Wall St. drops on misgivings about Obama speech

Wall St. drops on misgivings about Obama speech

  • Wednesday February 25, 2009, 10:08 am EST

By Ellis Mnyandu

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks fell on Wednesday due to disappointment U.S. President Barack Obama shed little new light about how his administration would stabilize the economy in a major speech before Congress.

Long-standing worries about recession and the fate of the banking sector persisted, sending shares of financial services companies, big manufacturers and energy companies lower.

Bank of America (NYSE:BACNews) shares fell 9.3 percent to $4.29 following news that Merrill Lynch & Co lost $15.84 billion in the fourth quarter, about $533 million more than previously estimated by Bank of America, which bought the Wall Street bank.

Shares of Citigroup (NYSE:CNews) fell more than 14 percent to $2.22 following reports that the bank may sell both its Japanese investment bank and brokerage as the embattled U.S. lender looks to raise cash from a sale of global assets.

“The market is starving for something tangible on which to hang its hat,” said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial Group in New Brunswick, New Jersey. “There was little of anything tangible in Obama’s speech to bring hope to the market today.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (DJI:^DJINews) fell 90.64 points, or 1.23 percent, to 7,260.30. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (^SPXNews) shed 9.41 points, or 1.22 percent, to 763.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index (Nasdaq:^IXICNews) lost 16.26 points, or 1.13 percent, to 1,425.57.

Late on Tuesday Obama sought to reassure Americans the country would emerge stronger from the crisis but investors found little in his speech that could help the market sustain its attempted rebound on Tuesday from 12-year lows.

U.S. regulators are due to begin stress tests on Wednesday to determine how much capital banks need. Even so, investors remain uncertain about how the government would relieve banks of money-losing assets and revive lending.

The economic calendar features a report on January existing home sales, due at 10 a.m..

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is back on Capitol Hill at the same time to testify again on the economy, this time to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.

(Editing by James Dalgleish)

Who invented the automobile? Obama claims it was the United States. History 101 Score: F.

 

Who invented the automobile? Obama claims it was the United States. History 101 Score: F.

 

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President Obama gave his first speech to Congress this evening to talk up the bailout and his administration’s policies on everything from foreign policy to manufacturing.

The short version of the speech goes like this. Bailout, money, banks, more money, wars, more money, Gitmo, lead by example, more money.

But there was one line in the speech that is raising eyebrows:

“And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.”

We could be flippant and suggest that given how grossly inaccurate the line is, that maybe the US Government should walk away from the industry.

For the record, the answer to the question who invented the automobile is Karl Benz in Germany in 1885-86. If we want to be more pedantic, Benz invented the first true automobile, that is a car that runs on gasoline. The first “horseless carriage” was created by Frenchman Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in 1769 (steam powered) and a Scot by the name of Robert Anderson created an electric vehicle in the 1830s. The first automobile made in the United States came along in 1893.

Obama: I’m The Greatest President In History

Obama: I’m The Greatest President In History

February 24th, 2009 Posted By Pat Dollard.

obama_30days2_090224_mn.jpg

Psychopathic narcissist.

Now you know the real reason for the rush on the stimulus bill. President Black Narcissus, thinking only of his greater glorification and empowerment, was thinking about one thing only in his push to pass the stimulus bill, and it wasn’t the quality of its contents. It was the fact that he wanted to give a de-facto state of the Union address in February in which he could boast of being greater than any other who had held the office before him.

ABC News:

Obama Claim: Done More in 30 Days Than Any Other President

The Obama administration is going into tonight’s pivotal speech to Congress with the belief that President Obama has accomplished more in the first 30 days in office than any modern president.

The president will give the nation a “sober assessment” about the status of the country’s economy tonight as he assures Americans that there are “better days ahead,” according to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Obama will address a joint meeting of Congress tonight in a speech that will be shown live on national television, giving the president a chance to sketch out his agenda for the country after having authorized a massive $787 billion stimulus package as well as a $75 billionhomeowner bailout.

