The weakling who weakens America
As Obama bows in supplication before a Saudi King then tries to spin his way out of his own actions, America is being humiliated by whelps at sea. He was just leaning, we're told, not bowing. It was because the Saudi King is short or so goes the White House spin. But the Queen of England is even shorter than the Saudi King and there was no royal navel gazing from Obama in England! Obama failed that test, indeed.
To be sure, Barack Obama is being tested just like Joe Biden said he would. But those testing him are not the sort of big state actors that Biden imagined would task the new president. They are low-tech, low-rent, unorganized pirates, not heads of state of great and dangerous nations. And this fact, that it is mere pirates testing him, is an even bigger slap in the face than it would be if it were a powerful nation or two testing President Obama.
And worse, these skinny, underfed, unorganized and ill-equipped pirates are making a fool of what is ostensibly the most powerful man in the world. And it is about to get worse if Obama allows the U.S. Navy to stand idly by as more pirates come to the scene of the standoff to float in solidarity with the four fellows holding captain Philips in that disabled power boat.
Obama has already allowed the Navy to miss one opportunity to end this standoff. Captain Richard Phillips made an escape attempt by jumping overboard and trying to make a swim for the U.S. Navy ship floating nearby. This was an ideal time for the Navy to blast the boat to pieces while the captain was in the water. The Navy could then have scooped up all five with ease. But instead, the Navy sat and did nothing as the pirates jumped into the water and dragged the captain back aboard.
Now reports have it that another pirate ship is headed to the scene to aid their four stranded comrades. Word also has it that they have other hostages in the ship with them. As it stands right now, the U.S. Navy has one hostage under its watchful eye. But soon it may have dozens to worry about.
If Obama does not task the Navy to end this situation before more pirate ships filled with more hostages get to the scene, it will be a tangle impossible to end without the loss of many hostage's lives. The French already ended one such stand off and it did cost the life of one hostage, though others were freed. But end it they did, nonetheless.
But isn’t that the worst part of it? While Obama idly sits at the picnic table watching his kids play in the White House yard the French Navy has acted. Here we have what is supposed to be the most powerful man in the world doing nothing while the French... THE FRENCH... use proper military force against these criminal pirates.
Obama is being tested from the most unlikely of sources. He is failing that test and showing the world that his "America Sucks" tour of Europe was not mere glad-handing boilerplate. Obama is proving that he means to defang the most powerful nation in the world. Obama apparently intends to hobble the United States of America. If this is not the case, he'd better step up to the plate and end this pirate outrage quickly.
Peter Schiff: The man who saw the financial ruin ahead over 2 years ago
The banks are being slowly taken over by the Obama regime
If you think privately run banks are bad, wait until you get a government-run one. Several of Australia's State Banks went bust or got into big trouble in the '80s and '90s so don't kid yourself that state-run bans are safer
Didn't Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner say that it was not the administration's intent to control private companies? Then why is it reportedly reluctant to accept TARP repayments from some banks? If it has indeed declined to accept $340 million in payments from banks in Louisiana, New York, Indiana and California, the administration is tacitly admitting that it wants to control those banks as well as others that will try to pay back the taxpayers' money they took in the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
By refusing repayment, the government can keep the leverage it bought with the bailouts. Banks that still "owe" would not be in position to reject the administration as a "partner." This reminds us of mobsters making a small "investment" in a family-owned shop, which is not always wanted by the owners, and then using it to justify taking over the business.
Joseph DePaolo, president and CEO of Signature Bank in New York, one of the four banks making TARP repayments last week, said his company wanted to return $120 million it received because, in part, it wasn't comfortable with legislation passed that would limit compensation for salespeople. Those limits, he explained, would make it hard to recruit top professionals.
And then there's the fact that the bank didn't actually need the money. But, as we have learned, need is not relevant in the era of the bailout. Andrew Napolitano reported last week on Fox News that he had spoken to the head of a $250-billion bank the night before who said Washington forced him to take TARP funds last September.
