AIG Is The Symptom, Not The Problem

Okay so we can all agree that AIG’s corporate leadership is in short: scum. However, the problem started long before the fall campaign of 2008 and long before President Obama took over on January 20, 2009. As a former lobbyist, Congressional aide, and Sr. Public/Congressional Affairs adviser to the US Chamber of Commerce I can most assuredly tell you that the problem is the $5 BILLION dollars that AIG Spent in political contributions over the past decade.

My fellow Americans it is time to wake up. We have a system of governance that is badly broken and damaged due to the influence of money and lobbyist on the political process. Yes, we have had lobbyist since the very beginning of our government in the 1700s, but never in the history of this nation have business and industry had such a powerful stranglehold on our government.

President Obama is finding out that what he accused his predecessor of holds true for himself. The arrogance of Wall Street is well beyond the Bush Presidency or any one man/woman. It is an extension of the permission that our elected officials have given corporate tycoons, wall street investors, foreign governments (some that are communist nations like China) and the like to run our government through proxy (e.g., them–our elected officials) or by buying up our bad debts.

The real enemy lurks within–not on Wall Street or across the ocean in a foreign land. The real enemy is us and our apathy. Our unwillingness to march on Washington, take to the streets, blast our elected officials and throw them out when they sell us as Americans out. And be clear they have SOLD US OUT! These deals, bailouts, and billions that we lavish on companies like AIG are in short the very Entitlements that we abhor and lambaste when it comes to the least among us in our great society.

My solution is this: It is time for the American people to re-engage, to reconnect and to start giving a damn about our country again. This nation was built on the blood and sacrifice of patriots–men and women who died so that we would never be the unwilling subjects of a Monarch or Tyrant. But make no mistakes–we are captives of a tyrannical IRS that seizes the assets of the very poor and vulnerable when they cannot pay their taxes–and allows the rich and powerful (e.g., Geithner, Dashle, et al.) to go free of penalty or charge when they knowingly and willingly violate the laws. Be clear that we are the subjects of a King–his name is not Obama–his name is The U.S. Congress. The Congress that is appropriating millions, billions and trillions of our dollars for so-called bail-outs for unscrupulous investors and terrorists governments (e.g., the administration wants to send money to help rebuild Palenstine–but we all know Hamas will intercept the funds and do more evil than good) when people are living in Tents in California because they have lost their homes and their jobs in this savage economy.

Something is wrong Mr. & Mrs. America–very wrong. It’s time to get off our fat duffs and stop living in luxury with our heads in the sand. The party is over folks. It’s time to fight for the founding principles of this great nation–it’s time for us to arise and demand more of our public officials. It’s time for us to stop shouting at the wind and realize that AIG is simply a symptom of a much larger problem.

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Obama’s Trade Pick Owes IRS $10,000 – Here We Go Again

You know I consider myself a fair person, full of grace and mercy. I truly believe in the notion of forgiveness when people make mistakes. But I have to tell you I am growing weary of Robert Gibbs, WH Press Secretary continually making excuses for Presidential nominees who cannot seem to pay their taxes. The latest from Gibbs: US Trade Rep. Designate Ron Kirk’s and the subsequent revelation that he owes $10,000 in back federal taxes is “minor”.

WOW! Here we go again. Wonder what would happen if I owed the IRS say $500 dollars or so–OOOPS–Been there–Done that. Got lots of nasty grams, threats and even more threats to put a Lein on my home if I did not pay up. Hmmmm, then the IRS realized it owed me money (you all saw my post on this back in January) for an OVERPAYMENT I made when I had a small business–and they settled the matter for $60 of interest that I would have paid if I owed the tax.

Get my point Mr. & Mrs. America???

For those of you who may not know, Former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk, who is President Obama’s nominee to be the U.S. trade representative, failed to pay almost $10,000 in taxes during the past three years because of a series of mistakes.

