Thursday, March 31, 2011

RealClearPolitics - Video - Donald Trump: Obama Possibly A Muslim

I do agree with Karl Rove on this one.  If Donald Trump tries to make an issue of Obama's birth, he will only be falling into a trap laid by Obama to marginalize everything else Trump might otherwise have to say on the serious issues facing the country.  Obama may or may not have been born in HI, although it's very difficult for me to credit the notion he was not, since his birth was announced within three days of his birth in a Hawaiian newspaper.  His hippie Mom planned for him to be President one day?  She birthed the kid in Kenya, smuggled the baby into Hawaii and then gave the newspaper a false report, knowing one day that the kid who would be President needed to be a born citizen? 

More probably Obama's birth certificate says he's a Muslim.  There must be some reason why Obama will not show it and has spend millions in legal fees to prevent others from obtaining information about his birth and about his academic record at Harvard, his teaching record at Chicago.

But arguing that Obama is not an American citizen is debating about how to put toothpaste back in the tube.  It's a gigantic time-waster and an excellent way for Obama to derail his opposition in 2012, that is, if his opposition falls into that particular trap.

Capitalism Magazine - Socialism Won't Lower the Cost of Gas

Liberals like Obama seem to really believe that the horse and buggy was replaced by the automobile because of ... collective action, fostered by government. They actually believe that innovation, invention and radical changes in technology all come about because of government. In reality, just the opposite is true.

Capitalism Magazine - No Waiver from Reality for Rep. Weiner

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) is one of the loudest proponents of ObamaCare, not to mention all things socialist. When he's critical of Obama, it's -- incredibly -- from the left, not from the right or the center. At the time of ObamaCare's passage, Weiner bragged that he wrote the House portion of the bill.

Now Weiner has joined the thousands of people, businesses and entities seeking a waiver from ObamaCare. He's seeking it for his entire New York district. Fox News reports that Weiner, who is likely to run for mayor of New York, said that because of the city's special health care infrastructure, his office was looking into alternatives that might make more sense. Weiner is one of the health care law's biggest supporters; during the debate leading up to reform, he was one of the last holdouts in Congress for the public option.

Now wait a minute. Weiner's looking for alternatives that "make more sense"? Doesn't ObamaCare make sense, at least according to people like him? Obviously not.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Caterpillar's Alarm Bell For Illinois -

But even the local UAW boss was appalled at Quinn's nonchalance and told an NBC affiliate in East Peoria that Caterpillar does not bluff. "When they are talking to you, you better listen. Because if you don't listen, bad things can happen," said Local 974 President Dave Chapman, in authentic union vernacular.

The cold hard fact about Illinois is that Quinn's tax hike makes Illinois not only a high-tax state, but an absolute tax-eater.

According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation: "The corporate income tax will rise from 7.3% to 10.9%, a 49% increase and (making Illinois') the highest state corporate income tax in the United States and the highest combined national-local corporate income tax in the industrialized world."

In other words, anyplace Caterpillar moves — and that means anywhere — the tax situation will be an improvement on what it faces in Illinois.

American Thinker: Progressive Fallacy Number 667: Wealth Redistribution Creates Societal 'Harmony'

Progressive preachers probably identify with Chinese President Hu Jintao's intention to reduce his citizenry's income gap in order to create a "harmonious society."  The Communist's sentiment saturates the politics of the Democratic Party.

Not to be outdone by Hu, British Prime Minister David Cameron recently complained that unequal societies rank low as measured by "almost every quality-of-life indicator."  Cameron didn't mention that the most unequal societies are the ones uglified by the most tyrannical elitists.  The tyranny, not the inequality, degrades quality of life.  In a society of laws, such as the United States, even the poor live more comfortably than almost everyone in oppressed societies.  The truth is that in prosperous cultures, when income gaps increase, high earners' wealth pours into technological innovations, which raise quality of life for all people.

But truth means little to redistributionists.  Class warfare gospel dominates most "when the rich get richer, the poor get poorer" arguments.  Multi-billionaire Warren Buffett prescribes confiscatory inheritance taxes designed to humble the superwealthy.  French socialist Dominique Strauss-Kahn wants "a new global growth model" because "gaping income gaps threaten social and economic stability."  Barack Obama demonized high earners and faulted America for having "the greatest income inequality since any time since the gilded age."  Progressives in general envision economic justice -- indeed, social justice -- through forced "fairness" lenses.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

» Left Attacks Florida Gov. Scott for Supporting Transparency They Endorsed in Minnesota - Big Government

Critics of Governor Scott considered it foul that he chose to highlight the 542 government pensioners that annually receive more than $100,000 from the taxpayers, rather than releasing the data on all pensioners in the Florida Retirement System.

Yet, many "good government" liberals in Minnesota must wonder what all the fuss in Florida is about.

That's because Minnesota's Democratic-controlled Senate joined in passing a 2005 law which requires most local governments in that state to proactively disclose their three most-highly-compensated officials each year.  (See

The logic behind the Minnesota law is simple – taxpayers can typically take one good look at the top numbers and determine whether or not there's a problem in excessive government compensation.

Communism-Loving George Soros Wants To Kill Capitalism | NewsReal Blog

Sort of like a Stockholm Syndrome sufferer, the seditious Soros has come to embrace the ideology of his brutal former tormentors.

"The system we have now has actually broken down, only we haven't quite recognized it and so you need to create a new one and this is the time to do it," Soros told the Financial Times. In an interview with Der Spiegel Soros said European-style socialism "is exactly what we need now. I am against market fundamentalism. I think this propaganda that government involvement is always bad has been very successful — but also very harmful to our society."

Just five months ago Soros praised China effusively. "Today China has not only a more vigorous economy, but actually a better functioning government than the United States," he said. Soros even created the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) and staffed it with freedom-hating socialists like Joseph Stiglitz.

» Can You Read This and Not Despise the IRS? - Big Government

A previous post of mine at International Liberty addressed the issue of whether Republicans were right to trim the IRS's budget. The following case study of IRS thuggery should convince everyone that the answer is a resounding yes.

