“Fast and Furious” and “Solyndra” Show Incompetence, If Not Political Corruption

Two things that may combine to hurt the Obama Administration are the growing “Fast and Furious” scandal, where the US sold guns to the Mexican drug cartels, with no way of arresting anyone. The other is the scandal involving Solyndra, a bankrupt solar panel manufacturer based in California, which cost the US taxpayer around half a Billion dollars. Both are going to be thoroughly investigated in the near future, and the OA doesn’t seem to have an adequate response, so far.

These are examples of stories the “in the tank for Obama” media stay away from, until they “have legs,” meaning they get too big to ignore. While Solyndra is fading from the fleeting media mentions it got, it will not be the last “green” initiative of the OA’s that will be scrutinized (link). Any other one (or more) that was a bad deal may end Obama’s political chances at enacting any of that agenda. The Justice Department is investigating, but they can’t afford another “cover-up” right now, which leads me to the second scandal…

“Fast and Furious” was an ill-designed operation, which consisted of telling gun shops and dealers to sell weapons illegally, and waiting to find out where they ended up, often after they’d used to kill someone. Eric Holder has yet to give his version of what this operation amounted to, but since he’s called the House GOP’s investigation “partisan,” I’m guessing there’s something he’s hiding, for political reasons. It’s always the coverup that’s criminal, and AG Holder is stickin’ to his story about only hearing about the operation “a few weeks” before his congressional testimony, a few months ago. Now, he’s claiming that the emails from a year earlier about the operation were not shown to him, or that he didn’t read them. In other words, he’s pleading ignorance, and incompetence, rather than a corrupt attempt to “cover up” an ill-conceived law enforcement operation (link).

These two scandals are “body blows” this administration can’t afford to let “drag out,” but that seems to be their strategy. Right now, Dems seem happy to revel in the “Occupy Wall St (or name your city)” protests, because it is taking the media spotlight off of the OA’s predicament. The “Wall St. protesters,” and their cacophony of leftist cliches will fade, but these scandals, and the issues they raise about the OA will not go away. I expect Holder to go “under the bus” soon, but it won’t look good, in any case.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BUFFY, The COSMIC KITTY…

BUFFY looks really COSMIC!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wall St. Protesters Agree With TEA Party On Bailouts

Ask any of the Wall St. protesters if they agree with Republicans, or the TEA Party, and they’ll say “Hell, NO”! How many of them know that the GOP actually blocked the bailouts, the first time they were voted on. When the bill came up for a second vote, the “moderate” Republicans voted for the bailout, along with all of the Dems. The ones who still opposed them, in the face of withering political pressure, were the TEA Party caucus members. I’d like to see someone ask the protesters what they think about that.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bank of America “On the Ropes”: Thanks, Sen. DICK!

 

If there was any doubt that Senate Democrats’ attempts at “regulating” US banks is a thinly-veiled attempt at crippling them, Sen. Dick Durbin’s latest comments about Bank of America just removed it. On the Senate floor, he suggested that BoA customers pull their money out of their accounts there, and deposit it in another bank. Rush Limbaugh mentioned this today, and how (my) NY Sen. Chuck Shumer’s comments caused another “run,” on a smaller bank, a while back, which resulted in it not existing anymore. BoA, however, is already a recipient of a taxpayer bailout, so it’s doubtful that will happen. There is also the example of Lehman, which the government declined to “bail out.” The Dems attitude toward the US banking industry seems to be like a “mob” money collector: “We don’t wanna kill you, we’re just gonna break your legs.” 

 

The point that stands out to me is that “taking your money out of BoA” was the answer in the first place, before Durbin decided to switch debit fees to the banks, who passed it on to their consumers. If he feels the need to tell people that, from the Senate floor, after the “Dodd-Frank” bill, and his “Durbin amendment” passed, why didn’t he tell BoA’s customers to get out before that law was passed? I see commercials all the time for BoA’s competitors, and haven’t had an account with BoAnce the 1980′s, when I was getting 10% on an annual CD (full disclosure). There are plenty of smaller banks that offer better terms on accounts, and none of their personal account business had anything to do with the financial crash of ’07, anyway.

Why did the “Durbin amendment” cap “debit transaction” fees? Well, those fees came from “small businesses,” and Sen. Dick just wanted to help them out of being screwed by the banks. He didn’t think of all the constituents that he would screw over, when BoA reacted to this deprivation of revenue from retailers by transferring the fee to the debit cardholders. Of course, the customers have less political clout than small businesses, who supposedly have less clout than big businesses, like BoA…crap rolls downhill, until it gets recycled by some pol, like Dick Durbin!