Supposedly, his major mistake was in not treating as taxable income $37,500 in speaking fees. Kirk asked that the fees be paid directly to his alma mater for a scholarship fund he had created, and his accountant did not think the donated fees were taxable income, the committee said.

The news about Kirk’s mistakes comes after the nominations of several high-profile appointees were threatened or derailed because of tax errors. Former senator Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) was forced to abandon his bid to be secretary of health and human services after revelations that he had failed to pay taxes on his use of a chauffeur.

Kirk, who would become the fourth African American in the Obama Cabinet, served six years as Dallas mayor before launching a losing bid against Republican John Cornyn for the seat of retiring Sen. Phil Gramm (R).

Kirk’s failure to pay taxes on the honoraria amounted to a $5,800 underpayment, according to the committee, which concluded that he should have accepted the payments, paid taxes on them and then made his charitable contributions.

I am really starting to kick myself–this is NOT change we can Believe In Folks–this is more of the same and I truly hope that President Obama puts a stop to business as usual and gives us the most ethical administration in U.S. History (haven’t we heard that one before??).

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Why Michael Steele Must Stay

The GOP never wanted Steele in the first place. But they needed him—and they still do. Steele’s conservatives backers like to tout him as a Republican who “happens to be black.” They couldn’t be more wrong. Republicans need Steele because he’s black. And that won’t change any time soon.

Section Front Blurb:

Recently, I got a call from a Republican National Committee member from the Mid-Atlantic. She was worried that Michael Steele may be ousted from his RNC chairmanship before he ever gets started.

She told me that she had received repeated calls from concerned committee members in Georgia, Tennessee and some Midwest states about Steele’s foibles and fumbles that have been so conspicuously on display in the media over the past month. Just last week, he told a CNN reporter [1] that his run-in with radio host Rush Limbaugh was part of a “strategic” plan on his part, and that he would consider running for president if God told him to. They want him out, the concerned woman told me. As a Steele supporter, she’s worried that they might get him.

Don’t get me wrong. I know there are plenty of problems. I was there when Steele won the RNC chairmanship, and in my opinion, the men and women who barely elected him—on the 6th ballot mind you—didn’t really want him there in the first place. Yet, the party seemed afraid not to elect either Blackwell or Steele as chairman in a so-called, post-racial Obama presidency world. And nothing Steele has done in the recent weeks has altered that calculus.

But, despite his foot-in-mouth disease of late, I have every confidence that Steele will assemble a good team at the RNC, hone his message back to the basic GOP principles of liberty, less government and less taxation and in doing so, deliver some impressive GOP gains in 2010 in the House and Senate. He may even quickly quiet the critics by winning back the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey this year.

The fact that conservatives, who make up about 30 to 40 percent of the core base of the party, want Steele out is no surprise. Katon Dawson was clearly their choice. But people rightly feared that electing a Southern business man who had been a member of an exclusive “ all- white” country club just months before he ran for RNC chair, would sound the wrong message at the wrong time. And Steele has done little to win them over, with his comments in GQ about abortion [4] being “an individual choice” and his “hip-hop” outreach strategy [5] designed to attract blacks and younger voters.

But the GOP needs Michael Steele. They know this, and they are stuck with him for better or worse—or at least through the end of his term in 2010.

More damaging is that the party’s image problems stem not from an inability to broaden their reach, but from a choice not to do so.

So Michael Steele becomes the saving grace for the mainstream moderates and libertarians in the party (like me) and for those conservatives who “get it.” GOP insiders like to say that Michael Steele works well for Republicans because he is a fresh conservative GOP face who “happens to be black.” They have it wrong. The GOP needs Michael Steele because he is black and because he understands that he must speak for more than 30 percent of the party’s political base.

For the record, there are pro-choice Republicans. There are Republicans who support gay marriage. There are Republicans like me who support affirmative action policies. We are in the minority in the GOP, for sure, but if the party is going to survive and eventually thrive, it needs a leadership that acknowledges us. Republicans need Michael Steele. And, protests or not, they know it.

