I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.
White House Exults in General Motors Repayment
Excerpt: No one was cheering louder than the White House about General Motors' repayment of $6.7 billion in loans from the federal government. First thing this morning, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs alerted his 56,000 followers on Twitter of "BIG NEWS." "GM pays back US $6.7 billion used to save jobs," Gibbs exulted. But he had more. "BIGGER NEWS," he trumpeted. "Payment was 5 years ahead of schedule." And Gibbs still had a few of his 140 characters left to link to a New York Times article about it. Later at his daily press briefing, Gibbs didn't wait for a reporter to ask him about the GM payback. He portrayed it as a vindication of President Obama's decision to provide a federal bailout to GM and Chrysler:
GM Money Game
Excerpt: The issue came up yesterday at a hearing with the special watchdog on the Wall Street Bailout, Neil Barofsky, who was asked several times about the GM repayment by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), who was looking for answers on how much money the feds might make from the controversial Wall Street Bailout. "It's good news in that they're reducing their debt," Barofsky said of the accelerated GM payments, "but they're doing it by taking other available TARP money." In other words, GM is taking money from the Wall Street Bailout - the TARP money - and using that to pay off their loans ahead of schedule. "It sounds like it's kind of like taking money out of one pocket and putting in the other," said Carper, who got a nod of agreement from Barofsky. "The way that payment is going to be made is by drawing down on an equity facility of other TARP money." Translated - they are using bailout funds from the feds to pay off their loans. For you and me, that might be like using one credit card to pay off another, eh?
So here’s my deal for BO
We bought a little condo in the Chicago area last June, for $160k. We still owe $121k. If President Obama will send me $121,000 in TARP Money, I’ll pay off my home loan 29 years early. And he can be exultant, take all the credit and blame George Bush for my being in debt. Deal or no deal? Sure, the taxpayers get screwed, but given the deficits, they will hardly notice. It won’t be like I’m the only one in line for government handouts. I figure a few more beers and I’ll be “too big to fail.”
Second Navy SEAL found not guilty of prisoner abuse
Excerpt: A second U.S. Navy Seal facing charges of prisoner abuse was acquitted in Baghdad Friday. Petty officer Jonathan Keefe's acquittal followed a similar not guilty verdict against fellow serviceman Julio Huertas on Thursday. Keefe reportedly appeared in court in his sailor uniform and was sitting between two defense counselors, one civilian and one Navy. In a last minute decision, Keefe changed his request from a jury verdict to a military judge. In opening remarks, his counsel questioned the validity of the prisoner's testimony, arguing that terrorists were trained to claim abuse when they are arrested. Ahmed Hashim Abed's, the alleged victim, diverged from his testimony given in the Huertas case Wednesday. In that case, he said he was punched in the stomach and fell to the ground, but Friday he said he was kicked in the stomach. Keefe and Huertas were accused along with fellow Seal Matthew McCabe of brutality in connection with Abed's arrest. Abed was arrested in conjunction with the brutal murder of four American Blackwater contractors in Fallujah, Iraq. (In a just world, they would have shot Abed, then had drinks and medals all around.)
Gangster Government Becomes a Long-Running Series
Excerpt: Almost a year ago, in a Washington Examiner column on the Chrysler bailout, I reflected on the Obama administration's decision to force bondholders to accept 33 cents on the dollar on secured debts while giving United Auto Worker retirees 50 cents on the dollar on unsecured debts. This was a clear violation of the ordinary bankruptcy rule that secured creditors are fully paid off before unsecured creditors get anything. The politically connected UAW folk got preference over politically unconnected bondholders. "We have just seen an episode of Gangster Government," I wrote. "It is likely to be a continuing series." Fast forward to last Friday, when the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Goldman Sachs, alleging that the firm violated the law when it sold a collateralized debt obligation based on mortgage-backed securities without disclosing that the CDO was assembled with the help of hedge fund investor John Paulson. On its face, the complaint seems flimsy. Paulson has since become famous because his firm made billions by betting against mortgage-backed securities. But he wasn't a big name then, and the sophisticated firm buying the CDO must have assumed the seller believed its value would go down. That's not the only fishy thing about the complaint. Yesterday came the news, undisclosed by the SEC Friday, that the commissioners approved the complaint by a 3-2 party-line vote. Ordinarily, the SEC issues such complaints only when the commissioners unanimously approve. Fishy thing No. 3: Democrats immediately used the complaint to jam Sen. Christopher Dodd's financial regulation through the Senate.
