Tuesday, September 30, 2008

President Obama and the Coming Stock Market Crash

How destructive to the U.S. economy would a Barack Obama presidency be?

An exclusive Newsmax analysis warns: There could be a very rough time ahead.

Beneath Obama's flowery rhetoric lies a dangerous economic plan that will wreak havoc on the American economy.

Obama plans to return to the failed policies of high taxation coupled with an expansion of government spending.

Worse, Obama says he is absolutely committed to almost doubling the capital gains rate — something he will easily accomplish with a Democrat Congress.

In the coming months — when investors realize that Obama will raise the cap gains rate — there could be a stampede of asset sales as investors rush to take their profits now to avoid Obama's doubling of the tax rates next year.

All of these issues and more are explored in Newsmax magazine's special report "Obamanomics — the Coming Tax-and-Spend Nightmare," by Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund.

This Newsmax magazine special report gives Americans the first in-depth look at the Democratic presidential candidate's likely strategies — and how they will affect not just the larger economy, but your personal wealth as well.

Indeed, Obama makes no bones about his plans to go on a tax rampage. Not only would he increase the capital-gains tax rate from 15 percent to as much as 28 percent, he wants to allow the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010, which effectively raises taxes on Americans by tens of billions of dollars.

He also wants to do away with the $102,000 FICA payroll tax cap, which means anyone making over $102,000 would pay an additional 7 percent in taxes on earned income.

And the loan dividend tax rate George Bush implemented? Under President Obama it will be DOA!

If you are concerned about your wealth and family's financial well-being — and that the American economy remains strong — you must read this special report and share it with friends and family.


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John McCain Supports Stem Cell Research

Obama's Stem Cell Spinning
September 30, 2008

His radio ad is wrong: McCain still supports federal funding for stem cell research.


An Obama-Biden radio ad hammers McCain for being opposed to stem cell research. Not true. Meanwhile two spots from the McCain-Palin campaign, together with the Republican National Committee, describe McCain's support for the research; they're largely accurate. By saying that "John McCain has stood in the way – he's opposed stem cell research," the Obama ad seriously misstates the view that McCain has held on this issue since 2001, when he began backing embryonic stem cell research, a position that was out of step with that of many of his fellow Republicans.The McCain/RNC ads would probably lead listeners to believe that Palin shares McCain's views on this topic. That's not true. But we find that to be a minor flaw compared with the misrepresentation in Obama's ad.
We first noticed that stem cell research had become a subject of campaign radio ads when Sen. John McCain and the Republican National Committee released one on Sept. 12 touting his support for it. Then Sen. Barack Obama came back with his own ad, saying that "John McCain has stood in the way – he's opposed stem cell research." McCain and the RNC countered with yet another, this time taking the Obama campaign to task for its ad.
Republican National Committee Ad:"Stem Cell"Announcer: They're the original mavericks. Leaders. Reformers. Fighting for real change. John McCain will lead his congressional allies to improve America's health. Stem cell research to unlock the mystery of cancer, diabetes, heart disease. Stem cell research to help free families from the fear and devastation of illness. Stem cell research to help doctors repair spinal cord damage, knee injuries, serious burns. Stem cell research to help stroke victims.And, John McCain and his congressional allies will invest millions more in new NIH medical research to prevent disease.

Medical breakthroughs to help you get better, faster.Change is coming. McCain-Palin and congressional allies. The leadership and experience to really change Washington and improve your health.Paid for by McCain-Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee.McCain: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.What'd We Miss?

McCain has been known for supporting federally funded stem cell research since 2001, so his first ad didn't ring any alarm bells with us. It touted McCain's support for "stem cell research to unlock the mystery of cancer, diabetes, heart disease."

Obama's ad did set sirens off, however. McCain "stood in the way" and "opposed stem cell research"? Maybe we'd missed something.

McCain didn't mention embryonic stem cell research in his ad, a subject that has put him at odds with some in his party, including President George W. Bush (though, notably, not former First Lady Nancy Reagan, whom he credited with helping to change his stance back in '01). Was he now in favor of using only adult stem cell lines for research, and had he done something to "stand in the way" of other options?

Nope. It turns out nothing much has changed at all. In 2004, McCain was one of 14 GOP members of Congress who signed a letter to Bush asking him to lift restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, citing its potential to lead to treatments or cures for deadly and crippling diseases and conditions. In 2006, he was one of 19 Republicans to vote for federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, a bill that Bush vetoed. The bill allowed use only of embryos that were frozen or slated for destruction anyway by fertility clinics. There was a similar vote in 2007, in which McCain voted the same way.

McCain's response to a question about funding embryonic stem cell research at an MSNBC Republican candidate debate in 2007 was strongly supportive.
Q: Would you expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research?McCain (May 3, 2007): I believe that we need to fund this. This is a tough issue for those of us in the pro-life community. I would remind you that these stem cells are either going to be discarded or perpetually frozen. We need to do what we can to relieve human suffering. It's a tough issue. I support federal funding.

And now? The McCain-Palin campaign's Web site says the ticket supports embryonic stem cell research, but not the creation of embryos for that purpose, which is right in line with previous statements he's made:

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Who is Barack Obama, Really? Do we Know?

Obama’s Harvard Years: Questions Swirl
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 6:11
PM By: Kenneth R. Timmerman

How exactly did Barack Obama pay for his Harvard Law School education?

The way the Obama campaign has answered the question was simply hard work and student loans.

But new questions have been raised about Obama’s student loans and Obama’s ties to a radical Muslim activist who reportedly was raising money for Obama’s Harvard studies during the years 1988 to 1991.

The allegations first surfaced in late March, when former Manhattan Borough president Percy Sutton told a New York cable channel that a former business partner who was “raising money” for Obama had approached him in 1988 to help Obama get into Harvard Law School.

In the interview, Sutton says he first heard of Obama about twenty years ago from Khalid Al-Mansour, a Black Muslim and Black Nationalist who was a “mentor” to the founders of the Black Panther party at the time the party was founded in the early 1960s. Sutton described al-Mansour as advisor to “one of the world’s richest men,” Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Prince Alwaleed catapulted to fame in the United States after the September 11 attacks, when New York mayor Rudy Guiliani refused his $10 million check to help rebuild Manhattan, because the Saudi prince hinted publicly that America’s pro-Israel policies were to blame for the attacks.

Sutton knew Al-Mansour well, since the two men had been business partners and served on several corporate boards together. As Sutton remembered, Al-Mansour was raising money for Obama’s education and seeking recommendations for him to attend Harvard Law School.

“I was introduced to (Obama) by a friend who was raising money for him,” Sutton told NY1 city hall reporter Dominic Carter. “The friend’s name is Dr. Khalid al-Mansour, from Texas.”

Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt told Newsmax that Sutton’s account was “bogus” and a “fabrication that has been retracted” by a spokesman for the Sutton family.

He referred Newsmax to a pro-Obama blog published on Politico.com by reporter Ben Smith.

In a September 3 blog entry, Smith wrote that “a spokesman for Sutton’s family, Kevin Wardally” said that Sutton had been mistaken when he made those comments about Obama and Khalid Al-Mansour.

Smith suggested the retraction “put the [Obama/Al-Mansour] story to rest for good.”

Wardally told Smith that the “information Mr. Percy Sutton imported [sic] on March 25 in a NY1 News interview regarding his connection to Barack Obama is inaccurate. As best as our family and the Chairman’s closest friends can tell, Mr. Sutton, now 86 years of age, misspoke in describing certain details and events in that television interview.”

