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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #350 on: June 02, 2012, 09:53:30 AM »



http://www.dickmorris.com/origins-of-the-welfare-state-dick-morris-tv-history-video/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #351 on: June 05, 2012, 07:38:06 PM »


Perhaps you thought that the Affordable Care Act is all about making insurance more affordable. Too bad no one told Americans that the law also turned the Health and Human Services Department into a giant venture capital investor for health care. This won't turn out well.

Awash in ObamaCare dollars, HHS has a growing investment portfolio that includes everything from new insurance companies to health-care start-ups to information technology. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is rushing out loans and subsidies like nobody's business in case the Supreme Court overturns the law or Mitt Romney wins.
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."We're moving forward with implementing this law, including moving forward with this very important commitment by the President, by the Administration, to community health centers and the people they serve," said senior White House aide Cecelia Munoz on a recent conference call with reporters. She was referring to $728 million in seed money for new clinics that HHS dispensed last month.

HHS already makes more grants than all other agencies combined, and it is the purchaser of health care for about one of three Americans via Medicare, Medicaid or both. The problem is that HHS spends its money—$788 billion for entitlements in 2012 and another $78 billion to run HHS's 300-odd programs—so badly.

Ernst & Young's annual outside audit of the HHS balance sheet last November was considered a triumph because several material weaknesses were downgraded merely to significant deficiencies. But on a "day-to-day or even monthly basis" HHS cannot accurately track its spending, according to the audit. The agency is in violation of numerous federal accounting rules written specifically for the bureaucracy, to say nothing of the financial reporting required of public companies.

The HHS inspector general revealed this year that his team can barely monitor HHS because its staff is too busy chasing the criminals exploiting HHS's incompetence. Experts disagree about how much is stolen from taxpayers through entitlement fraud—the Government Accountability Office puts it at $48 billion annually—but one sign of the problem is that Medicare allows doctors (or "doctors") to register for billing privileges as "other."

One particular ObamaCare boondoggle that needs fly-specking is the HHS decision to finance nonprofit insurance companies with up to $7.25 billion in ultra-low-cost loans. These co-ops were a consolation prize for liberals after Democratic opposition killed the government-run public option, and the co-ops are supposed to be managed by and for consumers. But it turns out that running an insurance company is hard for amateurs who can't attract private financing.

HHS officially estimates that the default rate on the loans will hit between 35% and 40%, which would be bad enough. But White House budget documents show that HHS expects to lose $3.1 billion of the $3.4 billion appropriated so far—which implies a default rate of 91%. The lack of accountability to shareholders or capital markets may help explain this propensity for failure.

Another problem is the way HHS chose to structure the co-op loans. To protect the insured, states require insurers to maintain reserves in the event they go bankrupt—and debts that are supposed to be repaid are viewed as liabilities. To end run these solvency requirements, HHS is issuing "surplus notes" that subordinate the taxpayer to everyone else for repayment if a co-op fails.

That seems likely, given the challenges of building a provider network and attracting members when expertise in such matters is legally prohibited under HHS rules. Any organization that wrote insurance policies prior to 2009—as it were, the pre-existing insurers of the Bush era—is barred from applying for loans or any significant role in the operations of a co-op. So the co-ops can't benefit from the business experience that might give them a chance to succeed.

Then there's Medicare's so-called "innovation center" and its $10 billion kitty to make grants to companies and providers to test new methods for improving care. Democrats included language that bars administrative or even judicial review of the center's financial decisions. Without any checks, this model replicates the rushed and haphazard loan process that led to the Energy Department's Solyndra fiasco. (For an insider's account of how HHS vets some of these grants, see Steven Greer's op-ed nearby.)

President Obama says he wants the election to be about the failed investments of private-equity firms, but Bain Capital has nothing on the politicized investments of the Obama Administration. At least Bain is investing private money. HHS is squandering yours.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #352 on: June 07, 2012, 10:18:49 AM »

WSJ

Crony Capitalism and the Crisis of the West
In Italy and Greece, the most talented don't get ahead. That's also increasingly true in the United States.
By LUIGI ZINGALES

As Greece sinks toward a financial abyss—and Portugal, Italy and Spain sit on the edge—can we in the United States consider ourselves safe?

Fundamental economic numbers offer little reassurance. At 8.6% of gross domestic product, the U.S. budget deficit is just under Greece's (9.1%) and equal to Spain's. U.S. debt, at 103% of GDP, is just below Portugal's—which first asked for a European Union bailout in 2011—and 58% larger than Spain's, which might soon need one.

Yet Americans should be concerned for a deeper reason. High deficits, high debt and unsustainable entitlements are symptoms of a common disease infecting Southern Europe and the U.S. That's crony capitalism, a problem with which I, having lived in Italy, am unfortunately familiar.

Cronyism has a long history in Italy, where historically the Catholic Church enjoyed tremendous influence. Popes and other members of the hierarchy wielded—and often abused—enormous power, including that of placing their children and friends in positions of influence, regardless of merit. A truly competitive market has no place for favoritism, but when one company or institution dominates a market, such practices become inevitable.

In Italy today, even emergency-room doctors gain promotions on the basis of political affiliation. Instead of being told to study, young people are urged to "carry the bag" for powerful people in the hope of winning favors. Mothers push their daughters into the arms of the rich and powerful, seeing it as the only avenue of social promotion. The nation's talent-selection process is broken: One routinely finds highly intelligent people employed in menial jobs while mediocre people often hold distinguished positions.

Once an incompetent appointee finds himself in a powerful position, he tends to hire only subordinates of equal or lower quality, since more talented people pose a threat to him. After a few years, a firm's human capital will become so eroded that it won't be able to compete without some form of protection. The more protection it can gain from government, the greater the scope of the cronyism, which in turn makes protection even more necessary. Crony capitalism creates a vicious circle.

Between 2001 and 2011, Italian per capita GDP dropped 4%. A low—or in Italy's case, negative—growth rate makes it difficult to meet basic social obligations. When growth is high, it's much easier to satisfy everyone without burdening future generations. But when the pie shrinks, the temptation to shift the burden onto someone else is irresistible—hence growing future entitlements and expanding budget deficits. During the 10 years of negative growth, the Italian debt-to-GDP ratio increased to 120% from 109%.

The worst consequence of crony capitalism is political. The more a system is dominated by cronies, the more it generates resentment. To maintain consensus, the insiders must distribute privileges and subsidies—and the more they dole out, the greater the demand becomes.

Traditionally, the U.S. has enjoyed a relatively honest democracy and transparent form of capitalism, which encouraged robust economic growth and contained the hunger for entitlements. This is less and less true. The U.S. tax code is filled with loopholes and special exemptions. Political connections increasingly count more than innovative ideas; young entrepreneurs often learn to lobby before they learn how to run a business.

Seven out of the 10 richest counties in the U.S. are in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., which produces little except rules and regulations. Even worse, the slow growth and decreased social mobility of the last decade have damaged the free market's reputation as a creator of prosperity. The hundreds of millions of dollars awarded for disastrous economic performance—from Robert Rubin's salary as chairman of almost-bankrupt Citigroup to government loans for the actually bankrupt solar company Solyndra—have in turn weakened public belief in the system's fairness.

