Archive for January 2010
Well, most every pundit and blogger has been taking angles of the State of the Union address, given by President Obama on Wednesday night. During the speech, Obama talked about the bank bailouts, saying how it was “necessary, but [he] hated it”. This thing got spun so hard, I’m thinking “centrifuge”.
But to go backwards a bit, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we need to keep this all in the proper perspective, because it’s so easy to spin this.
1) Why did the banks fail?
Well, the banks started going under when the housing market collapsed in early 2007. Since the banks were the principal financiers of these mortgages and these mortgages started going into foreclosure en masse. Simply, when banks foreclose on mortgages, they lose money.
Now these banks will hedge their bets, so they get insurance to prevent bank failure. This is where AIG comes in. The banks start falling and AIG starts paying out insurance claims, upwards to about $93 billion, which was far too much then they were able cover.
But Obama didn’t mention this when he was railing on how much he disliked bailing out the banks.
2) What caused the housing market to collapse?
Big question. But really, it boiled down to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. As you may remember, sub-prime mortgages are given to people who have a much higher degree of risk of not paying back. These are people who aren’t as apt to pay their bills.
Now they pay rent, but someone thought they should be entitled to pay a mortgage. Perhaps it was the politicians fault for promoting the idea that everyone should own their own house. Campaign speeches and public addresses giving hope to people who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to own a house was a big part of this problem – why? Because it brings votes. Perhaps it was the fault of bankers and mortgage companies for taking advantage of the government’s effort to get more people buying houses and playing people who had no business owning a house into loans they couldn’t pay. Many of the sub-primes were Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM’s). As the risk went up, the interest rate went up and the ability for people to pay went down. More and more people stopped paying their mortgages, causing more demand on those who were paying. Suddenly, it was a cascade effect. Banks were getting stuck with default mortgages and collecting insurance money from AIG.
We were told over and over by Barney Frank and Maxine Waters that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in no danger, yet, Greenspan warned of an impending collapse. Of course, it was funny to hear Greenspan prophetically talking about a collapse when Greenspan’s entire point in life was to watch the economy for variations and keep bubbles from forming. Perhaps retirement gave him some clarity.
No, Mr. Obama, this isn’t about the evil banks needing bailout. But you’re hoodwinking Americans by not looking back at the causes, pinning the blame on banks.
Oh, can you please tell me why Fannie and Freddie doesn’t get slammed for nice fat bonuses like all the other financiers? Oh, and where was the Fed in all of this? Yeah, it was THEM on Wall Street, not THAT ONE on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Last week, as many in the media have been reporting about Scott Brown, newly-elected Senator from Massachusetts, and the torrential shake-up that has occurred to the Democrat agenda. And there has been much call for celebration. For a state that doesn’t elect Republicans very easily, Brown’s win is a massive statement by the people of Massachusetts. It means that Republicans and conservatives can win up there because the state isn’t dominated by liberals, but rather, by independents.
The shake-up, as we’ve all heard, has caused shockwaves throughout the political landscape. But I guess the best way to describe it is with this video, because while the Dems have been making nice suddenly, behind closed doors, you can be sure they are none too pleased:
Folks, while we conservatives celebrate the victory that comes with a growing dissatisfaction over Washington’s priorities and arrogance, we also have to remember that the war is far from over. Up until a couple weeks ago, 99% of Americans didn’t know anything about this Scott Brown person, but, like Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent, Brown became an overnight sensation.
If you are a student of German, you probably know that Hitler in this video (which NEVER gets old when parodied), towards the end says, “the war is over”.
But the war is not over for us, folks. It’s begun anew. And with Obama out there telling the people in Ohio that he will not stop fighting, it basically means that his anger is now kindled towards the independents in Massachusetts who put Brown in office. Obama really didn’t want Brown in office. He went to Massachusetts and tried to campaign for Coakley (add another point to his Obama Fail Score). But rather than sitting down and trying to understand what the country needs and wants, Obama won’t stop pushing his agenda (won’t stop fighting).
We can win this fight, folks. Obama can’t continue to blame Bush anymore for his inadequacies, even though James Carville wants Dems to continue pushing the “it’s-all-Bush’s-fault” rhetoric. And if That One can’t even give a speech to a group of kids without a teleprompter, well, this tells me the way to beat him down in 2012 is put real candidates in there that speak from conviction, not from glass screens. Brown was the first. We have a lot more to do.
