THE AUDACITY OF SELLING OUT


ObamaFest

Obama Urinates on The Bill of Rights


From Mish:

Obama Signs Legislation Killing Bill of Rights; Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Rachel Maddow Skewer Obama; Road to Tyranny; Complete List of Senatorial Cowards Backing the Bill


In 9 Things to Say Goodbye To, I lamented on the loss of privacy and free speech.

Unfortunately, the situation is much worse, thanks a huge group of senatorial cowards that wrote and passed a "defense" bill that allows US citizens to be arrested, detained, even sent to Guantanamo, Cuba without being charged with any crimes.


On New Year's Eve
Obama Signed Defense Bill Despite 'Reservations'

Obama's Blatant Hypocrisy


The "reservations" Obama has are of his own making.  Please consider this skewering of President Obama by Rachel Maddow.


Rachel Maddow Skewers Obama


The bill is a clear and direct attack on the Bill of Rights.


Rand Paul vs. John McCain


Road to Tyranny


Please consider this video from Larry Wilkerson, retired colonel and former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell.


Wilkerson: New Military Powers the Road to Tyranny


"Larry Wilkerson: National Defense Authorization Act that passed the Senate giving the military power for indefinite detention without trial is a draconian violation of our rights"


Ron Paul Say Defense Bill Establishes Martial Law In America


 Defense Bill Establishes Martial Law In America

Bill Passes Senate 86 to 13


Unfortunately the
Indefinite detention bill passed in Senate

Exactly 220 years to the date after the Bill of Rights was ratified, the US Senate today voted 86 to 13 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, allowing the indefinite detention and torture of Americans.

As
RT reported earlier, one provision in NDAA FY2012 will allow for the reinstatement of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” essentially making waterboarding and forms of psychological torture a very possible reality for anyone America deems to be a threat, including its own citizens who, prior to the ruling, had the US Constitution on their side.

Among the corporations which have lobbied in support of NDAA FY2012 are several military contractors, including Honeywell and Bluewater Defense, who together have received millions of dollars in Pentagon guarantees this year alone.


How long can you hold them? As long as it takes to make us safe,” said Graham.

In his closing marks, Graham ironically recited that in respect to “civil liberties and the American way of life,” US citizens must fight. “
If we don’t fight for it, we’re going to lose it.

Unfit for Office

Any Senator voting on a bill that would allow US citizens to be arrested, detained indefinitely, even sent to Cuba without being formally charged with any crime is no friend or supporter to the US constitution.

Note the absurd irony in Graham's statements. The fight for freedom can never be won by trashing freedoms or the Bill of Rights.

Senator Graham and Senator McCain are both huge hypocrites and cowards.

Indeed, all 86 Senators who voted for that bill are cowards, a hypocrites, and no friend to the United States or the US Constitution.

Even more disgusting, Senator Mark Udall introduced an amendment intended to forbid the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens and even that amendment was rejected by a vote of 38–60.

I do not have a roll call on that, but there are 60 extreme cowards who wrap themselves in a flag while pissing on the Constitution.

13 Courageous Votes

Nay ID Crapo, Michael [R]
Nay ID Risch, James [R]
Nay IL Durbin, Richard [D]
Nay IA Harkin, Thomas [D]
Nay KY Paul, Rand [R]
Nay MD Cardin, Benjamin [D]
Nay MN Franken, Al [D]
Nay OK Coburn, Thomas [R]
Nay OR Merkley, Jeff [D]
Nay OR Wyden, Ron [D]
Nay SC DeMint, Jim [R]
Nay UT Lee, Mike [R]
Nay VT Sanders, Bernard [I]

There you have it. Anyone not on that list voted to trash the constitution. I am particularly pleased by the votes of Senators Jim DeMint, Thomas Coburn, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Michael Crapo, and James Risch.

Those are the only six Republicans willing to stand behind the Constitution.
 Rand Paul's Impassioned Plea

"Detaining citizens without a court trial is not American. ... Justice Scalia said the very core of liberty, secured by our anglo-saxon system of separated powers has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the executive. Justice Scalia was, as he often does, following the wisdom of our founding fathers. ... As Franklin wisely warned, those who give up their liberty for security may wind up with neither."

Wikepedia has the Benjamin Franklin quote as follows "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Benjamin Franklin is correct and Senator Rand Paul was a hero for fighting this bill. Sadly, Rand Paul failed to a collective group of cowards who do not know what the Constitution is about or why we need it.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com
href="http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/">

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Obama, Corzine and the Death of Consequences

From James Howard Kunstler:


