Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday July 30, 2014

CLINTONS MANAGE TO TAKE CRONY CAPITALISM TO NEW HEIGHTS:These grifters are playing the world for the fools they are to sign on to their view of anything. Shame on all the universities, all the business associations, all the sundy groups that pass out funds for bad or worthless advice and bullshit.  It defies the imagination that anyone believes in these two frauds, however obviously many millions do.  It makes one wonder if Democracy can actually work over an extended period of time.  Bill and Hillary Clinton believe in nothing except accruing power that allows the them to become one of the rich and famous on the planet.  Their are massive egos at work here.  An opening quote from the article linked to here:

"A joint investigation by the Washington Examiner and the nonprofit watchdog group Judicial Watch found that former President Clintongave 215 speeches and earned $48 million while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy, raising questions about whether the Clintons fulfilled ethics agreements related to the Clinton Foundation duringHillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state."
Most of these speeches delivered by Bill were given abroad to Middle Eastern countries and groups.  Interestingly the State Department "approved" all of these 215 speeches all while Bill's sweat-hog wife was in charge of Foggy Bottom.   Of all the scandals associated with the Democrat Party, the Clintons, and Obama, this one is hands down the worst because it marries influence peddling with the arguably second most important official in the country.  Obviously this scandal will never surface since the corrupted media in this country won't allow it to.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

SATURDAY, July 26, 2014


Obamacare court defense crumbles: Column

Key Affordable Care Act architect tangled in his conveniently changing story.

When a three-judge DC Circuit Court panel earlier this week agreed with the plaintiffs in Halbig v Sebelius, the most potent legal challenge to Obamacare, the law's supporters went ballistic. The lawsuit challenged the legality of the subsidies that the administration was handing out through federal exchanges in 34 states. It argued that these subsidies were illegal because Obamacare had explicitly limited them to state-run exchanges.
The New Republic's Brian Beutler wrote that the judges had validated a claim that even the "people advancing it realize is false." University of Chicago health care expert Harold Pollack denounced the ruling as "judicial activism" that ignored the plain intent of Congress.
Above all, there was MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the key architect's of the law whom the administration paid $400,000 in consultation fees. He had previously claimed the plaintiff's theory was based on a "screwy interpretation of the law."
And when the ruling came last week, he went on MSNBC's Chris Matthews to flesh that out. Barring the feds from handing subsidies, he explained, would mean that "99% of the people would no longer be able to afford insurance," something that would gut Obamacare's individual mandate. "Why would Congress set up the mandate and go through all that political battle to allow it to be destroyed?" he asked. "It`s just simply a typo, and it`s really criminal that this has even made it as far as it has."
But Gruber was singing a very different tune in a 2012 speech before Halbig was filed. In a video that surfaced Thursday night, Gruber noted:
What's important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don't set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits… I hope that that's a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges.
In other words, Congress did mean to use the subsidies to overcome state resistance and pressure them to set up their own exchanges. That is precisely what the plaintiffs in Halbig asserted. Of course, Obamacare's supporters didn't anticipate that the backlash against the law would be so intense that 34 states would actually decline the subsidies, almost as an act of civil disobedience.
On Friday morning, an embarrassed Gruber insisted to The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn, "I honestly don't remember why I said that… I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake."
But a second speech, this time in the form of audio, surfaced this morning in which he makes the same claims before the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco at around the same time. In it, Gruber actively acknowledges that should if states revolt en masse, they'd bring down the law. But, he said, that he had enough faith in democracy to believe that even the states that didn't like Obamacare would eventually succumb to the "ultimate threat" that "if your governor doesn't set up an exchange, you are losing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to be delivered to your citizens."
Gruber would like everyone to ignore, not just the plain text of a law that he had a major hand in crafting, but also the plain meaning of his own words explaining why the law was written the way it was – not once, but at least twice.
Who is being "screwy" and "really criminal" here?
Shikha Dalmia, a former Detroit News editorial writer, is a Reason Foundation senior analyst.

