Secret, Foreign Money Floods into Obama Campaign

Secret, Foreign Money Floods into Obama Campaign

Monday, September 29, 2008 9:23 PM

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman

The Barack Obama campaign has raised a whopping $426.9 million — nearly twice that of John McCain’s campaign, according to new campaign finance report.

 

But because of Obama’s high expenses during the hotly contested Democratic primary season and an early decision to forgo public campaign money and the spending limits it imposes, all that cash has not translated into a financial advantage — at least, not yet.

 

The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee began September with $95 million in cash, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

 

The McCain camp and the Republican National Committee had $94 million, because of an influx of $84 million in public money.

 

But Obama could easily outpace McCain by $50 million to $100 million or more in new donations before Election Day, thanks to a legion of small contributors whose names and addresses have been kept secret.

 

Unlike the McCain campaign, which has made its complete donor database available online, the Obama campaign has not identified donors for nearly half the amount he has raised, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).

 

Federal law does not require the campaigns to identify donors who give less than $200 during the election cycle. However, it does require that campaigns calculate running totals for each donor and report them once they go beyond the $200 mark.

 

Surprisingly, the great majority of Obama donors never break the $200 threshold.

 

“Contributions that come under $200 aggregated per person are not listed,” said Bob Biersack, a spokesman for the FEC. “They don’t appear anywhere, so there’s no way of knowing who they are.”

 

The FEC breakdown of the Obama campaign has identified a staggering $222.7 million as coming from contributions of $200 or less. Only $39.6 million of that amount comes from donors the Obama campaign has identified.

 

It is the largest pool of unidentified money that has ever flooded into the U.S. election system, before or after the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms of 2002.

 

Biersack would not comment on whether the FEC was investigating the huge amount of cash that has come into Obama’s coffers with no public reporting.

 

But Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for CRP, a campaign-finance watchdog group, dismissed the scale of the unreported money.

 

“We feel comfortable that it isn’t the $20 donations that are corrupting a campaign,” he told Newsmax.

 

But those small donations have added up to more than $200 million, all of it from unknown and unreported donors.

 

Ritsch acknowledges that there is skepticism about all the unreported money, especially in the Obama campaign coffers.

 

“We and seven other watchdog groups asked both campaigns for more information on small donors,” he said. “The Obama campaign never responded,” whereas the McCain campaign “makes all its donor information, including the small donors, available online.”

 

The rise of the Internet as a campaign funding tool raises new questions about the adequacy of FEC requirements on disclosure. In pre-Internet fundraising, almost all political donations, even small ones, were made by bank check, leaving a paper trail and limiting the amount of fraud.

 

But credit cards used to make donations on the Internet have allowed for far more abuse.

 

“While FEC practice is to do a post-election review of all presidential campaigns, given their sluggish metabolism, results can take three or four years,” said Ken Boehm, the chairman of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center.

 

Already, the FEC has noted unusual patterns in Obama campaign donations among donors who have been disclosed because they have gone beyond the $200 minimum.

 

FEC and Mr. Doodad Pro

 

When FEC auditors have questions about contributions, they send letters to the campaign’s finance committee requesting additional information, such as the complete address or employment status of the donor.

 

Many of the FEC letters that Newsmax reviewed instructed the Obama campaign to “redesignate” contributions in excess of the finance limits.

 

Under campaign finance laws, an individual can donate $2,300 to a candidate for federal office in both the primary and general election, for a total of $4,600. If a donor has topped the limit in the primary, the campaign can “redesignate” the contribution to the general election on its books.

 

In a letter dated June 25, 2008, the FEC asked the Obama campaign to verify a series of $25 donations from a contributor identified as “Will, Good” from Austin, Texas.

 

Mr. Good Will listed his employer as “Loving” and his profession as “You.”

 

A Newsmax analysis of the 1.4 million individual contributions in the latest master file for the Obama campaign discovered 1,000 separate entries for Mr. Good Will, most of them for $25.

 

In total, Mr. Good Will gave $17,375.

 

Following this and subsequent FEC requests, campaign records show that 330 contributions from Mr. Good Will were credited back to a credit card. But the most recent report, filed on Sept. 20, showed a net cumulative balance of $8,950 — still well over the $4,600 limit.

 

There can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed these contributions, since Obama’s Sept. 20 report specified that Good Will’s cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $9,375.

 

In an e-mailed response to a query from Newsmax, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt pledged that the campaign would return the donations. But given the slowness with which the campaign has responded to earlier FEC queries, there’s no guarantee that the money will be returned before the Nov. 4 election.

 

Similarly, a donor identified as “Pro, Doodad,” from “Nando, NY,” gave $19,500 in 786 separate donations, most of them for $25. For most of these donations, Mr. Doodad Pro listed his employer as “Loving” and his profession as “You,” just as Good Will had done.

 

But in some of them, he didn’t even go this far, apparently picking letters at random to fill in the blanks on the credit card donation form. In these cases, he said he was employed by “VCX” and that his profession was “VCVC.”

 

Following FEC requests, the Obama campaign began refunding money to Doodad Pro in February 2008. In all, about $8,425 was charged back to a credit card. But that still left a net total of $11,165 as of Sept. 20, way over the individual limit of $4,600.

 

Here again, LaBolt pledged that the contributions would be returned but gave no date.

 

In February, after just 93 donations, Doodad Pro had already gone over the $2,300 limit for the primary. He was over the $4,600 limit for the general election one month later.

 

In response to FEC complaints, the Obama campaign began refunding money to Doodad Pro even before he reached these limits. But his credit card was the gift that kept on giving. His most recent un-refunded contributions were on July 7, when he made 14 separate donations, apparently by credit card, of $25 each.

 

Just as with Mr. Good Will, there can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed the contributions, since its Sept. 20 report specified that Doodad’s cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $10,965.

 

Foreign Donations

 

And then there are the overseas donations — at least, the ones that we know about.

 

The FEC has compiled a separate database of potentially questionable overseas donations that contains more than 11,500 contributions totaling $33.8 million. More than 520 listed their “state” as “IR,” often an abbreviation for Iran. Another 63 listed it as “UK,” the United Kingdom.

