The bankrupting of the nation for political gain

The bankrupting of the nation for political gain

The following is based in part on excerpts from an article by Cliff Kincaid for Accuracy in Media.

A lot will be said and written about the presidential election, but one central fact remains: John McCain was ahead in the polls until the financial crisis emerged and President Bush was pushed by Treasury Secretary Paulson into seeking a $700-billion Wall Street bailout on Sept. 18. The crisis benefited Obama, even though he voted for the bailout, because he was not a Republican, like McCain or Bush. Republicans were blamed because a Republican was in the White House.

 

The exit polls on Nov. 4 still found the public opposed to the bailout by a 56-39 percent margin.

The panic around mid-September infected the Mainstream Media and even the conservative media, especially Fox News, which became a soapbox for the bailout that now exceeds $1.8 trillion. But rather than bail out or “rescue” anything, the hastily-passed measure, ironically named the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008,” started a process that now threatens national bankruptcy.

Because Wall Street has gotten its bailout, the Democrats figure that they can now spend even more, supposedly to benefit Main Street. Which means spending and debt will get even more out of control and more socialist measures, this time under President Obama, will be taken.

The Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin, which predicted the current financial crisis, is warning that the U.S. government will default on its debts by the summer of 2009 and that the “unfolding implosion” of the U.S. economy will result in the dramatic decline of America as a world power.

This is not a natural disaster, like a hurricane or earthquake. It has been brought about by reckless decisions made by people on Wall Street and in the federal government, including Congress. It was man-made, [but] the media has not demanded accountability for how the Bush Administration and the Congress permitted the nation to come to this point?

Incredibly, we still know very little about what happened behind closed doors. Rep. Scott Garrett, Republican of New Jersey, is one member of Congress who wants some answers. One White House official simply shrugged his shoulders when I asked him how this crisis just happened to emerge six weeks before the election. Either they don’t know or don’t care to know, and who from the media are asking any questons?

We do know that the powerful pro-China investment banking firm of Goldman Sachs, which backed Obama and the Democratic Party, has its fingerprints all over this debacle. Not surprisingly, the firm now benefits (so far to the tune of $10 billion) from the “rescue” package forced through Congress by its former chairman, Henry Paulson, and even got $5 billion from Obama booster Warren Buffett.

This would not pass the smell tests were the circumstances and the players different.

It was Paulson, let us not forget, who pushed this deal through as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in a Republican administration. His solid Democrat credentials have protected him from the scrutiny of a press corps that has lost all curiosity for anything resembling scandal unless a conservative Republican happens to be involved.

Meanwhile, even before the election results were in, Kimberly A. Strassel of the Wall Street Journal was urging the Republicans “to start elevating the new generation of reformers, folks like Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor or Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan” in the House. She called them intellectuals, never mentioning the fact that they backed the Wall Street bailout that her colleague, Stephen Moore of the Journal’s editorial page, now admits was a big mistake. “I want to apologize,” Moore said. “I drank the Kool-aid.”

Cantor and Ryan, a member of the House Budget Committee, were good conservatives until they drank the Kool-aid and backed the bailout. Now they have lost their credibility on fiscal issues.

Of course, there were a lot of Kool-aid drinkers in Congress, including House Minority Leader John Boehner, Minority Whip Roy Blunt, Cantor, and House Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam of Florida. However, in the end, most House Republicans opposed the bailout, objecting to its socialist nature and questioning whether it would even work. By any objective measure, they were right. It hasn’t “stabilized” anything.

This is critical to note: all of the House Republican leaders, including Cantor, Putnam, Blunt, and Boehner, supported the bailout. But they couldn’t get a majority of House Republicans to support them.

Putnam has now resigned as chairman of the House Republican Conference, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee who opposed the bailout, will run for that post.

Blunt may resign, and Cantor is said to want that post. Boehner says he will seek to remain in his position. On the Senate side, Republican Leader Senator Mitch McConnell not only voted for the bailout but ran for re-election on a platform of bringing home the federal pork to his constituents. He has also lost his credibility on spending issues.

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, who called the bailout “Fleece in our time,” is beginning to receive more and more attention. He is the chairman of the House Republican Conference Policy Committee, the principal source of legislative initiatives for the party in the House. He won re-election in part because he came across as a leader in a revolt by House conservatives against Bush and Paulson over the bailout plan.

In a discussion with a local newspaper, McCotter was blunt, alluding to McCain’s double talk when he suspended his campaign to come to Washington to address the financial crisis. “McCain put himself in an interesting position,” McCotter said. “At the White House meeting, he said he liked what House Republicans were doing. Then the next day, he decided it was his job to get House Republicans to support the bailout.”

