The Abject Failure Of The Obama Presidency – Part 8

April 28, 2010

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.”   
- White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel  

Note to our readers: This the 8th installment of a series called “The Abject Failure Of The Obama Presidency.” Intended to illustrate just how Obama’s policies fail us, and the Constitution he swore to uphold, it is based on The 10 tenets for establishing and maintaining democracy, written by William J. H. Boetcker and originally published in 1942. To read previous installments, just type or copy “The Abject Failure” into the search box to the right of this article, then click “Search.”  

The more research I did to support this particular tenet, the more I realized that this tenet is, perhaps, the most complex to explain and properly cover:  

8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.  

Photoshop by Josh Johnson

 Let me be clear about this: The United States is teetering on the edge of financial oblivion and it would be both factually incorrect and misleading to suggest the blame for this lies at the feet of the Obama administration.    

Neither the mainstream media nor Congress, nor most of the Presidential administrations over the past 40-50 years have been totally honest with the American public about this. But the numbers don’t lie, even if the politicians do: The amount of money the United States is committed to in either social programs or entitlements over the next decade is well over $100 Trillion (yes, with a “T”). Our own Alan Speakman of Grand Rants has written about this on a number of occasions. For a harsh look at the truth, read these pieces by Alan:   

This debt is principally the result of entitlements funded by Congress while you and I were not paying attention.  “Who’s going to win the playoffs?” became more of a concern to us than “What is Congress doing with our tax dollars?”  “What’s the number one song on the hit parade this week?” surpassed “Can we, as a nation, afford to do this now?” in importance. So, in a way, if you want to know who is most directly responsible for the economic crisis, we can all start by looking into a mirror.  

Even in years when administrations claimed to have a balanced budget, the deficit was, in fact, building in the background. Both political parties share the blame for this.  

In order to fully understand the nature of the beast preparing to devour our entire economy, here is a “quick-start” video to help get you up to speed. I urge you to watch it in its entirety.  When the video has finished, then please click on the link to read the rest of this installment to see how the Obama administration is heading in exactly the wrong direction… and why they are doing so intentionally.  

   

Read the rest of this entry »


Most Truthful and Transparent Adminstration Ever

April 27, 2010

 

If this is true, heads should roll, and the first head should be Obama’s.

The Department of Health and Human Services published a report last Thursday from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary which outlined the unsurprising fact that the recently passed healthcare bill would actually be more expensive that the White House had been promising, and would in fact cost consumers more.

However: according to the American Spectator, HHS withheld that report for several weeks before issuing it to the public.

The economic report released last week by Health and Human Services, which indicated that President Barack Obama’s health care “reform” law would actually increase the cost of health care and impose higher costs on consumers, had been submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the Congressional votes on the bill, according to career HHS sources, who added that Sebelius’s staff refused to review the document before the vote was taken.

“The reason we were given was that they did not want to influence the vote,” says an HHS source. “Which is actually the point of having a review like this, you would think.”

The analysis, performed by Medicare’s Office of the Actuary, which in the past has been identified as a “nonpolitical” office, set off alarm bells when submitted. “We know a copy was sent to the White House via their legislative affairs staff,” says the HHS staffer, “and there were a number of meetings here almost right after the analysis was submitted to the secretary’s office. Everyone went into lockdown, and people here were too scared to go public with the report.” [Emphasis mine]

We need to find out more from the Spectator’s HHS source. That person should come forward and speak out so that the entire country can finally see how corrupt this administration truly is.

While this probably does not qualify as treason or bribery, blatantly lying to the public (and possibly to Congress) about a bill so very damaging to America both now and far into the future, surely falls under the rubric of high crimes and misdemeanors…

Both Confederate Yankee and Sweetness and Light are covering this as well, and Gateway Pundit has video of some of the “unintended” consequences of the bill, now that it has been passed.

Oops.

Stoutcat


We Are Coming…

April 27, 2010


Awe-inspiring video from the San Antonio Tea Party crowd for the 2010 elections:

Lives. Fortunes. Sacred Honor.

I’m there. Are you?

Stoutcat


How Much More Pathetic Can GM Get?

April 26, 2010

 

GM is still running that stupid ad, trumpeting the company’s payoff of its “government loan” (with interest! Five years ahead of schedule!)