 

More than 1,400 of the overseas entries clearly were U.S. diplomats or military personnel, who gave an APO address overseas. Their total contributions came to just $201,680.

 

But others came from places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah, Florence, Italy, and a wide selection of towns and cities in France.

 

Until recently, the Obama Web site allowed a contributor to select the country where he resided from the entire membership of the United Nations, including such friendly places as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

Unlike McCain’s or Sen. Hillary Clinton’s online donation pages, the Obama site did not ask for proof of citizenship until just recently. Clinton’s presidential campaign required U.S. citizens living abroad to actually fax a copy of their passport before a donation would be accepted.

 

With such lax vetting of foreign contributions, the Obama campaign may have indirectly contributed to questionable fundraising by foreigners.

 

In July and August, the head of the Nigeria’s stock market held a series of pro-Obama fundraisers in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. The events attracted local Nigerian business owners.

 

At one event, a table for eight at one fundraising dinner went for $16,800. Nigerian press reports claimed sponsors raked in an estimated $900,000.

 

The sponsors said the fundraisers were held to help Nigerians attend the Democratic convention in Denver. But the Nigerian press expressed skepticism of that claim, and the Nigerian public anti-fraud commission is now investigating the matter.

 

Concerns about foreign fundraising have been raised by other anecdotal accounts of illegal activities.

 

In June, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gave a public speech praising Obama, claiming foreign nationals were donating to his campaign.

 

“All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man,” the Libyan leader said. “They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency…”

 

Though Gadhafi asserted that fundraising from Arab and African nations were “legitimate,” the fact is that U.S. federal law bans any foreigner from donating to a U.S. election campaign.

 

The rise of the Internet and use of credit cards have made it easier for foreign nationals to donate to American campaigns, especially if they claim their donation is less than $200.

 

Campaign spokesman LaBolt cited several measures that the campaign has adopted to “root out fraud,” including a requirement that anyone attending an Obama fundraising event overseas present a valid U.S. passport, and a new requirement that overseas contributors must provide a passport number when donating online.

 

One new measure that might not appear obvious at first could be frustrating to foreigners wanting to buy campaign paraphernalia such as T-shirts or bumper stickers through the online store.

 

In response to an investigation conducted by blogger Pamela Geller, who runs the blog Atlas Shrugs, the Obama campaign has locked down the store.

 

Geller picked up on the revelation, which Glenn Simpson of The Wall Street Journal reported first, that donors from the Gaza Strip had given more than $33,000 to the Obama campaign, through bulk purchases of T-shirts they had shipped to Gaza.

 

The online campaign store allows buyers to complete their purchases by making an additional donation to the Obama campaign.

 

A pair of Palestinian brothers named Hosam and Monir Edwan contributed more than $31,300 to the Obama campaign in October and November 2007, FEC records show.

 

Their largesse attracted the attention of the FEC almost immediately. In an April 15, 2008, report that examined the Obama campaign’s year-end figures for 2007, the FEC asked that some of these contributions be reassigned.

 

The Obama camp complied sluggishly, prompting a more detailed admonishment form the FEC on July 30.

 

The Edwan brothers listed their address as “GA,” as in Georgia, although they entered “Gaza” or “Rafah Refugee camp” as their city of residence on most of the online contribution forms.

 

According to the Obama campaign, they wrongly identified themselves as U.S. citizens, via a voluntary check-off box at the time the donations were made.

 

Many of the Edwan brothers’ contributions have been purged from the FEC database, but they still can be found in archived versions available for CRP and other watchdog groups.

 

The latest Obama campaign filing shows that $891.11 still has not been refunded to the Edwan brothers, despite repeated FEC warnings and campaign claims that all the money was refunded in December.

 

A Newsmax review of the Obama campaign finance filings found that the FEC had asked for the redesignation or refund of 53,828 donations, totaling just under $30 million.

 

But none involves the donors who never appear in the Obama campaign reports, which the CRP estimates at nearly half the $426.8 million the Obama campaign has raised to date.

 

Many of the small donors participated in online “matching” programs, which allows them to hook up with other Obama supporters and eventually share e-mail addresses and blogs.

 

The Obama Web site described the matching contribution program as similar to a public radio fundraising drive.

 

“Our goal is to bring 50,000 new donors into our movement by Friday at midnight,” campaign manager David Plouffe e-mailed supporters on Sept. 15. “And if you make your first online donation today, your gift will go twice as far. A previous donor has promised to match every dollar you donate.”

 

FEC spokesman Biersack said he was unfamiliar with the matching donation drive. But he said that if donations from another donor were going to be reassigned to a new donor, as the campaign suggested, “the two people must agree” to do so.

 

This type of matching drive probably would be legal as long as the matching donor had not exceeded the $2,300 per-election limit, he said.

 

Obama campaign spokesman LaBolt said, “We have more than 2.5 million donors overall, hundreds of thousands of which have participated in this program.”

 

Until now, the names of those donors and where they live have remained anonymous — and the federal watchdog agency in charge of ensuring that the presidential campaigns play by the same rules has no tools to find out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Nancy Pelosi’s Political Caliphate On America

Bailout bill fails

Bailout bill fails

Thomas Lifson
The House of Representative has rejected the bailout bill pushed by Secretary of the Treasury (and former Goldman Sachs chief) Henry Paulson, the House Democratic leadership, and President Bush. The Dow “plunged” 400 points — not a catastrophic drop by any means.

GOP leaders are reportedly outraged by a speech Pelosi gave before the vote:
It is time to consider alternative approaches to the credit market problems, including changes to an accounting rule adopted in reaction to Enron, the “mark-to-market” rule. More on this tomorrow in an AT article.