This erratic performance meant that McCain had blown any chance to exploit the financial crisis to his political advantage.

McCotter noted that it was a lot harder for McCain to complain about $70 billion in earmarks when he pushed for a $700-billion bailout. This sealed McCain’s fate, making his warnings about Obama’s socialism ring hollow.

Remaining true to his constituents and his own beliefs, McCotter rejected the notion that we need “just a little socialism to prevent a lot of socialism later” and said Republicans “abandoned principle for expediency” when they supported the bailout.

The same goes for the faux conservatives in the media.

One thing that I have realized, in analyzing the coverage of the campaign, is that the media are populated by many “conservatives” who are not really so conservative. It is a strange phenomenon. It is a form of false advertising.

This category includes the Fox News cheerleaders for the Wall Street bailout, such as Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer and Bill O’Reilly, and columnists David Brooks (New York Times), Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal) and Kathleen Parker (Washington Post Writers Group), who ridiculed Sarah Palin because she doesn’t enjoy the New York Times and appeals to ordinary people.

 

Saul Alinsky Takes the White House

Saul Alinsky Takes the White House

Conservatives may not realize just how difficult it might be to recover from this week’s elections.

The day after the big defeat, the conservative chatter everywhere was about how the “movement” and the Republican Party (two different things) could finally unshackle themselves from the bad old habits that brought them down, and about how the ability to draw a sharp contrast with the Obama/Pelosi/Reid triumvirate would allow us to focus attention, rally the faithful, and re-storm the castle in 2010 and 2012.

Fat chance.

Too many conservatives think we’ve seen all this before — in 1964 and 1974 and 1992 — and that we know how to handle it. Fly, meet ointment: We’re not dealing with the same sorts of opponents. These New Alinskyites who are taking over the White House, combined with the most leftist congressional leadership in memory, will not let us play by the same rules under which conservatives recovered from those earlier debacles. They will try to drastically tilt the playing field, seed our side of the field with land mines and, in short, rig the process to make it next to impossible for the political right, or Republicans, to recover. And they are likely to succeed in at least some of these designs.

It will begin with their efforts to secure a filibuster-proof majority of 60 senators (including the two independents). Right now the libs (and yes, all the Democratic senators, with the possible exception of Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, are libs) have 56, with three Republican moderates and one conservative leading their races but awaiting recounts or runoffs. Watch for the Alinskyites to try stealing all four, and to succeed in at least two. We’ve seen this game before. They did it in Indiana’s “Bloody Eighth” congressional district in 1984. They almost succeeded in 2000 in Florida. They did succeed, outrageously so, in the Washington State governor’s race in 2004. Those are just the most obvious of many similar examples. And now they are even more ruthless, more lawyered-up, and in a more powerful position to pull it off than they were in any of those instances.

Next, watch what happens if they regularly can’t peel off enough Republicans (or hold their own semi-fairminded people like Nelson and Joe Lieberman) to overcome whatever filibuster attempts Republicans do mount. Watch for an assault on the filibuster itself. Watch how they use as precedent the GOP “nuclear/constitutional option” on judges in 2005 — except instead of just using it for judges, watch them use it against all filibusters. It’s easy: Make the ruling from the chair that the filibuster is out of order for some reason. Instruct the parliamentarian to rule in their favor. Win the appeal of the parliamentarian’s ruling by simple majority vote. And watch the courts pronounce it an internal matter of the legislative branch and thus outside of courtroom purview.

Watch a cheerleading establishment media — the Fourth Estate as a veritable Fifth Column — actually back these lefty maneuvers. It’s all in the name of one-man/one-vote democracy, dontcha know? The filibuster once served its purpose, they’ll say, but as a vestige of Southern “massive resistance” to integration it is now being used for massive resistance to the first black president, which invalidates it (suddenly) as a legitimate tool.

Watch the left use these tactics and others to pass even more liberalized voting laws — an open invitation to even more fraud that is more creative, easier to hide, and less challengeable in court.

Watch what Michael Barone called the Obama “thugocracy” use the Justice Department to stifle dissent. Anybody who complains about vote fraud will be charged with “vote suppression.” Anybody who complains about DoJ’s actions will be charged with interfering with an investigation. Anybody who denies having interfered will be charged with perjury. Likewise, anybody who peacefully protests abortion clinics or the use of state-sponsored racial quotas will be charged with a civil rights violation. And the accused won’t be able to look to the Supreme Court for help: Anthony Kennedy’s “evolving standards” of justice will evolve to match the new zeitgeist, providing a 5-4 majority for the administration. Meanwhile, of course, Obama’s other appointments will be filling up the rest of the judiciary at a rapid clip, with nobody able to stop them.