Government report: New healthcare reform law could lead to higher prices, employers dropping coverage
Surprise! The hangover gets worse. Excerpt: A new government report from Rick Foster, the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), finds that President Barack Obama's new healthcare reform law would cost $828 billion over the next decade while saving $577 billion. Foster notes that CMS's projections do not take into account changes to the tax code that have been enacted. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that over the next 10 years, the healthcare package would decrease the deficit. The CMS analysis, provided to The Hill on Thursday, concludes that the healthcare overhaul will reduce the number of the nation's uninsured from 57 million to 23 million. However, the report raises several warnings about the impact of healthcare reform. Foster states, "The additional demand for health services could be difficult to meet initially with existing health resources and could lead to price increases, cost shifting, and/or changes in providers' willingness to treat patients with low-reimbursement health coverage." The report also suggests that some employers will stop offering their employees healthcare coverage benefits: "A number of workers who currently have employer coverage would likely become enrolled in the expanded Medicaid program or receive subsidized coverage through the [Health] Exchanges. For example, some smaller employers would be inclined to terminate their existing coverage, and companies with low average salaries might find it to their -- and their employees' -- advantage to end their plans..." Foster claims that the law's penalties on employers who don't offer their workers health insurance "are relatively low compared to prevailing health insurance costs."
States assess health law's impact on physician shortages
And the hangover gets even worse. Excerpt: The consensus generally indicates that health reform will exacerbate current or looming physician shortages across the country, particularly in primary care. Long term, the nation may see a shortage of about 160,000 physicians by 2025, reports the American Medical News. Although the health law includes provisions to get more medical students enrolled, states worry they may not be able to beat the clock. Mississippi, already suffering the worst doctor shortage in the country, will have an additional 500,000 insured patients in 2014 when the individual health insurance mandate takes effect. Although the University of Mississippi Medical Center--the state's only medical school, which already produces half of its physicians--has been working to increase enrollment, lean budgets likely will thwart their efforts for at least the next two years, the school's dean told the Clarion Ledger.
Majority of Americans 'confused' about health care law
Excerpt: Majorities of Americans described themselves as "confused" about the new health care bill and acknowledge they don't have enough information about it to grasp how it will affect their lives, according to a new poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The numbers -- fifty-five percent of those tested expressed confusion about the law while 56 percent didn't know what impact it would have on them -- suggest that President Obama and his administration have their work cut out for them in the runup to the midterm elections. Obama and his team have long argued that once people found out what is in the bill (and what's not) public opinion would shift in their favor. And, the Kaiser poll does show -- as have a slew of other national surveys -- that many of the early-implementing provisions are quite popular. More than eight in ten people support tax credits for small companies who offer coverage to their employees (86 percent), back the idea of making it harder for insurance companies to drop you when a major medical problem occurs (81 percent) and like the idea of barring health plans from charging a co-pay for basic services (82 percent). The potential problem for the administration is that it has proven harder than it may have at first appeared to educate the public about the politically popular elements of the legislation.
Will the VAT Lady Sing? If so, it's over for America.