SUSPENDED CIVILIZATION

      Question du jour: why is Jon Corzine still at large? In what fabulous Manhattan restaurants has he been enjoying plates of cockscombs and lobster with sauce hydromel and cinghiale ai frutti di bosco, while less well-connected citizens of this degenerate republic have to order their suppers from the dumpster in the WalMart parking lot where they have been living lately.
     Is there still an Attorney General in this country? Will somebody please follow Eric Holder down a hallway and see if he leaves a trail of sawdust on the floor. Or did congress just retract all the fraud statutes by stealth in the same way that the Federal Reserve handed out $7.7 trillion in bailouts back in 2008 (much more than the generally accepted figure of the $800 billion TARP) without anyone finding out until three years later when some Bloomberg reporters rooted the numbers out of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filing. And by the way, what is the US Federal Reserve doing handing out billions of dollars to the Royal Bank of Scotland? Was Scotland admitted to the Union by stealth, too? Or did Jamie Dimon just buy it as a birthday present for Barack Obama, who likes golf.
     This is what life in the USA is like nowadays: shit happens and shit un-happens, and you find out about it years later. Only a desperate and hopelessly degenerate nation would choose to live this way, in a law-optional society, in which money means everything, and yet nobody even knows what money is (or where it goes, and what it does when it goes there.)
     Jon Corzine has not revealed the destination of the loot (somewhere between $600 million and $2.5 billion, estimated) that vanished from the "segregated" accounts of his many clients at MF Global. The rumor is that it went to cover a rude margin call from Jamie Dimon's bank, JP Morgan, after JC took some unfortunate positions in European sovereign bonds in a bad month. Beyond the question of why Mr. Corzine is not in jail (as a flight risk, just like DSK) is how come the Department of Justice has not so much as issued a statement saying that they were looking into the matter, so as to reassure both the victims and the financial markets that this is not a culture that just makes shit up as it goes along - i.e. that we have predictable rules and formal procedures for doing stuff.
     The clowns and villains who run America have accomplished something really epic: they have vanquished meaning. Nobody knows what anything means anymore. Anything goes now. All bets are off. It's not reassuring. It leads to bad things happening like blood in the streets. When nothing means anything anymore, some people will actually strive, make an effort, to reestablish meaning in practical economic and political life, because civilized life is impossible without it. So, in those historic moments when civilization is suspended, people will work like hell to restore meaning. Sometimes though, like Germany in the 1930s, you discover that the suspension of civilization is itself intoxicating, and you ride with that for a while.
     Things are really flying apart now, and just in time for Santa Claus. The European bond rollovers are about to come in fast and furious during the season of Advent and nobody can make their interest payments. They will be skipped or postponed and promised for "next Tuesday," and yet the bizarro universe of credit default swaps will not be triggered - is there a counter-party on God's green earth who could afford a pay-out? Of course not. It was all a charade. So we'll just learn that there actually is no "insurance" on all this paper. Yesterday's "hair-cut" will be tomorrow's "throat cut" as the middle innings of suspended civilization play out.
      There are heroes as-yet-sung-and-unsung in America, people who prefer reality over reality-TV, people with a taste for meaning in life, which often requires the recognition that some things are true and some not so true, and you're better off with what's true. What appears to be true is that the old order is finished and a new disposition of things is coming along. The Long Emergency will beat a path straight to the Great Re-set. Sign up for it. Roll up your sleeves. There is so much to do in this country. If you are young, especially, it's all waiting for you.

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Even 60 Minutes Asks" Where the F**k is Eric Holder?"

If you blow a whistle and Attorney General Eric Holder ignores it, does it make a sound?

Prosecuting Wall Street

Aired 12/5/11 on 60 Minutes

"All of this raises several questions. Why has the Justice Department failed to go after mortgage fraud inside Countrywide? There has not been a single prosecution. Even more puzzling is the Justice Department's reluctance to employ one of its most powerful legal weapons against Countrywide's top executives. It's called the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002.

It was overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed by President Bush following the last big round of corporate scandals involving Enron, Tyco and Worldcom. It was supposed to restore confidence in American corporations and financial markets.

The Sarbanes Oxley Act imposed strict rules for corporate governance, requiring chief executive officers and chief financial officers to certify under oath that their financial statements are accurate and that they have established an effective set of internal controls to insure that all relevant information reaches investors. Knowingly signing a false statement is a criminal offense punishable with up to five years in prison.

Frank Partnoy is a highly regarded securities lawyer, a professor at the University of San Diego Law School and an expert on Sarbanes Oxley.

Frank Partnoy: The idea was to have a criminal statute in place that would make CEOs and CFOs think twice, think three times before they signed their names attesting to the accuracy of financial statements or the viability of internal controls.

Kroft: And this law has not been used at all in the financial crisis.

Partnoy: It hasn't been used to go after Wall Street. It hasn't been used for these kinds of cases at all."

Watch Full Interview Here.


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The Rise of the Police State Under President Obama

While President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder continue to ignore the biggest financial crime in human history, you and your neighbors are increasingly looking down the gun barrels of cops gone wild.  Anybody else remember when you could talk about "civil liberties" without being labeled a kook or a radical?

From Radley Balko at HuffPo:

...Dress cops up as soldiers, give them military equipment, train them in military tactics, tell them they're fighting a "war," and the consequences are predictable. These policies have taken a toll. Among the victims of increasingly aggressive and militaristic police tactics: Cheye Calvo, the mayor of Berwyn Heights, Md., whose dogs were killed when Prince George's County police mistakenly raided his home; 92-year-old Katherine Johnston, who was gunned down by narcotics cops in Atlanta in 2006; 11-year-old Alberto Sepulveda, who was killed by Modesto, Calif., police during a drug raid in September 2000; 80-year-old Isaac Singletary, who was shot by undercover narcotics police in 2007 who were attempting to sell drugs from his yard; Jonathan Ayers, a Georgia pastor shot as he tried to flee a gang of narcotics cops who jumped him at a gas station in 2009; Clayton Helriggle, a 23-year-old college student killed during a marijuana raid in Ohio in 2002; and Alberta Spruill, who died of a heart attack after police deployed a flash grenade during a mistaken raid on her Harlem apartment in 2003. Most recently, voting rights activist Barbara Arnwine was raided by a SWAT team in Prince George's County, Md., on Nov. 21. The police appear to have raided the wrong house...


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Obama Henchman Larry Summers: "Economic Terrorist"

From RCWhalen @ zerohedge.com:

Not only did Summers work tirelessly during his years in the Clinton Administration to undermine regulatory and prudential controls in our financial markets, but he joined Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and his political sponsor, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, and public paragon Arthur Levitt, in smearing CFTC Chairman Brooksley Born so as to make the world safe for OTC derivatives.
 