First, some background. The federal government made a rather troubling decision a few years ago to investigate, persecute, prosecute, and ultimately imprison a random home-loan borrower named Charlie Engle for the crime of mortgage fraud.

Mr. Engle is far from blameless in this saga, but I noted in another post that it was rather odd that the government would target a nobody while letting all the big fish swim away. This episode certainly paints a picture of a government that has one set of rules for ordinary people, but an entirely different set of rules for the political elite and those who make big campaign contributions to that ruling class.

But I also noted that I'm not a legal expert and was unsure about the degree to which the big players actually broke laws, or whether they simply made stupid business decisions (often encouraged by bad government policy).

The most upsetting part of the story, though, is how the government wound up targeting Mr. Engle. It turns out that an IRS agent, Robert Norlander, must have been competing for the IRS's Thug-of-the-Year Award (or maybe it was A-Hole-of-the-Year or Jerk-of-the-Year) because here are some of the things he did:

o  Mr. Norlander decided to snoop into Mr. Engle's because he saw a film about him training for a marathon. In other words, there was no probable cause, no reasonable suspicion, nothing. Just the perverse decision of an IRS bully to go after someone.

o  Mr. Norlander admitted a pattern of thuggish behavior, stating that he will snoop into someone's private life simply because that person drives an expensive car.

o  Mr. Norlander continued to investigate and persecute Mr. Engle, subjecting him to undercover surveillance, even though his tax returns showed no wrongdoing.

o  Mr. Norlander even engaged in "dumpster dives" to look for evidence of wrongdoing in Mr. Engle's garbage. Keep in mind that there is no probable cause, no reasonable suspicion, and Engle's tax returns were legit.

o  Mr. Norlander used a sleazy KGB tactic by sending an attractive woman to flirt with Mr. Engle in hopes of getting him to somehow admit to a crime.

o  Mr. Norlander failed to find any evidence of a tax crime. He couldn't even hit Engle with a money-laundering offense. But the undercover agent who was part of the "honey trap" was wearing a wire and supposedly got Engle to admit to mortgage fraud and Norlander used that extremely flimsy evidence to justify a Justice Department case against Mr. Engle.

In other words, this whole thing has a terrible stench. Assuming the details in the story are accurate, we have an IRS agent engaging in a vendetta against someone, and then apparently justifying his jihad by figuring out how to nail the guy for a very weak charge of mortgage fraud. I would refer to Mr. Norlander as a "rogue agent," but apparently his jackboot behavior is business-as-usual at the IRS.

Here are the relevant passages from the New York Times column.

Mr. Engle received $30,000 for his participation. The film, "Running the Sahara," was released in the fall of 2008. Eventually, it caught the attention of Robert W. Nordlander, a special agent for the Internal Revenue Service. As Mr. Nordlander later told the grand jury, "Being the special agent that I am, I was wondering, how does a guy train for this because most people have to work from nine to five and it's very difficult to train for this part-time." (He also told the grand jurors that sometimes, when he sees somebody driving a Ferrari, he'll check to see if they make enough money to afford it. When I called Mr. Nordlander and others at the I.R.S. to ask whether this was an appropriate way to choose subjects for criminal tax investigations, my questions were met with a stone wall of silence.) Mr. Engle's tax records showed that while his actual income was substantial, his taxable income was quite small, in part because he had a large tax-loss carry forward, due to a business deal he'd been involved in several years earlier. (Mr. Nordlander would later inform the grand jury only of his much lower taxable income, which made it seem more suspicious.) Still convinced that Mr. Engle must be hiding income, Mr. Nordlander did undercover surveillance and took "Dumpster dives" into Mr. Engle's garbage. He mainly discovered that Mr. Engle lived modestly. In March 2009, still unsatisfied, Mr. Nordlander persuaded his superiors to send an attractive female undercover agent, Ellen Burrows, to meet Mr. Engle and see if she could get him to say something incriminating. In the course of several flirtatious encounters, she asked him about his investments. …Unbeknownst to Mr. Engle, Ms. Burrows was wearing a wire. …No tax charges were ever brought, even though that was Mr. Nordlander's original rationale. Money laundering, the suspicion of which was needed to justify the undercover sting, was a nonissue as well. As for that "confession" to Ms. Burrows, take a closer look. It really isn't a confession at all. Mr. Engle is confessing to his mortgage broker's sins, not his own.

Now you understand why I'm a libertarian. As George Washington is reported to have stated, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

Unfortunately, thanks to bad laws and thuggish bureaucrats, government is definitely now our master and no longer just a servant. The IRS is the worst example of this phenomenon, and Obama wants to increase their budget.

Capitalism Magazine - Interest Rates Are on the Launch Pad

It is clear to me that the overleveraged condition which brought the economy down in 2008 still exists today - only worse. For all the suffering and displacement that has gone on, all we have accomplished is an unprecedented transfer private debt onto the Treasury's balance sheet. Now that the Fed is (hopefully) just months away from taking the printing presses off overtime, the paramount question is how fast interest rates will climb. The Fed has been able to keep yields this low through relentless devaluation and a propaganda campaign that convinced the majority of investors that deflation was a credible threat (kinda like those phantom Iraqi WMDs).

But Washington's ability to continue that ruse is coming to an end. The unrelenting growth of the Fed's balance sheet, increasing monetary aggregates, surging gold and commodity prices, $100/barrel oil, soaring food prices, and trillions of dollars of new debt projected for the near future have served to vanquish the deflationists. Any echoes of those once prominent voices can barely be heard amid the thunderous roar of oncoming inflation.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Obama's 2012 Budget: Higher Taxes, Slower Growth | The Heritage Foundation

Abstract: President Obama recently unveiled his 2012 budget proposal and the 43 tax hikes it contains. The multitude of—utterly unnecessary—tax hikes will burden Americans to the tune of $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The President is proposing to raise federal tax revenues and federal spending as a percentage of GDP above historic levels, and keep them growing. This plan is a disaster for the economy—slowing down recovery, hurting job creation, making American companies less competitive, and burdening all Americans with higher taxes and consumer costs.

