March 31, 2009

Rush Limbaugh: "Obama Believes People Who Have Wealth Stole It"

Based on what we've seen with General Motors and the banks, if he fails, America is saved. Barack Obama's policies and their failure is the only hope we've got to maintain the America of our founding. We can sit here all the all day as we have. We can rail against General Motors. There is nothing going to stop any of this. Nothing is stopping it. I can say all day long, "Gosh, I hope this fails isn't going to stop anything." Has anybody heard the Republicans say anything today about the firing of Rick Wagoner? If they have, it hasn't been reported. Republicans, as usual, are a week behind the times. They're out there rapping about the budget, which is okay, the budget needs to be rapped about, "We'll rap about it further," but the big news of the today is GM. I haven't heard a Republican, have you? I haven't seen any media who find anything the slightest bit squishy about this.

When the history of this is written, people are going to say, "Where was the media? Where were the Republicans?" Where were all of the "moderate" Republicans who told us that this guy's temperament and his steadiness, and his intellect, that's why we should support him? Well, remember, it's not what Obama knows; it's what you think he knows. It's what he makes you think he knows. He doesn't know anything about the automobile business. He doesn't know how to change a tire. The automobile business needs car guys, people that love grease, get in there, manufacture these engines and cars, great designs, lines, and make people want to go out and buy these cars. Car companies have to be run by financial people today 'cause they're basically health care and retirement funds. The side business is making cars, hoping that they pay for some of it...

...This is a radical guy. This is a very arrogant, radical guy who is angry. Nobody will convince me otherwise. Yeah, I mean he doesn't show it. Sometimes I think I notice it. I think it flares at times. Not the anger, but he reveals that he has a bunch of chips on his shoulder, and we know his wife does, and we know Reverend Wright does. We're getting a lot of this stuff that's happening right out of Reverend Wright's sermons. There really is. And a lot of what's going to happen in education, right out of Bill Ayers' curriculum, his extremist, terrorist buddy.

The best way to understand Obama, and I can't say this enough, he really believes that it's his job to return the nation's wealth to its rightful, quote, unquote, rightful owners. And that means that he believes the people who have wealth have stolen it from those who have no wealth. It's been unfairly achieved and accrued, and it's his job to take it and redistribute it. And that's what he means by sacrifice. When he talks about sacrifice, he's talking about raising your taxes, taking away your assets, and giving them to other people he thinks you stole them from who are thus more deserving. If you'll just be open to admit it, you can see it practically every day in his policy pronouncements.

March 26, 2009

To GIVE and to SERVE: the $6 billion National Service boondoggle

My syndicated column today looks at the massive expansion of government-funded “national service.” Debate began yesterday in the Senate, where the $6 billion SERVE Act’s primary co-sponsors are Sens. Ted Kennedy and…Orrin Hatch. And there’s the rub. Since its inception, AmeriCorps has been a bipartisan-supported beast. The Evil Party and the Stupid Party strike again. If this does lead to the establishment of a civilian national security force, as Obama signaled during the campaign, Republicans who vote for this Trojan Horse will have no one to blame but themselves.


To GIVE and to SERVE: The $6 billion National Service boondoggle
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009

Maybe it’s just me, but I find federal legislation titled “The GIVE Act” and “The SERVE Act” downright creepy. Even more troubling: The $6 billion price tag on these bipartisan bills to expand government-funded national service efforts. Volunteerism is a wonderful thing, which is why millions of Americans do it every day without a cent of taxpayer money. But the volunteerism packages on the Hill are less about promoting effective charity than about creating make-work, permanent bureaucracies, and left-wing slush funds.

The House passed the “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act” – or the GIVE Act – last week. The Senate took up the companion “SERVE Act” Tuesday afternoon. According to a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the Senate bill, S. 277, the bill would cost “$418 million in 2010 and about $5.7 billion over the 2010-2014 period.” And like most federal programs, these would be sure to grow over time. The bills reauthorize the Clinton-era Americorps boondoggle program and an older law, the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973.