It will also allow the administration to brag a bit.

“President Obama has accomplished more in 30 days than any president in modern history,” a senior White House official said today in a background briefing.

Besides the economic spending, the senior official pointed to the passage of children’s health insurance, and requirements in the stimulus bill that made major changes in energy, education and tax policies, the official said, describing the bill as a “major paydown” on what candidate Obama ran on. The provisions in the bill promoting energy independence, the official said, constitute “the largest energy independence investment policy ever in the U.S.,” and maybe even in the world

U.S. plans “substantial” pledge at Gaza meeting

U.S. plans “substantial” pledge at Gaza meeting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States plans to offer more than $900 million to help rebuild Gaza after Israel’s invasion and to strengthen the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, U.S. officials said on Monday.

The money, which needs U.S. congressional approval, will be distributed through U.N. and other bodies and not via the militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, said one official.

“This money is for Gaza and to help strengthen the Palestinian Authority. It is not going to go to Hamas,” said the official, who asked not to be named as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned to announce the funding at a donors’ conference in Egypt next week.

Neither the United States nor Israel have direct contact with the Islamist Hamas movement which runs Gaza and remains formally committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.

The official said the pledge was a mix of money already earmarked for the Palestinians and some new funding.

“The package is still shaping up,” he said, when asked for specifics over how the money would be spent and a breakdown of old and new funding.

In December, the former Bush administration said it would give $85 million to the U.N. agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

The March 2 donors’ conference in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh resort aims to raise humanitarian and rebuilding funds for Gaza after Israel’s invasion last December to suppress rocket fire against its cities.

Preliminary estimates put damage from the offensive, in which 1,300 Palestinians died, at nearly $2 billion.

Clinton’s bid to get “substantial” funds could face an uphill battle in Congress because Hamas continues to rule Gaza and the U.S. focus is on its own souring economy.

BOOST FOR ABBAS

Part of the goal of the new funding is to boost the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas, which controls the occupied West Bank.

The United States wants Abbas’s PA to play a central role in the reconstruction effort in Gaza, hoping this will increase its influence in the Hamas stronghold. Washington is also putting pressure on other donors to bolster Abbas.

“We call on donor countries to focus their pledges to meet the Palestinian Authority’s priorities, including budget support, and on projects that can be funded through the Palestinian Authority and other existing, trusted mechanisms,” said a State Department official.

The quartet of Middle East mediators — the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations — are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Egyptian conference where they will work on strategy on Gaza, U.S. officials said.

After attending the conference in Egypt, Clinton is expected to go to Israel and the West Bank — a public demonstration of Obama’s promise to make Arab-Israeli peacemaking a foreign policy priority.

Clinton’s special envoy to the region, George Mitchell, will be there this week trying to revive stalled Palestinian statehood talks complicated both by Hamas and political uncertainty in Israel after last week’s election.

(Editing by Vicki Allen and Alan Elsner)

California: A Casualty of the Left

California: A Casualty of the Left

By Dennis Prager
FrontPageMagazine.com | 2/24/2009

Virtually throughout its history, and certainly in the 20th century, California has been known as the place to go for dynamism and growth. It did not become the richest, most populous, and most productive state solely because of its weather and natural resources.

So it takes a lot to turn California around from growth to contraction, from people moving into the state to a net exodus from the state, from business moving into California to businesses leaving California.

It takes some doing.

And the Left has done it.

California’s Democratic legislature has been more or less able to do whatever it wants with California. The Wall Street Journal has described the result:

“The Golden State — which a decade ago was the booming technology capital of the world — has been done in by two decades of chronic overspending, overregulating and a hyperprogressive tax code.…”

One might argue that’s this is a politically biased assessment. So here are some facts, not assessments:

  • California’s state expenditures grew from $104 billion in 2003 to $145 billion in 2008.
  • California has the worst credit rating in the nation.
  • California has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the nation, 9.3 percent — higher even than the car manufacturing state of Michigan.
  • California has the second highest home foreclosure rate.
  • California’s tax-paying middle class is leaving the state. California’s net loss last year in state-to-state migration exceeded every other state’s. New York, another Left-run state, was second.
  • Since 2000, California’s job growth rate — which in the late 1970s was many times higher than the national average — has lagged behind the national average by almost 20 percent.
  • California has lost 25 percent of its industrial work force since 2001.