Asked which parts of Percy Sutton’s statements were a “fabrication,” LaBolt said “all of it. Al Mansour doesn’t know Obama. And Sutton’s spokesman retracted the story. The letter [to Harvard, which Percy Sutton says he wrote on behalf of Obama], the ‘payments for loans’ — all of it, not true,” he added.
Newsmax contacted the Sutton family and they categorically denied Wardally’s claims to Smith and the Politico.com.

So there was no retraction of Sutton’s original interview, during which he revealed that Khalid Al-Mansour was “raising money” for Obama and had asked Sutton to write a letter of recommendation for Obama to help him get accepted at Harvard Law School.

Sutton’s personal assistant told Newsmax that neither Mr. Sutton or his family had ever heard of Kevin Wardally. ”Who is this person?” asked Sutton’s assistant, Karen Malone.

When told that he portrayed himself as a “spokesman” for the family, Malone told Newsmax, “Well, he’s not.”



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Secret, Foreign Money Floods Into Obama Campaign

Monday, September 29, 2008 9:23 PM
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman

More than half of the whopping $426.9 million Barack Obama has raised has come from small donors whose names the Obama campaign won't disclose.

And questions have arisen about millions more in foreign donations the Obama campaign has received that apparently have not been vetted as legitimate.

Obama has raised nearly twice that of John McCain's campaign, according to new campaign finance report.
But because of Obama’s high expenses during the hotly contested Democratic primary season and an early decision to forgo public campaign money and the spending limits it imposes, all that cash has not translated into a financial advantage — at least, not yet.

The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee began September with $95 million in cash, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

The McCain camp and the Republican National Committee had $94 million, because of an influx of $84 million in public money.

But Obama easily could outpace McCain by $50 million to $100 million or more in new donations before Election Day, thanks to a legion of small contributors whose names and addresses have been kept secret.

Unlike the McCain campaign, which has made its complete donor database available online, the Obama campaign has not identified donors for nearly half the amount he has raised, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).
Federal law does not require the campaigns to identify donors who give less than $200 during the election cycle. However, it does require that campaigns calculate running totals for each donor and report them once they go beyond the $200 mark.

Surprisingly, the great majority of Obama donors never break the $200 threshold.

“Contributions that come under $200 aggregated per person are not listed,” said Bob Biersack, a spokesman for the FEC. “They don’t appear anywhere, so there’s no way of knowing who they are.”

The FEC breakdown of the Obama campaign has identified a staggering $222.7 million as coming from contributions of $200 or less. Only $39.6 million of that amount comes from donors the Obama campaign has identified.

It is the largest pool of unidentified money that has ever flooded into the U.S. election system, before or after the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms of 2002.

Biersack would not comment on whether the FEC was investigating the huge amount of cash that has come into Obama’s coffers with no public reporting.

But Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for CRP, a campaign-finance watchdog group, dismissed the scale of the unreported money.

“We feel comfortable that it isn’t the $20 donations that are corrupting a campaign,” he told Newsmax.

But those small donations have added up to more than $200 million, all of it from unknown and unreported donors.

Ritsch acknowledges that there is skepticism about all the unreported money, especially in the Obama campaign coffers.

“We and seven other watchdog groups asked both campaigns for more information on small donors,” he said. “The Obama campaign never responded,” whereas the McCain campaign “makes all its donor information, including the small donors, available online.”

The rise of the Internet as a campaign funding tool raises new questions about the adequacy of FEC requirements on disclosure. In pre-Internet fundraising, almost all political donations, even small ones, were made by bank check, leaving a paper trail and limiting the amount of fraud.

But credit cards used to make donations on the Internet have allowed for far more abuse.

“While FEC practice is to do a post-election review of all presidential campaigns, given their sluggish metabolism, results can take three or four years,” said Ken Boehm, the chairman of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center.

Already, the FEC has noted unusual patterns in Obama campaign donations among donors who have been disclosed because they have gone beyond the $200 minimum.

FEC and Mr. Doodad Pro

When FEC auditors have questions about contributions, they send letters to the campaign’s finance committee requesting additional information, such as the complete address or employment status of the donor.

Many of the FEC letters that Newsmax reviewed instructed the Obama campaign to “redesignate” contributions in excess of the finance limits.

Under campaign finance laws, an individual can donate $2,300 to a candidate for federal office in both the primary and general election, for a total of $4,600. If a donor has topped the limit in the primary, the campaign can “redesignate” the contribution to the general election on its books.

In a letter dated June 25, 2008, the FEC asked the Obama campaign to verify a series of $25 donations from a contributor identified as “Will, Good” from Austin, Texas.

Mr. Good Will listed his employer as “Loving” and his profession as “You.”

A Newsmax analysis of the 1.4 million individual contributions in the latest master file for the Obama campaign discovered 1,000 separate entries for Mr. Good Will, most of them for $25.

In total, Mr. Good Will gave $17,375.

Following this and subsequent FEC requests, campaign records show that 330 contributions from Mr. Good Will were credited back to a credit card. But the most recent report, filed on Sept. 20, showed a net cumulative balance of $8,950 — still well over the $4,600 limit.

There can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed these contributions, since Obama’s Sept. 20 report specified that Good Will’s cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $9,375.

In an e-mailed response to a query from Newsmax, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt pledged that the campaign would return the donations. But given the slowness with which the campaign has responded to earlier FEC queries, there’s no guarantee that the money will be returned before the Nov. 4 election.

Similarly, a donor identified as “Pro, Doodad,” from “Nando, NY,” gave $19,500 in 786 separate donations, most of them for $25. For most of these donations, Mr. Doodad Pro listed his employer as “Loving” and his profession as “You,” just as Good Will had done.

But in some of them, he didn’t even go this far, apparently picking letters at random to fill in the blanks on the credit card donation form. In these cases, he said he was employed by “VCX” and that his profession was “VCVC.”

Following FEC requests, the Obama campaign began refunding money to Doodad Pro in February 2008. In all, about $8,425 was charged back to a credit card. But that still left a net total of $11,165 as of Sept. 20, way over the individual limit of $4,600.

Here again, LaBolt pledged that the contributions would be returned but gave no date.

In February, after just 93 donations, Doodad Pro had already gone over the $2,300 limit for the primary. He was over the $4,600 limit for the general election one month later.

In response to FEC complaints, the Obama campaign began refunding money to Doodad Pro even before he reached these limits. But his credit card was the gift that kept on giving. His most recent un-refunded contributions were on July 7, when he made 14 separate donations, apparently by credit card, of $25 each.

Just as with Mr. Good Will, there can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed the contributions, since its Sept. 20 report specified that Doodad’s cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $10,965.

Foreign Donations

And then there are the overseas donations — at least, the ones that we know about.

The FEC has compiled a separate database of potentially questionable overseas donations that contains more than 11,500 contributions totaling $33.8 million. More than 520 listed their “state” as “IR,” often an abbreviation for Iran. Another 63 listed it as “UK,” the United Kingdom.

More than 1,400 of the overseas entries clearly were U.S. diplomats or military personnel, who gave an APO address overseas. Their total contributions came to just $201,680.

But others came from places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah, Florence, Italy, and a wide selection of towns and cities in France.