In their book Reckless Endangerment, Gretchen Morgenson and Josh Rosner describe in vivid detail how Larry Summers, Robert Zoellick and others bullied critics and won and influenced friends for Fannie Mae, one of the key Washington agencies that helped lead to the subprime debt crisis.  Ed Demarco, now head of the agency that supervises Fannie and Freddie Mac, wrote a report in 1996 suggesting that the housing GSEs be privatized.  But Summers bullied Demarco and other staffers, eventually forcing them to rewrite the entire document.  The cost to the taxpayer of Summers’ intervention regarding the housing agencies is over $150 billion and climbing.  And this number will climb dramatically after the 2012 election.

But perhaps one of the biggest indictments of Summers when it comes to his contribution or lack thereof to economic public policy is also his last, namely the advice to President Obama to do nothing about either the top-four zombie banks or the housing GSEs.  By allowing the GSEs and the cartel they form with the largest four banks – JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America – in the secondary market for home loans to deny millions of middle to lower income borrowers the opportunity to refinance, Summers has cost millions of Americans livelihood and security.  I wrote about this issue in “Are the low US home mortgage rates for real?”

Summers deserves the censure of all Americans for his hideously bad advice to President Barack Obama regarding the housing crisis.  First Summers told Obama not to restructure the largest zombie banks, the very same institutions that today deny millions of Americans their contractual right to refinance their mortgages.

Second, Summers told the POTUS that there was no need to address the fact that tens of millions of American households are under water on their mortgages.  As Laurie Goodman of Amherst Securities has noted, there is a cost to doing nothing.  For Summers now to offer us advice on the mess he helped to create is quite outrageous.

“This guy and his crew from Harvard have fought me on this for the last three years when it comes to dealing with the home refinance issue,” notes one banking industry official who has argued for a government response to refinancing. “When we finally get the Obama administration to change their mind on dealing with under water mortgages, Summers pops up pretending to lead the parade.”

Bottom line is that Larry Summers has nothing to say about the housing crisis.  His role in creating the catastrophe and pandering to the worst tendencies on Wall Street should rule him out of any attempt to fashion policy or a coherent history going forward.  And for the media especially, you need to commit Morgenson & Rosner to memory as a lesson in the ways and means of Washington and people like Larry Summers.

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Obama Supports the 1% (and vice-versa)

From George Washington at Zerohedge:



             "Obama is pretending that he supports the 99%.

But Obama has raised more from Wall Street than anyone else. He is bought and paid for.

Mr. Obama has appointed the very Wall Street insiders who helped cause the financial crisis to top posts. See this and this.

He thinks that high unemployment is a good thing.

Obama – just like the other pimps in D.C. – has institutionalized fraud as an official (if unspoken) party platform.

Americans want our liberties restored, our troops brought home, and the Fed reined in. But Obama has implemented plans for war throughout the Middle East crafted by the Neoconservatives a decade (or more) ago, and gotten us into 7 (oops …8) wars, attacked our liberties even more than Bush and allowed the Fed to dramatically expand its powers.

Americans didn’t want bailouts, but Obama helped to facilitate trillions in direct and hidden bailouts.

Obama doesn’t support the 99%. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

As Yves Smith notes:

A saying I learned in Caracas: “A politician is someone who gets in front of a mob and tries to call it a parade.”

Note: Forget what you’ve been taught … the mainstream Democrats and mainstream Republicans are virtually identical on all core matters. Don’t fall for the old divide-and-conquer trick."



 

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Obama Occupies Bong Street

President Obama, irked by the growing demonstrations against his Wall Street backers, ramps up Big Brother's attack on your grandmother's medical marijuana:


From HuffPo:

Obama's War On Weed: White House Launches Crackdown On Medical Marijuana

Obama Marijuana

SAN FRANCISCO -- Three years on, not a single Wall Street banker has been prosecuted after a financial crisis rooted in rampant fraud brought the global economy to its knees. President Obama's Department of Justice has more dangerous miscreants to worry about: medical marijuana shop owners.

The DoJ has launched an assault on medical pot dispensaries, vowing to shut down establishments licensed and regulated by state and local governments, in a reversal of an earlier policy, based on an Obama campaign promise to leave the shops alone as long as they followed state law.

And while major corporations have managed to get their federal tax bills down to zero, the IRS has determined that pot clinics can't deduct salaries, rent, the cost of bud or other operating expenses on their tax returns. If a business can't deduct those expenses, its tax bill almost always winds up exceeding even its profits.

Despite a previous DoJ memo that targeting medical marijuana is an inefficient use of time and resources, this past Friday morning, four California-based U.S. Attorneys and their staffs gathered in front of Sacramento's capitol building to announce an aggressive new crackdown on medical marijuana operations throughout the state -- this one aimed at the landlords who manage buildings in which dispensaries operate.

And California lawmakers think federal officials should focus their energy elsewhere. "They're wasting money they don't have," said State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). "This is not the issue of the day. This doesn't create jobs. This does not keep the security of the nation intact. It doesn't clean the environment."

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Jennifer Granholm: FAIL


"Yes, indeed. If you liked Gov. Granholm's Michigan, you'll love President Obama's America."


From William McGurn in
The Wall Street Journal:


Granholm's Perfect Bad Example

Some politicians give us failure. Some politicians give us failure mixed with spectacle. Once in a generation, a politician gives us failure and misunderstanding so colossal that his or her bad example rises to the level of public service.

To this elite few belongs Jennifer Granholm.

