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Today, 3:33 pmThe Only Way ...!!

September 14th – The following is directed ONLY to the pond scum who just beheaded their third Westerner: “Dear Young Men of ISIS: Let’s face it, not much manhood on display when you’re beheading unarmed victims with their hands tied behind their backs. May we suggest athletics? You know where there is actual competition. Your part of the world could certainly use your help, at the 2004 Olympics the 57 Muslim countries took home only 13 gold medals. Heck, Australia won more (17) with about 1% of the population. Or ISIS you may wish to show everyone your remarkable abilities in science & technology. Your ancestors achieved great things within these fields … 1000 years ago! So instead of focusing on cutting off heads & sterilizing women, with study & hard work ISIS you could double the number of Nobel Science Prizes ever awarded to people of your faith. Shouldn’t be too difficult with the current total at TWO. Finally, please clear something up … is it ISIS or ISIL? Doesn’t really matter, to the civilized world you filthy animals are known only as LOSERS.” P

Entry #829
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Today, 10:32 amThe remains of the first Politician

Voluntaryism. Anti State, Anti Religion.'s photo.

Entry #828
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Yesterday, 6:08 pmI know for a fact, I WOULD BE...

~ Mrs. Liberty

Entry #827
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Yesterday, 10:24 amBig Pens Prepare Coming Political Assassinations

Big Pens Prepare Coming Political Assassinations

Shawn Mitchell | Sep 15, 2014

Shawn Mitchell
  •  

We’re living a failing economy. Job hunters are so discouraged, tens of millions have dropped out. The world is erupting in flames. The terror threat to America is higher than any time since September 10, 2001. Democrats have no successes to point to, nothing positive to defend going into election season. Presidential approval is tanking. Obviously, America is ready for something different. Big government progressives are about to get spanked! Right? Not even close.

Look out, conservatives! With the help of ignorant or malicious national Big Pens and Big Hairs who wouldn’t know the benefits of Constitutional freedom if it bit them in the amicus, you’re about to get painted as the biggest racists, sexists, class-snob robber barons the world has ever known. We’re talking America before civil rights; matrimony before female inheritance and voting rights; class castes before Social Security and food stamps. You horrible non-liberals won’t rest until everyone who isn’t a rich, white, heterosexual, property owning male is hungry, uninsured, unemployed, and socially oppressed.

It’s an old but successful playbook. When Paul Ryan burst on the scene as the VP nominee, with creative ideas on the budget, fighting poverty, and sparking the economy that was dying under Obama, the president displayed his customary grace by accusing Republicans of peddling "trickle-down fairy dust." The media obligingly piled on with stories about Romney’s wealth and Ryan’s tiny nicks in the massive entitlement empire as if they were the end of economic progress.

They protected Progressive dogma and liberal economic fraud in the same way they protected Obama’s foreign policy frauds. The latter have burst into such a disastrous fireball, there’s barely public or media attention left for the former. Nevertheless, there’s domestic economic suffering aplenty.

To preview the coming election/policy debates, let’s consider one class warfare staple: “Trickle down economics.” Strictly speaking, that taunt has always been an incoherent mess.

People get wealthy by persuading consumers to buy their products and services. It’s actually trickle up economics. Goods and services flow to consumers; payment flows to suppliers. And, entrepreneurs usually hire and benefit a lot of workers along the way.

“Trickle down economics”--what does it mean? That if we don't tax the snot out of the rich, maybe they'll pour some spare pennies down on the heads of the poor? Nonsense. Beyond achieving a miserly-sounding sneer, the pairing is exactly wrong in at least three different ways.

First, the wealthy don’t actually trickle anything down on anyone. They pay for things they need and want, with whatever effects that produces in the economy. What progressives seem to prefer is a system to wring the rich like a wet towel and politically drizzle the money on the needy—what’s left, anyway, after government waters its favored causes and cronies.

That's the approach of the shake-down state economies of the Euro-moribund zone and of the great Peron-Castro-Chavez banana republic tradition. You know, where strongmen gain power, neutralize competing power centers--like checks and balances—assert economic control, and chocan the fortunes and freedom of rising Latin nations. (“Chocar” doesn’t mean “to choke” but close enough).