Are California Public Employees Overpaid? | The Heritage Foundation

Abstract: While it is clear that federal workers' wages and benefits are above market levels, it is less clear whether state and local employees are similarly overpaid. In the past year, several organizations have published studies arguing that state and local workers are underpaid. But these studies undercount or omit important benefits that public workers enjoy, leading to a substantial understatement of state and local compensation. Using the example of California, this paper provides a full accounting of state and local compensation, correcting the omissions of past studies. The conclusion is that California public employees earn up to 30 percent more in total compensation than comparable private-sector workers.

Friday, March 25, 2011

G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether -

American corporations may not make autos anymore, build ships, produce steel, they may not make many products for sale anymore at all.  But one thing American corporations have become extraordinarily skilled at and have created wonderful professional opportunities for former bureaucrats working in the IRS, is how to legally avoid paying taxes! 

Imagine what might happen if the United States government stopped giving so many incentives to corporations on avoiding taxes, with our high tax rates, and, instead, gave corporations incentives to produce wonderful products and services? 

The fact is, it is more profitable for American corporations to avoid paying US taxes than it is for them to act like the private business entities that they truly are. 

This is Crony Capitalism at work.  It has nothing at all to do with real free enterprise, with genuine capitalism, where business is only rewarded by producing superior goods and services, where taxes are extremely low or non-existent, and the entire focus of the corporation's energies, of all the highly intelligent and trained people that work for corporations, must be concentrated, not on protecting itself from the government, but by making money providing people with what they want.

Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. G.E.'s giant tax department, led by a bow-tied former Treasury official named John Samuels, is often referred to as the world's best tax law firm. Indeed, the company's slogan "Imagination at Work" fits this department well. The team includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress.

While General Electric is one of the most skilled at reducing its tax burden, many other companies have become better at this as well. Although the top corporate tax rate in the United States is 35 percent, one of the highest in the world, companies have been increasingly using a maze of shelters, tax credits and subsidies to pay far less.

Laureates and Leaders - Opinion - PatriotPost.US

WASHINGTON -- Nobel laureate Barack Obama, fresh from his Latin American spring break, is in serious trouble. Globalists and Utopians who once lauded his constant contrition now want POTUS to return his Peace Prize. Here in Washington, libertarians, progressives and conservatives are outraged that U.S. military forces were committed to combat in Libya without a congressional resolution. The commander in chief's approval ratings are dropping faster than a JDAM. And no matter what happens to Moammar Gadhafi, the turmoil in the Middle East is likely to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. For all of this, President Obama has nobody to blame but himself.

The president's problems began well before he departed on his five-day sojourn south of the border. After all but ignoring anti-regime protests that began in Libya on Feb. 15, the O-Team flipped strategy on its head. Instead of deciding what needed to be done and finding allies to support it -- a process employed by American leaders for two centuries -- Obama turned the matter over to the United Nations and the Arab League to build an "international coalition" that could determine the outcome.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Maddow at Most Absurd: Describes Tax Cuts in New Jersey as New Spending |

Maddow's claim, streamlined to its dishonest essence -- He wants the state to spend $200 million a year to cut taxes on estates and corporations. Absent its intentionally vague qualifier, the sentence collapses under its own contradiction. More accurately, Christie wants to prevent the state from spending $200 million a year by keeping the money from being collected as taxes to begin with.
The only way Maddow's claim makes sense would be if Christie wanted to cut $200 million in taxes annually while maintaining the same level of state spending. But this clearly isn't the case, as shown by Maddow pointing out that Christie cut education spending last year. By doing this, and other measures as well, Christie deprives liberals like Maddow of criticizing him for tax cuts that aren't "paid for." What do they do in response? Label tax cuts as new spending, since the notion of shrinking bloated government programs or eliminating them altogether is unthinkable to left wingers.

Seeing Like a State - Mike Reid - Mises Daily

When I first read James C. Scott's Seeing Like a State, I was studying at a far-left Canadian university, and in one of its furthest-left graduate programs. I, like many of my instructors and peers, assumed that the proper goal of scholarly research was to help the state help its subjects — with everything from raising crops to raising children. I looked forward to a career as a wise academic providing the state with all the knowledge it needs to improve its subjects' condition. But my statist assumptions came to an end when I read, as Scott's subtitle puts it, How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed.

Through entertaining case studies of disastrous state projects, Scott argues that government planners in the 19th and 20th centuries developed a particular aesthetic obsession: they were frustrated by the untidy complexity of real human societies. And their attempts to "improve" human life usually boiled down to attempts to simplify it — to make it look nice from the point of view of the administrator.

Corporate Freeloaders (This Weekend on FNC) « John Stossel

In America today, who are the biggest freeloaders?   Panhandlers?  Poor people?

You may be surprised that some of America's biggest recipients of handouts are rich people, and well-connected corporations.  The biggest corporate freeloaders may be the biggest industrial corporation in the world:  General Electric.

How the Government Lies to You | Intellectual Takeout (ITO)

Simply put, once your money goes into Social Security it is not your money. Angry? You should be. The idea that Social Security is anything more than wealth redistribution from the young to the old is a lie. Yes, a lie that you have been told ad nauseam.

Furthermore, Social Security is essentially bankrupt now. Not in 2037, but now. There is no trust fund since the government looted that. Worse, Social Security is in negative cash flow already. In other words, the government is now paying out more in Social Security than it is actually taking in. Consider that in 2010, Social Security ran a deficit of $37 billion. The projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show no signs of positive cash flow for the next ten years. This chart from using CBO data tells the story:

New Home Sales Plunge for Third Straight Month -

Sales of new homes plunged in February to the slowest pace on records dating back nearly half a century, a dismal sign for an already-weak housing market.
New-home sales fell 16.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000 homes, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. It's the third straight monthly decline and far below the 700,000-a-year pace that economists view as healthy.
The median price of a new home dropped nearly 14 percent to $202,100, the lowest since December 2003. The median is now 30 percent higher than the median price of resold homes -- twice the markup typical in healthy housing markets.
Builders have struggled to compete with a wave of foreclosures that has lowered the price of previously occupied homes. High unemployment, tight credit and uncertainty over prices have also kept many potential buyers from making purchases.
Last year was the fifth straight year of declines for new-home sales after they reached record highs during the housing boom. Economists say it could take years before sales return to a healthy pace.