 

Here is the roll call vote:
  H R 3997      RECORDED VOTE      29-Sep-2008      2:07 PM
      QUESTION:  On Concurring in Senate Amendment With An Amendment
      BILL TITLE: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide earnings assistance and tax relief to members of the uniformed services, volunteer firefighters, and Peace Corps volunteers, and for other purposes

 

PRES
Democratic
140
95
Republican
65
133
1
Independent
TOTALS
205
228
 
1

 

—- AYES    205 —
Ackerman
Allen
Andrews
Arcuri
Bachus
Baird
Baldwin
Bean
Berman
Berry
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Blunt
Boehner
Bonner
Bono Mack
Boozman
Boren
Boswell
Boucher
Boyd (FL)
Brady (PA)
Brady (TX)
Brown (SC)
Brown, Corrine
Calvert
Camp (MI)
Campbell (CA)
Cannon
Cantor
Capps
Capuano
Cardoza
Carnahan
Castle
Clarke
Clyburn
Cohen
Cole (OK)
Cooper
Costa
Cramer
Crenshaw
Crowley
Cubin
Davis (AL)
Davis (CA)
Davis (IL)
Davis, Tom
DeGette
DeLauro
Dicks
Dingell
Donnelly
Doyle
Dreier
Edwards (TX)
Ehlers
Ellison
Ellsworth
Emanuel
Emerson
Engel
Eshoo
Etheridge
Everett
Farr
Fattah
Ferguson
Fossella
Foster
Frank (MA)
Gilchrest
Gonzalez
Gordon
Granger
Gutierrez
Hall (NY)
Hare
Harman
Hastings (FL)
Herger
Higgins
Hinojosa
Hobson
Holt
Honda
Hooley
Hoyer
Inglis (SC)
Israel
Johnson, E. B.
Kanjorski
Kennedy
Kildee
Kind
King (NY)
Kirk
Klein (FL)
Kline (MN)
LaHood
Langevin
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Levin
Lewis (CA)
Lewis (KY)
Loebsack
Lofgren, Zoe
Lowey
Lungren, Daniel E.
Mahoney (FL)
Maloney (NY)
Markey
Marshall
Matsui
McCarthy (NY)
McCollum (MN)
McCrery
McDermott
McGovern
McHugh
McKeon
McNerney
McNulty
Meek (FL)
Meeks (NY)
Melancon
Miller (NC)
Miller, Gary
Miller, George
Mollohan
Moore (KS)
Moore (WI)
Moran (VA)
Murphy (CT)
Murphy, Patrick
Murtha
Nadler
Neal (MA)
Oberstar
Obey
Olver
Pallone
Pelosi
Perlmutter
Peterson (PA)
Pickering
Pomeroy
Porter
Price (NC)
Pryce (OH)
Putnam
Radanovich
Rahall
Rangel
Regula
Reyes
Reynolds
Richardson
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Ross
Ruppersberger
Ryan (OH)
Ryan (WI)
Sarbanes
Saxton
Schakowsky
Schwartz
Sessions
Sestak
Shays
Simpson
Sires
Skelton
Slaughter
Smith (TX)
Smith (WA)
Snyder
Souder
Space
Speier
Spratt
Tancredo
Tanner
Tauscher
Towns
Tsongas
Upton
Van Hollen
Velázquez
Walden (OR)
Walsh (NY)
Wasserman Schultz
Waters
Watt
Waxman
Weiner
Weldon (FL)
Wexler
Wilson (NM)
Wilson (OH)
Wilson (SC)
Wolf

 

—- NOES    228 —
Abercrombie
Aderholt
Akin
Alexander
Altmire
Baca
Bachmann
Barrett (SC)
Barrow
Bartlett (MD)
Barton (TX)
Becerra
Berkley
Biggert
Bilbray
Bilirakis
Bishop (UT)
Blackburn
Blumenauer
Boustany
Boyda (KS)
Braley (IA)
Broun (GA)
Brown-Waite, Ginny
Buchanan
Burgess
Burton (IN)
Butterfield
Buyer
Capito
Carney
Carson
Carter
Castor
Cazayoux
Chabot
Chandler
Childers
Clay
Cleaver
Coble
Conaway
Conyers
Costello
Courtney
Cuellar
Culberson
Cummings
Davis (KY)
Davis, David
Davis, Lincoln
Deal (GA)
DeFazio
Delahunt
Dent
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Doggett
Doolittle
Drake
Duncan
Edwards (MD)
English (PA)
Fallin
Feeney
Filner
Flake
Forbes
Fortenberry
Foxx
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Garrett (NJ)
Gerlach
Giffords
Gillibrand
Gingrey
Gohmert
Goode
Goodlatte
Graves
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Grijalva
Hall (TX)
Hastings (WA)
Hayes
Heller
Hensarling
Herseth Sandlin
Hill
Hinchey
Hirono
Hodes
Hoekstra
Holden
Hulshof
Hunter
Inslee
Issa
Jackson (IL)
Jackson-Lee (TX)
Jefferson
Johnson (GA)
Johnson (IL)
Johnson, Sam
Jones (NC)
Jordan
Kagen
Kaptur
Keller
Kilpatrick
King (IA)
Kingston
Knollenberg
Kucinich
Kuhl (NY)
Lamborn
Lampson
Latham
LaTourette
Latta
Lee
Lewis (GA)
Linder
Lipinski
LoBiondo
Lucas
Lynch
Mack
Manzullo
Marchant
Matheson
McCarthy (CA)
McCaul (TX)
McCotter
McHenry
McIntyre
McMorris Rodgers
Mica
Michaud
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Mitchell
Moran (KS)
Murphy, Tim
Musgrave
Myrick
Napolitano
Neugebauer
Nunes
Ortiz
Pascrell
Pastor
Paul
Payne
Pearce
Pence
Peterson (MN)
Petri
Pitts
Platts
Poe
Price (GA)
Ramstad
Rehberg
Reichert
Renzi
Rodriguez
Rogers (MI)
Rohrabacher
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Rothman
Roybal-Allard
Royce
Rush
Salazar
Sali
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Scalise
Schiff
Schmidt
Scott (GA)
Scott (VA)
Sensenbrenner
Serrano
Shadegg
Shea-Porter
Sherman
Shimkus
Shuler
Shuster
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Solis
Stark
Stearns
Stupak
Sullivan
Sutton
Taylor
Terry
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Thornberry
Tiahrt
Tiberi
Tierney
Turner
Udall (CO)
Udall (NM)
Visclosky
Walberg
Walz (MN)
Wamp
Watson
Welch (VT)
Westmoreland
Whitfield (KY)
Wittman (VA)
Woolsey
Wu
Yarmuth
Young (AK)
Young (FL)

 

—- NOT VOTING    1 —
Weller

545 PEOPLE By Charlie Reese

545 PEOPLE By Charlie Reese

 

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

 

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

 

Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

 

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

 

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

 

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

 

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

 

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

 

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

 

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

 

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason.
They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

 

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

 

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

 

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? The leader of the majority party. He/She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

 

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility.. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

 

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

 

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

 

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it’s because they want them in IRAQ.