The programs have already been allocated $1.1 billion for fiscal 2009, including $200 million from the porkulus package signed into law last month. In addition to recruiting up to 250,000 enrollees in AmeriCorps, the GIVE/SERVE bills would create new little armies of government volunteers, including a Clean Energy Corps, Education Corps, Healthy Futures Corps, Veterans Service Corps, and and expanded National Civilian Community Corps for disaster relief and energy conservation. And that’s not all. Spending would include new funds for:

*Foster Grandparent Program ($115 million);

*Learn and Serve America. ($97 million);

*Retired and Senior Volunteer Program ($70 million);

*Senior Companion Program ($55 million);

*$12 million for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014 for “the Silver Scholarships and Encore Fellowships programs;”

*$10 million a year from 2010-2014 for a new “Volunteers for Prosperity” program at USAID to “award grants to fund opportunities for volunteering internationally

in coordination with eligible organizations; and

*Social Innovation Fund and Volunteer Generation Fund-$50 million in 2010; $60 million in 2011; $70 million in 2012; $80 million in 2013; and $100 million in 2014.

“Social Innovation Fund?” If that sounds familiar, it should. I reported last fall on the Democratic Party platform’s push to fund a “Social Investment Fund Network” that would reward “social entrepreneurs and leading nonprofit organizations” and “support results-oriented innovators.” It is essentially a special taxpayer-funded pipeline for radical liberal groups backed by billionaire George Soros that masquerade as public-interest do-gooders.

Especially troublesome to parents’ groups concerned about compulsory volunteerism requirements is a provision in the House version, directing Congress to explore “whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.”

Those who have watched AmeriCorps from its inception are all-too-familiar with how government voluntarism programs have been used for propaganda and political purposes. AmeriCorps “volunteers” have been put to work lobbying against the voter-approved three-strikes anti-crime initiative in California and protesting Republican political events while working for the already heavily-tax-subsidized liberal advocacy group ACORN.

Citizens Against Government Waste, the D.C. watchdog, also documented national service volunteers lobbying for rent control, expanded federal housing subsidies, and enrollment of more women in the Women, Infants, and Children welfare program. AmeriCorps volunteers have also been paid to shuffle paper at the Department of Justice, the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Legal Services Corporation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

(Now, imagine Obama’s troops being sent overseas – out of sight and unaccountable — as part of that $10 million a year USAID/”Volunteers for Prosperity” program. Egad.)

One vigilant House member, GOP Rep. Virginia Foxx, successfully attached an amendment to the GIVE Act to bar National Service recipients from engaging in political lobbying, endorsing or opposing legislation, organizing petitions, protests, boycotts, or strikes; providing or promoting abortions or referrals; or influencing union organizing.

Supporters of GIVE/SERVE are now fighting those restrictions tooth and nail, screaming censorship and demanding that the provisions be dropped. Which tells you everything you need to know about the true nature of this boondoggle: Taxpayers GIVE their money to SERVE a big government agenda under the guise of helping their fellow man. It’s charity at the point of a gun.


Don’t know why, but the creepy title of the Senate bill reminds me of that classic Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man.” Remember?

Dear Congress...........Bite me.

Dear A.I.G., I Quit!
Peter Ahlberg

LinkedinDiggFacebookMixxMy SpaceYahoo! BuzzPermalinkPublished: March 24, 2009
The following is a letter sent on Tuesday by Jake DeSantis, an executive vice president of the American International Group’s financial products unit, to Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G.

DEAR Mr. Liddy,

It is with deep regret that I submit my notice of resignation from A.I.G. Financial Products. I hope you take the time to read this entire letter. Before describing the details of my decision, I want to offer some context:

I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down.

You and I have never met or spoken to each other, so I’d like to tell you about myself. I was raised by schoolteachers working multiple jobs in a world of closing steel mills. My hard work earned me acceptance to M.I.T., and the institute’s generous financial aid enabled me to attend. I had fulfilled my American dream.

I started at this company in 1998 as an equity trader, became the head of equity and commodity trading and, a couple of years before A.I.G.’s meltdown last September, was named the head of business development for commodities. Over this period the equity and commodity units were consistently profitable — in most years generating net profits of well over $100 million. Most recently, during the dismantling of A.I.G.-F.P., I was an integral player in the pending sale of its well-regarded commodity index business to UBS. As you know, business unit sales like this are crucial to A.I.G.’s effort to repay the American taxpayer.

The profitability of the businesses with which I was associated clearly supported my compensation. I never received any pay resulting from the credit default swaps that are now losing so much money. I did, however, like many others here, lose a significant portion of my life savings in the form of deferred compensation invested in the capital of A.I.G.-F.P. because of those losses. In this way I have personally suffered from this controversial activity — directly as well as indirectly with the rest of the taxpayers.