Until recently, the Obama Web site allowed a contributor to select the country where he resided from the entire membership of the United Nations, including such friendly places as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Unlike McCain’s or Sen. Hillary Clinton’s online donation pages, the Obama site did not ask for proof of citizenship until just recently. Clinton’s presidential campaign required U.S. citizens living abroad to actually fax a copy of their passport before a donation would be accepted.

With such lax vetting of foreign contributions, the Obama campaign may have indirectly contributed to questionable fundraising by foreigners.

In July and August, the head of the Nigeria’s stock market held a series of pro-Obama fundraisers in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. The events attracted local Nigerian business owners.

At one event, a table for eight at one fundraising dinner went for $16,800. Nigerian press reports claimed sponsors raked in an estimated $900,000.

The sponsors said the fundraisers were held to help Nigerians attend the Democratic convention in Denver. But the Nigerian press expressed skepticism of that claim, and the Nigerian public anti-fraud commission is now investigating the matter.

Concerns about foreign fundraising have been raised by other anecdotal accounts of illegal activities.

In June, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gave a public speech praising Obama, claiming foreign nationals were donating to his campaign.

“All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man,” the Libyan leader said. “They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency..."

Though Gadhafi asserted that fundraising from Arab and African nations were “legitimate,” the fact is that U.S. federal law bans any foreigner from donating to a U.S. election campaign.

The rise of the Internet and use of credit cards have made it easier for foreign nationals to donate to American campaigns, especially if they claim their donation is less than $200.

Campaign spokesman LaBolt cited several measures that the campaign has adopted to “root out fraud,” including a requirement that anyone attending an Obama fundraising event overseas present a valid U.S. passport, and a new requirement that overseas contributors must provide a passport number when donating online.

One new measure that might not appear obvious at first could be frustrating to foreigners wanting to buy campaign paraphernalia such as T-shirts or bumper stickers through the online store.

In response to an investigation conducted by blogger Pamela Geller, who runs the blog Atlas Shrugs, the Obama campaign has locked down the store.

Geller first revealed on July 31 that donors from the Gaza strip had contributed $33,000 to the Obama campaign through bulk purchases of T-shirts they had shipped to Gaza.

The online campaign store allows buyers to complete their purchases by making an additional donation to the Obama campaign.

A pair of Palestinian brothers named Hosam and Monir Edwan contributed more than $31,300 to the Obama campaign in October and November 2007, FEC records show.

Their largesse attracted the attention of the FEC almost immediately. In an April 15, 2008, report that examined the Obama campaign’s year-end figures for 2007, the FEC asked that some of these contributions be reassigned.

The Obama camp complied sluggishly, prompting a more detailed admonishment form the FEC on July 30.

The Edwan brothers listed their address as “GA,” as in Georgia, although they entered “Gaza” or “Rafah Refugee camp” as their city of residence on most of the online contribution forms.

According to the Obama campaign, they wrongly identified themselves as U.S. citizens, via a voluntary check-off box at the time the donations were made.

Many of the Edwan brothers’ contributions have been purged from the FEC database, but they still can be found in archived versions available for CRP and other watchdog groups.

The latest Obama campaign filing shows that $891.11 still has not been refunded to the Edwan brothers, despite repeated FEC warnings and campaign claims that all the money was refunded in December.

A Newsmax review of the Obama campaign finance filings found that the FEC had asked for the redesignation or refund of 53,828 donations, totaling just under $30 million.

But none involves the donors who never appear in the Obama campaign reports, which the CRP estimates at nearly half the $426.8 million the Obama campaign has raised to date.

Many of the small donors participated in online “matching” programs, which allows them to hook up with other Obama supporters and eventually share e-mail addresses and blogs.

The Obama Web site described the matching contribution program as similar to a public radio fundraising drive.

“Our goal is to bring 50,000 new donors into our movement by Friday at midnight,” campaign manager David Plouffe e-mailed supporters on Sept. 15. “And if you make your first online donation today, your gift will go twice as far. A previous donor has promised to match every dollar you donate.”

FEC spokesman Biersack said he was unfamiliar with the matching donation drive. But he said that if donations from another donor were going to be reassigned to a new donor, as the campaign suggested, “the two people must agree” to do so.

This type of matching drive probably would be legal as long as the matching donor had not exceeded the $2,300 per-election limit, he said.

Obama campaign spokesman LaBolt said, “We have more than 2.5 million donors overall, hundreds of thousands of which have participated in this program.”

Until now, the names of those donors and where they live have remained anonymous — and the federal watchdog agency in charge of ensuring that the presidential campaigns play by the same rules has no tools to find out.

© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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Burning Down The House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?

Since you and your kids and their kids and their kids are going to be paying off the biggest bailout in history, you owe to yourself to watch this video:

Poisoning the Well with a few Bitter Words

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Mike Conaway Explains his Nay Vote

Mike Conaway Congressman from the 11th District Texas explains why he voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008:

Obama Seen as Out of Touch on Bailout Vote

September 30, 2008

Posted: 08:20 AM ET

(CNN) — John McCain's campaign is seizing on the prepared text of Barack Obama's speech Monday in Denver, saying it shows the Illinois senator has been "out of touch" with the unfolding financial crisis and congress' economic bailout plan. (Read the prepared text [PDF])

In the text distributed by the Obama campaign Tuesday morning, Obama was to say, "And today, Democrats and Republicans in Washington have agreed on an emergency rescue plan."

But moments before Obama was set to take the stage in Denver, the House officially rejected the bailout plan, prompting a delay in the Illinois senator's rally and a change in his comments on the bill:
"I am confident we are going to get there but it's going to be sort of rocky. It's sort of like flying into Denver. You know you're going to land but it's not always fun going over those mountains," he said.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds suggested the fact the Obama thought the measure would pass was a sign the Illinois senator was not closely involved in helping coral support for the bailout plan.
"When Barack Obama released remarks today that praised the passage of America's economic rescue plan, just before his allies in Congress voted to kill it, it revealed just how out of touch Barack Obama has been during this crisis," Bounds said, adding Obama has "shown failed leadership we can't afford."

In his own rally Monday morning before the House officially rejected the bailout plan, McCain did not suggest the bill would pass but touted his role pushing members of his party to vote for it.
"I've never been afraid of stepping in to solve problems for the American people, and I'm not going to stop now," he said. "Sen. Obama took a very different approach to the crisis our country faced. At first he didn't want to get involved. Then he was monitoring the situation."

The McCain campaign also suggested Thursday Obama deserved much of the blame for the bill's failure, saying the Democratic presidential nominee "put politics ahead of country."


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The Disavowal of the Pursuit of Middleclassness

SHOCKING: Obama in his own words: what he really thinks of white folks

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Republicans point finger of blame at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for 'partisan' speech'

30 September 2008

EVEN before the doomed vote on the $700 billion bail-out plan began in the House of Representatives yesterday, stocks were plummeting as tension mounted.

In Congress, members shouted news of the plunging Dow Jones average as others crowded on the floor during the 40-minute call of the roll, as leaders on both sides struggled to persuade rank-and-file members to support the deal. Within minutes of the ADVERTISEMENTresult, the recriminations had begun.

House Republicans blamed a "partisan" speech by the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, during the debate. She had blamed George Bush's "reckless economic policies", "fiscal irresponsibility" and an "anything goes economic policy" for the crisis.

After the vote, John Boehner, the Republican minority leader, said: "I do believe we could have got there today, had it not been for this partisan speech the Speaker gave. The Speaker had to give a partisan voice that poisoned our conference."

