TARP

Washington – Government In A Bubble.

I’m convinced that Washington DC is, as we have long suspected, not in the same time line as the rest of us. Some, like me, would tend to say that Washington is existing in another universe altogether.

I’ve been waiting for an adult or two to show up. With the exception of twenty four Tea-Party Patriot Representatives who didn’t fold, regardless of the pressure placed on them by our own people, I haven’t seen a lot of intestinal fortitude out there.

I guess the one thing it did accomplish was to give us, out here in the trenches, a definitive ‘no fly’ list for the upcoming elections. There may be a good explanation why most of our Republican elected representatives caved in on the worst piece of legislation since TARP but, I haven’t seen one yet. At the very least there be some splainin’ to do.

Too soon we forget how much money has been thrown at and squandered by this gang of thieves. George Bush gave up his ‘conservative principles’ to ‘save the economy’ when he signed on to his own 185 billion dollar stimulus, an amount which, in view of subsequent events, seems like child’s play by comparison.

Then we were served up TARP on the half shell… 700 billion dollars to bail out financial institutions which should have been allowed to fail.

Setting aside for a moment the astronomically absurd concept of a government, any government forcing sound financial corporations into insolvency by forcing them to loan money to people who had not a prayer of fulfilling those commitments… that’s exactly what was done here.

Next came Obama’s 825 billion dollar DeMarxist slush fund, the money from which has been flowing into the coffers of the public sector unions since Obama’s ‘immaculation’ (thanks, Rush).

Short story gone sour: Trillions of dollars poured into a failed government by a failed president. A country in the grip of a depression, clearly caused by our own government’s ineptitude. The Repubic (thanks, Mark Levin) leadership, if that’s what it can be called, has sold us out time after time. Their price has been cheap, too… at least from the Marxist perspective. Stonewall, lie and prevaricate… rabble rouse and use cheap political invective and the Repubics will fold every time.

The Republicans are about to face the wrath that thus far has been reserved for ObaMao and his wannabe Trotskyite sycophants. There may have been some principled decisions among the Republicans. I hope so. And I hope there will be some defensible explanations for those decisions. The primary list is being put together as I write.

Washington has had it its own way for far, far too long. The cozy time-warp capsule that the beltway has existed in is about to burst. How ’bout a strong dose of reality, folks? The same reality you’ve been making the rest of us live in for the last four years.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2011

MoveOn & Chris Murphy: Fact Free Advocacy

I give MoveOn.org this much. When it comes to their friends they never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

This weeks's meme is the man who will humble corporate control of government is Connecticut Senate candidate and Nancy Pelosi lackey Chris Murphy

One year ago today, the Supreme Court gave corporations the same First Amendment rights as you and me, in the Citizens United decision. And in the last election, we saw what this corporate takeover of our democracy looks like, with a record-setting $4 billion spent on the elections.1

Connecticut Rep. Chris Murphy has been a leader in the fight to rein in corporate control of our democracy. He was one of the first signers of our Fight Washington Corruption pledge, which included a call to overturn Citizens United, and he organized other congressional candidates to join him and "take back our democracy from the big corporate special interests who have so dominated our political decision making in the last decade."2

A corporate front group targeted Rep. Murphy with over a million dollars in attack ads in retaliation for his bold stand3, but Rep. Murphy fought hard, and with help from local MoveOn members, won in November.

Yesterday, Rep. Murphy announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Joe Lieberman. It's exciting that as a champion in fighting corporate influence in Washington, Chris Murphy can make this a real issue in the race for Senate.

Will you call Rep. Murphy to thank him for his leadership on this issue? Then, ask him to make sure the issue of corporate influence remains front and center in the Senate race over the next two years by encouraging all the candidates to speak out forcefully on the need to rid our political system of corporate influence.

Now, the rest of the story about Chris Murphy and the corporate buyout of the federal treasury.

MoveOn doesn't tell folks Chris Murphy received well over $2 million from special interest PACs  

MoveOn doesn;t tell people Chris Murphy has raised over $1 million from the financial services industry. Which comes as little surprise as Murphy served on the House Banking Committee when it approved the 2008 TARP bailout.   Indeed, Murphy voted for the $700 Billion TARP bailout withing hours of receiving a large contribution from the American Bankers Association.

So, when did Murphy decide it was time to start fighting corporate influence in Washington? Oh. maybe it was during the health care reform fight....umm...no since the Pharma lobby ran a blitz of issue ads praising Murphy.   Did those ads explain Murphy's flip-flop on allowing drug reimportation? Hey, decide for yourself.