In the Michigan she governed for eight long years, the roll call of despair is not in dispute. On her watch, the state's ranking in per capita GDP plummeted to 41st place from 24th, Detroit's population shriveled to its lowest level since 1910, and Michigan earned the dubious distinction of being the only state to suffer a net out-migration this past decade.

These refugees now include Ms. Granholm herself. Apparently her "Cool Cities" initiative—one of her many efforts that was supposed to halt Michigan's brain drain—wasn't cool enough. She and her husband have moved to Berkeley, where they are both teaching.

With this kind of record, most politicos might take refuge in prudence. Not Ms. Granholm. Today she is running around the nation selling a book and a message. The book is called "A Governor's Story: The Fight for Jobs and America's Economic Future." Her message—that Granholm's Michigan shows the way forward—has been taken seriously in all the places you might expect: the New York Times and Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

At the top of Ms. Granholm's claims is that she knows that low taxes and lean government are no prescription for growth because she tried supply-side and found it wanting. To prove her point, her appendix lists 99 business and 17 individual "tax cuts" she approved. She notes likewise that both state spending and the number of state employees dropped during her time.

In fact, almost all Ms. Granholm's "tax cuts" are tax credits or other forms of tax preferences. A less delicate way of saying this is that far from reducing rates for everyone, Ms. Granholm played favorites. That meant a more complicated tax code where trendy businesses (green jobs, anyone?) that would fail without subsidies are effectively underwritten by non-favored businesses and other taxpayers.

A better indication of Ms. Granholm's tax record would thus include the $1.4 billion tax increase in business and personal taxes in 2007, not to mention the tax hike she tried to inflict on her way out. Much the same might be said of her claims to fiscal discipline. Far from an effort to re-engineer government as Mitch Daniels did in neighboring Indiana, Ms. Granholm's cuts were forced by the collapse in revenues resulting from the state's failing economy.

In fairness, the thing Ms. Granholm is most blamed for is likely the one most out of her control: the loss of an astounding 630,000 Michigan jobs over her tenure. She is certainly right that most of these losses were the result of larger economic trends and events. More contestable is her assertion that her industrial policy—throwing state and federal dollars at pet progressive industries such as advanced battery technology—is the answer.

Michael LaFaive of Michigan's free-market Mackinac Center puts it this way: "What Ms. Granholm's state investments were best at producing were press releases claiming thousands upon thousands of jobs—in the future." Thus her most infamous prediction, when in 2006 she assured the people of Michigan this: "In five years, you're going to be blown away by the strength and diversity of Michigan's transformed economy."

Michiganders are still waiting. In the teeth of competition that is keener than ever, of changes in technology that are coming faster than ever, and with a diffusion of knowledge and expertise that is vaster than ever, Ms. Granholm's conclusion is this: Politicians and their bureaucrats will channel capital better than a market representing tens of millions of individual investor decisions.

This logic can lead to embarrassment. A year and a half before Americans learned about Solyndra, Gov. Granholm stood next to Flint businessman Richard Short at a press conference and declared that the $9.1 million in state tax credits that her government had awarded his renewable energy company would mean 765 jobs. The next day, Mr. Short was arrested.

Turns out Ms. Granholm's people had not known that their champion of green jobs was a convicted felon out on parole. Two months ago he was sentenced to prison after pleading no contest to making fraudulent statements on his application for the energy credits.

In the end, Ms. Granholm's argument is simply a form of the same economic narcissism that animates people who never lose the charming faith that they know best how to spend other people's money. In some ways, she intimates, her leadership was the precursor to hope and change. "It's remarkable how in sync we are," she quotes her communications director saying of the governor and Barack Obama.

Yes, indeed. If you liked Gov. Granholm's Michigan, you'll love President Obama's America.

Write to MainStreet@wsj.com

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CNBC Calls "Bullshit" on Buffett/Obama

President Barack Obama makes it sound as if there are millionaires all over America paying taxes at lower rates than their secretaries.

Secretary/Intern
"Middle-class families shouldn't pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires," Obama said Monday. "That's pretty straightforward. It's hard to argue against that."

The data tell a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.

There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That, however, was less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.

In his White House address Monday, Obama called on Congress to increase taxes by $1.5 trillion as part of a 10-year deficit reduction package totaling more than $3 trillion. He proposed that Congress overhaul the tax code and impose what he called the "Buffett rule," named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

The rule says, "People making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay."

"Warren Buffett's secretary shouldn't pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett. There is no justification for it," Obama said. "It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million."

Buffett wrote in a recent piece for The New York Times that the tax rate he paid last year was lower than that paid by any of the other 20 people in his office.

This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.

Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.

The latest IRS figures are a few years older — and limited to federal income taxes — but show much the same thing. In 2009, taxpayers who made $1 million or more paid on average 24.4 percent of their income in federal income taxes, according to the IRS.

Those making $100,000 to $125,000 paid on average 9.9 percent in federal income taxes. Those making $50,000 to $60,000 paid an average of 6.3 percent.

Obama's claim hinges on the fact that, for high-income families and individuals, investment income is often taxed at a lower rate than wages. The top tax rate for dividends and capital gains is 15 percent. The top marginal tax rate for wages is 35 percent, though that is reserved for taxable income above $379,150.

With tax rates that high, why do so many people pay at lower rates? Because the tax code is riddled with more than $1 trillion in deductions, exemptions and credits, and they benefit people at every income level, according to data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress' official scorekeeper on revenue issues.

The Tax Policy Center estimates that 46 percent of households, mostly low- and medium-income households, will pay no federal income taxes this year. Most, however, will pay other taxes, including Social Security payroll taxes.