We have to continue to solidify the conservative message in the hearts and minds of those close to us. We have to stop expecting government to do the job that only God can do. We have to remember that America continues to be the shining city on the hill (despite what that fat red pig Hugo Chavez says). We have to continue to proclaim liberty, not government dependence, by, instead of selling our souls for government money, getting out there and making the difference that we’re asking government to do. We have to pray, fast, and work hard as Americans of old. And we have to be willing to sacrifice a little political correctness and call “Hope and Change” the title that it really is – an avenue for big government and government dependence. This is how we win the war.
Stay Rabid, my Friends.
The road to hell…oh you get the point…
This is too rich. Barney “Fwank” Frank (D-MA) is griping, yet again.
Turns out, he is so concerned that Scott Brown stands a good chance in getting elected today that he is now groaning and griping that the “Senate rules need to be changed…God didn’t create the filibuster”.
Let’s see, Fwankie-boy didn’t gripe about the filibuster when the Democrats used it to lock up George Bush’s judicial nominees back in 2005 from getting even an up or down vote, let alone passage. But, instead he upheld the filibuster in that specific instance. But hey, when the tables turn around, suddenly the filibuster becomes a constitutional problem.
But instead of worrying, though, about the rules of the Senate, how about you start worrying about how the libs in the House will have to swallow the great big pill that is the Harry Reid Health Scare Special, since the House will have to take it as it is in order to avoid it going to the Senate again.
Whatever, by the way, happened to that good Progressive mentality that says that if the Constitution doesn’t forbid it, then it’s fair and legal. After all, this is the mentality that Progressives take when addressing issues regarding the 10th Amendment and subsequently, States rights.
Oh, by the way, Barney, on the subject of the things that God didn’t create or intend, He certainly didn’t intend for people to be homosexual. But hey, that never stopped the progressives before, right?
Amidst all the hubbub regarding the special election tomorrow up in Massachusetts, the one trend that seems to be bugging me as of late is the fact that people keep bringing up Ted Kennedy throughout all of this. Yes, I know this is an election to fill the chair in the Senate that was occupied by his corpulent and often inebriated posterior for years on end. But I read this article and at least twice, the author of the article called the seat vacated by Ted Kennedy as “Kennedy’s Seat”. I really wish they would stop making this about what Kennedy would have wanted, etc etc and make it more about what the people of Massachusetts want.
GOP candidate Scott Brown, who is now showing a good possibility of claiming the win in Massachusetts, rightfully corrected moderator David Gergen in saying that the seat belonged, not to Ted Kennedy, not to the Democrat party, but to the people.
But liberals throughout the blogosphere have complained that Brown’s comment was petty, citing that health care was Kennedy’s signature issue while avoiding the irony that the death blow for the legislation could come from the very seat that was a strong advocate of it before.
Of course, this is forcing the Democrats, who are noticeably fearful of coming so close to passing this, only to have it snatched out in the 11th hour to resort to other political maneuverings to ramrod this bill through.
- There has been discussion about preventing Scott Brown’s certification until long after the bill is decided. Of course, the Dems in the Senate would not have a 60 vote majority because according to Massachusetts law, Paul Kirk, the current occupant of the seat, appointed by the Governor (outside of state law, but at the behest of Ted Kennedy) would no longer be Senator. Turns out, after the election and qualification of Brown, the seat would effectively be vacant until certification.
- Another tactic, just released today, the Senate could require the House to pass the Senate bill as written rather than a joint bill that would require another vote in the Senate – one that would fail due to Republican filibuster. House liberals are not at all pleased about being dictated to, particularly when many of them have stated no support for the bill without a public option, changes in abortion language, or unfair quid pro quos for Louisiana and Nebraska.
- Discussion has also been entertained about whether to allow the bill to pass through the reconciliation process, which would require just 51 yea votes.
But regardless of what tactics that the Democrats decide to try, the seat does not belong to Ted Kennedy anymore, and tomorrow, it won’t belong to the Democrats either, unless by some unforeseen surge, Martha Coakley manages to pull out a win. But with Brown currently leading the polls by 9%, that doesn’t seem too likely.
Well, according to the Dis-Associated Press, it sounds like the Democrats, seeing their health care-less bill in jeopardy are now asking Obamessiah to jump onto the stump for Martha Coakley. I had made a point just last night/early this morning that Obama had been doing a good thing for Coakley by keeping his Obamagic out of the race. I guess I spoke too soon – too good to be true.