Former Clinton Official Paid $26 Million by Fannie Mae Before Taxpayer Bailout Now on Obama Shortlist to Run FBI |

Previously, I have offered some explanations for the financial melt-down, primarily the corruption and incompetence at Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae in failing to see the predictable consequences of their irresponsible behavior.  Some on this List have doubted that the government could possibly act so irresponsibly, including myself at one time, or that Congress actually authorized offering loans to people who could not afford homes.  So for your edification, rather droll amusement, and general information, here is Ms. Gorelick's official explanation of what Congress and Fannie were up to, and how they justified their irresponsible actions:
In 2001, Gorelick announced that Fannie was buying subprime loans encouraged by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and bundling them as securitized financial instruments. Securities made from bundles of guaranteed mortgages were to contribute to the banking crisis later in the decade.

"Fannie Mae will buy CRA loans from lenders' portfolios; we'll package them into securities; we'll purchase CRA mortgages at the point of origination; and we'll create customized CRA-targeted securities," she said in 2001. "This expanded approach has improved liquidity in the secondary market for CRA product, and has helped our lenders leverage even more CRA lending. Lenders now have the flexibility to use their own, customized loan products."

In remarks before the American Bankers Association on Oct. 30, 2000, Gorelick explicitly how the procress would work and what Fannie Mae would do to make it feasible for banks to lend to low-income applicants.

"We will take CRA loans off your hands--we will buy them from your portfolios, or package them into securities--so you have fresh cash to make more CRA loans," she said. "Some people have assumed we don't buy tough loans. Let me correct that misimpression right now. We want your CRA loans because they help us meet our housing goals."

Now, who do you supposed provided Fannie with its "housing goals"?  Yes, if you said Congress, then you score 100% on the test.  What more can I say?  These people convict themselves out of their own mouths.  Incidentally, instead of being put into jail, Ms. Gorelick happens to be on the Anointed One's "short list" for FBI Director.  Isn't that just the perfect place for her!  I couldn't make this shit up it's so far-fetched.  Unfortunately, it is the reality of the current administration and of the one just preceding it.

American Thinker: Democrats' Tyranny of the Minority

Talk radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh has repeated for years his belief that as a political party, the Democrats feel entitled to power.  When they are denied it by the results of an election, they react as though they are the victims of a grave injustice, thereby at liberty to engage in whatever tactic is necessary to retrieve what is rightfully theirs.  Beginning with the Wisconsin walkout and now embodied in the temper tantrum of Indiana Democrats, the self-professed Doctor of Democracy has once again been proven right.

Statehouse walkouts are not without precedent.  In fact, they are a reasonably common occurrence.  But they are largely symbolic gestures -- an attempt to demonstrate the minority's outraged disapproval of the majority's agenda.  Seldom do they go on for days, and until now, never have they been legitimate attempts to undermine the entire democratic process by grinding the operation of government to a halt.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Science is never...

The so-called "climategate" controversy is, on one level, an argument about scientific integrity and public knowledge, but it is also a proxy fight between those who instinctively grasp their way of life is in danger, and a self-regarding elite that exempts itself through its wealth and control via government of those strictures and regulations it plans for the masses.!/Psychmstr/posts/201984996491834?notif_t=share_comment

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


March 17, 2011

The Dick Morris Poll of 1000 likely voters throughout the U.S., conducted by live telephone interviews from March 10-15, 2011, found support for the Republican Governors of Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio in their battles with their public employee unions by 47-39.

Voters harshly condemned Democratic State Legislators who are boycotting their legislatures to deny the Republicans a quorum so they cannot pass legislation on collective bargaining and municipal unions. By 61-25, they rejected the Democrats' argument that the boycotts were "necessary to stop legislation restricting unions from being passed" and said they "should return to the legislature and respect the decisions the voters have made in the last election."

Commenting on the poll results, Dick Morris said, "The liberal media has tried to sell the myth that the public is siding with the unions in these battles. This poll shows the opposite. They largely agree with the restrictions the governors are trying to impose."

American Thinker: More Climate Disruption Drivel

The revelations of Climategate and ten years of stagnant global temperatures have produced a decline of public belief in human-induced climate collapse.  But, rather than strengthening the foundations of climate science by increasing transparency in data analysis, releasing raw data for third party evaluation, and allowing their hypotheses to be debated in the literature, government-funded scientists instead have decided it's best to just change their method of messaging.  The latest tactic is for these man-made global-warming faithful to sharpen their communication skills and tighten their influence on the editorial boards of the environmental journals of record.  The intent is to deflect or bury challenges to their climate-catastrophe canon, not defend their hypotheses.
. . .

So it's not surprising that those who have broken ranks from the "blame humans" crowd have been atmospheric scientists and professors of a certain stature.  They include, for instance, physicist Dr. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and meteorology professor Dr. Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These are scientists who have either retired, who do not rely on government coffers for their research, or who have just been gutsy to pursue an honest quest for knowledge.

Science is never "settled."  It is a never-ending journey of investigation, with hypotheses proposed, and data gathered and analyzed to prove or disprove them.  Climate investigations are particularly complex, because the scope of the test platform is literally global.  The assertion by anyone or any group, even in the wake of a terrific natural disaster, that the cause of climate disruption is clearly settled, and due primarily to human action, is and should be characterized as pure political drivel.

