lawmakers and a few staff members. It also outlines the work of the new Office of Congressional Ethics, a quasi-independent body that initiates investigations and provides recommendations to the ethics committee. The document indicated that the office was reviewing the activities of 14 other lawmakers. Some were under review by both ethics bodies…

Many of the broad outlines of the cases cited in the July document are known — the committee announced over the summer that it was reviewing lawmakers with connections to the now-closed PMA Group, a lobbying firm. But the document indicates that the inquiry was broader than initially believed. It included a review of seven lawmakers on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee who have steered federal money to the firm’s clients and have also received large campaign contributions. [John Murtha and friends?]

The document also disclosed that:

Ethics committee staff members have interviewed House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) about one element of the complex investigation of his personal finances, as well as the lawmaker’s top aide and his son. Rangel said he spoke with ethics committee staff members regarding a conference that he and four other members of the Congressional Black Caucus attended last November in St. Martin…

– The Justice Department has told the ethics panel to suspend a probe of Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.), whose personal finances federal investigators began reviewing in early 2006 after complaints from a conservative group that he was not fully revealing his real estate holdings…

The committee on June 9 authorized issuance of subpoenas to the Justice Department, the National Security Agency and the FBI for “certain intercepted communications” regarding Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.). As was reported earlier this year, Harman was heard in a 2005 conversation agreeing to an Israeli operative’s request to try to obtain leniency for two pro-Israel lobbyists in exchange for the agent’s help in lobbying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to name her chairman of the intelligence committee…

The committee did not detail the two newly disclosed investigations. However, according to the July document, Rep. Maxine Waters [D-CA], a high-ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, came under scrutiny because of activities involving OneUnited Bank of Massachusetts, in which her husband owns at least $250,000 in stock.

Waters arranged a September 2008 meeting at the Treasury Department where OneUnited executives asked for government money. In December, Treasury selected OneUnited as an early participant in the bank bailout program, injecting $12.1 million.

The other [California Democrat], Rep. Laura Richardson [D-CA], may have failed to mention property, income and liabilities on financial disclosure forms.

The committee’s review of investigations became available on file-sharing networks because of a junior staff member’s use of the software while working from home, Lofgren and Bonner said in a statement issued Thursday night. The staffer was fired, a congressional aide said.

The committee “is taking all appropriate steps to deal with this issue,” they said, noting that neither the committee nor the House’s information systems were breached in any way…

Since everyone mentioned as being investigated is a Democrat, our watchdog media is sure to focus on the impropriety of this report being made public.

(Firing the congressional aide won’t be enough.)

After all, they believe it is vital that all secrets must be kept. Unless they can hurt our national security or a Republican or conservative.

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Another GM Bailout On the Way?

October 29, 2009

Could another GM bailout be on the way, this time for GMAC?  From Ed Morrissey at Hotair.com:

Maybe three’s the charm?  After two bailouts and a politicized bankruptcy that ended up being a big payoff to the United Auto Workers, the credit arm of General Motors wants even more taxpayer money.  Why?  Because, silly geese, GMAC is just too big to fail:

It might seem like a lot of cash for one supersize clunker, a good-money-after-bad attempt to jump-start a broken-down giant of Detroit.

But as the Obama administration contemplates a third rescue of GMAC, the onetime finance arm of General Motors, federal officials, automotive executives and analysts all say the company is — just like the biggest Wall Street firms — too big to fail.

Despite two taxpayer-financed bailouts, GMAC is still struggling, even as its two biggest customers, General Motors and Chrysler, have put bankruptcy behind them.

While the collapse of GMAC probably would not send shock waves through the financial system the way the failure of a giant bank would, it would nonetheless deal a devastating blow to the auto industry, its suppliers and employees.

How much more does GM want to rescue its loan business?  Another $5.6 billion, on top of the $12.5 billion it has already sucked out of the Treasury in its other welfare checks.  GM apparently wants to sell the government even more of its business in exchange for the cash.  At the moment, the government holds 35% of GM; after this “sale”, it would own a majority stake in the automaker.