Later, the Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, said: "I was hopeful the improved rescue plan would have had the votes needed to pass, because addressing the credit crisis is of vital importance to families, small businesses, every working American.

"Now it's time for all members of Congress to go back to the drawing board. I call on Congress to get back, obviously, immediately to address this crisis.

"Our leaders are expected to leave partisanship at the door and come to the table to solve our problems."

Mr McCain also criticised his Democratic presidential rival, Barack Obama, and "his allies in Congress" for their "unnecessary partisanship".

However, Mr Obama himself took a bullish stance when he urged Democrats and Republicans to "step up to the plate, get (a deal] done".

He added: "Understand that, even as you get it done to stabilise the markets, we have more work to do to make sure that main street is getting the same kind of help Wall Street's getting."

And Henry Paulson, the US Treasury secretary, added: "We need to put something back together that works. We need it as soon as possible."


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McCain Blames Partisanship, Pelosi; Aide Calls Pelosi "Reckless"

29 Sep 2008 04:00 pm

A statement from Doug Holtz-Eakin has Sen. John McCain casting his lot with House Republicans who blame Democratic add-ons and Speaker Pelosi's pre-vote speech:

"Barack Obama failed to lead, phoned it in, attacked John McCain, and refused to even say if he supported the final bill.

"Just before the vote, when the outcome was still in doubt, Speaker Pelosi gave a strongly worded partisan speech and poisoned the outcome.

"This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country."

And a senior McCain adviser said that Pelosi's speech "was one of the most reckless acts I've seen from a congressional leader in twenty years on the Hill."

A theory making the rounds of some Republicans is that Pelosi purposely sabotaged the bill to be able to blame House Republicans. Imagine, this theory goes, President Bush's making a partisan speech right before the Patriot Act vote.

"Desperate, petty," a Pelosi aide responded. "She is trying to do the right thing here to pass a bill that a lot of our people hated." A Democratic aide added: "The Republicans were worried about votes but they thought that momentum would carry it and both sides would keep working -- was the way they left it. No Republican asked to pull it. And 140 votes was more than what Pelosi promised Boehner."

On the other hand, maybe House Republicans were looking for an excuse?

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Democrats caused crisis

At the root of this mess is not the failure of capitalism but political interference in the market. It was Democrats who pushed for and passed the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 that forced banks to serve their "whole communities" and required them to offer loans to people who were not credit worthy. In 1995, the Clinton administration's Department of Housing and Urban Development, headed by Andrew Cuomo, implemented new regulations requiring banks to meet numerical quotas in lending and demonstrate the diversity of their borrowers. While housing prices were rising, the bad loans were hidden. But as soon as prices began to fall and adjustable ARMs kicked in, the defaults began. It was Democrats who closed ranks to insulate their pet projects -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- from proper oversight and regulation.



Great Video and Links

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pelosi Kills Bailout with Jawbone of an Ass
Well, it was all set, even the GOP members said it was a done deal and they had enough vote to pass the 700 Billion dollar boondoggle known as the economic rescue plan. But a funny thing happened on the way to the most massive bailout in US history, Nancy Pelosi just couldn't keep her mouth shut. Her botox addled mind just could not resist the urge to commit moonbattery on the house floor, and in the process torpedoed the whole shabang. Nice going Nancy.


Will Pelosi’s second attempt at a bailout include ACORN? Update: Dow loses 777 points, more than on 9/11; Update: $1.1 trillion in market value lost
Sep 29, 2008 4:18 PM by Allahpundit

Video: House GOP blames Pelosi’s “partisan” speech for bailout failure
Sep 29, 2008 3:21 PM by Allahpundit

Breaking: Bailout bill fails, Dow roller-coasters; Update: Pelosi speech added


September 27th, 2008

Save us, Nancy. Save us.

And how about a little ACORN with that credit crisis face-lift …

WASHINGTON - U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that negotiations over a proposed $700 billion Wall Street bailout plan is back on track and lawmakers would work through the weekend to pass a plan.
Pelosi, a California Democrat, and Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said negotiators made progress all week on the legislation they hope will end a credit freeze and avert a deep downturn in the U.S. economy.

Talks faltered on Thursday after conservative House Republicans unveiled an alternative to a taxpayer-funded bailout. Frank said congressional negotiators are still focusing on altering the plan proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Pelosi ruled out a cut in capital gains tax that was included in the House plan.

From - House Republican Leader John Boehner:
Dems Want to Reward Scandal-Tarnished “Community Organizing” Group in Economic Rescue BillHouse GOP Fights to Remove ACORN Slush Fund from Economic Rescue Bill; Poison-Pill Proposal Would Ask Taxpayers to Bankroll Group Accused of Voter Fraud Nationwide

Washington, Sep 27 - House Republicans have made clear that they will fight for an economic rescue package that protects the interests of families, seniors, small businesses, and all taxpayers. And as discussions continue in order to forge an agreement that reflects these principles, the American people are taking note of a left-wing giveaway Democrats are pushing to force taxpayers to bankroll a slush fund for a discredited ally of the Democratic Party. At issue is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now – better known as ACORN – an organization fraught with controversy for, among other scandals, its fraudulent voter registration activities on behalf of Democratic candidates. Here are just some examples of ACORN’s most recent scandals and unlawful activities:
- “ACORN is a long-time advocacy group with whom Obama was once associated. Recently, though, ACORN workers in two states have pleaded guilty to election fraud, an unlikely recipient of federal largess.” (Fox News Report, 9/26/08)
- “Seven ACORN workers were charged with ‘committing the biggest voter-registration fraud in [Washington] state history.’’ (The Seattle Times, 7/26/07)
- ACORN workers submitted “just over 1,800 new voter registration forms, but there was a problem. The names were made up – all but six of the 1,800 submissions were fakes… The ACORN workers told state investigators that they went to the Seattle public library, sat at a table and filled out the voter registration forms. They made up names, addresses, and Social Security numbers and in some cases plucked names from the phone book. One worker said it was a lot of hard work making up all those names and another said he would sit at home, smoke marijuana and fill out the forms.” (Fox News Channel, 5/02/08)
- “Late last year, a handful of Acorn canvassers in Washington state admitted that they had falsified voter registrations by illegally filling out hundreds of forms with names such as Dennis Hastert, Leon Spinks and Fruito Boy Crispila.” (Wall Street Journal, 7/31/08)
- “Eight workers for a get-out-the-vote effort in St. Louis city and county have pleaded guilty to federal election fraud for submitting false registration cards for the 2006 election, authorities said today. The workers were employed by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), gathering voter registrations.” (Associated Press, 4/02/08)
- “Acorn has had a number of missteps. This month its founder, Wade Rathke, resigned after news emerged that his brother Dale had embezzled nearly $1 million from Acorn and affiliated groups eight years ago — information the group kept from law-enforcement authorities and most members. Dale Rathke left the organization only last month.” (Wall Street Journal, 7/31/08)
So how exactly will ACORN be rewarded if the Democrats get their way? Very simple: behind closed doors, ACORN-friendly language was slipped into the Democratic economic rescue proposal by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA). Take a look:



House Votes ‘No,’ 228-205; Stocks Plunge
House Rejects Bailout Package, 228-205; Stocks Plunge

Leaders Fail to Convert Opponents

In a moment of historic drama in the Capitol and on Wall Street, the House of Representatives voted on Monday to reject a $700 billion rescue of the financial industry.