However, more and more lawmakers are showing concern with GM’s blatant attempt to mislead the public. Along with Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sens. Tom Carper and Richard Shelby have also voiced their discomfort with GM’s message.

“It sounds like they’re kind of like taking money out of one pocket and putting it in the other to do that,” Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said at the hearing. 

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., expressed similar concerns Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” saying it’s “misleading” for the administration to claim the company has paid back its loans. 

Fox News also reports that GM could be in trouble with by playing fast and loose with the truth:

The GM ad could potentially land the company in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission over its truth-in-advertising laws, which prohibit ads that are “likely to mislead consumers.” 

…General Motors admits that the company is repaying the loan with other government money, but says a year ago “nobody thought we’d be able to pay this back.”

And of course, that’s the problem, isn’t it? It’s almost as if General Motors honchos don’t want to admit that paying one loan back with another loan (from the same source) isn’t paying the loan back at all. It’s just transferring the liablity from one bucket to another within the same well.

How many more politicians will call Whitacre out for his lies? How much more can the unions gouge out of GM via all those loans? How much lower will Whitacre and the unions sink General Motors before the company loses all claim to any kind of credibility at all?

My guess is that they’ll ride GM right down to the ground before “retiring” with vaults full of taxpayer money, causing eventual failure for a company deemed “too big to fail.” And you and I will pay for Ed Whitacre’s golden parachute.

Stoutcat


Explaining Cronyism the Goldman Sachs Way

April 23, 2010


From the excellent and under-appreciated Allamon Cartoon blog:

Stoutcat


GM True Lies Redux: A Time to Boycott?

April 23, 2010

In yesterday’s post about GM’s touting of their TARP payback (with interest!), I asked the following question:

“Unless GM is engaging in financial shell games of a kind that would put Bernie Madoff to shame, how is it possible for a company which posted a $4.3-billion loss for the half year after “emerging” from bankruptcy last summer,  lost $30.9 billion in 2008, and has laid off nearly 65,000 workers over the past year expect to a) build good cars that consumers want to buy, b) keep up payments to unions and union healthcare trust funds, and c) pay back their debt to American taxpayers?”

Clearly, I’m in good company, as American Thinker‘s Joseph Ashby arrived at the same “shell game bordering on fraud” conclusion (UPDATE: HotAir calls “shell game” too):

“So how did a recently bankrupt company which is still hemorrhaging money pay back a multi-billion dollar loan five years early? Could it be that the mountain of bailout cash was much more than turned out to be necessary?

“It’s hard to conclude that the repayment is anything other than a political and marketing ploy where the federal government receives “repayment” with the very same loan money handed out starting in 2008…

“Over-lending on a loan to achieve quick initial repayment (and thus inflate the loan’s perceived value), in the private economy, is called fraud. Where did GM come up with the money? It’s a question that merits asking.”

Ashby then links to FoxNews, which splashes cold water all over GM’s initial triumphant “pay-back” announcement in an article outlining Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) letter yesterday to tax-cheat Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner:

“It appears to be nothing more than an elaborate TARP money shuffle…”

“The bottom line seems to be that the TARP loans were ‘repaid’ with other TARP funds in a Treasury escrow account. The TARP loans were not repaid from money GM is earning selling cars, as GM and the administration have claimed in their speeches, press releases and television commercials.” [emphasis mine]

TARP watchdog Neil Barofsky supports Sen. Grassley’s conclusion:

“I think the one thing that a lot of people overlook with this is where they got the money to pay back the loan. And it isn’t from earnings. … It’s actually from another pool of TARP money that they’ve already received,” [Barofsky] said Wednesday. “I don’t think we should exaggerate it too much. Remember that the source of this money is just other TARP money.” 

Barofsky told the Senate Finance Committee the same thing Tuesday, and said the main way for the federal government to earn money out of GM would be through “a liquidation of its ownership interest.” 

Grassley criticized this scenario in his letter. 

The taxpayers are still on the hook, and whether TARP funds are ultimately recovered depends entirely on the government’s ability to sell GM stock in the future. Treasury has merely exchanged a legal right to repayment for an uncertain hope of sharing in the future growth of GM. A debt-for-equity swap is not a repayment.”  [emphasis mine]

I’m torn, here. GM is, at best, deliberately misleading the public; at worst, the company is outright lying to us. I want to suggest a boycott of GM cars (for those who would actually consider buying a GM car in the first place), but if nobody buys their cars, they’ll never pay back the TARP money.