For the U.S., the moment to act is now, before the cancer of crony capitalism metastasizes. The tax code needs an overhaul that eliminates special treatment and bans any form of corporate subsidy—starting with too-big-to-fail banks. We must find ways to introduce more competition into sectors such as education and health care, while expanding economic opportunity for those at the lower end of the income spectrum. And we must curb the political power that large industry incumbents have over legislation. Not only does it distort legislation, it also forces new entrants to compete on lobbying instead of concentrating on making more innovative and cheaper products.

It is not too late for the United States, but the clock is ticking. We have already begun to look like Italy. If we don't do something to stop that soon, we will end up like Greece.

Mr. Zingales is a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a contributing editor to City Journal. His book, "A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity," was published this week by Basic Books.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #353 on: June 08, 2012, 12:09:24 PM »

Income Redistribution: Biden Buddy Snags Energy Loan
BrightSource Energy secured the largest federal loan of any solar energy company at $1.6 billion, and it's largely due to -- surprise -- its connections with the White House. As the Energy Department considered BrightSource's application for a loan for its Ivanpah solar farm in the Mojave Desert, the company hired Bernie Toon to lobby for it. Toon is the former chief of staff for then-Senator Joe Biden. His $40,000 payday (for one month of work) was just part of the half-million dollars BrightSource spent on lobbying for its loan.
According to The Wall Street Journal, "White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the Department of Energy made the loan-approval decision, not Mr. Biden nor other White House officials. A Department of Energy spokeswoman said it chose BrightSource, whose solar power plant in California continues to move ahead, based on the project's merits." Nothing to see here; move along.
The Obama administration promised to be transparent in its operations. They also said that lobbyists would not determine policy, yet here they are succumbing to lobbying by cronies and doling out billions of dollars for alternative energy as a way Forward™.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #354 on: June 08, 2012, 12:18:18 PM »

Meanwhile, in New Mexico, a Christian photographer who declined to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony (New Mexico recognizes nether same-sex marriage nor civil unions) was found guilty by the NM Human Rights Commission of "sexual orientation" discrimination. Now, the state Court of Appeals has sided with the Commission, ruling that the photographer must pay almost $7,000 in fines and it's ludicrously claiming that forcing the photographing of the wedding in violation of the photographer's conscience counts among "reasonable regulations and restrictions."
Given the pervasive homosexual agenda, one would think the homosexual population must be quite large. Indeed, a 2011 Gallup poll showed that more than one-third of respondents thought that more than 25 percent of Americans are homosexual. The truth, however, is that fewer than 5 percent of Americans identify themselves as such. This, however, is a reality that neither the homosexual lobby nor the Leftmedia want America to acknowledge.


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DougMacG
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« Reply #355 on: June 08, 2012, 06:54:12 PM »

Couple of comments.  On the homosexual question, I think the proportion is between 2 and 3%.  As Obj suggests, yes they deserve the right to empower each other for emergency decisions, inheritance, etc.  They deserve enough respect to at least possibly notice that it is the right side of politics actually offering them the most freedoms, not gay specific, but overall including economic freedoms etc.

"Crony capitalism should say Economic Fascism"

I think I will just say Cronyism.  Not capitalism or fascism.

Fascism is a term tied to Hitler and Nazis.  Under Pelosi-Obama et al we have way too many encroachments on our freedoms and too many burdens on our economy, but day to day even with all the Solyndra-like bullsh*t, we still mostly live our lives in a spirit of freedom.

Cronyism is not capitalism.  It is not a form of capitalism.  It is how things work in third world Kleptocracies and in fascist and other totalitarian states.  It is about who you know, who you bribe, who you have something on.  It is the opposite of equal protection under the law and consent of the governed.  The money going to Biden's buddy is a diversion from what it is we say we do in America.  The people didn't say they wanted that.  You and I don't get what they got.  We also don't get rounded up and incinerated either but we certain don't govern according to our own founding principles.

Whatever the terms are, let's keep fighting to stop it.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #356 on: June 08, 2012, 10:55:27 PM »

Cronyism is an inevitable consequence of when the private means of production are directed by the public sector i.e. economic fascism-- see e.g. Mussolini, Hitler (and this is apart from his race hatred theories), Franco, and much of Latin America e.g. Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, or whomever it is right now in Argentina.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #357 on: June 13, 2012, 09:47:41 AM »

Socialist or Fascist?
Posted By Thomas Sowell On June 13, 2012

It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.

Government ownership of the means of production means that politicians also own the consequences of their policies, and have to face responsibility when those consequences are disastrous — something that Barack Obama avoids like the plague.

Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for President Obama. But if this and other government edicts cause insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the “greed” of the insurance companies.

The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations.

One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.

Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely — and correctly — regarded as being on the political left.

Jonah Goldberg’s great book “Liberal Fascism” cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists’ consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left’s embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.

It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the left distanced themselves from fascism and its Nazi offshoot — and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the right, saddling their opponents with these pariahs.

What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like themselves — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

The left’s vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, “We the People…”

That is why the left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution’s limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges’ new interpretations, based on notions of “a living Constitution” that will take decisions out of the hands of “We the People,” and transfer those decisions to our betters.

The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left, and regardless of its disastrous consequences.

Only our own awareness of the huge stakes involved can save us from the rampaging presumptions of our betters, whether they are called socialists or fascists. So long as we buy their heady rhetoric, we are selling our birthright of freedom.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #358 on: June 13, 2012, 11:28:23 AM »

Objectivist:

Via Thomas Sowell you touch on a theme near and dear to me.  I too have read and been influenced by Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism" book, indeed it would be fair to consider it the intellectual father of this thread smiley

TAC!
Marc
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #359 on: June 20, 2012, 04:49:51 PM »



To illustrate the problem for special interest seekers, Bastiat wrote the following tongue-in-check and brutally honest appeal for special consideration:
"I am dissatisfied at the proportion between my labor and my enjoyments. I should like, for the sake of restoring the desired equilibrium, to take part of the possessions of others. But this would be dangerous. Could not you facilitate the thing for me? Could you not find me a good place? or check the industry of my competitors? or, perhaps, lend me gratuitously some capital, which you may take from its possessor? … By this means I shall gain my end with an easy conscience, for the law will have acted for me, and I shall have all the advantages of plunder, without its risk or its disgrace!"
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #360 on: June 20, 2012, 08:16:31 PM »

http://american.com/archive/2012/june/its-not-a-welfare-state-its-a-special-interest-state
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #361 on: June 25, 2012, 05:11:49 PM »



Government
"According to the report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy, Section 1503 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka the stimulus), the part that covers green energy projects got some $9 billion in stimulus cash for 2009-11 and created a whopping 910 direct jobs -- those involved in the ongoing operation of the wind and solar projects that were funded. Now, the report doesn't come right out and say this. You have to pick through it and look past the 'indirect' jobs said to have been created by the manufacture and installation of the bird-chopping wind turbines and water-cleansed solar panels. The administration has a most curious way of describing what a green job is, but if you count just the 'direct' jobs, it cost taxpayers $9.8 million to create each of those long-term jobs. Throw in the indirect jobs supporting the direct jobs estimate of 4,600 (we're confused too) and there are 5,510 total jobs (direct and indirect). Starting with the $9 billion in grants, the result to establish 5,510 jobs averages out to $1.63 million per job. ... While campaigning four years ago, Sen. Barack Obama promised that $150 billion in government spending on renewable energy projects would create 5 million green-collar jobs over 10 years. Near the end of this administration's first year in office, Vice President Joe Biden promised 722,000 green jobs would be generated by the stimulus. To this end, avowed Marxist and wealth redistribution advocate Van Jones was appointed as green jobs czar. The wealth redistribution part has gone very well. But where, gentlemen, are the jobs?" --Investor's Business Daily
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objectivist1
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« Reply #362 on: June 27, 2012, 12:38:47 PM »

Fascinating discussion.  Contrasts the financial resources of leftist vs. conservative organizations:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=78NQRDNlUsQ&feature=youtu.be
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #363 on: July 07, 2012, 12:41:23 AM »



http://www.dennisprager.com/columns.aspx?g=44f26fde-6a87-4802-a6df-2a4614481937&url=roberts_blankenhorn_and_the_power_of_liberal_intimidation
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #364 on: July 11, 2012, 07:21:48 PM »

Not the clearest of writing but eventually it makes a rather good point worth remembering:

http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2012/07/10/ap-embraces-corporatism/?singlepage=true
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #365 on: July 24, 2012, 08:30:10 AM »

Two friends comment:
===========================
Here's a quick look into the three former Fannie Mae executives who brought down Wall Street.