That turns out to be the real “trickle down”: extract lots of money from the rich, feed it through the digestive tract of government and its many corrupt parasites, then dribble what’s left on the heads of the grateful, dependent poor, thus securing their suicidal votes.

It’s ruined a number of nations and threatens to ruin America.

Come to think, “trickle down economics” also reasonably describes the redistributive obsession and promises President Obama has powerfully and empirically debunked in an exhaustive six year field study. Jobs down. Dependency way up. Inequality up. Bravo, Mr. President! Thank you for historically vindicating the historically consequential Reaganism you hoped to erase from the textbooks.

Second, what liberals call “trickle down” is just good ole’ “supply side" or “free market” economics. It means human freedom in commercial activity. Get out of the way of people’s pursuit of happiness and gainful labor, so free exchange and economic growth can build prosperity. Investors, entrepreneurs, managers, and workers build enterprises that hire employees to market goods and services to willing buyers. Prosperity and opportunity spread out from there.

Third, interestingly, if any vertical metaphor makes sense here, it’s not “down,” but “up.” “Trickle up economics” describes free enterprise far better than “trickle down.” The way to build wealth in a free economy is to satisfy the market, as in consumers. That is, to get rich you have to offer goods or services for which A) people are willing to pay you; B) a price higher than your cost of providing; and C) in sufficient quantity that profits proliferate. And your offer has to be more attractive than your other competitors’.

If people get wealthy in a free economy, it's because the wealth trickles up as a result of others’ free choices pursuing their own benefit. All the related suppliers, employees, contractors and others also gain from the same flowing currents of wealth generation. Apart from charitable giving--a different subject--the rich don’t pour or trickle anything down on less fortunate heads; rather the middle and working classes earn income in the streams that trickle up toward success.

Ever since this silly insult first trickled harmlessly off Ronald Reagan’s Teflon, its logic has been amiss. But it is all the liberal establishment has left.

Entry #826
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September 13, 2014, 7:07 pmThe Post Obama Recovery Begins Here

The Post Obama Recovery Begins Here

John Ransom | Sep 13, 2014

John Ransom

If Americans want some cheap fuel for the economy, it would be best to vote GOP this time around because only the GOP has a plan for inexpensive, reliable domestic energy production. Combined with a lifting of restrictions on exportation of unrefined oil, fuel prices could be significantly lower than they are now.

And where they are now—lower—has helped the economy greatly in the last month.

For years I’ve puzzled over how so many Americans have lost the connection between inexpensive, reliable energy sources and a robust economy. But this month’s retail sales numbers make the connection clear. Retail sales were up in line with expectations. The rise in sales largely reflected lower gas prices, which meant that more money was available to consumers to spend on something besides fuel.

“U.S. retail sales rose in August as Americans bought automobiles and a range of other goods,” reports Reuters, “which should ease some concerns about consumer spending and support expectations for sturdy growth in the third quarter…. While sales at service stations fell 0.8 percent, that reflected declining gasoline prices, which should free up income and support discretionary spending in the months ahead.”

While the economy has adjusted to the reality of higher gas prices and higher taxes under Obama, an economy that has lower gas prices and lower taxes does better than one that does not. Money moves from fuel costs and tax receipts when those costs go down into, say, electronics purchases like the iPhone 6.

That’s simple math and common sense.

That of course is why the GOP skunks the Democrats when it comes to energy policy: math and common sense are never liberal strong suits.

If you want an overarching bureaucracy dedicated to slowing down the economy, sapping its vitality and drive, and denying consumers choice in the marketplace, then the Democrats are definitely for you.

That’s been fairly obvious since 2006.

But if you want the best post-Obama recovery the world will ever see, then vote GOP.

Since Obama was elected in 2008, a revolution in energy has transformed the world. The United States has never, ever had more proven reserves of cheap so-called fossil fuels. Even with the government doing all it can to stop energy production, there is a massive glut of some types of oil because refineries are running at capacity to process that fuel. To some extent however this increase in production here at home has yet to be felt in worldwide oil markets. The oil produced here at home won’t go into the open market, but will stay here due to the oil exportation ban.