Joel Kotkin, one of the leading observers of urban America, the presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University, recently wrote an essay on California, “Sundown for California.” He begins with these words:

“Twenty-five years ago, along with another young journalist, I co-authored a book called “California, Inc.” about our adopted home state. The book described ‘California’s rise to economic, political, and cultural ascendancy’…But today our Golden State appears headed, if not for imminent disaster, then toward an unanticipated, maddening, and largely unnecessary mediocrity.”

That is what left-wing policies have done to California. In Kotkin’s words, “the state legislature decided to spend its money on public employees and impose ever more regulatory burdens on business.”

Last week, Intel, the world’s largest maker of computer chips, announced that it would invest $7 billion to expand its facilities. Where? In Arizona, Oregon, and New Mexico. But not in California, the state in which Intel is headquartered.

The Left is bringing the greatest state to its knees.

What generations created, the Left destroys. There are few productive and noble institutions in America that the Left has not hurt or attempted to hurt. But while the Left destroys a great deal, it constructs almost nothing (outside of government agencies, laws, and lawsuits).

Take the Boy Scouts. For generations, the Boy Scouts, founded and preserved by Americans of all political as well as ethnic backgrounds, has helped millions of American boys become good, productive men. The Left throughout America — its politicians, its media, its stars, its academics — have ganged up to deprive the Boy Scouts of oxygen. Everywhere possible, the Boy Scouts are vilified and deprived of places to meet.

But while the Left works to destroy the Boy Scouts — unless the Boy Scouts adopt the Left’s views on openly gay scouts and scout leaders — the Left has created nothing comparable to the Boy Scouts. The Left tries to destroy one of the greatest institutions ever made for boys, but it has built nothing for boys. There is no ACLU version of the Boy Scouts; there is only the ACLU versus the Boy Scouts.

The same holds true for the greatest character-building institution in American life: Judeo-Christian religions. Once again, the Left knows how to destroy. Everywhere possible the Left works to inhibit religious institutions and values — from substituting “Happy Holidays” for “Merry Christmas” to removing the tiny cross from the Los Angeles County Seal to arguing that religious people must not bring their values into the political arena.

And, then there is education. Until the Left took over American public education in the second half of the 20th century, it was generally excellent — look at the high level of eighth-grade exams from early in the 20th century and you will weep. The more money the Left has gotten for education — America now spends more per student than any country in the world — the worse the academic results. And the Left has removed God and dress codes from schools — with socially disastrous results.

Of course, it is not entirely accurate to say that the Left builds nothing. It has built vast government bureaucracies, MTV, and post-1960s Hollywood, for example. But these are, to say the least, not positive achievements.

In his column this week, Thomas Friedman describes General Motors Corp., as “a giant wealth-destruction machine.” That perfectly describes the Left many times over. It is both a wealth-destruction machine and an ennobling-institution destruction machine.


Dennis Prager hosts a nationally syndicated radio talk show based in Los Angeles. He is the author of four books, most recently “Happiness is a Serious Problem” (HarperCollins). His website is www.dennisprager.com. To find out more about Dennis Prager, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

Earmark reform? 2009 spending bill contains 9,000 of them

Earmark reform? 2009 spending bill contains 9,000 of them

William Douglas and David Lightman | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: February 22, 2009 07:35:30 PM

WASHINGTON — During the 2008 presidential campaign, candidates Barack Obama and John McCain fought vigorously over who would be toughest on congressional earmarks.