Anthony J. Sadar is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist and primary author of Environmental Risk Communication: Principles and Practices for Industry (CRC Press/Lewis Publishers 2000).  Stanley J. Penkala, Ph.D., is a chemical engineer and President of Air Science Consultants, Inc.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Laissez-Faire Capitalism Not Cause of Melt-Down

The reason for the melt down was, essentially, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, quasi-government entities, were told by Congress to enable people who could not afford houses to make it possible for them to buy houses with little or no money down, and with zero due-diligence as to sources of income to pay the mortgages.

Lenders then were guaranteed that Freddie and Fannie would buy such mortgage notes, thus relieving the originators of those loans of any liability.

Congress put the full faith and credit behind these securitized notes now repackaged by Freddie and Fannie who in turn sold them to other investors.  I understand that many of these securities then became the linchpin for other financial instruments called derivatives.

In effect, a hundred thousand dollar mortgage might back millions of dollars in further credit, secured only by an overpriced, speculative property whose owners may have had but a couple of thousand in initial equity, if that much--about what it would cost to make a security deposit and last month's rent on an equivalent rental home.

What made this boom possible was Uncle Sam's willingness to secure these loans, when there was nothing to secure them in reality beyond speculative dreams.

This situation could not possibly happen in a capitalist system, because government would have no part to play in guaranteeing a bank's poor judgment about what constitutes a secure loan.  Historically, banks have required 20% down payment and perform a stringent "due diligence" and they would have done that in this situation had the government not required them to make easy loans in the first place and in the second to buy the bad loans as soon as they were created.

From beginning to end, this financial debacle was completely and totally the result of government policy and actions.  It was the direct result of Congress passing laws requiring that banks make bad loans.  The Bush Administration and Congress are both responsible for the ensuing catastrophe.  But keep in mind, Congress was run by Democrats and the people in charge of oversight, people such as Barney Frank, stated over and over again that these bad loans were perfectly fine and dandy and that the Bush Administration's warnings could be safely rejected. 

Bush didn't do enough, and Congress is primarily responsible, but however you come out on that score, the bottom line is that the government created this catastrophe, not private businessmen, and was caused not by under-regulation but by government policies explicitly designed to increase home ownership by people who could not afford to own homes.

Once upon a time there lived an emperor

The smart set living in an echo-chamber that reinforces their conventional wisdom have eagerly embraced this article of faith because in their world to question Obama's ability is to commit the deadly sin of racism. And don't think they are cynics who merely parrot the party line and go along to get along.  So deeply are they invested in the Obama myth that they summon all their intellectual resources to its defense.  Utterly terrified of committing thought crime, they have internalized their beliefs and with religious fervor keep faith with their creed.  To let any doubt creep into their minds is tantamount to aligning themselves with the "Obama-haters" -- all those "yahoos" and "knuckle-draggers" of the far right. Their greatest fear is to break ranks with the true believers and invite ostracism -- a prospect too horrible to behold.

And so they explain to one another that Obama's defiant detachment must have some reason too complex for mere mortals to discern; his powerful mind is too intricate and resourceful for anyone to understand or pass judgment on his actions (or inaction, as the case may be). Thus one of the theories gaining favor in their circles: Obama is focused on lofty objectives way beyond the capacity of our meager intelligence to grasp; he sees the deeper truth; he soars to such heights that our earth-bound concerns dwindle into total insignificance.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why Does Business Support Both Political Parties?

I was recently asked by a friend to explain why men such as Jeffrey Immelt and other large corporations in the United States such as Goldman Sachs financially support both Democrats and Republicans, even as one party would seem to have the voters believe it supports businessmen and the other that it wishes to destroy them by taxing and regulating businessmen out of existence?

The facts my friend cites are not in dispute, and reflect the great depth of corruption in our current crony capitalist hybrid mixed economy.  One could understand why a corporation might support Republicans, but why would Goldman Sachs support the liberal and socialist program of the Democrats, a program whose seeming goal would lead only to its destruction?

The facts demonstrate the insight made by many who run our largest industries that:  1) the US government is a legalized criminal organization seeking "bribes" in the form of political contributions in exchange for certain "protections" from government regulatory, anti-trust, and taxing thuggery, and, 2) both major political parties are completely and irredeemably corrupt so the smart move is always to support both in case one or the other is able for the moment to delude enough voters to support its candidates.

It is true, not all businesses, not even all large businesses necessarily subscribe to this view of our government, but whether or not it represents their conscious views, it nonetheless offers a good theory why such businesses financially support politicians otherwise dedicated to their apparent destruction.  After all, when was the last time you heard a socialist, a Democrat, or even a Republican for that matter, defend businessmen?

Ayn Rand had some interesting things to say in a lecture given in 1962:

"Businessmen [her italics] are the one group that distinguishes capitalism and the American way of life from the totalitarian statism that is swallowing the rest of the world.  All the other social groups--workers, farmers, professional men, scientists, soldiers--exist under dictatorship, even though they exist in chains, in terror, in misery, and in progressive self-destruction.  But there is no such group as businessmen under a dictatorship.  Their place is taken by armed thugs:  by bureaucrats and commissars.  businessmen are the symbol of a free society--the symbol of America.  If and when they perish, civilization will perish.  But if you wish to fight for freedom, you must begin by fighting for its unrewarded, unrecognized, unacknowledged, yet best representatives--the American businessman."

Much has happened since 1962 when Ayn Rand said those words, and while Soviet communism has imploded and Red China has permitted a great deal of economic freedom for its citizens, we are now seeing on an unprecedented scale the slow, seemingly inexorable slide in the United States to a situation where leading businessmen such as Jeffrey Immelt of GE have now definitely moved into that twilight zone where the shift to the Dark Side becomes inevitable. 


Immelt is part businessman but now he is more of a commissar, a government thug pretending he is the CEO of a private corporation.  Immelt is not kept in corporate power because he has worked for the interests of the corporation--its stock has declined the entire period of his leadership--but because of his willingness to do the bidding of the federal government, in the present case, of President Barack Obama and the President's liberal allies on Capital Hill, all of whom are not necessarily liberal or Democrats.

