Saturday, March 21, 2009


So you voted for The One!
You had joined the ranks of the Bush-haters
when we invaded Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
For eight years you ingested a steady diet of
anti-Bush rhetoric from the main stream media.
Then along came Pied Piper playing his tune
of hope and change and you fell in line
behind him and followed him on his
path to the White House.
It is time for you to wake up and see
what he is doing to America.
If you are an Alinsky Socialist
you are happy, I am sure.
But if you are just an average American
who bought into the Ponzi scheme
which is the Obamanation,
wake up and see what is happening
to America.
Don't be an ostrich-American.
The elections of 2010
are just around the corner.
You will have a chance to make up
for your mistakes of 2008.
But you had better not blow this next chance,
because you may not get another


Over on Powerlineblog John Hinderaker asks, "Are we a banana republic?"

I'm stupefied to find that some people are defending the constitutionality of Nancy Pelosi's discriminatory, confiscatory and retroactive tax on people who receive bonus income from companies that got TARP money. I would have considered it a bright line rule that the government can't identify a class of unpopular people and impose a special tax on them. What's next? A 100% income tax on registered Republicans, retroactive to last year? If Pelosi's bill passes muster, why not?

One theory, presumably, is that since the government is contributing TARP money it can put whatever strings it wants on that money. (Including, I guess, strings imposed after the fact that would deprive employees of agreed-upon consideration for work they've already performed.) But that theory has been rejected in a variety of contexts. The government cannot condition its spending on a relinquishment of constitutional rights. Here's a thought experiment: how about putting a condition (retroactively, of course) on TARP money that says no employee of any bank that receives such money (or his spouse) can get an abortion? Would Nancy Pelosi think that's constitutional?

Wells Fargo didn't want any TARP money, but the government forced it to take more than $5 billion worth, so Wells Fargo employees who receive bonuses would be subject to Pelosi's proposed tax. Say you're a teller at a Wells Fargo branch in Minnesota and you're married to a lawyer who makes $250,000 this year. You get a $10,000 bonus for your good work during 2008. The government steals it all (90 percent federal plus 8.5 percent state plus, unless it's included in the 90 percent, 3 percent Medicare). That is simply insane.

If the Pelosi bill is actually enacted into law (which I still think is doubtful) and upheld by the courts, there is no limit to the arbitrary power of Congress. In that event, we have no property rights and there is no Constitution--no equal protection clause, no due process clause, no impairment of contracts clause, no bill of attainder/ex post facto law clause. Instead, we are living in a majoritarian tyranny. As I explained here, there is nothing wrong with the AIG bonuses and no reason why they should be repaid. But even if you think it was wrong for AIG to pay them, Pelosi's proposed confiscatory tax--total taxes would exceed 100 percent in some jurisdictions--is an outrage. If Congress can appease a howling mob of demagogues by enacting discriminatory tax legislation against a group of people who are, for the moment, politically unpopular, even though the vast majority of them have nothing to do with the supposed problems that have given rise to popular outcry--imagine, say, Congress enacting a surtax on the incomes of all homosexuals in response to a notorious case of molestation by a homosexual--then the idea that the Constitution affords us any sort of protection against arbitrary government power is an illusion.


And over on Charles Krauthamer writes:

A $14 trillion economy hangs by a thread composed of (a) a comically cynical, pitchfork-wielding Congress, (b) a hopelessly understaffed, stumbling Obama administration, and (c) $165 million.

That's $165 million in bonus money handed out to AIG debt manipulators who may be the only ones who know how to defuse the bomb they themselves built. Now, in the scheme of things, $165 million is a rounding error. It amounts to less than 1/18,500 of the $3.1 trillion federal budget. It's less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the bailout money given to AIG alone. If Bill Gates were to pay these AIG bonuses every year for the next 100 years, he'd still be left with more than half his personal fortune.

For this we are going to poison the well for any further financial rescues, face the prospect of letting AIG go under (which would make the Lehman Brothers collapse look trivial) and risk a run on the entire world financial system?

And there is such a thing as law. The way to break a contract legally is Chapter 11. Short of that, a contract is a contract. The AIG bonuses were agreed to before the government takeover and are perfectly legal. Is the rule now that when public anger is kindled, Congress summarily cancels contracts?

Even worse are the clever schemes now being cooked up in Congress to retrieve the money by means of some retroactive confiscatory tax. The common law is pretty clear about the impermissibility of ex post facto legislation and bills of attainder. They also happen to be specifically prohibited by the Constitution. We're going to overturn that for $165 million?

Nor has the president behaved much better. He too has been out there trying to lead the mob. But it's a losing game. His own congressional Democrats will out-demagogue him and heap the blame on the hapless Timothy Geithner.

Geithner has been particularly maladroit in handling this issue. But the reason he didn't give the bonuses much attention is because he's got far better things to do -- namely, work out a rescue plan for a dysfunctional credit system that is holding back any chance of recovery

It is time for the president to state the obvious: This recession is not caused by excessive executive compensation in government-controlled companies. The economy has been sinking because of a lack of credit, stemming from a general lack of confidence, stemming from the lack of a plan to detoxify the major lending institutions, mainly the banks, which, to paraphrase Willie Sutton, is where the money used to be.

Obama has been strangely passive about this single greatest threat to the country. In his address to Congress and his budget, he's been far more interested in his grand program for reshaping the American social contract in health care, energy and education.

Obama delegates to Geithner plans for a bailout -- and Geithner (thus far) delivers nothing. Obama delegates to Nancy Pelosi and her congressional grandees the writing of all things fiscal -- and gets a $787 billion stimulus package that is a wish list of liberal social spending, followed by a $410 billion omnibus spending bill festooned with pork and political paybacks.