 

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

 

There are no insoluble government problems.

 

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like ‘the economy,’ ‘inflation,’ or ‘politics’ that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

 

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

 

They, and they alone, have the power.

 

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses

 

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

 

What you do with this article now that you have read it is up to you, though you appear to have several choices.

 

1. You can send this to everyone in your address book, and hope’ they’ do something about it.

 

2. You can agree to ‘vote against’ everyone that is currently in office, knowing that the process will take several years.

 

3. You can decide to ‘run for office’ yourself and agree to do the job properly.

 

4. Lastly, you can sit back and do nothing, or re-elect the current bunch.

TAKE A FEW MOMENTS AND READ THIS LETTER.

TAKE A FEW MOMENTS AND READ THIS LETTER. THESE ARE STRONG, POWERFUL AND COURAGEOUS WORDS COMING FROM A RETIRED COLONEL, AND READ WHAT LINCOLN HAD TO SAY AT THE END. WOW!

September 29, 2008 — budsimmons | Edit

TAKE  A FEW MOMENTS AND READ THIS LETTER. THESE ARE STRONG, POWERFUL AND COURAGEOUS  WORDS COMING FROM A RETIRED COLONEL, AND READ WHAT LINCOLN HAD TO SAY AT THE END. WOW!


33  Senators Voted Against English as America’s Official Language on June 6,  2007.

On Wed. 6 June 2007, Colonel Harry Riley, USA, Ret.  wrote:

Senators:
Your vote against an amendment to the  immigration Bill 1348…. to make English America’s official language is  astounding.

On D-Day, no less, when we honor those that sacrificed in  order to secure the bedrock, character and principles of America, I can only  surmise your vote reflects a loyalty to illegal aliens.

I don’t much  care where you come from. What your religion is. Whether you’re black, white,  or some other color…male or female……Democrat, Republican or Independent……. But I do care when you are a United States Senator  representing Citizens of America …and Vote against English as the official  language of the United States

Your vote reflects Betrayal. Political  Surrender. Violates Your Pledge of Allegiance. Dishonors historical principle.  Rejects Patriotism. Borders on traitorous action and, in my opinion, makes  you unfit to serve as a United States Senator…impeachment…  Recall……..Or other appropriate action is warranted, or worse.  

Four  of you voting against English as America’s Official Language are Presidential Candidates: Senator  Biden, Senator Clinton, Senator Dodd and Senator  Obama! .

Four  Senators vying to lead America, but won’t, or don’t, have the courage to cast  a vote in favor of English as America’s Official Language when 91% of American  Citizens want English officially designated as our language.

This  is the second time in the last several months this list of Senators have  disgraced themselves as ‘political Hacks’….. Unworthy as Senators and  certainly unqualified to serve as President of the United States  .

If  America is as angry as I am, you will realize a backlash so stunning it will  literally ‘rock you out of your socks’……… And preferably totally out of  the United States Senate.

The entire immigration bill is a farce…  Your action only confirms this really isn’t about America… it is about  self-serving politics……despicable at best. It has been said: ‘Never Argue with an Idiot….They’ll drag you down to their level!’  

PRESIDENT  ABRAHAM LINCOLN SAID: ‘Congressmen  who willfully take actions during wartime that damages morale and undermine  the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, quickly tried and hanged!!!’

PLEASE  KEEP THIS GOING AROUND THE UNITED STATES UNTIL THE ELECTION IN NOVEMBER!

 

Here is the latest bailout draft bill if you can’t access the House website

Here is the latest bailout draft bill if you can’t access the House website

By Michelle Malkin  •  September 28, 2008 06:14 PM

The House website is down.

I’ve uploaded the most recent bailout draft bill right here:

Click.

***

Via N.Z. Bear, here’s a quick-and-dirty, section-by-section analysis of the latest draft going around the Hill:

SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short Title.

“Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.”

Section 2. Purposes.

Provides authority to the Treasury Secretary to restore liquidity and stability to the U.S. financial system and to ensure the economic well-being of Americans.

Section 3. Definitions.

Contains various definitions used under this Act.

Title I. Troubled Assets Relief Program.

Section 101. Purchases of Troubled Assets.

Authorizes the Secretary to establish a Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions. Establishes an Office of Financial Stability within the Treasury Department to implement the TARP in consultation with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the FDIC, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Requires the Treasury Secretary to establish guidelines and policies to carry out the purposes of this Act.

Includes provisions to prevent unjust enrichment by participants of the program.

Section 102. Insurance of Troubled Assets.

If the Secretary establishes the TARP program, the Secretary is required to establish a program to guarantee troubled assets of financial institutions.

The Secretary is required to establish risk-based premiums for such guarantees sufficient to cover anticipated claims. The Secretary must report to Congress on the establishment of the guarantee program.

Section 103. Considerations.

In using authority under this Act, the Treasury Secretary is required to take a number of considerations into account, including the interests of taxpayers, minimizing the impact on the national debt, providing stability to the financial markets, preserving homeownership, the needs of all financial institutions regardless of size or other characteristics, and the needs of local communities. Requires the Secretary to examine the long-term viability of an institution in determining whether to directly purchase assets under the TARP.

Section 104. Financial Stability Oversight Board.

This section establishes the Financial Stability Oversight Board to review and make recommendations regarding the exercise of authority under this Act. In addition, the Board must ensure that the policies implemented by the Secretary protect taxpayers, are in the economic interests of the United States, and are in accordance with this Act.

The Board is comprised of the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Director of the Federal Home Finance Agency, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Section 105. Reports.

Monthly Reports: Within 60 days of the first exercise of authority under this Act and every month thereafter, the Secretary is required to report to Congress its activities under TARP, including detailed financial statements.

Tranche Reports: For every $50 billion in assets purchased, the Secretary is required to report to Congress a detailed description of all transactions, a description of the pricing mechanisms used, and justifications for the financial terms of such transactions.