Such men as Immelt have conceded the moral high ground to the socialists--that the good consists in sacrificing one's self, one's interests, for the "higher" good of society, whose voice is given expression by whichever gang of thugs is able to seize political power in the society at a given time.  Immelt and the others like him in the twilight are perfectly willing to play the game the socialists and liberals have invented and have become the willing milch cows of the corporate welfare state that we now have.

The socialist Democrats do not want to destroy businessmen, they want schmoos--businessmen who take delight in being devoured by the state.  Ultimately the schmoo is eaten alive, but the process can take quite a while and socialists have never been too concerned about the future anyway so long as they are able feed on the living body today.  They demonstrably have no problem mortgaging the future of the country, either, in order to continue feeding their social welfare programs, incidentally keeping themselves in power.

So Immelt and gang--the heads of Goldman Sachs for intance--understand the new rules and since they have already conceded they have no right to exist, that they have no rights as individual and exist merely on the sufferance of government, on "society's" need for their productive abilities, they will be permitted to keep some of their earnings, and, indeed, will be permitted to keep more of their earnings to induce other businessmen not willing to make schmoos of themselves, to alter their views and willingly surrender their interests and productivity to the service of state without a fight.

The picture is gruesome, a farce of unimaginable proportions.

And there is only one way to end it:  by rejecting the moral premise of the entire system that the good consists in the sacrifice of self to the interests of the collective.  It consists in the recognition and insight that the true good of everyone can never be advanced through the sacrifice of the individual, that society is, first and foremost, a collection of individuals, and that individuals have the moral right to exist, which means:  they have the right to the products of their own labor, intelligence, and talent.

Friday, March 18, 2011

How to Get Gaddafi - Newsweek

Why should the United States intervene into the affairs of Libya when both sides to the conflict may be equally bad, or even as the case unfolds, the so-called "rebels" may actually be worse than the tyranny under challenge?

Is it to the interests of the United States to have Al Qaeda run Libya rather than the Colonel?  The choice strikes me as not terribly dissimilar than the question during the thirties, do we support Stalin or do we support Hitler?  In that conflict we ultimately chose to ally with Stalin, as unsavory as that prospect was, on the proposition that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Such a calculus in the present case would seem to argue in favor of supporting the dictator, or, at minimum, of not supporting the rebels, since we know Qaddafi is a coward and can be brought to heel; such cannot be said of Al Qaeda.  It may be that Obama's dithering and Hamlet-like indisposition to exert leadership may actually serve our national self-interest, just as Bush's otherwise admirable assertiveness lead us into the Second Iraq War and its questionable results, its enormous cost in treasure, and the profound divisions in our own country with the further weakening of national self-regard internal division always encourages.

It may be that the rebels will fail without our material support.  But do we want them to succeed?  How do we advance our national self-interest by supporting them?  Are they champions of individual rights?  Do they support religious freedom?  Are they in favor of free speech, limited government, some form of democracy in which the rights of women, queer folk and other despised minorities are respected, or, at the minimum, where such minorities are not automatically consigned to cultural slavery, torture, or even death?  In brief, do the rebels promise a decent, civilized government, or merely promise the triumph of Sharia Law?

The reality is that very few revolutions, good or bad, succeed without some foreign assistance. Lenin had German money; Mao had Soviet arms. Revolutions that don't get some help from outside aren't so much inorganic as unsuccessful. Indeed, they generally don't go down in history as revolutions at all. More than one revolt has been brutally crushed by an Arab dictator—think of the Marsh Arabs' fate at the hands of Saddam Hussein. Such events tend to be remembered as massacres. We must hope that someone gives President Obama a history lesson before thousands of Libyans share their fate. It will be tragic indeed if America concludes from the experience of overthrowing murderous tyrannies in Afghanistan and Iraq that the correct policy is to turn a blind eye to murder in Libya. That, remember, was the policy pursued by the last Democrat to occupy the White House, in Rwanda as well as, for much too long, in Bosnia.

CNBC's Fast Money: US Cost of Living Hits Record, Passing Pre-Crisis High - CNBC

Beyond the money

"As the cost of living increases, we are headed toward a bigger problem with the slowing of housing permits," said JJ Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist at thinkorswim, a division of TD Ameritrade. "As the staples start to cost more, this could lead to a quick slowdown in the auto and technology sectors as an iPad is an easy thing to pass on if you are paying more for your gas and food and need to cut back somewhere."

To be sure, it's nearly impossible to get a perfect "cost of living" measure, and the BLS acknowledges this on their web site: "An unconditional cost-of-living index would go further, and take into account changes in non-market factors, such as the environment, crime, and education."

Still, states will be cutting back services drastically this year at the very same time they are raising taxes in order to close enormous budget deficits and avoid a muni-bond defaults crisis. So while it may be the missing link to a perfect cost of living measure, one can assume that Americans will be paying more for unquantifiable services such as police enforcement and education, but getting them at a lesser quality.

Barack Obama: The Weakest President in history?

Obama's campaign slogan was mesmerisingly simple and brimming with self-belief: "Yes we can." His presidency, however, is turning out to be more about "no we won't." Even more worryingly, it seems to be very much about: "Maybe we can… do what, exactly?" The world feels like a dangerous place when leaders are seen to lack certitude but the only thing President Obama seems decisive about is his indecision. What should the US do about Libya? What should the US do about the Middle East in general? What about the country's crippling debts? What is the US going to do about Afghanistan, about Iran?

What is President Obama doing about anything? The most alarming answer – your guess is as good as mine – is also, frankly, the most accurate one. What the President is not doing is being clear, resolute and pro-active, which is surely a big part of his job description. This is what he has to say about the popular uprising in Libya: "Gaddafi must go." At least, that was his position on March 3.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

» BIG NEWS: Federal Court Halts Shocking Property Rights Abuse - Big Government

This article gives you a good idea of the work done by the libertarian Institute for Justice, an organization that I have supported financially over the years.