Scott Brown has been a lightning rod up there in Massachusetts and the Republicans up that way are fired up. The Democrats, on the other hand, aren’t really as enthusiastic and with the poll numbers now in favor of Brown, the Dems are raising the red flags. In fact, Rep. Barney Frank (Fwank) made the point, if Brown wins, the Dems lose the health care bill. We’ll see if Fwankie-boy makes good on his position to not stall the swearing in, should Brown take the chair.
It would be quite ironic, though. Ted Kennedy was all about getting this bill passed and his successor may deliver a coup de grace and prevent its passage. And just like the class-less jerk that he is, Senator Schumer from New York had to toss his corroded, muckraking, two cents in and pull out the teabag pejorative. Good one, Chuckie, you putz-head.
Oh, and I hope Obama fails – again.
Don’t get me wrong and don’t start tazing me until you read what I say here – wondering how many people have come to the realization already ahead of me. Whatever if they do – I’m writing it anyway, in my own unique idiom.
Or I’ll just blame it on my antiquated computer. Seems to be the going excuse this week.
- Action: Obama goes to Copenhagen to pitch for the Chicago bid for the Games. Outcome: Chicago gets eliminated handily in the first round. Obama Fail Score – 1
- Action: Obama gets on the stump for the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races. Outcome: Seats held by Democrats flip to the GOP. Obama Fail Score – 3 (one for each)
- Action: Obama goes back to Copenhagen to vehemently speak for unity on Climate Change. Outcome: The so-called Copenhagen Accords fall dismally short of desired goals. China stonewalls the talks, makes Obama look like a jerk, the US like idiots, and the greens lap it up as more anti-American fodder. Obama Fail Score – 5 (that gaffe was so bad, it made Baghdad Bob look credible)
So now, the next big PR flop-portunity comes to bear – the Massachusetts senatorial special election and while Scott Brown has already urged Obama to stay away from the Bay State, it would seem that Obama has actually learned something – if you don’t want to come away with egg on your face, yet again, do yourself and your party candidate a favor – don’t show up. He hasn’t showed up in Massachusetts.
He’s still too busy with all of those closed-room debates on the health deform bill, which were supposed to be broadcast on C-SPAN. Obama Fail Score – 6 (or is it 13, since he promised it, what, eight times?)
Either way, with more than 50% of Americans ready to chuck an egg at the Amateur-in-Chief, it would seem he’s learnt a little something. But I can’t wait for him to go back into campaign mode later this summer. I still have six eggs in this carton yet to toss.
This first year in Obama’s presidency has been one of very little hope and even less change. The news sources, particularly the conservative ones, are taking stock in all those little promises that Obama made that have yet to be kept, or even worse, broken outright. Recent polling data shows that, if a presidential re-election occurred today, Obama would not win a second term.
Now for all the problems that Obama has had in his presidency, he has done a lot of blameshifting. For the first year, he pinned a lot of the problems of the country on the “failed eight years of policy under George Bush”. But that political capital is about spent now and Obama is not so able to play the “it’s all Bush’s fault” card, especially when he approved the Bush stimulus, along with $5 billion of earmarks that he promised wouldn’t happen on his watch.
Today, though, the funniest blame-shift has come from this article. Today, it was announced that the Obama Bureaucracy, aka ObamAd, Inc’s reason for being unable to be efficient and effective doesn’t come from the failing policies of George Bush, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama, but rather, from outdated technology. Rather than looking at policy, we’re saying now that the computers, which are older and less powerful than the machines that people have at home are to blame for why government can’t seem to get things done.
So, let’s see…we’re going to blame the Executive Branch computers for the reasons why government isn’t working right. Never mind the infighting between political parties, the blatant disregard for the will of the American people, or the broken promises over transparency. Never mind the insane amounts of spending by the Executive on ineffective programs designed to further dependence on the government for everything. No, it’s not the fault of the people in government, it’s those darn antiquated computers.
With all the stimulus slush cash out there, you would think that some of it could be diverted to Dell, HP, or IBM to buy some updated hardware, hire a small army of IT people to put things in, and improve the system, donating that old hardware to schools or local DC charities.
Instead though, Obama is going to pull a bunch of CEO’s into the office and figure out how to bring the White House to the 21st century.
Hmm, that’s interesting because we’re now TEN YEARS into the 21st century. If the White House is that bad that we’re talking about dialup modems, Pentium II class hardware running Windows 95/98/NT4, perhaps not even Y2K compliant, well, then our government is in worse shape technologically my house, church, or last three positions of employment.