Regulatory Modernization Report: Prior to April 30, 2009, the Secretary is required to submit a report to Congress on the current state of the financial markets, the effectiveness of the financial regulatory system, and to provide any recommendations.

Section 106. Rights; Management; Sale of Troubled Assets; Revenues and Sale Proceeds.

Establishes the right of the Secretary to exercise authorities under this Act at any time. Provides the Secretary with the authority to manage troubled assets, including the ability to determine the terms and conditions associated with the disposition of troubled assets. Requires profits from the sale of troubled assets to be used to pay down the national debt.

Section 107. Contracting Procedures.

Allows the Secretary to waive provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation where compelling circumstances make compliance contrary to the public interest. Such waivers must be reported to Congress within 7 days. If provisions related to minority contracting are waived, the Secretary must develop alternate procedures to ensure the inclusion of minority contractors.

Allows the FDIC to be selected as an asset manager for residential mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities.

Section 108. Conflicts of Interest.

The Secretary is required to issue regulations or guidelines to manage or prohibit conflicts of interest in the administration of the program.

Section 109. Foreclosure Mitigation Efforts.

For mortgages and mortgage-backed securities acquired through TARP, the Secretary must implement a plan to mitigate foreclosures and to encourage servicers of mortgages to modify loans through Hope for Homeowners and other programs. Allows the Secretary to use loan guarantees and credit enhancement to avoid foreclosures. Requires the Secretary to coordinate with other federal entities that hold troubled assets in order to identify opportunities to modify loans, considering net present value to the taxpayer.

Section 110. Assistance to Homeowners.

Requires federal entities that hold mortgages and mortgage-backed securities, including the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve to develop plans to minimize foreclosures. Requires federal entities to work with servicers to encourage loan modifications, considering net present value to the taxpayer.

Section 111. Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance.

Provides that Treasury will promulgate executive compensation rules governing financial institutions that sell it troubled assets. Where Treasury buys assets directly, the institution must observe standards limiting incentives, allowing clawback and prohibiting golden parachutes. When Treasury buys assets at auction, an institution that has sold more than $300 million in assets is subject to additional taxes, including a 20% excise tax on golden parachute payments triggered by events other than retirement, and tax deduction limits for compensation limits above $500,000.

Section 112. Coordination With Foreign Authorities and Central Banks.

Requires the Secretary to coordinate with foreign authorities and central banks to establish programs similar to TARP.

Section 113. Minimization of Long-Term Costs and Maximization of Benefits for Taxpayers.

In order to cover losses and administrative costs, as well as to allow taxpayers to share in equity appreciation, requires that the Treasury receive non-voting warrants from participating financial institutions.

Section 114. Market Transparency.

48-hour Reporting Requirement: The Secretary is required, within 2 business days of exercising authority under this Act, to publicly disclose the details of any transaction.

Section 115. Graduated Authorization to Purchase.

Authorizes the full $700 billion as requested by the Treasury Secretary for implementation of TARP. Allows the Secretary to immediately use up to $250 billion in authority under this Act. Upon a Presidential certification of need, the Secretary may access an additional $100 billion. The final $350 billion may be accessed if the President transmits a written report to Congress requesting such authority. The Secretary may use this additional authority unless within 15 days Congress passes a joint resolution of disapproval which may be considered on an expedited basis.

Section 116. Oversight and Audits.

Requires the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct ongoing oversight of the activities and performance of TARP, and to report every 60 days to Congress. The Comptroller General is required to conduct an annual audit of TARP. In addition, TARP is required to establish and maintain an effective system of internal controls.

Section 117. Study and Report on Margin Authority.

Directs the Comptroller General to conduct a study and report back to Congress on the role in which leverage and sudden deleveraging of financial institutions was a factor behind the current financial crisis.

Section 118. Funding.

Provides for the authorization and appropriation of funds consistent with Section 115.

Section 119. Judicial Review and Related Matters.

Provides standards for judicial review, including injunctive and other relief, to ensure that the actions of the Secretary are not arbitrary, capricious, or not in accordance with law.

Section 120. Termination of Authority.

Provides that the authorities to purchase and guarantee assets terminate on December 31, 2009. The Secretary may extend the authority for an additional year upon certification of need to Congress.

Section 121. Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Establishes the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program to conduct, supervise, and coordinate audits and investigations of the actions undertaken by the Secretary under this Act. The Special Inspector General is required to submit a quarterly report to Congress summarizing its activities and the activities of the Secretary under this Act.

Section 122. Increase in the Statutory Limit on the Public Debt.

Raises the debt ceiling from $10 trillion to $11.3 trillion.

Section 123. Credit Reform.

Details the manner in which the legislation will be treated for budgetary purposes under the Federal Credit Reform Act.

Section 124. Hope for Homeowners Amendments.

Strengthens the Hope for Homeowners program to increase eligibility and improve the tools available to prevent foreclosures.

Section 125. Congressional Oversight Panel.

Establishes a Congressional Oversight Panel to review the state of the financial markets, the regulatory system, and the use of authority under TARP. The panel is required to report to Congress every 30 days and to submit a special report on regulatory reform prior to January 20, 2009. The panel will consist of 5 outside experts appointed by the House and Senate Minority and Majority leadership.

Section 126. FDIC Enforcement Enhancement.

Prohibits the misuse of the FDIC logo and name to falsely represent that deposits are insured. Strengthens enforcement by appropriate federal banking agencies, and allows the FDIC to take enforcement action against any person or institution where the banking agency has not acted.

Section 127. Cooperation With the FBI.

Requires any federal financial regulatory agency to cooperate with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies investigating fraud, misrepresentation, and malfeasance with respect to development, advertising, and sale of financial products.

Section 128. Acceleration of Effective Date.

Provides the Federal Reserve with the ability to pay interest on reserves.

Section 129. Disclosures on Exercise of Loan Authority.

Requires the Federal Reserve to provide a detailed report to Congress, in an expedited manner, upon the use of its emergency lending authority under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act.

Section 130. Technical Corrections.

Makes technical corrections to the Truth in Lending Act.

Section 131. Exchange Stabilization Fund Reimbursement.