At least there’s one piece of good news — the UAW won’t need Card Check after all.  If the federal government owns a majority stake, then every negotiation will be federally arbitrated, right?

Why would the government even consider a third bailout for GM?  In part, the thinking is that they have to rescue the funds already committed:

Why rescue GMAC again? The federal government has committed more than $60 billion to prop up G.M. and Chrysler, and letting GMAC fail, the thinking goes, would threaten a recovery in the broader car industry.

“We are in too deep for us to sensibly back out now,” said Douglas Elliott, a former investment banker who is now a fellow at the Brookings Institution. “We will probably lose less money by putting in more now.”

This is the kind of thinking most often seen at craps tables and bookie joints.  Betting on the Tennessee Titans will eventually pay off, and besides, bettors have gotten in too deep to stop now.  The Titans have to win sometime, don’t they?  The only real difference is that one gets better odds on craps, and for that matter, even the Tennessee Titans.

The best policy would be to let GM fail, which is what the government should have done in the bankruptcy.  Instead, it put a wet-behind-the-ears campaign worker in charge of interfering with senior creditor rights to hand the UAW a sweetheart deal.  Now we’re just throwing nonexistent money after crushing debt, all in the service of a company that hasn’t performed well in years.  This is what happens when government puts its money on bad teams in a sport they have no business playing in the first place.

Cash for Clunkers Taxpayer Cost: $24,000 Per Car

October 29, 2009

From Edmunds.com we learn that the Cash for Clunkers program ended up costing taxpayers $24,000 per car.  Wow.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — October 28, 2009 — Edmunds.com, the premier resource for online automotive information, has determined that Cash for Clunkers cost taxpayers $24,000 per vehicle sold.

Nearly 690,000 vehicles were sold during the Cash for Clunkers program, officially known as CARS, but Edmunds.com analysts calculated that only 125,000 of the sales were incremental. The rest of the sales would have happened anyway, regardless of the existence of the program.

Ironically, the average transaction price for a new vehicle in August 2009 was only $26,915 minus an average cash rebate of $1,667.

“This analysis is valuable for two reasons,” explained Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. “First, it can form the basis for a complete assessment of the program’s impact and costs. Second—and more important—it can help us to understand the true state of auto sales and the economy. For example, October sales are up, but without Cash for Clunkers, sales would have been even better. This suggests that the industry’s recovery is gaining momentum.”

The chart below sets forth actual SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) compared to Edmunds.com’s forecasted rate if the program had never been implemented.

 
Actual (or Forecast)
If no Cash for Clunkers
Difference
Sales Volumne
Jan ’09
9.59
9.59
n/a
654,922
Feb ’09
9.14
9.14
n/a
687,182
Mar ’09
9.69
9.69
n/a
855,146
April ’09
9.20
9.20
n/a
817,096
May ’09
9.85
9.85
n/a
923,141
Jun ’09
9.67
9.80
-0.13
857,447
Jul ’09
11.22
10.11
1.11
995,216
Aug ’09
14.06
10.45
3.61
1,258,747
Sep ’09
9.19
10.63
-1.44
744,367
Oct ’09
10.40
10.89
-0.49
n/a
Nov ’09
10.40
10.82
-0.42
n/a
Dec ’09
10.61
10.85
-0.24
n/a

“Our research indicates that without the Cash for Clunkers program, many customers would not have traded in an old vehicle when making a new purchase,” Edmunds.com Senior Analyst David Tompkins, PhD told AutoObserver.com. “That may give some credence to the environmental claims, but unfortunately the economic claims have been rendered quite weak.”

To conduct the analysis, the Edmunds.com team of PhDs and statisticians examined the sales trend for luxury vehicles and others not included in Cash for Clunkers, and applied the historic relationship of those vehicles to total SAAR to make informed estimates. These estimates were independently verified through careful examination of sales patterns reflected by transaction data. Once the numbers were determined, Edmunds.com’s analysts divided three billion dollars by 125,000 vehicles to arrive at the average $24,000 per vehicle.

Coincidentally, a parallel analysis of the first-time homebuyer credit was reported yesterday by MIT Sloan Professor Simon Johnson and Yale law student James Kwak, who both blog about economics at The BaseLine Scenario.