One of the big questions out of the IRS targeting scandal is this: How can an agency that engaged in such political misconduct be trusted to implement ObamaCare? This week’s Halbig v. Burwell ruling reminded us of the answer. It can’t.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Halbig that the administration had illegally provided ObamaCare subsidies in 36 insurance exchanges run by the federal government. Yet it wasn’t the “administration” as a whole that issued the lawless subsidy gift. It was the administration acting through its new, favorite enforcer: the IRS.
And it was entirely political. Democrats needed those subsidies. The party had assumed that dangling subsidies before the states would induce them to set up exchanges. When dozens instead refused, the White House was faced with the prospect that citizens in 36 states—two-thirds of the country—would be exposed to the full cost of ObamaCare’s overpriced insurance. The backlash would have been horrific, potentially forcing Democrats to reopen the law, or even costing President Obama re-election.
The White House viewed it as imperative, therefore, that IRS bureaucrats ignore the law’s text and come up with a politically helpful rule. The evidence shows that career officials at the IRS did indeed do as Treasury Department and Health and Human Services Department officials told them. This, despite the fact that the IRS is supposed to be insulated from political meddling.
We know this thanks to a largely overlooked joint investigation and February report by the House Oversight and Ways and Means committees into the history of the IRS subsidy rule. We know that in the late summer of 2010, after ObamaCare was signed into law, the IRS assembled a working group—made up of career IRS and Treasury employees—to develop regulations around ObamaCare subsidies. And we know that this working group initially decided to follow the text of the law. An early draft of its rule about subsidies explained that they were for “Exchanges established by the State.”
Yet in March 2011, Emily McMahon, the acting assistant secretary for tax policy at the Treasury Department (a political hire), saw a news article that noted a growing legal focus on the meaning of that text. She forwarded it to the working group, which in turn decided to elevate the issue—according to Congress’s report—to “senior IRS and Treasury officials.” The office of the IRS chief counsel—one of two positions appointed by the president—drafted a memo telling the group that it should read the text to mean that everyone, in every exchange, got subsidies. At some point between March 10 and March 15, 2011, the reference to “Exchanges established by the State” disappeared from the draft rule.
Emails viewed by congressional investigators nonetheless showed that Treasury and the IRS remained worried they were breaking the law. An email exchange between Treasury employees in the spring of 2011 expressed concern that they had no statutory authority to deem a federally run exchange the equivalent of a state-run exchange.
Yet rather than engage in a basic legal analysis—a core duty of an agency charged with tax laws—the IRS instead set about obtaining cover for its predetermined political goal.
Tyrannizing you with your money.

Let's be sure to remember that this law and all it's various changes and interations since it was passed is 100% the product of Democrats.  Not one Republican voted for this mess, there is not one Republican contribution to this law, it's solely the work of the Democrats.  Also, the main architect  Jonathan Gruber is supposedly a professor at Harvard who was paid $400,000 for his work in drafting this legislation. How would you like to be paying the tuition for your child's education at a school where a full-time professor is able to moonlight a job that pays him like that??  On top on everything else he's a garden variety Democrat liar.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

YES! Been saying this for some time.  The debilitating effect of Progressivism over decades resulting in a dysfunctional political system means the only solution comes when the whole thing collapses and we are forced to rebuild.  I believe that and apparently so does Fernandez.