Excerpt: A cultural battle is under way in America, a battle between, in columnist Michael Barone's, words, "the culture of dependence and the culture of independence." The culture of dependence is the belief by American liberalism that government can make better decisions for people than people can make for themselves. The U.S. has now created the largest government spending increases, takeovers, and regulation expansion in the past 65 years, since the end of World War II. It is going to get even worse, as the President's budget plans to spend $45 trillion in the next 10 years, a 70% increase in spending over the last 10. Estimated tax revenues will only be $35 trillion--or maybe even less if the current economic difficulty lasts for a while. The Tax Foundation estimates that we would have to more than double current income tax rates for everyone to balance the 2010 budget, or increase the rates by 50% or more to balance the budgets over the next 10 years. To put America's new spending policy into perspective, the Heritage Foundation's Brian Riedl reports that federal spending in the 1980s and 1990s remained flat--about $21,000 per household. During George W. Bush's administration, the figure rose to $25,000 per household, and President Obama's budget plans to spend $32,000 per household by 2019. And that number is before all the baby-boomers retire and another $10,000 or so in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid costs will be spent in addition. So the new, European America that we have become will need some serious new money to pay for all this spending. Doubling all personal income tax rates would be politically unlikely, and doubling the rates for the top 1% or 2% of taxpayers would not raise anywhere near enough. So what to do? Reducing federal spending is the most sensible approach, but Congress is unlikely to do it. It is pretty easy to argue that this administration's necessary course will instead be to hike taxes, and not just higher income tax rates will be on the table. We recently saw the White House preference when economic adviser and former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volker said, "If at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes," suggesting what we should do is enact a value-added Tax, which he believes is "not as toxic an idea" as it once was.
Arizona Deals With Illegal Alien Immigration
Excerpt: Arizona citizens suffer drunk driving deaths, rapes, schools destroyed, hospitals bankrupting and a host of problems from nearly 500,000 illegal aliens working and living in their state. A whopping 57,000 Arizona citizens walk out to find their cars stolen every year. Mexican drug gangs use those vehicles for transport of their billion dollar enterprises. People traffickers use those stolen cars for the far-reaching illegal alien smuggling network that commences in Phoenix. Arizona schools suffer the children of an estimated 460,000 illegal alien migrants that crossed over the border in violation of federal laws. Arizona’s prisons remain full of illegal aliens while citizens and police suffer death at the hands of criminal aliens. This month, an illegal alien walked over the border to execute lifelong Arizona rancher Rob Krentz on his own property. National Parks Ranger Chris Eggle suffered death at the hands of a drug runner on the Arizona border at Organ Pipe National Park.
Ariz. governor signs immigration enforcement bill
Excerpt: "We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act," Brewer said after signing the law. "But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation." Obama said in Washington that he's instructed the Justice Department to examine the Arizona bill to see if it's legal, and said the federal government must enact immigration reform at the national level - or leave the door open to "irresponsibility by others." "That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," Obama said. 9AZ—doing jobs the Feds won’t do, like enforcing the law.)
U.S. Navy Veterans Association takes out newspaper ad, says it's legit
Excerpt: The U.S. Navy Veterans Association, now being investigated by two Florida agencies, placed a quarter-page ad in the Tampa Tribune Thursday urging veterans to continue donations to the group and making assurances that its fundraising is beyond reproach. Though the nonprofit already has been shut down in one state, the ad says the Navy Veterans group continues to conduct activities for veterans across the United States. The ad features a color photograph showing a patient at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital who benefited from a charitable gift last year. The patient is surrounded by 14 people, some of whom are described as members and officers of the Navy Veterans group who "really exist." None are identified. The ad takes a slap at the St. Petersburg Times for stories published in March that revealed the nonprofit's members and officers are nowhere to be found and millions of dollars in charitable gifts are mostly undisclosed and unverifiable. "A recent newspaper series attempted to poke holes in our operation," the ad says. "We want to assure you that we meet every standard in our fundraising efforts and the administration of the Association.”This is America and our supporters know that character assassination is not the American way."
And these people want to run what's left of our free-market economy?