Franklin Raines - was a Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Fannie Mae. Raines was forced to retire from his position with Fannie Mae when auditing discovered severe irregularities in Fannie Mae's accounting activities. Raines left with a "golden parachute valued at $240 Million in benefits. The Government filed suit against Raines when the depth of the accounting scandal became clear.  The Court ordered Raines to return $50 Million Dollars he received in bonuses based on the miss-stated Fannie Mae Profits.

Tim Howard - was the Chief Financial Officer of Fannie Mae.  Howard "was a strong internal proponent of using accounting strategies that would ensure a "stable pattern of earnings" at Fannie.  Investigations by federal regulators and the company's board of directors since concluded that management did manipulate 1998 earnings to trigger bonuses. Raines and Howard resigned under pressure in late 2004.  Howard's Golden Parachute was estimated at $20 Million!

Jim Johnson - A former executive at Lehman Brothers and who was later forced from his position as Fannie Mae CEO. Investigators found that Fannie Mae had hidden a substantial amount of Johnson's 1998 compensation from the public, reporting that it was between $6 million and $7 million when it fact it was $21 million." Johnson is currently under investigation for taking illegal loans from Countrywide while serving as CEO of Fannie Mae. Johnson's Golden Parachute was estimated at $28 Million

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?


FRANKLIN RAINES?
Raines works for the Obama Campaign as his Chief Economic Advisor.

TIM HOWARD?
Howard is a Chief Economic Advisor to Obama under Franklin Raines.

JIM JOHNSON?
Johnson was hired as a Senior Obama Finance Advisor and was selected to run Obama's Vice Presidential Search Committee.

Kinda makes you sick to your stomach. Our government is rotten to the core!

Are we stupid or what? Vote in 2012..it is the most important election of our lives...
==============

While you are at it, Thomas Lawler was Exec VP of Fannie Mae.  He created his own housing consulting firm.  He is a big advocate of housing turning around right now.  Any chance his views have something to do with money?
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JDN
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« Reply #366 on: July 24, 2012, 09:56:32 AM »

No offense but your "two friends" are full of camel dung.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/fanniemae.asp
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #367 on: July 24, 2012, 11:00:14 AM »

Thank you for catching this.

I readily believed it because of Raines being selected for the Commission that was to oversee the market for Cap & Trade credits-- which forunately never came into being because C&T didn't pass the Congress.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #368 on: July 24, 2012, 11:44:35 AM »

Does Snopes have any correction for the much larger allegation, that the number one recipient in congress of all Fannie Mae political contributions made during the year of the collapse, is still involved in Obama administration economic policy and the reelection effort? 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #369 on: July 24, 2012, 02:08:34 PM »

1) Also IIRC in 18 months Obama himself became the #2 all-time recipient-- who was #1?;

2) I am hearing that snopes is owned by a big Obama donor, but have no citation.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #370 on: July 24, 2012, 03:34:35 PM »

"in 18 months Obama himself became the #2 all-time recipient-- who was #1?"

That was my point.  If he became #2 for all-time during that year, he was certainly number one for that year.  (I searched but don't have a link or report to support that.)

"2) I am hearing that snopes is owned by a big Obama donor, but have no citation."

No, I don't think there is a smoking gun on them.

You may be thinking of Factcheck.org, 'a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.  Barack Obama served as Chairman of the Board for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, whatever that means. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Annenberg_Challenge  The bias shows up in which statements they choose to write about and that their conclusions are really just another biased opinion to add to the mix.  Take their coverage of the 'you didn't build that' scandal.  After you parse out the context, the President is still saying that in the larger picture the business did not build the business because the government, and not even his federal $4 trillion government, enabled it.  In the political context, that is complete bullshit.  There isn't a federal program opposed by Republicans or business owners anywhere within sight of the President's misleading straw argument.  There was no serious political point.  He was rambling with his 'Harry, I have a gift' confidence while exposing his own distaste for private enterprise and accomplishment and America saw it, on the long clip or the short clip.  He was also very nearly plagiarizing the plagiarist Elizabeth Warren.  The rant we thought was ridiculous he thought was promising and repeatable. 

It is a lie (IMO) for Obama to say or infer that a job creating, money making business is not paying it's share of everything around them, roads, schools, you name it, and for him to pretend in Presidential fashion that he is having a debate with opponents who want the business to pay nothing and keep everything by keeping federal tax rates the same.  The federal government is much more likely holding back that business than enabling it.  Yet factcheck.org puts it back on the Republicans for twisting his words. http://factcheck.org/2012/07/you-didnt-build-that-uncut-and-unedited/  That is their opinion, but not necessarily the last word.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #371 on: July 24, 2012, 04:48:54 PM »

Doug:

Your analysis seems sound to me.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #372 on: July 24, 2012, 07:22:15 PM »

Following up on the Snopes issue of a few posts ago:

http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/internet/a/snopes_exposed.htm

About.com is owned by Pravda on the Hudson (the New York Times...... )
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JDN
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« Reply #373 on: July 25, 2012, 01:49:52 PM »

Following up on the Snopes issue of a few posts ago:
http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/internet/a/snopes_exposed.htm
About.com is owned by Pravda on the Hudson (the New York Times...... )

Snopes.com is not owned by or affiliated with the N.Y. Times.  Anyone who has spent even a few minutes browsing Snopes.com knows that the website is owned by two people. They are husband and wife David and Barbara Mikkelson of southern California. This is stated on the website and has been common knowledge for quite some time.

Moreover, Barbara Mikkelson is a Canadian citizen, and as such cannot vote in U.S. elections or contribute to political campaigns. David Mikkelson said his "sole involvement in politics" is voting on election day. In 2000 he registered as a Republican and in 2008 Mikkelson didn't declare a party affiliation at all. Says Mikkelson: "I've never joined a party, worked for a campaign, or donated money to a candidate"

The left and the right looks to Snopes.com to clarify and find the truth versus the garbage printed by rumor mills.

http://snopes.com/info/articles.asp
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #374 on: July 27, 2012, 12:00:47 PM »

I suppose I could post this in the Housing thread, but I think the deeper point is better made here:
==============


http://spectator.org/archives/2012/07/27/and-you-thought-the-housing-cr
And You Thought the Housing Crisis Was Over!
By William Tucker on 7.27.12 @ 6:09AM
The Community Reinvestment Act is back, as if 2008 never happened

Do you remember that thing about how the banks wouldn't lend to blacks and Hispanics because they were racists? And do you remember how they passed the Community Reinvestment Act so that banks were forced to reduce down payments practically to zero and lend to a lot of people they knew were bad credit risks? And do you remember how Wall Street bundled all these risky subprime mortgage and sold them to investors around the world so that when it became clear that those people weren't going to be able to pay their mortgages banks everywhere were left holding the bag and all five of the Wall Street investment houses either went under or had to be bailed out by the federal government?