“We need earmark reform,” Obama said in September during a presidential debate in Oxford, Miss. “And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”

President Barack Obama should prepare to carve out a lot of free time and keep the coffee hot this week as Congress prepares to unveil a $410 billion omnibus spending bill that’s riddled with thousands of earmarks, despite his calls for restraint and efforts on Capitol Hill to curtail the practice.

The bill will contain about 9,000 earmarks totaling $5 billion, congressional officials say. Many of the earmarks — loosely defined as local projects inserted by members of Congress — were inserted last year as the spending bills worked their way through various committees.

So while Obama and McCain were slamming earmarks on the campaign trail, House and Senate members — Democrats and Republicans — were slapping them into spending bills.

“It will be a little embarrassing for the president if he signs a bill with that many earmarks on it,” said Stan Collender, a veteran Washington budget analyst. “He’ll say they’re left over from the Bush years, and he as to say that next year the bill will be clean.”

Experts agree that most earmarks are legitimate. Cary Leahey, senior economist with Decision Economics in New York, said the nation’s economic crisis is a contributing factor to the plethora of earmarks. Lawmakers can argue that for a relatively small price they’ve helped boost the economy.

“One congressman’s earmark is another legislative way to fix a serious problem in his district,” Leahey said.

Kenneth Thomas, a lecturer in finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of business, agrees.

“I generally believe that the priority is getting money into the system sooner rather than later, especially if it’s for projects that will use local contractors and create jobs,” he said.

Still, it wasn’t supposed to be this way. Earmarks have come under fire because of those that seem to provide what Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, calls “laugh lines,” such as Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere” or North Dakota’s Lawrence Welk Museum.

Obama pledged to take a hard hand on earmarks and warned lawmakers in a Feb. 3 letter from Budget Director Peter Orszag not to decorate the recently signed $787.2 billion stimulus bill with them.

Democrats declared the bill earmark-free. Republicans disagreed.

“While this bill does not include traditional earmarks, we should all understand that there are earmarks in this bill,” said Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. “There is $850 million … to bail out Amtrak, a $75 million earmark for the Smithsonian, a $1 billion earmark for the 2010 census.”

Democrats have been trying to revamp the earmark process for about two years. In 2007, they instituted a system that required members to explain the contents of each earmark, as well as a justification for why it was included in the legislation that way. They claimed this led to a reduction in earmarks by as much as 43 percent.

But critics contended the system still had problems. Simply making information more available, they said, didn’t address the major criticism: That such projects should go through the regular legislative process, subject to detailed hearings and bipartisan votes.

Not only does this mean the public has no chance to challenge questionable spending, but too often powerful interests who know how to work the system get favorite measures inserted.

For instance, Congressional Quarterly reported recently that more than 100 House members got earmarks for clients of the PMA Group, a lobbying firm with close ties to Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who heads the powerful defense spending subcommittee. The CQ Politics analysis said that in the 2009 defense spending bill, which Congress approved last year, PMA clients got about $300 million.

The CQ study came after reports that the FBI is investigating the possibility of illegal campaign contributions by PMA to Murtha and other lawmakers. A Murtha spokesman said earlier this month that the FBI probe has nothing to do with Murtha. A PMA spokesman declined to comment on the probe.

Appropriations committee chairmen say they are on track to reform the earmark process beginning in fiscal 2010 by requiring members to make public their requests early, so the public can scrutinize them and presumably contact lawmakers.

The change, though, doesn’t apply to the 2009 funding that Congress will consider next week.

Several experts believe that dramatically reducing the number of earmarks, while a laudable goal, is almost impossible. But others contend that earmarks aren’t that big of a problem.

“Earmarks get more attention than they deserve,” said MacGuineas. “The problem is that they cause a loss of confidence in the whole budget process.”

ON THE WEB:

CQ list of House members who got PMA Group earmarks

Obama’s Chicago and the success of ‘community organizing’

Obama’s Chicago and the success of ‘community organizing’

Ethel C. Fenig
Tragically the Chicago Public Schools will have four fewer students tomorrow as three young students were gunned down within a short time after dismissal on Friday, a few blocks from school while Saturday another student died of gunshot wounds  from a separate shooting incident on Friday.