That bill, we now discover, contains, among other depth charges, a Teamster-supported provision inserted by Sen. Byron Dorgan that terminates a Bush-era demonstration project to allow some Mexican trucks onto American highways, as required under NAFTA.

If you thought the AIG hysteria was a display of populist cynicism directed at a relative triviality, consider this: There are more than 6.5 million trucks in the United States. The program Congress terminated allowed 97 Mexican trucks to roam among them. Ninety-seven! Shutting them out not only undermines NAFTA. It caused Mexico to retaliate with tariffs on 90 goods affecting $2.4 billion in U.S. trade coming out of 40 states.

The very last thing we need now is American protectionism. It is guaranteed to start a world trade war. A deeply wounded world economy needs two things to recover: (1) vigorous U.S. government action to loosen credit by detoxifying the zombie banks and insolvent insurers, and (2) avoidance of a trade war.

Free trade is the one area where the world indisputably turns to Washington for leadership. What does it see? Grandstanding, parochialism, petty payoffs to truckers and a rush to mindless populism. Over what? Over 97 Mexican trucks -- and bonus money that comes to what the Yankees are paying for CC Sabathia's left arm.


And over on the Boston Globe Jeff Jacoby writes:

"WHEN the stock market crashed," Joe Biden told Katie Couric in a CBS interview last fall, "Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'" Katie didn't embarrass her guest by pointing out that there were no TV broadcasts when Wall Street crashed in 1929 and that the president at the time was Herbert Hoover -- though she would surely have pounced had Sarah Palin committed such a howler.

Last week the vice president brought up FDR again, telling a Democratic audience that President Obama "has inherited the most difficult first 100 days of any president, I would argue, including Franklin Roosevelt."

Perhaps that generated some quizzical looks, for Biden continued: "Let me explain what I mean by that. It was clear the problem Roosevelt inherited. This is a more complicated economic [problem]. We've never, ever been here before -- here or in the world. Never, ever been here before."

If nothing else, Biden's comment was at odds with the administration's new line on the economy: Whereas last month the president was saying we were in a "crisis as deep and as dire as any since the Great Depression," now he declares that things are "not as bad as we think they are" and his adviser tells "Meet the Press" that the nation's economic "fundamentals are sound." Apparently Biden didn't get the memo to stop bad-mouthing the economy.

Faces of the Depression: A destitute family in Alabama, 1935 (Library of Congress)

Talking points aside, does Biden's claim have merit? Is Obama faced with grimmer, more formidable conditions than any incoming president has ever known? Were FDR's first 100 days notably less challenging than Obama's?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this month that unemployment has reached 8.1 percent for the first time since 1983. When Roosevelt took the oath of office on March 4, 1933, more than 25 percent of American workers were unemployed. "Those fortunate enough to have work," historian Anthony Badger writes in FDR: The First Hundred Days , "had seen their income fall by a third in three years. Farmers had been crushed by catastrophic price falls, drought, and debt. A thousand homeowners a day were losing their homes. No region, no industry, no class escaped the Depression."

Since the beginning of 2008, 42 US banks have failed. But as FDR came to power, banks were failing by the thousands, wiping out the life's savings of countless American families. Tens of thousands of other businesses had also gone under, turning once-bustling city centers into near-ghost towns. Between 1929 and Roosevelt's inauguration, national income had been cut in half; industrial output had plummeted just as much.

The recession we are in now is painful. American households have lost 18 percent of their wealth, and millions fear for their jobs. No one knows for sure what the next few years will bring. But at least this much is clear: Conditions today are nowhere near as desperate as they were in 1933, a reality for which all Americans, including their vice-president, should be grateful.

Even apart from FDR, Obama is hardly the first president to take office amid bleak or threatening circumstances. When Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency in 1981, he inherited a "misery index" of 19.5 percent -- the impact of 12 percent inflation combined with 7.5 percent unemployment rate. Mortgage rates were at 15 percent and climbing; the prime rate had reached 20 percent. Today inflation is at one-half of 1 percent, while mortgage rates are at historic lows. Biden may insist that "we've never, ever been here before." The data tell a different story.

And what of the non-economic challenges new presidents have had to confront? When Harry Truman succeeded FDR in 1945, the United States was fighting a world war on multiple fronts. The Battle of Berlin raged in Europe; B-29 bombers were pounding Tokyo. Nearly 200,000 American lives had been lost, and new casualties were averaging 900 per day. Truman had no background in foreign policy, and was shocked to discover how little national-security intelligence Roosevelt had shared with him -- including the imminent development of the atomic bomb. No wonder he told reporters he felt as if "the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me."

But even Truman had it easy next to Abraham Lincoln, whose election had prompted most of the South to secede from the Union and form the Confederacy. For his inauguration, the 16th president had to enter Washington in disguise, so serious were the threats to his life. Five weeks into Lincoln's presidency, Confederate batteries attacked Fort Sumter, triggering the Civil War -- the worst and bloodiest calamity in American history.

No, these are not the worst of times. Americans have come through graver crises. Biden should be focused on helping the nation get through this one, instead of trying to paint it as the most daunting we've ever faced.


Barack Hussein Obama alias Barry Soetoro

is a usurper

because he is not eligible to be President of the United States
because he is not a Natural Born Citizen
as required by Article Two, Section One, Clause Five
of the United States Constitution regardless of
where he was born (Mombassa, Hawaii, Chicago, or Mars)
because he was not born of TWO PARENTS
at the time of his birth. His father was a subject/ciitizen
of Kenya/Great Britain
and his mother was too young to pass on her citizenship
according to the law in effect when he was born.
Check it out:

His usurpation cannot be corrected by Congress,
it can only be corrected by his removal
by an amendment to the Constitution.

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