And do you remember how, when it was all over, liberals said it was actually the banks' fault for "deceiving" all those people into thinking they could afford to buy homes and that the banks should be punished for it and some of those people be allowed to keep their homes anyway? And do you remember how all this cost the government close to a trillion dollars and put the whole economy in a hole that we really haven't begun to dig ourselves out of yet?

Well, get ready because the whole thing is about to happen again.

Yes, believe it or not, the federal government is now starting another initiative to force banks to lend to low-credit-rated blacks and Hispanics -- not just anybody but specifically blacks and Hispanics -- and is threatening -- and already imposing -- huge punitive fines if they don't. Moreover, this time they're going even further. They're going to take over the credit rating agencies and force them to change their standards to accommodate blacks and Hispanics so that nobody will have any idea who is a bad credit risk and who is not. In so many words, the government is about impose its will on the whole home-lending market and force another round of bad loans so that the banks are going to be looted once again so that even the federal government may not be able to bail them out this time.

The principle instrument this time is not the Justice Department, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as it was last time, but the brand-new Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, designed by good old Elizabeth "Nobody-Ever-Made-It-On-Their-Own" Warren, which should really be called the Bureau for Bringing Down the Entire Economy. As reported in last Sunday's New York Post by Hoover Institution Media Fellow Paul Sperry, the CFPB has just announced that it is adopting a 20-page "Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending" issues by the Interagency Task force on Fair Lending in 1994 that kicked off Attorney General Janet Reno's draconic enforcement of the Community Renewal Act. Part of the policy statement reads, "Applying different lending standards or offering different levels of assistance to applicants who are members of a protected [i.e., minority] class is permissible in some circumstances. Providing different treatment to applicants to address past discrimination would be permissible if done in response to a court order." There are already plenty of court orders sitting around.

Just two weeks ago Wells Fargo caved to a Justice Department offensive and paid $175 million for alleged past discriminating against minority borrowers. All this occurred even though the bank received an "outstanding" grade in its most recent Community Reinvestment Act exam. The government did not even bother to prove discrimination in a single instance but relied instead on statistics showing lower rates of homeownership in minority neighborhoods. Thomas Perez, the Justice Department honcho who is spearheading this campaign, says banks discriminate "with a smile" and "fine print" and are "every bit as destructive as the cross burned in a neighborhood." Nice objective evaluation there.

As in most such cases, Wells Fargo chickened out about going to court and refused to admit any wrongdoing but agreed to all kinds of diversity training and sensitivity counseling. The bank will have to "prominently display" a notice informing minority customers that they cannot be turned down for loans just because they are receiving public assistance such as unemployment benefits, welfare payments or food stamps. (Maybe they can even use food stamps for the down payment.) Wells Fargo must provide minority customers $50 million for down-payment and closing-cost assistance, including "Borrower Assistance Grants" of up to $15,000 per individual. It was also ordered to pay $125 million to as yet unnamed victims of previous discrimination. But get this! If those past victims don't show up, the money must be handed over to community organizing groups. President Obama, you have a job waiting for you if you lose office this fall.

Almost a dozen banks are under similar investigation and will be soon falling like dominoes unless one of them musters the courage to stand up to the Justice Department in court.

But the real destruction is going to be wrought by CFPB, created by Dodd-Frank and just getting started. Last week Richard Cordray, who is serving as a disputed recess appointee without the consent of the Senate, announced that not only will CFPB be going after banks but will also target the credit rating agencies that evaluate people's creditworthiness based on past performance in paying debts. They too will be vetted for racial discrimination. In May 2011, the non-partisan Policy and Economic Research Council completed what it described as the first evaluation of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, the three credit rating agencies. The report concluded that in less than 1 percent of cases was a score changed by more than 25 points after a dispute process and that "consequential inaccuracies are rare." Moreover, "95 percent of disputing participants were satisfied with the outcomes of their disputes, suggesting widespread satisfaction" with the process. In other words, credit ratings are pretty accurate. Banks rely heavily on them and say that, if anything, the agencies tends to underestimate the rate at which minority buyers will default on mortgages.

So guess what happens next? Under the pretext of "regulating" the agencies, CFPB will hammer away, forcing them to upgrade the scores of blacks and Hispanics. Standards will be diluted or abandoned entirely and within a few years the banks will be flying blind with no reliable information on who is a good credit risk and who isn't. Does that sound like the formula for another mortgage meltdown? It sure does to me.

At this point in my story, it is customary for the journalist to proclaim that he isn't trying to protect the lenders but is really concerned with those unfortunate minority individuals who will end up with bad loans. Sperry follows this pattern by declaring, "In the end, it will be the minorities Obama and [Eric] Holder are trying to help who will be hurt most."

I think I'm going to have to depart from the tradition. I think what we are witnessing is the looting of America on behalf of minorities in a way that better end soon or we are going to bring the whole system down upon our heads.

With the current administration in power, the perception is growing among minorities that everything in the economy can be had for free and that President Obama and his administration are going to provide it for them. For instance, there is a scam going on around the country right now where con artists call up homeowners and tell them that President Obama has a new program where he is going to pay their electrical bills. All the homeowner has to do is provide his Social Security number and other personal information. The con game started in Michigan among minority populations in depressed cities such as Flint and Grand Rapids. It has now spread as far as far as Florida and Mississippi. More than 2,300 people in Michigan were bilked out of $1 million, another 10,000 have been swindled in New Jersey.

What is amazing is that all these people actually believe that President Obama is ready to pay their electrical bills. It is symptomatic of a rising tide of dependency and the growing sense that nobody has to be responsible for anything anymore and we can all live off "the rich." If we don't get these people out of office soon, there isn't going to be much left to pick over in the American economy.
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AIG
« Reply #375 on: August 03, 2012, 07:34:27 PM »

The government is selling $4.5 billion of AIG stock, par value of $2.50 a share.

In Jan 2012, with TARP, with TARP funds about $50b, AIG stock was about
$25 per share, with the government cost at about $28.75 per share.

BOHICA

(Not to mention that billions went out AIG's back door to Euro banks)
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« Reply #376 on: August 19, 2012, 12:39:32 AM »

http://frontpagemag.com/2012/arnold-ahlert/obamas-gm-success-story-headed-for-bankruptcy/print/
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« Reply #377 on: August 20, 2012, 12:23:29 PM »

Gibson Is Off the Feds' Hook. Who's Next?
The guitar company settlement reveals a disturbing effort by federal prosecutors to silence their corporate targets.



By HARVEY SILVERGLATE

Gibson Guitar Corp. got lucky. Its looming federal prosecution for claimed violations of vague, protectionist export regulations involving imports from Madagascar and India ended abruptly after the absurdity and unfairness of the case spread virally. Apparently the Justice Department couldn't handle the heat of news reports on how armed federal agents twice in two years dramatically raided guitar factories full of unarmed luthiers.