…Hell, they’ll never pay it back anyway. Go ahead and boycott ‘em!

Stoutcat


GM’s True Lies

April 22, 2010


If you watched any television last night, you probably saw this commercial:

“We have repaid our government loan in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule.”

CEO Ed Whitacre is telling us the truth, but not the whole truth. What about the other $45 billion that American (and Canadian) taxpayers gave General Motors last year, which was originally part of that loan? Why doesn’t he mention that still-outstanding amount as he so proudly touts the payback of less than 14% of GM’s unsettled debt? When do we get that money back?

[crickets]

MarketWatch is a bit more realistic about Whitacre’s announcement:

Yet for all the fanfare, this is icing on the cake — and there’s still no cake.

The federal governments of Canada and the United States are the majority shareholders in General Motors, and will be until the carmaker issues new shares to the public. We still don’t know when that will be, and Whitacre didn’t offer any new clues.

And the Associated Press reports:

The White House pointed to GM’s repayment of the loan and Chrysler LLC’s posting of an operating profit in the first quarter of 2010 as concrete signs that the bailout of the U.S. automakers was working.

In a report, they noted the American auto industry lost more than 400,000 jobs in 2008 and analysts estimated another 1 million would have been lost had GM and Chrysler liquidated. In the past nine months, the White House said the industry has added 45,000 jobs, the strongest job growth in the industry in nearly a decade.

Sorry, but given the record the White House has in their predictions, as well as their ability to accurately account for jobs “created or saved”, I’m going to take that assertion with a huge shaker of salt (until that’s outlawed, too).

Unless GM is engaging in financial shell games of a kind that would put Bernie Madoff to shame, how is it possible for a company which posted a $4.3-billion loss for the half year after “emerging” from bankruptcy last summer,  lost $30.9 billion in 2008, and has laid off nearly 65,000 workers over the past year expect to a) build good cars that consumers want to buy, b) keep up payments to unions and union healthcare trust funds, and c) pay back their debt to American taxpayers?

Just asking.

Stoutcat

H/T: BBCW


Reporters Not Doing So Well with That “Press=Flaming Sword” Thing

April 21, 2010

 

“The power and the freedom of the press is a flaming sword. That it may be a faithful servant to all the people, use it justly… hold it high… guard it well.”

Lafayette Park, located directly across from the Whte House, was closed yesterday, so that half a dozen servicemen could handcuff themselves to the White House fence in peace and privace privacy, unmolested by our valiant servants of the press. The protesters were objecting to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Michael Walsh at Big Government says his blood is boiling.

It’s not just the cop’s rudeness and bullying, although that’s bad enough… There had better be a pretty darn good reason from barring citizens, and their representatives in the media, from a public park, and this sure doesn’t seem like it.

What’s even more disheartening, though, is the way the reporters passively accept getting shoved around, and meekly shuffle backwards while complaining into their cell phones.  And they weren’t sounding off like they had a pair, either.

Lafayette Park is closed. Docile reporters meekly move back. And back. And they keep moving back.

We don’t know why the park was closed (well, of course we do), but nobody reported on that.

We don’t know who authorized the park’s closing, because nobody reported on that.

We don’t know how long the park had been closed, because nobody reported on that.

We don’t know when the park would re-open, because nobody reported on that.

Lafayette Park reportedly has the densest squirrel population known to science. It seems that our “reporters” are nothing more than a few more squirrels, hoping for crumbs from the tourists.

Pathetic.

Stoutcat

Via HotAir


The Abject Failure Of The Obama Presidency – Part 7

April 20, 2010

 

Depressions and mass unemployment are not caused by the free market but by government interference in the economy. – Ludwig von Mises

As we head down the home stretch of this series, I felt it necessary to seek the input of someone who can give a first-hand example of how the seventh of the 10 tenets to maintaining democracy in a free-enterprise system directly affects him:

7. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.  

Recently, I spoke with a friend of mine who has been the owner of an automotive repair shop for some 3o years. He considers his employees to be “family.” He treats (and pays) them well. More important, he pays for 100% of their health insurance.  Not because he has to, but because he CAN. He is probably no different from millions of other small businessmen across the land. For it is the small business owners who employ the vast majority of Americans and contribute the most to our economy.  