Excerpt: Two of Hillary Clinton's State Department minions give a tiny (and recently in bankruptcy) "minority-owned company" a large no-bid contract for expensive crystal stemware. Strangely enough, that company doesn't even make glasses and therefore outsources the work to Sweden, and the diplomats are now disingenuously "blaming US firms for failing to compete" for the work. Well, how are legitimate American stemware companies such as Steuben supposed to competitively bid for a job that wasn't opened up for general bidding in the first place. Would it surprise anyone to find out that the high-level State Department geniuses behind this scheme are big-time Obama donors who made offering a minority business a lucrative contract, regardless of whether or not the company could fulfill the work order, the overriding priority in the process?:
Greece asks for activation of aid package
An improvement on our system. When US politicians buy votes with irresponsible spending, US taxpayer suffer. In this case, Greek politicians bought the votes, but German and French taxpayer must cough up. Germans retire at 66, must be happy at paying for Greeks to retire at 56. Excerpt: Pushed to the brink of bankruptcy, Greece on Friday requested a massive, $56 billion rescue that is aimed at preventing a financial meltdown in the heart of Europe and will test the resolve of the European Union to uphold its pledge to bail out the troubled Mediterranean nation. The desperate move to seek billions from European nations and the International Monetary Fund potentially locks Greece into fresh rounds of austerity cuts and could worsen public unrest. It came as investors lost faith in the accuracy of Greece's financial reporting and as flight of capital was threatening to undermine the Greek banking system.
The Climate Swindle
I’m Shocked! Excerpt: Are you worried about your carbon footprint hurting the earth? Don’t worry. Now climate doomsayers can sleep easy at night. For a fee a carbon offset provider will gladly funnel your money into earth friendly projects aimed to reduce greenhouse gases, such as planting trees in Ecuador or supporting a wind farm in Texas. But are carbon offset providers really delivering what they claim? Studies of international carbon offset schemes have revealed examples of widespread fraud and abuse. And now, investigations into two of the most prominent carbon offset providers in the U.S. have revealed that neither of them actually offers real reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
My Carbon Offset Scheme
You send me money. I’ll spend it on whisky and dissipated living. I’ll die earlier, thus reducing my carbon footprint, offsetting your AC this summer. The more you send, the worse I’ll live.
U.S. Faces Choice on New Weapons for Fast Strikes
Excerpt: In coming years, President Obama will decide whether to deploy a new class of weapons capable of reaching any corner of the earth from the United States in under an hour and with such accuracy and force that they would greatly diminish America’s reliance on its nuclear arsenal. Yet even now, concerns about the technology are so strong that the Obama administration has acceded to a demand by Russia that the United States decommission one nuclear missile for every one of these conventional weapons fielded by the Pentagon. That provision, the White House said, is buried deep inside the New Start treaty that Mr. Obama and President Dmitri A. Medvedev signed in Prague two weeks ago. Called Prompt Global Strike, the new weapon is designed to carry out tasks like picking off Osama bin Laden in a cave, if the right one could be found; taking out a North Korean missile while it is being rolled to the launch pad; or destroying an Iranian nuclear site — all without crossing the nuclear threshold. In theory, the weapon will hurl a conventional warhead of enormous weight at high speed and with pinpoint accuracy, generating the localized destructive power of a nuclear warhead. The idea is not new: President George W. Bush and his staff promoted the technology, imagining that this new generation of conventional weapons would replace nuclear warheads on submarines.
The Left’s secret plan for state takeover may be coming to a 2010 election near you http://dailycaller.com/2010/04/23/the-lefts-secret-plan-for-state-takeover-may-be-coming-to-a-2010-election-near-you/#ixzz0lwLTLalD
Excerpt: The story begins in 2004, when four affluent liberals decided to pool their money and began organizing for Democrats. Tim Gill, Rutt Bridges, Jared Polis, and Pat Stryker — progressives all, and collectively worth billions — spent just $2.5 million during their first election cycle. Result: Republicans lost majorities in both houses of the state legislature for the first time since the Kennedy administration. Democrats also flipped a congressional seat and picked up one of the two Senate seats the party took control of that year. (The other was Barack Obama in Illinois). By 2008, the transformation of Colorado was complete, with Democrats taking the governorship, the other Senate seat and 5 of 7 congressional seats.