Protects the Exchange Stabilization Fund from incurring any losses due to the temporary money market mutual fund guarantee by requiring the program created in this Act to reimburse the Fund. Prohibits any future use of the Fund for any guarantee program for the money market mutual fund industry.

Section 132. Authority to Suspend Mark-to-Market Accounting.

Restates the Securities and Exchange Commission’s authority to suspend the application of Statement Number 157 of the Financial Accounting Standards Board if the SEC determines that it is in the public interest and protects investors.

Section 133. Study on Mark-to-Market Accounting.

Requires the SEC, in consultation with the Federal Reserve and the Treasury, to conduct a study on mark-to-market accounting standards as provided in FAS 157, including its effects on balance sheets, impact on the quality of financial information, and other matters, and to report to Congress within 90 days on its findings.

Section 134. Recoupment.

Requires that in 5 years, the President submit to the Congress a proposal that recoups from the financial industry any projected losses to the taxpayer.

Section 135. Preservation of Authority.

Clarifies that nothing in this Act shall limit the authority of the Secretary or the Federal Reserve under any other provision of law.

Title II—Budget-Related Provisions

Section 201. Information for Congressional Support Agencies.

Requires that information used by the Treasury Secretary in connection with activities under this Act be made available to CBO and JCT.

Section 202. Reports by the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office.

Requires CBO and OMB to report cost estimates and related information to Congress and the President regarding the authorities that the Secretary of the Treasury has exercised under the Act.

Section 203. Analysis in President’s Budget.

Requires that the President include in his annual budget submission to the Congress certain analyses and estimates relating to costs incurred as a result of the Act; and

Section 204. Emergency Treatment.

Specifies scoring of the Act for purposes of budget enforcement.

Title III—Tax Provisions

Section 301. Gain or Loss From Sale or Exchange of Certain Preferred Stock.

Details certain changes in the tax treatment of losses on the preferred stock of certain GSEs for financial institutions.

Section 302. Special Rules for Tax Treatment of Executive Compensation of Employers Participating in the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

Applies limits on executive compensation and golden parachutes for certain executives of employers who participate in the auction program.

Section 303. Extension of Exclusion of Income From Discharge of Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness.

Extends current law tax forgiveness on the cancellation of mortgage debt.

America as the last man standing—A Must Read

September 28, 2008

America as the last man standing

 

“In a generation or two, the US will ask itself: who lost Europe?”

Here is the speech of Geert Wilders, chairman Party for Freedom, the Netherlands, at the Four Seasons, New York, introducing an Alliance of Patriots and announcing the Facing Jihad Conference in Jerusalem (which I hope to be attending).

The speech was sponsored by the Hudson Institute on September 25.

Dear friends, Thank you very much for inviting me. Great to be at the Four Seasons. I come from a country that has one season only: a rainy season that starts January 1st and ends December 31st. When we have three sunny days in a row, the government declares a national emergency. So Four Seasons, that’s new to me.

It’s great to be in New York. When I see the skyscrapers and office buildings, I think of what Ayn Rand said: “The sky over New York and the will of man made visible.” Of course. Without the Dutch you would have been nowhere, still figuring out how to buy this island from the Indians. But we are glad we did it for you. And, frankly, you did a far better job than we possibly could have done.

I come to America with a mission. All is not well in the old world. There is a tremendous danger looming, and it is very difficult to be optimistic. We might be in the final stages of the Islamization of Europe. This not only is a clear and present danger to the future of Europe itself, it is a threat to America and the sheer survival of the West. The danger I see looming is the scenario of America as the last man standing. The United States as the last bastion of Western civilization, facing an Islamic Europe. In a generation or two, the US will ask itself: who lost Europe? Patriots from around Europe risk their lives every day to prevent precisely this scenario form becoming a reality.

My short lecture consists of 4 parts.

First I will describe the situation on the ground in Europe. Then, I will say a few things about Islam. Thirdly, if you are still here, I will talk a little bit about the movie you just saw. To close I will tell you about a meeting in Jerusalem.

The Europe you know is changing. You have probably seen the landmarks. The Eiffel Tower and Trafalgar Square and Rome’s ancient buildings and maybe the canals of Amsterdam. They are still there. And they still look very much the same as they did a hundred years ago.

But in all of these cities, sometimes a few blocks away from your tourist destination, there is another world, a world very few visitors see – and one that does not appear in your tourist guidebook. It is the world of the parallel society created by Muslim mass-migration. All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighbourhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen. And if they are, they might regret it. This goes for the police as well. It’s the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead. With mosques on many street corner. The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to find any economic activity. These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These are Muslim neighbourhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe. These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe, street by street, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, city by city.

There are now thousands of mosques throughout Europe. With larger congregations than there are in churches. And in every European city there are plans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region. Clearly, the signal is: we rule.

Many European cities are already one-quarter Muslim: just take Amsterdam, Marseille and Malmo in Sweden. In many cities the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim. Paris is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighbourhoods. Mohammed is the most popular name among boys in many cities. In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims. Many state schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils. In once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up almost exclusively by Muslims. Non-Muslim women routinely hear “whore, whore”. Satellite dishes are not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in the country of origin. In France school teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin. The history of the Holocaust can in many cases no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity. In England sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system. Many neighbourhoods in France are no-go areas for women without head scarves. Last week a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels, because he was drinking during the Ramadan. Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run for the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya, Israel. I could go on forever with stories like this. Stories about Islamization. A total of fifty-four million Muslims now live in Europe. San Diego University recently calculated that a staggering 25 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim just 12 years from now. Bernhard Lewis has predicted a Muslim majority by the end of this century.

Now these are just numbers. And the numbers would not be threatening if the Muslim-immigrants had a strong desire to assimilate. But there are few signs of that. The Pew Research Center reported that half of French Muslims see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to France. One-third of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks. The British Centre for Social Cohesion reported that one-third of British Muslim students are in favour of a worldwide caliphate. A Dutch study reported that half of Dutch Muslims admit they “understand” the 9/11 attacks.

Muslims demand what they call ‘respect’. And this is how we give them respect. Our elites are willing to give in. To give up. In my own country we have gone from calls by one cabinet member to turn Muslim holidays into official state holidays, to statements by another cabinet member, that Islam is part of Dutch culture, to an affirmation by the Christian-Democratic attorney general that he is willing to accept sharia in the Netherlands if there is a Muslim majority. We have cabinet members with passports from Morocco and Turkey.