The new fees that BoA and the others are imopsing are expected to bring in more revenue than their old fee structure did, even with fewer debit card customers…the only ones getting screwed here are the people who work for Bank of America. Every employee of that bank has to wake up every day wondering how long they’ll have a job. They were already planning on laying off tens of thousands of workers, and this won’t help.

It’s more than Dick Durbin, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank’s insane ideology that got this bill signed into law. President Obama buys into it, as well. He signed it, and I was as pissed as I was at Pres. Bush for signing McCain-Feingold! I don’t care about party politics or ideology, I don’t like legislation that has a bad outcome. He still supports it, with a weak cry that banks should “eat” the lost profit he took away from their debit card transactions…he sounds like Michael Moore, who’s out selling his new book on the liberal circuit.

Michael Moore and Obama can rail against outrageous “corporate compensation,” and there is a real problem with failure being rewarded. Unfortunately, this is a situation that government regulation created. Attempts to limit “monetary compensation” led to huge “benefits” and “stock option” packages, and indeed caused our whole system of “employer provided health care,” as well as “corporate stock options,” (which were ironically designed by the market to “regulate” executive compensation). Attempts to tax “medical benefits” led to the issuance of hundreds of waivers to “Obamacare.” If Obama gets to raise “capital gains” taxes, expect waivers to be given to every company that any public pension fund invests in, which means all of the “large cap” companies, unless they’re “excessive polluters,” or something as politically incorrect. BoA is “too big to fail,” but may be thrown under the bus, if Obama’s radical side takes over!

I’m only being half sarcastic, because the economic problems we face are all to real. Maybe BoA should go under, and all of the other “big banks,” as well. How else will we unwind the question of who owns the debt on all of the “underwater” mortgages, at least in the US? OK, we sold those crappy bonds to the rest of the world…so any US housing market devaluation will be a bigger “hit” than the world markets can take right now. If Obama’s supporters want to “destroy capitalism,” this is the best shot they’ll ever get…this is what scares me; if they accept that he’ll be a “one termer,” will the economy repeat what happened at the end of Bush’s second term? Paging George Soros, are you coming back?

    

 

Could BoA be the next “Lehman,” brothers? Thanks, Senator Dick!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tax The Millionaires! Again?

Several decades ago, it was discovered that sixteen people with incomes over one million dollars paid no tax on it. The result of this discovery was that the Congress created the “Alternative Minimum Tax.” People in the highest tax bracket had to hire an accountant to calculate their taxes under the regular tax code, and the AMT code, and pay whichever amount was greater. The only problem was that the AMT was not pegged to inflation. This has forced successive congresses to pass “patches” to keep it from affecting millions of current-day middle class taxpayers. For some reason, they’ve never gotten rid of it.

Recently, I read that over one thousand people who earned over one million dollars in income paid no tax on it. I guess that not pegging the AMT to inflation wasn’t the only problem with it, after all, if the number of million-dollar earners who paid no tax grew by around 7,000%. I don’t know what percentage of all US million-dollar earners those 16 people were all those decades ago, but the thousand or so today make up less than three percent of that population. In fact, the average tax rate on that group today is somewhere between 27 and 29 percent, according to the IRS.

I have to laugh all the farcial presidential rhetoric about “making the rich pay their fair share,” especially when he trots out Warren Buffet to say “tax me more”! This is a man whose core business is built on avoiding the payment of taxes! If the President and the Congress want to actually fix the problem of million-dollar earners paying no tax, here’s an idea. Have the nice people from the IRS come in and explain which tax “loopholes” these people are using, and close them.

Of course, that’s not what happened in the past with the AMT, and not likely to happen today, under this president. Instead, he proposes “carpet bombing” all wealthy Americans with a higher tax burden. Many of these people are the backbone of the US economy, small business owners, and others are senior executives at many mid-sized corporations, and junior executives at most large corporations. Remember, this president is classifying people who make two humndred thousand dollars a year as “millionaires,” which is only the least of faults with his plans. Most of these people already pay a higher tax rate than middle class taxpayers, and inflation has made that income bracket “middle class” in places like NYC and parts of California. It’s the 1970′s all over again, in more ways than one, under this president.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RFK Jr. “Lies on TV” About “Free Electricity” on Smiley’s PBS Show

On Teusday night’s Tavis Smiley PBS show, the the guest was Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. In the space of five minutes, he went from talking about how Fox News “lies on TV” to saying that a new solar plant would provide “free electricity.” He cited no examples of FNC “lying,” then went ahead and spouted a huge “whopper” of his own! Noting that “the sun is shooting those protons down here,” he twice used the phrase “free electricity,” emphatically. Now, I suppose that solar energy may become cheaper than coal for generating electricity, in some areas (like the desert), but it will never be “free.” Beside the cost of building the plant, there will be operation and maintenance costs, which will be ongoing. These workers will need health care and pensions, of course, so the electricity will be far from “free.”