"People who are doing quite well and worry about low-income people not paying any taxes bemoan the fact that they get so many tax breaks that they are zeroed out," said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. "People at the bottom of the distribution say, but all of those rich guys are getting bigger tax breaks than we're getting, which is also the case."

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was pressed at a White House briefing on the number of millionaires who pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-income families. He demurred, saying that people who make most of their money in wages pay taxes at a higher rate, while those who get most of their income from investments pay at lower rates.

"So it really depends on what is your profession, where's the source of your income, what's the specific circumstances you face, and the averages won't really capture that," Geithner said.

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Peter Schiff on Obamanomics

"One of the riskiest things you can do in America is hire somebody."

Peter Schiff schools Congress:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BHLguFEN3M&feature=player_embedded

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Obama at Center of Solyndragate

From Bruce Krasting:

The Tulsa World filed a story Re the Kaiser connection earlier today. (What better place to get the news than a home town paper). Quotes from the TW article:

The bankruptcy filing indicates that Argonaut Ventures, an investment arm of the Tulsa-based foundation, holds almost 39 percent of Solyndra's parent, 360 Solar Degree Holdings Inc.

Okay, so who is behind Argonaut Ventures?

In an emailed statement to the Tulsa World, a representative of the George Kaiser Family Foundation said the organization made the investment through Argonaut.

So the family foundation was the source of the money that got Solyndra going. But George Kaiser tried to distance himself from this very ugly story. A quote from a Kaiser “spokesperson”:

"George Kaiser is not an investor in Solyndra and did not participate in any discussions with the U.S. government regarding the loan".

Interesting that Kaiser is doing his level best to distance himself from the stink. But it does not work for me:

George Kaiser is chairman of BOK Financial Corp. and owner of Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. Argonaut is headed by Steve Mitchell, who also served on Solyndra's board of directors.

So Kaiser wants us to believe that the Family Foundation he runs invested some $300mm of the families “excess cash” and he did not really know about it. The guy who is running the family’s investments (Steve Mitchell) is also sitting on the board at Solyndra. And we are supposed to believe that George Kaiser was just a passive investor? Not a chance.

We have Mr. Kaiser on the record on this. Again, his words:

“George Kaiser did not participate in any discussions with the U.S. government regarding the loan".

He never spoke to Obama about this? Not even once? Not even when Obama went (twice) to the company’s manufacturing offices in Pa and CA? I don’t believe that denial.

There is one very slippery fact that I am wondering about. It has to do with subordination. This a legal issue on who gets paid first in a bankruptcy. In all cases the equity is last on the list. But that is not the situation with Solyndra/Kaiser. From Bloomberg:

In February, Solyndra and its lenders reorganized the company’s debts, putting the U.S. loan behind $69.3 million owed to other lenders, including an affiliate of Solyndra’s biggest shareholder, Argonaut Ventures.



This kind of stuff is not supposed to happen. The equity interest of the Kaiser family got a preference as to the right of repayment from Solyndra. Kaiser got in front of the line. He got in front of the US Government’s $528mm IOU from Solyndra. Kaiser got in front of the interests of the American taxpayer. There had to be some very serious arm-twisting going on in the background to achieve this feat.
.

I’ve looked at the BK filings. The company is going to sell its assets in an effort to pay of all creditors. The question is who gets paid first and what are the liquidation proceeds.

Solyndra had lousy technology. There are tons of flat panel manufactures left standing. Whatever Solyndra has for sale is not going to be worth much. I’m guessing around 20 cents on the dollar from book. The company has listed $859mm of assets. By my calculation the cash value will be under $200mm.

There are employee claims that come first. Next in line come trade creditors. Then comes the senior unsecured debt owed to Argonaut. The lawyers (There are a ton of big shots already involved) will get their pound of flesh. That leaves next to nothing for Uncle Sam. The taxpayers are going to take it in the ear for $400-500 million.

This story will hound Obama. His campaign got big bucks from a guy who ended up costing the Feds a very big penny. This is a story that could drag Obama down. He either has to step up and explain how this could have happened or he can say nothing. He has to provide some clarity on the George Kaiser connection. If he chooses to keep mum on this mess he will have to face Congressional hearings for the next 18 months. There will be a story in the paper every week or so. The Republicans will see to it. This is a story that could turn an election.

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Warren Buffett teams with Obama to Screw America


Buffett meets with President Obama and two days later invests $5 billion in B of A, claiming the idea came to him while in the bathtub

The ObamaFest Relay Team calls bullshit.

The rich are getting richer, the gap between the top and bottom continues to grow while the President plays golf on Martha's Vineyard.

Buffett's preferred stock allows him to seize dividends before all the common shareholders, i.e., the retail investors, the cops and teachers' pension funds, grandma's mutual fund, etc.

Buffett makes a tidy profit while at the same time strengthening his grip on Mr. Obama's testicles.

As Bruce Krasting theorized, the Buffett/Obama conversation went down like this:

Obama: We’re a bit worried about BofA. The last thing I need right now is another problem with a big bank.

WB: I might be willing to plug that dyke. But it will cost. I need a pound of flesh from the boys at BAC. I want something from you.

O: I’m all ears.

WB: I’ll put up 5 large in fresh equity for the bank. But I want a Preferred position. I’m not taking an equity risk on this dog. In addition, I want stock options deep in the money. My investors have to eat, after all.

O: Sounds fair. What do want from me?

WB: I want you to be neutral on the Marcellus gas field. I have train lines running all through the area. I stand to make a bundle moving fuel. Don’t take a stand either way on this for the next couple of years. By then the momentum will be unstoppable.