My friend despairs over this new healthcare decree.

“If it goes through as indicated, I will be forced to pay for the insurance, not just for my employees, but their whole families,” he told me. “And their kids are to be considered kids until they are 26 years old? Who the hell came up with the definition of a child being 25 years old?”  

He went on to tell me that healthcare alone is probably going to cause him to go out of business. A businessman with decades of success, forced out of his business and forced to lay off all employees, not because of bad business practices or lack of customers, but simply because of a socialist’s agenda that simply will not work… except to destroy the free-enterprise system perhaps so it can be replaced by socialism.

“For 30 years, I’ve prided myself on working hard, giving a good service to my customers for a price that enables me to hire good workers and pay them well. It’s a formula that’s worked in this country for 200 years. And now someone comes along and says, ‘No, this isn’t how it should be done… we’re gonna change everything and do things differently… trust me!’ Well, I’ve got news for the President: You’re taking away the very thing that has made America work for centuries: The opportunity to work hard, earn a decent, honest income and provide for your family.  What the hell is wrong with that?”

This small business owner has figured out that, with the cost of labor, benefits, rent, advertising, insurance, and all the other mandates required to run a business, it now costs him $3,500 for every day he opens his door to do business.  

“Add to this the cost of his healthcare system and I’m done,” he told me. “And even if I could find a way to survive that, if Cap and Trade goes through, the energy prices will go through the roof for absolutely NO legitimate reason. But virtually every business I can think of will have to adapt to skyrocketing energy prices. What other way can you survive but to raise the prices of your services? That’s the kiss of death for most of us small businesses. And that means even more people out of jobs and on unemployment! It’s like [Obama's] trying to ruin this country and the whole free-enterprise system!”

Add one more small buisinessman to the list of those who stand to lose it all under the ideology of Barack Obama… and one more reason to stand up and be counted – before it’s too late.

Gerry Ashley


Need Inspiration? See “Letters To God”

April 17, 2010
“Letters To God” – Possibility Pictures

Earlier this week, I attended a private screening for the movie “Letters To God.” There was no lavish party, however. When I say “private screening,” I’m using irony… you see I was the only one in the theater. As the movie was about to begin, I thought, “Great! No pesky ‘talkers, coughers, texters, crying babies and those who feel the darkness of the movie theater is the perfect place to catch up on their tweets.

By the end of the movie, however, I wished every one of the above had been there. THIS is the kind of movie we need more of. It is about hope, redemption and seeing the good in those who can’t find it themselves.

Based on the true story of a young boy battling brain cancer, the film covers his journey… and how his faith and willingness to accept that which he cannot change inspires others in need of serious re-evaluation of their own lives.

There was a time when simple stories of honorable people was enough to bring people to theaters. Sadly (and governing by box office receipts), this no longer ranks anywhere near the top – or middle – of people’s “must see” list, unless it features stars with the clout of a Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep. And that’s sad. While I am a fan of the work of each of the afore-mentioned actors, I’d like to think a good story still can find its audience.

The movie can only be found in the larger cineplexes with a dozen or more screens and, given the limited audience it’s getting, will probably be gone in a week or two. Movie theaters are restricted to a numbers game like so  many other businesses. If a movie isn’t bringing people to buy over-priced refreshments, it’s quickly reduced to matinee only performances, or simply pulled in favor of the latest flick featuring aliens, mass-murder slasher films or inner-city twaddle that only succeeds in lowering the standards our children learn to strive to underachieve.

I would recommend that all people of ANY religious background or conservative group (are you listening fellow tea-partiers?) get off your duffs and get out to see this movie. If you’re not happy with what Hollywood drivel is being shoved down our throats (and the throats of our children), get your church, civic or social groups together and make a night of it. You will be inspired and refreshed to know there are people and families out there like this. There really are. More than likely, YOU are a part of this group if you are reading this. These movies don’t come along very often. It’s time to put your money where your values are. And trust me… it’s no donation to charity. You will leave the theater refreshed and filled with hope.

One caveat: Bring tissues with you. There are numerous points in the film where you will find yourself relating to some of the scenes…

Letters To God: Don’t let it be sent back to the producers marked “Return To Sender… Addressees Unknown.”

Gerry Ashley


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