Of course, Kennedy doesn’t see how perfectly he illustrates the typical liberal hypocrisy. Attack your ideological opponents as “lying,” while lying in support of your own idealogical goals. Maybe he thinks Smiley’s audience is not intelligent enough to see through his bogus claims, but at least this Smiley viewer also watches FNC. What is apparent that if RFK Jr spouted that “free electricity” line on FNC, even one of their news readers would have challenged it. The sad thing is that on many other networks, it would have gone unchallenged, as it did on Smiley’s show.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Latest Obamacare “Glitch” Is Another Example of Liberal Audacity

Nancy Pelosi famously said that we have to pass Obamacare, to find out what’s in it. Well, they did pass it, and we’re still not done finding out what’s in this law. The latest “glitch” is a provision that expands Medicaid coverage to retired people who are considered “middle class.” From AP:
“Up to 3 million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly. That’s because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility. It might be compared to allowing middle-class people to qualify for food stamps.”
I found the food stamp comparison interesting, because many middle class people already qualify for food stamps, in this economy. They used to have ads touting “you may not know you qualify for food stamps.” I can imagine an ad, after Obama’s re-election, saying the same thing to people who didn’t know they qualified for Medicaid under Obamacare. By then, it would be too late to oppose, because they kept it “under the radar” long enough…
AP’s story explains that this was an “anomaly” that really bothered the administration, but it seems more like a “hand in the cookie jar” moment. Someone wrote this legislation, and that person(s?) is (are)  acting out the liberal agenda of expanding dependency on government assistance. Since it became public knowledge, this “glitch” in Obamacare’s effect on Medicaid will get “fixed.” Color me skeptical: I think the Obamacare will be overturned entirely before this “glitch” is acted on.
Obama had 2 years of complete Dem control of all three branches of government. He came into office after a financial crisis that rivaled the crash that preceded the Great Depression. He spent a few months dealing with it, pasing two liberal “stimulus” laws that helped few that weren’t employed by, or dependent on the government. He abruptly moved on to expanding government dependence by “mandating” individuals to buy health insurance.
Obamacare was a costly political move, that only a progressive liberal would make. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back, in the independent voter’s mind. If the economy was in a crisis when Obama took office, why did he spend all that political capital passing Obamacare, but settle for less than liberal economists wanted from his economic “stimulus” packages?
American liberals are trying to expand what the government “gives out,” but they are hitting the wall of what taxpayers can provide. It seems that at the same time several government entitlement programs are projected to bankrupt the economy, Obama has thrust a new bureaucratic monstrosity on us. I don’t think Obamacare will stand, but as long as it does, it will be hanging around the Dems’ necks, and twisting the liberal media into knots, as we keep finding out “what’s in it.”
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TRUMP CARD?

Donald Trump is the official “vulgarian” candidate of this election cycle. That he is running as a Republican has some thinking he’s a Democrat “plant,” which is as good a conspiracy theory as any other, I guess. The President released his real birth certificate to placate Trump’s campaign, after the “birther” issue was considered both “fringe” and “dead” by many, myself included.

Here’s what I think is in Trump’s mind. Reagan had Carter’s people “salivating” for him to be the nominee, as Obama’s do now for Trump. Trump sees his high negative numbers as similar to Reagan’s, and his opponent is close to Jimmy Carter status, economically. After successfully exploiting the “birther” issue, he will feel emboldened.

Reagan was a governor, though, as well as a celeb, and Trump has no government executive experience. This is a real problem, because as a celebrity businessman, he’s seen fit to drop “F-bombs” in speeches, something that a presidential candidate has never done before, on purpose. Where Reagan spoke softly and with respect, Trump was loud and vulgar.

I also have to note that both have been tagged as “racist,” though I can’t find any justification for it, other than the fact that they’re Republican. Trump would’ve saved himself the accusation if he had said “golf course” instead of “basketball court.” Of course, he doesn’t want to disparage golf courses, because he owns so many of them. This is an example of political stupidity, not racism.