I have the utmost respect for the civic duty that you are now performing at A.I.G. You are as blameless for these credit default swap losses as I am. You answered your country’s call and you are taking a tremendous beating for it.

But you also are aware that most of the employees of your financial products unit had nothing to do with the large losses. And I am disappointed and frustrated over your lack of support for us. I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that you failed to stand up for us in the face of untrue and unfair accusations from certain members of Congress last Wednesday and from the press over our retention payments, and that you didn’t defend us against the baseless and reckless comments made by the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut.

My guess is that in October, when you learned of these retention contracts, you realized that the employees of the financial products unit needed some incentive to stay and that the contracts, being both ethical and useful, should be left to stand. That’s probably why A.I.G. management assured us on three occasions during that month that the company would “live up to its commitment” to honor the contract guarantees.

That may be why you decided to accelerate by three months more than a quarter of the amounts due under the contracts. That action signified to us your support, and was hardly something that one would do if he truly found the contracts “distasteful.”

That may also be why you authorized the balance of the payments on March 13.

At no time during the past six months that you have been leading A.I.G. did you ask us to revise, renegotiate or break these contracts — until several hours before your appearance last week before Congress.

I think your initial decision to honor the contracts was both ethical and financially astute, but it seems to have been politically unwise. It’s now apparent that you either misunderstood the agreements that you had made — tacit or otherwise — with the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, various members of Congress and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of New York, or were not strong enough to withstand the shifting political winds.

You’ve now asked the current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. to repay these earnings. As you can imagine, there has been a tremendous amount of serious thought and heated discussion about how we should respond to this breach of trust.

As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.

Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.

The only real motivation that anyone at A.I.G.-F.P. now has is fear. Mr. Cuomo has threatened to “name and shame,” and his counterpart in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, has made similar threats — even though attorneys general are supposed to stand for due process, to conduct trials in courts and not the press.

So what am I to do? There’s no easy answer. I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust. Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree.

That is why I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn. This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. Our earnings have caused such a distraction for so many from the more pressing issues our country faces, and I would like to see my share of it benefit those truly in need.

On March 16 I received a payment from A.I.G. amounting to $742,006.40, after taxes. In light of the uncertainty over the ultimate taxation and legal status of this payment, the actual amount I donate may be less — in fact, it may end up being far less if the recent House bill raising the tax on the retention payments to 90 percent stands. Once all the money is donated, you will immediately receive a list of all recipients.

This choice is right for me. I wish others at A.I.G.-F.P. luck finding peace with their difficult decision, and only hope their judgment is not clouded by fear.

Mr. Liddy, I wish you success in your commitment to return the money extended by the American government, and luck with the continued unwinding of the company’s diverse businesses — especially those remaining credit default swaps. I’ll continue over the short term to help make sure no balls are dropped, but after what’s happened this past week I can’t remain much longer — there is too much bad blood. I’m not sure how you will greet my resignation, but at least Attorney General Blumenthal should be relieved that I’ll leave under my own power and will not need to be “shoved out the door.”


Jake DeSantis

The defination of insanity...or business as usual for Obama

Fox in charge of the hen house.....

Creator of Freddie Mac’s Home Possible goes to FHA posted at 10:01 am on March 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, the Obama administration announced the appointment of David Stevens to run the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The appointment got little attention from the media, but his Senate confirmation hearing might prove more interesting. Stevens will have to explain his work for Freddie Mac in the years when the mortgage giant fueled a lending frenzy, mostly through Stevens’ own work on a program called Home Possible.

First, the announcement:

David Stevens, president and chief operating officer of real estate brokerage Long & Foster Cos., is President Barack Obama’s choice to head the Federal Housing Administration, according to people familiar with the selection.
Stevens, a former Freddie Mac mortgage executive, would replace Federal Housing Commissioner Brian D. Montgomery, who was appointed by President George W. Bush. The people familiar with Stevens’s selection declined to comment because the Obama administration has yet to make an announcement.

The FHA, a mortgage-insurance division of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department created in 1934, is regaining a larger role in the housing market as private insurers and lenders scale back, raise fees and tighten eligibility criteria. The agency said in a February report that applications tripled to 2.3 million in 2008, from 2007. FHA-insured loans represented 31 percent of new mortgages in the fourth quarter, the highest on record, according to newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance.