The New York Times notices the smoke collecting on the ceiling of the auditorium of the world and wonders whether there might be something to worry about. Peter Baker in an article titled “Crises Cascade and Converge, Testing Obama” notices that things are falling apart. “Not long after a passenger jet exploded in midair and plummeted to the ground in Ukraine last week, escalating a volatile crisis pitting the United States and Europe against Russia, President Obama’s thoughts turned to Syria.”
Baker has a thought. These problems may be linked.
Rarely has a president been confronted with so many seemingly disparate foreign policy crises all at once — in Ukraine, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere — but making the current upheaval more complicated for Mr. Obama is the seemingly interlocking nature of them all. Developments in one area, like Ukraine, shape his views and choices in a crisis in another area, like the Middle East.
Like Sherlock on the trail, he suggests a common cause links them all. But we are advised not to worry, because the president is hot on the trail of the mystery; trying to identify the factor that connects all these catastrophes. Patience is advised, it is not elementary, my dear Watsons. The world is a complex place which only the the very smartest can understand.
Little wonder then that in recent days the president seems almost to be suffering geopolitical whiplash. “We live in a complex world and at a challenging time,” he said wearily last week after making a statement in which he addressed Ukraine, Gaza, Iran and Afghanistan, all in the space of seven minutes. “And none of these challenges lend themselves to quick or easy solutions.”
So he spends himself unstintingly trying to untie the Gordian Knot. But here’s a quick solution. Cut the Gordian Knot: resign.
That will work if the nexus of these problems is the president himself.
There is of course an alternative hypotheses. One theory is that our current failures are rooted in the end of the Cold War. Or perhaps in the legacy of George Bush. If we could only return to the days of Dr. Strangelove or before the year 2000 then all would be well. This is a favorite of those who see the world in complex terms. Baker writes:
The cascading crises reflect larger trends, according to Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. While the Cold War made for clear relationships, there is no such structure anymore. “So what you have are relationships where you may cooperate with certain countries on certain issues on certain days of the week, while on other issues on other days of the week, you may compete or simply go your own way,” he said.
The problem with this analysis, apart from the unavailability of a Time Machine to solve it, is that it may be inverting the direction of causality. Haass’ nostalgia for the Cold War may really be a longing for the competence in American leadership which characterized it then. He doesn’t miss the Cold War. He misses Harry Truman; he misses Ronald Reagan. It’s not unreasonable to think that if Barack Obama had been president during the Cuban Missile Crisis then you would not be reading these words.  And then you wouldn’t miss the Cold War so much.
But Obama’s the president we’ve got.
One of the fundamental tests of leadership is an ability to include one’s self in the critique. One of the most disturbing things about Obama’s style of management is his absolute inability to consider he might have something to do with the catastrophe. The Usual Suspects are anyone but his magnificent self. It’s a blind spot. It’s like watching a basketball player refuse to consider there may be anything wrong with his form after missing the last 100 of 100 shots.
The world is a complex place but the key to unraveling complexity is knowing where to start looking. It lies in finding the key.
But if Obama and his supporters are ruling out the obvious, so too are many of the president’s critics who hope that at some point — perhaps when he misses 500 out of 500 — that he’ll suddenly realize that he’s doing it wrong. They’re hoping for this because the common perception is that the world is stuck with him until 2016. But perhaps he won’t notice he’s missed the last 1,000 shots for the very same reason that caused the blunders already committed.
The one crisis that Peter Baker omits to mention is the inability of the American political system to diagnose and fix itself.  It lies in the circumstance that Baker can realize the world is falling apart without being able to put his finger on why. It is exhibited in Alan Dershowitz’s perspicacious insight that Israel has been put in an impossible position while remaining a pillar of the Democratic cheering squad. They can enumerate the problems but they don’t know what it means.
The feedback loop is kaput. That is the key. But no one in Washington seems capable of divining where the smoke on the ceiling is coming from because it’s coming from them. The significance of the dog that did not bark in the night is that nobody in establishment DC is barking. It means things will only come to a head when the theater actually starts to burn.

conspiracy theory guy, but, who knows if there's anything to this or not.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

IT IS CRITICAL TO NOT FORGET WHAT HAPPENED IN THE HOUSING CRISES:The chain of events leading up to the financial meltdown of '07,08 is very clear and should not be obfuscated as the Dems/libs are always doing.   In the thread that accompanies this post are very accurate assessments of what caused the supreme meltdown.  A sample is below.  Unfortunately since we have a corrupted media and a depraved Democrat Party as well as some depraved and guilty Republicans involved in this outrage, the story will always be muddled and made to be a shared problem.  It was Not.  Democrats have their mitts all over this from Carter to Clinton and every democrat leader of Congress and the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) .  The bottom line here is that liberals have no idea the damage that is done to the economy when the government and the politicians get involved in its working.  FDR prolonged the Great Depression by probably 9 to 10 years (with an assist from Herbert Hoover and some other interventionists) by deeply involving the government in the economy during the '30s.  Of course FDR by expanding the role of the government in our economy is a hero to all the libs because government is their business.  Regrettably there are more than a few Republicans who "help out" the deems follows is a sample of the interesting threat  because they don't know any better or are simply delusional.  This is why we keep repeating the same mistakes only each time the consequences are ever more serious.  What follows is comments from the interesting thread following the Althouse blog comment:

garage mahal said...
But the left, in the guise of "mortgages for everyone!", was the cause of the collapse.

Nope nope nope. Not even honest conservative economists, such as they exist, are still pushing this horseshit.
7/22/14, 12:57 PM

Sorry you are the one pushing the horseshit. Try again...

Clinton, however, sowed the seeds of the Great Recession by helping to inflate the housing bubble, a key part of the financial debacle of 2007.

Then why is Clinton culpable? Because his secretary of housing and urban development, Andrew Cuomo, current governor of New York and a likely 2016 presidential aspirant, accelerated easy-housing policies and inflated the housing bubble, setting the stage for its collapse.

"Washington failed to rein in" the two government-sponsored entities, the Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae") and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie Mac"), both of which ran into trouble by underwriting too many risky home mortgages to buyers who have been unable to repay them.

It’s true that key Democrats opposed the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, which would have established a single, independent regulatory body with jurisdiction over Fannie and Freddie – a move that the Government Accountability Office had recommended in a 2004 report. Current House Banking Committee chairman Rep. Barney Frank opposed legislation to reorganize oversight in 2000 (when Clinton was still president), 2003 and 2004, saying of the 2000 legislation that concern about Fannie and Freddie was "overblown." Just last summer, Senate Banking Committee chairman Chris Dodd called a Bush proposal for an independent agency to regulate the two entities "ill-advised."