Napolitano said this bank "has no subprime loans, it has no bad debts, wasn't involved in credit default swaps. It didn't need any money. It didn't ask for the money and didn't want it. . . . officials from both the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Treasury said if you don't take this money, we will conduct a multi-year public audit of you." The Fox News analyst said the bank's "board was forced to issue a class of stock just for the federal government. The federal government owns 2% of this huge bank."
That was done under the Bush administration. Enter the Obama White House. Last month, Napolitano said, Treasury told the bank "we own 2%, we're going to tell you how to run the place." "As a result of that minority ownership, they now want to control salaries. They want to see his books, and they want to tell him who he can do business with," Napolitano reported.
Before his trip to Europe, President Obama, according to Politico, told a group of financial institution CEOs who were unhappy with the federal war on executive salaries and bonuses, "My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks." At the time, that sounded like nothing more than exaggeration.
An incident at the same meeting in which Geithner declined to take a fake $25 billion TARP repayment check from JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon also seemed to be meaningful.
Later, says Politico, "Dimon also insisted that he'd like to give the government's TARP money back as soon as practical . . . But Obama didn't like that idea — arguing that the system still needs government capital."
Looking back, these are small signs that reveal the administration's desire to seize command of the nation's financial system. The bigger, unmistakable sign is the reluctance — or is it outright refusal? — to take $340 million from four banks trying to be responsible and operate on their own. This shouldn't be happening in this country. The private sector and the state are not to be mixed. The American financial system is best directed by markets, not politics. Prosperity and liberty suffer when the latter excludes the former.
Only politics can save GM: "Last week, in an unenthralled summary of GM's "viability" plan, Obama's administration said: "GM earns a large share of its profits from high-margin trucks and SUVs, which are vulnerable to a continuing shift in consumer preference to smaller vehicles. Additionally, while the Chevy Volt holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short term." The stunning shift in consumer preferences that should make the White House's freshly minted auto experts feel vulnerable has been reported under headlines such as "Like a Rock: Hybrid Car Sales Plummet" (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 9) and "Hybrid Car Sales Go from 60 to 0 at Breakneck Speed" (Los Angeles Times, March 17). Absent $4 gasoline, customers, those nuisances with their insufferable preferences, do not want the vehicles the politicians want them to want, even with manufacturers now offering large rebates and other incentives. The two best-selling vehicles in America this year are large pickup trucks (Ford F-Series and Chevy Silverado). In February, Toyota sold 13,600 Tundra and Tacoma pickups and 7,232 Priuses. It sells the Prius at a loss, which it can afford to do because it makes pots of money selling pickups. Has the Car Designer in Chief, aka the president, considered the possibility that what he calls "the cars of tomorrow" will forever be that?"
A British Catch 22: "As the divide between a burgeoning public sector and struggling private sector widens, former private sector workers are being turned away from Civil Service roles without being granted an interview. One IT business analyst, who has worked for big corporations including IBM, said that he had spent months trying to find work in the public sector. Despite being told by employment agencies that he was suitable for roles, he was denied an interview because “the relevant [local or central government] department required someone with security clearance”. He said: “On asking what I had to do to secure that clearance, I was told I could only obtain it when I had been accepted for an appointment. In other words, until I have a public sector appointment I could not obtain clearance and yet was not able to obtain clearance until I had a public sector appointment."
Housing agencies faulted in audits to get $300M of stimulus: "The federal government will soon send more than $300 million in stimulus funds to 61 housing agencies that have been repeatedly faulted by auditors for mishandling government aid, a USA TODAY review has found. The money is part of a $4 billion effort to create jobs by fixing public housing projects that have fallen into disrepair. Recipients include housing authorities in 26 states that auditors have cited for problems ranging from poor bookkeeping to money that was spent improperly, according to the review of summaries the agencies must file with the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The government has promised to closely monitor how the agencies spend the money. Still, some watchdog groups are concerned. "I think taxpayers are going to have to steel themselves to hear that a lot of this money has gone down the tubes," says Leslie Paige of Citizens Against Government Waste."
Congress gave the Obama administration permission to withhold stimulus aid from housing authorities that the Department of Housing and Urban Development lists as "troubled" because of factors such as poor maintenance and financial management. But HUD decided to release the money to these authorities because they "should have the opportunity to improve their housing," spokeswoman Donna White said.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)