But the outdated technology can be a good thing – a blessing in disguise. It basically means that the government can’t push us towards a more socialistic way of doing things as quickly, while they wait for files to download and 2,000 page behemoth legislation documents to spool into RAM.
Massachusetts has been a hot bed of manipulation as of late.
In 2004, Ted Kennedy, for partisan reasons, orchestrated a change in the law to change the replacement process from a gubernatorial appointment to a special election. At the time, John “Lurch” Kerry was running for President (with his three purple hearts) and Kennedy didn’t want the then-Governor Mitt Romney to exercise his power and appoint a Republican to the seat. So, at the behest of the Swimmer of Chappaquiddick, the law was amended and Mitt Romney could not appoint a fill in senator to fill Lurch’s seat. Kerry lost but at least the seat was safe, had Lurch pulled it off.
Last year, the Swimmer became gravely ill from brain cancer, and, seeing his own “MENE MENE TEKEL PERES” as he inched closer to the veil, prompted the legislature to change the rule back to a gubernatorial appointment, since the office is now occupied by a Democrat – at least temporarily until the special election happened. This would prevent the Dems from losing their 60-vote bloc and the subsequent derailing of the health debate.
The thing is, the legacy of Ted Kennedy here is irrelevant. With all due respect, the man is dead and if he wasn’t saved by the blood of Christ, he’s in hell, burning. Meanwhile, what is important is not whether the folks In Massachusetts preserve Kennedy’s wish to see the Health Deform bill go through, but to do what the people in Massachusetts want. But there seems to be this overwhelming push about what Kennedy “would have wanted”. I say, “so what?”. Let the people decide.
But the Democrats don’t care so much about what the people say. As we know, this health debate is all about pushing a piece-of-junk pile of horse dung through and onto the American people. Despite the majority of Americans that don’t want this bill, the Dems are willing to shovel it onto us anyway.
So with the special election coming up, there’s talk that the GOP candidate may just pull this off and take the seat back to the right side of the aisle. This would put a hex on the entire debate, since Scott Brown has already pledged to fight the bill if he is able to do so. This is a huge threat to Democrats as his one vote could cause the debate to come apart.
To prevent that from happening, the Dems are willing to stall Brown’s swearing-in appointment until long after the State of the Union address, where Obama will be able to tout this as a victory for Americans (actually, it’s just for Progressives – Americans lose big if this passes).
What’s funny is that the Dems couldn’t get Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) to the US House fast enough. Two days after the special election, Tsongas was sworn in my Pelosi in order to help overthrow President Bush’s veto of expansion of the SCHIP program, back in October 2007.
But now, the Democrats are willing to hold up the senatorial swear-in of Scott Brown until after the Health Deform is done and passed, to prevent the debate from getting derailed if they lose their 60-vote filibuster-proof majority. I sure as heck can guarantee you, if Martha Coakley wins the election, they will whisk her off to Washington, tout de suite and put her on the party line.
What does this mean? Well it means that the Democrats care very little about the will of the people of Massachusetts, so long as it achieves their objectives. They follow the drumbeat of the Democrat machine, pushed by the very liberal progressive agenda. Massachusetts has already shown that the people don’t want the bill, but that won’t stop John “Lurch” Kerry from voting for it.
I leave you with this very poignant quote from Bob Hope.
Now this is strange – maybe.
Just today, we’ve seen three announcements of Democrats who are not seeking re-election in the upcoming 2010 election:
- Colorado Governor Bill Ritter announced he was not going to seek re-election. Turns out, Ritter has had, what was described by Channel 7 Denver as having “flaccid” poll numbers and a borderline hostile relationship with organized labor. I’m watching this one, because Colorado is at a pivot point, having just switched blue during the 2008 elections. What’s scary here is that Ritter can now be a loose cannon with little repercussion, since re-election is not on the table anymore as a constraint.
- North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan announced he wanted to “pursue other interests”. Rumor has it he was on the downward trend too, being led by something like 22 points by Gov. John Hoeven. Both Hoeven and Dorgan had high approvals, which would have made this race something of a “rock-star duel”. Of course, I wouldn’t look for Dorgan to play anything harder than something from Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
- Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd will be announcing on Wednesday that he’s out. The leader of the Senatorial Banking committee is watching his own poll numbers come crashing down, which could cause the other Connecticut seat to flip away from the Democrats. This move is clearly strategic.
Now we also got the word that six GOP senators are looking to call it quits as well. But it seems kind of strange that we saw three Democrats, relatively prominent, who are jumping ship.
November 2010 is fixing to get a bit more interesting.