Welcome to Government Healthcare

October 24, 2009

Great post from Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit that shows Mike O’Keefe holding a makeshift sign at a high school in Milwaukee, WI where people were forced to stand in long lines outside in the rain while waiting for flu shots.  Great job Mike!

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel posted this photo essay showing the HUGE lines of people being forced to wait outside in the rain for flu shots.

Photo six is posted below- Mike O’Keefe brought a plywood sign, “Welcome to Government health care.”
okeefeMike O’Keefe thinks a health care overhaul would lead to more long lines like the flu shot lines at Cedarburg High School.
Hat Tip Tim N.

Mike O’Keefe gets it.

White House Tries to Exclude Fox News from Interview – And Fails

October 23, 2009

The Obama Administration’s latest failure occurred yesterday while trying to exclude Fox News from an interview with Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg.    Though the interview was granted to the White House Press Corps, the Obama Admin told Fox News it couldn’t be part of the interview.  To the White House Press Corps’ credit, they told the Admin that if Fox News couldn’t attend, then none of them would either. 

As much as the Mainstream Media is disliked, major props to them for yesterday’s actions.

From Foxnews.com:

The Obama administration on Thursday failed in its attempt to manipulate other news networks into isolating and excluding Fox News, as Republicans on Capitol Hill stepped up their criticism of the hardball tactics employed by the White House. 

The Obama administration on Thursday tried to make “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg available for interviews to every member of the White House pool except Fox News. The pool is the five-network rotation that for decades has shared the costs and duties of daily coverage of the presidency. 

But the Washington bureau chiefs of the five TV networks consulted and decided that none of their reporters would interview Feinberg unless Fox News was included. 

The administration relented, making Feinberg available for all five pool members and Bloomberg TV. 

The pushback came after White House senior adviser David Axelrod told ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday that Fox News is not a real news organization and other news networks “ought not to treat them that way.” 

Media analysts cheered the decision to boycott the Feinberg interview unless Fox News was included, saying the administration’s gambit was taking its feud with Fox News too far. President Obama has already declined to go on “Fox News Sunday,” even while appearing on the other Sunday shows. 

“I’m really cheered by the other members saying “No, if Fox can’t be part of it, we won’t be part of it,'” said Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik, calling the move to limit Feinberg’s availability “outrageous.” 

View the full article here.

Chris Matthews Compares Religious Right to Taliban

October 23, 2009

Chris Matthews is an ex-speech writer for Jimmy Carter, an ex-aide to Tip O’Neal, and the current host of a ratings-starved show on a  downward-spiraling network.  Last night he compared the Religious Right in the USA to the Taliban.  That’s quite a stretch, even for Chris. 

From Hotair.com:

That must be from all of the times the Religious Right throws acid in women’s faces, or bars girls from attending schools, or beat barbers in the streets for trimming beards. Right? Because when the Religious Right set up their dictatorship in America, they were just like the Taliban, according to Chris Matthews. Why Frank Gaffney even bothered to appear on MS-NBC in the first place is anyone’s guess:

Maybe the Taliban is the new Godwin’s Law in American politics — the example (unfortunately contemporaneous rather than historical) onto which weak intellects fall when they can’t actually make an argument. How exactly are the religious Right like the Taliban, even in Matthews’ fevered mind? Well, they’re both religious, and they’re both politically active — if one equates engaging in the democratic process here in America with stonings, shari’a law, and terrorist attacks on civilians elsewhere.

To Matthews’ first point, the Afghans just did hold an election, and Hamid Karzai — who has desperately requested that NATO keep fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan — won a plurality. No candidate who even suggested a truce came close. Maybe if MS-NBC was an actual news channel, Matthews would already know that.

Bleak Outlook for Newspaper Industry

October 22, 2009

From The American Thinker’s Graph of the Day feature by Randall Hoven for October 22, 2009.  It’s simple really. When content is bad, people stop buying.