Effective in January 1993, the 1992 housing bill required Fannie and Freddie to make 30% of their mortgage purchases affordable-housing loans. The quota was raised to 40% in 1996, 42% in 1997, and in 2000 the Department of Housing and Urban Development ordered the quota raised to 50%. The Bush administration continued to raise the affordable-housing goals. Freddie and Fannie dutifully met those goals each and every year until the subprime crisis erupted. By 2008, when both government-sponsored enterprises collapsed, the quota had reached 56%. An internal Fannie document made public after the financial crisis ("HUD Housing Goals," March 2003) clearly shows that by 2002 Fannie officials knew perfectly well that these quotas were promoting irresponsible policy: "The challenge freaked out the business side of the house [Fannie] . . . the tenseness around meeting the goals meant that we . . . did deals at risks and prices we would not have otherwise done."

The American Enterprise Institute found that in 1990 80% of the residential mortgage loans acquired by Fannie and Freddie were solid prime loans with healthy down payments. By 1999 only 45% of their acquisitions met this standard. That number fell to 15% by 2007. By 2008, roughly half of all outstanding mortgages in America were high-risk loans.

You can lay this at the feet of Dems. Clinton, Dodd, and Frank own the biggest share of this but Dems across the board played a part. Community activists (like the big O, Jessie and others) pushed from the streets and the politicians pushed from the gov to get banks to "lighten up" and make more loans. Were some in the financial market greedy? Sure but the government dragged the house to the river and then later squawked when the horse drank.

To stand there and say this was not the fault of the dems is to ignore the facts. Bush pushed (not hard enough) for more oversight and Dodd and other dems fought it because it would have shut off their money.
John said...
It had been some time since I thought about Cloward-Piven but John and Adam were just discussing it the other day. And now Krumhorn brings it up here.

John and Adam were discussing the traditional C-P model but then my fevered mind got to work on it.

I have been saying for 6-7 years now that Obama et al are bring about a liberal revolution. I have generally assumed that they are doing it out of incompetence but have always admitted the possibility that it could be some sort of stealth plan to do so on purpose.

If they are, it is almost exactly Cloward-Piven in methods, if not in goals. Obie, as a community organizer is certainly familiar with C-P. He is said (with no evidence) to be genius level smart. Is it possible he is a closet liberal using C-P to achieve liberal rather than socialist ends?

In the end, it is the result rather than his motives that matter. Whether he is doing it on purpose or by accident hardly matters. He is "gittin' her done" and I am very happy with that.

I wish it were a bit less painful but it took us 80 years to get here, you can't turn this ship on a dime.

Crank it on up, Obie. Don't stop at 11. Let's go to 12 or even 13.

John Henry
Original Mike said...
"Not even honest conservative economists, such as they exist, are still pushing this horseshit."

I don't know what you're talking about, garage.
Michael said...
Ah, the bankers. But which ones? The ones who loaned the money to the women who bought the houses they could not afford? The ones who sold the crappy paper to the greedy bankers who bought the crappy paper? The greedy bankers who bought the crappy paper made possible by the women who bought the houses they could not possibly afford? The greedy bankers who chopped up the crappy loans into tranches of crappy attractive yields? The greedy bankers who created synthetic markets of crappy paper to mirror the actual crappy paper based on loans to nice people who could not possibly repay their loans, much less make the monthly payments?

Suffice it to say that had the nice woman paid the debt she agreed to pay the world would not have gone into the financial ditch it went into. Axiomatic actually.

Send in the pitchforks!! Because Goldman Sachs. Because AIG. Because greed. Borrowers, builders, lenders, bankers, and a government machine still very much in the business of buying, stimulating the creation, of crappy paper.
Steven said...
The United States has been, historically, a center right country.

I actually have to dispute this. The issue is not the US is center-right. It is that the US and European political spectra are incommensurable. The US right is completely unlike the European right, and the US popular left (as opposed to the transnational university-educated froth) is completely unlike the European left.

Which is why Marxism, even in the attenuated Labour/social democratic forms, never got any serious ground in the US, whether at the height of the Populist-Progressive alliance or in the early part of the FDR administration. Marxism claimed to be universal truth (and thus Stalin denounced "American exceptionalism" as the heresy it was), but it was a European weed sdependent on European soil.

Drum misanalyzes the failure of the American left here as a failure of the vanguard of the proletariat to properly propagandize the revolution. But the truth is, the failure is that he and members of his froth are alienated from the American masses entirely, living in a Europeanized intellectual bubble. They can propagandize all they want; the Tea Party, which has all the pitchforks, is never going to buy what they're selling.