 

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Obama Offers Iran ‘New Beginnings’

President Barack Obama’s videotaped message on Friday offering “new beginnings” to the Iranian people and its leaders was sent to Middle East broadcasters with Farsi subtitles. But it might just as well have included Russian or German or even Mandarin versions.

At least as much as the Iranians themselves, the audience that the White House hoped to reach with the message included governments in Europe, Moscow and Beijing, which the administration is hoping it can bring together in an international effort to pressure Tehran to abandon its nuclear program, its ballistic missile development, and its funding of anti-Israeli terror groups around the region.

Obama’s dramatic appeal, delivered during the Iranian springtime holiday known as Nowruz, emphasized in the most direct message yet his willingness to deal directly with Tehran in an atmosphere of “mutual respect.” Obama framed the issue in his message as a “choice” facing Iranian leaders — a place in the “community of nations” that cannot be reached through “terror or arms.”

Iranian officials’ initial reaction to the message was cool. “We welcome the wish of the president of the United States to put away past differences,” a spokesman for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, told AFP in reaction to Obama’s message.

“But the way to do that is not by Iran forgetting the previous hostile and aggressive attitude of the United States,” Javanfekr said. “The American administration has to recognize its past mistakes and repair them as a way to put away the differences.”

Privately, senior administration officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, doubt that Iran will accept the U.S. overtures — at least not on terms or on a timetable acceptable to the White House.

To persuade Iran to halt before it actually achieves a nuclear weapon capability and longer-range missiles, officials are all but convinced it will take concerted pressure initially in the form of tougher sanctions and other economic steps by the U.S. and other major powers aimed at squeezing Tehran in a way that the Bush administration, because of its strained relations around the globe, was unable to achieve. During the Bush years, the United Nations Security Council approved several rounds of sanctions, but balked at steps that would have had far-reaching impact on the Iranian economy and the regime.

To have any hope of achieving a unified international stance against Iran, the administration knows it has to be seen as pursuing a different approach than the Bush administration — one built more on the idea that the U.S. is open to engagement with Tehran under the right conditions.

By making the offer in as sincere a way as possible and having it rebuffed, administration officials believe, they have a much better chance of drawing in other governments, who were always reluctant to join the Bush administration in a process they feared could eventually lead to an attack on Iran aimed at destroying its nuclear facilities.

Obama’s tone throughout his message to Iran’s leader his was respectful but firm. He did not mention or even allude to the option of military action–either by Israel or by the United States—that always hangs in the background. Instead Obama talked only about diplomacy.

Avoiding threats is another way that Obama is differentiating his approach to Iran from his predecessor’s. His first big chance to begin this process will be next month when he goes to the NATO summit in early April for meetings with European allies. Javier Solana , the European foreign policy chief, applauded Obama’s message to Iran, calling it “very constructive,” The Associated Press reported. Mr. Solana, who has spearheaded Europe’s dealing with Iran, also expressed his hope that it would “open a new chapter in relations with Tehran.”

If Obama can actually achieve the international consensus he seeks to raise the pressure sufficiently to change Iran’s behavior, he may never have to reach the point of seriously considering military action to knock out its suspected nuclear facilities. Some of his advisers, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, have signaled publicly that they are dubious about a military confrontation with Tehran, especially with U.S. forces engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan. But others have raised concerns that Iran’s enrichment activities is getting close to producing sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon—a development with far-reaching consequences for security in the Middle East.

At this point, the most that can be said about Obama’s view is that he has not taken the military option off the table. But he could find himself having to consider a U.S. strike at some point in the coming year if his strategy of engagement sputters, as many officials expect, and additional sanctions do not work, either. The pressure will grow even more intense if Israeli officials, many of whom believe Iran is closer to achieving a nuclear weapon than the United States does, presses for military action or threatens to strike on its own.