Cops: Man shot, killed in self defense
There’s good news if you look for it. Excerpt: Metro Police say it appears that a man opened fire and shot another man in self defense during an attempted robbery at a downtown apartment complex. Brian Blevins, 24, told police he was moving into a building near 16th and Pennsylvania on Sunday when he was approached by 38-year-old Christopher Hampton. Blevins said Hampton asked him if he had change for a $5 bill. “The one guy said no the other guy said yeah let me go get it, it's in the apartment so he then followed him into the apartment, once they were in he pulled a gun out on them and ordered them into the back room,” said Sgt. Matt Mount of the Indianapolis Metro Police Department. Police say Blevins kept his gun in a back room. He came out and opened fire shooting Hampton in the back. Hampton was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives say Hampton was wearing an ankle bracelet at the time of the shooting for an invasion of privacy, violation of a protective order arrest on April 5.
Court throws out Hamdania conviction
Excerpt: A military appeals court on Thursday overturned the murder conviction of a Camp Pendleton Marine who had been found guilty of leading his squad in the 2006 kidnapping and slaying of an Iraqi man in the village of Hamdania. The U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Appeals said Thursday that it made the ruling because an attorney for Sgt. Larry Hutchins' was improperly dismissed prior to the man's 2007 trial. That act alone is sufficient to set aside Hutchins' conviction for the April 2006 incident and erase his 11-year prison sentence, the nine-member court found. "I'm just so happy," said Hutchins' mother, Kathy, when reached at her Boston-area home. Thursday afternoon. "After everything that's happened, I just can't believe it." Hutchins, 26, was told of the court decision during a telephone call from his attorney, Marine Capt. S. Babu Kaza.
Brewer to sign immigration bill Friday
Enforce the law? What an outrage! Excerpt: News/Talk 92.3 KTAR has learned that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer WILL sign controversial Senate Bill 1070 - the bill that would require police to arrest anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. Sources familiar with the governor's decision tell KTAR the governor will sign the bill into law Friday afternoon. On Thursday night, Brewer, a keynote speaker at the 41st annual Chicanos Por La Causa anniversary dinner in downtown Phoenix, was faced with protestors outside.
North Carolina cools on President Obama
Excerpt: While North Carolina Republicans feel emboldened by the national political climate, the state’s Democrats, once united by their support for Obama, are beginning to fracture. Obama’s approval rating has slid in the state he won by just 14,000 votes, hovering in the low 40s, according to some polls. Several House Democrats from North Carolina broke ranks with the White House in the health care vote. Their decision galvanized pro-labor Democrats to work to form a third party, North Carolina First, which could jeopardize Democrats’ congressional majority. So perhaps it’s no coincidence that not a single elected official or candidate is expected to greet Obama on the tarmac after Air Force One touches down in the district of Rep. Heath Shuler – one of the 39 Democrats who voted against health care reform.
Iran begins war games in Persian Gulf oil route
If they aren’t real careful, President Wobbly will send them another strongly worded note! Excerpt: Ahead of the military maneuvers, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Washington of trying to dominate the world through its nuclear arsenal and vowed that Iran would not bend before what he called "implicit atomic threats."
'Muhammad' now a dirty word on 'South Park'
The state of Freedom of Speech. It can be shut down by intimidation as well as government. Excerpt: Now "South Park" can't even say the words "Prophet Muhammad." After last week's episode of the Comedy Central series sparked a threat (and yes, it was certainly a threat) from a radical Islamic website, the network has cracked-down-for-their-own-good on creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone during last night's continuation of the show's storyline. For those who missed the drama, the show's 200th episode last week mocked the one "celebrity" that the series has been largely unable to depict, the Prophet Muhammad, who was hidden from view in a bear costume. A U.S.-based website RevolutionMuslim.com then warned Parker and Stone they could end up like Theo Van Gogh (the Dutch filmmaker who was murdered by Muslim extremists after depicting Muhammad on his show) and even posted the address of the show's production office. The site has since been shut down. Last night, "South Park" continued the controversial Muhammad storyline, but with a key difference: every instance of the words "Prophet Muhammad" was bleeped out, making the episode practically incomprehensible, especially to anybody who missed the previous week.