We can buy oil from foreigners; we just can’t sell them oil.

Yeah, the ban is stupid; the ban is shortsighted; the ban is non-economical. And that of course is why the Democrats like it.

If there were a single policy area that our next president could concentrate on to right our economy it would be in supporting domestic energy production. And lower taxes. And repealing Obamacare. And reforming welfare. Oh, and don’t forget education: fixing education would be huge. We could also use labor union reform to be honest with you. And a better funded military.

So please, vote GOP.

Entry #825
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September 13, 2014, 10:32 amShovel Ready Creations.

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

Entry #824
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September 12, 2014, 9:45 amPost-9/11: Protect the Freedom To Warn

Post-9/11: Protect the Freedom To Warn

Michelle Malkin | Sep 12, 2014

Michelle Malkin

"If you see something, say something." That's what our homeland security apparatchiks incessantly preach. But 13 years after the 9/11 attacks, the freedom to warn is in danger and vigilant whistleblowers are under fire.

 

Listen to Robert MacLean. He's a former Air Force nuclear weapons specialist and Border Patrol agent recruited by the government to serve as one of the first federal air marshals after 9/11.

In 2003, MacLean underwent emergency training to prepare for a new round of al-Qaida hijacking threats. Jihadists exploiting visa and screening loopholes had planned to target East Coast airliners, according to intelligence analysts. For unknown reasons, however, the Transportation Security Administration abruptly called off air marshals from duty on nonstop, long-distance flights -- just two days before the anticipated hijacking.

How did they notify the air marshals? Cue the Keystone Cops. "TSA chose to send the unlabeled text message to our unsecured Nokia 3310 cellular phones instead of our $22 million encrypted smart phone system. There were no markings or secrecy restrictions on the message," MacLean recounted to Congress this week. "We all thought it was a joke given the special training we had just received and the post-9/11 law that nonstop long-distance flights were a priority."

A supervisor told MacLean the agency was broke and there was nothing he could do. Appalled at both the dangerous pullback and the reckless way in which the feds notified the air marshals, MacLean then contacted his department's inspector general hotline and was warned he would be "cutting (his) career short if (he) pursued the issue further." Instead, he went to the press and made his homeland security concerns public. In 2006, MacLean was fired.

More than a decade later, the dedicated security expert has battled the feds who retaliated against him. He was forced into bankruptcy and shut out of law enforcement jobs. His legal case heads to the Supreme Court this fall. God bless him. Despite the consequences, MacLean would do it all again in a heartbeat.

"I blew the whistle because I had to," he testified this week. "I could not live with the tragedy risked if I had been the cynical silent observer."

MacLean is not alone. Do you remember 10 years ago when then-Federal Air Marshal Service Director Thomas Quinn refused to allow his employees to dress undercover? Quinn, a former Secret Service agent, insisted that air marshals abide by military-style grooming standards and a rigid business dress policy regardless of weather, time of year or seating arrangement. Yes, really. Marshals were ordered to dress like characters straight out of "Men in Black" -- leaving them vulnerable to terrorist identification.

Critics of the code dubbed Quinn the Captain Queeg of homeland security. He even assigned fashion police to enforce the rules his own spokesman denied existed. Homeland security bureaucrats in Washington back then downplayed the marshals' complaints about the dress policy and other directives and leaks that undermined the marshals' anonymity.

Officials at headquarters smeared the messengers inside and outside the agency and denied any wrongdoing. One top special agent in charge of the marshals' Atlanta office, Don Strange, was fired after criticizing the dress code and boarding procedures that made the marshals' identities obvious. Another agent, Frank Terreri, faced retaliation for whistleblowing and was forced to sue to protect his job.

Today, the Federal Air Marshal program remains riddled with mismanagement, corruption and neglect. In April, FAM Director Robert Bray resigned amid an embarrassing gun scheme probe. And earlier this year, six of 24 air marshal offices closed, and hiring was frozen in Las Vegas, Seattle and Denver. Yet, according to one of my sources, "the last class of air marshals graduated from the academy in 2012. The service has not hired any mission-flying FAMs since. In that same time frame, they have promoted or hired over 300 people, and continue to do so, for supervisory and administrative duties. Almost every supervisory position includes a paid move and a yearly salary of $100,000."