On Aug. 6 prosecutors agreed not to prosecute Gibson provided the company adheres to some remedial measures meant to assure that it never again violates regulations—regulations that it likely didn't violate in the first place. The company also agreed to pay a modest (as these things go) $300,000 monetary penalty to the government, along with a $50,000 contribution to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. (The Justice Department always looks for an opportunity to portray itself as benign and even philanthropic—with other people's money, of course.)

Did Gibson acquiesce in this settlement solely to end the expense, distraction, danger and agony of a federal criminal prosecution—the usual reasons for shouting "uncle" to Uncle Sam? We will never know. Why? Because federal prosecutors required, as part of the "criminal enforcement agreement," that Gibson not only "accept and acknowledge responsibility for the conduct" alleged, but also that the company's "public statements regarding this Agreement will not contradict the statement of facts" set forth in an appendix to the settlement agreement.

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Associated Press

Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz

Put another way, Gibson is now forbidden to tell the world the whole truth about its conduct and its reasons for settling a case it previously claimed publicly, including in an opinion piece in this newspaper, involved no criminal conduct on its part. In exchange for agreeing to read the government's script, Gibson regained its ability to conduct business without a federal sword of Damocles dangling over its corporate head.

This naked effort by federal prosecutors to control both news and outcomes, not to mention their own reputations, does not surprise those familiar with the modern federal criminal justice system. The accounting firm KPMG was strong-armed into a similar agreement in 2005 when threatened with indictment. In exchange for not being prosecuted for its role assisting lawyers in devising aggressive tax shelters that many experts at the time deemed lawful, the firm agreed not only to cooperate with the government in going after former clients and partners involved in the shelters, but it also signed a stipulation that the firm, its employees and its lawyers would not "make any statement, in litigation or otherwise, contradicting the Statement of Facts" set forth in the settlement agreement.

Federal prosecutors, in other words, wrote the script that anyone connected with KPMG had to follow, even while under oath in court. If anyone other than a federal prosecutor suggested, much less imposed such a stipulation on a party, he would promptly be indicted on a charge of obstruction of justice.

This obsession with controlling the "truth" is not limited to federal prosecutors offering to settle a threat of indictment against a vulnerable corporation or individual. The FBI has a formal, binding policy that forbids its agents from conducting witness or target interviews with the aid of electronic recording—in contrast to the practice of recording custodial interviews, which is now in wide use by law enforcement officials on the state and local levels.

Columnist Kim Strassel on the Obama administration's shakedown of Gibson Guitar. Photo: Getty Images.

Instead, one federal agent does the questioning while the other takes notes. Those notes, once typed up in a "Form 302 report," become the official version of what the interviewee said. A witness deviating from that version risks up to five years imprisonment for making a false statement to a federal official, even if the statement was not made under oath. In this way, it is the FBI agent, not the witness, who controls the witness's official story.

Through these and myriad other techniques, federal investigators and prosecutors create an alternative reality that favors their own institutional interests, regardless of the truth or of justice. All citizens and companies have become subject to the Justice Department's essentially unfettered power.

Remedying this problem cannot be left to the victims of this governmental extortion, because their risks are too high if they fight; nor will their lawyers likely blow the whistle, since the bar makes a tidy living by playing the game. It is up to the rest of civil society to let the Justice Department emperor know that we see he is not wearing clothes.

Mr. Silverglate, a lawyer and writer, is the author of "Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent" (Encounter Books, updated edition 2011.)
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« Reply #378 on: August 26, 2012, 07:06:25 PM »

Obama, Axelrod, Jarrett's communist connections.   I was trying to find if David Axelrod who is the offspring of Russian Jewish immigrants and whose mother worked for a radical right newspaper funded by Marshall was in any way related to the marxist/communist Pavel Axelrod who was associated with Vladimir Lenin.   I cannot find if there is an ancestral link or not but this piece has some other interesting communist links between some of the players:

http://spectator.org/archives/2012/08/03/all-in-the-political-family
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« Reply #379 on: August 28, 2012, 04:06:36 PM »

I never thought I would see a sitting President so obviously promote a socialist/communist agenda.   I am reading a condensed biography of Lenin and the comparisons today are wide and broad.  The only difference that rather than force of arms the present revolutionary left is using taxpayer funds to simply bribe a majority.  Every time they need a few more votes they come up with another group to put in the victim category to increase their voting share.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorw%C3%A4rts
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« Reply #380 on: September 07, 2012, 12:04:49 PM »

Income Redistribution: The Truth About GM
Look what the government's done for you! That was the message this week at the Democratic National Convention. Thanks to Big Labor and the "huge success" of the auto bailout, GM has come roaring back. If only those Republicans would stop the lies and get out of the way, the economy could get rolling again. That's the gist of the pabulum peddled by the donkey party.
Columnist Michelle Malkin points out, "GM still owes nearly $30 billion of the $50 billion it received, and its lending arm still owes nearly $15 billion of the more than $17 billion it received." According to National Legal and Policy Center's Mark Modica, that doesn't include foreign investment: "In addition to U.S. taxpayers anteing up, Canada put in over $10 billion, and GM was relieved of about $28 billion of bondholder obligations while UAW claims were protected. That's an improvement of almost $90 billion to the balance sheet, and the company still lags the competition." In fact, GM could file for bankruptcy again.
Just how bad are sales? National Review's Kevin D. Williamson sums it up: "It is true that sales have improved at U.S. makers -- but those increases have far lagged the increases seen by overseas competitors such as Volkswagen and Kia. GM's August sales are up about 10 percent over last year; Kia's are up 21 percent. Volkswagen is up 37 percent. Hell, Porsche is up 40 percent. ... The Democrats are not exactly telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but when it comes to the auto bailout." Some recovery!
Additionally, amid all the talk about how Romney and Ryan want to outsource American businesses, the demagogue-in-chief has done enough of that himself. With $7 billion invested in China, $1 billion in Mexico, $1 billion in Brazil, and a $600 million sponsorship with the UK's Manchester United soccer team, GM is about to invest another $1 billion in Russia. But nothing to see here folks, move along.
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« Reply #381 on: September 07, 2012, 02:12:31 PM »

Second post:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbfEkhcXbGg&feature=share

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« Reply #382 on: September 10, 2012, 10:59:24 AM »

Obama Thugs Rough Up Gallup For Polls They Don't Like
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com on September 10, 2012

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The Obama Administration's Justice Department announced, on August 22nd, that it was joining a lawsuit by a former Gallup employee and whistleblower against the Gallup Corporation for allegedly overcharging the government on polling work. 
       
The announcement comes on the heels of a confrontation between Gallup staffers and Obama strategist David Axelrod in which he accused the company of using out of date sampling methods which, he said, generated polling data negative to the president.

The whistleblower's lawsuit has been kicking around since 2009, but the Justice Department joined the suit only after the run-in between Axelrod and Gallup in April of this year.
 
In a scene right out of a typical authoritarian regime, Fox News reports that "employees at the venerable Gallup polling firm suggested they felt threatened by Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod when he questioned the methodology of a mid-April poll showing Mitt Romney leading the president - according to internal emails published Thursday."
       
That poll that sent Axelrod ballistic showed Romney leading Obama 48-43 percent.

The Daily Caller published e mails that started when Axelrod sent a tweet to Gallup saying the tracking poll was "saddled with some methodological problems" and directing followers to a National Journal story in which a professor suggested outdated sampling.

According to the email chain titled "Axelrod vs. Gallup," the White House in addition asked that a Gallup staffer "come over and explain our methodology," which was apparently perceived as a subtle threat.

Fox News reported that "a Gallup official said in an email he thought Axelrod's pressure 'sounds a little like a Godfather situation.'"