The video above was just released by the Institute for Justice. It begins with an elderly woman lamenting:

When my son came back from Kuwait he couldn't believe it.  He said, "Mom, what's going on?" And I said, well they want to get rid of us and they're finally doing it.  He was upset.  He said, "I'm sorry, I'm halfway around the world to help other people and I can't even help my own mom keep her own home."

American Thinker: Much, Much More than Budget Cutting

From one of the comments:
"The cold, hard reality is that Mr. Obama and the left are waging revolution. The left wishes to radically remake the nation, to transform it into a statist bastion. But should Mr. Obama fall short, the left won't quit; it's intrinsically about revolution. The left is playing a zero-sum game, and it's deadly serious about winning."

EXACTLY, and Hallellujah! This needs to be shouted from the rooftops. This is precisely what the Republicans DO NOT understand. We didn't elect them so they could live it up fat and plush on our tax dollars. The future of our Country is at stake. They are there to FIGHT and WIN against a totalitarian enemy who hates America and is determined to destroy (oh, excuse me, "transform") it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Indiana Standoff Lingers On - Katrina Trinko - National Review Online

Just goes to show Republicans that no matter how much they compromise, whatever given away is never enough.  After all, why should the socialist Democrats compromise on anything?  Because they refuse defend to defend capitalism because it is right, Republicans ensure that altruism and socialism win.

Obamacare Marches On - Michael Tanner - National Review Online

Further evidence, were any needed, that the Republicans have yet to grow a pair.  Maybe they just need a spine transplant:
For the second time this month, Congress has passed a short-term continuing resolution and avoid a government shutdown. And for the second time, this was accomplished at the cost of dropping a provision that would have prevented the use of government funds to implement Obamacare. It raises the question, then, of just how committed the Republican leadership really is to killing Obamacare.

Wholesale prices up 1.6 pct. on steep rise in food - Yahoo! Finance

This is what the beginning of a major inflation looks like, folks.  This means that your money is becoming worth less and less, since it buys less and less.  The Fed keeps printing paper dollars, and the only thing we have to back them up is China's continuing willingness to buy them up.  But China is already starting to cut back.  Major nations are looking for another reserve currency.  Do you understand what happens to us when the dollar loses its reserve status?  It means the prices of the world's goods, particularly oil, will no longer be valued in dollars but in some other currency, or basket of currencies that presumably will hold their value to gold better than the American dollar.

We elected Obama and the Democrats in 2008, and clearly the Republicans we just elected don't have the balls to make real cuts in the budget, so the only thing left for the average man to do is buy gold and silver, to do what he can do to protect his property against this form of legalized theft that Obama and Democrats, Bush and the Republicans, have created by spending money we don't have.  You can vote the sumbitches out in 2012, but we are already in deep shit no matter what happens.  Do what you can to protect yourself.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wholesale prices jumped last month by the most in nearly two years due to higher energy costs and the steepest rise in food prices in 36 years. Excluding those volatile categories, inflation was tame.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the Producer Price Index rose a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent in February -- double the 0.8 percent rise in the previous month. Outside of food and energy costs, the core index ticked up 0.2 percent, less than January's 0.5 percent rise.

American Thinker: Obama's First Two Years a Disaster for America

The pertinent question we might ask is, "What has President Obama done in the past two years to limit the rise of oil and gasoline prices, if anything?"  The answer is...nothing.  If anything, his policies have contributed towards rising prices.  Recall the moratorium he enacted on oil drilling following the BP oil spill that further limited the supply of the commodity from our own waters.  His failure to support drilling in ANWR and his overt allegiance to the anti-drilling environmental fringe has also directly contributed to less supply of oil and therefore higher oil prices.

Ms. Joseph also looked forward to Obama paying her mortgage.  Well, many Americans don't have to worry about a mortgage anymore, as they've had their houses foreclosed.  In 2009, a record 2,824,674 foreclosures took place, while 2,872,892 foreclosures occurred in 2010.   In other words, 5.7 million families have lost their homes, but at least they're not up all night wondering how they will pay their mortgage.

It just wasn't supposed to be this way, at least in the eyes of the 53% of voters who cast their ballot for Barack Obama.  After all, President Obama's policies were going to reignite the economy and keep the unemployment rate below 8% at least that is what we were told, thereby making those aforementioned mortgages affordable.  The opposite has occurred.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

10 Reasons Public School Teachers and Unions are Failing Children and Bankrupting America | NewsReal Blog

Corruption, greed, incompetence, bureaucratic bungling: Those are the things most likely to be found when the charade of public union outrage is peeled back to reveal the inner workings of collective bargaining. There is no doubt America is engaged in an ideological battle. On one side are the public sector unions and "workers" demanding the taxpayers cough up more to fund their fat paychecks and bloated pensions. On the other side are the majority of Americans who work in the private sector, fund their own retirements and health care, and have no entitlement programs they haven't designed themselves. The public sector is asking for more blood while the private sector is beaten unconscious and bleeding from every major artery.

GOP 2012 theme: American

DENISON, Iowa – Republican activists in this key presidential state have a dark, foreboding feeling that America is in decline. They believe the nation is hurtling in the wrong direction and, worse, on the brink of losing its unique place in the world.

That sentiment is hardly new to American politics, but it's one that's been reanimated by the presidency of Barack Obama. Some see him as hostile to the notion of American exceptionalism. Others simply don't believe he's an American at all.

Together, it's fueling the rise of an emerging debate on the right that could overshadow the traditional focus on social and fiscal issues and create an opening for a candidate who can speak to a still inchoate but clearly volatile element that is roiling the conservative grass roots.

It's not that culture wars and tax revolts are about to be displaced in GOP presidential politics by an abstract discussion on what ails Uncle Sam. Rather, the very issues that have typically energized GOP primary voters — such as abortion, faith, gay marriage, debt, military power — are being subsumed into a larger debate about a country in decline.