Stevens’ experience at Freddie Mac should prove instructive. The Home Possible program that Stevens launched practically gives a blueprint for the housing-bubble collapse and the government’s role in it:

“We created Home Possible Mortgages so more lenders can say ‘Yes’ to more borrowers,” said David Stevens, senior vice president of single family sourcing at Freddie Mac. “Home Possible is what our lenders tell us they need to compete in today’s market: a flexible, easy-to-use mortgage uniting Loan Prospector’s ease and efficiency with exceptionally low-downpayments and flexible credit. Perhaps no other mortgage product launched in recent memory will enable our lenders to reach and help as many additional borrowers as Home Possible.”

The new Home Possible Mortgage combines borrower education and early delinquency counseling, zero and three percent downpayment mortgage products and flexible credit requirements so low-and moderate-income borrowers anywhere in the country can get an affordable, low-cost conforming conventional mortgage for a single family property with as little as $500 of the downpayment or closing costs coming from their own funds. …

Home Possible and Home Possible Neighborhood Solution Mortgages are available through Freddie Mac’s national network of more than 2,000 lenders and 10,000 mortgage brokers using Loan Prospector®, Freddie Mac’s automated underwriting service, such as ABN Amro, U.S. Bank and National City Bank. …
Both Home Possible and Home Possible Neighborhood Solution Mortgages are available as 15-, 20- and 30-year fixed rate mortgages or as 7/1 or 10/1 adjustable rate mortgages for one-unit properties.

No-down mortgages and “flexible credit” helped create the spike in demand that drove the home-construction business over a cliff and hyperinflated housing values. The people who participated in these terms are the borrowers now most at risk for foreclosure because of unrealistic ARMs and dashed hopes of refinancing leveraged on non-existent equity growth. Home Possible and similar offerings from Fannie Mae allowed lenders to sell bad paper back to Freddie and Fannie with no risk to themselves, while Fannie and Freddie instead shuffled the risk to investors in its mortgage-backed securities.

Now Barack Obama wants David Stevens to do to FHA what he did with Freddie Mac. Instead of screeching about AIG bonuses, we should make sure that the people who blew up the economy in the first place do not return to positions where they can do it again. (h/t: HA reader Morgen)

The defination of insanity is repeating the same mistakes hopeing for different results.

How f****** stupid is this president??????

March 25, 2009

There is an alternative to the downward spiral the president is pushing us into.

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today held a press briefing in advance of President Obama’s news conference scheduled for this evening. At the briefing, Boehner challenged the President’s assertions about Republicans and noted that the GOP has presented alternative ideas directly to the President on every major issue where there has been disagreement this year – and will offer a better budget solution later this week.

“I think a lot of Americans believe that our economy is in a crisis. Americans are looking to Washington for solutions. The President has offered a budget that will, in my opinion, hurt our economy and destroy the very jobs that we’re trying to save and to try to create. And I believe Republicans were offering better ideas to the President in hopes of building a better budget.

“This is today’s front page the Louisville Courier-Journal. If you read it you probably won’t be surprised that the President will probably say this again tonight in his press conference. With all due respect, Mr. President, the statement is not true, plain and simple. Your budget spends too much, it taxes too much and borrows too much from our kids and grandkids, and I believe Republicans are offering a better solution.

“Last week, I released a video — a YouTube video outlining our budget principles and laying the groundwork for the alternative budget that we will release later this week. Our alternative will create jobs by allowing American families and small businesses to keep more of what they earn, ensure that the federal budget doesn’t grow faster than the family budget, expand access to health care while preserving Social Security and Medicare, end the bailouts to protect taxpayers and reform the financial system, encourage an all-of-the-above energy strategy to make us energy independent, and to fight inflation so the prices of goods and services that American depend upon will remain stable.

“Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve offered better solutions, and the President knows that. Eric Cantor and I personally delivered to the President our stimulus proposal at the White House in January. Our plan would create twice as many jobs at half the cost as the President’s plan, and that’s even according to an economic analysis by his chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. And what was the response? The White House pretended they never even saw it.