Gallup refused to change its methodology to suit the White House. 

And the Justice Department intervention in the whistleblower suit came three months later. The whistleblower, Michael Lindley, claims that Gallup violated the False Claims Act by overcharging the federal government for its services to the U.S. Mint, the State Department and other federal agencies.  The Justice Department plans to add Gallup's work with FEMA to the list of alleged overcharges covered in the lawsuit.

Lindley charged that Gallup overestimated the number of hours of field work that the government surveys would require and that it billed the feds based on the inflated estimates.

According to the Washington Times, Lindley worked for the Obama campaign in 2008 as an Iowa field organizer based out of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

As the election progresses, this blatant effort to influence Gallup's data and its poll numbers is an example of Chicago political thugs at their worst.
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« Reply #383 on: September 10, 2012, 11:52:55 AM »

Charles G. Koch: Corporate Cronyism Harms America
When businesses feed at the federal trough, they threaten public support for business and free markets. .
By CHARLES G. KOCH

"We didn't build this business—somebody else did."


So reads a sign outside a small roadside craft store in Utah. The message is clearly tongue-in-cheek. But if it hung next to the corporate offices of some of our nation's big financial institutions or auto makers, there would be no irony in the message at all.

It shouldn't surprise us that the role of American business is increasingly vilified or viewed with skepticism. In a Rasmussen poll conducted this year, 68% of voters said they "believe government and big business work together against the rest of us."

Businesses have failed to make the case that government policy—not business greed—has caused many of our current problems. To understand the dreadful condition of our economy, look no further than mandates such as the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "affordable housing" quotas, directives such as the Community Reinvestment Act, and the Federal Reserve's artificial, below-market interest-rate policy.

Far too many businesses have been all too eager to lobby for maintaining and increasing subsidies and mandates paid by taxpayers and consumers. This growing partnership between business and government is a destructive force, undermining not just our economy and our political system, but the very foundations of our culture.

With partisan rhetoric on the rise this election season, it's important to remind ourselves of what the role of business in a free society really is—and even more important, what it is not.

The role of business is to provide products and services that make people's lives better—while using fewer resources—and to act lawfully and with integrity. Businesses that do this through voluntary exchanges not only benefit through increased profits, they bring better and more competitively priced goods and services to market. This creates a win-win situation for customers and companies alike.

Only societies with a system of economic freedom create widespread prosperity. Studies show that the poorest people in the most-free societies are 10 times better off than the poorest in the least-free. Free societies also bring about greatly improved outcomes in life expectancy, literacy, health, the environment and other important dimensions.

So why isn't economic freedom the "default setting" for our economy? What upsets this productive state of affairs? Trouble begins whenever businesses take their eyes off the needs and wants of consumers—and instead cast longing glances on government and the favors it can bestow. When currying favor with Washington is seen as a much easier way to make money, businesses inevitably begin to compete with rivals in securing government largess, rather than in winning customers.

We have a term for this kind of collusion between business and government. It used to be known as rent-seeking. Now we call it cronyism. Rampant cronyism threatens the economic foundations that have made this the most prosperous country in the world.

We are on dangerous terrain when government picks winners and losers in the economy by subsidizing favored products and industries. There are now businesses and entire industries that exist solely as a result of federal patronage. Profiting from government instead of earning profits in the economy, such businesses can continue to succeed even if they are squandering resources and making products that people wouldn't ordinarily buy.

Because they have the advantage of an uneven playing field, crony businesses can drive their legitimate competitors out of business. But in the longer run, they are unsustainable and unable to compete internationally (unless, of course, the government handouts are big enough). At least the Solyndra boondoggle ended when it went out of business.

By subsidizing and mandating politically favored products in the energy sector (solar, wind and biofuels, some of which benefit Koch Industries), the government is pushing up energy prices for all of us—five times as much in the case of wind-generated electricity. And by putting resources to less-efficient use, cronyism actually kills jobs rather than creating them. Put simply, cronyism is remaking American business to be more like government. It is taking our most productive sectors and making them some of our least.

The effects on government are equally distorting—and corrupting. Instead of protecting our liberty and property, government officials are determining where to send resources based on the political influence of their cronies. In the process, government gains even more power and the ranks of bureaucrats continue to swell.

Subsidies and mandates are just two of the privileges that government can bestow on politically connected friends. Others include grants, loans, tax credits, favorable regulations, bailouts, loan guarantees, targeted tax breaks and no-bid contracts. Government can also grant monopoly status, barriers to entry and protection from foreign competition.

Whatever form these privileges take, Americans are rightly suspicious of the cronyism that substitutes political influence for free markets. According to Rasmussen, two-thirds of the electorate are convinced that crony connections explain most government contracts—and that federal money will be wasted "if the government provides funding for a project that private investors refuse to back." Some 71% think "private sector companies and investors are better than government officials at determining the long-term benefits and potential of new technologies." Only 11% believe "government officials have a better eye for future value."

To end cronyism we must end government's ability to dole out favors and rig the market. Far too many well-connected businesses are feeding at the federal trough. By addressing corporate welfare as well as other forms of welfare, we would add a whole new level of understanding to the notion of entitlement reform.

If America re-establishes the proper role of business in society, all kinds of benefits will accrue. Our economy will rebound. Our liberties will be restored. And when President Obama tells an entrepreneur "You didn't build that," everyone will know better.

Mr. Koch is chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, Inc., which includes manufacturing and energy-related businesses.
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« Reply #384 on: September 10, 2012, 04:58:38 PM »



Pentagon buying up Chevy Volts:

http://freebeacon.com/great-green-car-fleet/
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« Reply #385 on: September 17, 2012, 12:00:40 PM »


Banks have been widely castigated for causing the housing bust by lending too much to borrowers who couldn't repay, but now Eric Holder's Department of Justice has taken its antidiscrimination campaign to new lengths by whacking a bank for having been too prudent.

In a complaint filed Wednesday and settled the same day, Justice claimed that California-based Luther Burbank Savings violated the 1968 Fair Housing Act and 1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act by setting a policy that had a "disparate impact" on minorities. Between 2006 and mid-2011, 5.2% of Luther's single-family residential mortgage loans went to African-Americans and Hispanics, compared to an average of 41.7% for other lenders in the area. The complaint doesn't cite evidence of intentional discrimination because there wasn't any.

Luther Burbank might not have been in this business were it not for government. The bank was largely focused on multi-family mortgages until its regulator, the former Office of Thrift Supervision, asked the lender to diversify its portfolio in the mid-2000s. Luther Burbank then hired a team to do "nontraditional" loans such as interest-only or option adjustable-rate mortgages that the bank would keep on its own books. Yes, this is the same stuff that eventually blew up the housing market.

Luther Burbank wasn't a fly-by-night operator that marketed those loans to any and all. The bank insisted on a minimum $400,000 loan amount and made loans with an average 680 FICO score and 67% loan-to-value. Over the period that Justice examined, Luther Burbank foreclosed on a mere 11 borrowers out of 629 loans outstanding—a loss ratio of 1.75%. In a normal world, Luther Burbank would get a medal from regulators for its risk management, having chosen borrowers even at the height of the housing mania who could meet their monthly payments.

But Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez has a different priority: He wants banks to meet lending quotas to minorities—regardless of whether those borrowers can afford the loans. Many minority borrowers have low incomes that make them riskier lending bets. Is that a bank's fault?