It's the idea, held by many conservative activists, that America is becoming too European — weak, feckless and faithless — a spendthrift nation in hock to China and led by an irresolute president who is accelerating the process, either by design or effect.

If Market Keeps Falling, Fed Will Keep Printing:

More reasons why it's smart to be buy real gold and silver, whatever you can afford:

"Until very recently the Feds have had very few critiques, very few people criticized the Fed's policies under Mr. Greenspan and Mr. Bernanke," Faber added. "Over the last few months, a lot of critical comments have come up about the Fed and its money-printing habit. The S&P drops 20 percent (and) all the critics will be silent and they will all applaud new money-printing."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Capitalism Magazine - Reagan-Interruptus: Republicans are, once again, The Stupid Party

All those years ago, philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand got it so right. She said that there was no end to the welfare-regulatory state until or unless people reject the morality of altruism, defined as the morality that we are all our brothers' keepers. In practice, the code of altruism means that the more I produce, achieve and earn, the more I owe to others. The same applies to you. Republicans (usually religious) tend to eschew this attitude applied to government, preferring that self-sacrifice be practiced outside politics rather than within it. The Democrats, who tend not to be religious, say that's silly, that if we all are our brothers' keepers, then of course government should uphold this principle under the law. In the end, Republicans, even if they put up a fight, concede that well, shucks, "I guess those Democrats do have a point."

The contradiction between what Republicans hold up as political ideals and their underlying (erroneous) ideology of ethics has reached tragic proportions. This is because government and the economy as we've known it are imperiled. No society can survive the kind of bankruptcy to be upheld by the Democratic policies of the last several years, or the Republican policies of "caving in" going forward. By unsustainable borrowing, monetary manipulation and deficit spending, they're sacrificing the stability of our currency, and with the collapse of the currency will go the entire economy as we know it.

Capitalism Magazine - Reagan-Interruptus: Republicans are, once again, The Stupid Party

The House leadership has put forth a bill cutting about $60 billion in federal spending. The liberals reply that $4 billion in claimed "cuts"will do.

Excuse me? I expected denial from the Democrats. After all, they're socialist.

Their entire morality and political program are based on the theft of other people's money, either literally or in the form of "borrowed" theoretical money from future generations. But Republicans have claimed, rather eloquently at times, to stand for exactly the opposite. Is $60 billion in cuts the best they can propose? No doubt the answer will be, "Well, the liberals control the White House and the Senate. We can't ask for too much." Oh, really? They're going to say you're asking for too much no matter what you ask. If you asked for only $5 billion in cuts, they'd say you're demanding too much.

Capitalism Magazine - Objective Economics: The Implications of Ayn Rand's Philosophy on the Science of Economics

From the Preface:
The primary purpose of economics is to identify, interpret, and explain how a capitalist economy works. Altruism assured economists that capitalism is evil in advance of that knowledge. The evil consequences of this belief permeate all of economics, damning capitalism in both theory and practice. In theory, capitalism never had a chance. Since an evil system cannot work, capitalism was convicted a priori. As for capitalism's practice, economists' commitment to the immorality of capitalism blinded them to the facts. Every datum, every event, every phenomenon, every result, every aspect of capitalism was twisted and distorted out of any resemblance to reality in order to make it conform to the altruist agenda. Ayn Rand's refutation of altruism makes it possible for the first time in history to present the theory and practice of capitalism objectively, untouched by moral distortion. This is the first study of economics to take advantage of that fact, and in the end, an objective perspective is the primary value I have to offer.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

James O'Keefe: Man Who Forced Resignation of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller Also Ensnared ACORN and Planned Parenthood - ABC News

This fellow is a real hero, the sort of man we need to celebrate, as he uncovers the rank hypocrisy and corruption in our Liberal Corporate State as now run by President Barack Obama and his legions of Czars.   Would that we had more of him.  He has single-handledly done more to expand our freedom and raise our spirits than any single man has in decades. 

This was just the latest in a series of what have been called undercover guerrilla videos by the 26-year-old O'Keefe, whose aim has been to embarrass or ensnare liberal groups.

"This is no joke. We're called to do this and we're gonna devote our lives to doing it," O'Keefe said while accepting an award for his work.

Last year, O'Keefe and a female associate posing as a prostitute taped members of the activist group ACORN advising them on how to conceal the woman's criminal activities to get a home mortgage. Other targets have included the pro-choice group Planned Parenthood and New Jersey's teachers union.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Michigan workers jam Capitol to protest union plan | Reuters

(Reuters) - In a scene reminiscent of Wisconsin, hundreds of pro-union protesters jammed the Michigan state Capitol on Tuesday to oppose a bill that would give emergency managers authority to break labor deals to revive failing schools and cities.

10 Economic Disaster Stories the Leftist Media is Hiding From You | NewsReal Blog

1. Food distribution companies are warning of severe food shortages in the coming weeks.

Sysco is one of America's largest food distribution companies. Early in February they sent out this release to customers which warned of a looming food crisis – in America:


Right now we're just about to enter the 30-60 day period they warn about.

For months the news has reported crop failures, droughts and storm related damage to farm land but there have been no follow up reports on the shortages these incidents would necessarily create. Sysco did not release their report in the dead of night hidden from the news media; they sent it out to thousands of people. The crop failures they are speaking about are common knowledge, or should be.

But where is the media on this story? It's up to news agencies to tell people these shortages are coming so people can prepare for them. Instead the media is ignoring what could be a spike in food prices so dramatic it will limit the ability of Americans to obtain several types of fresh vegetables. Imagine, in a few weeks it's possible that Americans will not be able to afford fresh tomatoes and eggplants, or they may find that those vegetables aren't available at all. I would think this news would earn more coverage than it is currently receiving, don't you?

The media is often accused of selective reporting and in the case of financial reporting the charges are doubly true. Perhaps if Barack Obama loses his re-election bid we will see the media stop cheerleading a dying economy and report the news as it is. There is no greater indictment of the media, no better example of the corruption within, than the fact that America can't rely on them to report stories like these.