“American society must now take some collective responsibility for supporting news reporting… through varying combinations of philanthropy, subsidy and government policy… What is paramount is preserving independent, original, credible reporting, whether or not it is profitable…”

 

Leonard Downie Jr., VP at large and former executive editor of the Washington Post and professor of journalism at Arizona State University, and Michael Schudson, professor of communication at Columbia University’s School of Journalism.  

Newspaper_circulation

Source:  Newspaper Association of America

Hoven’s Index for October 22, 2009

Number of NYT employees laid off  in March 2009:  100.

Amount of pay cut for most employees of the NYT announced in March 2009:  5%. 

Number of NYT newsroom layoffs announced in October 2009:  100. 

Total compensation package of Janet Robinson, CEO of the New York Times, in 2007:  $4.14 million.

In 2008:  $5.58 million

ACORN Busted in Philadelphia

October 21, 2009

ACORN is at it again, this time in The City of Brotherly Love.  Not only are they shown breaking the law with the service they provide, they’re then busted lying about the incident.  

Wonder what Rocky Balboa would have to say about this?

Obama Scolds Wall Street

October 21, 2009

Great post from Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit on Obama’s scolding of Wall Street, which is hilarious in itself since he’s The One responsible for unemployment at 9.8% (and rising), an out-of-control deficit, and a crumbling economy.  Other than that, he’s handled things quite well.

After tripling the national deficit in one year and nearly doubling unemployment President Obama had the gall to lecture Wall Street on economics yesterday.

deficit
Obama promised 2,500,000 million jobs…
But so far his record “stimulus” package has only created 30,083.

Reuters reported:

President Barack Obama chastised Wall Street firms on Tuesday for resisting tighter regulations of their industry and said they had not done enough to boost lending to small businesses.

Lashing out at the “reckless speculation” and “shortsightedness” he said were behind the 2008-2009 financial crisis, Obama expressed frustration at criticism he has taken over the unpopular $700 billion bailout of the financial industry.

Obama told a Democratic party fund-raiser that his administration backed the bailout program, begun in the Bush administration, because it was necessary to prevent a financial collapse that could have devastated the economy.

“We also know we should never again have to face potential calamity because of reckless speculation … and shortsightedness and self-interestedness from a few,” Obama said. “So if there are members of the financial industry in the audience today, I would ask that you join us in passing what are necessary reforms.”

The remarks were the latest in a series from Obama and his aides urging the financial industry to get behind a package of proposals under consideration in Congress that would tighten rules for derivatives trading and other activities while establishing a new consumer watchdog for financial products.

The Recession is Over? Huh?

October 20, 2009

From The American Thinker’s Graph of the Day feature for October 20, 2009.

“The Recession Is Over According to Financial Experts”  ABC News headline, May 12, 2009.“By Some Reliable Measures, Recession Is Over” New York Times headline, October 16, 2009. 

 

Number of Jobs in the US (last 5 years, through Sept. 2009)

Jobs
Source:  St. Louis Federal Reserve

Hoven’s Index for October 20, 2009

Changes (quarter to quarter) in Real Gross Private Domestic Investment, last five quarters of data:

2Q2008:  down 2.7%.

3Q2008:  down 1.8%.

4Q2008:  down 6.7%.

1Q2009:  down 16.1%.

2Q2009:  down 6.5%.

 Source:  St. Louis Fed (GPDIC96 series).     

Yet the White House and Mainstream Media outlets claim the recession is over?

White House Condemns Attack on Revolutionary Guard

October 19, 2009

Less than 24 hours after an attack on the Revolutionary Guard, the Obama Administration releases a statement condemning the attack.  Why couldn’t this administration have acted this quickly when the Iranian protesters were shot and killed by these same Revolutionary Guard members?  Instead it took them days to issue a condemnation statement, long after Neda Soltani was killed.  From Laura Rozen in The Politico:

The U.S. has condemned a suicide attack that killed five Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps members today.

Five commanders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were killed in suicide attacks in Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province bordering Pakistan, according to reports.

The Baluch group Jundullah claimed responsibility for the attack, that reportedly killed over 40 people.

Iranian authorities have accused the Sunni group of receiving funding from foreign countries including the United States. The US has denied supporting Jundullah.