No, Chris Murphy suddenly decided corporate money in politics was a bad thing when the corporations that didn't like health care reform paid for ads against him. The contributions from special interests to stuff his 7 figure warchest and the slick issue ads promoting his agenda, well, then it was good government. 

Incumbent politicians don't like Citizens United for the same reason Microsoft doesn't like Macs. When you have a monopoly you want to stifle the means of competition. You want the people whose industries are at risk to come to you on bended knee, checkbook in hand. How dare these people complain directly to the public!  

You see, it's all about protecting your investment. And MoveOn has invested a lot in Chris Murphy.  He was their Number one recipient of campaign cash in 2006. So when a group like AAF  opposed to big government runs the same type of ad MoveOn ran, take MoveOn's umbrage with a grain of salt. And also understand why MoveOn looks the other way when their boy Murphy ladels out trillions to bankers and drug companies. They are going to stand by their man.  Getting him into the Senate will pay a return on their investment.

And this investment may suddenly go sour if the new darling of the hard left, Keith Olbermann  is persuaded to run for the open Connecticut Senate seat.  How could the unctuous Murphy and his corporate liberalism compete with the 200 decibel leftism of Olby? 

The problem with investing millions of dollars in a product is after awhile, a newer brand goes on the market. MoveOn and Murphy may find their base of support has moved on to a guy who only took millions from Corporate America to call conservatives the worst people in the world. Heh   

 

Oh Say, Can You See?

Some of the emotion that must have consumed Francis Scott Key, the night that he penned what was to become the sacred anthem of our country, has rubbed off on me. I can imagine what it must have looked like. Anybody who has ever been in the infantry knows about night time illumination and pyrotechnics. I’ve always thought it would make quite a show if it weren’t so deadly.


Francis Scott Key beholds the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry at dawn, September 14, 1814. Inspired by the sight, Key pens the "Star Spangled Banner", later to become the national anthem of the United States. Image courtesy of Library of Congress.

The British Navy, the most powerful military machine in the world, couldn’t defeat Ft. McHenry. Other accounts told of uncounted numbers of bombs, rockets and mortar shells lighting the night sky and falling on the fortress. At the height of the British bombardment, Key looked up to see our flag still flying.

We are watching the 112th Congress hit the ground running, with all, or most, of the conservative agenda plainly marked in the Republican arsenal. We have just come through our own two year Fort McHenry. The Conservative Republican banner is flying high above the Capitol once more. Don’t screw it up this time guys. An immediate vote to repeal Obamacare stands a darned good chance of passing the House, reflecting the Conservative promise to quickly illuminate lawmakers’ stances on the bill by calling for the quick vote.

Many Democrats may be reluctant to be seen supporting the health bill. With more than 60% of Americans opposing government health care it has quickly become the new third rail of American politics, right up there with the deficit. It would be a very rocky road for the repeal in the Senate but, as wacky as Senate politics can be, who knows?

Pass or not, it is but the first shot across the bow of the Marxist minority. The next move will be to choke the life out of Obamacare and some of these runaway rogue agencies and bureaucracies. Spending has got to be slashed at all levels of government.

‘Inquiries’ into the money trails from TARP and the various stimulus disasters should be undertaken, to see how much of that money can be tracked, retrieved and returned to the American people.

The Marxists will use all the usual tired assaults, but the 112th Congress need only remember one thing… be the party of No! Let them bleat and whine. Do not give an inch. We do not compromise with treason.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2011

‘Tis The Season.

Jim DeMint rightly sounded off, calling out Congressional Democrats for leaving Washington without addressing the Bush tax cut extensions, despite the fact that more than thirty Democrats also voted to remain and take up the issue.


Jim DeMint

It should be noted that at least some of these good folks are probably in real hot water in their districts and are desperate to be seen as fighting for the middle class, whom most of them despise.

For all their care in infiltrating and disguising their intent the Marxists simply couldn’t restrain themselves and the wave of ‘progressive’ policy, starting with the Democrat majority of 2006 and culminating with George Bush, caving in to the hysterical drumbeat of the DeMarxists with the election of Barack Obama imminent, and ‘turning aside’ from his conservative principles acquiescing to the TARP bailouts, paved the way for the firestorm of radical leftist assaults on the economy, American citizens and our way of life.