Roll Call Post a Comment Read (438)
Dow Falls More Than 400 Points
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM 34 minutes ago
The drop reinforced the fear coursing through Wall Street as investors wondered whether the bailout plan would eventually pass Congress.

Lehman to Sell Neuberger Unit for $2.15 Billion 12:31 PM ET

Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Citigroup Buys Bank Operations of Wachovia
The sale would further concentrate Americans’ bank deposits in the hands of just three banks: Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup.
Times Topics: Citigroup Wachovia
Oil Falls Sharply on Renewed Economic Fears
By JAD MOUAWAD 14 minutes ago
Crude oil futures fell $9.13 to $97.76 a barrel. They have lost more than $20 since last Monday.

Why the Liberals Hate Palin

Unfettered Letters: "September 28, 2008

Why Palin irks liberal women

The relentless criticism of Sarah Palin has more to do with her gender and conservative views than her qualifications.

Democrats are upset because John McCain didn’t get the memo that only Democrats are allowed to nominate women. Liberals are upset because McCain didn’t get the memo that only women with liberal views are worthy of representing women.

Democrats and liberals want desperately to keep Republicans in the imaginary box Democrats portray them in. For Republicans to deviate from the stereotype Democrats have conjured up about them is an outrage and must be stomped out quickly.

Democrats believe they have the exclusive right to promote the progress of women in politics. Now the Republicans have stolen the ball, and the unthinkable is now a possibility: The first woman to ascend to the White House may do so in a Republican presidency.

Bob Hoffman

Busted!... Video of Fannie Mae CEO in 2005 Explaining the "FAMILY" Connection with Dems & Obama

Maybe now Barack Obama will show his patriotism by returning the $126,349. he received from Fannie Mae. Yeah, right...........

Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Busted!... Video of Fannie Mae CEO in 2005 Explaining the "FAMILY" Connection with Dems & Obama

In 2005-- Senator John McCain partnered with three other Senate Republicans to reform the government’s involvement in lending, after an attempt by the Bush administration died in Congress two years earlier.
Democrats blocked the reform.

In 2005-- Barack Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus met with Fannie Mae for a "family" event. In 2005 Democrats also blocked reform of Fannie Mae:

This was before Fannie Mae started filling the pockets of Barack Obama with political donations.
The junior Illinois senator collected more money from Fannie Mae than any other Washington politician except Senator Dodd in the last decade.
Obama was able to accomplish this feat in just 3 years.

This video shows Fannie Mae CEO talking to "family" members of the Congressional Black Caucus in 2005.

The Democrats have been taking PAYOFFS from Fannie and Freddie and have looked the other way FOR DECADES!
They've blocked reform several times.

Now this NEW VIDEO of the CEO of Fannie Mae in 2005 shows him explaining the "FAMILY" connection with Democrats and specifically Barack Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus. It looks like Michelle Obama was at the event, too.
This was before Barack Obama started collecting tens of thousands from the failed lender.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'd Rather be White Trash than be Heather Mallick

By Erik Rush

Two weeks ago, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation published a piece by Toronto writer Heather Mallick that sprayed far Left elitism like blood from a cleanly-severed carotid artery. In it, she described supporters of Republican vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin as "white trash" and ascribed more insulting terminology to the Alaska governor and her family. Which presumably makes this black columnist "white trash."

Curious...There are certain points that occasionally need to be repeated, and one is the far Left's practice of projection. Something taught in Psych 101 classes, it's the psychological trait of ascribing characteristics to one's adversary that actually apply to oneself. Whether intentionally or subconsciously, progressives (read far Left socialists) are consummate masters of this.Inasmuch as those on the far Left are internationalists, it is no surprise that a Canadian journalist might be alarmed at recent developments in the current presidential election cycle in America.

The choice of Sarah Palin has gained Republican nominee Sen. John McCain massive ground, while the camp of Democrat nominee Sen. Barack Obama has reacted like someone reflexively blowing soda pop through their nose after a shock.The campaign of tawdry insults directed at Palin is in the spirit of the schoolyard invective that has been flying as regards the vice-Presidential nominee, such as making fun of her religion, appearance, upbringing, hobbies and her children's names.

The latter is in itself is an extraordinarily bad idea. Not that I'd know much about it, being white trash and all, but Democrats are likely to lose a substantial portion of the black vote if they keep that up. Tabascus-Jamal and Uniqua aren't going to take kindly to a party that disrespects people simply because they have unusual names.

"[Palin] has a toned-down version of the porn actress look favored by this decade's woman, the overtreated hair, puffy lips and permanently alarmed expression."— Heather Mallick, Sept. 5, 2008 Here, what is either funny or sad — take your pick — is that these wild, histrionic swings are patently inaccurate. When Gov. Palin came on the scene, she looked more like a librarian than a porn actress. Save for the hair bun, which Palin has mercifully shed, Mallick's hair is strikingly similar to the governor's. The columnist's criticism of Palin's lips — with which we assume she was born — is beyond despicable. Other, even more insulting remarks concerning the Palins' disposition apropos their unmarried pregnant daughter were simply additional validation of my assertions here.

"I'm not the one preaching homespun values but I'd destroy that ratboy before I'd let him get within scenting range of my daughter again..."— Heather Mallick, on Bristol Palin beau Levi Johnston. Yes, I suppose murdering Johnston — like real white trash might do — would be an eminently more constructive solution. Later, Mallick actually suggested outright that they shoot him.In short, the rash emotional nature of progressive-socialists itself is very evidently betraying them. These tasteless slurs, though sometimes humorous in what they reveal, are the mark of the far Left as haters rather than torchbearers of all that is loving and tolerant (as they would have American voters believe). As regards the upcoming election, one can only hope that this is being driven home to enough of the electorate.


A Disavowal of the Pursuit of Middleclassness

Barack Obama has had quite a lot to say about the middle class lately. But it seems that it is an anathema to him and other members of his church to be middle class. JC


By Erik Rush

How many Americans would vote for a presidential candidate who was the member of a church that professed the following credo?

Commitment to God
Commitment to the White Community
Commitment to the White Family
Dedication to the Pursuit of Education
Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence
Adherence to the White Work Ethic
Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
Disavowal of the Pursuit of "Middleclassness"
Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the White Community
Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting White Institutions
Pledge allegiance to all White leadership who espouse and embrace the White Value System

Personal commitment to embracement of the White Value System.The question is rhetorical, of course. The answer is that such a candidate wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected dog catcher (apologies to America's animal rescue and public safety personnel) let alone President, because that candidate would be instantly branded a racist, among the most vile and frightening of white supremacists.

And those holding the branding irons would be 100% right.

Yet, in the "About" section of the U.S. Senate website for Barack Obama, Democratic senator from Illinois and contender for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, it states that Obama and his family "live on Chicago's South Side where they attend Trinity United Church of Christ."So...?

Well, to say that the Trinity United Church of Christ (http://www.tucc.org/) is afrocentric in the extreme would be a gross understatement. It's not simply afrocentric, it's African-centric. In fact, one could argue that this organization worships things African to a far greater degree than they do Christ, and gives the impression of being a separatist "church" in the same vein as do certain supremacist "white brethren" churches — or even Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam.

Shocking? An overstatement? An overreaction?One can see for oneself on the Trinity United Church website, which is replete with confirmation of what I present here. What follows is an excerpt from their Mission Statement:"We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian... Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community."Trinity United Church of Christ adopted the Black Value System written by the Manford Byrd Recognition Committee chaired by Vallmer Jordan in 1981. We believe in the following 12 precepts and covenantal statements. These Black Ethics must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered. They must reflect on the following concepts:

Commitment to God
Commitment to the Black Community
Commitment to the Black Family
Dedication to the Pursuit of Education
Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence
Adherence to the Black Work Ethic
Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
Disavowal of the Pursuit of "Middleclassness"
Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the Black Community
Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions
Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System
Personal commitment to embracement of the Black Value System."

Sound familiar? Of course it is, since it's identical to the 12-point list at the beginning of this column — the one from the theoretical white supremacist candidate's church; the only difference is the substitution of the word "Black" for "White."Trinity United Church of Christ's congregation also claims to hold to a "10-point Vision" which is similarly afrocentric, or if you will, separatist.

Again, like the Nation of Islam, a white separatist church or the Branch Davidians, Trinity United more resembles a cult than a church. Only this one has as one of its most prominent members a serious contender for the White House.

And George W. Bush's born-again Christian status scares people?

These revelations, of course shed all the light we need on Obama's inscrutability; since before he announced his candidacy, both the Right and Left have commented on the lack of information vis-à-vis just who Barack Obama is and what he's about.From The Chicago Tribune, February 06, 2007, Column: Against Middleclassness? by Rich Lowry. "Vallmer Jordan, a church member who helped draft the precepts, said they were designed to empower the black community and counter a value system imposed by whites. 'The big question mark was racism,' he said. 'Black disempowerment was an integral part of that historical value system. It became increasingly apparent to me that we black people had not developed our own value system . . . to help us overcome all we knew we had to battle.'"

Cont. Here:


The King of Gaffes

Someone apparently got an F in history class (or should have).

Joe Biden's denunciation of his own campaign's ad to Katie Couric got so much attention last night that another odd note in the interview slipped by.

He was speaking about the role of the White House in a financial crisis:

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the
television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed, Biden told Couric.
He said, Look, here's what happened."

There are a number of problems here

First, FDR never addressed the nation in 1929. He wasn’t President until 1929, and didn’t address the nation as its leader until he took office in 1933. Herbert Hoover was the President in 1929

As for addressing the nation via television, FDR did make his “fireside chats” famous during his administration. But he did them via radio, which is a tradition that continues with a weekly radio message recorded by Presidents up to and including George W. Bush. Television, while in existence in 1929, wasn’t commercially available until the late 1930’s. And even then, televisions weren’t common in the home until the late 1940’s, early 1950’s

This gaffe, combined with Obama’s suggestion that his uncle liberated Auschwitz (he’d have had to fought with the Red Army in order for that to be true), makes me wonder if the Obama/Biden ticket isn’t just the first Presidential ticket in decades to feature not a day of military service but also the one most bereft of historical knowledge.


Watch This Video: Our Future Depends on Your Vote!!!

Pelosi: It's not a bailout, it's a buy-in

Your Congress and your president (I don't want 'em, you can have 'em) have again agreed on a $700-billion bailout, and this time they say they really mean it. Headlines and links first, and then as always I'd like to hear your thoughts. The Los Angeles Times: "Congressional and administration officials unveiled their $700-billion rescue plan for Wall Street today, setting up the largest government intervention in the economy since the Great Depression."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, evidently with a straight face: "This is not about a bailout of Wall Street. It's a buy-in so we can turn our economy around" and protect the assets of ordinary Americans. Well, now I feel so much better about it. I'm buying in! I'm getting a piece of financial products that are so worthless that there's no market for them.The New York Times: "

Congress braced for a difficult vote on a $700 billion rescue of the financial markets after a weekend of tense negotiations produced a plan that Congressional leaders began selling to lawmakers on Sunday as significantly strengthened by new taxpayer safeguards.

"The 106-page bill, intended to ease a growing credit crisis, came after a frenzied week of political twists and turns and still faced some resistance from lawmakers on both the left and right who portrayed it as a dangerous rush to economic judgment.

Bold Bipartisan Leadership for Change department: The New York Times reports, "The two presidential candidates ... both gave guarded endorsements of the bailout plan Sunday."

-- Peter Viles

Main Street Backlash

I don't know about you, but I feel like Wall Street had a big party and I wasn't even invited, but I will be getting the bills for years to come. JC

Main Street turns against Wall Street

A populist backlash is changing America's political climate. Inflamed by the financial crisis and bailouts, a form of class warfare could haunt business leaders for years to come.

By Nina Easton, Washington bureau chief
Last Updated: September 28, 2008: 11:03 AM ET

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- In one frenzied month Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke remade Wall Street. Along the way they may also have recast American politics. A month of historic government interventions shows signs of triggering a political version of climate change - unleashing a new era of class fury that could hurt U.S. companies, business leaders, and wealthy investors for years.

"A potential calamity," predicts Democratic pollster Doug Schoen. "If the reactions we're seeing hold, we could have real spasmodic anger directed at businesses and corporations." And the timing will have consequences, says financier and onetime GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney: "Unfortunately, politicians have seized on the politics of envy," he told Fortune, "and they are stoking it this election year like I've never seen in my lifetime."

Compared to this, Enron was a warm-up exercise. For all the public outrage over accounting scandals seven years ago, the result in Washington was limited to a financial reporting rule that most Americans have never heard of (though many in the business community still consider Sarbanes-Oxley a destructive overreaction).

By contrast, the implosion of Wall Street, followed by Paulson's escalating series of multibillion-dollar rescues, has fired up populist sentiments that were already building in American politics, promising to reshape legislative battles over everything from tax and trade policies to federal regulation. Union leaders like the AFL-CIO's John Sweeney suddenly sound as if they're in the mainstream of public opinion with statements like this: "One thing is certain. No one - no politician, no investment banker, no television commentator, no economist - should be able to say again with a straight face that here in the United States we just let markets do whatever markets do and everything works out for the best."

Washington hath no fury like Middle America scorned - and there's reason to think it will only get uglier. The government's massive new financial commitments will severely tie the next President's hands in addressing middle-class concerns.

"The next President will have to temper expectations a lot," says Middlebury College economist David Colander, "far beyond what either of the candidates has been willing to talk about."

If that means Republican John McCain gives up on letting the upper middle class keep the Bush tax cuts, it also means that Democrats will have to stop promising ambitious spending programs. Barack Obama rightly says it would be "irresponsible" not to review his spending menu - which includes making health care universal - in light of this new fiscal reality. As for problems like Medicare and Social Security? They'll have to wait.


To Know He Does Know His Name

Tracy Jopek was watching Obama's (televised) speech (in Texas last Feb.) and had no idea he would mention her son. She said his speech hit just the right tone she was trying to send by giving him the bracelet.

"I couldn't believe it. It was such an honor, such an honor," she said, her voice breaking. "To know that he does know his name. It means a lot."


Click to enlarge

The Democratic presidential hopeful wears the bracelet given to him by Jopek, of Merrill, Wis.

Fast forward to:

During the presidential debate on Friday Barack Obama anticipated and countered John McCain’s bracelet story with his own- except he had to look down and “uhhhh” read the bracelet (SGT Uhhhh) to remember the soldier’s name.


Here’s the video:

White House, Congress push for bailout deal -- Courant.com

White House, Congress push for bailout deal -- Courant.com: "From the Los Angeles Times
White House, Congress push for bailout deal
By RICHARD SIMON Los Angeles Times
September 28, 2008

WASHINGTON — - Working past midnight, Congressional negotiators early today reported a tentative deal on a Wall Street bailout, in hopes of reaching an agreement before financial markets open Monday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the accord just after midnight but released no details, saying it still had to be put on paper. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson talked of finalizing the deal — which could cost as much as $700 billion — but added: 'I think we're there.'

The House could vote on it today and the Senate on Monday.

As bipartisan talks resumed at the Capitol — and under a greater sense of urgency — President Bush had stepped up his efforts to win the support of skeptics within his own party for the plan.

Paulson joined the talks between members of both parties from both chambers; House Minority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri, whose Republican rank and file have been the plan's loudest critics, reported progress.

Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the Senate Republicans' lead negotiator, said that the parties had moved 'down the road a long way toward reaching agreement.'

Some House Republicans had argued against setting an arbitrary deadline for action.

'By irresponsibly raising investors' expectations of an agreement, the failure of Congress to reach a deal by such a deadline could spark the very economic meltdown we are trying to stop,' said Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich."

Barack Obama's Truth Squads

We have seen a lot of firsts in this campaign,but I believe this one is the most astounding!!! JC

Tenative Agreement on Bailout

Washington, D.C. - Key lawmakers in Congress have reached a tentative agreement on a bailout proposal that they expect to roll out to their colleagues for final approval Sunday morning. "We've made great progress toward a deal which will work and be effective in the marketplace," Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, flanked by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, told reporters at 12:30 a.m. Sunday--after nine hours of negotiations that included numerous phone calls with the White House and the input of several top economic minds, including billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

"We've still got more to do to finalize it, but I think we're there," Paulson added. "So far, so good." The "agreement in principle," as Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., described it, is a $700 billion plan that will allow the Treasury Department to buy troubled mortgage-backed securities from firms that are having difficulty selling these assets in the marketplace.

The bailout, to be financed by government bonds, includes provisions to limit executive compensation for the firms that are being bailed out, an equity stake in those firms for taxpayers, an oversight board to account for the bailout process, and a measure to help prevent mortgage foreclosures. The $700 billion will be doled out in tranches of $250 billion immediately, $100 billion upon the approval of the president and $350 billion upon the approval of Congress.

Lawmakers also said there is language in the plan to allow the government to recover some of the money it is spending to buy troubled assets, as well as a provision that allows firms to buy insurance for toxic securities--something House Republicans had requested.

Is it a formal deal? As close to one as lawmakers could hash out, following marathon negotiations. Congressional staff members are working through the night to put the agreement on paper so other members of Congress can examine it before giving it final approval Sunday.

A deal had appeared within grasp Thursday afternoon but fell apart that night when a group of House Republicans issued a rival plan. Under their proposal, companies would pay premiums to insure their frozen mortgage-backed securities, instead of having the Treasury use taxpayer dollars to buy them. In addition, the plan--the fine details of which are still vague at this point--would provide some companies with tax relief, remove unspecified banking regulations and allow them to temporarily suspend dividend payments to free up capital.

Asked after the meeting if the expanded mortgage insurance program needed to be in a compromise, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said "Our goal here in attempting to come to an agreement is to do our best to protect the American taxpayer."

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the respective chairmen of the House and Senate committees for banking, are continuing to support a modified version of the original $700 billion "Paulson Plan," as the administration's proposal has become known. Blunt participated in negotiations Friday and Saturday for House Republicans. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he's "very, very optimistic" that a deal will be worked out, and he's hopeful it will happen over the weekend.

Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., says he believes distressed credit markets Friday morning may have shown lawmakers that there is not much time for discussion. "They're telling us we better do something," says Gregg, who will represent Senate Republicans in the negotiations.

The message that Paulson's plan is aimed at restoring liquidity is getting through to lawmakers. "We don't have a solvency problem, what we're trying to do is to restore liquidity," says Scott Talbott, senior vice president for government affairs at The Financial Services Roundtable, a banking-industry trade association that supports the basic idea of the Paulson Plan.

"I think the chances of it happening are excellent," Talbott says. "The goal is to try to get it done by Sunday, but it could easily slip a little into next week."
When President Bush said Friday morning that "the legislative process is sometimes not very pretty," it was the understatement of the year. And on the eve of the election, there's plenty of political gamesmanship, and even brinksmanship, on display.

Democrats want to stay as far away from being held responsible for the bailout as possible, and may not vote on the bill unless a majority of Republicans will also support. House Republicans can now say that at least they tried an alternative. It was likely that something akin to the Paulson plan--with a few add-ons to soothe reluctant Republicans and Democrats--would emerge over the weekend as the final bailout bill.

White House talks with lawmakers last night erupted into a "shouting match," according to one report. The top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, emerged from the discussions to tell reporters that there was no deal, contrary to what some members of Congress said earlier in the day.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

McCain's Big Night

McCain's Big Night Who won more votes?
by Dean Barnett 09/27/2008 11:00:00 AM

Far be it from me to differ with the punditocracy's mainstream, but I happen to feel that last night's debate was a pretty big win for John McCain. I'm aware that most observers have called it a draw, agreeing that both men performed rather ably. I'm also aware that the polls show a majority of watchers thought Obama "won." But still, it was a big night for McCain. Or more precisely, it was a bad night for Obama.

Judging these things like a high school debate is a fool's (or CNN's) errand. Who cares who "won" the debate? We're not electing a debater-in-chief. A more probative inquiry is who won more votes. Or to ask a related question, who lost fewer votes.

I agree with the multitudes of analysts who say that both men performed ably. The strength of Obama's performance, especially in the debate's first half, came as something of a surprise. He must have cut his normal quotient of "ums" and "ahs" by at least 50 percent, and he put himself across in a relatively forceful manner. At the other end of the stage, McCain's competence in this kind of forum came as no surprise to people familiar with his skills. (As a Romney supporter during the primaries, McCain's supple mind and command of details constantly provided frustration.)

But again, you don't determine the winner of these things by calculating who most skillfully evaded taking a position on the Paulson Plan. We might as well skip ahead to the real goal which isn't winning a debate but rather winning votes.

Like I said, McCain came across well as he always does at these things. Low end news gatherers who were expecting a doddering old warmonger got a surprise. McCain looked and sounded presidential.

McCain's running attack on Obama did serious damage, especially given the way Obama's behavior played right into the attack's theme. Throughout the evening, McCain said that Obama "didn't understand" things. The message was as subtle as a Howard Dean scream--on one part of the stage you had the old Warhorse who has been around the track; on the other end of the stage, according to McCain, you had a neophyte. McCain was making a frontal assault on Obama's maturity and judgment.

The assault only directly drew blood in a couple of instances. Obama looked silly when he couldn't distinguish between "tactics" and "strategy," and his endless parsing on preconditions and preparations came across as patently disingenuous. But the real damage came with the debate's optics. Having his maturity frontally challenged, Obama by his own creative antics often came across as childish, petulant, and a little odd.

Let us count the ways:

1) Several times during the debate, Obama would smirk and laugh while McCain spoke. The optics of this were just awful. If Obama had wanted to come across as an arrogant jerk, this is the strategy he would have chosen. Frankly, it's rather shocking that Obama repeatedly made such a mistake. Al Gore cost himself the 2000 election with his first debate performance where he derided everything George W. Bush said with a series of sighs and smirks. Oh yeah--the polls and the pundits said Gore "won" that tussle right after it concluded, although history has rendered a different verdict.