Luther Burbank admitted no guilt and said it settled to avoid costly litigation, which makes sense for a small, local lender that has to worry about its reputational risk. The bank has agreed to ratchet down its minimum loan to $20,000 and will now commit $2.2 million to a "special financing program" for "qualified borrowers," payouts for local community groups, and "consumer education programs." Justice has the final say on who gets that money.

Bankers can be forgiven if they can't figure out this regulatory whipsaw. They get punished if they make loans that are too risky, but they also get fined if they don't make risky loans to enough minority borrowers based solely on some Washington quota. The courts need to address Justice's use of disparate impact against banks because it is turning into nothing more than a government order to make certain loans—or else.
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« Reply #386 on: September 19, 2012, 10:01:34 AM »



http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/09/chick-fil-ends-anti-gay-donations-moves-chicago/57005/

 cry cry cry
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« Reply #387 on: October 01, 2012, 10:52:47 AM »

"Liberals have never answered the question: what of those who do not choose to join in a 'common end' that government has chosen for them? What of those who refuse to 'belong to government'? These unfortunate souls must be dealt with, as Obama's departments and agencies are dealing with them: by silencing them, litigating against them, jailing them, and ruining their businesses and reputations. Those tactics, and more, were exactly what European leftists from Mussolini to Stalin resorted to. ... Obama's rationale for a second term is that he wants to govern, and that should be enough. Or as Jay Carney suggested, just shut up. ... George Washington called government 'a dangerous servant and a fearful master.' Thomas Paine called it 'a necessary evil.' For Obama, government is the thing we all belong to, the thing that 'made this country great.' Four more years of Obama will not make this country great, but it will ensure that we belong to government to an unimaginable extent. Obama's message is: 'You and everything you own belong to me.'" --columnist Jeffrey Folks
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« Reply #388 on: October 10, 2012, 09:59:52 AM »


Liberalism’s Glass Jaw
 
By ROSS DOUTHAT


Last month, Republicans staring at defeat in November alternated between blaming Mitt Romney and blaming the American people, when they should have been looking harder at the flaws in contemporary conservatism. Now that Romney has surged back into contention, liberals are making a similar mistake. They’re focusing too intently on the particular weaknesses of President Obama’s debate performance, rather than on the weaknesses in Obama-era liberalism that last Wednesday’s Denver showdown left exposed.

Four years ago, the Obama presidency was hailed as the beginning of an extended liberal renaissance — a new New Deal, a resurrected Camelot, a return to the glory days of Lyndon Johnson before Vietnam wrecked his presidency. Health care reform was the highest priority, but it was supposed to be only the beginning. With the Democrats enjoying huge Congressional majorities, everything seemed to be on the table: immigration reform, a program to combat climate change, card-check legislation, a wave of trust-busting in the banking sector — and at the least, the very least, a return to Clinton-era tax rates.

There is no world in which all of these hopes could have been perfectly realized. But the ways in which they’ve been disappointed have delivered some hard lessons. It isn’t just that Obama failed to live up to the (frankly impossible) standard set by his 2008 campaign and the media adoration that accompanied it. It’s that the nature of his failures speak to the limits of the liberal project, and the tensions and contradictions within the liberal coalition.



Liberals have rallied behind a White House whose only real jobs program is “stay the course.”
.
Sometimes Obama-era liberalism has disappointed because it has failed outright. The defeat of cap-and-trade legislation and the stillborn push for immigration reform exposed the deep fissures within the Democratic Party, and particularly the divide between the enlightened do-goodism of the party’s upper-middle-class supporters and the economic interests of its remaining blue-collar constituents.

The steadily worsening deficit picture, meanwhile, has been a reminder that an expanding government balance sheet makes sense only if you can persuade taxpayers to pay more to cover it, which Obama’s party hasn’t done. More important, given the limit to how much money can be extracted from the wealthy, it makes sense only if you persuade middle class taxpayers to pay more, which Obama’s party hasn’t even tried to do.

But the Obama administration’s legislative successes have offered hard lessons to liberals as well. Indeed, it’s the failures of the successes, if you will, that have cast the longest shadow across his re-election effort.

First, there was the failure of stimulus bill to deliver anything like the kind of rebound that Obama’s technocrats confidently projected. This failure isn’t necessarily an indictment of the theory behind Keynesian economics. But at the very least it exposes two limitations on Keynesianism in practice: the difficulties that even experts can have assessing the true state of the economy, and the ways in which the push and pull of democratic politics makes it difficult to simply keep throwing money at a problem.

Then came the White House’s failure to sell the public on its health care bill, which exacerbated the stimulus’s underperformance — by leading to months of wrangling when Washington should have been reckoning with the economy instead — and then cost the Democrats dearly at the polls in 2010. This failure of salesmanship doesn’t in and of itself discredit the bill’s provisions. But at the very least it demonstrates that the redistributive policies liberals favor will be accepted only if they’re founded on a secure base of economic growth — growth that Obama’s policies, unlike F.D.R.’s or L.B.J.’s, have conspicuously failed to produce.

More broadly, all of Obama’s signature accomplishments have tended to have the same weakness in common: They have been weighed down by interest-group payoffs and compromised by concessions to powerful insiders, from big pharma (which stands to profit handsomely from the health care bill) to the biggest banks (which were mostly protected by the Dodd-Frank financial reform). It may have been an empty rhetorical gesture, but the fact that Romney could actually out-populist the president on “too big to fail” during the last debate speaks to the Obama-era tendency for liberalism to blur into a kind of corporatism, in which big government intertwines with big business rather than restraining it.

Again, every administration has its share of disappointments, and every ideology has to make concessions to political reality. But what we don’t see in this campaign cycle is much soul-searching from Democrats about the ways in which their agenda hasn’t worked out as planned.

Instead, in a country facing a continued unemployment crisis and a looming deficit crunch, liberals have rallied behind a White House whose only real jobs program is “stay the course” and whose plan to deal with long-term deficits relies on the woefully insufficient promise to tax the 1 percent. When Obama insiders wax optimistic about what a second term might bring, they mostly talk about pursuing legislation on climate change and immigration yet again, without explaining why things will turn out differently this time around.

This lack of a plausible vision, more than his stutters and missed opportunities, is what doomed the president in last week’s debate. His responses to Romney were strikingly backward-looking — alternating between “we’re already doing that” and “we tried that under Republicans, and it didn’t work,” and rarely pivoting effectively to “here’s what we should do next.”

It’s not that Romney offered some detailed, brilliantly persuasive alternative. He didn’t, and couldn’t, because his party has at best a sketch of a policy agenda rather than a blueprint. But Romney isn’t running for re-election, and this was a case where merely seeming forward-looking, energetic and reassuring was enough to remind Americans of all the ways that the Obama era has disappointed them — and in so doing, sent shivers down liberalism’s glass jaw.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #389 on: October 18, 2012, 04:22:38 PM »



http://www.theblaze.com/stories/virginia-teacher-charged-with-assault-girls-hand-cut-in-forced-islamic-hand-sign-drill/
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G M
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« Reply #390 on: October 18, 2012, 05:02:59 PM »


Islam+someone bleeding=shocking!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #391 on: October 21, 2012, 12:24:55 PM »



http://www.theblaze.com/stories/report-reveals-obama-campaign-borrowed-15-million-from-bank-of-america/
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G M
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« Reply #392 on: October 21, 2012, 03:38:51 PM »


Strange, usually Buraq is so good with money....
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #393 on: October 24, 2012, 02:34:57 PM »

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204530504578076680514724050.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories

This is the sort of nonsense that goes on when the govt. gets involved where it shouldn't.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #394 on: October 31, 2012, 07:15:45 AM »

Oliver Stone’s Unbelievable Crap

Posted By David Horowitz On October 31, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com


Originally published at Breitbart.com.