If “the Donald” enters the GOP primary, he will bring out the best in the field to challenge him. If he wins the GOP nod, I’m writing in “Snooki” on my ballot. LOL! Seriously, though, I’d probably vote for him, over Obama, I’m ashamed to say. How much worse can it get? That’s his TRUMP CARD.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

France Bags Gbagbo: Gadafi Sees No Change

So the French have won the war for Chocolate in The Ivory Coast, ousting a president who refused to give up power, after losing his re-election bid. Even better, they claimed only a minor role, defering to the “rebel” forces and the UN as the ones who “bagged” former President Gbagbo (silent “G”). If the French can depose a dictator in Ivory Coast with UN help, why can’t the US dislodge Khadafi, with UN, NATO, and Arab League help? – An unfair question, but one that is being asked around the world, nonetheless.
On it’s face, Sarkozy’s action in the Ivory Coast shows that even half-assed American action in a region gives cover for our allies to act more boldly. The situation in Ivory Coast was much different than Libya, but the outcome is what many wished would’ve happened in Libya, weeks ago. Now the African Union is trying to “negotiate” something in Libya, but it doesn’t look like the deal includes ‘Daffy leaving, so it’s been rejected by the rebels.
Sarkozy at least had the sense to step into a war that he knew something about, which enabled France to accomplish “regime change” more efficiently than the US has done in years. President Obama was suckered into Libya by domestic politics and media, and now he has to make a decision: will he do what it takes to get rid of ‘Daffy? That question won’t go away before election day, and clinging to “protecting civillians” as a mission will only get him so far, especially when neither side in this civil war cares much about civillian casualties.
We’ll have to see if Sarkozy did the right thing in the Cote D’Ivoire (in the original French). Again, both sides are accused of atrocities. They French are being called “neo-colonialists,” but what business does any nation that is part of the UN decry “neo-colonialism?” Gbagbo lost the election, and refused to leave. Authoritarian rulers in Africa lose alot of elections, but few of them give up power. France did something about it, in the Ivory Coast, with the UN. Chocolate prices went down, after Gbagbo’s surrender. Can Obama lower oil prices by getting ‘Daffy out? – Another stupid question, but one that will be asked.
This Libyan action has a greater chance of not turning out well every day; that much is evident. Days have turned to weeks, and the pretense that NATO is going to change anything on the ground is wearing thin, without a greater committment by the US. Will the most liberal president in almost three decades intervene in a third Muslim nation, while failing to withdraw from the other two? He already has, and his efforts to undo that will not fix the rift he has created with the “anti-war” caucus in his base, which is huge.
The “international community” is “having him for lunch,” and Sarkozy is “showing him up” with his Ivory Coast “success.” I don’t want to see him re-elected, but I feel sorry for our president, and the position he’s put himself in.
He seems to be picking up Reagan’s “unfinished business” with ‘Daffy from the ’80′s. It also reminds me of GW Bush, who felt an obligation to get rid of Saddam Hussein after his father, GHW Bush, only bombed Baghdad, and imposed an ineffectual “no fly zone” that lasted over a decade after driving Saddam out of Kuwait. Which Bush will Obama be, in Libya?
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Obama (Non) Doctrine: Is It Good or Bad Policy?

The radical upheaval in the Middle East is the greatest challenge the Obama administration has faced, both politically and from an international security standpoint. Their responses in each situation have been both criticized and supported in a bipartisan manner, with strange bedfellows on each side. Behind all of that noise, everyone is looking for a “doctrine” that underlies all of his actions. Some have said there is no doctrine, and I agree. This may be a good thing, or not, but here are the pro’s and cons:

Pro: Let’s face it, every president muddles through international crises blind, regarding long-term consequences. Following a doctrine that can be read in a sound bite is not responsible foreign policy. The O.A. is taking each situation individually, and not using any “doctrine” to determine our involvement. Libya is an example of the US “limiting” our responsibility in a UN/Nato action. Maybe the President is right to balance all the variables, and choose a course that is different than the historic “military intervention?” This way, we don’t make an ongoing committment that we can’t fulfill, and don’t promise similar support for every “uprising” in the region.

Con: There has to be a coherent and principled doctrine that underlies a nation’s foreign policy. The Obama administration’s lack of any such overarching policy is distressing to say the least. SecDef Clinton dragged him into action in Libya, and he’s been trying to pass it off ever since it started. There actually is a pattern, if not a “doctrine:” Spend as much time as you like analyzing a “crisis,” from every angle (national security, economic, geopolitical, partisan political, etc…) before doing anything overt. This often ends up as “doing nothing” (see Syria, Iran). It’s also a lame excuse to fall back on when dodging questions about “friendly” autocratic leaders (see Saudi Arabia, Bahrain).

What are your pro’s and con’s of this administration’s ME policy? Is there an “Obama Doctrine,” or not, and is it a good or bad thing, either way?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment