EXPOSED: Former SEIU Official’s Alleged Plan To Destroy America’s Economy?

March 22, 2011

For those of you who have thought conservatives have been over-reacting to Barack Obama’s ongoing tied-at-the-hip relationship to unions – specifically – SEIU: Sit down, shut  up and LEARN!

It’s an event that will undoubtedly cause Eric Holder to have to bury his head at least two feet below “See-level” (using union thugs to shield him, no doubt).

According to Business Insider, The Blaze and Glenn Beck,  former SEIU officer Steve Lerner has been caught on audio tape (recorded at in a closed session at a Pace University forum last weekend) detailing a secret plan that is designed to:

  • Nuke the Stock Market
  • Destroy JP Morgan-Chase
  • Destabilize our economy
  • Create the conditions for a change in government and a “redistribution of wealth”Watch the video. Note specifically, the comments of Steve Lerner that begin at about the 4:45 mark:

A copy of this tape has been forwarded to the Justice Department. Of course, the head of the Justice Department is Obama appointee Eric Holder who, in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program last December, said that the prospects of domestic terrorism keeps him up at night:

“What I am trying to do in this interview is to make people aware of the fact that the threat is real, the threat is different, the threat is constant. The threat has changed from simply worrying about foreigners coming here, to worrying about people in the United States, American citizens — raised here, born here, and who for whatever reason, have decided that they are going to become radicalized and take up arms against the nation in which they were born.” 

May I suggest, Mr. Holder, that not all terrorists use guns. Governments can be toppled using many different types of weapons and economic terrorism is one of them. May I also suggest, Mr. Holder, what you have here is nothing less than a conspiracy in motion to do just that: Use economic terrorism to bring down the government of the United States.

Nothing less than a full, public investigation, resulting in whatever criminal charges or, perhaps, charges of treason apply will be accepted by the American public.

Pardon my choice of words, but the you-know-what has just hit the fan, Mr. Holder. If you do anything to try to spin or lessen the preception of this clear and present danger, you are in violation of your oath of office.

To ALL Americans: The message of the American public to the Justice Department needs to be clear and united:

“Do your job, Mr. Holder.  Do. Your. Job.

Gerry Ashley 

  Read more at the Business Insider


It’s Not Just Wisconsin

February 21, 2011


Wisconsin has nothing on my home state of Massachusetts, especially when it comes to screwing good ol’ Joe Taxpayer with sick days.

Last week, Thomas Kinton, head of Massport (the Massachusetts Port Authority) announced that he would be retiring in June. An advanced announcement of this kind is excellent, as it allows Massport officials to start searching for a replacement for Mr. Kinton.

It also allows them to start saving up to pay for his pension, which is 67% of his salary in his highest earning year. Kinton’s base salary for 2009 was $295,000, so if that was, in fact, his highest earning year while at Massport, he will retire with a lovely annual pension of nearly $200,000.

But here’s the real kicker, and I’m tempted to say “only in Massachusetts could this happen,” except that I’m sure one of our readers will find other examples of this. Not only will Kinton retire with $197,000 annually, but the state will also have to kick in a one-time sum because his contract requires that he be paid for all accumulated unused sick time.

Would anyone like to take a guess at how much that is? According to the Boston Globe, Kinton will be paid $450,000 for sick time accrued but unused. That’s half a million bucks that we the taxpayers will be shelling out.

And make no mistake–Kinton has his hand out waiting for the cash:

“It’s what I’ve worked for,’’ Kinton said. “It’s something that is, I think, not the norm. But because I’m a CEO, and there aren’t many CEOs that have gone through the state retirement system with this many years of service, I think it just is not the norm and is the exception to the rule. But it’s the earned benefit and something that I’ve worked very hard for.’’ [emphasis mine]

Wait, what? I thought that’s what a salary was. Sick days are for, well, being sick and staying home so that you don’t infect your co-workers, and so that you can recover. But according to Massport, Mr. Kinton has accumulated 478 sick days during his tenure at the public trough (as of 2009; God only knows how many more days he has racked up in the intervening two years).

Regardless, Mr. Kinton, hero that he no doubt perceives himself to be, will ride off into his sunset years with a bountiful pension and a one-time payout of more-than-oriental splendour.

Because in Massachusetts, the fix is always in.

Stoutcat


Twenty-two Years Ago

December 22, 2010

 

On Wednesday, December 21, 1988, 270 people were murdered in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. It was another battle in a war that had been ongoing for many years. Sadly, only the attacking force recognized this war for what it was. It would take several more attacks and nearly 13 more years before the world woke up and paid attention. At the time, the Lockerbie bombing was simply another act of agression against the West.

Of course we all know that last year, on what were termed “compassionate grounds” with the understanding that he would go home and die quickly, the Lockerbie bomber was released and returned to Libya, where he met a hero’s welcome and is still alive today.

Now, exactly 22 years after the bombing, the Senate has released a report on the bomber’s release, entitled “Justice Undone: The Release of the Lockerbie Bomber.” According to the Telegraph UK:

“The report suggests that a $900 million (£580 million) BP oil deal that the Libyans had threatened to cut off and a $165 million deal with General Dynamics for a “tactical communications system” were motivating factors for the British government under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown…

“It states that the prognosis given to al-Megrahi that his terminal prostate cancer meant he had just three months to live was “inaccurate and unsupported by medical science” and that the Scottish government “simply intended to use compassionate release as political cover for returning al-Megrahi to Libya”.

Other higher-ups in the British government participated in the release decision as well. MSNBC reports:

“Britain’s ambassador to Libya, Sir Vincent Fean, “directly participated” in an October 2008 meeting with Scottish government and senior Libyan officials to discuss a “way out” for Megrahi, it states.

“Other British officials repeatedly warned the Scots that “British interests, including those of U.K. nationals, British businesses and possibly security cooperation would be damaged — perhaps badly — if Megrahi were to die in a Scottish prison,” according to a statement British Foreign Minister William Hague provided the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

When the report came out yesterday, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron was almost Obama-like in his haste to blame the prisoner’s release on his predecessor, Gordon Brown.

In short:

Oil interests in UK want deal with Libya. Libya wants bomber released. Unqualified doctors say bomber is dying and should be allowed to go home. Bomber goes home and and is still alive over a year later. Oil interests and UK satisfied. US Senate cries foul. Cameron says “Bush Brown did it!”

We’re in the very best of hands.

You can read the entire Senate report here.

Stoutcat


Financial Reform: The Good, The Bad and The Butt-Ugly.

July 16, 2010

You probably heard that the Financial Reform Bill just passed the Senate and is on it’s way to being signed into law by Emp-error Obama, probably some time next week.

“Yes,” you ask, gritting your teeth. “But how, exactly, does it affect me?”

Well, just the fact that it was written by Democratic Senator Chris Dodd, and Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank should have you running, screaming towards the Canadian border.  I find the irony rather horrific: one of the chief proponents of Fannie-Mae and Freddie-Mac (the two programs that are chiefly responsible for the economic mess we’re in regards to banking) is one of the architects of the legislation to get us OUT of the trouble he caused. Think about that: If you had to trade your car in because the mechanic at your dealer ruined your engine, would you turn to that same mechanic to write the service manual for your new car?

As to the impact, in some minor areas, we gain, but as is always the case when government gets involved, it’s gonna cost you at the other end… Translation: Break out the KY Jelly, folks. Try to minimize the pain.

The legislation took well over a year to develop, and it wound up taking slightly over 2,300 pages to contain it. But NOT TO WORRY!  I’m sure His Sly-ness, the Omnipotent Lord Obama will give us 72 hours to look at it on-line before signing it into law, just like he did with the stimul… uh, woops. Never mind… “Nothing to see here, folks. Just keep moving, please.”

Better yet: If you are into Masochism, download it yourself here and enjoy your week-end: The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (as a public service announcement, I recommend using a condom while reading it).

If I may, here’s a highly condensed version of some of what you’ll find buried in this legislation:

1.) The legislation creates an agency that can seize and liquidate any bank (including those considered “too big to fail”).

The Good News: We shouldn’t get stuck paying to bail out banks for their failures as George Bush had us do.
The Bad News: It does NOT, however, control just how big a bank can grow. Recipe for disaster? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out. You know, like Nancy Pelosi’s take on health care: “We have to pass it to find out what’s in it!”
The REALLY Bad News: Hello? The government now has permission to seize any bank (and its assets) at any time, based on the whim of… the government. Translation: More power taken away from the people and given to the government (who wrote this legislation again? Hugo Chavez?)

2.) A new federal agency (under the banner of the Federal Reserve) that will impose more regulatory control over credit card companies, payday advance companies and mortgage companies.

The Good News: Perhaps more restrictions on the types and amounts of fees they can gouge customers with. Pre-payment penalties will likely be eliminated or greatly reduced on certain types of loans and mortgages.

The Bad News: Those fees are where these institutions make much of their profit. While the government presents these regulations as “consumer protection, ” that translates into “less profit” for these entities which, ultimately, means more restrictions on their service to you. Look for new fees on other services to make up the difference, harder to obtain credit cards, harder to qualify for mortgages and more restrictions on availability of payday advances…  Yeah, that ought to help the economy recover. If you’re in the construction industry, plan on selling a lot fewer houses. A LOT fewer.

The REALLY Bad News: With new regulations on mortgage companies, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize mortgage money will be much harder to qualify for. With a plethora of unsold homes in foreclosure already flooding the market, that could keep the housing market depressed for years.  Couple this with an economy that’s already on life-support and a job market that is – well, for lack of a better term – flat-lining, in most parts of the country, and we could actually see a society where we could have millions of homeless people living on the streets and hundreds of thousands of empty homes sitting in foreclosure. If and when that happens, how long before the government will write (and pass) legislation allowing the government to seize homes that are sitting empty and redistribute the right to live there.

Who would have thought the pompous idiots  who helped the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac debacle trash our economy could come up with something even more foreboding for the future? Way to go Barney and Chris! Would you like to inject us directly with poison next?

3.) The new legislation requires more transparency in the derivatives market.

The Good News: None we can actually measure. Not until the “bad” news is resolved (which the government has absolutely no incentive to do)..

The Bad News: Fill in your own sarcastic comment here about “transparency,” especially if it’s going to work the same way it has with the Obama administration.  And it probably will, because they have apparently left it up to Bill Clinton to ask for the definition of “transparency.”


4.) New limits on how much Banks  can charge retail businesses when customers use debit cards for purchases and how much they can charge for overdrafts.

The Good News: If you’re a business owner, this means less cost to you when a customer swipes a debit card to make a purchase. So this means the businesses will pass those savings on to us, right?  Nope. Not necessarily.  Nothing requires businesses to do so.

For those of us who live paycheck to paycheck and occasionally overdraft our account, banks will be forced to reduce the penalty for doing so, meaning they would be limited to how much they can gouge you when they (as comedian Gallagher would say), “charge you more of what they already know you don’t have any of.”

The Bad News: Under the old laws, businesses were required to allow you to use your debit card for ALL purchases, no matter how small. Under the Financial Reform legislation, that restriction is lifted. Look for retailers to jump on the bandwagon of having minimum amounts for purchases using debit cards. You may have to forget about buying that McDouble using the debit card. The consumer’s new credo: “Cash: Don’t leave home without it.” Look for armed robberies to increase as a result.

Even MORE Bad News: With banks making less money per transaction with retailers, reduced fees for overdrafts and other fees, look for them to make it up elsewhere. This could mean buh-bye to that free-checking or, perhaps, more or higher fees for using that debit card to obtain cash at the ATM. Where banks are concerned, you may want to keep that KY Jelly handy. If they can’t screw you one way, they’ll screw you another. And, from what I’ve seen, this 2,319 page legislation isn’t going to do a thing to end that.

Here’s a couple of videos that show various aspects of the legislation:
A) The Good

B) The Bad

C) The Ugly: A Paul Shanklin tribute to the man who helped create the banking debacle, and then in true “End of days” fashion, has co-authored the legislation that’s supposed to resolve the very problem he helped create.

Enjoy your week-end, folks. Good news: Stoutcat returns from vacation next week.

H/T Michelle Malkin

Gerry Ashley


Rough Costs: Gulf Spill vs. Exxon Valdez

June 17, 2010

 

Well, there are yet more numbers out there describing the Gulf oil “spew.” Now, the experts are mumbling numbers like 60,000 barrels/day of oil loosed upon the wave and shore. A bit of quick math (42 gal/barrel) says that we’re looking at something like 145 million gallons total so far, or 13 times that of the Exxon Valdez.

Of course, there are so many unknowns… We don’t really know how much oil has been lost; we don’t know what nearly a million gallons of dispersants are going to do to the area; we don’t know what happens to such a deep ecosystem given the 5,000′ depth of the blow-out; we don’t know how much crude will reach the shoreline and the wetlands… But even if we simply use the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill as a rough estimate, that was still a $4.5 billion cleanup–but Pricne William Sound is still feeling the effects. Using just that yardstick today ($654/gal), we’re looking at $95 billion, though that may in fact be just a fraction of the final amount.

And truth be told, the cleanup will no doubt reach a point of diminishing returns… For example (and this is just an example), BP might be able to remediate 75% of the damage at a cost of $40 billion, 80% at a cost of $50 billion, 83% at a cost of $75 billion, and 84% at a cost of $150 billion. Put another way, there will come a time when there just isn’t enough ecological bang for the (available) cleanup buck.

Obviously, that begs a nasty question… Just how many bucks does BP have? Try about $80 billion with their oil reserves. Uh oh. But as Reuters reported:

“The company generated cash of $7.7 billion from operating activities in the first quarter. Even after capital investment of $3.8 billion, it had $3.9 billion of free cash and the company says it has arranged significant credit lines…

“The upper end of analysts’ forecasts of total costs is around $30-$35 billion, with potential extra costs for lost fisheries business in years to come.

“Analysts say BP may not be able to cover such costs, and pay its dividend, out of cashflow alone, forcing additional borrowing.

However, the oil giant is believed to be able to do so without bringing its gearing levels above its targeted 20-30 percent range.”

My over-priced $.02 concerning the final cost of the cleanup? I’m guessing at best $50 billion—$100 billion if we’re lucky. (Who knows what it will amount to if the relief wells flop.) As the summer slogs by watch the shenanigans, follow the money, and watch out for PetroChina. Oh goody.

Alan Speakman


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