O: Do nothing and win? Who can say no?



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'08 Obama Supporter Mort Zuckerman Fed Up

From The WSJ:

The rising impatience with the leadership of President Obama was epitomized on Aug. 8 in the middle of one of the now-habitual Wall Street roller coasters. His speech on the economy was 53 minutes late. What showed on TV screens was an empty White House podium, an image suggestive of the absence of leadership. When the president did speak, the best he could come up with was "We've always been and always will be a triple-A country." The market's response was a Bronx cheer, a drop of another 300 points.

Mr. Obama seems unable to get a firm grip on the toughest issue facing his presidency and the country—the economy. He now asserts he is going to "pivot" to jobs. Now we pivot to jobs? When there are already 25 million Americans who are either unemployed or cannot find full-time work? Does this president not appreciate what is going on?...

We lack a coherent and muscular economic strategy, as Mr. Obama and his staff seem almost completely focused on his re-election. He should be spending most of his time on the nitty-gritty of the job instead of on fund raisers, bus tours and visits to diners, which essentially are in service of his political interests. Increasingly his solutions seem to boil down to Vote for Me.

Clearly the president will have to raise his game to win a second term, especially if the Republicans find a real candidate. Will voters be willing to give him another four years? Like many Americans who supported him, I long for a triple-A president to run a triple-A country.


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Greenspan's Head Still Lodged Up Greenspan's Ass


Greenspan Still All Wet

...although Mr. Greenspan did pull his irrational protuberance through his sphincter long enough to weigh in on the S&P downgrade of US Govt. debt:
On NBC’s Meet the Press this morning, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said “The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. There is zero probability of default.”
In the words of Adam Smith, "Well, duh!"

Of course the Fed can and will print money to protect the interests of the Wall Street/Washington power cartel. But in so doing they devalue the currency. Lend the government a dollar and they will pay you back with a dollar that is worth fifty cents.

And while that is the reality, Mr. Greenspan, that you and your jackbooted cohorts have created, there is no reason in the world for anybody to refer to such an investment scheme as "AAA".

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NY Judge Accused of Murder. Eric Holder Silent.

America is a nation of laws. In Barack Obama and Eric Holder's America, however, those laws don't apply to the ruling class.

From ZeroHedge.com:

Sunny Sheu Killed After Reporting Death Threat from Foreclosure Judge Joseph Golia

"Since his death last summer, associates of Sun Ming Sheu, an activist fighting alleged judicial corruption in New York, remain convinced that he was murdered and that police aren't aggressively investigating his death because of a coverup."

Now this is terrifying...

Sunny Sheu has been fighting judicial corruption since his home was stolen by mortgage fraud allegedly aided and abetted by Judge Joseph Golia of Queens.

Sunny was kidnapped, intimidated and threatened by two NYPD detectives at the Queens DA bureau. He was told by the detectives that if he took his case to the media or filed a complaint against Golia he would be killed.

Sunny was told by the Captain of the 109th pct that the cops detained him because he had put a letter in Golia's mailbox, proving it was Golia that ordered the illegal detention.

Later, Sunny uncovered evidence of misrepresentations on Golia's financial disclosure statements and on Thursday, June 24, 2010 he announced that he had evidence sufficient to have Golia arrested.

Two days later Sunny was found dead with trauma to the head, according to the Medical examiner that performed the autopsy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItS1XpnY4kk

Weeks earlier, Sunny made the this video, stating that if any harm came to him, Golia should be the main suspect.

Sunny also wrote a letter to FBI agent Rachel Rojas, asking for witness protection. Obviously his request was ignored.

Sunny Sheu was a champion of justice for us all, and a true hero. May his death not be in vain.

Rest in peace, Sunny. We know Eric holder is sleeping like a baby.


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Judd Gregg Should Be in Jail


Another Washington insider discovers the Goldman
Sachs pot o' gold.



You say you don't know who Judd Gregg is? You know Judd Gregg. He's Major Frank Burns on M*A*S*H, a pompous douche of no real ability. Judd Gregg is Barney Fife with a law degree. He's the Smails kid in Caddyshack, picking his nose when nobody is looking. Double or nothing says he eats it?  Judd Gregg eats it.

Judd Gregg should be in jail. But in the America of President Obama, in this foul year of 2011, words like "accountability" and "justice" are taboo. Just keep plundering, baby, while the plundering is good.

Instead of jail, Mr. Gregg is accepting a multimillion dollar job offer from Goldman Sachs. Bloomberg reports:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said Friday that it has hired former U.S. Senator Judd Gregg as an international adviser.

Gregg, a former Republican senator from New Hampshire, joins a group of 17 international advisers to the New York-based investment bank and its clients, and will assist in business development initiatives.

"Judd Gregg's experience and insight will contribute significantly to our firm and our continuing focus on supporting economic growth," said Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Besides thanking Gregg for his service to the firm while in office, Mr. Blankfein is reminding current officeholders that Goldman Sachs remember$ their friends.

The list of crimes that Mr. Gregg got away with would embarrass even O.J., including:

Gregg and his family profiting from federal earmarks secured by the Senator Gregg for the redevelopment of the Pease Air Force Base.

In a blatant conflict of interest, Gregg served as the leading Republican negotiator of the TARP program, which bailed out financial institutions, while he had a multi-million dollar investment in Bank of America, reminding Americans that these institutions weren't too big to fail, but too connected to fail.

Just being an all-around dick. And if being an all-around dick is not a crime, it should be.

Last one out of the America we used to love, please turn off the lights.