“We condemn this act of terrorism and mourn the loss of innocent lives,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said. “Reports of alleged U.S. involvement are completely false.”

Iran summoned Pakistan’s charge d’affaires over the attack, Iran’s PressTV reported.

“We have heard that certain officials in Pakistan cooperate with main agents of these terrorist attacks in eastern parts of the country,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was cited after a Cabinet session. “It is our right to ask (for extradition) of criminals.”

Early Sunday, bombers reportedly struck a car carrying Guards as they headed to a meeting of Sunni and Shiite tribal leaders. “In one attack, a suicide bomber wearing a military uniform and an explosive belt entered a mosque where guard commanders were organizing a reconciliation meeting between local Sunni and Shiite Muslim leaders, according to the semi-official ILNA news service,” the Times reported.

The attack reportedly killed Brig. Gen. Nourali Shoushtari, the lieutenant commander of IRGC ground forces, the commanders of Sistan and Baluchistan province, the Iranshahr Corps, the Sarbaz Corps and the Amiralmoemenin Brigade, Iran’s Fars News Agency said.

“The [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] IRGC and local police forces have lost quite a few personnel to Jundallah attacks, including a brigadier last fall,” says Mark Fowler, a former CIA officer who heads Booz Allen’s Persia House, an Iran research unit that closely monitors open source Iranian press. “Clearly, the regime thought it had made some progress on this … but obviously not enough. Based on the interview with the captured [Baluch leader] Rigi, it appears the Iranian government has recently been focused not just on a military solution but a public information/propaganda campaign. The meetings [planned for today] are clearly part of this ‘soft’ outreach/reconciliation effort.”

“This latest attack may be in direct response to the regime’s unwillingness to consider commuting the arrested Rigi’s death sentence, or recognize Jundallah’s status and talk to them,” Fowler added. “In any case, the Iranians are attempting to cast Jundallah activities as being directly supported by the U.S.” 

“The Baluch are at more or less permanent war with everybody around them,” another former senior US intelligence officer told POLITICO. “They shelter the Taliban from Afghanistan, they smuggle narcotics through Iran to the processing facilities in Turkey, they engage in arms trafficking with everybody and they are of serious concern to the government of Pakistan which has fought more than one war against them. …[They] believe that [Iran’s majority] Shia are heretics. The US has no ties with them and never has had.” 

Today’s attacks come a day before Iran is due to meet with US, French and Russian diplomats at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna to negotiate upcoming inspections of the Qom enrichment facility and transfer of Iranian low enriched uranium to Russia and France for further processing.

The Revolutionary Guard is responsible for countless number of US deaths in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Yet we quickly condemn.  What an embarrassment.

Big Labor at Odds with White House on Healthcare

October 18, 2009

Interesting read from Politico.com regarding the AFSCME’s opposition to the Baucus Healthcare bill.

The president of one of America’s largest labor unions, Gerry McEntee, has emerged as a major obstacle to the White House’s efforts to maintain a unified front in the health care debate.

 The veteran president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has crossed lines that few labor leaders – even those who quietly agree with him – would go near.

 McEntee led workers in chanting a barnyard epithet to describe Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus’s health care bill, which would levy a new tax on expensive health care plans. He published an op-ed in U.S.A. Today warning, in terms that could be used against Democrats in the midterms, that the plan could tax the middle class and cost workers their health care. And he blew off a plea from White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and published an open letter promising to “oppose” legislation that contained the tax – published over the objections, several labor officials said, of other union presidents whose names appeared on the letter.

 “We have had just about enough of his gratuitous slaps,” said a senior White House official Friday, calling the politically charged language “outrageous and unacceptable” from an ally — even from one that had, the official noted, devoted substantial resources to health care efforts.

 “He’s doing his members a real disservice,” said the official, who said that while all other labor leaders had been careful to keep their opposition to elements of health care proposals modulated and largely inside the tent, McEntee was “beyond the pale.”

 But a spokesman for AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka stood by McEntee.

 “We work closely with the White House and count ourselves among their strongest supporters,” said the spokesman, Eddie Vale. “Sometimes being supportive means staking out a tough position, and nobody understands that better than President McEntee.”