Every 9/11, pundits talk about how "everything changed" after the attacks. But the homeland security bureaucracy is as petty, vindictive, wasteful and stupid as ever.

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

Entry #823
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September 11, 2014, 10:30 pmWhat else would you expect ?

Does Evil Exist In The World

Entry #822
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September 11, 2014, 9:51 amSuccess or Failure?

Success or Failure?

Thomas Sowell | Sep 11, 2014

Thomas Sowell

First the strategy -- which is to get each crisis off the front pages and off television news programs as quickly as he can, in whatever way he can, at the lowest political cost. Calling ISIS a junior varsity months ago accomplished that goal.

Saying before the 2012 elections that "bin Laden is dead" and that terrorism was defeated accomplished the goal of getting reelected.

Ineffective sanctions against Iran and Russia likewise serve a clear purpose. They serve to give the illusion that Obama is doing something that will stop Iran from getting nuclear bombs and stop Russia from invading Ukraine.

This forestalls the massive and enraged outcries there would be if the public were fully aware that he was doing nothing serious enough to prevent either of these things from happening. Generations of Americans yet unborn may curse us all for leaving them hostage to a nuclear terrorist Iran. But generations yet unborn do not vote, so they carry no weight with Barack Obama.

No one has a perfect batting average in any field, so Obama has been caught in some dicey situations, such as the sudden eruption of ISIS on the world stage, with their videotaped beheadings that make it hard to get them off the front pages and off the TV newscasts.

Caught off guard, the president has played for time -- time for Iraq to get its internal politics fixed, time for our allies to come together, time for the military to create a strategy. Ideally, from his standpoint, time for the whole ISIS crisis to blow over.

There is always someone else to blame for whatever goes wrong in the Obama administration. Supposedly the intelligence services had not kept him informed about how imminent the ISIS threat was. But others who received top-secret briefings by the intelligence services say otherwise.

Some people are wondering how someone of obvious intelligence like Barack Obama could be so mistaken about so many things, especially in deadly foreign policy issues. But there is no way of knowing whether anyone is succeeding or failing without first knowing what they are trying to do.

If you assume that Barack Obama is trying to protect the safety and interests of the United States and its allies, then clearly he has been a monumental failure. It is hard to think of any part of the world where things have gotten better for us since the Obama administration began.

Certainly not in Iraq. Or Iran. Or Libya. Or China. Things went from bad to worse after Obama intervened in Egypt and helped put the murderous Muslim Brotherhood in power. Fortunately for Egypt -- and for the whole Middle East -- the Egyptian military took the Muslim Brotherhood out of power, in defiance of Obama.

If you start from the assumption that Barack Obama wanted to advance America's interests, this is truly an unbelievable record of failure. But what is there in Obama's background that would justify the assumption that America's best interests are his goal?

He has, from childhood on, been mentored by, or allied with, people hostile to the United States and to American values. His mentors and allies have all been very much like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, even if they were not as flamboyant.

Barack Obama has succeeded in reducing America's military strength while our adversaries are increasing theirs, and reducing our credibility and influence with our allies. That is completely consistent with his vision of how the world ought to be, with the West taken down a peg and humbled.

We are currently at a point where we can either kill as many of the ISIS terrorists as possible over there -- where they are bunched together and visible against a desert background -- or else leave the job half done and have them come over here, where they will be hard to find, and can start beheading Americans in America.

Everything in Barack Obama's history suggests that he is going to leave the job half done, so long as that gets the issue off the front pages and off the TV newscasts.

Entry #821
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September 10, 2014, 9:06 pmHold On, Mr. President

Hold On, Mr. President

John Stossel | Sep 10, 2014

John Stossel

"Do you have a strategy now, Mr. President?" asked the cover of the Daily News next to a photo of the second American journalist to be beheaded by the terrorist group ISIS.

The impulse to "do something" to counter such evil is strong.

But why do we assume that government doing something is always an improvement over government doing nothing?

In domestic policy, encouraging government to act leads to nonsense like the "stimulus spending" that created boondoggles such as Cash for Clunkers.