On the evidence of his new Showtime mini-series and companion book, Oliver Stone is both a communist and political moron, a redundancy to be sure. Having previously celebrated a trio of evil-doers – Castro, Arafat and Hugo Chavez – Stone now adds The Untold History of the United States to the cinematic garbage heap he has been piling up since J.F.K. and Born on the 4th of July. Like them, this latest contribution is an unrelenting (and unrelentingly perverse) attack on America as history’s Great Satan, the root cause of worldly evil.

The heroes of this latest Stone fantasy are — I kid you not — Vladimir Lenin and Henry Wallace. Wallace is cast by Stone as the visionary of a planet without capitalism and war, and consequently as America’s missed opportunity to change the world. Along the way, Stone composes nauseating apologetics for Joseph Stalin and other historical villains including even Saddam Hussein, all of which are necessary to sustain his preposterous narrative of America as the great villain of a century in which America in fact defeated the two most monstrous regimes on human record – the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany – liberating more than a billion people in the process.

For those too young to remember, Henry Wallace was a former Vice President who was snookered by American Communists into running for the White House in 1948 as the anti-Cold War candidate of the Progressive Party. The Progressive Party was a political front the Communists had created to help Stalin drag millions of East Europeans into his Soviet gulag and slaughterhouse. Two years later, when the Communists invaded South Korea, a chastened and pathetic Wallace went on television to concede that he had been duped into lending his name to a malevolent cause. Wallace died soon after in disgrace. Now Stone is attempting to resurrect his most shameful hour and present it to the uninformed as the second coming.

By contrast, every step of America’s way in Stone’s fabrication is portrayed in the worst imaginable light, up to and including the Islamist attacks of 9/11, which he describes as merely an excuse America used to conduct criminal wars “against two Islamic nations” that caused “far more damage to the United States than Osama bin Laden ever could,” while “shredding the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva Convention” in the process.

Even the title of Stone’s rant is a lie, since his narratives of the Bolshevik Revolution (idealists whose noble vision was thwarted by capitalist pigs), World War II (Stalin won it) and the Cold War (launched by American imperialists but ended by peace-loving Mikhail Gorbachev) are a twice-told story: the first time by Kremlin propagandists and their minions, the second by leftwing diehards who can’t handle the truth, and who have now been joined by the executives at Showtime in airing a miniseries that is malignant and unbelievable crap.
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
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« Reply #395 on: October 31, 2012, 12:43:27 PM »

I just read a condensed biography of Lenin and am in process of reading montiofore's incredidibly detailed biography of Stalin.  At least the one of his pre 1917 days.

What Lenin unleashed on the planet is unbelievable.   He was not about change in Tsarist Russia.  At the climax of his life when he jumped on to the armored car and screamed to his followers who brought him back from hiding in Finland to Russia,  He exclaimed, "long live the **worldwide** communist revolution" to the cheers of thousands.  It was a remarkable moment in history.  He spent nearly his entire life since around the time his elder brother was executed by the Tsar evolving into the revolutionary who along with Stalin and Trotsky brought a new power to Russia.  Yet from what I read, that as he was becoming more and more feeble before his death in 1924 from a series of strokes , he could see how Stalin was working behind the scenes consolidating power - and he was absolutely aghast at what he saw.  Indeed the biogrpher I read believes he felt Stalin's vision of Communism was unlike what was intended.  Instead of a government ruled by the workers (90% of the people) Russia got one of the most oppressive, ruthless, violent, mafia style governments run by just a relative few with Stalin the supreme terror magnate.  Even Lenin concluded at the end this was far worse then any oppression of the Tsars.  Yet he was too weakened to do anything about it, and Stalin whos genius lay in a combination of street wise thuggery and intellectual ability at organizing, leading and supreme dedication to his brand of communism (with him at the top) was, I can tell you, a 1,000,000,000 times worse then Al Capone.

I hate to say it, but I am no longer really proud to be Jewish.  There are simply too many Jews like Oliver Stone.   Indeed many of the socialists of Europe and Russia were of my faith.  


One of my grandfathers came here to escape the communist revolution I was told.  He was proud of America. In fact eh rarely, so I am told spolke Yiddish or Russian becasue he wanted to be an American  Unlike many immigrants of today.  As for the socialist revolutions in Europe many Jews were part of it.  I guess they had some justification with regards to fighting an opressive Tsarist culture but unlike many who came to America and fell in love with captilism and Democracy too many persist in communist dogma.  I still question if the Axelrods of communist Russia are ancestors to David Axelrods communist parents.

Again as I have noted on this board for years  I say too many Jews including those who would aplogize for Stalin, hold the Republican party in lower regard to the Nazi party.  Stone is one.  David Axelschmuck is another.  Brockman knows this too well.  Shame on fellow Jews for supporting this American hating monstrosity in the WH.

They are not too stupid to think he is not using them - they just don't care.  Anything for the beloved Democarat party.  I am no longer proud of many of my brethren.

I suggest people read Palmer's bio on Lenin and Montiofore's on Stalin.  I am sure George Soro's woudl say that the ideology of communism or its variants are good - what he would call "GOOD GOVERNMENT".  Just that communism got a bad rap by some selfish power hungry psychopaths in Russia.  I say he is wrong - dead wrong - without checks and balances there is NO such thing as "good" government.  Not now or ever in the history of mankind.  Nor will there ever be.  The ONLY difference between what we are seeing now in the US with Obama and his puppet masters and Russia of the 20th century is the lack of violence.  That they are almost to succeed without violence is a sight to behold by me.

Thank God there are some brilliant Jews left like David Horowitz.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 12:58:39 PM by ccp » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #396 on: November 04, 2012, 01:24:50 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHNBr3PZQaE
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ccp
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« Reply #397 on: November 19, 2012, 08:23:34 PM »

Great Cspan book review presentation on John Fonte's Sovereignty vs. Submission.

I cannot post but suggest all those interested in the one world government movement (it is far more advanced than I knew - more elites carving up the world unbeknowned to the other 7 billion of us) read this.

Elites from liberal think tanks like Brooking Institute, those who really run the EU behind the scenes, ACLU, and apparantly many universities and in particular law schools like Yale,  international lawyers have already decided what is best for the world, for you , and for me. 

America should lead the way before the rise of China while it can.

In other words America should hasten it's own demise according to the do gooders in these groups of elites.

If Americans really understood what this is about would they still vote Brock? 

Many still would.  I am hearing more and more stories about people on the dole actually laughing their heads off about those who work and are paying for all this.

I don't know if we can turn it all around without a total collapse.

You know it used to be that small numbers of people ruled the world.  Reading CDhurchill 's own early biography he writes how several families ruled England for centuries.  It is that way in Latin American countries. 

Globally,  It still is that way.  And the liberals are making it far far worse.


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #398 on: November 25, 2012, 11:46:12 AM »

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/maritanoon/2012/11/25/exclusive_doe_corruptionappointed_and_elected_officials_should_face_prison_time/page/full/
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G M
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« Reply #399 on: November 25, 2012, 03:28:34 PM »


I'm sure Holder will get right on it.
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