 McEntee’s posture – and the fierce response from a White House determined to keep allies in line – reflects a broader dilemma on the left of the Democratic Party, which is feeling both lingering satisfaction at Obama’s victory and frustration at his caution.

 From labor to civil libertarians to anti-war activists, progressive organizers have had to choose between biting their tongues and losing the access and power that comes with friends in the White House. McEntee is among the most prominent leaders who has been willing to challenge the administration.

View the entire article here.

Andrew Breitbart Interview in WSJ

October 17, 2009

Excellent interview in the Wall Street Journal with Andrew Breitbart titled ‘Taking on the Democrat-Media Complex’. Breitbart is one of the rare Hollywood Conservatives who grew up in Hollywood as a Liberal, as most do.  But the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991 opened his, and many others’, eyes to the hypocrisy of Liberalism.  Andrew’s been on quite a tear since.

View the interview here.

Rush Limbaugh Op-Ed in WSJ on Rams Deal

October 17, 2009

Rush shares his side of the story and gives thoughts on the likes of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, sports media, and DeMaurice Smith.  View the Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal by clicking here.

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Smith, he’s the Executive Director of the NFL Players Union but has also served as counsel to Attorney General Eric Holder and was a member of Obama’s transition team.  More info on DeMaurice Smith and his role in the St. Louis Rams deal can be viewed here.

Obama in San Francisco and…a Tea Party Breaks Out!

October 16, 2009

Nice find from Gateway Pundit. After Obama spent a whopping 4 hours in New Orleans yesterday, he flew to San Francisco for a fundraising dinner and across the street a Tea Party broke out in protest.  The guy just can’t buy a break these days. 

Barack Obama flew into San Francisco last night for a fundraiser after spending 4 hours in New Orleans.

He didn’t expect this–
Hundreds of tea party protesters greeted the president at the St. Francis Hotel.
The City Square has a report from San Francisco with several photos.

Even in San Francisco, Pres. Obama cannot escape protesters. He held a fundraiser at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco tonight (Thursday) and a crowd turned out across the street on Union Square to let him know what they thought.

CBO: Cap and Trade Bill Will Hurt Economy

October 14, 2009

As expected, the Cap and Tax (Trade) bill will do nothing but harm to our already-fragile economy.  From Marc Sheppard in the American Thinker regarding the CBO’s latest findings.

Today, the director of the Congressional Budget Office warned the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that proposed climate change legislation would impose “significant costs” on America’s GDP and employment.  That’s not exactly what proponents had promised.

According to CBO chief Douglas Elmendorf, the Waxman-Markey bill passed in the House last June would reduce GDP by between one and three quarters of a percent by 2020, and between 1 and 3.5% by 2050.  To the average household that might equate annually to $160 by 2020 and $925 by 2050 – hardly the “cost of a postage stamp” promised by the White House.

And the CBO director admitted that even those figures may be severely understated:

“The uncertainties are very large, even for 2020, and they get larger over time”

He identified one of the uncertainties of “the cost of reducing carbon emissions” as just “how readily the economy can move” in response, admitting that the CBO is only “guessing the rate.”
The highest accounting authority in the land is only guessing the rate used in its cost analysis of the proposed largest tax-hike in history?  Wow hardly covers it. 

Yet Sen. Lindsey Graham is on board with this?  Unbelievable.  View the full story here.

Barack Obama, Nobel Laureate

October 9, 2009

With today’s stunning news of Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, it looks like  he really is becoming the next Jimmy Carter.  Let us count the ways.

  1. Both had horrific foreign policies
  2. Both saw the US economy spiral downward during their tenures
  3. Both saw a drastic rise in unemployment during their time in office
  4. Both disliked Israel
  5. Both had negative dealings with the Olympic Games (Carter boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980, punishing only our athletes, and Obama failed to land Chicago for the 2016)
  6. Both appeased Iran
  7. Both won the Nobel Prize

Though both have so much in common, which is the worst? It’s probably too early to tell but as of today the advantage goes to Jimmy Carter.  But The One is only 9 months in and he’s nearly equalled Mr. Peanut’s failures in an extremely short amount of time.  With that said I have a feeling he’ll be the winner by a landslide when all is said and done.  Which unfortunately means the loser will be the people of the United States.