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The Gutless Incompetence of Eric Holder


"I solemnly swear to let Wall Street off the hook.
So help me God."


Aint nothing sorrier than watching this dude piss away his time as Attorney General in order to guarantee a fat Wall Street payday. He put the "biggest crime in financial history" on the back burner in order to go after poker players in pajamas. Oh, and he's using Department of Justice resources to litigate for a college football playoff system.

When your boss sets out to raise a billion dollars in campaign money, you pick your fights carefully.

From Bloomberg:

In November 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder vowed before television cameras to prosecute those responsible for the market collapse a year earlier, saying the U.S. would be “relentless” in pursuing corporate criminals.

In the 18 months since, no senior Wall Street executive has been criminally charged, and some lawmakers are questioning whether the U.S. Justice Department has been aggressive enough after declining to bring cases against officials at American International Group Inc. (AIG) and Countrywide Financial Corp.

Prosecutions of three categories of crime that could be linked to the causes of the crisis -- corporate, securities and bank fraud -- declined last fiscal year by 39 percent from 2003, the period after the accounting scandals at Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc., Justice Department records show.

“You need a massive prosecutorial effort,” said Solomon Wisenberg, a white-collar defense attorney at Barnes & Thornburg LLP in Washington and a former federal prosecutor. “I don’t see evidence that it’s happening. If we were talking baseball, it would be at the AAA level.”




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Can Obama Stand Up to Goldman Sachs?

Of course he can. He's the President. Will he? Probably not.

From CNBC:

Goldman Lobbying Hard Against Volcker Rule

Goldman Sachs has just a few more months to put its stamp on the Volcker rule, and it is not wasting any time. The rule, designed to limit banks from speculating with their own money, will cost Goldman [GS  151.28    -0.59  (-0.39%)   ] at least $3.7 billion in annual revenue, by one estimate. And billions more could be at stake if regulations now being drawn up are extra-tough. "They're totally freaked out about Volcker," said a Goldman lobbyist who declined to speak on the record for fear of losing the contract. "People are working on that a lot, with agency staff, with lawmakers, you name it." Lawmakers say the Volcker rule will ensure that big banks are not gambling in markets, and that taxpayers will not be left on the hook when their bets backfire.
Goldman is paying millions to a rogues gallery of Washington insiders in order to get their way:
The bank has hired an all-star stable of Washington lobbying heavyweights.

Michael Paese, former deputy staff director for the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, heads its internal lobbying group. His team includes former staffers from the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, the White House and regulatory agencies.

Outside of its own payroll, Goldman also has several high-profile legislative veterans working on its behalf in Washington, hailing from both sides of the political aisle. Among them are former Republican lawmakers Trent Lott and John Breaux and former Democratic House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt.

These are the political goodfellas that Mr. Obama and his regulators must stand up to. Let's hope they find the audacity.


THE GOLDMAN SACHS MERCENARIES: l-r: Michael Pease, Trent Lott, Dick Gepheardt




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Obama's Libyan Fiasco

From Zero Hedge:

NATO Running Out Of Ammunition In Libya "Oil Liberation" Campaign

Tyler Durden's picture

Where does one even start with this one: US launches air campaign against oil rich country under pretext of humanitarian intervention (while ignoring comparable events in Syria and Iran). US realizes it does not actually use Libyan oil, government runs out of money, hits debt ceiling, leading to decision to pull out of Libya after it is uncovered that CIA operatives had been laying the groundwork for a government overthrow for months, and a scramble to avoid Iraq deja vu ensues. US hands over military campaign to ragtag NATO force led by France. NATO "air superiority" force bombs rebel units; Libyan rebels lose previously held positions and oil wells. Libyan government on verge of repelling US and NATO forces, leading to... NATO runs out of ammunition. There is no point to even comment on this increasingly more surreal chain of events.

From Defense News:

NATO is running short of precision bombs and other munitions in its Libyan operation against the forces of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, The Washington Post reported April 15.

Citing unnamed senior NATO and U.S. officials, the newspaper said the shortage highlights the limitations of Britain, France and other European countries in sustaining even a relatively small military action.

The shortage of European munitions, along with the limited number of aircraft available, has raised doubts among some officials about whether the United States can continue to avoid returning to the air campaign, the report said.

So far, the NATO commander has not requested their deployment, The Post noted.

But several U.S. military officials said they anticipated being called back into the fight, the paper said.

Currently, only six out of 28 nations are conducting air strikes, while France and Britain carry out half of them. The other half are conducted by Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Canada.

Bottom line: this whole "plan" has been a total disaster from the beginning. And good luck Obama trying to sell a repeat US incursion in what even the idiot electorate now sees through as nothing than another Bush-like attempt to extract oil and implement Halliburton as the chief executive authority. That particular record has already been played.




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Obama Channels Nixon

President Obama knows who the crooks are.  President Obama fails to act.  It's the kind of crap that sent Nixon packing to San Clemente.  (Sigh)  At least Obama surfs.