Our foreign policy record isn't much better, despite big successes such as stopping Hitler. Consider the unintended consequences of involving ourselves in other conflicts, such as Vietnam.

President Carter, now derided as a weakling, wasn't about to sit around and "do nothing" when Russians invaded Afghanistan. Carter armed Islamic fighters, the mujahidin. Bold move.

But later those fighters formed the Taliban.

President Clinton lobbed missiles at al-Qaida without doing much damage. Osama bin Laden mocked the U.S. as a "paper tiger" for such ineffectual tactics.

When President George W. Bush chose to go to war with Saddam Hussein, Vice President Cheney assured the world we'd be hailed as "liberators." After we weren't, hawks said the invasion still made the world safer, because Saddam harbored terrorists.

Well, Iraq is definitely a harbor for terrorists now.

Despite our frequent military interventions from Southeast Asia to Latin America, in the Wall Street Journal, Brookings Institution foreign policy analyst Robert Kagan warns about "America's dangerous aversion to conflict."

Aversion to conflict?

I too get frustrated watching evildoers abuse Americans overseas. Maybe the plan to "train and equip" certain tribes and eventually "destroy ISIS" that President Obama will speak about tonight will be a good thing.

But I'm skeptical.

After the toppling of Saddam, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice thought it was smart to support Sunni militants who wanted to fight al-Qaida. But now it's Sunni militants who lead ISIS.

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton thought it was smart to aid Islamist militias in Syria and Libya. In Libya, "A monstrous little dictator was removed," writes Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal, but that "left an opening for people who were more monstrous still, who murdered our ambassador, burned our consulate in Benghazi and have now run us out of Tripoli."

We may soon do an about-face and help Bashir Assad against militias we had hoped would overthrow him (a few months ago, when he was the latest in a long line of foreign leaders who hawks likened to Hitler).

We don't know what our interventions will bring. If we remove ISIS, we remove the biggest threat to terrorist cells like Hamas. Fighting these groups is like fighting Hydra, the monster from Greek mythology. Cut off one head, two more grow back.

The policy twists and turns come so fast that Americans may give up on following them all. I don't blame them: In Syria alone, there's conflict between Assad's government, the Free Syrian army, al-Qaida, Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic Front, Hezbollah, ISIS and so on.

Remember hawkish Sen. John McCain appearing in a photo with some Syrian fighters who turned out to be terrorists? It's hard to keep track.

One of the terrorists' goals is to get us to overreact. They understand how much it costs us. In a piece titled "The Beheadings Are Bait," Matthew Hoh from the Center for International Policy reminds readers that Osama bin Laden said, "All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there and cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses."

Maybe it's time for America to stop taking the bait. Islamic militants do monstrous things all over the world. We cannot stop it all.

There may be actions we can take. Thousands of people in Iraq were rescued by airdrops of food and water. Air strikes stopped the ISIS advance.

But there is a big difference between that type of action and prolonged engagement.

The urge to "do something" is understandable. But Government can't get domestic policy right. Don't assume it gets foreign policy right.

Entry #820
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September 10, 2014, 8:15 amHolder's DOJ Accidently Asked Republican to Spin IRS Scandal

Holder’s DOJ Accidently Asked Republican to Spin IRS Scandal

Michael Schaus | Sep 10, 2014

Michael Schaus
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Oops. Attorney General Eric Holder’s office accidently tried to concoct a PR strategy to undermine Republican Congressman Darrell Issa with… Darrell Issa’s office. According to a letter released by Issa, a Senior Communication aide to Holder (who used to work for Chuck Schummer) called the congressman’s office asking to release documents that would “undermine” the Republican investigation into the IRS scandal.

So, I repeat: Oops.

Brian Fallon, who previously spent his time in DC as an aid to Democrat Senator Chuck Schummer, apparently needs to update his rolodex. (Wait… Does anyone still use a rolodex, or should we be talking about Google “circles” and i-phone contacts?) Staff members in Issa’s office received a strange call on Friday afternoon of last week when Brian called, asking to release “specific documents” before the “majority” (those are Republicans, by the way) had a chance to comment on them.

Frank Underwood, I’m sure, is shaking his head in disappointment at such a rookie mistake, Brian.