We should thank them in a way, the left, I mean. Probably nothing else would have made them show themselves for who they really are. They were so overconfident and so determined to force their agenda down our throats, that it was like they had wax earplugs and blinders on.

The left has always been arrogant. It comes from the academic intellectual cloister where communism breeds. Such self-proclaimed superiority leads to arrogance.

Example: John ‘Gunboats’ Kerry sniveling that voters, “don’t always pay attention”, and that we fall for slogans. Yeah, Kerry. You wish we didn’t pay attention. Don’t worry, John, if we run out of slogans we’ll borrow some from Democrats… you all have plenty, and they’re nice and light too. Because they’re as empty as a beer can at a home football party.

It’s really important that these people have no opportunity to rule this country any longer. You need to start talking to everyone you know. Carry the message of freedom.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

The Illusory Mister Obama And His Magic Stash.

Watching Barack Obama neatly separate British Petroleum from some twenty billion dollars to be administered by an independent party, Obama’s pay tsar, Kenneth Feinberg, has been called to lend the veneer of respectability to the ‘distribution’ of the funds to gulf oil victims.


Kenneth Feinberg

This move is to forestall the criticism sure to come from the right, who claim that much of the TARP bailout and 800 billion dollar stimulus funds were wasted and misused. So much money was directed on the basis of political quid pro quo and cronyism, that an accurate accounting for the American people would be difficult. If anyone out there doesn’t think that Democrats divert what money they can, they had better check their reality meter.

It reminds me of the woman in Florida during the campaign, who said in front of network cameras that she was going to vote for Obama because then she wouldn’t have to worry about her mortgage or car payments any more, as Obama is going to take care of everything. Asked by an intrepid news hawk where Obama was going to get the money she replied that she didn’t know… after a pause she said, “He’s going to get it from his stash.” That the woman was entirely sincere in what she believed says worlds about Obama’s support base.

British Petroleum has behaved pretty well so far, given the obstructionism presented by the ineffectual Obama administration. Twenty billion dollars is a pretty substantial surety towards British Petroleum’s good behavior. The administration could have done much to ameliorate the problem by moving first and talking later. A rapid marshaling of the nation’s emergency resources, placed at the disposal of the people best suited to deal with the well blow out, would have put us far in advance of where we stand today, at least in terms of combating the oil already loose in the gulf.

Obama’s great illusion of green energy. It’s the left’s holy grail. It’s non-existent technology that will not now, or for the foreseeable future, provide more than a fraction of our energy requirements. Obama’s rigid ideological drive is focused on destroying the energy sector of this country along with our economy, to rebuild it into the twisted vision of Obama and the DeMarxist Congress. Obama’s ‘stash’ is your future, the futures of your children and the futures of their children.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

Lindsey Gr-Amnesty, RINO Extraordinaire.

I wish someone would tell me why this character should have a single Republican member of Congress listen to him, much less be influenced by a single word emanating from his smarmy mouth. In his latest essay in treacherous gum beating he’s let it be known that he’ll play deal maker on Guantanamo Bay.


Lindsey Graham

On Sunday, this cretin actually had the chutzpah to tell the White House that he would work to convince Republicans to ‘go along with closing Guantanamo Bay’, if the President reverses his intention of trying high-profile terrorists on continental U.S. soil.

Graham, ever anxious to ingratiate himself with the administration and bolster his RINO credentials, came in a little late on this one though, since public rage over the proposed trials has all but forced Obama to go back to Guantanamo and military tribunals… aside from the fact that in all likelihood he would be unable to garner support from the Republican membership, other than perhaps a few like-minded RINOs.

Lindsey Graham is the poster child for everything that is anathema to Conservative Republicans and most Independents as well. With an oily, slithering ‘let’s make a deal’ attitude with very little principled moral compass behind him, Graham has made a career thumbing his nose at his Conservative brethren. Time after time ingratiating himself with liberals and advancing their agenda in the face of opposition from his ‘own’ party, continually aligning himself with other liberal (moderate) elements in the Republican party and using the ‘mantle’ of Republican for political cover. So much so that he has been censured by the Conservative-loyal Republican party in his own home state, “for many of the positions he has taken that do not represent the people of South Carolina”.

Among the more spectacular buffoonery Graham has pulled was to align himself with the treasonous John (Swiftboat) Kerry, to push for the economy and back-breaking Cap and Trade legislation so sought after by the leftist Obama administration. Graham is another one who has bought into the fakery and faux secular religion of global warming / climate change.