Afghanistan: Girls inhale 'poison' at Kunduz school
Poisoning girls: Islamic. Showing Mohammad in a bear’s costume? An outrage and you must die! Excerpt: At least 12 female students were hospitalised in Afghanistan on Wednesday after inhaling a poisonous substance sprayed at a school in northern Afghanistan. The 12 students of the Fatima Zahra Girl School, and a teacher and an assistant were mysteriously poisoned, Hamayon Khamush, director of the hospital in Kunduz city, was quoted as saying by Xinhua. The Taliban's strict form of fundamentalist Islam prohibits girls from attending school. To defend their ideology, Taliban militants have attacked girl students with gas and acid.
Obama Appeases U.S. Muslims
Excerpt: The New York Times reported Monday, with no hint that it understood the implications of what it was reporting, that Barack Obama is reaching out to Hamas-linked groups in the United States, while hamstringing our response to the terror threat by making obfuscation of the ideology of jihad terrorists official U.S. policy.
Iran: Doing Nothing Is Not an Option
Excerpt: Obama not only refuses to act, but he blocks any meaningful action by Congress. Today, the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (IRPSA), the only bill with some actual teeth in it, is languishing in conference committee. The bill targets Iran's dependence on foreign oil imports. It tells companies who supply, ship, or insure shipments of refined petroleum to Iran that they have a choice: Do business with Iran, or do business with the U.S. While Iran is the fourth-largest oil exporter in the world, it imports a reported 40% of its gasoline and another 11% of its diesel fuel. Even though IRPSA passed the Senate with a unanimous vote and got an overwhelming majority of 412 votes in the House, it has been stuck in conference since December. Representative Mark Kirk (R-IL) told Foxnews.com, "The Obama administration is pushing Congress to postpone action on the bill[.]" The House and Senate issued letters to President Obama urging him to impose "crippling sanctions" on Iran. The letters further urge the president to sanction Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran's banking system, and Iran's ability to import refined petroleum. The bipartisan House letter was spearheaded by Reps. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) and Mike Pence (R-IN), while the bipartisan Senate letter was led by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The administration is hoping for international action through the U.N., which is another way of saying that he will do nothing.
The Tea Party, Timothy McVeigh, and Tainted History
Excerpt: After conducting twenty-five thousand witness interviews, the FBI could not find one witness who tied the neo-Nazi suspects to downtown Oklahoma City, Timothy McVeigh, the Ryder truck, getaway vehicles, or the bombsite. All had irrefutable alibis. In short, the FBI failed to produce one eyewitness account, fingerprint, motel registration log, or phone record linking these alleged conspirators to the commission of the crime. The judge who presided over Terry Nichols' 2004 state murder trial ruled the Bureau's pursuit of additional domestic terrorists amounted to nothing more than "hyperbole and a dry hole." The FBI compliantly accepted the court's rebuke rather than take receipt of my voluminous dossier indicting Iraqi soldiers in the crime. In 1997, when I attempted to surrender the witness statements and corroborative evidence, the FBI flatly refused to take it. But I persisted, and in 1999, FBI Agent Dan Vogel accepted the witness affidavits and investigative file. From there, the documents simply vanished.
South Korean ship ‘hit by North Korean torpedo’
Excerpt: "Military intelligence made the report to the Blue House [the presidential palace] and Defence Ministry immediately after the sinking of the Cheonan that it is clearly the work of North Korea’s military,” an unnamed military source was quoted as telling Yonhap. “North Korean submarines are all armed with heavy torpedoes with 200kg warheads. It is the military intelligence’s assessment that the North attacked with a heavy torpedo.” A separate report suggested that the ship was sunk in a suicide mission, with a manned, midget submarine exploding after being steered under the ship’s hull. The Chosun Ilbo newspaper suggested that this was an act of retaliation for a naval skirmish in November in which a handful of North Korean sailors are believed to have been killed after an exchange of fire with South Korea’s more modern navy.