Here are just a few of many potential examples:
  • Business Week wrote on May 23, 2006:
"PresidentGeorge W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte,broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publiclytraded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosureobligations."
  • Tim Geithner was complicit in Lehman's accounting fraud, (and see this), and pushed to pay AIG's CDS counterparties at full value, and then to keep the deal secret. And as Robert Reich notes, Geithner was "very much in the center of the action" regarding the secret bail out of Bear Stearns without Congressional approval. William Black points out: "Mr. Geithner, as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since October 2003, was one of those senior regulators who failed to take any effective regulatory action to prevent the crisis, but instead covered up its depth"
  • The former chief accountant for the SEC says that Bernanke and Paulson broke the law and should be prosecuted
  • The government knew about mortgage fraud a long time ago. For example, the FBI warned of an "epidemic" of mortgage fraud in 2004. However, the FBI, DOJ and other government agencies then stood down and did nothing. See this and this. For example, the Federal Reserve turned its cheek and allowed massive fraud. Indeed, Alan Greenspan took the position that fraud could never happen
  • Bernanke might have broken the law by letting unemployment rise in order to keep inflation low
  • Paulson and Bernanke falsely stated that the big banks receiving Tarp money were healthy, when they were not
Inother words, the fraud started at the very top with Greenspan, Bush,Paulson, Negraponte, Bernanke, Geithner, Rubin, Summers and all of therest of the boys.

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"Obama's Moral Cowardice"




From Slate's Jacob Weisberg:
"Obama has had numerous occasions to assert leadership on values issues this summer: Arizona's crude anti-immigrant law, the battle over Prop 8and gay marriage, and the backlash against what Fox News persists in calling the "Ground Zero mosque." These battles raise fundamental questions of national identity, liberty, and individual rights. When Lindsey Graham argues for rewriting the Constitution to eliminate the birthright citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, or Newt Gingrich proposes a Saudi standard for the free exercise of religion, they're taking positions at odds with America's basic ideals. But Obama's instinctive caution has steered him away from casting these questions as moral or civil rights issues.On none of them has he shown anything resembling courage."
Full article here .

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Obama Credibility goes to Zero as NOAA Official Admits Lying about Oil


And to think that candidate Obama warned that John McCain would represent a third term for George W. Bush.  The current White House hubris makes Karl Rove feel inadequate.

from BNO:

A senior U.S. government scientist on Thursday admitted that three-quarters of the oil that was released into the Gulf of Mexico after BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill was still there, contradicting his earlier claim that the worst of the spill had passed, the Guardian reported.

Bill Lehr, senior scientist at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), presented a radically different picture than the one the White House had presented to the public earlier this month. He contradicted his own reports from two weeks ago that suggested that the majority of the oil had been captured or broken down. “I would say most of that is still in the environment,” Lehr told the House energy and commerce committee.

His statement seems to all but confirm suspicions within the scientific community that the White House was trying to spin and hide scientific data regarding the damage of the oil spill. The only member of Congress who turned up at the hearing was Ed Markey, the committee chair. Lehr did, however, revise the amount of oil that spilled into the gulf, saying that only 4.1 million barrels were spilled versus the previous estimate of 4.9, noting that 800,000 barrels were siphoned directly from the well.

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Gulf "Open for Business" (Ignore that plume behind the curtain)

More evidence from the Associated Press that the administration is blowing crude up our butts:

WASHINGTON – A 22-mile-long invisible mist of oil is meandering far below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, where it will probably loiter for months or more, scientists reported Thursday in the first conclusive evidence of an underwater plume from the BP spill.

The most worrisome part is the slow pace at which the oil is breaking down in the cold, 40-degree water, making it a long-lasting but unseen threat to vulnerable marine life, experts said.

Earlier this month, top federal officials declared the oil in the spill was mostly "gone," and it is gone in the sense you can't see it. But the chemical ingredients of the oil persist more than a half-mile beneath the surface, researchers found.

And the oil is degrading at one-tenth the pace at which it breaks down at the surface. That means "the plumes could stick around for quite a while," said study co-author Ben Van Mooy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, which led the research published online in the journal Science.

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Sierra Club: "Obama Lies on State of Gulf"


President Obama "The gulf is open for business."
Sierra Club "Only if by "business" you mean putting toxic seafood on America's tables."

Mr. Obama is now aligned with BP against the interests of, well, everybody else. 

Bush and Cheney set the standard for catering to Big Oil.  Now, however, they must feel like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa watching Barry Bonds obliterate their records.  The ObamaFest Team is not calling for urine testing of our public officials, a simple dipstick can reveal how far BP is up the President's ass. 

From the Mississippi Press-News :

Opening state offshore waters to fishing and winding down the cleanupeffort on the coast is premature, said Louie Miller, state director ofthe Mississippi Sierra Club.

"We'vegot shrimpers out there saying there is oil out there," Miller said."We had a meeting Wednesday night where we had over 150 shrimpers... whoare saying there is oil out there and these underwater plumes arevarying in size and shape. This stuff is obviously moving around outthere."

William Walker, executive director of the Mississippi Department ofMarine Resources, said, "It would be helpful, very helpful, if thesefolks who know where all this stuff is would call us and either take uson their boats or put themselves and whoever they want on our boats atour expense and take us to where it is. We'll sample it, check it outand have it analyzed and determine what it is."

The existence of oil is irrefutable, Miller said. Oil has reappearedon beaches in Alabama, Petit Bois and Horn islands and continues to washashore in Louisiana, he said.

Miller said there also is evidence of submerged oil.

"It is a weird thing. It is like strands, this black water, as theyare calling it. It is like strands that are about three to four timesthe thickness of human hair. These things can be about foot-and-a-half,to five- to six-feet-long."

Miller said the assumption is oil that has been dispersed.

"To open up these waters, in my opinion, is nothing more than to limit the liability of BP to pay claims," he said.

"Because now they can deny any claims after the time at which these waters were opened back up," Miller said.

  

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About ObamaFest.com

More bailouts. More bonuses. More bombs. Change? Not so much.

The ObamaFest Mission Statement

To call out the man we helped elect. Instead of changing the culture of Washington, he's turned the city into a multi-trillion dollar toga party. The pigs are feasting at the trough of change.

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