Graham is also remembered for memberships in both the gang of ten and the gang of fourteen with that great thumb-in-the-eye RINO John McCain, thwarting the aims of their own party leadership time after time and giving victory to opponents. Does anybody remember Graham supporting TARP? I do. His pro illegal alien stance is also another in his long list of perfidy. The party can do nothing finer than to isolate this snake oil vendor, and all like him, until they can be voted out of office.

The vote on health care in the House is just around the corner. It’s time to make our displeasure with the authoritarian aims of the White House and the Democrat House felt in no uncertain terms again. It seems like this last year has been a progression from one desperate struggle to another and it isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot. Stand up and be heard.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

 

Underhanded! Democrats Extend TARP To 2010 – Election Slush Fund?

Underhanded to the core. DeMarxists, who are seeing a decrease in funding as the party left wing faithful begin to see the many promises made by the Obama administration go by the wayside as opposition from the right increases, are eying the TARP and TARP repayment funds as a war chest slush fund, some fear.

The Obama administration’s approval of Timothy Geithner’s intention of extending TARP until Oct 2010, claiming that withdrawal of the funding could endanger the economy, has some Conservatives suspicious. The fund’s intent is in its name: the Troubled Asset Relief Program. It was intended to relieve banks and lending institutions of bundled asset and bad paper loans by law. The 700 BILLION DOLLAR program was slated to end this December 31. The plan LOST 41 BILLION DOLLARS this year. It was never intended for use as a small business loan fund or anything other than its legally stated purpose.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats desperate to find anything in the health care debacle that they can call progress or a victory of sorts, have come up with another alternative to the ‘public option’ that they think may survive the scourging of the left wing of their party. It entails the creation of privately administered new government – run exchanges.

The hard left of the DeMarxists don’t care for this at all, so in an effort to offer a sop to them the DeMarxists would expand Medicare to millions of Americans over 55, thus potentially adding millions more people to a system already on the brink of bankruptcy, with a long term deficit of 38 to as much as 89 TRILLION DOLLARS. Plus, the deal STILL leaves open the ‘TRIGGER’ of a public option if plans for a new Office of Personnel Management doesn’t jell.

Sounds like a circular firing squad with the American people as the main feature. KEEP UP THE PRESSURE!! It’s working. Don’t listen to the media, don’t listen to anyone but yourself.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2009

 

The Economy Falls

by Lance Thompson 

The Dow passed to the good side of 10,000 last week, and celebration was widespread because it was heralded as a sign of better times ahead.  As early as May 27, Treasury Secretary and Turbo Tax tyro Timothy Geithner said the US economy was in the early stages of recovery, and in late August announced “We are back from the brink.”  Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the financial equivalent of the Magic 8 Ball, has been saying since March that “signs point to recovery.” Administration spokesmen point to improving home sales, rising stock prices, and make-work jobs programs and credit the stimulus spending for curing the economy from its ills.  They conveniently overlook the virus of unemployment, the contagion of home foreclosures, or the consumptive decline of the dollar’s value.   Here in Idaho, one of our state’s favorite outdoor activities is white water rafting.  The confidence of the various predictors of economic recovery reminds me of a raft full of people that has just gone through a particularly turbulent stretch of river.  After overcoming the challenge of the rapids, they find that the white water subsides, the surface appears smooth, and all are thankful they prevailed over adversity. Yet if this raft was full of economists, and the river was the American economy, they serenely overlook what’s waiting downriver–a waterfall of staggering height which will make the rapids they’ve passed seem insignificant.  The waterfall cannot be passed safely–it is the dead end of a wild ride on the tracherouis waters of financial tumult. The waterfall is the staggering debt that has been amassed with the government bailouts and spending initiatives that began with the TARP bill under President Bush and grew geometrically with President Obama’s stimulus bill, and subsequent massive government programs.  The spending that under Obama has eclipsed that of all previous administrations combined has multiplied the American debt to a level beyond possible repayment.  To ignore this downstream hazard and speak of economic recovery is to blindfold oneself to reality. The government cannot create wealth, a fact which will probably come as a great surprise to Obama supporters who believe in his ability to provide largesse at a whim.  But all the money the government spends and distributes has to come from the American people and American business.  Government consumes wealth, but it is up to us to produce it. The more the government spends, the more we must produce, and the more of it we must surrender to the government through taxes.   So the debt must some day be repaid by us, just as the economic raft must eventually reach the waterfall.  But with each new trillion-dollar spending initiative–health care, cap and trade, or any other massive government program–the waterfall gets higher.  As our economy floats downriver on a temporarily smooth current, there is no cause for complacency.  In fact, our fate grows more dire with each addition to the debt. Unfortunately, we have not yet had to pay the price for this debt.  It will come with the sudden impact of higher taxes–the only way the government can take the wealth from those who produce it.  And those taxes will fall upon all of us–income taxes, consumption taxes, property taxes, fees and licenses will all be raised, and all of us will pay them.  At that point, the economic raft will be over the edge and plunging into the abyss of fiscal ruin.  The damage to our economy, our industry, and our system of government will be too massive to reverse.   So when you hear happy prospects of a recovery that is just around the corner, listen more carefully.  You’ll hear in the background the distant but growing rumble of the coming fall.  As spending multiplies, as the debt continues to grow, as government persists in hobbling our private sector with takeovers and punishing regulation, the roar of the cataract will also grow.  At some point it will be louder than those who are telling us not to worry.  The question is, which sound will we listen to, and which will we believe?