Blagojevich sends not-so-subtle message to Obama
Excerpt: Rod Blagojevich finally made good on a promise: He put President Barack Obama right in the middle of Blagojevich's own political corruption case. And now it's finally clear why, from the moment of Blagojevich's arrest in December 2008, White House spinners loudly portrayed our former Gov. Dead Meat as some drooling, raving lunatic. A lunatic is not to be believed, and Dead Meat will continue to be characterized as such by Obama defenders. But raving lunatics care little for their own survival. And in an amazing defense motion filed Thursday, Blagojevich proved once again that he is quite sane. He wants Obama to testify in his federal criminal case. The feds allege that Blagojevich conspired to sell off Obama's old U.S. Senate seat, among other charges. Obama's former patron and real estate fairy, the convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko, is a key player in the government's case. Blagojevich's aim is to undercut what Rezko has told investigators. And now Blago wants the president to do the undercutting from the witness stand, with the nation riveted to his every recollection of his days in Chicago politics, hanging with Tony and the guys, with the midterm November elections approaching.
Redactions Revealed: The Six Secrets You Need to Know From the Obama Subpoena Request
Excerpt: Former governor Rod Blagojevich's defense team asked Thursday to issue a trial subpoena to the President of the United States of America. The motion, intended to be heavily redacted, was improperly edited -- the full document was easily viewable if the text is copied and pasted to another document (an error first revealed on Capitol Fax). Below, the six revelations the redacted portions were meant to conceal: 1. Obama may have lied about conversations with convicted fraudster Tony Rezko.
Ms. Weaver Goes to Washington
Excerpt: Today in Washington: actress Sigourney Weaver testifies before the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on the topic of ocean acidification. Because, you know, she played an environmental scientist in Avatar. It’s the best fit since Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, and Sissy Spacek — all of whom had played farm women — testified on America’s agricultural crisis. Congress doesn’t have time to vote on presidential nominations. It doesn’t bother engaging in serious oversight of presidential power and civil liberties abuses. It looks at the ceiling and whistles as the national debt approaches Greek levels. But members of Congress have time to listen to an actress discuss the topic of ocean acidification. (Reminds of the time I suggested the short, low-cut skimpy black dress my step-daughter had on for a job interview might not be appropriate. “She rolled her eyes and said, “Bob, Ally McBeal dresses like this and she’s a lawyer! They can no longer tell TV and movies from reality.)
Obama should return Wall Street's money
Excerpt: On the one hand, Obama and congressional Democrats like Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut accuse Wall Street executives of routinely taking dangerous gambles with investors' money, fraudulently packaging and selling securities that are guaranteed to become worthless, lining their pockets with outrageous bonuses, and, worst of all, dispatching armies of high-paid lobbyists to Washington to keep the federal regulators off their backs. These sins and more are why, according to the Democrats' narrative, Congress must pass the Obama-Dodd financial reform bill that will make "too big to fail" a permanent part of federal regulatory policy. It will also empower Washington to designate selected financial firms as "systemically essential" and thus eligible for federal bailouts and other forms of regulatory favoritism like government-backed credit. On the other hand, the reality is that Obama-Dodd puts satin sheets on that king-sized bed federal regulators have shared for years with favored Wall Street executives. That's why Goldman Sachs and other huge Wall Street securities firms are quite comfortable with being bashed by Obama even as he makes deals with them and cashes their checks. By the way, Obama-Dodd does nothing about Fannie and Freddie, the government-created mortgage giants whose obsession with subprime mortgages and paying off influential congressmen to look the other way actually led to the economic meltdown. Obama, Dodd and other Democratic leaders want to keep taking Wall Street's campaign contributions, which they are raking in at a phenomenal rate. Nearly 70 percent of Goldman Sachs political donations went to Democrats in 2009, according to OpenSecrets.org. And, as the Washington Examiner's J.P. Freire reported earlier this week, combine Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's $415,595 in Goldman Sachs contributions to her 2008 presidential campaign with Obama's beaucoup bucks from the firm and the total is 10 times what President George W. Bush got from Enron. This is hope and change?