In short, Holder’s aide called up Issa’s office asking to undermine Republicans in their investigation into the IRS targeting scandal… It’s a pretty safe assumption that poor little Brian tried to call Elijah Cummings, who is the ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee. After all, reports have been mysteriously appearing in the Press before the Committee makes them public, and it’s highly unlikely that the leading Republican would be damaging his own case. I guess up until now it has been a complete and total mystery as to how such information was leaked… But we could probably take some guesses.

After requesting that a few select documents be leaked to the press, and some PR spin be liberally applied, Brian apparently realized his mistake. It’s still unclear when Brian might have realized he misdialed… Maybe it was when Issa’s staff asked for such odd (and questionably moral) requests to be put in writing, or maybe it just took the brilliant DOJ aide several minutes to process the words “Darrel Issa’s office, how can I help you?”

Either way, the hapless Holder-helper abruptly put Issa’s staffers on hold… For three minutes.

After a short commercial break, the loveable lug from the DOJ got back on the line with a very witty (albeit unnerved) explanation that he was trying to “work together” with the committee… It’s only laughable because Eric Holder was recently found to be in contempt of Congress for ignoring the will of the House.

So, let’s recap:

A DOJ aide accidently called the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee; then he asked that a handful of documents be released to “select” reporters in an effort to get “in front of” Republicans on the issue; then he put staffers on hold; then he came back (audibly shaken) and blabbered about “working together”.

Yeah. This sounds legit.

Good thing Brian wasn’t around when Holder was running guns to Mexico… Who knows what kind of calls Issa’s office would be getting on Friday afternoons

Entry #819
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September 9, 2014, 10:40 amTruth comes in all forms..

#tcot #liberty #ccot

Entry #818
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September 9, 2014, 9:23 amWhat Is The Ex-Im Bank Hiding?

What Is The Ex-Im Bank Hiding?

Ken Blackwell | Sep 09, 2014

Ken Blackwell

It seems the Export-Import Bank of the United States is once again putting up walls to keep the duly-elected representatives of the American people from getting a look at their inner workings. Ex-Im Chairman Fred Hochberg recently dashed off a letter to U.S. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Patrick McHenry in which he dismissed the committee’s request to interview Ex-Im officials, shying away from what he called “the inherently adversarial nature of transcribed interviews.”

The Ex-Im Chairman also defended the Bank’s practice of making heavy redactions to the documents they have deigned to turn over to the committee. He did, however, offer to provide “additional information if you have questions about particular redactions.” This, apparently, is a man who thinks having committee staff pick out every single blacked-out word or phrase is a good use of their taxpayer-funded time. Or maybe, because he knows how prevalent these redactions are – as Chairman Hensarling put it, “more redactions than answers” – this is simply another attempt to slow-walk any investigation into the Ex-Im Bank’s affairs.

In Chairman Hochberg’s position, it’s hard to blame him. The stakes are high for the Ex-Im Bank at the moment. Their charter expires at the end of this month, and without reauthorization by Congress, the bank will fold. Several Members of Congress, including senior lawmakers like Hensarling and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have already expressed their support for just that. It’s no wonder that Chairman Hochberg might be a little concerned about his job security. But by redacting documents and withholding access to government workers for interviews, what exactly is he trying to hide about the Ex-Im Bank?

Could it be yet more evidence of corruption? It was widely reported earlier this summer that four officials had left the Bank under a cloud of fraud allegations, ranging from questionable contracting practices to taking kickbacks from companies hoping to do business with Ex-Im. Hochberg made a particularly uncomfortable and evasive appearance before a Financial Services subcommittee in July to discuss these matters. Also called to testify was Johnny Gutierrez, one of the dismissed Ex-Im staffers, who elected to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Approximately 40 charges of fraud were noted to be under investigation by the Bank’s Inspector General at that time. Perhaps even more cases have been discovered in the intervening weeks and Hochberg hopes to keep them under wraps.