 

A tragic anniversary

This is the anniversary of a tragic day, September 29, 2008. That was the last day I believe John McCain could have salvaged the 2008 Presidential election.

The McCain campaign started losing altitude following the mid-month collapse of Lehman Brothers, leading McCain to leave the campaign trail to stay in Washington to respond to the crisis.  This led to a confusing set of events surrounding whether McCain would attend the first debate; which he did.  By Monday morning, September 29, it a ppeared a deal to approve the $700 billion bailout was in place and the House was supposedly in line to vote "aye".

Assuming the time had come to return to the stump, McCain left Washington to join Sarah Palin at a rally in Columbus, OH.  This decision doomed his chances.

Many argue McCain was politically dead for even supporting the unpopular bailout , but if there's one thing worse than being unpopular, it's' being both ineffective AND unpopular.  Having chosen the unpopular path, McCain had to, as an absolute necessity, get the bill passed and gotten back on the trail arguing the crisis had been addressed and he helped promote a solution..

While McCain was in Ohio that morning, Speaker Pelosi decided that insulting the Republican party was a good way to spout off when she needed their votes. Enough bailed to scuttle the bill. Many flipped back to support a somewhat amended version a week later. Many of these folks are no longer in Congress.

John McCain faced incredible obstacles in 2008 ...a popular opponent, having to defend an unpopular incumbent President from his own party, and a weak economy. Given this, he needed to maximise his own assets. And he absolutely needed every possible day to draw the contrast with Barack Obama. One rally, even in Ohio, wasn't worth the risk he would lose the chance to punch through with his own message nationally because of events in Washington.

We don't know if McCain whipping the House Republicans would have gotten TARP passed a week sooner, but by failing to put his shoulder to the wheel (and not "assuming the second out of the double play"), McCain cost himself two things he could never recover--he lost a week of the campaign and he lost credibility for returning to Washington only to see things fall apart anyway. The split in the polls reached  double digits in early October, never to fully close.

There's a lesson here somewhere, not that I expect the Beltway brain trust to figure it out. 

Hey, I thought collapsing home prices caused the recession?

We've been told that the cause of the Great Recession was plummetting home values which rendered financial institutions that lent on this collateral illiquid or insolvent. 

Guess now the value of homes isn't that big a problem anymore. Here's a little-known feature tucked into the Cap & Trade debacle which is guaranteed to cost  virtually every American time and money

The bill forces sellers to have an energy inspection prior to being able to sell their home. Windows, appliances and insulation will have to be inspected and approved by a government inspector and modifications would have to be made for compliance before you can close the sale.

Basically, you won't be able to sell until you go through the expense of bringing your house up to the new code. This will cost a prohibitive amount in many cases. For example, let's say that you own an older house which you bought in 2003 for $250,000 and you now need to sell. Not only has the value fallen to or below the level of the mortgage due the the drop in prices, but you are now faced with re-insulating the entire house, installing new windows, and changing the HVAC & other appliances. The total cost for this type of renovation might easily come to well over 10% of the house's value.

I'm sure this is going to reduce the toxic asset problem all the TARP banks have with underwater mortgages, not.  How many hundreds of thousands of homes will  prove too expensive to retrofit and be simply abandoned upon vacancy?  Bailout II for those banks---green style?

And will ACORN hire all these new "government inspectors"?...hey these will be "green jobs"!

I have a rhetorical question. Is there anything that the Obama Administration doesn't want to regulate?

 

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