Obama may hope his offer strengthens moderates within the Iranian regime, but whether that happens will not be clear until after Iran’s election this summer in which Ahmadinejad is seeking re-election against reformist candidates.

Israeli President Shimon Peres, whose position is ceremonial, delivered his own message on Farsi-language radio service that also appealed to the Iranian people but at times used the kind of harsh language that Obama avoided. He dismissed the country’s leadership as “religious fanatics,” adding “You can’t feed your children enriched uranium.”

 

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Obama’s Fixation On Fabricating Fantacy – The State Of The Union

On the night of January 28, 2014, Barack Obama delivered the 2014 State of the Union. Normally a rather boring teleprompter speech, highlighting the sitting president’s claims of successful policy accomplishments assuring the American Electorate that they were wise to have elected the president delivering the address, was while overlong, also about as honest and truthful as anything else uttered by this specific President since his first inauguration. Meaning it was anything but honest and truthful.

Ignoring the many misstatements made by Mr. Obama relating to a plethora of issues, and cutting directly to his pronouncements regarding his ObamaCare, aka the PPACA, Obama continued his now legion seeming history of being a pathological liar when he declared on National Television that to date, 9 Million Americans had signed up for ObamaCare.

Mr. Obama, you know better than that. It is impossible for you, the man in charge, the “Leader” of America, to not know the truth, that of that 9 Million whom you claim signed up for your law because of the law, the vast majority would have signed up anyway, Obamacare or not Obamacare. It is inconceivable that your advisers would have you so wrapped in a cocoon, that you wouldn’t have known that of the 6 Million you claim signed up for Medicaid, many would have signed up for Medicaid with or without your onerous law. The numbers of Americans who sign up for Medicaid is not only fluid, it is constant in that it happens every month. Likely, the majority of those who signed up would have anyway.

An additional 3 Million Americans (give or take) signed up for Private Insurance via the Exchanges. What you don’t address, which comes as no surprise, are the percentages of those 3 Million Americans who are among the estimated 12 Million to 15 Million Americans who lost their insurance when 6.1 Million Insurance policies were cancelled as a direct result of your law, which placed such onerous requirements on the Insurance companies in demanding expanded benefits, many of which have no basis in efficacy whatever, that the companies were forced to cancel those policies rather than attempt to comply. These are Americans who were already insured, so your claim that Obamacare was the instrumental driving factor in these Americans becoming insured, is patently bogus.

You claim, Mr. Obama, that because of Obamacare, Medicare premiums have been kept stable, no increases, and the Prescription Drug costs have been lowered. Mr. Obama! Do you read the papers? Watch the news? Receive briefings from your Advisers? Or do you just make this stuff up as you go along? That answer is already clear to any who are paying attention.

First of all, Medicare Premiums have most definitely not remained flat; they’ve increased, in some cases dramatically, for Millions of Seniors. The level of care has been reduced as the numbers of physicians participating in Medicare have dropped since you instituted severe slashes to Physician Reimbursements in Medicare since you took office, and most importantly, Mr. Obama, since you “stole” $716 Billion from Medicare to help fund your Obamacare.

Next, as regards the cost of Prescription Drugs, you allege that because of Obamacare the cost has gone down. The actual cost of prescriptions may have lowered to some degree, but the out of pocket costs to the Consumer have increased. So your blanket statement that because of your law the costs have decreased, is not credible.

In fact, Mr. Obama, given your history of being an apparent pathological liar, nothing you said in your SOTU was credible. That so many of the Democratic Party members gave you standing ovations after your many misstatements and downright lies, is testimony to their being your willing accomplices in ignoring the dictates of the Constitution and declaring your intent to continue to rule by dictating law and making law by fiat, obviating your responsibility to work with the Congress, and in your declaring your intent to make law by Executive Order rather than going through the Congressional Legislative process as is expected of Presidents of our Constitutional Democratic Republic, not of Dictators of Third World Countries, whom you seem to wish to emulate.

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