Update: as noted in The American Thinker, the Nobel Prize’s own website lists the deadline date for submission as February 1st.  That means Obama had been in office less than 2 weeks when his name was submitted.  So why did he win this again?

CNN Fact-Checks SNL Skit Criticizing Obama

October 7, 2009

From Townhall.com we learn that CNN fact-checked last weekend’s SNL skit that criticized Obama.  They’re not even trying to hide the fact that they’re in the tank for Obama.  Wolf Blitzer had to cringe when he pulled this assignment.  Like their ratings each day, this is a new low for CNN. 

ACORN in Trouble in Louisiana

October 6, 2009

From BigGovernment.com it seems that former ACORN president Wade Rathke embezzled not the $1M ACORN reported, but $5M instead.  Quite an oversight.

…According to the new subpoena issued by the Louisiana Attorney General, it seems ACORN leadership was aware of the full extent of the embezzlement. That they have covered up the true figure cast doubt on their ability to truly reform the organization. In other words, they will only admit to what they get caught at.

View the full article here.  When it rains it pours. Finally.

Tough Week for Hollywood

October 4, 2009

From Big Hollywood we learn that Michael Moore’s latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story, tanked at the Box Office this weekend.  Those results, coupled with Polanski’s legal issues, made it a tough week for the Hollywood Left. 

Tough times for leftie Hollywood. Nothing’s gone right this week. None of this is their fault, of course. In order to understand that it might not be a good idea to rally around a child rapist, bash religion in a religious country or trash capitalism in a capitalist country you have to live in the real world…

Steve Mason:

Michael Moore’s CAPITALISM tanks!

Ricky Gervais has launched his second consecutive box office bomb as The Invention of Lying (Warner Bros) only mustered $2.2M or so to start the 3-day. The comedy should finish #5 with approximately $6.5M for the weekend. …

[B]ut the biggest disappointment of the weekend is Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story (Overture). After a $57K per theatre average on 4 screens last weekend, the picture broke to a wider 962 locations with terrible results. The “documentary” only sold an estimated $1.3M in tickets to start the weekend, and it will finish at about $3.9M for a PTA of less than $4,000. That soft opening will almost certainly make Capitalism Moore’s weakest-grossing movie since 2002’s Bowling for Columbine ($21.5M domestic gross).

As if all this isn’t enough for our friends on the left to take in, you have $800 billion spent to get us to 9.8% unemployment, the *poof* of the public option, and a nine-month World Apology Tour resulting in Rio getting the Olympics.

And what can we expect as a result of these “teachable moments?”

What’s that phrase again…? Oh, yeah: More Of The Same.

The Audacity of Nope

October 3, 2009

Great read from the UK edition of the Times Online regarding Obama’s latest failure, securing the 2016 Olympics for Chicago.

There has been a growing narrative taking hold about Barack Obama’s presidency in recent weeks: that he is loved by many, but feared by none; that he is full of lofty vision, but is actually achieving nothing with his grandiloquence.

Chicago’s dismal showing yesterday, after Mr Obama’s personal, impassioned last-minute pitch, is a stunning humiliation for this President. It cannot be emphasised enough how this will feed the perception that on the world stage he looks good — but carries no heft.

It was only the Olympic Games, the White House will argue — not a high-stakes diplomatic gamble with North Korea. It is always worthwhile when Mr Obama sells America to the rest of the world, David Axelrod, his chief political adviser, said today. But that argument will fall on deaf ears in the US. Americans want their presidents to be winners.

Mr Obama was greeted — as usual — like a rock star by the IOC delegates in Copenhagen — then humiliated by them. Perception is reality. A narrow defeat for Chicago would have been acceptable — but the sheer scale of the defeat was a bombshell, and is a major blow for Mr Obama at a time when questions are being asked about his style of governance.

 So true. The World loves him yet doesn’t respect him.  Many Americans just don’t respect him.  View the full article here.