Or, it could be that the bank’s chairman wants to conceal more of Ex-Im’s embarrassing foreign entanglements. They finally stopped making deals with Russia in July, only after the Treasury Department sanctioned two Russian state banks who had previously received $519.6 million in combined financing from Ex-Im. Now, with Vladimir Putin’s tanks rolling around eastern Ukraine, Ex-Im would be especially keen to suppress any additional, unwelcome details of their relations with Russian government-backed financial institutions.

Maybe Hochberg simply wants to keep Congress and the public from discovering any new details that more firmly establish the Ex-Im Bank as a crony-capitalist institution that regularly picks winners and losers – though that’s fairly self-evident as it is. We already know that about 60 percent of the Bank’s financing flows to ten massive corporations like Boeing, Caterpillar and GE. Fine American companies all, but none in need of additional government subsidies – especially not when those subsidies happen to kill American jobs.

When Ex-Im provides taxpayer-backed financing so a foreign airline can buy a Boeing jet, they put our own American airlines – who must pay the sticker price – at a competitive disadvantage. One study estimated that these sweetheart deals for foreign airlines have already cost more than 7,500 jobs in the U.S. airline industry.

That’s exactly the sort of inconvenient connection that Chairman Hochberg doesn’t want the Financial Services Committee to make. He may well be concerned that the more Congress learns about the Ex-Im Bank, the more likely they’ll be to vote against its reauthorization, leaving him out of a job.

It’s time to face the music, Chairman Hochberg. Congress has a right to conduct effective oversight over the executive branch, and even more fundamentally, the people have a right to the truth.

Entry #817
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September 8, 2014, 10:10 pmBad Week: Obama; Worst Week: McDonnell

Bad Week: Obama; Worst Week: McDonnell

Rich Galen | Sep 08, 2014

Rich Galen
  •      

President Barack Obama had another very bad week. It was only because former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was convicted on eleven of fourteen counts of corruption that Mr. Obama didn't walk away with the Worst Week honors.

President announced during his pre-taped interview with Chuck Todd (to help mark the beginning of the Todd era on Meet the Press) that he would be addressing the nation on Wednesday night on his strategy for dealing with ISIS/ISIL/IS.

Remember, a couple of weeks ago he told a presser that he had no strategy to do that which was about as dumb a statement as we have heard from a President of the United States since Gerald Ford insisted that "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe" in 1976.

On his trip to Europe last week to attend the NATO summit, the White House staff thought it would be a big deal for the President to make a stop in Estonia which was one of the Eastern European nations that President Ford didn't realize were under Soviet domination.

Estonia is now aNATO member (along with nine other former members of the Warsaw pact), but whatever impact the Administration thought it might have on VladimirPutin and his forays into Ukraine, it was pretty clear that "Ich binein Estonian" was not the rallying cry most Americans were looking for.

 

In the midst of all that, Mr. Obama let it be known that his highly anticipated Executive Order to make major changes in immigration policy would be delayed until after theNovember 4 elections.

 

If, as most now believe, Republicans will organize the Senate next year, it is not at all clear how much political power will be available to him during the expected Lame Duck Session between the

November 4, 2014 election and the opening of the new Congress on or about January 3, 2015.

Barack Obama's job approval according to the RealClearPolitics.com average of major polls shows the President stuck at 41.5 percent. The Gallup Daily Tracking Poll shows him at 38 percent approval overall through

Friday's polling - his all time low in the Gallup sequence.Looking at the latest crosstabs available which are through the end of August, Blacks supported the President with an 89 percent approval rating, but only 30 percent of Whites approved.

That may not surprise many, but here's where political types' eyes will widen. Among the category of respondents who identified themselves as a "Pure Independent" President Obama's approval was also at only 30%. These numbers, remember, largely portray the President's approval before the damaging "no strategy" blunder. The President's political power is dissipating like the sand under your feet at the beach when the tide is going out.

I was the spokesman for then-Governor Bob McDonnell's legal team through the summer and early fall last year. I know a lot about what went on, much of which is still covered by my tenuous link to attorney-client privilege. Here's my feeling - notwithstanding the trial that ended in all those guilty verdicts last week: If stupidity exhibited by elected officials becomes actionable under Federal law, the U.S. House and Senate will have a tough time gathering a quorum.