Other ways the Obama axis will tilt the playing field: “card check” legislation to eliminate secret ballots in unionizing and to force union victories in contract negotiations. Provision after provision giving favors to the trial bar so it can sue enemies into submission. Copious new regulations, especially environmental, to be used selectively to ensnare other conservative malcontents. Invasive IRS audits of conservative think tanks, other conservative 501 organizations, and PACs.

What Ohio officials did in rifling through so many of Joe Wurzelbacher’s files will serve as ample precedent. (Just watch, by the way: Nobody ever will be effectively disciplined for the violation of Wurzelbacher’s rights.)

And, only when the time is right and the ground (or air) has been well prepared, will come the grand-daddy of all fights, the re-enactment of the misnamed “Fairness Doctrine.”

Oh, they’ll be clever. They’ll pick their spot. They’ll wait until Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or Mark Levin says something innocent they can twist out of context and call “hate speech” — and then they’ll highlight some schoolyard fight where a member of a “victim group” gets the worst of it as if the “attack” were caused by talk-rad…no, make that “hate radio,” which will be the new moniker the Fifth Column/Fourth Estate hangs on the talkmeisters.

(Even before imposing the Fairness Doctrine, they’ll use the Federal Communications Commission in other ways to put a muffler on their opponents.)

And, always, a few carefully calibrated street demonstrations, splashed with just the right headlines across the East Coast newspapers and captured by just the right camera angle on CBS News, will be used any time, on any issue, to make the point that civil unrest would be the price of resistance to the benevolent desires of the Obama regime.

The erosions of conservative rights will be incremental. Each one will have its own justification. Each one will be supported by the establishment media. Each one will be timed so as to allow the general public to become accustomed to it, to accept it as unremarkable, or even to come to regard it as a public good for the sake of keeping conservative “troublemakers” from fomenting disorder.

And the Obamessiah, still speaking frequently to stadia full of admirers, will provide a tone of reasoned moderation, combined with further appeals to hope, in order to justify it all.

These are the sorts of things Alinskyites do. These are the sorts of tactics used by ACORN, at whose conferences Obama himself regularly taught seminars on “power.” These are the sorts of policies favored by the academic left, Obama’s old milieu — the policies that favor speech codes and stolen campus newspapers and the firing of faculty for “offensive” remarks.

Conservatives have fought things like this for years already, of course. But they’ve never fought it while the left controlled so many of the levers of power, and certainly not when the left was led by such a charismatic and near cult-inspiring leader who was so smart, so well steeped in these stratagems, and so fully supported by a Fourth Estate up whose legs warm feelings run every time he waxes eloquent.

It will take very focused, very intelligent, very skillful action by conservatives to stop this creeping subversion of a free society. This is a whole different political battlefield than any on which we’ve fought before. And we haven’t yet found our Omar Bradley.

Letter to the Editor

Quin Hillyer is an associate editor at the Washington Examiner and a senior editor of The American Spectator. He can be reached at qhillyer@gmail.com.

Livni urges Obama not to talk to Iran

Livni urges Obama not to talk to Iran

Nov. 6, 2008
Jerusalem Post staff and AP , THE JERUSALEM POST

US President-elect Barack Obama should not talk to Iran just yet, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said on Thursday, warning that such dialogue could project “weakness.”

“We need to fight extremism,” Livni said as she stood next to visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a joint press conference in the home of the American ambassador to Israel.. “We need to continue the pressure on Iran and I believe that the idea of continuing the pressure comes with more intense and effective sanctions on the Iranians.”

Although she described Obama’s election as “a source of inspiration to millions around the world,” and congratulated him on his “historic victory,” her comments marked a first sign of disagreement with the incoming American administration. Obama has stated a willingness to talk to Iran about its nuclear program without condition, telling The Jerusalem Post in July that he would engage “in tough, direct talks” with Teheran.

His policy marks a departure from that of the Bush administration, which has refused to engage Iranian leaders.

Earlier on Thursday, Livni said in an interview with Israel Radio that Obama is not willing to accept a nuclear Iran. But “dialogue at this time is liable to broadcast weakness,” the Kadima leader cautioned. “I think early dialogue at a time when it appears to Iran that the world has given up on sanctions could be problematic.”