CNN Anchor in Disbelief After Chicago Eliminated

October 3, 2009

CNN anchor can’t believe Chicago eliminated as 2016 Olymipcs host city.   

IOC Eliminates Chicago from 2016 Olympics

October 2, 2009
Obamalympics

Obamalympics

Wow. Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and The Oprah all head to Copenhagen to convince the IOC to come to Chicago in 2016 and they…fail.  Nice work. It’s neither the trip nor effort that’s at issue.  It’s the fact that there are much more important issues at home to address that are being ignored.  A nuclear Iran, the situation in Afghanistan, and a 9.8% unemployment rate for instance.  From Foxnews.com:

COPENHAGEN – Chicago was eliminated in the first ballot of voting for the 2016 Olympics on Friday, a stunning defeat for President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama who put their capital behind an enormous campaign.

Chicago had seemed to pick up momentum in the last few days, with many International Olympic Committee members seemingly charmed by Michelle Obama. But when IOC president Jacques Rogge announced the results of the first vote, Chicago’s name was announced.

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Chicago stood in stunned silence. The vote in Copenhagen was carried on huge television screens in the Daley Center, set up to carry what many had hoped would be approval of Chicago to host the games.

Instead, Chicago was bounced in the first round of voting. An audible gasp could be heard from the crowd. Many stood for a few minutes, staring at the screen, and at least one flung his hands into the air in a crude gesture toward the TV screen.

Within seconds, people began filing out of the plaza.

Chicago’s elimination was one of the most shocking defeats in IOC voting history. It had long been seen as a front-runner and got the highest possible level of support — from the president of the United States himself.

But the emotional appeals from Obama and his wife Michelle — they both flew to Copenhagen to fight in Chicago’s corner — fell on deaf ears in the European-dominated IOC. The IOC’s last two experiences in the United States were bad: the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics were sullied by a bribery scandal and logistical problems and a bombing hit the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

Obama’s visit to Copenhagen was the first time a U.S. president made such an in-person appeal.

Not only was Chicago not selected, it was the 1st city to be eliminated. (Not no, but HELL no!)  View the full article here.

Cover of Going Rogue by Sarah Palin

October 2, 2009

The cover of Sarah Palin’s upcoming book, Going Rogue.  From Time.

Going Rogue - by Sarah Palin

Going Rogue - by Sarah Palin

Ouch. Unemployment Rate Climbs to 9.8%

October 2, 2009

Closing in on 10%.  From Foxnews.com:

The unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September as employers cut far more jobs than expected, evidence that the longest recession since the 1930s is still inflicting widespread pain.

The Labor Department said Friday that the economy lost a net total of 263,000 jobs last month, up from a downwardly revised 201,000 in August. That’s above Wall Street economists’ expectations of 180,000 job losses, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The unemployment rate rose from 9.7 percent in August, matching expectations.

If laid-off workers who have settled for part-time work or have given up looking for new jobs are included, the unemployment rate rose to 17 percent, the highest on records dating from 1994.

More than a half-million unemployed people gave up looking for work last month. Had they continued searching, the official jobless rate would have been higher.

All told, 15.1 million Americans are now out of work, the department said. And more than 7.1 million jobs have been eliminated since the recession began in December 2007.

Many analysts expect the economy grew at a healthy clip in the July-September quarter, technically ending the recession, but few think the recovery will be strong enough to lower the jobless rate. Most economists expect the rate to top 10 percent and keep climbing.

The economy has received a boost from the Cash for Clunkers auto rebate program and other government stimulus efforts, but many economists believe that growth will slow in the current quarter and early next year as the impact of those programs fade.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday that even if the economy were to grow at a 3 percent pace in the coming quarters, it would not be enough to quickly drive down the unemployment rate. Bernanke said the rate is likely to remain above 9 percent through the end of 2010.

Persistently high unemployment could weaken the recovery as consumers, concerned about their jobs and incomes, restrain spending. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the nation’s economy.

Hourly earnings rose by a penny last month, while weekly wages fell $1.54 to $616.11.

The average hourly work week fell back to a record low of 33 in September, the department said. That figure is important because economists are looking for companies to add more hours for current workers before they hire new ones.