Muslim demands are supported by unlawful behaviour, ranging from petty crimes and random violence, for example against ambulance workers and bus drivers, to small-scale riots. Paris has seen its uprising in the low-income suburbs, the banlieus. Some prefer to see these as isolated incidents, but I call it a Muslim intifada. I call the perpetrators “settlers”. Because that is what they are. They do not come to integrate into our societies, they come to integrate our society into their Dar-al-Islam. Therefore, they are settlers.

Much of this street violence I mentioned is directed exclusively against non-Muslims, forcing many native people to leave their neighbourhoods, their cities, their countries.

Politicians shy away from taking a stand against this creeping sharia. They believe in the equality of all cultures. Moreover, on a mundane level, Muslims are now a swing vote not to be ignored.

Our many problems with Islam cannot be explained by poverty, repression or the European colonial past, as the Left claims. Nor does it have anything to do with Palestinians or American troops in Iraq. The problem is Islam itself.

Allow me to give you a brief Islam 101. The first thing you need to know about Islam is the importance of the book of the Quran. The Quran is Allah’s personal word, revealed by an angel to Mohammed, the prophet. This is where the trouble starts. Every word in the Quran is Allah’s word and therefore not open to discussion or interpretation. It is valid for every Muslim and for all times. Therefore, there is no such a thing as moderate Islam. Sure, there are a lot of moderate Muslims. But a moderate Islam is non-existent.

The Quran calls for hatred, violence, submission, murder, and terrorism. The Quran calls for Muslims to kill non-Muslims, to terrorize non-Muslims and to fulfil their duty to wage war: violent jihad. Jihad is a duty for every Muslim, Islam is to rule the world – by the sword. The Quran is clearly anti-Semitic, describing Jews as monkeys and pigs.

The second thing you need to know is the importance of Mohammed the prophet. His behaviour is an example to all Muslims and cannot be criticized. Now, if Mohammed had been a man of peace, let us say like Ghandi and Mother Theresa wrapped in one, there would be no problem. But Mohammed was a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile, and had several marriages – at the same time. Islamic tradition tells us how he fought in battles, how he had his enemies murdered and even had prisoners of war executed. Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. He advised on matters of slavery, but never advised to liberate slaves. Islam has no other morality than the advancement of Islam. If it is good for Islam, it is good. If it is bad for Islam, it is bad. There is no gray area or other side.

Quran as Allah’s own word and Mohammed as the perfect man are the two most important facets of Islam. Let no one fool you about Islam being a religion. Sure, it has a god, and a here-after, and 72 virgins. But in its essence Islam is a political ideology. It is a system that lays down detailed rules for society and the life of every person. Islam wants to dictate every aspect of life. Islam means ‘submission’. Islam is not compatible with freedom and democracy, because what it strives for is sharia. If you want to compare Islam to anything, compare it to communism or national-socialism, these are all totalitarian ideologies.

This is what you need to know about Islam, in order to understand what is going on in Europe. For millions of Muslims the Quran and the live of Mohammed are not 14 centuries old, but are an everyday reality, an ideal, that guide every aspect of their lives. Now you know why Winston Churchill called Islam “the most retrograde force in the world”, and why he compared Mein Kampf to the Quran.

Which brings me to my movie, Fitna.

I am a lawmaker, and not a movie maker. But I felt I had the moral duty to educate about Islam. The duty to make clear that the Quran stands at the heart of what some people call terrorism but is in reality jihad. I wanted to show that the problems of Islam are at the core of Islam, and do not belong to its fringes.

Now, from the day the plan for my movie was made public, it caused quite a stir, in the Netherlands and throughout Europe. First, there was a political storm, with government leaders, across the continent in sheer panic. The Netherlands was put under a heightened terror alert, because of possible attacks or a revolt by our Muslim population. The Dutch branch of the Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir declared that the Netherlands was due for an attack. Internationally, there was a series of incidents. The Taliban threatened to organize additional attacks against Dutch troops in Afghanistan, and a website linked to Al Qaeda published the message that I ought to be killed, while various muftis in the Middle East stated that I would be responsible for all the bloodshed after the screening of the movie. In Afghanistan and Pakistan the Dutch flag was burned on several occasions. Dolls representing me were also burned. The Indonesian President announced that I will never be admitted into Indonesia again, while the UN Secretary General and the European Union issued cowardly statements in the same vein as those made by the Dutch Government. I could go on and on. It was an absolute disgrace, a sell-out.

A plethora of legal troubles also followed, and have not ended yet. Currently the state of Jordan is litigating against me. Only last week there were renewed security agency reports about a heightened terror alert for the Netherlands because of Fitna.

Now, I would like to say a few things about Israel. Because, very soon, we will get together in its capital. The best way for a politician in Europe to lose votes is to say something positive about Israel. The public has wholeheartedly accepted the Palestinian narrative, and sees Israel as the aggressor. I, however, will continue to speak up for Israel. I see defending Israel as a matter of principle. I have lived in this country and visited it dozens of times. I support Israel. First, because it is the Jewish homeland after two thousand years of exile up to and including Auschwitz, second because it is a democracy, and third because Israel is our first line of defense.

Samuel Huntington writes it so aptly: “Islam has bloody borders”. Israel is located precisely on that border. This tiny country is situated on the fault line of jihad, frustrating Islam’s territorial advance. Israel is facing the front lines of jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines, Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan, Lebanon, and Aceh in Indonesia. Israel is simply in the way. The same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War.

The war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel, Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming.

Many in Europe argue in favor of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West. It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behavior, and accept our values. On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed. The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel, they can get everything. Therefore, it is not that the West has a stake in Israel. It is Israel.

It is very difficult to be an optimist in the face of the growing Islamization of Europe. All the tides are against us. On all fronts we are losing. Demographically the momentum is with Islam. Muslim immigration is even a source of pride within ruling liberal parties. Academia, the arts, the media, trade unions, the churches, the business world, the entire political establishment have all converted to the suicidal theory of multiculturalism. So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as a ‘right-wing extremists’ or ‘racists’. The entire establishment has sided with our enemy. Leftists, liberals and Christian-Democrats are now all in bed with Islam.