“At a time when our economy is in serious recession, I think Americans deserve better. They need solutions, not distortions. The fact is the President’s budget spends too much, taxes too much and it borrows too much. It raises taxes on every American family and small business. It includes irresponsible levels of spending, reaching $5.1 trillion 10 years out. And if you look at the spending in this budget, you can begin to see how out of control this spending cycle is, and it doubles the debt on our kids and grandkids over the next six years. If you look at these debt figures, you can see this. This is all of the debt through 2008 that’s been accumulated in our country by 43 Presidents in 220 years in our history, and the President’s budget will double that over the next six years.

“I just think that this may be the most irresponsible piece of legislation I’ve seen in my legislative career. It’s an irresponsible plan that only makes the crisis we’re in worse. But when it’s all said and done, I think it’s time for a do-over. We need to start this budget process all over again. And I will hope that the President will work with us to build a responsible budget that will help strengthen our economy and put Americans back to work again.”

March 24, 2009

I warned you Obama would do this.

The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, known as the GIVE Act, was passed yesterday by a 321-105 margin and now goes to the Senate.

The House passed a bill yesterday which includes disturbing language indicating young people will be forced to undertake mandatory national service programs as fears about President Barack Obama’s promised “civilian national security force” intensify.

Under section 6104 of the bill, entitled “Duties,” in subsection B6, the legislation states that a commission will be set up to investigate, “Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.”

Section 120 of the bill also discusses the “Youth Engagement Zone Program” and states that “service learning” will be “a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency”.

“The legislation, slated to cost $6 billion over five years, would create 175,000 “new service opportunities” under AmeriCorps, bringing the number of participants in the national volunteer program to 250,000. It would also create additional “corps” to expand the reach of volunteerism into new sectors, including a Clean Energy Corps, Education Corps, Healthy Futures Corps and Veterans Service Corps, and it expands the National Civilian Community Corps to focus on additional areas like disaster relief and energy conservation,” reports Fox News.

Let the indoctrination begin.

March 16, 2009

Barack Obama: Not Ready for Prime Time

Finally someone gets what I had said through out the campaign, this man is an empty suit.

by Mark Noonan on March 16th, 2009 at 09:06am

…the heart of the matter: the doubts about Obama himself. His famous eloquence is wearing thin through daily exposure and because his actions are often disconnected from his words. His lack of administrative experience is showing.

His promises and policies contradict each other often enough that evidence of hypocrisy is ceasing to be news. Remember the pledges about bipartisanship and high ethics? They’re so last year.

The beat goes on. Last week, Obama brazenly gave a speech about earmark reform just after he quietly signed a $410 billion spending bill that had about 9,000 earmarks in it. He denounced Bush’s habit of disregarding pieces of laws he didn’t like, so-called signing statements, then issued one himself.

And in an absolute jaw-dropper, he told business leaders, “I don’t like the idea of spending more government money, nor am I interested in expanding government’s role.”

No wonder Americans are confused. Our President is, too.

Obama can get past all this - but it will take a radical change of view; and therein lies our real problem: I doubt that Obama even realizes that he’s got a problem. Product of liberal education and locked within the liberal ivory tower, Obama seems entirely unaware that there is something other than liberalism in the world. If Obama lacks the courage and judgment to change course as necessary, then he’s just going to keep bulling ahead regardless of consequences, and that would be disastrous for us, and for the whole world.

This is what we get when we vote for “hope and change” rather than actual policies. The youngsters who so ardently supported Obama have the excuse of youth and ignorance - but for all of those who have taken an adult’s place in the world over the past 10 years, to vote for Obama was to vote for the man obviously unready to be President of the United States. This is not to say that Obama isn’t a smart man, nor to say that he doesn’t have the stuff of Presidents within him - its just to say that he wasn’t ready. Perhaps after a full term in the Senate, or maybe had he become governor of Illinois, or a cabinet secretary in someone else’s Administration - then he would have obtained that practical experience which would, if he’s as smart as people say he is, modified his worldview to admit that, just perhaps, what sounds good in a college lecture might not be entirely applicable to real life.

An unready, inexperienced man in the White House surrounded by political sharks who do, indeed, know how things work - a recipe for disaster, unless Obama finds some wellspring of strength and some people who will be unafraid to tell him the worst. It could get rather ugly over the next four years.

People get paid to write this stuff, don't they?

Where do I send my resume, if people are actually paid to create these headlines, good gosh I can do that, I think!