Obama says direct diplomacy with Iranian leaders would give the US more credibility to press for tougher international sanctions.

He has said he would step up diplomatic pressure on Teheran before Israel feels compelled to launch a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

In an interview during his visit to Israel in July, Obama told the Post that “I will do everything in my power as president to prevent Iran attaining nuclear weapons. And I think that begins with engaging in tough, direct talks with Iran, sending a clear message to Iran that they shouldn’t wait for the next administration but should start engaging in the P5 process [involving the five permanent members of the UN Security Council] that’s taking place right now, and elevating this to the top of our national security priorities, so that we are mobilizing the entire international community, including Russia and China, on this issue.”

He added that “One of the failures… of our approach in the past has been to use a lot of strong rhetoric but not follow through with the kinds of both carrots and sticks that might change the calculus of the Iranian regime. But I have also said that I would not take any options off the table, including military.”

If the Iranians failed to respond positively to clear, direct and urgent diplomacy, he went on, then “we’ve stripped away whatever excuses they may have, [and] whatever rationales may exist in the international community for not ratcheting up sanctions and taking serious action.”

Asked whether he would support an Israeli strike at Iranian facilities in the coming months if Israel felt it had no choice but to act, Obama said: “My goal is to avoid being confronted with that hypothetical. I’ve said in the past and I will repeat that Israelis, and Israelis alone have to make decisions about their own security. But the grave consequences of either doing nothing or initiating a potential war with Iran are such that we want to do everything we can, to exhaust every avenue to avoid that option.”

Israeli military officials have said Iran could have the capacity to produce a bomb as early as next year.

Livni has repeatedly said she hopes international diplomacy prevails. But she doesn’t rule out force if UN sanctions don’t pressure Teheran to scale back its nuclear aims. In June, she said Iran “needs to understand the military threat exists and is not being taken off the table.”

IAF planes destroyed an unfinished Iraqi reactor in 1981. But policy-makers and experts are at odds over whether Israel could cripple Iran’s nuclear program, whose facilities are scattered and in some cases built underground in heavily fortified bunkers.

Obama campaign workers angry over unpaid wages

Obama campaign workers angry over unpaid wages

Posted: Nov 5, 2008 01:38 PM MST

Updated: Nov 5, 2008 09:03 PM MST

Jeremy Brilliant/Eyewitness News

 

Indianapolis – Lines were long and tempers flared Wednesday not to vote but to get paid for canvassing for Barack Obama. Several hundred people are still waiting to get their pay for last-minute campaigning. Police were called to the Obama campaign office on North Meridian Street downtown to control the crowd.

The line was long and the crowd was angry at times.

“I want my money today! It’s my money. I want it right now!” yelled one former campaign worker.

A former spokesman for the Obama campaign said 375 people were hired as part of the Vote Corps program and said people signed up to work three-hour shifts at a time. Three hours of canvassing got workers a $30 pre-paid Visa card.

The workers showed up to get their cards Wednesday morning at 10:00 am.

“There was a note on the door saying 1:00 pm and then at 1:20 pm everybody was like why is nobody here. They just got here and they’re trying to get it organized,” said Heather Richards, a former campaign worker.

The large gathering of around 375 people prompted police to call in extra officers and set up temporary barricades. The barricades helped keep the crowd from spilling out onto Meridian Street. Police say the several hundred people in line were for the most part orderly.

“No arrests. Some of the people were upset at first because the line wasn’t moving as fast as they thought it should. But we really haven’t had any problems,” said Major Darryl Pierce, Metro Police.

Eventually people did start getting paid, but some said they were missing hours and told to fill in paperwork making their claim and that eventually they would get a check in the mail.

“Still that’s not right. I’m disappointed. I’m glad for the president, but I’m disappointed in this system,” said Diane Jefferson, temporary campaign worker.

“It should have been $480. It’s $230,” said Imani Sankofa.

 

“They gave us $10 an hour. So we added it. I added up all the hours so it was supposed to be at least $120. All I get is $90,” said Charles Martin.

“I worked nine hours a day for 4 days and got paid half of what I should have earned,” said Randall Waldon.

Some people weren’t satisfied with filling out a claim form for money they felt was still due to them.

“They say that they gonna call you or they going to mail it to you, but I don’t know. We’ll see what happens,” said Antron Grose.

“Talking about they’ll mail it to us. I ain’t worried about that, man. They’re not going to mail nothin’,” said Martin.

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