My other take-away from my brief time in Richmond is that the only difference between the way business is done in Virginia and, say, Louisiana is the public nature of the "gifts" to officials. In Virginia, they just smile and nod. In Louisiana they say things, like: "Hell, yes he gave me a boat, but I earned it!" The silence from both Republicans and Democrats in the Statehouse as McDonnell twisted slowly in the wind for most of his final year in office was deafening. But, if you listened very closely, I believe you could hear the murmured prayers of many other officials who similarly made liberal use of the almost-non-existent gift laws in Virginia.  Bob McDonnell's term of Governor will, of course, be measured by his conviction, but he was a good Governor who, his dreadful judgment in his private life notwithstanding, left the Commonwealth better than he found it.

Entry #816
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September 8, 2014, 10:22 amObama to ISIS: "If you like your terror army, you can keep your terror army"

Obama to ISIS: "If you like your terror army, you can keep your terror army"

John Ransom | Sep 08, 2014

John Ransom

The only difference between Obama’s ISIS strategy in defeating the Islamic terror group and Obamacare is that under Obama’s strategy, ISIS will likely be able to keep their doctors and their current coverage, while under Obamacare you will not. Oh, and it won’t cost ISIS even a penny more to beat Obama than it would have previously.

Make no mistake though: Neither will work the way they are being sold.

That’s because Obama’s strategy relies upon the extreme Islamic states --states that made ISIS possible-- forming into a coalition to defend us from the ISIS extremists that they have funded for years. Falling short of the all out war that Henry Kissinger urged upon Obama against ISIS, the president-- of sorts—says that the guys who failed to be able to stand up to Osama bin Laden when he was a stateless refugee, the folks who couldn’t defeat Saddam Hussein, the states that couldn’t stand up to the Muslim Brotherhood or Iran should suddenly become resolute.

And moderate.

Obama’s strategy will fail because those people don’t actually exist.

“We're going to have to develop a moderate Sunni opposition,” wished the guy who couldn’t even get a budget passed as president, “that can control territory and that we can work with.”

Develop a moderate Sunni opposition? That we can work with?

Because THAT strategy was NEVER tried before.

Why doesn’t Obama just stick to things he knows more about, like stopping the seas from rising, Grammy-winning audiobooks, and peace prizes?

What Obama lacks in executive ability he matches in a lack of originality.

I’m not saying that Obama steals ideas that he claims to be his own, I’m just saying that the title of his next book ought to be “Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Stole from Someone Else, Mostly Communists and Marxists. But It’s All Bush’s Fault.”

Obama was handed a moderate Sunni opposition in Iraq protected by U.S. troops—created by George W. Bush-- and he forsook them. It’s hard to be moderate when the extremists want to kill you with U.S permission.

And if Obama thinks that countries like Saudi Arabia are going to help us, then he’s crazier than I already know him to be. The Saudis are funding the extremists in the same way the Kaiser funded Russian socialists during the Great War. At this rate, expect the Kaiser to eventually abdicate, again.

“Obama doesn’t seem to get it,” Ramzy Mardini, an analyst with the Atlantic Council, a Washington policy group told Bloomberg News by e-mail. “No Arab leader wants to publicly join hands with the ‘Great Satan’ and ‘Crusaders’ in fighting a war in the Middle East.”

That’s because guys like Obama have consistently told the American people and the rest of the world that America actually doesn’t care about Iraq. And some people—some people in the Middle East and in America, even believed him.

I’m not one of them.

Here’s the deal, my fellow Americans: You either make a commitment to Iraq or you don’t. You do it because the stakes are high enough for your own country that the expenditure of blood makes it in your national best interest.

We can have differences in how we got here, but there is no doubt that we are at a Rubicon of sorts.

If, as Obama has said, this is not our fight, then why are we fighting it?

But if, as Obama’s actions and words suggest, we do have something at stake, why didn’t we take it seriously and stick to it when the situation was manageable in Iraq in 2009?

It will take that kind of commitment to win-- again.

Obama has said that in just meeting with world leaders at a NATO summit he knows his fellow heads of state understand the gravity of the threat that ISIS poses to everyone. I hope that’s true.

Because clearly Obama understands nothing about the threat ISIS poses to the United States of America.

Entry #815
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