Saturday also marked a grim statistic for the city: Racheal Beauchamp, a 16-year-old girl from the South Side, became the 25th Chicago Public Schools student slain this school year.  There were 26 students killed last school year.

Prior to becoming the president, a senator and an Illinois state legislator, Barack Hussein Obama (D) arrived in Chicago to work as a community organizer in a neighborhood not far from this latest slaughter where

it was not unusual for workmen to refuse a job, for apartments to sit empty and for friends to turn down a social call because of violence.

Ok, ok to be fair, this internal war can’t be blamed on Obama or even his new Department of Education secretary, former Chicago Public School superintendent Arne Duncan or even Mayor Richard Daley, who huffed and puffed about the latest tragedy.  But let’s stop blaming teachers for failure to teach when homes and communities, the first line of defense, can’t control and raise their own properly.

Chicago has a no guns policy; a bunch of kids laughed at it and managed to acquire assault weapons to mow down their latest victims.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/02/obamas_chicago_and_the_success.html at February 23, 2009 – 09:28:31 AM EST

This is a must watch and very scary

This is the most important email I’ve ever posted WATCH ALL OF IT
then forward it to all those that need to know the truth
 
Bud

Subject: This is a must watch and very scary

This is not a joke. Must watch!!! and forward!!! 

I wish that I could look at this and NOT believe it.

 

 

 

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Tea Party USA Movement Grows

ACORN Brownshirts break into foreclosed homes in acts of ‘civil disobedience’

ACORN Brownshirts break into foreclosed homes in acts of ‘civil disobedience’

Rick Moran
There is little doubt that ACORN is feeling its oats now that one of their own is in the White House. The payback by Obama is just beginning and the only question in my mind is when we start calling these thugs “Obama’s Brown Shirts?”

A community organization breaks into a foreclosed home in what they are calling an act of civil disobedience.

The group wants to train homeowners facing eviction on peaceful ways they can remain in their homes.

Derek Valcourt reports their actions are not without controversy.

Near Patterson Park, the padlock on the door and the sign in the window tells part of Donna Hanks foreclosure story.

“The mortgage went up $300 in one month,” said Hanks, former homeowner.

She says the bank refused to modify her loan and foreclosed, kicking her out of the house in September.

The community group ACORN calls Hanks a victim of predatory lending.

“This is our house now,” said Louis Beverly, ACORN.

And on Thursday afternoon, they literally broke the foreclosure padlock right off the front door and then broke into the house, letting Hanks back in for the first time in months. (HT: Michelle Malkin )

ACORN wants to train people they tricked into purchasing mortgages that they could never repay how to break into houses that aren’t theirs, in violation of the law.

Does anyone feel sorry for Donna Hanks? On one level, we all do. But should we feel sorry for someone who didn’t fully understand the papers she was signing – papers that any sensible person would have read and if they didn’t understand something would have either gotten help or forced the lender to spell out everything in plain English before becoming liable for such a huge amount of money?

That, of course, is only one problem. The house is no longer owned by Mrs. Hanks. What kind of mindset does one need to possess in order to feel so entitled that even after the law has had its way with her, Hanks feels that she can take the law into her own hands (with the help of ACORN) and make any kind of claim whatsoever on someone else’s property?

The answer is that ACORN is seeking to destroy property rights as any good little marxist organization would. Once property rights are history, no one will be safe and people will scurry to the protection that Big Brother offers in order to save what little they have. Property rights guarantee our independence. And that just won’t do for ACORN and their allies.

If there’s any way to nip this in the bud, it should be done immediately. But the bank probably won’t lift a finger. ACORN’s tactics would include picketing the bank and accosting their customers, threatening physical violence like all Brownshirts do.

So we better get used to the idea that your house isn’t really yours as long as ACORN is around to contest it.

 

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/02/acorn_breaks_into_foreclosed_h.html at February 21, 2009 – 10:29:59 AM EST

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