Gore's antics were completely unprecedented. Up until that time, every other presidential candidate had managed to comport himself in a reasonably mature fashion while doing a televised debate. And yet in 2004, George W. Bush took the Gore tactics out for a test drive during his first debate with John Kerry, scowling virtually every time Kerry spoke. Bush's lead in the polls quickly evaporated.

The voters expect a certain level of decorum from their candidates. Obama didn't demonstrate that decorum last night. While he debated more effectively than he has in the past, he came across poorly.

2) On a related note, Obama kept referring to McCain as "John" while the older candidate referred to his foe as "Senator." Again, I don't understand the thought process here. Maybe Obama thought he would appear more presidential and less a lightweight by treating his more seasoned opponent in an overly familiar manner. But the difference in the two candidates' approaches grated as the evening wore on.

3) Obama often refers to himself as "we." What's up with that?

4) Obama pronounces Pakistan like a high school civics teacher trying to show of his erudition--"Pah-kee-stun." Whenever he does this, he comes across as a smarty-pants showoff. Besides, I would argue that in America, we know and commonly refer to the country in question as, you know, Pakistan, not Pah-kee-stun. Obama is only right on this if he also calls Spain "la España."

5) The "two bracelets" moment showed Obama at his "I have to be the smartest guy in the room" worst.

This could emerge as the signature moment of the debate, where Obama's insecurities and insincerity combined to create a perfect storm. (Apparently, he couldn't recall the name of the soldier he was purportedly honoring until he looked it up on his bracelet.)

America is still getting to know Barack Obama. Last night, the candidate did himself no favors. Mind you, I'm not a habitual hater of Obama. I've never called him "despicable" or "evil," the terms most currently in vogue on the left to describe John McCain. In fact, as I've written many times, from everything I've heard Barack Obama is a good guy. But he didn't come across as one last night.

Dean Barnett is a staff writer at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.


Signs of theTime?

Why is the University of Mary Washington inhibiting free speech at today's Obama-Biden rally?


NOT ALL COUNTRIES guarantee their citizens the right to virtually unbridled freedom of speech. The United States does. Would someone please tell the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama? And the dozing guardians of liberty at the University of Mary Washington?

Mr. Obama, the Democratic nominee for president, is scheduled to speak at a rally at the university today. The public is invited to this forum, on property it, the public, owns. However, signs and banners will not be allowed, according to the organizers and compliant campus officials. Suddenly, UMW is a First Amendment-Free, or at least a First Amendment-Crippled, Zone, subject to the self-serving preferences of politicos. Why does an Obama rally--or a McCain rally or a Nader rally--justify taking a little off the top of Americans' most fundamental rights?

A UMW spokeswoman says that the Obama campaign required the sign-and-banner ban. That campaign tells us that the ban is for "security" reasons. But a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, responsible for protecting presidential candidates, says that the service has no objection to signs at rallies, provided that no "part of the sign could be used as a weapon"--e.g., a heavy metal pole or a sharpened stick. Finally, the McCain campaign tells us, "We encourage people to make signs at our events."

The First Amendment guarantees the freedoms of religion, speech, the press, peaceable assembly, petition of the government. Will one who aspires to the title Defender of the Constitution begin inhibiting these First Freedoms even before he is in office--at a public university?

Broken Promises, Hard Truths and Strong Medicine

In discussing the Bank Renewal bill with a delegation of bankers in 1832, Jackson said, “Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time, and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.”

Chuck Baldwin
American Free Press
September 27, 2008

At the time of this writing, the U.S. House and Senate are poised to pass a $700 billion bailout to Wall Street. At the behest of President George W. Bush, the U.S. taxpayers are going to be on the hook for what can only be referred to as the biggest fraud in U.S. history.

Andrew Jackson

President Andrew Jackson to the international bankers: "You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out."

Virtually our entire financial system is based on an illusion. We spend more than we earn, we consume more than we produce, we borrow more than we save, and we cling to the fantasy that this can go on forever. The glue that holds this crumbling scheme together is a fiat currency known as the Federal Reserve Note, which was created out of thin air by an international banking cartel called the Federal Reserve.

According to Congressman Ron Paul, in the last three years, the Federal Reserve has created over $4 trillion in new money. The result of all this “money-out-of-thin-air” fraud is never-ending inflation. And the more prices rise, the more the dollar collapses. Folks, this is not sustainable.

Already, Bear Stearns was awarded a $29 billion bailout, followed quickly by the bailout of Freddie and Fannie that will cost the taxpayers up to $200 billion. Then the Fed announced the bailout of AIG to the tune of $85 billion. Mind you, AIG is an enormous global entity with assets totaling more than $1.1 trillion. Moreover, the Feds agreed to pump $180 billion into global money markets. And the Treasury Department promised $50 billion to insure the holdings of money market mutual funds for a year. Now, taxpayers are being asked to provide $700 billion to Wall Street. (I hope readers are aware that, not only will American banks be bailed out, but foreign banks will also be bailed out. Then again, at least half of the Federal Reserve is comprised of foreign banks, anyway.) In other words, the Federal Reserve is preparing to spend upwards of $1 trillion or more. Remember again, this is fiat money, meaning it is money printed out of thin air.

All of this began when the U.S. Congress abrogated its responsibility to maintain sound money principles on behalf of the American people (as required by the Constitution) and created the Federal Reserve. This took place in 1913. The President was Woodrow Wilson. (I strongly encourage readers to buy G. Edward Griffin’s book, The Creature from Jekyll Island.) Since then, the U.S. economy has suffered through one Great Depression and several recessions–all of which have been orchestrated by this international banking cartel. Now, we are facing total economic collapse.

But don’t worry: the international bankers will lose nothing–not even their bonuses. They will maintain their mansions, yachts, private jets, and Swiss bank accounts. No matter how bad it gets on Main Street, the banksters on Wall Street will still have the best of it–President Bush and the Congress will make sure of that. This is one thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on.

America’s founders were rightfully skeptical of granting too much power to bankers. Thomas Jefferson said, “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Jefferson also believed that “banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

Daniel Webster warned, “Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effectual than that which deludes them with paper money.”

Webster also said, “We are in danger of being overwhelmed with irredeemable paper, mere paper, representing not gold nor silver; no, Sir, representing nothing but broken promises, bad faith, bankrupt corporations, cheated creditors, and a ruined people.”

Our first and greatest President George Washington said, “Paper money has had the effect in your State [Rhode Island] that it ever will have, to ruin commerce–oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.”

If George W. Bush, John McCain, or Barack Obama had any honesty and integrity, they would approach the current banking malady in much the same way that President Andrew Jackson did. In discussing the Bank Renewal bill with a delegation of bankers in 1832, Jackson said, “Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time, and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.”

What President Andrew Jackson said to the bankers in 1832 is exactly what an American President should say to these criminal international bankers today. But what George Bush, John McCain, and Barack Obama want to do is provide amnesty for the international bankers, just as they want to provide amnesty for illegal aliens. I say, No amnesty for Wall Street, and no amnesty for illegal aliens, either. Instead of sending these banksters on extended vacations to the Bahamas with millions of taxpayer dollars in their pockets, we should be sending them straight to jail!

The only way to fix this economic mess that the international bankers have created is to return America to sound money principles, as prescribed in the U.S. Constitution. This means dismantling the Federal Reserve and the Internal Revenue Service, overturning the 16th Amendment and the personal income tax, and returning the American monetary system to hard assets: gold and silver. Anything short of this will only delay and worsen the inevitable collapse that has already begun.