This is the most painful thing to see: the betrayal by our elites. At this moment in Europe’s history, our elites are supposed to lead us. To stand up for centuries of civilization. To defend our heritage. To honour our eternal Judeo-Christian values that made Europe what it is today. But there are very few signs of hope to be seen at the governmental level. Sarkozy, Merkel, Brown, Berlusconi; in private, they probably know how grave the situation is. But when the little red light goes on, they stare into the camera and tell us that Islam is a religion of peace, and we should all try to get along nicely and sing Kumbaya. They willingly participate in, what President Reagan so aptly called: “the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.”

If there is hope in Europe, it comes from the people, not from the elites. Change can only come from a grass-roots level. It has to come from the citizens themselves. Yet these patriots will have to take on the entire political, legal and media establishment.

Over the past years there have been some small, but encouraging, signs of a rebirth of the original European spirit. Maybe the elites turn their backs on freedom, the public does not. In my country, the Netherlands, 60 percent of the population now sees the mass immigration of Muslims as the number one policy mistake since World War II. And another 60 percent sees Islam as the biggest threat to our national identity. I don’t think the public opinion in Holland is very different from other European countries.

Patriotic parties that oppose jihad are growing, against all odds. My own party debuted two years ago, with five percent of the vote. Now it stands at ten percent in the polls. The same is true of all smililary-minded parties in Europe. They are fighting the liberal establishment, and are gaining footholds on the political arena, one voter at the time.

Now, for the first time, these patriotic parties will come together and exchange experiences. It may be the start of something big. Something that might change the map of Europe for decades to come. It might also be Europe’s last chance.

This December a conference will take place in Jerusalem. Thanks to Professor Aryeh Eldad, a member of Knesset, we will be able to watch Fitna in the Knesset building and discuss the jihad. We are organizing this event in Israel to emphasize the fact that we are all in the same boat together, and that Israel is part of our common heritage. Those attending will be a select audience. No racist organizations will be allowed. And we will only admit parties that are solidly democratic.

This conference will be the start of an Alliance of European patriots. This Alliance will serve as the backbone for all organizations and political parties that oppose jihad and Islamization. For this Alliance I seek your support.

This endeavor may be crucial to America and to the West. America may hold fast to the dream that, thanks to its location, it is safe from jihad and shaira. But seven years ago to the day, there was still smoke rising from ground zero, following the attacks that forever shattered that dream. Yet there is a danger even greater danger than terrorist attacks, the scenario of America as the last man standing. The lights may go out in Europe faster than you can imagine. An Islamic Europe means a Europe without freedom and democracy, an economic wasteland, an intellectual nightmare, and a loss of military might for America – as its allies will turn into enemies, enemies with atomic bombs. With an Islamic Europe, it would be up to America alone to preserve the heritage of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem.

Dear friends, liberty is the most precious of gifts. My generation never had to fight for this freedom, it was offered to us on a silver platter, by people who fought for it with their lives. All throughout Europe American cemeteries remind us of the young boys who never made it home, and whose memory we cherish. My generation does not own this freedom; we are merely its custodians. We can only hand over this hard won liberty to Europe’s children in the same state in which it was offered to us. We cannot strike a deal with mullahs and imams. Future generations would never forgive us. We cannot squander our liberties. We simply do not have the right to do so.

This is not the first time our civilization is under threat. We have seen dangers before. We have been betrayed by our elites before. They have sided with our enemies before. And yet, then, freedom prevailed.

These are not times in which to take lessons from appeasement, capitulation, giving away, giving up or giving in. These are not times in which to draw lessons from Mr. Chamberlain. These are times calling us to draw lessons from Mr. Churchill and the words he spoke in 1942:

“Never give in, never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy”.

Posted by Robert at September 28, 2008 7:51 AM

No, We didn’t Cause This Wall Street Mess

No, We didn’t Cause This Wall Street Mess

September 28, 2008 – by Richard Miniter

You must be as tired of hearing it as I am. Somehow, we are all at fault for Wall Street’s meltdown. We demanded cheap loans for houses we couldn’t afford and voted in corrupt dolts, who took from Fannie Mae and told us what we wanted to hear. Now, we are getting what we deserve.

Take Rod Dreher’s [1] otherwise excellent column in the Dallas Morning News:

After all, these scoundrels did not elect themselves, nor was there an outcry heard in the land against Wall Street rapacity and recklessness when our 401(k)s were rising, and all but the lowliest plebeian was moving into his very own McMansion.

Along those lines, there’s one proverb that we will all become painfully acquainted with in the years to come: You reap what you sow.

There are two essential problems with this analysis: it is factually false and morally unwise.

Rep. Barney Frank was elected by a majority of the people of  his district in Massachusetts. Senator Chris Dodd is brought to us by many but not all of the voters of Connecticut. And so on. Most of us never had the chance to vote for or against these solons. So why should we be blamed?

The regulatory changes that led us to this point were the work of lobbyists, bureaucrats and lawmakers including Dodd and Frank and corrupt executives, like Raines and Johnson. We know or can know their names.

The idea of blaming “all of us” is a way to avoid blaming those who did the deeds and reaped their ill-gotten gains.

What about cheap mortgages? Sure, some of us took them when they were offered. But who offered them and why? Yes, it is the Clinton-era changes to the Community Reinvestment Act that forced banks to lend more for “affordable housing.” Law firms, including ones connected to Obama, sued banks that failed to meet their low-income quotas for mortgages. Bankers were not driven by greed, as everyone says, but by fear. Fear of the baying hounds of regulators and lawyers would call them racist and ruin their careers. But who unleashed the hounds on the bankers?

Particular policies and people made this mess. The public’s only role will be to pay the tab, a cruel addition that will equal more than $2,500 per person. Can’t the talking class at least have the decency to stop blaming the one group generous enough to pay for the party they didn’t attend?


Article printed from Richard Miniter.com: http://pajamasmedia.com/richardminiter

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/richardminiter/2008/09/28/no-we-didnt-cause-this-wall-street-mess/

URLs in this post:
[1] otherwise excellent column: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/09/and_it_was_written_our_blame.html